Michael Koncz on Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao: "If the fans still want to see this fight, we're willing to do it."
Dougie's Friday mailbag
Readers comment on the recent Gym Notes column on Andre Berto, the proposed alternative fights to a Mayweather-Pacquiao showdown, Roy Jones Jr.'s legacy, and much more in this week's Friday mailbag.
Thanks for the article on Andre Berto. It gives me a whole new perspective on him. I've never liked him much mostly because of his easy fights thanks to Al Haymon (I generally root against most of his stable, Chris Arreola being the exception). I do this knowing this is no fault of the fighters who have to make a living in a cruel sport, but I'm a fan and wanna see blood and guts you get in good fights regardless of the repercussions these guys suffer! As you can see in my tangent I'm conflicted, but I digress. Once again thanks for the Gym Notes (keep ‘em coming). I'll probably be rooting for Berto on 2/11 because of them. – Jessie
If I can get an admitted Al Haymon hater to root for one of the incognito manager’s fighters, I must be doing something right.
I haven’t spent much time with Berto or his family or in his camp, but my gut tells me that he and his crew are good people. I don’t have a favorite in the rematch – I just want another badass fight – but if he pulls it off, I’ll be happy for him.
I will keep the Gym Notes coming. Next week: Eloy Perez, who challenges Haymon-managed WBO 130-pound beltholder Adrien Broner on Feb. 25.
I watched Perez spar eight rounds (with Mike Dallas Jr. and Stan Martyniouk) in Hayward, Calif., on MLK Day. I’ll tell you how the underrated underdog looked in that column.
WHO NEEDS MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO?
Ok, you tell me if boxing NEEDS a Mayweather-Pacquiao fight. Of course a Pac vs Money fight is amazing. However, Pacquiao-Bradley and Marquez-Peterson are the next more formidable match-ups out there. I do believe Bradley can give Pacquiao all the Filipino can handle. What you think about the styles clash? Cause I've come to believe Bradley is the modern B-Hop, not flashy but finds a way to win, all about the ‘W’ baby! Marquez-Peterson? Really this is such a complicated match of styles that I would not venture on making any prediction. What do you think about this encounter between experience and smartness vs youth and determination? I know man, this is hot waters. The best part is that we can add a Cotto-Money fight and then winners face winners and losers vs losers. Oh please, there's not going to be losers here. Does all this sound too optimistic? – D.A., Oakland, CA
It does. Bradley could turn the Pacquiao fight into a stinker (win or lose) and Marquez could get beat up by the younger, bigger, stronger, and technically sound Peterson. But there’s nothing wrong with a little optimism. Boxing needs it. Bradley and Pacquiao could go at it like pitbulls, and Marquez-Peterson could be every bit as heated as JMM’s first fight with Juan Diaz or his war with Michael Katsidis, maybe even better.
My guess is that Pacquiao-Bradley will be a competitive and intense but not terribly exciting fight (and I think headbutts will mar a lot of the action). I think Marquez-Peterson will be a fight of the year candidate. I give the edge to Peterson.
Mayweather vs. Cotto intrigues me if it takes place at 154 pounds.
CAN’T WAIT FOR FEBRUARY
This has been the slowest period of boxing I remember for some time. The NBC show was pretty good as well as the Showtime card. Although the Showtime card had a meaningful bout I was excited for, it was the snoozefest I was afraid would happen. So with the last week of fights I’m not absolutely stoked for, I’m excited for next month. We will finally be able to talk about something other than the mega-super-duper-biggest-most important-ridiculous-lots of money fight "negotiations."
Since this is the last week of having not much else to discuss, I’ll put my two cents in. I love the alternatives for the two. Mayweather-Cotto at 154 sounds great. Likely won't happen because Floyd will want a catchweight. I love Pacquiao against Peterson or Bradley. I think Bradley has the better chance of winning by quite a bit, but Peterson will still give a good fight. I like those two fights more than May-Pac because I think the competition level will be a lot closer.
Bob Arum is a jerk. I know he's afraid of Pacquiao's stock going down after officially losing to Mayweather. I know he wants to make as much money as possible. But sometimes you can give a little to give the world something. He has the power to make the entire world happy and he won't over money. That is called greed. He has plenty of it. He doesn't need any more if it means making people happy.
Done with that subject looking forward to Arum's other cash cow Chavez and Donaire. Great match ups. – Boxing Fan
Yeah, I’m looking forward to the HBO show next Saturday. I think Donaire is an elite boxer, but if he wants to prove that he’s a star-in-the-making, he’s got to beat Vazquez Jr., who is very solid and confident, in decisive fashion. No excuses like he had after the Narvaez fight.
Chavez is going to be in with an experienced puncher with underrated skill and ring generalship. Steve Kim of MaxBoxing thinks Rubio will pull off the upset. I’m not so sure about that, but I want to see how Junior handles his countryman.
Regarding Arum, I think greed is a big part of it, but you can toss pride into that equation, too.
Of all the possible matchups for Pacquiao (outside of you know who), I think Bradley is most deserving, but I’d rather see him fight Peterson because I know that matchup would produce more action.
SOLD ON BERTO?
What's up with all of the Berto love? I'm just saying, how come we've never seen anything like what you witnessed in the ring with an opponent not looking for a soft spot to sleep? -- JCB
LOL. Hey, I’m just recognizing that the guy was cracking on them mitts. I don’t think I’ve developed a man-crush on the brotha.
I don’t think Freddy Hernandez, who Berto blew out in one round, was looking for a soft spot on the canvas. I know Hernandes is no world beater, but the tough Mexican fringe contender had never been down or out before (and he legitimately beat Luis Collazo – who gave Berto fits – in his very next fight). So, it’s not like Berto doesn’t flash real power in his fights.
But I know what you’re asking. You wonder where the “gym power” goes on a regular basis during his fights. Sometimes it seems like Berto is just an above-average puncher during his fights. Three things come to mind:
1. The mitts don’t hit back, so he can load up with every shot without worrying about any pay back.
2. He’s a lot heavier than welterweight during his camps, so naturally, he’s stronger and he’s got better stamina in the gym. It takes considerable energy and effort for Berto to make 147 pounds.
3. It’s not like he’s Joe Louis when it comes to punching technique. That compact frame of his helps him explode from odd angles, but he doesn’t always pivot, or moveshis hips with his shots. He doesn’t always turn his punches over, either. So while he puts a lot of effort into his punches, he’s not always getting maximum torque and leverage with his shots.
Still, he obviously hits hard enough to drop Ortiz. Berto’s trainer Tony Morgan is very confident that his fighter will put Victor down and keep him down this time. We’ll see.
Hello Mr. Fischer,
Great report on Andre Berto's camp. With the descriptions and the quotes, you really painted a clear picture with words.
I live in Berlin, Germany, where there isn't much coverage of boxers outside of the country. Your website helps fill my appetite for the Sweet Science.
One question, your article states Berto is training at the Ten Goose gym in Van Nuys. I used to live in LA, I trained at the LB4LB Gym, owned by Terry Claybon. I'll never forget that gym. Terry had us working hard! The pics of Berto looks like he's at the LB4LB gym. Is Berto using two gyms for his training camp?
Thanks for your dedication to boxing journalism. I appreciate your talent, reporting, and opinions. Sincerely. – TJ
Thanks for the kind words, TJ.
The photos (taken by Craig Bennett) that I used in my Gym Notes were indeed taken at both gyms. Berto has done most of his training at Ten Goose, where I observed his mitt session and interviewed him; but some of his conditioning took place at Claybon’s LB4LB gym. The pics with Berto in a sleeveless red T-shirt (hitting the heavy bag and jumping rope) were taken at LB4LB. The pics with Berto in a white tanktop (and the one of him on the homepage without a shirt) were taken at Ten Goose (as was the pic of Berto’s sister, father and brother).
You have good eyes! (I betcha Terry used to tell you that all the time when he worked you on the mitts.)
Hi Doug. Did you get a chance to read the recent article by Ivan Goldman where he trashes you and Michael Rosenthal? He calls Ringtv.com "an unabashed Golden Boy propaganda sheet." I won't link to it, but I responded and lit him up. You probably won't like/agree with what I said to him because you're much nicer and more respectful than I am, but he needed to hear it. I don't agree with everything you or Michael say, but you are two of the most unbiased writers in the boxing media, and Goldman seems really angry that you didn't do the "noble" thing and quit your job and give up your source of income because HE got s__t-canned. I've read his writing for over 10 years, and he always seemed like a smarmy p___k anyway. Take care and keep up the good work. – Jim
Thanks Jim. However, while I appreciate that you (and others) stuck up for Michael and I, I don’t want anyone to curse out Goldman (or the other former RING staff) on our behalf. I don’t want Goldman to accuse me or Michael of directing “misguided fans” to attack him.
I read Goldman's article on the Columbia Journalism Review site (I have no problem linking to it). To be honest, it read just like one of his typical, vicious, unfocused rants. This was one was longer and more spiteful than usual, but Goldman is understandably angry and frustrated.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with Goldman or anyone else taking shtos at Golden Boy Promotions or THE RING or RingTV.com or at me. All I ask is that they back their criticism and allegations up with facts.
Don’t just bark that RingTV.com is a "an unabashed Golden Boy propaganda sheet." Give us some damn examples beyond the homepage having a Fight Night Club button on the navagational bar.
Don’t complain that we only write about Golden Boy-promoted fighters. Tell us who we AREN’T writing about. Give us examples of major fights or boxers who fight under other promotional banners that we routinely ignore. I bet you I’ll be able to come back with more examples of our complete, unbiased daily and weekly coverage than they can show otherwise.
And don’t give me this BS that we rank too many Golden Boy-promoted fighters. Tell me WHY they don’t deserve their ranking, and then tell me WHO should be ranked in place of or ahead of them. If you can’t do this (and I know Goldman can’t – that dude barely follows the sport), you don’t need to be flapping your lips (and you certainly don’t need to be writing or blogging or tweeting) about what GBP shills we supposedly are.
ROY JONES JR.
Hope you’re doing fine today. I’m a casual fan who mostly watches boxing only if one of my fellow Filipinos is featured (especially if it’s Pacquiao or Donaire). I’m writing because I want to ask your opinion about Roy Jones Jr. I wasn’t able to watch any of his fight except the one where he placed his hands behind his back and KO’d his opponent. It was only a couple of years ago where I was able to see some video clips of him dominating his opponents in ways I have not seen in any boxer. With that said, here are my questions about the guy.
1. I see him on remixes on Youtube dominating his opponents, dancing in the ring, putting his hand behind his back and generally clowning around in the ring. Was he really that good or were those opponents really not any good?
2. During his prime, did he duck anyone notable? Who do you think he was most scared of to fight?
3. Did he ever have a main event fight where he was the underdog that he was able to win? How about a fight where he was losing but was able to win in the end?
4. If they fought in their prime, would he win against Pacquiao? How about Mayweather?
Thanks for your time Doug and more power to you. – Allan
Thanks for wishing “more power to me,” Allan. I can always use more power. I ain’t no Andre Berto.
I’ll answer your Roy Jones Jr. questions in order:
1. Jones was that good, and some of the opponents he clowned were world-class (such as Jorge Castro and Sugar Boy Malinga) – one (James Toney) was considered “elite” at the time of their fight – but most of them were mid-level fighters.
2. I don’t know if Jones was scared to fight anyone in particular. I do know that he was reluctant to travel overseas and he wouldn’t fight anyone of note unless he received the lion share of the money and was also the co-promoter of the bout. Jones had to control EVERYTHING (remind you somebody?). This attitude prevented more than a few intriguing matchups from taking place. I was a big Jones fan in the early-to-mid 1990s, but I grew tired of him by 2000 because I wasn’t interested in who he was fighting. I would have loved to see him fight Gerald McClellan and John David Jackson at middleweight (all three won 160-pound belts in 1993); amateur rival Frankie Liles and British stars Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank at super middleweight; Dariusz Michalczewski, Michael Nunn and Graciano Rocchigiani at light heavyweight; and Vassiliy Jirov at cruiserweight.
3. I’m not 100% sure, but I think he might have been a slight underdog vs. Toney. He had to dig deep to edge Antonio Tarver on points in their fight (which is why that particular fight was his best victory, in my opinion. I scored it a draw, by the way).
4. Jones would literally kill both Pacquiao and Mayweather. He was a natural middleweight/super middleweight in his prime. Lightweight or junior welter is probably the prime weights for both Manny and Floyd.
WHAT ABOUT VICTOR?
I'm a long time reader here. I am just writing to ask if you're going to make it to Victor Ortiz' training camp for a Gym Notes article? Like a lot of fans I'm looking forward to this rematch and would enjoy the breakdown. I just noticed at the bottom of the Berto piece that you now have a twitter account. When did you cave to the pressure? Anyway, thanks for your hard work, it's appreciated. – Marty
I’ve had a Twitter account for some time now, more than a year (and I still haven’t made more than 600 tweets). I’ll try not to be obnoxious with it. I figure it’s a good way to stay in touch with boxing fans outside of my role as RingTV.com editor.
Regarding my man Victor, I had a visit to his camp in Ventura, Calif., set up this past Saturday (if you followed me on Twitter, you would have known that). However, my dumb ass couldn’t find his gym (something I was too embarrassed to tweet at the time). I don’t know if I can reschedule anything before his media day, but I’ll try.
Thanks for the appreciation.
Email Doug Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer