Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday Mailbag

COTTO-TROUT CARD

Good afternoon Doug,

I appreciate your boxing perspective and passion for this great sport!

I too love the “Sweet Science” and attend as many amateur and professional bouts as possible. I also travel to Las Vegas and New York etc to see some of the big TV cards and really get pumped for each event. Next on the agenda is the Miguel Cotto vs Austin Trout card at Madison Square Garden aka “The World’s Most Famous Arena”. I understand that you like Austin Trout in this match-up, but please do not underestimate the advantage the MSG crowd is for Cotto. He even walks through the crowd early in the evening and feeds off the energy of the wild roar of appreciation he receives. In any event, I like Cotto’s big fight experience, skill and home field love over the very talented Mr. Trout.

Speaking of this card, I have to say the promotional effort concerning the undercard is an absolute disgrace. God Bless and nothing but respect for each fighter participating, but the promoters absolutely cheated passionate fans that deserved better. Please understand that I do not object to any fight on this card as I enjoy watching young talent and Danny Jacob’s comeback journey is truly inspirational.

However, this card is lacking and begs for a high-end undercard bout between two well known professionals. Do you have any insight on what happened? Was Cotto Promotions just not up to the job? Was Golden Boy Promotion’s responsible for the undercard and given their new relationship with Barclay’s, just didn’t put the work into the MSG card? Did the promoters get plain old greedy and not want to pay for a good undercard? We know about the Dib nonsense, but even with Dib, this would have been a low-level undercard. I’m really interested in your view point Doug, as I feel this type of undercard is bad for the sport.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my views. Best wishes. – Brian Cashman

Good questions, Brian. My primary answer is that Miguel Cotto does not come cheap. He’s not only an elite veteran with nationwide name recognition, he’s one of the few bona-fide ticket sellers in the U.S. Cotto is an attraction and he knows it. He’s not going to fight unless he had a hefty guarantee. Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions gave him his guarantee but that didn’t leave much for the undercard of this event, or even much for his opponent. Austin Trout’s representatives publicly stated that the offer that was made to them was unsatisfactory. They wanted to pass on it. Trout forced them to take the low money because of the tremendous opportunity that fighting Cotto presented.

I can understand your disappointment with the supporting fights to Cotto-Trout. Golden Boy Promotions has been pretty good about stacking undercards with quality fights this year, and we’re used to seeing Cotto headline pay-per-view events, which have bigger budgets than your usual Showtime Championship Boxing show to make decent supporting matchups.

However, this show is not pay per view (it’s SCB), it’s a Golden Boy-Cotto co-promotion (so GBP has to share the televised undercard with Cotto Promotions fighters, hence Jayson Velez’s fight with Sal Sanchez III), and the show is taking place late in the year, when Showtime’s budget is pretty much spoken for.

The bottom line is that it was costly to have Cotto fight on regular Showtime instead of pay per view, and that cost limited the quality of the undercard.

REALLY, COTTO?

Hi Mr. Fischer. As many people have said in the past: First time writer (Cotto made me do it!), long time reader (with a very high success ratio, probably 197 out of the last 200).

As a Puerto Rican living on this beautiful island, I am very mad that we are the only people in the WORLD that have to pay $50 to watch the Austin Trout-Miguel Cotto fight. Anybody else not living in Puerto Rico can watch it for free if they are Showtime subscribers.

Cotto is a multi-millionaire by now. Does he really need to do this? (As I am sure he has a lot to do with this). Puerto Ricans are very angry. We love boxing but many of us refuse to pay for this one. Really Cotto? What’s your take on this? Where’s the next Tito? (In Puerto Rico we enjoyed so much his rise as an elite boxer). We desperately need another Puerto Rican star with that type of charisma. Thanks. – Hector, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico

It’s gonna be awhile until Puerto Rico has a fighter as talented, dedicated, formidable, charismatic and humble as Felix Trinidad to carry its flag in the boxing world. Cotto did very well, but he fell short (particularly in the charisma department). JuanMa Lopez looked promising but he fell short. Thomas Dulorme obviously wasn’t “the one,” although I think he can comeback from his first loss and be a world-class player at welterweight and junior middleweight by the end of next year.

My take on Cotto-Trout being PPV in Puerto Rico is that it’s a move not so much by Cotto, but by Cotto Promotions. He wants to make money for his budding promotional company in the same way his former manager Peter Rivera has done with PR Best Boxing Promotions (which has staged numerous PPV shows over the years involving the likes of Ivan Calderon, JM Lopez, and Rocky Martinez).

Does Cotto really need to do that? For himself, no. But for his company, maybe he does if he wants to continue to build it up and add talent to his stable.

WEEKEND REVIEW

Hi Dougie!
Weekend review: The ref was a disgrace in the Guerrero vs Berto fight. What was Berto thinking? Shoulder roll? Hahaha he moves like the bionic man…. he should get a real trainer and take a few soft fights.

Kudos to the Hitman. Ricky Hatton is such a gentleman it’s no wonder that Brits come out of the woodwork for all of his fights.

Mayweather vs Guerrero. Mayweather would KO this guy in a matter of 6 rounds… Cotto would KO this guy in maybe 4 rounds because of his over-aggressiveness….. any good counter puncher would beat this guy like a drum! Have A Great Week! – Thomas, Finland

Robert Guerrero hasn’t made a believer out of you yet, eh, Thomas. That’s OK. He’s starting to win over some of his skeptics, which is a huge improvement from the start of this year.

Here’s what I think, and read whatever you want into this statement, it’s just one man’s opinion: If you made the other top 10-rated welterweights fight Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto in back-to-back fights every one of them – save Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao and maybe Tim Bradley – would lose at least one of those fights. And I think Floyd, Manny and Timmy would have taken their lumps in going 24 rounds with the rugged Turk and the explosive former titleholder. (No, I don’t think the top trio could knock Aydin or Berto out.)

I don’t think Mayweather can knockout Guerrero, either. He can outbox the Ghost, and I can see him winning a 116-112 decision, but I don’t think it would be a walk in the park. Cotto might be able to eventually overpower Guerrero if they fought at 154 pounds, but I think it would be a different story at 147.

Regarding Berto, I think it will be interesting to see what he and his management do about his training situation. He might stay loyal to Morgan, which I would respect. Then again, I wouldn’t be shocked to hear that Virgil Hunter gets yet another new edition to his ever-growing stable by the end of this year.

MACHO TIME, NEW RESPECT FOR GUERRERO

What’s up Doug,
It’s been a while since my last mail and in that time we’ve lost another legend, taken too quickly. I’ll never forget my older brother telling me stories about Hector Camacho when I was a kid, he was his favourite fighter! And one of my earliest boxing memories was watching his second fight with my favourite fighter of all time Roberto Duran. He’ll truly be missed. Just a few points on the weekends action, it’s kind of late here in Ireland at the moment so if I’m not making any sense please put it down to sleep deprivation!

First off, I thoroughly enjoyed the fight between Robert Guerrero and Andre Berto. I had money on Guerrero winning a decision, and expected it to be close and tough. What I wasn’t expecting was for “The Ghost” to fight toe to toe with Berto, I thought he’d box from range. I liked him before this but I have a new respect for him now, and questions about him at welter have been answered. The guy has a great chin, OK power at the weight and his timing makes up for any speed deficiencies.

I don’t know what Berto was thinking coming out with the shoulder roll, and he did not seem comfortable at all with it, completely disregarding it after round 2 or 3. But he showed great heart fighting with those Martian eyes for the entire fight! Wow, I mean he looked blackinese by the end! I would have liked him to show more respect to Guerrero post fight though, although I can see how he could be frustrated with the ref. I don’t believe it made him tentative to throw shots as he claimed. What’s your thoughts, is he deserving of a rematch? BTW did you feel Max and Jim were too biased towards Berto?

