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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

10
Jul

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HERRERA-LUNDY MATCHUP ANALYSIS

Hey Doug,

I generally find your fight predictions to be better than most of the press experts. I was curious what you look for in a bout. I generally ask myself who is the better boxer and who is the faster fighter and use that as a guide. Of course, it depends on other things as well, but assuming that the fighters are pretty even those tend to be differentiating factors.



I guess I would be interested to hear you walk through your Mauricio Herrera-Hank Lundy prediction and your logic. I believe Herrera is the better boxer and the higher volume puncher. Additionally, he is in his back yard. However, Lundy is a good boxer and the faster fighter with arguably more effective punches. I almost think this one comes down to which judges get assigned and what their preferences are style-wise.

Would love to hear how you break down fights and this one specifically. Hope all is well and keep up the great mailbag. – Vincent, New York, NY

Thanks for the kind words about my fight predictions. Your admiration is not shared by the Money Teamsters who leave comments under all those Elie Seckbach videos, though. They’ll never forgive me for picking Canelo over Mayweather. To a Floyd-hugger that prediction was the equivalent of making a watersports sex vid with their grandmothers and making it public.

But I digress.

When I analyze a matchup I look at boxing skill/ring generalship, technique and natural talent/athleticism (which includes speed, power, reflexes, etc.). But I also factor in experience (amateur and professional), quality of opposition, and toughness/durability/heart.

I’m big on intangibles, and contrary to many of my peers and fellow hardcore fans, I’ll often go with a battle-tested old warhorse over a younger, more-talented/skilled boxer. It’s why I went with Carl Froch over George Groves (both fights) and Orlando Salido over Vasyl Lomachenko (and then Loma over Gary Russell Jr.).

The wonderful thing about the Herrera-Lundy matchup is that both junior welterweights are battle-tested and tough as nails. Plus, both had long camps for tomorrow’s fight and both are still in their prime.

Herrera, the busier/more consistent boxer (as you noted), has a slight edge in quality of opposition and technique. I also think he’s got the better chin.

Lundy, the quicker and harder punching fighter, has what appears to be the more versatile style (he’s a switch-hitter who stick and move or press the fight).

I think Herrera is also a versatile boxer. He can trouble opponents with his pesky jab from the outside, or he can crowd and swarm when he needs to.

I agree with you, I think this will be a hotly contested 10-round bout. Lundy will get off with the more eye-catching shots in spots, while Herrera puts forth the more consistent offense. The preferences of the official judges will determine the winner.

I really don’t have a favorite in this fight but if I have to make a pick I’ll go with Herrera by majority or split decision.

ONE TIME & THE FUTURE

Hey Doug, just want to start off by saying how much I enjoy the mail bag every week. Keep up the good work.

I would like to discuss who you think the next big names in boxing are. I’m an avid follower of all things boxing and I have put together a list of names that I believe can help carry the torch after Mayweather and Pacquiao retire.

First and foremost is Keith Thurman. I truly believe he’s special. His resume is better than people give him credit for. He beat the likes of Diego Chavez, who gave Brandon Rios and Tim Bradley all they could handle. One Time adjusted early in that fight and was able to stop a guy that gives most top 147-lb guys trouble. He has also beaten the ultimate gate keeper Jesus Soto-Karass. That fight made me question his chin just a bit when he ate that right hand and was in some trouble but he managed again to recoup and stop a durable guy. What are your thoughts on Thurman’s strengths and weaknesses? Do you see him carrying the torch as I do or do you see another 147-lb fighter out there that you believe can beat him?

Second on my list is Kell Brook. I’m not a big English fight fan but they have some tough fighters right now with Brook being the best in my opinion. His resume isn’t quite that of Thurman but who would you favor to win in that scrap?

Third is Terrance Crawford. I really like this guy. He has the total package in my opinion. Wouldn’t it be great to see him run through the 140-lb. division and then try to take out Danny Garcia! Who would you favor in a Crawford vs Garcia matchup?

