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Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag

05
Feb

VALERO-DEMARCO

Dear Doug,
One more day un until Edwin Valero vs. Antonio Demarco, I cant wait. This fight will be an instant classic. On paper it sort of reminds me of Wilfredo Gomez vs. Salvador Sanchez: A bona fide KO artist vs. a slick and savvy boxer/puncher.

Obviously I'm familiar with your adoration and admiration for Valero, it goes a long way because believe me, I also luv the rugged lil bastard for the vicious predator he is in the ring.

Having said that I strongly believe Demarco will come away on top this weekend. Sorry dude I know you feel the opposite. Just think every fist meets a chin he cannot break. If DeMarco's chin can take Edwin's punches or avoid them altogether, my prediction will come to fruition.

Expect a fight with many momentum changes, knockdowns, very few clinches, brutal toe to toe action and maybe a spectacular ending. Imagine a win vs. Valero followed up by a unification against Puerto Rico's Roman “Rocky” Martinez. Then hello, we got a brand new Mexican idol and boxing will have another PPV attraction.

Now I'll steal a Sex Pistols album title and change it up a bit: “Nevermind Antonio Margarito, here's Antonio Demarco.”

Oh and I strongly agree with Michael Rosenthal that you are absolutely the best young up and comer analyst, aka boxing commentator. Have a great day. — Jorge, San Diego

Thanks for the very kind words, Jorge. They have earned you top-billing in this week’s Friday mailbag. Well, kind words and the fact that you are talking about this weekend’s biggest fight, in my opinion, and not looking ahead all the way to May for the Mosley-Mayweather showdown.

I disagree with your prediction of Saturday’s lightweight title bout (big surprise) but I give you credit for having the balls to say it days before the fight. I see a lot of anonymous message board mutants spewing their usual crap about Valero and how he’s going to get his ass handed to him (the same doo-doo those monkeys threw around before Valero fought Vicente Mosquera and Antonio Pitalua), I’ve read many of my boxing writer peers hint that an upset might be possible but ultimately hold back from pulling the trigger on an upset pick, and I’ve received a few emails from rational fans who are basically riding the fence. Kudos to you and everyone else who believes in DeMarco and is saying so up front. (Because you know if Valero loses I’ll get 800 emails from jerk-offs telling me that they predicted it.)

Hey, for the record, I share your enthusiasm for DeMarco. The kid can fight. He can box with sweet technique. He’s earned his shot at Valero with three consecutive impressive showings (vs. Kid Diamond, Anges Adjaho and Jose Alfaro). You and I both know that he’s going to bring it because he’s a proud Mexican warrior (from Los Mochis, no less, the home of many of the country’s most talented boxers), but I think his youth, enthusiasm and willingness to exchange with Valero will be to his detriment.

You say we can expect a fight with “very few clinches” and “brutal toe to toe action,” well, I don’t think that kind of fight favors anyone who fights Valero, and that includes DeMarco.

You wrote that “if DeMarco's chin can take Edwin's punches or avoid them altogether” your prediction will come to true. Yeah, but that’s a BIG-ASS “IF.” And although the Tijuana resident is a very good technician, he’s not a slick, defensive-minded boxer. He likes to mix it up. DeMarco is also a slow starter who has trouble with athletic fighters in the early going (see his recent outings with Kid Diamond and Adjaho for examples). That’s bad news against a fast-starting heavy hitter like “my son.”

I envision a mid-to-late rounds stoppage victory for Valero, and I hope DeMarco doesn’t take too brutal of a beating, because I know there’s no quit in him. Whatever happens, I think the young man has a bright future.

RING MAG WELTERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP?

Whatup Dougie?! How's it goin’ man?
I guess dreams do come true! Floyd signed. Although I think its true Floyd really didn't want the fight and that he was “pushed into it”. But its all good. We have the top WWs fighting each other. Say Pac wins and fights the winner of Floyd/Shane later this year, is it going to be for the Ring Mag/Lineal WW Championship?

And since its official, what's your take on Floyd/Shane? Shane looked brilliant against Margarito, but that's because Cheato didn't have his pink plasters on and pretty much came to Shane with open arms just to get KTFO. Also, Cotto outboxed Shane and Floyd is a superior boxer to Cotto. I want to see Sugar beat the living s__t out of Floyd but I don't know if its only wishful thinking? One things for sure though, Sugar will make it into a fight. Screw that boring back peddling s__t.

