Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

CAN MAIDANA BE MAYWEATHER’S 147-POUND CASTILLO?

Doug,

Long time fan of your mailbag and your work, bro, but I do have a couple questions to pose to you.

Since we now know that Floyd Mayweather Jr. will be fighting Marcos Maidana, do you give Maidana any realistic shot to win this? I do, and I’ll tell you why.

I think Maidana will do what Jose Luis Castillo did and what Canelo Alvarez couldn’t. Do you remember the last time that PBF fought someone who was in his grill all night and throwing bombs all night since JLC (I’ve seen people mention Carlos Baldomir but they can’t be serious in comparing Baldomir to Maidana)?  And, if Mayweather stands his ground as he has been doing more of in recent fights then he is gonna have an issue. Do you think Mayweather possesses the power to keep Maidana off of him? 

Larry Merchant said on LIITR radio that he believed that Canelo would press the fight with Mayweather when he realized that he wasn’t gonna outbox him and that Canelo would be able to turn it on and pressure Mayweather and win. Well……. Canelo didn’t and Merchant believed it was because Canelo didn’t have it in him.  I actually think that is all Maidana is. If Maidana tries to “box” Mayweather, he loses 120-108. If he gets in Mayweather’s ass? Is it possible he can do what Canelo couldn’t? – Ritchie

I don’t think so, Ritchie, but that’s just one man’s opinion (one man who thought Canelo would beat Mayweather so please take it with the smallest grain of salt).

I have no doubt that Maidana will bring the ruckus all night but I don’t think he has the technique or the size to pose a serious threat to Mayweather.

I can’t compare Maidana with Castillo for two key reasons: 1. Maidana isn’t as polished as Castillo, who gets branded as a “slugger” by ignorant fans and members of the media. Castillo was rugged and relentless but he wasn’t a mindless brawler. The Mexican lightweight champ was an aggressive, heavy handed technician in the mold of Marvin Hagler or his mentor Julio Cesar Chavez (though he wasn’t in their class). Maidana, on the other hand, is a slugger by definition – even with the improvements that Robert Garcia has brought to his fighting form.

2. Castillo was the bigger man when he fought Mayweather. If you recall, Floyd was the WBC 130-pound champ who was moving up to fight the WBC’s lightweight boss. Castillo was a big lightweight. He weighed in at 135 and fought at 147 pounds a day later. That was a factor in their first fight. However, in the Mayweather-Maidana matchup, Floyd is the bigger man. Mayweather is the one who has campaigned at 147 pounds since 2005 – eight years longer than Maidana has – and has also fought above welterweight three times. Maidana is the one who has recently come up in weight.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not s__ting on Maidana or his chances. I know Maidana will do what Robert Guerrero and Alvarez failed to do – let his hands go and employ roughhouse tactics if need be. I know he’ll do his best, and he might even make for an entertaining bout, but I don’t see him pulling the upset.

 

NOT INTERESTED

All is good Doug,

Here we go again. We’ve just been inundated with the Mayweather vs Maidana news. I could care less about this fight. Maidana lost to Amir Khan and Devon Alexander. I’m well aware of the fact that both guys are athletically gifted. Maidana has earned the right to fight a champ at 147 lbs. Mayweather is a champ at 154 lbs, too, which means his talent /skill set is off the charts. When people yearn for a Money vs GGG fight, that’s how good Floyd is.

Now we all know that Garcia has improved Marcos boxing’s ability. Maidana’s chin is no way near Baldomir’s solid chin when he faced Floyd. What I’m trying to say is there’s nothing new Maidana will bring to this fight. I’m going to stick my neck out and say Mayweather will K Maidana TFO. He is that wild and off-balance. Watch how Floyd will crack his mid-section since we all saw Khan almost won the fight with that money shot.

Now had Mayweather chose James Kirkland we would’ve gotten us a fight, a real fight. Both guys are ex-cons, James is all hood from the gutter, stupid decisions ends him up in the clinker and he is from Texas. Floyd is a wannabe thug who is rich, black and a p___k! The delirious Mayweather Klan talking trash as usual. In the opposite corner Ann Wolfe, the dreadlock lady on “steroids.” The sell point would do wonders and it would be a challenge for the Mayweather and boxing public since we all know Kirkland comes to rumble. James gets in a lot of trouble early in his fights and survives and serves his opponents an ass whippin in the process. Can Floyd keep James off him for the whole 12-round duration? Add 50 Cent “I haven’t had a hit record in 10 years, G-G-G Unit is dead” beef. Now that would be true entertainment for the idle minds in the US of A.

I’m looking forward to this weekend’s fight between Ricky Burns and Terence Crawford. I hope and pray that the judges don’t screw this one up. I hate Goofball Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., won’t bother to watch his fight. Doug, why should I wake up at 4:00 a.m. to watch an overweight pothead, riding on daddy’s name, fight? Blessed Luv. – Mbuyi Mehlomakulu (ZAR) Cape Town

Why should you watch an overweight pothead riding his daddy name and fame? Simple, he generally makes for good fights, and he’s in with a hardass Texan who isn’t overweight, isn’t a pothead and who had to earn every bit of success in boxing that he’s had in the last nine years. We’re either going to see Bryan Vera get in Chavez’s ass and make the big rich boy quit or we’re going to see Junior suck it up and earn his victory.

I think Chavez will make weight (just barely) and I believe that will be an indication that his conditioning is good enough to allow him to let his hands go more than 20 seconds a round (as was the case in their first bout). Thus, I think Chavez wins a close but unanimous decision in a good fight.

A lot of hardcore fans will be pissed off if Junior wins. I won’t be. I like him and I like watching him fight. Plus, I know he’ll eventually get that ass whuppin’ so many want to see once he steps into the ring with Andre Ward or Gennady Golovkin.

My next statement will prove that I’m one of those “idle minds in the US of A,” but the way you described a potential Mayweather-Kirkland fight and promotion has me wanting to see that matchup more than Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao, the Martinez-Cotto winner or GGG.

Yes, the fact that fans yearn for a Mayweather-GGG fight shows how good Mayweather is, but Floyd’s decision to drop back down to 147 and fight the likes of Maidana and Khan shows us how careful and selective he is in challenging himself.

I agree that Maidana is not in Mayweather’s class, and I would not be shocked at all if Floyd scored a rare KO against the Argentine bomber.

 

BURNS-CRAWFORD & MAYWEATHER- MAIDANA

Hi Dougie,

I’ve been enjoying your mailbags since way back in your Maxboxing days. It’s always brightens up the working day coupled with a cup of coffee.

Here are a few quick jabs for you to digest:

1)      What’s the low-down on Terrence Crawford? Who wins v Ricky Burns? The Rickster is well-schooled, battle-hardened (or should that be battle-worn?), and big at the weight, so hopefully he can grind out another win.

2)      Maidana is pure excitement, probably the best current fighter, p4p, entertainment-wise. He is up there with fellow blood and guts specialists like Arturo Gatti and Diego Corrales. But Floyd is all wrong for him (as he was for Gatti and Corrales). I see this as an easy win for Floyd. I really hope that I am wrong, and that the Argie hard-man uses his improved technique, one-punch power and massive heart to drag Money into a Broner-esque war. As a consolation, if Floyd does as expected handle Marco then we should still see the rematch with Broner, which will be another cracker.

3)      How about Khan v Broner? I favour Khan to stick and move his way to close UD, with some shaky moments tossed in when stands and exchanges, including a visit or two to his old friend the canvass… If Khan did the business then it would set up a match with Floyd or a rematch with Maidana.

4)      A quick nugget of praise – I really enjoy it when you crop up as a commentator on the international broadcasts. You have a great conversational flow / style, which works for me. Hope to see more of you.

5)      And last but not least, 4 fantasy match-ups for you to ponder (all in their primes), including my thoughts:

a.       Tua v Brewster: I reckon Brewster just edges a classic in which both iron-jaws hit the deck;

b.      Junior Jones v Naz (at featherweight): A knock-down fest, in which Naz prevails;

c.       Vassily Jirov v Marco Huck: Jirov by close decision; and

d.      Gatti v Maidana (at light-welter): Maidana by KO.

–Max

Thank you for your kind words, Max. I’ve digested your quick jabs and I’m ready to poop out some comments (in numbered order):

1) The lowdown on Terence Crawford is that he’s a very talented up-and-comer. He’s a smart, athletically gifted boxer with a versatile style, very good reflexes and hand speed, and above average power. Crawford had a good amateur career. He won a few national tournaments in 2006 and 2007 and he had some international experience with the Pan-Am Games. However, he hasn’t fought anyone at Burns’ level as a pro and he doesn’t have a fraction of the WBO titleholder’s pro experience. Crawford was built up the way any solid prospect is developed (on a steady diet of journeymen) until last year when he faced and defeated a veteran spoiler (Breidis Prescott) and two second-tier prospects (Alejandro Sanabria and Andrey Klimov). I think Burns will grind out another win (a legit decision) in a fight that’s competitive early but is dominated by the defending beltholder down the stretch.

2) I agree that Maidana is must-see TV. I’ve never seen him in a dull fight. But I agree that he’s tailor made for Mayweather and I think his rough-and-tumble fighting style takes a toll on his body. I know Maidana dished out more punishment to Broner than “The Problem” heaped on him, but Maidana also got beat up. I know I’m in the minority with this opinion but I saw and scored a close fight, in terms of rounds. I thought Broner won five rounds. And I don’t think that Maidana was eager at all to take that proposed rematch. Part of the reason is that the first fight took a lot out of him. He’ll gladly take on Mayweather because he’ll get the biggest payday of his career and an opportunity to make boxing history, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he burns out a little bit on his way to the big dance. He’s had three punishing fights and training camps (Jesus Soto Karass, Josesito Lopez and Broner) in a row leading to the Mayeather fight. Maidana might not fight Broner or Khan after the Mayweather fight. He might need a long break from boxing.

3) I think Broner-Khan is a toss up fight. I’d favor Broner by come-from-behind stoppage if it was Khan’s first fight since the Julio Diaz bout; but Khan has an interim fight or two and seems to be listening to Virgil Hunter’s guidance, I’d go with the man from Bolton, England to win by decision (in a good fight, as usual).

4) Thanks for the nice words about my commentating on international telecasts. You don’t actually “see” me on those broadcasts but I’m glad you’re listening and like what you hear. I have to give a lot of props to the veteran play-by-play commentators that I get to work with, such as Alan Massengale, Rich Marotta and Dave Bontempo, who worked with me for my last international gig – the Maidana-Broner headlined show in San Antonio (man, what a night, what a fight!)

5) Mythical matchups! Yes!

a.       Tua v Brewster: Man, what a fight this would have been. These two had the best combo of heavy hands and hard chins among heavyweights that I covered during the late 1990s/2000s. I think Tua beats Brewster seven or eight times out of 10 because my man Lamon seldom had his head screwed on right for his big fights, but I think the Brewster at his absolute best would edge the prime Tua in a closely contested – VERY ENTERTAINING – distance slugfest. Fans would be talking about that heavyweight scrap for years.

b.      Junior Jones v Naz (at featherweight): I think Naz would have a very hard time dealing with Jones’ height and getting by the New Yorker’s jab; if he caught Jones it would be because Junior fought a stupid or disrespectful fight. But guess what? Jones did that a lot during his up-and-down career, so I agree with you again, I think Hamed’s unorthodox style and unpredictable one-punch KO power pulls a victory out of what seems like certain defeat (or should I say Jones would grab a defeat from the jaws of victory?)

c.       Vassily Jirov v Marco Huck: I agree with you again. I like the 1996 Olympic champ and Val Barker Award recipient to win a hard-fought unanimous decision over “Captain Huck.”

d.      Gatti v Maidana (at light-welter): I’m gonna go against you on this one. I like “Thunder” to win a (what else?) come-from-behind shootout, hurting Maidana to the body in the third or fourth round and then finishing the game Argentine with hooks to the jaw in the fifth or sixth round. Gatti would probably look like Leatherface from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre by the end of the fight but I think his spirit would prevail.

 

THE BEST OF TWO EVILS

I don't know about you, but I have absolutely no feeling about Madaina vs. Mayweather. I think Madaina is the better/more deserving pick based on his last fights compared to Khan, but he doesn't have a chance. I'm hoping for a miracle, but I see Mayweather on his bicycle the entire fight pop shotting Marcos and pretty much embarrassing him with his speed and defense. Marcos gets extremely frustrated in this one and loses by a completely lopsided decision. I think Khan was completely undeserving, but if these two were the only options I do think Khan might of put up a better fight if his chin could hold. Either way, who wins?  

If Mayweather isn't going to fight Pacquaio he should have went after history and fought Sergio Martinez. This would have been a huge promotion and I think at this point in their careers I'd favor Mayweather. I can't understand Mayweather. He avoids most of these big fights, but they are fights he'd probably win in my opinion. Either way, he has three fights left with Showtime after this. Who would you like to see him in there with? – Michael, NYC

I’d like to see Mayweather fight the Bradley-Pacquiao winner, then the Cotto-Martinez winner and then Gennady Golovkin. Maybe he wins all three fights and proves that he’s not just one of the best of the past 20-25 years, not just a hall of famer, but that he’s an all-time great. Maybe he loses one or two of those bouts. So what? So he fights a couple rematches, sticks around the game a little longer, make an extra $100 million and finally wins over his harshest critics the way Muhammad Ali did in the 1970s.

Wouldn’t that be awesome? Who wouldn’t want to see those fights? Can you imagine Mayweather going into back-to-back-to-back fights where he’s not an overwhelming favorite, where 95 percent of the sports media isn’t picking him to win comfortably?

We haven’t seen an American pound-for-pound king do that since when…? Pernell Whitaker? We haven’t seen a bona-fide American superstar do it since Ray Leonard took on Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns in a two-year span ('79-'81). Maybe I’m not giving Oscar De La Hoya enough credit. He faced Whitaker and unbeaten Ike Quartey, Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley in a three-and-a-half-year span ('97-'00).

I would have loved to see Roy Jones Jr. fight Gerald McClellan, John David Jackson and Julian Jackson at middleweight; and Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn and Frankie Liles at super middleweight. I would have favored Jones to beat each and every one of them had they fought, but they didn’t and I can’t give him credit for something he didn’t do.

I think Jones was the first subscription cable darling who used the power his sweet TV deal gave him to avoid certain fights (and he was the first to my recollection to openly blame network and promotional affiliations as reasons certain matchups could not be made). Jones’ eye-catching but ultimately underwhelming 160- and 168-pound title reigns are the reason I dubbed Mayweather “Roy Jones III” in the mid-2000s when he left the lightweight divisions without attempting to unify titles (against two unbeaten fellow beltholders at both 130 and 135) and was clearly looking for easy spots for the most money at 140 pounds.

At any rate, like you, the odds makers and pretty much everyone else, I think Mayweather beats Maidana handily on May 3. I think he would have had some trouble with Khan’s speed, reach and movement but ultimately would have clipped and stopped the proud UK star.

 

MAYWEATHER PROPS FROM DOWN UNDER

Hi Dougie,

Hope you're keeping well. I'm sure you've plenty of Friday Floyd emails to sift through so I'll keep it short and sweet. Floyd made the right decision by picking Maidana cause he's the more deserving compared with Amir. Fair enough.

One thing that I noticed – and I bet you noticed it too – is that I've become a lot more active on boxing sites since his announcement. I'll be honest with you, the only boxing site that I've logged into regularly since Broner got his face beaten in last December has been your mailbag. I think Floyd will be sorely missed when he retires. Undefeated. I know he's the guy we all love to hate but he does generate a lot of interest in boxing and there’s going to be a hole there when he does decide to retire. Undefeated.

I'll leave on this last note – and I know you will disagree. I think that a tip-top Khan fighting at 147 would be a far more interesting fight than Floyd's last 5 fights combined. Khan’s chin would surely improve with the added weight, but why does that matter if he's fighting someone who doesn't care to go for the knockout? It was his elbow against Canelo and his shoulder against the Ghost. Whatever. Floyd said it himself that no fighter is ever the same once they fight him and I'd have to agree. They become rich. They toe the line to the 3 ring circus that is the money machine and then they get all their hard earned greenbacks and release a moisturiser line, or maybe turn into a ghost or something. I don't know. It is what it is. 

Anyways, I look forward to reading all the Floyd hating emails in this coming Friday mailbag. I live in Australia so I usually read the mag sitting on the sofa drinking a cool beer after work. It’s been a hot summer so I'm looking forward to the weather cooling down. 

(PS I wasn't too impressed with the new website and I don't like the way I get a pop-under advertisement every time I click on it. I usually access the site on my laptop but today I accessed it on my iPhone…WOW. Massive improvement for the smart phone version of the site. I may indeed start reading your emails while sitting on that big white throne…..) Cheers – John

That’s probably where my mailbags should be read, John. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Sorry about the new website. I like the way it looks but I feel you on those annoying ass pop-up ads. What can I say? I just work here. I don’t design or program anything and I don’t make advertising decisions.

As for the all the Floyd hating emails you’re expecting, I’m afraid they didn’t come. After waiting all that time for Mayweather to choose one of two guys that we all know he’d beat, the reaction from most hardcore fans seems to be a collective shrug.

I don’t know if that’s good news or bad news for Mayweather. Maybe most folks have some around and “accepted” (as you seem to have) that Floyd’s “the man” and will retire undefeated, regardless of whom he fights. Or it could be an indication of apathy toward the May 3 event – as Mbuyi from Cape Town and Michael form New York City expressed – which is something I’m the good folks at Showtime and Golden Boy Promotions are dreading. We’ll see what happens, but I tend the think that “hate” is a good thing for Mayweather. It means fans are thinking about him. Yeah, it’s negative attention but it’s also passionate and when sports fans are really passionate about something they have to watch it – and most will pay to see it live.

I agree that Mayweather is very good about creating a “buzz” in the boxing world. For the past six or seven years, he’s been a promotional master at creating conversation and debate among fans with the things he did and said on the Countdown and 24/7 shows as well as during media tours and press conferences. However, with the exception of the Cotto bout, that “buzz” usually died out a few rounds after the actual fights started.

Do you think fans are going to want to plunk down $60-75 to watch Mayweather-Maidana? Maybe. Maybe Mayweather works his magic during Showtime’s All Access and other pre-fight programs shown on the CBS/Showtime platform. Maybe if fans watch enough clips of Maidana putting hands on Broner they’ll start to think he’s got a real shot at catching Mayweather. Maybe Robert Garcia says something that makes folks think he’s got a better “blueprint” than Oscar.

But remember, there are two pay-per-view shows (Canelo-Angulo and Pacquiao-Bradley 2) before May 3 and one (Cotto-Martinez) after it, and each one features a main event where the “star” of the show could lose. If your budget dictates that you not order one of those four PPV shows, which one would you drop?

 

 

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

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