Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

MARTINEZ IS THE GOODS

Hey Dougie,

Sergio Martinez is something special. Dzinziruk is supposed to make opponents look bad. Martinez looked great. Amazing. Exactly! That’s what your co worker wrote and boy is he right. “Wow” is all I can say. Not only did he do the obvious which is out jab the jabber, his head movement made Sergei look what made him good in the first place, which is amateurish. That’s irony.

As for Miguel Cotto vs. Ricardo Mayorga? What do we do? Start talking about rematch? Either way I hope the Football lockout helps out boxing cause we know it needs it. Let’s hope the “Boxing People” who run it do not mess it up. LOL! Sincerely. — Luis, San Diego

I think the sport is going to have a good 2011 and an even better 2012, but not because of anything the NFL does. It will be because the right fights are happening (such as Wladimir Klitschko-David Haye) and because new stars are finally emerging (Donaire, Rios, Alvarez).

The only rematch that was discussed after Cotto-Mayorga was Cotto-Margarito II.

“Sergio Martinez is something special.” That, my friend, is the understatement of the year so far. The middleweight champ is a supremely confident, ultra-competitive, hyper-athletic beast with boxing gloves on. Dzinziurk would have given any other world-class 154- or 160-pound fighter fits on Saturday. However, Martinez is beyond world class. He’s elite.

I just wish there were more elite fighters in his weight class that he could test himself against.

MARTINEZ’S PROGRESS

Sup Dougie,

Impressive performance by Sergio Martinez on Saturday night. I have to say that after three impressive performances in a row against a variety of elite opposition, he’s definitely earned the #2 spot on the P4P list.

Floyd Mayweather has been fighting less than once a year against handpicked opposition and doesn’t even have a fight scheduled. Nonito Donaire is awesome and consistent, but I think Martinez’ track recent track record and performances trump Donaire’s.

BTW, how would you see Martinez faring against a prime Hopkins? – Will

I think the prime version of Hopkins at middleweight (1999-2002) would have found a way to shut down Martinez over the 12-round distance (probably with a lot of holding and mugging whenever he got in close to the Argentine, but also by using the right counter punches), but I bet it would have been a competitive fight. I gotta go with B-Hop, though. His record against southpaws is amazing.

Regarding Martinez’s pound-for-pound placement I think you can definitely make an argument that he could be No. 2 or No. 3 behind Pacquiao or behind Pac and Mayweather. I’m not going to demote Mayweather on my personal pound-for-pound list until more than a year has past since his last fight. If Floyd doesn’t have his life in order and a fight scheduled (or at least in talks) by mid-May, he may get dropped from my list altogether.

But for the time being, Mayweather has what Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez have over Martinez, which is many years of ring excellence — not just a string of three impressive performances.

Martinez is an awesome talent who is just coming into his own (late in the game, much like B-Hop did), but we have to keep in mind that he didn’t step-up to world-class competition until the start of 2009. Think about how much Pacquiao, Mayweather and Marquez (the top 3 on my personal P4P list) accomplished through 2008.

I agree, however, that Martinez deserves to be ranked ahead of Donaire on the P4P list. He is No. 4, Nonito is No. 5.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

1. Cotto does look better under Emanuel Steward, and also about a foot taller! His balance is so much better than it was, but where the hell can he go from here outside of a rematch with a worn-out Margarito?

2. Can you explain to me based on what he has (or rather, hasn’t) done in the last 3 years (hell make it 6 years!), how the hell from an objective point of view can Floyd Mayweather rank above Sergio Martinez pound for pound? Please, what was so spectacular?!

3. I agree that Mayorga could have been something with real discipline and dedication. How far do you think he could have gone based on his toughness and heavy hands?

– Ed from UK

Thanks for writing in, Ed. I’ll respond to your observations in order:

1. Outside of a rematch with Margarito, there are interesting matchups against fellow Puerto Rican Kermit Cintron and Alfredo Angulo (if the Mexican pressure fighter can his visa troubles under wraps), a fan friendly title defense against Pawel Wolak, and if Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. beats Sebastian Zbik (which no easy task) to earn the WBC’s 160-pound strap, Cotto could challenge “the son of the legend” for a fourth title in a fourth weight class. If Shane Mosley somehow pulls the upset against Manny Pacquiao in May, a rematch with the “SugarMan” would be an attractive fight. Heck, if the 39-year-old veteran acquits himself well in a loss to Pacquiao I think Cotto-Mosley II would still be a welcome fight. So, it looks like there are plenty of options for Cotto depending on how busy he wants to be. (And there are obviously more potential matchups than I have presented here, such as an eventual showdown with Saul Alvarez. I just listed the fights that Bob Arum would likely agree to.)

2. Mayweather’s last fight was a dominant decision victory over Mosley, who was ranked in everybody’s P4P top 10 at the time. I don’t put much stock into his victory over Marquez because it was an over-the-weight bout, but prior to that fight he knocked out Ricky Hatton, the junior welterweight champ who was 43-0 at the time. Hatton was also ranked in most P4P top 10 lists (though, not on my personal list). Beyond Mayweather’s sparse recent activity, there’s his overall body of work, which is not the stuff of an all-time great fighter because he definitely picked his spots, but it’s impressive nonetheless. Mayweather was a dominant 130-pound champ who went on to win titles in four higher weight classes.

3. Had Mayorga trained as hard and as diligently as a lesser talented fighter, such as Margarito, did I think he could have been the reigning world welterweight champ for many years. I think he would have defeated Cory Spinks and he could have likely had a five-year run with many memorable title defenses against the likes of Mosley, Margarito, Cotto, and Zab Judah.

GREAT NIGHT OF BOXING

Dougie,
HBO definitely won on Saturday with two great fights. Andy Lee looked extremely stiff throughout in an exciting fight. I kept on thinking why isn’t he using his left and keeps on loading up with the right. It was getting predictable. To my surprise he turned it up and took him out with the left. Exciting fight and good win for him. Not sure where or who he goes from here. I say rematch.

Martinez is just everything you want from a boxer. He’s exciting, can box, can brawl, and can close the show. It’s unfortunate that there aren’t any elite middleweights out there. Super middleweight is too big for him and there is definitely a lack of names willing to fight him out there. If he’s looking for a name maybe Winky Wright or go for a unification against Felix Sturm. Also not sure where he goes from here, but wherever it is I will definitely be watching.

Thoughts on Cotto’s victory? I wasn’t buying that garbage and I think we all knew the results before it started. The only thing I was concerned with was that I read Cotto didn’t look good. Is this true? — Michael

Cotto looked very sharp. His boxing form has never been better. He’s not squaring up as much as he used to (in other words, his body is at a proper angle), his jab is hard and accurate, he keeps his right hand up at all times, he put his shots together and he countered well.

The fight was good. It was entertaining. It wasn’t a war because Cotto was able to control the action with his skills and ring generalship, but I was glad I made the same-day drive to Vegas (sick as a dog) to be there live.

The only thing missing from Cotto’s victory was more pressure and a higher punch output. I think he could have taken Mayorga out earlier had he stepped on the gas pedal, and when he failed to do that, the wily Nicaraguan stole a few late rounds.

Regarding Martinez, I think the fight that needs to be made, and the one he richly deserves, is a showdown with Mayweather at 154 pounds. If Floyd wants to continue to be the star child of HBO PPV events that’s the fight he needs to take.

Apart from a fight with Pacquiao, I can’t think of any matchup that would hold more significance for Mayweather. Nobody, not even his harshest detractors, could criticize that fight, which would definitely drive hardcore fans crazy but also earn a lot of attention from the mainstream sports media.

Martinez-Mayweather is the fight we should beat the drums for. If Mayweather is unavailable or doesn’t want to take the risk (the more likely scenario), there’s Canadian puncher David Lemieux, Zbik (if he beats Junior, which is entirely possible), and perhaps early next year James Kirkland.

Wright has to get through a training camp without injuring himself and then win a comeback fight or two before he can be mentioned as an opponent for Martinez. Sturm? I guess he’s worthy, but there’s no way DiBella’s going to take the star of his stable to Germany. Do you think “the Sturminator” would travel to the U.S.?

The “Celtic War” between Lee and McEwan was entertaining but I don’t think either fighter will ever be ready to challenge a world-beater like Martinez. I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch, but whoever wins should target someone other than Martinez if they want to grab a belt.

