Friday, June 02, 2023  |



Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Fighters Network



Even before I saw the Abner Mares-Jhonny Gonzalez fight, I, figuring that it was a sure win for Mares, was already formulating an email on how a Mares-Mikey Garcia showdown would turn out.

Boy, how perceptions change after one massive knock out! Before the KO, I figured Garcia would win a tough, grueling decision. Now I believe that he would stop Mares, outboxing him until the killer blow. Before the Mares KO, I believed that Leo Santa Cruz would simply be out muscled, out hustled by Mares. No way did I think that Santa Cruz would be ready for Mares. NOW, it would be a close fight where Santa Cruz would simply out work the bigger man. What do you think? Was Mares exposed for his questionable defense or was it a “lucky” shot?

Speaking of Santa Cruz, how do you think “Dr. Octopus” would fare against the Cuban Cobra, Guillermo Rigondeaux? Do you think his punch output is enough to finally stamp an “L” on Rigo’s record? Or in a different matchup, add another “L” to Nonito Donaire’s record?

Your response would make my Monday buddy! Cheers. – Chip, N.J.

How about your Friday, Chip? Sorry I wasn’t able to include this email in Monday’s mailbag, but I’m more than happy to lead this bag with it because I LOVE your nickname for Santa Cruz.

He is Doctor Octopus. Just ask poor Victor Terrazas, who couldn’t believe that he had been dropped twice and his right eye completely closed before three complete rounds against Santa Cruz.

It must have seemed like the young challenger was coming at him with four extra mechanical arms.

I said it in the Monday bag, but I’m happy to repeat it: Santa Cruz exceeded my expectations with that three-round blowout of Terrazas. I thought it would take at least seven or eight hard rounds for him to grind down the defending 122-pound beltholder.

Does that mean I’d favor “Doc Ock” over THE RING’s 122-pound champ or an elite veteran like Donaire? No. I’d still favor those two at this point in Santa Cruz’s career, although I’m sure he’d give ’em both a run for their money and I certainly wouldn’t count him out.

However, Santa Cruz is still untested against a top-level boxer who can move. Most of his world-class opposition have been aggressive come-forward or stationary types. The only mobile boxers on his record that come to mind is an old (and undersized) Eric Morel (who was coming off a punishing 12-round loss to Mares) and a young prospect in Alberto Guevara, who was able to neutralize Leo’s aggression in spots during their bantamweight title bout, which went the distance last December.

I think Rigo would pot shot Santa Cruz to a decision, and Donaire – if his mind is right – could knock him out. Santa Cruz’s style is tailor-made for Donaire at his best. However, who knows if we’ve seen the last of that version of the Filipino Flash? The plodding come-forward version of Donaire that fought Rigo would probably lose to Santa Cruz.

Regarding Mares’ KO loss to Gonzalez, you might be right that it’s an indication that he wouldn’t be able to last the distance with a bigger, harder-punching and more technical counter puncher like Garcia. You might be right that it means that he wouldn’t be strong enough to withstand Santa Cruz’s onslaught.

Or you could be making too much of one fight in which Mares was caught cold in the opening round against an experienced world-class puncher. It might be a big mistake to count him out every time he faces a bigger/stronger/harder puncher.

I don’t know if you’ve been watching boxing long enough to remember when former WBA heavyweight titleholder John Ruiz was an up-and-comer and matched with David Tua, but “the Quietman” was obliterated by the murderous-punching New Zealander just 19 seconds into the first round of their 1996 bout.

From that point on, hardcore fans expected Ruiz to crumple every time he faced a heavyweight who had even above-average power, but he went on to face most of the top contenders of the late 1990s/early 2000s, twice winning the WBA title, and he didn’t suffer another knockout until his final bout (a ninth-round stoppage to David Haye) FOURTEEN years after the Tua debacle.


Hey Douglas.

I was going to hold off until September but after these explosive, sudden kayos I couldn’t hold back my words any longer! So I figure I’ll drop in for a few minutes before heading back to the cottage for that one last week of Summer.

I didn’t see the Gonzales-Mares fight so I wouldn’t comment too much there. But wow. Even if I was watching it I certainly wouldn’t have saw that one coming. Neither did Mares apparently. What a left hook by Gonzales! Still I’m not going to s__t on Mares with this “he was overrated!” crap! He may have gotten caught but he’ll be back. I’m sure of it. And for Johnny G., he has my full props. Good for him!

The only fight action I did squeeze in this month was Sergey Kovalev’s brutal beatdown of Nathan Cleverly along with the Barker-Geale fight. Kovalev certainly ranks up there with Golovkin, Matthysse, and Gonzalez as the most murderous puncher in the game.

And while I’m gung-ho as much as the next Canadian fight fan over this “Canucks-Russkies” thing who’s to say if we’re going to see Kovalev-Stevenson? Tavoris Cloud might derail the whole thing and we might get Thunder Cloud pounding it out with Krusher Kovalev over 175-pound supremacy. Now there’s a fight!

Some fans are regarding Cloud as a gimme for Stevenson because Cloud was outboxed by both Gabriel Campillo and Bernard Hopkins while Adonis looked much better blasting out Chad Dawson. What these same fans are overlooking is that Campillo, Hopkins, as well as Cloud are considerably tougher then Dawson.

I’m just wondering if Stevenson’s that much stronger as a light heavy or is more a case of Dawson being damaged goods after taking that beatdown from Andre Ward.

Not that I mean to s__t on Stevenson. He’s a real serious puncher and as a fellow Canadian I’ll really like to see him kick some serious ass! But he has a really dangerous challenger to deal with first before we’re ready to match him against elite guys like Kovalev, Hopkins and Ward. Thanks for hearing me out. – Dave

Thanks for sharing, Dave.

I agree with you. I think Cloud’s a live dog against Stevenson. Most fans and media are writing him off because he’s coming off a loss, but the B-Hop boxing clinic may have been just what the hardnosed Floridian needed to get his focus and hunger back.

He’s got to be motivated going up against Stevenson. He better be motivated. Stevenson is a born puncher. It doesn’t matter what division he’s in – he can crack. I think his punching power would get respect if he jumped to cruiserweight.

However, although Stevenson is a better boxer than most notice, THE RING champ isn’t as crafty or cagey as Campillo or Hopkins. Why would he be? It pays to be aggressive when you can punch like he does. I think that aggression (along with a questionable chin) will give Cloud a good shot at pulling the upset.

Whether it’s Cloud or Stevenson eventually clashing with Kovalev, I think the 175-pound division is in good – and very heavy – hands.  


Alright Doug,
I was reading articles on the other day and these matchups came into my head. Some are more possible and likely to happen than others but I would like to hear your thoughts on them.

Devon Alexander v Amir Khan looks to be happening Dec. 7 and I think it’s a great fight and both will bring the best out of each other. But a little bit of me thinks Devon is perfect for Amir and I can see a UD for the Bolton speed demon.

Adrian Broner v Kell Brook. This was first muted by Eddie Hearn and I think if this fight happens in six months to a year surely Kell has to be the favourite in my eyes anyway. I think Kell has the power to gain Broner’s respect.

Carl Frampton v Kiko Martinez II. I see it going the same way as the first, if I’m honest, with Carl picking him off and finally stopping him. Kiko’s come forward and lay it all on the line style seems to play into the hands of Frampton.

Finally, and this one is the least likely but think about the war it could be: Carl Froch v Sergey Kovalev. I see an instant classic with Froch getting buzzed and even knocked down but getting up and beating the Russian into submission to win a 12-round brutal stoppage

Cheers Doug. – Dave, Weymouth, UK

Good matchups for the Brits and the Yanks. Good predictions, too. I agree with all of them except the Alexander-Khan fight. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with that one. I’m not even sure if their styles will mesh to make for an entertaining fight.

I think Alexander has the momentum going into this fight, being the defending titleholder who hasn’t lost since the technical decision to Tim Bradley, but Khan’s always had the speed, reach and movement to trouble boxers – even fast southpaws (see Zab Judah).

I slightly favor Khan but I can also see him getting outworked by Alexander and hurt if the St. Louis native catches his chin with a clean left.

Broner-Brook seems like a fun welterweight bout on paper – lots of speed, boxing talent, attitude and guts. Even if Broner looks sensational against Marcos Maidana, I’d probably still favor Brook to beat him. I don’t think the Sheffield native would have his way with “The Problem,” but I think he can outwork and outmaneuver the three-division titleholder in a hard-fought distance bout.

I agree that Frampton would beat Martinez again but it would be an even harder (and better) battle of attrition. Let’s hope it happens!

I also agree that Froch (provided he doesn’t lose a step in the next year) can do to Kovalev what I thought Cleverly would be able to pull off. I don’t expect to see this fight ever made, however.


Hey Doug!!!!

Not sure if anyone pointed this out to you yet, BUT you were boxing on Showtime Extreme’s portion of last Saturdays broadcast! (I attached a pic.)You’re lookin’ sharp. The welterweight division better take notice!

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE tell me you drove out to watch Tim Bradley and Lucas Matthysse spar! PLEASE! Man, what I would give to be a fly on the wall for those sessions. Those sparring sessions are probably the closest thing to an actual fight we’ll ever get to see between them.

Holy crap 2 weeks away from the big showdownÔǪTime has flown by. I have this sneaking suspicion that Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez is going to be more competitive than people think. Maybe I’m just buying into all the hype of a major promotion, and if I am, so what? It’s what makes it fun!!! More than anything I can’t wait for Matty vs. Danny Garica though. That’s what is making the steep (and I mean STEEP) price of this PPV worth it for me. Ever since Matty’s two “loses” he’s been training in Argentina right? But he ended up having to train in the U.S. for the second half of his camp. Do you think that is going to affect him in anyway? Knowing the last time he had to train in the U.S. he lost. I guess my thought is, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it.

Be safe. -Jason, CT

I don’t think it matters where Matthysse trains. He’s a pro’s pro and he’s absolutely unflappable. Last time he trained in the U.S. (Oxnard, Calif.) was prior to the Alexander fight, and yeah, he “lost,” but I have yet to meet a boxing fan who thought Devon deserved that decision. Bottom line is, he fought well against Alexander. The only thing he didn’t do is start faster and go for the kill when he dropped and hurt the American.

He’s done that ever since that fight and I think it has more to do with not wanting to suffer another bogus loss than it does with where he trains.

I think it’s OK to be excited about “The One” pay-per-view event.

Garcia-Matthysse is going to be intense and explosive.

And I disagree with all the hardcore heads and media pundits who think Alvarez has no shot against Mayweather.

I think the main event on Sept. 14 will be competitive and dramatic.

Sorry, I missed the Bradley-Matthysse sparring sessions. From what I’ve heard it was kind of a spontaneous thing. Even if someone had alerted me to it, I don’t think I’d be able to get all the way out to the Palm Springs area to witness it (that’s 150 miles east of where I live).

I figured my boxing “exhibition” was caught by Showtime’s cameras. Scott Christ of Tweeted some kind of smart ass comment at the time.

I was talking to Rich Marotta, my broadcast partner for Showtime’s international telecast. He asked me about the Kubrat Pulev-Tony Thompson fight that took place earlier that day. That herky jerky bouncing with the pawing jab was my imitation of Pulev’s style.

I think my mimicking was probably less impressive than the Bulgarian heavyweight’s lackluster performance against Thompson. (I wonder if Showtime’s producer was asking Barry Tompkins to ignore the shadow-boxing idiot behind him.)

By the way, I haven’t been anywhere near the welterweight limit in at least 10 years.



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