Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

BERTO-GUERRERO WEIGH-IN

Is the Andre Berto-Robert Guerrero weigh-in open to the public? And where and when? Thanks champ. – Mike from CT

The Berto-Guerrero weigh-in is indeed open to the public. It takes place at Dave & Buster’s at Ontario Mills (4821 Mills Circle; Ontario, Calif., 91764), starting at 1:00 p.m. PT, when Keith Thurman, Carlos Quintana, Guerrero and Berto are scheduled to step on the scale.

Be there or be square. (I’m assuming you’re from Connecticut but now live in the Southern California area.)

 

THE GHOST & THE GOON

What’s Up Dougie!

Ready to rap? Starting with the Guerrero-Berto fight:

This one’s really hard to predict. Guerrero’s a tough, skilled and determined little bastard but he has one glaring problem: his punching power is not much better than Paul Maliginaggi’s. Hey, this guy can punch away at a sack of eggs for 12 rounds and still not break a single one.

OK, so that was a little harsh but this once-featherweight has no real power at welter. Manny Pacquiao he ain’t.

On the other hand Berto is MUCH bigger, stronger and harder-hitting than Guerrero, with or without the juice. Look at the guy. He has the arms and shoulders of a f’ing cruiserweight. How the hell does this juiced-up goon still squeeze all that mass down to a mere 147 pounds?

If this fight was in a phone booth Berto grinds up Guerrero and spits him out.

And maybe he still will. But the problem with Berto is that he’s often wide with his

caveman haymakers and has all the ring-smarts of mentally-retarded gibbon.

So I’m going with Guerrero on this one. Again it’s a tough one to call. But I figure Guerrero will outwork Berto for the most part and will probably endure a few rocky moments prior to getting a clear decision win.

The Keith Thurman-Carlos Quintana fight? I know that there’s some bitchin’ going on about Thurman fighting on HBO already. So why is this guy getting on HBO this soon in his career? The fact that he knocked out practically every guy he faced so far might have something to do with it. Power sells!

If Thurman does the same to gate-keeper Quintana then we’ll probably be seeing more of this guy.

As for Ricky Hatton’s comeback fight I’m not expecting much here, nor was I was ever too big on Hatton’s John Ruiz type tactics in the first place. He’ll probably maul his way past the over-rated Senchenko in ten forgettable rounds but once this chinless mauler steps up in competition he’ll once again get knocked back into the far side of Queerland. Take it from me! – Triple T

Well, if what you say is true about Hatton I guess he’s lucky that there are three 147-pound titleholders who aren’t known for their power (Tim Bradley, Malignaggi and Devon Alexander). Senchenko isn’t going to remind anyone of a prime Donald Curry but the Ukrainian is a solid opponent for guy who was nearly decapitated in his last bout, which was more than three years ago. Combine Hatton’s inactivity with the self-destructive lifestyle he had for so many years and I think we have a risky matchup on paper.

I hope the Mad Hatter comes through without absorbing too much punishment. He’s a bona-fide attraction who can make for one or two more mega-events before retiring for good.

I echo your thoughts on Thurman. I think he’s a compelling personality who has a fan-pleasing style in the ring. His take-no-prisoners attitude is what most fans want to see, and as long as he’s challenging himself with quality opponents, such as Quintana, I have no problem with HBO showcasing him. This should be a good fight. Quintana says he’s ready for this bout and is the more confident I’ve ever seen him prior to a high-profile match.

I concur that Guerrero-Berto is a pick-‘em fight and I agree with your assessment of their strengths and weaknesses – so much so that you’ve convinced me to also pick The Ghost via decision. If he doesn’t win I’m going to blame you for my f___ed up pick.

 

MORE WELTER-SKELTER

Hey Mr. Doug,

Just several pointers I want to bring up regarding the welterweight division.

1. I’m picking Robert Guerrero to give Andre Berto a real good boxing lesson this Saturday. Is that a prediction I’m making with full conviction? Not quite. Logically speaking the much bigger, stronger, harder-hitting Berto should bust up the smallish, cut-prone former junior lightweight, just like he busted up tough Jan Zaveck in his last fight. On the other hand Berto’s clear loss to Victor Ortiz and his near loss to Luis Callazo can’t be overlooked. And I really think that Guerrero is too determined and driven to lose this one. Not to mention too smart and skilled. He should be able to telegraph Berto’s clubbing shots and box his face off. It probably won’t be spectacular to watch but Guerrero should get the job done providing he can withstand whatever heavy shots that Berto might land.

2. Any fights for Selcuk Aydin soon? I’m certainly not writing off the Turkish slugger yet despite his loss to Guerrero and if title matches were still 15 rounds things could have gotten pretty scary for Guerrero in that fight. A fight between Aydin and Argentinean badass Carlos Abregu would be real interesting. Actually so would an all out civil war between right-handed smashers Abregu and Marcos Maidana. I’ll pass on the suggested rematch between Abregu and Tim Bradley though in favour of the fights I just mentioned.

3. Speaking of which, I notice Bradley hasn’t been getting any willing dance partners lately. Even Devon Alexander’s still landing fights with quality opponents despite his often ugly style. In this case, Kell Brook. No gimmes for Devon here.

As for Bradley, his momentum couldn’t have plummeted further if he did lose that fight to Pacquiao. Which he did anyways but you get my drift. Funny thing though. Much like Alexander, Bradley isn’t all that crappy to watch if he’s up against the right guy. Maybe someone like Josesito Lopez. What do you think?

4. Regarding Manny Pacquiao and his eight titles. We all (or at least most of us) know that most of those titles are of the bullcrap alphabet variety. But how many Ring World titles has Pac actually won? Some fans say zero. A buddy of mine insists that it was just the Junior Welter Title he took from Hatton and that’s it.

I could have sworn that Marco Antonio Barrera was the defending World Featherweight Champion when Pacquiao hammered him into a standstill. And wasn’t the vacant World 130 pound title on the line when Pac and Juan Manuel Marquez fought the second time? So that makes it three altogether. That’s what I’m going with here. So what’s the verdict?

Keep the faith. See ya. – Dave

Always, Dave. Thanks for writing in the mailbag. I’ll answer your comments/questions in the order you presented them:

1) Your prediction of Berto-Guerrero makes me feel even better about picking The Ghost to win, but as you noted, Berto’s speed and power can make liars of you, me and Triple T. However, I think Guerrero is a better boxer-technician than Zaveck (who actually had his moments against Berto before his facial lacerations ended the fight). Headbutts could be a factor in this fight, which pits an aggressive southpaw against a boxer-punch who tends to lunge in with his shots, so it’s conceivable that one or both fighters suffer a nasty cut. As you noted, Guerrero has a history of cuts. Maybe going up in weight and not having to dry out before the weigh-in helps Guerrero facial tissue hold together. I’m glad you brought up the Ortiz and Collazo fights. Berto has had trouble with southpaws (and their straight lefts) dating back to the amateurs (when rival Juan McPherson used to give him trouble). Even a weigh-drained Quintana was able to land the left early in their bout. However, Berto’s heart can’t be overlooked. He stopped Quintana, rallied against Collazo and engaged Ortiz in the Fight of the Year despite being less than 100 percent.

2) I haven’t heard anything about Aydin’s next move, but I’d love to see him in the matchups you proposed. I think he’s worthy of premium cable if he’s matched with a fellow bull or a puncher. If Thurman beats Quintana tomorrow (which is not a given), I think Aydin would be the final litmus test of the fierce Floridian’s world-class/world-title potential.

3) It looks like Bradley’s only fight this year will be his controversial decision over Manny Pacquiao, which is too bad. I’m sure he wanted to fight at least twice this year. But he’s learning what so many other talented-but-non-charismatic fighters before him learned: just because you beat ‘The Man’ doesn’t mean you become ‘The Man.’ This is especially true when most of the public thinks you lost to ‘The Man.’ Still, Bradley is in position to eventually land a significant fight. He’s got a name, he’s undefeated and he holds a major title. Somebody’s going to challenge him. Who knows? Hatton might call him out if he wins tomorrow. Maybe if Juan Manuel Marquez finally catches a break and beats Pacquiao on Dec. 8 the Mexican master will be inclined to try to win a fourth divisional title by challenging Timmy. Those are big fights. I don’t think Bradley-Lopez is, although it would be entertaining.

4) You are correct and your friend is wrong. Pacquiao won THE RING title at featherweight (vs. Barrera), junior lightweight (vs. Marquez in their 2008 rematch) and at junior welterweight (vs. Hatton). Not too shabby, eh?

 

MAYWEATHER AND PEDS

Doug check these articles out from Thomas Hauser:

http://maxboxing.com/news/sub-lead/the-ped-mess-part-one

http://maxboxing.com/news/sub-lead/the-ped-mess-part-two

Floyd Mayweather Jr. never showed the complete drug tests that was done by USADA from his last 3 fights and this was used against him by Manny Pacquiao’s attorney yet they just made a public apology to him in exchange of not showing it. How ironic, isn’t it?

The bad news is USADA might have already trashed it so we will never know unless there would be a “few good men” from USADA that are willing to voice out the truth. What are your thoughts after reading these articles and on this whole saga? I know Ring magz is with Goldenboy but I hope this could make your mailbag. Cheers!– Charlie

Consider it made, Charlie. Yes, I have read Mr. Hauser’s typically “epic” two-parter on PEDs on MaxBoxing.com.

My thoughts after sifting through the legal dissertation-style articles merely echo the title to the two-part column “it’s a mess.” If there’s one issue in boxing that calls for the kind of regulation that only a national commission can provide, I think performance-enhancing drugs is it.

I’ll add that I agree with Victor Conte’s assertion that a fighter is not subjecting himself to “Olympic-style” drug testing unless he’s being tested at random throughout the year – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. I’ve stated this opinion earlier in the year (even before Lamont Peterson and Berto were pinched by VADA, and before Nonito Donaire elected to become the one high-profile boxer to undergo year-round testing).

I don’t have any opinion on the Mayweather rumor, because that’s all it is. And that’s how Hauser presented it in part one of his article:

“On May 20, 2012, a rumor filtered through the drug-testing community that Mayweather had tested positive on three occasions for an illegal performance-enhancing drug.”

Hauser goes into more hearsay details, but the bottom line for me is that he has no direct source. Nobody – named or unnamed – from USADA or the Nevada State Athletic Commission (or elsewhere) has gone on record to verify the rumor.

I think you know that I’m not a Mayweather fan, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing to do to him what he did – and his father and uncle did more overtly – to Pacquiao, which is cast PED aspersions on the Filipino icon without any proof.

I thought it was wrong when members of the boxing media (including those who write for RingTV.com and THE RING) wrote articles and “news items” based on Floyd Mayweather Sr.’s awful allegations after Pacquiao cold-cocked Hatton (who Senior was training) in 2009, and based on the hooey all three Mayweathers spewed about the Pac-Man since then.

I think it’s wrong that members of the boxing media insinuate or claim outright that Antonio Margarito loaded his wraps or gloves for the first Miguel Cotto fight when they know damn well there is no such proof that he did so.

I’m not going to comment, write or otherwise state an opinion on Mayweather and PEDs until there is reliable, concrete proof that he did indeed fail a test (or tests) for a banned performance-enhancing substance(s).

Now I know there are tribal-minded Twitter-based blogger freaks out there who view Golden Boy as the ultimate “Evil Empire” and will assume that they’ve got me “in check” if I’m not actively trying to uncover “the truth” of the Mayweather rumor. Give it rest, you dips__ts. Yeah, I’m a journalist (one of the few covering boxing who actually has ethics), but I never claimed to be a muckraker. I don’t have the time or interest to chase after shadows.  

I’ll get on this Mayweather rumor right after I get Margarito to admit on record that he DID know that his wraps were loaded for both Shane Mosley AND Cotto, and right after I find out what was in the bottle that Panama Lewis mixed for Aaron Pryor during the first Alexis Arguello fight.

 

BANKS/BRONER

Yeah Adrien Broner did put a h*!! of a beating on your man Antonio DeMarco that your son couldn’t. He also put him on his a$$ as Freddie Roach would say as your son couldn’t. What do you attribute that too? Broner hits harder, or what? Because your son put a frightening beating on Demarco but could not put him down.

I can’t believe you are a Broner fan. He got some respect from me last night but before that I wanted his f*cking hair parted with an ax handle WWF style (I never watch wrasslin’ by the way).

How come nobody is talking about Johnathon Banks? Was Banks that good or Seth Mitchell that bad? Is Banks that powerful or Mitchell’s chin that bad? – JCB

I don’t think Banks is a puncher. Mitchell simply isn’t George Chuvalo in the chin department. The former college football player has other athletic attributes that he can rely on once he shores up his defense. Banks is good boxer and counter-puncher. I’d like to see him take on the winner of the Adamek-Cuningham rematch  and if he wins that fight I think he’d make a worthy challenger for Alexander Povetkin.

As for Broner’s punching power, it may well be better than Valero’s. Broner is bigger, taller, rangier, faster and technically sharper than Valero. He can hit his opponents with more leverage (and with more impact) than Valero, who often employed sloppy technique, could.  

Fans look at Valero’s record and assume that he was a great puncher. He was a very good puncher, but he was no Julian Jackson or Thomas Hearns.  He wasn’t a “one-hitter-quitter.” Believe it or not Valero may not have been the hardest puncher in his gym when he first arrived to the U.S. in 2003. Stablemate Mike Anchondo, who wasn’t even known as a puncher, probably hit harder than Valero. “Mighty Mike” didn’t score knockouts like Valero because he didn’t have the Venezuelan’s vicious mentality. Valero won all his fights by KO because he WENT for it.

I believe he would have gone for it more against DeMarco had he not caught that elbow in the second round and sustained that awful bleeding gash on his forehead. I think he backed off for a few rounds and worked an in-and-out attack strategy while he adjusted to it and then just decided to stick with that plan since it was working. But I could be wrong. Maybe DeMarco just refused to go down that day.

Anyway, I’m not a member of The Problem fan club, but he’s proven to me this year that he’s the real deal and I enjoy watching him fight when he’s in with world-class opposition. I’m looking forward to showdowns against Ricky Burns and Lucas Matthysse.

 

 

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

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