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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

15
Oct

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PAY-PER-VIEW WORTHY

Hi Dougie,

I recently discovered your mailbag and am very impressed with your knowledge, writing and perspective, and am even following you on Instagram. I am a tad more than a casual boxing fan but have been turned off by so many terrible decisions over the years that I am not as rabid a fan as I could be but the big fights still excite me to no end.



I bought my first PPV in a couple of decades with Manny and Floyd and was as disappointed as anybody else getting sucked in by the hype. Only twelve when Ali fought Frazier at the Garden but I remember the excitement of the hype and those amazing pictures in LIFE magazine and I was hooked.

Well, Manny and Floyd was no Ali-Frazier but maybe GGG-Lemieux can be Hagler-Hearns, which I saw on closed circuit thirty years ago.

I decided not to buy this fight on PPV but rather go to the Garden and see it live. I think GGG will win within five rounds in a war. The rest of the card looks interesting as well.

Thanks for listening to all my babble and I will leave you with three mythical match ups:

Ali-Holyfield

Hearns-Cotto 147-160

Chavez-Floyd Mayweather -147

–Tony, Beacon, NY

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tony. You go way back with boxing, which means you’re probably going to have a hell of a good time at tomorrow’s card here in New York City. For starters, the energy inside a packed Madison Square Garden for world-class boxing tops the vibe of any other arena I’ve been in.

Golovkin, Lemieux and members of their respective teams (Bernard Hopkins, Marc Ramsay, Tom Loeffler) have all used the words “Old School” to describe the middleweight title unification bout. When asked why they all basically say the same things: it’s going to be a hard, intense fight. Neither middleweight wants to avoid a challenge. Both want to prove that they are the best fighter in the 160-pound division. Both are willing to take some lumps and spill some blood to do so.

I doubt it’s going to be an all-time classic like Frazier-Ali I or an all-time great shootout like Hagler-Hearns, but it’s gonna be badass. If it isn’t a slugfest from the get-go, it will become one by the third or fourth round, and if they can take each other’s bombs fans will be treated to a high-octane battle of attrition.

Who’s gonna win? Who cares? We’re gonna get a fight and it’s guaranteed to deliver more bang for your buck than Mayweather-Pacquiao (which isn’t exactly setting the bar very high).

Your mythical maatchups:

Ali-Holyfield – Ali by competitive but clear UD

Hearns-Cotto – 147-160 – Hitman by KO at any weight.

Chavez-Floyd Mayweather -147 – Mayweather by competitive but clear UD

IS GONZALEZ TOO GOOD FOR HIS OWN GOOD?

Hey Doug. Pumped to be going to the Big Drama Show Saturday! Hope to see you there or at Jimmy’s Saturday afternoon?

I’m surprised more hardcore fans aren’t excited about Chocolatito’s fight. I even saw a guy saying he wasn’t intersected in it and called it a “showcase”. If you consider a fight against a top-5 contender a showcase then Gonzalez must be too good. Personally, I view this as a fight where Gonzalez will have to exert himself more than usual but still win easily probably around round 10.

Lastly how do you see this fight doing on PPV? I’m going out on a limb and saying it does roughly Cotto vs. Margarito II numbers.

Hope to meet you Saturday. Thanks. – Robert from Ashton, MD

If Golovkin-Lemieux does Cotto-Margarito II numbers (around 600,000 buys), the good folks at K2, Golden Boy Promotions and HBO will be doing backflips. They’ll be talking about GGG-Lemieux II as much as they will about the winner facing the Cotto-Canelo winner.

As much as I like this fight and love this event, I would be shocked if the HBO PPV did that well. I’m thinking it does half that, which would make it a financial success.

Remember this, the first time Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao headlined pay-per-view shows they all did between 250,000-350,000 buys (and these are fighters who had been featured on previous PPV shows; and in the case of De La Hoya, Cotto and Mayweather, they were Olympians who fought most of their pro careers on TV).

Tomorrow is the first time Golovkin and Lemieux will be featured on a U.S. PPV telecast. We’ll see how they do.

If you’re not excited about Gonzalez-Viloria, you’re not a hardcore fan. It’s as simple as that.

If you think Viloria can’t compete with Gonzalez, you either don’t know much about Viloria, you overrated Chocolatito, or you just don’t know much about boxing.

Viloria is the underdog in this fight but he is VERY live. If I was a betting man, I would put at least a couple C-notes on the Filipino-American 2000 Olympian pulling the upset. Viloria has the experience, skill, speed and power to beat Gonzalez to the punch and hurt the Nicaraguan badass while getting the hell out of the danger zone.

Viloria has had a great camp and he was practically glowing while he worked the mitts in explosive fashion during Tuesday’s media workout. Gonzalez, on the other hand, looks drained and dried out. He didn’t work out for the media on Tuesday (wouldn’t even take his T-shirt off). His energy has been very low during this week’s media events.

Hey, I think Gonzalez is the best boxer in the world, pound for pound, but I don’t think he’s so good that he’s going walk all over Brian Viloria.

I was at Jimmy’s last night and might drop by after I post this mailbag. I don’t know if I’ll be there on Friday. I definitely know I won’t be there Saturday afternoon. Saturday after the fight – count on it (but until after 1 a.m.)

 

JIMMY’S CORNER

Hey Dougie!!!

Well… tomorrow afternoon my wife and I will be driving the 10+ hours to New York from Canada eh to watch the fight. Not just to watch GGG bludgeon another no hoper… but to watch GGG bludgeon a fellow Canadian hopeful!! Can’t wait. That being said, last year I made a trip to NYC with some buddies having never been. I don’t really care for cities, hence why I live in Canada but I did have one must see venue on my list at the time and that was Jimmy’s. I was expecting it to be my personal highlight but instead it became our collective highlight as Jimmy put me to the sword with the wall trivia (nailed it!!) and we talked boxing and he regaled us of all the neat boxing-related celebrities that regularly stop by. I was seriously crossing my fingers that Don King would walk through the door so I could get a picture with that old bugger before he bites it. Nonetheless, it was a great time.

My question for the mailbag is- Do you have any great Jimmy’s related stories that you can tell us lowly boxing fans? I’m sure you must’ve saddled up to the bar and rubbed elbows with Bert and his fedora at some point in your doghouse days no? Anywho, keep up the great work and can’t wait to buy you and the Kimster a round come Saturday night. Cheers. – Loic

I don’t think I have any stories about hanging out in the boxing-themed Times Square bar that can hold a candle to whatever the owner, Jimmy Glenn, may have told you. I never had any drinks with the late, great Bert Sugar at Jimmy’s (but I did have a few extremely weird conversations with the late Johnny Bos there). I never kicked it with any boxing legends the bar (but I did meet Paulie Malignaggi there before he turned pro 14 years ago).

So I don’t really have stories about that place. I just have memories of hanging out with good friends (like the Kimster) and meeting interesting people – mostly hardcore boxing fans – from around the world. I first hung out there before the Lennox Lewis-Michael Grant heavyweight title bout in April 2000 (Michael Katz introduced me to the place and to Mr. Glenn) and I think I’ve dropped by at least once before every major fight I’ve covered at Madison Square Garden.

Anyway, you two crazy Canuckleheads enjoy the fights tomorrow night, and don’t worry about Lemieux. He might bet get bludgeoned but he’s going to some bludgeoning of his own.

 

SO EXCITED

Hi Dougie!

Ain’t made the mailbag before but here’s to hoping! In NZ last night, the two best prospects from the Oceania region put on a pretty good show. Jeff Horn picked apart the tough but limited southpaw Blanco before Parker KO’ed old war horse Kali Meehan. While I know Meehan is no spring chicken and is well past his prime, damn did Joe Parker look quick! This guy is going to be a force in years to come! I’m not sure whether he can compete with Anthony Joshua but I would definitely love to see the two fight for a title in a couple years down the track! In the co main event, the best Aussie prospect for some time in Jeff Horn generally put a beatdown on Alfredo Blanco. Have you seen much of Horn? He was a 2012 Olympian and generally has a great mix of technique, speed and power. He gets clipped a little bit occasionally but has really nice head movement (especially weaving under hooks) and I really love his lead right crosses, do you see him as being a contender in the welterweight division? The Colonel Bob Sheridan sure seemed pretty high on him.

Anyways onto this Sunday, I haven’t been this excited for a fight in a long time! I’m picking Golovkin to stop the brave Canadian in about 8 rounds. I think GGG will get hit a bit in some early rounds but not show any signs of being hurt whereas the same won’t be said for Lemieux who I think will get hurt a few times before eventually being knocked down several times in one round and the ref or corner stopping the fight. As an Aussie I found it hard watching Golovkin beat down our man Daniel Geale, who I think has now well and truly passed his prime, but I cheered for him in all fights before that one and every fight after. He just has that monster mentality I love watching in fighters. I think Chocalito is going to be tested more so than he was in his last fight, but will go to the body a few times on Viloria who will then try and check a body punch only to have his clock cleaned. I think this will happen middle rounds 6-9. I think both scraps should be highly entertaining and I’m extremely excited! One last thing, have you watched any of the recent AIBA championships? I have to say since Amateurs have gone back to 10 point round scoring and no headgear, they are producing some great quality fights and I’m looking forward to seeing some of these bad ass Russians and Kazaks turn pro! Best wishes to you and yours – Luke from Melbourne

I haven’t watched any of the recent AIBA championships but I have no doubt that I’ll be watching the medal winners from Russian and Kazakhstan not long after they turn pro.

I agree that both co-featured bouts of Saturday’s show will be competitive. I think Lemieux will surprise everybody (but GGG) with his speed, physical strength and durability. I don’t think either middleweight will fold after catching a few power shots. Both are in for the long haul. I see GGG landing the more accurate punches and gradually wearing Lemieux down to a hard-earned late stoppage.

I think Chocolatito has his heavy little hands full with Viloria, whose ability to power punch on the fly makes him very dangerous to the pound-for-pound king. Gonzalez is going to have to cut the ring off on Viloria and work the veteran’s body (as you envision) in order to break down enough to take him out with head shots. I don’t think he’ll KO Viloria but I do think he can swell up the two-division champ, sweep the late rounds, and win a hard-fought decision.

I haven’t seen Horn fight yet, but I have heard the Colonel rave about The Hornet. From the highlights I’ve watched, the welterweight prospect looks like an all-action fighter. I expect nothing less from Australian standouts.

As for Parker, I think he’s the second best heavyweight prospect on the planet next to Joshua. I LOVE the New Zealand native’s hand speed. That’s going to be the gift that keeps on giving to his budding pro career.

 

THE CREAM ALWAYS RISES

Ah Dougie my man, we’ve got some great fights this weekend to look forward to. Despite the considerable hype-train filled with Golovkids, I think David Lemieux is a very live dog in this fight. The same can be said for Brian Viloria against “Chocolatito” but for slightly different reasons.

While both GGG and Lemieux are big punchers, I think GGG tends to stalk and look for specific targets to hit, whereas David Lemieux seems more intent on landing thudding shots anywhere once he starts to charge in for an attack. GGG shifts his weight from either foot to generate his power while Lemieux gives a shifty kind of sideways jab (or double jab) on his way in to lob a loaded up right hand. Lemieux does have a good left hook as well.

To me, this fight boils down to how each guy is able to defend themselves. I think GGG will start out cautiously enough behind a high guard, while Lemieux will try to go forward with his sneaky sideways jab followed by a big right hand to the body. If Lemieux can attack GGG’s midsection early, I think he could possibly force GGG to catch his wind and try to land his power upstairs if indeed GGG covers up and remains on the defensive. I’m not entirely sure GGG can take Lemieux’s power. I doubt that David can stand up to GGG’s shots for very long. If Lemieux’s offense isn’t clicking, he’s in trouble. GGG will begin to stalk him and patiently await windows to land his “smart bombs”. It will be fun either way, as I see Lemieux going down swinging by the 5th round, and perhaps landing some telling shots of his own along the way.

As for Brian Viloria and ChocolatitoÔǪ Let’s not forget that Viloria WANTED this fight for a couple of years now. WellÔǪ careful what you wish for.. eh? “Hawaiian Punch” has plenty of power and is arguably as fast as “Chocolatito”, but I don’t think he puts his shots together as well as the champion does. He also doesn’t have the footwork to tangle with Roman and stay in a position where he has the vantage point. I see Gonzalez taking over after the middle rounds with his fluid combinations and better ring generalship.

Make no mistake, both A-sides will be thoroughly tested. Both guys will perhaps be in against larger opponents come fight night. But as the late great Macho Man Randy Savage once proclaimed, “The cream always rises to the top”.

Good times indeed for us boxing fans. – JB

I agree you, JB. Excellent analysis of both fighters in the main event and of the HBO PPV co-main event matchups. (Thanks for sharing!)

While both GGG and Lemieux are big punchers, I think GGG tends to stalk and look for specific targets to hit, whereas David Lemieux seems more intent on landing thudding shots anywhere once he starts to charge in for an attack. I think you’re spot-on, as the British say. I actually think Lemieux hits harder than Golovkin does. GGG scores more stoppages and clean KOs because he knows when to let his hands go, and where to aim his power. “Smart bombs” is a very good description of his accurate shots (you should be a boxing writer).

We’ll see how much of a factor Lemieux’s jab will be in the fight. The folks at Golden Boy believe it will be the Montreal native’s key punch in the fight. I don’t know if Lemieux can match or counter Golovkin’s educated power-jab, though.

I think you’re underestimating Viloria just a bit.

“Hawaiian Punch” has plenty of power and is arguably as fast as “Chocolatito”, but I don’t think he puts his shots together as well as the champion does.

He also doesn’t have the footwork to tangle with Roman and stay in a position where he has the vantage point. I think Viloria can match Gonzalez’s power and I believe that he is faster than the flyweight champ. I agree that Gonzalez puts his punches together better. Few boxers – even among the elite – drop body head combos as well as Chocolatito. However, I disagree that Viloria lacks the footwork to compete on his own terms in this fight.

Viloria might not be able to do it for all 12 rounds but I think he can stick-and-move enough to last the distance and do considerable damage along the way. Will get enough work done to deter, seriously hurt or outpoint Gonzalez? I don’t think so but we’ll see.

 

LEMIEUX, THE CANADIAN SUPERHERO

Hey Dougie,

“I didn’t take this fight to fight Golovkin… I took this fight to beat Golovkin.”

And Lemieux says it with that goose-bump-inducing ferocious fire in his eyes…he’s almost made a believer out of me!

Almost…but how much you wanna bet we see a replay of the Hassan N’dam fight, only with Lemmy taking the knockdowns this time? Minus the stick ‘n moving, obviously. DL looks and talks like a superhero, but GGG isn’t just the Truth at middleweight – he’s the f__king Messiah! That said, I might be the only fan hoping for no KO Saturday: I’d prefer the Monster of Middle Earth and the Canadian Superhero give us Morales-Barrera rather than Hagler-Hearns. My expectations keep soaring ever higher…but am I overrating Dave?

Like DL, Brian Viloria has the upset aura around him, but his T-Rex reach might give him an early rounds extinction event in what’ll be a vicious war with the P4P king. Their arm lengths are equal and maybe I’m being a prisoner of Viloria-Estrada fight, but the Hawaian’s attack doesn’t seem to have the distance on it that Chocolatito’s does. Then again, the king doesn’t exactly move like Pep. And now that I think about it, weren’t you pushing for the Lord of the Flies to be RANKED on the p4p list just a year ago?! Man, he’s come up in the world! Btw can we put Gallo Estrada on that p4p list already? I know I shouldn’t, but I love me some p4p rankings.

By the by, what’d you think of the Lee Selby and Devon Alexander fights?

Keep up the great work man. Hope I can make it over to the good ol’ US of A someday to meet you. S__t, I might have to swim over for Saturday! Peace. – Abs, Cape Town

Good luck getting a ticket if you do, Abs.

I missed the Selby fight but I was pretty sure he’d be too big and rangy for the current version of Fernando Montiel. I’ll watch a replay next week when I’m back home. I was at Jimmy’s Corner during the Alexander-Martinez fight but I just couldn’t keep my focus on it. I was having good boxing conversation with my friend Aris Pina but I was trying pay attention to the TV too. I just couldn’t do it. The fight seemed monotonous to me. I was a little bit surprised that Martinez got the decision, but I wasn’t shocked. I think Alexander has turned the proverbial corner in his boxing career.

Estrada is knocking on the door of THE RING’s Pound-for-Pound Top 10. If Kell Brook loses to Diego Chaves or struggles with the Argentine slugger, the No. 2 flyweight could take his No. 10 spot in the mythical rankings. (By the way, I was pushing for Gonzalez be in the pound-for-pound rankings since BEFORE he beat the then-unknown Estrada in November 2012.)

You’re absolutely right about Viloria having the “upset aura.” He’s not exuding confidence, he’s radiating it. He’s shining so bright I’m not even sure if his feet are touching the ground.

Lemieux has the same level confidence but his is of the smoldering, primal variety. His eyes are on fire.

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Werewolf-by-NightEvery time I talk to him about the fight I half expect him to bare fangs and growl. He’s more supernatural than superhero in my opinion.

(I’m thinking Marvel’s “Werewolf by Night” character.)

If GGG drops him, best believe he’s going to get up and resume the fight just like N’Dam did four times against him. Lemieux will take it to Golovkin a lot harder than N’Dam took it to him, which is why he probably won’t make it to the final bell – but it’s also why he’s got a shot in this showdown.

 

GOLOVKINATITO

‘Sup Dougie Fresh,

I’m a longtime reader, first time writer and a big fan comin straight outta Nottingham.. the home of ‘The Cobra’ Carl Froch and the original ‘Green Goblin’ my man Robin Hood. Two legends in their own right which brings me on to the two legends in the making ‘Chocalatito’ n ‘Triple G.’

I had to write in fam cuz I’m too excited about the two match ups we got this weekend. I’ll keep it short n not so sweet like the badass Gonzalez. Viloria n Lemieux may be live underdogs but I don’t have to be Charlie from ‘On The Waterfront’ to tell em it ain’t their night. My prediction’s two stars are born as neither make it past the 7th. What you sayin Doug?

Mythical Matchup:

Froch vs Robin Hood in a fight for hometown glory.

Mad love n respect, keep doin wotcha doin Doug the game needs you! – David Hayden, Nottingham

Thanks for the kind words (and for stating them with such excruciating swagginess).

If Golovkin and Gonzalez both stop their worthy adversaries within seven rounds – and do so in dominant fashion – I think it will be fair to declare that both seek-and-destroyers are new stars in the boxing world (GGG will have the opportunity to become a crossover star). Hopefully, they will continue to co-headline major pay-per-view events (can you imagine GGG vs. the Cotto-Canelo winner and Gonzalez-Estrada II on the same card?).

Froch vs. Robin Hood? Froch wins (even if he gets caught with an arrow). He’s the real Sheriff of Nottingham.

 

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

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