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Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday Mailbag

05
Apr

END OF THE LINE

Hey Doug,
We saw a bunch of strange happenings in this one, from watching Bernard Hopkins be the aggressor in a fight to the low-blow/fouling festival. Hopkins controlled the fight throughout (I had it 118-109 for Bernard) though I never got the feeling it would end on a stoppage. I know there were a lot of factors involved that had some people thinking Bernard would go for the knockout, but regardless of all the talk in the lead-up to the fight I still expected Bernard to be the B-Hop of late, not The Executioner of old.

For those who believed that Andre Dirrell was acting, in their eyes Bernard must have spent Saturday night performing Shakespearean theater. I won’t pass judgment on either guy, because I wasn’t the one who was down on one knee getting clubbed by Arthur Abraham, and I also wasn’t taking punches to the back of the head from Roy Jones.

As for Hopkins and Jones’ futures, I would definitely like to see both guys hang it up. Neither has anything left to prove and it’s time to get out before getting embarrassed, or worse, suffering some serious damage.

By the way, great job on the broadcast. Nice mix between yourself, Joe, and Sugar Ray, who still looks to be in phenomenal shape. Thanks. — Jesse, New Jersey

Thank you, Jesse. It was an honor and a thrill to work with a pro's pro like Joe Tessitore and my boyhood idol Ray Leonard, who looks like he could go a brisk four to six rounds without breaking a sweat. Had Hopkins not been able to continue after that bizarre sixth round maybe Sugar Ray could have ditched the suit and hop into the ring to substitute for not-so-hard Nard. LOL.

I’d love it if both Hopkins and Jones retired. There’s no reason for either man to continue as active boxers, especially considering their hall-of-fame accomplishments, and the fact that both are financially secure and can stay close to the sport they love as promoters.

I got the feeling during the post-fight interview with Jones that he will seriously consider hanging up the gloves. I couldn’t gather much from Hopkins after the fight, other than he was still shaken up by the rabbit punches form Jones and still considering a jump to heavyweight to challenge David Haye. I hope that was rabbit punches talking because I don’t think it’s very good idea.

The “fight” was indeed weird and disappointingly underwhelming. Not because it didn’t end in a knockout (it’s not in either boxer’s nature to seek out a stoppage), but because there wasn’t enough sustained exchanges. Hopkins attacked in spurts that often ended up with him smothering his own punches on the inside and Jones simply couldn’t pull the trigger. The end result wasn’t a big surprise (I also scored it 10 round to two for Nard) but I had hoped for a more entertaining contest.

WEEKEND'S FIGHTS

Hey Dougie,
Love the website and the mailbags in particular, just wanted to get your esteemed opinion on a few things:

Hopkins: He has to drop in the rankings after this fight, surely?

Valero: I knew he was the goods after the Vicente Mosquera fight, but can he get elite without a great trainer and positive influence on his wild life? I doubt it. His footwork is very underrated.

Haye: Good power but I don't think he has very good stamina, he looked worried in the corner and was blawin' oot his erse! I think the Arreola-Adamek winner will take him out, but I think his power would intimidate Wlad and Haye would win by KO. Not so with Big Brother…

Share your thoughts my good man! Cheers. — Dave Morrison, Glasgow, Scotland

Hey Dave. Here’s my thoughts:

Hopkins: I don’t do THE RING’s rankings but I think he will fall a notch or two in the light heavyweight and P4P ratings.

Valero: I think “my son” can be elite without a great trainer but not without getting his life under control. Had he been matched with a great trainer at least four years ago I think he had the potential to develop into a great fighter, but at 28 I think that opportunity may have come and gone for the V-nom. His footwork is indeed underrated. It is the reason I’d pick “my son” over 140-pound standouts Timothy Bradley and Marcos Maidana.

Haye: I think the Hayemaker’s blend of speed, power and confidence makes him a threat to any big man on the planet, but I wouldn’t pick him to beat either Klitschko. I would probably slightly favor the Arreola-Adamek winner over the Brash Brit as well, but I’d love to see that fight. I’d rather see Haye vs. Arreola or Adamek than watch the one of the K-Brothers gradually jab him into the canvas over 10-12 rounds.

THIS AND THAT

1. I'm sure you're getting a lot of emails asking you to beat the drums for Haye vs. Wladimir, and those emailers should be careful what they wish for. That fight ends with Haye on the canvas.

2. I didn't see B-Hop-Jones, but it sounds like both fighters lost even though the ref raised one of their hands at the end of the fight. To the extent that professional courtesy allows, next time you see B-Hop at a Fight Night Club production meeting please tell him to call it quits. I hope both fighters are okay, and it sucks that the fight happened in the first place.

3. Berto-Quintana and the Mayweather-Mosley 24/7 premiere this week, Martinez-Pavlik and Bute-Miranda next week, followed by Adamek-Arreola. The boxing gods are finally redeeming our commitment to following the sport after the events of the last 15 months… — Jeremy

Thanks for your thoughts, Jeremy. I respond to them in order:

1. I agree. I watched the Haye-Ruiz fight and I didn’t see a guy with the style to beat Baby Bro. I’m not saying Haye doesn’t have a shot. If he can connect solidly on Klitschko’s chin maybe he can take the champ out but Wladdy knows this and he damn sure won’t make it easy for the British bomber. I haven’t received too many emails clamoring for Haye vs. Wladdy. I think most of Haye’s fans realize the heavyweight version of their lad is still a work in progress.

2. The reason Saturday’s fight happened is the reason I won’t waste my breath telling Nard or Roy what to do with their lives. That rematch occurred because Jones will not let anybody tell him when it’s time to retire and Hopkins will not let anyone tell him who to fight. Needless to say, I hope they at least begin to wind down their legendary ring careers to focus on the other ventures they’ve got going on. I’m looking forward to Hopkins rejoining the Fight Night Club broadcasts. Those shows are more fun with the champ by our side.

3. I think the boxing season begins in earnest this month (by the way, you left out Froch-Kessler), which will lead us right into the mega-month of May (Mosley-Mayweather, Williams-Cintron, Margarito-Garcia/Antillon-Rios, Khan-Malignaggi/Ortiz-Campbell, and Vazquez-Marquez IV/Perez-Mares). There might be so much action and drama in the ring during the next two months that we may need to take the summer off.

HAYE-RUIZ WAS WORTH WATCHING

Hey Dougie,
What's good? Did you see Haye vs Ruiz? Taking into account Haye had not sparred for 4 weeks due to a cut on his hand, his offensive arsenal looked amazing. He was throwing bombs in the ring Saturday night. Haye vs Arreola would be a fight-of-the-year candidate but there isn't big money in that match up. With the WBA belt Haye could tempt the Klitschkos into a unification bout at Wembley Stadium or in the US. Now that would be incredible. After that performance do you think Haye has the skills to beat Wlad or Vitali?

Unfortunately, I also stayed up to watch the Hopkins vs Jones fight. That was embarrassing! They are both hall-of-famers and need to retire. Please can you drop Hopkins down a spot in the light heavyweight rankings so that the Dawson vs Pascal fight is for the ring light heavyweight championship. — Akhil, UK

THE RING’s rankings are ultimately up to the magazine’s editorial board but my guess is that your sentiment on Hopkins’ light heavyweight placement is echoed by many among the Ratings Panel of international boxing journalists. I would not be surprised at all if Hopkins, THE RING’s No. 3-ranked light heavyweight going into Saturday’s less-than-impressive performance, switched places with No. 4-ranked Jean Pascal in this week’s updated ratings. If that happens, it’s very possible that the Dawson-Pascal fight could be for THE RING’s vacant light heavyweight title since in certain instances a box-off between the magazine’s Nos. 1 and 3 contenders can be for the championship. Dawson has twice defeated Glen Johnson, the current No. 2 contender, so I would imagine his Aug. 14 showdown with Pascal would be one of those instances. I certainly hope it is.

I did see Haye-Ruiz (thanks to YouTube) and I was impressed with both heavyweights. Haye continues to show me that he is a versatile boxer-puncher with very good jab, decent lateral movement and counter-punching ability. Ruiz reminded me that he’s one of the toughest heavyweights of the past 15 years. And he’s not just durable, he’s determined. He kept getting up from those knockdowns (some of which were produced by blatant and ruthless blows to the back of his head) and he kept trying to win.

I was impressed with Haye’s close points win over Nikolai Valuev but Saturday’s stoppage of Ruiz was a much more significant victory. However, let’s keep it in perspective. He wore down a dude that Roy Jones owned seven years ago. It doesn’t mean he’s ready for the Klitschkos.

He might be ready for Arreola, who would help the Brit earn a very significant payday here in the States, but I would probably favor the Southern California slugger. I think Adamek and Povetkin are at least even-money challenges for Haye. I wouldn’t count Eddie Chambers or Malik Scott out against Haye. I’m not trying to dismiss Haye. I think the heavyweights I’ve mentioned are damn good, and most (all except for Adamek) are more proven at heavyweight than Haye.

I hope Haye stays active and continues to develop. If he does — and continues to win — I think by mid-2011 he won’t need the Klitschkos for that big payday. He’ll be the money man of the heavyweight division.

JUAREZ GOT JOBBED

Doug,
You and Joe Tessitore did a great job! Really worked well together. Ray Leonard? Eh, he was OK.

Full disclosure I bet on Juarez. The replay crew didn't do a good job of finding the footage for you and Tessitore, and then I realize you had to run up to the ring for interviews.

But I rewatched rnd 7 a couple times.

See it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqssI9oMNR8

Rocky got a raw deal here from Jay Nady.

That cut was 100% from a punch. A leaping left hook from Rocky that crashed on Jason's left cheek. No head butt at all. Nady blew this one bad. Not sure what butt he even saw but this definitely should have been a TKO on cuts victory for Juarez.

Poor Rocky. Hard luck loser….AGAIN. Dude is cursed. — JP

From what I see in that clip it looks like Juarez was correct in what he claimed during his post-fight interview. It’s a tough, tough, break but at least he feels in his heart that he should have won the fight and isn’t letting the bad call dictate what he does next in the sport.

I don’t think Rocky is ready to hang up the gloves. (And why should he? He’s only 29.) I realize he’s had five title shots (six if you count the interim featherweight belt), but I wouldn’t mind watching him challenge the “other Rocky,” Puerto Rican slugger and 130-pound belt holder, Ramon Martinez.

I thought Leonard did great job Saturday. If you say I'm biased, you're correct. Ray's still my hero. But he was tremendous in the fighter meetings and I thought made many significant observations during the broadcast.

HAYE-HOPKINS IS NUTS

Well, watched fights all day and the worst match-up by far was the last one. Can you think of a fighter that has lost as much as Roy Jones Jr? The level he was at 10 years ago makes his current self look so pitiful.

Hopkins did what he had to do to win, but after watching the action from Manchester earlier, a fight with Haye would be insane wouldn't it? Consider the rabbit punch that Haye hit Ruiz with, compared to the one Jones hit Hopkins (and hurt him badly) with. Now think of what Bernard's reaction to the Haye punch would be like. Scary.

Do you think Ruiz earned some respect there by the way? The guy gets nothing but bad press but I thought he made that into a hell of a fight despite being outclassed. — Sean

Ruiz has my respect.

After seeing Bernard’s reactions to Roy’s rabbit punches I don’t even want to think about what would happen if Haye landed one of those bombs to the back for the 45 year old’s noggin. That fight MUST not happen.

THE FUTURE OF BOXING

Mr. Fisher,
A lot of boxing on tv this weekend, good times.

Vasquez looked really impressive. That is one prospect worth watching. Lara is on his way, but I have to agree with Antonio Tarver, he should have had his opponent out of there. If el Perro can learn to cut off the ring, Lara will be in trouble.

What is your take on Delvin Rodriquez? I know Delvin is a little limited, and could uses some head movement, but I would like to him challenge the elite in the division. I do not think he can win a title, but he has enough pop to make things interesting, as long as he can keep his distance.

I didn't watch the Juarez-Litzau fight (I read the reports), but how did he find a way to lose? Litzau is a good fighter, I'm a fan, but he is not on Juarez' level. Juarez seriously ticks me off. Dude is so conservative with his punches. His next fight should be with the Baby Bull in Texas, Diaz will make him fight.

Last but not least, Mike Alvarado. He looked impressive, where does he fit in the jr welter division (assuming he can stay out of jail)? Best. — Jaime, South City

I think Alvarado is one or two fights away from a title shot or a fight with a name opponent. I’d like to see him in with any of the beltholders or a fellow badass like Marcos Maidana or Edwin Valero (presuming “my son” can stay out of jail and get into this country). Alvarado vs. the winner of Ortiz-Campbell would be fun. A showdown with Top Rank stablemate Lamont Peterson would be interesting. There are endless options for Alvarado at 140 pounds. All he has to do is stay focused and in the gym.

Juarez fought well vs. Litzau. The Minnesota native just happened to box the most disciplined fight of his life on Saturday (so much so that the bout was boring by his standards). I had Litzau up by one round at the time of the stoppage. I scored the first two for Juarez and then had Litzau sweeping rounds three through six. However, I thought Rocky was coming on strong in the seventh round, which I scored for the Houstonian. Who knows what would have happened had the fight not been stopped? And, as my man JP pointed out, he got a raw deal on the headbutt call. So don’t close the book on Rocky just yet. Don’t close it on Litzau either. He’s only 26 and it looks like he’s finally figured out that he’s better suited as a boxer.

My take on Delvin Rodriguez is that I’d like to see him get a shot at the Berto-Quintana winner. D-Rod vs. Randall Bailey or Mike Jones are fights I’d like to see, too. If he were to win at least one of those two fights I don’t see how anyone could say that he doesn’t deserve another title shot. He just needs to leave the IBF title alone. There seems to be some bad Mojo for him with that sanctioning organization.

With his demolition of Ira Terry, Carlos Velasquez pulled up to a close second behind my top 130-pound prospect Eloy Perez, who just signed with Golden Boy Promotions, making them stablemates. Who knows? Maybe we’ll see Perez and Velasquez square off for a world title in the near future.

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