Dougie’s Friday mailbag
HBO OR SHOWTIME ON SATURDAY?
Which network in your estimation is presenting a more exciting and better night of televised boxing this Saturday, HBO or Showtime?
Boxing Daydream: If you had omnipotent control of all of the fighters (Tim Bradley, Diego Chaves, Mauricio Herrera, Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Devon Alexander, etc.) on the two opposing networks this Saturday, how would you rearrange the match ups?
Thanks for what you do. Cheers! – Dennis, El Centro, CA
I think HBO might have the edge in action because of the style matchups (at least one brawler or banger in each of the three bouts) but Showtime’s broadcast features more star quality and might have a gem or two. I don’t know what to expect from Showtime’s main event, Khan vs. Alexander. It could be stinky chess match or the two speedsters could hurt each other early and decide to go for it. Thurman is usually in a good fight but we’re not quite sure of what Leonard Bundu will bring out of him. I think the Abner Mares-Jose Ramirez bout will be good tussle, but we’ll find out.
Bradley-Chaves should be fun.
If could match all the fighters appearing on both the HBO and Showtime cards, I’d make Bradley vs. Thurman my main event (I mean, if Timmy’s a pound-for-pound elite, why’s he fighting One Time’s leftovers? Let’s see Bradley in with a monster!). My co-feature would be Khan vs. Chaves (let’s face it, Amir is only fun when he’s in with a rugged slugger). I’d match Alexander with Herrera because a tough technician can give the St. Louis native a good fight (see Devon’s struggle with Andreas Kotelnik for evidence of this).
That’s a pretty good tripleheader, right? I’m not a bad pretend matchmaker. Who knows? Maybe we will see one or two of these matches next year. The Cold War is supposedly over.
Timothy Bradley is one of boxing’s biggest enigmas. He has all the skill and athletic gifts to convincingly outbox a legend like Juan Manuel Marquez, but consistently goes against the grain of what he does best. What’s even more perplexing is that hearing him analyze fights, he comes off as quite insightful, but once he gets in the ring his pride seems to suck him into brawling and swinging for a homerun punch he has never possessed.
I like the guy, he seems like a humble family man and it’s really cool that his wife is his manager. I also like how he has been with Joel Diaz since he was a little guy. That kind of loyalty is rare. What bothers me is his propensity to adopt this weird brash, cocky persona in the build up to his fights.
The biggest thing holding Bradley back seems to be his ongoing identity crisis. He’s acknowledged his tactics in the Manny Pacquiao rematch were dumb and that he’s going to be more conscious of boxing Chaves from the outside, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Chaves thumbs him and draws him into a messy brawl.
We’ll see if he’s grown post-Pacquiao. How do you see this fight going down Dougie, and what do you think of a potential matchup between Bradley and Thurman? – Jack
Thurman’s trainer Dan Birmingham told me that Top Rank was interested in making a Bradley-Thurman fight this year. I don’t know how accurate The Birminator’s claims are given boxing’s politics, but I know it’s fight I’d love to see. I don’t think I’m alone in that opinion. I think it would be a fierce, hotly contested battle between two talented boxers who often prefer to bang. Ask me who wins after Saturday’s fights.
I think Chaves will give Bradley some trouble with his awkward boxing, sneaky body shots and roughhouse tactics. However, I think Bradley will take command of the bout by the middle rounds and outwork and out-maneuver the Argentine over the second half of the bout to win a 12-round unanimous decision.
Bradley’s a very cool, down-to-earth guy away from the sport. He’s also smart and a very astute boxing observer, as you noted. But he’s got crazy pride. That pride is what helped transform him from an “also-ran” regional amateur standout and overlooked pro prospect developed on the Southern California club circuit to a three-time, two-division titleholder who is in everyone’s pound-for-pound rankings. It also sometimes gets the better of him during the build-up to a big bout and during the fight. When that happens he gets hits more than he should, he gets hurt (as he did vs. Provodnikov) and he loses (as he did vs. Pac), but it’s compelling stuff. He’d be a boring boxer without that chip on his shoulder.
NOT INTERESTED IN KHAN-ALEXANDER
Hi Dougie! Haven’t written you in a bit and thought I’d drop a line. Am I the only one who is not at all excited for the main event welterweight show down this weekend? Khan vs. Alexander has bore fest written all over it. Khan has never been elite and I still got a sour taste in my mouth from Alexander vs. Bradley. And the winner versus Mayweather/Pacquiao is not at all appealing.
I will be watching Andy Lee fight closely due more to your praise for him since I respect your professional opinion on him.
Also, what are your thoughts on the Canelo-Cotto fight that might be scheduled for May 2nd? This will be a great fight and finally Canelo will be able to shine against the always aggressive Cotto. I’m going for Canelo with a 11-rnd TKO. And what a great f-u to Mayweather with the date! Even though I’m a fan, the Mexican holiday dates never made sense with his style.
A couple of mythical match ups:
Ali vs the 2nd version of Foreman when he fought Moore.
Lemieux vs Dave Hilton Jr. (since I’m from Montreal)
GGG vs Mayweather (if it were to happen in his next fight)
Hope I make the bag, all the best to you and happy holidays. Thanks. – Brandon B.
Happy Holidays to you too, Brandon.
I’m not that excited about Khan-Alexander, either. Honestly, I view Thurman as the star of the Golden Boy Promotions/Showtime card at MGM Grand in Las Vegas (where I am right now). But I’m not lukewarm on Khan-Alexander is because I’m just not sure of what to expect from the matchup, not because of what I think of the individual welterweights. I have a lot respect for both Khan and Alexander because they generally face quality opposition, including difficult boxers and dangerous punchers. I don’t need to list out all the titleholders and top contenders each has faced in their past 10 fights. You can look ’em both up on BoxRec.com and see for yourself.
Could their fight turn out to be a “bore-fest”? You betcha. But I give ’em credit for not avoiding each other. Many of the so-called “elite” (you’re a fan one who claims TBE) tend to avoid speedy, mobile boxers.
Anyway, if you’re looking for a fight that involves knockdowns and blood, my man Andy Lee won’t let you down. He might be the dude spilling all the blood and crashing to the canvas, but he’ll give it all he has.
My thoughts on Cotto-Canelo are no different from yours. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that they can get that deal done. We can chat more about the fight once it’s official.
Your mythical matchups:
Ali vs the 2nd version of Foreman when he fought Moore – if you’re talking about the prime Ali vs. 45-year-old George, you’re talking about a very one-sided unanimous decision scored by The Greatest. He would just stick and move on the plodding puncher for 12 or 15 rounds. Only Foreman’s jab would trouble Ali at his peak (late 1966 through 1967).
Lemieux vs Dave Hilton Jr. – this would be a brutal fight if Hilton got in tip-top shape. I think Lemieux would win a very close, hard-fought decision. Hilton’s chin would hold out Lemmy would get credit for landing the harder shots.
GGG vs Mayweather – it wouldn’t be much of a fight and it would end the moment Golovkin cut the ring off and landed even a glancing power shot to Floyd’s body or head. GGG by KO before Round 6.
Long time reader, first time writer. I always thoroughly enjoy reading your mailbags Monday and Friday. Anyway, I wanted to get your thoughts on Amir Khan.
I can’t understand the level of hate he seems to get. Yes he has a fragile chin, yes he has been known to display a certain level of arrogance with some of the things he has come out with in the past but first of all, his chin (or lack thereof) creates a certain vulnerability about him which means any fight involving him can turn in an instant and therefore provides excitement. Secondly, he is a fighter; he is hardly the first to display a certain level of arrogance!
If we look at him as a fighter and his record, can anyone claim he hasn’t fought the best? Kotelnik, Malignaggi, Judah, Maidana (when no-one wanted to fight him), Peterson (where he as the champion went to Peterson’s back yard when he didn’t have to and I think won that fight by a couple of rounds), Garcia, etc. The guy’s fought the best opponents available and frequently sought out challenges he didn’t have to.
In his last fight he took Collazo to school, when I think from memory around half of the ‘boxing experts’ on this website thought he would lose. Now he’s fighting Devon Alexander, who has been a legitimate top contender for quite a while. My point is, the guy fights the best and doesn’t duck any challenges and regardless of whether he wins or loses, he nearly always provides excitement.
He seems to have changed his style somewhat since teaming up with Virgil Hunter and now the fans claim he’s boring and will provide ‘snooze-fests’, whereas before they taunted him for getting knocked out by Garcia and Prescott. It’s like the guy can’t win.
I’ve followed his career since he first turned pro and I will say although it’s been a rollercoaster career for Amir Khan, it’s been thoroughly entertaining and even if his last fight wasn’t the most exciting, he’s been in plenty of cracking fights (think Maidana and Peterson in particular). Give the man a break!!
On a separate note, which card do you think provides the best overall value for money this weekend?
Apologies for the length of the message, you can tell I don’t write in very often.
Keep up the good work. – Josh, Manchester, UK
Thanks Josh. Don’t worry about writing too much. I’ll keep my response short.
I don’t get the disdain a lot of hardcore fans have for Khan, either. Like I stated in my previous email response, I got mad respect for the Bolton, England native for his willingness to challenge himself (and to travel outside of his home country – how many American stars do that?)
And I agree that his shaky chin makes for the kind of drama only boxing can deliver. I had goose bumps after witnessing his crash and burn against Garcia from press row. And I thoroughly enjoyed watching his close calls against Maidana and Julio Diaz on TV.
However, as hard a time as he has with sluggers and hardnosed aggressive veterans like Diaz and Peterson, Khan seems to have his way with pure boxers/technicians like Kotelnik, Malignaggi and Collazo. We’ll see if he can master Alexander the way he did the other boxers.
Which card do I think provides the best overall value for money this weekend? I think it’s a toss-up. I know that sounds like a cop-out but it really comes down to one’s opinion. You can look at Khan-Alexander as significant fight due to the accomplishments, talent and high rankings of each welterweight, or you can view it a potentially stinky matchup of boxing styles. You can look at Bradley-Chaves as a fun fight because of the potential for action, or you can look at it as a high-profile bout because of Bradley’s pound-for-pound status, or you can pooh-pooh it as a matchup of two guys coming off losses or Bradley vs. Thurman’s b__ch.
Noticed that you haven’t been contributing to the ‘who wins’ series lately. Is that intentional? Or are you just being left out ‘cos you’ve been getting all the right answers? Hope it has nothing to do with the gaming scene and players cashing in on your predictions. I would love to know your thoughts on the bouts this weekend… Khan v Alexander, Bradley v Chaves; I guess ‘One Time’ is gonna K Bundu TFO? Make it precise, i.e. KO’s, decisions, etc. Maybe I can cash in as well (lol). First time writer to the bag, maybe I’ll make the cut? Love your work, it’s fast turning me into a boxnerd. – Jasper Kaduna, Nigeria
We need more African boxing nerds, Jasper. Thanks for finally writing in.
I’m not one to shy away from sharing my opinion on an upcoming fight. All you have to do is read my mailbags (or check out Elie Seckbach’s YouTube channel). Anyone who asks me for my pick on an upcoming fight will get one.
But sometimes I just don’t give a f__k about the matchups that Lem Satterfield chooses for those “Who Wins?/Experts picks” media polls. I’ll give you an example: on the first weekend of September Lem did media polls on Adrien Broner-Emmanuel Taylor and the Kiko Martinez-Carl Frampton rematch, but the two fights that I was totally focused on that week was the flyweight championships – Akira Yaegashi-Roman Gonzalez and Juan Estrada-Giovani Segura. I didn’t give a f__k about Broner-Taylor (although it turned out to be a decent scrap).
I told him earlier this week after he kept bugging me for my picks on Khan-Alexander and Bradley-Chaves that I wasn’t really into those fights. But I’ll give my opinion here in the mailbag: I like Khan and Bradley by competitive but unanimous decisions.
I don’t think Thurman will wipe out Bundu, but I think he will win, probably by late stoppage, but a distance fight wouldn’t surprise me.
MALIGNAGGI’S PACQUIAO HATE
I don’t know if Paul Malignaggi’s got more PacMan hate in his heart or foul stench of Money Team testicles on his breath, but this feather-fisted hasbeen, who I admired at one point for his outspoken POV towards the powers that be, must be looking for a Money Team meal ticket or something. To hear him talk about A-side/B-Side with such bias in favor of TMT is flabbergasting. I’m sure his experience on the B-side of fights has been very one-sided, not in his favor. Mainly because he’s a B- fighter and a B- s__t talker with a boring ass Gadfly boxing style that never put him in a position to make any demands for any promotion. All that Al Haymon boxing politics talk after Broner clearly beat him was just rhetoric. Would he feel the same way about Canelo Alvarez vs Cotto regarding purse split and PPV percentages? Is Cotto the A side, even though Canelo has bigger PPV numbers? He makes it sound like Mayweather’s record breaking PPV numbers are Mayweather’s alone. As if his opponents and fans had nothing to with this? And what the f__k difference does it make? Who cares what your opponent is taking home when you’re guaranteed 100 million dollars?
People’s logic is flawed. It’s almost like Floyd fans like him and respect him more when he’s pretty much saying “f__k the fans.” That’s just my opinion. I know this fight more than likely won’t happen, but I really hope and pray that Manny beats the s__t out of Floyd for the sake of restoring some dignity and class that has been overshadowed by the cancerous Mayweather circus. When that guy speaks, people get dumber. And the humiliation of seeing him lose to Pacquiao would be worth more than any purse. Besides which, for all the talk about Manny’s financial situation, 10 years from now, I won’t be surprised when Floyd’s selling his last Rolex on Craig’s List, getting interviewed by Larry King about what happened to his millions and why Floyd Sr. got more money in the bank than he does, while Pac is still living like a king in the P.I. and Mike Tyson laughing about it on of his Adult Swim adventures. Even if it sounds like a pipe dream. Keep up the good fight on your end. Hopefully, my random ass emails provide some entertainment, if not insight.
Thanks. – Adam, Hayward, CA
I got a good chuckle out of this email, Adam, so mission accomplished. For the record, I’ve don’t always agree with Malignaggi (for example, I thought Juan Diaz legitimately beat him in their first bout) but I respect his accomplishments in the ring and his ability as a boxing commentator. I’ve rooted for him more than I’ve rooted against him, I’ll put it that way.
However, his disdain for Pacquiao, especially when it comes to PED allegations and everybody’s favorite fantasy matchup with Mayweather, is perplexing. However, it’s not a big deal to me. Paulie’s got a hard-on for Manny. So what? So does Floyd. So do a lot of people.
Do you think Manny’s aware of it? I’m pretty sure he isn’t. But if he is, do you think he cares? He doesn’t. This type of stuff does not bug Pacquiao at all. One of his greatest strengths as a boxer (and as a person) is his happy-go-lucky attitude to life. Nothing bothers him. Nobody gets under his skin. If he and Mayweather ever do get it on that will be one of his psychological edges in the matchup. Manny lives in Floyd’s head but the Filipino hero’s head is happily empty (LOL – I just pissed off the nuthugger fans of both boxing stars with that line – yes!)
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer