Tuesday, December 06, 2022  |

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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

17
Nov
Photo by Martin Rose - Bongarts/Getty Images

Photo by Martin Rose – Bongarts/Getty Images

WLAD & KUBRAT PUT ON A SHOW

Hey Dougie, Haven’t written you in a while but figured I’d tell you what a lot of people probably feel: That Wladdy Klitschko fight was fun! It will enhance both men’s reputation and legacy and thus, the fans win. Good for them for putting on a great show. I wouldn’t mind a rematch. Seems as though Kubrat Pulev will really gain from this experience and could improve. – Dan (CT)

I think he will, but as fun as he made the Klitschko challenge, I’d like to see Pulev face a few top-10 contenders – such as Alexander Povetkin, Bryant Jennings or Vycheslav Glazkov – before getting another shot at Wladdy. I’m not a big fan of Pulev’s stiff-as-a-board stand-up boxing style or his wavy “magic wand” jab but I like his attitude. The big Bulgarian came to fight on Saturday. I respect that and I think Pulev can make for some good heavyweight scraps if he’s in against an aggressive type, like Chris Arreola or Dereck Chisora. I also think he can beat most of the top dogs in the division.

I think Klitschko’s dominant victory over a credible opponent coupled with the live HBO broadcast in the U.S. and his eye-catching career stats (which HBO’s crew made sure to pump up) will definitely enhance the champ’s reputation in America. Wladdy and Big Brother Vitali have had a hot-and-cold relationship with American boxing fans and sports media over the past 15 years.



The U.S. market hasn’t been kind to them in recent years for a number of reasons (fighting in Europe, boxing in a safety first – sometimes ugly – style, occasionally facing unworthy competition), but scoring lots of knockdowns en route to a KO victory goes a long way in terms of making fans and the press forget about past disappointments or frustrations.

I think Wlad is in position to capture the respect (and maybe the awe) of the American boxing audience with his next two fights (which HBO will televise) – especially if he faces the winner of the Bermane Stiverne-Deontay Wilder WBC title bout for all the heavyweight marbles, and then takes on the winner of the Tyson Fury-Chisora rematch in what I view as a can’t-miss European blockbuster event.

 

FIRST ENTERTAINING KLITSCHKO FIGHT IN A LONG TIME

Hey Dougie,

HBO may have cheaped out (again) by not sending their team to Germany, but I am still glad they carried Wladimir’s matchup with Pulev. It was the first Klit defense that failed to put me to sleep since he fought Calvin Brock back in 2006. Pulev came to fight and made it kind of interesting (for a Klit fight). Loved those left hooks and especially that rocket right hand. When the Klit actually throws it, it’s some scary s__t.

That all being said, I firmly believe that Bermane Stiverne has the hand speed/pop combination to possibly send the Champ to queer street, but I wonder if we will have to wait another six months before the illusive Wilder fight is finally made. WTF is up with that nonsense? The delays are inexcusable. Someone stick Don King and Al Haymon in a storage bin and dump it in the Pacific. Are Wilder’s people afraid of making that fight and hoping to maneuver a cash-out against the Klit? Frankly, I think Stiverne starches the completely ordinary and untested Bronze Bomber. Wilder makes Michael Grant look like Lennox Lewis.

I have to comment on Shannon BriggsÔǪ The guy is a loon, but strangely entertaining. He looks in shape (and has fought six times this year, against punching bags, yes, but none the lessÔǪ ) so his people should just get the man in action against a top 10 heavy. If he flattens ANY kind of a name he will likely get his shot. That is how thin the HW division is these days. Am I right? What is your over under on that happening? I actually believe Briggs could beat Chisora, Jennings, Fury or the wildly overrated Wilder. IF he doesn’t suffer an asthma attack (an excuse he’s used before).

Chris Algieri by a controversial split decision in a frustratingly tactical fight. I love Manny Pacquiao, but the writing is on the wall. He’s been slipping since his fight with Shane Mosley back in 2011 and we all saw what happened in his last two matchups with Juan Manuel Marquez. Algieri is crazy tall and will use his height and reach throughout. I pray I’m wrong.

Best regards. – Matt Stevens

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Klitschko-Pulev, my man Shannon “The Asthmatic Assassin” Briggs, and Pacquiao-Algieri.

I consider Algieri a very live dog on Saturday. I agree that Pacquiao has been slipping (in terms of athleticism and desire) since 2011 and I agree that Algieri’s height, reach, boxing style, ring IQ, grit and determination should make for an extremely difficult night for the 35-year-old veteran of 63 pro fights.

However, I’m through underestimating Pacquiao. I figured Tim Bradley would legitimately outhustle him earlier this year and it didn’t happen. Bradley’s a bit of a head case and didn’t box the right fight but Pacquiao’s underrated footwork and ring generalship was part of that equation. Pacquiao beat a young champion/elite-level boxer in his prime, which proved to me that the Filipino icon still has it.

In retrospect, his near shutout of Brandon Rios was also an indication of his underrated ring smarts. He outclassed a young brute that is on the same level of Marcos Maidana, who gave You Know Who fits. Yeah, Marquez arguably outpointed Pac in their third fight and Manny got KTFO in bout No. 4, but we’re talking about a future hall of famer. Algieri is a good boxer who is in his prime, but he doesn’t have Marquez’s experience or the Mexican master’s counterpunching ability and power. And he hasn’t had 24 rounds of fight experience against Pacquiao as Marquez had going into their third bout (or four training camps to prepare for the Filipino as JMM had going into the fourth bout).

To be perfectly honest, I’m tired of the Manny and Floyd show. I want both future hall of famers to make way for the new generation. I want to pick Algieri to win this Saturday just to hasten that inevitable passing of the torch, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Why? Three reasons: 1)Manny fading but he ain’t faded, 2)I’ve been told that he’s had a good training camp (no, he’s not even 75% focused but he’s at least 75% physically prepared, which is more than enough), and 3)the fight’s in Macau. I think Algieri will have to win eight clear rounds to get a draw. I don’t think Algieri will win eight clear rounds. Pacquiao by close but clear decision.

As for Briggs, yeah, I think if he can beat any sort of name there’s a good chance that he might get a shot at Wladdy. However, I’m not sure there’s any notable heavyweights that he can beat. I think Chisora runs him out of the ring. I think Fury wears him down to a late stoppage or just mugs him en route to a decision. Jennings will outbox and outwork him to a decision. There’s a slight chance that he could clip Wilder early, because Shannon can punch and he’s still got some speed. However, my money would be on Wilder, who is rangier and quicker, to strike first and end matters.

I think Stiverne has the best shot at dethroning Klitschko. The WBC beltholder is not just quick and powerful, he’s savvy, versatile and he’s got a good boxing mind in his corner (Don House). However, Stiverne is also ridiculously inactive and he’s got some bad habits (such as covering up along the ropes when he’s pressured) that will not serve him well against Klitschko. I favor Wladdy in that potential undisputed championship unification bout but I want to see it. If Klitschko can decisively beat Stiverne I think he’ll win over a lot of his skeptics.

This line – “Wilder makes Michael Grant look like Lennox Lewis” – was cold. However, Klitschko might do to Wilder exactly what Lewis did to Grant if that fight is ever made.

By the way, I thought HBO did U.S. fans a service by airing the fight live. There was no need for HBO to send a crew and its broadcast talent all the way to Germany when RTL is the main network there and is in charge of all the post-fight interviews and such. American fans didn’t need to see Max Kellerman get Klitschko’s comments in the ring after the bout. Wladdy already made his statement with those left mean hooks during the fight.

 

STEP OFF STRONG ISLAND, BRO!

Yo Dougie,

What’s this I read about you knocking Algieri coming up from STRONG ISLAND? Maybe nobody told you, but those protein shakes he makes and all that love he gets from still living in his mom’s house is like Spinach to us LI Popeyes! And come Saturday, Algieri’s going to blitz Pac-man so hard he’s going to be out like a guy who woke up in Babylon after falling asleep on the train home from the city.

…..Ok, sorry. I’m done. But after HBO played up Algieri’s Long Island roots and you punked that guy last week, I just couldn’t resist. Serious time: Algieri was gusty as hell, battling it out with Ruslan Provodnikov like he did, but Ruslan is not Manny and I don’t think Chris has what it takes to keep Pacquiao off of him for 12 rounds. People take it for granted after he got caught by JMM, but Pacquiao is a once in a generation talent and Algieri just isn’t. Even if he no doubt knows three really awesome pizza joints.

Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to say. Be well from Long Island. – Sean

Thanks for repping Strong Island, Sean. (This email cracked me up.)

Even though my praise for Algieri in last Monday’s mailbag was sarcastic, for the record, I really do like the WBO junior welterweight titleholder. I think he’s a good boxer, athlete and competitor, and I think he’s got a great personality and back story. I honestly believe he’s good for the sport and I hope he sticks around for a couple of years.

After the boxing, I know he’s going to be a very successful nutritional guru and motivational speaker. But all the positive thinking, all the visualization, and all those healthy breakfasts and lunches that he Tweets out to his followers aren’t going to help him contain Pacquiao come fight night. Pacquiao is a better boxer and a smarter fighter than most folks want to recognize. He uses the experience he has and doesn’t do the same thing over and over the way Provo does. He can switch things up, change speeds and direction and the angles of his attack, and he can land with a lot of authority. And at the end of the day, Pacquiao has a hall-of-famer training him and guiding him in the corner.

I have no doubt that Algieri is going to give Pacquiao some problems and something to think about, but the veteran can deal with it and work it out. Algieri’s competitive nature and toughness will see through 12 rounds – I know that your homeboy will make everyone on LI proud – but I think he’ll also be busted up pretty good by the final bell.

 

IS KLITSCHKO GETTING BETTER?

Hi Dougie,

I’ve always thought that if Wlad’s right hand is the “Steel Hammer” then his left hook must be Mjolnir. I was very impressed how he fluidly he threw that beast, sometimes even leading with the hook!

I was pleasantly surprised by Wlad’s destruction of Pulev, who I thought would definitely give the champ far more trouble. Wlad seemed “looser” (if that’s a real word 🙂 in this fight and far more willing to throw. And while there was still a fair amount of jab-and-grab that left hook was finally taken out of moth balls and thrown regularly and with uber-bad intentions!

I generally get frustrated with Wlad as I feel that he fights not to lose and the KO was more of a by-product of attrition or a mistake of whoever’s in front of him. But with this fight, against a guy who I thought could stretch him, he actively hunted the KO, responded aggressively whenever he was tagged and ends up starching the dude with a brute of a left!

He’s looked more relaxed and more confident (which I know sounds weird for a guy who’s the size of a small planet with anvils for hands) and if he builds on this I think it spells (even more) doom for his upcoming opponents!

What’s your take on this Doug? Has a light come on for Wlad? Is he getting better or is this a new found self-realisation that he has always had the tools to be one scary mofo in the ring?

In closing, thanks a million for the mailbags – they’re just a great way to start and end the week! Cheers. – Stephen, Cape Town

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Wladdy and for the mailbag props, Stephen.

I don’t think Wlad is any more relaxed or confident than he usually is and I don’t think he’s getting any better. I believe that the late great Emanuel Steward helped him develop into a relaxed fighter and an almost complete boxer several years ago (he still lacks a solid inside game and body attack, but he’s got pretty much everything else). Klitschko’s offensive and defensive tool boxes are full, but he’s chosen to rely on a few basic punches (jab and right hand) and tactics (such as the grab-and-mount move that frustrates so many fans) because the level of his opposition allows him to do so.

I think he opens up more when he’s faced with tall rangy boxers with quick hands. Wladdy doesn’t ever want to be blitzed early the way he was against Corey Sanders, so he tends to strike first against fighters who share the late South African’s attributes (such as tall southpaw Tony Thompson and Pulev). Note that Wladdy uncorked a lot of left hooks against Tony the Tiger (especially during their rematch).

Trust me, if Wilder beats Stiverne and then challenges Klitschko, you’ll see the fastest-starting version of Wladdy ever, and you better believe his version of Mjolnir will likely put the American down for the count. Klitschko isn’t going to play around with a tall rangy puncher like that.

However, when we see Klitschko in with shorter or slower heavyweights, my guess is that he’ll go back to what has worked so well for so many of his title defenses – jab-and-grab, jab-and-mount, jab-and-right hand until the opposition gets worn down to a stoppage or just gives up trying to win.

I hope I’m wrong about this because an exciting heavyweight champion is always good for boxing.

By the way, did you notice how Klitschko bounced a little bit on the balls of his feet before striking out with his lead-hook? Sugar Ray Robinson used to do that. In no way am I comparing Wladdy to Robinson, but it was fascinating to see a man that big and bulky get into a brief dance rhythm before letting his hands go.

 

HOW ABOUT HOPKINS VS. FROCH?

Hey Dougie, Just a quick question, what is the possibility of Bernard Hopkins dropping to 168 pounds and fighting for a championship in a 3rd weight division? It doesn’t look like Carl Froch is gunna get Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. any time soon. Froch wants one last big fight in Las Vegas. Do you think Hopkins could fill that slot? I think it’d be a pretty good scrap. What are your thoughts? Cheers – Greg, Nottingham

If Hopkins insists on having one or two more fights, I think Froch is an excellent choice. The matchup has enough name recognition for it to take place in Las Vegas, but if Hopkins is willing to travel (and he has been before) I think the fight can be huge event in Britain. If B-Hop can safely make 168 pounds, I guess the opportunity of adding a major title in a third weight class is enough for those involved to make the bout at super middleweight. However, I don’t think the fight necessarily needs a major title. Hopkins and Froch are both old-school hard asses who refused to take the easy road to recognition. I think they could fight at light heavyweight or at a 170-to-172-pound catchweight and still have the attention of the boxing world.

 

RAMIREZ-ZUNIGA & GATEKEEPERS WHO NEED TO QUIT

Doug E Fresh,
After watching Gilberto Ramirez for the first time, I was impressed with his work rate, and body work. However, Fulgencio Zuniga; a career journeyman was there for the taking. After watching the systematic breakdown of Zuniga, I’m thinking he’s not at the Ward level quite yet, but who knows when Dre will EVER fight again, smh. A fight against Ward’s last opponent might tell the real story about Ramirez.

But what I really want to ask you is this, when should a gatekeeper let it go? How much punishment should a TOUGH SOB take before taking a bow and hanging it up? The referee mercifully took the decision from Zuniga, but for guys like Jesus Soto Karass, Michael Katsidas, Andre Berto, Josesito Lopez, and even Jose Luis Castillo, who is approaching a decapitation, when should these guys be saved from themselves? I know it’s like preaching to the choir, but this is not scripted….no offense to pro wrestling, but this is the real deal! No boxer I imagine is purposely trying to injure his opponent, but it is a combat sport. Sorry for the rant, but Zuniga did all he could, was totally outclassed, and like a true pro went out on his shield, but at what cost physically? – Rodomus

At what cost physically? Brain cells, dude. You don’t need me to tell you that. The more a chap gets busted upside his dome, the more he’s likely to suffer from various neurocognitive disorders (that’s fancy talk for “brain damage”), such as personality disturbances, dysarthria, and Parkinson-like disturbances (those are high-falutin college book words for “extreme mood swings,” “trouble speakin’,” and “Muhammad Ali’s God-awful affliction”). Oh, and let’s not forget good old fashioned dementia pugilistica (AKA “punch-drunk syndrome”), Rod.

When should a tough gatekeeper call it quits? Really? I’m the authority on this? LOL. OK. It’s real simple: a tough gatekeeper should be made to retire when he’s getting the s__t beat out of him every time he steps into the ring.

In other words, when he’s no longer keeping the gate closed on green or overhyped prospects and faded former standouts. A gatekeeper is only a gatekeeper when he can prevent unworthy up-and-comers or faded former contenders from gaining (or regaining) title contention. Gatekeepers lose to future movers and shakers, but they beat lesser fighters.

There was no shame in Zuniga losing to Ramirez, who is a stud in my opinion (and of course he’s not at Ward’s level, the young man is 23 years old). However, it should be noted that the Colombian – who was a damn good gatekeeper in the mid-2000s – lost for the 10th time on Saturday. Zuniga’s last solid win was a seventh-round KO of former beltholder Alejandro Berrio in 2012. That’s not too long ago, but he’s lost five of his last seven bouts since that fight (including a rematch to Berrio, who’s also faded at this point).

Zuniga can still beat ham-and-eggers but all he can do with talented fighters is take them rounds, which means he’s just a punching bag with arms. Zuniga is no longer a gatekeeper, he’s a journeyman and his family and team should strongly consider talking him into retirement – now, if possible, but definitely after his next beatdown – for the sake of his health.

 

HOW DOES ONE BEAT KLITSCHKO?

Let’s hope you elaborate a little on the HW fight on your mailbag! Fights like these remind us nothing beats a big heavyweight showdown! Not sure it was a fight of the year candidate but it was certainly tense! At any moment, a KO could come. Pretty brave stuff from Pulev, he just stood there in front of Wladimir chewing plenty of glove, while trying to connect the right hand. He took it to Wladimir and got punished for it. For such a tough guy to get destroyed like that, speaks volumes of Klitschko’s power.

How do you topple him? There’s no Joe Frazier around, or a Holyfield. I had tons of faith in Pulev, now I can’t see anyone giving Wladimir a challenge. I know something though: Deontay Wilder will get decapitated by Wladimir, mark my words on this. Is Klitschko getting better with age? His power remains strong, and tonight he showed some heart, which was surprising; I thought he would fight scared, but that wasn’t the case here. He seemed to be angry inside the ring, absorbed some big punches and did not back up but came forward to respond, like his old brother used to do.

We know you don’t rate him among the greats, but one must admit that he’s way up there in terms of his power: that left hand is truly alien!

One mythical matchup maybe no one has asked you before: Wladimir vs. Vitali. Would it be a stinker, or a bloodbath? I always thought the elder would prevail, now I aint so sure

Keep up with the great work, though I sometimes fear you’re too honest for your own good (or rather your career’s)! – Sebastian, Paraguay

You know, I’ve actually been told that by a couple of agents who deal with sports broadcast talent. But if I can’t be honest or say what I want, I don’t really care to do this anymore. So f__k everybody! LOL.

I’ve been given the Klitschko vs. Klitschko mythical matchup before. I went with Big Bro then, and I’m gonna stick with him. I think the fight would be fast and furious with Vitali’s face spewing more blood than his younger, more talented brother, but I think Dr. Iron Fist’s chin would hold out better than Dr. Steel Hammer’s beard. I like the current Mayor of Kiev by four- or five-round TKO in a Foreman-Lyle style brawl (but only Baby Bro would hit the deck).

I don’t rank Klitschko among my top 10-15 heavyweight champs, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he has the potential to be great. His career is far from over. Wladdy could very well pull a Hopkins and stick around so damn long that winds up owning a bunch of all-time boxing records that forces historians to recognize his accomplishments and contributions to the sport. The two main records he needs to break belong to Joe Louis – the title defense record and the heavyweight reign record. Klitschko’s currently No. 3, behind Larry Holmes and Louis, in terms of consecutive title defenses (17); and he’s No. 2 in terms of his title reign (eight and half years).

Wlad’s power is ridiculous. I watching him train and spar when he and his brother first moved to the Los Angeles area 10 years ago and the sound his punches made when hitting the mitts was scary. Freddie Roach, who briefly trained him when he first arrived stateside, told me Wlad hits harder than Mike Tyson. Emanuel Steward said his power was better than Lewis’. If he was more of a hunter in the ring and had a mean streak, he’d probably have won all of his fights by knockout (but he’d probably have more KO losses, too).

How does one topple Klitschko? I’m of the opinion that a squat powerful pressure fighter who can get under Wladd’s punches, get inside and punish the big man’s body has a very good shot at breaking him down. But like you said Joe Frazier ain’t around. Neither is the young Mike Tyson. I agree that Klitschko will likely annihilate Wilder if they ever fight but another way to beat Wladdy is to merely blast him first. Wilder has the ability to do this because of his height, reach, speed and power. Pulev tried to do this but he didn’t have the speed and power to go with his height and reach. Still, the Bulgarian was able to nail Klitschko with flush right hands. This should give guys like Wilder, Fury, and even shorter punchers, hope.

 

THE KLITSCHKO SHAM

I don’t get it—he looks awkward and off balance most of the time, is slow, and has little defense—any of the best fighters of Ali’s era would take him to pieces. It was hilarious watching tonight’s fight. Total sham. I would barely consider what he does to be “boxing”. He looked like a big sixth grader fighting an awkward third grader. Klitschko is lucky there aren’t any legit heavyweights. Or maybe there are but promoters and Klitschko’s management won’t let them anywhere close to their guy because he is such a draw—if he fought a genuine boxer he would lose and his supporters would forfeit billions in box office and pay per view. It’s a sad and sorry state of pro boxing perpetuated by boxing journalists afraid to be honest about the fact that today’s pro “boxing” is inching toward WWE-style entertainment. – DS, San Diego

I’m not going deny that today’s heavyweight division is pure dookie when compared to Ali’s era – the 1960s and ’70s – but those two decades happen to be the Golden Age for heavyweight boxing. The heavyweights of every other decade take a back seat to those badasses.

Klitschko’s certainly had his version of the Bum of the Month Club, but he’s also faced six Olympians during his current title reign, including medal winners (Chris Byrd, Sultan Ibragimov and Alexander Povetkin), as well as a few legitimate talents (David Haye, Povetkin) and spoilers (Tony Thompson).

I don’t think he’s been protected by his management. If he has, then you tell me who he’s avoided? You should be able to give me the name of at least one top heavyweight that gave either Wladdy or his management the shivers.

Regarding the way he looks in the ring, you can’t expect him to look as graceful as Ali. He’s too damn big. Ali was 6-foot-3 and between 215-220 pounds (“dancin’ weight” he called it) when he was at his best. Wladdy’s 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7 and 245-250 pounds. He ain’t gonna float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, he’s gonna look kind of ponderous in the ring but when he strikes he does so with the force of aÔǪ well, a steel hammer. However, Wladdy’s not as awkward or off-balance as he seems. His hands are quicker than you (and most of his opponents) think. And if he was really “easy” to hit quick punchers like Haye or Ibragimov would have clipped him.

 

THE HEAVYWEIGHTS

Hi Doug,Hey Doug don’t you think it’s unfair comparing today’s giants to yesterday’s little big men? How could Joe Louis fight a guy like Vitali, just the weight difference its self would be the deciding factor. I’m not surprised weight differential restrictions haven’t been looked into in the HW division. I would think it would be a safety issue. Maybe it is time for a super heavyweight division. You have to be an exceptionally gifted boxer at 215-230 to even compete with the big boys. I respect what Wladmir has done but I never liked him or his brother just for the fact they had such an advantage over their smaller opponents. I realize the division has always been the Wild West of boxing but unfortunately it’s never painted a true picture of the sport itself. The lighter weights have higher skill levels by far.If Wilder’s the real deal (I have serious doubts) he could be huge for the sport. An American HW champ who wants to knock people out. One dream match up: Mathew Hilton vs Canelo Alvarez, eh Take care. – Don Mac

Hilton-Alvarez would’ve been a really good fight. They’re both strong, somewhat stiff stand-up boxer-punchers who like to take command of the center of the ring and let their heavy hands go in spots. Sad thing about Hilton is that he was pretty much done by the time he was Alvarez’s age now – 24.

However, the night he beat Buster Drayton for the IBF 154-pound belt (via 15-round decision) he would have given a lot of junior middleweight standouts, included the red-headed Mexican, a run for their money. When Hilton was focused and in shape, I think he had better stamina than Canelo. I think Hilton was faster and a harder puncher, too. However, I think Canelo has the tighter technique and is physically stronger.

If this mythical matchup took place under today’s rules (12-round championship bout, Friday weigh-in), I’d have to go with Canelo by decision in a very good scrap. I think he’d put on more weight after the weigh-in and he’d put it to good use during the fight. I think the Mexican would outwork the Canadian to the body, too, but both guys would attack the midsection with gusto.

I disagree with your opinion on “today’s giants” and “yesterday’s little big men.” I think best heavyweights of the past would have more than competed with the Klitschkos, regardless of their size, especially a puncher like Louis. The Brown Bomber occasionally faced men who were 6-foot-4 or taller, 250-plus pounds with 80-plus-inch wingspans – Abe Simon, Buddy Baer, Primo Carnera (and Max Baer was no pipsqueak). These guys weren’t as athletic as the Klitschkos but they were experienced and very tough (probably more durable than Wladdy). Max and Buddy could punch.

Louis, who stood 6-foot-1, only weighed 196 pounds to Carnera’s 260¾ when they fought. He weighed only 202 to Simon’s 254¾ when they fought the first time (it was 207¾ to 255¼ for their rematch). He was 206¾to Buddy Baer’s 250 for their rematch. I don’t need to tell you that he knocked these giants the f__k out. (The guys who gave Louis the most trouble were savvy boxers who weighed less than he did – Max Schmeling, Billy Conn and Jersey Joe Walcott.)

Wladdy’s much better than most of the giants of the past, but he’s not invincible, and that includes the Steward-trained version. Eddie Chambers (209 pounds) almost went the 12-round distanced with him. Tomasz Adamek (216) made it into the 10th round against Vitali. If little light-punching Eddie can almost make it to the final bell and a natural light heavyweight can go more than nine, I think Louis could definitely go rounds with either Klitschko and I’m certain he’d be able to land his legendary power on both.

Of course, they’d be able to nail him back with their vaunted power, but my point is that I think a much-smaller ATG could compete with the K-brothers and the other giant-sized standouts of the modern era.

 

 

 

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

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