Everyone’s favorite boxing judge Harold Lederman discusses Klitschko-Haye, Pacquiao-Floyd, Mike Tyson’s new persona, the immediate futures of Martinez and Williams, Adamek, and more…
BoxingInsider.com: Do you think Mayweather vs. Pacquiao will be made and how much does HBO really want it (rumors circulating that Floyd will reject the fight again)?
Harold Lederman: I think it’s gonna be made and I think that HBO would love it have it next [smiles].
BoxingInsider.com: Do you believe Floyd wants it as much as everybody else?
Harold Lederman: Oh sure. I mean, he can’t make that kind of money with anybody else. It will solidify his legend as one of the great fighters of all time and you know he definitely wants the fight, there’s no question.
BoxingInsider.com: Now it looks like Haye will back out of the Klitschko fight.
Harold Lederman: That would be a shame. He’s backed out twice already on both Klitschkos. I don’t understand that, it’s just beyond me. I think the guy is clearly capable of beating anybody in the heavyweight division, he’s a terrific fighter, he’s got a good punch, good size, good speed. Why shouldn’t he fight one of the Klitschkos? He’ll make a lot of money fighting the Klitschkos. Scoop, in all honesty, I don’t understand it…I really don’t. I don’t understand his thinking. It’s strange because he’s certainly very, very capable.
BoxingInsider.com: Has boxing ever been like this before where there’s so many big fights ready to be made…
Harold Lederman: And you can’t make ’em, I know.
BoxingInsider.com: Do you remember a time like this in the past?
Harold Lederman: No, it’s a strange time in boxing, it really is. Where you’ve got terrific fights that can be made – and all of a sudden guys don’t want to fight, for one crazy reason or another. It’s very, very hard to think of another time like this, it really is. You think both these fights – the Haye fight you mentioned and the Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather – the public’s clamoring for them – so let’s see how it plays out. I hope Haye changes his mind. And certainly I hope Floyd and Manny can get together.
BoxingInsider.com: Sergio Martinez has been so impressive since Lou DiBella brought him totally out of obscurity, what do you think about Maravilla and his immediate future?
Harold Lederman: I think he should make up his mind where he wants to fight and stay there. In other words, don’t keep flying back and forth between 160 and 154. I think Paul Williams makes that same mistake. I really think it’s a mistake. I think that 154 is a loaded division. We all saw Dzinziruk looked very, very impressive on Friday night. There’s a lot of good fights at 154. James Kirkland is coming out of jail. Alfredo Angulo is a great fight to me. Martinez is built more like a 154-pounder than he’s a 160-pounder. So I’d like to see him at 154. But if he decides he wants to take on the big guys, all the more power to him. I think there’s better fights for him at 154. But I really think the guy should pick one division and stay there, don’t jump back and forth. I think that will hurt his body and hurt him in the long run. He’s not a young guy, it’s not easy for a guy his age to jump up and down like that. Give up the middleweight title and stay at 154. That’s my opinion. I don’t know what he wants to do. But I’d love to see him stay in one division.
BoxingInsider.com: And the man who beat him – Paul Williams – he might be the best at 147. What do you see for his immediate future?
Harold Lederman: I don’t think he can make 147.
BoxingInsider.com: He says he can no problem.
Harold Lederman: I know. He says he can because he wants that Mayweather fight because he probably walks away with $30 million to fight Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao. But it will kill him to make 147 because of his size. As you get older it gets harder and harder. So I think he’ll fight at 154 or 160 but I’d rather see him pick a division and stay there.
BoxingInsider.com: And clean it out.
Harold Lederman: Clean out one division, then the other.
BoxingInsider.com: Tomasz Adamek stunned the boxing world with what he did to Arreola. Do you give him a fair shot to win a belt at heavyweight? Or more?
Harold Lederman: Definitely. The kid can box. He takes a helluva punch. Got a big heart. The only thing he doesn’t have is Klitschko’s size. He’ll have a hard time with big guys. But certainly, you gotta give him a shot, as much as I give Haye a shot. If Haye doesn’t fight one of the Klitschkos, Adamek is the one guy I’d like to see Haye fight. I think it will be a great fight.
BoxingInsider.com: Going back, Arreola was much bigger than Adamek but he handled that disadvantage without much problem at all.
Harold Lederman: Yeah but Chris Arreola certainly got hurt in the Adamek fight by the fact he was really slowed down by the 250 pounds. He couldn’t catch Adamek. Adamek would get inside, catch him with four, five punch combinations, then get out of there. And Chris just couldn’t catch him. Chris Arreola – the first thing he has to do is work with Daryl Hudson, his strength and conditioning coach, get himself down to about 235. Get some speed, he’s got power, a big heart, he is exciting, but he’s got to drop about 20 pounds of that blubber he carries around, that’s for sure.
BoxingInsider.com: Did you see Mike Tyson on The View? What did you think?
Harold Lederman: Yes. I mean, I love Mike Tyson. I’d love to see him do anything to make money and stay out of the ring.
BoxingInsider.com: Wasn’t is nice to see his unbelievable honesty? He’s almost becoming one of the coolest guys in sports right now.
Harold Lederman: I know. He’s really changed his persona. Good for him. I hope he’s out of debt, hope he’s making money. I just don’t want to see him comeback. I don’t want to see him fight Evander again. We’ve seen too many of those comebacks.
BoxingInsider.com: Now that he’s changed his attitude, like George Foreman did, do you think he can cash in like Foreman did?
Harold Lederman: Yeah, movie parts and TV shows, personal appearances. Definitely. I think there’s a lot out there for him. People love him. I mean, he’s one of the most loved guys in the entire world. He was a great fighter and people remember that. They remember his punching power. As long as he gets a good manager, gets his life in order, I think he can do very well.