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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

30
Mar
Photo by Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

Photo by Richard Heathcote / Getty Images

THE “OTHER” BIG WELTERWEIGHT FIGHT

Hi Dougie I know you’re high on Kell Brook.

Brook vs Thurman.

The “super fight” is happening so is there really a fight you wanna see more?

Btw I know you love the lower weight classes so keep an eye on Kal Yafai. – Pete, Sussex, UK

I’m keeping my eye Kal Yafai, who is getting close to earning a top-10 ranking in THE RING’s 115-pound ratings. We did a New Faces feature on the undefeated British junior featherweight last November.

There are more than a few fights I want to see more than Mayweather-Pacquiao and Brook-Thurman, but Brook-Thurman is a fascinating 147-pound matchup. Both undefeated welterweights are athletic boxer-punchers but with different styles and attributes. Both are smart, fast, strong, powerful and coordinated. I think both guys have guts, too.

Brook has the better foundation and a more textbook technique, in my opinion. I think the Sheffield native’s defense is a little tighter than the American’s, too. Thurman’s got a raw bomb-and-move boxing style that works for him. I think he’s little quicker than Brook. However, despite his higher KO percentage, I think their punching power is equal. Brook is better combination puncher, but Thurman has a better body attack.

I really have no idea who would win that fight, but I’d give the slight edge to Brook based on his tighter technique and the hunch that he’s got a better chin than the Thurmanator.

 

FIRST TAKE

How’s your day going Doug,

Having followed the sport for 38 years it’s painful watching Stephen A and especially Skip Bayless fumble over my sport. I enjoy First Take, but boxing is just not their area of expertise. Have your agent get you on!

Also, I completely agree with Evander Holyfield’s take on Floyd Mayweather Jr. getting robbed. I had this feeling before he mentioned it. What’s your take? – Cornell

If we get a legitimately close distance fight (and I think we will), the fans of the loser will all scream “robbery.” Let me make that perfectly clear. However, if Pacquiao only wins four clear rounds, I think an undeserved decision (or split decision) victory for the underdog is within the realm of possibility. Why? Well, a popular boxer with a busy style is going to get the benefit of the doubt against a defensive master in any round that’s remotely competitive (see Mayweather’s split-decision victory over Oscar De La Hoya for an example).

Also, the trend in Mayweather’s recent bouts seems to be at least one judge giving his opponent more credit than he deserves (see the 115-112 scorecard in the Marcos Maidana rematch and the 114-114 card in the Canelo fight). Once upon a time, Mayweather used to get extra (undeserved) credit on one of the official scorecards (see the 119-109 tally against Zab Judah, the 116-111 score in the first Jose Luis Castillo bout and maybe even the 118-110 total in the Cotto fight). Perhaps those days are over.

First-Take-boxRegarding First Take, the popular ESPN show doesn’t bug me at all because I don’t watch it. I’m a boxing fanatic but I’m not a sports fan so I don’t watch any general sports programs (unless you count ESPN’s 30 for 30 films). Skip and Steve have made Mayweather-Pacquiao theirs, which is smart and also predictable. I’ve never equated “The Neverending Story”/Mayweather-Pacquiao with the rest of boxing, so I kind of give the rest of the world a free pass to say whatever the hell they want about the fight and the sport’s only two active super stars.

 

MOST BLATANT DUCK?

Hi Doug,

Been a long time reader of your mailbags, I am 36 and from the moment my mum forced me to watch Tyson v Berbick I have been addicted ever since. Mums like boxing too!

I want to get your thoughts on the potential Brook v Khan matchup. Here in the UK Khan is mostly seen as a Billy big potato which is translated into an arrogant so and so. For years Khan said Brook brings nothing to the table. Well the tables have turned and guess what? Khan wants none of it! Why? I do not know, because Khan obviously had the ability to outbox Brook with his speed, which leads me to only conclude that either they have sparred and Brook smashed him or Khan does not believe deep down he can beat him… What is your take on the situation?

If Khan does not take the fight, he will never have a modicum of respect from anyone who knows their salt about boxing in the UK….shame really.

Couple of mythical match ups for you:

Valero v prime Hatton at 140 – Hatton could smother Valero but then again Valero could literally kill Hatton.

GGG v Chris Eubank – the reason I ask is (I am not crazy, I promise) Eubank had the best chin in boxing at his peak in my opinion and I have a feeling Chris Eubank Jnr has inherited his father’s chin which is a massive factor to be even competitive with GGG, just a thought….

Be great to get your thoughts Doug – if your calling in life are mailbags then you have nailed it. Yours sincerely – Paul

Thanks Paul. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact that your mother FORCED you to watch Tyson-Berbick. She’s hardcore. For real. Respect.

My take on Brook-Khan is that Khan doesn’t want the fight. Not right now, anyway. Khan figures he’s proved himself enough at 147 pounds (with back-to-back lopsided wins over Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander) to get a crack at one of the dynamic duo at welterweight (Floyd and/or Manny). If Khan is going to fight anyone other than those two future hall of famers, he wants to fight someone he thinks he can beat (like Adrien Broner). I’m not saying Khan doesn’t believe he can beat Brook, but I am saying that he realizes that his fellow Brit is the biggest threat to him at 147 pounds (not named Mayweather or Pacquiao). If Khan is going to lose again at this stage of his career, it’s gotta be to a legend.

