Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag



Alright Big D,
To avoid rambling I'm going to break this into segments:

1) I don't give Chris Arreola anything other than a punchers chance against Tomasz Adamek if the latter chooses to box. As you rightly said Arreola takes a few shots to get off his own, which is fine and dandy against 'mighty' opponents such as Damian Wills, Chazz Witherspoon, Travis Walker & Brian Minto — great slugfests to watch as fans but not exactly oozing technical brilliance. My feeling on the fight is that Adamek will outwork the lesser conditioned, slower and lesser talented fighter over 12 rounds to a 5/6 round margin or so. As much as Adamek isn't a natural heavyweight the flip side is the Arreola isn't a natural athlete and a crude brawling style can only take you so far (in my opinion of course).

2) Carl Froch v Mikkel Kessler. This fight I think will be a better spectacle to watch than the above. Neither of these 2 will take a backwards step and it could be a last man standing scenario with both men going down. Really looking forwards to this one, fancy Frochs' power to eventually tell and it doesn't exactly take a genius to state both are pretty easy to hit. A spin-off from the Super Six is that Joe Calzaghe may well come out of retirement as he's apparently getting itchy feet — which would be a great thing as we'd finally get to see him in the ring against a proven calibre of opponent (sorry, but Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler don't cut it with me)… not to mention a fighter (or fighters) in their prime (OAPS DO NOT COUNT!).

I know Arthur Abraham v Froch is still TBA but I'm going to already call that Fight of the Year before it's even happened! I can't think of 2 styles/boxers I'd rather see fight at present.

3) Floyd Mayweather Jr is well within his rights not to pay the sanctioning fee to the WBA. Interim, champ, super champs, diamond champs — I really couldn't care anymore! Unfortunately the only way I can see a way around this is that the fighters take control of the situation. It's a complete dream theory but if they don't pay the sanctioning fees then we wouldn't have all this nonsense.

Keep up the good work, buddy. — Geoff, London

I'll try my best, Geoff. Thanks for writing. I'll respond to your opinions in order:

1. I could be wrong but I think Arreola is going to show you (and Adamek) a thing or two tomorrow night. He’s more than the sloppy slugger you think he is. He’s deceptively quick and he’s craftier than he gets credit for. I think Adamek will be competitive and will definitely have his moments but I believe Arreola will press him effectively, counter-punch very well, and eventually bust the brave Pole up and break him down by the late rounds of a good fight.

2. Your analysis of the Froch-Kessler fight made me chuckle a little bit. I don’t know how Froch is perceived in the UK, but here in the States fans and members of the media see him the way you view Arreola — a crude brawler. Personally, I think there’s more to Froch than his durability, heavy hands and aggression, but I thought I’d point that out to you. At the end of your Arreola-Adamek analysis you stated that “a crude brawling style can only take you so far.” Yeah, but in the opinion of many fans Froch has gone undefeated in 26 pro fights, won a world title and defended it twice with a “crude brawling style.” I should mention that old-timers like Rocky Marciano and Gene Fullmer attained all-time great status with so-called “crude brawling styles.” Anyway, I’m looking forward to Froch-Kessler and I’m having a very difficult time picking a favorite in this matchup. Kessler is the better technician and athlete, but the Dane is coming off a morale-busting loss to Andre Ward, and if anyone can make a talented fighter doubt himself it’s Froch. I’m going to go with Kessler by close decision because the Viking Warrior is fighting in Denmark, but I certainly will not be surprised if Froch finds a way hold onto his crown, or even winds up dishing out a beatdown.

(If Joe-Cal decides to come back and face the winner of the Super Six I would welcome him. I wouldn’t mind seeing him challenge Lucian Bute, either.)

(Froch-Abraham is going to be one brutal contest, man. They could have an elbow count to go along with the usual punch stats in that fight.)

3. I’m trying to give THE RING championships a shameless plug but I’m just sayin’, fighters don’t have to pay the magazine a dime to wear our belts.


I'm going with Froch, for the reasons you gave in a recent column. He just seems to find himself with the ‘W’ against all sorts of dudes that should have beat him. Flip side to that is Froch is NOT the sort of slippery, high volume, mobile fighter that gives Kessler fits. So, I could be very wrong on this.

But I made my pick, and I'm sticking with it. Froch is one determined bastard, and knows that he still has his ‘O’ when he could have easily lost it, as Abe just did. Enjoy the fight! — Louie

I will, Louie. Unfortunately I’ll know the result to the fight before I watch the DVR recording I make of it since I’ll be covering the Arreola-Adamek fight, but I’m sure I’ll still enjoy it.

And, as I stated in my previous response, it would not surprise me if Froch beat Kessler. He finds a way to win against supposedly better fighters. He finds a way to get in their heads, he finds a way to disrupt their rhythm or game, and eventually, he gets in that ass he did it three consecutive times against dudes who were superior athletes with better technique (Pascal, Taylor and Dirrell). It's not inconceivable that he could do the same to Kessler.


Arreola by late KO, is my prediction for Saturday’s heavyweight fight. I think Adamek will do his thing, but over the distance I think Areola gets the KO, or does enough down the stretch to win, but I think he gets the KO, because we all know he goes for it, believes in his chin and is not afraid to put it out there to land and fight his fight. However, I thought the same thing about Kelly Pavlik. — JB

So did I, JB. So did I. Great minds (or not-so-great) think alike, eh?

However, I don't believe Arreola is in with as slick and athletic an opponent as Pavlik was with Sergio Martinez. The Polish star may prove me wrong, and if he does, I'll be happy for him. He's a good man and a pro's pro when it comes to this brutal sport. I wish Adamek success in boxing and in life. But as for my official pick in Saturday's heavyweight showdown, I gotta go with my Southern Cali. homeboy Cristobal Arreola. He might have to cut the ring off on a sticking-and-moving Adamek, and that might take some time, but I think eventually catch and bust up the smaller veteran, who likes to mix it up and go to the body of his opponents.

Truth be told, if Jason Estrada would have just let his damn hands go a little more against Adamek in February he could have beat (on my card, anyway) the former cruiserweight champ, who merely out-hustled the bigger man.


What's up Doug?….
First of all, I know it has been a rough week for you, V-Nom is gone, he is a wasted talent and all, but I don't wanna go into details. It's just not right for me to talk about it straight up to you as you knew him personally, anyways, I hope you are okay and doing fine.

Let's just talk about the good sides of this upcoming weeks:

1. I'm eager to see Froch and Kessler exchanging blows. Both are hard hitters but I'm leaning towards Froch (TKO 11) because in my opinion he is the fighter that knows how to use his advantages although he is not skillfully sound. What's your take on this? Do you think Kessler is still affected from his last fight with Andre Ward?

2. I predict an 8th round stoppage for Chris Arreola. Adamek will go back to cruiserweight. Golota and Arreola are two different fighters. Adamek will have his moments in this fight but I think The Nightmare will be too big for him. Also, is there any chance the returning Tuaman will be fighting The Nightmare? I’m intrigued. Your take on that fight? Prediction?

3. Marquez and Vasquez is a sure fire action bout, can’t wait to see it. I’m going with Rafa Marquez, with or without eye problems of Vasquez… I hope the winner fights Chris John. Is that possible?

4. I'm sorry Doug, as much as I like Sugarman, I think Floyd will beat him in a majority decision. Sugar Shane might be able to pressure Floyd but the question is, will he break the Philly shell? And I think the chance that Sugar will win is to knock Pretty Boy out in the first three rounds after that, I think Floyd will have him figured, still I hope Sugar Shane wins.

5. I had been reading a blog and I came across a post that said “Floyd would have beat Arguello at lightweight”… I think its nuts, Arguello was kinda slow but he punched like a sledgehammer. I just want to know your take on this?

6. The winner on May 1st fights Pac right? What's next for the loser?… Berto? P-will?

Sorry it's kinda long, hope this makes in the mailbag, keep it up! — Gilbert, Philippines

Thanks for the kind words, Gilbert. I’m OK and I’m doing fine. There was a sentimental attachment to Valero because I followed his boxing career so closely for so many years, and I believed him to be a very special talent. However, I was not close to the man. I can’t say that I knew him, personally.

Anyway, I’ll respond to your points in order:

1. I think there is a chance that Kessler is still mentally effected by his loss to Ward, but those doubts won’t show unless Froch can give him trouble. Froch does press his advantages well in his fights but let’s not forget that his style isn’t that much different from Librado Andrade’s and Kessler shut the rugged Mexican contender out when they fought a few years back.

2. I agree with your prediction on the Arreola-Adamek fight, although I think Adamek might last past the eighth round. It won’t surprise me if Adamek goes the distance. He’s as tough as they come, but he catches a lot of leatherÔǪ I don’t see him taking Arreola’s best power shots for 12 rounds as he did with Steve Cunningham and Paul Briggs. Will Arreola ever fight David Tua? It’s possible, but only if there’s $1 million for Tua in the deal. Right now that fight isn’t worth that much money. But if Arreola and Tua continue win I think the demand for this fight will build until it is worth enough that both fighters can be paid what they want. If it ever happens, I think Arreola will win a decision by boxing in a manner most think he’s incapable of.

3. John vs. the winner of Vazquez-Marquez is very possible. Especially if Vazquez wins since he’s with Golden Boy Promotions, which has a strong working relationship with John in the U.S. I’m also going with Rafa, by the way. I picked him in the first three fights. Why change now?

4. Shane will break the Philly shell (whatever the Hell that is) along with Mayweather’s jaw. LOL. I don’t think Mosley’s only shot at beating Mayeather is by knocking him out in the third round. Shane’s not a front runner. That’s why he’s so dangerous. He keeps at it for 12 rounds and he retains his power in the late rounds of every fight. But I like Mosley by decision. He’s not the one-dimensional fighter that WAY too many fans and members of the media are trying to make him out to be.

5. I don’t know about lightweight, but at 130 pounds I would go with Mayweather by decision (in a 12-round bout) over the late, great Arguello in that mythical matchup.

6. The winner on May 1 will fight the loser on May 1 next. It’s in the contract. Maybe Pac can fight Berto next. I’d rather see P-Will take on new middleweight champ Sergio Martinez again than fight any welterweight.


Hi Dougie,
Carl Froch. I'd like to know your opinion on a fighter that appears to be a bit of an anomaly, when you compare his boxing style to what he's achieved in the sport.

Firstly, said style: His untidiness, his dropping of the hands, his virtually non-existent defense, his left hand that is so low he almost drags it around the ring, his lack of speed, his lunging forward leaving his chin in the air, his (albeit uncommon) roughhouse tactics and hitting behind the head (although it didn't help that Dirrell was trying to play hide and seek). He has those who follow him asking if he'll ever develop a defense, and has the boxing purists shaking their heads in disbelief at his amateurishness.

And on the flipside we have the hard facts: He is the WBC super middleweight champion. He won his title from previously unbeaten Jean Pascal who, just 2 fights later became the WBC light heavyweight champion. He has had 2 successful defenses against another undefeated fighter in Dirrell, and the former undisputed middleweight champion of the world Jermain Taylor (the latter in hostile territory in the USA). He has won almost every honor there is to win at a domestic (UK) level, and has never ducked anybody. He is ranked 3rd by The Ring and has a big, fat ‘O’ in the loss column.

There's something wrong with this picture. What is the missing ingredient that makes Froch so successful? He always, always seems to pull it out the bag, when no one with any sort of a boxing head on their shoulders gives him a chance. Whatever it is, I think he has earned a level of respect most people are reluctant to give him because they just don't like the way he fights. We all love skilled fighters, but sometimes you just have to respect a tough son-of-a-bitch when you see one.

Keep up the good work. — Nick

Thanks Nick. I’ll try.

I think the “ingredient” everyone is missing in Froch’s success is his mental makeup. As durable his wiry, rangy body is, and as good as his chin appears to be, those physical attributes pale in comparison to how strong his will is. And he’s not just an unfeeling zombie who walks his opponents down in the ring. He’s an intelligent man and fighter who makes subtle adjustments during his fights. Just because he fights like a caveman doesn’t mean he thinks like one.

I agree that he’s earned our respect (even if you thought Dirrel outpointed him, as I did). His accomplishments to date certainly merit it.


Hey Dougie, hope you are well.
First up, my condolences to you, I'm a big fan of your work and truly sorry to hear of your loss, not to mention the Valero tragedy. After a weekend like this your commitment to your work is admirable. It can't have been easy for you to write that column/mailbag on the fighter but it was fitting that it was you, as the great champion of his career, who covered the Valero story.

Are you attending any of this weekend's fights? Arreola-Adamek could be a cracker, I admire Adamek greatly and I don't want to see him losing badly, but you really do have to hurt Arreola or he'll steamroller you, the Pole needs to have carried his punch up to heavyweight with him or it will be an unpleasant night.

On my side of the world Froch is in against Kessler and I think he'll stop him. I've never shaken the belief that Kessler's reputation was based on a gallant losing effort to Calzaghe. Apart from that he's beaten Andrade and Beyer, good but not great fighters. Froch has beaten Dirrell, Taylor and Pascal which surely gives him the edge in quality scalps, whereas Kessler has lost handily to his best opponents. Should Froch do as I predict, where does this leave the perspective from which Calzaghe's unblemished record is viewed? There is surely already doubt.

All the best to you and your family. — Ewan, Scotland

Thanks Ewan.

I don’t see how a Froch victory over Kessler casts any doubt upon Calzaghe’s record.

And while it’s true that Froch has defeated his best opponents, and Kessler has not, it must be pointed out that the Englishman has done so by the skin of his teeth. It should also be pointed out that Calzaghe and Ward are not only skilled and athletic super talents, but both men are uncommonly smart.

Smarts win fights.

I think Froch’s overlooked ring intelligence is one of the main reasons he’ll be competitive with the better technician tomorrow. Still, I’m going with Kessler by decision. I think the Dane is motivated to make up for his last performance and his home court advantage will give the benefit of the doubt in any close rounds.

I expect a lot of close rounds in the first half of Arreola-Adamek, which I will be covering form ringside, and then I believe the big man will take over.


With everything that has transpired over the last few days for you, I hope (and assume) that this will be the low point of your professional career.

I wanted to convey something to you that I think you'd like to know, and probably don't. I'm sure a lot of fans feel exactly as I do, so here ya go:

Although I've never met you before, you've had a very positive effect on my life over the last decade or so. There are very few consistently enjoyable things that happen on a weekly basis over 10+ years, and your bi-weekly mailbags have become a very pleasant and eagerly anticipated part of my weekly routine.

Perhaps this is amplified because we are fans of a niche sport, but 90% of the information I get regarding one of my life's passions, I get from you. It's interesting how much I know about you when you consider that I've never met you: You're a total comic book geek (as a sci-fi geek, I can relate), you have two young daughters (I have a 4-month old daughter), you live in Inglewood, I assume you grew up dealing with a lot of crap from an array of ignorant people (being of mixed race), and you have a unique mutant ability to distinguish flash and athletic ability from actual substance and accomplishments amongst boxers (I, too, have this gene).

Your mailbag is always there. It's dependable. Few things in life are. It was there when I graduated college, it was there the day I met my wife while she was walking her dog, and it was there 4 months ago when my baby was born (and don't think for a second that I wasn't reading your Friday mailbag from my hospital room).

As one of your thousands of fans, a sincere thank you for everything you do.

(PS – I'll be in Vegas for Mosley's party. Hopefully, I can finally throw you a Guinness. Cheers!)

Sincerely. — A Random Fan

Thanks Random Fan. This email meant a lot to me.

It’s been a rough, emotionally draining year so far but I know things are going to brighten up in soon. I really appreciate the concern many readers had when they learned of my sister-in-law’s plight. Anyone who’s read my mailbags (and Southern California Notebooks) for the past decade probably knows me pretty well, even if we haven’t met. I take pride in that because I want to be as open, honest and down to earth as I can with my fellow fight fans.

You folks are the reason I do what I do and you’re the reason I’m able to make a living doing it. And fans like you, A.R.F., are the reason I don’t mind staying up all night (it’s 4:33 a.m. PT, Friday morning, as I complete this sentence — I got a very late start due to my Fight Night Club commentating duties ) to finish a mailbag and make sure it gets posted for you to read.