Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

MARTINEZ-WILLIAMS

Hey Dougie,
Some thoughts coming into Saturday night…

Paul Williams has a crowd pleasing style and no fans; which at least puts him one up on Chad Dawson, Andre Berto and Floyd Mayweather.

Sergio Martinez doesn’t exactly have a rabid fan base in North America either but would you agree that his winning on Saturday would be better for the middleweight division over the next year or so?

Off the top of your head can you recall the last time there were this many southpaws in the Pound for Pound rankings (Pacquaio, Williams, Martinez and Wonjongkam)? Peace. — Adam, Whitby, Canada

Off the top of my head I cannot recall when so many left-handed fighters populated the pound-for-pounds lists of boxing writers and various publications/websites, and I’ll be damned if I take the time out to actually research when the last time there were more than two or three southpaws in the mythical rankings (which fans and media take WAY too seriously).

The only reason a Martinez victory tomorrow night would be better for boxing is that the Argentine vet will stay in the division and defend his middleweight title. I’d love to see him match skills and heart with belt holders Felix Sturm and Dmitry Pirog. (A Martinez victory will also give us a clear-cut candidate for Fighter of the Year — wins over both Kelly Pavlik and Williams would be pretty darn impressive).

Williams has made it clear that he might head back down to junior middleweight or welterweight even if he wins the middleweight title.

However, a Williams victory could be good for the sport if the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, and Andre Berto were willing to fight him at 147 or 154 pounds. The problem is, I don’t see it happening and Williams told me that he’s not interested in fighting Alfredo Angulo, James Kirkland, Sturm, or Pirog, all of whom he deems “lesser-known fighter who ain’t paid dues.”

So honestly, I don’t know where he goes from Saturday, but why dwell on the future when we have a fantastic matchup to savor this Saturday?

FIGHT NIGHT CLUB

Zup Doug,
To tell you the truth, the best looking cat at the Club Nokia was that kid making his debut, “Tino” Avila. Nice to see, a Mexican-American cat (I believe) with defense and balance, not just face first. That kid looked like he actually worked on old-school moves, looks like he’s been checking out a lot of African-American boxers. And unlike Mike Jones last week, Manuel Avila did not go crazy and punch himself out when he got his man hurt, he just stayed relaxed. I know that we have to consider what he had in from of him, but he had the most composure of all the cats on that card, he impressed me a lot more than Carlos Molina did. He ran out of gas towards the end but still kept his form. I’m gonna keep watching as he works his way into the pro game.

And that blond ring card girl was also very nice! But they could’ve gave her a little more tube time.

Bring on Martinez-Williams! Man, I can’t wait, and I have no idea who is going to win, but I know its going to be an action-packed fight, because Williams always brings it. Peace. — Steve

I also thought Manuel “Tino” Avila, who is only 18, had the best technique of the young prospects featured on the final Fight Night Club of the year. He must have been taught well because he has solid fundamentals (balance and stance) and an all-around game (varied offense off of sharp jab, defense that includes upper-body movement, and footwork) even though he only had about 50 amateur bouts. By contrast, Carlos Molina and Fidel Maldonado Jr. had over 100 amateur bouts. Ivan Redkach had over 150 amateur bouts.

I thought Molina looked solid, though not spectacular, over the eight-round distance. “Solid” is probably the best way to describe Molina. He’s not physically imposing and he isn’t special in any one area but he’s solid all around and seems to have a good head on his shoulders. I think he’s the kind of prospect who won’t draw too much attention or accolades as he develops into a contender but will surprise folks with how effective he can be when he’s finally in the ring with a formidable opponent.

The blond Tecate/ring card girl is also my favorite. She definitely deserves more face time on the broadcasts. When fighters are unavailable I think she should join Mario and I at the broadcast table. (By the way, I thought Paulie Malignaggi did a fine job co-commentating with us during the Molina fight.)

Bring on Martinez-Williams indeed. This is a very hard matchup to pick a winner. I went with Martinez by decision because I think he’s grown into the middleweight division more than P-Will has and his confidence has to be at an all time high, but I won’t be surprised if Williams wins again.

I don’t really care who wins. I just want an entertaining fight and I think we’re going to get one.

