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Montoya’s Monday Mailbag- Dec. 13, 2010

So in case I didn’t mention it, I am doing the Mailbag on Saturdays instead of Fridays. This might change when we get to a dead spot right after next week. We will see. I envision end of the year articles and the like after this week’s articles and fights.

Speaking of this week’s articles, there is a story that will be an article yet I’m just not sure exactly when.  I figure I will get it out a little bit here as a preview. It’s been on my mind quite a bit this past week.


“Trouble in Promoterville”


As you know I have been following David Estrada and his promoter-of-record, Boxing360 this year. Estrada had a resurgent win over Orlando Lara back in April. It was a solid win on TV and an action fight that got people talking briefly about Estrada again. Let’s be real; this isn’t Shane Mosley stopping Antonio Margarito late in his career. It’s a journeyman beating a prospect in hopes of landing maybe a good payday on TV or two before his sunset. But it was a good story and a nice win for a new promoter hoping to treat his fighters right and put them in fights they can win. I liked all involved so I began to pay attention to what was going them.


Fast forward to this past week and what you have is a tale of squandered momentum. Rather than picking up good paydays against Mike Arnaoutis or Mike Jones, Estrada, along with fellow stablemate Angel Hernandez (who reportedly turned down a fight for an IBO title against Peter Manfredo in what was going to be a televised rematch for good money), will be fighting on a non-televised card this Saturday at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Illinois against Franklin Gonzalez. Hernandez will be fighting Osumanu Adamu for the vacant international IBO middleweight belt that he lost to Peter Manfredo back in May. How that is possible, well, you’d have to ask the IBO.


It should be noted that Boxing360 is not promoting the card. They had no hand in negotiating these fights. Instead, Estrada and Hernandez, who are managed by a man named Wasfi Tolaymat and legally represented by Leon Margulies, who is both a lawyer and the promoter who runs Warriors Boxing,  are fighting under the promotional banner of Chicago Fight Club, which is owned and operated by Tolaymat’s wife, Cynthia. Incidentally, Adamu comes to the card by way of Margules, who got options on Adamu after the Don George fight back in April. The card is co-promoted by Dominic Pesoli’s 8 Count Promotions, though the salaries of the fighters and all expenses are kept separate; meaning 8 Count is responsible for their fighters and expenses, CFC theirs and Margules his.


Why is this a significant story? Well for one, Boxing360 is seeking arbitration in the matter as they feel the fighters are breaching their contract and that the promoters involved as well as Wasfi Tolaymat are tortiously interfering with a legit contract. A contract that until just a few days ago was not acknowledged as existing, according to one party involved. Now, a letter has been sent from Hernandez and Estrada’s side saying that Boxing360 was in breach and thus the contract is null. This is now one for the courts.


Next, all these parties involved, Boxing360, Bob Duffy, who is the head of boxing operations over there, Leon Margules and Dominic Pesoli are in the Boxing Promoter’s Association that was formed in 2009. As far as I know, this isn’t how they all agreed to get along. At least that’s what their mission statement says:


“When in the course of events, it becomes necessary for a business to unite and collectively correct the ills and pursue the common good for the benefit of an industry and sport that requires the individual parts to connect and become a greater whole.  We hold this to be self-evident and agree to the formation of this association for the duly licensed boxing promoters in the United States of America.


We, the Promoters of the United State of America…in order to establish an association…protect our rights…and promote the well-being of the sport of boxing…do hereby establish the Boxing Promoters Association. The purpose of this Association shall be to foster and protect the business interest of the members and the well-being of the sport as an industry and in general.”


Sure, it’s a story of two second-tier fighters leaving a new promoter. On a Manny Pacquiao signing with both Golden Boy and Top Rank at the same time scale, it may seem like small balut to some. But to this writer, it signifies a larger problem in boxing. We have a broken system that goes unchecked without an impartial governing body to police it. We are left to our own devices and because of that, things like this happen.


We’ll see how the story shakes out.


We have a full Bag of fight stuff to get to. Here we go.


“Hey Joe, Khan you get out of the way?”

Hey Gabe



Man I have to say it, WTF was that tonight? I thought Khan was supposed to be this tougher version of himself?!! I saw a flashy cutie who had his moments early in outboxing and even knocking down a slower but tough competitor. I think Denny Green said it best "They are who they thought they were!!" I know there are going to be the benefit of the doubt type of talkers wanting to give Amir Khan credit for showing some grit and toughness by barely surviving this fight, but you aren’t getting any of that from me, YOU HEAR ME, GODDAMN IT!! OOH you mean a guy who fights for a living showed some toughness, let me make sure this makes the evening news! I am sick and tired of hearing this crap! You either are made to be in the game or your not? Part of the game is being tough enough to take a shot and still try and win the fight, and if you don’t have it than find another business buddy. What will happen if he faces a tough guy with actual skills, he gets starched thats what! Tough but I call it like I see it, peace man.


-Trevor San Jose, ca. 


What we saw on Saturday night was Khan possibly having his De La Hoya-Trinidad moment. I believe him when he says he wants to fight the best guys in the division. I do not think that will change after this fight. In a sense, he had his Klitschko-Peter I moment. Remember, this is the first really dangerous guy Khan has faced and for much of the fight, Khan had his way. Sure, a terrible Joe Cortez, who should have his Hall of Fame induction held off, in my opinion, helped by taking a point and not allowing the action inside to ever really develop but Khan showed a tenaciousness I didn’t expect.


Khan was out in the tenth. I mean O.U.T. OUT. On his feet even. By my stopwatch, Khan didn’t throw a punch for one minute and 33 seconds after getting tagged by that right hand from Maidana in the tenth. 1:33. Then it was a quick flurry that landed and then Wobblesville after getting tagged again. In that minute and 33 seconds, Maidana was interfered with by Cortez four times. The first three, while having Khan in a vulnerable position. Khan turned his back to Maidana twice to start off with and each time, Cortez inexplicably broke them until Khan could get his bearings. Then later in the round, Khan is pitching forward, bent at the waist from two Maidana shots and Cortez again steps in to do Buddha knows what. Joe gets up in Maidana’s grill again later but that might’ve been because Marcos nearly went through the ropes after missing Khan’s melon with a wild shot. Add in that odd point deduction because Maidana elbowed Joe on accident and this was less than a Hall of Fame performance for Cortez. He was out of position nearly every time he went in to break action that didn’t need to be broken.


Why he would stop the action when Khan turned away all hurt and looking to flee is beyond me. To me, that signifies a fighter surrendering. Seems clear to me. If he did it repeatedly, I’d warn him that next time, it’s at least a knockdown or the end of the fight. Instead, Cortez let Khan reorient himself and begin again. 

A lot of refs might’ve stopped that fight in the tenth. Khan did not respond offensively for a minute-and-a-half. And he looked shaky as Hell in the 11th and the 12th wasn’t much better.


Does this make Khan look less tough in my eyes? No, not really. What it does is show that 1) Khan can be had, if hit on the beard and followed up precisely. 2) Khan is one tough bastard for surviving that onslaught, help from Joe or not. 3) If they fought again, I think Maidana loses again, only it’s boring as all get out. 4) Khan does not recover well when hurt. At all.


In the “Tito” fight, Oscar ran and punched then stopped punching when he was exhausted and could only run. Khan fought in much the same way and when he tired, he dropped his guard and got caught. Then he had to run. For the first minute of the tenth, he was doing fine. It can happen to anyone who moved as much as Khan did all night. But will this alter him for the positive or negative? We will see.


Personally, I am impressed Khan made it through. Ortiz folded in that situation. Khan pressed on (well, sideways and away but still).



“Mares Grows Up”


Hello Gabriel!!
Just finished witnessing the Darchhinyan Vs. Mares extravaganza!  I just like to hear your comments
on the Vic bitchin’.  Vic’s tirade about the referee was to me was fairly unfounded!?  
He doesn’t even realize measuring is a foul?   And as savvy a boxer + pot shot puncher he is,
I translate his English to English:  "Why didn’t the referee continue to let me commit a foul
because that’s my style and game to take the advantage of my opponent, historically?"
Hey!  Both Mares and Darchhinyan were fouling and playing plenty rough.   The ref let the fight 
flow and it was action packed and classic boxing match test of wills. Yes he the ref was verbal.  
But he certainly could have paused this bout all night long and taken ample points from either boxer.   
I felt the referee did a pretty exceptional job for such a foul filledbout.  Vic landed some amazing knock 
out power packed straight lefts right after measuringin the 3rd and 4th rounds from my viewpoint.  
If it wasn’t for Mare’s chin, Darchhinyawould have won via fouland probably overlooked by  most
current professional referees ?  I can’t believe I’m writing you again about measuring?  But cut me
slack, this is mail is more geared towards Vic’s usual unsportsman-like baby attitude after a loss.
Total Respect Gabriel!  


Cordially, Anthony 


What’s up, Anthony?


How about that Abner Mares? The kid has got some cast-iron balls, man. He gets dropped, loses a point, and cut all before the first quarter of the fight is over and still he wins. I really like Mares. I really haven’t covered him all that much (Steve Kim generally does for us and I believe had before I ever came here) but I’ve watched him over the years. He’s intelligent, versatile and we are now seeing how tough he can be. What an effort.


I was not surprised by Darchinyan’s comments. In fact, I tend to agree that the ref was unsure how to handle the fight. He was very talkative (a lot like Cortez who was a huge part of the Khan-Maidana fight) and involved at the wrong times. I don’t like seeing a ref I have never seen before in a big fight. I’ve never seen Robert Howard before. If I have, he wasn’t as memorable as he was on Saturday.


He had an odd moment when he took the point from Mares, then later in the round acknowledged that Darchinyan was pushing Mares down as he body-punched. He admonished the fighters lamely and then action resumed, same as before. If you know that’s the problem, why take a point? Or if you are now looking at the problem trying to figure it out, maybe you should wait to get that clarification before taking a point? Just sayin.’


Yes, there were fouls but it was a rough fight between a southpaw, who has an odd style of moving and standing and an aggressive orthodox fighter. Par for the course, in my opinion.


I thought it was sad for Vic to have to go on a rant and then have the cameras cut away like that. He was in a really good fight. Maybe he’ll beat Yonnhy Perez. I think it’s very possible. Instead, the last thing we see for now is a bitterly angry guy who felt he was not allowed to be himself because the ref wouldn’t let him fight his fight.


What I saw was Vic trying to lure Mares into leaning forward for the rear uppercut and not being successful more than a few times. Mares was everything he needed to be when he needed to be it. Tough, first, last and everything in between.


He simply outworked Vic and took charge in long enough stretches to win close on my card.


I think Mares is the Andre Ward of this tournament. He will grow a lot from this fight and it will serve him well against Joseph Agbeko, who is himself an odd fighter. Mares better remember his jab in this one. That might be the only way to keep Agbeko from setting the tempo and controlling things with his in-and-out, herky-jerky style. I’m really looking forward to that fight.


“Amir Khan: Superstar”


Hi Gabe-

All of this talk of Khan becoming a possible superstar...delusional.  Superstar.  That’s an elite group.   Marcos Maidana was very slow, extremely hittable, didn’t have much on his punches, below average technique most of the night, yet Khan couldn’t take care of business.  No doubt, Alexander and Bradley would annihilate Queen Khan.  As would JMM.
Cortez was absolutely horrible tonight.  Why were there no points taken from Khan for excessive holding during the final rounds (which would’ve made it a draw at the very least)?  How many punches did Khan take in that round, unanswered?  Would Cortez have let Maidana take that many punches unanswered?  Of course not - he would’ve stopped it so as not to impede the Queen’s "trajectory" to "superstardom."

In the end,  I’d like to salute Maidana. Off the top of my head, I can’t recall a time when I’ve seen a fighter get up from a body shot that was enough to drop him, and then go on to basically stop a fighter (though Cortez robbed him of the win).  He also seemed gassed from the get go.  Hope he gets a better conditioning coach.

By the way, great entertainment seeing Khan get rattled.  He’s got a little bit of Judah’s pop-lockin’ freeze-leg in him. 

Ronnie The Conqueror
St. Louis, MO


Superstar status for Khan? I don’t know. He will have to sell more tickets, prove he does good pay-per-view numbers and have someone at random who doesn’t like boxing ask me, “Hey, when does Khan fight next?” before I think he or anyone else is a superstar.


Let’s not be revisionist. Going in, Maidana was a dangerous guy. He showed why in the fight. He has a win over Victor Ortiz who had a tough one  with (and arguably lost to) Lamont Peterson, who came on late against Timothy Bradley in a losing effort. This fight is what happens when the best fight the best. Look at Leonard-Hearns I. One guy winning early, then a reversal and late KO. Had this been a 15-rounder, Maidana is the Monday Morning Hero. But it’s 2010 and instead, we get cries of Khan is overrated and Maidana was not that good and he hurt the bum, Khan.


I do agree that if Maidana had taken off a minute-and-a-half of punching after being that hurt, Cortez would have jumped in and stopped it. No question. Especially that one-two-one-two with Khan on the ropes. Most refs would have stopped it right there. Maybe that is a sign Khan is the marquee guy now. You think Cortez wasn’t thinking, “Do I stop the name guy who was winning a minute ago?” He has to. No one wants to be Richard Steele in Taylor/Chavez.


The holding could have been penalized as well. But Khan ran more than he held or as much. Personally, the way he ran, it was clear he was in full retreat and I get being able to do that but where is the line? At what point does retreat become surrender?


It was a good fight, a sh**ty ref, and nearly the comeback of the year. Give me a rematch or fights against the winner/loser of Bradley/Alexander, or any other top 140-pounder. Both guys belong in any 140-pound conversation. If the “Super Six” and now the 118-pound tourney have taught us anything, it’s that when the best fight the best, on any given night, anyone can win. No one is a gimme against anyone.




What a night of fights!  Mares showed a lot of heart and took punishment.  He’s quick and explosive, but I think he needs to focus more on boxing from the outside if he wants to have a long career.  He trades way too much and has the ability to be a quality boxer puncher.  Even though Darchinyan has never been my favorite fighter, I give him a lot of credit in changing up his style and boxing more than just going for the one punch KO.  Vic is getting older so I don’t think you can completely teach an old dog new tricks, but if he boxed even more, kept his hands up and was busier with much more combinations he’d be a lot more successful.  He needs to stop thinking he’s going to take everyone out with one punch because his two fights at this weight showed he doesn’t carry his punch or it just doesn’t have as much affect.  


Agbeko fought beautifully.  He boxed and brawled when he needed and if he’s mentally there I’m favoring him over Mares.  Perez needs to stop and take a breath in my opinion.  He’s long and has nice reach in the division and he should use his advantages.  If he boxed from the outside, I think he’d have a much easier time.  


Ortiz looked consistent and I had him easily winning.  I didn’t think it was that close and felt he was robbed.  This was the least entertaining fight of the night, but I still enjoyed it except the decision.  


I don’t like to say someone is overrated, but Khan is very overrated. He has unbelievable speed and beautiful combinations, but in my opinion he just doesn’t have the entire package.  Maidana gained a lot of new fans.  To bad he faded a bit in the 10th because he had it.  I had Khan winning by a point, but I thought a draw would have been nice.  Khan ran at the end and reminded me a lot of his boss De La Hoya when he fought Trinidad.


 I’d like to see Khan take on Ortiz next or have a rematch against Maidana.  I don’t believe he’s quite ready for the Mayweathers of the world like he thinks.  It was a solid fight and I think with the way it ended he didn’t pick up any new fans.  Most will say he was exposed, but I don’t think he was.  I think he’s a good fighter with great speed, athleticism and that’s it.  He’s not the next Paquaio or Mayweather.  As of right now, I’d favor Bradley and even Alexander over him.  Bradily I’d favor heavily.  I’d even say Ortiz vs. Khan would be a toss up.  Either or id like to see Khan or Maidana vs Ortiz next.


 Awesome night of fights and an amazing December so far.  Thoughts?

Michael NYC




I liked what Darchinyan was doing. He was a little less active than I’d like but I think Mares had a lot to do with that. But he played wily vet and it almost got him the win. I really think that with how close and competitive these fights are, we could see all of the matches again when it’s over and none of us would mind one bit. I certainly don’t think Vic is done, nor Perez. That will be a tough fight between two guys who need a win and now.


Joseph Agbeko, man. What a fight he fought. Perez was right there with him and my heart goes out to the guy for losing a tough one but Agbeko just seemed inspired. He was crafty as hell, shifting one way or the other, pumping that jab and working his way around the ring.


I thought that he might fade out after awhile due to his inactivity and at times, it seemed like he had. But he showed chin, toughness and versatility in leading and countering, coming forward and retreating strategically. Perez showed toughness and chin and I do believe it would be a different fight had that cut not occurred. But he was one-dimensional in his attack for the most part. He seemed at one speed and coming on a straight line.


In the end, Agbeko adjusted from the first and through this fight and Perez did not.


I think Perez can rebound but he has to take an honest look at this fight and really assess how he will proceed. He can’t just think I need to keep doing what I am doing and just do it more. He has to vary his attack. At 31, it will be interesting to see how he responds to his first loss.


I wasn’t ready to outright say Victor Ortiz was in full Hector Camacho-mode but I am now. Victor Ortiz has gone full Camacho. If he can hurt you, cool. If not, it’s bounce, bounce, bounce around the ring, combinations occasionally on the go. Rinse. Repeat. “‘Vicious’ Victor Ortiz the Finisher” is not the guy he once was. I could be wrong. I am sometimes. But he had a guy he had dropped and who was not throwing leather early and Ortiz neither kept control nor finished him. He let Peterson work his way back in the fight and nearly lost it. I had Victor up two points and winning the fight.


Still, like I said before, tough fights happen when the top guys fight each other. I don’t think Ortiz or Peterson’s stock rose on Saturday but it was not a terrible fight. I’m not sure where either go though.


Maybe they go to a Khan fight or even Maidana. Why not? Right now, all these guys in any combination will make for an entertaining fight, in my opinion. Hell, throw Zab in the mix for someone. Right now, the names at 140 that have been on TV just need to keep fighting each other until one guy emerges as the best. That’s my Christmas wish #3.


Is Khan overrated? I don’t think so. We know he is a flashy, speedy guy with a chin that can be gotten to and hurt. We also know he has the feet and ability to get through that situation, whereas before, he simply got stopped in one minute. He’s grown as a fighter and as a person. We have to account for that.


Last week, when talking with Timothy Bradley on radio show, Bradley said of Alexander that he was basically inexperienced in a lot of things in boxing. For one, Bradley has fought on foreign soil and been knocked down, nearly out. Now Khan has had that experience. Twice. And after being knocked out and hurt early in his career, he faced it again later in his career and got through it. You can’t buy that kind of experience.


Will Khan always be vulnerable? Sure. “Tito” always was. Will he win and can he win against the top 140-pounders? I think so. Then again, I also think not. The matchups are all so good, anyone can win on any night.


Instead of us trashing the bad parts of fighters, why not enjoy the good? Sure, Maidana almost got the win but he didn’t. Maybe he will get another try down the line. Instead of worrying about that right now, let’s look forward to January 29, Bradley vs. Alexander and then worry about the future landscape.

Let’s enjoy what we have and we have gotten in November and December and not worry about what we may or may not get in the coming months. Let’s savor this a moment.


Have a great week, fight fans.


You can email Gabriel at, follow him on Twitter at and catch him on each Monday’s episode of “The Next Round” with Steve Kim or tune into hear him live on Thursdays at 5-8 PM PST when he co-hosts the BlogTalk radio show Gabriel is a full member of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

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