Friday, September 22, 2023  |



Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Fighters Network


Hey Doug, hope all is well,

Looking forward to the rematch between Miguel Cotto and Antonio Margarito. I don’t object to Max Kellerman calling the first fight a “modern classic” because it was a hell of a fight. Both fighters had their moments but in the end I really think those body shots took a toll on Cotto’s gas tank (Margarito did land absolute bombs upstairs as well).

I have my speculations, but I will never truly know whether Margarito loaded his wraps in this fight. Margarito has always hit hard and I have a feeling his power will carry up to 154 pounds, and the dude is a cardio machine so I’m also willing to bet he will be pressuring Cotto similar to their first encounter, hoping it will produce a similar outcome. What I’m interested in is whether or not Cotto will be carrying some extra power because amidst all the plaster talk some people forget that Margarito for the most part was able to shrug off Cotto’s punches and eventually fire those of his own. Cotto was landing flush and knocking Margarito’s head around, but it really never looked like Margarito was ever hurt. I’m curious about how that rebuilt eye will hold up since Cotto has made it pretty clear he is going to be throwing at it all night. It isn’t just the eye though, Pacquiao really beat Tony down and dude’s chin has taken a lot of abuse over the years. I like Cotto by clear cut UD, but I’ve been wrong in the past.

Also, who you got in the Abner Mares-Joseph Agbeko rematch, I think this will be a great fight as well and I’m leaning toward Agbeko. Hopefully, the punches don’t stray low this time. Enjoy the fights this weekend, I know I will. — Petro

I’ll enjoy them, too, Petro (although I’ll have to watch the Cotto-Margarito PPV on DVR when I get back home from covering the Mares-Agbeko card in Anaheim).

I’ve got Mares in another hotly contested fight that goes to a close decision, this time without the low-blow controversy.

Now that I think about it, I believe that both Mares and Cotto will win their rematches in similar fashion — by outboxing Agbeko and Margarito over the first half of the bouts and by surviving — by alternately boxing and slugging it out in spots — the late-round rallies that the gutsy challengers are sure to put forth.

I think both Agbeko and Margarito will close hard as they did in their first bouts, but not effectively enough to overwhelm and stop the titleholders. And I’m pretty sure that geography will play a part in the outcomes of both bouts.

Close rounds will likely go to Mares and to Cotto.


This is it Doug.

The supposed last year on Earth, 2012; is just about upon us. The year in which asteroids plaster the Earth; nukes, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes set off, leaving mutant cockroachs free to take over and reign supreme. Hey, signs of the end are happening. How else do you explain Jorge Arce being the Fighter of the Year or Jean Marc Mormeck receiving an upcoming shot at the world heavyweight championship? So here’s 5 fights that need to happen as soon as possible before these other disasters hit us. But first, are you ready for the two wars this weekend? Here’s my take on them:

Marg-Cotto 2. Plastered mitts or no, Margarito withstood Cotto’s brutal left hooks and grinded him down and just might do it again. Of course, Cotto could possibly wreck havok with Marg’s tender right-eye socket but I’m still picking the stronger, more durable Margarito to win another brutal slugfest that will once again take it’s toll on both fighters. Kind of like Ali-Frazier 3.

Mares-Agbeko. Unless Agbeko reinforces his jock-strap with cement and nails protruding outward to protect what’s left of his jewels, I’m picking Mares to do to him what the warplanes did to the original King Kong. Not easily, of course. Agbeko dished out some damage himself and will do so again. But I still think Mares will win this battle by close, yet clear decision.

And now my top 5:

1) Nonito Donaire-Abner Mares. After Mares defeats Agbeko, he needs go straight after Donaire. Actually, I think Donaire will take him down, but not before Mares gives “The Flash” one heck of a fight.

2) J.C. Chavez Jr.-Dimitry PirogJames Kirkland. You mentioned that Junior needs more time to develop but how much more time does he need to feast on has-beens like Peter Manfredo? How about pitting the Mexican Thumping Bean against another serious puncher like Pirog or Kirkland? I think that Junior’s underrated boxing skills and crunching body-shots will enable him to prevail against either banger but either way it will be a real barn-scorcher.

3) Brandon Rios-Victor Ortiz. We’re all calling for Rios-Maidana but if that doesn’t happen, Rios-Ortiz will do. Especially since these two Latin brawlers really don’t like each other that much. That means no hugs from Ortiz this time. These two will really tear into each other with Rios winning a close decision in an intense action fight.

4) Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley. Screw Pacquiao-Mayweather. It obviously will not happen no matter what so let Timmy have his shot. I actually think that Tim’s boxing/brawling skills combined with his considerable physical strength will give Pac some real hell until the more seasoned, harder-hitting Pac takes over and scores a riveting kayo. Or maybe Manny wins it more easily but Timmy still goes down fighting.

5) Juan Manuel Marquez-Eric Morales. These two will definitely give each other hell and make sure those cut-men and those canvas cleaners earn their paychecks. As tough as Morales is, Marquez is

still the better fighter and the fresher one as well, actually. He wins it.

6) Vitali Klitchko-Evander Holyfield. Ha ha, just kidding. Just checking to see if you were still with me, that’s all.

Well Doug, it’s time to brace ourselves for the next great wars that are upon us. Yes I’m referring to Marg-Cotto. And Mares-Abpecko as well. Have fun covering both of them in one night. Until then, maybe you can get to me with your own predictions and must-see 2012 fights. Either way, I’ll be back. — Todd the Terminator

You know that if Armageddon goes down in 2012, Bob Arum and Don King will somehow survive and promote the mutant cockroach fighters.

I’m picking Cotto to beat Margarito (as I did in their first bout), but I certainly will not be shocked if the TJ Tornado wears Cotto down again with his constant pressure and volume punching.

If Mares does beat Agbeko again, I hope you’re right and it’s by clear-cut decision. If there’s going to be a funny decision, and I sincerely hope there isn’t, I’d rather Agbeko be the beneficiary because it will even the score between the two and set up a rubbermatch.

Now, onto your top 5 matchups to be made before the world ends next year.

I like ’em all, but I’d rather see Mares take on Jorge Arce (at 118 or 122). I’m a big fan of Abner but I think his aggressive style is tailor-made for Donaire. Mares-Arce will be a war, and if Mares wins, his Mexican fan base will grow exponentially, which will be good for the sport. Boxing needs as many young attractions as it can get.

I like Chavez-Kirkland. A lot. There’s no way in hell Arum would ever agree to it, but it would be a fun middleweight showdown. I’m not sure who wins it, but I’m kind of leaning toward Junior, too, which surprises me. I don’t think Chavez is ready for Pirog, who can do a lot more than punch.

Rios-Ortiz is Vargas-De La Hoya2.0, or “Bad Blood II” if you will. I’m always in favor of grudge matches and this one would deliver.

I’d be happy for Timmy if he got a shot at Pacquiao, but it’s not a fight I’m interested in. For starters, I think it could be awkward and uneventful, but the main reason is that I’m just getting really bored with the PacMan. I don’t see the significance in any potential fight for him apart from the Mayweather showdown. Same goes for Mayweather. I’m not interested in him fighting Amir Khan or Saul Alvarez or Robert Guerrero.

Sign me up for Marquez-Morales (at 135 or 140). Where can I buy tickets?


Doug, been a minute,
Anyway, I was surprised u picked Mares by late rounds stoppage. I’m curious, what of either Agbeko or Mares, or their prior bout, leads u to believe Agbeko will get stopped? I don’t know of Agbeko even getting knocked down except for the bogus Mares knockdown let alone stopped. What do you see? — Sooperstar98

My official pick is Mares by close decision, but I think I did say in an earlier mailbag that I could see the young man score a late stoppage. My reasoning was that A) their first bout took a lot out of Agbeko (for obvious reasons), and B) Mares might fight harder down the stretch of the reamtch than he did in the first fight.

Mares usually finishes very strong (as he did in his 12-round bouts with Yohnny Perez and Vic Darchinyan), but he did not do so in the first Agbeko fight. Part of the reason is that Agbeko rallied like the champ he is, but I also think having to peak twice in two camps (due to Agbeko’s back injury postponing the fight) and bulking up his muscle during the first half of this year contributed to his slowing down in the final rounds.

Mares has acknowledged that the added muscle may have been a mistake and he’s laid off the weights for this camp, which I think will increase his speed, punch fluidity and late-rounds stamina. If Mares can go hard to the body without fouling Agbeko (a big “if,” I admit) and press hard down the stretch, I think it’s possible for him to wear down the 31-year-old veteran.

However, the more I think about this match up the more I’m thinking Mares will use any extra stamina he may have late in the fight to avoid direct confrontation and win on points. I hope I’m wrong. I hope the young man goes for it late in the fight and tries to match the fire I know that Agbeko will exhibit. We’ll find out what happens very soon.


Whats good Dougie, hope all is well. Cant wait for this weekend. Looks like there is gonna be a lot of good fights on with the main fight of course being Cotto vs Margs. I do not think that it will be as compelling as the first fight but I do believe it still will be a fun fight to watch. The 24/7 coverage definitely re-sparked my interest in the whole drama. I think the issues between Cotto and Margs is pretty deep. But let me ask you Dougie, I know you must have seen the “face-off” between Cotto and Margarito in which Cotto shows on his tablet a picture of Margarito’s handwraps (after his fight with Cotto) being ripped and says that handwraps don’t rip unless there was something placed under them. Now I don’t have any expertise in handwrapping but I imagine that you have more knowledge on this subject then me. After looking at that pic would you personally say that he was wearing loaded gloves or at least say that he most likely was wearing loaded gloves? Thanks. — Roland, Tampa

I don’t know what to make of that picture. I’m not an “expert” on gauze and hand wraps, or on what conditions lead to hand wraps ripping or tearing inside of a fighter’s glove during a fight. (Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought I was.) However, I don’t think that the photo taken after the first fight is the “smoking gun” that Cotto and Margarito’s many detractors wish to make of it. Honestly, the wraps don’t look ripped to me. Maybe I need to examine a high resolution blow-up of Margz’s wrapped fist. From what I’ve seen it looks like something’s stuck on top of the warps.

I’ve said this many times before, but I guess there’s no harm in repeating it: I don’t think Margarito’s hand wraps were loaded for the Cotto fight. I think Javier Capetillo was watched by at least one NSAC inspector and a member of Cotto’s camp and I think the nutty trainer used the gauze and wrapping that was provided by the NSAC.

I think Cotto’s face got busted up something awful in that fight because Margarito threw and landed a s__tload of punches. I think he wore the Puerto Rican star down because he was able to take Cotto’s best punches and stay on top of his ass for 10 and a half grueling rounds.


Dear Sir Dougie of Queensbury,

Here at work we have a boxing predictor competition that is ending soon (final weekend is the Froch vs Ward one) and there are at least 4 of us in with a chance of taking our beautiful trophy.

We score points for picking the winner, and then more for stoppage – early / late and points unanimous / majority. We also have 5 “balboas” to play which mean double the points scored vs a particular fight.

It’s very exciting indeed. Honest!

However – this weekend is a total nightmare – a crucial weekend and so many pick-em fights that we are all flummoxed – Cotto OR Margarito? Mares OR Agbeko? Anselmo Moreno vs Vic Darchinyan?

It’s great to have these match-ups but if I go the wrong way then the trophy will slip from my grasp!

Rios and Sturm vs the Murrays are perhaps more predictable but still not straightforward. And I am afraid that Chisora will NOT last 5 rounds -but then neither would the lump that is Tyson Fury.

For what its worth I think Cottowill scrape through by running away at the end from a busted but murderous Marg – but I have never warmed to Cotto due to his over-the-top constant criticism of Ricky Hatton during Ricky’s Vegas adventures – so I’m backing him but would rather see him pole-axed into retirement – sorry, I know you love the guy.

What about an international boxing-predictor run via – top prize being a chance to write for the Bible of Boxing?

Keep well and enjoy this crazy weekend! — Darren, UK

I will Darren. Only in Britain would there be an office pool for boxing. I love it! Here in America, you get those with football and college hoops, but never boxing.

How exactly would an “international boxing-predictor” work on a website? While you figure out how to explain it to my dumb ass, maybe I can help you decide your picks for this busy weekend.

Go with Cotto (even though was he was d__k to Ricky). Now that Felix Trinidad is retired, Madison Square Garden is Cotto’s house. The crowd will inspire him to dig deep when he has to and to do the smart thing (box) when he needs to. The vocal Puerto Rican fans may also influence the judges.

Go with Mares because he’s fighting at home and because it’s a young man’s game. He’s likely to have learned more in the 36 rounds he’s gone with Perez, Darchinyan and Agbeko than Agbeko has in the 48 rounds he’s gone with Darch Vader, Perez (in back to back fights) and Mares. My guess is that Mares has more in the tank than Agbeko.

Even though Moreno is a seasoned veteran and the definition of a finesse boxer, go with Darchinyan by late TKO because he’s crazy and he’s got the punching power to back up his wonderful brand of madness. Moreno will out-box and out-maneuver him early, but the Raging Bull will surprise the boxer with his speed and counter punches while gradually cutting the ring off on the Panamanian. At some point after the seventh or eighth round, Evil Vic will catch and pummel Moreno in a corner.

Go with Brandon Rios, Felix Sturm and Robert Helenius over your countrymen (sorry). Bam Bam by mid-rounds KO in a good scrap, The Sturminator by controversial decision and The Nordic Nightmare by late stoppage (I think Chisora goes more than five rounds because Helenius likes to take his time).


Doug Fischer can be emailed at [email protected]