Dougie’s Friday mailbag
GOOD WEEKEND OF BOXING
How's your summer been thus far? Are you a beach guy or BBQ pool party guy? I preferred the beach. There's nothing like a good surf and girls in bikinis getting their tan on. Love the So-Cal lifestyle dude! So this weekend looks good for boxing fans: ShoBox triple header, ESPN2’s FNF with Zab Judah vs. Jose Armando Santa Cruz, HBO BAD, and Fernando Montiel vs. Bernabe Concepcion no wait Morel no wait Rafael Concepcion on Fox Sports Net.
That's enough boxing for me to neglect my wife for the most part of the weekend (LOL), well at least the kids watch it with me. They will especially be interested in Alfredo Angulo's fight since he was kind enough to take a picture with the lil schmucks. He made two young fans for life. I wish him the best in his career.
Just wondering, have you heard anything regarding my boy, Antonio Demarco. Is he being smart and taking his time to make a return after such a beating?
The featherweights are getting exciting again. With Marquez, Lopez, Gamboa, Caballero, John and up and comers Mikey Garcia and Juan Carlos “Mini” Burgos.
Call it pride talk but I say Marquez beats Lopez. Not only is Lopez vulnerable in the championship rounds, but also in the early rounds. Marquez’s experience will see him through with a TKO. I have faith Marquez has one last hurrah for his time capsule career.
Oh wait, BBQ pool party and watching a PPV Boxing event w/ girls in bikinis hanging around beats the beach any day. Have a great day. Surf’s up!!! I am, right after work the waves are mine. LOVE So-Cal. Peace. — Jorge, San Diego
Wow. You’re in a good mood. I need back off from the boxing industry and start hanging out with people like you! Now that my younger brother, a Naval doctor recently stationed at Camp Pendleton, is living in Oceanside, Calif., I probably will venture south a few times a year to visit and occasionally act a fool with my sibling.
I’m a So-Cal summer guy, but I like the evenings of the months of July and August. I don’t do well with too much sun and heat. I dropped by the Maywood and Azteca boxing clubs yesterday and the 100-plus degree heat in those gyms nearly did me in. I was literally nauseous in my un-air-conditioned car on the way home. I don’t know how anybody trains in that kind of sweltering heat without losing energy. Boxers are the baddest asses in the sports world.
Anyway, it’s nice to see that Rafael Marquez has some diehard fans. He deserves them and he’s earned the loyalty. I favor the younger man, but I consider the veteran a live dog. If Marquez beats the formidable Puerto Rican beltholder, he’s secured his spot in the hall of fame as far as I’m concerned. Wouldn’t it be awesome to witness the Marquez brothers get inducted in Canastota at the same time in the not-so-far-off future?
The featherweight division has a lot of potential. All the fans (and fighters) need is for the promoters to work together so that we get all the elite matchups that can be made. Like I stated in Monday’s mailbag, I really hope Caballero doesn’t get left out. I think there’s too much money to be made with a potential Lopez-Gamboa showdown for either Top Rank fighter to risk a bout with the gangly Panamanian badass, but maybe Chris John will be willing to give Caballero a shot if there’s U.S. TV money on the table. I betcha Garcia and Burgos will be willing to try and chop down the volume-punching beanstalk by mid-2011.
DeMarco is fighting on the non-televised (in the States) portion of the Tim Bradley-Carlos Abregu undercard tomorrow. He’s taking on former 130-pound title challenger Daniel Attah in a 10-round bout. Attah hasn’t fought since Urbano Antillon stopped him in four rounds in 2008. I think your boy will be fine.
“Perro” is a good man. I think Angulo’s fight with Joachim Alcine will steal the show in Rancho Mirage, Calif., tomorrow night.
I’m really looking forward to tonight’s fights. Ishe Smith should give us a better idea of how talented and promising a middleweight up-and-comer Fernando Guerrero is in the ShoBox main event. I think Shawn Porter will be too big and strong for “the new” Ray Robinson, who should probably be fighting at junior welterweight, not junior middleweight. The matchup of undefeated welterweights — Lanard Lane and Mike Dallas Jr. — will probably be the best fight of the ShoBox broadcast. Lane’s got size, power and maturity on Dallas, but the younger man is faster and busier. This one should be a lot fun.
