Dougie’s Friday mailbag
THE FLASH VS. EL CHAKAL
Hmm, “The Flash” vs. “El Chacal,” sounds like super hero stuff. The way Nonito Donaire hops around, changing angles and appearing in different positions, reminds me of Nightcrawler’s teleporting abilities. Guillermo Rigondeaux reminds me of the original Black Panther because he has a fighting style that really does not remind me of anyone (the Black Panther was trained in African unknown martial arts). For example, Rigo’s feinting style is something that I’ve never seen before.
I just checked the Donaire-Rigondeaux so-called experts predictions and see that you cats are picking Nonito over Rigondeaux by 18-3. In particular, I admire how you always give your opinion before fights, and right or wrong (mostly right), most of the time you back up that opinion with solid reasons.
I’ve been layin’ for this fight for a long time. Like anyone else, I love a good slugfest, but I much prefer fighters with solid boxer-puncher skill sets and fighting with intelligence. So in my opinion, this is definitely an interesting fight. Two fast fighters, Nonito with the advantage in pro experience vs Guillermo’s stellar amateur credentials. But I believe this one comes down to the styles. Neither cat has faced anyone even close to the style of his opponent in the pros, and we will probably see a tension-filled tactical chess match early, but I see Rigo’s rhythm giving Donaire fits.
As you know, I’m big on defense. I think that Nonito gets hit far too much by much slower fighters, and that can cost him against a fast slick boxer with some pop. Guillermo can also be hit, of course, but this is a much rarer occurrence. Nonito gets touched up a lot, and frequently looks like he has been in wars after his fights. I don’t attribute that to a desire to please the fans, I see a lack of defense, a lot of lunging, a chin that’s frequently up in the air and Donaire keeping his hands down a lot.
I believe that a lot of people will be surprised to see how easily Nonito gets defeated, probably by mid-rounds stoppage. I see Nonito getting frustrated early, and then begin to desperately come in with off-balance lunges, which will be his downfall, much like we saw with his idol Pacquiao last December.
Neither Nonito nor Rachel wanted this fight, but the Top Rank-Golden Boy impasse sort of forced it on them. I think we will find out why they didn’t want this fight on Saturday. But I’ll write in after the fight either way it goes. Although I’ve never thought that he was P4P, Donaire is an excellent fighter, so of course, Nonito could also land something big and stop Rigondeaux. But I think The Filipino Flash will be confused and shocked by El Chacal’s timing and teleport into some big shots fairly early in the fight.
Another thing that not many people are talking about is this thing with Victor Conte and Remi Korchemny (fitness-sprint coach) both quitting Nonito’s camp, and everyone in Donaire’s camp being extremely tight-lipped about this. I don’t want to speculate what is going on, but usually when people don’t want to talk about something, there is something strange happening. This was a hell of a time to leave training camp. According to Michael Coppinger and others, the Conte/Korchemny so-called scientific training (using hypoxic training, etc.) has been credited with Donaire’s recent run (see http://tinyurl.com/98v5eb7and http://tinyurl.com/blvgkso). But now they both split at the same time? Very suspicious. If Rigondeaux wins, I can just hear this and the impending birth of Nonito’s baby being used as the reasons why Donaire lost – “well, I had many distractions, and that’s the reason why…”
However, I believe that Guillermo style is all wrong for Nonito. I’ll be on tour with my band, but I’ll catch the fight somehow, I always do. Peace. – Steve
Rigondeaux’s style is all wrong for everyone he fights. Donaire’s style is also wrong for everyone he fights. I can’t imagine this fight being “easy” for either fighter unless one of them is able to land a KO shot in the early rounds, which is possible.
However, I think both men are too smart to get caught with something stupid early in the bout. I see a fight that goes rounds and I think Rigondeaux will have trouble zeroing in on Donaire due to the Filipino Flash’s “teleportation” ability (in other words, his lateral movement). (Good call on comparing Donaire’s agile “all-over-the-place” style to Nightcrawler.)
However, Donaire will have a hard time jumping in and catching Rigo the way he has others. You’re right, Rigo is kind of like the Black Panther in terms of his unique style and he’s always in position to pounce – even when he’s backpedaling.
However, the Cuban Black Pancher been pouncing on some ordinary “cats” (as you would say) so far in his pro career. Even the best name on his pro resume, Ricardo Cordoba, was pretty basic. The experienced contender is tall and rangy with sound technique, but sorely lacking in speed, reflexes and punching power.
I know the Cordoba fight was just Rigo’s seventh pro bout but I can’t shake the memory of your boy stinking the joint out after suffering a flash knockdown from a jab in the sixth round. Up until that point Rigo was in firm command of the fight although the Panamanian’s constant movement prevented the Cuban from overwhelming him. From the seventh round on, Rigo was on his bicycle as Cordoba stalked him like a hapless zombie.
The thing is, Rigo got caught in the sixth round when he was trying to open up on Cordoba. If he does that with Donaire – BAMF! – it could be over in a “flash.” LOL.
I know Rigo looked like an offensive beast in his next three fights (KOs of Willie Casey, Rico Ramos – for the WBA belt – and Teon Kennedy), but that trio wasn’t exactly the Warriors Three (that’s a reference from Marvel’s Mighty Thor mythos for you non-comic book nerds reading this).
Casey was a prospect. Ramos was a prospect with a title belt (which he won with a Hail Mary punch in a fight he was losing). Kennedy is a fringe contender. Roberto Marroquin, who took Rigo the distance in the Cuban’s last bout, is either a prospect or fringe contender. However one categorizes the 23-year-old lad from Dallas, the one thing he has in common with Rigo’s other title bout victims is that he’s wet behind the ears.
Donaire’s a veteran, and unlike Cordoba, he’s an elite-level pro. Part of being elite is dealing with distractions and drama. If Donaire allows pending fatherhood and splitting with Conte to shake his focus on a dangerous foe like Rigondeaux, he doesn’t deserve to be called elite or “pound for pound.”
But I think Donaire does deserve those labels. Maybe Rigondeaux – who’s had his own distractions (promotional lawsuits, switching trainers yet again) – deserves those labels, too. He’ll let us know tomorrow night.
I don’t see Saturday’s showdown as Donaire’s proving ground. I view it as Rigondeaux’s. I think Rigo will prove to be a dangerous and difficult 122-pound player, but ultimately I see him getting hurt (a lot more than he did against Marroquin) and taken out by the late rounds of the kind of high-level chess match that gives you goose bumps (LOL).
My main man Dougie,
It’s been a long time, bro. Back to business… this fight has me at odds… at one hand we have a proven champ at the world-class level and on the other hand we have a world-class unknown. When this fight was first mentioned a couple of months ago; I thought Rigo needed at least three more fights without any long layoffs and then fight Donaire. When the fight was signed I thought Donaire would win by KO in 6-7 rounds. Easy work!
But let’s look at the recent fighters Mr. Donaire been fighting (I call them Top Rank opponents, aka “make me look good type” fighters):
Jorge Arce, Toshiaki Nishioka, Jeffrey Mathebula, Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., Omar Narvaez and Fernando Montiel.
Arce, Vazquez, Mathebula are easy-to-hit type fighters, more brawlers than boxers. Nishioka past his prime (c’mon he retired right after the fight).
Narvaez… wake me up when he throws a punch and isn’t scared.
Montiel – strong, fast, talented but in my opinion never knew what he wanted to be; boxer, puncher, brawler; but regardless an excellent win.
Rigo’s last six fights: against no-hopers and even more showcase type fights.
Back to Donaire. I don’t see any real 100-percent boxers on his resume for the last 3 years. So I tell myself maybe Rigo’s style has a chance; something different than the B.S. Top Rank sometime feeds us. (Think PacMan “made to order” opponents.)
Then I see the work out pics of both fighters in NYC. Wow. What a difference. One is cutting weight and the other looks like the Hulk. Rigo is JACKED. His back jumps out from the front. LOL. I know that doesn’t mean anything in the ring BUT I am getting a funny feeling that a strong boxer might be able to withstand Donaire attacks and counter off of it.
Prediction: SD 12 Donaire (but leaving like he lost and Rigo gaining more momentum in his career) so a win-win for both.Peace out. – Frankie from the Bronx
If the fight goes 12 rounds, I believe that will favor Donaire.
Rigo is the fighter who lacks championship distance bouts on his pro resume (only two; while Donaire has gone 12 rounds five times).
And I must say that I haven’t been super impressed with Rigo in his two 12-round bouts (vs. Cordoba and Marroquin). He looked good, slippery and crafty in those bouts, but not untouchable and certainly not “elite.”
I think you’re being hyper-critical of Donaire’s recent competition. Of the fighters you brought up, only Arce was past his prime, tailor-made in terms of style, and easy to hit.
The other fighters were solid (Vazquez), world-class (Mathebula, Narvaez) or border-line elite (Nishioka, Montiel). WV2 is just a shadow of his old man, but he’s got decent fundamentals and he’s a good athlete. Is he easy to hit? Yeah, but he takes a good shot.
Mathebula is not easy to hit and he’s not a “brawler.” The South African is a tall, rangy boxer with a world-class jab and good overall skill.
Narvaez definitely stunk the joint out against Donaire (who was dragged through the coals for not finding a way to knock the Argentine veteran out), but don’t forget that Nonito shut him out on all three official scorecards. And Narvaez was no bum. He was a two-time Olympian and Pan-Am Games gold medalist and a two-division pro titleholder who made 16 defenses of his flyweight belt. The man was unbeaten in 37 pro bouts. He knew how to survive and I don’t think anyone could have looked “good” against him that night.
Nishioka was not past his prime. He’s no spring chicken but he was on top of his game when he fought Donaire. The Japanese veteran hadn’t lost in years and he was on an impressive WBC title defense streak.
Montiel was arguably a top-10 pound-for-pound player when he fought Donaire. It doesn’t matter if the talented Mexican had never settled on a ring identity. Donaire didn’t give Montiel enough time to decide if he wanted to be a boxer, puncher, brawler or whatever.
Come on, folks. No more revisionist history. When it comes to the quality of their professional opposition, Donaire is in a much higher class than Rigondeaux.
RESPECT TO BRADLEY AND DONAIRE
When I last wrote, I picked Brandon Rios to again overwhelm Mike Alvarado. I was wrong and should have given Mike more respect than I did at the time.
I guess he truly would be belong with Rios in the possible upcoming 147 pound super-6 although he would be bit of a wildcard in such a tournament.
Moving onto the main point, there is indeed two other fighters in particular who are deserving of more respect. Timmy Bradley is one. Nonito Donaire is the other.
Let’s start with Bradley. It seems that when he boxes he’s labeled a boring fighter. When he brawled with his most dangerous opponent yet (Provodnikov) he’s now getting ripped for not boxing. The guy just can’t catch a break.
For instance, I’m thinking of Fleetwood’s comment referring Bradley as a “Dime store Jab Judah.” Funny, but off base. My boxing buddies have been making somewhat similar comments. It should be noted that whenever the real Judah got pushed hard he bit the dust. Whenever Bradley’s been pushed hard he either makes adjustments or simply fights back right to the wire. Nor could I picture Bradley allowing himself to be outfought by Carlos Baldomir.
Bradley has his flaws but he’s still a tough, near-elite fighter who gives his all. And I’m certainly not going to write him off yet.
Moving on to Donaire. Fans have been ripping him for facing “easy” opponents instead of Abner Mares. Now Guillermo Rigodeaux isn’t Mares but he’s no soft touch by any means. Like Donaire, he’s a hard-hitting counterpuncher himself. Come to think of it, aside from Jorge Arce, I certainly don’t remember Donaire facing a “gimme.”
True, he doesn’t always excite. He’s at his most explosive against sluggers who go straight after him. Against stylists and other boxer-punchers, Donaire usually has to work longer but he still convincingly gets the job done. And he’ll do it this Saturday.
The huge advantage Donaire will have over Rigo is his greater experience against much superior opposition. Not to mention superior firepower.
Either Donaire outsmarts Rigo and drops him dead in the late rounds or he outscores him with room to spare. He’ll still have his detractors but I certainly couldn’t care less about what they have to say. See you Dougie! – Phil
Thanks for writing, Phil. And don’t be so hard yourself for picking against Alvarado. I don’t think he takes such things personally (like some fighters do) and the reason to be a boxing fan (in my opinion) is to be entertained, inspired and surprised. Being a hardcore fan shouldn’t be a label that carries some nerdy bourdon of always having to correctly predict competitive matchups.
Unless you’ve bet money on the outcome, don’t sweat it, folks. Just enjoy dramatic battles like Rios-Alvarado II and Bradley-Provodnikov.
Speaking of Bradley, I agree with everything you said about him. No way he would allow Baldomir to outwork him or completely lose focus and drive during tough fights as Judah has done in past.
I don’t get the hyper-criticism of Donaire, but some fans – including a fair amount of traditional Filipinos (who are mad at him for parting ways with his father; and for not being more humble) – just don’t like “the Flash.”
I wish they’d just come out and say that Donaire rubs them the wrong way instead of trying to discredit his boxing resume. Some of the same dudes who diss him for going the distance with Narvaez or Mathebula belong to “the Cult of Rigo” and do nothing but worship Donaire’s formidable-but-far-from-perfect opponent on Saturday.
That makes no sense to me. If you’re gonna piss on Donaire for not stopping an unbeaten (35-0-2) two-division titleholder and a reigning beltholder who is 6-foot-tall with a good jab, it seems to me that you should take a big ole greasy dump on Rigo for not knocking out a greenhorn like Marroquin (and getting rocked a couple times in going the distance).
Whatever. I agree with your take on tomorrow’s showdown and I agree that Donaire will still have his detractors come Sunday.
NO RING BELT?
Starting with a question: How come there’s no RING championship belt on the line for the Saul Alvarez-Austin Trout fight?
Aren’t these two guys the very top two junior middles out there? Of course they are! By contrast, THE RING’s putting the welterweight championship on the line for Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero. Even though Mayweather hasn’t fought at 147 pounds since 2011 and Guerrero hasn’t truly beaten a top 10 welter. Not that his last two opponents (Aydin and Berto) ever did.
You got to admit that the Alvarez-Trout is more of a true championship bout than the one between an aging Mayweather and the overrated Guerrero.
As for the Donaire-Rigo championship match, Rigo is still pretty much a literal amateur challenging one of the game’s premier fighters. Donaire will knock him down so hard that Rigo will be dazed to the point that he’ll have to change his name to Rigon-duhhh! Admit it. That was kind of funny. And it will be most true this Saturday night.
Speaking of funny, thanks for bringing back Fleetwood Mack and Todd The Terminator. Those guys crack my balls up! By the way, I disagree with all those past comments about TTT being a Jim Bagg wannabe. That’s more like the Fleety Guy. He’s pretty much a gangsta version of Mr. Baggaroo.
3T is more like Tony Soprano. Or Danny Garcia’s dad.
Whatever happened to the Baggazoonie anyways? – Captain Ron, President of the Universal Council of Concerned Boxing Fans
The Baggmeister is floating around out there somewhere in the Twitterverse. I’m sure you can find him if you look hard enough.
I’m surprised Fleetwood and TTT don’t have Twitter accounts. I’d follow ’em.
We’ll see what happens tomorrow night. My guess is that there will be a lot of feints and positioning over the first half of the fight before someone goes for it, but the blood thirsty ghoul in me is hoping I’m wrong (and that both 122-pound standouts land their best shots early).
The vacant RING 154-pound title is on the line for the Alvarez-Trout winner. The unbeaten young guns are the magazine’s Nos. 2- and 3-rated junior middleweights. The Ratings Panel agreed with the Editorial Board’s suggestion to put the belt up because our No. 1-rated junior middleweight, Mr. Mayweather, is fighting for the vacant RING welterweight title and is, at best, a part-time 154 pounder (having only fought twice at the weight).
I think you’re being too critical of the magazine’s 147-pound belt being on the line for the Mayweather-Guerrero winner. Yeah, Mayweather hasn’t fought at welterweight since 2011, but he only fights once a year and his track record at 147 pounds is the best among active fighters. He’s the consensus choice for the sport’s top welterweight.
You can make an argument that Guerrero doesn’t deserve to fight for the title, but not much of one. Before Bradley went life and death with Provodnikov, I thought fans and media had a point about the undefeated beltholder deserving to be rated ahead of Guerrero. But since March 16, the only active welterweight who deserves to be rated above The Ghost, in my opinion, is Juan Manuel Marquez (and THE RING does rate the Mexican master above the Californian, at No. 2). However, our No. 1 has already defeated our No. 2 (and quite handily, in 2009), sooooooooooÔÇª that clears our No. 3 (Guerrero) to fight for the magazine’s title.
It’s not a perfect ratings system and it’s certainly not for the purists, but I think most fans are cool with our recent championship bouts. And if you’re not, I apologize for any distress we’ve caused you. (And if you’re really pissed off by our ratings and championship policy you can always have the Universal Council of Concerned Boxing Fans – great name! – start its own rankings.)
GGG VS. MACKLIN
Hey Doug, what another great weekend for boxing, but that’s not what I wanna ask you about this time around.
As you might remember I’m still relatively new to the sport and have 100% drank the Gennady Golovkin Kool-Aid, so to speak… So I was psyched to read on the site today that GGG will be fighting Matthew Macklin at the end of June in CT. Whoot Whoot! Guess who’s getting tickets! Excitement aside, this is a solid test and step up for Golovkin, at least in my opinion, and I want to know what you think. Macklin is rated by The Ring at No. 5 in the middleweight division, and that’s what everyone wants to see: Golovkin against a top-10 natural middleweight, right? Now we have it! How’s this fight play out?
I was also happy to hear my man Lucas Matthysse is getting a step up from his last opponent, when he fights Lamont Peterson. That’s a tough fight to call, Peterson always looks in great condition I think it would be hard for Matthysse to get another one of his signature KTFOs. I would love to see the winner of that fight against the winner of Danny Garcia vs Zab Judah. What do you think the chances of that are, and when does Amir Khan get thrown in the mix?
Boxing aside, do you have any love for George RR Martins epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire? Anyways hope all is well, an hope are chess match on Saturday has some fireworks!!!
Stay suave. – Jason, CT
I always do!
I’m not a huge fan of GRRM’s work, nor have I gotten into HBO’s adaptation of his signature series that you mentioned, “Game of Thrones” (yet), but I respect his writing, his longevity and his dedication to science fiction/fantasy fandom.
Like any red-blooded fight fan, I’m excited about Golovkin-Macklin and Peterson-Matthysse. I think the middleweight matchup is a competitive fight, and I think the junior welterweight (well, actually 141-pound) showdown is a toss-up bout.
I think GGG and Matthysse are the two best punchers in boxing right now. They don’t just hit hard, they know HOW to punch, WHEN to punch and WHERE to punch. And they both possess underrated technique and ring generalship. That will be the difference in their next fight. They will be able to put themselves in position to land the right shots to end their fights inside the distance. But I’m expecting a lot of action, as well as high-level boxing, before their bouts conclude.
Golovkin by late KO. Matthysse by late TKO or close decision.
I think it’s only a matter of time before the winner of Peterson-Matthysse squares off with the winner of Garcia-Judah. If Garcia and Matthysse win, I think we’ll get that matchup by the end of 2013.
Photo / Chris Farina-TOP RANK
Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer