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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

30
Jan

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MORE ABOUT NOTHING

Doug,

I couldn’t resist touching this even after the many warnings from you about not discussing.



Pac should of gone Shannon Briggs on Money and slapped him in the face at the Heat game. Unfortunately / fortunately, Pac is too good of a guy for antics like that, but he would have gotten points for effective aggression. – John in VA

Yeah, and he would have blown any chance at all for #TheNeverendingStory to finally come to an end.

 

COULD IT HAPPEN?

Hey Doug, Quick question regarding the confrontation between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. Do you really believe the fight will happen after Mayweather has ducked Manny for 5-6 years and he is really willing to fight him? I think that confrontation with Manny at the Heat game was just for a positive image, to make people think he is not scared of Manny and people actually bit to that ruse that he has grown some balls. My belief is that he will actually go after Miguel Cotto for The Ring/WBC Middleweight title in an attempt to win titles in 6 divisions, tying Oscar De La Hoya and ducking the true pound-for-pound king Manny Pacquiao. Even if he does fight Cotto, I think Cotto can give him a better fight now that he has Freddie Roach as his trainer and despite him being 34 years of age it is true he is now a much faster boxer with better footwork. Look at how he pummeled Delvin Rodriguez and gave Sergio Martinez a beat down (yes I know he was not 100%). Thanks for your time Doug, I appreciate it. Stay Awesome Brotha! Lol – Mike

I’ll try Mike, but I’m afraid I’m gonna sound like a d__k with my response to this particular email. Until Mayweather-Pacquiao or Mayweather-Cotto II is officially announced, I’m not going to waste any time or mailbag space pontificating on the negotiations or analyzing the matchups. Until we get an announcement, all I can do is present the dreamy voice of my man Limahl:

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FIGHT OF THE DECADE

Hi Doug,

I just heard that there is a real possibility that the Ruslan Provodnikov-Lucas Matthysse fight may end up at the StubHub Center. If this is true, I’m already packing my bags and heading to the historic venue to witness another classic, a possible fight of the decade and the possible beginning to a new classic trilogy. Man, when I heard the news all my sadness and disappointment from the Cotto-Canelo debacle went away. If this fight does come into fruition, it will once again prove to us that boxing always has something hidden to give us in our time of need. That’s why we’ve managed to keep watching after all those disappointments throughout the years haven’t we?

Once we think things are going down the tank, here comes a Corrales-Castillo, Barrera-Morales, Gatti-Ward, Bradley-Provo, and even if it’s not that good, it still gives us Lucas-Molina and Crawford-Gamboa.

Boxing always has a way to lure us back in to its ugly claws doesn’t it? Well, guess what, I don’t care! That’s why I’m a fan. For every #NeverendingStory there is a story that gives us fans the real joy of watching this fabulous sport. Once again, 2015 in its first month has given us many reasons to smile and many reasons to get mad. It’s been a roller coaster ride and January hasn’t even ended! Wow, this is truly a historic year. It will mark the future of our sport.

Have a great one Doug, see you in Carson! – Juan Valverde, Tijuana/San Diego

I’ll see you there IF Matthysse-Provodnikov gets made. Don’t get too damn excited and jinx it. LOL.

But seriously, this high-level puncher-vs.-punisher matchup looks like it’s well on its way to being finalized. Oscar De La Hoya and Artie Pelullo seem serious about getting it done for March 28, and if they do, I think it’s a very good sign that Golden Boy Promotions is doing business with another promoter (Banner Promotions) with a fighter (Matthysse) who may or may not still be attached to Al Haymon (depending on who you listen to in this screwy business).

If the fight happens, you and I both know it will deliver the goods. We won’t have to bother analyzing how the styles will matchup, and we won’t have to spend any time commenting on any disrespectful or ignorant pre-fight statements from either fighter. All we have to do is anticipate the fight, go to StubHub and enjoy the fireworks along with the other savages in attendance.

If #TheNeverendingStory ever ends, it will likely be the event of the decade (on top of being the biggest money-maker of all time), but will it be the “fight” of the decade? Doubtful. I agree that Matthysse-Provodnikov has the potential to be the Corrales-Castillo I of this decade and I think the Argentine will play the role of the late Chico.

 

THE POWER OF MONEY

Dougie, hope all is well,

Granted you are no doubt sick of writing about Floyd Mayweather. I’m a huge fan of his skills as a boxer but he is so irritating as a boxing businessman. Not because of the money, not because of the furor surrounding the picking of his opponents, but because he is so powerful in selecting such opponents that he holds up all the negotiations for other fights!

I’m sure negotiations are always going on behind the scenes but in that light welterweight to middleweight mix you got so many fighters waiting for him to make his move! Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan, Kell Brook, Danny Garcia, Tim Bradley, JM Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Canelo Alvarez, Keith Thurman, Marcos Maidana. All of them would love a crack or second crack at Mayweather, for the chance to dethrone him or the chance to earn an incredible payday, but him taking his time in naming an opponent simply holds the boxing calendar up.

Say as we hope, Floyd v Pacman happens, that opens up Khan to fight a Bradley, Brook to fight Marquez, Cotto and Canelo to get it on, Thurman could get a title shot elsewhere and many other permutations. All would be really intriguing fights and it would set an even bigger claim for the victors to get the winner of Floyd-Manny later in the year. We know Mayweather fights who and when he chooses but the timescale for organising a fight is just ridiculous.

If you had to predict the path 2015 holds for the welterweight division what would it be? Think with your head or your heart! – Tim, London, England.

Whether #TheNeverendingStory happens or not, every world-class welterweight will still be aiming for Mayweather and Pacquiao. I don’t think Khan will face Bradley, who is flirting with a move to junior middleweight. I think it’s 50-50 if Brook gets a showdown with Marquez. If Brook-Marquez does happen, I can see Khan targeting the winner (if he doesn’t get a dream match Pacquiao). Canelo is scheduled to face Kirkland in May; a middleweight championship showdown with Cotto can still happen later in the year.

I think the most consistent welterweight action will take place within the Haymon Boxing League (on NBC and Spike TV). I can see the winners and losers of Thurman-Guerrero, Berto-Lopez and Garcia-Peterson bouts fighting each other in matchups later in the year.

I share your frustration with the entire sport waiting for Mayweather to pull the trigger. It is what it is. It’s going to be this way until the dude finally retires.

 

THE FLOYD VS. PACMAN SAGA

I am tired of the saga of Floyd vs Pac but has there been a contract issued? Top Rank is saying there is, Stephen Espinoza says there isn’t. Should they just show us the CONTRACT, like Richard Schaefer did when Bob Arum was blaming GBP for the Mares vs Donaire fight not happening. Also it’s easy to blame Floyd cause he makes it easy but should we ignore the fact of Roach on record saying they messed the drug test issue in 09? Or the ESPN article on Jan 15., saying the networks need to agree before contracts can be drawn? Even Espinoza said there isn’t a contract until the networks can agree. Both guys needs to retire actually and when they both do the sport will be better. If we are being honest they both are cherry picking. Algieri and Maidana were cherry picks and we shouldn’t excuse one because we like him.

But will we see Leo Santa Cruz vs Guillermo Rigondeaux or is Walters vs Rigo more exciting? I agree since we don’t know who the next opponent is for either we are just speculating because you still rumors of Jessie Vargas vs Manny and other fighters. – Bo, Chicago, IL

Boxing runs on speculation these days. Fans seem to be more interested in a matchup when it’s just a rumor than after it’s actually been announced. Anyway, Oscar De La Hoya told Lem Satterfield that they were in “preliminary talks” for the Rigo-Santa Cruz fight. To be honest, I would be surprised if that fight was made. I think Walters vs. Rigo would be more exciting, but the Cuban 122-pound champ has made it clear that he’s only interested in fighting at junior featherweight and the “Axe Man” happens to be the biggest featherweight I’ve ever seen. I don’t see that one happening either.

Regarding contracts and blame game of #TheNeverending Story, I present to you my favorite song (with lyrics so you can sing along).

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THE GREATEST STORY

Hey Doug,

I hope your keeping well, 2015 has certainly started with plenty to be optimistic about. With the #neverendingstory looking like it may finally come to a conclusion this weekend. If the fight does go ahead I think the build up and suspense will be like nothing I have ever experienced in my time as a fan.

My 2 questions to you are, firstly, since you’ve been a writer/fan what are the 5 biggest fights you have witnessed in terms of global interest, build up and anticipation, and secondly, in your opinion, what do you think were the 5 biggest fights of all time? I realise you don’t have a time machine but I’m sure you have a good gauge on how momentous these fights were at the time.

Looking forward to hearing your opinion as always. – Ronan Knox, Waterford, Ireland

The five biggest fights/events since I’ve been a fan are:

1) Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns I

2) Marvin Hagler-Leonard

3) Mike Tyson-Michael Spinks

4) Tyson-Evander Holyfield II

5) Pernell Whitaker-Julio Cesar Chavez

The five biggest fights/events since I’ve covered the sport are:

1) Lennox Lewis-Tyson

2) Oscar De La Hoya-Felix Trinidad

3) Holyfield-Lewis I

4) De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr.

5) Trinidad-Bernard Hopkins

The five biggest fights/events of all-time, in my opinion, are:

1) Joe Frazier-Muhammad Ali I

2) Joe Louis-Max Schmeling II

3) Jack Johnson-Jim Jeffries

4) George Foreman-Ali

5) Ali-Frazier III

 

MARQUEZ VS. BROOK

Yo Dougie,
It’s been a long time since I wrote into the mailbag, but thought a potential fight between JM Marquez and Kell Brook was a good topic for discussion. I’m a big fan of JMM, but I am realistic about how he performs against long range, stick and move boxers, especially one with a decent size advantage. I think that potential fight has frustrating loss written all over it for JMM.

I get why he wants the fight – he is a champion and wants to make history by winning a belt in yet another weight class. Bless him for his fighter mentality and always pushing himself towards greatness, but as a fan, I care less about him winning an “alphabelt” than I do seeing him in great fights. The fights I’d rather see him in include Rios, Garcia, Matthysse, and Porter. I’d even rather see him in with Khan. Even though Khan is a long range boxer, he darts in and out enough, and opens up with his punches enough, that an excellent counter puncher like JMM would have a good chance to tag Khan’s fragile chin. All of these fights would be winnable in my opinion and would be exciting for his fans.

On another note, with all the people asking you about #TheNeverEndingStory, I’m starting to see you as Atreyu with GGG as your luck dragon, Falkor…..and I guess that would make Al Haymon the ever-consuming The Nothing. Ride that GGG to a better day (see attached pic). 🙂

Ride-the-GGGkor

Mythical matchup (always wanted to see this one): Roy Jones Jr. vs Chris Byrd at heavyweight circa 2003.

Give Arrow Season 1 (on Netflix) a try, not the following seasons. It has enough elements of the Green Arrow story and a unique way of telling two stories at once to better explain the characters and build the plot.

Keep writing the good fight. – Kevin Gibb, Boise, ID

I will, Kevin. Thanks for the Photoshop fantasy pic of me riding Lucky G. Made my day. (That’s Big Bear Mountain behind us; we’re headed for Monte Carlo weeeeeeee!)

I will give the first season of Arrow a chance. I’ve heard good things about it.

I like Byrd in that interesting mythical matchup. His confidence, quick hands and busy but defensive style would give Roy fits, but it wouldn’t be a walk in the park. Jones’ speed would enable him to catch Bryd with clean shots that most natural heavyweights were too slow to land. I can see RJ hurting Byrd a few times, but Chris was one of the toughest, gutsiest fighters I ever covered. He’s suck it up and continue to put hands on Jones to a close decision. A robbery in favor of Jones (the star of the matchup) would be possible, but I think Byrd would win in the eyes of most observers.

