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Dougie’s FAT Friday mailbag

12
Nov

PAC-MARGZ, PARKINSON'S, AND PUNCHES

Short and sweet on Antonio Margarito. The video was classless in the first place, excuses mimic those he used of the handwraps (the Shaggy song with the hook “wasn't me” comes to mind) but none of this has anything to do with the actual fight.

Manny Pacquiao better be ready to move. Sure Margs is motivated and in shape, but he doesn't have any footwork to speak of. Cotto was able to maneuver around Margs for 5 rounds, and Manny could run circles around Cotto. I see Manny peppering Margs for 6-7 rounds until a frustration sets in and perhaps a foul or two are committed. But I'll go with a unanimous decision with some exciting moments from the Pacman.

How do you see thing going and what is your take on the video? — JB



My takes on the video and the fight are exactly like yours, JB. I think mocking Freddie Roach’s Parkinson’s condition was totally classless and I think Pacquiao will need to stick-and-move-and-move to be at his most effective. He can plant his feet and dig to Margarito’s body every now and then but if he gets too macho he’s going catch a hard “gancho” himself, or worse, “the slice” (Margarito’s left uppercut).

I think Pacquiao will play it smart for the most part, and like you, I think he’ll win a unanimous decision. However, I believe Margarito will give the Filipino hero’s fans some scary moments, especially late in the bout.

NO LONGER A MARGARITO FAN

Dougie,
I have to say that after being a Margarito supporter for more than 10 years now (I was ringside at Bally’s for the Antonio Diaz fight back in ’02) that I have officially gotten off the wagon. The video of him and that punk Brandon Rios making fun of Freddie is too much.

I’m heartbroken too because of all of the great moments that we’ve seen of him. I watched every TV fight of his live. I remember gasping when Sebastian Lujan’s ear fell off, the second time he made Kermit Cintron cry, the mauling of Golden Johnson and Miguel Cotto and so on. It’s been fun but he’s forgotten his roots and his fans with that pathetic mocking of an all-time great trainer, a former fighter and an inspiration to Parkinson’s sufferers.

I’ve loved Manny Pacquiao since the Lehlo Ledwaba fight and hope he snuffs what’s left of the scorn-ado.

F__k that guy. — Frank

Well, nobody can call you a fair-weather fan, Frank. You didn’t jump off the bandwagon after Margarito lost to Daniel Santos, Paul Williams and Shane Mosley, and you didn’t ditch him during the hand-wrap scandal. Some would say it’s a bout time, but I understand the attachment that a fan can cultivate after following a particular fighter for so many years.

And for a long time, it was very easy to root for Margarito. He isn’t a supremely gifted athlete, he wasn’t a promotional favorite, he never avoided tough fights, and he always worked his ass off (in the gym and the ring). Now it’s not so easy.

ROACH GOT WHAT HE DESERVED

Freddie Roach is a coward. He has a history of disrespecting fighters as well as their trainers. He basically got a taste of his own medicine. — Javier

Owch. I agree that Roach talks as much s__t as the next trainer and I’m not once of these boxing writers who buys the whole Mother Theresa image, but I don’t understand why you’re calling him a coward.

I also don’t agree that making fun of his Parkinson’s condition was giving him “a taste of his own medicine.”

I thought that Garcia’s joking around with putting the cinder block on Margarito’s hands in front of the 24/7 cameras and telling videographer Elie Seckbach that Roach “better watch out” while he placed a chuck of metal over his knuckles was retaliation to Roach’s verbal jabs about Margarito’s history and the hand-wrap scandal.

I know a lot of fans and media were upset by those actions, but I was fine with it and I thought it added spice to the fight’s build-up.

But mocking Roach’s Parkinson’s? That’s just a low blow.

‘THE VILLAIN’ SPEAKS

Hey Dougie,
As usual following your articles and I must say I really enjoy your piece on Javier Capetillo. You’ve really outdone yourself as you gave him a forum to say his peace.

Capetillo sounds so sincere and real in that interview that I guess you can't help it but to almost believe things went down as he says.

Call me cynical or naïve for almost giving him the benefit of the doubt!

I will give him kudos and much respect for not throwing Margarito under the bus in any shape or form and owning up to his mistake. I truly believe that he did see him as his “son” due to all those years they worked together.

As for the fight we will see what happens, I think Margarito is a live underdog though I have concerns he may have over-trained for this one. What is your take now the fight is upon us? — Carlos, Montreal, Canada

Like you, I view Margarito as a live underdog. If he over-trained it certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’s done so.

I don’t buy everything Capetillo says — particularly the part about “mistakenly” inserting the used gauze in Margarito’s hand wraps — but I agree that his team, which includes the fighter and the fighter’s management, could have taken more responsibility for the incident even though everyone basically claimed ignorance.

Thanks for the kind words about the article. I think Capetillo wanted to get a lot off his chest. He talked my ear off and seemed relieved afterward.

CAPETILLO AND HAND WRAPS

Hey Dougie,
Great article, I just had one question. Capetillo explains “he resorted to loading his fighter’s hand wraps with used training gauze that had been hardened by traces of a plaster-like substance, as well as water, sweat, and blood”. Do trainers use plaster-like substances in training to protect their fighters hands before a fight?

Thanks for the great articles and mailbags. — Anthony

Trainers will commonly use extra gauze with their fighter’s wraps in the gym for added hand and knuckle protection. Gauze soaked in plaster-like substances, however, is definitely NOT common. (However, I should note that the California commission’s lab found traces of elements that that are used in plaster. The added gauze that was confiscated by the commission the night of the Mosley was not actually soaked in plaster or in a plaster-like substance the way many have portrayed.)

STILL NOT INTERESTED

Dear Dougie,
Following on from a previous email, in which I said I’d be quite happy to let Pacquaio-Margarito ‘slide on by’ (i.e., happily not pay up to watch it live, and fund those involved), you asked me to write back in and see if my view had changed nearer the time.

Well, it hasn’t to be honest.

Crikey, there’s no doubt it’ll make huge numbers from all the Filipino and Mexican fans alone, as well as the fight-fan public who’ve, understandably, got drawn in to the hype and the drama. Arum et al certainly won’t be weeping their way to an empty bank on account of the odd conscientious objector like me! But I personally, and simply, am still appalled that Margarito’s been given this chance.

In my mind he’s no less guilty for getting caught with the hand-wrap inserts before the fight with Mosley than he would have been if he’d used them to inflict potentially lasting/permanent damage on him during it. The intention, and therefore the crime, is just the same. And I wonder how many fight fans would be so forgiving/forgetting of Margarito if they’d seen that damage to Mosley played out in front of their eyes. Think about that.

Meanwhile, we're gathering at a friend's on Saturday for the Haye-Harrison fight back here in the UK. What do you think of this on Dougie? Some might argue that Harrison is equally undeserving of a world title shot, given that he’s not exactly made the most of his talents, or his boasts. But, at least he’s entertained the British public for some years in one way or another, and has never backed down from an opportunity he’s had. Moreover he’s got, as he’s always had, that potential to do something special – with his self-belief, natural power, size, and rare moments of surprisingly fast combination punching – and that’s what makes him compelling and frustrating in equal measure.

Who knows – if a focused, sharp, confident Harrison turns up who, once in the mix, isn’t afraid to impose himself and let those hands go, then he might well have a chance. What’s more realistic though is that he’ll do his usual trick of half parallelizing himself by thinking too much, and Haye will take him out. Either way it should be entertaining while it lasts. And fair enough to Haye for taking this fight (lots of profile and money for relatively little threat) but I do think he'll lose some credibility if he doesn't step it up on the next one. All the best to you. — Rob

If Haye doesn’t fight one of the Kitschkos — or at least a top contender such as Alexander Povetkin or Tomasz Adamek — in his next fight, he’ll be completely dismissed by Americans and probably a fair number of British fans.

I haven’t really thought about the Haye-Harrison matchup but I think the 2000 Olympic champ has a shot if his mind is right. When I look at his height, reach, speed, combos, and southpaw stance, I start to wonder if ‘the Hayemaker’ screwed up by taking this fight. Then I look at Harrison’s record and I’m reminded that he was out hustled by Danny “Punching Bag” Williams, Dominick “No Fire” Guinn and Martin “Taxi Driver” Rogan, and knocked out by Michael “Shot” Sprott.

But don’t feel ashamed about being excited about tomorrow’s heavyweight bout. A British heavyweight titleholder hasn’t defended his belt against a countryman since Lennox Lewis fought Frank Bruno in 1993.

I probably should feel ashamed about being excited to watch Margarito’s undeserved shot at the biggest star in the sport. You are absolutely right that there’s not much to separate criminal intent from the actual crime. However, I’m not convinced that Margarito knew what Capetillo was doing and I’m not absolutely certain that Mosley would have been seriously hurt or that the outcome of the fight would have been any different had Margarito fought with the inserts.

Personally, I think Mosley would have put the smash down on Margarito that night if the Mexican mauler wore those metallic Knight’s gloves Freddie Roach joked around with at Pacquiao’s media day. That doesn’t excuse Capetillo or Margz for what was attempted but it’s probably why my mind doesn’t go to dark places when thinking about “what could have been.”

NIGHTMARE

Hey Dougie,
How are you doing man? Kudos to your articles and mailbag in ringtv.com. I've always enjoyed reading your great (sometimes hilarious, crazy, mofo, etc) mailbag everytime but I never really have a strong thought that I could share. BUT! Last night, I f__kin' dreamed about Pacquiao-Margarito fight. And guess what? Pacquiao lost on an 8 round demolition from Margarito. Whoa! But this time not with a help of a plaster like substance, HE F___ING REMOVED THE PADDING OF HIS GLOVES! Luis Resto part 2.

Sorry with all the capital letters. I'm overwhelmed not because Manny lost but, of the damaged it could bring to any boxer. Sheesh. Anyways that's it man. Signing out. — Paulo

Calm down, my man, it was just a dream. You’ve been watching too much 24/7 and reading too many damn boxing websites.

Manny should be fine as long as he fights smart.

MEDIA DOUBLE STANDARD

Dougie,
First of hello and hope all is well. I have been reading all of the
coverage for the Pacquiao vs Margarito fight and I guess we are really set on the good guys vs. bad guys motto for this one. So, Tony is asked what he thinks of Freddie Roach’s statements, he then responds by shaking his hands and saying he is “scared” sarcastically in Spanish (cause people shake when they are scared) and somehow that is making fun of Freddie Roach’s condition. I mean really, I find that a little uneducated by the people reporting it. Maybe it is me, and maybe I’m being biased (cause we all know the Media isn't. lol!) Now I do not know Tony, Brandon or Robert. But reading how Robert is, and hearing how much of a clown Brandon is I doubt it was done with bad intentions, bad taste? Yes I'm not disputing that but bad intentions? I doubt that. But who am I? At the end I really do not know. I just want to know why they get this flack and Roach insinuating that Robert is a cheater with no proof goes untouched. I’m just saying I saw the whole video. Maybe I’m ranting. If I am I apologize, but seriously I doubt the Margarito camp is as bad as they are being portrayed.

They are human beings with normal problems who make mistakes (which they apologized for later well Brandon and Robert did when they noticed it was in bad taste, Tony did not really make fun of Freddie’s condition). Can it be that these guys are actually getting in Freddie’s head? If they are, wow! I never thought that would happen. Thanks for reading my rant bro. — Luis, San Diego

You’re definitely ranting, Luis, and you’re trying to protect Margarito. He was clearly mocking Roach’s neurological disease, which as you stated was in very poor taste. Like you, I don’t think they really thought about what they were doing and didn’t harbor serious ill will towards Roach. To me it was just sophomoric, locker-room B.S. between a couple of jocks.

Of course the media was going to use the video to further illustrate the good vs. evil storyline. What did you expect? Most of the folks covering the fight are not into the actual matchup, either because they don’t know or care much about boxing in general or because they simply don’t view it as a competitive fight. So most of the media in Arlington probably embraced the video by AOL-Fanhouse’s “embedded reporter” Elie Seckbach as a welcome distraction from the usual fight-week events.

For the record, I’m not buying into the good vs. evil theme.

I don’t think Margarito’s a horrible person and as much as I like Roach, I don’t believe that the veteran trainer is an angel.

I know Garcia is a good man. I think Rios is OK, too. (He’s just a dips__t, but last time I checked that wasn’t illegal.) Team Margarito did the right thing by apologizing and everyone should just move on focus on tomorrow’s fight.

If the video (another Elie Seckbach original) does bother Roach enough to sway his focus going into the fight I’ll be as shocked as you.

WHAT IF MARGARITO ACTUALLY WINS?

Let's just say Margarito wins on Saturday and even knocks out Pacquiao.

What do you think reaction around the boxing world will be on Sunday morning?

Will it be shock and dismay, or will there be a bunch of I-told-you-so's coming from the punditry, or possibly both? In particular, can you picture what's going on in Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s mind if that happens? — gopal rao

I try to stay out Floyd’s head, Gopal. Tomorrow’s fight has nothing to do with him unless sometime before or after the event he announces that he wants to face the winner.

I think a Margarito victory will send a hard wave of shock through much of the boxing world, and especially to casual fans who have come to believe that Roach can do no wrong and that Pacquiao is indestructible.

Some members of the general sports media will dramatically portray it as the final nail in boxing’s coffin. Others will believe that Pacquiao simply overlooked Margarito.

The reaction of the boxing media and hardcore fans will be mixed. You and both know there will be “I-told-you-sos.” That’s just the way it is. There will also be a lot of rage and hate and finger pointing. Keyboard warriors who like Margarito will stick it (hard) to Pacquiao’s fans on message boards and boxing forums. The Pacquiao fans who don’t withdraw into a near catatonic depressed state will lash right back. Some boxing writers will blame Arum for the rise of disgraced fighter. Some will express their disgust in columns that mainly attack Margarito. My guess is that Team Pacquiao will be pretty shaken up and I wouldn’t be shocked to read where Roach and Alex Aria blame Michael Koncz for the unfocused version of Pacquiao they had to work with in camp.

Personally, I won’t view it as the end of the world. I’ll be happy for Garcia and part of me will be impressed that Margarito was able to resurrect a career that appeared deader than a doorknob a year ago. Part of me will feel sorry for Pacquiao and his legion of fans, but my guess is that the fighter will take in stride.

I’d probably get exited about a Margarito victory if I thought Arum would let him fight Paul Williams or Sergio Martinez but I’m sure he’ll continue to keep things in-house no matter who wins on Nov. 13.

MARGARITO-PACQUIAO/REMATCHES/WRAPS

Hey Dougie,
Nice article on Javier Capetillo. But I still feel that Margarito had illegal wraps for the Cotto fight. With that said. Pacman may have bit off more than he could chew for this one. Margarito is going to use all of his 150 lbs, plus more once rehydrated, during that fight to pressure and try breakdown Pacquiao. I mean the man is a specimen to behold right now.

Also, I wouldn't pit Cotto in a rematch with Margarito. He just isn't the same anymore. Cotto's only chance in a rematch would be if Emanuel Steward really builds up his stamina and endurance. All in all I'm going to watch the fight on Nov. 13th because I want to see how a determined an optimum Margarito fairs in a fight where we know he does NOT have loaded gloves on and is in with the elite of elite competition.

Keep up the good work. See you at Fight Night Club. — Danny, Los Angeles

I’ll see you there. Next week is the season finale and the main event is a good one, Carlos Molina vs. David Rodela. It should be a lot of fun.

I don’t care to see Margarito-Cotto II, either. I don’t want to see Cotto take another beating. However, my guess is that Arum is going stage his own in-house round-robin at 154 pounds with Pacquiao, Margz, Cotto, and Chavez Jr. Yuri Foreman and Vanes Martirosyan will get some of that action before Williams, Martinez, Angulo or Kirkland.

A lot of folks think Margz had loaded wraps for the Cotto fight. I’m not one of them.

BIG FIGHT PARALLELS

Dougie,
Have you noticed the parallels between the two big fights coming up this weekend (admittedly Haye-Harrison couldn't be less significant if you are not British)?

Both Pac-Marg and Haye-Harr when announced, were written off as complete mismatches made solely for the money and both, as we get closer to fight-night, have people rethinking their initial estimation. In reality, I think everyone's first thought was right: two brutal beatings and two knockouts; one win for Pac, one win for Haye. How far have you been drawn into the hype of Marg's gym form and Harrison's 'huge' left hand?

Finally, just thought I'd ask what odds you would give me for a Harrison-Chisora heavyweight unification sometime next year? Keep up all the great work. — Ben, UK

I’ll give you 8-to-5 odds that Harrison out-points Chisora (or Lawrence Clay-Bey with a British accent as I like to call him) should they meet in 2011.

I’ve been drawn into the Margarito gym “hype” (which I guess I’m partially responsible for spreading) enough to think the Mexican veteran will not only go the distance but win some rounds.

I haven’t been drawn into any hype on Harrison’s punching power but I think his style can pose problems for Haye.

PARTY POOPER

Doug,
There’s been some great reading on the net and good stuff on 24/7 to hype this weekend’s Pacquiao-Margarito fight: Pacquiao not training properly, not focused, Margarito having a great camp and always happy and smiling. I’d be smiling too if I fell ass backwards into a multi-million dollar payday when I never should have been licensed againÔǪ

Well, it’s been making for some good story lines and hype, but I’m gonna have to spoil it here because there is no way Margarito beats Pacquiao and I believe that even if Margarito was at his best, which he is not.

At his best he was outboxed by Cotto for 6rds, Pacquiao can do that and better for a full 12rds.

Anybody who is waiting for Margarito to spring the earth-shaking upset on Saturday, sorry, the revolution will NOT be televised.

Margarito will compete for a couple of rounds and then be brutalized before being stopped in about 8 and I’m not buying this fight on pure principle. — Steve, Montreal

You’re probably right, Steve, but while I agree that Pacquiao will win, I’ve got a gut feeling that he’s going to have a hard night tomorrow.

GOTTA ROOT FOR MANNY NOW

Good stuff on Capetillo, man, it was a good read. I don't believe that old sack of s__t. Hopefully this is the last time we hear from that old dirty poor excuse of a man. And I just read about Margarito making fun of Roach's health….what a piece of crap. I've never rooted for Manny, I actually hate Manny and was going for Margacheato. But now I hope Pacquiao gives him a serious beating. And Brandon Rios is another idiot I can't stand. I'm glad Peterson tried to knock his tiny little balls off. Hopefully we get to see Victor Ortiz put “Brandumb” in his place one day. — Ivan

That will be a grudge match worth watching if it ever happens.

I agree that Rios is an idiot but I’m looking forward to watching him fight tomorrow and can’t wait to see what happens when he faces the Soto-Antillon winner sometime next year.

What’s to hate about Pacquiao (aside for some of his fans and a few of the goof balls who cling to him)?

I hate to break it to you but Capetillo’s got two fighters (Giovani Segura and Miguel Vazquez) who might win their next dozen fights or so. You won’t see him work any corners in the U.S. but he’s not going anywhere.

CLUBHOUSE LEADER FOR FOTY

Hey Dougie,
What is your clubhouse leader for Fight of the Year so far? … and out of all the fights down the stretch which do you so see as potentially contending? I haven't watched Mares/Perez again recently but it is sticking out in my mind.

I'm guessing Pacquiao/Margarito will both be at their best and that definitely has the potential to produce the two-way action, momentum swings and outright pulse-pounding drama to take the nod. Peace. — Adam, Whitby, Canada

Wow, that’s a bold prediction. Pacquiao-Margarito — the fight of the year. It could happen. Margarito is going to be in much better condition than De La Hoya was, he’s taller, rangier and probably tougher than Cotto, and he’s definitely going to let his hands go more than Clottey did against Pac. He might force the Filipino hero to fight his ass off.

Here’s a question for you if that happens: How long will Pacquiao-Margarito be the fight of 2010 with Martinez-Williams II, Marquez-Katsidis, Mares-Darchinyan and Perez-Agbeko II scheduled in the next four weeks?

It’s a good time to be a fight fan.

The fight of the year candidates that stick in my mind so far are Segura-Calderon, Perez-Mares and Martinez-Burns.

DE-NILE ISN'T JUST A RIVER IN EGYPT

Mr. Fischer,
Javier Capetillo has taken Tareq Salahi's title of “the most unrepentant sleaze in recent history”. Right after he says “I'm responsible…it was me”, Capetillo puts blame on Margarito's management team, then claims that his punishment “hurts” because he can't work corners anymore.

Capetillo is lucky he didn't watch the Segura fight from Cellblock D, and should stop blaming others for the fallout of his actions. Rather than show repentance or accept the consequences, Capetillo thinks he's somehow the victim. Capetillo also denies that he (intentionally) did anything wrong.

Doe anyone believe Capetillo's claim that he forgot how to properly wrap a boxer's hands? Despite Capetillo's own confession that Margarito wasn't ready for the Mosley fight, was sick, had trouble losing weight, and that Capetillo himself was “panicking the week of the fight”, he insists the gauze wasn't placed intentionally. It was “maybe” done when he just grabbed for a bunch of stuff out of his bag. Really? How often do veteran trainers with decades of experience just have a complete lapse of memory and “maybe” forget to pay attention while wrapping a boxer's hands?

I appreciate your willingness to let this man tell his side of the story. But for real, Capetillo's got some serious chutzpah. — Enrique in DC

Yes he does. I agree that much of what he said was pure s__t, but hey, it’s his s__t. We’ve heard from everyone else. He’s got a right to tell his side of the story, as far fetched as it may be.

CAPETILLO BREAKS SILENCE

I thought this was a very interesting article, but it won't really change anyone's mind about what happened. People whole believed it was a mistake before will still believe it, and the people who think they should both be sitting in jail will only be upset by the fact that neither he nor Margarito have ever really “admitted” to anything. The excuses since day one have been so generic they are politician worthy.

But of all the questions and criticism by the media, why has no one asked why a trainer of world class fighters had hardened knuckle pads in the first place? I have heard him say they were used for sparring, but when has it ever been acceptable for a fighter to have an unfair advantage during sparring? That's the only thing that never really added up in my mind. Why risk injuring your sparring partners, or your fighter's hands, if no one will benefit financially from it. Respectfully. — Robert Prator

Fighters typically use more wrapping on their hands during training, especially professional boxers. Many fighters would have chronic hand problems if they had to train and spar with fight-regulation amounts of gauze and tape. The added wrap is not supposed to be hard. That would indeed damage the fighter’s hands and could seriously hurt whoever he sparred with (although it’s probably unlikely with 14 oz. gloves). The gauze Capetillo says he grabbed from the training bag the night of the Mosley fight were used and wet with old sweat and blood (and evidently traces of substances that are used to make plaster), which added to its density. A good trainer does not save the funky old gauze that he uses to help protect his fighter’s hands during training. A good trainer applies new, clean gauze to his fighter’s knuckles at the start of every training session. However, as good a conditioning coach Cappy is, the jury is definitely out on whether he can actually train.

THANKS FOR CAPETILLO ARTICLE

dougie fresh,
just wanted to thank you for that article you did on capetillo. as a huge margarito fan, reading it was like a huge breath of fresh air. capetillo breaking his silence was long overdue. i wish both capetillo and magarito nothing but the best.

dougie, keep up your great work, it's truly enjoyed. — gus g., chicago

Wow. Will wonders ever cease; a Capetillo supporter. I’ll have to print this out and give it to the old man the next time I visit the Azteca Boxing Club, which will be soon.

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