Dan Goossen's take on Arum's March 3 card: Margarito runs from a real challenger, while Cotto makes meaningless mis-mandatory!

By G. Leon


Dan Goossen's take on Arum's March 3 card: Margarito runs from a real challenger, while Cotto makes meaningless mis-mandatory!

GL: Can you give us some thoughts on James Toney's one sided loss to Samuel Peter the other night? "Greg stop saying it was one sided. It's funny, I watched the fight the other night and although I felt that Sam won the fight, if you take away what I thought was more of a slip with James feet getting tangled up in the second round, anyone with any fighting sense could see that was not a punch that caused the knockdown. It was correctly called a knockdown by the referee but it wasn't from the jab, it was because he was off balance. Disregarding that, James lost the first two rounds, but I thought he won round three and rounds four, five and six were very competitive and close. From rounds 7 through 12, he seemed to be very flat.  I've talked to James on the cause of this and there is some thought to the fact of maybe leaving the fight in the gym.  But on the other hand, James certainly had enough to keep Peter from getting any more aggressive than he was that night. I have no problems with the decision and neither does James at this point. We said going in that these were the two best heavyweights, with Klitschko being right up there, so there's no shame in losing to one of the two best heavyweights in the world.  It only evens up the score in what we thought was a victory for James last September."
GL: Coming into this fight James and Freddie Roach both said he would be in the 220's for this fight. He brought Billy Blanks in to help him shed weight and he still came in at 234 pounds. Do you think he was in the kind of shape he needed to be in to fight Samuel Peter?
Dan Goossen: "What I'm about to tell you is not a sales pitch or a promotional angle. We saw a different body on James Toney, one that only hard work could change. The morning he left for the fight in Florida on that Tuesday he weighed 222 pounds. Billy and Freddie both told me that and there's not a more honest voice in boxing than Freddie Roach, he tells it like it is. From the time that he flew out to the time of the weigh in...
GL: He put on twelve pounds.
DG: "Obviously he did, but Billy believes that most of that was water weight that he put on from the travel and then adjusting to the time zone change. I seriously doubt that he ate anything he shouldn't have been eating.  It is the only logical explanation.  We can all see that from a physical standpoint his body looked much better. From his being flat in the latter rounds, I've been playing Monday morning Quarterback and this was a whole new James working under an intense six to eight week period with Billy. In twenty years in the business he's never had this type of training and who knows what type of wear and tear that put on his body? He was eating different foods that might not have agreed with him after the junk he's been used to eating throughout the years. You've heard the stories about the Lima beans, the fish and chicken and the types of liquids he was drinking and I'm sure they were all alien to his system. Throw in the exercises he was doing, which were completely different from what he's done throughout his career, and it may all have equated into what we saw against Peter. It was a great addition in certain aspects, but I believe it's going to take longer than six to eight weeks for the difference to manifest itself in the ring."
GL: It's no secret that James is still in the mix, one of the fights that I wouldn't mind seeing James in is with Chris Byrd, how do you feel about that fight?

DG: "I definitely believe that James can still be a force in the heavyweight division. He's got a different path to take than the one he's been used to taking through most of his career. I met with him last week and he's determined to keep going with Billy and he's determined to try to fight himself back to the top with a big victory. As it relates to any particular fighter, there's nobody he turns down. You have to give him credit for getting in there with that big strong monster, who has gotten better and will continue to get better. What we have to do is get James better, because as we saw the other night, for the first half of the fight it was very competitive.
"There's a lot of good fights out there for him and with James Toney's name, a lot of fights will have a marquee value to it, and Chris Byrd could be one of them. We know James doesn't turn down fights. If Chris Byrd were a big payday for us, we wouldn't hesitate to take it. First we want James to let his body rest for a month, which he begrudgingly has agreed to do. As we would do with any fighter, 25 or 45 year olds, we're going to give him a complete physical to make sure he gets a clean bill of health. With that in hand, he'll be back soon. I've never discounted James, especially when he's got his mind made up. There's not a more mentally strong fighter in the game today and he's up there with anybody from years past as well."
GL: Paul Williams recently came on Boxingtalk and continues to label Margarito a chicken for not fighting him. I also spoke with Bob Arum who told me that Margarito will be fighting in a non-title fight on the undercard of Miguel Cotto's March 3 mandatory against Oktay Urkal. Have you already taken action to ensure that the WBO strips Margarito if this happens?
Dan Goossen: "Yes we have and it really is a shame that Margarito is avoiding his mandatory obligation. But on the other hand, Bob is at least telling the truth.  He flat out says he's not fighting Paul based on avoiding the mandatory.  Clearly, all the talk says Margarito wants to fight Paul, but not really.  I guess that's trying to save face. Bob makes no bones about it, he would rather put Margarito on another Miguel Cotto undercard in a non-title fight when a legitimate mandatory challenger like Paul Williams is standing in his way of a June date with Cotto. On the other hand, you have Miguel Cotto making a mandatory against someone who has done nothing but twice lose to Vivian Harris in a lower weight class. Bob should just move up the timetable and put Margarito-Cotto's fight on March 3. Who wants to see Cotto fight Urkal? I don't.  Margarito and Williams is a far superior fight than that. It's not good for boxing when titles become vacant when real mandatories against real challengers are avoided so that mismandatories and mismatches headline an event.  Margarito and his manager saying they want to fight Paul seems to be disingenuous and in reality it appears they are hiding behind there promoter. Don't say you want to fight Paul and than act toward doing a non-title bout in your next immediate bout.  There have been no financial demands on our end so it's a very easy fight to make. Showtime and HBO would both do the fight as a Main Event, so money is no object. What it appears it boils down to is they just don't want the fight. Not a problem, just give up the title.  Stop the charade. Our number one choice is for Williams to fight Margarito, but we can't make them fight Paul.  One way or the other, Paul will fight for the title in his next fight. All I say to them, have the respect to our boxing industry and to the fans of the sport, if you want to fight Paul, we can make it happen on March 3.  If you don't want to fight him, just tell us and go on with your career and good luck fighting David Estrada and Miguel Cotto.  March 3 is good for Paul...how about you?  Thanks Greg and to Boxingtalk.com."


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