Dougie’s Monday mailbag
Is it just me, or does every weekend in November have a fight for free that's gonna be better than Manny Pacquiao vs. Antonio Margarito? Why dish out fifty bucks to see Margarito get destroyed when Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams and Carl Froch-Arthur Abraham are both free? Not to mention JuanMa Lopez-Rafael Marquez. How do you think the Pacquiao-Margarito PPV will do in terms of sales? — Danny
I think the Nov. 13 HBO Pay-Per-View will do very well, and I don’t say that because I think Pacquiao-Margarito is a better fight on paper than the November bouts you mentioned. The only fight on a regular HBO or Showtime broadcast in November that I’m certain won’t outdo Pac-Margz in terms of entertainment is the Andre Ward-Andre Dirrell matchup (Showtime, Nov. 27).
However, unlike the other high-profile bouts scheduled in November, Pacquiao-Margarito taps into two separate loyal national followings: Mexico and the Philippines. (Lopez-Marquez taps into two strong national followings — Puerto Rico and Mexico — but on a much smaller level. JuanMa is still emerging as a Puerto Rican star, and Rafa has never been a huge draw.) Pacquiao is in his prime as both a fighter and an attraction. Margarito was on the cusp of becoming the Mexican hero following his Miguel Cotto victory and leading into the Shane Mosley fight (as evidenced by the 21,000 that packed Staples Center to witness that showdown). Their “peoples” are going to be backing them up on Nov. 13.
That’s why Bob Arum is confident that he and Jerry Jones can at least get 70,000 fans into Cowboys Stadium for this fight. The hundreds of thousands of Mexican and Filipino fight fans in the continental U.S. that won’t be able to travel Arlington, Texas will be more than willing to pony up $50-$70 to watch the fight live on pay per view. Also, the controversy surrounding the fight due to Margarito’s handwrap scandal will spur mainstream media coverage (in the form of condemnation) and fuel strong story lines in HBO’s 24/7 series, which will likely create casual fan interest in the bout.
That’s my opinion, anyway. To be truthful, I haven’t thought much about Pacquiao-Margarito (although the closer we get to the fight the more competitive I think it might be). I’m like you, Danny, I’m just a hardcore fan. I don’t follow the sport to root for the guy who shares my nationality or ethnicity, I just want to see a good fight. That’s why I’m excited about November, the month that reminds the world that boxing is a major international sport.
In the spirit of the recent Top Five lists we’ve been doing in the mailbags, I'll list the five fights I’m anticipating the most in November:
1. Martinez-Williams II (HBO World Championship Boxing, Nov. 20)
2. Juan Manuel Marquez-Michael Katsidis (HBO WCB, Nov. 27)
3. Froch-Abraham (Showtime Championship Boxing, Nov. 27)
4. Pacquiao-Margarito (HBO PPV, Nov. 13)
5. Lopez-Marquez (Showtime CB, Nov. 6)
Honorable mention: Zab Judah-Lucas Matthysse (HBO Boxing After Dark, Nov. 6), Ward-Dirrell (SHO CB, Nov. 27), Guillermo Rigondeaux-Ricardo Cordoba (HBO PPV, Nov. 13 – Pacquiao-Margarito undercard), Mike Jones-Jesus Soto Karass (Pacquiao-Margarito undercard), and Kelly Pavlik-Brian Vera (Pacquiao-Margarito undercard).
(And by the way, folks, I haven’t forgotten about presenting a mailbag made up entirely — or primarily — of reader Top Five requests. I thought I’d do it for this past Friday’s mailbag and this one, but I received so many emails on the Mosley-Mora scoring debate, the Super Six re-scheduling, Angelo Dundee’s Best I’ve Trained feature, and the recent publishing of my and RingTV.com co-editor Michael Rosenthal’s pound-for-pound lists that I went with the standard format. But rest assured, the Top Five mailbags are coming.)
DUNDEE & THE GREATEST
Thanks for the great article on Angelo Dundee. I can still hear him urging Ray Leonard with “You’re blowing it son!” before the Sugar Man's dramatic rally against Tommy Hearns. Their 1981 Super-fight was my introduction to the sweet science and I can’t think of a better prize fight to sharpen my teeth over. The degree of skill, courage and versatility both fighters displayed that night was breathtaking. Leonard was disarming with his million-dollar smile and flash, but the guy was most determined competitor I've ever seen in the ring and he would cut your balls off to win. It was amazing enough that you had the quartet of Leonard, Hearns, Duran, Benitez and Hagler all fighting within 10 lbs of each other, but we actually got to see them fight each other. (What a novel idea, right?) LOL… these guys were f___ing fearless. They all thought they were the greatest and didn't hesitate to match their skills against their fellow superstars. During an era that boasted several other superstars, Sugar Ray stood the tallest. Seriously, close your eyes and try to picture Floyd Mayweather braving through Hearns's right hand or Leonard prancing around cautiously like Oscar De La Hoya did in the late rounds of his 12 round snooze fest against Felix Trinidad. More so than any other fighter I have been lucky enough to see, Leonard fought in the moment. The spotlight was his time to shine and good luck if you dared to try to push him out of it. There was nothing he couldn't do in the ring and he was a master psychologist, just ask Marvin Hagler.
A quick question about Muhammad Ali, where would you place him on your own personal all time pound for pound list? Sugar Ray Robinson is considered to be the best fighter of all time, but could a legitimate argument be made that had Ali not lost three and a half years of his career — his prime years at that — he would have challenged Robinson's place in history? Just a thought. — Tom G.
We’ll never know how great the prime version of Ali that should have fought from 1967 to 1970 could have been. I think he would have literally been untouchable as well as a dangerous offensive force. However, I’m not sure that had Ali been able to fight during those years he’d have done enough to challenge the revered place in boxing history that Robinson earned with the 200 professional bouts he fought in. Three things to keep in mind when measuring these two ring titans in a pound-for-pound sense: Robinson’s activity, their quality of opposition and Sugar Ray’s ability to KO world-class (future hall of famers) with one punch. I gotta give the nod to Robinson based on those factors.
Even if Ali’s license had not been yanked I don’t imagine that he would have fought more than 10 to 15 times in that time span. Let’s say he could fit 15 bouts in the remainder of 1967 to the first part of 1970. His total would still be way under 100 bouts (76 to be exact). And who would Ali have fought during that time period? He basically cleaned out the heavyweight division from 1964 to early ’67. It took his arch-rival Joe Frazier until at least early 1970 to develop into a fearsome pressure fighting force. They still would have made for a great fight, but would Ali have received as much credit for turning back the stern challenge of Frazier as the defending champ (as I believe he would have) as he did dropping a classic decision as The People’s Champ returning from exile? It’s just my opinion but I don’t think Ali would have received much due for beating a young challenger version of Frazier. Don’t forget, Frazier had tough fights with Oscar Bonavena on his way up the heavyweight ladder. Heck, Buster Mathis was competitive with Frazier until Smokin’ Joe’s pressure and killer hook caught up with the big man in the 11th round in their 1968 bout. Ali’s other rivals, George Foreman and Ken Norton, were raw prospects in 1968 and ’69. So my guess is that Ali would have fought a lot of no-hopers apart from FrazierÔÇª and he probably would have taken most of those ham-and-eggers the distance. He just couldn’t crack like Robinson (who scored 108 career knockouts). Ali’s late 1960s title reign may have looked a lot like Roy Jones Jr.’s light heavyweight reign — obvious awesome talent wasted on chumps in uneventful fights.
I think Ali is arguably the best heavyweight ever but I don’t have him in my all-time pound-for-pound top 10.
Leonard, on the other hand, always receives that consideration from me, despite only engaging in 40 pro bouts. Why? For the very reasons you so eloquently stated in your email. He was blessed to have great talent and lucky enough to come along during a period when worthy adversaries campaigned at or near his weigh classes — and God Bless him — he took advantage of the opportunity.
I could make some sort of a comparison with Floyd Mayweather Jr. but why disrespect Leonard’s legacy by putting those two in the same sentence?
I’m glad you enjoyed the Best I’ve Trained article on Dundee. Michael Rosenthal and I are looking forward to interviewing Emanuel Steward, Amilcar Brusa, Joe Goossen, Tommy Brooks, Ken Adams, Nacho Beristain, Ronnie Shields and others for this semi-regular feature in the near future.
Lovin’ that article on Angelo. Looking forward to hearing what other great trainers thought of their fighters. Also have you heard anything about Freddie Roach's new book? I'm looking forward to that as well. Thanks Doug. — Sam
I’m glad you liked the Dundee article, Sam. I had a blast talking to Dundee, and believe me, the legendary trainer is a talker. We were on the phone for an hour and a half and only about 40 minutes of the conversation was about the best fighters he trained and the re-opening of the 5th Street Gym. Dundee’s got a thousand stories and I heard around 10 of ’em during our interview. He talked about his early days in the sport, when he was happy to carry the water bucket into corners worked by the top old-time trainers (Ray Arcel, Chickie Ferrara, Freddie Brown and others) in New York in the mid-to-late 1940s, as well as his early trips to Cuba when he followed his older brother Chris to the Miami area. He talked about training underrated Cubans of the 1950s and ’60s such as Luis Rodriguez (a favorite of mine) and Florentino Fernandez and about forgotten contenders such Bobby Dykes, who trained at the 5th Street Gym. He told me how he met his wife, Helen, who he married in 1952 and adores to this day. He told me about Ali’s love of veteran fighters and all “boxing people” and how close The Greatest was to Cus D’Amato and Ray Robinson’s circle of family and friends. And he said one of the most satisfying training jobs he ever did was with a heavyweight journeyman from Chicago named Johnny Holman.
I could have listened to Dundee talk for five hours straight.
I think the book on Freddie Roach you referenced is The Wild Card: Hard-Fought Lessons from a Life in the Ring. It might be out now. If not, it will be soon. Check Amazon.com. All I know about it is that it was co-written with Peter Nelson, who is an excellent writer/journalist. So knowing that and knowing how honest and open Freddie is, I’m fairly certain the book is going to be an excellent read.
Slow weekend, perfect occasion for a couple of quick questions:
1- Finally we got dates for Stage 3 of the Super Six (I understand why they still do the Stage but let’s be honest, it’s a bit ridiculous), so where would you rather be on that night, Dirrell-Ward, Abraham-Froch or Marquez-Katsidis? Personally there's not a lot of fights that would keep me away from Marquez-Katsidis.
2- Wonder if you saw the Magnificent 7 card, all and all a pretty good card. I'd like to know your take on Nathan Cleverly, I thought he was exciting and fun to watch. He's still young but he’s going to have to work on his defence before he gets to the upper echelon, otherwise it might not be a long ride
3- Regarding Martinez-Williams, despite the time that Williams will have this time to prepare (same for Martinez), I see Martinez winning. I see William as a great athlete but not a great boxer. I just think that Martinez will make more adjustments than William and be able to win a clear decision (but good fight). I thought William was losing in his last outing and didn't look to good against Cintron.
4- Since Cotto is sitting out the rest of the year and Top Rank is going forward with a ppv card on December 4th, any chance Cintron gets the date against Martiroyian?
5- Any news on the next Segura fight?
6- With the possibility of a fight between British prospects James DeGale and George Groves, can you think of the last time you saw a fight between two legit prospects where none have had more than ten fights.
7- 5 highlights of your professional career.
as always, have a good week. — simon, montr├®al
Thanks, Simon. I’ll answer in order:
1. I’d rather cover Marquez-Katsidis. I don’t even have to think about it. Those two lightweights are two of my favorite fighters and favorite people that I’ve met in boxing. They come to fight and there’s no freakin’ way that lightweight championship bout won’t deliver action and drama. The Super Six fights are quality matchups but there’s a good chance that Ward-Dirrell turns out to be a safety first chess match and there's a strong possibility that Froch-Abraham develops into an ugly, mauling affair.
2. I have not seen the Magnificent 7 card. (I know, shame on me.) A friend of mine made me a DVD of the card but the past two weeks have been very busy and I just haven’t had an uninterrupted three-and-half hours to spare in order to view it. However, I wasn’t surprised to learn that Cleverly took care of business against a fellow RING-rated contender (Karo Murat). I’ve stated repeatedly in past mailbags that I believe Welshman has world-title potential. I’ve said it before and I’ll state it once more: one day — probably sooner rather than later — Cleverly and one of my favorite prospects, Ismayl Sillakh, will face-off in a world title bout and they will make for a hell of fight.
3. I’m expecting another good fight from Williams and Martinez but I’m also leaning towards the middleweight champ from Argentina. Funny how everyone assumes that Williams is such a “great athlete.” I think Martinez is a better pure athlete than Williams. He’s faster, more explosive and better coordinated. Williams is just a freakishly tall workhorse in my opinion. I don’t mean that as an insult, either. It’s a compliment. He’s got mad heart, he trains his ass off and he gives 100% when he’s in the trenches. That hard-working attitude and his height and reach are what make him special.
4. There’s very little chance of Cotto-Cintron happening this year. Arum’s Dec. 4 PPV will be a “Latin Fury” headlined by Chavez Jr. vs. Alfonzo Gomez. Humberto Soto and Nonito Donaire will probably be on the card.
5. No news on Segura’s next bout, but I do know that Giovani had a tough time making 108 pounds. In fact, he was 10 pounds over less than a week from the Calderon fight. Unless it’s an immediate rematch with Calderon my guess is that Segura’s next fight will be a non-title bout at 112 or even 115 pounds.
6. The only high-profile fight between ballyhooed prospects who each had 10 pro bouts or less that comes to mind is a heavyweight showdown between 1992 U.S. Olympian Danell Nicholson (10-0) and amateur KO king Jeremy Williams (8-0). They fought in May of 1993 and the fight (believe it or not) was broadcast live on network TV. Williams blasted Nicholson in two rounds, in case you were wondering.
7. Top five highlights of my career (I wouldn’t say it’s been all that professional, LOL): 1. Co-founding Houseofboxing.com with Gary Randall in 1997. 2. Selling HOB to Marc Robert’s Worldwide Entertainment & Sports company for around half a million and splitting the $100,000 that we were paid upon signing with Randall. 3. Co-founding MaxBoxing.com with Randall, Steve Kim and Thomas Gerbasi. 4. Being part of the Edwin Valero-headlined “Lightweight Lightening” pay-per-view broadcast with Barry Tompkins and Bernard Hopkins. 5. Being part of the Hopkins-Roy Jones Jr. HBO-distributed PPV broadcast with Joe Tessitore and Sugar Ray Leonard.
(Honorable mention: joining The Ring staff as co-editor of RingTV.com, getting a credential for my first “major” fight in Las Vegas – the 1998 bout between Mike Tyson and Frans Botha at MGM, seeing my first articles published in The Ring – a 1995 short piece on local club promoter Peter Broudy bringing boxing back to The Olympic and a 1997 feature on Shane Mosley, getting the Fight Night Club commentating gig, and being interviewed for my first HBO Countdown show, Countdown to Barrera-Marquez in early 2007.)
DAMN, DAMN, DAMN!
In the words of Florida Evans from Good Times, that's what I thought when I watched the replay of Mosley-Mora!
I watched the fight last week in a movie theater (first time experience and not bad at all) with a group of friends with snacks and non-alcoholic libations flowing. I didn't score the fight but watching and listening to the HBO team, I felt that Mosley won the fight by 2-3 rounds. Although I didn't think it was a Chavez-Whitaker robbery like Lamps thought it was, I left the theater feeling that it was a bad draw nonetheless… I felt Mosley got jobbed.
I read your mailbag Monday and Friday and shook my head in disagreement as I just did not see the fight you saw, brother. I thought that Mora was ineffective in backing up, was switching from righty to lefty for no reason and not engaging.
Then I saw the replay… wife and kids were out, HBO Latino meant I wouldn't be influenced by the commentary and it was just me and a pen and pad. I had it 116-112 for Mora. I felt he showed more ring generalship, landed the cleaner, easier to score shots and his backward movement allowed him to control the pace of the fight. Mosley I thought, was moving forward but was lacking effective aggression. His feints looked more like seizures and standing straight up with no bend in his knees didn't allow him to cut off the ring effectively.
Man I did a complete 180 from last week! Anyway, you and I don't always agree and I wouldn't have it any other way bro, but you were right (not that you're trying to bring anybody over to your side, just helping them understand your side) and a heck of a lot of us (including Dave Schwartz) were wrong. Peace. — Carlos in Sac
Hey, if Dave Schwartz scored the fight for Mosley, Sugar Shane probably deserved the decision. LOL.
Don’t feel bad about changing your opinion of who won the fight after watching the replay. I’ve done that more than a few times. I thought Erik Morales edged Zahir Rahim watching it live at Staples but when I watched the HBO broadcast I believe I had the Z-man winning eight rounds. I thought the official scores in the Felix Sturm-Oscar De Le Hoya fight were fine the first time I watched the fight (at Dave’s after at least three beers, and I didn’t bother scoring the fight). When I watched it at home (alone, and scoring it round by round on a piece of paper) I had it 116-112 for the “Sturminator.” I thought Ricardo Mayorga beat Vernon Forrest by a 115-113 tally while covering the fight live, but I scored it 116-112 for the late “Viper” when I watched the replay on TV. I can go on and on and onÔÇª Some fights are like that. Who knows? Perhaps if I watch a replay of Mosley-Mora, I’ll see the fight you saw the first time around.
Anyway, it’s nice to hear that you saw a different fight (the one I saw live) the second time around. Not that I was questioning my scorecard, because, honestly, I would be fine if I was the only person on the planet who thought Mora won.
LAST WORD ON MOSLEY-MORA
I was just reading your Friday mailbag, good stuff. Thought it was interesting. I read an article a couple days ago about HBO's call of the fight and it mentioned a couple of the same fights you did and how Lampley called those fights… Spinks-Taylor and Hopkins-Taylor.
Anyway, don't know if you saw that same article, but it really laid out the way Lampley and those guys were biased in the fight. Heres a link.
I thought Lampley in particular was really disrespectful to Mora and they need to get some new blood calling the fights there.
Anyway, keep up the great work. — Chang
I’ll try, Chang. Just to be clear, though, I don’t think anybody who scored Mosley-Mora for Mosley (or anyone who can’t fathom Mora winning) is wrong.
Although I thought both Spinks and Hopkins (in the first bout) won eight rounds vs. Taylor, many boxing writers and insiders that I respect scored those fights for Taylor.
I haven’t seen the HBO PPV broadcast of Mosley-Mora but I know from talking with a lot of my hardcore boxing friends that Lampley and Merchant were voicing what a lot of people were thinking and feeling while watching that fight. These friends of mine were more impressed with Mosley’s workrate and fighting spirit than what Mora was doing, they were frustrated by Mora (who rubs most of them the wrong way to begin with), and they wanted the 39-year-old veteran who has given so much to the sport to knockout the punchless ring general. So for those folks — diehard fans who buy most PPV cards and frequently pay to see live boxing — Larry and Jim were simply telling it like it was. That’s what most sports fans want from TV commentators.
THE P4P RATINGS
Hey Mike and Dougie, remember i gave you (Mike) s__t a while back for rating Arthur Abraham`s accomplishments ahead of Vitali and Wladimir`s? Wow do i look smart now. I'm just forewarning you about your next big klitschko blunder. Actually I'll give you more than one.
First Tim bradley in P4P top ten? ok here we go again, Bradley has beaten (rounds lost by bradley in brackets), Abregu (3), Peterson (1), Campbell (0), Holt (3/4 and knocked down twice), Cherry (1) and Witter (5), with no KO's.
Same for wlad: Peter (0 and got ko), Chambers (0 and KO) Chagaev (0 and KO), Rahamn (0 and KO) Thompson (0 and KO) Ibragimov (0) brewster (0 and KO) Austin (0 and KO)… get the pattern yet? ill go back further, Brock (2 and KO), Byrd (0 and KO) Peter (3 and 2 knockdowns).
I think right now, you could put Bradley where wlad was after the ray austin win. But the thing is I don't think bradley has the potential to clean out the division or knockout ANYBODY at the top of the fight game. Wlad did and does.
Bradley is Arthur Abraham with no power. When he faces an Andre Dirrell (Khan and i Hate amir khan) of his division, he'll get the s__t boxed out of him just like Abraham did.
My next point: Andre Ward is good, but not tested enough. get back to me after the dirrell fight, you might be right, but hes not better than wlad right now. difference is wlad ko's his opponents andre doesn't but i agree, hes equally dominant.
On to JuanMa Lopez, a top rank fraud. He gets knocked down by Bernabe Conception and gets the ko, wins 7/7 from steven leuvano and gets ko. Loses 5 rounds against a non top 25 or maybe top 50 in his division guy and almost gets knocked out (Mtagwa). Mtagwa showed what he's made of against Gamboa. Good win against way past his prime gerry penalosa. His other wins, Oliver Lontchi, Medina, Figeuroa are total nobodies. Nice KO against ponce de leon.
This list is a current pound for pound list though, not a projected list in the next 2 years if all goes according to what you think will happen in those two years.
In two years, im comfortable betting wlad will be on the p4p list, however i would not bet a cent on Bradley. Ward and JuanMa have not accomplished enough to be there.
they've done more than marquez and are better than marquez right now as well? give me a break. If youre looking for prospects, I'll take a 1-0 luis valero over tim bradley for 5 years down the line.
Dougie, Adamek really? other than that, i agree with everything on your list. should say unbeaten and largely unchallenged in 11 bouts. — Matt
Adamek has one loss, a decision to Chad Dawson. He was clearly weight-drained in that bout and he still managed to put Dawson on his ass. Since then he’s knocked out former crusierweight champ O’Neil Bell, beat the RING’s No. 1-rated cruiserweight, Steve Cunningham, in a fight of the year candidate for the championship, which he defended against then-undefeated prospect Jonathan Banks, who is currently unbeaten at heavyweight, and then he jumps to the heavyweight division where he soundly outworks and outboxes a legit top-10 contender in Chris Arreola. I think the Pride of Poland has paid mad dues and deserves more respect than he gets from most American fans (and media).
Other than that, I agree with you that Bradley and Ward have not done enough to merit a top 10 pound-for-pound ranking. Both guys have two or three solid victories over top-10 contenders in their respective divisions, and that’s it. Compare what they have done in their weight classes with the track record of a guy like Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. He made 17 alphabet title defenses, defeated a dozen contenders and former/future beltholders, and won THE RING title against a top-rated young undefeated Koki Kameda. There really isn’t any comparison. If Wonjongkam was an American welterweight most U.S. boxing writers would be comparing him to the likes of Kid Gavilan and Henry ArmstrongÔÇª
Anyway, I think Bradley and Ward are very talented and promising. If Bradley fights Devon Alexander and wins, I might bump Tomasz Adamek for the Palm Springs native. Ward might also get consideration if he beats Dirrell (it depends on how he beats his good buddy). There are others who are on the cusp of my top 10. Former bantie beltholder Hozumi Hasegawa could get back in if he wins his up-coming featherweight title bout. Chad Dawson could get back in if he beats Jean Pascal in impressive fashion whenever they fight their mandatory rematch. If Pascal beats and dominates B-Hop in December, he’ll receive some consideration. The winner of Showtime’s four-man bantamweight tournament will probably break into my top 10. I wish Nonito Donaire were fighting Fernando Montiel. If he were to win that fantastic matchup I’d probably give him the same ranking he currently has in the magazine.