Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag
HUERTA CAUGHT COLD
I hope all is well. Good work on TV tonight. Several points:
1. Damn, Charles Huerta just got caught. It was interesting to hear that Derrick Wilson went toe-to-toe because Huerta came out aggressive. He said he was planning to go the distance. That was one of the best minutes of boxing I have seen all year. Huerta needs to work on keeping his chin tucked, his right hand a little closer to his face, and throwing his punches straighter. I think he'll only come back stronger.
2. B-Hop was right, GBP should sign Wilson before he boards a plane back to Florida. He showed a solid chin (Huerta tagged him a couple of times),
speed, and power. I'm glad we had two prospects squaring off so early, I like to see them fight again down the road.
3. I have no idea whose gonna win between Nate Campbell and Tim Bradley! I hope its just a good scrap.
4. I think Luiz Ramos looks like JMM, not his fighting style, just his looks.
Peace out. — JT, South City
1. Huerta didn’t just get caught, he got cold-f__king-cocked on national TV. Wilson shocked him (and everyone else in Club Nokia Thursday night, including me). Huerta expected the former amateur standout to come out boxing but the fast and flashy Floridian attacked from the opening bell. I think Huerta was OK with that because he thought he could counter Wilson (who was buzzed before he closed in for the kill). However, while Huerta’s eyes followed that wild right hand Wilson missed with the 20-year-old prospect came back with a more compact hook that separated Charlie from his senses. That’s the story of the fight. Big props to Wilson and his trainer John David Jackson (one of my favorite boxing people). It’s a tremendous setback for Huerta but I agree that he will come back stronger.
2. There’s no truth to the rumor that GBP COO Dave Itskowich tackled Wilson with a contract in hand as the kid the tried to leave Club Nokia, but don’t be surprised if the Florida Flash is on next month’s Fight Night Club.
3. Me neither, which is why the matchup is so intriguing. I think it will be entertaining in spots and boring in spots because I believe for Bradley to break down (or at least frustrate or stifle) Campbell he’ll have to tie the veteran up inside.
4. Ramos would do well to try and box more like JMM. Even though he got caught a few times by Sandro Marcos, I still think he’s the most talented of GBP’s new signings.
LIFE, VIPER, AND FIGHT PREDICTIONS
Wassup my man? Been a minute. I hope all is well with you and your little girls. The tragic events of the past month remind us of the need to keep things in perspective. I always say that “Boxing is Life.” The truth is, family is life, and boxing happens to be an integral component of that family-oriented life. Sorry if that's nonsensical jargon. I'm distraught Doug. I met Vernon Forrest on four different occasions. The last time I ran into him (after the Casamayor-Marquez card), he remembered my first name. I couldn't believe it. It made my whole night. Even when the dude was in a hurry he still pretended that he was interested in talking to you. A truly nice person. I cried like a baby when I heard what happened.
Anyways, Dougie, I wanted to tell you about some of the betting lines set for a few upcoming fights. I'm not necessarily asking for your take or your picks; I know some of these fights are still months away, but these lines are so ridiculous that I though it warranted your attention.
-Nate Campbell is +250 against Bradley. +250!!!!! This is essentially a pick 'em type fight, IMO.
-Junior Witter is +175 against Alexander. Another toss up.
-Glen Johnson is +375 against Bad Chad. I'm picking Chad again but there's serious value there.
-Cotto is +190 against Pac. +190!!! Really?? I guess it's tough to bet against Manny at this point, but man…
Am I way off thinking that these are horribly inaccurate? Obviously, this is potentially good (and profitable) for wagering fight fans like myself, but it also makes you wonder what the hell is going on. What do you think of these lines Doug?
Finally, I'd be remiss if I wrote you a betting-related email without giving you props (again) for what I call “The Great Prediction of 2006”. This was when one Dougie Fischer, while breaking down the Jermain Taylor-Winky Wright scrap on TNR a week before the fight, so presciently stated, “I'll pick this fight to end in a controversial draw.” Damn! You know the rest — the fight ended up being one of the most controversial draws in recent memory. Seriously, who makes picks like that? I had $40 on a draw at 22-1 that night.
I'm lovin' the SoCal Notebook-esque gym write ups. I was having SCN withdrawals during your first few months at The RING. Life is back to normal now.
Keep doin' what you do, Dougie. — Joe from Philly (now in Vegas)
I will Joe. Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad you’re enjoying my gym reports. There are more to come.
Not to toot my own horn but I also wrote a brief analysis of Taylor-Wright explaining WHY it would end in a draw in the Staff Picks section of MaxBoxing the week of that fight.
Only time will tell if those odds are inaccurate. I agree that those fights are even matchups, but odds makers tend to lean towards youth, undefeated records and bigger names, so those lines don’t surprise me at all.
I wouldn’t be shocked if both “old men” scored “upsets” in the desert tomorrow night. And I’m not a betting man, but I would put a C-note or two on Johnson with those odds. You gotta lay some money down for that value.
As for Pacquiao-Cotto, those odds aren’t that bad considering their recent performances, but I’ve never picked against the Puerto Rican and there’s a reason for that: the man usually finds a way to win.
Thanks for sharing your experiences with Forrest with us. He will be missed.
VITALI IS CHRIS' NIGHTMARE
I know you’re fairly high on Chris Arreola, but I'm having a hard time envisioning his challenge to Vitali Klitschko being a competitive fight at this juncture in their respective careers. First off if Arreola shows up listless and out of shape (as he did against Travis Walker) he'll likely get embarrassed. And while you could argue that he'll be properly motivated because it's a big fight, the very fact that they had to reject Klitchko's initial offer because “he wouldn't have enough time to get in shape” is pretty disturbing. But I don't think he'll lose because he's trying to make us all recall the glory days of Tubbs, Page and 'Spoon. While I agree he won't choose a slow death like Peter or Gomez, he might just end up rushing to a quicker end. He's going to have to deal with Vitali's ramrod jab and powerful cross. And while he possess none of Baby Bro's athletic ability or fluidity, he more than makes up for it with his awkwardness, which in my opinion is more of a detriment for his opponents than his size. Vitali inside 5 rounds. — Tom G.
You have to favor Klitschko in this matchup but I won’t count Arreola out and I think it will be competitive for however long it lasts. Arreola and his trainer Henry Ramirez wanted this fight (Ramirez sees things in Vitali that he believes makes the older brother an easier fight than Wladimir), so I know Chris will show up motivated with a game plan and in the best shape of his career. Will that be enough to beat Klitschko? Probably not, but it could be if Big Brother begins to feel his age. The thing about Arreola and his style is that he’ll force Klitschko to fight at a much faster pace than he’s used to; and he’s crazy enough to take risks that could pay off. Arreola’s pressure and body attack will let us know if Klitschko is as well preserved as he looked against Peter and Gomez.
KLITSCHKO VS. ARREOLA
Alright Dougie, hope things are well, buddy.
First off just going to echo what everyone else is saying about Vernon Forest – Great guy and one helluva' boxer. I'll still be regailing THAT 2nd round against Mosley and THAT uppercut in 25 years time. Demolished him for 12 rounds to boot as well. Although not my favourite boxer to watch he was technically brilliant and for that I hugely admired him.
Secondly, I give Arreola about a 1% chance of beat Vitali. The guy brawls and that's about it. Vitali won't be scared of getting involved but is just technically far superior and will land the bigger and heavier punches if that scenario happens. I think we could witness something similar to when Vitali fought Lennox Lewis but probably shorter, could be an absolute hummdinger while it lasts but Vitali knocks him out in about the 4th for me.
I still do think the only guy that can give either of the K's problems is David Haye. Love him or hate him he's probably got what it takes – Lightening fast hands and a big punch. People talk a lot about his chin, but in the Carl Thomson fight (his first loss, which incidentally was only something like his 10th pro fight, how many fighters get in with a guy of Thomson’s class that early on?!) he'd pretty much punched himself into exhaustion and had nothing left. Whenever he's gone down since he's got back up and sparked the guy. He runs his mouth, and yes that t-shirt was over the top – but how long have we been wanting someone to come along and generate interest in the heavyweight division?! Thanks bud. — Geoff, London
I give Arreola 30% chance to beat Klitschko and I give him 100% chance to KO Haye should they ever fight.
GRIEVANCES AND MUSINGS
Just reading your mail bag for a couple of months now. I like what ya do. Anyway onto to my two cents worth. What is up with guys like “B (NYC)”? What a complete troglodyte! I can make the same antediluvian generalizations about any number of races in any number of topics, sport or otherwise. Perhaps he's never met an Ukrainian or Russian athlete. Just look at the heavy weight division, or any other given division. He must have really loved BHop's antagonizing of Joe Calzaghe. That mentality is no different than that of the asinine white populous in early 20th century. Thank heavens boxing came around faster than the rest of our society.
And another thing I wish all the David Haye fans would wise up. In my opinion, pretentious as it may be, Haye has no business even fighting Valuev. Maybe he should get tested by some of the other belt contenders first. What a thought. I think you're right about him pitted against Arreola. Bam bam boom! He'd be kissing pavement.
By the way, some stuff about which I am so happy. Though it may not go anywhere, I love the idea of having another George Foreman in the ring. And Manny versus Miguel is fantastic. I would not be surprised if this one goes to the scorecards, but then again who really knows how it will go down. Let's all praise Showtime. There are more than a few divisions that could benefit from a tournament. — Martin (Oklahoma)
All hail Showtime! All hail Ken Hershman!
I wouldn’t be surprised if Pacquiao-Cotto turns out to be a 12-round fight of the year or a one-round blowout (and I can see either guy scoring it), which is why it’s so fascinating.
If Monk Foreman keeps winning he’ll be signed by Top Rank and become the heavyweight version of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I betcha Bruce Trampler has already dusted off his old Rolodex of Butterbean opponents.
I don’t have a problem with Haye going straight for a world title for two reasons: one he was the cruiserweight champ, and two, the man mountain bletholder he’s scheduled to fight struggled with Evander Holyfield, so it’s not like Valuev's “all that”.
As for B (NYC), I don’t think he’s a bad guy or even a racist. He’s just a little misguided. It’s never wise to view the world in terms of race and it’s probably not a good idea to compare any sport (or anything) with the NBA.
RACE, FRAZIER & MARCIANO
That guy who wrote to you about white dudes not being tall and muscular was off. To me, Joe Frazier fought more similar to Marciano than he did to most black fighters (although Joe’s bread and butter was the left hook and Marciano’s was the right, they both had that come-forward, drown the other guy, “blue-collar” ethicÔÇöand neither was what you would call graceful or super-fast).
Wlad K fights similar to Lennox. Foreman was big, and strong like Vit. Willie Pep and Bennie Leonard fought more in the style we think of as “black”—I don’t really think one ethnic or racial group has a lock on a style of fighting. Though, it did seem for a period of several decades that white US heavies cut easy or had bad chins, but stillÔÇª.
(BTW, did you go to comic-con? It was awesome, first time I went was 1984—25 years ago! GeezÔÇªI’m getting’ old.) — Louie
Good points on the similarities between boxers of different ethnic backgrounds.
I’ve been a comic book fan for most of my life but I’ve never gone to a Comic Con. I’m “out” to my boxing readers, but I guess I’m in the closet when it comes to my fellow comic book nerds.
I suppose I’ll go one of these days but don’t expect me to dress up like Green Lantern or anything.
I think the heads of the BWAA, major boxing promoters and network executives should check out how Comic Con is run and try to take some of those ideas of reaching out to one’s fan base for ideas of how to better the industry. I would love it if the BWAA annual awards diner could be expanded to a three-or-four-day event that was more like a boxing version of Comic Con that catered to thousands of fight fans. Wouldn’t it be something if power brokers like Ross Greenburg, Ken Hershman, Richard Schaefer, Bob Arum, and others presented their short and long range plans to fight fans and welcomed the feedback of those fans the way movie studio heads do at Comic Con when they announce comic book-themed films?
Prior to Pacquiao's fight with Oscar, I recall someone predicting an Oscar victory based on a sparring session where he either saw or heard (sorry I don't recall, and can't find where I read it) that Ortiz had Pacquiao out on his feet. To clarify, this wasn't Pacquiao-Ortiz sparring in preparation for the Oscar fight, but as I understood, something that had occurred prior to that fight being signed. I'm trying to dig up a link but can't find one–have you heard anything about this? — KC, NJ
I’ve never seen Pacquiao and Ortiz spar, but I’ve talked to Freddie Roach and some other Wild Card Boxing Club regulars about those sessions and I’ve nobody has ever mentioned the PacMan getting seriously hurt, dropped, or knocked out on his feet.
Roach said they went tit for tat, and the sessions were hard and intense, so he made sure to space them out over a couple of weeks, but I gathered that he did that for Ortiz’s benefit since the prospect was so young and still green.
Dougie can be reached at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/dougiefischer