Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

MARQUEZ + KATSIDIS = NO LOSERS

Hey Dougie,
I’m a massive fan of both Marquez brothers (Juan Manuel and Rafael) and Michael Katsidis. These guys are perfect ambassadors for our sport. Fierce and fantastic inside the ring and humble and gracious outside of it. But being an Aussie I have to root for my boy this weekend. I’m hoping he can produce the performance of his life, because that is what is required, so he can pull off the upset. However, in my heart of hearts I think Marquez will be too skilled and ring savvy and will win.

Either way I can’t see any losers in this one. There is no shame in losing to a ring master like Marquez. If Katsidis can overwhelm Marquez with relentless pressure, power and determination, then we should be praising Katsidis and not criticizing Marquez. Marquez will still have his passbook stamped for Canastota as soon as he is eligible. I also believe the loser from this fight won’t tumble too far down the rankings and will remain viable options in the Lightweight division. Well the rankings that matter anyway — the fans who vote with their wallets. Who knows what the alphabet Oligarchs will do. The loser can easily find new dance partners if and when they choose to.

Finally, the fans won’t lose. Whoever wins and however they win, it will be fun viewing while it lasts.

I love boxing Dougie! Right now it loves me back! Can you feel it? — Choppa B, Sydney, Australia

I certainly can. By the time you read this mailbag I’ll either be on a flight to Las Vegas or already settled in at the MGM Grand, the site of what should be a dramatic lightweight championship bout.

Like any fan who has a heart and soul, I’m moved by Katsidis’ decision to go through with the fight despite the recent death of his brother. I’m expecting Katsidis to be more motivated and focused for this fight than any other, which is almost scary when you consider how intense he normally is, but Marquez is a real champ who could have competed in any era. He’ll be ready for your lad and I have no doubt that fans will be treated to something special tomorrow night.

I can tell you from personal experience that both Marquez and Katsidis are as humble and down to earth as they seem in their interviews. They treat everybody with respect. But I’d be a fan of both even if they weren’t classy human beings because they exhibit so much courage in the ring. Katsidis has taken my breath away with some of his fights (most notably the TKO loss to Joel Casamayor, the bloody battle with Czar Amonsot, and the brutal knockouts of Graham Earl and Kevin Mitchell). I’ve literally been in awe while watching and covering some of Marquez’s fights (most notably against Pacquiao, Barrera, and Casamayor). I felt honored (and I mean that) to witness his victory over Juan Diaz after their first fight.

If every prize fighter were like Marquez and Katsidis, boxing would be everybody’s favorite sport (at least for those who have a heart and soul).

THANKFUL FOR STACKED SATURDAY

Hey Doug,
So who's cooking for Thanksgiving you or the Mrs? Saturday will be great night of boxing but, I wanted to know what your take on Juan Carlos Burgos fight against the always tough Hozumi Hasegawa, the ex-Batam champ, on Friday. With whom would you like to see the winner fight next?

Of course the HBO triple header + SHO’s Super Six showdown will be the talk of the weekend but I’m just as interested in Burgos vs Hasegawa as I am for the premium cable fights.

I'll be in Tijuana watching Giovani Segura and Miguel Vazquez do their thing live, so my DVR will be working overtime. I'll be eating some taquitos — maybe not as good as K9's fave restaurant, “Rafael's” — but almost.

Burgos vs Hasegawa (Burgos via late rds TKO)
Marquez vs Katsidis (easier than expected TKO win for Marquez)
Berto vs Hernandez (unpopular UD for Berto)
Caballero vs Litzau (Caballero via Stunning KO)
Froch vs Abraham (wow, I really don’t know, but it will be brutal)

Have an awesome Saturday evening, and may the rest of your week be awesome, too. — Jorge, San Diego

Thanks Jorge. Enjoy those tacos in TJ (my guess is that they’ll be just as good or better than what you’d get at Rafael’s). I think Segura and Vazquez’s opponents will give good accounts of themselves before they are outclassed by the champs. Segura will overpower Manuel Vargas in the middle rounds. Vazquez will outbox Ricardo Dominguez over 12.

The Hasegawa-Burgos fight is a tough one to call. The Japanese veteran has never fought above 118 pounds. Burgos is not only a natural featherweight but tall and rangy to boot. However, the 22 year old’s experience can’t hold a candle to the former bantie champ. I’m going to go with experience and home country advantage here and predict a Hasegawa decision victory.

I’d love to see Hasegawa battle countryman Toshiaki Nishioka (THE RING‘s No. 1-rated 122 pounder) and defend against Celestino Caballero if the Panamanian beats Litzau and continues to be ignored by Top Rank (which moves titleholders JuanMa Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa).

Regarding the other major fights of the weekend:

I think Marquez defends his lightweight title by decision but only barely. Katsidis will be like a man possessed. He’s going to press Marquez the way Diaz did in the first fight, only he won’t be bothered by cuts and he’ll hit with more power.

Berto wins a “Who-cares?” UD over Hernandez.

Caballero outworks Litzua over 10 in a tougher than expected fight.

Froch and Abraham battle to a rousing split draw.

My wife did all of the cooking yesterday. I did all of the cleaning.

FROCH-ABRAHAM/MARQUEZ-KATSIDIS

Hi Doug,
Two decent fights coming up this weekend. Froch v Abraham & Katsidis v Marquez.

Froch said if he loses this he will become a fringe fighter, saying he 'only wants to fight the best.' Do you think this is 100% true? Also how do you think this will play out? Could Froch score a KO and ignite his reputation again or beat him convincingly on points to show he hasn't taken a step backwards by any means.

Onto Katsidis. The guy is so exciting. Watched him rip Mitchell in 3 rounds which provoked me to watch previous fights on youtube. He doesn’t hold back at all and I've seen his flimsy chin. Will Marquez pressure HIM or take shots and counter with his amazing combos like he did Diaz? Bottom line… How do you see this play out? I have a sneaky felling he could TKO Marquez. Lets see how that chin holds up though.

(P.S. Margarito cracked his orbital bone (and took a lot of punishment, too much in fact) so I got what I wanted when I wrote in last!) Thanks for your time. — Malcolm, Dublin.

Hey, dreams really do come true in boxing. Margarito haters got to see him take a God-awful beating two weeks ago and now they can look forward to a number of more competitive high-profile fights over the next three weeks.

I see Marquez-Katsidis going the distance in a bout that the veteran champ controls for the majority of rounds but still has to fight hard for 36 minutes. I think it will be bloody and physically taxing for both fighters, who might look like gargoyles by the late rounds of the bout. I’m picking Marquez by close decision but I agree that Katsidis has the power to hurt the 37-year-old veteran. I don’t think Katsidis’ chin is that flimsy. He was dropped three times and stopped late by Joel Casamayor but he was caught by punches he didn’t see (he has trouble with left-handed fighters) that were thrown by a hall-of-fame worthy vet. Let’s not forget that Katsidis gave Casamayor hell in many rounds and knocked him out of the ring in the sixth. He won’t have to deal with a southpaw stance with JMM, plus I think he’s improved since the loss to Casamayor. Having said that, he’s still easy to hit by an accurate combo puncher like Marquez, but I think we’re going to get a fight on Saturday.

Froch won’t be demoted to “fringe” status unless he gets KTFO by Abraham. If he loses in competitive or compelling fashion I think the loquacious Englishman will remain a player in the 168-pound division.

However, I give Froch a good shot to beat Abraham. He’s rangy and busy enough to outwork the Armenian stalker in the early rounds (by jabbing and punching around Abe’s high guard), he can out-maneuver Abraham in the middle rounds with his decent footwork and then got tit for tat in the late rounds when his opponent usually heats up. I think Froch will outwork Abraham but “King Arthur” will land the harder, cleaner shots, and fans will be get a split draw (one judge scoring for each fighter with the third judge tallying an even card).

CELESTINO CABALLERO

Hey Dougie,
There must be some kind of mistake in The Ring rankings as I can't find Caballero anywhere. Talk about being avoided. — Stephen, Montreal

Caballero was THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight (where he had won two major titles and defeated Daniel Ponce-Deleon, Somsak Sithchatchawal and Steve Molitor among other top contenders). However, he moved to featherweight earlier this year, where he’s yet to accomplish enough to enter THE RING’s 126-pound rankings (sorry, beating Daud Yordan isn’t enough).

Tomorrow he’ll fight at 130 pounds, which I believe is too heavy for him, but hopefully one of the top featherweights will step up and face the 34-year-old vet in 2011 so he can return to the featherweight division.

DREAMS COME TRUE

I wish the entire year was like November and December as far as fights go this year. I'm pumped about Marquez-Katsidis, Caballero-Liatzu, Ward-Bika, Froch-Abraham, Soto-Antillon, Perez-Agbeko II, Darchinyan-Mares, Kahn-Maidana, Peterson-Ortiz along with a few others.

Man, if there were fights like this all year round I don't think anybody would be complaining. In fact, I don't think anyone would even care if Pacquaio-Mayweather was ever made if we can have a consistent schedule like this. I haven't been this excited in a long time. First 3/4 of the year I felt like I was waiting and waiting for fights and now I just have to wait for each weekend to come to get my fix. Pacquaio-Margarito was somewhat exciting and Martinez-Williams just was like the start off for all of these exciting fights to come. I literally can't wait! What's great about it, is that most of these fights are toss ups and for the most part isn't just creative matchmaking, but the right matchmaking. I believe boxing and the fans are all winners with these type of fights.

On another note, I hope Williams is able to bounce back considering he has always taken on all comers and that's what boxing needs, but from watching his fights with Quintana and Martinez he's extremely susceptible to the left cross and hook. I'd stay away from lefties if I was his team right now. Thoughts? — Michael, NYC

I’d keep P-Will from savvy, talented left-handers like Martinez and Quintana, which means he should stay clear of Sergei Dzinziruk. However, if James Kirkland can stay out of jail and get a few wins under his belt next year I think relentless southpaw would be the perfect comeback opponent for Williams in the second half of 2011.

I agree that many boxing fans would forget about high-profile events like Pacquiao-Mayweather if the schedule was packed with as many world-class matchups as it is this month and next all year around. However, those would only be the hardcore fans like you and I. The causal fans and general sports fans don’t care about badass fights like Froch-Abraham or Darchinyan-Mares.

I think it’s possible for the sport to deliver both kinds of fights on a regular basis. In fact, consistent hardcore matchups like the ones you mentioned lead to the emergence of stars and the development of high-profile mainstream boxing events. Pacquiao had to fight Barrera and Marquez on HBO before he became a national hero and PPV attraction. Mayweather had to fight Hernandez, Corrales and Chavez on HBO before transitioning to PPV fights against Gatti and Judah, which led to his breakthrough vs. De La Hoya.

Hopefully, the momentum of this month and December carries through to 2011. Bradley-Alexander and Donaire-Montiel on HBO in January and February and the finals of both the Super Six and the bantamweight tournament on Showtime is already a good sign.

MARAVILLA LIVES UP TO HIS NAME

Good day to you Mr. Fischer,
I've probably rewatched that Maravilla KO a dozen times this week. WOW. I feel bad for the Punisher but think he'll come back. Martinez saw a flaw that until now Williams had been able to overcome. Joe Louis came back after his flaw was exposed by Max Schmeling, right? For now Junior Middle seems a good choice for Williams. There's Cotto, Cintron, Jr., and Opie Canelo. However, I fear that even after a tough loss folks will avoid Williams. Come to think of it, I fear the same for Maravilla after the impressive win.

Cobra vs. King Abraham promises to be all action. I'm not convinced that Ward's going to walk through Bika. Guys who fight out of Australia with “scorpion” for a nickname are good at scoring upsets.

The HBO card is also aces. Juanma Marquez vs. Katsidis and Celestino Caballero as an appetizer? As Cartman would say “Super Sweet”! I'm not as excited for Berto, but maybe this is the fight where he impresses.

Happy Turkey day to you and the rest of the Ringtv.com and mailbag crew. — Enrique Fernandez Roberts, Washington, DC

Thanks Enrique.

I think Berto will win clearly but won’t impress. Hernandez is hard to look good against. If Berto knocks out the Mexican I stand corrected.

I think Bika’s strength and awkwardness will make things tough for Ward, and maybe even interesting for the fans, but I think young titleholder will outpoint the veteran.

I betcha Froch-Abraham features more boxing than anyone expected.

I don’t see any 154-pound contender or name taking on Martinez or Williams except for Cintron, who nobody wants to see land a rematch with either guy.

MONDAY MAILBAG COMMENTS

I only have one disagreement with you. I would LOVE to see Pacquiao KTFO Berto!!!!!! I HATE Berto (going overboard for dramatization). The reason I do not like Berto is he is Jermain Taylor 2.0 without the resume. HBO gets all over the d__k of certain fighters and wants to brainwash the public that they are watching the second coming of Ray Robinson. They had listed on the screen Saturday Welterweight “Super Star” Andre Berto? Really? I bet his family doesn't even consider him that. This dude has fought more soft touches then anybody I can recall on the network. In synopsis, I think Berto is the same height, but stronger, real quick and I think it would be a good fight that Berto gets blasted out of at the end. Not sure how you think Devon Alexander would prove a much better threat after watching his last fight. Although he was more impressive against Urango then Berto. Anyway, I'm not Berto fan, but I would love to see this fight, just to see Berto f_cked up!

Quick question, is Williams’ chin that bad or Martinez' punch that strong? My god, that was brutal. On a side note, I made my daughter Hannah (3) watch it like 20 times in a row saying “that's how you do it if Andon pinches you again”. Some bad_ss kid up the street pinched my daughter and she just cried, she is a good kid. Anyway, I'm going to have to start training her in the garage for the rematch! lol (maybe). — JCB (since someone hijacked my name)

Don’t forget to teach your daughter to go to the body. Bullies don’t like it to the body. (Although this Andon boy probably just has a crush and doesn’t even know it.)

I think Williams has been taking too many shots in recent fights, which has chipped away at his body’s ability to take a good shot, but I also believe Martinez landed a perfect power punch. My guess is that Williams still has solid whiskers but he needs to seriously beef up his defense if he wants to remain a world-class fighter.

Anyway, if Berto gets the Pacquiao fight you’ll get your wish. He will be annihilated by the Pac-Monster. I think it will be like watching a replay of Manny’s decapitation of Hatton, who was also lucky to get a decision over Luis Collazo.

I’m not sure that Alexander could do any better against Pacquiao than Berto but I think he will be more deserving of the shot IF he can beat Bradley. If Bradley beats Alexander I think he should be the No. 1 choice for Pacquiao’s next victim, er, I mean opponent.

Damn it! Why did Valero have to lose his f___ing mind! We wouldn’t be talking about freakin’ Andre Berto fighting Pac if he were still alive.

Thank you for adding a letter to your mailbag name to avoid confusion. Now if I can only get one of the Steves from Montreal do the same…

NICE MAILBAG

Good Monday mailbag Doug, keep up the good work. For once the mailbag was not just about Pac and Money, a great performance will do that… — Steve

Amen to that. Thank you Sergio Martinez!

TOP FIVE SECOND-ROUND SMASH HITS

Hey Dougie, what's up?
And no, I'm not referring to the number of stars and tweety birds that are still buzzing around Paul Williams' nogging right now.

Anyways, I'd first like to mention how much I enjoy digging into that mailbag of yours. Where else do I get to read about over-aged geeks dressing up like Green Lantern (are you one of that esteemed bunch ?), mental masturbations, and all those special moments when diving champion Kermit Cintron makes his big splash every time someone even so much as sniffs in the direction of his chin. Classic literature at it's finest.

Now let's talk about Sergio's latest smash hit and the upcoming hits this weekend. And oh yeah, I have a top 5 for you as well.

Martinez-Williams. Once again, what a brutal shot by Martinez. And yes the big “M” is definitely the best fighter today not named Pacqiauo or Mayweather. Nevertheless I'm going to kill the latest buzz by declaring that he's still no Carlos Monzon or ever will be. For starters, Monzon wouldn't have needed a rematch to knock Williams into the far side of Queer Street. Heck, he may not of even needed that second round. But then, you certainly don't need to be Carlos Monzon to dominate today's trash-heap middleweight division. As for P-Will, if he's to bounce back, he needs to realize that it's legal to keep your right hand up.

Marquez-Katsidis. I know I'm in the minority with this one but I'm going with Katsidis on this fight. As much as I love Marquez, I think that the Aussie will be too big, too strong and too determined.
Marquez will certainly not go down without a fight (he sure won't!), but in the end, Katsidis overwhelms him.

Now let's do the top 5 second round smash hits since there's been so many the past 20 years.

5. Martinez-Williams. 4. Rosario-Bramble. 3. Tarver-Jones. 2. Tyson-Berbick. 1. Hearns-Duran.

I'll never forget the sight of Berbick flopping around from one punch or the usually indestructible Roberto Duran needing to be peeled off the canvas after getting squashed by that thunderbolt of
a right hand.

Well that does it for me Fischerman. Thanks for responding and have a good one. — Todd Johnson aka Turbo Toddy, Ontario, Canada

That’s an excellent Top Five list, Todd. I’m hard pressed to come up with a second-round KO that compares to any of the ones you ranked, but check out Terry Norris getting KTFO by Julian Jackson. That one might rate, eh?

That fight took place in 1989 so it just misses your 20-year cut off (if you meant for your list to be the Top Five of the past 20 years), but damn, it‘s such a cold-ass KO I had to list it (and link to it). Jackson was a pure puncher.

Pacquiao’s KO of Hatton could make the list, too. So could, perhaps, your favorite diver's brutal KO of Walter Matthysse. (Hey, somebody's gotta give Cintron some props!) But going back to 1989, Evander Holyfield‘s one-punch right-hand KO of Adilson Rodriguez is worth a look.

Anywhoo, if Katsidis pulls off the upset I’ll give you your props for calling it in the Monday mailbag.

Thanks for the kind words on the mailbag column, by the way.

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