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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

13
Feb

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MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO

Hi Doug,

So, it seems the fight is probably going to take place May 2nd, at the MGM grand, and now that it’s probably set, I’m thinking it may be a better fight than back in 2009. I honestly think Manny would’ve walked through Floyd at that time. People underrate the difficulty that it is to fight Pacquiao. There is no way you can train for this guy. Even when he misses punches he still overwhelms you with quantity and volume punching (see Algieri, Bradley). Mayweather has never been a high-volume puncher and given his age, I don’t think he would’ve had the stamina, let alone, the power to stop Manny.

Today, it’s a different story. I still think both are very close in talent and still think it will be a difficult fight to score, but I do think Floyd has enough to edge it and be robbed. Boxing purists will give the fight to Floyd but the rest of the fans will lean towards Pacman in a fight that will probably be controversial because of the nature of their styles.

I’ll tell you Doug, I won’t be a hypocrite. I am very excited for this fight. I’ve always been even though I’ve been disappointed in the past. I’m a big boxing fan and this fight is the fight the sport needs, not to save it, but at least to maintain some sort of credibility. The sport will never die, but it can fall further in to obscurity if the biggest fight can’t be made.

I remember when Holyfield-Tyson got made, many said it was six years too late, yet it delivered an upset, round, fight and fighter of the year. I’m hoping this happens… Forget about the undercard, there will be nothing in there that is worth talking about. Cheers Doug. – Juan Valverde, Tijuana

If Mayweather-Pacquiao is made most people who follow boxing – even those who consider themselves hardcore fans – will consider every major fight scheduled from now until May 2 “not worth talking about” along with the undercard. That’s the drawback of boxing’s latest Fight of the Century being made.

However, even though I’m not nearly as excited as you are about the fight, I hope you are correct and that it is announced soon. (I’ve heard rumors that it could be announced during this weekend’s NBA All-Star game – maybe Les Moonves took my advice and brought in J. Prince to help convince Mayweather to finalize the deal.) I agree that our sport needs to get over this ridiculous hump in order to show the public and the sports and business worlds that it isn’t a complete joke.

I also agree that the matchup is more competitive now than it probably would have been had the fight taken place when it should have, in 2010. Pacquiao had a strong edge at that time. Mayweather had the edge from late 2011 through 2013. After 2014, I view it as an even boxing match (though I have no problem with Vegas sports books listing Mayweather as a 3-to-1 favorite).

Good point about Tyson-Holyfield I shocking all the folks who thought it was six years too late and believed The Real Deal was totally shot (although it didn’t produce the Round of the Year, that was Round 3 of Liles-Littles). Ya never know with boxing and there’s a reason they fight the fights.

INTERNATIONAL BOXING HALL OF FAME CLASS 2015

Dougie,

What are your thoughts on Riddick Bowe, Naseem Hamed and Ray Mancini getting into the IBHOF? I think they make the “very good” list but none of them qualify as Hall-of Famers. None of them, in my opinion, were the dominant fighters in their division during their heydays.

Mythical Match-ups: Holyfield Vs. Marciano, Liston vs. either of the Klitschkos and Pernell Whitaker vs. Henry Armstrong. – Reg

My thoughts on Bowe, Hamed and Mancini is that all three were better than “very good,” but all fall short of being “great.” I don’t have a problem with them being enshrined in the hall of fame (in fact, I voted for all three, along with Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank).

Mythical matchups:

Holyfield by close decision in a brutal war. Liston by late TKO. Armstrong by decision.

DANNY GARCIA AND ANDRE WARD

Sup Dougie Fresh!!!

Hope your year is off to a marvelous start! Kinda late, hopefully I can make the Friday bag but if not Monday’s cool with me – ha ha!

Couple quick questions on these two fighters: It seems like Ward has finally cleared up his legal issues now with the signing to Roc Nation. Ok, so where does he go from here, when do you think he will fight next and with whom? I read the other day that GGG’s camp called him out (“again”). Can that fight be made this year and at what weight?

