Boxing announcer Dave Bontempo is regarded as one of the best commentators in the sport. Bontempo heads up some of the biggest events for their international broadcasts and has been working in the sport for over 30 years. I recently had a chance to speak to Dave and I got his views on some of the biggest topics in the sport.
In my interview, Dave spoke on the upcoming rematch between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alvarez, giving his prediction for the bout. Bontempo also talks about this weekend’s Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysee match and the chances we see Wilder vs. Joshua. Here is what Dave Bontempo had to say.
Robert Brown: The Gennady Golovkin vs Canelo Alvarez rematch is going to happen in September. Who would you be picking to win the second fight?
Dave Bontempo: I would still be leaning a little bit on Golovkin because of the way he fought in the second half of the first fight and there’s nothing to indicate that he’s aged other than a little calendar time. It’s Canelo that has to make the major improvements. He wouldn’t have to improve that much, he would have to improve a little bit but he would have to fight well on the second half of the bout against Golovkin. I still give ‘GGG’ a small edge.
Robert Brown: Manny Pacquiao is set to fight Lucas Matthysse. Do you think this is a dangerous fight for the 39 year old Pacquiao?
Dave Bontempo: I think any fight with Matthysse is dangerous because of his power, however he’s also a feast or famine guy. We tend to remember Matthysse in 2013 terms with the fight over Lamont Peterson and him blowing Peterson out. But then you also remember Viktor Postol who sent him into an injured state for a year and a half.
Matthysse is advancing in age as well and if he doesn’t have the same ring positioning, he can be vulnerable as well, and Pacquiao down the middle with a strong left hand is a vision that I can see here. It’s a question of which guy is older, that’s what this boils down to for me.
Robert Brown: Do you favor Pacquiao in the fight?
Dave Bontempo: I would still give him a slight edge in a dangerous fight because Matthysse’s big wins have been the one dimensional variety where he catches the guy early and then parlays it. If you’re talking about the new Manny, you’re talking about a guy who probably doesn’t want to mix it up too often early. He may fight the cautious battle, so I would give him a slight edge there. I will be hopeful that the would mix it up and that we could get some kind of a barn-burner.
Robert Brown: The big heavyweight fight between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder is still up in the air. If it were to happen, who do you think would win that fight? Now that we’ve seen that Wilder can take big punishment and can come back, it makes it a more mouth watering proposition doesn’t it?
Dave Bontempo: Yeah I’m glad for Wilder that he was able to stay active. He’s been a champion since 2015 and he was the first American champion in nine years when he won. An American heavyweight champion is such a rarity and they have displayed that by him going back and fighting in Alabama.
Wilder’s had some bruising battles against some guys who were just optional title defenses but he’s still there and still has his title. He’ll still be the underdog whenever he fights Joshua, but in the mean time, if you keep talking like you want to fight and the other guy doesn’t, then it will still help you with your current negotiations in your interim fights.
I think that’s where they are now, I don’t think it’s next but I think it’s something we see in 2019. Each fight for these guys is a huge paydays and they may want to bank some money before they go into what would be a high risk fight. If there’s high money there for optional fights, they will probably take that until the public utterly demands that they fight. If they fight today, I would be going with Wilder right now. His overall skill level is a notch higher.