Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag
AGBEKO-PEREZ, MY 2nd BET OF 2009
Alright big D,
After my 'bet of the year' going wrong by backing the one-geared Jermain Taylor over Arthur Abraham, it's now Yonnhy Perez’s turn to be cursed by me putting some ┬ú on him…. Joseph Agbeko beat, for me, a poor version of Vic Darchinyan. The guy didn't look particularly great at bantamweight, or it could have just been an off-night for him. On the other hand, I'm more impressed, from what I've seen of Perez rather than Agbeko. He's the technically better, quicker fighter and I reckon could be destined for pretty big things. Agbeko, on the other hand, I reckon is going to be relieved of his belt and then probably fade into relative obscurity.
With Miguel Cotto v Manny Pacquiao only a couple of weeks away I may as well throw my hat into the ring regarding this one. Cotto is proven against the likes of Mosley, Clottey, Judah & Quintana. Who has Manny fought above 140? Hasty Hatton & Hungry de la Hoya (I'm not even going to bother mentioning David Diaz @ 135 lbs, he should fight Andres Kotelnik to decide who really was the s____st belt holder from 2009). Hatton had the tools to really give Manny hell, but much like the Mayweather fight went charging round like a bull with no game plan. Cotto on the other hand doesn't get huge rushes to the head and is a bit more measured in his approach; that and he's a beast @ 147 (I think starting training early shouldn't hinder him getting down to 145 either) and has a severely underrated jab – and for me that's the key to beating Pacman, the jab. Knock him off balance when he starts coming in and his balance goes AWOL as he's trying to throw umpteen ruddy punches in 0.24 seconds.
I really do think Manny is going to walk onto something big, and I really do hope so, as well, as Cotto is now my official '3rd best bet of the year'… and the little nuthuggers get their comeuppance!!!
One last thing, what's this I've heard about Bradley fighting/challenging Hatton? Assuming he gets past Peterson, etc. If that does happen I just hope to God that Hatton gets with a decent trainer, sorry but Lee Beard has to go. Still, I could have a go – tell him to stop cocking his hand before throwing, hold his gloves up somewhere near his chin rather than down by his ankles and that when an opponent isn't within range it doesn't mean he has to do his Usain Bolt impression in hunting him down. Ta. — Geoff, London
Sounds like your advice for the Mad Hatter is worth more than 100 of Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s speed drills on the mitts, Geoff. I haven’t heard anything about a potential Hatton-Bradley showdown. It would be great for Timmy, should he get past Lamont Peterson (and I think he will), but I don’t think Ricky wants to go out against a dangerous but low-profile fighter. I believe a rematch against Floyd Mayweather Jr. is much more likely. It’s a rematch that no hardcore fan asked for, and personally, I could care less about it, but it would likely do huge numbers (live and PPV) in your neck of the woods.
I have the utmost respect for Cotto (in fact, I’ve never picked against the Puerto Rican star) but I’m still on the fence concerning my prediction for the Nov. 14 showdown. I agree with you, that Cotto is the most proven opponent Pacquiao has faced since leaving the 130-pound division. I also agree that Cotto’s key to victory is his jab, but I’m not certain that he will be able to get off with it against Pacquiao, who will be the quickest (of both hand and foot) fighter the Puerto Rican has ever faced and probably the most mobile. I know Cotto’s handled fast guys before (Mosley and Judah) but they possess orthodox offense. Manny’s offense is very unpredictable these days. He comes at his opponents, lightning fast, at odd angles, and I can see him catching and hurting Cotto with that shot a fighter just doesn’t see.
I think your second big bet of the year will pay off, Geoff. I also like Perez to outbox Agbeko over 12 heated rounds and score a minor upset. I agree the 30-year-old Colombian is the far better technician (although I believe Agbeko has the quicker hands), and I think Perez’s tighter form, defense and punch-accuracy is what will win the fight. Agbeko is hell on wheels but the gutsy Ghanaian gets a little wild with his offense. He got away with it vs. Darchinyan, a smaller guy who was looking for a one-punch KO, but I don’t think he will vs. Perez.
What do you think about the “welterweight” fight between Pacman and Cotto being at a catch weight? If Freddie Roach was so impressed w/ the way Pacquiao destroyed De La Hoya at welterweight, why not make 147 to fight Cotto? Do you think the weight will effect Cotto if the fight goes into the later rounds?
What’s the best way for one to describe the career of Yory Boy Campas? The guy just doesn’t go away and he’s fought a lot of good fighters. Thanks. — MikeSam
I think the best way to describe Campas is “popular Mexican fighter; second-tier former titleholder.” Campas had an amazing ability to pack fans in small arenas in Mexico, Southern California, Arizona and Texas throughout the various stages of his lengthy career (undefeated prospect/contender, the rebuilding stage after the Trinidad fight, his title days, and post-title days), but he’s definitely a second-tier guy because he never beat a world-class opponent, beginning with Tito. I used to watch him (as a fight fan, not a boxing writer) in the mid-1990s at the Olympic and the Forum and even when he was in with Midwest journeymen, he delivered fun and excitement.
I think Roach noted that Pacquiao was able to eat a big breakfast the day of his weigh-in for the De La Hoya fight and still only weighed 142 pounds. Likewise before the Hatton bout, and this time he came in at 138 pounds for the junior welterweight title bout. So I think Freddie looks at Pacquiao as a natural junior welterweight at this stage of his career. I don’t believe Raoch views Manny as a welterweight, but he knows against the right-sized welterweight opponent that his star can hang.
The 145-pound catchweight doesn’t bother me because I know Cotto can make it without draining himself. If it was 143 or even 144, I wouldn’t be as into this fight as I am, but knowing that Cotto often weighs in at 146 pounds for his welterweight bouts and knowing that he started his camp early and is on track, I’m OK with it. In fact, I’m wondering if the catchweight was a bad idea for Roach & Co., because it forced Cotto to work even harder and be even more focused than he normally is.
Considering the build up to Pacman/Cotto so far, is it possible that Pacman may be making the same mistake that he did against Erik Morales for their first fight (i.e. letting his 'outside' distractions effect his preparation)?
Even Roach himself admitted that the Morales camp did not go particularly well due to Manny being distracted and perhaps underestimating Morales (Like Cotto, Erik was perceived to be 'damaged goods' by many fans and media before the fight)
And let’s be honest, Cotto never comes underprepared, always looks ready come fight night. Plus he proved that he is still a badass against Clottey, gotta respect how he handled that cut (be interesting to see how Manny would cope if similar thing happened to him on the night).
Don’t get me wrong, I love Pacman but I think he may have bitten off too much with Cotto. Close fight but I see a late TKO (Round 10/11) from Cotto. No way will Cotto get blasted out early… even Margarito, plaster or not, had to beat Cotto down with consistent pressure not single shots (and no way in hell does Pac have Margarito’s iron chin in order to stand and trade all night like he did with Cotto)
Final thought. In the past Manny used to get more erratic/hittable as a fight goes into later stages… particularly if he has not significantly hurt his opponent beforehand. (Particularly true in his early days as a one arm bandit) Could this happen again? Keep up the good work. — Si, Bristol, UK
I don’t think Pacquiao will lose his head with Cotto if the fight goes into the late rounds the way he used to when he struggled with hardasses (like the late Agapito Sanchez and El Terrible in their first bout). Pacquiao has matured and advanced technically since those fights, which took place in 2001 and 2005.
Regarding your comparison of the Cotto fight with PacMan’s first bout with Morales, it never helps when a training camp is interrupted with site changes and outside distractions, but I think the situation is different. The distractions that Pacquiao had to deal with before the first Morales fight included a bad promotional situation (with Murad Muhammad) and a training camp that was 100 percent open to the public. The Wild Card gym was literally packed, wall to wall, with Filipino fans every single day of that camp. It was insane. It’s nothing like that now. Even media big shots like myself (I hope you pick up my sarcasm) are kept out of Manny’s training sessions these days. And as far as I know, Pacquiao is very happy with promoter Bob Arum, so I think he’s in a much better place going into the Cotto bout than he was the Morales fight.
NO MORE WEIGHT HOPPING!
First let me say that I love reading your work. You are a young fresh voice that doesn't drive me to drink the way Max Kellerman used to, and sometimes still does.
I pose a question, am I the only one who is tired of the weight-class jumping? I want to see champions win titles and stick around to defend them. I love watching Tomasz Adamek fight, but would rather see him finish his business with Steve Cunningham, then take on some other guns like Marco Huck and Troy Ross. I want to see Paul Williams fight at 154, which I think is his best weight (although I am dying to see the Pavlik fight if it ever happens). I want to see Mosley stay at 147 and fight Mayweather (I think he is the man to beat him). I want Pacquiao to fight at 140 and clean out a very talented division (which I think he can). And I want to see Marquez vs. Valero more than anything else at 135 (except Valero vs. Katsidis, that would be awesome while it lasted). Your thoughts? – Dan Marvin, Dothan, AL
I’m with you. I know why fighters jump up in weight (and sometimes down) in weight (for money) but the best fights and the most worthy challengers are often in their natural weight classes.
Adamek can become the most entertaining and dominant cruiserweight champ since Evander Holyfield if he stays at 200 pounds.
Williams can be the star that 154-pound division has lacked for the last few years.
Pacquiao vs. Bradley or Marcos Maidana (or eventually Victor Ortiz) would be excellent fights, and if Roach would allow it, Pacquiao vs. Khan would be a monster event in the UK.
Mosley vs. Mayweather would attract more attention to the welterweight division than De La Hoya-Trinidad did, and it would crown a universally recognized 147-pound champion (and cause many to remember the glory days of the weight class when Ray Leonard was its king).
Valero vs. any top 135 pounder is must-see TV.
THE ‘IT’ FIGHTER
I feel like I am the only person who remembers what Cotto represented before the Margarito fight. Everyone is only talking about Mayweather-Pacquiao, and HBO already has a date for it in March! That's ridiculous.
A little over a year ago, Skip Bayless on ESPN was saying De La Hoya and Mayweather were afraid of Cotto. And Pacquiao wasn't Oscar's first choice of an opponent anyway, he said he wanted Cotto for his Dec. 2008 fight.
As a fan of Cotto, I think the Pacamaniacs are underestimating Miguel, or maybe over estimating the PacMan. Imagine if Margacheato hadn't been hitting Cotto with bricks and Miguel won? He would've done the same or worse to the Golden Boy and everyone would be crazy over him.
I'm not lecturing you at all, you know how it is. I'm just venting. But in my opinion, the fight to be made is the same one it was two years ago, Mayweather-Cotto. – Homer (Oxford, OH)
I’d love to see that fight, Homer. Maybe it can still take place. All Cotto has to do is “upset” the Pac-Monster. It’s certainly within his ability.
Of course, the Pacmaniacs are underestimating Cotto. That’s why they’re PACMANIACS! They’re nuts, and they’re all gonna cry of Cotto gets the job done on Nov. 14. I wouldn’t worry about them if I were you. I’d worry about Arum and Little Floyd’s crappy relationship preventing that showdown from taking place if Cotto does regain his pre-Margarito form in two weeks.
Hey Dougie, you gotta see this:
Enjoy! — Asim
I did not enjoy that, Asim. That’sÔÇª justÔÇª wrong.
Dougie can be reached at [email protected]