Sunday, April 02, 2023  |


Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

Fighters Network


Dear Doug,
Props to GBP for having tried to give us a quality undercard. My thoughts:

Jorge Linares/Rocky Juarez: About what I'd expected, though I wish it'd been scheduled for 12, as Steward said.

Robert Guerrero/Joel Casamayor: Yaaaaawwwwwwn! PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't televise another Casamayor fight.

Dmitry Pirog/Danny Jacobs: I'd call it the upset of the year to this point. How about a Felix Sturm “unification” to determine a viable contender for Sergio Martinez or Paul Williams at middleweight?

I'm glad that power outage happened; we got a couple of nice treats from it. Frankie Gomez sure can crack! And Sakio Bika's an idiot.

JM Marquez/Juan Diaz: A bit disappointing, and I mainly blame Diaz, who should've realized he had no shot to beat Marquez by boxing with him. Had it 117-111 for Marquez. He clearly didn't lose anything from the Mayweather fight (and the weight fluctuation before and after, as your pre-fight article detailed).

The one thing I'm unhappy about is that there now will be a clamor for Pac/JMM III from many fans. These fans don't get it: Marquez's a lightweight. Pac's now a welterweight. We saw what happened when Marquez moved up to welterweight; he wasn't competitive. Pac/JMM I and II took place at featherweight and super feather, three divisions below welter. We have weight divisions for a reason, and few fighters can go up like Pac. Marquez isn't one of them. Pacquiao has “outgrown” Marquez, and I wish the HBO crew would have pointed that out.

(P.S. Why do we have to be subjected to Gamboa/”Steroid” Salido now that Rojas's injured? How about Gamboa/Caballero? This was the perfect chance to get Caballero in to a big fight.) Take care. — Patrick

Thanks for the email, Pat.

I would much rather watch Gamboa-Caballero than the Cuban dynamo vs. Orlando Salido, but we all know that the Panamanian thinman is viewed a real threat and Arum & Co. don’t want anything to derail the future featherweight megamatch between Gamboa and JuanMa Lopez. However, I think Salido is a very solid opponent for Gamboa, perhaps the most formidable the Olympic champ as faced. Salido, only 29, is 22-3 in his last 27 bouts (with one No Decision, the 12-round bout he won against Guerrero but had nullified after he tested positive for steroids).

Salido’s losses are decisions to former featherweight champ Alejandro “Cobrita” Gonzalez (at lightweight) way back in 2001, the featherweight version of JM Marquez in 2004, and a split nod to tough-as-nails Cristobal Cruz in 2008, which he avenged to win a belt in May. He hasn’t been blown out in the past 10 years. Let’s see if Gamboa can do it.

You’re absolutely correct in pointing out that Marquez vs. Pacquiao at welterweight is suicide for the Mexico City master. Prior to the Diaz rematch I thought a third fight made sense if it could be made at 140 pounds, but after seeing Marquez weigh-in at 133¾ pounds and perform well I’m not only convinced that he’s not a welterweight, I’m positive that he wouldn’t be himself at junior welterweight. Hell, most LIGHTWEIGHT contenders couldn’t make 133 pounds if they starved themselves. Freddie Roach told me recently that Pacquiao has grown to be a small welterweight over the past year. In Freddie’s words, “Pacquiao has to skip meals to make 140.”

I also scored the fight nine rounds to three for Marquez. For the most part, it went the way I believed it would but I thought Diaz would be a little more competitive and show more fire. He pulled a “Mosley” and tried too hard to box and think on his feet. That mindset is fine against a lesser fighter and it’s OK in spots against a superior boxer (as both faced in their last bouts) but fighters like Diaz can’t forget what got them to the pinnacle of the sport. It wasn’t sticking and moving. It was kicking ass. Diaz boxed well but he never got his ass in gear.

Marquez did indeed prove that the Mayweather fight and the weight fluctuation that came with that business venture (it sure as hell wasn’t a legit fight) did not debilitate his aging body. He’s going to get old sooner or later in the ring, but Saturday night was his time.

Gomez can indeed crack. It’s time for GBP to find an opponent who can take that power and give the kid some needed rounds. Bika may have blown his last opportunity at getting a title shot with that cheap shot.

Regarding Pirog-Jacobs, man, that right hand the Russian landed reminded me of the “eight-figure” punch that Hasim Rahman landed on Lennox Lewis’ jaw in South Africa. BAM! Goodnight sweet prince. Forget about “the Sturminator,” I want to see Pirog take on the real champ and/or P-Will ASAP.

Casamayor will be lucky if his next fight is on a Fight Night Club broadcast. Guerrero, who should head back down to 135 pounds, was lucky the Cuban is very old. Hopefully, Golden Boy’s matchmakers won’t make anymore all-southpaw matchups for a while.

Linares-Juarez would have been VERY interesting over 12 rounds. Perhaps Rocky would have caught the talented Venezuelan. But then, that’s the story of his career, isn’t it? Give Linares some credit, though, he was only one fight removed from a first-round KO loss and he was the first fighter to put the iron-chinned Houston native down. I think Linares belongs at 130 pounds.


Hi Doug,
After Saturday night's display against Juan Diaz, it would appear that Marquez has three options for him to consider:

1) Pacquiao – Marquez's preferred option, to right the perceived wrongs of their first two meetings (I thought he nicked the first one for sure). Although this'd make him the most green, I can't help but think that he'd be on the ass end of an ass whoopin'. He would have to venture up to (at least) welterweight for Pacquiao to consider it, and JMM didn't fare too well judging by his previous foray up to welter. Despite being up against a phenomenal (but natural) welterweight in Floyd Mayweather, JMM seemed to compromise a lot of the assets that gave Pacquiao fits in their previous meetings.

2) Amir Khan – Amir Khan's preferred option I'd wager. Let me make this clear, I hope this fight doesn't happen. I was as pleased as anyone that Khan has started to realise his potential, as someone to pick up the baton from Ricky Hatton in being involved in some massive fights both sides of the pond. But I am fed up with hearing stories of him calling out anyone and everyone via Twitter and the media, then almost retracting everything he's said by stating that he'll let his handlers deal with it. He's getting too WWE for my liking. I just wish he'd shut his yapper and get on with what he does best, and fight. And calling out someone in the weight division below, is plain pathetic. Get in there with someone that'll test them notorious whiskers (or his pointy chin as Dmitry Salita hilariously pointed out). If this fight happens (in December, in the UK as the local broadcasters eluded to last night), then I'll be found in a boozer, sporting a sombrero and poncho, holding a straw donkey in one hand and an intoxicating refreshment in the other, chanting 'Marquez boomaye!', getting less coherent as the night wears on.

3) Katsidis – my preferred option. As an Aussie, I'd like to see Katsidis in a huge fight, if only for his ring-walk (I bet Kev Mitchell still s__ts the bed when he thinks about that in his sleep). This has fight of the year written all over it. We saw how Diaz got to Marquez in their first fight through relentless pressure, it's not as if Katsidis would have to make any drastic tactical changes on that score. Given JMM's age, this'd be a real pick 'em. If this fight happened, prediction-wise I'd be torn on either Marquez by stoppage in the middle rounds (with one of those sweet left uppercuts), or Katsidis by stoppage in the championship rounds. This is based solely on the fact that I thought JMM was extremely impressive for the first 10 rounds last night, but seemed to fade in the last couple of sessions.

Would be interested to get your thoughts. — Jamie, Pompey

I agree with your opinions on each of Marquez’s three main options.

To recap quickly: Pac is a welterweight; JMM isn’t, so that’s a bad idea for the lightweight champ. Khan’s too big, too quick and stylewise the Brit’s all wrong for Marquez. That fight could be more embarrassing for JMM than the Mayweather sham only he would get paid considerably less money and receive much less props for a gutsy showing in a loss. Katsidis might be as tailor made for Marquez as JMM is for Khan, but given the Mexican’s age and easily damaged facial tissue and the brute physical strength and momentum the Aussie has, I agree that your boy’s got a shot at dethroning the champ. One thing is for certain, it would be a hell of a fight. So, of course, that’s the option I’d like Marquez to take.


What's up Doug?
The rematch Saturday night wasn't anywhere near as exciting as the first, but I always have enjoyed watching Juan Manuel Marquez ply his craft. He throws perfect punches that all sting and they all seem to land. The replays of him landing three punch combos while Diaz was moving his head is incredible to see. It seemed like there were magnets in JMM gloves and Diaz's chin. I'm sure your friend Kirk was proud. Speaking of Mailbag friends, what ever happened to Fleetwood? I used to enjoy y'alls exchanges…

Also If Margarito has anything left, his fight with Pacquaio will be no walk in the park for Manny. Is that even that big of an if? Have you seen Margarito in the gym? How has he looked good or what have you heard? I feel like the suspension might have been just what he needed after all the tough fights he had, not to mention the brutal beatdown at Mosley's hands (which may have been just an off night for Antonio in conjunction with a great night from Mosley)… okay that's a lot of if's, but what if? I love Manny (and Freddie) and I have doubted him damn near every time he climbed in weight, but it has to end somewhere. Margarito was always a huge welter and the biggest man Manny will have ever fought. Like I said I was wrong when he fought De La Hoya, Hatton, and Cotto (I finally picked him over Clottey) but I have a feeling that if we get the Margarito of old in this fight it will show why weight classes exist. Either that or forget Pacquaio- Mayweather bring on Pacquaio-Klitschko! — Jesse in Fort Worth, TX

My gut feeling is that Margarito has begun the inevitable downward slide that every fighter eventually faces. Of course, my gut is often wrong. I’ll put it this way, I don’t think Margarito’s a spent bullet but I don’t believe he’s at the level he was before the Mosley fight and I’m not sure he ever will be. But we’ll see what happens on Nov. 13. Margarito’s trainer Robert Garcia tells me that his gym is “my house” all the time and that I’m always welcome, so I plan to drop in as often as possible during the month of October to give fans a look at how the boxing pariah is progressing in a series of Gym Notes columns.

I agree that Marquez is a joy to watch. Once upon a time (during JMM’s featherweight prime), I couldn’t say that. He was such a careful counter puncher that his fights could be downright boring (in fact, if memory serves me right, I dubbed him “Yawn” Manuel Marquez after one of his dreary 12 rounders — either the Salido or Polo fight). But as he’s gotten older and put on weight, he’s been easier for his opponents to find and more willing to take the offensive. God bless him! He’s an artist in controlled brutality, a savage surgeon! I love the way he puts his punches together. I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again for the non believers, the right uppercut-overhand right he took Terdsak Jaedaeng out with in 2006 was the sweetest two-punch combo I ever witnessed. BIP-BAM! Go to sleep you rugged bastard!

I’m positive Kirk and Darryl were proud of the Mexico City master. Neither super fan was at the Mandalay Bay, however. Hopefully, they’ll be in town for Lopez-Marquez and for JMM-Katsidis if that potential FOTY is made late in the year.

Fleetwood is still around, but I haven’t heard from him in a while. What’s up, Fleet!? The U.S. boxing scene turns its eye to your town (St. Louis) this weekend. What’s your thoughts on Devon Alexander? Give us something! Don’t tell me you’ve an MMA fan now. I couldn’t take thatÔǪ I just couldn’t.


Hey Doug how are you?
I was thoroughly entertained during all the fights of Saturday’s PPV card except for Guerrero-Casamayor. He really blew it, Doug. The last thing I remember is Guerrero surviving the final round to win a boring decision. His style wasn’t anything hot either. I don’t see this guy ever becoming a big name. I mean its a good story and everything with his wife, but as far as boxing I can say he did nothing to make me wanna see him again.

Juarez stayed true to himself. He made the fight fun but did enough to lose. I like linares' style. I don’t know if he will be a star but he definitely will be someone the hardcore fans will follow.

Danny Jacobs was looking good. I go for a piss I come back and he's out cold.

I was surprised that Diaz actually employed a different, more technical fight style. It might have beaten some other lightweights but not Marquez. He actually boxed nice and it didn’t have the all out brawl excitement of the first fight, but it made for some furious exchanges with very tense moments in between. I think he would have a better chance if he did what he did in the 1st fight. Marquez didn’t KO him this time but he didn’t have to take the punishment he did from Diaz last year.

I gotta say, I liked Jim Lampley Saturday night and how he dissed the alphabet titles involved in the Jacobs-Pirog fight (“to call this a title fight is a joke”) and catchweights. — Steve, Montreal

Lamps is the man.

I agree that the strategy Diaz employed on Saturday would have defeated many world-class lightweights. It was just not going to work vs. Marquez. If Diaz would have mixed in a little pressure and more power punches, he may have closed the right eye of Marquez a few rounds earlier and who knows what would have happened then? However, more aggression opened the door for Marquez to KO Diaz again and the college grad knew it.

Jacobs got caught clean by a very good, and very gutsy technical boxer. I thought he was ready for Pirog. I was wrong. Priog’s a lot better than he looked on Youtube. I hope we get to see his next fights on U.S. television. He’s worthy of the U.S. exposure.

I thought Guerrero fought about as well as a young, still-learning boxer fighting at his heaviest weight ever can against Casamayor. Who looks good vs. the Cuban vet? Hell, Marquez looked bad against Casa for 10 rounds. I don’t think The Ghost is going to be a major player at 140, but I think he can be a big name at 135.


Hey Doug,
Pretty interesting night of boxing put on by Golden Boy.

Linares-Juarez….this was only my second time seeing Linares and until Juarez put on one of his patented “too little, too late” rallies in the 9th round, I thought he put on a near flawless boxing exhibition. He has beautiful footwork and movement, throws crisp and quick combinations and has pretty good pop. What's your analysis of Linares and who would you like to see him matched against next? As for Juarez, what can you say? Another big fight another typical performance, he stalks and there's always the threat of him exploding with a big left hook, but more often than not, he never pulls the trigger. I'll say this much, I won't complain if Juarez keeps getting shots on premium and PPV cards, but for the love of God, can they stop matching him against slick technicians and stylists?

Guererro-Cassamayor…..I was considerably less impressed with Guererro. He has definite skillz, but he just seems to be missing something and fighting in the 140lb terrain that's littered with rising stars, well I'm just not sure he will be able to swim with the sharks.

Jacobs-Pirog…lmao, another Golden Boy prospect bites the dust!!! Seriously though, I had never heard of Pirog before this fight and I walked away very impressed. I have never been totally sold on Jacobs, but I didn't see this coming at all. This fight was pretty much billed as a coronation of sorts for Jacobs and the way Pirog just came and took him out with extreme prejudice, showing no respect for his more heavily hyped opponent was especially impressive. I look forward to seeing him again.

Marquez-Diaz….I was skeptical when I heard Diaz's ambitious plan to box with Marquez and it only took two or three rounds to realize it was a futile effort. JMM is second only to Floyd Maywether in terms of technical skill and tactical expertise and it just wasn’t realistic for him to win the fight that way. I understand they wanted to shore up his defense and leave him less open for the counters that killed him in their first fight, but he enjoyed so much of his success in the first fight from imposing his physical size and pressure on Marquez, where he repeatedly bullied him into the ropes. Wouldn't he have been better served by simply re-tooling the blueprint he tried to set originally, instead of trying to engage the best technician south of 147lbs in a tactical fight? Not sure where Diaz goes from here, as for Marquez I really hope he doesn't get matched against Amir Khan, though I'm guessing he'll most likely move up for the paper $$$..

Golden Boy should be commended for putting together a good card for the fans, sure a couple of the fights were let downs but at least they tried to make compelling fights.

That being said, what the hell is Mosley-Mora doing on PPV? — Tom G.

Good question, Tom. My guess is that HBO wasn’t interested in buying Mosley-Mora for Championship Boxing. However, the fighters want to fight each other and GBP believes that they can put on an attractive enough card in L.A.’s Staples Center to sell between 15,000-20,000 tickets (and they might given the $20-$200 prices) and to move at least 150,000 PPV buys, which would pay the fighters’ purses and make a little profit. Time will tell if the gamble pays off.

I didn’t think the undercard GBP put on Saturday was anything near the monster four-bout PPV cards Don King used to promote in the 1990s, but it featured quality matchups and I agree that the promotional company should be commended for at least trying.

I agree with your take on Marquez-Diaz II. I don’t know where Diaz goes from Saturday. He can still beat a lot of lightweight contenders but what’s the point unless he’s making really good money? And who’s out there at 135 pounds who could make for a big fight with Diaz? Katsidis is going for JMM, so he’s out. I can’t think of anyone. Diaz would just be a stepping stone at 140 pounds and he knows it. If he continues fighting, I won’t criticize him, but I hope he retires while he’s on top of his game and sharp mentally.

Khan better not pick on Marquez, not if he wants respect from hardcore fans.

Jacobs is more of an Al Haymon prospect than a GBP prospect, but he was “developed” (I use that term loosely) on GBP undercards. The young man from Brooklyn still has a bright future, but Pirog’s future is now. Hopefully he can help stir up the stagnant 160-pound division. I like his attitude even more than his technique.

Guerrero’s missing consistency in his style and his punch output and I believe that’s due to his inconsistent activity. Once he gets back to fighting on a regular basis I think the pieces will fall into place. I believe he can be a force at lightweight and I’d love to see him take on the likes of the Anthony Peterson-Brandon Rios winner and Urbano Antillon.

My take on Linares is that he’s the truth in terms of technique and natural ability, but he’s not physically durable or powerful enough to be a force at lightweight. I think he can make noise at 130 pounds and I’d like to see him get a revenge victory over JC Salgado, a title-regaining fight with Takashi Uchiyama, and then match his considerable talent and skills vs. the take-no-prisoners attitude of beltholder Rocky Martinez. Hopefully, it won’t be long before Linares has some high-profile opponents who step up from the featherweight division, such as Chris John, Yuriokis Gamboa, JuanMa Lopez and Celestino Caballero.

I agree with your take on Juarez. I’m happy to watch him fight again on TV as long as he’s in with an aggressive come-forward type fighter (Gamboa, Martinez, Lopez, or Rafa Marquez).


Mr. Fischer:
I'd like to caution against commentators criticizing (or making excuses for) Danny Jacobs or his management for his preparation, performance, and development leading to a loss in his first major fight. I was too quick to call out Victor Ortiz when the same happened (though I continue to think that he will need to adopt a more clinical mentality to advance). I hate to compare anything to MMA, but only in boxing do we obsess about past performances and those 'L's on the record. It is cliche, but true, that there is no learning experience like an 'L'. I think Bredeis Prescott did more for Amir Khan's career than any other name on his record. Jorge Linares might well feel the same way. Maybe Paul Williams, too. I'm sick of protected, padded records used to oversell fighters. I look forward to the time when these guys (Ortiz, Jacobs, Linares, Khan, etc.) are dominating the game, without the distraction of trying to keep that '0' on their record, with commentators talking about who they haven't lost to rather than who they've beat. Let's live in the present.

And let's hope that Pirog is managed like he fights by trying to clean out the division, instead of retreating with the belt back to Russia or Europe and racking up a bunch of wins against less-than-stellar competition. Unless he leaves with the express purpose of dragging Felix Sturm out of hiding and putting that belt back into play. — Matthew

Very well stated, Matt. I agree 100 percent. There are a few key edges that MMA has over boxing and the main one (IMO) is the way the “other” combat sport views losing.

It’s silly to write Jacobs off. He’s 23 years old. It wasn’t his time yet. Pirog is 30. It was his time. My guess is that Jacobs will be back in the title picture before he’s 25 and I bet anyone that he’ll be ready for his shot by then.


On TV, it appeared that the referee was trying to prevent Jacobs from getting up, even though it appeared Jacobs wanted to continue. They didn't really make much of it during the broadcast, so I was wondering what it looked like from ringside. Was Byrd actually holding Jacobs down during the count, or had he already waived the fight off?

Secondly, is Pirog ready for a true world title challenge at 160 lbs, or is he still really a prospect himself at this point?

He has pretty good head and upper body movement for a European fighter. Do you think this is something we'll see more of from eastern Europeans in the future, or is Pirog something of an anomaly? — gopal rao

From ringside it looked like Jacobs was knocked silly for a few seconds and tried to get up once he realized Byrd waved the bout off. The ringside press was split on whether or not he did this on instinct or if he was really OK enough to get up after the knockdown but didn’t want to and tried to save face by acting like he was upset over the ref stopping the fight. I’m of the opinion that he was simply KTFO by the better man on that night. (Hey, why complicate things?)

I don’t know if Pirog is ready for the likes of Sergio Martinez or Felix Sturm. His title-winning effort came against a bona fide prospect. It’s hard to call him a prospect because he’s 30. I think he showed that he’s a contender vs. Jacobs, but I’m sure if he’s just inside the top 10 or if he’s a top three or five-level 160 pounder. Only time and better opponents will tell us the truth about him.