(Transcribed by Michael Readman) The big talk in the first week of the 2015 boxing year has centered around a potential Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight. The fight has been discussed for over six years, but now with both men nearly at the end of there careers, talk has heated up again, and fight fans are once again getting their hopes up that this super fight can happen.
In part 2 of my “On The Ropes” boxing radio interview with trainer Virgil Hunter, I discuss with him the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, and get his views on who would win it. Virgil also talks about what fight would be better for the sport, Mayweather-Pacquiao or Mayweather-Khan. Additionally Hunter talked about a possible Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook bout and AndreWard’s future. Here is what Virgil Hunter had to say.
Jenna J: If Amir Khan doesn’t get the fight with Mayweather, there’s talk of him fighting Kell Brook. What do you see in that fight if it does happen?
Virgil Hunter: I’ve heard Kell Brook and I’ve heard his trainer, Mr. Ingle and I’ve heard Eddie Hearn speak and they’re saying all the things that they should say. They have great belief and faith in Kell Brook that he can get the job done, but I think the biggest mistake they would probably make is believing it has happened instead of really looking at what’s happening.
If its a lucky punch that’s gonna win Kell Brook the fight against Amir Khan, then that’s what he’s down to, a lucky punch, because he’s not gonna be competitive in no other area. I don’t have any problem saying this but, he’ll get the shellacking of his life, if in fact he can’t administer that lucky punch.
I respect Kell Brook as a fighter, I respect the people that are around him but the fact of the matter is that he’s tailor made for Amir and a lot of the things Amir does well, he would be subjected to that. A lot of things he couldn’t do at all but is doing now, he will be subjected to that. He would really come up on the short end of that fight.
Jenna J: The goal for Amir is to get the Floyd Mayweather fight, but if that doesn’t happen that is because Mayweather vs. Pacquiao happens. What you see between those two fighters if they fight?
Virgil Hunter: I see Mayweather winning the fight. The reason I say that is because Manny for some reason really hasn’t reinvented himself yet. He’s still fighting with the same intensity and the same training philosophy, it’s a really high energy fighting style. He hasn’t really come into his own from what I can see, where he’s learned to relax the style and maximize the style to make his style more efficient.
Don’t get me wrong, he’s a lethal fighter, he’s a deadly fighter, but in a fight of that magnitude where focus is gonna be in such demand, the focus part of it. The way he fights and the energy he gives up, he could very well wear down mentally in the middle rounds, which will also cause him to wear down physically.
That’s why I would pick Floyd to win that fight by a pretty decisive decision because he’s able to control your activity and bring your punch count down, and that could be very frustrating to a fighter who likes to throw a lot of punches and who likes to fight at a high energetic style. I would pick Mayweather to win that fight.
Jenna J: Virgil, do you believe Mayweather vs. Pacquiao happening is for the betterment of the sport, or do you think having a better quality match up maybe like a Mayweather vs. Khan is better for it?
Virgil Hunter: If the fight is in demand from a financial point of view, that can’t help but be good for the sport. Of course you will always have the people that wanna say, “Well it should have happened six years ago.” Well, I mean I could sort of contest that simply by bringing up the ‘Thrilla in Manilla’ which is one of the greatest heavyweight fights of all time and supposedly both men were past their best date.
Great fighters, even when they’re in their mid thirty’s, trust me, they could call up a fight at any given time and given moment and perform way above what was expected. I think if they do make the fight, it was for the right time and such a time that fits. Are there other exciting fights out there for both men? Sure there are, there are exciting fights.
I think Floyd gets the most flack for proving his greatness, in other words, you know “Unless you fight Golovkin, who’s twenty pounds heavier than you or you fight this guy, your legacy could be diminished,” but that same demand is not put over on the other side.
If you really stop and think about it, you have to give him credit because he’s fought Cotto, he’s fought Canelo, he’s fought the big guys, Oscar and things like that. He’s gone far beyond what really should have been required of him to be great, so what can you say? I do think that the fight couldn’t hurt boxing, but also think the fight with Amir Khan would benefit boxing more in the long run, regardless of the outcome.
Jenna J: Virgil I want to talk to you about Andrew Ward a little. News came out that HBO would only be interested in showing Ward’s fights if it is against a top fighter, like a Golovkin or a Kovalev. What do you think about Andre’s future and HBO’s stance?
Virgil Hunter: You do wonder why something are this way and something are that way. But that is the agenda they have for him if he comes back, they are just letting him know, “This is who you have to fight.”
He already stated he would fight Golovkin, but K2 Promotions has other plans, and K2 is doing a wonderful job with Golovkin, and I’m sure he fits into HBO’s plans. It’s quite obvious there is a lot of hype behind Gennady, justifiably so. What the network intends for him to be, he’s got a great opportunity to achieve that. So I don’t assume fighting Andre Ward would be a wise move for the plan they have because we could very well set him back because fans are very unforgiving after one fight.
When the day comes that hopefully things can be worked out, that can benefit everybody and take everything under consideration, we can continue to put on the great fights the people want to see. I think both those fights would be great for the public, Ward vs. Golovkin, Ward vs. Kovalev. Hopefully Andre fits into HBO’s plans of continuing to put on great fights.