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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag

22
Mar

WHAT'S GOING THROUGH THEIR MINDS?

Sup Dougie,
I just finished watching the Wladimir Klitschko-Eddie Chambers fight and Eddie wasn't even trying to win. We all saw what Josh Clottey did against Pacman and it is frustrating to see fighters just trying to go the distance instead going for broke when they have an opportunity to win a world title. What do you think are going through the mind of these fighters? It would be nice if all fighters had the heart of Chico Corrales. Regards. — Pep

It would be nice if all fighters had the heart of the late Diego Corrales. Boxing would probably a top sport in every country. But the fact is, most fighters aren’t — most human beings, period, aren’t — which is what makes warriors like the late Corrales and Arturo Gatti special.

Do you really wonder what’s going through the minds of fighters who make a decision to avoid exchanges? LOL. It’s real simple, my man, they don’t want to get hurt! Fighters are human beings. They’re just like you and I only they have higher thresholds for pain and physical punishment.



However, even prize fighters have their limits. Clottey found it with Manny Pacquiao (and to a lesser extent with Antonio Margartio). Chambers found it with Klitschko. Pacquiao hit Clottey with shots that he felt through his high guard and that badly stung him to the body early in their fight and he made a decision to fight back as sparingly as possible in order to limit Pac’s opportunities to nail him flush on the chin. Chambers did the same thing with Klitschko. He felt that pile-driver jab of Wladdy’s and probably thought “Damn, this jab is catching and hurting me like a big right hand.” Neither fighter gave up immediately. I’m sure both were still trying to figure out how to get to their fast and powerful opponents in the early rounds, but I guarantee you whatever plan they had coming into those fights was tossed out as soon as they felt the pain of their antagonists’ punches. Clottey is normally defensive minded, but he’s never THAT damned reserved. Chambers’ attempts to body slam Klitschko in the early rounds was out of character. He wasn’t his usual self after getting belted by 30 or 40 of Wladdy’s jabs and a few straight rights.

By the middle rounds of both fights Clottey and Chambers were discouraged and both wanted to avoid getting seriously hurt (Joshua was successful, poor Eddie almost was).

I’m not going to drag Clottey or Chambers through the mud because I would have behaved the exact same way if I was in the position they were in. (Actually, I would have thrown even fewer punches — if any — and I’d have done a lot of blatant running about the ring. If the mood struck me, I would occasionally shriek like my 5-year-old daughter in a haunted house on Halloween.) My guess is that you’re just like me and 90 percent of the human population. Which is just another reason to celebrate fighters like Corrales and Gatti and appreciate active badassess who aren’t afraid to take pain to give pain like Shane Mosley, Paul Williams, Timothy Bradley, Edwin Valero, Sergio Martinez, Alfred Angulo, Antonio Escalante, Micky Roman, and many others.

CHAMBERS PULLED A “CLOTTEY”

Hey Dougie,
Weekend fight thoughts- I knew this was going to happen and Eddie Chambers did a Clottey. All these Klitschko opponents (except fatass from Riverside) come to lay down. After eating sledgehammer jabs for 5-6 rounds, they decide to run or just go into a shell and accept their fate. Klitschko has little killer instinct but Emanuel Steward was able to rile him up enough to go on a KO hunt in round 12. You have to give the Ukranian giants props though. Just think how many rounds has either brother lost lately? Do We have to accept the fact that they will run the show till they retire? Haye and Povetkin have no shot at either brother.

Why do these guys such as Chambers or Clottey or Kevin Johnson
disgrace themselves on the biggest stage and s*** on an opportunity of a lifetime? Don’t they realize that they are shutting the doors on themselves? (Those three won’t be on premium cable for a while.) Are the brothers that unbeatable?

That 5-foot cheerleader from Heroes who is Klitschko's girl probably puts up a better fight than “Fast Asleep” Eddie.

A side note, although HBO looks like a genius for passing this putrid fight, their reasoning was lame (viewers can’t distinguish between the two). Also they seem to be rock stars in Germany (sold as much as Manny did in Dallas) but we pretty much find them unwatchable (never mind the spectacular KO ratios they have). Your thoughts?

I am picking Abraham to win in a surprisingly close fight. What’s your take on this one? Cheers. — Asim

I agree with your take of Saturday’s Super Six showdown in Detroit. I think Arthur Abraham is going to have to rally hard down the stretch, maybe even score a knockdown, to win a very close decision against a sharp and motivated Andre Dirrell.

Are the Klitschko brothers unbeatable? No. They can be beaten, even with their current formidable form and momentum. However, I don’t favor any heavyweight contender to beat Wladimir or Vitali right now. I think Haye and Povetkin would make for interesting challenges, though, and I’d eagerly anticipate those fights.

