Friday, March 24, 2023  |


Dougie’s Monday mailbag



Alright Doug,
Good call on the Tim Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez fight. I won money on Timmy by points. Really enjoyed Mike Alvarado v Ruslan Provodnikov. It lived up to the hype and I can’t say I was shocked by the outcome. I would love to see Provodnikov fight Danny Garcia next. Although Provodnikov has been on two Top Rank shows, he is not promoted by them so Garcia-Provo is not so farfetched.

I think it makes sense for Garcia as he has cleaned out the division and isn’t in line for a Floyd Mayweather fight and the other major players are scheduled in for bouts.

Garcia v Provodnikov would be for The Ring, WBC, WBA and WBO titles – a Lamont Peterson away from the undisputed crown.

Carl Frampton gave an overmatched Jeremy Parodi a beat down in Belfast and is now in line for a shot at the IBF title. If it happens to be Kiko Martinez again I can only see another win for Frampton as the first meeting was so one sided. The big question: Scott Quigg or Frampton? For me it has to be Quigg. I think he has faced better opposition, has more to his game can adapt and throws a killer body shot.

Finally, Kell Brook meets Vyacheslav Senchenko on Saturday and I think he will stop him late or he will be too classy for him. I wasn’t impressed by Senchenko against Hatton. He looked average and he won that fight. Let’s just hope Brook can finally get a title shot and make it to the damn fight.

Later mate. – Dave, Weymouth, UK

I hear ya, Dave. I like Brook and I’ve been high on him for quite some time, but it’s getting hard to defend his lofty place in THE RING’s welterweight rankings. (He’s currently No. 4 and more than a few members of the Ratings Panel have suggested he drop in recent weeks.) Believe me, if Brook looks anything less than sensational against Senchenko, he WILL drop in the magazine’s rankings.

Fortunately for him, Senchenko is the perfect opponent for a smart and athletic talent like Brook to shine against. The former beltholder from Ukraine is a solid technician with guts with a good foundation but he isn’t special in any one category (skill, speed, power, strength, reflexes, etc.).

Brook should be able to outpoint him or bust him up enough to earn a late TKO. However, if the Sheffield native overlooks Senchenko or isn’t 100 percent healthy, the Ukrainian is the kind of grinder who will make him look bad or even upset him.

I love what I’ve seen of Frampton. I honestly think he’s got the potential to be a star player on both sides of the Pond if he’s matched right over the next two years. However, I’m a little bit biased when it comes to the question of who wins a Frampton vs. Quigg showdown. I met Quigg at the Wild Card Boxing Club last year when he was training for his rematch with Rendall Munroe (who he stopped in six rounds, as you know).

I was really impressed with his positive attitude and work ethic and the manner in which he sparred with an impetuous young local prospect (Julian Ramirez, who is currently 9-0, with 6 knockouts). I’ve watched more video of Quigg than I have of Frampton, and like you, I view him as the more seasoned and versatile of the two unbeaten junior featherweights. They both have good body attacks but Quigg’s seems more pin-point.

So for now, I favor Quigg. I might be right, I might be wrong, but I know it would a hell of a fight.

I hope to see both Frampton and Quigg on U.S. television sometime next year. They would definitely spice up the 122-pound division along with Guillermo Rigondeaux and Leo Santa Cruz.  

I would consider Garcia-Provodnikov a total 140-pound title unification bout because Lucas Matthysse knocked out Peterson (though the IBF belt wasn’t on the line) and Garcia outpointed Matthysse.

Oh, and I’d also pay good money to see that fight.




What’s to say about Ruslan Provodnikov? First he batters Tim Bradley’s brain cells into goo and sends him to the hospital. Then he completely hammers Mike Alvarado into submission.

Personally, I think for Provo’s next fight, they should square him off against a salt-water croc or a f___in’ grizzly bear. The Russian just cracks too f___in’ hard to be pitted against regular humans.

F__k, when Provo was gutting poor Mikey with those sickening shots to the body, Tony Zale was staring on with his jaw dropping in awe.

As for Mike, well, remember when you and others were suggesting that this overly tough warrior take some time off. Well now’s an excellent time to do it. Alvarado has spilled and leaked more than enough plasma to overflow all those spit-buckets and satisfy all those blood-thirsty c___suckers everywhere.

And after getting battered by the Siberian Freight-Train the guy needs to take a nice good rest in peace as opposed to resting with his brain in pieces.

Back to Provo. Well, I hate to sound like some pro-Russian nationalist but those Russians and their fellow Slavs are really kicking ass right now.

OK, so we had the exception with Wlad Klitchko vibrating over a useless Alexander Povetkin like some horny c___sucker.

But both Krusher Kovalev and Gennady Golovkin are just pulverizing the opposition.

And now Provo’s doing his part in performing these public executions.

And as for pitting Provo against wild beasts, I got one for him. Yup, Brandon Rios. Providing Rios defeats Manny Pacquiao in which he probably will.

Provo vs Rios. Now that’s like detonating a f___in’ bomb inside a gasoline truck! The whole boxing worlds will be blasted into its inner core. F___in’ right! Until then Dougie, keep the peace, man! Cheers! – Triple T

I think Provodnikov vs. Rios is very possible even if “Bam Bam” loses to Pacquiao next month, provided the crazy slugger puts up a good fight (which I’m sure he will).

Like Garcia vs. the Siberian Rocky, Provo vs. Rios is a fight I’d gladly pay to witness.

I’m not sure if people from Kazakhstan are considered Slavs, but I hear what you’re saying about Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian badasses making a splash on the international boxing scene in recent years. Golovkin, Kovalev and Provodnikov definitely led the charge in America this year, and I think that hard-punching tenacious trio made for good television here in the States.

GGG, Krusher and the Siberian Rocky are all come-forward punchers with good technique and brute strength that they use to break down their opposition in action fights or savage beatdowns.

Having pressure-fighting styles and take-no-prisoner ring mentalities has earned them a lot of fans in 2013, but they’ve also attracted their share of haters – diehard “purists” who relish defensive boxers, savvy stylists and cagey technicians – and that’s good for the sport.

Some folks will tune in to watch them kick ass, others will tune in to see them get “exposed” by the slicker boxers. There will be anticipation, tension and debate among boxing fans leading up to their fights and lots of drama during their bouts when they are in with world-class opponents. Sounds like fun.

I agree that Alvarado has earned a well-deserved vacation. Mile High Mike has had a ridiculously tough schedule during the last 24 months. His last five bouts – two hard-fought 10 rounders vs. Breidis Prescott and Mauricio Herrera, and back-to-back-to-back wars with Rios and Provo – would have ruined a lot of good fighters.

I think Alvarado will be okay after a break and can come back and still contend for a world title, but he needs to let his body rest.



Hey Doug,

It sure has been a banner year for boxing. So many good punch-ups this year.

Saturday night’s Alvarado-Provodnikov went much the way I thought it would. I was rooting for Mike (though I don’t dislike Ruslan) but he just did not have the firepower to keep the Russian off him, much less hurt him. Alvarado looked as good as he could early, boxing and moving but Provodnikov was well schooled in cutting off the ring and forcing the fight.

Guys like him are exciting to watch although that face first style causes such fighters to have blazing yet short careers. Provodnikov clearly loves the combat AND the contact and his facial expressions and enthusiasm in the ring (as in nonstop attack) were probably big factors in Alvarado deflating in the later rounds (not to mention the punishment he was taking).

Much of the postings on after the fight were calling for Provodnikov vs. Rios or Bradley but I say NO! I see Provodnikov as Joe Frazier to Mayweather’s Ali in a great action fight. There might be bigger names in boxing than the Russian, but the question is…who would you pay to see Floyd Mayweather fight?…..Khan?…Bradley?…Garcia? Again I say NO!

Mayweather-Provodnikov could be one great contest. It is going to take someone who can back Floyd up, make him fight, and put some hurt on him to make it interesting. Let’s put this fight together before Provodnikov gets too shop worn.

What say you Doug? Oh yeah, bring on Golovkin-Stevens. – David, Nashville

Hell yeah. I’m gonna be in Madison Square Garden’s Theater for that one.

Regarding Mayweather-Provodnikov, I understand why you want to see Ruslan take on Floyd. He’s a relentless pressure fighter who throws bricks with both hands and can take inhuman punishment. He’s also got some underrated craft to his attack (such as the way he launches that killer-hook from angles when in close). Fighter’s with Ruslan’s style, power and temperament are the only ones who can make for fan friendly fights against defensive ring generals like Mayweather.

So the answer your question of who would I pay to see Mayweather fight is definitely Provodnikov, however, that’s because I know who Provodnikov is. There are still a lot of casual fans who have no idea who he is.

Thus, I don’t think the Russian is ready for his “big break.” And I don’t think he’s earned it – yet. This year was Provo’s breakout year. He served notice that he’s for real in the Bradley fight. He earned his first world title in breathtaking fashion on Saturday. Now let’s see him defend that belt a few times. Let’s see him build an audience through more HBO appearances (the way Golovkin is doing) before he’s declared a worthy and viable pay-per-view “B-side” for America’s biggest boxing star and attraction.

And don’t worry about Provo burning out before he’s in position to be a part of a big pay-per-view event (be it Mayweather or Pacquiao or even a Bradley rematch if that rematch can be built up enough). He’s got a face-first style, but the only fight in which he’s really taken a beating was the Bradley fight (and he didn’t get the worst of that one). Even against Alvarado, who I thought would box and punch his way to a decision victory, Provodnikov minimized his punishment by putting the hometown hero on the defensive for most of the fight.

The old boxing adage a good offense is a good defense holds true for Provo. As you noted, despite his greater size, Alvarado did not have the power to keep the Russian off him. I thought he could stick and move effectively enough to neutralize Provo’s pressure, but unlike Bradley, Alvarado lacked the speed (of feet and hands) to pull it off. Even Bradley was only able to do it for a few rounds at a time.

What this means is that if Provo continues to improve (and definitely has under Roach’s guidance) it’s going to take a hell of a fighter to beat him or beat him up.



Dear Doug,

I just wondered what your thoughts are on the upcoming light heavyweight title bout between Tony Bellew and champion Adonis Stevenson in Montreal? Being from Liverpool (and having recently had to accept that David Price will almost certainly not become the first Scouse Heavyweight Champion of the World), I will be delighted if Bellew can spring the upset and return to the city with The Ring and WBC belts.

You mentioned in one of your mailbags a few weeks back that you had recently finished an article on Bellew’s hero, Liverpool legend (and a previous owner of the WBC belt that Bellew will be contesting) John Conteh. Where can I find that? I would very much like to read it.

Have you seen Callum Smith fight yet? He has six consecutive first round knock-outs and will be taking a big step up in class against Ruben Acosta next week.

I was pleased to hear you say that you will consider making the trip to England if Froch- Golovkin is made. Myself and many more of your readers from the UK will look forward to meeting you in person. It would be great if you could one day catch a fight at the Liverpool Echo Arena!

All the best. – Gentleman Jules, Liverpool, UK

I’ve covered fights in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Japan, but I want to cover big events in the UK, Germany, Quebec and at least one country in South America before I put away my boxing laptop and get a “real job.” Hopefully, I’ll get to cover fights in Britain, Ireland and Scotland before I’m too old to have any fun while I’m over there.

If Froch-Golovkin is made and lands on your side of the Pond (where it belongs) look for me and don’t be a stranger.

I’ve seen a couple of Callum Smith’s fights (both one-round blowouts). He’s got solid fundamentals from his amateur background and good physical tools (heavy hands and the tall, rangy frame of a light heavyweight), but he’s still very raw.

I think he can be developed into a 168-pound contender but he’s going to need to be brought up carefully and he’s going to need rounds. Six consecutive first-round KOs looks good on his record but it’s not going to make him a better boxer. Hopefully, Smith isn’t rushed into a tough fight before he gets enough rounds under his belt as Price was.

You can find the John Conteh “Best I’ve Faced” article on this week. It should have been posted weeks ago, but since I’m pretty much a one-man editor/web master things sometimes get put on the back burner. Anyway, look for Conteh – courtesy of contributor Tom Gray – on the site this week.

I’m looking forward to Stevenson-Bellew even though I don’t like the Liverpool native’s chances. I think Bellew’s bombastic personality will make for a fun promotion and his guts and toughness will make for an interesting fight. He might be able to take Stevenson the distance or at least take the champ into the late rounds. He’s smarter than Tavoris Cloud, so I expect him to compete, but I definitely think he’s got his work cut out for him.



Email Dougie at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer