Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

MY SON AND THE OLD MONGOOSE

Hi Dougie,
Hope you and your family had a very merry Christmas. I'm a big fan and read your mailbag every Monday and Friday. I've had a coup of letters published in the past but haven't written in a while.

Two weeks ago my wife gave birth to our first child a little boy, which was the greatest Christmas present we could have hoped for. He was born on Friday 13th December 2013. After he was born I did a quick Google search to see who shared his birthday and discovered that Archie 'Old Mongoose' Moore had been born on the very same day nearly 100 years ago. As a boxing fan I thought this was really cool and I'm looking forward to watching fights with my wee man when he's old enough to enjoy them.

So here's a quick Archie Moore mythical match up for you.

Archie Moore vs Bernard Hopkins (both when they are long in the tooth and at light heavyweight). Hope you have a fun New Year. – Andrew from Yorkshire, UK

Thanks Andrew. I will try to have as much fun as a married 43-year-old father can in the New Year. Congrats on the birth of your son. Parenthood is the hardest job in the world and the best job in the world.

Dougie’s Monday mailbagA mythical matchup between the “aged” versions of Moore and Hopkins would be more for boxing purists than your average fan because of the high ring IQs, vast experience and crafty styles of the old masters. (Personally, I’m more interested in how a mythical matchup of the middleweight versions of B-Hop and the Old Mongoose would play out.)

At light heavyweight, I can envision neither fighter landing a single punch of note in the first two or three rounds as they took each other’s measure. However, when either man decided to strike, he would commit to it. Although Moore is the more offensive boxer, I envision Hopkins being the first to take it to his opponent, diving in with a lead right hand with his chin tucked and his left hand ready to grab hold of the shorter, perhaps slower fighter. However, I think Moore’s timing – honed by an amount of pro bouts that is inconceivable by today’s standards (he had over 200 fights by the time he was in his mid-40s) – and deceptively long arms would catch “The Alien” by surprise and drop him.

Hopkins, like Moore, is the kind of ring warrior to get up from a knockdown (even multiple knockdowns), as he did against Segundo Mercado and Jean Pascal, so I don’t think the Old Mongoose would put Hopkins away. I believe B-Hop would get up and frustrate the somewhat plodding boxer-puncher with his jab and lateral movement, but I also think Moore’s cross-armed shell defense, hard jab and sneaky counter punching (especially uppercuts when in close) would give Hopkins fits. 

I think the two would mostly go tit for tat in an interesting but not scintillating 12- or 15-round bout. Moore’s knockdown (or knockdowns) would be the difference in a close bout if we used the modern 10-pount must system. Moore by close UD or MD.

 

MAYWEATHER VS MANDINGO

Hi Doug,

I pray you and your family are doing well. Fraud could shut up all his critics if he fought one fight which is possible to make: Fight the Ann Wolfe trained James Kirkland. If he fought him, I would forgive him for ducking PacMan, Paul Williams, Antonio Margarito, Sergio Martinez and Cotto (when he was in his prime). I think a lot of fans would forgive him too if he fought Kirkland. Fraud just fought Canelo Alvarez at 154 and Kirkland is already right at that weight and Bob Arum isn’t with Kirkland so there is no excuse there.

The reason it won’t happen is Kirkland was too impressive in his last fight. If he looked mediocre like Alvarez did against Trout, Fraud would be lining him up. Fraud likes to fight guys when they aren’t at their best (see Amir Khan). I can’t believe people fall for his bulls__t. The worst offender is Kevin Iole. I think he is on Fraud’s payroll. We need to start beating the drums for Kirkland and Fraud. Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter also need to fight to determine who is the best young prospect out there in their weight class. I can’t believe the fans haven’t been calling out for that fight.

2013 was a great year for Boxing. I love UFC, Wrestling and Boxing (I don’t understand why you can’t like all of the combat sports.) Boxing is back to being number one in my heart again. Nothing in sports compares to a great fight for sustained action. UFC is great but can be like quickie sex or premature ejaculation. Just when you are getting into it, it’s over. Nothing compares to Erislandy Lara vs.  Alfredo Angulo and Tim Bradley vs. Ruslan Provodnikov. 2013 was the year of the knockout. It seems there was a period that no one was getting knocked out and everyone was fighting defensively like Fraud but it seems the fighters got the memo that they had to win but also be impressive and entertaining. I enjoyed this year thoroughly and hope it continues into 2014.

God bless and take care. – Blood and Guts from Philly

I think the knockouts will continue in 2014, B&G. Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin, Marcos Maidana, Kirkland, Provodnikov, Thurman, and, of course, Deontay Wilder, will definitely limit the number of distance bouts on major U.S. television.

Glad you mentioned Lara-Angulo. It was one of my favorite fights of 2013 (because of its surprising competitiveness) and I think it was overlooked by a lot of fans and media.

I don’t think it’s fair to call Iole an “offender” (even if he offends you – LOL). He’s more of a “defender” when it comes to Mayweather, and he’s loud and proud about praising the Pound-for-Pound King. There’s nothing wrong with that.

I gave Mayweather the “Fraud” nickname years ago (at least I think I was the first to call him that; some other “hater” may deserve that credit), but I called him that in 2006, when he refused to fight Margarito (then THE RING’s No. 1 welterweight contender) and insisted on fighting Zab Judah for the IBF title after the Brooklyn standout somehow lost a decision to Carlos Baldomir. Calling Mayweather a fraud had more to do with the IBF’s money driven decision to continue recognizing Judah (who had already signed to fight Floyd prior to the Baldomir bout) as their “champ” following a loss, and Mayweather’s ego-driven decision to fight for the IBF belt, than any of his “ducking.”

And for the record, I don’t think Mayweather ducked the prime version of Cotto, and I’m not convinced that he’s avoiding Martinez (I just don’t think that he believes that he needs to fight the middleweight champ). I do think he stayed away from P-Will and Margz, but he’s certainly not alone in that decision. Cotto was never interested in facing Williams (and he wasn’t that keen on fighting Margz until after the TJ Tornado lost to P-Will). Ricardo Mayorga, Cory Spinks and Judah all ignored Margarito in the mid-2000s when they were the recognized welterweight champs.

At any rate, I stopped calling Mayweather “Fraud” by the end of 2007.

I’d love to see Mayweather-Kirkland for the simple fact that “Mandingo” would make the fight compelling for however long it lasted it. He would put crazy pressure and heavy handed volume punching on Mayweather, and he would, of course, be vulnerable for counters throughout the fight (and especially in the first two rounds). And you and I both know that Ann Wolfe would make Showtime’s All Access must-see TV.

But I doubt we’ll see the matchup. It’s too much risk for too little reward. That’s all that really needs to be said about it.

I don’t think too much needs to be said about Mayweather-Khan, either. For starters, the fight hasn’t been officially announced yet. But if it is made, please keep in mind two things: it’s the first of two fights that Mayweather is scheduled to have in 2014; and you don’t have to buy the pay-per-view show if you think the matchup is crap.

 

WHERE’S THE FILIPINO FLASH?

Dear Doug,

I was wondering where you rank Nonito Donaire after his November 11 fight with Vic Darch? I was going through the Dec 16 update of The Ring's rating but I couldn't find him rated in any weight… Thank you. – Mark

That’s because Donaire isn’t currently rated by THE RING at any weight. (Oh how the mighty have fallen, eh?) Donaire’s decision to campaign at featherweight after losing his 122-pound titles to Guillermo Rigondeaux got him dropped from junior featherweight. He was briefly rated at No. 10 at featherweight after stopping Darchinyan (the No. 4-rated junior featherweight), but he was bumped from the 126-pound rankings when unrated Simpiwe Vetyetka crashed the featherweight top 10 by upsetting previously No. 1-rated Chris John. Vetyetka entered the rankings at No. 5 and pushed poor Nonito off of the top 10.

However, with John recently announcing his retirement, the Indonesia legend will be dropped from the featherweight rankings opening the door for Donaire to get back in the lower top 10.

 

LONGEST AT THE P4P TOP?

What's up Dougie,

I have a question that Google can't answer and I thought maybe you could help. I know the P4P list is all mythical or whatever but we still love it and I think a lot of boxers love the idea of being ranked highly on them. I am sure that staying on that list as long as possible means a lot too. It is very impressive when you compare the time Manny Pacquiao has spent on the list to anyone else. I know Floyd's time count was reset after he was gone for over a year but Manny's 519 weeks on the list completely eclipses everyone else. That is just one week shy of 10 years! Juan Manuel Marquez is a distant second at 343 weeks and then Martinez is an even farther third at 183 weeks on the list. 

Manny has broken so many records in boxing, does he also hold the record for most time on The Ring's P4P list? To me that seems like some pretty legit bragging rights if he does. Keep up the good work my friend. – Matt "The Pepper Guy" Balius

Pacquiao isn’t one to brag but if he was, yeah, I think an uninterrupted 10-year reign on THE RING’s pound-for-pound top 10 is something worth boasting about.

You bring up a good question about whether he holds the record for longest stay on the magazine’s mythical rankings. I think he’s right in the mix with two former pound-for-pound kings – Pernell Whitaker and Roy Jones Jr.

I’m not sure when Whitaker debuted on THE RING’s P4P top 10, but I think it was in late ’88, and I think he was in the rankings until late 1998 when one year of inactivity forced the magazine’s editors to drop him. So I believe Sweet Pea could have 10 years on the list, but he may have debuted in ’89 when he unified the IBF and WBC lightweight titles. (I do know that he was in the No. 2 spot, behind Julio Cesar Chavez, from 1990 to ’92 and then he took the No. 1 spot with his 1993 draw with the Mexican legend and held it until ’96 when Jones assumed the top spot.)

Jones was in THE RING pound-for-pound top 10 from 1993 through 2003. I’m thinking ole RJJ – who was No. 1 for most of ’96, ’99 and 2003 – had at least 10 and half years in the rankings, because he wasn’t dropped completely until he suffered back-to-back KO losses to Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson in May and September of 2004.

 

MIDWEST LOVE

Dougie,

I'm a SoCal transplant from Des Moines (family from Missouri) – ended up at Long Beach State over 10 yrs ago (damn I'm getting old)…. my good friend "Miguel from Long Beach" got me into the sweet science and turned me on to you and the K-Hammer.

I've never emailed you, but after reading that bs in your first paragraph I wanted to give you some love. Thank you for what you do – it means a lot to start and end my week reading your stuff. You’re a class act and it shows; you do great work – the love/passion you have for the sport is evident. Miguel and I were able to meet you and K9 at The Rouge after Margarito-Cotto and it was great having some (12-15) drinks w/ you cats. We loved it – you guys were great to us.

Keep up the good work, best wishes to you and your family. Hope to see you at a fight in 2014, take care. – Josh (Dana Point)

Definitely, Josh. If you see me at Jhonny Gonzalez-Abner Mares II (Feb. 15 at STAPLES Center in L.A.) or some other fight card in Southern California or Vegas don’t be a stranger (‘cause you aren’t).

Thanks for the kind and inspiring words and thanks for the trip down memory lane. To this day I haven’t experienced a boxing event that has attracted more super diehard fans to one city than Cotto-Margarito I in Las Vegas. That fight served as an informal international hardcore boxing fan convention that ran the entire week of the fight. It was like everyone knew each other and everyone had respect for the other’s opinion on the fight. It was awesome. And fans like you and Miguel made Steve Kim and I feel like bona fide celebrities, so thanks again for the love and the loyalty.

 

MAYWEATHER IS FIGHTER OF THE YEAR?

Hey Doug,

I don't usually read anything else on boxing besides your mailbag. After making an exception and reading Kevin Iole's article about his choice for fighter of the year I am reminded why:  you have a rigor in your reasoning and logic in your arguments, something which is lacking in most boxing writing and in Iole's article in particular. Sorry for bringing this to your mailbag but I find his article highly irritating and biased. His sole criteria for picking Floyd as fighter of the year seems to come down to this: he fought twice this year! Oh, and the opposition was OK…

Based on that criteria I think the honor should go to Guillermo Rigondeaux. He fought twice didn't he? And based on more rigorous criteria his opposition was a better. Donaire was pretty high on everyone's P4P list and more accomplished than Canelo.  Agbeko is a rough and ready guy, pretty equivalent to Guerrero. And Rigondeaux is not mister 45 and 0, P4P king taking on untested kids and fringe welterweights, he is 13 and 0 taking on a top 5 P4P.

But really, based on Mr. Iole's logic Adonis Stevenson should be Super Fighter of the Year because, get this, he fought two times twice this year! And even beyond this impressive criterion I think he had a really impressive year. He might have been a betting favorite in only one of his fights (I am guessing here, too lazy too research).  He beat guys no one was expecting him to (contrary to Floyd). He moved up in weight and KO’d the real champion. Nobody guessed that he would beat Tavoris Cloud into submission . Add to that his revenge KO of Boone and his nice KO of overmatched Tony Bellew and I think Stevenson deserves fighter of the year based on his accomplishments.  I think a good case can be made for quite a few other fighters. But not for Floyd… – Stephen, Montreal

You hater. LOL.

I think Mayweather was a solid Fighter of the Year candidate for 2013. He won THE RING’s welterweight and junior middleweight titles against strong, young, motivated fighters, and that’s nothing to scoff at.

I think part of Iole’s reasoning for choosing Mayweather as the Fighter of the Year is the fact that so many fans and boxing writers – myself included – often do scoff at the undefeated future hall of famer’s accomplishments. My guess is that he wanted to give Mayweather the credit that he believes others unfairly deny him.

But I also think Iole is being a little hyper sensitive about the criticism that Mayweather receives, because I believe that most of it comes from fans and not from boxing writers or the general sports media.

He seems perturbed that members of the media fail to recognize or acknowledge that Mayeather is heads and shoulders above his competition and that some have the audacity to predict that his opponents might beat him.

He wrote: “We insist that this next up-and-comer is going to be the one to beat him. Go back and check how many boxing writers picked Canelo Alvarez to beat Mayweather in September. It was a lot.”

Actually, it was me, Teddy Atlas (who isn’t a writer) and some blogger/vloggers. The overwhelming majority of notable boxing writers (particularly those based in the U.S. and the UK – but also the majority of Mexico’s sports media) picked Mayweather to win the fight, including 37 of 41 “experts” polled by RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield, and 25 of 30 media members polled for an article that ran in the magazine’s Mayweather-Canelo preview issue (October 2013).

Parts of Iole’s Fighter of the Year feature reminded me of Mayweather’s message board/social media comment defenders who have no tolerance for any opinion about their favorite fighter that isn’t absolutely glowing. You know the guys I’m talking about, the ones who classify anyone who doesn’t view Mayweather as an all-time great as “haters,” or, to paraphrase Roger Mayweather, “people who don’t know s__t about boxing.”

Iole states in his article: “For some reason, though, the boxing media hasn't been willing to recognize his greatness. There's a lot said about his greatness as a pay-per-view draw and as a ticket seller, but he still isn't given nearly the kind of credit for his in-ring performances as he deserves.”

Wow. I think 80 percent of what is written about Mayweather is beyond positive. In fact, I think too many media members kiss Floyd’s ass. Yeah, a lot of articles focus on his “genius” for business, marketing and showmanship, but there are far more that praise him for skill and accomplishments than those that detract from his achievements. (And why wouldn’t a lot be said and written about his “greatness as a pay-per-view draw” – that’s the area where he’s broken records; he hasn’t broken any boxing records.)

Whatever. I think Iole has a right to champion Mayweather and make the argument that the undefeated American is a great fighter. For the record, I think the argument can be made.

Also for the record, I agree that Rigondeaux is more deserving of the Fighter of the Year honor than Mayweather. And Stevenson is also my choice for Fighter of the Year.

 

IOLE’S MAYWEATHER LUST

Hi Dougie,

Hope you’re having a great Christmas and are all set for another year of fantastic boxing. Imagine if it lives up to, or surpasses 2013. This ‘dead’ sport of ours has never looked so fresh. 

I noticed Mayweather has been thanking Kevin Iole for a pro-Floyd article illustrating Money’s greatness and why he’s a no-brainer fighter of the year.  Having read the article, I felt compelled to write you and bore you with my own observations. 

Iole writes about how Mayweather’s opponents are often dismissed as flawed post fight. A shop-worn, off-peak, trigger-unhappy Shane Mosley nearly had him in the second round, Oscar was at least on even terms until the later rounds when fatigue and age set in and the post-Margarito Miguel Cotto showed you could rough up Floyd even if you’ve been through World War 1, 2 and 3. You might think I’m on acid, but I even think Ricky Hatton had a chance if someone had told the ref boxing was a contact sport. At the end of the day, Mayweather still got the win (and a win is a win) but who can’t help but wonder how Mosley and Cotto would have fared had they met a few years earlier.

Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams and some Filipino bloke are just three of the obvious names Floyd should but doesn’t have on his resume. You have to look hard for missing names on the resumes of Bernard Hopkins, Leonard, Hearns, Holyfield, Lewis and even Pacquiao (just one missing). I’d never begrudge any fighter for having gaps on their resume or for strategically avoiding certain fighters but just don’t tell me they’re great. Iole’s and any fan boy’s argument that Mayweather is great clings to theoretical victories to fights that never took place. Indeed, Mayweather might beat Pacquiao in the same way Lucas Matthysse will maul paper-champ Danny Garcia and mini-Mayweather Broner will annihilate one dimensional Marcos Maidana.

How can anyone argue Floyd’s greatness while scraping fantasy from the bottom of the barrel? No one said Leonard is great because he could have beat Hearns, Benitez, Duran and Hagler.

Anyway I noticed you haven’t posted your own “Mayweather-is-great, I want to have his children article” yet. I guess I’ll keep waiting.

I’ll bow out by thanking you and the team for another year’s good reading and I’ll be back in 2014.

(P.S. Please keep the ‘Best I’ve Faced’ columns coming. They’re a favourite of mine and a brilliant insight.) Cheers – Richard

We will have many more Best I’ve Faced articles in 2014. I hope you enjoyed the one Tom Gray penned on Junior Jones. We’ve got George Foreman, Tony Lopez and John David Jackson on tap. And I think Kevin Kelley is in the works.

Thanks for the RingTV.com praise. We will try to raise the bar in 2014.

Yes, you’re going to have to keep waiting for my “Mayweather-is-great” article; I have the exact same opinion as you do regarding Iole’s favorite fighter and what makes a boxer great.

However, I want to be clear that I have no problem with Mayweather being anyone’s Fighter of the Year for 2013. I think Floyd had a sensational year.

Having said that, I couldn’t help but chuckle when fans voted Gennady Golovkin – one of my favorite fighters – to be RingTV.com’s Fighter of the Year.




 


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

 

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