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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Broner-Vargas, Frampton-Donaire, Charlo, Davis, Khan)

Photo / @ShowtimeBoxing
23
Apr

BRONER-VARGAS, CHARLO AND DAVIS

Hello Doug,

Gervonta Davis and Jermall Charlo were both impressive and again proved that they are top quality fighters, therefore it’s time for them to fight some opposition that brings an equal amount of talent to the table. I understand Gervonta is barely at 20 fights, but he’s head and shoulders above these C and B levels guys he’s been matched up with so far. I hope the Lomachenko talk is real. Jermall carries himself with the upmost confidence and I think it’s justified, but I want to see it justified by getting a top-quality win @160 if not next, then within the next two fights at most.

Adrien Broner again proved to be one of the most frustrating boxers to watch perform. All the talk of the changes he’s made and once again, Broner lacked the urgency (or whatever you’d like to call it) to let his hands go. Jessie Vargas, I felt won the fight, maybe 7-5, but I could see a draw. Jessie’s activity early in the fight was the difference, while he would throw punches in bunches, Broner would simply lay back and hesitate to pull the trigger. That same activity seemed to be the difference in the back half of the fight too. Jessie’s work rate seemed to gas him out by round 6 or 7 and Broner capitalizes and became the aggressor. It was a decent fight but Broner just fails to impress anymore. I think we’ve all been waiting to see Broner take another step up, but maybe he’s hit the ceiling and we are all in denial? Thanks again. – Andrew, Chula Vista, CA



Who’s in denial about Broner? I don’t know of a single hardcore boxing fan that hasn’t given up on him being something special. I think the Mikey Garcia fight was the final straw with most fans, including his loyal apologists. I knew what he was before the Garcia fight: a hardnosed fringe contender with a name. Gatekeepers Ashley Theophane and Adrian Granados let us know that.

Broner was a precocious talent in his early 20s at junior lightweight and lightweight. Now that he’s 28 and he’s settled into being a high-profile “tweener” of the junior welterweight and welterweight divisions, he’s evolved (or “devolved”) to an entertaining attraction. And there’s nothing wrong with that. I enjoyed the Vargas fight. It started heating up by the third round and the two young veterans put serious hands on each other for the next seven rounds. Vargas was gassed by the championship rounds and Broner took his foot off the gas pedal in the final two stanzas (which cost him the fight on my scorecard) but it was still a quality scrap. Broner was his usual boorish self during the pre-fight pressers and the post-fight interview (and Vargas was typically classy), but that’s to be expected. I can overlook a lot of his coarse and crass behavior because of the heart he usually shows in tough fights.

I don’t expect Broner to fight like Aaron Pryor. Some fighters – like Broner, Canelo Alvarez and Danny Garcia – only let their hands go in spots. That’s just their style and ring temperament. I appreciate volume punchers, but it doesn’t frustrate me to watch hard economical punchers do their thing. (Honestly, the way some hardcore fans react to Broner’s style on social media makes me wonder why they bother tuning into his fights.)

Anyway, while I wouldn’t say that Broner’s overall performance was “impressive,” I would say that he and Vargas combined to make a for a darn good fight. And I will add that I was impressed by the effort both men gave. That’s enough for me.

Gervonta Davis and Jermall Charlo were both impressive and again proved that they are top quality fighters, therefore it’s time for them to fight some opposition that brings an equal amount of talent to the table. Agreed. I know that Charlo called out Golovkin, and I don’t doubt that he’s serious about the challenge, but the reality is that GGG is looking at the Canelo rematch or his IBF mandatory (Derevyanchenko) after his May 5 showcase. So, in the meantime, I hope Charlo’s brain trust get him a meaningful fight while he awaits his shot at the unified champ. Ideally, that would be Daniel Jacobs or Demetrius Andrade. On that same note, I’d love to see Davis take on the winner of the IBF-ordered Tevin Farmer-Billy Dib vacant title bout.

I understand Gervonta is barely at 20 fights, but he’s head and shoulders above these C and B levels guys he’s been matched up with so far. I hope the Lomachenko talk is real. Good grief. People need to stop with the Lomachenko talk. What the hell was Jim Gray thinking when he brought up Loma?

Jermall carries himself with the upmost confidence and I think it’s justified, but I want to see it justified by getting a top-quality win @160 if not next, then within the next two fights at most. I can’t fault Jermall for fighting Sebastian Heiland or Hugo Centeno Jr. because those were WBC-mandated bouts, but now that his mandatory position is solidified with our good friends from Mexico, I’d like to see Charlo in with stiffer competition. I know his team doesn’t want to jeopardize that WBC mandatory, so I’d be satisfied with lower top-10 or 15 contenders, such as Gary O’Sullivan, Rob Brant and Willie Monroe Jr.

 

SATURDAY’S FIGHTS, JOHNSON’S PARDON

Hi Dougie,

All the best to you and your family. Saturday on Showtime was entertaining, but no real surprises. Gervanta Davis took the fight game seriously and rebounded for a nice stoppage of Jesus Ceullar. You have to love those body shots. Jermall Charlo looked sensational against Hugo Centeno, which was to be expected. It leaves the question, is he ready for the top of the middleweights?

I know you have him ranked #5, but do you see him beating GGG, Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, or any of the others in the top 10?

As to the Broner-Vargas fight, again, predictable in another way. Adrien Broner is still a jerk. It was a great fight, and I don’t have a problem with the draw, even though I thought Vargas had it by a round. Of course, I couldn’t score one of The Problem’s fights, as I’d give any close round to his opponent. Does he have a clue? Does he realize that by the grace of God he has phenomenal skills, and should pay back a little? Does he realize that kids in gyms look up to him, that he has some responsibility to them to carry himself with a minimum of class? So he can cuss, and make racist comments about Mexican food that he thinks is cute. Good for Jim Grey for his interview and not being pushed around by Broner.

Have you followed the story last week that President Trump is considering a pardon for Jack Johnson? I guess Slyvester Stallone has the President’s ear, and asked him to correct the racist past as best we can, and pardon Johnson for violating the Mann Act, for which he served 10 months in prison for crossing state lines with a white woman. I remember Senator John McCain wanted President Obama to do so, which I thought he would before he left office, but it never happened. People can email the White House. As always, thanks for the mailbag, Ken Kozberg Oakham, MA

I think there are far more important issues to email the White House about at the present time, but if President Trump does get around to pardoning Johnson I’ll be happy for the descendants of the iconic former heavyweight champ.

Gervanta Davis took the fight game seriously and rebounded for a nice stoppage of Jesus Ceullar. You have to love those body shots. I really am impressed with Tank’s body attack. Those straight lefts to poor Cuellar’s midsection had me doubling over on my sofa. It was the perfect counter-attack to Argentine’s aggression. Davis is impressive and entertaining when he’s dialed in. I hope he continues to train with Kevin Cunningham.

Jermall Charlo looked sensational against Hugo Centeno, which was to be expected. It leaves the question, is he ready for the top of the middleweights? There’s only one way to find out.

I know you have him ranked #5, but do you see him beating GGG, Daniel Jacobs, Billy Joe Saunders, or any of the others in the top 10? I wouldn’t count him out in those fights.

As to the Broner-Vargas fight, again, predictable in another way. Adrien Broner is still a jerk. True.

It was a great fight, and I don’t have a problem with the draw, even though I thought Vargas had it by a round. I wouldn’t call it a “great fight” but is was entertaining and I agree that Vargas took a big early lead over the first half of the bout and did enough over the second half to earn a close decision (115-113), but like you and many others, I was OK with the draw.

Of course, I couldn’t score one of The Problem’s fights, as I’d give any close round to his opponent. Hater.

Does he have a clue? No.

Does he realize that by the grace of God he has phenomenal skills, and should pay back a little? I think he realizes the truth, which is that he DOESN’T have phenomenal skills, but he also understands that he’s one of the few attractions in the U.S. boxing scene and his semi-crossover status give him an arrogant attitude.

Does he realize that kids in gyms look up to him, that he has some responsibility to them to carry himself with a minimum of class? LOL. Are you serious? If he does, that thought probably scares the s__t out of him.

So he can cuss, and make racist comments about Mexican food that he thinks is cute. I’m sure the good folks at Showtime just love it.

Good for Jim Grey for his interview and not being pushed around by Broner. Jim’s an O.G.

 

IS THIS THE END FOR DONAIRE?

Hi, Doug!

I hoped that Nonito Donaire, one of my all-time favorites, would turn back the clock against Carl Frampton. He couldn’t. He lost clearly.

Probably it was due to his age and the punishment that he’d taken in his long career. But, perhaps, the problem is that he cannot adjust or find Plan B when Plan A doesn’t work after all.

With a better trainer, could he have overcome the problem (though Robert Garcia, his former trainer, was really good)? Or I just have to accept that it is his “limitation”?

I still wish he would be back to the top again, but it might be the end for him.

Mythical matchups:

The 2012 version of Donaire vs Frampton at 122

Miguel Happy Lora vs Anselmo Moreno at 118

Edwin Valero vs Erik Morales at 130 (not sparring)

Regards. – Taku from Japan

I’ll go with Frampy by up-from-the-canvas split decision (maybe controversial) in a Fight of the Year candidate, Lora by close unanimous decision in a purists’ delight, and Valero by late, bloody stoppage in an all-time classic war.

I thought Donaire fought a good fight given his age and fighter’s mileage. Physically speaking, he looked and performed very well for a 35-year-old veteran who began his pro career at flyweight. However, as I expected, he had trouble with Frampton’s in-and-out/lateral movement. I think Donaire can still be a threat against a more stationary or forward-marching featherweight standout, such as Oscar Valdez, Jesus Rojas or Scott Quigg, but I think it would best for his health if he called it a career. My buddy Steve Kim believes that Donaire is hall of fame worthy, and I don’t think he’s wrong about that.

I hoped that Nonito Donaire, one of my all-time favorites, would turn back the clock against Carl Frampton. He couldn’t. He lost clearly. Hey, cheer up! It’s not like he lost to a chump.

Probably it was due to his age and the punishment that he’d taken in his long career. That was part of it. The other factor was that he was in with a world-class featherweight with a versatile boxing style and a lot of heart. And he faced Frampton in Belfast. Nothing but respect for the Filipino Flash.

But, perhaps, the problem is that he cannot adjust or find Plan B when Plan A doesn’t work after all. Not unlike Broner at 130 and 135 pounds, Donarie was at his best when he was a freakishly big boxer-puncher from flyweight to bantamweight and could instantly overwhelm his opposition with speed and power. Above 118 pounds, when he had to think a little bit against guys that he couldn’t blow out, he ran into a mental wall.

With a better trainer, could he have overcome the problem (though Robert Garcia, his former trainer, was really good)? Or I just have to accept that it is his “limitation”? I think you have to accept Donaire’s limitation. That ship was run on talent, not ring smarts.

 

GGG’S CHOICE

Does triple g still have an obligation to fight Canelo, when Canelo comes back in September he won’t be holding any belt and as of right now Daniel Jacobs is rated number 2 and Saunders has a belt, Canelo does bring money but triple g is getting older he should unify and chase greatness before its to late. – Matthew

Why does Golovkin have to choose one or the other? Can’t he make a guaranteed $30 million with a Canelo rematch AND THEN make history by unifying all the belts and breaking B-Hop’s title defense record?

 

THE KING IS BACK!

Hi Dougie,

I’m sure you haven’t fallen off you chair with surprise seeing an e-mail from me today! King Khan is back!!

Ok ok, let’s not get carried away.

So what can we take from a 40 sec demolition of Phil Lo Greco? The speed and power is most definitely still there!

The “yard stick”. Well Lo Greco took Porter to the later rounds, at a time Porter was an animal, and it took Spence 3 rounds to deal with an underprepared Lo Greco.

Khan can say, after a heavy loss, 2 years out, personal problems and hard surgery, that he accommodated Lo Greco in terms of weight, gave him a full training camp, i.e. faced the best version of Lo Greco, then put him down in 15s and finished him off in 40s.

I appreciate we shouldn’t get carried away, however so many keyboard warriors saying he beat a nobody. If he struggled the same lot would have been saying Khan is done? The guy can’t win?

IMHP I think this was a good test and yard stick. Of course we would have liked to have seen more rounds, but that’s not Khan’s fault. But this is the guy who has mixed it with top welterweights and is some measure of how Khan now stacks up.

I think you’re right and nothing would have changed the fact that the top welterweights will still view Khan as high reward, tough fight but perceived as beatable. I hope this opens the doors to massive fights.

I’d like to see him avenge the Garcia loss. I think he is also too much for Spence.

A Pacquiao fight is interesting. Their both a nightmare for each other. Manny is better in the pocket,  but Khan is younger as dare I say it, now faster.

Joe Goossen! Honorary Brit!! What an absolutely top bloke! He’s been received really well over here. In his short time with Khan they seem to have clicked. Seems to be working well with Tony Brady also.

Kell Brook. The fight is definitely bigger now. Both men have made a statement in their respective returns. As good as Kell is I can’t see him having an answer for Khans Speed, engine and power.  But do expect this to be a good fight. If they can both win world titles in their respective weight classes, this sells out Wembley next year.

Other fights.

Frampton did the business. He did well to finish strong after getting hurt in the 11th.

If Selby can get past Warrington, Frampton Vs Selby would by massive in the U.K.

Davis looked good, but would I put him in against Loma? Hmmmmmm not sure. I think Davis is good, but Loma will make him look very average and take him to school IMO.

Charlo was devastating. However, we are talking about GGG. Most guys feel the power early on then struggle to adjust while taking a beating. Can’t see it going any differently.

I think Charlo Vs BJS would be a good fight.

I also think Canelo beats him. More polished in all departments.

AB. Where do I start? If he had shown a bit of humility and sportsmanship after the fight he would have got so much credit.

It was a close fight. I like the way Darren Barker put it “the fight was 6 of one, and half a dozen of the other”. I do feel AB edged it. Why didn’t he just let his hand go more???? He seems to have more gears but won’t use them???? I really don’t get it??

Khan did mention AB’s name in the post-fight conference. Khan is a big welterweight now, and I think that would be too much for AB. Frustrating to watch him. All the talent in the world. But a bad attitude and lack of discipline. He will kick himself after he retires.

But he’s right about one thing. Team Mayweather is not in his corner. I hate to say it, but Mayweather has never been interested in anyone becoming the “new” Mayweather. AB has finally realised. Hopefully not too late.

Anyways I seem to have rambled on again. Keep up the good work. – Tabraze, London, UK

You are clearly suffering from Amir Khan fever, Tabraze. We can all forgive you for that. (Well, I can, anyway.)

If it took Broner this long to realize that Mayweather only cares about Maywweather, he’s as dull-witted as his asinine behavior makes him out to be. I just hope he’s smart enough to keep Cunningham as his coach. Kevin had him in “war-of-attrition” condition (hey, that rhymes! AB would be proud of me) and he told him the nothin’ but the truth between rounds.

I think Khan-Broner would be an interesting welterweight matchup. Khan has the speed, mobility and activity to beat Broner to the punch, and outmaneuver and outwork the Ohioan. However, Broner, is very quick, accurate and solid with his left hook (the punch that Breidis Prescott scrambled him with, Danny Garcia put him on queer street with and Julio Diaz dropped him with), and The Problem has the durability that Khan lacks. I can see Broner catching up to Khan in the late rounds.

So what can we take from a 40 sec demolition of Phil Lo Greco? Um, either that Khan is a badass mother f__ker or that Lo Greco is tougher when he doesn’t have a full camp.

The speed and power is most definitely still there! I think Khan will have fans hands with pop when he’s in his 60s.

Khan can say, after a heavy loss, 2 years out, personal problems and hard surgery, that he accommodated Lo Greco in terms of weight, gave him a full training camp, i.e. faced the best version of Lo Greco, then put him down in 15s and finished him off in 40s. Hey, can’t keep a good man down.

I appreciate we shouldn’t get carried away, however so many keyboard warriors saying he beat a nobody. Well, to be fair to those Twitter a__holes, Lo Greco is best known as an opponent. He doesn’t have a significant win on his ledger.

If he struggled the same lot would have been saying Khan is done? The guy can’t win? Nobody wins in the realm of social media. It’s an online insane asylum.

IMHP I think this was a good test and yard stick. Well, obviously it worked out for Khan and Eddie Hearn. You are a diehard Amir Khan fan, and with this one fight, you’re a true believer once again, 100% behind your guy. That’s art of good matchmaking. Hearn’s a shrewd operator.

I think you’re right and nothing would have changed the fact that the top welterweights will still view Khan as high reward, tough fight but perceived as beatable. I hope this opens the doors to massive fights. I think it will. If Khan can’t land a big American name next, he’ll finally green-light the Brook showdown.

I’d like to see him avenge the Garcia loss. That’s an interesting rematch.

I think he is also too much for Spence. Man, you really are a Khan fanatic.

A Pacquiao fight is interesting. Yeah, it is.

They’re both a nightmare for each other. Manny is better in the pocket, but Khan is younger as dare I say it, now faster. I think I’d favor Khan at this point. Hell, I think Lucas Matthysse has a good shot at beating the Filipino legend.

Joe Goossen! Honorary Brit!! What an absolutely top bloke! He’s been received really well over here. I’m happy to hear that. Goossen is one of my all-time favorite trainers.

Kell Brook. The fight is definitely bigger now. Both men have made a statement in their respective returns. I agree.

As good as Kell is I can’t see him having an answer for Khan’s speed, engine and power. I can. And I don’t think I’m alone.

But do expect this to be a good fight. If they can both win world titles in their respective weight classes, this sells out Wembley next year. That’s a big IF. Maybe they shouldn’t wait.

Frampton did the business. He did well to finish strong after getting hurt in the 11th. Frampy does not lack heart and character.

If Selby can get past Warrington, Frampton Vs Selby would by massive in the U.K. You think so? I don’t think it would register as much over here. I think most American hardcore fans would rather see Frampton take on Oscar Valdez, or the winners of Santa Cruz-Mares II or Russell-Diaz Jr.

Davis looked good, but would I put him in against Loma? Only if you wanted to ruin Davis. At this stage of their respective careers I think Loma-Davis would look like a 130-pound version of Calzaghe-Lacy.

Charlo was devastating. However, we are talking about GGG. Most guys feel the power early on then struggle to adjust while taking a beating. Can’t see it going any differently. It’s hard to gauge how good Charlo really is at 160. Best name on his ledger is either Austin Trout or Julian Williams.

I think Charlo Vs BJS would be a good fight. I think you’re right.

I also think Canelo beats him. More polished in all departments. I think you’re right, but it would be a damn good fight, and would sell A LOT of tickets in Texas.

AB. Where do I start? If he had shown a bit of humility and sportsmanship after the fight he would have got so much credit. Broner isn’t in this game for credit, but I’m happy to give him some. He usually faces quality opposition and he’s often in good fights. I appreciate that.

 

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

 

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