I’m REALLY anticipating Arreola-Adamek next month. The winner of that fight vs. Haye or Povetkin is what the heavyweight division needs. Those four can make for an entertaining round robin for a few years. Maybe if Sam Peter continues to look sharp and Olandier Solis continues to win they can factor in that series. So what if the Klitschkos are “unbeatable”? If there are compelling fights to be made in the division that’s all that really matters.

The Klitschkos are definitely stars in Germany. Good for them and for German fans. (Good for the truly international sport of boxing.) However, as much as I respect both brothers, unless they are in with aggressive challengers who have enough power to hurt them, Germany can keep ’em.

Chambers, Clottey and Johnson did not want to “disgrace themselves” on the biggest stage and take a big ole dookie on an opportunity of a lifetime. They DO realize that they are shutting the doors (to bigtime TV) on themselves — AFTER the fight. That’s not what they are thinking about when they are face to face with Manny Pacquiao and the freakin’ Klitschko brothers. All they are thinking when they are in the ring with those monsters is “My God, how am I going to do what I trained and planned to do without getting hit so hard that my brain splits in half?”

It’s hard to have a warrior’s pride when the guy you’re in the ring with can turn your lights out at any time or literally pound you into submission. I was reminded of this when I participated in an exhibition match that was part of a charity event that took place in Monterey, Calif., this Saturday. I “boxed” Eloy Perez, a 23-year-old junior lightweight prospect that I’m very high on, in what amounted to a light and friendly three-round sparring session. I know Eloy. I know he’s a good man. I know he would never do anything to seriously hurt me (especially in front of my mother, daughter, sister and nephew, who were ringside). I had planned to use a busy jab and stick and move like the Muhammad Ali from my childhood fantasies. But when that bell rang and Perez advanced on me you better believe that I was intimidated. I froze up like Bobby Drake (that's the Iceman from the X-Men for you non-comic book geeks out there). I don’t know what the hell I was doing in there. I was switching from southpaw to orthodox and back and stumbling about as best I could as I tried to keep Perez away from me.

Put short, I didn’t look like Ali. I probably resembled Erislandy Lara with Cerebral palsy but I was so nervous and defensive I made the Cuban prospect look like James Kirkland.

Perez was nice. He never busted me in the face (and believe me, it was there to be smacked). He barely laid a glove on me (and was even kind enough to act staggered a few times in the third round; hey, he was having a good time). And yet my body ached everywhere on Sunday. My left wrist still hurts (from the one punch I landed during the exhibition, a straight left from the outside). My lower back is sore. My right knee is tweaked. But you know what? I’m glad I embarrassed myself in front of a ballroom full of people and I’m glad I feel like crap today. I’ve been reminded that boxing is a very physical and potentially dangerous sport. I don’t want to get so comfortable behind this laptop or in front of the TV that I forget that.

IS WLADDY GETTING SOLD SHORT?

Hey, Doug,
I enjoy your articles, stories and reports almost daily for years. I have never thought I had anything worth bringing up until now. And maybe there is a simple explanation for my beef. By no means I am a fan of the current Heavyweight division, but I am really starting to believe that with Manny in his corner Vlad has become unstoppable. Boring, Yes. Cautious, Yes. But probably more unbeatable than anyone on the pound for pound list. That being said, why is he never considered a P4P guy? Cotto is still hanging around The Ring’s P4P list (#7) after taking two beatings, squeaking out a decision against a guy like Clottey and destroying a tune-up in 4 fights. Vlad is knocking out everyone and not getting hit. I know it’s a different game at 147 than 240, but Vlad’s resume is no worse than Mayweather’s, he gets hit less and knocks guys out more often. What gives? I am curious to hear your take. — CBert

I agree with your reasoning. I used to keep heavyweights off my personal P4P but then I thought “Why not include them if they’re worthy?” I think both Klitschko brothers deserve pound-for-pound top-10 inclusion. They’ve got the accomplishments, skill and talent to merit it. I’m not part of the magazine’s decision making process on the ratings, but I do occasionally compile my own P4P top 10 list for the Yahoo! Sports rankings poll that Kevin Iole puts together every few weeks. I missed the deadline for the most recent poll but here’s my list, which I put together before Wladimir beat Chambers (hey, why let it go to waste?):

1. Manny Pacquiao
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
3. Shane Mosley
4. Bernard Hopkins
5. Chad Dawson
6. Juan Manuel Marquez
7. (tie) Wladimir & Vitali Klitschko
9. Paul Williams
10. Hozumi Hasegawa

So there you have it. I think the Brothers K are in the mix with JM Marquez and P-Will. And note that Cotto and Donaire aren’t in the top 10.

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