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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbg

15
Jun

WHAT’S CLOTTEY CRYING ABOUT?

What's up dude? WTF was Joshua Clottey complaining about? He didn't throw enough punches, period! It seemed like every time he took the momentum he gave it right back. You don't do that when you aren't the crowd favorite.

I'd like to see Mosley-Cotto next. We know Mayweather doesn't want to fight either guy so they might as well fight each other instead of depleting themselves to make weight against Manny Pacquiao. I'd like to see Clottey against Andre Berto next. Fat chance for that, huh? Berto still has his training wheels on so don't hold your breath. Holla back! — Fleetwood St. Louis, Mo.

I think Clottey-Berto would be a decent matchup, perfect for the East Coast. It won’t sell a lot of tickets and it wouldn’t provide non-stop action but the matchup would pit two top-10 welterweights who possess impressive athletic gifts. I’d go with Clottey because of his greater size, armadillo defense and experience, but I think it would be competitive. As suspect as Berto’s chin is, Clottey hasn’t proven to be a finisher.



He’s excellent when he lets his hands go, but he just doesn’t do it enough, which is why he seldom scores a KO and it’s what hurts him when he’s facing tough and determined world-class opposition.

I thought Clottey fought and boxed a very good fight against Cotto Saturday, and just fell short. He has a right to believe that he won the fight, he has a right to be upset over the 116-111 scorecard, but I don’t think he should scream that he was “robbed”. Neither fighter took a firm command of the fight. It was tit for tat from start to finish.

If Cotto doesn’t get a showdown with Manny Pacquiao, I’d love to see a rematch with Mosley.

SAVE THE PRIDE FOR TITO

Dougie,
Cotto's fans can go ahead with the Puerto Rican Parade, but they should save the Island Pride for the next big star.

I'm sure you'll get more than a few emails from people claiming robbery at MSG tonight. I won't go that far, but the way in which Cotto went about the last 5 rounds doesn't exactly follow in the footsteps of Tito Trinidad or Little Red Lopez.

I've often heard fights “look” different at ringside than from the television. From my living room couch, it seems that Cotto was running away in rounds 7-12 while trying to land the occasional defensive punch or two. Further still, half of those efforts hit either gloves or forearms. Granted, Clottey knew he was up against PR heritage as well as Cotto… he still deserved better than a 116-111 score. How did you score the fight? — JB

I had it for Cotto, but very close, 6-5-1 in rounds for the Puerto Rican favorite and WBO titleholder. Often fights do look different on TV than from ringside, mainly because it’s hard to gauge the power and impact of punches from a television screen. However, I don’t think that was the case for this fight because both fighters had about the same “pop” in their punches. Cotto’s shots were a bit heavier over the first half, but Clottey’s were more accurate and they had a little more snap on them. Neither guy hit hard enough to knock the other out.

I sort of agree with your take on Cotto’s tactics over the second half of the fight. After that big sixth-round flurry when he teed off on Clottey in the Ghanaian’s own corner, Cotto’s punches appeared to lose their steam and he made a decision to stop standing his ground and move his feet more than he moved his hands.

He was basically acknowledging Clottey’s good chin. He did the same thing at around the same point against Shane Mosley. The difference between the Mosley and Clottey fights is that Cotto was able to stick and move with power vs. Sugar Shane. His punches didn’t have much on them down the stretch vs. Clottey.

I don’t think Cotto punked out or anything like that, but I don’t think he was as effective moving as he was standing his ground, and on my scorecard, Clottey — even though he wasn’t that effective in pursuit — won four of the last six rounds.

Through six rounds, I thought Cotto was handling Clottey, who remained competitive.

I believe that awful cut over Cotto’s left eye contributed to his fade over the second half (he certainly ate more right hands in rounds seven through 12).

The manner in which he “boxed” in the late rounds earned him a fair amount of criticism from the elite Puerto Rican media that sat up close among press row. However, the young guys representing Puerto Rican boxing websites and the majority of the fans who packed Madison Square Garden were impressed with the fact that Cotto fought as best he could for nine rounds with a deep bleeding cut over his left eye. I was also impressed with the way Cotto handled the cut.

I talked to his cutman, Joe Chavez, the day after (we had the same flight back to L.A.) and he told me that the cut needed 28 stitches (seven on the inside and 21 on the outside).

I don’t think it’s fair to compare Cotto with Trinidad or Lopez. First of all, Danny “Little Red” Lopez was a mix of Ute Indian, Mexican and Irish. As far as I know, he didn’t have any Puerto Rican in him. Maybe you were thinking of Wilfredo Gomez. It doesn’t matter. The bottom line is that Gomez, Lopez and Trinidad all had one-punch KO power. Cotto doesn’t.

Cotto is what he is: a squat (5-foot-6) boxer-puncher with heavy hands but short arms. I think he gets the most out of his ability. And I commend a fighter who can pack MSG against lesser fighters for fighting real threats like Joshua Clottey.

NOT FAIR TO CLOTTEY

This sport makes it hard for people to love it.

One thing I always wonder: Cotto did not win the first round. He did, however, land the knockdown at the end. Wouldn’t that make it a 10-9 round for Cotto on the 10-point must (Clottey wins the round but Cotto scores the knockdown)? I guess you could make the argument Cotto won the round but I would argue that with you all day long.

That was hard to watch. Cotto had guts and I commend himÔǪwhat a fighter. But man, Clottey won that fight in every single category including the “Cotto was literally running away for rounds at a time.”

I don’t know what more Clottey could have done. That’s two fights in 18 months where Cotto has been outlanded in fewer punches and, on my card, beaten but two fighters and got the decision. I guess it wouldn’t be so hard to swallow if the deciding card was 116-111. That guy should be fired.

SoÔǪ.what was Dougie’s card?

Also: I guess I now can believe why Clottey was a 9 to 1 dog to get a decisionÔǪ..it just wasn’t possible. — Tony, LA

My card was 114-112 for Cotto. I scored rounds 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 10 for Cotto. I scored rounds 5, 7, 8, 11, and 12 for Clottey. I scored round 4 even.

I scored the first round 10-8 for Cotto, just like all three judges. It was an even round and then Cotto scored a legit knockdown. That’s a 10-8 round for Cotto. If Clottey was dominating Cotto for 2 minutes and 50 seconds and then Cotto scored a knockdown I would have scored it 10-9 for Cotto. If Clottey was hurting Cotto and had him reeling around the ring (but not down) and then Cotto scored a knockdown I would have scored the round 10-9 for Clottey.

I didn’t agree with the 116-111 card for Cotto, but there were a lot of close rounds and boxing writers that I respect like ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael also saw it like that, so I guess it comes down to what you prefer in a prize fight — boxing or aggression; heavier punches or accuracy. I thought rounds 2, 4, and 9 were close. I scored 2 and 9 for Cotto; had I scored them all for Clottey I would have had it 8-4 for the challenger. El Nuevo Dia’s Jose A. Sanchez, MaxBoxing.com’s Steve Kim and BoxingScene.com’s Cliff Rold and T.K. Stewart all scored the bout 115-113 for Clottey. I have a lot of respect those writers.

Other media members, like RingTV.com co-editor Michael Rosenthal and ESPN’s Teddy Atlas, had it razor-thin like I did. Rosenthal had it 114-113 for Cotto; Atlas had it even.

Cotto-Clottey was one of those fights where there’s a three-round swing and it all comes down to what the observers prefers to see in the ring.

COTTO'S THE MAN

Hi Dougie. Hope things are going well with Ring Magazine. Couple of questions about the Cotto/Clottey fight.

1. I was with a rabid Puerto Rican crowd; and all of us saw it 114-113 for Cotto. We could not understand the 116-111 score. What was your score card?
2. For three fights now, after the 9th, Miguel really loves that bicycle. I am not liking what I am seeing with regards to his stamina. Thank god he has fantastic footwork down the stretch. Have you seen the same thing?
3. The guy proved a lot. Regardless about the scores, it takes some balls with that sort of a cut to fight with it for almost 10 rounds not being able to see and getting hit with every right hand
4. What’s next for Clottey? He is still a hell of a fighter.
5. Do you think Miguel would beat Shane in a rematch? Given by what my eyes tell me from the Margarito fight, the answer would unfortunately be no.

Thanks and keep up the good work. — Suarez

1. I had it close for Cotto like you and your friends did. Maybe I let that “rabid Puerto Rican crowd” get to me, but not as much as Don Trella.
2. When you fight tough S.O.B.’s like Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito and Joshua Clottey and you’re not a giant, a KO artist, or a defensive wizard, I think there’s no choice but to fight and box in the manner Cotto did.
3. I agree.
4. Hopefully shots at Berto, Mosley, or a rematch with Cotto. I wouldn’t mind watching a Clottey-Luis Collazo fight.
5. I’ve never picked against Cotto, but if he fights Mosley again, I probably will.

COTTO SURVIVES CLOTTEY

Hi Doug,
First, my thoughts on the fight. My unofficial scorecard had Clottey winning 115-112. When I watched fight live at MSG, I thought Cotto won by a point. I just finished watching the fight again and I gave Clottey rounds 2,3,4,5,7,8,9 and 10. There were some close rounds, so I don't think a draw is crazy, but I think Clottey was robbed. However, Clottey could've made the decision a lot clearer if he had done more in the 11th and 12th rounds. I don't think Cotto did much in the 11th, but Clottey did even less. Cotto seemed to be hellbent on taking the 12th and did. Both fighters deserve a lot credit for grinding out 12 action packed rounds while overcoming circumstances that might have been too much for lesser fighters.

Cotto didn't look like the same Cotto who beat Judah and Mosley in 2007. I remember watching Cotto fight going backwards against Mosley in the later rounds of their fight and being impressed that Cotto was holding his own. I thought Cotto looked vulnerable going backwards against Clottey and Margarito. Do you think this is something an elite trainer and a drama-free training camp might fix?

Cotto's cut looked nasty enough so that it won't be fully healed by October which takes him out of the Pacquiao sweepstakes. I don't see too many welters lining up to fight Clottey. Do you think a rematch is possible?

Cotto might not inspire the same level of devotion as Trinidad, but his countrymen do love them some Cotto. This was confirmed when I went to Jimmy's Corner after Cotto-Clottey. Joe Calzaghe stopped by and as he was leaving, one of the Puerto Rican patrons turned and yelled in his direction, “You could never beat Cotto!” Gotta love the Nuyoricans.

Finally, I just want to say I love it when you and the boxing writers come to NYC and I get to hang out with y'all in the greatest boxing bar in the world, Jimmy's Corner. Thanks!

Best Regards. — Ben “The Asian Sensation”

I had a great time at Jimmy’s after the BWAA dinner and at the Cotto fight, just like I did in 2007. The BWAA dinner, Jimmy’s Corner, pre-Puerto Rican Parade Day Cotto fights and NYC are a wonderful combination.

A Cotto-Clottey rematch is possible, but not feasible. I don’t think we’ll see it this year or even next, but ya never know.

I don’t think Clottey was robbed. I haven’t watched the fight on TV yet, but it seems like your scorecard gives the Ghanaian every benefit of the doubt, which is fine if that’s the way you saw the fight, but I don’t think you can criticize an 8-4 tally for Cotto when your own card seems a bit extreme in one direction.

I thought the second round was close, but Cotto’s body work and a few clean hooks edged it in his favor on my card. The fourth was very close. I had no problem scoring it even, as Teddy Atlas and 15Rounds.com’s Bart Barry did. I agree with you on rounds 7 and 8, but Clottey didn’t land enough punches to take the ninth, in my opinion. The 10th was also uneventful, Cotto landed a few jabs, Clottey chased him all over without landing anything, but Cotto stole the round by landing a big hook right at the bell. And just to prove this fight was a scoring nightmare, I thought Clottey deserved the championship rounds. He was all but jump-tackling Cotto to get the titleholder to engage with him.

THANK YOU COTTO!

Hi Doug,
Just wanted to express how thankful I am for last nights fight. It displayed a high level of skill, punching power, and above all courage. Thank you, Cotto!

Many people will focus on the scoring but I think that it was pretty close and either man could have won. I don't agree with 116-111, but I hope people don't lose sight of the fact that we were treated to a really good fight for free (assuming you subscribe to HBO). Forget the phrase “Hard Luck Clottey”, he could have made it much easier on himself if he had been more consistent with the jab. A rematch would be interesting, one that I think Clottey would win.

By the way Doug, the fights at Nokia Club were really good and competitive, the atmosphere was hip and fun, and the music was awesome. For 30 dollar general admin tickets you really get a good show. I highly recommend it.

Thanks Doug, and keep up the great work. — Eric Avalos, Sylmar CA

Thanks for focusing on the terrific effort both welterweights put forth Saturday night rather than the scorecards. Cotto-Clottey wasn’t a fight of the year candidate but it was darn good. The first six rounds, when Cotto was standing his ground, was a joy to watch. I disagree that Cotto would lose a rematch with Clottey. I think he has hampered by the cut over his eye Saturday night. If he can keep from clashing heads with ole bowling ball dome I think he would out-slug the Ghanaian over the distance.

It’s also nice to hear from someone who attended the premiere of Fight Night Club. I think the club series has the potential to develop into an L.A. tradition. For anyone who missed the Versus broadcast or the live stream here on RingTV.com, the four televised bouts are archived at https://www.ringtv.com/fight_night/

CLOTTEY’S THEATRICS

Hey Doug- love your work as always.

Okay, first and foremost, Judge Trella's scorecard was horrific and bad for the sport in my opinion. Granted, judging in a partisan crowd in MSG is probably no easy task, but whew, that scoring stunk.

Second, I thought referee Arthur Mercante did an awesome job refereeing. He was tough, let the fighters fight, and looked like he didn't put up with any B.S. (“walk it off like a champ”) Which leads me to my next point…

Before this bout, I honestly thought it was going to be a toss-up and I respected and admired both fighters, but am I the only one that think Clottey has a future in acting? Either that or taking charges in the NBA? Yes, yes, Cotto did hip toss him, but when you watch the replay, if anything he should've injured his LEFT leg. His right never touched the ground, let alone enough to twist his knee (I noticed this in the second viewing mind you). Then in the last round, that's when I developed this skepticism. His sportsmanship was a little lacking. He turned his head which allowed him to get hit behind the ear, and THEN the low blow. I just seemed like he was looking for anything he could get. Perhaps that's an image that stood out in some of the judges' minds. Here you have one guy with one eye not complaining and another looking for any foul he can get (his history with hurting his hands- but not breaking them – didn't lead me to give him the benefit of the doubt). It just seemed like under the circumstances, he needed the perception to be that there was an even playing field with injuries amongst both men.

Cotto is drama, and good drama at that. He could've easily said the cut was too bad, but he put on the show. The first few rounds IMO were a showcase as to how the fight would've gone had there been no head butt. I acknowledge this is speculation, but I couldn't see it any other way. I disagreed with the announcers sentiment that Cotto's body language was reminiscent of the Margarito fight. He didn't look like a beaten man and was just clinging onto the most tactical route he could have with one eye. His preference in the beginning looked to be standing toe to toe and looking for the hard counter, which I thought was very exciting. Ultimately, I agree with Lederman's score and thought it was an even bout with the knockdown making the difference. (Oh and anyone that says Cotto was “exposed” should try fighting with one eye…hell, even driving.)

I think Clottey vs Berto would be an ideal match-up. Sorry, this was lengthy, thanks for reading. Take care! — Scott, Phoenix, AZ

Don’t apologize for the length of the email, Scott; it’s nice to hear contrary opinion to the consensus message board “Clottey wuz robbed!”-“Mercante wuz biased!”-“Cotto sucks!” blabber.

I agree that Cotto is good drama. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed covering his career and I hope he’s got at least another three years of his prime. He has more than a few physical and technical limitations, but his heart and his professionalism usually pulls him through in compelling fashion.

While at the fight, I thought Mercante needed to warn Cotto more for his roughhouse tactics (I don’t think he’s a dirty fighter, but he can be very rough, especially when he’s frustrated), if only to avoid appearing like he was being lenient to the “house” fighter. But when the replay of what I (and most live observers) thought was a body slam turned out to be more of a slight shove (from Cotto after Clottey did “dive and grab”) and slip (suffered by Clottey, who was standing on the wet canvas under Cotto’s corner), I realized that Mercante was keeping his head in a very tense and potentially volatile situation.

Regarding Clottey’s theatrics, as tight and controlled his boxing style is, I think he’s a very emotional guy who is prone to dramatics when things don’t go his way. A sore or sprained hand becomes a broken hand (and that’s exactly what he himself announced to the ringside press between rounds when he hurt his mitts on Margarito’s rock head during their fight). A slightly hyperextended knee becomes an ACL tear. Clottey’s a hell of a fighter but he’s also a drama king. That’s my opinion, anyway.

I’d love to see Clottey-Berto. The welterweight division is hot; and it’s doing just fine without Floyd Mayweather or Antonio Margarito.

ARMCHAIR CRITICS

Hi Dougie,
I watched the match yesterday(night) it's always tough in Europe because you must wait til 5 in the morning and after because of the adrenaline I can't go to sleep before 8 :). Anyway I was absolutely impressed with Cotto guts. The guy could have easily quit after the fifth or the sixth round and win on points. He preferred to risk his health by fighting in this state and at some point I was afraid he was going to get brutally K.O again. Anyway he found a way to win the 11 and 12 round in my book and I had him won the fight by one point.

Today I was amazed by all the b.s in the boxing forums. Speaking of Cotto as a finished fighter, damage goods and so on. Also explaining how poor was his performance and how he was never going to be a great boxer. For me Cotto is already a great man an showed great composure when opposing fierce adversity. Adversity that these armchair critics have never faced in their lives and if they face it they will crumble. These people don't box. A lot of them have never given 30% of a prize fighter’s efforts in any of their daily life activities. When they criticise maybe for a moment they forget how weak they are indeed in their real lives but they can comfortably hide behind their forum names.

(P.S. If someone send you a very stupid E-mail do you put him in the spam list???) Ciao, all the best. — Lubomir Vezenkov

Why would I block someone’s stupid email when I can simply rip them a new a__hole in the mailbag? LOL. No, to my knowledge I’ve never blocked or forwarded anyone’s email — no matter how rude or insulting — to my spam file.

However, I don’t always finish reading really dumb-ass emails (especially if they are long and drawn out rants). The older I get, especially now that I have two kids that demand and deserve my attention, the less time I spend arguing with dips__ts. That’s why I seldom visit boxing message boards. I cracked up when you wrote that you were “amazed by all the b.s in the boxing forums”. Hell, I thought that what they were for! Bulls__t!

Anyway, you seem like you know how to handle the bulls__ters. Kudos to you. And amen to your take on Cotto. He’s not perfect, but he’s the real deal when it comes to guts.

I’ve pointed this out before, but I’ll do it again because as far as I’m concerned this is what being a fighter is all about: when I look at THE RING’s welterweight top 10, I see that Cotto — who stepped up to the 147-pound division in December of 2006 — has fought FIVE of them (Mosley, Margarito, Clottey, Quintana and Judah)! And all five of those bouts have been dramatic, exciting and compelling in their own way.

The Armchair Eddie Futches, as I like to call them, enjoy pointing out all of Cotto’s deficiencies and short comings. They think it makes them sound like experts. But the thing is, you don’t have to be an expert to know how good or how limited Cotto is because there’s no illusion with him. He’s tested himself against the best, and in doing so, we’ve seen his strengths and his weaknesses and we’ve been treated to glorious glimpses of his character.

If everyone he fought was the caliber of Michael Jennings and Alfonzo Gomez, Cotto would look invincible. However, even though he’s paid seven figures to fight guys like that, he chooses to challenge himself against the best of his division and that’s why we’ve seen him struggle, get hurt, and even stopped.

I think the adversity Cotto’s gone through helps define him as a fighter and I don’t believe he has anything to be ashamed of. If some goofy ass fans don’t understand that, it’s their problem not ours.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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