Monday, January 30, 2023  |

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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

19
Sep

YOU EVIL, HATING RACIST BASTARD

I just knew you were going to rip that dude a new a__hole, I read so slowly as not to see your comments until I read through the whole thing, but you threw up a dud, like TBE, maybe YOU need to retire!

LOL, just joking you “racist bastard”! – Jason C. Brown

Ha! You know what? That guy was such a sincere (and hopeless) Mayweather nut-hugger (and quite possibly mentally challenged) that I couldn’t bring myself to reply to him with guns blazin’.



He wasn’t really attacking me with his email (MAYWEATHER IS GREAT, STOP BEING UNFAIR). The guy, who went by Justice, simply wanted “justice” for his favorite boxer, who he truly believes is a great fighter.

In fact, he seemed genuinely concerned about my spiritual well being (you know how God frowns upon “haters,” especially when that “hate” is directed at such a “beautiful genius” like Floyd Mayweather Jr.).

I guess I kind of appreciate that, so I just answered him as straight as I could.

Anyway, I’m sure it won’t be long before someone pushes my buttons enough for me to go off.

In the meantime, I want to thank you for writing to these mailbag columns regularly for so many years (seriously, I can’t even remember when you first started sending me emails). So, I’m gonna make you the same offer I made to Kevin Key on Monday. Let me know which RING magazine T-shirt you want (and what size), send me your address, and I’ll make sure you get it in the mail. Check THE RING Shop here.

 

SHOULD ANGULO RETIRE?

Hi Doug, Wanted to skip the post ‘Mayhem’ mayhem following another typically boring Floyd fight and ask you something unrelated to Floyd’s ATG credentials (which you’re right he doesn’t have).So straight to my question: do you think Alfredo Angulo should retire? He seemed really worn out on Saturday and the move to 160 doesn’t seem to have helped him at all. In fact he still looked terrible on the scales despite that extra 4 lbs. I know he’s always been slow but to me it seems his hands don’t go when he wants them too. He has some limited name value but I don’t think he’s got much left in the tank and I hate seeing fighters go the way of JuanMa Lopez.Anyway, hope this can make the post-Mayweather rush for Friday, keep up the great work! – Phil, Liverpool, England

Thanks Phil.

I don’t think Angulo has anything left in his tank and I absolutely believe that he should retire. If he continues boxing it will be as a stepping stone for young up-and-comers. If I’m being kind to him – and I want to be because he was such an entertaining fighter and is such a likable guy out of the ring – I’ll consider him to be a gatekeeper. But his contender days are over.

They were arguably over after the God-awful pounding he absorbed from James Kirkland in November 2011. The drama of being held in an immigration detention center for seven months following the Kirkland loss added emotional and psychological stress to the physical damage he had absorbed.

I thought his deteriorated state was exposed during the 10-round decision win over young Jorge Silva in December 2012. Silva, who was just a kid and had no business fighting at junior middleweight, stung him a few times and legitimately won three, maybe even four, of the 10 rounds.

To his credit, Angulo pulled it together for the Erislandy Lara fight, which I thought he had no chance of winning. Angulo proved me and a lot of others wrong by giving Lara hell and coming close to winning before his penchant for eating flush head shots and severely damaged facial tissue did him in during the 10th round.

I think the back-to-back 10th-round TKO losses to Lara and Canelo Alvarez took out whatever fight Angulo had in him. He was fighting on pure muscle memory in those final rounds against James De La Rosa, and the only reason he won the last two rounds (or should have won them) was because the Texas was totally gassed.

There’s no doubt in my mind that if Angulo continues fighting, he will get starched the way Lopez has in three of his last four bouts.

 

KIRKLAND VS ROSADO

What’s up Doug,

I just heard the news of Gabriel Rosado and James Kirkland agreeing to fight at a catch weight 156 pounds which I think Rosado shouldn’t do based on his last performance against Charlo, but then again I may be wrong. Kirkland was put away by Nobuhiro Ishida in the first round and he’s also been inactive for large amounts of time. I hear that Kirkland is also having disagreements in his camp which I think will also play a role if the circumstances are still the same fight night. He didn’t have Ann Wolfe in his corner in his fight with Ishida and we all know what happened. I would have to take Rosado in this fight based off his activity and his ability to take punches and to make a comeback in the late rounds, don’t get me wrong I am a fan of Kirkland the guy nearly takes off heads with his punches and if he wins my guess is it would be from KO in the early rounds.

PS. I’m sure you remember my last email about Rosado. I hope he proves you wrong.

