Saturday, March 25, 2023  |



Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Photo by: Mikey Williams/Top Rank


Hi Doug. I have been reading your mailbags since the ‘House of Boxing’ days. You’ve been my favorite boxing writer for over 15 years now.  I appreciate your work.

Shane Mosley was my favorite boxer since 2000. I now have a new favorite boxer, Vasyl Lomachenko.

I am greatly anticipating his future matches and wanted to share my top 5 choices for his future opponents. I’d love to get your take on the chances of these matches happening and what your predictions would be.

  1. Guillermo Rigondeaux @ 126lbs – Best skill matchup in boxing. Max Kellerman asked who is on Loma’s level that could challenge him. There was no mention of Rigo because HBO would be devastated if he won. But make no mistake about it, this is a real challenge for Loma. Both top ten p4p, 4 gold medals and over 800 wins between them. A die-hard fans dream match!
  2. Carl Frampton @ 126 or 130lbs – two top 10 p4p exciting future superstars.
  3. Orlando Salido @ 130lbs – Revenge! He has to make this match so that he can say that in over 400 boxing matches, he beat everyone he stepped in the ring with.
  4. Floyd Mayweather @ 140lbs – This, to me, is a better fight for Loma than the Pacquiao fight. More money, a chance to hand a great fighter his first loss, and a better style matchup for him than Pacquiao in my opinion. I think Loma’s angles, speed, southpaw stance, and ring IQ will give Floyd fits.
  5. Francisco Vargas @ 130lbs – tough, exciting fighter who is ranked number 1 in his division by The Ring.

I hope we get at least one of these fights next year. – Mike from Westwood, NJ

Of the five fighters you mentioned, I think the Salido and Vargas matches are the most likely to be made. I’m fine with either matchup, but I don’t need to see both fights.

The potential/future matchup for Lomachenko that I would like to see the most is Jorge Linares (if THE RING lightweight champ beats Anthony Crolla in their rematch). I think Linares, the bigger man, has the technique, footwork, speed, reflexes and experience to compete with Lomachenko and, of course, make for a very interesting boxing match.

Here’s my thoughts on your five:

Rigo – Yes, there would a lot of skill and ring generalship on display in this dream matchup of amateur legends. I would favor Loma by decision or late TKO if it ever happens because he’s the more mobile and active boxer, he’s naturally bigger, and he can match Rigo’s speed and reflexes. The Cuban is the ultimate counterpuncher, but if his opponent doesn’t walk straight to him it’s harder for him to work his magic. If you really want to see Loma take on a technical counterpuncher, may I suggest Mikey Garcia (if the Southern Californian beats Dejan Zlaticanin for the WBC lightweight title next month). I’m not trying to dismiss Rigo, but I really think Loma’s toughest challenges will come from lightweights, not junior featherweights.

Frampy – I think this would be a fun fight, but the two-division beltholder from Belfast would have his work cut out for him against Loma. The Jackal is skilled and he’s got a smart team behind him (with the McGuigans, who would give him a good game plan) but he’s not on that Rigo-level to where he can directly compete and match wits with Loma. However, I think his heart and fighting spirit would keep him in the fight.

Siri – With more than 20 HARD pro years under his belt, we never know when the Mexican veteran will get old overnight, but it says here that he’ll show up for this rematch (and there’s no doubt in my mind that he’ll give Loma a tougher night than Rocky Martinez and Nicholas Walters). Unfortunately for him, so will Loma. This is personal for him, which means Salido will likely be punished before he’s taken out late.

Floyd – This would never happen. Even when he was at his peak, the self-declared “TBE” never made it a habit to face world amateur champions (such as Kostya Tszyu) or Olympic gold medalists (such as Joel Casamayor). The one time he rolled the dice against an Olympic gold medalist/former world-elite amateur was Oscar De La Hoya in 2007, when the most money was on the table (and when his opponent was at least seven years removed from his prime). The only Top Rank-promoted southpaw that Mayweather will consider ending his retirement for is Pacquiao (and he wouldn’t drop down to 140 pounds for that one).

Bandito – I’ve got a lot of respect for Vargas (only he knows how much of himself he gave in back-to-back Fight of the Year slugfests against Tak Miura and Siri Salido), but I don’t think he can compete at all with Loma. I do know this, though, he won’t quit.

You’ve been my favorite boxing writer for over 15 years now.  I appreciate your work. Thank you. I appreciate your appreciation. (Fifteen years, holy s__t!)

Shane Mosley was my favorite boxer since 2000. I now have a new favorite boxer, Vasyl Lomachenko. The Sugar Man had a good run, didn’t he? I’m looking forward to witnessing his induction at the International Boxing Hall of Fame one day. Anyway, I think you’ve picked a worthy successor.



What’s up Doug?

I hope and pray that you and your family are fine. Been a fan of your column for a couple of years now and it’s my first time to write you, hoping that this will be posted ?.

I just want stress out how other haters discredit Loma for his achievements (unbelievable 396-1 amateur record, and 2-division titleholder in just 7 fights). What amazed me was most of them are the lovers of the so-called sweet science (Floyd, Rigo, Ward, Lara fans mostly).

How the hell can they not fall in love with Loma with his ring wizardry and overall ring generalship? smh. I still have a lot to say but I don’t want to take much more of your precious time. Btw Sergey won that one imo, those three biased blind judges messed it up bigtime.

Ps: who wins these dream fights? Tyson vs Frazier, SRR vs SRL, and Pep vs Loma? Thank you and God Bless! – Jessie Herrera, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Thanks for the kind words and for finally writing to the mailbag column, Jessie. I hope to hear from you again real soon.  

Your mythical matchups: I’ll go with Frazier by late TKO, Robinson by close decision and Pep by competitive decision. 

Regarding Lomachenko’s detractors (and I’m not convinced that there are too many of these guys out there), I don’t really understand what there is about the fighter to discredit. He’s an elite-level boxer and athlete on every conceivable level (except for maybe punching power). Lomachenko even proved to have certain “intangible” qualities (toughness, heart, resolve, etc.) in his one pro loss to Salido.  

My guess is that Lomachenko’s “haters” fall into two categories: 1.) grumpy hardcore heads that are irritated by the non-stop acclaim from his growing legion of fans, HBO and the boxing media; 2.) racist sickos. (There might be some overlap of the two factions.)



Hey Doug,

The HBO guys were arguing the other night over who Lomanchenko was more like; he’s like Willie Pep they said, only he’s a better puncher. He’s like Pernell Whitaker, only he throws more combinations. I thought Walters would give him much more of a fight and now I am fully on board the “High Tech” train, but it just annoys me how modern fighters are showered with these superlatives/quickly compared or said to be even better then ATGs. Loma is the real deal and I’d pick him to beat anyone at his weight or either adjacent one, but he’s beat Russel Jr., Martinez, and now a very good fighter in Walters. Enough with the Pernell and Pep crap!

Who do you think he should fight next? For some reason Jorge Linares crossed my mind and I think it would make for a great fight. – Jack

I agree. There are a lot of excellent matchups that can be made at lightweight, which is one of the deepest divisions in boxing, but I can’t think of a more attractive 135-pound showdown than Linares-Lomachenko (provided both keep winning impressively next year).

Regarding the HBO commentators’ sometimes over-the-top praise of Lomachenko, that’s sort of a tradition for the network (that I once dubbed the “Hyperbole Boxing Organization). They’re always gonna ride HARD for their fighters, especially if those fighters happen to be as overtly talented and skilled as Lomachenko. It’s not enough for Terence Crawford to be the best lightweight or junior welterweight in the game, he’s gotta be a combination of Marvin Hagler and Pernell Whitaker. Loma’s gotta be Pep and Pea. If Oleksandr Usyk beats Thabiso Mchunu impressively in his HBO debut on Dec. 17, we can expect the Olympic gold medalist to be described as a combo of Pep and the cruiserweight version of Evander Holyfield. (Cut Kellerman some slack if he goes ga-ga for Usyk as much as he has for Loma and Bud, he’s always had a fetish for skillful speedy southpaws – if Loma was a little more “slick” or from Brooklyn I’d be worried about Max’s health whenever the little lefty fought.)

I thought Walters would give him much more of a fight and now I am fully on board the “High Tech” train, but it just annoys me how modern fighters are showered with these superlatives/quickly compared or said to be even better then ATGs. You’re preachin’ the choir, Jack. I also thought Walters could give Lomachenko a decent fight and I’m definitely on the Ukrainian’s bandwagon but I only have two words for the fans who already consider him No. 1 pound for pound and/or a future all-time great: calm down.




Was it me or was Walters acting strangely after the weigh in? In my 50+ years of watching boxing and weigh ins of major fights, I’ve never seen a fighter acting so friendly with his opponent as he was with Loma. What do you think?

I have been following your work for years and love your insights. I was a religious watcher of MaxBoxing and even had a MaxBoxing shirt. Thanks. – Greg

Thank you for the kind words and for the support you gave MaxBoxing back in the day. I wouldn’t have had this career if it weren’t for fans like you.

lomachenko_walters_fightpose_mikey-williams-toprankI noticed that Walters was not as intense as he usually is when he shook Lomachenko’s hand after an uncharacteristically laidback staredown following the weigh-in. I don’t know if I’d describe his weigh-in demeanor as “friendly” – nonchalant and lackadaisical, maybe – but you’ve been watching boxing (and high-profile weigh-ins) for more than 50 years (longer than I’ve been alive), so you should trust your eyes.

The Axe-Man wasn’t himself, that’s for sure. Every now and then a fighter comes around with a reputation so strong that he intimates his opponents (even good ones like Walters) before the first punch is thrown. Maybe Lomachenko was already in Walter’s head at the weigh-in.



Hi Dougie,

Nice to finally see you on camera. Your on-screen personality seems to match your writing so I guess that makes you congruent, which is good.

Now onto the whining: My frustration is with the state of heavyweight boxing. A little over a year ago, it seemed as if the division had risen from the banal ashes of mediocre journeymen, over-aged brain damaged deluded veterans, PED bloated former middleweights and Dionysus knows what else.

The list was promising. Wilder, Fury, Klitschko, Joshua, Parker, Ortiz and hell I even heard “the President” might be gracing us with his psychopathy.

Now here we are. Fury is shot, Klitschko is fading, Ortiz, AJ and Wilder (who is injured) give me the impression they’d rather fight tomato cans and collect cheques rather than build a legacy.

And thanks to the rampant laissez faire that is boxing, lots of ‘em do it. The only guy in the bunch who seems to have any ambition and testicular fortitude is Parker. The guy is old school busy, trains hard, and seems to be willing to fight anyone.

Now over to the expert: What’s your assessment Dougie?

Your newly improved former drunkard fan. – Ki, Sydney Australia

The full-on heavyweight revival that was supposed to go down in 2016 did not happen. Some of the roadblocks were unforeseen (Tyson Fury’s total implosion; the injuries that sidelined Wilder and Klitschko) and some should have been expected (Anthony Joshua being matched relatively soft; top contenders avoiding Luis Ortiz).

However, the potential is still there for a series of evenly matched, entertaining fights to take place between top heavyweights. Don’t get too bummed out, Ki. The Joseph Parker-Andy Ruiz showdown next Saturday should deliver the goods (as well as a new titleholder with charisma and a built-in fanbase with growth potential).

Wilder says he’s all healed up, so he could be facing the Povetkin-Stiverne winner soon.

Klitschko could fight the winner of Parker-Ruiz for the WBO belt or he could take on the WBA’s No. 1 contender (Ortiz) for that vacant strap sometime during the first half of 2017.

If Kubrat Pulev (who is ranked high in the IBF and WBC) looks good against Sam Peter tomorrow, he could serve as a decent challenger to Wilder or Joshua.  

The second half of 2017 should be interesting, especially if Klitschko has one of the major belts. He brings enough money to the table (and he’s old and supposedly faded enough for the young guns to take a stab at him) to entice a few high-profile unifications.

Who knows? Maybe Fury will get it together and rejoin the mix.

Your on-screen personality seems to match your writing so I guess that makes you congruent, which is good. Thank you! And thanks for using a math term to compliment me (I failed algebra three times between eighth grade and my second year of college, so I appreciate it).



I find your monthly mailbag columns quite enjoyable, but your response to reader Joel from Montreal with regard to how fighters of a bygone era could fight seemingly interminable distances was great.

You critically examined and explained from a number of angles and are to be commended for tackling a question many fight fans I am sure pondered for quite sometime. As a subscriber am eagerly awaiting future columns. – Lee

Thank you for the very kind words, Lee. I’m glad you appreciated the response. A lot of thought (and even a decent amount of research) went into it.

I should point out to readers that Joel from Montreal’s email was originally published in the Oct. 6 Friday mailbag with the title “OLD-TIME FIGHT DISTANCES.” What you are referring to however is the version of my column that appears in THE RING magazine, which is called Best of Dougie’s Mailbag (usually a sampling of emails and responses from the Monday and Friday mailbags that were posted the previous month on My magazine responses are basically the same as they appear on the website (but without profanity and maybe a little more concise).

I’m glad you brought up this particular email and response (which appeared in the January 2017 edition of the magazine that is on sale now) because THE RING editors (Michael Rosenthal and Brian Harty) and art director Lamar Clark did an excellent job of presenting it. (By the way, until you sent me this email the only feedback I’d ever received on the magazine version of the mailbag came in the form of phone calls from Larry Merchant, so you are in very good company!)



Quick Question Doug, how do you think Tevin Farmer would do against Loma? – D.W. From Boston, Ma

I don’t think Farmer would embarrass himself against Lomachenko because he is a very competent and talented boxer (and one of the most improved fighters in any division), but he’s not in the WBO 130-pound titleholder’s class.  




I’m one of the boxing aficionados that watch you and Coach Dave on Sunday mornings.

His questions are increasingly more difficult and varied but I’m always impressed by your answers. The level of detail and background in your answers, not only answers the question, but paints a picture of the circumstances and vibe of the fight.

Having said that, you were right…Piano Man Jones was indeed Archie Moore’s first prize fight. I had to Google it to find that gem but you knew it right off the bat…damn…LOL

I need your help on something regarding the Walters-Lomanchenko fight.

You said two different things in regards to Walters turning his back. You gave his corner credit for stopping the fight and mentioned that more corners should get credit when their fighter is in a one-sided fight or beating…you also said that the fighter knows when he just doesn’t have it and decides to quit.

Which do you think it was? Did Walters quit or did his corner throw in the towel. I think it was the former.

Heck yea the fight was one sided but far from a beating. In reviewing the tape you can see Walter going back to his corner after the 7th, and as he sits he clearly says “that’s it…I’m done.” This was not a corner stoppage but a fighter realizing he was being outclassed.

I talked to Coach Dave and we both feel that it was Walters decision not to continue but I wanted to get your opinion.

To me, Walters should get all the blame. Far be it from me to tell a fighter to continue when he feels he is catching a beat down. At the same time, I don’t want to blame/praise the corner when the fighter made the decision on his own.

Lastly, my boy Roberto Duran was down by only two points on two cards and only one point on the other, to SRL. That fight was not the ass kicking that revisionists make it out to be. I think it was Leonard’s mugging and bolo punch that made him say “screw this.” Walters-Lomanchenko ain’t no “no mas,” in my opinion brotha.

Keep up the excellent work. Take care. – Carlos

Thanks for the kind words about the live Periscopes I do with Dave Schwartz (almost) every Sunday, Carlos. We have a lot of fun. Like I said during last Sunday’s rope-skipping boxing trivia session, who Archie Moore’s first professional opponent was depends on the records one refers to. If you go by or The Boxing Register (the official record book of the International Boxing Hall of Fame), which I normally defer to, The Old Mongoose’s first pro opponent was Billy Simms on Sept. 3, 1935.

Anyway, I’m glad you’re watching.

Regarding whether Walters quit or if his corner stopped the bout, it seemed like they were all on the same page before the start of Round 8. It’s not impossible for them to come to the same conclusion (that Walters had no shot of turning the fight around) at the same time.

However, I agree that it was probably Walters who gave up. I’m not mad at him and see no reason to assign any “blame.” He was in over his head and he realized it. And I think it’s OK to give his corner credit for recognizing that their fighter was in over his head and pulling the plug before he got seriously hurt. (I think it’s also fine for fans to rip Walters for quitting if that’s something they have zero tolerance for. I’m OK with it in certain situations.)

Good point about Duran-Leonard II. A lot of fans forget that Duran was doing alright until he yanked himself out of the fight (or maybe they just want to pretend that Leonard was getting in his ass).



Hi Dougie,

Not my normal British rant but I just wanted to mention Katie Taylor who looked brilliant this past weekend and Clarissa Shields for that matter.

I don’t wanna call it women’s boxing because talent is talent regardless of gender, with Nicola Adams potentially turning pro as well that’ll be 3 brilliant talents to add to the sport which can’t be bad. Take it easy. –  Pete Sussex, U.K.

Taylor looks like the truth. That’s a badass lightweight. She’s got great balance, good technique, sharp reflexes, poise and a mean streak. I like her body-head combos. She’s gonna be fun to watch and it looks like she’s going to be moved aggressively (next bout is already scheduled for next Saturday against a 9-1 opponent).

I agree that Taylor, Shields and Adams are welcome additions to professional boxing (not just women’s boxing), as most Olympic gold medalists are. I think fans will get used to seeing them fight on major shows in 2017, which could encourage more promoters seek out standout female fighters to add to their cards.

Heather Hardy draws very well in the NYC and Brooklyn areas, as does Seniesa Estrada here in Southern California. Both have skill, both make for good fights and both have been working their way onto the televised portions of local shows. Maybe we’ll see more of them and other women boxers next year.


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