Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

REMATCH CANCELLED

Sup Dougie,
Been a while since I’ve written. Let me get down to this.

I’m really bummed that Khan-Peterson II was canceled. I was really looking forward to it. Now I’ve read the “reasons” why Lamont Peterson was given the testosterone and I have heard of people (non-athletes) given synthetic testosterone for that exact same reason. I’m against any kind of steroids being used for athletic advantage over their opponent and I’m personally not buying Peterson’s “reasons” for taking the substance but I’m still not gonna go on forums cursing Peterson and calling him all these names that appear there (because I’m not some Internet gangsta that hides behind a computer).

I think that random drug testing should be the norm in boxing especially in high-profile bouts, and no I’m NOT a Floyd Mayweather fan. In fact I want to make this very clear that this has nothing to do with Manny Pacquiao and Mayweather. I just really want all parties to be on even and fair grounds. Now let me throw you a crazy idea. Now-a-days everything is negotiated before a fight, from the money down to the gloves. Why not negotiate this as well? Test Peterson and Khan’s testosterone levelsand if they’re equal then let the fight go on. (Too crazy for you? Yeah I thought so too…) I just really wanted to see this rematch. (smh) Hope you enjoy the upcoming fights, that’s if they don’t get canceled. – Peter, Houston, TX

I’m also disappointed this fight was cancelled. It was to take place on my birthday weekend (I turn 42 on May 20th) and I couldn’t think of better place to celebrate than the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, the site of many of my most fun/memorable times covering this crazy sport. I was also anticipating a hell of a fight.

I’m glad to hear that you’re not name-calling or vilifying Peterson as many fans are through social media and in boxing forums. We don’t have all of the details and haven’t really heard every side of what went down, so it’s a little early to call Peterson a “cheater” or a “PED abuser” in my opinion. However, I think we are all justified in blaming Peterson for the fight cancellation. The card could have been salvaged (even if that meant bringing in a sub to fight Khan) if he would have spoken up earlier.

Bottom line: He underwent a medical treatment that he knew could trigger a positive drug test and he didn’t inform the Voluntary Anti-Doping Assoc. (VADA), which he and his team asked to administer the pre-fight tests for the rematch.

If Peterson had a medical condition that required testosterone treatment last November he should have let Khan, Golden Boy Promotions and the boxing commission in Washington, D.C., where the first fight took place, know about it. He kept it to himself last year for a reason and he kept it under his hat going into the rematch for a reason.

I want to know what led to his having low testosterone levels in the first place. Was he born that way? I doubt that. All I’m reading is that he had a “medical condition.” Well, what was it? I’ve had abnormally low testosterone levels and it was because of hypothyroidism. Did Peterson have such a glandular/hormone condition? We don’t know – yet.

I agree that random drug testing is needed in boxing, especially among the so-called “elite” fighters who fight on HBO, Showtime and PPV, because these guys represent the sport to the rest of the world. And I believe the big shots, such as Mayweather, Pacquiao and the Klitschko brothers, should be subject to random blood and urine testing throughout the year – an open-door policy all 365 days – regardless if they have fights scheduled.

Renegotiating the rematch if Khan’s testosterone levels are equal to Peterson’s level is a crazy idea (which probably means you’ve been following this sport too long and too closely). If Khan’s testosterone levels were close to Peterson’s he would have failed his VADA test. Obviously they are not close.  

ROID-KILLED!

Holy s__t, Doug,

Once more we lose out on a rematch to one of the best fights last year. This time because of this stupid roid-rot thing.

And the funny thing is I among others were so turned off by Amir Khan’s pathetic whinning after their first fight but it turns out the playing field wasn’t so level after all. Only it wasn’t because the ref deducted points or one of the judges blew his nose with his score-paper and needed that “mystery guy” to give him a new one. It was because Peterson juiced up. Stupid bastard!

I guess that explains why Peterson looked kind of huge compared to Khan. Actually I was wandering how he squeezed all that bone, meat and muscle mass into a mere 140 pounds. For all I know, Peterson could have snacked on a platter of roids right after the weigh-in.

So what now? As much as I’m not a Khan fan he should have his titles passed back to him and the loss reversed. Too bad someone like Lucas Matthysse or Marcos Maidana couldn’t be able to stand in for Peterson but I guess nine days is too short a notice to burn yourself down to 140 pounds. Altogether the whole thing’s about as disgusting as a puking sewer-rat. Well maybe not quite that bad. But it still sucks immensely. But oh well, s__t sure happens. In Boxing as well as other sports even though people seem to overlook it when this crap does happen in other sports. So it seems.

Well that’s the s__t-topic for the week. Take care! – Todd The Terminator

There’s always gotta be a “s__t topic” in boxing, eh Todd? All I wanted was a nice, slow recovery week between the hectic schedule that preceded the big Mayweather-Cotto fight and the busy week of the anticipated Peterson-Khan rematch. I just wanted a little time to rest up between major events and maybe take in a movie (such as the FRICKIN’ AVENGERS, which I STILL HAVEN’T SEEN!) But noooooooooooo… there’s ALWAYS got to be controversy in this damned “sport.” And the controversy always has to drop just when it looks like we have a good boxing story to celebrate (such as the enjoyable Mayweather-Cotto fight and Peterson’s rags-to-riches story). And the news of this controversy ALWAYS has to hit the boxing world between 4-6 p.m. Pacific Time, when I’m picking my daughters up from school. (I can’t tell you how maddening it is to receive a Twitter text regarding major news when stuck in L.A. traffic and at least 30 minutes away from my laptop.) And big fights that I plan to cover ALWAYS have to be cancelled or postponed AFTER I make travel arrangements!

As you so eloquently stated, it sucks immensely.

I understand your anger and outrage directed toward Peterson, but I’m not going to bury him in allegations until I hear more of his side and learn more about this case and his medical history. As far as I know, he’s not a steroid user. He has admitted to taking one testosterone treatment last November. He and his doctor say it was necessary and not intended to enhance his performance in the ring. We don’t know much about anything else. I still want to know why his testosterone was so low. That’s abnormal and rare for a man his age. I’ve heard, as I’m sure you have, that low testosterone levels can be the result of prolonged or improper steroid use.

I really hope this is not the reason Peterson suffered from the disorder. I’ve always viewed him as an honest, hard-working prize fighter of high moral character.

By the way, if you think this testosterone (elevated T/E ratio) issue is “overlooked” in other sports, I invite you to Google the name “Alistair Overeem.”

MAYWEATHER RETIREMENT, KHAN-ALEXANDER

What’s up man? First, what do you think the chances are that Mayweather actually retires from boxing? My personal opinion, I think he’s serious this time. In the past, it was clear he was pulling our leg when he talked about retirement. There’s no chance he’s fighting Sergio Martinez, so fight fans can forget about that! I can see him trying one last time to make the PacMan fight for May 2013, and if it happens, and he wins, he’ll fight one more time in Sept 2013 against Canelo. Your thoughts?

How about Devon Alexander vs Amir Khan in July since Lamont Peterson decided to fail the drug test he advocated for? He should be banned for life for that alone. It would be like Antonio Margarito asking for a hand wrap specialist to look at both fighters hand wraps before the Mosley fight and then pulling the plaster stunt. Seriously dude?!?!

Dream Matchups and Your Predictions:

1. Tito Trinidad vs Manny Pacquaio (Welterweight)
2. Floyd Mayweather vs Julio Cesar Chavez (Lightweight)
3. Bernard Hopkins vs Sugar Ray Leonard (Middleweight)
4. Lennox Lewis vs Muhammad Ali
5. Prince Naseem Hamed vs Yuriorkis Gamboa (Featherweight)

– CJ, Norfolk, VA

I won’t believe that Mayweather is done with boxing until he actually leaves and stays away for more than three years. He loves thr sport and business of boxing. Plus he’s coming off a performance that headlined a highly successful, extremely lucrative PPV event and garnered a ton of respect (even from so-called haters like Yours Truly).  Why would he stop now? Floyd’s got that gambler’s mentality. He wants to keep things rolling when he’s winning big.

I think he’ll do his 60-80 days and then sit the rest of the year out, while talking more s__t about Bob Arum and Pacquiao. He’ll probably fight Canelo next May, Cinco De Mayo weekend, and that PPV will likely do better than the Cotto event. Then the Ortiz-Berto winner in September. Then Khan in 2014. Then who knows? Maybe he’ll retire in 2015.

I don’t think he’ll ever face Martinez, but I would love for him to prove me wrong.  

I think Khan-Alexander is doable. Both guys are promoted by Golden Boy. Both are looking to establish themselves in the 147-pound division. I think the winner of that matchup would be considered at least a lower top-10 welterweight by most observers. I don’t think it’s a great style matchup but it might be interesting and somewhat intense because of the impressive hand speed and high workrate both boxers possess.

Dream Matchup Predictions:

1. Trinidad wins by come-from-behind, mid-rounds KO

2. Chavez wins by competitive but clear unanimous decision (most would have it 116-112 for the Mexican idol)

3. Leonard wins controversial split decision

4. Ali score surprising one-punch KO (with the right hand, what else?) late in the fight after struggling with the skilled giant but narrowly leading on the scorecards.

5. Hamed scores an ice-cold come-from-behind KO by the middle rounds

THE RING’S UPDATED POLICY

Dougie,
Man, The Ring is getting hit by tons of people over your changes to rankings. Did you check out “Occupy the Ring” by Springs Toledo
(http://www.thesweetscience.com/news/articles/14560-occupy-the-ring)?
Also, do you pay attention to Dan Rafael?
Just wondering what you think of all the negativity? It seems difficult to establish credibility if you make changes again in a year like you said. Hope you respond. Take care. – Lionel

It will be difficult to establish credibility, as it has been ever since former RING editor Nigel Collins presented the new policy in 2002. Hopefully, the updated policy works out well and we won’t have to make any changes. I believe that’s possible.

I have not read Springs Toledo’s article on The Sweet Science. Nor have I read Cliff Rold’s recent column on the updated policy, which can be found on Boxingscene.com (http://www.boxingscene.com/-ring-changes-rules-further-clouds-title-scene–52718). (I do plan to read it because I’ve known Cliff a long time and I have a lot of respect for him as well as his passion and knowledge of the sport’s history.)

I have no problem with anyone criticizing the updated policy. I have no problem with anyone being skeptical of – or even vehemently opposed to – the updates that were made to the policy conceived by Collins. (That’s why I made sure to include your hyperlink to Toledo’s article and I added one for Rold’s column. I want those fans who care about this stuff to read ‘em and then come back to me with questions, concerns, or even baseless accusations, which have become quite popular in this age of social media.)

I do pay attention to Dan Rafael. How can I not? He’s one of the heavyweights (and I’m not trying to be funny or disrespectful to the “King of all Fight Freaks,” I’m speaking metaphorically.)

I don’t read all of his chats but I heard that he soundly dismissed the updated policy in last week’s chat, which was OK by me. He’s got a right to his opinion. I know it’s shared by many hardcore fans and historic “purists.” I also know that his opinion is not shared by everyone who follows boxing.

Dan’s a big shot. He’s influential. But he’s not the only “heavyweight” boxing writer out there. And the truth is that THE RING’s ratings and championship policy has been dissed by boxing writer big shots – such as Michael Katz – since it was established in 2002. It has never been fully embraced by the sport or universally viewed as “credible.”

There are other influential boxing writers, such as MaxBoxing.com’s Steve Kim, who dismissed the magazine’s championship policy (and its rankings) almost from the get-go. Kim was part of the Ratings Panel years ago, but when he pointed out problems with the rankings and the policy he found that he was ignored by Collins and the Editorial Board. So he stopped participating. His stance on THE RING’s Championship policy was pretty simple going forward. He thought it was horses__t. He didn’t see why a boxing magazine would want or try to act as a sanctioning organization, and he thought the Editorial Board needed to spend more time on actually covering the sport and writing entertaining/education/meaningful articles about real issues instead of trying to rank the world’s fighters – many of whom they had never seen fight. 

Other “heavyweights,” such as Yahoo! Sport’s Kevin Iole refused to recognize or mention THE RING titles in his articles because he said there were never more than three or four RING champs among the sport’s notable active fighters. Iole has a point.

Something needed to change. Perhaps if a few more RING champs are crowned, Iole will begin to recognize the magazine’s titles. If the fighters who win the vacant RING belts are chumps, I’m sure Iole will rip us in one or more of his columns (you all know he loves to do that) and he’ll continue to ignore the mag’s titles.

Obviously we don’t want that. We want the best fighters to represent one of the world’s oldest boxing magazines and established brands in the sport. So if a fight between a No. 2 or 3 contender and a No. 4 or 5 contender comes up, we will not automatically clear their fight to be for a vacant title – unless those contenders are accomplished, exceptional talents who could arguably be rated higher than they are.

Personally, I think it’s too early to condemn the updated policy. I believe that some influential boxing writers who are against it will come around. I also realize that some will never embrace it. I’m pretty sure Kim will continue to view THE RING titles the same as the sanctioning organization belts (as Rafael claims he does now). That’s OK. I respect both men and their opinions.

I just want everyone to know that I’m open to the criticism and debate. I spent at least two hours late Wednesday night debating the updated policy with a couple hardcore fight fans, including a young boxing writer named Mark Ortega. (You might still be able to view our rather lengthy back-and-forth dialogue on either Twitter page: @dougiefischer or @MarkEOrtega)

I’ll present you the Reader’s Digest version of our conversation (which was respectful) in the hopes quelling concerns/fears that some boxing heads have about the updated policy. Here’s how it started:

I was corresponding with excellent Bay Area fight scribe Ryan Maquinana (@RMaq28), who had sent me a link to an article on Stan Lee. Ryan told me that Vicente Escobedo won’t be available to fight Adrien Broner on July 21 (as I was told by Richard Schaefer earlier in the evening) because his wife just gave birth and he wants to be there for her. I said “too bad, it’s a big opportunity for him,” and Ortega Tweeted that “Maybe they just want to get Escobedo into RING’s Top 5 so they can hand Broner the title…” (obviously going for the ever-popular Golden Boy Promotions conspiracy angle)

I responded: “Escobedo is unrated by THE RING.”

The debate was on. Ortega asked in two Tweets:

“One question, doesn’t the new RING championship policy just encourage bigger name promoters to make in-house fights? #boxing

“If you are GBP or TR, you have a good chance of having control over two fighters within the Top 5 of RING’s rankings. #boxing

I responded in two Tweets: “Give us some examples, Mark. In a few divisions, yes, but not in most of them.

“The heavier weight classes are dominated by European promoters, the lighter-weight classes are dominated by Asian promoters”

Ortega: “GBP can make fights for vacant title in-house at 118, 122 (if they still control Poon), soon to be 140, 147, 154…”

Fischer: “Give me the examples. I’ll tell you if they have a good chance of being made. You tell me if it’s the end of the world.”

Ortega: “Anselmo Moreno vs. Eric Morel seems like a pretty likely matchup to me.”

Fischer (two Tweets): “No. 1 vs. No. 5 is VERY unlikely to be approved for a vacant RING title. Morel does not have a signature win at 118. Next!”

Ortega: “Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym”

Fischer: “Come on, Mark. Do you REALLY think that fight will ever happen?

Ortega: “No, not really. I was actually bummed that GBP never did anything with Poonsawat after they signed him. All action.

Fischer: “Dude, What US network would buy that fight? Come on, it will NEVER happen. Next!”

Ortega: “Well, one US network agreed to buy Broner-Sykes, don’t think it is a stretch that they’d buy into Poonsawat given his style.”

Fischer: “They never heard of Poon. Sykes was OK’d because Khan was bringing in UK TV.”

Ortega: “Amir Khan vs. Danny Garcia seems like a pretty easy fight to make. Khan will move up, no doubt, right?”

Fischer: “Khan’s not going to be at 140 long enough for that fight to happen.”

Ortega: “Floyd Mayweather vs. Andre Berto/Victor Ortiz 2 winner”

Fischer: “That fight is somewhat possible but making it for vacant title is not feasible — Manny is too accomplished (and popular).”

Ortega: “Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Saul Alvarez”

Fischer: “That’s possible, but the fight won’t happen for another year. Canelo aint fighting Floyd in Sept. & Floyd could go back to 147”

Ortega: “Can’t Cotto vs Vanes Martirosyan happen for the ring title at 154. with the new rules?”

Fischer (two Tweets): “It’s possible. The fight would have to be made (which it won’t) and we’d have to debate if they were worthy.

“I don’t think the vacant RING title would up for grabs in that one. Cotto just lost and Vanes has no signature wins”

Ortega: “How does the final decision on these 1/2 vs 3/4/5 fights get made? Smaller roundtable or the full panel?”

Fischer (three Tweets): “Full panel would be involved. We want everyone’s input.

“But you guys see how easy it is to shoot down matchups that don’t involve Nos. 1 and 2.

“Mark hasn’t been able to come up with a lock matchup for vacant belt that doesn’t involve nos. 1 and 2.”

I’ll spare my dear Mailbag readers the rest of the back and forth, which involved a guy whose Twitter handle is @jrosales13, who basically stated that the updated policy spoiled the integrity and historical significance of THE RING titles because it broke the lineage back to whomever held the first titles (and, of course, he included hyper links to articles that stated this). I told him to stop repeating what Rold and others wrote and to give me his opinion. He said linear titles were important to him. I told him that’s great, but 99.9 percent of those who follow boxing don’t give a RAT’S ASS about “linear” titles. They just want the best in each division to be recognized as “the champ.”

Ortega said he didn’t believe that would happen under the updated policy because A) he’s not sure the writers on the Ratings Panel know their boxing (he thinks they make their decisions based on what they read on BoxRec.com), and B) he’s not even sure how we come to our conclusions.

So I told him to join the Ratings Panel and find out. I told him to “enlighten” us with his vast knowledge. I told Ortega (and a few others, who following this oh-so fascinating dialogue – including Francisco Salazar of Fightnews.com) that Michael Rosenthal and I WELCOME input from our fellow boxing writers. Ortega said he emailed me about joining in February but received no response, so he assumed that he “didn’t qualify.” I told him not to give up so easily and to try again.

And that’s my basic message out there to anyone who is concerned or outraged about the updated policy. Don’t give up on it based on what you think might happen, and allow us to try it out. 

GRAPHIC MAILBAG

Doug, you are getting a little too graphic in your mailbag my man, a little disgusting with the images.

Anyway, what do you think would happen in a Pac/Cotto rematch at 154?

I think Martinez would be too active/big for May. – JCB

I’m sorry about the graphic language (regarding HBO’s excessive booty kissing). I have a vulgar streak that I really should try to control better.

I’d still favor Pacquiao over Cotto if they fought at junior middleweight (even though Manny would likely come in around 145-147 pounds), but I think it would be more competitive than their welterweight fight. Cotto probably takes a better shot at 154 pounds, but weight and size is only part of the reason. I think Cotto’s better instruction/ preparation (from Pedro Diaz) and improved technique would also be a big factor.

However, Cotto’s average hand/foot speed and methodical style would still hold him back against Pacquaio, who I believe would win a decision.

Martinez is too active/big for any 154 pounder on the planet, IMO.

YOU STILL FUNNY, MAN

What up Cuz,

I know you are rolling hard with the aftermath of the Mayweather v. Cotto fight but I had to drop you a note to let you know I laughed out loud at the following line “They’ve been rimming his booty hole so hard for so long I don’t even notice anymore.” Thanks for the funny Dougie it definitely made my Monday morning!

(P.S. – this line also brought a giggle “so they’re gonna deliver some rather wet kisses to that area every chance they get.”) – Tim

Thank you, Tim. You’re my cousin, which confirms that my nasty streak runs in the family. Sadly, I too was laughing my ass… um, I mean my bottom off, while writing that vulgar sh… uh, stuff.

GOOD NIGHT OF FIGHTS

Mr. Fischer,

I hope all is well. Several points on the ppv show:

  1. Quintana performed very well on Saturday night. Now that I think of it, I don’t Quintana has ever been in a boring fight, even those he lost. What is next for Quintana – Ishe Smith, Delvin Rodriguez, or Canelo? I’d like to see if how Canelo handles a southpaw.
  2. Vargas turned in a disappointing performance. He needs to build a highlight reel as he goes rounds to develop a fan base.
  3. I’m glad Mosley didnt get ko’d, but at the same time, he might have been better off not taking flush shots for twelve rounds. Nazim Richardson should have protected his fighter; he never seemed interested in stopping the fight.
  4. Miguel Cotto is a bad man. Even though he lost, he dictated the fight. You called it, you gave Cotto a better shot at beating Mayweather than just about every fight scribe.

It was a good night of fights. Best. – Jaime, South City

It was very good pay-per-view main event that was supported by decent but not spectacular undercard bouts. But, hey, all’s well that ends well. I’ll respond to your comments in order:

1. I think Quintana needs at least one more high-profile victory before he earns a shot at Alvarez. There’s long line for Canelo’s WBC belt and the Puerto Rican veteran should have to earn his way up it. Rodriguez is getting a shot at Austin Trout’s WBA title on June 2, but Smith is available and he looked very sharp the night before the Ring Kings PPV. The winner of Quintana-Smith can make some noise in the 154-pound division.

2. I’ve been high on Jessie Vargas since he was 9-0 but I gotta admit that was his flattest, most boring performance. However, in his defense, he was fighting crafty veteran on short notice and nobody really looks good against Forbes.

3. Sometimes it seems like Richardson wants to protect Mosley’s pride more than his health during fights. Hopefully he does the right thing and had “that special talk” with Shane now that the TV cameras aren’t on them.

4. I did indeed call it and I don’t mind tooting my own horn about it because Cotto’s mettle and ring savvy deserves to be trumpeted for all to hear (especially those who dismissed him prior to the fight).

RIGHT ON THE MONEY

Hi there Doug,

After watching the Cotto vs Floyd fight, the more I crave for the Pacquiao fight to push through. As a fan it may not be too much to ask for….

I have a few observations regarding the bout: No question Mayweather is still the best boxer in the world but I was surprised on how easy Cotto was able to pin him to the ropes and Cotto also was able to catch him several times… I’ve been watching Floyd fight many times and this is the first time in many years I saw him get hit this much….is this a sign that age is starting to catch up w/ Floyd?

Shane showed a lot of class against Canelo but I hope he finally retires. Same w/ B-Hop, Roy Jones Jr. and Evander Holyfield.

I know you love fantasy match ups so I have a few one for you….

1. prime Mike Tyson vs Rocky Balboa.

2. Jack Dempsey vs Rocky Marciano.

3. prime Bernard Hopkins vs Jake LaMotta at middleweight.

4. Roy Jones Jr. vs Sugar Ray Robinson at Middleweight.

5. Willie Pep vs Prince Naseem Hamed.

Thanks for your time and God Bless….— Jayjay-Philippines.

Thanks for emailing the Mailbag, Jayjay. I do believe that Mayweather is slowing down a little with age. Fighting only once a year and fighting above 147 pounds may have also taken a little bit off his reflexes.

But the real reason Mayweather got caught so much was because he was in the ring with a well-rounded and experienced world-class veteran, and he’s not the “untouchable” all-time great too many boxing writers and fans claim that he is.   

Here’s hoping that all the faded badasses you mentioned are happily retired by 2013.

Fantasy matchup picks:

1. Iron Mike bludgeons Rocky to a bloody late-rounds TKO (unless Balboa is being trained by Apollo Creed, in which case the Eye-of-the-Tiger version of the Italian Stallion punks Tyson to an early stoppage)

2. Dempsey mauls The Rock to a technical stoppage (cuts) or a bloody decision victory.

3. Hopkins wins an unpopular decision utilizing his underrated lateral movement.

4. Jones gets KTFO after playing “hard to get” for four or five rounds.

5. Pep easily schools the Prince over the distance.

 

 

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

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