Dougie’s Friday mailbag
REST IN PEACE DAN GOOSSEN
Really tragic news about Dan Goossen’s death. He was a very influential and shrewd man in boxing and his loss will be sorely missed across the boxing world.
Obviously it won’t be in the minds of his family, but where does this leave Andre Ward? What would happen to the ongoing lawsuit?
On a side note, I also read that Provo is returning November 28th in Moscow, where could I watch that as it will be in the midst of Bellew-Cleverly II and Chisora-Fury II which I’m all buzzing for.
Hope I get in! – Stan, England
You started from the bottom now you’re here, Stan.
I have no idea where you can watch Ruslan Provodnikov’s homecoming – you’ll just have to try to find an online stream of the Russian network carrying the fight.
I also have no idea about Ward’s promotional situation in the wake of Goossen’s passing. It’s not something I want to think about so soon after the man’s death and it’s not a subject I’ll broach with Goossen’s family or anyone affiliated with Goossen Promotions any time soon.
Goossen’s passing really hit hard. I had no idea the man was even sick. He seemed like his usual gregarious self during the promotional build-up to the Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne rematch earlier this year. It’s depresses me to think that’s the last time I’ll see or speak to him.
Along with Kathy Duva, Goossen was the most down-to-earth promoter that I have had the pleasure of talking to and dealing with in my 15-plus years covering boxing. Being a Southern California-based promoter, Goossen is someone I saw a lot of over the years and he always friendly, even when times were rough for his various promotional companies (Ten Goose Boxing, America Presents, Goossen Tutor). His brother Joe, son Craig and his other family members that I’ve met over the years have always been cool and classy folks.
Goossen also credentialed me for my first major Las Vegas fight – Mike Tyson’s return to boxing (after the “Bite Fight”) against Frans Botha in January 1999.
He didn’t get too far with Tyson and he wasn’t able to get a heavyweight champ out of affable and fan friendly sluggers David Tua and Arreola, but he did a great job with the Ruelas Brothers, had a good run with James Toney in the 2000s, and developed two exceptional middleweight talents in former IBF titleholder Michael Nunn and the current super middleweight champ, Ward.
But I haven’t been thinking about Goossen’s promotional accomplishments this past week. I’ve been thinking about how much I’ll miss his good natured attitude at fights and press events.
N’DAM EMBARRASSES STEVENS
I just finished watching the Curtis Stevens/Hassan N’Dam middleweight bout. I had hoped for a good punch up though I had not seen that much of N’Dam. Having seen the highlights over and over of his fight with Peter Quillin I expected another highlight reel KO for Stevens. I was pleasantly surprised at N’Dam’s skill level and equally surprised at the inability of Stevens to make any adjustments at all.
If you just see a loop of Steven’s dramatic KOs he looks like the second coming of Joe Frazier but all night long he just posed and simply followed N’Dam around the ring, never attempting to cut the ring or walk his man down and work the body or even throw the jab to any effect. There was no fire in his attack. He might have done well to study some of the classic left hook KO replays of Ray Robinson, Walcott and Patterson they kept showing all night on the broadcast. He just looked lost out there while N’Dam moved, jabbed, side stepped and threw some nice combos. If N’Dam possessed any punching power to speak of he might have gotten Stevens out of there. It was clear late in the fight by the look on Steven’s face in the corner the he was totally discouraged.
I thought for a moment that N’Dam’s showboating in the late rounds might get him in trouble and Stevens might salvage another win as in his last fight with Tureano Johnson but it was not to be. N’Dam showed a better chin than he was given credit for and deserved the title shot he earned Wednesday night.
As for next week’s middleweight bout, I don’t know a lot about Sam Soliman and Jermain Taylor seems to me to be a spent bullet. How do you see that one playing out as well as N’Dam vs the winner. – David, Nashville
I favor Soliman to outpoint Taylor. Despite being 40 and a veteran of 56 pro bouts, he’s the fresher fighter and he’s got all the confidence/momentum going into next Wednesday’s title defense having just won the IBF belt and being unbeaten over the past six years. I think Soliman-N’Dam is a toss-up fight. Where the fight lands and who officiates it might be the deciding factor in who wins it, but I slightly favor the Australian veteran. He’s the busier, more aggressive fighter of the two 160-pounders and he has the kind of awkward style that often throws off classic standup stick-and-move boxers.
I was disappointed with the N’Dam-Stevens fight. I’ll admit that I was blatantly rooting for Stevens. I like him and I wanted the former “Chin Checker” to win. I just think he makes for better fights than N’Dam, although he certainly didn’t show that potential on Wednesday. All credit to N’Dam, he put forth the proper gameplan to neutralize Stevens’ vaunted power, he stuck to it and he kept his composure the few times the Brooklyn native was able to connect with some heavy shots.
N’Dam earned his shot at the IBF belt, as you noted, and re-establishes himself as a 160-pound player, while Stevens drops from contender status to high-profile gatekeeper in my opinion. I’d still rather watch Stevens fight, provided he’s in with an opponent with an aggressive style. (Who wouldn’t want to see Stevens take on James Kirkland, David Lemieux, or a rematch with Tureano Johnson?)
PROSPECTS TO CONTENDERS
Great job with the website and mailbags. I’ll keep it short for you. For a couple boxers with star potential – if you were their manager – what is the plan for the next 12 months for David Lemieux & Frankie Gomez? Thanks. – Marty
Good question. Lemieux’s a few years older and more experienced with 16 more pro bouts than Gomez, so I’d make bolder moves with the 25-year-old Montreal puncher than I would with the 22-year-old East L.A. slugger.
For Lemiuex, I’d try get him quality rounds with one bout – against a durable young gun like Jose Uzcategui or a tough true-blue gatekeeper like Ossie Duran or a worldly fringe contender like Max Bursak – and then I’d get him a fight against an IBF-ranked contender because that’s the belt I’d have him aim for. (Hey, Miguel Cotto’s not going to fight him, and GGG might ruin the kid.) If Felix Sturm doesn’t decide to stay at super middleweight after his November fight with Robert Stieglitz, I’d try to make a fight with the former four-time titleholder because he’s currently ranked No. 4 in the IBF. Lemieux is currently ranked No. 5, so I figure may I could convince the IBF to make Sturm-Lemieux a title-elimination bout. I also figure good ole Sturmy will be shopworn enough for my young KO artist to take out, or at least beat.
If Sturm is unavailable (or looks too strong vs. Stieglitz), I’d have Lemmy tak on the IBF’s No. 10-rated contender, Ireland’s Eamon O’Kane, who has a suspect chin and style that is tailor-made to make the Montreal star look like a monster.
For Gomez (18-0, 13 knockouts), I’d try to get in at least three bouts in the 12-month span, and I’m not sure I’d try to have him fight for any major title if I got him to 21-0. He’s got time to develop further as a fighter and to mature more as a young man.
I’d pit “The Pitbull” against a fellow prospect, such as Fidel Maldonado Jr. or Michael Perez – fights which should make for good TV – and then get him quality rounds against an ultra-experienced but faded old former champ like DeMarcus Corley or Nate Campbell, before finally putting him in with a solid fringe contender like Karim Mayfield, Edgar Santana or Ashley Theophane. If he passed all three tests, I’d have him target lower top 10 or 15 contenders the following year.
What’s up Dougie,So I read that Oscar is looking to setup Amir Khan and Robert Guerrero to fight soon. Now, although I’d favor Khan to get the ‘W,’ the conspiracy theorist in me kicked in and my first thought was, is Oscar looking to sabotage Floyd Jr’s plans to bank off the British star? We all know Khan is the front runner to face Floyd in his next fight due to the PPV buys he can bring to the table, and we also know that TMT is parting ways (or at least attempting to) from Golden Boy Promotions. The way I see it, Oscar would love nothing more than to derail the potential PPV bout between Khan and Floyd, and what better way to do so than to have Khan face someone Floyd already beat? Because think of it, if Guerrero wins he won’t be offered a rematch with Floyd, and the Khan angle goes out the window). Guerrero is a very solid durable opponent for Khan and if he pulls it off, Mayweather will be left without a PPV draw type of opponent in his next fight, leading Oscar to secretly call checkmate. What are your thoughts? – Jensen, from Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Wow. I never considered a move like that. (I guess that’s why I’m not a chess player and I’m never able to guess the outcomes of mystery movies and TV crime dramas before the end of the shows.) Maybe Oscar’s smarter and sneakier than he lets on.
Serious question, though: Do you smoke a lot of pot?
RJ IS BACK (NOT REALLY)
I am not hoping to make the email bag – just needing to share my enthusiasm with someone who appreciates boxing. Not only are you a fan of boxing, but you are also about my age – and grew up on Roy Jones (for better or for worse) ;-0 Anyway, I must say I enjoyed a Roy Jones fight!!! It hasn’t happened (probably since his last body shot stoppage against Virgil Hill) in a LONG time. But, since his legs are long-gone he had to fight in close and shoot double-left hooks to the head and body. His defense was pretty solid; which I couldn’t have said 10 years ago. It was crazy to see RJJR walk to an opponent, with his hands UP and throwing body shots. Roy Jones looked like freaking Archie Moore (Ok, Ok…forgive the hyperbole). Of course, it’s fun to watch him in a traveling exhibition against weak opposition, but I wish he would stop boxing before he actually finds his false sense of security in front of a stone killer.
Take care, Dougie. – JW
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That body shot KO was pretty sweet. I don’t if the Egyptian Lover dude he was in with could fight at all, but that left to the body was legit. It would have at least doubled over world-class cruisers if it didn’t bring them to their knees.
That body shot KO reminded me that Jones had the one-hitter quitter in his prime. That chilling power was one of the reasons – along with his otherworldly speed, reflexes, coordination and overall athleticism – that he was so much fun to watch as a middleweight and super middleweight.
If he continues to fight I hope he keeps facing Hany Atiyo-level opposition. I think he can probably handle guys like that for the next three or four years – and look good doing it. Of course, the more he wins, the bigger his ego will inflate and the more former fans of his will take notice and get all excited the way you did this past weekend. From there it won’t be long until one of the major cruiserweight titleholders tries to take advantage of the “buzz” by welcoming Jones into the ring in order to make an easy payday and build-up their names using his legend.
And that, my friend, is a dangerous situation as you well know.
This is my first time writing to the mailbag and I only have one question:
What the heck is going on with your boy “The Thrurmanator”?
Last year he was saying he would fight anybody, but this year he has fought almost nobody. I was really looking forward to seeing him step up in competition, but so far he has been really disappointing. Fans seem anxious to see him fight and there is a long list of potential opponents, so why only one the fight this year?
Keep up the great work. – Matt
Thurman and his trainer, Dan “The Birminator” Birmingham, said a shoulder injury has kept him out of the ring since his third-round stoppage of Julio Diaz in April. Do you believe them? Or are you smoking the same “conspiracy weed” that my buddy Jensen is inhaling and figuring that maybe Al Haymon (who advises the 25-year-old boxer-puncher) is purposely keeping Thurman on ice this year in order to keep him away from cash cow(ard) Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2015? LOL.
In all seriousness, Thurman told members of the boxing media in August that he hoped to be back in the ring in October. Well, October is here and he doesn’t have a date yet. We may not see him until November or even early December, but I am certain Mr. Haymon, Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime will see to it that we see The Thurmanator one more time before the end of 2014.
WE NEED A LONGER ’10 COUNT’
It’s great to you see back alongside your former TNR MaxBoxing co-host Steve Kim & other two respectable scribes:
My only criticism is that the video was way too short.
Will you guys do more videos like “UCN Original Series 10 count”?
If yes… I’m like, Hell yeeeeeah, Awesome!!!!!
Hey boxing has been slow this month so, any entertainment related to boxing works for me. God Bless. – Jorge, San Diego
Thanks Jorge. I’m glad you enjoyed one of the 10 Count segments that I recently did with Kim, Dave Smith and “The Institution” Ken Miller. There are longer segments, such as our preview of Mayweather-Maidana II, which was more than 13 minutes long, as well as other subjects (Roc Nation, Andre Ward).
I know there are a few more segments to come from our initial taping and as far as I know the four of us will get together again at Victor’s in Hollywood to talk boxing.
After watching fighters of yesteryear… does it seem like the skill of cutting off the ring (or footwork in general) is not what it used to be at the highest levels? Or is it just pure fight frequency back in the day? I’ve been reminiscing on some old fights on youtube and there are some dudes that you just couldn’t keep off you. Today, I see a lot of guys following too much, running into shots, and hitting air… even some so-called elite guys. What’s going on? I only see Golovkin doing it nice (and scary).
Speaking of which… if there was a mythical P4P footwork list of today’s fighters, who would you give props to?… and I’m talking all types of boxers including killers, runners, counter-punchers, whatever. Anyway, who stands out to you?
Alright Dougie, keep up the good work. Your mailbags have that nice information/entertainment mix… a boxer/puncher, if you will. Boxing wouldn’t be the same without you, homie.
(BTW, are there any more “Best I’ve Faced” articles we can look forward to? Call me old school, but nothing warms my heart more than fighters giving respect after a mutual beatdown for money. I must be sick.) – Jorge, Chicago
You’re not sick at all, Jorge. You just can’t get enough of real boxing stories from the perspective of the best fighters of previous decades. Nothing wrong with that. We’ll definitely have more Best I’ve Faced features on RingTV.com – starting next week. And thanks for the kind words about the mailbag.
Does it seem like the skill of cutting off the ring (or footwork in general) is not what it used to be at the highest levels? Um, it doesn’t seem that way, it IS that way as Stevens illustrated Wednesday night against N’Dam, or Bernard Hopkins’ last three opponents title bout opponents (Shumenov, Murat and Cloud) exhibited in pitiful fashion.
You want a “mythical P4P footwork list of today’s fighters”? Now that’s what I call a foot fetish. LOL. I kid, I kidÔÇª
In no particular order: Ward (for balance and lateral movement), Rigo (for balance), B-Hop (for all-around footwork/foot feints and foot placement during infighting), GGG, Chocolatito and Krusher (for their ring-cutting ability), Mayweather and Pacquiao (for controlling fight tempo and distance with footwork and foot feints), and Chris Algieri and Nonito Donaire (for the ability to “punch on the fly”)
THE GOLDEN BOY
I didn’t know what to expect with Oscar De La Hoya taking over his own company but is this the best thing that could of happened? Hopkins vs Kovalev (do you think Richard Schaefer would of made that anyways?), and now he is talking about Santa Cruz vs Mares, Amir Khan vs Robert Guerrero, Wilder vs Stiverne, and if everything goes perfect Canelo vs Kirkland.
These are all fights that I would LOVE to see and felt like I wasn’t getting (this year, I thought last year was awesome.) Can I expect these to actually happen? Also with the hints that De La Hoya might move his fighters to HBO, I think this will force Haymon to make actual competitive fights on Showtime. They will not be able to compete against HBO with A fighters vs C-level talent.
Mythical matchup: Antonio Margarito vs Juan Manuel Marquez at welter. – Jordan, NC
Margz is nowhere near JMM’s level in a pound-for-pound sense, but at his best at 147 pounds, he would’ve brutalized the welterweight version of Marquez. Margarito by mid-to-late rounds TKO.
I think you can expect all of the aforementioned bouts to happen in the next six months except for Canelo-Kirkland. The Red Head That Hardcore Nutcakes Love to Hate is facing Joshua Clottey on Dec. 6.
Do I think De La Hoya taking control of his promotional company is the best thing that coulda happened? I certainly think it’s a good thing. Oscar’s been talking about putting the fans first and has made an honest effort to patch things up with bob Arum and HBO. Those are healthy things for our sport.
I don’t think Schaefer would have made Hopkins-Kovalev but he was working towards Wilder-Stiverne before he left Golden Boy and I don’t believe he would have had a problem with making Santa Cruz-Mares or Khan-Guerrero (both of which are “in-house” fights for GBP).
We’ll see what happens with the renewed GBP-HBO relationship and Haymon’s dealings with Showtime. Just because HBO wants to be in the Canelo business and wanted to put on the Hopkins-Kovalev fight doesn’t mean the network is interested in every other non-Haymon fighter under the Golden Boy banner.
And now that it looks like Haymon has cut a deal with NBC Sports, we have to see which fighters he takes to that network.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer