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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

25
Jan

GREAT NIGHT OF FIGHTS

Doug,

Long time reader, and several time writer…. hope I make the blog. Thanks for making my Mondays and Fridays as an IT specialist a bit more enjoyable!



2 good fights: Breazeale-Mansour and Garcia-Guerrero. I – like many – didn’t think Guerrero should have gotten a WBC title shot, but he made the most of it, by putting on a good fight. In a round robin, or once all the elimination fights take place, who do you think would emerge as the dominant fighter? How do you predict the next 18 months will go? And where does all of this leave Amir Khan? (I could have SWORN he was the #1 WBC contender?!?!?)

Secondly, over a year into the PBC, and I would say this past weekend (unexpectedly) had the best action of any of the PBC cards. What a slugfest between Dominic Breazeale and Amir Mansour! I’m excited about the PBC giving us exposure. I thought Keith Thurman did an outstanding job in his commentary role….

I have one HUUUUGE complaint about Saturday’s fights: Gus Johnson and the May-worship. I am by NO means a Mayweather hater (nor am I a nut-hugger… I am decidedly in the middle, and ready to move on from him and Pac-Man). My complaint is that the only one talking about Garcia and Guerrero….was Thurman! Gosh, did Gus Johnson have his head up money’s ass or what? How many times did we hear “The Great” or “The Legend” Floyd Mayweather? If I had to guess, he said Mayweather’s name more than either Garcia OR Guerrero. By Round 12, he had said one or the other in nearly every round (tho strangely, no one mentioned Al Haymon), and to cap it off, before the decision they finish with “Who replaces Floyd Mayweather????” Ridiculous. Is it just me, or did you notice that also?

Third, who do you think wins the rumored matchup between Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto?

Finally, some mythical matchups:

154 lbs.: Miguel Cotto vs. Roberto Duran

Danny Garcia vs. Marlon Starling

Danny Garcia vs. Lloyd Honeyghan

154 lbs.: Thomas Hearns vs. Mike McCallum

Keep up the good work bro. – Darren X

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Darren.

I was at Staples Center for the Garcia-Guerrero card and I forgot to make a DVR recording of the Fox telecast (it was a hectic morning and afternoon at the Fischer house as usual), so I can’t comment on the broadcast. I’m glad to hear that Thurman did well with his first commentary gig. He’s one of my favorite fighters and I’ve always enjoyed his boxing analysis during interviews. I figured that he’d be a good fit for the boxer/expert role on a commentary team. Johnson is one of my favorite host/play-by-play commentators for boxing. I enjoyed his bombastic style during his Showtime tenure, so I’m sorry to hear that his call on Saturday was bogged down with Mayweather obsession. But I guess that’s to be expected to some extent when Mayweather is present at a PBC show that is headlined by a bout with the WBC welterweight title that he recently vacated on the line.

Anyway, the live experience was pretty good. There was a good-sized crowd (just over 12,000) and lots of energy inside the arena thanks to Breazeale and Mansour. There’s nothing like two big men slugging away. Mansour was wild but determined. Breazeale was open for over-hand power shots and punches from the right side of his opponent (as usual), but he showed us some intangibles by getting up from that third-round knockdown and shaking off numerous haymakers. The 2012 U.S. Olympian proved to have a fighting spirit (or fighter instincts) by firing back every time after being stunned, good recuperative ability, and – most important (in my opinion), composure under fire. Breazeale never lost his cool when Mansour cracked with hard overhand lefts and right hooks. I thought the Alhambra, California late-comer exhibited a good inside game. Those uppercuts and short left hooks took their toll on poor Mansour’s jaw bone, mouth and tongue. Kudos to Breazeale and new trainer Manny Robles.

Garcia-Guerrero was more competitive than I expected. I figured Guerrero had given most of what he had in previous tough fights. I was wrong. The Ghost had one more grueling scrap in him (maybe he’s got a few more, but I hope he doesn’t have to prove that). He gave Garcia a run for his money during the first five rounds but the Philly fighter took over with Round 6. I had it a round closer than the official judges but I was OK with the decision. The right guy won.

What’s next? Khan is supposedly the WBC’s mandatory challenger, promised a shot at Saturday’s winner by June, but you and I both know none of that is written in stone. Khan may take a March tune-up, which could push the mandatory shot back if that fight turns out to be tougher than expected. Khan could outprice himself, knowing that he has a big-money option with UK rival Kell Brook. I’d love to see a Garcia-Khan rematch, but I’m not holding my breath in anticipation.

Third, who do you think wins the rumored matchup between Juan Manuel Marquez and Miguel Cotto? Cotto

Your mythical matchups:

154 lbs. Miguel Cotto vs. Roberto Duran – Duran by decision (in a very good and competitive fight)

Danny Garcia vs. Marlon Starling – Starling by decision (and it’s definitely not a competitive fight)

Danny Garcia vs. Lloyd Honeyghan – Honeyghan by decision (in a somewhat competitive fight)

154 lbs.: Thomas Hearns vs. Mike McCallum – Hearns by controversial decision (the Hitman would have to go into Motor City Cobra mode and out-jab the Jamaican badass but he’d still have to survive a few wobbly moments, which would put the outcome in doubt)

WELTERWEIGHT TITLE FARCE

What’s up Dougie,

First of all, why was this fight for a welterweight title?… it’s a rhetorical question. This whole PBC experiment is becoming garbage. I was excited when I learned that boxing was gonna be on free TV, but this is foul! Garcia got credit for beating Paulie Malignaggi. Are you serious? Why wasn’t this fight made between two real welterweight contenders? Was Marcos Maidana unavailable, or is he not under Al Haymon and Mayweather’s heel? I’m mad bro! LOL….still won’t stop being a boxing fan though. Hope all is well with you Dougie. – Miguel, LBC

Maidana is still a Haymon client last time I checked, but Chino has been enjoying his time away from the ring and is probably up around the cruiserweight limit right now.

I’ve been critical of the PBC but I wouldn’t go and call it “garbage” just yet. Was it farcical to have Garcia and Guerrero fight for the vacant WBC welterweight title? Yeah, of course it was, but that’s more on the Mexico City based sanctioning organization than Haymon and the PBC. The fight was pretty good and it entertained a healthy sized crowd at a major arena (Staples) in one of the biggest markets in the U.S. (L.A.). That’s good for the sport. Airing the fight on the Fox network during prime time and generating a preliminary average of 2.2 million viewers is also good for the sport.

What the PBC has to do now is build toward bigger and more meaningful fights/events involving the right fighters in the right venues and markets. If Garcia-Khan II can’t be made, pit Garcia vs. the Thurman-Porter winner. Now that Gerald Washington and Dom Breazeale have both survived the Mansour gatekeeper test, let’s see the two former college football players go at it. I’m sure you get the idea. Does Haymon? We’ll see.

 

ONE TIME VS. SHOWTIME

Great news to hear that Thurman-Porter got made, that’s going to be a high level welterweight rumble! Not only that but it’s on free TV too which I know you agree is one of the keys to resuscitating boxing.

Most people are calling this a genuine pick’m fight but I’m actually leaning a bit towards “One Time.” “Showtime” is a beast but I think his two best performances in my opinion came against smaller, more stationary opponents (Malignaggi and Broner) who in some ways were tailor made for his pressing, swarming style. Thurman, unlike Kell Brook, is not the kind of fighter to land straight one-twos and then tie you up. I think he’ll use his great lateral movement to potshot Porter with his trademark bombs. I also think he’s got the size (like Brook) to hold his own with Porter when he gets inside and not allow Porter to bully him.

Very excited for this fight, two great welters in their primes with contrasting styles. Two great personalities too; Porter seems like a real prince and Thurman’s a quirky badass dork. These are two guys you’d love to go out for beers with after the fight.

Who’ve you got Dougie? – Jack

Before I answer that question, I gotta say that I love the way you described “One Time” – “Thurman’s a quirky badass dork.”

He probably won’t appreciate the way you put it, but it’s one of the things I like about him (along with the ponytail, flute mediation, acupuncture, etc.) And you’re absolutely correct in that Shawn Porter is a price, so is his father/trainer. Thurman’s trainer Dan Birmingham is one of my favorite people in boxing, too, so obviously I’ll be happy for whoever wins this welterweight clash.

I view it as a 50-50 matchup like most fans and pundits but, like you, I lean toward Thurman because of his lateral movement – and more specifically his ability to hit hard while on the move. I also think his hand speed could be an important factor in the fight. However, Porter’s determination, physical strength, durability and conditioning/stamina cannot be overlooked. Those attributes will also factor in who the fight plays out. Porter cannot be counted out in any welterweight matchup.

 

GARCIA-GUERRERO, MAYWEATHER’S RETURN

Hey Doug,

Danny-Garcia-gets-tagged_FukudaExcellent fight between Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero. I really didn’t expect this kind of fight, I thought it was going to be a blowout and it wasn’t. Guerrero had an excellent plan and was working until mid-round 4, but I could definitely see him slowing down because Danny, as always, studied his opponent and used his strengths against him. Those body shots looked very strong and were landing at will. Even though I had Guerrero winning comfortably I knew it was just a matter of time until we saw a turn around and that was in round 6. Even after that beating I still had Guerrero up 4-2, after that I only saw him win one round and that was the last one. Rounds were close though and that’s what made the fight more interesting than expected. I think it was pretty obvious that Danny won, but I do think that it’s now obvious that he won’t remain undefeated that much longer. He’s been extremely lucky to still have that ‘0.’ His fights with Mauricio Herrera and Lamont Peterson were debatable and some had him losing clearly (I think he won the Lamont fight and clearly lost vs. Herrera).

The welterweight division is deep in talent and not everybody will lose their gameplan once they get connected by Danny’s predictable rights and left hooks. Guys like Tim Bradley, Kell Brook and Thurman won’t submit to this and would probably outbox him easily, specially your boy Brook. I see fights vs Porter and Broner as even fights and I can’t see a different outcome than the one we already saw vs Khan. A guy like Pacquiao would disfigure his face, it wouldn’t be pretty.

Now, Floyd Mayweather was there for a reason and most of us know what it is: scouting a possible opponent for September. Danny is the perfect comeback fight. Young, limited, in his prime and an easy win. Wait for it, you’ll see. You know I’m not a Money Mayweather fan but man, I do hate the Garcias, they are the worst boxing family today, even worse than the Mayweathers. Hope he shuts papa Garcia up.

How do you see Garcia vs the top players in the Welterweight division? Do you think he can be successful after what you saw tonight?

Some MM:

Ike Quartey vs Keith Thurman

Simon Brown vs Pernell Whitaker

Shawn Porter vs Marlon Starling

Donald Curry vs Floyd Mayweather

Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde, San Diego

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Juan. I agree with your take on the Garcia-Guerrero fight. I also scored it 115-113 for Garcia (from press row). And I agree that Garcia’s unbeaten streak will likely come to an end this year (depending on who he faces, of course). Those power-pot-shot-on-the-move tactics can only take you so far, especially when you step up to heavier and more talented weight classes (just ask Nonito Donaire). You’re probably right about Mayweather scouting for a potential comeback opponent and I can’t think of a more tailor-made but marketable B-side for the former pound-for-pound king than Garcia. I also can’t wait to totally ignore Mayweather’s return to boxing. That’s gonna be fun!

How do you see Garcia vs the top players in the Welterweight division? Do you think he can be successful after what you saw tonight? No. I don’t see him dominating at 147 as he did at 140 (and he really didn’t dominate at junior welter because he deserved to lose the Herrera fight and got the benefit of the doubt in the Peterson bout). I agree that his power and counter punching ability would probably see him through in a rematch with Khan, and I’d favor him to beat Broner, but I’d favor Porter, Thurman and maybe even a still-green Errol Spence Jr. to beat Garcia. (I’m not even going to pretend that Garcia will ever fight Brook, Bradley or Pacquiao.)

Your mythical matchups:

Ike Quartey vs Keith Thurman – Quartey by competitive but clear decision

Simon Brown vs Pernell Whitaker – Whitaker by competitive and close (because he’ll have to get up from a knockdown) but clear decision

Shawn Porter vs Marlon Starling – Starling by clear decision

Donald Curry vs Floyd Mayweather – Curry by competitive but clear decision (thanks to one or two knockdowns)

GARCIA IS THE REAL DEAL

Hi Dougie,

I’ve been watching Danny Garcia ever since he defeated Erik Morales in their first fight. I saw him defeat the best of the best at 140 and become world champion. Still, when he made the move up to welterweight I didn’t think he would have the power, speed, and quickness to compete in the 147 class. I saw him stop the semi-retired Pauli Malinaggi but remained unimpressed. Now that he’s defeated a warrior like Robert Guerrero I am impressed; and not only that he defeated Guerrero but how he defeated him. I read your excellent coverage of the fight and agree with most of your observations: Garcia took over the fight by the mid rounds countering Guerrero beautifully. But what shocked me the most was how Garcia fought fighting backwards (he usually is the aggressor). He made Guerrero miss constantly and landed those beautiful right hooks flush onto his opponent’s chin (the best punch against a southpaw). And later, Garcia’s left hook consistently found the target. Garcia moved effortlessly with his legs along the ropes and avoided most of the phone booth pressure Guerrero was attempting to implement. Garcia has improved greatly since defeating Lamont Peterson last year where his footwork looked slow and lumbering.

The only thing we do disagree on Dougie is Guerrero’s effectiveness in the first four rounds. I gave “The Ghost” a couple of those early rounds but not by much and noticed that Guerrero, besides moving forward, didn’t throw a lot of combinations or even utilize his jab. He landed some straight lefts and in the clinch worked the body, but outside of that he wasn’t landing very many clean shots. Quite frankly, I think Guerrero is overrated and his move up to welterweight was a mistake albeit he got the biggest paycheck of his career against Mayweather. He doesn’t have the power or speed to defeat the best. Guerrero should have moved to 140 instead of 147 after the move up from lightweight. Outside of a hard won victory against Andre Berto a few years back, he’s simply been outgunned at welterweight. Maybe Guerrero, with his iron jaw can serve as a gatekeeper in the welterweight division if he continues to fight. This was a smart fight to take for Garcia to gauge his punching power and improved footwork against a top notch veteran who would come to him. Now Garcia is ready for the best. I hope he takes on the winner of Thurman/Porter and, guess what, Garcia might just turn out to be the best welterweight in the world in the next few years. I like his chances against anyone, especially since he has a granite chin and power in both hands. An even better fight for Garcia instead of the before mentioned is Amir Khan who IMHO Garcia can knock out again, but no way Khan dare fights Garcia again. So maybe Kell Brook if they can make it happen.

It’s taken me a while to respect and appreciate Danny Garcia, but he has arrived in a stacked welterweight division. If he continues to impress like this he might just be a future hall of famer. He already has victories over some of the best fighters out there. Have we, the fans and media, been underrating and undervaluing him this entire time? Regards. – Erik

Have we been “underrating and undervaluing” Garcia? He and his father certainly think so.

I have mixed views on Garcia. I think he can fight but I don’t think he’s a complete fighter. I think he’s battle tested (especially for a 27-year-old fighter) but I don’t think he’s active enough (he’s been a twice-a-year fighter since 2013) to apply his experience toward his continued development.

I respect Garcia but I’d appreciate him more if he fought more and did more in those fights. I think he did just enough beat Guerrero and Peterson. I don’t think he did enough to beat Herrera. I need to see more from him if I’m to believe he’s going to be a real force at welterweight (let alone a future hall of famer).

I agree with your take on Guerrero. He’s not a natural welterweight. He began his career at featherweight and he was at his peak at lightweight (where he looked formidable, especially against Michael Katsidis in April 2011). He planned to fight at 140 pounds for in late 2011 (and even had a fight scheduled against Marcos Maidana – who I thought he would beat – but a shoulder injury scrapped those plans). He’s made a good living at welterweight but it could be argued that he’s already a 147-pound gatekeeper.

If our opinion of Guerrero is true, it means we can’t get overexcited about Garcia’s victory over the 32-year-old veteran on Saturday. Garcia, who is in his prime, did what he was supposed to do. In fact, most observers believed he would have an easier time with the rugged-but-predictable southpaw.

Garcia may turn out to be the top welterweight, as he was once the top dog at 140 pounds (at the end of 2013), but he’ll have to go through the best 147 pounders to prove it.

 

GARCIA IS OVERRATED

Hi Doug it’s been a while since I wrote in. I hope all is well.

Seriously, how is Danny Garcia still undefeated? The guy is obviously talented but he should’ve lost twice.

How do you think he’d fare against the other top welterweights? I think that Brook would be too big and accurate for him, Porter would be too strong and would use way too much pressure, Thurman would be able to pot shot him for the easiest UD ever and Khan would be too fast and with his new more defensive style he wouldn’t get caught with a stupid punch.

Take care. – Pete, Sussex, UK

I don’t see anyone having an “easy” time with Garcia but I would also favor Brook, Porter and Thurman to beat him.

Having said that, allow me to expose somewhat shoddy fight-pick record with Garcia: I thought Nate Campbell and Kendall Holt were very dangerous opponents for the prospect version of “Swift,” I figured Erik Morales would take him to school in their first fight, I was pretty sure Khan would box the s__t out of him, and I just KNEW that Lucas Matthysse was going to chop him down to a late stoppage.

The Philly fighter has a way of overcoming challenges and climbing out of the deep wells we create for him in our minds.

 

LOEFFLER ANSWERS MAYWEATHER, GGG CRITICS

Mr. Fischer,

I’ve been a boxing fan for years, and am a dedicated reader of The Ring magazine, whether the hard-copy, digital, or online.

I really enjoyed reading your recent article on Tom Loeffler (named in “subject” line of this email), and in general, I appreciate your work.

As I mentioned, I’ve been a boxing fan for years, and I grew tired of Floyd Mayweather many moons ago. I was NEVER a fan of his, nor will I ever be, simply because the man has no class whatsoever. In fact, I believe he is truly ignorant in the fact that being undefeated makes a “great” fighter. “Great” is reserved for those who have tasted defeat, only to persevere through it, and make a great comeback… and I’m sure you’re already aware of this fact. I must further state that Mayweather… as successful/rich as he is… remains insecure, and sadly allows large entourages of people and/or scantily-clad women, and materialism to validate himself. Of course, he’d say, I was “hating on him”, and I assure you that this is NOT the case.

Sorry… I got off on a tangent; stepping down from my soap-box now…

Regarding your article; again, it was wonderful! I was glad to have read the included commentary from Mr. Loeffler himself! In addition, I appreciate the included editor’s note that clears up/completely obliterates so much of Mayweather’s ridiculous comments.

Gennady Golovkin is an awesome fighter, and a great, charismatic human being. Most importantly, he has CLASS. Hopefully, he doesn’t change his character as a human being, and remains focused as a fighter. He is destined to go very far, just as he is!!!

Just imagine how much bigger Mayweather could have been had he possessed a touch of class of which he may ask, “how much bigger can I get/have gotten?” all-the-while flashing his money, mansions, cars, etc. in my face… of which I would reply, “Well, you’re huge in boxing circles, and people outside of boxing DO know who you are, but you could have been BIGGER… coulda’ had major sponsorship, coulda been a crossover star that appeals to the masses, sooooo much more… but, as it is, you were too blind to see that. Oh, and by the way, now that you’ve retired, NOBODY misses ya’!!!”

Okay, back on my tangent/soap-box: I recall one of the 24/7 episodes (I don’t recall for which fight), and Mayweather was at his mansion with his laptop, walking around his pad and showing the deployed soldiers with whom he was Skyping(?), all of his material possessions. I mean, c’mon, these men and women were deployed away from their families, in harm’s way, and Mayweather is carrying on like THAT? Granted, I don’t know what could have happened behind the scenes, ie. Mayweather may have sent them care-packages or something, who knows… but I doubt it. And, yes, I’m well aware of the stories of Mayweather’s good deeds; but his lack of class really degrades the integrity of anything he has done (IMO).

Final dig at Mayweather: Did you know that his favorite phrases are, “It’s truly amazing” (pre-fight promo-talk when discussing his career or the promotion), “it’s like I said before….” (when he re-addresses a topic of contention)… and let’s not forget, as-of-late it’s, “I’m not saying, I’m racist, but…” (paraphrase).

Loyal Reader. – Herbert J. Cooke, Jr.

Thanks for your kind words about the magazine and my recent interview with Loeffler, and for sharing your thoughts (and Mayweather hate – LOL).

I don’t have much to say or add about Mayweather other than don’t expect him to get more articulate or classy with age. Money can’t buy class or brain cells.

Regarding the Loeffler feature, I was happy to give Tom a forum to retort Mayweather’s asinine examples of racial bias in boxing that involved Golovkin. I doubt FightHype had any plans to get his side of the debate, plus mouthing off in front of a video camera or over the phone is really not Loeffler’s style. I sat down with him over breakfast in Santa Monica about a week before I posted the story. I took my time with the interview, Tom was his usual thoughtful (and careful) self when answering questions or stating his case, and I didn’t rush the writing or editing of the article. It was long, but I wanted it to be thorough.

The main thing I wanted to help Loeffler convey was that Golovkin’s current popularity and stature/ranking within the boxing world is not a product of his race/ethnicity/skin color. HBO wasn’t looking for a Great White Hope at middleweight when Golovkin debuted on the network three and half years ago. (And even if they were, GGG doesn’t exactly fit that bill being a half-Korean Kazakh with a loose grip on the English language.) Golovkin got on HBO because Daniel Geale pulled out of the main event of a Boxing After Dark show. He was a substitute (who wound up fighting a late-sub when Dmitry Pirog also pulled out). That wasn’t a K2 date on HBO. It was Gary Shaw’s show. Golovkin’s next fight on HBO (against Gabriel Rosado) was on a Top Rank show. His next fight on the network (against Matthew Macklin) was on a Lou DiBella show. Loeffler had to work his way in with the lead promoters. GGG wasn’t making seven-figures or even high six-figures. He willing to accepte whatever was available to him at that time. Activity and exposure were the most important goals in late 2012 and during 2013. The money and fame would come (especially with the promotion and PR work of Loeffler and the K2 staff). Golovkin hasn’t crossed over yet in the U.S. (although his international brand is stronger than most), but he’s on his way and it hasn’t nothing to do with the color of skin.

I’m glad you appreciated the editor’s note on Mayweather’s comments about how the media reacted to Hopkins’ challenges/fights with fighters who came up from lighter weights. I thought about leaving it out of the article (because it was too long) but I think part of my job is to use my perspective to set the record straight when misinformation is being spread around. I covered Hopkins going back to the late 1990s, a time when most well-known boxing writers either had no idea who he was or simply thought he was s__t. In order for the boxing media to get on Hopkins for “fighting smaller guys,” as Mayweather claims, they A) had to know who he was (and most newspaper sports writers did not) and B) had to think that he was a big, bad, formidable middleweight champ (and most fight scribes simply viewed him as that old salty beltholder that Roy Jones Jr. schooled in 1993). NOBODY thought Hopkins was “picking” on a smaller fighter when he faced Trinidad. Most thought he had signed his death warrant. But my guess is that you know this.

I think a lot of the fans who hang on Mayweather’s every word are relative new comers to boxing (folks who caught on during the early years of Floyd’s “Money” persona – 2007-2010 – and became the bulk of what I call “The Money Teamsters”). Well, knowledge through accurate information is the only way to combat ignorance.

 

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

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