Dougie’s Friday mailbag
MOSLEY VS MAYORGA 2
I’ve been a casual follower of Ricardo Mayorga over the years and what he doesn’t have in his fists, he certainly has with his mouth. This man is entertainment plus, and although being down right rude, he’s just plain funny in his antics. I watched some of his interviews and although Miguel Cotto kept his composure, Oscar De La Hoya almost lost it, but both of them spoke with their fists in the ring.
Mayorga is still fighting for his own reasons, but I’m unsure of Shane Mosley. Is it the challenge, the love of boxing or a final chance at glory? I’m unsure, but whatever the outcome I want to see Shane hang the gloves up. Time for the next generation. Regards. – Jeff
The “next generation” is already here. It’s up to us (fans and the boxing media) if we want to pay attention to them.
Having said that, it’s hard to ignore veteran prize fighters as colorful and accomplished as Mayorga and Mosley. Both have given us a lot of entertainment and many lasting memories.
When the Mosley-Mayorga rematch was first announced, I had very little interest in it. I thought the first fight was awkward and ugly, viewed the two former champs as spent bullets, and figured the rematch would suck. I might be right about that but now that the event is a day away I’m feeling nostalgic about both fighters and I’m looking forward to seeing them fight live again.
Mayorga was a lot of fun during his prime. He didn’t just talk a good game, he could FIGHT and he was a threat to all world-class welterweights.
The Nicaraguan badass seldom threw a straight punch but he wasn’t as reckless as advertised and he had a way of timing his looping haymakers just right. I remember wondering if Mayorga was for real after watching his first bout with then-WBA titleholder Andrew Lewis (which ended up a two-round no contest after “Six-Heads” suffered a nasty cut) on the Roy Jones Jr.-Julio Gonzalez undercard from ringside in Los Angeles. Mayorga showed the boxing world that he was the real deal and – a crazy character – in the rematch that took place a little over a year later.
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I watched that fight (which ended with Lewis being stopped in the fifth round of an underrated shootout) on Showtime and couldn’t wait to cover the hard-swinging lunatic’s first title defense – which happened to be a unification bout with the late Vernon Forrest in Temecula, California.
I remember MaxBoxing cohort Steve Kim and I getting the feeling that we were about to witness a significant upset when Mayorga and Forrest went toe to toe in Round 2. “Hell of a round, this is becoming an exciting fight,” I told Kim.
“Yep, which means this is no longer a Vernon Forrest fight,” Kim replied.
Round 2 raised the energy in that ballroom (inside the Pechanga Casino, not too far from San Diego the day before that fair city hosted Super Bowl XXXVII) but the punch that put poor Vernon on queer street, ultimately ending the fight in Round 3, caused that joint to explode.
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I knew Mayorga could punch and take a punch but I still had two questions about him: 1. Was the cigarette smoking just an act? 2. Was he a frontrunner?
Question No. 1 was answered the night before the rematch with Forrest, when Kim and I spotted Mayorga at in Irish bar inside The Orleans Casino, where the fight took place. He was listening to live music with his mother and some friends – smoking the entire time. It’s not an act (at least it wasn’t before that particular fight). Hey, legend has it Rocky Graziano used to smoke a ciggy in the dressing room before his fights to calm his nerves.
Anyway, Mayorga also proved he could go the 12-round distance in a tough fight with a hell of a fighter the following night. Of course, most fans remember the macho stuff from that fight.
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That 2003 rematch victory with Forrest was the pinnacle of Mayorga’s career. He dropped a decision to Cory Spinks for the undisputed championship (although I thought he could have held the southpaw to a draw had he been credited for a couple knockdowns) and then he basically became a fall guy for the A-listers of the sport, doing more than his part to sell pay-per-view promotions but ultimately losing. (Kim even gave him the nickname “The Stuntman” because he was chosen to make the “stars” look good.)
However, though he was thoroughly thrashed by Trinidad and De La Hoya, it should be noted that he beat Fernando Vargas, put up a respectable effort against Miguel Cotto, and gave Mosley fits.
I figure Mayorga made good money in those high-profile fights. Where did it all go? Only he (and Don King) know. So that’s why he’s fighting. Why is Mosley back at it? I think it is, indeed, for the challenge. However, I don’t think he’s seriously chasing ring glory anymore. He has to know that he’s got a hall-of-fame resume.
