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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

22
Jan

Mayweather-and-McGregor

HEAVYWEIGHT RANKINGS

Hi Dougie,

Just a quick one: given how wide open the heavyweight scene is now, what is your 1-10 rankings?



All the best homie. – Stan, UK

I don’t think my heavyweight top 10 is much different from THE RING’s rankings (at least the first half of it). I’ll just rank my top 10 without designating Tyson Fury as the champ:

1) Fury

2) Wladimir Klitschko

3) Alexander Povetkin

4) Deontay Wilder

5) Luis Ortiz

6) Bryant Jennings

7) Kubrat Pulev

8) Anthony Joshua

9) David Haye

10) Joseph Parker

 

THE MCGREGOR DOUBLE STANDARD

Hey Dougie,

Big fan, and avid reader of your mailbag. First thing I do Monday and Friday mornings. First time writing in. Keep up the good work man. I respect your boxing intellect, you’re the man, I usually agree 90% with what you say, but one thing is bothering me lately about this whole Floyd racist drama.

Let me get this outta of the way, I hate Floyd, he beat my main man Pacquiao who I have idolized for the last 10 years (my wife is Filipino, so you can imagine). Now I don’t know if you caught the presser last night for Conor’s next fight, but it was classic and maybe a little over the top Conor Mcgregor. Your telling me if Floyd or for that fact any black fighter said the things he said last night:

“I will behead Rafael dos Anjos. I will drag his head through the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Through a parade of people, I’d imagine. It will become a national holiday.”

“I’m dressed like “El Chapo” in his prime”

“I think Floyd need to learn before he opens his mouth. You don’t put a man like me in a situation like that. You’re putting me in a bracket with prejudice when you don’t know anything about me. I’m a multi-cultural individual, I take from all cultures, look at me. I’m a product of many cultures, as a young Irishman. I know he wasn’t saying that I was ‘that’ person but it put me in that bracket and I did not appreciate that one bit. There are people buried in the desert for less than that. Floyd need to understand before he speaks who he is speaking about. It’s as simple as that.”

And on and on and on. Your telling me if Floyd ever said this he would get a pass. Comparing himself to the biggest drug lord, basically threatening Floyd with his comment. Come on Dougie, I know you hate Floyd, but what he said I think is the truth. And for you not to acknowledge that speaks more for your hatred towards the man. I hate the guy too but what he said was the truth. Everyone ripping him, but Virgil Hunter basically said the same thing but just more eloquently and no one said a peep. Anyways just wanted to get that off my chest, and I hate Floyd too but agree with what he said.

On to Gennady Golovkin, I think this guy is that good. As much praise as he gets, I still think he is underrated. Everyone says he has not fought anyone, cause everyone avoiding him. Your boy Canelo looks like he gonna do the same thing, RUN. But everyone put in front of him, he has destroyed. I don’t know if other middleweights would have done the same, they might have won a 12 round decision, but not done what Gennady did. Is anyone gonna fight this guy? What the hell is going on? Oscar should be ashamed for what he said, a 90-10 split, are you fking kidding me.

Anyway sorry for the rant Dougie.

Mythical matchup’s: All Gennady now against these guys in their primes (middleweight)

Gennady vs Carlos Monzon

Gennady vs Bernard Hopkins

Thanks Dougie, keep up the good work. Peace. – Deep Cheema, Toronto, Canada

Thanks for the kind words (and the Floyd hate).

I did not watch Conor McGregor’s recent press conference comments and I don’t plan to. Not because I’m turned off by him or the UFC, I’m just not a big fan of MMA.

So I can’t tell you if McGregor’s getting a pass from the media or not. If he is, I think it has more to do with him just hitting his prime and being somewhat new to the world stage. McGregor’s 27. If he’s still ranting like a medieval madman when he’s 30, my guess is that the media will have had their fill of the antics and either complain about it or take him to task.

The comments you’ve copied for me didn’t blow my mind or offend me. Maybe I’m a jaded blood-thirsty ghoul, but I’m OK with a fighter talking like a killer as long as he backs those words up in the ring or the octagon or wherever the hell they duke it out.

