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Dougie’s FAT Friday mailbag

20
Nov

2010 WISH LIST

Hey Doug,
I know Andre Ward has a very tough challenge ahead against Mikkel Kessler, but I believe he's the real deal. Ward is my guy in the Super 6 all the way.

Manny Pacquiao TKO's Floyd Mayweather inside of 9 rounds. The relentless pressure and body attack will be to much for the Prima Donna reality star.

To all Erik Morales fans, imagine how much sweeter his victory over Pacquiao would have been today had he hung up the gloves after what I feel was his last hoorah. That would of been sweet.

Is it too early to ask for your Dream Fight wish list for 2010?

Thanks for your time Doug, keep up the great work. — Jorge, San Diego

Off the top of my head, Pacquiao is in three of my top 10 dream fights for 2010:

Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, the Mosley-Berto winner, and “my son”.

David Haye vs. Tomasz Adamek and Chris Arreola.

Kelly Pavlik vs. Paul Williams and Bute-Andrade winner (at 168 pounds)

Valero vs. the Bradley-Peterson winner and JM Marquez (at 140 pounds).

Chris John vs. Hozumi Hasegawa (at 126 pounds — this one is really just an excuse to travel to Japan, although it’s an interesting scrap that could happen).

I don’t think Morales’ decision to continue fighting after his win over Pacquiao diminishes his legacy. Besides, their three-fight series was good for boxing and it developed Pacquiao’s technique and popularity considerably.

Dare I say that without El Terrible the Pac-monster wouldn’t exist as we know and love him today.
If Pacquiao makes good on your prediction in the Mayweather fight it’s because he was humbled enough after the Morales loss to allow Freddie Roach to be the boss in the gym and begin to mold him into a more-complete fighter.

I’m picking Kessler by competitive but unanimous decision tomorrow night but I won’t mind being wrong on this one as Ward is one of my favorite fighters. Regardless of the outcome, I think we’re going to be treated to a high-level boxing match.

KESSLER-WARD WEIGH-IN

Dougie,
Do you know where and when the weigh-in for Saturday's fight will be, and if it will be open to the public? You're doing great work and I love The Ring’s website. Thanks. — J.F. Mercado

Thanks for the kind words about the website, J.F. The weigh-in will be held at the Oakland Hilton Airport Hotel and it starts at 2 p.m. PT. Kessler and Ward will step onto the scales a little after 3 p.m. I’m not sure if it’s open to the public but if you live in the Bay Area and you can get away from work or school it probably won’t hurt to come by and find out. I’ll be there.

WELTER-SKELTER

Dougie,
I just looked at the rankings and literally said “WHAT?!” like the fat lady from Bruno when she found out he traded his iPod for a baby. I thought it was bad enough having Mayweather ranked number two after the Marquez fight, but how did Pacquiao leap-frog Mayweather and Mosley with wins over De La Hoya and Cotto?

In a P4P argument, that's fine but divisional rankings mean something. Mosley has been doing his thing at this weight for almost ten years, and although Mayweather was ranked too high in my opinion, he still has had more fights at this weight, fighting the former champ one fight after he was upset (Judah) then going on to fight the real champion (Baldomir).

This is really upsetting, and I'm sure it is to some other fans. The fans and ESPN turn to this magazine and website for our official rankings. The RING Champions are held to the highest standard to win this belt, and it makes things so much better when someone asks “Who's the champion?” and we can point to one guy with no “ifs, ands, or buts.”

The worst part is that The Ring will probably let Mayweather-Pacquiao be for it's welterweight title. It's not fair to the Sugarman to be overlooked like that.

PS- Andre Ward wins the upset. — Homer, Oxford, OH

We’ll see about that upset special, Homer. I like Kessler but I won’t count Ward out. He might be one of those special boxers who can make a quantum leap when he steps up his level of competition.

Regarding THE RING Editorial Board’s decision to install Pacquiao as the No. 1 welterweight, I agree that two fights above 140 isn’t enough to merit that top spot no matter how impressive his domination of Cotto was. I agree with Dan Rafael’s welterweight rankings on ESPN.com, which has Mosley No. 1 and Pacquiao No. 2.

However, I can see where the Editorial Board and the members of the Ratings Panel who wanted Pac at No. 1 were coming from. They probably weren’t factoring Mosley’s welterweight title run from 2000-2002 because that’s going back too far, and I’m fine with that reasoning, personally. I’ve always taken a ‘what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?’ stance on divisional rankings. And Pac dominated a guy who beat Mosley in 2007. I have some issue with this line of thinking because I think Mosley faced a stronger, fresher version of Cotto than Pacquiao did.

When THE RING made Mayweather the No. 2 welterweight after the Marquez fight I had a big problem with that move. Not because Mayweather was No. 2 but because he was placed ahead of Cotto without A) beating the man, or B) having equaled his accomplishments at welterweight. I have less of a problem with Pacquiao’s placement because he dominated his two welterweight opponents, and I’m more impressed with his TKOs of De La Hoya and Cotto than Mayweather’s decisions over Judah and Baldomir. (I could care less if Judah was the former RING champ and Baldomir was the reigning RING champ, the New Yorker is a head case and Baldomir just plain sucked.) I think it’s debatable if Mosley’s recent welterweight fights (The Antonio Margarito KO, the decision over Luis Collazo, and the competitive Cotto loss) are better than Pac’s welter-wins. I think Mosley has the edge but an argument can be made to the contrary.

Anyway, for all you nitwits out there who say THE RING is biased for Golden Boy fighters, please note who promotes Mosley and who promotes Pacquiao.

RING TITLE QUESTION

Quick question: Have you asked the higher-ups at Ring if the potential Mayweather-Pacquiao bout would be for The Ring welterweight championship? Or would Mosley be in the way? Would they wait until after Mosley's fight with Berto to decide? Thanks. — Will, Raleigh, NC

I think it’s a safe bet that they’ll wait to see what happens with Mosley-Berto. That’s not a “gimme” fight for Sugar Shane.

DREAM FIGHT SPLIT

Dougie,
I'm not gonna waste my time with explanations about the split between Pacquiao and Mayweather. One camp believes they're the best thing since sliced bread; the other thinks they're all that and a bag of chips.

45-45 split, with the winner getting the remaining 10. — Patrick DeCarlo, Miami, FL

That makes sense to me. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports proposed the same thing in a recent column.

I don’t think we’ll ever see elite fighters agree to a winner-take-all type split, especially when they have the ego of Mayweather or the mentality of Pacquiao’s promoter.

But who knows? Maybe there’s a big enough pot for this matchup that both sides won’t mind parity. I certainly hope so. Even if they can agree on the money split there are other major points of contention, such as the weight, which will not be settled easily.

RANDOM THOUGHTS ON THE BIG FIGHT

Ello Doug,
Found myself writing to you again while caught up in the aftermath of Pacman Fever and Pacquiao-Mayweather mania. I think no matter what happens, the fight between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.
will push through because of the pressure on both sides and ultimately because of the money involved. Here are my random thoughts on Mayweather-Pacquiao or Pacquiao-Mayweather:

1. Fight Name: DOMINANCE or POUND FOR POUND
2. Fight Purse: 60%-40% of the total Boxers' Guaranteed Purse. 60% for the winner
3. Fight Weight: 146 lbs catch weight and 1 mil. per pound in excess. Expect Mayweather to be at 147 at weight-in though. Or what the heck, make it 147 and give Mayweather the advantage just to make it more entertaining.
4. Fight Clause: Excessive penalty if bout is postponed for ANY reason.
Mayweather might do it on purpose to disturb the training of the other fighter.
5. Fight Belt: The Ring Welterweight Belt. (I would rather ignore all the other belts, it's just one of those things that is killing boxing today.)
6. Fight Location: it won't matter for as long as its huge and in the US. MGM is not big enough though. New York Stadium is okay, how about for you Doug?
7. Fight Contract: Contract signing should be made as soon as possible to keep the people buzzing and interested and to further build up the fight anticipation.
8. Fight Schedule: March or July 2010. Pacquiao most probably can't fight on May or June because election in the Phil is May 10, 2010. Factor in the
two months training period then we are left with July 2010 or August 2010.

This one can turn up to be the fight of the decade or the marathon of the decade, just the same I'm interested. — Junx

You’re not alone.

Some thoughts on your random thoughts:
1. I’m sure “Pound-for-pound” will be somewhere in the title for this fight.
2. I think there would need to be at least $50 million the table for either side to agree to this kind of setup. Fans love the winner-bonus incentive, fighters  mmmm, not so much.
3. I think the contracted weight is going to be a major stumbling block to this fight. Roach might call for a 145-pound catchweight and Mayweather won’t go along with that.
4. I LIKE that idea! There’s nothing worse than big-fight postponements.
5. Thanks for the support but there are many fight fans who would be pissed off if THE RING belt was on the line for this fight because Mosley is the No. 2 contender and Mayweather is No. 3.
6. Do you mean Yankee Stadium? To be honest, I prefer the fight to be in an indoor arena.
7. I agree.
8. Manny should be ready to go as early as May, he needs to put his political ambitions away until he’s done with boxing.

RING RATINGS

My #1 problem with your ranking Pacquiao at #1 for welterweights is that he has never had a welterweight fight! The welterweight limit is 147 lbs. How can you be #1 at the 147 lb division if you have never had a 147 lb fight? It doesn't make any sense to me. I think people are overblowing Pacquiao's accomplishments. If he fights a true fight at 147 and beats anybody in the top 5 then I will say go ahead and rank him. If you want to put him #1 pound for pound that is fine but the #1 welterweight has to be Shane Mosley. — Marlon

I wont’ argue with your opinion that Mosley should be the No. 1 welterweight, however, you’re dead wrong about Pacquiao not having any fights at welterweight.

The welterweight LIMIT is 147 pounds, but the division starts at 141 pounds. Every time Pacquiao has weighed over 140 pounds he’s been a welterweight. He was 142 pounds for De La Hoya and 144 for Cotto.

It’s impossible over-blow PacMan’s accomplishments. The man won the lineal flyweight title, currently holds the lineal and RING 140-pound championship, and just won a welterweight belt. That’s mind-boggling s__t, pal.

NO COMPARISON

Hey Doug,
I know you like them short and sweet, so all I will say is this: I have seen both Floyd Mayweather (vs. De La Hoya) and Manny Pacquiao (vs. Cotto) live, each in their biggest, richest, most-viewed competitive showcases. And I'll let you guess who impressed me more. While Floyd tapdanced and dully played it safety-first against the same old and past-his-prime De La Hoya that Pacquiao annihilated only a year-and-a-half later, Manny outfought and beat-up the same prime Cotto that everybody knows Floyd retired rather than fight in 2008.

Floyd may be the better schooled, but Manny is now every bit as intelligent, athletic, and fast as he is. Only he has two times the set of cajones, is five times as explosive, and has ten times the heart. Plus, competition tells. Compare Manny and Floyd's resumes the last decade. That will make the difference when they fight. Mark my words. All the best. — CM

I agree. Despite his fame and wealth, Pacquiao hasn’t forgot his roots and still fights with the passion of hungry kid from the Third World, only he’s added a lot of technique to that fire in recent years. Bad news for Floyd, who’s been on a self-imposed vacation since getting stressed out by a slow-as-molasses Jose Luis Castillo.

LATEST RING RANKINGS

Hey Dougie,
Quick note on the updated rankings: I find it odd and unsettling that Manny Pacquiao is installed as the #1 welterweight after his fight with Cotto, overtaking Shane Mosley. While his performance against Cotto was superb, let us not forget that Cotto was damaged goods post-Margarito, though that is meant to take nothing away from a great accomplishment, it's still reality.

More importantly, Antonio Margarito destroyed a undefeated and sharp Cotto in brutally impressive fashion (loaded wraps or not, no one knows) to become the #1 welterweight. Mosley went on to have the most impressive performance of all three fighters against Margarito to gain the # 1 contender status, yet somehow he is jumped by Pacquiao. To reference Cotto's hotly debated victory over Mosley is extremely flawed as the Cotto of 2007 was a much better fighter and hadn't gone through the tough fights with Mosley, Margarito and Clottey.

The hyperbole for Pacquiao after this fight has reached Roy Jones Jr. levels after his dominant victory over John Ruiz. Remember many were calling RJJ to be a top-5 to 10 all-time great after that victory….

Pacquiao is a great fighter and has accomplished amazing feats as did Roy Jones Jr, Bernard Hopkins, Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, etc…, but none of them were ever considered the top dogs at a weight class without beating the top dog, so you can't make Pacquiao numero uno at welterweight for beating Cotto, it doesn't compute and conflicts with The Ring's typical ranking policies. Just some thoughts. — Zak

Hey man, I can’t argue with your points (well, I could argue with some, but I don’t feel like dragging this reply out forever). The Ring’s ranking policies come from the best of intentions but the good folks who put them together are human beings with human fallacies. They aren’t perfect and neither are the magazine’s rankings. If they were, Nonito Donaire and Celestino Caballero wouldn’t be in the pound-for-pound top 10. (Again, for all the dingleberries who say The Ring is biased for Golden Boy fighters, ask yourself if either Donaire or Caballero fight under the GBP banner.) Antonio Margarito would have been dropped from the welterweight rankings until he can get his license back and beat a decent opponent. I can go on and on.

I thought the late Arturo Gatti was overrated in the 140- and 147-pound rankings when he was still active. I thought Hopkins was underrated for many years at middleweight. As much as I love Mosley I didn’t think he deserved to be the No. 1 pound-for-pound player after beating De La Hoya in 2000, even though you could make an argument for him (and I didn’t think he fought the level of competition to maintain that placement after his breakthrough victory). I thought both Jones and Mayweather were overrated in their divisional rankings when they were atop the pound for pound list.

Rankings are subjective, just like fights. Here’s an example. You say Cotto was “damaged goods” when Pacquiao got to him. OK, I don’t think he was as sharp as he was when Mosley fought him but to what degree had he regressed? Do you really know? You write like he had one foot in the grave after the Margarito fight but I disagree with that. If he were truly wasted, he wouldn’t have got past a badass like Clottey. Some say his struggle with Clottey proves he wasn’t the same but others were impressed by his performance against the Ghanaian. The thought was that if he can hold off a guy as big and strong as Clottey with one eye, Pac doesn’t have a chance. Now, of course, there’s the usual revisionist history that comes with boxing but prior to Saturday’s fight the boxing world was not in agreement that Cotto was “damaged goods”ÔǪ MANY fans, fighters, trainers and members of the media thought he had enough left to beat Pacquiao.

Now most of those folks are giving Pacquiao his credit, and yeah, some of them are probably giving him too much credit. But you know what, he’s probably earned the right to be overrated.

HOW LUCKY ARE WE?

Hi Dougie,
I'm still trying to get over Pacquiao last weekend. I had bet £5 on Cotto to win it so found the final view rounds pretty unpleasant to watch but looking at it now from the other perspective I've gotta feel lucky to see an all time great like Pacquiao at the peak of his powers. I was wondering though, most of us were surprised that Pacquaio was getting the better of Cotto in the close exchanges when the fight became more of a slug fest. Do you think the result would have been different if Cotto had got on his bike and boxed defensive from the start, rather than only when he'd bee badly hurt in the 4th?

Also, the British coverage was pretty dire, with commercial breaks in-between rounds and no translator in the Cotto corner. I've head rumours both that Cotto's corner wanted to stop the fight only for Cotto to say he'd continue and also that Cotto wanted the towel thrown in after the 11th only to be convinced by his corner to carry on (appalling advice if it's true), what was said in there? Keep up the good work. — Tom, Southampton

I can’t comment on what was said in the corners, Tom. I was on press row during the fight and I haven’t seen the broadcast yet.

I don’t think it would have made much of a difference in the eventual outcome of the fight if Cotto was on his toes from the start of the bout. The only difference would be that the fight wouldn’t have been as entertaining and Cotto probably would have made to the final bell.

P4P RATINGS REQUEST

Hi Dougie,
Very much enjoying your and Michaels articles on the website, very informative for a UK fan to get an idea of how you see it, and yours are now the opinions I trust and follow.

Having read your brief article on the Pound for Pound update following the weekend, was interested to see that Oscar held the Pound for Pound crown in the 90's. Do you have an article where it shows who has held this title in the past 30 years? I have tried Googling to no avail! Would just be interesting to see as a 29 year old fan who has followed boxing my whole life, but only have really got an American perspective from the internet in more recent years. Would be interested if Lennox Lewis ever held the title (presumably clashed somewhat with Roy Jones, who I presume held the title in that period).

Any info would be brilliant. Thanks. — Tom

De La Hoya and Jones traded the P4P No. 1 spot in the late 1990s. Off the top of my head, the 1990s started with Julio Cesar Chavez in the top spot, which went to Pernell Whitaker when he “drew” with the Mexican great in 1993 and then I think Jones grabbed it after he schooled James Toney in ’94. I can’t recall if Whitaker grabbed the mythical title back during his welterweight reign before De La Hoya out-pointed him for the spot.

Anyways, this is something I could check. I’ve got all The Ring magazines from when the pound-for-pound list began (the late 1980s, I think), so that’s certainly something that I could do in the near future. I think a chart of the P4P lineage would be the perfect pre-fight feature for the proposed Pacquiao-Mayweather bout.

PAC'S THE MAN, BUT NOT THE CHAMP

Hi Doug,
Let me assure you I agree that Manny Pacquiao's win over Miguel Cotto is everything that it is being made out to be. It was epic. I rank it as one of the top 3 most impressive performances I have ever seen. However, I have a big problem with it being for the welterweight championship. This was a catchweight fight. I don't care if the weight limit was 146lbs and 15oz, it wasn't fought under welterweight rules. I don't believe the outcome would have been any different, but what good are weight limits unless they are enforced.

Does this happen often and I just don't notice? The only time I can remember a title fight that was fought at a catchweight was Terry Norris-Meldrick Taylor. Since a title didn't change hands, it didn't matter (in fact, if I remember right, Norris came in even lower than agreed upon).

My question is, where does the stretching end? Would it be possible for a jr middle to agree to come down to 149 and fight for a welter title?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. Please let me know if I don't have the facts straight. Also, congrats on your semi-new gig. I would imagine its every boxing writer's dream to be a leading columnist for the bible of boxing.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving. — Drew, Boston

An early Happy Thanksgiving goes out to you too, Drew. You DON’T have your facts straight.

It’s a welterweight fight as long as the fighters weigh between 141 and 147 pounds. A world title can be on the line even if they agree to come in under the division limit. It all depends if the champ and his team want it to be on the line. Norris’ WBC 154-pound title was on the line when he fought Taylor even though they agreed to come in at 151 pounds and change. (Both weighed in around 149 pounds if memory serves me.) Norris often fought at or a bit under 152 pounds during his lengthy three-part junior middleweight title reign. He didn’t have to weigh-in at 154 pounds just because that was the limit.

Bernard Hopkins’ RING light heavyweight title was on the line when he fought Winky Wright, even though both agreed to come in at 170 pounds. Why? Because both were still over 168 pounds (the super middleweight limit), so both were technically light heavyweights.

To answer your question, a junior middleweight could not fight for a welterweight title if he only came down to 149 pounds. At 149 pounds, he’s still a junior middleweight (although a small one). He would have to weigh-in at 147 pounds to fight for a welterweight title. If he over did it and came in at 145 pounds he would still be a welterweight and could still fight for the welter title.

IT'S PAC-TIME!

Hi Doug,
Pac Man is a beast. Ran into you at LB 4 LB Presser for Cotto. I think Pac-Man is a modern day version of Aaron Pryor without the coke problem. When or if Mayweather and Pac Man go at it; it will be interesting to see Pac attack that Peek a Boo Defense of Floyd's. Peace. — Dana

Pac’s not as fluid as Pryor was but I see where you’re coming from. Both were tireless, unpredictable and explosive. Manny is probably more explosive than the Hawk was.

It will be interesting to see if Pac’s offense can override Mayweather’s defense. Maybe he can, maybe he can’t. That’s why fans want to see this fight.

FLOYD WON'T LOSE A ROUND

What up big Doug?
Hey, I really can't understand a word that Freddie says in the corner. I don't understand why HBO doesn't hire Muhammad Ali as an interpreter for Freddie's fights?

Floyd is a douche. However, he wont lose a round vs Pac.

You said, “I don’t want to see that fight because I don’t want to see JMM get brutally knocked out.”

Et tu Dougie? — Kirk

It's no disrespect to Marquez, but I don't think he's effective over 135 pounds. And I wouldn't put it past Roach and Arum to insist that the third match takes place above 140 pounds (in fact, I think I read somewhere that Roach wanted that fight at 145), and I wouldn't put it past Marquez, warrior that he is, to accept such a bout.

I think Fraud has the style and skill to pick and poke at Pac, but he simply lacks the balls to hold the “little” booger off him for 12 rounds. If Money can't hurt Pac (and I don't think he can) he'll be in a world of s__t.

That's just my opinion. I've been wrong before.

(And speaking of wrong, man, why’d you have to go and diss Freddie AND Ali!?)

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