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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank Promotions
04
Nov

NO MORE PAC-CRAP!
Whut’s up Dougie?
So. The big fight tomorrow. Thrilled? Here’s what I want to see. All this Pac-Crap coming to its overdue end. Hey, I love these overpaid, overexposed fighters turned divas as much as the next fight-freak. But seriously Pac must go already.

After Pacquiao got KTFO by his piss-guzzling buddy JMM he bounced back with that get-well win over Brandon Rios and then came the revenge win over Tim Bradley. Fair enough. But then Pac-Boy had to waste his time with the undeserving Chrissy Algieri for his next pay-per-poop prior to dropping a big turd in the Mayweather s__t-show. And then came the pointless 3rd bout with Bradley. So enough already.

For the sake of boxing I sure hope Jessie Vargas pounds the crap out of The Senator and retires him. I know it’s probably wishful thinking on my part but who knows? After the Marquez bout Pac-Boy might just need one more right-cross from Hell to knock him into next week and into retirement. And Vargas has more power to do it as opposed to Algieri or Bradley. So here’s hoping he does. – Triple T

Damn, you’re really fed up with the future hall of famer, ain’t you? I’m also sick of Pacquiao, and as I’ve stated numerous times in this column over the past five years, I haven’t really been emotionally invested in any of his fights post-2010.

Having said that, I’m not against tomorrow’s fight or pay-per-view event. I’m ambivalent. I wasn’t into it enough to cover it live in Las Vegas (or even pen a single article about any fight or fighter on the card), but I ordered the Top Rank Pay-Per-View show and I look forward to watching the fights on the live broadcast.

I don’t know if Vargas is going to “pound the crap out of The Senator” but I think he’ll push Pacquiao enough to bring out the best the Filipino hero can muster at this stage of his career. In other words, I think we’re going to get a good fight, one that the 37-year-old veteran should probably win on points. If Vargas pulls off the upset, I’ll be very happy for him. I’ve watched him since his days of four rounders on the untelevised portion of fight cards and I’ve always appreciated the effort he brought to the ring. If Vargas KOs Pacquiao, be sure to write in to the mailbag. I’ll lead with your email (try to take it easy on The Senator, though, at one time he was a very entertaining elite-class fighter).

But then Pac-Boy had to waste his time with the undeserving Chrissy Algieri for his next pay-per-poop prior to dropping a big turd in the Mayweather s__t-show. That turd Pacquiao dropped weighed more than he did. (Floyd needed an IV before the s__t-show; Manny probably needed one AFTER it!) And watch what you say about Algieri. He’s big in Germany.

And then came the pointless 3rd bout with Bradley. I don’t think it was pointless (at least not at the time). It wasn’t terribly anticipated, but it was a credible matchup and I thought Bradley was a suitable opponent for Pacquiao’s Swan Song. Pacquiao just should have remained retired.

So enough already. I hear ya, but if he wins tomorrow you know he’ll be back. Freddie Roach is already talking up “S__t-Show Part Deux.” (Or should I say “Part Deuce”?)

UPCOMING FIGHTS
Hey Doug,
Hope you’re well and looking forward to this weekend’s bouts. I wanted to run through some of the fights in the next few weeks to get your thoughts, so here we go:

Donaire-Magdaleno

This is an interesting one for me because I keep struggling to see an outcome where Magdaleno wins. Maybe I’m just way off here but it seems to me that when your last six opponents have a combined record of 107-41-7, your first step up is to face a fighter of Donaire’s caliber, and you have barely fought beyond six rounds, I have a hard time believing you can beat Nonito Donaire.

….and I’m not particularly high on the Filipino Flash. When I dig deeper and watch footage, it feels all wrong for Magdaleno. He swings a little wildly, drops his guard pulling back on punches, and has little head movement. Seems ripe for a countering Nonito stoppage assuming the younger man doesn’t land a Hail Mary. I’d go 70/30 Donaire. What’s your analysis?

Pacquiao-Vargas

On the surface I have to agree that Vargas is not on Pacquiao’s level (especially when looking in the rear view mirror). But I have to believe this fight will be competitive because of Vargas’ size, reach, hunger, confidence, and Pacquiao’s situation. He can only split his time for so long. He can only NOT show the effects of aging for so long.

My gut tells me that Pacquiao is just busy enough with the Senate, just stretched thin enough in life, just getting old enough, just a little too overlooking of Vargas as the “easiest” opponent of the three presented to him, just a little too sure of a dominant performance/KO, and not aware enough of the stylistic challenges at play. When was the last time Manny fought someone who was willing to stand in there and really trade with assertiveness? Marquez. Before that? Miguel Cotto. Rios barely threw a punch when they fought. Much like Mayweather, guys get tentative when they face Manny. I don’t see Jessie getting gun shy though.

Everyone points to Bradley 3 as proof of his dominance, but I kinda feel like that is a mirage. I think Bradley fought a very tentative fight and didn’t let his hands go. I think this fight could go a couple of ways. I think Manny could run around and fight cautiously and win a boring decision OR I could see him thinking this fight is easier than he thinks and taking a few risks. In the latter scenario I expect him to find himself in a real fight. In boxing a lot of times it is who is truly hungrier and more willing to do whatever it takes to win. Here I see that as Vargas. I still would have to pick Pacquiao at 60/40. But I also am laying a few bucks on Vargas because I think it could be a very tough fight.

Sosa-Smith

The last fight I wanted to get your take on is Jason Sosa versus Stephen Smith. I’m not AS familiar with these guys, but Stephen Smith seems like a good boxer who never is quite able to stay out of a fight and work smartly from the outside. He gets pulled out of his game plan too easily. Sosa doesn’t seem particularly skilled to me, but he knows how to apply effective pressure and work his combinations. I could see this one being close, but I expect Sosa coming off the Walters draw and Fortuna KO, will bully Smith and land more punches. I kind of lean toward the stoppage but probably a close win on the cards. How do you rate these two men?

Anyway, good fights coming. Enjoy the weekend! – Vincent, Winston-Salem, NC

Thanks for sharing your fight analyses, Vincent. I’m looking forward to all three bouts that you brought up. Sosa-Smith might be the most evenly matched fight on paper. I think it’s got the makings of a good junior lightweight scrap.

“Swifty” has a solid foundation, good footwork and he delivers jabs and combinations with crisp technique (although sometimes he seems a bit upright/stiff in his upper-body). He’s aggressive and busy (though not reckless), and like Sosa, he goes to the body well.

Sosa is also well schooled and aggressive. He’s not as polished as Smith but he’s got a deep pro toolbox. He can be sneaky with power shots, he’ll switch up his stance and he knows how to wear opponents down by grappling when in close. Sosa seems rough around the edges but it works for him and it could work well against Smith because he appears to be the harder puncher and seems physically stronger than the Liverpool native. Sosa can probably hurt Smith and will set out to do just that, but Smith has the more consistent offense and the ability to outwork the New Jersey native. I have no idea who’s going to win this fight or who should be considered the favorite, and that’s the way I like it.

Pacquiao-Vargas – I think 60/40 in favor of the 37-year-old senator is fair to both fighters, and I agree that Vargas’ willingness “to stand in there and really trade with assertiveness” makes him a live ‘dog against Pacquiao. Of course, that aggressiveness could also help the future hall of famer turn back the clock. There’s a reason nobody has tried to trade with Pacquiao since Marquez and Cotto, who only did it for four rounds and then backpedaled the rest of the fight.

Donaire-MagdalenoI think 70/30 in favor of the Filipino Flash is being nice to Maggy, who just recently stepped up to fighting scheduled 10-round bouts and hasn’t faced anyone remotely as experienced, accomplished and talented as Donaire. What Magdaleno has going for him is youth, size and physical strength. He’s fresh. Donaire isn’t. But it won’t matter if he doesn’t impose himself on Donaire from the get-go. Donaire might be at that stage of his career where he’s no longer willing to get up from multiple knockdown or spill a pint of his blood if he finds himself in a battle of attrition.

DARKTOBER IS DEAD, LONG LIVE KOV-EMBER
Hey Dougie,
Hope you and the fam are all good. First thing is first, need a new 10-count on Kovalev-Ward, you and the Kimster have to get on that. Second, darktober is finally over, I have not read or heard anything remotely interesting happen all month, some heavyweight confirmations like Parker-Ruiz and a possible Joshua-Klitschko in 2017 but nothing to really get me going in the near future. GGG isn’t fighting this year which is a travesty but lets hope the Jacobs fight gets finalized.

Moving on to the actual reason for this email. I am so f__king pumped for Kovalev-Ward, it is going to be on around 4am-6am my time and my ass is staying up all night to watch it! First of all my gut tells me Kovalev will win, why you may ask? Because he is too big and too strong for Ward. Ward is a brilliant tactician, who can fight in a cramped elevator. But to do that he is going to need to hug Sergey, and I bet Sergey’s mother couldn’t hug Sergey if she tried. I think Sergey is also going to do his simultaneous right hand counter over the top of the jab and make Ward retreat or lose a point. Sergey will keep his distance and Ward will spend his time running. Mid to late KO, or decision B-Hop style for the Krusher. Your thoughts Dougie?