GIVING COTTO CREDIT

What’s up Dougie,

I think we should give Miguel Cotto the benefit of the doubt. As a boxing fan I’ve always made it a point to watch his fights because he is a fight fan’s fighter. So he backpedals at the end of fights. Oh well! I’m Chicano and was rooting for Margarito back in ’08, but with all that’s been happening since then I will root for the Boricua Bomber in the rematch. Although he’s not too charismatic, he is humble and respectful outside of the ring, and a bad ass inside of it. What do you think Dougie? — Miguel LBC

I couldn’t have said better myself. It’s been an honor to cover Cotto’s career and to be ringside for so many of his major fights.

Cotto’s never unified major belts or won THE RING title but to me he epitomizes the word “champion.”

MARTINEZ VS. COTTO

Doug – Could Cotto be competitive with Martinez at a 155ish catch-weight? — Kevin Key, St. Cloud, MN

A little bit, but the longer that fight goes on the more it could become a mismatch. Martinez is just too big, too fast, too strong and athletic, and too skilled for Cotto at this stage in his career. 

SPRUNG FOR MARAVILLA!

What’s Up Dougie Fresh!
I’m a long time reader, first time mailbag writer…and Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez’s performance yesterday compelled me to write in. What can I say? This man is the reason why I still believe in boxing!

He ducks no one & he proved that he is up to the challenge of fighting the best boxers around the world. Unlike some highly acclaimed boxers who avoid tough challengers & only fight boxers past their prime (yeah, readers you know who I’m referring to) then blame it on their handlers, promoters, trainers blaahh-blaaah-blaah. Aside from being helluv finnnnee, Maravilla gave us everything a fight should have; boxing, jabs, hooks, combos, knee touching canvas, drama (accidental hit below the belt), KO and sensational entertainment! I have to admit that Dzinziruk looked scary… he reminded me of Dolph Lundgren (not sure how to spell his name) in the Rocky movie, Dzinziruk’s face was stone & no cuts only his chest was red. The only thing he needed was to say “if he dies…he dies!” but then his trainer through the interpreter says “cold blooded, cold blooded”…these guys don’t play!

How long or what else does Maravilla need to do until he is at the top of the P4P list? If your rolling your eyes saying this girl is Sprung! I have to admit that when he dedicated the fight to lil Monique & he put bullying on blast I was enamored. I’m an educator and bullying is a major problem and there is not enough individuals standing against it.

On another note…what happened to your Friday Mailbag? You have the best mailbags. Please don’t deprive us of your knowledge.

I hope you get to read this since you will probably get lots of emails about this weekend’s fights. You’re the best Dougie Fresh! — Athena, Southern California :-)

Thank you for finally writing in Athena. Don’t be a stranger now that you’ve broken the ice.

The Friday mailbag hasn’t been discontinued but there will weeks when I don’t put one out, such as the weeks when I do a Fight Night Club broadcast or when I have to write a major feature story on a Thursday.

I’m getting’ old, Athena. I’m not able to deal with sleep depravation as well as I did in my 30s. I didn’t put a Friday bag out last week because I was simply wasted by mid-day Thursday. (Now I know why, I had picked up the bug that my 2½-year old daughter had since last Sunday. I am sick as a dog as I write this mailbag reply.)

Regarding Martinez, all I can say is that had he come to the U.S. a few years earlier and learned English, he’d be a star by now. Like Cotto, Martinez epitomizes the word “champion.” Unlike Cotto, he is very warm and sociable. I Tweeted this after watching him spar two weeks ago and I’ll repeat it because it’s true: “If there’s a champ more gracious & good natured than Martinez, I haven’t met him.”

What does Maravilla need to do to get to the top of the P4P list? Keep winning in impressive fashion. I think the winner of Martinez-Mayweather would overtake Pacquiao’s hold on the No. 1 spot. Good luck to DiBella, Team Martinez and HBO in getting Mayweather to take that fight.

Martinez might have to take the Marvin Hagler/B-Hop route to the top by consistently beating back the challenges of young guns (Dmitry Pirog, David Lemieux, Andy Lee, James Kirkland, and the unknown but very dangerous Gennady Golovkin are all willing potential challengers who are waiting in the wings).

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