Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag
Hey Dougie just two quick questions. Do you think if Andre Ward beats Allan Green and looks especially good doing it he will be considered for a place in the top ten pound for pound list? I think he has the athleticism, mindset and God given natural talent to be one of the top P4P performers for years to come.
Secondly do you think its possible that last week’s win may have earned Miguel Cotto a date with Pretty Boy Floyd? Knowing the type of guy Floyd is I think he will see that people's perception of Cotto have jumped up again after he beat Foreman so a match with him will be seen as legitimate. He will also see that Cotto is vulnerable and gives him a chance to look good, with a view to using a victory as more ammunition in the Pacman negotiations, especially because he will be able to compare his performance against Cotto against Pacman's victory against the same man?
Love what you do man, keep up the good work! — Noel from Dublin, Ireland
I don’t think Mayweather or his team like the idea of taking on Pacquiao’s “leftovers,” which is how Cotto would be perceived in that situation. Yes, the Puerto Rican star looked very sharp versus Foreman, but nobody considers the rabbi-in-training to be an elite fighter and we all knew the 154-pound beltholder lacked the power to physically threaten Cotto. Those who picked Foreman to win (and I was one of those geniuses) figured he would be able to out-maneuver the squat stalker. That didn’t happen, but that doesn’t mean Cotto isn’t damaged from his wars with Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito. What Cotto proved is that he isn’t totally shot and that he could improve his technique under Manny Steward’s guidance.
I think he needs more work with Steward and he needs to look good in another fight or two in order to be viewed as a worthy opponent for “Money,” which isn’t to say that I would complain if a Mayweather-Cotto match were made tomorrow. It’s a good fight, but right now Mayweather would be a ridiculous favorite.
I don’t think a victory over Green will propel Ward into the pound-for-pound top 10 (not mine anyway). Who’s the best fighter Green has defeated? His best victories have come against prospects.
I think a win over Green might make Ward the consensus choice as the best 168-pound boxer in the world. Maybe. Don’t worry, his time will come and bouts against Dre Dirrell, Art Abraham and Carl Froch will give him the opportunity to prove that he is indeed elite.
I was wondering what your thoughts are regarding a Cotto/Margartio rematch? I have heard the talk of Marg/Pacquiao and Cotto/Mosley, Cotto/Angulo (which would be awesome), etc. But why not this rematch? The first fight was competitive and is now shrouded in the mystery of potentially loaded gloves. I look at it this way: Cotto win, puts the ghost of Margarito behind him once and for all or Margartio wins and gains back some of the legitimacy he lost. Either way you have a great fight. I could go on and on with reasons this fight makes sense but I wanted to get your thoughts.
Keep up the great work. — Joe, Michigan
I’m not against the fight. It probably would be a another good one, but I’m wondering what Margarito has done to deserve a shot at a 154-pound title as well as the money that would come with fighting a star like Cotto? In the last two years he was KTFO by Shane Mosley and he scored a 10-round decision over Robert Garcia.
I think there are more deserving contenders out there and you better believe that “Perro” Angulo is one of them (especially if he looks sharp against Joachim Alcine next month). That’s the fight I want. Angulo doesn’t have to be Cotto’s very next bout, but if both keep winning THAT’S the Puerto Rico vs. Mexico showdown that I want.
VALERO, RIGONDEAUX, & OLYMPIC BOXING
I was thinking about Edwin Valero this morning and was wondering how you're putting together his demise at this point. The whole thing is still weird to me. Do you think he was on drugs? I have nothing to back that, except a gut instinct.
The reason why Valero popped into my head was because I was thinking about Guillermo Rigondeaux. I think his talent is on par with Valero’s and I'm getting the feeling things could be headed downhill for him now. Any thoughts?
And nice article on regional attractions. Per the angle that Pacquiao took time to become a ticket-seller: I remember talking to a Filipino guy back in 2002 and he did not know who Pacquiao was. I guarantee you he knows him now. Things take time, but it sure would be nice if amateur boxing was more entertaining.
