Boxing commentator, Dave Bontempo has been calling fights ringside for over 30 years and currently does many of the biggest event broadcasts for international TV. I recently had a chance to speak with Dave Bontempo to get his thoughts on the current boxing landscape. Dave shares his thoughts on Canelo vs. Golovkin and the upcoming rematch between Ward and Kovalev. Bontempo also breaks down the heavyweight super fight between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko, sharing his prediction for the bout. Additionally, Dave talks about Mayweather vs. McGregor and Pacquiao vs. Crawford. Here is what Dave Bontempo had to say.
Robert Brown: Do you want to see a Golovkin vs. Canelo fight happen this year?
Dave Bontempo: I would not mind if Canelo and Golovkin fought, if they came down and fought at 154lbs. If they want to go fight at 168 as Canelo when he fights Chavez, I don’t think Golovkin past 160lbs is in his element. I would actually like to see him down somewhere between 154 and 160lbs. The sanctioning bodies try to work it out with the fighters because the fighters and their marquee are bigger than the belts.
(Click play to listen and hear Dave’s thoughts on Spence vs. Brook and much more)
Robert Brown: If Canelo and Golovkin do fight, who would you be favoring at this stage?
Dave Bontempo: I would favor Canelo, and I was leaning towards him a little bit anyways because he’s a young, strong fighter. Now he’s a young and strong fighter who will see some vulnerabilities in Golovkin off of the last fight. Based on what I saw of Golovkin in his 30’s, it’s time to cash in on that fight and they better make it.
Robert Brown: What do you think of the upcoming Kovalev vs. Ward rematch?
Dave Bontempo: I think Kovalev beat him. They are both sliding a little bit, even Kovalev seems like he’s peaked and has just begun on the flip side.
Robert Brown: What are your thoughts on the upcoming bout between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko?
Dave Bontempo: I think after a guy has had as many fights as Klitschko has, you’re looking at fighting a 42 year old Klitschko who’s been sliding, who lost to Tyson Fury and hasn’t been the Klitschko that we remember for probably about four or five years. I think that you have to go and do it, and I think this is a good time because what would you do if you didn’t do that? What fights would there really be? You just won the heavyweight title and you’ve beaten guys like Charles Martin — who is a very good fighter, and Joshua knocked him out in two rounds. Joshua also beat Dominic Brezeale who was a highly regarded fighter, and Eric Molina. So, you’re either going to have to fight Klitschko or Deontay Wilder. I think that this is a good time for Joshua to step up, he’s been special. You don’t knwo what’s going to happen if he gets extended late into a fight because he’s been knocking everbody out, but at some point you have to try and put up with the wrestling and everything like that. I think Joshua wins the fight.
Robert Brown: Manny Pacquiao is in the last stages of his career now, would you like to see him face Terence Crawford before he retires?
Dave Bontempo: The question is, how much does he want to fight? At 38 years of age, what does he have to prove? He’s also involved in politics. It’s not just fighting, you have to go back to the drawing board and you have to now do all of the heavy road work, the dieting, and when you’ve already had the adulation, you don’t really know how much hunger there is and what is driving him.
Robert Brown: Do you think that Crawford is too young and slick for Pacquiao?
Dave Bontempo: I think that he would have a big edge on him because of the fact that he can fight form both sides. We saw a very lackluster Manny Pacquiao against Floyd Mayweather, what does he do to get up for a Crawford fight? If they say it’s his last fight and he loses, well you know he has to fight again. Do they put the dollars there? I like the fight, but do I have to see it? Not necessarily.
Robert Brown: What are your thoughts on the talk of a fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor?
Dave Bontempo: Right now it’s leaning more towards yes than no. As a boxing journalist/purist, I’m not a fan of it, just like how many fans of Muhammad Ali were fans of Ali-Inoki? The ideas of a boxer and MMA coming together, they could draw because of the star power of both, I think the younger people would want to buy the fight, the older people people would say, “I remember Floyd as an Olympian, I’m not going to watch him in this venue.”
The other question is whether McGregor with his connections to MMA will get the kind of cut that he wants because the people who run the UFC basically say, “We’re the brand, you’re not the brand.” How does that argument get settled? What if it’s a lousy event? I’m not excited about it, but if it happens, it happens. Having said that, how many times do we say that Pacquiao-Mayweather should have been made in 2010 and that it took five years to be made after that and it still did okay.
Robert Brown: If Pacquiao and Mayweather fought in their primes, what do you think would have happened? Do you think we would have gotten the same results?
Dave Bontempo: Back in 2009, I was leaning with Pacquiao after the Ricky Hatton fight. I thought he had something for Mayweather and if he could fight that aggressively, I thought he could beat Floyd Mayweather with the power because he would have had to do something to Floyd Mayweather that had not been done.
Going into 2015, the feeling was simply that this was just going to be a Mayweather white wash, that they’re just in it for the money now. What we saw in 2015 should have been their fourth fight. That was my sentiment on that one. I’m glad for them, I hope people who bought the fight were happy they saw it, even though it was not a great fight.