I agree that Brook’s style is all wrong for Marquez. If that fight happens I favor the undefeated British beltholder to win a decision. I would also favor Khan to beat Marquez, via close decision.

The fight I want to see is Marquez-Rios at the future hall of famer’s old Southern California home – The Forum. If Matthysse-Provodnikov is made, I’d also love to see Marquez challenge the winner.

Having said that, I should note that I’m not at all against Marquez vs. Brook or Khan. Yeah, Brook and Khan are speedy stick-and-movers, but both Brits are aggressive enough to make those matchups interesting.

 

WHAT’S MARQUEZ’ MOVE?

Hey Dougie!

I like to write in from time to time and, for the most part, you usually publish me. Thanks Bro! I do have a question for you. What is up with Juan Manuel Marquez? I see his name pop up now and again about potential fights, but nothing ever materializes. It looks like his latest interest is in a title fight against Kell Brook. Being that he is pretty old (for an active boxer), it seems that he is not interested in “normal” activitymeaning he’s only interested in bigger fights. And if he can’t land one, he’ll just sit and wait for something to open up. Guess I’m just wondering what his deal is? Any insight?

Here’s a mythical matchup for you and I apologize if you’ve answered it already.

Terence Crawford vs. Kostya Tszyu at a 138lb catch weight

How bout this FANTASY matchup?

Mike Tyson vs GGG

Thanks. – Andy, Virginia Beach

GGG runs Tyson out of the ring. Everybody knows that.

Tszyu gradually breaks Crawford down to a late TKO.

The only insight I can give you on Marquez is that, like Miguel Cotto, he’s a future first-ballot hall of famer who has managed his money well, knows that he’s internationally respected, and that the has the support of his nation’s boxing fans.

And what this means is that Marquez, like Cotto, is not going to be in a rush to fight anyone. He and his Puerto Rican brother know that he’s got the name and the fan base to wait for the highest bidder to make him the best offer.

 

ROCKY JUAREZ & UNCROWNED KINGS

Hi, Doug!

Rocky Juarez lost to Robinson Castellanos, and it means Rocky’s going to retire without capturing a world title (he could have won it if he had fought ordinary champions like Takahiro Aoh or Steven Luevano instead of Barrera, Marquez and John).

It’s a bit sad to see him end his career without a title belt in the era that each division has 3-5 titleholders. I know such fighters were not rare when we had fewer sanctioning bodies and fewer weight classes.

But even in our era, where alphabet titles have lost their significance to most fans,

Rocky’s case shows that winning a world title is still really hard and lots of worthy fighters cannot win it.

And I have one question. Could you make a Top10 list of so-called “uncrowned kings” in the last couple of decades?

That is, I want to know the 10 best fighters never to become world champion in the last 20-30 years. Does Juarez appear on the list?

Cheers. – Taku from Japan

Yeah, I think Juarez makes the list, definitely if I just go back to 1995, and maybe even if I go all the way back to 1985. Rocky was an excellent amateur and a very solid perennial contender at 126 and 130 pounds. There’s no shame in losing to the likes of Marquez, Barrera, John and the featherweight version of Humberto Soto. I thought he edged Barrera in their first bout and I though the draw to John (in their first bout) was legit.

Having said that, I don’t think Juarez would’ve been a lock to beat Luevano or Aoh. Juarez had his obvious limitations, but I’d put him in a top 10 of good fighters of recent decades who came close but never grabbed a major world title along with (in alphabetical order) Harold Brazier, Oba Carr, Antonio Diaz, Herol Graham, David Kamau, the late Hector Lopez, Angel Manfredy, Michael Watson, and the late Carl “The Truth” Williams.

 

 

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

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