I think he’s legitimately excited about the prospect of promoting himself and future events that feature fighters he manages/trains/guides. As crazy as this sounds, I think the legal drama with King and the competition from the Abner Mares-Leo Santa Cruz event have reignited the fighter in him a lot more than Mayorga has.
What’s even crazier is that Mosley having to deal both with King and Al Haymon (AKA Cleveland’s Most Wanted) is making me root for him (and his event) the way I used to back when he was the most kick-ass lightweight I’d ever seen.
What’s up? My last two letters got published so I figured I’d go for the hat trick. I’m excited for the second half of 2015. It’s good to see Abner Mares back in the mix. Can’t believe it was two years ago he got knocked out. I expect him to beat Leo Santa Cruz however I have a strange feeling about the fight ending in a controversial draw or decision.
Mayweather….who cares? Wladimir Klitschko and Tyson Fury has my interest. I hope Klit pulls it out. He’s gotten my respect over the years. Can’t wait for the Gennady Golovkin-David Lemieux PPV. If Roman Gonzalez wins who do you think he will fight next and who do you want him to fight next? I wanna see him and the Japanese prodigy sometime in 2016.
Gonzalez don’t seem like he has a big frame. Can you envision him moving up higher in the future? Also can’t the Flyweight lineal title be traced back some 30 plus years?
Then we got Cotto-Canelo. Tough pick but I’m picking Canelo. Like to see Cotto pull it out though.
Every Sunday I try to watch a few older boxing matches. Watched Israel Vasquez-Jhonny Gonzalez and Roberto Duran-Davey Moore this past week. Good fights. Also watched Marco Barrera-Rocky Juarez I. Reason why, funny story. Before the fight my friends and I were gunna bet on a draw but we didnt. Fight ends in a draw everyone was cussing. 20 minutes later I remember a ticker running across the screen while Sopranos or something was on saying Barrera won, they found an error in a score card tally. What a relief that was.
Got some good mythical matchups for ya:
Carlos Palomino vs Pipino Cuevas Ike Ibeaubuchi vs Deontay Wilder Tim Bradley vs Arturo Gatti @ 140 Canelo vs Fernando Vargas
FBI special agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks Vs FBI special agent Fox Mulder from X-Files
Later. – Ryan, NY
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, questions and rather interesting mythical matchups.
I’ll start with your Mares-Santa Cruz prediction. I also expect Mares to outpoint Santa Cruz, but like you, I wouldn’t be shocked if Leo pulled out a draw or a somewhat controversial decision. Santa Cruz at his best is a forward-marching, volume-punching machine and it’s hard to outbox/outpoint world-class pressure fighters. If Mares can’t hurt Santa Cruz, he can’t afford to take any breaks because it make appear as though he’s being outhustled by Leo. That was the scenario with Mares’ first title bout against Yonnhy Perez five years ago (ironically at Staples Center). I thought he won eight rounds against the game Colombian, but Perez got credit for his high workrate (and the official verdict was a draw).
I’m also looking forward to Klitschko-Fury and Golovkin-Lemieux. I think the odds/media favorites (Wladdy and GGG) will win but I also believe the big Englishman and the hard-punching Canadian will give them worthy challenges.
If Gonzalez beats Brian Viloria (which won’t be easy) I expect HBO to push for a rematch with Juan Estrada and then perhaps a total title unification bout against Amnat Ruenroeng. Eventually, I do believe we’ll see a showdown between Gonzalez and “The Monster” Nayoa Inoue. If that bout happens it will take place at 115 pounds (where Inoue holds a belt) and I’m thinking that’s probably Chocolatito’s limit. That’s OK. There are some really good challenges for him there (Inoue, Carlos Cuadras, Zolani Tete, McJoe Arroyo and Srisaket Sor Rungvisai).
Can the flyweight lineal title be traced back some 30-plus years? I have no idea and I’m not interested enough to do the research. However, I know a guy – Boxingscene.com’s Cliff Rold – who probably knows for sure. Shoot him an email at [email protected]. And be sure to follow him on Twitter.
I love Cotto. I love the Nov. 21 matchup and event, but I’m riding with Team Canelo all the way.
Vazquez-Gonzalez is an underrated ring war, a better (more competitive) fight than the other two “closet classics” you brought up.
Your mythical matchups:
Carlos Palomino vs Pipino Cuevas – Palomino by late TKO (and I’m talking about Round 14 or 15 – f__k a 12-round bout, these dudes went the REAL championship distance) and he would have his excellent chin, stamina and body attack to thank for the hard-fought victory.
Ike Ibeaubuchi vs Deontay Wilder – “The President” by brutal fourth- or fifth-round KO. They’d have to carry Wilder’s tall ass out of the ring on two stretchers.
Tim Bradley vs Arturo Gatti @ 140 – Fascinating matchup. I think Bradley survives some wobbly moments to box-n-brawl his way to a hard-fought decision in a Fight of the Year candidate.
Canelo vs Fernando Vargas – El Feroz out-jabs and out-guts the young Mexican national to close, bloody, entertaining decision.
FBI special agent Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks Vs FBI special agent Fox Mulder from X-Files – I wasn’t a diehard fan of either show but I my gut tells me that Mulder would smack Cooper’s fastidious ass silly. (Here’s some insider info on David Duchovny that you might find interesting. He used to train at this “secret” boxing gym in Santa Monica that’s supposedly owned by Bob Dylan (and it is). My good friend “Coach” Dave Schwartz also happens to workout there and he invited me to visit, oh about 10-12 years ago. This wasn’t your ordinary boxing club, as we passed Garry Shandling on the way to the ring area, and I spotted John McEnroe on the speed bag (well, he was trying to work the speed bag) once inside. Anyway, Duchovny was in the ring shadow boxing with the son of one of the trainers and he looked good! He looked like he knew what he was doing.
I swear I’m not trying to become a regular fixture on the mailbag. However, I got some additional random topics to throw your way if you’re interested.
1) If you had to decide right now between a January fight with Andre Ward facing Gennady Golovkin at 168, or a late 2016 fight between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev at 172, which would you choose and why? And assume choosing one prevents the other from happening altogether.
2) I don’t think Terence Crawford and Dierry Jean is that compelling of a fight. I think Jean is decent, but he doesn’t have any exceptional talents and doesn’t take many chances. It seems like a clear decision for Crawford, but I’m wondering do you think Crawford is hungry enough to stop Jean? I’m just wondering if Thomas Dulorme and Yuriorkis Gamboa were mirages in terms of Crawford’s closing ability.
3) There’s something about the Abner Mares-Leo Santa Cruz fight that bothers me. The bookmakers all have LSC as between a 2:1 and 3:1 favorite, but the majority of boxing pundits that I’ve seen in interviews and articles lean toward Mares due to his experience and skill superseding Santa Cruz’s weak resume. I get the sense that LSC will win if it goes to the cards with volume and popularity bias edging it for him.
4) Speaking of bias… I get the same sense with George Groves-Badu Jack. I think that one is a close fight, but being a Mayweather fighter on a Mayweather card, I’d be shocked if Groves won (unless he gets the KO). Would you agree with that? And what major fights have you actually thought to yourself this decision was not legit and suspected corruption?
5) Going back to the Herrera-Lundy fight, I noticed that when it was stopped the judges scored the (partial) fifth round. Is that standard practice? I thought fights stopped due to injury from a headbutt only scored completed rounds. If I’m not mistaken that was the difference between a draw and a Herrera win.
Anyway, as always keep up the good work. – Vincent, New York, NY
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions, Vincent. I’ll answer them in order:
1) As a fan I’d want to see Ward-Golovkin at 168 in January. Why? Because it’s an even fight between elite boxers with contrasting styles and it would ignite (and divide) the hardcore boxing community. I also think it would be a legit grudge match even if it wasn’t marketed that way because I don’t GGG and S.O.G like each other very much. However, if I was an adviser to Ward, I’d suggest he go with the Kovalev catchweight fight in late 2016 because by that time he should have his “groove” back (as he and trainer Virgil Hunter like to say) and maybe having Krusher come down three pounds weakens the dangerous Russian champ.
2) I think Jean probably has a better chin than Gamby or Dulorme but if Crawford hurts the Canadian challenger I expect the Omaha native to close the show.
3) It doesn’t surprise me that the boxing media favors Mares. He’s the more experienced/battle tested of the two featherweights. And it doesn’t surprise me that Santa Cruz is favored by the odds makers. He’s taller, rangier, fresher, younger and unbeaten. Oh, and Mares is only three fights removed from a first-round stoppage loss (and he hasn’t been in with top opposition since that setback).
4) I wouldn’t be shocked if Jack won a controversial decision. Other Mayweather-promoted fighters have received the benefit of the doubt from the official judges when fighting on Mayweather’s undercards, including Mickey Bey (against Miguel Vazquez), J’Leon Love (against Gabriel Rosado – although it was changed to a No contest when Love tested dirty) and Wes Ferguson (remember him? Probably not. He was granted a questionable decision over Josesito Lopez back in 2006). I’m sure there are some other examples. Anyway, I think Jack has the ability to win the fight legitimately, but I favor Groves.
5) According to the Unified Rules of Boxing, partial or incomplete rounds will be scored in the event an accidental foul causes a bout to be stopped after four completed rounds.
CON NO MORE DESERVING THAN BERTO
Im just wondering, you said Khan or CON deserves a shot more so than Berto! Does Khan have a belt? Why does he deserves a shot over Berto? He has lost 3 times ,just like Berto, being knocked out twice.I can understand you saying Berto dont deserve a shot at FM, but then you sound silly to say Khan does. Khan is just that a con, Berto is a better boxer, with more power than Con, he will present the better challenge. Khan wants a payday just like Berto please explain and back up with facts because I know you hate the Boxer and love the come forward cant box use my face as a punching bag style. – Tony
I don’t recall beating the drums for a Mayweather-Khan fight but whatever. Maybe I said Khan is more deserving than Berto. (Doesn’t that go without saying?)
Here, I’ll keep it simple (because you, my friend, are a simpleton):
Khan is currently ranked (by THE RING, ESPN.com and the TBRB). Berto is not.
Khan has won five consecutive bouts since being stopped by Danny Garcia, a fellow 140-pound titleholder at the time who went on to earn recognition as the THE junior welterweight champ. Khan’s last three opponents (Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri) were ranked contenders at the time that he fought them
Berto has won two bouts since being stopped by Jesus Soto Karass (one of those “come-forward-can’t-box-use-my-face-as-a-punching-bag” type of fighters that I love so much). The Mexican slugger is tough and experienced but limited enough for any real contender (such as Alexander or Keith Thurman) to beat him. JSK is a gatekeeper. He lets us know who is world class and who isn’t. If he beats you, guess what homie? You ain’t world class.
The two fighters Berto beat since losing to JSK (Steve Upsher Chambers and Josesito Lopez) were not ranked when he faced them.
But the main reason I think Khan is “more deserving” than Berto (and would likely present a sterner challenge to Mayweather) is that despite his shaky chin, the British standout still appears to have his legs and world-class reflexes.
Berto, who suffered punishing back-to-back 12-round battles (to Robert Guerrero and JSK), does not appear to have his legs or reflexes.
But hey, if you think he’s going to give Mayweather a “better challenge” be sure to tune in on Sept. 12 and enjoy the show.
MARGARITO CHEATED VS. COTTO
I just read your Monday mailbag and you made a few mistakes. First, I don’t believe Lupe Pintor is in the International Boxing Hall Of Fame. Secondly, how in the world can you possibly believe that Antonio Margarito didn’t have loaded wraps for his first fight with Miguel Cotto?
So Margarito doesn’t load his wraps when he is the 3-1 underdog in the fight, but he decides to load his wraps in his next fight with Mosley, when he is more than a 3-1 favorite? Load the gloves when your favored, but keep it honest when your the underdog? That makes no sense whatsoever!!! Come on Dougie, you know better than that! Just trying to keep it honest. – Tony
I do know better. That’s why I don’t think Margarito cheated vs. Cotto.
Margz had a great camp for Cotto. He and his trainer knew it. Cotto was a 3-to-1 favorite but not in their eyes. Margz had a horrible camp for Mosley. He and his trainer knew it. And though Mosley was the underdog in that fight, Javier Capetillo knew his fighter was in for a hard night. He remembered Mosley from the L.A. Boxing Club days in the mid-90s. Personally, I think Cappy was either a nervous wreck (and he is a high-strung MF) in their dressing room before the fight and wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing (as he claims) or he panicked and deliberately tried to “load” Margz’s hand wraps with old gauze that was used by one of his fighters that fought on the undercard.
Whatever the case was in L.A. on January 24, 2009, I don’t think it has anything to do with what happened on July 26, 2008. That’s just my opinion.
I’m totally fine with fans, media and boxing insiders believing that Margarito had loaded gloves in the Cotto fight, but it bugs the s__t out of me when people (especially members of the media) say and write it as if it were fact. It isn’t.
If you and everyone else who views Margarito as a serial cheating psychopath are so sure that he loaded his wraps against Cotto, why don’t you serve the cause of justice and do Miguel a solid by pleading your case to the Nevada State Athletic Commission? Last time I checked Boxrec.com, it listed “Margarito TKO 11 Cotto.” If we’re all so damn sure that Margarito cheated that night, shouldn’t that official result be changed to a No Contest?
Why hasn’t Cotto or anyone else pursued that?
Come to think of it, if Margarito really had plaster in his wraps the night of the Mosley fight, and if he had been doing this for most of his career like his legion of detractors believe, why the hell weren’t criminal charges ever brought up against the bastard?
(Why did the Mosley fight even take place? I know he never actually used the “loaded” wraps against Mosley, so it isn’t a situation like the Luis Resto-Billy Collins case – where the boxer and his trainer Panama Lewis did jail time for removing padding from Resto’s gloves prior to the fight – but if there was really a hardening substance in those wraps it’s clear that his intent was to do extra damage in an already dangerous combat sport where serious brain injuries and fatalities sometimes occur. I mean, that goes beyond felonious assault, right? That’s some premeditated s__t. That should have been considered attempted murder. But it wasn’t. Let’s be real. If a heavy block of plastered-up wraps fell out onto the floor when Nazim Richardson busted Capetillo, the fight should have been immediately called off and Margarito and his trainer should have been taken into police custody for questioning. ‘Nuff said.)
I know most of you out there want to believe that Margarito is the living embodiment of evil and that’s totally your right. (If Margarito makes a comeback be sure to boycott his fights, picket outside of the arena and hit the son of a bitch in the face with a plaster-encrusted pig fetus if you see him.) However, I’m not going along with the collective hysteria.
Regarding Lupe Pintor and the International Boxing Hall of Fame, you are correct. The former bantamweight and junior featherweight titleholder has yet to be inducted.
BEST BOXER BY DECADE
This is my first time writing into you, but I have been a reader of your work for quite some time. I’ll keep this email brief and simple. I was reading the mailbag in which you responded to a reader with your list of the top ten boxers since 1980. A sucker for lists (as I believe many boxing fans are) I decided to write in with a similar question. I was wondering who you would dignify as the greatest fighter of each decade since 1900. It’s very possible over the course of your career you have answered this question before, if so just refer me to said list. Best from a Fan. – B.
I can’t recall if I’ve done this before or not, but here goes:
1900s – Joe Gans
Runners up: Jack Johnson, Abe Attell
1910s – Sam Langford
Runners up: Benny Leonard, Jimmy Wilde
1920s – Harry Greb
Runners up: Gene Tunney, Mickey Walker
1930s – Henry Armstrong
Runners up: Billy Conn, Tony Canzoneri
1940s – Sugar Ray Robinson
Runners up: Willie Pep, Ezzard Charles
1950s – Robinson
Runners up: Rocky Marciano, Archie Moore
1960s – Carlos Ortiz
Runners up: Eder Jofre, Emile Griffith
1970s – Muhammad Ali
Runners up: Roberto Duran, Carlos Monzon
1980s – Sugar Ray Leonard
Runners up: Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns
1990s – Pernell Whitaker
Runners up: Oscar De La Hoya, Roy Jones Jr.
2000s – Manny Pacquiao
Runners up: Floyd Mayweather Jr., Bernard Hopkins
2010s – ????