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Dougie’s Friday Mailbag

20
Mar

MAYWEATHER TUNE-UP

Hey Dougie,
Lots of rumors flying around regarding Mayweather's imminent return to the ring. The latest appears to be a July 11th tuneup against someone not named Hatton, Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez or Mosley. It's also supposedly not to be on PPV, but on regular HBO. I hear Sharmba Mitchell would consider a comeback for Floyd. Carlos Baldomir should also be available for a rematch as well. I respect the hell out of Mayweather's skills, but I hope HBO doesn't spend a fortune getting a crappy Mayweather tuneup when they've seem to have turned the corner on buying garbage showcase fights this year.

On a semi-related note, everyone knows that Mayweather’s almost certain to fight the winner of Hatton-Pacquiao. Wouldn't matching up the loser against Juan Manuel Marquez be a fantastic fight?

Late unrelated note – just rewatched Vitali Klitschko vs. Lewis Lewis again. Damn, that was one of the very few fights where both these guys were challenged and were in quite a brawl. Who do you see out there who can make an exciting fight with either Klitschko?

Great fights non PPV this year (and even ESPN)! I guess there's ONE positive resulting from this recession. — JL, San Diego

That’s one way to look at it, but I hope the promoters and networks involved with the sport continue to make the best fights for fans when we finally get out of this recession. If they do, boxing has the potential to experience a real revival.

I watched the YouTube clip of Lewis-Klitschko with Michael Rosenthal’s “Vitali’s Finest Moments” feature story and I was reminded of the action the two titans gave fans at Staples Center that night. That was indeed a damn good scrap (and that was a damn nasty cut Klitschko sustained over his left eye). I covered the fight from ringside and I can tell you that every punch they landed sounded like thunder in the arena.

Because of his questionable whiskers, I believe both David Haye and Chris Arreola can make for fun fights with Wladimir, at least during the early rounds of the fight, but because of his granite chin and his stand-up style it’s harder to find an opponent who can make Vitali fight hard the way Lewis did. Whoever it is has to be as tall or almost as tall and rangy as Vitali and he has to be nearly as athletic and powerful as Lewis was. To be honest, I don’t see anyone out there who fits this description. Which doesn’t mean I believe that Vitali is invincible. It just means that we probably won’t see him in any barnburners this year.

Regarding Mayweather’s comeback and proposed tune-up fight, I think it’s fine if HBO gives him a WCB date to ease him back into the game, but I don’t think the network should overpay for him — especially when that proposed date could go to an interesting, meaningful and potentially entertaining cruiserweight showdown between RING champ Tomasz Adamek and Bernard Hopkins. To be honest, I only care to discuss and/or cover Mayweather if he’s fighting Pacquiao, Mosley, Cotto or Marquez.

If HBO wants to pay Mayweather $5 million for a Henry Bruseles rematch on July 11 that’s their business but I won’t pay attention to it.

HEAVYWEIGHTS

Hi Doug. I read your mailbag every week and I thought that this time I'd try my luck and make a point. The upcoming Klitschko fight got me thinking about the last time I saw a truly exciting fight between to 230-pound plus guys, and it has to be Lewis-V. Klitschko. That is to say they don’t come along very often. All the heavyweight greats, Louis, Dempsey, Ali, Frazier, Holmes, Tyson and even Holyfield weighed in at 220 pounds or under during their primes. My point is that whilst there are often great cruiserweight fights there is little good action among the truly big men. The solution? Scrap the cruiserweights and make a heavyweight division of 175-220/225 pounds. A division of Adamek, Cunningham, Haye, Povetkin would be interesting. 225 and above could be 'super' heavyweights. What’s your opinion? — Richy P., Yeovil, UK

What the hell! Why not? Let’s start a petition!

Actually, I don’t think that’s a very good idea. First of all, I don’t see how light heavyweight-sized fighters (175-185 pounds) are going to compete with 200-to-225-pound fighters.

And second, what’s wrong with simply giving the cruiserweights their props and focusing on the 200 pounders instead of the heavyweight division? If we made a new “lighter” heavyweight division, we’d still have a boring-ass upper weight class with he super heavies. And fans would still complain about them whenever they fight. So why not just focus on the good divisions boxing currently has (which is most of them).

LIGHTWEIGHT LIGHTENING REPLACEMENT

Hey Dougie,
I just heard the unfortunate news that Joel Casamayor was pulling out of the Lightweight Lightening card on April 4th. I read the rumors on your website that Golden Boy was considering scratching Julio Diaz from the card if they couldn't find him a suitable replacement. I have a much better suggestion. Julio Diaz is one of the more solid fighters on the show while Carlos Hernandez is washed up. Why not have Vicente Escobedo fight Diaz instead of Hernandez? Julio Diaz-Vicente Escobedo is a very solid fight. Carlos Hernandez could fight someone like Urbano Antillon or Dominic Salcido.

Don't you think that's a better solution? Someone should really push that suggestion to GB Promotions. — Will

I understand where you’re coming from, but don’t think that’s a good solution. Hernandez may not be what he once was, but he’s still a step up in competition for Escobedo. That’s a good crossroads fight. Putting Escobedo in with Diaz — especially this revamped version of the Coachella Kid — is like tossing him to the wolves in my opinion. Let me refresh your memory because it’s easy to get caught up in the way Escobedo ended his last fight, against Salcido. Until Salcido got cocky and offered up his chin to get KTFO, he was winning their fight. Salcido is a talented kid, but he was totally unproven and inexperienced. Before that KO win, Escobedo looked ordinary against journeymen like Cristian Favela and Miguel Mungia. Hernandez is the perfect test for Escobedo after 20 pro fights, and I don’t think ‘Famoso’ will be easy, especially on late notice.

MAYWEATHER WELCOME, NOT 'MONEY'

Dear Mr. Fischer:
I realize that I just wrote an email hypothesizing future Mayweather fights soon after writing to complain about people who are caught up in Mayweather speculation while we are currently spoiled with fighters who are much better for the sport. I have no defense other than that I'm a fan of big fights. Also, as it becomes more likely that Mayweather is this time only considering fighting the true cream of the crop, I'm thinking of him in a slightly better light (no matter that those fights also happen to represent his biggest paydays). I'd look less fondly on his taking on JMM, the much smaller man (I did not think less of DLH for fighting Pacquiao, because I thought that was a genuine toss-up), but JMM deserves the biggest payday he can get, and I'd never count him out. But if Mayweather resumes his “money” persona, I agree that we'd all be much better off without him. Here's hoping he finally gives the fans, the fighters, and the sport the respect they deserve this time around. Best. — Matthew

I don’t mind the “Money” persona if he uses it to hype a worthy mega-fight. You and I both know who the worthy opponents are. I don’t need to keep repeating them. Personally, I’m sick of it. I was sick of him and his arrogance before he came up with the “Money” moniker. But I realize that many fans and members of the media think it’s entertaining and adds pizzazz to a boxing match and promotion. So be it. I just want to see good fights like Berto-Collazo and Marquez-Diaz. If Mayweather adds to the excitement, he’s more than welcome back. If not, screw him and screw his nut-hugger fans and any star-f__ker network executive who tries to push him onto real fans.

CUENCA VS. EL POLLO

Dear Dougie,
Hi! This is your friend from Argentina, getting ready to attend at this Friday┬┤s supposed (you never know when they will fight for the title) WBO Jr Welter eliminator between Cesar Cuenca and Alex de Jesus. About this fight a couple of questions:

1- I never saw de Jesus fight, what is your opinion about him?
2- Can a fighter with one of the lowest KO average in the world as Cuenca (only 1 in 35 wins) reach THE RING ratings? He is very skilled and I don┬┤t remember him losing more than a couple of rounds in any fight, but he does not look for the KO, so if you think the Klitschkos are not spectacular…. Anyway, this will be his biggest test after beating all the second class jr welter in our country (impossible to expect him to fight Maidana, Matthysse or Coggi Jr.).

Also a little comment on my own: the lightweight tournament is the greatest thing that can happen to boxing. I am only disappointed our “Hiena” Barrios is out. Do you think they will keep it as a tournament or is there a risk fighters choose other opponents?

It is always great to read you all at THE RING. Please keep your fingers crossed with me for ESPN to show the Klitschko-Gomez fight in Argentina as well (Gomez has small chance, but it is there, I hope he will get mad and make Vitali nervous if it is possible). Keep it great. — Nicolino

Vitali get nervous? I’ve never seen it. That big man has Kool-Aide for blood.

Everyone was disappointed when Barrios had to pull out of the April 4 show, but perhaps he can be matched with one of the winners later this year. Katsidis, Chavez, Hernandez, Pitalua, and Escobedo are all Golden Boy fighters, so they will likely go with the tournament idea. Valero and Diaz are with other promoters, so they will fight whoever Top Rank and Sycuan believe is best for their careers. We’ll see what happens. Until then I’m looking forward to Valero-Pitalua and Chavez-Katsidis. Those are gonna be scraps!

I did the English commentary for de Jesus’ last bout and I’ve seen him fight three or four times on TV. He’s a solid southpaw boxer with decent power if he sets it up. He was an Olympian and he’s been developed well by PR Best promotions in Puerto Rico, so he’s formidable. Pollo’s only drawback is that he sometimes lacks fire in the ring. He lets fights that he could end earlier drag on. That’s not a good trait against a guy (Cuenca) who always goes the distance and happens to be fighting at home. I’ve never seen Cuenca fight, but I’ll give him a decent shot to upset de Jesus based on the Puerto Rican’s lackluster track record and the Argentine’s home court advantage.

As for the “Anti-Valero’s” chances of making THE RING’s 140-pound top 10, he won’t do it by beating de Jesus. He’s going to need to beat a lower top-10 contender like Nate Campbell, Ricardo Torres or Herman Ngoudjo (who is the weakest link, IMO).

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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