All love brother keep up the good work. – Matthew Dolan, Fort McDowell, AZ

Thanks Matthew.

I recall your email about Rosado (and a few other subjects, including Texas, which earned Yours Truly a few angry emails from female fight fans from the Lone Star State). How do you hope he proves me wrong? I haven’t given a prediction or pick on the Kirkland fight (I don’t think it’s 100 percent official yet).

I did say that I think Rosado should stay within the BKB league unless he was offered bout for big money. Maybe the Kirkland fight is for really good money.

I agree that fighting under 160 pounds is not a good move for Rosado at this stage of his career but perhaps he’ll be OK fighting just a few pounds under the middleweight limit. The catchweight hasn’t been finalized to my knowledge. It could be 157 or even 158, which wouldn’t be so bad for Rosado.

I see this as an even fight (and a darn good one, too). Kirkland has got the edge in speed, power and punch-volume, but unlike Glen Tapia, Rosado has experience to go with his height and reach advantages. Like you noted, Rosado also has good stamina and greater fight activity on his side. Still, he’ll need to hurt Kirkland early (and often) in the bout to be able to contain the southpaw pressure fighter.

Whether or not Kirkland is really experiencing camp drama, I don’t expect the version that fought Ishida to show up against Rosado. (Gabriel doesn’t have that kind of luck.)

THE BUTE-ROACH TEAM UP

Hey Doug,(… I am so sick of TMT/TBE that I didn’t even bother to watch the fight. Even for free…)Lucian Bute is teaming up with Freddie Roach. Do you think this can actually turn Bute’s career around? I am more than doubtful. Bute looked like he was damaged mentally in his last fight. I am not sure what Roach can do about that? – Stephen, Montreal

Thanks for writing, Stephen. You didn’t miss anything with Mayweather-Maidana II.If anyone can boost Bute’s confidence and revamp his career, it’s Roach, who specializes in rebuilding veteran fighters and former elite boxers.

Roach is OK at developing young prospects but he’s really at his best when he’s given a talented former contender or former titleholder who already has a foundation set.Just check his track record over the past 15 years with James Toney, Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Miguel Cotto. Toney was thought to be finished and un-coachable, Pacquiao was a complete unknown, Khan had been “exposed,” and Cotto was supposedly shot when they all began working with Roach. All of them won titles, upset the odds and fought at top form (at least for a time) under Roach’s guidance.

If Roach can get a lazy modest talent like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. to get into decent shape and win a major title, think of what he can do with Bute, who has an extensive amateur background, tremendous athletic gifts and a strong work ethic.

 

MAYWEATHER’S LAST TWO FIGHTS, UK FIGHTS

Hello Doug,

Back in May 2013 after the Robert Guerrero fight, I recall people sending their wishlist for Floyd’s remaining five opponents of his contract with Showtime. I agreed with the person that suggested Canelo, Adrien Broner, Pacquiao, Sergio Martinez and Gennady Golovkin (in no particular order). After beating Canelo quite handily and seeing that Broner and Martinez have fallen by the wayside, the remaining two are Golovkin and Pacquiao, which would be the perfect way for him to bow out. I know the Pac fight is about four years too late but it should still capture the imagination if it still happens. I was convinced that PacMan had the beating of Mayweather back then. Now I’d slightly favour Floyd. The other candidate is the beast that you mentioned in your all-time top 20 article; Golovkin. If Golovkin was willing to come down to 154 make that happen, who wouldn’t want to see it?!

On a side note, during the UK coverage of the broadcast, Gary Logan mentioned that Tommy Hearns’ 6-foot-plus frame and power would have caused Floyd all sorts of problems. The only fighter with similar physique I could think of that would have caused Floyd problems is Paul Williams. Any news on how he is coping?

Finally, I mailed you back in 2012 regarding some fights here in the UK. https://www.ringtv.com/news/176259-dougies-monday-mailbag-113

Have your thoughts changed? I’m still backing Frampton over Quigg and Khan over Brook.

I’ve got some more for you:

Billy Joe Saunders v Chris Eubank Jr

Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew II

James DeGale v George Groves II

Mathew Macklin v Andy Lee

Kevin Mitchell v Ricky Burns II

 

Kind Regards. – Hasan, England

Thanks for writing again, Hasan.

No, my picks on the three UK showdowns you gave me have not changed. I still like Scott Quigg over Carl Frampton (I’m probably the only one), Tyson Fury over David Price, and Kell Brook over Khan.

I agree with Logan’s take on a Hearns-Mayweather mythical matchup. If Hearns had no power at all, he would still give Floyd fits because of his height, reach, speed, technique and skill (especially his expertise with the jab). With his vaunted power, I think The Hitman would have starched Mayweather before the middle rounds.

Williams is doing very well, I’ve been told by people who have recently visited the two-time WBO welterweight titleholder and former junior middleweight/middleweight contender. His spirit is very high and he’s even had some physical breakthroughs, such as feeling returning to his lower body and some limited movement returning to his legs. I’ve been told he’s even figured out a way to drive occasionally (even though he’s not supposed to be doing that). We might have a feature magazine story on Williams and his progress coming soon.

I agree that Pacquiao and Golovkin would be the perfect final two bouts of Mayweather’s career. We will probably get Khan and Keith Thurman, which aren’t bad fights but they aren’t huge PPV events (in the U.S.) and they aren’t legacy building bouts.

Your UK showdowns:

Billy Joe Saunders v Chris Eubank Jr – Saunders by close decision

Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew II – Bellew by decision

James DeGale v George Groves II – DeGale by controversial decision

Mathew Macklin v Andy Lee – Lee by come-from-behind TKO

Kevin Mitchell v Ricky Burns II – Burns by decision

 

PPV AND NONITO DONAIRE

Hey Doug! Just read the Monday mailbag and you seem to be against pay-per-view. IMO, there are 4 PPV headliners in today’s boxing: Canelo, Mayweather, Pacquiao, and Cotto. I’m not really sure about Cotto after his fight with Maravilla really tanked. If you had to pay with your own money, who would you be most likely to pay for? Personally I go for Canelo. He is young, hungry and fights the best. Floyd’s “Money” persona is pretty annoying and his style isn’t fan friendly. Manny doesn’t know what to focus on and is fighting in Macau. Cotto doesn’t do Mayweather-Pacquiao numbers by himself. Secondly, if you were Nonito Donaire’s manager, what would you have him do? Move back down to 122 and have a rematch with Rigondeaux or stay and try and prove he’s the best at 126. You seem to think he’ll get KOed by Walters and if he does, where does he go from there? Donaire is a “name brand” guy, so he definitely will still get HBO fights. Thanks! – Robert from Ashton, MD

If I was Donaire’s manager I’d have him pull out of the Walters fight. I wouldn’t have him drop back down to 122 pounds because I don’t think he can make that weight without draining himself at this stage of his career.

I think my goal for Nonito would be a featherweight showdown with Abner Mares, which could be built into a major fight in California if it’s set up right. If Mares, who I don’t believe has fully recovered from his KO loss to Jhonny Gonzalez, would be willing to do the fight right away, I’d go for it.

If Mares wanted to get a few more wins under his belt (and further gel with new trainer Virgil Hunter), I’d try to keep Donaire busy with confidence-building fights against shopworn former bantamweight titleholders, such as Joseph Agbeko or Hozumi Hasegawa. If he beat Mares, I’d roll the dice against Gonzalez. I would not put Donaire in against Walters, Rigo, or Vasyl Lomachenko. If Gary Russell Jr. wanted to get some, then OK. We’d fight him if the money was right.Canelo is also my choice for pay-per-view player. I’d shell out dough to see him take on Cotto, the Kirkland-Rosado winner, David Lemieux, Kid Choc, or the Charlo Bros.

 

WHY DOES MAYWEATHER GET A PASS FOR ‘MASTER BOXING’?

Hi Doug,

Got a question for you, which I’ll preface by saying I actually enjoy watching Floyd Mayweather fight, even if it is not too exciting. I think his skills are pretty impressive when he uses them. So then, why is it that the vast majority of boxing media comes down so hard on Guillermo Rigondeaux and Erislandy Lara, but not Floyd Mayweather?

If anything, I think Rigondeaux actually runs less and pivots more than Floyd. If you watch his fight with Donaire, he definitely moved out of range and pivoted frequently, but he did not literally run the perimeter of the ring like Floyd so frequently has. He clinches much less and actually steps in and throws aggressive punches throughout. Against Maidana, Floyd barely threw a punch in the final round.

Additionally, Erislandy Lara used the exact same game plan against Canelo and was widely scorned for his tactics. Admittedly he only outlanded Alvarez by ten punches, but I think Canelo’s face definitely showed more damage. If that had been Floyd in that situation, it would have been a clear unanimous decision win.

My point is what we generally see and hear about Floyd is that he “outclassed” his opponent, put on a “master class,” or gave a boxing “clinic” whenever he pulls these sprint-and-grab sessions. I’m not denying he lands some beautiful punches along the way, but why the excessive respect? If he fights someone slow enough like Cotto or Alvarez, he is much more willing to “stand and trade” because he knows he can conserve energy without as much risk. But I think the majority of the media AND boxing judges need to be more consistent in their evaluation of other fighters with similar styles. Thoughts?

Moving on to something more interesting, how do you see Kirkland-Rosado? I’m guessing that Kirkland’s extended vacations from the ring, promotional and management problems, and a few other factors give Rosado the advantage. Speaking of that card in general, how do you see Hopkins-Kovalev playing out? I honestly would like to say I see Hopkins winning, and I think he does have some advantages here, stylistically. However, I can’t see him taking consistent body punches for twelve rounds without Kovalev catching him and finishing him late. Can you? – VS

I have no idea who has the upper hand in the co-featured matchups on HBO’s Nov. 8 offering from Atlantic City. That’s why it’s one of the better boxing shows scheduled in the late part of this year. I give slight edges to the Philly fighters, based on their experience, toughness and technique, but I would not put a lot of money on either if I were a betting man. I’ve never seen Hopkins lose to a fighter with Kovalev’s seek-and-destroy style but I suppose there’s a first time for everything. I do like the way Kovalev can bomb to the body from long range with straight punches. He seems to get a lot of leverage with those shots even though they don’t look like power punches. However, I expect Hopkins to be prepared for those. Rosado’s going to have to have to be able to hurt Kirkland (the body would be a good place to start) before the Texas Tornado gets into his rhythm. If Kirkland gets warmed up and some momentum going, Rosado’s going to be in a world of pain.

Good question about the general acceptance of Mayweather’s technical/tactical style. There’s a double standard. If Mayweather had boxed Canelo the exact same way that Lara did, he would have won by scores of 117-111 or 118-110.

If Mayweather boxed then-middleweight champ Jermain Taylor in the EXACT same manner that Cory Spinks did in 2007, he would have won a lopsided decision and that performance would have been lauded as one of the “all-time great” boxing clinics by the usual nitwits who spout such hyperbole. Spinks lost a split decision and was chided by HBO’s commentators for being boring waste of time.

If Rigo had just a little bit of Mayweather’s marketing mojo he’d be a welcome regular on HBO. Bu the key difference between Mayweather and Rigo, Spinks and Lara is that Floyd has an attention-seeking personality and a controversial/polarizing schtick. Floyd’s can be a real p___k but he’s got charisma compared to those three (and a lot of other pure technicians – aside from B-Hop).

Mayweather has also remained undefeated for all these years and he’s turned his record into a power marketing tool (with the help of a lot of boxing media “tools” and HBO).

Greater exposure + relentless self-promotion + longevity/extended win streak = more acceptance for Mayweather’s boxing style.

He was introduced to the U.S. public during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where he earned a bronze medal (along with network TV time). He was developed by Top Rank and brought up on HBO.

After making a splash with his first title victory (against the late Genaro Hernandez) and his first title defense (a two-round TKO of “Boxing After Dark” staple Angel Manfredy) in 1998, Mayweather was criticized for being “boring” in a few of his HBO-televised fights in ’99 and 2000 (his uneventful decisions over Carlos Rios and Goyo Vargas). He rekindled interest with a stellar 2001 (when he dominated the late Diego Corrales and beat Famous Hernandez and Jesus Chavez) but the B-word was occasionally attached to him during the mid-2000s (particularly after his rematch with JL Castillo and decision over Victoriano Sosa). However, by the late 2000s – after his signature victory over De La Hoya (which was fairly lackluster) – Mayweather developed his “Money” persona, which with the help of HBO’s “24/7” and now Showtime’s “All Access”, lifted his marketing game to a new level.

Having said all that, I’ve noticed more members of the media mentioning the lack of action and drama in his recent fights in their post-fight stories and reports. I’ve also noticed that he’s not getting the same edge on the scorecards he used to get. There used to always be one judge who gave Mayweather the benefit of the doubt in competitive or very close fights, such as Anek Hongtongkam’s 116-111 tally for the first Castillo fight, Glen Hamada’s dreadful 119-109 score for the Zab Judah fight, and Robert “The Las Vegas Homer” Hoyle’s 118-110 for the Miguel Cotto fight.

But these days there’s one judge who gives Mayweather’s opponents the benefit of the doubt, such as CJ Ross’ blatantly Canelo-biased 114-114 for the Alvarez fight, Michael Pernick’s 114-114 tally for the first Madiana bout, and Guido Cavalleri’s 115-112 score for the Maidana rematch.

We’ll see where the trend takes us next year.

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer

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