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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

19
Dec

CHANGING OF THE PPV GUARD

Hi Doug,

Are we about to finally witness a changing of the guard on the PPV scene with Canelo Alvarez taking over from Floyd Mayweather Jr. before Money retires? I’m not a massive Canelo fan but I’ve gotta give him a big thumbs up for taking the fight with Erislandy Lara (a fight I scored 7-5 to Lara but hey ho) when he didn’t have to. He clearly has something Money lacks, a desire to fight and become the best in the world. Mayweather is super talented but his fights have become extremely boring and predictable. I find Mayweather fights a chore to watch now even though I’m a fan of the craft. I’d rather watch Guillermo Rigondeaux fight as his style is ‘Moneyesque’ but he’s got more natural talent and in my opinion is more dominant in doing it (despite what you may think about the division not being as hot). I’m not saying it will be Manny Pacquiao, but Canelo wanting the Mexican bank holidays will clearly force Mayweather to up the ante somewhat. Even though it isn’t PPV over here in the UK, I wouldn’t sit up till 5am to watch Money fight anyone except Amir Khan, Keith Thurman or Pacquiao.

Now to my point, Doug. I wanted to ask do you think both Canelo and Money WILL indeed fight on the same dates in May/September or will something or someone give?



I’m HOPING for in MAY – Canelo v Cotto, Money v Pacquiao

In September I’m HOPING for – Canelo v GGG (as both will win in early 2015 and GGG will be WBC mandatory) and either a Money rematch with Pacquiao if he loses or if he wins, Money v Thurman/Khan/Brook/GGG (I’m dreaming by this point, I know)

I think in REALITY we’ll get in MAY – Canelo vs Cotto, Money v someone dangerous to provide excitement but ultimately out of their depth (maybe Matthysse, Provodnikov, Chaves or maybe a slightly rusty Brook, although the latter isn’t as heavy handed and is more talented than the previous three named). This will be because of Arum not allowing Pacquiao to fight on the same date with Canelo aswell as terms and previous shenanigans.

In September in REALITY – Canelo v GGG (as I honestly think both will win against Cotto/Murray) and Money v whichever one of Khan/Brook/Thurman makes the best impression early 2015 in an attempt to go out on a high.

As you see, I reckon Canelo takes the fights the public wants to see. (I know these are my opinions but don’t think many would complain with the above Canelo suggestions)

Hope to make the bag and looking forward to hearing your thoughts and seeing has this intriguing post-Cold War battle materializes. Keep up the good work. – Paul UK

Thanks Paul. Nothing gets a hardcore fan’s mind turning with endless “What If?” scenarios like a few bold announcements from a budding star and an aging star, a little social media back-and-forth between aging rivals, and the prospect of dueling pay-per-view dates, eh? The Cold War is over! Anything is possible! Right? Well, maybe notÔǪ

I think as far as Mayweather, Al Haymon and Bob Arum are concerned the Cold War is still going strong and will never end, which is why I don’t envision Floyd getting it on with Manny in 2015 or ever. (But I hope I’m wrong. I really do.)

If by some chance boxing gets it right and all those millionaire egos can do the right thing and make Mayweather-Pacquiao happen on May 2, you won’t see dueling PPV extravaganzas. Oscar De La Hoya has gone on record saying if Mayweather-Pacquiao is made, Cotto-Canelo will have to find another date. De La Hoya acknowledges that May-Pac is the superfight that the public demands and desires. Cotto-Canelo can move to June (and work around the Puerto Rican parade in New York City, maybe find a home at Yankee Stadium) or July (and do it in Las Vegas or Texas, maybe Cowboys Stadium).

Here’s what I think happens: Cotto-Canelo gets done and claims the May 2 date. Mayweather-Pacquiao does not get done, but Mayweather being a stubborn sort, holds on to that date and takes on Khan, who will get grudging respect in the U.S. and bring in lots of media, money and fan interest from the UK.

In September, we get rematches of the May 2 PPV main events because both fights will be competitive and entertaining. The question is who does Pacquiao fight in 2015? Maybe Bob and Al can see eye to eye enough to make a Pacquiao-Danny Garcia showdown.

Obviously, I’m just guessing here. If only Cotto-Canelo is made, I’ll consider 2015 to be a better year than 2014. If Mayweather-Pacquiao can be made maybe there’s hope for this sport. Going forward, I do think Canelo will challenge Golovkin, I’m just not sure 2015 is the year he does it. The young Mexican idol can become boxing’s next PPV star as long as he continues to challenge himself. He’ll lose a few fights (like to GGG, maybe even to Cotto) but as long as he’s competitive and entertaining he’ll build his following and continue to earn respect.

 

THE BOXER AND THE BANKER

Hi Doug,

I have to first say, that as a devoted reader of The Ring (both website and monthly hard copy magazine) I get massive enjoyment reading your enlightening and thoughtful pieces.

I have to confess, I upset my other half recently by suggesting that if I was gay, you would be the one – but only because the pillow talk would be second to none!!!!

However, I digress, I wanted to write to ask you about your thoughts on what I perceive to be the exciting and hugely positive impact that the departure of Richard Schaefer has had on boxing from a fans perspective?

I watch many press conferences and read many interviews of Oscar De La Hoya and I am always excited by what he says with regards to rebuilding relationships with Top Rank and Bob Arum in order to make the biggest and best fights (i.e the announcement of Cotto v Alvarez , the heightened feeling that Mayweather Jr v Pacquiao will get made).

With Oscar in the driving seat, I feel we are getting, first and foremost, a fan that is driven (not only by profit) but to give other fans what they want – the best against the best and when the fighters are in their pomp.

Whereas I always felt the likes of an ex banker/commercial man like Mr. Schaefer was always happy with the status quo (i.e if a tidy little profit continues to be made under the current situation and I don’t have to swallow any pride by talking with Arum – then “bollocks to making the most exciting fights for the fans”)

What are your thoughts? Is the talk of these fights getting made after Schaefer has left the scene just a coincidence or do you think that they would they have been made with him eventually (even with his reluctance to do business with Top Rank).

Always appreciate your views D, keep up the great work and have a Happy Christmas and New Year. – Matt, Woking, England

Thanks for the very kind and very gay words, Matt. That was probably the best compliment I’ve received in a few years. And Happy Holidays to you (and your other half, of course).

My thoughts on Oscar and Richard echo yours for the most part. De La Hoya is the kind of promoter who thinks more from the perspective of the fans and fighters. There’s no mystery as to why that is. Schaefer was a bottom-line guy and a shrewd deal maker. He didn’t think like a fan or matchmaker or a fighter when he put fights together. That wasn’t always a bad thing. He made some HUGE fights and helped put together (along with his buddy Al Haymon in recent years) some monster events. But his main focus was on the money and on the corporate relationships he fostered. The drawback with Schaefer is that he wanted to control too much, often damaged or destroyed relationships with other promoters/power brokers in the industry, and sometimes he fell in love with certain star boxers of the GBP/Haymon stable (such as Mayweather, Hopkins, Khan and a few others).

Oscar’s not perfect. He’s got his flaws as businessman, too, but he’s good for the sport because he says what the fans want to hear, and since taking back his company, he seems to be sincere about re-building the many bridges that were broken during the Schaefer/Haymon/Mayweather reign. Everything De La Hoya has done in the past few months – making up with HBO, doing business with Main Events, Top Rank and other promoters on shows televised on both Showtime and HBO, and pushing for Cotto-Canelo – will make the sport healthier in 2015.

Like I’ve said before, Cotto-Canelo will be the real litmus test of whether Golden Boy and Top Rank can play nice and do mega-business together. If that fight is made and both promotional companies work hard together with HBO to make it a record-breaking PPV event it will prove that De La Hoya can be just as successful at the helm of his company as Schaefer was.

 

WHO NEEDS STIFFER COMPETITION?

SEASON GREETINGS Dougey F, hope all is well with yourself and loved ones. Love the mailbags. Long time reader, first time writer, would like to see if I can grab your opinion on a few topics.

Firstly, I recently saw an interview with Floyd Mayweather Jr. stating that if he was white he would have made multi billions… MULTIÔǪ where does he get off saying [email protected]#T like this. He’s beyond delusional. He’s the highest paid athlete in the world by quite a way and yet he wants more? I’m also pretty sure that 4 or 5 of the top 10 highest paid athletes in the world are black, so doesn’t it seem that race has got F&*K all to do with it?

Just a thought on the whole Money vs Pacman viewings. Has there ever been an event where you subscribe to say Showtime for money or subscribe to HBO for Pacman to see who the fans have really tuned in to watch or do you think a few egos would be shattered a little bit?

Can’t wait to see GGG back in the action. Hopefully he doesn’t have just another stay busy year and can hopefully get some bigger fish to tango with him. Who would you like to see get some stiffer competition next year excluding GLOVEKING as me and my bro call him? If you had the ability to make the fights happen what fights would you put together in 2015?

Mythical matchup :

Verne Troyer vs Tony Cox

Keep up the work champ. – Farrell, Australia

Thanks. I’ll try. And thanks for reading the mailbag. I’ll start from the bottom – with your mythical matchup of tiny mites – and work my way up.

Tony_CoxI gotta go with Cox (seen in such movies as “Me, Myself and Irene” and “Bad Santa”). He’s probably a lot older than Troyer but he’s taller and heavier, plus he’s more of an O.G. badass than “Mini Me.” Remember that scene in “Me, Myself and Irene” when he busted up Jim Carrey’s character and broke out those nunchuks? Rumble little man, rumble!

I’m also looking forward to Golovkin’s return against Martin Murray in February. I expect the Englishman to give GGG a decent fight. However, I hope someone with strong name recognition takes the GGG challenge before the end of 2015. I have no clue who that might be.

Fighters I’d like to see face stiffer comp in 2015 include, light heavyweight champ Adonis Stevenson, Andre Dirrell and Keith Thurman. If I could make them fight anyone I wanted in 2015, I’d force Stevenson to face unified titleholder Sergey Kovalev, I’d put Dirrell in with either James DeGale or George Groves, and I’d match the Thurmanator up with the slugger he’s been calling out for a while, Marcos Maidana, or with IBF titleholder Kell Brooks. I wouldn’t mind seeing Tim Bradley vs. Thurman, either.

When HBO and Showtime do a co-PPV event, you can’t order one network or the other; it’s a package deal/coproduction. But that wouldn’t stop online sports publications and live radio/podcasts from hosting polls that ask “Who are you buying this pay-per-view fight for? Floyd or Manny?” if the super-duper-mega-ultra fight is made.

Regarding Mayweather’s recent “..if I was white I would have made multi billionsÔǪ” comment, by now you should know that Floyd lives in his own world. And it’s not a pleasant place, even for him. He’s a ridiculously insecure man-child who feels unappreciated and alienated by segments of society and the corporate world and he can’t figure out why. So it must be racism, right? Um, no Floyd, you’re a d__k and you’ve done a lot of rotten s__t over the past 15 years that makes you hard to like, harder to root for and all but impossible to market to the general public. (Gee, I can’t wait to read what The Money Team Army posts under this mailbag in support of General Floyd.)

SCORING, MAY-PER-VIEW

Hi Doug,

This is my first time writing in and I hope these haven’t been asked already…

Has there been any proposals for improving the scoring of fights? – for example, using consensus weighted scoring (if all three judges scored the round for the same fighter it’s 11 or some more weighting given the consensus score vs less when its split), or other ideas…. We’ve seen many scores that are head scratchers and some that make even the experts like yourself wonder if the judges were watching the same fight, so I wondered if there was any work being done, ideas put forward, to improve the situation, modify the scoring system, etc.

Floyd Mayweather has tremendous ppv numbers despite not having the most entertaining fights. My thoughts are that most people are watching, not as fans of FM, but in hopes of seeing him lose. Unlike, for example Mike Tyson where people watched to see Mike do something (KO opponents), viewers are not watching in support of FM but in hopes of the opponents success. Not that it matters monetarily as he still gets the buys and the money but I wonder if that matters to someone who considers himself the GOAT. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that – I hope my ramblings made sense 🙂

Thanks. – BG, Alberta, Canada

You made plenty of sense and you didn’t ramble too much (which is more than I can say for myself).

Mayweather is a bottom-line guy. He wants to make as much money as he can, more than any fighter in history, because in his mind that – along with retiring undefeated – will set him apart from and above all other boxers. Still, in his heart of hearts, it bothers him that he’s not universally celebrated like other sports heroes. It hurts him when media, fans, anyone criticizes him and/or his accomplishments. I know it does because I’ve been a vocal critic of his going back to 2005. He and his lackeys tried to have me (and Steve Kim) removed from covering his welterweight title bout against Carlos Baldomir in late 2006. Kim, who’s been a vocal Mayweather and Al Haymon critic for years, was denied a media credential to the Mayweather-Maidana rematch (lucky him). Mayweather isn’t happy unless everyone is kissing his booty.

Regarding proposals for improving the judging of professional boxing, there was consensus scoring in New Jersey in the 1990s and 2000s, but what they did – if memory serves me – is if two out of the three judges scored a round for the same fighter they’d toss out the third judge’s score for the other fighter. (I think they called it the “10-point majority” system.) There were still controversial decisions under this system, most notably the 2000 draw between Vivian Harris and Ivan Robinson (a fight most observers thought Harris won handily, and he would have won the fight under the standard 10-point must system).

Your idea of “weighted” majority scoring is interesting. You’re saying if all three judges score a round for the same fighter, that fighter would win the round 11-9 instead of 10-9? So it would basically be like he scored a knockdown because he would be ahead by an extra point, right? I don’t know if I like that. And I’m not sure this system would help rid the sport of controversial decisions like the Mauricio Herrera-Jose Benavides Jr. fight. Benavides, the guy who most observers thought lost, won by 6 and 4 pounds (117-111 and 116-112) on the official scorecards. I haven’t seen the print outs of each card, but under the weighted system, Benavides could have won my even wider margins.

 

KLITSCHKO IN BROOKLYN, WELTERWEIGHT RANKINGS

Hey Doug,

So pumped to hear Wladimir Klitschko will be fighting at the Barclays Center in April. Do you think you’ll be at ringside for that fight? Also, how do you feel about the new welterweight rankings? I can understand Juan Manuel Marquez moving down because of inactivity, but Tim Bradley should still be the number 2 IMHO. I felt he beat Diego Chaves, 116-112, so I don’t hold the draw against him. And why is Robert Guerrero ahead of Marcos Maidana? He has one win in a year since getting dominated by Mayweather when Chino gave Money his toughest fights since Castillo. Happy holidays to you and your family! – Robert from Ashton, MD

Happy holidays to you and your family was well, Robert.

I also thought Bradley beat Chaves, 8 rounds to 4, but I don’t have a problem with his current ranking in THE RING’s welterweight top 10. Bradley didn’t have a good 2014. He lost to Pacquiao and then he struggled a bit with an unrated Diego Chaves, whose only notable fights are a 10th-round TKO to then-prospect Keith Thurman and a DQ loss to Brandon Rios. The three guys rated above Bradley – Pacquiao (No. 1), Kell Brook (No. 2) and Amir Khan (No. 3) – had a MUCH better 2014 than the Palm Springs native.

I do have a bit of a problem with No. 8-rated Guerrero being ahead of No. 9-rated Maidana. I’ll take Chino’s two decision losses to Mayweather (THE RING champ and P4P king) over Guerrero’s life-and-death struggle against gatekeeper slugger Yoshihiro Kamegai.

It’s nice to see the heavyweight champ of the world make a rare U.S. appearance (against an American challenger). If the fight actually lands at Barclays, I hope they pack the joint. At this time, I have no plans to cover that fight, but one never knows in boxing. I had no plans to cover the David Lemieux-Gabriel Rosado show earlier this month but there I was! And I had a great time in New York, as I always do.

 

 

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

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