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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

18
Jan

Deontay Wilder post Stiverne yell fukuda

CREDIT TO WILDER

Dougie:

I would imagine that there will be a fair amount of grumbling about the lack of a knockout in the Deontay Wilder-Bermane Stiverne, and the relative lack of action in spots. While it’s ironic that the main event was the only one on the card that went the distance, I can’t say that I wasn’t somewhat impressed with Wilder being able to win that way. I thought Stiverne was going to win by knockout based on how little I thought of Wilder going in.



Even in fights he’s won, he often came across as a brawler who seemed to just physically overwhelm overmatched and unskilled fighters, and I think he fought a very disciplined fight. What was disappointing is that Stiverne seemed to have a single game plan, and wasn’t able to adjust to that long jab very well. Maybe that shouldn’t be a surprise. Maybe the real Stiverne is the one 3 fights removed from a 8 round decision of a 13-10-4 fighter, not the exciting one we saw against Chris Arreola.

Even if that’s the case, credit Wilder for having a plan, working it, and not getting caught with anything tremendous in the process. Wilder managed to keep Stiverne off him for long periods, score, and stay on his feet. Impressive too was his stamina. It seemed Stiverne may have put all his faith in Wilder fading badly, and when he didn’t there was no plan B.

So, is this the guy who’s going to beat Wladimir Klitschko? Probably not, but who thought the guys who have beaten Klitschko to date had a chance, either? At least Wilder has that proverbial “puncher’s chance” but showed tonight perhaps he has more skills than only that. All I know is that I would want to see that fight a lot more now than if this fight had been another under-4-round bout. – MT from OC

I agree. Wilder went from an unproven contender/KO artist to a mostly proven titleholder/boxer-puncher with the 12-round boxing lesson he gave Stiverne. The fight was compelling but not the shoot-out thriller that everyone anticipated so much. However, the way it played out was better for Wilder’s development in the long run. Plus he earned respect, along with the WBC title. He proved to his doubters (and I was one of them) that he could handle the pressure of a big main event, box a disciplined fight past four rounds, and that he could take a solid shot from a heavyweight puncher.

You’re right about Stiverne having no game plan. I think his plan was to simply land a big shot to Wilder’s chops and watch the tall man drop to the canvas. It didn’t happen the few times he was able to land a flush punch to Wilder’s jaw, and Stiverne didn’t put enough pressure or volume/combination punching on the supposedly green fighter to sap stamina, break him down and set up more big shots up top.

Why? Because he couldn’t! He’s not a pressure fighter (he’s doesn’t know how to close distance, and he didn’t appear to be in tip-top shape). It looked like he was doing a poor impression of his nemesis, Chris Arreola, as he tried to walk Wilder down with that high guard (and no head or upper-body movement). (Hey, Bermane! At least Arreola lets his damn hands go when he does that!) As a result, Wilder did the same thing to Stiverne that Stiverne did to Arreola in their first match. Wilder outjabbed and beat that ass for 12 rounds (and he should’ve been credited with a knockdown at the end of Round 2).

I don’t think it’s fair to say that Stiverne was never any good. Wilder – whether it was from reputation or his choice of ring tactics – made Stiverne fight out of character and was able to capitalize on the Haitian’s many flaws and mistakes. (Man, I really felt sorry for Don House during the fight because I know he’s a much better trainer than Stiverne exhibited on Saturday.)

Credit, kudos, props, and all that other good s__t to The Bronze Bomber for realizing his potential in style. I agree that a future fight with Klitschko is a little more interesting now that we know that Wilder isn’t a one-dimensional front runner.

But I hope Wilder isn’t rushed into that heavyweight unification match. As good as he looked, he’s still got a lot to learn, and in Klitschko he’ll be facing someone with championship experience, comparable athleticism, height, reach and power, and someone who isn’t a headcase.

 

NOT VERY IMPRESSED

Hey Doug,

After watching the Wilder/Stiverne showdown I must say I’m not overly impressed with either fighter. Deontay obviously did his homework and fought the fight necessary to shut Stiverne down. However, when you’re opponent doesn’t fight, pretty much anything other than the same out of yourself should grant you the win. My observations are:

1. Stiverne simply didn’t fight. He hardly threw any jabs, he didn’t cut off the ring, and he didn’t take advantage of Wilder’s ever-disappearing guard.

2. Wilder’s power seemed to disappear rather quickly.

3. Based on the number of head shots landed, Stiverne has a solid chin, or Wilder’s vaunted power just isn’t that great against a higher level opponent.

4. I’m not convinced of anything regarding Wilder’s chin. Stiverne simply didn’t do enough to test him.

5. I was pleasantly surprised with how clean the fight was. Tony Weeks scarcely had anything to do.

6. I’m glad it wasn’t a rapid KO from a one-hitter-quitter. Regardless of the winner, a quick KO would have shown us nothing about either man we didn’t already think.

7. Both men need to focus more on conditioning. They both appeared fairly fatigued by the middle rounds and the fight got rather boring because both men were unable to assert themselves in an impressive manner.

8. Wilder isn’t ready for Klitschko.

9. The WBC gave away their title much too quickly following Vitali’s retirement.

What’s your take? Take it easy Doug and keep up the great work. – Nathan, Copperas Cove, Texas

I kind of understand what you’re saying about the fight, Nathan. Throughout the fight I was thinking to myself “Klitschko would massacre both guys,” but I was impressed with Wilder because he showed me things I wasn’t sure he could do. Having said that, it wasn’t like he reminded me of a prime Larry Holmes. He took advantage of what Stiverne gave him, which was not a lot. I was mostly unimpressed with Stiverne. He just laid a big ole stank-ass egg, technically speaking. The fight itself was interesting to me because I was surprised with Wilder’s resilience every time he got hit, and by his stamina, round after round.

Anyway, I’ll reply to your observations in order:

1) I can’t say that Stiverne didn’t fight at all. If he didn’t come to fight, he would have simply laid down the first time he got hit flush (and he got nailed hard throughout the fight). I’ll just say that he wasn’t able to deal with Wilder’s height, reach and lateral movement. And I’ll admit that I overestimated him coming into this fight as much as I underestimated Wilder.

2) Maybe. Or maybe he purposely held back a bit to preserve his stamina. Or maybe Stiverne can just take a hell of a shot.

3) Time will tell. I think Wilder would have KO’d most of the heavyweight top 10 with the shots he bounced off of Stiverne’s hard head. Alexander Povetkin and maybe Mike Perez are the only notable contenders I think could’ve taken Wilder’s shots for 12 rounds.

4) I think Wilder can take a decent shot. His chin is certainly better than I thought it was prior to facing Stiverne. Is he George Chuvalo or Ray Mercer? No. But I think we can all stop comparing him to Michael Grant.

5) I didn’t think the fight would be ugly or marred by fouls and rough stuff. I figured both guys would be too focused on trying to nail the other guy cleanly on the jaw to bother with dirty stuff.

6) I agree, but I would’ve preferred a winner by KO, it would have been a more exciting end to the fight.

7) I agree, but I can give Wilder a bit of a pass as that was the first time he went past four rounds. No excuse for Stiverne.

8) Duh.

9) The WBC belt has always been up for grabs to the highest bidder. It’s tradition.

 

STIVERNE BY DECISION!?! WHO’DA THUNK IT?

Hi Dougie,

It’s 6 a.m. and I’ve just finished watching Stiverne-Wilder. Whoever thought it would go the distance? First things first, wow, Bermane can take a punch! He showed true heart sticking in there and wasn’t going to let his belt go without a fight.

Secondly, Wilder was very impressive with his discipline, picking apart Stiverne with the jab and not going too crazy with his bombs! I recon Wilder should fight Tyson Fury next (the war of words will be insane) and raise the status of Wilder even more even if the fight happened in the UK, which I doubt it would. What fights do you think he should take next (if Al lets him)?

(P.S. – watched that piece you posted with Steve Kim about Al Haymon. It was a really good explanation about a side of boxing that’s rarely talked about. You should post more “10 Counts” when you do them.)

Anyways. Hope you enjoyed the fight, I’m going to bed!! – Greg

I watched the bout with interest. It was compelling in its own way, but I can’t say it was all that enjoyable. I guess my expectations were way too high. I was hoping for a bona-fide heavyweight shootout cut from the cloth of such classics as George Foreman-Ron Lyle or Michael Moore-Bert Cooper.

When it was clear that Wilder wasn’t going to run out of gas or overextend himself, Stiverne simply wasn’t able to cut the ring off and press him hard enough to deliver fans an extended heavyweight war in the mold of Evander Holyfield-Michael Dokes or David Tua-Ike Ibeabuchi or Lamon Brewster-Sergei Lyakhovich.

There were maybe three times when Wilder and Stiverne exchanged with bad intentions in close but those moments didn’t last long enough for anything to happen. Oh well, at least the U.S. finally has a heavyweight titleholder, and one who isn’t media shy or boring (in or out of the ring). It’s good for American boxing, as well as the world scene, in part because of the matchup you mentioned.

