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Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbg

02
Oct

SUPER MIDDLE STUFF

Greetings Dougie,
I think that Jermain Taylor will make a decent scrap with King Arthur this month, but he'll probably get taken out in the later rounds. Funny how your article reveals how he normally comes into camp 40 lbs. over. Wonder why this happened, even after the Pavlik fight? Suspect my man, suspect. This fight boils down to the different mindsets inside the ring. Both guys will train hard, so I throw that out as a factor. I think Jermain is always too frenetic and almost nervous in there. He'll use more energy due to his nature to go all-out. Arthur will hide behind his defense and figure things out.

Andre Dirrell and Carl Froch will be a different story. I don't see Froch catching up with the fleet-footed Dirrell in 12 rounds. By the way, has anyone ever told you that if you proofed out that pony tail, you could play the 2009 version of “Goldie” in The Mack? — Joseph

I get that all the time. And I think I would make a damn good Goldie if they ever did make a new version of the 1973 cult classic. (I don’t boast or brag about it, but my pimp hand is pretty strong.)

I don’t disagree with your predictions to the opening-round bouts of Showtime’s Super Six, although I can see Taylor lasting the distance. As explosive as Abraham looked against Edison Miranda in their rematch last year, I don’t think he’s going to be able to get off like that on the former middleweight champ — at least not in the early and middle rounds. If Taylor runs out of gas again late in the fight, then I’m sure King Arthur will take him out. Abraham doesn’t mess around when it’s time to close the show. However, I think Armenian assassin is going to have trouble with Taylor’s jab and hand speed. I wouldn’t be surprised if Taylor was ahead on the scorecards after six or seven rounds. The second half of the fight is what’s going to be interesting.

I can absolutely envision Dirrell sticking and moving (and moving, and moving) his way to a 12-round decision. His speed — of hand and foot — is other worldly. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the fastest super middleweight in the world. The only question I have is if he’s got enough pro seasoning to stick to a disciplined gameplan down the stretch against a juggernaut of a fighter who will just keep coming no matter what he throws at him. The late rounds of this fight might be as interesting as those of Abraham-Taylor. We’ll see. I can hardly wait.

TAYLOR SHOULD BE WRITTEN OFF

I like Taylor, but he did not “almost have him (Pavlik)” as you said. Kelly was up at the count of 2 and weathered the rest of the round. That set the tone for Pavlik to impose his will on Taylor. I think that fight exposed Jermain and there is absolutely no way he goes the distance with the overrated Armenian. It saddened me to see him (Taylor) lose to Froch after fighting so well and showing flashes of brilliance, but he cannot sustain it for an entire fight like you need to do at the upper echelon. He is done as an elite fighter. — Joshua

OK, Mr. Cheerful. I’m guessing you’re a Glass-Half-Empty type of dude.

If by “weathered the rest of the round” you mean Pavlik was reeling from pillar to post like a drunken Buckeye fan in a Youngstown saloon after OSU plays in a bowl game then you are absolutely correct.

If Pavlik “exposed” Taylor in their first fight, why didn’t he whip that ass in their rematch?

Despite his 1-2 record at super middleweight (the close decision loss to Pavlik, the points win over Jeff Lacy, and the 12th-round TKO to Froch), I think Taylor’s form and effectiveness has been much improved since his middleweight title reign. He did well and lasted the distance in the rematch with the guy who “exposed” him, and he almost made it to the final bell vs. Froch. We’ll see what happens vs. Abraham, who I think might be UNDERrated. I’m not going to write Taylor off before the fight. I’ll leave that to happy fans like you.

TAYLOR'S MANTRA, HBO-GBP ALLIANCE

Doug,
Fine article, as always, on Jermain Taylor. Taylor's one of the good
guys of the sport and despite the fact that so many of us wanted him out as Middleweight Champion (facing Hopkins twice and Wright in a row is unheard of these days — I know you think he lost all of them, though) I think to this point his reign has been way more impressive, than Pavlik's. Scoff at Cory Spinks (who he might have lost to as well) and Kasim Ouma (God, I thought he had promise) all you want, neither of them are Gary Locket or Marco Antonio Rubio. Taylor never defended against a pushover, which is even more impressive when you consider that despite his considerable physical gifts he seemed incapable of having an easy night.

I'm still somewhat puzzled as you really didn't expound upon why you believe Taylor is going to be such a problem, beside the fact that he's training hard. I think Taylor's suspect now. He's been stopped twice in particularly brutal fashion. And lets not forget, he was dropped and momentarily hurt badly by Jeff Lacey, who hasn't hurt anyone but himself by continuing to fight for a living the last two years. I think “King Arthur” is leagues better technically, has the better chin, hits harder, is just as gutsy and despite Taylor's declarations otherwise, has the better stamina. I'll give Taylor the edge in speed and for arguments sake, motivation.

I thought Paulie Walnuts edged Diaz (though it could have gone either way), but I'm not shedding any tears that he isn’t getting a rematch. I would rather see Diaz rematch with Marquez or fight Hatton. If what I'm hearing about HBO’s budget cuts are true I no longer want to see the likes of Malignaggi, Arreola (or any heavyweight fight for that matter, unless they can talk the brothers into fighting each other), Alfredo Angulo, Victor Ortiz or any other over-hyped fighter the cable giant feels compelled to pump millions into. I'd rather see Joshua Clottey, Tomasz Adamek or Sergio Martinez. Good solid talents, who show up in shape and have already proven themselves against world-class competition.

HBO's current relationship with Golden Boy is particularly disturbing. They seem to have HBO on lockdown and this gives them unbelievable leverage for coaxing top fighters from other stables. What Ross Greenburg is trying to pull with Andre Berto is downright shameful (coaxing him into fighting Shane Mosley behind his promoters back, a Golden Boy fighter by the way), but if Berto ends up signing with Oscar and the Boys after all this we will truly be crossing over into dark territory. We can't feel too bad for DiBella though, his guys seem to have a habit of popping up on HBO before more deserving contemporaries and we all know why. It still doesn’t excuse what Golden Boy and HBO seem to be conspiring to do. This is precisely why I hate that The Ring is owned by a promotional company like Golden Boy.

Despite their ever growing army, Golden Boy has taken it in the teeth in a lot of these high profile promotions. Ortiz and Angulo get stomped, Oscar gets embarrassed by Manny, who then crushes Hatton, Kirkland goes to jail, Marquez can't win a round against Floyd, Williams nearly blanks Wright. If it weren't for Shane, Golden Boy would be on a helluva run. LOL. — Tom G.

“It still doesn’t excuse what Golden Boy and HBO seem to be conspiring to do”?

“ever growing army”?

“crossing over into dark territory”?

Dude, are you talking about a cable network and a promoter, or evil Sith Lords and the dark side of the Force? Come on, man, this is the real world, not some episode of Star Wars.

What is Golden Boy “conspiring” to do? Get their fighters on the highest-paying network? Isn’t that what all the promoters are trying to do? I agree with much of what Thomas Hauser wrote in his most recent HBO epic on MaxBoxing.com (which I printed out and am currently reading every night before I go to bed; if I burn the midnight oil I might finish it by Monday). And I’m guessing that article (“HBO and Boxing – At a Crossroads”) is what’s got you all fired up against The Evil Empire, I mean, Golden Boy Promotions.

I don’t think it was a good idea for HBO to grant the promoter dates without set fights, but at some point, all the promoters who are complaining about GBP (many of whom serve as Hauser’s unnamed sources) have had multi-fight deals with the “cable giant” that didn’t always develop worthy fighters, produce entertaining fights, or do great ratings.

There were times, multi-year stretches, where Top Rank, Don King, Main Events, Cedric Kushner (one of Hauser’s good buddies, remember him?), and other promoters who were around long before GBP emerged enjoyed “cozy” relationships with HBO. And believe me, everything that is said now about GBP was said about them.

It’s ridiculous to blame GBP for the current state of boxing (and I’m not saying that Hauser is insinuating this — it’s just something I hear from delusional fans from time to time) or for HBO’s lagging boxing ratings and current budget crises. The struggling state boxing is in now (in America) is due to actions that took place by the power brokers of the sport in the 1980s and 1990s (which includes Bob Arum and King). That old guard, that also included Main Events and Kushner, plus high-powered managers like Shelly Finkel, made the choice to pull their fighters off network TV in exchange for the higher license fees that HBO (and to a lesser extent Showtime) offered. They created the monster that they all complain about now.

Anyway, I don’t want it seem like I’m defending GBP. Like I stated earlier, I agree with most of what Hauser wrote in his article. I just have a bit of problem with the way he slanted things against GBP. (There were other slants, like his bias for New York fighters, that aren’t important enough for me to go into.)

For example, when he pointed out the one-sided fights that have appeared on more than a few Boxing After Dark shows this year, he made sure to mention which shows were promoted by GBP, but he didn’t do that with the Top Rank, Gary Shaw or Lou DiBella shows? And I have to wonder why. (Did YOU wonder why, Tom G.? I don’t think you did.)

Hauser pointed out that Golden Boy’s March 7th show in San Jose (which featured Kirkland, Ortiz and Guerrero) was basically three mismatches, and he was right. (Although I don’t think Joel Julio was a walk in the park for Kirkland and odds makers didn’t know what to make of Daud Yordan because they had never seen or heard of him, but I think the Indonesian can fight.) Then he made sure to note the promoters who had developed those three fighters (Shaw with Kirkland, Arum with Ortiz, and Goossen with Guerrero). OK, that’s fine, but why didn’t he do the same thing with the other B.A.D. shows he brought up?

Why didn’t he mention that the April 25th show in Puerto Rico (headlined by JuanMa Lopez) was promoted by Top Rank? He noted that Lopez was a 8-to-1 favorite over Gerry Penalosa (and then said that was OK because JuanMa is “exciting” and a “legitimate champ”) and that Lamont Peterson was a 7-to-1 favorite over Willy Blain (a fight that Arum forced on HBO and the Puerto Rican fans), but not the promoter who presented those mismatches. And why didn’t Hauser mention that Peterson was developed by Brian Young and Prize Fight Boxing?

Hauser didn’t mention that his good friend Lou DiBella promoted the May 30th B.A.D. show headlined by the Berto-Urango fight, which I agree was dreadfully boring. I also agree that the Colombian junior welterweight just came up in weight to collect a pay check, but I can’t help but think that if GBP promoted Berto, Hauser would have been a little heavier in his criticism of that bout.

Hauser also said that Angulo was “exposed” by Kermit Cintron in the co-featured bout of that show. He failed to mention that it was a good fight, one that was not perceived as a mismatch going in.

For the record, I’d be happy to see Angulo (who is a Gary Shaw-promoted fighter), Ortiz, Arreola (a Dan Goossen fighter), and Kirkland (whenever he’s able to) back on HBO. The network doesn’t have to throw millions at them (and I don’t think they have). HBO can show young up-and-comers in good fights without wasting money.

I don’t think they are “over-hyped” fighters like you and Mr. Hauser seem to believe. They’re young pros who are still learning. They simply suffered a loss. No big deal. It happens. It’s not like they lost to journeymen. (Kirkland’s still undefeated, in the ring, anyway.) I’m even happy to watch Malig-mouthy on HBO as long as he’s matched tough (vs. Bradley, Urango, Maidana, Torres, etc.).

OK, enough of the business and back to the sport.

It’s real simple why I think Taylor will give Abraham a good fight: He’s a good fighter. Despite his lack of technique, fluidity and his stamina problems, he’ll beat most guys on guts and athleticism. Abraham isn’t one of those guys he can beat on sheer talent but I think having his weight under control early in his camp will help his punch output (and Abraham can be outworked) and enable him to have a second wind. It probably won’t be enough to win the fight, but his hand speed and long jab will give Abraham a hard time.

I agree that Taylor is one of the “good guys” of the sport. Even though I thought he lost to Hopkins (the first fight, I thought he edged Nard in the rematch), Wright and Spinks, I admired his willingness to take on tough, crafty veterans. A lot of fans think Taylor shouldn’t be in this 168-pound tournament, and who knows, they might be proven right on Oct. 17, but I give him credit for believing in himself enough to go up against the best of his division. If he doubts himself at least he’s got the balls to answer those questions in the ring. Bottom line for me is that he’s challenging himself, and that’s all we can ask of prize fighters.

If HBO put together a 147-pound Super Six with Mosley, Cotto, Clottey, Berto, and Collazo, and invited Floyd Mayweather to be the sixth man, does anyone (aside from Kevin Iole) believe that “Money” would take part in it?

HAUSER'S ARTICLE ON HBO

Dougie:
I just read Tom Hauser's last maxboxing article and I wanted to hear your (and your sources') thoughts on the HBO boxing crisis depicted in the piece. You've written that HBO is missing an opportunity to effect changes in the sport through the power of their purse strings, and Tom delineates a course of action for HBO to renovate their boxing coverage and take advantage of that opportunity.

Though the exclusive deal with Golden Boy appears questionable, I think HBO just caught a string of bad breaks. With injuries, arrests, tumultuous negotiations, David Haye, and deaths doing their best to ruin Boxing this summer, HBO could not avoid collateral damage. Nonetheless, it appears that HBO execs fear that the boxing department will piss away 150 mil unless there is a change in leadership or strategy. They may have a point.

Bottom line: we need to see exciting, competitive, significant fights, we need to see many of them, and we need to start seeing them soon; if not, the financial vitality of the sport we all love may fall into serious jeopardy. Love your mailbags, and thank you for your work. — Jrak, Boston

Thanks Jrak. I agree with what you just wrote (who doesn’t?) and like I stated earlier I agree with most of what Hauser wrote. His “course of action for HBO to renovate their boxing coverage” is just common sense.

I also agree that HBO has caught some bad breaks this year along with entire sport. It was a cruel summer. However, I think HBO began the year well (with Berto-Collazo, Margarito-Mosley, and Marquez-Diaz) and I believe the network is ending it in style (with Dawson-Johnson II and Pavlik-Williams). We’ll see how HBO builds on the aftermath of Pavlik-Williams and what it does with Dawson, Mosley, Berto, and Marquez next year.

The start of Showtime’s 168-pound tournament is one of the highlights of the end of this year, and it’s set the bar high for HBO to try and emulate or compete with. If HBO answers the challenge in 2010 and 2011, boxing fans will benefit and the sport could be revitalized. If $15 million is indeed cut from HBO’s sports budget it won’t be the end of the world, although the prospect of losing Boxing After Dark is a depressing one. Perhaps it will force HBO to be more choosy in terms of its boxing programming and encourage promoters to seek out deals with basic cable networks (and maybe even shoot for free TV!). It would mean top prospects and world-class boxers would have to engage in tougher bouts for less money but it would also result in better fights and more people seeing those bouts.

WHATUP!

Whatup big Doug,
Sounds like it's off for now, but, assuming Diaz vs. Malinaggi actually happens… HBO will make sure it happens on neutral turf. Will they make sure that the announcing team isn't overloaded with New Yorkers?

I keep hearing pundits say that they will give Pink his just dues, if he fights “blank”. I have a problem with that line of thinking. Ever seen those movies where the main character lives his entire life acting like an ass, then confesses his sins on his death bed? Everyone gets the warm fuzzies, cuz the bad guy is now a good guy, and he gets to go to imaginary Baptist heaven. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about sinning my life away, and then playing the “Get into Heaven Free” card on my deathbed. Problem is, life doesn't work that way. Even if I do get to heaven, it'll be ghetto heaven, reserved for alcoholic whoremongers and ne'er do well deadbeats like myself.

The same rules should apply for Pink Floyd. While he's been fighting Featherweights, Europeans, and no hopers, Cotto, Sugar Shane, and Da Twista have been fighting real fights, vs. real fighters. Just because Pink eventually fights one of them, after years of having to be pushed, pulled, and cajoled into fighting a fair fight, he shouldn't be rewarded for it. Not right away. He's spent the last 7 years running from a fair fight, and that kind of behavior cannot be undone in one night.

It's just a matter of time before Vargas vs. “Big” Arreolas is penciled in at the Staples Center.

Isn't the Super Six really the “Fantastic Four”,….Carl Froch and Jermain Taylor also in attendance?

I really have to question Edwin Valero’s recent competition. Did he at least get the KO? — Kirk

If the V-nom really brought the slap down on his Mom and sister (and shame on him if he did) they probably hit the deck. Just shaking hands with “my son” is a painful experience. However, I’m skeptical of the reports. He was stabbed in his forehead in a bar fight last year, according to the Venezuelan media. The reports stated that he was “disfigured”. Then I saw him in Las Vegas two weeks later. He lifted his Beatles bangs and showed me his forehead, revealing not even a scratch, which either means that “my son” has Wolverine’s mutant healing factor or the Venezuelan media is full of s___.

Valero did the right thing by holding a press conference to clear his name of this latest incident, but I still think he needs to get his crazy ass out of Venezuela. Drama follows him there.

Carl and Jermain ain’t no Dynamic Duo, but I would not be shocked if they both came out victorious on Oct. 17.

Fernando vs. Cristobal is a sick thought on many levels, but those two fat Mexicans would pack 20,000 strong in the arena.

I hear what you’re saying about Mayweather, and I agree. Why should he be applauded for doing ONCE what all the other elite fighters in the 147-pound division have been doing for years? But you know how it is. If the boxing media is creaming their pants over what Mayweather did with Marquez, they’ll say and write in all seriousness that he’s the G.O.A.T. if he beats Pacquiao or Cotto. (And yes, it will be many of the same boxing “experts” who said with a straight face that Roy Jones was the best ever after he spanked John Ruiz.)

Quick question: Where will Roger Mayweather wind up? Ghetto heaven or ghetto hell?

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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