PAC-MAN AND RING LOSE CREDIBILITY

Hey Dougie, what's up, hope all is well in life ‘cause it sure ain't in the boxing world moving on from the joke of a sparring session/freak show on Saturday.

Pacquiao has cleared out most of the “Top Incest” 147 lbs fighters. Arum is now pushing for the PBF bout as he should, but he and Pac's portable toilet, Konsz, are putting Mosley as the #1 fighter. There have been reports that Mosley is the next best fighter out there and “out of all the black fighters, brings the most money”. Pac and his minions are always ranting how he's the best fighter and the peoples champ, blah blah, BUT WHY DOESN'T HE FIGHT THE BEST?!! Marg was ranked NOWHERE! Doesn't matter if he outweighed Pac, that doesn't prove anything special. If P-dub wins this Saturday, he should fight Williams at 150 lbs or at 147 lbs, if he doesn't then he's ducking and not the best fighter in the world. He should also consider the Bradley vs Alexander winner. I don't get why Freddie “I don't think right anymore” Roach (only thing I'm making fun of is his distorted ego) always says “We’ll KO him, easy fight, why fight him?” Every fight Manny has, Roach thinks he'll beat so, why not just fight the fricken best? The point is, is that there are double standards the size of Cowboys Stadium when it comes to Manny & Floyd.

Pac minions were all saying “Mosley is old, Floyd is cherry picking”, then WTF is Pac doing? Seriously man, I think sometimes people really are stupid when it comes to boxing or their just obsessed with Pac's private parts. I agree, Mayweather should think about slapping Pac inside the ring instead of women outside. But why would Pac fight the man who Roach said “doesn't bring any money with him”. Mayweather fought the winner of Mosley-Margarito, who did Pacquiao fight?

Second, The Ring ratings (which if I'm not mistaken, you're not apart of, so don't take anything personal), but they're a friggin joke now. “Due to the fact that Manny Pacquiao is more active and weighed in as a welterweight for the Antonio Margarito victory, he has overtaken Floyd Mayweather”… I don't know if you guys are trying to ruffle Mayweather's feathers and get him to fight Pac, but that is just plain dumb. I guess you guys would have ranked Roy Jones in the cruiserweight rankings when he fought John Ruiz huh? I'll tell you this, people say Ring Magazine ratings are biased – now I know they're not – they're just irrational.

Anyways, take care Dougie.

(P.S. I hope everyone tunes into the REAL and LEGITIMATE championship fights in Martinez-Williams II & Marquez-Katsidis: these fights deserve our attention. Not Floyd “1-0 vs Women” Mayweather and Manny “I'll FIGHT ANYONE!.. this excludes slick fighters who depend on out-boxing me” Pacquiao.) — Ed, Los Angeles.

You’re carrying around way too much frustration during a time when all real fight fans should be giddy (yes, I wrote “giddy,” and I mean it) with anticipation. Martinez-Williams II and Marquez-Katsidis deserve our attention as you stated. They are not just legit world title fights (as designated by the magazine you call “irrational”), they are potential fights of the year. We’ve also got Abraham-Froch (another can’t-miss high-level action fight), Ward-Bika, Soto-Antillon, Darchinyan-Mares, and Perez-Agbeko to look forward to. Hell, Morales-Barrios is gonna be fun.

Why are you complaining so damn much? Pacquiao is boxing’s biggest star but he’s not the sport. You sound like a “Pac minion” the way you obsess about every little thing he does and every statement members of his team make.

Hey, for the record, I agree that he should fight a young elite fighter, not Mosley, if the Mayweather fight can’t be made next year for whatever reason. I don’t see Arum or Roach signing off on Williams. He’s just too damn big. You might call the 12 rounds Pacquiao went with Margarito a “sparring session” but believe me, they know it was a fight. Pacquiao dominated but he got hit and he was hurt a few times. They’re not blind and they’re not stupid. They’re not going to put Pac in with a guy who’s bigger, faster, and sharper than Margarito, plus just as tough. I think the Bradley-Alexander winner is the perfect choice if Mayweather is caught up with his usual drama next year. We’ll see what happens. Until then, I’m not going to waste too much time talking or writing about Pacquiao — especially during the next three weeks.

