Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag
After my last few these didn't make it in the mailbag, I'm going to keep it short. I believe Manny Pacquiao will buzz Miguel Cotto with a right hook to the head the way Chop-Chop/Ricardo Torres did, and then either TKO/KO Cotto. Although the 145 catch weight is not as low as 143-144, I believe this is going to have a negative effect to Cotto's conditioning as well. I can't remember who reported it, but I read Cotto had difficulty making 147 for Josh Clottey.
Even with these factors, I know this is a more difficult fight for Pacquiao, but based on his progress in recent fights, I believe he will get the W. Keep it up lb. for lb.! — Les from DMV
Thanks for keeping it short, Les. And thanks for continuing to email me even when you didn’t get a response or get your questions posted in the mailbags.
It certainly appears like Pacquiao is on an upward trajectory and Cotto has either leveled off or began a downward trajectory since his career-best win (vs. Shane Mosley in Nov. of 2007), so I can’t fault the logic of anyone who picks the Filipino icon to win this showdown. Right now I slightly favor Pacquiao to win by decision. I think he has the speed, technique and mobility to get and in out and keep Cotto off-balance and resetting for most of the fight. However, just because Pacquiao has the ability to outbox Cotto doesn’t mean he’ll pull it off, and even if he can it still won’t be an easy fight.
I don’t believe that making 145 pounds will severely drain Cotto, so I believe the Puerto Rican star will have the strength to hurt Pacquiao, which is something the Pac-Monster’s last three opponents couldn’t do. I’m sure Roach will have an excellent gameplan for Pacquiao to follow, but once the former flyweight titleholder gets nailed flush to the jaw or body that strategy could go out of the window.
The only reason I’m not picking Cotto win this fight (yet, I could still change my mind) is the Caguas native’s relatively slower feet, lack of reach and lesser hand speed. If he were able to close ground quicker, were just a little bit rangier and a wee bit faster I could envision him catching and stopping Pacquiao cold. As it is, Cotto has underrated counter-punching skill and the ability to time faster opponents, which should serve him well should Pacquiao get too aggressive.
What do you think about the David Haye vs. Nikolai Valuev match? At least Haye will have more of a chance than he had when he was going to face Vitali Klitschko.
Do you favor Arthur Abraham to win the super middleweight tourney? Man it a cruel summer for boxing fans. Peace. — Adam
I’m not particularly excited about Valuev-Haye because I don’t enjoy watching the Russian giant fight and I don’t think the former cruiserweight champ will be able to bomb out the behemoth. I slightly favor Haye to outpoint Valuev. If an ancient Evander Holyfield had the athleticism to outmaneuver the lumbering titleholder, I think Haye can get in and get out with impunity (and obviously do more damage than the old man did). However, if Haye gets too big for his britches and tires to overpower Valuev it wouldn’t shock me if the brash Brit got caught and dropped for the count by a smashing right hand.
I do indeed favor King Arthur to one day rule the 168-pound division thanks to Showtime’s Super Six tournament.
Don’t fret about the dog days of summer. It’s almost over and we still have Bradley-Campbell to look forward to on Aug. 1. I think Juan Diaz will force a decent fight out of his Aug. 22 matchup with Paul Malignaggi, and Klassen-Guerrero could be a good one. The Juan Urango-Randall Bailey 140-pound title bout (on ESPN2 Aug. 28) should also be a good scrap.
Who knows? Maybe we’ll get a surprisingly good fight on Bob Arum’s ‘Latin Fury 10’ PPV this Saturday (I think Antillon-Acosta will deliver), or the ‘Pinoy Power 2’ PPV card (perhaps the Donaire-Concepcion fight will give us some drama). Now that I think about it, despite the embarrassing sight of ‘Jolly Roy Jones’ dressing up like a pirate to get attention for his Aug. 15 PPV show and knowing that Jeff Lacy is more faded than the 40-year-old former champ, I can see Jones-Lacy being a fun fight. It would be nice if fight fans didn’t have to pay extra to watch these bouts, huh?
