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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

16
Aug

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PBC ON FRIDAY NIGHT

Hi Doug, (been awhile)

I tuned in to the PBC card on Friday hoping to see something resembling a good matchup. I had not seen Marco Huck or Krzystoff Glowacki before although I knew of Huck. I figured it would probably be a walkover for him. Instead I saw Glowacki walk out and plant his feet throwing shots with bad intentions and backing Huck up. Marco Huck did not seem to wake up until the fifth round when he began connecting and then in the sixth he landed that awkward sweeping left hook. Glowacki went down heavily and by the glazed look in his eyes I thought it was pretty much over but to my surprise he got up and took it right back to Huck who also hung in there and was firing back and stayed in the fight to the last rounds. As I watched I was thinking that Huck would most likely win a close decision until Glowacki landed that big left. Huck went down and it was clear that he was badly hurt when he got up and Glowacki moved in and delivered one of those exciting finishes that makes boxing the most exciting sport. Glowacki is a fighter I want to see again.



Then there was the main event. Looking at the two fighters, Antonio Tarver looked old, flabby and fat. Steve Cunningham looked fit and in shape to fight. In a nutshell, I thought Cunningham was busier and outworked Tarver (but never hurt him) and as close as it was I would have given him the fight. As badly as he has been screwed on decisions in the past I knew that would not happen. The draw decision was bad enough and it gave Tarver an excuse to still call for a title shot. NOBODY wants to see that and he does not deserve one.

One a side note: the PBC broadcast team are not too good. They are basically ass kissing cheerleaders who won’t (or can’t) make any critical or knowledgeable breakdowns of the fighters or the actions in the ring. Even guest commentator Shawn Porter was guilty of this.

Oh well… Golovkin / Lemieux, Klitschko/Fury and Cotto / Alvarez give me plenty to live for this year. Saving my chips for the PPVs. – David, Nashville

Save those chips, David. (Klitschko-Fury isn’t PPV in the U.S. by the way). Good to hear from you.

I don’t know if I’m in the minority with this opinion but I think Spike’s boxing broadcast team – Scott Hansen (play-by-play), Antonio Tarver and Jimmy Smith (color), and Dana Jacobson (host) – is excellent (even with Porter subbing for Antonio). They enhance the quality production with enthusiasm, astute observations and good overall chemistry.

I wish Tarver would commit fulltime to commentary because he’s among the best boxer-broadcasters, but I can’t fault him for pursuing what is likely his final goal/dream in boxing as far as he can take it. I didn’t expect an entertaining fight with the Tarver-Cunningham matchup and I didn’t bother scoring it. The draw felt right, though. I was rooting for Cunningham but I didn’t give him any extra points for having the more chiseled body and ripped muscles.

The only reason I was able to sit through those 12 rather uneventful rounds was because I was still buzzing from Huck-Glowacki. Props to both cruiserweights for reminding American boxing fans that European boxers can – and often do – fight with balls. Huck has been in more than a few scraps like the one we witnessed on Friday. Maybe he’s been in one too many slugfests. His reflexes and activity were not up to par. I’d never seen Glowacki prior to Friday. Man, the southpaw is a lot of fun. I love how he commits to his offense. The way he fought after the knockdown and the manner in which he closed the show makes me a fan. I’m also looking forward to his next fight.

I still hope to see Huck fight again on U.S. soil as long as he’s matched tough. A rematch with Glowacki would be welcomed. And either cruiser vs. the WBO’s top-rated contenders – such as uber-prospect Olesandr Usyk, Tony Bellew and Dmitry Kudryashov (18-0, 18 KOs) – are also welcome.

I think Haymon should invest in the cruiserweight division. They usually make for good TV.

 

PBC FINALLY DELIVERS

Hi Dougie,

My, my, my! What a Friday night for PBC on Spike. The Huck/Glowacki fight is the best fight I’ve seen all year, and not only that, it was aired on Spike via the PBC who’ve shown nothing bud duds the past six months. Not only am I thrilled this fight was on network television for fans to see but the best fight of the year was in the cruiserweight division, a division I happen to love and is hardly ever aired on American television. I’d love to see more cruiserweight fights in the future because there’s always good talent to watch and cruiserweights have produced some of the greatest bouts I’ve ever viewed.

I was stunned when Glowacki got up from that huge Huck left hook sending the Polish boxer onto his back! He barely beats the count and gets up and continues to throw down. Going into the 11th I had Huck three points ahead until Glowacki landed two huge shots as Huck was pulling back (as you know Dougie, pulling back is a cardinal sin in boxing since your opponent can step in catching you with power shots) and dropping him. The rest is academic after Huck took the count and then was nearly knocked out of the ring to give Glowacki a great come from behind victory in a barnstormer of a fight.

Dougie, I doubt there will be a better fight this year but I can’t say that for sure since Lemeiux/GGG and Cotto/Alvarez are coming up. Though those fights should produce same great action, I doubt they’ll have the high drama of this fight, a kind of throwback fight from the 50’s. What do you think? Is Huck/Glowacki fight of the year?

On another note, I thought Cunningham/Tarver was entertaining but I agreed with the split draw decision. I might have scored the fight for Cunningham only because he was busier. How did you see the fight Dougie? One comment. I’ve seen former cruiserweight champ Cunningham in about three heavyweight bouts and he has no business in that division, and as for Tarver, he should retire since he has no business fighting top heavyweights either.

Long live the Cruiserweight Division! Hopefully we’ll get more top cruiserweight match ups in the future. Regards. – Erik

Like I stated in my response to the previous email, there’s a lot of potential in the cruiserweight division if the right matches are made. Maybe the 200-pound division will become a staple of the PBC.

I think Huck-Glowacki is a Fight of the Year candidate, so far, but I would rate a few others ahead of it. Huck and Glowacki committed to their punches when they let their hands go (and they often did so in combination, which was great), however, there were precious few exchanges for such a fierce fight. They literally went TIT-FOR-TAT. Glowacki would launch two-to-four punches while Huck covered up behind a high guard, and then the titleholder would drop a combo while the challenger went into a brief shell. Back and forth it went until someone was dropped – and finally stopped.

I still think Matthysse-Provodnikov is the FOTY front-runner for 2015. I know a lot of fans viewed it as a one-sided shellacking but I thought it was a close, dramatic fight with sustained action.

I fully expect Golovkin-Lemieux and/or Cotto-Canelo to take the top spot going into the final stretch of this year.

Regarding Tarver-Cunningham, I didn’t score the fight as I watched it and there’s no way in hell I’m going to sit through that again. I agree that neither really has any business in the heavyweight division but I’m glad both are able to still collect a few nice paydays. Cunningham definitely paid his dues, especially when he was in your favorite division (often away from American soil and TV).

Regarding the PBC’s “duds,” while I haven’t been enthused or wowed by the new league, I can’t agree that ALL of the fights apart from Huck-Glowacki were crap. I enjoyed Amir Khan-Chris Algieri (and yes, that surprised me), Thurman-Guerrero, and Garcia-Peterson (even though those fights weren’t the shootout/slugfests I had hoped they would be). I expect Santa Cruz-Mares to deliver.

4 PREDICTIONS, 1 QUESTIONS

Doug,

Cotto/Canelo will either look like Cotto/Margarito 1 or Cotto/Margarito 2. I’m hoping for 2 but I’m thinking 1. Canelo is too young and strong. He’ll get out-boxed for much of the fight, but eventually he’ll wear down the aging Cotto. This is no one-legged Maravilla, nor is it a depleted and shopworn Geale. TKO anywhere from Rounds 9-12. Cotto is a very deserving future HOFer and among the best of his generation, and Canelo is good but a bit over-hyped (in what universe is he a top 10 pound for pound fighter?), so I’m hoping I’m wrong.

GGG absolutely destroys Lemieux inside 5-6 rounds. I understand the excitement because somebody’s gonna get KTFO, but I don’t understand those who say this is going to be competitive. Maybe Lemieux has a moment or two, but the only boxer at 154/160 who can challenge GGG is Lara. I assume GGG instead fights the Canelo/Cotto winner (more likely if it’s Canelo).

Gonzalez TKO Viloria inside 8-9 rounds. This will be more competitive than GGG/Lemieux.

Berto KO Mayweather. … Kidding:) But the following prediction is genuine: No more than 500,000 buy it.

My question: What do you make of Pacquiao claiming to be at full strength a mere three months after the Mayweather fight where he supposedly ripped apart his rotator cuff in Round 4? And that he healed so quickly simply by swimming in salt water and praying? I always thought Malignaggi’s criticisms of Pacquiao were unfair, but this news has me wondering what’s going on. Any special insights from within the boxing community? – Marc

Well, according to Freddie Roach (via our own Michael Woods), Pacquiao won’t be ready to start training until three to six months from now. It sounds like they’re aiming to have Pac back in camp by the end for the year for a return bout in the first quarter of 2016.

I don’t make anything of any claims by Pacquiao that he’s 100% healed. He’s delusional (like most fighters), a third-world politician, a hardcore born-again Christian (so he’s gotta say that prayer healed him or at least aided in the healing), and he’s probably punchy on top of all of that. Malignaggi is also delusional, by the way. Hopefully he’s not punchy.

I think the result of Cotto-Canelo could resemble Cotto-Margarito I but not the fight because Alvarez is not an iron-chinned volume-punching pressure fighter. The young Mexican star is more choosey with his offense, but he makes every punch count if his opponent is willing to stand in with him.

I think Golovkin-Lemieux will be competitive (and absolutely electric) while it lasts, even if it only lasts one round. That’s how shootouts between world-class bona-fide punchers go. There’s no freakin’ way Lara could test GGG. Lara was leery of standing his ground with Canelo and still got tagged to the body whenever the redhead let his hands go (which wasn’t often). Golovkin will press Lara WAY more effectively than the shopworn Perro Angulo did, but he would do a lot more damage with his hook-to-the-body-hook-to-head combo. That fight wouldn’t last five rounds. If Lara boosters want me to take him seriously as a middleweight they need to encourage the Cuban lefty to actually fight and beat a world-class middleweight.

I agree that Gonzalez-Viloria could be more competitive than GGG-Lemmy. Viloria is by far the best flyweight Chocolatito has ever faced. I think Brian can give the Nicaraguan star problems with his speed, movement and ability to power-punch on the fly.

I think Mayweather-Berto will do more than 500,000 buys but definitely under 1 million. I won’t be shocked if GGG-Lemieux does close to 500,000 buys.

 

 

TARVER’S SO-CALLED SCHOOLINGS

Hey Dougie Fresh,

Loves me them mailbags! Astute writers like yourself and the Kimster are what keep me going with this sport of ours. Sometimes it feels like I’m constantly on the beating side of an abusive relation where I just keep telling myself it’ll get better. You guys are therapists, trying to repair that bond. Not the greatest analogy but they can’t all be golden. Bottom line – you rock!

On to the topic at hand – What in the hell is Antonio Tarver on these days (besides the juice and a failing diet)? He was going on and on and on about all these so called ‘schoolings’ he’s been handing out to ‘young’ fighters on the PBC warm up nonsense. He was prattling on and on about how we was a ‘professor in the ring’ and that he was going to school Cunningham. Let’s just be quick about one thing, of his last five opponents – Cunningham was 39, Mike (who?) Sheppard was 38 and Danny Green was also 38, whereas Banks and Kayode were pretty well worn at 30 each when they fought. That makes for an average age of those guys a ‘young’ 35.

But the thing that really got to me was this notion that he’s been ‘schooling’ these guys as though he were some sort of uber boxing genius. This is coming from a guy who got boxed to pieces by Chad friggin Dawson twice and made to look like a fool against an ancient Bhop. Where’s he getting this notion that just because he’s old he’s suddenly developed this incredible boxing IQ? I certainly didn’t see that incredible IQ on display Friday night when we was generally getting outworked by a limited older fighter whilst waiting interminably to throw single digit power punches.

This brings to mind a question though – What fights can you recall where a fighter full on ‘schooled’ another top tier fighter. I’m thinking Winky Wright vs. Trinidad; Bhop vs Pavlik; Bhop vs Tarver Phd; Barrera vs Hamed; Forrest vs. Mosley and Chico/Gatti vs. Mayweather (that actually hurt me write). I wouldn’t say they were straight up blowouts, but rather an instance where a fighter used vastly superior boxing skills to completely befuddle and put the hurt on his opponent (although the Gatti fight was a brutal beatdown).

(P.S.- I’ll be the guy in Jimmy’s wielding Mjolnir after the GGG-Lemiuex fight demanding my weight in Guinness!) Cheers. – LR

That’s the spirit, LR. For GGG! For Lemieux! For Asgard!

My all-time favorite boxing clinic – a fight I could literally watch every day – is Roberto Duran’s split-decision victory over Iran Barkley to earn the WBC middleweight title at age 37.

One clinic that has remained in my mind for decades (which is weird considering I only watched it once – the live broadcast on Showtime) is Buddy McGirt’s WBC welterweight title-winning effort against Simon Brown.

Among the best “schoolings” I’ve witnessed from ringside (press row) all occurred in 2001: Barrera-Hamed, Hopkins-Trinidad and Chris Byrd’s often overlooked decision over an in-shape and motivated David Tua. I don’t recall Tarver ever putting on a clinic the ones I’ve mentioned but there’s no denying that the Milkdud of Malice knows his craft, and he has taken his share of decent fighters “to school” (including Montell Griffin, Clinton Woods, and future hall-of-famer RJJ). Tarver also gave Glen Johnson two very hard fights (back-to-back) when the Road Warrior was at his peak.

Yes, he laid eggs vs. Hopkins and Dawson, but B-Hop is an all-time great (IMO) and Chad simply had the style, stance, activity and athleticism to give him fits.

Regarding Tarver’s believe that he schools the young’uns, as guy in his mid-40s (45), I can tell you that 35 seems “young” from where we’re sitting.

FLOYD WILL BE COPIED

I was wondering where these wacko/racist comments re fighters came from, but I see that you encourage these euro trash. After Floyd retires a euro will copy his style (lomo), promo skills (con), flamboyance (fury) and the famous “0” that’s not so important (until ggg gets up in the 40 wins). PS- I thought manny was going to destroy Money! Now you say he’s old lol. He’ll get his roids back and destroy an arum fighter then he’ll be back begging Floyd (biggie-biggie give me one more chance lol). – Charles

And if Pacquiao does that, I’ll be sure to ignore him along with Mayweather.

But thanks for sharing your hatred, Charles. The venom from Moody May fans always adds a bit of spice to the mailbag columns.

I love how you point out “racism” from “Euro trash” (blame me for it) and then go right into s__ting on European boxers.

I also love how you Mayweather fans truly believe that Floyd invented the hit-and-not-get hit boxing style, self-promotion and marketing, flamboyant personas, and making a big deal about being unbeaten. Good grief. You morons probably think his great, great grandpa invented the jab.

I hate to bust your bubble but Vasyl Lomachenko boxes nothing like Mayweather. When the Ukrainian southpaw starts to employ a lean-away-shoulder-roll defense and only throw around 10 punches a round THEN maybe you can accuse him of biting your boy’s style.

And I could bring up Muhammad Ali in regard to all that other stuff, but I know how much Floydiots hate the man, so instead, I’ll point out two British fighters of my generation who did all of that self-promotion/polarizing-persona/undefeated-record-celebration s__t long before Mayweather cashed in on it (thanks to America’s pay-per-view business structure): Chris Eubank and Naseem Hamed.

Go ahead and look them up on YouTube. (I know you have no idea who they are. You’re a Mayweather fan, after all.) You’ll probably get a kick out of them. It’s OK. They’re British but their skin isn’t white so you can like them and still probably claim TMT.

MANUEL ORTIZ, MYTHICAL MATCHUP CHALLENGE

Hi Douglas. Thanks for your reply dude and for turning me on to Manuel Ortiz. 29 fights in his first two years turned pro you say? A real throwback, I will YouTube him. Which fighters fighting right now do you think could keep up that level of activity? Also considering you’ll only get four fights a year out of anyone who has actually made a name for himself.

I pose this to you man: give us fans five or ten of your Mythical MatchUps and publish our responses in you bag of treats man. You up for the challenge or will you duck more than Floyd at a Chucky Cheese Whack-A-Mole. Kidding. And for the record, I never exhibit or use any hate in any of my letters to you. I generally wish financial success and big families on everyone, even those who have shunned me for years.

Peace Dougie. – Steve

I haven’t shunned you, Stevie. Have I? Anyway, thanks for the financial success wishes (and I guess the big-fam wishes, too, although I’m just fine with a small family).

Lemme see if I understand your challenge. You want me to propose five to 10 mythical matchups (in the mailbag I presume) and publish your responses in this column. So, are you asking me to devote an entire bag to reader mythical matchup scenarios? Or maybe just the best of the best (as deemed by Yours Truly, of course) that I can add to a mailbag (during a slow week) or even post as their own items? I suppose I could offer some kind of prize or giveaway to the readers who are published.

I’ll think about it. You good folks are welcome to add to this idea.

Regarding Manuel Ortiz, do check him out. He’s 1940s-era fighter, one of those forgotten greats and arguably among the five best California-born boxers ever.

Despite his late start in the game (he didn’t even start training until he was 19), he was an accomplished amateur, he notched 100 pro victories and he held the bantamweight title defense record for many decades.

The first two and half years of his title reign is among the finest bantamweight runs in history. Ortiz fought 20 times during 28-month span, mostly against top-rated opposition, and he made 12 title defenses. His only loss during this span was a 10-round decision to reigning featherweight champ Willie Pep (who was 74-1 at the time) at 127 pounds.

LEGACIES

Dougie, assuming Berto is Floyd’s last fight, what are your thoughts legacy wise if Pac comes back in 2016 and fights and beats the likes of a Crawford, Thurman, Garcia, Khan, Matthyse, or any other legitimate young champion?

I just think Pac still enjoys fighting and will come back for two more fights barring any injuries.

Could Pac still move past Floyd based on legacy without beating him? I’m sure you can run off a long list but Pep vs Saddler comes to mind. Cheers. – Ace

Despite the head-to-head loss, Pacquiao is arguably ahead of Mayweather in terms of legacy or “all-time greatness” (or whatever) due to his run (against Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Manuel Marquez and Erik Morales) at featherweight and junior lightweight, and his record of winning major titles in the most divisions. If Pacquiao were to come back and beat one or two of the fighters you mentioned, it would simply enhance an already amazing resume. And sure, Pacquaio’s fans would try to say that their hero’s comeback victory pushes him ahead of Mayweather, but they wouldn’t convince too many fans whose minds are already made up that the American boxer is the superior fighter with the superior legacy.

Anyone who believes Mayweather was the better boxer of this era or deserves to be ahead of Pacquiao on any all-time pound-for-pound list can certainly make an easy case for Floyd (especially with the result of May 2).

Pep vs. Sandy Saddler is not a good analogy for this argument (which will sadly become the new “Neverending Story” among irritating boxing fans). Pep beat Saddler in their rematch (a punishing 15-round decision that was deemed the Fight of the Year for 1949 by THE RING). However, you are correct in noting that despite losing three times to his rival (all by stoppage), Pep’s legacy is considered by most historians to be better than Saddler’s. (Both are all-time greats, though.)

A better analogy could be Roberto Duran vs. Thomas Hearns or Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Oscar De La Hoya. All the fighters involved climbed weight classes and dominated divisions (as Manny and Floyd have), but the fighters who lost (Duran and Chavez) started at lighter weights (as Pacquiao did), had suffered multiple losses/setbacks prior to the showdowns (as Pac had), but had fought more and accomplished more than their conquerors. The fighters who won (Hearns and De La Hoya) were on top of their game at the time of those matchups (as Mayweather is). I think most historians rank Duran ahead of Hearns and Chavez ahead of De La Hoya (I honestly can’t think of anyone who has it the other way around).

However, one big difference in the Mayweather-Pacquiao matchups (which is a feather in Floyd’s cap) is that he’s older than the Filipino icon.

Ugh. Why the f__k am I talking about Mayweather-Pacquiao? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with YOU!?

Folks, we have some very good matchups on the boxing schedule. No need to look backwards and while wondering how the legacies of two (hopefully) soon-to-be retired fighters will be viewed in the future. Both boxers are first-ballot hall of famers. Both are among the best of the last 20 years. Both are arguably all-time greats.

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

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