Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday mailbag
Fans agree that Manny Pacquiao (left), flanked by trainer Freddie Roach (right), more than deserves to be the Fighter of the Year, but some question if his victory over Oscar De La Hoya should have been voted the Upset of the Year in THE RING's recent fan poll. Photo / Chris Cozzone
THE RING'S FAN POLL
Quick question about the polls on The Ring website. Are these polls that people are voting on going to be the official Ring awards? I hope not because a lot of casual fans don't know what they are voting for. A prime example is how Amir Khan wasn't even a candidate for upset of the year. Only hardcore fans and Brits have heard of him, but that was a huge upset, moreso than Pacquiao-De La Hoya. – Will
This past week’s run of end-of-the-year awards is fan poll hosted by Yahoo! Sports. We made it very clear at the start of each award feature that the results of these polls are NOT the official RING awards (which will be announced in the magazine on Jan. 27th).
For the record, Amir Khan’s loss to Breidis Prescott IS a candidate for THE RING’s official Upset of the Year award.
However, whether the British prospect’s first-round KO loss to the unheralded Colombian banger was a bigger upset than Pacquiao’s one-sided stoppage of De La Hoya is matter of opinion. The official odds on Khan losing to Prescott were much higher than the 2-to-1 odds that Pacquiao would upset De La Hoya, but much of that can attributed to the fact that the Colombian was both unknown and unproven.
Khan was undefeated and extremely hyped but it wasn’t like he had proven to be invincible before his first professional setback. He had shown questionable whiskers right before the Prescott loss when he was dropped by pint-sized 130-pound vet Michael Gomez and when unproven Scotsman Willie Limond put him down the previous year.
On the other hand, while clearly no longer in his prime, De La Hoya had only been stopped once in 44 professional outings (by a body shot from a naturally bigger man – not to mention a great fighter – in Bernard Hopkins), and he’d never been thoroughly dominated in the ring before he took on Pacquiao. That a former flyweight titlist who had never fought above lightweight was able to both dominate and stop the Golden Boy was obviously impressive to many fans.
However, I’m not saying the majority of fans are always right.
I personally disagree with the fans’ choice of the Fight of the Year. For my money, no fight that took place in 2008 equaled the intensity, sustained action, ebb and flow, and world-class technique of Vazquez-Marquez III. But I understand why Cotto-Margarito could (and did) garner a slight majority of votes in Yahoo’s national poll. The welterweight showdown was a higher-profile promotion featuring bigger and better known combatants, plus the fight unfolded in a manner that gradually built suspense and tension before the brutally decisive ending. Don’t get me wrong, Cotto-Margarito was a damn good scrap – and for my money, the hardcore fans that traveled to Las Vegas from around the world to witness the fight made for the Event of the Year – but the Vazquez-Marquez rubbermatch is in a class by itself.
Of course, debates like these are part of the fun of fan polls and year-end awards.
IS PACQUIAO YOUR NO. 1 NOW?
So far so good at the new spot. Sorry to see you w/o Steve Kim, but glad to see each of u still doing well.
Anyway, on to “bidness”: earlier in the year, I asked you if Manny Pacquiao beat Oscar De La Hoya and Tony Margarito beat Joshua Clottey, who would you take as the fighter of the year. Your response, if I recall correctly and to my surprise, was Margarito, b/c he would have beaten three young, top-10 fighters in his weight class, each a champion, while Pacquiao would have beaten an excellent Juan Manuel Marquez but who was in his 30s (btw, do I sense a theme against older fighters, regardless of where they are in their game?), a top 5(?) lightweight in David Diaz, and an aged, although bigger, De La Hoya. Well, we know what happened, but my question is, had Margarito fought and beaten Clottey, would the MANNER in which Pacquiao beat De La Hoya have changed your mind?
