How’s life Dougie? Hope you have recovered for a busy fight week. Three points I’d like to make:
1. Nonito Donaire to Golden Boy. Wow. I did not expect that. Take that Top Rank. I haven’t taken sides in this promotional war but f__k that idiot trying to monopolize the promotional game. That is NOT healthy for boxing. This is some selfish s__t by Bob Arum. The fans are the ones losing out by getting s__t, one-sided fights. F__k the fans? Well f__k you Bob Arum! Lou DiBella said it best – “Bob Arum’s not making any fights with his guys against other people and he seems to be lining up BUM AFTER BUM AFTER BUM for Manny Pacquiao and Cotto.”
2. Sergio Martinez is the most complete fighter and the REAL P4P king. There’s no pussyfooting about this man. He has the will and skill to get to the top of the sport. Yet, it seems as though there’s a lock-down for Mayweather and Pacquiao for the No.1 and No.2 spots. Those two will not face Martinez. Pacquiao will ask Martinez to come down to 140 lb (yes 140) and Floyd Mayweather (the man who didn’t face Margarito and Cotto in their primes) is not man enough to face him even at 140 lbs for fear of losing his “0.” Does Martinez have to go to super middleweight? I’ve thought about this and I think that the hitlist should go a bit like this 1. Bute (box-off to face the winner of the Super Six), 2. Super Six winner, 3. Hopkins/Pascal (or the RING champion at light heavyweight at the time). I think Sergio is as athletic as Roy Jones Jr in his prime and can fight with world-class speed and power anywhere between middleweight and light heavyweight.
3. I’m beginning to get into ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. It’s had a good start to the year with elite prospects in tough fights. I’m really looking forward to watching Brad Solomon. I love watching pure boxers and this man is as technically sound as you can find. After Mikey Garcia and Chad Dawson this guy is my next favorite fighter. Three National Golden Gloves championships. I think the last person to accomplish that was some Pretty Boy.
Thanks. — Akhil, Manchester, UK
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Akhil. Sadly, I have not recovered from the flu bug that hit me on Saturday morning (the damn thing is as persistent as Pawel Wolak), but it won’t prevent me from watching all the action on TV (and the internet) this weekend.
I’ll answer your points in order:
1. All I can really say about this latest move from Golden Boy is that Arum likes to play rough and ruthless, so I have to assume he’s getting the kind of competition he relishes from his hated rival. Donaire is aware of Arum’s beefs with various promoters and how that could hamper his future but I’m sure it was a difficult decision (made with the approval of his wife and legal team, I’m sure) to leave Top Rank, which has JuanMa Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Mikey Garcia under contract. Donaire vs. anyone of those three featherweight standouts makes for a big event and must-see TV. However, my guess is that Donaire had built up serious resentment over the manner in which Arum promoted him from late 2008 through 2010. Until he faced Montiel on HBO in February, he had only one fight (his Showtime-televised bout with Hernan Marquez) that wasn’t on an independent PPV show. Donaire had five bouts against solid-but-unknown fighters that close to nobody saw. I guess he figures that GBP would have done a better job (and will do a better job going forward).
2. I currently have Pacquiao and Mayweather in the top two P4P spots, as does THE RING and RingTV.com co-editor Michael Rosenthal, but those two certainly don’t have a lockdown on that placement. Mayweather was supplanted by Martinez on ESPN.com’s and Yahoo! Sports pound-for-pound lists. And if he doesn’t get a fight scheduled soon, he’ll be dropped from most lists (including mine) due to inactivity. And if Pacquiao struggles with Mosley (which is not inconceivable), he could drop from his perch. Martinez could assume the P4P throne by May 8 without having fought another fight. As for Martinez campaigning at 168 pounds, I don’t think it’s a good idea. He’s a marvelous athlete but he’s not in Roy Jones Jr.’s class (very few are). I don’t think his power would carry up and I believe his speed would be compromised. I’m not saying he couldn’t compete. He could. But it’s probably a better idea for him to stake his claim as the king of the middleweights and create his legacy by beating back the top junior middleweights who dare to challenge him (such as Dzinziruk did, and the way Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland might).
