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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

05
Dec

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BIG BOXING WEEKEND

Hey Dougie,

Hope all is going well! This weekend is going to exciting given the Gabriel Rosado vs David Lemieux fight, the Jean Pascal card, and the action packed Prizefighter bill taking place in the UK.



I really think Rosado has a chance in this fight. Lemieux can be hit and although he has ferocity in both gloves, he is suspect in his defence at times (look back to his fight against Marco Antonio Rubio, who he picked apart for 5 rounds, but faded). However, my gut is telling me he has too much for Rosado and it is a case of one fighter heading up to the top contender status, and one becoming a gatekeeper, as opposed to a fringe contender. If Lemieux wins this fight, and GGG comes through Martin Murray, I’d like to see them in a tear up in spring, but it all depends on Canelo and Cotto, etc. (I see Golovkin icing him inside 7, but it would be entertaining as hell.)

I’m not sure if you have seen the Prizefighter bill but it always delivers and I’m excited to see the 3-round format bring out some KOs and action packed fights! I favour Gary Buckland, an experienced British veteran, to come out on top and claim the ┬ú32,000 prize.

For me, Pascal will win this fight easily. He has too much for an already beaten Roberto Bolonti. The fight I’m excited about from a British perspective is Andre Dirrell vs Erek Edwards, as it is for the IBF #2 spot behind James DeGale, and I think to see Dirrell fight for the belt Froch vacates would be awesome given that I thought he won their original fight. It has potential to be a stinkfest but let’s hope it lights up the card.

Lastly, who do you favour in the Dec. 13 match-ups between Amir Khan-Devon Alexander and Leo Bundu-Keith Thurman? I hate that people write off Bundu as having seen him decimate Lee Purdy and win a close but clear decision against Frankie Gavin. This guy is class, but One Time is WORLD class.

Quick Mythical Match-Up:

Ricky Hatton vs Chris Algieri at 140 pounds.

Hope I make it in time!!! – Stan, UK

You made it Stan. Thanks for sharing your many thoughts on this Saturday’s boxing cards and the Dec. 13 “Royal Battle” show. I’ll reply to your questions and opinions in order.

I agree with your take on the Lemieux-Rosado fight. I think Rosado – who is already a gatekeeper – should be considered a live dog, but Lemieux has the momentum coming into this matchup as well as the kind of power that can dent the toughest chin. Having said that, we can’t be too high on Lemieux based on his recent KO of Fernando Guerrero, whose legs were beginning to go before that fight. Rosado, who looks like the bigger man, has a more versatile style and is definitely the more battle tested of the two middleweights. Plus, he’s entering this fight with more confidence and better fighting form thanks to his recent work with new trainer Jesse Reid.

If Rosado can stay off the ropes, keep the fight in the center of the ring and get past the first four rounds without getting hurt or badly cut, I think we’ll really see what Lemieux is made of, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Philly native took the Montreal star apart over the second half of the fight. However, those are a lot of “ifs.” Rosado’s a guy I’d root for in this fight but I wouldn’t put a lot of money on him. Anyway, I don’t have a favorite in this matchup. I just want to see a good fight. I’ll be happy for whoever wins. If it’s Rosado, I’d wouldn’t mind seeing him get that shot at Canelo that he’s always wanted (if Carrot Top can’t make a deal with Miguel Cotto). If Lemieux wins tomorrow night, I think a showdown with fellow KO artist Gennady Golovkin would be fun while it lasted but I’d rather see the Canadian standout further prove himself against a contender like Hassan Ndam, Daniel Jacobs or Jermell Charlo. If he can beat a lower top-10 guy, then let’s see the next step: a fight with a top-five contender or titleholder.

Enjoy the Prizefighter tournament. I agree that Buckland is probably the favorite, along with fellow vet Ajose Olusegun and former foe Stephen Foster. However, the three-round format might give the lesser experienced/lesser talented opponents a shot at beating the fringe contenders who are used to going 10 and 12 rounds.

Pascal should be a big favorite to beat Bolonti. The Argentine veteran is used to dropping decisions to contenders in their home countries (as he’s done with both Tony Bellew and Juergen Braehmer). I hope Pascal performs solid enough to make his March challenge to unified beltholder Sergey Kovalev look interesting on paper.

I don’t get the Dirrell-Edwards fight. How is that an “elimination” bout for a No. 2 ranking in the IBF? Dirrell has fought four times in the past four and half years, and he hasn’t faced a single contender. At least Edwards has a first-round KO of prospect Badou Jack. Of course, prior to that win he was stopped by Matt Korobov but whateverÔǪ I guess DeGale-Dirrell could be an interesting fight but it isn’t one that I’m looking forward to.

I don’t have a favorite in the Khan-Alexander matchup. If you press me to pick a winner, I’ll go with Khan based on his track record versus boxers. Alexander tends to do better with sluggers, which Khan struggles with. But the British star’s style seems to be poisonous for boxers/technicians.

Thurman’s style and athleticism seems to be poison for boxers, technicians and sluggers, but I agree that Bundu is a lot better than some fans are acknowledging and should provide “One Time” with some quality rounds.

Your MMU:

Ricky Hatton vs Chris Algieri at 140 pounds – I think the prime version of Hatton was too fast, physical and active for Algieri to outbox or neutralize. I like the Mad Hatter by decision or late TKO (if he could get to Algieri’s body).

 

CANELO, HBO & CINCO DE MAYO

Hi Doug,As far as you know, does HBO have to put Canelo on Cinco De Mayo even if Canelo and Cotto don’t agree to a fight? If HBO doesn’t want to compete with Floyd Mayweather/Showtime, can they tell Canelo he is S.O.L? If Canelo can’t get Cotto, who do you think he’d fight instead? Thanks Doug. – Nick, San Diego

If Canelo can’t make a deal with Cotto, there’s the Lemieux-Rosado winner, there’s 154-pound beltholders Demetrius Andrade and Cornelius Bundrage, and Vanes Martirosyan. Obviously none of those matchups would come close to the magnitude of Cotto vs. Canelo, but the red-headed Mexican star and Golden Boy Promotions want to take back the May and September PPV dates, and HBO wants to accommodate them. I don’t think the network would tell Canelo and Oscar that they’re S.O.L unless Mayweather is able to make a rematch with Cotto. If Floyd is going to fight the Khan-Alexander winner on May 2, I don’t think Canelo, GBP or HBO will back off that date.

 

ONE TIME & SPECIAL K

Hi Dougie
I’ve written to you a few times and I will admit they’re usually pro British-rants but this time I wanna talk about who I believe are the future of the welterweight division. Keith Thurman and (yes I know I said I wouldn’t talk about the English) Kell Brook. One Time is fighting against Bundu who after watching a couple of times is top quality but not elite welter. I think this is the acid test much like Brook vs Shawn Porter was except for the world title. I truly believe that in 2 years they will be the Pacquiao vs Mayweather fight although not of that magnitude that the boxing world craves but a slight difference being that they will fight as both have the desire to fight. Am I wrong or is this an exciting prospect for the future.

Best regards. (Btw my tomorrow will be brutal so your mailbag and a bacon and sausage baguette will make it tolerable) – Pete Sussex, UK

I’m glad my mailbag can help brighten your Friday (along with some bread and greasy meat).

I agree that a Brook-Thurman showdown is an exciting prospect for the future. However, for it to happen Thurman has to get by Bundu and have a successful 2015, while Brook must show that he can rebound from that awful leg injury he sustained in that summer attack in Spain. I think both welterweights will continue to win and improve. The only thing that would prevent them from fighting is if Thurman becomes a prime candidate for Mayweather. If he knows he’s on the short list for THE RING champ and future hall of famer, he may not want to bother with Brook and the IBF belt.

But my hope is that Thurman has Brook in his sights regardless if he wins the Mayweather lottery. They’re both smart, versatile, coordinated and athletically gifted. Thurman has the edge in speed and power; Brook has the edge in technique. It would be a sensational welterweight showdown.

 

LAMPS IN THE HALL OF FAME?

Jim “cry me a river” Lampley to the hall of fame? What’s next Max Kellerman? To quote the great Robert DeNiro in Goodfellas “What is this world coming to?” – Ernesto, El Paso, Texas

I think Lampley is worthy of the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He’s one of the best overall sports broadcasters of this era, he’s called boxing since the mid-1980s and has been HBO’s front man since 1989 (I believe the Tyson-Tubbs fight was his debut on the cable network). Think about all the legendary boxing calls he’s done over the past 25 years.

 

300,000 PPV BUYS IS NOT A LOW NUMBER

Dougie,
Since when is 300k PPV buys a low number???….I used to work in the cable industry, and regularly analyzed PPV buy trends in order to have appropriate staffing…..let me tell you 300k buys was not a low-buy amount. I think this idea of breaking a million buys or getting as close to it as possible on every PPV is an industry generated for profit idea. Considering Pacman pulled 300,000 PPV purchases on his name alone shows he is a Super Star…..I doubt highly that Mayweather would have pulled those numbers fighting the same no-name brand. So to close, I’m of the opinion that for this PPV event, 300K buys was a fortuitous profitable success. – El Danzo, Los Angeles

I think a Mayweather-Algieri fight would have probably sold more PPV buys because of the contrast of personalities that would have been played up during the usual 24/7/All-Access build up to these kinds of events. However, I doubt Mayweather would have done more than 400,000 buys with such an unheralded opponent.

I agree that 300,000 PPV buys is not a low number at all. I think boxing fans and media became spoiled with the tail end of Oscar De La Hoya’s career, which not only served as Mayweather and Pacquiao’s PPV launch pad but also resulted in huge numbers against the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Shane Mosley and Ricardo Mayorga.

I remember when HBO used to be pleased with PPV events that pulled in around 300,000-325,000 buys, such as the Naseem Hamed-Marco Antonio Barrera fight and the Barrera-Erik Morales rematch. (They did back-flips after shows that did 400,000-500,000 PPV buys like Trinidad-Mayorga, Trinidad-Wright or Cotto-Margarito I.)

That was back when the suggested PPV retail price was often $39.95, and those 300,000-plus buy shows grossed around $13 million. But that was also when the stars were only guaranteed a couple million each.

I think part of why fans pooh-pooh PPV shows that do less than 500,000 buys is because of the crazy guarantees that the stars have received in recent years. If one or both of the main event fighters is getting $10 million it’s hard for the event to turn a profit. Pacquiao was reportedly paid a minimum of $25 million to fight Algieri, so that’s probably where a lot of the fan criticism comes from.

 

KLITSCHKO-JENNINGS

Hi Dougie,

I read your column always. I was a little shocked to see that Wladimir Klitschko and Bryant Jennings are going to fight. It will be like King Kong vs Cheetah! No disrespect toward Jennings, there’s just way too much size difference. I can’t believe anyone will pay to see the fight. – Mike

Well, the fight hasn’t been made yet as the two sides are just talking, but if Klitschko-Jennings is made and winds up in Germany, I’ll bet you 500 Euros that enough fans will pay to see it to fill an entire arena.

Regarding the matchup, yeah there’s a substantial size difference, but isn’t that the case with most of Klitschko’s opponents? I don’t think sheer size helps that much against Wladdy. Mariusz Wach was a little bigger but the Pole still got shutout over 12 rounds. The last guys to hurt or drop Klitschko – Lamon Brewster, Sam Peter and DaVarryl Williamson – were around Jennings’ size.

 

 

KLITSCHKO VS. BRIGGS? MYTHCIAL MATCHUPS

Hey Doug,

hope I make it in time. I just read that Klitschko vs Shannon Briggs is being mentioned if the proposed bout with Jennings doesn’t get made. Could this be true? Say it ain’t so. Is this a bargaining chip? After his last fight seemed to impress a lot of fans and critics, I hope he doesn’t take a huge step back. What’s your take on it? Thanks for your time.

Also some mythical match ups:
Ketchel vs GGG
Billy Conn vs. Joe Calzaghe
Ezzard Charles vs Evander Holyfield
Last but not least two of my all time favorite fighters
James Toney vs Sam Langford.

-Nathan

I’m personally not interested in Klitschko-Briggs, but I know that Shannon would go out and sell his challenge to the heavyweight champ to the casual fan, which I’m sure appeals to Wlad, K2 Promotions and HBO. I do think Briggs would be a step back for Klitschko but there’s nobody out there for him to fight beyond Tyson Fury (who a lot of fans and media think sucks) and the Stiverne-Wilder winner.

Your MMUs:

Ketchel vs GGG – Golovkin by decision
Billy Conn vs. Joe Calzaghe – Conn by decision
Ezzard Charles vs Evander Holyfield – Charles by decision (in a great fight)
James Toney vs Sam Langford – Langford by decision

 

RANDOM RANKINGS QUESTION

Hey Dougie,

I was just idly scrolling through The Ring rankings and had to ask how in (insert random deity)’s name is Julio Cheech Jr. ranked at #9 at Super-Middle?

The chubby cereal munching, weed-head has had only ONE fight at the weight against unranked Brian Vera. He failed to melt his blubbery ass down to 168 in their first fight. I totally understand that it’s probably a moot point as he seems to be eating himself towards cruiserweight. 🙂

Keep up the awesome work! – Stephen, Cape Town

You have a valid point, Stephen. I do recall some debate among the Ratings Panel about ranking Junior at super middleweight but I guess the majority of those guys are partial to chubby cereal-munching weed heads.

Who would you replace Chavez Jr. with at the bottom of the 168-pound rankings?

To be honest, the main reason I posted this email was because of this hilarious photo you attached to it. Junior rules.

Chavez-Jr.-mailbag-pic

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

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