Monday, July 15, 2024  |

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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Fighters Network
14
Apr

PACQUIAO DISAPPOINTMENT

Hi Dougie,

I know I’m preaching to the choir but I have to say it’s quite disappointing that Manny Pacquiao has resorted to not caring to challenge himself anymore after that pitiful excuse for a fight back in 2015 with you know who. On a sidenote: really do miss the #TheNeverendingStory hash mark but maybe we can revive it back to life with Canelo-Golovkin if that fight doesn’t happen by September (only kidding…but not really).

It’d be great if Pacquiao would give one of the top-rated welterweights a shot to challenge him but that’s a pipe dream now to say the least. Then if looking at this upcoming matchup from the other side of the coin then at least Jeff Horn will have his country behind him with the fight in his own backyard and hell I might throw a few bucks his way just for Pete’s sake to give him a possible puncher’s chance.



All-Australian Mythical Matchup:

Jimmy Carruthers vs Lionel Rose

Thanks – Eli

Wow. That would have been an amazing bantamweight showdown if it were possible. I don’t have a clear favorite because both underrated Australians had an abundance of skill, ring generalship and heart. Rose is more celebrated in my neck of the woods because he fought Mexican legends Chucho Castillo and the prime unbeaten version of Ruben Olivares at The Forum in Inglewood, California. He also had more fights and won the bantamweight title from Japanese great Fighting Harada. However, my gut tells me that Carruthers, who packed a lot of experience in just 25 pro bouts, had a style that would have troubled Rose over the distance in a hotly contested fight. I think Carruthers’ sharp southpaw jab, speed, power, accurate combos and deft ability to fight while backing up would enable him to edge Rose on points.

Regarding Pacquiao-Horn, I’m OK with it. I don’t care for the matchup and probably won’t pay much attention to it (unless it’s on regular HBO or offered for free on some other media platform here in the U.S.), but I recognize that the July 2 event in Brisbane could be healthy for Australia’s boxing scene and I want our sport to thrive in all parts of the world.

Would I be more into Pacquaio vs. Keith Thurman or the Brook-Spence winner or Bud Crawford? Of course. But the Filipino legend is 38 years old. He’s been a pro since January 1995 and he’s engaged in 67 bouts in that time, including showdowns with seven or eight fellow first-ballot hall of famers (including a classic three-bout series with Erik Morales and an epic four-bout series with Juan Manuel Marquez), so he’s earned the right to fight who he wants now that he’s at the tail-end of an amazing career. Same deal with You Know Who. If he wants to fight a UFC champ, so be it. We don’t have to pay attention if we don’t like those fights.

It’d be great if Pacquiao would give one of the top-rated welterweights a shot to challenge him but that’s a pipe dream now to say the least. You are aware that Pac’s last two opponents were “top-rated welterweights,” aren’t you? Tim Bradley, who he beat last April, was top five (No. 4 in THE RING rankings); and Jessie Vargas, who he beat last November, was top 10 (No. 8 in THE RING rankings). Horn is unrated but he’s the mandatory contender for the WBO title that Pacquiao holds.

On a sidenote: really do miss the #TheNeverendingStory hash mark but maybe we can revive it back to life with Canelo-Golovkin if that fight doesn’t happen by September (only kidding…but not really). Let’s hope it isn’t necessary, but if Golden Boy and K2 are still “negotiating” by the time fall rolls around it might be time for my man Limahl to start clearing his throat.

 

RICKY BURNS IS A NATIONAL HERO

Hi Dougie,

Hope you are well.

It’s been a while since I wrote, so I thought would give it a go.

Now I know that the hype over the weekend and your Mailbag was about the Loma (you got to love the man, there was a body punch in either the 8th or 9th round, that must be up for punch of the year)

Anyway, this weekend I will be at the Ricky Burns 140-pound title unification fight and hoping for an atmosphere as electric as the Bellew-Haye encounter. A tough fight and a 50/50 outcome I fear.

Hopefully, Ricky prevails and more than likely will be over 12 hard difficult rounds.

My questions to a man with far greater knowledge of the sport than myself, where would Ricky rank within the top British fighters, would he make it bearing in mind that he’s a 3-weight world champion and never ducked a fighter in this life.

However, when you look at UK history:

Calzaghe, Lewis, Hatton, Buchanan, Minter, Stracey, Benn, Eubank Snr (Not Jnr he is a Dickhead !!), Turpin, Cooper, Conteh……and so on

The are some great fighters from the past, and I wonder if people believe in Ricky the fighter like they did Ricky Hatton all those years ago. Now I know he couldn’t take 10,000 to Vegas, but hopefully the Glasgow Arena will be near to capacity to cheer on their local hero to another great win.

Cheers Dougie. – Scott from Nottingham

I have no doubt that Burns’ faithful followers will be out in full force in Glasgow tomorrow. They know their local hero always give 100% effort, even when he’s having a bad night or just in over his head. That’s why I’m a Ricky Burns fan. I love the effort he gives and his willingness to face the very best of his division.

I don’t put much stock in his winning titles at three weight classes because he didn’t face any world-beaters (although I should add that the prime unbeaten version of Rocky Martinez he outpointed for his first belt at 130 pounds back in 2010, and the once-beaten Paulus Moses, who he out-boxed for his 135-pound trinket, are nothing to scoff at), but when I look at his record I see a lot of top-10 contenders. I don’t consider Burns to be one of the best UK fighters of all time, but I believe he’s one of the best from Scotland, and arguably the most accomplished Scottish boxer since Jim Watt (although I’m sure Scott Harrison would dispute this). He’s not in the class of the great Benny Lynch or Ken Buchanan, but very few are.

I will be at the Ricky Burns 140-pound title unification fight and hoping for an atmosphere as electric as the Bellew-Haye encounter. There won’t be as many fans in the arena as there were in London but it will probably be just as loud and intense.

A tough fight and a 50/50 outcome I fear. Most of the boxing writers I’ve talked to favor Indongo. I don’t know who to favor. I’m just going to enjoy the fight (and I’ll probably be rooting for the Rickster).

Hopefully, Ricky prevails and more than likely will be over 12 hard difficult rounds. That’s how Ricky rolls. It’s seldom easy for him.

The are some great fighters from the past, and I wonder if people believe in Ricky the fighter like they did Ricky Hatton all those years ago. Nah, brah, there’s only one Ricky Hatton. And you know this.

 

NO UK P4P LOVE FOR THE RICKSTER

Hi Dougie,

I hope all is well and thanks as always, I’ll keep its short.

I recently saw a Britain top 10 pound for pound list, might have been Jonny Nelson, and there was no place for 3 weight world champion Ricky Burns on it. Now I know Ricky is not a world beater but on achievements alone he should be at least top 5 on anyone’s UK list. Can you think of any other boxers who don’t get any credit what so ever?

And also what’s your take on Burns v Indongo? I can see it being a nervous 12 rounds with Burns winning but with some seriously shakey moments.

Thanks for the weekly double as always! And also some moves on the ropes bro, great effort! – Hammi, Scotland

Ha! Thanks. Maybe I should try skipping rope more than once a week.

My take on Burns-Indongo? It’s hard to say. Burns is obviously the more proven, battle-tested fighter, but Indongo’s power seem for real. And, as I’ve said numerous times about other veteran vs. unknown up-and-comer matchups, we never know when being “battle-tested” becomes “battle-worn.”

Both junior welterweight beltholders are 34, but Burns has 47 bouts (to Indongo’s 21) and is going on 17 years in the pro game. Indongo turned pro eight years after Burns did (in 2009), and likely hasn’t been in as many grueling distance bouts as the Scottish favorite. Burns has taken his share of lumps in the ring (his dubious split-draw with Ray Beltran comes to mind). So keep that in mind.

I recently saw a Britain top 10 pound for pound list, might have been Jonny Nelson, and there was no place for 3 weight world champion Ricky Burns on it. What can I tell you, man? Pound-for-pound lists are varied and subjective (and perhaps they exist to be debated). My guess is that the pound-for-pound criteria of Nelson (or whoever complied the UK list) factors in recent form/accomplishments/quality of opposition more than the total body of work of a fighter’s career. He probably looked at the four guys Burns has beat since losing to Omar Figueroa Jr. and thought “Meh.” Or maybe Burns’ boxing style isn’t to his liking. Sometimes it’s all about the “eye test” and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Now I know Ricky is not a world beater but on achievements alone he should be at least top 5 on anyone’s UK list. Can you think of any other boxers who don’t get any credit what so ever? Well, Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez can’t seem to get any love from Teddy Atlas.

 

JUNE 17 & THE BEST CHINS IN BOXING

My Main Man Dougie.
Im’a get right down to brass tax here.

Let’s just ignore all the twitter pitter-patter over the next two months between Andre Ward and Sergey Kovalev and look forward to the fight.
I’m glad it got made. Kudos to Ward for making it happen and not settling into the La-Z-Boy.

The way I see it is that Ward is far and away one of the smartest boxers in the game today. Maybe smart enough to not get Krushed June 17. Kovalev actually does possess the power to KO anyone, Ward included. Now here is where it gets interesting. Are you paying attention? Because Ward cannot look for a knockout against Kovs. Not happening. So Ward has to out-hustle Kovalev for twelve rounds. Again. He is smart enough to do it see, but I’m still going with Sergey on a TKO or points victory. Meaning he would need to either of really hurt Ward or win a minimum of eight rounds on the official scorecards. Again, easier said than done against THE most intelligent athlete in the game.

Second point: we’ve seen Kovalev down and maybe hurt before, against Caparello. Who are the top-five active guys hardest to hurt in the hurt business. GGG has had a few rough goes of it. Brook comes to mind, and I heard tell that Kassim Ouma gave him a go.

Has Canelo been hurt before? Floyd “marginally disrupted” him but that doesn’t count.

Probably Ward makes the list because on second viewing of his fight with Kovalev, the second-round knockdown didn’t really seem to phase him… but maybe you’ve seen him really tested before? – Steve, Toronto, Ontario

I think Ward has a reliable chin. It can be dented, but his conditioning, will power and survival methods can see him through most wobbly moments.

Canelo was badly rocked by Miguel Cotto’s older brother, Jose, back in May 2010. The Puerto Rican veteran numbed him with a hook midway through the opening round of the fight. Canelo was never off his feet but his legs were rubbery and he fell into the ropes in a manner that could have warranted a technical knockdown call by the ref. He was rocked by some follow-up shots too. (However, I should note that Canelo, who was only 19 at the time, kept his composure, survived the round, dropped Cotto in Round 2 and proceeded to beat the vet into submission by the ninth.) Like Ward, I think Canelo has reliable whiskers, which are backed up by a cool head, good conditioning and fighting spirit.

I think Golovkin probably has the best chin in boxing right now. I’d put Leo Santa Cruz, Roman Gonzalez, Donnie Nietes and Denis Lebedev in the top five with GGG. I also think Brook (at 147 pounds), Shawn Porter, Tim Bradley, Danny Garcia and Chris Eubank Jr. also have very solid whiskers. That squat middleweight Avtandil Khurtsidze seems to be as sturdy as his nickname (“Anvil”). And Mexican junior banties Carlos Cuadras and Juan Estrada can obviously take a good shot (having locked horns with the likes of Chocolatito, Sor Rungvisai and Brian Viloria). I think Hassan Ndam has a good chin, but crappy balance. (Or maybe he just has amazing recuperative ability.) I also think Francisco Vargas can take a good shot, however his tissue-paper skin obviously cannot. Lomachenko might have a good chin, but it’s hard to tell because he’s hard to nail cleanly to the head and he’s only got nine pro bouts.

Kudos to Ward for making it happen and not settling into the La-Z-Boy. Yes, yes, let’s all congratulate Ward for honoring his contract and not quitting the sport at age 31 after 31 pro bouts.

The way I see it is that Ward is far and away one of the smartest boxers in the game today. Maybe smart enough to not get Krushed June 17. Kovalev actually does possess the power to KO anyone, Ward included. Now here is where it gets interesting. Are you paying attention? Not really. To be honest I started to glaze over with the “far and away one of the smartest boxers, blah, blah, blah…” line.

Because Ward cannot look for a knockout against Kovs. Not happening. Why not? Why not try to knock Kovalev the f__k out? You said yourself that the Russian has been down and maybe hurt against much lesser fighters. Why not try to beat him in decisive and thrilling fashion?

So Ward has to out-hustle Kovalev for twelve rounds. Again. I don’t think he did that the first time (and CompuBox stats support that opinion).

He is smart enough to do it see, but I’m still going with Sergey on a TKO or points victory. You hater.

Meaning he would need to either of really hurt Ward or win a minimum of eight rounds on the official scorecards. Um, given who the officials will likely be, I think Kovalev needs to either score a stoppage or clearly win 10 to 12 to ensure a victory. (And if he “only” wins 10 rounds he’ll still probably have to sweat out the decision announcement.)

Again, easier said than done against THE most intelligent athlete in the game. Oh stop it. You picked Kovalev, so you’re a hater (and probably a racist too).

 

LOMACHENKO, HI-TECH BUT NOT HIGH CLASS

Mr. Fischer,

Just watched Loma’s shutout vs. Sosa. Was there bad blood in the making? If not – that clowning (the matador, the bow taking after he hit Sosa’s body …) against a brave opponent is not very classy.

I think Loma was the best amateur ever and has the potential to develop into an ATG but if he doesn’t show respect to his opponents he will not earn my respect (not that I believe he needed it). How do you see that personally (and not as part of business)? – Matthias, Germany

It didn’t bug me during the fight. I noticed the antics here and there but it didn’t seem gratuitous or overly spiteful in real time.  

I don’t think there was bad blood between them but maybe Sosa’s stubborn defiance during the fight bugged Lomachenko or maybe the uber-talented Ukrainian just got bored in there. I don’t know. I’ll probably notice the taunting more if it happens in future bouts, but for the time being I’m not offended by his actions. I should note that I’ve witnessed MUCH worse from some of my favorite (and most respected) fighters, such as James Toney, Erik Morales and Fernando Vargas. They were tough, mean SOBs who were as surly as they were skilled and talented. That fight-time nastiness was just part of their personalities and competitive spirit. Roy Jones Jr., who was loved and lauded way more than Loma is currently, used to toy and taunt his opponents all the time.  

I’m not saying that I’m in favor of taunting or that it’s a good thing (although it does often bring more attention to a fighter), I just have a higher tolerance for it than you do.

 

PPV BOXING ON RINGTV

Hey Dougie,

I was pleasantly surprised to see PPV boxing being offered through RingTV.com for the recent GGG fight.

Perhaps you could tell me and other boxing fans if this will be the norm for big PPV boxing matches going forward.

I’m about ready to “cut the cord” on cable TV and save myself some hard-earned money, but I want to know there will be a ready and reliable option for PPV boxing going forward if I go this route. Ring TV offering PPV boxing on the regular would be PERFECT.

And as more and more people give up on cable TV, I’d imagine this will become a bigger and bigger revenue stream for RING TV if you keep with it, so please please *PLEASE* tell me you’re keeping this service intact going forward?? Fingers crossed. – Doug

It will continue (probably with the Canelo-Chavez Jr. show) and hopefully increase as time goes on. There will be at least two more online PPV shows hosted by RingTV.com before the end of 2017 and I expect there to be many more in 2018 (including other combat sporting events).

There will also be some interesting payment options for these online PPV shows as you’ll learn about in the coming weeks. You’ll have the option of getting way more value for your dollar than you currently do with the cable systems, I’ll just leave it at that for now.

 

BETWEEN THE ROPES

Any chance that this will or can be posted as a podcast as well?

I would love to watch / listen but taking things like this in as a live stream hinder the ability of me (and I would assume many others) to do so. Podcasts make it so easy.

I’m a big fan of you and Steve Kim since back in the 90s / HoB days and appreciate your dedication to the boxing game over the years. Thanks. – Todd Ebert

Thank you for the kind words, Todd. You dated yourself (and us), but it’s all good.

There is serious talk among the Between The Ropes producers about offering a podcast version of the new series. But first we need to nail down our schedule (episode No. 2 should go live sometime today) and garner a dedicated following (which shouldn’t take long).

I’m also a big fan of podcasts (they help make mundane tasks like washing dishes or walking the dog so much more tolerable), and Kim is the co-host of two very good boxing podcasts (The Next Round and The 3-Knockdown Rule), so this is something we’re going to push for. Hopefully it happens sooner rather than later.

 

JOSHUA-KLITSCHKO, CANELO-CHAVEZ JR.

Hey Doug,

Hope the spring is going well for you. There are some great fights already made this year, so I can’t complain. Wanted to get your take on a couple in the next month. First off, Klitschko-Joshua.

Looking back at Klitschko’s last two fights, I feel like he’s either shown age or diminished desire. Neither against Jennings or Fury, did he appear to want to engage. He’s over forty. He rarely has fought big, talented men (at least not really in recent years). I have a hard time seeing him winning this fight, unless… Anthony Joshua s__ts the bed. If AJ walks in and over-respects Wladimir, then I think we see either a jab-and-grab Klitschko victory, or a late stoppage. I just have major doubts about whether Wlad can pull the trigger anymore. He’s certainly smart enough to win this one.

Second, I want to hear your thoughts on Chavez-Alvarez. I recall you suggesting that this one is likely to go the distance. I actually tend to think the opposite. I feel like year after year, there are multiple data points that prove Chavez is a quitter. He spent most of his career in with soft or small opposition. When he faced anyone mediocre or better, he got gift decisions or lost.

I suppose I just struggle to see him coming out round after round against one of the most accurate punchers in boxing. I expect Canelo to bust him up and the ref, corner, or Chavez himself to quit around the 9th. No matter how much of a hard-working mask he puts on, I can’t see him not showing his true colors when the going gets tough. Add the toughest weight drain he’s had in years on top of it, his inactivity and questionable roster over the past two years and it seems like an impossible task to expect him to finish this fight.

Anyway, would love your in-depth thoughts on these two fights and take care man! – Vincent, Seattle, WA

I’m not going to go too in-depth in my thoughts on these fights because they’re still a few weeks away, but I’ll say this: Klitschko and Chavez are decided underdogs according to odds makers and hardcore fans, but neither should be counted out.

This year alone, how many so-called underdogs have shocked us? Leo Santa Cruz was supposedly incapable of making adjustments against Carl Frampton in their rematch, so what happens? He outboxes Framppy. Miguel Berchelt, an unproven fringe contender who had been knocked out in one round, was just a “tune-up” for Francisco Vargas who was looking at rematches with Tak Miura or Orlando Saldio. So what happened? He beat the s__t out of Vargas. Tony Bellew was just getting into the ring with David Haye for a payday, he had no chance of winning, no shot of even going more than a few rounds. But what happened? He goes rounds, does well and lasts long enough for Haye’s body to betray him – and he wins the freakin’ fight by late-rounds TKO. Daniel Jacobs is given NO shot to last the distance with Golovkin, let alone win (and this was coming from his fans and GGG haters). So what happens? He goes the distance (the first to go 12 with GGG) and makes it a very competitive fight.

What’s the lesson? We don’t know how these matchups will play out in the ring. You’re pretty much dismissing Klitschko and Chavez Jr. but how much money will you put on AJ and Canelo winning? Are you THAT sure of their victories. I bet you’re not. You’re trying really, really hard to convince yourself that the underdogs have not shot, but if you’re a longtime fan you should know better.

Looking back at Klitschko’s last two fights, I feel like he’s either shown age or diminished desire. Maybe both. He’s got a lot of miles on his odometer and he’s freakin’ rich and famous.

Neither against Jennings or Fury, did he appear to want to engage. Jennings and Fury didn’t appear to want to engage either. I don’t think that will be the case with Joshua, which should open up some interesting possibilities for both heavyweights.

Second, I want to hear your thoughts on Chavez-Alvarez. I recall you suggesting that this one is likely to go the distance. Yep, and I still think that.

I actually tend to think the opposite. That’s OK. I prefer a knockout.

I feel like year after year, there are multiple data points that prove Chavez is a quitter. He quit once, against a light heavyweight contender. Now he’s fighting a guy who’s never weighed in heavier than 155 pounds.

He spent most of his career in with soft or small opposition. Fans say the same thing about Canelo.

When he faced anyone mediocre or better, he got gift decisions or lost. He’s had some gift decisions, but he’s also had some impressive victories. He looked good against Andy Lee, Peter Manfredo Jr., John Duddy and even Sebastian Zbik (even though that WBC middleweight title fight could have gone either way).

I suppose I just struggle to see him coming out round after round against one of the most accurate punchers in boxing. I expect Canelo to bust him up and the ref, corner, or Chavez himself to quit around the 9th. So, in other words, you think Canelo is going to make Chavez Jr. look like Alfredo Angulo. OK. We’ll see. You might be right, but I think Junior is bigger, fresher and more skilled/versatile than “El Perro.”

No matter how much of a hard-working mask he puts on, I can’t see him not showing his true colors when the going gets tough. Add the toughest weight drain he’s had in years on top of it, his inactivity and questionable roster over the past two years and it seems like an impossible task to expect him to finish this fight. Vincent, calm down. Junior had a rust-shaking fight in December. Yes, he looked like warmed-over death at 168 pounds at the weigh-in, but he’s remained active since then and he’s motivated to beat Canelo. He doesn’t want to lose to a guy that a lot of Mexican fans hate. It’s ridiculous that he couldn’t get this motivated for Sergio Martinez, but human beings are petty. At the end of the day, he’s fighting a very good fighter in Canelo Alvarez. He’s not facing an all-time great. You’re acting like he’s got to face Marvin Hagler or a 164-pound version of his dad. He’s not. He’s got a shot.

 

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