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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Wilder-Ortiz 2, Cancio-Alvarado 2, Ryan Garcia, Sonny Liston)

22
Nov

WILDER VS. ORTIZ

Hey Doug,

Been awhile since I wrote in but your mention the other week of Luis Ortiz possibly pulling off the upset in his rematch against Deontay Wilder got my attention (and I am not a gambler or planning to put anything down). By now the pictures and videos showing Ortiz to be in tremendous shape for this fight are all over the internet, which leads me to believe your “source” was correct in telling you Ortiz had a great camp for this fight.

However, the rest of the boxing media all seem to be picking Wilder by KO again with most stating they think it’ll be an even shorter night than last time. Why is this?



I would have thought that most would have this a much closer fight than it appears the bookies and media believe it will be.

A couple of other scribes (Dan Rafael and Steve Kim) who’s work I also respect immensely both mentioned that Ortiz, who’s 40, has appeared to be on the slide, looking slower and more vulnerable in his last three fights since suffering his KO loss to Wilder. Do you agree and how do you see this rematch playing out?

I don’t see Wilder being able to outbox Ortiz over a 12-round fight, but after watching the gift he received from the judges in his 12-round “draw” with Tyson Fury, I’m not sure Ortiz could get the decision in Las Vegas (says a lot about the sport). If true, that would leave Ortiz’s only path to victory being by KO. Do you see it?

Thanks for all your great work. – Michel

Thanks for reading my stuff, Michel.

Photo by Ryan Loco / SHOWTIME

Can I see Ortiz beating Wilder by KO? Yeah. It’s possible, but it’s extremely difficult because Wilder’s got mad heart and is still dangerous when hurt. And while Ortiz can punch, he doesn’t possess one-hitter-quitter power like Wilder. So, if he wobbles or drops Wilder, he’s got to be very careful about finishing the defending WBC heavyweight beltholder off.

I think Ortiz needs to stick his fundamentals and outbox Wilder, round by round, not in a rush, and not looking for the KO. He can’t afford to get sloppy or overzealous vs. The Bronze Bomber. (No heavyweight can.) If the knockout comes, it comes. If the fight goes the distance, Ortiz has got to hope that the Nevada commission-appointed judges give him credit for his boxing, and he should keep in mind that if he legitimately outpoints Wilder in the eyes of the media and the boxing public, his stature within the sport will rise even if he gets screwed on the official scorecards. (This happened with Tyson Fury following his controversial split-draw with Wilder.)

Been awhile since I wrote in but your mention the other week of Luis Ortiz possibly pulling off the upset in his rematch against Deontay Wilder got my attention (and I am not a gambler or planning to put anything down). I don’t recall ordering the upset special, but I definitely see it on the menu and would recommend it for the “punters” (as the Brits call the degenerate gamblers) among us.

By now the pictures and videos showing Ortiz to be in tremendous shape for this fight are all over the internet, which leads me to believe your “source” was correct in telling you Ortiz had a great camp for this fight. That source is close to Team Ortiz and has kept an eye on this camp. He also said Ortiz was far from healthy or focused going into his first go-around with Wilder, which he says was in jeopardy right up until the day of the fight. Read whatever you want into that claim.

However, the rest of the boxing media all seem to be picking Wilder by KO again with most stating they think it’ll be an even shorter night than last time. Why is this? I assume it’s a combination three things: one, Wilder won the first fight – by stoppage; two, Wilder proved that he’s got champion-level heart/resolve to go with his elite-level power versus both Ortiz and Fury (so most media believe he’ll be able to deal with whatever adversity the Cuban lefty throws his way); and three, most of the boxing press (and fans) believe that Ortiz is older than his listed age (40).

I would have thought that most would have this a much closer fight than it appears the bookies and media believe it will be. I think it’s a close fight, one that is just as dangerous for Wilder as it is for Ortiz, who I do not view as a 4-to-1/5-to-1 underdog.

A couple of other scribes (Dan Rafael and Steve Kim) who’s work I also respect immensely both mentioned that Ortiz, who’s 40, has appeared to be

Heavyweight Luis Ortiz (right) power jabs Travis Kauffman before stopping the veteran in the 10th and final round of their Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury undercard bout. Photo / @ShowtimeBoxing

Heavyweight Luis Ortiz (right) power jabs Travis Kauffman before stopping the veteran in the 10th and final round of their Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury undercard bout. Photo / @ShowtimeBoxing

on the slide, looking slower and more vulnerable in his last three fights since suffering his KO loss to Wilder. Do you agree and how do you see this

rematch playing out? I agree with Dan and Steve, but I also understand that Ortiz is not the kind of competitor who gives 100 percent against boxers he feels are not on his level (and that would definitely include Razvan Cojanu, Travis Kauffman and Christian Hammer). In other words, he fights down to the level of his opposition. It’s not an admirable trait but it’s something that can sometimes create a negative illusion. (Winky Wright had this bad habit and it fooled me into thinking he was ready to be beaten a few times during the 2000s, and he certainly was not.) Having said that, I’m going with the chalk in this matchup and picking Wilder by late stoppage or decision. My main reason: He’s a major f__king badass!

 

CANCIO VS ALVARADO

What do you think about +550 for Rene Alvarado? Dude has beat some pretty good fighters in his current win streak.

Who’s your pick for this one? – Gordon

Andrew Cancio (left) lands a left against Alberto Machado during their junior lightweight bout at Fantasy Springs Casino on February 9, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images)

Andrew Cancio (left) lands a left against Alberto Machado during their first bout on February 9, 2019 in Indio, California. Photo by Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images

I gotta ride with Chango. His confidence is sky high after his back-to-back KOs of Alberto Machado and he’s got the maturity not to let his success go to his head (the dude won’t quit his day job, won’t even go on a leave of absence!). Cancio knows that a repeat victory over Alvarado makes him a Fighter of the Year candidate and solidifies his place among the top 130 pounders, which puts him in position to make a high six-figure payday vs. the Tevin Farmer-Joseph Diaz Jr. winner some time next year (and a victory there could set up possible seven-figure paydays vs. Leo Santa Cruz and/or WBO beltholder Jamel Herring because I believe Golden Boy is willing to let Andrew cross the street if the other side – PBC or Top Rank – will have him).

So, Cancio is more motivated than ever and I think he’s come into his own in terms of his style – that of an aggressive body snatcher with underrated technical ability. I did the call for his first fight with Alvarado (alongside Beto Duran and Steve Kim) four years ago – which ended with the Nicaraguan gatekeeper being stopped in Round 8 – and I clearly see marked improvement in Cancio’s form.

Having said that, I think Alvarado is better than the +550 odds would suggest. He’s earned a lower-top 10 ranking with his seven-bout win streak (which includes quality victories over then-unbeaten prospect Roger Gutierrez, former lightweight title challenger Denis Shafikov and fringe contender Carlos Morales) and he deserves another shot at Cancio with a major belt on the line (and I recognize Chango as the real WBA 130-pound titleholder, not the winner of Santa Cruz-Miguel Flores fight on the Wilder-Ortiz 2 undercard – I mean, come on WBA! Flores is NOT a real contender).

Alvarado is going to make for an excellent battle. He knows his first shot a world title might be his last, so he’s going to give it everything he’s got. I just don’t think it will be enough to unseat Cancio, who I believe has the ability to grind Alvarado down to another late stoppage; but I’m predicting a decision victory for boxing’s blue-collar hero.

 

SEE YA AT THE FIGHTS

Hey Dougie,

Thanks for putting me in the mailbag last Friday. It was actually my birthday so that was awesome. When I was in the Navy, I couldn’t wait to read your mailbags on Monday and Friday (depending on the time zones, of course). Thanks for answering my questions. Those prospects you told me about were on point!

I actually have been to the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario, California. Not a bad seat in the house and you can hear every punch. I think I had a better time there than at the DIG (Dignity Health Sports Park). Do you stick around after the fights for autographs? I’m going to try and collect yours and the rest of the 4 Horsemen of Boxing (Kim, Lopez, Montero).

I wanted to ask if you could give your own personal take on the Fight Game. I know you answer questions very well, but I know there are some questions that don’t get asked about some of the new guys or the ones that aren’t as flashy. I listen to a ton of boxing podcasts now but when I was on the ship it was hard to get any real news before the fights or after besides the comments and you know how they could be at times, no respect for fighters. I liked how you broke down the Shakur Stevenson-Joet Gonzalez fight and how you said there are differences between blue chip prospects and top prospects and how you said Joet had a lot of stress going into the fight. To be honest I haven’t heard stuff like that in a while. I mainly ask for your take for the guys on deployment but, I understand if you can’t I know writing is not easy as it seems.

But let me get off the soapbox and ask some quick questions. Do you count Ryan Garcia steering away from the champs a duck? I’m a fan so I might be biased and say no. Who do you have, Wilder or Ortiz? I’m going with Ortiz on account of the fake Fight Night game with Wilder’s picture on it. The Madden and Drake curses are real.

Sorry for the long rant take care of yourself, Dougie. – Joey, Pomona

Will do, Joey, and happy belated birthday. Thanks for all the kind words. You’re a super-diehard-sicko boxing fan to want my autograph (or any boxing media member’s autograph, even if they’re celebs like Mario) but I greatly appreciate your attention and I’m humbled that you’ve been reading my work for all these years.

That’s Ruben “Ace” Torres on the left, Eduardo Rodriguez on the right. Photo by Carlos Baeza / Thompson Boxing

I’ll be doing the call to the Thompson Boxing “Locked N Loaded” card stream (along with Beto Duran) from the Ontario Double Tree tonight. If you come by, don’t be a stranger. Let’s chat after the show, which should be another good one. Ruben Torres (10-0, 8 KOs), a 21-year-old near-6-foot lightweight boxer-puncher, is among the under-the-radar prospects that I expect to make some noise in 2020. “Ace” is fighting a tough, young cat from Aguascalientes, Mexico (8-1-1 Eduardo Rodriguez) in the co-main event tonight.

I’ll be more than happy to provide my take on any aspect of the “Fight Game” that you care to talk about.

Do you count Ryan Garcia steering away from the champs a duck? Not at all. He’s only 21 and his 2019 wasn’t as productive as it could have been due to personal and promotional drama (he only fought twice, going less than three rounds), but he’s climbing the lightweight rankings. However, one does not go from being scheduled to face Avery Sparrow and a first-round KO of Romero Duno to challenging for a world title. There’s an in-between. There’s talk of Garcia facing former champ Jorge Linares sometime next year. If that fight happens and Garcia soundly defeats Linares, then maybe we can start talking about him challenging a beltholder (such as the WBC’s favorite son, Devin Haney).

Who do you have, Wilder or Ortiz? Wilder.

I’m going with Ortiz on account of the fake Fight Night game with Wilder’s picture on it. The Madden and Drake curses are real. You know what’s realer? Ortiz’s left cross.

 

LISTON/HOLYFIELD MYTHICAL MATCHUPS

Dougie,

I read the mailbags every week but haven’t written in since the MaxBoxing days, so I hope you print this. I watched the documentary Pariah about Sonny Liston, which was excellent. I learned so much about him and left it feeling very sorry for him, as he really lived a short, brutal and painful life.

I also watched a show about Alex Rodriguez trying to help Evander Holyfield get back on his feet, which was interesting and sad for other reasons. That got me thinking about a few mythical matchups involving both great champions. What do you think happens in the following fights, all fighters in their primes:

Liston vs. Tyson (Spinks version)

Liston vs. Lennox Lewis

Liston vs. Foreman (pre-Ali)

Liston vs. Tyson Fury

Holyfield (cruiserweight) vs. Marciano

Holyfield vs. Wilder

Holyfield vs. Liston

Also, I think with The Monster signing with Top Rank, I know there has been some talk of him fighting Loma, which would be a huge jump. Has there been any discussion of him moving up to 122 to fight Navarette? I would love to see that fight and think it is 50/50. How do you think that fight would play out? – Robert

I can’t really say how Inoue would do vs. Navarette because I haven’t seen him fight at 122 pounds. The Japanese star is an elite boxer, a legit top-five P4P player and The Ring Magazine bantamweight champ, but for all we know he’s hit his physical ceiling with the 118-pound division.

I’m probably in the minority (because I know modern boxing fans have been conditioned to demand and credit weight-division jumping), but I’d rather see Inoue stake his claim as King of the Bantamweight Mountain – and take on the challenges of Luis Nery (if The Ring’s No. 1-rated 118 pounders beats Emmanuel Rodriguez tomorrow), WBO beltholder Zolani Tete and WBC titleholder Nordine Oubaali – rather than immediately jump to the junior featherweight division to fight Navarette.

Your Mythical Matchups:

Liston vs. Tyson (Spinks version)Liston by late stoppage.

Liston vs. Lennox Lewis – Liston by mid-rounds TKO.

Liston vs. Foreman (pre-Ali) – Liston by decision (Big George idolized Liston and likely would hold back, even if subconsciously; plus, as good as Foreman’s jab was, Liston’s was even better)

Liston vs. Tyson Fury – Fury by decision (too big, too rangy, too mobile, too silly and crazy before and during the fight for Liston to deal with)

Holyfield (cruiserweight) vs. MarcianoGreat mythical battle and tough pick, but I’ll go with The Real Deal by late stoppage (via facial cuts) or close decision.

Holyfield vs. WilderHolyfield by late stoppage or decision.

Holyfield vs. Liston – Liston by close decision.

Can you tell I’m a Liston fan? I haven’t seen the documentary on Showtime, but it’s on my TV to-do list. I’ve been fascinated with Sonny since late 1980s (I used to collect old newspaper and magazine articles on the former heavyweight champ that I photocopied or printed from the microfilm and microfiche centers at various public libraries from New York City to Springfield, Missouri – hardcore heads like me used to have work our assess off for boxing content before the internet came of age).

 

REYNOSO’S LETTER

Hey Doug,

How are you? Just wanted to give my 2 cents on the Kovalev comments and Eddie Reynosos’ letter. I don’t know if you read what he said but he basically attacked the media and fans that criticize Canelo for catchweights, cherry picking, rehydration clauses, Kovalev saying he threw the fight etc., etc., you know, same old same old.

Couple of thoughts, I think Eddy, Chepo, Canelo and everybody involved should just shut up. They want to make 350 million dollars without any adversity and criticism? Is that what they want? It comes with the territory, the more you make the more you’ll get scrutinized, criticized, in whatever you do.

If I could give any advice (and no, I don’t make that much money), is to ignore everybody, continue doing what you’re doing, listen to your personal advisors and do what you do best, fight. Your managers and promoters will get you the best fights and you’ll continue making more money than anybody has ever made in this sport. Catchweights, rehydration clauses, cherry picking; all superstars do that, they’ve always done this! Floyd did it, Leonard did it, Oscar did it, even Chavez had a catchweight (vs Whitaker) and some cherry picking. Who cares!?

It’s the way boxing has been run forever, it’s the way it is. I understand that social media is huge, and you can read everything people say, but it doesn’t matter! Now, us fans and media, we don’t like that, we would like everything to be done the right way, but we also would be kidding ourselves if we didn’t think this is gonna continue happening.

Now, Kovalev, I have my thoughts. The first thing is that we need to see exactly what he said. These Google translations miss a lot of the nuance that comes with a language. We really don’t know in what context he was saying those things, if he was sarcastic, if he said he threw the fight or if it was an almost impossible feat based on the conditions the fight was set; or maybe he was just being Kovalev, making excuses. We don’t know, but to put this against Canelo is really not good.

We all knew that Canelo picked this fight for a reason though they perceived Sergey to be old enough to be beatable, they also needed a name and winning a championship in the LH division would be huge, and even though some of us thought he had enough in the tank to beat him, some thought he was already over the hill. Guess what, they were right. They should have also known that people would also perceive this and would find this pretty convenient on the part of Canelo.

So, Eddy coming out with this letter, all surprised and upset doesn’t look good. In other words, Eddy, don’t be naive, you should’ve expected this kind of backlash the moment you took the fight just based on the reason you took it in the first place.

If Canelos’ team have nothing to hide, then they shouldn’t worry about Kovalev’s excuses, the media’s criticism or fans hating. They should focus on the positive and keep going.

I’m picking Wilder by early KO this weekend. I think he’ll come out way more confident and Ortiz will be very wary of Deontay’s power (as most people who come back to a rematch after being KO’d).

Thanks Doug, have a great Thanksgiving. – Juan Valverde

Thanks, Juan. Will do.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Wilder blasted Ortiz out early, he’s got that kind of power, but I don’t see that happening. I don’t think either big man can afford to go for an early KO. Both are vulnerable, plus they earned each other’s respect with the first fight. I think they’re gonna be careful in the early rounds and try to figure out each other’s game plan before rolling the dice.

Mr. Salty and Mr. Cinnamon with some of their hard-earned boxing hardware.

Regarding Reynoso’s rant letter on social media, I agree that it makes him look like a bitter, salty bastard (which he is), but I can understand his frustration. He seldom receives the credit he deserves as a world-class trainer (almost never from U.S. and U.K. boxing media) and his star fighter gets dissed even when he makes history.

But he’s got to take a page from the book of Roger Mayweather (who never got his due as a trainer) and realize that “most people don’t know s__t about boxing.” Instead of “No Boxing, No Life,” that’s the catchphrase that should appear on all of Team Canelo’s gear (they can do the Spanish version, of course, I doubt the Black Mamba will sue them for copyright violation).

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.

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