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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

07
Sep

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHTS

Hey Dougie,
Second time writing you. I am ready for Andre Ward and Mikkel Kessler to get rid of their interim fights; I can't wait for the super middleweight tournament. I agree with you that Arthur Abraham should be considered one of the favorites, yet I really wanna see if Kessler looks sharp in his long awaited return. I believe that if Kessler is in top form entering the tournament like he was prior to Calzaghe than I say he is a clear favorite. I have Kessler vs. Abraham in the final yet I’m not sureÔǪ depends on how Kessler performs when he defends against his mandatory. Regardless, this tournament should be intriguing. Keep up the good work. — Uly

The great thing bout this 168-pound tournament is that there really is no clear favorite. I like Abraham to win it all, but I wouldn’t be totally shocked if he lost to Jermain Taylor, who is being counted out by just about everyone in boxing (including me). After Abraham, I think Kessler has the best shot at garnering the most points, but I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Ward beats him in November.

This Saturday’s offering on Showtime is basically an infomercial for Kessler-Ward, but I’m not complaining. Kessler needs to go some rounds with a tough guy like Gusmyr Perdomo in order to knock off the ring rust from almost a year of inactivity, and I think Ward’s tuneup with Shelby Pudwill is good for the still-developing 25 year old. The Oakland native can use all the seasoning he can get before he tangles with Kessler.

Have no fear, both Ward and Kessler will take care of business this Saturday and then the tournament will be finally be underway the next time we watch super middleweights on Showtime.

10 CRUCIAL QUESTIONS

Good morning Dougie-Fresh,
I've always enjoyed your work (even with the constant criticisms of PBF, but my hometown bias is probably just as evident), however this last article Ten crucial questions for Mayweather-Marquez is, in my un-official opinion, one of the best reads you've given fans since coming over to RingTV.com. It's thought provoking, extremely objective, and very informative. Keep up the good work.

(PS – Who narrates the 24/7 series? Man, that is a classy program.) — Mike Samuels, Grand rapids, MI

Thanks Mike. It took me a while to come up with and elaborate on each question, but this type of analysis article is always fun for me to research and write. I'm glad you found it to be more than entertaining, but also informative. I’m also pleased that you found it to be objective. Some fans, as you’ll read in this mailbag and others going into Mayweather-Marquez, believe that I’m not capable of objectivity where “Money” is concerned.

The voice of HBO's 24/7, Sports of the 20th Century documentaries and most of their Countdown shows is Liev Schreiber (known to my fellow comic nerds as Sabertooth). Schreiber's an accomplished film, television and stage actor (he also writes and directs films and plays), and as you know he’s got a great voice. I think he’s the best documentary narrator in the biz, next to my man Keith David (Spawn to comic nerds), also an accomplished film, TV and stage actor.

OBJECTIVITY

It sounds like you're rooting for Marquez, and in the process I think you're losing a level of objectivity. — Lance

Just because I don’t believe Mayweather will kill Marquez doesn’t mean I’m rooting for the underdog. It could be that the fans who think Marquez is getting knocked out early are the folks who aren’t seeing things clearly.

THE JOSHUA TREE

Shane Mosley FINALLY has an opponent, Joshua Clottey. Obviously this
should be a superb contest, but am I out of my mind for thinking Clottey might pull the upset here? Clottey's deficiencies are very well documented, but I think his jab, defense, counter punching and most importantly PHYSICAL strength are big factors here. Shane was never able to truly overpower Forrest or Wright and those to men were able to outbbox him. I think Shane fought the wrong fight early against Cotto and quite possibly would have stopped him had he walked him down more aggressively from the opening bell. You don't overpower Shane Mosley (ask Margarito, Mayorga, Vargas and to a lesser extent De La Hoya) you need to be a physically tough technician who can neutralize and offset his speed and 'power boxing'. I think Clottey can do that. Still all of this being said Clottey will probably do just enough to lose a close and disputed decision, instead of seizing the moment (as was the case against Cotto) and 'TAKING' victory. LOL. — Tom G.

I don’t think you are out of your mind at all for believing that Mosley can lose to Clottey, that’s why this is a good matchup. Let’s hope it actually comes off. I find it disconcerting that both Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank have yet to formally announce this matchup. I’m wondering if some party involved (perhaps HBO) is having second thoughts.

Anyway, if the fight comes off, kudos to GBP and Top Rank for making it happen. Mosley deserves an HBO date against a worthy opponent and Clottey deserves another title shot. I think Naazim Richardson-trained version Mosley will handle Clottey better than Margarito or Cotto did. While it’s true a strong boxer with a good jab usually disrupts Shane’s rhythm, the fighters who have defeated the Californian were either taller/rangier than Clottey (Forrest and Wright) or more versatile (Cotto). I just don’t think Clottey is busy enough to outpoint Mosley, who I believe put together the kind of body-head combos that will force the Ghanaian into his high-guard shell.

RANDOM THOUGHT FROM LONGTIME FAN

Dougie,
Just wanted to let you know I'm a big fan of your writing, which is
professional, witty, raw, intelligent, outspoken, and always entertaining.

My other favorite sports journalists include Bill Simmons (ESPN) and
Lang Whitaker (SLAM magazine). It's very rare to find charisma, humor,
passion, and actual personality anywhere in literature, and those are
the traits the three of you share.

As for boxing, here are some thoughts:

I'm a fan of Mayweather yet agree with people who are critical of his
opposition. He KO's Marquez in 11. The size difference is too much.
Floyd is using this fight to gain purse leverage over a potential
Pacquiao matchup.

I'm a fan of Pacquaio, yet never seem to be rooting for him. Cotto STOPS
HIM in 10 rounds. Footwork, power, precision, and holding when necessary
will beat him. No way Pac punches harder than Margarito w/ enhanced gloves. This isn't an upset if it happens. Though I don't count Manny out at all.

I want to see Trinidad-Vargas II at 168. That's sick right?

I want to see Mosley or Clottey knock Berto's head off. And they both will
if given the opportunity.

Margarito and his trainer should be banned for life.

Vitali Klitschko is one of the toughest matchups in the history of boxing. He gives every former champion, including HOF's, trouble and beats many of them with his reach, power, and chin. Is this crazy talk? Arreola will be lucky to make it to round 7. Thanks dude! — Adam

If Arreola isn’t in tip-top shape with 100% focus he’ll be UNLUCKY to make it to the seventh round because he’ll be busted up and chopped to hell by that point in the fight (see Danny Williams for a graphic example of where all heart and no plan or conditioning gets you against V-Klitsch). If Arreola comes with the right mindset and good condition, he can make it a fight because of his busy style.

Javier Capetillo probably will be banned for life in the U.S., but he’ll still train and work corners in Mexico. I think Margarito will be back next year. It will be interesting to see if fans and members of the media who believe he was in on the wrap loading (and had done it in previous bouts) will boycott his future fights.

I agree that Mosley and Clottey have too much for Berto — right now. I think the young man has developed nicely in the past year, he could continue to progress to the point where he could use his talent to stick-and-move effectively against both Clottey and Mosley.

You are sick for wanting to see Trinidad-Vargas II, and you’re downright delusional for thinking Vargas can make 168 pounds.

I agree that it won’t be an upset if Cotto beats Pacquiao (and don’t count the Puerto Rican star out from simply outpointing Manny over 12 rounds).

If Mayweather stops Marquez, I think it will come late in the bout. If he just made this bout to gain purse leverage over a potential Pacquiao matchup that strategy could bite him in the ass if the Sept. 19 PPV show does significantly less than the Nov. 14 PPV show.

Thanks for your kind words and those very flattering comparisons.

TOO LONG A VICTORY LAP

Hi Michael and Dougie,
I hope I'm wrong, but at the rate our local hero Manny Pacquiao is enjoying his previous victories “rewards”, he doesnt seem to be interested for the moment to prepare for his fight against Miguel Cotto. Not only is Cotto bigger and stronger than Hatton and De La Joya, Cotto is also one of the “real born fighters”.

In our poor country, many lucky people sometimes can't handle prosperity. I hope it's not too late for Pacquiao. More power to you both! — Inosantos

Thanks!

I understand your concern for Pacquiao as well as Freddie Roach’s frustration with the training camp situation but I think the PacMan has handled prosperity (and incredible pressure and expectations from his country) very well for the past four or five years. Maybe he’s just one of those special athletes that need to have some distractions between major events in order to keep from getting mentally burned out on their sport.

I’m sure once he finally reports to camp, wherever it winds up, he’ll give Roach and his training 100% focus.

MAYWEATHER-MARQUEZ THOUGHTS

Hey Doug,
I've been a boxing fan for a long time. In fact, it's the only sport I follow and can speak with some authority on Boxing history (I lived through a lot of it). It is the only sport where you don't just want your player to win but to also punish and render the other player unconscious… and it's OK to strongly dislike (I won't say hate) the other guy for a number of different reasons. You know what I mean… some guys you want to see clobbered.

After watching that arrogant SOB Mayweather on last week's episode of 24/7 it hit me that not since the days of Prince Nazeem Hamed have I so wanted to see a Boxer get the everlovin S*%t kicked out of him. In Naz' case his comeuppance was better than a KO because Barrera punished and humiliated Naz for the distance in front of millions of watching fans. If I remember correctly, Naz only fought once more against a journeymen who went the distance and never fought again.

In Floyd's case though I want to see him nailed on the chin HARD. I'm rehashing what everyone knows here, but Floyd has dodged all the best welters and then after he comes back, makes excuses (lame excuses) as to why he doesn't have to fight them. Does he really believe all that crap he spews about his greatness, accomplishments and standing in boxing or is it just more BS for the camera.

I don't know why promoters pay him to fight all of these easy hand picked bouts. I want Marquez to push Floyd over the edge but the size and weight difference just seem insurmountable despite Juan's ability. Doug, you have been in the gyms and around the fighters out there and seen things up close. Does Marquez actually have a shot or is this going to be another run and pot shot stink out by Floyd? Will this PPV be worth my hard earned bucks? I always enjoy and appreciate your opinions. Rock on Bro — David, Nashville

Promoters pay Mayweather well to fight whoever he wants to fight because they see superstar potential in him. The folks at Top Rank thought he had the ability to be another Sugar Ray Leonard, and who knows? Maybe they were right. Their vision didn’t come to fruition because Mayweather began taking the path of least resistance and maximum money after his close calls with Jose Luis Castillo. I guess we can’t fault his logic. He’s undefeated, many consider him to be the best boxer on the planet, and he was part of the biggest PPV event in history. Golden Boy Promotions and HBO believe that Mayweather’s fights with De La Hoya and Ricky Hatton, plus his participation in the entertainment world outside of boxing (Dancing with the Stars, WWE), have elevated him into an attraction. We’ll find out if they are right on Sept. 19.

Maybe the PPV show will do well in part because of the venom Mayweather’s arrogance elicits in a lot of fans (and media). We’ll see.

I give Marquez a shot to beat Mayweather but not a strong one. He’s just not a welterweight and I don’t think he’s got the kind of quick-twitch muscle and natural athleticism of a Pacquiao that allows a smaller fighter to pack on pounds and still be explosive. However, there are so many other factors in this fight, such as Mayweather’s layoff and rib injury, that make it somewhat tough to call. There’s also the fact that Mayweather is fighting a fellow boxer/counter-puncher for the time in many years. I don’t think it’s going to be a walk in the park for Floyd, but I can’t guarantee that it’s not going to be a chess match or that “Money” won’t stink it out. However, there are two good matchups on the undercard (John-Juarez II and Katsidis-Escobedo) that add to the value of the PPV show.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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