Friday, June 09, 2023  |


Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

Fighters Network

There's almost too much boxing to discuss and debate today — from Saturday's Hatton-Pacquiao mega-fight to the amazing performances of the past weekend — so let's get right to your emails about Carl Froch's dramatic final-round stoppage of Jermain Taylor, JuanMa Lopez's incredible display of power/volume punching against the unbelievably resilient and courageous Gerry Penalosa, and much, much more in this week's MMMB. Enjoy!


We all knew about Juan Manuel Lopez's power, but what excellent poise and technique from the youngster! His punches are arrow straight, his non-throwing hand is in excellent defensive position at all times, great use of his forearm to control his opponent on the inside and he is extremely aggressive without ever being out of control. I think he is on path to becoming a top 10 pound-for-pound fighter. Would love to see him challenge the top dogs like Celestino Caballero and Israel Vazquez.

I really enjoyed your last report on Pacquiao's final open sparring day. His playing around and catching some good shots worried me a little, but I still feel very strongly that he will dominate Ricky Hatton. I love that 24/7 always makes the public think the underdog has a better chance than they actually do. It's only going to get me better odds when I get to Vegas on Saturday!

The biggest boxing event of the year is only 6 days away, so what's the final prediction from the great Dougie Fischer?

Which bar are you going to be hanging around post/pre-fight? I hope finally meet up with the former Maxboxing Editor-In-Chief, former House-of-Boxing Co-Founder and current reigning Co-Editor of The Bible of Boxing of the World. — JL, San Diego

I’ll stop by any of the bars/lounges in the MGM Grand where I see friendly faces gathered around to talk about boxing and the big May 2 fight, JL. With the work I have to do the week of the fight (video, writing, editing, etc.), I probably won’t be free until late night, but if you recognize me anywhere in the hotel casino don’t be shy about hollering at me.

I think the 24/7 for Hatton-Pacquiao has been one of the best of the series, and I don’t think it’s a mirage that Hatton looks fit, motivated and mentally ready for battle. I’m picking Pacquiao by decision or late stoppage in a tougher than expected fight. In fact, I think Hatton will definitely have his moments in the fight. I don’t see a blowout for Pacquiao, but if does blast Ricky, we all just have to give him his due credit and laud him as the great fighter he is.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the Pacquiao sparring sessions. Even when Manny’s playing around, he’s still giving a lot worse than he’s getting. Antillon has surprised me with his ability to put hands on Pacquiao, but maybe we should just give Urbano credit for his toughness, underrated technique and his continuing improvement.

Regarding JuanMa Lopez pending elite status, I wrote a blog early in the year listing 10 young fighters who will be in the pound-for-pound top 10 by the end of the year and the powerful-but-poised Puerto Rican was on the list. All he needs is a fight with either Izzy Vazquez (who has finally been cleared to train), Rafa Marquez or Celestino Caballero, and he can prove it. I would favor him over all three elite junior featherweights for obvious reasons.


Solid boxing weekend. Cory Spinks-Deandre Latimore fight was far more entertaining then I expected it to be. Danny Jacobs keeps moving up.

Saturday night was great. Hate to disappoint the Carl Froch fans but Jermain Taylor lost that fight. Taylor was dominating the fight and then did his normal after 7 fade. Froch reminds me a lot of Librado Andrade. They both have to hope a skilled fighter gets worn down for them to win. The message boards comparing Froch to Calzaghe are a joke. Good pressure fighter but not much skill. Very entertaining though.

The Allan Green fight looked like a pro vs. an amateur.

JuanMa Lopez is a beast. The combination of skill and power is incredible. I tend to get fanboyish over Latin fighters but Lopez seems to be the real thing. Max Kellerman was right, Gerry Penalosa may not be human. Good decision by Freddie Roach to call it a night.

I have to say after watching the 24/7's Hatton looks motivated and fit. I really can't predict that fight other than it will be worth the PPV $$$$. — Mike

If that’s how you feel about Saturday’s mega-fight, I’d say HBO’s “reality” boxing series did its job. And I’m not slamming the show, I’m enjoying it, and I also foresee a good fight on May 2.

Lopez is the real deal. He’s a beast with brains. He’s dangerous for any 122 pounder or featherweight in the world to tangle with. Penalosa is one of the most well-preserved mid-30s fighters in the world and in recent decades. He’s a physical marvel and his chin, conditioning, and fighting spirit cannot be praised enough. I hope the pounding he took from Lopez didn’t use him up. I still think he’s a force at 118 pounds, or 115 pounds if he can still make that weight. Can you imagine how big a fight between Gerry and Nonito Donaire would be in the Philippines? Talk about passing the torchÔǪ

Green needed a victory like that. Good for him. I’d love to see him take on Froch, Bute, Andrade, or the winner of Ward-Miranda.

I agree with your comparison of Froch and Andrade. Hey, that would be a hell of a matchup, eh? No cat and mouse B.S. with those two, just two scary tough bastards slugging it out.

I thought Taylor was winning the fight but I didn’t think he was dominating. Froch’s toughness kept him in the fight, and with Taylor’s well-known late rounds fade, you had to worry about the former champ when he let Froch off the hook by not going for the KO in the ninth round. I scored rounds four, five, and seven for Froch based on his aggression and activity. I thought he was winning the eighth until Taylor teed off on him with that series of hard hooks and a left uppercut in the final seconds of the round.

Not going for the kill at the start of the ninth will forever haunt Taylor, who I really felt bad for during that terrible beating he took in the final round. He was so damn close. But you just have to give Froch his props for being such a badass; he’s a worthy world titleholder.

I hope Jacobs takes the opportunity to fight on the May 2 undercard. If he does and he beats Mike Walker, he could be on his way to middleweight contender status by the end of the year.

I agree with your thoughts on Spinks-Latimore. It was a good 12-round fight, a good win for Spinks (keeps him in the mix) and a good experience for Latimore. The loss will make him a better fighter.


I have to say that the 12th round of Froch / Taylor was one of the most exciting endings to a fight I have ever witnessed. For pure drama it's with fights like Morales / Barerra, Ward / Gatti, Hagler / Hearns, Barrera / McKinney, Chavez / Taylor and Vasquez / Marquez. The way Froch dropped his hands and walked toward Taylor in the 12th to finish him off was chilling. He looked like Michael Myers the way he stalked him at the end.

I'm also now officially a fan of Gus Johnson. He showed that he really has some good boxing insight with the observations he made calling the fight. I think his call of the fight actually added to the drama at the end. His noting that Froch should loop his right hand (right before he started to) as well as expressing that Taylor might be having flashbacks of Pavlik was good stuff.

One more thing. I actually enjoyed the Cory Spinks fight. With him getting older and losing a step his fights may be a little more entertaining. — J in FLA

I agree that Spinks is more fun to watch now that he can’t move for 12 rounds and his reflexes have faded a bit. He’s kind of like a poor-man’s Pernell Whitaker, who also proved that he’s got the heart to match his skills, once he got too old to run around the ring.

I think Johnson is improving with every broadcast.

That 12th round of Froch-Taylor was thrilling in its dramatic turnaround and chilling in its finality. I watched it with a rather vocal gent who bet on Taylor, so the atmosphere was almost as lively as I’m sure it was in the arena. J

I thought Froch might piss away a tremendous opportunity to win the fight with the manner in which he casually walked down the fast-fading Taylor in the final minute of the bout, but it definitely added to the drama.


What else could you ask for in a fight? Few things in boxing are better than a man getting up off the floor dusting himself off and storming back to win… and HBO passed on this fight? I liked it when it was first announced and it's probably better than most PPV fights that are put on now days… Taylor was faster but man his stamina isn't what it should be for a world class kind of fighter…. especially for a guy who hasn't knocked any one out in a while….. But then again Froch was a big boy and although awkward looking in the ring I am sure his bombs took it toll (like Pavlik’s did) as the fight wore on…..

Here's to more great fights on Cable… — Robbie317

Here’s to more Carl Froch on U.S. cable! I thought Taylor’s superior speed, athleticism and experience would tell over the distance but sometimes will beats skill and Froch proved this in exciting fashion.

I don’t understand why HBO had no problem cutting a check for Taylor-Lacy but dismissed Froch-Taylor. I can see being lukewarm on Taylor fighting the winner of Froch-Pascal for another alphabet title, but once they saw the manner in which Froch won the WBC trinket I think HBO brass should have reconsidered. I think they get caught up in names and name recognition in the States a little too much. Oh well, never let it be said that Showtime’s Ken Hershman doesn’t know a quality match up when he’s presented with one.

I think the combination of Froch’s toughness, iron will and size simply wore Taylor down. Taylor looked great at times during the fight but as usual only during spots. Froch was consistent with his pressure and offense. I’m not going to piss on Taylor’s conditioning because I think Froch can wear down most world-class 168 pounders.


Mr. Fischer,
First, I must congratulate you on your piece about JuanMa Lopez. A couple of months ago when you wrote that article about Miguel Cotto and the Puerto Rican fans, I really hated every line you wrote. I believe that you were completely wrong. I hated how you compared our admiration for our champions.

However, this one article is poetic, almost religious and erotic at the same time. Only, Chegui Torrez had written so beautifully. Paragraphs 3 through 8 were grand. Paragraphs 15, 17, and 18 were out of any league. Your comments comparing JuanMa to other Puerto Rican champions are superb.

Now, as for the subject of the article himself; JuanMa, I agree with you on everything. We are witness to the coming of one of the most exciting boxers of this time. Since, early on, I believe that not since Salvador Sanchez, Bazooka Gomez, and Coloradito Lopez have we seen such a fighter. Still, the Penalosa fight was necessary for him to fully deploy and display his combat skills. No doubt he can be great. I look forward to reading more about him from you Mr. Fischer, “good” or “bad”.

Greatly appreciated. — Luis Rodriguez Otero

Thank you for the very kind praise, Luis.

For the record, I wasn’t trying to be “erotic”, but what the heck, nothing wrong with that, right?

Also, for the record, Miguel Cotto is one of my favorite fighters and Ivan Calderon is one of my favorite boxing people; however, I’m truly excited about watching Lopez fight and develop into one of the top fighters, pound for pound, in the sport.

I think for the sport to be healthy — at least domestically — it needs an active Puerto Rican superstar. Lopez can be that guy, especially if he steps up to featherweight and junior lightweight like he plans. He can do what Gomez did, by winning titles in those three division, but he can be even better (at 126 and 130) because of his obvious discipline.


Dear Dougie,
I am a boxing fan in my early twenties. I've always been a casual fan of the sweet science, but over the past year, I've started to seriously follow the sport (and to think, I live outside of the “sports capital” of America, Boston, where I could be a band wagon fan and root for one of four pro sports teams only because they win), and would like to thank you, as your mailbags are a large part of that; they are the first things I check for on Mondays and Fridays.

Introductions aside, I've always been a fan of Jermain Taylor; I remember him back from his Olympic days. So my question is this–what's next for Jermain? Saturday, to me, played out like a normal Taylor fight form the past few years–strong in the early round, and a disappearance in the late rounds. To be honest, I thought he had Froch in Round 3, (even though I believe Froch had said he was fine in the post fight interview); I just thought Froch was ripe for the taking. Him not going for the KO, and the way he crumpled to the canvas in Round 12, reminded me of his first bout with Pavlik. Then to find out had he survived the final fourteen seconds, he would've won by split decision, was a total let down.

In regards to Froch, would I be mistaken calling him the 168-pound version of Antonio Margarito (minus the wraps)? He has great endurance, pop on his punches, and most notably, a great chin; I actually agreed with Bernstein after the fight–Froch will go as far as his chin will take him. Other than that however, and this may be because I am a relative newcomer to the sport, I wasn't very impressed by Froch. He seemed slow, even in the late rounds when Taylor was tired–he seems to come at you in a straight line. But, in the end, he was able to find Taylor, and take advantage of Taylor's suspect chin (I've always thought so, for what it is worth).

Overall, I thought this was more of a Taylor loss, than a Froch win (if that makes sense). It’s just disappointing to see Taylor always take a commanding lead, and then to squeak out a decision, or throw it away.

Keep up the great work. Sincerely. — Nick in Massachusetts

I think Froch and Margarito are definitely cut from the same cloth. They aren’t terribly skilled, technical or athletically gifted — and they look very easy to beat sitting outside of the ring — but they are tough as nails and they’ve got balls. I’m not going to say Taylor lost Saturday’s fight; that’s just not fair to Froch who proved a lot of know-it-alls wrong (including me). I’m going to give the winner his well-earned props.

We can all talk about how raw or vulnerable he is, but at the end of the day, he’s got the job done 25 times in a row. I’m looking forward to watching his next fight.

As for Taylor, he is what he is: a fast, powerful strong-willed athlete who was groomed to box with an extensive amateur background, but lacks boxing talent. He’s never been relaxed in the ring and he’s never been able to put together a consistent offense or defense. He’s absolutely brilliant in spots when he lets his hands go and runs on instinct, but then there are entire minutes where he’s doing nothing (and I have a feeling that this is when he’s trying to “think” about what to do next and for some reason his entire body stagnates when this happens). The manner in which he fades in big fights makes me want to call him a poor man’s Oscar De La Hoya but that’s not fair to The Golden Boy. De La Hoya knew what to do with a hurt foe; he never would have let Froch off the hook after hurting him in the third round and at the end of the eighth. (Remember what he did to Fernando Vargas in the 11th round after rocking El Feroz at the end of the 10th?)

There are still plenty of top super middleweights that Taylor can beat, but we have to wonder what the Froch fight took out of him, and we have to wonder if he can ever handle a big, strong, iron-chinned fighter who applies steady pressure like Froch, Librado Andrade and Sakio Bika.

I think Taylor can still make some noise in the division, but I believe he has to beat Froch in a rematch to do so. He’s obviously got the ability to do so, but there’s the risk that he might take another late-rounds beating to the British banger, which probably would put an end to his career.


Hey Dougie:
Quick thoughts. JuanMa looked great and being the biased, trying-to-be-objective Puerto Rican I am, I'm thrilled. He did look gassed in the final rounds, obviously due to the amount of punches thrown. I kept thinking that from the 6th round onward, once it was obvious that Penalosa was not going anywhere, he should have maintained distance, pace himself and outbox and outwork the guy. He was dominant from the outside. I guess the crowd got the better of him and the corner. Yet the risk paid out since now he is the only boxer ever to stop Gerry “The Energizer Bunny” Penalosa (and going, and going). The Compubox record is a nice touch too, but hopefully he will not try to break it anytime soon.

On Taylor/Froch, not much to say other than I'm glad to see Froch's determination pay out. I'll gladly watch him fight again. Taylor really needs to start working on that gym he plans to open once he is finished being a professional boxer. I'm not saying he is finished or “exposed”, just that he has done enough and it’s taken its toll. While he can beat many top contenders, any pressure fighter with a chin will cause him to break down nervously and end up TKO’d. Cue Glen Johnson, Arthur Abraham, etc. I wouldn't like him becoming an opponent; and that's where he seems to be headed after this loss.

24/7 is just 24/7. It does pump me up, yet it has become obvious that much of it is staged as opposed to bringing the real preparation of both fighters. Still, that's what a reality show is, right? Anyway, I think this fight is closer than what most people think. I believe Manny will have to suck it up as he did in the Marquez fights, which I thought were both a draw. Yet I agree, Pacquiao late stoppage with a barrage of punches.

Give me your thoughts. Take Care!!

(P.S. It's been a long time so I have to bring this up. I cracked up when, at the start of your post-fight interview with Valero, Edwin looked at you as if saying “Hey, WTF are YOU doing here?”. You did a great job calling that PPV, by the way. Now, if only that beaver tail behind your head disappeared, you could end up in the Big Leagues – Showtime, HBO.) — Roberto, Puerto Rico

I noticed that when I was in the ring with Valero. For a split second when he turned to see me he was like “YOU!?” It was funny. Almost as funny as my raccoon tail (come on man, beaver tails are flat). I’m open to cutting the damn thing off, but producers and agents have told me to keep the tail and the glasses — I guess they think it helps set me apart from other boxing broadcasters (as if being a half-black-half-white nerd who looks 15 years old and has a voice like Kermit the Frog doesn’t set me apart enough).

Anyway, I agree that Pacquiao will have to work to get his victory against Hatton.

I also agree that big, strong pressure fighting masters like Froch, Librado Andrade, and Glen Johnson will beat Taylor nine out of 10 times at 168 pounds or heavier. Abraham is not a pressure fighter. He’s very strong boxer who can explode at his opponents at any time from any angle — in many ways, he’s a better version of Taylor. I’d pick him to beat Taylor, who can still be a threat to limited brawlers like Edison Miranda and to boxers like Andre Ward, Allan Green, and Anthony Mundine. If he fights a 40-year-old light heavyweight it better be Roy Jones and not Glen Johnson.

Penalosa brought out the best in Lopez, in my opinion. We know he can bang, hardcore fans and Puerto Rican fans have seen him box effectively from a distance, but Saturday night we saw some new things from him.

I loved the pressure, body attack and volume punching JuanMa put on the old man. He won’t have to drop that many punches on anyone anytime soon because nobody by Penalosa could have taken that beating.


Taylor is finished as a real title contender I think. Froch went 12 hard rounds with Jean Pascal in the UK and then Taylor losses to him by KO in the States? Naw man, Taylor is finished.

I had never had a chance to see Juan Manuel Lopez fight before. I have seen Penalosa, and I was worried about him. You have to have punching power in boxing, if you cant back your opponent off you’ll get hurt. I thought this fight should have been stopped earlier. It was reminding me of Victor Burgos against Vic Darchinyan.

One more thing, Doug, I think Hatton will get flattened. I don’t care how many Mayweathers he has in his corner, Pacquiao is too strong, too fast, too good, too left handed. I think Hatton got too much credit for the Malignaggi win. Yes he looked good, but he was fighting someone who he KNEW couldn’t hurt him. Once he gets nailed by Pacman a couple of times we’ll see… Pac in less than 9rds. Have a good one man. — Steve, Montreal

We’ll see what happens this Saturday. I don’t think it will be an easy fight for Pacquiao, but I don’t put it past the Pac-Monster to blow anyone 140 pounds or less out if he puts it all together and catches them cold.

You have a point about the Lopez-Penalosa fight, although I can understand why they let it go even though the veteran clearly lacked the power to hurt JuanMa or the size and strength to push him back. Lopez had not gone past three rounds in a year and a half, and the amount of punches he threw (most of them hard shots) would have wasted a normal fighter. Roach and Penalosa took a gamble by going those final three rounds. They thought the young man would slow down — he didn’t, which let the boxing world know that Lopez is no joke.

Some will say he beat an old man Saturday night, but nobody had made Penalosa look old before. You can say Lopez beat a smaller man, however. That’s true. Here’s who I’d like to see Lopez fight next: Isreal Vazquez or Celestino Caballero at 122 pounds, Yuriorkis Gamboa or Steven Luevano at 126 pounds, and then Jorge Linares or Robert Guerrero at 130 pounds.

I could be wrong but I think Taylor can still make a good living as a world-class prize fighter for another year or so.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]