Also have you seen Dr. Strange yet? I thought it was good but not great, the visuals were amazing though. Regards. – Abed Amman

I have not seen Dr. Strange yet. Its general release took place today here in the States, but I usually check out comic book-based movies weeks after they open. However, I am looking forward to seeing the movie. Dr. Strange has always been one of my favorite Marvel characters. I didn’t collect his title in the ‘80s, but my brother did, and I often bought issues of his team book, The Defenders. I do collect the new Doctor Strange series written by Jason Aaron and drawn by Chris Bachalo, and it’s one of my favorite current titles, so something tells me I might be more into the characters and story lines of the film than you were.

However, I think it’s safe to say that we’re equally hyped for Kovalev-Ward. My gut also tells me that Kovalev will win this showdown but I wouldn’t bet my mortgage on that opinion. I don’t think the defending unified light heavyweight titleholder is too big or too strong for Ward. I think hits too damn hard. And on top of that, I think he’s an underrated boxer. Kovalev isn’t the chess player that Ward is (why would he be?), but he’s not as predictable as some view him. He’s always thinking in that ring. I also like his activity and confidence which is enhanced by his patience and ability to change up his attack when need be. I wouldn’t be shocked if Kovalev stopped Ward but I think he will wins on points in a competitive fight.

First thing is first, need a new 10-count on Kovalev-Ward, you and the Kimster have to get on that. We will be shooting a new one (along with the Michaels – Baca and Montero) on Monday thanks to the good folks at UCNLive.com. I’m sure Kovalev-Ward is on the menu of discussion subjects.

WARD OUT OF CHARACTER?
Hey Dougie,
Is Ward being a little out of character? He seems to be a little more vocal these days, leading up to his anticipated match with Kovalev, than he has in the past. I’ve always been a little anti-Ward due to his personality, but I like hearing what I’m hearing.

They say it’s a 50-50 fight, but I don’t see that at all. I think he wins big and makes it look easy. It won’t be, but I think he wins a clear decision, potentially by a wide margin. Big fight, but probably not a memorable one.

Bummed I’ll miss Pac v Vargas. Didn’t feel this way when it was announced, but now that it is here, I’m curious. Pac fights are entertaining (except for maybe one of them).

I like D Garcia. I hope he looks great and we can all get pumped for him v Thurman.

Finally, with NFL ratings taking a hit recently, now is a prime time to reel in some fans to the boxing world. – John in VA

The sport has some very good matchups to close out the year – such as Kovalev-Ward, Lomachneko-Walters, Cuellar-Mares and Charlo-Williams – but, unfortunately, these are fights that only resonate within the boxing world, not so much outside of it. Pacquiao-Vargas and Bernard Hopkins’ final bout vs. Joe Smith Jr. have a better chance of pulling in potential new fans to the sport because the two future hall of famers have been around for so long. However, their opponents aren’t known outside of boxing (and folks have to pony up $70 to watch Pacquiao do his thing live), so I have to wonder how many casual fans those bouts will pull in. I think hardcore fans will enjoy what’s on tap for the next few months but I don’t think general sports fans will take notice until Canelo and GGG take center stage.

Regarding your thoughts on Kovalev-Ward, it’s actually not a “50-50” fight according to the odds makers. Ward is the betting favorite on Nov. 19. I have no problem with that given Ward’s track record at 168 pounds, and I wouldn’t be shocked if he won a clear decision, but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I think Kovalev is going to present Ward with a puzzle that is unlike anything Mikkel Kessler, Carl Froch or Chad Dawson were able to offer when they faced the undefeated American. But we’ll see what happens. I don’t care who wins, but I hope you’re wrong about it being not being a memorable bout (I think you are).

Bummed I’ll miss Pac v Vargas. Why can’t you order the PPV? You gotta work? Gotta wedding to attend?

Didn’t feel this way when it was announced, but now that it is here, I’m curious. Me too.

Pac fights are entertaining (except for maybe one of them). I think more than just one of his fights have been of the “ho-hum” variety in recent years.

I like D Garcia. I like him as person. I liked him as a fighter back when he used to fight good fighters on a regular basis.

I hope he looks great and we can all get pumped for him v Thurman. If he doesn’t look great against the no-hoper they chose for his “tune-up” he doesn’t deserve to fight Thurman.

OSCAR DE LA HOYA & GOLDEN BOY
Hi Dougie,
I am new to your mailbag! A few questions for you if you don’t mind. I had a twitter convo with a guy a while back who claimed Oscar wasn’t a legend or all-time great because he didn’t beat his contemporaries.

Where do you place Oscar among the all-time greats? How would you describe Oscar’s legendary status? Where do you see GBP as a promotional force within the next few years? What current Golden Boy prospects do you see becoming stars the next year or so?

Thank You. – Dante, Washington, DC AREA

I don’t know who you’re conversing with on Twitter, but please tell them that Dougie says they’re dips__ts. I mean that. Do it. Trolls need to be pissed on.

Look, I know there are certain fans out there that can’t give De La Hoya any respect or credit because he’s a promoter now, or because he was too mainstream during his fighting days, or because he wore fishnets, or because he had a drug problem, but if you’re unbiased, secure in your identity and sexuality, compassionate and just mildly astute when it comes to boxing there’s no way you can’t view The Golden Boy as one of the best boxers to come around in the last 25 years.

Where do you place Oscar among the all-time greats? I don’t consider him to be an all-time great. I don’t consider anyone from this era (save maybe B-Hop) to be an ATG. Oscar is one of the best of his era (and by “his era” I’m just talking about the last 20-25 years), along with Mayweather, Pacquiao, Hopkins, Calzaghe, Mosley, Trinidad, the Klitschkos and a few others. (Those who consider Mayweather “great,” but not De La Hoya, should consider this: If Floyd gets full credit for beating past-prime versions of De La Hoya and Mosley, then Oscar must get full credit for beating past-prime versions of Julio Cesar Chavez and Pernell Whitaker.)

How would you describe Oscar’s legendary status? He was the face of boxing after Mike Tyson’s sad downward spiral in the mid-to-late ‘90s. He was the biggest star in the sport but he didn’t shy away from facing the best of the divisions he occupied when those fighters were at their best (from Genaro Hernandez to Miguel Angel Gonzalez to Ike Quartey to Felix Trinidad to Shane Mosley). Sometimes he won big, sometimes he won narrowly, sometimes he won controversially, sometimes he lost (narrowly and controversially). He also gave back a lot to his community and went on to become the most successful boxer-turned-promoter in the history of the sport. De La Hoya was deserving of his first-ballot induction into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. Not too shabby, eh?

Where do you see GBP as a promotional force within the next few years? I see them thriving because they’ve invested heavily in their future by signing more young talent than any other promotional company that I know of (since their acrimonious split with Schaefer and Haymon), and they’ve committed to keeping these prospects busy and steadily developing.

What current Golden Boy prospects do you see becoming stars the next year or so? It’s really hard to say because so many of their prospects are between 18-22 and still fighting at the four-, six- and eight-round level. We won’t really know what their potential is until they step up to the 10-round level against a reliable gatekeeper. Having said that, Genaro Gamez has “the look” of a future star despite only being 3-0 and having never been past the opening round. (I’ve been told very good things about him by former world titleholders that have sparred with him.) There are many others. Watch the “LA Fight Club” and “Fantasy Springs” series on RingTV.com to see the other Golden Boy up-and-comers.

DICK SCHAEFER
You never cease to amaze or deal with facts. Fact: ODLH, as Chairman of GBP, was failing his fiduciary responsibilities as head/founder of the organization. He was in and out of rehab for substance/alcohol abuse and dependency. In his roll as head of the organization a number of people depended on him for their livelihood. His investors, like AEG, depended on him to guide the organization and grow the value of their investment in GB. He was failing. GBP was run solely by Schaefer. Please, name one business that would allow it’s Chairman to remain at the helm with ODLH’s track record of substance abuse, absence and failure.

In your indictment of Schaefer you never provide any info or background on how GBP was doing under Schaefer’s stewardship. Was the business making money?, was it growing?, was it solvent?, what did the future look like? What was his plan for the business? All you and your buddies Kim and Montoya have done is brand Schaefer a “rat”; claim he took advantage of a weak ODLH. But for some reason, all of the GBP’s investors left with Schaefer; doesn’t that tell you anything? Schaefer tried to buy a business ODLH was flat out neglecting and you branded him a rat.

So here we are, ODLH is in charge and protecting Canelo, his only money maker, on the promise of “maybe next year”. We’ve all seen this boxing movie before. And you probably know firsthand RingMag/RingTV seem to be hanging by a thread?

It’s clear you know nothing about business. GBP, with Schaefer at the helm was in a great position. The combination of Schaefer/GBP doing the matchmaking and promotions, with Haymon/PBC raising money and signing/managing the fighter stable, could have been great for boxing. Instead, boxing is left with ODLH trying to be old school Bob Arum and Haymon wasting 10s of $Ms doing who knows what. Schaefer could have been the clue, IMO.

Good luck. – Tony

Schaefer’s going to need the luck. He forced De La Hoya to start over two years ago and now it’s his turn.

I wish him well believe it or not. Just because he’s a rat bastard doesn’t mean I want to see the boxers who fight under his new banner fall by the wayside (Lord knows they’ve lost enough career momentum during the PBC fiasco). Another healthy promotional company is good for the sport, and I want boxing to thrive.

I disagree that boxing was thriving when Schaefer was at the helm of Golden Boy. He (along with Haymon) was a major factor in the Cold War with Top Rank, as well as the cause of a deeper rift between HBO and Showtime. He helped make for some very big fights and financially successful events but he also blocked a lot of potential high-profile matchups (even within his own company). Why? Because over time he had become more loyal to Haymon than he was to De La Hoya, the man who got him into the business, paid him very well and who he professed to be friends with. And while Schaefer eventually learned the business and did well with making deals, he also made a lot of mistakes during his early years with Golden Boy, but he and the company was always able to overcome their screw ups and their setbacks because of the considerable power and influence that a still-active De La Hoya gave them.

Did Oscar have his personal problems? Yeah, especially after he retired. But while De La Hoya was getting intoxicated with drugs, Schaefer was getting intoxicated – and I believe corrupted – by power. He let the power go to his head and he wielded it like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla, getting into unnecessary pissing contests with Bob Arum and making a lot of people miserable in the boxing world (including folks within his own company).

He’s not a good guy. Neither are Arum or Don King. I know that, but they never pretended to be, and they ultimately gave more to the sport than they took. I’m not so sure about Schaefer. Maybe he will do as much as those two hall of famers in time, but it won’t be easy without De La Hoya’s name to open all those doors. And it won’t be easy to develop talent, deal with boxing people (other promoters, managers, trainers) and make significant fights that actually deliver in the ring without Golden Boy’s (new president) Eric Gomez and (head matchmaker) Robert Diaz. Those guys love boxing, as De La Hoya does. I’m not sure Schaefer does. Dick loves power and attention. It’s no surprise that he’s Mayweather groupie. (But let’s see if Floyd, who is learning how difficult promoting really is with all of his “ungratefuls,” is willing to fight beyond his prime – as Oscar did – just to help out his buddy Dick.)

Again, I wish Schaefer and his new company success, but I’m not going to forget that he’s a backstabber and a bully.

I don’t care if weird-ass fans (like you) and Twitter trolls want to defend his treachery because they’ve got a hard-on for De La Hoya or because they’re Mayweather/Haymon nut-huggers. You either come off as idiots because you seem (or act) oblivious to the very public details of what Schaefer did to be kicked out of his company, or you come off as scumbags when you try to absolve Dick by shaming De La Hoya for his drug addiction. (Seriously, the latter group turns my stomach. They remind me of a__hole frat boys that defend one of their frat brothers in a date rape case by branding the woman a “drunk” or a “whore.” Yeah, she may have made some bad choices – mainly trusting a scumbag – and she may have drunk too much or done drugs to the point of passing out or not being in control, but that doesn’t make the guy any less of a despicable rapist. That’s how I view Dick. He tried to f__k his business partner and so-called friend when he was down and almost out.)

In your indictment of Schaefer you never provide any info or background on how GBP was doing under Schaefer’s stewardship. Do you live under rock? Read these articles by ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael and Lance Pugmire of the L.A. Times that were published after Golden Boy and Dick reached a settlement in their $50 million arbitration case. Go to the third paragraph in Rafael’s story to find out what Dick allegedly did. Read Pugmire’s article for an idea of what a tyrant Dick was when at the helm of GBP.

All you and your buddies Kim and Montoya have done is brand Schaefer a “rat”; claim he took advantage of a weak ODLH. Yeah, we’re honest. Deal with it.

And you probably know firsthand RingMag/RingTV seem to be hanging by a thread? Actually, we’re busier than ever and we have some very big announcements coming up in 2017. (Bet you can’t wait!)

It’s clear you know nothing about business. It’s clear that you know nothing about life.

 

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

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