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Dougie?s MASSIVE Monday Mail Bag


PhilBoxing.com




Read on for fans? opinions on De La Hoya-Pacquiao, Pavlik-Hopkins, Antonio Margarito?s next fight, and the historical placement of Sugar Ray Robinson, Bernard Hopkins, and Shane Mosley in this week?s MMMB. Enjoy!

DE LA HOYA-PACQUAIO IS ILLOGICAL

Hey Dougie,
I can't believe what I'm seeing on forums and how people are trying to make logic out of this illogical fight. De La Hoya-Pacquiao is a freakshow and a circus. It's WIN-WIN for Pacman, and LOSE-LOSE for Oscar.

This is the equivalent of a middleweight going up to fight a Heavyweight, such as Spinks-Holmes and Jones Jr.-Ruiz...for those not familiar with history, that is like if Kelly Pavlik were to fight Klitschko, or even James Toney for that matter.

If Manny loses, big deal, he makes a lot of money, and goes down in history for trying to achieve something great. If he wins, he is potentially considered in the all-time great class, and can make enough money to do whatever the heck he wants to do. If Oscar wins, so what?? That actually questions his legacy in my opinion, because what kind of credit do you get for beating someone smaller than you?? If he loses, well, nothing to be said there, but damn, Little Pac just beat you in your last fight...your LAST FIGHT!! Ha, I bet he fights again if he loses.

So De La Hoya supporters dissing Pacquiao for doing this or doing that, they can suck a big one because none of their trash talk should matter. If any running is done, it will be to the bank win or lose he's getting paid. De La Hoya is supposed to win!! How dumb...

To finish this, I'm a Filipino, and I hope Manny whups that ***.

Dougie, please preach the truth and inform these delusional people of what is up. Thank you brother, and you need to get paid MORE! ? Lester from DC

Thanks Lester. I agree with you -- about my needing to be paid more, not necessarily your take on this fight. Although I must admit I?m not quite sure what your thoughts on De La Hoya-Pacquiao are.

You start out by calling the fight a ?freak show? but then you point out that it?s a win-win scenario for Pacquiao, who you will no doubt root for if the fight is made. And, if I?m not mistaken, the tone of your email suggests that you?re excited about the potential matchup. Maybe I?m misreading things and perhaps you?re simply torn as a ?Pac-Fan?. You don?t want to see your favorite fighter in a bout that he will probably lose ? maybe even get blown out ? but you also want to back him up (especially to any lingering Golden Boys who want to bate you on message boards).

Before I tell you how I feel about the fight, I want to point out that the companies that are trying to put De La Hoya-Pacquiao together (Golden Boy Promotions, Top Rank and HBO) don?t care if hardcore fans think the fight is a ?freak show? or if they?re torn about it as long as they are interested enough to purchase the live pay-per-view broadcast.

Personally, I have no problem with little guys going up in weight to challenge bigger guys, but I prefer it if they prove themselves at the higher weights before they take on the champs or stars of the heavier divisions (the way Duran did before fighting Leonard or the way Trinidad did before taking on Hopkins). Since Pacquiao only recently proved that he was world class at lightweight and has never fought at 140 or 147 pounds I?m not that interested in seeing him fight De La Hoya.

Having said that, I?m not entirely convinced that ?Lil Manny will get crushed by the Golden Promoter.

It?s interesting that the historic examples you provided to illustrate the hopelessness of Pacquiao?s challenge were fights that were won by the little guys! Spinks and Jones ? two big middleweights who were the reigning light heavyweight champs when they challenged the heavyweight title holders ? out-pointed their bigger foes using superior speed and reflexes (in RJ?s case) or activity and movement (in the Jinx?s case).

More than a few trainers that I respect believe Pacquiao can do to De La Hoya what Jones did to Ruiz (and one of them, Rudy Hernandez, actually used the Jones-Ruiz fight as an example).

Anyway, you posed a good question: ?What kind of credit do you get for beating someone smaller than you??

More than you would expect. One of the late middleweight great Carlos Monzon?s most notable wins came against Jose Napoles, the reigning welterweight champ at the time (1974), who began his career at featherweight. One of Marvin Hagler?s biggest victories came against Roberto Duran, who began his career at 119 pounds. One of hall-of-fame heavyweight Max Schmeling?s best wins was his stoppage of Mickey Walker, who began his career a 140 pounds. I?ve got more examples, but I think I?ll save that history lesson for a future column if De La Hoya-Pacquiao is made.

TAVORIS CLOUD

Hey man, what's your opinion of Tavoris Cloud? I caught the end of the ESPN fight, and he looked pretty good... but then again, he was fighting an older guy that had slowed and was right in front of him. I always respect your opinion... so what's the scoop on him? I hope he has lots of upside as he could be fun to watch, and bring some intrigue into the LT-Heavys. ? Brandon D. McMorries, Tarzan, Texas

I've been high on Tavoris for quite some time now, more than a year, so I was happy to watch him dominate his breakout fight vs. Julio Gonzalez on national television (ESPN2).

I always thought he had a bright future in the sport; but the power, poise and endurance he showed against Gonzalez let me know that he can be a bona fide contender and maybe a major title holder.

MOSLEY GETS TOO MUCH CREDIT

Dougie,
You are giving Mosley too much credit, I think his best days are clearly behind him, and I really don't think he is or was that great looking back in hindsight. Sure, he was a phenomenal talent/gym fighter, but if you really want to be honest who did he ever beat above 135? His whole career was based on beating one guy, who looking back everybody agrees was never really that great (as far as a fighter) De La Hoya. When has Shane looked good against world class opposition above 135 against any fighter but De La Hoya? He beat DLH, fought a series of lesser fighters, looked great, ran into Vernon got his ass handed to him and has never been the same. Since Vernon when has he even looked good? Against Vargas? Please don't say that Vargas was on less then fumes at the time. How about how he struggled mightily when he went back down to welterweight with the two guys he fought there when he first went back, one was chopped down by Berto in a couple of rounds and Mosley struggled with the guy, the same dude was also KTFO by Cintron.

Anyway, I like Shane as a fighter, always have, but like DLH, I don't think he is really great. He is a very good fighter who took on all comers, except Margarito I guess. But when you talk about the way he would fight Margarito and how he is in the top 4 etc., I think you might be remembering what he was and not what he is. Even against Callazo I didn't think he looked great, yeah he beat him on output, but that was about it.

Shane is no longer that speed demon, dynamo of a fighter that we saw against DLH and lesser fighters 10 years ago. He is what he is now. I thought that he would stop Cotto because he was so much faster and was a finisher if he got Cotto hurt, but he clearly showed me in that fight that he was confused and just couldn't pull the trigger like he wanted and he has been like that for years, since Vernon, and his elusiveness is not there at all, his foot speed is not there, Cotto was there for the taking in the second half of the fight and Mosley couldn't or wouldn't close the gap. From ringside it was so frustrating because Cotto was clearly ready and Mosley just treated those last rounds like a calm sparring session. ? JB

I thought Mosley fought admirably in the final rounds vs. Cotto considering the pounding his body took in the first seven rounds. He fought a younger world-class boxer on the fresher fighter?s terms in the first half of the bout, made adjustments at the start of the late rounds and finished strong down the stretch. Mosley?s showings vs. Collazo and Cotto last year were amazing for a 36-year-old veteran especially when you consider the amount of wear and tear on his body. Don?t forget that Mosley has been a competitive boxer for 30 years, and he?s never been one to take things easy in the gym.

I suppose if you only give Mosley credit for his victories, his accomplishments have been a little overrated; however, if you take an old-school approach to his career (as I do) and look at WHO HE?S FOUGHT, I think you have to give the man his props for his willingness to fight everyone out there and for the effort he brought to all of his fights.

He didn?t have to fight Vernon Forrest or Winky Wright when he did. Mosley was on top of the world before both fights but he had no problem defending his recognized ?World? title vs. two difficult stylists who were avoided by most world-class fighters and viewed as mere ?title holders? by the media. And despite getting whupped in both fights he insisted on taking immediate rematches.

Say what you will about Mosley?s record and recent performances, JB, but you have to admit that the man is a real fighter.

And while I admit that he isn?t an ?all-time great?, I view him as a first-ballot hall of famer. He?s fought at least four future hall-of-fame inductees, maybe five or six. And what fans need to keep in mind is that most of his big fights above 135 pounds came against champs who were in their primes.

De La Hoya, a ?92 Olympic gold medalist and multi-division title holder, was 32-1 when he first fought Shane (and Goldie?s one loss was a controversial one). Forrest, a ?92 Olympian and welterweight title holder, was 33-0 when he first fought Shane. Wright, a two-time 154-pound titlist, was 46-3 when Shane first fought him (and those three losses were either close or controversial). Cotto, a welterweight titlist, was 30-0 when Shane fought him. That?s damn good opposition.

I believe Mosley was the best lightweight that I ever covered although he never proved it by fighting amateur rival Steve Johnston. He?s not the best welterweight I?ve ever covered but he?s up there. I think the best welterweight I?ve seen live was Felix Trinidad, who very narrowly beat De La Hoya, who was beat by Mosley. And although Sugar Shane did not defend against any world-beaters during his welterweight title reign, his showing vs. Antonio Diaz was breathtaking. Tono, 35-2 at the time, was in his prime and was dominated en route to a sixth-round TKO. The same Diaz was competitive with Margarito and lasted into the 10th round.

I don?t put much stock into his victories over Vargas, who I agree was faded (and absolutely weight drained for the rematch), but I give him credit for beating Collazo (who many thought deserved the nod vs. Ricky Hatton) and for being very competitive with Cotto.

CLOUD, THE PUNISIHER & 'THE EXAMINER'

What's up dude? Tavoris Cloud was impressive but like Shannan Briggs, I'd like to see more head movement. Gonzalez' chin is as hard as Captain America's shield and I thought that Cloud would wear himself out going berserker on it like some southern version of Wolverine. Looking forward to seeing him again. Maybe against a better skilled boxer this time. Someone that will make him think more. Gonzalez is good for testing your balls and stamina but you don't have to break out the physics books in there against him.

Ay dawg, I ain't trying to see Oscar face Manny Pacman. That's some ho s__t! Just keepin it real bruh!

Is there even a slight chance that a rematch is going to happen with The Punisher and the Tornado? Sometimes boxing gets it so wrong that it makes me want to watch NASCAR until I actually do watch it and find out that it's some bulls__t and pick the gloves back up. Arum needs to work on this one because it's the one the fans want to see. Clottey is cool but he needs to wait so that the two best guys can swap leather one more time.

I actually think that Hard Nard will be better served against a guy like Pavlik than he would against a guy that just bum rushes him. Pavlik is a pressure fighter and he throws a lot of shots but he doesn't move his feet that fast. Hops should be able to look reasonably good against him but I'm not making a pick yet. Personally I think he should have retired after Tarver because he's looked more and more like The Examiner than the Executioner. Holla Back! ? Fleetwood the Pimp

Hopkins should test Pavlik in ways the middleweight champ?s previous 33 opponents have not been able to. He?ll bring more skill and savvy than anyone the Ghost has fought but as we all know it won?t be pretty or very entertaining to watch.

I think Margarito and Williams will definitely do it again sometime next year. I?m confident about this because there?s nobody else for them to fight. Aside from Clottey, and maybe Luis Collazo, there?s no top-10 welterweight who?s going to be ready (or willing) to face either man later this year (unless Mosley beats Mayorga). And if Margarito fights Clottey in November and beats the Ghanaian again there?s nobody left for him to fight at 147 pounds but Mosley and The Punisher. I don?t think there?s anybody with a big name at 154 pounds or even 160 pounds (expect for Pavlik, who will probably settle in at super middleweight if he beats Oldman Nard) to take on either giant welterweight, so how are they going to make any real money if they don?t eventually fight each other?

Regarding De La Hoya-Pacquiao, wasn?t it P.T. Barnum who once said that ?there?s a ?ho? born every minute?? Oh wait a minute, that was you!

I agree with your analysis of Tavoris Cloud (and you get extra credit for the comic book analogies). A good boxer who could provide Cloud a stylistic challenge is Brooklyn?s Shaun George. That matchup sounds like a natural for an ESPN2 or ShoBox main event, don?t you think?

CLOUD, BRELAND & THE OLYMPIANS

What's up Doug E Fresh, had to drop some thoughts on this the few things going on in boxing?s annual month off.

Tavoris Cloud reminds me a little of Jeff Lacy before Calzaghe in that every punch he throws is a bomb and they both like body builders. Both are also short for their division. I'd give Cloud a chance against Dawson because of Bad Chad's shaky chin, but as much as I hate Tarver I would favor him to outbox the young man from Tallahassee. Everyone says light heavy is deep, which it is, but everyone at the top, Hopkins, Calzaghe, Jones just want big money fights and won't go near someone with no cred like Cloud, but it's always great to have a young exciting contender, in any division. The fight should have been stopped around the 7th, but damn what a chin on Gonzalez.

The Olympic boxing scoring system is one of the dumbest ways to judge a winner that I've ever seen. The judges just ignore good punches, and reward crappy ones. Is this how every amateur fight is scored? I hope not. I loved John Scully's article on Mark Breland. I never knew he stopped 70 opponents in the amateurs! That's crazy, and so is the fact that he only lost once, considering how corrupt, amateur and pro, boxing is.

Hopefully this year the U.S. can win some medals. I think Demetrius Andrade has a great chance, and I'm really rooting for Deontay Wilder, who had to quit college to support his sick daughter. We could also use a good American heavyweight prospect. Go U.S.A! ? Alex

Andrade is the only U.S. Olympian I?ve seen box prior to the Beijing Games, but from what I?ve seen the 152-pound lefty is a stud. I think he?s got the skills, talent and experience to not only win an Olympic medal but make a promising run in the pro ranks.

I love editing Scully?s stories about the amateur ranks because I always learn something. Breland is without a doubt an amateur boxing legend. Did you get a look at some of the highlights of his gold-medal run in the ?84 Olympic Games on Friday Night Fights last week? Once upon a time, international amateur bouts were entertaining, especially when super talents like Breland were in the ring.

Cloud is similar to Lacy in terms of his style and ring mentality, but he didn?t have extended amateur career that Left Hook had and thus has been moved slower as a pro (which I think is a good thing). Despite his lack of amateur experience, I actually think Cloud is a little more polished than Lacy in terms of his technique and I think he?s got more speed than the former super middleweight titlist.

If I was part of Cloud?s management I wouldn?t rush him into fights with Dawson, Tarver, or Johnson until the middle of next year (at the earliest). He?s young and he?s still learning; time is on his side.

MARGARITO VS. TBA

What's up Steve and Doug,
Doug, this one is for the mailbag and for Steve.

Steve, that was a strange interview with Margarito. He actually seems like he does not want to fight Williams.

1. He needs to wake up, de la Fishnet is not going to fight him.
2. 4 million is nothing to sneeze at!
3. Williams beat Margarito, the Quintana argument was weak!
4. Tony has loses on his record, just because A loses to B has nothing to do with C
5. Tony is saying that he already beat Clottey, yet Paul beat him, so how can you use the "I beat him" rationale one way and not the other.

In my opinion both Margarito-Clottey and Margarito-Williams were close fights, none of these fighters got blown out the water.

6. There are not many people to dance with. Even if Tony fought Mosley I doubt he would make 4 million.

I have the feeling he does not want to fight Williams because he wants to hold on to that status he just earned. Tony and his people know that at the least Williams is a difficult fight, and you better believe Arum knows it (Bob?s excuses are even weaker). I don?t blame Tony for that, but come on with the excuses. Just go ahead and say that you want to try to make as much money as you can fighting people who you feel you can beat. Maximum reward for minimum risk, that sounds like a de la Hoya fight to me.

I?m happy for Tony, but in that interview he sounded like all the cats who were avoiding him. I half expected him to say ?Who has Williams beat?? Well, he did say that in so many words. The only problem is, Williams beat Margarito. If Tony had shown up for round 12 he would have held onto his belt back then. Peace. ? Steve

Well, even after a very slow start and after giving up the 12th round I still thought Margarito won the Williams fight seven rounds to five, as did Kim and the L.A. Times? Bill Dwyre. (Yahoo?s Kevin Iole had the ?TJ Twista? winning eight rounds, while the L.A. Times? Steve Springer, the New York Daily News? Tim Smith, TheSweetScience.com?s David Avila and FightNews.com?s Francisco Salazar scored the brisk 12 rounder a draw).

Regardless, I agree that a rematch between Margarito and Williams is THE most significant fight to be made in the welterweight division.

I think Margarito can make $4 million fighting Mosley, but that doesn?t mean he shouldn?t face Williams sometime next year.

I agree that it?s pointless to call out De La Hoya, but what the hell, everyone calls Goldie out; what?s Margarito got to lose?

I also agree that Margarito-Clottey was close, which is why, if the Ghanaian is healthy, I wouldn?t mind seeing a rematch later this year (but I want to see the doctor?s report on his injured bicep if the match is made).

It seems like Margarito is getting on your nerves because he hasn?t immediately called out Williams in his post-Cotto interviews or actively campaigned for a rematch, but if he beats Clottey this November, you can?t say that he?s been taking ?easy fights? and you have to admit that he?s a front-runner for 2008 Fighter of the Year. Beating Cintron, Cotto and Clottey all in the same year is pretty damn impressive. Sure, beating Cintron, Cotto and Williams would be more impressive, but I think the rematch between the Tornado and the Punisher can be built up into something special (and don?t think for a minute that Bob Arum doesn?t realize this ? he saw 8,000 Margarito fans pack the Home Depot Center?s tennis arena, last summer, so he knows if promoted right the rematch could potentially fill the Staples Center).

What Williams (and Dan and Al) should NOT do is wait around for Arum to say ?yes? to the rematch. They should keep the offer out there (and in the media) but also stay busy and keep winning in order to build interest beyond guys like you and I.

WILLIAMS-COTTO

Hey Dougie,
I love the site; you and the K9 Kim are great. What do you think of a Miguel Cotto Vs Paul Williams fight for early 2009? I know everyone thinks that Miguel Cotto should fight an easier opponent but I honestly think Cotto could win this fight. ? Sergio, San Jose, CA

Maybe Cotto can win the bout (I would have viewed it as even money before the Margarito fight), but I don?t think it?s the right fight for the Puerto Rican so soon after a grueling, punishing loss. It would be a tremendous opportunity for Williams, but because of the circumstances it could be a very risky, no-win situation for the Punisher. If Williams wins folks could say that he beat damaged goods, that he just finished the job that Margarito started, and if he were to lose (which is certainly not inconceivable) he could kiss goodbye any hope of getting a rematch with the TJ Tornado.

SRR, THE BEST MIDDLEWEIGHT EVER?

Hi Dougie,
Help me settle a bet: is Sugar Ray Robinson the best middleweight of the last 60 years? I don't know Monzon too well, but I think at his 160-pound best, Robinson probably finds a way to beat Hagler seven times out of ten, and has an even easier time with Hopkins. ? Patrick

I don?t think any middleweight in history would have had an ?easy? time with the prime version of Hopkins (late ?99 through 2002). B-Hop is the best middleweight I?ve covered. Hagler?s the best middleweight I?ve seen fight live on TV.

I don?t know how many times Robinson would have beat Hagler if they were able to fight 10 times, but I think the middleweight version of Sugar Ray that fought from 1950 to mid-?52 (before he retired briefly following his debilitating loss to Joey Maxim) was the arguably the most TALENTED 160 pounder who ever laced on a pair of gloves. His record during that two-and-half year period was 31-2 (20), the two losses were a decision to Randy Turpin (which he avenged by stoppage in his next fight) and the classic 14th-round TKO (from heat exhaustion) to Maxim in a light heavyweight title bout (for which he weigh-in at 157 pounds).

During this time, Robinson forced a stoppage of Jake LaMotta (for the middleweight title in their sixth clash), he cold-cocked Rocky Graziano in three rounds, he beat Bobo Olson (twice, once by late stoppage), and he blasted George Costner in one round. When he was focused at this time he may have been unbeatable. However, he was never the same after his two-and-half year hiatus from the sport. While he showed flashes of his former brilliance by scoring two- and four-round KOs of Olson and his classic one-punch KO of Gene Fullmer, he also exhibited flashes of mediocrity (by his standards) by getting out-worked by Ralph ?Tiger? Jones and struggling with Rocky Castellani. The post ?52 middleweight version of Robinson was obviously beatable.

Robinson is my choice as the best middleweight ever, but I think arguments can be made for Carlos Monzon (I?ve got all of his title fights on tape and I can?t imagine anyone in history having an easy time with him), Harry Greb, and of course, the Marvelous One, Mr. Hagler. Middleweight greats that I feel are underrated include Dick Tiger, Nino Benvenuti, Tiger Flowers, and Tony Zale.

You might want to take a look at the early careers of both Ezzard Charles and Billy Conn, who both campaigned at 160 pounds before maturing into awesome light heavyweights. As a young middleweight, Charles beat Teddy Yarosz and Charley Burley (twice). A young Conn also beat Yarosz, as well as Solly Krieger and Young Corbett III (all three vets were former title holders).

NOT A HOPKINS FAN

Hey Dougie! First off, gotta say I'm not and never have been a fan of Bernard Hopkins as a fighter or as a person. His fights are boring and he never stops talking about himself. I do have a ton of respect for what he's accomplished in the game of boxing. I don't think that he's been as great as he claims he is but he's earned the right to express himself which he does very well.

Now I just watched the Pavlik-Hopkins interviews on your site and found it funny that now Bernard seems to think that only him and Brett Favre are the only 2 athletes in their 40's to accomplish great things at their age. Well someone should've mentioned to him that Brett Favre was born on 10/10/69 which if my math is correct that makes him only 38. Good one Bernard, do some research first. He says that there's no one else in their 40's to make some big things happen well what about a guy in his own sport by the name of James Toney? Yeah, laugh if you want but if James stays in shape and gets a shot at Vladdy and beats him ya'll won't be laughing. James will be 40 in a few weeks. And James has never ducked anyone and never taken a step backwards against a lot more dangerous men than Hopkins has. By the way, James is pretty much my favorite fighter of all time so everything I write has some bias. But bottom line, James Toney is a bigger badass than
Hopkins has ever been in the boxing ring. ? Justin

Well, literally speaking Toney is a MUCH bigger (and fatter) badass than Hopkins, but that?s only because Nard is more disciplined than Lights Out (who is also one of my all-time favorite fighters). Figuratively speaking, it?s hard to tell which fighter is more of a badass. Both men are among the toughest boxers I?ve ever covered.

I also think both veterans are first-ballot hall of famers who could have competed in any era. I would have loved to have seen them fight at 160 pounds, and I have no idea who would have won that fight.

B-HOP VS. K-PAV & ASICS

I can?t believe Hopkins is actually gonna fight Pavlik, I was sure it would end up getting cancelled or something.

I like Hopkins a lot but even I?m starting to get tired of him. I think it?s gonna play out exactly like you said, Pavlik by dec but Hopkins will do enough to bitch about it.

Doug, I have a question that I?m almost embarrassed to ask about so I?m gonna ask you because u can?t laugh in my face!

Do you know if boxing shoes are mandatory in pro competition? If a boxer wanted to wear some other sort of shoes, like running shoes or something, could he?

Lately I been sparring with Asics runners and man, I like them better than boxing shoes. ? Steve

I?ve seen a few boxers fight in non-traditional shoes but the only times this happened was when the fighter either lost or had his boxing shoes stolen (which is what happened to Tony Thompson before his snoozer with Timor Ibragimov and ?the Tiger? had to borrow a pair of sneakers from a guy in the audience), or after he cleared it with the commission (as I recall a Japanese cruiserweight prospect did when he wanted to wear some strange sock-like foot gear during a bout televised on USA?s Tuesday Night Fights many moons ago).

Anyway, if your boxing style is anything like Floyd May-runner?s I guess Asics are appropriate. (There, I snuck in my obligatory Mayweather stab ? kiss my half-breed ass, Joe Minnifield!)

Now that I think of it, Asics might be the right shoe for Hopkins this October.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Doug Fischer.


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