In Boxing News: A Manny Pacquiao Mea Culpa

As regards Manny Pacquiao, today our own Matt Aguilar – in Boxing columnist running out of time? – steps up with a mea culpa: Sometimes writers are so off the mark, it’s hard not to giggle at their ridiculous judgment. Sometimes, they’re so out-of-sync with reality, that it is almost impossible not to reply to that writer and tell him what a dope he is. This is one of those times. And the replies were overwhelming. As stated here already, the response to Matt’s pre-fight column from the Filipino boxing fans was full-blooded to say the least. Full marks to Matt for holding up his hands and taking the incoming volleys with grace and humor. And I do agree with Matt about the Filipino fight fans. I watched Morales-Pacquiao in a very crowded bar that was jam-packed with Filipino Pacquaio fans. The atmosphere was fantastic for watching a fight, and after HBO interviewed Morales most of the Pacquiao fans applauded El Terrible. That was good to see. When Pacquaio was interviewed, well … I’m sure you can imagine.

Maybe Erik Morales’ best days as a fighter have already been witnessed, applauded and recorded. Three losses in his last four fights? That isn’t a bump in the road, says Rick Folstad, it’s a cold shower, a hard slap in the face. It’s a cruel, all-too-early wakeup call that tells you maybe it’s time to change jobs. There’s a rematch clause, but Pacquiao shouldn’t take the rematch and Morales shouldn’t want it, concludes Folstad. Editor in chief of Ring Magazine, Nigel Collins, suggests had Morales’ father still been in his corner the fight would have been stopped earlier.

With the help of his personal nutrition and health specialist, Fernando Vargas insists he has finally overcome the appetite that caused him to put on weight between fights in the past. Before he began training for one bout, he was up to 193 pounds. He struggled mightily to lose almost 40 pounds and make weight. Vargas said Tuesday, I couldn’t believe it. I said to myself, `I’ll never do that again,. Now I can pat myself on the back because I’m happy I didn’t mess up. Here’s hoping it’s indeed the case, because it seems to me that Vargas has said the same thing a number of times in the past. Vargas, of course, meets Shane Mosley on Feb. 25 in Las Vegas in a junior middleweight bout.

Nat Gottlieb, writing for HBO, says Arturo Gatti’s fans can’t get enough of ‘Thunder’. Nat seems to be onto something there. Even though he was blown out badly – in as bad as it gets – Gatti comes right back on HBO (January 28th) against Thomas Damgaard. Lou DiBella goes as far as to say, if Gatti doesn’t get into the Hall of Fame it would be an atrocity. I absolutely believe he is a first ballot Hall of Famer. I’m as big a fan of fellow-Canadian Gatti as anybody, but I wonder if that might be getting a little carried away. Or is that where the bar is set for entry into the International Boxing Hall of Fame?

The World Boxing Council has ordered Jermain Taylor to make his next defense against Winky Wright. If Taylor and Wright don’t reach an agreement by next Monday, a purse offer could be held in which other promoters would have the chance to bid for the fight. Wright’s team asked for a 50-50 split of the purse two weeks ago, and talks appeared to break down. Now, Taylor is looking at other options.Taylor is considering fighting Australia’s Sam Soliman, though promoter Lou DiBella says no deal has been completed: He’s a quality opponent and we’ve spoken to his people, but nothing is signed yet and there’s nothing done yet.

In the New York Daily News, Tim Smith reports the unhappy marriage between IBF heavyweight champ Chris Byrd and promoter Don King is about to come to an amicable ending. Talks are underway that will allow Byrd and King to settle their dueling lawsuits and leave Byrd a free agent.

Oscar De La Hoya has not fought in the ring in 16 months and has moved on to a wide-ranging entrepreneurial career. But he plans to step back inside the ropes this year for two more bouts, his last hurrah as a boxer. First, he is to meet Ricardo Mayorga in a light middleweight title fight May 6.

With two separate fight cards featuring several top female fighters taking place this weekend in Southern California, the Press-Enterprise looks at the advancements and regressions women’s boxing has taken recently.

(As always … more Boxing News Links at TheSweetScience.com)