Dougie’s Friday mailbag
What up Dougie!!
It has been a couple months since I’ve written so I’ll keep it short and simple for you.
First of all, regarding this weekend’s fight, I have no clue why Miguel Cotto keeps taking these types of fights. I see this fight against Delvin Rodriguez playing out the same way the Austin Trout fight did. Rodriguez will keep Cotto at the end of his punches on his way to a decision victory in another heartbreaking loss for the Puerto Rican great. Your prediction?
Secondly, regarding the Julio Chavez Jr-Vera fight this past weekend, the whole weight-gate situation didn’t bother me. The multiple delays due to “cuts” didn’t bother me. Heck not even the scorecards bothered me (that much). But what left me absolutely livid was the constant crying about the “low blows and head-butts” that, frankly, I never saw. Grow a pair and just fight!
Well that’s it for me! Keep up the great work! – Adrian “Dre” Milwaukee, WI
Junior’s constant whining to the ref during the Vera even turned off his diehard fans who paid to see him fight that night at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
There are many things Chavez Jr. needs to do between now and his next bout (presumably a rematch with Vera in December) – such as, not gaining too much weight, getting back with Freddy Roach, putting in a real training camp, and making his contracted weight – however, at the top of his “to-do” list should be to shut up and fight hard in every round once the bell rings.
Chavez Jr. needs to rekindle the excitement if he wants to salvage his fan base. He needs to abandon the move-and-pot-shot style, quit looking to the ref for help, and get back to the kind of pressure fighting and body attacks that made him the first Mexico-born middleweight beltholder and earned him some nice wins against Marco Antonio Rubio and Andy Lee.
Regarding my Cotto-Rodriquez prediction, I was leaning toward picking the underdog (D-Rod) when this fight was first made. Cotto looked pretty shopworn by the end of the Trout fight and Rodriguez seems to do well with shorter guys who who come forward (see the Pawell Wolak fights).
However, Cotto seemed healthy and focused during the recent media workout he held at the Wild Card Boxing Club. Cotto’s legs looked strong, his reflexes were sharp and Roach appears to be getting the most out of his punching power. And I think Rodriguez will give Cotto the opportunity to nail him.
It won’t be an easy fight, but I think Cotto will land the harder punches en route to decision victory if he doesn’t stop the fringe contender late.
Rodriguez is tall and rangy, but he’s got a penchant for infighting and he’s susceptible to left hooks, which could play into Cotto’s heavier hands. Trout gave Cotto fits because he moved on him and wouldn’t engage in close. The southpaw, who proved to be a cut above Rodriguez in their fight, is also physically stronger. I think Cotto’s jab will be more of factor in this fight than it was vs. Trout because he’s facing a right-handed fighter and I think Rodriguez will engage more, which should favor the Puerto Rican star. Roach doesn’t have Cotto on his toes as much as Pedro Diaz did. The hall of fame trainer has Cotto planting his feet and committing to his punches.
We’ll see if Rodriguez can take the power and dish out his own.
NITS AND PICKS
Nice cameo of you next to Chavez Jr.’s big jug-headed, cereal-eatin’ a$$ during the pre-fight hype. No need to belabor that train wreck any further.
We have heavyweight entertainment this weekend. Alexander Prov-yet-can won’t get it done. This has Russian pride stamped all over it, and that is exactly what is going to happen. Wlad is going to stamp a damn hole right through the undefeated (but struggled with CRUISERweight Marco Huck) heavyweight’s dome. Wlad by stoppage whenever nature takes over.
I’ve been on record (yeah, I count FB comments as official record now) about JMM. I won’t disgrace your mailbag with my absolute thoughts. But have ya seen the photos, Doug? Have ya seen ’em? Your thoughts please. Bradley is Bradley. Post-Ruslan Provodnikov he’ll be a tad smarter, but no more offensive than before. Timmy always uses his head when in the ring. YeahÔÇª
And while we’re on the subject of questionable strength and conditioning (see what I did there?), what to make of that RAT Alex Ariza actually ‘training’ Rios now? Boxing’s a business, but damn… Pacquiao should still take this, granted he tenderizes Rios properly and befuddles him with movement along the way.
Lastly, props to “The Acorn” Earnie Shavers. True definition of “hard work,” power the likes of which we may never see in the ring again. They just don’t make guys like that anymore. – JB
I hope you enjoyed Bernard Fernandez’s feature on the former heavyweight contender. The wonderful thing about Shavers is that he was a bona-fide KO puncher during an era when the heavyweight division was not only deep and talented but the top players were all willing to face each other. So you saw Shavers, who had average speed and stamina issues, knock out better-skilled contenders (Ken Norton, Jimmy Ellis) but also lose to supposedly faded or limited guys he was supposed to beat (Jerry Quarry, Ron Lyle, Tex Cobb).
Shavers never won the championship but he gave two all-time greats (Ali and Holmes) some scary moments in his two title shots.
Even though I was only 7 years old at the time, I vividly remember the build-up to the Ali-Shavers fight.
Anyway, another great thing about that era in boxing was that a fighter could punch like Shavers, take a shot like Cobb or be rocked up like Norton and nobody would think that they were on PEDs.
Yeah, I’ve seen recent pics of Marquez and I was surprised by how muscular and bulky he was for the fourth Pacquiao fight, but despite his conditioning coach’s history, I’ve got no proof that the future first-ballot hall of famer is doing anything illegal, so I’ll leave it alone.
I will say this, though. A lot of Mexican fighters naturally carry a little body fat and paunch, but some are lean and muscular when they are in good shape. Marquez, who has always maintained his conditioning year-round, had a very lean and athletic physique when he was in his prime as a featherweight. The only time he looked chunky was for the Mayweather fight when he put on the extra weight the wrong way. Maybe he learned from that fight and made sure to put the weight on the right (and legal) way for Pacquiao.
Anyway, even if JMM was on gamma radiation he wouldn’t be able to achieve the ultra-lean shredded body of our man Timmy “Thunder Dome” Bradley. I could be wrong, but I’ve always believed that Bradley would have more pop and power to this punches if he was a little LESS muscular. But that’s just me. I’m old school, as you know.
Bradley may lack KO power, but he doesn’t lack speed or quick reflexes. I think he’s going to beat Marquez by using his head (literally and figuratively) and by using his faster feet and hands to get in and outhustle the 40-year-old veteran and then get out of range before the dangerous counterpuncher can connect with anything. I like Timmy by unanimous decision.
I know Povetkin went life and death with “Captain Huck,” but I think the undefeated contender underestimated the cruiserweight beltholder. The Huck fight was a wake-up call for the 2004 Olympic gold medalist and I think he’s looked sharp in his last two fights (although he was in against a totally shot Hasim Rahman and a limited Polish prospect with a built-up record).
Fighting for the unified world championship in Moscow is going to motivate Povetkin more than he’s been for any previous fight. Call me crazy, but I think he’s gonna bring it and make it a fight. If he can get to Wladdy’s body, he’s got a shot of pulling off a huge upset but I think he’s going to have too much trouble getting past Baby Bro’s power-jab. I’m looking forward to this fight because I think Povetkin will have his moments but I think Klitschko will box and selectively punch his way to a decision victory.
I’m glad you liked that photo of me next to Junior at the final press conference for his fight with Vera. That goofy smile on my face wasn’t because I was trying to imitate the kid, I had just realized that they had split the English- and Spanish-language media for the interviews. The “gringos” were sent to talk to Vera first. I wasn’t paying attention so I wound up right next to Junior and a lot of Spanish back and forth with no translation.
Still, Junior (who understands English and speaks it better than most realize) was cool enough to answer a few of my questions.
Just emailing in light of the recent news that Amir Khan is the front runner for Money May’s next fight. The same Amir Khan who got his head clean knocked off of his shoulders by Danny Garcia. The same Khan who very, very, VERY nearly got finished by 11-losses Julio Diaz IN HIS LAST FIGHT.
I mean, really Floyd? I’ve been a defending Floyd for a while now with his recent choices, because he really is running out of options. But to fight Khan at this stage of the Brit’s career would be, frankly, disgusting and completely disrespectful to the likes of Garcia, Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Lucas Mattysse, Sergio Martinez, etc. He has done NOTHING to deserve a shot what-so-ever. I think this would also be a terrible business decision for Floyd because he’s going to push all of the hardcore fans away. They will not be fooled by this ridiculously one-sided fight. I won’t make a prediction, because I think you can infer from this paragraph who I think will win. Do you think the fight will take place and, if it does, what do you think about it and how it will go? Cheers. – Bobby B, NZ
I do think Mayweather-Khan will take place, but I’m not convinced that it will be Khan’s next fight. I think his team, which denies that he’s even thinking about Mayweather at this point, wants him to have another fight before challenging “the Money Man.” We’ll know if Khan’s a front-runner in the Mayweather Sweepstakes by who he fights next. If he fights Devon Alexander, my guess is that he’s not at the top of Mayweather’s list for May opponents, because that’s a fight that he could lose. But if Alexander winds up fighting Zab Judah on Dec. 7 and Khan takes on a mid-level/non-threatening opponent – someone he’s guaranteed to look great against – that would tell me that the Brit is being set up to be Floyd’s next victim.
And like you, I give Khan no shot at beating Mayweather, despite his formidable speed and fighting heart. He just has too many flaws to go with that weak chin. However, there really isn’t anyone out there from 140-to-154 pounds who would be given much of a chance to beat Mayeather. The only guys who could compete (Trout and Lara) aren’t marketable B-sides for a pay-per-view event. Khan isn’t a marketable B-side in the U.S., but he would help make for a HUGE event if Mayweather is willing to travel to the UK. I think Mayweather-Khan could be a stadium fight in Britain and the pay-per-view event would do well over there. It would do OK here in the U.S.
Face it, unless Cotto is available after the Rodriguez fight, or Mayweather is willing to fight a middleweight titleholder, Khan might be the best option for Floyd. To me, it all depends on what side of the Pond the fight landed. If Mayweather doesn’t want to travel overseas just yet, I think Garcia makes for a better pay-per-view dance partner.
TBE IN EACH WEIGHT CLASS
Long time no see! I was simply curious as to who you consider (historically) the best fighters of each weight class and why. The ones I can think of are:
Heavyweight: Muhammad Ali
Lightweight: Roberto Duran
Minimumweight: Ricardo Lopez
My boxing history isn’t that great so it would be good to know so that I can watch and study their fights. Thank you.
(P.S: Always enjoy reading your mailbag and keep up the good work!) – Lightning Kikuta
Good to hear from you L.K.
I’ll give you my choices for the best fighters in all 17 weight classes, plus one runner-up fighter in each division, but it would take too long and too much space for me to explain why I think these boxers deserve that all-time ranking. So what you should do is check out the records of my choices on Boxrec.com and then see if you can find any fight footage of the fighters on Youtube.com. That’s a good starting point to learn about them.
Mind you, if you or someone else were to ask me to name the best fighters in certain divisions a week from now, I might come up with a few different names. That’s just the nature of the sport with so much history and these types of ranking lists. Heck, I could give you a “runner-up” for the runner-ups and that third choice fighter could arguably be better than the runner-up or my first choice. Anyway, here are my choices from top to bottom:
Heavyweight: Muhammad Ali. Runner up: Joe Louis
Cruiserweight: Evander Holyfield. Runner up: Carlos DeLeon
Light heavyweight: Ezzard Charles. Runner up: Archie Moore
Super middleweight: Roy Jones Jr. Runner up: Joe Calzaghe
Middleweight: Sugar Ray Robinson. Runner up: Carlos Monzon
Junior middleweight: Emile Griffith. Runner up: Thomas Hearns
Welterweight: Sugar Ray Robinson. Runner up: Sugar Ray Leonard
Junior welterweight: Barney Ross. Runner up: Aaron Pryor
Lightweight: Roberto Duran. Runner up: Ike Williams
Junior lightweight: Alexis Arguello. Runner up: Julio Cesar Chavez
Featherweight: Willie Pep. Runner up: Salvador Sanchez
Junior featherweight: Wilfredo Gomez. Runner up: Marco Antonio Barrera
Bantamweight: Panama Al Brown. Runner up: Carlos Zarate
Junior bantamweight: Johnny Tapia. Runner up: Khaosai Galaxy
Flyweight: Pascual Perez. Runner up: Miguel Canto
Junior flyweight: Humberto Gonzalez. Runner up: Jung-Koo Chang
Strawweight: Ricardo Lopez. Runner up: Ivan Calderon
Have fun researching all of these amazing fighters. Get back to me with any questions you might have about any of them. Like I said, I could easily come up with a third choice in each division who is arguably worthy of that top spot.
Email Dougie at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer.