Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

NO, NO, NO!

Hi Doug,

I know I only wrote to you a couple of weeks ago but my frustration can’t take it any longer, Pacman vs. Cotto II? Mayweather vs. Martinez? Are you kidding?!!! Is there a shortage of professional boxers available in May? Is it holiday season in America at that time of the year? “I’m sorry Mr. Arum, I’d love to fight Manny but I’m afraid I’m taking the missus and kids on a Disney cruise that week!”

There is a dearth of credible opponents for Pacquiao to fight at both Welter and Light-Welterweights so why are we even considering re-runs? As good a fight as it was first time around I hardly think — given he probably isn’t going to be fighting much longer – that we need to see it all over again.

Hell, I’d rather him fight Senchenko, the WBA Welter beltholder may not be so well known but at least it’s against an unbeaten opponent and would be classed as a ‘unification’ Championship fight. And lets face it, there were enough Pacman fans who paid $50 PPV to watch him beat up Clottey and Mosley so I think we can safely say that if it was announced that ‘Manny Pacquiao Vs A Wet Paper Bag’ for the WBO Championship of The World we’d still be seeing good numbers.

As for Mayweather vs. Martinez at 150lbs, Floyd get real. You want be a 6 division champion then go fight a middleweight champion at middleweight if you’ve got the balls, otherwise pick someone who might just give you a competitive fight at the same weight such as Cotto, Bradley, Peterson or Alvarez. This ‘catchweight’ s__t to gain alphabet titles at weight divisions has got to be knocked on the head and that goes for Pacquiao as well, otherwise we’re going to end up seeing pointless bouts like ‘Cloud vs. Marquez’ at 160 lbs for the Light-heavyweight title.

I’ve long ago given up on these two ever fighting and I lay the blame for that squarely at Mayweather’s feet. I was always impressed watching him fight and although not overly impressed with the outside ring antics, I did recognise and respect his skill inside the ring. However, the continued excuses have now bored me to tears and now whenever I hear him talk all I hear is “Bulls__t, Bulls__t & Bulls__t” with a side order of bulls__t. It’s OK guys, most of us really don’t care if you fight now, it’s been built up so much as the ‘Super Fight of The Century’ we can safely be assured it’ll turn out to be a 12 round snooze fest and the biggest anti-climax since it was confirmed Donald Trump wears a hair piece.

I can’t believe I’m saying this but bring back Don King! At least with Don if I was being sold a lemon I got to feel like it was the best lemon in the world and came with added sprinkles. These days I don’t know who I dislike the most but if his job title contains either of the words promoter and boxing I can be fairly certain he’s going to annoy me with a variety of excuses about why we are not seeing the best fighters fight each other. Maybe we should get Dana White from the UFC to run a few cards. He just pits the best of his fighters against each other and produces the goods time after time.

I had such high hopes for 2012 and didn’t expect to be this disappointed and disillusioned while still only in January! Oh well, here’s hoping things at Featherweight and Bantamweight remain interesting. Chris

Don’t get too worked up, Chris. Manny Pacquiao-Miguel Cotto II has not been finalized or announced yet. The Filipino Icon won’t be facing Floyd Mayweather in June, but he could still wind up defending his WBO 147-pound title against 140-pound beltholder Tim Bradley or Lamont Peterson, which are interesting matchups in my opinion.

And no, there aren’t any major U.S. holidays in May (unless you count Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, Armed Forces Day, Asian Pacific Amerian Heritage Awareness Month, National Hamburger Month and my birthday), but there are a limited number of credible fighters in and around Pacquiao’s weight class who fight under the Top Rank banner (or are unattached as Cotto and Peterson are). Bob Arum doesn’t care much for co-promotions when it comes to Manny.

But have no fear. There’s a lot more to our sport than the “Floyd-‘n-Manny show” and I guarantee that featherweight, bantamweight and many other divisions will “remain interesting” this year, including Pacquiao and Mayweather’s welterweight class. I feel confident that Ortiz-Berto II and Alexander-Maidana will deliver next month.

YES, YES, YES!

Doug,
I know everyone’s up in arms about the possibility of Pac-Cotto II, but hear me out here. I really believe that Cotto’s technical skill has improved drastically over the past 3 fights. From Yuri Forman, who you predicted would beat Cotto, Cotto has suprised me with his ability to adapt from a straight forward all-action puncher to a boxer-puncher. His head movement and feet might very well have progressed to the point he has the advantage in each over Pacquiao. His coaching in the first fight was beyond terrible. He had no fight plan whatsoever. His corner was a cheer leading section from round 4 on, and is now world class. My only question is the catchweight. If he can preserve enough energy at a lower weight to continue to move his feet and pick his spots for twelve rounds, I think he can and will give Pacquiao fits and might even win. Am I a crazy Bob Arum apologist or what?

Also I think Pacquiao is on the decline and has been for a while. His footwork isn’t nearly as good as it was and hasn’t been since Margz. Also his shots have started to loop, and he’s easily timed and countered. It’s no wonder Arum doesn’t want him in with Mayweather. What do you think Doug? Can Cotto at least make it competitive for a while? Rounds 1-4 of the first fight were awesome. Will this fight be more like that or Rounds 5-12? Thanks Man. – Joe, Columbus, Ohio

I don’t think having an interest in Pacquiao-Cotto II makes you an “Arum apologist.” I agree that Cotto’s technique has improved drastically since their first fight. I thought Foreman would outmaneuver him and pot shot his way to a points victory, but Manny Steward corrected Cotto’s stance and got the Puerto Rican vet’s jab working better than I’d ever seen it. Cotto cut the ring off beautifully in that fight. He boxed a controlled match against an in-shape and motivated Ricardo Mayorga and his footwork, lateral movement and counter punching was beautiful in the Margarito rematch.

Do I think Cotto can improve on his first performance in a rematch with Pac? Absolutely. Do I think he can beat Pacquiao? No. I think the Filipino’s speed, awkward style and the odd angles of his power shots will take their toll once again if there is a return bout.

And I agree that Pacquiao is slowing down. However, he’s still light years faster than Margz and Mayorga, and he still hits like a ton of bricks compared to Foreman. And he’s got two healthy legs to move around on should he need to, unlike Foreman. (Margz and Mayo literally invited Cotto to hit them.)

GUILLERMO RIGONDEAUX

Doug,

Hope everything is going well for you. I’m writing after watching the Rigondeaux fight last night, and as a true fan of the sport I was impressed. I’ve always loved how calm and effective Rigondeaux is in the ring, even if it’s not the most fan friendly style. I’m a little different than the casual fan in that I really appreciate the way he fights. I’m sure that people will be sending you emails criticizing his performance and making reference to him being the poster child for why “boxing is dead” and MMA is king. Personally, I enjoy both and sometimes I can’t help but feel the MMA format (3 x 5-min rounds) was made for those who are attention span troubled.

However, my question to you is this; Rigondeaux stood right in front of Ramos the whole night and constantly moved forward, what more could you want? The guy is a counter-puncher, that’s his style, to ask him to completely change would make him less effective, but it seems as though he has tweaked his style a little bit in the pros to encourage more action by applying pressure even when not moving his hands. That being said, he capitalizes on almost every opportunity his opponent gives him, he just doesn’t create many opportunities for himself. What do you think?

(P.S. Normally I do prediction videos on youtube where I break the fights down. I haven’t done it in a while, but I’m going to get back started. Next time I post a video I’ll let you know and if you have the chance I would love to get some feedback from you.)

Take care and best wishes. — Ryan Jacques

Let me know when your prediction videos are posted, Ryan, and I’ll be more than happy to check ‘em out.

As far as my opinion of the new WBA 122-pound titleholder, it all depends on the styles of his matchups. If Rigondeaux is matched with an aggressive come-forward fighter I’m a big fan of his and I look forward to watching him fight because I know he’s going to break down his opponent with frightening efficiency. If he’s in with a world-class tough guy, I think we could get a classy slugfest. If he’s matched with a mobile boxer, I’m not terribly interested in watching the Cuban counter puncher fight because I know I’ll have to sit through a lot of rounds that looked like rounds two through five of the Rico Ramos fight. Bleh.

If the hard-punching southpaw is matched with an elite boxer-puncher, such as Toshiaki Nishioka or Nonito Donaire, I won’t be super excited as some hardcore fans and media will be, but I will definitely be interested in watching. I think Rigondeaux would have his heavy hands full with Nishioka or Donaire and fans would most likely be treated to intense, fast-paced chess matches that could end any time one of the combatants land a clean shot.

DONAIRE VS. RIGONDEAUX

Sup Doug,
I don’t know if Rigondeaux is just dominant or if Ramos just didn’t show up… but WOW. I thought Rigo would win, possibly by KO… but I had a lot of respect for Ramos and thought he would make a fight of it. Boy was I wrong! I feel bad for Ramos, most guys get a soft touch for their first defense but he landed Rigo. Now I know, we shouldn’t count our chickens before they hatch, but lets assume Donaire gets past Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. What a fight we could have! I was starting to think Donaire would never lose again, the only guy I thought could beat him is Gamboa but I feared they would always be a weight class apart. That changed Friday night. Rigo might just have the speed and power to match Donaire. How can Rigo/Donarie NOT be a good fight? I’m gonna put you on the spot… way early prediction, who you got?

I have to hit you up for a prediction for my hometown guy, Adrien Broner. I know you’re high on Eloy Perez but do you think his lack of KOs (and apparent power) will hurt him? I’ll be honest, I haven’t seen much of Perez. I love Broner’s skills, I love that we finally have a local guy to root for at the pro level after the Ricky Williams mess and Warren’s decision to stay an amateur, but I can see why people would want to see him lose…. dude can be a real ass.

My favorite active fighter of the last decade has been Miguel Cotto, but I’m terribly disappointed to hear he’ll likely be fighting Pacquiao. (What, you didn’t think you could get through an email without THAT FIGHT being mentioned did you?) Styles make fights and I just don’t see how Cotto can win. He’s always had issues with guys with speed and power, especially guys that throw straight punches right down the pipe (Judah best example, but also Torres)… and then lefties seem to give him issues (Pacquiao, Judah, Corley). I’d much rather see Alvarez/Cotto. Heck, he’d look like a midget but I like his chances better against Chavez Jr. at Middleweight. I respect him for wanting to avenge his loss (It’s part of the reason to love the guy, his heart), but I just can’t see him winning, especially if this B.S. is at 147.

Take it easy bud. – Nate, Cincinnati, OH

I think Cotto can be more competitive with Pacquiao this year than he was in 2009, but I agree that the Filipino superhero has a style that’s all wrong for him. I would also prefer to see a Cotto-Alvarez showdown. I think that’s the best fight that can be made at 154 pounds. That fight has it all — veteran vs. up-and-comer, titleholder vs. titleholder, boxer-puncher vs. puncher-boxer, Puerto Rico vs. Mexico – plus two guys with the proven ability to put butts in the seats.

Arum will offer up Chavez Jr. if the kid gets past Marco Antonio Rubio, and if the old man puts a good deal on the table, I wouldn’t be shocked if Cotto goes for his fourth title in a fourth weight class. He would make Puerto Rican history if he beat Junior.

Regarding Broner, I like the young man. His cockiness and hair-brushing schtick don’t bother me as long as he challenges himself and performs to his considerable ability. I think he’s in very tough with Perez, who’s only 3 years older with four more fights but far more battled-tested in my opinion.

Most fans are unfamiliar with Perez. I’ve seen a lot of him (in the ring and in the gym) over the years and I’ll say this about this interesting matchup, if the same Broner who fought Daniel Ponce de Leon shows up on Feb. 25, your boy will be soundly outboxed and outhustled and may even get stopped late in the fight. If the version of Broner that blasted Jason Litzau and Martin Rodriguez shows up – and that’s the version I expect – we’ll witness a hell of a fight, because Perez has underrated toughness, physical strength and durability.

Ramos disappointed me. I also thought he’d do better. Bottom line on Rico: he was moved too fast and matched with world-class opposition (Akifumi Shimoda and Rigondeaux) was too soon. Ramos struggled with Mexican fringe contender Alejandro Valdez before he fought Shimoda and he was being outclassed by the Japanese vet before he landed a lucky shot.

Thanks to his extensive international amateur career, Rigondeaux is a very mature and seasoned fighter despite his lack of pro bouts, and the Cuban basically beat up on a prospect with a belt.

He won’t have the edge in experience, speed or power against Donaire. He’ll be dangerous as hell because of his amazing poise and precision counter punching, but I think Donaire’s lateral movement, jab and reflexes will trouble the Cuban. And the Filipino Flash is a pretty good counter puncher himself. If they fight this year, my pick is Donaire – by knockout.

ALEXANDER-MAIDANA

Dougie,

First of all I want to say that I just got my tickets for Alexander vs. Maidana and I can’t wait for Feb. 25th. I was there when Alexander just barely won against Andriy Kotelnyk. This was the same night that Cornelius Bundrage made me feel down right sorry for Cory Spinks. The great Timothy Bradley fiasco was also especially embarrassing for this Saint Louis area fight fan. Now I’m supposed to believe that Alexander can beat Maidana!? I’m overjoyed that Maidana will be fighting in STL! Fighters like Maidana are the reason that I am able to forget the bulls__t (or poop if you prefer) decisions, sucker punches (Mayweather), homecooked refs and judges and all around tomfoolery that surrounds this noble sport that I love so much. I don’t think that any amount of crooked judges, refs or anything else will help Alexander against Maidana (sorry Devon now make me eat my words). That said, I have faith that there will always be fighters that put on a great show and really put their heart into what they do.

Here are a couple match ups that I really want to see. What do you think Dougie?

1. Cornelius Bundrage vs. James Kirkland

2. Sergio Martinez vs. Julio Ceasar Chavez Jr. (Because It already should have happened!)

3. Daniel Ponce De Leon vs. Adrien Broner II

4. Victor Ortiz Vs. Timothy Bradley (winner fights the winner of Bundrage Vs. Kirkland at catchweight).

Thanks. — Joe

Like I stated earlier in this mailbag, I think Alexander and Maidana are going to put on a show (and believe the Broner-Perez co-feature will also deliver). I’m going to be at that fight card so look for me and don’t be a stranger.

Maidana is the man. He definitely rises above boxing’s bulls__t (and for the record, I prefer “bulls__t” or even “doo doo” to the word “poop”). I’m not convinced that he can bring his own judges to St. Louis. It’s a 10-round bout, just like the Matthysse fight. If it were scheduled for 12 rounds, I’d give Maidana a shot at scoring a late stoppage, but he doesn’t have Matthysse’s technique and a supposedly weight-drained Alexander was able to survive and even rally a little bit in the late rounds against Chino’s countryman.

I see Alexander winning another controversial decision in a hell of a fight.

Interesting matchups. I especially like the first one, Bundrage vs. Kirkland.

K9 recently complained to K9 Steve Kim of MaxBoxing that he’s rated lower than he should be (No. 8) in THE RING’s junior middlewieght ratings because he’s not a Golden Boy fighter, which is an interesting opinion. My opinion is that he’s lucky the 154-pound division is rather shallow; otherwise he wouldn’t be ranked at all. He’s fought once a year for the past three years, and while his TKO of Cory Spinks and UD over Sechew Powell were solid victories, both opponents had been inactive for more than a year and were not rated by the magazine when he fought them.

I know he thinks he’s better than GBP-promoted Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo, who are rated right above him at No. 6 and No. 7, but last time I checked BoxRec, they had KO victories over Joel Julio. K9 got knocked out by the Colombian gate-keeper in 2007. (Sergei Dzinziruk, who is rated right under Bundrage at No. 9 outclassed Dan Rafael’s “lovechild” in ’08.)

But I like Bundrage, and I’d love for him to land a major TV fight against the likes of Kirkland. It would kind of be like a grudgematch because of his beef with GBP and THE RING rankings. I’m sure K9 would talk a lot s__t (not poop, brothas from Detroit don’t use the word “poop”) during the prefight buildup, which would bring out the beast in Kirkland, who would want to brutally shut his mouth on fight night.

Bundrage’s speed, movement and powerful straight right would trouble Kirkland, whose relentless pressure, combination punching and body attack would test the IBF beltholder’s mettle a hell of a lot more than Julio did. I think it would be a fun fight while it lasted.

I’m not as excited about your other matchups.

I don’t care to see Martinez-Chavez. Junior is improving, but it would still be boy vs. a man if he challenged the real middleweight champ and I don’t endorse child abuse.

De Leon’s balls brought out the stinker in Broner last March, but the Mexican southpaw belongs at 126 pounds, where a fabulous showdown with countryman and WBC titleholder Jhonny Gonzalez awaits, not jr. lightweight.

Ortiz-Bradley intrigues me at 147 pounds. It might not be an entertaining fight because of Bradley’s movement and Ortiz’s rather slow feet (and lack of a jab), but I have hard time picking the winner in that one. If Ortiz won, I wouldn’t mind seeing him go up against fellow heavy hitters Kirkland or K9 at a catchweight.

COMEDY TEAM

Hey Doug, you and Todd the Terminator make a good comedy team. You both had me laughing out loud in Friday’s mail bag. Good job! Btw, I enjoy your work and I believe you do a great job so please, keep it up!

Take care. — Bill in Nashville, Tenn.

Thanks for the kind words, Bill. Todd is a real fight fan and he is indeed a character (as well very persistent). He sent me that particular email three or four times.

 

Email Doug Fischer at dfischer@ringtv.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer

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