However, I think if the undefeated IBF titleholder continues to raise his profile this year (and Mayweather and PacMan continue to ignore Khan), Brook vs. Billy big potato might happen sometime in the second half of 2016.

Your mythical matchups:

Valero ices Hatton. That’s the only way that fight could go given their styles/ring mentalities.

I like what I’ve seen from Eubank Jr. in his last two bouts, but I haven’t seen anything yet that would suggest that he can hang with GGG. If you’re talking about his father vs. Golovkin, that would have been a close and competitive fight. Eubank Sr. indeed had the kind of chin that could withstand direct hits from a power-hitter like Golovkin. However, I would favor GGG on points (at 160 pounds) based on his pressure and activity. If Eubank Sr. had a weakness it was that he sometimes did more posing than punching.

 

KELL BROOK’S “DOMINANCE”

Let me preface my comments with saying that I think Brook is a great fighter and has a chance to do some damage in the WW division.

With that being said, JoJo Dan looked terrible. I know he was considered a tough and durable guy, but aside from someone who can take an ass whipping, I didn’t see much. He was slow, he couldn’t put together any combinations and just looked flat with no energy.

Yes, I remember what Brook did to Shawn Porter but I feel Porter fights one way, (rushing in like a bull dog) and that all it would take would be someone who could negate that by moving and outboxing him which is what Brook did.

My question to you is, do you give him a legitimate shot against guys like Pacquiao, Mayweather, Thurman and Khan? Have a great weekend. – Maintain from Queens, NY

I would not heavily favor any of the top welterweights to beat Brook. I think on a good night, he could beat all of the fighters you mentioned. Brook is in his physical prime (unlike Mayweather and Manny), he’s a natural welterweight (unlike Floyd, Manny and Amir), and in my not-so-humble opinion he’s got better (or maybe more disciplined) technique than Khan and Thurman.

I agree that we have to put the Jo Jo Dan victory in perspective (which includes factoring in the leg injury Brook that bounced back from). The Romanian was not a legit top-10 welterweight contender but he’d never been stopped and Brook wiped his arse with the poor lefty. Brook’s got power to go with his skill set. And I think he’s proven the ability to handle a variety of styles (over the course of 34 pro bouts). The only thing left for him to prove is the ability to beat an elite boxer. I don’t think Mayweather or Pacquiao will ever give him that shot, but maybe Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley will.

I think Brook would beat Marquez. (Don’t get mad at me JMM fans, it’s just a matter of size, styles and age.) I think Brook-Bradley is an even fight, but I slightly favor the British beltholder.

 

THREE QUESTIONS

Hey Dougie,

Loyal follower of your Monday and Friday mailbags; I always look forward to reading them though I’ve probably lost more production at work than I care to admit! Three questions for you:

  1. Anything going on with Mikey Garcia? The last I heard he was in some sort of legal dispute with his manager or promoter. People like to bash SOG about his inactivity, but Mikey is going on over a year without a fight too. I enjoyed watching him, so hopefully this extended layoff won’t leave behind too much rust.
  2. I was glancing through the sanctioning body world rankings as I do from time to time and noticed that Amir Khan was ranked as either the first or second challenger on two of them. Then I looked at The Ring rankings and lo and behold, he was ranked 3rd behind Floyd, Manny, and Kell Brook! I admire his willingness to take on all challengers and travel and such, but why so high? He has name recognition and a flashy style and all, but with only 2 true fights at welter, it’s safe to say that he hasn’t earned that place. Am I missing something?
  3. Just read that the May/Pac fight won’t be televised over PPV in any of the non-MGM hotels on the strip. Thoughts?

Thanks! – Jeff in Los Angeles

Thanks for the kind words (and for taking time away from work to read the mailbag column). I’ll answer your questions in order:

1. I gotta be honest with you, Jeff. I have a lot of respect for Mikey Garcia but I was never a fan of his somewhat conservative counter-punching style and I always thought he was a bit lacking in the personality department. As far as I know, he’s still in a contract dispute with Top Rank, but don’t take my word for it. Do an internet search if you really want to know what’s up with Garcia. I’d do it for you if Garcia was one of my favorite boxers, but he isn’t. I’m not saying I’m a “Mikey Hater,” but I am saying “Out of sight, out of mind.”

2. I don’t think you’re missing anything regarding Khan’s lofty ranking in THE RING’s welterweight rankings. Either you agree that he looked good enough dominating Collazo and Alexander in his last two 147-pound bouts to merit his position in our top 10, or you don’t. I guess it could be argued that Marquez and Bradley should be rated higher. However, JMM only fought once in 2014, his decision over Mike Alvarado (who wasn’t rated at 147 pounds), and prior to that bout he dropped a decision to Bradley. Timmy is coming off a draw (vs. Diego Chaves) and a loss (to Pacquiao). But I digress. Bradley, Thurman, Marquez, Porter, Maidana, Guerrero and Chaves are rated behind Khan. Can you make a strong argument for any of these guys to be rated higher than Khan?

3. My only thoughts about the closed circuit showing of Mayweather-Pacquiao in Las Vegas is that it’s going to be an expensive ticket, it’s going to be total cluster f__k and a lot of folks who make the trip to Sin City are not going to be able to see the fight live.

 

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

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