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Dougie’s Fat Friday Mailbag

11
Sep

ARREOLA'S CHANCES

What up Cuz?
Great article on Chris Arreola’s recent media workout. I know there has been a lot of talk regarding Arreola’s approach to training in preparation for his fights. I am certainly not of the opinion that Arreola needs to look like a “prime Holyfield” or be a Greek “Adonis” but he should put in an honest effort in the gym to ensure that he is fit and up to the challenge each time he enters the ring. It was interesting to read Darryl Hudson’s comments stating that Arreola’s body “in time will look harder and more sculpted then it does now.” But I would respectfully say isn’t that time now on the eve of his most important fight? Hudson went on to state that Arreola has “had to follow a controlled diet and had to do two-a-days for the first time.” I’m sorry but isn’t this a part of a professional athlete’s responsibility to watch their diet and train hard?

I also had to chuckle to myself when I read some of Henry Ramirez’s comments regarding Arreola’s fight plan particularly when he stated “when we aren’t able to get in close (to Vitali) we’re going to surprise people by moving around him.” Now excuse me if I don’t get Arreola’s new found foot work confused with a prime Sugar Ray Leonard! Ultimately, I’m hoping for a good fight, Arreola has a lot of heart, good pop, and underrated hand speed I just wonder if these attributes will be enough without having the true understanding of paying the physical price in the gym each and every day. I guess we’ll find out in about two weeks. As always keep up the good work, Dougie! — Tim

Some fighters can get away without living a Spartan lifestyle. They do so because they have an abundance of natural ability, or skill and experience to fall back on, or they’re just plain tough. Arreola’s gotten over so far mainly because of his toughness, but also because of some natural talent and underrated boxing ability.

We’ll see if those attributes, plus the hard work that he’s (finally) done in this camp is enough for him to take Vitali’s title.

You asked if what Hudson is putting Arreola through in this camp is what all professional athletes are supposed to do. I don’t know what professional athletes in other sports like football, basketball and baseball do to be and stay in shape, but “controlled diets and two-a-days” are not part of the traditional boxing conditioning routine. Watching one’s diet and training hard is definitely something all boxers must do. Sometimes Arreola does this (and it’s shown in his better performances) and sometimes he doesn’t.

I must add that sometimes modern strength and conditioning methods with special diets help boxers, sometimes they don’t.

Chuckle all you want at Ramirez’s fight plan, Cuz. Just because you haven’t seen Arreola stick and move doesn’t mean that he can’t do it. He’s got footwork and there’s nothing “new found” about it. I hope to see you at Staples in two weeks.

STILL DOUBTING THE NIGHTMARE

Doug,
I still wonder if Chris has enough reach to touch Vitali’s face and because he crouches, I think that makes it worse. Lennox Lewis had no problems smacking Vitali’s face because he had the longer reach. Even though I thought Vitali was winning the fight, let us not forget that Lennox chopped him up with hard shots and won via TKO because of that reach. That is why I believe he could have beaten Wladimir by KO too. That reach would have disrupted his rhythm and timing. What can Wladimir or Vitali do if they lean back and are getting clobbered? They become pretty average to me.

Then again, with Chris, I seriously wonder if his reach can be effective. All Vitali can do is tie up on that inside. Chris has a hell of a shot if he can get there quick and close that distance. It will be ugly but no way in hell can Vitali keep up with 80 punches a round. He just has to close the distance with one step. You really don’t have any heavies that can do that anymore. Tyson could close so quick and so could Holyfield. It really is an interesting fight. I hope Chris pumps that jab in Vitali’s faceÔǪ it will allow him that cover to get in. I really don’t feel like I know who will win. I don’t believe Vitali will have an easy timeÔǪ and has he ever been really pressed? I think he will be breathing heavy early and often, then Chris may have a chance to outwork him. — Mauro

Vitali has been pressed before but it was basic, plodding unintelligent pressure put forth by an all-guts-without-brains Danny Williams and Dr. Iron Fist brutally operated on the Brit’s face for eight rounds.

The sad thing about Williams is that he’s got a good hard jab when he remembers to use it. He didn’t even try against Klitschko.

I don’t think a boxer necessarily has to be of equal height and reach to land a jab against either Klitchko (although it certainly helps). Chris Byrd was able to jab Vitali (not Wladdy) with some regularity, and contrary to what is often written about their fight the ByrdMan was in that fight prior to Big V’s shoulder injury.

I think Arreola’s reach will be sufficient if he steps with his jab and aims it at the taller man’s stomach and chest area. If he can land there and keep his guard up (or slip or duck whatever Vitali shoots his way) he can take another step forward and let his right hand or left hook go. The important thing for Arreola (as you eluded to) is to get off with more than one or two punches when in close. If he can do that, I think we’ll all get to witness a good heavyweight on Sept. 26.

MAYWEATHER-MARQUEZ MEDIA EVENTS

Hey Fischer,
Long time follower! I was wondering if you knew anything about a Marquez-Mayweather final conference or any public events before the fight Sept 19th? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Doug, keep up the good work! — Betoe

If you live in the L.A. area there’s a public fan rally for Juan Manuel Marquez that will be held at the Olvera Street Plaza (located at the corner of Alameda and Los Angeles Streets in downtown Los Angeles) on Sunday. It starts at 3 p.m. Marquez will be there (obviously) as well as our benevolent bossman Oscar De La Hoya.

On Monday both Marquez and Mayweather will hold open workouts at the Kodak Theatre Arch on Hollywood boulevard (6801 Hollywood Blvd. Hollywood, CA 90028). Mayweather’s workout starts at 11 a.m.; Marquez’s begins at 12:30 p.m.

Everything else next week takes place at the MGM Grand (site of the fight) in Las Vegas.

THE CASH COW

Hey Doug,
Great Mayweather-Marquez 10 questions article. It is absolutely shocking to me how anyone could read that and see some kind of bias against Mayweather in there. Too many Floyd fanboys take the “with us or against us” approach, where if every syllable you write doesn’t go out of your way to speak glowingly about how amazing Floyd is, you’re a “hater.” I guess I would call myself a Floyd hater, but only because I mean that more literally than most. I simply can’t stand the guy as a person. However, I’m not one generalized “haters” who just say the guy sucks, etc., because that’s just plain not being honest. His talent is undeniable.

What bothers me about the guy is simply what comes out of his mouth. You just cannot carefully select your opposition, turn them into boring fights, and then tell everyone who will listen that you are the greatest fighter of all time. I don’t care to listen to what a “warrior” you, how you are “willing to die in the ring,” and that you “put on exciting fights.” Sorry, Floyd, you’re thinking of Arturo Gatti. On top of that, throw in one of Floyd’s new talking points, that he is the cash-cow of boxing. Well, anyone with a few extra minutes in their day can go online and look up his PPV numbers. Take out De La Hoya (who was the draw) and Hatton (the draw) and tell me what you see.

One of Floyd’s other talking points, this time in regard to Manny Pacquiao, is “where was this guy when I was dominating in the 90s?” Where to startÔǪ Well, since Floyd doesn’t seem to live on the same planet as you and I, someone should inform him that we are presently in a what-you-done-for-me-lately world. You know who else did well for himself in the 90s? Oscar De La Hoya. It doesn’t mean he dominated anything in the 2000s. (For the record, I have no issue with Oscar). Fast forward to the last 5-6 years. Subtracting the Mayweather/Pacquiao common opponents of De La Hoya and Hatton, a sample of the fighters Floyd faced: Corley, Mitchell, Gatti, Judah, Baldomir. Now a sample of Pacquiao’s opposition: Barrera (twice), J.M. Marquez (twice), Morales (three times). Of course Floyd will revert to reminding you that he is still undefeated. Fair enough. To many boxing fans, and obviously to Floyd, that’s the most important thing. I happen to think differently. I am more impressed and have respect for the guys who are willing to fight the best fighters, who want to actually PROVE they are the best. One that immediately comes to mind is Miguel Cotto. The fact that he chose to take fights with Mosley, Margarito, Clottey, and now Pacquiao puts him in higher standing in my view.

Well, Doug, I’m sorry for the length of the e-mail. Hopefully it wasn’t too much rambling for ya. Thanks a lot. — Jesse, New Jersey

Your email was long but it wasn’t rambling. It made a lot of sense to my ears, particularly your point about Mayweather’s “perfect” record. I agree that having an “0” in the right column of his ledger is very important to him because he knows that as long as he’s undefeated he can claim and his fans can at least argue that he’s the world’s best boxer (and the real pin heads will argue that he’s the G.O.A.T). So long as he’s looking out for that goose egg on his record I don’t think he’s ever going to face a fighter with a realistic chance of beating him.

I’m glad you brought this up because it’s the subject of my next Mayweather-Marquez column.

TEN MEXICAN HOPEFULS

Hey Dougie,
Great stuff you been writing. The 10 Mexican hopefuls was uplifting and optimistic for every Mexican and who knows chances are that a star who was not included in that list will rise out of obscurity and be the man. I've got my hopes set on Antonio DeMarco.

Also the 10 crucial ?'s for Marquez/Mayweather was brilliant. Got me all excited to see the fight. Remember you once promised that if Marquez beat Diaz impressively that you would do extensive coverage on Marquez during the lead up to his next bout. So far so good.

Any word on Mosley vs. Clottey at the Staples? Will they stack a decent undercard. They should. My wife has family in Los Angeles so that means it will be convenient for me, to spend the holidays there this year.
Finally who do you give a better shot at getting the upset win.
Juan Manuel Marquez or Cristobal Arreola? — JorgE, San Diego

Mosley-Clottey has been agreed upon by the principles but it may not have the financial backing of HBO for this year. Going on Dec. 26 is very risky in terms of butts in the seats at Staples and TV ratings. I think the fight will happen but it will probably get pushed back into January or February of 2010. If and when it happens you can expect a strong co-feature and decent undercard involving GBP and Top Rank young guns such as Victor Ortiz, Steven Luevano, Anthony Peterson, Luis Ramos and Matt Korobov.

Did I say that about JMM? Damn, I better get crackin’ on some Marquez features!

I’m a fan of DeMarco’s but mymoney is on Alfred Angulo and Abner Mares developing into bona fide Mexican attractions. Of course, both young men still have to win their first world title before they can even begin to realize their potential.

ONE MORE HOPEFUL

Hey Dougie,
I liked your article on the Mexican hopefuls, but there's one big hole on the list: Saul Alvarez. We'll see if he's got the goods in the ring (I think he tires a little too much and falls a little too much in love with one big shot at a time, but those are correctable flaws), but as far as a high profile among average Mexican sports fans, Alvarez probably tops everyone on the list. Soto, Montiel, Segura also get TV love, but not the way Alvarez does: he's headlined like four or five cards on Televisa, which is the nation's biggest network (though the second biggest for boxing). He's being marketed as the headliner in another on September 15th, for independence day, even though Edgar Sosa will be fighting too. Even though he's nowhere near a title, he gets ink on mainstream sports pages and on regular sports programming, which a lot of the other more accomplished pros can't say. On top of that, he's really young and has a fun style. We'll see if he can punch with the big dogs at 147, but as far as turning into a household name the way Chavez did, Alvarez is definitely someone to keep your eye on. — Patrick, Torre├│n, Mexico

I’m aware of Alvarez’s popularity and I’ve seen the teenager fight before. Right now, I put him in the category of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in that he’s already a ticket seller and ratings grabber but he’s yet to show me any real potential to be a world-beater. He’s young, and like you said, his flaws are correctable, but from what I saw of his 10 rounder with an under-motivated Larry Mosley last year I think he’s still in need of some seasoning. He’s fought six times since that fight (it will be seven by next week) so I think he will get that experience he needs to develop into a world-class threat, but it will probably take another year.

DANA WHITE

What's up Doug,
I remember a few years ago you had made one of the funniest but accurate analysis' of a fighter in your massive mailbag. I am talking about Sam Soliman, when he fought Winky Wright. You had stated that he through punches “like an octopus on crack with a work rate of a hummingbird” LMAO. I still laugh when I think of that because it was a classic statement. I also wanted to point out that if ever there was a movie to be made about Metallica that you could take the role of playing Kirk Hammet (their guitar player).

The real reason I am writing you is because of the UFC president's trash talking about boxing, especially the Mayweather/Marquez bout. I remember seeing him wearing a shirt that says `boxing is dead`. I believe the two sports should just co exist and leave it at that rather than wage verbal wars. You don`t see the NFL trying to brainwash folks into believing their sport is better than the NBA. However I do watch mixed martial arts and what I see is a bunch of amateurish fighters throwing for the fences when they try to box. They fight with their hands down, chin out, flat footed, they chase, and run out of steam in no time. If Dana White tells people that Floyd Mayweather is fighting a nobody on the 19th. Obviously (pardon my language) he don`t know s__t about boxing. Juan Manuel Marquez is a top tier fighter and number 2 pound for pound fighter in the world today. He can do things most MMA fighters cannot do: he can throw pin point combinations, he can take a punch, he can adjust, he gets better as the fight goes on. Juan is the real deal, MMA fighters are brawlers, some of whom go down and stay down after they take their first punch on the chin. However there are a few MMA fighters with half decent boxing skills. In boxing you cannot be start your career at 30 years old and hold a record of 18-7 and be considered a legend. I`ll go ahead and say, boxing is better to watch, and harder to become a champion.

Here`s one to stir the pot, in a mythical match up I believe Juan Manuel Marquez would win a decision against Julio Caesar Chavez at 135. If Pacquiao and Marquez win their bouts and fight a third time, I believe Manny would win because of his all around improvement whereas Juan seems to be taking more punches. Joe. — British Columbia

You might be right about your prediction of a third Pacquiao-Marquez match, but I see the lightweight version of Chavez grinding out a competitive but unanimous decision over Marquez in that mythical matchup.

I’m so bored with Dana White and the silly ass Boxing vs. MMA debate. If boxing’s dead, why are we debating anything? Why even talk about a dead sport? What’s the point? You and I know that it lives, so let’s just be content with that. There are tremendous major boxing match ups that will take place this month, in October, November, and hopefully December (if Pavlik-Williams is made, and it looks like it will) that I will gladly cover and you will happily watch. Why let anything Mayweather or White blab about to the general sports media bother you? We’ll get to watcha great fighter (Marquez) engage in his greatest challenge next week. We’ve got a good heavyweight scrap coming up in two weeks. We’ve got Abraham-Taylor in October. We’ve got Cotto-Pacquiao, Kessler-Ward and Dawson-Johnson II in November. I think will get Pavlik-Williams in December. We’ve got it made! Let’s enjoy it!

Who cares if MMA fighters can’t take a shot or if their stance differs from boxing (hey, they’re allowed to kick and dive-tackle in that sport, I think there’s going to be differences in how they stand and hold their hands) or if the they can enter their sport at an advanced age and be considered legends with 18-7 records (hey, that might be part of the sport’s popularity)?

We’ve got good fighters in boxing, a few might be great, and we’ve got damn good matchups coming up. What do we have to complain about?

I really don’t know what to say about White’s comments regarding JMM. I wish Mayweather would keep White’s name out of his ignorant mouth (talk about throwing bricks in a glass house) so the baldheaded bossman wouldn’t feel the need to take verbal jabs at our sport. I’ll just say that I respect White for the way he manages the powerhouse that is the UFC, because his organization employs some of my favorite cornermen (Leon Tabbs, Stitch Duran and Tony Rivera), boxers (Wayne McCullough), and writers (Thomas Gerbasi).

dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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