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
Fans give their two cents on the Antonio DeMarco-Adrien Broner showdown, ask questions about Edwin Valero, and propose legendary mythical matchups with heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko in this week's Friday mailbag. Enjoy!
DEMARCO VS. BRONER
Hey Doug.... I haven’t emailed in a while, but I’m more excited about Saturday night’s fight than I have been in quite some time..... I have a strong feeling about this fight and I feel compelled to share....
I can’t shake the feeling that Antonio DeMarco’s going to pull the upset Saturday. Figured I’d better go on record and not sound like one of those after-fight folks who claim to have called the upset without ever actually calling it...
I have been a fan of DeMarco’s since he started popping up on Showtime, but I gained massive respect for him after his loss to Edwin Valero. The fact that he hung tough and never went down (if I remember correctly) was a huge accomplishment in my mind vs. a one-of-a-kind monster. And then seeing his guts, heart, and determination carry him to victory against Jorge Linares, I just feel like he’s something special.
Which leads me to my prediction vs. Adrien Broner. I feel like DeMarco has the determination and skills to hang tough long enough to do the damage to start slowing “The Problem” down. I don’t think Broner will ever hurt Tony (if Valero couldn’t put him on his ass, Broner sure won’t), and DeMarco will gain momentum and start walking Broner down. In my mind, the fight will end up looking a lot like the Jorge Linares fight. Broner suffers more damage than he ever has before, and gets hit harder on the chin than ever before. Obviously, I don’t see DeMarco having any shot of winning a decision. And sure, he might run out of time like Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. did vs. Sergio Martinez. But I think he’ll make the KO happen....
Anyway, that’s the way I see it. Seeing the 15-0 record of choices from the experts posted on the site left me feeling like I had to share! I think folks are underestimating DeMarco...... we shall see! Thanks Doug. – Corban, Toronto
The last thing I want to do is underestimate DeMarco, but I also favor the undefeated up-and-comer. The hunch is that DeMarco has never faced a boxer-puncher with Broner’s size, speed and versatility. However, I can understand your gut feeling that the humble-but-hardnosed lightweight titleholder will keep his WBC belt tomorrow night. The last time Broner faced a proud, experienced Mexican southpaw (Daniel Ponce DeLeon) he either got a gift decision or stank out the joint in a narrow victory depending on your perspective. Even if you agreed with judge Tony Crebs’ God-awful scorecard (99-91), you have to admit that “The Problem” did not look like the future star that everyone (including THE RING magazine) predicts he will become.
DeMarco is bigger, taller, rangier and technically sharper than De Leon. And while recently re-watching his fight with Linares, I noticed that the Tijuana southpaw is better at blocking punches than he’s given credit for. It’s conceivable that Broner could have a very difficult night against DeMarco.
Having said that, I think Broner is more accustomed to fighting on the big stage since the De Leon fight (last February), and he’s as confident as a fighter can be without being overconfident. I also think he’s grown physically, and I won’t be surprised if he enters the ring as a full-fledged welterweight after weighing in at 135 pounds later today.
My pick is still Broner (by decision or perhaps late stoppage), but I’m glad I read your email because it makes me think we might get a competitive fight.
Quick question, I hate to do this to you but... Adrian Broner or Edwin Valero? – Alex Sanchez
It’s already been asked. Valero – by knockout.
THINGS DONE CHANGED (BUT NOT REALLY)
It’s been a while since I last emailed you. Things have certainly changed a bit.
*VADA & USADA testing is the latest trend in boxing.
*Pacquiao lost (albeit by dubious decision)
*Golden Boy/Top Rank "coldwar"
*Manny Steward RIP
*There’s odd characters in your mailbag
…and then there are things that haven’t changed:
*Mayweather still won’t fight Manny Pacquiao
*Roy Jones is still fighting
*Golden Boy/Top Rank "coldwar" (yes this makes both lists)
*Marquez and many fans still believe he beat Pacquiao
Also the last few times I emailed you was when Valero fought Antonio DeMarco. I predicted a victory for my favorite up and comer at the time. I was wrong but I also believed he was a bit green to face a beast like Valero.
This time I think he is ready!
By the way, here’s a hypothetical question? IF Valero had not ended his life, where do you think he would be at this stage of his career?
Who would have he fought by now? Would he still be undefeated? Would have someone taken him the distance? Would he have been licensed to fight in the States by now?
I used to crave a Pacquiao-Valero showdown way before this Mayweather crap. For me that will always be the best fight with Pacman that never got made.
Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t you once mention that Valero had a younger brother who was also a fighting?
Oh one last thing, I'll be in Las Vegas this weekend. Are there any cool bars that you know of, where I can watch the DeMarco fight and maybe place a few bets?
Your feedback would greatly be appreciated. – Jorge, San Diego
Go to the bar at the Mandalay Bay’s Sports Book. That’s where I (and fellow fight scribes Steve Kim and Johnnie Whitehead) watched Gatti-Ward I. There’s good mojo there.
Valero does indeed have a younger brother who is an active pro boxer, Luis Valero. The 24 year old has the Valero family punching power but he doesn’t have his late brother’s amateur background or discipline. He’s a kamikaze journeyman/spoiler with a 5-3 record. He either blitzes his opponents in the first round or he gets clipped himself.
There have been many mouth-watering showdowns that didn’t get made for whatever reason over the years (Riddick Bowe-Lennox Lewis, Bowe-Ray Mercer, Roy Jones-Gerald McClellan, Terry Norris-Julio Cesar Vasquez, Felix Trinidad-Ike Quartey, Fernando Vargas-David Reid) but Pacquiao-Valero is the one I wanted to see the most.
Honestly, if Valero hadn’t ended his life and the life of his wife I think someone (most likely in Venezuela) would have eventually killed him. (Hell, I’m not 100 percent convinced that he wasn’t set-up and murdered.) However, I think he would have made his mark on the sport before his inevitable burnout.
I think he would have evolved into a bona-fide boxing star. Not like Oscar De La Hoya or Pacquiao, or even Mayweather (although he and Floyd would have the domestic violence/baby momma drama in common). I think his political views would have made him a hated public figure (and a target) in some corners of the world. But this controversy would only help to make him an attraction along with his take-no-prisoners mentality in the ring. I think Bob Arum, who promoted him at the end, would have been able to get him licensed in Nevada and California. Texas had already granted him a boxing license (for the Antonio Pitalua fight).
Still, his wild lifestyle would have eventually cut his life short (be it out-of-the-ring violence, car accident, suicide, etc.).
I don’t know if he would be undefeated at the time of his death, because I think Pacquiao could have taken him out (especially if the fight took place above 130/135 pounds), but I think he would have been in many high profile fights, all of which would have been intense and dramatic due to his style. I think he would have defeated fellow hardnosed nutcake Jorge Barrios and Cuban vet Joel Casamayor in bona-fide grudge matches, as well as Lamont Peterson and Timothy Bradley in fights that would have earned him respect among the U.S. boxing media. I think he would have knocked out all of those guys, except for maybe Bradley. And for the record, I would have put money on him KOing Pacquiao.
Getting back to reality, there’s no doubt that DeMarco is more battle tested than Broner. His fight with Valero was his baptism of fire, which made him the badass that turned out to be too much for Linares. However, the Valero fight (and the first half of the Linares bout) is also proof that DeMarco can be outboxed and outclassed by a superior talent.
KLITSCHKO VS. THE GREATS
In the wake of Wladimir Klitschko's defence of the World Heavyweight Championship on November 10th, I was wondering how you thought a peak Wladimir would have fared against the following undisputed Heavyweight Champions at their peak:
Many Thanks. –Nav Sandhu, Leicester, UK
Nice group of mythical matchups, Nav. Are you aware that this subject, “Klitschko vs. the Legends,” is the cover story (written by Don Stradley) for the December issue of THE RING magazine? Do yourself a favor and check out it. It includes all the ATGs you mentioned, plus George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Floyd Paterson and (one of my faves) Sonny Liston.
Anyway, here’s my two cents:
Jack Dempsey – I think “The Manassa Mauler” had a shot at clipping Klitschko in the early rounds, and he probably would have rocked the giant, but I think Wladdy would survive by tying him up and then go on to outbox him to a decision or late stoppage.
Joe Louis – the pile-driver jab of “The Brown Bomber” would enable the smaller man to gradually advance until he zeroed in on Klitschko’s vulnerable chin, abruptly ending the fight sometime between the fifth and seventh rounds.
Rocky Marciano – “The Rock” would give it all he had, but at 5-foot-10, weighing less than 200 pounds, with a 67-inch wingspan and a propensity for facial cuts, he would be a mid-to-late rounds TKO waiting to happen vs. Klitschko.
Joe Frazier – “Smokin’ Joe” wasn’t much bigger than Marciano, but he was a much-faster (hands and feet) much-busier pressure fighter who knew how to cut off the ring, and he had one of the most devastating left hooks ever. I’m in the minority with this opinion but I think Frazier – who at his best was a masterful bob-and-weaver – would have slipped Klitschko’s jab, backed him up, hurt him to the body and eventually whacked him out (eighth or ninth-round TKO). If Klitschko was a better inside-fighter like Foreman or even Riddick Bowe, I’d pick him in this mythical matchup, but he isn’t, so I gotta go with Frazier.
Mike Tyson – “Iron Mike” blitzes the pre-Emanuel Steward version of Wladdy, but the recent version of Klitschko would survive Tyson’s early-rounds storm (by doing what else? Tying up and leaning on the shorter man) and then use his powerful jab and accurate right crosses to keep the Brooklyn bully at bay until he gradually broke the front-runner down to a late stoppage.
Lennox Lewis – I have the utmost respect for Lewis but I think Wladimir could “one-up” his big bro with his superior athleticism and better technique and catch the British master cold with a one-two combo early in their showdown. Klitschko by second- or third-round KO.
THE REAL CARLOS MOLINA
Carlos Molina just called out Triple G, Dougie. I hope he puts his money where his mouth is!!!!!!!!!!!!! – Deric Thompson
Latest word is that Fernando Guerrero and Gabriel Rosado are the main two guys in the running to face Gennady Golovkin on HBO on Jan. 19. I like Molina, Guerrero and Rosado a lot and I think they can all box and fight, but I don’t think they belong in the ring with Golovkin. Molina and Rosado are too small to hold off the undefeated beltholder. Guerrero still needs a few more fights to gel with new trainer Virgil Hunter and to perfect his new style before he fights a beast like Golovkin, who I think would KO all three would-be challengers.
I think RING-rated middleweight contenders Matthew Macklin and Martin Murray would be much sterner tests for Golovkin than Molina, Rosado or Guerrero.
Email Dougie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer