Dougie’s Friday mailbag
Fans ask Dougie why he’s down on Manny Pacquiao, criticize Bob Arum and Canelo Alvarez for opening their big mouths, share mythical matchups and more in this week’s Friday mailbag. Read on and enjoy:
WHY SO SOUR ON MANNY PACQUIAO?
Let me start this email but saying I completely love your mailbag and this email comes with the utmost respect. I don’t want you to think I am one of those people that come off rude just to get a point across in a disrespectful way.
With that said let me ask what is it that has you coming across like you could care less about Manny Pacquiao? Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours, it’s just that it leaves me baffled. This is a guy that is very exciting. I understand with age he’s not as explosive but he still is more exciting than most boxers. He doesn’t run and is constantly putting pressure on fighters. Yes, I wish he would have fought Terence Crawford instead of Jessie Vargas but it’s not like Vargas is a garbage fighter. He is still challenging himself at this stage of his career which you have to respect. Before Vargas he fought Tim Bradley who I myself was hoping he fought someone else but Bradley is also a top pound for pound fighter who’s only loss is to Pacquaio.
I believe you told someone in your Friday mail bag that he was a true boxing fan because he rather watch Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev instead of Pacquiao vs Vargas. Even though I myself would rather watch the Kovalev vs Ward fight I don’t think if someone prefers the Pacquiao fight it doesn’t make them a real fan. I am willing to bet the Pacquaio fight will be more action packed which is what I am usually looking for in a fight instead of someone like Ward who’s usually in stinkers.
Anyways, I was just hoping that you would clarify your opinion because your opinion is one that I value. Hope you have a good weekend. Thanks. – Julio
Thanks for the kind words and for the respectful tone of your email, Julio. I plan to have as relaxing a time as I can Saturday, Sunday and Monday because after this weekend the September boxing schedule kicks into full gear and there won’t be any down time until the start of October.
Regarding my “real fan” quip, what I meant was that the guy who emailed me wasn’t so fixated on Pacquiao’s star stature that we was going to automatically consider Pacquiao-Vargas to be a “big event.” In his mind Kovalev-Ward is a more significant fight because it’s more of an even-money matchup and because of the high stakes (three major light heavyweight belts and possibly recognition as the best boxer on the planet). So, to me, he’s putting the sport ahead of name recognition and/or “PacMan” nostalgia, which is what a real fan does.
Having said that, I don’t think anyone who is looking forward to Pacquiao-Vargas isn’t a real fan. If you’re willing to pay to watch Pacquiao live because of all of the excitement/drama he’s delivered in the last 15 years or because you idolize him, you’re a diehard fan. If you recognize that Vargas is live in the matchup and that the two welterweights can make for a good fight, you’re also a real fan because you’re not sleeping on the young underdog and you understand how their boxing styles will play out in the ring. (And please note that I said Pacquiao-Vargas looks like a competitive and entertaining fight in my response in the Friday mailbag.)
One more point of clarification, the guy emailed me about Pacquiao-Vargas (Neil from Philippines) didn’t say that he would rather WATCH Kovalev-Ward. He said that he would rather PAY for Kovalev-Ward than pay for Pacquiao-Vargas. There’s a difference.
What is it that has you coming across like you could care less about Manny Pacquiao? I’m just over him, that’s all. I’m tired of Pacquiao and every other 20-year-plus veteran (except Orlando Salido). It’s nothing personal, as Manny would say. I’m not mad at him. I don’t hate him. I’m just tired of the PacMan Traveling Circus.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect yours, it’s just that it leaves me baffled. It shouldn’t baffle you. I’ve covered him for 15 years. Maybe if I was just a fan, I’d be more open to him continuing his career. And maybe if you had dealt with all the cluster-f__k drama that has come with Pacquiao’s media events and fights since the rematch with Erik Morales 10 years ago you’d be ready to move on, too.
This is a guy that is very exciting. This is a guy who WAS “very exciting.” Now he’s moderately entertaining.
I understand with age he’s not as explosive but he still is more exciting than most boxers. I can name 20 world-class boxers who are more exciting than Pacquiao. I can name 50 if I get to include gatekeepers and prospects (who are just as important to me than the contenders, titleholders and elite).
