Chat with Bert Sugar
Sugar has written over 80 books and from 1979-83 he served as editor-in-chief of The Ring. Sugar also, according to his bio on HBO.com, founded Fight Game magazine in 1998.
Sugar has also appeared in a few movies, including recently in "Rocky Balboa," the final chapter of Sylvester Stallone's Rocky boxing movies.
Sugar will be on "Friday Night Fights" with Robert Flores Friday at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Send in your questions for Bert right now. Then, check back on Friday at 4 p.m. ET to see his answers.
Buzzmaster (3:48 PM)
Bert will be here at 4 p.m. ET to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (3:56 PM)
Bert is here!
Bert Sugar (3:57 PM)
I am excited to be here at ESPN. I look forward to seeing all of you tonight where I will be co-hosting Friday Night Fights from the studio on 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. I hope you join me then.
Rich- SF Calif
Hey Bert, If the mega fight between Money May and Manny Pac ever does happen, who do you think have the edge?
Bert Sugar (3:59 PM)
Stop for a second! Mayweather is coming back to fight Marquez, and I don't pre-suppose that the fight that you mention is a given. Marquez is one tough fighter and no walkover for Mayweather. Remember, Marquez fought Pacquiao twice. Once a draw despite being knocked down - I thought he won that fight - the second time he lost a split decision by one point. I don't know what the rust factor is for Mayweather, but I'm not ready to presuppose that fight even happens. I'll tell you more after July 18. stay tuned...
Bert is there any current fighters that you feel you would have to add to your book on the top 100 fighters of all time?
Bert Sugar (4:00 PM)
While it is never been my habit to include a fighter who is still fighting, because I can not judge his entire career and/or where his prime was (his prime is where I judge) I think Manny Pacquiao is making one helluva case to be included. He's not only the greatest Asian fighter of all time, but the greatest lefthanded fighter of all time. But I will wait until I see where his next fights take him. I will wait on Mayweather. And, depending on July 18, Marquez.
Jorge Tucson, AZ
Hey Bert. are you really smoking on them cigars or just sucking on them?
Bert Sugar (4:02 PM)
Jorge, at my age, it gives me something to hold on to when I'm falling down. Of course I smoke them, but only where the smoke Nazis can't catch me. But otherwise, I hold them, and wave them around. Anyone out there who councils me on cigars being harmful to my health, I'll only tell you about George Burns helping him live to 100.
Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)
Bert, in the past the referee was one of the scorers/judges in the fight they ref'ed. I remember some of the past great refs like Mercante Sr. saying the ref has the best angle for truly judging a fight. Do you agree with the Ref judging a fight and why was the practice stopped?
Bert Sugar (4:04 PM)
There are some countries wehre the ref is the only judge, England being one of them. It used to be, before the Wilfred-Scypion- Willy Clauson fight, the ref was one of the three judges. However, in that fight, the ref spent too much time scoring his card and not paying attention to the injuries Clausson was suffering. He eventually collapsed in the 10th round and died after. It soon became the method of using three ring side judges instead of the ref, who has enough to do, keeping control of the fight and ensuring the safety and action for the fans, without having to resort to scoring every round.
Hello Sir.I ran into an older Gentleman who struck up a converstion about boxing. He says without a doubt if both were in their prime, Ali would beat Joe Lewis. He say Ali was too fast and Lewis would never touch him. Agreee or disagree?
Bert Sugar (4:08 PM)
Larry, I'm a little bit confused whether you mean Lennox Lewis - LEWIS - as you spell it or Joe Louis - LOUIS. However, supposing it's Joe Louis - I will tell you a funny aside: In Great Britain, they pronounce Louis (Louie) and Lennox Lewis just as it looks. The reason being, that Louis XIV was pronounced just that (Louie). I take it to mean that you mean Joe Louis. If the two were the same weight, not Joe at his heaviest at 204 and Ali at his heaviest, 224. The answer is Ali, obviously. But making them the same weight, since this is an imaginary fight, I give Louis a heckuva chance to get to Ali in 15, not 12 rounds. Ali did not have a knockout punch and held his hands too low. Also, despite Louis' slow moving shuffle, he showed he could get to fast fighters. For references, see Billy Conn.
Bert who's your 5 all time best p4p fighters? Thanks
Bert Sugar (4:11 PM)
In my book, The Greatest Boxers of All Time, I select them as following: 1) Sugar Ray Robinson (that's Robinson, not Leonard); 2) Henry Armstrong; 3) Willie Pep; 4) Joe Louis; 5) Benny Leonard (and if you're looking for Muhammed Ali, he's No. 8.
Any thoughts on the horse race this weekend!