This is prize fighting, dude. Emotions and adrenaline run high and occasionally explode at press events. Plenty of African-American boxers have threatened their opponents, and even went after them at the press conferences and weigh-ins, over the past 15-20 years. Go to YouTube and search for two of my favorite fighters – James Toney and Bernard Hopkins – along with “press conference,” “weigh-in,” “goes off,” “brawl,” “John Ruiz,” “Jean Pascal,” “Winky Wright,” “Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn,” “Sam Peter,” etc.

Toney and Hopkins weren’t crucified by the sports media for their over-the-top behavior. The media ate it up. TV executives and promoters involved with the fights were overjoyed.

The only fighter in recent decades – African American or any race/nationality – that the media sternly and consistently took to task for “going too far” at press events was Mike Tyson during the late ’90s/early 2000s. But that was after his jail stint for rape and the infamous “Bite Fight” with Evander Holyfield and several media meltdowns during interviews and press conferences. When Tyson was a fresh face (as well as a financial force) on the boxing scene in the mid-to-late ’80s, the media relished his out-of-the-ring verbal savagery almost as much as they did his efficient in-the-ring brutality. When Tyson said weird and disturbingly violent things like “I wanted to hit his (Jesse Ferguson’s) nose into his brain,” and “I was constantly hurting (Tyrell Biggs) with body punches, actually he was crying in there, makin’ women gestures like ‘uh-waa-uhhh’ÔǪ,” and “My power is discombobulating devastating. I could feel his muscle tissues collapse under my force. It’s ludicrous these mortals even attempt to enter my realm,” sports writers laughed. They viewed it as the colorful or gritty side to a special personality/talent.

By the late ’90s, however, the media was tired of Tyson’s crude and rude side. Mayweather never flipped out the way Tyson did at some of his press conferences, but most of the media was sick of his act long before the Pacquiao mega-dud. So when he s__t and stepped in it in terms of what came out of his mouth, the media ripped him. (Well, some of the media. There’s a lot of media out there that loves kissing Floyd’s ass no matter what he says or does.)

We’ll see how long McGregor lasts before the media turns on him.

Anyway, as for Mayweather “telling the truth” about a media/racial bias for McGregor, I don’t think so. In my opinion Floyd is just being a jealous b__ch.

On to Gennady Golovkin, I think this guy is that good. As much praise as he gets, I still think he is underrated. This we can agree on.

Your boy Canelo looks like he gonna do the same thing, RUN. Canelo hasn’t run from any challenge yet. I don’t think he’s going to start this year.

Oscar should be ashamed for what he said, a 90-10 split, are you fking kidding me. No kidding. Oscar’s a promoter. Don’t get too flustered over everything he says.

Your mythical matchups:

Gennady vs Carlos Monzon – Monzon by close UD

Gennady vs Bernard Hopkins – Hopkins by close UD

 

M.I.A.

Doug!

Hope all is well pal and you’re enjoying the new year. Without fail your mailbags are the only things that get me going on the worst two mornings of the week – keep it up!

I wanted your take on two of my favourite fighters who have been MIA in two very different ways: Kell Brook and Artur Beterbiev.

What is your take on the recent announcement that Brook will take on Kevin Bizier? I know how highly you rate Brook, as do I, so I imagine it pains you as much as it does me that he is not building on the momentum he gained from his win over Porter. Granted he had to recover from the stab wound in Tenerife, but like most of his fans I thought he would get that out of his system by taking Jo Jo Dan to the cleaners then get on with cleaning out the rest of the division! Since then he’s outclassed Frankie Gavin and now faces this chump!

I don’t know about you ol’ boy but for me it smacks of hypocrisy that he’s calling out Amir Khan but fighting bums. How much of a say do you think Brook has in his matchmaking at present? I have massive respect for Eddie Hearn, for what he’s doing for not only Kell but for UK boxing as a whole, but I think he’s letting Brook down with his matchmaking at the moment. Perhaps he is focusing his energy too much elsewhere (Quigg, Joshua, Eubank).

Also, from everything I have seen over here Beterbiev has the look of an absolute monster! I can’t get enough of watching the way he crushes opponents and would prefer to see him take on the Krusher than Andre Ward or Adonis Stevenson. Just me? Maybe so, but I love a tear up. What’s the reason for Beterbiev’s inactivity over the last 12 months Doug?

Sorry for the long email, hope I make the cut. One MMU which will hopefully become reality for you to close out:

Joseph Parker v Anthony Joshua – if they fought in April.

Thanks for the continuing wake ups on Monday and Friday – keep it Fresh mate! – Mike, UK

I’ll try, Mike. Thanks for the kind words about the mailbag columns.

I am indeed high on Brook and I think Beterbiev could be a major player in the 175-pound division, so their recent inactivity bugs me too.

Beterbiev, who hasn’t fought since stopping Alexander Johnson last June, was scheduled to fight on Nov. 28 in Quebec City but a shoulder injury suffered during camp in late October scratched that date. I haven’t heard anything about Russian badass since. Hopefully Beterbiev’s promoter (Yvone Michel) and adviser (Al Haymon) are cooking something up.

Brook’s situation is probably more frustrating to him than it is to us. He was set to face a decent challenger (in my opinion) in rugged Argentine Diego Chaves last year, but a rib injury forced him to pull out of that fight. Now he’s got another IBF mandatory (Bizier) to fight. The Canadian challenger is actually pretty solid, he’s just not a legit top-10 (or even top-15) contender, kind of like Artur Szpilka was with Deontay Wilder.

How much of a say do you think Brook has in his matchmaking at present? There’s not much Brook or Hearn can do to lure in a big fish at the present time. Most of the welterweight top-10 contenders are advised by Al Haymon and Brook isn’t a PBC player (yet). And Tim Bradley is busy with the third fight with Manny Pacquiao. Brook might just have to wait for Errol Spence Jr. (No. 2 in the IBF) or Sadam Ali (No. 3) to become his mandatory challengers in order to get a worthy and interesting fight.

I can’t get enough of watching the way (Beterbiev) crushes opponents and would prefer to see him take on the Krusher than Andre Ward or Adonis Stevenson. Just me? Yes, for now, I think it’s just you. I want to see Betervbiev eventually challenge Kovalev, but despite his amateur background (and amateur victories over Krusher), he’s only got two years and nine bouts worth of pro experience. I saw a lot of room for improvement in the Johnson fight and I think he needs more pro seasoning.

Your mythical matchup:

Joseph Parker v Anthony Joshua – if they fought in April – Joshua by late stoppage in a competitive and entertaining fight.

 

SORRY FOR THE RANT, BUT

Hi Dougie,

Over the course of the 2nd half of 2015 and the start of this year, I’m starting to get a bit disillusioned with the boxing world. I can see why so many casual fans are turned away from the sport and the murky elements that bubble away beneath the surface. Sorry for the rant but…..

Amir Khan/Kell Brook – what the f_ck has happened to Amir Khan’s career? The guy has spent the best part of potentially his peak years not fighting – begging for fights with Mayweather/Pacquiao, dodging fights with punchers and his career has completely stagnated. His ‘Advisor’ (see next point below) is giving sh_tty advice and wasting his talent by not keeping him active/relevant enough and now we hear that he is going to be mandatory for the WBC welterweight belt (see point after next) potentially delaying his next fight even further. Khan’s ego and self-importance are through the roof, does this guy not get that he is fast becoming old news? Does he understand that he is losing all respect from fans? When talking of stagnating careers, this leads me on to Kell Brook. When is he going to fight an opponent worthy for us to see how talented he actually is? Just when we think they might fight each other (the fight ALL boxing fans in the UK want to see), Khan becomes mandatory for the winner of Garcia V Guerrero. Brook NEEDS a big fight/challenge or he will waste his peak years and considerable talent as well.

Al Haymon – you know what the common link is to a lot of stagnating/inactive fighters/boxers fighting sub-par opposition? Uncle f_cking Al Haymon. No offence to fellow boxing fans across the Pond but I couldn’t give a flying f_ck that this guy is bringing boxing to non-subscription US television. His fights (that I want to watch) end up on channels in the UK I have to pay subscription for anyway. Amir Khan, Keith Thurman, Leo Santa Cruz, Danny Garcia, Adonis Stevenson and to an extent Deontay Wilder – these guys should be fighting in fights we WANT to watch, but aren’t. These guys should be active and building up their reputations, they aren’t. These guys should be building legacies, but oh wait that isn’t important nowadays it’s all about the money. He can’t make his fighters mega money as they’re not fighting frequently enough or building their profile (Wilder aside) so why are they all flocking to him?

IBF/Charles Martin/Main Events – I read today that IBF President Daryl Peoples reportedly said “Charles Martin won the fight, so let him enjoy his new belt and he’ll have a year to make his mandatory fight….” WHAT THE F_CK DOUG?? So Tyson Fury is stripped of the IBF belt for fighting an immediate rematch AGAINST THE GUY HE JUST WON IT FROM AND ONE OF THE LONGEST REIGNING HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPS OF ALL TIME WHO HE WAS CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGED TO FIGHT AGAIN IMMEDIATELY. Then Main Events get Charles Martin into a position to fight for a heavyweight world title that he wins BY DEFAULT and has a year to enjoy the belt before fighting his mandatory?!?!?! WHAT THE ACTUAL F_CK. And this after the WBC made Danny Garcia and Robert Guerro for the welterweight world title – who has either guy fought and beat at welterweight? “Oh don’t worry about that, we’ll get a massive sanctioning fee if we make it for our belt so let’s do it anyway! Oh and thank you, Al Haymon.” Total bollocks.

It’s these things that make me so frustrated with boxing. It’s damaging to the sport (try explaining this to your mates who only loosely follow boxing) and they’re all at it.

Sorry Dougie, just not getting the fights I want to see and all these shenanigans make me mad!

P.S. I just happen to be in Vegas April 9th so will hopefully be getting tickets to the fight, will you be there? I promise not to rant at you if you are. – CJ, UK

I don’t believe you, CJ. LOL. But no, I won’t be in Las Vegas for Pacquiao-Bradley III. I mean it when I tell people that I’m over the Mayweather/Pacquiao era.

I guess you’re not happy with the way things went in 2015 and appear to be going in 2016. Well, calm down a bit. I think Kovalev-Pascal II will be fun while it lasts and I’m very confident that Carl Frampton-Scott Quigg will deliver. (I’m even mildly interested in the Crawford-Lundy fight.) Let’s see who GGG and Canelo wind up fighting in April and May and keep our fingers crossed for their proposed showdown in September. Wilder-Povetkin might be made sometime between those dates.

Anyway, I don’t have much to add to your rants but I’ll say this:

Amir Khan/Kell BrookI’m a fan of both British welterweights but I’ve lost a lot of interest in Khan and I’m becoming apathetic about Brook’s career. I don’t blame Haymon for Khan’s decisions. Khan is just delusional. Maybe he will seriously consider fighting Brook if he isn’t offered the amount of money he wants to face the Garcia-Guerrero winner.

Al HaymonAmir Khan, Keith Thurman, Leo Santa Cruz, Danny Garcia, Adonis Stevenson and to an extent Deontay Wilder – these guys should be fighting in fights we WANT to watch, but aren’t. Well, at least Santa Cruz fought Abner Mares last year. It would be great if he took on the Frampton-Quigg winner, or Lee Selby, this year. Maybe that’s asking too much these days. Let’s see if Thurman-Porter is made and what Haymon does with Khan, Stevenson and Garcia this year. I agree that those three have regressed in terms of their status in the sport. I think they (and Thurman) need significant fights in 2016. I think Wilder has been moved the way he needed to be moved after he won the WBC title last January. He needed to go rounds, and get pushed a little bit (without getting beat), in order to have enough experience to have a prayer of beating Povetkin – and he got those rounds with three title defenses against non-contenders in the span of one year.

I don’t know if fighters are still “flocking” to Haymon. Maybe they are. Most of his “premiere” fighters, such as the guys you mentioned, have been signed with him for years. They used to be much busier (when they fought under the Golden Boy banner) but I think most of them are at a stage of their careers and lives where they only want to fight twice a year – and since they’re getting paid well and getting TV exposure, most of them are content. Some may not be content. We may start to hear from these boxers (if they don’t get the fights they want) by the middle of this year. Or we may not.

IBF/Charles Martin/Main EventsIt wasn’t Main Events that maneuvered Martin into that fight for the vacant IBF strap, it was your buddy Haymon. Main Events (along with manager Egis Klimas and the IBF) maneuvered Vyacheslav Glazkov into that fight. Regardless, it was a lot of bullocks (I like writing and saying that).

And this after the WBC made Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero for the welterweight world title – who has either guy fought and beat at welterweight? Well, Guerrero beat Selcuk Aydin and Andre Berto before losing to Mayweather and Thurman (and going live-and-death with gatekeeper Yoshihiro Kamegai). Garcia beat Lamont Peterson and Paul Malignaggi. I guess that all it takes to be in the finals of the Al Haymon WBC Welterweight Title Invitational.

 

HATE THE TERM “BUM”

Whats good Dougie Fresh!

First time chiming in to the mailbag, longtime reader. I like Deontay Wilder and I respect his reasons as to why he decided to give The Sweet Science a shot. Does he need a LOT of work still? Of course he does. Szplika was CLEARLY the better boxer that night with the head movement, check hooks and pretty good counter-punching that bothered Wilder all night, Ol Bama Boy admitted himself that he was giving him problems but like a Knockout Artist does, he knocked him the F&#$ out! Then Fury comes in and says he’s a bum. You know I really don’t like the word “bum.” Are the guys Wilder fought world beaters? No not at all though he has defeated some champions (Liakhovich, Harrison, Stiverne) and let’s be honest, other than a visibly old and disinterested Wladdy, and a blown up cruiserweight in Cunningham (good guy, wrong weight class) who has Fury beat that’s a future hall of famer? (if you beg to differ, please school me)

My point is yes, Wilder has fought a LOT of b, c, and d level fighters yes this is true, but these guys are FAR from bums. How many of the folks that write in, myself included, can say they have KTFO 35 of the 36 dudes they’ve fought? hell, I haven’t had 35 street frights in my 35 years of life! Mark Breland is a great trainer and easily the greatest American Amateur Boxer to ever live but Wilder needs to learn defense and how not to look so clumsy while backing up and for crying out loud BODY WORK!!! Maybe bring in one of the Mayweather Brothers or Floyd himself as he’s “retired” (I don’t like the guy but I DO respect his skill) or John David Jackson who is VERY underrated.

Either way, Wilder vs Fury will be worth it for the s__t talking alone! IF they get past their next opponents.

Peace from The Lone Star State. – Bill

Those are big “ifs,” Bill.

Don’t allow Fury to upset you with his choice of words to Wilder. His goal was to get into Wilder’s head and attack the confidence of the dangerous but flawed puncher. If Fury really thought that Wilder was a “bum” why would he bother flying all the way from the UK to be ringside for one of his fights? Why would he bother climbing into the ring to challenge a “bum”? Why would he go through all of his in-the-ring theatrics for a “bum”?

Answer: he wouldn’t. Fury respects Wilder and views the American as a worthy and lucrative future foe.

As for the term “bum,” it’s been around in boxing for a very long time. Muhammad Ali was rather found of the word when talking about his opponents (especially when he was a young contender). Joe Louis’ was famous for the “Bum-of-the-Month Club” (the name the sports writers – not the heavyweight champ – came up with for the seemingly endless list of challengers that were knocked silly by the Brown Bomber).

“Bum” is not a nice or particularly Politically Correct term, but guess what? Boxing isn’t a very nice or particularly PC sport.

My point is yes, Wilder has fought a LOT of b, c, and d level fighters yes this is true, but these guys are FAR from bums. How many of the folks that write in, myself included, can say they have KTFO 35 of the 36 dudes they’ve fought? That’s a good point, but just to play devil’s advocate, how many of those 35 knockout victims did you witness Wilder fight? Have you seen all 35 fight? If not, how can you really say how good or bad they were?

Are the guys Wilder fought world beaters? No not at all though he has defeated some champions (Liakhovich, Harrison, Stiverne) and let’s be honest, other than a visibly old and disinterested Wladdy, and a blown up cruiserweight in Cunningham (good guy, wrong weight class) who has Fury beat that’s a future hall of famer? Fury has defeated one hall of famer, Klitschko. Old and disinterested, yeah maybe, but he’s still a HOFer. Wilder hasn’t fought anyone near that level. And, by the way, Audley Harrison never held a major pro title. However, I agree that Wilder should get some props for beating Stiverne and Liakhovich. And Fury should get a little respect for beating Derek Chisora (twice) and Kevin Johnson.

 

 

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