Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

SLY RICHARD SCHAEFER

We all know how the Golden Boy himself has had his struggles. Now think about all the incidents that we don't know, incidents that only individuals on the inside would know, which brings me to Richard Schaeer the CEO of the company, whom has had all the power of the company in hand over the past few years. He has learned the business and his boss inside out. 

Tell me if I wrong here, but if you were as smart as Richard, and he has proven his genius as a business man, wouldn't last Sept. 13th be the last straw for you? Your boss’s problem is so bad that he had to publicly go to rehab during the biggest fight in boxing history. 

Wouldn't you align yourself with another smart person, let’s say an Al Hayman and allow a few of his managed boxers sign for only fight-to-fight deals on your promotional company. He's a smart man so wouldn't he sign these fighters for long term deals? No! Not unless you don't want them committed. Not unless you knew that your boss would make just another bad business decision. 

I think that he planned for this, that he knew for a long time that Oscar De La Hoya would try to work with Bob Arum. It's a reason that this year hasn't been as electric as last year, when Golden Boy and Showtime basically took over the #1 spot. Think about it, there aren't many fights that have been set. IMO, soon Richard, Al Haymon and Floyd Mayweather will all be a part of The Money Team.

What do you think? 

BTW I'm from Florida and we never get good fights down there what gives? (P.s. My girlfriend laughed at Double D haha) – Dread Draper 

Well, maybe the new Money Team with Tricky Dick Schaefer at the helm will bring my fellow Halfrican Brotha from Another Mother, Keith Thurman, back to his home state sometime in 2015 (perhaps for – or after – his first high-profile showdown).

Regarding the “Golden Divorce,” there’s no doubt in my mind that De La Hoya continually frustrated Schaefer with his personal problems, which embarrassed the former banker to his corporate partners and occasionally wrecked business deals for the company. However, the company wouldn’t have risen as high or as fast as it did over the past 10 years if it hadn’t been on De La Hoya’s shoulders. De La Hoya, who was still active and the biggest draw/money maker in the sport from 2004-2008, earned Golden Boy Promotions favored status with HBO and was instrumental in helping the fledgling company sign top talent.

No doubt, Schaefer learned the boxing business during that time and he evolved into one of the best deal makers in the sport (maybe THE best) but he wouldn’t have been able to do what he did without Oscar’s help. They were business partners, and as such, Schaefer should not have been scheming to forge a future separate business relationship with Haymon by not locking down the influential adviser’s fighters to promotional agreements (or renewing their contracts – as you suspect). Never mind a CEO’s fiduciary duty to his company and what’s legal or not, that’s just plain wrong, and if there’s future litigation in the aftermath of Schaefer’s resignation, my guess is that the situation with Haymon-advised/managed fighters under the GBP banner will be at the heart of it.

 

WHO’S RIGHT, WHO’S WRONG?

What do you think of this "misunderstanding" between De La Hoya and Schaefer? Who do you think is right? Me personally, I think Oscar is right to wanna thaw things in this Cold War and that Richard is wrong for making business personal… I mean he's right, Golden Boy Promotions can survive w/o Top Rank, and so could TR w/o GBP, but in my opinion he wasn’t thinking of what he should be thinking when he was the CEO of a company in the entertainment business… THE FANS!!

Also, here's a question I been wanting to ask you for awhile – if you could make a three-bout PPV card of TR v. GB fighters, who would it be and who would win? – Ram from Midland Texas

I’d go with Nonito Donaire vs. Abner Mares in the main event (yeah, I know both featherweights have fallen from their peaks at 118 and 122 pounds, but they’re both accomplished, well known and still make for an interesting matchup), supported by Lucas Matthysse vs. Brandon Rios (which could be at junior welterweight or welterweight) and Terence Crawford vs. Jorge Linares (an intriguing lightweight showdown for all the boxing purists out there).

As for who wins, I’ll go with Mares (via close decision), Matthysse (via late TKO) and Crawford (via close decision), but I view those matchups as toss-up fights.

Other Top Rank-Golden Boy matchups I’d like to see include Leo Santa Cruz vs. Nicholas Walters (at featherweight) and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. vs. Peter Quillin (at super middleweight).

I don’t know enough about the rift between De La Hoya and Schaefer to say who’s right or wrong, but I agree that wanting to thaw the Cold War is a good thing.

 

THE MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

So your daddy "Goldie" won't let you cover a Top Rank blockbuster event? LOL. Just breaking balls man.

I am heading to NYC on Thursday and staying at the Waldorf for this fight. I have no clue who will win. I am concerned by comments I have read and videos I have seen. I have read several times (is it true?) that Sergio Martinez is not even sparring because he is afraid to get injured and can't do roadwork. He's going into the ring like a bloody fish in shark infested waters. Miguel Cotto is back on his "killa" with Freddie Roach. And being in Madison SquareGarden for this event, attempting to be the first Puerto Rican to win 4 titles, on the Puerto Rican Parade weekend with his fans in a frenzy, I think he is going to be seeking and destroying on his wounded prey. You remember how vicious he used to be? Dirty, physical, mean. Then he got off of that with his uncle/dad/Margarito/rotating door of trainers and that guy who was ALL wrong for him, Pedro Diaz, who wanted to make him Rigondeaux, a finesse boxer!!!! Get the __ out of here! Cotto is a killer like Roach has him right now. 

Roach said "we are aware of his knee and we are going to take advantage of that, I am old school, we know what to do and be physical". Translate that into getting rough in the clinches, and Cotto being VERY physical with him, maybe some hard a$$ hip shots, perhaps a takedown, some rough shoving, this aint golf. I don't think Freddie is saying "hey his leg hurts, be nice and box from distance". Roach is saying win at any cost, if this guy has a bad knee that is his problem. we are going to exploit that. 

Yes, if they are both at 100% Marinez wins, but this guy setup camp in Miami for ONE REASON, BECAUSE HIS DOCTOR COULD FLY IN FROM ARGENTINA AND WORK ON HIS INJURIES instead of being in LA where he said it was too far for his doctors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He said he didn't think he would walk again, now his first fight back is against Cotto. I respect Sergio a lot, he is showing tremendous balls. Look at who Ward came back against off of injury, etc.

I think we are in for a good one, Cotto may be able to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, he was down against lesser fighters. I have been watching the way Cotto looks, acts and conducts himself, the way Roach is talking and Cotto's respect and confidence in Roach, Cotto's confidence is SKY high right now. He is primed for battle. I'm not sure Martinez is. Right now I am picking Cotto, by stoppage! – JCB

You are not alone in that opinion, JCB. Some of the most knowledgeable boxing folks I know – including my “coach” Dave Schwartz and my old MaxBoxing.com cohort Steve Kim – absolutely love Cotto in this matchup for exactly the same reasons you detailed. Bottom line, like you, they’re convinced that Martinez is finished.

Y’all might be right, but I think the year off and the physical rehab has given the middleweight champ’s numerous injuries and ailments a chance to heal (maybe not 100 percent, but enough for him to be able to box and fight effectively) and his choice to hold back in training (limited road work and sparring) ensured that he remained reasonably healthy until fight night.

I liked Martinez in this matchup when it was first announced and I’m sticking with my pick, although I admit that I lose some confidence every time I see Martinez wearing two knee braces on 24/7 or watch footage of an extremely positive Cotto training with a supremely confident Roach.

I agree that Cotto is better suited with an offensive-minded coach and I have no doubt that his punching technique will be sharper than ever, which will make him very dangerous during the exchanges tomorrow night. I won’t be surprised at all if Cotto hurts or drops Martinez.

But here’s the thing, Martinez has been hurt and dropped before and he always comes back. Even if he’s operating at 50 percent tomorrow night, I expect him to put some punishment right back on Cotto, who isn’t as fresh as Delvin Rodriguez made him look last October.

In fact, apart from his fight with Floyd Mayweather (who isn’t a natural 154 pounder), I think all of Cotto’s junior middleweight bouts have been a bit of a mirage. Yuri Foreman wasn’t a puncher (and probably had worse wheels than Martinez is expected to bring into the ring on Saturday), Ricardo Mayorga was totally burnt out, and even the one-eyed Antonio Margarito was starting to come on before the New York State Athletic Commission pulled the plug after Round 9. What happened against Austin Trout was real. That loss can’t all be blamed on Cotto’s trainer.

Anyway, I know Cotto is way more motivated for Martinez and better conditioned, so I’m expecting a hell of a fight. I just see the natural junior middleweight/middleweight prevailing.

 

GGG VS. GEALE

Hi Dougie!

So it looks like we're going to be treated to another great middleweight match up with Gennady Golovkin signing to fight Daniel Geale next month. 

I'm super excited about this fight and if I didn't live on the other side of the planet I would definitely be headed to MSG for it. So anyways how much of a shot do you give Geale? I think there is room for him to pull off the upset as GGG tends to be quite conservative with his punch output and Geale is a big time volume puncher, I could definitely see Geale outhustling GGG for a close points win. It reminds me a little of the Golovkin vs Kassim Ouma fight but I see Geale as a far more polished fighter than Ouma. 

All that said it only takes one punch from the Kazak to end it all. 

One quick mythical matchup while I'm here… Tszyu v Margarito! Keep up the good work! Nigel. – Sydney Australia

I love me some Kostya but styles make fights and the prime welterweight version Margarito was all wrong for the former undisputed junior welterweight champ. Margz by late TKO.

I think Golovkin-Geale is a competitive matchup. I strongly favor GGG to win but I expect Geale to present a stern challenge because of his experience, athleticism, durability and activity (as you noted). I think the former WBA/IBF titleholder is the best fighter Golovkin has faced as a pro.

However, the only way I see Geale pulling off the upset is if Golovkin is either really sick or mentally/emotionally/spiritually down (such as being depressed or unmotivated in the wake of his father’s unexpected death).

 

MARAVILLA AND RANDOM THOUGHTS

Dear Dougie,

Hope all is well and that you and your family are enjoying the start of a great summer.

I am so excited about this upcoming fight! I love “Maravilla” not just because he is a pretty boy but because he is indeed a great boxer. The HBO Faceoff got me stoked and I loved how Maravilla stood his ground and made some excellent points that Cotto had trouble refuting. However, the best part was when Maravilla looked at Max Kellerman square in the face and asked him who he would put his money on…  Kellerman's face… ha ha it was hilarious!!

Nevertheless, I have no doubt Maravilla is going to do whatever it takes to get the ‘W’ on Saturday.

My question to you is why do you think Maravilla has been disrespected on various occasions? What I'm referring to are the fight concessions such as ring entrance, order, etc. Is it a case of mistaking kindness for weakness? I clearly remember when he fought Paul Williams he had to make concessions in the 2nd fight although he was already the champion. After the HBO Faceoff it seems to me that he is a humble man and such things don't matter much but still why doesn't he get the respect he deserves? He has earned his place, no?

Random Questions:

As a Mayweather fan, it bothered me that Floyd didn't speak well on Tony Weeks performance the night he fought “El Chino” and said he did not want him to referee his next fight. Then Leonard Ellerbe reiterated that in another interview recently. I'm a little disappointed with those comments being that Floyd never needs a referee's help as he is always the clear winner. I thought Weeks did a good job…your thoughts?

I'm sad about Richard Schaefer leaving Golden Boy. I think he has done a great job building the company…sad to see him go.

Lastly, I have a mythical matchup…ring entrances.

Prince Naseem Hamed's ring entrance with P.Diddy on the "flying carpet" vs. Apollo Creed's ring entrance with James Brown on Rocky IV.

Keep up the great work. Your mailbags are always great! Much respect. – Athena

Thanks for the kind words, Athena. (I don’t think Schaefer reads the mailbag, but if he did, I’m sure he’d thank you, too.)

Without a doubt, Creed’s dance/walk-in to the Ivan Drago fight with Brown singing “Living In America” is the better ring entrance. (Too bad he got killed in that fight.)

Don’t be too sad about Schaefer. He had a good run at Golden Boy. Wherever he goes or whatever he does next, he’ll do just fine. If he stays in boxing, I’m sure he’ll remain a major player.

I thought Weeks officiated Mayweather-Maidana about as well as a referee can given that particular matchup of styles/mentalities. Maidana is – and always has been – a very rough, wild and sometimes dirty fighter; while Mayweather is a crafty veteran who knows how to bend the rules and isn’t shy about being ruthless at times.

But if Mayweather and Ellerbe feel that Weeks did a poor job that’s their prerogative.

Despite his accomplishments and champion/elite-boxer status, Martinez occasionally gets treated like the “B-side” because he doesn’t have a huge fan base in the U.S. There are a number of reasons for this: 1) he’s from Argentina, which is a Latin nation with a strong boxing history but not a culture that values/celebrates the sport as much as Mexico or Puerto Rico; 2) he spent his prime years fighting out of Spain and didn’t come to America until 2007 (and didn’t begin fighting in HBO-televised main events until 2009), so he hasn’t been around as long as other established U.S.-based boxing standouts; and 3) he only fought twice a year from 2009-2012, and he didn’t fight in areas/venues where he was going to cultivate a following.

So when he fights guys with dedicated fans (such as Cotto or Chavez Jr.) or when he faces an American fighter with better connections (such as Paul Williams or Kelly Pavlik), he isn’t in position to make a lot of demands. It is what it is. Martinez has still managed to succeed, and like you, I believe that he will find a way to do so once more tomorrow night.

 

ONLY ONE EMAIL FOR MSM?

Hi Doug,

I pray you and your family are doing well. I couldn’t believe that you only received one letter involving Matthew Saad Muhammed. Are all the old boxing fans dead? I used to see Saad all the time and Benny Briscoe, Nate Miller and all those guys on the street and nobody acknowledged them. I gave Saad rides and money on numerous occasions. Saad would have torn Bernard Hopkins’ ass up. Bernard wouldn’t have made it back then during the golden era of light heavyweights. Philly used to be a great fight town but now it is all but dead. Joe Frazier’s gym is a furniture store and the Blue Horizon is gone.

Carl Froch is a top five pound for pound fighter. His style isn’t pretty to watch but is very effective. He is tough, durable and well-conditioned. He punches pretty well. Very well rounded fighter. Actually, he’s more entertaining to watch than Fraud, Hopkins and Ward. Hell! I‘d rather watch you fight then those three, Doug. I think Froch beats triple G and Chavez Jr. Froch is the most underrated fighter in boxing based on his accomplishments. He actually is more accomplished and impressive then Calzaghe.

Adonis Stevenson looked like he played the game cheap his last fight and if he isn’t in top condition Hopkins will feast on his ass. Hopkins had to be salivating watching that  performance by Stevenson the same way  he must have after  watching Tavoris Cloud vs Gabriel Campillo. We love knockout so much maybe we all overrated Stevenson. He caught Dawson after Ward knocked him out and  Cloud after Johnson, Campillo and Hopkins whipped his ass. I think the fight depends on Stevenson. If he gets in top condition he is too fast for B-Hop but if he underestimates the old man and doesn’t prepare properly he will get taken to school by the Master. I like Stevenson to win. He had his wakeup call and will be ready.

The best Martinez will destroy the best Cotto but I am alarmed by the injuries and stories stating that Martinez can’t train properly. I think Freddie Roach feels pressure beats Martinez based on Magarito and the last round success of Chavez Jr. I think Martinez will take care of business because he feels disrespected by Cotto and has a chip on his shoulder. God bless and take care. – Blood and Guts from Philly.

I think Roach is right about pressure breaking down Martinez, but I’m not sure that Cotto is big, strong or durable enough to do what Margz did 14 years ago or what Chavez Jr. (who is pretty much a light heavyweight) almost pulled off in the final round of his fight with the Argentine champ. We’ll find out soon.

I slightly favored Stevenson to beat Hopkins prior to their most recent fights. But after B-Hop’s strong showing against Shumenov and Stevenson’s unexpected struggle with Fonfara, I slightly favor the 49-year-old veteran if the two light heavyweight titleholders fight this year.

I don’t know if Froch is a top five pound-for-pound guy but he’s definitely an elite boxer despite his somewhat crude technique and style. Bottom line: the British veteran knows what to do in the ring and it’s usually enough to get the ‘W.’ He’s as smart and crafty as he is tough and tenacious. What I like about him is that he seeks out the best fighters in his division and almost always makes for dramatic and entertaining fights.

Of course, nobody was as dramatic and entertaining as Saad Muhammad, who happened to fight during the deepest era for the light heavyweights since Ezzard Charles, Archie Moore, Lloyd Marshall and Holman Williams were doing their round robin in the 1940s.

It’s depressing that a ring warrior like Saad Muhammad was almost completely forgotten, even in his hometown, but that’s what eventually happens to all but a select few boxers – even former champs who are in the hall of fame. Marshall and Williams, two hall of famers (who were never granted title shots), are long forgotten. Even the legends of all-time greats like Moore and Charles have mostly faded away.

 

PREDICTION

Will better health and Freddie Roach in his corner, be enough for Cotto to upset Martinez? I’m not so sure, but I cannot wait to find out. I will say this, if Maravilla has both his knees well under him, he will stop Cotto inside 8 rounds, otherwise it will be Cotto who may end up stopping Maravilla. I hate sounding so soft with my prediction, but it’s hard to pick not knowing how exactly Martinez’s knee will hold up. Ok, here it goes, give me Martinez by late stoppage in the 10th round. – Albert

I’ll take it. If you had picked Cotto by KO, I would’ve accepted that prediction, too.

Not knowing the state of Martinez’s knees or how Cotto will deal with an established middleweight and having a hard time picking a clear favorite is what makes tomorrow’s middleweight championship so enticing.

 

MARTINEZ’S FUTURE

Dougie,

Since most of the experts are picking Martinez to win, let's go out on a limb and say he wins. What will be next for Martinez? Could he be possibly in the running for a Sept. 13, date with Mayweather or does he make an attempt to unify as many titles as possible? At his age, and with the body recovering from a series of injuries; I definitely think he should go after Mayweather, it would be a pretty good pay-per-view and he could make a decent amount of money. I wouldn't suggest fighting Triple G, that guy is an Orca and he preys upon whatever is in front of him. He would be too much for Martinez. 

Also, what do you think happens to Golden Boy now that Schaefer is leaving the company? Can De La Hoya push the company forward or will he become Top Rank lite?

Finally what do you think of these mythical match-ups?

1. Joe Louis vs Evander Holyfield

2. Sugar Ray Robinson vs Sugar Ray Leonard

3. James Brown (Papas Got a Brand New Bag version) vs Rick James (Superfreak version)

4. BB King vs Howling Wolf

Keep up the good work! – KJ

King edges Wolf, Brown beats James via split nod, Robinson wins a close decision and so does Louis in a great fight (thanks to some knockdowns).

What happens to Golden Boy Promotions depends on who replaces Schaefer and what becomes of the company’s relationship with Haymon-advised fighters. It’s hard to say right now because we don’t know who’s going to be the new CEO and we don’t know how many members of “Haymon’s Army” are actually contracted to Golden Boy or if those who aren’t will continue to fight under the GBP banner.

My gut tells me Golden Boy will be fine. If Haymon’s standouts want to jump ship (and we really don’t know if that’s the case – all this Twitterverse chatter is just speculation), GBP will simply push its non-Haymon fighters a lot harder and do more co-promotions with Top Rank, Main Events, Banner Promotions, Goossen Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and Thompson Boxing as it rebuilds its stable of fighters.

If Martinez beats Cotto, I think he and promoter Lou DiBella will lobby hard for a showdown with Mayweather (and despite their belly aching about being treated like the B-side vs. Cotto, they will make every concession to make that mega-fight happen, including fighting at a ridiculous catchweight). Still, network affiliations and promotional uncertainty (on Floyd’s side) makes Mayweather-Martinez an unlikely matchup.

I think Martinez will accept Golovkin’s challenge if he can’t get a star like Mayweather or Canelo Alvarez. Why? GGG – thanks to HBO’s backing and the Kazakh’s growing popularity – represents the highest payday for Martinez (apart from Floyd or the redhead), and the middleweight king happens to be a real champion who isn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone.

 

 

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

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