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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Pacquiao-Broner, Browne-Jack, YouTube favorites)

Should beating the Adrian Broners of the world get Manny Pacquiao back into the pound-for-pound rankings given his hall-of-fame resume? Photo by Wendell Alinea/MP Promotions
21
Jan

BRONER DIDN’T WANT TO FIGHT & PAC WAS GLAD

This fight was garbage! Pacquiao is shot. He cannot get off his punches anymore. Broner was Broner.

Thank you. – Jason C. Brown

Geez, I hope you didn’t pay $75 to watch it live if you truly feel this way.

Against Adrien Broner, I thought Manny Pacquiao looked like a 40-year-old veteran with 69 bouts and 23 years in the pro game under his belt. In other words, he’s faded, perhaps a bit shopworn, but not shot. Shot fighters have no legs, no reflexes, and no punch resistance. Pacquiao is a shadow of the dynamo he was 10 years ago but he’s still got legs, he can still pull the trigger (just not as often as he used to) and he can still take a decent shot. I thought the future hall of famer looked a bit sluggish and off-rhythm in the early rounds. He appeared vulnerable to me. However, Pacquiao – with the help of Broner’s overly cautious approach – was able to “fight himself into shape,” as the old-timers would say, by the middle rounds of the bout. The Senator took firm control of the fight in Round 7, when he was able to turn back the clock in spots, and he never relinquished that command.

Broner is what he is. Photo / Esther Lin-SHOWTIME

Broner is indeed Broner, a famous gatekeeper, as I’ve dubbed him since the Adrian Granados fight in early 2017. With his legal troubles, “f__k-you” attitude, pre-fight antics and undeniable toughness, I think he’s basically become the new Ricardo Mayorga – an accomplished former standout, who is now sought after more for his ability to promote a fight than his ability between the ropes. And his primary “job” is to make the “A-side” look good. Mayorga made a nice living hyping up showdowns with faded boxing stars in need of a victory over a “name” in order to get to bigger fights. He did so with Felix Trinidad, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley (first bout) and Miguel Cotto. My former MaxBoxing partner, Steve Kim, dubbed Mayorga “The Stuntman” because the cigarette-puffing heel from Nicaragua usually made the “star” of the show look like a hero.

Broner is a stuntman and there’s always going to be work for one as polarizing as the Ohioan in this business.

 

PACMAN, MAYWEATHER, UNDERCARD

Hey Doug, just want to give my thoughts on Saturday’s big fights.

First off, I was very happy with Pacman’s performance. In the extended twilight of his career he continues to show a new level savvy and ring generalship compared to his early days at the lighter weights when he was more of a fierce berserker getting away with things by virtue of his extraordinary speed and relative power.

I consider myself a hardcore fan, but I’m also enough of a dorky fanboy that I must admit I’d kind of like to see a Mayweather rematch. I’d like to see if Pac could deliver a better performance now that his shoulder appears to be fully healthy again. My understanding is most fans think that a rematch would end up looking quite similar to the first dull affair, and I can see why. Although Pacman’s hand speed is still there, his footspeed no longer compares to his prime. (A bit like how Roy Jones retained very quick paws long after his feet stopped being active.) Because of this, Pacman’s fights have looked a lot more “linear” since about 2013. Against Broner, this wasn’t much of a problem, but against a bigger and longer fighter like Floyd, who also has a great sense of timing, can stay off the ropes, and utilizes his full reach advantage with his technically perfect jab, I think it will from this point on always be a tough style matchup for Pacquiao. (Though I reserve the opinion that had they fought in 2009-10, when Pacquaio seemed to almost teleport to side angles to attack his opponents before they could pivot to meet him, he would’ve got the better of Floyd.)

Still, I’d like to see a rematch. Pacman did great utilizing his jab against Broner, not biting on traps, and setting up his “raids” behind lots of feints. Maybe a healthy shoulder and more recent activity is all he needs at this point to edge Floyd?

Also, quite bummed for Badou Jack. Even before that horrible cut he was getting battered a bit by the noticeably bigger Browne. I just hope he’s OK and can get good treatment for that cut. What a heart he has.

Also, really enjoyed Warren vs Oubaali, wasn’t expecting so many fierce exchanges! Warren was quite a good sport in defeat I thought. Also, I thought his trainer gave great advice in between rounds, it’s a shame he didn’t follow it more but sometimes in a fight it’s hard to have the presence of mind to adjust, especially when you’re in a crackin’ scrap.

Also, do you think Linares’ upset TKO loss is a sign that he should consider retirement soon, or do you think this is just boxing–he got caught while still cold and people are making a bit too much of it? – Jack

Hardcore boxing fans make too much of everything, but in Jorge Linares’ case on Friday (at least while in the moment), I agreed with the “Twitter group think” suggesting that the marvelously talented Venezuelan hang up his gloves.

Linares was down three times vs. Cano. Photo / Hoganphotos

Linares has fought 50 pro bouts during a decorated 15-year career that has included some grueling fights and knockout losses. The Manny Pacquiaos of the boxing world (fighters who can remain at the world-class level after 15-20 years in the pro ranks, after engaging in more than 40 bouts and suffering knockout losses) are very rare. Linares has rebounded from setbacks before, so I won’t count him out from doing so again if he chooses to continue fighting, but the odds are against the 33-year-old veteran. He’s outgrown the 135-pound division, but he doesn’t appear to have the punch resistance to hang with the top junior welterweights. I know Pablo Cesar Cano is a hard-cracking young veteran, but the 140-pound beltholders possess more than just heavy hands, they’ve got speed, savvy and high-volume attack modes.

I was very happy with Pacman’s performance. So was Manny and his legion of fans (and, I imagine, Al Haymon). I was impressed with his ability to rekindle some of his old form in spots over the second half of the bout and to soundly beat a talent young vet who is 11 years his junior. However, I thought it was a typical “older Manny” performance – a decision victory that he clinched with underrated ring savvy and a few vintage offensive flashes that either produce a knockdown or put his opponent on the ropes/defensive.

In the extended twilight of his career he continues to show a new level savvy and ring generalship compared to his early days at the lighter weights when he was more of a fierce berserker getting away with things by virtue of his extraordinary speed and relative power. I appreciate the older version, but I definitely prefer Young Pacman.

I consider myself a hardcore fan, but I’m also enough of a dorky fanboy that I must admit I’d kind of like to see a Mayweather rematch. You’re probably not alone, which is why we might see that return bout sometime this year. I’m not into it all, but I’m all for the future hall of famers cashing in on the worldwide fame they’ve earned with their considerable accomplishments over the decades.

I’d like to see if Pac could deliver a better performance now that his shoulder appears to be fully healthy again. What was P.T. Barnum’s famous saying….?

Pacman did great utilizing his jab against Broner, not biting on traps, and setting up his “raids” behind lots of feints. Maybe a healthy shoulder and more recent activity is all he needs at this point to edge Floyd? I’m sure that’s going to be one of the many questions/narratives repeated ad nauseam during the promotional buildup to the rematch. But Broner ain’t Mayweather, not even a 42 year old Mayweather.

Photo by Esther Lim/Showtime

Also, quite bummed for Badou Jack. I’m just glad his face wasn’t completely split down the middle, from hairline to chin, by the end of the fight. I have no idea why the referee, ringside physician and Jack’s corner allowed him to continue fighting in that condition. That gash was too deep, and spewing way too much blood, and the length and diameter of the cut increased with each round.

Even before that horrible cut he was getting battered a bit by the noticeably bigger Browne. True. Marcus doesn’t seem like the nicest guy out there, but we’ve got to give him his props on a superb performance against a battle-tested former titleholder. The technical/boxing form and athleticism Browne exhibited against Jack makes me think he’s more than live against the four major 175-pound titleholders.

Also, really enjoyed Warren vs Oubaali, wasn’t expecting so many fierce exchanges! World-class banties rarely disappoint, Jack.

Warren was quite a good sport in defeat I thought. He’s a mature cat with good people around him (ironically, the same dudes that developed Broner). I’m thinking Rau’shee might be better served dropping back down to 115 pounds if he’s able to do so healthily.

Also, I thought his trainer gave great advice in between rounds, it’s a shame he didn’t follow it more but sometimes in a fight it’s hard to have the presence of mind to adjust, especially when you’re in a crackin’ scrap. That was Barry Hunter, who developed Peterson brothers from scratch and is very close with Mike Stafford, who brought up both Broner and Warren. And, yes, he is excellent between rounds.

 

THE PROBLEM VS. THE HORNET

Doug –

Who wins between Horn and Broner? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

I gotta go with Jeff by decision. The Australian is a rough-and-rugged volume puncher, which is all wrong for Broner, who likes to keep his punches on layaway.

 

NEW RESPECT FOR BADOU JACK

Hi Dougie,

I thought Browne would win. I’ve never been a big fan of Jack’s workmanlike approach. Hats off to him on his performance he proved he has real grit and gutted it out when others would have quit.

That gash could have eaten things. It was truly gory. Unlike About Boring, who showed absolutely nothing. Oh, as in previous fights he caught his opponent with a few eye-catching shots and then looked to his corner like a boy who knew he had been beaten, asking “I won,” his eyebrows a little moody, it was pathetic. The Philippine looked a step off, a step slow, but still gives a lot of the top ten a tough night, just not Crawford or Spence and probably Thurman. Regards. – Rob

I agree. I’d probably also favor Mikey Garcia and even Danny Garcia to beat the Filipino Icon at this stage of his career. Broner was not a Ring-rated welterweight. I doubt there are any “easy” fights for Pacquiao among legit top-five welters. Shawn Porter would be a handful, and a rematch with Jeff Horn would be just as rough as their first tango.

I thought Browne would win. I thought Jack would take the New Yorker into deep water and drown him. Instead, Jack got outboxed and outworked and nearly wound up choking on his own blood spurting from his forehead. Browne definitely came into his own at the right time. And at age 35, after several hard 12-round bouts, maybe Jack’s time has passed.

I’ve never been a big fan of Jack’s workmanlike approach. I appreciated his hardnosed grinder style, and I respected the way he bounced back from a first-round stoppage loss and won a world title at 168 pounds as an underdog. I thought he got a raw deal with that draw against James DeGale in their January 2017 super middleweight title unification bout. The Swede should have been a Ring champ in my opinion.

Hats off to him on his performance he proved he has real grit and gutted it out when others would have quit. Jack’s got character.

That gash could have eaten things. It was truly gory. It was nasty, and I’m really sick of seeing pictures of it on social media. Give it a rest, Boxing Twitter!

Unlike About Boring, who showed absolutely nothing. I think Broner showed us quite a few things. He showed us (once again) what a d__k he can be (with the nastiness he directed at Al Bernstein during the final press conference). He showed us (once again) that he’s overrated (as a boxer). He showed us (once again) that he can take a good punch. And he showed us he’s as delusional as a prize fighter can be after an embarrassing loss. But he’ll be back. I can see him returning against the Danny Garcia-Adrian Granados winner.

 

LIST TOPPERS

Alright Dougie—you pull up YouTube with the intention of watching some boxing content… who are your most rewatchable fighters? What’s your reasoning & pertinent examples? I got:

Toney—absolute badass technician under fire; see Toney vs Jirov/Holyfield/Barkley/McCallum trilogy, etc.
Chavez—guy makes me want to fold just watching his fights; Chavez vs Rosario/Taylor, etc
Whittaker—could make supreme boxers look clueless at times; Whittaker vs De La Hoya (somewhat)/Chavez

Also—how about 2-3 under the radar wars that you feel go unnoticed? I like:

Algieri/Provodnikov
Tszyu/Hurtado

All the best & appreciate the consistent content. – DJ

A couple weeks ago, a mailbagger asked me to list my memorable bouts in each weight class, plus an “underrated classic.”

I selected Antonio Diaz-Hector Quiroz I, which was a war, but you can’t find it on YouTube. Still, “Tono,” an under-the-radar former action hero, was in many memorable ring battles and shootouts during his prime (late ‘90s/early 2000s). He was outclassed by peak Shane Mosley in 2000, but his fights with Ivan Robinson, Micky Ward and Antonio Margarito are all worth viewing on YouTube if you haven’t seen them.

Diaz was an aggressive, high-volume boxer who loved to fight at a fast pace and had underrated craft/technique. You’ll see his inside fighting ability vs. Robinson, which included brutal body-head combos. You’ll see a nice jab and decent lateral movement vs. Ward, against whom he was able to match the body attack. And against Margarito, who stopped him late, Diaz displayed his ability to box, block and counter from mid-range. Each fight is entertaining from start to finish. Check ‘em out.

My most rewatchable fighters on YouTube? Roberto Duran and James Toney are my Nos. 1 and 2, and for the same reason, they were born to fight. They didn’t have amazing athletic attributes and they weren’t always the most dedicated athletes, but they had natural BOXING ability. They were geniuses in the ring. They could figure out most styles, and against aggressive fighters they could work their offense as effectively as they did defense – and do both at the same time. They were complete fighters.

But here’s what’s kind of strange about me: while I love watching Toney in his prime (and the first two bouts with Mike McCallum is boxing at its best), I prefer to watch and rewatch the old version of Duran. I never tire of watching him work his magic against Iran Barkley, in part because The Blade fought so hard and so WELL during The Ring’s 1989 Fight of the Year. Obviously, I enjoy watching his other triumphs of the ‘80s – such as the stoppages of Davey Moore and Pipino Cuevas – but I’m even into his LOSSES

Duran challenged Hagler for the undisputed middleweight championship in 1983. Photo by: The Ring Magazine/Getty Images

(except the KO to Tommy Hearns, that’s hard for me to watch). He forced Wilfred Benitez to fight a near-perfect 15 rounds, and his challenge of the 1983 version of Marvin Hagler is the stuff of greatness but check out how aggressively savvy he was against Hagler’s half-brother Robbie Sims (who won a split decision over Duran). Duran-Sims is brilliant! A young, well-schooled, athletic middleweight contender against a living legend who miraculously still had a little something in the tank in 1986. The body work from both guys was world class, but Duran’s ability to slip-and-counter in this fight is just sublime. His timing was uncanny. The timing and accuracy, and ability to relax under pressure (which Toney also did so well) enabled even a pudgy, out of shape version of Duran to not only compete with bigger, stronger, younger middleweights, but also be entertaining! Check out his 10 rounder with Ricky Stackhouse (who he dropped twice en route to a hard-fought decision in 1988). He’s no longer the fiery Hands of Stone, but goodness, what a ring general. And he could still kick ass as a calm old master. Even in the ‘90s, when he had nothing, he was still something. The first fight with Vinny Paz is probably his last hurrah and worth watching.

 

 

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

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