Saturday, May 27, 2023  |


Dougie’s late Friday mailbag

Fighters Network


I know we disagree on whether Adrien Broner is the real deal or not, but I expect him to beat Gavin Rees. I think Rees is a much better quality opponent than he’s getting credit for, but I think his lack of real one punch power, middling speed, and lack of good glove defense makes this a terrible style match up for him. Stylistically, it’s a lot like Mayweather-Gatti, except that Broner is a good bit worse than Mayweather, and Rees at 135 is probably a significant degree better than old Gatti at 140.

I expect Broner to win, but I don’t think beating up Rees will tell us anything about him we don’t already know. As it stands, he looks more to me like a well promoted Travis Simms than a Floyd Mayweather. Time, and more athletic opposition, will tell.

On an unrelated note, I think I’d really appreciate if THE RING would consider doing weekly gear reviews on the website. I know a lot of readers train in some capacity or another, and there’s not really a reliable source for reviewing the wide variety of boxing gear available. I have two or three brands I’ve always bought, but I’d like if a source I could trust would actually go out and work through some of these smaller brand names of gloves, bags, and wraps, so buying wouldn’t be so hit or miss. There are some resources available online, but they’re all unknowns, for all I know they’re cheap websites slapped up by manufacturers to say their brand is best. I’ve had gloves that stubbed my thumb because the padding was too stiff to make a proper fist, and worked with a punch dummy that hurt my hands because its interior was rigid and unusually shaped. It’d be cool not to have to learn all of that through trial and error. Anyway, keep up the good work. – Todd

I think that’s a good idea, Todd. I wish I could do it for you but I haven’t worked out regularly (at a boxing gym) in more than 10 years. Whoever provides the boxing gear review/analysis needs to actually work out with the equipment for at least a week’s time. Perhaps this is something one of the younger magazine contributors would be interested in doing. I know Ryan Songalia trains on and off (usually when he is in the U.S.). I’ll pitch the idea to him. Another idea is to do a video a feature where we ask professional boxers who use certain gear and equipment to explain why it works for them. Anyway, thanks for the ideas; I’ll try to run with them.

Regarding Broner-Rees, I don’t foresee much of a fight. I’m sure Rees, who is a solid lightweight contender, will give it his all but whatever he brings, it won’t be enough to overcome Broner’s decided advantages in talent, technique, size, speed and power.

Rees’ best attributes – aggression, toughness, tenacity – will only play into Broner’s quick mitts. In other word’s the Welshman is tailor-made for The Problem.

In some ways, this matchup reminds me of one that involved Rees’ trainer, Gary Lockett, a few years ago. Lockett, who is also from Wales, was a hardnosed middleweight fringe contender whose best win was probably a 12-round decision over Ryan Rhodes in 2006. Somehow, the powers that be (Bob Arum, HBO and the sanctioning organizations) saw fit to offer Lockett up to then-undefeated Kelly Pavlik for the undisputed middleweight champ’s first title defense in 2008.

Long story short: Lockett was crushed in three rounds. He made Pavlik look like Carlos Monzon.

Rees will make Broner look like Sugar Ray Leonard. ‘Nuff said on the matchup.

Regarding Broner, I absolutely think he’s the real deal – at lightweight. I don’t consider him to be an “elite” fighter yet, and I don’t think he should be compared to Mayweather, but I believe he’s better than Travis Simms.

The problem – pun intended – with boxing media (mainly THE RING) already lauding Broner as a pound-for-pound fighter and the future of the sport is that if he doesn’t totally wipe out a tough S.O.B. like Rees, suddenly he becomes “a bust,” an overrated product of pure hype. And that’s not fair to Broner, who is a bit overrated (in terms of his elite status) but is certainly a lot more than sheer hype.


Hi Doug,
So this weekend is going to be a good weekend, although I’m disappointed that Johnathan Banks vs Seth Mitchell II had to be cancelled. Do you think that fight will be rescheduled? Also what should I expect watching the Rodriguez vs Tahdooahnippah fight? The only fight I’ve seen of Delvin was against Trout which I believe was pretty well accepted as a slow fight. Do you think it will be the same? Do you think Delvin can win? Being a Connecticut native I’m rooting for him.

Also, I couldn’t write to you with at least mentioning Broner vs Rees.

There is something about Broner that makes me hate him, but I want to watch every fight. I think he is a really good fighter – that I would love to see get KTFO for his arrogant and disrespectful attitude towards other fighters (i.e. not coming in at weight for the Vicente Escobedo fight or his act of not knowing Rees name). Again his attitude really turns me off, but his technical ability has been stunning in my opinion. How do you feel about him?

Also what do you think about the new undercard that HBO is broadcasting Bika VS Sjekloca? Should it be a good fight? I’m unfamiliar with both of them.

Also, my wife really wants to know who you think Canelo will fight next. (So do I. lol)

Hope all is well, and look forward to another good week in boxing. – Jason H.

Me too. Thanks for writing.

I have no idea who Saul Alvarez will face on May 4, but I’m expecting an announcement from Golden Boy Promotions any day now. The B-sides I’d like Canelo to face are (in order of difficulty for the red head): Austin Trout, Carlos Molina and Alfredo Angulo.

I don’t know what to think of Bika-Sjekloca. Bika is an aggressive slugger but he’s also raw and awkward. I’m unfamiliar with Sjekloca.

Broner’s attitude does not turn me off – yet. I don’t mind a fighter who talks s__t as long as he continually backs it up in the ring against quality opposition. If Broner ices Rees and then acts like he’s God’s gift to boxing, more power to him as long as he looks to face better opposition going forward.

However, if Broner struggles with Rees and doesn’t show the challenger respect after the fight, I’ll have a problem (again, pun intended) with that. And if he tells Max Kellerman that he doesn’t care to face the winner of Ricky Burns-Miguel Vazquez, but has no interest in going up in weight to face the best of the 140-pound division, I’ll lose interest in his song-and-dance routine rather quickly.

In other words, if Broner talks non-stop s__t while fighting the likes of Vazquez or Burns and Lucas Matthysse en route to challenging the winner of Danny Garcia-Zab Judah, I’ll be his biggest fan. I’ll purchase “Band Camp” T-shirts and start wearing them at his fights with skinny jeans, gaudy colored dress jackets that are three sizes too small and bug-eyed sunglasses.

But if Broner talks non-stop s__t while fighting the likes of Ray Beltran and Kevin Mitchell en route to challenging the winner of Richard Abril-Sharif Bogere, well, I’ll probably just become another hater.

I think Rodriguez will take care of business against a game but ultimately overmatched Tahdooahnippah. I guarantee tonight’s matchup will be more entertaining than Trout-Rodriguez. I’m not from Connecticut, but I’m rooting for D-Rod, who is a down-to-earth individual and a good interview.

Banks-Mitchell II will be rescheduled and added to an upcoming GBP event.


Hi Doug,
It’s been a slowish month for boxing but the Broner-Rees card and my first time at a small hall, non televised night of boxing should make this a good weekend. I will be rooting for my fellow countryman Rees who is a smart and capable boxer, however I don’t think he can be competitive with Broner for more than 4 rounds.

Anyway, I was writing to the mailbag because after reading the March issue of THE RING magazine I was really disappointed with Michael Rosenthal’s last few paragraphs on Juan Manuel Marquez as Fighter of the Year. The PED speculation made the whole thing feel tainted and I don’t personally think that JMM, one of the greatest fighters of our era, has done anything to deserve the accusations.

Quick few mythical match ups that you are probably bored with:

Carmen Basilio vs Tito Trinidad @ 147 and 160

RJJ vs Bob Foster @ 175

Thanks. – Charlie, UK

Thanks for writing to me (and for reading THE RING). I never get bored with mythical matchups, which are challenging and fun as long as folks don’t take ’em too seriously.

Those are awesome, explosive matchups. I think whoever lands first would be the likely winner of a Jones-Foster showdown. At light heavyweight, I favor Foster, whose excellent jab would have set up his power shots to the chin of the unorthodox dynamo. Plus, I think Foster had better reflexes and whiskers at 175 pounds than Jones did. (If Jones were somehow able to get Foster down to super middleweight – and Foster could have made 168 – I would favor RJJ.)

I like Basilio by hard-fought decision at welterweight and middleweight. There’s a chance he would have clipped and stopped Tito in the middle rounds at 147 pounds.

Regarding Rosenthal’s Fighter of the Year comments on Marquez in the March issue of the magazine, I don’t think it’s fair to be upset with him for bringing up the widespread speculation that exists. Rosenthal, who has the utmost respect for Marquez (as evidenced by his selection of JMM as FOTY – I wanted Nonito Donaire to receive the honor), wasn’t making any accusations. He merely stated that there was PED “speculation” around the fight. (Hey, that’s what happens when you choose a conditioning coach who has a history of PED offenses.)

This is all Rosenthal said on the subject:

“The steroid speculation? It’s understandable given his physique and the age in which we live, when fitness gurus are often able to stay a step ahead of the testing process.

“However, is that fair to Marquez? What if he didn’t cheat? Should he be punished because we have suspicions about him or because he is associated with someone once involved with PEDs”

“We saw what we saw, a knockout of a great fighter that we’ll never forget. Afterward, authorities assured us that he passed his drug tests. That’s all we can expect. As a result, he deserves all the accolades that come with such a monumental feat.”

I thought Rosenthal was fair.

I agree with your take on Broner-Rees. Enjoy your night at the hall boxing show!


Hi, Doug, I’m a big fan.

If The Ring had been awarding titles in 2000, would Barrera vs Morales be a fight for the junior featherweight crown? – Marcus, Ohio

Yes it would have been. Morales, the WBC 122-pound beltholder at the time, was THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight going into the fight with Barrera, who held the WBO title and was the magazine’s No. 2-rated junior feather.

By the way, that bout took place 13 years ago and it’s STILL among the top five best fights I ever covered live.

Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer.