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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mail Bag

31
May

BERTO DID WELL

Hey Doug,
I thought Andre Berto put on a very good performance. Yeah, it would've been nice if he knocked Juan Urango out, but he definitely showed that he can box and that he's in great shape. As a boxing fan, I definitely think he can step into a ring with the elite welterweights.

Which brings me to Max Kellerman. I like his straight-up, no BS commentary, but it would be nice if he was a little more enthusiastic about the skill Berto displayed instead of questioning his draw. As a commentator, Max's opinions weigh heavily on the public mind. Don't get me wrong, I love watching fighters who go toe to toe the most. Even though Berto ran away a few rounds, I know for a fact that Max would still love to see him in the ring with Miguel Cotto, etc.. so why not flat out say it? He could easily create the buzz for the fight in his commentary on national TV. I'm glad Lennox chimed in and gave Berto the cred he deserved. Why would Berto change anything up? Urango wasn't doing anything different. I understand money is a big factor how fights are made, but it shouldn't affect the sport to this extent. We the fans want to see the best fight the best, and ultimately, those performances will gain more respect and attention for the sport as it has done recently.

What are your thoughts on the possibility of Berto fighting Antonio Margarito after his suspension? It's almost as if Margarito is the gatekeeper for the division. Beat him, and you'll definitely get access to the others. I just hope Berto doesn't try and call out Manny Pacquiao or some other smaller fighter like everyone else seems to be doing.



Moving on to Pacman, I'm a huge fan of his. Cotto, Mosley, or PBF might out-slick or over power him, but no one will ever “out-will” him. I like watching fighters like JMM too with skill and defense, but there's nothing like watching a fighter with inferior size, strength, or even skill win with more will. Btw, I scored Pac-JMM II 114-113 for pacman. He definitely counter-punched the counter-puncher, but when JMM tried to go toe to toe with him, he got dropped. Now my question, If JMM knocks out Money, where do you put him on your P4P list? At 147 lbs, that would be a greater accomplishment than DLH at 147 (even though DLH trained well at that weight and claimed to feel great before the fight). But would you rank him above someone he loss to and can't drop? Also, where would you rank PBF if he knocked out JMM. — Chris, Austin, TX

If Mayweather KO’d Marquez, he would break back into my personal pound-for-pound top 10 (I can’t speak on behalf of THE RING editorial board), probably somewhere after No. 5 because he will have taken out a fighter who had never established himself above 135 pounds in a welterweight bout. If Marquez upset Mayweather that would bump him past his rival Pacquiao for the No. 1 spot because he will have defeated a former welterweight champ (who was regarded as the P4P best when he “retired”) in his first fight at 147 pounds. I scored both Marquez-Pacquiao fights draws.

I don’t think Margarito is a good fight for Berto, even it was the TJ Tornado’s first bout back from his revocation (assuming he will be able to get his license reinstated, which I doubt). He’s not a gate-keeper. He’s big, strong, iron-willed pressure fighters who got caught cheating. He’s dangerous. Beating him didn’t help Paul Williams get high-profile fights at welterweight. Knocking him the F out didn’t do Shane Mosley any favors. Who wants to fight Sugar Shane now?

Regarding Kellerman’s commentary, I thought he DID give Berto credit for the boxing ability the young gun showed in outclassing a tough guy like Urango, he just didn’t ignore the fact that the fans in attendance were not pleased with his methods. I gotta be honest with you, I was bored during most of the fight. There was too much holding and not enough sustained punching for my taste.

I’m sure Kellerman would like to see a Cotto-Berto showdown (that fight is a natural in NYC or Miami), so would I, however, if Max came out and said that he would have been attacked for “shilling” for the “HBO fighter” and accused of trying to “sell” a future HBO fight.

Kellerman had the right balance in his commentary, in my not-so humble opinion. The onus to “create a buzz” for a future fight should not be on the commentators, it should be on the fighters.

“Why would Berto change anything up?”

I don’t know, maybe to be more entertaining? Maybe to make a bigger statement than he did?

KERMIT CINTRON

Doug,
A few questions for you after Cintron's mild upset over Angulo:

1. Do you think this was really an upset? I mean Cintron is the former titleholder and he has been in against and competed with the better competition.

2. Do you think this win vindicates Cintron in his own mind for the losses to Margarito?

3. Who do you think Cintron should fight next?

Thanks. — Bryan Trafford, Augusta, Ga.

I’ll start from the top:

1. No, I don’t think Cintron’s victory over Angulo was an upset, even though I picked the prospect to win by late stoppage. Cintron was by far the most advanced, experienced, athletically talented and hardest-punching opponent Angulo had ever faced in his 15-bout pro career. Cintron should not have been a 3-to-1 underdog. I like Angulo a lot, and I think he still has a bright future, but like I stated in my pre-fight column he wasn’t even bona contender coming into Saturday’s fight.

2. Only Cintron can answer that question. I think he definitely gained a lot confidence by beating Angulo and that should serve him well in future fights. I’m happy for Kermit, and I hope he gets some meaningful fights in the near future.

3. Although all the big names are at welterweight I don’t think Cintron should take any of those fights unless he’s sure he can make 147 pounds without draining himself. If he can make welterweight safely, I’d love to see him challenge either Mosley or the winner of Cotto-Clottey for a welterweight title. My guess is that he’s better suited at 154 pounds. (There are astute boxing writers/observers like David Avila who believe Cintron should be campaigning at 160 pounds.) I think Cintron should stay clear of Martinez and Daniel Santos, but I bet he could catch IBF titleholder Cory Spinks, who appears to be slowing down and standing his ground more. Beyond Spinks is Vernon Forrest. I’m sure Cintron’s promoter Lou DiBella would love to get some “get-back” for that gift decision he feels Viper received over his fighter Ike Quartey a few years ago.

“EL PERRO” WILL BE BACK

Hi Doug,
I know a lot of folks will be writing Angulo off after Saturday but I believe that it will serve as a great constructive loss for Perro. He really struggled with Cintron's movement and jabs but persevered and came on strong in the second half of the fight.

I hope his trainer Clemente Medina uses the video to teach him how to get inside effectively against a guy with a superior jab and foot work. There are a few players at the top of that division that will give him fits with the same strategy (Martinez, Jacobs, Williams). I think he would make for great fights against Martirosyan or Kirkland in the future. One last thing, someone on the HBO crew mentioned that Angulo has the same style as Margarito and I agree to some degree (pressure, good chin, and comes on strong late in the fight) but lets not fall into the trap of believing that he is on the same level as Margarito before the hand wrap incident. That's not fair, HE HAS 16 PROFESSIONAL FIGHTS and I believe he will learn from this and come back. Thanks for reading Doug and thanks for working your tail off to give us boxing junkies something to look forward to. — Eric Avalos, Sylmar, CA

Thanks for the props, Eric.

Boxing fans writing off a prospect after his first loss? No! Say it ain’t so! LOL.

Of course we’re going to hear how Angulo was exposed and how he never was s__t and never will be s__t from the same “band of subnormal anchovies” (thank you again for this fake fan description, Kirk C.) that always shoot their mouths off in boxing forums. Who cares? Those guys write everyone off. I’m sure they wrote Cintron off after his first loss to Margarito. They probably never recognized Margarito because the Mexican mauler already had losses on his ledger when he first broke into boxing fan consciousness.

I’ve given up writing off prospects even after devastating losses. Look at Amir Khan. He’s getting ready to fight for a world title, and he’ll probably win it. Look at Bernard Dunne. He just won a world title in a Fight of the Year candidate. Both guys came back from first-round KOs.

Angulo got beat, and outclassed to an extent, but like you, I was impressed with the manner in which he closed the 12-round bout. For a guy who looked sick and had never fought past 10 rounds, he showed the kind of character that can’t be taught.

Let’s hope Medina can instill the finer points of boxing that CAN be taught. Angulo is a smart guy; he can learn to move his head more and how to cut the ring off better.

B.A.D THOUGHTS

Dougie-Fresh (I'm sure that gets real old)-

-I was glad to see Kermit get a nice win, I was afraid Angluo's pressure might induce a “Margarito Meltdown', but he boxed effectively, particularly early.

-I don't know if it was distractions or if he was weight drained, but I thought “the Dog” looked ordinary, tough as balls no doubt, but I think the J.C. Superstar comparisons were unfortunate for him. I think he's going to have to be matched carefully.

-As for Berto, if it's possible to be similarly unimpressed by a guy who pretty much won every minute of every round, than I'm it. For someone with his speed I think he gets hit too easily and I never get the impression he knows what the hell he's doing in there.

-Enough Berto-Mosley talk, Shane stops him easily. Mosley struggles
against disciplined technicians, who know how to offset his wonderful
natural gifts with the jab. Berto simply doesn't have the wherewithal
to execute the necessary gameplan. You don't outmuscle or outspeed
Shane. You outbox him. — Tom

I agree with your thoughts on Mosley-Berto to an extent, but you know who disagrees with us — Shane Mosley. He thinks Berto’s lack of ring identity (never knowing when to box or attack), speed, compact frame, and ability to explode in any direction makes him unpredictable and awkward to fight. Before the Margarito fight he told me that he believed Berto would be a harder fight than the Mexican vet.

I’m not going to say that I was unimpressed with Berto’s decision over Urango because the Colombian’s got a world-class chin and freakish physical strength — and I also believe the 36 rounds he’s gone in his last three fights will serve him well in future fights — but I certainly wasn’t entertained.

I think Angulo was definitely under the weather, however, he would have had the same trouble catching Cintron had he been 100-percent healthy. I don’t think he has to be matched that carefully in terms of styles because I believe his pressure will break down most stick-and-movers — and let’s face it, most guys he fights won’t have Cintron’s punching power. However, I do believe that Angulo’s handlers will have to remember that he doesn’t even have 20 fights and should avoid putting him in the ring with veterans that have too much experience for him to deal with.

Cintron seems to have finally gelled with Ronnie Shields and the results speak for themselves. Kudos to both men.

WHAT HAPPENED TO ANGULO?

Hi Dougie, great stuff last few weeks and happy very belated birthday.
When you went to the Angulo camp did you notice anything different that might be occurring which might affect his performance because like many I felt he went into the fight with the wrong gameplan and was outworked and outfoxed by a wily veteran. I wonder what the chances of an Angulo- Kirkland matchup are because both fighters reputations have taken a hit in the last few months for contrasting reasons so what better way to repair it than 2 young guns going toe to toe.

I was slightly underwhelmed with Andre Berto. I was always expecting something to happen and it never did and left me feeling that he might be slightly on the overrated side.

Lookout for a super-featherweight, Kevin Mitchell he has got the tools to go a long way and I hope you see him in the near future. Cheers. — Josh, London

I’ve seen Mitchell fight before (his fifth-round TKO of Walter Estrada). He’s a quality fighter, although I don’t consider him to be a bona fide top 10 junior lightweight contender. He was obviously developed well because he’s got a solid foundation and he isn’t without technique, but he’s there to be tagged and he doesn’t appear to have a consistent offense. Right now, I wouldn’t pick him to beat top 130-pounders like Jorge Linares or even the guy he and his promoter Frank Warren are calling out, Rocky Martinez, but I would like to see those fights.

I might be in the minority but I don’t think Berto is overrated. I think he’s proven to be more than “a prospect with a belt” this year. THE RING ranks Berto No. 6 at welterweight — behind Shane Mosley, Miguel Cotto, Antonio Margarito, Joshua Clottey and Carlos Quintana — and that’s right where he should be. Right now I wouldn’t pick him to beat any of the top five, but I wouldn’t count him out vs. any of them, especially Quintana and Clottey.

I only visited Angulo once during his camp for Cintron and (as I noted in my column for that week) he wasn’t sparring because he had come back from the doctor’s office. I didn’t think he looked sick at the time (this was two weeks ago) but he had a light workout that day, so it would have been hard to tell even if he was.

My guess is that the only way we’ll see a Kirkland-Angulo showdown in the next three-to-four years is if it takes place in a federal prison, but that fight would be so good I’d actually be willing to cover it from ringside.

EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY

'Sup Dougie,
That was a tough break for “Perro”, perhaps it just wasn't his day. I give Kermit Cintron all the credit in the world for adding a few new wrinkles to his game and gutting out the win. With the rumors of Angulo being ill before the weigh-in and the fact that Cintron was 169-lbs at fight time, I thought it would be a long night for the tough Mexican. The manner in which “Perro” tried to win shows the size of his heart and perhaps he too will learn something from this loss as I assume Cintron did from his ahem- “draw” against the always-mobile Sergio Martinez.

Hey, didn't Andre Berto have a fight on the same card? Either that, or HBO has some EA Sports video magic the way the NBA analysts on Sports Center do and simply played out two digitized characters resembling Berto and Urango. What a waste that was. Did nothing for either fighter and in fact, probably added more doubt to Berto's credentials.

What the heck, at least we saw two guys in the ring actually fighting. The Euro-Heavyweights have stooped to a new low with Valuev/Chagaev doing their best feints behind medical laboratories. Where were all these experts for any of the Klitschko's pre-fight tests? Yeah, I said it. — Joseph

Evidently they were hanging out in Finland. I could care less about that silly WBA heavyweight title bout. The first fight was boring and the rematch threatened be boring AND ugly. Somebody wake me when Lamon Brewster, who recently signed with Willie Sauerland and was supposed to fight on the Chagaev-Valuev undercard, fights one of them.

If those two welterweights were indeed video game images why didn’t someone with the controls make them FIGHT!?

Angulo-Cintron was a good scrap. I think both the winner and the loser will grow from it. Maybe they’ll rematch in the near future and put on an even better fight.

ANGULO, MAYWEATHER & MORE

Good fight by Cintron Saturday night but Angulo just didn't look right the entire night. Something really needs to be done about the weight. Cintron was 170 for a 154lb fight … that just isn't right. If they insist on doing the weigh in the day before the fight then there should be an 8 to 10lb weight gain limit for the next day.

A couple of points about the past week's mailbags. What's with all these letters from “fans” coming in saying “I've never seen Angulo ….” if you are a boxing fan how the hell have you never seen Angulo fight? He has been on TV since about his 9th fight. I'm a boxing fan and I would turn on the TV to watch a Rock’em Sock'em Robot match let alone an all action fighter like Angulo.

I'm no Mayweather nuthugger by any stretch although I don't remember the last time I rooted against him. I absolutely think that since he left the LW division he has picked and chosen matches that he had a strategic advantage. I think he has avoided the upperclass of the WW division. That said a few points …

1) those calling Mayweather a pussy would faint if he just feinted at them …

2) I get a kick out of some saying he should fight Pac Man (which he should) then in the same breath say instead of picking on a smaller man like Marquez. Really? Some could argue (I won't) that Marquez beat Pac Man twice so how is fighting a smaller man by going against Marquez instead yet not fighting a smaller man if he fights Manny?

The biggest problem with Mayweather (besides being a straight punk like his dad) is that he probably could defeat most if not all of the upper echelon WW fighters but he won't take the chance. That said I tend to root for all things Mexican (unless Pac Man is involved) so I'll be rooting for Marquez if only because I don't think Pac Man vs. Mayweather will ever happen so lets get Pac Man vs. Marquez 3 instead.

(P.S. Did Freddie really say he wanted to get a tune up fight for Manny against Cotto? Since when is Miguel Cotto a freaking tune up fight for anyone.) — Mike in Louisville

Cotto is nobody’s tune-up fight. That’s a fight Pacquiao can lose unless the Puerto Rican agrees to come in at 143 or 144 pounds and hurts himself doing so.

Regarding your points on Mayweather:

1. True, and that includes me.
2. The difference between Pacquiao and Marquez vs. Mayweather is that the Filipino icon has fought — and looked very impressive — at weights higher than 135 pounds. Marquez has not. Yes, Marquez battled Pacquiao on even terms, but those fights took place at 126 and 130 pounds. At lightweight, Marquez has proven to be the real champ, but his reflexes looked a little slower vs. Joel Casamayor and his legs looked a little shaky vs. Juan Diaz. If I’ve noticed this then you know a boxer as talented and astute as Mayweather saw it, which of course, is why he took the fight. He believes it’s a “safe” fight. It may not turn out that way for him, but that’s how he sees it, no matter what he says in public. I’m sure I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, but that’s the main reason why it’s hard for many fans and members of the media to like Mayweather.

Regarding Angulo, those fans who had never seen him are obviously not hardcore fans (even if they THINK they are). Hopefully, if they saw him Saturday, they won’t dismiss him like a lot of hardcore nuts do when an undefeated young gun loses for the first time. Angulo’s the kind of fighter who turn a casual fan into a hardcore head.

I agree that the amount of weight some fighters are adding between the weighin and the fight is out of control, and I agree that no more than 10 pounds should be allowed. Otherwise, what’s the point of weighing in at all or of weight classes?

NEVER SAW MUCH IN ANGULO

I don’t want to use revisionist history, but I never really saw what everybody else saw in Angulo. Yes, he is tough and has a lot of heart, but as far as him being the man, I never saw it. He is very slow, not just of hand, but his foot speed is sloooooow. He could never even get close to Cintron. Margarito is faster of hand and foot than Angulo and puts on a LOT of pressure and closes the distance much better. Anyway, maybe he was sick, maybe he will get better, we will see. If anything I was more impressed with Cintron, although, he did start looking like he wanted to fold late in the 12. — JB

Cintron had that look in some of the other late rounds too, Angulo was getting to his body late in the fight, but to his credit he sucked it up without running and holding too much.

Aside from his promoter Gary Shaw, I don’t think many fans or boxing writers touted Angulo to be “the man” (in terms of carrying the Mexican mantle). I think most folks just saw what you say you saw, that “he is tough and has a lot of heart”.

I think he’s a little bit more than that. He’s got good punching technique, excellent conditioning, and better ability to pick off shots and cut off the ring than he showed vs. Cintron.

When he turned pro I thought he was garbage. I thought his pro debut could have been a draw and I thought he lost to local journeyman Daniel Stanislavjevic in his third pro bout, but to his credit Angulo improved drastically from his first three pro bouts, which took place at middleweight. He dropped down to 154 pounds and began learning from his trainer and from his sparring partners, some of whom were world class and former elites (like Roy Jones Jr.), and he advanced at an incredible rate.

The problem is that he was moved a little too fast with his most recent fight. He’ll be back, just like another 154-pound prospect who was moved a little bit too quickly into fighting a more experienced vet, Deandre Latimore. Twenty fights wasn’t enough experience for the 23-year-old boxer-puncher to deal with savvy former champ like Cory Spinks. However, like Angulo, he showed potential in his loss.

TWO CENTS ON ANGULO

I just need to get my two cents in before everyone goes spouting off about Angulo being overrated, moved too fast or not destined for the upper echelon. I'll be as clear and concise as I can: Angulo is a first class, blue chip prospect who will at least win an alphabet title. A fight against a borderline world class former titleholder was the right fight at the right time for Angulo. Matching Angulo up against a fighter who had lost his two biggest tests and was roundly derided by the boxing fraternity was a bad move.

Cintron simply felt like he had more to prove and less of a future if he lost. In other words, he was, tonight at least, hungrier than the otherwise tenacious Angulo. Plus his footwork was good enough to keep Angulo off balance, which is one reason I for one was glad to see Angulo lose tonight rather than move on to what would be a mismatch — at this point anyway — against Sergio Martinez.

Frankly, I was irritated to hear that Angulo's management was trying to match him up against possibly the fastest and slickest junior middleweight in Martinez. I mean, Angulo is obviously talented, hard hitting, has a fighter's heart and an incredible workrate, but he's also slow footed and relies to at least some degree on cooperation from his opponent. Let him progress further, face an Alcine, a Spinks, a Mora, even perhaps a rusty Forrest before sending him into a test like that. In my opinion, he has at least another five fights before he could possibly be ready for Martinez.

And I'm happy for Cintron. Here's hoping he can cash in at welterweight and win the IBF against the Delvin Rodriguez-Isaac Hlatshwayo winner and then seek unification against Andre Berto (assuming he repeats against Collazo) by next winter. — Lawrence

I’d like to see Cintron-Berto or Cintron-Collazo. Cintron vs. the Rodriguez-Hlatshwayo winner? Um, not so much.

Angulo may never have the experience to cope with Martinez’s athletic ability, skill, experience and style — although Father Time could even the playing field out a little bit in two years. Angulo is 26. Martinez is 34.

I agree that Joachim Alcine would have been a more appropriate former titleholder for Angulo at this point in his career, but the Canada-based Haitian hasn’t fought since losing to Daniel Santos last July.

Spinks has the skill, style and experience to make Angulo look bad, at least for five or six rounds, but who knows what would happen down the stretch. The St. Louis vet doesn’t have the power that Cintron used to get a little bit of respect and his legs don’t appear 100 percent. I think Angulo could apply more effective pressure than Latimore did recently. That’s an interesting matchup.

From what I’ve seen from their sparring sessions, Sergio Mora is all wrong for Angulo. I would probably pick Mora to win that fight if it was made this year.

I’d like to see Angulo leave the former titleholders alone and take on a fellow prospect with something to prove, like Joe Greene, or an experienced pro who will stand and trade more with the pressure fighter like British vet Jaime Moore, who has won 12 in a row. Angulo could lose to either southpaw but I think both bouts would be high-intensity fights that he would grow from, especially if he wins which he certainly can.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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