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Dettloff’s End of Summer Mailbag

13
Sep

Summer is officially over, dear readers, which means it’s time for my annual – watch this, you fans of literary gymnastics – End of Summer Mailbag. Read on for thoughts on practical illiteracy, Joe Calzaghe, what it means to die like a man, Mayweather-Marquez, feet, misogyny, toe thumbs, Arreola-Klitschko and much, much more!

Mr. Dettloff,

The story “Taylor still battling the ghost of Pavlik” has an awful example of the amateur level of writing these days. In the second paragraph you write, “it is not always the smartest tact”…”tact” is not the word you should have there. It should be “tack”… as in a boat “tacking” or a course … a direction … a maneuver. Not “tact.” That word refers to discretion … careful consideration. C'mon … I want people who understand boxing to be writing about it. But I also want the “writing” part to be there.

— Scott



Scott, you’re absolutely right. Good catch. By the way, you don’t get out much, do you?

Dettloff,

You must miss Joe Calzaghe, as we do here in England. With him retired, Ricky Hatton not doing much and the Klitschkos dominating the heavyweight division, you haven’t had as many chances to show your bias against fighters that aren’t from America. Too bad for you, bloody Yank!

— Lyle

You’re right, Lyle. And to be honest, I’ve grown to respect Calzaghe. Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones showed themselves to be viable fighters post-Calzaghe, and Mikkel Kessler is still a top fighter. So his wins over them go an awfully long way. I still don’t count his time as the WBO “champion” as legitimate, but he’s got my respect. Now, maybe you can answer a question for me: What do you Brits have against orthodontists? They have to eat too, you know.

Mr. Dettloff,

You wrote: “It’s time to abolish this silly mouthpiece rule, don’t you think? Here we have guys banging each other’s brains around inside their skulls and we’re all concerned about them getting a fat lip or chipped tooth. What are we worried about, making sure that 25 years down the road they have the nicest smiles in the dementia ward?”

It shocks me to read that from a respected boxing columnist. I would have imagined that a man that has been around the sport would know that mouthpieces greatly reduce the occurrences of concussions. Mouthpieces are crucial to keeping a boxer out of the dementia ward.

— Michael

Hi Michael. Thanks for your note. To clarify, that line pertained to the rule that forces referees to replace a mouthpiece that has been dislodged; not the rule that requires that fighters wear mouthpieces into the ring.

Next, the only “evidence” I’ve been able to find that mouthpieces prevent concussion is written by dentists and other such parties who stand to benefit financially from selling them to football teams. Generally, neurologists have found the evidence supporting the claim to be inconclusive at best. Imagine that – science scoring a rare win over capitalism!

Dear Bill Dettloff,

Regarding your comments on (Gina) Carano and MMA. You are as ignorant as you are sexist. Way to go calling a dedicated and skilled woman athlete a man. I hope the women in your family get treated according to their looks. And if they ever try to advance themselves in their lives that some man pats them on the head and chuckles at the notion of a woman being treated like a person. Enjoy writing for a dying sport while MMA continues to dominate. Also, f____ off, misogynist.

— David

Hi David. Thanks for your note. I'm fortunate that many readers – not you, obviously, but many others – have a decent sense of humor and don't take themselves so seriously that they can't laugh at a joke. You must be the life of the party when you're not watching reruns of the Ellen DeGeneres show. Thanks for writing.

Mr. Dettloff,

No one I know is giving Chris Arreola any more than a puncher’s chance against Vitali Klitschko and I don’t blame them. What makes you think he will last more than two rounds? He’s not even dedicated enough to get into decent shape, and he won’t have a way to get anywhere near Klitschko. Klitschko in three rounds!

— Matt

Matt, I have a hunch about a couple things. First, that Arreola’s fighting instincts and heavy hands will be sufficient to overcome the nerves he will surely encounter in the biggest fight of his career. Next, that Klitschko, past his prime and already injury prone, will break down a little physically if the fight goes past a hard five rounds. I can’t say I’m picking Arreola; I won’t go that far. But in my mind he’s a very live underdog.

Bill,

You wrote recently that you hadn’t been so disillusioned since you saw “those pictures of Megan Fox’s toe thumbs.” What the hell are you talking about?

— Jake

How did you miss this, Jake? It was all over the news – at least, the news that knows what’s important. Hollywood actress Megan Fox, who in every other respect is the personification of physical perfection in the female form, has thumbs that look like, ugh, toes ÔǪ go here for the highly objectionable evidence, and don’t say I didn’t warn you: http://thecount.com/wp-content/uploads/megan-fox-thumbs.jpg

Hey Dettloff,

Drop the tough guy persona, it impresses nobody. James Toney talking tough, fine, Ricardo Mayorga? Fine again. William Dettloff? Not so acceptable! I don't care whether or not you think Vernon Forrest ''died like a man,'' whatever that means, and I'm tired of you degrading any fighter who happens to get horrible cuts early in a fight! It's way too easy to judge from your side of the ropes, so drop the John Gotti-esque attitude!

— Ben

Hi Ben. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask professional fighters to act like professional fighters instead of quitting when they get a cut because they see it as an opportunity to surrender without getting a loss. That’s what Robert Guerrero did and what Nate Campbell did. Also, Forrest did die like a man. Not a terribly reasoned one, I concede, but many of us – myself included – would have run the other way and required a change of underwear. He didn’t. I say good for him. Deal with it.

Marquez over Mayweather? Are you crazy?!!

— Lance

I might be, but Marquez has been more active against much better fighters, is almost certainly hungrier than Mayweather is, and is probably faster than anyone Mayweather has fought (with the possible exception of Zab Judah). He is as mentally strong as Mayweather is, and if you’ve been reading my column for any length of time, you know I give little credence to differences in size. If Mayweather wins, it will be because he is better than Marquez, not because he is “bigger.” But I don’t think he will. Marquez by close decision.

Mr. Dettloff,

You’ve made your distaste for MMA very clear. Not that anyone cares, really, but what could they change about it that would make you a fan

— Bruce

To start, they could make the fighters wear socks. I hate feet.

Some random observations from last week:

Mikkel Kessler, whom I picked to win Showtime’s super middleweight tourney, will have to be much sharper than he was against Gusmyr Perdomo if he hopes to beat Andre Ward. Ward’s speed, which was on display during his stoppage of Shelby Pudwill, is going to give Kessler major problems. ÔǪ

The confounding and precipitous descent of Cristian Mijares, who lost to Nehomar Cerme├▒o again over the weekend, continues. ÔǪ

Those can’t be cuts that keep appearing on Ivan Calderon’s forehead. Nobody’s forehead is that fragile. They have to be blowholes. ÔǪ

Top Rank is talking about Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. fighting John Duddy as though Duddy is the reincarnation of Joe Louis. Do they think we’re all blind? ÔǪ

On the opposite end of the spectrum from Chavez Jr. is Timothy Bradley, who, in his third consecutive match against a very good fighter, faces Lamont Peterson in December. Good for him. 

Roger Mayweather’s son is undeniably cute and almost assuredly a future bad-ass, but the amount of time spent on him during the most recent edition of 24/7 is an indication of how little there is left to mine from what once seemed the bottomless pit that was the Mayweather family. Producers should hope Floyd retires, loses, or alienates his father again, post haste.

Even Uncle Roger’s arrogance, once made mesmerizing by his mastery of sing-song smack, has lost its allure from over exposure. Like most charming rogues, he is best digested in small, infrequent doses. ÔǪ

Sure Marquez’s kids are counting the days until daddy has to go away to fight. They’re tired of smelling urine when they kiss him goodnight. ÔǪ

It was fascinating to see Eddie Murphy, once thought of as the inheritor of Richard Pryor’s legacy, drop the “F” bomb on camera. That hasn’t happened since the early 1980s, even though Murphy continues to churn out one awful film after another. ÔǪ

MMA fans are gearing up for what they predict will be another “victory” for their sport when their next big card airs opposite Mayweather-Marquez on pay-per-view. I’m not entirely clear on what it all means. Popularity has never been an accurate determinant of quality. NASCAR and professional wrestling are bigger than boxing, too. What’s the point?

Bill Dettloff can be reached at [email protected]

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