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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

24
Jul

Mayweather-Berto_mailbag

MAYWEATHER-BERTO?

Dougie, What up my brutha?

I haven’t wrote into you in a while and I feel I need to get something off my chest. Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto. Seriously?! I know that Andre has been mentioned as a potential opponent for awhile now, but give me an F’n break! This is a total joke. Please tell me it isn’t so! If it is, I hope that the fight gets put on PPV (there’s talk of putting it on network TV) and that the fans finally stand up and say “enough is enough” and not buy it. It has always amazed me that Floyd has so many PPV buys. There is nothing exciting about him at all. All his fights are the same…Boring. I’m a really big boxing fan and I’m just sick of the Floyd b.s. It never changes. Just retire already. – Andy – Va. Beach



He’ll go away soon enough. He’s got September 12 (the final bout of his Showtime/CBS contract), then one more for Uncle Al and Sin City, and then (hopefully) 50-0 will be a nice round number for Mayweather to call it quits on. We’ll see.

In the meantime, if TMZ is “on the Money” (and when are they ever wrong about Floyd?), we all get to talk about Mayweather torturing poor shopworn Berto on CBS for the next seven weeks. No thanks. I’d rather argue with GGG Haters (AKA Andre Ward fans) on Twitter.

Seriously, folks keep asking me for my thoughts on Mayweather-Berto and the most honest answer that I can give them is that I don’t think about it. It’s the definition of a “nothing” fight.

And for all the Mayweather defenders out there who say he’s earned the right to fight whoever he chooses given his record-breaking previous bout and his overall body of work, I say “fair enough.” I won’t criticize him for fighting Berto. I don’t care enough to offer any criticism.

However, the Mayweather faithful need to recognize and respect that other boxing fans, like you, have the right to crap on a major fight they deem a gross mismatch, and that jaded “old” boxing writers like Yours Truly have the right to ignore the so-called event.

 

AN APPEAL FROM RATIONAL MAYWEATHER

Doug,

I would like to respond to your section in last Friday’s Mailbag concerning Floyd Mayweather and those that support him. I am a Mayweather, the boxer, fan. I do not agree with most of the decisions that he makes in his personal life, but I am able to separate the man from the boxer. I cannot fault you if the majority of your dislike originates from his conduct outside of the ring, but I would like to know your thoughts on Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Manny, etc., if that is the case.

Regarding Mayweather’s opponent selection, I am curious to know who he has not fought that you wanted to see him fight? Since being at welterweight he has fought and defeated the lineal champion of the division twice (Baldomir and Mosley), who was the last welterweight to do that? Nobody can say Baldomir does not count using hindsight, because had Mayweather not fought him, Baldomir would’ve been added to the list of people he supposedly avoided. That is a catch 22 situation. In the case of Mosley, Roach has openly admitted that he avoided that fight for PacMan immediately after Mosley beat down Margarito. Why are we debating why he didn’t fight Kostya Tszyu and Margarito? He fought the guys (Hatton and Mosley) who handled them easily. Keep in mind, you are saying he didn’t fight Margarito during a period of time when most people now believe he was cheating. Post scandal, Mayweather handles that Margarito, agree or disagree?

We both agree that ideally we would like to see Mayweather fight GGG, however, we disagree on what weight. If GGG were willing to come down to 150-152, then make the fight happen. But asking Mayweather to move up to middleweight, when he is barely a welterweight, is ridiculous. Would the media criticize GGG, the same way they criticized Mayweather when he made Marquez move up two weight classes. Absolutely not. Regarding your disdain for this A and B side nonsense, I am quite sure you know that this has been going on well before Mayweather. Tell me Sugar Ray Leonard (Hagler fight in particular) was not the king of pulling the A side card during negotiations, but that doesn’t take away from his greatness.

Now as it pertains to his fighting style, you, as a boxing expert, should appreciate the greatness of his defensive skill a la Whitaker. People say that Mayweather just runs the entire fight, but that in not the case if you review the punch stats. In most cases, Mayweather is out throwing and landing his opponent. In addition, his punching power must not be too shabby, because in the middle rounds, his opponents stop throwing and go defensive. Sure fighting in a phone booth may be more pleasing to watch, but it doesn’t require much skill, and that is why fighters like Rios get exposed when they face elite level competition. I may be in the minority when I say I would much rather watch skilled fighters in a chess match.

