MARTINEZ VS. BARKER
Just wondered what your thoughts were on this fight at the weekend. I think Darren Barker is a useful operator and a pretty big middleweight — he won't have been seen much in your part of the world — and I wouldn't rule him out against a good few of The Ring top ten middleweights, but I hope he's getting awfully well paid for this 'cos every way you look at it he seems badly out of his depth with Sergio Martinez. He's a good guy though so hopefully he will surprise everyone and at least be competitive for a good bit of the fight, and bring himself a few more nice paydays with a standout performance even in the likely defeat.
Big few weeks for a few Brits, I think Kell Brook will be too much for Rafal Jackiewicz and win a wide UD, and Nathan Cleverly will take Tony Bellew apart in an entertaining 4 or 5 rounds. Then both can go on to fight the top guys in their divisions where I'd like their chances against anyone.
Anyway, all the best for now. — Craig
I think Brook and Cleverly are the real deal, two British stars who can kick ass against the best in the world just like Amir Khan is doing now. I hope us Yanks get a chance to see them fight at least a few of the best in their respective divisions here in the U.S. I’d love to cover both standouts from ringside. Two of my future dream fights is a light heavyweight showdown between Cleverly and my man Ismayl Sillakh and a 147-pound tilt between Brook and Mike Jones.
Barker is more than a “useful operator.” The 29-year-old Londoner is a very smart boxer and a modern-sized middleweight. He’s possesses sound fundamentals: good balance and footwork, sharp reflexes and timing, an educated jab, a solid hook to the body, a decent right hand, and even a little head movement. Your boy can fight. I can see him beating more than a few RING-rated contenders/beltholders, including Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., Sebastian Sylvester and Sebastian Zbik. I think he could give the mag’s top three middleweights — Felix Strum, Daniel Geale and Matthew Macklin — a run for their money.
Unfortunately, he’s in against a real champion on Saturday, one who has a level of talent, experience and athleticism that he can’t approach.
Barker is a good fighter. Martinez is an elite fighter. End of story.
Still, with his good nature and ability, if Barker gives it his all, I think he’ll make some U.S. fans and hopefully he’ll position himself for a future shot at one of the beltholders.
JUST LIKE 2005
Awwwww Man. What it do Doug…I swear man… You've been on fire this week. I thought this was 2005 and Maxboxing the way you were going in on cats about Floyd. (I swear his fans got to be the most annoying ever. Worse than Oscar's, Tyson's, Jones Jr's, The Klits, etc..) I said to myself I gotta write in cuz I never did when you were in your prime, but you took it back. You the best in the business for real. All the snappy witty comebacks, yeah people can say don't stoop to their level but s__t it's funny as hell when you do, so it's all good. Mailbags are supposed to be informative and entertaining. A lot of these new jacks could learn from you. They try to be all extra objective and super smart and it just comes off bland with no personality. We'll anyways you know how I do. Random Boxing observations again. Forgive me if this goes on a lil longer than usual. There's so much to talk about and there's some points that haven't really been addressed.
1. I hope the Sergio Martinez-Darren Barker fight is good. Don't know to much about Barker but I hope he realizes he has a chance of a lifetime and makes the best of it.
2. Out of Bryan Vera and Andy Lee, I think Vera has improved more since the first fight. He's still the same type of fighter but just more polished now. Lee still gets hit a lot and isn't that versatile but he'll bring it. I think this fight will steal the show, really. I don't know who to pick on this one.
3. Golden Boy Promotions has been on a roll with these undercards lately. They may have not always gotten it right but they seem to try a lot harder than Top Rank. That's for damn sure. Hell, remember the undercard on the MAB/Rocky rematch. Nuff said. I'll keep it real, the undercard for Pac/Mosley was good too (for Top Rank standards) but the main event was more disappointing than bringing a model home for the night only to find out she on her period. So now we've had two PPVs this year with good undercards where the main event didn't deliver. Damn can boxing just get everything together right for at least one night? That's all we asking for. Now this brings be to the next point….
4. I'm glad you called guys out on that street s__t. I've heard all types of things about this fight. People even saying FLOORTIZ could of gotten up and made the count. WTF? I've been on the streets and got sucker punched before. Didn't get KO'ed (was pissed off though) but I'm not gonna compare some coward's punch to a punch from a p4p top professional boxer. People need to sit down somewhere with that s__t.
5. I don't think Larry Merchant was really out of line with how he was questioning Floyd in that post-fight interview. I thought he was a lil more reserved than usual given the circumstances. Floyd kinda knew where everything was headed so he took the easy way out (again right, LOL, damn twice in one night, go figure). Now just so I can get off my high horse a bit. I did something similar to Floyd several years ago while sparring in the gym. I was thrashing this guy for like 3 rounds and he gets me in a corner and pins me there and really starts hemming me up. They call break 3-4 times and the guy is still letting off shots. (Dude was frustrated cuz that was the only chance he really had to hit me so he got trigger happy with his fist.) When he finally backs off his dumb ass drops his hands and I f__king clocked him. I figured he just got some free shots, let me get one too. (I didn't go all 2 pieces happy though like Floyd, but just enough to let him know whose the boss and he can't try that rough s__t.) Now that brings me to my next point.
6. Floyd could of made his point and showed some sense of restraint by just throwing the hook only. That would of woke Floortiz up and excited the crowd and showed that dopey ass kid who was really running s__t. Why ruin what was becoming a great night of boxing by going all out with a cheap shot combo to end things. I know I did that s__t as well as others but half the world wasn't watching us, we didn't have the whole sport on our backs, and we weren't getting paid a King’s ransom either. If you really look at it only diehard Floyd fanatics are praising what Floyd did. When you at the top you gotta conduct yourself in a better way than that.
7. As for the fight itself. It was competitive. I thought Floortiz won the 2nd round just based off the ring generalship and pressure (it was close though) He had Floyd throwing those (Get this guy the f__k off me punches). He was actually fighting Floyd the way I thought others should have tried. He was landing decent for a guy who wasn't throwing a bunch of punches. He was in and out forcing Floyd to throw more and come forward. He banged the body in close and always brought up hooks to the head in exchanges. Floyd fights better coming forward nowadays and the only real times he touched up Victor is when he got off first. When he allowed Victor to lead he'd counter but would be pressed backwards and couldn't get another shot off and before you know it Victor is on his chest again ripping shots. I see why he doesn't want anything to do with Pac. Pac does that dart in and out exploding style better than anybody. I can't see Floyd throwing 60-80 punches every round for 12 rounds in order to keep Pac off of him.
As always man keep up the good work. I apologize for the length and beating a dead horse (you know I try not to write in about Floyd like that). Take it easy. — JB
Good to hear from you, JB. Yeah, all the back-and-forth with the Mayweather fans has sort of reminded me of the “glory days” of the MaxBoxing mailbag. I can’t believe you weren’t emailing me back in ‘04, ‘05 and ‘06; those were fun years. Anyway, you’re making up for lost time now. I’ll answer your Random Observations in order:
1. I’m expecting an interesting, mildly competitive middleweight fight on Saturday, but I expect the champ to keep his crown by knockout. Barker is a good boxer and counter puncher. He has a nice jab, solid footwork and good timing. However, he stands straight up and keeps his left hand low, and he doesn’t have the speed and reflexes to get away with that as Martinez does. Bottom line, he’s never experienced an athletic specimen with Martinez’s skill and style.
2. Lee-Vera II probably will still the show. Both guys love to scrap even though they possess the skill to box effectively. Vera’s going to make it a fight and deal with Lee’s greater talent with subtle pro moves, but I think the Irishman will win the rematch. He’s going to box in spots and beat Vera to the punch during the inside exchanges. I like Lee by decision or by late stoppage (if he goes to the body early in the fight).
3. I agree that GBP makes more of an effort to stack their PPV undercards than Top Rank, which does a better job with the live production in the arena for their big events. Top Rank seems to be trying to improve their PPV undercards on recent shows (Arce-Vazquez underneath Pacquiao-Mosley was as good as it gets), we’ll see if Pacquiao-Marquez III turns out to be anything more than a public execution. I think Hopkins-Dawson (Oct. 15, GBP) will be a competitive PPV main event but I’m not sure it will deliver sustained action. Chad will have to actually take it to Hopkins for the fight to be exciting. Cotto-Margarito II (Dec. 3, Top Rank) should be entertaining provided Margz has anything left. We’ll see.
4. The street references and metaphors, in the words of The Duke (and I’m not talking about Tommy Morrison), were getting to be re-goddamn-diculous. Fans who think Floortiz (good nickname!) could have gotten up are almost as silly as all the Gangtalicious and Thugnificent wannabes on press row trying to pass off Floyd’s sucker punch as a perfectly normal and legitimate action.
5. You’re absolutely right. Mayweather took the easy way out in the fourth round and during the post-fight interview. Hardcore heads can say that they would have done the same thing if they were in Floyd’s shoes, but the bottom line is they aren’t Mayweather. They’re not professional boxers with his skill and experience and they aren’t on the world stage. It’s not the same thing.
6. Floyd could have shown a degree of restraint but that’s not who he is. He didn’t want to risk the fight continuing, even though he was seemingly in control. He saw an out and he took it by legal but unethical means. He got the “W” and he keeps his precious record intact, but he can forget about being respected by the general public the way Sugar Ray Leonard is today. Only his hardcore fans and jaded boxing people are going to view what he did as being OK.
7. I scored the first three rounds for Mayweather, although I thought Ortiz was getting closer and closer to a breakthrough as the fight continued. He seemed to be walking through Mayweather’s right-hand pot shots and landing the occasional shot to the body without wasting too much energy. However, Ortiz was also getting frustrated and resorting to roughhouse tactics before the fourth round, which wasn’t a good sign. Also, he lacked a consistent jab to help set up his left, disrupt Mayweather’s rhythm and cut the ring off. As I said in last week’s mailbags, anyone who thinks the Ortiz fight is an indication that Mayweather would “handle” Pacquiao has seriously got their logic twisted.
MR. HATER IS BACK!
Sup dougie, lol I love your mailbags! Even though your a Floyd hater, n proud of it, I still enjoy your work. Using the word "street" is dumb. Those who hate Floyd will say its a legal sucker punch, or dirty classless move. Those who love Floyd will say that was a legit KO and there was nothing wrong with it. And those who just love boxing and have no feelings towards Floyd will say its a slick veteran move. Legal, but very slick and controversial. Anyways keep up the good work you hater! LOL. — Ivan, DC
I don’t think the people who believe Floyd’s winning combo was a “legal sucker punch” or “dirty” or “classless” are necessarily people who “hate” him, but it’s good to hear from you, Ivan. It’s been awhile.