Bert Sugar (4:13 PM)
This time around, I think Calvin Borel will have more trouble then he thinks he will. No jock in New York is going to take away the rail without getting knocked to the inside by NY jockeys. This time around, he's going to have to go to the outside on a wide turn to go to the outside to win. That said, Charitable Man, Flying Private and Borel on Mine That Bird. Of course, I had the favorite in the Derby at 5-1 and he finished at a quarter past 12, so I've not always been right. When I go to the race track, I hope to break even, because I need the money.
Mark (Brooksville, Fla.)
Bert, it's an honor to speak with you. I grew to love boxing in the 70's when there were great fights on regular TV. Do you miss the fifteen round fights? I'm curious as to why or why not? Thanks!
Bert Sugar (4:15 PM)
I miss the 15 rounds only when it's decisive for the outcome. Understanding that under the current 12 round limit, Wolcott would have beaten Marciano, Conn would have beaten Joe Louis (who knocked him out in the 13th), Hearns would have beaten Leonard, etc, etc, etc. I still am torn. Reason why: If it's a boring fight, and nothing's going to happen, I don't need three more rounds of boredom. If it's an exciting fight, I miss three more rounds of championship fighting. I guess I'm a traditionalist when it comes to championship fights.
Bert Sugar (4:16 PM)
In some cases, like a Klitschko fight against Brahman, 12 rounds was 12 rounds too many.
Bert Sugar (4:17 PM)
The writer in front of me at the Garden the night of the fight told me to quit snoring that I was keeping him awake.
Paddy from Chicago
David Haye - hype or real deal? A. Berto - hype or real deal?
Bert Sugar (4:18 PM)
I'm disappointed that Haye had to pull out of his fight with Klitchsko, because he gives me the first little inkling of excitement in the heavyweight division in a decade. I don't know how he fares in the heavyweight division, because he has had no fights to judge him by. But nevertheless, I had looked forward to that fight and am sorry that it's been postponed. But he MAY be the real deal, but I'll wait and see.
Bert Sugar (4:19 PM)
As for Berto, I watched him last week and he has great skills, but he's not ready for primetime. I must tell you a secret on me: I nodded off somewhere in the seventh round and woke up nearly 2 or 3 minutes later in the next round and they were still clinching and thought I had missed nothing. I still as of this moment, don't think he's the real deal.
Joe (Bellevue, WA)
Hi Bert, What is your favorite fight that has taken place in the last 30-35 years and why?
Bert Sugar (4:22 PM)
Well, the greatest fight was Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns. Period. More was at stake. Greater fighters with more to gain and lose and greater result than any fight in that time. Of course, there are many great fights in history and many recent, including, Corales-Castillo. If pushed, and I'm old enough to have "seen" fights on the radio, where you had to imagine fights. I "saw" some wonderful fights like Louis-Conn. But in the last 25-30 years, it's Hagler-Hearns. (And maybe, right after that, Foreman-Lyle, where everybody went down except the referee.)
Frank (Chicago, IL)
Bert as a historian can you tell Floyd that just because he's undefeated that doesn't make him the greatest. You got to fight the best even if it means you lose a few. Great fighters don't duck fighters like he does.
Bert Sugar (4:25 PM)
Good for you, you've been listening. I've tried to tell Floyd. Although I've known Floyd since he was 9 (my wife is from Grand Rapids), Floyd has his own way of interpreting things. While I encourage him to have the confidence of a great, everything you said is correct. He will tell me that he is the greatest because he has no losses and Robinson had one loss in his 123 fights. 123 fights! That was a loss to LaMotta, whom he beat in a return fight three WEEKS later. I will continue to support Floyd in his belief for himself, but not for me. Still, he's one helluva fighter. We'll see just how great July 18 against Marquez.
is oscar de la hoya coming out of retirement?
Bert Sugar (4:26 PM)
Unlike most fighters who retire, Oscar had somewhere to go. It's like man stepping off a pier into a boat. Many fighters have no boat when they step off the pier and have to come back. Either for the money or like Leonard told me, he misses the spotlight. Oscar has somewhere to go, it's called "Golden Boy Promotions." So, the long answer is no, he's retired and will stay that way.
Ivan Calderon is one of the best fighters in the sport yet the ring magazine dropped him from their pound for pound rankings, what do you think about that?
Bert Sugar (4:29 PM)
I think Calderon is an excellent fighter. However, there are many that can be considered with, above or on par with him. You must understand "pound-4-pound" is a mythical ranking, sort of like my father can beat up your father when neither one is alive. Therefore, I can not argue with mythical rankings. I think he deserves consideration.
Bert Sugar (4:30 PM)
Thank you for putting up with me and I enjoyed your questions hopefully as much as you enjoyed my answer. One of the questions above mentioned my love of horse racing, I have a new book on baseball, called "Bert Sugar's Hall of Fame." It's a coffee table book, which comes with four legs in case you need a new table. All I can say is what Yogi Bera said, "what Bert Sugar doesn't know about baseball, nobody knows." What does that mean?