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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

Photo by: Stephanie Trapp/ SHOWTIME
20
Feb

BRONER’S FUTURE

Waddup Dougie Fresh!!

Been a while since I’ve written in but I’m still an avid reader every week. Ok, I’ll try and keep this short as possible.

It seems like over his past few fights Adrien Broner’s punch output has declined. He simply doesn’t let his hands go enough and the game plan against him is simply to apply nonstop pressure. This clearly presents problems (see what I did there) for him. Why is this – he has the hand speed and skills to punish opponents but it seems he’s reluctant to let his hands go.

Lastly, where does he go from here? He’s simply too small for 147 and it’s very apparent his power doesn’t carry up. Hard to make a fight with Terence Crawford and Viktor Postol at 140 for promotional reasons, so where does he go and who do you see him fighting?

Hope your new year is off to a bang and hope to pound a beer with you at Jimmy’s for the GGG-Jacobs scrap! Stay blessed brother. – Maintain from Queens

Thanks for the kind wishes, Maintain. Please say hello if you see me in NYC next month.

Where does Broner go from Saturday? He should head back down to 140 pounds and get back into the ring as soon as his injured left hand allows. I agree that he’s too small to be much of a physical threat to legitimate welterweight titleholders and contenders – such as Kell Brook, Keith Thurman, Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley, Errol Spence Jr. or former foe Shawn Porter – and he doesn’t have the style/workrate to outhustle or outpoint them.

However, if Broner remains at 147 pounds, he still has plenty of notable options thanks to the vast Al Haymon-advised stable of fighters that he belongs to. The PBC is home to several  former welterweight standouts who are past their primes but still hold some name recognition, such as Andre Berto, Devon Alexander, Luis Collazo, Robert Guerrero and Josesito Lopez. If the rumors of the Victor Ortiz-Brandon Rios grudgematch being made are true, the winner of that train wreck would be the perfect high-profile opponent for Broner. We can dismiss Broner vs. the Ortiz-Rios winner as a “meaningless” fight all we want, but you and I both know that matchup would likely sell tickets and do excellent TV ratings.

If Broner wants more of a challenge, he could take on fellow speedster (but far busier) Amir Khan or avoided welterweight dark horse Felix Diaz.

If he can make 140 pounds, I think a showdown with the winner of the upcoming WBA-IBF title unification bout between Ricky Burns and Julius Indongo is a very intriguing match.

These are all winnable potential PBC in-house showdowns for Broner. However, I wouldn’t be shocked if he lost any of these matchups (even to some of the more shopworn veterans). I thought he lost to Granados by a point or two and the Chicago-area scrapper is far from a top-10 welterweight contender.

Maybe Haymon and Team Broner should revisit the idea of facing Pacquiao and roll the dice against the future hall of famer. He’ll make more money fighting the Filipino icon than he would anyone else in the division (save for his retired “Big Brother”), and if he wins (legitimately and in impressive fashion) he will rejuvenate his career and set himself up for another monster payday.

It seems like over his past few fights Adrien Broner’s punch output has declined. Really? I think he’s always had a low-punch output. The only difference between now and when he fought at 130 and 135 is that at the lower weights, he could hurt his opponents with single shots and eventually force stoppages.

He simply doesn’t let his hands go enough and the game plan against him is simply to apply nonstop pressure. True, or to simply be busier than he is (primarily with the jab) as Paulie Malignaggi was.

Why is this – he has the hand speed and skills to punish opponents but it seems he’s reluctant to let his hands go. It’s just his boxing style and ring mentality. He’s comfortable fighting in spots, not unlike Canelo Alvarez or Danny Garcia. Broner has had success letting his hands go in quick, counter-punching bursts sporadically during a round and fight, and I don’t think he’s about to change things up now. He’s not comfortable working three minutes of every round or pressing his opponents, even though I suspect that he’s got the conditioning/engine and durability to do so.

 

THANK YOU SHOWTIME

Hey Doug,

What a fun card that was on Showtime. Like many people coming into to this fight I have never a heard of Adrian Granados. But now I am fan. I would like to see him against anybody in the welterweight division. I think it’s evidently clear that Broner’s power is not that affective at welterweight which means if he fights any of the top ranked welterweights he has to be more busy.

If Broner and Granados stay at welterweight where do you rank them at? I applaud Broner for apologizing for his past actions.

I am very happy to see Showtime televising women boxing. I believe it’s an untapped market that could make a lot of money. Who are the most talented women boxers out there? Thanks Doug keep doing great work. – Robbie

I don’t follow women’s boxing closely, Robbie, so I really can’t say who the most talented female boxers are currently. My guess is undefeated welterweight champ Cecilia Braekhus, who fights Klara Svensson this Friday in Oslo, is at the top of the women’s boxing food chain. The 35-year-old Colombia-born Norwegian won her first major titles (the vacant WBA and WBC straps) in early 2009, and while defending those belts 18 times, she’s added the WBO, IBF and IBO titles to her collection. Braekhus, who is promoted by K2, is the only undisputed champion – male or female – in boxing.

Anyway, I’m also glad Showtime is televising two-time Olympic gold medalist Claressa Shields’ second pro fight on March 10. I think Shields has come along at the right time to jumpstart women’s boxing in the U.S. because she’ll have help from her Olympic teammate Marlen Esparza, who signed with Golden Boy Promotions and will likely turn pro on one of the company’s ESPN shows or an upcoming PPV undercard, and established pro attractions Heather Hardy and Seniesa Estrada (who have fought on network television and on major undercards). I think there’s also a good chance that some of the soon-to-be stars of women’s boxing in Europe – such as popular Irish Olympic gold medalist Katie Taylor, who signed with Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, and Britain’s two-time Olympic champ Nicola Adams – will eventually fight in the U.S.

All the standouts I’ve mentioned are smart with bright personalities, and, most importantly, they’ve got high-level boxing skills.

What a fun card that was on Showtime. It was enjoyable, especially the Lamont Peterson-David Avanesyan and Broner-Granados fights.

Like many people coming into to this fight I have never a heard of Adrian Granados. But now I am fan. Good to hear. Granados deserves fans. Since it seems like he can’t ever get the nod in a close fight, at the very least the man deserves some dedicated fans for the hardnosed effort he always gives.

I would like to see him against anybody in the welterweight division. I’d rather see him in with some top junior welterweights. I think he’s better at 140 pounds than at 147. According to Steve Kim, former WBC lightweight titleholder Omar Figueroa Jr. is finally back in training and looking to return this May after taking all of 2016 off.

If Figueroa can make 140 pounds (or close to the junior welter limit, say 142), I think he and Granados could make for a Fight of the Year candidate. Undefeated Russian brawler Ivan Baranchyk and unbeaten Kazakh prospect Sergey Lipinets would also make for extremely entertaining dance partners.

I think it’s evidently clear that Broner’s power is not that affective at welterweight which means if he fights any of the top ranked welterweights he has to be more busy. Not gonna happen. Broner is what he is, an entertaining TV fighter who probably hit his professional ceiling 3½-4 years ago. He’s tougher than he is talented. He’s cagier than he is skilled. He abandoned any potential of being an elite fighter when left the lightweight division.

If Broner and Granados stay at welterweight where do you rank them at? I don’t think either fighter belongs in the 147-pound top 10. I consider them both welterweight fringe contenders.

I applaud Broner for apologizing for his past actions. I applaud him for fighting a badass like Granados and duking it out to the final bell. I don’t pay much attention to what comes out of his mouth.

 

PETERSON-AVANESYAN, BRONER-GRANADOS

Hi Doug. Here are some of my opinions regarding tonight’s fights.

  1. Peterson-Avanesyan

I thought this fight was much closer than Broner-Granados. Avanesyan’s busy punch output vs Peterson’s more telling body punching. As Paulie said on TV, Peterson was typical himself not putting enough punch output and getting behind on scores, making the fight difficult for himself. I think he really needs to change that. That’s the reason he didn’t get a win against Danny Garcia (still I thought Peterson won) and that was the same way as his fight against Amir Khan few years back.

As for Avanesyan, he’s a solid fighter but not a top-level guy. I’d like to see him against guys like Jessie Vargas, Sadam Ali and Felix Diaz.

  1. Broner-Granados. Common, Doug. Did you see it as a close fight? Broner never stepped up the gas and didn’t drop heavy shots OFTEN ENOUGH like Peterson. I don’t agree with the Showtime guys who kept saying “close fight”. I could give Broner 4 rounds and I think I’m generous. Granados was obsessed, determined and there to win. It showed the entire fight and he was never hurt whatsoever. He totally outworked Broner almost every round. The ref didn’t help him by not warning, let alone taking a point away from Broner for holding too much. I know it was in his home town and home cooking smelled long before the fight started but come on. Give Granados some respect.

Because of what’s going on in this country recently, I really wanted to see a guy who put honest effort get rewarded. (Don’t you think the current POTUS makes Don King, or even Panama Lewis, look like a decent human being?) Keep up the good work. – Naoki, Las Vegas NV

Thanks Naoki. To answer your final (weird and out of place) question: not really, no.

I did view Broner-Granados as a close fight, and so did you if you “give Broner 4 rounds.” It was a 10-round fight, bro. Winning four rounds means you only lose by two points if the other six rounds went to your opponent. I scored four rounds for Broner (two, six, seven and 10), the rest went to Granados. I had the ninth round even, so I had Granados up by one point after 10 hard rounds. I was OK with the 96-94 scorecard for Broner. I thought the 97-93 tallies for each fighter gave them a little too much credit. Nobody took over this fight. 

Granados was obsessed, determined and there to win. Yes he was, but he was met by a durable, strong-willed opponent who nailed him repeatedly with accurate, head-snapping, momentum-stealing shots in every round. Granados always answered back and followed up more when he landed a good shot, as Malignaggi pointed out, which is why he won more rounds on my card, but he didn’t dominate any single round and he certainly didn’t dominate the fight in my view.

It showed the entire fight and he was never hurt whatsoever. Really? He was never hurt? Not once? Do you share some kind of psychic bond with Granados? How do you know that? I think he was stunned more than once, as was Broner. Both men dished out their share of pain and punishment.

He totally outworked Broner almost every round. But he didn’t land the harder punches in every round.

The ref didn’t help him by not warning, let alone taking a point away from Broner for holding too much. True. Granados was essentially double teamed in that ring, which totally sucks, but wasn’t unexpected.

I know it was in his home town and home cooking smelled long before the fight started but come on. Give Granados some respect. Yeah, he’s more than paid his dues and certainly deserves respect, but I guess the Powers That Be involved with the Broner fight figured “Why start now?”

Photo by Stephanie Trapp / SHOWTIME

I thought [Peterson-Avanesyan] was much closer than Broner-Granados. I thought it was close and competitive. I didn’t see an either-way type fight, however. I scored eight rounds for Peterson (or 116-112 for the former titleholder). I was fine with a 115-113 tally for Peterson. I thought the veteran went tit for tat during the first half of the bout and took over the fight in the late rounds.

Avanesyan’s busy punch output vs Peterson’s more telling body punching. They meshed to make for an entertaining 12 rounder. It was an infighting/body punching clinic over the second half of the bout and a joy to witness.

As Paulie said on TV, Peterson was typical of himself not putting enough of punch output and getting behind on scores, making the fight difficult for himself. I thought Peterson boxed and fought well, in fact, he was better/sharper and more agile than I expected given his time away from the ring. He was in with a tough cookie. Nobody’s going to steamroll Avanesyan.

I think he really needs to change that. Not gonna happen. The man is 33 years old, been a pro since 2005, with 39 bouts under his belt. He is what he is. He’s a grinding, slow-to-warm-up technician. He’s not a pure boxer. He’s not a stick-and-move stylist, or a defensive specialist. He’s not a KO puncher or a relentless pressure fighter. We need to accept different styles and ring mentalities. As long as a boxer is giving 100% (as Peterson always does) and not stinking it out (which he seldom does), I’m good with any style.

That’s the reason he didn’t get a win against Danny Garcia (still I thought Peterson won) and that was the same way as his fight against Amir Khan few years back. So what? Regardless of the official outcomes of those fights, Peterson was game and competitive against highly touted world-class opponents. You win some, you lose some. That’s boxing.  

As for Avanesyan, he’s a solid fighter but not a top-level guy. Agreed.

I’d like to see him against guys like Jessie Vargas, Sadam Ali and Felix Diaz. Me too.

 

INCONCLUSIVE RESULT

Hi Doug,

First of all I want to tell you that I don’t have a problem with the decision in the Broner-Granados fight. It was a tough fight to score, every round was competitive and there was no clear ring general throughout the fight. My score was even after 10 rounds and didn’t feel there was a clear winner.

When I heard the scores I wasn’t outraged with the disparity between judges. I thought it was that kind of fight, the type where either you favor one style or you favor the other.

The main reason for my email is to let you know that I feel Broner doesn’t belong in the top 10 of the welterweight division and don’t understand why he is so overrated. I mean, they talk about his skills, punching power, speed, man I don’t see any of that. Earlier today I watched the De La Hoya-Quartey fight (hadn’t seen it since it happened) and realized how bad and overrated certain fighters are.

Granados for one, didn’t use his jab to setup his offense, a great mistake! I think that if he was able to employ that, he would’ve opened Broner and been able to be more effective. Broner on the other hand seemed to have no specific plan, he just thinks he’s good enough to just go by what’s presented to him during the fight. That’s the kind of arrogance a lot of athletes these days have.

His lack of respect for the sport is also something I find disturbing.  Showtime, his managers and promoters let him do whatever he wants and that hurts his opponents and everybody involved with the fight.

I still find Broner intriguing and interesting. His fights are good enough (not great as some people were saying. Dan Rafael are you reading this?) for me to watch him again and can understand why they still put him on tv, he is a character and characters sells. My wife, who’s not a boxing fan, instantly recognized him as the guy who gets his hair combed at the end of the fight.

The only thing other fighters can learn from him is to be entertaining inside and outside the ring. For all the talent a guy like Thurman or Brook have, the lack of a story line and personality make them uninteresting to the general public (even me, a hardcore fan). Boxers: build your brand! That’s the only way you’ll make the money you think you deserve. Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde

I hear what you’re saying, Juan, but I think Thurman and Brook are doing just fine without the kind of story lines and polarizing personalities that have made Broner the subject of TMZ “news” items. Brook attracts more fans back home in Sheffield, England, than Broner ever will in Cincinnati, and I guarantee you that his paydays for GGG and Errol Spence Jr. are a lot more than what Broner received to fight Granados or Ashley Theophane. And if you recall, when the PBC made its NBC debut nearly two years ago, it was Thurman in the main event (vs. Robert Guerrero) and Broner in the co-featured bout (vs. John Molina). Thurman’s PBC on CBS main event vs. Shawn Porter drew a significantly higher ratings than Broner’s PBC on NBC main event vs. Porter. Thurman’s making more money vs. Garcia than Broner has vs. anyone he’s fought in recent years.

Just because a fighter has “earned” notoriety from being obnoxious, and a sometimes out-of-control dips__t, doesn’t mean he has a superior “brand.” Brook and Thurman have the potential to attract legit sponsors (a rarity in boxing these days), Broner does not.

I don’t have a problem with the decision in the Broner-Granados fight. I don’t either, but there is a bit of a bad taste in my mouth because of the change in contracted weight, the biased referee and Broner’s hold-and-elbow tactics throughout the fight.

It was a tough fight to score, every round was competitive and there was no clear ring general throughout the fight. I agree.

My score was even after 10 rounds and didn’t feel there was a clear winner. I’m OK with that score and opinion.

When I heard the scores I wasn’t outraged with the disparity between judges. I thought it was that kind of fight, the type where either you favor one style or you favor the other.  Yeah, I hear you, but I hate that the official judges tend to lean toward the so-called boxers with the low-volume offense and holding tactics.

The main reason for my email is to let you know that I feel Broner doesn’t belong in the top 10 of the welterweight division and don’t understand why he is so overrated. I thought he was overrated when he was still undefeated and in pound-for-pound rankings (including THE RING’s, which I did not agree with), but since his loss to Marcos Maidana it seems like most of the boxing world has viewed him with a semi-skeptical eye. Regarding his welterweight ranking, I doubt if any credible boxing website or publication ranks him among their 147-pound top 10.

I mean, they talk about his skills, punching power, speed, man I don’t see any of that. I see speed. I see good counter-punching ability. I see solid ring generalship and respectable power, but I don’t see any elite-level s__t. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, his balls and durability are underrated. His skillset is definitely overrated.

Earlier today I watched the De La Hoya-Quartey fight (hadn’t seen it since it happened) and realized how bad and overrated certain fighters are. In comparison to prime Oscar and Ike, of course they look bad. S__t, De La Hoya was THE RING’s No. 1 pound-for-pound rated fighter going into that February 1999 showdown (ahead of Roy Jones Jr., Evander Holyfield, Felix Trinidad and Mark Johnson). Quartey was No. 12 in KO magazine’s Dynamite Dozen (in the company of Shane Mosley, Ricardo Lopez and Bernard Hopkins). Those two were elite fighters and THE RING’s No. 1 and 4 welterweights when the 147-pound top five included Trinidad, Whitaker and Jose Luis Lopez.

It should go without saying that Oba Carr, the bridesmaid of the late 1990s welterweights, would slap around the likes of Broner and Granados.

Granados for one, didn’t use his jab to setup his offense, a great mistake! I think that if he was able to employ that, he would’ve opened Broner and been able to be more effective. Broner’s there to be outjabbed, even with a healthy left hand.

Broner on the other hand seemed to have no specific plan, he just thinks he’s good enough to just go by what’s presented to him during the fight. That’s the kind of arrogance a lot of athletes these days have. You’re starting to sound like a grumpy old-school boxing fan, Juan. Welcome to the club!

His lack of respect for the sport is also something I find disturbing.  Showtime, his managers and promoters let him do whatever he wants and that hurts his opponents and everybody involved with the fight. Broner’s had a lot of enablers, and it goes back to HBO and Golden Boy Promotions (when one The Problem’s biggest nut-huggers, Dickie Schaefer, happened to be the CEO). More than a Frankensteins helped make this monster.

I still find Broner intriguing and interesting. That’s OK. His personal dramas and delusions don’t interest me at all, but I enjoy watching him fight for the most part.

 

BEST POUND-FOR-POUND FIGHTER OVER 40

What it Be Like?

With his dominant performance over Bobby Gunn, Roy Jones Jr. is making a case for best p4p over 40 list?

Jones Jr. vs B Hop 3 – Senior Slugfest.

Maybe this would help settle the debate as to who should rank higher all time. When people put these all time and pound 4 pound lists, shouldn’t the criteria based on when fighter were in their prime? B hop fought for many years competitively, albeit passed his prime, and that’s worthy of much praise. But I have a hard time with people ranking Hop over RJJ when they acknowledge that during both their primes, at whatever weight, Jones wins. As great as Hopkins was, I think you should rethink RJJ position on your list, all due respect.

That being said, what mythical matchup would you hate more?

Jones vs Hop 3

Manny vs Money 2

Me vs Rhonda Rousey (the bitch cant box)

PS….would never hit a girl, but id shake the s__t out of her.

One love Dougie. – Adam Hayward, CA aka the Stack

I hate all three of those mythical matchups, but the one I hate the least is you vs. Rousey, because I’m pretty sure she can kick your ass.

With his dominant performance over Bobby Gunn, Roy Jones Jr. is making a case for best p4p over 40 list? No. Why would you think that?

Since turning 40, Jones has lost a decision to Bernard Hopkins, he’s has been knocked out three times, and he hasn’t beaten a single contender. Gunn doesn’t even qualify as a gatekeeper. Since turning 40, Hopkins has faced 13 legit top-10 contenders, including nine who were champions/major titleholders at the time. He beat nine of them – including Antonio Tarver, Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal and Tavoris Cloud – and three of his losses were a close split nod to current hall of famer Joe Calzaghe and back-to-back controversial decision to Jermain Taylor.

Jones definitely had the brighter, more impressive/awe-inspiring prime, but his over-40 years don’t come close to comparing with B-Hop’s late-career accomplishments.

Jones Jr. vs B Hop 3 – Senior Slugfest. No. And don’t ever bring this up again.

Maybe this would help settle the debate as to who should rank higher all time. It would not. The rematch didn’t settle anything. It happened 17 years after the first fight for God’s sake! A rubber match would be totally pointless – and sick. You’re sick just for thinking about it.

When people put these all time and pound 4 pound lists, shouldn’t the criteria based on when fighter were in their prime? Dude, pound-for-pound lists (especially mythical rankings aimed at all-time greats from different eras) have no criteria. They’re mostly a lot of subjective opinions and not meant to be taken too seriously. If you place an emphasis on a fighter’s prime or peak years in your personal ATG/P4P criteria, then you’re probably going to rank Jones higher than Hopkins.

B hop fought for many years competitively, albeit passed his prime, and that’s worthy of much praise. I certainly believe so. Some think he’s overrated, and there’s a comments section regular who literally loses his s__t anytime Hopkins’ name comes up, but I think most fans respect B-Hop’s accomplishments.

But I have a hard time with people ranking Hop over RJJ when they acknowledge that during both their primes, at whatever weight, Jones wins. Oh, get over it.

As great as Hopkins was, I think you should rethink RJJ position on your list, all due respect. Um, no. All due respect I think I’ll keep my all-time pound-for-pound list the same.

 

 

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

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