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Dougie’s FAT Friday mailbag

13
Aug

RUDE WELCOME FOR DAWSON

Hey Dougie,
I’m going with Jean Pascal via close UD this Saturday (I’m assuming his shoulder is 100%). I think he matches Chad Dawson’s foot and hand speed, has a slight edge in power and will make the fight displaying more hustle.

If Dawson thinks he’s going to make Montreal his home away from home he’d best realize that playing keep away won’t get it done with the fans up here any more than it does in the US.

Random note: Pascal’s cut-man is Russ Anber, he happens to be the chief second for David Lemieux and hosts a boxing show on Canada’s version of ESPN.

Looking forward to Thursday’s column, Friday’s Bag and this weekend's fight. Peace. — Adam, Whitby, Canada

Thanks for writing in and daring to predict the “upset special” for tomorrow night’s big light heavyweight clash. As I’ve stated before, I consider Pascal to be a “live dog” for the same reasons you stated (hand and foot speed, punching power), and I’ll add few more reasons for fans to give Pascal a shot. His unorthodox style could throw off an orthodox boxer like Dawson. And your boy can take a good shot, probably better than Dawson.

However, I’m going with Bad Chad by decision. Dawson’s has superior experience and technique as well as the reflexes and hand-eye (foot-eye) coordination to go with his speed. And despite his unorthodox style, Pascal can be predictable, which means he can be timed. I think Dawson will get his jab off better than Pascal, pick his spots to drop combinations, and look for counter-punch opportunities, which will definitely come.

However, I believe the Montreal crowd and the Haiti-born Canadian’s competitive nature and toughness will keep the hometown hero in the fight. Dawson might have to sweat out a close decision, but I think he’ll stay undefeated.

And if I’m wrong, then bring on Pascal vs. Lucian Bute. If nothing else, that fight would be the perfect excuse for me to visit Montreal.

Good point, by the way, about Dawson making Montreal his hometown if he beats Pascal (and let’s be clear and state up front that his promoter, Gary Shaw, made that statement, not the fighter). It won’t happen if Dawson wins in boring fashion.

I’ve never seen Abner’s show or watched him work a cut between rounds. What’s he better at?

A GREAT EVENT IN MONTREAL

Hi Doug,
How are you doing?

On my side, things are going fairly well, especially since there will be a great fight in Montreal this weekend. It really feels like it’s been a slow year for boxing around the world (and in Quebec ) but the Pascal vs Dawson fight will definitely get my interest. Sadly, I won’t be able to attend the event and will have to settle with watching it on TV. How about you? Will come to Montreal? Have you ever been to a fight in La Belle Province? I guess it’s a little far from sunny California ÔǪ

Anyway, even though you probably won’t be at the Bell Center Saturday, I can’t imagine you missing this fight on HBO. So, what is your pick? I guess to call it Dawson by a boxing clinic is the right call but I can’t seem to accept it. I see something in Pascal that could unsettle Bad Chad. Dawson is faster (probably), has a much greater reach, is a lefty, has tremendous skills and so on but I sometimes have the feeling that he gets uncomfortable when his opponent gets in his grill. I mean, that’s nothing extraordinary since pretty much any boxer would hate it to have Johnson in their face for a full 12 rounds, stillÔǪ

I have a hunch that if Pascal can start the fight early, explode like he usually does, make himself smaller when getting in, hit the taller man in the body and then rough his way up to get Dawson out of his game plan; then Jean could dictate the terms of the fight. Thinking about it, Dawson has fought a huge hitter (Adamek) and a very good pressure fighter (Johnson) but has he ever fought a very good explosive fighter? I’m not sure but I don’t think so.

Anyways, I’m probably wrong on this but I think Pascal can win it by KO. One thing is sure, Pascal will have to be on his A game and play it dirty to win this fight. If he doesn’t, well then it’s just going to be another Dawson by UD. Have a great weekend! — Arthur Billette, Quebec City, Canada

I don’t think Dawson has ever faced an explosive fighter (which is good way to describe Pascal). That’s why this matchup is so interesting. Hopefully, it will remain interesting once the bell rings. I think it will, but Pascal is going to have to do at least some of the things listed in your keys to his victory. We’ll find out of if he can tomorrow night.

I’ll be watching on HBO. I have never visited Canada or covered a fight there. One of my goals, however, is to cover a big fight in Montreal. I have a feeling that I’ll get the opportunity in next couple of years.

PBF/DKP

Bottom line, do you think Floyd Mayweather and Don King will unite? Your boy Steve Kim wrote an excellent piece on this story… — JB

I read about 75 percent of Kim’s King-Mayweather story (“Don King’s new BFF” on MaxBoxing.com). That’s not a comment about Steve’s writing (you know I think he’s one of he best columnists in the biz), that’s just all I can stomach of Don King’s ramblings. Funny thing is, in order to get through the amount of the column that I read I found myself reading the King quotes out loud in his voice. (Not to toot my own horn, but I do a killer King imitation. Ask Kim if you don’t believe me.)

From what I gathered from Kim’s article, King’s focus is just landing Mayweather; not making the only fight that matters (the one that Floyd appears to be running away from).

It’s great that Bob Arum says he can “guarantee” that Mayweather-Pacquiao will happen if his old buddy King is negotiating on Floyd’s behalf, but do you really believe him? Maybe he’s telling the truth, maybe he’s not. Arum might be saying that just to piss on Schaefer and company.

Here’s my take on the Mayweather-King union, it’s possible that it could happen but I don’t care at all unless it results in Mayweather vs. Pacquiao (or Sergio Martinez or Paul Williams or Miguel Cotto or perhaps even Alfredo Angulo). I have no interest in Mayweather vs. Cornelius Bundrage, and I would absolutely dread any pre-fight press conference with both King and Mayweather rambling on and on unless there was the payoff of a fantastic matchup in the ring.

Anyway, you asked for my “bottom line,” so I’ll give it to you: Yes, I do think King and Mayweather will eventually unite.

It makes sense given Mayweather’s history. Floyd fled Top Rank in mid-2006 when Arum kept pushing the Antonio Margarito fight. Now he appears ready to bolt from Golden Boy once Schaefer and company got serious about making the Pacquiao fight.

Why would Mayweather go to King as opposed to Gary Shaw, Lou DiBella, Kathy Duva, or even getting his own company licensed? The answer is simple. Mayweather needs to have his ass kissed 24/7. He likes to be wined and dined and nobody does that better than King, who will lavish his potential victims, I mean clients, with expensive gifts (jewelry, cars, etc.) to get their signatures on the dotted line. Just ask Mike Tyson or Hasim Rahman or Zab Judah. If Mayweather was smart, he’d sit down with those guys and speak to them Frankly about their experiences with King, but he’s not nearly as smart outside of the ring as he is in it.

And you know what? That’s all good. King and Mayweather are made for each other. Hell, they deserve each other.

THE LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Dougie,
I was planning to write in for the Monday Mailbag, but was too exhausted from going to the fights in St. Louis and the car trips back and forth. Hope this isn't too retro for your next mailbag.

I haven't had a chance to watch the HBO broadcast all the way through yet, but let me tell you that every person in that arena (from the sound of it) except Harold Lederman seemed to have something very close to 116-112 Kotelnik, even though most were happy that the hometown kid got the gift. I'm just going to guess, but I think those that saw it for Alexander would feel differently if they were there. It was very easy to see from the floor that the vast majority of Alexander's shots weren't landing because no sweat ever flew off Kotelnik's significant mane. Devon was moving his hands a lot, but he wasn't sitting down on anything and was letting Kotelnik time him, which is exactly the opposite of what I expected. The only round I thought Alexander even had an argument to win after the 5th was the 11th (which I still gave to the Ukrainian with confidence), and I gave Kotelnik round one, as well.

As for Johnson-Cloud, I'm surprised that some people wrote in thinking Johnson beat Cloud. Cloud punched himself out at times as you noted, but it was clear from ringside that Glen (who I was rooting for) was not throwing anything after round 4 that was near as hard as his punches the first few rounds. He was at his best after getting hit, but ultimately Cloud was simply in better shape and was more consistent. I had it 117-111 Cloud. If I were stretching I could have made it perhaps 115-113, but no way did Johnson win the fight.

Did you see video of the Spinks fight? It was ugly for Cory. K9 just plain manhandled him- looked like a man against a boy. I get overly excited sometimes by dominant performances, but based on what I saw I feel like Bundrage is a match for any 154-pounder out there other than maybe Sergio, P-Will included.

Now to the future: so the way I see it, Cloud's victory puts him firmly in the #2 slot. Woods and Johnson are more significant victories than Pascal's convincing but redundant wins over Diaconu. But the website announced a while ago that Dawson-Pascal would be for the title. That was a good call a few days ago, but I think at this point it would be outrageous to let Pascal leapfrog Cloud to a Ring title. As I write this, the Ring ratings update hasn't been posted yet, but I really hope the editorial board does the right thing and calls off the title match. I want to see a champ as much as anyone, but it's gotta be done the right way. Hopefully Cloud will take on the winner and we'll be all set. What are your thoughts? — Dan Culp, Columbia, MO

I’m fine with Dawson and Pascal fighting for the vacant RING title. I’m a big fan of Cloud’s but the card-carrying tough guy simply hasn’t been active enough to merit a crack at the light heavyweight championship. Cloud has fought twice in the past 24 months, his unanimous decision victories over Clinton Woods and Johnson. He looked good in those fights but he didn’t dominate (he won both by unanimous 116-112 scores). If you want to be champ but only fight once a year, you better take on the best and freakin’ destroy them. Woods is/was a tough S.O.B., but he was dominated by Antonio Tarver, who was dominated by Dawson. Johnson gave Dawson a good fight in their first match but the old man was dominated by Dawson in the rematch (despite one 115-113 scorecard). How do I know that Dawson dominated Johnson in their return match? Johnson didn’t claim that he was robbed afterward.

I think Pascal’s victories over Diaconu were as good as Cloud’s victories over Johnson, Woods and Julio Gonzalez. Diaconu may not be as accomplished as Cloud’s last three opponents, but he’s younger, and in his prime.

Anyway, I’d like to see Cloud back in the ring before August of 2010 if at all possible. If he’s in against the Dawson-Pascal winner I certainly won’t complain. Cloud makes for a good fight no matter who he’s in with and there are certainly less deserving contenders out there. However, I wouldn’t mind seeing him take on another contender first, a younger gun, perhaps someone like fellow belt holder Beibut Shumenov.

It looks like you and I basically saw the same fights last Saturday, except I don’t believe that Cloud was as dominant as you thought. I agree that Johnson didn’t have much on his punches after the fourth round but Cloud was outworked in rounds seven and nine. The young buck punched himself out in rounds six and eight and had nothing to offer in the following rounds. Watch the replay, you’ll see.

I haven’t seen video of Bundrage’s KO of Spinks but I have a hard time believing that he’d be a match for Martinez or Williams. If K9 were able to land a fight with either pound-for-pound rated southpaw and win is there any doubt that Emanuel Steward is the Trainer of the Year?

PROSPECTS

Any word on Rock Allen? He beat Devon for a spot in the 2004 games, haven't heard anything about him for awhile. Also a big puncher was Keith Thurman, he had a pro style and I haven't heard anything about him. Just wondering who you have for some up and comers, love the reports from the gym that you do. Keep it up! — Scott

Allen also beat Lamont Peterson on his way to 2004 U.S. Olympic squad. He was a hell of an amateur. Maybe he had too many fights (around 300) and is suffering from burnout? I don’t know, but he doesn’t seem interested in advancing in the pro ranks. The last time I saw Allen — at a media workout prior to the Mosley-Mayweather fight (he was one of Shane’s sparring partners) he looked around 180 pounds.

Allen has been a pro for five years and he’s only got 15 bouts under his belt. He’s never fought past eight rounds. In fact, his last bout, which took place last April, was a six-rounder.

Thurman, on the other hand, is moving along quite well. The 21-year-old welterweight prospect appears to have carried his power from the amateurs to the pros and has rung off an impressive 13-0 (12) record since entering the paid ranks in November of 2007. He’s got eight first-round stoppages and he hasn’t been fed all chumps. Thurman’s worth keeping an eye on.

Regarding the up-and-comers I’m high on this year, it boils down to three young men who haven’t received a lot of TV exposure but probably will in future months: light heavyweight Ismayl Syllakh, junior lightweight Eloy Perez (who fights on Telefutura tonight), and junior welterweight Jessie Vargas.

The featherweight/junior featherweight division is packed with prospects of varying styles and abilities. The most talented IMO is Gary Russell Jr.; the most natural fighter is Ronny Rios (shameless plug: both young bucks are on this month’s Fight Night Club, Aug. 26). Roberto Marroquin, a popular fighter out of Dallas, might have the brightest future. He’s got an awesome combination of Russell’s skill and Rios’ fighter instincts. The other 122/126 pounders who are on their way up include Rico Ramos, Teon Kennedy, Leo Santa Cruz, Derrick Wilson, Charles Huerta and Jerry Belmontes. Featherweight is a hot division right now but it’s going to get hotter in a year or two.

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