1. I was reading the mailbag and I seen you say Terrible Terry Norris was your favorite boxer and that's funny because he was my fave for a long while. My father was a big Marvin Hagler fan and to see Norris kick Sugar Ray Leonard's old ass was a feather in his cap to me, but after watching him fight he made me follow the sport. This dude was never in a dull fight! He might get blasted in 2 rds. or blast his opponent in 1 but you were in for a show no matter what.
2. I remember an old post that you ranked some of the better journeymen fighters and I just wanted to ask you this: Is Gabe Rosado even a decent journeyman? I can't remember this dude beating anybody. I'm not saying I don't like him but he acts like he's the only guy that doesn't know he's there just to make the other guy look good. I'm sold on Jermell Charlo for now but beating Rosado doesn't mean he's going to be great.
3. Since they both have the same hairstyle now I don't even know which of the Charlos fought last weekend. Is it the one that had the dreads?
4. I hope Luis Collazo can finally rid us of Victor Ortiz. This dude sucks and losing while fighting on Fox Sports 1 should finally force Golden Boy to stop trying to force this lame down our throats any more.
5. Can't let you get away without some mythical matches but with a twist, guys that have hella power but no chin or stamina issues. James Kirkland vs. Julian "The Hawk" Jackson (154), Terry Norris vs. Tommy Hearns (154), Zab Judah vs. Roger Mayweather (140).
Alright thanks Doug. Don't know if I'll make the bag but this isn't a busy week so we'll see. –Arthur Fonz-a-Kelley
Your name alone merited the top of the bag, Artie. I’ll respond to your statements/questions in order:
1) Norris was indeed my favorite fighter of the 1990s. He holds a special place in my mind and heart for two reasons: I became aware of him during the late 1980s and began following his career in ’89 and ’90 (the period when I got hardcore into boxing); and I’ve never met him and never covered him, so I still view him with the eyes of a fanboy. I’ve probably said this before, but what the hell, I’ll repeat it. I’ve never seen the Norris-Leonard fight. That bout matched my favorite fighter of the 1980s with my current fave at the time it took place and I knew it wasn’t going work out for Ray. I wasn’t happy about SRL getting beat up but I did take some solace that he passed the torch to Norris.
2) I think Rosado is a lot better than a journeyman. I consider him a gatekeeper. One of his last decent victories was a stoppage of my favorite active gatekeeper, Jesus Soto Karass, and I thought (like many others) that he should have won his fight with unbeaten prospect J’Leon Love (although I admit that fight was close). Of course he doesn’t realize that he’s being brought in as an opponent. If he did, he either wouldn’t take fights against the likes of Gennady Golovkin and Peter Quillin, or he wouldn’t have tried as hard as he did in those fights. No beating Rosado doesn’t mean Charlo’s gonna be great. All it means is that he’s solid lower-top 10 or 15 junior middleweight contender. And that’s OK for now.
3) Yes, Jermell is the one who had the dreads and he’s who fought Rosado last Saturday. His twin brother Jermall will challenge IBF 154-pound beltholder Carlos Molina on March 8.
4) Collazo delivered in a big way last night. I don’t think Ortiz “sucks” but I don’t think he belongs in boxing. It’s not because he can’t fight. He can box and he can slug. He just can’t take any serious or sustained punishment without mentally folding or collapsing. It’s time for him move on and even his staunchest supporters at Golden Boy would admit that now.
5) Excellent mythical matchups:
James Kirkland vs. Julian "The Hawk" Jackson (154) – Jackson by early KO
Terry Norris vs. Tommy Hearns (154) – Hearns by mid-rounds TKO
Zab Judah vs. Roger Mayweather (140) – Mayweather by close UD or MD in a competitive and entertaining fight (both would probably be rocked a few times or dropped)
ARUM AT IT AGAIN
Bob Arum is back at it again. The delusional Top Rank owner never seems to miss an opportunity to bad mouth the most talented fighter in his stable. Stating that; “With (Guillermo) Rigondeaux, I have a problem. You can’t really blame the network. The rating for the Kirkland-Tapia fight was almost double Rigondeaux’s rating. People walked out of the arena. If people don’t want to watch, what do you expect a network to do? I don’t care how good we say he is, which he is.”
The important thing to note is the fact that HBO and Top Rank scheduled the fight on the same night as a stacked quadruple header on Showtime. Then they wonder why the ratings suffered. They also held the fight in Atlantic City, instead of Miami where Rigondeaux would have many supporters. These are not coincidences or mistakes. They are HBO and Bob Arum’s way of undermining possibly the most talented fighter on the planet. Neither the network nor Arum seem to have gotten over the beating that Rigondeaux gave their prized Filipino attraction Nonito Donaire.
Arum went on to criticize Rigondeaux’s tactics against Joseph Agbeko. Stating; “They promised me before the fight, and it started out that way. But once he hit Agbeko a couple of times, that’s it. I won the fight. And nothing f___ing happened for the next nine rounds. It’s very sad, because he’s so good. Maybe if, down the road, I get (Vasyl) Lomachenko to fight him, that would be interesting. But I don’t know. Lomachenko will go in and beat the crap out of him. That’s a really interesting fight.”
This is one of the more ridiculous statements boxing fans will ever get the chance to read. When Donaire put on a boring performance against Omar Navarez, did HBO and Bob Arum blame Donaire? No, they blamed Navarez for being timid, and rightfully so. Did they blame Mikey Garcia for putting on a snooze fest against Juan Carlos Burgos this weekend? No, they blamed Burgos for boxing timidly. HBO also has no issue paying big money for Andre Ward’s fights, even though he has a lower knockout percentage and fights in a very defensive minded fashion.
What seems most unbelievable to many boxing fans; even though Donaire spent the majority of the fight against Rigondeaux backing up, Rigondeuax is blamed for the fight being “boring”, when it was anything but. If Arum is so disgusted by the way Rigondeaux fights, he could always let him out of his contract. I’m sure Rigondeaux would be welcomed by Showtime and Golden Boy.
Max Kellerman, Jim Lampley and Bob Arum don’t seem to have the attention span to appreciate any fight that which is fought at a high skill level. I believe they should consider dropping boxing altogether, and just air live executions… maybe that would be enough to keep them interested. – Matthew
I believe Kellerman and Lampley are among Ringondeaux’s staunchest supporters. I don’t recall them badmouthing the Cuban ace during any of his fights that have aired on HBO and HBO Pay Per View.
Arum is another story. He probably does favor Donaire and Garcia over Rigondeaux but that’s life and life ain’t fair. Rigondeaux is not for everybody – that goes for fans, media, network executives and promoters. He’s got a pure boxer-counterpuncher style and he’s not Mr. Personality. Adding to Rigo’s lack of pizzazz is the fact that he’s got a tough, demanding manager (Gary Hyde), who doesn’t take s___ from anybody, and he carries a sense of entitlement from the high position he held in the amateurs. Rigo won’t fight unless he’s had a 12-week camp, and he doesn’t want to move up (or down) in weight to pursue meaningful fights. And as Arum has stated to the public, he’s unwilling to change or modify his style.
So he’s pain in Arum’s ass. Arum is old and he’s an old-school boxing guy. He doesn’t want fighters or their managers to tell him what to do. He wants fighters to fight (and entertain) and he wants managers to work with him (but always realize that he’s the boss). Arum recognizes Rigo’s talent but he’s been around long enough to know that it takes more than sublime boxing ability to make a successful professional boxer. Arum knows that for a boxer to become a crossover star he needs to have personality and he needs to take some risks (in the ring and in his career).
Arum’s promoted some of the most charismatic boxers of all time, such as Muhammad Ali, Roberto Duran, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman during Big George’s comeback; and he’s promoted some of the gutsiest and grittiest fighters of all time, such as Hagler, Hearns, and James Toney. I can go on and on but the bottom line is that Arum’s a bit spoiled at this stage of his career and life.
He knows Rigo’s got mad talent but he knows that he can do more with lesser talented fighters who have more personality or more entertaining styles.
I agree that both Donaire and Garcia can sometimes make for boring fights but at the end of the day, their ratings are better than Rigo’s and they are probably easier to get along with, which is why Arum doesn’t rip them. When Donaire and his wife were giving Arum trouble and trying to jump ship to Golden Boy a few years back, you didn’t hear Arum say many nice things about Nonito or Rachel. Once they patched things up with the Bob Father and impressed HBO with his second-round beheading of Fernando Montiel all was forgiven and we didn’t hear any unkind words from the Hall of Fame promoter.
My personal opinion on Rigo is that he can make for good fights. He wasn’t in one with Agbeko. However, I thought his boxing clinic against Donaire was compelling. Going forward, I think Top Rank and HBO need to try their best to match Rigo, Garcia and Donaire with aggressive, forward-marching pressure fighters as often as they can.
I was surprised to see that there weren’t any emails that talked about Mikey Garcia’s win over Juan Carlos Burgos or Lamont Peterson’s win.
I saw both cards last Saturday side by side and wasn’t impressed in any way by any boxer in either card.
There were a couple of things I was expecting that did happen. First, I was expecting Garcia to come in to the fight with an upgraded “Ariza Fitness Body” and he did. He looked much bulkier and stronger than ever. The second, I expected him to get rocked again, and he did. Fighters nowadays seem to think that jumping up in weight is a piece of cake and that’s because guys like Pacquiao and Marquez successfully did this. They can do it. It’s not that easy, though. See what happened to Adrien Broner and now what/s happening to Garcia. When you jump in weight you also jump to a place where punches will be stronger and speed will remain the same. Some bigger fighters are even faster!
With Garcia, we’re seeing that he has yet to acclimate to the new weight. He’s getting tagged with punches that wouldn’t have staggered him at featherweight, yet he was almost dropped in consecutive fights. His great conditioning and talent didn’t let him go down, but still, he wasn’t fighting a strong puncher. Just thinking that we were hearing rumors that Mikey is looking to challenge Pacman in the future, which made me cringe after seeing him get tagged.
Yes, I know I’m being a little tough on the kid, but hey, I hate the new line of thinking and disrespect we get from today’s young fighters. Before challenging Pacquiao he should start thinking about how he’s going to clean up his own division by fighting a higher quality of opposition.
A fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa would be good. I’m not even sure he can get past Yuriorkis with his recent performances. I’m not impressed yet Doug. He seems like a good young fighter coming up, but there’s a lot to be learned from him before we start crowning him as the next franchise for Arum and his clan. – Juan Valverde, Tijuana
You’re not impressed with Garcia. However, HBO’s commentators and RING editor Michael Rosenthal can’t compliment the 26-year-old counterpuncher enough. I’m somewhere in the middle. I give him credit for beating two solid 130-pound contenders like Rocky Martinez and Burgos but I thought he would look better in his last fight.
Gamboa will challenge Garcia. As I noted in a previous mailbag when I analyzed a potential showdown between Garcia and Takashi Uchiyama, Mikey has trouble with lateral movement. I think the Burgos fight exposed this limitation. Garcia also has trouble with speed. And I agree that his chin might be questionable at the higher weight. When you add it all up – Gamby is a dangerous foe for Garcia because the Cuban is fast, he can move and he’s got pop on his punches. But so does Garcia. And unlike Gamboa, Garcia has been active. I think Gamboa’s inactivity, difficulty making weight (he walks around way too heavy and muscle bound) and bad habits (keeping his hands down, lunging forward, etc.) will enable Garcia turn the tables on the more athletically gifted boxer. His timing and technique will trump Gamby’s talent.
This fight is supposedly in the works for May 17, so hopefully we’ll see if I’m right about that hunch.
I think talk of Garcia fighting Pacquiao is just plain silly. Pacquiao would take him apart if they fought any time during the next 18 months. Like you said, Garcia should focus on being the best junior lightweight he can be, and then see what he can do at 135 pounds.
Why were you surprised that there were no emails about Garcia-Burgos and Peterson-Jean in the Monday mailbag? You said yourself that you weren’t “impressed in any way by any boxer in either card.” I guess you weren’t alone in that opinion. LOL.
Hey, Garcia-Burgos was boring and Peterson was fighting a untested challenger who was largely unknown in the U.S.
LAST WEEKEND’S FIGHTS
What's up D:
What are your thoughts on this past weekend’s fights? I found myself clicking the channels. I really enjoyed all the boxing. We had fights both Friday and Saturday.
Also, do you think Gabe Rosado need to get plastic surgery to keep from getting cut so much? Also, his stock went down since he did not win at all in 2013. Love your mailbag. I am keeping this short but give me a long answer. Peace! – Denise, State of CT
Thanks for the love and thanks for keeping it short, Denise. I’d give you a really long answer but I’ve already done that with the previous long-winded emails. I think it would be kind to readers if I tried to keep it short, too.
If Rosado decides to continue boxing and he really wants to try and get his career back on track, I think it’s worth it for him to at least look into some kind of surgery to limit the cuts and lacerations that his face seems to suffer in almost every fight. I remember reading about some cut-prone boxers who underwent a medical procedure where they had their cheek bones and the ridges over their eye sockets filed down in order to prevent facial lacerations (former IBF featherweight titleholder Troy Dorsey was one of them). I don’t know if it worked. It seemed pretty extreme, though. Whoever gets something like that done to their skull better be committed to the sport.
My thoughts on last weekend: Garcia is one of the world’s best junior lightweights but he’s not No. 1. (That’s still Uchiyama.) Peterson proved he’s still one of the top five junior welterweights, while Dierry Jean showed that he has the potential to be a top-10 contender.
Charlo showed that he can box a disciplined fight against a determined and experienced foe and that he deserves his No. 10 ranking in THE RING’s 154-pound rankings.
Bryant Jennings is a heavyweight player and should make for fun fights against the likes of Mike Perez, Carlos Takam or the winners of the upcoming Adamek-Glazkov and Wilder-Scott fights.
Thomas Williams Jr., Antonio Orozco and Julian Ramirez proved that they are legit prospects.
THE OTHER GUYS
I had a great time watching all of the fights this weekend. Some of the the more entertaining fights were on the undercards. I was loving the Breazeale vs. Fronseca fight. The former Olympian (Breazeale) took some hard shots. I'm not gonna lie but I was rooting for the fat out of shape Fronseca (a "B" side of a common man for the common man), but I'm glad Breazeale remained composed and won. At this moment, I think Breazeale should take babe steps in the fight game. He needs to work on some things.
That Robert Easter Jr. kid looked kind of dangerous. I've seen Attah fight before and he's not a total pushover. Easter made it look kind of easy. What are your thoughts on this kid.
Rau'shee Warren is taking fights at a brisk pace. He seems to have the goods. Do you think a title shot is out of the question this year for him?
It was a bad weekend for Poland. Patrick Majewski was steamrolled by Curtis Stevens and Artur Szpilka was dissected by Bryant Jennings. I truly expected on of the Polish fighters to pull off an upset. Are there any Polish fighters in waiting that we should keep an eye on?
Finally, what did you think about 50 Cent screaming "GAMBOA" during the entire fight. I got the sense that Mikey was a little irked at Max Kellerman for asking about a potential Garcia/Gamboa clash. What’s your opinion on the whole matter? Do you think this is a good matchup?
I love the Mailbag. Thanks for your time. – Zach from Milwaukee
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Zach.
I didn’t give any thought at all to 50 Cent or his screaming of “Gamboa” during the Garcia fight. He’s just trying to beat the drums as loud as he can for that match, which I’m interested in seeing. I think it’s a good matchup and I think Garcia knows it, even if he was a little irked at Kellerman.
I don’t know of any Polish standouts outside of WBC cruiserweight beltholder Krysztof Wlodarczyk and light heavyweight up-and-comer Andrzej Fonfara.
I don’t think a title shot is in the works for Warren this year. The little guy only has 10 fights and he’s still fighting eight rounders. However, I think a world title shot is the goal of his brain trust and I think he will be moved quickly. He’s 26 years old and he’s a three-time Olympian, so they can take big steps with him once they feel he’s acclimated to the professional style.
Easter is one to keep an eye on, especially if he can keep making 135 pounds. He’s tall, rangy, fast, powerful and technically sound.
Breazeale has potential. He will stay as active as possible and he will indeed take small steps as he develops. That’s the philosophy of his trainer John Bray.
Email Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer