Unless they find a way to get Lucian Bute into this tournament it’s totally moot at this point, Doug. And I have a feeling Andre Dirrell bulls___ted his way out of the Andre Ward fight. — Steve, Montreal
It’s hard not to be suspicious of Dirrell’s exit from the Super Six, especially given the lack of details on the injury and the crap both camps pulled before the Ward bout was rescheduled from Sept. 25 to Nov. 27, but I don’t want to be another jaded fight fan/boxing writer. I want to give the fighter the benefit of the doubt.
If the nature of Dirrell’s ailment is neurological as Lance Pugmire of the L.A. Times reported that’s nothing to mess with.
Having said that, this tournament has made one thing very clear to me: They don’t make fighters like they used to.
I don’t know what it is — perhaps it’s because so-called elite boxers of this era don’t fight as often as those of past decades or maybe today’s fighter don’t have as it as tough growing up — but these guys seem downright “fragile” when compared to the top dogs of just a few decades ago.
They don’t seem to be able to fight a tough schedule and they don’t seem to want to.
The fact that we have to have tournaments like the Super Six or the bantamweight Fab Four in order to get the best fighters of a particular division to fight each other is proof of that.
Nobody needed to organize a welterweight tournament to get the fantastic talent that resided in the 147-pound division during the late 1970s and early ‘80s to fight each other.
From 1979 to 1981, Wilfred Benitez fought Carlos Palomino (1/79), Palomino fought Roberto Duran (6/79), Sugar Ray Leonard fought Benitez (11/79), Duran fought Leonard twice (6/80 and 11/80), Pipino Cuevas fought Hearns (8/80) and Hearns fought Leonard (9/81).
Hearns, Duran and Benitez never met at 147 pounds, but those three fought each at junior middleweight from 1982 to ‘84.
That’s the way it should be and that’s the way it was (check out the round robins with the top heavyweights during the 1970s or the best light heavyweights from the late ‘70s to the early ‘80s for more examples).
Bute’s busy with his own schedule to be bothered with the Super Six, but I don’t think the tournament should be scrapped because Dirrell is out. Why?
For starters, Dirrell-Ward was the Super Six fight I was least interested in. I thought their styles and friendship would have made for an uneventful 12-round chess match that featured more foot feints and clinches than clean punches. But I want to see Froch-Abraham, and I want to see how Ward’s style matches up with those two (and maybe Glen Johnson’s).
AM I CRAZY?
1) I just saw that Celestino Caballero is fighting Jason Litzau. He's moving up in weight to fight a guy who I kind of felt never lived up to his true potential. I know he has a shaky chin but Caballero isn't really a KO puncher. He really overwhelms you with volume ala Paul Williams. I think this could be the fight that puts Jason Litzau's career back on track. I'm going with the dog here. Am I crazy??
2) I like the Punisher in the rematch. Super excited for this fight. I like both guys but I am getting the feeling that P-Will is going to start fast and finish strong. 8 rounds to 4.
3) Do you think The Matrix is really injured? Or does he not want to fight his boy and Olympic teammate?
4) I have become a Carl Froch fan since the Super 6 started. His self confidence is infectous. I will be pulling for him the rest of the way through. How do you like his chances against King Arthur?
— Brednan, Philly
Hey Brendon. I’ll reply to your statements/questions in order:
1. I think Caballero will beat Litzau without too much trouble but I don’t think you’re crazy for picking the Minnesota kid in what would be a pretty big upset. Litzau’s footwork (if he uses it) and hand speed cold trouble Caballero and being the naturally bigger man he might have enough strength to outmuscle the gangly Panamanian on the inside.
2. It seems like the majority of folks who email me are picking Williams to beat Martinez. We’ll see. I thought he was kind of lucky to get the majority decision last December. If Williams beats Martinez as convincingly as you think he will he’ll finally justify his high pound-for-pound ranking. I like P-Will a lot but I think he’s a little bit overrated as a P4P player.
3. The truth is that I really don’t know, but my personal rule is to give the fighter the benefit of the doubt. I give Kessler the benefit of the doubt, too.
4. I’ve also become a Froch fan, but I won’t be rooting for him or Abraham on Nov. 27. I just want to a good fight. I favor King Arthur.
COLEMAN'S SHOBOX PERFORMANCE
Second, I didn't get the chance to email you over the weekend, but did you see last Friday's ShoBox with Tim Coleman headlining vs. Patrick Lopez? That was one of the greatest counter uppercut/ko I've ever seen! How do you feel about him going with the top guys at 140? I think a fight between him and Victor Ortiz would be fun to watch. Both are strong durable fighters with a pretty good chin. What you think? — Andrew
I was impressed with Coleman’s performance. He looked sharp and confident, and I think he’ll be handful for any 140 pounder once he gets a little more experience. I wouldn’t put him in with Ortiz just yet.
The way he blasted Lopez, a very tough and seasoned fighter, was eye opening but I heard that the Venezuelan lefty had been KO’d by Vicente Escobedo in sparring a week or two before the fight so I’m not going Pitbull crazy based on one fight.
I hope Coleman gets another ShoBox appearance against an unbeaten prospect like Ruslan Provodnikov or Mike Dallas Jr., or a fringe contender type such as Josesito Lopez or Victor Cayo. Another impressive victory or two like last Friday’s and I think he’ll be ready for a former titleholder like Joan Guzman or Juan Urango (and I can see him winning those fights).
Coleman’s tough, talented and young (26). The sky’s the limit for him as long as he stays hungry and continues to learn his craft.
LOPEZ-MARQUEZ IN VEGAS
What are your thoughts on a fan like myself traveling out to Las Vegas to catch Rafael Marquez vs JuanMa Lopez?
I've never seen a fight in Vegas before, and I want to go to one that provides good value, on paper at least. — gopal rao
I don’t think you can go wrong with that fight card, Gopal. I’d go for it if I were you. You know the main event will deliver and the atmosphere will be live given the Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry. Glen Johnson brings the ruckus no matter who he fights and some of the undercard fights look decent (especially a six-round fight between prospects Danny Escobar (6-0, 5 KOs) and Anthony Lenk (7-1, 4 KOs — a Vegas-based lefty whose only loss is to Jessie Vargas. He’s been getting good work in the gym out here in L.A., including, I’m told, some hard sparring with Frankie Gomez).
JUNIOR OVER ABE?
I am more disappointed now that I see Chavez Jr. is on the list. This is a guy with no talent, and no cross-over appeal whatsoever. Mexican fighters usually make up about half of my favorite fighters at any given time, and Chavez Sr. was obviously special, but this kid shouldn't have press he doesn't deserve handed to him, not when there are much more qualified and promising fighters out there. Hell, I'd rather read about Librado Andrade (you know, the guy who knocked out Lucian Bute, everyone's darling at super middle right now) or Andre Dirrell (they guy Abe was knocking out when the foul came . . . same guy who has better legs than Sergio Martinez). I don't think you guys are racist, or sellouts, or transexuals, or whatever, but I do think this one was a bad call. — Todd
Your beef is with writer Don Stradley, not RingTV.com. The All-Star Report Cards are his feature.
I agree that Abraham is a superior and far more accomplished prize fighter than Chavez Jr., but I strongly disagree with your assertion that Junior has “no cross-over appeal whatsoever.” Chavez Jr. will sell more tickets in the U.S. than Abraham and most American fighters ever will. (And King Arthur didn’t increase his marketability in America by giving Dirrell that vicious cheap shot and then show absolutely no remorse on national TV.)
I also think Chavez Jr. has more talent than he gets credit for but given who Top Rank has put him in with so far I can’t really argue with anyone who thinks he’s a total Bob Arum-Fernando Beltran creation.
Let’s revisit the Chavez Jr. debate before and after the proposed showdown with Miguel Cotto next year.
CHRIS THE CREEP
Dougie, why did you let that creep get to you and he sure did. I have never sensed anger in your writing as I did with that response you gave him JUST WHAT HE WANTED — to have you focus on him instead of a topic that was of more relevance. You let that jerk win by even giving him that much time of day. He probably was put up to writing that nonsense by one of the hack scribes who have tried to make the same claims in the past……….
Doug, I feel like a friend, read your stuff 3-4 times a week, know more about your life then guys I have worked with for the last six years everyday. Please don’t ever let someone get to you like that again. You’re better than that, bro. I almost felt like he struck a nerve, and I am not trying to say I agree with him because I DON’T but just want to let you know that if I didn’t know you like I think I do, I might have thought that he did strike a nerve and that’s what he’s going to run with. You lost it for a second and let him get to you!
All out of love!
(PS excuse any spelling errors and run on sentence.) Thanks for starting my Mondays with a bang! — Jason Rodriguez
Thanks for the kind words, Jason. It truly means a lot to me. However, you’re wrong when you say “I’m better than that…” I’m not. I’m not a monk or a philosopher or a peace maker. I’m a regular dude with a full range of normal emotions.
I’ve got a temper, Jason. What you read on Monday is not the worst of it and it’s far from the angriest rant I’ve let loose with in a mailbag (although I admit it’s been a while since I’ve gone off like that… I guess I‘ve mellowed with age and parenthood).
I could have ignored Chris’ email and I thought about doing just that because his was the only one that I have received accusing me and THE RING of bias/being a sell-out since De La Hoya’s most recent controversial statements. However, I know he’s not alone in that opinion and I wanted him and everyone else who thinks like he does to know just where I’m coming from and how I feel about them.
I guess you could say I was “keeping’ it real” with someone who isn’t as close to reality as he thinks he is. Was it a waste of time? Probably. But I think it’s only human to freak out and rage every once in awhile. And I don’t care if I did what Chris wanted me to do or if he thinks he won some kind of psychological “battle.”
If he wanted to touch a nerve and piss me off then he accomplished his mission. (Way to set your goals, Chris! You’re really going places.)
However, if his aim was to make me reluctant to call things the way I see them (even if that means giving De La Vader’s Evil Empire credit when it’s due), he failed miserably (which I’m sure he’s used to).
YOUR REPLY TO “SELL OUT”
Did you get it all out of your system? Feel better now? LOL. — Steve
Honestly? Yes, I did feel better after that rant.
“Sell-out.” LOL… sorry for stirring a hornet's nest. — Tom G.
No worries. I said what I said, he said what he said, I got mad and said what I said. End of story.
Whats crackin Dougie fresh? Just read your Monday mailbag. F__k that dude talkin all that yang. Punk is just jealous. Any of these punk ass bitches got beef just hit me up Doug and that includes the Korean Hammer. Well just wanted to let you know I got your back brother. Peace out brother. — Jose Avila
That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout! West Siiiide! Thank you, Jose. For the record, there’s no rancor between Kim and I, but I like your attitude.
BOXREC FUN FACT OF THE DAY
The combined record of Marco Antonio Barrera’s previous five opponents before he faced Manny Pacquiao in November of 2003.
In an unrelated matter is Pacquiao's next fight going to be his first wearing 10 oz gloves?
Peace. — Adam, Whitby, Canada
I believe the Margarito fight will be the first time Pacquiao wears 10 oz. gloves during an actual prize fight, or at least it should be. In most U.S. jurisdictions, any fight over 147 pounds is fought in 10 oz. gloves.
Nice fact on Barrera. Even when he was starting to wind down he still faced quality opposition. That’s why I consider him the best Mexican fighter I’ve ever covered.
TOP FIVE MOVIES ABOUT FIGHTERS
Top 5 movies about fighters.
Thanks. — Choppa B, Sydney, Australia
Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962), The Harder They Fall (1956), Raging Bull (1980), Body and Soul (1947), and Rocky (1976).
Honorable mention: Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956), Rocky II (1997), The Great White Hope (1970), The Boxer (1997), and Million Dollar Baby (2004).
My top five favorite boxing movies: Raging Bull, Rocky I, II, and III (1982), and Great White Hype (1996).