Btw, “your son” is fighting on Saturday. Sure he has bombs on both hands. But is it fair to say he's been fighting “nobodies”? Pitalua isn't really elite. It would be really fun to see him against a great boxer like JMM. Or even Paulie Malignaggi who has a pretty good chin. Can't wait for Saturday though. DeMarco is very much capable to outbox Valero if Valero chooses to go swimming (punching freestyle). But DeMarco better keep the distance or its lights out. How do you see this fight going?

(P.S. you gonna be in Dallas for Pac/Clottey? I hope to bump into you there. Cheers!) — Joks, Bay Area, CA

I’ll be in Arlington, Texas for Pacquiao-Clottey. Good luck finding me among the 1,500 or so media members who will make up press row but please don’t be a stranger if you do see me.

Is it fair to say Valero has fought nobodies? I think so. But just because a fighter is a “nobody” it doesn’t mean he can’t fight. Say what you want about Pitalua (no he isn’t “elite” but neither is Valero or DeMarco), the Mexico-based Colombian cold-cocked Jose Reyes with a single punch last yearÔǪ the same Reyes who almost beat DeMarco in 10-rounder in 2008. Pitalua was good enough that more than a few insiders picked him to beat Valero, as a few are picking DeMarco. If Valero smashes DeMarco as easily as he did Pitalua I think fans and my peers have to at least begin to lift some of the skepticism about him. I’d love to see Valero fight Marquez or Malignaggi, too. I think he will have to beat a fighter of their caliber in order to earn the public’s respect.

My official take on Mosley-Mayweather is that it’s a very competitive pick-’em-type fight. I favor Mosley on the very simple assumption that he can outwork Mayweather and earn the majority of close rounds even if Floyd outboxes the veteran in those stanzas. We see it all the time in boxing, a defensive boxer lands more clean blows but the judges go with the more aggressive fighter who was coming forward and grunting with every shot. I think Mayweather is going to have to pick up his activity to beat Mosley but doing that might play into the heavier, busier hands of Sugar Shane.

By the way, Mosley looked “brilliant” against Margarito because he put on a brilliant performance and he’s the better fighter — period. Don’t make excuses for Margarito. Don’t take away from the achievement of Mosley, who was a 3-to-1 underdog. Margarito not having his hands illegally wrapped didn’t suddenly take away his vaunted chin. (And will fight fans PLEASE stop playing Freud and trying to theorize that Margarito was mentally shot because of getting busted, which somehow effected his ability to take a punch. Get real! I don’t care if you step into the ring with horseshoes taped to the inside AND outside of your gloves, if you have a weak chin, knowing that you have an offensive advantage is not going to magically give you the ability to take a punch.) Margarito was known for having a good chin for good reason, and Mosley crushed it by having the balls to lay into the Mexican mauler round after round.

The bad news for Mayweather is that Mosley obviously retains his power late in a fight as evidenced by his ninth-round stoppage of Margarito and his 12th-round KO of Ricardo Mayorga.

Yes, Cotto outboxed Mosley (you left out the adverb “narrowly” in that sentence). Yes, Mayweather is a better boxer than Cotto, but Mayweather is not a busier or stronger boxer than the Puerto Rican (especially the undefeated pre-Margarito version of the Caguas Crusher that Mosley faced in November of 2007). Food for thought.

If Pacquiao, THE RING’s No. 1-rated welterweight, beats Clottey, and fights the winner of Mosley-Mayweather (the RING’s Nos. 2 and 3 welterweights) you better believe that the magazine’s 147-pound title will be on the line.

UNDEFEATED, RING CHAMPS, & VALERO

Dougie,
Finding your email in the old blogs was a chore, but I ended up finding it. I have a million comments, questions, and observations but I'll stick to a few for now.

1) Mayweather claims to be the greatest of all time because he's undefeated. Although that argument is illogical already, there is another flaw. Even by his logic (or lack there-of) Floyd doesn't even have the best undefeated record of all time! Joe Calzaghe was 46-0 and Rocky Marciano was 49-0. Haha, I wonder what he would say to Brian Kenny after that?

2) Three Ring Champions (JM Marquez, Pacman, & Adamek) have said publicly they no longer intend to campaign in the weight classes they are the real champions of. Does The Ring wait to vacate these titles until they contact you guys, or will The Ring ever call them and ask if they can open up that slot?

3) I'm excited for Valero's defense against DeMarco on Saturday. I'm predicting a late TKO win for Valero, but from viewing some of his old sparring sessions on YouTube and knowing he is always changing trainers, it seems like he regressed a bit as of late. You are the most reliable source on him on the web, so what do you think?

4) Hatton said he wanted a P4P or alphabet champ for his comeback fight, so why not Tim Bradley? Ricky would lose at this stage of his career but Tim is the best in his old stomping grounds, doesn't have a fight lined up, and lacks the KO power to really hurt Hatton long term. What do you think?

I'll try to email more so these thoughts don't build up. Thanks for the great work. — Homer

Thanks for writing, Homer, and sorry my email link hasn’t been at the bottom of more of my stories lately. I’ll get back to adding it to everything I write, especially the mailbags. I’ll answer your questions in order:

1. Mayweather needs to realize that the only undefeated record that has been mythologized is Marciano’s, and that’s because he was a popular blue-collar underachiever who campaigned at heavyweight when that weight class really was the sport’s glamour division, knocked off a legend (Joe Louis) and then showed respect and humility afterward, got up from the canvas to beat the champ (Jersey Joe Walcott), and then made six defenses (which included two great blood-and-guts battles with Ezzard Charles) of what was truly “the biggest prize in sports” at the time (remember, the NFL and NBA had yet to evolve into the megaliths they are today in the American/world sports scene). The Rock retired while still on top of the boxing world and then he died tragically and prematurely. That’s a big part of Marciano’s mystique. If Sugar Ray Leonard had beaten Roberto Duran in their first fight and then beat Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler (without the three-year break) and retired undefeated, I don’t think he or his record would be revered like Marciano’s. If Roy Jones had never lost to Montell Griffin and retired undefeated after beating John Ruiz, I still think most boxing historians would consider Ray Robinson, Willie Pep or Henry Armstrong as the G.O.A.T. If Joe Calzaghe racked up 60 consecutive victories without a loss or a draw and then retired, I think most fans wouldn’t give a rat’s ass. And I don’t think most fans give a damn about Mayweather’s precious 40-0. A record is meaningless without significant ring battles. I believe Mayweather would be a better fighter and more liked had he lost the first Jose Luis Castillo bout and then took on the best 135 pounders and 140 pounders that were around between 2002 and 2005. Even if he lost one or two close bouts to someone like Kostya Tszyu, Steve Johnston or Joel Casamayor, I think he’d be more respected today.

2. THE RING waits until the fighters or their representatives contact the magazine and inform Nigel Collins that they are vacating the championship. The magazine takes a wait-and-see stance with public announcements because fighters (and their managers/promoters/advisers) often tell the media that they are going to do something and then reserve the right to change their mind, particularly when it comes to campaigning in different weight classes. Adamek will stay at heavyweight if he beats Jason Estrada tomorrow, then gets a fight with Chris Arreola, wins that one and earns a big showdown with a Klitschko or David Haye. But if he loses to Estrada or Arreola, you and I both know he’s going to go back down to cruiserweight. Same deal with Marquez at 140 pounds. If he gets spanked by Amir Khan, he’s not going to stay at junior welterweight. He’s going back to 135 pounds, where he’s the rightful king until a lightweight knocks him off the throne.

3. I think Valero has regressed from the form he exhibited last April but I don’t think DeMarco can capitalize on it to the extent that he beats “my son.” Everyone knows about Valero’s power, but his will and heart are just as strong as his punches. It’s been a very difficult road for him to get where he is now and he’s not going to roll over for anyone. I like DeMarco a lot but like respected trainer Ken Adams, I don’t think he has the athletic talent or physical strength to beat the V-nom. But it should be a good fight. I’m really looking forward to it.

4. I’d love to see Hatton fight Bradley. I’d love to see any 140-pound fighter of note take on the Desert Storm, but I don’t think it will happen this year. I think Bradley is too good and not well-enough known for the big shots to risk their necks fighting him. If Hatton challenged Bradley in his last pro fight he would earn a new level of respect from me.

PACQUIAO-VALERO

Hi Dougie,
Just wanted to get your thoughts on what you think the chances are Pacquiao-Valero will ever happen? I know it's been one of those dream matches for a while now but it has started to gain a little bit more traction lately. Valero said he wanted to fight Manny in a conference call about the Demarco fight and I just read an interview with Freddie Roach that said they could fight but it would have to be at 147. Valero's power would obviously carry but how do you think his body would react to that big of a jump in weight? It didn't hurt Manny. Who do you think would win? Thanks. — David Green (Warner Robins, Georgia)

It’s way too early to start debating about who would win that fascinating matchup but I don’t put it past Bob Arum to eventually make a Pacquiao-Valero showdown just to spite Mayweather and Golden Boy Promotions. If Arum was a kindergartner his report card would read: “Doesn’t play well with others.” LOL. If Pacquiao beats Clottey, fans will clamor for him to face the winner of Mosley-Mayweather but Arum might tell everyone to “F__k themselves” and stage Pacquiao-Margarito and then follow that bout up with Pacquiao-Valero.

If it happens it won’t occur this year. Arum has to get Valero’s visa and license issues resolved and Valero has to not only keep winning, but he has to beat the kind of fighters that will make him a worthy challenger to the PacMan. That means Valero has to go to 140 pounds and knock off some badasses there, such one or two of the current beltholders.

I have no idea how Valero’s body would react to going up in weight, or if he can carry his power to welterweight. My hunch is that he can do it but we’ll have to wait and see.

MOSLEY-MAYWEATHER PREDICTION

Hey Dougie I'm a long time fan of yours, I love your work.

Just curious with your prediction for the Mosley-Mayweather fight… Didn't you notice Mosley struggle with a guy like Mayorga? I understand there are certain factors that play in such as Mosley's weight and his expectations of Mayorga that night but I think that Mayweather's boxing ability supercedes those factors even if not present.

I know Brother Nazim is doing a good job with Mosley but if a brawler like Mayorga can out-box Mosley for a good nine/ten rounds I just see Mayweather shutting Mosley out.

I'm a long time Mosley fan so I'm hoping he'll pull it off, but I just have a hard time seeing that happen. Thanks for your time, Dougie. — Mart

I think a lot of fans and members of the media are overrating Mayweather. I hope you guys admit it after Mayweather loses on May 1.

Yes, I noticed that Mosley struggled with Mayorga. I also noticed that he almost killed Mayorga in the final round of that fight.

I always felt that Mosley was just above average when fighting at 154 pounds and nowhere near as formidable as he is at welterweight. I don’t think he’s looked good in any of his junior middleweight bouts, including his wins over De La Hoya and Vargas.

The difference between Mosley at 154 pounds and at welterweight is his output. His punch volume is way higher at 147 pounds and I think it’s his activity that will carry his fight with Mayweather, who unlike Mayorga, lacks the size, strength and power to keep the old vet off of him.

I agree that Mayweather can and probably will outbox Mosley in most of the rounds but I think the undefeated boxer will be backed up and out-hustled in many of those rounds, and as a result, he will lose most of the close rounds. The same factor that enabled De La Hoya, who I thought Mayweather outboxed in every round of their junior middleweight fight, to convince two of the judges (and more than a few ringside members of the press, like Floyd’s No. 1 media fan Kevin Iole, who scored the bout a draw) that the fight was a 7-5 toss up will enable Mosley to beat Money.

Put simply: I don’t think Mayweather can hurt or discourage Mosley, who goes to the body a lot more effectively than De La Hoya did whenever he had Floyd up against the ropes, and I believe the 38-year-old vet’s aggression and higher punch output will be rewarded more than the better boxer’s technique, defensive prowess and accuracy.

AT LAST!

Hey Dougie, how you keeping?
I'm so excited that Mosley-Mayweather has been finalised, it's a fight that should have happened long ago and I'm surprised that Floyd, who I figured must be a eunuch given his apparent lack of cajones, is displaying genuine ambition in fighting a truly live opponent.

It's been my gut feeling that Mosley WILL beat Mayweather for two or three years now, and I've tried to justify that by looking at it logically, and I've come up with some good reasons against it:

1) Mosley's lost 5 times, against guys who are not as good as Floyd. He's lost 5 times against guys who are not as good as him for that matter, he's prone to inconsistency and puts in the odd workmanlike performance.

2) He's 38 years old, coming off a year of competitive inactivity.

3) As sensational as he looked against Margacheato, I feel that the Mexican may have been finally softened up against Cotto. Despite winning so brutally he took a lot of punishment early on and guys who fight like he does are not exactly prone to longevity in the fight game, it catches up with you. I noted that you said he had been poor in sparring, and that his mental state may have been poor due to the handwrap controversy, so there is a little doubt in my mind that he may not have been the force of old.

That said, I firmly believe Shane beats Floyd and shuts the little butt-plug up. Hell, we may even have a moment like the end of the Tyson-Lewis fight when Tyson came over to Lewis and was utterly dignified in defeat, earning the respect of many. Can you see that, everybody learning to love Floyd a little? I think he's a great fighter and he'll earn my utmost respect if he beats Mosley but I'd love to see him be magnanimous in defeat, that way I could actually like him.

All the best Doug, here's hoping that this one doesn't fall through. — Ewan, Scotland

Floyd Mayweather Jr. be “magnanimous in defeat”? I suppose anything is possible in this crazy sport.

Good points against Mosley beating Mayweather, but I have to disagree with No. 1, which states that the three fighters that Mosley lost to were “not as good” as Money. From a pound-for-pound perspective, Mayweather is better than those three but I think the late Vernon Forrest was a more formidable welterweight than Floyd, Winky Wright was a HELL of a lot better as a junior middleweight, and Cotto was/is more accomplished at 147 pounds. I gotta be honest with you, I don’t see Mayweather beating Forrest at welterweight or Wright at 154 pounds. I think he could have beat Cotto at welterweight, but the 30-0 version that Mosley fought could have given Money the same fight at 147 pounds that JL Castillo gave him at 135.

Anyway, those are just mythical matchups. Who knows what would have really happened. We’ve got a real showdown scheduled for May 1 and I can’t wait to see what happens.

CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE?

I think Mayweather-Mosley is a good fight but I want to know what the excuses will be when Floyd beats Shane. Will it be a 16 month layoff? A 38 year old body? Will Shane get “old over night?” Because while I think it’s a tough as nails fight where either guy can win (I just expect Floyd to outbox him), I don’t think people will finally give Floyd credit for beating a LEGIT welterweight and FUTURE HOFer. Especially you’re former right hand man, Steve Kim. — Michael

I can't speak for others but he'll have my respect if he beats Mosley, who is ranked No. 2 at welterweight and No. 3 at P4P right now.

WHO YOU GOT?

Hey Dougie fresh how's it going? Were you at the joint on Friday? Was wondering if you saw my boy Eloy Perez beat David Rodela? How did he look? I remember talking with you at the Joel Julio-James Kirkland fight in San Jose and you were saying how much you liked him and we were saying how much of a badass he could be if he could punch. I still like his upside as he is still young and I think is being brought along at just the right pace.

Brinkley sure surprised me on FNF!!! I know Showtime is a one dimensional fighter bought damn!!! He flat out got dominated.

I am really looking forward to this weekend. Your son and Demarco should be a heck of a scrap. I see it being close for a few give and take rounds but then I see Valero taking over with his speed and work rate. What is your take on this fight?

What do you think about this week's FNF? I like Yusaf Mack to beat Glenn Johnson. I think these guys are going in different directions and now that Mack does not have to drain himself to make weight he is much more effective. Nice weekend of fights coming up and the Super Bowl. Who you got Dougie? I'm taking the Colts to win big!! — Alex in The Bay Area

I have a lot of family from (and some still living in) New Orleans, so I gotta go with the Saints.

I favor Johnson to outwork Mack (who doesn’t handle hard pressure well) to a decision or a late stoppage, even though I’ll probably be rooting for the young gun. No disrespect to the Road Warrior but I want some new blood in the light heavyweight division.

I agree with your call on Valero-DeMarco.

Brinkley did not surprise me at all last Friday. The only thing that surprised me was that he didn’t stop Stevens late.

I was indeed at the Joint last Friday and I saw the heated 10 rounder between Perez and Rodela. David took the early rounds with his aggression but Eloy gradually worked his way into the fight with his slip-and-counter ability and by the late rounds he was heaping punishment on the always game Oxnard product. Perez was my pick as the best 130-pound prospect of 2009 and I think he’ll develop into a contender this year. He doesn’t need a KO punch.

Doug Fischer can be reached at [email protected]

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