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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

02
Mar

Frampton-Avalos_McQuillan

CARL FRAMPTON

Hey Doug,
You’ve gone on record as saying that you favour Scott Quigg to beat Carl Frampton but after Saturday’s performance has it changed your mind?

Also, how do you see both doing against Guillermo Rigondeaux?



Keep up the good work Doug. – Aaron, UK

I’m a Quigg fan – probably the only one among U.S. boxing scribes (LOL) – but to be honest, Frampton’s fifth-round TKO of Chris Avalos does indeed cause me to second guess my pick in that potential UK super bantie showdown.

Frampton showed it all in dominating the gutsy California puncher – technique, timing, speed, accuracy, power and poise. The Jackal knew exactly when to step in with his shots and how to get out of the way anytime Avalos swung with his looping power shots. I was impressed. I thought Frampton lived up to his No. 1 ranking in THE RING’s 122-pound rankings.

However, although Quigg, who is 26, is only one year older than Avalos, the Englishman is miles ahead of the American in terms of maturity, versatility and experience.

Frampton is also mature, versatile and experienced (despite only having 20 pro bouts). That’s why their fight is one of the best potential matchups at 122 pounds (or any weight class). The Irish star has the edge in talent, technical sharpness, speed, and maybe power, but Quigg’s no slouch in those areas, plus he’s got a killer body attack and a slight awkwardness that I think he uses to his advantage.

Fight scribe Steve Kim says Frampton-Quigg is the UK’s version of the first Erik Morales-Marco Antonio Barrera fight, and I’m not mad at him for making the comparison. I don’t know if Frampton-Quigg can match the sustained action of Morales-Barrera I, but I know it can match the energy and it will definitely far surpass the number of fans that paid to see it live and watched it on TV.

I’m gonna stick to my guns and back Quigg all the way. I’ll have nothing but respect for Frampton and company if they prove me wrong.

I would pick Rigo to beat both Frampton and Quigg by close decision (if they were to fight this year), but I think both UK standouts are very “live dogs” against the Cuban champ.

 

PREMEIRE BOXING CHAMPIONS

Hi Dougie,

First off I wanna say your column is a class act.

Second, I am a little confused about the PBC series that is starting up. I am pretty excited for the match ups and potential match ups. I think it will be a good change. I really couldn’t care less about Mayweather-Pacquiao. They are both over the hill and Mayweather fights are not really fights… more like fencing matches.

Anyway, can you shed some light on the PBC and what channels/times it can be seen on in the US? Thanks. – G in AK

Certainly, the debut show of the series is this Saturday on NBC. It’s a doubleheader featuring Adrien Broner vs. John Molina in a 12-round junior welterweight bout and welterweight contenders Keith Thurman Jr. vs. Robert Guerrero in the 12-round main event. The show will be broadcast live from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, starting at 8:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. PT. (I’m looking forward to both fights!)

Other PBC shows have been scheduled on NBC, NBC Sports Net, CBS and SpikeTV this month, April and May, and more will air on these networks later in the year. You can check out the schedule on PBC’s official website for the bouts, networks and times of each broadcast. Going into the summer months, the series might be expanded to include shows on ESPN, Telemundo and BET.

 

BORED WITH MAYWEATHER-PACQUIAO

Hi Doug,

Long time reader, first time writer, hope to get in for Monday’s mailbag! Lol.

I just want to get it off my chest, I don’t have anyone to talk to about boxing here in our place; all of them are casual fans who only give a damn about the May 2 drama. It bores me to be honest. I want to talk about Canelo-Kirkland, Guerrero-Thurman, and others but people don’t give s__t about them. All they know is May-Pac and the ever boring basketball.

Sorry for the rant, but anyway, how do you see Guerrero-Thurman turning out? Win or lose, what’s next for each fighter? I think the winner should fight Marcos Maidana.

I just saw Gennady Golovkin beat the crap out of Martin Murray, poor guy, GGG was just too much for him (or anyone in his division). The only guy that I envision to hurt him is David Lemieux but he should have 2 or 3 more quality fights under his belt before he gets tossed in with a monster like Golovster IMO.

And hey! What’s with Amir Khan and Tim Bradley wanting a piece of Amir Cotto? I think both of them will get KTFO.

Let’s not forget about some Mythical Match-ups (some are potential match-ups though):

Jerry Quarry vs Mike Tyson

Canelo vs Julian Jackson (154)

Gerard McClellan vs GGG

Hamed vs Walters/Lomachenko

Margarito vs Maidana

Margarito vs Provodnikov

Danny Garcia vs Khan/Sadam Ali (147)

Ali vs Keith Thurman/Adrien Broner

Keep up the good work – R.D Singh

Sorry to hear about your lack of in-person boxing conversation, R.D. At least you have the mailbag, and there’s always Twitter.