And why are you paying so much attention to what “Pac minions” are saying? Doesn’t your own title for Pacquiao’s fans tell you all you need to know about them? Dude, they’re nuts! Just like Mayweather’s diehard fans. Just like the fans of Roy Jones Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Mike Tyson, and Julio Cesar Chavez were when those fighters were on top of their game. There were Chavez fans who bet their mortgage on the Mexican idol when he fought De La Hoya (both times). Why? They were crazy! I know people who put tens of thousands of dollars on a clearly shot Tyson when ole Iron Mike challenged Lennox Lewis. Seriously? Yep, and you better believe they were completely insane. Golden Boy’s fans put money on him when he fought Hopkins. Evidently De La Hoya’s dreadful performance vs. Felix Sturm didn’t show them anything. And why would it? They were out of their minds at the time. Trinidad's fans thought he could have hung with Sugar Ray Robinson when he was undefeated. Jones' fans thought he was hands down the greatest who ever laced on a pair of gloves. They were all coo coo for cocoa puffs, dude.
I can go on and on, but I trust you get the picture.

Pacquiao is on top of the world right now and his fans feel like they are right there with him. Their eyes are blinded by pride and their minds are clouded by hubris. There is no reason to argue or debate with them on ANYTHING concerning their hero. You gotta be a little nuts yourself to let them bother you this much.

As for The Ring’s ratings, you are mistaken. I have nothing to do with them. I don’t know how many times I have to write this but I guess I should get used to it. (You are aware that you can email the magazine, right? Folks, you don't have to shoot the messenger all the time. For the “Come Out Writing” feature, which is the magazine's letters to the editor section, email: comeoutwriting@yahoo.com. Heck, you can even email the ole Baggeroo himself and vent your various frustrations and hostilities to the great Jim Bagg at Baggmeister@yahoo.com.)

I have no problem with Pacquiao being the No. 1-rated welterweight, but for the record, I agree that elevating him to the top spot based on his performance against Margarito is just plain weird. I know he weighed in at the welterweight limit but A) his opponent didn’t, and B) Margarito wasn’t ranked by the magazine at 147 pounds or 154 pounds.

Whatever. I agree with most of the ratings magazine’s editorial board comes up with, but there’s always going to be couple things I disagree with. I can find something I disagree with in EVERY set of ratings that’s out there (ESPN.com, Yahoo!, Boxrec, Fightnews, and of course the WBC, WBA, IBF and WBO). It’s a difference of opinion. That’s all. It’s not worth rating and raving about.

If I did, that would be irrational.

WILLIAMS AND CATCHWEIGHTS

Dougie,
I agree with Martinez, I really don't think Williams and/or his camp were all that eager to fight Martinez again. I think it is gay (going overboard for dramatization) for Williams to make Sergio weigh in at 157 and fight for Martinez's title. Not only do we have WAY to many catchweight bouts as of late, look at Williams history. Who has he EVER made fight at a catchweight? Did he make Winky fight at a catchweight? Did he make Pavlik fight at a catchweight either time the fights fell apart? He fought some other dude at middleweight, no cathweight. Then look at their history, Martinez was a junior middleweight when he fought Williams the first time, Williams made Martinez COME UP to middleweight to fight him in the first fight. Why, because he thought it was to his (Williams') advantage. Now in the second fight, after Martinez kicked the Linear Middleweight champ’s a$$ and ditched his Junior Middleweight titles to be middleweight champ, Williams wants him to drop back down to 157 because he (Williams) thinks it will benefit him after feeling how strong Martinez was in the first fight and seeing what he did to KP at 160. So Williams wants to be the undisputed SuperDuper Junior Middleweight Champ. Or will he be the SuperDuper Super Welterweight Champ? How can he hold his head high on that? So now he will be the 157 pound champ and Manny Pac is the 150 champ! Come on!

I know nobody is high on PBF right now, but the dude fights at the weight class. Now I hear Pac is talking about fighting Mosley at 144, come on. He picks and chooses how much he will let the people fighting him weigh. Clottey could weigh 147 because he was a bum. Margarito could weigh 150 because he was slow. Mosley has to weigh 144 because it will kill him. So maybe Pac will fight Martinez for the Undisputed Middleweight Championship of 140 pounds! — JB

PBF fought a lightweight (Juan Manuel Marquez) at a 144-pound catch weight and then weighed in at 146 pounds. Did you forget about that?

Why did Mayweather do that? Because he could. JMM did it because it meant the biggest payday of his career. It’s the same reason both Cotto and Margarito were more than willing to come in lighter than the division limits when they fought Pacquiao. Both made career-high paydays in those fights.

Martinez agreed to fight Williams at 157 pounds because he can’t make more money fighting anyone else right now. He’s angry about it but he and his promoter, adviser and trainer all agreed to it. They want to get paid.

If they were really vehemently against it the way they act (and I’m not just talking about Martinez) they would have not agreed to the catchweight. Period.

Hopefully, one day a fighter who holds a title will say “the hell with the money” and tell a big star who demands to fight at a catchweight to go screw himself. I want to see if fight fans rally behind this guy and applaud him for his conviction.

My guess is that a lot of fans will criticize him and say he’s scared to fight so-in-so and write stuff like “He’s hiding behind his belt” or “What a dumb-ass, where else is he going to make that kind of money?” on message boards.

I hope I’m wrong but I think fans have short memories. In time, many forget what fighters weighed for certain fights. They don’t hold it against the stars for creating contractual stipulations about weight. You forgot about Floyd d__king around Marquez. Most have forgotten that Hopkins agreed to come in at 156 pounds when he defended his middleweight title against De La Hoya. Everyone agrees that Sugar Ray Leonard is great but not many talk about how he had Donny LaLonde and Thomas Hearns (in the second fight) come in light for title bouts.

AMAZING NOVEMBER

Dear Mr. Fischer,
What a month! Two weeks remain, but already Juanma's campaign at 126 established a beachhead and Pacman blasted Joe Esposito before blasting Margarito into retirement/obscurity! Soon Giovani Segura defends, Super Six still thrills, and Celestino Caballero sweetens the deal!

Better yet, only 48 hours until the Middleweight Championship fight. I'm not religious at all, but let me exclaim “Thank You Jesus for Paul Williams and Sergio Martinez!”

After this, one question remains. Who's out there for the winner to fight?

(PS Less than 100 words in the body of my email? I must be getting soft in my old age.) Cheers. — Enrique Fernandez Roberts, Washington, DC

Maybe you’re getting sharper with age, Enrique.

Who’s out there for the Martinez-Williams winner to fight? How about each other? If Martinez wins, why not have a rubber match? If they stage another barnburner, HBO can sell the series as the best middleweight trilogy since Zale-Graziano.

I don’t think Segura is defending his RING and WBO titles next weekend. He’s fighting at 112 pounds and I think flyweight is where he’s going to stay.

I am also expecting thrills in both Super Six bouts (Abraham-Froch and Ward-Bika) next Saturday. I’m going to be at Marquez-Katsidis (which will definitely have its share of thrills) but my DVR will be set and I’ll enjoy watching the Showtime broadcast as soon as I get home on Sunday.

I hope fighting at 130 pounds prevents Caballero from seriously hurting Litzau. I like the American Boy.

TOP FIVE GRUESOME INJURIES

While watching the public bludgeoning of Margarito, I was somewhat relieved that my cable provider somehow failed to have the HD broadcast of the fight working properly. As Margarito's right eye swelled, it looked like one of the more gruesome boxing injuries that I have ever seen. But I know there have been worse. So, for your loyal readers, could you please provide your “Top 5 Most Gruesome Injuries” list?

I know your knowledge will be much better than mine, but off-hand my list would probably be: 1) Jorge Barrios' mouth in the Rocky Juarez fight 2) Fernando Vargas' eye in the Mosley-Vargas I fight 3) The knot on Hassim Rahman's head in the Evander Holyfield match 4) Vitali Klitchko's eyelid in the Lennox Lewis fight and 5) Jorge Arce's nose against Hussein Hussein. — Louie

Ironically my number one “gruesome injury” moment came in another Margarito fight, when the Mexican mauler fought Sebastian Lujan. My God, Lujan’s torn ear was absolutely nauseating.

Here’s my next four (which includes a few of yours): Barrios' lip, Vitali's eyelid, Corrales's lip and inner mouth after his gumshield broke during the first fight with Joel Casamayor (it looked like he was vomiting blood for a second at the end of the sixth round before it was stopped), and Arce's nose.

The big knots on fighters' heads don't seem to bother me as much as really bad cuts that spew blood. I’m such a wuss.

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