Those three, besides the obvious in GGG and Canelo, are the guys I think have the ability to carry boxing for the next decade. Who do you like as an up and comer that you believe has not yet been totally unveiled to the general public? Don’t say Errol Spence either, he needs more fights!

Last but not least I just want to get your opinion of Tony Harrison. I really like this kid and I think he could be special. Do you believe Harrison has what it takes and who would you like to see him fight?

As always thanks Dougie. – Kristoff, Sactown

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kristoff.

The Thurmanator is one of my top-10 favorite active fighters. I think he has the talent and growth-potential to rise to the top of the welterweight division and I believe he has the style and personality to develop into a crossover star. I’m also very high on Brook. In fact, I think the British titleholder is arguably the best 147 pounder in his prime. Thurman vs. Brook is a dream matchup in my opinion. It’s a toss-up fight, but I slightly favor The Special One due to his sharper technique and (what I believe is the) better chin.

Anyway, if Thurman takes care of biz against Collazo and gets the right fights within the PBC Universe, I think he and Brook will rule the 147-pound division in a couple years. I think Crawford is a complete fighter who will rise to the top of the 140-pound division. In time, we might see him step up to welterweight and take on Tim Bradley. If he can get past Desert Storm, I think he’d make a great rival to Brook.

Beyond the fighters you mentioned, I think Anthony Joshua, Joseph Diaz Jr., Felix Verdejo, Sadam Ali, Jason Quigley, and yes, Spence, will rise to the top of their respective division AND command more attention than their peers (for a variety of reasons). I might add Harrison, who has a lot of talent and personality, to that list if he kicks ass against Willie Nelson tomorrow night.

Who would I like to see Harrison fight? Well, there’s more than a few young 154-pound contenders within the PBC League – including Vanes Martirosyan, Julian Williams and the Charlo Twins – that would definitely be the sternest test of the Detroit native’s pro career.

 

FIRST FIGHT

Hi Doug,

I’m a long time reader and boxing fan. I’m 38 years old and I’ve never seen a live fight; I never lived even remotely close to a venue. I moved to Clearwater, FL four months ago and lo and behold – boxing has moved to me. My wife bought me a ticket to see Keith Thurman, my favorite active fighter. He reminds me of one of my other favorites – Miguel Cotto – in that he is powerful yet has a tinge of vulnerability.

Do you have any tips on what I should expect? Should I bring binoculars?!

But seriously, how many older, cagey fighters does Thurman have to fight before he gets a showcase bout? What pisses me off about boxing is that up and comers are dismissed as too green to fight the top talent. However, my other favorite sport – tennis – requires champions to beat even the lowest of seeds. [Tennis and boxing aren’t so different when you think about it – two people going to war…but I digress]. I don’t want to hear anybody say that Pac-Man or Mayweather would wax the floor with a 26-year-old young lion. PROVE IT.

By the way, you, Thurman, and I are all coincidentally bi-racial. In the plant world we’d be considered to have ‘hybrid vigor.’ Hopefully I make the bag this time. – BK from Clearwater [formally BK from High Point]

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, BK. You can expect to see me sporting a tie-dye T-shirt with the words “Hybrid Vigor” and a pic of Thurman playing a Chinese wood flute on it very soon. If there’s any public demand for the shirt, I’ll definitely cut you in on the profits.

Interesting point about up-and-comers getting the opportunity to prove themselves against the champs or the elite veterans of the sport.

I think we had more of that when the top dogs of the sport were more active and were not fighting on pay-per-view. When the stars of the sport only fight once or twice a year and fans are asked to pony up $70 to watch them live, there isn’t a lot of patience or understanding for barely-proven upstarts like Victor Ortiz or Chris Algieri challenging the likes of Mayweather and Pacquiao.

However, when champs were fighting four-to-five times a year, often on free TV, as heavyweight champ Larry Holmes was in the early 1980s, there’s time and there’s fan curiosity/tolerance for unheralded young challengers to get their shot.

Holmes fought a lot of undefeated, still-developing prospects during his hall-of-fame title reign. Sometimes Holmes overwhelmed them, as he did Marvis Frazier (blowing Smokin’ Joe’s kid out in one round), Scott Frank and David Bey; but sometimes those unheralded/inexperienced dudes gave him hell, as Tim Witherspoon (who busted him up en route to a split-decision loss) and Carl Williams did.

Who’s to say Thurman wouldn’t give Pacquiao or Mayweather hell?

Congrats on your first live boxing event. Enjoy it and don’t worry about binoculars. The PBC does a good job of setting up their arenas with high-def jumbo-trons.

 

MARES-SANTA CRUZ

Hey Doug!

Been a long time since I wrote in so I figured I’d write in now that Abner Mares vs. Leo Santa Cruz is made for August 29 in LA. I wrote to you one time basically ranting about Leo’s utter lack of opponents and you know by now how much I love Mares.

What is your first reaction to this fight being made? First off I think Stephen Espinoza has to be pissed off that two Showtime-built guys are having the biggest fight of their career on ESPN. Also, this fight is in the perfect place in LA. I see Mares winning this one because he has more experience at 126, seems like the stronger man at 126 and I also feel Abner has been extremely underrated since he was caught by one great punch by Jhonny Gonzalez. Do you agree with my thoughts? Have a great weekend Doug. – Robert from Ashton, MD

To be honest, my first reaction to this fight being made was “Meh.” Mares and Santa Cruz used to be two of my favorite active fighters but I lost interest in both Southern Californians over the last two years. There was too much inactivity with Mares, while Santa Cruz was involved in too many bulls__t fights. Santa Cruz has become a tremendous bore in my opinion.

But having said all that, I might get into the matchup when we’re a little closer to fight time. Hopefully, the event will garner a buzz among Los Angeles-area fans.

I agree that Mares has the edge in experience, is likely the physically stronger (or more athletic) of the two, and has been underrated since getting blitzed by J-Gon (although I can’t really blame fans for overlooking him – it’s not like he’s set the world on fire with any of his performances since he lost his title).

I favor Mares. I think he’s the more naturally gifted boxer and he should be mentally up for this fight, and I believe that Santa Cruz’s development has stagnated due to soft opposition.

 

SHANE MOSLEY’S RETURN

Hey Doug,

I’m a relatively new reader of yours, since The Ring magazine doesn’t come all the way to Italy (unfortunately), but I instantly started to enjoy your writing. Our views on boxing sometimes collide. I’m an amateur boxer myself and I do love me a slick boxer who doesn’t get hit (having the same style myself, since I really hate getting punched on the face).

Anyhow, I just saw on my Instagram feed a Shane Mosley post on him returning to the squared circle facing Ricardo Mayorga again. Given the fact that I think he should stay retired, do you have anything to say about this fight?

MM:

Nino Benvenuti vs Sergio Martinez at 160

Keep up the good work! – Giovanni, Milano

Thanks for writing in, Giovanni and good luck with your amateur career.

I also think Mosley (and Mayorga) should remain retired. I don’t have much to say about his comeback and rematch with Mayorga. It’s not something that I’m interested in or looking forward to and my apathy isn’t connected to their age – it’s because their first fight sucked.

It was ugly. It was sloppy. Both fighters have aggressive mentalities and mad heart, but their styles just did not work out in the ring. Mosley had trouble with Mayorga’s awkward style and cagey antics. Neither fighter could get any momentum going during the fight. The only memorable thing about it was the ending. Mosley stopped Mayorga in the final seconds of the final round. And the only reason he got him out of there was because referee David Mendoza forgot about that little rule of sending the fighter who scores a knockdown to a neutral corner during the 10-count (you know, the one that’s been around since the 1920s). So Sugar Shane got to stand right next to Mayorga while Mendoza gave the count, and when the Nicaraguan wild man got up, Mosley went all Jack Dempsey on that ass and laid him out. Check it out. I can’t make this stuff up.

