Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Wilder-Fury2, Demetrius Andrade, Chavez-Randall I)
BEST VS. BEST IN THEIR PRIMES
Hope all is good with you? Really enjoying your mailbag every week, it gives me something decent to read while I sit up with my newborn if she can’t sleep:-)
With the Wilder v Fury rematch happening, I can’t help feel blessed as a boxing fan that they are going to fight again and in their prime. So often fans of boxing get robbed of the best matchups. It’s a rare thing in the age of split titles, rival promoters and TV companies that the best fighters face off when they should, but sometimes that makes the fights more special once they finally happen.
Of course, sometimes the fights turn out to be pretty average, like Trinidad v De La Hoya or Jones v Toney but at least the fight happens and we see the best against the best. Sometimes great fights come out of nowhere like Ward v Gatti or Ruiz v Joshua and that is special too.
But there’s nothing like a great fight happening when both of the fighters are special, supremely prepared and proven to be amongst the best in their division. I’m thinking of course Ali v Frazier, Hearns v Hagler and Duran v Leonard. Once in a while these fights actually catch fire and that’s why I guess we all keep getting up at 4 am to watch. I’m really stoked for this fight. So, a few questions…..
1) Do you think the Wilder v Fury rematch will catch fire or be not quite as intense as the first like Bowe v Holyfield 2?
2) Who you picking? I’m edging Fury but with no confidence.
3) Do you feel Wilder has improved the delivery of his right hand enough to KO Fury?
4) Will Fury follow the same game plan as the first fight, believing his now better fight fitness will carry him through to the win, or do you think he will do what he says and go for the KO and take the fight inside to limit the leverage on Wilder’s punches?
5) Will Fury be damaged mentally from the first fight or more confident as he got up from the knockdowns to finish the fight strong?
6) What is the one fight that hasn’t happened in the heavyweight division that you wish had. For me it’s Bowe v Lewis.
Now, mythical matchups:
Hamed v Tapia
Usyk v Holyfield
Whitaker v Norris
Greb v Monzon
Cheers. – Burt from England
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, questions and kind words, Burt. Enjoy the time you have with your newborn; she’ll be a toddler before you know it.
Interesting Mythical Matchups, I’ll go with Hamed by come-from-behind stoppage (Johnny was at his best at 115-118 pounds); Holyfield by close, maybe split decision; Norris by close decision (thanks to his speed, aggression and at least one knockdown); and Greb by close but unanimous decision in an all-action bout that also features a lot of rough stuff.
On to Wilder-Fury2, it pits The Ring’s No. 1-rated heavyweight (Tyson Fury) vs. No. 2 (Wilder), so the near-100-year-old boxing publication’s heavyweight championship belt (which dates back to Jack Dempsey) will be on the line. The first bout was a draw, so they remain unbeaten but with something to prove in the rematch. February 22 is as good as boxing gets and I can’t wait to take in the atmosphere in Las Vegas.
Do you think the Wilder v Fury rematch will catch fire or be not quite as intense as the first like Bowe v Holyfield 2? I think it will catch fire because both big men are more acclimated to other’s style and should be even more confident second time around, so I think there will be more exchanges and intensity than the first bout, however, I don’t think the rematch will deliver the kind of action and drama that any one of the three bouts between Big Daddy and The Real Deal delivered. Wilder is a stalking, low-volume puncher who mainly relies on his atomic right hand, and Fury is a pure ring general with good movement and defensive prowess, and he’s not afraid or ashamed to stink out the joint.
Who you picking? I’m edging Fury but with no confidence. Same. I slightly favor Fury, like the odds makers, but nobody can count out Wilder, who’s got heart and conditioning to go with his vaunted KO power.
Do you feel Wilder has improved the delivery of his right hand enough to KO Fury? I think that remains to be seen. Wilder seemed to be more choosy, sneaky and accurate with his money punch vs. Dominic Breazeale and Luis Ortiz last year, but Fury is a far more versatile and elusive boxer than those two. I think he’s smarter, too.
Will Fury follow the same game plan as the first fight, believing his now better fight fitness will carry him through to the win, or do you think he will do what he says and go for the KO and take the fight inside to limit the leverage on Wilder’s punches? I think Fury will do whatever feels right to him once the bell rings. One of his greatest assets is the ability to adapt. But my hunch is that he will basically fight the same game plan as the first bout but with better punching technique. The talk of the second round KO is mostly misdirection/psyche warfare aimed at ruffling Wilder’s feathers or at the media, which will pester the WBC beltholder with questions about Fury’s bold words from now until fight week. It’s no different from the “I-jerk-off-seven-times-a-day” quip. Fury’s just putting it out there and seeing what gets a rise out of the media, the public, and, most importantly, Deontay Wilder.
