Dougie’s Friday mailbag
GAMBOA LEADS CUBAN PACK
What’s good Dougie?
I’ll tell you what’s good. It’s the fights coming on this weekend. We got my favorite HW Wladdy Klitschko getting ready to put on another brilliant technical performance against the heavy fisted “Nigerian Nightmare,” Samuel Peter.
Now as a Cuban-American I can’t tell you how proud I am to see my countrymen doing as good as they are. Lara, Jhonson, Solis, Rigondeoux and this weekend we have Yuriorkis Gamboa, who is in a pretty tough fight against Orlando Salido. They are giving all Cuban-Americans something to cheer about. However, as happy as I am to see them keep winning I do realize it has been against light competition. I wonder how they would fare against greater competition like Gamboa vs. JuanMa Lopez or Celestino Caballero, Lara vs Alfredo Angulo or Miguel Cotto, or Rigondeoux vs Kratinngaeym. These are the fights I wanna see in 2011.
Gamboa’s match-up this weekend is against a tough opponent. Not very many people know of Salido but he is a tough hombre. But I have faith in Gamboa to get a KO victory and lead the Cubans into the next stage of competition and that’s fighting for alphabet titles. Peace! — Roland
Well, Gamboa’s already got an alphabet belt. If he wins tomorrow night he’ll have two featherweight belts so he’ll definitely be leading his countrymen in that regard. I think he’ll deliver but I don’t see a KO victory, I think Salido — who can be dangerous — takes him the distance.
I consider Gamboa even money versus Lopez and Caballero for whatever that opinion is worth. Honestly, I don’t care who wins those fights, I just want to see them happen — and soon! I also want to see Gamboa fight the winner of Daniel Ponce-DeLeon-Antonio Escalante.
As for his countrymen, I think Rigondeaux is the most advanced. I believe the slippery little southpaw puncher is ready for any of the 122-pound titleholders. I don’t see anyone beating him at junior featherweight. Hopefully, he’ll be in with the best of his division by early 2011 and we’ll find out. I agree that Lara is not ready for Angulo or Cotto right now, but give the crafty southpaw another year to develop and gel with new trainer Ronnie Shields and I think he might give either veteran hell.
I think the other Cubans you mentioned will develop into a bona fide top-10 contenders over the next 12 to 18 months, but I’m not sure if world titles are in their future. We’ll see.
You’re boy Wladdy should get it done against Peter, probably by late stoppage. I’m just hoping for a few dramatic moments.
THANKS FOR THE PETERSON ARTICLE
Hey Mr. Fischer,
It's been a while since I last wrote. A new job and toddler duties have kept me busy. So let's get started as boxing season is back!
Thanks for that article on Anthony Peterson. I had heard he was going to fight Soto for a belt, which would have been an easier go than Rios. No offense to Soto, but he looked pedestrian against the ghost of David Diaz. Their fight was so boring that my guests paid more attention to my wife's Jersey Housewives gossip than the fight. Credit where it's due, my wife's got charisma, but when people come over for a fight and spend more time talking about the housewives of New Jersey than watching the sweet science on PPV, that's a boring fight… Anyway, here's hoping this turns into a solid match up and that Anthony finally gets his shot at a title. DC hasn't had a TV aired championship match in years (Maybe 2005 when Ali's daughter fought on a Mike Tyson undercard?) so it'd be nice to have at least one belt in town.
Regarding Roman Martinez' loss, whenever a guy who gets knocked down in the first round wins a fight it makes me wonder if there was hometown scoring involved. Did you see the fight? What's your take? Roman seems to have accepted the loss so it was probably legit.
Cotto’s bout against Chavez Jr. should prove interesting. Both guys seem to like to bring the fight, but I think Angels's got Junior's number.
I'm glad to see Celestino Caballero's got a fight coming up, but when will Paul Williams fight? Them cats have serious talent and it's a shame they never seem to be on TV. Same with Sergio Martinez. Someone should clone Celestino Caballero so he can be on TV every weekend. That man can fight!
Juanma's going to have a fun barn burner with Marquez, though I fear a bit for Marquez's health. He's taken a beating over the last few years and don't think the Izzy Vazquez bout was proof that he can hang with the new generation of bombers. The guys I want to see Juanma fight are Caballero and Little Tyson Gamboa.
Super Six turned into Super 5 and should be Super 4. The remaining top four guys should just treat these matches as the semis and get on with it. Kessler now can fight Bute or Steiglitz and the winner can take on the Super 4 champ.
Finally, some love is due to Wladimir Klitschko. He and his brother have taken on pretty much everyone who has stepped up but we don't want to see him beat up Sam Peter again. Will David Haye PLEASE get off his high horse and fight the world champ already? If not Wladimir, then Hayemaker and the Polish Granite Chin need to duke it out. Seriously, no more fights against leftovers and has-beens please!
If this makes the cut, feel free to edit as needed. I didn't plan to write you a book this morning but with this schedule it's hard not to get a little overexcited.
As always, thanks for your time. Sincerely. — Enrique Fern├índez Roberts, Washington, DC
I’m also excited about boxing’s fall and winter schedule, especially Showtime’s four-man bantamweight tournament semifinals on Dec. 11 (Darchinyan-Mares and Perez-Agbeko II). I’ll be shocked if at least one of those bouts isn’t a Fight of the Year candidate.
Speaking of fights of the year, I have seen Martinez-Burns (in six parts on YouTube.com) and I thought the scorecards were accurate of what transpired in the ring. Martinez had his moments but he was outboxed and out hustled by the busy, sharp-punching Scotsman. Burns doesn’t have the biggest punch and he’s not that hard to find, but he’s got a nice jab, a deadly accurate right uppercut, and a mean left hook to the body. He’s almost as fun to watch as Martinez.
I don’t know what to think about Cotto-Chavez. Cotto has a decided edge in skill and experience but if Chavez can make 154 pounds (big if) he’ll absolutely dwarf the Puerto Rican star.
It’s nice to see Caballero with a scheduled fight on an HBO broadcast (the co-feature to the Marquez-Katsidis showdown). I hope his opponent isn’t really Matt Remillard (as BoxRec lists). The New England-area prospect is talented but he isn’t ready for the likes of Caballero. As for Williams and Martinez, they’re supposed to be fighting each other in November (at least that’s what HBO wants) but getting Williams (whose brain trust wants him fighting at weights under middleweight) to sign the dotted line hasn’t been easy. If that excellent fight can be made the somewhat lost year of 2010 can be salvaged to a degree.
Don’t count Marquez out against Lopez. The budding Puerto Rican star isn’t reminding anyone of Marvin Hagler in the chin department. He can be hurt and taken out by a seasoned sharp shooter like Rafa.
I believe Showtime’s Super Six tournament will advance to the semifinal round. The network just has to work out the details with all the participating promoters and find some kind of consolation prize for Allan Green. Perhaps they can give him a date against a light heavyweight standout such as Beibut Shumenov, Chris Henry, or Nathan Cleverly.
It’s nice to see so much respect for Wladimir Klitschko from American fans. I think he deserves it. Haye, on the other hand, deserves all the criticism he’s getting for talking non-stop s___ and not backing it up. I don’t care to discuss Haye until he’s signed to fight either Klitschko brother, Adamek, Alexander Povetkin or Eddie Chambers. Even the Russian giant is more deserving than Harrison (who I happen to like, by the way).
I also happen to like Lamont Peterson and Brandon Rios. Peterson is as serious as boxers come, and like his brother Lamont, he has the heart to back his sharp mind and technique. Rios is like a combination of the class clown and the school bully. He’s goof with balls (I guess that makes him a goof ball, but the kid can fight and he doesn’t mind a little blood). I’m expecting a quality prize fight from these two young lightweights. For Rios to be effective, he’s going to have to back Peterson to the ropes and get to the Washington D.C. native’s body. Peterson told me that he’s going to go to Rios’ body first, and I believe him. If he can do that — and keep a constant jab in Brandon’s face — he’ll take some of the fight out of the Mexican-American warrior. It’s going to be a good one. I like Peterson by close unanimous decision.
I'm sure you're sick of the Mayweather UStream saga so I'll keep this brief. I've read your comments to the Monday Mailbag and think you're spot on with the stand against racism. It's never acceptable – simple as. And anyone who thinks it makes boxing more interesting doesn't really understand boxing! Keep up the good work. — Miraz Triggs, UK
Thanks. (And thank you for keeping it brief!)
Great Monday mailbag as always. I'm biracial as well, so I definitely understand exactly where you are coming from. But on to PBF, man, f___ that dude. I don't know why people pay so much attention to him. He is a boxer, that is it. Who gives a da__ about his opinion? What he was doing was talking $___ the same $___ you hear in barbershops, poolhalls, night clubs, etc. That is why I go to none.
Yes, he was just having “fun”. That is ignorant $___. The kind of stuff I have no time for. I have not watched the video, even though every webpage has links to it. I already know what it is, a bunch of ignorant $___. As Manny said, “an uneducated message”. Did Floyd mean it as racist? Probably not, he disrespected Shane Mosley just as bad, I think, saying, among other things… he would get him a job holding his feet while he did situps… I'm sure he talked beans and rice with De La Hoya and really disrespected him as well. This, I think is the “ghetto-ese” Richard Schafer was so offended by! I can't blame him for not understanding, speaking or being embarrassed by association with it. — JB
You’re absolutely right that the s___ Mayweather was talking was straight out of barber shops, pool halls and night clubs, but 90 percent of the time in those environments the people talking stupid s__ about race and ethnicity are of the same race and/or ethnicity (I should also mention they’re usually at the same educational/intellectual level). If Mayweather made those same statements on some exclusive chat room or message boards with like-minded individuals there probably would not have been as much of an uproar, but he was dumb enough to say what he said on Ustream.
WHO CARES? LET'S TALK BOXING!
I first want to tell you I really enjoy reading your mailbags. Especially when I'm at work. It's very enjoyable and entertaining to read about other people's thoughts/opinions as well as yours.
Now on to what I want to email you about. I always enjoy reading the different questions/answers in your mailbag, the Weekend Review by Michael Rosenthal, the many different articles from Ringtv.com and the articles from Yahoo! Sports. But for the last week, all I have been reading about is Mayweather's video. To be honest, I don't give a rat's ass about Mayweather's video or even what he said. Yes he is boxer/celebrity who shouldn't be doing something like that, but who cares what he does? He's not stepping in the ring anytime soon, so let's move on to all the other great fighters/match ups that WILL be stepping into the ring soon and let's talk about them!
Everybody's getting all fired up about the Mayweather video with non-stop articles, forums, blogs, etc. and I just don't care! Let's talk about some boxing! Like this week's fight, Gamboa/Salido, or how about what's going on in the Super Six now that Kessler is out. And I cannot wait till the Froch/Abraham fight in which I believe that Froch is going to beat Abraham in what could be a fight with fireworks! Ward/Dirrell, Mares/Darchinyan, Bradley/Alexander, Maidana/Khan, Lopez/Marquez all sounds great! There are SOOOO many great fighters who are probably at the gym right now as I'm typing this putting in their work to prepare for their upcoming fights. Those are the guys that we should be talking about that deserves the front page headlines. Let's talk about them!
With all these great match-ups coming up. Which fights are you looking forward to the most? — Andrew
I agree with you, Andrew. There are good fights scheduled in the remaining four months of the year and that’s we should be talking about. I’ll try to limit the Mayweather content unless it’s somehow fight related.
I’m looking forward to Peterson-Rios, DeLeon-Escalante, Abraham-Froch, Lopez-Marquez, Marquez-Katsidis, Darchinyan-Mares and Perez-Agbeko II.
TOP 5 OVER-40 PERFORMANCES
What would rate as the top five performances, be they in victory or defeat, of fighters over the age of forty? — John
Off the top of my head (seriously — I don’t have time to research this stuff):
Archie Moore’s brave stand against Rocky Marciano (KO by 9 after being dropped five times) and his up-from-the-canvas (four times) victory over Yvon Durelle, George Foreman's heavyweight title regaining KO of Michael Moorer, Larry Homes’ unanimous decision over Ray Mercer, and Bernard Hopkins’ decision victory over Kelly Pavlik.
FEARLESS, F___ING FUNNY FISCHER
I now look forward to your mail bags as much for your boxing insight as your humor. You have had some gems in the 2 years I’ve been reading your material. You’re funniest when you’re angry and your fearlessness adds a nice edge to your humor. To many to mention, but a good example is when you said Javier Capetillo is “borderline retarded”. Fearless and f__king funny.
I wondered the exact same thing (as I’m sure many did) regarding what Mayweather and company would think if Pacquiao spewed similar comments. It was brilliant to actually write “what if” Pacquiao comments to emphasize the point, plus it was fearless and f___king funny.
However, your most fearless and f___king funniest to date is, “She’s texting me again! What’s her problem!? She acts like I’m just sitting on my ass waiting for her orders.” That’s when you became “the man”.
You were Rickles, Pryor, Tyson and Pacquiao all rolled into one with that comment because you put it in your mail bag baby, for all to see. Either that or you’re as stupid as Mayweather!
I get it Doug, that you could only get away with that because you’re in a good place with your wife, although since I work from my home office 90% of the time, it did strike a nerve.
I’m going to grow me some Fischer balls and not delete this email after I send it.
OK, now for my Top 5 request. Rank the top 5 fighters that you project 5 years from now. You know what, take it out to top 10 to do the list some justice.
On a side note, I see real skills and continued growth potential in Victor Ortiz (I’m just saying). Keep up the good work Doug. — Rick, Valencia, California
I think Ortiz has a bright future as well, although he’ll be facing a dangerous man next Saturday. Harris has the speed, power and accuracy to hurt Ortiz in the early rounds of their fight. I believe the young man will deal with the veteran’s heat and come on strong over the second half of the bout but I won’t be surprised at all if both fighters hit the deck more than once in this matchup.
Thanks for the kudos on the sometimes un-PC humor. I try not to force it or purposely inject something that I think is funny into every response but if the opportunity is there to write something humorous I’ll go for it. I’m glad you appreciate it.
By the way, I am in a pretty good place with my wife but I also know that she doesn’t regularly read my mailbags. (I’m not that bold.)
I’m not sure I understand your top five request? Are you asking me to list who I think the top 5-10 fighters in the world will be five years from now? That’s a tough one. Here ya go (not necessarily in order): Andre Ward, Nonito Donaire, Amir Khan, Tim Bradley, Abner Mares, Juan Manuel Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Koki Kameda, Devon Alexander, and Anthony Peterson.
THE STATE OF HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING
First time emailing in but I have just read the official announcement of Harrison v Haye. Even though we knew it was coming it angered me seeing it in the news over here.
I was at the bill when Harrison fought George Arias last year and it was debatable that he even won that fight against a Brazillian Journeyman who apparently had four days to prepare that for that fight.
I would much rather see young Brits such as Chisora or Sexton (or even Tyson Fury) fight for the title – at least they are on the up and are not an embarrassment to all the Legends that have won the Olympic Heavyweight title over the years. What are your thoughts on the fight? Is Haye milking it for all he is worth?
On a more positive note I am heading to a great bill over here in Birmingham on the 18th September with some great UK stars on show. Just wondered what your thoughts are on Nathan Cleverly and Kell Brook? Do you think they have the potential to be superstars?
Loving the A-Z series on the greats but any chance doing one on post-war fighters? I appreciate the legends of the game however some of the letters are a little predictable – whereas post-war they may not be so.
Finally just wondering your top five current British boxers (excluding Froch, Khan and Haye). Keep up the good work. — Joe UK
Haye is definitely milking his heavyweight title, but he still better not underestimate Harrison, who can be a dangerous sharp shooter when he’s focused and motivated.
I’m looking forward to watching Tyson Fury on Showtime’s tape-delay ShoBox broadcast tonight.
I think Cleverly and Brook definitely have the potential to be stars in the UK and I expect both men to win major title belts in the next two-to-three years. I hope they come over and fight the best of the U.S. when they hit their peaks.
I think the next on-going historical feature on RingTV.com will spotlight best fighters from every country. It won’t be limited to post-World War II era fighters, but I think that’s a good idea for a future series.
I listed my top five British boxers (defined as prize fighters born in England, Scotland or Wales) in Monday’s mailbag. Here it is again: Ken Buchanan, Lennox Lewis, Nigel Benn, Randy Turpin and Naseem Hamed. (Honorable mention: Jimmy Wilde, Joe Calzaghe, Chris Eubank, Ricky Hatton and John Conteh.)
As you might imagine not everyone agrees with my top five lists.
HAMED OVER CLAZAGHE?
I was wondering if you could explain your reasoning behind that one. Not the pick I would have made but I would like to hear the argument, if you have the time. — Ronnie
Certainly. While I think you can make a strong argument for Calzaghe being rated above Hamed, I gave the former featherweight champ the edge because I thought he faced a slightly higher caliber of opposition and he challenged himself more, in my opinion. Calzaghe’s super middleweight reign was brilliant but he played it a little safe, which slightly tarnishes his legacy in my eyes. It took Calzaghe nine years after winning his vacant belt to attempt to unify it by facing another titleholder (Lacy in 2006). Hamed unified featherweight belts (against Tom Johnson in early 1997) less than a year and a half after he won his first title. Ten months after beating Johnson, Hamed took the U.S. by storm by stopping once-beaten former champ Kevin Kelley in a fight of the year-type brawl. Once Hamed made his U.S. splash, he bounced between the UK and America and fought mainly quality opposition, including Wilfredo Vazquez (who held a title, but was striped of it before their fight) and Cesar Soto (who held a belt).
I give Hamed credit for taking risks during his prime. He didn’t wait until basically the end of his career to make daring moves. I give Calzaghe all the credit in the world for thrashing Lacy and outclassing Mikkel Kessler to finally unify all the 168-pound belts, but I wasn’t very impressed with his U.S. “invasion.” I know it’s great to have the names of Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins on his resume but neither fight set fans on fire.
So there you have it. Hamed was a little more ballsy during his prime than Calzaghe was, which won points with me.
Long time reader first time writer. In one of your letters you advised one writer too look for fights by Aaron Pryor and Alexis Arguello and if by magic on ESPN classics tonight they showed the second fight between the two. It was a great fight and a fight between Pryor and Pacquiao would truly be hard to call. The next step I took was to look up Pryor's pro record. I couldn't help but notice that he never had the chance to fight Leonard, Hearns or Duran how do you think he would of faired against these tree fighters. I really hope you get a chance to answer this. Thanks Doug. — Ronan Knox, Waterford, Ireland
It’s funny you think Pryor-Pacquiao would be a hard call. In a column I wrote that pitted the Filipino icon against five all-time greats, including Pryor at 140 pounds, I had “the Hawk” beating the PacMan by a razor thin split decision.
I think Leonard was too big to get down to 140 pounds and Pryor was not big enough to fight as effectively at welterweight as he did at junior welter. If he and Leonard fought it would’ve been at welterweight and I think Sugar Ray would have stopped him in the late rounds of a very good boxing match/scrap. Although Pryor owned an amateur victory over Hearns (at 125 or 132 pounds), “the Hitman” of the professional ranks would have blasted the Hawk out of the ring by the fourth or fifth round of combat. If Duran and Pryor fought at 140 pounds I think fans would have been treated to an all-time great 15-round fight. I see Duran winning a very close but unanimous decision, much like his first fight with Leonard. If they fought at welterweight, Duran wins a little bit easier.