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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

22
Jun

HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Hey Doug,
Just a few thoughts on Klitschko-ChagaevÔǪ Wladimir Klitschko takes heat for the manner in which he wins, but the point is the fact THAT he wins. At the same time I do understand that a bit more is expected for someone holding the title of “Heavyweight Champion.” You would like to see him exert a little more pressure and just bang that right hand home, especially because when he does throw it he is pretty accurate. It is somewhat frustrating seeing jab-right hand, jab-right hand, jab-right hand with nothing else behind it, but if that’s all he needs to use to win comfortably, why would he change? And to that point, I wouldn’t mind seeing even more right hands.

Now, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that this was an exciting fight, as B.J. Flores described it, but it sure was a hell of a lot better than Klitschko-Ibragimov (not exactly lofty standards, I know). I would look forward to see him face a guy like David Haye, someone who has the potential to do something Ruslan Chagaev didn’t doÔǪ actually make Klitschko fight. Unfortunately for Haye, I think his shots are a bit too wide, not to mention the fact that he’s never tasted real heavyweight power. But, it would definitely be interesting. That’s all I have for now, thanks. — Jesse, New Jersey

Even before Saturday’s heavyweight championship, Wladdy Kltischko had established himself as the most accomplished, if not the best, big man in the game. Now that he’s got recognition as “the champ”, he almost has it all — talent, skill, experience, awesome physical tools, a hall-of-famer for a head coach — but the one thing he lacks is excitement. He hasn’t brought drama to the ring since Emanuel Steward slowed down his offense to help preserve his stamina and taught him how to hold guys who get inside.



Now that Wladdy is “the man”, I think the mission for Team Klitschko should be to rekindle the excitement that Baby Bro at least occasionally brought to his fights in the early-to-middle part of this decade. I think the only challengers his management should consider is David Haye (at the O2 Arena in London or New York City’s Madison Square Garden) or Chris Arreola (at STAPLES Center in L.A.). To my mind, those are the only heavyweights who will bring enough heat and defiance to force Klitschko out of his comfort zone. Klitschko, who is looking damn sharp, should be considered a heavy favorite in both bouts; and he might ice both sluggers within the first three or four rounds, but at least those fights will be exciting while they last.

COULD KLITSCHKO HAVE DONE MORE?

What’s up Doug?
Love the site and all of your articles. I enjoyed watching the Klitschko fight, but a couple of things came to my mind. First, why didn't Chagaev's corner tell him to move to his to right, away from Klitschko's right hand? After getting nailed with it for a couple of rounds, I would have thought they would have made an adjustment. He just kept moving to his left and eating those hard right hands.

Also, I would have liked to see Klitschko get a little more aggressive in the later stages of the fight, particularly in the ninth when he had Chagaev against the ropes. While I think he had a dominant performance, I think a knockout would have punctuated the win and won him over more fans here in the states. What do you think? Keep up the good work. You do a great job. I am a senior in college studying sports journalism and you are one of my favorite writers. Take care and hope the family is well. — Jerome, Richmond, VA

Thanks for the kind words, Jerome.

It’s anyone’s guess as to why Chagaev continually stepped into Klitschko’s right, but mine is that he was more leery of Wladdy’s consistent jab (which lands with the impact of an average-sized heavyweight’s power shot) than the right hand that was used sparingly in the early rounds of the bout.

You, me and everyone else would have liked to see Klitschko press the issue more during the fight, particularly the later stages of the bout, but I think it’s clear that if Wladdy doesn’t have to go all out he won’t. That’s why we need to see him in the ring with a heavy handed challenger who is going to go for broke. He’s got two vulnerable but entertaining fighter/personalities to choose from (Haye and Arreola). Let’s hope he choose one of them before the end of the year.

BETTER TANDEM?

Hey bro,
Watching Wladimir destroy Chagaev made me wonder: Which set of siblings is better? The Marquez brothers or the Klitchkos? What do you think? — Luis, San Diego

I would go with the Marquez brothers. Since 2007, they have been — and are currently — ranked in most pound-for-pound lists. The Klitschko’s are skilled, talented and accomplished fighters, but they are the top two heavyweights in what many consider to be the division’s weakest era in decades. Nobody considers either brother to be an elite, pound-for-pound-level fighter. I also think the quality of oppositions that the Marquez brothers have faced is superior to that of the Klitschkos.

WLADDY VS. THE ALL TIMERS

I kept hearing people talk about how dominant Klitschko looked in the ring on Saturday, and while I do agree that it was a wipeout, I didn't really find the fight very inspiring. Later that afternoon, I ended up watching Duran-Barkley, from 1989, and in that fight, saw a wonderful example of a smaller, older fighter out-maneuvering and out-boxing a taller, younger, longer man.

With this in mind, can you think of any heavyweight greats of the past that could have neutralized Klitschko's jab and created punching angles, despite a presumed size disadvantage? — gopal rao

Yeah, I can think of a lot heavyweights of the not-so recent past who could have handled Wladdy’s size, style and athleticism. I don’t think I necessarily have to pull from the all-time great pool — for example, I think the early 1990s version of Riddick Bowe would have done very well against either Klitschko (but especially Baby Bro) — but if you want hall of famers (or future hall of famers), here’s four off the top of my head: Lennox Lewis, Larry Holmes, Joe Frazier and Mike Tyson.

Holmes and Lewis had the size, reach, jab, and powerful right hand to match Wladdy’s key tools, but I think they were busier, which would probably be the difference in the mythical matchups. Frazier and Tyson at their best possessed the kind of bob-and-weave pressure-fighting styles — backed by excellent hand speed (for heavyweights) and terrifying punching power — that would have given Wladimir hell.

MISCELLANEOUS THOUGHTS

What's good Dougie,
Congrats to Wladimir Klitschko for his dominant win over Chagaev and the fact that the #2 heavyweight is his brother so he has a great excuse not to fight him without tainting his legacy. Wlad and Andre Berto must train together because they want absolutely nothing to do with inside fighting and assure none takes place.

I disagree with the email that was posted on Friday that said 'mythical rankings bear no actual value'. The Ring's P4P list is the most respected and now bears value, however mythical or hypothetical it may be, if not, why does Shane Mosley want the #1 spot so much? P4P adds importance and serves as further recognition to the holders and the lower weight divisions.

Cotto-Pacquiao at 147 (maybe as low as 145) has fight of the year written all over it, at 144 it could drain Cotto to a point where he is too lethargic to even compete with Manny. Pacquiao fans argue that if the fight is at 147, Cotto would blow up to 160 on fight night and it wouldn't be a fair fight, but I've yet to see any evidence that Cotto has ever come in at 160.

Pacquiao proved himself to be the best jr. welter in the world by far so save the former flyweight talk for when you argue where he belongs on ATG list. No need to demean a potential win and great fight because Cotto comes in to the fight with zapped energy due to weight loss. Cotto's going to need all the pounds he can to eat all the punches Manny's going to force feed him and be able to stay on his feet. Am I wrong for wanting to see the best fight possible?

Abraham will keep getting frozen out by Pavlik, Sturm, and their teams, after Oral. Doug, is it legit to say a fighter with the titles and in the position of Pavlik can strongly suggest who he wants to fight next? Are Mora and Sturm really more lucrative fights than AA? Pavlik vs. Abraham are the types of fights that need to happen for the expansion of boxing to continue. The standards have fallen a lot, Sugar Ray Leonard was called a duck for much less.

Looking forward to Ortiz-Maidana, high hopes for the Vicious One. Doing what he did to Maussa and Arnaoutis as fast as he did tells me he's on a whole 'nother level from the fighters at 140 (void MP).

Chris John will improve on his last performance and UD Juarez this time around.

If Fernando Guerrero can tighten up his defense, he's a future titlist and possible star. Am I wrong or is a prospect consistently drawing 6k unheard of?

Excuse the length, the thoughts really do pile up.

Take it easy man. — Hector, Mass.

Hey, email me more often and the thoughts won’t pile up so much. LOL!

I think Guerrero, Daniel Jacobs, Matt Korobov, Shawn Estrada, Craig McEwan, Peter Quillin, and Joe Green will make for an entertaining round-robin at middleweight in about a year or so. (At least I hope so!)

Had John not pulled out of his rematch with Juarez because of some kind of blood ailment I would have agreed with your prediction. Tough break for both John and Juarez (and the fans who were looking forward to this rematch).

You’re not the only one with high hopes for Victor Ortiz, Hector. I agree that his quickie KOs of Maussa and Arnaoutis showed his considerable potential, those bouts let us know that his punching power is for real. However, this fight with Maidana will be the proving ground for his chin, which some insiders question. If he passes Saturday’s stern test, I think the sky is the limit for the young man.

I hope you are wrong about Arthur Abraham being frozen out of major middleweight showdowns. The Germany based Armenian is arguably the best 160-pound fighter on the planet. I think Abraham will get his shot at the champ, Pavlik, before the end of next year. Why? Because aside from Felix Strum and Carl Froch (neither of whom are an easy task for the Ohioan), who else is out there for Pavlik that captures the imagination of both the fans and HBO and Showtime’s network executives?

Freddie Roach knows Manny Pacquiao better than anyone. I think he realizes that his fighter is world class at 140, but might be pushing it at 147 pounds. The problem they have with fighting the best junior welterweights is that none of them are major names like Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto and Shane Mosley. The winner of the Tim Bradley-Nate Campbell fight is worthy of shot at Pacquiao on paper, in terms of the sport, but in terms of business, neither Bradley nor Campbell brings a significant audience to a PacMan promotion. If Pacquiao is going to get paid what he demands (and deserves) he needs to fight a fellow star — and right now, they all reside above 140 pounds. If the catchweight for a Pacquiao-Cotto clash is at 145 pounds, I don’t think the weight loss will detract from the fight (which I agree has Fight of the Year written all over it), but anything under 145 probably will. I agree it kind of sucks for the purists like you and I, but if Cotto wants to take the risk that’s his business and I say more power to him.

I agree that pound for pound lists have some relevance in the sport, but THE RING’s isn’t only mythical ratings out there. Mosley could be talking about the lists that can be found on Yahoo! Sports, ESPN.com, MaxBoxing.com, BoxingScene.com and other websites/publications. I think he wants recognition as the pound-for-pound best by everyone.

Good one regarding Klitschko and Berto, but ask yourself this: Aside from a prime Riddick Bowe, how many quality big men (heavyweights over 6-foot-4) were really good inside fighters? I know Lennox Lewis had a damn good uppercut, but that was pretty much all he did (when he wasn’t tying his opponent up) on the inside. How many big men really let their hands go with abandon in close? Maybe Chris Arreola when he’s in really good condition (which isn’t very often).

PASCAL-DIACONU

Dougie,
Chad Dawson finally has an opponent at light heavy I want to see him in with and it's Jean Pascal. I really believe that Pascal's quick combos, aggressiveness and heart may give Bad Chad a real test, especially late in a fight. Pascal does seemed to get stunned a lot when clipped but so does Dawson. I think losing the Froch fight really helped him for Diaconu too since he seemed more aggressive and fought more evenly throughout the rounds than he had against Froch. And having those two fights in the bag I think has prepped him for a guy like Dawson. I know Dawson is a different style than those two but I mean in terms of fighting a quality guy on the big stage. You could even say that Pacal's last two fights have been on a bigger stage than any of Dawson's. Man, can they pack them in for boxing up in the Great White North or what? Pascal, Diaconu, Bute all seem to put 10,000 + in the seats every time I've seen them on TV.

I remember when Diaconu was Dawson's mandatory people (and I believe the networks too) seemed to deride him for being an unfit alphabet mandatory. After seeing Friday's fight I think he would have given Dawson fits. Dawson doesn't seem comfortable with super aggressive guys coming at him all night. — J in FLA

I think Dawson would have likely schooled Diaconu, but I agree that Pascal would present a suitable challenge to the two-time beltholder. Pascal’s somewhat awkward stick-and-move style combined with his speed and underrated power would pose some difficulties to Dawson, who is used to fighting orthodox righties and lefties. However, Dawson possesses height, reach and speed that Diaconu lacked, plus he’s got much better technique than Pascal, so I can see him nailing Pascal with some regularity.

It’s a good fight. If Dawson gets by Glen Johnson it would be nice to see him battle a talented fighter his own age.

IS THE MONTH OF JUNE CURSED?

Dear Mr. Fischer,
What's with all these tough guys getting injured?

‘Needs Money’ can't make the fight against Juan Manuel Marquez, so July 18 is out of contention.

David Hayemaker got injured and can't make the fight with Klitshcko.

Bad as those dates and fight cancellations have been, they can't compare to the seemingly cursed June 27 PPV card. First Kelly Pavlik's less than exciting fight with the Latin Snake got canceled, which left Juanma on the top of the card with the Morel-Montiel fight on the undercard. I was actually okay with this, as Morel and Juanma make for entertaining bouts.

Now Montiel busts himself up and can't make the fight either, leaving us to watch Jorge Arce (who got schooled by Armeniageddon and who we were going to watch fight for free before this happened) and Yuri Foreman (wasn't he supposed to fight Daniel Santos?) v. K-9 Blundrage on the Juanma undercard. I hope they plan to sell that PPV at a discount, because I'm hesitant to pay $50 for ANOTHER crappy undercard.

I guess I don't really have questions this week, just wanted to rant a bit.

As always, thanks for your hard work.

(PS I caught some of fight night and was pretty sure it was you doing voice over work with Bhop. I'm looking forward to the chatter between you two.) Sincerely. — Enrique Fernandez Roberts, Washington, DC

If chatter is what you want during a boxing telecast, Hopkins and I can definitely deliver. Seriously, thanks for the praise. I think the Fight Night Club series started off strongly and will only get better — in every way (including the commentary) — with time. I’m glad fans like you were watching. Keep tuning in.

I don’t know what to say about all these damn fight postponements and cancellations. I was taking them in stride until I learned of Chris John falling out of this Saturday’s rematch with Juarez. That was the final straw, man. That just bummed me the f__k out if I may be real with you. I was really looking forward to Saturday’s show because of the combination of John-Juarez II with Ortiz-Maidana fight. I’m still hyped about watching Ortiz take on his toughest opponent to date, but that 140-pound title eliminator is not enough to carry the entire card in my opinion and there’s nothing on the non-televised undercard that really captures my imagination.

The summer isn’t totally shot to hell, Kotelnik-Khan will hopefully make its new July 18 date and the Bradley-Campbell fight that was recently made for August 1 is as quality a matchup as can be made in the 140-pound division, but imagine how hot June and July would have been had Klitschko-Haye, Montiel-Morel, Mayweather-Marquez and John-Juarez II carried on as scheduled?

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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