REGARDING DE LA HOYA
What is good in Salinas? I hope you do not receive scores of emails from homophobic hardcores regarding Oscar de la Hoya's recent comments. It is unfortunate that he let his life unravel, but it look likes he is doing his best to get his life together. Hopefully, for the sake of his kids, he mans up and handles his business. — Jaime, South City
I think De La Hoya’s going to be just fine. By today’s celebrity standards, his “out of control” was rather tame. However, that doesn’t mean he wasn’t causing his wife and kids a ton a grief over the years. Admitting that he has a problem and actually doing something to help change his behavior is a positive start to getting his life together and enjoying and appreciating his life in ways he may never have dreamed of in the past. I don’t think he ever reached his full potential as a prize fighter, but he can do so as a man and a parent, which is ultimately more important.
I’ve received a few emails sort of poking fun at him in regards to the lingerie photos from a few years back, but nothing terribly negative or homophobic, which was a pleasant surprise. I think by coming clean with everything, De La Hoya took the power away from a “dirty little secret” (that really wasn’t much of a secret to begin with).
Salinas, Calif., is all good. I spent the better part of Thursday evening listening to Don Chargin tell wonderful stories from his 60 years of promoting and matchmaking. I had hoped to write up a feature on the hall of famer for Friday morning, but it might have to wait until later today or Saturday. Chargin, who promotes tonight’s Telefutura-televised card headlined by Eloy Perez (one of my favorite prospects) vs. Daniel Jimenez, gave me so many anecdotal gems accumulated over the decades that it will take some time to go through them all. I want to make sure to include the best ones and do so as historically accurate as possible.
By the way, if you plan on watching tonight’s Solo Boxeo Tecate broadcast, keep an eye out for Paul Mendez (6-1), a 6-foot junior middleweight prospect who is stepping up to spuer middleweight to face the very capable James Parison (14-1). I’ve heard good things about Mendez, who was training with Robert Garcia in Oxnard, but is now training in the Bay Area with Virgil Hunter (Andre Ward’s trainer).
THE EYE OF THE TIGER
Hi Doug, how are you doing? I enjoyed your recent gym report from Victor Ortiz’s camp. It kind of reminded me of your old So Cal gym notes. Keep up the good work!
Anyway, do you pay attention to fighters’ facial expressions during their ring walk? I realized that when some fighters had certain look on their face, they usually show up very focused and win the fights. I call it “eye of the tiger” look, much like Rocky’s when he faced Clubber Lang in their rematch. I’ve seen the same “eyes” on Lennox Lewis when he was walking towards the ring for his rematch with Hasim Rahman and he pancaked him with strong one-two. Shane Mosley had same look when he faced Antonio Margarito. Antonio Tarver had same look when he faced Roy Jones in their first fight. Most recently, Ortiz certainly had that look when he faced Andre Berto and we all know what happened.
To me, the “eye of the tiger” look is a definition of determination, confidence and focus. I know it doesn’t apply to every fighter (like Manny Pacquiao, who’s always smiling during his ring walk) but many fighters who had that look before their fights, seem to end up winning the fights. What do you think? — Naoki, Reno NV
I agree. I can often tell when a fighter is “on” by his eyes, facial expression and body language as he walks to the ring. Berto definitely did not have it when he fought Ortiz. He looked like he had just woken up from a long nap, even when he was in the ring.
He better get the “eye of the tiger” back for Jan Zaveck. The 35-year-old IBF welterweight beltholder is no pushover. Berto trained in the Bay Area for Zaveck and a few boxing folks up here in Salinas have told me that he started camp rather heavy (like the 170-pound range) and that it took him some time before he had his usual speed and reflexes in sparring.
We’ll see what happens tomorrow night. Zaveck’s camp claims that he’s had one of the best camps of his career.
DE LE HOYA ADMITS TO POSING NUDE IN LINGERIE
If I had a nickel for every time I dressed up in drag after pounding brews and snortin' coke up my snot locker I'd have, I don't know, 15 or 20 cents. — Jon
I’d have about $1.50 to go along with some sweet memories.
BOXING CONSPIRACY FILES
Doug massive thumbs up for the appearance in your last mailbag. That was super cool to make a cameo in boxing's most legendary publication, The Ring.
Quick follow up point. You said “As awesome as Donaire was against Montiel it’s going to be hard for him to get my vote with just two fights in 2011”
That comment confused me because almost all modern elite fighters fight just two times a year. Example: For the last 11 years, only three fighter who won The Ring’s fighter of the year award fought more than twice: Felix Trinidad in 2000, Glen Johnson in ‘04, and Manny Pacquiao twice in ‘06 and ‘08. The days of our elite fighters fighting six times a year like James Toney did back in ‘91 are long gone.
Conspiracy files: What is the truth on two of boxing’s most iconic figures of the last 30 years, Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather.
Is Floyd really unbeaten and untouchable? Or did Josie Luis Castillo, a very good fighter but not a great one, legitimately beat him in his prime — no excuses ?
Did Tyson legitimately knock out Buster Douglas Buster fought the fight of his life and for that night he was the perfect heavyweight — big, 6-foot-4, but not massive, 230 lbs, in shape, jabbing moving, fast, strong, punching in combinations. To me, whether it was 20 years ago or 20 years from now, 10 seconds is 10 seconds and Tyson did legitimately knock Douglas out, and with that I am out. — Ross, Glasgow, Scotland
You’re out like Buster Douglas, eh? (Tribe Called Quest reference). Evander Holyfield legitimately knocked out Douglas. So did Tony Tucker, and Lou Savarese, and even Mike “The Giant” White. But not Tyson. A fighter who is knocked down has to beat the referee’s “10 count,” not 10 seconds. Douglas, who was hurt by that massive uppercut but not totally out of it, was aided by a slow 10 count, but he legitimately beat it. Referees are not required to make their 10 counts last exactly 10 seconds. Some are faster than 10 seconds, but most are slower. Their main job is to make sure the fighter can continue once he’s on his feet if he does beat the count, and Douglas, who was saved by the bell, was obviously okay because he resumed kicking Tyson’s ass in rounds nine and 10.
Mayweather really is unbeaten, but he’s not untouchable. If he was untouchable Castillo would not have given him so much hell in that first fight, which could have gone either way, but was not a robbery. I was ringside for that fight and I scored for Floyd by one point (or 6-5-1 in rounds). It could have gone to either fighter by a 7-5 margin.
Good point about the Fighter of the Year award. I should have stated that for Donaire (or any fighter) to win my Fighter of the Year vote with just two fights, he has to beat the elite fighters of his weight class. Donaire’s next opponent, Omar Narvaez, is unbeaten and extremely accomplished at flyweight, where he defended the WBO belt 16 times. But he’s 36, not much of a puncher, and completely unproven at 118 pounds.
I’ll consider the Filipino Flash if he blitzes Narvaez as he did Montiel, but otherwise I think there might be more deserving candidates by the end of 2011. We’ll see.
MARQUEZ, MOSLEY & MANNY’S AGGRESSION
I have to respectfully disagree with your opinion and comparison of Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley in respect to Manny’s aggression. Shane cannot fight going back and the only adjustments he has in a fight is to fight harder, so is Manny. Remember Shane was on his back foot in all his losses and if that is not enough, remember his fight with David Estrada on ESPN where he tried to box going back but failed miserably. At this stage, Shane is not able to fight as hard as he used to or take a good punch, so he simply gave in to the faster and the more energized Manny.
On the contrary, Marques is a smart fighter, who makes adjustments in a fight, and the proof is in all the faults you mentioned. He was knocked down by Katsidis, touched up a bit by swarming Diaz (did not buckle Marquez/off balance), but they were never able to hit Marquez like that again in the fight and both got knocked out for their trouble. The same goes for Pacquiao, he put Marquez down 4 times but could not finish him and I argue that if Manny has the heart to go all out like Katsidis and Diaz, he will get knocked out too. Manny had to run and hold for his dear life in round 8 of their second fight when he was hurt, but Diaz and Katsidis stood in there and fought and got knocked out. It is no wonder that Manny threw about 500 punches in each fights with Marquez, his lowest punch output in any 12 round fight and fought in a measured manner in their second fight.
It is sad that Mayweather doesn’t get the credit he deserves for white washing Marques. I could see in that fight that Marquez was trying everything he knows and wanted to win much more than Mosley but was simply overwhelmed by the smarter fighter. I believe Marquez learned from that fight and it will serve him well against Manny. He was able to clip Floyd three times in that fight.
I am not saying Marquez will win, but that he can win. Manny has the same advantages he had before. If he was able to clip Marquez continuously in both fights like he clips everybody else, he would have knocked him out, but he can’t and that is why Marquez is in this fight. YES I SAID IT AGAIN. — William
Hey, I never want to count out a great fighter like Marquez, so I hope you’re right. But I think he was hurt in his fight with Diaz (and even in the rematch, which he dominated, he still looked like Quasimodo after 12 rounds).
Diaz and Katsidis had to fight going forward vs. Marquez. That’s what they do best. Pacquiao can do more than that. He’s a complete fighter, even though you don’t seem to want to give him credit for it. He’s improved since the rematch with Marquez. I’m not sure that Marquez has. However, I agree that he may have learned something about effectively gaining weight from the Mayweather fight. So perhaps he won’t be as sluggish as he appeared before and during that bout.
I think Mayweather has a style to beat Marquez at any weight, but I definitely believe that he had a distinct size advantage over the older, naturally smaller man at welterweight. Most fans agree, which is why Mayweather doesn’t get the credit he wants for that fight.
However, if Marquez beats Pacquiao, or even competitive in a loss, Mayweather will receive more credit for his victory over the Mexican master.
Doug Fischer can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org