Michael Koncz on Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao: "If the fans still want to see this fight, we're willing to do it."
Dougie's Monday mailbag
Readers give their thoughts on Lazarte-Casimero, Lamont Peterson, Malik Scott, Tyson Fury, potential bouts such as Rios-Gamboa and Donaire-Arce, and a fight that never happened (Roy Jones Jr. vs. Steve Collins) in this week's Monday mailbag. Enjoy!
I am still laughing about your comment in the Friday mailbag that Luis Lazarte makes Carlos Baldomir look like Willie Pep! Anyway, you should watch the Lazarte-Johnriel Casimero fight in case you ever get a question about the 5 dirtiest bouts you’ve ever seen: there were many headbutts, rabbit punches, Lazarte even threatened the ref ("Do you want to get out of here alive?"), bit his opponent twice, tackled him three or four times, and, of course, the final riot.
Still, I understand now when you complain “message board” fans when I read comments that generalize all Argentine fans as thugs and declare that we should not have any more championship fights in Argentina.
Casimero was courageous and finished the fight pretty well. Lazarte announced the plans to retire (hopefully he does). – Nico, Argentina
Lazarte will not be missed. Argentine fans have MUCH better fighters to root for. Filipino fans might have a new player to cheer. I think hardcore fans of any background can get behind Casimero. The kid’s a road warrior. He fought Cesar Canchilla in Nicaragua, Raul Hirales in Mexico, Moruti Mthalane in South Africa and Lazarte in Argentina in recent bouts.
Casimero is fearless, and he probably earned a RING ranking with Saturday’s victory (Lazarte was the mag’s No. 4-rated junior flyweight) to go with the IBF’s “interim” title. I wouldn’t mind watching a rematch with Hirales on neutral ground, or a showdown with countryman (and WBO beltholder) Donnie Nietes.
Given time (at least a year), perhaps he could develop into worthy challenger for my favorite 108 pounder, Ramon Gonzalez.
Regarding the message board posters, all I can tell you is that they often comment from emotion and/or ignorance. They are justified in expressing outrage at the awful people who threw chairs, bottles and other debris into the ring on Saturday, but they are out of line when they damn an entire country.
That’s the first time I’ve seen or heard of a high-profile boxing match ending in a riot in Argentina. That same scene has happened countless times around boxing rings in the U.S., Mexico and the UK. Guess what? That ugly side of human behavior hasn’t prompted anyone to call for the sport to be banned in those nations and it certainly hasn’t prevented fighters from other countries from traveling there in search of opportunity.
Since discussing the big fights in May and June seems obligatory... I'm mildly curious to see Mayweather-Cotto, not enough to buy the fight, even with Mosley-Alvarez, but it could at least be competitive. If it is, it will be because Cotto commits to pressing Mayweather and takes a fair amount of punishment to do his own damage. That game plan is a recipe for at least an entertaining scrap. As for Pacquaio-Bradley, not interested even a little. If Bradley can establish his lead forehead, as he has every time I have seen him, Bob Arum will be talking about how Pac-Man needs until 2016 to heal for a potential Mayweather fight.
What I really wanted to talk about is Lamont Peterson, though, both the fight (which I am looking forward to) with Amir Khan, and what it says about the young man that he backed away from the Marquez fight, and an implicit promise of a fight with Pacquaio if he took it. I have to admit, I wasn't much of a Peterson fan before the first fight with Khan. Not that there was anything wrong with him, just thought his skill set was that of a solid contender who would lose the big fights by getting outclassed. The fight with Khan was a revelation. Say what you want about the reffing and the decision. I had Peterson winning by the two penalty points, so without them maybe a draw. But Peterson showed there was no quit in him.
But I'm a fan now, because the right thing to do was to go in with Khan again at a more neutral site. He did it. I'll be rooting for him. The kid is a class act, and we can only hope we get a fight of the caliber of the last one. If we do, I'll be completely on the Peterson bandwagon, win or lose.
How do you see the rematch? Oh, and word about Angelo Dundee, boxing lost a great one there, and he went out on his terms, going to see his guy Ali despite the risks of the travel. What is your favorite Dundee moment? – Steve in ND
My favorite Dundee moment is the same one that many fans my age hold dear, the “You’re blowin’ it, son” line late in Leonard-Hearns I.
I idolized Ali in the late ‘70s, but that was the first fight I remember anticipating, and I was worried sick about my new boxing hero, Sugar Ray. Roberto Duran, a fighter I’d never even heard of, showed me that Leonard was human the previous year. And Hearns looked unbeatable. I didn’t see the fight live. (To do that I would have needed to watch it in a closed circuit theater – and there weren’t any where I lived, Springfield, Mo. – or on HBO, which wasn’t part of our basic cable package.) I watched it on CBS (which featured my all-time favorite commentary duo, Tim Ryan and the late, great Gil Clancy), and I don’t recall the broadcast including between-rounds sound bites from either corner. I read about Dundee’s pep talk after the fight, and finally saw it on HBO much later.
But how can anyone who loves Sugar Ray not love that moment? As Leonard recently told our own Lem Satterfield: “Angelo said what needed to be said and he said it the way that it needed to be said.” And it was said at the right time in that bout to help inspire Leonard to take over a classic fight that he was losing.
I know exactly what you’re saying about Lamont Peterson. He’s the kind of fighter you have to root for. If you don’t, I have to question your love for boxing.
I’ve liked Peterson since he was a prospect (and often described as the less-exciting of the Peterson brothers). I became fan after the Tim Bradley fight, a one-sided bout on the official scorecards but I thought it was much closer and I KNOW Peterson acquitted himself like a champ over those 12 rounds.
I agree that he did the right thing by taking the Khan rematch, and I’m looking forward to covering the fight in Las Vegas on May 19. I thought Khan won the first bout, but it was close enough for me to have no problem with Peterson getting the nod. My birthday is the day after the rematch. I can’t think of a better boxing gift.
Unlike many of my boxing writer peers, I view Cotto-Mayweather as a competitive fight. And I respectfully disagree with your opinion that Cotto will have to assume a pressure-fighting style and absorb punishment in order to make the bout competitive.
I believe Cotto can be competitive by sticking to boxing basics, mainly the jab. I think he can give Mayweather trouble by counter punching and utilizing lateral movement in spots. Boxers generally aren’t comfortable against fellow boxers. Mayweather is no exception.
This is a funny line: “If Bradley can establish his lead forehead, as he has every time I have seen him, Bob Arum will be talking about how Pac-Man needs until 2016 to heal for a potential Mayweather fight.”
Most of my peers view Pacquiao-Bradley as a more competitive fight than Cotto-Mayweather. They might be right, but I doubt it will be as entertaining. And I agree with you that Bradley’s head (coupled with his short stature and in-and-out movement) will be a problem for Pacquiao.
I met you once in Vegas and you were super cool. Here are my predictions for upcoming fights. I think Pacquiao will destroy Bradley, I think he's tailor made for Pac. Bradley has a Mexican heart and fights straight up. He'll try to challenge Pac and get KO's by 6 rounds. PBF should win a UD over Cotto in an exciting fight. Cotto always puts on great shows. Finally, I can't wait to see Brandon Rios vs Yuriorkis Gamboa. Gamboa is super slick but I doubt he can withstand Rios's attack at (or over) 135. Please let me know what you think. Thanks. – Jessy
I favor the same fighters you do in these three matchups, but I don’t agree with all of your fight scenarios.
I don’t believe Pacquiao will “destroy” Bradley, or that Bradley is as straight-up and “Mexican” (in terms of style) as you portray him, but I do think that Pacquiao can – and will – hurt the Palm Springs native.
I think Mayweather will win a good fight on points. I can’t recall Cotto ever taking part in a “stinker.”
I agree that the size and power of Rios will eventually catch and wear down the Cuban dynamo, but not before Bam Bam takes a lot of punishment.
STEVE COLLINS VS. ROY JONES JR.
Big boxing fan here in Ireland. Really enjoy reading your articles and emails…. even though I may not always agree with you, your arguments are always well thought out and articulated.
My question regards the “Celtic Warrior” himself Steve Collins, and the fight that never happened against Roy Jones Jr. How do you think that fight would have gone? And why do you think it never happened? Collins is reported to have said “money is not an important factor and he would fight Jones in a phone box in front of two men and a dog”!! Freddie Roach also gave Collins a big chance. Would the punch of Jones hurt the granite chin of the Irishman?
What a fantastic time for boxing (this side of the water anyway) it was. Collins V Eubank, Eubank V Benn, Collins V Benn. Just a shame Collins never got a shot at Jones.
Hope to hear from you, if not then no problem. I’ll keep reading anyway. Take care. – Dave in Dublin
Thank you for the very kind words, Dave. I’m always a bit surprised (and, of course, humbled) when boxing fans from other countries email me. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have been able to cover an international sport for as long as I have.
The 1990s was indeed a fantastic time for the sport, and the super middleweight division in particular. I was able to watch many of those big European matchups on Showtime and I loved it.
I was a big Jones fan in the early ‘90s but by the end of that decade I had evolved into one of those hardcore nuts who wanted RJJ to fight the best of Europe. The bouts against Benn, Eubank, Collins and Michalczewski never happened, which helped make me a Jones critic by the time I was a fulltime fight scribe in the 2000s.
Anyway, I would have loved to watch a Jones-Collins showdown. I don’t think the Celtic Warrior had the right stuff to beat the version of Jones that fought from 1995-’97 (the years Collins held the WBO super middleweight title), but I can guarantee you two things with this matchup:
Collins would not have been intimidated at all, and the Irishman would have gone the distance.
I’ll go with Jones by competitive unanimous decision in this mythical matchup, because I don’t think the American would try to hurt Collins or stand his ground too much, and I also believe the fight would not have taken place until Jones moved to 175 pounds.
Not sure if you saw this article but one of your sons is making a comeback. I remember a few years back you were very high on this cat. He looks like he is rededicated so what do you think of his chances at making a run? I'd like to see him with Ademek, Areolla, Haye, Povetkin and even Kingpin Johnson (who I think is pretty skilled but has no pop). – Brendan
Ahhhhhhh Malik Scott… Dan Rafael’s favorite heavyweight.
So much technique and talent, so little dedication over the years. I’ve stated this many times before, but I’ll repeat it since the Philadelphian has been M.I.A. for more than three years, I think Scott has the physical tools, the technique and the athletic ability to compete with any heavyweight on the planet (including the You Know Whos). He’s just got to want to do it. He says he does in the press release that BoxingScene ran, but it still remains to be seen.
I haven’t talked to him since he was training with Joe Goossen a few years back, so I have no idea where his head (and more importantly, his heart) is at.
He’s only 31, so it’s not likes he’s “old” (not by heavyweight standards, anyway), but it’s not easy to come back from that long of a layoff.
Kendrick Releford, who he fights on Saturday (and defeated by – what else? – an eight-round unanimous decision six years ago), is the first step. If Scott wins in impressive fashion and makes it a goal to get back into the ring as soon as possible, I think he merits keeping an eye on.
I’ll be watching him (along with Chris Arreola) on Showtime Extreme this Saturday. I hope he does well.
Mr. Doug Fischer,
I’ll try, Sal. Thanks for the praise. More Gym Notes are on the way.
The first thing I want to say is that Jorge Arce is among my top 10 favorite active fighters, and he’s also on my all-time top 10 list of fighters to talk to away from the sport. He’s a cool cat with mad heart and soul. He always entertains and he never ceases to amaze me (as he did by beating Vazquez Jr. last year).
However, styles make fights in boxing, and I think Donaire is all wrong for Arce. The Filipino Flash is an unorthodox speedster who can switch hit, never sets his feet and often gets off at odd angles.
I hope I’m wrong but if the fight happens I envision Arce taking a one-sided beating, much like the UD loss to Cristian Mijares and the 11th-round stoppage to Vic Darchinyan.
FURY AND THE BIG BOYS
I'm just taking in the recent news that, as many predicted, Tyson Fury is relinquishing his British and Commonwealth heavyweight titles with the aim of fighting for bigger and better things. Of course the controversy here is that highly rated David Price recently became the number 1 contender for his British belt. Do you think this move by Fury is genuine or just another fighter been lead down the wrong path in terms of true challenges? I can only see him coming up against a few no names stateside in an attempt to garner more interest. I can see the business side of things in motion here, but unless he fights a Klitschko next (waste of time) or Robert Helenius then why not claim 100% UK support in a fight against Price? I've not considered Alexander Povetkin because he's already booked.
Speaking of the heavyweights, it seems like that division doesn't seem to be helping itself considering the state it is in. I want to see Solis soon! I know people are labeling him overweight and lazy but he's certainly a good boxer with plenty of ability, is he still recovering? Chris Arreola doesn't get much cover here in the UK but I've been following reports (and what Google will allow me to see) and I would like to see him in the ring with a top 10 contender since his turnaround in terms of fitness. Mike Perez – who is an Irish-based Cuban, or was, won the UK Prizefighter competition, and looked great doing so – has had one fight since. Have you any news on this guy and when he will be fighting next?
I'm a David Haye fan... After the fallout of his fight with Wladimir everyone seems to think the guy only had one fight in his career. He wasn't the first and surely won't be the last fighter to put on a bad show, not all of a boxer’s fights are going to be crowd pleasers though I do appreciate that fight in particular lacked a lot from his side. I was really keen to see him up against Vitali, I would have preferred that first. I think I'm right in saying that Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer recommended that to him too.
The fight with Dereck Chisora is interesting, but I don't see more than one outcome. I fear that Haye won't box again. He doesn't seem to have the will to take on a few up and comers to regain ranking in order to become mandatory. If it doesn't happen in summer it won't. Would you agree there? Thanks. –Patrick
I agree. The only fighters Haye deems important enough to come out of retirement to fight are the K-brothers, which is too bad, really, because he can be an exciting fighter and there are good matchups to be made when the giant, two-headed Ukrainian champ is taken out of the equation.
I think Chisora will make the most of his challenge against Vitali on Saturday, and I will watch the broadcast with interest, but I believe the British standout will end up like the rest of Klitschko’s opponents – busted up to a late stoppage or just thoroughly dominated over the distance.
Perez made his U.S. debut – a 10-round shutout over veteran trialhorse Friday Ahunanya on the non-televised portion of a ShoBox card from California – on Dec. 30. I don’t know when he’ll fight again, but my guess is that the next step for the 26-year-old Cuban is to fight an opponent worthy of U.S. television.
Regarding Tyson Fury (who has the best name among active fighters), I have no desire to see him face-off immediately with Price (who I believe would win) or step-up to world-class opposition. He’s only 23 years old (which makes him a mere pup by heavyweight standards) and he doesn’t even have 20 pro bouts yet. I don’t see why he needs to rush into anything, which doesn’t mean I don’t believe he should be tested.
I’d love to see HBO do one of their “Night of the Young Heavyweights” broadcasts this year. They used to do these special shows focusing on heavyweight prospects every several years. In 1996, they did a broadcast with David Tua-John Ruiz, Shannon Briggs-Darroll Wilson and Danell Nicholson-Andrew Golota on the bill. Seven years later, they did a triple header with Joe Mesi-DaVarryl Williamson, Dominic Guinn-Duncan Dokiwari and Juan Carlos Gomez-Sinan Samil Sam.
Who could be on the 2012 version of NYH? Fury or Price would represent Britain well, I think. Perez and Polish badass Andrzej Wawrzyk could add more international flavor. And Americans Seth Mitchell, Deontay Wilder and Joe Hanks or Johnathan Banks could round out the six big men needed for the triple header. Mix and match ‘em any way you wish, I think fans would get decent fights and some of these young guns would take a big step to contender status.
Email Doug Fischer at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer