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Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag

17
Jul

KOTELNIK-KHAN

What's up dude? Good article on the K & K Boxing Factory. I bet you used to hear that you looked like that dude from C & C Music Factory all the time, didn't you? Anyway, enough about that. I pretty much agree with Junior Witter on this one. Khan isn't ready yet. Too many young dudes are getting rushed into the big fights. Remember what I said when HBO first started shoving Kirkland, Ortiz and Angulo down our throats earlier this year. Telling us that they were next. I didn't think any of the guys were ready for the types of killers out there in their respective divisions whether they won their title fights this summer or not. Experience trumps skills and youth most of the time. No disrespect to any of these young cats but they all need to take a step back before their confidence is ruined. I keep looking at how they've protected young Andre Berto and thinking, “Why even have him fight for a title if all you're going to do is hide him after he wins it”?! Holla back!

(p.s. I guess Jones-Lacy can now be officially called the Calzaghe Bowl. Now if they could only get my boy Hard Nard to ref the fight and Bika, Kessler and Manfredo to score it this fight might be worth buying. At least you'll be able to see the rest of the guys that Calzaghe beat.) — Fleetwood, St. Louis, Mo.

The “Calzaghe Bowl”. I like that name.



I agree with you. It’s tough out there for young guns in almost every major weight class (except for maybe the middleweight division now that King Arthur has officially jumped to 168 pounds). But the boxing business is starving for some new attractions so promoters and managers have been willing to roll the dice with promising young fighters more than they have in recent years.

Ortiz crapped out, but I think Khan has a good shot at getting past Kotelnik (the late rounds of that bout will be very interesting). However, I don’t know where Khan goes from there beyond the obligatory sacrifice of Ricky Hatton in a UK mega-fight that I really don’t care about. If Khan beats Kotelnik will he be willing to take on Marcos Maidana or the Bradley-Campbell winner?

Speaking of Bradley-Campbell, I think Junior Witter is going to beat Devon Alexander, who is only 22, in the co-feature to that excellent show.

Trainer and former fighter Rudy Hernandez tells me that fighters — no matter how talented — should be somewhat protected until they are 25 or 26 years old. He doesn’t think they are mature enough, physically or mentally, to fight for world titles or top contenders when they are in their early 20s.

I remember C&C Music Factory (they were big during my college days), but I don’t recall folks saying I look like Freedom Williams (I did’t even have to do a Google search to recall homie’s name, how sick is that!?). I guess I wasn’t buff enough. I got a lot of El Debarge jokes when I was in my teens.

HOZUMI HASEGAWA

I just watched the Youtube clip you guys put up of Hasegawa's destruction of Rocha, then went on Youtube and watched his 3 fights before that one. How the hell does he only have 11 KOs? The little dude just obliterated 4 guys in a row, and looking back at those fighters' opposition, it seems like they were reasonably decent opponents. Are the 4 KOs in a row a fluke, or do you think it's more a matter of him just coming into his own as a fighter. I remember you mentioning how good he was a few times in the past. I'm glad I finally got off my ass and checked him out. Do you see him ever getting on U.S. T.V.? I've heard the small guys can make good money over in Japan. In any case, I'll be watching him on Youtube. — Ben

The small guys do make good money in Japan, but I was told once by a representative of Hasegawa’s promoter (Teiken) that he was interested in fighting in the States. However, that was couple years ago, before his KO streak, and during a time when he felt that he was being unfairly overshadowed by more popular but less skilled (Katsushige Kawashima) or less accomplished (Koki Kameda) Japanese fighters. These days, he’s pretty popular at home. And yes, he’s definitely coming into his own.

His recent KOs are the product of good timing, crisp technique, excellent speed and accuracy. Hasegawa knows how to set up his power shots and he’s very sneaky. He sets up his left by blinding his opponents with a pawing right jab. He “touches” them with light punches to put them at ease and then he strikes like a cobra. He’s very dangerous early in a fight. Fighters should not wait on him the way Nestor Rocha did.

Anyway, I think he’s definitely the best bantamweight in the world right now. I’d love to see him fight live (and it doesn’t matter if I have to travel to Japan to cover him). I wonder if he could do to Abner Mares what he did to poor Rocha?

BANTAMWEIGHT GODZILLA

Dougie,
Ok, maybe I've seen this guy for all of two minutes (thanks to RingTV for the youtube clip), but, man-oh-man, Hasegawa looks like the goods. While we saw Agbeko earlier in the weekend — even though he fought well — unable to follow up with left hooks of consequence after landing straight rights due to flaws in his balance and technique, Hasegawa showed us how it's done. His lead left-right hook combo was a thing of beauty… I just kept playing the sequence over and over again. Prescient comment in your writeup of the Agbeko-Darchinyan fight that there are bantams in the world better than King Kong and Vic. It seems Hasegawa has just as much power as either of those guys, but more speed and sounder fundamentals and technique.

I'm not one to necessarily believe that champs from other places have to come here in order to “make it”, but I'm dying to now see how Hasegawa might fare against the world's best at 118 or 122… Montiel, Donaire, Agbeko, even JM Lopez and Caballero. What kind of chance do you give any of those fights happening? And how do you think they might go down?

Big fights and unifications don't happen often in the smaller weight divisions because there seems not to be enough money to get a titleholder to risk the steady money they've got going by just defending their mandatories (notable exception: Darchinyan). Maybe they're unlikely to happen because only a lower-weight-class geek like me even cares about this stuff. While, we're on the subject, let's pleeeease see Calderon against the dangerous 108er's while he's still remotely close to his prime. Best. — Sugar Sam, Chicago, IL

I want Calderon vs. Roman Gonzalez at 108 pounds and vs. Omar Narvaez at 112 pounds.

I’d love to see Hasegawa test his speed and technique vs. the equally fast hands and tight technique of Montiel and Donaire (as tough and game as Agbeko is, I think he’d handle the Ghanaian), but I don’t see those showdowns taking place unless Fernando and Nonito push themselves up the WBC’s 118-pound ranking, or win the WBA bantamweight title. They don’t recognize the WBO or the IBF in Japan.

But those are damn interesting fights. Montiel and Donaire would give Hasegawa trouble because I think they are a little bit faster than he is and they can deliver their power punches from unpredictable unorthodox angles. However, Hasegawa is the naturally bigger fighter and he’s still in his physical prime (he’s only 26). Those are toss-up bouts in my opinion.

Hasegawa fighting the best of the junior featherweight division is also a fascinating prospect. Caballero would have a better chance of getting Hasegawa in the ring because he holds a WBA belt.

AIN'T EASY BEING A FLOYD FAN

Just caught Floyd's interview 'Rematch' with Brian Kenny. I'm actually a Floyd fan, but the guy has an agenda at all times, this time being the belittlement of Shane Mosley. I laughed when he said Shane has never been the “A” side of a PPV draw (which incidentally I happen to agree with), Floyd seems intent on ignoring the fact that he's able to command 8 figure paydays now because of his fights with Gatti, De La Hoya & Hatton-all of whom brought considerably more fans to the table than him. Instead of trying to cement his legacy, he seems driven to discredit Mosley as a legitimate challenger by lying with the truth (he took steroids and lied about it, he's a cheater, he can't draw) in attempt to confuse the real issue. The biggest tragedy in my mind? I think he would outbox Shane if they fought. I guess I have more faith in Floyd than he has in himself. I want to see the best fights, not the best fights for the fighters. We the fans are the losers in all this. It really blows. — Tom

That’s the main problem I have with Mayweather. When Floyd is the top dog — or among the top dogs — in the sport both he and the fans wind up talking about fights HE WON’T engage in for whatever silly reason. And those fights are usually the most worthy challenges.

Despite his “omega-level” talent, skill, technique, and considerable experience, Mayweather seeks the path of least resistance, which is why we will never see him fight Mosley.

You think he can outbox Mosley, and you might be right. I think the Naazim Richardson-trained version of Mosley will brutally break Mayeather down to a late stoppage in a good boxing match that Sugar Shane forces to become a fight. But we’ll never find out, which is why Mayweather sucks.

SHANE MOSLEY MIRACLE

I thought I'd share a Sugar Shane story with you that I heard on Houston radio. On Monday, a local station has something called “Blood, Sex, or Fame” where callers tell weekend stories of injury, hookups, and/or meeting someone famous. A caller tells one of how he went to Vegas for UFC 100, but when he got to the gate, security told him the $800 worth of tickets he had were fake. So he goes back to the casino lobby extremely disappointed. None other than Sugar Shane walks into the lobby, and he introduces himself, takes some photos, and eventually mentions what happened. Mosley, who had (excellent floor) tickets to the show, tells him something to the effect of “Hey, I've got these tickets, but I'm not going, so here you go!”

I know it's not a big secret that Shane Mosley is a class act, but this story of his generosity to a complete stranger just blew me away.

He's an outstanding ambassador for the sport, and it really endeared him to the local Houston DJs, who generally ignore boxing and push UFC heavily. — Keith

That’s Sugar Shane for ya.

GATTI & CORRALES

Hi Mr. Dougie Fischer:
Just a quick one, sir. Are Diego Corrales and Arturo Gatti Canastota-bound? Why or why not?

Aside from your fab five, I would include Michael Katsidis as one of the true warriors of the sport.

I may be in the minority, but I believe the prime Erik Morales is the best of the 3 mexican musketeers. I hope he prolongs his life by deciding against a comeback.

Thanks. God Bless. — Adrian the Ace, Philippines

The wild and indomitable spirit that Gatti and Corrales fought with and lived until their tragic deaths almost ensures hall of fame induction. It’s easier to make an argument for Corrales, who has victories over Joel Casamayor, Acelino Freitas, and Jose Luis Castillo (in an all-time great slugfest) — all borderline hall of famers — than it is for Gatti. But Gatti was so popular, I can’t see him NOT getting in.

Gatti was our generation’s Bobby Chacon. And Chacon got in the hall of fame even though the only hall of famer he beat was an old version of Ruben Olivares.

Personally, I think popular and exciting fighters like the late Mando Ramos (who had more talent than Gatti and Corrales) and Danny “Little Red” Lopez deserve to get in before Gatti and Corrales, but that doesn’t mean I won’t vote for them when I see their names on the ballot.

Katsidis is definitely cut from their mold but he still hasn’t paid the dues my fab five did — yet.

You can make a case for Morales, Marquez or Barrera. If you make me pick one as the best, I’ll grudgingly go with Marquez, but I prefer to lump them together..

HONEST ABE

Doug,
I haven't seen Abraham fight enough to really make an educated assessment, so here I go trying to make one anyway. I think he's very impressive, all the way around. In his second fight with the Panther, one thing stood out to me, in particular:

He seemed to have a good sense of space, of distance, and a very cool head under fire. The Panther can crack, and it seemed like he was getting in some good shots at Abe early on, but I remember wondering if they really landed flush.

Then, suddenly, Abe pounced, like a, well, Panther, and knocked Edison silly.

I think it's dangerous to compare fighters based on how they fared against a third fighter, but it's too easy not to, so here goes. Pavlik met the Panther (I love that name, I know it's La Pantera, but I just like typing out the Panther, it reminds me of the Black Panther from the Avengers) head on, fought fire with fire, and wore down the Panther in a way of attrition.

Abe, well, he seemed to toy with the Panther a bit, and then when he felt the time was right, he sprung into action like a coiled cobra and struck.

I'm not sure which victory was more impressive, but I will tell you this: If Kickin' Kelly and Honest Abe go to war, I hate to say it, but I think Abe wins. What say you? — Louie

I would have picked Abraham to beat Pavlik had they fought at 160 pounds. I think he would beat Pavlik at 168 pounds, too. Heck, you know high on Abraham, I think he’s going to win Showtime’s super middleweight tournament.

SUPER MIDDLE-SIX

Hi Doug,
Given the rash of cancellations and postponements that has occurred lately, I don’t want to get too excited looking forward to this super middleweight tournament. But, if everything were to fall in place as it is on paper, this would be absolutely great for boxing. And speaking of the tournament, Jermain Taylor gets knocked out by Carl Froch in his last fight and what does he get for his trouble?… an opening round match-up with Arthur Abraham.

The only issue I have with the entire situation is the fact that we won’t be seeing Abraham-Pavlik any time soon, which was the fight to make at middleweight. But hey, maybe a few years from now it could be a fight to make at 168.

Speaking of Pavlik, where do you see him going from here? No one was in love with the Sergio Mora fight to begin with (and I’d assume that would include Pavlik himself), so what now? Felix Sturm? Sergio Martinez? Personally, at this point I’d like to see him in with Paul Williams. It seems more and more like Williams is having a semi-retirement forced on him by a large pool of unwilling opponents.

Anyway, I have just one more thing on Arturo Gatti. I think the best line I’ve ever heard that could just as well have been describing him would be Apollo’s trainer, Tony “Duke” Evers’ line in Rocky II: “I saw you beat that man like I never seen no man get beat before, and the manÔǪ keptÔǪ comingÔǪ after you.” Thanks a lot. Jesse – New Jersey

That’s a great line, perfect for Gatti.

I think Pavlik’s most formidable (and marketable) challenge at 160 pounds is Williams, and that’s the fight I want to see at middleweight now that Abraham is campaigning at 168 pounds, but I also think the middleweight champ should honor his contract and fight Mora.

If Abraham wins the super middleweight tournament I think we will definitely see a 168-pound showdown between the Armenian badass and Pavlik (provided Kelly doesn’t get knocked off by someone at middleweight). The fight will make more sense (and money) at that point. Nobody will be able to say that Abraham isn’t accomplished enough or that he isn’t known enough in the U.S. to make it worth Pavlik’s while.

I’m not concerned about fighters falling out of the tournament due to injuries. There seems to be enough time between fights that most will be able to heal gym injuries or postpone bouts until they are healthy. And if they can’t continue for whatever reason, there are more than a few worthy super middleweights out there who could step in and make for interesting fights.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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