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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

18
Oct

SHANNON BRIGGS' EFFORT

Hello Mr. Fischer,
Thank you for your excellent writing which I really enjoy.

I have some comments to make regarding the Vitali Klitschko vs. Shannon Briggs bout.

Even though you implied in your Friday mailbag that Mr. Briggs may cite an asthma attack as an excuse, that really did not happen. Briggs gave it all and showed an amazing ability to absorb punishment. He went the distance against Vitali who really, really tried to knock him out. Vitali would batter him with the hardest power shots in his arsenal, especially in the second half of the fight.



Briggs buckled but never fell. I was astonished how much he could take. And he made no excuses whatsoever!

After the fight he sadly collapsed during the drug testing and was rushed to an ICU where he is in critical condition. So there is no questioning the heart of this warrior!

But your prediction of the fight was correct of course. Briggs really had no chance to win. But he really tried hard, and almost got murdered in the ring for his efforts.

I see nobody anywhere that will be beating the Klitschkos. David Haye will eventually fall victim to one of them. They firmly hold the heavyweight division in their hands.

Did you see that fight, and what were your thoughts on Briggs performance?

Keep up the good work, Sir. Best regards. — Christoph Monig

I did see the fight (the replay on ESPN), Christoph, and my main thoughts on the bout were that it should have been stopped after eight or nine rounds at the latest.

I commend Briggs for the guts he showed but I have to respectfully disagree with your observations that he “gave it his all” and “really tried hard.”

Did he give his all to win the fight? Or did he really try hard to stay upright during the fight and go the full route?

I think Briggs did the latter of the two scenarios, which is why there was no reason for that bout to go 12 rounds, aside from the Brooklyn native claiming a “moral” victory by going the distance. And I shouldn’t have to tell you or anyone else that there’s nothing “moral” about a man getting his brains gradually, systematically scrambled by hard punches for 36 minutes.

Someone — Shannon’s corner, the referee, or the ringside physician — should have stopped the bout prior to the start of the 10th round. Briggs could have kept his pride as long as he wasn’t the one who pulled himself out of the bout.

True, Briggs did not play the “asthma card” in this fight, but I think that would have been better than eating all the hard rights and hooks he absorbed during the course of the fight.

The late rounds were very hard for me to watch.

I tease Shannon in the mail bags for his many excuses and non-efforts in televised fights over the years, but I sincerely like him as a person. He was instrumental in getting HouseofBoxing.com off the ground in the late 1990s, and as some know, HOB eventually gave birth to MaxBoxing.com, which was the main launch pad for my journalist/broadcasting career in the sport.

I hope and pray that Briggs isn’t permanently damaged from the punishment (cracked orbital bones, broken nose and concussion) he sustained on Saturday.

A PITIFUL DISPLAY

Hi Doug,
I just finished watching Vitali Klitschko and Shannon Briggs and was (in a word) under-whelmed. Not because of anything that Vitali did, he made the fight, but Shannon… well the less said about him the better. The guy (to quote Sonny Liston) should be locked up for impersonating a fighter.

Knowing Brigg's history, I knew his only hope (because of his notorious lack of stamina) was to come out blazing as he did when he almost KO'd Lennox Lewis and just light into Klitschko and hope to catch him cold. Instead, he just stood there and posed… and took a hell of an ass whuppin.' He never moved his head and he didn't even TRY and throw the jab with any passion or try and get the big right in to test Vitali's chin. He shouldn't even get paid for such a lack of effort.

Now nay sayers might argue that Vitali's offense prevented Briggs from doing anything but to me he just phoned it in….

Which leads me to the other heavyweight bout of the weekend featuring Antonio Tarver. Another yawn fest. Yeah, I know he injured his shoulder but really, who is there for him to fight? Can you name anyone in the division that would be an interesting opponent for him? Admittedly the heavyweight division is the weakest it has been in the last 40 years but there is no one I would be interested in seeing Tarver fight and don't really think he has anything to add to the mix.

Sadly, outside of seeing David Haye get his ass kicked, there are no real opponents for the Klitschko brothers either. Oh well, the best bouts to come the rest of the year will put the heavies on the back burner anyway.

One last thing… man the guy can fight but Vitali has one unique style (strange really). His jab comes up like he is taking something out of his pocket and he sometimes just waves it around in the air and the right comes in at awkward angles but when he connects it sounds like someone hit a heavybag with a bat. To quote a line from Enter the Dragon…. (To Jim Kelly) “Your style is unorthodox”…….”but effective.”) — David, Nashville

Your take on Briggs’ performance is harsh, David, especially in light of his hospitalization, but I was thinking the same things as I watched the bout. I wanted to see Briggs step forward with a quick jab. I wanted to see him feint a little bit and drop a hard straight right to Klitschko’s stomach, chest or chin area. I just wanted to see what would happen! If Briggs did that and was somehow caught with a perfect counter punch from Klitschko and knocked out cold, well hell, at least he tried. That would have been easier for me to stomach than what transpired.

I’m not going to say Briggs doesn’t deserve to get paid for his effort. I think he did as much as his heart, will and intellect would allow him. Briggs is what he is. He’s talented enough to have been a top-15 contender on and off for the past 15 years, to have won one of the alphabet belts (but not defend it), and to have barely defeated a 47-year-old legend (George Foreman via controversial decision) to briefly claim the “lineal” heavyweight title.

Would have been a contender during the 1970s? F__k no. He probably wouldn’t have cracked the top 15 during the 1980s. However, he’s good enough to be a factor in the heavyweight division in recent years.

We shouldn’t penalize him for not being Joe Frazier.

Having said that, I must relay this tidbit my 6-year-old daughter stated when she joined me to watch the final round of Klitschko Briggs:

“Manny Pacquiao can beat the guy with dreadlocks,” she said. “He’s such a slowpoke and he throw baby punches. The other guy is slow too, but at least he throws man punches.”

It’s hard to believe but Josephine may have the capacity to be a bigger “hater” than her old man (watch out Mayweather fans). Here’s a few of her comments as I watched the ShoBox broadcast (that I missed covering the Solo Boxeo card in Indio, Calif., on Friday) on DVR:

On Antonio Tarver: “He doesn’t even have one hair.”

On the Shawn Porter-Hector Munoz fight: “I don’t care who wins this fight. Neither guy looks that good.”

On Taver-Aguilera: “This is so boring! Why did they make this fight?”

Good question, but for the record I thought Tarver carried 220 pounds well and looked fairly sharp out-boxing Nagy Aguilera (who showed all of the intensity of an underpaid sparring partner). I also thought Porter looked good, technically speaking, at 147 pounds. Maybe welterweight is the right division for him, although he may not be as physically strong as he was at junior middleweight.

Who’s out there for Tarver to fight at heavyweight? I wouldn’t mind watching him pit his skill and ring generalship against the size and pressure of Chris Arreola or battle another small heavyweight in Tomasz Adamek.

I think the Klitschko brothers should at least have to arm wrestle to decide who gets the honor of smashing Haye into the canvas.

LUCIAN BUTE VS. ANDRE WARD

I like Andre Ward would like to see Lucian Bute vs Ward or Bute vs Anthony Dirrell but I don't think either will fight the best super middleweight in the division.

Bute puts his punches together nicely and that fight is too much of a challenge for Andre Ward. I think Ward would beat Bute on a stoppage because Ward would know to mix his attack up, and hold when needed. Ward would not let Bute get comfortable and if push comes to shove Ward will lead with his head and cause an incidental head butt. — Jackson

You mean cause an “accidental” head butt? If Ward purposely led with his head would it be an “accident”? Not in Montreal. I guarantee you the Olympic Gold medalist would get called on that infraction in Bute’s adopted home stomping grounds. I also guarantee you Dan Goossen would not take the golden goose of his promotional stable up north to fight Bute.

I think Bute vs. Ward is a fascinating matchup but talk of it is a tad premature given that Bay Area badass has a rugged customer in Sakio Bika to get past and then whomever he may face in the semifinals of the Super Six.

ADRIAN DIACONU

Hey Doug,
What are your thoughts on Adrian Diaconu? I think he wasted a lot of his talent in not training for most of his first fights. Still with the division the way it is now he has to be near the top of it. Omar Sheika looked better than I thought he would. What a chin!

I think Diaconu-Cloud would be fun and, although you might think me sadistic, Sheika vs Andrade is an instant classic. — Stephen, Montreal

You’re beyond sadistic if you want to see Sheika-Andrade, Stephen, you’re Marquis de Sade reincarnated. You probably popped a woody while watching the late rounds of Klitschko-Briggs.

Sheika does indeed have a good chin. When he was young that attribute was a “gift.” It’s a curse now that he’s way past his prime.

If Diaconu can get back into the ring within the next two or three months and string together another win or two against better opposition than Sheika I will consider him a welcome addition to the 175-pound mix. I’d love to see the Romanian pressure fighter lock horns with Tavoris Cloud or Beibut Shumenov. If can beat one of those titleholders I wouldn’t mind seeing him defend against Chad Dawson.

HEAVY THOUGHTS

Doug,
This is the best time of the year to be a sports fan, with Football and Hockey just starting and the Baseball playoffs just getting underway. Unfortunately we have another three weeks or so until Boxing picks it up (and boy what a run that's going to be), so that left us this weekend with three somewhat interesting but ultimately anti-climatic fights.

I'll start with Antonio Tarver's foray into the land of giants. As much as I loathe to watch him in the ring, I've become a huge fan of is color commentating work on Showtime and like everyone else had a nice chuckle at his declaration he was the man to beat the Klitschkos. That being said Tarver didn't look that bad-though my expectations were admittedly low. I mean would Tarver-Adamek be a complete mismatch? He doesn't carry the necessary pop to keep someone like Chris Arreola off of him and moves about as well as a cigar store Indian these days, but I don't know that he couldn't generate an upset against the Pole. Adamek reminds me of Evander Holyfield in the sense that he really hasn't shown he can dominate anyone at this weight early in his heavyweight run. Obviously Evander went on to prove his greatness, but his first few heavyweight fights were rather pedestrian and going 12rds with George Foreman and nearly getting stopped by Bert Cooper in title defenses didn't lead anyone to believe he could stand up to Mike Tyson, who everyone still regarded as the divisions ruler at the time.

Doug, how good is Lucian Bute? I understand he is doing it against lesser competition than the fighters in the Super Six, but man there is something to be said for closing out the show. He seems to understand the importance of not just looking good but spectacular every time out at this stage of his career and while I've piled on the Andre Ward bandwagon with everyone else these days — I'm beginning to have a hard time envisioning how he is going to deal with Bute's speed and power. Providing Ward gets out of the Super Six it’s an interesting match up.

To further illustrate how ludicrous the idea of Tarver fighting Vitali or Wlad is, we got to watch Big Bro administer a frightful beating to a strangely determined Shannon Briggs. The only opponent who will touch Vitali is Father Time. If it wasn't for injuries, dude would be undefeated (he was way ahead against Byrd and Lennox Lewis was about to pass out and die). He looks like some kind of retarded Frankenstein in the ring, but damn if he isn't effective and I’m always shocked at how well he moves. Briggs hasn't been useful for five years now, but would it really have mattered if it was Alexander Povetkin or anyone else in the top ten in the ring with him last Saturday? The idea of David Haye or Adamek competing on even terms with either of The Brothers Grimm is laughable to me, perhaps some form of handicapped tag team match can be arranged? I could envision Vitali slowing enough in a few years to be outflanked ala Larry Holmes (against Michael Spinks) — but where is that guy coming from? Everyone hangs to Wlad's KO losses as proof that he could lose at any time but that was over five years ago that he was stopped by Brewster and again, Lamont had to survive one of the worst beatings I have ever seen in the ring to do it. It’s boxing and anything can happen, I just don't see it happening in the heavyweight division anytime soon. — Tom G.

Me neither. Six years ago (when Wladimir had been stopped in two of his last four bouts and Vitali repeatedly pulled out of a mandatory defense against Hasim Rahman due to various training injuries) a popular message board nickname for the Klitschkos was the “Bitchkos.” Well, now The Brothers Grimm as you call them (great nickname by the way) have made the heavyweight division their bitch.

I don’t think it would have mattered if Povetkin was in with Klitschko instead of Briggs (especially given the Russian contenders admittedly unsatisfactory performance against Teke Oruh), we still would have witnessed a one-sided beat down (although I think Povetkin would have tired harder and made for a more interesting fight).

I agree that age is the only opponent that can beat Vitali, but right now the 39-year-old titleholder is kicking Father Time’s ass.

Having said that, I don’t think he’s unbeatable.

For the record, I had Klitschko leading at the time his fights with Byrd and Lewis were stopped (like everyone else), but I didn’t have him way ahead. I had him up by two points in both fights when he stayed on his stool (vs. Byrd) and was forced to stay on it (vs. Lewis, who was indeed a bit scrambled at the time of the stoppage — I remember witnessing him repeatedly stumble on his way from the ring to the dressing room after the slugfest, which took place at Staples Center).

How good is Bute? I think he’s arguably the best super middleweight in the world. I won’t say he’s the man until he’s defeated the likes of Ward, Arthur Abraham, Carl Froch and Andre Dirrell.

I think Tarver-Adamek is an interesting heavyweight fight. I’d like to see it if Adamek takes care of Vinny Maddalone next month but can’t secure a fight with either Klitschko or Haye next year. I wouldn’t mind seeing Tarver take on Arreola, either. He may not have the “pop” to seriously hurt the L.A. native but he might have the skill and ring generalship to outbox him.

Perhaps my memory is shot but I recall Holyfield’s initial foray into the heavyweight division to be extremely entertaining (despite the belief that he had no shot against Tyson). There was nothing “pedestrian” about his stoppage victories over Pinklon Thomas, Alex Stewart, Adilson Rodriguez and especially his battle-of-attrition TKO over Michael Dokes.

Holyfield was my only reason for watching Showtime in the late 1980s (along with the soft-core porn of Showtime After Dark and Super Dave Osborne’s show).

WILFREDO VAZQUEZ JR.

Hey Dougie,
Wilfredo Vazquez Junior continues to impress. What do you think is next for him? I didn’t see his father fight. He has an impressive record. How good was he?

The Anthony LaPorte Junior v Hipolito Rivera scrap was fun while it lasted. Rivera won via TKO after putting LaPorte junior down 3 times in round 3 and Rivera went down once himself in that round. It must be fun for guys who watched Vazquez and LaPorte fight to now see their sons having a crack.

The most interesting part of the Klitschko drubbing of Briggs was when the referee paused the fight to warn the corner of Briggs to stop the swearing. Is it just me or is that strange? There was one guy relentlessly punching another guy in the head. If you are watching that for entertainment I don’t think you would be offended by the odd F bomb or colourful language.

Love your work Dougie! — Choppa B, Sydney, Australia

The ref should have stopped the damn fight before warning the Briggs corner about their language. F him.

Too bad Anthony LaPorte doesn’t have his old man’s iron chin and resilience. Nobody could hurt Juan at 126 or 130 pounds and the Brooklyn-based Puerto Rican fought the best featherweights and junior lightweights of the past 30 years (Sanchez, Chavez, Nelson, and Pedroza).

Wilfredo Vazquez was a very good fighter who won titles in three weight classes (bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight), defended them all more than a few times each, but falls just short of hall of fame credentials. He doesn’t get a lot of credit because many of his title defenses were fought in Asia and Europe and aside from a somewhat faded Orlando Canizales the best fighters he beat were unknown to the general American boxing fan (such as Mexico’s Raul Perez and Venezula’s Eloy Rojas).

I don’t know what’s next for Vazquez Jr., but I’d like to see him fight younger fighters than Hernandez but with more experience than Sonsona and Bedek. A civil war with Jonathan Oquendo would be fun and a showdown with two-time belt holder Steve Molitor might be considered his first real “step-up” fight since he won a belt. If Vazquez can take care of biz against those two (and I would favor him to do so) I’d love to see him challenge one of the top featherweights.

UPSET IN THE MAKING?

What's good Dougie?
Great work last week. Those SoCal Notebooks (if I can still call them that) always deliver. If Margarito regains form the upset I think he'd pull wouldn't be much of an upset. Pac has proven me wrong before, but he can only go so high in weight before the rules that apply to everyone else, apply to Manny (I’m a big fan of both of these fighters by the way). Margarito is/was a giant of a welter and I just wonder how heavy those blows he lands, regardless of how few of them actually land, will affect Pac….

The Notes got me thinking what are your top five drop offs in where someone looked great in the gym and then turn around and had a bad fight performance on fight night? I wouldn't mind more than five as I find it a very interesting subject…. Did you get to see Mosley in camp before the Mayweather fight? I remember hearing rumors that he didn't look so great in camp, but being that the rumors went something like, “the Mayweathers hear Mosley was getting rocked in sparring” I didn't take them too seriously and liked that you picked Shane for the upset… Thanks for the shout out from Fleetwood and you, Doug in a really weird way it made my day. — Jesse in Fort Worth

Glad we could make your day, Jesse.

I did not get to see Mosley in camp before the Mayweather fight, but I heard that he was looking very good by more than one reliable source around the time that the bout was first announced. His weight was good and his spirits were high. However, about a month before the fight I heard that he wasn’t close to fighting weight any longer and that he wasn’t sparring much (and when he did he looked like crap). I wasn’t told that he was getting beat up. I was told that he had to hold back too much on the guys he sparred with (Naazim Richardson’s son Rock Allen, who was not in fighting shape and reportedly wore one of those mitt-man body suits whenever he sparred with Shane, and lightweight prospect Karl Dargan). Whatever, the case was in camp, the Mosley I thought would show up did not and he was outclassed by Mayweather. During the Mora fight I wondered if we’ll ever see the version of Shane I hoped to see fight Mayweather. I don’t think so.

I can’t really think of many “drop-off” fights. Generally speaking, the world-class fighters I’ve seen kick ass in camp have done so in the biggest fights of their careers (Pacquiao looked awesome before upsetting Barrera, Toney was on point before beating both Jirov and Holyfield, etc.) Despite what some folks say, you can tell a lot about the shape (both physical and mental) that a fighter is in by watching his sparring. Margarito looked shaky in his camp for Joshua Clottey and didn’t perform so well. He looked like dog doo doo before the Mosley fight and he was destroyed.

In fact, I’ve seen more guys look flat in gym and then kick ass in their fights than the other way around. Diego Corrales got beat up on a daily basis during his camp for the epic first fight with Jose Luis Castillo. I thought Carlos Baldomir looked awful in the gym before his upset of Zab Judah.

The only time I think I was really impressed by what I saw from a fighter in training and then saw very little of that fighter during the bout he was preparing for was Hopkins against Calzaghe. Nard was razor sharp in training but looked his age during the actual fight.

If Margarito beats Pacquiao I’ll consider it an upset (like just about everyone else) because of the incredible momentum/track record the odds favorite brought into the fight and the disparity in talent and technique. However, if Pacquiao blows Margarito out I won’t call the fight a total mismatch. I’ll give Pacquiao his due credit for beating a much bigger, very motivated former titleholder who did not appear to be shopworn in training.

Speaking of Margarito’s training I’ve read some fight scribes pooh-poohing reports that the Mexican vet is looking “awesome” and “sensational” in camp. I haven’t read the stories about the new-and-improved Super Margarito but I hope fans aren’t including my recent Gym Notes column among those reports. I didn’t claim that Margarito looked “awesome.” I said he didn’t look “shot.” There’s a significant difference.

He looked good in the 10-round sparring session I watched but I detailed how he was lit up by Mookie Pendarvis in the fourth round and was repeatedly stopped in is tracks by Austin Trout in rounds seven and eight.

Anyway, I’m also curious to see how much damage Margarito can do to Pacquiao when he connects.

FIVE ONE-SDED ELITE ASS WHOOPINGS

What's up dude? What are your five most memorable one sided ass whoopings between two guys that were thought to be at the top of their games at the time? Here are mine. 1. Mayweather-Corales. This is when The Pretty Boy still had balls! Chico was the favorite going into this fight. 2. Calzaghe-Lacy. This set a new standard for one sided ass whoopings dawg! 3. Hopkins-Trinidad. Hard Nard looked like a pimp that had just caught his ho takin a kick back from another playa. 4. Chavez-Taylor I. Yeah we all know Taylor basically put hands on Chavez for 11 and 2/3 rounds but we know who was doing all the real damage. I'm just sayin. 5. McClellan-Jackson II. Man they should have given Gerald a shovel because he dug off in Jackson's ass like a mad grave digger! Holla back! — Fleetwood

Excellent Top Five topic, Fleet, and a very good list you’ve presented.

Here’s the top five I’ve covered (that I can remember off the top of my head): 1. Mayweather-Corrales (that was Floyd at his best. I didn’t know Chico was the favorite). 2. Barrera-Hamed (Manny Steward said it best after Barrera steamrolled Jesus Salud just before the Hamed fight, “I think I picked the wrong Mexican” for Naz). 3. Calzaghe-Lacy (I’m ashamed to say that I picked Left Hook). 4. Hopkins-Trinidad (B-Hop was a 3-to-1 underdog, as Barrera was with Naz, but he shouldn’t have been). 5. Lewis-Holyfield I (OK, it wasn’t a brutal beatdown but Lewis owned Evander, who was a slight favorite believe it or not).

I was going to put Mosley-Margarito and Pacquiao-De La Hoya in this list but neither Shane nor Oscar were considered “elite” at the time of those fights.

PAC-MARGZ FOR DESERT

Like others Dougie fresh, I think your Gym Notes are second-to-none. I don't think any individual column has drummed up more interest in a fight to date. Of course, this is the modern age of satellite communication and all, but still. Given your astute observations, I think a few points are left unanswered:

-Yeah, Margarito had hand-wrapping issues, but his chin was always clean. That said, will the dent that Sugar Shane put in it show up after the Pacman beats the bondo off of him?

-Pacman let Cotto unload on him as a psyche-job to begin with. Sure hope he doesn't try that here. Stick with crazy angles, and let the Margo-mummy walk right into flush counters from the get-go.

-No matter what nuances Tony learns, he won't modify his punching form. He telegraphs just about every punch he throws. Unless Manny get's ballsy (hell and even if he does, he can dart out of harms way not to repeat that mistake) I don't see this as an issue.

Some other unrelated ramblings..

-Who the hell ate the Milkdud of Malice?? The weigh-in photos look like the end result of a good movie, a bag of milkduds and a bowel movement thereafter.

-Early to hype Abraham-Froch, but I'm amped for this one. I think it'll be a war with Ape-raham coming out on top. The only matchup I'd like to see more than this in the division is Bute-Ward.

-Corrales-Castillo didn't make your top 5 comeback fights..?

-One last word on Margs.. A guy wrote in wishing ill will against the Tijuana Tornado vs the Pacman and suggested a few desired results. My good friend Rashad Halloway, previous chief sparring partner to Manny, suffered a fractured orbital socket when sparring with Margarito that he is convinced was due to loaded gloves. In my opinion, he's never been the same. Just sayin.. — JB

Thanks for writing in, as usual, JB. I’ll respond to your “points unanswered” regarding Margarito first:

I think Margarito’s chin is a question mark until he gets nailed by a few clean Pac-bombs. The Mosley beat down had to have put a dent in Margz’s chin (neurologically and psychologically). That’s why I think Pacquiao might be able to blitz the bigger man if he goes for it early. Of course, that would open him up to Margarito’s return fire.

I think the plan is for Pacquiao to fight Margarito in much the same manner that he broke down De La Hoya, but Manny has been known to deviate from Freddie’s strategies. I don’t think he was supposed to trade with Cotto as he did. It worked out for him against the Puerto Rican but I think he had a great camp going into that fight and he was in against a guy his size/stature.

Margarito is shortening up on his punches but he still telegraphs to a degree. Pacquiao should be able to take advantage of this but if he elects to stand his ground and test the Mexican’s power the way he did with Cotto it won’t matter how wide the incoming punches are. I would be surprised if Pacquiao fought a completely disciplined boxing match and didn’t stand his ground at least a few times.

And now for my ramblings in response to your ramblings:

I thought the Milkdud of Malice looked OK at 220 pounds. (By the way, thanks a lot for sticking that disgusting milkduds-bowel movement image in my head.)

I also favor Abraham over Froch and I still think he can win the Super Six.

I didn’t include Corrales-Castillo I in my top five comeback fights because I didn’t think Chico was hopelessly trailing on points prior to the 10th round, but I guess he did snatch a victory out of the jaws of defeat by surviving those two knockdowns and then rallying like the gangster-warrior he was.

I like Rashad a lot and I wish him well in his career but I have a hard time believing that Margarito loaded his gloves for sparring sessions. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. Why would he and/or Javier Capetillo want to seriously damage a sparring partner, particularly one as good and reliable as Holloway? I recall Margarito’s managers saying how grateful they were that Holloway was in town to spar with Margarito. Heck, he was the only quality sparring partner Margarito had in the Mosley camp. Once he was out with that injury all Margz had to work with was Said El-Harrak (2-0 at the time) and some journeyman from Florida with a 500. record and zero knockouts.

All I can tell you is that I stopped by Margarito’s camp more than a few times and the gym (the Montebello PAL) was always packed with on-lookers and members of the media. Hall-of-fame publicist Bill Caplan was there everyday and he always had the various fight scribes interview Margarito while the fighter’s hands were wrapped out in plain view where anyone who happened to be in the gym could see what was going on.

I don’t know, man, maybe I’m na├»ve but I don’t think Capetillo is that sick that he wanted his fighter to maim sparring partners and I don’t think he’s that slick that he could have repeatedly loaded up Margarito’s wraps during a camp that was packed with fans and media without anyone noticing.

Holloway is 2-0-2 since that camp. I think his lackluster performances and inactivity this year have more to do with poor management and inconsistent training (along with bouncing back and forth from Las Vegas to L.A.) than it does the orbital bone injury. Holloway looked good to me when he sparred with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. before Junior’s fight with John Duddy. He didn’t appear to have vision problems. And if he does have vision problems he shouldn’t be sparring with Chavez or Frankie Gomez or any of the other guys I hear he’s been working with at Wild Card lately. I’m just saying.

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