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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

Fighters Network
26
Jan

Read on for what else? Fans' emails about Shane Mosley’s awesome domination and stoppage of Antonio Margarito make up this week’s MMMB. Enjoy!

WHO'S SIPPIN' HATERADE?

Doug,
Good to see you've got a new home! You've always been a favorite of me and my friends because you aren't afraid to speak to the common folks. That said…

This weekend's fight was great to see! However, I'm afraid that haters will attempt to sour this victory. Already I'm seeing members of the press roll out the dead horse of BALCO and beat it a few more times. Then there's the camp that says the TJ Tornado left it in the gym, or in Mexico, or in his (supposed) plaster casted handwraps, or at the MGM grand. Do you think there's a true tarnish on this victory? Quick points:



1. Antonio Margarito's name is officially Antonio Mosley… After that beating, we know who his daddy is.
2. Shane's moniker is no longer 'Sugar', but rather “Jedi”. He used the Force, and we all saw it.
3. Right before the knockdown, on HBO, you can see B-hop get Shane's attention. Do you think the Executioner saw a flaw that could be exploited? (that was the first uppercut I saw Shane throw from outside)
4. To steal from the immortal Fleetwood, Margarito met a player whose game was bigger than his.

Be easy, looking forward to seeing your mailbag! – Milan, San Diego, CA

Here it is, the first of probably three or four mailbags I’ll knockout this week because of the tremendous fan feedback I’ve received on the Margarito-Mosley aftermath.

What a performance by Sugar Shane. Will haters try to tarnish the victory? OF COURSE! That’s the role of the modern sports fan and media. Why do you think boxing is the only professional sport that I can stomach? If I followed any other major sport I’d turn into a bitter, jaded old man from listening to and reading all the negative B.S. in the press and fan blogs.

I always expect a degree of negativity after every big fight, just like I expected (and got) more than 50 emails from fans who said they predicted that Mosley would not only win but knockout Margarito. Prior to the fight, I got maybe six or seven emails (Frankie from the Bronx and J in FLA come to mind) predicting a Mosley victory.

That stuff doesn’t bother me. What burns me is all the so-called fans who tell me they predicted a Mosley win because Margarito sucks. What a way to piss on both fighters and take away from an inspiring performance.

There will be those who discount everything Mosley has accomplished because of his BALCO connection, and those who will say that Margarito won all of his bouts by loading his gloves. Me? I keep it simple. There’s proof Mosley took performance enhancers before the De La Hoya rematch, so the result to that one fight doesn’t count, in my opinion. And I’ll wait until the California boxing commission reports on exactly what it was on Margarito’s hand wraps before I condemn him and his team.

As for the fight, all I can say is that I’ve covered both Mosley and Margarito in the gym and from ringside for more than 10 years. I KNOW that both men are as tough, hardworking and brave as human beings come. Mosley kicked Margarito’s ass. Major props to Sugar Shane. End of story.

I can’t disagree with any of your points, Milan. I’m glad you found me here at TheRing-Online.com. Be sure to tell all your “common folk” friends where I am. 😉

CHIN COULDN'T SAVE MARGARITO

Hi Dougie,
Great piece on Margarito-Molsey.

Just before the fight I was thinking to myself. Is Margarito the same fighter after his war with Cotto?

Remember back in the day after Riddick Bowe took two out of three against Evander Holyfield? Many thought Holyfield was the fighter that was ruined and that was not the case. It was Bowe. Could this be the same with Margarito? Time will tell us soon enough.

Having a great chin is a good thing to have in the game but to rely on it for your sole defense is a mistake. Remember when Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson and he said something along the lines of: “Yeah, if he wants to take your shots, keep at him. Just keep chopping away like tree and sooner or later he will fall.”

I have always been a fan of Sugar Shane Mosley. While elite fighters such as Bernard Hopkins and James Toney have been called throwbacks, Mosley must be in that discussion as well. Unlike some of his peers Mosley always seems to seek out the most dangerous opponents: Forrest, Wright and Margarito!

He is a pure fighter!

Those experts who gave him no chance forgot about his grit, heart, chin and skills.

And they had reason to doubt him because Mosley in my opinion went away from his strong points: his hand and foot speed, smart movement (moving just a little, hitting his angles, not giving his opponent a easy target), throwing combinations (not loading up just one shot ), and crisp bodywork.

And last but not least: Brother Naazim Richardson!

What he said between rounds four and five was inspiring stuff. Loved it … he kept Mosley focused and they had a great game plan.

I am a fan of Hopkins and his camp (that includes the highly underrated John David Jackson) – and I could see the slight adjustments that were at work in Mosley's game. People forget that Jackson had worked with Mosley once long ago and that was when Mosley was a better defensive fighter. And I could see that last night.

And hats off to Margarito. A great champion who made no excuses … he kept coming and went out on his shield (just the way he wanted). How many fighters would admit that if they were going to lose than at least allow me the honor of being stopped? Only the late Corrales would have said something along those lines.

This is why BOXING is the greatest sport ever. A fan for life. – John

Me too, John. Fighters like Mosley and Margarito make it easy to love boxing.

I agree that people who gave Mosley no shot of winning forgot about how damn tough, strong (mentally and physically) and competitive he is. And I agree that, for a while, Mosley forgot about how smart he can be in the ring. Props to Naazim Richardson for reminding him.

When people talk about Hopkins and Toney being old-school fighters, they are often referring to their technique and skill. I agree. But I also agree that Mosley has the mentality of a Golden Age fighter. He doesn’t worry about how difficult an opponent’s style is or how big they are or how dangerous they seem or how well-known they are. He just fights.

Margarito is also an old-school fighter in terms of his mentality. Going out on his shield the way he did was some Archie Moore s__t. Hey, you can’t win them all, and you can’t take every hard shot on the chin forever.

I don’t know if Margarito’s going to go the way of Riddick Bowe but I’ll always respect the way he clawed his way to the top.

THAT'S WHY YOU GET PAID THE BIG BUCKS

Hey Dougie,
Well, I'm here to eat some crow. I don't think you actually picked Mosley to win, but you definitely gave the old man a good shot to win. I thought Mosley had no chance in hell to dent Margarito and that he was going to be walked down and beat up just like Cotto was. I was so sure based on Mosley's fights with Mayorga and Cotto that his style (and age) was going to be ineffective against a prime Margarito. I even said that no one can challenge the Tijuana Tornado at 147 besides Paul Williams. I guess that's why you're the expert answering the mailbags and I'm the guy hoping to land my question in Dougie's MASSIVE Monday Mailbag.

This result, at least for me, was FAR more shocking than Pacquiao's win over De La Hoya. On the flip side, now I think Cotto-Margarito II actually makes sense. Before I thought it was pointless and a waste of time. Now the winner can possibly get a rematch with Mosley that the fans will want to see! Looks like a relatively slow week in boxing so I'm going to ask a MMA question. Just kidding! Well, sort of kidding.

Have you seen Andre Arlovski's gym work with Freddie Roach? I'm a huge fan of his and he's got very good hands. Roach said he will be making his boxing debut soon. I think with the state of the heavyweights, he might be a prospect (albeit an old one) who can possibly be a top 10 contender. If you have seen him, let me know your assessment of his skills. – JL, San Diego

I haven’t seen Arlovski train, but I’m skeptical of his chances of making an impact as a heavyweight boxer. I know everyone says the heavyweights suck these days, but they don’t suck so bad that a 29-year-old MMA fighter can just put on a pair of gloves and become a bona fide contender.

For the record, I picked Margarito by close decision, but I certainly didn’t count out Mosley. And I told anyone I knew who was on the fence about betting on the fight to put at least $100 on Sugar Shane.

I explained why I thought Mosley was a “live dog” in last week’s FFMB, but another reason I couldn’t count him out were all the boxing insiders I know and respect who loved his chances against Margarito.

Trainer and former fighter Rudy Hernandez, veteran cutman Tony Rivera, and James Wimberly, the producer of Rich Marotta’s Neutral Corner radio show (and a former pro boxer), all thought Mosley would beat Margarito rather handily.

I don’t know how I feel about Cotto-Margarito II. It’s a fight that will once again ignite the passions of Mexican and Puerto Rican fight fans. It will pack Madison Square Garden (if it’s held there), and it will pay both fighters handsomely, but it might be the last time either fighter is able to put forth a world-class effort in the ring. Whatever they have left might be expended in that rematch.

MARGARITO OVERRATED, CHEATER?

Dougie,
The beating that Mosley gave Margarito and his inability to even be in the fight at all, makes me wonder was Margarito overrated? He only beat one elite fighter in his entire career. Yes, he beat a bunch of guys in his career, up and comers, brawlers, etc. But the only elite fighter he ever beat was Cotto. Sure Margarito had a “rep” from being tough, he f__ked Cintron up a few times, but Cintron is far from a complete fighter, he was a tough guy. Margarito can out “tough” a guy, but he may just be a tough SOB and not much more. Having a great beard is not a way to win a fight. Against Williams he lost, nobody really even mentions that fact when they were calling Margarito the best in the division. Clearly he was not better than Williams, yet everybody wrote that off as if it didn’t happen. Cotto couldn’t take the pressure and folded and Margarito looked like Superman, then everybody forgot that Margarito was always a tough guy, but that was about it. He has great stamina, he is strong, he is tough and had a great beard. I think Mosley dented it and he will be a little different in the future, I won’t say he was ruined, but he lost something in the ring last night.

I immediately lost the respect that I had for Margarito with the illegal hand wraps. That tells me he was scared of Mosley and knew he had to cheat to beat him. Did he cheat against Cotto, did he cheat his whole career? Who knows? I know this, if Naazim Richardson is watching your hands get wrapped you better not try any s__t. Just ask Trinidad and Margarito.

What will happen when/if Cotto and Margarito rematch? If I’m Cotto I go after Shane. I am sure Shane would like revenge and there will be more money there for Shane. If Cotto loses, he still has history with Margarito. If he gets KTFO again by Margarito he will be done, especially in light of Margarito getting f__ked up by Shane.

I think Margarito will go back to form. Like before, every time Margarito was down, he just f__ked Cintron up. I think he will just go and f__k Cotto up again. Your thoughts? – Jason

My thoughts are that your thoughts are “f__ked up”, Jason. No offense.

The problem I have with your calling Margarito overrated is that by doing so, you immediately detract from the hard-earned victories of the men who beat him in recent years – Mosley, Williams and Daniel Santos.

Those are all terrific fighters who have won multiple world titles in more than one division. Losing to them doesn’t make Margarito “overrated”. It just means that they were better than he was on the nights they fought.

My question for you is why would you care if fans or the media overlooked Williams’ close decision victory over Margarito if the Mexican is just a “tough SOB and not much more”? If Margarito ain’t s__t, then Williams ain’t much better than that, right?

And what about the guys that Margarito beat? I guess by your logic, they are less than s__t. Cotto, Cintron, Josh Clottey, and Sergio Martinez. All crap fighters, huh? Jesus, man, you might as well boycott the welterweight and junior middleweight divisions. Those weight classes aren’t worth watching because they’re filled with Margarito victims and guys whose biggest wins were against the “overrated” chump.

What I find ironic about your email is that you asked me if Margarito is overrated because he only has one “elite” scalp on his ledger and you told me that you believe he’s a cheater (even though it hasn’t been proven that he had an illegal substance on his hands or wraps) and that is the EXACT same thing many fans said about Mosley going into Saturday’s fight.

They said Mosley only beat one elite fighter – Oscar De La Hoya, and they said the rematch doesn’t count becauseÔǪ Why? Because he CHEATED, Jason. You bitched about folks not mentioning the Williams loss when they proclaimed Margarito to be the top welterweight dog, implying a double standard, but you said you’ve lost respect for the TJ Tornado without mentioning Mosley’s BALCO connection. Have you lost respect for Mosley, too, Jason?

And one last note about “elite” fighters and “tough SOBs”. Hall of famers Rocky Marciano and Gene Fullmer might have been two “tough SOBs and not much more”.

WHAT HAPPENED TO SHANE?

Sup Dougie,
Mad props to Shane!! It's hard to imagine that five years ago, Mosley looked like a shot fighter. He looked washed up as Winky Wright nearly shut him out in a one-sided fight. Even in victory, he didn't look like his vintage self in the De La Hoya rematch, as he threw one punch at a time and rarely threw combos. He also looked very ordinary in 2005 with workmanlike decisions over ordinary fighters in David Estrada and Jose Luis Cruz.

He's been impressive ever since his 6th-round KO of Fernando Vargas, following with an impressive win over Luis Collazo and a gutsy effort versus Miguel Cotto.

Would you contribute that to the fact that Mosley is a blown up lightweight and should never have fought over the welterweight limit? Consider that he looked ordinary once again last September against Ricardo Mayorga in their junior middleweight fight. Or do you think Mosley is simply a hot and cold upper echelon fighter? I simply cannot figure him out.

Take care and keep up the good work! – Will

I considered Mosley an elite fighter in late 2003 through 2004, even though I didn’t like how he looked vs. De La Hoya in their rematch and he lost two bouts to Winky Wright, because of the quality of his opposition, but I dropped him from my pound-for-pound top 15 in late 2005 because he looked lost and as you described “ordinary” in out-pointing fringe contenders Estrada and Cruz. But beginning with the rematch with Vargas, you are absolutely right, Mosley’s performed quite well. In my opinion, nothing tops his performance vs. Antonio Margarito, not even his first bout with De La Hoya.

I agree that he’s better at 147 pounds than he is at 154 pounds. Welterweight is definitely his limit. However, I don’t consider him to be a “blown-up” lightweight. In his late teens and early-to-mid 20s, he was a natural junior welterweight. During his lightweight title run the only time he weighed 135 pounds was a few hours before the official weighin. By fight time he usually weighed around 150 pounds, which was the weight he trained at. Mosley matured into a natural welterweight by his late 20s. The success he’s having in his late 30s is a testament to his talent, character, and dedication to the sport.

MOSLEY & RICHARDSON

We were wrong again, Dougie. We were wrong in October about Hopkins, we were wrong about Pacquiao in December, and now we were wrong about Mosley. What a performance. He used bone crunching body shots, a piston jab, and huge hooks and straights and knocked out someone I thought couldn't be. I thought the fight should have been stopped after the eighth, ’cause Margarito looked done. He improved on Cotto's strategy by smothering Margarito on the inside, and turning instead of retreating straight back. I will never write off a fighter based on their performance or age ever again. This is his best win, and he greatly improves his legacy in my eyes. All those haters who tried to make a case against his hall of fame career can now shut up. He's my favorite fighter and I couldn't be happier. Congrats to him.

I loved your article on Naazim Richardson. He is one of the top trainers in the game. If he trained more pro talent, everyone would know this. I have felt this way ever since I first saw how he works a corner. His strategies are second to none. What a great guy and I hope he gets the recognition he deserves. Bouie Fisher should be proud, hell I don't even know him and I'm proud. This is why I love the sport. Peace out. – Alex

One of the great things about boxing is that a struggling fighter (as well as his trainer, manager, promoter, etc.) can reverse his fortune and legacy for the better with a single fight. Even when I’m wrong about the outcome, I always find upsets to be inspirational.

I’m glad Richardson is getting the respect and recognition he deserves. I met him eight or nine years ago when I first began covering Bernard Hopkins. He’s got a knack for analyzing and predicting how certain styles will work out in the ring. Steve Kim and I would always talk boxing with B-Hop’s crew when we sat in the former middleweight champ’s training camps (that used to take place at Johnny Tocco’s gym in Las Vegas). Richardson knew Mosley would beat De La Hoya (in their first fight) and he knew Vernon Forrest would beat Mosley. He also called Marco Antonio Barrera’s upset over Naseem Hamed. Watching Hopkins train and spar was always an education, but so was listening to Bouie Fisher and Brother Naazim.

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