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The Boxing Media’s Selective Outrage over Pacquiao-Mosley


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by Paul Magno

 

After two years of aggressive denial and of helping promote the most cynical matchmaking of an elite-level fighter in recent memory, the mainstream boxing media has finally come out loud and aggressive in their condemnation of Shane Mosley as Manny Pacquiao’s next opponent on May 7th in Las Vegas.

 

But, lest we forget, these very same “experts” actually encouraged Bob Arum’s hubris in matching Manny against anyone he damn well felt like. For two years, Pacquiao zig-zagged over three divisions, picking up meaningless belts from the loser’s bracket against toothless tigers while the media nearly built monuments to the Filipino Buzzsaw and his greatness.

 

Dan Rafael of ESPN had this to say about the Pacquiao-Mosley matchup: “Arum doesn’t care. He only wants to do what is best for himself, certainly not for boxing. He is going to put Mosley in the ring with Pacquiao soley because of name. It’s a move that will squeeze out the last gasps of Mosley’s once-outstanding career so Arum can generate another big payday while doing a disservice to real boxing fans who actually care about the matchups and not just a famous but faded name…A one-sided loss [and a draw in an awful fight] is not supposed to be how you land a fight with the pound-for-pound king and the sport’s most popular fighter.”

 

Of course, Rafael’s statement is the truth, but the difference is that some of us have been saying this since Pacquiao, post-De la Hoya conquest, first started on his road to super stardom. Take out the name “Mosley” from the above quote and substitute it with “Hatton, Cotto, or Margarito” and it holds just as much water.

 

Max Boxing’s Steve Kim, who was, literally, tailgating in the parking lot of Cowboys’ Stadium for Pacquiao-Margarito, has suddenly become critical of Pacquiao’s matchmaking, writing that the choice of Mosley as an opponent was a slap in the face to “those who still care about this sport.” But, not only did he actively support the choice of Margarito for Manny, despite having been KOd by Mosley and banned by the CSAC for tampering with his handwraps, he took to his beloved Twitter and openly mocked those who talked of boycotting the contest.

 

Kevin Iole, of Yahoo Sports, has called the selection of Mosley “garbage.” In the same article, he goes so far as to say that the 39-year old was selected because “He’s the least likely of the three contenders [Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Andre Berto] to win.”

 

Iole’s candor is appreciated, but we didn’t hear much of it while Arum was cherry-picking vulnerable foes among his own stable of fighters with complete impunity.

 

As a matter of fact, we barely heard a peep from any of these media sources during the entire 2-year rise to “all-time” greatness. The harshest criticism we got was the occasional brief voicing of displeasure that came off more like quiet resignation than a real dig at Top Rank’s cash cow.

 

If the mainstream media was displeased by anything that was going on with Team Pacquiao, it was certainly a well-kept secret. The only ones even questioning Pacquiao’s consumption of one faded, emasculated fighter after another were those of us in the independent media who, by the way, had nothing to lose by telling the truth. No high-profile jobs, no press passes, no per diems, no access to Top Rank interviews.

 

It’s quite puzzling that many of these same media members, who have acted as de facto co-promoters for the last two years, are suddenly and abruptly outraged by the choice of Shane Mosley as an opponent.

 

Mosley will be four months shy of his 40th birthday when he steps in the ring against Manny Pacquiao on May 7th and, while the talk of him being a shot fighter is certainly a valid topic for discussion based off his recent performances, he presents a much more difficult stylistic task than any of Manny’s recent foes. Mosley, in his own way, is every bit as threatening as Margarito and, frankly, much more deserving of the shot.

 

So, why this moment of Satori from the ones whose indifference enabled and encouraged the situation in the first place? Why this sudden concern about “those who still care about this sport?”

 

One thing is for sure, though; Team Pacquiao is not to blame for this. They, like any team surrounding a boxer, will try to make the easiest fight possible for the most money. You can be sure that Floyd Mayweather, if he had the same stablemates as Pacquiao and the same access to Bob Arum’s evil genius, would also have been seeking to feast on the loser’s bracket. But the difference is that the media would never have allowed it.

 

Back in 2006, when Mayweather chose to fight Zab Judah, the loser in the Baldomir-Judah contest, the media was a united front against the “audacity” of the most talented fighter in the world choosing to make money and earn a paper title off a guy who had lost his last big fight.

 

“Why would you want that fight? (against Judah)” ESPN’s Bryan Kenny would ask Mayweather during their now-infamous dust-up on ESPN. “He lost that fight…why put this guy in front of you…why not fight Baldomir?… How could you say that [Judah is a legit opponent], as the #1 pound for pound fighter in the world, knowing that he just lost to Baldomir…”

 

This is the way the media should be, only across the board and with a supreme even hand. The media exists to report the news and make it known when someone is pulling the wool over the fans’ eyes. Their bond should be with the fans and not with the promoters and publicists who, more and more, have found the boxing media quite willing to shill for them and/or be led around by their own agendas.

 

Boxing, more so than any other sport, needs a strong and resilient media. With no reasonable sanctioning body, no union, and a dwindling presence in the mainstream sports world, the media is the last line of defense for a sport that has been beaten into the ground by its own power brokers.

 

Some of us were on the soapbox, insisting that Manny be judged on the same scale as every other fighter, but most were just going along with the program. While those of us in the business just for the love of the game were putting our necks on the line by voicing a very unpopular point of view, the head writer of one of boxing’s biggest websites was loading up his George Foreman grill, stacking the cooler with Budweiser, and stroking his ego by basking in the VIP treatment made possible by Top Rank. That should say it all right there.

 

Now, the media is outraged and talking about what’s “bad for boxing.”

 

Good. Better late than never….Just don’t count on this outrage lasting very long.

 

http://theboxingtribune.com/2010/12/the-boxing-medias-selective-outrage-over-pacquiao-mosley/

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The fight is bad for boxing. In fact, the bout stinks!

 

But I agree with the article in that Pac is at a stage now where he is simply cashing in and no boxer can be blamed for that.

 

Even though Pac has said he'll be around for another 3-4 years, if there is nobody else to fight then I see him retiring a lot sooner.

 

I do have to wonder how much money he'll get from this because it could be another gamble, financially.

 

It looks as if the Margarito bout "paid off" because that one did better than expected but Mosley's never been a big draw, however bemusing that is.

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I was with him all the way until he suggested Cotto and Hatton were both toothless tigers. There's an argument about whether Haton was past it, but the fight was at Hatton's own weight and Pacquiao was just too good for him. Cotto had the weiight demand that spoiled the fight slightly but the man himself said at the time the extra pound made no difference, and again, he fought well early but couldn;t cope with the speed of Pacquiao.
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The fight is bad for boxing. In fact, the bout stinks!

 

But I agree with the article in that Pac is at a stage now where he is simply cashing in and no boxer can be blamed for that.

 

Even though Pac has said he'll be around for another 3-4 years, if there is nobody else to fight then I see him retiring a lot sooner.

 

I do have to wonder how much money he'll get from this because it could be another gamble, financially.

 

It looks as if the Margarito bout "paid off" because that one did better than expected but Mosley's never been a big draw, however bemusing that is.

 

I would like to see the fight with Berto being made after Berto steps it up.

Then no where to go but up. Nobody can match him in welter, so up to Jr. Middle.

Angulo, Williams, Abraham, and anybody in the top 10 Middleweight class.

How about B-Hop? I mean why not?

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the fight stinks but i think its careless to consider cotto and hatton as unworthy opponents. hatton was back at his weight and had been successful against malignaggi and was still the lineal champ. cotto had just redeemed himself from margarito with the win over clottey and with plaster-gate in the news there was an excuse for his lose to margarito (which btw cotto did not use as an excuse, though others made it for him). the catchweight was pathetic though, especially considering that pacquiao had fought de la hoya at the full 147.

 

clottey was a decent enough opponent though he was coming off a loss to cotto (though some saw it as a controversial loss... not me). i was never impressed with clottey but most rankings had him in the top 5 at 147. so not bad for a title defense.

 

margarito was terrible and shane is terrible. people can blame arum all they want, but pacquiao is the one who decides who he fights and hes chosen poorly.

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Fact is, however caused, Cotto was already damaged goods at the time; I mean, the guy did not lose on points or something like that, he was in his first loss bruttally finished at his peak, at least for the time being, by Margarito, and some experts such as Emmanuel Stewart were saying so at the time. Hatton coming off a win over a boxer as soft as Malignaggi after having suffered his first loss in a dispiriting way certainly didn't put him back at the level of an elite fighter at the time, either. Moreover, there were plenty, more deserving fighters even as early as those times. So the signature formula of how to pick fights for Pacquiao has long been there.

 

I agree with the writer of the original article that all of Manny Pacquiao's fights [after ODH] have been with fighters who had [in some cases just] become damaged goods, that it continues to be so, that the main stream boxing media has been complicit, and that one shouldn't be surprised if the current rising mainstream media voice against such a trend, does not last.

 

Hopefully, we are beginning to witness the rise of the new generation of sleek and exciting (in their own way) boxers. Then, the cycle repeats.

 

P34c3

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Fact is, however caused, Cotto was already damaged goods at the time; I mean, the guy did not lose on points or something like that, he was in his first loss bruttally finished at his peak, at least for the time being, by Margarito, and some experts such as Emmanuel Stewart were saying so at the time. Hatton coming off a win over a boxer as soft as Malignaggi after having suffered his first loss in a dispiriting way certainly didn't put him back at the level of an elite fighter at the time, either. Moreover, there were plenty, more deserving fighters even as early as those times. So the signature formula of how to pick fights for Pacquiao has long been there.

 

I agree with the writer of the original article that all of Manny Pacquiao's fights [after ODH] have been with fighters who had [in some cases just] become damaged goods, that it continues to be so, that the main stream boxing media has been complicit, and that one shouldn't be surprised if the current rising mainstream media voice against such a trend, does not last.

 

Hopefully, we are beginning to witness the rise of the new generation of sleek and exciting (in their own way) boxers. Then, the cycle repeats.

 

P34c3

 

how are cotto and hatton damaged goods after one loss each? cotto came back after margarito and beat clottey then after pacquiao defeated foreman for a paper title at 154. also cotto was either #1 or #2 at 147 (with mosley) at the time. hatton may have been finished but he certainly was still a credible opponent as he was still the lineal champ.

 

dont get me wrong, its very smart matchmaking by top rank for pacquiao, but these were also legitimate opponents

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Fact is, however caused, Cotto was already damaged goods at the time; I mean, the guy did not lose on points or something like that, he was in his first loss bruttally finished at his peak, at least for the time being, by Margarito, and some experts such as Emmanuel Stewart were saying so at the time. Hatton coming off a win over a boxer as soft as Malignaggi after having suffered his first loss in a dispiriting way certainly didn't put him back at the level of an elite fighter at the time, either. Moreover, there were plenty, more deserving fighters even as early as those times. So the signature formula of how to pick fights for Pacquiao has long been there.

 

I agree with the writer of the original article that all of Manny Pacquiao's fights [after ODH] have been with fighters who had [in some cases just] become damaged goods, that it continues to be so, that the main stream boxing media has been complicit, and that one shouldn't be surprised if the current rising mainstream media voice against such a trend, does not last.

 

Hopefully, we are beginning to witness the rise of the new generation of sleek and exciting (in their own way) boxers. Then, the cycle repeats.

 

P34c3

 

how are cotto and hatton damaged goods after one loss each? cotto came back after margarito and beat clottey then after pacquiao defeated foreman for a paper title at 154. also cotto was either #1 or #2 at 147 (with mosley) at the time. hatton may have been finished but he certainly was still a credible opponent as he was still the lineal champ.

 

dont get me wrong, its very smart matchmaking by top rank for pacquiao, but these were also legitimate opponents

 

Completely agree. I think the sport is too keen to write fighters off after only 1 loss. A defeat doesn't mean a fighter is finished IMO.

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Hatton was obviously finished at top level, when Lazcano was knocking him around the ring. Cotto was destroyed by Margarito, to the point of quitting as opposed to being KO'd. Handwrap help or not. Plus he was weight restricted.

 

I dont care what Pakow fans think about the weight issue, he himself was patently scared to fight Cotto at 147. Then we get the same shit with Margarito at 150, again Pakow showing that he didn't have the jacobs to fight Margarito at 154, no matter what nonsense his defenders spout.

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I thought the catchweight with Cotto was just stupid and pointless,but it was only one single pound under the weight that Cotto had weighed in at quite a few times already in his career.I'm not justifying it,I'm not deluded enough to believe that it was the reason why Cotto lost to Pacquiao.

 

 

Hatton looked like a million dollars in his previous fight with Paulie Malignaggi.It wasn't the win that was important,it was just how good he looked in beating him.He put on one of the best performances in his career and outboxed the boxer.

 

 

 

But yes,Pacquiao and his team are cherry picking - and they deserve the same treatment that Mayweather has gotten over the last couple of years.

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Hatton was obviously finished at top level, when Lazcano was knocking him around the ring. Cotto was destroyed by Margarito, to the point of quitting as opposed to being KO'd. Handwrap help or not. Plus he was weight restricted.

 

I dont care what Pakow fans think about the weight issue, he himself was patently scared to fight Cotto at 147. Then we get the same S**t with Margarito at 150, again Pakow showing that he didn't have the jacobs to fight Margarito at 154, no matter what nonsense his defenders spout.

 

Lazcano knocked him around the ring??

 

Hatton won almost every round apart from a couple in the last half, namely the tenth.

 

I just think Hatton was never THAT good to begin with and most of his career, especially the last half, was based purely on luck because he wouldn't have lasted as long as he did if he fought in today's 140 division.

 

He may have had a cold or whatever but when you are struggling with the likes of Urango, it shows your quality.

 

Hatton's overhyped because of his fanbase and had one great night against Tszyu.

 

I will say, however, that Tszyu wasn't as shot as most people think. You don't go from knocking Sharmba Mitchell down so many times to just being shot in the next.

 

But Kostya, himself, is overrated who got away with being champion for so long because he never fought often as one, especially in the last few years before fighting Hatton.

 

And yes, I agree with Rob, calling Pacquiao scared is a bit rich coming from a Floyd mug. Not to mention embarrassing.

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