Dougie’s Monday mailbag
WARD AND ARREOLA DELIVER
What's up Dougie,
I was at the fights Saturday night with lots of curiosity. I wanted to see what Chris Arreola and Andre Ward were going to bring to the table.
A better shaped Arreola provided the fans with a nice and entertaining fight. Is he ready for the winner of Haye-Klitschko? Only if the winner is Haye (which I doubt). What do you think Dougie? Maybe a fight against Eddie Chambers?
As for the “Oakland Raider,” Ward, he may not seem like he's too exciting, but it's because dudes like Arthur Abraham who come with it, get some, and decide to grab the brotha'! LOL. Can't wait to see him against Carl Froch or the Road Warrior. What about a fight against Sergio Martinez? — Miguel, LBC
Ward-Martinez would be a fascinating fight at 168 pounds (there’s no way Ward is making 160 pounds). It would be an intense boxing match with a touch of pizzazz thanks to Martinez’s style and temperament and the winner could easily claim the mythical pound-for-pound title.
However, I don’t see it happening (at least any time soon). Martinez’s people don’t want him fighting above middleweight and Ward has unfinished business against his fellow elite super middleweights — first the Super Six finals against the Froch-Johnson winner and then Lucian Bute.
If Ward wins the Super Six title and then gains universal recognition as the super middleweight champ by beating Bute, I think his next move will be to challenge whoever holds the light heavyweight title. If Ward’s able to accomplish those goals, he’ll be on his way to the No. 1 P4P spot without Martinez.
Good point about Ward’s opponents. They are reluctant to let their hands go after a few exchanges with him. Abraham landed a few quality power shots in the first three rounds (in fact, he won the first and third on my scorecard), but once Ward began tagging him back to the body and head “the King” went back into his armadillo defense.
We don’t have to worry about such defensive posturing ruining one of Arreola’s fights. The big man doesn’t seem to mind getting hit and his offense is so swarming and hardcore that his opponents can’t get away with hiding behind a high guard.
Kudos to Nagy Aguilera for fighting back as hard and for as long as he could. It takes two to make a good scrap and the Dominican did his part.
I think Arreola’s punch output was outstanding but his timing was a little off. I don’t think he’s ready to fight Chambers in his next bout, never mind Klitschko or Haye. I do believe that if Arreola keeps busy he will eventually be ready to fight for a major title, perhaps by the end of the year. I don’t think he’ll win one from either Klitschko, but I’d give him a good shot against Haye or anyone else in subdivision whom get his hands on one of the alphabet straps.
WARD IS DOMINATING
Dougie! What's going on?!
Andre Ward is looking like one of the most complete and dominant fighters out there. I like the fact that 1) he is hungry, 2) fights for twelve rounds, 3) does not let his skills go to his head. He stays pretty well grounded.
Ward should send Dan Goossen Christmas cards for the rest of his life. Everybody had heard of and seen Ward before this tournament but now we all KNOW who Andre Ward is. What is making him seem so special is that this tournament gives his wins some 'extra validity' because it is perceived as the best fighting the best! Nothing wrong with that! Can't remember the last time the pound for pound king boxed one of the best at their best.
I can't see either Froch or The Road Warrior defeating Ward. Do you see this tournament ending with anyone but Ward as the champ?
I know this is a pipe dream right now but wouldn't it be fun to see Ward and Maravilla go at it?
So what's up with Shane throwing this shady “Pac-roid” story out there, unverified? That was not classy at all. Shane put up a horrible effort a week ago and then he has the nerve to spread unverified rumors?! Everybody likes a little bit of gossip but damn! You don't push that amateurish article out after getting your a$$ handed to you four nights before! However, if I was hooking up with Shane's girl and she tweeted that article out, I might be tempted to just go with the flow and see where it would lead at home!
Salido-Lopez rematch in three months! I think this is good for Lopez! I can see Juanma beating Salido, it was not one of those 9 out of 10 times Salido will win kind of fights. I think the key will be in the fact that like 2 weeks after the loss, Arum seemed to have a one sided conversation with Juanma that included a: 'Thou shalt not train in Puerto Rico for the next fight' clause in there. I was born and raised on the island and I agree with Arum. Juanma does not need the distractions. Too bad, the fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa was punted even further down the road cause apparently he likes to hit women, too. How do you see a Salido-Lopez rematch playing out?
How did Chris Arreola look on Saturday? It is hard to cheer for that guy sometimes. If he does not care about his career (except for 10% of the time) why should we? Take care! — Hector
It was easy to cheer for Arreola on Saturday. He let it all hang out for two and half rounds and wasn’t breathing hard at all when the ref stepped in to save Aguilera. I think he’s turned the corner on the self-discipline issue. Having said that, I think it might be a good idea for Goossen to keep Arreola as busy as possible.
I think Lopez will have another tough fight with Salido whenever the rematch comes off. IF it comes off this year at all. I know you’ve read internet “reports” about the return bout being “made” for August but there’s been no agreement between the fighter’s camps and no contracts have been signed. Same deal for the much-talked about lightweight showdown between Brandon Rios and Urbano Antillon. It’s a great fight on paper, but the paper ain’t been signed yet, folks. I know Arum and Showtime like the fight and it’s a perfect fit for The Home Depot Center in July, but the fighter’s haven’t agreed to how much they’re going to get paid. I’m not saying Rios-Antillon won’t happen. I think it will (and I believe Salido-Lopez II will probably come off in the fall or winter) but there’s no point in pontificating too much on fights that are just being “talked about.” When they are officially announced, by all means let’s discuss.
I’m not touching that awful, baseless Pacquiao sparring partner rumor. Whoever put that out is a loser and Mosley showed absolutely no class in tweeting the link. The less that is said and written about B.S. like that the better as far as I’m concerned.
Ward-Martinez is indeed a pipe dream right now, but it’s obviously on the minds of hardcore fight fans. Who knows? Maybe one day the two will hook up, but at 36, time is not on Maravilla’s side.
I can see both Froch and Johnson beating Ward. I’m not saying Ward can’t beat them or that I won’t pick the undefeated American to win the Super Six final but I think you have to be crazy to count either man out.
I think Goossen should send Ward a Christmas, Kwanzaa and Hanukkah card every year for the rest of his life. After promoting faded stars (Mike Tyson) and potential stars who failed to live up to their hype (David Reid, Daivd Tua), Big Bird finally has a bona fide winner. Yes, Dan did his part in bringing Ward up through the pro ranks (along with Virgil Hunter, J. Prince and Antonio Leonard), and Showtime gave him exposure and the opportunity to prove himself with the Super Six, but at the end of the day, he wouldn’t be where he is now if he didn’t deliver once the bell rang. He’s done that in every Super Six bout and he’s done so because of the hunger, conditioning and dedication you spoke of, so he’s the one who deserves most (if not all) of the credit.
I can only conclude that Abraham must have serious stamina issues and that's why he doesn't let his hands go more often; he was heaving through his mouth halfway through last night's fight, wasn't he? Or was that owing to Ward's debilitating body punching? As our Showtime commentators noted, Ward was keeping a healthy, respectful distance in the early rounds when Abe was setting up his power shots behind his jab so why'd our favorite Armenian stop?
After three straight Super Six losses King Arthur's days of superstardom, of resplendent, grandiose entrances to live accompaniment from the Scorpions in Germany are probably over; apart from the high drama of the Miranda fights his career has been largely a bore and I can't see him maintaining much of an ardent fan base at this point. It's not the losses themselves but it's the manner in which he lost; if he'd let his hands go more, sure, there'd have been more of those awkward watertwirler whiffs but there also might have been more game-changing whumps! Though he can be competitive with the likes of the Allen Greens, the Peter Manfredos, the Labrado Andrades of the division he's strictly a B-sider with the top five or so 168 pounders at this point. Your comments?
I noticed that you were there on press row offering up your scorecard for the broadcast. How was the undercard? — Dirk, Raleigh, N.C.
The undercard was a series of mismatches that ended in predictable knockouts for the favored fighters, but Arreola’s three-round scrap with Aguilera was fun, and 2008 U.S. Olympian Javier Molina looked good while getting in some much-needed rounds against tough Danny Figueroa. If Molina’s often-injured right hand can stay healthy and he can get on a regular fighting schedule I think he can become a welterweight prospect to keep an eye out for by early next year. He just took on his Clemente Medina (who trains his older brother, lightweight prospect Carlos Molina) as his head coach, which I think is a good move.
The first two bouts of the card featured a Russian and Armenian prospects, who might make some noise in the near future. Andrey Klimov, a 11-0 Russian-born lightweight trained by Joe Goossen, stopped once-beaten Ty Barnett in three rounds. Armen Ovesepyan, an 11-1 welterweight from Armenia, iced Arturo Brambilla with a perfect (no exaggeration) right hand in the first round of their bout.
My comments on Abraham echo yours. He’s a B-side now. There’s no denying it. I wouldn’t count him out against Robert Stieglitz or Dimitri Sartison and if he were to defeat either Germany based beltholder he would probably attract the same fans he had as a middleweight titleholder (and maybe even get the Scorpions to walk him out again). However, if he wants to continue to fight on U.S. cable networks he would most likely be brought in as the credible but designated opponent for someone like Kelly Pavlik or an up-and-comer such as Peter Quillin.
By the way, since when is Abraham “our favorite Armenian?” I thought Vic Darchinyan held that title? Maybe you meant to call “Armadillo Abe” my favorite, as in Super Six tournament favorite, because I did pick the Armenian to win the whole damn thing. Not one of my better predictions. LOL.
You know what? I still wouldn’t mind watching Abraham vs. Pavlik, Andrade or Quillin. I think those would be good fights.