Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag
Fans from the U.S. and the UK give their thoughts and ask questions about Khan-Barrera and its undercard, last Saturday’s B.A.D. triple header, Robert Guerrero, Edwin Valero, and more in this week’s FFMB. Enjoy!
'HEY' FROM THE UK
It's Anson. We chatted in the media centre before Margarito-Mosley.
How are you, all going well at The Ring?
Did you attend the triple header in San Jose last weekend? They didn't show the card here (in the UK) so I haven't seen the fights as yet. James Kirkland came up big though, hey? Victor Ortiz, too, but without too much resistance, and as boxing fans we have to expect the obligatory mess that was Guerrero-Yordan.
Khan-Barrera is the big fight this weekend over here. Who do you like? I think Amir Khan will have too much for Marco Antonio Barrera at this stage of his career though I'll be hoping Barrera can pull it off.
Best Wishes and hope to catch you soon. – Anson Wainwright
I remember talking to you Anson. Nice to hear from you. I like “chatting” it up with young boxing writers. You guys are an integral part of the future of this very special sport. Never forget that.
I’m always amazed at the number of British fans and media who hope that Khan fails. What’s the deal? Is the kid a jerk at home? He’s all class while training at the Wild Card gym and whenever he’s interviewed by the U.S. boxing media. Maybe in your case you’re just a really big Barrera fan.
I can understand that. He’s one of my all-time favorites. I’ve seen more of Barrera’s fights live (as both fan and media) than any other fighter, watched his numerous rises and falls — from McKinney to Jones to Morales to Hamed to Pacquiao to Morales III to Juarez I to Marquez and Pacquiao II — so it’s probably going to be hard for me not to root for the “old man” Saturday.
I think Khan has too much speed and size for Barrera, but that’s about it. Barrera is a much smarter boxer and better technician and ring general. I think Khan’s best bet is to stay on the outside and work behind the jab, but never charge forward. Barrera will be looking to time him with right hands. If Barrera catches him and gets inside, he’ll tear the kid up to the body. Barrera’s a mean dude. But Khan can bust the veteran up from the outside and discourage him with his speed and lateral movement. Khan can win, but I don’t think he can do so if he gets too macho or greedy in there and tries to go for a KO.
I was at Golden Boy’s triple header in San Jose and I was impressed by Kirkland’s conditioning and offensive variety. I was also impressed by Ortiz’s poise and accuracy. Both young bucks are probably going to win their first world titles this summer. Golden Boy Promotions has confidence in them and are trying to get WBO titlist Sergei Dzinziruk to defend against Kirkland and WBA boss Andreas Kotelnik to defend against Ortiz. Those are quality fights with a lot of interest in Germany and Ukraine (where the veteran beltholders are based and from), as well as in the States.
I was disappointed that Guerrero’s fight didn’t get underway and that the former titlist suffered such a bad cut, but like you said, that kind of stuff happens in boxing. It’s part of the sport and we all need to accept it.
I can't believe that dude he said he was gonna “pull your ponytail” last week. What a buster lol. Two quick questions about the Barrera-Khan undercard:
1. What do you make of Ola Afolabi's chances against Enzo Mac? I vividly remember Afolabi from your Southern Cal Notebooks. The way you described him always intrigued me even though I've only been moderately impressed when I've seen him live. Any chance he gets at Enzo?
1b. Are the SoCal Notebooks ever coming to The Ring? Man, I miss that s__t like no other…..
2. Nicky Cook v. “Rocky” Martinez… what's your take? That dude Rocky is a maniac in the ring. Should be a good action fight but I'm clueless as to how they'll match up.
Thanks Dougie. Keep doin' what you do. – Joe from Philly (now in Vegas)
I think that guy was just kidding about yankin’ the ole pony tail. At least I hope he was.
1)Afolabi is one of the better Southern California gym fighters of this decade, which is saying something, but that doesn’t mean his talent and intelligence always transfers to the prize ring. There’s something to be said about guts and conditioning in professional boxing and Afolabi sometimes takes a sparring partner’s mentality into his fights. Having said that, I think he’s got a shot at beating Maccarinelli if he can take the former beltholder rounds without digging himself into a hole in terms of points. The thing Afolabi has to do is go for it if he hurts Mac and to let his hands go when he senses the Welshman getting tired. Too often Afolabi is comfortable being cute, playing the ropes and doing the lean-away-and-counter-punch thing over and over. He’s slick enough not to get hit much, but he’s not busy enough to always guarantee that he’s going to win the round or hurt the other guy. We’ll see what happens. I like Ola, so I’m hoping that he brings his A-game and does his best, win or lose, so he can continue his career. However, I think you have to favor Mac. He’s got 31 pro fights (to Afolabi’s 17), he was busy against solid guys in 2006 and 2007 (when Ola was inactive), and he has the kind of style where he can outwork the slicker fighter.
1b)I’m going to gradually work SCN-style reports into the RingTV rotation. You may have noticed that I’ve been checking out Manny Pacquiao in training at least once a week. I’m going to keep that up, add a few visits to the Maywood Boxing Club (where Urbano Antillon, who returns to action at 135 pounds on May 1, and Alfred Angulo, who I hear might fight Kermti Cintron next, are working out), and make a few road trips to Ventura (for Victor Ortiz), Costa Mesa (for Edwin Valero) and to Coachella (for Tim Bradley) over the next two weeks.
2)I’m not that familiar with Nicky Cook, but he surprised me by beating Alex Arthur last year and his only loss is to Stephen Luevano, which I don’t think is anything to be ashamed about. He’s the beltholder and he’s fighting in his home country, so I know he’s going to bring all he has to the ring, which will suit Ramon “Rocky” Martinez just fine. I am familiar with the 26-year-old Puerto Rican slugger. The kid’s got balls; he proved it in his war with Daniel Jimenez in 2007. I did the color commentary for one of his fights in Puerto Rico last year (vs. Santos Benavides) and it was a good scrap. Rocky got dropped, in the second round, I think, and he you could tell that he loved it. He got up with a grin and proceeded to beat the tough S.O.B. in front of him into submission. I think Cook-Martinez could be the best fight on the Khan-Barrera card.
GET OFF THE GHOST, FOLKS!
Congrats on your move to The Ring, hope everything is working out as well as you hoped.
I just wanted to defend Robert Guerrero a little bit. I was born in Salinas, grew up in Monterey, and now live in San Jose, so maybe I’m a little biased since he’s from Gilroy. But I wish the fans would cut him some more slack. I paid $60 to see him at the HP Pavilion on Saturday and was equally disappointed that the fight was stopped, but that cut was deep and in the worst possible spot. I would much rather have him call it a night and fight another day than to risk serious injury. Plus, the Ghost doesn’t have a history of finding ways out of fights. He is a warrior. When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, he still went to Denmark and laid out Spend Abazi like you said.
I think us fans can get carried away sometimes demanding fighters to fight through the worst of circumstances. It’s very easy to judge people while you’re sitting on your couch or from a seat in an arena. I call it the Grant Hill syndrome. For years people seemed to rip into Grant for not being able to play through his ankle injury, calling him soft, etc. But in reality, he came back too soon, the surgery didn’t go well and his ankle just never healed properly. Years later, he’s back playing again and you can see that he truly is a warrior too. My point is that we can’t always judge someone’s character based on an injury. There’s no way to know exactly how that person is feeling at that time. So give the Ghost the benefit of the doubt. He will be back and he will show who he really is.
(p.s. I thought Max Kellerman was a little out of line when he not so subtly took a shot at Guerrero in his post fight analysis. Don’t come out to his hometown and question his heart like that. Max, go back to the east coast and tout the likes of Zab Judah and other NYC flameouts.)
Thanks Doug – Southside
Oooh, stickin’ to the East Coast, eh, Southie? LOL.
I agree with your take on the Ghost and I don’t care if you’re being a homer. If you are, that just speaks to Guerrero’s popularity at home. I’m sure his popularity nationwide has taken a hit, but you and I both know how fickle fans (and sadly members of the media) are. They’ll come around. Once Guerrero wins another world title (and has to dig deep to do so as I’m sure he will) the same fools who called him a quitter and questioned his heart now will hop right back on the bandwagon. Most will never admit that they wrote him off.
I’m giving Guerrero the benefit of the doubt because of what I know about his dedication and his work ethic when he was at home and unable to fight last year due to his arbitration. He was working odd jobs (building fences), taking care of his kids, supporting his wife, and training his ass off. I also remember how tough he was in sparring sessions I watched at the Wild Card gym when he was there. You don’t go tit for tat with Manny Pacquiao and Israel Vazquez without having guts.
HOLT-BRADLEY IN JEAOPARDY?
Did you hear anything about this fight in danger of being cancelled due to low ticket sales? That’s what a newspaper here is reporting. I hope not because I’m going for sure and I’m glad that a fight like this is finally being brought to Montreal. I want people here to see some real boxing, everybody thinks Lucien Bute is pound 4 pound or something. – Steve, Montreal
I heard that a fight that was supposed to be the co-feature (Lamont Peterson vs. Willy Blain) was pulled off the card because of lack of funding, but I haven’t heard that whole card in danger of being scrapped.
Even if the card is cancelled in Montreal I think Bradley-Holt, which Showtime has a vested interest in, will go on at a new venue. Hopefully, that doesn’t have to happen. I agree that the fans of Montreal deserve a good fight, which Bradley-holt should be. You guys should thank your lucky stars that you don’t have to sit through the 12-round snoozefest that Peterson-Blain will be.
By the way, I don’t think Bute is pound-for-pound level, but I think he’s pretty good, maybe the second best 168 pounder behind Mikkel Kessler.
DARCHINYAN'S NEXT OPPONENT?
I know Vic's talking about heading to 122 for some big fights, but I wouldn't mind seeing him stop at bantamweight to fight Hozumi Hasegawa, who just blew out another top ten bantamweight. I know, it's probably a stretch, but Hasegawa seems to be pretty adept at making adjustments during a fight (not that you can really tell from that clip, lol), and he'd be the bigger man. He also seems to have decent pop, but isn't a huge banger. Anyway, just a thought. Take care. – Wilson
I consider Hasegawa to be the best 118 pounder in the world, so I’d love to see the best 115 pounder (Darchinyan), who also happens to be a top-10 pound-for-pound player, take the Japan-based titleholder on. Hasegawa is very relaxed and confident in the ring. He’s got a sneaky left hand that carries pop and he’s obviously a decent finisher when he gets his opponent hurt. The trick would be to get Hasegawa to leave Japan.
About two years ago I heard that he didn’t feel appreciated in Japan was considering coming to the U.S. to defend his belt, but that was back when Koki Kameda was getting all the attention. After making his eighth title defense, something tells me that Hasegawa is getting the props at home that he feels he deserves. Still, I’d like to see him fight in the States against either Darchinyan or young banties Abner Mares and Nestor Rocha.
VALERO'S NEW TRAINER
Alright Dougie, I suppose you know about “your son” Edwin Valero changing trainer's again. Do you know the reason why he left Kenny Adams for Robert Alcazar? I don’t know much about Alcazar just read that he trained De La Hoya years ago. I'd of really liked to see Valero team back up with Joe Hernandez because they seemed to gel brilliantly. Do you know if Joe is training any new bombers? Has he still got Ponce De Leon? Where the hell is Ponce these days? Anyway this ‘Lightweight Lightning’ bill in Texas is quality, I'm just gutted it won’t be shown here in the UK because everyone needs to see this Yetti like madman. – Razor, Manchester, UK
I’m sorry to keep hearing that UK fans aren’t getting a lot of decent shows from the States. Golden Boy Promotions should try to sell delayed broadcast rights of the April 4th show to one of the cable networks that show boxing in the UK.
Oh well, you guys might get lucky and get to see the great Juan Manuel Marquez fight live if A) Floyd Mayweather doesn’t want to fight the lightweight king, and B) Khan beats Barrera Saturday. Richard Schaefer is thinking about GBP show somewhere in the UK with Marquez-Khan as the main event and perhaps Cook (if he survives Martinez) vs. Guerrero as the co-feature. Heck, Richard probably hasn’t given up on Calzaghe-Hopkins II.
Anyway, on to “my son”. I don’t know what to tell you other than he’s a bit crazy. I’m not thrilled about the change because I’m a big Kenny Adams fan, but I will refrain from disrespecting Alcazar (as many of my peers have done recently) until I see how the two are getting along in the gym. I agree that Valero looked the sharpest in the ring under Joe Hernandez’s teaching, but the two also butted heads often. The gym just wasn’t big enough for both their egos. Adams was one of the few trainers that Valero respectws and would listen to (he ignores most), but Kenny is an old army man, and I know that ‘the V-nom’ hates taking orders from anyone. Maybe Alcazar, who speaks Spanish and knows how to stroke prima-dona egos, will work out OK with Valero. We’ll find out soon. I’ll say this for Alcazar; most fans and media crap on him, but I thought De La Hoya was at his offensive best (as a 135 pounder) when Robert was his head trainer. He’s not a bad trainer when he’s got a hungry and talented fighter to work with.
Dougie can be reached at [email protected]