Saturday, April 01, 2023  |



Dougie’s Tuesday mailbag

Fighters Network


Are you going to write a notebook about what you saw at James Toney's MMA camp, or was it more of a media event with staged workouts?

Also, do you think there's a significant crossover audience between MMA and boxing, or are the two fanbases pretty much separate? It seems to me that boxing fans are more likely to dislike MMA than vice versa. — gopal rao

I don’t know if boxing fans are more likely to dislike MMA than MMA fans are likely to dislike boxing. There appears to be a gradual mutual respect between the two fan bases from where I sit, but I’m sure if I visited enough message boards and internet forums for the two sports I’d get a different (less friendly) picture.

I can only give you my perspective on any crossover between the two fan bases. When I watch boxing with a large group of my friends about half are also interested in (or at least curious about) MMA. If a televised UFC or Strike Force show is on at the same time boxing is on TV, most of the group bounces back and forth between the two broadcasts. That was the case two weeks ago when the Chavez-Duddy PPV show and the Emelianenko-Werdum headlined Showtime card were on at the same time.

I think Toney’s UFC debut will attract more than a few boxing-only fans who are curious about how a former elite boxer will fare vs. an MMA legend.

Regarding the Toney training session I sat in on last Tuesday, yes! I will definitely write up a Gym Notes column based on my observations and sit-down interviews with Toney and his trainers from that day. Look for that column later this week.


You know your my boy, but remember, you guys promised that “Pacquaio would be vacating” his 140 lb title if he didn't defend it in his next fight. Exact same s__t my man! — JB

When you say “exact same s__t” are you saying that THE RING does what the WBO just did to middleweight champ Sergio Martinez? I beg to differ my friend.

Pacquiao's next opponent hasn't been determined yet. If it's Mayweather or another welterweight, he will vacate. The magazine won’t even have to strip him. If the PacMan’s adviser Mike Koncz doesn't remember what he promised THE RING, its editor Nigel Collins will kindly remind him.

So that’s hardly the same s__t as what the sanctioning organizations pull. The alphabet boys strip fighters and put up vacant belts for reasons of money. THE RING doesn't charge fighters (or anyone) a sanctioning fee.


As you know I'm not a hater, but a guy who loves boxing and a good debate, so don't rip me a new one… But the point is, Pac wants to keep the belt and Nigel will “strip” him or “remind him”. In the end, he will not have the belt and it won't be by his choice.

Yes, I know The Ring doesn't charge a fee. — JB

I know you're not hating, JB, and I love a good boxing debate. So before I defend the magazine’s right to “strip” Pacquiao I have to ask how do you know the Filipino icon wants to keep the belt. Maybe he’s already got his sights set on winning THE RING’s vacant welterweight title (and you know who he’d have to beat to win that). Just because Koncz didn’t want Pacquiao to abdicate the title earlier this year doesn’t mean that Pacquiao is attached to it.

However, even if the PacMan is attached to the 140-pound title I believe that it is his choice to vacate it if he doesn't fight a junior welterweight next. He CHOSE not to fight at 140 pounds after winning the junior welterweight title (from Ricky Hatton last May). If he's allowed to keep THE RING title after three consecutive welterweight bouts it would not be fair to young junior welterweight contenders like Tim Bradley and Devon Alexander — the magazine's No. 1 and No. 2-rated 140 pounders — who could be fighting for it.


Okay, what if/devils advocate… What if Nigel “reminds him” and Pac still says he wants to keep it, defend it, whatever. Does THE RING let him keep it, or strip him?

I'm not saying he should or should not be stripped, all I'm saying, is at the end of the day a strip is/would be a strip.

The reality is Pac will only go down there and fight if he loses and wants to “pretend” he was only a 140 pounder and he lost because of the size, it is a bulls__t excuse policy. Yes, he probably should vacate, let a champion be crowned then drop down and take it.

I'm not hating on anyone or anything, but these organizations didn't start stripping when the wind blew to begin with they started finding more and more reasons to strip, until they are where they are now. So, the question would be, if a Nate Campbell kind of guy did what Pac is doing, would he hold it as long? Or even some much lesser fighter, would they be given as long of a leeway, if not, then you see where I'm going.

You're still my boy, just some good boxing debate on a slow week… — JB

If Pacquaio REALLY wants to hold on to THE RING’s 140-pound title he has to give the magazine a valid reason and I don’t think “I like it a lot and I don’t want anyone else to have it” is going to fly with Collins & Co. He has to make it clear that he intends to defend the title.

