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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

08
May

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THE NEXT SUPERSTAR

Hi Dougie,

It’s time to look ahead. Name me some guys who you believe will take over the mantle as boxing’s next superstars once Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. hang up their gloves? I think they’ve done their bit for boxing and maybe fans are looking for somebody new and exciting. I feel that Canelo has improved and has all the ingredients to be a crossover star. Same goes for Anthony Joshua. Gennady Golovkin is awesome but might be a little old already. What do you think?



Kind regards. – Anish Parekh

I agree that Canelo (provided he gets past the always dangerous James Kirkland tomorrow night) can develop (rather quickly) into a crossover star, while Golovkin, Deontay Wilder, Terence Crawford, Sergey Kovalev, Keith Thurman and Andre Ward (provided he’s able to regain his career momentum in 2015) can all ascend to stardom by the end of 2016 with the right matchups. These seven – along with fabulous “little guys,” such as Vasyl Lomachenko, Roman Gonzalez, Carl Frampton and Nicholas Walters (who deserve as much attention as the bigger boxers but sadly will probably never be as accepted by casual fans and the general public) – can carry the sport in the U.S. (and other parts of the world) over the next two-to-three years.

Beyond 2018, I think Joshua has the potential to be the leading global boxing superstar. Felix Verdejo and Erroll Spence Jr. also appear to have the potential to evolve into something special, something beyond a respected TV fighter or world titleholder.

 

MAILBAG OF THE CENTURY

Hey Dougie!!

Every Monday and Friday the mailbag is the “Mailbag of The Century.” Thank you so much for your hard work to keep us entertained.

The “Fight of the Century” will not even be considered the “Fight of The Month” after the Canelo-Kirkland and Chocolatito-Sosa fights. What do you expect from these fights?

What do you think Ali would have done to a one-armed Frazier? What if Frazier had only averaged 35.75 punches per round? Ali is still the “Greatest”!!

I’m glad the fight only cost me a 12-Pack of beer. Cheers!! – Marvin, LA, CA

What do I think Ali would have done to a one-armed Frazier? LOL. I think Frazier’s handlers would have had the good sense not to send their fighter, a great left-hooker, into the “Fight of the Century” with a torn rotator on the shoulder of his hook-throwing arm.

I expect Kirkland to start fast and test Canelo’s chin, resolve and stamina with his trademark hard pressure and volume power-punching, but I think the young Mexican star will slow the relentless southpaw down with precise body punching and eventually wear the Texan down with flush combinations to the head. I’m thinking Canelo by late TKO but he’ll know he’s been in a fight.

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I think Gonzalez and Sosa will put on a good show in the co-feature to GGG-Monroe Jr., especially with their infighting skills, however though both flyweights are compete fighters, Chocolatito is in his prime and should be too strong and accurate for the well-traveled Mexican veteran. Gonzalez by mid-to-late KO.

 

I BLAME MYSELF

Hey Dougie,

Long time reader, first time mailer.

I won’t give you all my thoughts from Saturday; that would be a mailbox all to itself. What I will say is that, thinking with my head and not my heart I knew exactly how it would play out. I don’t say that to big myself up, but my point is this – I still paid my money and got exactly what I expected – any blame for that stops at my door. Nobody forced me to do it. So why did I? For the same reason I paid for David Haye-Audley Harrison on PPV a few years ago – this is boxing. It’s the sport we love and no matter what we think we know in advance, there’s always that voice that tells us ‘this is the fight’ (or ‘Audley can become world champion’?) because sometimes all it take is that one punch and that’s why we keep going back. We can’t risk not seeing those moments of history.

On the event itself, the build-up, the hype, the celebrities and the mainstream crossover is there any name on the horizon that you think will be next to generate anything like that in the coming years? With the boxing skill and personality (good or bad) to generate that interest given the right opponent. Thurman or Fury would be my pick?

A word on Ray Beltran, I felt for the guy when he was robbed against Ricky Burns, but he committed the cardinal sin in my book last week in missing weight and has now probably blown his last chance for a world title.

Mythical match-ups –

Froch v Eubank sr

Calzaghe v Benn

My man Audley v Iron Mike (hey, I’d probably still buy that PPV, because you never know…)

Keep up the good work. – Isaac (England)

I was also disappointed in Beltran for missing weight, but the power he exhibited against Takahiro Ao might suggest that he needs to campaign at 140 pounds where I could see him give young gun (and “regular” WBA beltholder) Jose Benavides Jr. a good fight.

