Dougie’s FAT Friday mailbag
This week’s FFMB is all about the lightweight championship showdown in Houston. Read on for the fans’ take on Marquez-Diaz, the Lightweight Lightening PPV show, and more. Enjoy!
I was planning to send you and email this morning asking why you weren't publishing anything about Juan Manuel Marquez in the run up to his fight. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a fantastic article front and center at ringtv.com. Kudos. I assume that was part 1 of a 4 part-series? CU N Houston. – Kirk
Yes you will, Kirk. I’m sitting at Gate A1 in the airport of your hometown Phoenix. Soon I’ll be on my way to Houston where I expect to witness your favorite fighter take on one of the sternest challenges of his hall-of-fame career.
I’m glad you appreciated my column on Marquez. I’m not surprised. You, along with your partner in crime Darryl and Rich Marotta, are among the few, the proud, the folks who appreciated Marquez 10 years ago.
I was happy when Marotta brought up the fact that Marquez has never been decisively defeated and reminded us of what his record would look like if he got the benefit of competent officials in his pro debut and his fights with Freddy Norwood and Chris John, and a point or two in his favor in his two fights with Manny Pacquiao. 54-0 is an eye-catching record, no?
I talked to Marotta for at least an hour and with the quality information and opinions he gave me I could have at least made the column a two-part feature. I tell you what, if Marquez beats Diaz, I’ll write a multi-part series on him before his next fight – hopefully the winner of Hatton-Pacquiao.
SWEET HOME HOUSTON
Hey Dougie! I miss seeing you on MaxTV. Hope all is good for you @ The Ring now. Anyways, I am heading down to my original hometown of Houston on Saturday. I can't wait for the fights. I am staying at the Hilton hotel across the street from the Toyota Center & would love to say hello to you & shake your hand. I am a big fan of prize fightin'! If you are there, I imagine you'll be plenty busy, but just let me know. I am delighted, also that a great fight night is coming to my current abode of Austin in a few weeks! I was able to snag some pre-sale tix for that. Lastly, I am heading to Las Vegas for Hatton/Pac. Well, stay cool & hope to say hello soon. (ps – There's no beef between you & anyone at maxboxing, is there?) – Marc Livitz
You are going to be treated to three excellent live boxing experiences my friend. I’m going to be in Houston for the fight and I’m staying at the Hilton, the host hotel where all the boxing people, including I’ve heard, my old MaxTV cohort Steve Kim will be hanging out. If you see me, don’t hesitate to introduce yourself. I love meeting true fans of the sport. And if you’re a big fan of prize fightin’ now, I think you’ll be a stone cold boxing freak after witnessing Marquez-Diaz, Lightweight Lighting, and Hatton-Pacquiao live.
I don’t believe there’s any beef between me and MaxBoxing. I think everybody at that site – from Steve Kim and Thomas Gerbasi to Lee Groves and Marty Mulcahey to video ace Brian Harty and my ‘replacement’ Gabe Montoya – know that I have the utmost respect for them and the work they do. If there is a beef, maybe you’ll get lucky and witness an unsanctioned bare-knuckle scrap between the Korean Hammer and the Mulatto Mauler at the bar table of the Hilton after the real fights.
CAN’T FAVOR DIAZ
I can’t see Diaz beating Marquez. I just can’t. I know he’s younger and he is a pressure fighter and he showed a good jab against Michael Katsidis but he doesn’t hit that hard and isn’t too fast on his feet. Marquez will give him too many angles and hit him harder than he’s ever been hit. Actually I think Diaz will get banged up pretty bad if it goes to the late rounds.
I can’t favor a guy who lost one-sidedely to Nate Campbell over a guy that just knocked out Joel Casamayor even though he looked good against Katsidis (word to Katsidis: the whole “warrior mentality” thing is very poetic but can u block a f__kin punch please?)
I know styles make fights but I think skills, punching power, experience, mental toughness also make fights, Marquez all the way. What do you think? Thanks, later. – Steve, Montreal
I think it’s a much tougher fight for Marquez than you do. I favor the champ to retain his title, but I think it will take one of the best performances of his hall-of-fame career to do so. A few thoughts on your analysis:
A)Diaz hits harder than you think (he doesn’t get knockouts because he goes for speed and volume and he doesn’t turn his punches over) and his feet are faster than you think.
B)Diaz is not as easy to hit as he looked vs. Campbell when his pride got the better of him and he can take a good shot.
C)If the fight goes into the late rounds (and I think it will) BOTH fighters are going to be banged up. Marquez’s face looked like shredded beef after fighting Terdsak Jandaeng; you don’t think his grill is going to lump and bust up with Diaz’s constant “swarm-of-bees” attack?
D)There’s no shame in losing a one-sided fight to Nate Campbell, especially the version of the Galaxy Warrior that showed up to battle Diaz.
THE FOLKS WHO MATTER
Chavez Jr. and Sanchez are considered “never-will-bes” (and rightfully so). Arce is thought to be a “has-been”. Calderon for all his skill and courage can’t buy his way on HBO or Showtime. And any “serious” boxing writer worth his salt believes that all of the alums of The Contender TV series are glorified club fighters (no matter what they do). And yet, the fans – the folks who matter; the ones who actually buy tickets – don’t give a rat’s ass. They pay their money and most of the time they are treated to good shows. All of the fights I mentioned were entertaining or compelling in some way, and the fans who attended those cards left happy. That’s how I know that boxing isn’t close to being “dead”.
That line right there from your last mail bag made me an instant Dougie fan. I never had the opportunity to read much or follow you too much at Maxboxing. I hate to say it, but I am a bit cheap and wasn't willing to pay for full access to that site. I do though, know who you are mostly from the interviews you would do on many of the pre-fight programs for a lot of top fights.
I was able to discover Ringtv.com when it linked up with Yahoo! Sports boxing page. Prior to its current setup, the Ring's website was nothing but a place to see the rankings and sign up for the magazine. The website has gone a long way and once you came on board (no disrespect to the other writers who are excellent, by the way), it has such a fan friendly appeal to it.
I am now a 100% reader of yours and have caught most of your mailbags and articles since you started working at The Ring. I just want to give you a sincere thank you for the great job you do and for keeping it real and staying true to yourself.
You speak for the fans, in my opinion, and that is what separates you from most other media members in the boxing community. I cannot tell you how refreshing that is. And on top of speaking from a fan's point of view, you stay very objective.
Now, enough ass kissing (jk, as I do truly mean what I said), but now to talk boxing:
I truly liked the insight regarding the peculiar relationship Miguel Cotto has with his Boriqua fanbase. I knew he has never grabbed the people's heart like Tito, but it was a bit surprising to see that he seems to be judged pretty harshly. I am of Mexican descent, but I am a fight fan first, and was a Cotto fan from the first time I saw him. I love his strictly business attitude and that he stays classy and of course his boxing style.
To the fight this weekend: I think you hit the nail on the head; Juan Manuel Marquez has come too far to be at the status he is at currently, and regardless of how great his boxing skills are, it will be his heart and determination that will lead to his victory over the Baby Bull. I also agree that Baby Bull is young enough that this won't be a serious setback to him and regardless if wins or loses, this fight will be huge for his career as he will learn a lot, even more from when he fought the Galaxxy Warrior.
I actually think his style is tailor made for Marquez. He is a pressure fighter, but unlike Pacquiao, who also somewhat fits the mold of a pressure fighter, he doesn't have as great of lateral movement and is a lot more predictable, and it will make for a lot of counter punches from Marquez. I don't think he will have the power to KO Diaz, so I am going with JMM UD.
I also think Jonathan Banks will pull the upset off in a sensational fight versus Tomasz Adamek. Actually, I think this is the sleeper fight of the weekend.
I would love to see Rocky Juarez finally get a title, but I just can't see it happening. His biggest advantage though is fighting at home versus Chris John, who rarely steps out of Indonesia. Regardless of how good John is that will have an effect on him at one point. The difference is can he fight through it and not let it become too big of a distraction. I still lean towards John with a very tactical UD win.
On a last note, with Golden Boy Promotions doing the “Lightweight Lightening” tourney, I assume this would determine the #2 boxer in the LW division (although I do feel Ali Funeka has something to say about that) and setup an eventual fight with the winner of JMM/Diaz. But I just don't see JMM staying at lightweight after this fight as we all know he wants Manny Pacquiao.
I don't see Pacquiao willing to fight JMM just yet, so should Marquez win, who do you foresee as possible matchups for him at 140? My initial guesses would be Campbell or the winner of Bradley/Holt.
Sorry for the lengthy email Dougie, but keep keepin’ it fresh. Peace! – Zo, Phx, AZ
Thanks for the very kind words, Zo. It really means a lot to me. Actually, not unlike a lot of prize fighters, recognition and respect from the fans is EVERYTHING to me, so thank you for reading my work.
If Marquez beats Diaz I think a fight with the Hatton-Pacquiao winner can be made. Who else is out there for the Pac-Monster or the Mad Hatter? Floyd Mayweather will price himself out negotiations. So that leaves Marquez and perhaps Shane Mosley and Miguel Cotto as the only options with name recognition and respect from the fans and media. I think Marquez is the way to go for Pacquiao because he won’t have to give up size and weight to the Mexican and the two have history.
If Pacquiao-Marquez III can’t be made I believe whoever emerges from the Lightweight Lightening series establishes himself as a worthy challenger for Marquez.
I agree with your take on John-Juarez. You might be right about Adamek-Banks. It should be bombs away all night, but I like the champ to retain his RING title by late KO or decision. I just hope Adamek gets the credit he deserves afterward.
I like Marquez by decision, but I don’t think Diaz is tailor made for him. I don’t think Diaz is tailor made for anyone.
Hey Dougie. Glad to take the time to email you and tell you how great your article was about the recent press conference for the Golden Boy Promoted lightweight tournament. Great visuals to go with your words. I could see Casamayor just egging Jorge Barrios on with the Bootsy Collins sunglasses on when he was jawing at Edwin Valero.
I am very excited about this tournament and I’m going to have to flip back and forth between the Holt-Bradley fight on Showtime. So far this is one of the best four months of boxing going around that I can remember. January was fantastic, February is going great and March and April looks to be following suit!!!
Well, take care of yourself and hope to hear from you. I know you are super busy and popular with your emails. I look forward to reading more articles and trying to contribute to you MMB column!! Take care. Until the next round… – Anthony Lynn, Toms River, NJ
I like your enthusiasm, Anthony. You have reason to be excited about the sport. I agree that the first quarter of 2009 has been as good in terms of quality matchups being made as any year I’ve experienced as a boxing beat writer.
I know Valero, usually a cool cat but the kind of guy who will go off when he feels disrespected, and I’m telling you that Barrios was very close to getting socked in the face this past Monday. I’m glad they didn’t come to blows because I wouldn’t want anything to jeopardize their participation in the April 4 pay-per-view card. Hopefully, both South American badasses take care of business in Austin so we can see them settle their differences in the prize ring. Have you read the back and forth between the two on BoxingScene? Valero-Barrios could be the grudge match of 2009.
With Valero in the tournament, this goes from great to spectacular!!! I'm hyped for this one. Hey, where are you hanging out in Houston, maybe we'll run into each other and have a few drinks. My girlfriend practically knows you as one of the guys since I talk about you like you work with me or something. Take care! – Roger
Valero’s presence anywhere makes things interesting. The dude has this celebrity air about him – it’s part confidence, part arrogance, part underground hype, and partially the bizarre matching of Venezuelan culture and ideology with Japanese style he picked up while based in Tokyo – that makes fans and media stop and take notice. Anyone who’s met him remembers him (mostly because his handshake is like a vice). However, it’s his fighting ability and his ability to entertain in the ring that will really make his name in the States.
I’ll be at the Hilton and at the fights, of course, so say what’s up when you see me. Guinness is my favorite beer if you’re buyin’.
Email Doug Fischer at [email protected]