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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder, Bryant Jennings)

20
Aug

THE HEAVYWEIGHT SHOWDOWN BOXING NEEDS

Hey Doug,

Now this is what we need in boxing, the best heavyweights fighting the best. Tyson Fury finally looked as his old self and that alone makes his fight vs Deontay Wilder a very interesting one. I’m not saying this is the next Gatti-Ward but it’s a very compelling clash of styles for all the marbles. This fight will really tell us if Wilder’s power can carry him against the very best.

If Fury’s able to absorb that punch I think Wilder’s chances are over. His lack of balance and boxing fundamentals will be his downfall and I can certainly see a one-sided bout with Fury winning a 12-round comfortable decision. I could also see an early KO for Wilder and that’s what makes it so intriguing. The fact that Fury lacks punch means he has to survive all 12 rounds and that is hard against a dude as powerful as Deontay. I’ve seen way too many punchers outboxed by better boxers during my lifetime to ignore this. I’m leaning towards Fury’s size, speed, mobility and boxing ability to expose Wilder’s lack of boxing fundamentals and technique. Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde, Chula Vista



Tom Loeffler agrees with you, Juan. Understandably, Fury’s 2015 upset of Wladimir Klitschko made the K2/360 Promotions boss a believer in the Gypsy King, so he’s leaning toward the giant ring general in this heavyweight boxer-vs.-puncher matchup (at least that’s what he said during yesterday’s boxing chat Periscope at SMC track).

I’m leaning toward Wilder simply because I think this dangerous fight has been made a little too soon in Fury’s comeback after more than two years of inactivity (much of which was spent grossly overweight). But by no means am I counting Fury out. Wilder, as you noted, has his share of technical flaws and vulnerabilities that a well-conditioned and motivated Fury can take advantage of. (Of course, if Fury has his way in the ring we may not get much of a fight, but hey, at least the promotional build-up will be fun.) 

Now this is what we need in boxing, the best heavyweights fighting the best. When the heavyweight division is hot, the entire sport is healthy.

Tyson Fury finally looked as his old self and that alone makes his fight vs Deontay Wilder a very interesting one. I thought Fury did what he was supposed to do against Francesco Pianeta – get in 10 rounds of activity. What we saw in Belfast was a public sparring session, and I was OK with that. I know Fury still has ring rust to knock off. I don’t think he’s back to his prim form, but it was a good sign that he was able to remain focused (by his standards) while under Pianeta’s decent pressure and move as well as he did. I think the version of Fury that toyed with Pianeta would give Wilder some problems early on but would likely get clipped by the middle rounds. He’s going to have to be a lot sharper and elusive in order to upset the WBC titleholder.

I’m not saying this is the next Gatti-Ward but it’s a very compelling clash of styles for all the marbles. It is interesting, mainly because neither heavyweight has ever shared the ring with a fellow big man with the other’s attributes. Wilder’s never faced a taller opponent with a longer reach who can move and switch-hit as Fury does. And Fury’s never been in with an athletic heavyweight as rangy, explosive and unorthodox as Wilder is. Both men are also supremely confident, so it will be interesting to witness who’s able to impose his will on the other.

This fight will really tell us if Wilder’s power can carry him against the very best. Agreed, although I think the American brings more than just power to the matchup.

If Fury’s able to absorb that punch I think Wilder’s chances are over. Agreed, but I don’t think he will able to survive a direct hit from Wilder.

His lack of balance and boxing fundamentals will be his downfall and I can certainly see a one-sided bout with Fury winning a 12-round comfortable decision. I’d have an easier time envisioning this scenario if Fury had another tune-up bout or two under his belt. It all feels a little rushed to me. But, hey, Fury and Frank Warren have proven the boxing world wrong before and they can certainly do it again.

I could also see an early KO for Wilder and that’s what makes it so intriguing. True.

The fact that Fury lacks punch means he has to survive all 12 rounds and that is hard against a dude as powerful as Deontay. True, and Wilder also brings speed, awkwardness and a lot of heart to the big dance.

 

WILDER VS. FURY

Dougie, my great expert! What’s your take on Wilder-Fury? Some thoughts here and would love to hear your feedback:

  1. Fury promised to knock Wilder the **** out – not possible since Fury doesn’t have a big punch and Wilder on the other hand has a good chin (was able to survive big punching Ortiz’s onslaught)
    2. Fury is able to school Wilder with a lopsided UD if he avoids all of those windmill punches, the question is if he will have enough elusiveness and good reflexes after only 2 warmup fights?
    3. Based on the the abovementioned thoughts I think Wilder’s only way is to put Fury to sleep. If that happens, will Fury retire? Will his ego allow him to continue after humiliation?

