Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

THE PORN STAR RETURNS

Doug,

The last time I wrote was when “Tasters Choice” was about to fight Paulie Walnuts earlier this year. I posted a video of his “taste of choice” and now I see that you have anointed him “Porn Star.” So that leads me to this: As I wrote then, and now, I am a fan. But something disturbs me. Is he going to have a Zab Judah career or will he wind up an all-time great like his idol FMJR? (Full disclosure: I love Zab, A talent, B career). Will he have the proper discipline to go with his prodigious talent? Will he develop the proper defensive/offensive footwork required to continue to stand in the middle of the ring shoulder rolling without absorbing too much punishment, all while walking (stalking) his opponent down? Or will he fall in love with his talent, succumb to his frenetic life style, and never quite fulfill his undeniable promise? Those questions still have to be answered over time, but the major question to me is his mental makeup. Living the “Porn Star” life outside the ring will catch up to you when you’re in it.

I’m not sure El Chino is the guy to speed up that process, but I do know that he can crack. On the flip side, Maidana doesn’t move very well and will be a perfect potshot target for AB, i.e. Antonio Demarco. We know MM won’t outbox Broner, but I think that we will find out about Broners chin because he has proven to be hittable against lesser talent (Ponce, Rees, and Paulie). That said, he was never seriously hurt in those fights, or any of his fights for that matter, but it wouldn’t be best for him to eat those same shots he took in those fights from MM. I also don’t think he has the power to knock El Chino out because I really think AB is a 140 pounder at this stage of his career masquerading as a welterweight. If he is focused, and I think he will be judging by his pre-fight comments about Maidana, this is a one sided beat down turning into a late-round TKO. If he isn’t, then he will be in for a tougher fight albeit he wins by decision.

Tasty UD over Chino. – Wiley

That’s what I see happening. I won’t be surprised if Maidana goes down once or twice but also manages to hurt Broner to the body or rock him with a big shot upstairs. The Argentine slugger should present a better challenge than DeMarco, who didn’t have Maidana’s aggression, physical strength or power.

I know Broner has been an out-of-control knucklehead at times between his training camps this year, but I think his youth and his strong work ethic when he’s in the gym will enable him to get away with partying and putting on weight.

It’s too early to tell if Broner’s continued extracurricular activities will eventually have a negative impact on his development as a boxer because there’s still a chance that he may mature, emotionally and intellectually (yeah, I know it’s a bit of long shot), over the next year or two.

Who knows? Tomorrow night’s fight might serve as a wake-up call if Maidana can drop him or hurt him bad enough.

Or Broner might have his way with Maidana and believe that he can continue to be the “freak of the week” between fight camps without any ill effect, in which case we might witness him take a fall in the ring or burnout outside of it before he realizes his considerable potential. If that’s the case, Broner wouldn’t be the first immensely-talented boxer – especially from Cincinnati, Ohio – to allow poor lifestyle choices to hamper or even ruin his professional career.

My gut call is that Broner’s desire to be an elite boxer and major boxing attraction is stronger than his desire to be a rapper, baller or amateur porn star. Growing up where he did, I’m sure he’s seen his share of people – in and out of boxing – fall by the wayside due to the street life. I’m sure he doesn’t want to make the same mistakes fellow Cincinnati boxing standouts Aaron Pryor, Tony Tubbs and his early role model Ricardo Williams Jr. (2000 Olympic silver medalist) made.

 

ODB (OLD DIRTY BRONER) & THE TAX MAN

Douglas!
I had to share some thoughts on the persona of Adrien Broner as well as the fight. In all honesty, as obnoxious as Broner is, he’s no different than most of the big names in boxing (who partied like hell and enjoyed plenty of time with the ladies) going back to Jack Johnson. In this day and age, fighters (and their off-season lives) are simply more accessible to the public.

Say what you will of Broner’s antics, the guy can fight. Not only do I think Broner is a born fighter, I think he’s adapted a style which suits his body-type and reflexes. Yes, some facets of his style are similar to Mayweather’s, but I see a different guy who doesn’t care to be as fleet of foot as the P4P king. Broner has a little bit of James Toney’s elusive nature if anything… uh, and perhaps… some of the preferred post-fight regimen as well. I hope Chino clips him, but I know it’s a fat chance. Call me a hater, but I think it would actually be for his own good.

Speaking of looking out for one’s own good… WTF is going on with the PacMan money train?? I’mean surely Uncle Bob, Mr. Former Tax Attorney of NY could lend a whisper or two of advice, eh? Mike Koncz? What does he actually do as “adviser”?? Sure is interesting… and, if true, could be on the magnitude of Don King/Mike Tyson mismanagement levels. I would hate to see PacMan’s legacy end up being one in which millions were stolen from the poor guy.

Aside from Mike Tyson, what was the most well-known fighter who ended up broke due to mismanagement? – JB

If you’re talking about bona-fide boxing superstars, the guys who regularly commanded seven-figure paydays and the occasional eight-figure purse, pretty much all of them except for Oscar De La Hoya, Lennox Lewis and maybe Naseem Hamed.

Tyson is well-known, but he’s certainly not alone. Despite all those huge paydays Evander Holyfield and Roy Jones Jr. made during the 1990s and early 2000s, the future hall of famers have had tax troubles in recent years and very little (if any) of their previous fortunes.

However, most of these fighters – Pacquiao included – had a big part in their financial mismanagement. Instead of just putting their money away, too many have used their ring earnings to “invest” in risky (often narcissistic) business ventures, such as real estate and music companies. Most of them go crazy with the cars, the mansions and entourages. And guys like Pacquiao are too generous for their own good. You asked what Koncz does for Pac. Well, he mainly says “No” to the never-ending legion of people begging the Filipino icon for handouts. But at the end of the day, Pacquiao, like most boxers with money, does what he wants to do.

I agree that Broner’s style is more of his own than a poor imitation of Mayweather’s. Broner has incorporated some elements of Floyd’s style into his, but he’s also borrowed from other pros. And he comes up with his own moves during the heat of battle. Chino might land a few flush bombs because, as you noted, Broner stands his ground more than Mr. Pound-For-Pound.

I also agree that he can really fight, despite his antics. He can also box, and he’ll have to do both against Maidana.

I think Broner will pick his spots to stay in the pocket against Maidana but when he does, he’ll trade with the slugger because he knows that his speed, accuracy and balance is better and that he has the power to put his foe down.

You make a good point about the many notable world-class boxers who were also bigtime party boys going all the way back to Jack Johnson. Many legendary fighters after “Li’l Arthur” were known as much for their after-hours activities as they were for their ring accomplishments, including Jack Dempsey, Pancho Villa, Mickey Walker, Sugar Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Hector Camacho and De La Hoya. Even Joe Louis and Muhammad Ali were rumored to have gotten “freaky” during their all-time great careers.

While it’s true that the media (sports and social) is more involved in boxers’ personal lives than it was back in the day, I think most of the party boys of past decades would have had the good sense not to allow footage of themselves having sex get out to the public.

 

JOURNALISM AND BRONER

Dougie,

I’ve been reading your writing for a long time as you know. But this past mailbag where you dignify the ignorance of Broner, you know, him taking sh*ts on the toilet and posting it (I have never viewed or wanted to view that) and now him making a p***o. I know it is a free flowing mail bag and open to “lockeroom talk” or whatever, but come on man, all of the references to his ____, am I reading a boxing blog or a g*y p**n site? I never heard anything about it until you kept referencing it and I had no clue what it was. So you gave light to something that at least for me and all of my friends had no clue about.

I makes me think Paul Malignaggi was right. Journalists are fanboys. That is not real journalism and I know for a fact you are better than that having followed you so long. People need to stop glorifying this ignorance.

Me for one have not seen the talent that you seem to be mesmerized by. I’m picking Maidana to knock him the f*** out! Maybe that is more wish than reality, but I just have not seen the talent. I sure didn’t see anything against Malignaggi and I can’t really count the little tomato cans he beat at 130. Yeah he beat Demarco but he was literally almost killed by your son years ago. If he beats Maidana I will give him his props. I don’t think he has ANY pop at 147, yes he has some skills, but they were all shown against little slow a$$ Mexicans where he was clearly fighting several weight classes below his weight. Let’s not forget him running from Ponce DeLeon who Juan Ma LOPEZ literally almost decapitated at like 122; Broner fought him at 130! – The “Original” JB, JCB

True. And Broner was probably at least 10 pounds heavier than Ponce DeLeon when they got in the ring. He was tight that night and had a hard time dealing with DeLeon’s underrated jab and careful aggression. However, Broner was 21 at the time and it was his first fight under the bright lights of HBO. He was a bit intimidated by the moment, I think. It happens. It doesn’t mean he’s without talent or overrated.

I wasn’t that impressed with his lightweight knockouts of DeMarco and Gavin Rees. Those guys were limited and he was so much bigger (as well as faster and better skilled). I was impressed that he beat a motivated Malignaggi in his welterweight debut, although I thought he barely outpointed the veteran. I couldn’t help but wonder – like many others – how Broner would have fared if Malignaggi had a little more pop on his punches.

Now we’ll find out how Broner deals with a guy his size who can punch. I’d give Maidana more of a shot if he was a pressure fighter, but he isn’t. He’s a stalking puncher, and a rather plodding one at that. Put Broner in the ring with Ruslan Provodnikov – a dynamic puncher who can take a shot and knows how to cut the ring off – and I’ll predict his doom. But Maidana isn’t that kind of fighter, so I can’t call the “upset special.”

Regarding Malignaggi’s statement that most boxing writers are “fan boys” – no s__t. Of course most of us are fans at heart. We wouldn’t be doing this if we weren’t. There’s no way in hell I’d put up with all the s__t that I’ve put up with for the past 14 years if I wasn’t a diehard f___kin’ fan boy. In 1997, I left a good paying 9-to-5 editing job that included full medical and dental benefits, lots of vacation and sick time, profit sharing and a 401K program to co-found a website that covers a sport that is run by crazy people and looked down up by most of the public. That labor of love (HouseofBoxing.com) didn’t pay me a dime for three years.

I’m guessing you think that high-profile boxers like Broner further damage boxing’s already negative image, and you’re probably right. If boxing was run like a professional league, such as the NBA or NFL, Broner probably would have been hit with several steep fines over the past two years. But if boxing’s image was carefully controlled like those pro team sports I probably wouldn’t be into it.

I like that boxing is raw and generally uncensored. I don’t approve of some of Broner’s attitudes and activities but I don’t think getting on a soap box and publicly condemning him (as some of my peers have done) equals journalism. And I don’t think poking fun at some of his antics (as I did in Monday’s mailbag) is the same thing as “dignifying” or glorifying what he does.

All I did in this week’s Monday mailbag was include some not-so-subtle jibes at the sex video that he put out when I gave my prediction on the Maidana fight. However, I didn’t mention the sex video. I didn’t describe any detail of the video or include a link to it.

And I didn’t have more than four or five sentences about Broner in that mailbag, so I wasn’t blowing it out of proportion. All I did was poke fun at a goofy young boxer. I’m sure it rubbed some folks the wrong way (somebody complained about it in the Facebook comments under the column), but I’m OK with that. If we can’t make fun of Adrien Broner there’s no point in even bothering to have a sense of humor about this crazy sport.

To be honest with you, I’d rather offend a few people than have a boring mailbag.

 

AL HAYMON

Hey Doug. Love your mailbags. Anyway, when exactly did Al Haymon become such a force in boxing and with fighters? Did it start with Floyd Mayweather, or did he have a fighter before Mayweather that got him started? Also, how come we never see him? He’s like this myth that’s out there. The man behind the curtain.  Have you ever met him and how much do you think he’s worth? I’ll end by saying that I’ve met you at the fights and you are one of the nicest guys out there. Real talk. Take care. – Tyler

Thanks Tyler.

I met Haymon briefly in early 2005 before Jermain Taylor fought Daniel Edouard in 2004 at Staples Center in L.A. Quiet dude, but he’s real. He’s exits.

I first heard about Haymon in late 2001, before Shane Mosley took on Vernon Forrest in January of 2002. My wife knew a guy named Tony Wafford who used to work with Haymon when boxing’s “mystery man” was a concert promoter for such R&B legends as Luther Vandross. Wafford told me that Haymon was getting into boxing and had signed Forrest, who was going to get a shot at Mosley. I told him that I liked “Viper” but Mosley was going to kick his ass. Tony told me that Mosley was the one who would get his ass kicked and that when Haymon gets involved with something, he doesn’t f__k around. Tony was correct on both counts.

Along with Forrest, the first fighters I recall being signed by Haymon included IBF cruiserweight champ Vassiliy Jirov, super middleweight contender Librado Andrade, Taylor, welterweight beltholder Paul Williams, and heavyweight hopeful Chris Arreola. Now it seems like he manages or advises 40 percent of the world’s prospects, top contenders and major titleholders.

Anyway, to answer your question, Haymon’s influence in boxing began before his involvement with Mayweather and before Mayweather evolved into the biggest boxing star in the U.S. and the richest pro athlete in sports. (I think Haymon’s partnership with Mayweather has definitely been mutually beneficial.)

We never see Haymon and rarely hear from him because he’s smart. He doesn’t let his ego get in the way of business and he won’t allow his plans to be known to potential adversaries through the media.

That’s how Japan’s most influential boxing promoter, Akihiko Honda (of Teiken Promotions), operates. I can’t argue with their methods or their results.

I have no idea or interest in how much Haymon is worth. I’m sure you can Google that question, and I’m sure it’s a lot. The man promoted the biggest acts in R&B, including Vandross and Destiny’s Child, before venturing into boxing.

 

VETYEKA EXTINGUISHES ‘THE DRAGON’

Well, well, well… so one of our guys ends the long reign of Chris John. I certainly didn’t see that one coming. 

All credit to Vetyeka. Last year he was losing to a nobody and then he bounces back with two high profile wins this year against Duad Yordan and now upsetting Chris John. This must rank right up there with Brian Mitchell beating Tony Lopez, Sugarboy Malinga’s win over Nigel Benn, Vic Toweel beating Manuel Ortiz, Corrie Sanders’ demolition of Wladimir Klitschko or Vuyani Bungu’s upset of Kennedy McKinney as one of the best high profile victories by a South African boxer.

This one also gets my vote for upset of the year with the possible exception of Jhonny Gonzalez’s knockout of Abner Mares.

I haven’t seen much of Chris John, but expected him to outpoint Vetyeka. He doesn’t seem to have the style that runs up a lot of miles on the clock. Was Vetyeka that good or was The Dragon nearing the end of the road and did Vetyeka catch him at the right time or perhaps a bit of both?

With the emergence of cruiserweights Thabiso Mchunu and Ilunga Makabu, strawweight Hekkie Budler that kept his winning streak going, Tommy Oosthuizen still hanging in there and now Vetyeka winning the WBA title against the number one featherweight in the world, we had a pretty good year in South African boxing. How do you see the above mentioned fighters doing in 2014?

The only downer is IBF flyweight champion, Moruti Mthalane, who seems unable to get fights and ends up defending his title for chump change in far flung places. Ironically, he may just be the best of all our guys. Wish they could bring him home, perhaps to defend his belt against Nkosinathi Joyi. That should be a big fight in the Eastern Cape.

Always wanted to do for a living what you’re doing, wrote a few articles for the now defunct South African Boxing World magazine back in the day, so I did the next best thing and started a boxing blog, www.couchpotatofightguru.blogspot.com, if you care to check it out, still a work in progress, but I’ll get there.

Keep up the good work as always. – Droeks Malan, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Thanks Droeks. I’ll check out your blog when I get the chance.

I think Simpiwe Vetyeka caught Chris John at the right time. The Indonesian hero doesn’t have a very physical boxing style but he’s been at the same weight his entire career and he’s reigned for more nine years (logging fourteen 12-round bouts). There was a lot of wear and tear on those legs. Having said that, Vetyeka is obviously a world-class fighter. He gave Hozumi Hasegawa a good fight in a bantamweight title challenge back in 2007, he stopped lower top-10 contender Daud Yordan earlier this year, and wouldn’t have dominated and stopped a savvy veteran like John if he wasn’t.

I wouldn’t count Vetyeka out against any top 126 pounder.

I think all of the South African fighters you mentioned have the ability to beat most of the top fighters in their weight classes. And I think there’s a good chance that three or four other South African standouts will join Mthalane as a major titleholder (and Budler if you count the IBO) over the next two years.

Junior featherweight veteran Jeffrey Mathebula is getting another crack at the IBF title he lost to Nonito Donaire next Saturday when he challenges Kiko Martinez. Mathebula should be considered the underdog since the fight is taking place in Spain, but if he can get his jab working and avoid Kiko’s early onslaught, I give him a good shot at regaining his old belt on points.

Makabu is the No. 3 contender for the WBA cruiserweight title held by Denis Lebedev and the No. 5 contender for the IBF belt held by RING champ Yoan Hernandez. Mchunu is No. 4 in the WBC (Krysztof Wlodarczyk) and No. 8 in the WBO (Marco Huck). I think Makabu can outbox Lebedev on a good night;not sure about Hernandez. I believe Mchunu, who was recently signed by Main Events and will fight again on U.S. TV in January, could outbox Wlodarczyk on a good night; not so sure about Huck.

Tommy Gun is the No. 8 contender for the WBC super middleweight belt held by Sakio Bika. I thought Tommy lost to Brandon Gonzales, but I wouldn’t count him out against Bika if he had the right game plan.

After coming up short in an IBF title bout and eliminators, young junior bantamweight contender Zolani Tete finally won an IBF title elimination bout by stopping Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. in Mexico, so he should eventually get a shot at Japanese star Daiki Kameda. He can win that fight.

And bantamweight veteran Vusi Malinga might have enough left for one more title run at 118 pounds.

There’s a good chance that South African boxing could be in a very good place by the end of 2014.

By the way, rest in peace Nelson Mandela and Jacob “Baby Jake” Matlala.

 

 

Photo / Nicole Sparks

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer

 

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