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Dougie’s TITANIC Tuesday Mailbag

Fighters Network
17
Feb

Read on for all the fan feedback you can handle on Saturday’s B.A.D. broadcast – the controversial Martinez-Cintron draw in particular – in this early week edition of the mailbag. Enjoy!

B.A.D. DECISION

Dougie,
Quick points about the BAD card:

1. Gotta love Alfred Angulo – I thought he fought with “controlled” urgency after the cut, and looked good. The best thing about him as a fighter is his “Mexican” mentality.



2. I have to say, I USED to feel bad about Kermit Cintron's losses to Antonio Margarito b/c he seemed like he gave it his all, and that's all you can ask for from a fighter (and now with the whole loaded gloves situation, you could possibly feel even more sympathy for Cintron). But, the way he complained to the ref about everything against Sergio Martinez (trying to get out of the fight, I thought), his inane “victory” dance, and then his complaints about how he should've won the fight, I'm not sure I care to see him fight anymore. I thought Sergio, on the other hand, fought well, showed a lot of moxie and an entertaining style after the debacle that was the seventh round, and should have won the fight handily. I hope we see more of him.

3. Pretty good third fight – Ali Funeka looked pretty good and showed some skills; I'm not sure how he could've lost to Mzonke Fana, but I guess he's past that now. Nate Campbell looked a little tired and listless after the first few rounds. I'm attributing this to the weight more than age. I guess we'll see which it is when he fights at 140.

4. Lennox Lewis is still terrible – it's shaky legs, Lennox, not shaky hands.

Peace out Dougie. – Kwok, Minneapolis

Thanks for your thoughts, Kwok. Here are my thoughts on your thoughts:

1)You can consider me a “Perro” Angulo fan. I like the way fights and I think he’s one of the most down to earth fighter’s I’ve gotten to know in the Southern California scene. Maybe if he attracts enough fans we can all get together at his fights and form a “dog pound” section in the audience. Hopefully that nasty cut will heal fast and he can get back into the ring ASAP.

2)I’m looking forward to seeing more of Martinez. Hopefully the manner in which his fight with Cintron was officiated and scored didn’t convince him to pack his bags and head back to Europe. I’d like to see him get a crack at WBA titleholder Daniel Santos, WBO belthodler Sergiy Dzinziruk, the winner of the proposed Cory Spinks-Deandre Latimore bout, or the Kirkland-Julio winner. Note I didn’t bother to mention WBC titlist Vernon Forrest, ’cause that just ain’t happenin’. As for Cintron, I don’t think he fought his fight. I’m not sure why, but I’ll bet Martinez’s skills and heart had something to do with it. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt this one last time before I dismiss him as I’m sure many fans have already done. I would still be interested in Kermit at welterweight vs. the likes of Delvin Rodriguez and Jesus Soto-Karass, and if he could beat a fringe contender like that, then I wouldn’t mind watching him challenge the title-holding likes of Shane Mosley, Josh Clottey, and Andre Berto.

3)Mzonke Fana isn’t a bad fighter. Just because Marco Antonio Barrera rolled him back in 2003 doesn’t mean he doesn’t have skills or heart. Fana is a solid guy at 130 pounds. But I think the Funeka that gave Campbell hell is a better fighter than Fana ever was. Funeka might even improve from what we saw Saturday night if he has the right attitude. That’s a scary thought for the top lightweights out there. I agree that Campbell’s weight struggles probably accounted for his drop off in activity in the late rounds more than his age. It will be interesting to see how he competes with the young guns of the 140-pound division like the winner of the Holt-Bradley showdown.

4)Ah, come on, is Lewis really THAT bad!? I’ll be honest with you; I don’t really notice him that much during the broadcast. I don’t know if that’s an insult or a compliment to the big man.

WHY CAN'T FUNEKA HAVE THE BELTS?

Whatup brotha? I've gone from disliking Nate Campbell, to begrudgingly stomaching him, to genuinely cheering for him. So, I'll admit that I was really disappointed to hear he didn't make weight Friday. But, his failure to make weight highlights a deeper issue:

1) Why would Funeka, or any fighter, only get the title if he won the bout? He showed up ready to fight, and he made weight. If I made the Wimbledon finals, and Serena's Bedonkadonk was too big for her to compete, I'd still win the Cup. (I'd have to be in the women's finals cuz men's tennis is boring). In most athletic events if someone gets hurt, sick, whatever, and their opponent is able to compete, the opponent wins by default. Why wouldn't Funeka? I mean, should he really have to beat a Jr. Welterweight to become the Lightweight Champion of the World? What does that prove?

2) Had Campbell made weight Friday, he would have been beaten Saturday. Golden Boy Promotions, Don King, and Juan Diaz are all probably laughing their *sses off right now. It's disappointing. Boxing fans were within a fight or two of a clear champion. Juan Manuel Marquez has been robbed of a rightful victory over the Funeka/Campbell winner.

– Kirk, Phoenix, AZ

You’re crazy Kirk, but you bring up some interesting fodder for debate.

If Campbell and Funeka were in some kind of elimination tournament the South African would have advanced or won by default when Campbell failed to make weight. However, their fight was an independent event. Funeka didn’t have to fight Campbell once the defending titlist failed to make the contracted weight. He could have refused to fight and kept his No. 1 ranking in the IBF. However, he agreed to fight a guy who was two and half pounds over the limit. He couldn’t assume the lightweight titles by default because by the rules both combatants have to make the lightweight limit in order for the belts to be on the line for both. If one combatant is over the limit, he’s no longer a lightweight, and thus, is ineligible to win the titles, even if he wins the fight. I know it’s kind of confusing and I understand your analogy with tennis. But the bottom line is that tennis, like most prominent professional sports, doesn’t have weight classes.

You might be right about Campbell losing the fight to Funeka had he squeezed those last two and half pounds out of his 36-year-old body. I’m glad Campbell didn’t kill himself in trying to make the 135-pound limit. I thought it was a good fight that showed what a complete and savvy ring general he is. I would have hated to see him try to take on a monster like Funeka when totally drained from making weight. However, I’m also disappointed that a 135-pound showdown won’t happen between Campbell and Marquez. I don’t know who wins that fight but I know it would have been world-class skill, action and guts for the duration of the bout.

You know, that fight could have happened if Campbell wasn’t going through bankruptcy and battling with Don King late last year. About a month after the Guzman debacle, Campbell’s advisor/co-promoter Terry Trekas reached out to Golden Boy for a Marquez fight. Eric Gomez has told me more than once that Marquez was interested in that fight. In fact, Marquez WANTED that fight more than any other at lightweight (save for a rubber-match with the PacMan). However, Campbell didn’t want King involved and King claimed he still had paper on the fighter. GBP told Campbell to come back once he cleared things with King. In the meantime, Marquez sought out arguably the next best lightweight after Campbell, Juan Diaz. Everyone I talk to says JMM should handle his biz in Houston, but I’m nervous for the veteran.

BOXING AFTER DARK

Hey Doug,
Just a few thoughts about the weekend's HBO card…

Angulo vs. Rivera: I was definitely glad the fight was stopped. Rivera was just eating way too many shots. He took the fight on short notice but showed up to fight (unlike someone by the name of Kermit Cintron) and kept doing so until the decision to stop was made for him. As a boxing fan, you can’t ask for much more from the guy given the circumstances.

Martinez vs. Cintron: It seemed clear that Martinez won the fight. Well, I could say he won both the 7-round fight and the 5-round “rematch.” Judging by the reaction of both the referee and Cintron, did anyone actually think the fight WASN’T over? Cintron’s reaction when he went down in the 7th, including that noise he made, made me initially think it was a head-butt. Obviously that wasn’t the case. I think Cintron did some better work over the last five rounds but I didn’t think it was nearly enough to garner a draw. On top of that, the fact that the point deduction (and the manner in which it came) cost Martinez the fight further muddied the waters in this one. And one other thing…HBO, showing a ring-card girl? I guess they were serious about making changes in 2009.

Campbell vs. Funeka: I think it’s safe to say between this fight and Martinez-Cintron that this is the one that looked more like a draw. Funeka bounced back well from the knockdown in the 2nd round, working his jab and winning rounds. Campbell definitely looked gassed for a good portion of the fight but was able to keep it together, come up with that second knockdown, and ended up doing enough to win, at least on the official scorecards.

Thanks. – Jesse, New Jersey

Angulo vs. Rivera: “Chino” did his part in allowing Angulo to appear on HBO a third time and give the prospect a few solid rounds of work. He’s a tough customer at welterweight (just ask Andre Berto and Joel Julio), but he’s not a 154 pounder and he can’t handle a guy like Angulo with four months notice let alone four days. I’m glad he didn’t take more than five rounds of punishment.

Martinez vs. Cintron: I couldn’t conceive of scoring more than three rounds for Cintron. He didn’t do anything of note (other than bitch about a headbutt that never happened). He never pressed the issue. He never took a gamble. He tried to feint and block and counter way too much, and he didn’t listen to his Ronnie Shields, who told him exactly what he needed to do – pressure Martinez. There’s no way the fight should have been so close that Santore’s bogus point deduction should have cost Martinez the fight. Oh well, we all know who should have won the fight.

I have no problem with ringcard girls being shown on Boxing After Dark. I like ringcard girls, and hey, it’s “after dark”, so why not?

Campbell vs. Funeka: I scored this fight 115-111 for Campbell just like judge Michael Pernick, but there were a couple close rounds I gave to the Galaxy Warrior based on his harder punches and his ability to muscle the South African in close that could have gone to Funeka because of his greater punch output. The knockdowns Campbell scored made the fight interesting and gave us hope that he can carry his punch to the 140-pound division.

I BET ON MARTINEZ AND I WANT MY MONEY

There is nothing more aggravating….ever….than calling a fight exactly right and being robbed.

I can take losing a bet. Pavlik over Hopkins. Margarito over Mosley. Fights I just didn't see right. I can accept losing money like that. Clearly part of the game. We all make bad calls. But what happened in the Martinez-Cintron fight has me IRATE.

I have been following Cintron's career for a while now. Dougie, I remember nodding to you in disgust, ringside at the Staples Center, after Cintron took 10 rounds to get Jesse Feliciano out of there. I made a mental note that night – Cintron was a guy to cash in against down the road.

I knew full well this cat Martinez would be WAY too much for Kermit. This was going be easy money, it could be a late KO or a wide UD.

I was damn proud as the fight began to play out. Then all hell broke loose. Martinez knocked Cintron out, won a decision, and got neither!

I have NEVER EVER experienced anything like this fight….and I have bet hundreds, maybe thousands, of matches.

Never have I seen a ref stop the fight and be convinced by the fighter to allow it to continue. AFTER A 3-MINUTE REST! A guy gets knocked out and gets to keep fighting AFTER A REST PERIOD!

Outrageous.

Then we have the inept judging. INEPT.

Lederman had the fight 3 to 3 after 6 rounds. I disagree with this, but let's give Cintron the benefit of the doubt. On my card, following that round, I gave Cintron round 10. No more. Martinez dominated him. 11 and 12 were perhaps the most clear cut Martinez rounds.

The minute the point got deducted in the 12th, I thought to myself, not a chance. No judge could have this even close. And it's a freaking DRAW! I nearly smashed my plasma TV. My girl was still trying to calm me down hours later. I ruined her Valentine's Day.

Horrible.

I'm sick to my stomach Dougie. Sick to my stomach. I can't find a guy on any boxing board who thinks Cintron won more than 4 rounds.

Disgusting. – JP

I know you mean every word of what you said, and I know you’re in pain, but this email made me laugh until I cried. Please don’t take it the wrong way. It’s just the purity of your outrage and the way you express it in those short bursts – and since I know you, I can put your enraged voice to the words – it just cracks me up because I know how much you mean it! You are among the hardest of the hardcore fans I’ve ever met, and I mean that as a compliment.

Anyway, I totally agree with your take on the fight (well, most of it, anyway, I think a case can be made for Cintron beating the 10-count by about a quarter of a second). I scored the second, ninth and 10th rounds for Cintron. That’s all. My final tally was 116-110 for Martinez like Tom Kaczmarek’s scorecard. It should have been 117-110. And, yes, you should have won some money on this fight, JP.

CAMPBELL-FUNEKA WAS CLOSE

Hey Doug,
Getting right to it, Campbell-Funeka could have gone either way. Nate controlled the beginning and end of the fight and Ali Funeka out-boxed Nate in the middle rounds. If you give Funeka 7 rounds then the fight’s a draw, but I had it 6 rounds apiece. But I could see a draw or one point either way. Damn good scrap, can't wait to see Funeka again – but no one else in the division is going to want to see him. They should have played that long interview before the fight, not have it leak halfway into round two.

Cintron lost! No doubt about it, in fact he lost several times! Even if you don't say he got counted out in the 7th he got completely out-boxed, it was not even close. And Cintron's crying is really getting tiresome, he was cut and knocked down by punches, and given a lot of time to recover after the knockdown- then in my opinion he was knocked down in the 11th (a punch landed while he was off balance) and he was buzzed again in the 12th. Martinez was boring, but he dogged Cintron.

No need to even comment on Angulo, except that he gets hit way too much, no defense at all. Once he meets someone who can pop it will be over. Peace. – Steve

You think 90-percent of boxing’s active fighters have no “D”, Steve. LOL. I agree that Angulo isn’t Wilfred Benitez but I think it’s going to take more than someone with just “pop” to beat him. For example, I wouldn’t make the winner of Kirkland-Julio a clear favorite over “Perro”. It’s going to take a technician with power, or a very slick and crafty boxer with good footwork and hand speed to “expose” Angulo, IMO. Martinez, who I agree was kind of boring but definitely beat Cintron, has a good shot at beating Angulo, but I still wouldn’t count “Perro” out in that fight. Angulo would fight Martinez the way Cintron should have (or at least should have tried), by pressuring him and backing the southpaw up.

I think Funeka exhibited world-class technique, skill, versatility and heart, but I also think he was beat by the better man. Even without the knockdowns I think the fight could have arguably been a draw. I thought Campbell’s body attack and well-timed overhand rights took the early rounds. Funeka clearly out-worked and out-maneuvered Campbell in the middle rounds but I thought Nate landed the harder punches in a few of these rounds (the sixth and seventh) and was able to muscle and manhandle the South African down the stretch (round nine). Campbell’s ability to come on in the championship rounds earned him the decision.

Funeka is for real and he will be back. Fortunately for him he is in a division that is packed with tough, hungry young contenders who aren’t afraid to fight him. Funeka should remain the IBF’s No. 1 contender. There is no No. 2 contender in the IBF and their No. 3 guy, Juan Diaz, is fighting Marquez for THE RING title, so the highest available IBF contender for the South African to fight is No. 4 Fernando Angulo, who I can’t imagine turning down an opportunity to fight for a vacant title no matter who he has to get into the ring with. No. 5 Julio Diaz is slated to fight Joel Casamayor on April 4, but No. 6 Anthony Peterson is young, undefeated and I think willing to face any top dog in the division, including Funeka.

Funeka and Peterson are the WBO’s No. 4 and No. 5 contenders, respectively. The WBO’s No. 1 contender Marco Antonio Barrera is fighting Amir Khan next month, the organization’s No. 2 and No. 3 contenders, Juan Manuel Marquez and Juan Diaz, are fighting for THE RING title this month, so maybe Funeka and Peterson can square off for the vacant title.

I think there are more than a few solid, TV-worthy fights out there for Funeka, most of which should earn him a vacant belt should he win.

UNREAL SCORING

First Andrade vs. Bute and then this. The scoring for Saturday night's Sergio Martinez-Kermit Cintron fight was atrocious.

I know there are plenty of excuses Dougie- but this is their JOB. Not just the ref but the judges. 116-110 on one card and we get a draw?

That being saidÔǪ.what is the worst screw job you’ve ever seen on a major stage. I’m going with Jose Armando Santa Cruz vs. Joel Casamayor but you know well that I’ve only been boxing/watching boxing for 10 years. – Anthony

The worst I've seen on TV was the “win” Courtney Burton got over Emanuel Augustus in their first fight, an ESPN-televised 10 rounder that took place in 2004, followed by the “draw” Pernell Whitaker had to settle with after schooling Julio Cesar Chavez for 12 rounds back in 1993.

I've covered and witnessed a bunch of bad decisions live. Casamayor's split decision over Santa Cruz is one of them; Demetrius Hopkins' decision over Steve Forbes is another. Bobby Pacquiao's split decision over Carlos Hernandez was pretty bad. Even Bob-Pac's trainer, Freddie Roach, thought he lost that one.

SEPERATED AT BIRTH?

Ali Funeka looks a lot like Ishe Smith, doesn't he? – Alexander

Um, not really. They're both bald black guys with beards. That’s about it. Funeka might resemble Smith more after a cycle or two of steroids.

Photo of Martinez-Cintron by Naoki Fukuda

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