Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

DONARIE-ARCE

What’s up Dougie?!

Just wanna know your thoughts on the upcoming fight between Nonito Donaire and Jorge Arce. I don’t think it would be an easy fight although this is a potentially disastrous matchup stylistically for Arce. And I like how the guy fights. All action, all heart, all out. And with that I think he’ll give Donaire hell. Donaire is just that damn good. I think he’ll be able to stop Arce by the late rounds due to cuts or corner stoppage. What do you think?

That straight right from Juan Manuel Marquez still sends chills down my spine every time I see it. Who do you think will replace Manny Pacquiao as boxing’s new star?

Also, Arturo Gatti got inducted into the hall of fame! He’s one of my favorite fighters and I think has one of the biggest hearts in the history of the sport. Surely there will be some that might disagree with his induction but I think he gave more heart to his fights than some fighters with so-called “hall-of-fame” talent. Props also for those who voted for Myung-Woo Yuh. The guy should have been voted alongside Jung Koo Chang. Who would’ve won if those two South Korean greats faced off? Cheers man! – Jhoon Serrano

I think Yuh would have edged Chang by close split decision. He would have outworked and outmaneuvered his countryman. I’m one of the boxing writers who voted for Yuh. I’ve put a checkmark by his name on every International Boxing Hall of Fame ballot I’ve received since joining the Boxing Writers Association of America in 2000.

I did not put a check mark next to Gatti’s name, but I knew he was popular enough to get in on his first ballot without my vote. I believe Gatti deserved to eventually get in the Hall, but I didn’t think he was first-ballot worthy. There were other fighters, like Yuh, who had been on the ballot for years who were more worthy of induction than Gatti in my opinion.

And now that Gatti is in, I think there are other popular blood-and-guts warriors from past decades – such as Mando Ramos and Iran Barkley – who deserve to be on the ballot.

Arce is a popular blood-and-guts warrior who I wouldn’t have said is hall-of-fame worthy a few years ago, but now that “Thunder” is in there, I say “Travieso” at least deserves to be on the ballot.

If he can somehow upset Donaire tomorrow night, I think he’ll get a lot of checkmarks by his name whenever it appears on the ballot, but I don’t see it happening.

I do, however, think he can make for an entertaining fight as he tries to cut the ring off on the Filipino Flash and tee off on the taller man’s body and head. I think Arce will lunge into one of Donaire’s left-hook bombs as he’s launching a hook of his own and that punch will spell the beginning of the end sometime in the middle rounds of the bout.  

Who will replace Pacquiao as boxing’s new star? The two front-runners in that race are at the core of a lot of hardcore fan outrage directed at the magazine’s latest pound-for-pond rankings: Adrien Broner and Nonito Donaire. I’ll address that controversy later in this mailbag.

I CAN’T BE THE ONLY ONE…

Sup Doug,

Couple questions/comments… I’ll keep it brief.

1. I can’t be the only one that jumped up from their seat when Manny Pacquiao went down, then sat back down worried when he wasn’t getting up, then went back to cheering when they realized he was still alive right?

2. Why are Floyd Mayweather fans celebrating as if it was Mayweather who knocked Pacquiao out? They can’t be this delusional can they?

3. Speaking of delusional. Have you heard the latest excuses from Pacquiao fans? They’re laughable. Of course they have the PED’s accusations, Pacquiao tripped on Marquez’ foot, it was a lucky punch, and Pacquiao’s new religion. Come on, Really!?

4. Arce-Donaire this weekend. I hope it’s a competitive fight and I’m gonna be rooting for Arce. If Arce wins (and it’s a big if) I can already hear the accusations of PED’s since he’s working with Memo (or is it Angel? I don’t even know anymore).

This fight is gonna happen in my home town and I was wondering if you have any idea where the weigh-in was going to be at and how can I get this information for next time a fight comes to Houston? Is there a website I can go to? – Peter, Houston TX

It’s a Top Rank fight, so you can always check out their official website, www.toprank.com, for information on the company’s public media events, such as weigh-ins. Today’s weigh-in begins at 2:00 p.m. CT, at the 2nd Floor Food Court of the PlazAmericas Mall (7500 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, Texas 77036).

I’ll respond to your questions/comments in order:

1) I did exactly what you described when Manny was bombed out.

2) I’ve come to understand that delusion is big part of the mental makeup of any fan who insists that the current pound-for-pound king is the greatest boxer of all time. When Mike Tyson, Roy Jones Jr., Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad and Pacquiao were at the apex of their careers, their fans were just as delusional and insufferable as the “Floydhuggers.”

3) Again, delusion is a big part of this sport, especially when a top dog takes a fall. Crazy excuses are common when the expected destroyer is destroyed. George Foreman was “poisoned” when he lost to Muhammad Ali. Mike Tyson took a “dive” against Buster Douglas. And who can forget the “too-much-Vaseline-on-the-legs” excuse that came out of the Klitschko camp when Wladdy punched himself out against Lamon Brewster. At least Pacquiao, himself, is taking the high road and not making excuses or lobbing accusations or insinuation toward his rival.

4) Memo could irradiate Arce with gamma rays until he turns into “El Hulkito.” I STILL think Filipino Flash will blast him tomorrow night.    

BRONER NO. 5 P4P?

Hello. I’ve never been bothered by your p4p rankings so much. Even when I disagree I very much enjoy them and it’s obviously the highest regarded list. That said, there is no justification for what’s just been issued on your website with regard to Adrien Broner. Broner’s a talented fighter who hasn’t done anything to warrant being above the likes of Donaire. This is so damaging to the credibility of your list that I have to say something. Please don’t do this. This is an absolute joke. If this is just an error on the website, please disregard. :) – n/a n/a

I wish it was an error, but it isn’t. THE RING rates Broner, a 23-year-old beltholder with one, maybe two, significant victories under his belt, at No. 5 on its pound-for-pound list.

I think the rating is ridiculous. I don’t think Broner has earned a spot in the pound-for-pound top 10. I expressed my opinion to Ring Ratings Chairman Chuck Giampa, who updated the mythical list, but it’s clear that the retired judge is a big fan of “The Problem.”

And I get it! I’m a Broner fan. I’m a Broner believer. He has awesome potential. If he challenges himself over the next year or two, I think it’s very possible for him to earn his way to a top-five pound-for-pound ranking on EVERYBODY’s list. However, a close call over Daniel Ponce De Leon and knockouts over Eloy Perez, Vicente Escobedo and Antonio DeMarco isn’t enough to merit a No. 10 spot, in my opinion.

He looked great beating THE RING’s No. 1-rated lightweight, but that’s just one good victory. And other fighters have recently done what Broner did. Brian Viloria beat THE RING’s No. 1-rated flyweight, Tyson Marquez, just last month – unifying major 112-pound belts in the process. Where’s his pound-for-pound consideration? (I brought him up to both Ratings Panel and Giampa, by the way.)

Donaire, already a dual 122-pound titleholder, stopped THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight in October, earning the magazine’s vacant championship in the process. So what happens? He gets dropped in the pound-for-pound rankings. It makes no sense and it’s just plain wrong.

Everyone on the Ratings Panel agrees that Broner is rated too high on the P4P list and that he shouldn’t be ahead of Donaire. Don’t blame them for the new pound-for-pound rankings. They had no input. Ring editor Michael Rosenthal and I did, but obviously, our opinions fell on deaf ears. The pound-for-pound rankings as it is now is just Chuck Giampa’s list.

THE RING’S P4P RATINGS

What is going on with your P4P rankings? You’ve now put Adrian Broner in at number 5, ahead of Donaire, Pacquiao, W. Klitschko and Bradley! This makes absolutely no sense and simply cannot be justified! I am a long-term reader of The Ring but won’t be for much longer at this rate. – Thomas Macaulay

I’d hate for you to forsake us over the “mythical rankings,” Thomas, but I understand your outrage. It’s not fair to the elite veteran fighters that you mention; men who have paid their dues.

Having said that, I should note that the pound-for-pound rankings are completely subjective and without any set criteria (unlike the divisional ratings), which is why some of the older members of THE RING’s Ratings Panel (such as Joe Koizumi and Martin Mulcahey) do not give their opinions on the mythical list when they send in their weekly ratings suggestions.

I used to compile a quarterly pound-for-pound top 20 list when I was with MaxBoxing.com. It was an extremely popular feature and it never failed to set fans off. As I’ve gotten older, I have less desire to compile such lists, let alone explain or defend my rankings to irate fans. I’ve recently stopped sending in my top pound-for-pound top 10 to the Yahoo! Sports ratings poll. It’s nothing personal toward Yahoo! Sports or Kevin Iole. I just think fans and boxing people take this silly ass list way too seriously. A make-believe ranking system should not be as important or influential in any sport as the pound-for-pound list is in boxing.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be upset about Broner’s ranking. I don’t agree with it at all. However, if Giampa’s criteria for his rankings favors talent and potential over accomplishments and longevity, or if he rates the fighters based on how he believes they would fare against each other if weight was not a factor – maybe he’s got a point placing “The Problem” as high as he did.

This isn’t the first time THE RING has jumped the gun with giving a super-talented boxer a high pound-for-pound ranking. The budding Filipino star who is in action tomorrow night was rated No. 4-5 in the magazine’s mythical rankings two-and-half years ago when his only notable victory was his 2007 KO of Vic Darchinyan.

I’m big fan of Donaire’s and I had no doubt that he would one day earn his lofty P4P placement, but I was respectfully against that ranking at the time and I was very public about my opinion. Check out this Youtube video for my argument against the ranking at the time.

Donaire quieted his critics by nearly decapitating Fernando Montiel last February, and I believe he’s proven to be a legit top-five pound-for-pound player since then. However, that “elite fighter” label has also made life difficult for Donaire. After the Montiel blowout, shutting out an unbeaten two-division beltholder (Omar Narvaez) and scoring knockdowns en route to decision wins over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and Jeff Mathebula for 122-pound titles wasn’t enough for the fans and the media. Donaire had to deal with criticism after each of those victories.

And now Broner will be under the same scrutiny, which isn’t fair to him. He says he wants to stay at 135 pounds, where two of his three fellow titleholders (Miguel Vazquez and Richard Abril) all have styles that are difficult to look good and be entertaining against. The other titleholder, Ricky Burns, is good enough to make “The Problem” look human. Thanks to that No. 5 P4P rating, Broner can win all three of those fights and still get ripped by the public. From now on, if he doesn’t completely destroy his opposition, fans are going to say “he doesn’t look like an elite fighter to me.”

Anyway, I hope you keep reading THE RING/RingTV.com long enough for Broner to either prove Giampa right or get “exposed.”

GET BRONER AND GUERRERO OFF THE P4P

Hey Dougie,

I assume we disagree on this one, but what on earth are Broner and Robert Guerrero doing on the pound for pound? Broner’s stepped up his level of competition twice, against DeMarco and Ponce De Leon. He should be one and one. Either the Ring goes by official results (and Bradley should be rated above Pacquiao) or they go by popular opinion (and Broner lost to Ponce De Leon). I get that there’s a lot of support for him, but mere anticipation shouldn’t be enough to get on the pound for pound . . . much less at number five. He’s rated above Donaire, who’s stopped Nishioka, Montiel, and Darchinyan . . . each of whom is way, way better than anyone on Broner’s resume. There’s just no rational basis for his placement.

Guerrero, meanwhile, is coming off the biggest win of his career, but we’re talking about a guy surviving off of B level fighters and below. That’s nice and all, and I get that every writer is deeply in love with him because he’s apparently a nice guy and has a good story, but Vitali Klitschko and several other much better fighters have been A level for years. There’s nothing pound for pound about him, which should be obvious to anyone who saw the Orlando Salido or Daud Yordan fights. He definitely surprised me in beating Andre Berto, but that had a lot more to do with Berto looking the worst he ever has, than with Guerrero doing anything we haven’t seen from him before.

As a side note, I think JM Marquez definitely deserves to be ranked above Andre Ward. Ward’s been dominant, and has taken on the best his division has to offer, but he’s never been in with anyone like Pacquiao. That one’s a lot more a judgment call than Guerrero or Broner’s placement, though.  Take care. – Todd

I agree with your take on Broner’s placement.

I don’t agree that Guerrero is undeserving of the No. 10 spot. I think Vitali Klitschko and Abner Mares are more deserving of that final place on pound-for-pound list, but I don’t have a problem with “The Ghost” being there. Guerrero may not be ultra-talented in an athletic sense or posses a flashy style and personality, but he’s got underrated technique and ring generalship and he has been a bona-fide top-five contender in four weight classes: featherweight, junior lightweight, lightweight and welterweight. That’s special.

Guerrero jumped directly from lightweight to welterweight and beat a well-regarded 147-pound fighter (Aydin and/or Berto, take your pick). Who does that? I’ll tell ya: a prime Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. Hell, even Roberto Duran, Pernell Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather made 140-pound pit stops at 140 pounds on their way from lightweight to welterweight. And Guerrero made his 135-to-147-pound leap after 15 months of inactivity and a serious shoulder injury.

Don’t diss his win over Berto, man. That was only his second fight at 147 pounds. And I’m not going to hold the Salido and Yordan fights against him. Salido was juicing and the Yordan fight was stopped before it really began.

I’m not saying Guerrero is a great fighter. I just think an argument can be made for him cracking these mythical rankings. In recent years, it’s not uncommon for the No. 10 spot in THE RING’s P4P rankings to go to a fighter with “ify” credentials. If memory serves me right, fans and boxing writers did not agree with Celestino Caballero and Giovani Segura occupying that last place on the list. Neither fighter stayed on the list too long. I think Guerrero will last a lot longer.

POUND-FOR-POUND LIST

Hi Doug,

I’m still reeling from the Pacquao fight. Could be fight of the year (although I did love the Viloria fight a few weeks back). And we’ve got an amazing weekend coming up: i’m particularly looking forward to the super competitive Jr Featherweight division fights – but lots to look forwards to.

But anyway. You won’t be surprised that this is yet another email quibbling with your P4P rankings. First things first: I know P4P is mental masturbation, I also know you don’t have a GBP bias and that you do a tough job very well, and I know you can’t please everyone. Even so, let’s go through it.

It seems to me that you’ve made P4P more about historical record than current form. Fair enough, but current form has to come into it otherwise Hopkins is still P4P number 1. So its a hybrid but its 60/40 or maybe 70/30 about your historical record. Is that right? Assuming it is lets go through your P4P list.

1. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. – I don’t like it, it seems wrong for him to get the number 1 spot by default. It also seems wrong to give the number 1 spot to someone who never fought the best at their best, whereas Marquez, Martinez, Donaire, both Klitshkos, and so many others have. That said, he is the P4P number 1, I may not like it, but he just is. He’s the best in any weight – ergo he is the P4P number 1 so I’ll lump it.

2. Andre Ward – I agree that he is the second best P4P fighter in the world right now. But I understood your methodology was more based on historical record and although he has some good names on there (Froch, Kessler, Dawson) I’m not sure he has more than Marquez (Salido, Barrera at his height, Casamayor at his, Diaz twice, Katsidis, and now Manny)

3. Juan Manuel Marquez – You know what, I’m not going to pick holes, I’m just going to be pleased that one of my favourite fighters (if maybe not the best) is finally getting the recognition he’s deserved for so long.

4. Sergio Martinez – I feel sorry for Martinez. He’s done nothing wrong, he’s had a stellar career, he’s beaten the best that were put in front of him, and he’s hit a glass ceiling because there aren’t any more opponents. So I guess this is about right

5. Adrien Broner – The problem is going to be a problem in the future. And right now he’s hot. But number 5? Knocking out Antonio DeMarco and decisioning de Leon is a good start, but its not a world beating resumé. This is just way to soon. Historically or on current form Donaire, both Klitckkos, Mares, Viloria, and Froch have more and you’d throw Hopkins into that conversation for his record alone (and the fact he could still school all but the very very best across three weight divisions)

6. Nonito Donaire – To me its a no brainer that Donaire should be ahead of Broner. He’s beaten the very best at Flyweight, Bantamweight, and Super Bantamweight and won The Ring crown at Jr Featherweight. All while looking like the terrifying and brilliant future of boxing. I think record for record there’s a case for putting him ahead of Martinez – but below Broner is just insulting.

7. Manny Pacquiao – very hard to place Manny. He’s beaten Barrerra and Morales in their prime, he’s fought Marquez 4 times with 3 all-but draws, he’s schooled Cotto, Hatton and de La Hoya. But he’s still trying to work out what day of the week it is and he hasn’t looked class since the Cotto fight. This is one of the reasons I don’t envy you.

8. Wladimir Klitschko – for me Vitali has done everything Wladamir has done and more. Vitali’s win over Adamek alone should place him above his brother. Vitali’s never lost except through injury and has fought better boxers (Adamek, Lewis).

9. Timothy Bradley – he had a good run at 140 and he won at 147 before being utterly schooled by Pacquao in the eyes of all but three people. Is that really enough to make you top 10 P4P? He’s only the number 8 ranked welterweight. He’s beaten past-his-prime Casamayor and Devon Alexander, Vazquez when he was chubby, and Lamont Peterson. I don’t see how that makes you a better boxer, or a man with a better record, than Vitali, Mares, Viloria, Froch, or Hopkins.

10. Robert Guerrero – I dunno, it just feels a bit soon and a bit knee-jerk. Again does he really have a better resumé than Vitali, Mares, Viloria, Froch, or Hopkins? Is he a better boxer?

Anyway all the best. – Frédéric Carver

Thanks, but this list is not mine and I have no idea what criteria or methodology Giampa used in compiling it. Maybe he’ll pen a column defending his rankings in the near future.

Anyway, it seems to me that your main criticism is on Broner’s inclusion on the list and Donaire’s low placement, and I agree with you. Broner’s not yet a P4P player IMO, and I think Donaire should be top five. I would slip him in ahead of Martinez and behind only Mayweather, Ward and Marquez.

Your other criticisms seem more like nitpicking to me.

Could Marquez be ranked ahead of Ward? Sure, but I have no problem with Ward being at No. 2. I did not think Marquez’s losses to Pacquiao were controversial and he struggled with two non-elite fighters, Katsidis and Juan Diaz (first fight). Ward has dominated the best of his division for the past three years.

I think Pacquiao could be at No. 6, but I’m fine with him at No. 7. He just got KTFO and he hadn’t fought with any passion since the Cotto or Clottey fights.

Wladdy is fine at No. 8. I can see him at No. 7 and his big brother at No. 10. Vitali has an awesome record, and at one time, I thought he deserved to be ahead of THE RING heavyweight champ, but the WBC beltholder lost ground in my view with three consecutive fights against undeserving challengers – Kevin Johnson, Albert Sosnowski and Shannon Briggs – from December of 2009 through 2010. I also thought he struggled with Dereck Chisora although I understand that he had an injured hand in that bout.

I’m fine with Bradley at No. 9. I thought he clearly lost to Pacquiao but I also thought he boxed well against the future hall of famer in his “losing” effort. Bradley has faced and defeated eight former, current or future world titleholders in his last 10 bouts. He’s twice partially unified 140-pound titles (vs. Kendall Holt and Devon Alexander). I think he’s an elite fighter.

I think Mares, Viloria and Froch are also worthy of that No. 10 spot, but so is Guerrero in my opinion.

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