What is going on with Danny Garcia? I know you said recently who cares about non-title fights and catch-weights as long as the match-up and fight is good. So, with that being said, how do you see the Lamont Peterson fight playing out and where the hell is he going after this? No way he fights Viktor Postol IMO. It’s clear Al Haymon is moving this kid carefully now. Will he move up after this fight and who do you see him fighting this year after Lamont? Also, do you think he can compete with the big dogs in the 147 division such as Pacquiao, Thurman, Porter, Brook, etc.?

And of course, how do you see these Mythical Match-ups at 147 playing out. Sorry if you have already covered these.

Jose Napoles vs Floyd Mayweather

Macho Camacho vs Miguel Cotto

Carmen Basilio vs Keith Thurman

Jersey Joe Walcott vs Sugar Ray Leonard

Peace and keep up the great work! – Maintain from Queens, NY

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’ll start with your questions about Ward.

Last I heard, the super middleweight champ was targeting late March/early April for his first “comeback” fight. Since nothing has been announced yet, and it’s already mid-February, my guess is that it will happen mid-to-late April. Ward says his trainer, Virgil Hunter, would like him to fight two-to-three “tune-up” type bouts in order to get back into his “groove,” and once he’s groovin’ he says he’s ready for the world – at 168 pounds. Watch this RingTV interview with Ward from a few weeks back.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1345565″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

I’m guessing he’ll fight a couple rugged fringe contenders, like Fedor Chudinov or Ezequiel Maderna, before taking on a top super middleweight in the first quarter of 2016. If George Groves beats Anthony Dirrell for the WBC title or if James DeGale beats Andre Dirrell for the vacant IBF, I can see Ward targeting either (or both) British beltholders next year.

I don’t think Ward vs. Golovkin can be made this year. Ward needs to “get back into his groove,” as he puts it, and Team GGG have made it clear that they’re going after all the 160-pound belts before moving up in weight. Maybe we’ll get that super showdown in late 2016.

Regarding Garcia, I think he’s got his heavy hands full with Peterson. I see that as an even fight (though I give a slight edge to the younger man due to his underrated versatility). I think Garcia will land the harder punches during the fight, but Peterson will outwork him if he’s allowed to warm up, especially if he can get the Philly native up against the ropes. If there’s any knockdowns in the fight, I see Garcia scoring them.

I don’t see Garcia ever fighting Postol. I won’t be able to say how he’ll fare vs. top 147 pounders until I see him in with a legit welterweight contender.

Your mythical welterweight matchups:

Jose Napoles vs Floyd Mayweather – Napoles by decision. I think the Mexico-based Cuban legend’s smooth but crafty boxing style, mixed with his educated jab and accurate killer hook, would have given a boxer like Floyd more than he could handle. I think the fight would go a lot like Napoles’ two bouts with Hedgemon Lewis, a very skilled and underrated former 147-pound contender from Detroit.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1454791″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

Macho Camacho vs Miguel Cotto – Cotto by decision. The Caguas native would be too strong for the Macho Man at welterweight.

Carmen Basilio vs Keith Thurman – Basilio by mid-to-late stoppage.

Jersey Joe Walcott vs Sugar Ray Leonard – Um, do you mean “Barbados” Joe Walcott, the former welterweight champ who reigned from 1901-1906? I don’t think Jersey Joe could make 147 pounds. LOL. Leonard by decision in a competitive fight.

CATCHWEIGHT TITLES

Hey Doug,

Big fan of the mailbag, thanks for so regularly covering what the fans want to hear.

I’m curious to get your thoughts on catchweight title fights. I agree that ultimately it’s all about the best fights getting made, and if catchweights help make that happen that works for me.

I struggle with the Cotto/Golovkin situation though, where GGG (clearly the guy at 160) didn’t get a shot at the lineal title, and now might have to watch it get passed on to Mayweather/Canelo or maybe even Khan/Bradley before he gets a shot at it.

If that happens, it seems like the welterweight division will have been allowed to hijack the middleweight belt to bolster some resumes. Do you think catchweights should be allowed for title fights?

Also, curious to get your thoughts on a few potential matchups:

Crawford v Mikey Garcia

Broner v Rios

Broner v Algieri

Khan v Bradley

Khan v Lara

All the best. – Dan, NYC

Thanks for the kind words, Dan, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I’m not a fan of catchweights but I don’t have a problem with world titles being on the line in catchweight bouts as long as the combatants weigh within the division limits. For example, I was OK with Canelo Alvarez’s junior middleweight title being on the line in his 152-pound catchweight showdown with Floyd Mayweather because both guys weighed over 147 pounds and under 154 pounds (Floyd weighed 150¾ and Canelo came in at the contracted 152). Likewise, I was OK with Miguel Cotto’s WBO welterweight belt being on the line against Manny Pacquiao even though the Puerto Rican star had to weigh in at 145 (two pounds under the division limit). Both guys were welterweights because both weighed in over 140 pounds (Manny weighed 144) and under 147.

I thought it was weird that Mayweather’s WBC junior middleweight title was on the line for his rematch with Marcos Maidana since it was also a welterweight championship bout and both guys weighed under 147 pounds. I also thought it was just boxing business when Sugar Ray Leonard was able to win Donny LaLonde’s WBC light heavyweight belt when the Canadian had to weigh in at the super middleweight limit of 168 pounds for their bout in 1988 (which enabled Leonard to grab the WBC’s newly created 168-pound title).

Regarding Cotto putting his WBC/RING/lineal middleweight title on the line against non-middleweights, such as Mayweather, Canelo, Bradley or Khan; again, I’m OK with it as long as they weigh over 154 pounds. Do I think it’s fair to Golovkin? No, but boxing is more business than sport these days. It is what it is. GGG is the man – no, he’s the “boogeyman” – of the 160-pound division. Nobody with a name wants to fight him if they can make good money fighting other people, but sooner or later someone’s gonna step up (just as Duran, Hearns and eventually Leonard did against Hagler back in the day). Mayweather won’t do it. Cotto might do it. Who knows? If Cotto loses his lineal title to someone young and gutsy like Canelo, Bradley or Khan, maybe one of those guys will put the “real” title on the line against GGG.

My thoughts on your potential matchups:

Crawford v Mikey Garcia – Crawford by decision

Broner v Rios – Rios by close decision
Broner v Algieri – Algieri by competitive but clear decision

Khan v Bradley – Khan by close and maybe controversial decision

Khan v Lara – Lara by knockout

WORLD SERIES OF BOXING

Doug, what are your thoughts on the WSB?

Up until a couple of seasons ago I wasn’t really interested in it and dismissed it as a bit of a gimmick, but recently it has won me over. Seeing top Am boxers that are unlikely to ever turn over, such as the Cubans, Kazakhs and Azerbaijanis, face off in pro-style format is quite interesting. Unfortunately, like most aiba events, it is marred by poor officiating, but I try to look past that and just enjoy the fights.

I also noticed certain countries, such as the Ukraine and Kazakhstan, have really embraced it while others like the US and the UK seem very indifferent. Why do you think that is? Thanks – Mark, UK

How should I know? I’m one of those indifferent U.S. fans. LOL.

Seriously, I think the reason The WSB never took with an American audience (I can’t speak for the British fans) is that it involves international amateur standouts and U.S. boxing fans haven’t followed the amateur side of the sport since the 1980s (when Olympic boxing was prime time TV programming and networks would often air major tournaments, such as the Pan-Am Games, the U.S. Championships, the national Golden Gloves, the New York City Golden Gloves, and various dual meets like U.S. vs. Puerto Rico or U.S. vs. Cuba). Amateur boxing changed when it went from five judges to that silly AIBA point system. The bouts featured less action as time went on. By the 2000s, Olympic boxing was no longer prime-time network TV (in fact, it was barely on cable).

Yeah, the WSB features pro-style matches, but it isn’t pro enough for longtime U.S. fans that have been turned off from amateur boxing or the new ones who were never introduced to it. Plus, they have no idea who they’re watching since they don’t follow the amateur scene.

In Cuba, Kazakhstan and other parts of the world, amateur boxing is regularly featured on TV, and it’s a big deal when their athletes do well in international tournaments, so naturally the WSOB is going to have more of an audience in those nations.

 

CANELO-KIRKLAND IN SAN ANTONIO

What’s up Doug, long time reader, and second time writer. The first time I wrote you you actually included my email to your bag. It was about Hatton calling out Mayweather and “surprisingly” so, Mayweather accepted the challenge. Anyways, to my real email:

A lot has been made about Canelo’s drawing power in San Antonio. He drew 40k to the Alamo Dome in April 2013. I also have seen that the proposed date for the Canelo vs. Kirkland is on May 9 in case of a Mayweaher/Pacquiao fight on May 2. I know I can’t be the only one that has thought of this, but Canelo will not be bringing in nearly as many people to San Antonio on May 9th as he did back in April 2013. Not sure if you know, but in the last two weekends of April, there is this thing called San Antonio Fiesta. It happens every year and there are literally hundreds of thousands of people that travel to San Antonio for this event. Canelo is a great draw, but someone has to be smart enough to figure out that it was very easy to get people to buy that fight since 1, they were cheap tickets, and 2, there were literally a couple hundred thousand people already in San Antonio. The festival is big and it gets packed every year. It was not just because Canelo was fighting.

If Golden Boy was smart, they would hold the fight on the same weekend that they held the Canelo fight in April 2013. Keep the prices relatively cheap again, and they may sell 50K tickets. I am sure that there were a lot of fans that made the trip to SA just to see Canelo, but I am also sure that over half of the people that attended, attend Fiesta every year, myself included. It was an electric atmosphere then because the people had probably been partying in downtown San Antonio all day long (myself included). HAHA. Just wanted to let you know so that you could pass on my advice to the powers that be. There has to be some logistical excuse as to why it would be May 9th, instead of April 28. If not then they need to smarten up and change those dates. Regards. – Ruben from Dallas, TX

Hey Ruben. Nice to hear from you after all these years. I’m well aware of San Antonio’s annual fiesta in April. I was there in 2013. I spent a few days enjoying the good food, drink and music prior to the Canelo-Trout bout.

I disagree that Canelo won’t sell as many tickets for Kirkland if the bout lands in San Antonio (it could land in other part of Texas, or even Las Vegas depending on what happens with #TheNeverendingStory). Canelo is better known now than he was in 2013, and he’s got a better matchup to offer boxing fans in San Antonio, plus Kirkland is from Austin. He’ll get local media coverage if he trains there, but even if he doesn’t train at home, I think fans will drive from Austin and other parts of Texas (even from out of state) to watch that fight live. Kirkland guarantees action and drama.

 

CLASSLESS

Love him or Hate him, that was very classless post you included in your Monday mailbag. Angry closet homo? Seriously your going to publish that on your employers website. I hope you are reprimanded for it. – Johnathan

Are you talking about that Neverending Story song parody? Good grief, lighten up, man.

I haven’t been reprimanded, yet. Do you want to snitch on me? I don’t have Oscar De La Hoya’s personal contact info., but if you want to email the good folks at Golden Boy Promotions and complain about me, be my guest. Try [email protected], or better yet, call the general number 213-489-5631 and see if they’ll patch your whiney ass to Oscar’s office.

 

GYM NOTES: JASON QUIGLEY AND EVERTON LOPES

Dougie,

Your gym notes piece Jason Quigley and Everton Lopes was excellent. I really enjoyed it.

As a hardcore boxing fan, and a fan of yours, since January 2005, I must say that your visits to and reporting on the SoCal gyms is therapeutic for me, too!

Please do more of it this year. – John, Irvine, CA

I will, John. Thanks for the kind words on my recent Gym Notes column. I enjoyed being around the young fighters and writing the story.

Do me a favor and shoot an email to [email protected] and tell them how much you enjoy my writing. Just in case Johnathan tries to snitch on me.

 

FUNNY VIDEO ON #THENEVERENDINGSTORY

Hey Dougie,

Not much going on in the boxing world this week but I thought I’d share this funny video on The Neverending Story #TNE

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=918928581480872

Also I had some mythical matchups for you:-

Kirkland Laing vs Emmanuel Augustus

James Toney vs Steve Collins

James Toney vs Joe Calzaghe

Joe Calzaghe vs Andre Ward

Cheers. – Brins (Liverpool, UK)

Nina C. is funny. I’m sure she offended Johnathan, but she made me laugh. Do me a favor and email [email protected], or leave a voice mail at 213-489-5631, and suggest to the good folks at Golden Boy Promotions that we hire her to do some work for RingTV.

Your mythical matchups:

Kirkland Laing vs Emanuel Augustus – Laing by decision. The British spoiler was a natural welterweight who could hold his own at junior middleweight, plus he was a master of distance and had very fast hands and reflexes. Augustus was a crafty, cagey, gutsy S.O.B., but he was a natural lightweight with very little punching power.

James Toney vs Steve Collins – Toney by decision. Collins was super tough but his pressure-fighting style was tailor made for Lights Out.

James Toney vs Joe Calzaghe – Calzaghe by decision. His athletic, busy, in-and-out style would have given Toney fits.

Joe Calzaghe vs Andre Ward – Calzaghe by close decision.

 

TYSON AND AJ

Hey Dougie,

Hope all is well fella. Long time reader and very first time writer here, so hoping I make the cut on your legendary mailbag!

The upcoming book by Mike Tyson’s friend and former manager Rory Holloway has been in the media over here the last couple of days and has brought back great memories of Iron Mike crashing through the Heavyweight division like a freight train in the 80’s, winning fights before he’d even got in the ring with his downright badass persona. Like a lot of guys growing up in the 80’s, it was Tyson that really got me interested in the sport.

Holloway says Mike would have been the GOAT had it not been for the distraction women, and it got me thinking how he sits in the pantheon of greats and where he would have sat had Cus D’Amato lived another 10-15 years. What’s your take on it? I bow down to your knowledge of the square circle, but my feeling is his speed, movement, underrated defence and above all his immense punching power and accuracy would see him blow out any heavyweight certainly in the last 30-40 years, if not of all time.

Keeping on the theme of what was once the glory division, I’m keen to hear your thoughts on our own Anthony Joshua? The man with the Superhero physique has certainly looked impressive in his KO-frenzy of a career thus far, but over on this side of the pond we’re waiting for him to take on someone who hits back. That said, I’m also keen to see how an elite heavyweight (are there any of those out there apart from Wlad?!) takes an AJ bomb to the jaw!

Finally, to stay on theme, a couple of MM’s for you:

Tyson v Ali

Lewis v Foreman

Tyson v Wlad

Tyson v Frazier

Keep fighting the good fight man and don’t let the nuthuggers get you down! From your brother from the land of pubs and eloquent swear words – Mike, England

Thanks for all of the praise, Mike. I’m not worthy (just ask Johnathan).

I’m sure if Tyson led a Spartan lifestyle and if D’Amato had lived another 10 years, he would have been more devastating – perhaps stopping the few guys who took him the distance when he was young, such as James “Quick” Tillis, Mitch “Blood” Green, James “Bonecrusher” Smith and Tony “TNT” Tucker – and maybe he would have reigned a little bit longer than he did (perhaps getting by the tough challenge of a motivated James “Buster” Douglas), but I’m not sure he would have ever beaten a bully smasher like Evander Holyfield.

Those guys who took him the distance had cool nicknames but they didn’t possess the inner fire to challenge Tyson’s heart like Holyfield did. And regardless of how good a boxer’s conditioning is or how smart his trainer is, if he doesn’t have the will or the heart or the mettle to gut out a tough fight against someone who doesn’t fear him, he won’t beat an elite-level fighter who does possess those intangibles. Tyson never battled back from adversity in my opinion. If he was down on the scorecards and taking a beating by Round 5 or 6, he wasn’t going to battle back and score a come-from-behind victory. That’s what truly great fighters do – regardless if they like having a lot of sex. You think Holyfield didn’t like the ladies? Do you have any idea how many kids The Real Deal has?

Regarding Joshua, what can I say about him that I haven’t already written dozens of times in dozens of previous mailbags? He looked good enough last year to be THE RING’s Prospect of the Year for 2014. Let’s see if he’s still considered a prospect by the end of 2015. I don’t think I’m going out on a limb by predicting that he’ll crack the heavyweight top 10 by this winter.

 

Your mythical matchups

Tyson v Ali – Ali by late TKO

Lewis v Foreman – Foreman by mid-round KO

Tyson v Wlad – Tyson KOs the version of Wladdy before 2007; Klitschko from mid-2007 to the present wears Tyson down to a late TKO

Tyson v Frazier – Frazier (who wasn’t a front runner like Tyson) would get up from an early round knockdown to beat Iron Mike into mid-rounds submission in a very exciting heavyweight shootout.

 

 

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

 

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