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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

02
May
Mailbag readers were more impressed with Rogelio Medina's effort against James DeGale than they were with the defending 168-pound titleholder's performance. Photo by Esther Lin / Showtime

Mailbag readers were more impressed with Rogelio Medina’s effort against James DeGale than they were with the defending 168-pound titleholder’s performance. Photo by Esther Lin / Showtime

STYLES MAKE FIGHTS

Dougie,

Regular contributor to your mailbag and always so appreciative of your column – thank you. A few thoughts:

1) James DeGale-Porky Medina was a terrific matchup, their styles meshed really well, as did Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto. Both fights were a lot of fun and had me on the edge of my seat. It was a fun fight weekend.

2) DeGale said he would make the fans fall in love with him. There was love, but I think for Medina. He fought relentlessly and with valor. His body work was great and, while DeGale won a close decision, I think a fighter who can contend with that constant lateral movement will fare well. DeGale’s hands were too low and that flaw can be exploited. Also, it was hard to root for DeGale with all his antics.

3) Not sure Berto will pose a big challenge to Danny Garcia, nor any other top guys, but it was a fun fight and the dude definitely gives it his all. Hopefully Danny takes on a bigger challenge than Andre.

4) Bute-Jack was a solid fight as well. Bute has heart but he is clearly shopworn and I hope he retires before taking one fight too many. Too bad Jack was denied that win with the poor judging. Who do you think wins Jack-DeGale?

4) I think people don’t give Canelo Alvarez credit for great wins against Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout and believe he will win by knockout against Amir Khan. After that fight, we don’t need to see him again vs Miguel Cotto, a smaller opponent who he already clearly defeated. He and Oscar De La Hoya have said they need to get past Khan before they discuss their next fight, which is understandable. However, if Canelo doesn’t fight GGG next, he needs to get in with a tough opponent, maybe Danny Jacobs or a Chris Eubank, Jr. because obviously fans want fighters that seek the best challenges. Oscar has done a great job building Canelo into a star, don’t you think they are about to flush all of that work down the toilet if public perception is that he is a ducker?

5) Paulie Malignaggi has become one of the best color commentators, his insights are relevant, impartial and interesting. As far as Gus Johnson, that’s why they make mute buttons. I have to include you on my favorites list, you call it honestly and do an excellent job on the Ring TV broadcasts.

6) When did state athletic commissions stop including the referee as a judge? I think this could help avoid bad decisions, like we saw this weekend. Thoughts?

Thanks! – Rahn

No, thank YOU, for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts on this past weekend’s action. I’ll respond to your questions and comments in order:

1) James DeGale-Porky Medina was a terrific matchup, their styles meshed really well, as did Victor Ortiz-Andre Berto. Both fights were a lot of fun and had me on the edge of my seat. It was a fun fight weekend. It really was. The PBC on Fox show zipped right by due to all the knockouts (I switched to Showtime midway through the Gerald Washington-Eddie Chambers heavyweight bout) and the Showtime Championship Boxing doubleheader delivered two quality super middleweight title bouts.

2) DeGale said he would make the fans fall in love with him. There was love, but I think for Medina. He fought relentlessly and with valor. Agreed. I’m a Porky fan going forward. I think he did well enough against DeGale to earn a draw.

His body work was great and, while DeGale won a close decision, I think a fighter who can contend with that constant lateral movement will fare well. A fighter with ring-cutting ability, better technique and more power (cough, cough, Gennady Golovkin, cough) would beat DeGale.

James_DeGale_and_Badou_Jack_Lin

Photo / Esther Lin-Showtime

Also, it was hard to root for DeGale with all his antics. I had an easy time rooting for both super middleweights. I applauded the effort and offensive commitment that Medina put forth, and I enjoyed DeGale’s ring generalship, flawed technique and gutsy offensive bursts of accurate power combos. I also like DeGale’s post-fight interviews (including his piggy backing on Jack’s post-fight comments). That might just be my mulatto pride talking but I think Chunky’s a genuine character and good for boxing.

3) Not sure Berto will pose a big challenge to Danny Garcia, nor any other top guys, but it was a fun fight and the dude definitely gives it his all. That’s the difference between Berto and Ortiz. Berto, who is more shopworn than my favorite Space Cadet, has the mettle to battle on in the face of adversity. Ortiz lost that desire/fortitude somewhere along the strange path his career has taken.

Hopefully Danny takes on a bigger challenge than Andre. Don’t hold your breath.

4) Bute-Jack was a solid fight as well. Too bad Jack was denied that win with the poor judging. Yeah, at least he got to keep his title with the majority draw (and one judge got it right), so they didn’t f__k him too deep in his a__. But I thought it was an easy fight to score and I can’t see having it any closer than 116-112 for Jack, who continues to improve.

Who do you think wins Jack-DeGale? One year ago I would have strongly favored DeGale, now I’m not so sure. I think Jack is more fundamentally sound, technically sharper and he paces himself better than DeGale. However, I think DeGale is the more athletic and talented of the two, and I think his busy, mobile (and somewhat unorthodox) style can take advantage of Jack’s methodical (and somewhat basic) approach. It’s a toss-up matchup.

4) I think people don’t give Canelo Alvarez credit for great wins against Erislandy Lara and Austin Trout and believe he will win by knockout against Amir Khan. Canelo just happens to be the Mexican everybody loves to hate at the moment (and that includes a legion of Mexican and Mexican-American fans). A lot of hardcore heads won’t give him credit for taking on Lara or Trout because he lost those fights in their minds.

After that fight, we don’t need to see him again vs Miguel Cotto, a smaller opponent who he already clearly defeated. I agree with you.

He and Oscar De La Hoya have said they need to get past Khan before they discuss their next fight, which is understandable. However, if Canelo doesn’t fight GGG next, he needs to get in with a tough opponent, maybe Danny Jacobs or a Chris Eubanks, Jr. because obviously fans want fighters that seek the best challenges. Agreed, but I don’t see that happening. I see Golovkin taking on Jacobs, Eubank (or Billy Joe Saunders) if he can’t land Canelo next.

Oscar has done a great job building Canelo into a star, don’t you think they are about to flush all of that work down the toilet if public perception is that he is a ducker? To some extent, yes. But I wonder how much of “the public” will believe that Canelo is a “ducker” if the Golovkin fight is not made this year and I question if the hardcore fans who claim this are being fair.

5) Paulie Malignaggi has become one of the best color commentators, his insights are relevant, impartial and interesting. As far as Gus Johnson, that’s why they make mute buttons. I have to include you on my favorites list, you call it honestly and do an excellent job on the Ring TV broadcasts. Aw shucks, Rahn, if I had more white in me I’d be blushing right now. I agree with your take on Paulie, not so much on Gus. I admire both men for their broadcasting talent. I wish I had Malignaggi’s keen perception and quick articulation, and Johnson’s operatic pipes and presence.

6) When did state athletic commissions stop including the referee as a judge? Decades ago in the U.S.

I think this could help avoid bad decisions, like we saw this weekend. Thoughts? I disagree. The ref’s job is to officiate the fight and see to the safety of the combatants, not to score the rounds. High-profile bad decisions like this past Saturday’s are avoided by commissions putting the best and most experienced judges on the fights that merit them.

 

DEGALE VS GGG

After watching DegGale against Medina there is no way DeGale will last against Triple G. – Matthew D.

That much is clear. Even Victor Ortiz can see that. I wonder if Chunky’s No. 1 fan, Erik, agrees?

 

PBC ON FOX

Hello Dougie,

Hope all is well with you. Watched the PBC this weekend, great action even if the fights were short. I have a few comments/ questions for you. With Ortiz losing to Berto, should Victor retire or can you see him changing his style to compete with the best. He needs to change before he becomes a punching bag for everyone. Speaking of punching bags, do you think Montiel should retire after his fight with Lara or was it just a bad day at the office? Thomas Williams Jr. looked good. I would love him to fight Adonis Stevenson next. I think he will test Adonis and Stevenson needs a live body in front of him. My concern for Williams is he would get knocked out by Stevenson if he went toe to toe with like this fight. What do you think will happen if they fight? David Benavidev looked great, never seen him before but will look out for his next fights. How close do you think he is to making a title run. I say give 2-3 more fights like this one then move him up the ladder. Is that too soon? I didn’t see the Jack/Bute fight, how bad was the decision. Goodbye for now. – Bill

Thanks for sharing, Bill. I’ll answer your questions/comments in order:

With Ortiz losing to Berto, should Victor retire or can you see him changing his style to compete with the best. I can see Vic taking one of his “sabbaticals” from boxing but I don’t see him retiring any time soon, and I don’t think changing his style will help him compete with the best – his problem is psychological, not stylistic. Do I think he should retire? Nah, he’s 29, he’s battier than Bat Mite, and I just can’t quit Vic just yet. I’ll give him one more run at glory. He’ll crash and burn, of course, and then Hollywood can have him.

He needs to change before he becomes a punching bag for everyone. Too late.

Speaking of punching bags, do you think Montiel should retire after his fight with Lara or was it just a bad day at the office? Both, but I think Fernando should retire. He’s got nothing to prove, he’s healthy and he’s financially OK.

Thomas Williams Jr. looked good. I agree.

I would love him to fight Adonis Stevenson next. I think he will test Adonis and Stevenson needs a live body in front of him. What do you think will happen if they fight? I don’t think he’s ready for Stevenson yet.

David Benavidez looked great, never seen him before but will look out for his next fights. How close do you think he is to making a title run. I say give 2-3 more fights like this one then move him up the ladder. Is that too soon? WAY too soon. The kid is 19 with only 14 pro bouts under his belt. He’s never fought past six rounds! He’s at least three years away from a title shot.

 

SECOND TIMER

Dougie!

My 2nd time writing in (last time was 5 years ago) here are my thoughts about this weekend’s boxing cards.

PBC was entertaining! Lots of KOs. However, it is a joke that Berto won a fight only landing 17 punches in 4 rounds and after only have 5 fights in 5 years Victor Ortiz says he needs a vacation (stay off the mic bro).

As for the DeGale vs Medina fight there was one obvious winner to that fight. His name is Rogelio Medina. He might have not won the fight but he won the crowd and that’s what boxing is all about. I’m looking forward to his next fight more than DeGale’s.

As far as Bute vs Jack I only caught a couple of rounds cuz I had a party to go to but Jack seems like the type of dude Bute would have KO’d earlier in his career. I write this still not knowing who won lol.

Keep up the good work!! – Michael

Thanks, Michael, I’ll give it try that Porky Medina would be proud of.

PBC was entertaining! How about that?! Hot-diggity Dog!!! Que Jim Lampley: “It happenedÔǪ IT HAPPENED!”

However, it is a joke that Berto won a fight only landing 17 punches in 4 rounds and after only have 5 fights in 5 years Victor Ortiz says he needs a vacation (stay off the mic bro). It’s not a joke. It’s the PBC. And speak for yourself about Vicious Vic’s microphone skills, I think the loopy lad deserves his own podcast.

As for the DeGale vs Medina fight there was one obvious winner to that fight. His name is Rogelio Medina. He might have not won the fight but he won the crowd and that’s what boxing is all about. Floyd Mayweather Jr. disagrees. However, you and I overrule him.

I’m looking forward to his next fight more than DeGale’s. I’ll be honest with you, I’m not. I’m looking forward to DeGale’s next fight more because it’s supposed to be a unification tilt against Badou Jack. But if Medina is matched right in his next bout, I’ll definitely tune in.

As far as Bute vs Jack I only caught a couple of rounds cuz I had a party to go to but Jack seems like the type of dude Bute would have KO’d earlier in his career. I write this still not knowing who won lol. Nobody won, but Jack should have got the “W,” he earned it. I think current version of Bute would have KO’d Jack 18 months ago, but credit where it’s due, the Las Vegas-based Swede (of Gambian descent) is one of the most improved world-class boxers of the past year.

 

PBC EXCITEMENT, ORTIZ FOOLED ME AGAIN

Dear Mr. Fischer,

I’m an avid boxing fan and love reading your mailbags. It makes my weekend job a little better knowing I can read up on Mondays and Fridays about other’s reactions to the weekend fights. I’ve been reading for a long time. I even wrote you before and got my letter posted around the time when David Tua fought a Puerto Rican heavyweight trained by “papa” Trinidad. That was back in your Maxboxing days. I was a young community college kid sending emails in the library. And it meant the world to me to know that I had written a letter good enough to make it on your mailbag. You made this geeky college kid’s day.

Now, why I’m writing this letter. I watched the most entertaining night of boxing on free TV so far thanks to the “Evil” Al Haymon. Lol. I have to say that as much as everyone dislikes Haymon and his blueprint for his shows and business endeavors, I personally don’t care about all that. As long as he can put on good fights on free TV, I’m happy. I’m poor man, I can’t afford HBO and Showtime, let alone order all the pay per view events. So anything free is more than welcome in my place. But the finale left a familiar bad taste in my mouthÔǪ lol phrasing… lol “archer”.

I loved the fight between Lara and Montiel. It was fast and explosive. I hated watching such a battle tested warrior like Fernando Montiel get blasted away like that by a young up and comer. But then the announcer said that Montiel was one of his heroes growing up in boxing. That is something to think about. It’s like a boxing torch being handed down the only way fighters know how, with brutality. I hope Fernando is okay and now I’ll be looking forward to seeing Lara fight again.

The Williams-Rodriguez fight was a barnburner man… Bombs away was the word from the get go. And man did they deliver some devastating shots. I thought I was watching some lighter fighters, but then I saw it was a light heavyweight scrap. I immediately was in awe of the shots they were handing and taking. It was a very enjoyable and entertaining fight. I hope Williams trains real hard for Adonis Stevenson if he does get that fight. And I hope Rodriguez is okay.

Now here’s my beef!!!! I was on such a high note going into the Berto-Ortiz fight. I had anticipated this

Andre Berto raged back from an early knockdown to drop and overwhelm Victor Ortiz in their rematch on April 30, 2016, at StubHub Center in Carson, California. Photo by Suzanne Teresa / PBC

Photo by Suzanne Teresa / PBC

fight all week. But I forgot Ortiz’s flaws. I forgot that as much as he can be entertaining, that when the going gets tough, Ortiz gives up!!!! He always gives up… He was boxing beautifully keeping his composure. Landing nice shots and even put Andre on the floor. He didn’t even overreact and try and knock out Berto like he usually does. So I was excited about this new Victor Ortiz. Then the old Victor came out. He got clipped by a solid uppercut that put him on his butt. He beat the count and moved away well enough to recover a bit. Then he took a few more basic shots went down again. He thought about the punishment that was coming the next ten rounds and took his bow and Gave Up!! He beat the count, he could have continued. He could have tried to hold to recover if he was really that hurt. Hell, spit the mouthpiece out to buy extra time. But he didn’t want too. He pretended he couldn’t hear the referee and took the easy way out. I’m done with Victor Ortiz, and I hope he never laces up again. He isn’t a fighter anymore. He’s an actor.

I hope everything is well with you and your family. Never stop writing these awesome mailbags. And never change man. I read that you are very amicable in person. We need more Dougies in the world. – Alex Mancinas, Ontario, California

Wow. Thank you for the very special words, Alex. I’m honored to have made that geeky college kid’s day. Time flies, eh? That Puerto Rican heavyweight you wrote to me about had to be Fres Oquendo (I recall that Don Felix had a good run with the awkward Chicagoan), which means the mailbag your email was published in came out in early April of 2002. That’s within the tail-end of the first year of the mailbag column! I hope you printed it out because you can’t find those old MaxBoxing.com mailbags online anymore.

Anyway, let’s get to your observations from this past weekend:

I watched the most entertaining night of boxing on free TV so far thanks to the “Evil” Al Haymon. Lol. I have to say that as much as everyone dislikes Haymon and his blueprint for his shows and business endeavors, I personally don’t care about all that. As long as he can put on good fights on free TV, I’m happy. That’s good to know. Hopefully, the PBC will deliver more shows like their Fox offering on Saturday. It’s not rocket science, it’s just about good matchmaking. Put aggressive fighters/punchers into the ring and let them do their thing.

I’m poor man, I can’t afford HBO and Showtime, let alone order all the pay per view events. So anything free is more than welcome in my place. In that case, please note that the RingTVLive streams are free (be sure to watch Friday’s show and the non-PPV portion of the Canelo-Khan undercard on Saturday). You should have more boxing programming choices than just the PBC.

I loved the fight between Lara and Montiel. It was fast and explosive. And one-sided. It was not so much a fight as it was a quick and efficient mugging of a faded veteran.

I hated watching such a battle tested warrior like Fernando Montiel get blasted away like that by a young up and comer. Wait a minute, I thought you just said that you loved the fight?

I hope Fernando is okay and now I’ll be looking forward to seeing Lara fight again. The kid instantly becomes a player at 126 pounds. Montiel will be OK – as long as he retires now.

The Williams-Rodriguez fight was a barnburner man… Bombs away was the word from the get go. And man did they deliver some devastating shots. That fight was the definition of a “shootout.” I love shootouts.

I hope Williams trains real hard for Adonis Stevenson if he does get that fight. He better. Unless your name is Sergey Kovalev or Andre Ward, Stevenson is an extremely dangerous foe.

And I hope Rodriguez is okay. I’m worried about E-Rod. It’s like he’s forgotten how to box and protect himself.

I was on such a high note going into the Berto-Ortiz fight. I had anticipated this fight all week. But I forgot Ortiz’s flaws. I forgot that as much as he can be entertaining, that when the going gets tough, Ortiz gives up!!!! He always gives up… Yes, he does. That’s why we watch Ortiz – for the inevitable implosion. The question that should be in every fan’s mind going into a Victor Ortiz fight is “how is he going to sabotage himself this time?” He’s going to f__k up – he’s boxing’s version of Charley Brown or George Castanza – but there’s usually some drama that takes place in the ring before it happens.

Then the old Victor came out. The “old Victor?” He’s 29. He is what he is. There was never any “new Victor.”

He got clipped by a solid uppercut that put him on his butt. He beat the count and moved away well enough to recover a bit. Then he took a few more basic shots went down again. He thought about the punishment that was coming the next ten rounds and took his bow and Gave Up!! In other words, Victor Ortiz pulled a “Victor Ortiz.”

I’m done with Victor Ortiz, and I hope he never laces up again. That’s cool if you feel that way, butÔǪ I can’t quit Vic. (I might put that on a T-shirt.)

He isn’t a fighter anymore. He’s an actor. And he’s a darn good one (I say that having never seen Southpaw or The Expendables 3).

I hope everything is well with you and your family. All is well.

Never stop writing these awesome mailbags. Well, nothing lasts forever, but Bernard Hopkins is my inspiration so I’m gonna try to do this thing into my 50s.

And never change man. Only for the better.

I read that you are very amicable in person. That’s the only way to be.

We need more Dougies in the world. OK, now you’ve gone too far. Floyd Mayweather fans all got a little sick in the stomach when you wrote that.

 

THE IRISH GATTI

Hey Dougie,

I know you like the little guys, so if you didn’t see the Anthony Nelson v Jamie Conlan super flyweight shoot out on Boxnation on Saturday night make sure you catch the replay. You will love it!

I wrote to you before about Conlan after his fight against Junior Granados last July. I was wondering then if Round 7 of that fight could have created a Compubox record for the highest number of unanswered punches thrown and the fight being allowed to continue.

Anyways, enjoy the fight if you get time to watch it. – Paddy, Dublin

I watched it, and it definitely lived up to the hype it received from those who saw it live. I’m including a YouTube player of the wild scrap in this response for those haven’t seen it yet.

Wow. Did those guys have a grudge or something? They fought like they hated each other. If that fight was “grudge free,” then hats off to both for wanting to win so bad that they went primal in that ring. I’d heard of Conlan, but had forgotten about him. I hadn’t heard of Nelson prior to this fight. Now I’m aware of both little warriors and I won’t forget who they are.

Here’s a theory on why the fight was so fierce (apart from both boxers being naturally aggressive), they’re mature – Conlan is 29, Nelson is 30 – but still green in terms of pro experience. Conlan only had 15 bouts going into the fight. Nelson, the defending Commonwealth 115-pound titleholder, only had 11 bouts. He was still fighting in six-round bouts last year (and most of his bouts in 2012 and 2013 were four-rounders)!

So they went at each other with the kind of nervous energy that young bucks take into the ring, but they had the maturity to deal with getting hurt and knocked down and busted up. Major props to both men. Kudos to Nelson for almost getting the stoppage (despite his low KO percentage) and for going out on his shield. Congrats to Conlan on winning the Commonwealth belt in such thrilling fashion.

(By the way, I noticed that Conlan’s nickname is “The Mexican.” Since you referred to him as “The Irish Gatti,” we could combine the two monikers and call him “The Irish Mexican Italian French-Canadian.”)

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Periscope.

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