Chat with Bert Sugar
Bert will be here to chat about the welterweight fight between the top ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the world Manny Pacquiao and Ricky Hatton. The two go head-to-head on HBO PPV live May 2 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 (1:53 PM)
Bert will be here at the top of the hour! Keep sending in your questions.
Bert Sugar (2:05 PM)
I am here at the MGM Grand the site of the fight of the year, maybe the century (in this ninth year of the century). A fight that is being held on Cinco de Mayo, being celebrated in America, at Las Vegas, between a Brit and a Filipino; there may be more national anthems played here than are played at the UN. It promises to attract worldwide attention and the attention of anyone who is a fight fan. Let's go with your questions.
David Denver CO
With all of the undercards, what time would you guess the Pac/Hatton fight will start?
Bert Sugar (2:06 PM)
It is supposed to start at 11 ET time, but I've never seen any of these start on time, and with all the anthems, it could be next week.
Garry Macon, Ga
Sugar, I would not bet on this Pac fight. Would you?
Bert Sugar (2:09 PM)
While I do not bet on fights, conflict of interest, but if I did, I would bet on Hatton. The odds are lush. It is an arrivederci. A goodbye. Remember, the odds makers in Vegas have been consistently wrong. Pavlik 5 to 1 to Hopkins, and Hopkins won. Cotto 2.5 to 1 favorite to Maragarito, and Margarito won. Margarito was a 3 to 1 favorite against Mosley and Mosley won. And De La Hoya was 3 to 1 over Pacman, and Pacman won. Are you getting the message? Of course I did pick Japan in WWII, but I had 7.5 points, and I felt good until the Battle of Midway. But this fight is a lot closer than the odds favoring Pacquiao.
Alright Bert, where do you get the hats? And should we lift the travel embargo to Cuba..you know, for the cigars?
Bert Sugar (2:11 PM)
Working backwards, with all the troubles we are having with the economy, we need to worry about Cuba and an embargo? Drop it, and send me my cigars. As for the hats, there are plenty of great places on the internet such as stetson and worth&worth. But come Memorial Day until Labor Day we change from fedoras to panamas, even though panamas are made in Ecuador.
Sir Chris London England
Where do you rank Hatton compared to pacquiao openents? Is he the best or worst of the legends he has faced?
Bert Sugar (2:13 PM)
I think Hatton is right in the mix. Assuredly Juan Manuel Marquez would be considered better, and at their peak (although he fought him after that) Morales and Barrera would be considered better. But it is all relative. And everything is relative outside of Eve telling Adam about all the men she could have married. Still Hatton is a formidable opponent.
eric new york [via mobile]
I don't see anyway Hatton can nuetralize Manny's speed and agility. Do you and how? Thank you.
Bert Sugar (2:15 PM)
Well, the speed and accuracy and precision of Pacquiao's punches are far superior to Hatton's. But Hatton will have a 10 to 15 lbs advantage with rehydration and his fight is inside. That said, Pacquiao on the outside wins the fight, Hatton on the inside wins. This is fight of styles, and whoever imposes their will on the other wins. It is not as simple as saying he has speed, because speed does not work on the inside.
Chris ( so cal)
Just wondering, do you see this fight going past 9 rounds? or a all out brawl!
Bert Sugar (2:16 PM)
There will be more than a few instances of fighting in the trenches, in an all-out war. But I see it going the distance.
What does Manny still need to accomplish in order to be considered the best of all time?
Bert Sugar (2:17 PM)
Beat Sugar Ray Robinson's win record, but he already is the greatest Asian fighter of all-time. But I never see him being considered greater than Robinson or Pep. But this is only in degree of greatness, not species. He already is a great.
Carlos Aguayza (Brooklyn, New York)
Do you believe Manny will be able to compete at higher weight classes? Light Middleweight? Maybe even Middle weight like the great Armstrong did?
Bert Sugar (2:21 PM)
I am not sure I know what his REAL fighting weight is. He has won championship fights in three different weight classes, something only Armstrong did. I am still not sure what his true fighting weight is. What is it? And when will he hit the wall? His act of gaining and losing weight is astounding. Remember Armstrong won the 126 lbs title, then the 174 welterweight, then came down to win the 135 title and fought for and got a draw with in the championship fight at the 160 middleweight level. I do not see Manny doing that!
Hi Bert. I just want to know your pick for the fight and why. Thanks.
Bert Sugar (2:23 PM)
I think it goes to a decision and Manny should win a close one. But, I would not be shocked if Hatton wins. This is going to be a very, very close and action-packed fight. And again I must tell you that while I have not often been right I have been more right than the odds makers. I give Hatton one helluvah chance. I think it depends how often he can get inside. The one fighter who gave Manny the most trouble was Aguatito Sanchez, who got more hits in on Manny than Pete Rose had career hits.
Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)
Do you re-watch a fight again on a TV after attending the live fight? And aside from the atmosphere is TV viewing better to really "see" the bout?
Bert Sugar (2:25 PM)
Yes and no. I watch a lot of fights over and over again, looking for different things. But in many cases, I turn the sound down so I am not in anyway given to following the blow by blow or the asides by the announcers, who might be seeing it different than me, and communicating it. Many a time I have heard announcers, at fights I have attended, describing it differently than what I am seeing. So I watch the bout with the sound down.
Jimmy (Arlington, VA)
If Manny wins, do you give him any shot at beating Cotto?
Bert Sugar (2:26 PM)
I think Cotto is too big for him. When I talked about Manny's best fighting weight, I do not think it comes against a full-fledged middleweight.
Daniel (Detroit, MI)
Bert...would a Pacquiao win over Hatton push him past Fighting Harada as the greatest Asian fighter of all time? Or are Harada's wins over Jofre, among others, enough to keep him at the top?
Bert Sugar (2:28 PM)
I already have Manny rated above Harada and Pancho Villa and a win would just reinforce him as the greatest Asian fighter of all-time. Harada was a great fighter, but he has not done what Manny has done, leaping all over divisions.
Smitty...Colebrook New Hampshire
Can you adequately evaluate a current fighter's place in the history of the sport or do you prefer to wait a bit until they're done and retired for good?
Bert Sugar (2:30 PM)
Good question. My preference is to view their entire career before I put my stamp on it. But there are times, like Manny's career, when you can begin assessing how their career is and where it is going. Sometimes it is premature and sometimes it is not, but with all that Pacquiao has accomplished you can begin to asses his greatness. I would love to wait to assess Manny's full impact, but I cannot ignore what he has already done.
Who had a better career ring accomplishments wise, Trinidad or De La Hoya?
Bert Sugar (2:31 PM)
De La Hoya. He never stepped back or finessed meeting anyone. I still believe he beat Trinidad. After that fight I tried to interview the three judges, but I never got the interview having tripped over their seeing-eye dogs.
Bert Sugar (2:36 PM)
Thank you for the great questions, which only serve to reinforce my belief we are about to watch the fight of the year, if not better. It's been fun. Let's do it again. And to plug my my new book "The Baseball HOF and Coffee Table Book," with four legs, in case you need a coffee table, is out. And on the back cover Yogi Berra is quoted as saying, "What Bert Sugar knows about baseball, nobody knows." What does that mean? Thanks again, Bert.
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