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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Romero-Marinez, fall showdowns, Pinklon Thomas)

Rolando Romero
17
Aug

MARINEZ-ROMERO ROBBERY

Dougie,

I hope you and yours have enjoyed your vacation. I’m guessing you’re still tracking the fights.

I’m writing about a fight that was actually worth missing, but in the end we die hards try to see them all. I felt Rolly Romero’s inexperience was exposed and that Jackson Marinez pitched a near shutout. Honestly, when they said “UD,” I was sure Marinez’s superior jab and footwork were about to be rewarded. When the scores were read, I was even more sure and then Romero’s arm was raised. Even if 1 clean power shot erases 5 good jobs the fight was still Marinez’s. The questions:



1)  Did you think the judges whiffed on this? If so, then how bad?

2)  How do you think this affects these two? Do you see potential for Romero to actually believe his hype even more and what do you think Marinez does next outing?

3)  I know Romero believes in his power, but do you see them working on his nonexistent jab? Let’s face it, this guy isn’t Deontay Wilder.

4)  Styles make fights and these two didn’t mesh well, but imo Marinez was a clear winner. If you’re managing either one, then is this worth a rematch?

Thanks for all your good work. – Scott

Romero definitely got a gift decision. I didn’t pay close attention to the bout watching it live on Saturday, in part because I had the Madrimov-Walker fight on DAZN playing on my phone at the same time it was playing on my TV, but mostly because the fight was ugly and uneventful. Both lightweights missed a lot of their power punches from the outside and neither had much of an

Marinez outjabbed Romero throughout their controversial bout.

inside game, but the superior and more effective boxer was clearly Marinez, who got his jab off at will and controlled the distance and tempo for much of the fight.

I watched it again on Sunday and scored it 117-111 or nine rounds to three in favor of Marinez. I only scored Rounds 1, 6 and 8 for Romero. Could I have found another round or two for Romero? Maybe, but there’s no way Romero won more than four or five rounds. He simply did not land enough of his vaunted power shots throughout the bout and when he did it didn’t do enough damage for him to impose his will on Marinez.

The official outcome of Romero-Marinez was a little bit like the Cecilia Braekhus-Jessica McCaskill fight in that the boxer with better jab and boxing fundamentals was largely ignored by the judges, who favored ineffective aggression (although in defense of McCaskill she was way more effective than Romero and her fight was legitimately close).

Did you think the judges whiffed on this? If so, then how bad? If by “whiffed” you mean “failed miserably,” absolutely. They got it wrong.

How do you think this affects these two? It garners Romero a lot of ill will from hardcore fight fans who thought he received a gift decision and didn’t care much for the young man’s defensive attitude and delusional future plans immediately after the fight. The next time Romero fights half of Boxing Twitter will be praying for his downfall, which is unfortunate. Had the judges done their jobs right, he’d just have a lot of doubters instead of a legion of haters. For Marinez, it’s a heartbreaking setback that takes money from his pocket. He deserved to win and had he received the decision he’d be an interim WBA beltholder, which would earned him more money in his next fight and also put him on track for a significant matchup. Being denied that can be demoralizing, but I hope he keeps his head up.

Do you see potential for Romero to actually believe his hype even more and what do you think Marinez does next outing? I think it’s clear that Romero believes his hype. Going into the fight he was talking about how he was going to demolish Marinez in brutal fashion and after the bout he said he’s ready for Lomachenko, Haney, Davis and all the other 135-pound players. I have no idea what Marinez does next. I haven’t spoken to him or his management. They’re probably still in shock and need a few days to figure out what their next move is.

Romero on his way to stopping Arturs Ahmetovs on the Wilder-Fury 2 undercard.

I know Romero believes in his power, but do you see them working on his nonexistent jab? Let’s face it, this guy isn’t Deontay Wilder. No kidding. The young man is so stiff and raw he makes Wilder look like Lennox Lewis. But there’s no doubt in my mind that he and his team will work on his fundamentals and technique. He’s a late-comer to the sport, only 24, and this was his 12th pro bout (the first time he’s fought past six rounds). Going 12 rounds with a far more polished boxer with Marinez’s extensive amateur background was bound to expose his short comings. If they didn’t know he’s got a lot to learn, they sure do now. But I think if they can work on his balance/footwork, teach him to relax, work his jab and cut the ring off, his awkwardness can work for him. He’s got confidence and power. If he can take a good shot, he can be like a 135-pound version of Ricardo Mayorga. But it’s gonna take A LOT of work and he’ll more quality rounds. Right now, he’s not ready for a legit top-10 lightweight contender, never mind Loma and titleholders. I think Ryan Garcia would light him up.

Styles make fights and these two didn’t mesh well, but imo Marinez was a clear winner. If you’re managing either one, then is this worth a rematch? Sure, it’s the best move for Marinez. He was rated No. 6 by the WBA going into the Romero fight. He’s not rated by any of the other sanctioning bodies. His management should lobby the WBA for an immediate rematch given the controversy. They only way an under-the-radar boxer like Marinez is going to get a significant fight is if he’s a mandatory challenger. He needs that interim belt currently held by Romero. If I managed Romero I would avoid an immediate rematch and try to get him quality rounds against a tough veteran or fringe contender who isn’t as slick or mobile as Marinez (perhaps one of the gatekeepers who were able to take Devin Haney 10 rounds on his way up the rankings – Juan Carlos Burgos and/or Xolisani Ndongeni). Once he’s used to going the distance and is boxing better, I’d go for a rematch with Marinez, which could probably be built into a grudge fight given all the social media outrage and Rolly’s penchant for getting under people’s skin.

 

BOXING IS MAKING ITS WAY BACK

Hi Doug,

Been awhile. Hope you and your family are well and staying safe. I have a couple of boxing items I would like to touch on and will try and not get too long winded about it. This year I am marking 50 years of being a fan and follower of boxing. It’s really the only sport I follow and I have immersed myself in the history of it as well and I have lived thru some of the most exciting eras of the sport when so much great action was on free TV.

It is good to see that boxing is making its way back from the ravages of the pandemic. Even though the fights have been fought in a bubble with no crowds of fans, the fighters have still turned in some good performances. I was excited to hear this past week of three big contests on the schedule before Thanksgiving. Errol Spence/Danny Garcia is a PPV that I will shell out for. Got to see where Spence is after his car accident. Lomachenko/Lopez is HUGE! I can’t believe it is on free TV. What an incredible gift for the fans. That being said, Gervonta Davis/Leo Santa Cruz is another great fight I would like to see… I am just not going to shell out 60 or 70 dollars to see it. Not a PPV bout. That is a Showtime subscriber fight… but that’s just me.

Saturday night David Benavidez showed an impressive skill set in defeating Alexis Angulo. It’s just a shame that he lost his title on the scale. There had been some talk of a unification bout with our local guy Caleb Plant… oh well.

Jackson Marinez was royally robbed in his fight with (to me) over hyped Rolando Romero. Romero came out with an angry look on his face and every punch he threw was a home run shot. It was pretty clear to me that Marinez completely out boxed Romero and made him look rather ordinary. I can’t put it any clearer than that. The judges it was said were experienced officials. Hmmm. Romero was defiant in the post fight interview saying that Marinez did nothing. He needs to watch the tape.

Finally Doug I would like to touch on boxing commentators. So many great ones in the years that I have been a fan. Howard Cosell (still a favorite…loved his fight calls). Don Dunphy, a legend in his own right. Larry Merchant and Al Bernstein in the modern era as well as Jim Lampley (I know some didn’t like him) and others too numerous to mention (remember I wasn’t going to get long winded)… which leads to me to today. Tim Bradley is beyond annoying to me. He clearly likes the sound of his own voice. He is why the mute button was invented… and then there is Mauro Ranallo. I don’t dislike him. I saw the documentary about his health struggles and he seems to be a likeable guy. It’s just that he sounds like Dan Aykroyd in the voice that he used to use in those early Saturday Night Live skits (remember bass-o-matic?). Anyway…glad my sport is coming back. I will be happy when we can gather again to shout our support in person. – David, Nashville

Me too, David.

I do indeed remember Bass-O-Matic skit on SNL and now that you bring it up, you’re spot on about Ranallo sounding like that Dan Aykroyd character. You know what? This is going to make me like Ranallo’s blow-by-blow call even more!

Timmy and Dre

Regarding Bradley, I don’t think he’s enamored with the sound of his voice, he just gets overexcited and tries too hard to make his point sometimes, and I agree that when he morphs into his “Loud Timmy” persona he can be annoying (the volume is ridiculous, if we’re sticking with the SNL Classic skits theme, he’s like a cross between Garrett Morris’ News for the Hard of Hearing guy and Eddie Murphy’s Galactic Prophylactic pitchman). However, I don’t go for the mute button with Bradley, even when he’s spazzing out. He knows his s__t. I think Timmy is one of the most astute former boxers currently providing his commentary on live fights. All he’s just gotta do is be himself, switch to decaf and avoid trying to outdo Mr. Can’t-Do Wrong when they’re on the same broadcast.  

All five of the hall of famers you mentioned are among my all-time favorites. We’re very lucky to still have Bernstein around. I often wonder if newer fans of the sport could tolerate Cosell’s brash and unapologetic brand of “Telling it Like it is,” Merchant’s refusal to kiss star/promoter ass or candy coat, or Dunphy’s matter-of-fact calls. I’m pretty sure younger fans that grew up listening to crowded broadcaster booths during boxing shows would be a little weirded out by the solo commentator roles that Dunphy and Cosell did so well.

I was excited to hear this past week of three big contests on the schedule before Thanksgiving. Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope that COVID-19 doesn’t cancel or postpone any of these shows on the fall calendar.

Errol Spence/Danny Garcia is a PPV that I will shell out for. Got to see where Spence is after his car accident. That’s the story of the fight. Prior to Spence’s Ferrari crash last October, I wasn’t that interested in this proposed matchup. I figured that a dialed-in Spence was too skilled, too busy and too tough for Garcia to have a shot at beating him. Post-accident, who knows what will happen? Garcia is a dangerous opponent roll the dice against if you’re not sure you’re 100% – and that goes for even a pound-for-pound player like Spence.

Lomachenko/Lopez is HUGE! I can’t believe it is on free TV. This is exactly what the sport needs, an intriguing elite-level championship matchup that promises to deliver drama on a platform that will reach the biggest audience.

That being said, Gervonta Davis/Leo Santa Cruz is another great fight I would like to see… Really? You think this is a “great fight”? No disrespect to Davis, who is an entertaining attraction, or to Santa Cruz, who I like and respect, but I don’t get the excitement over this matchup. Santa Cruz hit his wall at 126 pounds and Davis struggles to make 135. Who really believes that Tank is going to make 130 pounds? Who really believes that Santa Cruz is world class at 130 pounds? Did either fighter look good (never mind world class) in their last bout (Davis vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa; Santa Cruz vs. Miguel Flores)? I don’t think so.

I am just not going to shell out 60 or 70 dollars to see it. I don’t blame you.

Not a PPV bout. It is in this era.

That is a Showtime subscriber fight… but that’s just me. It’s not just you.

Saturday night David Benavidez showed an impressive skill set in defeating Alexis Angulo. The young man is a natural fighter. He’s confident, relaxed, offensively creative, and not as easy to hit as he looks. Of course, who needs to be a defensive wizard when you’re as big, strong and powerful as he is?

It’s just a shame that he lost his title on the scale. There had been some talk of a unification bout with our local guy Caleb Plant… oh well. You can forget about that matchup for the time being. Benavidez will need a world title to make that fight worthwhile for Plant, and while I don’t put it past the WBC to give the Arizonan another shot at their belt (making him a three-time “champ”… ugh), it might be more realistic for us fans to imagine how he’ll fare against the best light heavyweights.

Jackson Marinez was royally robbed in his fight with (to me) over hyped Rolando Romero. I can’t say that I was surprised. The only Mayweather Promotions fighter who DOESN’T get the benefit of the doubt on the official judges’ scorecards is Badou Jack. But I thought at least ONE of them would score the damn fight correctly! Usually, when a Money Team fighter gets an undeserved nod it’s a split decision. See Wes Ferguson vs. Josesito Lopez, J’Leon Love vs. Gabe Rosado (before it was changed to a No Decision after Love tested positive for a banned substance) and Mickey Bey vs. Miguel Vazquez for examples. Of course, those bouts were on Floyd Mayweather PPV undercards in Las Vegas. Sin City judges know how to mask their robberies a little better than others.

Romero came out with an angry look on his face and every punch he threw was a home run shot. He was so off-balance it was hard to watch. It’s like his legs are out of sync with his upper body. Rolly doesn’t keep his feet under him. He’ll lunge forward with a jab and leave his back foot where he started the punch while leaning over his front foot. I thought both lightweights carried stances that were too wide, but Marinez could move laterally without losing his balance.

It was pretty clear to me that Marinez completely out boxed Romero and made him look rather ordinary. I don’t think Romero is ordinary. I think he’s inexperienced and lacking in key boxing fundamentals. He has potential but he needs the right instruction and development.

The judges it was said were experienced officials. They came off greener than Rolly, but they’re aren’t newbies like the Las Vegan so they have no excuse for those piss-poor scorecards.

Romero was defiant in the post fight interview saying that Marinez did nothing. Add immaturity to his inexperience.

He needs to watch the tape. Yeah, I’m sure he and this training team will do that, and hopefully they can all admit that there’s a lot that they need to work on.

 

WBA FEATHERWEIGHT TITLE, CANELO AND DAZN

Hi Doug,

Why is it that Leo Santa Cruz still has a WBA title at Featherweight? Xu Can should be bumped up to Super Champion. At least, Canelo still has plans to fight a unification fight next year with GGG at Middleweight. Leo Santa Cruz will not be fighting at Featherweight again.

Also, do you think that Canelo and DAZN will be able to resolve their issues? Tomorrow it can be Vergil Ortiz but as of now Canelo is single handedly keeping Golden Boy on the list of Tier 1 promoters. Golden Boy can’t afford to lose him and hence I feel that if Canelo leaves DAZN, Golden Boy will have to follow him. I really hope they resolve their issues though. After a long struggle both ESPN and DAZN have managed to gain some leverage on PBC. They can finally tell PBC that if they want access to fighters like Canelo, Joshua, Fury, Lomachenko etc., PBC will have to make its fighters at Welterweight and Light Middleweight accessible. Regards. – Saurabh

For the time being it looks like the PBC is doing just fine with making in-house matchups at 147 and 154 pounds. I’m OK with that as long as the matchups involve their top fighters in those weight divisions (such as Spence vs. Garcia and Charlo vs. Rosario, which will result in a new Ring Magazine junior middleweight champ being crowned). But at some point, all of the major promoters are going to have to work together in order to deliver the ratings/subscribers that their broadcast partners need, to pay their star talent what they wish to be paid, and to make the money needed to keep their promotional operations afloat so the next generation of standouts can be developed.

I think Top Rank and Golden Boy should do co-promotions or loan their fighters out to cross the street (to ESPN or to DAZN – as GBP did with Joshua Franco and will do with Joet Gonzalez) more often.

Regarding Canelo and DAZN, I think they will resolve their issues but not in time for the Mexican star to fight in September, and maybe not in time for him to fight at all in 2020.

Why is it that Leo Santa Cruz still has a WBA title at Featherweight? Why ask why when it comes to the WBA? It’s clear that they want at least three beltholders in each weight class. It’s one way to make money. The other way is to keep the power brokers in boxing happy. Santa Cruz is one of Al Haymon’s players. Haymon is going to use Leo as a stepping stone for Tank Davis. If there’s some way Davis can still make 130 pounds he wants a world title on the line. If Davis can’t make 130, that’s OK, the WBA has also sanctioned that bout as a lightweight title match. If Santa Cruz is ineffective fighting at 130 pounds, or, God forbid, absolutely smashed by Tank, he might want to drop back down to featherweight. My guess is that the WBA wants to give him the option of having a nice warm world title to return to. So, they haven’t vacated their “super title” at 126 pounds. It’s just good business for them to keep Al happy.

Can do!

Xu Can should be bumped up to Super Champion. That would be nice. But do you know what would be much better? If Xu faced IBF titleholder Josh Warrington with the vacant Ring Magazine title on the line. Warrington is Ring’s No. 1 contender. Xu is our No. 3 contender. Gary Russell Jr. is a worthy No. 2 contender, but he’s seriously talking about going up in weight. I think the Ring Ratings Panel might give their blessing for Warrington-Can being for our vacant 126-pound belt.

At least, Canelo still has plans to fight a unification fight next year with GGG at Middleweight. We’ll see.

Leo Santa Cruz will not be fighting at Featherweight again. We’ll see.

 

TYSON VS. THOMAS

Hi Dougie,

Firstly, welcome back, hope you enjoyed your break.

I’ve been watching some of the “forgotten era” pre-Tyson heavyweight fights from the 80s.

If Pinklon Thomas had trained properly and stayed clean do you think he would have beaten Trevor Berbick? Then gone on to fight Tyson, in Mike’s first title fight. How would an in shape, motivated Thomas, have fared against a greener Tyson?

I watched their fight again the other day and was impressed with Thomas. After a bad first round, he pretty much held his own until being KO’d.

Which of the welterweights from the mid to late 90s, would have had the best chance against SRL? I know none of them beat him, but if you had to choose one?

Quick MM:

James Page vs Danny Garcia

(P.S looking forward to the Tszyu-Horn fight. Kostya was a huge name in Australian boxing when I was growing up. I hope Tim is half as good as his father!) Thanks mate. Regards. – Will

If Timmy is one-fourth as good as his old man, he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the junior middleweight division.

Your mythical matchup: Page by competitive and entertaining unanimous decision.

If Pinklon Thomas had trained properly and stayed clean do you think he would have beaten Trevor Berbick? Yes, by clear UD.

Thomas jabs Tyson. Photo by The Ring Archive

Then gone on to fight Tyson, in Mike’s first title fight. How would an in shape, motivated Thomas, have fared against a greener Tyson? I think he would have given the 20-year-old Tyson a much better fight than Berbick did, he may have even taken Kid Dynamite the distance, but I think Tyson would have defeated Thomas in late 1986 even though he was still green (as you noted).

I watched their fight again the other day and was impressed with Thomas. He was extremely talented, and Angelo Dundee had him in good shape and spirits for that bout.

After a bad first round, he pretty much held his own until being KO’d. I agree with you. This fight is one of the reasons I refused to view Tyson as A) invincible (as many did), B) an all-time great (as many did, even though he’d been champ for less than a year) and C) a huge favorite to beat cruiserweight champ/heavyweight hopeful Evander Holyfield or the come-backing George Foreman (even though I loved watching prime Tyson fight).

Which of the welterweights from the mid to late 90s, would have had the best chance against SRL? I know none of them beat him, but if you had to choose one? I’d have to go with Oscar De La Hoya, even though The Golden Boy “lost” Felix Trinidad, barely outpointed Ike Quartey and was given the benefit of the doubt (according to some) vs. Pernell Whitaker. Sweet Pea was too small for Leonard, and Tito and Bazooka were too flat-footed to stand a chance against the Sugar Ray of my generation. Oscar could dance, he practically floated around the canvas, and he still had a rapier-like jab in the late ’90s. He’d still lose to my boyhood idol via decision or maybe even late stoppage, but I think he’d win more rounds than the other 147-pound standouts of the underrated mid-to-late ’90s.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Instagram Live every Sunday.

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