I think if the mega-showdown with Pacquiao and Mayweather Jr. is made and scheduled for this year, Collins would give Pacquiao an extension provided the man himself promised that his very next fight would be in the 140-pound division. I believe Collins would understand Pacquiao taking the Mayweather fight. It’s THE event to be made this year and it has to take place at welterweight.

This is just my opinion, not the official decision of THE RING. This is all hypothetical and I think you know that I don’t speak for the magazine. I don’t want to put words in Collins’ mouth, but I know he’s a reasonable man. Having said that if the Mayweather showdown doesn’t happen this year and Team Pacquiao decides to fight one of Arum’s options, such as a Margarito fight at welterweight or a Cotto rematch at some junior middleweight catchweight, my guess is that THE RING editor would declare the junior welterweight title vacant.

The bottom line is that Pacquiao has had a reasonable amount of time to defend the junior welterweight title, more than a year, in fact.

Now, would a lower-profile fighter like “a Nate Campbell kind of guy” get to hold onto THE RING title without defending it as long as PacMan has? I think so. I believe all RING champs have been treated the same since Collins re-introduced the magazine’s world titles and created the current championship policy in 2002. If you have an example of a RING title holder who was not afforded the same respect as better-known RING champs please let me know. (And for the record, Campbell was never a RING champ.)

If THE RING was stuck on the stars of the sport and only wanted high-profile/popular fighters to hold its titles Bradley and Alexander would not be the No. 1 and No. 2 junior welterweight contenders. Amir Khan and Marcos Maidana would be, or Khan and Victor Ortiz would be Nos. 1 and 2. Yuriorkis Gamboa would be one of the top two featherweight contenders. Nonito Donaire would be the No. 2 junior bantamweight contender behind No.1-rated Vic Darchinyan. Miguel Cotto would replace Kermit Cintron as the No. 2-rated junior middleweight behind Martinez. I can go on and on, but I think you get the message.


What's up!
Call me a masochist, but I actually wouldn't mind a Cotto vs Pacman 2 at 154 (Yes, right now Cotto is still my favorite fighter, with Juanma coming in 2nd, and I still believe Cotto has it; except to fight James Kirkland). I really think that with Emanuel Steward in his corner, Cotto has a good chance to pull the upset. I believe Cotto is a very intelligent fighter who can learn from his mistakes. I also believe that he didn't have the right training during the first fight. There was no strategy, and in the 24/7 episodes, when they showed the pad works, it was very clear that they weren't on the same speed/activity level. I believe Cotto's strategy was to just try to impose his strength; well Manny wasn't as small or as weak as they thought he was.

Cotto was in the fight for the first 4 rounds. He was also able to hurt Manny (busted his ear, and Manny said he was hurt a couple of times, but that he didn't want to let Cotto know). It took Cotto about a round and a half to recover from the 2nd knockdown, but by then Manny was on a roll. His corner wasn't helping him either. I also think Cotto should learn how to hold, the way Mosley did against Margarito. I believe that if Cotto would have held Margarito a little more, in order to smother his punches, he would've beat him. Mosley used the perfect balance of boxing, punching and smothering Margarito. Cotto says pride is the reason he doesn't hold.

So I think that with Steward working the corner, training him with a strategy in mind, learning from his mistakes in the Manny fight, effectively and strategically holding Manny to smother the attacks, (and a strong uppercut to the nuts in round 3-4 if things start to go wrong) Cotto has enough experience, skill, heart and chance to beat Manny. Oh, and one more thing: no catchweights! Manny fought Cotto at 145, but Clottey at 147. That tells me he respects Cotto. He wants the crown, beat him at 154! No weight advantage for anybody! Manny has the skills!!! He shouldn't need any catchweights.

BTW, I'd rather have Manny fight Mayweather. But if that doesn't happen, I don't mind the 2nd choices. What do you think? Keep up the good work! — Jos├® Javier, Puerto Rico

I was impressed with Cotto’s form and poise against Yuri Foreman, and I’d give him a good shot to beat many top junior middleweights (including Kirkland) but I think Pacquiao’s style and blend of speed, power and footwork will always give him hell. True, he was competitive in the first four rounds versus the Pac-Monster, but he also hit the deck twice in that 12-minute span (and the second knockdown was from probably the hardest single punch he ever took). Whether they have to weigh in at 151 pounds or 154, I think Pacquiao would be a HUGE favorite to beat Cotto again.

I agree that Cotto could have had a better trainer and camp for the Pacquiao fight, and I also agree that Steward works well with the Puerto Rican star, but I don’t think the hall-of-fame trainer has had enough time to correct all of the bad habits Cotto had cultivated over the years. Bottom line: I think November is too soon for the come-backing Cotto to be getting in the ring with Pacquiao.


Dear Doug,
I'm tired of people selectively whining about catchweights. Juan Manuel Marquez, for instance, wanted to fight Pacquiao at a catchweight (or 140), but not 147. Didn't hear much criticism. Hopkins/Wright took place at a catchweight; not much criticism. Hopkins/Pavlik was another catchweight fight; same with Taylor/Pavlik II.

And I'm not buying the “title fight” argument. All we do is bash the sanctioning orgs. So why should we now elevate them for the sole purpose of bashing catchweight fights? Sounds pretty inconsistent to me. If you want to call them irrelevant (referring to the whining catchweight fans), fine, but be consistent. Miguel Cotto isn't the jr. middle champ; he's a beltholder.

Also, fighters come in under-weight all the time. If they can do it on their own, why can't they contract to do it for more money?

And, to be clear, I don't want Pac/Cotto II to happen; saw all I needed to know who the better fighter is in Manny/Miguel I.

And I don't want Pac/Marg, either; that glove-loading scumbag should be banned for life.

But the whining in the mailbag just got on my nerves. Take care. — Patrick

Cotto fans should not be mad at Pacquiao or Freddie Roach for insisting on catchweight bouts vs. the Puerto Rican star, they should be mad at Cotto for agreeing to the catchweight stipulations.


Hey Dougie,
Hope all is well out west. First off, thanks for the pump up for Marquez-Diaz II undercard, I had heard good things so I got it for my dad for Father's Day, now I'm convinced it was a good idea.

Down to business: poking around the internet it seems Chavez Jr is coming out with the short end of the stick against Duddy. Now that he's won, and in such (I think) impressive fashion everyone seems to be saying “Yeah but Duddy is just a middling do nothing mediocre blahblah” excuses not to say that JCCJ is coming along well. It's not perfectly analogous to, but it reminds me of, what happened to Floyd after Mosley: either Money would lose against his only “real” competition, or he beat up an old guy. Perhaps my eyes aren't as good as those that cover boxing for a living, but I did not see the really limited fighter I was expecting in JCCJ.

If nothing else doesn't this seem like a good win to get into the 12 round quality bouts before a big fight? (Just imagine the numbers a Chavez Jr-Cotto fight could pull off!) After another couple training camps, I could see him hanging tough with a Cotto-quality fighter.

That was much more rant-like than I expected. All the best. — Robb

If a fan or a boxing writer thought Duddy was crap to being with and said that Chavez would spank the Irishman before the fight took place, I have no problem with them pooh-poohing Junior’s best victory. If they predicted that Chavez would get “exposed” vs. Duddy I think they need to give the kid (or at the very least Freddie Roach and Alex Ariza) some props for his performance.

I thought Mosley would get in Floyd’s ass and outwork him over 12 rounds. Instead Mayweather basically domesticated the future hall of famer. You’re not going to hear me call Mosley “old” or “faded” after the fact. I think that was Mayweather’s best ring performance so far and it made him the legit No. 1 (or No. 2 behind PacMan) welterweight in the world.

But it’s going to be harder for fans and fight scribes to give Chavez the respect he earns because he’s been so blatantly protected for so long. However, I think if he continues to beat solid opposition, folks will come around. If they put him in with Carlos Baldomir I think he’d hammer the former champ into submission within six rounds. I think the kid can hang with lower top-10 or top-15 junior middleweights and middleweights right now. By the time he is 26 or 27, I think he’ll be ready for the best fighters of the 160-pound division (if he can still make middleweight).


Alright instead of mindlessly bashing you for not being a Mayweather fan (which by the way was for kicks) I’ll calm down and we can discuss one of the biggest fights this “200 year old international sport” will see. My opinion is both Mayweather and Pacquiao are just one notch below G.O.A.T. but their above greatness maybe I will label this area “legendary”.

There are rumors floating around that Pacquiao has agreed or negotiated all of Mayweathers issues about their fight (Money, Blood tests, ETC). Now we are all waiting on a response from Mayweather to me it seems the only one preventing this fight IS Mayweather. I can’t understand why Mayweather doesn’t want to prove his worth there is so much to be gained from the winner of this fight not just money, not just P4P king status but G.O.A.T. status. I don’t want to dog Mayweather just yet though until I hear what the man has to say. I guess it wouldn’t be hard to imagine who you would cheer for out Pacquiao and PBF.

Well I didn’t trash talk or write to you with the utmost rude sarcasm lets see if you can write me back without insulting my intelligence, or begging me to prove why Mayweather is G.O.A.T. (which by the way I never labeled him nor was I ever asked to present to you a letter of my top 25 greatest boxers and asked to explain why PBF should be ranked among them). I know Mayweather fans drive you crazy by calling you a hater, loser and a bunch of funny names but at the same time I honestly have never heard you give Mayweather any kind of credit or praise him for his skill. I mean you have said he is a good boxer but you seem to have a grudge against him like maybe he did something to you personally or some crap.

(P.S. Until Ward goes to Abraham’s or Kessler’s hometown and beats them their will I say he is a great boxer.) — Roland

Even if Andre Ward KO’d Arthur Abraham and Mikkel Kessler in the first round of bouts that took place in their hometowns I wouldn’t consider the super middleweight to be “great.” I would consider him to be hands down the best 168-pound fighter on the planet and a legit top-10 pound-pound-pound player (something I don’t consider him to be right now), but “great”? No.

I think fans (and sadly some members of the press) toss around the word “great” too easily. Greatness is not something that’s achieved with a couple victories over top-10 contenders. Generally speaking the “greatness” of a prize fighter can’t be measured until his career is completed. There are very few exceptions to this rule. Every now and then a fighter is blessed enough to possess great talent and skill AND compete in an era and weight class where fellow great talents exist. In these rare instances, if that fighter has the balls to face the best of the best of his weight class — as Muhammad Ali did in the heavyweight division during the 1960s and ’70s and Sugar Ray Leonard did in the welterweight division during the late ’70s and early ’80s — it can be argued that he is a “great fighter” (provided he won most of those encounters) before he’s hung up his gloves.

Anyway, if you’ve never heard or read anything positive from me regarding Floyd Mayweather’s skill, I have to assume that you haven’t been reading my stuff for very long. I’ll have you know that what I’m about to write has been written and stated for the record MANY times over the past 10 years. But I’m going to write it here just so YOU, Rolly, can be sure that I acknowledge Mayweather’s incredible talent and considerable accomplishments:

1) I think Mayweather is a first-ballot hall of famer. As soon as I see his name on the World or International Boxing Hall of Fame ballots, I will put a check mark by his name.

2) I believe he has the best blend of natural talent, boxing ability and technique among active fighters.

3) I think he’s No. 1 or No. 2 pound-for-pound and No. 1 or No. 2 in his current weight class (now it’s welterweight, but I felt the same way about him when he campaigned at junior welter, lightweight, and junior lightweight).

4) He’s the best defensive boxer I’ve seen live.

There you have it. If you think this if first time I’ve recognized and/or written about Mayweather’s skill/talent/ranking in a positive manner, you are wrong. Regardless, I appreciate the civil tone of your email. Please give me more like this one.

Regarding the Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown, I don’t have much to say about it until it’s a done deal or it’s officially off for 2010.

I will say this, though. I’m not sure if a victory in that mega fight clinches “all-time great” status for either Mayweather or Pacquiao. Honestly, I think Mayweather can lose the fight and still go on to be a great fighter if he decides to continue boxing and he challenges himself with intriguing bouts against the likes of Sergio Martinez, Paul Williams, or Miguel Cotto. Pacquiao has a few records in the sport (such as his seven titles in seven weight classes, four linear championships, being the first flyweight champ to win the featherweight title and titles of higher weight classes, etc.) that might add up to “greatness” if he beat Mayweather in decisive fashion. That’s a BIG “if.”

Personally, I don’t think either Mayweather or Pacquiao are “a notch below” G.O.A.T. status. I don’t see how they have done enough to come close to supplanting Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Sam Langford, Henry Armstrong, or even Ezzard Charles or to be within striking range of that mythical status.

Can either Mayweather or Pacquiao be considered the best of all time in a particular division (as Pep is at featherweight and Charles is widely considered at light heavyweight) or among the top two or three of all time in more than one division (as Robinson is at welterweight and middleweight)? I think it can be argued that Mayweather could be ranked among the top five junior lightweights of all time, but none of the other divisions he’s campaigned in. Is Pacquiao one of the all-time great flyweights, junior featherweights, featherweights, junior lightweights, lightweights, junior welterweights or welterweights? I don’t think so. He hasn’t stuck around in any one division long enough to establish himself as a top-10 all timer in any of ’em. But like Mayweather, he’s a first-ballot hall of famer and one of the best fighters I’ve ever seen.


I don’t know how you do it. I couldn't imagine having to answer to all the zombie Zerox machines that constitute the typical Pink/Pac fan submissions to your mailbox. I'd rather be raped in the face.

LuvUMan! — Kirk

It gets old, buddy. I must admit it gets really old. I’m sure I’ll receive at least a few emails from Mayweather and Pacquiao fans who believe I wrote something disrespectful or “biased” about their heroes in my reply to the previous email.