    Thanks and keep up the great work as always!! – Danny Greene

Thank you for the kind words, Danny.

Fury promised to knock Wilder the **** out – not possible since Fury doesn’t have a big punch and Wilder on the other hand has a good chin (was able to survive big punching Ortiz’s onslaught). Wilder doesn’t have a good chin, but he’s got a lot of heart and he’s able to recuperate if given the opportunity (which he was against Ortiz, who was rather plodding in his pursuit of the wounded American, and with the help of the referee/ringside doc/New York commission, which gave him valuable seconds to recover at the start of Round 8). I would be surprised if Fury was able to stop Wilder, and I don’t think he’s serious about that prediction. I think he’s just trying to get under Wilder’s skin and into the American’s head. He wants Wilder to come out swinging like a nut job, so he can peck and poke and pick the puncher apart. Who knows? Maybe if Wilder takes the bait, Fury can score the knockout he’s promised by taking a fatigued Wilder into deep water/the late rounds where he can drown him.

Fury is able to school Wilder with a lopsided UD if he avoids all of those windmill punches, the question is if he will have enough elusiveness and good reflexes after only 2 warmup fights? It doesn’t seem likely to me, but far more improbable upsets have occurred in boxing.

Based on the above-mentioned thoughts I think Wilder’s only way is to put Fury to sleep. If that happens, will Fury retire? Will his ego allow him to continue after humiliation? The more realistic question is will his ego allow him to retire and stay retired if he loses? I think it will be very hard for Fury, who just turned 30 a week ago, to stay away from the ring after all he’s been through in getting his mind and body back on track. If he loses to Wilder, he’ll just tell the world that he challenged Wilder too soon in his comeback and that he lost to the better man on the night. He’ll promise to do better next time, knock off a couple of stiffs, maybe face one contender (such as fellow loudmouth Jarrell Miller), and then make a grip of money challenging Anthony Joshua in the U.K.

 

BRYANT JENNINGS

Hi Doug,

I’m a long-time reader going back to MaxBoxing days, but a first-time questioner. I have two unrelated questions. First, I’ve always been attracted to Bryant Jennings’ story (which is not uncommon in boxing). You can’t help wanting to see a fighter like him–who came late to the sport, but gives it his all–do well. It was good to see him exorcise a demon or two from the Ortiz loss with his win on Saturday. I missed the early part of the telecast, but I was intrigued by Lennox Lewis’ support of Jennings? Do they have a history or does Lewis work with Jennings? The way he was cheering Jennings, I thought he must have some money on him (grin).

It also seemed that Timothy Bradley had a heart for Jennings that went beyond normal appreciation, based on his comments (at least reading between the lines). I could only conclude that Jennings is a righteous dude who has earned some respect by his work ethic and his giving all in the ring, but I thought you might know if there was more to the story.

Also, do you think Jennings can give Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, or Deontay Wilder a serious fight?

My second question has to do with what you consider to be the best boxer biographies or autobiographies (go back as far as you want), I appreciate the story of past greats as well as present heroes. Thanks for your great work! – Bryon McLaughlin, Kansas City, MO

Thanks for finally writing in to the mailbag, Byron.

The first boxer biography I ever read (which was during my college years) – “Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times” by Thomas Hauser – is still my favorite. Around that same time (late ‘80s/early ‘90s), I recall enjoying the biographies on Mike Tyson (or partial biographies on Iron Mike that also examined the sport and business of boxing) that had just come out, such as Jose Torres’ “Fire and Fear” and Phil Berger’s “Blood Season.” Not long after I graduated, I remember being fascinated by “Victory Over Myself,” Floyd Patterson’s autobiography, and “Flight of the Hawk,” a biography on Aaron Pryor written by Marshall Terrill.

Sadly, now that I’m married with children (and an overworked editor), I don’t have has much time to read the boxing books, biographies and novels that interest me. Publishers and authors mail them to me all the time in hopes of getting a review in The Ring or the website, but I never get around to them. Although I did recently finish “Pound For Pound,” a biography on Sugar Ray Robinson by Herb Boyd with Ray Robinson II, which I absolutely loved.

I’ve always been attracted to Bryant Jennings’ story (which is not uncommon in boxing). He’s a hardnosed-but-smart, blue-collar fighter who is easy to root for.

It was good to see him exorcise a demon or two from the Ortiz loss with his win on Saturday. Alexander Dimitrenko gave him a run for his money over the first half of the bout but Jennings if very good at keeping his composure and focus.

I missed the early part of the telecast, but I was intrigued by Lennox Lewis’ support of Jennings? Do they have a history or does Lewis work with Jennings? The way he was cheering Jennings, I thought he must have some money on him (grin). They’re just good friends. Lewis was high on Jennings before the Wladimir Klitschko challenge and he was impressed by the Philly native’s performance against the champ. He’s obviously still a fan, as you are.

It also seemed that Timothy Bradley had a heart for Jennings that went beyond normal appreciation, based on his comments (at least reading between the lines). I could only conclude that Jennings is a righteous dude who has earned some respect by his work ethic and his giving all in the ring, but I thought you might know if there was more to the story. Nope, I think you called it. Real recognizes real, as they used to say in the hood. Bradley obviously respects the craft and worth ethic that Jennings brings to his fights. It should also be noted that Jennings is a very good interview. He’s honest, deep and thoughtful and I can see where a cerebral guy like Lewis and a passionate dude like Bradley would be attracted to that aspect of his personality.

Also, do you think Jennings can give Anthony Joshua, Tyson Fury, or Deontay Wilder a serious fight? I think he can give them each a very good fight, but I would not pick him to beat anyone from that trio of heavyweight title claimants.

 

GARCIA-PORTER, AIBA

Hey Doug,

Really excited for the welterweight matchup next month. I’m one of few who really appreciates Shawn Porter’s style. I can’t think of any other fighters like him, with that sort of strength and mass. I saw a rumour on Twitter that he supposedly fought Usyk in the amateurs, which I can believe since he fought at 160+. Anyway, it’s tough to say how he fares against Danny Garcia. I can picture Garcia catching Porter on the way in with his timing but Garcia’s base is so wide and stationary I can see him getting bulled and thrown all over the ring.

The real issue I wanted to talk about is the festering excuse of an organization, the AIBA. It really worries me to see amateur boxing be put at risk this much, for the sake of profiting from young competitors. I can’t imagine the damage boxing would take if the Olympic committee bans boxing for the games. Gold medals have been the foundation of 95% of boxing’s all time greats careers!! What do you think should be done to return a good image to amateur boxing?

Thanks for the great work, great read when I’m at work, thanks for reading. – Will, Peterborough, UK

Thanks for the kind words, Will.

I understand your disappointment in the prospect of boxing, which has been a part of the Modern Olympics since the St. Louis Games in 1904, not being represented in the next Summer Games (Tokyo 2020). However, if AIBA can’t clean up its act (such as ensure that its judges and referees aren’t on the take and its board members aren’t linked to organized crime syndicates), what’s the point of including boxing in the next Olympics? Yes, the international platform is wonderful experience for the boxers and the worldwide exposure created national heroes and helps launch pro careers, but it severely damages the reputation of the sport (amateur and pro) when blatant corruption in evident in several key matches. What’s the value of an Olympic gold medal – or any medal or tournament victory – if the wrong guy or gal won? We can’t tolerate that bulls__t anymore.

Really excited for the welterweight matchup next month. Ya know, I respect both Porter and Garcia, but I’m just not into this matchup. Stylewise, I don’t see these two meshing very well.

I’m one of few who really appreciates Shawn Porter’s style. The few, the proud, Porter Lovers. I don’t get it, but Shawn is such a swell guy, I’m not mad atcha.

I can’t think of any other fighters like him, with that sort of strength and mass. Dude is a football player in boxing gloves. But here’s the thing, I’m not a football fan.

I saw a rumour on Twitter that he supposedly fought Usyk in the amateurs, which I can believe since he fought at 160+. It’s true, it was at 165 pounds and they were probably 16 or 17 at the time.

Anyway, it’s tough to say how he fares against Danny Garcia. I agree that it’s not an easy call.

I can picture Garcia catching Porter on the way in with his timing but Garcia’s base is so wide and stationary I can see him getting bulled and thrown all over the ring. Likewise. I don’t really have a horse in this race (although I’m a little more partial to the Porters due to my Ohio roots). I just want the fight to be entertaining, and I want the winner to challenge Errol Spence. Is that too much to ask for? (yeah, probably.)

 

NO MORE BOXING ON TV?

Hi Dougie,

Just wondering, what is it with all these recent fights on ESPN+, Facebook Watch, Showtime Facebook, etc.? I missed the last few weekend fights either to not being willing to pay or I just couldn’t get the damn thing to work.

No more HBO Boxing, Showtime Boxing, ESPN, you know cable tv/ satellite tv? Are they just trying to get more money out of us? – Jerry Salgado, Corona, CA

No, I just think the networks and boxing promoters are trying to keep up with the quickly evolving state of television in light of the emergence of online/streaming entertainment companies like Neflix and Hulu. They know people are cord cutting and they don’t want to get cut along with the cable/satellite companies.  

 

 

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

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