Dougie’s Monday mailbag
MAYWEATHER & “BAD DECISIONS” BERTO
Wow, man I don’t know what to say about PBF and the way he spoke to his dad. That was dysfunction at its best, or worst. Nobody seems to want to check him at all, those guys are the definition of yes men. For the first time in my life I was actually proud of Roger Mayweather when he finally had the balls to tell Floyd to calm down. Somebody should have told him 30 minutes ago, "Floyd, calm down, that’s your dad, man." I guess those guys really never will get it together, they must really have some deep rooted s__t to get over. That was just bad, way over the top.
If Andre Berto becomes “Bad Intentions Berto,” as you mentioned in the Friday mailbag, you better believe I will be the President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board for his hate club! — Jason "One Hatin' Mutherf___er" Brown (did you get a kick out of that one I sure did as I was writing it) AKA JCB
I did get a kick out of that nickname — mainly because it used to be MINE, given to me by Floyd Mayweather fans, and Roy Jones Jr. fans before them, and Oscar De La Hoya fans before them, and Mike Tyson fans before them.
Ah, the memories.
Speaking of nicknames. I couldn’t help but notice that you referred to Mayweather as “PBF” or Pretty Boy Floyd. He hasn’t been “pretty” in a long time.
And what we saw during the final 5 minutes of HBO’s 24/7 on Saturday was the definition of ugly. I did not enjoy watching that emotional meltdown with his father at all. It was just sad and uncomfortable. I can’t blame his crew of yes men for just staring at him with their mouths closed.
What can they say to him or say about that situation? It really is between Mayweather senior and junior. And when Roger is the voice of reason you know you’re neck deep in dysfunction.
The question in my mind while watching that sad display was “is he playing this up for the cameras?”
If Mayweather can’t help unraveling like that around his father in front his entourage and HBO’s cameras I feel bad for him. He’s obviously got issues. However, if he did all of that for the cameras or to show out in front of his crew, he’s way sicker than I thought and I don’t feel sorry for him.
I do feel a little sorry for Berto. If he struggles at all with Jan Zaveck on Saturday, my guess is that he’ll have more fans doubting him than Victor Ortiz did prior to their showdown in April.
And Berto, who is already despised by hardcore fans for his affiliation with adviser Al Haymon (and the deserved perception that he’s a privileged fighter with HBO because of that connection), cannot afford to receive a gift decision against the visiting welterweight titleholder.
If Berto regains a major belt on HBO without having legitimately earned it, a lot of fans (not just the hardcore heads) will adopt our nickname where he’s concerned.
Come to think of it, U.S. boxing cannot afford another screw-job by the officials (judges or the referee) involved with a high-profile bout. So let’s hope they get it right in Biloxi, Miss.
HELENIUS, POVETKIN & ATLAS
I watched the fights this weekend and Robert Helenius is looking like a better version of Kelly Pavlik in a lot of ways. He's got the same sort of lanky, loose-muscled build, high work rate (not as consistent as Pavlik's used to be), and very good leverage on his shots. Liakhovich fought really well, I was particularly impressed by his combinations, but Helenius' power and speed was too much. I was really surprised to see a guy Helenius' size successfully slip under and counter a hook from a shorter fighter. He's got room to improve (especially in terms of consistency) before he fights a Klitschko, but I'd root for him against Wlad for the simple fact that he fights rather than holds on the inside. Nothing annoys me more than a fighter who can't fight on the inside.
I was disappointed in Alexander Povetkin this weekend but I'm more disappointed in Teddy Atlas. Trainers have less business making excuses than fighters, and no matter what other circumstances are involved, Povetkin looked better against better opposition before teaming with Atlas. He's my favorite announcer, I generally like the guy, but he simply hasn't gotten it done with Povetkin. Maybe his time as a trainer has passed. I heard it quoted one time that Povetkin won more international tournaments than both Klitschkos combined, so it's not as if Atlas wasn't given a lot to work with. I know a gold medal doesn't mean what it use to, but it doesn't mean so little that a trainer should be excused for developing so little from a guy who won one. Povetkin obviously shares some of the blame for his career and progress stalling, but Atlas has been the trainer and he simply hasn't gotten results. — Todd
Geez Todd, I didn’t think Povetkin looked that bad. Chagaev was the highest-rated (and arguably the best) fighter Povetkin has faced so far in his pro career, and he decisively beat the rugged southpaw veteran with Atlas in his corner.
It’s debatable whether Atlas has “improved” or “ruined” Povetkin. To my eyes, Atlas has changed the Russian amateur star’s style to what he believes is a more mature and professional manner of boxing. Personally, I liked the way Povetkin fought prior to taking on Atlas as his coach. I liked his pressure and appreciated his volume punching (especially when he went to the body). However, he was straight up and somewhat one-dimensional, and probably lucky that Eddie Chambers was either not mature enough or not in good enough condition to take advantage of it when they fought back in early 2008.
Atlas has made Povetkin a little more selective with his offense (and thus, a little less fun to watch IMO) but I think the 31-year-old heavyweight is harder to hit as a result. I also think Atlas has him dropping beautiful three-punch combinations. I liked what I saw from the Russian in the late rounds against Chagaev.
Only time will tell if Atlas was ultimately good or bad for Povetkin.
Helenius is damn good and very accomplished for a heavyweight his age (27) and with his amount of pro experience (16 fights). He’s defeated more former titleholders (Liakhovich, Samuel Peter and Lamon Brewster) than Povetkin (Chagaev and Chris Byrd) and he looks like a complete fighter.
I agree with the comparison to Pavlik, but I think Helenius is more relaxed and versatile in the ring than The Ghost was (even at his best).
Still, I would rate Povetkin above Helenius at this point. Povetkin has faced slightly better competition than the up-and-comer.
WHY COUNT OUT MARQUEZ?
Thanks for the RingTV show and your work with RingTV.com. I noticed that you've been completely writing off Juan Manuel Marquez against Manny Pacquiao this coming November. Although I agree that Marquez doesn't perform as nearly as well at a higher weight, we only have his performance against Mayweather (the most gifted boxer out there) to use as a comparison. But nonetheless, Marquez went 12 rounds with Floyd Jr. (and Manny ain't no Mayweather). In my opinion, Marquez is a more technically skilled — not athletically skilled — fighter than Pacquiao and if he succeeds in making it a boxing match and in controlling tempo as Erik Morales did, we'll have a new Mexican welterweight champion in a few months. — John, Santa Paula, CA
You’re absolutely right, John. I am writing Marquez off in his third bout with Pacquiao and I hate myself for doing it because I have so much respect for him.
However, I can’t get the image of Marquez getting shaken by punches from Juan Diaz and dropped hard on his ass by Michael Katsidis in LIGHTWEIGHT bouts. Now he’s going to face Pacquiao at a weight that his arch rival has proven the ability to hurt naturally bigger fighters — and not just any fighters — tough, proud world-class veterans (Cotto, Margarito, and Mosley). He made Cotto and Mosley basically b___h out after dropping them early.
I’m not even factoring in Marquez’s fight with Mayweather, who never tried to take out the Mexican veteran (but probably could have). “Manny an’t no Mayweather?” Um, yeah. Pacquiao lets his hands go. Maybe that will give Marquez an opportunity to clip him with counter punches. We’ll see (PacMan’s aggressive nature was supposedly going to give Mosley a shot, too, remember?). I don’t see Marquez playing it safe against Pacquiao if he gets hurt the way Sugarless Shane did, and thus I see him taking a beating. I hope I’m wrong. I hope we get a good fight.
BOXING CLUBHOUSE LEADERS
First time writer longtime reader. Just wondering your thoughts on this year’s boxing award winners. Here are my club house leaders for world boxing so far for 2011:
Fighter of the year and knockout of the year:
1. Nonito Donaire. To blast out a prime future hall of famer like Fernando Montiel like Donaire did was scary brutal.
2. Brandon ‘Bam Bam’ Rios. This cat does not play around. Two world-class lightweights got iced in Miguel Acosta (TKO 10), a classy mover-boxer-puncher, and Urbano Antillon (TKO 3), a come-forward Mexican brawler. If Bam Bam makes it a hat-trick of KOs against Kevin Mitchell he could take the award.
Fight of the year:
1. Jorge Arce TKO 12 Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. Twelve action packed rounds both ways and the veteran underdog comes through the fire to upset a young pup in a dramatic finish.
2. Felix Strum SD 12 Matt Macklin. Twelve rounds of brutally hard infighting.
3. Victor Ortiz UD 12 Andre Berto. Six rounds of madness until badass Ortiz took control and the fight tailed off during the second half (with Berto doing a whole lot of nothing at times, laying on the ropes taking an ass whipping).
Upset of the year: Orlando Salido. He was seen as a glorified journeyman, but the 15-1 underdog stops JuanMa Lopez, the future of Puerto Rican boxing, in his hometown. Unthinkable.
Letdown of the year: Wlad Klitschko-David Haye. The fight is given the massive global build up for these two clowns to go out there and fight like scared rabbits.
Thanks. — Ross
Very good choices, so far, Ross. Special kudos to you for bringing up Rios a potential Fighter of the Year. I hadn’t considered Bam Bam, but if he wins his third bout of 2011 (hopefully it is Mitchell) in impressive fashion perhaps he will deserve the honor.
As awesome as Donaire was against Montiel (who is a borderline HOFer at best, IMO), it’s going to be hard for him to get my vote with just two fights in 2011. (Unless he blasts Omar Narvaez out in one or two rounds.)
I think Ortiz is a lock for Fighter of the Year if he pulls off the upset against Mayweather. (Big freakin’ IF.)
Knockout of the Year frontrunner is definitely Donaire’s second-round smash down of Montiel. No other knockout this year has made me jump out of my seat and shout “Whoa!” like that one did.
Good Fight of the Year choices. I would add Acosta-Rios, Luis Concepcion-Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, Erik Morales-Marcos Maidana, and Pawel Wolak-Delvin Rodriguez. I think Wolak-Rodriguez is my frontrunner because of Wolak’s guts late in the barnburner and due to how surprisingly well Rodriguez (who was all but written off) fought. (I thought D-Rod won the bout, by the way.)
It’s hard to argue with Salido over Lopez being the frontrunner for Upset of the Year, but I think Nobuhiro Ishida’s first-round TKO of James Kirkland can give it a run for its money. Come on, man, that s__t was beyond “unthinkable,” it was freakin’ surreal. People may have been sleeping on Salido, but he was a longtime contender and recent former titleholder. Ishida was a nobody. Just about every boxing writer who covered the Morales-Maidana PPV card ignored the Japanese fringe contender prior to his fight (aside from Yours Truly and Rick Reeno). And then the dude blows out “the killer.” Truly inspirational.
Two fighters who will definitely earn consideration for Upset of the Year are Tomasz Adamek if he somehow beats Vitali Klitschko and Juan Manuel Marquez if he proves to be SuperPac’s kryptonite.
Email Doug Fischer at [email protected]