Chat with Bert Sugar
Bert stops by to chat about the welterweight fight between Manny Pacquiao and the 35-year-old, future Hall of Famer Oscar De La Hoya. The two go head-to-head on HBO PPV live Dec. 6 starting at 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in one of the most anticipated fights of the year.
Sugar has written over 80 books and from 1979-83 he served as editor-in-chief of The Ring. Sugar also, according to his bio on HBO.com, founded Fight Game magazine in 1998.
Sugar has also appeared in a few movies, including recently in "Rocky Balboa," the final chapter of Sylvester Stallone's Rocky boxing movies.
Send in your questions for Bert right now. Then, check back on Friday at 2 p.m. ET to see his answers.
Buzzmaster (1:57 PM)
Bert will be here in a couple of minutes!
Buzzmaster (1:59 PM)
We've got Bert!
Bert Sugar (2:00 PM)
I'm out in Vegas right now to see what I consider to be the Fight of the Century (granted, that's a cheat, because it's only eight years into the century), but I will tell you the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight has generated more buzz than any in a long time. Even though we're in a down economy, boxing is going out on a high note this year. Join me as we discuss De La Hoya-Pacquiao as well as this is the 75th anniversary of the repeal of prohibition, which I will celebrate after this is through. Let's get it on.
Bert, do you feel that Oscar has it left in him to pull the trigger against pacquiao?
Bert Sugar (2:02 PM)
I think that although Oscar has been fighting with the frequency of Halley's Comet, having had only six fights in the last five years (three in the last four) and has won only three of those fights, he still has a left hook from hell, which he can land. Particularly since Pacquiao tends to jump back after throwing punches. It's up to Pacquiao to give him angles to avoid it. But Oscar's power punch is his left hook (which is the best way to get to a left handed fighter like Pacquiao), I think he can land it. The question is whether he will land it.
What do you see in the future for fights of this magnitude, when Oscar De La Hoya retires?
Bert Sugar (2:04 PM)
Mike, you're right. Oscar De La Hoya, like very few jnon-heavyweights, has become boxing's ATM, or cash cow. He brings a large following and a big popularity to the sport. We get a fighter like this every generation or so, Ali, Leonard, Chavez or Mike Tyson. I don't know where the next one comes from at this moment, but there's one out there.
Luis (Elk Grove Village, IL)
Hey Bert, If Manny's power is not a factor in this fight, can his speed overcome Oscar's physical advantages and win a decision.
Bert Sugar (2:06 PM)
Manny Pacquiao has power, it just comes from manny punches. But speed is always an equalizer in anything and it's speed that is the equalizer in Oscar's height, weight and reach advantages. The most interesting statistic in the "Tale of the Tape" is that Manny has a bigger fist. You get hit with fists and not height. Manny, in my mind's eye has an excellent chance if not knocking out Oscar, at least outhustling and outmuscling him, especially since Oscar has shown stamina problems coming down the stretch.
Hello Bert- Big fan here. Question: Do you think Floyd Maywether will be tempted to jump back in aftering seeing all the buzz over this fight? If so, Who would you like to see him fight? Thanks in advance, The Irishman71
Bert Sugar (2:08 PM)
Yes, I see Floyd Mayweather coming back. But it's not because he's not a party to this fight and "all the buzz" but because he is no longer the focus of attention. Floyd loves attention. Plus, I must tell you in all candor, while the biggest fight outside of the heavyweight division was Mayweather-De La Hoya, and we promised him a great fight, the fight itself did not fit the build up. We promised the moon and only delivered only two stars. This fight promises the moon and two stars and we'll get both.
Bert Sugar (2:09 PM)
While Pacquiao is action, action and more action, Mayweather is defensively more gifted. Probably the best since Pepp and Whitaker. That said, I'd rather watch action then defense.
Bert, If Manny wins this fight on saturday do you see him as one of the top 10 fighters all time?
Bert Sugar (2:10 PM)
If Manny wins, I see him as the greatest Asian fighter of all time, passing Billa. But not in the top ten of all time. Nevertheless, what he can do with a win is match historically the feat Henry Armstrong, who back in the late 30s won the featherweight, then welterweight, then lightweight championships and fought for the middleweight title against Garcia and fought to a draw - which was a "dumb deal".
Hello Bert, honour to speak with you. Who in your eyes will be the best 5 fighters of this decade, and are de la hoya and pacquiao on the list?
Bert Sugar (2:13 PM)
I think you must include both of these fighters of two of the five or 10 or whatever number you make the list, because of the perceived greatness. There would be others, of course, who could be considered for inclusion, such as, Marco Antonio Barrera, Joe Calzaghe, Erik Morales, Antonio Margarito, Juan Manuel Marquez. Please note there are no heavyweights on this list for obvious reason.
Bert, I'm a big fan of your work.. When is your next book coming out?? I have about 8 of your books and I can't wait to read the next one..
Bert Sugar (2:14 PM)
Thank you Ron, that's 8 more than my family has bought. I have a book out now called "My View From the Corner" that I wrote with Angelo Dundee, which the New York Times called superb, that I'm very happy with. I'm now writing a baseball book with the hall of fame that's out in the spring and a couple of boxing books that should be out at the end of '09. I love to do boxing books, because the fans are hard core readers as well as fans, which is unusual about some sports fans.
Do you think that Pacman has to fight Marquez again to finish his career? How do you view Marquez as a fighter and as ann all time featherweight? Could he have competed in any era?
Bert Sugar (2:16 PM)
I think Marquez is one of the best fighters on the scene today. But I don't know that Pacman has to fight him again to solidify his legacy. Yes it would be a great fight; yes it would be a great trilogy - which seems to be a word we only use in boxing; yes the fans would love it. But I think Pacman's next fight is against Ricky Hatton. With his new weight, might preclude a fight against a lighter Marquez. But who knows, maybe that's in the works, because boxing needs to continue to offer great fights like the one tomorrow night.
Bert, how do you feel the size difference will actually effect this fight?
Bert Sugar (2:18 PM)
I think the size difference, in terms of reach not height or weight, could alter this the fight IF Oscar can use his longer reach with an effective jab to keep Pacman at bay. However, I doubt he can keep Pacquiao from rushing to the inside and landing. And, I remember the he used that jab for just four rounds and then abanded it.
Bert, what are your thoughts on Shane Mosley taking steroids before the Oscar fight?? With this news coming out, will you vote Shane in as a Hall of Famer???
Bert Sugar (2:20 PM)
I don't know how to deal with that yet, as a non medical man, as to what they do for a fighter. Do they give him more speed? More stamina? Do they help his performance as in "performance-enhancing" drug? I just don't know what they do and I don't know any lay opinion to tell me. And half of the doctors are divided. It's a consideration. If I'm in the Hall of Fame, why shouldn't he be? (I still don't know if I was inducted or indicted.)
Hello bert who do you think its going to win tomorrow??
Bert Sugar (2:23 PM)
I have this fight exactly even in my mind's eye. There are great atributes that Oscar brings to the table and there are almost as many as Manny brings to the table. Assessing their asset sheet, even looking at their flaws, I really don't know who should be the favorite. All that said, and I'm a contrarian, I must tell you that like a cigarette warning on the label, I've not always been good at this, although mainly right because of guessing. I'm picking Pacquiao if for no other reason that everyone is picking Oscar. With warning, I have to tell you that I picked Japan in World War II, giving the seven points. And it looked good right up until the Battle of Midway.
Bert, truly an honor to talk to you. Having trained Oscar, does having Freddie Roach in his corner give Pacquiao any significant advantage? Also, how is the scotch in Vegas?
Bert Sugar (2:24 PM)
Answering the first question first, because it's foremost in my mind. I don't think there is any scotch left after last night. If you find a hat with a head in it, could you please return it? I've got to tell you that Vegas is a great city, it's the only place where you can walk into your room when your wake up call is ringing.
Bert Sugar (2:27 PM)
Freddie Roach, he brings a lot to the table as a trainer. After all, he is the one that taught Manny that the human limit for the hands is two. Teaching Manny that you can use the right hand along with the left, which Manny has perfected to become a Howitzer of his own. I've always believed that trainers that stay with boxers a long time is a big advantage. You hear the same voice in the corner that you've always heard. Freddie is a major advantage for Manny with Oscar changing trainers more than I change socks. It's a new training core for Oscar. This being his first fight with them, I don't know what they can do with training a veteran who has already had 44 fights. In this case, Freddie is one of the advantages for Manny that most people don't see.
Bert Sugar (2:28 PM)
(And if that answer was all right, is it OK for me to now go in search for a bar again? You have no idea of how much wisdom in the bottom of a scotch glass?)
Bert Sugar (2:29 PM)
Gang, this has been fun. Let's do it again, and don't miss tomorrow night's fight, which not only promises to be a great fight, but I almost guarantee that it will aquit the buildup. This one is a winner. Thank you, let's do this again.
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