Special Request Mailbag
By Steve Kim, MaxBoxing (Feb 9, 2012) Doghouse Boxing
I've gotten a few requests to do a mailbag in recent weeks. Honestly, these really aren't my forte but hey, ask and you might just receive (just don't expect a pound-for-pound list anytime soon). Plus, I've always said I have the pleasure of corresponding with the most intelligent fans around. I guess it's the upside of not pandering to the lowest common denominator out there. So here we go as I try and get my Doug Fischer on...

We're not getting Pac-Mayeather, but you know, these are some pretty good fights. 

Pacquiao has looked very good but not especially spectacular since 2009, so who's to say if he shows up a step slow Bradley can't win that fight?

Bradley's a young undefeated guy in his prime with serious game, who doesn't like seeing him get a shot like this?

And Marquez-Peterson is pretty fascinating on paper too, and Cotto is still a real tough out for anyone, Mayweather included. And, needless to say, being a few weeks from a trip to the hole Mayweather's focus will be tested.

with even decent undercards I've got no gripes with these bouts even if they're all PPV. 


I agree. Again, I know it's fashionable to say that the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight not taking place in May is the ruination of this business but that's become the latest “black eye for boxing.” Like I said a few weeks ago, in lieu of that match-up, I want to see fresh, new fights (http://www.maxboxing.com/news/max-boxing-news/is-this-police-academy).

What I find interesting is this: so many people are deriding the Pacquiao-Bradley fight. Last I checked, it was the “Desert Storm” who was in his physical prime and listed on those mythical pound-for-pound rankings while having the best résumé at junior welterweight (Yeah, yeah, he supposedly ducked Amir Khan. Personally, I think he ducked his TV packager at the time and it looks like that decision has been vindicated). This bout will be contested for Pacquiao's WBO welterweight title but honestly, the “Pac-Man” is really just a blown-up junior welterweight. I don't see an advantage for either boxer at this weight limit. 

I'll say it right now; Bradley is a very good athlete, deceptively elusive with good speed. And if the Filipino icon has lost a foot off his fastball, as some think, I think this is a real fight.

As for Mayweather-Cotto, yeah, in a perfect world, this takes place in 2007 but as we all know, boxing is not a perfect world. Bob Arum has done a better job of rehabilitating Cotto than the Betty Ford Clinic could have ever hoped. Unless the weight really comes into play, I think this is a bad style for Mayweather- but “Money” is a difficult style for almost anyone he faces.

Just my opinion but Pacquiao-Bradley is the better pure fight. Mayweather-Cotto will do much better business.

As for a Peterson-Marquez fight, it's interesting. On Twitter (@stevemaxboxing), I asked the public which fight they preferred: that one or a rematch between Peterson and Amir Khan. Overwhelmingly, they favored Peterson-Marquez which, if Arum had his way, would take place in July at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


Saw your note on MB about Goody. He was a true boxing guy and as straight a shooter as they come. 

Went to the wake the other night and numerous old pugs from the area paid their respects. A lot of respect and love for Goody there. He will be missed.

Had tough recent road as he lost his wife of nearly 70 years and brother Pat within weeks of each other only a few months back. 

I really thought he'd still be holding the mitts till he was 100, he was still so vibrant, but he had great run as is.


The thing that's amazing about Marvin Hagler is that, coming from Newark, New Jersey, he had never really interacted or had a relationship with any Caucasians prior to walking into the Petronellis’ gym in Brockton, Massachusetts. To me, it really spoke of the type of people that Marvelous Marvin and the Petronellis were that, over time, their bond became unbreakable. There aren't a lot of happy endings in this harsh industry but the fact that they began as strangers at the beginning this long and illustrious journey and ended it on such good terms in the very end proves they do exist.

It's a bit of a shame that the Petronellis were basically defined by just one prizefighter but Hagler's not a bad one to be forever associated with.
Good evening, Mr. Kim,
I've been an avid reader of your boxing columns on Max Boxing for several years now. Good stuff, many thanks for your editorials. 
I just wrapped up your take on the Chavez vs. Rubio fight from this weekend past. It continues to astonish me that various state athletic commissions, seemingly with operating budgets and regulations, can somehow "forget" to do things like check urine samples for drugs and monitor hand-wrappings (I'm of course referring to the Texas Athletic Commission and the California State Athletic Commission). Do promoters with clout who represent the favorites in any given match-up really have the kind of power to make tests go away? Or would you chalk this up to some kind of administrative error? 
I found the bout itself fairly entertaining -- and Rubio very gusty to continue to deal with what effectively was a cruiserweight bearing down on him. However, news of the Chavez camp fleeing the scene prior to his drug test, coupled with revelations of the massive weight cut/massive weight gain, really strikes me as suspicious--a fresh outrage for the sport's avid fans. What do you think of these events? 
More questions/comments:
·        If the Chavez camp in fact fled the test, shouldn't they be fined and/or the decision be changed to a No Contest?
·        How can it possibly be legal for a fighter to vault so many weight classes by fight night? The science of rehydration, praised in some editorials as masterful by fitness gurus like Ariza, seem to be the province of a select group with ample money, and threatens to kind of turn these events into almost a new sport entirely -- what a tactical advantage one gains by gaining all this functional weight?
·        You asked what five current active middleweights one could name who would stand a chance of beating Chavez Jr. I can potentially name three, and am curious about your thoughts:
1.      Kelly Pavlik: Granted his career has taken a downward arc. However, if he can rehabilitate it in his new L.A. environs, I think he might still have enough to defeat Chavez Jr. In many ways, a fully charged Pavlik should have played the Rubio role, in this recent fight. Unlike Rubio, he has the length and size to match Chavez Jr. -- could anyone imagine Julio bodying Pavlik around at will like he did Rubio? Pavlik's right hand would be the most potent weapon Chavez Jr. has ever had to deal with, and Chavez is also vulnerable to the jab, which the vintage Pavlik threw well (Pavlik could also fight inside pretty well, evidenced by the fights with Miranda and Taylor).
2.      Felix Sturm: Likewise the current Sturm has declined a bit, seemingly, based on his last performances. However, a motivated, fully charged Sturm (if that's possible, at this point), could dismantle Chavez Jr. with jabs from long range and inside uppercuts. His peekaboo defense also remains pretty tight -- no one ever really seems to hit him flush...they just kind of wobble his upper body and expend themselves on his shell defense.
3.      Finally, Gennady Golovkin: I agree with your colleaue Doug Fischer that Golovkin would probably put some serious hurt on Chavez. Rumors exist, possibly first recorded on your web site, that Golovkin badly embarrassed Chavez during an L.A. sparring session, and that Chavez's camp pulled the plug on it very quickly. Golovkin I believe did the same thing to Alfredo Angulo. Too tough, too multi-faceted, too hard a puncher for Chavez Jr., then and I think now as well. Golovkin might ruin him, even with his cruiserweight advantage!
Hope you'll write back and share your thoughts.
H. MacGregor

I know this is a bit of semantics but I'm not sure you can avoid something that is never offered and I don't think Chavez necessarily “fled” as some have stated. Again, there was nothing to run from as they were never ordered to take a post-fight drug test and Chavez Jr. and his camp did show up to the post-fight presser at the Alamodome. It's not as if a getaway car was waiting for them at ringside immediately after the bout.

That said, what took place between the WBC and Texas was a systemic breakdown, gross negligence or collusion. There's no excuse for it and while the “blame/non-blame” game is played by all the parties involved, in my view, this is on the WBC. After all, it's in their rules and I believe it's ultimately up to them to have due diligence in working out all the logistics locally. But to say they don't step on the toes of the local jurisdictions is a spurious claim. I mean, they certainly have no problems in shoving open-scoring down everyone's throat in the U.S.; do they?

(I was going to make a few phone calls on this snafu but I couldn't have done a better job than our own Gabe Montoya did in covering this issue (http://www.maxboxing.com/news/sub-lead/texas-stumbles-into-the-drug-testing-era).

Regarding Chavez Jr., he's been busted before for using diuretics (before hooking up with Alex Ariza, to be fair). It's my belief that, like in other sports, athletes who are caught with illicit substances in past competitions should be subject to mandatory testing (that goes above and beyond the norm) in all future fights.

Now, as for fighters blowing up in weight after the weigh-in, well, that's not against the rules. But what was once a safety precaution has become completely exploited and now almost a strategic tool to create physical- and dangerous mismatches. Now the genie is out of the bottle forever. What I would propose is that, like the IBF, I would stipulate that in 12-round fights, a fighter cannot put on more than ten pounds by noon on the day of the fight. At least this way, you have a fair chance to rehydrate and yet still keep some of the integrity of the weight classes.

As for the guys you listed, I'd love to see all those fights in the future. I actually saw some technical improvement in Chavez Jr.’s last couple of outings but again, is that a mirage based on certain advantages in size that he carries with him into the ring?

Dear Mr Kim, It is with utmost respect that I respond to your article. As a lifelong participant in the development of professional fighters I have experienced many difficulties in regard to integrity. The paragraph you authored on the relationship between the Petronelli's and Marvelous Marvin Hagler made me reflect a great deal on many of the issues a manager/promoter faces. It was so inspirational to hear that there is such a thing as true integrity. I applaud your words and have saved this article to read with every single fighter first hand. Belief in each other as a team is what builds World Champions! The greatest fear of anyone kind enough to develop a fighting spirit in an amateur fighter is the loss of that fighter to a suitcase full of money. Hearing how Marvin was such a man of integrity renewed my focus on what I was doing and how special the relationship can be. Thank you for your insight into how special this relationship was. I will use it often If you would be so kind in allowing me to do so. Thank you again. Cooper

I was just a very young child when Hagler was coming up, facing some of the tough Philadelphia middleweights and being unquestionably avoided by the champions of that era. But through it all, Hagler never wavered- even when he was told that to be included in Don King's ill-fated ABC tournament, he had to leave the Petronellis. That's the type of guy he was.

Nowadays, young boxers would leave at the drop of a Kangol as an Al Haymon or the like would dangle the mere offer or a lowered percentage or a chance to immediately be on television. Hey, I've seen champions like Lamon Brewster do that to Sam Simon (who loved him like a son). Simon, Executive Producer of “The Simpsons,” didn't do this for the money. The man is a multimillionaire who just loved being in this crazy business for whatever reason. But after he was unceremoniously jettisoned by Brewster, Simon left the sport for good, I think in large part to a broken heart. It's a shame; we need more guys like Simon in this industry. I'll never forget the look of pure bliss he had walking into the press room after Brewster shocked Wladimir Klitschko for the WBO heavyweight title at the Mandalay Bay. Simon was walking on air that night with that belt draped over his right shoulder. All the money in the world (and he had plenty) can't buy that type of euphoria.

Brewster made a choice to become just another name on Haymon's Rolodex, which was certainly his prerogative- but I wonder if he ever second-guesses himself.

Mr. Cooper, best of luck, but be realistic. Expect to be let down eventually because they don't make ‘em like Marvin Nathaniel Hagler anymore.

Hey Steve,
The Texas three step is a great article on why boxing should be held in different venues throughout the country. I remember not that long ago even the "casino promoter" Gary Shaw drew a big audience in Nebraska of all places. But i feel as one of the top hotbeds of boxing, that being the city of  Los Angeles, we are getting shun a little bit as it comes to boxing, sure you can find small cards here and there at hotel ballrooms in Ontario and Woodland Hills, but there is no reason for us not having better boxing cards. For example, a card for espn friday night fights was to be held in Los Angeles, now Delaware? Brandon Rios v. Gamboa should be held in Los Angeles but now Vegas? Didn't the slow ticket sales of Ortiz v Berto 2 demonstrate anything? I just don't get it, we have great venues staples center, home depot center, etc etc. Yet when i look at the calendar I don't see anything that appeals to me. Will golden boy bring back hopkins v dawson? Sorry for venting but your article just furthers the argument on why big boxing events should be held in Los Angeles. I feel like we are being shun a little bit.
Jorge Casillas

To be fair, Jorge, you have to give Golden Boy Promotions a lot of credit. To me, they are a big part of why Los Angeles/Southern California consistently gets big fights at venues like Staples Center and the Home Depot Center. But as the disastrous promotion featuring Bernard Hopkins and Chad Dawson showed, while L.A. is a great boxing market, you still need geographic common sense in regard to where you stage cards. The rematch should do much better in Atlantic City on April 28th.

Now, as for Ortiz-Berto II, yeah, I know; there was a reason why the MGM Grand was offering its players free room and tickets for the fight originally scheduled for this weekend. I don't think this fight does any better on the rescheduled date of June 30th (and everyone in the business tells me that the summer months are a tough pull for Vegas) at the Mandalay Bay. In fact, this only ensures there are fewer empty seats that night as the Mandalay Bay Events Center is a smaller room.

Honestly, this bout belongs somewhere in SoCal but since Berto’s handlers did nothing to build him into any sort of attraction, they will make sure to penalize Ortiz for his ability to actually draw a little bit. Such is the business in the new millennium. Those who should have no leverage are given it based on influence and not merit.
Hey, Steve - you know, I'm actually really interested in Cotto/Mayweather (at 154 for Cotto's strap, you already know how I feel about all the catchweight nonsense), especially if Cotto mixes in those sledgehammer body shots that he seems to have abandoned lately in favor of better footwork and counter-punching. I know that Floyd has already stated that he views Cotto as Manny's "leftovers," but that sounds to me like a cop out in order to justify taking an easier fight with Alvarez (in my eyes, anyway). It's hardly arguable that Cotto's career has been on the up, and Money didn't seem to mind taking the following fights in the past:
Zab Judah (immediately following a loss to Baldomir)
Chop Chop Corley (immediately following a loss to Judah)
Sharmba Mitchell (one fight removed from getting absolutely drilled by Tszyu, who Floyd never seemed all that interested in fighting)
The funny thing is, regardless of how I feel about Floyd's choices in opposition, I would have picked him against all the guys I wish he had fought (Casamayor, Tszyu, Freitas, Cotto, Johnston, Margarito, et al). Shane at 135 might have been a freakin' nightmare for him, though; I did have Floyd even up with Castillo across two fights, after all. 
Take care, sorry to send you what must have been the 1,000th Mayweather e-mail you've gotten in the past few days.

Wilson, my hope is that Cotto fights a bit more like he did during his glory days at 140, which is to be that guy who bangs hard to the body with his left hook and imposes his strength on the inside. The “new” Cotto who boxes and moves will get picked apart by Mayweather. He isn't going to outbox the master boxer.

As for Mayweather, watch the fight with Ortiz again and you'll see a guy who is much more stationary than the reputation he has and one willing to stay in the pocket. At the end of the day, I think Mayweather has much more hand speed and is the fresher fighter.

Hi Steve,
How about the Salinas kid Alejandro Perez?  Isn't he always exciting to watch?  I'm from Salinas and every time Alejandro fights he keeps us on the edge of our seat with his brawling style and punching power.  I don't know what you think but I don't feel like his team is managing correctly or at least not matching him as they should at this point in his career.  He is still young with outstanding skills but if you look back at his last three or four fights he's been thrown in with some of the best up and comers in his division and has lost a couple of them.  On the other hand you have our other hometown Perez (Eloy) and they way he's been carefully matched, as you know this month he will be fighting for a world championship on HBO.  Don't get me wrong I love Alejandro's style and it's very fan friendly but I would like to see him have a long career and treat us to many more happy moments like the one on Saturday night.  His trainers should work on polishing his defensive skills since he does get hit more then he should.  
Credit to that kid from Florida Derrick Wilson, man he was tough. 
As always I enjoy your pieces, thanks Steve and take care. 
JM Hernandez

I thought Perez was really good on Saturday night in taking apart a faster, quicker guy in Wilson. Early on, it looked like he'd have problems getting off but he did a textbook job on smothering and closing the gap and letting both hands go to the body before mixing in power shots upstairs. And I agree with you. If you look at his last four bouts (Rico Ramos, Antonio Escalante, Diego Magdaleno and now Wilson), Perez isn't being done any favors. There comes a point in time where you have to pump the brakes a bit and not look to get your guy in World War III every single time out. There's an art, a craft to developing a fighter. Anyone can just make fights- but doesn't this guy (who works his tail off at the Wild Card Gym. I mean, invariably, he's always back in the gym within a week or two of all his fights) deserve a chance to build a career where he can make some real money?

As you noted, look at Eloy Perez, who was adroitly managed by the Garcia family up there and taken care of. Now he's in position where he's facing Adrien Broner for the WBO super featherweight title on February 25th on HBO and I guarantee he doesn't have nearly the wear-and-tear his namesake has.

Alejandro- who is one of the nicest individuals I have ever covered- is just 25 years old, so there's still plenty of time. However, I do cringe a bit at how much and how hard he spars between fights. 

Perez proves that, while it is about the thoroughbred, the jockeys steering him are also important.

Maybe Im in the minority and am missing the big deal, but....

Why the F does anyone give a sh*t about who Robert Guerrero is fighting next? I mean hes mentioned for every fighter north of 135 and south of 154, as if his next fight is in high demand by the public.

You mean to tell me anyone cares to see a guy who:

1) Has ZERO defining wins IMO
2) Has ZERO wins at all above 135
3) Touched the canvas and was taken the distance by young lions Casamayor and Katsisdis 
4) Quit in his homecoming fight
5) Questionable health coming off major surgery

Enough about this f**king guy

Matt Swider

Whoa, whoa, whoa, Swider-Man. “The Ghost” is coming off an impressive win over the summer in San Jose versus Marcos Maidana…uh, wait…he isn't. That's right. Yeah, I know; they are acting as if they are on the heels of this great victory instead of a rotator cuff injury which left Guerrero sidelined since his conquest over Michael Katsidis last April. But I think it's part of today's internet culture existing in boxing where instead of just focusing in on your career and building a résumé, you just take to the Worldwide Web and call out the biggest names possible. It's not so much prizefighting as it is panhandling.

I give them some credit, though. I haven't seen anyone in recent memory get this much mileage out of really accomplishing nothing as Guerrero. He's an honorary Kardashian in that regard. I mean, imagine how much he'd be talked about if- oh, I don't know- he would've actually performed inside the ring over the last eight months. 

But I hope they get a fight soon. I can't take anymore press releases from Guerrero’s publicist, Mario Serrano. Right now, I look forward to emails from Nigerian princes telling me that they have a half-million dollars waiting to share with me if I just give them my bank information.

steve, am i nuts for thinking chavez would have a great chance to beat martinez? 
sergio supposedly weighed in at 165 fighttime against williams.  yeah he is a good mover and a good boxer.  but does he have enough to dent junior, whose 180+lb body seems totally unphased by firepower coming across the ring from his smaller opponents?  i feel like the prince of mexico will bull his weight forward, without losing steam all night.  the dude threw 71 punches in the last round against rubio, compared to only 24 and 42 in round 1 and 2, respectively.  this would leave maravilla no choice but to run around the ring doing his best amir khan impersonation, and losing a close decision.  of course it would be really sad if this happened, but i think its very much a possibility.

Uh, yeah, I think you'd be called “Mr. Planters” by most boxing fans. 

But I could see the weight becoming a factor, considering that Martinez might really be a 154-pounder masquerading as a middleweight and has spoke of his willingness to get down to 150 pounds for a crack at Pacquiao or Mayweather.

Realistically, Chavez Jr. and Top Rank may never pull the trigger on this fight for a very simple reason: they may not have to. Yeah, I know Lou DiBella will scream bloody murder and state that the WBC had mandated they fight. But based on the events of this past weekend in San Antonio, who do you think Jose Sulaiman will protect? Guess what? If push comes to shove, they can just vacate that belt because I'm not really sure that the huge Chavez fan base really cares if he has that strap or not (I can just see Dean Chance, the old right-hander, being called out of the bullpen to dust off the IBA belt- once dubbed “It’s Bob Arum’s” by Michael Katz- and going with that for the time being. Or just merely moving up in weight).

Chavez Jr. is like the Lady Gaga of boxing. Yeah, the critics and traditionalists may pan him but the bottom line is he is a legitimate attraction. He drew over 14,000 fans (with a gate of over a million dollars) on a weekend when the Spurs played in their hometown AT&T Center against the OKC Thunder and Kevin Durant. It's the reason why Arum is already talking about bringing him back here to Texas on June 2nd against Andy Lee. Lady Gaga may not be the most talented artist/musician but she plays to the masses. The numbers do not lie.

The same applies to Junior.

(I just can't wait for Guerrero to challenge him to a fight in an upcoming press release.)

More of Steve's recent work below his contact info...
I can be reached at k9kim@yahoo.com and I tweet at www.Twitter.com/stevemaxboxing. We also have a Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing.
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