Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

MAYWEATHER-MAIDANA

Doug,
I've been reading your mail bag for a few years now. This is the first time I write. Whether I make the cut or not, I want you to know that I really enjoy your mailbag column and your views on boxing. Keep it up.

What a fight! Chino fought a great fight. His jab has improved tremendously, and this is what is setting him apart from other sluggers like Bam Bam Rios and even Lucas Matthysse.

Money did enough to win this fight in my view. He lost the majority of the early rounds but he definitely won the second half of the fight. I had him winning by two rounds. Although Chino had him on the ropes a lot, I never saw him hurt Floyd. I felt that overall the harder and more accurate punches came from Floyd. I have really enjoyed the way Floyd’s been fighting since moving to Showtime. He is standing in front of guys, and I haven't really seen him running. Of course, he's not slugging blindly with these guys, but he has been more offensive as of late. Do you think it's a conscious decision of trying to be more fan pleasing, or do you think the opponents are forcing him to do this? I was surprised by how clean Chino looked after the fight. Usually guys have been looking marked and beat up after the fight with Mayweather like Canelo and Guerrero, but Maidana looked fresh.

Chino earned his rematch and I think Floyd will give it to him. I really don't agree with people saying Floyd ducks people, at least not lately. I felt he gave the most deserving guy the fight, and at least there is a reason why he doesn't fight Pacquiao. For those calling he fight GGG that is just not fair. Triple G is way too big for Floyd. He only cane in at 148 tonight. I could see him fight Maravilla though because he is small for middleweight. Who would you want to see fight Floyd next? – Mainor A.

Well, I used to want to see Mayweather fight Golovkin, but given what Maidana – a big junior welterweight that I viewed as a somewhat limited slugger – was able to do on Saturday, I don’t think that would be much of a fight. I think it would be suicide for Mayweather. Some of Money’s fans view me as a “hater,” and it’s true that he’s far from my favorite boxer, but I don’t want to see the guy get seriously hurt.

If Miguel Cotto beats Sergio Martinez for the RING/WBC (and lineal) middleweight championship, I think a rematch with the Puerto Rican star is the best fight – and the most marketable matchup – out there for Mayweather. It would give Mayweather the opportunity to emulate what other welterweight pound-for-pound kings of the past – from Mickey Walker to Oscar De La Hoya – have done, and that’s challenge the reigning middleweight champ. It has two revenge storylines: one for Cotto and one for Freddie Roach, who trained De La Hoya for Mayweather and is now training Cotto. And, of course, it once again brings together two of the most accomplished and better-known fighters of the past 15 years. I don’t see how that PPV event would not exceed 1.5 million buys.

Beyond Cotto, I’d like to see Shawn Porter and Keith Thurman get a shot at Money, but I think both welterweight young guns need another two or three bouts (one of them being against each other) under their belts before they’ll be ready for that formidable challenge.

What we’ll probably get is a rematch with Maidana, which is fine. Chino earned it with his performance. I thought Mayweather would absolutely tee off on him when they were in the center of the ring and that wasn’t the case. Mayweather scored hard, accurate shots from a distance but Maidana bothered him with his jab, paced himself well and took advantage of the older (and lighter) fighter every time the future hall of famer went to the ropes. Kudos to Chino and to Robert Garcia, who really has reinvented the Argentine. The fighter that beat Adrien Broner and nearly beat “the great” Mayweather is definitely not the plodding guy who was thoroughly frustrated and soundly outpointed by Devon Alexander.

I noticed that Maidana’s face was clean after the tough 12 rounds, even cleaner than Floyd’s handsome mug. Maybe he’s got tough facial skin (it does look kind of leathery). Maybe Mayweather saved his hardest shots for Maidana’s body. I don’t think it’s an indication of anything significant. Yeah, Mayweather swells the occasional eye as he did with Alvarez and Guerrero, but he’s not known for chopping up or disfiguring guy’s faces.

Anyway, clean face or not, I agree that Mayweather did enough to remain welterweight champ. (I agreed with RING editor Michael Rosenthal’s scorecard of 115-113.) I thought he had a very slow start but gradually boxed his way into the fight and took command by the seventh round. Maidana had his moments over the second half the fight but I agree that Mayweather was landing the more effective blows by that point.

I also agree that Mayweather is standing his ground more in recent fights, but I think it has more to do with his opponents than it does with his “desire to please the fans” (sorry, folks, I ain’t buyin’ that crap). Guerrero was too slow (and predictable) from the outside and didn’t know what to do when in close. Canelo elected to box from a distance the entire fight. Maidana forced Mayweather to stand his ground and stay on the ropes longer than usual.

 

MAYWEATHER AND HIS CLAIMS

Hey Doug,

First off I had the fight 7-5 for Maidana but have no problem with the same score for Floyd since there were some swing rounds here and there. I have many issues with what went on tonight. First, Floyd for all his brilliance in the ring needed some help from the referee (as always), had a 3-point advantage on two of the judges’ scorecards prior to the beginning of the fight and had to change the gloves of Marcos Maidana, a fighter who was out-boxed by Amir Khan, Alexander and a washed up fat Erik Morales. And he claims he is the so-called best ever? Does anyone really keep thinking that?

I totally understand that many of us want to see that deserved ‘1’ on Floyd's record and may overrate a performance like Maidana's as its happening, giving him more rounds that he actually deserved, but Floyd did close the show, did make some adjustments and may have edged it in the late rounds. To me, he could never make his fight. Maidana imposed his style and was actually out-jabbing him during a point in the fight. To me that is the equivalent of Brandon Rios competing against Manny Pacquiao. This shouldn’t happen if you're claiming all-time greatness. Does someone actually believe Floyd is unbeatable now? Does Shawn Porter or Keith Thurman feel their opportunity may be near?

Khan and Luis Collazo are bums. We all know Floyd won’t fight him in September since Khan has to respect his religion, and that is fine with me. Khan is nothing.   Floyd has only three to four fights left and if he faces the new breed he'll lose. I don’t even want to bring up the Filipino….we all know what would happen there. 

Adrien Broner looked like crap… J’Leon Love is also crap.

Good fight. Horrible card. Good week. – Juan Valverde, Tijuana

Damn, Juan, don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel. LOL.

Love isn’t crap, he’s just not a future world-beater. He’s a lot like the Carlos Molina that lost to Broner – he’s certainly better than a journeyman but he’s not a legit top-10 contender. Love has more athletic talent than Molina but his technical foundation isn’t as sound and he doesn’t take as good of a shot as the Californian. Both guys are just solid, 10-round pros right now. Nothing wrong with that.

Broner, however, is more than that. He’s a talented young boxer who still has a lot of potential but he’s overrated in terms of being an “elite” boxer.

Mayweather is a first-ballot hall of famer and one of the top three boxers of the last 15-20 years, but he’s overrated in terms of “all-time greatness.” I don’t want to get too much into why I believe this. I’ve stated my reasons in many previous mailbags and my opinion hasn’t changed. However, I think I’m going to finally pull the trigger on that special commentary piece I was threatening to write last year. Not just because of Mayweather, but to provide a definitive answer for all the Pacquiao and Wlad Klitschko fans that are pissed off at me for recognizing Bernard Hopkins as an ATG but not their heroes. I’ll just write the damn thing this week and from now on when someone asks me if “so-in-so is an all-time great” I can just send them a link to that article.

Anyway, I didn’t think Mayweather was unbeatable before Saturday’s unexpected struggle and I certainly don’t believe that he is now. Every boxer is beatable – including the few world-beaters that retired unbeaten, such as Rocky Marciano, Ricardo Lopez and Joe Calzaghe.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Porter and Thurman believe that they can and will beat Mayweather if they get the opportunity. If they don’t feel that way they shouldn’t be boxing.

Come on Juan, don’t call Khan and Collazo bums. Both guys are former world titleholders and legit lower-top 10 contenders. Their styles simply didn’t mesh (especially given the tactics that Khan used during the fight).

I think you’ve been rather harsh on the fighters who fought on “The Moment” PPV show, but I must hand it to you for making a great comparison: Mayweather-Maidana and Pacquiao-Rios.

A lot of folks (myself included) were underwhelmed by Pacquiao’s near shutout decision over Rios but that’s exactly what we expected Mayweather to do to Maidana – and he SHOULD have done that against a tough-but-predictable slugger who was outclassed by Alexander, outpointed by Andreas Kotelnik and Khan, and almost beaten by a ONE-EYED over-the-hill “El Terrible.” I forgot how good that Morales-Maidana fight was. Chino was supposed to kill Morales, who got more respect with his offense than Mayweather did on Saturday.

It’s funny how you think Mayweather received “help” from the referee. He ripped Tony Weeks during the post-fight press conference for not penalizing Maidana for the rough stuff.

As for the two judges who had Mayweather winning comfortably, what did you expect? Las Vegas is his hometown. There are reasons – beyond economics – why Mayweather doesn’t care to venture outside of Sin City. The scores for his first fight with JL Castillo were too wide and one of the three official cards for his fights with Zab Judah (Glen Hamada’s 119-109) and Cotto (Robert Hoyle’s 118-110) were obviously filled out before the damn bouts began.

 

BERMANE STIVERNE VS. CHRIS ARREOLA II

Hi Doug,

Just wondering who you like to win the rematch?

Regards. – Ken

Before I tell you who I favor, allow me to state for the record that I’m really looking forward to covering this fight and I’m excited about what a large turnout and big TV ratings could do for the sport locally and in the U.S. If ESPN decides to get involved in world-class boxing and makes a commitment to airing more matchups like Stiverne-Arreola (and showcasing the heavyweight division in general), it could be a game changer (a positive one for a change). And if USC’s Gaylen Center hosts more high-profile boxing cards featuring L.A.-area fighters it can help reignite the local scene.

OK, enough of the industry stuff. The matchup is a good one. In the first fight, Arreola somehow fought through 12 bloody rounds with a better conditioned, more talented and versatile boxer on sheer guts and stubbornness. This time Arreola says he’s more focused and 100-percent prepared, and for the first time ever I actually believe him. He says he’s going to apply the kind of pressure that overcomes superior talent and technique. But Stivernes says he wasn’t 100 percent healthy for the first fight, so we’ll see. I think both big men are going to bring their A-games and we’re going to get an entertaining and dramatic fight.

I was picking Stiverne but after seeing Arreola at some Southern Cali. boxing events lately (the most recent time was at the Thurman-Diaz/Matthysse-Molina show in Carson two weeks ago), I gotta go with Chris. I know it’s a heart pick but you gotta believe me, Arreola is literally walking around with “the Glow” from The Last Dragon.

 

I WOULD LIKE TO THANK AL HAYMON…

Dougie, 

Wow! What a good fight! When was the last time you said that during a Floyd fight! For me it was probably during the 2nd round of the Cotto fight. So who would have guessed the littlest welter/middleweight out there, Chino Maidana, had it in him (talking about the talent here, I would NEVER question his courage) to score a draw on one scorecard against Floyd!? I think the right man won but the scorecards were typical crap. 118-110 was ridiculous. Personally I had it 113 for Maidana, 114 for Floyd, and 1 point for Tony Weeks. I normally don't complain about Weeks but DAMN! All Floyd had to do was look at Weeks for him to warn Chino! I think this fight speaks more about Robert Garcia than anyone else. He had his fighter's back during Glovegate, he had it against Week's bad reffing, and he made a one dimensional fighter scare the hell out of Floyd. I think the rematch in September will not be as exciting because Floyd now knows.

Speaking of Glovegate… God bless Maidana's heart but I'll be damned if the first set of gloves didn't look shady! How do you foresee this second fight playing out? I think that one might actually be a 118-110 type of fight with much less excitement. 

Khan was good but I think he is out of the Sweepstakes for now. He didn't wow anyone with his win over the uncharacteristically lackadaisical Collazo. Where do you think he goes now? Maybe Bradley? 

Broner is still as annoying and idiotic as ever. I think he fought where he belongs… at the bottom of the undercard. If this was 1994 his fight could have been the meat of a Butterbean & Christy Martin fight sandwich and that is where it would belong. I don't think Broner is that special, he is flashy but he is not as great as he thinks he is. He is not that bright either. Why would any boxer try to piss off the Mexican fans during his post fight interview? I don't know that this is a fact but my guess is that Hispanics probably carry the boxing PPV numbers. By the way, next time you see him tell him I said 'Thank you' for sticking around in the ring this time for his interview… actually, never mind. I like you and wouldn't want you to feel pressured to speak to that guy just because I asked. 

Keep up the great work and don't pay much attention to all the Pactards that will now forever argue that Pac would steamroll Floyd because Maidana almost did. I have not heard them say that yet but I can imagine they are putting together a Youtube video that “proves” this point as I am typing this email. Hopefully, I am not planting a seed with this last bit. – Hector

I wouldn’t know it if you did, Hector. I have never bothered to watch Youtube videos made by ‘hugger-type fans of any fighter and I barely pay attention to the comments that Pacquiao and Mayweather boosters post at the bottom of these mailbag columns.

Thanks for the many kind words.

I don’t know what to say about Broner. I can see his talent and underrated toughness in his last three bouts but he’s underperformed in each bout in my opinion. Maybe I’m just overrating the bonehead. I don’t know.

What I do know is that his act (which was shamelessly encouraged by HBO when he fought on that network and was played up by Showtime and Golden Boy prior to his Showtime debut against Paulie Malignaggi) is beyond played out. It’s just lame. If he keeps it up without scoring significant victories the act will quickly go from lame to pathetic to pitiful. If that’s Broner “being himself” then he needs to change.

He also needs to change his style a bit. He can’t afford these slow starts against big junior welterweights who can punch. He also either needs to work on his defense or develop a more active offense. He picked up the WBA’s international 140-pound title with the victory over Molina, which mean he’ll probably take over the  No. 3 spot, which is currently vacant, in that organization’s junior welterweight rankings.

The WBA-rated fighters he may have to face to get the “regular” title currently held by Jessie Vargas include Johan Perez, Thomas Dulorme, Paul Spadafora and Mauricio Herrera. Those might be interesting matchups, especially one against the always difficult Herrera.

If Broner wants to avoid another loss/beatdown it might be wise of Haymon to keep The Problem away from The Machine.

I think Khan is in the Mayweather sweepstakes, but he’s probably behind Maidana again thanks to Chino’s terrific showing on Saturday and Khan’s religious obligations preventing him from fighting in September.

I was impressed with what Khan did to Collazo. It wasn’t fun to watch but he dominated a guy who had never been dominated as a pro. What’s next? If he doesn’t get his coveted shot at Floyd, I think GBP might try to arrange an informal elimination bout against Keith Thurman for a 2015 Mayweather bout.

If a Mayweather-Maidana rematch happens I think it will go the way we all expected the first bout to go, a legitimately one-sided victory for Mr. P4P. By the way, unless you’re referring to RingTV.com writer Lem Satterfield’s round-by-round tally, the Floyd-ass-kissing scorecard on Saturday was 117-111, not 118-110. Whether it’s nine rounds or 10 for Mayweather, it’s giving the 10-to-1 favorite too much credit.

I thought Weeks was as even-handed as a referee could be given the dynamics of the fight. Maidana was being extremely rough in there and Mayweather was continually tying Chino up while looking for and asking for help from the veteran ref. At least Weeks didn’t dock Maidana any points.

 

GLOVE DECISION

What is the story behind the Maidana being forced to use the Everlast Powerlock gloves over the Everlast MX? The commission approved the MX on Friday. Was he paid not to use them? If Mayweather threatened not to fight, it would have been on him, not Maidana at the point. There was obviously a lot of money on the line, however Maidana and his team had the leverage once the commission approved. Who gave up that leverage and why? 

I'm sure Maidana will get some juice going into the rematch, for playing along. That said, Mayweather talks about having the best team in the biz, attention to detail was certainly lacking on this one. Why were they cleaning up the mess when they could have stipulated up front. That's what the best team in boxing would do. That's obviously not Mayweather's team. – HG in SC

Maybe, but you can best believe that they will include that stipulation in Mayweather’s contracts going forward.

I think the bottom line is that Mayweather and his team didn’t like that Maidana wanted to use a brand that’s marketed as a “puncher’s glove” and decided to pull rank. Did they pull rank because they were worried that Maidana had a legit shot at hurting and/or knocking Mayweather out? Maybe. Did they pull rank because they wanted to mess with Maidana and possibly get into his head? Definitely.

I don’t think the tactic worked on Maidana, and I don’t think his team ever seriously considered denying Mayweather’s request. I don’t think the fight was ever in jeopardy.

It doesn’t matter if the gloves were cleared by the commission or if the contract doesn’t stipulate that certain brands are barred from use in the fight. If the star of a boxing promotion wants to pitch a bitch about anything, everyone involved in putting on the show is going to pay attention and do something about it. It’s been that way for ages. Sugar Ray Robinson used to “renegotiate” his percentage of the gate the day before he fought, and threaten to walk if the promoters and his opponent didn’t agree to his new terms.

Robinson could get away with that s__t, even in the days of overt institutionalized racism in America? Why? Because he was a bona-fide attraction.

As Mayweather said at the post-fight press conference, he’s the “A-side” and the A-sides get to dictate certain things to the B-side – the type of gloves is one of those things.

EXPOSED OR EXPECTED?

Not many people expected Chino Maidana to even compete with Mayweather.  He more than held his own. Is Chino that much improved under Garcia's guidance? Do you feel he exposed a Mayweather weakness? I believe several things helped him, and could help others:  

1) Don't be intimidated by the hype machine. (I don't think Chino is afraid of anyone in that ring or any pre-fight hype. Many lose before the first bell even rings)  

2) You don't really have to fear Mayweather's power more than any other opponent. Obviously he has skill, speed, reflexes, etc., etc. but not crazy one punch knockout power (unless you are Victor Ortiz and look the other way with your hands down)  

3) Pressure, pressure, pressure. Especially keeping him pinned on the ropes.  Chino's inside game and body work was a big difference early on, and if he could have kept up the pace, who knows?   

My friends noted it was like a switch being flipped after round 6, and Mayweather figured it out. Usually he figures it out much sooner. Was it Chino's awkward style, the cut, or actually getting hit hard that delayed the usual dominance? Or did Chino just run out of gas? Whatever it was, I have to say it was one of the more entertaining Mayweather fights. I'm biased because I liked seeing him in trouble rather than a one sided, glorified sparring session, but no matter who you were rooting for, you had "moments" to get excited about. See what I did there?

Khan is fast. I have always appreciated his willingness to fight anyone. I just didn't understand his punch punch clutch strategy. It was like watching a Devon Alexander fight. I literally fell asleep at one point. Why was he stopping his own momentum to tie him up? I understand tying up when YOU are in trouble, wobbled, etc. but why tie him up when you are the one throwing combinations?   

Overall a good night for boxing. More promoters need to stack pay per view cards like that. Keep up the good work sir. – Matt in Mattawan

Wow. You and Juan from TJ have very different takes on “The Moment” PPV. I guess, you’re a glass-half-full boxing fan.

While I don’t view the pay-per-view undercard fighters as “bums” or “crap,” I didn’t think their bouts made for very good support for the main event. Good thing Mayweather-Maidana turned out to be a competitive fight.

What’s to understand about Khan’s “punch-punch-clutch strategy”? He does it because it works. Same reason Wladimir Klitschko uses it. Same reason Alexander uses it. Hell, he completely shut down the man of “the moment” (see what I did there?), Marcos Maidana, with punch-and-clutch tactics. It’s not fun to watch but it’s effective.

I don’t think Maidana’s awkwardness had much to do with Mayweather’s slow start. I think the veteran simply wanted to take Maidana’s measure in the first two rounds and the slugger’s power and extra weight made him a little more cautious than usual about returning fire. Mayweather knew that he could get clipped during an exchange early in the fight and bided his time until Maidana tuckered out (as he usually does) by the middle rounds. The cut may (as well as the roughhouse tactics) may have thrown Mayweather off a little bit, thus delaying his rally for a round or two, but it seemed to me that the master boxer never lost his composure.

In my opinion, Mayweather’s uncanny ability to remain calm under heavy fire was the most impressive thing about his performance against Maidana.

Regarding the three “keys to success” against Mayweather that you say Maidana exposed, I think No. 1 (not being pulled into the hype/not being intimidated) is the most important one. Nos. 2 and 3 only apply to fighters who have world-class chins (or recuperative ability) and who are natural pressure fighters (with significant punching power). Going for broke and applying non-stop pressure is a good idea if your name is Ruslan Provodnikov, James Kirkland, or maybe Shawn Porter. It’s not a good idea if your name is Amir Khan or Keith Thurman.

Like Muhammad Ali and Pernell Whitaker, Mayweather has underrated toughness and punching power. Don’t let the low KO percentage fool you, Floyd can crack. The only reason he doesn’t have more knockouts is because he doesn’t push for the stoppage.

 

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

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