I’m really into the Thurman-Guerrero matchup. I’m a Thurman fan and believer, but I also acknowledge that my fellow long-haired halfrican has yet to face a legit top-10 welterweight contender. Guerrero, who is THE RING’s No. 8-rated welterweight, will be his first.

I favor Thurman, THE RING’s No. 7-rated welterweight, to win by decision. The 26-year-old Floridian is the younger, fresher fighter, plus the naturally bigger man with a decided edge in speed and power. I like Thurman’s hit-and-move power-boxing style. However, Guerrero’s got a world-class chin and the superior experience and offensive technique to back it up. More than a few boxing insiders are picking The Ghost to pull an “upset special.”

I think Maidana is the perfect opponent for the winner of this fight. At different times in recent years, both Thurman and Guerrero were scheduled to face the Argentine slugger only to have the fight fall out for various reasons. Had those fights taken place when they were originally supposed to, I would have favored both guys to beat Maidana. But Chino has accomplished a lot since then and is probably a more difficult fight now. (Did I mention that Thurman or Guerrero vs. Maidana would be a barn burner?)

I think the loser of Thurman-Guerrero is still a 147-pound player, and would likely make for a good opponent for the winner of the Andre Berto-Josesito Lopez fight that takes place on March 13.

I think Golovkin-Lemieux is a fight that can and probably will happen. Lemieux has to win a middleweight title first (he’s lined up for a shot at the vacant IBF belt vs. Hassan Ndam). If he does so in impressive fashion and continues to kick ass, I’m sure HBO will push for the GGG showdown. That fight will be fun for as long as it lasts (not very long).

Khan and Bradley see a plodding, battle-worn veteran that happens to hold THE RING and WBC middleweight titles. They think they can beat the Puerto Rican star and make history along with some good money. I think Cotto’s got enough left to knockout Khan and outpoint Bradley.

Your mythical/potential matchups:

Jerry Quarry vs Mike Tyson – I’m seriously tempted to pick Quarry by knockout just to piss off those Tyson fans that got all butt-hurt over my choice of Joe Frazier over Iron Mike a few weeks ago, but I’ll toss the Brooklyn Bully and his loyal followers a bone and go with Tyson by third- or fourth-round TKO in a wild (and bloody – all of it Quarry’s) shootout. However, for all the folks who think Tyson would just walk out and punk Quarry into submission, just know that the Bellflower Belter was often at his best when he faced fearsome punchers. Quarry upset both Mac Foster (KO 6) and Earnie Shavers (TKO 1), as well as a guy whose balls were WAY bigger than Tyson’s, Ron Lyle (UD 12 – and Lyle could punch, too).

Canelo vs Julian Jackson (154) – Jackson by chilling one-punch KO anytime between Round 2 and 6.

Gerard McClellan vs GGG – Golovkin by late TKO

Hamed vs Walters/Lomachenko – Hamed stops Walters in a wonderful shootout that sees both punchers hit the deck more than once, and Loma outpoints The Prince

Margarito vs Maidana – Margz manhandles and chops up Chino to a brutal mid-to-late rounds TKO

Margarito vs Provodnikov – Margarito goes toe to toe with the Siberian Rocky until the fight is stopped in 10th due to severe cuts, bruising and swelling to the Russian’s eye and facial tissue.

Danny Garcia vs Khan/Sadam Ali (147) – Khan outpoints Garcia to a close but unanimous decision; Ali outboxes Garcia until he gets clipped in the late rounds

Ali vs Keith Thurman/Adrien Broner – Ali gets stopped by Thurman but outpoints The Problem in a good fight

 

NEW YORK CITY!?

Ok, so Verona (wherever the hell that is) isn’t NYC, but that was my reaction when hearing that Ruslan Provodnikov-Lucas Matthysse wouldn’t be going down in Carson. What the hell?! If ever a match belonged at StubHub… that place is like the reverse-Bermuda Triangle of boxing.

Maybe we’re spoiled here in SoCal with all the great bouts in the last few years, but damn – I was looking forward to going!

Who decides where these things are held, and how? (ps, get a rope) – Jay

LOL. Promoters usually decide – in conjunction with the venues and state commissions – where fights are held. The fighters and their management sometimes have a say (especially if they are a draw in a particular area or if they wish to fight on neutral ground) and sometimes the networks have influence.

Banner Promotions and Golden Boy, the co-promoters of Provodnikov-Matthysse, originally aimed to stage the fight at StubHub, which I thought was the perfect venue for that type of hardcore fan dream bout (as I was happy to proclaim to my little buddy Tino Garcia of ESNEWS)

[springboard type=”video” id=”1489781″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

However, there was a “hold” placed on the cozy outdoor arena by another promoter, which prevented the can’t-miss barnburner from landing in Carson.

There’s a lot more to this story, but rather than go through all the details here, I’ll refer you to Steve Kim, of UCNlive.com and BoxingScene.com, who has been on top of it in recent weeks. This article on “venue squatting” should bring you up to speed on how Provodnikov-Matthysse wound up at the Turning Stone in Verona, and this follow-up interview with Dan Beckerman, the CEO of AEG (which owns and operates StubHub among many other arenas that sometimes host boxing), should give you more insight on the subject.

 

BENN-MCCLELLAN, BENN & EUBANK IN IBHOF

Hi Dougie,

Thank you for the article on Nigel Benn recalling his war with Gerald McClellan 20 years on. The fight is a bitter sweet memory for Benn fans. Bitter since McClellan suffered a blood clot and is paralyzed because of the beating he took. Sweet because Benn was knocked out of the ropes in the first round, on the point of being knocked out early and came back in an awesome performance to win the fight. Watching the fight on Youtube as a boxing fan I admit it is one of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen even though I feel somewhat guilty viewing it because of the tragic outcome.

I wrote you some time ago as soon as the IBOF winners for 2015 were announced and I couldn’t believe that Naseem Hamed got in while fighters like Nigel Benn, and, now that I think of it, Chris Eubank did not. I know American fans aren’t all familiar with the UK boxing scene in the 90’s but both Benn and Eubank set the stage at middleweight then super middleweight in Britain and the rest of Europe. In other words, they were the pioneers of the super middleweight class making it one of the most popular divisions in the sport. Both had great records as fighters, and both were involved in some of the most exciting fights I’ve ever seen.

So…I wonder. What has kept Benn out of the IBOF? Is it the tragedy of the McClellan fight that left a bad taste among the boxing intelligentsia? Or is it because Benn did not fight in the U.S. more often? He did come across the pond and defeated Doug DeWitt and Iran Barkley bringing the new WBO belt over to Britain. Then, Benn fought Eubank in one the greatest middleweight fights ever in 1990 where Eubank stopped Benn to win the WBO middleweight belt. Both went up to super middleweight and defended their belts for a number of years, Benn winning the WBC belt and Eubank defending his WBO title.

What are your thoughts on Benn and Eubank? They were the biggest stars in Britain and two of the greatest British boxers in the history of the game. Why aren’t they in the prestigious Hall of Fame? Regards. – Erik

Honestly, I think both would be in the International Bboxing Hall of Fame had they fought a few more U.S. contenders or titleholders on American soil, and had the prime years of their careers been showcased on HBO (which became the most powerful entity on the U.S. boxing scene during the 1990s and still holds considerable influence with the American boxing media and those who vote on hall-of-fame candidates).

I think Benn and Eubank are hall-of-fame worthy (an opinion that is not popular at all among my peers and colleagues). I proudly put a checkmark by the names of both former champs on last year’s IBHOF ballot and I will continue to do so because of their accomplishments, their rivalry and the huge impact they had on the 168-pound division (as you noted) and British boxing (which was felt among hardcore fans in America and elsewhere).

 

THE ‘MAYPAC’ EXPERIENCE

I promise to join the list of people who intentionally write to you regarding something other than Mayweather vs. Pacquiao leading up to May 2nd, but this time I just couldn’t help it. I’ve got 2 questions before I can let it go.

I just watched Ali vs. Frazier 1 for the first time. I had seen glimpses, but never the entire fight. As a boxing fan, I really should be ashamed that it took me so long. What a fight it was! I was legitimately excited even though I knew the outcome. My question to you is, if Mayweather vs. Pacquiao produces a similar pace and action, would the fight be viewed as significant as it would have been in 2009? I think a good scrap where they both show flashes of brilliance will negate all the talk of the fight being 5 years past its expiration date. By all accounts, it will have lived up to the hype.