In conclusion, I have noticed some of your mythical match ups, and I have some questions about your objectivity. So you think Chavez Sr and Duran would’ve beat Mayweather? Are we talking about the Chavez Sr. and Duran who were schooled by Whitaker and Leonard (2nd fight) using the same strategy that Mayweather would most certainly use against them, since that he his natural fighting style? I am just curious about how you came to those conclusions, please explain.

Respectfully. – CJ, Woodbridge, Va

Thanks for being respectful, CJ (I mean that). And thanks for keeping brief (I’m being sarcastic).

You are obviously a huge booster of Floyd Mayweather Jr. – the boxer, not the person – and you disagree with a lot of criticism I’ve directed at him and his career/legacy over the years. That’s OK. I just want to let you know that I’ve answered most of the questions you gave me, and I’ve done so many times in previous mailbags, but I guess it’s been awhile (and as the guy everyone said was TBE before Mayweather started calling himself that once said: “Y’all musta forgot!).

I’m going to break your dissertation up into the sections where you ask me a reasonable question and I’m going to try like hell to give you a reasonable answer without getting too snarky (it won’t be easy – social media has enhanced my flippant nature).

“I cannot fault you if the majority of your dislike originates from his conduct outside of the ring, but I would like to know your thoughts on Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Manny, etc., if that is the case.” – Much of my dislike for Mayweather does indeed originate from his conduct outside of the ring. For the record, I am not a Tyson fan (and folks who have read my mailbag columns for 10-plus years can attest to this fact). I’ve been called a “Tyson hater.” I’ve even been threatened by his ardent fans (including a young Zab Judah) for my opinions on his ring performances and out-of-the-ring behavior. So be it. Mayweather and Tyson’s violence towards women makes me dislike them as people. I know that Holyfield and Pacquiao have a history of womanizing and out-of-wedlock children, and that’s not a behavior I like nor condone, but as far as I know neither has a history of violence against women. Please correct me if I’m wrong. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve never been a huge fan of Holyfield’s or Pacquiao’s personalities, and though I have the utmost respect for their ring accomplishments (I consider the Real Deal to be a modern all-time great), neither are among my all-time favorite fighters.

“I am curious to know who [Mayweather] has not fought that you wanted to see him fight?” – I wanted to see Mayweather fight Joel Casamayor and Acelino Freitas at 130 pounds; Casamayor, Freitas, Stevie Johnston and Paul Spadafora at 135 pounds; Casamayor and Kostya Tszyu at 140 pounds; Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Vernon Forrest, Cory Spinks and Paul Williams at 147 pounds; and Forrest and Ricardo Mayorga at junior middleweight. (Whew, try saying that in one breath.)

I’m not saying that he HAD to fight all the standout fighters I mentioned, but those are the guys I would have liked to see him tussle with as a fan. I think he SHOULD have fought Freitas at 130 pounds to earn undisputed junior lightweight champion status. The opportunity was there. I think he SHOULD have fought Casamayor at any weight from 130 to 140 to prove that he could handle a fellow boxing master. I think he SHOULD have fought Johnston because “Lil But Bad” was worthy, a promotional stablemate, and was willing to fight him for peanuts. (I know that Johnston is all but forgotten about by most current fans but despite going 0-1-1 against a prime Jose Luis Castillo, I think the Denver native fought the Mexican lightweight on even terms and did a better job against the badass than Mayweather did.)

“Why are we debating why he didn’t fight Kostya Tszyu and Margarito?”Huh? Because he didn’t fight them! And because those two were badasses and they would have made for entertaining/competitive fights. That’s obvious to anyone who isn’t concerned about Mayweather remaining unbeaten.

“He fought the guys (Hatton and Mosley) who handled them easily.”Those fights (with Hatton and Mosley) took place years after Tszyu (who was not an “easy” fight for Ricky) and Margarito were at the top of their respective divisions. Besides, styles make fights. You really should know this. Just because George Foreman destroyed guys who beat Muhammad Ali doesn’t mean that he didn’t have to fight “The Greatest,” or that he automatically had Ali’s number. Tszyu’s style was more difficult for Mayweather than Hatton’s. Margarito’s size and volume-punching pressure was more difficult for Mayweather in 2006 and 2007 than the 2010 version of Mosley. (Why does it fall on me to explain this sort of s__t to people?)

“We both agree that ideally we would like to see Mayweather fight GGG, however, we disagree on what weight. If GGG were willing to come down to 150-152, then make the fight happen. But asking Mayweather to move up to middleweight, when he is barely a welterweight, is ridiculous.”I don’t care to see GGG-Mayweather. That fight would create a personal dilemma for me. I don’t ever want to cover another Mayweather event; while I want to be ringside for every major GGG fight. I know Golovkin and his team have said he’s willing to come down to 154 pounds to make a showdown with Mayweather but I don’t think he can do that without seriously draining himself. He would have to cut one of his arms off to make 152 or 150. Asking Mayweather to move up to middleweight is asking a lot. It’s definitely a challenge, but he does happen to hold THE RING and WBA 154-pound titles, so it’s not a crazy request. And if Mayweather truly wants to be mentioned in the same breath as all-time greats, such as Henry Armstrong, Kid Gavilan, Jose Napoles and Roberto Duran, he has to challenge the top middleweight of his era and not have him come down in weight. The four ATGs I mentioned all began their pro careers fighting at weights well below 130 pounds (where Mayweather began his pro career). All four were standout welterweights and all four fought the best middleweights of their eras.

“Nobody can say Baldomir does not count using hindsight, because had Mayweather not fought him, Baldomir would’ve been added to the list of people he supposedly avoided.” – Nobody who ever saw Baldomir fight would have thought this. Baldomir sucked. He was a Zab Judah creation.

By the way, Mayweather fans like to bring up the “lineal” title whenever they reference this human punching bag. But if the “linear” title is so prestigious and important, Mayweather should have fought Tszyu at 140 pounds.

“You, as a boxing expert, should appreciate the greatness of his defensive skill a la Whitaker.” – I was never a Whitaker fan. But I respected him because he fought everyone when they were at their best. Sweet Pea never tried to “wait out” the dangerous rivals the way Mayweather did with Mosley, Cotto and Pacquiao. (Sorry bro, you can’t fool people who really follow the sport.) Also, Whitaker had a busier defensive style than Mayweather did, which made for slightly better fights. Don’t get me wrong. I like to watch boxers who have slick defensive skills but only if they also let their hands go like James Toney. I’m not into pure defense. Sorry (well, not really).

“Tell me Sugar Ray Leonard (Hagler fight in particular) was not the king of pulling the A side card during negotiations, but that doesn’t take away from his greatness.” – Mayweather fans always have to drag Leonard into arguments about Mayweather’s legacy for some reason. Oh well. Here’s the thing about Leonard, yes, he was shrewd, but he also challenged himself against killers when it was time to do that. He had been off for nearly three years (and had only fought once in the past five) when he challenged Hagler, the undisputed middleweight champ at the time. Leonard, who had never fought about junior middleweight, was a 3-to-1 underdog against Hagler. So yeah, Leonard got more money, a bigger ring, and whatever else, but he was still in with a badass that most folks thought would kick his ass. Mayweather pulls all of that “A-side” advantage crap with 3-to-1 to 10-to-1 underdogs.

“So you think Chavez Sr and Duran would’ve beat Mayweather?Are we talking about the Chavez Sr. and Duran who were schooled by Whitaker and Leonard (2nd fight) using the same strategy that Mayweather would most certainly use against them, since that he his natural fighting style?” – At lightweight, I absolutely believe that Chavez and Duran beat Mayweather. I think they would’ve soundly beat Mayweather at that weight. At welterweight, the weight Chavez fought at against Whitaker, I would favor Mayweather, and I’m on record with this opinion. At welterweight, I think Duran beats Mayweather – soundly. Does the version that stepped in with Leonard for their rematch beat Mayweather? Probably not. But the version that beat Carlos Palomino and Leonard in the first fight absolutely kicks Floyd’s ass in my opinion. I don’t need to waste 500 words explaining why. Just go to YouTube and watch those fights. If you’re as astute about boxing as you probably portray to your non-boxing fan friends, you’ll see what I’m talking about. If you don’t see it, I’m afraid there’s no hope for you. You’re just a Mayweather fan, not a boxing fan.

