Dougie’s Friday Mailbag
KATSIDIS FIGHTS ON
Fight fans are spoiled with great fights in November. Every weekend features a 5-star match up. However, the fight that I am looking forward to most is Juan Manuel Marquez V Micahel Katsidis.
After Michael's brother died tragically this week I assumed the fight would be off, but I read with great admiration that Katsidis will fight on. Good for him! A true warrior!
Thanks Dougie. — Choppa B., Sydney, Australia
Marquez-Katsidis is also the fight I’m looking forward to most in November, but I wouldn’t have blamed Katsidis for pulling out that lightweight championship for personal reasons following his brother’s passing.
That he’s fighting on is admirable; that he’s doing it for his brother and in his brother’s memory is moving. I don’t mind telling you that I got a little choked up reading his statement on Fightnews.
This lightweight showdown features two of my favorite fighters, and prior to the death of Katsidis’ brother I didn’t care who won it — I just wanted to see a terrific fight (which I’m sure we’ll get) — but now, even though I know there’s no rooting on press row, it’s going to be hard not to want to see Aussie challenger prevail.
Whatever happens, I know Katsidis will give his all (as usual), make for a compelling fight, and do himself and his brother proud.
Does 24/7 start this weekend? — JB
It does indeed. First episode premieres on Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET. I’m actually looking forward to this one. It’s been a long while since I’ve given a rat’s ass about a 24/7. The guy I hope fans outside of Southern California learn the most about during this series is Robert Garcia. He’s a class act and he runs a real gym, one that welcomes the youth of his community.
Just read your Monday Mailbag and wanted to add some thoughts.
Antonio Tarver did not look that good to me. He did not glide around the ring, although he spins well, he had very little pop in his punches. I think that he would benefit by coming in about 15 lbs lighter and also working on his punching power. He will need to be able to discourage opponents in the future. I saw nothing that will discourage an A-level or even B-level heavyweight right now.
It sure is frustrating to be a Zab Judah fan. He constantly lets me down by not living up to his potential. He has god given talent in the ring (I try not to pay attention to fighter's lives outside the ring) and has real heart. I am taking him to beat Lucas Matthysse in a couple weeks. I have the feeling that Lucas has not seen anything as talented at Zab is. I just hope Judah has put the work in.
I agree that Lucian Bute is talented, but lets see him with a real world beater. The best guys on his record are Librado Andrade and Sakio Bika. They are tough veterans, but not really crafty guys. You know exactly what you are going to get with both of those guys. I think Ward has the talent to beat him. But I do think Bute will beat Pavlik. Pavlik will not be able to get the angles he needs on Bute to land his hardest punches.
Lastly, what are your thoughts on Williams vs. Martinez? I think Williams was pushed to the brink in the last fight and will come out more determined than ever. I know it took him forever to sign for the fight, but his activity level will be the key here. Martinez is a pound for pound guy, and I enjoy watching him fight, but I do not think he will outwork Paul in this fight, or that he has enough pop to hurt a more prepared Williams, like in the first fight.
What fight are you looking forward to most at the end of the year? As always, love reading your posts on RingTV. Thanks. — Dan Marvin
In the spirit of our recent Top Five lists, here are the top five fights I’m looking forward to at the end of this year: Marquez-Katsidis, Martinez-Williams II, Darchinyan-Mares, Abraham-Froch, and Judah-Matthysse.
(Wow. That’s how good the last two months of this year are. Lopez-Marquez, Pacquiao-Margarito, Perez-Agbeko II, Rigondeaux-Cordoba and Soto-Antillon don’t even make my top five.)
My thoughts on Martinez-Williams II is that it will be just as hotly contested as the first fight. I agree that Williams will be more prepared for Martinez’s style but I also think the middleweight champ will be better prepared to take advantage of P-Will’s defensive holes. I agree that the awesome punch output of Williams will be his key to victory (or at least his key to swaying the official judges). I don’t think Martinez will try to match P-Will’s punch output. I think he’ll try to out-box and out-maneuver the taller man while landing the harder, cleaner punches. I disagree that Martinez lacks the pop to hurt Williams. I think he can knock Williams out if he catches him right.
I agree that Bute would take Pavlik to school. I also think he needs to beat Ward (or whoever wins the Super Six — I’m not sold that the Bay Area badass is going to be the one) in order to claim 168-pound supremacy.
From what I’ve been told of Matthysse, Judah better have put the work in. I think he has, which is why Judah-Matthysse (which on the surface is a “has-been” vs. an unproven pup) is one of the top five fights I want to see in the next two months. I think fans are going to get a lot of action and drama with this 140-pound matchup. In my opinion, the winner of the Nov. 6 showdown should be in the mix with Bradley, Alexander, Khan, Maidana and Ortiz.
We’ll see how far Tarver gets in his heavyweight quest. I just hope his next opponent has more fire than Aguilera did. I’m not saying the M.O.M. has to take on Tomasz Adamek or Chris Arreola in his very next bout but perhaps a mid-level dude like Manuel Quezada or Jason Gavern. If he looks good (or even OK) vs. those types I’d hope to see Tarver step up to someone like Derric Rossy or Dominic Guinn, and from there, if he’s successful, maybe he can call out or “name” (a former champ like Rahman or fan fave like Tua) or go for a contender (Arreola or Adamek).
Greetings from PR. A big question that I think should merit a little space on the mailbag. For all of us Fish-O-geeks… Are you still rockin' out the pony tail? — Enrique
Of course I am. Well, I’m not exactly “rocking” it, but it’s there. I don’t think I’ve had a real haircut in 10 years.
THE BRIGGS BEATDOWN
Hey Doug –
Just a quick line to agree with your assessment of Shannon Brigg's effort on Saturday. When someone takes a beating without making an effort to put up a real fight, one might call that stupidity rather than “heart.” Heart with nothing to back it up is actually unhealthy to the fighter and painful to watch — after all, would ANY of us want to see someone merely take punishment without being allowed to fight back? I think not. It's even worse when the fighter essentially submits to the beating — he's letting us down, and more importantly he's letting himself and the sport down. I predicted a 3-round demolition in which Briggs did nothing on offense, but Shannon proved me wrong — he was inactive for all twelve.
Oh, and as to excuses, here's some of what the Brooklyn bum (yes, bum) had to say in his official statement from the hospital:
“Unfortunately, the (bicep) injury kept me from fully executing my fight plan. Not to take anything away from a brilliant performance by Vitali Klitschko Saturday night, had I had not injured my arm early on, who knows how the fight would have concluded. As a life long asthmatic sufferer I’m truly grateful to Dr. Charles Hensley and his homeopathic formulation Zivair that helped make it possible to go 12 rounds and compete for the WBC title. As witnessed Saturday night and throughout my career, I never gave in even when my breathing was out of order or any injury kept me from being 100%.”
So, it sounds to me like you were right — he IS using asthma as an excuse. Although the italics are mine, he's clearly saying that his breathing was out of order on Saturday. Oh, and he might have won if not for his bicep injury. Hmm, maybe if Shannon got off the human growth hormone juice, he wouldn't get injured so easily, and then he could win ALL his fights.
Can we finally, mercifully put this guy away forever? — John Stangeland, Chicago, Il
Sorry John, but I think Briggs will indeed be back. The fact that he was able to come up with a number of excuses while in the hospital tells me that he’s going to be alright. If Shannon couldn’t make an excuse after a loss I really would have been worried about his health.
Here’s the deal on Briggs: as long as there are clueless managers and promotional upstarts who believe his con game and actually think he can be a force at heavyweight, he’ll stick around the fight game. Hey, if they’re willing to stroke his ego and pay his rent, who can blame him?
Don’t be shocked to see the announcement of Briggs vs. Holyfield or Tua or Briggs-Botha II or even (God Forbid) Tyson-Briggs in the next two years. Who knows? Maybe those are sideshow fights that sell tickets or even PPB buys?
But hopefully, that God-awful beat down to Vitali Klitschko was his last legitimate title shot.
Doug Fischer can be contacted at [email protected]