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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

14
Sep

Photo by Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

Photo by Ezra Shaw / Getty Images

TBE – THURMAN-BROOK EVER?

Let me start by saying I am a huge fan of Floyd Mayweather Jr. in the ring. I like how technically gifted he is and how he comfortably out pointed his closest rival of recent times in Manny Pacquiao.

That said I am so glad he has retired (although I have my doubts he will stay that way). Hopefully the other welterweights, here’s looking at you Amir Khan, can move on with their careers and face each other. With Keith Thurman, Kell Brook, Tim Bradley, Danny Garcia, Errol Spence, etc., there are so many toss-em matches that can be made among the best in the division. Just a shame that most of 2016 will probably be spent calling Floyd out of retirement and politics continually blocking the best match ups.



Am I cynical to think not much will change? Most of those mentioned are with Al Haymon but he (or they) doesn’t seem interested in matching his undefeated names with each other. Or sending them over to UK for a chance at a world title.

Or is it naive to think that without a ‘lottery ticket’ on offer these potential stars will want to prove themselves? – Andrew, Gateshead, UK

Well, I’m hoping it’s the latter. I hope Mayweather is indeed retired and that the young contenders of the 147-pound division want to fill the void (in terms of a true welterweight champ and a top American star) by beating their most respected peers.

Maybe the friendly face-off between Thurman and Porter in Las Vegas before the Mayweather-Berto exhibition is a positive sign of things to come. Check the video by FightHype.com’s Luis Sandoval:

[springboard type=”video” id=”1560705″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

Thurman and Porter said they want to prove that they are the “Heir Apparent” of the division and are willing to fight each other to prove it. Both are Haymon-advised fighters regularly featured on the PBC platform, so one would expect it to happen sometime before the end of 2016.

I certainly hope it does. I’m going to be positive and assume that we’ll see other matchups between top-10 contenders and talented up-and-comers in the next 12-18 months. With Mayweather’s retirement, Thurman will become the full WBA titleholder and Khan (currently the WBA’s No. 2-rated contender) should be uplifted to the No. 1 spot that Andre Berto had no business holding. So we could see Thurman-Khan sometime soon. (If Chino Maidana ever returns to the gym and works himself back down to 147 pounds, he could be a future challenger for Thurman, as he is currently the WBA’s No. 3 contender.)

Once the WBC title is declared vacant, we could see No. 1-rated Khan face No. 2-rated Garcia in a rematch for the green belt.

And don’t forget about Sadam Ali, THE RING’s No. 9-rated welterweight and the WBO No. 1 contender. Ali is in line to face the winner of the Tim Bradley-Brandon Rios WBO title showdown.

It seems like Brook, the IBF titleholder, is the odd man out, but I think a hungry young gun like Spence would love to challenge for that belt if he got the opportunity. Spence just beat up Chris Van Heerden, who the IBF rated No. 7, so he’s gonna be rated in sanctioning body’s top 10 now. I don’t think it will take him long to climb to the front of the IBF line. If Spence becomes Brook’s mandatory the fight will happen regardless of politics (unless the U.S. Olympian gets a shot at a belt held by one of his fellow PBC teammates first).

Anyway, I think there’s a lot of potential in the 147-pound division and I believe that much of it will be realized between now and the end of 2016.

SIRI WAS ROBBED, GOOD BOY TESTING

Hey Doug,

Well, we probably did see the fight of the year last night with Siri Salido putting on a spirited effort before being robbed by the judges. I truly believed he won the fight. He got off with the best punches, was the ring general, used better head movement to evade punches and was more accurate. Rocky Martinez looked good in some rounds but was unable to keep up the pace. He was often overwhelmed with body punches and that took its tool. Still, I can’t believe how both came out for the 12th round, Rocky looked as if he took some of that Panama Lewis black bottle drink that Aaron Pryor used against Alexis Arguello. He looked energized! What a great finish by both fighters. Hopefully, we get a third fight between these two gladiators, they deserved a good payday and more people watching.

