Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Dougie’s Friday mailbag



Dear Doug,
Why the heck is this on PPV? I don't even think Michael Grant deserves the fight, but PPV? ESPN2, maybe, but PPV… NO WAY!

I guess Marquez/Diaz II was not the start of a trend of quality PPV cards.
And why is Adamek stepping down from Arreola to Grant? How about a fight with Alexander “I Don't Want To Fight Wlad” Povetkin? Or does Teddy Atlas think Alexander's not ready for Adamek, too?

Oh, for the days of Lennox Lewis, Rahman, prime Tua, Byrd… at least we had the top dogs fighting each other. Now, the two top heavies won't (and I can't blame them, obviously) fight. The other top two (Haye and Povetkin) won't get in the ring with them, and the top American (Arreola) is a porker who clearly lacks dedication. That leaves us with Shannon Briggs and Sam Peter as the latest in a long line of uninspiring challengers. Are there any heavyweight diamonds in the rough who could provide new life to this desultory division? Take care. — Patrick

Adamek is worth getting behind. He’s a seasoned pro with good ring smarts, solid technique and lots of guts. If he demolishes Grant, expect him to have one more stay-busy fight in November before going after one of the Klitschkos. This Saturday’s fight is on a small pay-per-view broadcast because HBO isn’t interested in the heavyweights beyond Arreola and Showtime seems to have given up on the division altogether. Adamek wants to stay busy and he wants to make a decent purse when he fights, that rules out premium cable (which has limited dates and is very choosey about who is featured) and basic cable (which can’t offer much money to promoters).

Povetkin is a semi-polished diamond. He’s not ready for the Klitschkos or maybe even Adamek yet. I think Atlas did the right thing by pulling him out of that mandatory title shot. The division has potential; it just needs for the top six or seven to face each other. That might happen to some degree next year. Povetkin and Adamek make for good fights (especially if they fight each other).


Hey Dougie,
Hope things are well. Thought I'd email in since I think I hear your voice on the stream of Pac-Diaz I'm watching. Even back at the Diaz fight there was a Pac-Money debate! Wow.

I've got a few different questions/comments so I'll shoot to put them in some order:

1) What's next for Bad Chad? I don't think a rematch is necessary, because even when Chad stepped it up late he still took his foot off the pedal when it mattered most. (Side note: I think this fight was more entertaining than folks gave it credit for. A fun crowd makes a big difference.)
2) When you score fights, which do you prefer: the more active fighter with the lower hit % or the less active fighter with the better %? I remember you scored the Alexander-Kotelnik fight for the latter, is that how you usually see such fights, or was Kotelnik doing something to set himself apart?
3) What do you think of Adamek-Grant this weekend? I guess it's supposed to teach him how to fight the big guys. I know Grant's tall, but does he fight tall? No point in fighting such a big guy if he's not going to use his size similar to the Brothers Klitschko (apart from keeping busy).
4) What do you think of Arreola having apparently hurt two hands, AND THEN (if my timeline is right) knocking Quezada down? I want to root for him, but he's gotta lose some weight. His heart sure as heck isn't the issue, he's a tough, tough guy.
5) Any fights in the near future you are looking forward to in particular? Perhaps a hidden gem?

Keep up the good job! — Robb

Thanks for writing in Robb. If you’re watching the international broadcast for Pacquiao-Diaz that is indeed my voice you’re listening to (along with Alan Massengale and Wallace Matthews). I hope I was making sense.

I’ll answer your questions in order:

1) I’m pretty sure Dawson’s goal is to get Pascal back in the ring ASAP. It would be nice if he fought an interim bout but I don’t think he will. It doesn’t matter if you or I think the return match is unnecessary; it’s probably the most important thing in his world right now. I think he’ll fight with a little more focus and intensity in the rematch which will make for an even better fight than the first one (which I agree was pretty good).
2) I generally score rounds for the fighter who had the higher connect percentage but those punches that connect have to be quality shots (i.e., they have to do some damage).
3) Grant usually fights tall. He just doesn’t have technique and confidence the Klitschkos possess. I think it’s an interesting matchup even though Adamek should be considered a distinct favorite. I’m curious to see how he handles Grant’s formidable reach.
4) Arreola is crazy tough. I’ll give him that. He won’t back down from a fight because his hands hurt or because his nose is broken or because he’s just not having a good night; homie lets his damn hands go, which is why I enjoy watching him fight. However, at the highest level of the sport, balls alone will not get it done. I hope he finds the character to dedicate himself more to his profession. I want to root for him.
5) I’m looking forward to Ivan Calderon-Giovani Segura (a pure boxer vs. pure puncher matchup if there ever was one) next Saturday (which should be a fun night for all-around fight fans because of the UFC event that features James Toney clashing with Randy Couture), the Anthony Peterson-Brandon Rios lightweight match on Sept. 11 (the opener for HBO’s B.A.D.), Victor Ortiz vs. Vivian Harris on Sept. 18 (I predict that both guys will hit the canvas in this one), and the Carl Froch-Arthur Abraham Super Six showdown on Oct. 2.


Hi Doug
I always enjoy reading your mailbag, and this Monday's was no exception; but I must take issue with your statement: “I do not want to see Pascal have to satisfy a mandatory vs. Zsolt Erdei. If the WBC pushes that fight, I hope he dumps the belt. I want entertaining fights, damn it!”

While I hope they let him fight Bute or Cloud first, Erdei does merit a shot, IMO. Despite the fact that he fought a long list of no-hopers during his title reign, he was the lineal (not Ring, but most purists regarded him as the lineal) champion for a long time. He was also ranked within the top 5 by The Ring throughout that period. He then moved up to Cruiserweight and beat one of the titlists there, and although Fragomeni was one of the weakest Cruiserweight belt holders, he was still a top 5 Cruiserweight, and The Ring ranked Erdei #3 at Cruiserweight before he moved back down to Light Heavyweight. For a natural Light Heavyweight to be ranked #3 at Cruiserweight is quite an achievement in Pound for Pound terms.

I agree his style hardly sets the world on fire (he's kind of a poor man's Sven Ottke), but boxing is a sport, it's not just show business. In any sport, the best need to compete against the best, to prove they're the best. Erdei, boring as his style is, awful though most of his competition has been, IS one of the best. so Pascal should fight him – although he shouldn't be pressured into doing so immediately.

Another reason that I'd like it to happen is that I believe Pascal would win convincingly, and in doing so, would finally put paid to the horrible Erdei era. Fighters like Erdei don't cope well with defeat, especially convincing defeat, and I think Pascal would retire him. — Dave

You make a good point about the Z-man. He was indeed the lineal light heavyweight champ (a title he won from Julio Gonzalez who picked it up from Darius Michalczewski). He’s undefeated in 31 bouts and he did win a major cruiserweight belt. He deserves a shot at any of the 175-pound titleholders. I just don’t want to watch a “poor man’s Sven Ottke” when excellent light heavyweight matchups can be made between Pascal, Cloud, Bute, Dawson, Shumenov and Campillo.

Also, I disagree that Pascal would beat Erdei convincingly. Just like Pascal’s style caused Dawson fits, I think Erdei’s disciplined technique would disrupt Pascal’s explosive athleticism. I don’t think that fight is a “gimme” for Pascal, and I think it could be a real stinker if Erdei throws off Pascal’s rhythm. I’d rather see Erdei get his title shot against Cloud because I know the aggressive Floridian would make the fight worth watching.


Coming from a community that says their gender is worthless and the revelation of great black fighters being punchy have taken the heart away from black fighters of this era.

The last true decade for black fighters, when they were blood and guts warriors, was the late 70's and 80's, with residues of this greatness popping up throughout the 90's.

The last great year for Black fighters was 2000, and from there on out, this younger generation has crept in, and it has gone down hill ever since.

Back in the day, Mexican fighters were considered tough, but black fighters were considered GREAT. Not anymore.

What do you think? — Dre L.

Well, as a child of the 1970s who became a hardcore boxing fan during the 1980s, I can’t deny that there are a lot less African-American ring warriors than there were 25 years ago.

Your email made me wonder when the last time two African-American fighters made for the fight of the year. I had to go all the way back to 1992 when Riddick Bowe challenged Evander Holyfield. For the record, Holyfield-Tyson I was THE RING’s fight of the year for 1996, but let’s be real, that was the beatdown of the year.

However, I should point out that John David Jackson was one half of THE RING’s fight of the year for 1994 (vs. Jorge Castro), Ivan Robinson was part of the fight of the year for 1998 (vs. Arturo Gatti), Emanuel Augustus meshed very well with Micky Ward to make the FOTY for 2001, and Diego Corrales’ first clash with Jose Luis Castillo was not only FOTY for 2005 but arguably one of the best slugfests of all time (the late Chico was half black and as a Halfrican myself I’ve gotta recognize him).

So I can’t say that “heart” has simply left all African-American fighters. I would argue that the sport has become more Latino-dominated in the last 15 to 20 years and less African Americans are being attracted to boxing than in past decades (and that includes a lot of badasses). Also, the image of successful African-Americans has changed over the years and has become that of the glitzy/celebrity business man so unfortunately we’re getting fighters with once-in-a-lifetime talent and ability who want to play it safe as Roy Jones Jr. did and Floyd Mayweather Jr. does.

Are we ever going to see the likes of a Joe Frazier or Matthew Saad Muhammad in the ring again? Probably not. However, I’ll go on record as say that some of the toughest fighters I’ve ever witnessed were African Americans (Evander Holyfield, James Toney, Chris Byrd, Bernard Hopkins and Mark Johnson come to mind). Yeah, I know these guys grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, but there are still young world-class African-American fighters who bring it. Paul Williams doesn’t back down from a fight and has been in two bona fide 12-round barnburners (vs. Antonio Margarito and Sergio Martinez). James Kirkland will probably return to his brutal ways in the ring once he gets his ass out of jail.

Tim Bradley and Lamont Peterson made for a enjoyable 12-round fight and showed as much balls as skill, IMO. Who knows? If Chad Dawson fights Tavoris Cloud, maybe the hardnosed Floridian will ignite the HBO-contract fighter’s inner fire.


Hi Doug,
How are you doing?
I liked what you said recently about the tweet wars: ┬½ Twitter is for twits! ┬╗. Thanks so much for this, I’m so tired of hearing all this nonsense about Berto tweeting this or Bradley tweeting that (in fact, I don’t know if Bradley tweets or not but that’s not the point). What a loss of time, I’m not married (and don’t have any children yet) but I guess I still have enough to do, to learn or to aspire to, that I don’t have time to lose with those twitsÔǪ

Anyways, there isn’t much action this weekend (Adamek vs Grant doesn’t really cut it for me), so I wanted to come back on last weekend. I was delighted that Pascal won but I was a also a little disappointed by the reaction many people in the US had about the fight. Nobody contested that Pascal was the victor but a good proportion of the fight writers claimed that it was just Dawson’s fault: ┬½ If Dawson had more fire ┬╗, ┬½ if Dawson threw more punches ┬╗, ┬½ if Dawson took more chances ┬╗, etc.

Dawson took a chance, he fought another titlist and went to Montreal to prove that he was the best, it didn’t work out well for him but he should still be praised for taking the risk (many big stars should do the same)! And please people, how about: Dawson didn’t have the fire or the workrate (or, or, orÔǪ) because Pascal was the first one smart enough to force Dawson to do something he’s not good at? I mean, Dawson is a defense first boxer, so what do you do with such a guy? You force him to go forward! And that’s just what Pascal did! Dawson isn’t a bad boxer, he’s a very good one, he wasn’t exposed, he just met his match.

Also, I guess Dawson had a very good 11th round but some are saying that it wasn’t such a good win for Pascal, because with one more round Dawson would have knocked him out. I’m disgusted, I’m not Uatu the Watcher either and sure Dawson was finishing strong, Pascal looked tired but Pascal’s legs were still sturdy during the whole 11th round. I may be wrong but when a boxer’s legs are still strong he’s probably not on the verge of getting KTFO.

Finally, my prediction in last Friday’s Mailbag wasn’t totally accurate (no KO) but I think my prefight analysis wasn’t too far offÔǪ”if Pascal can start the fight early, explode like he usually does, make himself smaller when getting in, hit the taller man in the body and then rough his way up to get Dawson out of his game plan; then Jean could dictate the terms of the fight.”

I’d like to go on and on about this but I think I already wrote too much, so I’ll skip the P4P issue (that you usually don’t like to talk about) and will just wish you a good week. — Arthur Billette, Quebec City, Canada

Thanks for skipping whatever you were going to write about the pound for pound. That mythical list, which is based solely on opinion, gets too much attention and I have nothing to do with THE RING’s P4P ratings.

I agree that Dawson should receive more credit for being willing to take on such a talented fighter on his home turf. Roy Jones Jr. never left the good ole US of A during his pro career and neither has Mayweather.

I also agree that Dawson simply met his match. Pascal equaled Dawson’s athletic ability and he employed a good strategy. However, I still think that Dawson could have let his hands go more.

I don’t think Pascal was out on his feet in the 11th round but I saw them stiffen up when Dawson landed that uppercut. Maybe it was only for a moment, but in boxing that’s a long-enough window to make something happen. I’m not saying that Dawson would have KO’d Pascal had he channeled the spirit of Edwin Valero at that moment but I’m not ruling out the possibility.

Good job with your prediction. In my mind it was all about “starting early” for Pascal. I didn’t think he would take chances in the first few rounds, which is why I was pretty sure that Dawson could box his way to a close decision. I was wrong. Your hunch was right.


Mr. Fischer,
So check this out: If you watch the HBO promo for their September 11 BAD broadcast, they mention that Anthony Peterson fights against Brandon Rios. When the screen flashes “Anthony Peterson” they show a picture of Lamont Peterson. Literally. The graphic flashes a picture of Lamont with the name “Anthony Peterson” in print at the same time. Can we get these guys a better publicist? Maybe a win against Rios will help folks distinguish Anthony from his brother.

Bad Chad got whupped. Pascal looks fairly sure to lose the belt in his first defense against a certified champ like Joe “Is it 420 yet” Calzaghe, Lucian “dubious win over Andrade” Bute, or I'd-better-not-make-fun-of-him-(even though that fight against Roy Jones was a ripoff)-because-Philly-isn't-far-enough-from-DC-that-he-could-drive-down-and-whup-me-in-front-of-my-wife-kids-and-neighbors-for-talking-poorly-about Bernard Hopkins.

Does this mean I won't have to watch Dawson fights on HBO anymore? Celestino Caballero, Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez badly deserve to be whupping butt on TV right now and there have been a lot of “meh” fights on HBO lately.

Sorry to stir up HBO hate, but I justify pay TV because they have boxing. Can we get some high end fights like Showtime's giving me with the Super 6 and this Juanma-Marquez nuclear showdown of the ages superfight of the year? Do I have to start watching True Blood to justify my pay subscription? sheesh… — Enrique, DC

If the only reason you subscribe to HBO is because of its boxing programming you’re wasting your money. Personally, I thoroughly enjoy “Entourage” and “The Life and Times of Tim,” so I’m happy to pay my monthly fee.

I don’t know about “True Blood.” I won’t complain about seeing Dawson on HBO again if he’s in with Pascal or Cloud (which will probably produce some true blood for real). Those figure to be good fights.

I agree that P-Will and the middleweight champ need to be featured on HBO more often. The network has tried like hell to make Martinez-Williams II and Martinez-Angulo but for whatever reason the fighters or their representatives have resisted. In other words, don’t always hate the player, hate the game.

I like Pascal’s chances vs. Calslappy, Booty and B-flop.

The Peterson brothers need more than a publicist. They need a promoter who gives a damn about them. Hopefully, Anthony Peterson makes the most of his opportunity and exposure vs. Brandon Rios. He’s got more skill, talent and experience than Bam Bam, but Rios will not be a walk in the park.