(P.S. – Coming to LA for the first time for Margarito-Mosley. Hope you'll announce a watering hole where you'll be holding court.) – Bakari, Jersey City, NJ
Do I “hold court” at lounges and bars before and after big fights? How embarrassing. If I talk too much after Margarito-Mosley, feel free to tell me to shut up.
Anyway, the manner in which Pacquiao beat De La Hoya definitely had an impact on the way I viewed his entire year. I wasn’t one of the critics of the matchup who thought the “little guy” had no shot and could even get seriously hurt. I viewed it as a competitive fight that Pacquiao could win, but I was shocked by the way he hammered De La Hoya for eight rounds without catching a significant blow in return.
When you asked me about the Fighter of the Year, I figured if Pacquiao beat De La Hoya he would have done so by out-hustling and narrowly out-pointing the “bigger man”. That still would have been a feat, but when factoring in De La Hoya’s age (35) and recent track record, I didn’t think it compared to the way Margarito beat two in-their-prime (mid-20s) welterweight contenders/titleholders and the manner in which I thought he would beat Clottey (decisively).
I don’t hold a fighter’s age against the man who beat him provided that the “old man” is still consistently performing at a world-class level the way Marquez is. If anything took away from Pacquiao’s victory over Marquez it wasn’t the Mexican’s age, it was the fact that many thought Marquez won (I scored it a draw). But for the record, I agree with the fans (and everyone else) that Pacquiao deserves to be Fighter of the Year.
THE RING WELTERWEIGHT TITLE
First, thanks for 2008. You do a lot for fight fans with your top quality work, keep it up!
Will you be bringing something like TNR to The Ring? I miss that, big-time. Is your Mailbag still filling up- I don't see your contact info around The Ring web site, so just wondering.
Last, I saw this article on The Ring Online about Margarito-Mosley not being for the Ring welterweight championship. Is that true? So, if Mosley beats the current top guy, Cotto would elevate to #1 either for not fighting or for beating Michael Jennings? Or would it stay vacant? Can't say that's making sense to me at this point. Especially on the merits of where Paul Williams would rank if he came back to 147- which I consider akin to noting that if my aunt had a package, she'd be my uncle. Anyway, happy holidays. Best of luck with the new gig. – Shane
If Mosley (currently No. 3) beats Margarito (currently No. 1), who’s to say that he wouldn’t be elevated to the No. 1 spot and Margarito would slip to No. 2, pushing Cotto (currently No. 2) to No. 3? Depending on the nature of the victory, the magazine’s editorial board (with the participation of THE RING Ratings Panel, which I’m a part of) would have to figure out Mosley’s placement.
I know Cotto beat Mosley, but that was a close decision that took place in November of 2007.
The only sure-fire way I see Cotto advancing to No. 1 after Jan. 24th is if both Margarito and Mosley turn in mediocre performances and the official result of their bout is a draw or an unpopular/controversial decision (and I seriously doubt that’s going to happen).
But just for the sake of argument let’s say that does happen and Cotto is elevated to the No. 1 spot. THE RING wouldn’t advance the Puerto Rican for “being inactive or for beating Michael Jennings”; his bump up would be on the strength of his victory over Mosley and other notable 147-pound wins (such as Carlos Quintana, Zab Judah, and Oktay Urkal, all whom were ranked by THE RING at the time he fought them).
By the way, I was among those on THE RING’s Ratings Panel that voted against the magazine’s world 147-pound title being up for grabs Jan. 24th, and the history between Paul Williams and Margarito, was my chief reason for doing so.
Here’s why: Williams didn’t leave the 147-pound division because couldn’t make the weight or because he felt he’d accomplished all he cared to in that division. Williams ventured to middleweight and junior middleweight this year because he could not secure worthy opponents at welterweight – namely Margarito, but also other top-10 contenders. Williams and his promoter, Dan Goossen, have repeatedly stated that he is willing to return to the 147-pound division for a meaningful fight, namely a rematch with Margarito, but also bouts versus the likes of Mosley, Cotto, Kermit Cintron or Andre Berto.
Also, you know as well as I do that if Margarito were to beat Mosley and win the vacant RING world title, there would be a considerable backlash from fans and some media because of the Tijuana Tornado’s decision loss to Williams in 2007.
As for future video programs on thering-online.com, yes, there are shows that are in the works and we hope to debut them during the first quarter of ’09. It won’t be TNR, but it will be original, high quality, informative, and entertaining.
My inbox still fills up, Shane; if anyone is confused as to where to send their questions or comments for the mailbags, just shoot ’em to [email protected], and include a name and location.
WHERE'S THE FFMB?
My day is incomplete without Friday's mailbag. – Dave
The FAT Friday Mailbag will return this week, Dave.
'THE GHOST', 'THE GOLDEN BOY' & ‘THE V-NOM'
Your evaluation of the right moves for Jorge Linares and Robert Guererro in your last mailbag was pretty much in line with what I thought, except for a couple of things, both of which had to do with Guererro's proposed schedule.
As much as I'd love to see him fight Rocky Juarez (since he's the best known guy at 130 lbs and if there's one thing Guererro needs it's exposure) isn't Juarez supposed to take on Steve Luevano? And neither Nicky Cook nor Cassius Baloyi are well known enough to garner him more attention. As far as Jorge Barrios goes, he might have a hard time getting back on TV after two losses in a row. How about Guererro-Soto — if Juarez really does move back down — and then a doubleheader with him partially unifying against Baloyi and Linares fighting Cookie?
As far as the winner fighting “your boy” at 135, wouldn't you rather see the winner sit and take care of his new title at 130? How about the loser moves up instead, re-establishes himself, and fights for the title Valero will have won from Juan Diaz (after Diaz outworks Marquez and avenges his loss to Campbell)? In my mind that's the quickest route to establishing credibility for the sport: one champion per division defending his title rather than division hopping. – Lawrence
Who’s to say the winner of an eventual Guerrero-Linares showdown would have to go up to 135 pounds to fight Valero? What if Valero was willing to go back down to 130 to fight the winner? If Linares were to come out on top, I bet you Valero would drop back down to junior lightweight to fight his countryman and former promotional stablemate. The last time I saw him (in Las Vegas the weekend of the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight) he told me he’d be willing to do just that.
As for your other questions/observations, Juarez is more likely to face Luevano (an old amateur foe) for the WBO featherweight title than Guerrero, who has been inactive since his February stoppage of Jason Litzau. ‘The Ghost’ needs a rust-shaking bout (or two) before taking on a world-class 130 pounder.
Cook and Baloyi are not well known in the U.S. but they hold major titles, which would serve Guerrero in enticing someone like Humberto Soto into the ring with him for a very interesting partial unification bout.
I think Barrios is the perfect HBO, Showtime or Versus opponent for Guerrero. Yes, the wild Argentine has lost his last two U.S. televised bouts (to Joan Guzman in 2006 and to Juarez) but he was gutsy, competitive and entertaining in both outings.
Never count Juan Manuel Marquez out. It might be the “old man” eventually defending THE RING lightweight title vs. the likes of Valero, Linares and Guerrero and not the Baby Bull. We’ll see.
THE FALL OF MAXBOXING
It saddens me to say this but your baby just ain’t the same without you. I've been sharing a membership with my best friend and only other boxing enthusiast I know for like over three years now, but the sight just isn't the same without your articles and leadership. I can already tell that the sight just isn't in unison and that Kim is working overtime to cover for you leaving him behind. I'm not sure if I'm upset with you or not because I'm sure that money was a major factor in the issue and that you feel that at thering-online.com you'll be able to venture into a world of professional journalism that was unattainable at maxboxing.com.
However, you've left the underground boxing voice behind. Your article about Tomaz Adamek was dialed in at best. A true advertisement for YOUR RING TITLES. This would be the kind of article that would make you angry and would thus be thrashed in your mailbag but now you can't even call me out in public anymore because you answer to the laws of internet sponsorship and censorship. I wish you could answer me in your mailbag like you would in the “golden” days, like those of De La Hoya's career, your new boss.
In closing and selling myself short, I'll always read your articles because at heart all that really matters is the sweet science. – Mike
No, Mike, what should matter is the quality of my articles. If you think my writing is no longer up to snuff then by all means stop reading.
I think my deadline stories, feature articles and mailbags are of the same quality they were at MaxBoxing.com.
If you think that now that I’m with TheRing-online.com that Oscar De La Hoya is “my boss” and that I “answer to the laws of internet sponsorship and censorship”, you’re just not that bright. I’m sorry kid, there’s no other way I can put it. (Are you happy that I “called you out” in a mailbag? Are you going to print this out and show your one boxing buddy?)
And by the way, if you think my mailbags are just forums for me to ridicule stupid fight fans you’re selling me short. There’s a lot more to my mailbags that sort of crap. Oh, and when the hell have I ever gotten mad about someone else’s article and “thrashed” it in a mailbag or column? I don’t do s__t like that. Please show me if you think you have evidence.
I’m not sure you know what you’re reading, Mike. The “Adamek article” you read was not a story on the cruiserweight. It was merely (and clearly) an intro for our weekly ratings updates. THE RING’s Ratings are updated every week (posted on the website every Tuesday) and we let fans know who has advanced or fallen and why. Do you have a problem with this?
Look, I’m sorry MaxBoxing isn’t the same to you anymore. S__t, didn’t workout over there, I moved on, and that’s life. Deal with it. I still visit MaxBoxing and I think they’re doing fine. For my money Kim is one of the best columnists around and Thomas Gerbasi is one of the top writer’s in the biz. I hear that Kim is trying out new partners for The Next Round and that they plan to start the weekly show up again next year. Good for them. I’ll be watching and I’m sure I’ll enjoy it, and I’m betting you will too. I’m also betting that you’ll find that “underground boxing voice” in future stories and videos here at TheRing-Online.com.
THE NEXT MEX-AMERICAN FAN FAVE
Congrats on the new opportunity. I was at the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight and realized that we may not see those types of PPV/gate numbers for a boxing fight in a while, if ever again. (Yes, Pacquiao vs. Hatton and Mayweather may do solid but not De La Hoya numbers.)
I noticed that even though De La Hoya is a very popular he does not have a die hard fan base, not like a Hatton, Pacquiao or even a Vargas fan base (fans that are proud and loud to say the least). It's almost sad. De La Hoya was one of a kind in that regard. He generated huge numbers but very limited numbers in terms of a hardcore fan base, at least IMO. But he also leaves a gap in his “fighter” status. I mean, he is a proud Mexican-American but Mexican fans (fans who love Barrera, Marquez, and Morales) don't really root for him it seems at times.
My question is can a Baby Bull, or perhaps another M-A fighter fill that void? A proud American fighter who also is Mexican? But also gains a huge national fan base (not just Houston)? – G. Gallegos, Colorado
When De La Hoya finally hangs ’em up, he’ll be leaving some pretty big shoes to fill. I’m not sure any one fighter can replace him, but I do see a few Mexican-American fighters with the potential to attract national fan bases.
Juan Diaz, who you mentioned, is one of them. If he can beat Juan Manuel Marquez in February he can possibly crossover. He’s young (25), smart, talented, experienced, exciting, gutsy, and he’s got character. All he needs is a legend on his resume. He’s got the opportunity with Marquez.
Heavyweight Chris Arreola is another candidate. His management needs to be careful with him next year because he’s not ready for the best of the division, but he’s got the personality and the fighting style to attract fans across the country.
Victor Ortiz, who’s turns 22 soon, has got the requisite charisma to go with his talent and dedication. If he keeps winning he has the potential to attract the same fans (both male and female) that once rooted for De La Hoya AND Vargas.