He doesn’t run and is constantly putting pressure on fighters. He doesn’t run but let’s not make him out to be Joe Frazier.
Yes, I wish he would have fought Terence Crawford instead of Jessie Vargas but it’s not like Vargas is a garbage fighter. Vargas is a very good young fighter. He’s a legit top-10 welterweight. And to be honest, I’m not sure that I want to see Pacquiao in there with Crawford. It would be a great opportunity for Bud and I’d be happy for the Omaha native, but I wouldn’t care to see him toy with and beat down Pacquiao.
He is still challenging himself at this stage of his career which you have to respect. I do respect the fact that Pacquiao continues to face top-10 contenders.
Before Vargas he fought Tim Bradley who I myself was hoping he fought someone else but Bradley is also a top pound for pound fighter who’s only loss is to Pacquaio. I don’t consider Timmy “pound for pound” but he is an elite welterweight and a terrific boxer/fighter.
PUT UP OR SHUT UP
Hope all is well. I’m gonna try to keep this short, hope to get your take and make it in the bag.
I’m fine with Canelo letting this marinate with GGG. I’m fine with Oscar pulling the reigns. BUT (hey, I like big butts)…. Shouldn’t they STFU about the real 160-pound champ though? Discrediting his résumé and skills is BS. If only there was something they could do about it…..hmmm. I think it’s ok to admit you’re not ready but they can’t have it both ways and that’s where I start to wonder if he’s worth my fandom….I like both but Canelo is making it hard to like him.
Anyone else telling you this too? Regards. – Preston in Minneapolis, MN
Absolutely, and most of them are Mexican or Mexican-American fans. Every time I see my neighbor, who’s been a big Canelo booster for years, he throws his hands up and says “What’s up with Canelo and this s__t he’s talking about GGG?”
All I can do is shrug. If I was advising Canelo I wouldn’t allow him to say anything about Gennady Golovkin apart from “He’s a great middleweight fighter and I look forward to challenging him when I feel I’m ready.”
In Canelo’s defense, the “GGG” moniker is obsessively thrown in his face every time he’s within 100 feet of the boxing media. He’s usually a respectful guy and very patient for his age but I noticed that it started getting under his pale freckled skin a couple weeks before the Amir Khan fight. The more the media and hardcore fans push Golovkin as a world-beater while questioning his courage/willingness to fight the undefeated Kazakh, the more he looks at the unified beltholder’s resume in comparison to his own. And then he gets agitated.
(In fact, I might be on his s__t list for the Gym Notes story I did five years ago detailing one of his sparring sessions with Golovkin in Big Bear, California, because some media members and fans reference it when they talk to or interview Canelo and tell him that it describes him getting his ass kicked – which isn’t true, but whatever, boxing attracts liars and cretins.)
Anyway, I think Golden Boy Promotions and Team Canelo should have a very simple policy regarding the media and the potential showdown with Golovkin and that would be to very politely refuse to talk about it beyond saying “It’s going to be a great fight and event when it happens.”
I think it’s ok to admit you’re not ready but they can’t have it both ways and that’s where I start to wonder if he’s worth my fandom…. Only you can decide that. Just keep in mind that this fight hasn’t even been on the menu for one year.
I like both but Canelo is making it hard to like him. I get that. I’m not sure Team Canelo or GBP gets it – yet.
This article proves Bob Arum is an idiot.
Fans are abandoning boxing because of boring fighters like FRAUD, CANYELLO, WARD AND VLADDY who do more clinching then punching and in the case of CANYELLO AND FRAUD they duck the top competition or wait around like vultures when they see a guy is no longer at his best. Boxing peaked in the 80’s and most of the great fighters were black. Boxing’s biggest stars Ali, Louis, Ray Robinson, Leonard, were all black and boxing did just fine.
This a copout from a promoter who gives you the worst undercards ever and tries to rip off the fan every chance he gets. Crawford vs Postal had no business being on PPV. He helped kill the golden goose.
I’ve watched about 5 fights this whole year and I’m a fight fanatic. Won’t be watching again until Kovalev vs Ward. I watch more old fights now then current because those guys were real fighters and not CEO’s with gloves on. – Peter B.
You’re missing out, Peter, but that’s your prerogative.
If you don’t watch any boxing until Kovalev-Ward you will miss at least four Fight of the Year candidates, but none of them feature white Americans so I guess you’re proving Race-Baitin’ Bobby right. I bet you’re a huge UFC fan. LOL!
Seriously, when I saw the headline for the Boxingscene.com article (“Arum Explains Why ‘Whites’ Are Abandoning Boxing For UFC”) I thought it was from seven or eight years ago. I half expected Arum to say something about MMA fighters looking like “homosexuals” and UFC fans being mostly “skinheads” as I skimmed through it.
But he didn’t! That’s progress for Bigot Bob!
For the record, I think you and Arum make some valid points. I think the U.S. boxing scene would garner more attention from “white America” if there were more world-class Caucasians in its spotlight, and this is has as much to do with regional/cultural connections as it does racial identification. I’d certainly welcome a Vinny Pazienza or Tommy Morrison to this era of boxing.
However, it should be noted that the “Pazmanian Devil” and “The Duke” were very entertaining fighters. You are absolutely correct in pointing out that African-American boxing stars of past eras – from Henry Armstrong, Louis and Robinson to Leonard, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler – were entertaining fighters that had legions of white fans.
This a copout from a promoter who gives you the worst undercards ever and tries to rip off the fan every chance he gets. OK, but you gotta admit the man makes for a good interview.
Crawford vs Postal had no business being on PPV. Agreed but it was the only wat to make that fight with HBO’s current boxing budget and it was necessary to advance Crawford’s career.
He helped kill the golden goose. Maybe, but he also helped make The Golden Boy (De La Hoya not Art Aragon – Bob’s old but he’s not that old) so it all evens out in my mind.
GGG IN LONDON
Looking forward to seeing GGG in London. First time attending a sports event in England. Since English fans are something special I’m sure this will be fun – regardless if the fight will be a big drama show. Is there any place like Jimmy’s in London? – Matthias, Germany
Come on, Matthias. Jimmy’s Corner in Manhattan is like Ricky Hatton – there’s only one.
The only way there could be two is if the great Jimmy Glenn decided to open another one. (If the 86-year-old former trainer ever does that, I’d say London or Manchester would be appropriates cities to host the boxing-themed drinking hole.) Until then you just have to make that pilgrimage to Times Square.
Yo, enjoy Golovkin-Brook. It’s always a Big Drama Show when GGG is involved (and those crazy British fans will only add to it). I’m gonna watch it live on HBO inside (or maybe on a large monitor outside) The Forum in my hometown before witnessing the Little Drama Show between Chocolatito Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras.
DURAN AND FOREMAN, PEDS
The new movie about Robert Duran opened last weekend, and last Tuesday I happened to be watching TV and was in the mist of flipping through channels when I came across a corny, slap stick TV show with Captain Kirk (William Shatner), Fonzie (Henry Winkler), Terry Bradshaw and George Foreman. Again that’s Captain Kirk, Fonzie, Bradshaw, and Big George. They are traveling through Asia and the show is corny as heck, but I just enjoy seeing Big George and especially his interactions with Bradshaw. I think some of the interactions between those two could easily happen in real life. Having a beer with Bradshaw and Big George would be an event by itself.
Amazing that the two most menacing fighters around during the ‘70s or any era for that matter, are so beloved now by fans and media alike. Those two were hardly media friendly darlings of that era. They were not Ali, Leonard, or even like De La Hoya was in the ‘90s. Known in the ‘70s for bubbly personalities and big smiles they were not. Foreman and Duran were villains, but not in a Mayweather kind of way. Big George and Hands of Stone were serious a** kickers and very violent men in the ring during the ‘70s.
Call me sentimental or say that I am getting soft as I get older, but I really enjoy seeing those two old men on the screen after all these years.
On another subject: PED abuse. I read in your Friday mailbag a reader brought up the subject. I agree that it’s unfair to accuse any athlete of cheating without proof. Errol Spence on PEDs? I never thought that at all. I do understand why fans are so suspicious of many athletes. We do spend the money on which the sport survives so we have a right to speak out. Maybe if certain fighters were not associating with men known to be distrusting PED’s no suspicion would arise. I mean if you associate with an admitted PED distributor you might be accused of cheating just as taking an IV and having an abnormally low T:E ratio may raise some questions among fans. If boxers or any athletes for that matter, do not like the accusations then maybe they should have thought of that before engaging in the questionable behavior or suspicious actions in the first place. – Eugene
I can understand being suspicious in an age of rampant performance-enhancing drug use in all sports (and on every level: prep, college, amateur, professional) but just because you’re a fan who will pay to watch athletes compete – including those you’re not sure are clean – doesn’t give you the right to defame their character without proof.
There’s being suspicious where there are concrete signs or red flags of PED use and then there’s baseless accusations. Too many boxing make baseless accusations. If back acne or “bitch tits” (as one Twitter fan described poor Spence’s chest area) is all the evidence you’ve got on a boxer’s supposed PED use, I think you need to shut the f__k up. (I am, of course, speaking to fans in general; I’m not directing this opinion solely at you, Eugene.)
You have a point that associating with admitted PED distributors, “taking an IV and having an abnormally low T:E ratio” should “raise some questions among fans,” but raising questions is not the same thing as accusing one of cheating.
It’s become a tradition of mine to include a link to the donation page of VADA’s website whenever a mailbag emailer brings up PEDs in boxing along with his or her angst over the subject. Don’t just accuse boxers of doping or cheating, help support an organization that is making a positive change in the sport.
Amazing that the two most menacing fighters around during the ‘70s or any era for that matter, are so beloved now by fans and media alike. Duran and Foreman are amazing but their being beloved is not that amazing, if you really think about it. It makes sense. Like you noted, Foreman and Duran were awesome boxing talents who took on and usually beat the best of their era when they were in their primes. But they also went through their share of adversity and battled their own demons after humiliating losses and frustrating setbacks.
The prime Foreman had to deal with losing to Ali and then to Jimmy Young. He left boxing for 10 years after the loss to Young and humbled himself during that period. He grew up. He learned how to relate to people and deal with criticism. Then he made a most improbable comeback when he was nearly 40. And that move was a long journey. Foreman didn’t come back for a quick buck or a second taste of fame, he started from scratch and worked his way up to a title shot against Evander Holyfield – and lost. But he wouldn’t give up. He kept at it until he regained the title 20 years after he lost it to Ali. How were boxing fans and the general public NOT going to admire the stubborn, fearless but good-natured old man? Duran’s greatest victory during his prime – his decision over Leonard – was immediately followed by the infamous “No Mas” loss, which was followed by title bout losses to Wilfred Benitez and Marvin Halger, which sandwiched a dropped 10 rounder to unheralded Kirkland Laing. Then he was iced by Tommy Hearns. Did it get any lower than that for the proud Panamanian? He left the fight fame for two years and came back as a pudgy middleweight, dropped a split-decision to Hagler’s half-brother Robbie Sims but still kept truckin’ until he got a shot at WBC champ (and Hearns’ conqueror) Iran Barkley as a 37-year-old decided underdog. He somehow outpointed the best version of The Blade anyone ever saw. Now come on, how are folks NOT going to be inspired by that. People relate to adversity and they admire athletes than can overcome it. Plus, think about how long these two have been in and around the sport – since 1968 (when Duran turned pro and when Foreman won the Olympic gold medal). That’s part of the reason they’re both icons but I think it was the change in their out-of-the-ring personalities (becoming more easy going and enjoying the ride) that helped make them beloved sports figures.
Love the column, keep up the good work. It’s my first time writing in and just wanted your take on the other men involved in the two big upcoming fights.
Firstly, quite a lot has been mentioned about Brook’s chances against GGG, but I’ve not seen much written about how Liam Smith will handle Canelo. Have you managed to see much of Smith and how do you rate his chances of pulling off the win?
There seems to be an assumption that GGG & Canelo are going to walk through Brook & Smith in their respective fights and how these two bouts are just a small speed bump on the way to them eventually facing each other. How much would the landscape of the three divisions (Welter-Middleweight) change if one or both of the Brits shock the world? Would it be on the same scale as Fury’s win over Klitschko had on the heavyweight division?
MM: McGuigan v Lomachenko
Cheers. – Dan, UK
Thanks for finally contributing your thoughts to the mailbag column, Dan.
I’ll go with the Clones Cyclone by close decision at featherweight, and Loma by close decision at 130 pounds, in your mythical matchup.
Firstly, quite a lot has been mentioned about Brook’s chances against GGG, but I’ve not seen much written about how Liam Smith will handle Canelo. Have you managed to see much of Smith and how do you rate his chances of pulling off the win? I’ve watched three or four of Smith’s most recent bouts and I like what I see. He’s got a good foundation, solid technique and he knows how to apply smart pressure. I also like this body punching.
I don’t view this matchup as a walk in the park for Canelo. I think Smith will handle Canelo’s size and physical strength well. In fact, I think he’ll force the Mexican attraction to give ground, at least during the first half of the fight. Canelo’s experience and ring generalship is what will give the WBO titleholder trouble. Smith just hasn’t been in with the top dogs that Canelo has. I don’t count Smith out (especially if Canelo drains himself getting back down to 154, which he hasn’t done since 2013), but I don’t give him much of a shot at upsetting the odds favorite.
How much would the landscape of the three divisions (Welter-Middleweight) change if one or both of the Brits shock the world? Well, it would be huge for British boxing, which is already enjoying a renaissance. If both Brook and Smith won, they could fight each other in a monster event somewhere in the UK, and they would have their pick of the top 147-154-pound players in the sport. I think those upsets would attract more major fights between welterweight and middleweight to British soil.
The U.S. scene would take a hit because it will have lost what could have been the most anticipated middleweight championship since Hagler-Leonard. However, a likely scenario is that both Canelo and GGG get rematches with their underdog conquerors (who would be paid handsomely), win and then go about the business of facing each other (hopefully, with a sense of urgency on Canelo’s side).
Would it be on the same scale as Fury’s win over Klitschko had on the heavyweight division? Hmmm, that’s up for debate. Fury’s upset of Klitschko helped breathe life into a stagnant weight class, which is wide open now and appears on its way to being “the Glamor Division” of the sport once again. However, if Golovkin were to lose to Brook, it could open up the middleweight division in a similar way. There might be less apprehension to face GGG among the top 160-pound fighters, and who knows? Maybe Brook would opt to stay at middleweight and either go for being undisputed champ by taking on Billy Joe Saunders or perhaps he would grant Golovkin a rematch. Maybe Brook can become the rival that GGG has been looking for. If Smith beats Canelo maybe it would serve the wake-up call the redhead needs to make a firm move to 160 pounds. We can have a very entertaining round robin at middleweight if Canelo mixes it with the top dogs (GGG, BJS, Daniel Jacobs, Chris Eubank Jr.) and they fight each other.
But this is a lot of “ifs” and “maybes.”
I wanted to write in, first to thank you for responding to my Canelo vs the middleweight division email. Both me and my wife were ecstatic.
Ever since I got into boxing, I wondered about some of the best heavyweight match ups that for some reason or another, never got made. So how do you see these match-ups going if they happened when they could/should have happened?
James J. Braddock (the Cinderella Man) vs Max Schmelling.
Jack Johnson vs Jack Dempsy.
George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali II.
George Foreman vs Larry Holmes
George Foreman vs Mike Tyson
Mike Tyson vs Tommy Morrison
Keep up the Awesome writing Doug. – Jesse from UT
Thanks Jesse. Give my regards to your wife.
James J. Braddock (the Cinderella Man) vs Max Schmeling – The Black Uhlan of the Rhein (that’s Schmeling) by decision.
Jack Johnson vs Jack Dempsey – Johnson by decision.
George Foreman vs Muhammad Ali II – Ali by decision.
George Foreman vs Larry Holmes – Holmes an up-from-the-canvas decision.
George Foreman vs Mike Tyson – Foreman (yes, even the old version) by early or mid-rounds KO.
Mike Tyson vs Tommy Morrison – Tyson by early rounds KO in a wild shootout.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer