Friday, March 24, 2023  |



Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag



Hey Dougie,
Watched the Carl Froch-Mikkel Kessler fight and I loved it. Kessler was accused after the Andre Ward fight of maybe not being that great to begin with, his heart being questioned, etc., but he had the heart and courage of a lion and even as a Froch fan, I thought he deserved that win and I'm pleased for him.

Kessler displayed his skills in the 1st half of the fight, then showed us his heart, determination and adaptability towards the end. Even though some may say he was silly to engage Froch, I thought it was great to see. He wasn't hiding and he made it a spectacle for his fans. Froch started too slow and allowed Kessler to collect the rounds behind his solid jab and busier work-rate, the last few rounds were brutal. As a fight fan I loved nothing more than to see warriors fighting until they had nothing left, but for Froch it was too late.

1) This great tournament is now even more wide open. Kessler is back in the mix but can he beat the likes of Ward/Dirrell down the line and regain his pre-tournament favourite tag or does he still struggle against those styles? I still see Ward being too much.

2) Does this fight take too much out of both fighters further down the line, especially if Froch has to win a likely war against King Arthur? I worry it does as your chin can only be your defense for so long, but what a fight Froch-Arthur will be! I can't wait. It's also a disgrace that this fight was barely seen by British fight fans because the major networks didn't pick it up. I know Froch isn't liked by some (many?) but he deserves much more credit then he gets.

3) Floyd Mayweather wins next week with a close, but unanimous decision. I see Floyd landing the cleaner, crisper punches with Mosley finding it hard to consistently land. I hope I'm wrong, and I'll be staying awake until 6am wishing to see a Mosley victory.

Peace out. — Mario, London

I thought Kessler’s hard-fought decision over Froch was the most entertaining bout of a very good weekend of world-class boxing, and certainly the best fight, so far, of the Super Six tournament. Kessler’s heart cannot be questioned after the grueling 12 rounds he went with Froch. I’ll respond to your question/statements in order:

1. I think it’s safe to say that Kessler will always have a tough time Ward, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t improve on his performance in their first bout. I thought Kessler showed a few new wrinkles vs. Froch, such as subtle head movement (slipping the jab), left hooks and upper-body movement. Saturday’s fight was Kessler first with Jimmy Montoya has his head coach. Maybe he’ll develop into a more complete fighter with more fights under Montoya’s guidance. I don’t know how Kessler matches up with Dirrell because they haven’t fought yet. Dirrell and Ward are not the same fighter. One of the great things about the Super Six is that it’s teaching fans how much styles dictate fights. A guy can look like a vicious beast vs. one style and then appear to be a complete lamb vs. another. Everyone’s getting behind Ward after his performance over Kessler, but maybe Mikkel had a style to make S.O.G. look awesome. We’ll find out soon. The lesson I hope fans take from this series of 168-pound fights is that we shouldn’t jump on or off of a fighter’s bandwagon after one fight.

2. Froch-Kessler was a grueling fight, but it wasn’t a 12-round slugfest or bloodbath. There was more boxing and positioning than sustained, toe-to-toe exchanges. It wasn’t Corrales-Castillo I or Vazquez-Marquez I, II and II. So I don’t think Saturday’s fight took shortened the careers of Kessler or Froch, or took away form their chances in the tournament. I agree that Froch-Abraham might be a brutal contest. That’s why I can’t wait to see it. (I’m a f__king ghoul, man!) I also agree that Froch deserves more respect from UK networks. Hopefully fans appreciate him.

3. I think you are wrong about your Mosley-Mayweather prediction. I agree that Mayweather will probably land the “cleaner, crisper” punches, but I believe Mosley will land the harder, more-effective punches, which will carry him to a decision victory.


“Smarts win fights.”

That's a direct quote from you regarding the Froch-Kessler fight. You are picking Mosley to win. Are you arguing that Mosley is a “smarter” fighter than Mayweather? If Mayweather is anything, he's one of the smartest fighters in the ring. He may not have the work rate or tenacity of other fighters, but the guy takes a few rounds and basically owns his opponents for the rest of the fight. I don't see how Shane is “smarter” than Mayweather.

Enjoy the mailbags. Thanks. — John

Mosley may not be the ring genius Mayweather is, but he's a smart fighter.

Yes, smarts win fights. But so does heart. It was a combination of smarts AND heart that enabled Kessler to lift Froch's title. I think Mosley's mix of brains (which is enhanced by the presence of Naazim Richardson) and guts will beat Mayweather on Saturday.


Hey Dougie,
First, I wanted to point out how happy I was with the outcomes of the fights this weekend. We got a ridiculous war between two world class fighters, then a nice rugged prospect completely iced a draft-bust who spent the night on his bike, and we closed with a small, skilled guy out-gutting a pretty aggressive big guy (who gave a surprisingly gracious post-fight interview). Boxing needs more weekends like this. I had an apartment full of casual fans watching with me who were so pumped by the end of the night we ended up watching old fights on-demand just to wind down. I know it was a scheduling accident that fights didn't overlap, and that HBO and Showtime love to counter program each other, but as long as they keep putting on action packed fights like that they're both going to get a lot richer.

Something occurred to me watching Julio last night. The NFL changes rules pretty regularly whenever they feel like the entertainment value is slipping. They protect their popular quarterbacks, and make offensive pass interference illegal for example. Why doesn't boxing do the same thing? What Kessler and Adamek did was outbox bigger, stronger men. They did it with defensive technique, combination punching and conditioning, and both made for incredible fights.

What I'm wondering is why promoters (I assume since they're the ones contracting for the officials, etc., that they'd have the legal authority to do this) explicitly instruct judges not to gives rounds to guys on their bikes. Whenever a guy like Julio or Dirrell runs all night, why do we reward that? I know it's not against the rules to flee in terror, but there's no reason why the rules can't be changed to promote a more entertaining (and lucrative) contest. It's not that I don't like boxing skill, but fleeing isn't skill. (Bute, Calzaghe, Paul Williams, Martinez, none of these guys are big “one punch” guys . . . when they score knockouts it's cause they time the shot well, Miranda and Quintana fights are good examples), and yet they beat world class guys without running. That's skill. Dirrell stinking out the ring so bad that he wasn't back on TV for a full year (I think it might have been the Curtis Stevens fight, but I don't remember . . . I know he shook his ass at the crowd to mock them when they booed his cowardice) and Julio being in full reverse-sprint then accusing the ref of being on the take for stopping him (and saving his life) isn't any sort of “skill” I'd like to see on TV.

I guess what I'm asking is why do we reward any style of fighting that isn't crowd pleasing? This is, after all, entertainment. (BTW, I called the Kessler fight wrong, thought he'd lost his fire. Nice pick.) — Todd

The Viking is still a warrior.

It was indeed a good night of boxing on both premium U.S. cable networks. I hope other households hosted casual fans during the broadcasts as yours did.

Regarding a change in the rules to discourage “running” or blatantly non-aggressive boxing, I must first point out that the promoter does not contract the officials or have any legal authority to instruct the judges to do anything.

Changes in boxing’s rules and regulations does occur, but not very often. That’s because unlike the NFL or other major professional sports leagues, boxing is not regulated by central governing body. In the U.S., the sport is regulated by state athletic commissions; and everywhere else, 12-round title bouts are governed by the various sanctioning organizations.

So when a change is proposed the notion has to be accepted by the various sanctioning organizations and all the state commissions for it to become a new universal rule. Usually, the rule changes that are enacted are the ones that have to do with the safety of the fighters (or are proposed under the guise of “fighter safety”), such as cutting championship bouts from 15 rounds to 12 rounds and doing away with the standing 8 count.

Changes in rules for the benefit of entertainment have a harder time being universally accepted because fan enjoyment is a subjective thing. What you call “running” could be perceived as beautiful boxing by someone else.

You thought Julio did too much “running,” but the battered face of Angulo tells others that the Colombian did manage to sneak some quality punches in with his constant moving. (By the way, I agree that the ref saved Julio from unnecessary punishment.)

Anyway, I don’t think boxing’s rules need to be changed to discourage ultra-evasive ring tactics. The fans and the network executives to a fine job of discouraging that sort of behavior. The fact that Dirrell had a hard time getting back on national TV after stinking out the Stevens fight is proof of that.


Hi Doug:
Kudos on your Ring Theory segment. Maybe it's the perceived tone one imagines when reading a person's writing, but I too had labeled you as a shameless, groundless “Floyd Hater.” So it's unexpected that I have to admit how spot on your comments were about both the Mayweather and Mosley camps.

Personally, I entirely enjoyed your commentary on MMA and how its fans perceive and watch both their own sport and boxing. Your observations about Leonard-Hagler were particularly thought provoking. It's funny how that bout was perceived as being between aging legends, while today 60% of the current pound-for-pound list is over 31. It makes me feel like there is some truth to the adage that 30 is the new 20… or at least the new 25. At any rate, times have changed.

Again, great segment and also my deepest condolences to you, your wife and your family (white boys and all) on their dear loss. That's never easy for anyone. Take care Dougie. — Charles

Thanks for the condolences Charles. And thanks for listening to last week’s extra-long (90 min.) Ring Theory. I had a good time discussing boxing with Bill and Eric and look forward to being a guest again and to listening to RingTV co-editor Michael Rosenthal on a future episode.

I believe we’re going to break out our Mosley-Mayweather debate segment as a separate audio feature this week.

I’m glad you thought my comments on the May 1 showdown were “spot on.” We’ll see if my prediction is in less than six days.


Beating his ass? Look I don't know if Cuss-tobal Arreola is trying to win fans by being humble or if he just felt so much pain from his bicep and face that he really felt like he lost, but I personally think he got robbed… especially by Joe Pasquale (who now appears to be one of the worst judges out there after that Guzman-Funeka disgrace).

Arreola talked like he got dominated. I don't know what that says about a fighter. Probably not much, because the guy clearly has no quit in him in the ring, but it's still strange to me. I respect Carl Froch a lot for not going too far in his assessment of any decision. I thought Froch “did enough” too, but probably not enough to win in Denmark. Neutral site, I think he would have won close. But you'll clearly never catch Froch admitting defeat after winning, and I think that's exactly what Arreola did. I think it's a joke to say that Adamek won rounds 10 and 11. Did he win the last halves of the rounds when Arreola practically stopped punching? Yes. But he was landing pedestrian punches as compared to the pummeling he was taking in the early part of both rounds. I didn't even have those two rounds close overall. I'm sorry, but I still don't think Adamek is for real at heavyweight. Arreola had him solved and was on the verge of knocking him out until apparently tearing his bicep or something, and then on my card still won despite just trying to not pass out for most of the last three rounds.

What's your take on that and on Froch-Kessler? I had both fights 115-113 for the official loser. — Dan Culp, Columbia, MO

I thought the fights were close and competitive, but I believe the right man won both bouts. On my highly unofficial scorecard, Adamek beat Arreola 7 rounds to 5 (or by a 115-113 tally). I thought Kessler beat Froch 7-4-1 in rounds (or 116-113).

I thought the 117-111 score was excessive (in both fights, actually), but I heard from knowledgeable fans who felt that the 114-114 score for the Arreola-Adamek bout was way off base. Their perception, which was seconded by MaxBoxing’s Steve Kim, who scored it 116-112 for Adamek, was that the smaller man gave Arreola a boxing lesson. However, most of the press row writers around me thought it was close, and had it 115-113 for the Pole (including Yahoo! Sport’s Martin Rogers and Fightnews’ Francisco Salazar). Y! Sport’s boss combat scribe Kevin Iole and TheSweetScience’s David Avila both scored the bout a draw.

I should note that minutes before the official scores were read, members of the Polish media (who were sitting right behind me) told me they thought Arreola won the bout. The way they celebrated after the decision was announced my guess is that you won’t be able to get them to admit that now.

I respect everyone’s opinion. A case can be made that Adamek outmaneuvered, outworked and thoroughly frustrated Arreola. One could also argue that Arreola was the aggressor throughout and that his punches had more “effect” on Adamek, who was often reeling about the ring after taking a chopping shot to the ear or shoulder. I scored the 10th for Arreola but the 11th for Adamek.

I don’t think Arreola was being “too gracious” by acknowledging that Adamek was the better man on Saturday. He was being honest and humble because that’s the kind of man he is outside of the ring. He’s also very passionate, so his disappointment in not getting the decision, and his swollen face and sore hands, probably influenced his post-fight words. Arreola might change his mind on who he thought won the fight after actually watching a tape of it. But don’t expect him to call up a bunch of websites and say so because that’s not his style.

Froch is a different animal from Arreola. He’s controlled passion in the ring, but he’s a cold fish outside of it. And though he’s probably an honest bloke, I can’t say that he’s very humble.


Hey Dougie,
Just listened to your guest appearance on the “Ring Theory”. It kept rolling along for a while – too long – but very enjoyable, nevertheless.

It was interesting to hear you guys debate about Sugar v. Pretty Boy (I agree this is the best nickname for him). One really important edge Pretty Boy has on Sugar is intelligence and ability to adjust. Yes, you can argue he has never been in the ring with anyone as athletically gifted (maybe except Judah). And you can argue Pretty has not faced (at least for many years) serious pressure that Mosley could potentially bring for the entire 12 rounds.

But after a few rounds, Floyd does figure it out, and then cruises by fighting the rest of the bout on his own terms. The Sugarman, on the other hand, does not adjust. There is nothing cunning about him – you can see it in his straightforward personality. He will get in there, try the same thing over and over again, and if it works (which obviously it does many times), it works, if not (and that has happened, too), he won't stop trying it over and over until the final bell.

Yes, he has Brother Naazim – from the little that I know of him, I would probably choose to have him in my corner over most if not all trainers. Still, whether it's because Mosley is stubborn or stupid, I don't see him adjusting if things don't go his way. Am I way off here? Thanks! — B (NYC)

You’re not WAY off, but you’re definitely off. And you’re not alone. I’d say 75 percent of the emails I receive from fans who are picking Mayweather to win this Saturday make statements about Mosley’s intelligence (in and out of the ring) and his versatility that would suggest the veteran is mentally challenged.

Uh, guys, come on. Wake up. Mosley has lost to three guys. That’s it. And they weren’t journeymen. OK. He didn’t make adjustments in the first Forrest fight because he was concussed and probably shouldn’t have been fighting past the second round. He couldn’t make adjustments in the rematch because he the late Viper had him in a headlock for most of the rounds. He didn’t make adjustments against a very underrated Wright, but he did in their rematch — and guess what? — if he wasn’t in the ring with an excellent technician who could fight effectively at super middleweight he probably would have won that fight.

Mosley did make adjustments against Cotto. That’s why the fight was so damn close, people! He just started too late.

Oh, and I know it was almost 10 years ago, so a lot of new jack fans aren’t aware of this fact, but Mosley won his signature bout — the first fight with De La Hoya — because of mid-bout adjustments he made.

So, no. I’m not buying the “Mosley can’t make adjustments” argument.


Hey Doug,
I wanna start from belated condolences on the death of your sister-in-law and also on the Valero family tragedy, which headlined the news in the first half of last week. Now onto the fight weekend. And what a weekend it was. Awesome!

Froch-Kessler fight is a f__ing FOTY candidate on my mind. The fight was really intensive, thrilling and action-packed; however, both fighters showed some certain flaws in the technical department. I had the fight 114-114, what's about yours? I guess awarding Kessler was a political decision not to ruin Sauerland Event and Kessler as well as he would have no way back if the loss had taken place. That's being said, I think 117-111 score was insane, as the Dane wasn't that good. Also, I predict Froch-Abraham to be a helluva fight, maybe even better than this one. BTW, Froch pounds stronger than Kessler and, I think, than Abraham. Too Sweet Green, however, can rival him in this department.

Adamek-Arreola was great as well. I should eat my hat after I had boldly predicted (to myself), that Arreola would kayo the Steel Pole in 6-8 rounds. Arreola wasn't that bad, in fact I had the fight a draw 114-114 (and Joe Pasquale was clearly biased after years of work in the USA Adamek-Polish citadel). However, Chris was a clear loser in psychological way. He felt like a loser so he was one. Adamek is so strong-willed, determined man that I just cannot imagine something to distract him. What's your pick on him vs. David Haye? I also think he better be not looking for K2; he'll be a cannon fodder for both.

Take care and best wishes. — Alexey from Moscow, Russia

I thought Kessler-Froch was competitive but I didn’t see it as close as some fans and members of the media did. However, had the fight taken place in Britain a draw verdict would not have surprised me and I probably would not have complained about that decision.

I’ll put it this way, regardless of what the final scorecards read, nobody’s going to have an easy night with Froch.

Arreola-Adamek was a darn good scrap by recent heavyweight standards. Adamek’s not the Polish version of Evander Holyfield but he can get the job done against many heavyweight contenders, and that fact might make him a pound-for-pound worthy fighter. He’s been a top contender in three weight classes and a bona fide champ in one. His chin is definitely one of the game’s best, pound for pound. Adamek can take a shot!

It’s this ability to take a world-class punch that may give him the edge in a potential showdown with Haye. I think the British beltholder would be more difficult than Arreola because he would make Adamek chase after him and pot shot him with heavy punches from awkward angles, but the Pole’s speed, technique and greater activity would enable him to compete. I’d probably make Adamek a slight favorite to beat Haye, who I respect. Consider me a believer of both former cruiserweight champs.

However, I think both Adamek and Haye need to stay out of the ring with the Klitschko brothers if they wish to avoid getting absolutely pummeled. (Of course, if they want to make $5-10 million with one fight, wellÔǪ that’s a different story.)


Hi Dougie,
Adamek showed some major balls and a ridiculous chin and if we take K2
out of the picture there is some hope for heavyweights- Haye and Povetkin Vs Adamek are can’t miss-slugfests and I would favor TA in both those fights. What dya think? Adamek has put together a nice little run now- O'Neill Bell, Cunningham, Banks and now Arreola.

Brother Nazim is AWESOME and inspirational. He was GODFATHERESUQUE when he said why he responds to Floyds BS and then goes- “He picked the wrong crew.” I wouldn’t watch 24/7 if it wasn’t for the “Wiseman” as you call him now.

I don’t think Shane would be lacking that mental edge before and during the fight even if some things don’t work. The wise brother is about to make me change my pick. On that note, what is the deal with Rock Allen? Why doesn’t he fight more often? You never spoke about the sticks? What is the deal with the sticks?

I just dug out an email I sent you 5+ years ago asking to start a widespread campaign to get Edwin the right to fight in the US. You replied talking about your plans for a documentary and travels to Japan. I’m still stunned but more hurt about the young woman he killed in a fit of hallucination and rage. I had a feeling he would kill himself right after that. Hope the madman's soul finally rests in peace.

Last but not the least, Angulo's moustache, dog collar and kissing Gary Shaw on the mouth is beyond ridiculous! All 3 need to go! If Oscar does that with “Canelo” or Vic Ortiz, you know what would happen?

I hope you are doing well after going through a pretty tough past few weeks! Hang in there brother man! — Asim

I’m hangin’ in there, Asim, and looking forward to Saturday’s mega-event. I’m tellin’ all you non-believers out there: DON’T SLEEP ON SHANE and don’t underestimate Brother Naazim.

Having said that, I underestimated Adamek. I knew he could box and expected him to be in the best shape and form of his career but I didn’t think he could take Arreola’s best shots for 12 rounds. I was wrong. I thought Adamek’s face would be chopped up by the late rounds, but it was Chris' mug that looked like it was hit by a bus.

Adamek is on a very nice run. Hopefully, Haye and Povetkin are in his sights. Those are even fights in my opinion. Adamek’s chin and straight shots might overcome Haye, but I can see the brash Brit hit and run his way to a decision. I can also see the Russian outwork him over 12.

There’s no doubt that Richardson is the star of this particular 24/7 series. What I like is that he’s being himself, there’s no antics or acting where Brother Naazim is concerned.

Believe me, he will keep Mosley focused during Saturday’s showdown.

I don’t know what’s up with Rock. Maybe he needed to take some time off from the sport. He had over 300 amateur fights and he practically grew up in the gym. I remember watching he and his twin brother Tiger doing handstand pushups before sparring with Bernard Hopkins in a Las Vegas gym TEN years ago.

I love that Richardson is working the sticks with Mosley because they encourage head movement and accurate punching in a fighter. There’s something about the mitts that often influence a fighter to load up with punches like a pitcher firing a fast ball. The narrow shape of the sticks makes a boxer focus his shots and the rather flimsy support discourages hard punches. The length enables the trainer to easily reach out and make his pupil slip and duck his swipes.

I think if Mosley were to enter Saturdays’ fight with KO artist mentality, he’ll fall into Mayweather’s traps. But if Mosley is composed and looks to jab with the boxer and set up straight, accurate power shots from the outside, I think he can frustrate and clip the defensive wizard.

Videographer/director Brian Harty and I produced a documentary on Valero for MaxBoxing around the time you sent me that email. It was recently posted in two parts on under the title “Edwin Valero Documentary.” If you ever wondered how talented Valero was a young prospect, you should watch it:

Since Valero’s death, I’ve read a few American boxing writers describe him as a raw slugger without any technique until recently. That’s not true. He had excellent technique and ring savvy in his early 20s when he was cutting his teeth in the gyms of Southern California. Joe Hernandez, his trainer and adviser at the time, gives viewers the 411 on his background and his sparring exploits against bigger, taller, more-experienced fighters like Juan Lazcano and Jose Soto-Karass. If you check it out, watch how Valero uses his jab and legs to maneuver in and out of range like a veteran. Watch how he drops accurate combos and counter punches. He was an elusive boxer-puncher.

Unfortunately he regressed into a pure puncher when he left the U.S. to continue his career. We discuss this in the documentary, which took place before Valero’s first title bout against Vicente Mosquera in August of 2006. I made the trip to Tokyo for his first title defense in early January of 2007. It was one of the most meaningful experiences of my career. I still have Japanese boxing magazines with Valero in the ring with his family and these giant trophies after scoring a first-round KO to keep his belt.

It’s a damn shame what happened.

Trainers Rudy Hernandez and Clemente Medina, Alfredo Angulo’s coach, are also in the documentary.

Don’t go there with “Perro,” even though he does kind of look like a Mexican Freddie Mercury.


You and I both thought the bigger men would lose boxing matches to smaller, more skilled men, and eventually over the second half of the fight, we both thought the bigger men would wear them down. What I learned was, waiting for the KO is not the way to win a fight, but a way to get your a$$ beat by smaller, quicker, more skilled men when your game plan is to depend on your chin beating up the smaller mans fists and hoping they break across your forehead.

I think you have been predicting that things will get ugly over the second half of the fight between Mosley/Mayeather. But if the last two weeks showed us anything it was, yes, the bigger men will have their moments, but the smaller, more skilled, possibly more cerebral men, would know how to buy some time, regroup and come back to kick some more a$$.

I thought from day one that Shane would kick some a$$, but that Money would win. Cotto beat Shane by timing, and thoroughly confused him, the awkwardness of Mayorga utterly confused him (yes he almost killed him), I love Shane, but Margarito’s gameplan is always to count on his chin until the other man runs out of gas or catches a beatdown. Shane put it on him hard and obliged him. Floyd will offset Shane with the jab and timing and Mosley will not be able to jump on him.

Lastly, I know you don’t particularly care for PBF (he is an actor), but sometimes he says and does some funny $hit. On the latest episode of 24/7, he told Shane he would “give him a job holding his feet while he does sit ups”! Then later on while he is getting his hands wrapped he takes the other one and pretends it’s a gun shooting at Shane. Lastly, he pulls out a ridiculous amount of cash from a backpack and goes shopping. He is a funny f___ing guy! — JB

Laugh now, cry later Mayweather fans.

I hear what you’re saying JB, but keep in mind that Mosley is far more talented, versatile and experienced than Pavlik and Arreola. Also remember that I’m not predicting a Mosley KO victory. I think he’s going to do a little bit of everything — boxing, pressuring, counter punching, and mugging — to get the job done, and yes, I think he will hurt Mayweather a few times in the process.

I don’t think Mosley will knockout Mayweather because despite what some silly folks want to believe (or try to get others to believe) I do respect him as a fighter and I believe he’s very strong (physically as well as mentally) and durable.

So, of course, is Mosley, which is why I can’t wait until Saturday.