Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

FLOYD’S A BUSINESSMAN

Hey Doug,

This is my first time writing and I dig the mailbag. However, I felt a need to write regarding the Floyd Mayweather-Canelo Alvarez fight. A lot has been made about the catchweight but there is one thing you and the “Money” haters and fans alike have failed to mention, and that is that Mayweather is a businessman first and he’s in this to make money (hence the self-given nickname, “Money”).

He made his $32 million versus Robert Guerrero but probably not much more since that fight didn’t sell out and the PPV numbers were poor, well, at least not the 1 million plus buys GBP is claiming. In contrast, against Austin Trout, who like Guerrero, is not really known to the casual boxing observer, Canelo filled a nearly 40,000 seat arena. Sure, say what you will about silencing the critics, wanting to fight the best, giving the fans what they want, etc, etc, etc. It all comes down the all mighty dollar.

Boxing fans let Mayweather know that we will not pay to watch him fight good, not great, cherry picked opponents. Mayweather NEEDS Canelo to make his “money.” Though I am of Mexican descent, I have never been on the kid’s nuts, and I think Mayweather wins this fight by running and holding, but I am proud of the kid for demanding the Trout fight, and a separate date, and not letting Mayweather punk him.

Plain and simple, Canelo doesn’t need May to fill seats. Money is not the only factor, but it is a HUGE factor, both for Mayweather and Showtime, on why this fight got made. Who else is out there? Amir Khan and Devon Alexander? Give me a break!!! There’s Lucas Matthysse but Mayweather will dodge him faster than he did the IRS. I can only hope, like the IRS, Matthysse will catch up to Mayweather on day and make his ass pay.

Ok, Doug thanks for the years hard work. Keep up the great job. – Hugo, Pasadena, CA

Thanks for finally writing me, Hugo. I’m not sure what your point was, though.

Everyone, including us “Money” haters, knows that Mayweather is a businessman. That’s not a news flash. And I agree that Mayweather knew that if he wanted to make more than his guaranteed purse for his next fight he would need a popular B-side. Enter Canelo, who pushed for a September showdown with Mayweather from the start of this year.

Kudos to him for having the sack to show Mayweather and the rest of the boxing world his market value by pulling out of the May 4 PPV and topping his own successful Showtime event on April 20. With that same fight, versus Trout, he also showed that he can box and that he can beat a legitimate 154-pound threat.

Few give Alvarez a shot at beating the pound-for-pound king on Sept. 14, but he’s proven to be good enough for this matchup to have considerably more interest than any Mayweather fight in recent years. It might be the most anticipated Mayweather fight since Floyd challenged Oscar De La Hoya. I don’t think  Mayweather-Canelo will break the PPV record The Golden Boy and Floyd set, but I think it will exceed 1.5 million buys. It might do around 1.7 or 1.8 million, which means Money will definitely make his money.

And even though taking on Canelo was, as you stated, a “business decision,” kudos to Mayweather for making the fight happen. I don’t care what anyone says. Alvarez is going to be a threat, even after sweating off an extra two pounds.

READY TO RANT!

Douglas,

Regarding both the Mayweather-Alvarez fight and the newest rants concerning the rankings:

I’m certainly glad to see the fight finally get made. Everyone’s been already talking about it for the past 7 months or more. And now that it’s official the grumbling has accelerated. Imagine when we get closer to the fight!

I myself think that this whole catchweight thing is pointless. But I guess I shouldn’t gripe too much over two measly, missing pounds. Though I’m kind of hoping that Canelo will hit the scales at the full 154 just to say “F__k You!” to Floyd but that could backfire and make May cancel out of the whole thing altogether.

But that’s okay. Saul will probably rehydrate to his full 170 pounds anyways when it’s time to step into the ring.

Regardless, May’s still getting ripped for more cherry-picking while Alvarez is ripped for fighting yet another smaller guy. Again weren’t many of us calling for this fight in the first place?

Who else is there for Mr. Money? And how is Alvarez himself playing it safe when he’s fighting Floyd right after beating Austin Trout?

Sure the masses are still pissed off over Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao never happening, as I was at the time. Guess what? I’m over it and moved on.

As for your anti-Floyd comments that are getting the Mayhuggers all riled up you probably keep stating these comments partly because so many fans keep bringing Floyd up anyways. Like I’m admittedly doing right now! But that’s okay. If you and this mailbag were around in the ‘70s, I’m sure all we’ll be talking about is Muhammad Ali for the most part. Sorry for putting Ali in the same paragraph with Floyd. But you get my drift.

As for the rankings, I definitely agree that Carl Froch belongs in at least the lower half in the P4P top ten. And I’ll still rank him above Adrian Broner even if The Problem wipes out Paulie Maliginaggi. Hey, the battle-hardened Brit has beaten every top-notch opponent he faced aside from Andre Ward. Need I say more?

As for Alvarez as much as I respect the guy I wouldn’t place him in my overall top-10 P4P list. Not yet anyways. Now if he beats Floyd that will be a different story.

Of course, I was one of those clowns who thought that Guerrero would smash through Floyd’s defences like he declared to do. But Alvarez isn’t Guerrero and Floyd isn’t as dominant at junior middle as he is at welter.

Anyways, I’m going to shut up about this whole thing for now and wait until we get closer to the time. After all there’s a lot of other stuff that will be happening before it’s time to bring up Floyd again. Get back to me if you can! –Dave

Thanks for checking in, Dave.

You stated it best: “Alvarez isn’t Guerrero and Floyd isn’t as dominant at junior middle as he is at welter.” That’s all that needs to be said about this matchup right now. We’ve got other fights to discuss, analyze and argue about for the next 8-9 weeks, including this Saturday’s matchups (Marcos Maidana-Josesito Lopez, ChadDawson-Adonis Stevenson, Erislandy Lara-Alfredo Angulo and Yuriorkis Gamboa-Darley Perez).

I’ve already stated in the last two mailbags that Froch is more deserving of a spot in the pound-for-pound top 10 than Broner or Alvarez, but f__k it, I might as well make it three in a row.

You’ve got a point about Mayweather references in the mailbag. He’s the best-known active boxer in the U.S., and he’s fighting twice in the same year for the first time since 2007, so fans who don’t care to read opinions (negative or positive) on the future hall of famer will just have to deal with it.

(By the way, you’re right – if there was a boxing mailbag in the 1970s, Ali would have been mentioned in every column. However, the economics of his fights would never be the central storylines going into those events and nobody would ever write in accusing him of ducking or “cherry picking” opponents.)

Speaking of “cherry picking,” I don’t think anyone can accuse Mayweather or Alvarez of doing that this year. Guerrero isn’t a walk in the park for anyone: Floyd just made him look that way. And Canelo – who has pursued the two boxers with most difficult styles (apart from Erislandy Lara) in the welterweight/junior middleweight divisions this year – is a big, talented and experienced 154 pounder with underrated boxing skills.

The catchweight is a little bit of a buzzkill, but Mayweather-Canelo is still the best promotional event that can be made in 2013 and it has the potential to be a very good fight.

Why are hardcore fans “grumbling” about it? Hey, that’s just what some of them do.

COTTO, CANELO AND THE CATCHWEIGHT

Hey Dougie….

I’ll start by saying I’m pleased that Floyd has taken this match. Canelo’s a legit champ, and the demand is there. And if ultimately Canelo is too raw/inexperienced at this time, that’s not Floyd’s fault.

But, I do take issue with the 152 lbs. catchweight. If I’m not mistaken, before fighting Miguel Cotto, Floyd was eloquent about not requesting a catchweight. I believe he noted that he wanted Cotto to be at his fighting best, and criticized Manny for requiring a catchweight vs. Cotto. (Believe it was 145 – 2 lbs south of the limit, same as Floyd’s 152 for Canelo)

But if that’s the case, why the catchweight for Canelo? Seems a bit hypocritical to me. I guess allowing a naturally small guy like Cotto who started <147 lbs to weigh 154 is different than allowing a young buck like Canelo, who will probably head to 160+ one day?

I get it. He uses his status and power to create a small advantage for himself. Makes sense in a lot of ways. But it feels wrong because of his quotes before Cotto. I just hope the media calls him on it and asks him to reconcile his pre-Cotto statements vs. the Canelo contract.

Thanks. – Corban, Toronto

There’s nothing “wrong” with having Canelo come in at 152 pounds. That’s a weight both camps agreed on. And just like if the young man turns out to be “raw/inexperienced,” if losing two pounds drains him, that’s not Floyd’s fault. Alvarez and his team could have passed on the fight if they were really concerned about the weight, but they didn’t do that.

Having said that, I think it’s absolutely hypocritical of Mayweather to want Canelo to come in two pounds under the division limit after repeatedly crapping on Pacquiao’s impressive victory over Cotto last year because the Filipino hero did the exact same thing.

I’m sure some members of the boxing media will grill Mayweather on this decision (just as I’m sure most of them will line up to fellate him during every media event leading up to fight).

My guess is that Mayweather will dodge and slip the catchweight questions the way he does punches in the ring, but who knows? He might decide to keep it real and admit that he views Canelo as more of a threat than he did the older and fading Cotto. We’ll see. I won’t be shocked if Mayweather gives Alvarez respect during this promotion.

NOT TO BE PESSIMISTIC, BUT…

Doug, how art thou? Sexcellent, I hope. I’ll make this quick:

1. Andre Ward vs. Carl Froch II is not going to be competitive. I don’t care if they fight in England, on the moon, or in hell. Ward is just head and shoulders above his current competition. Does homefield advantage really matter that much? Is it going to make Froch a better athlete all of a sudden? The answer, of course, is no. I’m not saying Froch doesn’t deserve a rematch with Ward. He totally does, but hey, I’m just some dude sharing his opinion. For the record, I like Froch and would love to be proven wrong.

2. People keep saying Mayweather vs. Canelo is the fight fans really want to see. I can’t say I’m excited. I don’t think this fight will be overly competitive either. Canelo doesn’t strike me as anything special. I think he’s a very solid fighter, but there’s just something relatively ordinary about the guy, except the fact that he’s a star.

3. Lest you call me a big ol’ pessimist, I am super excited about Garcia vs. Matthysee as well as GGG vs. whoever.

Take care, Doug. – Jon

Thanks for writing, Jon. I am sexcellent. I appreciate your asking. I’ll respond to your statements in order:

1) Home-turf advantage matters in any athletic endeavor. I’d bet good money that you would run a faster 400 meter dash in front of a loud crowd of 5,000 that includes your closest friends and family than if you ran it on a track in an empty arena or field. If homefield advantage doesn’t matter much, why wouldn’t Ward fight outside of the U.S. during the Super Six World Boxing Classic the way Froch and the other participants did? And how did the Super Six participants who fought at home do during the tournament? Think about it. Regardless of where Ward-Froch II takes place, I think it will be more competitive than the first fight. Froch has 12 rounds of experiencing Ward’s style and strengths. His best rounds in the first fight came late in the bout when he began to figure out Ward. He’ll be better prepared for the rematch (if it happens) and I think Ward (who entered the first fight with an injured hand) will be more aggressive, which will give Froch more opportunities to land his shots.

2) I’m excited about Mayweather-Canelo. I can understand not being that into the bout if you don’t see much in Alvarez (beyond the popularity). However, I think he’s talented. He may not be a dynamic athlete or a boxing prodigy but he’s gotta be special to be unbeaten in 43 pro bouts and to have defeated Austin Trout before the age of 23. A “relatively ordinary” fighter would have got his ass kicked by Trout.

3) Me too! Richard Schaefer deserves Promoter of the Year award if he manages to make Garcia-Matthysse one week before Mayweather-Canelo. I like GGG so much I prefer to watch him on TV so I can stand up and holler when he knocks suckers the f__k out. (That sort of thing is frowned on along press row.)

AM I BEING TOO HARSH?

Yo Doug,
I expect your email to be flooded but still hope this makes the bag. Anyways, am I the only one who isn’t buying into all the hype being dished out for Canelo vs. Floyd? I have mad respect for both fighters. I am a big fan of Canelo as well. Hell we ordered Showtime just so I could watch him fight Trout. But in my opinion there’s just no way he’s going to be able to touch Floyd. Man I hate even typing that! But if the Floyd that fought Guerrero shows up in September, it’ll be another clinic.

What do you think? Am I not giving Alvarez enough credit? Do you honestly think he can put the first L on Floyd’s record? Do you think that Alvarez eventual fight night weight will be enough to give Jr. a run for his “money”? Peace! – PB, Houston, TX

I think Alvarez’s fight night weight will be a factor but I think what makes him a threat is that he’s smarter than most fans and the boxing media give him credit for. He’s got smart people around him (co-trainers Don Chepo and Eddy Reynoso, as well as former 122-pound champ Oscar Larios).

Alvarez can punch with both hands, but he doesn’t waste punches. He’s strong but he’s not a plodding type who constantly marches forward. (Mayweather can outbox those guys in his sleep.) He’ll take a step back if he needs to, he’ll move when he needs to. He’s got a good jab, a good counter right uppercut, a hard left to the body. He puts shots together well. And though Alvarez has never been in with anyone as skilled, talented and experienced as Mayweather, he has been in with skilled fighters (including a few slick boxers), and he’s got talent and a high level of experience for his age.

Now, you can say, “Yeah, that may be true, Dougie, but Robert Guerrero had experience and underrated skill, too, and look what happened to him.” Duly noted, but Guerrero could not hurt Maywather with one shot. I believe Canelo can. He hurt and dropped Trout with one right hand. Trout is one of the most durable junior middleweights in the world, someone who could hold his own with the best middleweights in the world.

Anyway, I don’t want to go on and on about Alvarez’s chances, because I do think he needed another fight or two before truly being ready for the likes of Mayweather, but I’ll leave you with this little story. A few hours before Alvarez fought Trout the ringside press was buzzing among themselves about the matchup. Many prominent broadcasters and scribes had “southpaw fever” because Guillermo Rigondeaux had schooled Nonito Donaire the previous Saturday, so even the guys who had picked Alvarez to win were saying things like “I wouldn’t be surprised if Trout won every round” or “Don’t be shocked if Trout knocks this kid out.” I told each one “The surprise will be Canelo’s hand speed,” or “The shock will be Canelo’s head movement.”

Win, lose or draw vs. Mayweather, I think Alvarez will surprise, and maybe shock, a lot of fans with his performance.

FROCH’S LEGACY

Evening Dougie, how you doing?
Firstly, I’m stupendously excited for Alvarez/Mayweather. The catchweight is dodgy, but I’d like it if people could just get excited about the fight, rather than dwell on boxing politics and underhand tactics. The fight we wanted has been made, have your cake and eat it.

Now, what I wanted to talk about. There has been a lot of talk about Froch recently, following the fight, his omission from your P4P rankings (which, without causing offence, I couldn’t give a monkeys about – the perception of ability is relatively subjective, fans don’t need to be told who the best 10 boxers are, they should decide for themselves) and now, some of his comments in the British media. Basically, to cut a long story short, Froch believes he’s up there with Lennox Lewis as Britain’s greatest boxer.

Understandably this has irked some of Britain’s boxing greats. And my question to you is this – do you agree with him? 

Joe Calzaghe, widely agreed to be up there with Lewis in the pantheons of British greats, responded to the Froch quote, and it sounded a little something like this – “Carl is not even the best super middleweight in the world today. If he’s the best British fighter of all-time, does that mean Andre Ward is twice as good as any boxer we’ve ever produced? Where is Carl’s era of dominance? People have thought he was the real deal for about two years. Plus, I think it’s pathetic to be trying to write your own legacy. It’s not up to me to judge where I am, or for Carl to judge where he is. It’s for others to decide”.

Pretty valid if you ask me, I wouldn’t go as far as to say scathing, Calzaghe has always credited Froch as a good boxer, but it does have some element of venom in it.

Before writing up this email I watched the Calzaghe vs Lacy fight again and lordy lordy, I have never seen a world champion hyped so badly, get dismantled so brutally, decisively and easily. I’m a big Froch fan and feel the Bute fight (I was there) was one of the biggest wins for a British fighter this past decade, but the manner that Calzaghe won this, and a lot of his fights was something else. I just feel that Froch’s cause is hampered by his grinding out manner and perceived ‘lack’ of boxing flair and talent in comparison to The Welsh Dragon. A lot of his world title fights haven’t been won all that emphatically – Jean Pascal was close, he lost against Andre Dirrell, was well on the way to losing against a faded Jermain Taylor, fights way closer than they should be against a ‘past-prime’ Kessler, letting Glen Johnson be far too competitive, etc. Credit where credit is due, he did have the Mack, Abraham and Bute wins. And maybe it’s me, but I feel his confidence, one of his prime assets, often borders on arrogance.

With one comment he has disregarded a lot of great fighters, not just Joe. Perhaps the boxing world, when we get less high on The Cobra will feel he got a little too big for his boots. I think taking a murderers row of opponents is extremely credible, but it doesn’t automatically grant him ‘great’ status. Calzaghe was deemed one of the best boxers around, and was in everybody’s (sorry to bring up the subject again) top 5 p4p for years. Heck, if he’d had kept his hands intact and severed ties with Warren earlier we might have had another ATG. With Joe there was a sense of ‘he could have beaten everybody out there’. Carl, we already know, cannot. I don’t think he’d beat Hopkins or a few of the guys at 175 and we all know he won’t beat Ward.

So, on top of my original question, and on the subject of British greats and 168 pounders – if a super 6 was to be made between Froch, Calzaghe, Benn, Eubank, Collins and Watson (all in their primes), how do you think it would pan out? And what are your thoughts about the futures of George Groves and James DeGale?

Thanks for reading buddy, hope you’re enjoying being back covering the training camps, been enjoying your updates on Twitter. Peace – AK, Nottingham

Thanks AK. I’ll have a Gym Notes feature on Josesito Lopez this week and more to come this month and next.

I think Groves and DeGale have very bright futures and will continue the UK’s rich history with the super middleweight division long after Froch hangs up his gloves. If we’re lucky, we’ll a get a “passing of the torch” fight between Froch and one of them in a year or two.

I think Calzaghe would win your mythical British super middleweight Super Six tournament. And I think Calzaghe’s comments about Froch are “spot on” as you Brits say.

I don’t think Froch is on Lewis’ or Calzaghe’s level in terms of being a “British great.” I won’t go into a drawn-out analysis but keep in mind that both Lewis and Calzaghe were undisputed champions. Both cleaned out their respective divisions. Can Froch say that he’s done that? No, he can’t, not without beating Ward in a rematch.

If he’s able to do that then we can all revisit this debate and figure out if he’s done enough to match Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank (let alone Lewis and Calzaghe) and whether or not he belongs among the old-timer hall of famers, such as Bob Fitzsimmons, Len Harvey, Jim Driscoll, Ted “Kid” Lewis, Freddie Welsh and Jimmy Wilde.

GOLDEN BOY LIVE!

I have been extremely entertained by this Golden Boy Live card! Daquan Arnett was in a good match with an intelligent and comical finish. He committed to about 4 counter left hooks that landed flush, and right when Zuniga seemed to get the memo, he decided to rip it up and let his nuts hang. The next exchange he gets crucified with the same damn punch he literally begged for! I laughed out loud when that happened.

Then you had Jermall Charlo looking very sharp. He is coming along really well from just 3 or so fights ago. He is a lot more poised and noticeably more coordinated now.

Then you had the mismatch of the century between the Haymon guy who looked about three weight classes above some scrawny Hispanic kid who fought like Shenaynay from Martin. The ref was like “I’m not wasting my time with this s__t.” and stopped the fight the first chance he got.

The last fight between Derrick Wilson and Braulio Santos truly had it all! It was fast paced from the 1st to the 10th, it had momentum shifts, hard punches thrown on the inside, plenty of dirty tactics, and a knockdown to boot. Not much more you could ask for going into the scorecard reading. I didn’t know who won that fight until the tallies were read. The right guy won, and I hope he is able to go on to bigger and better things a la Soto Karass/ Gabe Rosado after their big wins.

All being said, I was more satisfied with this gb live card then I have been for a lot of HBO/Showtime cards. Shouts out to all the fighters involved, especially the little Hispanic kid.  – Jabre

Hey man, it takes a lot of guts to get in that ring, especially when you can’t fight at all. Mad props to “Shenaynay.”

Wilson-Santos was a solid 10 rounder that featured many heated exchanged down the stretch. I wish the ref would have controlled the roughhouse stuff from Santos a little better, but I was happy to see the judges score a very close fight for the guy with the losses on his record. Wilson has had some ups and downs since blitzing Charles Huerta in one round during the first season of Fight Night Club (2009), and like you, I hope he gets it all together and makes a serious run at featherweight. He sounded like he’s matured a bit during the post-fight interview.

I think the Charlo twins are the real deal. Both Jermall and Jermell have the best jabs among American prospects.

Arnett is coming along. I saw technical improvements from his ShoBox debut in January. I hope GBP and Haymon keep him busy. And I hope we continue to get quality matchups with the Golden Boy Live! main events. Strong basic cable series keep boxing healthy.

 

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

Around the web