Will Fury be damaged mentally from the first fight or more confident as he got up from the knockdowns to finish the fight strong? I believe in German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s famous quote: “that which does not kill us makes us stronger,” and my hunch is that Fury also subscribes to that logic.
What is the one fight that hasn’t happened in the heavyweight division that you wish had. For me it’s Bowe v Lewis. That fight is at the top of the list, Burt, but I’d also add the 1988 U.S. Olympic teammate grudgematch of Bowe vs. Ray Mercer, Mike Tyson vs. Tim Witherspoon (late 1985/early ’86 or ‘89/’90), Bowe vs. Razor Rudduck, and Tommy Morrison vs. Holyfield. I also wanted to see Mercer and Morrison vs. Michael Moorer. (The 90s was a hot time for the heavyweight division.)
What’s up Doug hope you’re well. Short one this time for once. How good is Demetrius Andrade and how good could he be in your opinion? Said he has a plan and won’t box for many more years. Would that be a disservice to career? I feel like there’s so much more he could do yet doesn’t get the big opponents.
How does he fair vs:
And also Liam Williams who’s his mandatory and looked good vs Alantez Fox. Cheers. – David, Dublin
Williams is a card-carrying badass. He’d have his work cut out for him against Andrade, who has a very difficult style, but I think the aggressive-but-technically sound Welshman would accomplish the near-impossible by forcing the WBO 160-pound beltholder into an entertaining fight.
How good is Demetrius Andrade and how good could he be in your opinion? Andrade is Ring Magazine’s No. 2-rated middleweight, behind only champion Canelo Alvarez and No. 1-rated Gennadiy Golovkin. The Transnational Boxing Rankings Board ranks him No. 4, behind champ Canelo, Golovkin, Sergiy Derevyanchenko and Jermall Charlo; and ESPN also ranks him No. 4, behind Canelo, GGG and Charlo. I’m cool with these rankings. I think he’s a top 2-4. How good could he be? I think he’s as good as he’s gonna get. He’s been a pro since late 2008. I think he peaked between 2013-2016. Maybe if he’d brought in an experienced trainer to assist his father back then, he’d have evolved in recent years, by the look of his form in his last couple of fights, I’d say that his technique has dropped off.
Said he has a plan and won’t box for many more years. Would that be a disservice to career? Not really. He’s 31 years old and he’s accomplished pretty much everything a boxer can as an amateur and pro. He won multiple national titles (U.S. championships and Golden Gloves), took silver at the Pan-American Games (2007), won the 2007 World Amateur Championships, earned a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic squad, and won three professional world titles in two weight classes. The only thing that as eluded him is a big-money/high-profile bout against a star. Once he gets his shot – win, lose or draw – I don’t expect him to stick around for much longer.
I feel like there’s so much more he could do yet doesn’t get the big opponents. Can you blame them? He looks like Scooby Doo on roller skates in the ring. That’s an awful style to deal with and he doesn’t bring much more than the WBO belt and lively interviews to the table.
How does he fair vs:
Canelo – he gets outclassed and outpointed
GGG – he gets outworked and outpointed
Charlo – he gets outpunched, but also gives the Houston bomber fits, but I think he would need sympathetic judges to get the nod after 12 rounds (if his chin holds out)
Derevyanchenko – he gets outworked, maybe outclassed (in close), but not outmaneuvered; again he would need some help on the official scorecards to get the nod (and he’d probably get the benefit of the doubt as it seems the Ukrainian can’t catch a break from the judges)
[email protected] – toss up fight between mirror-image stylists, flip a coin as to who the judges would favor. (Personally, I would give the slight edge to Andrade.)
CHAVEZ-RANDALL, REVENGE THE REMATCHES PPV
I realized today that it’s been 26 years since I attended my first ever card “Super Grand Slam of Boxing”, Frankie Randall vs Julio Cesar Chavez I. Was 15 years old and being a Mexican, it was no surprise I was a huge fan of Chavez. In my beginnings as a boxing fan, Jose Dinamita Estrada and Raul Jibaro Perez were the guys that catched my eyes, as they both fought from Tijuana. Also, Gilberto Roman was very big as he was from Mexicali. By the time Chavez beat Taylor, everything changed for me, Mike Tyson had just lost (he was the reason I started watching the sport) and Julio was Mexican like me and at the top of the KO magazine Dynamite Dozen which was huge! He really became the super idol when he beat Hector Camacho, but to me that was no longer impressive as Camacho had lost all his luster when he got beat by Greg Haugen. To me, the come from behind victory vs Meldrick pretty much cemented my love for the sport that continues to the day.
So, my dad finally took me and my brother to our first of many MGM Grand Garden fights (this one was the inaugural fight) and boy were we in for a big surprise. Frankie was a huge underdog and even though the mystique of Chavez’ invincibility had been broken a few months before in the AlamoDome with his “draw” vs Whitaker (RIP), The Surgeon was no Sweet Pea.
It was a very good card, Azumah Nelson vs Jesse James Leija, Simon Brown vs Troy Waters and Felix Trinidad vs Macho Camacho, all title fights. I remember meeting Tommy Hearns in the now defunct MGM Grand adventures theme park. So it was an awesome experience that turned out to be the upset and fight of the year. It was also a historic night as Julio’s legendary 90-fight unbeaten streak was officially broken. In the end though shocking and very sad to me as a fan, I’m also glad I was there.
A few months later we attended Revenge the Rematches, a card a lot of people have already covered and it’s considered as one of the best cards ever. The feeling for that fight was completely different as now Frankie didn’t look that bad as a bet and a lot of people believed he would win. To be honest, seeing the fight stopped because of the cut was a huge relief at the time but now in hindsight it was a very bad robbery for Frankie. The card featured Terry Norris defying the odds and overcoming a devastating KO loss outboxing Simon Brown in a fantastic performance (much like Chiquita Gonzalez did vs Carbajal). He was my brother’s favorite fighter so he was stoked. It was also disappointing to see Julian Jackson, a guy we loved to watch, be annihilated by Gerald McClellan in one round. Finito Lopez also fought and Leija and Nelson gave us a very good fight.
As I was writing this, I was thinking about a feature that I would love to see in The Ring, a section dedicated to historic cards and fights. A recollection of how it went by and what happened before and after, a way to educate younger fans and encourage them to see why some of the old timers like us, aren’t easily impressed with a guy that just has a couple of good wins against overmatched opponents. This can bring a lot of context into why certain fighters are considered legends even with several losses in their records. Much like “Best I’ve Faced,” this could be an interesting monthly feature.
Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde
I think that’s a good idea, Juan.
I’m planning to do a “Fischer Flashback”-type monthly feature, maybe starting with the 20-year anniversary of Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales I, to commemorate being a full-time boxing writer/editor for 20 years (as of January). I’ve got the press credentials, plus my reporter’s notebooks, hell, maybe even some old audio micro-tapes to jog my memory on the build-up (and behind-the-scenes anecdotes) to 20-year-old classics like Barrera-Morales I, Trinidad-Reid, De La Hoya-Mosley I and Trinidad-Vargas.
I think we (The Ring) can enlist the aide of veteran boxing scribes like Michael Katz, Wally Mathews, Ron Borges and Bernard Fernandez to do something similar for modern classics that took place during the 1980s and ’90s. We’ve got The Ring and KO Magazine photo and article archives to support their words and recollections.
Regarding your thoughts on Chavez-Randall I, I’ll just say this: I believe the version of Randall that shocked JCC (the 90-bout veteran version of the Mexican great that had begun to fade) would have given the best 140-pound fighters in history sheer hell.
Also, you were BLESSED to see that fight live. That’s boxing history (even the undercard featured some bona-fide legends)!
Chavez’s 140-pound title run during Mike Tyson’s prison stint (mid-’91-to-mid-’95) was the centerpiece of the pay-per-view glory years for me. Starting with Hector Camacho in ’92, I had to see all of the Chavez-headlined SET PPV events LIVE, whether at a sports bar, Mexican restaurant or the house of a friend or relative. The draw with Whitaker and his defenses against Camacho, Greg Haugen, Terrence Alli, Randall I and II, Meldrick Taylor II and Tony Lopez were all festive occasions that featured future hall of famers and terrific matchups on the undercards, such as Felix Trinidad vs. Yory Boy Campas and Oba Carr, and Azumah Nelson vs. Gabe Ruelas and Jesse James Leija.
Good fights and good times, man.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.