Dougie’s Monday Mailbag
WHAT A YEAR!
Hey Doug, hope you had a great Christmas! What a year for boxing! Obviously too much to go through individually but:
General standout moments for me of 2012: the clear decline in the powers of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather; the flourishing of Ricky Burns, Adrien Broner and Saul Alvarez and the dominance of the Wladimir Klitschko and Nonito Donaire.
Two favourite fights: Lucas Matthysse-Olusegun Ajose and Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado.
Picks for 2013 standouts: Gennady Golovkin, Kell Brook, Guillermo Rigondeaux and Carl Frampton.
Can’t wait for some awesome fights at middleweight in 2013 involving the likes of Sergio Martinez, Peter Quillin, Gennady Golovkin, Martin Murray, Barker, etc possibly with the inclusion of some upcoming British fighters, e.g Billy Joe Saunders, Chris Eubank Jr., etc (the list never stops in this division!). I can’t see Martinez going the year unbeaten!
Wish for 2013: Ricky Burns to beat Adrien Broner.
What would your choices be for these categories? Keep well and have a great new year! – James, London
Thanks James, I’ll do that.
My choices for your categories are as follows:
Standout moments in 2012: Pacquiao getting KFTO after getting the shaft from the official judges vs. Tim Bradley; Amir Khan being dropped with a monster “neck shot” from Danny Garcia, somehow getting up and trying his damnedest to not only survive but fight back on wet noodle legs in the next round; a supposedly “shopworn” Miguel Cotto “putting hands” on Mayweather; watching Golovkin “putting hands” on cruiserweight sparring partners in Big Bear, Calif., before being showcased to an HBO audience; Top Rank/Tecate/HBO PPV/Chavez-Martinez going head-to-head with Golden Boy Promotions/Corona/Showtime/Alvarez-Lopez in Las Vegas on Sept. 15 and both shows doing very well; NBC Sports Net and WealthTV getting involved with boxing; Brandon Rios and Mike Alvarado going it like possessed hell spawn at the Home Depot Center; boxing on U.S. network TV on back-to-back Saturday afternoons in December; and, sadly, the passing of too many boxing icons (including Angelo Dundee, Bert Sugar, Carmen Basilio, Emanuel Steward, Johnny Tapia and Hector Camacho).
Two favorite fights: Khan-Garcia and Rios-Alvarado.
Picks for 2013 standouts: Donaire (I think he’s going to KO Rigondeaux), Alvarez, Broner (sorry, I think the world of Burns, and I believe the Scot can compete with the Cincinnati native, but I don’t see anyone beating The Problem at 135 pounds), Golovkin, Abner Mares, Robert Guerrero, Brandon Rios, Matthysse, Mikey Garcia, Brian Viloria and David Price.
Wish for 2013: Top Rank and GBP find a way to get around their differences (as well as their deals with rival U.S. cable networks HBO and Showtime, and their obligations to rival Mexican beer sponsors, Tecate and Corona), so that some of the best matchups in boxing – including Donaire vs. Mares and Rios vs. Garcia or Matthysse – can be made; more boxing network television.
I agree that the middleweight division holds amazing potential in 2013 (and beyond). I’m going to travel to NYC to watch my man GGG do his thing vs. Gabriel Rosado on Jan. 19, and if he takes care of biz on that night (which I expect him to do), I think he makes for terrific 160-pound matchups in the U.S., UK and Germany. I think Martinez will escape 2013 with his middleweight championship, but I expect Murray and Chavez to extend him and take a lot out of him in tough fights. (I expect the same thing to happen to Mayweather if he fights both Guerrero and Alvarez in 2013ÔÇª if he was smart he would risk his unbeaten ledger against Martinez at a 155-pound catchweight – if he wins, he enhances his legacy by beating the reigning middleweight champ and a fellow P4P player, if he loses, he can chalk it up to the size difference. But if he loses to – or even struggles against – The Ghost and/or Canelo, which is possible, Money May’s legacy will take serious hit.)
TWO QUICK QUESTIONS
Hope you had a nice Christmas and that you got some great presents from Santa. (I got a printed copy of The Ring, not that easy to come by here in Stockholm.)
Two questions that have kept me awake during Christmas:
1. How come the Orlando Salido vs. Mikey Garcia fight isn’t a RING championship fight? It’s no. 1 vs. no. 3. Since THE RING is the last belt I as a boxing fan care about I really like to see more champions. I think the sport needs it.
2. What fights are you looking forward to in 2013? I wished Santa for: GGG vs. Martinez, Trout vs. Canelo, Garcia vs. Rios and Gamboa vs. Broner.
Happy New Boxing Year! – Stefan
1) The Salido-Garcia fight is still up for discussion among the Ratings Panel members. I know from previous correspondence that the Panel is somewhat split on this particular matchup. Some members believe that THE RING’s vacant featherweight championship should not be on the line if No. 2-rated Chris John isn’t fighting.
Others think the long-reigning WBA titleholder is no longer a factor in the 126-pound division, stating the unbeaten stick-and-mover from Indonesia is either overrated, protected/sheltered or close to retiring anyway. I’ve recently brought the Jan. 19 matchup to the attention of Ratings Chairman Chuck Giampa and RING Editor Michael Rosenthal, so I expect the question to go before the Panel in the next week or so and a decision to be made soon after.
I would also like to see more RING champions in the sport, but there are many fans, “boxing purists,” who believe that the magazine’s title should not be “handed” out to the winner of just any significant matchup, especially if that fight is not between the Nos. 1- and 2-rated contenders of a specific division. I understand where those fans are coming from, but I also argue that it’s often a matter of opinion as to who the top two fighters of any weight class are – e.g., some very knowledgeable boxing writers think John should be the No. 1-rated featherweight, others, who are just as astute, believe that both Salido and Garcia deserve to be rated ahead of him. The same cloudy situation exists in the lightweight division, where many bright boxing people see Broner as the top dog, but just as many sharp observers believe he should take a backseat to both Miguel Vazquez and Burns. (But I digressÔÇª this is a debate for another time.)
2) Fights I want to see in 2013 include Donaire-Mares, Garcia-Matthysse, Marquez-Rios, Broner-Burns, Anselmo Moreno-Shinsuke Yamanaka (at 118 pounds), Viloria-Roman Gonzalez (at 112), and Leo Santa Cruz-Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg (at 122).
MAY 4, 2013
Just a quick question about Las Vegas!
I’m going to Las Vegas in May for Cinco De Mayweather weekend for the first time. Obviously I’ll be going to the fights and the weigh-in and want to have the “big fight experience.” I was just wondering if you guys think I should stay at the MGM Grand for the full fight week experience or if the MGM Signature or other hotels will be just as enjoyable that weekend specifically. Thanks. – Matt Ritchie
It’s more convenient to stay at the MGM Grand if you want to experience all of the media/public events of a major fight that the hotel-casino is hosting, but certainly not essential. If you don’t want to spend too much money on your hotel room and you don’t mind a short walk or cab ride on a daily basis, you can have the same experience staying at cheaper nearby hotels.
If part of your “big fight experience” is to go beyond the “Grand arrivals,” public workouts in the lobby, the weigh-in at the arena, etc., and your desire is to hobnob with industry people, boxing media and undercard fighters, then it probably is a good idea to stay at the MGM because you’ll need to hang out after hours to catch these good folks. As Houdini once rapped, “the freaks come out at night.”
Happy Holidays to you and your family!
I’m a bit surprised by the number of people outraged over the Adamek-Cunningham decision. I had it 115-113 for Cunningham, but I had 6 rounds on my card that I felt were close enough to go either way. Perhaps I’m just too indecisive in my scoring. Assuming you’ve seen it, how did you score the fight? – Max, Colorado Springs
I scored the fight the way you, official judge Tom Miller and NBC Fight Night commentator B.J. Flores did, Max – 115-113 (or seven rounds to five) for Cunningham.
I thought the Philadelphia native generally outworked, outboxed and outmaneuvered the Polish hero, but like you, I thought there were five-or-six close rounds that could have gone to either fighter depending on what you valued more – Adamek’s aggression and heavier punching, or Cunningham’s dominant jab, cleaner shots and ring generalship. I favored the latter in a slight majority of rounds (2-6, 8, 12).
I should note that Cunningham won the clearest rounds, three through six, in my opinion. Most of the rounds I scored for Adamek, could have gone to Cunningham, except for rounds nine and 11 when the former two-time cruiserweight beltholder did more moving and covering up than punching and allowed Adamek to land more power punches.
Anyway, I thought Dave Greer’s 116-112 scorecard for Adamek gave the popular Pole too much benefit of the doubt in close rounds, but I don’t think the overall decision was among the worst of 2012.
Maybe ring announcer Michael Buffer announcing the fight as a split-draw and then immediately correcting Debra Barnes’ card from 115-115 to 115-112 for Adamek added to the fan outrage.
I know Cunningham was very upset immediately after the fight, but I hope he doesn’t get too discouraged because he proved he can be a factor in the heavyweight division in only his second fight over 200 pounds. Hopefully, Main Events brings him back asap on NBC Sports Net, perhaps as a solid test for undefeated prospect (and fellow Philadelphian) Bryant Jennings.
NEW YEAR’S WISH LIST
I doubt that you remember but I wrote to you just over 12 months ago with my list of the 10 fights I’d most like to see in 2012 the Friday mailbag (November 25th), I asked you to give your predictions for each fight and the chances between 1-10 that you thought each fight had of getting made, unfortunately only 2 of the fights got made one being “the most likely” Carl Froch vs Lucian Bute (8/10) where you predicted a close Bute decision and strangely enough the least likely to be made Dawson vs Ward (2/10) where you predicted a Ward victory on points, now if you don’t mind I’d like to hear your opinions on my wish list for 2013.
David Haye vs Vitali Klitschko @ heavyweight
Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler 2 @ super middleweight
Sergio Martinez vs Gennedy Golovkin @ middleweight
Floyd Mayweather vs Saul Alvarez @ light middleweight
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook @ welterweight
Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 5 @ welterweight
Victor Ortiz vs Marcos Maidana 2 @ welterweight
Adrian Broner vs Brandon Rios @ light welterweight
Lucas Mattysse vs Danny Garcia @ light welterweight
Nonito Donaire vs Abner Mares @ jr. featherweight
Look forward to hearing from you Doug. Hopefully, we can make it an annual thing, have a great X-mas and a Happy New Year. – Ronan Knox, Waterford, Ireland
Thanks Ronan, Happy New Year to you and all of the boxing fans worldwide.
I don’t know if I’m willing to make this an annual thing if you keep reminding me of when I get a fight prediction wrong, LOL. (Although, I HAVE to note, being a typical ego-fueled boxing writer, that I changed my Froch-Bute pick to favor the “Sheriff of Nottingham” the week of the fight.)
Anyway, allow me to give my predictions on the following fights, most of which I hope are made in 2012:
David Haye vs Vitali Klitschko @ heavyweight – (5 on a scale of 1-10 of being made) Big Bro doesn’t want the Hayemaker to make another multi-million dollar payday off his big mouth, but his career is winding down and there aren’t many significant fights out there for himÔÇª so it could happen, and if it does, I think he’ll survive a few rocky moments in the early and middle rounds and gradually wear the brash Brit to a late TKO.
Carl Froch vs Mikkel Kessler 2 @ super middleweight – (9) This rematch has all but been made, and if it does happen, expect another scorcher. Their first fight was the best scrap of the Super Six tournament and the rematch will be just as heated. I like Froch to win a close, very hard fought decision, based on his recent form and the fight reportedly taking place in the UK.
Sergio Martinez vs Gennady Golovkin @ middleweight – (1) This a dream fight at 160 pounds, IMO, but I don’t see it happening in 2013. Martinez has been on a two-fight-per-year schedule for the past four years and I don’t expect that to change in 2013. He’s scheduled to defend his RING and WBC titles against Martin Murray in his native Argentina in April and if he’s successful we probably won’t see him until Mexican Independence Day weekend in September when he will mostly likely rematch with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. But if Martinez-Golovkin ever took place, I think GGG would score a come-from-behind late-rounds TKO.
Floyd Mayweather vs Saul Alvarez @ light middleweight – (8) Now that Pacquiao and Cotto are pretty much out of the picture, Canelo is the biggest name/draw forMoney to face in a bona-fide PPV mega-fight. The talk is that Floyd will fight twice in 2013, something he hasn’t done since 2007. The first bout is rumored to be against Robert Guerrero in May. If that fight happens, expect The Ghost to take something out of Mayweather (who appeared to lose a step vs. Cotto) after a typically grueling 12-round bout. Mayweather should win, setting up the Canelo showdown for Mexican Independence Day weekend. When Alvarez first called out Mayweather (after stopping Kermit Cintron in late 2011), I wrote that it was too soon in his development. Well, the redhead will have had close to two years to mature if he fights Mayweather next May, and I think he’s got a good chance of springing the upset. He’ll the most experienced 23-year-old pro in boxing when he steps into the ring with Money. He’s the natural junior middleweight, he’s got a good jab, a varied offense (including a debilitating body attack), and unlike Victor Ortiz, he’s used to being a headliner in major events and he’s fought into the 12th round seven times. Mayweather will still give the young man hell with his speed and style. The hall-of-fame-bound veteran will land the cleaner punches and exhibit his underrated toughness, but I think Canelo will be the boss in the majority of rounds, doing just enough to lose a close and very controversial split decision that sets up a huge rematch in 2014.
Amir Khan vs Kell Brook @ welterweight – (3) Even if Brook beats Devon Alexander in February, this matchup of UK standouts is unlikely in 2013 because Khan (and his new trainer Virgil Hill) wish to stay at 140 pounds for at least another year. If it does happen, I slightly favor Khan to win a close decision.
Manny Pacquiao vs Juan Manuel Marquez 5 @ welterweight – (8) If Pacman continues to fight (and I’m sure he will), this fight is a no-brainer; it has a built-in fan base thanks to the fanatical national followings for both future hall of famers and it will do big business because of the way bout No. 4 was fought and ended.Despite the conclusive ending of the fourth bout, I still think this is a toss-up matchup (Pacquiao was dropped hard before being taken out, but he was doing a number on JMM in rounds five and six). I’ll go with Oldman Marquez by decision in a close fight he wins by scoring one or two hard knockdowns.
Victor Ortiz vs Marcos Maidana 2 @ welterweight – (6) This could happen once Ortiz’s jaw is finally cleared to be hit again. Maidana is looking good under new trainer, Robert Garcia, who will give the Argentine badass a mental edge having once trained Ortiz (who might be a little bugged out fighting a guy who once beat him into submission and is now trained by someone who’s got a legit beef with him). I like Victor, and I want him to be successful, but I gotta go with Maidana by late TKO.
Adrian Broner vs Brandon Rios @ light welterweight – (1) This is a dream fight and promotion, but it ain’t happenin’. Apart from the silly ass Top Rank-GBP feud, Rios is in line for a major showdown with either PacMan or JMM if he can beat Alvarado again in 2013. Plus, Broner has made it very clear that he intends to stay at 135 pounds for at least another year. If the fight took place, I’d favor The Problem to win a competitive but clear UD.
Lucas Matthysse vs Danny Garcia @ light welterweight – (4) This fight can happen, but my guess is that it won’t go down until 2014. Garcia’s got Zab Judah to deal with in February, and if successful, he could face Khan again. I’d be surprised if Garcia took on Matthysse after going through those two former beltholders, but ya never know. He’s young, talented, hard-punching, gutsy and confident. He might welcome Cold-Blooded Lucas. If the fight does happen, I favor Matthysse – who is unbeaten IMO – by competitive, close decision.
Nonito Donaire vs Abner Mares @ jr. featherweight – (2) This is the fight I want to see the most in 2013. Donaire is the clear Fighter of the Year winner IMO and I believe Mares earned pound-for-pound placement with his gritty decision victory over Anselmo Moreno. I have the utmost respect for both young veterans, who happen to be great guys. Sadly, they are promoted by rival U.S. companies who probably won’t settle their differences in the New Year. If the fight took place at118 pounds, I’d strongly favor Donaire. However, at 122 pounds, the Filipino Flash’s speed and power are slightly diminished, which might give Mares, who’s got a good chin and the kind of will and roughhouse style that can break down a superior boxer/athlete, enough opportunity to get inside and breakdown the odds favorite. I think Mares will do significant damage in a very good fight, but Donaire will still be the ring general and win the majority of rounds on the strength of a knockdown and clean power pot shots. Donaire by close decision (perhaps split nod if the fight happens in the L.A. area).
Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer