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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Photo by Naoki Fukuda
04
Aug

RESPECT TO WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO

Hi Dougie,

I have to say, I’m really happy for Wladdy for his retirement and will be sad to see him go. I’ll always have a soft spot for him because of the way he conducted himself inside and outside of the ring. Like the true champ that he is, he bounced back from disappointing losses to have one of the most dominant runs in the sport. More importantly for me, he was always classy and respected the sport.

Unfortunately, he never got the respect he deserves, and I’m not sure he ever will. His in-the-ring style wasn’t always the most fan friendly. And he’ll always be a victim of the era that he fought in – he dominated, but in an era far removed from the golden age of heavyweights. Where do you rank him among the all-time heavyweights? – Paul

I don’t rank him among the top 10, maybe not even in the top 15. It’s been awhile since I’ve taken the time to compile my choice for greatest heavyweights of all time – and the last time I did it, Klitschko was in the midst of rebuilding his career and reinventing his style with the guidance of the late, great Emanuel Steward after his devastating loss to Lamon Brewster, so he wasn’t a factor. (Maybe, given his stats and longevity, he’s worthy of cracking the top 10 or top 15 of the greatest heavyweight CHAMPIONS of all time. I’ll have to revisit those rankings.)

I’ll say this for Klitschko, he’s done more than enough to be considered one of the best heavyweights of his era, definitely among the top 10 big men of the last 30 years, and he’s without a doubt a first-ballot hall of famer.

Beyond the numbers, I admire him for the character he showed in bouncing back from TKO losses to Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Brewster. And I really appreciate the class, dignity and friendliness with which he always conducted himself – on and off the record, in public and in private.

However, his stats and accomplishments stand on their own. For starters, Klitschko won enough world heavyweight titles to be universally recognized at THE champion of his division. That’s rare in this era. And he had significant longevity and dominance, another rarity of this era. He made five defenses during his first WBO title reign, and 18 defenses of the IBF belt. Only the great Joe Louis and Larry Holmes made more consecutive title defenses that Klitschko did during his IBF run, which lasted from April 2006 to November 2015. Only the Brown Bomber reigned longer.

Klitschko unified IBF, WBO and WBA titles, and earned THE RING championship. He fought 14 men who held world titles (and beat 11 of them). He fought 14 unbeaten fighters, including former amateur standouts Sultan Ibragimov and Ruslan Chagaev, and defeated 12 of them.

These stats and accomplishments are impressive. However, when you measure a boxer against the best of all time, you must take a closer look at his competition. And, as you noted, Klitschko’s era of heavyweights pale in comparison to the big men who fought during the 1990s (never mind the heavyweight Golden Age of the 1970s). He fought some good boxers, but he never met any great fighters. And some of the notable titleholders and contenders he beat – such as Chris Byrd (who he beat to earn his first WBO belt and the IBF title), David Haye (from whom he yanked the WBA strap), Jean Marc Mormeck and Eddie Chambers – were woefully undersized by modern heavyweight standards. And former standouts Hasim Rahman, Ray Mercer and Frans Botha were older than dirt when they fought Klitschko.

And, finally, we have to look at who he won the titles from – Byrd, Haye and Ibragimov. Not exactly Sonny Liston and George Foreman, eh? And the men who beat him in his prime sure as hell aren’t Joe Frazier or Ken Norton, right? Heck, they don’t even compare to Trevor Berbick, Bonecrusher Smith, Tony Tucker and Buster Douglas.

But none of this is Klitschko’s fault. He fought the best his era had to offer, lost some, won most (by stoppage) and dominated for a near-10-year stretch. Not too shabby. And I disagree that he’ll never get the respect he deserves. I think the way he went out against Anthony Joshua – who just might develop into something truly special – won over his most ardent critics and haters.

 

GARCIA-BRONER, LOMACHENKO, BRADLEY

Hi Dougie,

1) Joking aside, Adrien Broner came in good shape, he tried to win and he was able to take some rounds but ultimately, he was outboxed by a much more skilled fighter. He will never to be “the next MoneyMay” but he can give exciting fights.

Garcia proves once again that he is a terrific fighter. If he chooses to stay at 140 and to face the Crawford-Indongo winner, it’s great. But I usually prefer that a fighter try to clean out his own weight division before moving on. The lightweight division has many good talents, not to mention the 130-pound talents who can climb weight (especially Lomachenko).

2) Talk of Lomachenko: Miguel Marriaga is a pretty good fighter but it’s somewhat a step back. I think Golden Boy wants to make Berchelt-Corrales, Salido don’t want the fight, and Mayweather wants more time for Tank Davis (I can’t blame him). If the Ukrainian can’t have the top guys, why not test the water at 135? A veteran like Ray Beltran or the Flanagan/Verdejo winner will be good. Ultimately, Garcia-Lomachenko is still my dream fight.

3) A little disappointed that Joshua-Klitschko is not going to happen now. Wlad fought nearly everybody. I have no doubt he will to go in Hall of Fame.

Tim Bradley will probably to be remembered for his controversial win against PacMan but he deserves so much more. His resume at 140 is very good, the only name lacking is Amir Khan. (I picked Tim for the win.) His performance in the Juan Manuel Marquez fight was excellent. Bradley was a very skilled guy with a lion heart and sometimes a tendency to brawl too much for his own good. I believe that he too will have the opportunity to go to the HOF.

I wish them the best.

4) The WBC just ordered Shawn Porter-Danny Garcia. Yes, Porter has to beat Thomas Dulorme first (probable). Porter’s style is maybe tailor made for Garcia but Showtime has the will and the athletic talent for take the win!

I hope summer is going well for you.

MM:

Tim Bradley VS Shawn Porter @147

Tim Bradley VS Terence Crawford @140

Roberto Duran vs Antonio Cervantes @140

Thanks. – Antoine Aubin

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and opinions, Double A.

I’ll start with your mythical matchups:

Tim Bradley vs Shawn Porter @147 – Bradley by majority or split decision (if he doesn’t get pulled into slugging it out, and I don’t believe he would)

Tim Bradley vs Terence Crawford @140 – Crawford by close UD

Roberto Duran vs Antonio Cervantes @140 – Duran by late stoppage in a tough and difficult fight for Hands of Stone

Adrien Broner came in good shape, he tried to win and he was able to take some rounds but ultimately, he was outboxed by a much more skilled fighter. No shame in that. There aren’t many active boxers that are more technically refined and disciplined as Garcia.

He will never to be “the next MoneyMay” but he can give exciting fights. I’m OK with that. I’m not looking for the next “Money May.” I’m more appreciative of entertaining fighters.

Garcia proves once again that he is a terrific fighter. If he chooses to stay at 140 and to face the Crawford-Indongo winner, it’s great. But I usually prefer that a fighter try to clean out his own weight division before moving on. Me too. Unless he has a hard time making 135 pounds, I see no reason why Garcia shouldn’t look to unify titles against Robert Easter Jr., Jorge Linares and Terry Flanagan.

Talk of Lomachenko: Miguel Marriaga is a pretty good fighter but it’s somewhat a step back. I agree, but I’m still looking forward to watching him work his magic against a determined pro on ESPN. However, after this showcase on The Worldwide Leader in Sports, I think it’s imperative that Top Rank and ESPN do whatever it takes to bring a notable and worthy opponent into the ring against Lomachenko.

I think Golden Boy wants to make Berchelt-Corrales, Salido don’t want the fight, and Mayweather wants more time for Tank Davis (I can’t blame him). You’re probably right about Davis and Salido, and I’m totally fine with that. Davis is still too green for Lomachenko and Siri is too battle-worn for the Ukrainian badass. However, you’re just speculating about Golden Boy’s plans, and you should keep in mind that Miguel Berchelt is promoted by Zanfer, which used to do a lot of business with Top Rank. I think the physically imposing and surprisingly versatile WBC titleholder is a worthy future adversary for Lomachenko and

Should Vasyl Lomachenko rise to lightweight and fight a contender like Ray Beltran? Photo / Top Rank

that’s a unification bout that I want to see.

If the Ukrainian can’t have the top guys, why not test the water at 135? A veteran like Ray Beltran or the Flanagan-Verdejo winner will be good. I guess that’s cool, and I’m sure Beltran and the WBO beltholder would welcome the challenge, spotlight and payday, but we don’t know if all the top 130 pounders are truly unavailable. Not yet, anyway.

Ultimately, Garcia-Lomachenko is still my dream fight. Yeah, that’s one I want to see, too, but only after these two face a fellow badass or two in the weight classes where they currently hold world titles. I get a little sick of the division hopping of the modern era, which can sometimes be a way of avoiding tough fights.

A little disappointed that Joshua-Klitschko is not going to happen now. Wlad fought nearly everybody. I have no doubt he will to go in Hall of Fame. Neither do I. He’s got my vote.

Tim Bradley will probably to be remembered for his controversial win against PacMan but he deserves so much more. His resume at 140 is very good, the only name lacking is Amir Khan. (I picked Tim for the win.) I think Khan would have given Timmy a very tough fight. Khan generally shined against boxers who lacked world-class punching power. But I can envision Bradley outhustling the talented speed merchant.

His performance in the Juan Manuel Marquez fight was excellent. Yes, it was. I’m glad I was ringside for that performance because I think it’s arguably the best of his career.

Bradley was a very skilled guy with a lion heart and sometimes a tendency to brawl too much for his own good. True, but that brawling instinct of his made for some fantastic fights, including his junior welterweight showdowns with Lamont Peterson and Kendal holt and his unforgettable Fight of the Year against Ruslan Provodnikov (another bout that I’m honored to have witnessed live).

I believe that he too will have the opportunity to go to the HOF. Absolutely. He’s at the very least a borderline inductee. I think he’d got my vote.

The WBC just ordered Shawn Porter-Danny Garcia. Good for them! I don’t care what Canelo says, I like the WBC.

Yes, Porter has to beat Thomas Dulorme first (probable). Go Porter!

Porter’s style is maybe tailor made for Garcia but Showtime has the will and the athletic talent for take the win! I agree, and I want to see this fight.

 

THOMAS HAUSER IS SPOT ON

Hi Doug,

Hope you’re well.

I’ve read the three articles by Thomas Hauser on the MayMac circus published on RingTV.com this week and I have to admit, I couldn’t agree more.

To be honest I was caught up “a little” in the build-up, before the press tour. “We know he’s not a boxer, but he a fighter” and “Can Floyd still do it at 40”? And I thought for 20 Quid, why not. It’s not boxing, it’s entertainment, like WWE, except they will really be “or trying” to land and fight.

But after the press tour it’s very sad that the networks, sanctioning bodies, etc., didn’t penalise or even condemn the actions of either fighter.

Now over this side of the pound, we use a phrase “it’s just not cricket”. This saying has deep meaning to me. Go lookup Sir Garfield Sobers and Michael Holding, players from West Indies who really lifted their sport in a time when racism was much more wide spread.

Now racism is being used to sell an event? In 2017??

I was also particularly disappointed that Eddie Herm and Sky sports picked up the PPV in the UK. They do a great job for boxing, and Eddie in particular has done great work. He talks a lot about “making good matches” and “the best fighting the best” and the “integrity” of boxing.

So why entertain this? In an interview with iFLTV he stated that if Sky didn’t show it someone in the UK would. My question to Eddie would be if you care so much about “making good matches” and “the best fighting the best” and the “integrity” of boxing then why do this? Clearly it’s all about making as much money as possible from the public from watching the best in the sport fighting the lowest risk opponent possible. Sky sports presenters, like Adam Smith and Jonny Nelson are looking very silly trying to sell this IMO.

Thomas Hauser brilliantly explained how much of a mismatch this fight actually will be. His examples of  “The marathon and 100-meter dash both involve running. But the most accomplished marathon runner in the world wouldn’t stand a chance against an elite sprinter in a 100-meter dash”, and “The shot put and javelin both involve throwing things as far as possible. But the best javelin thrower in the world wouldn’t be competitive in a field of elite shot putters”, and “Could the best ping-pong player in the world beat Roger Federer at Wimbledon? Of course, not. Why not? Because they’re different sports”. It really sums up how much of a mismatch this will be.

Bad for boxing? Yes! Floyd will sit back and make McGregor miss for 12 rounds. And it will turn off casual fans worse than MayPac.

And it’s sad that Floyd will use this to push his promotion company after retiring from boxing.

ODH attracted boxers to GBP partly through the type of boxer he was. Floyd is putting two fingers up and saying “I’ll make you the most money, for the least risk and f**k the fans” IMO.

Thomas Hauser’s last comment in his third article was strong. “This is not a time to glorify and financially reward people who demean others by calling them “b***h,” “ho,” “boy,” “c**t”and “f**got.” Every person who buys or otherwise supports the Mayweather-McGregor pay-per-view is doing just that.”. Again it’s strong but I totally agree. I won’t be buying or watching it.

I’ll be watching Cotto Vs Kamegai and looking forward to Alvarez Vs GGG and AJ Vs Klitschko. 2017 will go still go down as a vintage year for boxing! Sorry for the long rant. Keep up the good work. – Tabraze, London, UK

Thanks Trabaze. No need to apologize for going on a long rant (as you know I’m a long-winded fool), but all you really had to say was what you put in your final paragraph – that you’ll be watching Cotto-Kamegai and you’re looking forward to Canelo-Golovkin (Joshua-Klitschko II is no longer on the menu but 2017 is still an amazing year for the sport).

This year in boxing has been too good so far, and has too many excellent matchups lined up after Aug. 26, for the Mayweather-McGregor spectacle to do any significant damage to the sport.

Photo / Esther Lin-Vox Media

I don’t blame anyone for ripping it, but I also don’t blame anyone for being into it or curious about watching it. It’s just a brash attempt to create a transcendent combat sports event that will make the participants and organizers a lot of money. Officially, it’s a boxing match, but it’s not boxing; and it’s not MMA, so there no reason for boxing fans and MMA fans to be at each other’s throats over it and there’s no reason for the boxing industry to feel threatened by it. Mayweather-McGregor is its own unique exhibition that essentially operates in its own universe.  That’s my opinion, anyway.

To be honest I was caught up “a little” in the build-up, before the press tour. That’s understandable. It was everywhere. People who don’t follow sports at all were aware of it.

“We know he’s not a boxer, but he a fighter” and “Can Floyd still do it at 40”? And I thought for 20 Quid, why not. It’s not boxing, it’s entertainment, like WWE, except they will really be “or trying” to land and fight. Well, that’s certainly one way to think about it.

But after the press tour it’s very sad that the networks, sanctioning bodies, etc., didn’t penalise or even condemn the actions of either fighter. I can’t speak for MMA or the UFC but in general, the state commissions that govern boxing in the U.S. do not penalize boxers or their teammates unless there is genuine physical contact (bordering on assault) between them.

Now racism is being used to sell an event? In 2017?? Yeah. That surprises you (especially given who the combatants are)? Really? I don’t mean to get all preachy on you, but come on, racism is still used to fuel national political races (and I’m not just talking about the 2016 U.S. presidential election, I mean in Europe, your neck of the woods, and other parts of the world).

I was also particularly disappointed that Eddie Herm and Sky sports picked up the PPV in the UK. Why? They didn’t have anything to do with the crud that came out of Mayweather and McGregor’s pie holes during the public press tour.

They do a great job for boxing, and Eddie in particular has done great work. He talks a lot about “making good matches” and “the best fighting the best” and the “integrity” of boxing. So why entertain this? BECAUSE HE’S A PROMOTER and he’s got a good working relationship with Sky Sports. They’re in the entertainment business and they want to attract as much money and eye balls as they can.

In an interview with iFLTV he stated that if Sky didn’t show it someone in the UK would. My question to Eddie would be if you care so much about “making good matches” and “the best fighting the best” and the “integrity” of boxing then why do this? Again, Trabraze, he’s a promoter, not a politician. He’s not running for any sort of public office, so you don’t need to take him at his word or bother to hold him accountable for everything he says. This isn’t that big of a deal.

Sky sports presenters, like Adam Smith and Jonny Nelson are looking very silly trying to sell this IMO. And it’s OK if you feel sorry for them, but just know that after Aug. 26 they’ll get to go back to analyzing and commentating on real boxing. They’ll live through this and they’ll get over it. I promise.

Thomas Hauser brilliantly explained how much of a mismatch this fight actually will be. Hauser is a brilliant writer and we’re proud to showcase his talents here on RingTV.com. However, every rational individual even remotely aware of this exhibition knows this is a gross mismatch. That’s what really sucks about this fake fight. Pretty much everyone – from Twitter trolls to talking heads on ESPN – are saying the SAME things about “MayMac,” and they’re making the same sports analogies to illustrate how McGregor has NO shot. And guess what? For at least a full week after Aug. 26, we’re going to have to suffer through non-stop “I told you sos” from the several million people worldwide who picked Mayweather to win. It will all be very lame, but it will also pass. In the days leading into Sept. 9, everyone who loves boxing will be firmly focused on the sport and the many good fights scheduled on that date.

Bad for boxing? Yes! Floyd will sit back and make McGregor miss for 12 rounds. And it will turn off casual fans worse than MayPac. I don’t think it will. Mayweather-Pacquaio had been talked about for five years and it involved two future boxing hall of famers. This is different and it’s come with an unprecedented amount of “buyer-beware” warnings from thousands of sports pundits around the world.

And it’s sad that Floyd will use this to push his promotion company after retiring from boxing. I don’t that’s sad at all. It’s what he should do. It’s what he needs to do. I hope his fighters benefit from it. If so, that will be the only good to come out the nonsense (because I could honestly care less how much money he and Conor personally clear).

ODH attracted boxers to GBP partly through the type of boxer he was. Floyd is putting two fingers up and saying “I’ll make you the most money, for the least risk and f**k the fans” IMO. So what else is new?

I won’t be buying or watching it. And I respect that. But I won’t lose any respect for anyone who wants to watch it.

 

IS ADRIEN BRONER A HALL OF FAMER?

Got a question for you. I read an article on Fighthype by the rapper Glasses Malone. He claims Adrien Broner “is” a hall of famer based on the fact he’s a 4-division titleholder (he said “champion” but Broner was more like a titleholder in those divisions in my opinion). Do you think he should make the hall because he was the youngest fighter supposedly to accomplish such a feat? – Reno

Good Lord, no! Being a four-division titleholder is nothing to scoff at but the accomplishment means a lot less in the 2010s than it did in the 1980s (when Thomas Hearns, Roberto Duran and Sugar Ray Leonard did it). And it certainly doesn’t hold the significance that being a multi-division champ did when there was only one recognized world champion in eight divisions; when all-time greats such as Tony Canzoneri and Henry Armstrong became boxing legends by winning titles in three weight classes.

These days, as I’m sure you’re aware, there’s four major world title sanctioning organizations (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO) and 17 weight classes, so if a talented fighter like Broner is going to division hop, I believe that the quality of his opposition is more important than title collecting. (Side note: Can you imagine how many world titles in different divisions men like Billy Conn and Sugar Ray Robinson would have collected had there been “junior”/”super” divisions and more than one belt in each weight class when they were fighting?)

So, who did Broner beat to win his world titles? You can go to Boxrec.com as easily as I (or Glasses Malone) can. (But I don’t need to.) The most notable/accomplished fighter Broner beat for a major title is Paulie Malignaggi, who he outpointed via split nod for the WBA welterweight strap in 2013, but even that decision was debatable. After Malignaggi, who do we have? Antonio DeMarco? He was a solid but unspectacular WBC lightweight beltholder best known for losing to the late Edwin Valero and rallying to stop Jorge Linares on cuts in a fight he was soundly losing after 10 rounds. The other two guys Broner beat for major belts honestly aren’t worth mentioning.

And the other top contenders that Broner faced (Maidana, Porter, Garcia) beat him. That’s not a hall of famer resume. But hey, Broner’s only 28. Klitschko had three losses on his record when he was that age and he was able to turn things around when he was 30. If Broner can do the same, pick a division, stay there and dominate until he’s in his late 30s, maybe he’ll be a lock for the hall of fame as our man Wladdy is.     

 

 

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

 

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