Saturday, April 01, 2023  |


Dettloff: Return of the mailbag

Fighters Network

It’s been a good three months since we last reached into the old Dettloff mailbag, so read on for your emails on Sergio Mora, Ray Oliveira, Juan Manuel Marquez, complicit journalists, sushi jokes, and more.


Boo-hoo! They told Ray Oliveira he can’t fight anymore. I thought you were a writer, not a doctor? If a specialist told him he can’t box he can’t box. He could get killed. If he fights again. Do you care about that? He can find something else to do to make a salary like the rest of us do. How do you feel if he fought against Joey and died? Don’t take yourself so seriously you jerk. — Desmond

Hi Desmond. You’re quite passionate on behalf of fighter safety, aren’t you? Try to look at it from the point of view of a fighter who’s dedicated all of his adult life to boxing and then is told one day he’s not allowed to do it anymore. For example, how would you like it if you were at work and someone came and said you weren’t allowed to empty the grease trap anymore, or work register? That wouldn’t be much fun now, would it? Thanks for writing.


Hi Bill,
Hope all is well. Thanks to HBO On Demand, I had the pleasure of seeing Marquez-Diaz II this morning. I can't think of any other fighter I would rather watch than Juan Manuel Marquez. The man is a true master, and his skills are just beautiful to watch. He's not the freakish athlete that Mayweather or Pacquiao is, but I think that's what I appreciate so much about him. His timing, technique, and intelligence are marvelous. Watching him adjust and maneuver throughout a round is one of the reasons I love this sport so much. Wow. — Matthew

Hi Matt. I couldn’t agree more. In the pantheon of the great Mexican featherweights of his era, for me Marquez used to come in third. I was always a Marco Antonio Barrera man due to his resemblance in style to Julio Cesar Chavez, in my view the greatest Mexican fighter ever. And Erik Morales was such a badass. Those two were kicking ass while Marquez was losing to Freddie Norwood. But his late work has really turned me around. I believe now that Marquez belongs right there alongside Barrera and Morales, not below them. Thanks for writing.


If you think Sergio Mora earned a draw with Mosley, you’re as crazy as he is. Lamps and Merchant were right on. Mosley won easy. — Lonnie.

Hi Lonnie. I had Mosley winning by a point but I could easily see a win for Mora. Mosley missed more punches than Lindsay Lohan does court dates. Since when is aggression and punches thrown more important than defense, ring generalship and punch quality? Mora landed the cleaner punches all night, made Mosley miss and a lot of the time outboxed him. I say good for him and bad for the entire HBO broadcast team, who had a terrible night.


Nice column, however journalists — with respect — are a huge part of the problem. It's not as if there's a ton of worthwhile interviews to get in professional boxing and the percentage, (less so in England) of literate, interested reading fans is infinitesimal in comparison to reader interest in football, basketball, etc. For just one crystalline example, Lou DiBella cites boxing’s various ills clearly — but then benefits from the system that produces them. Hear him saying Jermain Taylor lost to Hopkins, ever? Seen him overpay Malignaggi? Ever complain about a decision or a jurisdiction or a commission that saw things his way? I didn't think so. So it's up to you to call these folks: Uh, Lou, aren't you part of the problem? — Best, Allan

Hi Allan. You’re absolutely right. I haven’t talked with a promoter or manager yet who hasn’t complained about this or that inanity in boxing — bad decisions, bad ratings, bad governing bodies, bad calls, dumb rules, etc. — and yet took advantage of those same things when it benefited them to. That’s just the way it is. And the reason things will never change. Some journalists try to point that out. Others, not so much.


Mr. Detloff,
While I am not sure why Floyd Mayweather decided not to face Manny Pacquiao, I do think he should be a bit scared. Not of Pacquiao (Mayweather is a skilled enough fighter not to fear any comparably-sized man in the ring) but of his own legacy. With his ego and his entourage of ass-kissers, I am not sure Floyd really understands that, after over a decade of dominance, after multiple world titles, after defeating some of the best fighters of his day, and after risking his life in the ring over and over again and winning every time; he will best be remembered as the second-best fighter of his generation who ducked the best fighter of his generation. Because of his otherwise immaculate resume, that black mark will stick out like a sore thumb forever. When he is an old man and his mainstream celebrity has since faded, fans will still be asking him why he ducked Pacquiao. In just a few years, he will be wishing to have this opportunity back. — Drew

Hi Drew. I think you could be right about how Mayweather will feel if he and Pacquiao never fight, but I’m fairly certain they will. Some time in 2011 Pacquiao-Mayweather will happen. It has to. There’s just too much money available for everyone involved. Thanks for writing.

Mr. Dettloff,
“I don’t know what Mayweather Jr.’s reasons are for not facing Pacquiao in November, but the claim by so many who should know better that he is “scared” demonstrates yet again that even the severely learning disabled among us can become boxing writers.”

When people talk about Floyd being scared to fight Pac I think they are talking about his fear of losing rather than his fear of getting hurt. You can't blame him, if he loses he might be thought of like all those other bums with losses on their records: Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, etc. Also, his subjects of conversation would be halved, and then when he eventually goes bankrupt he'll have nothing to talk about! I think Mayweather will wait until Pac loses before making his return to boxing, then he'll say “that's why I didn't fight him.” — Colin

Hi Colin. Good point well stated. I don’t think Mayweather is scared in any way of a fight with Pacquiao. This is just a guess on my part, but I believe he refuses to be dictated to by anyone and will make the fight when he wants to. We’ll see.


Hi Bill
Did you see what Paulie Malignaggi said about Lou DiBella? I used to like the kid even though he can’t fight, but to say he wasn’t getting paid enough when he would get a million dollars for one night’s work is crazy. I’d take it! These fighters today are too greedy. Thanks. — Andy

Hi Andy. I don’t know the inner-workings of the Malignaggi-DiBella relationship, but I’ll say this: fighters have to make their money quick if they’re going to make any at all. Lou can promote fighters for the next 20 years, or until whenever he’s had enough and his head finally explodes. Paulie can only make a good living for as long as he’s fighting, and how much longer can that be? Two or three years? Also, don’t buy into this “million bucks for one night’s work” clich├®. A fighter works a lifetime to get to the point where he can make a million dollars for one fight. The great majority never come close.


I disagree w/ your views that the Mayweather flap was blown out of proportion. If anything, I am surprised it didn’t get as much hell as I thought it should.
It is evident that racial rants against certain ethnicities (i.e., Asians or even Indians) are apparently more socially acceptable than racial rants against other minority groups.
— Elwood

Why was the “sushi” comment not a big deal? What if Pacquiao made a fried chicken & watermelon comment? I bet the reaction would be different. I just don’t think that racial rants against one group should be more acceptable than those against other groups. We need to break out of this paradigm that it is OK to poke fun at Asians, but taboo if it’s against African-Americans. — Adam

This argument that we should come down hard on Mayweather because the outrage would be monumental if the slurs were aimed at black stereotypes is disingenuous, at best. First, it has nothing to do with being offended at racist slurs or racism; it has to do with the perception that blacks can get away with things that other ethic groups in America cannot. Also, it assumes I would have reacted more strongly if it were Pacquiao or someone else using slurs against Mayweather or other black athletes or figures within the same context. And that’s untrue. I would have had the same reaction no matter the target. Thanks for writing.

Some random observations from last week:

There were at least a dozen moments during the Vitali Klitschko-Shannon Briggs fight when I wouldn’t have blamed Briggs for saying to hell with it and sitting down. That he didn’t says very good things about him. On the other hand, sometimes it’s easier to fight to last the distance than it is to win.

As if Jesse Brinkley didn’t have enough going against him, Lucian Bute has become one of the game’s better body punchers and Brinkley is well known for possessing a glass stomach. It’s time for Bute to have a very big fight. Too bad all the top 168-ponders are tied up dropping out of the Super Six tournamentÔǪ

I think Antonio Tarver looked pretty good outpointing Nagy Aguilera on ShoBox, all things considered. Aguilera is no world beater, but then, besides the Klitschkos, what heavyweight is?

Dr. Robert Cantu, the neurologist who wouldn’t let Oliveira fight Joey Spina, emailed me to say that the $500 Oliveira paid when he showed up for the exam was refunded after Cantu gave him the bad news. Good for himÔǪ

Curt Menefee’s background in covering football was evident Friday night when he obsessed over Hector Muniz’s showy but relatively harmless scalp wound on ShoBox. This is what happens when you come from a sport where the appearance of a little blood gives 300-pound men anxiety attacks.

Compare Menefee’s reaction to that of broadcast partner Steve Farhood, a lifelong boxing guy who knew the blood, by itself, was nothing to worry about — even if it did at one point splash onto the lens of one of the ShoBox cameras. Which was way coolÔǪ

Muniz and Ivan “Choko” Hernandez both screwed me by not lasting the full distance against Shawn Porter and Wilfredo Vazquez, Jr., respectively. During the Quick Picks segment on the latest episode of Ring Theory, I picked both to last the full route. When they didn’t, Eric Raskin picked up two points (which he desperately needs, I should note). That both guys made it to the next-to-last round only makes it worseÔǪ

In case you missed it, Nicolai Valuev recently underwent shoulder and wrist surgery. In an unrelated story, The American Museum of Natural History in New York recently reported the disappearance of several bones belonging to the skeleton of “Daisy,” star of the museum’s Brontosaurus exhibitÔǪ

By the way, when did Wilfredo Vazquez, Sr. become “legendary?” He was very good, but his best win probably was a debatable decision over a past-his-prime Orlando Canizales in 1995. Junior’s a good little fighter on his own; let’s not exaggerate his father’s accomplishments to try to make Junior look better than he is. He doesn’t need the help. He’s doing fine on his own.

Bill Dettloff, THE RING magazine’s Senior Writer, is the co-author, along with Joe Frazier, of “Box Like the Pros.” He is currently working on a biography of Ezzard Charles. Bill can be contacted at [email protected]