Dougie’s Monday mailbag
First time writing, love the mailbag, food for thought through the week for a starved boxing belly!
I know I will probably get a bit of stick for this but I’m really getting pissed off reading reports on Olympic boxing. To be fair I have seen some robberies, the Brazilian Adriana Araujo was robbed in the woman’s lightweight semifinal; she clearly “outpointed” the Russian, Sofya Ochigava. Having said that, I feel that boxing fans need to stop hating on the amateur system. I am a huge fan of the pro game and I would much prefer to watch an Arturo Gatti-style all out war over a Devon Alexander chess match. This being the case I think that boxing fans need to understand that the Olympic boxing is fought off an entirely different platform and to have the same expectations as that of a pro bout is well… going to disappoint.
Take the time to study the ring-craft and appreciate the action. Styles don’t only make fights, they make fighters, Guillermo Rigondeaux is a good example.
Now I’ve gotten that off my chest, what did you think of the bantamweight, John Joe Nevin? Slick as f__k. Cheers. – Brendan
Nevin is indeed a savvy cat. If he turns pro now (he’s already 23), I think he can have a successful pro career. He’s got a great amateur background (two-time Olympian, silver medalist) and the quintessential stick-and-move southpaw style. Nevin moves well, counters well and he’s able to punch on the fly, which makes him hard to hit or corner.
His mobile style isn’t for everyone, but he’ll always be “the man” in Belfast and if he’s matched right I think he can be in entertaining fights.
Point taken on the fundamental differences between pro boxing and amateur/Olympic-style boxing. The amateur game is about racking up points; not doing damage. However, at some point international-level amateur bouts became more of a game of tag and keep-away than a boxing match.
I gotta be honest with ya, Brendan. I’ve watched the Olympic boxing tournaments with diminishing interest every four years beginning with the 2000 Games. And in my opinion, the fights have become progressively uneventful and ugly on average.
I guess I’m just spoiled. My first taste of Olympic boxing was when I was a kid watching the 1976 Games with my dad. That tournament was must-see TV as you know. And boxing remained a prime-time event in all three Olympic Games during the 1980s. It was still popular in the ’90s, but the slide in quality due to the damn “computerized” scoring system was evident.
I’m looking forward to witnessing what happens to Olympic boxing after the proposed return to the traditional pro-style judging system before the 2016 Games in Rio.
Hey Doug. What’s up?
Loved your comeback remarks concerning Robert Guerrero calling out Floyd Mayweather after beating Selcuk Aydin. Yeah, like he’s suppose to say “no” to that one and the huge pay check that comes with it and fight Paulie Malignaggi instead for s__t-change. Now if we get Mayweather-Malignaggi instead? Now you’re talking. Or better yet, Malignaggi-Cory Spinks!! Now there’s a real ticket seller! Sign us up! Just kidding! I better shut the f__k up before I give the promoters and the Alphabet Retards more f__ked-up ideas to add to the s__t they’re constantly unloading on us! OK then. Moving on! We got some real kick-ass action coming up this early Fall.
Beasts From The East: So Gennady Golovkin is finally coming to America and on HBO. It’s about f__king time. I just want to see how good this guy really is. I know he’s a really murderous puncher. That much is certain. If anything he’s actually more the seek-and-destroy Ivan Drago type fighter than most of these other Slavic “fighters” with their tedious, chest-match, suck-ass style of boxing. And now he’s finally taking on a top-ten guy and a tough bastard at that. Good for him! Both Borat (my nickname for Golovkin) here and Grzegorz Proksa are really going to bring it on. No s__t-smeared Klitschko-Ibragamov style slappy-stuff or anything like that. Good for HBO for taking this one. Some fans are dismissing Golovkin as a crude Mayorga type brawler. If so, then we’re still in for some entertaining brawls with this guy. If he’s more than that which I figure would be the case then that’s great. We’ll already have a worthy challenger ready to tackle the Martinez-Chavez winner even before that fight comes about.
Oh and speaking of the Double G-Man what’s this “one-hit quitter” of his? His left hook I imagine.
And the other crucial middleweight fight that weekend? I pick Daniel Geale to punch out a close unanimous decision over The Sturminator providing the judges get it right. Considering that this is a unification title-eliminator between the two top contenders the winner should really be first in line to fight the Martinez-Chavez winner. On the other hand there’s a reason HBO’s airing the Golovkin fight instead. It’s going to be a much better fight as far as slam-bang action is concerned with the winner being a more marketable title challenger on this side of the globe than either Sturm or Geale.
The Best Of The Rest: The Ward-Dawson bout? Not interested. Drab Chad is about as exciting as monotone man Lennox Lewis narrating a two-hour document on crossword puzzles. Andre’s not that boring but he’s certainly no Micky Ward either. Anyways Ward will probably out-hustle the passive Dawson and win a really forgettable decision.
The Showtime card for that night is much, much better. For starters we have Lucas Matthysse taking on a guy who’s also ranked in the extra-tough junior welterweight division top-ten (can’t remember how to spell the guy’s name, sorry). Matthysse alone crams more action in one round than Dawson has in his entire career so far. My pick is Lucas by kick-ass kayo.
Randall Bailey-Devon Alexander? Hard to pick. It will interesting to see if Dev can withstand Randal’s big power shots and outfight him like he did with Maidana.
Just one question. I noticed Dev is not currently ranked in The Ring top-ten. I figure it’s because Dev’s lone welterweight fight so far was against a junior welter with wins by Guerrero and Josesito Lopez bumping him off? Fair enough. I’m just wondering how the f__k is Malignaggi ranked in the top five and ahead of way better fighters like Jose Lopez, Tim Bradley and even Randall Bailey. Can anyone with half a brain picture the twice-kayoed, jello-fisted Paulie beating those guys? He’ll get pounded the fuck out!! Actually I’m not even sure if the spazzy-haired, buggy-eyed little dimwit could get past Victor Ortiz. But what do I know? More than some of these Ring ratings knuckleheads apparently.
OK Doug I’m going to call it quits for a little while. I’m taking myself and my rowdy hyperactive clan to Niagara prior to camping out North. All those folks from both sides of Ontario better brace themselves! Back to you in two or three weeks. Cheers! – Todd The Terminator
Enjoy your vacation and family time, Triple T. Just get back to us before Sept. 1.
I’ll start with your comments on THE RING’s welterweight rankings. You are correct that Alexander, who earned the No. 10 spot with his one-sided victory over Maidana in February, was bumped out and has been kept out by the addition of Bailey, Lopez and Guerrero.
Malignaggi went from being unrated to the No. 4 spot by beating then-undefeated Vyacheslav Senchenko this past Spring. When he beat the WBA beltholder, he took over the Ukrainian’s No. 6 spot. He then advanced two places when Andre Berto was dumped from the rankings after getting popped for PED use and Ortiz dropped from No. 3 to No. 10 after Josesito broke his jaw.
You can ask why Senchenko was rated so high in the first place, but don’t ask me. The former RING Editorial Board had his Ukrainian ass rated that high, so you gotta ask them. (Shoot Jim Bagg’s Twitter account @Baggmeister a DM and see if he’s gotta witty retort for ya.)
I favor Alexander over Bailey, but I’ll be watching that fight with interest because Miami’s KO King can end the fight with one good punch – if he can land it.
I KNOW Matthysse is going to dish out an unmerciful beating to Ajose Olusegun’s overrated ass, but I still wanna see it.
You might be right about Showtime’s Sept. 8 boxing offering being better than HBO’s, but I’m not going to write off Ward-Dawson. They’re not going to go at it like some kind of 168-pound dream match (say prime James Toney vs. prime Nigel Benn), but they’ve got the speed and skill to reach each other’s chins which could make things interesting. Having said that, I’m probably going to be more excited about the Antonio DeMarco-John Molina co-feature by the week of the card.
I don’t know who to pick in the Strum-Geale WBA/IBF middleweight title unification bout. I think Geale has the will to counter Sturmy’s skill, but I don’t know if he can win a close fight in Germany. I do think the gutsy Aussie will make for a good fight.
Golovkin-Proksa’s gonna be a good one. I’m confident that Golovkin’s going to make you an instant fan. Anyone who compares him to Mayorga hasn’t seen him fight. He does not lob wild haymakers like the entertaining former welterweight champ. Golovkin’s got sharp technique that includes short, powerful hooks and a laser-straight right (both punches are “one-hitter quitters”). He knows how to cut the ring off and he goes to the body very well, too.
Proksa’s no joke, so if Golovkin can beat him decisive fashion I think he will have proven the nickname he earned by whooping world-class asses on a regular basis at The Summit gym in Big Bear, Calif. – (no, it ain’t “Borat,” you smart ass) it’s “Superman.”
Saw that Lovemore Ndou not only won a big (for this stage of his career) fight this weekend, but that he donated his whole purse to a youth center. I’ve loved this guy since I saw him on cable, back before he fought Miguel Cotto. As I understand it, the guy came up in South Africa during apartheid, is tough as any S.O.B. to ever get in the ring (I know he’s never been stopped, but I don’t think he’s ever been knocked down either), but seems to be a total class act outside the ring. All the cookie-dough-assed kids running around today (I’d lump both Amir Khan and Adrien Broner into that category, though I know it’s an unpopular view) could learn a lot from him. Great win for a great guy. – Todd
I agree. Ndou fights like he stepped into our era from some prehistoric stone age but out of the ring he’s a humble, classy, intelligent, entrepreneurial chap.
If memory serves me, he gave Cotto a tough fight. I seem to remember Cotto backpedaling away from him in the final two rounds. Ndou was – and remains – one of the toughest S.O.B.’s to come around in the past 15 years. He’s been dropped a few times (Malignaggi caught him late in their first fight and Junior Witter put him down twice early in their bout) but nobody has been able to a seriously stop him or even seriously rock him – and he’s been in with some dazzling boxer-punchers (Sharmba Mitchell, Kell Brook), hardnosed sluggers (Jose Luis Juarez, Philip Ndou – who he beat) and much bigger fighters (Kermit Cintron, Saul Alvarez).
I tip my hat to the veteran.
Hafa adai, Dougie! (“Hafa adai,” pronounced, “hoffa day,” is like saying “Aloha” – I’m from Guam).
Let me put it to you the way I put it to everyone else when discussing my favorite sports – I’m a huge MMA fan but I’m an even bigger Boxing fan.
UFC’s Dana White is a former amateur boxer/trainer. When taking over the UFC he vowed to not repeat the same mistakes boxing has made and in doing so he makes it so that the best fighters in a division fight the best fighters in the division. This demonstrates to us that the UFC heavyweight, middleweight and lightweight champion is truly the undisputed best MMA heavyweight, middleweight, etc. in the world. We also know that in boxing you have to fight in America to properly assess your capabilities if your goal is to become a world champion. You could be 15-0 in Europe but maybe you would’ve been 5-10 in America (maybe I’m exaggerating but you get my meaning). Why did Selcuk Aydin, who only had one U.S. fight, get a shot at the vacant 147 title when there’s other top 10 fighters that deserved it more than him?
I believe that we have four alphabet-soup orgs because there are just so many pro fighters that we need to try and find a home for all of them (and it also gives more people the opportunity to make money). Because of this it’s difficult to have one undisputed champion because he’d have to fight and beat four different champions to become “undisputed” (Donaire thinks that taking out three champions from any given division would constitute “undisputed”) and we all know how cumbersome getting two fighters to face each other can be with all the politics etc.
On a side note I have friends who compete in MMA and we all agree that they’re two different sports. However, I believe that boxing is the harder to win at of the two because in MMA if you’re a better boxer than me then I can take you to the ground and submit you or use my judo/wrestling/muy thai/etc. skills to win, but in boxing you better come correct or don’t come at all. MMA has multiple “chess boards” to utilize in order to manipulate a win but in Boxing there’s only one of those “chess boards” to manipulate.
Will we ever get to a place where the best fight the best more often than not? Just this week Dana White said that Vera vs. Rua this weekend was going to determine who got the next shot at the LHW title but the next day the fans, in shock, started tweeting expressing their disgust that other guys in the division are just as deserving for that title shot. In response Dana said recently that there is another LHW bout on Saturday’s card so whoever of the four fighters performs the best (White says that just winning the bout won’t suffice it will have to be in spectacular fashion) will get that title shot – Will we ever get to a place where managers and promoters actually listen to what the paying fans say? After all, there’s a reason why we follow and pay for the sport, but these reasons are fleeting little by little – or maybe more accurately – a lot by a lot.
I will always love Boxing more than MMA because that’s just me (well, maybe because my dad was an amateur boxer and my grandfather is a boxing enthusiast) but I tell you, it’s getting harder and harder to defend this sport. In all honesty you can’t blame boxing fans for migrating towards MMA (which is happening within my own circle of friends). MMA isn’t perfect but it caters to the fans a hell of a lot more than boxing.
Is there any hope for us boxing fanatics?
(On another note I saw the mailbag awhile ago re Todd the Terminator and I read all the other readers’ comments. Personally I like the guy. His emails are entertaining. His detractors are probably the same people who roll their eyes at movies like Blazing Saddles. Whatever! Blazing Saddles is a great movie!) – Mark G.
Blazing Saddlesis one of my favorite movies (and I should note that it’s ranked No. 6 among the American Film Institute’s top 100 comedy films of all time). Mel Brooks is a genius. However, I also recognize that his brand of humor – especially the kind that marked Blazing Saddles and History of the World, Part I – is not for everybody. And while I’d never categorize our good buddy Todd The Terminator as a “genius,” I understand that he’s not for everyone.
I’m like you, Mark. I appreciate MMA (I even sit down with a beer and watch it from time to time), but I’m a boxing man. Always have been, always will be. I think boxing’s “product” – the fights – are as good as ever when the right matchups are made. I know I’m biased when it comes to boxing and ignorant when it comes to MMA, but I think boxing has a better product. The industry just doesn’t get it out to potential consumers (those who are outside of the hardcore fanbase) as well as the UFC does.
White seems to care about the fans as much as he cares about the fighters. That’s not always the case with major U.S. boxing promoters. They are often thinking about what their fighters, and the managers of those fighters, as well as HBO and Showtime’s executives want more than what the fans – the paying customers – want.
I’ve said this before but I’ll go ahead and repeat it. I think the U.S. boxing industry could take a page out of the comic book world and put on annual conventions for the fans. The sanctioning organizations (WBC, WBA, WBO and IBF) have annual conventions and the Boxing Writers Association of America puts on it awards banquet every year, but these events are geared more for the industry than to fans.
I would love to see boxing’s answer to the various Comic-Cons that are held annually around the U.S. and other parts of the world. I think the closest thing our sport has to the Comic-Cons is the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s induction weekend. However, this annual event celebrates the sport’s past. We need something that celebrates current scene and helps attract fans for the future.
I’ll address some of the things you brought up, starting with Aydin. He was rated No. 1 at 147 pounds by WBC and he fought Guerrero for that organization’s “interim” title. I agree that he wasn’t a legit top contender but I thought he was solid enough to test Guerrero in The Ghost’s first welterweight bout, so I had no problem with that fight taking place (or being televised on Showtime).
I agree that it’s harder to crown undisputed champs in each division with four alphabet titleholders in every weight class. THE RING expanded its championship policy to allow for more top contenders to fight for the magazine’s title because of this. This move has pissed a lot of hardcore heads off. (So far, I think they got their panties in bunch for no damn reason.)
The best do indeed fight the best in the UFC, but I think many of boxing’s top fighters face each other. The two big PPV shows this year featured the top dogs in three divisions (140, 147 and 154) facing off (Mayweather-Cotto and Pacquiao-Bradley). Khan-Garcia featured two of the best 140 pounders. And coming up in the next two months we have THE RING’s No. 1 and 2-rated middleweights (Sturm and Geale) fighting, as well as the Nos. 8 and 9 (Golovkin vs. Proksa). We have THE RING middleweight champ (Sergio Martinez) taking on No. 3-rated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.
We have the magazine’s super middleweight champ (Ward) vs. the light heavyweight champ (Dawson). We’re getting the No. 1 lightweight (DeMarco) vs. the No. 6-rated 135 pounder (Molina) and the Nos. 3 and 4 (Ricky Burns vs. Kevin Mitchell). On Oct. 13, the No. 1 junior featherweight (Toshiaki Nishioka) is fighting the No. 3-rated 122 pounder (Nonito Donaire) for vacant THE RING title. The No. 7-rated junior welterweight is fighting the former No. 1-rated lightweight (Brandon Rios) in the co-feature to that HBO-televised card.
If THE RING’s No. 2-rated light heavyweight Jean Pascal hadn’t hurt his hand in training we would have witnessed his fight with No. 3-rated Tavoris Cloud this past Saturday.
Most of the top boxers are willing to fight each other. The industry just needs to make sure those bouts are properly publicized, promoted, officiated and broadcast for the fighters and the fans.
Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer