When Boxing Writers Talk: David P. Greisman And Tim Starks On Manny Pacquiao Vs. Shane Mosley, The Super Six, Weird Gift Shops And More

From time to time BoxingScene’s David P. Greisman and myself gchat one another. Sometimes we talk about boxing, even. Sometimes, I publish what we say. This time, we mainly talked about the subjects in the headline. But we also talked about Shane Mosley’s girlfriend, Wayne Newton and more.

David: Yo!

me: Oh, there you are.

David: Oh, here I am.

me: How does it feel to be you? I often wonder.

David: Well, I feel better than those who paid for ringside seats to Pacquiao-Mosley.

me: But they might have gotten some of Jimi Jamison’s sweat on them!

David: His sweat? That’s a shame. Otherwise they could’ve had “Eye of the Tiger Blood.”

me: You do have to get over this Sheen thing.

David: Was that the second-best highlight of the pay-per-view?

me: After Arce-Vazquez? Nah, I’d go LL Cool J.

David: LL Cool J was more intent on the knockout than Mosley.

me: And I didn’t see him lick his lips ONCE.

I still have a hangover from that fight, man. Not the alcohol kind. Icky.

Have you talked to any regular folk? As opposed to superhuman boxing writers such as ourselves?

I wonder how they felt.

David: I had people who didn’t watch it ask me how it was. I was halfway embarrassed to tell them, halfway glad they didn’t see it.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had a high-profile fight be aesthetically displeasing. Boxing went on after De La Hoya-Mayweather. So how should boxing go on in the aftermath of Pacquiao-Mosley?

me: This was the first time in a while I didn’t know anybody who caught the Pac show, as far as the plebes go.

I’m not enjoying this Marquez III idea, obviously. You?

David: Not at this weight class. I don’t care about how close they might be in fight night weight. If Marquez comes in at 142 like he did against Mayweather, he very well could look tubby and slow again. If he comes in lighter, he still won’t have the ability to handle what’s now a full-fledged welter- or junior-welter Pacquiao. I feel you’ve broken this down well already.

But here’s the thing: I don’t know who else Pacquiao should face – of those he can face.

me: I asked you because I care what YOU think, David.

David: If Pacquiao and Mosley kept butting heads, what about Pacquiao and Bradley?

In all, it’s a shame. I would’ve loved to see Pacquiao-Marquez 3. But not now. Not like this.

me: Yeah, so obviously I’m in favor of Pac-Bradley, but talk about a dude who’s in the middle of more hubbub than anyone ever in the history of boxing whose style no one I know likes.

David: Not that Bradley looked amazing at 147 either…

me: Lawsuit threats! Piles of cash! Promoter wars! Manager-promoter feuds! Fights with Pacquiao or Khan! Us fans out here? We don’t care about him and his giant noggin.

At least we have the Super Six. My beloved Super Six.

David: Is it still beloved?

me: YES.


David: Is it as beloved as it could’ve been? Or is it like a girlfriend who left you for a while and then came back with half the passion as before?

Look at the breakdown:

Jermain Taylor deserves to be out. But Dirrell and Kessler? They could still be considered two of the top guys at 168. What’s being decided now? Does the coronation of Carl Froch/Andre Ward/Glen Johnson/Arthur Abraham mean as much now?

I mean, they still will have a deserving No. 1 ranking and will have beaten some quality guys. But there’s a lot of unfinished business, and that doesn’t even include Lucian Bute.

Still, Andre Ward has been a revelation.

me: I think, because I started slightly skeptical of how good it would be, it’s managed to make it farther and better than I expected. I don’t have a girlfriend metaphor for that. But:

David: There’s always a but.

Or a butt, if it’s Ward.

Or a butt, if it’s Shane Mosley’s girlfriend.

Or a bust, if it’s Shane Mosley’s girlfriend.

me: I think it’s fascinating that the Super Six is really, in some ways, only the beginning of the division’s potential. I didn’t think it would wrap up to a degree where we could all go, “That’s that, let’s move on to a new division.” I didn’t expect to be this much drama left.

David: Or a bust, if it’s Pacquiao-Mosley.

David: I see your point, but, well, there’s a but.

Once the Super Six winds up, won’t we go back to the status quo where the best don’t necessarily feel the urge to fight the best?

me: It’s not a bad but, though, is it? It’s kind of a good one! The Super Six has made the division more intriguing, not less. That’s not usually what happens when the division’s top guys square off. Usually, the drama is eventually drained.

David: Lucian Bute is the money guy. He’s the straw that stirs the drink. Everyone else is biding their time, like Mikkel Kessler facing whatever that guy’s name.

You are right, however.

When was the last time anyone had paid attention to more than one person at 168?

Probably about the same time people paid attention to more than one person at cruiserweight.

me: To your question: We’ll see. There’s been a rising tide of “that guy lost, he shouldn’t be on TV” from some quarters that irritates me.

David: Beyond that, there’s long been a tide of “That guy lost, he doesn’t deserve to face me.”

me: And, I’m campaigning on this like crazy, so watch Froch lose to Johnson… but when is Froch gonna get his due?

David: I still enjoy Mayweather denigrating Pacquiao’s losses on his record and then going on to face other fighters who’d lost.

Froch is one of those fighters who doesn’t appear as if he should be as successful as he is. But he is.

He’s got a win over Pascal, albeit a Pascal who was boiling down to 168. He went down against Jermain Taylor, then stopped him. He went to war against Kessler and looked good in defeat. And then he surprised us by showing that he wasn’t just a brainless brawler when he stuck to a game plan and boxed Abraham.

There is value to what this tournament has done to their profiles. But I’m concerned about them, once the tourney is over, going back to their comfort zones.

me: He’s faced the stiffest competition in boxing over the past couple years, outside maybe Martinez, and he’s come out pretty successful so far.

David: Which leads to a question:

me: I guess that could happen. But since there are more fights to be made, I think they’ll find them.

David: With the Super Six eventually coming to an end, where do Jean Pascal and Bernard Hopkins fit into the picture? Does Chad Dawson eventually want to entice these guys into a challenge at 175 (unless he wants to make 168, which he can)?

This really is a nice run of fights over the next several weeks.

me: And there you go. Even once the 168 pool is exhausted, there are some other fights at 175. I tell you, I really like it.

I want to see Bernard Hopkins fight the Race Question once and for all. And if it’s a draw, no rematch. Just… shutting up.

But, Pascal II is a nice fight.

David: Listen, Bernard Hopkins is the Donald Trump of boxing.

me: Is there any other sport where racism is a marketing ploy?

David: College basketball?

me: “[Inflammatory racial statement.] Buy my product.”

I guess the Aryan Nation gift shop could go that route.

David: Is there any other sport contingent on individual personalities, rather than team loyalty?

I don’t like it. But we’ve also come a long, long way from the way people approached Jack Johnson or, later, Muhammad Ali.

It’s lazy promoting, though. Then again, so much these days is.

If the UFC can sell out for bouts between lesser fighters and can get the crowds packed in for the undercard and second- and third-tier fighters, why can’t we make boxing fans care?

But that’s too large a conversation.

me: Todd duBoef explained the other day. I didn’t buy it. “Saturation.” I think it’s that boxing fans are conditioned not to expect good undercards. So, when they get one, their habit says, “There probably wont’ be a good undercard. I’ll stick around for the Wayne Newton show, then hit up Pacquiao-Mosley later.”

Wayne Newton fans/boxing fans, same thing.

David: Unfortunately, those who pay big bucks and only show up for disappointments like Pacquiao-Mosley are the last people who will leave singing “Danke Schoen.”

About Tim Starks

Tim is the founder of The Queensberry Rules and co-founder of The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board (http://www.tbrb.org). He lives in Washington, D.C. He has written for the Guardian, Economist, New Republic, Chicago Tribune and more.