I recently had a chance to speak to legendary Hall of Fame commentator, ‘The Colonel’ Bob Sheridan. Bob Sheridan was elected into the boxing Hall of Fame in 2004 and is widely regarded as one of the all-time great voices of the sport. Being in the sport for over four decades, Sheridan has called the fights of some of the biggest legends and also has called some of the sports most memorable events.
In part 1 of this interview, I get ‘The Colonel’s’ thoughts on the super event that is Mayweather-Pacquiao and his views on how this event stacks up to some of the other great boxing match ups. I also talk to Sheridan about boxing’s return to network TV, and the event that featured Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman. Additionally, I get Bob’s thoughts on a possible Khan-Broner fight and if he thinks there will be any controversy in the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Here is what Bob Sheridan had to say.
Robert Brown: Now that the big fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather is happening, what are your thoughts on it?
Bob Sheridan: It’s a fight that could have happened five or six years ago when both of them were in their primes but still the promotion leading up to this fight will make it probably one of the richest sporting events in the history of sports. Pacquiao is scheduled to make $80 million and Mayweather $120 million, that’s just unbelievable.
I thought back in the days when I was doing the Ali-Foreman fight in Zaire, when the fighters were making $5 million each that that was huge at the time but look at how it has progressed. In no other sport does an individual make that kind of money for one days work, it’s unbelievable.
Robert Brown: The build up to the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, how does it compare with some of the great fights of the past like Leonard-Hearns, Ali-Frazier and Leonard-Hagler? Can you give us a sense?
Bob Sheridan: I’ll tell you this, at that time all those fights were huge but nothing is as big as what this is going to be. At the time, you’re talking about the great welterweights and middleweights — Hagler, Hearns and Leonard — they were all huge fights and as it worked out, the fights themselves were fantastic.
If you want to go back to the days of the heavyweights, anything that Ali was involved in was huge. But in spite of the fact that Ali was involved in what was called ‘The Fight of the Century’ at the time, this fight just based on numbers and the amount of people and the people that aren’t really boxing fans are still all very interested in this fight, so this makes it the biggest boxing match of all time.
Robert Brown: What do you reckon the Pay-Per-View buys will end up being?
Bob Sheridan: I would say something around a little over two million buys, but who knows because it’s gonna be in the United States and it’s gonna be $100 a go. There might be a lot of people that are going to get together and have parties at one place and split the cost of the PPV. It remains to be seen what’s gonna happen with the amounts, but it will be one of the biggest in history, if not the biggest.
Robert Brown: John Molina recently fought Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman faced Robert Guerrero. What were your thoughts on those fights?
Bob Sheridan: First off, both of the fights were very good, especially the Guerrero-Thurman fight, that was a very good fight. I thought for the first NBC show in thirty years, to have two really nice fights like that turn out the way they did and attract the audience, they were very fortunate. Al Haymon has so many fighters under contract that he can just keep doing this.
Robert Brown: Keith Thurman seemed to be dominating the fight early but Guerrero came back in the later rounds and hit Thurman with some good shots. What were your thoughts on that fight?
Bob Sheridan: I think that Guerrero is a very good fighter and he really got into the fight as the fight progressed along. Thurman is the class of the division right now and Guerrero has been there in the past and I just think that it was a tough fight for him because the two were very evenly matched. Even though Thurman was the favorite going in, Guerrero has had a lot of experience and it showed in that fight. I think that Thurman is a pretty solid fighter.
Robert Brown: Guerrero jumped up from 135lbs to 147lbs and he won a title but I think he’d be quite a handful for some of the guys at 140lbs. Do you think he should drop down to 140lbs?
Bob Sheridan: That’s not a bad idea. He’s gonna fight wherever he feels comfortable at and if he can get back down to that lighter weight then he would have more power, he would carry more power with him — if he doesn’t have to punish the body too much to get down to that size.
Once guys go up it’s difficult to go back down, it’s been done by some of the really great fighters — look at Roy Jones Jr, he went all the way up to heavyweight and then he went down to light heavyweight. It can be done, but we’ll see what happens with Guerrero and whether he feels the power of everyone is just a little bit too much for him, and if that’s the case then he can train down and fight at a lighter weight.
Robert Brown: Amir Khan seems to be pushing for the Adrien Broner fight. Would you actually like to see that fight?
Bob Sheridan: Yeah I would love to see that fight. Amir Khan is a premier fighter but whether he fights Broner or not is another question because when we see what happens with the outcome of this Pacquiao fight with Mayweather, if Mayweather wins the fight then Amir Khan’s going to want to jump on that sweepstakes.
This Mayweather-Pacquiao fight, I expect a lot of close rounds and I expect it to be a controversial decision because of the close rounds and if that’s the case, a rematch is a possibility. The styles of these fighter to me, I’ll be really interested in seeing who the judges are for this fight. That’s a concern of mine, a controversy involving judging.
STAY TUNED TO ONTHEROPESBOXING.COM FOR PART 2 OF MY INTERVIEW WITH BOB SHERIDAN