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Regarding #MayPac, I think most diehard boxing fans expected what happened to happen (although many of us, myself included, were hoping that Pacquiao could make something happen). Most of the hardcore fans who were disappointed with the uneventful nature of the main event, or turned off by the ridiculous hype/blatant gouging, will continue to watch the sport they love and will continue to pay to see the big fights. However, this event was so huge that projected pay-per-view buys exceed 4.5 million. That’s a lot of casual fan households (at least 3 million). In fact, I bet at least one-third of the folks who watched Mayweather-Pacquiao live were first-timers. My guess is that a lot of those people were either permanently turned off from the sport or will think twice before spending that much money on a boxing pay-per-view event in the future.

The only matchup on the horizon that I think can come close to the hype created by Mayweather-Pacquiao (and don’t forget that fight had a five-year build-up and backstory) is Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury but most of hoopla for that heavyweight championship showdown will be in Europe. The winner of Klitschko-Fury vs. Deontay Wilder could be huge on both sides of The Pond but the unbeaten American needs a few bouts on network TV to increase his popularity at home.

Your mythical matchups:

Froch v Eubank Sr. – Froch by close decision

Calzaghe v Benn – Calzaghe by close decision but Benn would be a threat from start to finish. I can see Calzaghe having to get up from an early knockdown.

Your man Audley v Iron Mike (hey, I’d probably still buy that PPV, because you never know…) – The sad version of Mike Tyson that lost to Kevin McBride nearly 10 years ago would have knocked the prime version of Harrison the f__k out.

Thanks for finally writing, Isaac.

 

THREE STEPS TO GGG’S STARDOM

Dougie,

I believe Golovkin will get a shot at the high profile, big money fights that will catapult him to the higher echelons of the sport.

Here are the 3 steps in which it will happen:

#1: Cotto, Canelo and Golovkin will each win their upcoming fights.

#2: Cotto will fight Canelo for the middleweight championship, because this is a HUGE fight with too much money on the table. Canelo will win and take the lineal middleweight crown.

#3: Canelo will fight Golovkin, because Canelo, like him or not, has shown time and again that he’ll fight anyone they put in front of him.

This will be a big PPV promotion and Golovkin will beat Canelo via late rounds stoppage.

Golovkin will then be a top P4P and PPV player which will lead to more high profile fights.

Wishful thinking? Your thoughts? Thanks. – John, Irvine CA

From your (and Jim Lampley’s) lips to God’s ears. Hey, it can happen. It can definitely happen, but I think Kirkland, Willie Monroe Jr. and Daniel Geale will each have something to say about your prediction. Anyone of the capable underdogs can upset the best laid plans of HBO and boxing’s power brokers.

 

BOXING WILL NEVER DIE

What’s going down in the H-Town Doug? I hope you enjoy Canelo-Kirkland as much as I do this weekend. It’s impossible for this one to be a dud! Unfortunately, I won’t be going to the fight. But I definitely will be watching it. I’ve actually never been to a boxing match. But I’m only 18 so I got time.

For as long as boxing has been around it has never been dead. (Correct me if I’m wrong.) But there has always been that one talented boxer that has captured the eye of the public. One that’s exciting and entertaining. And it’s not like we’re short of talented boxers now. There are a ton of prospects and top fighters that are just waiting for Floyd and Pac to retire so they can take over. And there will be that boxer that separates himself from the pack and takes over. So it’s false for people to say boxing is dead. BOXING WILL NEVER DIE.

(P.S. No one should count out a skilled boxer like Willie Monroe Jr. I don’t think an upset will happen. But I definitely expect it to go the distance. Peace!) – Wesam, H-Town

Hey young man, if you’re feeling Monroe Jr. and you want to call the “upset special,” don’t be afraid to do it. GGG is my guy but I’m not the type to get mad at somebody for thinking that one of my favorite fighter’s opponents can beat him (Mayweather and Pacquiao fans please take note – y’all can learn from ole Dougie).

I agree that Monroe has the ability to take Golovkin the full 12. We’ll find out eight days from now.

