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Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag

28
Aug

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Hey Dougie,
Just curious… are we ever going to see your “So. Cali. Notebook”-style columns again? That was some of your best stuff (IMO). — Chico Fan (R Garcia)

Thanks. Those gym scene columns are my favorite articles to write, but I’m afraid they’ve been replaced by the weekly Oscar De La Hoya blogs.

Just kidding.

I’m going to have one next week that will feature Vitali Klitschko and James Toney among other notable fighters who are training in Southern California.

ADAMEK-GOLOTA & B-HOP

Been an interesting week thus far… I have to admit I'm strangely intrigued with Adamek-Golota. Despite Golota's relative old age and declining skill, this should still sell a lot of tickets and be a fairly decent scrap.

I'll always wonder just how far Golata, who was good enough to twice dominate Riddick Bowe before being D'Q, could have gone had he the proper mental make-up…

So where does this leave 'Nard? I'm not seeing anything worthwhile on his horizon. A Jones rematch will never happen (probably a good thing for Jones 'marks' like me) due to BOTH of their delusional views on their respective drawing power (NIETHER of them have ever been a real attraction that drew PPV Buys) and purse split demands. So I guess he'll have to wait out Dawson-Johnson II.

Is Adamek's journey to the land of the giants a one time deal? Or is he looking to parlay this fight into bigger things? The guy EATS right hands, its hard to imagine him having a legitimate shot at Vlad or Vitali. David Haye might be fun though. — Tom G.

If Adamek beats Golota (and I think he will) I doubt his heavyweight venture will end there. He’ll return to the land of giants because that’s where the money trees grow. I think a Haye-Adamek showdown at heavyweight would be a tremendous fight (although I’d rather see it at 200 pounds).

How far could Golota have gone if he wasn’t a mental pigmy? I think he would have at least won a world title. He almost beat Chris Byrd and John Ruiz for alphabet straps not too long ago but he just couldn’t maintain composure or give it that extra effort to win an additional round or two.

By the way, I think the Byrd-Golota fight (a draw that I thought the little guy won 7-5) is exhibit A as to why Adamek will beat the Foul Pole. Exhibit B is his quit job in China against Ray Austin. Exhibit C is the fact that he couldn’t take out a totally exhausted and very green Mike Mollo last January.

As for B-Hop, do you really want to see him fight again — against anybody? After his shutout of Kelly Pavlik, I thought he pretty much accomplished all a fighter could in this game. I don’t see what a rematch with Jones does for either veteran’s legacy. And beyond the non-stop craptalk that would dominate every pre-fight media event and interview, I don’t think the two 40-something future hall of famers would make for an entertaining event.

Does anybody remember the first fight? The answer is NO. That’s because it was a forgettable “fight”. It was 12 rounds of a tight Hopkins stalking a skittish Jones, who turned the bout into a game of “keep away”. It was dreadfully boring.

In my opinion, the Adamek fight was the only option for Nard that was worth doing. It would have been a big event in New Jersey, an interesting matchup in terms of style and a meaningful bout because Nard would be going for a world title in a third weight class. Who knows? Maybe it can still happen sometime next year. Adamek won the cruiserweight title in December. He hasn’t even reigned for a year. Let’s allow Adamek to raise his profile by beating down Golota’s punk ass and then defending his title a few more times (while building his fan base in Newark). Nard ain’t going anywhere and the fight will only get bigger with time (provided Adamek continues to win).

Regarding the Dawson-Johnson winner, I don’t see how a Hopkins victory over either will enhance his legacy. Either would make for a good fight, and a significant win if he could pull it off, but he’s already been “the man” in the light heavyweight division and I don’t think beating another young, undefeated stud or a grizzled 40-year-old vet he defeated 11¾ years ago is any more of a feather in his cap than the Pavlik win was.

JMM'S WEIGHT/SPEED

I was starting to like JMM's chances against Lil Floyd, but then I read Oscar De La Hoya's blog about him, and now I have my doubts.

Have you heard any reliable news on JMM's condition at this point in his camp? I found a philboxing column online that suggests Nacho Beristain is worried about his lack of speed after adding weight. — gopal rao

I think Marquez is always going to show up for a fight in tip-top condition, but how well he carries a welterweight’s poundage is the x-factor of the bout (and as far as I’m concerned Mayweather’s safety net in this bout).

I don’t believe the Philboxing.com column and I don’t believe what Beristain said during this week’s media conference call (that Marquez is looking faster than in previous camps). I do, however, trust my eyes and these photos from Marquez’s camp that are posted on the Golden Boy Promotions website tell me that the natural featherweight is not carrying 140-plus pounds well.

http://www.goldenboypromotions.com/media/2009/july/7.23.09_may/7.23.09_may.htm

I think JMM looks chunky around the midsection. I figure he’s going to be at least a little bit slower than usual fighting at an unnatural weight. I don’t see how adding mass is going to enhance his speed at all.

THE NOT-SO MAGIC MAN

At what point do we acknowledge that Paulie Malignaggi’s performance against Juan Diaz was awful? I have been reading the bellyaching from the fans and writers who are droning on about a hometown decision when there was none to speak of. Malignaggi circled, flat out ran and, in a completely amateur fashion, tapped Diaz in an attempt to rack up “points” without ever committing to a serious punch. He rarely took more than one darting forward step or effectively launched a hard right hand or serious left hook in the entire fight.

I know Compubox is a tool and does not necessarily tell the story of a fight but I believe this is one of those instances where it accurately illustrated what I witnessed. While Malignaggi “landed” more punches in total, the real story is in the power punches category in which Diaz was not only more prolific, but more proficient, more effective and more committed. He threw more than 100 power shots, landed 53 more overall and mixed in effective right and left hand shots. Diaz landed more power shots in 9 of 12 rounds (1 even) and constantly pressed the action by coming forward, engaging and throwing in combination. Sure Paulie landed some 66 more jabs but are those 66 worth more than the 53 more power punches that Diaz dealt? That and the only combination that was coming back from Malignaggi was a double and triple jab while going backwards and no one can argue that Paulie was being effectively aggressive in ANY round.

This is not amateur boxing, we give credit to fighters who fight, engage and most importantly – land effective, hard punches. I don’t understand why people are buying into Max Kellerman’s purist commentary about Malignaggi’s boxing acumen. After all, his favorite fighter is Pernell Whitaker, who was great and certainly leagues above Malignaggi, but the slant that he constantly brings to the show because of his favoritism really dilutes the broadcast in my opinion. He’s not Larry OR Jim Gray at this point. Ok, that’s all the bellyaching that I am going to do. My recommendation is to watch the fight again without the commentary and pay close attention to the punching and I think you will see a different, and quite clear, outcome. Thanks for listening. — Frank

I’m not going to watch the fight again. I don’t care about the controversy, which I think was blown out of proportion by HBO and over-reactionary fans. It was an OK fight. It wasn’t good enough for me to watch three times for any reason.

I thought Max did well during the broadcast and during the post-fight interviews. I’ve known that he favors slick boxers for years, so I always take that into account when listening to his commentary. To his credit, he doesn’t shove his scorecards down anyone’s throat.

As for your analysis of the fight, I agree to an extent. I agree that Diaz’s edge in power punching was worth more than Malignaggi’s edge in jabs and overall punch count. (If I used the amateur scoring criteria for this fight I probably would have Malignaggi winning nine rounds but I don’t recall either boxer wearing headgear and a tank top.) As far as I’m concerned 10 jabs that are thrown while backing up and land with all the authority of a blown kiss do not equal one solid left hook that causes the recipient’s head to snap.

However, I don’t think Malignaggi was “awful”. I thought he was effective enough with his stick-and-move game to limit Diaz’s ability to do damage to him. I think Diaz inflicted more physical damage, but not as much as he usually does. I have to give Malignaggi credit for that. He looked as sharp as I’ve seen him since he won the IBF belt from Lovemore Ndou, and I think he would have totally discouraged a lesser fighter than Diaz.

MALIGNAGGI MAILBAG MUCK

Hey Doug, you proud GBP shill, you:

Just a couple of points I was hoping to get your take on:

– Something that hadn't occurred to me for a while, but I feel one of the real tragedies stemming from poorly scored close fights (like Diaz-Malignaggi) is how unfairly the winner gets shafted. You aptly point out, the fight was both close and the scoring controversial, and that's the worst part. Had all three judges scored it 115-113 Diaz, or if two vote 7-5 Diaz and one judge sees it for Malignaggi by the same margin, only Paulie and a select few would be screaming about the outcome. This wasn't Whitaker-Chavez where it was obvious the guy who dominated got the screw job, but really it was two outlandish scorecards that will forever attach the words “controversial decision” to a fight that Diaz has reasonable evidence to argue that he fairly won.

– Sure, while Paulie's New York motormouth tirade after the Diaz fight was definitely merited, it becomes harder and harder to take his side when the guy presents himself as such a clown. The same guy who damn near dropped a fight due to hair extensions wears comically over-sized, low-hanging, Liberace-tasseled trunks and spends half the night showing his ass to the crowd and judges from whom he so desperately seeks respect. Of course it's wrong he didn't get a fair shake on at least two of the scorecards, but how hard it is to take serious a man so willing to jeopardize his professional career just to cultivate some sort of post-Camacho fashion statement.

– Love him or hate him, is there a talking head in the business as adept in formulating and delivering thought-provoking perspective so quickly after any post-fight interview as Max Kellerman? I used to loathe HBO shows where Jim or Larry weren't present, but these days it seems like the most quotable sound bites are coming from the little guy who used to have the public access show.

Best regards and keep enjoying that Oscar De La Kool-Aid! — Charles Crosbie, Ogden, Utah

I will, Charles, it’s Oscar De La-icious!

I think Kellerman has improved with each broadcast since the start of the year.

I believe there should be a rule in boxing that makes it illegal to dress like a prime Hector Camacho unless that fighter has prime Camacho talent.

I agree that Gale Van Hoy’s doo-doo scorecard (and to a lesser extent David Sutherland’s tally) cheated Diaz out of any credit he would have received for pulling out a decision against a difficult style with a horrible cut over one of his eyes.

In my opinion, Diaz’s cut was just as bad as the cut Cotto fought through vs. Clottey, but nobody gives the kid any credit because most of the post-fight focus was devoted to Malignaggi’s rants.

MALIGNAGGI VS. THE ODDS

Hey Dougie,
I watched the Malignaggi/Diaz fight and didn’t write in immediately, because I thought of the way of breaking down close fights and controversial decisions I learned from you with the standard logic of “if you thought the fight could have been a draw, you shouldn’t be surprised if the fight went the other way”.

Now that I read through the MMMB, I think I’m understanding where the frustration is coming from. It’s not so much that Paulie lost, which I think can be attested to by the fact that many Paulie fans thought it could have been a draw and had Paulie pulling out a couple of close rounds. It’s the way that this fight ended up turning into a symbol of “The Boxer vs. the (Corrupt) System”.

Had all things been equal in terms of the playing field (gloves, judges, ref, ring size), I think Magic Man fans could have stomached an even worse decision based purely on the merits of the fight. It’s the fact that the fight was already set up to favor Diaz that left a bad taste in peoples’ mouths. I have the feeling that the stink from this fight isn’t something that’s going to go away anytime soon, especially unless some corrective action is taken to address the judging of you-know-who, and also the appointment of the judges in the first place.

Like I mentioned, I had Malignaggi winning the fight, but only by a round, which could have gone Diaz’ way. Anyway, just trying to make sense of a bad situation for everyone involved. Keep up the good work Dougie, and I look forward to hearing what you think. Later bro. — Vinod

I think it sucked for Malignaggi (and the fans) that referee Laurence Cole and judge Gale Van Hoy were forced on this fight by virtue of the bout taking place in Texas, but where else was this fight going to land? Las Vegas? Diaz and Malignaggi would have fought in an empty arena and fans and boxing media would have complained about how promoters need to take their fighters out of the casinos to their hometowns and hometown fans in order to build up the sport’s fan base. I guess the fight could have been staged in New York city, perhaps in the small arena of Madison Square Garden, where if promoted right maybe the 5,000-seat theater could have been filled up. But why should Golden Boy Promotions take an exciting young fighter like Diaz, who has twice headlined cards in Houston that attracted more than 13,000 fans, to Malignaggi’s hometown?

Does Diaz in NYC make sense to you? Is Golden Boy Promotions part of a “corrupt system” for wanting to put the fight in the city where it would sell the most tickets and make the most money?

Was Lou DiBella part of a “corrupt system” when he had Jermain Taylor defend his middleweight title in his hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas or nearby Memphis, Tenn.?

I don’t think so. I think the GBP and DiBella were doing what promoters are supposed to do in those instances. It’s the promoter’s job to make the biggest events that will bring in the most money, and at the same time they’re supposed to look after their talent. Golden Boy Promotions did that where Diaz was concerned last Saturday. DiBella did that for Taylor when the Arkansas native was the middleweight champ (and one of HBO’s favorite sons). And you know what? More than once Taylor was the beneficiary of questionable scoring when defending his title in Memphis (ask Winky Wright and Cory Spinks if you don’t want to take my word for it).

As far as I’m concerned Malignaggi has been the beneficiary of boxing’s so-called corrupt system on two occasions. And one of those occasions was the result of where the bout took place.

His IBF title defense against Herman Ngoudjo would have sold a hell of a lot more tickets had it took place in Montreal, but there was no way Lou and Paulie were going to give the challenger home court advantage and I don’t fault them for that. They didn’t sell a buttload of tickets putting the fight in a ballroom inside Bally’s Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City but that move may have allowed Malignaggi to hold on to his belt. Like the Diaz fight, that bout was close and could have gone either way, but one of the scorecards for Malignaggi was 117-111 (nine rounds to three).

So what’s up with that? Does that mean DiBella and Malignaggi are part of a corrupt system? And where was the “stink” from that fight?

GOOD CALL ON PAULIE GIRL

Sup Jerricurl?
Long time no write. Just got done reading the mailbag. I completely agree with your score card and your reply to one of those idiots when you brought up Herman Ngoudjo. He took his loss like a MAN and didn't wine like a little bitch like Malignaggi even though he won that fight against pitty pat punching Paulie but lost on the scorecards.

Paulie showed no class in that defeat, and lifted his skirt up to show a national audience his p__sy. Skirt wearing powder puff bitch that he is. Sorry for the rant but I can't stand that girl, I mean dude. LOL. I will be heading to Hollywood, Fla. Friday to check out that awesome card. I got Bailey by decision, because Juan is flatfooted and one handed (but built like a tank and iron chinned). I was there for the Berto fight, and he took some serious uppercuts and didn't budge. Well nice chattin Cya soon. — Jay

I also think Bailey is going to win a decision tonight by keeping the Colombian tank at the end of his jab.

Hey, for the record, I LIKE Malignaggi. He’s a class act in person and a Godsend for boxing writers because he’s always got an opinion and he’s obviously not shy about expressing them.

I don’t bring up the Ngoudjo fight to diss him in any way. I want to be clear on that. I bring it up to remind fans that unfair things happen in boxing (as they do in life) and the folks that get the good end of the stick are not necessarily trying to deliberately screw the folks who get the s__t end of the stick. I don’t believe that DiBella wanted to screw Ngoudjo (who I thought was the beneficiary of a hometown nod vs. Randall Bailey). I think Lou was just looking out for his fighter, which is what he’s supposed to do (and something many insiders believed he failed to do going into the Diaz fight).

RANDOM THOUGHTS

dear dougie,

i tught paulie won the fight last saturday. he outworked, outpunched, outlanded, outboxed, and outclassed diaz with his jab and superior handspeed. i thout diaz clearly won 4 or 5 rounds when he landed the harder more effective punches and effective aggression goes along way on the scorecards as it should. however i thout malignaggi shut diaz down for at least 7 rounds where juan couldn't land a meaningful shot to give him the round. i was rooting for diaz and love his style but this is not a street fight it is boxing and i thout paulie outboxed him. with all that said i could see a couple close rounds going to diaz, enough to give him the win, but that 118-110 has me calling robbery right along with malignaggi as i thought he had every right to say everything he did after the fight as he put what i felt into words, just as you usually do. that scorecard is everything that is wrong with the sport.

i have always laughed at the people that say you are goldenboys spokesman but im starting to see that you never seem to disagree with gbp and always seem to stick up for them. i may be wrong but give me 1 example that you went against gbp. and with that said l loved that little sarcastic email address you put at the bottom of your last mailbag, i tought that was great. lol

just a couple random thoughts: do you think the postponement of the marquez-mayweather fight just gave marquez more time to bulk up and get used to the extra weight he will be carrying around against p*ssy boy. i hope so. also i no the only reason pacqiuao wanted cotto is because he saw flaws in him but i think he's making a mistake in going to big against cotto, the same mistake mayweather is making against marquez for assuming hes to small. still i got money winning (unfortunately) with marquez making a late rally which will be too little too late and cotto knocking out pacman in the late rounds.

keep the great work coming, dougie. love the analysis. — rick ross from south jerz

I don't think Malignaggi out-punched or outclassed Diaz. He wasn't dominant in any manner, in my opinion. Neither was Diaz, which is why the fight was close and could have gone either way.

You can call me a GBP spokesperson if you want. Maybe it will catch on and I’ll start getting a monthly check for that gig.

But seriously, what has Golden Boy done this year that I needed to disagree with? And what you call “sticking up for them” I call being real. They don’t do anything different from any other promoter.

I've been critical of GBP in the past, primarily when they were trying to make big events out of matchups that nobody asked for (like Hopkins-Wright) and when all of their fights took place in Vegas in front of nobody (Mosley-Collazo comes to mind). However, I think they’ve done right by the fans for the last year and half. When they really f__k up, believe me I'm going to call them on it. But to be honest — and maybe you can think of something they've done that's really terrible in recent months — since I've worked for The Ring (I came aboard in December), they haven't done anything so egregious that it requires me to rip them.

I think the postponement of Mayweather-Marquez may give JMM more time to bulk up, but I don't think being stronger is the answer for the older and smaller man in this fight. Coming in too heavy could be a mistake.

I agree Cotto is going to give Pacquiao his toughest fight since Marquez. But despite Cotto's size, strength and skill, he's not as good as JMM. Remember that.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected] you can follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dougiefischer

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