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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

25
Sep

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WILDER, CHUDINOV-BUGLIONI, COTTO-CANELO

Hey Doug,

Hope all is well in your world. I wanted to check in with you on the weekend’s bouts. We have both Feder Chudinov versus Frank Buglioni and Johann Duhaupas vs Deontay Wilder and I think both may be very interesting fights. I also wanted to end with a Cotto-Alvarez question.



On Twitter I had asked you who you thought would win the first bout and you indicated Chudinov. Just to play devil’s advocate, I’ve been watching some videos of Buglioni and he seems to move pretty well and have sound boxing fundamentals. Now I’m not disagreeing with you, but Chudinov does telegraph his punches and seems to throw in predictable patterns. I know Buglioni was stopped by a journeyman fairly recently, but that was on his corner’s wishes and I think it may have been a little premature. And while Chudinov’s win over Felix Sturm was a solid win, it was a very close bout against a guy who looked very sluggish and didn’t throw a lot of punches. I suppose I wonder if Chudinov can really hurt Buglioni – because if it goes to the cards in England who knows what will happen. I think Frank is skilled enough to keep it fairly close.

On to Wilder. I wasn’t too impressed with him in his last fight, but I thought he fought a disciplined fight against Bermane Stiverne. A lot of people are saying Duhaupas has a shot and that Wilder is hyped. I won’t shut out that possibility, but honestly Duhaupas looks very slow and methodical and leaves his lead hand down (just waiting for a nice overhand right). I think Wilder is considerably more athletic and skilled than he is and that will make the difference. Barring a wild haymaker landing, I feel that Deontay will break him down to a mid-to-late rounds stoppage. Are you seeing anything I’m not in that one?

Lastly, with all the hype for the upcoming Cotto-Alvarez fight, I wanted to get your take on the stamina issue. I see a lot of people saying Cotto will fade and Alvarez will have a shot at the late stoppage. If I’m not mistaken, you are in that camp. So I have to ask, why? Canelo may be younger, but I would say the body of evidence shows that he loses efficiency and effectiveness as fights progress. More so than Cotto IMO. I think Canelo is strongest in the first half and considerably less effective in the second (barring the Angulo fight where he had zero threat). So in my mind, Canelo needs to press early when Cotto is cautious. Because if he doesn’t and he tries to play counter puncher, I think when the rounds start banking, Cotto will have a real chance at walking away with the fight in the later stages. Love to hear your thoughts.

Anyway, keep it real Doug. – Vincent, New York, NY

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on these upcoming fights, Vincent.

Regarding the Cotto-Canelo matchup, I favor the younger man by late stoppage but not because I think Cotto has any stamina issues. (The Puerto Rican star is a far more proven distance fighter than Canelo.) I think Canelo breaks the battle-worn veteran down over the first half of the fight. Yeah, the Mexican idol might fade in the late rounds, but if Cotto’s all busted the f__k up there won’t much he can do about it, right?

Regarding Wilder vs Dukakis (or whatever the Frenchman’s name is), I view the matchup pretty much the same way you do. The challenger is a solid but unspectacular boxer with a basic, stand-up style. Wilder, the far superior athlete, should be able to consistently beat him to the punch with sharp jabs and powerful straight rights. I expect the undefeated American to keep his WBC belt with mid-rounds stoppage.

The Chudinov-Buglioni fight looks like it could be the best fight of this weekend (on paper). Both super middleweights are strong, aggressive fighters who are there to be hit by their opponents. Buglioni is the taller, rangier boxer but his come-forward style doesn’t make good use of those attributes. Chudinov has a straight-up stance that Buglioni can take advantage of and the Russian’s punching technique isn’t as sharp as the Londoner’s but I think he’s got a quicker jab, heavier hands, and I believe that he puts his shots together better on the inside.

I’m expecting a good scrap, but I still favor Chudinov. I agree that Buglioni has a few more wrinkles to his boxing game (he’s lighter on his feet, better at feinting, and has a more educated jab), but the local hero has average speed and is rather methodical in the way he goes about his business. I think Chudinov will know when to let his hands go, when to back off and he’ll get the better of the exchanges. I like the Russian by close decision.

Maybe I just have a soft spot for Chudinov because he and his brother (Dmitry) turned pro in the U.S. and used to train at a nearby gym (the Maywood Boxing Club) where I used to watch them spar. I called Feder’s pro debut in Reno six years ago along with Rich Marotta (my, how time flies). Check it out. (Chudinov was a lot more comfortable in the ring than I was during that awkward post-fight interview.)

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YAMANAKA-MORENO

Hello, Doug!

I am shocked by the result of Moreno vs Yamanaka.

To my eye it was a robbery or at least a very bad decision. My score is 118-110 for Chemito and I feel even 115-113 for Moreno was generous to Yamanaka.

It seems that the judges (and the Japanese TV commentators, too!) praised Yamanaka’s punches which weren’t actually effective, and ignored Moreno’s accurate jabs.

But Chemito beautifully outboxed Yamanaka, who looked very predictable and wasn’t able to find a way to land his destructive left hand on the defensive wizard.

This is what I watched on the TV.

Okay, at least Moreno showed he is still a terrific boxer and still has plenty left in his tank even after lots of tough fights. It’s good news.

What’s next for them?

I want Moreno to fight the winner of Randy Caballero-Lee Haskins or Jamie McDonell. Of course, if he can get a rematch, it’s the best.

Mythical matchups:

Wilfredo Benitez vs Roberto Duran at 140/147 (Does Duran have a better chance there?)

Jeff Fenech vs Morales, Barrera at 122/126

Fenech vs Pacquiao, Marquez at 126

Regards. – Taku from Japan

Thanks for sharing your opinion on the WBC bantamweight title bout from earlier this week. I appreciate your take on the fight but I don’t agree with it. I thought the judges got it right (the two who scored it for Yamanaka by two points AND the one who scored it for Moreno by two points). I thought it was a typical “7-5/either-way” fight. Neither bantamweight took over the fight in my opinion. They went tit-for-tat (without enough exchanges for my taste) until the late rounds. Moreno had his best moments when he rocked Yamanaka in Round 9, but he allowed Yamanaka to rebound in Round 10. I thought Yamanaka fought with more purpose in the championship rounds (though I scored Round 12 for Chemito).

Fans who appreciate a good jab and savvy defense, probably thought Moreno won (though not by the wide margin you had him winning by, Taku). Fans who appreciate power shots probably thought the defending beltholder deserved to keep his title.

I scored the bout 115-113 for Yamanaka. Moreno held back too much in my opinion. Yes, he landed his jab, but it wasn’t a punishing jab and that pretty much all he landed until that right hook connected in Round 9. Moreno’s left hand was not a factor at all in this fight. Part of the reason is that age, wear and tear and recent inactivity has taken something off Panamanian’s fast ball, but part of it was due to Yamanaka’s ring generalship.

The Japanese boxer’s offense may have been predictable, but his upper-body and lateral movement troubled the more-experienced challenger. I thought he made Moreno miss a lot. Moreno made Yamanaka miss a lot, too, but he didn’t make the WBC champ pay enough to take that green belt. In my view, Moreno needed to make an offensive push long before Round 9.

What’s next for these two top banties? I have no idea. A rematch probably makes sense given how close the bout was (in the view of most observers, anyway) but I could do without it. It just wasn’t eventful enough for me to want to see a Part II. Yamanaka is looking at a pointless mandatory rematch with Suriyan Sor Rungvisai (who he’s already beat – handily), so I’d like to see him stave that B.S. off by attempting to unify major belts against WBA titleholder Juan Carlos Payano. (The winner of that fight would earn THE RING’s 118-pound title.)

I like your suggestions for Moreno.

I’d also like to see both banties step up in weight and take on junior feather champ Guillermo Rigondeaux since none of the 122-pound standouts seem to want to challenge the Cuban.

Your mythical matchups:

Wilfredo Benitez vs Roberto Duran at 140/147 (Does Duran have a better chance there?) – I think Duran would have been more competitive with Benitez at the lighter weights but mostly because he was closer to his prime when he fought at junior welter and welterweight. However, Benitez’s style would have given him fits at any weight. I think Duran get the better of the Puerto Rican boxing wiz at 140 pounds and win a close decision, but I think a welterweight clash would be a toss-up fight. Maybe it would end in a draw.

Jeff Fenech vs Morales, Barrera at 122/126 – I think Fenech could battle tooth and nail with Morales at 122 and 126 pounds, and edge him on points or maybe hold the Tijuana badass to a draw, but I think El Terrible would get the benefit of the doubt on the scorecards if the fight was held in North America. I favor Barrera by decision over Fenech in a great fight at 122 pounds. I think the Baby Faced Assassin would outbox the Australian badass to a close but clear points win at 126.

Fenech vs Pacquiao, Marquez at 126 – I like Pacquiao by close decision in a bloody war; JMM by clear but compelling decision (thanks to Fenech’s relentless pressure and volume punching).

WELTERWEIGHT FUN/HEAVYWEIGHT FUN

D man!

No more Floyd, no more top welterweights chasing the fight with Money so they might just fight each other now! Hooray! Seriously, looking at the welterweight rankings it’s still the hotbed of talent it has been for a few years with some really good fights on the horizon should the promoters work together. Kell Brook as no. 1 must have been a big debate in the office and I can see both sides of the argument. Undefeated, the biggest name on his record is Shawn Porter, a great fight, a great win and Porter is very highly rated. Brooks last two fights against Dan and Gavin however weren’t big enough. But having said that, have the others done enough recently? Keith Thurman hasn’t done enough, Tim Bradley is coming off an up and down couple of years, Porter lost to Brook, Pacman might retire anyway. The biggest argument I think is Amir Khan, he’s beat Alexander, Maidana but is yet to really crack the top name in the division and has lost to the newest member of the Welterweight club, Danny Garcia.

I suppose the big question is when is that Ring Magazine belt going to be given out and a new champion crowned? Would Brook beating Diego Chaves in impressive fashion be enough? Would Chaves upsetting Brook propel him to no. 1 and champion? Or are we waiting for another big old scrap between two of the very top men. Bradley v Thurman eg, Khan v Brook eg?

We’re getting a lot of the Fury-Klitschko press coverage in the UK too and it just looks like a mad event. Fury is a character and I hope he fulfils his promise and comes out swinging against Wladimir, knock out or be knocked out as everyone would LOVE to see Klitschko in a 50-50 fight. He’s so skilled though, so set in his ways, can he keep that style and punch his way to a 24th defence? What do you think?

Always a pleasure. – Tim, London, UK

I favor Klitschko by mid-to-late stoppage but I’m rooting for Batman. I like Fury. He’s giant goofball but I think he’s got underrated skill, ring generalship and guts, and I also think the Englishman is good for boxing. He’s got the gift of gab and he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s fun. Nothing wrong with that.

Regarding THE RING’s welterweight rankings, I think the Editorial Board and most of the Ratings Panel are in agreement with having Brook as the No. 1 contender. I personally view the Sheffield native as the top man at welterweight and I would favor him to beat all of his fellow top-10 contenders, including Pacquiao and Bradley.

However, I have no argument with anyone rating Pacquiao No. 1 – as ESPN.com and the Transnational Boxing Rankings do. The TBR rates Pacquiao and Bradley ahead of Brook. ESPN.com rates PacMan, Desert Storm and Thurman above Brook. Again, I have no problem with Brook being No. 3 or No. 4 behind those welterweights.

But I’m glad RING has Brook at No. 1. I think he’s a more complete boxer-puncher (a little more solid fundamentally) than my man Thurman, plus a bit more proven. And I think Pacquiao and Bradley have seen better days. If you take in their entire body of work at 147 pounds, they definitely rate ahead of Brook. But if you look at their recent performances, mmmmmmÔǪ maybe not.

Pac’s rematch victory over Bradley was significant, but it that performance sandwiched decisions over Brandon Rios and Chris Algieri – neither of whom were 147-pound contenders at the time. And he’s coming off a decision loss to Mayweather. Bradley was winless last year. I think – like pretty much everyone else – that he beat Chaves, but I also believe that he struggled with the rugged Argentine. The win over Jessie Vargas was nice, but Vargas is not a 147-pound contender.

Of course, Brook critics (and he’s got ’em) can come back and say Jo Jo Dan and Frankie Gavin weren’t 147-pound contenders either. True, but Brook dominated them.

Anyway, the newly vacated RING welterweight championship would not be on the line for any of the matchups or scenarios you gave me. If Brook were to face THE RING’s No. 2-rated Pacquiao or No. 3-rated Khan, the winner of those matchups would earn THE RING title.

 

PLYMOUTH “J-ROCK”

Whats crackin’ old chap? Summers coming to an end, and I hope your Mayweather melancholy has subsided by now. Especially after watching that J Rock round 1 blitzkrieg. Looking forward to seeing him in the ring soon.

Is he the real deal or what? I liked his aggressiveness, and was impressed by his power. That Philly mouthpiece was definitely on display in his interview with Jacobs. Hope he carries that momentum with him against better opposition…..certainly Austin Trout could be a good measuring stick, and present some tactical, frustrating obstacles. Beating boring ass Trout, by stoppage, especially, could make J Rock a Big Fish in deep pond. Dude’s got star potential.

Your thoughts….? – Huang

Williams, THE RING’s No. 7-rated junior middleweight, definitely has potential. He blew through an experienced gatekeeper who usually give top prospects hell.

“Star potential”? I don’t know about that yet, but I think he has the potential to be a major 154-pound titleholder. A victory over Trout, who is rated No. 3 by THE RING and in the top five of all four sanctioning organizations, will make the Philly native a legit player in the division and put him in position to challenge the holders of the IBF, WBC, WBO and WBA belts.

But he’s got to beat Trout first. Then we can talk about showdowns with fellow Haymon Leaguers such as Erislandy Lara and the Charlo Twins; as well as other standouts like Demetrius Andrade.

As for my “Mayweather melancholy,” I think my visit to NYC for the GGG-Lemieux/Chocolatito-Viloria doubleheader will get rid of that.

MARCOS MAIDANA

Doug,

Maidana has been my favorite fighter for a few years now. What do you expect from his career from this point on?

Thank you. – Byron, Columbia, Mo.

Thank you for writing in Byron (and reminding me of the town where I lost my virginity 29 years ago!).

Anyway, I think Maidana will make a comeback next year and aim for a big fight against either current WBA welterweight beltholder Keith Thurman or a rematch with Amir Khan. If he loses the big fight (and I would strongly favor Thurman to beat him and slightly favor Khan to outpoint him), I think he will announce his retirement from boxing but will likely return (after a brief hiatus) as a high-profile gatekeeper for ballyhooed Haymon up-and-comers such as Errol Spence Jr. or Julian Williams (if Chino has trouble making 147, which he probably will).

 

THE GREAT ONE

Dougie,

Well then, here we are. You’ve replied to me on twitter, you’ve up-voted me on the comments section and the mailbag makes my Monday’s and Friday’s. It’s time to write a letter.

I’m not going to talk about the state of boxing right now, I’m bored of Mayweather eating too many muffins and Floydiot’s not knowing s__t about baking. I want to talk about what made me a hardcore head, Doug, I want to talk about Michael Katsidis.

I would have described myself as a casual fan before that frosty February night in 2007, when a little known Australian, wearing a Corinthian helmet, came to fight the domestically well regarded Graham Earl.

Wow.

I may be overstating this one Doug, but that fight is a shootout for the ages. If anyone reading the bag has not seen it, stop, go and watch it now. My personal favourite part is the towel coming in for Earl and referee Mickey Vann throwing it straight back out again. We don’t roll like that in this United Kingdom.

I became an instant fan, not just of ‘The Great’ but of this bloody, brilliant sport of ours. Regardless of limitations, Katsidis was, at his peak, my favourite active fighter. A relentless stalker with solid power and a never say die attitude. He was rarely in a bad fight and despite his obvious failings (blocking punches with his face, lack of head movement, poor footwork) he’s been in with some serious talent.

What sums up the man for me is his 2010 fight against the great Juan Manual Marquez. Katsidis was coming off a pulverising victory over then unbeaten Kevin Mitchell at the Boleyn Ground – another destruction of a British boxer in his back yard. A month out from the fight Michael’s brother Stathi, a champion jockey in their native Australia, was found dead. Despite this devastating tragedy Katsidis not only still fought but sent JMM to the canvas in round three with a perfect left hook. As I screamed at my television I truly believed the fairytale was on.

Sadly, it wasn’t to be, the wily Mexican began to time Katsidis and went on to stop him in nine.

His career since has taken a relatively poor turn, with concerns over his health and whether he should still be in the ring, coupled with bizarre burglary allegations. Watching him against Tommy Coyle was one of the worst experiences I’ve had in boxing, Coyle would have been murdered should the ‘Great’ one have been at his peak.

Wherever life takes Katsidis now and I pray it’s to a happy retirement, nothing can diminish those performances, the memories he’s given and my love of boxing. For me, Katsidis has earned his moniker.

A few mythical matchups and I’ll check out, all v Katsidis and all at lightweight of course:

Khan

Broner

Linares

Corrales

Gatti

Nice one Doug. – Craig Taylor – Bath, UK #TMT #THEMUFFINTEAM

Thanks for finally writing into the mailbag (instead of just commenting underneath it). It’s about time you showed enough discipline to sit down and compose an email! Well done.

Seriously, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Katsidis made you a hardcore head. The man was an action hero, not unlike the late Arturo Gatti. His shootout with Graham was as good as it gets:

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Most of his losses were thrillers, too, such as the TKOs to future hall of famers Marquez and Joel Casamayor and even the 10-round decision to Albert Mensah.

The only way to describe his style was “balls-to-the-wall.” Boxing purists will tell you he had no style. F__k ’em. Whatever Katsidis lacked in skill or the finer points of Sweet Science he made up with courageous heart and impeccable conditioning. The fact that he gave JMM and Casamayor hell says a lot.

I don’t know if you ever met Michael, but he’s an absolute prince outside of the ring. He used to train in Southern California and my old MaxBoxing cohort Steve Kim and I got to know him a bit. We hung out with him in Sacramento in August of 2007 (a month after his bloody decision over Czar Amonsot). He was in town to be the team captain of a Filipino squad of boxers taking on a team of Mexicans (the main event was Daniel Ponce de Leon’s first-round KO of Rey Bautista). Golden Boy wanted Manny Pacquiao to be Team Filipino’s captain but he couldn’t make it (gee, I wonder why?). Katsidis gladly substituted (I guess Australia is relatively close to the Philippines). Anyway, he was a great guy at the local bar we hung out at after the show (and quite popular with the ladies).

Sometimes Katsidis would drop by our friend Dave Schwartz’s place in Santa Monica to watch boxing. Legend has it my coach beat Katsidis in an impromptu pull-up contest, but Michael got him in a rematch.

Like you, I hope Katsidis finds contentment away from the ring. Perhaps training is an option. I can’t imagine a more badass strength and conditioning coach – for any type of athlete or individual – than Katsidis. (Ask Kim about the time he did Michael’s non-boxing workout; poor K9 could barely move for days).

Your Katsidis mythical matchups (at 135 pounds):

Khan – I’m tempted to go with Katsidis by TKO or KO because Khan’s chin AND legs were shaky at lightweight, but only if you could reach the glass jaw. Katsidis isn’t tall and rangy like Breidis Prescott, so I can see Khan literally boxing circles around him en route to an uneventful decision. However, if Khan got greedy and tried to take out KatsidisÔǪ who knows?

Broner – This would be an interesting fight because Broner isn’t as busy as Khan and he’s more stationary. Katsidis would opportunities to outwork the more talented boxer (and Broner was so big and explosive at 135 that he’d want to stay in the pocket and trade shots). I think Broner would catch Katsidis off-balance for a knockdown or two en route to a close and probably unpopular/controversial decision in a fast-paced, entertaining fight.

Linares – This is another fascinating matchup. Linares, like Khan and Broner, is the more talented boxer but the Venezuelan isn’t as tall, rangy or mobile as Khan, and he isn’t as durable as Broner. I think Katsidis gradually pulls the game boxer into a shootout and scores a late technical stoppage in a bloody, dramatic slugfest.

Corrales – The late Chico is the worst style matchup for Katsidis. He was every bit as brave/crazy as Katsidis but he elite punching power, in other words, the one-hitter-quitter. Katsidis only knows how to pressure and swarm and that would play right into Corrales’ sick infighting skills and power. Corrales by mid-rounds KO in a thriller.

Gatti – This would be a bloodbath, and unlike the Linares fight, bloody-thirsty ghouls wouldn’t have to wait for it to heat up. Gatti would try to box early but Katsidis’ relentless pressure would quickly appeal to the New Jersey star’s warrior instincts and they would be going toe to toe by the end of Round 2. Gatti had the one-punch power to hurt and drop Katsidis, but Katsidis had the strength and volume punching to wear down Gatti. Both sluggers would go to the body, both would spill a lot of blood from facial lacerations. Neither would give a damn about the pain or the blood or the fatigue. I think fans would be treated to a great 10- or 12-round war and a rarely satisfying split-draw verdict.

 

 

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