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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

28
Apr

KLITSCHKO BY DECISION

Hey Doug,

I’ll make this quick. Super pumped for Saturday’s heavyweight title bout between Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko. I’m going with Klitschko by UD.

Enjoy the fight and stay well. – Robert from Ashton, MD



I’ll enjoy the fight as long as it’s entertaining and dramatic. If Joshua has his way it will be a short-but-explosive night.

If it somehow turns into a stinkfest, my guess is that your prediction will come to fruition. Props to you if you call it right, but with all due respect to Klitschko, I hope you’re wrong. Nothing against Wladdy, I’m just ready for new blood in this sport.

 

JOSHUA IN FIVE

What’s up Doug,

I know AJ isn’t a lefty like Corrie Sanders (RIP) was but he has very quick hands and throws laser shots like the late South African. Will this version of Wladdy be able to stop AJ’s onslaught and will he also force AJ to answer some questions as well?

I don’t want to see Wladdy get gashed but this is looking more and more like a coming out party for Joshua.

I have Joshua inside of five. Later brutha. – Reggie Woodard

I’m thinking Joshua between five and eight rounds, and the reason I’m going with the chalk (after being on the fence since the fight was made) is the younger man’s quick hands. I think he’ll beat Klitschko to the punch more often. It’s that simple.

But then again, it isn’t. Klitschko can likely turn this fight with one flush right hand or left hook. He could stymie AJ’s forward march (and mojo) with his hard educated jab and sap the UK star’s will with constant clinching. Wladdy could take Joshua into deep water and drown every hardcore nut’s pre-fight prediction and hope for a new heavyweight king.

Here’s a few things to keep in mind about Sanders’ two-round blitz of Klitschko: the South African was a southpaw, the shocking upset took place 14 years ago, and happened before Wladdy hooked up with the late, great Emanuel Steward.

Klitschko is not the same fighter. He’s got a mature style now and the most world-class experience of any active heavyweight. However, one thing he does not have is youth. And that’s why I agree with your take on AJ’s quick mitts getting the better of the former champ.

 

AJ AIN’T READY FOR WLADDY

Seventeen cabbies/has beens/men with boobs (both Americans had bigger, saggier tits than most 60-year-old women) and one out of shape/injured British/European-level fighter (I like Dillian Whyte by the way) does not prepare you for an athlete and a boxer as good as Wladimir.

Joshua was gifted the Olympics and gifted the title. Well s__t’s about to get real. Klitschko mid-late KO.

Keep up the good work! – Andrew, U.K.

Damn, Drew, you don’t mince words, do you? Respect for the bold pick (I can’t stand hardcore heads that go with the overwhelming odds/media favorites and then beat their chests like they’re clairvoyant geniuses after their pick comes through).

You’re being mean to Joshua’s opposition (and a bit disrespectful to elder women), but you’re not wrong. As Steve Kim has pointed out recently, we all love to ridicule the piss-poor quality of Deontay Wilder’s title reign, but AJ’s is no better. In fact, it’s worse. Wilder beat one legit top-five heavyweight (Bermane Stiverne) to win the WBC belt. He hasn’t fought a RING-rated contender since (although he was scheduled to face then-ranked Alexander Povetkin before the Russian’s VADA/WBC testing troubles last year), but he faced Eric Molina before AJ did, and he fought a solid fringe contender in Artur Szpilka. 

So, in terms of “professional resistance,” one of Kim’s favorite boxing terms, Joshua is sorely lacking.

However, here’s my question to you: Do you think Klitschko can (or is willing to) take as much punishment from Joshua as the two young men who have put up the most fight and taken him the most rounds – Whyte and Dominic Breazeale? I’m not sure he can.  

Breazeale may have his limitations but there’s no questioning his heart. Twice in heated shootouts, he’s been dropped hard but got up and raged back to stop his tormentor (Amir Mansour and Izuagbe Ugonoh). And if Whyte didn’t prove his mettle against Joshua in your view, he certainly had to with his grueling 12-round split decision war with Dereck Chisora.  

I’m not questioning Klitschko’s heart or warrior spirit or even his chin, I just don’t think at age 41 he can put himself through the kind of extended punishment those much younger heavyweights can.  

But we’ll find out tomorrow. If he does what you envision maybe he won’t need to.

KLITSCHKO WILL GET BLITZED

Hi Dougie,

I appreciate the fine work you do! I am going to keep this short and sweet.

