Dougie’s Friday mailbag
TOO SOON FOR THE FURIOUS ONE
Alright Doug, I know these two guys are not getting it on till September but I would like to get your take on the David Haye-Tyson Fury fight? And I’ll give you mine.
Fury has improved massively over the last year or so but I think this super fight has come a little soon for the self proclaimed greatest ever.
Every time I think Fury has a chance to shock us all in this one with all his advantages he has height, weight, reach not to mention he has been far more active than Haye I just think of Steve Cunningham (not a puncher) landing that overhand right and dropping Fury and I think if Haye lands that he will not get up!!!!
For me I am going with Haye by KO around the 5th round. There will be some hairy moments when he is slipping massive shots and being pushed about but I think he slips something big and a counter ends the fight. Would love to hear your thoughts on this one. – Dave, Weymouth, UK
I agree with you. I envision a mid-rounds stoppage for the Hayemaker. Fury has always been open for sweeping overhand power punches (Dereck Chisora landed his left, which stunned and backed the big man up a few times; Cunningham dropped and hurt him with the right) and Haye has more speed, power and – most importantly – precision than any of Fury’s previous foes.
However, despite his shaky chin and defense, Fury is a threat to Haye. For starters, he’s smarter than he looks (which I know ain’t sayin’ much) and he’s also got a big heart to go with his massive size, which is saying something. Everybody is so focused on the knockdown against Cunningham that they’ve forgotten that Fury got up, made adjustments, wore the American veteran down and took him out.
I know Cunnigham is not big (by heavyweight standards) and he’s not a puncher, but he’s a class boxer/fighter and it says here that he would have given Haye just as much trouble as he gave Fury (that’s another thing too many fans fail to realize).
I think Fury has a shot at the upset. To do so, he has to avoid exchanges from mid-range, where Haye will zap him, and he has to either keep the power-hitter at arm’s reach or smother the two-division champ. If he takes the fight to Haye from the get-go and mauls him on the inside – making the fight as rough and ugly as possible – I think he can frustrate and wear down the boxing celebrity to a late stoppage.
PRESENT VS. PAST
To get directly to the point, do you really believe that boxers of the past could compete with boxers of the present? I notice that whenever you are asked mythical matchups, you almost always pick boxers of the past.
It is obvious in other sports that athletes of today are just better. Athletes are faster, stronger, jump higher, and compete in a way that we didn’t see 50 years ago. On top of the human evolution, here are 4 reasons I believe today’s best boxers beat the legends of the past:
1. Nutrition; athletes have so much more science behind what they eat today compared to the past. Instead of water, there are drinks that replenish your body with vitamins and nutrients. There are stores dedicated to vitamins in every town now, were there any 50 years ago?
2. Technology; all the top boxers are resting in oxygen chambers, using technology to imitate high altitudes, and having their blood checked to see what they need. Enough said.
3. Weight cuts; boxers didn’t really weight cut in the past, I feel that modern boxers could bully boxers of the past because there will be a big weight difference fight night.
4. Overall boxing knowledge; shouldn’t today’s boxers be able to learn from the past and gain knowledge off of previous fights? Did boxers in the 50’s, 60’s, and even 70’s have very many fights to study?
So what do you think Dougie? In my opinion Mikey Garcia and Abner Mares blasts Willie Pep. Manny Pacquiao Blitz’s Henry Armstrong to a midround knockout. Wladamir destroys Joe Louis (he weighed under 200 pounds in most fights).
And the big one, prime Roy Jones Jr beats Sugar Ray Robinson. Am I crazy??? – Jordan
You’re not crazy, Jordan, you’re just silly.
Jones would never have fought Robinson. PRIME Jones didn’t want any part of legit KO punchers Gerald McClellan, Julian Jackson and Nigel Benn. Robinson at his best as a middleweight hit harder than those three, plus he was faster, slicker and better conditioned.
Robinson, who scored 108 knockouts and was only stopped once in 200 bouts (and that was due to heat exhaustion in a light heavyweight bout), would have knocked Jones out cold, probably before the 10th round. And that’s not a diss to Mr. Jones, who I like and respect and will certainly vote for once his name is on the ballot for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.
Mares and Garcia are among my favorite active boxers. They’re terrific young boxers who have the potential to be something special but I’m not sure they would beat Chris John. There’s no point in putting their names in the same sentence as Pep, who won the featherweight title at age 20 – in his 54th pro bout without a loss. Pep won his first 62 bouts (the first loss was a decision to fellow hall of famer Sammy Angott in a non-title lightweight bout) and then went unbeaten over his next 73 fights before running into the great Sandy Saddler. Do the math, Jordan. Pep fought 137 times before his 26th birthday and only lost twice (to future hall of famers).
I doubt Mares or Garcia will finish their careers with one-third as many bouts as Pep fought through the first half of his career (he finished with 241 bouts and won 229 of ’em). You can’t conceive the level of ring savvy that many fights and rounds would produce in a smart boxer like Pep; and neither can Mares or Garcia (and knowing them, I’m sure they would be happy to admit that).
Pep schools them. Armstrong knocks out Manny, and Louis cold cocks Wladdy.
The fighters you dismiss are among the greatest ever – period. It’s pointless to try and argue with me on this particular opinion.
But thanks for your hypothesis on why today’s boxers would beat those of yesteryear. It made me chuckle, especially this line:
“Athletes are faster, stronger, jump higher, and compete in a way that we didn’t see 50 years ago.”
Um, yeah, but we’re talking about boxers, not decathletes. If you take the current top boxers and have them compete against the best of the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s in a track meet, yeah, I’d probably have to go with today’s fighters.
But if we’re talking about prize fights – where guys are throwing and taking punches for more than 10 rounds – I’m generally going to go with the Old School.
Why? They were better-schooled boxers and with superior technique. I’m talking about complete fighters. Who cares if they couldn’t dunk a basketball or break 50 seconds in a 400-meter dash? They could FIGHT, dude!
They had skills and the kind of poise and ring generalship that only comes from fighting often; they were tough as nails, they were conditioned (physically and mentally) to fight hard for 15 rounds, and they almost never quit.
Today’s boxers are bigger than their divisions (thanks to previous day weigh-ins), physically strong and explosive in an athletic sense, but the so-called elite boxers seldom fight more than twice a year, are often babied and generally overpaid, and most have a sense of entitlement based on who they’re connected to (manager/promoter/network) rather than what they’ve accomplished.
I think most of today’s top fighters lack the experience and the fortitude to compete with the best of the Golden Age, the ’60s and ’70s.
Why are you talking about “human evolution?” Do you think people in the ’40s and ’50 were hunched-over Neanderthals? Do you really think vitamin supplements and oxygen chambers “evolve” fighters to some sort of super-human state of being? To borrow a classic line from the late Jim Kelly’s Williams character in Enter the Dragon: “Man, you come right out of a comic book.”
Some quick thoughts on your four reasons:
1. Good nutrition will help today’s boxers live a healthier life during and after their careers. It won’t help them fight any harder or take a good shot.
2. Technological advances in training will help maximize the athletic potential of today’s boxers; it won’t make them any smarter, tougher or hungrier.
3. Weight cutting (and weight replenishing) would indeed enable some of today’s boxers to bully boxers of the past – but only if the boxers of yesterday were forced to weigh-in the day of the fights. If the old timers were allowed to weigh-in 30 hours before the fight, they’d put on water weight, too. Big deal!
4. Shouldn’t today’s boxers be able to learn from the past and gain knowledge off of previous fights? They can gain some knowledge from watching old fights. However, they’re not going to come close to the technique and skill of the past unless they are taught by the old trainers (those who are still around – and there aren’t many) or by the apprentices of those great trainers. You can only learn so much by watching a tape or film of an old great boxer. (Yes, boxers in the ’50s, ’60s, and even ’70s – and their trainers – had fight film to study. Dude, WTF!? Do you think everyone lived in caves prior to the ’80s?)
Hey Dougie Doodle!
I have been wondering why you and so many fans are gushing over “The Great Golovkin” so much and after reading that one dude’s question regarding your god Golovkin and previous Alfred E Newman lookalikes it all came to me.
Here’s why you are so passionately kissing the ass of this giggling goofball. You all just love the way he giggles like Alfred E Newman when ever you kiss him! That’s it, right! He probably giggles like a lovestruck schoolgirl when you tickle him as well right? Okay then. That explains it all! Very well. Carry on.
By the way you stated that Golovkin will destroy Chavez without any real difficulty. Uh huh. See how your love for GGG has blinded you? You obviously forgotten how a doped-up undertrained version of Chavez nearly wiped out champ Maravilla. And you think GGG will have no trouble with even a 100% fully trained Chavez? Okay then. Whatever. I can’t wait until the next mailbag when you start declaring how GGG will knock out Andre Ward and the Klitchkos with one swipe of his arm! Once again, carry on! – Captain Ron
I will do that, Cap (sheesh).
But know this, if Golvokin ever fights Chavez it won’t be a laughing matter.
There’s no need to comment on Ward or the K-Bros. Ward is doing more commentating than boxing these days. Feel free to bring the super middleweight champ up as potential GGG rival after he returns to the ring.
The Klitschkos promote Golovkin and I’m sure they’re giggling their giant wealthy asses off in relief that there are no heavyweights out there with GGG’s style, technique and relative power.
POUND FOR POUND LONGEVITY
Long time British reader, first time contributor (and currently doing my first tour of the beautiful USA. Unfortunately I was one city ahead of the PBF and Canelo presser marathon/circus!)
This email has been largely spurred on by Pacman reaching the elusive 500 week landmark on the P4P list, and its theme is more or less to do with P4P longevity. (And who better to send this to than the P4P King of boxing journalism?)
Firstly, how long do you reckon he can sustain his position? All things considered, he won’t be hitting 600… right? I really rate him as being in the top 30 ever (or there abouts), but will reaching the big 500 give him another ‘string to his bow’ when historians come to create their mythical lists in years to come? (I mean really, how many other dudes have 10 years right at the very pinnacle?) Lastly, can any of the young crop (Canelo/Broner spring to mind as front runners) get anywhere near this ridiculous milestone?
Thanks and all the best. – Matt
I hadn’t realized Pacquiao has been in the mythical rankings for 10 years (you should know by now that I’m not a huge fan of the pound-for-pound thing). I guess he’s been on most lists since his 2003 stoppage of Marco Antonio Barrera.
That’s impressive, n doubt about it, but I don’t think it will have as much bearing on his legacy as who he fought or his boxing records (being the first flyweight titleholder to win championship recognition at featherweight and then at five heavier weight classes).
I have no idea if Alvarez or Broner are going to be on anyone’s list 10 years from now. I suppose it’s possible.
I’m pretty sure Pacquiao won’t be on anyone’s list 100 weeks from now. The PacMan is definitely winding down his hall-of-fame career and there’s a real chance that he’ll be booted from the P4P top 10 this year – that’s right I think Rios has a good shot at upsetting the Filipino icon.
Regarding Pacquiao’s all-time ranking, he might crack my top 30. I don’t know. It’s been a long time since I did one of those lists (and I don’t think I even went to 30; I think I stopped at 20 or 25). He wasn’t on it then. He might be now, but I doubt I’ll take the time to really think about it until he’s hung up his gloves for good. That’s when we can really put an influential fighter’s career in perspective.
One proposition, and one proposition only:
Naseem Hamed vs. Mikey Garcia. – Bart
I’m going to go with Hamed for now. I think he’s a bit underappreciated because of his “Prince” schtick and because he retired one fight after being undressed by Barrera, but he defeated many quality junior featherweights and featherweights of the 1990s, often by knockout. The Sheffield man was a tremendous athlete, had a truly unique style and could really punch.
At this point in Garcia’s career, he’s just a pup compared to Naz. However, Mikey’s got the kind of ring smarts and technical counter-punching style (along with good power) that would have troubled Hamed. There’s a reason Naz avoided Juan Manuel Marquez, and as my old MaxBoxing cohort Steve Kim has said numerous times, Garcia is the closest thing out there to a prime 126-pound version of JMM.
If Garcia continues to prove himself (as well as his chin), I may one day favor him over the brash Brit in a mythcial matchup, but for now I like the more proven fighter – probably by knockout.
Photo / Shaun Botterill-Getty Images
Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer