Dougie’s Friday mailbag
First, I am still in awe of Kirkland-Angulo. However, I feel that, if there was a rematch, and if (and it’s obviously a big “if”) their fight last Saturday did not cause “El Perro” major irreversible physical and/or mental damage, Angulo should be favored. Alfredo lost because he punched himself out and could not recover (like Mike Jones did in his first fight against Soto Karass), not necessarily because Mandingo was the better fighter. Am I crazy for thinking this?
Second, I know you are a fan of Roy Jones, Jr., the commentator. But how do you deal with his laugh? Every time I hear it, I have to mute the broadcast for at least a round. I am puzzled how the man does not irritate you thoroughly.
Finally, if Marquez wins this weekend (by KO), where would you rate that on a scale of historic upsets? It’s clearly no Douglas-Tyson, but more impressive that McBride-Tyson? — B., NYC
A Marquez KO victory would definitely be more impressive than McBride making Tyson quit. Tyson was a shadow of the shell of his former self when “The Clones Colossus” beat him.
You’re right, it wouldn’t be a Douglas-Tyson-level upset. Marquez isn’t a 42-1 underdog. There’s history between JMM and the Pac-Monster, and the Mexican master has proven that he knows how to fight the Filipino icon. He might have a style that will always extend Pacquiao, in the way that Frazier and Ken Norton seemed to always give Ali hell.
It would be a high-profile upset between two accomplished veterans (Upset of the Year for 2011, to be sure). I’d put it close to the level as Holyfield beating Tyson in their first fight. If Marquez scores a stoppage, I’ll put it a little than Antonio Tarver’s or Glen Johnson’s KO of Roy Jones Jr. If he wins a decision, I’ll compare it to Michael Spinks out-pointing Larry Holmes in their first fight.
Jones’ commentary doesn’t bother me at all. Not even his laugh or his religious references. I’m not sure why. Maybe I used up all of my irritation for Jones when he was one of the stars of the sport. Not that I had a huge problem with Jones when he was on top of his game. Sure, I thought there was a lot of cherry picking of opponents when he was in his prime (with the assistance of HBO and the enabling of members of the boxing media who had serious man crushes on the cock-fighting country boy), but it was his fans (or “Jones-town” as Steve Kim dubbed them) who mainly pissed me off with their incessant talk of Jones being the G.O.A.T. After Jones was KTFO a few times, those fans (and that silly talk) pretty much evaporated, and I guess my “irritation” evaporated with it.
You’re not crazy for thinking Angulo should be favored to beat Kirkland in a rematch. And the few fans and boxing writers who thought Kirkland should be favored to beat Angulo going into last Saturday’s slugfest shouldn’t have been shy with those opinions. The truth is, Angulo-Kirkland is an even matchup. Kirkland was counted out by most (including me) because he wasn’t hot going into their first match (thanks to Mr. Ishida). Now he’s hot again, and Angulo isn’t. So if an immediate rematch is made, you can bet that Kirkland will be an overwhelming favorite. If that happens, don’t hesitate to put some money on “El Perro.” Just like Kirkland did, Angulo could go back with his longtime trainer (Clemente Medina) and get more focused than he has for any other fight and rise to the occasion when he needs to.
What’s up Doug!
From one know-it-all fight junkie to another let’s go over the one big beatdown we just saw and the one coming up this week-end. And on top of that I’ll give my farewell to one of the truest warriors to ever lace up a pair of boxing mitts.
Kirkland-Angulo — Three words best describe this: Holy Friggin’ S__t!! I really thought that Angulo was going to smear Kirkland all over the canvas so you can imagine how hard my jaw dropped when Kirkland grinded the tough Mexican into taco beef. I admittedly (and stupidly) wrote Kirkland off after he got kayoed by Nobuhiro Ishida so yes, this huge rebound win definitely earns Kirkland the Comeback of the Year honour as far as I’m concerned. Same with Round Of The Year being that both warriors crammed more crunch-action in that first round than most fighters do in their entire careers. Fight of the Year? Why not? It won’t be the first one-sided bashdown to receive that honour. Remember Foreman-Frazier. Altogether Kirkland was a bona-fide Juggernaut that night. Not bad for a guy coming off a loss to some unknown fighter whose name we can’t spell or pronounce.
Next? So what awaits the Mandingo Monster in 2012. Unlike some of Kirkland’s newly found hordes of raving diehards I can’t see him seriously challenging an other-worldly talent like Sergio Martinez. On the other hand, I think that Kirkland will be too strong and hard-hitting for either Cotto or Margarito although such a fight will be entertaining while it lasted. Kirkland-Saul Alvarez would be one hell of a battle. Alvarez is nearly as tough and hard-hitting as Angulo (or Kirkland for that matter) but he’s clearly more skilled and as you pointed out. He doesn’t block power punches with his face. Anything can go in that fight. Kirkland-Paul Williams? There’s no way Williams can match Kirkland’s toughness or punch output. Plus Mandigo’s a southpaw and we all know what a punching
bag Williams is against southpaws. Kirkland will chop down Williams in six rounds or less. If Kirkland does decide to fight at 160 I’ll like to see him pound it out with Russian bomber Dmitry Pirog. I don’t know if he can get past the tough Russkie but one thing for sure, it will end with someone getting KTFO. All part of Kirkland’s charm.
Pacquiao-Marquez. When this third fight was signed I stated that Pacquiao will chew Marquez up and there’s no reason to change my mind now. Pac has been decimating the best fighters at welterweight while Marquez went to hell and back against easy to hit lightweight brawlers like Juan Diaz and Michael Katsidis. And look how easy Floyd Mayweather owned Marquez. The bottom line is that Pac can clearly fight above lightweight against the elite and Marquez clearly can’t. Sure Marquez is all mentally and physically pumped for this fight but all his strength training and piss-flavoured energy drinks won’t help him here. In short, Pac will pound the piss out of him.
Smoking Joe. My heart clearly goes out to Joe Frazier’s friends and family. Out of the ring Frazier was indeed much like your average Joe. Inside the ring he was clearly more than that. The guy was a true warrior who fought the best fighters in a heavyweight division that was worlds better than the one we’re stuck with now. Unlike today’s heavyweights, Frazier always fought with every bit of heart and passion he could muster.
He gave the multi-talented Ali all sorts of hell and even against the bigger, stronger George Foreman, Frazier refused to back down despite all that punishment he took. Same with the Ali fights. After Manila, Eddie Futch told Frazier that no one will forget what he did that night. Futch was only partially right. No one forgotten what Joe did altogether. Rest in peace, Champ.
Well that finally does it for me Fischerman. For now, anyways. Have a good one. — Todd the Terminator
Frazier is one of the greatest heavyweight champs of all time. He will never be forgotten by fight fans. He’s a boxing immortal, like his heavyweight peers, Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Joe Louis and Rocky Marciano.
I think Marquez will have his moments but Pacquiao’s speed, power and much-improved technique and timing will wear him down to a mid-to-late rounds TKO.
What’s next for Kirkland? In a perfect world he’d get his title shot at Saul Alvarez or face Vanes Martirosyan for the right to take on “Canelo” for the WBC strap. Both fights would be competitive in my opinion, and if they took place within the six months, I’d favor Kirkland. I doubt that’s what will happen though. Kirkland might take on a few mid-level guys while Golden Boy Promotions figures out the most lucrative path to take with “Mandingo.”
I hope Kirkland is not tossed in with Martinez. That will be the end of his career right there. I’d love to see him take on Williams. I agree that he’d probably win, but I disagree that Williams — who I believe is more battle tested against far superior opposition than Kirkland has ever faced — would get run over. I think he CAN match Kirkland’s punch output, which is why I think the fight would a damn good one. Williams may be a spent bullet, and prone to getting tagged by southpaws, but the gangly lefty does not lack heart. He’ll go out on his shield. You can forget about Kirkland ever fighting Cotto or Margarito. There’s no way Arum would put his Puerto Rican ticket seller or his Mexican ticket seller in the ring with a guy who could use them up whether he wins or loses the fight. I’d pick Pirog over Kirkland.
Good point about Foreman-Frazier being the Fight of the Year for 1973. It was indeed one sided. So were two other Fights of the Year: Jorge Castro’s come-from-behind ninth-round KO of John David Jackson (1994) and Holyfield’s epic 11th-round stoppage of Tyson (1996). I guess the Castro fight got the nod because it was such a dramatic turn around (JDJ was really beating the s__t out of the Argentine before he nailed the savvy southpaw with a hook that took David’s legs), and Holyfield-Tyson I was such an inspirational upset. However, I think Fights of the Year should be back-and-forth shootouts like Frazier’s seventh-round KO of Jerry Quarry (1969), high-intensity distance fights with extended action and momentum shifts like his first fight with Ali (1971) or brutal wars of attrition like the Thrilla in Manila (1975).
THE RING POUND-FOR-POUND BELT?
Ok so lets just assume for the moment that Pacquiao beats Marquez (not that hard to believe right?). Now lets say Pacquiao and Mayweather do fight (very hard to imagine) the winner would be the RING champ at 147 but since they are also ranked #1 and #2 in the pound for pound list will you guys also do some kind of special Ring Champion Pound for Pound title? — Roland
That’s a darn good idea, Roland. I think the magazine has had a pound-for-pound title belt in the past, but I’m not sure. I seem to recall Pernell Whitaker or Roy Jones Jr. and maybe Oscar De La Hoya sporting one back in the 1990s. Mayweather-Pacquiao is matchup and event worthy of creating a special belt like that. Both fighters are bigger than divisional championship belts.
Doug Fischer can be emailed at [email protected]