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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

What if Manny Pacquiao's bus goes off Ricky Hatton cliff?

It’s understandable since boxers aren’t like baseball players who are on the field competing five or six days a week in season. They don’t even have regularly scheduled dates of competition like the athletes in league and major individual sports do.

So, when they lose and the future is a mist, things usually seem worse than they really are. What’s often forgotten by a losing boxer and those around him is that how they lost is what’s key.

Take Irish John Daddy, who lost a split decision in Newark Friday night, and Jermain Taylor, who snatched defeat from the jaw of victory with a mere 14 seconds until the final bell at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Connecticut Saturday night.

Duddy, who was sluggish and slow in a loss to journeyman Billy Lyell, certainly hurt his market value. And so the asking price for ex-middleweight champ Taylor declines after he got stopped in a wicked fight by WBC super middleweight champ Carl Froch.

But the defeats hardly mean either Duddy or Taylor have to run out and get day jobs.

I didn’t see the Duddy bout but I know his corner thought at the finish they worst they would get is a draw so it’s not like the ordinary Lyell pounded him from pillar to post. I also know that Duddy said that, from the first round, his hands just wouldn’t fire like he wanted them to.

Enter, stage right, Uncle Bob Arum. It’s doubtful that the Top Rank bossman will try to prop Ireland’s Own John Duddy up to fight 160-pound champ Kelly Pavlik now but wouldn’t Duddy still be an almost perfect foil to be in the opposite corner against Son of the Mexican Icon JC Chavez Jr. on one of those “Latin Fury” PPV shows that Arum markets himself?

Arum has the fans of young Chavez conditioned to accept less than dangerous foes already.

So it’s a mistake to write Duddy off completely. If he can get two or three decent victories, he can get back in the mix but right now he’s not completely on the garbage heap. There are paydays to be had had and pairing Ireland-Mexico is a no brainer.

What of high profile Taylor? Froch, the quote machine who speaks of “the warrior within,” promised to “smoke Jermain’s boots” and he did so in dramatic fashion with the stoppage at the 2:46 mark of round 12.

Froch, whose status as Britain’s top fighter will only be immediately challenged if heavyweight David Haye topples Wladimir Klitschko June 20 or if Ricky Hatton shocks Manny Pacquaio May 2, fits in nicely in prospective bouts against IBF champ Lucien Bute or WBA ruler Mikkel Kessler.

Bubbling up from America you have a resurgent Allen Green and unbeaten Andre Ward.

Showtime was greatly pleased by Taylor’s gritty effort against Froch so Jermain is not ready for the fistic trash bin now either.

That coupled with Ken Hershman’s determination to drive the 168-pound merry-go-round is the good news for Taylor.

Actually, Taylor distinguished himself in defeat.

A perfect example of a fighter bewing dusted off and revived after a crushing loss is Puerto Rican icon Miguel Cotto.

Whether Team Margarito did something hinky with the handwraps we shall never know, but Tijuana Tiger Tony gave Cotto a real thumping.

Yet now Cotto is gearing up for the June 13 bout against Joshua Clottey in Madison Square Garden and not a single person will refuse to watch on TV or not buy a ticket because he lost to Margocheato.

What if disaster strikes in Vegas, what if Pacman gets upset by Hitman Hatton…I know you Pacfans won’t even consider it…but what if?

I’ll save that Gloomy Gus article for next time.

When prominent fighters lose, it seems like there is no tomorrow.

But that’s not true. Most often, there is and Cotto, Duddy and Taylor are prime examples of that. There's matches and money to be made because there is almost awlays a tomorrow in boxing.


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