 

SHOULD CRAWFORD JUMP SHIP?

Hello Mr. Fischer. I’m a fellow boxing fan and comic book fan, though your fandom of both exceeds my own. You’re one hell of a guy, reaching out to the fans the way you do, via the mailbag and Twitter. You live and breathe in this sport, so many of us value your opinion.

Now that introductions are out of the way, I’d like to know your opinion on something I’ve been turning over, in my head. Around six weeks ago, I learned that Terence Crawford would not be back in action until November – much to my dismay. I think this is unacceptable, as does Cameron Duncan, who would prefer it if Terence fought 3 or even 4 times a year.

I know Crawford had nothing to do with what went on this weekend, but PBC/Haymon did. I wonder if Crawford would be better served under Haymon. I’m a little disgusted, that a budding star like Crawford can’t get a fight with Top Rank, within the seven months since his last fight. I know most of the parishioners of this site are all “BOO Haymon”, but I give his PBC venture a B minus, with promise – his guys get fights, although the fights, course of the fights, or end results may not be the ones we want to see.

Lastly, I have an MMM (modern mythical matchup), and a comic question. How would Lomachenko vs Verdejo transpire at around 135? Do you like any non-superhero comics/graphic novels, like ‘Concrete’ or ‘Strangers in Paradise’? How would you rank my top 4 favorite comic characters?

  1. The Incredible Hulk
  2. Silver Surfer
  3. Doctor Doom
  4. Thanos

Thank you for reading. – Mark L. Taylor

Good question (about Crawford, not your favorite comic characters).

Should he jump ship? Well, assuming he’s contractually able to, I think not. I know that Haymon’s got a bunch of talented welterweight contenders, including Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan and Errol Spence Jr., but would “Bud” ever get a crack at the 147-pound star of Al’s stable – Mayweather Jr.?

I think not. Now let’s go back to the Top Rank stable. No, they don’t have as many welterweight standouts as the PBC, but they have a bona-fide superstar named Manny Pacquiao under contract. (Maybe ya heard of him?) And I think Crawford can get a shot at him. In fact, Arum has said as much in numerous interviews.

Bob just cashed out with his Filipino hero in May and will now be looking to use the future first-ballot hall of famer as a launch pad for the next star of his Top Rank stable. I have to imagine that Crawford is on the short list. If Crawford gets Pacquiao and beats the Filipino icon he will instantly make his name among casual fans and the general sports media.

Top Rank also has Tim Bradley (a borderline hall of famer in my opinion), who would make for an excellent challenge for Crawford when the Omaha native is ready to step up to 147 pounds. A victory over Bradley would make Crawford a three-division titleholder and push him up pound-for-pound rankings.

How would Lomachenko vs Verdejo transpire at around 135? If they fought this year, I would favor the Ukrainian southpaw (who beat the young Puerto Rican talent in the 2012 Olympics) to outbox the kid. However, a year or more from now Felix will be too big and experienced for the natural featherweight to contain.

I do like non-superhero comics/graphic novels, though I’m not a big fan of ‘Concrete’ or ‘Strangers in Paradise.’ Ranking your top 4 favorite comic characters (well, actually, I’m just commenting on them).

  1. The Incredible Hulk – I enjoyed the Bronze Age version of the big green guy when I was a kid and I keep up with his trials and tribulations in recent years, but I never collected any of his titles.
  2. Silver Surfer – the star-spanning cosmic-powered adventurer/philosopher is one of Marvel’s greatest characters in my opinion. I love the Silver Age version envisioned by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee (and perfected by John Buscema) and I collect the current series by Dan Slott and Mike Allred.
  3. Doctor Doom – he’s the greatest comic book villain of all time. ‘Nuff said. I’m loving that he’s ascended to Godhood in Marvel’s current Secret Wars event (it makes him a closer fit to my all-time favorite baddie, Darkseid).
  4. Thanos – I like Thanos but I always viewed him as a Darkseid knockoff.

That’s enough nerdiness for now. Thanks for the kind words at the start of your email.

 

CHAVEZ IS DONE, DONAIRE ISN’T

What up Mr Doug-e,

I have to tell you man, even after getting Ko’ed vs Fonfara I was still a Junior believer but not anymore. He sucks he has no skills what so ever and he was almost as big as my boy Chris OREO-la… It was sad to see him, I have to tell you. I feel bad for his dad who will have to hear all the criticism that his son will receive and do his best not to smash on them… I can tell you this will be the last time I spend time writing to you about Junior.

Now changing the subject, I know you are as high as a kite on Scott Quigg. We will not get him vs Carl Frampton (who made lots of mistakes vs a fighter I had never heard of), Rigo or LSC, but we will get him vs Nonito Donaire which IMO is a very good fight. I’m rolling with Donaire’s experience, left hook and power at 122. How do you see this fight playing out?

Potential 126 lbs PBC match ups, who you got? Frampton/LSC/Mares/Russell JR/Cuellar

Keep up the good work! – Agustin

Thanks. You know, I don’t think I have a strong favorite in that potential PBC featherweight round robin. Mares would be my sentimental favorite, though. I hope we get to see a series of matchups between the Furious Five.

Donaire, who has looked very sharp in his two comeback bouts since getting clipped by Nicholas Walters, will definitely give my lad Quigg a run for his money if that fight is made. However, I gotta go with the fresher, younger, bigger, stronger man in that 122-pound matchup. It’s not just Quigg’s size that I like, it’s his versatility and resolve. He’s not going to stand in front of Donaire and just wait to get hit like the Filipino Flash’s last two opponents. He’s going to set the pace, move his hands and feet, and let Donaire know that he’s in a real fight. I think Donaire can hurt Quigg, but I also think Quigg can hurt Donaire and he will hit the veteran back when tagged. I like Quigg by late TKO in a good fight.

The less said about Chavez Jr., the better.

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Hey Doug,

I am re sending my questions I sent you last week. Maybe they will make the mailbag one of these times. They are general questions I have and would enjoy your take!

  1. I have been to two boxing events (Hopkins v Shumenov and Lara v Rodriguez) and arrived for the first fight of the night each time. I also frequently have family over for boxing and put the undercards on when it’s a TR or SHO card. The pre fights build up to the main card and set the mood for me. Why is it that Top Rank TV and SHO Xtreme are the only ones who show the fans the undercard bouts??? If you watch a card put on by Golden Boy, K2, Main Events, Roc Nation, etc., there is no way to watch. How come the others cannot get on board? Such a bummer waiting around all night for Cotto vs Geale when it was a 1 fight card (I recorded PBC from the afternoon and used it for the undercard that night). Canelo vs Kirkland ended up a 1 fight telecast with no undercards. It’s much better when I am able to sit down and watch fights that build up to the main card.
  2. Why are some fighters so inactive? I understand if they are injured or in a grueling fight. Look at Garcia, Broner, Porter, Guerrero, Thurman, and Quillin before the PBC. Then look at them recently. Their activity has picked up. Rios is another example. He fought 5 or 6 rounds in January and we haven’t heard from him since. T Crawford is only scheduled for 2 fights this year. The list goes on. Shouldn’t 3-4 fights per year be the target unless you are Floyd or Manny? GGG and Kovalev push for 3-4 per year. Stevenson is on number 2 and is aiming for number 3 later this year. They want to build a fan base and momentum! There are more examples, but you get my drift.
  3. The Mayweather TBE talk as of late has me thinking about how impossible it is to prove any athlete as the best ever in any sport; those claims are highly debatable and almost entirely subjective. Floyd Mayweather is an all-time great boxer who is headed for the Hall of Fame once he retires, but he is not TBE (the best ever). Floyd, his TBE apparel, and some fans have made this rather lofty assertion. A major argument for Floyd being TBE is his undefeated record. 48-0 is a tremendous accomplishment, but it is not a mark that is unheard of in boxing history. Additionally, inactivity is an issue. 48 fights in 19 years is rather conservative. I get that each fight was carefully calculated and his business acumen has made him a huge draw in the sport, but that does not figure into being the best boxer ever. This could just be a marketing ploy, but some take it and run with it. Other fighters have amassed similar undefeated records/win streaks and some went on to fight many more fights. I am not a fan of his, but have no problem saying he is one of the best fighters ever. I just can’t go with the TBE talk.
  4. Did Zab Judah retire? He hasn’t fought or said anything about fighting since December 2013.
  5. Some people say Floyd controlled the range and dominated Manny. That is a popular saying from Malignaggi after the fight. I am not denying he controlled the range for most of the fight, but my issue is that Manny allowed him to. He had a bad game plan in my estimation. He needed to bring the action and let it all hang out. In rounds 4 and 6, if I remember correctly, he pushed the pace and kept coming at Floyd. I was looking for him to duplicate the strategy from those rounds and throw in excess of 550 punches. He sat back and thought too much. Sure, Floyd has a stinging jab and can make you think when he lands the lead right, but he does not have a Klitschko jab. Canelo, Guerrero, and Manny allowed him to control range while Cotto, Maidana, and Judah for the first part of their fight did not. Hats off to Floyd for the win, but it was a fight where I did not see Manny put himself in the optimal position to get a win. I don’t know if the shoulder played a part, but he felt good enough to fight and had certain rounds where he got the job done. Only he knows how he felt, but I did not see him empty the tank and he still got 4 rounds on two of the cards.

Thanks. – Matt

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Matt. I’ll respond to them in order:

1. I hear what you’re saying about undercard bouts boosting the anticipation of the main event and overall enjoyment of a broadcast. As a hardcore fan, I obviously feel the same way (provided the undercard bouts are half decent). I can’t speak for K2 or Main Events, but as you probably know THE RING/RingTV.com is owned by Golden Boy Promotions, so I do have some knowledge of what’s going on and what’s being planned in those offices. I can’t get into any details or specifics, but I can tell you that what you’ve brought up in this email has been discussed and addressed and some very big announcements are coming. Stay tuned. You’re going to like what you hear and see.

2. Why are some fighters so inactive? I’ll try to give you my opinion, but if you really want to hear why from the boxers themselves there’s this social media phenomenon called Twitter where you can communicate directly with your favorite fighters. You should try it! OK, sarcasm aside, I think it boils down to three things: money, business and desire. Some fighters are satisfied with the amount of money they’re making from fighting twice a year. Danny Garcia was just fine with fighting only twice last year. He made seven figures against Mauricio Herrera and high six figures to decapitate poor Rod Salka. Some fighters run into the business and politics of the sport when they reach a certain level. Guys they want to fight might fight for a promotional company that is a bitter rival to their promotional banner, or the guys they want to fight just don’t want to fight them and they’re not willing to fight just anybody in order to “stay busy.” Yes, Golovkin, Stevenson and Kovalev stay busy, fighting three-to-four times a year, but in order to do so they face second- and third-tier fighters that cause some fans to criticize them (we’re seeing this more with GGG than with Superman and Krusher). And some guys really don’t love the sport or care that much to fight often. Mikey Garcia is an amazing talent but if he never fights again don’t think for a second that he’s going to shed any tears.

3. Questions or comments like this one are the reason I penned this commentary piece last year. Mayweather is a first-ballot hall of famer but he does not belong in the same sentence as the true all-time greats, such as Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Henry Armstrong and Ezzard Charles.

4. Zab will be back. You miss him, don’tcha?

5. You wrote too much on a total dud of a so-called superfight. Pacquiao laid an egg. Period. Mayweather was happy for that and barely took advantage of the situation. Neither future hall of famer gave the kind of effort expected of “great” fighters. Their CompuBox stats attest to that. (And the Mayweather nut-riders who tried to diss Pacquiao’s punch stats while celebrating Floyd’s dismal output were just pitiful. It was like listening to a 30-year-old virgin making fun of a 40-year virgin. Yes, you dweebs, Manny sucked. But guess what? Floyd was only slightly less sucky.)

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter. It’s fun! You can debate him for hours and hours on such pressing and important issues as why overrated fighters like Gennady Golovkin are ducking all-time greats like Andre Ward.

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