Friday, December 02, 2022  |

News

Aficianado

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

01
Jan
Tim Bradley (L) and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches during their April 12, 2014, rematch at the MGM Grand. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images.

Tim Bradley (L) and Manny Pacquiao exchange punches during their April 12, 2014, rematch at the MGM Grand. Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images.

PACQUIAO-BRADLEY AGAIN!?

Well, just saw the news. Very disappointed. I can understand the business aspect due to the PPV sales of the first two fights and Manny Pacquiao’s big purse, but c’mon. If this is Manny’s last fight he should be fighting Terence Crawford or someone he hasn’t beaten clearly twice. A 5th Marquez fight would of been a good option too IMO.

Nothing against Bradley, who is the man, but Pacman dominated him twice already. So what if Bradley has a new trainer and he beat up Brandon Rios.

Like I said, I understand the money aspect but it kinda of seems to me having Crawford fight Pacman would of been a better long-term investment. If Crawford won that would raise his status and create more demand and money in the future possibly. What do you think? – Ryan NY



I think you’re right, but Crawford’s status and future demand/earning potential is not the concern of Pacquiao or the first-ballot hall of famer’s management.

I understand the money aspect but it kinda of seems to me having Crawford fight Pacman would of been a better long-term investment. Yes, and I’m sure Bob Arum would agree. But Arum isn’t the one calling the shots on this fight, Pacquiao is. And in the event the Filipino icon decides that he might want to continue fighting after April 9, it makes sense that he doesn’t select an opponent who can not only defeat him but beat his ass. Crawford has the ability to make sure that Pacquiao retires for good. I don’t think they want that. They want someone that Pacquiao can beat.

On the flipside, Pacquiao and Arum know that they have to select a credible opponent if they hope to garner a decent amount of PPV buys. Bradley seems to be a nice middle ground. He’s a respected and accomplished veteran, who now has a high-profile/media-friendly trainer, and is still considered an elite boxer in some circles. Yet, Pacquiao appears to have his number.

Nothing against Bradley, who is the man, but Pacman dominated him twice already. I think Pacquiao clearly beat Bradley twice – I had it nine rounds to three for Pac in the first bout, and eight rounds to four for him in the rematch – but I believe both bouts were competitive. There were definitely close rounds that I scored for Pacquiao that could have gone to Bradley in both bouts. Still, there’s no doubt in my mind that the wrong guy won in 2012 and the right guy won in 2014.

I picked Bradley to beat Pacquiao in the rematch because I thought he’d finally gotten his head together. Then he got into the ring and acted like he’d knocked out his last 20 opponents. I’ll never know why he thought he was going to KO Pacquiao. But I think he’ll have more control of his emotions in the rubber match. I think he’ll know when to box smart and the appropriate time to step on the gas (and I believe Teddy Atlas will help him make the right decisions). I’m thinking of going with Bradley in this third bout.

So, obviously, I’m somewhat interested in Bradley-Pacquiao III. I didn’t want or ask for the fight, like most fans and media, but I don’t have a huge problem with it being made. If April 9 really is Pacquiao’s last fight (yeah, right), Bradley is a much better Swan Song opponent than, say, ahem, Andre Berto.

THE MONSTER RETURNS

Happy New Year, Doug!

Finally, Naoya Inoue is back. But what’s next for him?

Although I hope to see Inoue vs Chocolatito, the fight may not happen if the Nicaraguan beast takes on Juan Estrada or Amnat Ruenroeng first. I’m afraid that the Japanese prodigy, only 22, is probably getting bigger and bigger so he will have to move up sooner or later.

Should he wait for one of the flyweight standouts to move up? What do you think about him moving down to fight them? Is it too risky for Naoya to go down back to 112?

(Having said that, actually I want to see him fight Shinsuke Yamanaka at 118)

Mythical matchups:

Edwin Valero vs Corrales, Casamayor, Freitas, Mayweather at 130/135

I hope 2016 will be a great year for you, your family and all of us. Cheers. – Taku from Japan

Thanks for the New Year’s wishes Taku. Same to you.

It’s exciting to have Inoue back in the mix after the ultra-prodigy sat out almost all of 2015. He’s an awesome player to have in the 115-pound mix.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

I think it’s only a matter of time before he ventures to the U.S. and fights on American TV. HBO is interested in him. I know that the new Executive VP of HBO Sports, Peter Nelson (who was instrumental in getting Gonzalez on the network), is aware of Inoue. Jim Lampley has mentioned “The Monster” on his Fight Game show and during World Championship broadcasts in 2015. I’m pretty sure they view him as a future rival of Chocolatito.

However, you are correct in assuming that unification bouts at flyweight will likely happen first. I think this is a good thing for Inoue. He’s only 22, as you noted, and he just fought his ninth pro bout. He deserves the opportunity to add some much-needed pro seasoning to his amazing accomplishments.

Against Warlito Parrenas, I saw his beautiful control of distance, world-class speed/reflexes and deadly accurate punching (especially to the body). But I also saw a swagger that bordered on arrogance.

Inoue might be falling in love with his power. He was somewhat impetuous against Parrenas. This is not a good thing for one who hopes to compete with Chocolatito. I think Inoue needs to go the distance a few times at 115 pounds (or at least get into the late rounds with a quality opponent).

Should he wait for one of the flyweight standouts to move up? Yes, unless he begins to struggle to make 115 pounds. He’d be a fool to stay at junior bantamweight if he’s weakened from making weight. Like you noted, there are big challenges for him at 118 pounds, such as the excellent WBC titleholder Shinsuke Yamanaka.

What do you think about him moving down to fight them? What!? Pull a Chad Dawson? I think that would be crazy. There are very good matchups for him at 115 pounds, such as unbeaten WBC beltholder Carlos Cuardras (34-0-1, 25 KOs), undefeated IBF titleholder McJoe Arroyo and top contender Zolani Tete.

Is it too risky for Naoya to go down back to 112? I think so. There’s a reason he leap-frogged flyweight after winning a belt at 108 pounds.

Your mythical matchups:

Valero outpoints Corrales at 130, stops him late (in a bloody, brutal encounter) at 135.

Valero catches Casamayor early, puts the Cuban in defense mode and scores an ugly mid-rounds TKO at 130; wins a close, maybe controversial, decision at 135 in a good (but often dirty) fight.

Valero stops Freitas early in a shootout (where both punchers touch canvas); he gradually takes PoPo’s heart at 135, stops the talented Brazilian late.

Mayweather narrowly outpoints Valero (thanks to an early round knockdown) at 130; Valero outworks and outmaneuvers Mayweather to a competitive decision at 135.

JAPANESE BOXERS, MAYWEATHER’S IGNORANCE

Hi Dougie,

Hope all is well bro and you enjoyed the holiday period with your family.

I’m sure you saw Mayweather’s comments on racism which were marred by his statement and lack of knowledge of Japanese fighters and (THE RING’s No. 9 P4P fighter Shinsuke Yamanaka). His lack of knowledge of Yamanaka is one thing but his statements on Japanese fighters and non-US fighters is frankly ignorant and disgraceful.

I thought to write to you to discuss the great fights going on in Mayweather’s favourite country of Japan, heck he could learn a thing or two from their courage and willingness to fight all comers.

Really happy to see Akira Yaegashi win his third championship belt at three different weight classes. Fantastic fight and seemed to be rejuvenated throwing fantastic lead right hands and body shots. Class act, Dougie, is our boy Yaegashi.

Kazuto Ioka was fantastic in his rematch victory over JC Reveco. I would love to see him fight our boy Chocolatito in first half of 2016 as Ruenroeng and Estrada seem to be unlikely until late 2016. What are your thoughts bro? I prefer Roman Gonzalez to fight Ioka personally rather than Giovani Segura. Arroyo would not be a be a bad option either.

Takashi Uchiyama is the real deal and would be hyped if he fought Nicholas Walters. Two monster punchers and a great fighter. Who would you back in that fight?

I think Inoue needs a couple more fights before he fights El Chocolatito but would really like to see Inoue v Cuadras or Koke. Your thoughts?

I am liking 105-lb fighter Kosei Tanaka. He can box so well. I just wish I would use his reach and jab more but he makes for fantastic fights. Him v Takayama or Hekke Budler or Yaegashi at 108 would be fun.

And final shout out to my boy Yamanaka. True boxing fans appreciate ‘God left’ and he deserves his P4P spot. For me, Uchiyama and Inoue deserve to be there too.

Keep up the great work Dougie and happy new year to you and your family. Yours. – Abdul-Qadir Ali, Dublin, Ireland

Happy New Year to you too, Abdul.

There’s not much to say about Mayweather’s latest diatribe on Fighthype.com, other than the obvious observation that the man is a racist cretin with his head up his ass.

It’s real simple: If you don’t even know the name of a fighter, you don’t need to be criticizing his place in any rankings. If you want to question his ranking, learn his damn name, look up his credentials and watch his fights. And, for the love of God, don’t dismiss him just because he’s a different nationality.

Add hypocrisy to Mayweather’s ignorance and bias. He says Andre Ward (who is lucky to be ranked No. 4 in THE RING’s Pound-For-Pound ratings given his inactivity and the quality of his recent opposition) should not go to 175 pounds and should not fight Sergey Kovalev. Yet he says the supposedly “media-hyped” Gennady Golovkin needs to leave middleweight and fight Ward at super middleweight. (He also says the media should diss GGG for “calling out” lighter fighters. Should we criticize Ward for calling out GGG? Oh, wait, that would be racist in Floyd’s racist mind.)

You know what? F__k him. He’s only going to get crazier as he gets older. Let’s keep the focus on active fighters who put on good fights, and this week, those fighters got down in Japan.

Yaegashi should receive consideration for Comeback of the Year after winning the IBF 108-pound title. The three-division beltholder is one of those hardnosed vets you can’t count out, and he’s always in a good fight. I wish I could reach back to the early 1990s and yank out Michael Carbajal and Chiquita Gonzalez to fight Yaegashi at 108 pounds.

I think Ioka is a major badass. I’d love to see him take on Brian Viloria (if the Hawaiian Punch is up for one more major fight). If he can beat Viloria or a veteran of that stature (ideally on U.S. soil and television), I think he’d be a great challenger for Gonzalez or Estrada.

Takashi Uchiyama is the real deal and would be hyped if he fought Nicholas Walters. Two monster punchers and a great fighter. Who would you back in that fight? I think Uchiyama would be the slight favorite (deservedly so), but I would pick Walters to pull off the upset in a hard, close fight.

I think Inoue needs a couple more fights before he fights El Chocolatito but would really like to see Inoue v Cuadras or Koke. Your thoughts? I think he needs a could fights before taking on Cuadras, but that’s a fight I want to see. If he can beat Cuadras, he’ll prove he’s ready to take on the likes of Gonzalez, but I think he’s at least a year away from being ready for the flyweight champ (and that’s only if he actually fights over the next 12 months).

I am liking 105-lb fighter Kosei Tanaka. He can box so well. I just wish I would use his reach and jab more but he makes for fantastic fights. Him v Takayama or Hekke Budler or Yaegashi at 108 would be fun. I don’t think the 20-year-old beltholder is ready for Budler or Yaegashi, but he might be ready for Takayama (who just lost his IBF title) by mid-2016. Hopefully the knockdown and struggle Tanaka had with Vic Saludar is a wake-up call for him to work on his technique.

And final shout out to my boy Yamanaka. True boxing fans appreciate ‘God left’ and he deserves his P4P spot. For me, Uchiyama and Inoue deserve to be there too. I agree 100 percent, and I’m going to push harder to get those two ranked just to spite Mayweather’s racially biased ass.

TOP FIVE DREAM FIGHTS OF 2016

Hey Doug,

I hope that you enjoyed the holidays.

I asked you at the beginning of 2015 what would be your top 5 dream fights for the year and gave you mine. We both had one out of five, with my pick of Tyson Fury v Wladimir Klitschko and your pick of Canelo Alvarez v Miguel Cotto.

So once again my question to you is what would your top 5 dream fights be for this year and how do you see them going?

Mine would be:

GGG vs Canelo – I’d go with GGG by late stoppage

Quigg vs Frampton – We don’t have to wait long and I’m still picking Carl

Selby vs Lomachenko – I know not many will agree but I really do believe that Selby can beat any other featherweight

Kovalev vs Ward – I think that Kovalev beats Ward in the toughest fight of his career

Wilder vs Joshua – Just to see who is the real deal and who is the hype job with the winner facing Fury

Keep up the good work Doug. – Aaron, UK

Thanks Aaron. I’ll try.

I want to see all five fights you listed (and we’ll definitely see Franpton-Quigg – and I’m still going with Scotty), but so as not to be repetitive, I’ll come up with five other dream bouts that – in a perfect boxing world – could happen in 2016:

Jorge Linares vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa – I like Linares by late-rounds TKO in a fast-paced and wildly entertaining lightweight scrap that features at least four knockdowns (with both talented but flawed combatants touching canvas). Both boxers are good ring generals, but I think Linares’ better technique will trump Gamby’s superior athleticism.

Takashi Uchiyama vs. Nicholas Walters – I favor the Axeman in this wonderful battle of hard-and-accurate punching junior lightweights. I think Walters’ body attack will be the key to a decision victory or late stoppage.

Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter – I view this battle for PBC welterweight supremacy as a toss-up fight with lots of checks and balances but I’m going to go with Thurman by close decision. I think his lateral movement and ability to punch on the fly (especially to the body) will enable him to contain Porter’s awkward roughhouse aggression just enough to outpoint the classy Ohioan.

Roman Gonzalez vs. Juan Estrada – I think the rematch will be just as thrilling as their first bout (which I was lucky to witness from ringside) and I think it will end the same way, with Chocolatito winning a competitive but clear decision.

Fury vs. Wilder – the Twitter battles and press events will pave the way to what should be a fun and very high-profile heavyweight encounter. I think Fury will take Wilder into deep water and get the better of the athletic American down the stretch. Fury will take some lumps but will still have fun en route a decision victory.

 

BIG FIGHTS ON THE HORIZON

Hi Dougie,

The three fights coming up in the near future that get my attention are:

  1. Fury vs Klitschko II.
  2. Canelo vs GGG.
  3. Kovalev vs Ward.

I would love to know your thoughts on these three fights. I figure Fury should win the rematch with Klitschko but I have seen several fighters that appeared shot come up with one last big fight so might not bet on that one. I think Kovalev will knock Ward out (IF the fight ever happens at all). In my opinion, if it weren’t for the big payday, Canelo should stay home and watch a good movie – might be better for his health.

It is looking like we may have a good year for boxing in 2016. What do you think? Hope we have some better judging!!!!!!!!! – Mike

We may not need judges for the three fights you brought up, Mike. But yeah, even with the soon-to-be-officially-announced Bradley-Pacquiao rubbermatch that nobody seems to be excited about, the New Year looks promising.

I view two of the three bouts you mentioned – Fury-Klitschko II and Kovalev-Ward – as 50-50 fights. I view Golovkin-Canelo as 70-30 (in favor of GGG, of course). But those personal odds can change depending on how the middleweights look in their first bouts of 2016.

  1. Fury vs Klitschko II – I’m going to go with Fury by close decision in a more competitive (and hopefully more active/entertaining) bout
  2. Canelo vs GGG – I like Golovkin by late stoppage or decision in a surprisingly competitive showdown.
  3. Kovalev vs Ward – I favor Kovalev by decision or late stoppage. Ward will compete and have his moments – he might even hurt or drop the Krusher – but I think the Russian’s underrated ring generalship, plus his inactivity and inexperience at light heavy, will be too much to overcome.

 

AMIR KHAN’S CAREER TO DATE

Hi Dougie,

With this talk recently of a possible Kell Brook-Amir Khan bout, I started to think about what Khan has achieved in his career to date. I would like to get your thoughts too.

To my mind, he has failed to live up to his potential, the early promise was substantial. He had many privileges, not available to 99.9% of British boxers. Khan won silver in the 2004 Olympics on free TV, and began his pro career on free TV. Everything was set up for him. Others, like Carl Froch, could not even find any TV network to offer them a deal. Talk about the A side and B side of life.

Khan has now been a professional for 10 years and to my mind he has failed, when taking into consideration the unlimited potential he seemed to offer. There are three reasons I say this:

1)He has never become the undisputed number 1 fighter in his division.

2) He has never avenged any of his defeats.

3) Apart from the 10th round vs Maidana, when has he overcome adversity?

I expected more than this. Even in his recent bouts, under Al Haymon, he has been matched with average punching opponents like Diaz, Collazo, Alexander and Algieri. People say he will fight anybody but I don’t see it. When will he fight genuine punchers like Danny Garcia again? How about Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter or Kell Brook? He’s disappeared off the radar; it’s as if he’s a part-time boxer, who fought just once in 2015. It’s like having a ‘vette in the garage and not taking it out to town on the weekends.

It also doesn’t help that he stated in December 2009 that “the UK is a racist country”, a preposterous claim which was quickly retracted by his dad. I went to the Wild Card gym in May 2013 and spoke briefly to Freddie Roach. He showed no animosity in being dropped as Khan’s trainer, he told me with a smile “that’s the nature of the business”. If only Khan could show such class and humbleness. Also, the way in which he has been begging Floyd Mayweather for a payday is cringe worthy – he’s been doing this for years. Very convenient for him, fighting a guy 10 years older than him and clearly past his peak.

Kind Regards. – Nav Sandhu, Leicester, UK

I agree that Khan’s career stagnated in 2015, and that he doesn’t always make the classiest comments, but I can’t be mad at the 29-year-old former beltholder for wanting to fight Mayweather. Floyd is more than just a huge payday for Khan. The undefeated American veteran is a bona-fide first ballot hall of famer (that many claim is one of the greatest boxers of all time). Khan can secure his own legacy – and make up for those career shortcomings you brought up – if he can be the first to defeat Mayweather. And he truly believes that he can beat the older man.

However, I agree that his pursuit of Mayweather has been embarrassing. As I’ve stated in previous mailbags, Khan’s been playing the role of Charlie Brown to Floyd’s Lucy and he’s been getting played. You’d think he would have wised up by now, but it is what it is. If he focuses too much on dream bouts with Mayweather or Pacquiao, he might get tripped up by an underdog in a “stay-busy” fight. Chris Algieri gave him a much tougher fight than most expected.

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images

I was more far more impressed with Algieri than I was with Khan, even though the Bolton man earned the ‘W.’ And, as you are aware of, that was Khan’s only fight of 2015. (He also only fought once in 2013.) His inactivity has done nothing for his career. However, despite never being the universally recognized “top dog” in any of the divisions he’s campaigned in, I think he’s had a pretty good career so far.

I think coming back from a first-round KO in his first defeat as well as he did took a lot of character. So did relocating to America while on the cusp of his prime. And I think he had a very good run with Roach from 2009 and 2012. He won a major belt from an underrated European technician (Andreas Kotelnik) and he took on established American former titleholders/contenders (some, such as Paul Malignaggi and Lamont Peterson, in their hometowns). That took guts. Facing a badass like Marcos Maidana took balls. I think Khan showed the ability to fight through adversity more than once. Yeah, there was Round 10 vs. Maidana, but he also got up from a knockdown and fought through wobbly moments against Julio Diaz. He got up from that killer haymaker hook (to the neck!) from Garcia and almost managed to survive the following round.

Khan can be a stinky boxer but he’s also given us a lot of thrills (vs. Chino, Peterson, Garcia and Diaz) and I appreciate him for that. I don’t think Khan’s career is over. He pissed away most of 2015, but he had a good 2014. He can have a good 2016 if he takes his sights off Floyd and Manny and makes Al go to work for him.

He had many privileges, not available to 99.9% of British boxers. Khan won silver in the 2004 Olympics on free TV, and began his pro career on free TV. Everything was set up for him. Others, like Carl Froch, could not even find any TV network to offer them a deal. Talk about the A side and B side of life. I hear what you’re saying, but didn’t Khan earn his network contract by winning that Olympic silver medal? If Froch had won an Olympic medal, I’m sure he would have had an easier time getting TV deals, as well as easier match-making, earlier in his career.

 

POTENTIAL P4P KING

Sup Dougie,

1. If GGG beats Canelo, Ward beats Kovalev, Fury beats Klit and Wilder, and Roman beats Estrada who will the P4P King and in what order, and is an undefeated 2/3 divisional unified champion rank higher than an undefeated unified heavyweight?

2. What do Crawford/Ward (2 of our best fighters) have to do to be PPV Stars? I think all Wilder has to do is keep winning and unify.

3. Does Golden Boy have any female stars we can expect to see in 2016? And what needs to happen for the ladies to gain the fame and respect the gals in the UFC receive?

4. If Canelo and Joshua both have the hall of fame careers who will be the bigger crossover and PPV star?

Thanks Happy Holidays Man!!! – Thomas

Happy Holidays, Thomas. I’ll answer your questions in order.

Roman-Gonzalez-media-workout_HBO1. Chocolatito will be No. 1 in my book, but I can’t speak for THE RING or any other boxing publication/website/rankings group. If that undefeated 2/3 divisional unified champ is named Roman Gonzalez, you bet your ass he ranks higher than an undefeated unified heavyweight champ.

2. Ward’s gotta beat Kovalev and then somehow get Adonis Stevenson in the ring or be willing to meet GGG at a 168-pound catchweight. Crawford’s gonna need an impressive victory at 140 pounds (a unification bout with Viktor Postol or a thriller with Ruslan Provodnikov) and then he’ll have to move to welterweight and hope get a shot at the Bradley-Pacquiao winner or be willing to challenge Kell Brook.

3. Golden Boy doesn’t have any female boxers under its banner at the moment (but I think they have their eyes on Holm and Rousey one day duking it out in boxing gloves). Seriously, female boxers just need the U.S networks to give them a break. They’re no different from flyweights or cruiserweights.

4. Joshua, but not by much.

 

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

close

SIGN UP TO GET RING NEWS ALERTS