Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

MAYWEATHER OVERRATED

First I have to say that Floyd Mayweather has blocked me on Twitter, so I'm pretty proud of that. I'm sick of his mouth and him comparing himself to Ali …. Ali fought anyone, anytime and in their prime. Am I the only one who thinks Floyd is overrated? Especially being so heavily favored against Victor Ortiz. I don't think he has ever faced a lefty (or righty for that matter) who is as young, strong, fast, powerful and accurate as Ortiz. It seems like every "big name" Mayweather has fought was either way too small or way too old. I do think if Ortiz can't catch him fairly early it will be another boring, defensive Mayweather decision, but what do you think Victor's chances are? If he connects like Mosley did in round 2 against Mayweather, it could be lights out for Floyd, and if he comes out with that look in his eyes he had against Andre Berto, it just might happen. — Matt in Mattawan

It might, but it probably won’t. Mayweather showed me that he’s a real welterweight in the Mosley bout. Yes, it was the 38-year-old version of Mosley that he dominated but one has to be very strong and carry some decent pop on his punches to stifle Shane the way Mayweather did. I was impressed by that performance (even though Mosley rocked him without really trying to). My point is that everyone is focusing on Ortiz’s power and ability to end the fight with the right punch, but Mayweather might catch the young man cold with the right punch (and it probably will be the straight right hand). Ortiz can crack but he doesn’t exactly have a granite chin.

Still, the kid is dangerous when hurt. I wouldn’t be surprised if they both got rocked early in the bout. That would be fun, wouldn’t it?

Anyway, I think Mayweather has earned the right to be the big favorite that he is against Ortiz, who is clearly still a work in progress. If Ortiz were 26 years old with four or five quality 12-round bouts under his belt, I’d give him more of a shot next Saturday (hell, maybe I’d pick him to win). But he isn’t. He’s still green, which leads us to your first question. Is Floyd overrated. No. Not in terms of his talent, technique and ring IQ. He’s got the God-given and self-made ability to be a great fighter. However, I do not consider him to be a great fighter. In terms of his accomplishments and overall legacy, I think he’s very overrated.

Why? For starters, he just doesn’t fight enough. He boasts about his 41-0 record, but damn, it’s taken him 15 freakin’ years to compile it. You know how long it took Sugar Ray Robinson to compile 41 pro fights? A little over two years. His record was 40-1 with 29 knockouts after 41 bouts. He faced seven top-10 contenders (which meant something in the 1940s) and three future hall of famers in that span (twice beating Sammy Angott and Fritzie Zivic and splitting two bouts with Jake LaMotta). His only loss (in his 41st bout) was to LaMotta, a middleweight that Robinson fought as a small welterweight (144 pounds, weighed on the same day of the 10-round bout).

If you’re going to try and hang your legacy on 41 pro bouts, you gotta take risks the way Sugar Ray Leonard did when he was in his prime, and leave no doubts about who the man is in your weight class. Mayweather hasn’t done that since he left the 130-pound division 10 years ago. He’s just too damn careful about who he fights. Ortiz is a prime example. There’s a risk in fighting the hard-punching young buck, but it’s a calculated risk, and everyone knows it.

ORTIZ’S CHANCE

Hi Doug. I know many people think Ortiz might do well against Floyd but not get the W. I know many people feel they want him to win but they know Floyd will win the fight. I know you feel the same.

I was thinking about Manny's first fight against Barrera 7~8 years ago. It was Manny's first fight at 126 (I think it was) and nobody was giving him a chance except Freddie. (I think there was a Freddie's interview video clip on Maxboxing.) People thought Manny was not seasoned enough, too green as a prize fighter, one handed fighter, too small (just coming up from 122), etc… Barrera, on the other hand, was still "the man" at 126 and he just beat Morales few fights ago. Everybody knows what happened on the fight night. Manny blasted him with his youth, power and unbelievable energy. I still remember one of Barrera's corner guy (was he his brother?) crying when they came in to the ring to stop the fight.

I know Barrera had a lot of distractions. His camp was moved because of the wild fire. The metal plate in his head was also revealed at that time. However, none of those things mattered that night, I feel. It was a young lion who just took the old one's heart.

I know you might think I'm crazy to compare that fight to Floyd-Victor fight but for some reason, I really feel same type of thing will happen next Saturday. What do you think?

Keep up the good work! — Naoki, Reno, NV

I don’t think you’re crazy for making the comparison but it doesn’t work for me.

Barrera, a veteran of 60 pro bouts (and numerous 12-round wars) when he first fought Pacquiao, had a lot more wear and tear on his body than Mayweather has now.

And though Pacquiao was raw in terms of his technique when he first faced Barrera, he was far more seasoned than Ortiz is now. Pacquiao was a two-division titleholder (at 112 and 122 pounds) with five title defenses (of both belts) under his belt when he stepped into the ring with the Mexican legend.

Also, Ortiz does not fight at the frenetic pace that the featherweight version of Pacquiao fought at.

Still, that version of Pacquiao, who was at least a 3-to-1 underdog, is a reminder that no fighter with Ortiz’s level of raw talent should ever be counted out in a fight, even against a future hall of famer.

It should be noted that Pacquiao was held to a draw and then suffered a loss in his next two significant bouts following the Barrera victory, albeit to great fighters (Marquez and Morales). He got his career back on track and improved with every fight from that point on and I believe Ortiz can do the same should he suffer a loss on Sept. 17.

RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

What's happening Doug? I hope everything is going good with you and your family. I haven't written in a while so I thought I'd hit your mailbag up. You may have slowed down a lil but you're still the King of this s__t. Anyways just some random boxing observations: (You know how I do)

1. Is it me or is everybody going super critical on Andre Berto's last performance? People saying Berto was on his way to being stopped, Zaveck was beating on him, etc….I had Berto winning the 1st 3 rounds and losing the 4th. The 5th round was a toss up really. Berto started giving ole boy the beats (I thought Berto hurt him too) and then the cut happens and the rest is history. I saw the same hittable Berto that I've always seen. I dunno… Guess I realized Berto will be Berto and his ceiling has been reached. I wanted to see a good lil scrap and got one. If Zaveck had any power he could have done more damage but it is what it is. Good effort though. I remember David Estrada landing a decent amount on Berto, too.

2. Gary Russell Jr. looks like he has the goods but I gotta wait for him to step it up in comp before we crown him the next bad ass. He's quick as all hell though.

3. If slobbing up Roy Jones Jr. over the commentary during the fights will keep his ass out the ring I'm all for it. (Although they do go crazy with it sometimes.) Guess that's what happens when you work with your idols… lol

4. I don't know man… but while watching all these lil workouts and s__t leading up to the Floyd/Ortiz fight (I know, I know… I'm tired of reading and hearing about this fight, too. lol) Floyd just doesn't seem as quick as he used to… I'm not saying he's slow or at Tony Thompson levels of speed. It's just that he looks like a notch below what I'm used to seeing from him. He's still quick though, but not like his previous fights type of quick. It's like when you see Roy Jones train now… He's still quick as hell but nowhere near the quickness he was say 5-6 years ago. Even though at that time he was already done. (Wow, really shows the drop off on dude.) Floyd might be just holding back while the cameras are rolling but hey you never know.

5. Tomasz Adamek is the truth but Vitali Klitschko is like the truth destroyer. I see his movement giving Big Bro some trouble but nothing else. Seems like Adamek gets past these heavies by the skin of his teeth. That's one reason I just can't believe in him for this fight. I thought he barely beat Arreola while Vitali beat the brakes off him.

6. Yuriorkis Gamboa should blitz Ponce De Leon… but be careful nonetheless… Don't need to get KO'ed by a guy your rival (JuanMa) took out like it was nothing.

Keep up the good work. — JB

Thanks JB. It’s good to hear from you. Been too long. I’ll comment on your random observations in order:

1. I think fans are definitely being hyper critical of Berto’s performance against Zaveck. There’s three reasons for this. They’re either hating on him because he’s an Al Haymon fighter with HBO “favorite son” status, or they thought they were going to see drastic improvements following his first loss, or they viewed Zaveck as a chump-ass paper titleholder. Each reason for the criticism is ridiculous. HBO deserves the hate for favoring certain managers, not the fighter who benefits from it. (What do they expect Berto to do when he's offered an easy payday. Decline it? "Gee guys, no thanks, it just wouldn't be right for me to collect $900,000 to fight Freddy Hernandez.") It’s silly to think Berto would or could reinvent himself four months after getting his ass kicked. And Zaveck is a card-carrying badass. Stevie Wonder can see that. I also scored the first three rounds for Berto, the fourth for Zaveck and thought the fifth could have gone either way.

2. We’ll find out if Russell is more than just speed in 2012. He’ll be tested by the likes of Mikey Garcia and his former amateur rivals Roberto Marroquin and Ronny Rios.

3. I agree. I’d rather listen to Bob and Max kiss Roy’s ass than watch him getting carried out of a ring on a stretcher. He’s a good commentator when he’s not preaching a sermon.

4. I also think Mayweather has slowed down a little bit, but his power might be getting because of it. He’s planting his feet more, placing his shots better and getting more leverage on his jab and select power shots. This happens with defensive fighters when they get older and I think it often makes them better fighters IF they have the ability and toughness to fight on the inside as James Toney and Pernell Whitaker did. We’ll see about Floyd. By the way, I think Pacquiao is slowing down too.

5. Adamek has the kind of conditioning, technique, versatility and guts and overcome bigger, heavier, harder-punching heavyweights, but not one as good as Vitali. Even at age 40, Klitschko is a better overall athlete than Adamek. I see a mid-to-late rounds TKO for Big Bro.

6. Gamboa’s got this, but he can’t get greedy. If he tries to blow out De Leon he can get clipped and not only dropped (he’s used to that) but hurt. De Leon isn’t just heavy handed, he’s an ugly, awkward southpaw who sometimes wings shots from odd angles. Gamby’s got to fight smart and controlled in this fight. The knockout will come if he’s patient.

 

Doug Fischer can be emailed at dougiefischer@yahoo.com

 

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