Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday Mailbag

MARGARITO AND THE FANS

What’s happening Dougie?
I just finished reading your article on Antonio Margarito and the possible fan reaction should he beat Manny Pacquiao. First, let me say that I was always a Margarito fan and I don’t even know how to view this fight. From a tactical point-of-view, I think Paquiao wins. I don’t know if it’s by KO or by decision, but I think his speed and overall talent will push him through.

From a rooting point-of-view, I have no idea what’s going to go through my head when the two make their ring entrances and stare each other down in the ring. I have no idea who I’ll be pulling for at that moment. I do personally believe that Margarito used loaded gloves against Miguel Cotto, but I also think it’s irrational to discredit his entire career. It’s hard for me to believe that they got away with loaded gloves in each of his fights. Clottey and Cintron went on to become champions after their fights with Margarito. I would expect to see some long-term damage in both of them had Margarito pounded them with loaded gloves.

But we’ll see how this plays out. The one thing that I would be most disappointed in, as your article states, is if the boxing media starts insinuating that Margarito is still somehow cheating. We can think whatever we want about Javier Capetillo (and believe me, “despicable” is one of the first words that enters my mind), but the man in charge for this fight is Robert Garcia. Everything that I’ve heard about him leads me to believe that he is stand-up, honorable dude. It would be a damn shame if his reputation gets tainted because some boxing writers hold such a strong grudge against Margarito. In May, I actually remember one writer state that Margarito fought “presumably without loaded gloves.” I really hope the press is extra careful with stuff like that. It’s fine to be critical of Margarito’s past, but Robert Garcia is his trainer now so any “accusations” reflect on him. — Ruben

I agree with you, Ruben, but I also understand that it’s human nature not to trust a person believed to have cheated or lied in the past. Professional boxing writers are supposed to follow a journalistic code of objective/balanced reporting but they are human beings. Members of the media who believe Margarito knew that Capetillo was placing inserts into his hand wraps before the Shane Mosley fight — as many fans and fighters do — will always have some doubt about his victories being on the “up and up” if you will. They will suspect the possibility that Margarito may have “cheated” in some way. Win or lose on Nov. 13, many boxing writers will continue to give Margarito a hard time for as long as he continues to fight professionally.

That’s just the way it is. There’s no sense getting upset about it even though it will be unfortunate if Robert Garcia’s reputation is tainted by working with Margarito. However, Garcia knew what he was getting into when he agreed to train the banished fighter.

Your conflicted rooting interest in the Nov. 13 showdown is fascinating to me, and perhaps an indication that there are fans who are willing to forgive Margarito. You know that Margarito was busted for having illegal inserts in his hand wraps prior to the Mosley fight (and you describe his former trainer as “despicable,” which tells me that you think Capetillo did it knowingly and with criminal intent) and you believe that the fighter had loaded gloves for his fight with Miguel Cotto, who suffered considerable punishment and physical damage before being stopped in the 11th round. And yet, you admit that you are not sure who you will be pulling for the moment the bell rings for the first round.

Something tells me there are other fans who once rooted for Margarito who will be unsure of who to cheer for during the Pacquiao fight. However, if Margarito takes an early beating (as he likely will), sucks it up (as he often does) and rallies to dish out punishment to the Filipino icon (which isn’t beyond possibility), my guess is that those fans are going root and cheer for the Mexican the way the did prior to the Mosley fight.

GREAT ARTICLE

Just read the “what if Margarito won” article you posted. Good stuff man. When the fight was first announced, I swore I was gonna boycott it. I hate Margarito but I hate Pacquiao even more. But the closer we get to the fight the more I want to see it. And not only am I gonna order it, I truly can't wait to see tonight’s 24/7 on HBO. Anyways I'm going with Marga-cheato. Nothing would be sweeter than to see a hated man and known cheater whoop and beat Pacquiao. I can see the thousands of Pac-tards crying. Ooooooh how sweet that would look. But if Pacquiao wins, I hate Margarito anyways so whatever. And we can hopefully still see Floyd spank Pacquiao next year. — Ivan

Wow, Ivan, you’re a hater.

I’ve been called a “hater“ many times, and every now and then I wonder if the “Pac-tards” and “May-fairies” who made the accusation had a case, but then I read an email like yours and I’m reminded that I’m not that extreme in my opinions of any particular fighter (including Mayweather).

