Dougie’s Friday mailbag
SUPERMEN VS. MUTANT-FREAKS
What's up? How about we kill some time by talking about the supermen and the freakazoids of the 168-175 pound weight-classes?
1. Starting with the Jean Pascal-Lucien Bute contest. Yeah, it was a crappy fight. But that's OK. I wasn't expecting much from that one anyways. The bottom line here is that Pascal can fight like a total spaz and get away with it if he's up against passive guys like Bute and Chad Dawson. His goofy way of fighting won't get him anywhere against Adonis Stevenson other than buried in the matt. Just like those "forklift punches" won't even get him past the 3rd round against a human pile-driver named Krusher Kovalev.
On the other hand you're certainly onto something with your suggested all-mutant battle between Pascal and JC Chavez Jr. And we all know Chavez is a mutie who can inflate and deflate at will. Of course, Chavez still has to get past Bryan Vera. Something he even couldn't do properly the first time.
How about Pascal squaring off against another human shock-absorber named Edwin Rodriguez. If anything Rodriguez is probably even tougher than Chavez and has a clearly better work-rate. It's one thing to be out-worked by Andre Ward but I can't picture “La Bomba” allowing himself to be outfought by Vera.
2. That brings us to Gennady Golovkin. GGG is certainly as freaky-looking as they come. Kind of like some Frankenstein monster with a clown-mask bolted onto his face. But he comes at you like the damn Juggernaut and that clown-face is the last thing his opponents see before they get annihilated. I know that everyone is pounding those drums pretty hard for Golovkin vs Ward but how about GGG challenging Stevenson himself, even if it is a non-title bout? Forget the supposed size-disparity. Stevenson is "midget" by light-heavyweight standards and GGG is a thick-framed middleweight who has the bone-structure for a few more pounds. And besides, doesn't GGG knock around cruiserweights during his sparring matches.
Most of all this fight will be HUGE – for us die-hards anyways. Destroyer vs Destroyer. Superman vs Superman. (Isn't Superman one of Golovkin's nicknames or was?) Of course the guy Stevenson really needs to fight is Kovalev. But we talked about that one.
3. Myth-match time. Think of the vintage version of that Superman of the ‘90s, Roy Jones. The Jones who thrashed James Toney and nearly busted Virgil Hill in half with a single bodyshot. We all know that Roy would have went right through Pascal, Bute, and Chavez Jr in his sleep. But how would he have done against Stevenson and Kovalev.
Another player I want to add here is Glen Johnson whom I consider one of Boxing's Ultimate Blue Collar Warriors. Remember how he outfought Jones and Antonio Tarver. How do you think he would have done against Steven and Krusher. Johnson and Krusher would have especially been a real war of attrition.
Anyways I'll like to hear what you think regarding all of this. Thanks. – Dave
Thanks for sharing your thoughts (along with comic book terminology). I’ll respond to each point in order:
1) I’m glad to see that fellow hardcore heads agree that Pascal-Chavez is a good potential matchup. So is Pascal-Rodriguez. I hadn’t thought about that one, but it’s probably more realistic than the Chavez fight. Chavez has the Vera rematch, and lucrative options if he legitimately beats the tough Texan, such as 168-pound showdowns with Carl Froch or Ward. E-Rod doesn’t have those options, nor does he have a fan base as big as Chavez’s, so he should be easier to negotiate with. (I’m sure the New Englander would have no problem traveling to Montreal to fight Pascal.) And unlike Junior, Rodriguez has officially announced that he’s moving to the light heavyweight division. I think Pascal-Rodriguez would be at least as entertaining as Pascal-Chavez, maybe more so. And now that I think of it, Chavez vs. Rodriguez would be a hell of a fight. If that fight were made, we’d have to find Librado Andrade to referee it.
2) A Stevenson-Golovkin non-title fight would be epic. It would be like when old-school fan faves Harry Greb and Mickey Walker took on the heavyweight contenders of the 1920s. And just as Greb beat fellow future hall of famer Tommy Gibbons and Walker outpointed King Levensky and held future champ (and HOFer) Jack Sharkey to a draw, I’d give GGG a good shot at defeating the reigning light heavyweight champ. Yes, Golovkin has given cruiserweights all they could handle in sparring. I’ve witnessed him do it. It’s rumored that he put Kovalev down (and out of the sparring session) with a body shot. And yes, before “GGG” became his nickname, folks in the Southern Cali. gym scene called Golovkin “Superman,” as well as “Ironman,” “The Russian,” and “The Guy Who Made Alfredo Angulo his B___h.”
3) I think prime RJJ would have defeated both Stevenson and Kovalev but I think both current light heavies would have had legit puncher’s chances against the man who was called the G.O.A.T by more than a few fans and members of the boxing media. Remember, the body shot KO of Hill aside, Jones didn’t bring the “one-hitter-quitter” into the ring with him at 175 pounds. Stevenson and Kovalev would have rounds to employ their particular brands of punishment. I can see Stevenson catching Jones with a big overhand left similar to the one Antonio Tarver cold cocked him with in the second round of their rematch. I can see Kovalev cutting the ring off and working his heavy handed magic in close once he got Jones’ back to the ropes (a place RJ often retreated to – even when he wasn’t being pressured; it was one of his many bad habits). I think the 2004 version of Glen Johnson would have outworked both Stevenson and Kovalev to close decisions victories.
MEXICAN VS. MEXICAN-AMERICAN
I noticed in your most recent article on Ringtv.com that you made a point to call some of the fighters Mexican and others Mexican-American. What is the difference? For example, in your opinion, what is it that makes Leo Santa Cruz Mexican-American?
Part of the reason why I ask is because I'm originally from San Diego and have family from both sides. We used many descriptors for each other, but never really called anyone Mexican-American. I live in Maryland now and I hear this phrase all of the time, but I never really heard/used/knew about what a Mexican-American was growing up. Out here, the distinction seems to matter a lot more to people than it did to people where I was from in San Diego.
So, I'm just curious because most people tell me that it's about where a person was born. My understanding is that Leo Santa Cruz was born in Michoacan. Assuming that's the case, why is it that he's Mexican-American as opposed to Mexican? – Andres Antonio Carriedo
That’s a good question, Andres. I referred to Santa Cruz as “Mexican-American” in my feature story on the Canelo-Angulo press conference because that’s what the WBC 122-pound beltholder considers himself, even though he was born in Mexico, as were his parents, and Spanish is mostly spoken in his household.
I found this out when THE RING staff was working on a cover story and a few sidebars that were dedicated to the Mexican-American boxing tradition early last year (for the May 2013 issue). I wasn’t sure whether or not to include Leo on a top 10 list of active Mexican-American boxers for the issue. Like you, I had read that he was born in Mexico, but I also knew that he had lived his entire life in the Los Angeles area. (I remember seeing him at local gyms when his older brothers were still amateurs and he was literally a wide-eyed toddler – yeah, I’m an old S.O.B.)
RING editor Michael Rosenthal called Santa Cruz up and asked him. Santa Cruz said “Mexican American.”
Conversely, Abner Mares, who was also born in Mexico (Guadalajara area) but raised in Southern California, views himself as Mexican. Perhaps this is due, in part, to his participation with Mexico’s national amateur boxing program. As a member of the Mexican boxing team, Mares spent his teen years in his native country and he represented Mexico in numerous international amateur tournaments and the 2004 Olympic Games. I’m sure that experience contributed to his identity.
So there ya go. For me it’s a matter of “self definition.” If a fighter of Mexican heritage views himself or herself as Mexican or Mexican American, who am I disagree?
IS IT OVER FOR BUTE?
Bute is mentally frail as the result of his punishing loss to Froch and is a shadow of his former self. Have you ever seen anyone in this state come back from it? The only glimmer of hope for him was the twelfth round. I think he should probably retire. Kind of sad to see him go out with a whimper like that. – Stephen, Montreal
I know you’ve been a big Bute supporter since he turned pro, Stephen, so I’m sure it wasn’t easy watching most of Pascal fight was difficult. However, I think his effort in the championship rounds (primarily the 12th) may have woke something up inside of him.
I could tell during his post-fight interview with Max Kellerman that he feels like he broke through a psychological barrier that had been holding him back since the loss to Froch. I think he’s going to try to comeback from his second pro loss, and as I stated in this week’s Monday mailbag, I would not count him out if he dropped back down to the 168-pound division (provided he doesn’t challenge Ward and Froch).
Have I ever seen anyone in Bute’s current state come back from it? Hell yeah! He happens to be the heavyweight champion of the world.
GIVE US SOME TOPICS!
Thank you for taking the time to "hang out" with all us boxing fans every Monday and Friday. The mailbag is my favourite section of The Ring website.
I noticed a lot of early-year discussions here about how you've come to dislike talking about Floyd Mayweather in this mailbag, yet at the same time I see you are inundated with emails about his greatness or lack thereof. (Actually, please feel free to not even mention his name if you do answer my question.)
So let me spin it this way: are there any topics you wish your readers asked about more often, yet they never do? Are there any fighters or weight classes you are very eager to talk about, about which nobody ever seems to ask? Like, I don't know, the underrated Mongolian bantamweights of the ‘60s or something? (I, for instance, have a crush on Juan Carlos Sanchez Jr. and can never find anybody to discuss him with.) Is there any topic you've been wanting to rant about in the mailbag for a long time, yet haven't had the chance? Take the stage, man, let it rip! Consider I asked about it!
And because I am a sucker for mythical matchups, here are a few I've been wondering about for a long time:
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Miguel Cotto at 140 pounds
Andre Ward vs. Carlos Monzon at 168 pounds
Willie Pep vs. Salvador Sanchez
Carlos Ortiz vs. Hector “Macho” Camacho
Evander Holyfield vs. Rocky Marciano at cruiserweight (which was basically Marciano’s natural fighting weight)
Emile Griffith vs. Wilfred Benitez vs. Tito Trinidad
Eder Jofre vs. Carlos Zarate
Alexis Arguello vs. Carlos Ortiz
Michael Spinks vs Floyd Patterson at heavyweight
Cheers and take care! – Radu, Bucharest, Romania
Good question, Radu (and thank you for the kind words). Yes, sometimes there are topics I wish readers would ask me. Usually, it’s the under-the-radar or off-TV fights or the televised fights that don’t involve big-name boxers and personalities that get ignored by fans who email their thoughts to the mailbag.
This week is a good example. There were plenty of pre- and post-fight emails about the Pascal-Bute fight; but nobody seems to give a s__t about the co-featured fights on HBO and Showtime tomorrow night. I haven’t received a SINGLE email about Lamont Peterson-Dierry Jean, Mikey Garcia-Juan Carlos Burgos, Gabriel Rosado-Jermell Charlo and Bryant Jennings-Artur Szpilka.
Although I have my favorites in each matchup (and some are just slight faves) – Peterson, Garcia, Charlo and Jennings – I think all four fights are good matchups. I think we’re going to be treated to some entertaining television tomorrow night. And, damn it, I want to talk about these fights!
It’s not just the HBO and Showtime fights that I’m interested in discussing. I love watching ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights, and I’m looking forward to the next two Golden Boy Live! cards on Fox Sports 1 (tonight’s show featuring Antonio Orozco and Julian Ramirez vs. Derrick Wilson in a kick-ass opener; and the excellent Jan. 30 show featuring Victor Ortiz vs. Luis Collazo and Eddie Gomez vs. Daquan Arnett).
I’m also keen on talking about world-class fighters and promising up-and-comers based in the UK, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Japan, Germany, Canada, Argentina, South Africa, Russia, Panama, Ukraine, Thailand and anywhere else where boxing is popular. If I’m not familiar with the fighter I’m asked about I’ll do a little research and learn about him. Same deal with historical questions. If I don’t have the answer, I’ll look it up. Doing so makes me a more knowledgeable boxing observer, so I appreciate those types of questions.
So if you can’t find anyone talk about your man-crush, JC Sanchez Jr. (I know how it is, I’m infatuated with Zolani Tete – not really), by all means, my boxing brotha, shoot me an email and we’ll discuss the Los Mochis prodigy.
Now, onto your mythical matchups (which are excellent by the way – I love that you included Carlos Ortiz):
Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. vs. Miguel Cotto at 140 pounds – Chavez by late TKO (in a great fight)
Andre Ward vs. Carlos Monzon at 168 pounds – Monzon by close unanimous decision (in a high intensity match that is tactical when engaged from a distance and low down and dirty when fought in close)
Willie Pep vs. Salvador Sanchez – Pep by close, maybe split decision
Carlos Ortiz vs. Hector “Macho” Camacho – Ortiz by late TKO in a competitive fight
Evander Holyfield vs. Rocky Marciano at cruiserweight (which was basically Marciano’s natural fighting weight) – Marciano by close maybe controversial decision in an unbelievably grueling and brutal fight
Emile Griffith vs. Wilfred Benitez vs. Tito Trinidad – Griffith beats Benitez by close decision; Tito by comfortable decision
Eder Jofre vs. Carlos Zarate – Jofre on points
Alexis Arguello vs. Carlos Ortiz – Ortiz by late TKO (Carlos Ortiz is a very underrated lightweight champ and hall of famer)
Michael Spinks vs Floyd Patterson at heavyweight – Patterson by a thrilling up-from-the-canvas mid-rounds KO (Floyd’s speed, power and Cus D’Amato-style would have given Spinks fits)
What’s good Dougie,
Thanks for stopping to take a pic at the San Antonio fight. I’m a huge fan and have been following the mailbag for almost a decade now. It’s the best. Keep doing it. I know it’s a pain in the ass but you have a ton of fans that look forward to it. My boy Beibut Shumenov is fighting Nard soon and I’ll be ringside for that one with the Mrs. If you’re going let’s grab a beer and talk boxing. Great work again…. Shumenov baby! – David
Thanks for the very nice words, David. You and your buddies from Vegas who made the trip to San Antonio for that magical night when Marcos Maidana upset Adrien Broner are the first diehard Shumenov fans that I’ve met, which is awesome. Every man, woman and child who puts on a pair of boxing gloves deserves a cheering section, and you guys repped hardcore for The Shumenator.
I remember meeting you, talking a little boxing and taking the photo that I’ve included in this mailbag. Thanks for not being a stranger (and thanks for making me look like a dwarf!) Meeting fight fans at shows is the best part of what I do for a living.
WHO YOU GOT?
Chocalitato vs. Estrada 2
Fury vs. Bronze Bomber
Mayweather-Pacquaio – Mayweather by close but unanimous and generally uneventful decision
Ortiz-Rios – Ortiz by unpopular decision
Chocalitato vs. Estrada 2 – Roman Gonzalez by an even wider UD than the first fight
Fury vs. Bronze Bomber – Deontay Wilder by up-from-the-canvas KO in a wild shootout reminiscent of Forman-Lyle or Moorer-Cooper
Stiverne-Arreola 2 – Arreola by close, maybe majority or split decision in a very good heavyweight distance fight
COTTO VS. HATTON
Very short email Dougie….I read with some amusement a comment in last Fridays mailbag about Cotto being the most overrated fighter of the last 10 years. I wont dignify that with a response but it got me thinking….. A prime Ricky Hatton vs Cotto at 140…..who wins??? – Wayne
I’ve answered this mythical matchup before. I went with Cotto in a very good, very competitive fight. For details read the last email in this mailbag from last November.
BRADLEY’S BRUTAL STRETCH
I read your mailbags all the time and I just wanted to say thank you for keeping us fans entertained in between all these fights. Ok so I want to talk about Tim Bradley. This dude is about to fight Pacman again in April . That means his last four fights were Pacman, Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manual Marquez, and Pacman again! That is an amazing schedule of fighters. This dude has balls!!! When was the last time in boxing a fighter fought a murderous row like this before??? I can't think of a single fighter who has!!
P.S Cotto will KO Sergio by round 8. – Dominick from Saratoga springs!!
I’m still feelin’ Maravilla in that matchup, Dom, but thanks for sharing and thanks for the mailbag appreciation.
Bradley is a real fighter. He wants to challenge himself and he wants to earn his way to the top of the divisions he fights in, but he’s hardly alone when it comes to that mentality and desire. Take a look at 49-year-old Bernard Hopkins’ record. Aside from Enrique Ornelas and a shot Roy Jones he’s only faced top-rated fighters over the last 10 years.
Look at the participants of the Super Six World Boxing Classic. They were the best of the 168-pound division (sans Bute) and they only fought each other during a three-year span. Froch’s schedule, which was tough before and after the Super Six, was especially impressive. “The Cobra” faced Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson, Ward and Bute in consecutive bouts.
How about Devon Alexander? From 2009 to 2012 the St. Louis native fought Junior Witter, Juan Urango, Andreas Kotelnik, Bradley, Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana and Randall Bailey – all of whom were RING-rated fighters at the time – in a row.
And don’t forget about my man, Abner Mares. From 2010 through 2013, he faced only top-10 fighters in the bantamweight, junior featherweight and featherweight divisions: Yonnhy Perez, Vic Darchinyan, Joseph Agbeko (twice), Eric Morel, Anselmo Moreno, Daniel Ponce De Leon, and Jhonny Gonzalez.
Alexander and Mares lost their last bouts and no longer hold major world titles but they have my utmost respect. I hope they have yours.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer