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Dougie?s MASSIVE Monday Mail Bag


PhilBoxing.com


Read on for fan feedback on Calderon-Cazares II, Katsidis-Diaz, De La Hoya-Pacquiao, the lightweight division, and much more in this week?s MMMB. Enjoy!

THE LIGHTWEIGHTS

de la hoya only loses to p4p #1's, i guess pacman has a shot. katsidis's talent is being cashed out in a unnecessary bout with diaz that isn't for a title. boxingtalk has an interview with edwin valero and you dont, wtf? ? matt in canada

Valero may be ?my son? but I don?t own the impish-looking KO Artist. I like seeing stories about Valero in other boxing publications and on other websites because I want as many boxing fans to know about him and his personality as possible. I enjoyed reading Valero?s Q&A on BoxingTalk this past weekend.

However, although Valero belongs to the boxing world, MaxBoxing is still his ?home?. I?ll have a story on the ?V-nom?, plus exclusive video, late this month.

I don?t think Katsidis is being ?cashed out?. He?s fighting a fellow top contender (thereby earning his way back to a title shot) in the U.S. on national TV and he?s making a pretty decent chunk of change for his efforts. I?d say he?s living out his dream, Matt.

Katsidis wants this fight with Diaz just as much as the Baby Bull wants to face him, and the two gutsy and aggressive lightweights should make for one of the better fights of the year this Saturday. What?s ?unnecessary? about that?

If Katsidis should come up short and suffer the second loss of his career, I wouldn?t consider him to be ?finished?, especially if the bout was competitive and compelling (and we all know it will be). Why can?t fighters have a few losses on their records these days?

Regarding De La Hoya?s record vs. the no. 1 pound-for-pound players, you?re almost correct. He lost to both Mayweather and Hopkins, but he got the nod (on the official scorecards, anyway) against Whitaker. I agree that Pacquiao has a shot.

CALDERON-CAZARES II

How's it going, Doug?
Did you get to see the Ivan Calderon- Hugo Cazares rematch this weekend, and if so, what is your take? I rarely get to see the lighter weight fighters on TV, so I guess I'll just have to Youtube it. But I feel as though real fight fans are being left out, because along with Calderon, it seems that there have been more noteworthy fighters in the Flyweight/Lt. Fly division in recent years (Donaire, Darchinyin, Naito, Viloria, etc.) Why don't the networks and promoters do more to bring more title unifications and movement between the divisions for the lighter weight fighters as they do the heavier weight classes? I know they don't draw as much money, but the main reason for that is probably because the promoters aren't doing enough to put compelling matchups together. Guys like Calderon are becoming distinguished champions, and it's such a waste that a matchup between he and a Nonito Donaire can't be made. Thanks for your time, please write back if
you get a chance. ? Kenneth, Columbus, OH

I had the pleasure of viewing Calderon-Cazares II from ringside as one of the commentators of the small pay-per-view show. My take from the six and half rounds of action is that 31 pro bouts (almost half of which were 12-rounders) and being 33 has not slowed Calderon down enough for a giant, aggressive athletic specimen like Cazares to catch him. I thought the accomplished Puerto Rican champ was at his defensive best this past Saturday night.

It?s a shame that the accidental clash of heads that ended the bout prematurely will likely keep Calderon out of the ring for the rest of this year, and it?s even more of a shame that classy little flyweights like him are not featured on basic and premium cable more often. Props must go out to Showtime for providing exposure for the sub-bantamweight likes of Darchinyan, Donaire, and Kirilov, but I agree with you that more networks need to give the little guys a chance (I?m thinking about HBO, ESPN and Versus). Heck, they?d save a lot of money showcasing the top 108- and 112-pounders and if they listened to the promoters they would probably get some excellent matchups. The little guys come cheap compared to the stars of the heavier weight classes and they are usually willing to fight the best of their divisions.

A Donaire-Calderon showdown could happen. Both champs are now promoted by Top Rank and both are in need of name opponents in order to get the kind of payday they feel they deserve.

Calderon acknowledges that he might have to step up to 112 pounds in order to get higher paydays and more recognition within the industry, so I wouldn?t be shocked if he made that move sometime next year and targeted either the unbeaten Argentine WBO title holder (Omar Narvaez) or Donaire (the IBF titlist). But first, I think Calderon?s co-promoter, Peter Rivera, would like to try and entice the newly minted WBO 105-pound titlist (The Philippines? Donnie Nietes, who retained his strawweight belt in impressive fashion this past Saturday) to come up in weight to challenge the Iron Boy.

CANADIAN BACON

What's up Doug?
So I watched the Molitor fight on Friday and was kind of impressed until I checked out Labarda's record. His previous foes were something like 101-174 (I think I even saw Steve Kim's name in there!) so here's the questions:

1) Does he hit hard enough to get any respect from the elite of the division? He looks to me like he doesn't always turn his punches over.

2) If he gets no respect is he slick enough to keep from getting his head Beavertail-ed by cats like Marquez and Vazquez?

Know what I'm sayin? ? JC

I know exactly what you?re sayin?, JC, and I think Molitor, a talented southpaw technician, is skilled enough to at least be competitive with the 122-pound division?s elite. On a good night, I think he could spring an upset over anyone in the division, and yes, that includes Vazquez and Marquez, who are both getting long in the tooth and may have used each other up in their classic trilogy.

I think the key to Molitor?s success would be to forget about trying to over-power any of the big guns of the divisions and instead make use of his ability to feint his opponents out of position, his hand speed, and his lateral movement. He doesn?t hit that hard, but that doesn?t mean he can?t get respect if he puts his punches together (and part of the reason he doesn?t score more knockouts is because he has chronically sore hands). Honestly, I think the time for Molitor to take on the best of the division is now. He?s 28, he?s made five defenses of his title, and he?s beaten quality contenders like Michael Hunter, Takalani Ndlovu, Fernando Beltran, and Ricardo Castillo, but if he doesn?t step up to the next level soon I think he?s in danger of ?dying on the vine? as they say in the business.

OSCAR AND THE PACMAN

So I guess after all that, Sergio Mora's left scratching his head and Manny gets to tangle with the Golden One. So now that it's official, I have a couple questions for you:

1) Did you hear about Roach allegedly offering to train Pacquiao for free because he was sure that he'd win? What do you make of that? Mind games, or does Roach see something that we don't?

2) Who do you like in this fight? I know it might sound like a stupid question, but suddenly (and I'm not sure why), 147 sounds a little smaller than it did a couple weeks ago.

For the record, I'm still taking De La Hoya, but I might go with him by a close unanimous or even a split contest if Manny's able to push the pace and swarm Oscar.

Not the greatest fight you could ask for, but I guess it's better than nothing. I'm planning to be out there for the scrap, are you and the Hammer planning to cover it? Take care. ? V

No, ?V?, we won?t be there. I?ll be volunteering my time at a soup kitchen and K9 will be working with deaf kids? come on, man! Of course, we?ll be there! We?re boxing writers, and we?ve got nothing better or more constructive to do, so we?ll be in Sin City for our sport?s biggest ?event? this year.

I agree it?s not the greatest matchup, but I?m happy to see the PacMan get his shot at the bigtime and I?d rather see this fight than the proposed De La Hoya-Mayweather rematch that thankfully dissolved.

Like everyone else, I heard about Roach?s ?offer? and I think part of it was mind games but it was also his confidence. He truly believes that Pacquiao can beat De La Hoya. What does he see that most of us don?t see? Who knows? Freddie knows Manny as though the Filipino superstar was his own son and he trained De La Hoya for a few months last year in preparation for the Maweather fight, so having worked the mitts with both men and having supervised them in numerous sparring sessions I have to figure that he knows what he?s talking about in terms of this matchup.

Last week Roach told me that Ivan Calderon, the 108-pound champ who defended his title in Bayamon this past Saturday, sparred with De La Hoya at the start of Goldie?s camp for Mayweather (which took place in Puerto Rico last year) and he said the diminutive but skilled Iron Boy did surprisingly well.

Since I was part of the broadcast team for Calderon?s rematch with Hugo Cazares, I asked the junior flyweight champ if Freddie?s sparring story was true during the fighter meetings. Calderon said it was true and he added that De La Hoya seemed to have a problem with quick and mobile southpaws.

I believe what both Roach and Calderon say about De La Hoya, so I think PacMan can and will be competitive, but my gut feeling is that De La Hoya will catch the little whirlwind with something hard (probably a hook) sooner or later that changes the complexion of the bout in favor of the bigger man.

FIGHT OF THE YEAR

Dougie,
If Manny Pacquiao beats DLH later this year, and Margarito beats J. Clottey this year as well, both w/o controversy and in entertaining bouts, who would u pick as fighter of the year? ? Bakari

Good question! I know the majority of my peers will go with the PacMonster, but my choice would be the Tijuana Tornado. Although Pacquiao will have defeated two first-ballot hall of famers, let?s not forget that both Juan Manuel Marquez and Oscar De La Hoya are in their mid-30s (and more than a few fans and writers thought JMM beat Manny earlier this year). I would be more impressed with Margarito?s three victories over formidable welterweight title holders who are still in their 20s and obviously at their physical peaks.

OBVIOUS HEADBUTT, GREENIE

Hey doug,
It was crystal clear how Calderon use his head to get out off the fight, he new the presure was going to be to much to avoid getting knock out. In your enterview with hugo you seem unbais, you look more to favor calderon then hugo when you enterviewed them. You could wipe that smile of you face when you were enterviewing calderon. I thought it was very un professional when you finished enterviewing Hugo saying and I quote " Its one man opinion" but it was the way you said it favoring calderon no matter what. I know i speak for a lot of people when i say that just because you cover boxing doesn't mean people(hardcore fan)like my self know just as much about boxing than the people covering it. i spend more time watching fight and analizing fights going to boxing gym to know i a thing or two about boxing. What happen saturday night was one fighter trying to make a fight(hugo) and another trying to run for his live(calderon), common sense tells me
that if run backwark( or almost running with you back to the other fighter) is going to dicult to hit. That's why people in their right mind know what fighting its all about and is not about running.

On another note, I can believe you are promoting the circus act between de la chinken an many paquiao. I know de la hoya is close to retirement but (what kind of excuse is that) to permit a liar like de la hoya to get away with fight a guy three time smaller than his is. So I guess is ok for Margarito tu fight some from 130 or 135 fight pounds and don't tell me that Margarito is in his prime because that would be a bunch of bulls......I sincerly hope the press doesn't show up the circus press conference. I very tire of de la hoya or fighter in general that say they are doing good for boxing and reality their are killing boxing.

(ps: You still look really green when comentating in live tv, you look highschoolish, almost like making an enterview about cafeteria food or something in that nature. Doug, don't get me wrong you have to get you pony tail wet first and eventually you'll get better. Hopefully will see you in place or with maxkeller on HBO. Oh more more thing, I thing the tie was to tight and the suit to big or the TV made it seem like that.....lol.) Take Doug. ? Mike

My tie always feels too tight (I?m not used to wearing one), but my jacket wasn?t too big, I just happen to have a barrel chest, Mike; don?t hate on me because my upper body is more muscular than yours.

I?d like to think that I?m gradually getting my ?ponytail wet? with Top Rank?s ?Latin Fury? series and with the international feeds on select events. ?Eventually get better? is all can do (although I?d like to point out that I?m not telling anybody that I?m a master broadcaster or the next Larry Merchant).

I could ridicule your grammar in this email, but I won?t in order to make a point. It?s obvious that English is not your first language and it should be obvious to you that live commentating is not my first career. I went to college (and grad school) for print journalism, not broadcast journalism. I?ve been a professional editor/writer for 15 years. I only began doing broadcast work last year. Calderon-Cazares II was my third live pay-per-view show, so yeah, I?m sure I came off as being a little ?green?. (As for appearing ?high schoolish?, that can?t be helped. I?m young looking. Again, don?t hate me because I have better skin than you.)

I could go into some of the technical difficulties that made Saturday?s live broadcast a challenge, but what?s the point? You won?t have any idea about what I?m talking about. Just trust me when I tell that this broadcasting s__t is harder than it looks.

Now let?s get to your perspective of the Calderon-Cazares rematch and my post-fight interviews. I think you?re out of your mind to believe that Calderon intentionally butted heads with Cazares in order to get out of the fight. I?ll give you four reasons why I think you?re a delusional fan:

First of all, Saturday?s matchup was between a southpaw and an ultra-aggressive switch-hitter, so if you?re as educated a fan as you claim to be you should know that with the manner in which Cazares constantly lunged in with every shot a clash of heads was a very present danger. Second, Cazares was just as ineffective with his aggression in this fight as he was in the first fight. Calderon wasn?t getting caught with anything remotely flush and he didn?t look like he was running out of gas, so why would he ?want out? as you accuse? Third, nothing in Calderon?s previous 31 pro bouts suggests that he?s a coward who can?t take pressure and seeks the easy way out of tough situations. If that were the case he never would have fought a big monster like Cazares in the first place. And fourth, getting cut in the manner in which he did prevents Calderon from fighting again this year, and thus, takes money out of his pocket (and the little man is
all about his money). You think he wants that!? His co-promoter Peter Rivera was hoping to put him on the proposed Margarito-headlined PPV show at the Honda Center in Anaheim on Nov. 1. Now, because of the cut to his forehead, he?ll have to sit out the rest of the year.

Calderon is a true champ and a very respectful human being. Why wouldn?t I give him respect in my post-fight interview? I was respectful of Cazares, too, even though he was being a sore loser and making spiteful accusations. I couldn?t help but crack a smile because of his ?f__k-you? attitude to the Puerto Rican fans, who lustily booed his words. When it was time to sign off I said his words were ?one man?s opinion? because I don?t want the whole world to think that all Mexicans are sore losers like you and the former champ.

If you don?t like the way I handled it that?s fine. The next time you see that I?m on a Latin Fury show just hit the mute button on your remote whenever you see my ?high-schoolish? face on the screen. And that same advice goes for the De La Hoya-Pacquiao fight. If you really think De La Hoya is ?killing boxing?, don?t support him and pass up on December?s pay-per-view show.

LATIN FURY 6

Terrific job last night, very entertaining broadcast. Have a great weekend. ? Bernie

Thank you, Bernie. I?m glad someone enjoyed the show.

For those who missed it, I?ll recap the two co-featured bouts.

Former flyweight titlist Eric Morel appeared to recapture his championship form by outclassing spoiler Heriberto Ruiz over 12 rounds. At 118 pounds, Morel is settling down on his punches more and I think he?d make for a stern challenge to any of the bantamweight title holders. I?d like to see him take on one of my favorite veterans, Gerry Penalosa (the WBO 118-pound titlist). And if he hasn?t earned the right to go straight to a title, then I?d like to see him in an eliminator vs. a veteran like Silence Mabuza or an up-and-comer like Yonnhy Perez.

Junior lightweight contender Rocky Martinez got up from the canvas to stop Santos Benavides in a six-round thriller. Martinez vs. Urbano Antillon would be as good as it gets. Both unbeaten young guns are ranked in the WBA?s top five. I think the winner of that match would earn the right to take on WBA champ Edwin Valero, if ?my son? decides to stay at 130 pounds.

QUICK JABS

Sup Dougie,
Hope all is well. Just have a few points I wanted to get across and I hope I make you're mailbag.

With all this DLH-Pacman drama, what do you think of Roach's negative comments toward Oscar? To me, it seems like sour grapes because Oscar left him to rejoin Floyd Sr. Roach also said he was worried about Israel Vasquez's health after Vasquez dumped him after the first Marquez fight.

I'm picking Hopkins and Jones to score upsets over Pavlik and Calzaghe. Despite Roach's concerns about "signs" he saw in the Calzaghe fight (lemme guess, Roach didn't get the assignment), Hopkins is still one of the craftiest fighters in the game and he has the tricks to stink out the show and eke out a win against a still green Pavlik. And while RJJ is gunshy, Calzaghe does not have the power to expose Jones and when was the last time Calzaghe fought someone faster than him?

I hope Mora sends Forrest into retirement. Forrest has always been a huge jerk and I don't understand all this talk about Forrest being "out of character" when he was acting like an ass leading up to their first fight. He behaves classless and arrogant in victories such as the Mosley and Quartey fights. He acted a fool with his rap entourage walking him into the ring against Mayorga only to get KTFO. He bitched about the decision in the rematch and stormed into his locker without giving an interview. And how can anyone forget the sucker punch he clocked Elco Garcia with?

With all this debate about whether the top lightweight is Campbell or Casamayor, have we ended up underrating Kid Diamond who's not in anyone's top 10 lightweights list? Diamond gave a fresher Casamayor one of the toughest fights in his career, rising from two knockdowns and rallying to a draw in a fight that could've gone either way. There's also no shame in losing to a dangerous fighter like Campbell in a fight you're expecting to be a tune-up. Diamond didnt have much of an amateur career and is still improving. I've never seen anyone beat down the crafty Augustus the way Diamond did. Yes, he had a bad night against Huerta, but every fighter has an off night. ? Will

I consider Almazbek Raiymkulov (AKA Kid Diamond, who by the way, had an extensive amateur career ? he represented Kyrgyzstan in the 2000 Olympic Games) to be a fringe contender right now, Will. He had a bad night against Miguel Huerta, but that was nothing compared to the night he suffered against Nate Campbell almost three years ago. Good Lord, what a beatdown that was. It?s taken Raiymkulov a long time to get his confidence back (and he still hasn?t regained the form he showed before Campbell) and in that time the best fighter he has faced was Huerta, who most folks believe he lost to.

Right now, I rank Joel Casamayor, Nate Campbell, Manny Pacquiao, Juan Diaz, Jose Santa Cruz, Michael Katsidis, David Diaz, Julio Diaz, Anthony Peterson, Ali Funeka, and Amir Khan ahead of Kid Diamond. That?s just the way it is; KD is in a deep division.

You make a good point about Forrest. I?ve heard from more than a few fans who have approached him outside of the ring ? in hopes of getting his autograph, or a picture with him or some time to chat ? that he?s a bit of a d__k. I think he has a decent reputation among many boxing writers because he?s generally a thoughtful interview.

There?s no doubt that Hopkins will pose stylistic problems for young Pavlik that none of his previous pro foes have. I wouldn?t be shocked if the old man found a way to win the fight, but I think Pavlik can simply out-work him down the stretch of a fight that I hope doesn?t totally suck. I don?t see Jones beating Calzaghe. He hasn?t shown me anything in his last six bouts (spanning four years) that would suggest that he has what it takes to solve the Calzaghe puzzle. I think Calzaghe has taken on the tougher opposition in recent years and I think he?s closer to his prime than Jones is. I think Welsh Wizard stops Jones by the late rounds.

Regarding Roach, yeah, I think some of what he?s said about De La Hoya recently is sour grapes. Boxing trainers have a lot of pride, especially those who were once professional fighters like Roach, and I?m sure Coach Freddie didn?t appreciate De La Hoya making comments like ?if I had Floyd Sr. in my corner, I would have beat Mayweather?. These days, trainers are all too often made the scapegoats by the fighters (and their management) after a loss. I think Roach is secure enough in his track record and his stature in the sport to fire back a little bit when he feels his former fighters are trying to blame him for their own shortcomings. I can?t say I blame him. After De La Hoya ran out of gas vs. Floyd and abandoned his left stick (which was working against the pipsqueak), he told Larry Merchant ?I guess it wasn?t the night of the jab?. What!? Was that Roach?s fault?


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


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