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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

The longest prize fight ever took place in New Orleans, April 6, 1893, between Andy Bowen (L) and Jack Burke. The contest reportedly lasted 110 or 111 rounds, and more than 7 hours.
Fighters Network
07
Oct

HAPPY CANADIAN THANKSGIVING!

Hey Dougie,

I’m just gonna shoot from the hip here in hopes of getting your opinion on some stuff okay…
1) Peter Quillin making the move to super middleweight with Virgil Hunter in his corner, I’m thinking this could either be good or nightmarish for his comeback given his layoff. What do you make of it and drop a few names on us of possible realistic opponents please. If you were his manager, what would you see him do?
2) Middleweight division really thinning out for Triple G. After the Jacobs fight, who do you believe is most deserving of a rematch with the Kamikaze Kazakh? Because it looks like that’s what it may come down to if he doesn’t move up in weight.
3) I know you have a soft spot in your bag for the Gypsy King. I know first hand how debilitating addiction can be. But I also think Fury is kind of bringing most of his problems on himself, as most do. And although I really feel for the guy he is a self-admitted instigator of fighters and boxing media alike so…
Mythical Matchup. Battle of the Trolls: prime Briggs vs. Current Fury (mental health issues and all). I gotta go with Briggs as he is ripped physically and I find it hard to bet on Fury against anyone (even when he is in shape he is flabby). But he shocked us all, except maybe yourself, in winning the Heavyweight Championship of the World so who knows.
4) I don’t put too much stock in P4P rankings but couldn’t help notice the huge difference in The Ring magazines and Boxrec.com’s P4P rankings. Your quick take please. I tend to lean towards Boxrec’s, what with Canelo being #1.
5) How is it that a magazine (albeit the Bible of Boxing) comes to have a World Championship Belt in the sport. That is kind of odd no? Like Sports Illustrated giving trophies to teams. It’s just weird man.
6) I heard tell of a possible Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Canelo Alvarez match-up and I am intrigued. I see it maybe happening on account of The Legend’s son needing money. I like this match-up for the action aspect. What about you? Do you like it? Or how might it have played out three years ago?

All jokes aside let’s hope Tyson Fury gets well and makes a comeback in the future as a champ or not. It is a serious issue in a serious sport where dudes die from injuries sustained in the ring. Boxing needs more feel-good stories I’m sure we can all agree. Take ‘er easy. – Stephen, Ontario, Canada



That’s the only way to take ‘em, Stephen.

Boxing – like life – is full of feel-good stories. We simply choose to pay more attention to stories of controversy, turmoil, angst and suffering. But, yeah, of course I hope Fury gets his head and life together. (Even the social-media meanies currently ridiculing him and his condition/situation are probably secretly rooting for him.)

1)Peter Quillin making the move to super middleweight with Virgil Hunter in his corner. What do you make of it and drop a few names on us of possible realistic opponents please? I think it’s a good move for him. He’s got a physical build and frame that seems more suited for 168 pounds than 160. I thought he looked very good when he weighed in at 165.5 pounds for his three-round stoppage of Jesse Brinkley, and that was more than five years ago. I also think Hunter can add some boxing finesse and common sense to his somewhat raw, brute-force game. Realistic opponents? Look, the dude is a former world titleholder. He’s 33 years old and he’s got 10 years in the pro game. If he’s not ready to face the best available competition at super middleweight after one or two tune-ups then I think it’s time for him to find a 9-to-5 gig. He should aim for the Badou Jack-James DeGale winner, IMO.

2)Middleweight division really thinning out for Triple G. Yeah, and he’s the one who thinned it out. LOL!

After the Jacobs fight, who do you believe is most deserving of a rematch with the Kamikaze Kazakh? Because it looks like that’s what it may come down to if he doesn’t move up in weight. Well, hang on a minute Stevie, the Daniel Jacobs showdown hasn’t been made yet, and WBO titleholder Billy Joe Saunders is still out there flappin’ his gums; plus, there’s no reason for Team GGG to give up hope of a Canelo mega-fight happening in 2017 just yet. But if Jacobs, BJS and Canelo continue to price themselves out or procrastinate through 2017, I do think it will be time for GGG to be Movin’ On Up like The Jeffersons.

3) I know you have a soft spot in your bag for the Gypsy King. I can’t help it. He’s just too big, goofy and stupid for me to completely forsake.

I know first-hand how debilitating addiction can be. Most of us do.

But I also think Fury is kind of bringing most of his problems on himself, as most do. And although I really feel for the guy he is a self-admitted instigator of fighters and boxing media alike. I agree. He talks a lot of s__t and throws a lot of rocks. Then he feels persecuted when some of those rocks come sailing back upside his big head like the stone from David’s sling that struck down Goliath (and, yes, I’m making this analogy because of Fury’s incessant Bible-thumping and his recent anti-Jewish statements).

Mythical Matchup. Battle of the Trolls: prime Briggs vs. Current Fury (mental health issues and all). I gotta go with Briggs as he is ripped physically and I find it hard to bet on Fury against anyone (even when he is in shape he is flabby). Boxing ain’t a body building competition, kid. All Fury would have to do to beat the “Asthmatic Assassin” is last more than one or two rounds. And I think he would. Now, if you’re talking about a battle of over-the-top antics that occur outside of the ring, Briggs probably has the slight edge. (Hey, he’s got more experience!)

4) I don’t put too much stock in P4P rankings but couldn’t help notice the huge difference in The Ring magazines and Boxrec.com’s P4P rankings. Your quick take please. I tend to lean towards Boxrec’s, what with Canelo being #1. If having Canelo rated No. 1 pound for pound makes Boxrec’s “mythical rankings” superior to THE RING’s in your view, so be it. I’m sticking with Chocolatito and the Bible of Boxing, baby!

5) How is it that a magazine (albeit the Bible of Boxing) comes to have a World Championship Belt in the sport? I don’t know. It obviously seemed like a good idea to the magazine’s founder and former published Nat Fleischer back in the early 1920s. Who are we to toss out a near-100-year-old tradition?

That is kind of odd no? Like Sports Illustrated giving trophies to teams. It’s just weird man. It doesn’t bend my mind, but maybe I haven’t done as much drugs as you have, or maybe I just have a tighter grip on reality. Whatever the reason, it’s doesn’t seem odd or like a big deal to me. The championship policy was done away with for a few decades and then brought back by former editor Nigel Collins in 2002. Collins thought THE RING championships would add some clarity to a sport that hosted four major sanctioning organizations that claimed at least one (but sometimes as many as three) “world champions” in each division.

6) I heard tell of a possible Julio Cesar Chavez Jr vs. Canelo Alvarez match-up and I am intrigued. So YOU’RE one the guy who gives a s__t about what Junior does.

I see it maybe happening on account of The Legend’s son needing money. You think Junior burned through that PBC money that quick?

I like this match-up for the action aspect. It probably would be a fun scrap.

What about you? Me? I give no f__ks. I think Junior should retire.

Do you like it? No. F__ks. Homie.

Or how might it have played out three years ago? Three-to-four years ago I LOVED Canelo over Chavez. He’s the better boxer and the more dedicated athlete.

THE GLAMOR DIVISION (MAYBE)

Hi Dougie,

Well, the Fury/Klitschko rematch went about how I thought it would.  Do you think they will ever fight?  Do you think the governing bodies will strip Fury of his belts?  If they do I would love to see a tournament or ‘Box Off’ to determine one Heavyweight Champion.  I think it should include Klitschko, Wilder, Ortiz, Joshua, Ruiz, Miller & Parker.  “Big Baby” Miller is being under rated in my view.  Fury of course if he is able to fight.  My gut tells me Ortiz just might take it all.  What do you think will happen in the heavyweight division????  Thanks. – Mike

I have no idea, but I’ve already removed Fury from the elite heavyweight equation in my head. I think he’s going to need some time to sort his life out and the division should move ahead without him. Right now the fights that intrigue me involve Anthony Joshua, not Fury. I want to see Joshua vs. Joseph Parker, and I’m curious to see what would happen if AJ took on Klitschko (even though I don’t think he’s quite ready for that challenge).

Do you think (Fury and Klitschko) will ever fight? No, I don’t.

Do you think the governing bodies will strip Fury of his belts? Yes, I do, at least in some manner. They might put up “interim” titles for other contenders to fight for, or they might strip him of the main belts and declare him a “champion in recess” or some corny s__t like that, but the business of boxing will continue without the big nutty lug.

If they do I would love to see a tournament or ‘Box Off’ to determine one Heavyweight Champion. Wouldn’t we all.

I think it should include Klitschko, Wilder, Ortiz, Joshua, Ruiz, Miller & Parker.  The “Super Seven World Heavyweight Classic”? Would Ken Hershman be involved?

“Big Baby” Miller is being under rated in my view. Miller’s got ability and potential. He can talk smack and he can fight. But will he fight any time soon with the legal struggle for his promotional rights currently taking place?

Fury of course if he is able to fight. Bro, Fury can’t Tweet straight at the moment.

My gut tells me Ortiz just might take it all. I might agree with you if all of this action were to take place in the next six months, but we both know that it won’t.

What do you think will happen in the heavyweight division???? My gut tells me that Joshua shall inherit the throne, at least until a clean-and-sober Fury returns to reclaim it.

 

MAYWEATHER, USADA, NSAC & TUE

Hey Dougward!

I know this is EXTREMELY old, so if not worth of the bag, totally understood. But what ever happened with the USADA and the NSAC in regards to the TUE given to Mayweather Jr three weeks after his fight with Pacquiao? Shouldn’t it technically be changed to a NC, based on USADA and Team Mayweather not adhering to NSAC rules? Or was Mayweather simply too big a star to go against? Thanks Dougie! – Ole

Mayweather was simply too big a star to go against. He ain’t the first and he won’t be the last.

(W)hat ever happened with the USADA and the NSAC in regards to the TUE given to Mayweather Jr three weeks after his fight with Pacquiao? Nothing. The NSAC accepted the retroactive TUE that USADA gave to Mayweather, and then it was swept BACK under the rug (after Thomas Hauser uncovered it to begin with). 

Shouldn’t it technically be changed to a NC, based on USADA and Team Mayweather not adhering to NSAC rules? It was the rules of WADA (which USADA is supposed to follow and the NSAC is supposed to enforce if USADA informs them of the infraction) that “The Medical Team” broke, not those of NSAC. If the commission doesn’t view what Mayweather did as “cheating” then there’s no reason to change the result of the Pacquiao fight.

 

ROOTING FOR TEAM KRUSHER

Hey Dougie,

Since Boxing’s a little slow for the rest of October I wanted to look ahead a bit and get more of your thoughts on Ward-Kovalev.

Two buddies and I are going to this great Irish Pub that always shows boxing PPV and they’re both riding with Ward while I’m on Team Krusher. They’ve pointed out that Kovalev is kind of a cold bastard and think it’s weird I’m rooting for him but my argument is this: if I wanted to have a beer with one I’d pick Andre, if I could only watch one fight, it’s Sergey all day. I’ll always take the boxer-puncher over the neutralizer.

I do favor Ward odds wise though in this great match-up. Kovalev is great at what he does but in bouts like this, I think you have to favor the guy who can make more adjustments on the fly. It’ll be interesting to see how Ward deals with a dynamic power jabber as he’s used to dictating fights by having the much better jab. That won’t be the case here. For the last great jabber he faced in Kessler he fought southpaw a lot to take it away. The thing is that strategy might open him up more to Kovalev’s right down the pipe.

I expect Ward to pot shot from outside and to shoot in for the clinch whenever Sergey gets in range. I think he’ll be able to cramp Sergey and get dirty work done inside, as well as frustrate Kovalev with his footwork. (Kovalev doesn’t cut the ring off like Curtis Stevens, but he ain’t no Golovkin in this area either.)

So I guess I’m expecting a tactical, ugly decision win for Ward, though I’m praying for Kovalev to find his range and straight shot body attack, maybe make it a dog fight. Tell me I’m wrong Dougie! – Jack E.

I’m not going to tell you that. You might be right. But I also think there’s a good chance that you are wrong. It could all come down to how well Ward takes a shot from a world-class 175-pound hitter. They ain’t gonna be playin’ badminton on Nov. 19, Jack. They’re going to be getting down in a very serious match of Bad Mitts. No playing, no games.  

They’ve pointed out that Kovalev is kind of a cold bastard and think it’s weird I’m rooting for him but my argument is this: if I wanted to have a beer with one I’d pick Andre, if I could only watch one fight, it’s Sergey all day. They’re both cold bastards. (Can’t people see that?) But what makes you think Ward would be good chap to have a brew with? For starters, I doubt he drinks, but beyond that the dude seems utterly humorless to me.

I’ll always take the boxer-puncher over the neutralizer. It all depends on how many tools the boxer-puncher brings to the ring and, as you noted, how well he makes adjustments.

I do favor Ward odds wise though in this great match-up. So do the guys who actually make the betting odds.

Kovalev is great at what he does but in bouts like this, I think you have to favor the guy who can make more adjustments on the fly. I know Ward is very good at making adjustments, but you don’t think Kovalev makes adjustments when he needs to?

It’ll be interesting to see how Ward deals with a dynamic power jabber as he’s used to dictating fights by having the much better jab. The fight might come down to this one key factor.

I expect Ward to pot shot from outside and to shoot in for the clinch whenever Sergey gets in range. I think he’ll be able to cramp Sergey and get dirty work done inside, as well as frustrate Kovalev with his footwork. From your lips to God’s ears (or should I say Son Of God’s ears?)

 

OLD-TIME FIGHT DISTANCES

Ahoy Doug Fischer!

So Loma vs Walters at 130. I was hoping Vasyl Lomenchenko would get his revenge fight against Orlando Salido, but this is even better! If we can round out a couple more top notch matches, then the end of 2016 may make up for a slow first half of the year.

But since action is slow for the next month or so I have a general boxing knowledge question for you (one I myself have been curious about for quite some time but have never found a clear answer to, so I am thinking many others have wondered the same). Under the Marquess of Queensbury Rules, how in the f__kin hell did fighters go 30, 40, 50 or 111 (the all-time record in 1893) three minute rounds? Modern fighters having the benefit of scientific conditioning (including but not limited to PEDs) are often visibly tired after 12 hard fought rounds and rightly so. Do you know anything about old training methods that lent themselves to this ridiculous type of endurance and stamina? Was there something different about fighting styles that allowed for fights to go so long? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN DOUGIE! I’ve tried looking it up and have asked other fight fans and have never gotten much more of an answer than, “I dunno, that’s f__kin crazy”. Drop some knowledge on us please Douglas, I need to know!

Also MM:

Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roy Jones at 160

Rocky Marciano vs Iron Mike (prime)

Jersey Joe vs Evander Holyfield

Thanks. – Joel in Montreal

I don’t know why, but your question of how fighters of the late 1800s fought 30-and-40-plus rounds cracked me up. For starters, I don’t think many boxing fans have wondered about this subject. They don’t care about what happened in boxing last month, so they sure as hell don’t give a rat’s ass about what took place in the sport more than 120 years ago. It’s just you and maybe a couple other nut cakes that are curious. But that’s OK. Like you said, it’s a slow month, so I might as well indulge you.

Here’s the short answer: Prize fighters of the late 1800s and early 1900s were f__king animals.

Here’s the long answer: By “f__king animals,” I mean DIFFERENT animals. They weren’t like us. I’m not saying they were different physically or biologically. I’m talking about their mentalities. It’s hard for us to comprehend what it was like back then because so much has changed, but I’ll try to put it into perspective for you.

The bout that went 110 or 111 rounds under Queensberry Rules (between Andy Bowen and Jack Burke) took place in 1893, right? Well consider this, slavery had only been “officially” abolished in the U.S. 28 years prior to that year (with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution). The first American to fight in England, the birthplace of modern boxing (and The Queensberry Rules established in 1867, as well as the London Prize Ring Rules that preceded them in 1838), was Tom Molineaux, who made a name for himself in England and Scotland during the first half of the 1810s.

Molineaux, as well as Bill Richmond who also made a name for himself, were born slaves. Let that sink in for a minute. What’s fighting 30, 40 or even 50 rounds when you were born into a system where your very life was forced labor and servitude without regard to your health (let alone compensation)? Answer: It ain’t s__t.

The men that made up the first generation of Queensberry Rules prize fighters either came directly from the bare-knuckle era (when fights were unregulated, un-officiated and often to the damn finish) or were influenced by it, and the majority of these guys were from the most desperate and lowest rungs of society. They were the sons of farm hands, coal miners, ex-slaves and immigrant indentured servants. They grew up watching the adults around them work until they dropped dead and they were hard mother f__kers. They had to be. Most of them had to fend for themselves as children. The first famous prize fighters in America at that time – John Morrissey and John L. Sullivan, who were recognized as “heavyweight champion” – were the sons of poor Irish immigrants that worked full-time blue-collar/manual labor jobs such as bartending, plumbing and bricklaying at middle-school age. (Morrissey, who would be elected to congress after his boxing career, had also been a gang leader and hired political thug. Do yourself a favor and watch Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York if you haven’t already seen it. The period film is an excellent portrayal of what the immigrant areas of New York City were like when Morrissey was duking it out against the likes of Yankee Sullivan and John C. Heenan.)

Needless to say, education at that time (and for decades after) was only for the rich and privileged. Everyone else had to work. Kids worked real jobs. People had kids back then for the sole purpose of helping out with work. It was perfectly normal for 12 year olds to work crazy hours in factories, textile and cotton mills up until the mid-1930s. (There weren’t any federal laws regulating under-aged labor or work hours or minimum wages until the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.) The mindset was work, work, work, for as long as you were able to stay conscious no matter how harsh and miserable the conditions were. And you never quit, no matter what. You don’t work, you don’t eat. Get it?

Now, having said all that, you should also realize that just because a bout went 40-plus rounds doesn’t mean that the combatants were fighting non-stop, tooth-and-nail for every minute of every round. I’m sure there was a fair amount of pacing and posing going on. There was also probably a fair amount of grappling. Like I noted earlier, these guys (like Sullivan) came from the bare-knuckle era, where holding, throwing, gouging, even kicking at times was permitted. So don’t think that these pioneers of prize fighting were human windmills like Harry Greb or Henry Armstrong, although they helped pave the way for those boxing legends of the 1920s and ‘30s.

Do you know anything about old training methods that lent themselves to this ridiculous type of endurance and stamina? Yeah, the dudes who bothered to train in the 1800s were very much into running and long walks. I once read that Henry Armstrong, whose prime was in the 1930s, trained like the “old timers” of the late 1800s/early 1900s. He was big into shadow boxing. He did 15-20 rounds before his fights so that he would enter the ring “hot.” Between bouts, his daily workout routine consisted of 10 miles of roadwork, 10 rounds of sparring, five rounds on the bags and 15 rounds of shadow boxing. Armstrong fought when 15-round title bouts had become the norm, but he fought hard every minute of every round.

Your mythical matchups:

Sugar Ray Leonard vs Roy Jones at 160 – Jones by close, maybe controversial unanimous decision in a low-action fight (basically, I think Leonard would have to assume the role of the aggressor after proving his chin in RJJ’s opening round “chin check” – but as fast and skilled as SRL was, he wasn’t a natural middleweight and he was past his prime at 160 pounds, so I don’t think he could match the speed and reflexive quickness of Jones or overcome the Pensacola native’s advantages in size in strength. I think Jones “power-pot shots” his way through 12 rounds.)

Rocky Marciano vs Iron Mike (prime) – this won’t be a popular opinion because Tyson has (against all odds) become a beloved figure in the sport, but if Tyson couldn’t blitz The Rock in the opening two rounds (or force a stoppage by chopping the Italian-American’s face up) – and he certainly had the ability to do so – I think Marciano wears the Brooklyn native down to a late stoppage.

Jersey Joe vs Evander Holyfield – Walcott by close but unanimous decision in a competitive and entertaining fight.

 

 

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

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