Dougie’s Monday mailbag
BRONER VS. KHAN, MATTHYSSE
Another impressive performance by Adrien Broner Saturday night, once he had warmed up. What do you think it will take to beat him – pressure, speed?
Assuming he moves up to 140 pounds, post facing the Ricky Burns-Miguel Vazquez victor, how do you think he fares in a fight v Amir Khan or Lucas Matthysse? Keep up the great work. – Paul, London
Thanks Paul, I’ll try.
I think both Khan and Matthysse would give Broner all he could handle if they were to fight at 140 pounds. Khan because of his speed, reach and lateral movement; Matthysse because of his power, technique and persistent but measured attack.
I’m not saying I’d pick Khan or Matthysse to beat Broner, which says a lot about the ultra-talented 23 year old boxer-puncher; I’m just saying I think “The Problem” would be in competitive fights that he could lose. Khan’s shaky whiskers could be his undoing vs. Broner, and Matthyse’s average speed and methodical approach could allow the undefeated Ohioan to outbox him.
Anyway, speed can be a weapon against Broner, but it has to be smart speed. I don’t think pressure is the key, unless the pressure fighter is not only bigger and stronger than Broner, but also has a world-class chin and happens to be a prolific volume puncher.
But to be honest, I think the style that could “problem” Broner the most is a negative one. Broner is brilliant when the fight is taken to him. The one world-class lightweight who wouldn’t play to Broner’s strengths by being the aggressor is IBF titleholder Miguel Vazquez, who is tall, rangy, durable, awkward and an absolute, unapologetic stinker in the ring. He’d stay outside of Broner’s reach and pop him with the jab while bouncing with that quirky rhythm and move, move, moveÔÇª
I don’t think “The Puppet” would be able to win a decision against the popular and far more dynamic “Problem,” but I do believe he would go the distance and give Broner fits (oh, and also bore the hell out most fans).
I think Broner knows that Vazquez is a difficult style matchup because he doesn’t mention the Mexican’s name. During the post-fight presser for the Gavin Rees bout Broner said “I’m pullin’ for Ricky Burns, I hope he wins,” of Vazquez’s March 16 challenge to the WBO beltholder in London.
“I’m praying that (Burns) wins,” Broner said.
BRONER NEEDS TO MOVE UP IN WEIGHT
Adrien Broner looked good, but Gavin Rees was overmatched. I think Broner got hit a lot, and that could be a problem with bigger bangers in the 140-pound division (“Bam Bam,” etc.). He definitely does not have Money’s defense to go with the copied shoulder roll.
But he needs to move up to 140. There is no money and no challenges at 135 (with the exception of a Yuriorkis Gamboa fight that I don’t see happening). – Christian Formby, San Juan, PR
I don’t see a Gamboa fight happening, either, which is too bad because it is one of the few marketable, interesting fights that exist for Broner at 135 pounds. Personally, I think Broner would decapitate Gamby, but I know a lot of hardcore boxing heads would be excited about the matchup because of the Cuban amateur star’s athleticism and offense-oriented style.
However, when Gamboa was brought up to Broner at the Rees post-fight press conference, the Cincinnati native said “He’s on PEDs; I don’t want to hear about Yuriorkis Gamboa. Tell him to get his piss clean and then he can talk to Adrien Broner. Other than that he’s done.”
Broner also made it clear during the post-fight presser that he has no intentions of moving up to junior welterweight anytime soon. I’m OK with that for 2013 and even into 2014 as long as he takes on the other beltholders and establishes himself as the real champ of the 135-pound division.
However, it seems like Broner is happy to face whoever is convenient as long as he’s fighting on HBO and making the kind of dough the subscription cable giant pays its star boxing players.
“I’m a legal bank robber,” Broner said during the post-fight presser. “I just robbed a bank tonight.
“As long as HBO keeps paying me to fight lightweightsÔÇª I ain’t never been on a farm but I’m milking the cow real good.”
When pushed about fighting certain names, including Brandon Rios, Broner said “I don’t pick my fights. I fight whoever they put in front of me.”
I’m going to take him at his word, which means it’s up to HBO, Al Haymon and Golden Boy Promotions to put challenging opponents in front of their burgeoning star. But if all four parties (fighter, network, manager and promoter) decide they’d rather “milk it,” as Broner so eloquently put it, it’s going to be up to you folks – the fans – to demand quality fights.
Otherwise, we might see another Roy Jones Jr./Floyd Mayweather Jr. scenario with HBO where the supposedly unbeatable super talents are gladly facing crude part-time fighters such as Richard Frazier and Glen Kelly, has-beens like Sharmba Mitchell or never-will-bes like Henry Bruseles because they are making fat seven-figure paydays fighting the hopeless underdogs.
I hope that doesn’t happen (been there, done that and don’t want to sit through it again). I know there is a segment of hardcore fans and the boxing media who want to see how popular a spoon-fed talent can become because they believe it’s good for the sport. Maybe they’re right, but I want to see competitive fights. I hope the fans who think like I do make their voices heard if need be.
Neither the Rees/Broner or Rodriguez/Tahdooahnippah told us much, but for once I find myself in total agreement with HBO that Gary Lockett is a really promising trainer. He really seemed to “see” the fight.
I have to say that if Sakio Bika gets Andre Ward a second time, he’s going to get KO’d. I’m seeing some wear and tear. – MT
If the good folks at HBO and the members of Team Ward saw the same wear and tear you saw, I think it’s a pretty good bet that Bika will be Ward’s first post-surgery opponent on the network.
I agree that Lockett devised a good gameplan for his hopelessly overmatched charge and appeared very clear and astute in the corner between rounds of the Broner fight. I think he’s got a future in the training biz.
I think the Rees-Broner or Rodriguez-Tahdooahnippah told us a few things:
Broner is an elite talent. Rees is not. Rodriguez still has business fighting in televised main events. Tahdooahnippah has no business fighting in televised main events.
HOLES IN BRONER’S GAME
Been a long time since I wrote to the mailbag. Couple of comments and questions about the Broner vs Reese fight.
Even though he won… I saw a few holes in Broner’s defense. Reese was able to hit him several times, especially in the first two rounds. Lots of punches to the right side of his body landed and even several rights to his head.
Also, Broner has his mouth open often, mainly when he is throwing a punch. This is a big no-no.
Again, obviously he won. But he didn’t look as good as he did in previous fights to me.
Question: Did you see the same openings that I did? Do you think this might spell trouble for him against a solid body puncher with more speed, power, and accuracy that he will surely face as he climbs the ladder and takes on more difficult opposition? – James
Yes, I saw that Broner was there for the hook to the body and rights to the head. It didn’t matter much because Rees (not “Reese” – Broner can get away with not knowing his name, not us) is not a puncher; nor is he sharp shooter. Obviously, a fighter with more speed, power and accuracy will trouble Broner. However, there aren’t any world-class lightweights with that combo right now. Heck, there’s no bona-fide “puncher” in any lightweight top-10 rankings, let alone a puncher with speed and accuracy.
The most skilled 135 pounders, aside from Broner, are Burns, Vazquez and Richard Abril and all three have low KO percentages.
So Broner will get away with his defensive holes for the foreseeable future.
THE MOST IMPORTANT FIGHT OF 2013
Just a few quick, simple questions:
1. Which fight are you looking forward to the MOST in 2013, and why?
2. And – if it’s a different fight – which fight do you think will be the year’s most important one in terms of impact on the sport?
For me, the most exciting one has got to be Kessler vs. Froch 2. Rarely do we see truly decorated fighters rated 1 and 2 face each other in this way – and they both bring fan friendly styles to the table! No matter who wins, this could easily be considered the pinnacle of both men’s careers, and it will definitely be a defining accomplishment for whoever comes out on top. Being Danish, I’ll be rooting for Kessler from as close to ringside as I could get, but honestly, I really think Froch takes this one on sheer will and toughness. How about you?
A couple of quick (mythical?) matchups:
1. Current Vitali Klitschko vs. current David Haye
2. Prime Roy Jones vs. David Haye at Cruiserweight
3. Jim Lampley vs. Al Bernstein
4. Michael Buffer vs. Jimmy Lennon Jr.
Always look forward to your mailbags! Best regards. – Kasper from Denmark
Thanks Kasper. Froch-Kessler II is also the fight that I want to see the most this year. Like you stated, it matches two of the best super middleweights and if their first bout was any indication, their styles mesh to make for a hell of a fight.
Other bouts have been made this year that match two of the best fighters in a particular division – such as Burns-Vazquez and Alvarez-Trout – but the styles of those fights may not make for a lot of sustained action.
Having said that, I think the most important fight that’s been “made” (not officially, yet) is Alvarez-Trout because it’s the final proving ground for the popular “Canelo.” If he wins it, Mayweather will have a very marketable B-side for his planned September outing and the sport will get a true mega-fight, which it always needs.
On to your matchups (possible, mythical and just plain geeky):
1. Oldman Klitschko stops a competitive Haymaker late.
2. Haye survives a knockdown and some rocky moments to get Jones out of there in the middle rounds of a high-intensity boxing match.
3. Lamply wins a play-by-play/blow-by-blow commentating competition; Bernstein dominates the boxing analyst/color commentator role.
4. Buffer and Lennon battle to a draw (Classy Jimmy is the more consistent announcer, who gets points for speaking fluent Spanish, but The Rumble Man takes the mega-event main events).
Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer