Dougie’s Monday mailbag
Hope all is well.
It looks like a rematch between Carl Froch and Mikkel Kessler will finally materialize. How do you see the fight going?
Kind regards. – Mikkel from Copenhagen, Denmark
HmmmmÔÇª let me guess who you will be rooting for in this oneÔÇª
Seriously, as far as potential return bouts go, I can’t think of a bigger fight – in terms of the number of European butts it would put in the seats – or a more fan-friendly style matchup (apart from Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado II, but I think Froch and Kessler have the ability to mix in a degree of world-class ring generalship into their intensity that the junior welterweight sluggers simple can’t deliver).
It looks like it’s all but done, but I hope this rematch is officially finalized soon. I think it has a very good chance of exceeding the action and drama of the first bout because both veterans appear to be fighting more aggressively late in their distinguished careers.
Both guys are also bringing a lot of confidence with them. Froch, whose confidence is always sky high, has got to be feeling invincible after his demolition of odds favorite Lucian Bute and his thrashing of American Yusaf Mack.
While Kessler, under the guidance of veteran trainer Jimmy Montoya, has scored three consecutive stoppages since winning the first bout with Froch and taking a year off to allow his eye problems (double vision) to heal. The Viking Warrior is no longer the jab-master he was during his first title reign. Montoya has added a good left hook and a brutal body attack to Kessler’s arsenal, however, he now seems to paw a lot with his once vaunted jab.
I thought Kessler looked great against Brian Magee. Those accurate body shots quickly debilitated and demoralized the Irish veteran. However, I’m not sure how well the Dane’s new style will work against Froch. My guess is that it will make for more power exchanges between the two, and I wouldn’t be shocked if both super middleweights were dropped during the fight.
I think it’s an even matchup but if I have to make a pick I’ll go with Froch on points based on his better activity and competition.
MATTHYSSE’S THE MAN
I don’t know about you, I might be a sucker for an all-action bruiser, but I can’t see anyone stopping Lucas Matthysee right now. I wish Matthysee-Garcia would be made. I just can’t see past a Lucas stoppage between 8-10 rounds with his relentless bodywork. Is it just me, or is “mabeast” one of the more relentless fighters you have seen in recent years? I cannot imagine any 140 lber living with him at the moment, and as a UK writer I can only hope the Amir Khan hype continues to further the odds on Lucas. I am for no means proclaiming “mabeast” as the next lb-4-lb king who will rip through the divisions but I cannot see a fighter who could currently overcome/withstand him (without home town robbery).
(p.s. I pray and hope Matthysee v Brandon Rios is made – I personally think Lucas will win a late rounds TKO.) All the best. – Adey
I won’t pick any aggressive fighter to beat Matthysse, who is among my top 10 favorite active fighters at the moment (along with Froch, Juan Manuel Marquez, Sergio Martinez, Abner Mares, Gennady Golovkin, Brian Viloria, Roman Gonzalez, Leo Santa Cruz and Robert Guerrero).
I’ve been impressed with how the Argentine puncher has looked since dropping a split decision to Devon Alexander in June of 2011 (a fight I – and most observers – thought he won), especially his stoppages of Humberto Soto and Olusegun Ajose. However, his next opponent, Mike Dallas Jr., is not an aggressive fighter like Soto and Ajose. He’s an athletic boxer who is going to stick and move in the same manner as Alexander and Zab Judah did against Matthysse.
As hot as Matthysse is right now, I expect Dallas to give him trouble. I like how Dallas has looked since hooking up with Virgil Hunter following his stoppage loss to Josesito Lopez. He lost a majority decision to Mauricio Herrera (which I thought he won clearly) and then looked very sharp last year shutting out Miguel Gonzalez and stopping Javier Castro.
I think Matthysse will need the first half of the fight to acclimate to Dallas’ speed and movement but I expect him to put his usual total-body punishment on “The Silent Assassin” down the stretch and probably score a late TKO. However, I won’t count Khan out against Matthysse if they fight late in the year or in 2014, especially if he remains with Hunter (who I’m sure will be taking lots of mental notes on Jan. 26).
TESTING FOR TESTOSTERONE
I was having a discussion about PEDs in boxing/MMA with a buddy of mine and it led me to do some further research. He is an MMA fan so he brought up Alistair Overeem’s failed drug test with a t/e ratio of a staggering 14/1. The average male has a 1/1 testosterone-to-epitestostorone level. So why is the Las Vegas ratio cutoff at 6/1? WADA uses a 4/1 cutoff.
In a way it looks to me like they are saying: “go do some Juice but don’t go crazy”.
My prediction for 2013: more fighters will fail these VADA/WADA tests and the “contaminated meat/supplement” excuse will be used by the guilty fighter.
I’m curious to see if promoters will continue to have the extra testing in high-profile fights after what happened with Khan vs Peterson 2 & Ortiz vs Berto 2.
When do you think we will get an announcement about the May 4th Vegas fights? – Mike from CT
I can respond to that last question, Mike. The answer is “soon.” LOL. But I have not done enough research on performance-enhancing drugs and how certain banned substances are tested for in professional combat sports to give you any sort of educated feedback on your comments on testosterone-to-epitestostorone levels in boxers and MMA fighters. So, I’ve enlisted the help of Gabriel Montoya, the well-known Maxboxing.com writer and co-host of the Leave-It-In-The-Ring.com Radio show, who has done a lot of homework on this very subject.
Without further ado, I’ll turn this mailbag over to Mr. Montoya, who agrees with your “go do some Juice but don’t go crazy” commentabout the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s 6:1 T/E ratio cutoff:
That’s a very astute observation and one that is, at least in my opinion, absolutely correct. Nevada’s T/E ratio and the fact that they give out more Therapeutic Use Exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy than any other state commission is a combination that is absolutely stunning to me. As you stated, on average, people are 1:1. Recently, I’ve heard the World Anti-Doping Agency has discussed moving the standard down to 3:1. Currently at 4:1, WADA is already saying that you can have in competition four times more testosterone than normal in your system. In Nevada, they are saying you can go as high as six times, more than 50% greater than WADA code.
Why is that? I dedicated an entire article to asking various people why:
No one in Nevada has given me a clear answer to date. No one in New York has returned a communique to date.
The term “in competition” is key in testing because if a user wants to be most effective, they should be tapered off by the time they are in competition. There is a rigidity in the muscles that comes with being on whatever you are using. When you flush your system of “dope” the flexibility must return to the muscles in order to be at peak form and get the gains you worked for. A guy can be on cycle for six-to-eight months, cycle off, train and test, then fight and be completely clean while doing so. It really isn’t that training camp testing users need to worry about. It’s the rest of the year. But even then, there are ways around testing.
With synthetic testosterone, which what could have possibly raised Alistair Overeem’s T/E ratio to 14:1, there is one way to detect it for sure: the Carbon Isotope Ratio testing method. Overeem, as part of his punishment, submitted himself to testing he paid for over a nine-month period. In addition, Nevada would order further tests days after he had subjected himself to testing. This is all according to Kevin Iole’s YahooSports.com piece on Overeem and a possible solution. What the article implied but I wouldn’t know since the NSAC’s Executive Director, Keith Kizer, doesn’t answer my communiques anymore, is if Overeem now has a Therapeutic Use Exemption for testosterone and whether or not Carbon Isotope Ratio testing was done on any of the samples collected in that nine-month span.
This multiple tests theory, where you take a bunch of samples one after another in the hopes of catching the guy or keeping him off cycle is one way of doing things. But if you are worrying about cost effectiveness, it stinks. If it’s me, I drop the T/E test and cut in half the amount of times I test. But when I do, I use Carbon Isotope Ratio testing which I have heard estimated at $400-$500 a test. I believe in the right tests at the right times as opposed to a bunch of tests looking for a T/E ratio that’s already too high to begin with. If a fighter stays at 6:1 consistently but is using synthetic testosterone illegally, using the T/E ratio test to “catch him” is an exercise in willful stupidity. Not to mention it’s burning money.
Add this to this equation: At the last Fighter Summit for the UFC, Kizer gave a talk to some 300 MMA fighters on how to get a Therapeutic Use Exemption for testosterone. You tell me how they feel about using testosterone.
It’s hard to say if your prediction will come true. Fighters will undoubtedly test positive this year. But will it be VADA-tested fighters? Commission testing or USADA? Will Nevada suddenly change its stance on drugs and stop granting TUEs? I highly doubt they upgrade their testing program to include CIR 100% of the time.
What we do know is that the issue is on the table in a way it has never been before.
Top Rank’s Nonito Donaire has raised the bar with his 365/24/7 year round testing program conducted by the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) headed by HBO’s “The Fight Game” “Person of the Year” Dr. Margaret Goodman. Donaire was named Fighter of the Year by that program for not only the year he had but for undergoing a state of the art testing program that featured CIR as a screening test in 100% of the samples taken. VADA has successfully detected banned substances in two fighters so far and has given clean bills of health to many others including Roy Nelson, BJ Penn, Shane Mosley and Saul Alvarez. I expect them to continue to add clients this year.
Golden Boy Promotions, who has promoted Floyd Mayweather in each of his United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) training camp-tested fights (since this new wave of drug testing began three years ago), has continued to test fighters on cards they promote. Amir Khan-Carlos Molina was USADA tested. Adrien Broner vs. Antonio DeMarco was contracted to be but inexplicably USADA and/or Golden Boy cancelled the testing for that fight in similar fashion to the Winky Wright-Peter Quillin testing. The difference being that neither Broner nor DeMarco, unlike Quillen and Wright, were told testing was cancelled. Seth Mitchell vs. Johnathon Banks 1 had proposed testing but terms were not agreed to. No word yet on whether the rematch will or not.
In Germany, promoter Sauerland Boxing and the ARD network have a deal where the fighters on the network have to test year round. I’d love to see HBO and Showtime get behind that.
In light of Morales-Garcia 2 and the way that fight almost went forward without the press, the public and even Danny Garcia knowing that Erik Morales had tested positive four times (counting both sets of “A” and “B” samples) under USADA training camp testing, it’s hard to say if USADA “catches” someone, that the public will ever find out. For me, they are out of the running to be the company contracted to clean up boxing until they clear up some clouds they have gathered in 2012.
There are now various choices to be made in terms of testing organizations and protocols. Now we have to agree on a level of transparency as well as a universal system we all agree can be followed and lived with.
(Huge fan of yours BTW – always read your mailbag . . .)
So am I the only person excited by the Jean Pascal-Chad Dawson rematch? And why is Pascal only rated at No.10 in The Ring’s light-heavy ratings? I KNOW that he would beat numbers 5-9 on the list and I would definitely favour him against everyone else apart (maybe) from old man Bernard Hopkins. PLUS he has surely faced better opposition than everyone bar Hopkins and Dawson. I’m currently living in Montreal so I recently re-watched the 2nd Pascal-Hopkins fight – DAMN what a fight! – and though I’m happy with a score of 115-113 for ‘Nard, the last couple of rounds are REALLY back and forth stuff. Even though Hopkins was landing lots of clean counters, he was often looking REALLY flustered by Pascal’s pressure. Frankly, I think that if that fight had gone 15 rounds, Pascal would have finished stronger and won it.
Anyways. Prediction: Pascal will beat Dawson with relative ease. Dawson, despite his natural gifts, always seemed mentally weak and that’s gotta be worse after the decisive loss to Ward. Plus he’s switched trainers again. Pascal has only lost to Hopkins and Froch – and that Froch fight was also a classic to-and-fro tear up at the end that could have gone either way.
Which leads me to my wish: after Pascal beats Dawson, and, as I hope/think, Froch beats Kessler, we can have a re-run of Pascal v Froch. What do you think? A possibility?
Keep up the good work! – Tommy (the Brit in Montreal)
Thanks Tommy. I think there’s a remote possibility for Froch-Pascal II if the Englishman decides he wants to give light heavyweight a try before calling it a career. It would help Pascal’s chances of landing that lucrative rematch if he can stay healthy in 2013 and beat Dawson in their proposed rematch.
You certainly aren’t the only one who is excited about Dawson-Pascal II, but I think you might be the only one who would “favour” him against every RING-ranked light heavyweight (with the possible exception of the “old man”).
I like Pascal a lot. He has an entertaining personality and an athletic style that is generally fun to watch. He’s also got heart, as he’s twice proved by fighting and winning with one good arm. However, I never considered Pascal to be a “world-beater” at 175 pounds, and I think he is lucky to be ranked No. 10 by THE RING given the fact that he hasn’t defeated a ranked fighter since beating Dawson in August of 2010. Since that fight he’s arguably lost two fights to Hopkins, a great fighter, no doubt, but a man who was in his mid-40s! And then Pascal was inactive for more than a year (following the rematch loss to B-Hop in May of 2011). That’s why he was dropped from THE RING rankings.
He showed his considerable guts out-boxing Alexy Kuziemsky with one arm after injuring his left shoulder in the fourth round, but “Kuzie” is a fringe contender at best. I’m not saying that Pascal isn’t one of the 10 best 175-pound fighters in the world today – I think he is – but I am saying that he needs to earn his way back up the rankings.
You might be right that he would tear through THE RING’s Nos. 5-through-9-rated contenders (Beibut Shumenov, Karo Murat, Isaac Chilemba, Juergen Braehmer and Tony Bellew), but we shouldn’t give him credit for perceived superiority. If he beats Dawson, he’ll probably leap-frog the light heavyweights I listed, but I still hope he eventually fights some of them – especially Shumenov, which I believe would be a good scrap.
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