A BOXING FAN
It’s been some time since I last emailed you, but wanted to let you know how much your “Mail-Bags” and articles have meant to me, and even more so to my Dad (Harlan). My Dad is the truest of Boxing fans, and has been for over 60 years. One thing that he always looked forward to was your Friday and Monday “Mail-Bags,” as we have been following your scribes since my MaxBoxing subscriptions back in the day. He always appreciated your ability and candor, and your knowledge of the history of the sport. It’s with great sadness to let ya know that after a courageous fight of his own, my Pops passed away very recently. Dad loved Boxing…. and your articles and writing were something that he always looked forward to … especially when he was in all the hospitals and during treatments.
These past few weekends have been tough not having him here to watch the fights and discuss all the news, and myself, I just couldn’t watch any… and I know Dad would’ve been looking forward to the Olympic Boxing. As a remembrance, I just thought to let you know, and how much we have appreciated your writing thru the years. Even though I’m feeling a little lost right now, I will still check into the sport and catch your writing, but it won’t be quite the same.
(PS: Glad you mentioned the Beloved Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Arguello, in your latest mail bag. He was my favorite fighter, and I really look forward to reading it.)
Take care and thanks again. – Gene, MI
I don’t know what to say, Gene. I’m humbled beyond words that these mailbags (or anything else I’ve ever written about boxing) meant so much to you and your father. I didn’t know your dad, and to my knowledge he wasn’t one to write into the mailbags, but I offer my deepest condolences on his passing.
I also want to thank you for sharing something so personal and painful.
I hate to admit it but after covering the sport for as long as I have (and penning this mailbag column for more than 11 years) there are times when I get arrogant, jaded, burnt out, etc., but emails like yours bring me back to earth and remind me how special boxing is to many of us and how fortunate I am to be able to connect with other fans.
I couldn’t help but think of Roy Jones getting robbed in the Olympics today when watching Aggo and Joshua fight for Britain. Joshua was clearly outclassed by Savon, while Aggo was dominated by his Ukrainian opponent. What was your view on them? Cheers. – Leo
I did not see Anthony Joshua’s one-point victory over Cuban super heavyweight Erislandy Savon or Anthony Ogogo’s (“Aggo’s”) judge-awarded tie-breaker win over Ukraine’s No. 1- rated Ievgen Khytrov.
Nothing I read on either bout described the matches as “robberies.” The nature of Ogogo’s victory (being awarded the decision by the judges after they tied in match points – 18-18 – and in total points – 52-52) invited controversy, especially since he fights for the host nation’s team. However, I can’t give my opinion until I’ve seen the fight.
And to be honest, I can’t promise that I’ll make the time to do so. I don’t care at all for Olympic-style amateur boxing.
I do, however, plan on watching Joshua’s quarterfinal match against China’s Zhang Zihlei on Aug. 6, as I’ve heard good things about both big men.
And I’ll add this: of the live matches I’ve been able to catch on NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NBCOlympics.com, the boxer who was screwed the worst was Terrell Gausha, who dropped a 16-15 decision to India’s Vijender Singh.
The bout was close and competitive but I thought the American southpaw clearly won with cleaner punching and effective aggression (especially in rounds two and three).
NOT A GHOST OF A CHANCE
Keep up the good work on the mail bag.
I look forward to reading it every Monday and Friday morning. What’s up with the mid-week mailbag?
(Don’t mind me, I’m just a boxing fiend. Can’t get enough.)
I agree with you on Robert Guerrero calling out Floyd and Pacman. He needs the money and seems like a nice guy but I don’t think he deserves the chance and I definitely don’t want to see it.
Hell no! For what?? So he can get destroyed for a few million?
Good for him, no good for boxing fans. Not really good for boxing.
The thing about it is Floyd might give him the chance and I wouldn’t be surprised.
Didn’t Keith Thurman call out Floyd last weekend? He needs to stfu. I just want to see competitive fights, that’s all.
I’ve always liked boxing, watching with my dad and uncles in the ’80s but I didn’t get hooked on my own until 1996.
I’ve followed the sport and defend its name and honor when I have to. I pay for pay-per-view events and I’m planning on attending a live match (my first!) before the year is over. If not Ward vs. Dawson then probably the Garcia-Morales rematch. I’ll be in NY in October.
The book referrals were cool. I love boxing and I love history so I’m getting on Amazon today to order one of your picks. Maybe 1 a week! – Steve, Bay Area
Enjoy the books. I know I did when I first read them (and more than a few are worth second and third readings).
If you wind up attending Ward-Dawson, look for me because I plan to cover that showdown of RING champs for RingTV.com.
You got hooked on the sport about the same time I began to seriously pursue boxing writing. Time flies. Hard to believe that Mayweather came out of the ’96 Olympic Games (where he earned a bronze medal).
In some ways his longevity is as impressive as that of Bernard Hopkins. However, while B-Hop appeared to hit his peak at age 35, I believe that Mayweather is beginning to show signs of slowing down.
If Mayweather’s vaunted speed and reflexes appear slightly dulled to my blurry non-boxer eyes imagine what a skilled veteran in his prime, such as Guerrero, or a young, powerful prospect like Thurman are seeing. I guarantee you they see more than just a big payday and exposure. Regardless of what you and I might think, they see an opportunity to upset a future hall of famer and to make history.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not calling for Mayweather vs. Guerrero or Thurman and I’m certainly not saying that either guy (as much as I like them) can beat Floyd. I’m just saying that I’m OK with them calling Mayweather out because I get it. I know it’s not just about money for them.
Speaking of Floyd I have no idea who he can fight before the end of this year – aside from the Filipino congressman – that makes any business sense. My guess is that he takes the rest of the year off and watches who emerges by early 2013. Maybe if Sergio Martinez beats Julio Cesar Chavez but absorbs a lot of punishment or looks “old” doing so, the middleweight champ will finally make sense at a 154-pound catchweight. Maybe Saul Alvarez will blast Josesito Lopez and call Floyd’s name out again. Maybe Pacquiao squeaks by whoever he fights in November and Arum finally decides it’s time to cash out.
Who knows? In the meantime, I’d like to see Guerrero fight Andre Berto or Kell Brook. I’d like to watch Thurman take on fellow 147-pound terror Thomas Dulorme or the Maidana-Soto Karass winner.
IOLE’S TOP 25 ARTICLE
I tried again. Last week I’ve seen someone asking you about boxing books… and I’ve asked you this question in one of my old emails! Oh well, I had my answer like that, ha ha.
I would like to know your opinion about Kevin Iole’s Top 25 Most Powerful People in Boxing.
Do you really think Curtis Jackson can be ranked so high???????????????????????? He’s already fourth and he’s done nothing yet.
I’m OK to say he has done a great job by picking some good guys like Andre Berto, Andre Dirrell or Gamboa… but why they would become great stars if they have not really convinced yet the boxing audience???
If you can, explain to me more about this story about Richard Schaefer, The Ring and the journalist. Iole didn’t say everything.
Thanks a lot for your reply. I read you each week with the same passion. You’re honest, very cool and respectful and I learn a lot about boxing with your help.
Take care! – Carlos Garcia from France
Thanks for the very kind words, Carlos.
Regarding Iole’s “25 most powerful people,” no, I haven’t read the entire list. I love boxing lists but my interest, as I’m sure you’re aware, is mainly on the fighters, the fights and the rich history of the sport. I’m not into following the current power brokers of the industry.
I’m not surprised Iole rated Curtis Jackson as high as he did. 50 Cent is close friends with Floyd Mayweather and plans to do promotional business with the fighter that Iole views as the absolute best and most influential on the planet.
Jackson has also been making moves in the sport by signing two extremely talented young veterans – Dirrell and Gamboa – and is reportedly courting others, such as Andre Berto and Zab Judah. These moves have excited many fans and members of the media, who have been buzzing about The Money Team on Twitter and other social networks. So maybe that immediate impact is part of Iole’s high ranking of the rap mogul. (I’m just guessing here, you’ll have to email Kevin – who I should point out has his own mailbag – if you want to know for sure.)
I’m going to reserve evaluating Jackson or TMT Promotions until they actually announce their first show. It’s still unclear if 50 and Floyd are going to hire employees to really run their own company or just sign boxing talent and use the staff of other promoters in co-promotions. It’s also unclear how often they plan to do shows. Will TMT fighters only fight on Mayweather PPV undercards or is 50 willing to do shows headlined by Gamboa or Dirrell (neither of whom is ticket seller or big TV ratings getter)? One would think they would have to put on shows without Mayweather. Floyd only fights once a year, but time will tell.
Regarding the “Schaefer story” Iole referenced in the article, that was just Richard being Richard, Lem Satterfield being Lem Satterfield and Kevin being Kevin.
Here’s the short version: Richard complained about “Bob Arum-influenced bloggers” basically “hating” on a Golden Boy fighter (Adrien Broner) in a Q&A that Lem posted on RingTV.com and Kevin ripped Schaefer for doing so on a publication that his company owns.
Iole probably wasn’t thrilled that Schaefer called Broner a superstar. But that’s Schaefer’s opinion and his job as a promoter. Satterfield’s job is to write about any and all things related to boxing, including the opinions of high-powered promoters. Lem certainly doesn’t limit his Q&As to Schaefer or Golden Boy Promotions fighters. (In fact, he probably pens more items on Arum and Top Rank talent.)
Kevin’s job is to keep a close and discerning eye on the sport, judge what he believes is right or wrong, and rip where he sees fit in his columns and articles.
Schaefer, Oscar De La Hoya, Golden Boy Promotions, THE RING magazine and RingTV.com seem to elicit Kevin’s disapproval and criticism on a fairly regular basis. Hey, it’s his opinion. He’s got a right to share it with his readers.
BEST JABS OF ALL TIME
I’ve been watching an awful lot of amateur boxing as London 2012 has treated us to some great action. The thing the commentary team seem to have been stressing again and again is just how vital the jab is in the unpaid ranks. This got me thinking, could you compile a quick top 10 P4P list of the greatest jabs from the professionals? I’d be really interested to see what you come up with. Regards. – Callum, England
The 10 best jabs I’ve seen in my lifetime belonged to Muhammad Ali, Larry Holmes, Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard, Mark Breland, George Foreman (old version), Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, Oscar De La Hoya and Pernell Whitaker.
The prime Evander Holyfield had an underrated jab. Prime Mike Tyson had a very effective jab when he elected to use it. I’m a little surprised that half of my top 10 are heavyweights. But then again, if memory serves me, most big men of the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s had a good jabs, including Ken Norton, Ron Lyle, Jimmy Young, Gerry Cooney, Pinklon Thomas, Tony Tucker, Tony Tubbs, Henry Akinwande, Michael Moorer, Bruce Seldon, and even guys who were considered sluggers, such as Ray Mercer and Tommy Morrison.
The 10 best jabs I’ve witnessed while covering the sport: the late Vernon Forrest, Marco Antonio Barrera, Floyd Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins, the Klitschko brothers, Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Mikkel Kessler, and Fernando Vargas.
Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer