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Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag

23
Oct

ADAMEK-GOLOTA, WHY?

Mr Fischer,
I read your story about Tomasz Adamek, but I don't see why he is fighting Andrew Golota instead of a rematch with Steve Cunningham. Their fight was exciting and Cunningham closed to make it a closer fight than it should've been. I just think fighting Golota, who is way passed his prime, is a waste of time. — Joseph

I think your opinion is shared by 99.99999 percent of fight fans in the U.S. I certainly feel the same way you do. I was through with Golota 10 years ago. To me Golota = head case. Adamek is an exciting cruiserweight champ and the most deserving contender in his weight class is Cunningham, who happens to match up with the Pole in a way that guarantees fireworks. So obviously, that’s the fight I’d like to see.

However, in Poland, Golota does not = head case. He’s probably the best known boxer in his native country, while Adamek has to be the most respected. This fight is happening because both fighters are getting decent paydays and because it’s a big, big deal in Poland.

Adamek is going to do his best to win impressively and then he’ll wait to see what kind of heavyweight offers come his way. If he doesn’t receive a lucrative offer from the Klitschkos, or perhaps the Valuev-Haye winner, he’ll drop back down to cruiser and look for the best option at 200 pounds. His team will probably go after the Hopkins-Jones rematch winner, but Cunningham is probably the one real cruiserweight who can make for a Showtime- or HBO-worthy broadcast, so I wouldn’t count out that rematch happening.

DOUGIE AND THE CRUISERS

Great piece on Adamek and the steep learning curve of success his predecessors have had when venturing into the land of the giants. God, some of those names really brought me back! Rickey Parkey? Holyfield took him out in three, right? I'm not sure ANYONE could have beaten 'The Real Deal' at that weight, I think he would have lit up Jones, Toney, Spinks, Foster, Moore, Charles or Hopkins had they met in a mythical matchup. Agree? Disagree?

And boy oh boy it would have been fun watching Adamek bounce right hands off his skull for a few rounds, but I think Evander would grind him down eventually.

Anyways, moving on to Adamek. I fully expect him to beat Golota, because, well, I expect Golota to be Golota. If he had Holyfield's mental make-up can you imagine the havoc he could have wreaked? Still, the folks at Main Events don't actually believe Adamek has a chance at beating one of the 'Brothers K' do they? It'll be a great payday, but when you can ONLY fight on even terms with Chad Dawson or Steve Cunningham, how does he expect to match up with those two giants, who unless I'm missing something, are considerably bigger, stronger, better punchers, better defensively and better boxers?

People gave Holyfield little chance to succeed but he was clearly the most dominant fighter in that division. His KOs over the other titlists like Parkey and De Leon proved that beyond a doubt. Adamek is no such animal yet, if he were to rematch with Cunningham (why didn't that happen?) can we honestly say there would be no doubt he would win again? What if Dawson decided to climb to cruiser? I know he's a tough, gritty guy. But the idea of him giving either of the Klitschkos a remotely competitive bout is laughable. I'm not even completely convinced he would have handled De Leon or the version of Qawi from the first Holyfield fight. — Tom G.

The cruiserweight version of Qawi would have been in Adamek’s grill for 12 rounds. Nothing the Pole could do would deter the “Camden Buzzsaw.” I think Qawi would outwork Adamek in a tremendous fight. I think DeLeon would have out-boxed Adamek relatively easily, although there’s always the chance that the classy Puerto Rican boxer could get caught the way he was in his first fight with ST Gordon.

I don’t think Main Events is suffering from any illusions regarding Adamek’s chances against either Klitschko brother. They know it’s their fighter’s dream to fight for a heavyweight title and they realize it’s the most lucrative option for him. That’s the story. Best case scenario is that he beats Golota in impressive fashion Saturday and then fights one of the brothers in a stadium in Europe for $4-$5 million, doesn’t take too bad of a beating, and then drops back down to cruiserweight by late 2010.

I’m glad you liked the cruiserweight feature, Tom. It was a walk down memory lane for me, too. I recall names like Marvin Camel, DeLeon, Gordon, Ossie Ocasio, and Lee Roy Murphy in the mid-1980s. At the time I thought they were average fighters, paper title holders waiting for a monster like Holyfield to sweep through the cruiserweight division the way Mike Tyson was doing in the heavyweight division at the same time. The Real Deal did whup most of their asses, but in doing the research for my article, I was reminded of how talented some of these guys were. DeLeon, Camel, Murphy and Ocasio could box and they could FIGHT. They have very respectable careers. Gordon was not the smoothest brother in the ring, but damn, he could punch!

You might be right about Holyfield at 190 pounds. He certainly appeared unbeatable. However, I would go with Ez Charles over Holyfield in a terrific 12- or 15-round tussle, and I can see Spinks putting the jinx on southern badass, too. Moore might have caught him clean and taken him out. You never know. His size, strength, mobility and activity would have made him difficult for Moore, though. Jones’ speed would have bothered him, but Holyfield wasn’t exactly slow at cruiserweight. His pressure and more-sound technique would have caught Jones by the late rounds. Toney’s toughness, savvy and counter-punching ability would made for a competitive scrap, but Holyfield’s activity would eventually win out. Foster’s speed, technique and power would make for an explosive fight early but I think Holyfield’s chin could hold out and I’m not sure the Albuquerque native was durable enough to hang with Holyfield over the distance.

P-WILL IN THE SUPER 6

Doug-
What's up bro? Thanks for printing my previous 2 rants, appreciate it and loved your thoughts as usual.

With the unfortunate announcement that the Kelly Pavlik-Paul Williams fight is off again, what about Williams as the selection after the (hopefully) inevitable withdrawal of Jermain Taylor from the Super Six? He's been claiming he'd go up to 168 if need be for the big fights, and I'd rather see that then see him fight another ho-hum fight at 154 or 160. It doesn't look like any of the players at 147 will fight him, and I'm not sure how much longer he'd be effective at that weight anyway with that freakish frame. If not I think the winner of Bute-Andrade deserves the (presumed) spot, and Allan Green and Edison Miranda certainly do NOT deserve it.

Very disappointed that Dirrell didn't put it together–I think he's got mad skills, but man was it frustrating to watch him fight the way he did–and still basically fight even if not outright win the fight. Froch looked like he was in there with Sweet Pea Whitaker and was there to be hit. I'm so bummed Dirrell didn't pick him off while moving like he seems capable of. Oh well. Maybe he can put it together next time.

Since the Two-Headed Klitschko Monster seems unbeatable (but also unwatchable) for now, my fingers are crossed that David Haye scores a spectacular KO over Valuev, destroys and finally rids us once and for all of John Ruiz in his mandatory, and then goes on to have a series of exciting, multiple knockdown, successful defenses over suddenly motivated and in shape (a guy can dream right?) action fighters like David Tua, Chris Arreola, Sam Peter and even Shannon Briggs. By then the Cloverfield… er, Klitschko monster will have beaten Kevin Johnson, Eddie Chambers (who would make a terrific cruiserweight king), Tomasz Adamek, Alexander Povetkin & Hasim Rahman again and might be ready to be toppled by Haye. Or Tyson Fury. Ha, I kid, I kid. Thanks for listening! — Chris

I’m not sold on Haye as a heavyweight, yet. If he beats the Russian giant I’ll forgive him for that awful decapitation T-shirt he wore to the pre-fight press conferences for the Wladimir Klitschko showdown, and I’ll consider giving him a pass for pulling out of fights with both brothers. If he beats Ruiz, I’ll be on board. (I might even buy one of those awful T-shirts and wear them to his fights.) I might even be convinced that “the Hayemaker” is good for boxing if he takes on the likes of Tua and Arreola (who could fight each other in December, on the Williams-TBA undercard).

Dirrell’s still young. He doesn’t even have 20 fights under his belt. Those 12 rounds with Froch had to be a learning experience. I think he’s only going to get better with more fights against world-class opposition. Who knows? He might give King Arthur fits when they fight here in the good ole U.S. of A. where the referee will hopefully penalize the bruiser for his use of forearms and elbows.

Although Williams would add a lot of excitement to the Super Six, particularly here in the States, I would rather not see him in that tournament because he’s completely unproven at 168 pounds. If Taylor pulls out, the winner of Bute-Andrade is the best fill-in.

I think middleweight is the perfect division for P-Will. Junior middleweight is OK for him if he has a worthy opponent (like James Kirkland when the Texas badass gets out of jail), but like you, I have doubts that he can make 147 pounds without draining himself. Williams, and many fans, like to point out that he weighed 145 pounds for the Quintana rematch, but he got the Puerto Rican out of there midway through the first round, so we never got to see how his body would react to a distance fight after losing all the weight he has to make welterweight.

MOSLEY-WILLIAMS ON DEC. 5?

Hey Dougie, now that it looks like Pavlik is on the verge of postponing the fight again, isn't it a natural for Paul to go down to 147 (which I think he can still make rather easily given he was 145 for the Quintana rematch and supposedly walks around at 165-170) and fight Mosley? Both guys have been avoided in the past and are searching for that marquee fight. Not only is Williams-Mosley a fascinating clash of styles but it would also be a huge matchup within the boxing community. It might not be a mainstream crossover fight but the winner would seemingly establish such a stronghold as THE guy besides Floyd and Manny (and P4P the #3 fighter in the world) that he could no longer be avoided and would set himself up for those kind of fights down the road.

Besides, nobody wants to see Mosley fight Andre Berto (a complete bore), and if he beats Paul Williams, Floyd Mayweather would HAVE to fight him or expect to no longer be taken seriously in the sport. What do you think? Any chance of the fight happening, and who do you think would win? I like Williams by late stoppage in an easier-than-expected fight. Also if this fight ever got made do you think HBO would put it on PPV or World Championship Boxing? — Dan, NY

Mosley-Williams would be on HBO Championship Boxing. Neither fighter has a dedicated fan following. Mosley has been a part of some big PPV events, but as the B-side, not the attraction. Right now, Williams doesn’t even qualify as a B-side.

I don’t see this fight happening at welterweight because I really don’t think Williams can make 147. I don’t care what Williams tells the media. He doesn’t make welterweight without a lot of time and sacrifice and he hasn’t walked around at 165-170 pounds since 2003-2004. These days he walks around in the 180s.

I agree it’s a better fight than Mosley vs. Berto, but the undefeated WBC beltholder is currently fighting at welterweight and Williams isn’t. If Williams really wants to get down with Mosley, he’s going to have to have a fight at 147 pounds. Regardless of who Williams winds up fighting on Dec. 5, he won’t be fighting under 154 pounds. You better believe that. He’s be fighting at middleweight or at a catchweight (156 or 157 pounds).

If Mosley-Williams did happen at welterweight it would be a very hard fight for both fighters. I would give Mosley a very good chance to win that fight even though Williams’ height, reach and southpaw stance are all wrong for the Sugarman (and pretty much everyone else). Williams will be right there in front of Shane, more than willing to trade (and he’s no defensive genius), and I think he’ll fade down the stretch as he did in the Margarito fight for the simple fact that he’s outgrown the welterweight division. I have a lot of respect for Williams, and I was one of the first fight scribes to write about the young man, but I think a lot of fans and media are overrating him after wins over a 40-year-old Verno Phillips and 37-year-old Winky Wright (who had been inactive for almost two years). Yahoo! Sports has him listed at No. 3 pound for pound. Hey, I think Williams is an elite fighter, and deserves to be in everyone’s P4P top 10 (it’s a shame he isn’t in THE RING’s), but he hasn’t proved that he belongs in that territory yet.

Anyway, I agree that a Mosley-Williams fight would be a huge matchup in the boxing community, but there’s no way Mayweather or Pacquiao would fight the winner.

CRUISERWEIGHT CORRECTION & MEMORIES

Hey Dougie, first off I have to correct a minor error as I am one of those anal retentive geeks but Carlos DeLeon won versions of the cruiser title five times and not the three that you stated. However it was a trademark well written and interesting article.

I thought I knew most boxing facts as I consider myself a bit of a student of the history and although I remember Ossie Ocasio as a ex-cruiser champ losing to the likes of Lennox, Mercer and some South African, I did not know he was a heavyweight first let alone that he beat Jimmy Young and fought the Easton Assassin Larry Holmes. I know plenty about the Holmes career but am gobsmacked that one had slipped under my radar.

Good read and a couple other little facts I had previously been unaware of. Some names I had almost forgotten about mentioned, too – DuPlooy, Bodzianowski, Alex Garcia that made me nostalgic and also Robert Daniel who I well remember a Ring or maybe KO story about how he still lived with his mum and was a quiet lad who just so happened to be a boxing titlist. Wow, that sets me off thinking about other fighters who were unlikely champs like Darren Van Horn who was also a student somehow. Off my mind goes, exactly what a good article should make it do!!! — Toby, Cornwall, England

I’m glad you liked it, Toby. You are definitely a hardcore boxing geek to get excited about names like DuPlooy and Bodzianowski, and wonder about Darrin Van Horn. But you’re right that I got the number of titles DeLeon won wrong. He won the WBC cruiserweight belt four times — the first time was from Marvin Camel in 1980, then lost it to ST Gordon in 1982, and regained it from Gordon in 1983, then lost it to Alonzo Ratliff in 1985, and regained a third time from Bernard Benton in 1986, then lost it to Holyfield in 1988, and then regained the vacant belt (that Evander abdicated when he stepped up to heavyweight) from Sammy Reeson in 1989. Unless I’m missing something, that’s four, not five.

I don’t think Ocasio was as good as DeLeon, but like “Sugar” he was a prodigy who had the style of a seasoned veteran when he was in his early 20s. He was cagey even when he was in with Holmes. I remember the trouble he gave Ray Mercer with his constant movement and unpredictable nature.

WILLIAMS-MOSLEY ON DEC. 5?

Sup Dougie,
Disappointing to hear Pavlik-Williams fell through. Can't lie, Kelly's been a disappointment since the Hopkins fight. Why not have Mosley step in and fight Williams on December 5? After all, they are the two most avoided men in boxing and the fight can easily take place in the junior middleweight limit of 154. It would make for a great fight as well! — Will

A junior middleweight bout between Mosley and Williams is more realistic than a welterweight fight, in my opinion, but it would be a big mistake for Sugar Shane to fight P-Will at that weight. Mosley isn’t as good at 154 pounds as he is at 147. Never has been, never will. He slows down and his activity always seems to drop significantly at junior middleweight. Williams might be stronger than Mosley at 154 pounds and he won’t fade in the late rounds the way I believe he would in a welterweight bout.

Pavlik’s been worse than a mere disappointment since the Hopkins fight. He’s been a non-issue. Out of sight and out of mind. He’s lived up to his nickname in the worst way since suffering his first loss. It sucks for him and it sucks for boxing.

P-WILL VS. MONEY

Now it’s time to beat the drums for Floyd Mayweather vs. Paul Williams, Dougie. Beat them hard since Kelly ain’t fighting. Bang the damn drums on this! — Deric

Yes sir! But I should warn you, I can bang the drums ’till my hands bleed, Mayweather ain't getting in the ring with Williams.

And P-Will is one guy I’ll give him a pass to avoid. Williams is too damn big for Floyd. P-Will is a middleweight. I’ll give Mayweather crap for not fighting top-10 welterweights, but I won’t fault him for not fighting a top-5 middleweight.

ANDRE WARD

Yo Dougie,
I think it is interesting that few fans give Andre Ward any chance of winning this Super Six thing. To me he might be the best pure athlete of the bunch, he has great skills, intelligence and focus, and recently… particularly against Miranda… has shown the ability to bite down when he has to. Also, while he is not a devastating puncher, he packs enough power to command respect.

Granted, he got a very tough first draw in Kessler, but I think that is a winnable fight for him. Call me crazy but I truly believe that this tournament could turn into a Ward coming out party. The only other fighter in the tournament who is a real danger to him is Abraham who he won't face until the semis. He will outpoint Dirrell in a close and possibly boring fight, outbox Taylor fairly easily in an exciting fight (if he stays) and if Green is the replacement… well, I don't think that much of Green. He got a lot of mileage off that Jaidon Codrington knockout and he is a good fighter, but I think he has many deficiencies including a chin he likes to hold high while pulling straight back.

So while everyone seems ready to crown Abraham or Kessler as shoe ins for the top spot, I think Ward has an excellent chance and maybe the livest underdog out there. If I was a betting man… — Matt Ernst

I think it would be a mistake to count Ward out. He’s just 25 and he’s only got 20 fights under his belt, but he’s one of the most mature fighters I’ve ever spoken to.

Right now, I’m favoring Kessler to win on Nov. 21 based on the talented Dane’s experience. However, I’m sure I might change my mind if I talk to Ward before the fight. He’s a very focused and determined young man, and he might turn out to be very special. We’ll see. If he is, this tournament will bring it out in him.

I can’t wait to cover the Kessler fight.

GREEN IS GOLD

Doug,
Dude, I have followed your mailbags and have been a fan of your writing for awhile now. You and I usually see eye to eye (especially when it comes to “Money”). In fact I have used an article of yours when arguing with the guys at my barbershop about Floyd (I don't get it man, their argument always comes back to money and not legacy, which makes it hard to argue). Anyway, Michael Rosenthal wrote an article saying that you suggested the next person to be in the Super Six (if Jermain leaves) is Lucian Bute and not Allan Green. Your reasoning behind that is because Green didn't look good in his last fight and because he lost to Miranda.

Come on man, let's put this into perspective. When he fought Miranda wasn't he having that issue with his colon but still fought and knocked Miranda down? Also wasn't Simms a late replacement (never mind the fact that he was undefeated)? You know late replacements can be spoilers. Now I am not saying that Bute doesn't deserve to be in the Super six, but he has a rematch with Andrade and didn't he turn it down in the first place? From the start I felt Green should have been a part of this tournament especially if we're going to have American representation, and was really pissed that Dirrell and Taylor (which I understood that pick) got in and he didn't. Seriously, what has Dirrell done to warrant his placement? I really think Green has the tools man. Maybe I'm not seeing something, but I was shocked to read that. Help me see your side? — Symbol

OK, I’ll try but first I need to correct you two things. One, I said the winner of the Bute-Andrade rematch, not Bute, is the best replacement for Taylor should the middleweight champ decide to withdraw from the tournament.

Two, the reason I’m not too high on Green as a Super Six substitute is not his performance against Simms, it’s because I don’t believe he’s ever defeated a bona fide super middleweight contender.

Like astute boxing writer and young historian Cliff Rold (of Boxingscene.com), I think it’s strange that THE RING rates Green but not Dirrell.

The magazine’s editorial board says that despite Dirrell’s showing against No. 3-rated Carl Froch, he hasn’t officially defeated a RING-ranked super middleweight contender. You would agree with that.

Fair enough. You could say Dirrell fought a bunch of nobodies before last Saturday. However, I give the undefeated Olympic medalist credit for his fifth-round TKO win over fringe 168-pound contender Anthony Hanshaw, and to a lesser extent, his stoppage of Russian slugger Victor Oganov (who, for the record, I think Green would have smashed had their fight gone through).

Who are the best fighters that Green has defeated? Jaidon Codrington was an inexperienced prospect. Is it Jerson Ravelo? The 2000 Dominican Olympian had the tools to be something at 168 pounds, but who did he ever beat? He had won four fights in a row going into the Green bout, but he was beating up on no-hopers, and Green didn’t exactly set the world on fire in that bout.

Is Rubin Williams one of Green’s best wins? Perhaps the former title challenger could be considered a fringe contender, but I was ringside for Williams’ fight prior to the Green bout, against Antwun Echols. It was a damn good 12 rounder, but Echols had NO LEGS and still managed to hold Williams to a draw. And then Williams was inactive for an entire year before he fought Green, who arguably won every round but once again didn’t make the kind of statement that would excite fans.

He looked great vs. Carlos Deleon Jr., but the son of one of the best cruiserweights ever, is a prospect. Maybe you could call Simms a fringe contender, maybe, but I wouldn’t. He had an undefeated record, but who did he beat to compile it? I’ll tell you, has-beens and never-will-bes.

Look, I have nothing against Green. I think he’s got talent and personality. He’s a hot and cold fighter, but when he’s on he’s a lot of fun to watch. If he somehow gets in the Super Six tournament, I won’t cry bloody murder. However, I maintain that both Bute and Andrade are more deserving.

Dougie can be reached at [email protected]

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