Tuesday, May 30, 2023  |


Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

Fighters Network


Mr. Fischer,
Chad Dawson's fight last night with Antonio Tarver reminded me of Michael Nunn's showing in August 1989 against Iran Barkley. After his impressive title-winning performance against then-undefeated Frank Tate and his first-round blowout of Sumbu Kalambay, many people were high on Nunn. In fact, going into the fight with Barkley, one magazine (KO?) even had Nunn rated #3 PFP, behind Mike Tyson and Julio Cesar Chavez.

Well, Nunn phoned in his performance that night, doing just enough to outpoint the much-slower Barkley. The showing was so uninspired that even Nunn's promoter badmouthed him after the fight, and HBO also seemed to quickly lose interest in him.

What does not bode well for Dawson is that, despite the fact that he had (arguably) more talent to fall back on and a much deeper pool of potential opponents with which to re-establish himself, Nunn's career never really recovered. If I were Dawson, I'd insist on a Glenn Johnson rematch right now. Even though it's a tough fight, an impressive victory might be the only way he ever regains his momentum. — Iowa boxing fan

That’s an interesting comparison — Nunn with Dawson. I’m sure many fans would agree with the analogy. Like Nunn in his prime, Dawson is an athletically gifted southpaw with good technique and blazing hand and foot speed, but possessing less than world-class power.

However, unlike Nunn, Dawson is a family man with his head screwed on straight. That’s why I believe he has a bright future and will recover from the ebb he’s currently experiencing in his career momentum.

The real reason Nunn never realized his potential is that he wasn’t mentally strong enough to deal with the pressure that came with being a celebrity boxer in the late 1980s. He developed a drug problem that eventually landed his butt in prison.

I don’t see that happening with Dawson, who didn’t have the best camp, probably wasn’t 100-percent healed from his hand injury, and fought a flat fight Saturday night. Nunn did indeed mail it in against Barkley. That’s not the case with Dawson. He was giving it his all against Tarver. I think he tried too hard to take out the veteran over the first half of the fight, winded himself to an extent and gave Tarver opportunities to nail him in return.

If he had boxed the way he did in the first fight, I think he would have had an easier night (even though he still might have been criticized by some for his performance).

I think the rematch with Johnson is a given. Who else is out there for Dawson at 175 pounds? Apart from Hopkins, who’s the other light heavyweight standout that would make for an HBO-worthy main event vs. Dawson? Tavoris Cloud is still under the radar and he hasn’t fought since he wore down Julio Gonzalez. Adrian Diacanu could make for a lively atmosphere in Montreal, but he’s still an unknown in the States and needs to bounce back from his lackluster rust-shaking performance against journeyman David Whittom last month.

Since Hopkins is going to ask for money that isn’t available for a regular HBO broadcast, I think Johnson is the prime candidate for Dawson’s next fight. The Road Warrior is known, respected and available. And a lot of observers (I’m not on of them) believe he beat Dawson in their first fight, so there’s a story with that fight. Honestly, if Dawson boxes Johnson the way he stuck-and-moved against Tarver in their first fight, I think he’ll beat Gentleman Glen in decisive fashion.


hey dougie, first time writing to you since you left maxboxing. glad to see your still doing a stellar job.

dawson vs tarver:

man was it hard to watch after last saturday. is it just me, but i'm less and less impressed with dawson. the guy has all the tools but there's something missing. i really think that if he had pressed a little more he could have taken (and should've taken) tarver out around the 8 or 9 round. on tarver's side, despite the efforts he looked horrible.

i don't know if you agree with me, but i feel that after that performance b-hop is gonna start to call him out. by the way, did he really say that he would like to fight taylor?

my two cents on pacman:

he's my favorite fighter. right now he is the best pfp, but to all those that are saying that he would beat all the greats from the past, take a chill pill. as great as he is i really feel that despite his improvement, we are a little blinded by his spectacular performances. Let’s see him again against marquez and then mayweather, and mosley.

(ps, i have a feeling that all those guys that wrote to you last week would've told you in 1987 that mike tyson would've knockout joe louis in the second round.)

(pps, what do you think of andre berto-juan urango. i think that urango could knock him out.) — simon, montr├®al

Although I thought Luis Collazo narrowly outpointed Berto in their barnburner earlier this year, that fight earned the WBC beltholder my respect. And I think the 24 rounds he went with Steve Forbes and Collazo has given him the experience he needs to box a disciplined fight against a puncher like Urango. I think Berto will dominate the Colombian over 12 rounds.

You are absolutely right about today’s Pac-Maniacs, they are just like prime Tyson (or prime Roy Jones Jr.) fans in jumping the gun on their hero’s “greatness”; and sadly, I’ve discovered that some of them are just as rude and obnoxious as those nut cakes from previous decades.

I’m a little surprised by the number of fans who have jumped off the Dawson bandwagon based on one so-so outing. Call it a hunch, but I think you guys are all going climb back on by the end of this year.

Dawson tried his best to KO Tarver and that’s probably the main reason he didn’t look as sharp as he did in the first bout. Tarver’s a crafty SOB with a great chin; he knows how to survive. He’s a veteran’s veteran and he’s one of the proudest fighters I’ve ever covered; however, I agree that despite his game effort, he looked like an old fighter. Tarver’s legs had no bounce, his reflexes were off, and most of his punches lacked snap.

I’m sure Hopkins saw a young fighter with more than a few flaws that he could exploit, but the future hall of famer is also a businessman (and a promoter) and I don’t think he’ll fight anyone who can’t bring dollars and fans to the table. Right now, Dawson falls into that category, so I doubt B-Hop will be calling him out anytime soon.

I didn’t hear Dawson call out Taylor, but I think his promoter, Gary Shaw, mentioned the former middleweight champ’s name at the post-fight press conference. Whatever.


Hi Dougie,
I saw an internet stream of your broadcast of the Dawson-Tarver rematch on Saturday. I wasn't excited enough about this fight to bother rounding up people to watch it with, and the resulting action in the ring seemed to justify that decision.

However, I was wondering, how do you rate Dawson in a pound-for-pound sense after his last 3 or 4 fights? It strikes me that if Roy Jones Jr, for instance, were to have a similar run against Tarver and Glenn Johnson, people (or at least Roy himself) would be saying that Roy's back, and primed for renewed assault on the p4p crown, a la Shane Mosley or Bernard Hopkins. Somehow, I just don't see Dawson getting that kind of lift from a year such as this last one. — gopal rao

I think Dawson is just outside of the top 10. Had he looked sharp against Tarver, knocked the former champ out or at least down a few times, I would have included him in MY pound-for-pound top-10 list, which certainly should not be confused with the P4P rankings of THE RING or Yahoo! Sports.

I think Dawson can still break into the top 10 this year, depending on who he fights and the performance he puts forth. If he were to decisively beat Tomasz Adamek (in a rematch for the cruiserweight title), Mikkel Kessler (at 168 or 175 pounds), or Glen Johnson, most of the same folks who are currently giving him s__t will probably compare him to the super middleweight version of Roy Jones.


Howdy, Dougie?
It seems I'm falling completely ill whenever I'm writing to you. Now I'm down with the flu. Nevertheless, I'm delighted to see Chad Dawson getting over this boring Tarver-page for the second time. Good for him.

I saw you were delighted by Ismayl Sillakh during his win over David Whittom. I saw Whittom in Moscow when he gave a hell to then-unbeaten cruiser prospect Mikhail Nasyrov. So, Sillakh is impressive. But, actually I'm not that high on him. He lost hopelessly to Matvey Korobov in WC 2005 finals and he seems to lose something in the most meaningful fights. I hope he will overcome this tendency and become something special in future.

The point is that the next light heavyweight star can be already developing in Kazakhstan. I'm talking about Beibut Shumenov who is just 8-0 but got the rid of both Byron Mitchell and Montell Griffin plus Epi Mendoza. Impressive, isn't it? I know both veterans are shot and Mendoza definitely isn't a world-beater but, hey, that strikes me anyway, whatd'ya think?

Cheers. — Alex (Moscow)

As long as the swine flu hasn’t hit Russia, don’t sweat it, homie.

Right now we can’t even compare Shumenov to Sillakh. Shumenov is far more advanced despite only having eight pro bouts. The 2004 Olympian has been fighting in scheduled 12 rounders for a year. He’s already defeated two former world titleholders.

Sillakh is still fighting in six rounders. And although he dominated and stopped Whittom — who went the distance with Nasyrov, current titleholder Adrian Diacanu, and former beltholder Manny Siaca — he was rocked in the fifth round of that bout. ‘Nuff said.

However, Sillakh has a very sound technical foundation and good fighter instincts from what I see. He’s also in a good gym environment here in Southern California, where he trains at the same gym as James Toney and Lamon Brewster and spars with quality fighters like Ola Afolabi. I think he will continue to improve.

I wouldn’t hold it against him at all that he lost to Korobov in the amateurs. Korobov is a monster.

I’m also glad that Dawson is done with Tarver. I think the 24 rounds he went with the former champ will serve him well against younger, more aggressive boxers. Bring on Mikkel Kessler, Allan Green, and Tavoris Cloud.


Hey Doug Master
You got a great thing here at RingTV.com and you definitely know what your talking about. I enjoy reading your column and your Mail Bags and I agree with just about everything you talk about unless your speaking about Pacquiao or Marquez. (Yes, I'm one of those fans, just that I'm not crazy as some Pacquiao worshipers.) I just feel that in a way, Marquez is getting robbed from credit while Pacquiao is being handed a little more credit and here is my proof:

1. I had Marquez winning against Pacquiao in their 2nd bout. (Just as everyone in my gym did.)
2. When Pacquiao went to fight David Diaz, Marquez one up'd him and beat Joel Casamayor to win the Lightweight Championship.
3. Pacquiao went to fight an old, drained De La Hoya and Marquez one up'd him by beating a young Baby Bull Diaz (which is still candidate for fight of the year).
4. Finally, Pacquiao fights Hatton and Marquez one ups him once again by going to fight Mayweather (an undefeated former P4P fighter).

So there is no doubt that Marquez is my P4P Champion but I would just like for others to kinda see it my way instead of people just talking out of their butts claiming that Pacquiao is the best ever and could even beat prime Mike Tyson if they would meet. I just feel that Pacquiao is getting more attention and credit for facing rather good fighters, while Marquez is not getting the attention he deserves for facing harder and tougher challenges than Pacquiao. I guess what I’m trying to say is that lower quality fights are getting more money, more publicity, and more attention than greater quality fights. Larry Merchant said it best: “Boxing is like a box of chocolates,” and it seems to me that we have been getting better tasting chocolates from the Marquez fights than the Pacquiao fights.

I just felt that those things had to be said. Keep up the good work and good luck with your career. — Peter, Houston, TX

Thanks Peter. You can certainly argue that Juan Manuel Marquez is every bit as good (or great) as Manny Pacquiao. I won’t disagree. You can call him your pound-for-pound No. 1 fighter. You’re not going to get a debate from me.

Regarding your four points:

1. I scored both Marquez-Pacquiao bouts draws. (Yeah, I know, I should go into politics.)
2. I agree.
3. Marquez’s performance vs. Juan Diaz was one of the best of this decade. No argument there. However, while De La Hoya was perceived as a somewhat faded fighter going into the Pacquiao fight, he wasn’t thought to be “shot” or weight-drained until they got into the ring, and after the bout. I’m not going to detract from Pacquiao’s performance. He fought a perfect fight and he took the gamble of leapfrogging the 140-pound division to do it. (It wasn’t as impressive as Shane Mosley doing the same thing vs. a prime De La Hoya in 2000, but not too shabby for a former flyweight titleholder.)
4. Everyone knows that Mayweather is a far superior fighter than Hatton, but JMM hasn’t fought “Needs Money” yet. Pacquiao wiped his ass with Hatton. We must give him credit for that. We should commend Marquez for fighting Mayweather, but he hasn’t fought Mr. Ego yet, so we have to hold off on giving him pound-for-pound cred for now.

If Marquez beats Mayweather I think most fans and most of the media will see things your way.


Safe Dougie,
You appear to be the only boxing pundit who is able to offer insightful and consistent commentary on boxing. Firstly I'd like to thank you on not falling into the Manny Mania that is sweeping the boxing world, there is no doubt he is a great fighter but whether he stands alongside the all time greats remains to be seen.

I am a proud Englishman and I would love to see an Amir Khan-Edwin Valero showdown. It has the makings of a fight of the year and I wonder what are the chances, or does the khan camp see it as too much of a risk after Prescott.

I'd also see how people seem to be writing David Haye off but don't be at all surprised if he beats Wladimir Klitchsko and if he does then he could have a superfight with Chris Arreola which I think could freshen up the heavyweight division and give boxing another true great rivalry.

I'd also like to ask you who do you see making a big splash this year, we here have a guy called Frankie Gavin who is getting some attention. Could you give me another few names who are going to be big names in the future.
Thanks. — Josh, London

Big names? This year? I don’t know if there’s anyone on the U.S. scene poised to make a really big name for himself THIS year. If Arreola were to beat one of the Klitschkos or David Haye (if the bold Brit pulled off the upset this summer), I think he has the right ingredients (being a personable heavyweight slugger of Mexican descent) to become an instant major attraction. But I don’t see anyone else doing that in just one or two bouts.

However, there are many talented young guns with promise, including two of the fighters you mentioned, Khan and Valero, plus Nonito Donaire, Victor Ortiz, Alfredo Angulo, and Brain Viloria who have the potential to develop into TV stars and/or bona fide attractions in the next 18 months.

I’ve heard of Gavin. He’s a junior welterweight who won the 2007 world amateur championships, right? I’ll be watching his development. A few other amateur standouts from the 2008 class worthy of watching were mentioned by Alex from Moscow in this mailbag — Shumenov, Korobov and Sillakh.

Regarding a Valero-Kahn showdown, I don’t see it happening this year. Kahn is scheduled to face Andreas Kotelnik on June 27 for the Ukrainian’s WBA 140-pound title. If Kahn wins that fight, he’s going to stay at 140 pounds. Valero is a lightweight stud who is still unknown to casual fans. I think Kahn is better off fighting Kotelnik, who is a tough cookie but doesn’t possess bone-breaking power like “my son”. From what I’ve seen of Valero in the gym, he knows how to fight tall, rangy boxers. I think he would have blasted Kahn out in two or three rounds had they fought this year.

I favor Wladimir over Haye, but I won’t count the former cruiserweight champ out. He’s like a giant Valero. He’s got obvious defensive flaws but his dynamic athleticism, speed, power and unrelenting self-believe make him a threat to anyone he fights regardless of their experience or skill level.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]