Thursday, May 23, 2024  |



Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Fighters Network


What better way for Brandon Rios to make himself into a super star than to take the challenge to fight Marcos Maidana, now that Robert Guerrero is out! I would spread the word. — Tyler

I love that fight. I talked to Bam Bam’s trainer Robert Garcia the night that Rios stopped Urbano Antillon and he said Maidana is one of the key fights at 140 pounds he wants for his lightweight standout.

If the fight were offered to Rios I think he just might be crazy enough to be willing to step up to the challenge, even with this late notice, but I doubt he’d be close enough to the fighting weight (even though its five pounds heavier than he normally fights at). And I think we both know that Maidana will fight anyone, however, he’s been preparing to face a southpaw for the past nine weeks, so it would be asking a lot for him to take on a late-sub as dangerous as Rios.

There have been some instances when a high-profile fight falls out and an even better matchup is made in the final hour of the promotion — the excellent heavyweight scrap between Lennox Lewis and Vitali Klitschko was made less than two weeks from the fight after Lewis’ original opponent, Kirk Johnson, fell out — but that’s not going to happen with next week’s cancelled card. Klitschko had been in L.A. (site of the fight) training for a bout on the Lewis-Johnson undercard, so that substitute bout was a natural.

Don’t worry, though, I think Maidana-Rios will happen one day, and I think it will happen sooner rather than later. I hope Guerrero, who I can tell you from first-hand observation was ready to rock-n-roll, makes a speedy recovery and gets another date with Maidana and an eventual shot at Rios (at 135 or 140 pounds).



Would love to see a list of your best refereed bouts of the last decade. I would have to give Tony Weeks the nod ( for Chico vs Temible 1). — Jude Gonsalvez, Pickering, Ontario, Canada

That’s a good idea for a future list, Jude. It could come after a really good performance by a referee in a high-profile bout. We’re always so quick to judge and admonish poor officiating, I think it would be great to recognize when officials do a good job.

I agree that Weeks kicked ass in Corrales-Castillo I, but I should remind you that a lot of Castillo fans were pissed off that he stopped it with the Mexican badass on his feet. They didn’t think it was fair that A) Corrales was allowed to get up from two knockdowns and B) buy extra time by spitting out his mouthpiece (although Weeks docked him a point the second time he did it). To their eyes it was a quick stoppage in favor of Corrales. He said Chico’s eyes were clear after both knockdowns and Castillo’s weren’t when he stepped in, which I believe, but you know how fans are. There will always be a few who thought Weeks was looking out for the late Chico.

One of the better recent referee jobs that comes to my mind is Kenny Bayless’ officiating during the Juan Manuel Marquez-Michael Katsidis fight. He let those two lightweight studs go at it like hell-bound demons but he knew when to stop it. True, stopping the fight with Katsidis on his feet was a bit anticlimactic after the action and drama of the previous eight rounds, but I think it was a perfect stoppage in terms of preserving the Aussie’s health and career. That’s just my opinion.



Hey Dougie,

Hope all is well with you. On to last weekend’s fight. I guess the real question is who will win the rematch. It seemed to me that Agbeko hurt Mares more in the fight, especially with a counter body shot in one of the championship rounds, Mares was not the same for the rest of the fight, but only a trained eye can see it. I love Mares, you know that, but I have some serious doubt with his stamina and given Agbeko’s penchant to make adjustments in rematches, this rematch has just moved to the top of the list of rematches for me. Your thoughts? — William

I think it’s going to be another hotly contested match right down to the wire. I still favor Mares, though. I think the first bout took a lot out of Agbeko, physically and emotionally. I also believe the 31-year-old veteran is beginning to have a hard time making 118 pounds. I don’t say that just because he came in a little bit heavy at the weight in. I say that because he was talking about going up in weight as high as 130 pounds days before the fight.

Mares’ last three bouts — vs. Yonnhy Perez, Vic Darchinyan, and Agbeko — have been his trial by fire and regardless if you think he won any of the fights you have to recognize that those 36 rounds have transformed him from a prospect to a mature bantamweight contender. I think he’ll be a better and more confident fighter for the rematch with Agbeko.

All Abner has to do is watch the low blows and I think he’ll be fine.


You actually had me enjoying reading about these crappy refs! BTW: I would have commented on the site but can't because I'm not on Facebook. Why do you HAVE to be on Facebook to comment? — C.

Sorry about that, C, but the Facebook-powered comments enable us to have some form of community without having to maintain an actual message board/forum. We just don’t have the resources and support to adequately maintain our own community at the present time. Facebook lets our readers (who are on Facebook) have their say at the bottom of all of our articles until we can put together a real community. And I promise you that we will get one soon.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words. You know you can always email me your comments for the mailbag or for our new Ring Radio podcast.


Hi Dougie,

I hope this is the right email address for the Monday and Friday mailbags. Anyway, I'm a long time reader and first time writer. Great article on the top 10 worst refereeing performances of the last decade. I was wondering what were your thoughts on Tony Chiarantano's stopping the Andy Lee-Brian Vera fight in 2009? I thought it was a terrible refereeing decision which ruined what was a good scrap but I'm biased being an Irish fight fan. Oh and how do you see the rematch going on the Barker-Martinez undercard?

With Matthew Macklin now signed with Lou DiBella both he and Lee are being mentioned as future opponents for Sergio Martinez. As much as I am a fan of both fighters I don't think either can hang with the middleweight king. How would you rate their chances? Also I'd love to see a Macklin-Lee fight in the near future, I think its a 50-50 fight but I'd slightly favor Lee. How would you see it going? How do you think Lee or Macklin would do against the other middleweight beltholders (Pirog, Sturm, Geale, Chavez Jr or Golovkin)?

Gutted the Guerrero-Maidana fight is cancelled, I was really looking forward to that one. Who was your pick? I favored Guerrero myself.

Have a good one bro. (p.s I love, keep up the good work) — Phil

Thanks Phil. I also favored Guerrero, but I knew that Maidana would make a fight of it — and entertaining one at that. Hopefully, the bout can be rescheduled for later in the year or sometime in 2012.

I don’t give Macklin or Lee much of a shot against Martinez. However, I think both can make for excellent scraps against the other middleweights you mentioned. I think Lee beats Priog and Chavez, goes tit for tat against Sturm and Geale, and loses to Golovkin. I think Macklin overwhelms Priog late in a very tough fight, I thought he beat Sturm, and I think he would help create fight-of-the-year bouts against Geale, Chavez and Golovkin. He would narrowly outpoint Geale, engage in a great body-punch war with Junior and either stop the kid late or outwork him to a controversial decision (win or loss), and I believe “Superman” would wear him down to a late stoppage.

I thought Chiarantano did a fine job of refereeing most of Lee-Vera I (that’s part of the reason why it wad a such fun scrap), but I agree that his stoppage was tad premature. I wasn’t as upset about it as Manny Steward was or hardcore Irish fan like you, but I thought the kid could have survived and still pulled the fight out. Hey, he’ll get a second chance on Oct. 1, and I think he’ll outbox Vera handily. If he gets greedy and goes for the knockout, he might find himself in another war (not that I would complain about that).



Come on Dougie, Marlon B Wrong should be #1 on that list. Lucian Bute was down for 25 seconds and after he finally arose he never made Bute walk to him or hold his hands up. He decided he was simply not going to count a blatant knockout. Worse than any other low blow or point penalizing mistakes….

Also, why does HBO refuse to show the camera from in front of Zab Judah that shows Amir Khan’s punch drive his cup up into his stomach and why do all writers not mention that? I agree Zab was looking for a way out but that was not a knockout. — Matt

Khan’s punch landed on the belt. It was up to referee Vic Draculich to call it a legal shot or a foul. He went with legal, which contradicted his in-the-ring pre-fight instructions to both fighters (and I called him on this contradiction in my Report Card article on the Khan-Judah card), however, I don’t have much of a problem with it because A) Judah wasn’t fighting like he was trying to win in the early rounds, B) definitely appeared to be looking for a way out in that round, and C) didn’t show true heart like Joseph Agebko did by getting up from a more egregious low blow in the 11th round his fight with Abner Mares. Agbeko could have pulled a “Zab” in that round but his spirit would not allow it. I can’t even imagine how formidable Judah would be if he had that kind of character.

Wright was “wrong” enough to merit Dishonorable Mention on my list but not a place in the top 10. Why? Because Andrade had a part in his long count by not going all the way back into the neutral corner like he’s supposed to do (thus, opening the door for Wright’s B.S. theatrics in the final round) and Bute was going to be able to survive that round regardless because it was practically over when he went down.

Wright sucks ass because he made sure that Bute would not have to do any more running or holding until the final bell, but the fact of the matter is that Andrade’s rally just happened way too freakin’ late for him to complain too much about the biased-ass hometown ref.

Mind you, I’m not saying Andrade wouldn’t have won by TKO if that same final-round scenario occurred outside of Quebec. It’s possible. According to the unified rules of boxing, which govern most world title bouts, a fighter cannot be saved by the bell in any round, including the final round. If a referee looked into Bute’s eyes and determined that he was unfit to fight (which some probably would have), he could have pulled a Richard Steele and ended it regardless of how much time was left in the fight.

Anyway, Wright doesn’t make my top 10 because his real bias didn’t rear its ugly head until the final minute of the final round. The other refs on the list were f__king up or illin’ from the first round on. (Did I just write the word “illin’”? Good Lord. I guess I really am in my 40s.)


Hi Doug. It's funny I was doing that same thing and you put this article out today (Thursday, Aug. 18) Mine is very similar to yours:

10. Jorge Alonso (Jeff Lacy – Robin Reid) : Real bias towards Reid. He was constantly looking at Reid no matter what he did and never warned Lacy for anything. It was so unfair.
9. Laurence Cole (J M Marquez – Jimrex Jaca) : Telling Marquez that he was winning? How did he know that? WTF?
8. Laurence Cole (Emanuel Augustus – Thomas Barrientes) : Cole again. This time he DQed the drunken master for showboating when he was ahead of the score cards. is showboating illegal?
7. Vic Drakulich (Jesse Brinkley – Danny Perez) : Drakulich missed the legal body shot and called it a low blow after ASKING Brinkley if it was low. He cost Perez's KO win. (He eventually lost the decision)
6. Frank Santore Jr. (Kermit Cintron – Sergio Martinez) : Same reason. Santore listened to Cintron and took KO win away from Martinez.
5. Richard Steele (J C Chavez – Meldrick Taylor) : I don't know if it was just a "horrible" call and should not be made it to this list but I have to say it was just ridiculous.
4. Robert Gonzalez (Rocky Juarez – Zahir Raheem) : Same reason as yours. Gonzalez's unbelievable bias towards Raheem was just awful.
3. Joe Cortez (Humberto Soto – Francisco Lorenzo) : He should retire. Seriously. When Marty Denkin started slipping, (First Vernon-Mayorga fight was the good indication) he stopped refereeing and I think he did the right thing.
2. Marion B Wrong (oops,) Wright (Librado Andrade – Lucian Bute) : I really wonder if Teddy and Joe were calling the fight from the ringside.
1. Dan Kelley ( Emanuel Augustus – Courtney Burton) : That was just awful. Not only Kelley did such a biased job but also entire officials (2 judges and the commissioner) were incompetent as well. I was screaming at the TV just like Teddy was doing. Taking a point away for "spinning"? WTF!?

Dishonorable mention: Gary Ritter (Don George – Francisco Sierra) : George's corner never tried to stop the fight so that should be the ref's job to stop the fight. Ritter was watching a man taking horrible beating round after round and never tried to stop the fight.

Wayne Kelley (Roy Jones Jr – Richard Hall) : Did Kelley wanted to see Hall get brain damaged?

Keep up the good work! — Naoki, Reno, NV

Great list Naoki. I’m glad you brought up Alonso and the Lacy-
Reid fight. I meant to at least include that bout in the Dishonorable Mention but I forget. Al Bernstein, who called that fight for Showtime, reminded me about Alonso’s ridiculous (and totally unnecessary) bias towards Lacy.

Thanks for also bringing up the Brinkley-Perez fight. You are absolutely right, Drakulich robbed Perez of a body shot KO. (And then the judges robbed him of a decision.)

I kept my list to fights that have occurred since 2000, so Steele and the Chavez-Taylor bout and Kelley and the Jones-Hall bout could not be included.


Hey Dougie,
After all the drama surrounding Kelly Pavlik it was nice to read your article about the top 10 Mexican bantamweights ever, an article free of debate about boxing controversy and purely about the respect of greatness! More drama in the last week has made me think more on the greatness of other Mexican fighters, rather than moaning about whatever mistakes were made by officials.

I was interested to see Rafael Marquez so high on the list, although on reflection I couldn't think of many better candidates. I do think that Morales, Barrera, and Juan Manuel are all greater fighters, although they were featured at featherweight. Would all three of these fighters feature in your greatest Mexican featherweights of all time, and would you say that all three of these left a better legacy than Rafael? I personally think they all do. — Paul, UK

Thanks for the kind words, Paul. I will always pay more attention to the great and storied past of this sport than the endless politics and controversy of its current business model/bureaucracy.

Good question about Barrera, Marquez and Morales making Mexico’s all-time featherweight list. (Remember that Barrera and Morales began their great runs at 122 pounds, not 126 pounds.) I haven’t really researched this particular 10 list, but off the top of my head, I’d say YES, all three would my top 10. I consider all three to be great fighters and I would have no problem listing them among the likes of Salvador Sanchez, Vicente Saldivar, Baby Arizmendi and Chalky Wright (and yes, I know he’s a Brotha, but he was born in Durango, Mexico, so he qualifies in my eye.)


Am I the only person not that high on Maidania? I thought his fight with Khan outside of the first rounds and last three showed a boring slow fighter who missed a lot. Nowhere near a fight of the year candidate in my opinion. Maybe this why I'm not that high on Khan. Judah is not the same Judah in opinion. Morales took Maidana’s shots a lot better than Khan so I am not a guy that thinks his chin got better either. I will give him credit for being willing to fight everybody besides Lamont Peterson but I don't think that highly of him yet. — Akeem, Albany, NY

That’s OK. Khan’s only 24. Maidana, who just turned 28, has a lot of fighting left to do. They both have time to make you a believer, if that’s indeed possible. Sometimes, as fans, we just don’t care much for certain fighters, regardless of their accomplishments, because they aren’t the fighter we want them to be.

Khan’s never going to have LaMotta-esque chin. Maidana is always going to be a raw slugger. They do what they can with what they have. So far, they’ve got the job done against two future hall of famers (Barrera and Morales), a former welterweight champ (Judah) and a future welterweight titleholder (Ortiz), and two 140-pound belt holders (Malignaggi and Kotelnik).

We’ll see what they do in the next few years.


Mora is terrible ref. Mares is a dirty fighter. That was not a great fight. When one fighter acts like a professional and the other is a blatant cheap shot artist, that's not a fight 'hardcore' fans want to remember. I haven't gone from sitting down with no strong opinion to rooting that hard against a fighter for as long as I can remember.

I will forever root against Abner Mares. Your article says that Mares is owed an apology because of the terrible officiating that gift wrapped him a world title??? Are you kidding? Mares owes Agbeko an apology for being willing to steal his belt with no class. And by the way, I've been reading you since House of Boxing days, so when you talk about hardcore fans, I'm one of them.

One last point, which makes me the most angry. Think about how Agbeko must feel this morning. Think about what he went through to win that world title. Do you think he's had the advantages that Mares enjoyed being 'the first major signing of Golden Boy Promotions?' How do you think he felt being counted down in the eleventh round? Think about how he must have felt watching the privileged Golden Boy product carried around like a conquering hero. Think about that, and then right a few sentences how we should somehow feel sorry for Abner Mares. Still a big fan. — Pete

OK Pete, I get it. You hate Mares now. That’s fine. For the record, I didn’t say Mora owes Mares an apology. I said Mora was unfair to both Agbeko and to Mares. I don’t think Mares needed Mora’s help to beat Agbeko. That was my point. Maybe I’m wrong about that. We’ll find out soon. The IBF has mandated an immediate rematch, and the “dirty fighter” and his management have no problem with granting it to Agbeko. They are on record saying that it’s the right thing to do.

Here’s what I want you to do, Pete. Don’t just heap hate on Mares going into the rematch. Show some love for Agbeko. I have no problem with you making the “dirty, privileged, Golden Boy fighter” the villain. All I ask is that you also make Agbeko your hero. I think you’ll agree that he’s worthy of that status. And that means if he loses again, without controversy, you don’t have to root for Mares, but you shouldn’t hate on him. And you shouldn’t turn your back on Agbeko.


Email Doug Fischer at [email protected]