You’re young but you’re also wise, Wes. Boxing will never die. Somebody always comes along that captures the public’s fascination. I covered a Top Rank show co-headlined by Mayweather (vs. Jesus Chavez) and Pacquiao (vs. Agaptio Sanchez) almost 14 years ago in San Francisco. Nobody who was there or who watched the fights on HBO could have imagined that those two would one day face each other in the biggest money-making boxing venture in the history of the sport.

I don’t know who will be in the big mega-matchup 14 years from now, but I know that there are some big fights that can and will be made between now and then which will sustain the sport.

THE VEGAS EXPERIENCE

What’s up Dougie?

I’ve been reading your mailbag for about 5 years and this is my first time writing. I value your boxing opinion more than anybody else’s.

I am kind of a new boxing fan, I started faithfully watching in late ’07 when I was 17. I started going to the boxing gym shortly after. I looked up a lot of boxers and Pernell Whitaker is my favorite of all time. Patterned my style after him.

Enough about me, I really wanna talk about this fight… My family dragged me to Vegas because I just recently celebrated my bday and they know I love boxing. The atmosphere there was crazy, a bunch of nasty looking escorts and sluts trying to land a baller. I instantly knew these aren’t true fans but casual idiots who think Floyd Mayweather was a KO artist. I had no real fans to talk to about boxing. I say that because everybody was saying Floyd would knock Pacman out. I would disagree and not prove my point because talking to fake boxing fans (pole jockin, d__k riders) wouldn’t be worth wasting my breath. So I waited until fight night. On fight night I knew what would happen and wasn’t surprised at Floyd but it’s Manny is who shocked me. Maybe his shoulder was really messed up I don’t know, what I do know is he wasn’t getting after Floyd the way he should’ve and could’ve. Manny could’ve caused problems for Floyd if he put forth an effort. Should’ve paid attention to the Cotto fight with Floyd (how Cotto timed Floyd) and Marcos Maidana’s non-stop pressure.

Everybody was so angry talking about wanting their money back and all that. I don’t know what they expected to see really.

Later that night we went out and people started shooting at one another, so stupid. I can truly say that the experience was more hype than anything. Bringing guns, really?

What made me realize these idiots were fake boxing fans to the max, Amir Khan was on our plane. I was sleepy and when we landed I seen him grab his items. I was looking around and nobody noticed him. We got off the plane and I seen him and shook his hand and had a quick chat. He is a cool dude and humble. I feel Khan would give Floyd trouble with his reach and his ridiculous hand speed, he can touch Floyd. Close UD for Floyd if they fight.

Anyway, here’s a few Mythical Match-ups:

Pernell Whitaker vs Terrence Crawford @140

Meldrick Taylor vs. Amir Khan @140

Wolverine vs Lobo

GGG vs Carlos Monzon

Manny Pacquiao vs Roberto Duran @135

Floyd Mayweather vs Aaron Pryor @140

Vasyl Lomachenko vs Willie Pep

(When I boxed I was in the 140-147 range)

Keep the mail bags coming. This is my Monday and Friday ritual. A reply would make my year so far, even better than May 2. The 9th will redeem boxing. I got Canelo KO by the 10th. – Frank Maverick, Bay Area, Ca

Those are sound boxing predictions (for Mayweather-Khan and Canelo-Kirkland), Frank. You know your sport. Thanks for the kind words and thanks for finally writing in to the mailbag.

Khan is indeed a humble and down-to-earth guy in person. I wish more boxing fans knew that.

I’m sorry your mega-fight experience in Vegas was a sour one. Now you know why I was more than happy to sit that little piece of “boxing history” out. Too many non-boxing fans, too many non-boxing media members, too many hos, too many media-hos, not enough action in the “big fight.”

But I’m not mad at the people who complained about the fight (or lack of one). This event was marketed to casual fans and to people who normally ignore boxing. All they knew going into May 2 were the names “Mayweather” and “Pacquiao” – not the boxers’ respective careers – and they were repeatedly beat over the head with the mantra that “this was the fight that the sport needed and the public demanded.” So they were expecting something epic.

And I admit that I was hopeful that the fight could be at the very least compelling. (Hey, being cynical gets old.)

Well, it wasn’t epic or even all that compelling. But so what? It’s over and we’ve got a good main event matchup to watch tomorrow night. And next Saturday we’ve got Golovkin and Chocolatito co-headlining at The Forum. If you want to be surrounded by hardcore fans, Frank, drive down to Inglewood on May 16.

Your Mythical Matchups:

Pernell Whitaker vs Terrence Crawford @140 – Whitaker by UD

Meldrick Taylor vs. Amir Khan @140 – Khan by MD

Wolverine vs Lobo – Lobo by mid-round KO (unless Wolvie is allowed to use his claws)

GGG vs Carlos Monzon – Monzon by UD

Manny Pacquiao vs Roberto Duran @135 – Duran by late TKO

Floyd Mayweather vs Aaron Pryor @140 – Pryor by close UD

Vasyl Lomachenko vs Willie Pep – Pep by UD

 

MELTED MANILA ICE

Hey Dougie,

I’m sad I didn’t see you or K-Hammer in Vegas for #MayPac, though still determined to meet you both someday.

I don’t know if it would have made a difference, maybe we would’ve seen Manila Ice more, maybe Pacman would have poured it on more the couple occasions he had Money on the ropes, but do you think Manny should have postponed the fight if he had a legit injury? I say yes, despite all the money involved. He was in a lose-lose situation either way, but if he admitted the injury early at least he wouldn’t be looked at as an excuse-making sore loser like he is now by more than a few of his fans, myself included. Thanks always for your hard work, I hope you enjoyed Avengers 2! – Lester from MD

Thanks for the kind words, Lester. If you ever want to catch up with K9 and I, just go to a real fight card (like Canelo-Kirkland or Golovkin-Monroe). We’ll be around.

I still haven’t seen Age of Ultron. I probably won’t have the time until after May 16. When it rains it pours in boxing.

Would it have made a difference if a 100% healthy Pacquiao had stepped into the ring with Mayweather? I think he could have made for a faster paced, more active, more competitive fight if he had two healthy arms, but I still think he would have lost to Mayweather.

Should his people have postponed the fight? It’s a tough call and I think it all depends on how severe the injury was when it first happened. If the rotator cuff was clearly torn in the rumored sparring session, I think they should have pulled out of the May 2 date for the mega-match. If it was just strained in training and they gave it a couple weeks to heal, and Pacquiao felt better a week (or two) out from the fight, then maybe it was worth it to roll the dice. Obviously there was a lot of pressure for the show to go given that it took so long and so many factions to come together for the event to be finalized and so many fans and media had made travel plans to be in Las Vegas for the May 2 showdown. However, as you pointed out, Pacquiao’s legacy has been tarnished a bit by what happened, and not because he lost, but rather for the manner in which he and his team handled this injury and their post-fight reactions.

 

RIGO-CHENKO

Dear Mr. Fischer, Reader of two years, twice a week, every week. Very grateful for your informative and entertaining work! Here’s a mythical matchup/dream come true: Rigondeaux vs Lomachenko. Please give us your comprehensive take on these two wizards. For the record, my heart and my money is on Rigo, and I’m also betting you will favor Loma. – M. Ali (they named me right, didn’t they?) – Chattanooga, TN

Thanks for the nice words.

You are correct. I favor Lomachenko in that potential matchup of amateur legends. It’s an even fight on paper but although the counter-punching Rigondeaux is the more accurate and harder-hitter of the two southpaws, the Ukrainian has the edge in age, size, footwork and activity. And my hunch is that Loma takes a better shot than Rigo.

 

MARCIANO’S RECORD

Hi Doug,

Since the Mayweather win your colleague Rosenthal keeps talking about Mayweather surpassing Rocky Marciano’s record. What record is that? Lots of fighters have gone well past being 49-0? Julio Cesar Chavez was like 87-0 or something like that before he lost. I am sure Pep and Robinson and bunch of other guys also reached this milestone. I was under the impression that the 49-0 mark was with regards to heavyweights? Am I mistaken?

BTW, I hope both Mayweather and Pac retire. I was not in shock Mayflower won at all. I mean, it wasn’t really a 50-50 fight when you have like 50 boxing persons questioned who would win and it come out 42-6 and 2 undecided. I would say that is a heavy favorite. An even fight should be well… even, half pick one way and half pick the other. It wasn’t the case here at all… Thanks for your time! – Alex from Montreal

I always thought Marciano’s 49-0 record was a heavyweight mark. I thought it was a record that unbeaten heavyweight champs, like Larry Holmes in the early-to-mid ’80s, aimed to break. But I guess over the years it’s become the standard that all undefeated boxers, regardless of weight class, fantasize about breaking. You’re correct that many sub-heavyweight fighters have exceeded 49 consecutive pro victories, such Chavez, Nino Benvenuti (who won his first 65) and Pep (who won his first 62), but I guess Michael Rosenthal and other boxing writers focus on Marciano’s mark because he retired unbeaten because they expect that Mayweather will walk away from the sport without a loss. Former strawweight/junior flyweight champ Ricardo “Finito” Lopez retired with an impressive 50-0-1 mark, but I guess that one draw spoils what would have been a “perfect” record.

 

RULE CHANGE NEEDED?

Hi Dougie, Casual fan from the Philippines here. I’d like to hear your take on a couple of questions I have.

  1. Mayweather won, and though he won fair and square, I don’t think it’d need much convincing to any casual fans that the fight was boring.

But that is the rules of boxing. You know, around 5 decades or so ago, the NBA didn’t have a shot clock rule, but when teams started to abuse the system, a shot clock was placed, to counter both the abuse and the boredom, the lack of a shot clock has made.

When teams started employing hard fouls on anyone who tries to do a dunk (arguably the most exciting way to score), the NBA made it so that hard fouls on driving players, punishable by game suspensions.

My point in all of this is that Mayweather has obviously been abusing the system, by only doing enough to win, in the least entertaining way as possible to the casual fans. Do you think it’s time for Boxing to review their rules, and make sure that boxing matches aren’t sleep inducing?

  1. I’ve always been wondering about Roy Jones Jr. and how he wasn’t that popular to the casual fans in the Philippines. I’ve seen clips of his greatest hits and I am honestly amazed, and puzzled, on the fact, that he has largely been unknown in our country for casual fans. My dad also countered that if he’s that great during the 90s, then how come I’ve only heard of De La Hoya during the 90s?

Why is that?

  1. Follow-up question, should Roy Jones Jr. be at his peak today, would the number one pound for pound be up for debate at all?
  2. Did I hear the story correctly, Pacquiao had a shoulder injury and the Nevada something commission didn’t allow him to inject pain relievers on it?

If this is true, was there anyone that questioned the commission why they allowed Mayweather to inject Xylocaine on his fist before? Wasn’t that the rumored reason why Floyd never wanted to fight outside of Las Vegas?

  1. Are there any sure-fire strategy to beat Mayweather? I mean, obviously he knows how to keep away against aggressive boxers, outside of an obvious strength mismatch, I just don’t see how he can be defeated.

If a rematch happens, what exactly should Pacquiao change? – Allan

A rematch should not happen. I’ll respond to your questions in order:

1) As much as I like action fights, I don’t think boxing should enact rules that force boxers to fight in a more “fan-friendly” manner. Boxing is a combat sport. The participants have to be true to their instincts and to their natural fighting styles in order to perform to their potential and to avoid serious injury. Mayweather isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but there are those who enjoy his brand of boxing. Truth is, he’s in the minority. There aren’t many elite technical boxers, while there are more enough all-action sluggers out there to appease us blood-thirsty ghouls.

2) I can’t really comment on what goes on the Philippines, Allan. But I can tell you that Jones was pretty darn popular here in the U.S. He wasn’t as popular as De La Hoya was worldwide, but very few boxers in the history of the sport were as popular as The Golden Boy.

3) Nope.

4) You heard correctly. I think Team Pacquiao messed up by not going to the Nevada State Athletic Commission earlier with news of Pacquiao’s injury and their medication request. They informed USADA of the injury weeks before the fight but not the NSAC (rumor has it because they were afraid folks in the NSAC would leak the information to Team Mayweather, which is silly if true. If I heard about the darn injury, my guess is that TMT heard about it). Mayweather opts to fight in Las Vegas because it’s his hometown. Period.

5) There’s no specific strategy to beat Mayweather. Whoever challenges Mayweather must bring his own unique style and talents to the ring. He’s either going to have what it takes to beat Mayweather or not.

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

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