HAYE IS FOR HORSES (ASS)
David Haye sure knows how to talk a big game, but when the time comes to put up or shut up he comes up woefully short. So much for all the bold banter and those crude T-shirts he wore of Wlad and Vitali's dismembered bodies. Perhaps Vitali and Wlad should sport their own of Haye-sans testicles, that would truly be fitting…
Finally caught the Khan fight, you were right he did look very impressive… How is it that talks have began for a proposed Pavlik-Williams fight if Pavlik still has a signed deal to fight Mora? I think the two of us are the only ones who believe Mora gives Pavlik trouble…We all knew it was coming but man am I stoked for Pacquiao-Cotto. I think it's fascinating in that while Manny is regarded as boxing’s best fighter, he still remains an enigma to us in the sense that we are not really sure of how well he will take a bigger man's shot. One has to believe with a reasonable amount certainty that Cotto will be able to sustain some offense over 12 rds. — Tom G.
I think Pacquiao-Cotto is guaranteed to be competitive for at least half the fightÔÇª. then someone is taking over.
With Pavlik’s personal issues, promotional beef, and generally negative mindset going into the June 27 date, I would not have been surprised in the slightest if Mora upset him that night. Mora was VERY motivated and confident for that fight, and he still wants it. Too bad, nobody else wants it to happen. As much as I like Mora, I’d rather see Pavlik-Williams, which I know HBO wants to happen but getting Bob Arum to deal with Dan Goossen and Al Haymon won’t be easy. We’ll see how all this plays out. I’m thinking Mora will have to settle with Arum & Co. and get some kind of step-aside fee for ignoring the contract he has with Pavlik and perhaps have Top Rank put together a fight for him that can go on one of their Latin Fury PPV cards (perhaps a bout with Marco Antonio Rubio). He’s got to fight in order to stay sharp and to stay in the public eye (not to mention the rankings).
Good point about Haye. I don’t mind s__t talk from a fighter (James Toney is one of my all-time favorites) but if you don’t back that big mouth in the ring you’re just a punk. Haye talked all that s__t and wore those disgraceful and disgusting T-shirts and didn’t fight EITHER Klitschko. As far as I’m concerned, Vitali and Wladimir have the right to talk about Haye like a dog for the next year. I like the idea of the “ball-less” T-shit, but you and I both know the Klitschkos have too much class for that sort of thing.
BATTLING PAY-PER-VIEW SHOWS
I was just wondering what is Mayweather's excuse going to be when Cotto-Pacquaio does more PPV sales than he does against Marquez? It's clearly the bigger, more anticipated fight and it's guaranteed to be an action fight. Will Floyd still claim that he should get more than 50/50 split when Pac proves to be the bigger draw? Finally, Floyd complains that he won't fight certain people (Mosley especially) because they've never been an “A” side. However, has Floyd ever clearly been the “A” side? Maybe against Baldomir but that's probably it, and I don't recall that fight doing big business. — Kory
There’s no doubt in my mind that Pacquaio-Cotto will do more PPV buys than Mayweather-Marquez. Mayweather will say Marquez wasn’t a big enough star to help him attract his usual number of PPV buys even though everybody in the arena on Sept. 19 will be Mexican.
It doesn’t matter. If Pacquiao beats Cotto I’m not even sure Mayweather deserves to fight the pound-for-pound king. I’d rather watch Pacquiao take on Mosley, or better yet, I’d like to see Sugar Shane be Mayweather’s only big-money option in 2010.
I'd like your thoughts on the debate re: the ever-expanding universe of sanctioned belts. Steve Kim & Dan Rafael have just staked strong, opposite positions. I myself think that a variant of 'diminishing returns' controls: the more you produce in aggregate, the less valuable they are individually. A belt has a certain value in identifying the holder as a champ; the more 'champs' there are, the less of a claim each one has.
Mr. Kim's argument is, so what? It brings great recognition to the holder, especially those who struggle in less wealthy nations. This makes a lot of sense for promoters & fighters.
But it doesn't make sense for fans; we want undisputed champions, just as in every other sport. Boxing isn't going to give us the tournaments, so we have to settle for endless, inane debates about ranking systems and who is better than who. (I certainly fall prey to this). It is regularly stated that this is an advantage MMA has over boxing. That is only half, but sufficiently, correct. MMA consists of numerous organizations at the moment, so in that sense, there are several 'champs' for each weight across the organizations. However, UFC is clearly bigger than the rest at the moment, and my guess is that fans will generally give more legitimacy to one organization over the rest. While boxing is clearly holding its own on the coasts and abroad, MMA has completely taken over the middle of the country, and there's no reason to believe that it won't begin to make inroads into the coasts and abroad once the infrastructure (gyms, amateur leagues, etc.) fall into place.
