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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

17
Jul
Photo by Scott Heavey / Getty Images

Photo by Scott Heavey / Getty Images

CARL FROCH

Eh up Doug,

As a Nottingham native I felt I had to write in for my man Carl Froch as he announces his retirement.

Sad times but I reckon it’s the perfect time to hang up the gloves. Amateur standout, British/European and 3-time World Champion. Faced the best in his division through 12 world title fights, and was only beaten by 2 other elite super-middleweights in Mikkel Kessler and Andre Ward; Kessler being later avenged. Money in the bank and faculties intact. Job done.



He was crude and at times almost caveman-esque, but what he lacked in finesse, he made up for in pure grit/determination and will. That, and underrated boxing ability and a chin made out of f**king Adamantium!

Where he stands as far as best British boxer goes is pretty moot. You’d be in a small minority if you believed that he would of beaten Calzaghe, but best British boxer of his eraÔǪ no doubt. First ballot Hall of FamerÔǪ no doubt.

Carl, you’ve done us proud. Thanks for the blood, sweat and tears.

Also Doug, what do you think now looking back on the Super Six tournament and what it did for the super-middleweight division? What do you think the chances are of something like it happening again? – Martin, Nottingham, UK

Showtime’s Super Six World Boxing Classic served as a proving ground for Andre Ward, who earned universal recognition as the 168-pound champ by winning the tournament, and it introduced top European fighters to many U.S. fans – most notably, Carl Froch.

Unfortunately, the current political/corporate climate in boxing prevents a round-robin tournament that involves top talent and numerous independent promotional companies as the Super Six did.

However, one way the PBC could instantly create better TV ratings and generate more excitement (especially among hardcore fans) would be to stage small single-elimination tournaments in the deepest divisions it represents (welterweight, junior featherweight/featherweight, junior middleweight).

Regarding The Cobra’s retirement, I couldn’t say it any better than you did. My thoughts echo yours. Froch wasn’t pretty (or friendly) but he was tenacious, fearless, smart and successful in terms in ring accomplishments and finances (a rare combination of attributes when you think of it). His back-to-back-to-back world title reigns took place against 10 (out of 11) fighters who were ranked in THE RING’s top 10. Ward, Mikkel Kessler and Lucian Bute were in the mag’s top 5 when Froch fought them. Whenever he lost his title, he always regained a belt in his very next fight.

Beyond all that good stuff, he was just fun to watch. He became one of my favorite action fighters after the Super Six. Froch will be missed but I’m glad he’s going out on top.

MAYWEATHER HATE

Whats up Doug.

I’m writing this on Monday hoping to make it in on Friday.

You said you get no grief in the mailbox so here you go.

Im not gonna ass kiss because truthfully I don’t like you. But my reason for not liking you is because you don’t like Floyd for personal reasons.

I mean I could say I dont like your boss because he is a cross dressing coke head! But what does that have to do with his in ring accomplishments??

So heres the deal I want you to give me one reason, one reason that isn’t personal or of personal opinion as to why you hate Mayweather (and it is hate don’t try to downplay it)

That means no domestic abuse excuses (thats personal you aren’t in his life), no “Im not a fan of his style” excuses (thats personal seeing as he has never lost at the thing that pays your bills), no he didn’t fight the best excuses (Tyzsu, Williams, Margarito two of which Cotto and Pac never fought either), and no he handpicks opponents excuses. (Champions are Champions, which his last 3 opponents have been, and since your bosses haven’t stripped or dropped him he must be living up to some criteria)

Before you feed me whatever nonsensical rebuttal you have, remember Floyd is the highest earning athelete of all time, he is American, and most importantly he is African American. All things that shoud lend towards you liking him.

And why is it that 99% of boxers wish they could do what Floyd does yet 88% of pundits have disdain for the man??

Now give me just 1 non personal in the ring reason you don’t like Floyd.

Ps. I know that Fight of the century left your butt with multiple tears! Probably needing stiches and staples seeing how badly you wanted Pac to win.

And just give Ward till the end of 2017 both of your white hypes (Kovalev, GGG) will be defeated soundly! I know thats your worst fear. – Joe Steed

Before I respond to your rambling rant about my Mayweather hate, I need to state four observations I’ve made about you based on this email and your Disqus comments:

1. You’re racist.

2. You have serious sexual identity issues (the least of which is homophobia).

3. You don’t make any sense.

4. You’re a miserable jerk.

Given these observations it comes as no surprise to me that you’re a huge Mayweather booster.

You begin your email telling me that you don’t like me because I “don’t like Floyd for PERSONAL reasons.” (Admittedly, a better introduction than your first words to me in the Disqus comments section where you just called me “a fag.”)

And then – after you take a dig at De La Hoya in typical Mayweather fan fashion – you tell me: “I want you to give me one reason, one reason that ISN’T PERSONAL or of PERSONAL opinion as to why you hate Mayweather.”

What the f__k is that? You accuse me of hating Mayweather for personal reasons and then you demand that I tell you why, but stipulate that it can’t be a personal reason.

That makes no sense, but its typical Mayweather fan bulls__t.

You know why you’re so into Mayweather (apart from the fact that he’s African American and you’re racist)? He’s also a miserable jerk who tries to make the rules for everyone else to follow. But unlike you, he actually gets away with setting the rules. So it makes sense that you would worship him. He’s your ideal. He’s nasty, hateful and generally s___ty to everyone around him but he’s successful in terms of his ring accomplishment and finances.

I dislike Mayweather for the same reason most people dislike him. He’s a s__t head who makes for s___ty fights and s___ty events. It’s not personal. It’s never been personal. It’s childish to think that the basis of my dislike is due to some kind of personal run-in with him. That’s never happened and I’m not the kind of person or boxing writer to let personal run-ins impact my opinions on the fighters I cover.

I’ve had real personal issues and run-ins with Bernard Hopkins and James Toney over the years. I’m not known for hating those two, am I?

Hopkins and I didn’t speak for years. Toney has privately and publicly cursed me out. Still, I respect them because they never ran from a fight.

Mayweather and his fans run from confrontations and when they do find the courage to engage with others they try to limit every exchange by employing tactics or by setting “rules” that limit any comeback or return fire/rebuttal.

You tell me I can’t bring up “domestic abuse,” or not being a fan of his style, or the fact that he failed to fight worthy peers of his era such as Tszyu, Williams and Margarito, or that he “handpicks” opponents.

And then you give me this asinine line:

“Before you feed me whatever nonsensical rebuttal you have, remember Floyd is the highest earning athelete of all time, he is American, and most importantly he is African American. All things that shoud lend towards you liking him.”

First of all, what you’re really telling me is that you don’t want to have an open debate with me because you don’t have a leg to stand on (and you’re a chicken s__t).

Second, I don’t give a f__k about Mayweather’s earnings. I don’t care about what country a fighter is from or what color his skin is. And f__k you for telling me that these are the reasons why I should like Mayweather. You’re silly and you’re sick.

Before I move on, I want to welcome more emails from Mayweather lovers but not if you’re going to try to tell me what I can or can’t analyze or criticize about his personality and career.

Too many Mayweather fans do this and it’s one of the main reasons you’re all ridiculed so much in social media and in boxing-site comment sections. You criticize and scrutinize the hell out of other fighters and then refuse to allow anyone do the same thing to Mayweather.

Example:

Mayweather fan: “It doesn’t matter who Floyd fights, you haters are always gonna say something negative about his opponent, like ‘he was old,’ or ‘he was overrated.’ Whatever! Keep hatin’. The man is undefeated! That’s all that matters.”

Normal boxing fan: “So what are your thoughts on Joe Calzaghe?”

Mayweather fan (if he knows who Calzaghe is): “F__k Joe Calzaghe! Who did he ever beat? Jeff Lacy and Mikkel Kessler were overrated. B-Hop and Roy Jones were old!”

 

HYBRID VIGOR

Hi Dougie –

I’ve appreciated your amusing and somewhat self-deprecating comments about your biracial heritage. Halfrican and Hybrid Vigor – those are pretty good, among others you’ve used, but have you considered a shout out to your white homies with the term “Fauxcasian”? – Mike H.

LOL. I love it. I’m gonna put that on a hat and wear it around white family members during the holidays.

 

QUIGG-MARTINEZ, DEGALE & HAYMON

I’m in Manchester so looking forward to seeing some live boxing this weekend.

What are your predictions on the 2 World title fights we have going on?

Scott Quigg vs Kiko Martinez

Anthony Crolla vs Darleys Perez

How do you see them going? Really rooting for Crolla, possibly the nicest guy in British boxing and so happy he’s got a title shot.

Also on the card make sure you check out Sam Eggington vs Glenn Foot. Should be the fight of the night, and Eggington has looked good recently and could be one to watch.

On a separate note how do you see Al Haymon signing all these Matchroom fighters affecting things for Eddie Hearn? He’s recently signed DeGale, and rumours Brook and Selby are following. Do you see this changing anything? I know this didn’t work out to well for American promoters. Can you be signed to a promoter and Al at the same time? – Michael H.

Obviously you can. Al’s an “adviser,” not a manager or promoter, even though he really plays both of those roles. (Fighters often sign with Haymon before they notify their managers or promoters of the, ah, new development. LOL. Lovely business this boxing game.)

Do I see DeGale’s signing with Haymon changing anything? Well, it means he probably won’t be fighting Andre Ward anytime soon (but who knows when and if Ward will fight at 168 pounds again, or when he’ll be ready for a top fighter). It means we probably won’t see a DeGale-Groves rematch anytime soon, which kind of sucks.

But other than that, it’s probably a good move for DeGale’s career in terms of dance partners. Haymon “advises,” manages, promotes (whatever) the Dirrell brothers, Peter Quillin and Daniel Jacobs – all of whom make for attractive fights at 168 pounds. (Al can probably arrange for Mayweather Promotions’ Badou Jack to fight DeGale if he can keep Groves from taking his WBC belt.) And if “Chunkie” wants to eventually invade the 175-pound division, there’s the champ, Adonis Stevenson, Artur Beterbiev and Edwin Rodriguez.

I think Hearn is smart and business savvy enough to continue to thrive during the Haymonopoly and patient enough to rebuild his stable in the event of a talent exodus.

I’ll look for a YouTube video of the Eggington-Foot British welterweight fight and keep an eye on the winner.

After what Crolla has been through since December it’s impossible to root against him. I think he’ll box his way to a close but deserved decision over Perez.

I think Quigg-Martinez is hands down the best major fight taking place on Saturday. We all know Martinez is going to bring the ruckus and Quigg is not one to shy away from a shootout. I’m expecting brutal body work from both junior featherweights. I think Quigg, the fresher, younger and naturally bigger man, will prevail over the distance in a grueling fight.

 

GGG/WARD BIAS

Hello Dougie,

I hope you’re well.

I’ve been reading your mailbags ever since you moved to The Ring at the end of 2008. Only had 1 previous mail posted so hopefully this will be the second.

This week I saw you on 10 Count with Gennady Golovkin when he was discussing a potential match up with Andre Ward. I was surprised you offered no rebuttal to his explanation of why the fight makes sense at 164. I was also taken aback when you did not press or question why he was willing to face Carl Froch or JC Chavez Jr at the full 168 limit but not Ward.

As a guy known for keeping it real, being un-biased and not caring who he offends, as well as your widely known admiration for fighters of the old days like Robinson, Armstrong and Duran who would step up a weight class and fight the main man with no catch-weights despite being outweighed significantly, given your stance on catch weights and recent criticisms of Cotto and Broner, as well as in the past criticizing Mayweather, Pacquiao and Paul Williams among others for enforcing catch weights as the “A side” I was expecting you to at least touch on some of these subjects.

Perhaps you were told not to ask him tough questions or perhaps you were not confident in his English to answer these sort of questions sufficiently for the viewers. Either way I’m sure my fellow mailbag readers would be interested to know your reasoning.

Also, some how do you see these mythical match-ups going?

Salvador Sanchez vs JC Chavez at 126/130

Armstrong vs Pacquaio at 135/140/147

Armstrong vs JC Chavez at 135/140

JC Chavez vs Pacquaio at 135/140

Thanks. – CW (UK)

You were “taken aback.” Wow. The Ward-Golovkin rivalry has really put a hook into the boxing universe. If these guys ever do fight I’m expecting some serious set-trippin’ inside that arena.

Firstly, we were not told by Golovkin or Tom Loeffler that any subject was off limits prior to doing the sit-down (which was not planned, by the way, both guys just sort of popped into the Santa Monica cigar shop where we do the shoot).

I did ask Loeffler about the supposed catch-weight “offer” to Team Ward. He told me there was no offer. Loeffler said he had an email conversation with Dan Rafael, who asked him what it would take to make a GGG-Ward match, and he proposed the 164-pound catchweight and 50-50 money split as a possibility – but doing so knowing full well that Ward is going to go through another tuneup in the fall. It’s not something Loeffler has discussed seriously with Roc Nation, or even his own client, GGG. So knowing this I wasn’t going to spend a lot of time grilling Golovkin over the catchweight stipulation for Ward.

However, co-host Michael Montero did bring up Ward’s name during the shoot, and I brought up the catchweight subject, as well as the question of whether GGG wanted to win the super middleweight title (go to a little after the 7-minute mark in the video).

[springboard type=”video” id=”1544301″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

Golovkin answered our questions as best he could in his still-limited English, but there was no point to go into specifics or potential negotiating points without Loeffler being in the interview. Maybe next time we can have Loeffler on the show.

But this much is clear from the interview, which you have to listen to very carefully, because as we know, GGG’s grip on the English language isn’t quite as tight as his grip on the middleweight division:

1. He wants to fight Ward because he believes it would be a huge fight. He says he’s ready now. He doesn’t believe that Ward is ready yet.

2. He thinks a 164-pound catchweight is fair given their respective weight classes and current stature within the sport. (Golovkin said: “My focus is 160, this is just for me; my goal is all the belts. And Andre? I don’t know. I don’t understand. He is 168 or 175 or like 174. I don’t know for him. I think for everybody, for businessÔǪ he’s 168, I’m 160, I think the middle is very correct for him and for me. Not 160, not 168; 164 is very correct for everybody. Like 50-50 money, 50-50 situationÔǪ because, you know, OK maybe he has more like people, moreÔǪ situation for him is better a long time ago, two to three years ago. Right now, he’s like new. People forgot him. This is true.) What he was trying to say was Ward does not have the bargaining leverage he had in 2012 and 2013, so an even money split at an even catchweight is fair.

3. Winning a super middleweight title is not important to him. (Golovkin said: “No. For me it doesn’t matter. For me is very important to stay at 160 for long time, maybe like Bernard Hopkins style. Like big legends. And for big fight, for biggest fight. It doesn’t matter. I will go to 164, to 168.”) He was clear that he’s not interested in staying at super middleweight after a big fight in that division, and would drop back down to middleweight after such forays.

These comments from GGG were in response to my questions. There was no rebuttal because his answers made sense to me. He believes he’s the A side in a potential matchup with Ward at the present time and sees no reason to go all the way to 168 to fight the American. I agree that he has more negotiating leverage given his career momentum and recent TV ratings/ticket sales.

I’m not a fan of catchweights but I’m not going to come unglued on this particular demand because Ward once insisted on the light heavyweight champ (Chad Dawson) to come all the way down to super middleweight and he told the media that he is the A-side in the matchup and that he had no interest in fighting above 168 pounds at that time. Well, that’s the same thing Golovkin said to us, only he’s willing to meet Ward halfway.

I didn’t bring up Froch or Chavez because there really wasn’t time to do at that point during the interview (we try to cap these things at 8 minutes) but also because it’s obvious that Team GGG was willing to go all the way to 168 for those two because they were bigger names and attractions (at the time – that’s no longer the case for Junior).

But the main reason I didn’t go all into the catch-weight controversy is that this all a lot of hubbub about nothing. There are no negotiations going on between K2/Team GGG and Roc Nation/Team Ward. Ward hasn’t fought at 168 pounds against a top-10 contender since November 2013. He may not fight at super middleweight or against a ranked fighter for his next tuneup. If he returns to super middleweight with an eye toward fighting the best middleweight, it won’t be until next year. However, Roc Nation is in preliminary talks with Main Events about a potential showdown between Ward and unified light heavyweight titleholder Sergey Kovalev.

Your mythical matchups:

Salvador Sanchez vs JC Chavez at 126/130 – Sanchez by dec at 126; JCC by dec at 130

Armstrong vs Pacquaio at 135/140/147 – Armstrong by late stoppage at 135, by dec at 140 and 147

Armstrong vs JC Chavez at 135/140 – Chavez by close decision at 135; Armstrong by dec at 140 (in great fights, by the way)

JC Chavez vs Pacquaio at 135/140 – Chavez by dec at 135; Pacquiao by dec at 140

 

A NEW HOPE

Dear Mr. Fischer,

Long time reader and grateful fan. You’ve published several of my letters and I am always grateful for your time and sage wisdom.

Mayweather claims to have one fight left (I believe he will come out of retirement next year to fight again as he has done numerous times). Pacquiao, Marquez and Cotto are on their way out, and as much as I respect them I couldn’t be happier. The politics of boxing has destroyed the sport more than catch weights, numerous titles per division, numerous made up decisions and rehydration the day after.

Now that the old boys are on the way out I’m excited for hungry young gladiators to take over the sport. Terrance Crawford is my hope, as well as Lomenchanko. Who are your picks for the next decade?

Mythical matchups:

Stanley Ketchel vs Bernard Hopkins

Willie Pep vs Guillermo Rigondeaux

Vlad Klitschko vs Max Baer

Batman v Superman (I know you watched the trailer! This movie is all I’ve dreamed of since I was 5)

Keel up the stellar work sir. – Sean from Seattle

I’m ready for some New Blood, too. I think Canelo, Crawford, Loma, Chocolatito, Kovalev, GGG, Ward, Kell Brook (and maybe Keith Thurman or Errol Spence Jr.) will take over the sport completely by the late part of the decade.

The next decade will belong to Anthony Joshua, Joseph Diaz Jr., Felix Verdejo, and Jason Quigley.

Your mythical matchups:

Stanley Ketchel vs Bernard Hopkins – Hopkins by clear decision (even it’s a 20- or 30-rounder)

Willie Pep vs Guillermo Rigondeaux – Pep by clear decision (12 or 15 rounds)

Vlad Klitschko vs Max Baer – Klitschko by clear decision, maybe a late stoppage

Batman v Superman – Never bet against a Kryptonian. (Then again, I wouldn’t put it past Batman to hire Javier Capetillo to wrap his hands with a little bit of that glowing green stuff that always seems to make Supes sick to his stomach.)

Batman-vs-Supes-K-punch

 

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

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