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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

30
Aug

FIGHTS THIS PAST WEEKEND

I can't believe I just wasted an evening waiting for the James Toney-Randy Couture fight. While the outcome was inevitable, I still got that sinking feeling in my gut the second the fight went to the mat. I have to hand it to Couture though. He took it all in stride, and showed class in the post fight interview.

After that debacle, I found an online stream of the Marcos Maidana-DeMarcus Corley, which was already in the seventh round at that point. It seemed like a decent scrap, although it looked to me like Maidana was wearing “Chop Chop” down with his relentless aggression. Still, Corley was landing clean shots to the head late in the fight. It appeared that the Spanish TV crew had it scored even, although I admit that I was distracted, and the stream was pretty choppy.

I hear that Giovani Segura put a good beating on Ivan Calderon too.

Your thoughts? — Gopal Rao

Thanks for writing, Gopal. I’ll give you my thoughts in the order that you gave me yours:

It was sad seeing Toney wiped out in the manner in which Couture bested him on Saturday night, but I’m not going to say that I wasted my time watching it. I had awaited the matchup with keen anticipation for weeks (ever since I visited Toney in camp) and I was excited about watching it with friends of mine who follow both boxing and MMA closely.

Everybody in the room was a James Toney fan or had been at some point. I was the only person in the room, however, who thought Toney could beat Couture. I was wrong and it was a disappointing fight in terms of its competitive and entertainment value. But I still give the Fatman credit for lasting as long as he did in a choke hold (he’s a tough S.O.B.) and for taking on a card-carrying MMA badass like Couture in his MMA debut. Toney rolled the dice and he crapped out (crap being the operative word because that’s what he looked like). But Couture was classy in victory (as he always is) and Toney was gracious in defeat (as he seldom is). I think it’s safe to say that Randy humbled the future boxing hall of famer.

As for the UFC 118 pay-per-view broadcast, I actually enjoyed the prelim fight between Nate Diaz and Marcus Davis.

I didn’t get into the other fights (including the main event, which featured one of the few MMA fighters I’m familiar with, BJ Penn), but it was a new experience watching an MMA event on the big screen at my friend’s place. The big screen (which is really a projected image on the wall) is usually reserved for boxing, while MMA is watched on computer screens in another room. On this Saturday the boxing (Calderon-Segura and Lundy-Lother) was on the computers.

My friend has satellite TV, and one of the networks he gets is the Argentinean channel that broadcasts most of the big fights that take place in South America, so we did the same thing you did by tuning into Maidana-Corley immediately after the Couture-Toney fight ended.

From what I saw, Maidana was in a tough fight with the faded veteran. He scored a knockdown, was the aggressor and he was obviously the harder puncher, so I’m guessing that was the difference in the fight. I haven’t seen the bout in its entirety so I can’t say if “Chop Chop” was robbed, but I’m comfortable in stating that Saturday’s version of Maidana would not beat Tim Bradley, Amir Khan, Devon Alexander or Victor Ortiz in a rematch.

You heard right about Segura-Calderon and if you didn’t see that 108-pound showdown you missed a damn good fight. The “old man” was eventually overwhelmed but he didn’t go down without a fight.

MORE SEGURA

Hell of a fight. Too bad Calderon doesn't have more power, because he could've done some real damage and made it even more interesting, but at the end, Segura was too strong and too young. At least Calderon tried has hard as he could and man what about the 4th and especially 6th round.

How fun would it be if Segura was on the Pacman undercard? I am aware that it’s hard for little guys to become stars, but I told everybody I knew to watch this fight (which oddly enough wasn't on PPV here) and trust me, everybody wants to see him again, so Bob give him more exposure.

Giovanni Segura, he's raw, wild, all over the place and man is he fun.

Regarding James Toney and boxers going into MMA here are my thoughts ……………………………………………………………………………. hope it’s clear enough (and I’m not an MMA hater).

As always Doug, have a good week. — Simon, Montr├®al

If Calderon had power Saturday’s junior flyweight championship would have been a Fight of the Year candidate because Segura would have hit the deck at least once and would have been repeatedly rocked. Of course, if Calderon had power he probably wouldn’t have bothered to develop into the ultra-slick ring general he is. As much as I (and most fans) love a banger, boxing needs its sweet scientists like Calderon to add a little art and civility that balances the sport out.

I don’t mind a pure boxer as long as he shows some balls every now and then, and that’s what Calderon did in rounds four and six. The fourth round reminded fans that he can be an action fighter when he wants and the sixth showed everyone that he has the heart of a champion. That was an impressive comeback round after he took a hardcore beating in the fifth.

Don’t hold your breath for Arum to wake up and recognize Segura. He could have made for 108-pound unification series years ago involving the likes of Calderon, Segura, Viloria, Solis, Sosa and Nino but he never lifted a finger. Segura is THE RING/WBA/WBO champ today because Calderon’s Puerto Rico-based management/promoters PR Best Promotions made Saturday’s fight. Fans should give Peter and Ivan Rivera their due props for making a risky fight with one of their champions (and a reliable revenue-generator on the island).

Hopefully, Fernando Beltran, who pretty much runs “Top Rank-Mexico”, will seek out all-Mexican showdowns between Segura and Solis or Sosa or Nino. My guess is that TV Azteca would garner great ratings with those fights. My two wish-list fights for Segura is a RING championship clash with flyweight champ Pongsaklek Wongjongkam and a junior bantamweight battle with Hugo Cazares.

I echo your thoughts on boxers in MMA, and I’m not an MMA hater, either.

FAREWELL IRON BOY

Doug,
Age and youth caught up and beat Calderon Saturday night!!! 35 in a lower weight class? He lasted long enough as a champ! Kudos to him and his dedication! He was the purest boxer Puerto Rico has ever had. That being said, Segura is a monster!!! What a puncher that kid is!!! He will be a champ for a while!

One more thing… all those MMA fanatics calling MMA superior to boxing are idiots! They are two entirely different sports. What if Couture would put on some gloves??? It would have been as bad of a beating or worse the other way around!!! How about a double battle??? Two fights! One MMA fight, and after that a 10 rounder? Haven't written to you since you were at HOB and I was stationed in Germany! Now I am back in the states, going to Iraq in November! Keep up the good work! — SSG Moran

I remember your emails “Sarge.” Good to hear from you after all these years (10, if you’re counting).

Anyone beating his chest over Couture’s victory over James Toney is begging to be ignored. I haven’t received a single email from anyone claiming that MMA is superior to boxing based on Toney’s UFC debut. I’m sure if I visited enough message boards I could find thousands of goof-ball opinions, which is precisely why I stay away from such internet forums. I watched Couture-Toney with a number of MMA fans but they all happen to be educated dudes who also follow boxing so I didn’t hear any “MMA beats boxing” nonsense after the fight.

Anyway, onto a competitive fight, Calderon-Segura. That fight exceeded my expectations in terms of excitement.

You are absolutely right to give Calderon his props for beating on top of two weight classes (105- and 108-pound divisions) for as long as he was; 35 years of age for a sub-flyweight is like 45 for the heavier weight classes. And Segura is indeed a monster. I think he’ll be a champ for a long time but not necessarily at 108 pounds. He might jump to flyweight or even junior bantamweight in his next bout because he’s been struggling to make junior flyweight for some time now.

FNC

Mr. Fischer,
I hope all is well. Today, my daughter (our first) is five weeks old, and has been sleeping enough to give me a chance to email you.

Several points:

1. Congratulations to Segura. Not only did he win The Ring Title, he will forever be known as the first guy to defeat a “Iron Boy” — a legend in his own right. I was a little disappointed when I read that Capetillo is training Segura.

2. I have to comment on Fight Night Club. The fights and commentary were good, but the production is a little off. When I was watching the fights on Saturday, my wife asked me how old were the fights — from the dark and dull picture the fights looked old. Also I really wish I could watch them live on TV (I know it’s live on the RingTV.com). Last year there was an energy to FNC that seems to be missing this year, partly due to it not airing live. Lastly, I not a sartorialist, but it would definitely help your cause if you wore a tailored jacket.

3. I am boycotting the upcoming fight in Dallas, and I will look to group with other hardcore fans to do the same online.

Best. — Jaime, South City

Thanks for writing, Jaime. I know how sleep deprived you must be. I’ll answer your comments in the order they were presented:

1) The thing to keep in mind about Segura is that he really honors being regarded the champ. Being another belt holder was not enough for him. He also appreciates facing and beating a Puerto Rican legend in Calderon, who happens to be one of the main fighters he watched as a fan when he first began boxing. Regarding Javier Capetillo’s involvement in his career, it is what it is. The Mexican media, community and the Mota family (Richard and Arturo — Segura’s managers) are willing to give Capetillo a second chance that most American fans and media are not. Eric Raskin’s column this week delves into this issue (and I happen to one of his sources for the story). Check it out.

2) Here’s something you have to remember whenever you watch a Fight Night Club broadcast: it’s a club show with a club show budget. It’s not just called Fight Night Club just because it takes place in Club Nokia. Golden Boy Promotions has brought in enough sponsors (DeWalt, McDonald’s, etc.) to underwrite the live internet broadcast (it’s also webcast live on ustream.com) so that fans don’t have to shell out any money to watch, but they don’t receive a substantial license fee from Fox Sports (if anything). However, that’s not the key purpose of the show. The No. 1 mission of the series is to build local fanbases for Southern California talent as the young boxers are developed as pros. The No. 2 goal is to establish a popular monthly club series in the greater L.A. area (and GBP is accomplishing this part of their mission because the shows are well attended and appreciated by local fans). Unfortunately, the production value of the telecast comes in a distant third. The show is run on a skeleton production staff, which is limited as far as lighting, sound, etc., because of the very cramped setting. There simply isn’t the money, time or space to provide the kind of lighting, extra cameras and crew members that produce the boxing shows you watch on HBO, ESPN2, and Showtime. Sorry to be long-winded. Regarding my jacket, if I had my way, I wouldn’t wear one at all. (Hey, it’s supposed to be a night club environment, right?) The problem with the jacket (and shirt) I wore last Thursday is that the color was too light for TV. I think it looked pretty nice live and in person, but I’m, of course, biased.

3) Boycotting Pacquiao-Margarito is certainly your right as a fan if you feel Margarito doesn’t deserve a shot at one the sport’s biggest stars or the money that comes with it (or if you feel he should be out of the sport completely). Saving your money and encouraging other likeminded fans to do the same is the best way you can express your displeasure to Margarito, Arum, Jones, Pacquiao, HBO, the WBC and whoever else is involved in the promotion.

WHEN FIGHTERS PLATEAU

Hello Dougie,
This is my second time writing and I wanted to discuss the recent fights with Chad Dawson and Ivan Calderon. Both are obviously very skilled boxers and both had stiff challenges in Pascal and Segura. Now before these fights, Dawson and Calderon were on 2 year stinkers. Dawson was stuck fighting Johnson and Tarver, while Calderon was stuck with Mayol and Iribe. During that time, it's almost like Dawson and Calderon plateaued and sunk to that level of competition. Then when it came time to fight a younger man, they were both blitzed.

My question is, what causes a fighter to drop off like that? I don't think it's an 'up' factor because Calderon/Segura had the PR/MEX rivalry and Dawson was stoked for Canada. What is it about those 2 year stinkers that sort of brought Dawson and Calderon down? (Not taking anything away from Pascal and Segura, of course.) — BazookaJab

I agree that Dawson’s performance against Pascal may have suffered because of his four consecutive bouts against Tarver and Johnson — older veterans who lacked the Haitian-Canadian’s athletic ability — but also think his relative inactivity (only fighting twice for two years straight had something to do with his lackadaisical approach.

As for Calderon, I just think he got old and Segura did his part to hasten that “aging process” on Saturday.

TONEY OVER CALDERON?

Hey Dougie,
I was a little disappointed to see the results of the Toney fight get top billing on the RingTV homepage when over the same weekend the impossible finally happened, Ivan Calderon got stopped. I know Toney's side-show had more buzz, but a fighter with as much class inside the ring as Calderon shouldn't be overshadowed by a beached James Toney. The smaller man was much bigger news, at least in terms of significance to boxing history, than the fat man's fall.

Also, the score isn't “MMA 1 boxing 0″ÔǪ check Anderson Silva's boxing record out. The Sugar Ray Robinson of MMA came over to boxing when he was still young and near his physical peak, and got stopped in 2 by a South American journeyman half his size. I think that puts boxing well out in front, no matter how many over the hill Ray Mercers and James Toneys roll their way into a choke hold. — Todd

Both co-editor Michael Rosenthal and I would have preferred Calderon-Segura to have what we call the “mantle” area of the homepage Saturday night and all day Sunday but we didn’t have any photos from the fight to post with my story on the bout. The photo service we subscribe to — Fightwireimages.com, which does a great job with the fight cards they cover — didn’t cover the Calderon-Segura bout, which wasn’t put on by Segura’s promoter, Top Rank, so that meant we couldn’t count on the always excellent shots of veteran photographer Chris Farina (Top Rank’s staff photo man). Getty Images didn’t even cover the fight, so we couldn’t buy anything from that top-notch agency.

I’ll take full responsibility for getting caught with our pants down on Saturday night. I assumed that somebody was going to be there who would send Michael or I at least one or two shots of the fight after it was done. As I am with many things, I was wrong. Had I known (or thought to check) ahead of time that Fightwire and Getty did not plan to send anyone to the fight I would have contacted somebody with PR Best Boxing to arrange for the promoter of the bout to send Michael and/or I some post-fight pics.

Having said that, we didn’t think that it was out of line to have Couture-Toney in the mantle space. James Toney has been one of the sport’s most accomplished and better-known participants for close to 20 years. His crossover to MMA (on a major PPV card of the UFC, the world’s biggest MMA promotional company) was a big story. The piece I did on Toney in camp was one of the most read stories ever on RingTV.com that wasn’t about Manny Pacquiao. And you better believe Fightwire and Getty Images were at UFC 118.

Regarding the “MMA 1 boxing 0” headline, hey, it fit, and it played on the silly ass debate that some fans of both sports just can’t seem to let go. Don’t take it literally or personally.

WHY?

Doug,
Great fight with Calderon-Segura, you summed it up pretty good in your post fight, although I thought that Calderon was basically finished after he traded with Segura in the 4th and 5th rounds (body shots all day long took away those legs).

I guess its not your decision, but why is some sad no-hoper UFC fight that lasted 3 minutes the main feature on Ringtv.com? Man, this says more about boxing than anything else. Toney didn't have a prayer. Peace. — Steve

I thought Toney had more than a prayer. Maybe he never did or maybe he did and Couture didn’t give him a chance, regardless, this was a clash of two future hall of famers in their respective sports that garnered a significant amount of attention from both MMA and boxing fans.

I had just as much anticipation for Toney’s MMA try as I did the Calderon-Segura fight and I don’t think I was the only boxing fan who was looking forward to watching both fights.

In fact, I’m fairly certain that more self-defined hardcore boxing fans watched UFC 118 (because of Toney’s involvement) than Calderon-Segura, which isn’t to say that Couture-Toney deserved top billing over the junior flyweight championship, it just turned out that way because of our photo snafu.

MMA ON A BOXING SITE

hey doug,
i have nothing against mma. im not one of the old school bitter boxing fans who thinks boxing isnt what it used to be and thinks its falling apart. boxing isnt going anywhere. there are great fights, there are controversial fights, there are boring fights and fighters. i try to think positively and focus on what we have in front of us.

however, this morning im a little disgruntled because last night there was a legitimate championship fight between the top two fighters in a division that pitted the classic boxer vs puncher. it was an entertaining match. it was a significant fight. no it wasn't pacquiao mayweather but it was the biggest fight of the weekend. a fight worth discussing. yet when i log onto ringtv.com. theres coverage of an mma fight. i understand that james toney's involvement peaks our interest, but its still an mma fight, not boxing. so why is it the top story on a boxing site. i came here hoping thered be coverage on this weekends boxing action, instead i see mma.

for those who are bitter boxing fans that hate mma on principle, not actual disinterest in the sport, this is another nail on the coffin. mma is not a fad. its great for what it is. i respect it. i respect the athletes. respect the way dana white runs ufc. but at this point im not a fan. i watch the nfl. i like football. but i dont watch rugby just because its similar. i dont log onto nfl.com to read about rugby, even if brett favre decided to step in there for a day. — robert ortiz

OK, OK, folks, we get it. No more MMA coverage on RingTV.com.

For the record, I wrote one pre-fight story on James Toney preparing for his MMA debut. That was ONE Gym Notes column one month ago. We linked to a Yahoo! Sports column for the Couture-Toney result because we felt that the boxer involved in the MMA was a friggin’ legend. SORRY. It wasn’t meant to be the lead story Saturday night and it certainly wasn’t meant to be a slap in the face of boxing or true-blue fans of the sport.

It’s not like we gave up on boxing for the weekend. I wrote a post-fight story on Calderon-Segura. I didn’t write s__t about Couture-Toney even though I watched the fight.

Guys, please, don’t fret. Don’t get disgruntled, bitter, or bummed out. (And to those boxing fans who are clinically depressed — and I have a feeling that more than a few of you are — go out and get some damn medication!) It won’t happen again. The novelty of a high-profile boxing legend vs. MMA legend is gone.

HE DID IT TO HIMSELF

Couture mauled Toney like a pit bull on a f___ing poodle!

In case you didn’t see it yet, here is the link. Just what I expected, Toney to get fucked up. Came in fat, out of shape, unprepared, got choked out. The dude squandered his career, now he has to turn to this to make a living. The dude could have been the legitimate champion and made millions at heavyweight, but he did it to himself! — JB

I saw it. Toney was fat (so what else is new?) but I don’t believe that he was out of shape or unprepared. If he was, he wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds.

TOP FIVE CHINS

Dougie,
Just a quick one. Top 5 chins you have witnessed.

(PS. God bless Ivan Calderon. Legend!) — Choppa B, Sydney Australia

Calderon has my respect.

Top five chins I’ve witnessed (I’m assuming you mean the top 5 fighter’s who could take a shot that I’ve covered):

James Toney, Bernard Hopkins, Evander Holyfield, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Shane Mosley.

MARCOS MAIDANA

Dear Doug,
I'm surprised (from what I've read) how much he struggled with Corley, who hasn't looked good in years. Do you think he was looking past Corley to a potential Khan fight? Take care. — Patrick

I don’t think Maidana was looking past Corley. I just think he had trouble with Corley’s footwork and the veteran (who has a lot of top-notch experience to draw upon) was in shape and motivated for this fight.

TOP 5 FUN

Hey Doug,
I'm thoroughly enjoying the A-Z list and finding it extremely hard to decide who deserves to be ranked number 1. I can only imagine how hard you guys must be finding it to agree!

On the subject of top 5's I was curious as to your opinion on the following:

1) Your Top 5 most fun to watch in the sport today?: Pacquiao is fun but his fights carry an air of inevitability that takes away from the excitement for me (it's not his fault, he's just too good!), Carl Froch's career has been a joy to follow (The Dirrell fight aside…) and, as much as he frustrates me, Chris Arreola's great fun in and out of the ring (I think he could be so much better). You've also got to love someone who takes as many punches as Librado Andrade.

And,

2) Your Top 5 all time best knockouts: I can't decide on mine but Walcott-Charles 3 and Marciano-Walcott 1surely ranks Jersey Joe as the man who won and lost his title in the most spectacular fashion. One I almost feel bad watching is Ray Mercer against Tommy Morrison, that one is brutal as is the more recent Paquiao-Hatton KO. Rocky Marciano's against Rex Layne is another, and poor old Zab Judah doing the funky chicken against Kostya Tzyu will always have a special place in my heart!

You'll probably be inundated with these lists, as always it will be good to hear your thoughts. — Ewan, Scotland

Thanks for the kind words on the A-Z feature. All props belongs to Rosenthal. It was his idea and he’s the guy who’s doing all the research and writing. I’m enjoying it as much as you are.

My top five favorite fighters to watch (in particular order) has to include newly crowned junior flyweight champ Giovani Segura, Alfredo Angulo, Miguel Cotto, and the Marquez brothers. (Honorable mention: Paul Williams, Vic Darchinyan, Sergio Martinez, Yonnhy Perez and Abner Mares.)

My all-time favorite five knockouts: Ray Robinson over Gene Fullmer, Joe Louis over Billy Conn (first fight), Archie Moore over Yvonne Durrell (first fight), Marvin Hagler over Thomas Hearns, and Michael Carbajal over Humberto Gonzalez (I still get goose bumps when I watch the end of this fight on tape of DVD).

(The five all-time knockouts I’ve seen live: Diego Corrales over Jose Luis Castillo, Antonio Tarver over Roy Jones Jr., Manny Pacquiao over Ricky Hatton, Samuel Peter over Jeremy Williams, and Calvin Brock over Zuri Lawrence.)

Doug Fischer can be contacted at [email protected]

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