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Dougie’s Friday Monday mailbag (Spence in 2018, U.S. TV rejection of WBSS, Tyson the switch-hitter)

Errol Spence Jr. (left) and Lamont Peterson. Photo / Ed Diller
19
Jan

BOXING IS FINALLY BACK

Hello Doug, hope all is well and thank you for that neat spontaneous 20-minute Twitter mailbag on Thursday.

Finally, we get to some consistent boxing for the next few weeks even though Mikey Garcia’s fight is now postponed, but still more than enough boxing to look forward to. Beginning with this weekend we got to see the new young hot boxer in Errol Spence against Lamont Peterson and I actually think it’s a more than acceptable matchup to kick off the year, but I do think after this fight (which I think he wins maybe by late stoppage) that we need to see him against the top-tier guys and even someone like Shawn Porter could suffice.

Who do you think Spence faces next?



I have the similar thought about Robert Easter and how Javier Fortuna is an OK matchup, however Easter’s next fight needs to also be against a top guy in his weight class. Especially since Mikey is on that same side of the street.

I will be at the fights next weekend and have now purchased tickets to the Oscar Valdez v Scott Quigg fight and the Golden Boy ESPN card at Fantasy Springs Casino (I hope Gamez makes weight ‘cause I’m a fellow Chula Vista kid), so I’m ready for another great year of fights. Hope to make the mailbag this week as this is my second attempt. Well thanks and hope you have a good weekend filled with some good fights. – Andrew, Chula Vista, CA

I think we’ll get at least one quality fight out of tomorrow night’s card at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Who knows? The main event just might turn out to be an interesting – if not competitive – fight. I don’t expect Spence to blowout Peterson, who is the definition of the grizzled veteran.

However, I don’t see how Peterson beats Spence (and neither does anyone else), so it’s only natural to wonder what’s next for the unbeaten IBF welterweight titleholder. It’s no secret that Spence wants a unification showdown with Keith Thurman, but “One Time (a Year)” isn’t ready to face the southpaw power-technician. Spence wants three fights this year (to make up for fighting just twice in 2016 and only once last year), so I’m thinking he takes on one of the standout welterweights of the PBC in his second bout of the year (it could be Porter, if the former belt holder doesn’t want to wait for his WBC mandatory shot at Thurman, or the Danny Garcia-Brandon Rios winner, or Omar Figueroa Jr.), and then maybe – if he’s lucky and Keith is feeling healthy and confident – he’ll get that anticipated unification bout vs. Thurman at the end of the year.

I think Fortuna’s speed, movement and unorthodox style could give Easter some trouble early on in their lightweight title bout, but I expect the towering Toledo native to take over the second half of the fight and retain his IBF belt. What’s next for him? I wish it was a unification bout with Jorge Linares or Mikey Garcia, but Linares operates in another boxing league for all intents and purposes (HBO/Golden Boy) and Garcia’s still got his date with Sergey Lipinets (whenever that bout is rescheduled). And though Garcia is advised by Al Haymon (as is Easter) and has made Showtime his network home, the business-minded Southern Californian may not feel the risk is worth the reward for a showdown with Easter in 2018. My guess is that Easter’s next opponent will be the winner of the Richard Commey-Alejandro Luna fight, which was on the Garcia-Lipinents undercard and will need to be rescheduled. Commey gave Easter a hell of a fight in the young man’s title-winning effort in 2016. I think Easter has improved since then but it’s still a good matchup.

If you see me at the Matthysse/Linares doubleheader at The Forum next weekend or at that stacked Valdez-Quigg card at StubHub Center in March, don’t be a stranger. Say what’s up to your favorite boxing publication editor. And you can expect more Twitter mailbags from now on. I had fun with that yesterday.

 

BOXING QUESTIONS

Hi Doug,

I’m a longtime boxing fan having listened to the fights on radio with my dad and later in 1953 when we got our TV, watching the video on TV and the audio of the same fight on the radio. I began collecting The Ring magazines and all other boxing publications in the early 50’s. I now have a boxing magazine collection of over 2,000 issues. I’ve not written to a boxing publication before, but I have a few beefs that I’d like to run by you.

First, when Chad Dawson, who was light heavyweight champion at the time, fought Andre Ward and lost, why didn’t he lose his title and Ward gain it? Years ago many champions would come in over the weight and fight a non-title fight. If they lost they wouldn’t lose their championship because they were over the weight limit. The only champion who couldn’t do this was heavyweight champ because that weight was 175 lbs. and up. Dawson was clearly less than the 175-lb. limit and if I remember right he was around 164 lbs. about the same as Ward.

Secondly, why does Ring Magazine continue to recognize Tyson Fury, the linear champion, as the heavyweight champ even though he hasn’t ever defended it and hasn’t even fought in several years. While at the same time they stripped Adonis Stevenson, also the linear champ, who was fighting and defending his title at that time. I know his challengers weren’t the best but they were a lot better than what Tyson was and is, doing. I don’t know why people make Fury into this awesome fighter as his win over Klitschko was the worst heavyweight title fight I’ve ever seen and I’ve viewed a number of them over the last 65 years. Tyson wasn’t considered to be much of a fighter at that time and didn’t do anything in that fight to make him any better.

Two more suggestions I have is; why not go back to a 5-point per round scoring system, like they used by some commissions in the 50’s. The 10-point system seems silly as they rarely use more than 3 points anyway. Bring back the standing 8 count. It will count as a knockdown as if it were one, and it will give the referee a chance to take a long look before deciding to stop it or allowing it to continue. And lastly, in the 20’s if a fight didn’t get stopped a newspaper decision was rendered. Usually the fighter that won the fight, won the decision rather than having 3 (sometimes blind) judges decide the outcome. I know there probably aren’t enough newspaper reporters around who are attending the fights these days but it’s just food for thought.

Thanks for taking the time to read this from and old boxing fan and a long time Ring subscriber. – Fred

Thanks for finally sharing your thoughts with a boxing publication (even though this is the online version) after all these decades.

I don’t think boxing needs to bring back the 5-point scoring system, the 8 count or “newspaper” decisions. All it needs are qualified officials. In other words, judges and referees that know what they are looking at.

I think there are enough qualified officials – at least in regions that regularly host boxing – to handle the biggest matches of a given year. However, the various commissions (worldwide) don’t always appoint the best officials to preside over the highest-profile fights, and sometimes the promoters involved in these events are glad for that.

Regarding Fury and THE RING heavyweight title, I recently discussed his case in detail in a previous edition of the mailbag, which you can read by clicking here.

Long story short, Fury has had several extenuating circumstances (from fight postponements due to injuries to mental health issues to legal disputes with UKAD, which suspended his boxing license) that have allowed him to keep THE RING title more than six months past the date he normally would have been stripped for inactivity. On behalf of THE RING, I will be the first to admit that we gave Fury and his team WAY too much leeway and time to resolve these issues and matters.

Fury appears to have his head screwed on straight these days. He’s back in the gym, he’s got a new managerial company behind him and he has enlisted influential veteran promoter Frank Warren’s aid in getting his license reinstated, but enough is enough. I’ve made it public that Team Fury has until the end of this month to get a fight scheduled, or we’re yanking THE RING title. (And even if they do schedule a fight in time, if the opponent isn’t top-five rated, Fury will still be in violation of our championship policy.)

when Chad Dawson, who was light heavyweight champion at the time, fought Andre Ward and lost, why didn’t he lose his title and Ward gain it? Because his light heavyweight titles (THE RING and WBC) were not on the line. Dawson dropped down to super middleweight to challenge Ward for the Bay Area native’s RING, WBA and WBC 168-pound titles.

Years ago many champions would come in over the weight and fight a non-title fight. If they lost they wouldn’t lose their championship because they were over the weight limit. Yes, indeed, this was practiced by standout champs as recently as the 1990s, when Julio Cesar Chavez and James Toney would regularly engage in two or three non-title bouts a year just to keep a six-bout-a-year schedule. I’d welcome this era’s standout beltholders to take part in non-title bouts just to encourage them to be more active.

Dawson was clearly less than the 175-lb. limit and if I remember right he was around 164 lbs. about the same as Ward. They both weighed in at the division limit of 168 pounds.

 

THE WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES

FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CAN SOMEBODY PICK UP THE WBSS ALREADY?!!!

That is all.

Also, you guys at The Ring are awesome. – Jason

Thank you for the kind words, Jason.  

I feel your frustration with the lack of interest that major U.S. subscription cable and sports networks have for the WBSS. If Murat Gassiev-Yunier Dorticos and George Groves-Chris Eubank Jr. aren’t worthy of being televised in America, nothing is. Those are can’t-miss matchups. There’s no way they won’t be compelling and entertaining (if not explosive).

Unfortunately, Mr. Schaefer and the Sauerland brothers appear to be locked out of what boils down to three U.S. boxing leagues. Showtime’s dates for the foreseeable future are filled by the massive Al Haymon stable of talent. Schaefer was once very close to Showtime sports boss Stephen Espinoza and Haymon, but business is business.  

As Steve Kim pointed out recently on one of his podcasts (I can’t recall if it was The Next Round or the 3 Knockdown Rule), HBO doesn’t want to alienate (or irk) its main provider, Golden Boy, by working with Schaefer (who’s burned bridges with both the network and the influential promotional company). 

And ESPN’s boxing programming slate is full with Top Rank and GBP shows this year.  

Those are the three U.S. networks that are committed to boxing. It’s too bad. The WBSS is not only delivering entertaining fights, it’s giving us significant world championship showdowns. I expect THE RING cruiserweight and super middleweight titles to be on the line for the winners of both finals.

 

THE 3 KNOCKDOWN RULE PODCAST

Hi Dougie,

Not sure if this is the email is for your mailbag, but I went ahead anyway. If you don’t include this, no problem.

Just wanted to give you a shoutout that you were great on 3 Knockdown Rule with Steve Kim and Mario Lopez. Loved it so much I listened to it twice. It’s great to hear yours and Steve’s backgrounds on how you guys got started, etc. Really interesting stuff and fun to hear the stories.

I’ll keep the rest short and to-the-point:

– It was awesome to hear that you were a teacher for a short time.

– My wife and I have never watched Game of Thrones either.

– MaxBoxing was the first boxing website that I knew about. I paid the yearly subscription and sent emails to your mailbag every once in a while. This is also the place where I first heard you and Steve and watched your podcasts. I’ve been a fan ever since.

– Ali-Frazier I was the fight that got me into boxing. After that fight, I started buying magazines like International Boxing, World Boxing and later KO Magazine, as well as The Ring, and started following all divisions and many fighters.

Keep up the good work at Ring. Regards. – Tony

Thank you for the very kind words Tony, and for subscribing to MaxBoxing.com back in the day.

I had a good time on the 3 Knockdown Rule podcast and was honored that Mario and Steve allowed it to run for a full hour (the shows are usually between 20-30 minutes). We probably could have easily gone for a second hour. I think those two are the best broadcast interviewers in sports. Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the show. (And those of you who are interested in listening to it, but haven’t, can hear it by clicking this link.)

It was awesome to hear that you were a teacher for a short time. I taught journalism classes at a few community/city colleges (Santa Monica College, L.A. Trade Tech., L.A. Harbor College), one high school (St. Monica Catholic High School in Santa Monica), and my undergrad alma mater (Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio) between 1997-2000.

My wife and I have never watched Game of Thrones either. We are a very small, but very proud community. (For the record, I love Silicon Valley and was into Westworld.)

MaxBoxing was the first boxing website that I knew about. Can you believe that we started that site 17 years ago?

I paid the yearly subscription and sent emails to your mailbag every once in a while. Bless you.

This is also the place where I first heard you and Steve and watched your podcasts. I’ve been a fan ever since. Thank you.

Ali-Frazier I was the fight that got me into boxing. You can’t go wrong with that one.

After that fight, I started buying magazines like International Boxing, World Boxing and later KO Magazine, as well as The Ring, and started following all divisions and many fighters. That was me in the late ‘80s and throughout most of the ‘90s. I miss the newsstand era and buying eight or nine boxing magazines every month. I was in heaven when five or six hit the shelves on the same day.

 

SWITCH-HITTERS

Hey Dougie,

I have a question about guys switching to lefty, since it was brought up. We often reference Marvin Hagler as one of the best who could switch on the fly, and Terrance Crawford in the modern era because they can stay left for stretches. I got one you might not of thought of: Iron Mike.

Tyson was sick at switching left inside, but definitely unrecognized in that regard because once outside he’d go back to orthodox. Watch any of his fights, on the inside Tyson threw from both stances with equal menace. Peace. – WS

Good observation on your part, WS. I remember that move of his. There are more than a few YouTube videos that analyze it. The producer of this vid calls the move “the D’Amato Shift.”

This video also does a good job of explaining Tyson’s ability to instantly switch stances (and angles) when in punching range of his opponent.

There are several others, so you’re not the only boxing fan who appreciates this aspect of Tyson’s style.

However, you’re correct in assuming that Tyson isn’t a notable fighter that I would identify as a “switch-hitter.” I suppose this is because it wasn’t a habit of his to switch to southpaw for long stretches at a time. The change from orthodox to southpaw generally lasted for a split second – only when Tyson had maneuvered himself in range to unleash a power shot to his opponent – and then he instantly switched back to a right-handed stance.

He was so good at it, most observers missed it. Watching these videos makes me appreciate his footwork more than I did back in the day.

 

THE MAILBAG

Dear Sir,

I just wanted to write to say Thank You for your mailbag. I look forward to it every Monday and Friday. I love your work. You’re an excellent writer and commentator. Kudos.

I heard you on Steve and Mario’s podcast the other day and really, really enjoyed the program. Great work.

Also, I wrote you the grandstanding piece of nonsense forwarded below several years ago. I apologize for that. Thank you for not publishing it.  If I ever again in the future write you anything with mailbag publication hopes attached thereto, I will do a far, far better job.

Best wishes and kind regards. – Kelly

Thank you for the very, very kind words (and repeated “kudos”), Kelly. I read your previous email from 2014 and it was fine. You were just fed up with poor official scorecards, as all devoted boxing fans become at some point. I didn’t deem in unworthy of publication, I just didn’t see it the first time around. A lot of emails get lost in the inbox “shuffle.”

I’m glad your dissatisfaction didn’t drive you away from the sport, and I’m glad that you gave the mailbag another shot.

Please email me again as 2018 progresses. I think there will be a lot of good things to talk about this year.

 

 

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

 

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