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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Jeff Mayweather speaks on Pacquiao-Clottey, the Super Six, Jones-Hopkins II and more

Sitting down for lunch at Applebee’s on the West Side of Las Vegas, trainer Jeff Mayweather recently had a lot to reflect on. Working heavily with WBA and IBF Super Bantamweight champion Celestino Caballero the past month has seemed to give Mayweather a deeper appreciation of what his job entails and his mind seemed to be completely at ease when discussing a myriad of topics this past week.

The first questions that were thrown Mayweather’s direction were in regards to the upcoming matches in Stage 2 of the Super Six Classic on Showtime. On April 24th newly crowned champion Andre Ward will defend his WBA Super Middleweight belt against Tulsa, Oklahoma’s Allan Green in Oakland, California. It is a contest that some are looking past but Jeff seems to think there is danger involved on both sides.

“That’s an interesting fight,” Mayweather points out. “Andre Ward looked somewhat spectacular in beating Kessler but he showed a lot of holes in his defense. He did a lot of amateurish things. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking anything away from the fact that he won the fight and won the fight easy but I saw a whole lot of mistakes.”

Whether or not Green is the man to exploit Ward’s mistakes remains to be seen but the man known as ‘Sweetness’ certainly has his share of both talent and punching power. Green has put on tremendous boxing displays in some of South Florida’s finest gyms but has yet to produce that same kind of performance on a grand stage.

“Allan Green is dangerous,” Jeff continues. “He’s a very dangerous fighter. I think it’s going to be a very tough fight. [Ward] has better boxing skills than Allan Green but Green has a very good puncher’s chance. I mean he has skills too. I think it’s going to be a very tough fight but I would still lean towards Ward.”

When looking at the other Stage 2 matches, Mayweather also went on to say that Andre Dirrell will need to show a willingness to bite down and fight if he is going to defeat Arthur Abraham on March 27th and seems to see Carl Froch vs. Mikkel Kessler as a pick em’ fight. Mayweather next turned his attention to the May 15th Amir Khan-Paulie Malignaggi bout at Madison Square Garden.

“I think that Malignaggi has become a great marketing guy,” Jeff claims. “That’s what I think. Of course he’s not an entertaining fighter to watch but he can talk. After the controversial fight with him and Diaz he all of sudden became somebody and now all eyes are on Paulie. He’s making the most of it and he’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to do. I like Paulie and he’s a real cool guy. He’s just making the most of an opportunity. To me he took a page out of David Haye’s book.”

Haye is the former unified Cruiserweight champion of the world who recently captured the WBA Heavyweight strap with a decision win over lumbering giant Nikolay Valuev in Germany. If there is one thing Haye can do it is talk and he has already stamped himself as one of today’s most marketable Heavyweights due to his brash bravado. Mayweather, however, isn’t sold.

“David Haye is a guy that has never done anything,” Mayweather emphasizes. “Here is a guy who beat one Heavyweight that wasn’t even in the top thirty and now he’s champion of the world. He has a great image and he’s a great talker. He sold himself. He hasn’t sold himself to America yet but he sold himself to the boxing world. Here’s a guy who went from beating nobody as a Cruiserweight to become a Heavyweight champion.”

One man who Haye could very well find himself in the ring with is the winner of the upcoming April 24th bout between former two-time champion Tomasz Adamek and iron chinned Chris Arreola. Adamek was fighting at Light Heavyweight as little as three years ago but has shown himself to be a capable performer over 200 pounds while Arreola has gotten by on his power and sheer will. Still, it’s not enough to keep Mayweather’s interest for too long.

“I don’t think Adamek is a real Heavyweight,” Mayweather feels. “Arreola is basically a walking punching bag too. I don’t really think much of him. I think he has tremendous heart and tremendous will but his skills are limited. Right now I think that Eddie Chambers is the only real hope for America to win a Heavyweight title.”

Whether talking Heavyweights, Cruiserweights, or any other weight class, there isn’t a fighter who has accomplished more in recent years than WBO Welterweight champion Manny Pacquiao. The Filipino’s next assignment is a March 13th dog fight with bruising Accra, Ghana fighter Joshua Clottey and Mayweather seems to feel that everything lies in Manny’s hands for that contest.

“I think it’s going to be a fairly easy fight for Manny,” Mayweather says bluntly. “Because Clottey is nothing but defense. All he does is cover up. As long as he is covering up Pacquiao is going to be punching. I don’t think he is going to try to take too many chances because that is what cost him the fight with Cotto. He had the fight won but he played it safe and went back to playing defense.”

Two men who have both been in Pacquiao’s pound for pound position during their time are former champions Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins, who are slated to clash in a mildly-anticipated rematch at the Mandalay Bay on April 3rd. Jones is coming off of a 122 second TKO loss to Australia’s Danny Green that has made some criticize his second affair with Hopkins even further but Mayweather seems to think it is a competitive fight.

“It’s funny because everybody thinks Roy is so washed up that Bernard is just going to walk over him,” Jeff notes. “My thing is this. I think Roy a very good chance of winning that fight. If you look back, every guy that has beaten Roy is a fighter who pressured him and brought the fight to him. Bernard is not that type of fighter. He is the type of guy who is going to sit back, calculate, and do his thing. Bernard isn’t a bigger puncher than Roy and he’s not faster than Roy. Roy mentally also still has that win over Bernard. I wouldn’t be surprised if Roy wins because certain fighters just have certain fighters numbers.”

In closing Mayweather speaks on his latest world champion, Caballero. The enigmatic Panamanian has shown himself to be one of boxing’s most overlooked champions in recent years and anyone who has seen a bulk of his fights can attest to his skill and power inside of the ropes. In knowing him on a man to man basis Mayweather attests that he is still getting to know him and seeing more sides of his persona everyday.

“This guy is phenomenal when it comes to his work ethic. He’s the type that reminds me of that story ‘The tortoise and the hair’. He is the type of guy that will deceive you and let you think that you are faster than him and that you can do something better than him. I’m learning more and more about him every day. One thing about him is that he is thirsting for knowledge. When I ask him to try new things he tries them right away. Yesterday he was jumping rope and he started doing all kinds of crazy things on the rope like Lil’ Floyd. He’s just the kind of guy who likes to deceive you. He’s a very humble and a pleasure to work with.”

Author: Chris Robinson

Source: examiner.com

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