I didn’t see any of the other fights so I can’t comment on that. The only thing I can say is that if Mayweather does retire after this, we can finally start focusing on the next generation of fighters.

One more thing I wanted to touch on; I see that a lot of people are asking for answers for Mayweather’s tests and IV infusions and all that but why haven’t we heard anything about testing Gennady Golovkin, Canelo Alvarez or Miguel Cotto? Are they undergoing strict Olympic Style Drug Testing? I don’t hear anything about those “good boys”. I’m a big GGG fan, but I wonder why nobody says anything. If we want a clean sport we have to stop being biased towards fighters we like and dislike. It has to be even. Hopefully those guys start taking the test and making an example for future generations.

Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde, San Diego

That’s a good question about advanced PED testing for GGG, Canelo and Cotto (the only active pro boxer doing “Olympic style” testing is Nonito Donaire because he allows unannounced testing year-round). A partial answer to your question why nobody says anything about “good boys” like GGG is that Golovkin doesn’t make himself a target of attention by claiming to be a “champion to the cause” of drug testing and awareness like a certain Las Vegas resident who isn’t really interested in “level playing fields” at all.

However, unless I’m mistaken, the “good boys” – GGG, Cotto and Canelo – will be tested by VADA going into their next fight because of the recent partnership between the anti-doping organization and the WBC. The up-coming Lucas Matthysse-Viktor Postol 140-pound title bout will be the first title bout under the new testing program. Going forward, all participants of WBC title bouts and WBC-rated fighters will be eligible for VADA testing (which I think the sanctioning organization pays for). Cotto holds the WBC middleweight title, which is on the line in the Canelo showdown. Golovkin holds the WBC’s interim 160-pound title.

However, maybe WBC interim titles don’t count. I don’t know for sure, but that’s a question I’ll ask K2 and Golden Boy Promotions reps going into the Oct. 17 unification bout.

Go to VADA’s official website to see a list of fighters who are being tested for upcoming bouts and who have been tested for previous bouts. Canelo is noted as a fighter who has undergone VADA testing (I don’t know for which fight, though).

Tim Bradley and Brandon Rios will be VADA tested for their fight in November. It will be Bradley’s fifth time (so I consider Desert Storm to be a clean fighter, along with Donaire). Ruslan Provodnikov has done VADA testing four times. I consider Siberian Rocky to be a clean athlete. Matthysse did it for the Provo fight and will do so again vs. Postol. Jean Pascal and Yunieski Gonzalez did it for their recent fight. Manny Pacquiao has completed two VADA testing programs.

This is all good to know (especially in light of USADA’s questionable practices). If you’re really concerned about boxing cleaning up its act in terms of PED testing, I suggest making a PayPal donation on the site’s homepage. I just did (and I set up a recurring monthly donation – because I don’t just want to talk about drug testing reform, I want to support it).

Onto Saturday’s pay-per-view show, and this statement from you: The only thing I can say is that if Mayweather does retire after this, we can finally start focusing on the next generation of fighters.”

Why do we have to wait until he retires? It shouldn’t matter if Mayweather keeps his word or decides to return to the sport. It’s up to us if we want to focus on the next generation. I’m over Mayweather. All I could think about during that uneventful dance he did with Berto for 12 rounds was how little I care about what he’s done, what he was currently doing (I didn’t see the display of “brilliance” Showtime’s commentators kept gushing about) and what he might do in the future.

The Mayweather-Berto exhibition was truly the walk-out bout for the Martinez-Salido rematch. What a brutal fight that was. I can’t believe Salido was able to go to the well one more time after all the wars he’s been in (and the shaky start in the opening rounds). I can’t believe Martinez took all of that punishment to his head and body and still lasted the distance. I can’t believe they went toe-to-toe in the final rounds. And I can’t believe that Saldio did not get the decision. It should have been scores of 116-112 for Siri, who took over the fight in Round 5.

But damn, Martinez has earned his “Rocky” nickname. That Boricua’s got balls. I don’t know if Salido has another effort in him like that, which why it’s so messed up that Patricia Morse Jarman and Glenn Feldman stole the victory from him, but he’s still one of the best (and definitely the roughest) volume-punching pressure fighters in boxing.

TBE? PLEASE!

TBE??? You’ve got to be kidding. TBE at running around the ring not willing to engage. That’s not boxing. The last ten seconds of the fight summed up his whole career. Running away rather than trading. Some way to finish a career. What a joke. Good luck to Floyd, he’s been impressive, but you can’t mention him in the same breath at the greats. Now let’s move on and appreciate the up and coming talent that is out there in abundance. – Paul

You don’t have to tell me twice.

NA NA NA NA, HEY HEY HEY – GOOD-BYE!

Hey Dougie,

Aww, no more Floyd. But if he was gonna screw around anyway why didn’t he just do it properly? Hire a WWE “fighter” to replace Berto and serenade Floyd with the traditional song by Steam afterwards? And did you see that delusional s__t Showtime’s boss tweeted during the “fight” about how it didn’t look like a mismatch? Stop trying to sell it bro, it’s over!

Now Dougie, please do me a solid and spread the word: I’m offering $50 a pop to anyone who bitch slaps the next journalist they hear talking about “Marciano’s” record. Thanks.

Okay, seriously. Sit down and help me out here for a second Dougie, because I’m confused: is Saint George elite at 168 not? He was such a badass in the Froch fights that I thought he could seriously challenge Jesus (aka Andre Ward) in a couple years. And this was even after Froch first served him a plateful of referee bulls__t and then a rocket punch. I figured, y’know, learning experiences and s__t. So what’s up? Badou Jack (love his name btw) wins and the title stays in Al’s League, which of course, doesn’t acknowledge the existence of Jesus (the corporeal one). Is Jack that good? Meh…

On an unrelated note, how long before Al starts calling himself The Best Ever?

Finally, I don’t wanna come off as a TBE heretic and get burned at the stake, but I keep hearing people talk about what Floyd has done for the sport. Which is what exactly? The “I’m-my-own-promoter” thing’s been done before, as has the bad guy role. I actually agree that Floyd is TBE when it comes to a boxer getting the most out of his career. But Frankly, I can’t think of an active boxer who could take any other aspect of the Mayweather model to the bank, literally or figuratively. To me, Floyd’s a black snowflake – there won’t be another.

As always, thanks for putting up the time to deal with these emails. I honestly don’t know how you keep your sanity replying to s__t like this. Peace. – Abs, Cape Town

I deal with nuttier s__t and wackier fans on Twitter. The mailbag is usually a lot of fun. It’s an honor to receive emails from fellow boxing junkies from around the globe.

I have no problem coming off as a TUE, oops, I mean TBE Heretic. Mayweather hasn’t brought anything new to boxing. He’s done incredibly well for himself. That’s his legacy. The self-promotion thing isn’t new (and the truth is that all of his major PPV events beginning with the De La Hoya fight in 2007 were promoted by Golden Boy Promotions until the Pacquiao showdown, which was a co-promotion with Top Rank). The bad guy role has been done forever. Mayweather took the Hector Camacho Sr./Chris Eubank “I’m-an-insufferable-a__hole-with-a-boring-style-but-damn-I’m-good” routine to another level (in terms of money earned) with the help of his partnerships with HBO, Showtime and the pay-per-view platforms of the two subscription cable networks.

Haymon is more deserving of the TBE moniker than Mayweather. Floyd would probably admit that.

Regarding Groves, he’s not an elite super middleweight but he’s lower-top 10 contender. Had he fought Anthony Dirrell for the WBC title, I think he would have won it. But that Badou Jack is a solid fighter. He’s not outstanding in any area but hiss fundamentals are sound, he’s smart (which is good because he has two excellent teachers – former light heavyweight champs Eddie Mustafa Muhammad and Lou “Honey Boy” Del Valle – in his corner) and he’s consistent. I like Jack’s patience, accuracy (especially with his right hands) and his body attack.

He’ll never get a crack at Ward, but so what? Ward is probably heading up to light heavyweight and there are plenty of decent challengers in the PBC Universe, including fellow titleholder James DeGale, Andre Dirrell, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and Peter Quillin (who needs to stop picking on little guys and move up in weight).

Groves can come back from his third title bout setback. He overcame some psychological ghosts by getting up from that first-round knockdown and acquitting himself well in the middle rounds, but he’s got to work on his stamina and offensive consistency. Maybe he needs to reunite with former trainer Adam Booth. I thought his jab, upper-body movement and overall boxing form was better during his prospect days.

Regarding the 49-0 obsession, you don’t have to pay me to drop a big ole pimp hand on the next dip s__t hack to pretend that record has meaning. I’ll gladly do it for free, as will a legion of educated fans. I can name 30 hall of famers with better resumes than Marciano and Mayweather and none of them retired unbeaten.

I love this suggestion: “Hire a WWE ‘fighter’ to replace Berto and serenade Floyd with the traditional song by Steam afterwards”

You should be a promoter (or maybe a PR agent). Mayweather could’ve called on some of his WWE buddies, such as Triple H and maybe the Big Show (they’re cool now, right?), to help him go out with style. I would have watched that with more interest than that bizarre interpretive dance that he and Berto engaged in for 12 rounds.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1560653″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

ATG SWAN SONGS

Hey Dougie,

Who better than you to answer this question?

Where does Floyd’s final fight rank among the other ATG’s final fights in history? – Miguel from Chiraq

Good question. In terms of the magnitude of overall event and the personal pay-off for Mayweather (guaranteed minimum of $32 million), his supposed “last hurrah” we saw on Saturday ranks up at the top. In terms of the sport/competition, the matchup was only slightly better than Larry Holmes going out with a 10-round decision over Butterbean in July 2002.

My personal pick for the best ATG exit is Marvin Hagler’s split-decision loss to Sugar Ray Leonard in 1987. I was never a big fan of the Marvelous One and I rooted Ray to beat the bald-headed badass from Boston (in fact, I’m pretty sure I prayed for Leonard going into that fight), but I always respected the way Hagler went out. He fought his fight, put it on my boyhood hero in the late rounds and helped make for a mega boxing event that was also fight of the year (and the reason I put down my comic books and became a hardcore fan). Hagler never conceded defeat, and when he hung ’em up, he made sure it was permanent.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1560703″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

It really didn’t matter that Hagler lost the fight. I know it’s hard for Mayweather fans to wrap their heads around that opinion. But that’s boxing. Most of the fighters enshrined in the hall of fame retired after losing. There are some exceptions, though.

I was ringside for Lennox Lewis’s final fight at Staples Center in L.A. in July 2003. He stopped Vitali Klitschko (who was ahead on the scorecards after six rounds) on some gruesome cuts in a passing of the torch between future hall of fame heavyweight champs.

I was also ringside for the final bout of Finito Lopez’s stellar career, a brilliant eighth-round KO of top-10 contender Zolani Petelo in defense of his IBF 108-pound belt. It was on the undercard of the Bernard Hopkins-Felix Trinidad middleweight title unification, which is probably the most memorable (and emotional) card I’ve ever covered. (Man, that was 14 years ago. Time flies.)

Michael Carbajal’s last fight wasn’t part of a huge event (it was on the undercard of an easy title defense of a young Erik Morales in Tijuana), but it was the perfect story book ending for a faded veteran – he scored a come-from-behind knockout of young favorite Jorge Arce in the 11th round.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1560693″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

Gene Tunney went out on an 11th round TKO of Tom Heeney to retire (healthy and wealthy) as heavyweight champ in 1928.

Carlos Monzon finished his career and great middleweight title reign with his 100th pro bout (and 87th victory with only three losses), a 15-round decision over top-rated Rodrigo Valdez in July 1977.

Underrated former junior welterweight champ from Italy, Duilio Loi, retired (with an excellent 115-3-8 record) after regaining the 140-pound title from fellow future hall of famer Eddie Perkins via 15-round decision in December 1962.

Former WBA junior bantamweight titleholder Khaosai Galaxy retired (with a fine record of 50-1, with 44 KOs) after the 19th defense of his 115-pound title, a 12-round decision over top-10 rated Armando Castro in December 1991.

The great two-division champ from Brazil, Eder Jofre (who finished his career with a 72-2-4 record that included 50 KOs), went out with a 12-round decision over tough Mexican contender Octavio Gomez in October 1976.

And, of course, Marciano’s up-from-the-canvas ninth-round KO of ATG Archie Moore 60 years ago this month rates as one of boxing’s best farewells. (But you already knew that.)

BRADLEY AND ATLAS

Hi Doug!

Long time reader and first time writer to your mailbag. Tim Bradley just announced on Twitter that he hired Teddy Atlas for his upcoming bout with Brandon Rios. Could you give us your thoughts on this paring of boxer and trainer? Bradley in my opinion was at his best boxing from the outside and occasionally banging on the inside when he needed to get his opponents respect. On the other hand Atlas is a student of the peek a boo style and is probably best known (aside from commentating) for his work with a young Mike Tyson. Also Rios is a guy you probably wouldn’t want to spend too much time with on the inside.

Another thing is about the reason why Bradley left Joel Diaz in the first place. He said he needed a trainer who can give him more attention. So hiring a commentator and occasional trainer doesn’t make much sense to me. Some people seem to interpret the decision as a possible step towards the PBC given Ted’s ties to the Promotion. Any thoughts?

(P.S. Sorry if my writing sucks, I’m more the speaking type than a writing type when it comes to English.) I would love to hear your opinion on the topic. Have a nice week. – Alex from Germany/Japan

Your grammar is better than mine (and I’m willing to bet that your primary school education was too).

I don’t think hiring Atlas is an indication that Bradley is looking at joining Haymon Nation. He signed a contract extension with Top Rank last January.

If Bradley wants a noted-but-dedicated trainer, I think Atlas makes sense. All of the Southern California-based standout trainers, such as Freddie Roach and Robert Garcia have huge stables that they manage. Atlas has several decades of world-class experience but no fighters to compete with Bradley’s time.

I think Bradley will do just fine with Atlas. Ya know why? Because he already knows how to fight! He was a top West Coast amateur boxer whose professional development was carefully guided by an underrated trainer (Diaz) and an underrated promotional company (Thompson Boxing). He’s a five-time titleholder in two divisions. He’s faced 11 major beltholders, including future hall of famers Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez, and he’s lost only once in 34 pro bouts. And he’s arguably still in his athletic prime (only 32).

All Atlas has to do is sharpen up Bradley’s technique and help come up with sound strategies for his fights (which he’s very good at doing). He doesn’t have to teach Bradley the basics, stoke his competitive spirit or push him in training. Bradley is among the most well-conditioned and self-motivated competitors in the sport. (You know this.)

Atlas won’t have Bradley imitating Tyson unless he really thinks that’s what Desert Storm needs to do to get the better of his opponent. Don’t stereotype Atlas. His resume goes beyond Tyson. He’s trained other fighters, such as Michael Moorer, Donny Lalonde, Junior Jones and Alexander Povetkin.

I’m looking forward to Bradley-Rios.

Thanks for finally sharing your thoughts with the mailbag.

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

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