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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

11
May
Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

WHAT A FIGHT!

Hi Dougie There was high expectation for this fight and boy did Canelo Alvarez and James Kirkland deliver! Can Kirkland be in a boring fight? Don’t think so, and the way Canelo kept his cool during Kirkland’s flurries was great to witness. Sky’s the limit for the young Mexican star.

Now what’s next for those two? Cotto Vs Canelo is a no brainer for me! I got Canelo on this one. Kirkland, the way he fights you probably can’t expect a long career out of him but Kirkland Vs David Lemieux would be my dream fight right now. Lemieux probably hits harder than Canelo but he has way more flaws and that evens the field a bit. 50-50 fight for me! Rooting for my man Lemieux anyway. Hope Lemieux wins is first title Vs N’Dam in June (will probably be in the building for that fight).

Mythical Match up:



Arturo Gatti Vs Ricky Hatton

Wladimir Klistchko Vs Teofilo Stevenson

and a fun one Chuck Wepner Vs Chris Arreola

Keep up the good work. – Sonny B├®langer, Qu├®bec City, Canada

I’ll try Sonny.

As one-sided as the Canelo-Kirkland shootout was, it was still explosive, thrilling and ultimately satisfying. Half an hour after the fight ended my adrenaline was still surging, my heart was still pumping hard, and all around me were hardcore boxing fans and industry people buzzing about the surefire KO of the Year candidate and what might be next for Canelo.

Sign me up for Canelo-Cotto and Lemieux-Kirkland. Those are fights I’d gladly buy a ticket to watch live. We’ll see what happens in June. Cotto and Lemieux are not in with easy opponents. If Cotto prevails against Daniel Geale and accepts Canelo’s challenge, I favor the younger, fresher, bigger and improving fighter, but it will be a much tougher fight for the red head than the Kirkland scrap. If Lemieux is able to catch Hassan Ndam, I’d favor him to beat Kirkland but it would be another shootout and a more competitive one than we witnessed on Saturday.

Your mythical match-ups:

Arturo Gatti Vs Ricky Hatton – at 140 pounds, I’ll go with the Hitman by close decision in a rough-n-tumble battle

Wladimir Klistchko Vs Teofilo Stevenson – The Cuban legend would have been very dangerous with his powerful but educated straight right, but I gotta go with Wladdy in a pro bout. I love Teo in a three-round amateur bout.

Chuck Wepner Vs Chris Arreola – Wepner by decision in bloody (of course), sloppy (but entertaining) slugfest

 

NOT IMPRESSED

Dear Mr. Dougie,

Canelo showed a lot of power on Saturday by ktfo(ing) hard hitting Kirkland. But in my opinion his power was the only impressive quality that I can cheer on (I’m a a huge Canelo fan). The red head fighter didn’t present any improved skill (head movement, foot work, speed and a better A game) that would give a small chance against GGG (I still think he beats the smaller Cotto). I doubt staying on the ropes was his master plan but he couldn’t help it. Kirkland pushed Canelo to the ropes and did his job. Now pretend GGG was on the opposite side of Canelo this past Saturday, same thing would of happened but with Canelo hitting the canvas out cold. With the Mexican’s inability to use his legs or head movement he’s just a duck floating on water waiting for GGG to shoot his freckled ass.

And what the f__k is going on with Frankie “Dumbass” Gomez. I was really looking forward to his fight with “La Zorrita”. I became a loyal fan after his fight with Vernon Paris, but he just doesn’t give a f__k about no one but himself. I don’t see him becoming anything in this sport after this unprofessional outing. It seems like he is willing to take the James Kirkland road to the top rather than the casual road. Hope to hear back. I wish the best health to you and your family and keep up the great work.

Mystical match ups.

Orlando Salido vs “El Terrible” Morales at 126

“El Terrible” vs JCC at 130 lbs

Canelo vs a possible rematch with Money at 160 lbs

Klitchsko vs Drago from Rocky IV

– Mr. Loco in the IE

Thanks for the nice words and for sharing your thoughts, Senor Crazy.

I disagree with your take on Canelo’s performance against Kirkland. I think he fought the fight that he knew would enable him to tee off the most against Kirkland – and I believe his technique was excellent and his tactics were perfect (the proof is the pudding that he turned poor Kirkland into in Round 3). Canelo didn’t need to stick and move or slip and dodge against Kirkland. To do so would have lessened his offensive opportunities, prolonged the fight and enabled Kirkland to knock off ring rust, get into a rhythm and gain momentum – which is something you definitely do not want to do against “the Mandingo Warrior.”

It’s silly to judge Canelo’s performance against Kirkland based on how you imagine Gennady Golovkin would have performed if in Kirkland’s place. Why? Because Canelo would not fight GGG the way he fought Kirkland. I’ve seen them spar. Canelo knows GGG is a deadly accurate home-run hitter. He would use his jab and his legs a lot more with the undefeated middleweight than he would with other opponents.

And by the way, I think it’s premature for us to talk about Canelo challenging GGG. He’s yet to officially leave the junior middleweight division (although it’s clear that he belongs at 160 pounds) and it’s obvious that Cotto is his main target for 2015.

As for Gomez, you kind of identified his problem with the nickname you gave him. Homie ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s got talent and he’s got balls once he’s in a fight, but he’s still immature and he’s never been fond of training.

Your mythical match ups:

Orlando Salido vs Erik Morales at 126 – Morales by decision in a fun scrap

“El Terrible” vs Julio Cesar Chavez at 130 lbs – Chavez by decision in an excellent fight

Canelo vs a possible rematch with Money at 160 lbs. – wouldn’t happen, Floyd’s not fighting over 154 pounds.

Klitschko vs Drago from Rocky IV – Wladdy by late TKO

 

LIFE GOES ON

Hey Dougie,

Last Thursday, I saw Oscar De La Hoya’s cousin Diego in a rugged but entertaining fight. Then on Friday I saw Glen Tapia get KO’d yet again. Amazingly, on Saturday afternoon there were not just one, but two wildly entertaining fights featuring Tomoki Kameda, Jamie McDonnell, Ricky Burns, and Omar Figueroa. Finally, at the main event in Houston, Canelo makes a big statement by making James Kirkland curtsy to the crowd and pull up the bedsheets in front runner for KO of the year.

This past weekend’s fights provided a great palette cleanse to the lackluster ‘fight of the century’ card and boxing fans have plenty to look forward to in the coming months, and then some.

Boxing What-Ifs:

  1. What if James Kirkland had Ann Wolfe in his corner and camp for the Canelo fight?
  2. What if Canelo hadn’t fought Mayweather at 22?
  3. What if Edwin Valero overcame his demons and was alive today?

Thanks always and keep up the hard work!! – Lester from MD

Thanks, I’ll try.

I wasn’t high on Diego De La Hoya when I first saw him fight, but I’m seeing potential in the 20-year-old junior featherweight after witnessing the skill, aggression and conditioning he displayed against the ridiculously tough Ramiro Robles last Thursday.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1522241″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

I don’t know what to say about Tapia. I can’t say his loss to Michel Soro was a surprise because I’ve never really viewed him as a junior middleweight standout and I had no expectations in that fight. Maybe he needs to move up to middleweight. He didn’t have an easy time making 154 and then said he felt slow and sluggish during the fight (and, man, he looked it).

Props to McDonnell for getting up from an early knockdown and making the necessary adjustments to outwork and outpoint (narrowly) a more gifted athlete/boxer. And props to Figueroa and Burns for going at it hard for 12 rounds (although their fight had a little too much mauling and grappling for my taste).

If Mayweather-Pacquiao soured you on bigtime boxing, Canelo-Kirkland likely reminded you how the sport can stoke emotions and excitement like no other.

Your boxing what-ifs:

  1. What if James Kirkland had Ann Wolfe in his corner and camp for the Canelo fight? – We would have witnessed the same result but it would have taken Canelo longer to chop Kirkland down and he wouldn’t have come out of the fight unscathed.
  2. What if Canelo hadn’t fought Mayweather at 22? – He would be unbeaten, but not as rich.
  3. What if Edwin Valero overcame his demons and was alive today? – He’d be one of the sport’s most popular and celebrated fighters.

 

CANELO VS GGG

Hello, Dougie,

Great Canelo-Kirkland fight! What a war! I know a lot of people are suspect about Canelo’s chances in a fight down the line with GGG. However, I think Canelo is a very live opponent. He moves his feet well, he punches in combo very well, and he punches viciously to the body – both the hook to the liver and the right to the stomach are excellent. Also, if Canelo varies his approach – counter punching at times, walking forward behind the jab at times – he presents huge challenges to Golovkin.

I love that fight. Your thoughts? All the best. – Ty from Ohio

I would favor GGG if they were to fight any time during the next 18 months, but I agree that Canelo can give the undefeated WBA titleholder a good fight. I think Canelo would pick his spots when to plant his feet and trade bombs, and when to stick and move a bit, and I believe he can go rounds and do some damage (especially with his body attack). And who knows? Beyond 18 months maybe he’ll have the experience and the size to do more than just compete with GGG.

But again, we’re getting ahead of ourselves with the Golovkin-Canelo talk. GGG’s got Willie Monroe Jr. to deal with this Saturday, and Canelo is clearly going after Cotto this fall.

 

THE ANTIDOTE TO MAYPAC

Hey Doug,

It’s too bad there aren’t more shootouts in boxing like Saturday night’s rumble as far as attracting new viewers. I had a buddy over to watch the contest who said he hadn’t watched a boxing match since Hagler/Hearns back in ’85. I think I won him over. I told him up front what to expect and the bout lived up to everything I predicted.

Kirkland performed as advertised. He brought it from the opening bell. He seemed to rock Canelo right off the bat and for about a minute I thought how big this was going to be if Kirkland actually pulled the upset. The problem was that he left skill and technique in the locker room and just tried to overwhelm Canelo with strength, conditioning and punching power.

Canelo took some hard shots but you could see him make the necessary adjustments and then just pick Kirkland apart, dropping in pinpoint counters in between bombs by his big strong opponent. I have watched Canelo Alvarez from the beginning and acknowledge his skill set but this contest really impressed me and made me even more of a fan.

Canelo’s size, strength, skill set, punching power and willingness to step in and engage make him a very dangerous opponent for anyone.

I see Cotto as having no shot with Canelo at this point and call me crazy but a future fight with Gennady Golovkin at 160 is a helluva fight and one that I would actually pay to see (and I don’t buy many PPV fights). Understand, I am not at this point picking Canelo against Triple G but who knows? I wanna see it when it (eventually) happens. You agree? – David, Nashville

I agree. Whenever GGG and Canelo do cross paths, probably late 2016 or 2017, it will be a huge boxing event (but one that will live up to the hype and be worth the asking price) and I’m gonna want to be there for that one.

I disagree with your opinion that Cotto has no shot against Canelo. Cotto’s smaller and he’s long in the tooth, but he’s a way smarter boxer and MUCH sharper puncher than Kirkland. I think Cotto-Canelo is a very competitive (and entertaining) matchup.

Although Kirkland did land a few choice lefts and right hooks during the first half of the opening round, I don’t think Canelo was ever seriously hurt or rocked. He had his wits about him and saw everything that Kirkland was launching at him.

I think Kirkland needed more power in his shots. He seemed to be concentrating on volume and pressure, but he didn’t appear to be as hell bent on doing damage to Canelo right off the bat as he was during his opening rounds against Alfredo Angulo and Glen Tapia.

Of course, I could be wrong. Maybe Kirkland was punching with full power but once Canelo tapped his body and shook him up with accurate head shots, those punches lost steam.

Anyway, I was also impressed with Canelo’s poise, skill and technique on Saturday. I’d still like to see him be a little more active with his hands, but he seems to be improving which is the most important thing.

 

CANELO, GGG & THE PBC ON CBS

What’s up Doug, Busy weekend of boxing! I’m gonna start with Canelo-Kirkland: Canelo looked sharp and poised in there and finished well with a good feint then right hook against a fairly stationery opponent who let him plant his feet and load up as he always does for his power shots/combos.

How do you see him vs Cotto (IF it happens) playing out? Also will the winner face GGG? I think he’s untouchable at 160 if I’m honest.

PBC on CBS got a little bit more interesting this week with one of the house fighters actually losing! Great effort from McDonnell. Where does he go from here? Figueroa looked terrible in my opinion against a faded/heavy Ricky Burns although Burns showed great heart and grit. Shouldn’t Figueroa have handled him better? There’s talk of him going straight to 147, which I think would end disastrously. What’s your take? Keep up the good work. – David, Dublin

I think going to welterweight would be a huge mistake for Figueroa. Campaigning at 140 pounds might be difficult enough for him because he doesn’t have the size and power advantages that he had at lightweight.

I don’t think Figueroa looked terrible. He looked like his usual aggressive, switch-hitting, pressure-fighting, volume-punching self against Burns, who recaptured some of the form he had as a 130-pound standout but couldn’t sustain it against the young Texan’s relentless assault. Should Figueroa had handled Burns better than he did? I don’t think so. Burns is by far the most experienced and accomplished fighter “Panterita” has faced so far. The Scotsman was a solid opponent for his junior welterweight debut.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Figueroa take on Adrien Broner at 140 pounds.

McDonnell goes from a lower top-10 bantamweight to a major player in the 118-pound division with his points victory over Kameda. I’d love to see him unify against a young gun like IBF beltholder Randy Caballero, who has shown that he’s willing to travel for significant fights so it could be a home game for McDonnell.

How do I see Cotto-Canelo playing out? I think the younger, bigger man chops the old lion down to a late stoppage in a very tough fight. I can see Canelo challenging GGG, not Cotto.

CANELO VS. PACMAN

Doug –

How about Canelo-Manny at a catchweight? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

I think Team Canelo, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO would be into that idea because it would do huge business and the young Mexican star would likely prevail. However, I think Top Rank and Team Pacquiao are looking at having the Filipino star drop down to 140 pounds, where an eventual “pass-the-torch” fight with Terence Crawford awaits.

 

CANELO’S BODY ATTACK

Hi Doug,

Martin Murray bothered Golovkin a couple of times with hard shots downstairs. I realise and agree with GGG being a big favourite over Canelo but do you think going hard to the body is Canelo’s best shot as a central plank to a fight strategy?

Keep up the great work. Regards. – Dave

GGG-&-CaneloYes, I think a strong body attack should be part of any opponent’s game plan against GGG, and I think Canelo is one of the best body punchers in boxing, but we’re all acting like there’s a fight date set between these two.

Canelo said he’s willing to fight GGG after the Kirkland victory. He didn’t say he wanted to fight GGG next. We all need to calm down a little bit because there’s no way these two are getting in the ring this year and it’s a longshot if they get it on in 2016.

 

CANELO LOOKED GOOD

Hey Doug,

Thank god for Canelo-Kirkland, it was a thriller while it lasted. Even though it wasn’t competitive it was still exciting to see two guys willing to duke it out for all the marbles. I was very impressed with the display of guts by Kirkland and the composure that Canelo has consistently shown. Canelo also showed that he has really good technique and a high level skill set. People don’t give him credit because he got schooled by Mayweather, but remember, Floyd does that to most of his opponents and he actually got him at an early age. I’m not saying he can beat Floyd, styles make fights, but I don’t think he is as bad as some people make him to be.

Now, for the record, I do think Canelo did what he was supposed to, and he shouldn’t be getting that much credit, but I do have to admit that the KO left me speechless. I’ll give Canelo props for taking on yet another dangerous opponent in his prime (even after the layoff I considered Kirkland a test), I do think he’s competitive against Cotto and maybe a favorite against the aging, smaller, Puerto Rican superstar; but to be honest I still have some doubts. What do you think the outcome would be in that potential superfight? Do you see a competitive fight against GGG?

Some fantasy matchups:

Julio Cesar Chavez vs Buddy McGirt

Pernell Whitaker vs Meldrick Taylor

Terry Norris vs Floyd Mayweather

Canelo Alvarez vs Antonio Margarito

See ya! – Juan Valverde, Tijuana

See my comments above in regard to Cotto-Canelo and Canelo-GGG.

I agree that Canelo’s ring smarts, technique and punch selection are underrated by a lot of fans.

I also agree that he did what he was supposed to do but he did so in sensational fashion. The atmosphere at Minute Maid Park was truly electric. Canelo’s a star.

However, I must give Kirkland his due props. His effort, take-no-prisoners attitude and his willingness to literally go out on his shield made Saturday’s main event the spectacle that it was.

Your mythical matchups:

Julio Cesar Chavez vs Buddy McGirt – Chavez outpoints McGirt at 140 pounds; McGirt outpoints Chavez at 147 pounds. Both fights would be hotly contested and close on the scorecards.

Pernell Whitaker vs Meldrick Taylor – Whitaker by close decision (Taylor’s speed and volume-combination punching would give Sweet Pea some trouble)

Terry Norris vs Floyd Mayweather – Norris by mid-to-late rounds TKO (Floyd’s not at his best at junior middleweight and Norris was just too fast and powerful, too active, too technically sound and too f__king mean for “Money” to deal with)

Canelo Alvarez vs Antonio Margarito – Margarito by close decision or late TKO. Alvarez would tee off on Margarito in the early to middle rounds, and probably hurt the iron-chinned pressure fighter with body shots, but the Tijuana Tornado would outwork him in every round and begin to wear him down going into the late rounds. I can see Margarito’s awesome stamina and durability, relentless pressure and high workrate winning over Canelo’s superior technique, speed, strength and power.

 

 

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