Dougie’s Monday mailbag
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LEMIEUX VS. GOLOVKIN, YEAR-END AWARDS
Just wanted to start off by saying I think round 4 of the David Lemieux-Gabriel Rosado fight might have been the round of the year.
So how do you see a Triple G vs. Lemme fight going? I think Golovkin by middle-rounds knockout, between 4 and 8.
At this point what are your votes for these end-of-the-year awards? Mine are:
Fighter of the Year: Roman Gonzalez
Fight of the Year: Matthysse-Molina
KO of the Year: Andy Lee KO John Jackson
Upset of the Year: Algieri-Provodnikov
Promoter of the Year: Eddie Hearn
Event of the Year: Froch-Groves 2
Thanks as always and keep up the good work! – Robert from Ashton, MD
Round 4 of Lemieux-Rosado sure felt like a Round of the Year candidate while it was happening, didn’t it? I’m sure there have been rounds with more sustained back-and-forth action this year but Rosado’s attempt to get Lemieux’s respect in Round 4 created an electric atmosphere inside Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. The drama and action that fans were treated during that round was one of the two main reasons the middleweight crossroads bout was made. The other reason was to test Lemieux.
We know about Rosado. We know he’s got mad heart, world-challenger-level experience, solid skills and a tragic susceptibility to bad facial cuts and swelling. All we knew about Lemieux was that he could punch. We didn’t know if he took a decent shot, or if he could pace himself, or if he would retain his power in the late rounds of a tough fight.
Thanks to Rosado – who made my 2014 list of the sport’s most reliable gatekeepers at middleweight (along with James Kirkland) – we know that Lemieux is not a frontrunner. His power is real and he carries a puncher’s mentality into the ring but he knows how to control his aggression and he does retain the tremendous pop on his shots into the late rounds.
Ringside observation: You can hear the power in Lemieux’s punches. It’s scary. I winced every time he connected on Rosado.
How do I see a GGG-Lemieux showdown going? Explosively, and I absolutely see Golovkin prevailing, maybe by early rounds KO, because it would be a shootout. Golovkin won’t have to hunt Lemieux, and he’s clearly the superior technician at this point in their careers.
Lemieux told members of the boxing media that they are “obsessed” with Golovkin, and I agree with him. (The funny thing is, as soon as he said that, all anyone asked him about was Golovkin.) I think it’s too soon to talk about Lemieux as GGG’s next opponent (beyond GGG’s February date with Martin Murray). Lemieux just passed his first real test as a pro. He beat a gatekeeper, and he didn’t blow that gatekeeper out. He’s barely a top-10 contender. Rosado wasn’t rated by anyone at 160 pounds. I want to see “Lemme” face and beat at least one top-10 middleweight contender before we server him up to GGG. The young man is only 25. What’s the rush?
I like your Year-End Awards. I won’t argue with anyone who views “Chocolatito” as Fighter of the Year.
I’ll go with Terence Crawford for Fighter of the Year, although I think IBF flyweight titleholder Amnat Ruenroeng (a name I can spell without BoxRec or Google, by the way) is just as worthy.
Since I dissed the Thai 112-pounder for the heavier American HBO/Top Rank product, I’m gonna roll with two little non-Americans that you will NEVER see on HBO or Showtime for Fight of the Year: Francisco Rodriguez Jr.-Katsunari Takayama
In terms of magnitude and significance, I think Carl Froch’s eight-round stoppage of George Groves merits KO of the Year honors, but there have been more chilling style knockouts this year. Andy Lee’s dramatic fifth-round icing of John Jackson is one of them. (Lee’s one of my favorite people in boxing. I’ll be rooting for him to win the WBO middleweight title against Matt Korobov on Saturday.) Hugo Centeno’s shocking one-hitter-quitter against James De La Rosa on Saturday should be a KO of the Year candidate along with Amir Mansour’s brutal one-punch decapitation of Fred Kassi. Jackson, De La Rosa and Kassi all wound up FACE DOWN on the canvas.
I agree with your choices for Upset of the Year, Promoter of the Year and Event of the Year.
BRADLEY VS. CHAVES
Hi Dougie,What are your thoughts on this Saturday’s HBO main event? I know nobody gives Diego Chaves a chance at all, being a 5/1 underdog. I watched some tape on him and he won about 4 solid rounds vs Keith Thurman and in my opinion, dominated Brandon Rios before that disgusting disqualification. Chaves is very versatile as a matter of fact. He can fight on the outside just as good as the inside. He throws a very awkward left jab/straight right upstairs and to the body with very good variation in speed and direction. Of course, Tim Bradley has so much going for him in this fight, experience, athleticism, heart. I just think it’s a much closer fight than indicated by the conventional wisdom. I haven’t made it to your mailbag except for once a few months ago. At least that means you have a tough choice picking from the plethora of fans LOL. It’s all good because I enjoy your mailbag a lot. Informative and entertaining. 🙂 Keep up the good work and thanks. – Hugo
Thanks for the kind words and thanks for continuing to email me.
I agree that Chaves is a live dog against Bradley. I don’t count the Rios DQ against him and I agree that he gave Thurman a tough scrap before getting overwhelmed in the late rounds. I’m glad you noticed Chaves underrated skill set and ring generalship. A lot of fans tend to look at all boxers from Argentina as rugged sluggers. A lot of rugged sluggers do come from that South American country but some of those badasses can box, too! Chaves is one of them. He’s as strong and tough as his countrymen Matthysse and Maidana, but he had a more extensive amateur career than they did. Chaves’ amateur background extended to the international level.
In fact, he won bronze in the welterweight division at the 2007 Pan-American Games in Rio De Janeiro. However, I should point out that he was soundly outclassed by Demetrius Andrade in that particular international tournament. The current WBO 154-pound titleholder shut him out (22-0) over three rounds. Of course, even back then Andrade was a very tall (probably 6-feet) and rangy southpaw. Chaves won’t have to deal with height, reach or a left-handed stance from Bradley. And though Bradley is as physically and mentally strong as prize fighter’s come, he doesn’t possess the kind of punching power that Thurman wields. So I think we can expect Chaves to be able to take it to Bradley, who will certainly dish it right back. May best man win.
Hi Dougie,What a strange conclusion to the Jean Pascal-Robert Bolonti fight. I was watching live and at first I was pretty worried for Bolonti especially as he was lying flat on his face for a good 20 seconds before anybody came to his aid. Then the replay came and it was obvious that that “accidental foul” was no Marquez/Pacquiao ‘one-bomb’. I guess blows to the head can be a fickle thing but it didn’t look like much. What’s your opinion on it? Because from where I was watching Pascal’s corner was spot on with their “European f**kin’ soccer f**kin’ dive” analysis. I don’t think Bolonti will be winning any Oscars anytime soon. – Martin, San Cristobal, Mexico
The punch that Pascal landed didn’t look like much to me, but one never can be too sure with head injuries. We never know if a fighter enters the ring with a brain injury from a previous fight, sparring session or non-combat accident. Regardless of what it looked like, it was the right thing to do to have Bolonti removed from the ring on a stretcher in order to help ensure his medical safety. The referee needed to break them up from the side, where he could get between them two, not from Pascal’s back as he did. I believe Pascal when he says he wasn’t aware of that the ref was trying to break them. All Pascal was aware of was that he was being tied up and fouled (with rabbit punches/shots to the back of the head) by Bolonti. Anyway, I think the no contest call was the right decision in this situation and I look forward to watching Pascal challenge Sergey Kovalev in March.
ASIANS IN THE HALL OF FAME
Today I want to talk about this year’s Hall of Fame induction. Naseem Hamed’s induction is a really good and long-awaited news, but I’m a bit surprised (and glad) to see the two Japanese fighters, Yoko Gushiken and Masao Oba, finally get inducted.
Oba deserves it, but there might be some Japanese fighters who are more worthy than Gushiken: Yoshio Shirai (he was a national hero in the 1950s), Hiroyuki Ebihara or Jiro Watanabe.
Even so, I’m happy with this induction and I hope it leads to reappraisal of the careers of Gushiken, now popular as a comedian in Japan, and Oba.
By the way I don’t think they are the only worthy Asian fighters that were/are not in the HOF. Lots of good Asian fighters seem to be forgotten: Shirai, Ebihara, Watanabe, Yuri Arbachakov (Russian flyweight fighting out of Japan), Pone Kingpetch, Chartchai Chionoi and so on.
Of course, I’m not saying all of them must be enshrined in the HOF, but I think they deserve some respect that Hamed got from his supporters when he was struggling to get the nod.
What do you think of the Hall of Fame cases of those who aren’t well-known in the US? They are overlooked by the voters or they just did not enough? Cheers. – Taku from Japan
It’s a combination of both, Taku. The three Japanese fighters you mentioned are revered in Japan, but nowhere else. They are totally unknown in the U.S. and while they do have considerable accomplishments, they didn’t do enough to draw the attention of the average hall of fame voter.
One thing I’ve noticed about the little guys (I’m talking about sub-featherweight), especially those who aren’t from the U.S., is that unless they were super badass ring idols (like Ruben Olivares) or engaged in a popular multi-bout rivalry (like Carbajal-Gonzalez), for them to get on the ballot (and eventually voted in) they have to have had long, distinguished title reigns, a record (or near-record) number of title defenses for their division, and/or ridiculously pristine records like Ricardo Lopez (51-0-1), Khaosai Galaxy (50-1) and Jung-Koo Chang.
I think the guys you mentioned are accomplished enough to deserve to be on the IBHOF ballot but I doubt they’ll get enough votes to get in if they ever do. Shirai, Japan’s first champ, has a hall of famer (Argentina’s first champ, Pascual Perez, who he fought three times at the end of his career) on his record, but he never beat the tiny might (although he held him to a draw in Argentina, which is impressive). Ebihara’s got two fellow Asian legends on his record, hall of famer Fighting Harada and Thailand’s Pone Kingpetch (who you note should be in the hall), but he didn’t have a distinguished title run. If Ebihara had a three-bout rivalry with Harada (with at least one fight being for the flyweight title) – instead of just one six-round loss when both were prospects – I bet his chances to get into the hall would be much better. Watanabe made 10 title defenses over two consecutive reigns, which will attract some attention. He’ll get extra points for trying to unify the WBA and WBC 115-pound belts (getting stripped of the WBA strap in the process), but he never faced a legend, which will hurt his chances of election.
I agree that the other Asian (or Asia-based) little guys you mentioned deserve the same respect that Hamed got from his supporters, but Asian boxing fans aren’t as plentiful or as vocal as British boxing fans (come to think of it, only Mexican fans come close).
MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO PAY-PER-VIEW PRICES
I hope this email finds you well. Might not really be a mailbag hot topic but if you could get back to me with your thoughts that would be great.
Having a debate here with some friends and was wondering how much you think the PPV price for that fight would be and the possible numbers you think it would do.
We’ve seen PPV prices go from $35.99 all the way up to $80. Is it possible they would charge a 100 bux for this fight? I would think so but then I would also think they would lose numbers like that because people would just group up and watch it because of the price. I feel like it wouldn’t touch as many homes as opposed to if it was around 75 bux. Your thoughts?
Hope to hear back from you, either way happy holidays to you and your family and God bless! – Dueces Maintain from Queens
I don’t think Mayweather-Pacquiao is ever going to get made, but if it does I have no doubt that all the greedy millionaire egos involved in that boxing business venture would pump the suggested retail price of that pay-per-view event to $99.95 (at least for the HD broadcast). And I have no doubt that it would break the De La Hoya-Mayweather record for the most purchases for a single PPV event, which is 2.15 million. It won’t eclipse it, but it would break it. Had the fight been made in 2010 or 2011, maybe it would have smashed the record.
PONCHO VS PACMAN
I just have a mythical match up for you, Poncho Villa v. Pacman at flyweight? – Matthew Dolan, Fort McDowell, AZ
Villa by KO.
Video by Bill Emes
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer