Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

BOXING’S PED PROBLEM

Sup Dougie,

Imma keep it short and not so sweet.

If I was upset when Lamont Peterson-Amir Khan II was canceled, I’m even more upset to hear Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto II is canceled for pretty much the same reason. This just sucks!!! The big wigs in boxing have to realize that there’s a steroid problem and confront it head-on.

Now I hear that the Peterson-Khan cancellation cost Golden Boy $1 million. Let’s say that the Ortiz-Berto cancellation is another million lost. Wouldn’t it save Golden Boy to simply RANDOMLY (key word) drug test their fighters before announcing the fight to the public? Before signing all these contracts between fighters, managers, networks, or spending money on promoting the fight?

That would make the sport cleaner and save the promoters money. What do you think? – Peter, Houston, TX

I agree with you, Peter. I’m not Gabriel Montoya when it comes to my knowledge and understanding of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), but I’m certain that year-round random testing of world-class boxers would ensure a cleaner sport and less fight cancellations due to failed anti-doping tests.

However, it can’t just be Golden Boy Promotions pushing the truly Olympic style testing (which is blood and urine at any time during the year). The two fighters who failed the VADA testing (Peterson and Berto) were not promoted by GBP. The other major promoters have to be on board for this to work.

I’ve written this before, but it would be great for the image of the sport if the elite fighters – particularly those who make the most money and do the biggest business worldwide, such as Mayweather, Pacquiao and the Klitschko brothers – agreed to year-round testing.

NEW OPPONENT FOR ORTIZ?

What’s up Dougie,

I’m very disappointed in Andre Berto. He tests positive for ‘roids after he accuses Victor Ortiz. What an ass! As if our beloved sport needs anymore black eyes.

So, who do you think should Ortiz fight next month? You think he should fight Kell Brook on such short notice? I’m pissed because I was really looking forward to the rematch. This is a messed up situation. What do you think, Dougie? – Miguel, LBC

Yeah, it’s messed up, but at least there was time to salvage the June 23 date, even though Berto won’t be involved. And speaking of Berto, let’s try not to completely bury him before all of the details of his “contaminated” urine specimen are further examined.

Last night, Montoya, MaxBoxing’s resident PED specialist who seems to have an inside track with VADA, tweeted the following in three parts:

“Andre Berto Update Part 1 of 3: Sources have informed me that Berto’s urine sample has tested positive for ultra-trace amounts (cont.)

Part 2: ultra-trace amounts of Nandrolone in the low parts per trillion range #boxing. (cont.)

Part 3: ultra-trace amount levels are consistent with contamination not intent. #boxing

It’s too late to save the rematch with Ortiz, but maybe it’s not too late for Berto to save his reputation.

And speaking of late Sunday night tweets, ESPN.com’s Dan Rafael tweeted that Josesito Lopez would replace Berto against Ortiz on June 23, sourcing the junior welterweight fringe contender’s management and Showtime. (The Notorious D.A.N also tweeted that Lopez’s stable mate – and Al Haymon client – will be added to the Showtime broadcast, making the Staples Center event a tripleheader.)

I hope to one day see Kell Brook take on Ortiz and the other top U.S. welterweights, but the UK standout has a July 7 date with Carson Jones, which could vault him to the top position in the IBF’s rankings if he wins, so he isn’t available to stand in for Berto. Plus, Brook, an undefeated British attraction, is not the type of fighter to act as a sub or take a fight on late notice.

Lopez also had a fight scheduled (with Kendal Holt on June 22) but the opportunity against Ortiz is the biggest fight of his somewhat under-the-radar career. Plus, Lopez comes a lot cheaper for GBP than Brook or another top welterweight contender would have, and he’s local. He (and his big buddy Arreola) will sell tickets.

The knock on Lopez, who hasn’t fought since dropping a close and entertaining SD to Jessie Vargas last September, is that he’s a 140 pounder who used to fight at lightweight. However, he’s nearly 6-feet tall and he’s got a hell of a chin. He’s also rarely in a bad fight.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR VIKING WARRIOR?

Hey Dougie,

I figure you’ll be drowning in emails about doping and PED’s this weekend, so here is one about actual boxing ;-)

As most people know by know, Mikkel Kessler looked a mixture of rusty and awesome in dispatching Allan Green. Well, at least the last punch was awesome! I was watching alone in the darkness of my living room, trying to muffle my “oohs” and “aaahs” because my family were sleeping in the adjoining chamber. Kessler is all we have at world level here in Denmark, so I don’t like to miss his fights, even if they are on so late at night they ruin the rest of my weekend.

The question, of course, is what is next for him, as this was nothing more than a tune-up. Kessler is in the privileged position of being a draw and having his own audience. He was able to pull in a 15,000 strong crowd for this fight, which wasn’t even for a real title or against a well-known contender (nobody in Denmark are likely to have heard of Allan Green before). The PPV cost close to 85 dollars, which is saying something. I pay only 5 dollars to watch either of the Klitschkos on the same channel. But I digress. Kessler weighed in little more than 2 pounds over the SMW limit for this fight. It’s clear that he probably doesn’t belong physically at LHW. Still, I could envision him being the 175-pound version of Cotto: the small, but skilled cat among the big, fat pigeons. I could definitely see Kessler beating Nathan Cleverly or Tavoris Cloud who don’t have his skill or experience, or perhaps even Hopkins who seems past it at last. As long as Kessler avoids Chad Dawson, he should be OK at the weight, imo. Your thoughts?

Other natural matchups could be made at 168, where a lucrative in-house Sauerland fight against the winner of Abe Abraham-Rob Stieglitz seems like a logical fight to make. Otherwise a rematch with Carl Froch or perhaps a crack at Lucian Bute might be a good idea. Andre Dirrell vs Kessler would be a fight for the fans, but “the Matrix” unfortunately has little to offer Kessler as he is neither a draw on his own nor does he possess a belt.

What fights would you like to see at 168 and 175 in the near future? Ward and Dawson needn’t be mentioned as they are fighting each other! Keep up the good work + Best wishes. – Benjamin Lunøe

Thanks Benjamin. It’s nice to hear from a fan in Denmark. I had no idea it was so expensive to watch Kessler in his own country. I assumed the Viking Warrior was on network TV.

Anyway, my guess is that Kessler will drop back down to super middleweight and look for the winners of this Saturday’s Bute-Froch showdown or the Stieglitz-Abraham fight. Those are big fights in Europe (or in the Quebec province if he winds up fighting Bute) and there would be plenty of interest among American fans, too.

However, don’t rule out an eventual showdown with Dawson, who has wanted to fight Kessler for many years. Kessler chose to fight above 168 pounds and to pay the WBC’s sanctioning fee for the “right” to square off for their 175-pound “Silver” belt for a reason. In winning the Silver title, Kessler gained an automatic No. 1 ranking in the WBC’s light heavyweight ratings. Guess who holds the WBC title?

Win or lose against Ward, which is taking place at super middleweight, Dawson can always come back up to light heavyweight and fight Kessler in a high-profile bout.

I’d like to see Kessler fight once or twice more at super middleweight (the high-profile bouts we discussed) and then campaign full time at light heavy. Why? Because there are good matchups to be made at 175 pounds but they aren’t happening. We’ve got a talented RING champ and three beltholders (Cloud, Cleverly and Shumenov) who are in their primes but they don’t seem interested in fighting each other. So the division needs a respected “challenger” with a name to stir it up.

I think Kessler, who is definitely more of a fighter than a boxer under Jimmy Montoya’s guidance, could be that guy. Kessler, who seems to have slowed down a bit, makes for better fights now that he’s discovered the uppercut and the left hook and is no longer just a jab- and one-two specialist.

That left hook that he downed Green with would have made the Mighty Thor proud. Kessler should start calling it “Mjolnir.”

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