Dougie’s Monday Mailbag
THE TRUTH ABOUT BERTO
I hope this email finds you well. Andre Berto scored an impressive victory over a former champ. Carlos Quintana simply could not deal with Berto's speed. He looked very hesitant to let his hands go. It was hard to gauge Berto's progress as a fighter, but he has shown a lot heart/resiliency. Overall I was impressed, he closed the show, like an elite fighter should. — Jaime, South City
I’m impressed with Beto’s stoppage of Quintana, a feat that isn’t an easy task for even elite fighters, but I wasn’t awed by his technique and flow. The young titleholder looked erratic throughout the bout.
However, I’m not going to hold Berto’s form against him too much because of three factors:
1. He was rusty.
2. Quintana has a style that’s difficult for anyone to look good against.
3. Berto injured his left arm during the bout.
It’s just a hunch, but I’m guessing that if Berto had not hurt his left arm, he could have ended the fight earlier and been more dominant leading up to the stoppage. Berto seemed to do significant damage in the third round by landing his hook over Quintana’s right jab, which forced the crafty southpaw into the ropes where the younger man punished the vet’s body. And then Berto abruptly stopped throwing the hook, which is probably why Quintana hung around until the eighth round.
I think Berto is a top-seven welterweight contender. Prior to the Quintana fight THE RING rated him No. 5, in front of Josh Clottey (No. 6) and Luis Collazo (No. 7), but I would consider the young man even-money against those two former beltholders. (I thought Collazo narrowly outpointed Berto in their entertaining 12 rounder last January.)
Right now, I would definitely not favor him to upset the elite 147-pound likes of Mosley, Pacquiao or Mayweather. But there’s no shame in that. And who knows how much he might improve in a year’s time?
BERTO WOULD'VE LOST TO MOSLEY
after watching andre berto against carlos quintana i feel like berto would've been no match for shane mosley back in january. quintana isn't close to having the speed or power of mosley. berto holds his hands low and consistently moves forward and would've been easy for the speedy mosley to pick apart. i was also kind of turned of by berto with his complaining of being hit in the back of the head in the first couple of rounds. i felt like the shots were clean to the side of the head and there was no reason to be upset.
also, i think edison miranda is an easy win for lucian bute. i know miranda has great power but i think bute is too good of boxer to lose this fight. — ernest
You won’t find many fans or members of the media that disagree with your opinion on the Bute-Miranda fight or a potential Mosley-Berto fight. If Miranda pulls off the upset we should give the Colombian banger and his new trainer Joe Goossen a lot of props.
As for Berto’s performance on Saturday, let’s keep in mind that apart from his first-round blowout loss in his rematch with Paul Williams, Quintana had been a handful for most of his opponents. He was competitive with the then-undefeated Miguel Cotto for the first three rounds of their bout in December of 2006.
I’m not saying that Berto fought a great fight. He has his share of flaws, which were evident as he gradually figured out a way to get to Quintana (such as being vulnerable for the uppercut and failing to properly set up his power punches or close distance), but he got the job done against a quality opponent. His complaint about the rabbit punching didn’t bother me that much, but I thought referee Tommy Kimmons was a little hard on Quintana during periods of the fight. I didn’t like that he warned Quintana for holding in the fifth round because he didn’t do the same to Berto, who initiated more than a few clinches during the early rounds.
If there was any doubt in anyone's mind before tonight, it is gone now. Mosley is going to f__k up Mayweather.
Watching 24/7 you can see he has the mental focus that is going to be incredibly difficult to defeat. The only way Mayweather can win this fight is if he is truly a 'special' fighter, which I do not believe he is. This is going to be an incredible event. Could you imagine the possibility of Mosley landing flush shots on Mayweather against the ropes the way he was vs Margarito?! It will be interesting to see how each fighter's mentality changes as they see each other on 24/7 week after week. (Kind of like how Freddie Roach wanted Hatton to see Pac's sparing to intimidate him)
Glad to see Roy Jones Jr. didn't get beat up too bad last Saturday. Good job on the broadcast. I ended up not buying it but I heard good things about your performance. Great job on the behind-the-scenes report leading up to the event! I was excited for you as I was reading through it, your passion really came through. Good job.
RIP Arthur Mercante Sr. He was a great ref and a great ambassador for boxing. — Anthony
Mercante Sr. is one of the greatest referees in history and was indeed a wonderful ambassador for the sport. He led a full life but he’ll be missed dearly. If you haven’t read his autobiography, Inside The Ropes (written with Phil Guarnieri and published by McBooks Press, Inc. in 2006), do yourself a favor and get a copy. It’s full of first-person accounts of boxing’s most storied events and fighters from a legendary official whose passion and reverence for the sport never waned through five decades.
Thanks for the kind words on the Hopkins-Jones II broadcast notebook. I was pleasantly surprised at the positive reaction that article received from readers. I honestly expected at least one email to state something like: “Shut up Doug, I don’t care about your boyhood idols or TV aspirations. You look like a cross between Ice-T and Steve Urkel and you sound like a f___ing Muppet.” But I was spared the usual message board fare (and for the record, the Ice-T/Urkel barb is something I read on a boxing forum last year).
Anyway, if Jones was going to fight again after getting blasted by Danny Green, B-Hop was the perfect opponent because the 45-year-old contender doesn’t have the speed, power or style to threaten a KO or pose serious physical damage.
I enjoyed the first 24/7 for the Mosley-Mayweather fight. It was refreshing to see Sugar Shane on the series. He’s a good balance to Floyd’s over-the-top ego. I hope to see more Naazim Richardson and less Roger Mayweather as the show progresses.
It will be interesting to see if the series changes current perceptions of the matchup. Right now, I’d say that 4 out of 5 emails I receive on the fight are picking Mayweather to win. In the May edition of THE RING, 17 out of 20 “experts” polled for a feature article predicted a victory for Floyd.
THE FEATHERWEIGHT DIVISION
boy celestino caballero looks like the goods. i bet steve molitor feels a lot better about himself with every huge caballero win.
it’s funny, but last year or two years ago it’s possible that caballero, not vasquez, marquez or juanma (all considered better than him), was the best super bantamweight.
i hate that bob arum is so protective of certain fighters and doesn’t give a s___ about others. fighters he doesn’t care about: cotto, gamboa. fighters he protects = JUANMA! i don’t know why he thinks its a good idea to put gamboa in with caballero but he avoids caballero like the plague with juanma. juanma and caballero have a rivalry, that’s the fight that makes sense. He’s trying to get gamboa to do juanma’s dirty work so he can “let the fight simmer” between juanma and gamboa (if he beats caballero). i think juanma is going to get killed when he fights a top three (maybe even not a top three) featherweight. john, gamboa and caballero all wipe the mat with him imo. i’d also give rocky jaurez a good shot against him as sad as it sounds.
sorry for the rant, big ups to caballero, winner of him vs gamboa is probably top 5 p4p. (manny, may/mosley, williams, dawson, the winner) i’m assuming either mayweather or mosley get beat bad and drop out of top 5 p4p. if they dont then at least top 6.
who wins caballero vs gamboa, caballero vs lopez, lopez vs gamboa right now? can lopez beat top 5 featherweights? — matt in canada
I think Lopez just beat a top-five featherweight by stopping Steven Luevano. I would not count the Puerto Rican lefty out in a matchup with Caballero. I see that as an even match. I slightly favor the rangy Panamanian over Gamboa, which will be an interesting matchup. I also view Lopez vs. Gamboa as a toss-up fight.
By the way, Caballero was THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight (ahead of No. 2 Lopez) for at least a year. The magazine has caught a lot of flak for including Caballero in its Pound-for-Pound ratings since the stringbean punching machine smashed Molitor (and I’m one of the critics), but if he defeats Gamboa and gets a shot at JuanMa (it could happen) and then beats the Puerto Rican star you gotta figure that he’ll make a lot of other P4P top 10 lists.
Anyway, whether you think Caballero is elite or not, everyone should view him as a welcome addition to the 126-pound division. There can be a fun little round robin with Chris John, Gamboa, Lopez, Caballero, Elio Rojas, the winner of the Daniel Ponce DeLeon-Cornelius Lock fight (on the Mosley-Mayweather undercard), Juarez (if he can make the weight) and up-and-comer Miguel “Mikey” Garcia.
I would include veterans Izzy Vazquez and Rafa Marquez, but I need to see what either has left on May 22 before bang the drums to see them take on a top-10 featherweight contender.
What's going on? Loved the piece on your career as a boxing journalist (is that your proper title?). I always thought that if I didn't make it in my career that I would like to step in your shoes. It's definitely a busy career, but the moments and experiences more than make up for it, as in “priceless.” Keep it up as always!
About a couple fights:
1. What's your take on Maidana-Bradley? Maidana's recent KOs are still fresh in my mind, and that's who I am rooting for. Kendall Holt and Edner Cherry can bang a bit, but for the most part Bradley's been in with boxers, so I don't know how he deals with pressure fighters, and awkward ones like Maidana. Then again, Victor Ortiz dropped Maidana, and I know that Bradley can crack! This is such an exciting toss-up, but I'm actually going with Maidana by late TKO in a crazy fight.
2. I believe that Sergio Martinez will shock a lot of people against Pavlik. Time and again Martinez has proven himself with bigger opponents. The only X factor I see is how he'll handle a flush right from Pavlik. I believe Pavlik can win if he can keep Martinez at bay with the jab, but the fact that Martinez already faced Paul “the octopus” Williams gives him an advantage since Paul is waaay more active than Pavlik. I'm going with Martinez 8th KO.
Thank you for your great work, take care Dougie! — Les in DMV
Thanks for the kind words. I’ll comment on your fight predictions in order:
1. My take on Bradley-Maidana is “Thank you, Gary Shaw and Golden Boy Promotions, for making it happen.” After “my son” stopped Antonio DeMarco in February there was a lot of talk about him stepping up to 140 pounds and challenging Bradley. I thought that was the best matchup to be made at junior welterweight, and I still do, but Bob Arum (Edwin Valero’s promoter) and Shaw (Bradley’s promoter) didn’t get beyond very preliminary discussions (and my guess is that Arum’s side halted the talks — not that it matters now with Valero’s constant personal troubles). However, I think Bradley-Maidana is a very nice consolation prize. I don’t think Maidana is as talented as Valero, but he’s got the same heart and power. I think Bradley is the best 140-pound fighter in the sport and a badass like “Chino” should bring the best out of the Palm Springs native. I like Bradley by UD in a hotly contested 12 rounder. I think his speed and footwork will be the difference. Maidana might catch him and hurt him with one of his bombs, but I think Bradley knows how to survive rocky moments and his heart and conditioning will allow him to quickly get back into the fight.
2. If Martinez beats Pavlik I don’t think it will be the “shock” you say it will be. A lot of fans and people in the industry (including some folks at Top Rank) are picking the Argentine southpaw to school the middleweight champ. I think it’s an even fight but I’m slightly favoring Pavlik. I know he doesn’t throw as many punches as Williams but I think that will help him out during the fight. P-Will was constantly countered by Martinez because he was constantly punching (and he doesn’t keep his hands up as well as Pavlik does). I think Pavlik is a better counter puncher than most give him credit for and I believe that he will pick his shots in the early going while gradually cutting the ring off on the stick-and-move marvel. Once he gets Martinez against the ropes we will see some excellent exchanges but my hunch is that Pavlik’s body work will wear the challenger down and put him on the defensive down the stretch of the fight. I favor Pavlik by close decision or late stoppage.
Just saw on Valerotalk.com that “your son” is on his way to Cuba for a month to train. Who is advising this guy??? Being from Venezuela, with a DUI in the U.S. and training in Cuba is not going to get you a U.S. visa any quicker. Bob Arum is probably cursing the little bastard when he is imagining all the potential dollars he is losing. Have a good weekend my friend. — Brendan, Philly
Valero certainly travels to the beat of his own drum. I respect him for that. And despite his problems, I’m rooting for him to get his life together (for the sake of his family, not his career).
Who’s advising Valero? Nobody. Valero is the boss. That’s his problem until he can get a grip on his life.
Who knows if he’ll ever actually make it to Cuba. With his recent luck his plane will get hijacked on the way to the Communist country (and reports out of Venezuela will state that he did it and held his own family hostage to gain control of the flight). If he ever does make it, I’d love to travel the island to watch him train and learn more about Cuba’s culture and rich boxing history.
By the way, it's ValeroScene.com, not ValeroTalk.com — we have to be clear where the up-to-the-minute Valero news can be found. If “my son” takes a dump in a public toilet and forgets to flush you can bet Rick Reeno and Jhonny Gonzalez will have a full report on it. LOL.