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Dougie’s Monday #MayPac Mailbag

04
May

 

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

WHAT DID WE JUST SEE?

Doggie,

I’m so confused right now. Manny Pacquiao looked like crap except for 2 rounds. And all the local sports media are talking about how Manny didn’t want it, or he is not hungry. And I’m like, so you guys are giving the Pac-man a pass (a very huge pass)? The worst part was, when Manny said he thought he won the fight? What was he smoking?



Moving on, I can really see Canelo Alvarez mopping the floor with James Kirkland. If he had Ann Wolfe in his corner, then we are looking at even money.

Any chance Mayweather attempts to unify and retire undisputed? Also, man it would have been cool if ESPN called you up to give the audience some straight talk. – KJ

You don’t think Teddy Atlas gives the audience enough straight talk?

I’m not buying into the Ann Wolfe narrative. Kirkland is a veteran and he’s a natural-born killer. He knows what he has to do to get his mind focused and his body in shape to do serious physical damage to his opponents. Once the bell rings, his instincts take over and he becomes hell on wheels. Alvarez, who has comparable power and physical strength, is the younger, fresher, smarter fighter, but only lets his hands go in spots, which gives Kirkland the opportunity to get off first and often. This isn’t going to be like the Alfredo Angulo fight. Kirkland is much faster and way busier than the shopworn Mexican.

I see a good fight for however long it lasts. I can’t wait to be ringside at Minute Maid Park and soak in the energy of 40,000 boxing fans.

Regarding Mayweather-Pacquiao, what are you confused about? Pacquiao got outclassed. End of story. It’s not that he didn’t want it. Of course he wanted it. He had an entire country on his back and Pacquiao never wants to let his fans down. He just lacked the ability and the know-how to get in close and do significant damage to Mayweather.

He felt he won because he’s a proud warrior. He didn’t take a beating, he didn’t get seriously hurt at any point during the fight, and his face wasn’t busted up, so in his mind he was the winner. He’s not going to remember all those jabs and right crosses he walked into during a post-fight interview. He’s only going to remember the few times he caught Mayweather with his left and the times he briefly swarmed the American along the ropes.

 

PLEASE RETIRE, FLOYD

I think finally a lot of fans will understand why you can’t wait for Mayweather to retire. What a snoozer after the 8th round.

Oh, also, what the hell was the king of Burger King doing in Mayweather’s entourage? If I were the Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald’s, I would immediately do a very public donation to the Women’s Domestic Violence Foundation. What a weird sponsorship? – Christian

Hey, after Mayweather abdicates his major world title belts maybe he can just wear the Burger King crown into the ring as a symbol of his royal highness. Maybe HRH will replace TBE as his go-to acronym. (In all likelihood, though, “PBC” will probably become his abbreviation brand before he leaves the game.)

Regarding the “fight,” it was uneventful. That’s how you know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Mayweather was in command most of the time. I thought the first half of the fight was compelling due to the hype and the surreal image of the two superstars sharing the ring. I also thought it was competitive through six, though Mayweather always seemed in control. But after Round 6, I only scored one round (the ninth) for Pacquiao. I’m not going to blame Mayweather for the boring nature of the final stretch. He did what he always does – win rounds while taking minimal risk. It was up to Pacquiao to figure out a way to get to Mayweather and he couldn’t do it. So both had a part in the lack of entertainment over the second half of the fight.

I’ve made no secret that I can’t wait for Mayweather to retire, but I’ve also said the same thing about Pacquiao and Saturday’s fight only strengthened that opinion. I’m looking forward to the day both future hall of famers officially announce their retirement. Regardless, I’m over #MayPac. I’m past #TheNeverendingStory. And I have no interest in what Mayweather or Pacquiao do next. I’m ready for boxing’s next chapter and I’m looking forward to covering Canelo-Kirkland and the Gennady Golovkin/Roman Gonzalez doubleheader over the next two weeks.

 

MANNY MAKING EXCUSES

Hey Doug,

It wasn’t a great fight but that wasn’t expected. I think people will make excuses and say 5 years ago it would have been different but forget to give those 5 years to Floyd in that equation. Pretty Boy was most impressive in his biggest fights vs Genaro Hernandez, Chico Corrales and Angel Manfredy. It was when he became “Money” that he started making more business decisions in the ring.

At any rate, between these guys no matter when they fought the result never changes. Floyd isn’t a fighter who’s going to be dictated to, similar to B-Hop. They set the distance and the pace. I just wish Floyd was a better dude and had a more aggressive streak in him. Maybe if Manny Steward had gotten a hold of him at some point he’d have more moments to remember in his career. What stands out to me is dude was never really on his bicycle. I think he must have caught Manny’s attention with something because he seemed reluctant to pull the trigger. The shoulder thing was bulls__t. Take your L and count your $100 million. Manny looked bad in that instance.

In the end I don’t need to see either guy anymore. They should go get plastered together with George Clooney and Brad Pitt. They robbed in plain sight and walked out with $100 million dollar checks. Good for them. – Michael H.

Yes indeed. Good for them. Good for boxing? That’s debatable. It certainly would have been a lot better for the sport if the most talked about fight in the last 15-20 years actually delivered the kind of action/entertainment that somebody other than a Mayweather fan or boxing purist could appreciate, but whatever. It happened. It’s over, and I agree that Team Pacquiao should just get over it and move on. They all made crazy money. Pacquiao can take care of his tax issues with this check. Do that, Manny, and go run for president in the Philippines or make movies or records or whatever floats your boat. Mayweather made enough to retire and support his extravagant lifestyle. Take your money, Floyd, and go on a lifelong vacation of sports gambling, NBA games and luxury cars.

I wasn’t as offended by Pacquiao’s post-fight comments as others were. He was clearly frustrated and delusional, and he had an excuse for his poor effort – which is typical in boxing – but he didn’t seem disrespectful or rude to me.

I disagree with your opinion that Mayweather would have beaten Pacquiao five years ago, but Floyd won in 2015, so I recognize that his fans (or proponents of the technical/defensive style of boxing or folks who can’t stand Pacquiao/Roach) now have the right to believe and proclaim that Floyd was always better than Manny. To the victor (and his fans) go the spoils.

I agree with your opinion that Mayweather’s most impressive performances came against Hernandez, Corrales and Manfredy. Those bouts took place between 1998-2001, when Mayweather fought at junior lightweight and had a busier, more aggressive style. All the silly fans who call me a Mayweather “hater” – something I’m totally fine with, by the way – should know that I used to enjoy watching the guy fight and I wrote many articles praising his skill, technique, ring generalship and talent. But that was back when he fought more like the boxers who made me a fan of the sport. (I’ll let you all guess who those fighters were.)

 

THE BEST OF THE BEST?

Hey Dougie,

After having sat through that absolute dud of a “super fight” I felt compelled to go and watch Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran I to be reminded of what it should look like when two guys considered the best of the best, face off for all the marbles. Yes they both had unbelievable physical talent and craft BUT they also knew they had a responsibility to the fans – and PUT THEIR BALLS ON THE LINE! – Edward from UK

I hear ya. I’m glad I was introduced to boxing in the 1970s and became a hardcore fan in the ’80s. Back then, when the top two fighters in their division squared off or when the best boxers pound-for-pound (even though that terms wasn’t tossed around as much) faced each other, the public was treated to more than a huge media event – they often witnessed a breathtaking FIGHT.

Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier I and III – RING Fight of the Year for 1971 and ’75.

Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns – RING Fight of the Year for 1981. (As heated as Leonard-Duran I was for 15 rounds, it was beat out for 1980 Fight of the Year honors – and rightfully so – by Matthew Saad Muhammad’s 14th-round KO of Yaqui Lopez.)

Marvin Hagler vs. Hearns – RING Fight of the Year for 1985.

Hagler vs Leonard – RING Fight of the Year for 1987.

I think the last time two elite fighters who were recognized as the best in their division got together to produce a Fight of the Year was either Holyfield-Bowe I (1992), Michael Carbajal vs. Humberto Gonzalez I (1993) or Morales-Barrera I and III (2000 and 2004). (However, I’m not sure the Mexican showdown counts because Barrera was rebuilding after high-profile losses (to Junior Jones and Pacquiao) coming into both bouts against his arch rival ‘El Terrible.’)

I wonder if I would’ve bothered following the sport at all had I come of age in the last two decades. The mega-pay-per-view events that have occurred during my tenure as a boxing writer were all duds – Oscar De La Hoya vs. Felix Trinidad, Lennox Lewis vs. Mike Tyson, De La Hoya-Mayweather, Mayweather-Canelo and Mayweather-Pacquiao.

 

DEFENSIVE SPECIALIST OR ANTI-COMPETITIVE?

Hi Doug, how’s it going man?

Very disappointed with Manny. I feel like he gave up once it became clear that May wouldn’t exchange with him. I think in spots during the beginning of the fight he showed a willingness to attack May with speed, venom and combinations, but very quickly became frustrated and unwilling to commit to this. Yes, May was, as usual, very hard to hit, but I honestly think that Manny coasted as he has been coasting for his last few fights.

I also think May’s style is one that is difficult to applaud or give credit to, in a similar way to Klitschko’s (although I hate to lump them together as I actually like Wlad). Whilst they are undoubtedly talented and amazingly consistent at grinding out victories, I feel like both are often anti-competitive rather than defensive. They rarely out maneuver their opponents and instead opt to run or tie them up when things get a lil too hot to handle. Now I’m not saying that they aren’t capable of out maneuvering and outsmarting their opposition, but that once they have the opponent tagged, they kill the fight as a competition and do what they have to do to avoid any exchanges. That in my eyes isn’t defensive nuance, its non-participation. In “soccer” terms it’s what we call “parking the bus,” i.e. shutting up shop and refusing to engage.

I mean Sugar Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker and Muhammad Ali were great at closing fights but they didn’t do it by killing the fight as a spectacle, they did it through clever footwork and tactical flourishes and combinations. Maybe there isn’t a difference between the boxers listed above, and maybe I’m seeing a distinction that isn’t really there. Thoughts?

(P.S. Thanks for doing what you do. I’ve been reading the mailbag for about 5 years now and this has always been a haven for me on Mondays and Fridays; it’s always great fun and I’ve learned a lot from them too. Keep fighting the good fight, you’ve got many people across the world who have your back.) – Miles, UK

Thanks for the kind words, Miles. Your enjoyment is why I do what I do.

I agree with your analysis of Mayweather’s and Klitschko’s boxing styles. I do see a difference between their tactics and those of elite boxers of previous decades. Mayweather and Klitschko are what I call “neutralizers.” They shut down their opponents by any means necessary – be it excessive holding/tying-up or moving – and they don’t take unnecessary chances or make offense a priority while doing so.

What they do – and what their supporters call “master boxing” or “boxing clinics” – is not my cup of tea. To me, Mayweather and Klitschko bring a modern amateur boxing mentality to the prize ring, which doesn’t surprise me given that both were elite amateurs during the AIBA point-system era (1990s to the present) and both were 1996 Olympic medalists. Their goal in a boxing match – once they got into their 30s (I’ll acknowledge that both guys were more offense-minded when they were in their 20s) is to land enough clean punches to earn the round and then avoid getting hit in return by not engaging (which is done by evading them with lateral movement or by tying them up). They have no problem with “running out the clock” during the second half of each round and during the late portion of the fight. They (and their supporters) will argue that’s the essence of boxing: to hit and not get hit. I agree but I would also argue that it can be done in more entertaining manner. (And I totally understand that there’s risk involved in the more entertaining version of the Sweet Science, but that’s why the special fighters who can pull it off are celebrated.) When defense and offense are properly meshed by talented boxers, it is a sight to behold. Check out these Youtube tribute videos to Whitaker and James Toney.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1519621″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

Sweet Pea was known as a defensive specialist – and he certainly was – but note that Whitaker is able to maintain a healthy offense while he’s slippin’ and dippin’ away from his opponents’ punches. Also, note how little holding there is when he’s evading shots in the pocket, and witness his power punches in return (especially the BODY SHOTS!).

[springboard type=”video” id=”1519623″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

With Lights Out you see a master of slipping punches during infighting. You won’t see him engaging in any holding or clinching (or as he used to call it “huggin’ and kissin'”). Like Mayweather, Toney employed the shoulder roll-and-counter to perfection, but unlike his fellow Michigan native Lights Out countered with authority. He wasn’t punching on the fly or off his back foot. Even when he was fat and out of shape, Toney was looking to do damage. Yes folks, boxers can be slick AND badasses.

Regarding Pacquiao, I think he became frustrated in the middle rounds and coasted the final three rounds after trying one last time to connect with something big in Round 9.

 

TYPICAL MAYWEATHER FIGHT

What’s up Doug?

Well I gotta say I’m pretty disappointed. Not because Pacquiao didn’t win. But because this fight wasn’t a hard win for Mayweather. It didn’t show how great Mayweather is. It was a typical Mayweather fight.

That being said, people are still going to have excuses and reasons for why Pacquiao couldn’t get to him.

Do you think this fight proved anything? What are your thoughts on the aftermath of this event? And what do you think is next for both fighters?

Peace Dougie! – Wesam, H-Town

Peace! I assume “H-Town” is for Houston. If you’re going to Canelo-Kirkland give me a shout-out if you see me.

Did the fight prove anything? Yeah, it proved Mayweather is a better boxer than Pacquiao and it arguably makes him the best boxer of his era (if by “his era” you mean the last 15 years).

My thoughts on the aftermath? I’m just glad it’s over. For the next few days I’m going to have to listen to the mainstream sports media rip Mayweather, Pacquiao, the fight and the event to shreds while boxing purists and Floyd fans obnoxiously gloat and vehemently defend their hero on Twitter, but by Thursday I’m gonna be focused on an LA Fight Club show and by Friday my full attention will be on Canelo-Kirkland.

What’s next for each fighter? I think Mayweather fights once or twice more and then hangs up his gloves. I don’t expect to see him in with a threat. Maybe Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter. I don’t care who he fights. I just want him to exit the sport.

I think Pacquiao will fight for as long as Arum tells him or as long as Roach is physically able to train him and work his corner. I can see him dropping down to 140 pounds and taking on Terence Crawford after a comeback gimme against Jessie Vargas or someone like that. Pacquiao-Crawford is a good matchup (for “Bud”). I think Pacquiao should hang up his gloves now.

 

IT IS WHAT IT IS (BAD FOR BOXING)

Hey Dougie,

Well my heart cost my pocket – Manny let us down! I had it a bit closer than the official scores because it was pretty uneventful couple of rounds I couldn’t split them because not a lot happened. I don’t agree with scoring a round for landing 1 or 2 punches holding and dancing around. It’s as if Mayweather automatically gets the round if it’s close even if you the land better shots and or 1 or 2 more because that’s his style and you got to take him out of his style! He is the best at what he does and don’t get me wrong I had him winning 116-113 and some of the rounds I gave him he won more clearly. The Sky commentators here had it a shut-out and were too busy bigging up Mayweather to mention any of the decent shots landed or rounds Manny won. I can also see why Manny thinks he won because as a fighter he’s thinking I only took 3 shots that round none of them hurt and I know I engaged more and landed 3 or 4 myself.

Either way, I hope they both retire because Manny is not the fighter he once was and I don’t care to watch that con-artist Mayweather again. He robbed us all Saturday. For years, come to think of it. This ain’t Olympic boxing. This is the hurt game, Mano a Mano, the entertainment business. The founders of Queensbury rules and warriors that first graced this great sport wouldn’t care for this so-called boxing. I like defensive geniuses like Ray Robinson, etc., at least they would fight to actually find out who the better fighter was not just avoid, hold, and throw the odd punch to get the decision with all the advantages in your favour. It’s a shame really because the non-boxing fans and casual boxing fans this event has captured will go away as quickly as they came because of this sham and be reluctant to purchase or watch future fights. It’s damaging to the sport I love and I can’t wait for Mayweather to go! I won’t pay for another Mayweather fight even if he fights my boy Kell Brook next!

Here’s to a brighter future. – Andrew, UK

Cheer up Andrew. Mayweather knows the longer he hangs around the sport the more chance there is of him losing, and he knows that one loss can smash his claim of being TBE. He doesn’t want that, so I believe him when he says he’ll fight one more time and call it quits (even though I wouldn’t be shocked if went for a farewell bout just to make it an even 50-0).

I’m hearing a lot of talk about how Mayweather-Pacquiao will hurt boxing or forever keep casual fans away from it because so many people were disappointed in the uneventful nature of the bout. I acknowledge that there’s a lot of negative talk about the fight in the mainstream media right now (particularly among sports radio and sports anchors of network news affiliates) but there will also be a lot of bigtime headlines on the PPV revenue the event pulled in. Whether it’s positive or negative, there’s a lot of boxing discourse going on right now in the media and social media. The general public is reminded that boxing still exists and still has the power to attract the power brokers and glitterati of the world. Trust me, some casual fans who caught a glimpse of Vasyl Lomachenko on Saturday will remember his name and tune in to watch the Ukrainian southpaw fight on HBO in the near future. What they see on that night might very well hook some of them in to the sport. And some of those folks might develop into hardcore fans if they happen to catch quality fights on HBO and other networks.

Bottom line: Boxing can’t die. Since I’ve involved with the sport, it’s survived the Tyson-Holyfield “Bite Fight” (you talk about a negative mainstream reaction – forget about it!), the controversy of Lewis-Holyfield I, the De La Hoya-Trinidad dud, the Lewis-Tyson scuffle at their kick-off presser (and Tyson’s subsequent tirade to the media), the grossly one-sided nature of Lewis-Tyson, the De La Hoya-Mayweather dud, and so on.

Anyway, I agree that Mayweather automatically gets rounds in which nothing happens. There’s always going to be that one star in boxing who gets extra credit for his “ring generalship,” while any other boxer who boxes like that – see Bernard Hopkins and Cory Spinks vs. Jermain Taylor or Lamont Peterson vs Danny Garcia – LOSES uneventful rounds to their aggressive-but-ineffective opponents. It is what it is.

I also agree that professional boxing shouldn’t look like Olympic boxing (at least post-1988 Olympic boxing).

I don’t agree that Pacquiao “let us down.” I think he’s just getting old and he faced a guy who he couldn’t beat.

By the way, I think Mayweather-Brook is an interesting matchup.

 

FIGHT OF THE CENTURY QUESTION

Really???

Thank you. – E

Boxing Event of the Century? Yes. Boxing Revenue Record Breaker? Yes. Fight of the Century? Nah. It’s not even going to be close to the fight of the month.

 

AGREE WITH YOU

What’s good Dougie,

Too bad about the fight. Exactly what I expected. Mayweather ran for 12 rounds less the two 15 second stands he made and Manny didn’t move his feet like he used to.

You said a few months back you wish they’d retire. I thought that was a little harsh but today, I agree.

Mayweather, like many before him, has the judges fooled. Running and pot shotting without landing blows of consequence is not winning.

Manny has nothing left to prove and has lost three steps. He doesn’t have the speed with his feet he once had.

Nobody deserved that fight and nobody won it. Great careers. Legendary nights. Corrales, De La Hoya, Cotto, Morales, Marquez. Time for us all to move on. I don’t need to see Floyd land right hand counters that don’t hurt Keith Thurman and run his way to a judge- and ref-assisted 8-to-4 decision.

Hope you don’t get too much nonsense from the Mayweather nuthuggers. FYI guys: you can’t be an all-time great by running. – Tony in LA

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tony. I think the Mayweather cheerleaders are either too busy rubbing his victory in to Pacquiao fans or defending his “genius” and “greatness” on social media and sports radio call-ins to bother with little ole me.

I don’t think Mayweather ran the entire fight. He moved in spots but he also planted his feet and fired off single shots in spots. He held too much for my taste and he didn’t let his hands go enough to maintain my interest over the second half of the fight. But neither fighter let his hands go much. Mayweather landed 81 “power punches” as defined and counted by CompuBox over 12 rounds. Pacquiao landed 63. Blah. Throwing 429/435 punches during a 12-round bout is just sad. And I know both guys are getting old. Pac’s been a pro for 20 years and Saturday was his 65th fight. Mayweather’s got 19 years and 48 bouts in the pro fight game. But what can I say? I’m spoiled. I want the so-called great fighters to put on great fights no matter how old they are. Roberto Duran had 21 years in the hurt business when he challenged Iran Barkley for the WBC middleweight title. Hands of Stone was 37 and had 91 pro bouts under his belt. NINETY ONE! I don’t know how many punches he threw in those 12 rounds against The Blade (which was THE RING’s Fight of the Year for 1989) but I can guarantee you that it was more than 435! Check it out if you want to see some sweet punch-slipping and counter punching from a real master. (There’s literally more action in the first two rounds of this bout than all of #MayPac.)

[springboard type=”video” id=”1519697″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

I said it before the #NeverendingStory ended and I’ll say after the #MayPacalypse: I CAN’T WAIT FOR THESE TWO TO RETIRE. I have very little interest in writing about Mayweather or Pacquiao and no desire whatsoever to cover their fights. I’ve seen the best of both fighters and that was 10-plus years ago. I’ve been ready to move on. Bring on GGG, Chocolatito, Krusher, Canelo, Crawford, Lomachenko, Wilder, Fury, Brook, Frampton, Thurman and the many talented prospects currently gracing the sport.

 

FIGHT NIGHT

Hey Doug, been reading for a couple of years and thought it’s time to step in to your awesome mailbag with an opinion. Where to start though? At the beginning I guess.

Lomachenko – looked great but was tippy tapping like an amateur (which I guess we forget he has been for most of his career so far) as if he’d score points for each light punch landed. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone take a knee, twice and fail to beat the count whilst looking fresh either.

Leo – You were up against the bum of the month, as you do thanks to Al, your Buddy, not your kid obviously! Yet you couldn’t, with all your one way traffic right straights do it correctly. I give up on you.

Now, the main event. I wasn’t counting but I’m going to guess that Manny threw 300 or less punches in this fight. He normally is up in the 800+ reaches. I’m not going to use this an excuse, I expected a Mayweather split decision. But damn, he got schooled. By about 10 punches a round. I had it 8-4 for Floyd and on rewatching it, at least two rounds for Manny looked like Rope-a-Dope. There can’t be a rematch, we have a definitive, if unpopular answer.

Let me know your thoughts Doug, sorry to go on so long. – G., England

No worries, G. Thanks for finally sharing your thoughts.

I also scored the bout 116-112 for Mayweather (or 8-to-4 in rounds). And I agree that Pacquiao was mainly hitting arms during two of the rounds I scored for him.

Both Mayweather and Pacquiao threw around 430 punches. That’s normal for Mayweather. It’s under Pacquiao’s norm, but the Filipino star hasn’t averaged 800 punches in a few years. He’s been steadily slowing down since 2011. On Saturday, he slowed to a crawl during the late rounds of the bout.

Loma’s an amazing talent but he’s still developing his professional style (and confidence). He seemed a bit off during the early rounds against Gammy but once he found his rhythm he was sweet. I hope Top Rank can keep him busy and I hope we get to see him against a legit top-10 contender next time.

Santa Cruz has become a joke. It’s a waste of time to talk or write about him until he faces top junior featherweight or featherweight.

 

MAYWEATHER IS NEXT FOR GGG

Doug greetings!

Get the chance to see Gennady Golovkin September knockout Floyd Mayweather Jr face in weighing 155 libras. I do not think the jr have the balls to do it. – Israel Cruz, San Juan, PR

That rum is good on “La Isla del Encanto,” ain’t it?

 

LETDOWN!

Doug, what a letdown of a fight. In my opinion and ones from my friends who are casual fans this fight was bad for boxing! The only bright spot of the night was seeing the continued rise of Lomachenko. I thought Manny would use more angles, but all credit to Mayweather. What’s your opinion of the fight and the effect it will have on boxing? Could you ever see an adjustment of the rules to initiate more action in fights, I.E. less clinches and more of a point on taking points for excessive fouls? Will you starting beating the drums for Mayweather v GGG? – Jeff

I certainly will not.

Excessive clinching is already against the rules. It’s up to the referees to enforce the rules but too many are afraid to do so against the influential boxers.

My opinion of the fight is that there was no fight. I don’t think it will have much of an impact on the sport. It was a long time coming and on May 2 it came and went. It’s over now and everyone will move on before the end of the month.

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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