Guerrero calling out Mayweather is natural, and it’s a fight I wouldn’t mind seeing. I think it would be closer than people think, but “The Ghost’s” ability to be hit means I’d still hugely favour Mayweather.

That was the first time I’ve seen Keith Thurman fight and the guy sure can punch. What would you think of a matchup between him and the winner of Alexander vs Brook?

I’m loving Showtime’s All Access: Cotto vs. Trout. Miguel Cotto’s my favourite fighter but my god does Showtime and Trout’s humbleness make you want to root for the New Mexico fighter! I really hope the guy the best. I slightly favour him in the matchup but I’m still rooting for Cotto, the guy’s also such a gentleman, and I was fortunate enough to meet him in a pub (No jokes about Irishmen in a pub please) in Miami last year.

I was really disappointed that Ricky Hatton lost. I won money on Senchenko as I thought he’d be way too much for Hatton after three years out, but I think at the back of my mind, or maybe it was my heart, Ricky would win. He was ahead on the scorecards and for a while it looked like the old him, but you could tell after about four rounds that he was fading badly. I wish him the best though and hope he keeps fit and healthy.

Finally who do you think would win between my two favourite current fighters? Miguel Cotto vs Juan Manuel Marquez @140. Cheers and as always, enjoying the bag. – Tommy, Longford, Ireland

Man, Cotto-Marquez would have been a war at 140 pounds. Marquez has the superior technique, ring generalship, and probably the better chin at this weight. However, Cotto’s a decent boxer who is naturally bigger and stronger. I think Marquez would get the better of Cotto early on but he’d eventually be pulled into a war of attrition (the kind that he eventually won against Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis) and I think that would favor the Puerto Rican, whose body attackwould be a major factor in the fight. I think Cotto wears the Mexican legend down to a late stoppage or just takes the late rounds to win a close decision.

Let’s hope Hatton is serious about staying retired this time.

I’m glad Showtime’s All Access is giving fans around the world the opportunity to get to know Trout. I met him years ago when he served as a sparring partner for Antonio Margarito prior to the former welterweight titleholder’s fight with Paul Williams (2007) and I got the chance to talk to him during Margarito’s camp for Pacquiao and when he popped in to give Sergio Martinezwork prior to the middleweight champ’s title defense against Sergei Dzinziruk.

I’ll share two things with you from those experiences: 1. Trout gave Margz his best work in both camps; and the day I saw him spar with Martinez was literally his first day back to the gym after he won the WBA belt by beating Canelo’s older brother in Mexico – and he more than held his own with the middleweight champ. 2. The nice, humble and good-natured guy you see on Showtime’s All Access is EXACTLY how he really is.

I think it’s too early for Thurman to challenge the winner of Alexander-Brook. I don’t have an opinion on that matchup. Get back to me with that question sometime in the middle of 2013.

I have no problem with Guerrero calling out Mayweather. He’s defeated two dangerous welterweights in a row, he’ll likely gain full WBC championship recognition from the Mexico-based sanctioning organization in December, and that’s by far the biggest fight at 147 pounds for him. Oh yeah, and Mayweather’s not getting any younger. If The Ghost doesn’t think he can beat Floyd he shouldn’t be fighting.

I’m glad you enjoyed the Guerrero-Berto fight and it’s good to see a hardcore fan give both men their props for the heart they showed and effort they gave during the grueling 12-round bout. I don’t think Berto deserves an immediate rematch. He needs to look impressive in one or two comeback fights before he can call out Guerrero or Ortiz for return bouts.

I didn’t think Jim and Max were biased at all towards Berto during HBO’s broadcast. They gave Guerrero his due respect, just as you have.

Camacho was a special fighter, an amazing talent and a true original who was ahead of his time. He won’t soon be forgotten. I have no doubt that he’ll be inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame posthumously.

THE GHOST

Thoughts from the weekend:

Too bad for Ricky Hatton. Let’s hope this retirement sticks, and he finds happiness after being an active fighter. I think Mayweather put the blueprint out there to beat him, and he only has one gear when fighting. Even when he was winning early, he seemed to be dashing himself against the rocks until the inevitable happened.

The Ghost? I saw something I didn’t think he had. In contrast to Hatton, he found another gear, a nastier style, to beat Berto. I wouldn’t have said this yesterday, but I think he’d give Floyd problems. He seems to have more dimensions than most fighters. Chalk me up for buying that fight if it comes off. Which it won’t because Floyd won’t take it.

Last, goodbye Hector “Macho” Camacho. Could there be a more under-appreciated fighter out there? Look at the resume. People talk of the risks he didn’t take (something fighters like Mayweather now wear as a badge of honor) and the age of his opponents, or where they were in their careers when he fought them. Bollocks. He won a lot more than he lost, and fought the best even after he was no longer in his prime. He fought everybody and nobody knocked him out. While it’s not a surprise, this is a hard one to take. – JRT

For me, Camacho’s death is extra hard to take because of the other original and colorful personalities that boxing has lost this year (Dundee, Sugar, Tapia, Steward and Basilio). Human beings like that don’t come around often. Boxing was lucky to have them. I think Camacho is being (and will continue to be) appreciated now that he’s gone (especially by those who saw him fight during his prime). However, there are plenty of folks out there who don’t think much of him (as you’ll see later in this mailbag). Hey, it’s their loss.

I agree that Guerrero can give Mayweather a fight. However, I think Floyd will at least consider fighting The Ghost. If he doesn’t fight Guerrero, who else is out there for him? Is he going to bury the hatchet with Arum and fight Pacquiao? He’s too proud to do that. Is he going to fight Canelo? Maybe, but that fight only happens at 154 pounds, where he’s looked vulnerable against guys (Oscar De La Hoya and Cotto) who were supposed to be past their primes. I think Guerrero might get his dream fight.

Don’t feel bad for Hatton. He had an excellent run, made a ton of money, and was supported by the most loyal fans the sport has seen since Julio Cesar Chavez was the fighting idol of Mexico.

LET’S NOT GO OVERBOARD ON CAMACHO

Hi Doug,

I pray you and your family are doing well. I think when people die we tend to overdo it. I feel that you have overrated Camacho big time. Camacho ducked Meldrick Taylor and Sweet Pea, two of the top fighters of his era. He also fought in survival mode and not to win against top competition. Some of his performances (like the one against Boza Edwards) was downright disgraceful. He fought like a coward and their was nothing macho about him. Dead or not he sucked to watch. God bless and take care. – Blood and Guts from Philly

I disagree in part. While it’s true that toward the later part of the 1980s Camacho was more intent on making money and protecting his undefeated record than facing the best, he was willing to fight anybody over the first half of that decade – including Sweet Pea and Taylor.

And while he focused more on defense than offense following his scare against Edwin Rosario in 1986, he still mixed in enough flashy combos and counter punching to make for interesting fights. I enjoyed his fights with Howard Davis Jr., Ray Mancini and Vinny Pazienza.

And I thought he proved that he was beyond “macho” in going the distance with a still-prime Chavez (81-0 at the time) in 1992. Camacho is one of the toughest fighters I’ve ever seen.

However, I admit that the Chavez fight was the last bout involving Camacho that I truly anticipated. I thought that fight was his last hurrah. It wasn’t because he won bouts against living legends Roberto Duran and Ray Leonard after losing to Chavez, but I refused to watch those fights because I knew my boyhood heroes were just shells of their former selves. (I haven’t watched those bouts to this day and I probably never will.)

I watched his 1994 fight with Trinidad because it was part of one of those excellent Don King PPV shows, but I was mainly focused on the budding Puerto Rican star. By that period in Camacho’s career, I knew that he was done as a world-class fighter. And yet, I bought a ticket (for me and my girlfriend at the time – now my wife) to see him fight Tony Rodriguez at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles in 1995. His walk-in was more entertaining than the fight (although it was a decent scrap, one that forced him to dig deep in the late rounds) and I thought he was lucky to get the decision that night, but I was still glad I was there.

Ya know why? Because I knew that he was a special talent, a once-in-a-lifetime personality who could have been an all-time great, and I wanted to be able to one day say that I saw Hector Camacho fight live.

CAMACHO VS. MAYWEATHER

Doug,

I know that Macho Camacho was a good fighter and all and that he had MASS HUEVOS, but it is downright silly to say that he would beat the best defensive fighter since Sweet Pea, and top five all time. Camacho was very fast but wild, and at times undisciplined with his sometimes hotdog style. Floyd would have picked that apart on his way to a convincing UD. Additionally, you’re not so subtle shot at Mayweather’s dominance over Chico as some sort of evidence that The Macho Man would have won their mythical matchup is pathetic. Corrales was weight drained? How can you be weight drained fighting in the same division for at least 5 years? Corrales was RING #1 at 130 and Floyd was #2 when they met in 2001. Does RING have a habit of making weight drained fighters #1? Chico got obliterated. Period. He kept fighting at 130 when he beat Cassamayor in 2004 for an alphabet title. I know that you don’t like Money, and I have to admit I don’t like how he is winding up his career, but don’t start spewing out crap like this. It cheapens your writing. – Wiley

Wiley why don’t do some research before you talk about me cheapening my writing. Do you honestly think I’m making it up when I say that Corrales was weight-drained for the Mayweatherfight? I WAS THERE AT THE F___KING WEIGH-IN, you douche bag! Corrales looked like a zombie. He was warmed over death as he stepped on that scale. He had some serious personal issues going into the fight that you would be aware of if you A) weren’t such a Mayweather nuthugger, B) actually followed this sport for more than a few years, or C) took 5 freakin’ minutes to do a damn Google search on that fight. I guess those issues (the same issues that landed Floyd’s ass in jail over the summer) got in the way of Corrales making weight.

I didn’t bring that up to detract from Mayweather’s accomplishments. I brought it up to say that if Corrales was at his best and healthy at 130 pounds that he would have been dangerous for even a fighter as talented and skilled as the junior lightweight version of Camacho.

If it helps you sleep at night I’ll state for the record that I think Mayweather would have defeated Corrales even if Chico had not nearly killed himself to make 130 pounds.

However, the bottom line is that’s just my opinion, just like all of these mythical matchups. Calm down, dude. This is supposed to be fun.

If you think Mayweather would have beat Camacho at 130 pounds, fine. I have no problem with that. I stated up front that I thought it’s toss-up matchup. I recognize that both future hall of famers have comparable athletic ability, skill and technique. But you, on the other hand, feel the need to diss Camacho in order to prop up Mayweather.

This statement of yours tell me you either haven’t seen the prime Camacho fight or as Floyd’s uncle/trainer is fond of saying, you don’t s__t about boxing: “Camacho was very fast but wild, and at times undisciplined with his sometimes hotdog style. Floyd would have picked that apart on his way to a convincing UD.”

If you weren’t just a butt-hurt Mayweather fan I’d give you a couple challenges. If I thought you were a real fan, I’d ask you to give me your top 10 defensive fighters of all time and tell me why you rank Mayweather in the top five. But I can tell from this email that you have no knowledge or respect for boxing history.

If you were a member of the boxing media or someone who has access to people who make their livings in this industry I’d challenge you to ask at least 10 of the sport’s top trainers and matchmakers who would win a fight between Camacho and Mayweather at 130 and 135 pounds. I would do so with the confidence that you would not like their answers.

 

 

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

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