I think Judah will take care of business against Santa Cruz, who probably isn’t prepared for the former champ’s speed and may not be 100 percent healthy. One of the boxers I spoke to at the Maywood Boxing Club yesterday told me Santa Cruz has a hurt right hand. Regardless, I expect the rangy awkward swarmer to put up a good fight against a more experienced, naturally bigger (or heavier), and better-talented fighter.
Montiel should handle his Concepcion as well as Lopez handled his.
IS JUDAH STILL SUPER?
What's good Dougie? I'm looking forward to Friday’s fights. I think Zab Judah is a good addition to the already stacked 140 lb. division but how do you see him at this point? Is he a gatekeeper/stepping stone or is he still the star Main Events Promotions claims he is? The fight I'd most like to see is Judah vs Victor Ortiz, two southpaws with speed, power, and suspect chins. What more can you ask for?
Looking forward to Eloy Perez's second TV fight August 13 on Telefutura. I hope he's the one that can bring attention back to the 130 lbers.
What excuse do Mayweather fans have now?
After seeing Brandon Rios go six hard rounds with Eloy Perez and having watched Perez go quality rounds with Urbano Antillon earlier this year there's no doubt if the two met it would make for fight of the year.
In my not so humble opinion I think Nonito Donaire is the most talented fighter skillwise in the world. I can't wait until he can prove it at 118 lbs.
Take care, Dougie. See you soon bud. — Sam Garcia
Donaire has the potential rivals at bantamweight to test his talent and prove that he really belongs among the top 10 elite fighters of the world. I’d love to see how he deals with a fellow ultra talent who has more experience (Fernando Montiel) or a body punching specialist who can apply smart pressure (Abner Mares) or a southpaw speed demon (Hozumi Hasegawa) or any of the other RING-rated 118-pound contenders (Anselmo Moreno, Nehomar Cermeno, Yonnhy Perez, and Joseph Agbeko).
I’d favor the Filipino Flash to beat most of ’em but I don’t think he’ll have an easy time with any of them, including fighters who seem tailor made for him like Perez and Mares.
There’s no way Antillon-Rios wouldn’t be the Fight of the Year. Hell, if they sparred six rounds THAT would be the Fight of the Year. By the way, Antillon tells me he might get a shot a Humberto Soto’s 135-pound title on September 4. I hope he lands that opportunity. If he wins (and I think he can) his first title defense could be vs. “Bam Bam” Rios, who will have his heavy hands full with Anthony Peterson on Sept. 11.
Hey, don’t be so quick to kick the Mayweather fans in the nuts (even though most of ’em deserve it). Floyd still has until 12-midnight tonight and we haven’t heard from his side of the negotiation (which had the decency to uphold the gag agreement unlike a certain 78-year-old curmudgeon).
If Eloy Perez gets a shot at Rocky Martinez he’ll turn heads because that will be hell of a fight and I believe he can win it. If he does that he’ll get the opportunity to draw some much deserved attention to himself and the junior lightweights.
I don’t think Judah is a “star,” but he is a name in the 140-pound division. Had he stayed at welterweight I would have considered him a stepping stone for that division’s up-and-comers, but if he can make 140 pounds and he still possesses the speed and power he used to exhibit I’ll view him as a dangerous veteran for the top junior welterweights. Of course, he’s got to beat Jose Armando Santa Cruz first. Tonight’s fight will tell us a lot about what Judah’s got left and what kind of potential he has at 140 pounds.
Judah-Ortiz would be A LOT of fun.
I'm really hoping Timmy Bradley looks good this weekend, I knows he has appeared on Showtime several times before, but HBO still represents a much larger audience..
You gave Mark 'Too Sharp' Johnson some West Coast love last mailbag. Who do you think was more hated among Mexican fans in their respective heydays, Johnson or Roger 'The Black Mamba' Mayweather?
I'm not sure exactly why Juan Diaz deserves a shot at the lightweight crown after losing a one-sided decision to Paulie Malignaggi, but his fight against Marquez is the definition of a crossroads fight. I'm taking Marquez.
Speaking of Pauli Wal-Nuts, he and John Ruiz are about to be joined by Carl Froch as my least favorite prizefighters. I haven't disliked anybody as much as Froch since Gianfranco Rossi…
If Maywether-Pacquiao falls thru, I wish one of them would meet Bradley. Is Bradley really not a big enough name? I mean who the hell knew who Clottey was outside of fight fans? — Tom G.
Clottey was in the Top Rank family. You know how that goes. Same thing can be said about Diaz’s second shot at Marquez, but I would argue that the Baby Bull earned his rematch with the first fight. The college grad gave an incredible effort which forced Marquez’s to reveal his great veteran poise and warrior spirit and turned that fight into one of the best — if not the best — of 2009. I’m still undecided but I think I might go with the young challenger to win the rematch.
I gave Johnson “West Coast love” because So. Cali. is where I saw him fight, but he always represented Washington, D.C. to the fullest (right down to his Kente Cloth robe and Kofi hat he wore into the ring). He was the brotha Mexican fans loved to hate in the 1990s. Roger held that title in the 1980s. Mayweather was probably hated more because he talked more s__t and used to wear that black Sombrero into the ring. But truth be told, real Mexican fans — those who had followed the sport closely for more than a decade or two — respected both African-American boxers because they took on the best Mexican fighters of their respective eras and divisions and always delivered action. Mexican fans would cheer for the Mexican fighters that Too Sharp and The Black Mamba fought, and many would boo them before and during the fight, but many also applauded them after the fights — win or lose — and more than few sought autographs and photos with Johnson and Mayweather.
I have a feeling Bradley will deliver tomorrow night.
If the Mayweather fight doesn't come off, I'd love to see Pacquiao-Williams at 147. It’s a much better option than either a Cotto rematch or a Margarito fight. Kudos to the NSAC for having told Margacheato to go back to Cali to get his license. I hope Pac doesn't fight him outside the U.S.
As for Floyd, how about Berto if the Pac fight doesn't come through? The two are both advised by Heyman, and Berto's far less dangerous than Martinez or Williams. And he's appetizing enough, unlike a Matthew Hatton.
So, amazingly enough, I still think Manny and Floyd have some “wiggle room” (quality opponents) whom they could fight while they… uh… negotiate.:)
P.S. Best five fighters since I've been a fan (1990):
I don't include Roy Jones because he got caught with illegal drugs when he fought Richard Hall. Druggies like Jones and Mosley have no place in the HOF or in lists of top fighters to me. Take care. — Patrick
The prime Julio Cesar Chavez (1985-1990) was one of the best fighters I’ve ever seen but I didn’t include him in the list I had in Monday’s mailbag because I did see him fight live when he was in his prime (in fact, he was WAY past it by the time I saw him do his thing in person).
Pacquiao vs. Williams would be an intriguing matchup because of the height and reach advantages P-Will would have on the PacMan, but those same size discrepancies might make that bout extremely awkward and perhaps even boring. Imagine Pacquiao orbiting Williams like a humming bird around a giant windmill, looking for the chance to jump in with his lightning bold combos, but seldom finding the opening, and poor P-Will game as ever but just a step behind the Filipino icon in terms of speed, reflexes and mobility. That matchup could be a really frustrating night for both fighters and the fans.
I don’t care to see Mayweather in with anyone but Pacquiao. Berto went life and death with Luis Collazo, just as Ricky Hatton did at welterweight. I think Mayweather-Berto would be a replay of Mayweather-Hatton, only this time Floyd would flatten a dark-skinned squat grappler-boxer instead of a near-florescent squat grappler-boxer. No thanks. If Mayweather doesn’t want to fight Pacquiao he’s the one who should take on Williams or Sergio Martinez at 154 pounds. I don’t care to see Pacquiao in with anyone but Mayweather at 147 pounds. I’d watch Pacquiao vs. Timothy Bradley, and maybe JM Marquez (if the lightweight champ beats Juan Diaz again and looks good doing it), at 140 pounds.
A FAN OF JUANMA
I am big fan of your mailbag articles and look forward to reading them every week. I have yet to write into your mailbags though so please bare with me if my first attempt is not up to par with some of your typical emails received.
I am also an avid fan of Juan Manuel Lopez and often get discouraged at some of the criticism he receives. It feels somewhat like he gets a lot of negativity from people because of how he is promoted by Bob Arum and company at Top Rank. Although I do not know Juanma, he is only a fighter and I would assume he trusts his management to move him in the right direction. Following his victory over Bernabe Concepcion this now places him 3 victories over top ten opponents (according to The Ring magazine ratings) in his current weight class, Featherweight division. Although yes he has yet to take on the likes of Yuriorkis Gamboa and Celestino Caballero, he has still faced formidable opponents, and so I digress from the original point for the email.
The fight Saturday started out as the typical fight one can expect from a fighter such as Juanma, action packed leaving you afraid to blink an eye. I had original thought Juanma’s right hook he has dominated his competition with over his young career would spell disaster for his Filipino opponent. I was quite delighted to see the use of his left straight so effectively in that fight, although Bernabe winging wild overhand rights with his head down was all but asking him to throw the left. Certainly the knock down at the end of round 1 was unexpected but it seems to just add to the allure of why people find Juanma so exciting. He seemed to recover reasonably well from the knockdown to stop Concepcion in the 2nd round. Juanma possesses a warrior’s spirit that as talented as a fighter maybe is un-teachable. I was in attendance for the Matgwa fight at the WAMU which turned out to be one of the most exciting sporting events I have ever been to. My biggest surprise in the fight though was in the final 12th round, he continued to move and throw punches at Matgwa even after he was so badly hurt towards the end of the 11th round. It seemed as though it was the only thing he knew how to do.
I am incredibly excited for when Juanma clash with Rafael Marquez. This seems like it has great potential for fight of the year as both fighters are incredibly exciting to watch. Who would you favor in this fight?
I apologize if I am overloading you but what do you think of the proposed fight of Yuriorkis Gamboa versus Elios Rojas? Interestingly enough Rojas beat Juanma in the amateurs. I have a feeling if the fight goes down, and that is a big “if”, Rojas surprises a lot of people with a split decision victory. While I am at it though how about Carl Froch versus Arthur Abraham (in the neutral Montreal )? — Mike
Thanks for finally writing in Mike. Froch-Abraham is going to take place in Monaco, and no, I wasn’t planning on making that trip but I am looking forward to watching that scrap. It’s going to be brutal, maybe a little ugly at times, but a quality fight between two top super middleweights with big balls.
I think Gamboa will beat Rojas. The Cuban might have some trouble, heck he might have get up off the canvas, but I think he has too much raw talent for his fellow titleholder to contain.
I’m a big fan of JuanMa’s. I think he will prevail against Rafa Marquez — in a terrific fight as you predict — and I believe he can beat Gamboa (and I see that potential fight as an even-money matchup). It doesn’t bother me at all that he hit the canvas vs. Concpecion. That was his first knockdown. It came against a guy who can crack and he got up and acquitted himself well. One can say Lopez was saved by the bell but I think BOTH fighters were saved by the bell. The tough fight with Mtagwa only exposed Lopez’s heart in my opinion. He should have been a gonner in the final round. I still don’t know how he stayed upright.
Don’t let JuanMa’s critics piss you off. It’s not his fault his promoters/management prefer that his really risky fight come against a promotional stablemate. Personally, I don’t think he’s afraid of Caballero.
I think Lopez will one day (sooner rather than later) replace Miguel Cotto as the big Puerto Rican ticket seller in NYC, and that’s saying something about a featherweight who doesn’t speak English.
And don’t forget, long before Cotto was packing Madison Square Garden, more than a few fans pooh-poohed him for getting rocked by DeMarcus Corely and dropped by Ricardo Torres during their barnburner. The criticism didn’t stop Cotto from going to 147 pounds (where he was stronger, as I believe JuanMa is at 126) beating RING-rated contender after contender as Lopez is doing now at featherweight.
Don’t worry. Lopez will get his due.