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Monday, May 4, 2009

Dougie's MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

Manny Mania is in full effect after his awesome display of skill, speed, power, and precision against a woefully outclassed Ricky Hatton Saturday in Las Vegas. Fans and media aren’t arguing whether or not the Filipino idol is a great fighter, only where he ranks all time. As can be expected, the diehard Pac-Maniacs are convinced he’s the G.O.A.T., which has spurred at least 80 heated emails to Yours Truly, demanding that I reconsider the outcomes to my recent column “How would Pacquaio fare versus five all-time greats?” (http://www.ringtv.com/blog/617/how_would_pacquaio_fare_versus_five_alltime_greats/), which was written before PacMan’s destruction of Hatton.

I could devote seven or eight mailbags to defending my picks, but I’m not going to waste too much time or space doing so; mainly because it’s clear that most of the fans who take exception to my opinions in that column have not seen the prime versions of Wilfredo Gomez, Salvador Sanchez, Alexis Arguello, Roberto Duran, and Aaron Pryor fight. I’m more than happy to debate anyone who has watched at least three entire fights of these five all-time greats when they were in their prime, but I won’t waste my time with kooky fans suffering from acute PacMan Fever.

And be warned folks, I’ll quiz your goofy asses before exchanging emails with you on this subject. If you can’t tell me who my Fabulous Five beat to win their first world titles without referencing BoxRec.com I will dismiss you quicker than Pacquiao wiped out Hatton. I’ll ask you what happened in the seventh round of Duran’s rematch with Esteban De Jesus and if you can’t answer me, you can piss off.

But please stick around and enjoy this week’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag.


Hi Doug,
I’ll keep it short since I know you will be inundated with emails.

So did u see that coming? I didn't. The bookies didn't. I'm certain Ricky Hatton didn't see it either. I had to watch the replay of the first knockdown from a different angle to see what happened. From one angle the punch seemed 'soft' but then from another angle I could see the devastating right 'crack' on Ricky's chin... that's when I went 'ooohh, its not that soft after all'.

I have to hand it to the Pacman & Roach combo (i.e. Batman and Robin). They work as one and seem to get better each time. Pacquiao has changed for the better since the last Juan Manuel Marquez fight. You could see it (if you hit slow-mo) from the quality of his punches and his movement across the ring. Now bring on Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley at a catchweight. I don't think they have the movement, stamina and unrelenting volume punching Pac will bring... but they should see it past round two.

BTW, what’s with the bias with UK sites. Their headline is more like 'Hatton loses'. Checkout YahooSportsUK or SecondsOut. It's all skewed towards Hatton. Don't get me wrong, I like Hatton as a person too, seems like someone you can have a drink with in the pub but the disrespect for Pacquiao is astounding to me.

Keep up the great work! -- Perry, Sydney

What kind of headlines do you expect from UK sites? “The Sh__tman Goeth”? “Hatton squashed like a ‘lil b___h!”? “Manny-slaughter!”? (Credit for this last one goes to US publicist Fred Sternburg.)

Hatton was nearly decapitated. If the UK sites went easy on him in their headlines, good for them.

There’s no disrespect for Pacquiao, just a little compassion for Ricky. Nothing wrong with that. From what I was hearing from the British media while we were writing up our deadline pieces and post-fight columns on press row, I don’t think many handled Hatton with kid gloves in their stories. But I haven’t read all the post-fight stories on the fight. It was an exhausting week and weekend in Las Vegas, and to be honest, I’m a little burnt out on the Pacquiao-Hatton subject.

I covered the fight and I witnessed a great performance from a great fighter. I’m keeping it that simple. I don’t need to read volumes of post-fight analysis on Hatton’s 5-minute-59-second destruction.

Did I see that coming? HELL to the NO.

All you have to do is read the Monday and Friday mailbags from last week to find out how I viewed this matchup going into the bout. Like most US fans and media, I thought Pacquiao would win, probably by knockout, but most of us thought it would be a late stoppage.

Just as he did against Oscar De La Hoya, Pacquiao exceeded expectations. That’s what the pound-for-pound best boxer on the planet is supposed to do.


Hey Doug,
After seeing the bout yesterday between Pacquiao & Hatton, I wanna see you re-write your column and think long and hard how much you underestimated Pacman. -- Deacart

How did I underestimate him? The only matchup that dealt with a 140-pound version of Pacquiao was the Aaron Pryor fight and I had him losing by SPLIT decision!

Have you ever seen the prime Pryor fight?

I think I gave Pacquiao benefit of the doubt.


Doug -
The only negative facing PacMan now is that minus Floyd Mayweather -- a fight that isn't necessarily written in stone, yet -- is that unless he ventures into a ridiculously foreign weight class, there doesn't appear to be another "event" fight out there. I'd like to see JM Marquez III and Shane Mosley would be very cool but can you think of a mega event fight for him minus Floyd? -- Kevin Key, St. Cloud, MN

I think the biggest potential event for Pacquiao is the Mayweather Jr. fight because it would match two fighters with legit claims to the pound-for-pound crown (assuming Floyd got past JMM, which is not a given in my not-so-humble opinion), and both fighters are well known and respected by even casual boxing fans. However, there are enough “events” for Pacquiao to keep him busy for the next two years.

There’s the rubber match with Marquez (should the mighty Mexican master beat Mayweather two months from now), and 144/145-pound catchweight bouts with Miguel Cotto (if the Puerto Rican titleholder beats Josh Clottey next month) and Shane Mosley. Most elite fighters only fight twice a year these days, so those potential matchups would keep Pacquiao busy until the end of next year. By that time, young badasses like Edwin Valero and Victor Ortiz may have advanced and gained enough credibility and fan followings to merit a shot at Pacquiao.


Hey Dougie,
As a UK fan, I loved the coverage you gave of Froch and Hatton in their differently-fated American fights recently. How's this for an idea if Hatton decides he's too much of a warrior to retire yet: he goes after Timothy Bradley in a double world-title bout. Hatton would get a comeback fight which he could probably win, and then be a beltholder again, whilst Bradley gets the biggest payday of his career. He could then retire on a high, or fight Amir Khan in a UK superfight for the belt he's going to take off Andres Kotelnik in June.

If he doesn't do this, then Mayweather's latest move throws up another interesting possibility: their fight means Juan Manuel Marquez is likely to soon join Hatton on the list of his and Pacquiao's joint victims. A fight between them would be a great slugfest, the White Mexican vs a living legend of the ring, and Hatton's weight and age advantages could well see him triumph in that one as well. After all, if the winners of Hatton-Pacquiao and Mayweather-Marquez are apparently destined to meet, why not the losers too? Whatever he does, I know as a Briton that Hatton will never be eclipsed in the public's affections by David Haye, Carl Froch or Amir Khan, regardless of the extent to which their achievements in the ring eventually outclass his own. -- Dave, London, UK

I’m glad to hear that. Hatton’s definitely the most popular British fighter that I’ve covered in my 10 years sitting among press row, more so even than Lennox Lewis or Naseem Hamed.

I think he needs to get out of the game while he still has his marbles. He’s got great fans, a beautiful family and a lot of money in the bank. Why should he risk his cranium fighting the dangerous likes of JM Marquez and Timothy Bradley? Bradley’s too young, fresh and strong for Hatton, and Marquez is too damn good, period. Even green-ass Amir Khan is a threat to Hatton after the manner in which the Hitman was KO’d by PacMan. I would favor Marquez and “Desert Storm” to not only beat Hatton, but stop him by the middle rounds. If they fought at a 143- or 144-pound catchweight, I might give Hatton shot at beating Khan, but not at 140, which I believe Hatton can no longer make, I think the young man beats the veteran.

Hatton can fight Marquez or Bradley at any weight and it wouldn’t matter; I think they would whup his ass.

By the way, don’t count Marquez out against Mayweather, and don’t count Kotelnik out against Khan.


What's up dude? What else can I say about Manny's performance other than it was devastating?! I'm pretty sure that Floyd Mouthweather's plan wasn't for Ricky to walk in with no jab and no head movement but I get the feeling that the result would have been the same no matter what Ricky tried. That being said, I'm not buying any stock until Manny dominates or just plain defeats a guy that can get out of the way of a punch. Until then, no more Hammering Hank comparisons.

(p.s. Abragu-Garcia was top shelf for pure violence. He won this one but I see him going home in a box if he fights anyone in the top ten.)

Holla back! -- Fleetwood St. Louis, Mo.

I agree that Pacquiao isn’t in Henry Armstrong’s league, but I have to give him credit for taking full advantage of the weaknesses or flaws of whoever is put in front of him. Since he went life and death with Juan Manuel Marquez he hasn’t just been beating his opponents, he’s been annihilating them. Of course, his last three opponents haven’t exactly been geniuses of ring generalship, if you know what I mean. They kind of invited those ass whippings, didn’t they?

That’s why a showdown with a bona fide defensive specialist like Mayweather Jr. or a rubber match with Marquez is what I want to see by the end of this year. Pacquiao is definitely the pound-for-pound king, and I consider him to be a great fighter, but right now there are a lot of all-time greats that I would rank above him if I were to compile an all-time great pound-for-pound top 20 or 30. In fact, I’m not sure if he would make the top 20.


Hi Doug,
After Pacquaio's demolishion of Hatton, do you still stand by your analysis how Pacquiao would fare against the 5 greats? Please respond.

Thanks. -- Jeffrey from Vancouver

The power, poise and patience he showed in destroying Hatton definitely causes me to reanalyze the 140-pound mythical matchup with Aaron Pryor. However, his performance against Hatton does not cause me to reconsider or rethink the other mythical matchups in that feature because those involved the lighter-weight versions of Pacquiao (at 122, 126, 130 and 135 pounds) vs. my four favorite all-time greats in those particular weight classes (Gomez at 122, Sanchez at 126, Arguello at 130 and Duran at 135).

I only had the Oscar De La Hoya fight to go on when pontificating on how Pacquiao would fare fighting a fellow great at 140 pounds (he weighed in two pounds over the junior welterweight limit for that bout and performed flawlessly, but not with as much power as he did for Hatton, for whom he weighed in at 138). I thought he had the speed, footwork and versatility to go the distance with the great Pryor, but I wasn't sure if could match the Hawk's power. Maybe he could have. I don't know, but my hunch is that Pryor would have been able to take Pac's power at 140, and he'd still narrowly out-point him in a better fight than I envisioned last week, before the Hatton annihilation.


I have all the respect for your fighters that you've setup for Manny Pacquiao in your fantasy fights. But seriously, how could you honestly say that Pacquiao would win only one fight out of five (and in a very close match)??? That's just plain stupid man... Or you're just not that really good a boxing analyst as you are... Did you really put all factors into place? Don't you see how great a boxer Pacquiao is at the weight classes he's fought?? C'mon man, probably when he was at junior feather weight he was just a slugger who had a one punch weapon in his arsenal and no defensive tactics whatsoever... But you got to give it to him that when he started to reign in the featherweight division, he already had the chops...

You ought to come up with another article with a little more touch of reality that what really would have happened if Manny was to fight them at both of their primes at each of the weight classes.. Or maybe you should just wait first after he destroys the current world welterweight champ.. Or maybe after he runs over the former no. 1 pound for pound fighter Mayweather Jr in any weight class he prefers.. Then maybe your fantasy fights would have a more objective result.. Thanks... Best regards. -- Boxing Fan

There was nothing stupid about my analysis in that feature. You are wrong about Pacquiao having “chops” when he reigned in the featherweight divisions -- he struggled with Agapito Sanchez (at 122 pounds), he was schooled by JM Marquez after dropping the Mexican three times in the first round (at 126 pounds), and he lost to Erik Morales when they fought for the first time (at 130 pounds). Many fans and media believe Pacquiao lost to Marquez in their rematch (at 130). PacMan didn’t begin to put it all together until his lightweight fight with tough-but-limited David Diaz; Freddie Roach will be the first to admit this. It’s not out of line to believe that naturally bigger and stronger fighters with equal or more experience, talent and skill than Marquez or Morales would have beat Pacquiao.

No offense, but I think my analysis of how Pacquiao would fare against the likes of Gomez, Sanchez, Arguello, Duran and Pryor is more educated than yours.

I can tell from this email that you’re a diehard Pacquiao fan. You’re caught up in “Manny Mania” and you can’t conceive that anyone who weighed between flyweight and middleweight in the history of boxing could even come close to beating the version of Pacquiao we saw blast out Ricky Hatton Saturday night (even though Victor Ortiz, Edwin Valero, Marcos Maidana, Ricardo Torres, and Randall Bailey probably would have done the same thing to the weight-drained Brit), and even though you’ve never even seen an entire fight of 99.9-percent of the boxers who are enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

That’s OK. I’m glad Pacquiao has such loyal fans. It’s good for the sport. I just hope you guys don’t become as obnoxious as Mayweather, Jones, Tyson, Klitschko, Lewis, and Hamed fans became in the late ‘90s and early part of this decade.


As always I hope all is well with you and your family.

While it's not ground-breaking conventional wisdom I can't help but comment on how Floyd Mayweather, Jr. once again reminds the boxing world who/what he truly is: A highly skilled boxer who *severely* lacks self-confidence (*Emphasis added). However, where he does not fall short is boxing acumen and outside-looking-in ring intelligence.

I see a fraudulent snake who'll shamelessly insult our (fans and media alike) intelligence to no end. He's not disillusioned as I've heard him described before, he simply isn't honest but it's not by accident. The essence of PBF cannot be found until more folks (like you and some others) ignore the noise masked by words and convoluted salesmen pitching a fight. Soon enough it comes to reading the tea leaves - allowing for observation to outweigh what we're told to think. Post-Castillo, PBF changed his modus operandi, though most seem to disagree with my cynical view - I don't get why.

In what's largely a 'group-think' media I'm sure a win over JMM will reaffirm Floyd's place at the top of the sport. Little context will be placed on the contest and the clever con man will prevail once again.

So my question for you: Do you think that Floyd truly believes he can beat Manny Pacquiao? If the concluding response is a resounding no, should all prepare for yet another teary-eyed retirement party come June 18th?

Have a good one. -- Sean

You know what I think of Floyd “Needs Money” Mayweather Jr: Great talent and skill, without a great heart to go with it. He won’t fight anyone he doesn’t KNOW he can beat. Before he fights an elite fighter that fighter has to first look vulnerable in some way. Pacquiao hasn’t looked vulnerable in any category in his recent fights, so I don’t think Mayweather will actively pursue the Pac-Monster after his July 18 showdown with JM Marquez.

And by the way, I think Marquez is going to shock the s__t out of Needs Money. When’s the last time Mayweather took on a fighter as smart, skilled, experienced and gutsy as Marquez? This ain’t Carlos Baldomir, a faded Oscar De La Hoya, or a made-to-order Ricky Hatton, this is Juan-Mother-F__king-Marquez he’s stepping in the ring with, the man who gave Manny Pacquiao pure hell last March and then knocked out Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz.

This broke-ass fool better be ready to defend his legacy come July 18.

Source: ringtv.com

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