After watching those old clips from the 1976 Olympics I think amateur boxing should be without headgear. Fat chance in hell, I know, but sometimes bold changes are needed. I mean, a boxing nut like me did not feel the least bit compelled to watch boxing at the Beijing Olympics. And of course, get rid of the point system. — Gordon
I agree. The points system needs to be scrapped. I liked it better when amateur boxing had five judges instead of a bunch of a dorks trying to play video games with some button as they watch a fencing session without the foils. Head gear should be optional. I’m not saying the amateur sport should be just like professional boxing. I don’t believe extra points should be given for knockdowns or excessively hard punches, but I think body shots should be counted more in the scoring process.
Thanks for the kind words on the regional attractions feature. If anyone tells you boxing is dead, laugh in his face for me. I remember watching Pacquiao struggle with the late Agapito Sanchez in San Francisco back in November of 2001 and the folks who criticized him the most were the Filipino press and the few Filipino fans in attendance. (Ironically, Floyd Mayweather was in the main event vs. Jesus Chavez, who sold the most tickets to the entertaining Top Rank show.) How things change. It definitely takes time to create a true regional attraction. Ward is on his way. I hope Dan Goossen continues to bring him back to the Oracle Arena in Oakland as often as possible.
I’m still in a funk regarding Valero’s death. I wouldn’t be shocked if some outside foul play was involved with the murder-suicide, but my gut tells me that Valero had spun hopelessly out of control from the time of his second title victory (vs. Antonio Pitalua). It all came crashing down with the violent quickness of one of his right hooks.
I was recently talking to a South American source of mine, who was close to Valero for many years until they had a falling out (which happened with most of the fighter’s friends and advisers). He told me that Valero suffered from “ezquizofrenia.” I’d never heard of it, but he told me it was the Spanish word for schizophrenia — a severe psychotic disorder characterized by a loss of contact with reality and disintegration of the personality. He told me Valero was diagnosed with it when he returned to Venezuela following his stay in Japan.
He told me Valero was on medication to treat the illness for a time but he took himself off of it and it wasn’t long before he was “self-medicating” with every illegal drug known to man. My friend said Valero had become increasingly paranoid and hostile around his own family. He thought his younger brother was having an affair with his wife. No kidding, Valero was off on some Jake LaMotta s__t. Rumor has it Valero and his younger brother, Luis, got into a fight over this allegation before the Antonio DeMarco fight and I was told that Luis knocked Edwin out.
By the way, Luis, who is 19 and has had some amateur fights, is planning to turn pro. He’s a 130 pounder and I’ve been told he’s got Edwin’s power with the moves of Jorge Linares. His nickname is “El Poder,” The Power.
Let’s hope he has the power of self-control or the willingness to get help if he ever needs it. That was Valero’s downfall.
I don't think that will be Rigondeaux's downfall. I don't see out-of-control madness in the soon-to-be 30-year-old Cuban amateur star, whose main problem seems to be discord within his managerial/advisory team
HAYE: MAKER OF FALSE PROMISES
Hope you're doing well.
I cannot tell you how disappointed I am to read that David Haye's camp have been in talks with Audley Harrisson. What's he playing at? For years I've listened to Haye saying he had no interest in the domestic match ups that could have been made with the likes of Danny Williams, Michael Sprott or Matt Skelton. And believed that he was right to state he belonged in a different class, was right to go straight after the top guys in the world and their belts. I accepted his decision to fight Valuev, believing his camp when they said the demands made by the Klitschko management were too much in the light of Setanta's collapse and the lack of a pay day for the Brit. And I even accepted that the mandatory with Ruiz was the right thing to do. The world titles may be undermined by their seemingly unending ability to multiply, but bringing one of the established belts to the table undoubtedly helps a fighter negotiate and Ruiz was no bum.
But this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/boxing/8728615.stm
This is too much.
I'm desperate to support Haye. He's exciting. He's British. He may posses the ability to beat one of the Ukranian monsters (and I use that word in the most positive possible way). But if he fights anyone else other than one of the KOs in his next outing I think I'll be cheering whichever second rate fighter he's up against.
(p.s I don't think I've ever come across a fighter and promotional team as removed from reality as Harrison and Co. – “record viewing figures” “what he brings to the table” Jesus what planet?) — Morgan
Well, I haven’t seen those figures, but I imagine Harrison is well known in your neck of the woods, being the 2000 Olympic champ and having fought his first 10 pro bouts on BBC (plus seven other bouts). However, what he’s mainly known for is being a big-ass disappointment (despite his recent comeback victories and his last-round KO of Sprott).
So if this fight is made, Haye is definitely going to be dragged across the coals by fight fans everywhere, not just in the UK. That’s got to be expected. If you talk the talk, you gotta walk the walk. Right now Haye’s skipping around on his tippy toes.
I understand that K2 Promotions (the Klitschkos’ promotional company) and Shelly Finkel (their U.S. advisor) are probably a major bitch to deal with. They probably asked for promotional rights to Haye’s first born son if the kid turns out to have boxing talent. But just because a fight with the Ukrainian giants can’t be made doesn’t mean Haye has to go after British heavyweights. There are more than a few marketable contenders who would make for big fights and good business on either side of the Pond — the main candidate being Tomazs Adamek. Haye-Adamek is huge in Europe, huge at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., and huge at Madison Square Garden. It’s a fight that would be televised on HBO in the U.S. and it would deliver action, which the heavyweight division desperately needs.
Having said that, I think Haye vs. Harrison will do well in Britain if it happens. You know it will get a lot of publicity as both Haye and Harrison talk a good game. So far, the Hayemaker backs his big mouth up better than the Olympic champ, but I think Harrison’s head is finally in the right place and he does pose some physical difficulties for Haye. He’s a tall, rangy southpaw with a good jab, an accurate straight left, good power and decent footwork. When he’s on, he’s dangerous.
Who knows? Haye and Harrison might make for a fun scrap. Given Haye’s defensive holes and Harrison’s suspect chin I can see both guys getting rocked or even both going down before the bout’s conclusion. If Haye survives such a fight it might convince him to stop trying to milk his WBA belt and go for all the money and glory by fighting Wlad or Vitali.
COTTO VS. CANELO
Hey Doug. Love the Mailbag! I'll keep it short though. What do you think of Cotto vs. Saul Alvarez? I know the kid is young, and not a very big name yet, but I think it would be a hell of a fight. Keep up the good work. — Matt Roberts, Michigan
I think it would be slaughter. I think it’s a bad idea for any 19 year old, I don’t care how tough or talented, to get into the ring with an elite veteran like Cotto.
Canelo was lucky he survived the first round with Jose Cotto. If that was Miguel in there with the kid my inbox would have been filled with emails titled “EXPOSED!” the day after the mismatch.
Alvarez needs time to mature. When he’s 21 years old I’d love to see him take on the Mike Joneses and Antwone Smiths of the world.
SOME POTENTIAL MATCHUPS
Obviously the two biggest matches that could be made are Manny/Floyd and Wladimir/Haye. But I was thinking about other decent fighters that have taken losses or otherwise have nothing lined up and I came up with this list. Let me know if any of 'em are interesting, or I'm just off my rocker…
Clottey vs. Cintron at 154 (the all disappointment matchup, but seriously I still think Clottey could beat Shane, Berto, and give Cotto another run for his money)
Pavlik vs Andrade or Bika at 168 (all these guys are always in good slugfests, I lean towards Pavlik)
Donaire vs anybody good at bantamweight (sometimes I feel that young fighters hurt themselves by hanging around a weight that's hard to make, hey, eating did wonders for Pacquiao and Cotto)
Also a comment and a question… Anybody miss the days when the junior lightweights were really good? Has Floyd Mayweather Jr. ever fought a volume puncher? just wondering how he dealt with it. — Jonathan from Chicago
The closest the prime Floyd came to fighting a volume puncher was Jesus Chavez in 2001 and I thought he was amazing against the hard-pressing Mexican. Other than that fight, I can’t think of any world-class volume punchers Mayweather fought. The 130-pound division was damn good around that time. At one time there were four undefeated young belthodlers — Mayweather, Diego Corrales, Joel Casamayor and Acelino Freitas. Floyd and Diego fought, then Joel and Acelino clashed. Too bad there was never a round robin at that weight with that foursome.
I want to see Donaire fight Fernando Montiel. I don’t think he deserves the No. 4 P4P ranking THE RING has given him. But if he can beat the ultra-talented Mexican vet, maybe he does deserve it.
Give me Pavlik-Andrade and I’m a happy man. Pavlik-Bika wouldn’t be bad but I think Bika has a tendency to make for awkward, ugly matches at times. Pavlik-Andrade would feature clean hard punching and forward-marching aggression throughout.
Clottey-Cintron is an interesting matchup on paper. Clottey’s got the better chin, but Cintron is busier. Clottey is more consistent but Cintron can hit harder. Both have underrated boxing skill. However, given the way Cintron’s last bout ended and Clottey’s non-effort vs. Pacquiao I don’t see how this fight can be sold to HBO or Showtime. Perhaps it could be put together as a PPV undercard bout to a major 147- or 154-pound showdown like Cotto vs. Mosley II.
MARTINEZ & THE HEAVYWEIGHTS
Whats up guy. Just wanted to put in an opinion or two. First off your my favorite boxing writer, reading your material really makes my day and I think your an excellent analyst of the sport. I think you have a future commentating with a major network. Anyways, enough accolades. Let's get down to business.
1. Arreloa, Adamek, and Haye. I think all of them are very fun to watch and are good for the heavyweight division. With that being said, this trio would not have survived the nineties. I can see Tommy Morrison easily defeating all of these guys.
2. Sergio Martinez, is it just me or could he be the face of the sport. The only thing he doesn't have is a hometown following. I mean let's get real, he's a top five pound for pounder (in my opinion), he's the Middleweight Champion and could possibly be a Ring double champion at 160 and 154. He looks like a movie star and he's also Hispanic. I hope he lands a fight with Mayweather because it would be a true challenge for him, but make no mistake, Sergio wins because he's southpaw, fast, experienced, and most importantly can fight going backwards with both hands. I hope I don't sound like a nuthugger but the truth is the truth.
3. I hope the Mayweather/ Pacquio fight doesn’t happen in Vegas, but in Dallas. I fight this big needs in a place where fans can actually afford to go see it for goodness sake. Not just to all the High Rollers who don't even give a s__t about the sport. Arum and GBP need to think about the fans more.
4. Ji Hoon Kim is the real deal, give him another year and a top notch trainer and he would be a terror to anyone at lightweight or junior welter. Mark my words.
Thanks man, and keep up the good work. — Tyler B., Tupelo, MS
Thanks for the kind words, Tyler.
I’ll comment on your statements in order:
1. I agree 100 percent. The heavyweight division was no joke in the 1990s. There were the two towers of the division, Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe, both of whom were in their primes, the Real Deal Evander Holyfield, a still-serviceable celebrity monster with Mike Tyson, a southpaw spoiler in Michael Moorer, an immovable object with Ray Mercer, an irresistible force with Morrison, the Smash-master Razor Rudduck, and the 40-something legends, George Foreman and Larry Holmes, who proved they could still kick a little ass. Even the journeymen, like Smokin’ Bert Cooper, were card carrying badasses. Fans didn’t know how good they had it.
2. If Martinez spoke English and had fought in the U.S the six years following his loss to Antonio Margarito in February of 2000, instead of Europe and South America, I have no doubt that he’d be the darling of the sport. What’s not to like about that guy? He’s a dapper gentleman outside of the ring and he’s an intelligent warrior with impressive athleticism inside of it. It’s too bad he’s 35. The sport needs a guy like that to be around for the next decade. Mayweather vs. Martinez at 154 pounds would indeed be a fascinating matchup.
3. I agree. That fight would attract more than 100,000 fans to Cowboys Stadium and show the sports and entertainment world that boxing still matters in our culture. And since Pacquiao is part of the equation the super event might actually deliver some excitement. Alas, if the fight does happen I think it’s going to wind up in Vegas, where Arum lives and where GBP has a corporate relationship with the MGM Grand. It will still be a monster event in Vegas but it won’t touch the fans and mainstream America in the same way it would if it were held in Dallas.
4. I don’t know if Kim is the real deal in terms of winning a world title but I think he is terms of his excitement value. And I do know this: I’d pay to see him fight Michael Katsidis, Urbano Antillon and Brandon Rios.