Boxing commentator, Steve Farhood, was recently announced as being part of the 2017 Hall of Fame class. Farhood has worked in the sport for over 30 years and is going into the Hall in June with his long time broadcast partner, Barry Tompkins. Farhood and Tompkins recently celebrated Showtime boxing’s “ShoBox” 200th edition.
In my “On The Ropes” boxing radio with Steve Farhood, I discuss with him his HOF induction and to get his thoughts on the 2017 class. Steve also shares his thoughts on the potential for a Golovkin vs. Canelo fight in 2017, and his views on Joshua-Klitschko. Additionally, Farhood talks about a Mayweather vs. Pacquiao rematch and if he thinks we will ever see Mayweather in the ring again. Here is what Steve Farhood had to say.
Jenna J: You are named as part of the 2017 Hall of Fame class, how do you feel about that recognition?
Steve Farhood: It’s fantastic, I never dreamed that it could happen. It means everything to me and what makes it really special is to go in with my broadcast partner at ShoBox, Barry Tompkins, who is a good friend as well. You combine the personal recognition with the fact that I’ll be doing it with Barry, I just can’t wait, I wish June was tomorrow.
Jenna J: What do you think of the rest of the Hall of Fame class? Evander Holyfield, Marco Antonio Barrera and Johnny Tapia are also going in.
Steve Farhood: I think that this was an unusual year in that those three names, three modern day fighters, were all first time on the ballot. I think everybody kind of knew that these were slam dunks, these are first ballot Hall of Famers. I kind of feel bad for the other fighters who are outstanding and are on the list because everybody kind of knew that it was going to be Tapia, Barrera and Holyfield, it’s kind of hard to deny those guys.
It’s pretty cool to go in, I just wish Johnny was still with us, he was a good friend of all of us at Showtime because he fought in the network so often. Unfortunately he’s not with us anymore, but to go in with Barrera and Holyfield, it’s going to add a lot to it. Lets face it, nobody there is going to be coming to see Steve Farhood or Barry Tompkins, everybody is going to to be there to see Evander and Barrera, so it kind of makes it exciting.
Jenna J: I want to talk about some possible upcoming fights. People are hoping that Saul Alvarez and Gennady Golovkin fight in the fall of 2017, do you believe that the fight will happen?
Steve Farhood: I’m optimistic, and the reason is because they need each other. There aren’t a lot of guys for Golovkin to fight, he’s an amazing fighter but if you look at the victims on his list, there aren’t that many names that you say, “Oh that guy was special.” Golovkin just doesn’t have the quality of opposition.
Who is Canelo going to fight because of the politics? A lot of the better 154lb fighters are on the Showtime side of the street and Canelo is on the Goldenboy and HBO side of the street. I don’t know that there’s a lot of guys at 154lbs for Canelo to fight. I think they need each other and they’re going to make way more money fighting each other than anyone else, and it’s a fight the public wants to see, it’s probably the number one fight the public wants to see.
I’m optimistic it’s going to happen, but by waiting so long they run the risk of it never happening at all, and we’ve seen that happen with a lot of big fights. I hope it happens in 2017.
Jenna J: Anthony Joshua is set to fight Wladimir Klitschko. What do you think of Joshua as a fighter and what do you think of him taking such a big step up in competition?
Steve Farhood: You’re right, it’s a huge step up to fight Klitschko, I don’t care if Klitschko hasn’t fought in five years, it’s the best fighter he’s ever fought. There’s a tendency to think that Klitschko is either over the hill or close to done, but lets face it, Tyson Fury fought a very ugly fight but the right fight to beat Klitschko, that doesn’t mean that Klitschko is going to have the same result if he fights Joshua. What happens if Joshua gets hit on the chin? We want to see that.
I give Joshua a lot of credit for fighting Klitschko. Lets face it, 2016 wasn’t the hottest year in boxing, but the heavyweight division could carry the sport in the next two or three years because Wilder will be back and if injuries aren’t a problem, he will fight often. Things will hopefully build to a Joshua-Wilder fight, maybe with Fury thrown into the mix.
Lets get Joshua vs. Klitschko, it’s a huge fight and if Joshua beats Klitschko, I’d like to see Joshua get a little bit of exposure in the United States so that when he fights Wilder, it would be a gigantic fight.
Jenna J: There’s still talk of Floyd Mayweather having a rematch with Manny Pacquiao. Do you think that fight will happen and do you want to see it happen after the way the first fight played out?
Steve Farhood: I think Floyd Mayweather is not only a great fighter but he’s a very smart businessman. I think that he looks at Manny and his pay-per-view numbers for the last fight — they weren’t very good — and he says to himself, “If I come back, I have to come back for a huge payday.”
There is no doubt that Manny would be his biggest payday, even though a lot of people who bought the fight the first time won’t buy it the second time because it wasn’t a very good fight. Based on Manny’s name, it would still be the biggest fight for Floyd, and if he doesn’t think he can make a ton of money, because lets face it, he’s been a little spoiled with the money he’s made, I don’t think he’s going to come back.
When you’re Floyd’s age, every day you don’t fight makes it a little less likely that you’re going to come back. Would he fight Conor McGregor? Of course, who wouldn’t? Everybody wants McGregor because he’s not a boxer. But as far as Manny Pacquiao, I don’t think he sees Manny as the economic windfall that he would hope it would be, and that’s the only thing that would bring him back at this point. I’m leaning towards thinking that fight will not happen.