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Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (2021 predictions, Margarito’s ‘innocence,’ Loma-Lopez re-watch)

Will Chocolatito score a bigger win in 2021 than he did in 2020? Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing USA
15
Jan

2021 PREDICTIONS

Morning Dougie,

Hope you, family, friends and colleagues all had an enjoyable and safe festive period and are looking forward to (hopefully) a better 2021.

I know you’ve been asked recently about Ioka and his deserved entry to the Ring P4P rankings but I was looking for your opinion on his fight with Tanaka, how you think both performed and what you would like to see from both fighters going forward. Also what is your opinion on Japan penalising Japanese boxers for having visible tattoos during fights? (I know that tattooing in Japan is a touchy subject given it’s organised crime implications but still seems like an archaic rule).

I’d also like to make some predictions for this year and you tell me if you think they’ll come true please.

  1. The King beats Estrada by MD and re-enters the Ring P4P Rankings
  2. Josh Taylor knocks out Jose Ramirez in the championship rounds.
  3. Oscar De La Hoya will fight again in a fully sanctioned professional boxing match (if you can get a word to him for me, please ask him not to)
  4. We see Welterweight unification between Manny and either Spence or Crawford
  5. Uysk enforces his WBO mandatory position, forcing Joshua to vacate to make the Fury fight, which he then goes on to lose by late stoppage.

MM:

Regis Prgorais vs Ricky Hatton

Thanks again for all your work on the mailbag and with Ring in general. – Euan, Dunfermline, Scotland

You’re welcome, Euan. It’s truly my pleasure.

That’s a badass junior welterweight mythical matchup you’ve presented me with, the two 140-pound pit bulls have been going at it, tooth and nail, in my mind and it’s beautiful brutality. I think the 2004-2005 version of the Hitman would give the current version of Prograis all he could handle, maybe until the final bell if severe facial cuts/lacerations/swelling didn’t force a stoppage (a real possibility unless the fight took place in Manchester – Ricky’s eyeball could be falling out of its socket and he would quit and no referee would dare halt it). I think Prograis gets the better of Hatton in the championship rounds to eke out a close, maybe majority decision.

Kazuto Ioka finishes Kosei Tanaka in dramatic fashion in the eighth-round of their year-ending Tokyo clash. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

I know you’ve been asked recently about Ioka and his deserved entry to the Ring P4P rankings but I was looking for your opinion on his fight with Tanaka, how you think both performed and what you would like to see from both fighters going forward. I thought both multi-division titleholders performed exceptionally; Kosei Tanaka gave it his all – and looked like a 115-pound force to be reckoned with during the early rounds – but fell short in his technique and tactics, while Ioka boxed the more patient, poised, mature fight, throwing the right punches at the right times and making them count. Experience and maturity was the difference in my opinion. I still think Tanaka is a hell of a fighter and a welcome addition to the deep and talented junior bantamweight division. He just needs to work on his defense and reel it in a bit, take his time when he’s getting the better of an opponent, he’s in the habit of wanting to overwhelm his opposition because he was a big badass from 105-112 pounds. But he can’t overpower the elite 115 pounders. He’s going to have to learn the finer points of boxing, and I’m sure he will make the effort to do so.

Also what is your opinion on Japan penalising Japanese boxers for having visible tattoos during fights? (I know that tattooing in Japan is a touchy subject given it’s organised crime implications but still seems like an archaic rule). Japan is a very old culture, and they hold on to their traditions. Up until the 1990s, fighter-manager contracts were for LIFE in Japan! Pro boxers couldn’t break away from managers during their fighting careers (no matter what) and managers were expected to take care of their fighters post-boxing until… well, like a marriage, death did them part. (And by the way, one couldn’t get a manager’s license from the JBC unless they could prove that they had the financial well-being to take care of the fighter FOR LIFE… owning and operating your own boxing gym was part of that criteria.) The JBC (Japan Boxing Commission) didn’t recognize the IBF or WBO until the 2000s. So, I’m not shocked that they’d frown on and fine boxers with tatts, but I think in time, they’ll lighten up in this area.

The King beats Estrada by MD and re-enters the Ring P4P Rankings. Bro, if my man he beats this version of El Gallo, he’s BEYOND pound-for-pound lists. He’s already a first-ballot hall of famer (anyone who believes otherwise is going to hell when they die)… if he beats Estrada again and adds The Ring and WBC titles to his WBA belt, Gonzalez is an all-time great. Any lumpy headed mope that disagrees can come and catch these hands.

Josh Taylor knocks out Jose Ramirez in the championship rounds. Whoa! That’s a bold prediction my dude. That’s bolder than Tecate. Ramirez isn’t the perfect fighter, but he’s proven that he possesses a world-class chin (as has Taylor) and he’s got the engine and warriors’ mentality to back it up. I see a hotly contested distance fight.

Oscar De La Hoya will fight again in a fully sanctioned professional boxing match (if you can get a word to him for me, please ask him not to). Hey, Oscar’s gonna do whatever he wants, and he’s earned that right, but if he does indeed come back at some point this year, I’d rather see him do an exhibition bout similar to the format of Tyson vs. Jones, and I’d prefer to see him box a peer (such as Shane Mosley, Felix Trinidad, Fernando Vargas or Ike Quartey).

We see Welterweight unification between Manny and either Spence or Crawford. God Bless Pacquiao. Now that Bernard Hopkins is retired, he’s the Grand Old Man of Boxing. B-Hop was competing against the elite likes of Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Joe Calzaghe and Kelly Pavlik between the ages of 41-43, the same age range Pacquiao, who turned 42 last month, is now. I always tell Hopkins that he’s the last of the great fighters, but there are others.

Usyk enforces his WBO mandatory position, forcing Joshua to vacate to make the Fury fight, which he then goes on to lose by late stoppage. Who knocks Usyk out? Joe Joyce? Joseph Parker? Andy Ruiz?

 

EXTREME OPINIONS

Hey Dougie,

I had a couple of questions that really needed to be answered. I tried discussing this with some coworkers, but they seem to sway too far left or right. The question is when a fighter turns his back like Pulev and Luke Campbell is it considered a knockdown? I had one guy say the fight should be over he doesn’t want to fight. I mean come on this isn’t Rooster fighting I don’t think any ref would stop it unless the fighter was truly visibly hurt.

Second question: was Margarito innocent for the loaded gloves allegations? I was listening to David Duenez’ podcast, Leave It In The Ring a while back and he said he attended the Margarito’s court hearing and that the judge found him innocent. I figured if anyone would know it would be you.

My last question is a bit of a two parter, any news on the next Thompson card? And do you have any suggestions on boxing podcasts? I like Montero On Boxing, The 3 Knockdown Rule, The Boxing Rant, Chris Mannix, and Leave It In The Ring. I was wondering if you knew any others. Well any ways take care of yourself Dougie. – Joey, Pomona

Try Inside Boxing Live, The Last Round, The Porter Way Podcast, Talk Box with Michael Woods, Boxing Life Stories, You Don’t Play Boxing Podcast, SHO Boxing, Tourist Information, The Pug and Copp Boxing Show, Fight Night talkSPORT, iFL TV, Tha Boxing Voice, and The Fight with Teddy Atlas. And there’s a lot more if you still want more.

The next Thompson Boxing Promotions card is February 21, which might be headlined by lightweight up-and-comer Michael Dutchover. I’m expecting some big moves from him and his stablemate (and fellow 135-pound young gun), Ruben “Ace” Torres, this year.

I had a couple of questions that really needed to be answered. I tried discussing this with some coworkers, but they seem to sway too far left or right. You should probably stop trying to talk boxing with your co-workers. Sooner or later, somebody’s gonna complain to HR and you’ll be written up on harassment charges. This ain’t football or basketball, bro, most folks can’t relate.

The question is when a fighter turns his back like Pulev and Luke Campbell is it considered a knockdown? No, but the referee can interpret it as capitulation and grounds for a technical stoppage given the circumstances/context.

I had one guy say the fight should be over he doesn’t want to fight. That’s an extreme view. What if the fighter was fouled (hit behind the head or bellow the belt, head butted, poked in the eye, etc.)?

I mean come on this isn’t Rooster fighting I don’t think any ref would stop it unless the fighter was truly visibly hurt. If a fighter has been taking a prolonged beating, unable to mount any offense or defense for an extended period, and then turns his or her back, stopping the fight is probably the right thing to do.

Second question: was Margarito innocent for the loaded gloves allegations? Innocent? No. He wasn’t “innocent” of breaking the rules. We can all argue if he wantonly “cheated.” He didn’t “load his gloves.” He was caught with extra gauze in his wraps, which he maintains he didn’t know about, prior to his title defense against Shane Mosley. But regardless of what he knew or didn’t know, he and trainer Javier Capetillo were in violation of California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) Rule 323. The CSAC revoked his license on those grounds and denied his re-instatement one year later. He went to Texas (which was within his rights), got his license, and fought Manny Pacquiao. So, if he was guilty of something serious, it obviously wasn’t so heinous as to keep him from ever fighting again in the U.S.

I was listening to David Duenez’ podcast, Leave It In The Ring a while back and he said he attended the Margarito’s court hearing and that the judge found him innocent. That’s news to me. The commission unanimously voted to revoke his license even before the Dept. of Justice’s forensic lab results on the wraps were returned. I think they jumped to conclusions because the late Naziim Richarson (Mosley’s trainer) initially claimed the gauze inserts were “hardened” with a “white, plaster-like powder.” I’ve been told by those who saw and FELT the confiscated inserts (members of the promotion, commission and media) that it was just old, dirty gauze (some said there was dried blood on them). They all told me it was soft and spongy. So, whatever, take that with a grain of salt, or maybe I should say take it with “traces of substances that could be used in plaster.”

I figured if anyone would know it would be you. Nobody really knows the truth. I’ve got my opinion, which is in the minority (I think one of Shawn Porter’s ties has more firmness and consistency than the old gauze inserts that were confiscated). I just don’t understand why he would be allowed to fight if they really found hard inserts in his gloves. I don’t get why criminal charges were never pursued by Team Mosley or any of Margz’s previous opponents. I don’t get why the media that soapboxed about what an evil scumbag Margz is, didn’t tear into Top Rank, which continued to promote the Mexican veteran, or boycott his two big PPV fights that followed his return to boxing following his one-year U.S. ban. Margz was paid his $2 million-to-$2.5 million purse for the Mosley fight. He was guaranteed $3 million for Pacquiao, plus a percentage of the PPV upside (beyond 500,000 buys). He was guaranteed $2.5 million for the Cotto rematch. How was any of this punishment for a “cheater”?

 

IS KRUSHER A HALL OF FAMER?

Doug –

What are Kovalev’s future Hall of Fame chances? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

Slim and none (and Slim left town). He accomplished enough to maybe get his name on the ballot but he’s down in the pit with Margarito in terms of boxers that are despised by the U.S. boxing media (and it’s mainly members of the Boxing Writers Assoc. of America that vote).

 

LOMA-LOPEZ RE-SCORE

Whatsup Doug?

In self-isolation, like so many, I’ve been rewatching some of the major fights of the year. It’s been instructive.

Man, my view of the Loma-Lopez fight really changed on a second view. Kind of like the first Ward v Kovalev fight, I scored majorly for the challenger because I didn’t expect them to do so well. But on a rewatch, I see that I ignored a lot of good work by Loma. In my eyes, and perhaps others, I think he suffered from preconceived views of how he *should* do, rather than how he did.

For example, had Loma been an up and comer (and not ‘the matrix’) we’d probably say he’d done well to avoid any major damage in the first half of the fight and then really took it to the champ (Lopez) in the second half. But WHO Loma is/ was certainly impacted my reading of the fight. My expectations totally clouded the reality of the action.

Much of Lopez’s early work was on the arms, gloves, shoulders of Loma. Whilst the little (too little) that Loma did was clean and accurate in Rounds 1-6. Both men scored cleaner shots as the fight wore on. I gave 1 round of the 6 to Loma, arguably 2. Of the second half of the fight I gave 5 to Loma and 1 to Lopez, arguably 2.  So we are looking at anywhere from 6-6 to 8-4 Lopez. I cannot see a Loma win at all. But my impression first time round was that he was dominated. Now, the idea he was beaten down, schooled, etc. just doesn’t fit with reality.

He came up against a top fighter and basically lost the fight in R12, with Lopez showing real class in sealing the win. The scorecard that saw Loma losing wide really is a terrible one, on reflection. I know that fights are scored real time. Judges do not have the advantage of a replay. But it’s funny how often they seem to score fights so emotionally.

I’m taking nothing away from Lopez. It was a great performance. And I see him doing just as well at 140. Dream fight – Lopez v Prograis. Who you got in that one?

I wondered, Doug – can you think of any notable examples of fights you have rewatched and wondered what the hell you were thinking (or drinking!) when you saw it first time round?

And who would you favour in an immediate rematch? Loma would be confident I think. Lopez may try to finish Loma next time, for a definitive statement. Seems bananas that they wouldn’t just do it again as it was a good match up.

Finally, if Loma fights Davis in 2021 – who wins? Thanks, stay well. – Giuseppe, London

I favor Loma by UD in an intense and competitive fight with Tank (if they were to fight this year, doesn’t matter if it’s at 130 or 135). I’d favor Lopez to repeat vs. Loma if they were to fight again this year. Going 12 rounds with Loma was a great learning experience for Lopez. He’ll be better the second time around. So, will Loma if he can make it to the ring 100% healthy. The rematch would be a better fight IMO, but there’s not going to be much a demand for it because the first half of bout No. 1 sucked, and Loma’s unsportsmanlike excuses and allegations in the wake of his second pro loss dashes most of the sympathy and support he had earned from his strong effort over the second half of the first fight.

Man, my view of the Loma-Lopez fight really changed on a second view. I gotta be honest with you, I’ve had NO desire to re-watch that fight.

Kind of like the first Ward v Kovalev fight, I scored majorly for the challenger because I didn’t expect them to do so well. But on a rewatch, I see that I ignored a lot of good work by Loma. He did well enough not to get clipped during the first half of the fight, but not well enough to win rounds. He performed the way most of us expected him to over the second half, and he won the majority of those rounds.

In my eyes, and perhaps others, I think he suffered from preconceived views of how he *should* do, rather than how he did. I think that’s true of anyone who scored the fight 118-110 or 117-111 for Lopez. I can’t explain Lederman’s scorecard.

For example, had Loma been an up and comer (and not ‘the matrix’) we’d probably say he’d done well to avoid any major damage in the first half of the fight and then really took it to the champ (Lopez) in the second half. Yeah, but would we have scored early rounds for that up-and-comer? Or would we have said that an up-and-comer needs to fight with more urgency?

Much of Lopez’s early work was on the arms, gloves, shoulders of Loma. True, but did Loma land enough clean punches to Lopez’s head and body to win any of those rounds? He might have edged Round 2 (which I scored for him), but it’s hard to make a case for him in the other rounds of the first six.

I gave 1 round of the 6 to Loma, arguably 2. Of the second half of the fight I gave 5 to Loma and 1 to Lopez, arguably 2. So we are looking at anywhere from 6-6 to 8-4 Lopez. I can see those scorecards (I had it 115-113 for Lopez), but I also believe that 114-114 tallies are giving Loma the benefit of every doubt while ignoring some of Lopez’s tactics/strategy.

I cannot see a Loma win at all. But my impression first time round was that he was dominated. Now, the idea he was beaten down, schooled, etc. just doesn’t fit with reality. The folks that claim he was “beatdown” or “schooled” are just longtime Loma haters. Canelo isn’t the only elite fighter with a #SaltySociety.

The scorecard that saw Loma losing wide really is a terrible one, on reflection. I know that fights are scored real time. Judges do not have the advantage of a replay. But it’s funny how often they seem to score fights so emotionally. Or in favor of the fighter with more upside and marketability. That ain’t emotion. That’s cold, hard business.

I’m taking nothing away from Lopez. It was a great performance. Fighter-of-the-Year caliber performance.

And I see him doing just as well at 140. Dream fight – Lopez v Prograis. Who you got in that one? I have no idea, but I’d gladly buy tickets for that one.

I wondered, Doug – can you think of any notable examples of fights you have rewatched and wondered what the hell you were thinking (or drinking!) when you saw it first time round? First time I watched Felix Strum vs. Oscar De La Hoya, I didn’t have much of a problem with the unanimous 115-113 scores for the out-of-shape Golden Boy (I watched the fight with a group of loudmouths, not bothering to score it, and I had more than a few Coronas in me at the time), but when I watched the fight alone at home (100% sober), I clearly scored the bout for the Sturminator.

Scoring the Winky Wright-Shane Mosley rematch from press row, I think I only gave two round to the Sugar Man. Watching the HBO replay at home, I had it pretty close (tho still thought Winky won it). And I believed that Ricardo Mayorga clearly beat Vernon Forrest in a competitive 12-round rematch observing from ringside, but watching the HBO replay, I thought seven or eight rounds could have gone to the Viper.

 

 

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 or Dougie’s Periscope every Sunday.

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