Dougie’s Monday mailbag
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IS MATTHYSSE SHOT?
First off I have to say Viktor Postol did a great job, and is an elite junior welterweight now. I probably have him as my division #1.
Do you think The Machine is shot? I was at his fight with Ruslan Provodnikov and Matthysse took some incredible shots, at the time I thought these two won’t be the same again. Combine that with his war with John Molina and this KO loss, I think he’s done as a top fighter. Hopefully, I’m wrong and he can bounce back. And maybe his fight with Provodnikov gets him back-to-back Fight of the Year awards.
What do you think Doug? Thanks as always. – Robert from Ashton, MD
I think you’re posing a legitimate question. The manner in which Matthysse lost his composure and then his will to fight on against Postol certainly begs the question of whether his heart is still in the sport. However, we won’t know if Matthysse is PHYSICALLY shot until he fights again.
There’s no doubt that his last two ring wars took a toll on his 33-year-old body, but it didn’t look like his legs, reflexes or punch resistance were diminished during the first half of the fight. It did, however, appear that Matthysse’s focus was off. It didn’t look like his head was in the fight. I know their styles did not mesh well at all in the early rounds, resulting in a lot of holding (mostly by Postol) and rabbit punches (mostly from Matthysse), but to my eyes the Argentine looked frustrated from the get-go. That frustration quickly became desperation.
And although Matthysse had a strong Round 6 and 7, he never seemed comfortable in there with Postol, who regained control of the bout in Round 8 and never let it go.
I’ll be honest with you (and I said this during the international broadcast), I would not have been shocked if Matthysse announced his retirement during his post-fight interview with HBO. However, he admitted it wasn’t his night and he said that he would return. So he’ll probably be back in the ring sometime next spring and we’ll see how he looks.
SKINNY KLIT IS LEGIT
What up Dougie,
I knew Postol was capable of beating Matthysse but damn it was not easy watching him break down my favorite Machine like that. If Postol can stay at this weight he is going to be very hard to beat. He totally neutralized Lucas and he did it mostly by always being at the perfect distance. He really did remind me of Dr. Steel Hammer in there, he even got the late KO like Wlad. Maybe he doesn’t have a bazooka right put he seems plenty smart enough to grind down most at 140.
How did you score Orozco v Soto? I had Soto up by a point so I was pretty shocked by the judges, maybe it was different live.
Here are a couple interesting mythical matchups,
Valero vs (pre-Postol) Matthysee at 140
GGG vs Hearns at 160
Pacquiao vz Comacho at 140
Chewbacca vz Groot at 400?
Thank, Matt. – Sun City, CA
I think Postol is arguably the No. 1 junior welterweight in the world right now. It’s either him or Terence Crawford, but I lean toward the rangy Ukrainian technician because of his body of work at 140 pounds (Jose Lopez, Chop Chop Corley, Hank Lundy, Selcuk Aydin, Matthysse). Crawford has one fight at junior welterweight (Thomas Dulorme).
I agree that Postol fought like a 140-pound version of Klitschko (which is a good style to have if you’re a tall, rangy technical boxer). I also agree that it was hard to watch – but not because he was flustering, bewildering and ultimately overwhelming one of my favorite fighters. It was difficult to watch because it was an ugly clash of styles for the most part and I don’t think the Ukrainian did much to make it interesting until the late rounds.
Orozco-Soto was not different live. It was a very close fight. The official judges gave Orozco too much credit. I scored it for Orozco by one point, just as you and HBO’s Harold Lederman did. (I mistakenly announced that I had it for the up-and-comer by two points, 96-94, during the international broadcast but I forgot that I had the ninth round even due to Orozco’s point deduction.)
Your mythical matchups:
Valero vs (pre-Postol) Matthysee at 140 – Valero by bloody UD or late TKO in a classic boxing-slugfest
GGG vs Hearns at 160 – Hearns by close decision in a very dramatic fight (both punchers are repeatedly hurt – Golovkin early, Hearns late – but Hitman hangs on to win on points)
Pacquiao vs Camacho at 140 – Pacquiao by close but unanimous decision
Chewbacca vs Groot at 400 – In a boxing match Groot puts roots up that space monkey’s hairy ass, but in a street fight (where weapons might be involved) I gotta favor Chuy, uh, I mean Chewy.
THE MACHINE IS BROKEN
Well there we are, that’s quite the surprise. Lucas Matthysse was the favourite to beat Postol (albeit perhaps a close victor) but from what I saw Postol was dominant from the starting bell managing to outbox Matthysse. I was expecting Matthysse to land the big shots, work his way into the fight and break him down even if he was losing. Not at all though, Postol showed the ability to tie him up and negate Matthsse’s offense and so down the stretch was ahead. But then comes the big surprise, Postol is not only able to land a few shots but in the 10th round is able to land with enough power to put down the tough man Matthysse who then either can’t or won’t get up.
Now I’m not completely shocked that Matthysse was outboxed (if Zab Judah and Devon Alexander could survive the distance and Danny Garcia could beat him handily then it stands to reason that Postol could have had some success) but the fact that he ended up being knocked out certainly did shock me! Here’s a man who survived taking big shots from Ruslan Provodnikov being KO’d by Postol of all people. Do you think the eye had something to do with it or did we just see one of boxing’s celebrated warriors staying down to save himself from further embarrassment?
I love watching him fight but I think Matthysse needs to be matched with a certain style of fighter in order to be successful and entertaining. Where do you see him going now? Do you think The Machine could do with a new trainer who could add some wrinkles to his game and make him take more advantage of his power?
And what next for Postol? The 140-lb division is wide open for him now and after last night I’d favour him against all the top fighters except perhaps Terrance Crawford who has enough skills and power to be right in that fight.
Also Danny Garcia sure made a smart move by staying clear of Postol huh?? Cheers! – Stuart from Scotland
Yeah, I think Poppa Garcia and Uncle Al are well aware of Danny’s limitations, especially after his close calls against Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson, and knew better than to honor that WBC mandatory challenge from Postol.
Kudos to Matthysse for having the balls to take on a stylistic nightmare like Postol for a chance to win the vacant WBC belt. And Kudos, of course, to Postol for making the most of his first title shot opportunity.
Even though I picked Matthysse to win on points, I wasn’t surprised that Postol won the fight. I viewed the bout as a 50-50 matchup coming in. However, like you, I was surprised that he won by stoppage.
What’s next for the new WBC champ? Well, it sounds like HBO is interested in matching Postol up with Crawford (a fellow Top Rank fighter) and it sounds like he’s into that idea.
“I was told there’s a big star out there, WBO champ Terence Crawford,” Postol said during the post-fight press conference. “I’m ready for him. Question is, is he ready for me?”
I don’t expect Crawford’s management to lobby for that matchup.
Regarding Matthysse’s training situation, I think Cuty Barrera is a limited trainer. In my humble opinion, Matthysse would be better served upgrading current assistant trainer Juan Coggi (a former three-time 140-pound beltholder who stresses boxing fundamentals) to his head coach or even bringing back Pablo Sarmiento (another former pro fighter – best known for his work with Sergio Martinez – who used to train Lucas when he was based in Southern California).
I’m not sure where Matthysse goes from here. Maybe a comeback fight against a mid-level fighter and then aim for fellow Argentine (and unbeaten IBF beltholder) Cesar Cuenca.
I love watching him fight but I think Matthysse needs to be matched with a certain style of fighter in order to be successful and entertaining.
I don’t agree with that kind of thinking at all. For starters, Postol probably gives everyone in the division fits (including Crawford). Matthysse had some trouble with Judah and Alexander but most observers believe he deserved the “W” in those bouts, and I thought the Garcia fight was competitive. Even if you thought Garcia won “handily” (as you do), I don’t think that means Matthysse needs to fear or avoid certain styles. Last time I checked, Judah, Alexander, Garcia and Postol were all legitimate top-120 rated junior welterweights when Matthysse faced them. I think the Machine deserves credit for being willing to face so many contenders (including Peterson, Provo, Soto and Olusegun) of various boxing styles to the ring.
And, yes, I do think Matthysse’s eye had a part in his staying down after being dropped but I think Postol deserves all the credit for injuring that eye with his right cross (although it’s possible that their accidental headbutt in Round 7 started or contributed to the damage).
THANK YOU JACK REISS
What’s going on Dougie? Hope all is well with you man.
Great job on the broadcast on Saturday, I was “listening on the radio.” It started at 3 AM here, yeah, I’m dedicated 🙂
Sorry in advance, but it’s my first time writing in (been a loyal reader for about 10 years now, maxboxing days), and I might go long in this first email.
Julian Ramirez: Not sold on the guy. Made it harder than he needed to. I can see the appeal though. On the broadcast, you both sounded really impressed. You mentioned you’ve covered all his fights, can you expand on what you’ve seen; maybe I just missed it.
Orozco can fight. I found he fought well, put nice punches together especially to the body, and when he pressured he was smart not reckless. Soto, I respect him too much to see him become a gatekeeper. I know you have great respect for him too. What do you think his next move is, retire? What about Orozco? Who would you like to see him in with next? I wasn’t scoring, but those scorecards were way too wide.
Matthysse-Postol: Dude, I knew the fight could be awkward but this was ugly, frustrating to watch. I have to say thanks to Sheriff Reiss who laid down the law. Thanks to that, the fight started flowing a bit. Matthysse had a good 6th and 7th rounds. But Postol adjusted to the rules and put soft but accumulating combinations later on. I think Matthysse has good boxing fundamentals, but he doesn’t use any of it. Relies too much on landing the 1 punch. I find he’s stagnated and either needs a change in corner or retire.
Postol, I can’t decide if he’s a praying mantis or an octopus, but he’s effective in a very ugly way. At 140 I don’t care to see him fight, but I’d be interested at 147 where he’d be tall but not huge. Dude can fight, but holding is too easy when you’re that tall. The prettiest thing about Postol is his wife. Did you see her?
What’s next for the Machine and Postol, Dougie? Do you agree that 147 might make Postol more interesting? Keep up the great work homie, I love the mailbags, and the 10 Count videos with Steve and them guys.
Peace. – Daniel Chavez, Prague, Czech Republic
Thanks for reading my stuff for all these years and thanks for finally submitting an email for the mailbag.
I think Postol’s management will push for a unification bout with fellow unbeaten beltholder Terence Crawford (a showdown that could be for the vacant RING 140-pound title). If they can’t get that fight right away, I believe they would be willing to pit their champ against seasoned veteran, such as Maurico Herrera, or a highly rated young contender, such as Amir Imam. Postol is fearless and his manager (Vadim Kornilov) and trainer (Freddie Roach) have total confidence in him.
Matthysse probably needs a rest and then a relatively soft opponent before he takes on another top-10 contender or goes for another title sometime in 2016.
I think Postol could possibly be a force at welterweight but I’d like to see him attempt to prove that he’s the best junior welterweight before moving up to 147 pounds. I agree that his “mantis-like” style seldom makes for an entertaining (or clean) fight but I think he’s paid his dues and deserves a big fight or two, as well as some good pay days. I do have a lot respect for Postol and his team. (And, yes, I think his wife is attractive.)
Regarding Matthysse, I think he more than stagnated, I think he’s regressed since his last two bouts. He had nice busy jab in his bouts with Molina and Provodnikov. It was non-existent against Postol. I think Juan Coggi had more input in his last two bouts (he was still new to the team at that point), but I’m not so sure about the former champ’s role in this most recent camp. Anyway, I think he needs someone in his camp with a technical eye who can help correct his flaws and keep him focus come fight time. Coggi could fill that role in my opinion, but Matthysse and Barrera have to allow it.
Regarding Reiss, I think he’s one of the best refs in the business. I liked that the warned both fighters about the rough stuff early in the bout and that he got on Postol’s case about the holding, but I thought he allowed Matthysse to throw (and land) too many rabbit punches.
What’s next for Orozco? Based on his solid but not sensational performance, probably a lateral move instead of a step up in competition. Perhaps a showdown with young gun Jose Benavidez or another crossroads match with a still-dangerous Hank Lundy. How do those matchups strike you?
What’s next for Soto? Probably one more crossroads match (maybe Frankie Gomez can finally get his weight under control long enough to make that fight). If he wins it, he’ll remain in the game on a fight-by-fight basis. If he loses, he calls it a career (and a darn good one at that).
What do I see in Ramirez? I see a natural fighter and a well-rounded boxer. He doesn’t have the athletic gifts or natural talent that some blue-chip prospects have but he’s got good instincts, solid skills and technique, and a lot of poise. I think he knows when to box carefully and when to turn it on.
I thought he boxed an effective and disciplined fight (and brawled well in spots) against Hugo Partida in the opening bout of the international broadcast from StubHub on Saturday and I was glad that my fellow commentator (legendary Colonel Bob Sheridan) was also impressed by the featherweight prospect.
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FAILURE TO COMMUNICATE
John David Jackson was like a reindeer (“Poro” In Finnish), he felt like he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and was clearly overwhelmed with the language barrier. Khabib Allakhverdiev’s co-trainers were awful as well.
Kudos to Adrien Broner on his victory and becoming a 4 time world champion in 4 weight classes.
Pistol Pete (Viktor Postol) wins a classic shootout!
I was not surprised at all by the Ukrainian gunslinger’s skills…even saying that it “It takes two to Tango” and Lucas Matthysse was clearly in “No Mas” land after the 7th round.
A few side points: THE RING heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko and unbeaten challenger Tyson Fury have a new date and will meet next month.
About a week ago I favored David Lemieux to dethrone Gennady Golovkin but now as the fight is approaching I will side with Triple G.
The main reason is because Carl Froch refused to get in the ring with Triple G. Golovkin fights like the Terminator and he keeps on coming and I am sure Lemieux will have a few moments but he will be blasted out the ring in 3 rounds.
Just one more thing, as the late great Peter Falk who played Columbo, always says before leaving out the door….For all you do Dougie this ice cold beer from Finland is for you! – Thomas Jackson, Finland, Europe
We have to favor Golovkin going into his Oct. 17 clash with fellow power-hitter Lemieux but if he isn’t 100 percent ready (physically and mentally) he’s gonna go through hell. All I know is that regardless of how long it lasts – one round, three rounds, six rounds, nine – it’s going to be explosive.
I don’t know if the Klitschko-Fury fight being postponed Nov. 28 favors the younger fighter. I think it depends on how well the champ heals from his leg injury. I don’t think more time since Fury’s last fight is a good thing for the unbeaten contender. He only fought once in 2013, twice in 2014, and he hasn’t been in with world-beaters.
Matthysse was indeed in “No Mas” mode after Round 7 but I wouldn’t call his title bout with Postol a “shootout.” To me it looked like an awkward game of tag between an undersized mentally challenged bully and an oversized brainy nerd who didn’t realize his own strength until he stopped running away.
Kudos to Broner, not for winning his fourth belt in a fourth division but for beating a solid opponent, looking pretty good doing so, and for becoming a player in the 140-pound division.
I definitely think Broner belongs at junior welterweight, where his speed, reflexes, physical strength and stamina will be optimized. I was impressed with his speed, power-punch accuracy, footwork and confidence but I also have to take into consideration that he was facing a guy who did not have the power or ability to really threaten him.
Allakhverdiev’s lack of a jab and combination punching against Broner was just as frustrating to watch as Matthysse’s one-dimensional approach to walking down Postol.
I think Broner’s a handful for most junior welterweights but I think he can be outboxed by more complete and more disciplined boxers such as Crawford, Postol (and even the relatively green Amir Iman) and I still see a guy who is vulnerable against busy/aggressive, heavy handed fighters, such as Matthysse and Provodnikov.
I’m not going to dump on JDJ. His fighter was outgunned from the get-go and he didn’t even have the Russian for a full camp. Allakhverdiev spent several weeks in Russia training under Roy Jones Jr.’s not-so watchful eye and then reported to Jackson’s camp a week before the fight.
If Broner is willing to step up to 147 pounds again I bet you JDJ’s new pupil, Chris Algieri, can give The Problem a run for his money.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.