Dougie’s MASSIVE Monday mailbag
A question for you, because I'm neither a boxing writer nor a judge — if Fighter A throws 100 punches per round, with only 5 being effective ones, and Fighter B throws 60 punches a round, but with 15-20 of them landing effectively, who wins? If you can answer that correctly, then you know that Devon Alexander did not win Saturday's main event, and definitely not by an 8-4 margin. Add in the fact that Devon Alexander was definitely buzzed in the later rounds (11th and/or 12th), while Andreas Kotelnik still seemed fresh, and I don't know how you can see it in Devon's favor.
With that said, I'm not going to be one of the hundreds of emails you'll probably get saying that Alexander was “exposed.” He fought a tough fighter that fought even tougher than advertised, and probably didn't help himself with the style in which he fought. He'll come back, but hopefully not immediately into a match with Tim Bradley. He might need a little more work before tackling the (should now be unanimous) #1 fighter in the division. — Kwok, Minneapolis
I’ve been saying this in my mailbags for awhile now, but I have no problem repeating it: Alexander isn’t ready for Bradley. The St. Louis native needs more than 21 bouts and just one tough fight under his belt. He’s on his way to gaining the seasoning that will see him through future ring wars with top-notch opposition, but I think he needs another hard 12-rounder vs. another experienced vet (perhaps a rematch with Kotelnik) or a young contender (I bet Lamont Peterson is available) before he’s truly ready to live up to the hype too many fans and fight scribes heaped on him after his stoppages of Junior Witter and Juan Uarango.
Thank you for not playing the “exposed” card. Alexander was no more exposed by Kotelnik than Bradley was against Kendall Holt. Saturday night was a growing experience for the young man, as the tough Holt fight was for Bradley last April.
I’m not a judge but I occasionally play a boxing writer on TV. I agree with your scoring criteria and I thought Kotelnik won the fight by a 116-112 score. To be Frank, I thought the Ukrainian vet put an ass whuppin’ on Alexander late in the fight.
Hey bro. I have to say that I agreed and disagreed with your assessment of the Alexander/Kotelnik fight. As we've seen over and over again, styles make fights, and Kotelnik had a very difficult style for Alexander. I thought Alexander won 115-113, but from round 6 on I wouldn't have had a problem with a judge going either way. What this proves? This is where I disagree with you. I think the Tim Bradley who showed up for the Abregu fight is in for a rough night with Devon Alexander. One place I found myself agreeing with you though, is that he isn't yet a star, a Khan/Alexander fight would reveal which of these guys is the real deal as Alexander would have to fight through Khan's superior reach and punishing jab, and Alexander would test Khan's chin in the early going at least.
Any which way, there are some incredible fights to be made at 140. I can't see any of the big three (Bradley, Khan, Alexander) wanting to get in with Marcos Maidana, and I just have a hunch that Zab Judah and Victor Ortiz would test any of those three, but what's even more, Kotelnik wouldn't be an easy out for any of the six fighters mentioned. Whatever his new trainer did, it’s working.
On the Cloud/Johnson fight, which was the far more entertaining fight, I can't help but think that Johnson got screwed again. I would agree that Cloud was landing the more significant shots in spots, but he was fighting in flurries, and Johnson took him out of his game. I had it 115-113 for Johnson but felt the 4th (which I scored for the old man), 10th (which I scored for Cloud) and 12th (which I had for Johnson) could have gone either way. I wouldn't have argued with Harold Lederman's draw, or with a one point win either way, but three 8-4 scorecards? That's not the fight I saw (or my wife who was pissed at the scores)…
That said, I think Cloud with his busier fighting style would give Dawson fits assuming Dawson beats Pascal next week. While I recognize that Dawson is a technically masterful fighter, I'm having trouble getting excited for that fight, can you help me out?
The part that stinks is that I don't see any name fights out there for Johnson, who clearly (in my view) earned another shot at one, is he done? — Steve in ND
Johnson isn’t done but I don’t think he was dominant enough against Cloud to claim that he got “screwed” once again. I scored the bout 115-113 for Cloud, who landed the much harder punches throughout the fight. Honestly, I thought Johnson was lucky that Cloud’s awful management and promotional issues kept him out of the ring for the most part of the past two years. A more-active Cloud might have forced a late stoppage against the slightly faded, but always prepared and game veteran.
I kind of hope Johnson retires because let’s face it, there’s only so many fights a man can engage in before it begins to effect his mind. Johnson is such an intelligent and honorable man I would hate to see him suffer from any degree of pugilistic dementia later in life.
However, if Johnson wants to stick around for a few more fights, I won’t complain. He’s clearly still a top-5 contender and he makes for goddamned good fights, as Swearin’ Harold Lederman would say.
Johnson vs. beltholder Beibut Shumenov might have Lederman dropping MF bombs.
I’m a big fan of the Storm Cloud (have been since he was a 12-0 or 13-0 prospect), but I don’t know if he’s ready to face Dawson or Pascal in his next bout. He needs more rounds under his belt, in my opinion. I saw a card-carrying badass take it to Johnson in many rounds, but I also witnessed some amateurish stuff from Cloud. He was loading up too much and punching himself out (which opened the door on at least three occasions for Johnson to win the following round with just a jab). The dude needs to learn to settle down. It’s OK to tee off on your opponent but not every punch needs to have “KO” written on it. I think he could have varied the power and speed of his volleys in a way that would have caught Johnson off guard and prevented him from getting winded. His trainer Al Bonanni knows that and I’m sure he teaches that in the gym but it’s going to take actual fights for Cloud to put that stuff into a practice and they can’t all be life-and-death struggles.
Right now, I think the lateral movement of Dawson and Pascal give Cloud fits.
You “can't see any of the big three (Bradley, Khan, Alexander) wanting to get in with Marcos Maidana”? Really? Bradley was ready to face Maidana twice. It was Maidana who pulled out for supposed managerial reasons. That’s why Chino’s fellow Argentine slugger Carlos Abregu stepped in for him at the start of the month. Alexander has stated repeatedly that he would love to fight Maidana. Victor Ortiz wanted Maidana on Sept. 18 and the Argentine reportedly said “Thanks but no thanks.” I think Khan’s the only top-10 junior welterweight who is leery of Maidana. Why? For the very reason you stated Kotelnik was so difficult for Alexander: Styles make fights.
By the way, you might be correct that “the Tim Bradley who showed up for the Abregu fight is in for a rough night with Devon Alexander.” However, that’s NOT the version of Bradley that Alexander would face. Bradley would be fighting a fellow shorty (5-foot-6) at 140 pounds and you better believe he’d be motivated.
If you or anyone else thought Alexander beat Kotelnik by a seven-to-five round margin, I have no problem with that opinion. There were more than a few close rounds. However, I believe Kotelnik was the more effective puncher in the majority of rounds.
You make a great point about most of the 140-pound division’s top-10 being closely matched. If we’re lucky, we’ll get a scenario like fans had in the late 1970s/early 1980s with the welterweight and light heavyweight divisions, where the best fought the best, and we were always guessing as to who might come out victorious.
DEVON “GOT A GREAT GIFT” ALEXANDER
I like Dev. I think he is a really nice guy with most likely a lot of potential. I’m not sure what happened in the ring, but I saw him getting his ass kicked. For most of the fight you could tell his trainer was shocked at the way things were going and was desperately trying to get him to do things differently then what he was doing to turn it around. He appeared to be desperate, unable to fight his fight. His body language said he was not comfortable and not in control. Meanwhile, I saw Kotelnik coming forward and landing the cleaner, harder, more effective shots. I saw a confident challenger and an uncomfortable champion. He might have underestimated this guy, but I saw Kotelnik win. Although I did not score the fight at allÔÇª — JB
You and I saw the same fight, JB. And I did score it, eight rounds to four for Kotelnik. There were some close rounds but I found it easy to score; the first four went to Alexander, the next eight went to Kotelnik. Having said that, I can fathom anyone scoring rounds five, eight, or 11 for Alexander. However, I should also note that I thought that rounds two and four were more competitive than the commentary indicated. I’m not mad at anyone who scored these rounds for Kotelnik.
Alexander was game and very busy. The problem I had with Lederman’s scorecard was that he was winning rounds that he didn’t earn with cleanly landed punches. His jab stopped short (often Kotelnik, who did a good job of blocking shots all night, didn’t even have to catch them with his gloves) and most of his power punches were either picked off or missed the mark. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian had Alexander looking like a damn PEZ dispenser throughout the second half of the bout.
SHORT ARMS, AWKWARD JABS
I enjoyed both HBO-televised fights Saturday night. Tavoris Cloud should seriously consider circling and using his speed to get in and out of range. I love the power behind his 4 and 5's. But, he made the fight a lot more fun for the viewer than he had to. Glen Johnson was out of shape, and in my humble opinion, prepared to do a swan song. But he seemed steeled for upset once he realized he wasn't in the ring with a marathon runner OR a finisher.
Kotelnik's slightly awkward punches brought hell down on Alexander. He couldn't see the punches. If Kotelnik packed more punch or was more aggressive, we wouldn't have needed any judges. Alexander has short arms and had absolutely NO desire to get inside. How he won the fight by tapping Kotelnik's gloves all night was really Kotelnik's fault more so than the judges. Take care. — JW
Good observations, JW.
I agree that if Kotelnik had better power he could have scored a KO on Saturday. Then again, if he were a puncher with his technique, he A) would never have landed the Khan fight, and might still be a beltholder, and B) probably wouldn’t have been invited over the to the States to fight one of its bright young up-and-comers.
I agree there was a slight awkwardness (or off-rhythm) to Kotelnik’s punches, which troubled Alexander, but I also believe that the veteran’s timing and combinations gave the Missourian hell. Alexander could easily evade one or two punches, but the third and fourth shots were clipping him.
I also agree that Alexander was, for the most part, unwilling to commit to his shots (as Kotelnik was) and getting inside on the rangier man, and I believe that decision played into the veteran’s style.
I don’t think Johnson was out of shape, or ever prepared to lose. I think his muscle looked kind of flat and he put on as much weight as he did after Friday’s weigh-in because his body is worn out from all the ring wars he’s had and it’s tired of making 175 pounds. I think Johnson is still a game and competitive warrior, but his aging body is becoming less able to carry out his amazing will.
KOTELNIK WON THAT FIGHT
I like Devon as a person, but I can't give somebody credit for punches that get blocked or slipped. I'm not entirely sure there was a head butt either. I think, Bradley outsmarts and out-conditions him. I also think Khan uses his range and speed to edge them both.
It was a good weekend of fights. I was impressed by Patrick Lopez. He has that deceptive movement like Cotto, he looks like a plodder, but he always gets in range on movers with seemingly no issues. Lateef Kayode looks like un upsized Clottey with worse defense and a killer instinct. Chris Avalos disappointed with his inability to adapt and Christopher Martin did a good job, if Kotelnik had those judges in St. Louis he would have won.
Looking forward to next week as well. Hopefully Arreola's opponent is good enough to push Chris, then we can see if he really is putting in all that hard work. I think Pascal and Dawson will bring the best out of each other. Hopefully that one Canadian ref (the guy who gave Bute the long count) isn't there.
Oh and I've heard all the arguments against buying Pacquiao v. Margarito. But the reason I want to buy it, is simply because I like watching Pacquiao fight. I'd pay watch him fight a bum in a stay busy fight, and he usually gives me better than that. Boring Clottey would have beaten Boring Shane at 147. Cotto would murder JMM at 144. And Margarito at 150 is tougher than Tim Bradley at 147 (Bradley couldn't beat Abregu, and Tony would have gotten to him). So I don't disparage the match up too much.
Deep down I want to support Pacquiao because every time he fights he always tries to decapitate the other guy, and dollars are votes for what I want to see in the future. Plus he'll give most of that money to poor people anyway, so its like giving to charity by proxy. Have a good weekend. — Jonathan in Chicago
Please, please, please don’t give Bob Arum any ideas, Jon. You know the man is sick enough to declare and promote any future Pacquiao bout as “the fight to end poverty in the Philippines.”
I’m still not excited about Pacquiao-Margarito. Maybe I’ll change my mind after watching Tony train in about a month. (Maybe it’s because the damn fight doesn’t take place until November! There’s other s__t to talk about people!)
Am I crazy, or did I not see Bradley beat Abregu? Perhaps you meant that Bradley couldn’t KO Abregu. OK, fine, but Bradley’s lack of power doesn’t mean he couldn’t give Pacquiao more trouble than Margarito. He’s a faster, more versatile fighter than Margz, who will plod forward in slow motion against Pacquiao like one of those Sleestaks from Land of the Lost.
How can you be so sure that “Boring Clottey” would have beat “Boring Mosley”? Who are you, Uatu The Watcher? Can you peer into alternative realities? And if so, why are you looking into boring alternative scenarios?
(I apologize to hardcore boxing purists for the comic book/pop culture references. Sometimes I just can’t hold back my inner geek.)
“Cotto would murder JMM at 144?” A current 154-pound titleholder would beat up on a guy who comfortably weighed 133¾ pounds for his last fight? Gee, ya think?
Maybe it’s just optimism or wishful thinking but I also think Dawson and Pascal will bring out the best in each other no matter who referees the bout.
I’ll believe Arreola worked hard in the gym when I see it in his body and his ring performance. Until then I’ll just enjoy his fights, which are always fun.
Nobody asked my opinion last week but I liked Martin over Avalos. (Seriously, ask RingTV.com co-editor Michael Rosenthal if you don’t believe me.) I had no idea that Martin was a 10-1 underdog. I also favored Lopez over Brewer. Almost makes a man want to bet on fights. Almost. Lopez is a seasoned (from both amateur background and pro experience) Venezuelan badass who has only lost to an ultra-rugged bastard Fernando Angulo and a much bigger, superior athlete in Josesito Lopez (barely).
Lateef Kayode got the job done against Escalera Jr., but I wasn’t impressed either. If he really tries to challenge the cruiserweight titleholders by the end of the year, as trainer Freddie Roach contends, we might have to re-name him “No-teef Kayo’d.” (Again, I’m sorry. That was too easy, but I couldn’t help myself.)
Why does everyone have to preface any criticism of Alexander’s performance against Kotelnik with a “I like Devon” or “I like Alexander as a person.” First of all, you guys don’t know the kid. Second, I would be the last person to assume that you didn’t like him just because you scored the fight for Kotelnik. I guess that’s the power of those dramatic pre-fight features that HBO runs.
First, I want to thank K9 Bundrage for (hopefully) having rid us of Cory Spinks.
Regarding Cloud/Johnson, I had it 115-113 for “The Road Warrior.” I'd have no problem with 115-113 Cloud. No way Johnson only won 4 rounds, though. Reminded me of Johnson's first loss to Chad Dawson in that respect.
Alexander/Kotelnik: This fight kind of reminded me of Gerry Penalosa's loss to Ponce De Leon, except that De Leon threw a lot more punches than did Alexander. I thought the Ukrainian won by a point, kind of in line with Bob's score–though he didn't indicate on-air how he'd scored the twelfth.
Coming in to the fight, I had certainly viewed Alexander higher than Amir Khan. But Khan shut out Kotelnik (or lost at most 1 round). Yeah, styles make fights, but I was thinking tonight: If a timing-type fighter could hit Alexander like that (and get his attention–even though Devon clearly was a faster fighter), what would a tall, rangy speed demon like Khan–who hits harder and is waaaaaay busier than Kotelnik–do? And I also was wondering: Had Marcos Maidana been landing those flush straight rights, what would've happened?
Of course, as the Maidana fight showed, Kotelnik has an iron chin. So the reverse should be asked, too: If Alexander landed some of the shots he hit Kotelnik with on Khan, would we have a Prescott redux? Again, I thought the scoring was too stingy to Kotelnik. And 9-3 from Harold Lederman? Respectfully but vehemently disagree.
Arum said that if Marquez beat Alexander, he (Arum) might consider a third fight with Pac. Marquez is a timing type of fighter like Kotelnik, though he hits harder and IMHO has faster hands. I'd give Marquez a more than outside shot to beat the Alexander that fought tonight. Take care. — Patrick
Arum says a lot of things.
I would favor Alexander over JMM, which doesn’t mean I think the St. Louis native can carry the Mexican legend’s jockstrap (because I don’t). All I’m saying is that Alexander is not Juan Diaz and Marquez is not a junior welterweight.
St. Louis is as much of a sports/bar town as Chicago or Boston. I think Lederman got a little tipsy before he went on air.
I’m not Uatu The Watcher, so I won’t bother playing the “What If?” game with the cream of the 140-pound division but I think it’s clear that the Bradley-Alexander-Khan-Maidana matchups make for some interesting scenarios. Likewise with potential Kotelnik-Ortiz-Judah-Peterson-Alvarado matchups.
I was one of those ringsiders who thought Penalosa won eight rounds vs. DeLeon, who didn’t throw that many more punches than Alexander did against Kotelnik.
I thought Cloud won rounds one, five, six, eight, 10, 11 and 12. I thought the 12th was close and round 10 could have gone to Johnson. I thought round four could have gone to Cloud.
I’m happy for Bundrage, who always seemed like a really nice guy.
HELLO FROM FINLAND
Hey Dougie! The weather is great over in sunny Finland. I’m just soaking up some and drinking some cold Koff Finnish beer and I thought heck from one beer drinker to another to write you and so here is my post for the Monday's Mailbag:
Alexander did do enough to squeak out a victory on my unofficial scorecard 115-113 (maybe a few rounds were deadlocked even).
I think the youngster showed a great amount of guts and a good display of character and also some much well deserved praise to his opponent… but I think he should have stepped up to the plate and told the press that he would grant a rematch after the Bradley fight… because he should make at least 4 million for that fight. Bradley must be licking his chops after Saturday night's showing… I think Zab Judah would stop Alexander and I also think Mayweather will fight Martinez for the middleweight title under the Don King promotional banner now that Mayweather’s own promotional banner is defunct.
Last but not least… how come the K-brothers are trying to sell a 2 for 1 package… I mean I understand the rematch clause for the champion but to tie another fighter into a three-fight contract is another thing… Well, Dougie the pleasure has been all mine and I will have another beer for you my friend! — Thomas J., Finland, Europe
Why do the Klitschkos contractually obligate their opponents to fight the brother? Same reason they choose to fight in Europe more often than in the States. Because they can!
If Don King can make Martinez-Mayweather for the middleweight title I will declare him the greatest promoter ever, but my gut tells me we’ll see Floyd vs. Bundrage for the 154-pound strap K9 just won if “the Don” starts working with the Reluctant One.
I think Judah is a threat to stop any of the top 140 pounders.
It’s nice to hear that a European fan scored the bout for the American, but in future emails you don’t have to tell me that your scorecard is “unofficial.” (Your Alexander-Kotelnik tally was better than Lederman’s, by the way.)