Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag



Hey Doug,
I haven't written you for the ages but this past weekend was so intensive and was so filled with various boxing activities that I simply cannot keep myself silent about it. I'll try to make it short though, and I hope it'll make your mailbox too. I wish to read your opinion on every item beneath.

1. Pongsaklek vs. Kameda. Firstly, I want to congratulate The Ring on a new champion. I watched the entire fight live and it was simply the best of Pongsaklek I have ever imagined to observe. The Thai was simply perfect in (IMO) the best fight of the week. I scored the bout 117-112 (two rounds even) for Pongsaklek, though I wonder not a bit, why Kameda wasn't even a bit as aggressive as his former self. I also think that with this win Pongsaklek has crucially solidified his previously borderline HOF career. He is now an obvious Hall-of-Famer and the second-to-Galaxxy in Thai history (overcoming even Sahaprom). Do you agree? What do you think about Wonjongkam-Narvaez? I favour Pongsaklek by a close decision in a cracker.

2. Abraham vs. Dirrell. This was the best of Dirrell I have ever seen in my life and he should have been winning the contest on points easily. I'm sure the disqualification of Abraham is an honest outcome as he has clearly violated the rules. HOWEVER, I'm sure that Dirrell simulated the delayed effect. He hasn't been hit that clean and that hard and he just decided to make his way out easier. In my mind, he should be fined and deducted a point in tournament. I don't want to be offensive though, and I watched or read no post-fight reports (I immediately tuned in for Maidana-Cayo). Maybe I'm totally wrong but it's what I felt. Also, with all the respect to Laurence Cole, he should be banned from this work. He isn't on this level.

3. I feel very bad for Ali Funeka. He was misjudged twice abroad (I scored both Guzman I and Campbell in his favor). This time he has clearly lost (I had it 116-111 for the Dominican) to… a welterweight. It's official: Guzman is a miserable cheater even though he has pulled off a Mayweather in this.

4. Erik Morales should go back into retirement for good. He shouldn't fight anymore. Especially against Alfaros of the world.

Peace to you and your family, Doug. And cheers from Moscow! — Alex

Thanks for writing Alex. I’ll respond to your statements in order:

1. I haven’t seen the Kameda-Wonjongkam fight yet but I’m amazed by what the Thai legend has accomplished in his career. He’ll get my vote the first time I see his name on the International Boxing Hall of Fame ballot. I’m not that familiar with Omar Narvaez. I just know he’s from Argentina and he’s been the WBO’s flyweight beltholder sinceÔǪ jeez, it seems like since the Clinton administration. I would say he has a style that would trouble Wonjongkam but that’s what I said before the Kameda fight.

2. I thought Dirrell boxed the most controlled and effective fight of his pro career against Abraham, who had a style that would enable him to jump out to an early points lead. However, Dirrell surpassed my expectations by dropping Abe in the fourth round and by containing the former middleweight’s usual mid-rounds surge. I thought Abraham was beginning to break Dirrell down in the late rounds but it seemed like it was happening too late for the Armenian badass to stop him. I think Abraham was aware of this fact and it frustrated him, which is why I think he landed the sucker shot on purpose. Who’s to say how bad it hurt Dirrell? There is such a thing as a delayed effect to those types of punches in boxing. And one thing that can’t be disputed is that Dirrell was down when the punch was delivered and landed. Abraham was in the wrong. He must have thought he was still in Germany and could get away with that kind of thing, but he wasn’t. He was in Detroit, which might as well have been Dirrell’s hometown. It was a stupid, vicious move by the previously undefeated fighter.

3. Funeka can’t seem to catch a break in North America. Maybe he should try for the winner of the Michael Katsidis-Kevin Mitchell bout and fight him in the UK.

4. Agreed.


Hey Doug,
Going back to Thursday for a second, I just have a quick message/request for Golden Boy Promotions: Feel free to put Ronny Rios on any and all upcoming undercards. Rios is the type of fighter I’d gladly watch any time.

I had Joan Guzman winning the fight by a decent margin but can understand the closer scorecards. What nobody can understand is how in the world a fighter shows up 9 POUNDS overweight; that’s simply ridiculous. I don’t know what Ali Funeka does next, and with the way things have been going it seems he would even end up with the short end of the stick if he were fighting in his own living room.

Finishing up with the HBO card, is there any 140-pounder that REALLY wants to fight Marcos Maidana? A guy without a huge name (at least not yet) who has big power and the heart to matchÔǪ you get the feeling that guys won’t exactly be racing each other to sign that contract. Thanks. — Jesse, New Jersey

Timothy Bradley, who’s slated to fight a welterweight in June, can’t seem to get any of the name 140 pounders in the ring with him, so maybe the Palm Springs, Calif., native can do business with Maidana. On paper, Bradley has the edge in skill, technique and athleticism, plus the physical strength and durability to grapple in close with the Argentine badass, but who knows what will happen when Maidana connects with a clean shot to the jaw. That’s why they fight the fights and I’d love for this one to happen.

I had Guzman winning seven rounds to five (or 115-112 because of the knockdown he scored), but I’m convinced that he benefited from not having to make lightweight, so in my mind the fight is a No-Contest. Why should Funeka be penalized for Guzzy’s sloth (or devious machinations)? Joan should be forced to fight Maidana at 140 pounds (or marry Edwin Valero) for the s__t he pulled against Funeka.

I wholeheartedly agree about Rios. Like Brandon Rios, Ronny (no relation) is must-see TV. I’ve seen his last five fights from ringside and I see improvement with every outing. It won’t be long before he develops into a fringe contender at 126 or 130 pounds. An excellent future matchup is Rios vs. Oxnard’s Miguel Garcia.


I'm a regular reader and occasional contributor to your mailbags! Here's the three ways in which I can categorize the Abraham-Dirrell fight.

1. The Good:
Dirrell boxed very well, showed us his foot movement and hand speed, and put Abraham down. I had him up by one round against Froch, and only had him losing three of the ten completed rounds at the time of the stoppage, so I feel he's actually among the very best the 168 lb division has to offer! I legitimately think that Dirrell vs. Ward is an even money fight!

2. The Bad:
Abraham is not as good as we thought. He's still dangerous, but I feel like a powerful puncher is liable to inflict enough punishment on Abraham over the first four rounds that the Armenian badass would become ineffective thereafter. In fact, I'm not even sure he'd last three rounds against Bute, given the Romanian's capacity to throw meaningful body punches (to which Abraham was open almost all the time).

3. The VERY Ugly:
I practiced the sweet science for a number of years; if I took one thing out of the whole experience, it's this: it takes a special kind of evil to inflict damage on a boxer when he is defenseless. Abraham knows that his punches can seriously hurt somebody. That's why he's in this business. That he tried to pass everything off as a lack of momentary perception is not only evidence of his classless-ness, but also of a complete lack of intellect. I think his DQ loss should lose him a point.

Thank you for letting me rant! I enjoy your work and will follow your mailbag for your thoughts on the fight with great interest! — George

Thanks for sharing your rant. I’ll respond to your statements in order:

1. Dirrell boxed Abraham as though he had matured 2 or 3 years or had five or six bouts between the Froch fight and Saturday. I’m always a little in awe of Dirrell’s pure athletic talent but against Abraham I was impressed with his composure and that’s what he’ll need to beat peers like Andre Ward or future foes like Lucien Bute. I also had him winning the Froch fight. I thought he won eight of the completed rounds against Abraham. His pending fight with Ward might be even money but I still favor the Oakland native.

2. I’m not going to dismiss Abraham after one loss (although his behavior certainly merits it). Dirrell has the perfect blend of athleticism and style to give the Armenian Assassin fits. The Michigan native came of age Saturday night and had too much for Abraham. That doesn’t mean anyone with speed or power can duplicate what Dirrell did for 10 rounds. In other words, just because Dirrell made it look easy doesn’t mean it was or will be for anyone else. Abraham survived Miranda’s power when he had a broken jaw and he wrecked the Colombian in their rematch. I don’t think he’s vulnerable to punchers. He might be vulnerable to Bute’s style but I wouldn’t count him out in that matchup.

3. Agreed.


What’s up Dougie,
Hope all is well and hope boxing keeps going strong. Got a couple of points on what happened this week in boxing.

1. I’m not going to crucify the ref for Abraham-Dirrell but I am going to disagree with him. Arthur was finishing his combination. It wasn't intentional and it was a reflex punch. Plus the ref wasn't rightly positioned. I thought they were supposed to give the benefit of the doubt to the fighters.

2. The person I do want to crucify is your son. I mean seriously what is this guy thinking? No man should hit his wife much less a man that earns his living by knocking people out!!! If he keeps this up we are never gonna see him against a big name because he keeps having these set backs and he can’t blame anyone else but him self. He’s just gonna be another hype job that never happened and that’s what we all DON’T want. At least I don’t.

3. I didn't get to see the Morales fight but I heard he did well for a fighter that came off retirement. I personally would like to see him retired because this guy is already a legend but if that fighting itch is still itching then I wish him the best. Just one question. At this point of his career, can he only enhance his legacy or can he still hurt it?

4. Final point and the most important in the history of boxing. Are you thinking of going on Ring Theory as a guest appearance some day or have they offered you already and shot them down? Or how about have actual boxers on the show or perhaps invite Burt Sugar or more boxing experts. I love that show. So I guess that makes 3 listeners for The Ring so far. LOL. Just out of curiosity how many listeners does this show have?

Well that's all for now. Keep up the good work man. — Peter, Houston, TX

Thanks. I’ll answer your statements in order.

1. I think Abraham pulled a Roy Jones Jr. (from the first Montell Griffin fight). He had already let his hands go but he knew his opponent was on one knee (or doing the splits as Dirrell was when he got clipped). It was wrong and he was appropriately penalized for it.

2. Valero isn’t thinking when attacks his own family. He’s acting out because he’s sick and he needs help. For the sake of his wife and children, I hope he wants to get better. I should note that his wife, Jennifer Carolina, did not file assault charges against her husband and has absolved him of any wrong doing, claiming her injuries were the result of falling down the stairs. Sounds like typical battered wife excuses/enabling to me, but time will tell if she’s telling the truth. If she and her mother-in-law continue to be, ahem, clumsy, we’ll all know that Valero is more of a monster outside of the ring than he is inside of it. I read on (formally known as BoxingScene) that Valero had been taken into custody after causing a scene at the hospital and was recently released, however, friends of mine who were in Venezuela this weekend for Jorge Linares’ comeback fight against Francisco Lorenzo told me he was out and about. They told me that he had to agree to enter a 25-day detox program for drug and alcohol abuse and then undergo anger-management counseling in order to stay out of jail. Again, for the sake of his two kids (never mind the sport of boxing), I hope he gets the help he needs.

3. I don’t think Morales can enhance his legacy at this point because I don’t believe that he can beat anyone significant enough to add to it. However, I don’t think he can hurt it, either. Sugar Ray Leonard was stopped by Hector Camacho in his final fight. You don’t hear anyone saying that he isn’t great because of that loss, do you?

4. Those question should be directed to William Dettloff ([email protected]) and Eric Raskin ([email protected]). Ring Theory is their baby. I know it has more than three listeners because I listen to it and many of my friends do (especially Dave Schwartz of Santa Monica, Calif., who tells me how much he loves it every time we talk on the phone). I think Dave, who’s followed boxing since the 1950s, would make a better guest than I would.


Hey Dougie,
Ok, I'm confused, shouldn't Abraham still be awarded 1 point for a KO? LOL.

Just wanted to say what a great fight it was on Saturday, this Super Six series just gets better and better! Dirrell was superb and deserved his victory, though I did think Abraham was grinding his way back into the fight and Dirrell was in real danger of being knocked out in the later stages (legally that is!). Abraham not only let himself down, but robbed us of a couple of great final rounds. I’ve also read rumours that Abraham may be kicked out of the Super Six? That would be a travesty, imagine a semi-final between Abraham and Dirrell, promoters can’t buy the hype and tension that would come with that fight!

Also some food for thought, if Kessler and Green win their stage 2 fights that would effectively make the 3rd stage a knockout round, with the winner of each fight progressing to the semis and the losers getting sent home (bar the lucky 5th place), how awesome would that be?!

Keep up the good work! — Chris, Bolton, UK

I agree with you, Chris, I think the tournament got a whole lot more interesting this Saturday. Everyone, but Kessler (who might get on the board with his fight with Froch) and newcomer Green, is virtually neck and neck.

I also thought that Abraham was coming on in the final rounds. Had he not fouled Dirrell I think he would have likely swept the last three rounds, but he still would have lost the fight on the scorecards (including mine). I didn’t think he could KO Dirrell because the home-state hero was moving too much. I have no idea how hurt Dirrell was at the time. You never know with head injuries. Whether he was faking or exaggerating or being 100% real, it doesn’t matter. Abraham blatantly fouled him and got what he deserved. And, you’re absolutely right, Abraham robbed the fans (and himself) of a furious finish to the fight. He was most likely going to lose if it went the distance, but at least he would have lost with honor.


Hi Doug,
I think Abraham was unfairly chastised last night for his “intentional” foul. Seriously, the way they were talking about him made him seem like the second coming of Andrew Golota.

I like Dirrell a lot and thought he got shafted in his last fight against Froch. I thought he was boxing a brilliant fight and simply had to stay on his fight to win a decision. It didn't help Abraham that they hired the worst US referee in Lawrence Cole to ref the fight. Not to take away from Andre's early brilliance in the ring, but Cole separated the fighters for no apparent reason on one occasion when Abraham seemed to have Andre trapped against the ropes. Then he completely blew a knockdown call where Abraham clearly knocked Dirrell down. Then the DQ was a tough call. Abraham was bleeding and desperate and Dirrell was pulling his shenanigans of falling all over the place trying to run the clock. Cole never called a time out and one of the main elements in boxing is to protect yourself at all times. As a matter of fact, Dirrell attacked Abraham when he turned his own back to complain about a low blow. Your thoughts? — Will

The officiating wasn’t great but it wasn’t horrible. Cole was no worse than the guy who refereed Abraham-Taylor in Germany. That dude allowed Abraham to nail Taylor with what seemed like a dozen flush elbows and he constantly halted the action to allow King Art to bitch and moan about borderline low blows. I thought Cole was too quick to separate the two but I also know that Abraham does a lot of really rough s__t in close (including holding and hitting and rabbit punches). He also separated them whenever Dirrell dived in to hold Abe when things got a little too rough. That move would have probably aided Abraham if the Armenian was better at finding his range. You say that Cole blew a knockdown call for Abraham (in the 10th, and I agree with you), but he may have done the same thing to Dirrell (when the southpaw knocked Abe into the ropes at the end of the seventh rounds). So if he was incompetent at least he was even-handed with it. LOL.

Honestly, the only thing that really bothered me about Cole’s ref job was that he didn’t immediately take out Dirrell’s mouthpiece when he collapsed from Abraham’s foul punch. When a fighter is laid out like that from a head shot he needs to get all the oxygen he can to his brain.


Hi Dougie,
I stayed up the whole night just to watch the disappointing fight between Abraham and Dirrell.

First of all Abraham has to blame himself for the defeat. What he did wasn`t fair BUT I can understand why he did what he did and I don`t think he is the monster that Showtime and your buddy Rosenthal are trying to make out of him. Abraham had a lot of pressure on him in the last rounds. He was losing on points so he needed a KO. In Round 10 he knocked Dirrell down touching his feet a little or not (I couldn`t see anything like that). This was a real knockdown and it wasn`t counted as one which really pissed Abraham off and put him into destruction mode.

If you are a guy like Dirrell who is on his knees at least 5 times in one fight you got to live with the risk of being hit once or twice while you are down. And the referee didn`t stop the fight! I think what brought Dirrell down to the canvas for half an hour after being hit wasn`t the brutal power of Abraham but Dirrell's bunny mentality. At the amateurs he would win everyday against Abraham but the pro biz is about guts as much as it is about collecting points. In rolling around the floor and crying after being hit he proved again that he has none.

He`s a good boxer but he`s no fighter at all. Enough hating! Peace. — Jonas

Enough indeed, Jonas. Tell us how you really feel about Dirrell.

While I believe that Dirrell is a skittish fighter, he’s not the coward that you’re making him out to be. If he was, he wouldn’t have entered the Super Six tournament and certainly wouldn’t get into the ring with a punisher like Abraham. It’s easy to criticize him for rolling around on the canvas after getting clocked while practically on his knees (he didn’t willingly go down in that instance) but I seriously doubt that you or 99.9% of the people reading this would have reacted any differently to being hit like that.

You shouldn’t absolve Abraham of his blatant foul just because he was behind on points, frustrated and because you don’t like the way Dirrell boxes. He knew Dirrell was down, he knew it was against the rules to hit his fallen opponent, but he did it anyway. He’s got to live with the consequences.

I gotta tell you, I DON’T understand why Abraham did that. He could have had a nice rally in the final two rounds and saved some face if he just kept his head. Who knows? Maybe he would have caught Dirrell cold with a legal punch. He’s got a few 11th and 12th-round KOs to his credit (although against lesser talented and lesser mobile boxers than Dirrell). We’ll never know if he could have pulled it off because of his actions.


Andre “The Matrix” Dirrell! It happened!

That was a heroic performance. I was a doubter, now I'm a believer. The Matrix is real. Speed, movement, heart. Then the knockdown in the 4th. WTF!? The rest of the night I was yelling at the TV “Get out of the corner!”. This is what the Super Six is all about.

Lost all respect for Abraham. I hope he gets deducted a point but I don't think Ken Hershman has the balls to do it.

But, this is Dirrell's time to shine. He was winning 97-92 or around that margin by everybody's scorecard and would've cruised to the victory had it not been for the ape at the other end.

(P.S. Dirrell's out of hospital after tests came back negative.) — Akhil, UK

I’m glad Dirrell’s doing OK and I hope he doesn’t suffer any long term effects from the foul punch.

I’m not so sure Dirrell would have “cruised” the final two rounds. It didn’t look like that’s what was going to happen. It looked like Dirrell was beginning to feel the pressure and was going to have to really gut it out in the final two rounds (I thought he got hit with more clean shots at the end of the ninth and in the 10th than in previous rounds), but we’ll never know what would have happened thanks to “Ape-raham”. LOL.

Why should Hershman take a tournament point from Abraham? Unless it was in the Super Six rules that DQ losses result in such an action there’s no reason for that to happen. The bouts should be governed by the rules and regulations of the governing bodies where they take place. Period.

Anyway, I thought Dirrell boxed a smart, disciplined fight. Heroic? I’m not sure about that. But I’m glad Dirrell’s got such a diehard fan in the UK.


Couple thoughts while the fights are still fresh:
I'm disappointed by the detroit boxing commision after that fight. Abraham getting a clear knockdown ruled a slip, then the referee calling the doctor in for a minor cut, which the doctor then proceeds to TREAT for 90 seconds in the middle of the round, but when Dirrell was laying on the ground and twitching, the referee and doctors took an eternity to give the poor guy some help. It's hard to separate one of the most exciting fights I've seen in years from the bitter taste that the event left in my mouth as a whole. — Jeremy

That was one of the most exciting fights you’ve seen in years? It don’t think it was the most exciting fight I watched on Saturday.