Dougie’s Friday mailbag
NOVEMBER REVIEW, DONAIRE VS. BANTIES
What a great month of boxing we had or what? We saw:
A) A young, hungry lion beat an old warrior (JuanMa Lopez vs Rafa Marquez),
B) A reenactment of David and Goliath (Manny Pacquiao vs Tony Margarito)
C) An underrated fighter take out the most feared man in boxing (Sergio Martinez vs Paul Williams)
D) An intelligent fighter beat a fighter with a lot of heart (Juan Manuel Marquez vs Michael Katsidis)
I wish we had these kind of fights every Saturday and every month of the year.
Anyways talking about fights, I think we also have a good card this weekend although news broke out that JC Chavez Jr. won't fight this Saturday because of his flu. I guess that bumps Nonito Donaire to the main event of the exciting Top Rank card. I think Donaire with his skills, speed and agility, will beat this tough guy Wladimir Sidorenko by UD. Speaking of Donaire, I predict him to win the following fights:
1. Fernando Montiel-> Donaire by Win UD (or if not Montiel by 9 TKO)
2. Abner Mares-> Donaire by UD
3. Wilfredo Vazquez Jr-> Donaire by 10 TKO
4. Guillermo Rigondeux-> Donaire by UD
Lastly, I think Manny Pacquiao should fight Marquez next at welterweight (Pacquiao stepped in the ring at 148 lbs vs Margarito while Marquez weighed in 145 lbs against Katsidis on fight night so I think there's no problem at the weight) and then let Mosley fight Andre Berto (if Mosley wins, he proves that he still has it against a young and fast opponent; if Berto wins he proves he can beat quality opposition). The winner of Mosley vs Berto will deserve a shot at Pacquiao (I'm assuming he wins against Marquez).
What can you say Doug? — Christopher
I could say a lot of things but I’ll try to keep it short and to the point.
The front runners for Pacquiao’s next opponent are Mosley and Berto. There’s no way they’ll fight each other. Mosley is near the end. If he’s going to get wiped out he wants it to be against a great fighter in the biggest fight of the year, not against a young, still-largely unproven beltholder such as Berto.
My guess is that Mosley will get the Pacquiao fight. He’s the best known of Pac’s potential opponents for next year (and no, I’m not including the troubled Mr. Mayweather) and the perception is that he presents the least amount of risk at this stage of his career. Arum believes he can sell a Pacquiao-Mosley fight to the general public and Sugar Shane has endeared himself to the old promoter now that he’s distanced himself from Golden Boy Promotions.
Marquez was always a long shot to get a third bout with Pacquiao, and I’m kind of glad. I don’t care that he weighed 145 pounds on fight night vs. Katsidis. The fact that he made 134 pounds the day before tells me that extra poundage he put on was just water weight — not muscle. Marquez is not a welterweight. Period. Marquez is an old, small lightweight. Don’t even call him a junior welterweight. There isn’t a world-class junior welterweight alive who can make 134 pounds without killing himself. Pacquiao would kill himself making 134 pounds. Pacquiao would have to seriously dry out to make 140 pounds. We should all forget about Pacquiao-Marquez III unless Manny decides he wants to go against Freddie Roach and Arum and agree to weigh-in between 140 and 142 pounds. Even then, he’ll have a distinct size and strength advantage over Marquez. I think JMM has given fans enough thrills in hard, grueling fights. I don’t want to see him take any more serious punishment. That’s what a Pacquiao fight equals, in my not-so-humble opinion, punishment.
I like Chavez Jr. but I didn’t give a rat’s ass about his fight with Gomez because I figured he would come in heavier than the contracted weight of 156 and probably have a 15-20 pound advantage over poor Alfonzo on fight night. I thought Pawel Wolak would get in his ass for 10 rounds, even at super middleweight, but Junior pulled out, so that’s that. We’ll never know.
I’m way more excited about Donaire than Junior, anyway. And I can’t wait to watch Soto and Antillon go at it tomorrow night. I’ll be ringside at the Honda Center in Anaheim, covering all the action.
I agree with your making Donaire the favorite over his bantamweight peers. Even at 118 pounds, he’s a speedy giant with superb hand-eye coordination. I favor him to outpoint the formidable likes of Montiel and Mares unless he proves to have pop at 118 by knocking out Sidorenko (who’s never been KO’d) — then, who knows? Maybe he can stop the best at 118 pounds. Donarie is still unproven at bantamweight, so I can’t really say how he’d do at 122 pounds. Vazquez and Rigondeaux might have the size and power to check him. We won’t know until he crosses that bridge.
November was indeed a kick-ass month. I don’t know if I could take every month of the year being THAT packed with major fight cards. I’d probably be burnt out by October to be truthful, but it’s good to dream.
I’d be very happy if the sport could deliver months like November (and December) around six times a year.
RECENT & UPCOMING FIGHTS
Hey Dougie! Quick. Look at my hands. How many fingers am I holding up in front of you right now? If you really thought I somehow magically phased my hands through our computer screens and held them out you're either seriously overworked or you're getting dizzy from all those years of watching guys punch each other in the noggins. Heck, my head's still buzzing from watching Pacquiao making Antonio Margarito look more like Antonio Quasimodo.
Anyways Dougie, now that I have your attention, lets talk about the more recent head-belting action and some upcoming hits.
Juan Manuel Marquez. As you recall, I stated that Marquez would be too old and worn out to handle a strong, hungry lion like Katsidis. We all know how that turned out. That's not the first time Marquez made me look a know-nothing jack-ass. I twice predicted that Pac-man would chew up him up easily like taco beef and instead he twice gives Pac hell like no other fighter came close to doing. Nevertheless, I was still dumb enough to believe the old guy would come out short against Joel Casamayor and I didn't think he was going to get past Juan Diaz. Dead wrong on both cases. You recently stated that we should never count out Marquez. Trust me I won't. I don't care whether he tackles Pacman again or Vlademir Klitchko. You won't catch me counting out that tough little P-drinking bastard again.
Super Six. Good win for Froch! King Arthur has completely looked s___y in his last two fights to the point where we might as well address him as King Awfull. So who's next to crown the King? Oh yeah, Andre Ward. I guess Artie will have loss 24 rounds in a row when that one's done with. As for Froch. He'll have a tougher time doing the same to Glen Johnson but my guess is that the tough Brit will edge out Johnson in a really close fight.
Overall I'm still picking Ward to win the whole thing to become the world's 2nd best super-middleweight. Providing of course that Lucien Bute hasn't moved up to light-heavyweight by then.
Khan-Madaina. Khan out-boxes Madaina easily. Madaina may be a bone-breaking puncher but he's just too damn slow to catch a fast, skilled fighter like Khan.
Pascal-Hopkins. Maybe I'm too much of a glass-half-full kind of guy but I don't think that this bout is the steaming pot of poo that many fans are making it out to be. Sure. “Bore-nard” has bored us into a near coma numerous times. But when the odds are really against him, that's when B-Hop really steps up and delivers. Just like he did in the Trinidad, Tarver, and Pavlik fights. And Pascal is certainly no washed up has-been like Roy Jones. He's a tough determined warrior who comes to fight. So either Hopkins will have one last great performance left in him or he'll get beaten to the point where he finally hangs them up for good (hopefully). Ether result will serve a purpose.
Well that does it for me, Dougie. Keep up the good work but don't keep it up too hard. Take a breather whenever you can. Providing your hectic home front permits it. Peace, Bro! — Todd Johnson, Orillia, Canada
Thanks Todd. That’s good advice. I’ll try to remember it.
I’m not that excited about Pascal-Hopkins but I’m not going to write it off completely because I think the champ is a very talented young fighter and because, as you stated, we don’t know if Hopkins has one more great performance in his 45-year-old body. B-Hop is just like JM Marquez, he’s a consummate professional and a hard-nosed technician that we should never count out.
I think Khan will outpoint Maidana but I don’t think there will be anything “easy” about it. Fans and boxing writers throw around the word “easy” almost as much as the word “great.” Even if Khan wins every round against Maidana, that’s going to be an intense experience for the young man because the Argentine slugger has the toughness and guts to take the British star’s shots for 12 rounds and he possesses the power to end the fight at any given moment. That means Khan has to nullify and/or avoid a relentless beast of a prize fighter for every minute of every round. He can’t afford to lose focus/concentration for one second or he might get KTFO. That doesn’t sound “easy” to me.
An “easy night” in the ring is what we saw with Andre Berto when the young titleholder blasted Freddy Hernandez out in the first round. An “easy” win is when the victor doesn’t have to expend the amount of energy of an amateur marathoner, or when he doesn’t injure or break one or both of his hands, or when he doesn’t come out of the fight with fractured or broken ribs or cuts/bruises/abrasions on his face, or when he doesn’t urinate blood after the fight.
Froch’s victory over Abraham speaks well for his future. He boxed a discipline fight, which why it was so one-sided. Had he elected to mix it up a little bit (as he usually does) he could have been caught cold and most definitely would have had a harder night. If Froch continues to box in such a focused manner he could upset the odds and win the Super Six, or move up to 175 pound an have success there.
I’m not ready to completely write-off Abraham as everyone and his brother has. The one constant in the Super Six tournament is surprise. We just don’t know what to expect from fight to fight. Who knew Ward would dominate Kessler? Who knew Kessler would be the more aggressive fighter vs. Froch? Who knew Froch-Abraham wouldn’t be a brutal fight? We just don’t know. Common wisdom tells us Abraham will get embarrassed again vs. Ward, but common wisdom told us Ward wasn’t ready for Kessler, that Kessler would be the careful boxer against Froch, and that Froch and Abraham would beat the hell out of each other.
JMM VS. TSZYU, CORRALES, CASTILLO, ETC.
I've been having a discussion with some other fans about how Juan Manuel Marquez would have fared during the Castillo and Corrales era of the lightweight division, back around 2005. It seems like there was more talent in the division in that era than there is now, and the contrasting styles would have made the division a gauntlet for him to run through.
How do you think JMM would match up with the crew of (relatively) young Casamayor, Corrales, Castillo and Freitas?
I would throw Kostya Tszyu in there too, just because it seems like he was a small enough 140 pounder and was also at his peak back then. — gopal rao
Tszyu wasn’t very tall but he wasn’t a small 140 pounder. The dude had a thick muscular back, tree trunks for legs and typical Popeyesque Asian (he’s half Korean) calves. Tszyu, a powerful counter puncher, was murder for boxers like JMM. I think he would have given the lightweight Marquez (or the 142-pound version that Mayweather fought) a terrible beating en route to a late stoppage at 140 pounds.
Corrales and Castillo were big junior welterweights who masqueraded as lightweights. They weighed 135 pounds for about one or two hours prior to their weigh-ins, and then they blew up to welterweights by fight night. Both guys would have knocked out the current lightweight version of Marquez. The younger lightweight versions of Casamayor and Freitas could have outmaneuvered the Marquez we saw going toe to toe with Katsidis. The Cuban would have done a better job of it than Freitas, but “Popo” had the strength and power to move and hurt Marquez more than Casamayor (and certainly more so than Juan Diaz or Katsidis did). This doesn’t mean the current lightweight version of Marquez couldn’t beat the 135-pound Freitas, but to do so, he’d have to put forth another Herculean Fight-of-the-Year effort.
However, if you took the featherweight/junior lightweight version of Marquez who fought at the time that Corrales, Casamayor, Castillo and Freitas fought each other 2003-2005 and beefed him to 135 pounds (the right way, not by drinking quail eggs and tossing around rocks) I think he could have out-boxed a plodding methodical dude like Castillo. His reflexes were sharp enough at that time to back up his bigger balls in fights with Casamayor and Freitas, who he could have out-fought and out-pointed.
But I don’t see him going 12 rounds without getting caught at least once by the late Corrales, and as you should know, the prime “Chico” only needed one shot to end a fight.
MARTINEZ VS. COTTO?
It’s been a while since I contact youÔÇªbut I’m always reading your stuff and have been a big fan of your work for years!!
I read an article this morning from “El Nuevo Dia,” a newspaper in Puerto Rico, that claimed that negotiations between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto have started. According to the article the fight would be for Sergio’s middleweight belt at a catchweight of 155. Is this true, and if so, who do you like in that fight? I see it as a very dangerous fight for my man Cotto, but one that he could win with good technical boxingÔÇª Thanks. — Will C.
It would be a much-deserved mega-fight for Martinez and a tremendous challenge/opportunity for Cotto. Imagine if Cotto won. He would have an unprecedented (for a Puerto Rican fighter) fourth major title in a fourth weight class. He’s already a hall of famer but one could make the argument that he’s a “great” fighter if he were to upset the considerable odds against him and win the legit middleweight championship.
Although I know Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella has made the proposal that was reported in your paper to Bob Arum and I know it’s the fight he wants most for his classy champ (apart from showdowns with Pacquiao and Mayweather), I seriously doubt this fascinating 155-pound catchweight showdown happens.
Unfortunately for Sergio and Lou (and perhaps fortunately for Cotto), Arum has much easier in-house fights for his Puerto Rican star that would be more lucrative than the Martinez fight. Arum has openly considered Chavez Jr., Antonio Margarito, and even Pacquiao as the next fight for Cotto.
My guess is that one of those three all-Top Rank matchups will be Cotto’s choice, but I hope I’m wrong.