Hall of Fame boxing commentator, Al Bernstein has seen his fair share of boxing events and has called some of the biggest in the history of the sport. He was on the broadcast team for Mayweather vs. Pacquiao, which went on to become the highest grossing event of all-time. On August 26th, Al will once again be calling a mega event in the sport as Floyd Mayweather Jr. is set to come back after a two year retirement to face MMA star, Conor McGregor.
I recently had a chance to speak to Al Bernstein to get his thoughts on the current boxing landscape. Al gave his views on the upcoming Mayweather – McGregor event and talks about the potential backlash that could come from it. Bernstein also shared views on the Canelo vs. Golovkin PPV and gave his thoughts on the fight itself. Additionally, Al talked about the future of Manny Pacquiao. Here is what Al Bernstein had to say.
Robert Brown: Al, what are your thoughts on the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight happening?
Al Bernstein: I think this is one of those interesting and rare events where it wasn’t that somebody selected this and said, “Oh let’s put this out there for the public’s approval.” This was something that came about because the public seemed to want to see it. I know a number of boxing purists and even MMA purist are annoyed at this happening, but people genuinely want to see it and that’s part of the reason why it got made.
Robert Brown: If this fight doesn’t live up to expectations, does it have a chance to damage both sports?
Al Bernstein: I think most people do believe that this is a one off. That’s not to say that it can’t do damage or enhance the reputation of one of the two fighters. Obviously if Mayweather was to lose this fight somehow, it would be seriously damaging to him. What it would do to each of the sports, I can’t tell. It could have some implications, but to me it seems like a one off, but at the end of the day it doesn’t comment further on either of the sports.
Robert Brown: With the Mayweather-McGregor and the Canelo-Golovkin fights being so close together, does this have a chance of damaging the Alvarez-Golovkin numbers?
Al Bernstein: I don’t know, I’m not that big an expert on the pay-per-view market. I think some of what may help the Golovkin-Canelo fight get through this is a lot of the hardcore boxing fans may take a pass on the Mayweather-McGregor fight. The Mayweather-McGregor numbers will be fueled to some degree by MMA fans and by casual fans who are tuning in for the spectacle. I think there will be enough people left over certainly for Canelo-Golovkin, and that fight has been very widely anticipated as well. I think it’s possible for both of these to come out relatively unscathed.
Robert Brown: What are your thoughts on the Alvarez vs. Golovkin fight? Who do you think might win that one?
Al Bernstein: I think it’s going to be very entertaining because both men will be in the pocket exchanging with each other. Daniel Jacobs was able to do well against Golovkin by boxing well and showing movement, which Canelo doesn’t do. I think they are both going to be in the pocket exchanging.
There are two questions that need to be answered, can Canelo hurt Golovkin? And can Canelo take the big punch of Golovkin? If it turns out if one or both of those are true early in the match, we’re going to have a heck of a match. I think we’re going to have a heck of a match anyway because I think they both can land a lot of punches and I think this will be a shoot out.
Robert Brown: Who do you think might win that fight?
Al Bernstein: I would lean toward Golovkin to win the fight. I think at the end of the day this is stylistically a good match-up for him.
Robert Brown: Manny Pacquiao is looking to comeback after the close loss to Jeff Horn. Should Pacquiao consider retiring regardless of the result?
Al Bernstein: I think he fought very well against Bradley and Vargas who are two excellent fighters, so he had come back from the poor effort against Mayweather — which he claims was partially due to an injury. In this fight he demonstrated clearly that it’s very possible that father time is starting to take it’s toll on Pacquiao. This next fight with Horn will give us a good idea because if he can’t perform better than he did, no matter whether you think he won or not, that’s not the skill-set needed to beat the upper echelon fighters in the welterweight division.
Robert Brown: Would you expect Pacquiao to bounce back and perform better in the rematch?
Al Bernstein: I don’t know, a lot of it will depend on where he’s at in terms of his age and his ability. It could be a difficult as the first one.