3. FNF was my favorite boxing program last year and it continues to be this year. I loved that they showcased one of my pet prospects Ismayl Sillakh in a serious test two weeks ago. I think Solomon, who is indeed excellent, is in just as serious a test as the “Black Russian” was. He’s a very athletic and effective boxer but his technique is not as tight as you think it is. There are holes in his game, which can be exploited by a young veteran like Demetrius Hopkins, who I think has the better technique. However, I favor the Louisianan to win a close decision in an interesting boxing match.
COME ON MAN!
You can’t rank Pacquiao ahead of Mayweather, just like you can’t rank Wladimir ahead of Vitali. Are you guys serious? I’ll bet you my Mercedes that Mayweather beats Pacquiao when they fight and for the brothers, come on man, Vitali would whip his little brothers ass. And don’t be hiding behind the fact that both of these match ups are fictional, you lay it on the line for your mythical match up predictions…don’t make the “official” rankings some kind of power play to goad the best fighters to prove you wrong, though I’d love it if it worked. Peace. — Ricky, St. Paul, MN
There’s nothing “official” about my pound-for-pound rankings, or anyone else’s for that matter.
Depending upon the criteria and methodology used to rank the fighters in the mythical ratings one could argue that Sergio Martinez, Nonito Donaire, Roman Gonzalez, Bernard Hopkins or even Pongsaklek Wonjongkam deserve the No. 1 P4P spot.
It all depends upon what one values in a prize fighter and his accomplishments. Judging by what you stated my guess is that you’re partial to safety first boxers. “Willingness to engage” is definitely not a virtue in your eyes. And hey, that’s OK. Both Floyd and Vitali have done quite well for themselves pecking and poking from a distance.
I would also go with Vitali in a brother-vs.-brother match up but that fight will never happen due to ethical reasons and I can’t give the old man credit for what I imagine might happen if it were OK for the two to face off. As it is, Wladdy has faced slightly better competition since Big Bro un-retired.
By the way, I couldn’t help but crack up when you wrote that I should “lay it on the line” for a “mythical matchup prediction.” Shouldn’t you want your favorite boxer to “lay it on the line” for his legacy? What’s “mythical” about Pacquiao-Mayweather? If Floyd really wants that fight he can make it happen.
I’ll bet you the 1994 Toyota Corolla I donated to charity last year that Mayweather retires without fighting Pacquiao, Martinez or any other fighter that wouldn’t be considered at least a 4-to-1 underdog.
Dear Dougie/Doug/Mr Fischer,
What are your thoughts on Nonito Donaire going to GBP? Is this a reaction to his inactivity and lack of high profile fights after beating Darchinyan (Montiel aside)? Do you think it will increase his chances of high profile fights in the future (ie Mares if he beats Agbeko, or Moreno if he signs with GBP) or stifle him as he moves up in weight? Rigondeaux at 122, or Juanma Lopez and Gamboa at 126 are all with Top Rank.
Regarding Lucian Bute potentially fighting Kessler if he beats Brian Magee on Saturday — after dropping out the Super Six, a lot of the media questioned the legitimacy of his injury (as with Andre Dirrell) — and him talking about fighting the winner after the tournament felt a bit like he was trying to skip to the final maybe? Or am I being cynical? My question is do you think there will be any criticism of him if he does land a big money fight against Bute, and does this not seem a tad unfair to fighters such as Andre Ward and Carl Froch who have stuck through the tournament from the beginning?
As an Englishman I always feel a bit unpatriotic when I’m asked who I think will win out of Klitschko-Haye. I just don’t see the smaller man having anything more than a puncher’s chance against the champ and I don’t think the difference in speed is as big as it would need to be for Haye to outbox Wlad for 12 rounds.
Where do you see Martinez going after his impressive showing last weekend?
I also have to say I felt for you this week after having posted on the comments part of an article and ended up being insulted by a close-minded ignorant human being. You must have to deal with people like this every week! As we know there are a lot of problems with our sport — the alphabet titles, the best not fighting the best (in certain reference to a huge potential fight that I shall not mention that will probably not be made) — but in this digital age I think that the conduct of the very vocal minority (at least I hope it’s the minority) of fans on boxing pages on the internet is a sad and very real problem in boxing today. I fear I may never be able to have a debate on boxing without being insulted or being called racist.
Regards and keep up the good work. — Chris, Leicester, GB
Rude and obnoxious fans that populate boxing message boards and social networks are real downer. I’d be lying if I told that they didn’t bug the hell out of me (which is the ultimate goal for most of them). I try not to engage with them as much as did five or six years ago. At some point I realized three important things about these so-called fans: 1. They are indeed the minority and don’t speak for the majority of fans who enjoy watching boxing and actually spend money on tickets, subscription networks and pay-per-view events, 2. many are chemically imbalanced individuals with behavioral disorders and woefully ignorant of not only boxing but pretty much EVERYTHING, and it’s a complete waste of time to attempt any sort of “debate” or reasoning with them, and 3. The more you attention you give them the more they post.
However, I agree that they are just as much of a detriment to the sport as out-of-control sanctioning organizations, fighters not fighting, or promoters not promoting. I would like to see more adult fans counteract the internet posters who make boxing patrons appear to be ill-tempered racist thugs and xenophobic morons by posting rational opinions and observations. I’m not saying fight with the crazies. That’s what they want. I’m saying present coherent arguments to their ravings, and when the nut cakes spew racist or otherwise hateful venom simply state that you and most fight fans that you know do not feel the same way that they do. Represent in a positive manner.
I see Martinez making a “gimme” title defense against Peter Manfredo Jr. during the summer and then fighting a bigger name in the fall, perhaps James Kirkland.
I see Klitschko-Haye the same way you do.
If Bute beats Magee and faces Kessler next I do expect members of the media (mainly U.S. boxing writers) to criticize the Danish star for bowing out of the Super Six. Is it unfair to the guys who stayed in the tournament? I don’t think so. They are getting paid well for their semifinal bouts and they will get more respect and credit from fans and media than Kessler or Bute will receive for fighting each other. However, I don’t think anyone will blame Bute for fighting Kessler, who is formidable. He’s got no choice but to wait out the Super Six and he may as well stay busy against the best available competition.
My thoughts on Donaire going to Golden Boy is that it’s a major coup for Oscar & Company if it sticks. I don’t think inactivity was the sole reason Donaire bolted from the Top Plantation. He was stuck on four consecutive “Pinoy Power” pay-per-view shows (against Moruti Mthalane, Raul Martinez, Rafael Concepcion, and Manuel Vargas from December of 2008 to last February) when he should have been on either Showtime or HBO or Manny Pacquiao’s HBO PPV undercards against more recognizable opponents. And he never fought in his home region of the Bay Area where he could have built up a strong local following.
The move to GBP could stifle Donaire’s future if and when he goes up in weight. But for the time being Donaire’s home is bantamweight, where there are many worthy challengers for the Filipino Flash. And when Nonito is ready to go to 126 pounds I’m sure he’ll have options.
It’s not like Arum promotes EVERY top featherweight in the world (it just seems that way). There’s Chris John, who GBP works with; there’s Hozumi Hasegawa, who is promoted by Teiken (which co-promotes Jorge Linares with Golden Boy); there’s Daniel Ponce-DeLeon, there’s Juan Carlos Burgos. So Donaire has dance partners even without JuanMa and Gamby.
DONAIRE TO GBP? ABOUT TIME!
So when I read yesterday that Donaire signed with Golden Boy, buddy, I was laughing (seriously) the whole day…. it made my day. You see Oscar and Richard are not angels but Arum has been bullying them for a long time and yet they conduct themselves in a professional way in public, unlike Arum who sometimes act like a goon.
Anyway, I hope this will make your mailbag so my other Pinoy fans will see the other side of Arum. Thanks Dougie. You rock — Jay
Thanks for sharing, Jay. I was also critical of the way Top Rank promoted Donaire for most of 2009 and 2010.
If he is indeed free of his Top Rank contract (and there will likely be a legal battle to determine that) it will be interesting to see how Golden Boy Promotions moves the potential star. I for one hope GBP allows Donaire to headline a major show in the Bay Area or San Jose, Calif., because I’d like to see if the Filipino can develop into a regional ticket seller.
Just wondering on when you think James Kirkland will fight a quality opponent? After his fight with Berrio (I think we all are looking past him–including Kirkland) don’t you think he and Alfredo Angulo will have one of those FOTY type bouts? Assuming Angulo and his immigration issues are handled of course. Then the winner can be awarded with a bout against SERGIO MARTINEZ. CAPS lock on for Maravilla for being bigger than everyone else lately. I personally think Kirkland and Martinez would be an all out war! Both are exciting, both are in their prime, and both fighters just WHOOOP anyone they step into the ring with. I’m excited just typing their names in the same sentence! Don’t you!?!
I really hope James learned something from incarceration. He not only puts up one HELL OF A FIGHT, but ONE HELL OF A SHOW! In one word James Kirkland is FEROCIOUS.
Also, I for one love subjective lists and Top Fives so….here’s one…Five fighters who were successful after stints in prison?
Thanks! Hope to see this FRIDAY! — Leo from CANADA
My top five ex-con fighters: Bernard Hopkins, Sony Liston, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Diego Corrales and Mike Tyson.
Hopefully, if Kirkland can stay out of trouble, learn as much as he can from Ken Adams, and the fights he wants, he can one day make that list (or at leas the top 10 version).
A fight with Angulo would be a huge step towards achieving that goal. I don’t know who wins that fight but I agree it would be a fight of the year candidate. What else could it be?
I don’t know if getting to fight Martinez is a fair “prize” for the winner of Kirkland-Angulo — neither brawler has the skills to hang with Maravilla in my opinion — but I think the middleweight champ deserves a big fight and that would be it. So, I hope it happens.
BIG BANG CASEY
First time writer long time reader! I wrote in because I have to mention the upcoming fight between the amateur legend Guillermo Rigondeaux and Willie ‘Big Bang’ Casey. I can’t remember two fighters with perfect records fighting for a world title so early in their professional careers!
Anyway I give Casey a good shot even though he is a serious underdog coming into the fight because of Rigondeaux last fight against Cordoba. Rigondeaux was controlling that fight and was on his way to an easy decision and then BAM got caught and went on the defensive and was lucky to come away with the win. Casey may not be the most polished of boxers but if he lands a clean punch then Rigondeaux has nowhere to hid for the rest of the fight and could easily lose his title in Dublin.
One might question why Rigondeaux took this risky fight as it has little reward but as his manager (Gary Hyde) is Irish the fight makes sense!
What are your thoughts Dougie? Keep up the good work! Thanks. — Henry ‘The Hurricane’ Barrett (Obviously Irish)
Casey is such an inspirational story and seems like such a nice, humble guy (like most Irish fighters) it’s hard not to root for him or to give him a puncher’s chance, but based on the footage I’ve seen of him I think he’s tailor made for Rigondeaux, whose bread and butter is counter-punching the living daylights out of aggressive come-forward fighters. I think one of the reasons Cordoba gave Rigondeaux fits (beyond being a very skilled and experienced former titleholder) was his stick-and-move style. Rigondeaux doesn’t like to go looking for his opponent. He likes to wait for them, make them miss and make them pay, and he does so with scary accuracy and power.
It doesn’t look good for Big Bang, who I think will be stopped in the middle or late rounds, but I’m sure he’ll give it his all and I know Irish fans won’t turn their backs on him if he loses. If I’m wrong, be sure to email me and tell me that you told me so!