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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

03
Jan

THANKS FOR BEING FAIR

Hey Doug,
I really enjoyed your article “Dougie's Mailbag.” Very well-balanced and fair. I wanted to bring your attention to a few things regarding the Mayweather-Pacquiao controversy in hopes that you would write about them in the future.

The 24/7 blood test has been proven to have occurred 24 days before the Ricky Hatton fight.

There is a new youtube video that supports Manny's “stated opposition to random tests”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4JrQj19R0U



This interview was done in 2005.

The New York Times and the New York Daily News were both listed in the lawsuit: http://www.fightnews.com/filedcomplaint-pacquiao.pdf

Also, Pacquiao himself never stated he was afraid of needles. Those were other people's words.

I bring up these points because these are the most recent points that Mayweather's fans are trying to use to claim Pacquiao is a liar, ducking, contradicting himself, etc.

I email this information to you because of all the blogs I've been reading yours seems to be the most balanced and well-written.

I hope you choose to include this information in your next post.

Thanks for your time. Happy New Year! — Kevin Riley

Happy New Year to you, to all fighters and fight fans, and to everyone else in the boxing world.

I have no problem keeping the links you included in your email, Kevin, but I took out the link to the online petition email you wrote as an appeal to get Floyd Mayweather’s various sponsors to drop him over the various allegations and Pacquiao’s lawsuit. (Quite Frankly, I don’t want boxing to be Floyd’s only source of income because that might mean he’ll stick around the sport longer.)

This whole thing has gotten way too personal and I’m very tired of hearing about it, reading about it and talking about it. This is how I see it: Mayweather has a right to suspect whoever he may fight of taking PEDs and he owes it to himself and to his family to at least try to make sure that whoever he fights is clean; we are living in a age of drug-enhanced athletes. I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. I also think Pacquiao has every right to be outraged by Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s constant allegations and upset by the suspicion of drug use that now exists among many fans and members of the sports media. I just wish every impasse during negotiations for a big fight didn’t have to result in the talks coming to a halt, back-and-forth bickering between the participants in the media, arbitration and/or lawsuits.

I’ll answer emails on this increasingly nasty (and tired) subject in this Monday mailbag, but I’m going to purposely change the damn subject for fight fans in my Friday mailbag unless something really big breaks.

YOUR NO. 1 FAN

Hey Dougie,
How's it going? I read your blog last week (Dougie's MASSIVE Monday Mailbag) and I must say that you have a very sharp logic. I'm a big boxing fan and have read a lot about the impasse in the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight due to the drug testing thing. Many writers should think about changing careers if they cannot even connect the dots and sort out the facts the way you did in that blog. From now on, if I need some wise perspective of anything related to boxing, I know what to do: just read your articles.

Props to you for having the balls to sort of go against some of what your “boss” has said to the press recently. That's another sign of excellent boxing journalism. Regards. — Bob Allen

Thanks for the kind words, Bob, but I’m not trying to “go against” Oscar De La Hoya or Golden Boy Promotions, who have absolutely no say in the editorial direction of THE RING or RingTV.com (although Oscar has the freedom to talk about whatever he wants to in his blog). I’m not even trying to stick it to Mayweather (as much as that thought appeals to me).

I’m just calling things the way I perceive them and offering whatever background information I have on the given subjects (such as Pacquiao’s weight). That’s how I view the columnist portion of my job here at RingTV.com. I’m glad you see some logic in my words because I do strive for that and some form of balance in everything I write.

DE LA HOYA’S BLOG

Hi Dougie,
I'm a big fan of you and of Ringtv.com. I've feel that I have to write in about the Oscar De La Hoya blogs though. Don't you feel like it's a conflict of interest to be publishing his point of view (and it looks like a magazine editorial) when he is essentially Mayweather's promoter?

It's not particularly subtle for him to compare PacMan's punches with those of Mosley and Fernando Vargas either – especially after he has previously said that they didn't hurt. Was he lying then, or is he being disingenuous now?

I really think that the Golden Boy's participation on the editorial side of THE RING is damaging it's reputation. Regards. — Alex

De La Hoya has zero participation in the editorial side of THE RING. If we have a damaged reputation it’s either because of us (the editors of the magazine and website) or because some fans and members of the media want to give us s__t for the hell of it or a combination of both.

De La Hoya’s blog is just that, a blog — “a ‘web log’ maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary” (this is a paraphrased Wikipedia definition). It shouldn’t be viewed as, or held to the same journalistic standards, as a news article or even a regular column.

In many ways, the mailbag is my blog on the site. Any longtime reader of my work can tell you that I write things in a very personal manner in the mailbag and use certain terms or slang that you would never read in my columns, feature stories, news articles or ringside reports. The ‘bag is a place for my very raw point of view.

De La Hoya’s blog is an outlet for his opinions and anything else he wants to get off his chest. And you better believe that Osar is going to contradict himself in his own blog. He’s been doing it every time he’s been interviewed since he turned pro almost 20 years ago, and I don’t know why anyone — particularly longtime fight fans and boxing writers — would expect anything else from the East L.A. native.

Yes, in his first blog for RingTV.com he said that Pacquiao didn’t punch hard, that he “couldn’t feel” the punches. Did that statement surprise you? Dude, he’s a fighter. How often do you ever hear a fighter admit that his opponent’s punches hurt him? (The only example I can think of Victor Ortiz after the Maidana fight and everyone took a big greasy dump on the poor kid’s head for speaking earnestly after a loss.)

What did you expect De La Hoya to say about Pacquiao’s punches? “Yeah man, that lightweight’s punches were f__king excruciating; they brought the bitch right outta me. Thank God they stopped the fight when they did because my sorry ass was going down David Diaz-style in the next round.”

Come on, people. You know Oscar, like most fighters, is too proud for that kind of brutal, self-effacing honesty. And now that he’s a full-time promoter I have no idea why anyone would expect him not to push the agenda(s) of his promotional company — which not only represents Mayweather, but also has a stake in Pacquiao.

He wants the fight to happen because aside from the good it will do for the entire sport, it will bring his company a significant amount of money. So, his most recent blog pushed for Pacquiao to accept the damn Olympic-style blood testing that Mayweather wants. So what?

You ask if it’s a conflict of interest for him to talk about the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight when his company represents Mayweather. I don’t think so. Why can’t he? Bob Arum started writing a weekly column for the Las Vegas Sun in September of 2009. He didn’t have a problem writing about the Pacquiao-Cotto fight (and telling everyone how well the tickets and closed-circuit seats were selling and what a great, historical event it was) even though he promotes both fighters. And I didn’t have a problem it, either. Hell, it’s what I expected Arum to comment on. What else is he going to talk about?

Some say De La Hoya should not have a blog on the website of a magazine that one of his companies (Golden Boy Enterprises) owns. I say why the hell not? As long as he’s not telling the editors and writers what to write or what not to write about, who cares? To me it’s no different from Oprah Winfrey having a column in “O” magazine or Dana White doing a video blog on UFC.com. I fully expect them to push whatever agendas they may have in those editorial outlets (which is why I don’t bother reading them).

Now you could say that we (the editors) should tell De La Hoya to step off with his “biased opinions,” but why would we deny one of the most recognizable fighters on the planet a blog on our site? That would be like denying Mike Tyson a blog on our site (and you better believe we wouldn’t do that).

Hell, if Arum wanted to do a weekly blog on RingTV.com we wouldn’t deny him. Like De La Hoya and Tyson, the man is a legend. Boxing fans want to know what these guys are thinking or saying.

To be honest, I’d probably read a Tyson blog more regularly than I would De La Hoya or Arum’s because I know that Iron Mike would speak from the heart and probably bring up some ill, entertaining s__t. Arum and De La Hoya are promoters, very successful ones at that. They are not going to speak from the heart on record. What they are going to do is push their agendas in any form of media that comes their way. (News flash to fight fans: Successful people and organizations have — and are constantly pushing — agendas.)

It doesn’t matter what website, newspaper, TV or radio station De La Hoya is talking to, he’s going to be thinking about and discussing things that he believes will benefit his company. Arum is the same way.

If you think Oscar is being disingenuous you shouldn’t read his blogs (unless you find that sort of thing entertaining).

In my not-so-humble opinion, if Arum didn’t lose his mind over everything De La Hoya says and then complain about it to every website that will listen to him rant, Oscar’s blog wouldn’t be as popular as it is. Boxing fans who didn’t know that De La Hoya had a blog found direct links to them in stories on other boxing websites that quoted Arum’s various ravings and tirades. Arum is actually helping to drive traffic to RingTV.com! (Maybe Oscar is smarter than he looks.)

Arum and De La Hoya have a peculiar relationship. Despite the fact that they made tens of millions of dollars working together for years they still want to take jabs at each other now that they have separate promotional companies. Arum has a well-known temper (don’t think it’s just the Golden Boy and his company that draws the ‘Wrath of Bob’ on a regular basis), just ask Dan Goossen, Gary Shaw, Al Haymon or anybody at HBO Sports. Oscar just might derive some perverse pleasure in setting off Mount St. Arum.

I think Bob has become that grumpy retired guy who sits on his porch after school, yelling “Stay off my lawn!” to all the kids walking home and Oscar is like that naughty little boy who can’t help but put his foot on the grass just to get a reaction out of the old grouch.

MONDAY MAILBAG RESPONSE

Doug-
I've been reading your mailbags for quite a few years now and enjoy your insight to the sport. I think every point you made regarding Pacquiao's weight in your Monday mailbag says it all. It puts it out there plain and simple that the Mayweathers are just trying to show who's in charge or that they’re not very smart (lol).

Also, if Pacquiao and Marquez fought for a third time do you think Marquez would have any chance to win. I don't think he would have a chance and he might even get seriously hurt. He's been in a lot of wars the last few years as a semi old boxer. — Michael

I am of the opinion that Marquez was pushing his body to its limits fighting at 135 pounds and is simply not an effective boxer above lightweight, so unless a third Pacquiao fight took place at 135 pounds I wouldn’t give JMM much of a chance to even be competitive.

Regarding Pacquiao’s weight and allegations of PEDs, I don’t think the Mayweathers are necessarily dumb for wondering how the Filipino icon has gone from junior featherweight to kicking ass at welterweight, I just think they are ignorant to some facts. And I’m not going to fault them for that, either. When Pacquiao was fighting at 122 pounds he wasn’t on Floyd’s radar, or anyone else’s for that matter, including most of the fanatical Filipino fans who practically worship Manny these days.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayweather had forgotten that he co-headlined a card with Pacquiao in San Francisco in November of 2001. He probably paid no attention to the dried-out Asian fighter who struggled to make weight the day before their fights (Floyd fought Jesus Chavez and Manny fought the late Agapito Sanchez), but I remember. I remember that Pacquiao wasn’t eating very much the week of the fight and I recall Freddie Roach saying that he should be fighting at featherweight and could probably be effective at 130 pounds (the division Mayweather fought in at the time). My guess is that Pacquiao was probably a natural junior lightweight when he fought at junior featherweight and a natural junior welterweight when he fought at 130 pounds. He had to work like hell to make 135 pounds for the Diaz fight, which is why Roach kept talking about Pacquiao fighting at 140 pounds long before the bout took place.

An interesting project for any fight collector who has all of Pacquiao’s HBO appearances is to go through and see if Pacquiao’s fight night weights are announced on the broadcasts. I’m curious as to how much weight he put on after weighing in for his junior featherweight, featherweight, and junior lightweight bouts that aired on the network that sometimes weighs the combatants in their dressing rooms before their fights.

MONDAY MAILBAG

Hey Dougie,
Hope you and the familia had a great xmas and I hope you have a great 2010… That said, I just got around to reading Monday's mailbag and I loved your responses. As always… right on the f__kin' money!

I'm with you… I could care less if this Mayweather-Pacquiao is made or not. Sure, it'd sell a ton of PPVs, but there are a bunch of great fights that can be (and more than likely will be) made in 2010… I know my year ain't gonna ride on this fight alone. — Chico Fan

Amen to that. We have the Luevano-Lopez/Gamboa-Mtagwa B.A.D. doubleheader and Mosley-Berto, plus the return of FNF and ShoBox this month, Valero-DeMarco in February, Abraham-Dirrell in March, Froch-Kessler and Ward-Taylor in April, and Vazquez-Marquez IV in May. Top Rank has 36 dates on Fox Sports Net, Fight Night Club is returning on the same network, and it looks like the matchups scheduled so far on ESPN2, ShoBox and FSN are all quality. So we have stuff to talk about beyond whether Team Mayweather or Team Pacquiao is at fault for the mega-fight of 2010 not happening.

YOU CAN'T BE THAT GULLIBLE

You are too PC. Both Pacquiao and Mayweather are at the top of their sport. Performance enhancing drugs are rampant in every professional sport. What’s the sayingÔǪ.. “if you’re not cheating you’re not trying”. Here’s another oneÔǪ. “To be the best you have to beat the best”. Well guess what? The best are cheating. It’s not just in baseball and football.

I think Pacquiao’s incredible physique and speed is enough proof of his cheating, but his refusal to do the blood test is an even clearer indication that he’s cheating. We’re not in a court of law. We’re in the real world where perception is everything.

Mayweather knows that performance enhancing drugs are rampant in the sport. He’s been using something illegal as well.

I remember Lenox Lewis saying during a broadcast that steroids don’t help fighters, and making me laugh. His ridiculous statement was a clear indication to me that he was also a cheater during his reign. Everyone knows that “speed kills” in boxing. Do you remember how bad Ben Johnson smoked Carl Lewis? Lennox can’t tell me that kind of speed wouldn’t help a fighter. They give the stuff to race horses for a reason.

Pacquiao probably thinks that he’ll get destroyed if he’s not taking his juice. He shouldn’t worry because Floyd will be taking the same tests. That means he won’t be able to train like he’s been training either. Mayweather is probably betting that his natural state is better than Pacquiaos.

If Pacquiao agrees to this drug test the fans will get screwed again. We’re expecting an exciting fight. Some of us will be buying the fight to see Floyd receive a much deserved beat down. In the end we’ll see two guys who don’t have their confidence enter into Teddy Atlas’s “silent agreement”. — Gerald from Houston

You’d make lousy prosecutor, Gerald. Stick to being a nutty fight fan. You’re pretty darn good at that.

You say: “We’re in the real world where perception is everything.”

I say: Perception is nothing without education or the proper informational background.

You are going to have to give me more evidence than “incredible physiques” and “speed,” the fact that other pro sports are plagued with PEDs, and statements certain fighters have made about steroids that you disagree with to convince me that Pacquiao, Mayweather or everybody’s favorite boxer-turned-commentator is or have been on “something illegal.”

The worst thing about unfounded allegations in sports or any arena is that they bring the negative whack jobs, conspiracy theorists and wanna-be experts out of the woodwork.

WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?

You are obviously bias and a mayweather hater! I've never respected your boxing opinion because you are a hater of the black fighters except 4 LAMES! like Shane Mosley and Uncle Tom Stewart. If you had a brain you pony tail braud you could see that Mayweather is a classic and Manny Fakeqaio is Fraud you pony tail braud. DE LA HOYA should fire your dumbass. — Derrick

Happy New Year to you too, Derrick, and to all of the Mayweather nut-huggers out there who don’t respect my “biased” boxing opinions but just can’t resist reading every damn thing I write and emailing me about it.

Keep clutching those nuts, boys, and be happy. Your hero has probably found an excuse (that will be accepted in some circles) to not only avoid fighting Manny Pacquiao, but also that “lame” old man, Mr. Mosley.

I don’t care much for Mayweather (how can I like someone who calls Emanuel Steward an “Uncle Tom” after basically doing a modern version of a minstrel show with his father and uncle on HBO’s 24/7?), but I’ll give him this much, he’s smart.

If the fight doesn’t happen, more than a few fans will blame Team Pacquiao and assert that the pound-for-pound king is hiding something. If the fight does happen, maybe Mayweather’s stance will have created enough of a diversion (or even doubt) in Pacman’s mind that he’ll have a psychological edge that he can take advantage of. If he wins, he’s the man in the sport. Even “haters” like Yours Turly will have to admit that. But if he loses, he’s got a built-in excuse that Pacquiao was “on something” and I don’t put it past many fans and even some of my peers in the media to buy into that claim, even if the Pac-man passes all of the mandated drug tests for the fight. So, in a way, Floyd can’t lose. The man’s a genius. (Now, would a boxing writer who has a “bais” against Mayweather say that?)

PAC HAS RIGHT TO RESIST BLOOD TEST

Dougie,
I am a surgery medical resident in SoCal and a big boxing fan. Initially I thought, “What is Pacquiao scared of? A blood test is harmless. After all, we do it all the time in the hospital.” That was before I had a blood test done on me. It was the first bad reaction I have had but it was bad enough for me to put myself in Pacquiao's shoes and realize that it could definitely affect my psyche. I have attached a picture of my arm a few days after I had my blood drawn for you to get the idea. It is called a post-injection hematoma and can happen when a blood vessel is inadvertently pierced when drawing blood. It is very similar to a bruise. Now imagine going into a fight with a giant bruise on your arm because you had blood drawn one week before the fight. It looks uglier than it feels but, my arm definitely felt different.

This is not to say that every time you get your blood drawn this will happen, but it can happen. If I were fighting the most important fight of my life, I wouldn't want to risk going into it with my arm looking like this. Let me know your thoughts. — Dre

That bruise looked pretty nasty, Dre. (And since I have no idea of how to embed a pic in the text of this blog item, readers will just have to imagine the ugly, puffy purple and green-looking hematoma between your biceps and forearm.) I’ve heard of these things happening and thankfully I’ve never experienced it. Even so, I don’t look forward to having my blood taken, which I have to have done more often than most individuals because I have a thyroid condition that requires constant monitoring.

Whenever I give blood I get dizzy and sometimes I become nauseated. It been so bad at times that my wife worries about me driving from the lab by myself.

So I get why Pacquiao’s not thrilled by the idea of the possibility of having to give blood the day before the biggest fight of his career, and I also understand that he doesn’t want Team Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions to force him to try and prove his “innocence” for something that he has no history of doing, but a part of me wishes he’d just agree to the damn testing and roll the dice on having to take a random blood taking close to the fight.

If he agreed to it and then got in the ring and kicked Mayweather’s ass eight ways to Sunday he would silence all of his critics and skeptics, apart from Mayweather Sr. and Jr. and Floyd’s loyal nut-huggers, who will probably still maintain that he’s “on something.”

PAC & FLOYD MEDIA COVERAGE

Dear Doug,
I think the media reporting on this leaves a lot to be desired.
For instance, Pac took a blood test as part of his pre-fight medical exam between 1 & 3 weeks before the Hatton fight. ESPN's Dan Rafael claimed that this “punches a hole” in Pac's argument that he doesn't like to give blood right before a fight. Why?

Isn't Pac's position that he doesn't like to give blood and will only do so if required? Aren't pre-fight medical exams required before every fight? So what's the problem? As I understand it, if the NSAC changes the rules for everybody and now mandates blood tests, Pac will comply. His problem is the “singling out” issue. He'll fulfill all requirements i.e. the Hatton pre-fight medical exam. What am I missing? I keep hearing how Pac “has to explain” this and that. Why? I'd love to hear Floyd explain why he'll walk away from $30 million or more due to his objection to a testing protocol that he was fine with four months ago. I haven't heard an answer to that one–because no logical answer exists.

Or is “uh, well, my daddy and some Internet message board people say Manny's juicing” a logical answer? It's pathetic how some people (boxing media) whom I'd respected (listening, Max Kellerman?) have turned in to gossip merchants (Pac's not agreeing is “suspicious”).

(P.S. I know you have a Hall of Fame vote, so I'd like to know:
If Manny tells Floyd to go screw himself and walks away, will you still vote for Manny for the HOF? Have you heard anyone say he/she wouldn't vote for Manny now?) Take care. — Patrick from Chicago

Both Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather have already earned first-ballot votes into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in my opinion. They don’t need this fight to get them into the Hall. I think most of my peers feel the same way (at least, I haven’t heard anything to the contrary).

If they were to fight, the winner would take a strong step towards “greatness” in my opinion. Right now, I don’t consider either man to be an all-time great. However, with the combined quality of Pacquiao’s opposition and his record-breaking accomplishments, one can certainly argue that the Filipino is great.

Regarding the boxing media’s coverage of the blood testing issue, I don’t think there’s any doubt that some of my peers are suspicious of Pacquiao’s ability to rise in weight while retaining his speed, reflexes and power, however, I don’t think their skepticism is a personal dig at the Filipino icon. I think they are skeptical of most of the elite athletes in most of the professional and Olympic sports.

Who knows? I followed other sports the way most of my peers do maybe I’d be just as skeptical.

THANKS DOUGIE!

Hi Dougie,
Thank you very much for your fair and balanced answers in your MASSIVE Monday Mailbag column regarding Pacquiao. At least, there's one American writer with THE RING (owned by ODLH) who's both fair and understanding of Pacquiao's situation and dilemma.

In this country, some people would love to see a hero fall – justly or unjustly. I was quite sad that a very poor man from a third world country who worked hard, fight rightly and staying cleanly was now the object of character destruction from the same people whom you wouldn't want to associate and identified with. But as they say: You can't put a Good Man down.. Truth will triumph at the end and I'm very proud that there are still some good people like you who wrote the truth, stay balance and who never ride the hate bandwagon..

Again, Thank you and May God Bless You Always. Regards. — Eric

Well, I guess it’s safe to say that I’ve won back all the Pacquiao fans I pissed off by writing that piece on how he’d fare against five all-time greats before the Hatton fight.

Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]

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