But thanks for the kudos on the Margarito article and for your two cents.

HELP ME CLEAR SOMETHING UP

Hey Dougie,
I was telling a buddy the other day about how excited the prospect of a hungry Margarito vs Pacquiao makes me. I shared your gym reports. He said it all sounds like “typical prefight hype to me.” I write to you all the time, and I hope you'll take my word for it when I say you’re one of my favorite writers and I don’t doubt you, but I was hoping you would address the issue for any other doubters out there.

My answer, is that (1) you guys (RingTV.com) don't have any financial interest in the fight, The Ring isn't related to Top Rank at all, (2) Pacquiao fights sell themselves (even a worn out Margarito wouldn't be as bad as Joshua Clottey), (3) casual fans love knowing who to root for ahead of time, and they have that here with or without the positive reports coming out of the gym, and (4) you guys have more integrity than that and (5) you’re not the only people saying it (we’d have to get into conspiracy theories at this point).

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the fight, and wanted to say thanks for putting in the time and effort to give us an inside look (even if there are doubters). Take care man. — Todd

There’s always going to be doubters, Todd. It’s easier for most folks to doubt all that they see and hear than to have faith in someone else‘s observations. I don’t fault any longtime boxing fan for doubting gym reports — especially those that lead into a high-profile fight that promoters and networks are trying to sell.

Your five-point answer to your friend pretty much covers us here at RingTV.com (although I wish our integrity was your first point instead of your fourth, but at least you mentioned it).

One question I have is did your friend actually read my Gym Notes on Margarito’s camp or did he just respond to what you told him about the columns? If he didn’t actually read them he could have been reacting to your enthusiasm.

If he did read the columns and believes they were meant to hype the Nov. 13 fight I think his reading comprehension skills leave something to be desired. Either that or he’s one jaded S.O.B.

Nowhere in either column am I saying or insinuating that Pacquiao-Margarito is going to be a great fight or even one worth buying. In fact, the presumption was that it would be or could be “a slaughter.” The whole point of my driving to Oxnard to watch Margarito train was to ascertain if the man was shot. I had to rely on second-hand (but reliable) sources for my first column because my car broke down on the way and I missed Margz’s workout. However, I returned to Oxnard that Saturday (to watch Margarito work eight rounds of specialized mitts with Robert Garcia) and the next Monday (to watch a 10-round sparring session) and from what I saw he appears to be well conditioned, hungry and definitely not shot.

This doesn’t mean I think he’s going to kick Pacquiao’s ass or even make for a competitive fight, and I stated that opinion clearly near the beginning of the second column.

We’ll find out soon enough what these gym reports mean, if anything. Until then, folks are free to form any opinion they wish about anything I write on the fight.

NEXT FOR BUTE?

Hey Dougie,
Since Lucian Bute can't get a fight with the Super Six contestants, if the Kelly Pavlik talk turns into nothing, who do you think he should aim for? What do you think of him taking on Robert Stieglitz in the spring? — Deryk

Apart from the best of the Super Six and Pavlik there really aren’t any 168-pound matchups for Bute that I’m dying to see. Stieglitz is a solid beltholder but I don’t care to see Bute beat up on the German super middleweight, who has been KO’d by two fighters (Berrio and Andrade) who have been stopped by Bute.

I’d rather see Bute toss his hat into the 175-pound mix and match his skill and mettle with the Pascal-Hopkins winner, Chad Dawson, Tavoris Cloud, Gabriel Campillo, Beibut Shumenov, and Chris Henry.

AUSTRALIAN BOXING SCENE

Hey Dougie,
I’m from Australia, & I’m a long time reader of your mailbag, which I always thoroughly enjoy.

We have a huge fight coming up in Australia next weekend involving an IBF Middleweight Title Eliminator between Daniel Geale (Ring Magazine Number 6 Middleweight) and Roman Karmazin (Ring Magazine Number 8 Middleweight).

I think its a real pick-em sort of fight, however I lean to Geale slightly because of his hometown advantage and being the slightly bigger guy.
Any thoughts on this terrific upcoming matchup with the winner probably meeting Sebastian Sylvester in 2011?

Also the undercard has a great action fight and it’s an IBF Lightweight Title Eliminator too, between undefeated Aussie Lenny Zappavigna (who I’m sure you saw in his life & death experience with the overweight Fernando Angulo on ShoBox) and tough as nails Korean Ji-Hoon Kim. This matchup has slugfest written all over it.

I hope I’m wrong but I have a gut feeling Ji-Hoon Kim may cause the mild upset in this one, as “Zappa” will need to box and not get into an all out war with Kim, which I feel he might get sucked into. How do you feel this matchup will go also?

By the way Dougie, I went and saw Chris John recently training back in the gym (similar to how you go to the gyms in and around LA, haha), as he is based in Perth, Australia.

John has a great team around him, gets regularly sparring from former IBO Featherweight Champ Jackson Asiku (sparring which I saw first hand), IBF Junior Welterweight Title challenger Naoufel Ben Rabah and a young Super Featherweight prospect in William Kickett.

John looked really healthy and recharged after a tough few months. His team hopes to make all the big fights possible in the new year (after his December match vs Saucedo) around Featherweight which is great to hear.

Same goes for Asiku after his tough loss to Ring Magazine top 10 ranked Featherweight Jhonny Gonzalez recently. Asiku I believe may fall up short against the top guys at Featherweight, but will always gives his all and an honest account of himself.

Lastly, I’m so proud to call myself an Aussie boxing fan after seeing the way Michael Katsidis has conducted himself during these tough times and has vowed to fight on vs. JM Marquez. WAR KATSIDIS!!!

Anyways keep up all the good work and I hope to hear you again soon on any of the international broadcasts later this year. Kind Regards. — James

Thanks for the kind words and for the gym report on Chris John. I’m glad he’s looking sharp in sparring. A healthy John makes the potential matchups at featherweight all the more intriguing.

I know Bob Arum’s grand plan is to eventually match JuanMa Lopez with Yuriorkis Gamboa but I’d love to see the winner of Lopez-Marquez challenge John. If Rafa pulls the upset on Nov. 6 a showdown with John could carry a “revenge-of-the-brother” storyline. If Lopez, THE RING’s No. 2-rated featherweight were to face No. 1-rated John, the magazine’s 126-pound title would be up for grabs.

John vs. Gamboa, Celestino Caballero, and even Daniel Ponce-DeLeon are also fascinating matchups for the unbeaten Indonesian stick-and-move specialist.

Katsidis is certainly a fighter Australian fans can be proud of.

I assume the same can be said about Asiku and Geale (though I doubt to the same degree as for the relentless lightweight warrior). I haven’t seen either man fight live, but I hope Asiku doesn’t give up his title dreams after being stopped by Gonalez and I hope he ventures to fight in the States again one day.

As for Geale, I too, slightly favor him over Karmazin. Not just because he’s a tad bigger and fighting at home but because he’s younger.

As for the Kim-Zappavigna fight, I agree that it will be a slugfest (one the Korean should prevail in) but I can’t believe that bout is an IBF eliminator. Zappavigna is one removed from a gift decision to a fringe contender and Kim was absolutely outclassed by Miguel Vazquez in his last fight (which was for the vacant IBF belt). Win or lose against the other, neither Kim nor Zappavigna are worthy of fighting Vazquez for a 135-pound belt.

But hey, that’s just my opinion.

FOUR FANTASY FIGHTS

How do you feel about these?

Tommy Hearns-Sugar Shane
Carmen Basilio-Floyd Mayweather
Marcel Cerdan-Marvin Hagler
Sandy Saddler-Salvador Sanchez

Thanks for reading, Take care. — Stanley

Hearns knocks Mosley out sometime before the fifth round at 147 pounds and either stops him late or out-classes him over the distance at 154 pounds.

Basilio either stops Mayweather late or methodically walks him down and outworks him to a comfortable decision at 147 or 154 pounds.

Cerdan outboxes Hagler to a close but clear-cut decision.

Sanchez narrowly outpoints Saddler in an often ugly affair.

CHAVEZ SR. VS. MAB, EL TERRIBLE AND JMM

Hello Dougie,
Since we're talking about the induction of Julio Cesar Chavez and Mike Tyson in the Hall of Fame, what do you think of these dream matchups:
Julio Cesar Chavez VS Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez.

Mike Tyson VS George Foreman, Riddick Bowe.

