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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

04
Dec

POTENTIAL JACOBS-QUILLIN OUTCOMES

Hi Doug,

We chatted briefly on Twitter last week and both agree that Peter Quillin will probably stop Daniel Jacobs. I think it’ll be early-to-middle rounds and you feel Jacobs will outbox Quillin at times until he gets clipped late.

As I’ve considered the match-up a little more in-depth, I can see a number of potential outcomes. I think that the one truth that can be counted on is that Jacobs does not have a good chin. I know most write off his KO loss to Dmitry Pirog as a fluke that was due more to personal distractions, but I actually feel otherwise.

I think even distracted, Jacobs was not in with a beast. Pirog did not have any real strong stoppage wins over solid contenders. Jacobs looked fine to me in that fight until he got caught clean and he wasn’t able to handle one good punch. I think the fact that a slow (granted crafty) Sergio Mora could also drop him indicates a combination of carelessness and further questions about his chin.

On the other hand, Quillin has consistently hurt, dropped, and/or stopped several strong competitors. I would almost assure Quillin gets the KO as soon as the two men get comfortable exchanging. But then I remember his fight against Lucas Konecny and how tentative he seemed in that bout against a fighter who mostly just covered up but remained on top of him all night.

So my question is how will this fight play out? I could envision Jacobs being cautious post Mora and boxing safe. I could also see him coming out to make a statement. Another possibility is that both men box conservatively out of respect for one another’s power.

I think Quillin tends to test the waters and if he feels safe he fights aggressively. If he doesn’t, he backs off. Because of that I could see this being more of a chess match. I think Jacobs will be more cautious knowing that Quillin is stronger. But the reality is he needs to be the boss in there to have a chance. Andy Lee didn’t start having success until he hurt Quillin. My guess is that Jacobs will try and box and get caught and hurt. But if he does land something good we probably see Quillin fight safer and it heads to the cards.

I’m still picking Quillin by mid rounds KO, but wondering if you have any last minute thoughts. If it does make it to the cards I would guess it would be very close. – Vincent, New York, NY

Good overall analysis of the “Battle of Brooklyn,” Vincent. You make a lot of good points.

I’m still going with Quillin by late stoppage, but my hunch is that Jacobs will make him look sloppy in the early and middle rounds. In fact, Jacobs might make Quillin look vulnerable/fragile at times.

I agree that Jacobs probably has the shakier chin of the two, but I don’t think Quillin’s got a Jake Lamottaesque beard. Jacobs, the more polished boxer thanks to his extensive amateur background, can hurt Quillin.

I think Jacobs is the better puncher of the two. I don’t think he’s got more raw physical power than Quillin, but because he’s a faster and more fluid athlete with better technique, his punches are more accurate, carry more pop, and will often land first during exchanges.

If Quillin had Jacobs’ technique and timing he would be knocking fools out cold instead of dropping them several times. Quillin basically clubs his opponents into submission or a defensive shell. He wants to be a Sweet Scientist but he’s really a big, goofy caveman with brute strength.

That’s OK with me. I’m not anti-caveman.

So my question is how will this fight play out? I could envision Jacobs being cautious post Mora and boxing safe. I could also see him coming out to make a statement. Another possibility is that both men box conservatively out of respect for one another’s power. I hope both middleweights try to make a statement by getting the “battle” on from the get-go, but I think your third possibility is probably the most likely scenario. These guys are familiar, friends even, so they know what to expect from each other. I think they’ll cautiously go tit-for-tat early on until someone makes a glaring mistake (my guess is that Quillin will f__k up first) and gets tagged hard. Then they’ll both open up.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that action and drama will ensue.

 

NOT-SO SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT

Hey Dougie,

Avid reader of your mailbag and generally agree with most of what you think about the current state of boxing (although I don’t always go with your predictions or your fantasy matchup outcomes). Anyway I only have one 3-part question for you…. What the hell has happened to the Super Middleweight division??? I mean “King” Arthur Abraham as the best the division can offer at Number 1 in the Ring ratings!!! An ageing shop worn 3-time loser from the Super 6 tourney is it for the division? Where did all the superstars go suddenly? The rest of the top 10 are not exactly names to fire the imagination for future matchups either, so who are we looking at to come up and set the division alight in the future?

Regards. – Steve

Yes, Arthur Abraham is THE RING’s No. 1-rated super middleweight. Sad, isn’t it? But I gotta give the battle-worn old fart his props. He’s like that butt-ugly S.O.B. at a club who still goes home with a good looking lady because he’s got confidence and he’s persistent.

Where did all the superstars go suddenly? They either retired (Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler), regressed (Andre Dirrell) or checked out and moved up in weight (Andre Ward).

The rest of the top 10 are not exactly names to fire the imagination for future matchups either, so who are we looking at to come up and set the division alight in the future? I’m looking at IBF titleholder James DeGale (along with a lot of UK fans and a steadily growing faction of American aficionados).

“Chunky” is feeling like a boss after his hard-fought decision over former beltholder Lucian Bute and he’s calling out steadily improving WBC titleholder Badou Jack. I think that’s a good fight, one that DeGale can win. If he does, I can see him go for the WBA belt held by hardnosed Russian Feder Chudinov. That’s another winnable fight for the British Olympic gold medalist but I don’t think it will come easy. I think it will be an entertaining scrap, which will help build his popularity in the U.S. and solidify his claim as being the “real champ.”

The Dirrell brothers will continue to be American players at super middleweight, three-time title challenger George Groves is young enough to make one more serious run at a major belt (a rematch with DeGale would do well in the UK if “St. George” can regain his form), and I think Britain’s sharp 25-year-old Callum Smith (currently 18-0) has the look of a future star.

And who knows? Maybe Gilberto Ramirez, the No. 1 contender for Abraham’s WBO belt, can put it all together and outpoint the stubborn Armenian veteran. It certainly wouldn’t hurt the 168-pound division to have a Mexican among its standouts.

 

JACOBS-QUILLIN, BLOOD-N-GUTS, WBC VS COTTO

Hey Doug,

I’m kind of excited about this weekend’s fight between Peter Quillin and Danny Jacobs; both guys can crack, seem to have a so-so chin and have looked vulnerable in the past. That combination may prove to be good enough to produce a good fight. I’m leaning towards Jacobs simply because I think he wants it more. Quillin seems to be more interested in the big bucks than actually making a name out of himself so I’m figuring he’ll try to box Jacobs. As a matter of fact, that’s the only thing that I’m afraid in this fight. If this happens, it may become another boring overhyped fight.

Isn’t weird that most big fights these days don’t feature the blood and guts that fighters of the past used to have? I remember Ray Leonard trying to beat Roberto Duran at his own game only because he wanted to prove that he was the best. Yeah, it didn’t work out all that well but it did give us a great fight and cemented his position as a fighter that wanted to be great by entertaining us with an actual fight. Most big fights this year had the potential to be like this but failed to do so because the “stars” of the game are way too careful. I understand where this comes from given that in this day and age an undefeated record is very overrated. You can see it with Tyson Fury and Klitschko, Canelo and Cotto were very careful in not exchanging that much; even my man GGG stayed away from Lemieux for most of the fight until he got him tired.

I miss the days when fighters dared to be great, that’s what made Morales, Barrera, Marquez and Pacquiao the last guys to actually do this. Hopefully less and less fighters emulate the likes of Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather and start acting like superstars of the past. This is the fight game, blows have to connect and that’s what people expect, do it!

I also have a take on the whole Miguel Cotto vs WBC situation. I actually sided with the alphabet organization in this one and I’ll tell you why. The WBC, like the WBA, WBO and IBF, is a body that sanctions big and small fights. Even though it’s a non-profit organization it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have expenses, salaries and so forth. While little known champions like Juan Francisco Estrada and Chocolatito are fighting for small purses defending their championships and paying small sanctioning fees, fighters like Cotto, Floyd and Klitschko are making up for that with their big fights and purses.

Look, I’m not a fan of alphabet organizations but they do give a name to fighters that are unknown. Cotto, much like Chocolatito and every other small time fighter out there, was at one point an unknown boxer. In order for him to become relevant, he had to climb up the ranks of guess who? The alphabet organizations. This gave him the opportunity to eventually fight for several vacant titles and become relevant. This system is what makes boxing work. You have to pay your dues. It’s the cost of doing business! People don’t realize that in order for these organizations to work, they have to sanction fights and review contenders all over the world, including third world countries that feature small cards where nobody makes money (and that’s where fighters like Estrada and Gonzalez start out).

Yeah, when you’re coming up and nobody knows you, you’ll pay whatever it takes to get a title shot, once you have it and you’re able to make the big bucks then you have to pay your dues. So the question is, why would you give the finger to the guys that gave you the opportunity to win a title in a division that you never fought in after looking dreadful in your last meaningful fight? The WBC knew that Cotto deserved this opportunity because of who he was and what he could bring to the table. Because he got this opportunity he was able to become relevant again. He agreed to defend the title vs the #1 contender and he didn’t and then got the opportunity to face Canelo and make a sh*t load of money. I don’t think Cotto kept his word and eventually wound up acting like the guys that he was criticizing. Thanks to these organizations, many fighters get opportunities they would never get. While a Cotto-Canelo fight gets a big sanctioning fee, a small fight between an unknown Thai fighter in a Banghkok will be losing money. You have to play within the rules of the game. When those big time stars decide to stop doing it, they take away from the whole system.

I know it sounded a little convoluted, but I’ve seen the struggles in small time gyms here in Tijuana, and seen how unknown fighters wish they would get a shot at any title, no matter what. Cotto got his opportunity and should pay his dues. Thanks Doug. (Sorry for the long email) – Juan Valverde, Tijuana

Damn Juan, tell us how you really feelÔǪ no, wait, don’t do that! There isn’t enough space in this mailbag column. LOL. You’re definitely one of the most passionate boxing fans I know. You gotta be to sit down and write a dissertation on Cotto and the WBC. I think you’re ready to get your Doctor of Philosophy degree in boxing.

But seriously, I too am looking forward to Jacobs-Quillin because of their flaws/short comings more than their talent/skill. Call me an adrenaline junkie but I want drama in my prize fights.

I don’t want to see the two middleweights tapping gloves after every rounds like they’re in a friendly sparring session. I do not approve of “the gentleman’s agreement” in boxing.

Isn’t weird that most big fights these days don’t feature the blood and guts that fighters of the past used to have? Weird? No it’s sad. And it’s pathetic when the so-called elite professional “fighters” face each other in pay-per-view events and box like amateurs but provide less effort than your average 12 year olds in a Silver Gloves final.

I remember Ray Leonard trying to beat Roberto Duran at his own game only because he wanted to prove that he was the best. Yeah, it didn’t work out all that well but it did give us a great fight and cemented his position as a fighter that wanted to be great by entertaining us with an actual fight. Leonard and Duran were key in making me a hardcore boxing fans. They made A LOT of casual boxing fans during the 1980s. It all comes down to effort. Those two, along with Thomas Hearns, Marvin Hagler, and so many other standouts of the ’80s and ’90s, were simply willing to GIVE more of themselves in the ring.

Most big fights this year had the potential to be like this but failed to do so because the “stars” of the game are way too careful. I understand where this comes from given that in this day and age an undefeated record is very overrated. You can see it with Tyson Fury and Klitschko, Canelo and Cotto were very careful in not exchanging that much; even my man GGG stayed away from Lemieux for most of the fight until he got him tired. Klitschko and Fury bored me to the point of disgust. Cotto and Canelo disappointed me. I’d thought they’d give more. I was OK with Golovkin and Lemieux. GGG boxed carefully early on but he was still doing damage and he ultimately closed the show. Lemmy tried his best. He gave a sincere effort. He simply lacked the class to make anything happen.

So the question is, why would you give the finger to the guys that gave you the opportunity to win a title in a division that you never fought in after looking dreadful in your last meaningful fight? The WBC knew that Cotto deserved this opportunity because of who he was and what he could bring to the table. Because he got this opportunity he was able to become relevant again. Good points about the nature of the sanctioning organizations and Cotto’s relationship with the WBC. I see both sides of the argument. On the WBC’s side, they gave Cotto an opportunity to fight for and win their middleweight belt with the understanding that he would eventually face their “interim” champ/mandatory challenger (GGG). Cotto backed out of that agreement after using their belt as part of his leverage in negotiating the terms of the Canelo showdown. However, on Cotto’s side, I know that he knows that the only reason the WBC sanctioned his shot at Sergio Martinez was because he brought more money to the table than anyone else available to fight “Maravilla.” In Cotto’s mind, he’s given the WBC (and the WBO and WBA) enough of his money over the past 11-12 years. And he feels that he’s spilled enough blood for the fans. He doesn’t need to take part in the public execution that a Golovkin fight would likely turn out to be.

LETDOWN YEAR 2015

Hello Doug,

Has there been a year that you can think of where none of the most anticipated fights of the year lived up to the hype like 2015? We’ve had some good fights but I feel as though none panned out the way media and fans were expecting? Take care.

Mythical Matchup:

Triple G vs Gene Fulmer

-JDB

You’re right. So far, none of the big main event/high-profile fights we thought would deliver fireworks have done so.

If Quillin-Jacobs doesn’t live up to expectations I think we can all officially refer to 2015 as the “Year of the Dud.”

Still, since we’re coming off Thanksgiving weekend, I’m thankful for all of the scorchers we received in second-tier/undercard/under-the-radar fights this year, such as Roman Martinez-Orlando Salido I, Jorge Linares-Kevin Mitchell, Kosei Tanaka-Julian Yedras, Masao Nakamura-Daiki Kaneko (thanks to Corey Erdman for alerting me to both Japanese gems), Lemieux-Hassan N’Dam, Krzystof Glowacki-Marco Huck, Ola Afolabi-Rakhim Chakiev, Olanrewaju Durodola-Dmitry Kudryashov, Andrzej Fonfara-Nathan Cleverly and Francisco Vargas-Takashi Miura.

Your mythical matchup: I’m going to go with Golovkin on points in a hard and often awkward and ugly fight. GGG’s jab would probably be the difference.

 

THE NEXT GWH & ONE VS. TWO

Hi Doug. Hope you’re enjoying basking in all of the glory that is the rejuvenation of the Heavyweight division. I realize that it was a dud and all but I’m sure that future bouts and the as-yet-to-be-determined rematch between the new Champ and the Steel Hammer will provide plenty more fireworks. And btw, let me go on record and formally disagree with you, okay: I believe Deontay Wilder is ready to outbox the new champ in what would have to be a more entertaining scrap than what we recently witnessed. Surely more globally promotable as well.

Two questions:
1) I’ve read your answers to questions pertaining to the race card in a few emails to the bag. Personally, as long as a bout is entertaining I could care less about the color of a man’s skin. But it’s nice to have someone similar to your background to root for. So what is the ceiling for Caleb Plant (I get that he comes from a kickboxing background so I don’t think of him as a purist but he’s also faced personal tragedy, so I can get behind him on that note) and Ryan Karl? Can I safely jump on these guys bandwagons yet? Again, no race competition intended here okay, but can a white-boy hope to see another Micky Ward or George Chuvalo in the next decade or what?

2) Okay, silly question here that I have debated about with boxing fans and non-boxing fans alike. I am also curious as to whether or not you’ve thought about this or have ever been asked this. Could an elite fighter ever beat two guys in the ring at once? Take your pic, prime Leonard, Tyson or current Mayweather or Roman Gonzalez… can one man beat two? I say yes, what one man can do, another man can do. And yes, I was quoting Sir Anthony Hopkins in The Edge there. What say you? Again, I know it’s a stupid purist’s question but I keep coming back to it. Weigh in will ya?

That’s all, except to say that I hope your pick of Quillin over Jacobs is wrong. I predict that this will be a better fight than Klitschko/Fury, Canelo/Cotto & Lemieux/GGG combined. I like Jacob’s hand speed and individual adversity.

Love the Bag Buddy, as always. – Stephen, Toronto, Canada

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Stephen (even though the one about one boxer fighting two men is absolutely ridiculous).

There’s a decent chance that my Quillin-Jacobs pick will be wrong. I view the fight as a 50-50 matchup. It’s very possibly that Jacobs could outclass/outbox Quillin to a decision; and it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that the Brooklyn native KO Kid Choc.

Regarding Karl and Plant, I like both prospects (and that’s not just my white half talking). Both guys have a fan-friendly temperament in the ring in that it’s very clear that they try to break down their opposition. However, they do so with solid technique. And both Caucasians (man, it’s weird writing that word – I think I’ll stick to White Americans, LOL!) are very active. Both fought six times in 2015.

It’s too early to tell what their “ceilings” may be. They’re both 23 and are at least two years away from realizing their potential in my opinion. Karl is still at the six-round level. Plant is a little more advanced, having fought the eight-round limit in his last two bouts. (The eight-rounder with Tyrone Brunson on Halloween was a very good learning experience for the Tennessee middleweight.)

Karl seems to be the more natural/fluid boxer of the two, although with his “Canelo”-ginger skin he’s probably going to have to work more on his defense to avoid sever facial bruising and lacerations. Plant seems to be the sturdier of the two but he’s kind of tight. He appears to load up too much on his shots which leads to his technique falling off during the second half of his recent distance bouts. Oh, and I don’t like it when he tries to shoulder roll. That didn’t work well against Brunson (who is not a real middleweight).

Don’t feel bad about being a “white boy” hoping to see “another Micky Ward or George Chuvalo.” I’m all about Mulatto Pride these days. Keith Thurman is my favorite fighter, and I was rooting extra hard DeGale during the Bute fight knowing that he’s of mixed parentage. (I’m kidding. Sort of.)

As for that weird question about one vs. two in the ring. The only professional boxer that I would give a shot at holding his own against two other pros is James Kirkland. Yeah, Mandingo is a bit shopworn but he’s the only pro boxer that I know of that has actually trained against more than one sparring partner in the gym (thanks to his on-again-off-again and equally nutty trainer Ann Wolfe).

Oh, and I’ll bet my half-breed pony tail that the Gypsy King will toy with Wilder if and when they meet in the ring.

NO MORE BRIGGS NONSENSE

Doug,

One good thing to come out of last week’s heavyweight bout and the end of Klitschko’s reign: we don’t have to endure any more stupid videos of Shannon Briggs shouting “Let’s go champ” over and over. – Hammer

I wouldn’t count on that.

Next time Fury attends a press conference as Batman, don’t be shocked if he gets tackled by Briggs dressed as Killer Croc.

 

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

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