Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag
Couple of quick points I would like you to respond to:
1. I gently rested my head on my desk at work for a few minutes in silent despair after reading Eric Raskin's piece about the possibility of a 'Super Heavyweight' division. If it's bad for boxing then you just know the sanctioning bodies are going to sign up for it. What do you think the chances are of something this absurd actually happening?
2. Well done for pointing out the double standards that promoters seem to be held to at the moment. As badly as Golden Boy Promotions handled the whole Pac/Mayweather saga I don’t remember Oscar De La Hoya or Richard Schaefer telling fans that they could go f___ themselves. Interesting how that comment hasn’t caused the level of outrage that some of the comments made by GBP representatives have.
3. Given your proximity to the Amir Khan camp, do you have any latest updates on who he may face next? There has been talk over here of either Marcos Maidana or Paul Malignaggi, who do you think it will be?
Thanks. — Toby, London, UK
Hey Toby. I’ll answer your points in order:
1. I don’t put it past at least one of the alphabet organizations to institute a super heavyweight division just to see if they can make some quick money off the novelty of it, but I don’t think it’s a “movement” that will gain any steam because I believe that sooner or later one of the Klitschkos will struggle or lose to a much smaller fighter (it could happen when Eddie Chambers challenges Champ Wladdy in March) and when the brothers finally retire I don’t think there will be enough talented big men (heavyweights taller than 6-foot-4 and heavier than 240 pounds) to have a separate division. Beyond the Klitschkos, I don’t think any of the current “giants” in the division can hang with “little guys” like Alexander Povetkin, Chambers, David Haye, Denis Boytsov, Tomasz Adamek, and our old friend John Ruiz. Honestly, I wouldn’t pick Nicolay Valuev or Alexander Dimitrenko to beat any of those aforementioned contenders.
2. Tell me about it, brotha. Bob Arum-ageddon can do no wrong, while Golden Boy Promotion is viewed as the living embodiment of all that is evil. The boxing media’s double standard is just plain silly and it’s getting really old. I would love it if more fans would call these boxing writers on their obvious bias (you guys know who they are).
3. My proximity to King Khan is no closer than yours. All I know is that he’s signed a co-promotional deal with Golden Boy (with his own company) and they have asked the WBA to hold on the mandatory matchup with Marcos Maidana. Freddie Roach and Amir have told me that they have no fear of fighting the Argentine bomber, but Richard Schaefer would like that fight to “marinate” a bit while Amir makes a name for himself in the U.S. fighting an old lightweight vet like JM Marquez or Nate Campbell. Malignaggi was mentioned as a potential opponent, but now it looks like the Magic Man could be Andre Berto’s next opponent.
A PLEA TO JM MARQUEZ
This is a plea to Juan Manuel Marquez: Please do not fight Amir Khan at 140 pounds. I don’t like the idea of JMM in with a big hitter at 135 let alone a natural junior welter at 140. I just don’t think his speed came with him and I’d hate for his career to end with losses to Floyd Mayweather and Khan (though I’m convinced Floyd was north of 147 for their fight on fight night.)
I’d much prefer to see Tim Bradley in with Khan. JMM has too much of a legacy to have to step up in weight to fight Khan. Maybe I’m putting too much into the Floyd fight but JMM just didn’t put the weight on well and he looked like he was stretching himself at 135 against Diaz. — Tony, LA
I agree with you. I don’t think Marquez is effective above 135 pounds, and stylistically speaking, Khan is all wrong for an aging, naturally smaller and significantly slower counter-puncher. I can see Khan keeping Marquez at the end of his jab and moving non-stop, forcing the older, slower man to come after him. That’s no good for Marquez.
If Marquez fights again I’d like to see him take on an aggressive “comer” like Michael Katsidis or David Diaz, and then, quite Frankly, I’d like to see him hang up his gloves while he’s got his faculties and money in the bank.
As for Khan, I would also like to him take on Bradley, Maidana or perhaps the Devon Alexander-Juan Urango winner. Victor Ortiz is also a suitable opponent for Khan in my opinion. I don’t really care to see the British star take on former lightweight titleholders.
BOXING IS JUST FINE
I am a big fan of your mailbags and I always try to make it in one of yours, so I hope this one make the cut. I am tired of everybody saying that without the PacMan-Mayweather fight, boxing is done. That can be the way an average boxing fan thinks, but not our way, the true hardcore fans.
There are a lot of great potential fights like Juanma Lopez-Yuriorkis Gamboa, Lopez-Chris John or Gamboa-John. We could have a series of fights with featherweights if we include Rafa Marquez, Israel Vazquez, Celestino Caballero, Abe Concepci├│n, Mario Santiago and Antonio Escalante. Hey, we are going to have a lot of boxing to watch, good entertaining nights of boxing.
Boxing is dead? Come on, not with this 126-pound division. We have the next generation of great fights and the best thing about this division is that the winners can move to the 130-pound division.
Well, my friend, God bless you and we hope to see you soon again in Puerto Rico, where you have a bunch of fans. — Carlitos, Puerto Rico
The falling out of Pacquiao-Mayweather hurt boxing’s reputation among casual fans and the mainstream media but I agree that the sport is in good hands with the new generation of fighters who are currently making their names. It’s not just the featherweight division. There’s vast potential in almost every weight class and it starts with the top fighters willingness to face each other.
Looking at the 2010 schedule I see contenders fighting contenders and it’s a beautiful thing. Next Saturday “my son” Edwin Valero (THE RING’s No. 1-rated lightweight) takes on Antonio DeMarco (THE RING’s No. 9-rated lightweight, who I personally think should be ranked higher). Glen Johnson (the No. 3-rated light heavyweight) takes on Yusaf Mack (No. 7) on Feb. 5. Arthur Abraham (the No. 6-rated super middleweight) takes on Andre Dirrell (unrated by THE RING, but I consider him to be a contender) and Devon Alexander (the No. 4-rated junior welterweight) takes on Juan Urango (No. 6) on March 6. Manny Pacquiao (the No. 1-rated welterweight) fights Josh Clottey (No. 5) on March 13. Wladimir Kitsch (THE RING heavyweight champ) defends against Eddie Chambers (the No. 3-reated heavyweight). Carl Froch (the No. 3 super middleweight) battles Mikkel Kessler (No. 4) and Andre Ward (No. 2) takes on Allan Green (No. 7) on April 17.
Mosley-Mayweather is close being a done deal. So is Yonnhy Perez-Abner Mares (excellent bantamweight scrap).
Those are all good, high-profile fights (televised by HBO, HBO PPV or Showtime) and they will set up major fights for the fall.
BOXING MEDIA'S DOUBLE STANDARD
Just wanted to note my agreement with you re: the disparate treatment the GBP execs face compared to those at Top Rank. Sure, DLH gets on my nerves w/ his blogs and transparent promoting every time someone tries to get an objective analysis out of him (though I'm not sure whey anyone would even ask a promoter for an objective analysis). Yet, DLH & Schaeffer have never shown anything but respect for the fans and the industry. They have shown a greater commitment to the game at the grass roots level, which is absolutely essential for the health of the sport by supporting fighters who need it most, while expanding and actively engaging the fan base. Fight Night Club is an example of the making cards about the fighters and the fans, not these insulting PPV events (Top Rank is a prime offender) that do nothing but line the promoter's pockets. And is there anything more embarrassing than trying to corral a group of borderline boxing or MMA fans over to an event like Pac-Cotto then spending the first couple hours apologizing for the horrid undercards? What other sport does this? I'm not saying GBP doesn't, but I think that they try and learn and improve, which is how they got where they are.
Further, would anyone else stoop to the ethical lows Arum has in loudly and arrogantly trying to sidestep any discipline for Margarito's depraved act(s)? Arum's reaction was as hostile to the fans as towards the CA Commission. I do not doubt that had that fight taken place in NY, there would be a serious investigation into criminal charges. Do you see owners in any other sport coddling an athlete caught brazenly trying to cheat by committing a criminal act seriously endangering the long-term health and careers of the other athletes?
Can you IMAGINE the reaction if that was DLH, instead of Arum, pulling any of the above? Like I said, DLH annoys the heck out of me sometimes, but I can't think of another athlete who best embodies the American dream, which has a little to do with luck, but a LOT to do with hard work, discipline, smarts, and even humility. Likewise, I can think of no other promoter who best embodies the arrogant, insulting cliche that Don King once represented. I can think of no reason for the disparate media & fan treatment except for petty jealousy. That boxing fans and media succumb to those instincts so easily says a lot about why the sport sometimes fails to grow the way it should. Best. — Matthew, NYC
Well stated, Matthew. There’s not much I can add to your points, but I also wonder why so many boxing writers who vehemently damn the “heinous act(s)” of Javier Capetillo and Antonio Margarito do not have equal scorn or outrage for the promoter who backs the fighter’s story — that nobody believes — wants to get him back in the ring ASAP, and is more than willing to circumvent the California State Commission to do so.
If it were Schaefer and De La Hoya, instead of Arum, who promoted Margarito and supported his story in the face of overwhelming evidence and sought to get the disgraced fighter re-licensed ASAP, FORGET ABOUT IT, there would be entire websites devoted to damning Golden Boy Promotions. Thomas Hauser would have already written have three books on the subject and have six more in the works.
IOLE'S MARGARITO COLUMN
I just finished reading Kevin Iole’s article about Antonio Margarito being re-licensed in Texas and how despicable that is. I find it funny that certain media outlets are bashing Margarito based on what they think he may have done in prior fights.
Iole even compared his KO ratio as he moved up in competition to that of Mike Tyson, alluding to Margarito’s punching power and the increase in KOs as he stepped up the competition which leads to “proof” of illegal hand wraps for more than just the Mosley fight.
Any boxing writer should know that Margarito is not a one-punch KO guy but more of a grinder that had steadily improved his technique, punch output, and ability to cut the ring off. Iole leads the readers to believe that all of Margarito’s recent accomplishments were due to illegal handwraps and dismisses the actual boxing and uncanny ability to absorb punches. Can we assume under that logic that the reason for Hozumi Hasegawa’s recent KOs are due to something illegal (PED’s or wraps)? He was considered somewhat of a feather fisted fighter until his recent terror scoring five straight KOs (12 total in career). Granted that there is some precedence to point at that proves that Margarito has attempted to cheat (Mosley fight), however there is no concrete evidence that there was any wrongdoing prior to this fight.
In the Cotto fight, it was widely regarded that Cotto was the bigger puncher and to my eyes this fight unfolded much like all of Margarito’s fights (Mosley is the exception). He took all that Cotto dished out and came on strong to win the fight. Margarito was landing flush shots on Cotto’s chin and body throughout the fight and even if he punched as soft as Paulie Malinaggi he probably would have prevailed. Hell Malinaggi even gave Cotto fits after getting his orbital bone fractured.
My point is that we should just take the information that we are certain of (Margarito was caught with illegal wraps in the Mosely fight) and not speculate on what could have been done in prior fights. Let me man continue fighting in the sport he loves and take extra precaution on his hand wraps going forward. I will be looking forward to his upcoming fight unlike many others and hope you can turn things around and prove he is better than the fighter people are labeling him. — Dion Mejia, San Jose, CA
I can’t help Margarito. He’s going to have to earn the respect of the fans and the media one fight at a time. Can he do it? If he wins and does so in humble fashion, probably, although there will always be a throng of boxing writers who will damn him until the day he retires or dies. Perhaps that’s what he deserves. I’ll forgive him because I don’t believe that he was loading his gloves for fights prior to the Mosley match. I think Capetillo panicked with the Mosley bout because Margarito had looked like such dog s__t throughout camp for that fight. But that’s just me. Maybe I’m just a na├»ve fool. So be it. Anyway, Margarito is lucky he’s in a sport that has put convicted murderers and guys who threw fights into the hall of fame.
Regarding Iole’s column, it’s obvious that he believes that Margarito is a lying, cheating scumbag. Who knows? Maybe he’s right. However, I have to wonder where the outrage is for Margarito’s promoter.
Iole correctly stated in the lead to his column that Margarito “isn’t taking the most ethical route to try to get back into the boxing business.” I agree, but the fact of the matter is that Margarito can’t do s__t without Bob Arum. So why doesn’t Iole damn the Big Bob Man?
And if Iole is so sure that Margarito is basically a repeat attempted murderer, why would he support a system that would reinstate the boxing license of such a dangerous criminal?
Also, I didn’t quite get Iole’s statement that he “will never buy another ticket to a card Margarito is fighting on” or spend “a cent on a PPV broadcast that includes” the fighter. Iole is one of the most prominent boxing writers in the sport. He doesn’t buy tickets to major fight cards. He’s credentialed as media. If he buys a PPV, he can expense it to Yahoo!. If Iole really wanted to make a statement he would refuse to COVER or even write about any card that includes Margarito.
I also dismiss the Tyson-Margarito comparison. They were different fighters. Tyson was a weak-willed front runner who peaked early, in part due to his off-the-charts income and celebrity. Margarito was an iron-willed (and iron-chinned) grinder (as you stated) who got stronger as the fight wore on, and he was also a late bloomer.
IN BRIGHTEST DAY, IN DARKEST NIGHTÔÇª
From your mailbag: “Grown-ass men dressed up like Green Lantern”.
Thanks for making my day with that comment!! — C
You are welcome. I don’t mind mentioning that I’m a big fan of the Green Lantern Corps. mythos.
THE BOBFATHER'S BOOTY
Ay dawg, that comment about the Bobfather giving the media the “red eye” was right on point. Seems like that this guy gets a pass for everything while the media jumps down Golden Boy's throat for everything. Personally, I think both companies should get their heads out of their asses because as of right now, this is looking a whole lot like Arum vs. King which put the kibosh on all kinds of good fights in years past.
At any rate, what comics are you collecting these days? I'm following the Marvel Dark Reign/Siege stuff right now as well as their Realm of Kings space stuff. Holla back! — Fleetwood
I collect most of the X-titles (which gets pretty costly) and I’m currently following the whole “Necrosha” crossover arc. I was into the premise at first but now I’m getting kind of sick of all the dead mutants coming back and I’m also having a hard time following all the story lines (as I usually do with these major multi-title crossovers that comic book companies do way too much of).
I tried to follow Dark Reign but I tired of it pretty quick. I won’t even pick up the Dark X-Men. I don’t have the time to invest in SiegeÔÇª maybe I’ll check it out once it all goes to TPB. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the Realm of Kings series. Long live the Imperial Guard (the creation of my all-time favorite comic book artist, the late, great Dave Cockrum)!