Wilder vs. Fury would attract the most U.S. and UK media attention for a prize fight since Mike Tyson’s fights with Lennox Lewis and Frank Bruno. That matchup pits the most gregarious heavyweights on both sides of The Pond against each other.

Good news: that’s the fight Wilder says he wants next (watch the embedded post-fight presser video below). And Fury doesn’t seem like one to back down from a challenge, or a title shot, or a chance to prove he’s the better big man. Check out Fury’s tweet after Saturday’s fight:

“All this talk stiverne vs wilder?? Stiverne a little fat pudding, wilder a lanky chinless hype gob! Tyson fury the best fighter on da planet”

[springboard type=”video” id=”1371171″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

Wilder-Fury is the heavyweight bout that I want to see most this year. As everyone else in boxing has already stated: I hope Al Haymon allows it to happen.

Thanks for the kind words on the 10 Count. UNClive.com does a good job with the production on those little roundtable discussions. More are on the way. There’s lots to talk about.

 

GIVE WILDER A BREAK

Hey Dougie, love the bag, it’s the 1st thing I look for on my phone when I wake up mon & fri before fb.

Loved the fight sat night it was very tense watching as a Wilder fan because after reading yours and loads of other boxing experts predictions I sat there thinking any decent punch from Stiverne would KO Wilder.

No chance.

Wilder is now a world champ and I honestly think he is the best right now apart from Wlad who Wilder could KO given a chance???

I honestly feel the media/social media are on this guy’s back waaaay too much and now one wants to give him any credit. I actually feel sorry for him.

Before the fight-

No chin

No experience

Only fights bums

Can’t box

Can’t go past four

After the fight-

Why didn’t you KO Stiverne?

Jim Gray said to Stiverne that he rocked Wilder???? Where???

Steve Bunce said – there’s a lot of fighters out there who would want a bit of Wilder.

And all of a sudden people are making out Tyson Fury as the main man. Give me a break. Anthony Joshua would beat Fury now.

Wilder would kill Fury in 2 rounds.

I’m not saying Wilder is the best thing since sliced bread but he can KO any boxer apart from Stiverne who had a granite chin.

Do you think Keith Thurman can be the 1st to KO The Ghost??

Doug, what is your take on #theneverendingstory haha only kidding. If we end up with Mayweather v Cotto I will be soo angry I’ll boycott all his fights forever. If a little boxing fan in England is sick of this cherry picking how does your nation tolerate this bulls__t?

How do you Americans pay this disgusting amount of money for PPVs?? Doug you have the power, let’s do a worldwide boycott, haha

Cheers. All the best, pal. – Nikkie S., London England

Thanks for the kind words, Nikkie. And thanks for reading.

MayPac-CottoCanelo-toonI don’t have the mental power to correctly predict a heavyweight fight. I certainly don’t have the influential power to spark a worldwide boycott. LOL.

And I wouldn’t want to do something like that even if I did. Boycotts need to come from the people, and in this case I’m talking about the fans that often pay for big PPV events that they didn’t demand or really look forward to. I haven’t had to cough up my own money for a PPV since the late 1990s.

I don’t have any comments regarding Mayweather-Cotto II or #TheNeverendingStory, other than I’m bummed that we won’t get to see Cotto-Canelo on May 2.

As I tweeted when I heard the announcement on Saturday morning, I lost half of my enthusiasm for 2015 with that news.

Can The Thurmanator KO Robert Guerrero? Not if he fights The Ghost of Gilroy the way he did against Leonard Bundu. I think Thurman has the talent and power to stop Guerrero, but I don’t think it will happen on March 7. Robert’s just too damn tough, stubborn and prideful to be stopped in this fight.

I used to think Wilder could KO any heavyweight he hit clean. Stiverne proved otherwise and I think there are other heavyweights who can take his power, such as Povetkin. Can he ice Fury in two rounds? Sure! But I also think Fury has the underrated ring generalship to get out of the early rounds, as well as the reach to “touch” Wilder a hell of a lot more than Stiverne did during the first 6-9 minutes of “action.” I think it’s an interesting and competitive fight, but I’m a Fury believer. As high as I am on Joshua, I don’t think “Black Colossus” is ready for Fury right now.

There’s no sense in being upset about what Twitter Nation has to say about Wilder, post-fight. A lot of the “noisier” tweeters are proud cretins. Your guy won. Wilder’s doubters (and I was one of them) were wrong. Be happy for your guy. Gray was just doing his job by asking Stiverne those questions. If he thought he saw Wilder’s legs stiffen once or twice when Stiverne nailed him, so what? It’s not like he called Wilder a piece of s__t after the fight.

And as for your boy Buncey, he’s probably right. There probably are a lot of top heavyweights who want a piece of Wilder. That’s a GOOD thing. That means fights between Wilder and top-10 contenders can be made. Don’t be so sensitive. Have fun, like the new WBC heavyweight champ advocates.

 

GOOD START TO 2015

Hi Doug,

Very impressed.

That is all I can say about Deontay Wilder’s performance on Saturday night when he outpointed Bermane Stiverne to become the new WBC world heavyweight champion. I’m not even mad that he cost me a bottle of twelve year old whiskey in a side bet I had with a buddy.

The fact that he won can’t be called a massive surprise, since everyone was split straight down the middle on the outcome of this fight. What was surprising is the way in which he won. I was more impressed than I would have been if he iced Stiverne in the first round or two, like many thought he would.

This way a lot more questions were answered. Yes, the big man from Tuscaloosa, Alabama can go twelve rounds. His chin is at least good enough to take one good shot. And most importantly, he proved me very wrong by showing that he has excellent ring generalship.

At times I had to pinch myself as I was thinking that I was watching a black Wladimir Klitschko give a master class on “How to fight tall 101.”

His jab was excellent, he patiently waited for the openings, went for it when he hurt Stiverne without punching himself out or going wild and paced himself really well. When Stiverne did get something off, he blocked and covered using those long arms to maximum effect.

As impressive as Wilder was, so disappointing was Stiverne. He did the right thing when he did something as far as I’m concerned, like the double jab to the body, flurry to the body and left hooks, but there was just far too little of it.

Oh well, I suppose it is hard to think or get a rhythm going when you are eating those telephone pole jabs all night. Would you agree that the jab made all the difference? I’ll give Stiverne credit for this: his chin is solid and he is one heck of a tough guy!

The world is his oyster now as far as Wilder is concerned and the future looks very bright indeed. The real champ, Wladimir Klitschko, is set to defend his titles in the US against Bryant Jennings and then has a mandatory against Tyson Fury, which gives Wilder a bit of time to make a defense or two and build towards an eventual blockbuster against Klitschko towards the end of this year or early 2016.

The question is who would be a marketable B side for Wilder in the meantime? Can you think of anyone? There are a lot of Europeans who are unknown stateside. Tyson Fury would work as he has fought in the US and the two would do a awesome job of selling the fight. Do you think there is any chance that Fury would ditch his mandatory shot at Klitschko to fight Wilder?

I, for one, can’t wait to see him against The Ring champ, as I am intrigued to see how Klitschko would react to fighting a, at times, stylistic mirror image of himself.

How do you see that fight going down?

Regards and keep up the good work as always. – Droeks Malan, South Africa

Thanks Droeks. Sorry to hear about the 12-year-old whiskey (damn, that sounds good right about now!). We can’t get ’em all right. But at least you give credit where it’s due, and as usual, you offer a very astute and comprehensive analysis of what transpired in the ring.

There’s not much that I can add to what you stated in this email, but I’ll respond to a few comments and answer your questions:

voodoo-zombies-of-haitiAnd most importantly, he proved me very wrong by showing that he has excellent ring generalship.” – I think Wilder proved that he has ring generalship, period. I’m not ready to call it “excellent” given that he had a bona-fide Haitian voodoo zombie aimlessly stalking right in front of him all night.

At times I had to pinch myself as I was thinking that I was watching a black Wladimir Klitschko give a master class on ‘How to fight tall 101.'” – OK, calm down. You can call Stiverne the “Black Arreola,” you can give major props to Wilder’s co-trainers Mark Breland and Jay Deas for teaching him to box tall, but let’s not go calling the Alabama man “Wladdy Blacklichko” just yet.

“Would you agree that the jab made all the difference?” – Yes. Wilder had one. Stiverne did not.

“The question is who would be a marketable B side for Wilder in the meantime?” – Fury. If Wladdy takes Wilder’s mandatory, it’s only fair that Wilder take his.

 

“Do you think there is any chance that Fury would ditch his mandatory shot at Klitschko to fight Wilder?” – Yes, depending on how much money is on the table to make it happen.

“How do you see (Klitschko-Wilder) going down?” – I see Klitschko carefully, gradually breaking Wilder down to a late TKO. The key to the RING champ’s victory will be beating Wilder to the jab.

Wilder post-fight presser video by Daniel Morales

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

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