And now for the top 5s:
Top 5 worst decision by a referee
Top 5 worst scoring by judges

Ciao! — Alex

Here’s the top five worst scorecards that I’ve seen in recent years:

1) and 2) Robert Paganelli and Ed Mosley – for their awful scorecards in the first Courtney Burton-Emanuel Augustus bout (99-90 and 97-92, respectively, for Burton) in 2004. There’s no way in hell Burton won that fight.
3) Doug Tucker – who not only had Jose Navarro winning his fight with Cristian Mijares in 2007, he had the gutsy-but-outclassed challenger winning by 120-108 shutout.
4 and 5) Don Ackerman and Frank Adams – for their awful 114-113 cards in favor of Almazbek Raiymkulov over Miguel Angel Huerta in 2007. Kid Diamond looked like Kid Cubic Zirconia against the hardnosed Mexican fringe contender who put the unworthy winner on his ass in the 11th round.

Dishonorable mention: Duane Ford (95-93) and Chuck Giampa (95-94) for their scores favoring of Bobby Pacquiao over Carlos Hernandez in a 2005 fight that Manny’s bro did not deserve to win (even Bob-Pac’s trainer, Freddie Roach, thought his fighter had lost); Dave Moretti (120-108), Chuck Giampa (119-109), and Nelson Vazquez (119-109) for their scores in Daniel Ponce-DeLeon’s 2007 junior featherweight title defense against Gerry Penalosa (who I thought won the bout by a 116-112 tally), not so much for scoring the bout for DeLeon but for having the Mexican banger winning by such ridiculously wide margins.

Top five worst referee jobs:

1) Dan Kelley – Burton-Augustus I. Kelley was not only blatantly biased against Augustus (chastising “Drunken Master” throughout the bout and docking him a point for doing a 360 in the ninth round while ignoring Burton‘s infractions) but he was just plain bad (missing a clear knockdown from a body shot in the fourth round).
2) Robert Gonzalez – Rocky Juarez-Zahir Rahim. Gonzalez was over officious from the get-go and definitely had it out for Rahim, who he docked points from for “holding” in rounds four, six and 10.
3) Joe Cortez – Humberto Soto-Francisco Lorenzo. It was bad enough that Cortez eventually DQ’d Soto what was clearly an accidental late hit after to he put Lorenzo on his ass but he had to converse with the Nevada commissioners for 10 minutes while the Dominican wallowed on the canvas in a pool of his own blood before he took that action.
4) Frank Santore Jr. — Martinez-Cintron. Santore’s first reaction to Cintron’s seventh-round knockdown (to wave the darn fight off) was the correct action but then he was apparently talked into changing his decision and allowing the fight to continue… by Cintron!
5)Joe Cortez – Floyd Mayweather-Ricky Hatton. Mr. Fair-but-Firm was WAY too officious and ‘hands on’ for my liking during this bout and he never stopped warning the two fighters about holding anytime they got in within a few inches of each other. His yapping and slapping (of Hatton’s gloves whenever they worked their way around Mayweather’s back) was insufferable. Try watching it on you tube… I dare you.

Thanks for bringing up the Hall of Fame inductions, Alex. I need to send in my ballot, which will have checkmarks next to the three first-ballot boys (Chavez, Tszyu and Tyson), as well as unsung Asians Myung-Woo Yuh and Yoko Gushiken, old-timers Harry Jeffra and Georgie Abrams, and the one and only Prince Naseem Hamed (yes I’m serious).

Anyway, your dream matchups involving Chavez and Tyson are fascinating.

Chavez’s lightest championship-level weight was 130 pounds, which was the heaviest championship weight of both Barrera and Morales. Marquez is the reigning lightweight champ, but I think he peaked at 130 pounds. I’m bringing up these facts to help state the obvious, which is Chavez was naturally bigger than all of the Dynamic Three. If Chavez fought them at junior lightweight I think he’d beat all three by close, competitive and entertaining decisions. Barrera would come the closest to beating Mexico’s idol because of his intelligence, educated jab, hand speed and versatility (read: lateral movement) but Chavez’s smart pressure and underrated technique and boxing ability would take over the second half of the fight. Chavez vs. Morales and Marquez would be ring wars that the great one would win on physical strength and superior durability. Just one man’s opinion.

I think the prime versions of Foreman and Bowe were all wrong in terms size, stature and style for Iron Mike. I favor both big men by mid-round TKOs.

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