Monday, May 29, 2023  |


Dougie’s FAT Friday mailbag

Fighters Network


What up dude? Because of the recession, low pay-per-screw sales and crappy ratings, the powers that be are starting see the light as far as bringing the game back to the people.

Every time Cory Spinks fights here the house is packed. The fight with Deandre Latimore wasn't even promoted worth a crap and they still had a decent turn out. Anyway, a monthly boxing series in L A. can only be a good thing for the game. Hopefully it catches on in different cities. Holla back!

(p.s. I was watching some of my old tapes and saw a couple of Ricardo Lopez fights. Maaan, that dude was a beast. Best fighter that I've ever seen from a technical standpoint. Too bad he wasn't really showcased until he started getting long in the tooth. If I allowed myself to have a favorite fighter it would be him or Hopkins.) — Fleetwood, St. Louis, MO

Finito Lopez was one of the best all-around fighters I ever covered live (along with Mark Johnson, Bernard Hopkins, Juan Manuel Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera, and the 130-pound version of Floyd Mayweather Jr.). Even in his final years, he was a more calculating version of JM Marquez with the one-punch finishing power of Rafael at 118 pounds. He had the answer for any style; and that answer was usually “final”.

The majority of this year’s American world-class boxing cards taking place in U.S. markets like L.A., Houston, Austin, San Jose, St. Louis, Newark, Chicago, New York, Hollywood, Fla., Sunrise, Fla., and Oakland (tomorrow’s Ward-Miranda showdown) will help the U.S. boxing scene tremendously going into the 2010s. The casino business model was killing the fan support for the sport.

An on-going monthly club show in the heart of downtown L.A. (and in area that’s not a run-down dump) should do a lot to revamp the Southern California boxing scene.

Right now the gym scene is strong, but the actual boxing scene is pretty weak. The gym scene would be hotter if there were more shows to keep the young talent busy. What made L.A. a hotbed for boxing in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s were all the fight cards that took place here.

The Olympic and the Forum had weekly shows until the early1980s. Forum Boxing, the Jerry Buss-owned promotional company that ran the shows at the Forum in the ’80s and ’90s, were still doing bi-weekly shows (though not at the same venue) when I arrived to L.A. in 1993.

There were still quality monthly shows being held at the Forum and at the Olympic (run by Peter Broudy in the mid-90s and by Top Rank in the late-90s) when I started covering the sport. I cut my boxing writer’s teeth covering those shows which showcased fighters like Floyd Mayweather, Rafael Marquez, Acelino Freitas, Diego Corrales, Daniel Santos, and Lamon Brewster when they were still considered prospects.

Now we’ll see some homegrown talent come up on the “Fight Night Club” series, the way Shane Mosley, Genaro Hernandez, the Ruelas brothers and many others did before my time as a boxing writer. And thanks to Versus, and Yahoo! Sports, you’ll get to see local young guns like 20-year-old Luis Ramos (a lightweight stud, IMO) prove himself. By the way, thanks to sponsors like Quaker State and Vitamin Water there’s no charge on those internet broadcasts. Come on, I know you guys get sick of Richard Schaefer talking about sponsors, but you gotta like that!


Good Day, Doug:
In watching and re-watching the Pacquiao-Hatton bout on HBO, there is something about Manny's intensity and fury that reminds me an awful lot of a 140-pound Roberto Duran, circa '78 – '79.

I'm wondering what your take would be on this dream match, as I might blasphemously suggest that Pacquiao might well have beaten that very version of Duran considering his edge in speed and new-found defensive aptitude. (Then again, Duran had a helluva lot stiffer chin than the majority of those Manny has cracked.)

And since I'm talking supposition, what would be your take on a Floyd Mayweather-Pernell Whitaker scrap at 147-ish? As good as “Money” is, I can't imagine he'd have out-slicked a prime (or barely faded) “Sweat Pea.”

Anyway, just throwing those out for fun. Keep up the great work. — Chaz

Thanks, Chazz. I know I’m not going make any friends among ‘Manny Nation’ with this opinion but knowing what I know about and seeing what I’ve seen of Hands of Stone and the Pac-Monster I truly believe that Duran would have stomped a mud hole in Pacquiao’s ass at 135, 140 and 147 pounds. The Panamanian is just a much better fighter — with the style, technique, ring IQ and ferocity to not just give Manny fits, but kick his ass — it’s as simple as that. And I sincerely apologize to all the Pac-Fanatics who take these mythical matchups WAY too seriously. Like your hero is found of saying, folks, “Nothing personal”.

As for the Whitaker-Mayweather matchup, I like Sweet Pea by very boring UD. I was more impressed with the welterweight version of Whitaker than I was of his lightweight days. He stood his ground more, used both hands in combination, went the body, and was just as elusive as he was as stick-and-move lightweight; plus I respect that he fought JC Chavez in San Antonio, a smart boxer like Buddy McGirt twice, and a badass like JC Vazquez at 154 pounds. Whitaker was a hell of a boxer, but he was also a fighter at heart. He never avoided anyone, which can’t be said for Mayweather.


i understand that you arent impressed or think very much about floyd. to each his own and im interested in what you'll say after he beat the no 1 & 2 lb for lb fighters this yr. why is it that you call floyd “needs money” when sports illustated and forbes dont seem to agree with you? — davictor2

Maybe I know something that SI and Forbes don’t.

You can’t say that I’m not impressed with Mayweather or that I think “little” of him. I’ve praised his talent, skill and technique on record many times.

He was in my top 5 or 6 P4P rankings from 2001 until he retired. In one article I compared him to a few all-time greats and to his elite peers and I gave him a very favorable rating. Read this story:

Unlike most fight fans, my opinions are on record. Anyone who says I’m not fair to Mayweather is either a Pretty Boy nut-hugger or a dips__t (maybe that’s redundant).

So what if I don’t like him? What’s so likeable about his personality? The bottom line is that I always gave him respect for his accomplishments.

I said he was on his way to being a great fighter when he was a still a junior lightweight, I just don’t think he’s performed or behaved like the best fighter in the world since he left the 135-pound division. When I expressed this opinion back in 2005 and 2006, I was in the minority. I’m not anymore; and Mayweather’s choices in and out of the ring have helped to support my opinion.

Anyway, if Mayweather beats both Marquez and Pacquiao — and it’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility — I’ll give him the credit he deserves depending on his performances. Even if he stinks it out in both fights he’ll probably earn a No. 1 ranking from Yours Truly.


Dear Dougie,
Your mailbag demonstrates that considerable heat can be generated by debates about PFP placings. In the UK, fierce arguments can be generated amongst boxing fans over the relative merits of Calzaghe and Hatton. Whilst I would largely hold the view that the way to determine who is the better fighter is to let them fight, so comparing fighters from different weight classes or different eras is a highly academic exercise, I would be interested in your view on these two popular Brits.

For what it is worth if I were comparing who each beat, I would say that Tszyu is worth more than Eubank; Hopkins more than Castillo; Reid and Collazo are probably worth about the same as are Lacy and Maglinaggi. For me that leaves Jones and Kessler as leftover scalps of note for Calzaghe whereas the rest of Hatton's victims are much lesser names.

I do not hold Hatton's losses against him as Calzaghe never fought anyone as good in their primes – although the manner of Ricky's defeats did make him look a clear class below his opponents.

For me, Calzaghe is the clear winner here, helped by a classier – but arguably just as exciting – style. I won’t be airing these views in any pub in Manchester, though. What do you think – you have already made enemies in the Americas and Asia, so why not add Europe to your list? — Xavier Woodward, Leeds, England

I rank fighters in the pound-for-pound sense the same way you do, Xavier, by analyzing the quality of their competition. I agree with your take on Calzaghe and Hatton. I think the Welshman is by far the superior boxer and has had a slightly more accomplished career (in terms of titles won and opposition defeated; certainly not in terms of popularity or money made).

Regarding “enemies” form various countries, hey, the more the merrier.


Hi Doug,
I do think JM Marquez is a little bit overrated. Not to take anything away from him, he's a great fighter and there couldn't be any number 2 pound for pound. I just don't see his wins against Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz as that great. He did give Pacquiao hell but I think its more on Pacquiao's mistakes because he was the aggressor. And I think only Pacquiao can bring the best out of JMM. Nevertheless, there is nothing to take away from that as it was one of the best fights in this decade.

Casamayor was argued that he was not the same fighter he once was against Stanta Cruz and Katsidis. Against JMM, he fought hard but I don't think he turned back time with that performance, because if he did, he wouldn't have lost by knock out. Diaz, on the other hand, was made for Marquez. He's young, makes mistakes and a brawler which is perfect for JMM as was Pacquiao. It was also evident that at lightweight, he was not as quick as he used to, what more can he do against “Needs Money” at welterweight? Come July 18, I'm rooting for JMM because I don't think “Needs Money” and his mouth is good for boxing.

Marquez deserves all the credit in the world but I think it’s already too much. I don't think his wins are that impressive because there aren't any risks. He won't be number 2 if Calzaghe didn't retire and I doubt you guys will move Calzaghe down for a Marquez victory against Diaz. I hope that Oscar owning The Ring…never mind. So what are you're thoughts? — John, New Zealand

Marquez deserves to be No. 2 pound-for-pound and that opinion has nothing to do with Golden Boy Promotions’ owning The Ring. He almost beat the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter twice (and many observers believe he did), and he’s kicked major butt against good-to-elite opposition in three weight classes.

With his skill, technique, courage, longevity and accomplishments, I don’t think you can overrate Marquez.

It’s silly to discount his performances against Pacquiao because you think the Filipino hero “made mistakes” and was the “aggressor’. Both fighters made mistakes (ALL fighters make mistakes) and both were aggressive in different parts of both fights.

While it’s true Casamayor was clearly getting long in the tooth, he was still a very accomplished bad ass going into the Marquez fight. He proved that by getting off the canvas to decapitate Katsidis. I mean, how can dismiss a guy who fights the late Diego Corrales three times, and who gave both Acelino Freitas and Jose Luis Castillo hell? None of those big punchers could take Casamayor out; but Marquez did. Props to him. Period.

I disagree that Diaz had a style made for Marquez. I think the young man’s pressure fighting tactics and heavy volume punching was the worst thing an aging, naturally smaller fighter would want to deal with. There was nothing “perfect” about that matchup for Marquez. He had to survive pure hell for four or five rounds, and he was shook more than once by Diaz’s assault; he won that fight with his guts, guile and world-class conditioning. That’s what kept him upright long enough to finally break through and hurt the younger man. The manner in which he seized that opportunity and took Diaz out is the stuff of a true elite fighter.


Hello Dougie,
Really looking forward to Klitschko v Haye – and I think it’s the first time in a while that any of us could say that about a heavyweight bout.

What do you make of Sir Henry Cooper’s comments this week about David Haye’s conduct in the build up to the fight? In short, he labeled it a “disgrace”, particularly that now-infamous t-shirt. He went on to say that in his day they didn’t need to do this kind of thing, and that Ali (whom he fought twice) always had a glint in his eye when he was badmouthing his opponent pre-fight. I have to say that from all the footage I’ve seen of Ali, particularly in documentaries on his rivalry with Frazier, I wouldn’t agree that this was always the case. Calling Frazier “Uncle Tom”, for example, was a grave insult at that time and Ali certainly appeared to show some malice with these kinds of comments.

So do you think that Haye has gone over the top with his conduct, and that they never used to go that far “back in the day”, or would you agree that he’s merely doing a great job of selling the fight? All the best. — Tom, Oxford , England

I’m fine with trash talking as long as the fighter backs it up in the ring, and Haye strikes me as the kind of fighter who will always attempt to make good on his brash predictions, however, the T-shirt with the bloody decapitations went too far, in my opinion. That was just disgusting and inappropriate, especially to two fighters as classy and accomplished as the Klitschko brothers. You can say the Klitschkos are boring, but you can’t say that they don’t represent the sport in a dignified manner.

I hope I don’t come off as an old fuddy duddy, but I agree with Sir Henry. I think Haye made himself look bad with that awful T-shirt.


Good Day Mr. Dougie Fischer,
First time writing you since you've changed address from Maxboxing to 🙂

Anyway, as you know, like my fellow Filipinos, to us Pacman is King. And I personally feel bad that some of them turned out to be quite obnoxious with the way they defend Pacquiao when in fact some of them don't even know who Arguello, Duran, et al, are. But I tell you what, despite Pacman's popularity here in our country, many are now a thousand pesos poorer (yep, like Mexico, that's our currency) by betting against Manny and that includes 3 of my buddies. LOL.

Some questions by the way:

1. I've read that Freddie the great coach Roach is considering a “tune up” fight for Manny before a megafight against li'l Floyd and that turned out to be Jr. Welter titlist Timothy Bradley. Assuming he beats Bradley, would a victory over this undefeated champ contribute something to his career or at least as one of the best jr. welter champ of all time?

2. If a pound for pound battle between Manny and “Money” won't come into fruition (disagreement over purse split probably), who would end up a greater fighter between the two P4P kings (assuming Mayweather beats Marquez)?

3. I think a mythical 140 lb match up between Julio Cesar Chavez and Pacquiao is a total war, don't you think?

4. How would Kelly Pavlik match up against these guys:
Arthur Abraham @ 160
Paul Williams @ 160
Felix Strum @ 160
Mikkel Kessler @ catchweight (166 perhaps)
Lucian Bute @ catchweight or supermiddle
Librado Andrade @ 168

Thanks a lot. Godbless and more power to your new gig @ — Adrian the Ace, Philippines

Thanks Adrian. I’ll answer your questions in order:

1)A victory over a young titleholder (and THE RING’s No. 1 contender at 140 pounds) Bradley would further support Pacquiao’s status as the best junior welterweight in the world and the best fighter, pound for pound. It wouldn’t do much in terms of his all-time ranking at 140 pounds. I mean, how does being 2-0 at junior welterweight (against Hatton and Bradley) compare with the accomplishments of great 140-pound champs like Barney Ross, Carlos Ortiz, Antonio Cervantes and Aaron Pryor? It doesn’t. It doesn’t even compare with the accomplishments of Kostya Tszyu.


3)It would be a hell of fight. I favor Pacquiao by close decision (over 12 rounds) in that one.

4)Pavlik gets outpointed by Abraham, Kessler and Williams, knocks out Sturm, catches Bute in the late rounds, and narrowly outpoints Andrade in a war.


Imagine Freddie Roach as Edwin Valero’s trainer. I was just reading Thomas Hauser’s article on MaxB. And Freddie stated how good Paq was 8yrs ago when he walked into his gym, but he became great because he listens, works hard and trains hard. We all know “your son” is a beast (you must be proud) but with the schooling of a Freddie Roach I believe the sky would be the limit for him. Can you imagine the technique, defense and counter-punching Freddie could instill in Valero? The man would be f%$king invincible. I also wanted to get you’re thoughts on a Paq/Valero fight if it happened in July just before the need$/JMM showdown.

Personally I will always pick Valero going into a fight (call it biased bcuz of you, but anyone who can pick Lamont Brewster to beat Klit and pick wright/taylor a draw before it happens, knows what the f%$k they are talking about) BUT I just think Valero would be catching Manny at the worst time right now. Manny is on top of the world and he’s just ready to throw down with anyone. I just think he’s too hot and to “in the zone” for Valero to deal with..Naaaa I take it back, Valero by TKO in 7. Peace out Doug! — Mark Orlando, FL

I don’t know about Valero catching Pac at the wrong time. Maybe this is the right time with Manny being more popular and lauded than ever. How do you get up for Valero after stopping De La Hoya and KOing Hatton in huge mega events? Pacquiao has fought below his best in recent years when he didn’t think he was in against a threat, and with Valero it only takes one punch.

Anyway, your question is how good would Valero be if he was trained by Roach and my answer is that he would be the exact same guy. Roach can’t make Valero a better fighter right now. Nobody can, because Valero wants to be the boss in the gym and he’s not going to change that much because what he’s been doing so far had earned him 25 consecutive KOs.

He’s just like Pacquiao used to be before the Filipino lost to Morales. That version of Pacquiao had more technical flaws than Valero does now even though he had 42 pro bouts under his belt. His chin was in the air, he had no jab or right hook, he would back straight up whenever he was nailed, and he lunged forward and lifted his left foot off the canvas every time he shot that straight left out.

Roach was trying to instill defense, technique and offense with both hands for years (2001-2004) with Pacquiao but the fighter had to be humbled with a loss before he allowed Freddie to be the absolute boss in the gym. Prior to that fight, Manny did what Roach asked in the gym but wasn’t really listening or trying to understand WHY they were working on certain things. And he didn’t always back down to Roach on some issues (like letting his fans in to watch him train). After the first Morales fight, Pac began to add wrinkles to his game, but he didn’t really put it all together until last year.

It takes time to mold a complete fighter. It took Roach seven years with Pacquiao. It took Bouie Fisher about the same time, maybe more, with Bernard Hopkins. And both future hall of famers lost a fight and suffered a draw along the way. Valero is a bright guy like Pac and Nard, but he’s also young and brash and stubborn. He may never develop into a complete fighter, or it might take a loss to bring him down to earth long enough for him to listen to his coach.