Second, what are your thoughts on fans sharing their experiences with Mayweather-Pacquiao mania on the days leading up to the fight and immediately after the fight? I ask because I watched Mayweather vs. Canelo in a bar and I was shocked at how many people showed up. It had the energy of an arena at a live fight. I’m going to watch Mayweather vs. Pacquiao in a movie theater, but I will be wondering what the atmosphere is like in other places. I would love to read some interesting stories of what other people experienced. – Jalaal, Minneapolis

I think Mayweather-Pacquiao will pack movie theaters around the nation on May 2 and my guess is that the energy will be exceptional. The buzz in all of the closed circuit theaters in Las Vegas will be incredible, too, only surpassed by the atmosphere inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

If you’re on social media (mainly Twitter and Instagram), you’ll be able to share your experience will thousands of fellow boxing fans worldwide in the days leading up to May 2. Maybe we’ll have one of our young boxing scribes write up a first-person article on his or her experience of watching the fight in a theater. That’s a good idea. (It’s been done, but it’s worth doing again.)

If Mayweather-Pacquiao can equal the pace and action of Frazier-Ali I, you better believe that everyone will forget about the fight not happening in 2010 or 2011 (it was never going to happen in 2009 – Mayweather didn’t emerge from his brief “retirement” until September of that year). If it lives up to the hype, that’s what everyone will focus on – and that’s the way it should be.

 

VEGAS NIGHTS

Hi Doug,

I just got my arrangements to Vegas for the big fight. I’d rather hang out at a boxing bar than a raging nightclub. Any suggestions?

By the way, if I see you, I owe you a couple of beers for keeping me entertained and a fan since 1998 (instantly I feel old). Thanks. – Alex Sanchez

Wow. You’ve been reading my s__t that long? I should buy YOU the drinks.

I wish I had a suggestion for a boxing bar to go in Las Vegas while you’re in town for the mega-event, but I don’t think there is a specifically “boxing-themed” watering hole on the strip. However, I think every bar and lounge on the strip is going to be packed with boxing fans and boxing industry folks the week of Mayweather-Pacquiao. The MGM Grand will be insane. Forget about the MGM’s bars and lounges, you might not be able to squeeze through the doors to the lobby that place will be so packed.

Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to bother with “Cluster F__k 2015.” Apart from the fact that I won’t be able to adequately do my job of editing and updating RingTV.com if I’m on site, I know that there’s an unprecedented demand for media credentials for this fight and that boxing writers are going to have to take a back seat to the mainstream sports and entertainment press. I also know that “press row” in the arena is going to be very small. Why give some boxing scribe schmuck a credential when that same spot can be sold to some millionaire sucker for $100,000?

So most of the boxing press that makes the trip to Las Vegas to cover this fight will wind up watching it on a TV screen in the media center or special ballroom. I hate to sound like a prima donna, but I’ve been covering this sport for a long time (as you know) and I’m not going to put up with all that madness for a week just to watch the damn fight on TV. I can stay home and do that.

However, there’s a chance that I’ll do one of UCNlive’s “10 Count” shows from Vegas the week of the fight. If that happens, I’ll let mailbag readers know, so we can all get together while I’m in Sin City. (One of RingTV.com’s UK scribes Tom Gray will be making the trip across the Pond and one of our new contributors, Andreas Hale, lives in Vegas, so maybe we can all meet somewhere and have a few while talking about our favorite sport.)

 

FIGHT-FAN FIGHTS

So much talk about Manny and Floyd (which they deserve), and not enough about Canelo/Kirkland and Lucas/Ruslan! These two fights should be getting way more attention. I think both fights have a chance to be fight of the year candidates.

I had such hopes for Canelo Vs. Cotto that I requested Cinco De Mayo weekend off. I was all set to go, but the fight got nixed. I would have been real interested in heading to Texas for Canelo/Kirkland, but they got bumped to the next weekend out of respect for the event of all events. So now I am heading to Vegas, thankfully not staying on the strip since hotels prices are ridiculous ($578 per night at Excalibur? WTF) But I will be at the weigh in, and maybe, if my Pinoy friends can convince me, at the actual fight. If anything, where is a good place to catch the fight in Vegas if we are not at the event?

How do you see Canelo/Kirkland playing out? I see Canelo by KO before Round 8. From what I hear, Kirkland is over 200 pounds and might be weight drained come fight night.

Ruslan Vs The Machine, I see the Siberian Rocky pulling out a barnburner. I think his ability to absorb punishment and dish it out will play well in his favor.

What are your thoughts? Thanks for the great mailbags. – Josh

Thanks for the kind words, Josh.

My thoughts on Canelo-Kirkland and Matthysse-Provodnikov is that they are true fight-fan matchups in that they will undoubtedly deliver action and drama, and they are affordable to the hardcore heads who want to witness such bouts live. Canelo-Kirkland tickets start at $10 and the fight is being held in a 40,000-seat stadium, which will likely be filled to capacity on May 9. Ringside seats for Matty-Provo went for $75 before being quickly bought up by rabid diehard fans.

I like Canelo by late TKO but I’m not counting Kirkland out the way too many fans and media are doing. Yeah, Mandingo is not training with Ann Wolfe, and yeah he looked heavy during a recent TV interview. But here’s the deal: Kirkland is a born killer, and he’s ALWAYS heavy before the start of a training camp. Here’s what I KNOW: Whatever Kirkland’s got, he’s going to give it on May 9, and the Texas Tornado will go down swinging if need be. If Canelo overlooks this veteran even a little bit, he will suffer.

I like Matthysse by late TKO, but I can totally see Provo winning a brutal war of attrition. I agree that he’s probably got the better chin. I don’t if he hits harder than the Argentine, but he sure looks like he’s physically stronger. This is going to be a real fight, and both fighters are going to have to take their game to another level in order to win.

You’re going to be a part of “Cluster F__k 2015”? God Bless you and all of the other crazy ass fans who will spend an obscene amount of their hard-earned dough in Sin City in the days leading into the fight and on the night of May 2.

I don’t think you’re going to have a hard time finding a place that’s broadcasting the fight. Every MGM property will have at least one closed-circuit theater showing Mayweather-Pacquiao, and I imagine several sports bar/cantinas on and outside of the strip will also be showing the fight. Be prepared to pay around $200 for a ticket to one of these places.

THE MARVELOUS ONE

Hi Dougie,

I agree with you on your take on ‘Mythical Matchups’ more than 95% of the time. I can’t totally agree with your thoughts on Marvin Hagler in recent mailbags. You had him losing to Jake LaMotta, Carlos Monzon and Michael Spinks. I think Marvin would have beaten LaMotta and maybe Spinks. I will never forget the Hagler/Leonard fight (which I attended). Every time Leonard stopped running and Marvin got him cornered he beat the crap out of him. I know the idea is to hit and not get hit but running and pecking most of the fight gets old. Reminds you of the second Leonard/Duran fight. Keep up the good work.

PS: How did you get such a gorgeous wife? – Mike

I got lucky.

I have the utmost respect for Hagler (even though I didn’t really appreciate him when he was in his prime and the reigning undisputed middleweight champ – although I usually made it a point to watch his fights). It wasn’t easy for me to go against him in those mythical matchups. There’s two things I want you to know:

1. I appreciate how you can disagree with my mythical matchup opinions without being nasty about it or feeling the need to rip the legacies of the fighters I imagined would have defeated they guy that you favor. (Although you did throw some salt on my guy Sugar Ray Leonard, LOL.) Hagler fans > Tyson fans.

2. There are MANY hall-of-fame enshrined fighters that I believe Hagler could have defeated, however those three that you mentioned are not among them. LaMotta is often classified as a relentless slugger because of the way he was depicted in the movie Raging Bull, but the oldest living former champion was a very good boxer. He was one of the toughest S.O.B’s ever to lace on gloves, but he had underrated craft and technique. (Everyone knows LaMotta for losing four out of five fights with Sugar Ray Robinson, but he took on many standouts of the 1940s – included black guys that Robinson didn’t fight and who were avoided by white contenders and champs. Those top-10 rated fighters, which include hall of famers Holman Williams and Bert Lytell, who LaMotta beat, were very strong, skilled boxers.) I think LaMotta had more wrinkles to his game than Hagler, and he was too big and strong for the Marvelous One to push around. Same thing with Monzon. His chin was every bit as iron as Hagler’s, he had the upper-body strength to match the southpaw technician during trench battle, but he also had the height, reach and world-class jab to score at will against the shorter middleweight from the outside. And Monzon, a true 15-round fighter, had superior stamina, IMO. I’m not saying Monzon – or anyone – would have had an easy time with Hagler but I think the Argentine legend could have outpointed the Brockton badass. And Spinks, well, he’s ATG light heavyweight. He was taller, rangier and harder punching than Hagler, but he also had an awkward, mobile style of boxing that employed a lot of sneaky (even dirty) tactics that I think would have troubled the straight-forward (somewhat plodding) middleweight king. Hey, I think Hagler is one of the top five greatest middleweight champs ever, so I’m not mad at anyone who thinks who would’ve had too much for LaMotta, Monzon and Spinks. I just don’t see it that way.

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

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