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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

28
Feb

SWEET CAROLINE

How’s it going Doug?

How are you enjoying England? I wasn’t at the arena Saturday but the atmosphere looked mental. Hope you were crooning along to old Neil D. A bit different to what you’re used to? How did it compare with watching fights live in the States?

Just wanted to give my thoughts on the Carl Frampton-Scott Quigg fight. I scored it a draw. I gave rounds 2 through 6 to Frampton and 7 through 11 to Quigg with the first and last rounds even split. Though if pushed perhaps the two even rounds could have gone to Frampton and round seven was close so I’ve no problem with the result. It was a slow start but it caught fire in the end and overall I thought the better man was Quigg. He may not have won as many rounds, but the rounds that he won were the best rounds of the fight. I get the idea behind his early tactics but Frampton showed a lot more patience than perhaps he anticipated. Once Quigg changed it up, he showed that he was more than a match for the Jackal.

Scott Quigg is fast becoming one of my favourite fighters and that hasn’t changed with the result of this fight. His post-fight comment; ‘I’ll be back in the gym on Monday” sums it up for me. How did you see it? I’m hoping we get a rematch somewhere down the line, though I get a feeling Quigg may have to step up a weight to get it. With a bit of luck next time they won’t be so wary of one another, will pick up where they left off and perhaps we’ll get the classic that we all hoped to see.

By the end of the year I think we’ll see Frampton vs Santa Cruz and, if his jaw injury doesn’t keep him out for too long, Quigg vs Rigondeaux which, and I may be the only one thinking this, is a winnable fight for Quigg. How do you see those fights going? Enjoy the rest of your trip Dougie. All the best! – Mark Gilbert, Stoke-on-Trent

Thanks for the well wishes and for sharing your thoughts on Frampton-Quigg, Mark. I’ve been so busy moving from place to place (London to Bolton to Manchester and back to London), video shoot to event (sit-down interview with Amir Khan at his home gym, Frampton-Quigg, Thames River boat tour with Team Canelo and Team Khan, which included lots of interviews) that I haven’t had the opportunity to go out and really experience the cities and local color of each region. (I haven’t really had time to sleep, to be honest.)

However, I have enjoyed the friendliness and hospitality of everyone I’ve come into contact with and I’ve absolutely loved the beautiful sights of London, the countryside (that I saw during my train rides) and the contagious energy and spirit of Manchester.

I’d like to come back to London, on holiday (as they say on this side of the Pond) with my family, as soon as possible.

Regarding my brief visit to Manchester and the Frampton-Quigg fight, well, at least the fans that packed Manchester Arena lived up to my expectations. Actually, they exceeded my wildest imagination. They were insane (in a mostly good way). American fight crowds generally don’t pack the arena long before the main event, and they never sing Neil Diamond hits in unison. (I did not sing along, but I admit that I couldn’t get “Sweet Caroline” out of my head after the event. I’m humming along to the tune right now.)

There were a few surprises inside the Manchester Arena on Saturday, such as the overwhelming noise and number of Frampton’s fans. I knew they’d make their presence felt that night but I had no idea that they would take over the arena. I also expected to experience some unruly “football hooligan” types during the event (hey, it’s just something that comes with THAT much drinking and raging testosterone) but the folks I came into contact with (and there were a few crazy characters – shout out to Three-Finger Thomas!) were mostly behaved.

Maybe part of the reason for the good behavior is that the crowd favorite, which was definitely Frampton, won and the talented Belfast boxer deserved to win in my opinion. I had no problem with the two 116-112 scores for Frampton, though I would have been fine with 115-113 for the Jackal. You make a good case for a draw verdict, but Quigg was simply too reserved and slow-to-trigger over the first half of the fight, and though he came on strong down the stretch (as we expected him to) he did not completely dominate the late/championship rounds. Frampton appeared to take more physical punishment, and he looked a little worn out to me in Round 10 and 11, but he fired back and landed enough to earn Quigg’s respect.

I respected both fighters going into the contest and I respect them even more after the fight, even though it was a bit of a disappointment in terms of sustained action. I’ve got mad respect for Quigg for fighting at least eight rounds with a broken jaw, and still managing to put some heat on his rival down the stretch. And I’ve got a lot of respect for Frampton’s talent, technique and ring IQ, even though his holding on the inside bugged me at times. Despite the holding, Frampy also earned points in my book for taking a hell of a shot (that monster right hand in Round 10) and for planting his feet at times in the late rounds and going body blow for body blow with Quigg.

I’m hoping we get a rematch somewhere down the line, though I get a feeling Quigg may have to step up a weight to get it. Stepping up in weight will probably be a good thing for Quigg, who may have left a bit of strength and energy on the scales when he boiled down to 121.5 pounds.

With a bit of luck next time they won’t be so wary of one another, will pick up where they left off and perhaps we’ll get the classic that we all hoped to see. I think we’ll see a rematch eventually. Eddie Hearn and Quigg say they are willing to do it Belfast, which is only fair. Team Frampton want to go for other names, such as Leo Santa Cruz, which is also fair. But they know that a Quigg rematch can still be a big deal in the U.K., provided Quigg gets back to his winning ways (which I believe he will).

By the end of the year I think we’ll see Frampton vs Santa Cruz and, if his jaw injury doesn’t keep him out for too long, Quigg vs Rigondeaux which, and I may be the only one thinking this, is a winnable fight for Quigg. How do you see those fights going? I think Frampton-Santa Cruz is a toss-up. Frampton is the more talented athlete and boxer. I know he can outbox Leo for stretches, but I’m not sure he can do it for 12 rounds. As we saw against Quigg in the late rounds, pressure and body attack will take away his steam. Santa Cruz, the much bigger fighter, won’t put his pressure and volume punches on layaway as Quigg did; he’ll press Frampy and make a stern attempt to punish those arms and midsection from the opening bell. I don’t think you’re crazy for thinking Quigg can beat Rigo. The Cuban could get old overnight anytime this year. However, the version of Quigg that tepidly followed Frampton around the ring for six rounds stands NO CHANCE against the master counterpuncher. Quigg would have to gamble early and often to upset Rigo.

DISAPPOINTMENT

Hey Doug!

Hope you’re enjoying your trip to the UK. Saturday night’s fight was a disappointment of course, considering the high expectations and comparisons to Barrera-Morales. A lot of people are going to say that if Quigg had started the fight with the intensity he fought in the second half, the result might have been different. What I’ll say about that is that “what ifs” don’t exist, and there’s a reason Frampton dominated those rounds. Quigg needed 6 rounds to figure out Frampton and finally started doing something. Even when in these rounds he didn’t exactly dominate them in a way that you would think if it was a close fight. I had the fight a little wider than the official scores, 117-112. I thought the first round was a draw, and only saw 3 rounds for Quigg. I could’ve given a couple of rounds to Quigg but decided that Frampton did a little more.

Now, on the rounds that nothing was going on. It was difficult for me to score it for either fighter considering that nothing was happening. In the end Frampton was really the only who landed anything and that was the jab. The first round was even because nobody landed anything at all. I don’t remember “activity” being one of the 4 criteria to score a round. In the end only one man showed up from beginning to end and the right man had his hand raised.

Who do you see Frampton fighting next?

Do you see an immediate rematch based on the final rounds?

Who do you see winning in a Leo Santa Cruz-Frampton fight? I personally believe Leo is too active for Frampton and would walk him down and beat him up to submission.

Thanks Doug and enjoy the UK, it’s a beautiful country. – Juan Valverde

It certainly is. I hope to return here with more time to spare in the near future.

I agree that Frampton was deserving of the victory, that he was the more focused of the two junior featherweights from start to finish, and that his jab (combined with his footwork, which helped him control distance in the first half of the bout) was the difference in the rounds that featured very little action/punches landed.

A lot of people are going to say that if Quigg had started the fight with the intensity he fought in the second half, the result might have been different. What I’ll say about that is that “what ifs” don’t exist, and there’s a reason Frampton dominated those rounds. Yes, there is. Frampton was the better boxer/ring general. Period. However, the broken jaw Quigg was dealing with had to be a factor in his tentative approach in the first half. Having said that, we must credit Frampton for landing that uppercut that broke Quigg’s jaw.

Quigg needed 6 rounds to figure out Frampton and finally started doing something. Even when in these rounds he didn’t exactly dominate them in a way that you would think if it was a close fight. Agreed. Frampton was competitive in the three or four clear rounds that went to Quigg.

I had the fight a little wider than the official scores, 117-112. I’m cool with that score.

Who do you see Frampton fighting next? Team Cyclone wants Santa Cruz.

Do you see an immediate rematch based on the final rounds? Nope.

Who do you see winning in a Leo SantaCruz-Frampton fight? I personally believe Leo is too active for Frampton and would walk him down and beat him up to submission. I don’t have a strong favorite in that matchup but I can see that happening.

NOT UP TO OUR EXPECTATIONS

Hello Doug!

  1. Frampton-Quigg didn’t live up to our expectations. Of course I didn’t expect a Barrera-Morales, but I wanted them to take on more risk to win the fans’ hearts (not just the title belts).

And seeing the fight, I felt that the Jackal will have a tough time against Santa Cruz, who can probably keep doing what Quigg did only in the later rounds.

  1. Felix Verdejo wasn’t that spectacular against William Silva.

What does Verdejo have to improve now?

Mythical matchups:

Frampton, Quigg vs Erik Morales, Israel Vazquez at 122

Cheers. – Taku from Japan

1.)Barrera-Morales (especially that first fight at 122 pounds) is an almost impossibly high standard, but I also would have liked to see more effort from both Quigg and Frampton to entertain their very loyal fans during the first half of the bout.

2.)Verdejo has to improve in all of the same areas he would had he knocked Silva out in the first round. You can’t stop every opponent. That’s a good lesson for a prospect with star potential to learn early in his career.

Your mythical matchups:

Frampton, Quigg vs Erik Morales, Israel Vazquez at 122 – El Terrible stops Frampton late, scores competitive but clear decision over Quigg in a very good fight; Frampton narrowly outpoints Vazquez, who gets up from a knockdown to score a bloody late stoppage against Quigg in a war

 

ALMOST THERE

Hey Dougie,

After the fight, I kinda just leaned back and listened to my bleary-eyed buddies bitching about the “letdown”. And they’re right. Framton-Quigg was May-Pac-esque. It was like watching someone lighting a stick of dynamite, spin around and brace yourself for an explosion, fingers in ears…then turn and watch the fuse sputter to a pathetic death. No one really won on Saturday. Quigg has an L, but Frampton looks imminently beatable and he ain’t keeping those belts from All-World fighters – Rigo, Donaire and Yamanaka would tear those straps away. That’s just me. You?

Anyway, I thought that a guy who had the balls to roll into his Headmaster’s office as a 15 year old and demand to be expelled so he could focus on boxing…just picture that scene…would just say “F__k pressure” and do his thing on this stage. But Quigg wasn’t ready for the way the magnitude of this fight snowballed into an avalanche and crashed onto him when the bell rang. That crowd was a chasmic monstrosity and he was lost inside it all – just so, so conscious of what NOT to do. Starting every round, I’d lean forward and go, “Oh s__t, here he comes!” and then have to slump back and wait for the next one. And again. And again and again and again. It was the biggest emotional boxing c__ktease I’ve ever endured.

By the time Quigg found himself, it was nearly too late. I say nearly because that f__kwad of a referee kept keeping them apart, quipping stupid sh_t to both fighters after EVERY SINGLE BREAK in the 11th round, giving Frampton just enough time to recover at least twice from what I’m convinced would have been a KO! I’m usually not one to cuss at TV referees, but WTF man?! His pedantic, pissant “admonishments” ruined the only dramatic round we got!

Still, Quigg got some huge experience and I haven’t lost faith in him. If they had a rematch, Quigg would steamroll Flimsy Frampy (I know, but I gotta get a shot in after Saturday). I wanna see this bad man again now he’s tasted the big time. What’s your crystal ball say about his future? I think Q-F 2 would be the fight we expected this one to be, but fans probably don’t want to see that again. Do you think I’m totally off with all this? I dunno… I guess I need a new hope. GGG and Chocolatito can’t come quickly enough.

Thanks again for taking the time to read and reply to this stuff. You’re the man. Peace. – Abs, Cape Town

Thanks Abs.

I wasn’t totally let down by Frampton-Quigg but I’m sure that has a lot to do with observing the fight as part of the live in-arena experience (and it was a first-time for me with that particular city, venue and fans).

Regarding Quigg’s and the referee’s performances, I’ll keep it short: Quigg pulled a Marvin Hagler, and referee Ernie Sharif pulled a Joe Cortez. ‘Nuff said.

Quigg has an L, but Frampton looks imminently beatable and he ain’t keeping those belts from All-World fighters – Rigo, Donaire and Yamanaka would tear those straps away. That’s just me. You? I don’t know if it’s just you, but I don’t think Frampton’s an easy night for any world-class 122 or 126 pounder. I would favor Rigo to outpoint him, but I wouldn’t count Frampy out in that matchup. I would favor him to beat Donaire and Yamanaka, although I think those would be brilliant boxing matches. Donaire is long in the tooth and prone to fight-altering injuries these days. Shinsuke doesn’t have the size or power to overwhelm or hurt Frampton.

Still, Quigg got some huge experience and I haven’t lost faith in him. That’s good to hear. You shouldn’t lose faith in Quigg. This experience will make him better.

If they had a rematch, Quigg would steamroll Flimsy Frampy (I know, but I gotta get a shot in after Saturday). Um, I don’t think so, but I’m sure it would be a more entertaining fight.

LOST RESPECT FOR QUIGG

hi doug,

i am always reading your mailbags on mondays and fridays with the same pleasure but it has been quite some time that i have sent a mail myself. i thought that saturday night was not a good night for boxing as the expected exciting fight between frampton and quigg bored me to death.it even reminded me for the 8 first rounds of the hugely disappointing fight between mayweather and pacquiao but while i knew that with mayweather, tmbe (the most boring ever), this could happen, i would have never thought that i would nearly fall asleep while watching frampton versus quigg. in my views it is not frampton who won the fight it is quigg who lost it -how the hell could he think that he could win a fight by hardly doing anything for 8 rounds?

i quite lost a bit of respect for him as he really never took any chances and would you also agree that his corner (not sure if you say like this in english) was totally incompetent? if i had been his trainer i would have told him ‘you are blowing it son’ after just the 3 first rounds – how could these guys not see that quigg was throwing the fight away and not tell him to go for it? he should sack his blind coach and take one with eyes working properly. the worst is that when quigg went for it you could see that he was really the strongest of the 2 but i dont think anymore that he has the mental to be a top guy. an extremely disappointing fight and a hugely disappointing quigg. (i even would say embarrassing for him.)

needless to say that if the fight had not been in uk the 2 fighters would have been booed heavily by the crowd. it is sad to see that the 2 last fights which were really wanted by the fans (tmbe maywather-pacquiao and quigg vs frampton) turned out to be such poor fights. it is unfortunately not a good advert for my favourite sport. i also wonder how a judge could see quigg winning 115-113 – how could anybody not give the 8 first rounds to frampton when quigg did absolutely nothing (except a right hand in round nbr 4) – i personnaly had it 8-4 for frampton – first 8 rounds versus the 4 last – interesting to see also that in my views frampton won all the rounds where very little happened and quigg the rounds when there was some action which confirms for me that it is quigg who lost the fight and not framption who won it. but i dont feel sorry for him and am even happy he lost after such a poor display. what are your views on this?

i then watched verdejo fight and was again extremely disappointed. he really failed to impress me and i found him talented but quite ordinary.an off night may be? or is the guys quite overrated? what is your opinion?

the only guy which impressed me was crawsford again obvioulsy an overmatched opponent but i think that he is really the goods – cant wait to see him against better opposition as i believe that crawford can go at the top of the pound for pound list – (may be not 1 but could see him in the top 3) pleased to have your views on above if you select my mail and lets hope for better nights. keep up the good work. – chris from france

Better nights are on the way, Chis. I enjoyed my overall experience in Manchester but I was a little bit disappointed with the fight. I wasn’t completely pissed off about what happened because I expected Frampton to get off to a fast (and safe) start and didn’t expect a real fight to break out until the middle rounds. I thought Quigg would start to land quality blows on a regular basis by Rounds 4, 5 and 6. Instead, he didn’t start to do any real damage until Rounds 9, 10 and 11.

However, we have to figure that the jaw injury Quigg was dealing with was a factor in his slow start. As for Joe Gallagher, there’s not much he can do if his fighter is injured in that way. I don’t think Joe (THE RING’s Trainer of the Year for 2015) is incompetent. Incompetent trainers don’t help cultivate talent to achieve what his fighters have accomplished in the past few years. I think Gallagher made a tactical error, which is something that happens in boxing, and it’s something that both he and Quigg can learn from.

Regarding Quigg, maybe I’ve just got a soft spot for him, but I think he’s in enough pain (emotional more than physical) right now. I don’t need to dump on him. My gut feeling is that he’ll grow from this experience.

i also wonder how a judge could see quigg winning 115-113 – how could anybody not give the 8 first rounds to frampton when quigg did absolutely nothing (except a right hand in round nbr 4) – i personnaly had it 8-4 for frampton – first 8 rounds versus the 4 last. I think that’s a fair scorecard. I have no idea how anyone found seven rounds to score for Quigg. Levi Martinez was bending over backwards so much for Quigg, he could have kissed his own arse (or should I say “bum”?).

i then watched verdejo fight and was again extremely disappointed. he really failed to impress me and i found him talented but quite ordinary.an off night may be? or is the guys quite overrated? what is your opinion? Verdejo might be a little overrated, or overhyped. That’s normal these days, but it doesn’t mean that he won’t eventually live up to – or even exceed – his hype. I think he had an off night, and I think that’s OK. Had he scored another sensational one-hitter-quitter he could have been in danger of falling in love with his power.

the only guy which impressed me was crawsford again obvioulsy an overmatched opponent but i think that he is really the goods – can’t wait to see him against better opposition as i believe that crawford can go at the top of the pound for pound list – (maybe not 1 but could see him in the top 3). Crawford definitely delivers and he’s obviously got elite-level talent/skills/ring generalship. Whether or not he climbs to the top three of the mythical rankings depends on who he can get into the ring and whether or not he can kick ass in a third weight class (welterweight). I think he can.

 

MYTHICAL MATCHUPS

damn, doug,

just saw ruiz destroy ceja. ho lee smoke. what’s with this guy?

let’s see a rubber match.

mms:

larry holmes-klitschko

floyd patterson-rocky marciano

micky walker – jake lamotta

hopkins-moore at 175

hopkins-spinks at 175

judah (now)-broner

Thanks. – Ceylon

Two phrases for Ruiz-Ceja: Protect yourself at all timesÔǪ Don’t blink.

Your mythical matchups:

larry holmes-klitschko – Holmes close UD

floyd patterson-rocky marciano – Marciano by late, come-from-behind KO

micky walker – jake lamotta – Walker close UD

hopkins-moore at 175 – Moore SD

hopkins-spinks at 175 – Spinks MD

judah (now)-broner – Judah UD

 

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