Boxing should do what's best for boxing, regardless of what other sports are doing, so I don't want to get too distracted by MMA. Hopefully, the silver lining could be more projects like Showtime's super-middle tournament. If that proves successful, it could be a perfect solution; give the guys a certain number of belts in each division, as long as they all fight it out for an undisputed title. The belts could even be a sort of 'ticket' into a tournament. Anyway, I'm probably chasing windmills here, but its a move in the right direction.
Sorry for the length. Best. — Matthew, NYC
My two cents on the alphabet titles is that they matter but they aren’t and shouldn’t be viewed as true championships. The belts are good for giving unheralded and unconnected guys like Glen Johnson recognition and opportunities to fight for bigger and better rewards. If the Road Warrior didn’t have that IBF title he would have been viewed as just another journeyman and he never would have got his crack at Roy Jones. The IBF title led to the shot at Jones, which led to his shot at Antonio Tarver and the REAL world title. There are dozens of other examples of how winning an alphabet belt helped turn a “zero” into a “hero” (or at least started an unknown fighter on his way to a more promising future). So I see the sanctioning organization titles as a gateway into true world rankings and sometimes the opportunity for one to prove he’s worthy of being a real champion.
If you look at THE RING’s ratings most belt holders are ranked contenders, and most RING champs have won more than one belt.
At the same time, I get sick of all the damn interim titles, and I absolutely HATE the warped concept of “champions in recess or emeritus”. Champion emeritus? What the f__k is that? These are prize fighters not college professors. If a fighter is indefinitely injured or if he retires, he’s out of the game, period. He shouldn’t continue to hold a belt or be ranked.
I also think the divisional ratings of most of the alphabet boys suck. I get emails from nitwits who diss THE RING’s rankings (especially our heavyweight top 10) but all I know is that we would never have Kali-F’n-Meehan as our No. 1 heavyweight contender. Shane Cameron ain’t making our top 10 any time soon. I like BJ Flores personally, and I’m not saying that he can’t make some noise in the 200-pound division if he puts his mind to it, but there’s no way he’s in our cruiserweight rankings (especially as high as No. 3 as he is in one of the alphabet groups). I could on and on right down to strawweight, but you get my point.
Here’s the deal. I think the sanctioning organizations are here to stay. They do good business in other countries (UK, Germany, Japan, etc.). And I don’t think they are the root of all of boxing's problems. I think MMA kicks butt on boxing in certain markets and with specific age groups because it actually MARKETS to those populations and brings the sport to them. Boxing limits itself in terms of how it’s packaged/presented and where it goes. The truth is most casual fans don’t pay attention to world titles, legit or not. Fans want to see the best fight the best and they want those matchups to produce thrilling and dramatic contests with decisive endings. Talk to anyone who was at Leonard-Hearns I (or who watched it live) about that great fight I guarantee that NOBODY will mention that Leonard had the WBC belt and Hearns had the WBA title and their clash unified titles and crowned the “real” champ. They will only tell you how exciting it was watching two future hall of famers in their prime go at it until only one man was standing.
I think boxing writers and hardcore fans make too much out of “world” title belts. Rather than worry about what Gilberto Mendoza Jr. (who’s a great guy, by the way, someone I consider a friend) and the WBA are doing, I think fans and the media should focus on putting pressure on the top boxers, promoters and networks to make the best fights as often as possible.
A PLAYAS PERSPECTIVE
What's up dude? Listen, Andre Dirrell is about to get taken to place that he's never been to. Carl Froch is easy to hit and slow but he is battle tested. It says here that Froch gets in that a$$ like a mad grave digger.
Mosley needs to take a fight with Clottey, Berto or Cintron and stop waiting on fights that ain't going to happen anytime soon.
Cotto shouldn't be fighting below 147 lbs. Fighting at 145 lbs is likely to get him an a$$ kicking against the Pacman.
Amir Khan has already shown more sac than Hamed so the Prince should STFU about him being greater than Khan. Yeah, I know he has accomplished more but when he lost he virtually disappeared. Manuel Calvo does not count. Holla back! (p.s. Keep it pimpin!) — Fleetwood, St. Louis, Mo.
If Hamed wants to prove he’s better than Khan all he has to do is un-retire and fight the kid. Of course, he’ll have to lose 35 pounds in order to make junior welterweightÔÇª
I think with this much advance notice, Cotto can make 145 pounds without crippling his body.
Mosley vs. Clottey, Berto or Cintron are all good matchups. I’d rather see Mosley bump heads with Clottey or swap power with Cintron than pick on the still-green Berto. I think we’ll see Mosley-Cintron in the fall or winter. At least I hope so.
I have a lot of respect for Froch. He proved me wrong with his come-from-behind win over Jermain Taylor, and his title winning effort against Jean Pascal looks even better now that Pascal is a light heavyweight titleholder. However, Taylor and Pascal both tried to put it on the British Margarito, which was their downfall. I agree that Dirrell has never faced a fighter as battle tested as Froch, but I think he KNOWS it and will box a safety first bout. He’s got the speed, reflexes and footwork to stay away from Froch for at least six or seven rounds, but I don’t know if he can take the Nottingham man’s pressure down the stretch. That’s why it’s an interesting matchup. For the record, I think Dirrell can pull off the upset.
A GBP/HBO TOURNAMENT
Starting about 5 years ago, my friends and I would make our yearly trek to Vegas during the winter for the NFL season. A couple years back, I started the tradition of selecting a big fight weekend. They were all non-boxing sports fans, but man did they get hooked by the atmosphere and action of a great boxing night.
So for the few months, they been asking me to tell them when the Pa-Ka-Yo fight is going to be signed. On Monday, about 20 minutes after an article on Bob Arum all but confirming the done deal between Pacquiao and Cotto, I get an excited call from a buddy who probably doesn't watch boxing 364 days a year, informing me to book the tickets and alert the rest of the guys. A mass email later, I'm getting responses from a bunch of friends just hyped about the fight and booking their tickets!
Anyhow, it's way early so just one question on Pacquiao-Cotto, but a couple of other comments/rants.
1. I hope making 145 won't be too draining on Cotto. After all, he weighed in at 146 for the Clottey fight. Do you know how much Cotto weighed the night of the fight? I want to see the best Cotto facing the best Pacquiao.
2. Can you give your “boss” Oscar a call and tell him to put together a similar tournament to the Showtime's Super Six World Boxing Classic? Do you think HBO is considering something like that or are they afraid to be seen as copycats? I would think if Showtime can pull it off, HBO with their far greater resources should be able to as well.
3. Good old K9 (Steve Kim from Maxboxing for those who don't know) wrote another article defending the worth of an interim alphabet title of all things. Jeez, I know their value and worth to a fighter or promoter, but no one can convince me that it has meaning to 99% of boxing fans.
It's not worthless, but it is meaningless. — JL, San Diego
That’s a good way to look at the title belt debate, JL. I’d rather stay out of it because at the end of the day, I just don’t give a s__t. When I think of boxing, I don’t think of belts.
I’m happy to give the Golden Bossman a call with some suggestions about a tournament in a hot division but I think he and his company already have the right idea with the ‘Lightweight Lightening’ card. I think Golden Boy Promotions needs to distribute the four fights that made up that entertaining PPV card to networks or even on the internet, so fans who missed them can get excited, and then I think they need to sit down with Top Rank and work out a ‘Lightweight Lightning II and III and IV’. The series can easily run through 2010 and there’s no way the fights won’t deliver. Top Rank has Edwin Valero, Anthony Peterson, Urbano Antillon and Humberto Soto (who is about to step up to 135 pounds). GBP has the champ Juan Manuel Marquez, Joel Casamayor, Juan Diaz, Michael Katsidis, Jorge Barrios and Vicente Escobedo. Any way you mix and match these fighters you come out with a compelling fight. The trick is moving the series from the small PPV format to HBO and if the right fights are made that shouldn’t be too hard.
I think Cotto typically puts on 10 pounds from the weighin to fight night. Making 145 pounds won’t be easy for him but it won’t be impossible, and like you, I hope it won’t be debilitating. If Cotto does have a to starve himself a bit to make the contracted weight it will just be another reason for him to punish Pacquiao come fight night.
Dougie can be reached at [email protected]