Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Carl Frampton, heavyweight matchups – mythical and potential)
CARL FRAMPTON (AND HIS “TWIN”)
Looking forward to seeing Carl Frampton in back in the ring. Him and Leo Santa Cruz brought back a bit of the old Barrera-Morales magic (versatile technician who can brawl vs lanky puncher who can box)…still hoping for a Frampy-Santa Cruz trilogy.
Anyway, Carl Frampton and Chris Algieri: has there ever been two (unrelated) boxers who looked so similar?
Have you ever done a list of “twins” who happen to be a few weight divisions apart?
- A) Its seriously freaky…and B) How cool would be to meet a featherweight version of yourself? (I walk around at 160lbs). How about a list of boxing “twins” for the mailbag?
Keep up the great work, been reading since the Maxboxing days…it was a great education for a fledgling boxing fan in the late 1990s. Kind regards. – Grouchy Macphearson, Ontario, Canada
Thanks for the kind words, Grouch.
Every now and then I’ll be watching a fight on TV or from ringside and think to myself “This guy looks like a ____weight version of _____,” but I can’t think of any examples off the top of my head.
Earlier in the year (or maybe late last year), Vinnie Paz (the rapper, not the former boxer) pointed out that lightweight up-and-comer Ryan Martin looks just like former junior middleweight and middleweight super-puncher Julian Jackson via Twitter. It cracked me up because Martin always reminded me of a fighter from a previous decade but I could never put my finger on who it was. It was “The Hawk”!
I do see the resemblance between Frampton and Algieri but I think it has more to do with their good beards (and I’m not talking about their ability to take a punch) than it does their facial features.
Anyway, I’ll give the “unrelated boxing twins” list some thought over the weekend and maybe the good folks who comment in the Disqus section below this column will come up with some examples, and then I’ll present the best matches in the Monday mailbag.
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to Frampton’s return as much as you are. I thought he’d engage in at least two major featherweight showdowns in 2017, maybe three, but this year has been a frustrating disappointment to the 2016 RING magazine Fighter of the Year. It’s hard to believe that he hasn’t fought since his rematch loss to Santa Cruz in January.
At age 30, Frampy’s prime is right now. He needs to make the best of it. At least he’s returning to his hometown of Belfast, where he hasn’t fought since stopping Chris Avalos in February 2015. The crowd there should be boisterous to say the least, and Horacio Garcia should make for an entertaining scrap.
If Frampy comes through, I look forward to seeing him challenge the likes of Oscar Valdez, Lee Selby or the winner of the Santa Cruz-Mares rematch next year.
U.K. PROMOTIONAL SHIFT
With Carl Frampton, Lee Selby and James DeGale recently opting to be promoted by Frank Warren I just wanted to get your thoughts on what is happening regarding promoters in the U.K. Do you see some kind of shift going on and if so, why do you think this is?
Best wishes. – Damian, Hertford, U.K.
Well, Damian, you can never count an old veteran of the game like Warren out. He’s more Bob Arum than Don King (his U.S. “partner in crime” during the hot ‘90s) in terms of keeping his edge as he ages. Warren knows boxing. He’s good at developing talent (while building fan bases), he knows how to make TV deals, and he’s usually willing to work with other major promoters (when the pay-off is big enough).
Eddie Hearn has been the big-dog promoter in Britain for the past five or six years (and he’s generally credited for sparking the resurgence of the U.K. boxing scene) but Warren never went away, and there’s only so much talent and so many shows that one promotional company can deal with before some fighters fall by the wayside. Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing is now making a foray into the U.S. market (and signing American boxers, such as Daniel Jacobs), which might open up some more room in Britain for Warren. Time will tell, but I view Warren’s rise as a good thing. Competition is good. I think it’s better for the U.K. to have two major promoters than one.
TUA VS. TYSON – IN THE 90S
A short one for you. David Tua (prime) vs Iron Mike (prE-Vander but post prime circa 1996)?
PS: You know I deserve to make the cut with that prE-vander pun
PPS: My hometown boy David Lemieux better KTFO of BJS Dec 16th. I’ll be there watching.
PPPS: For all the non Frenchies, it’s not pronounced Lemoo. Phonetically it’s like this: Lem-yer. (not perfect but much closer)
Keep the mailbags coming! – Joel in Montreal
Will do, Joel. Thanks for the pronunciation lesson. I’ll try to put it into practice if I wind up working that show.
And, yes, you deserved to have this mythical matchup published just for that excellent “prE-Vander” pun. Well done.
Finally, thanks for keeping it short. (That doesn’t happen often in the mailbag.)
When folks talked about Tua fighting Tyson in the late ‘90s (when both were briefly under the ill-fated America Presents promotional banner), I heavily favored the New Zealand-based Samoan. I figured his formidable punching power (and ability to deliver it from Tyson’s eye level) would earn respect in the early rounds when Iron Mike was most dangerous and Tua’s granite chin would enable him to outlast the battle-worn veteran. I thought Tua had the ability to stop Tyson in the late rounds of a very good fight. But that was the post-Holyfield version of Tyson.
If you matched prime Tua with post-prime but pre-Holyfield Tyson, I think it would have been an even better heavyweight scrap because the Brooklyn superstar had more speed and edge at that time. However, I don’t think he had the desire to battle it out with a hungry young gun like the TuaMan, who could take an incredible shot. I still favor Tua by late stoppage. Tyson would get the better of him early on because he had faster hands (and better ring generalship), but Tua would hurt him when he eventually landed (and though the New Zealander became slow and plodding later in his career, he had fairly quick mitts – as well as high punch output – in his prime). By the middle rounds, I think Tyson’s mind would be elsewhere and his will to win gradually drop off.
I now invite Tyson fans to call me names in the comment section below. Enjoy!
THREE QUICK QUESTIONS
Three quick questions:
- Do you really think Big Baby Miller has a chance against any of
the top heavyweights? (I don’t.)
- Have you ever seen anyone doing the joint assignments of ring
announcer and broadcast commentator before Ray Flores? (I haven’t.)
- Do you know the name of Tecate’s gorgeous ring card girl? And how can I get a photo of her to put up on my wall?
Best. – Leslie Gerber, Woodstock, NY
Thanks for the quickies, Leslie. I’ll respond to them in order:
Do you really think Big Baby Miller has a chance against any of
the top heavyweights? (I don’t.) As I stated in Monday’s mailbag, I think Miller has a realistic chance to unseat current WBO beltholder Joseph Parker. I wouldn’t favor him against Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder or Alexander Povetkin, but I think the Brooklynite can at least hold his own with any other top-10 heavyweight.
Have you ever seen anyone doing the joint assignments of ring
announcer and broadcast commentator before Ray Flores? (I haven’t.) I haven’t either. Props to Sweet Baby Ray!
Do you know the name of Tecate’s gorgeous ring card girl? And how can I get a photo of her to put up on my wall? I think you are referring to Janira G.K. (AKA Janira Gaxiola Kremets). You can find hundreds of photos of the professional model on her Instagram account – Official.Janira. Next to Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., I think the most recognizable Tecate girl is the pride of Culiacan. Veteran YouTube vlogger/interviewer Elie Seckbach has done several interviews with Janira, who seems to be very nice, down to earth and appreciative of her fans.
I enjoy your column and agree with you about 95% of the time. I watched Jarrell Miller and thought he wasn’t really tested by Mariusz Wach. I think Miller has the potential to be rated up there with Tyson Fury, Wilder & Joshua.
I would LOVE to see Fury come back in top shape. I don’t think anyone out there now can beat him.
I see Wilder beating Joshua.
I really think Miller could take Joshua also – he is underrated. I don’t see Parker in the same class with the top guys. Anxious to see what Joe Joyce does.
As you have said in the past, the heavyweight division is pretty shallow right now with the exception of the top four guys. Luis Ortiz is getting old. Fury holds the key to what happens to the heavyweight division.
Here are a couple Mythical Matchups:
Ali vs Joe Lewis
Tyson Fury (in condition) vs Lewis
Joshua vs Miller
Love your work – keep it up. – Mike
Your mythical matchups:
Ali vs Joe Lewis – I assume you’re talking about Joe Louis, the great “Brown Bomber” and boxing legend from the 30s and 40s, and not Joe Lewis, the former kickboxing and karate champion from the 60s and 70s. Regardless, The Greatest beats them both (in the boxing ring) – Louis by decision, Lewis by KO.
Tyson Fury (in condition) vs Lewis – I’m gonna assume you’re talking about Lennox, who I believe would out-point Fury in a frustrating fight for him and the fans.
Joshua vs Miller – AJ by clear decision.
I enjoy your column and agree with you about 95% of the time. You’re probably agreeing with me too much.
I watched Jarrell Miller and thought he wasn’t really tested by Mariusz Wach. He wasn’t.
I think Miller has the potential to be rated up there with Tyson Fury, Wilder & Joshua. Time will tell, but Miller has to get busy and he needs to prove himself against a legit top-10 heavyweight.
I would LOVE to see Fury come back in top shape. So would I, and so would Eddie Hearn come to think of it. Good news! The big man is back in the gym and hitting the mitts and the “pool noodles,” according to recent posts on his Instgram account. Fury looks OK. He’s got A LOT of work to do to get back to fighting shape, but he’s got his rhythm and his reflexes. It’s a start. Hopefully.
I don’t think anyone out there now can beat him. OK, calm down. Perhaps when Fury is at his best, he beats the other heavyweight title claimants on a good night. Perhaps. But we really don’t know if he’s ever going to get back to peak form.
I see Wilder beating Joshua. I do too. But I also see Joshua beating Wilder. It’s a competitive matchup on paper. I envision AJ besting Wilder 6 or 7 times out of 10.
I really think Miller could take Joshua also – he is underrated. I don’t see that happening, not yet. I agree that Miller is better than many think he is, but he’s got some work to do before he reaches his potential.
I don’t see Parker in the same class with the top guys. He’s a notch below, but he’s still a threat to any big man. I don’t see the top guys dominating him, but I would favor Joshua, Wilder and Povetkin to beat him.
Anxious to see what Joe Joyce does. Me too. (OK, “anxious” probably isn’t the word for me… let’s say I’m curious…)
As you have said in the past, the heavyweight division is pretty shallow right now with the exception of the top four guys. Luis Ortiz is getting old. We all are.
Fury holds the key to what happens to the heavyweight division. I don’t know about that, Mike. He’s obviously a welcome addition to the elite mix if he can get his s__t together, but if he doesn’t, I believe the division will go on and thrive with Joshua, Wilder and Parker engaging in a very high-profile round robin without him.
IBEABUCHI WOULD HAVE LOST TO LEWIS AND HOLYFIELD
Re your suggestion that Ike Ibeabuchi would have beat both Lennox and Evander, couple points:
-Both of Ike’s signature wins came against guys he had considerable advantages. Byrd possessed little power, made it easy for Ike to pressure without fear and Tua was both shorter and with significantly less reach
-the rest of Ike’s resume was pretty weak
-Lennox would have had both a height and reach advantage
-I can’t imagine Lewis allowing an in close fight
-instead, I see Ike eating Lewis jab all night, and following Lennox around the ring. Fight ends in a lopsided decision or possibly a late stoppage as Ike dives into a huge right
-Ike fought a pretty close fight vs Tua. Lennox beat Tua by 119, 118 & 117 scores
Vs Holyfield is more interesting and possibly closer, but
-Holyfield’s championship pedigree, his tendency to use his head are big advantages in my mind
-Evander fought bigger guys his during his HW career
-I see cuts as a potential factor in this bout
-I really wonder how Ike would have done vs guys who held belts, fought in many title fights, you know, the experience factor. I just don’t see beating Tua and Byrd as the type of wins that indicates you could beat legends like Lewis and Holyfield.
Anyhow, my two cents. – Corey
Hey, your two cents is worth the same amount as my two cents. I could be wrong about Ibeabuchi’s lost potential, but keep in mind that the reader who proposed that “What If?” situation did so with the caveat of “The President” being free of the psychological demons that haunted him.
Anyway, I can envision Lennox Lewis blasting Ibeabuchi out with his best one-two combo, and I can definitely imagine Commander Vander outhustling him over 12 and maybe even wearing him down to a late stoppage. Lewis and Holyfield are great heavyweights. However, had either faced Ibeabuchi in 1999 or 2000, I would have gone with the betting underdog from Nigeria.
-Both of Ike’s signature wins came against guys he had considerable advantages. He was a total unknown when he faced Tua and a huge underdog. And there were more than a few boxing insiders that thought Byrd could frustrate and outbox him.
Byrd possessed little power, made it easy for Ike to pressure without fear… Byrd was slicker than any other heavyweight of that era. There was nothing easy about pressuring him and he proved the ability to succeed against bigger, stronger men that tried to pressure him (such as Tua) later in his career.
and Tua was both shorter and with significantly less reach… true but Ibeabuchi often engaged with Tua on the inside, and Tua had quick hands and an extremely high punch output for a heavyweight.
-the rest of Ike’s resume was pretty weak… heavyweight prospects and contenders weren’t exactly lining up to face him after those savage 12 rounds he went with Tua. The only reason Byrd fought him was that he was just as avoided because of his slick, defensive style.
-Lennox would have had both a height and reach advantage… true, but that doesn’t mean Ibeabuchi wouldn’t have been able to reach that suspect chin if he set his mind to the task… smaller heavyweights than Ike were able to reach it.
-I can’t imagine Lewis allowing an in close fight… of course Lewis would try not to engage, but if Ibeabuchi pressed him behind a stiff jab (which he had) and was able to take his best shots – as Ray Mercer was – he would be able to get in rage to get off on the Englishman.
-instead, I see Ike eating Lewis jab all night, and following Lennox around the ring. Fight ends in a lopsided decision or possibly a late stoppage as Ike dives into a huge right… I think Ibeabuchi was a better boxer and technician than you recall. He had a very good teacher in former welterweight champ Curtis Cokes and it showed in the Tua and Byrd fights. I think Cokes – a hall of famer who was known for getting his fighters into impeccable condition – would have had a sound gameplan for Ibeabuchi to follow against Lewis.
-Ike fought a pretty close fight vs Tua. Lennox beat Tua by 119, 118 & 117 scores… styles make fights and the version of Tua that Lewis fought was a lot heavier (and he entered the fight with a rib injury if memory serves me).
Vs Holyfield is more interesting and possibly closer… it would have been a war, home boy.
-Holyfield’s championship pedigree, his tendency to use his head are big advantages in my mind … I think Cokes would have had Ibeabuchi ready for Holyfield’s roughhouse tactics.
-Evander fought bigger guys his during his HW career… yep and some of them beat him
-I see cuts as a potential factor in this bout… OK Kreskin.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer