Dougie’s FAT Friday Mailbag
DIRRELL SHOULD WIN
Nice touch on Andre Dirrell's story. While I think Andre learned from the Carl Froch fight, I think his best chance of beating Abraham is to fight exactly the same way he fought Froch (too careful) and get a hometown win. Just my 2 cents.
Floyd Mayweather beats Shane Mosley everyday and dominates him twice on Sunday. Yes I said it. — William
I’m glad you said it. I hope you don’t have a heart attack or go into shock the evening of May 1.
I sort-of agree with your take on Abraham-Dirrell. There’s a chance that Dirrell can play it safe — you know, try and turn the boxing match into a game of keep-away for 12 rounds — and hope that he gets the nod on the hometown cards, but I’m not sure that he can get away with as much as he did vs. Froch. He went to the ropes too often against Froch and although the Englishman wasn’t able to land clean punches, he was able to manhandle and rough the American up a bit. If he goes to the ropes with Abraham or lets the Armenian get in close, he might get his clock cleaned.
I think Dirrell has to box a disciplined fight from the outside but he needs to keep the action in the center of the ring. I don’t think he needs to move about the ring too much and needlessly expend energy. It’s better for him to stand his ground and work behind a very active, hard jab. He may not land all those jabs through King Arthur’s high guard but he can pile up points.
Dirrell will need a points lead going into the late rounds when Abraham typically steps up his attack. I think he will have a slight lead after six or seven rounds, but I believe Abraham will be effective and hurt him enough down the stretch to pull out a close decision.
DANGER FOR DIRRELL
Hey Doug, first time writing in but have been a fan of your stuff for a long time. (As long as you aren't talking Mayweather. Did Little Floyd take your sister on a date and not call back or something? You seem to really have it in for the guy.)
I really liked what you had to say in defense of Eddie Chambers and Joshua Clottey this week. I feel like a lot of boxing fans seem to forget that it hurts to get punched in the face. It reminds me of a fight I was watching once on HBO when somebody (Max Kellerman maybe) asked Lennox Lewis why fighters never seem to listen when their trainer tells them to let their hands go more. Lewis said, “Because the trainer isn't the one getting hit.”
I'm really excited about the Super Six fight coming up here but feel like its a hopeless cause rooting for Dirrell. While Froch barely landed two punches the whole fight against The Matrix, the few that did land seemed to really wobble him. As Abraham is a much stronger puncher, I just don't think Dirrell can go 12 without getting dropped.
Wondering what you think about what a tournament like this could do to someone's career. Say Dirrell does what odds makers would have to expect and loses to Abraham and Ward, will the boxing world let him work his way back up? Three losses in a row is usually a deathblow to a fighters career as a top level guy, do you think exceptions would be made for 3 losses to guys that good? — Sean
The Super Six tournament is a risky endeavor for all the participants but especially for a young and inexperienced up-and-comer like Dirrell. If he does lose three in a row it will definitely have a negative effect on his career (and probably his psyche).
However, it may not spell the end of his career. I think it all depends on HOW Dirrell loses those fights. Fans (and members of the media) have to keep in mind WHO he lost to. Froch, Abraham and Ward have a combined record of 78-0 right now. Froch and Ward are titleholders. Abraham is a former titleholder who will likely win another belt in this tournament. That should factor into peoples’ assessments of Dirrell but I know how obsessed fans are with undefeated records so I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone wrote Dirrell off if he loses three in a row. But I won’t do that if he loses in competitive fashion to those guys. And what’s so horrible about an 18-3 record anyway?
I thought Clottey could have done more than he did against Pacquiao but I understand why he didn’t. Pacquiao is the devil in the ring. I thought Chambers did as best he could with a more-experienced athletic giant with excellent technique. There’s only so much he could do being outweighed by 35 pounds and not possessing world-class power for a heavyweight. I don’t think Eddie’s critics have any idea how hard Klitschko’s jab is, never mind that big right hand and short left hook of his.
If by “having it out for Mayweather” you mean I’ve wanted to see him in meaningful fights against worthy opposition then I’m guilty as charged. It’s funny you bring up my sister (although not very original — that’s what De La Hoya fans used to say to me when they thought was being unfair to their hero back in the day). I love her dearly but she just happens to be the living embodiment of drama. If I REALLY had it out for Floyd I would have personally introduced him to my sister years ago.
MARES VS. PEREZ
Great job calling the Fight Night Club fights last night. Abner Mares looked good but what do you think his chances are against Yohhny Perez? Going from fighting Felipe Almanza to Yonnhy is a big jump up in class. Is Mares ready for that? Also do you think fighting in front of a large Staples center crowd will effect him in any way? Victor Ortiz admitted that that Staples crowd got to him when he fought Maidana. I think Perez will be to much for him. Thanks. — David Green, Warner Robins, Georgia
A lot of fans and boxing insiders believe that Perez is too seasoned and battle tested for young Mares. The hardnosed titleholder may prove to be, but I see their May 22 title bout as an even-money fight. I’m slightly leaning towards Mares, who I believe is the faster and more versatile boxer.
Don’t forget, Mares is very familiar with Perez. They fought three times as amateurs (Mares won two bouts) and they used to train at the same gym, where they sparred often. So the 24-year-old boxer-puncher knows what he’s got in front of him in May. If he believes he’s ready for Perez then he probably is, and I think he’s going to provide a stern challenge for the Colombian technician/volume puncher.
Regardless of who wins, I know it’s going to be a damn good scrap. I think it will steal the show from the Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez main event. And I don’t think fighting in front of a large crowd will get to Mares. He was the darling of the 2004 Mexican Olympic squad and he’s fought on many big cards as a pro (including Marquez-Pacquiao II and Hatton-Pacquiao), so he’s used to big audiences and pressure.
B.A.D., THE SUPER SIX & B-HOP
Pretty nice weekend for fights coming up. I'm pulling for Ali Funeka. I think the guy deserves a nice win and a strap after a hard luck loss (against Nate Campbell, which I'm still not sure he really didn't deserve to win) and the God-awful draw against Joan Guzman last year. Looking forward to seeing Marcos Maidana again too. What can you tell me about Victor Cayo? Would you consider him a live dog?
I also like King Arthur to roll to a clear cut decision. Andre Dirrell is talented and Abraham’s work rate is such that I don't think he'll simply blow him out early, but as much as I am tempted to say Dirrell's natural gifts could put him in a position to pull off the upset I can't bring myself to do it. I thought he deserved the nod against Froch. But he has only himself to blame for not getting it. You would have thought he was staring at a prime Sonny Liston in front of him rather than Froch, with the way he ran, held and fell to Froch's knees every time he got close to him. Abraham is going to apply all of that pressure and more and I just don't see Dirrell responding well too it. I hope I'm wrong, it would be a hell of a thing for Ward and Dirrell to knock off the two favorites in back to back fights wouldn't it? — Tom G.
It could happen. I’m not counting Dirrell out even though Abraham is my pick. I think it’s going to be a close contest. King Arthur is a slow starter. It’s not uncommon for him to give the first three rounds away to lesser-talented fighters like Mahir Oral. However, he usually figures his opponents out by the sixth round and starts administering serious punishment over the second half of the bout. It will be interesting to see if the Michigan officials allow Abraham to get away with some of the rough stuff he often employs in his fights (like elbows) back in Germany. If the referee keeps an eye on Abraham and is quick to separate the fighters the King may lose his crown. We’ll see.
I agree that Funeka is due for a break here in America, but I don’t think he’ll have an easy time with Guzman in tomorrow’s rematch. Guzman will be sharper for the return match and he knows what to expect from Funkea, who I think might struggling to make 135 pounds. He weighed 152 pounds on fight night for the first fight with Guzman, which tells me that his 6-foot-1 frame is screaming to go up to a more natural weight. Still, I'll go with Funeka by close unanimous decision.
I can tell you that Victor Cayo is a very live dog against Maidana. He’s got the speed, smarts, athleticism and the stick-and-move style to trouble the hard-punching Argentine. I see an even contest in tomorrow’s B.A.D. main event from Las Vegas. I’d pick Cayo outright if he had a little more world-class experience but this could be his coming out party. We’ll see. I think the heavy hands and relentless nature of Maidana might catch up the talented Dominican by the late rounds of the bout.
THE RING FLYWEIGHT TITLE
We are going to have a new RING Flyweight champion next week (barring a Draw, NC, etc.) #1 Koki Kameda is fighting #2 Pongsaklek Wonjongkam to unify the WBC belts.
While not mainstream fighters here in the US, this should be a very interesting fight. Kameda is the brash, young fighter challenging the Japanese establishment. Wonjongkam is a Thai legend, defended his belt 17 times, and seems to be out for 'one last harrah'. I think a Kameda win makes him a Japanese superstar and a Wonjongkam win makes him a legit hall of famer.
Who you got? What kind of fight do you think it will be? Anywhere in the US that the fight can be watched?
I know the Asian fighters don’t get much ink in the US, but this is a top tier fight for a RING title in a classic-8 weight class. How about you give this fight some love! — Ron in Cleveland
I made the Kameda-Wonjongkam fight the lead focus of last week’s Ring Ratings Update:
I think it’s an excellent matchup and I wish it was available on some network or on a pay-per-view basis on TV or the Net, but it isn’t (not legally, anyway) as far as I know.
I favor Kameda by decision in a competitive fight. I think the younger man will utilize his speed effectively and consistently beat the Thai legend to the punch.
I agree with you, though, if Wonjongkam beats Kameda he’s punched his ticket to Canastota as far as I’m concerned.
What are your thoughts on Vazquez-Marquez IV?
Do you think we'll see anything approaching the competitiveness and drama of the first three fights? — Gopal Rao
I think the fourth bout between Vazquez and Marquez will be every bit as competitive, dramatic and BLOODY as their first three instant classics, however, I think the fight will be engaged at a much slower pace because of the physical toll the trilogy took on their bodies.