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Your mythical matchup: Benvenuti outpoints Martinez by competitive by clear UD

 

167

167…… The combined age of Antonio Tarver, Steve Cunningham, Shane Mostly and Ricardo Mayorga. Nuff said. – Callum – Longtime Dougie fan from LDN

213.

That’s the combined-age total when you add Roy Jones Jr., who is scheduled to fight three times from August 15-September 12.

 

WEEKEND BOXING

Hey Dougie, couple of interesting fights this weekend. Flanagan vs. Zepeda looks promising. Haven’t seen Terry fight but I have seen Zepeda knock dudes out with a punch. He carries dynamite in both hands but I’ve never seen him in with a live dog. Donnie Nietes continues his unbeaten streak versus Mexican opponents imo. Thurman needs an impressive performance on Sat to keep his hope of a Mayweather fight alive. I say lets do Thurman vs. Spence. Why not? Let Thurman blow Floyd’s bootlicker out the water. Just clears the way for Thurman vs. Pretty Boy.

Present day Mythical Matchups:

Wilder vs. Marco Huck: I got Huck by KO

Takashi Uchiyama vs. Walters: Takashi KO Porter vs. Bradley:????? (Would pull for Porter)

Keep up the good work Dougie! – David R.

Thanks David.

I favor Zepeda over Flanagan, unless the heavy handed Southern Californian drains himself making 135 pounds (the vacant WBO lightweight title is on the line). Jose is used to fighting at junior welterweight and welterweight.

Francisco Rodriguez Jr. is a battle-tested young beast but I agree that Nietes will keep his RING/WBO 108-pound titles (and extend his more-than 10-year-old unbeaten streak).

Thurman needs an impressive victory – period. The Collazo fight has nothing to do with Mayweather. Floyd doesn’t want to fight him. It doesn’t matter what Keith does or how he looks tomorrow night. And fighting and beating Spence won’t earn him a shot at Mayweather, either. Thurman is smart enough to know this.

Present day Mythical Matchups:

Wilder vs. Marco Huck: I think Huck’s crazy ass would have his moments, but would eventually get clipped by and stopped by the Bronze Bomber

Takashi Uchiyama vs. Walters: I like Takashi by close decision Porter vs. Bradley: Yuck! This would be ugly. Bradley by narrow decision.

 

GBP/RING BOXING NETWORK

What’s up Doug,

When is Golden Boy/Ring magazine going to have a network dedicated to classic fights, original programming and a few live fights? I’m from the VI and recently came across some of Julian Jackson’s fights on YouTube. They were even better than I remembered including the fights he lost.

The network could also try to get rights for fights in Asia that are not available in the US. ‘Mythical Matchup’ could be a show that proposes mythical match ups and analyzes the ‘fight’ based on comparable fights each fighter has had. You can do it Doug, run it by the bosses and give the fight fans what we want. You’re the best, and you know the fight game needs the context the network can provide. Keep up the great work!

Regards. – Charles, Tallahassee

I can’t say anything specific yet, Charles, but rest assured that we’re working toward this goal and Golden Boy Promotions and THE RING/RingTV.com will be making a big announcement very soon that will address all over your questions/requests. Trust me, it’s gonna be a game changer.

 

#FREEBOXING4SAPS

Dougie,

What a coincidence, as soon as Top Rank files suit against the PBC, all of the good hearted, populist fighters under the PBC decide to start tagging #freeboxing4all to all their social media posts. Give me a break. Al Haymon is the wicked witch of the west and he’s sending out his fighters to do his bidding like a bunch of flying monkeys.

Tell me, Dougie The Wise, look into your crystal ball and share with us your predictions for how the PBC will ultimately settle in as an organization. Will they be forced to work with GB and TR, even if just to silence their critics? Or can Al Haymon really get his hands around the neck of the sport and become the last man standing?

I’ve got to be honest, a year or two ago when Mayweather-Pacquiao seemed further apart than ever, I wished that there was some over-arching boxing authority that could force the best fighters to face each other. Now, someone actually is making a play to become that authority and he does nothing with his power except lopsided exhibitions and potentially intriguing match ups on paper that don’t deliver in the ring. Keith Thurman vs Robert Guerrero? Ok, we’re just getting off the ground, fine. But why, WHY, is Thurman still fighting the Luis Collazos of the world when you’ve got half a dozen quality welterweights sitting there reading the paper? Does Danny Garcia need to prove himself against the terror that is Paulie Malignaggi before we can get Garcia-Thurman?

Tell me, Dougie, is Haymon ever going to make use of his toy chest? Or should I and the rest of his critics get fitted for wings and a little hat? – Sean McDonough

The problem with one guy controlling so many fighters and buying the time slots on various networks to showcase them all is that he’s gotta keep ’em all busy, which means he’s gotta work in the many boxers that fans DON’T want to see into the TV mix. It’s not like the networks can really say, “Nah, not interested in that matchup;” he’s BUYING the time. It’s his.

And it’s not like the budding stars of his stable can really say anything, either. The problem with being adviser, manager and promoter is that the there’s nobody acting in the sole interest of the individual fighter’s career. There’s no independent manager to tell Haymon “no” on behalf of young guns like Thurman and Garcia. There’s no one to say “Hey, I don’t like this fight for my guy. It’s a no-win situation. If he KOs the veteran, fans will say ‘So what, that guy was old.’ If he struggles with the vet, the media’s gonna say my guy is overrated. And if he loses! Forget about it. My guy’s career is practically ruined. We gotta start over again.”

Thurman and Garcia have the personalities and styles that could make them crossover attractions but Collazo and Malignaggi have the experience and styles to make for uneventful bouts. That wouldn’t help the momentum of either unbeaten fighter. This is especially so for Garcia, who was on top of the boxing world at the end of 2013, but after controversial decisions against Herrera and Lamont Peterson (and the sad blowout against Rod Salka) it’s fair to say that he’s lost all of the respect that he had earned. Can Garcia afford to be in another controversial distance fight? Was Malignaggi really the best opponent for him coming off the Peterson fight?

I don’t think so, but what do I know? I just write about boxing. I’m not a fighter or an adviser or a manager or a promoter or a businessman. I have no idea how this whole PBC thing is going to work out. My gut tells me that they will need to settle their lawsuits and work with other promoters in order to survive beyond 2016, but I’m not a precog, bro. I can’t tell the future.

 

DISQUS CONCERN

Hey, Doug.

I’m not sure if this is the proper way to make a complaint so I apologize if you only want this to be used for your mailbag. I know that you’re the forum mod now and I didn’t know how else to reach you.

I understand that a certain amount of trolling occurs on the forums. I can’t make a claim that I don’t troll a bit every now and then myself. However, personal attacks go beyond trolling and that’s the area that Pactard has entered. I’m not demanding, or even asking, that he be banned. My only request is that the personal attacks stop. He always used to be so nice on the forums. I don’t know what’s caused his sudden change. I even let him know that I wouldn’t respond to him further and he still kept slinging mud. It sucks, man. I wish we had the old Pacquiao-worshipping Pactard back.

Thanks for your time and all of your hard work. Your mailbags are the main reason that I come to the website. – Chris, Ozark, MO

You came to the right place, my fellow Ozarkian. I’ve received other complaints about a Pactard recently, so I’m going to be monitoring the Disqus comments closer than usual today. And if Pac crosses the line, I’ll check his ass like Juan Manuel Marquez checked his hero.

Same goes for anyone else who engages in gratuitous personal attacks.

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

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