Barry Tompkins is well known for his work as a commentator in multiple sports, but this year he is being recognized for his years of work in boxing as he is set to be inducted into its Hall of Fame. Tompkins, a veteran of the sport of over forty years, has seen fighters start as prospects and rise to be champions and stars of the sport.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio with Barry Tompkins, I get his views on the future of Manny Pacquiao and the possibility of a Floyd Mayweather rematch. Tompkins also shares his thoughts on a Canelo Alvarez vs. Julio Caesar Chavez Jr. fight, breaking down the reasons for Canelo taking the fight and who wins. Additionally, Barry talks about the fights he is most looking forward to and future of ShoBox. Here is what Barry Tompkins had to say.
Jenna J: There is talk that Manny Pacquiao might face an unknown fighter overseas in his next bout. What do you think they are trying to do with Pacquiao with these type of match ups?
Barry Tompkins: I think they would like to set him up for one more big fight. I really think they will try to go after Mayweather again and maybe they may make that fight, it wouldn’t shock me if that fight were made. The scary thing is, I think the result would be exactly the same as the first time and I think they would wind up selling almost as many buys as they did last time when Mayweather made a bazillion dollars.
It’s the old P.T. Barnum thing, “No one ever went broke underestimating the American public.” I think they will play off of Manny’s injury in the last fight and people will buy it all over again. That wouldn’t shock me if that fight was made. I think in general what they are doing with Pacquiao is building him up for one fight.
Jenna J: One fight that has been made and it’s all for the money is Saul Alvarez vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. What do you think of that fight? For the longest time Canelo wasn’t willing to go up in weight to fight Golovkin but he’s willing to go up for this fight.
Barry Tompkins: I think he thinks that Chavez is a piece of cake, to be honest with you, and if Chavez shows up the way he has for his past few fights, I think he’s right. People tell me Chavez is really working hard, that he’s really serious about it this time, that he’s in the gym, that he’s already close to the weight and he can carry the strength into the fight. If he can, then I think he would have somewhat of a chance against Canelo, but I think in Canelo’s mind and from Canelo’s people, they’re pretty convinced that Chavez isn’t going to show up ready to fight at 164lbs.
Jenna J: If Canelo and Golovkin get past their upcoming fights and meet up in the fall, who do you see winning that fight and why?
Barry Tompkins: I think Golovkin is just the stronger of the two, and at that weight I don’t know that Canelo can muster what he needs to win. If I were to bet on that fight, I would bet on Golovkin. I may be of a different mindset after I see how he fights Daniel Jacobs. I really liked Canelo for a long part of his career but I kind of think that he may have hit a leveling point, to where he’s not going to get any better — and that can be said about Golovkin too. If you’re asking me who I think would win today, I would say Golovkin would win the fight.
Jenna J: As a commentator, what fight excites you that are coming up this year?
Barry Tompkins: I’m really looking forward to Joshua vs. Klitschko to tell you the truth and I would very much like to see Wilder versus the winner of that fight. I think that fight is a pick’em fight, I would by no means rule Klitschko out of that fight. I think Joshua is still in the learning process and even though he’s taking care of people — and he may take care of Klitschko if time has caught up with Klitschko — it’s a compelling fight to me.
I like Golovkin and Jacobs too, I think that’s a pretty good fight. Needless to say, it’s hard to imagine that Santa Cruz and Frampton, were they to tee it up for a third time, the fight would probably be every bit as good as the first two fights. Boxing needs trilogies, and I think if there is a third fight and it’s a great one, I think it would cement the careers of both guys, but certainly the winner. Those are three fights that I really am looking forward to.
Jenna J: Barry can you let the fans know what they can expect from the Shobox series going forward?
Barry Tompkins: I love the ShoBox series because you’re not going to see the marquee guys because those guys have advanced beyond ShoBox, but what this series does is, it really showcases the young talent on the way up. Usually if a fighter is in ShoBox five times, the next time they get a title shot.
Generally speaking, we have at least one of two fights that are really good, where a guy gets tested for the first time. We have something like 125 undefeated fighters suffer their first loss on ShoBox. That’s what the series is all about, and for the viewer, we have very compelling fights that you want to see. They may not be household names yet, but some of them are going to be and that’s what makes that series what it is.