Klitschko showed signs of decline against Bryant Jennings and against Tyson Fury he could not pull the trigger. Klitschko is a shot fighter.

Boxing fans must learn to distinguish fact from sentiment. In 1980 or ‘81 many of us governed by sentiment favored Muhammad Ali over Larry Holmes. Later we favored Sugar Ray Leonard over Terry Norris and again Leonard over Hector Camacho. The ass whipping of Bernard Hopkins by Joe Smith is hard evidence that fact over sentiment is the order of the day. – Greg from Pittsburgh

Father Time is undefeated and boxing is indeed a young man’s game, but not all Young Lion-vs.-Old Lion scenarios are alike. Roberto Duran gave Davey Moore a beating in ‘83 and six years later he outboxed/outfought/outwilled a formidable and very motivated Iran Barkley in THE RING’s Fight of the Year. And before B-Hop got clipped out and knocked out the ring by Joe Smith Jr., the wily old “Executioner” and “Alien” schooled Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal (in the rematch, he outworked him in the first bout), Tavoris Cloud and Beibut Shumenov.

Klitschko showed signs of decline against Bryant Jennings and against Tyson Fury he could not pull the trigger. Is that a fact, Greg? Yes, you’re probably right. But it’s also a fact that both Jennings and Fury spent a lot of time playing “keep-away” with Klitschko during those uneventful bouts. I don’t think AJ is going try to play keep-away with Klitschko and I don’t think tomorrow’s showdown will be uneventful.

Klitschko is a shot fighter. Is that a fact, Greg? We’ll find out tomorrow.

By the way, I’ve never watched the Holmes-Ali bout in its entirety and I don’t plan on ever doing so. And, for the record, I knew that Norris and Camacho would beat Leonard. I’ve never watched either bout in its entirety.

 

THE HEAVYWEIGHTS & SOME MYTHICAL MATCHUPS

Hey Dougie,

It’s been a while since I have checked in, but I’m visiting Cali. for a bit from South City St. Louis and I thought I’d chime in. I think Little Bro has too much experience and composure to be outright punked. Give me Klitschko in 10. Joshua is gonna get hammered by that jab and check hook and get desperate in the later rounds where he will have success but get caught cold.

MM:

Chocolatito vs Johnny Tapia

Wisaksil Wangek vs Jorge Arce

Yoko Gushiken vs Naoya Inoue

Sugar Shane who fought Oscar vs today’s top 5 Welterweights

Thanks for keeping it going after all these years. – Efrain Aguilar

Thanks for the kind words, Efrain.

I’m surprised (pleasantly) by late Klitschko picks that have finally come in among mailbag readers. 

I think hardcore fans are often too quick to dismiss underdogs. And Klitschko, with his skill, athleticism, power, intelligence and (of course) experience, should be not counted out by anyone.

Your mythical matchups:

Chocolatito vs Johnny Tapia – Tapia by close, hard-fought decision in an excellent fight 

Wisaksil Wangek vs Jorge Arce – Wangek/Sor Rungvisai by close, maybe split decision in an instant classic slugfest  

Yoko Gushiken vs Naoya Inoue – At 108 pounds (the only weight class Gushiken fought in)? Gotta go with Fierce Eagle by mid-to-late stoppage 

Sugar Shane who fought Oscar vs today’s top 5 Welterweights – the Mosley that outpointed De La Hoya at 147 pounds in 2000 vs. THE RING’s Top-5 welterweights goes like this would have made for some very good scraps. I think Sugar Shane stops Keith Thurman late (probably via body attack), outworks Kell Brook to a close decision, battles on even (sometimes ugly) terms with fellow powerlifter Shawn Porter but is busier and lands cleaner shots to earn a decision, stops the 38-year-old version of Manny Pacquiao in the late rounds, and lands the harder shots against fellow Southern Californian Tim Bradley en route to a close but unanimous decision.

 

ZOLANI TETE AND BOXING’S ‘WHAT IFS’

Hey Doug what’s up?

First of all I want to thank you for “schooling” me on my Barrera-Chocolatito comparison in my last mail lol. Your response was very informative BTW. Was very impressed with Zolani Tete’s performance against Arthur Villanueva. How do you see him against the other champs at bantamweight? I like to see him move up to 122 lbs in the future and fight Rigondeaux.

Now to my ‘what ifs’ scenarios:

  1. Manny Pacquiao fights Jeff Horn this July under Bob Arum’s Top rank for more than a decade now. But what if he signed with Golden Boy instead of Top Rank, would he be an 8-division champ if Oscar De La Hoya was his promoter?
  2. What if Mike Tyson never went to jail?
  3. What if Roy Jones continued fighting as a heavyweight after beating John Ruiz?
  4. What if Vitali Klitchko didn’t had that bad cut when he fought Lennox Lewis?

5.What if the weigh in is still on the day of the fight.

MMs:

Manny Pacquiao vs Joan Guzman @ 122 & 130

Manny Pacquiao vs Edwin Valero @ 130 &135

Ike Quartey vs Kell Brook @ 147

Jose Luis Lopez vs Keith Thurman @ 147

As always, keep up the good work Dougie.  God bless you. – Yvess

Thanks for the kind words and blessings, Yvess.

Your mythical matchups:

Manny Pacquiao vs Joan Guzman @ 122 & 130 – Guzman by close decision at 122, Pacquiao by close decision at 130

Manny Pacquiao vs Edwin Valero @ 130 & 135 – V-nom by mid-rounds KO at 130 and late TKO at 135 (Boy, I am not endearing myself to PacFans in this mailbag column, am I?)

Ike Quartey vs Kell Brook @ 147 – Quartey by close but unanimous decision

Jose Luis Lopez vs Keith Thurman @ 147 – Lopez by mid-to-late TKO

Now to my ‘what ifs’ scenarios:

  1. Manny Pacquiao fights Jeff Horn this July under Bob Arum’s Top Rank for more than a decade now. But what if he signed with Golden Boy instead of Top Rank? Would he be an 8-division champ if Oscar De La Hoya was his promoter? I don’t think Pacquiao would have become an eight-division titleholder under the Golden Boy Promotions banner but I don’t think his legend would have been diminished in any way by fighting for De La Hoya, in fact, in some ways I think the Filipino Icon would’ve earned more hardcore cred on the other side of the promotional street. Arum was really the architect of Pacquiao’s climb to welterweight and, of course, the somewhat bogus WBC 154-pound title bout with Antonio Margarito. Golden Boy thought they had signed Pac in late 2006 when Manny was still fighting at 130 pounds. I believe GBP would have kept Pacquiao at 130 and 135 pounds for a long time. And I think he would have had many good fights against quality cats at those more natural weights, including his series with Juan Manuel Marquez, a showdown with Joan Guzman, and I even think they would have figured out a way to make my ultimate hardcore fantasy match against Edwin Valero. Eventually, probably at Freddie Roach’s behest, I think Pacquiao would jump to 140 pounds and take on Ricky Hatton but my guess is that he wouldn’t have fought heavier than that had he signed on with GBP.
  2. What if Mike Tyson never went to jail?I think he would have burnt out completely and would have been finished with the sport by the mid-90s. He was out of control. And I think Holyfield would have beat him had their originally scheduled showdown in ’91 taken place.
  3. What if Roy Jones continued fighting as a heavyweight after beating John Ruiz? It depends on who he fought. If he fought the 2003 version of Evander Holyfield, he likely would have beat the Real Deal and could have retired right after the fight and been considered one of the greatest fighters of all time by a lot of fans and pundits. If he fought someone like the late Corrie Sanders (which was on the table for him, as was the Holyfield fight), I think he would have gotten KTFO. If he fought a tricky dude like Chris Byrd, he would have looked poor and maybe been upset by the crafty, gutsy southpaw. I don’t think Jones could have campaigned at heavyweight for very long before being rudely reminded that he really didn’t belong there.
  4. What if Vitali Klitchko didn’t had that bad cut when he fought Lennox Lewis? He probably would have stopped Lewis in Round 7 or 8.

5.What if the weigh in is still on the day of the fight. Boxers would either have to campaign in their natural divisions or control their weight better between fights.

Was very impressed with Zolani Tete’s performance against Arthur Villanueva. The South African is truly world class. I’m glad he’s got his hands on that WBO title. It will help him land significant fights.

How do you see him against the other champs at bantamweight? I’d favor him against all of them but THE RING/WBC champ Shinsuke Yamanaka.

I like to see him move up to 122 lbs in the future and fight Rigondeaux. Me too. I’ve been saying this for a few years now in this mailbag column, but I’ll repeat it: If the best at 122 pounds don’t want to f__k with Rigo and if the Cuban doesn’t want to fight featherweights, the best thing for his career is for his management/promoter to try to entice the top bantamweights to step up and challenge him.

 

HAVE FANS GONE NUTS?

Hi Dougie,

Hope you’re well mate!

Has the world gone nuts?

I love AJ to bits, but this is Wladimir Klitschko we are talking about!

Wlad has seen it all. He ain’t gonna be intimidated by the muscles, or AJ trying to stalk him down, or the speed etc. etc. ….

Wlad’s been down and out before and knows how to deal with fighters who might have a few extra tools than him.

I was never really a fan of how Wlad fought however he won me over with the win over David Haye. That was a very dangerous version of the Haymaker. Wlad took his best punches (broken toe and all). Also he jumped on Haye from round one. I did not expect nor thought Wlad could or would do that.

I think Wlad will surprise us again and do something spectacular, in style, with a mid-late KO!

AJ was wobbled by Dillian from an upper cut, which wasn’t a massive shot. How will his chin stand up to Klitschko? and Klitschko will find it.

Conversely as I mentioned Wlad has taken and survived shots from a very heavy handed David Haye.

Of course credit to AJ. He did survive and recover from Dillian’s uppercut, but can he do that after receiving a more accurate and heaver shot from Wlad, and fight off Wlad trying to finish him? A big ask for AJ I think.

I know what most of the media are saying. They are not ignoring this, but reminding us this all happened a long time ago.

Is Wlad still up to it?

I think he is. I think he had a bad night against Tyson. Something was up and he is just too damn classy to make excuses.

Not taking anything away from Fury, he did frustrate Klitschko in the build-up, and I believe it did get to him, but still….

I seem to be lone voice but I hope the fight lives up to the hype.

What are your thoughts on how the division may now pan out now Fury Vs Parker is now off, and we potentially may get Wilder Vs Parker?

It’s interesting as all the current belt holders, AJ, Wilder and Parker, have all been employed as sparing partners for Klitschko in the past.

Winner takes all at the end of the year!

I boldly predict that Wladimir Klitschko will be the man standing at the top of the mountain once again.

Either way I am one content boxing fan! The best are fighting the best, and the cream will rise to the top. Throw in Bellew, Ortiz, Haye, Dillian and even Tyson Fury into the mix and the Heavyweight division is on a high! Long may it last!

Some MM:

Today’s AJ Vs 1974 version of Forman (Pre-Ali fight)

The version of Klitschko that beat Haye Vs 2000 version of Lenox Lewis

1989 Michael Keaton Batman Vs Christian Bale’s Dark Night?

1979 Darth Vader Vs 2016 Kyol Ren?

Keep up the good work. – Tabraze, London

Thanks, I’ll get to your mythical matchups first:

Young Foreman puts today’s version of Joshua to sleep. Don’t forget, Big George was 39-0 with 36 knockouts when he demolished Ken Norton in 1974 before the Rumble In The Jungle.

2000 Lewis KOs most versions of Klitschko.

Bale Dark Night makes Keaton Batman his bitch.

Vader give that Rodrick-from-the-new-Wimpy-Kid-flick-looking Ren an old-granddad-behind-the-woodshed ass whuppin’.

Has the world gone nuts? Yes, it has. It’s not just the boxing world.

I love AJ to bits, but this is Wladimir Klitschko we are talking about! 1996 Olympic gold medalist! PhD holder! Former (two-time) WBO, IBF, WBA and RING heavyweight champ! Hayden Panettiere’s baby daddy! Dr. Mother-F__kin’ Steelhammer!

Wlad has seen it all. He ain’t gonna be intimidated by the muscles, or AJ trying to stalk him down, or the speed etc. etc. …. Shannon Briggs’ crazy ass can’t even ruffle his feathers.

Wlad’s been down and out before and knows how to deal with fighters who might have a few extra tools than him. Well… I don’t know about that. He sure has hell didn’t know what the f__k to do with Tyson Fury.

I was never really a fan of how Wlad fought however he won me over with the win over David Haye. All that fight made me realize was that Haye is one shrewd bulls__ter and that Wladdy wouldn’t have fared well at all in the 1970s.

That was a very dangerous version of the Haymaker. I guess.

Wlad took his best punches (broken toe and all). Also he jumped on Haye from round one. He did? I don’t recall all this action. Maybe I should watch the fight again… NAH!

I think Wlad will surprise us again and do something spectacular, in style, with a mid-late KO! From your lips to God’s ears, my man.

AJ was wobbled by Dillian from an uppercut, which wasn’t a massive shot. It was a hook. I don’t think AJ saw it, but he handled the disorientation fairly well in my opinion.

How will his chin stand up to Klitschko? and Klitschko will find it. We’ll find out tomorrow.

Conversely as I mentioned Wlad has taken and survived shots from a very heavy handed David Haye. No disrespect to Haye but I think Joshua will approach his showdown with Klitschko with more confidence, and he’s got the size to contend with the former champ.

I think he had a bad night against Tyson. Something was up and he is just too damn classy to make excuses. Maybe. I’ve heard things….

What are your thoughts on how the division may now pan out now Fury Vs Parker is now off, and we potentially may get Wilder Vs Parker? We ain’t getting’ Wilder-Parker. I think we’ll have a better view of the division after Saturday.

It’s interesting as all the current belt holders, AJ, Wilder and Parker, have all been employed as sparing partners for Klitschko in the past. Very, very interesting… and don’t think for one second that Wladdy wasn’t taking meticulous mental notes during those sessions.

 

JOSHUA-KLITSCHKO & CANELO-CHAVEZ JR.

Hi Doug! As usual I hope you and your love ones are good and thanks for all the Hard work-Dedication that you have for us boxing fans.

Quick question: If the Klitschko brothers were born in the USA, do you think he would be consider the favorite? I’m a fan of both brothers. They truly are good ambassadors of boxing, inside and outside the ring, they speak multiple languages and I think they have PhDs. How big do you think they would have been in America?

I’m really intrigued for Klitschko-Joshua. I must admit that I haven’t seen that much of Joshua (I don’t think any of his fights have been on Mexican TV, but at least we don’t have PPVs), only YouTube highlights and his fight with Whyte. I know I can’t judge a fighter from just one fight, if that were the case Klitschko shouldn’t be fighting. Only one question remains in my mind: at this stage of his career, can Klitschko do what Whyte did? I think he can and that’s why I’m going with Klitscho. A fighter needs to have fights longer than 7 rounds to defeat a boxer like Klitschko. So I’m going with Klitschko.

As much intrigued as I am with Klitschko-Joshua, my mind is on Canelo-Chavez. Im from Culiacan and it is hard to not root for Chavez Jr. I can’t help it, I really want Chavez to win, and seeing a “motivated” Chavez helps me to think that way, but Chavez is trying to lose weight, and I don’t know how much it will hurt him. I have been naive and believed in the Chavez narrative before but not this time.

El Terrible said that in the first few rounds Chavez has a chance, but I just can’t see that happening and not because Canelo has greater abilities (I think Canelo is better than most people think, but not as good as he thinks). If Chavez were as professional as Canelo, I think that with his reach, length and power he could break Canelo down, but he isn’t so Chavez will fade, or start complaining to the referee, or simply fail to put enough pressure on Canelo.

Hope I made the mailbag, and hope I don’t get too much heat from Chavez Jr. groupies. For the record I am a BIG Fan of “El Leon de Culiacan”, “Mr. KO”, “El Gran Campeón Mexicano”: Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. – Salomón Gaxiola

I don’t think even the staunchest Canelo hater can fault you for doubting Chavez Jr., Salomon. He deserves to be the underdog vs. Canelo, despite his accomplishments, experience and greater size. But who knows? This might be the year of the underdog. How many upsets have happened so far this year? You’re picking Klitschko to upset Joshua. Most of the media are pissing on Wladdy’s chances.

Anyway, no disrespect to Erik Morales but I see a distance fight on May 6. I don’t think Chavez Jr. has the kind of one-hitter-quitter power to blast out Canelo (who has good defensive skills), and I don’t think Canelo hits hard enough (or puts on enough pressure) to break down Junior or convince the son of the legend to quit. The only way I see the fight not going the distance is if Chavez Jr. is totally spent from making 164.5 pounds and even if that’s the case I still think he will last past the early rounds.

If the Klitschko brothers had been born in America and developed on U.S. television I think they would be as popular here as they are currently in Germany. I don’t think they’d be national heroes in the U.S. they way they are in their native Ukraine, and I don’t think they’d be as popular or iconic as Muhammad Ali or Mike Tyson, but I believe with their talent, accomplishments/dominance, bright personalities and charitable work, they’d be bona-fide celebrities.

 

 

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

 

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