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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Vergil Ortiz Jr., 3.2.1 Boxing, Tyson-Jones)

Vergil Ortiz Jr. on the rampage vs. incredibly resilient Samuel Vargas. Photo / HoganPhotos
27
Jul

THE WEEKEND

Hi Dougie,

I am writing to give a personal recap of this past weekend’s cards, and to hear your opinions of them.

It was sure nice to see boxing cards broadcast live from three different platforms, and I feel all three did a great job given the protocols involved. Much respect for the hard work that went into broadcasting these events, from the cleanup crews, to the cameramen, and all else involved, yourself included.



The Golden Boy/DAZN card was headlined by Vergil Ortiz Jr. and he put on another dominant display against a proven tough opponent. Who do you feel is next for him? Who does Golden Boy have at 147 that can matchup with him? I feel he could beat someone like Danny Garcia at this stage.

I was looking forward to watching Seniesa Estrada fight again after watching her epic battle against Marlen Esparza last fall. However, as she met her opponent, Miranda Adkins, in the center of the ring for fight instructions, I could see the fear in Adkins’ eyes, and the readiness of Estrada’s body language. As the bell rang, Adkins feet froze and she could barely come out of her corner to fight. Then the 7-second KO ensued. I felt so sad for Adkins, she was fighting on the platform of her mother’s ovarian cancer battle and was completely overwhelmed in the moment. She was brave to take the fight when so many other gals wouldn’t. I hope she can come out of this holding her head high.

The ESPN+ card featured Joe Joyce. I have seen quite a few of his fights, and while he won in dominant fashion, I am not sure he will be able to hang with his younger compatriots in the division. He seemed to get hit more than he should have against Wallich. At his age of 34, soon to be 35, I am doubtful he can hang with his countryman in Daniel Dubois. I predict a TKO by Dubois over Joyce in 7 rounds or less when they meet. I really like the European Heavyweight fighters that are on the comeup: The aforementioned Britons, Tony Yoka of France, Filip Hrgovic of Croatia, and Guido Vianello of Italy, amongst others. IMO, Hrgovic and Dubois look the strongest and most ready to be world titleholder challengers in this moment. The Heavyweight division is alive and well again.

I really appreciated the Thompson Boxing show that I just finished watching live. Beto Duran and yourself made for a fun and informative call inside that hot warehouse. Thompson even had Jimmy Lennon Jr. as the ring announcer, impressive talent indeed. I was primed for the event, as I have been an Arnold Dinong fan since watching him score a KO in person in his second pro fight in Salinas 2 years ago on a Ruben Villa undercard. Ruben Torres looked so polished and dominant against a tough opponent in Oscar Bravo, who had only been stopped once before tonight. As far as the Michael Dutchover fight, I felt that he would run through and TKO Marron in 3 or 4 rounds. While Dutchover won easily on the scorecards, much respect goes out to Marron, he made it a tough fight. Again, always fun to see you and Beto call a fight, and in these times, was super well done, black gloves and all! (Glad the rice worked, as did the flux capacitor)

One Mythical Matchup:

Manny Pacquaio vs Salvador Sanchez at 126, assuming in their prime ages and bodies as boxers. (not sure if Sanchez quite got to his true prime, sadly)

Sorry for the long letter, but this was a nice weekend for a diehard boxing fan like me (on my 40th birthday). – Brett from Salinas

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions, Brett. I’ll try to respond to it all. But I’ll start with your Mythical Matchup:

Pacquiao vs. Sanchez at featherweight. You might be right that Pac was in his athletic prime at 126 pounds and that we may not have seen Sal’s peak. However, Sanchez’s hall-of-fame career was forged at featherweight; Pacquiao fought four times at featherweight between March 2003-December 2004. The Philippines hero was a dynamic offensive featherweight force, but he was not yet a complete fighter. He would round out his boxing acumen during his 130-pound run and pitstop at lightweight and evolve into an elite boxer-puncher as a small welterweight. If Juan Manuel Marquez was able to outclass him over 12 rounds despite being dropped three times in the opening stanza (and suffering a broken nose), my hunch is that Sanchez (who had a granite chine and inhuman stamina, plus a non-stop workrate backing up his skills/technique) would outpoint the PacMan (especially over 15 rounds) in a competitive and entertaining fight. But Sal would be the clear winner.  

Ortiz’s jab lands like a power punch. Photo / HoganPhotos

The Golden Boy/DAZN card was headlined by Vergil Ortiz Jr. and he put on another dominant display against a proven tough opponent. Props to Sammy Vargas for absorbing seven rounds savage punishment without quitting or getting dropped. The veteran even tried his best to fire back in spots. Vargas displayed Jake LaMotta-sized balls, while Ortiz exhibited the form of a future world-beater.

Who do you feel is next for him? I think a higher-level gatekeeper than Vargas or a fringe contender, such as Ray Robinson or David Avenesyan, makes sense.

Who does Golden Boy have at 147 that can matchup with him? GBP has four or five other welterweights, but the only two that I think are ready and able to hang with Ortiz is Rashidi Ellis (22-0, 14 KOs) and Blair Cobbs (14-0-1, 9 KOs) because of their maturity (Ellis is 27, Cobbs is 30) and their speed. Both can employ a flashy stick-and-move game on Ortiz that might frustrate their ballyhooed promotional stablemate. I would favor Ortiz in both matchups.

I feel he could beat someone like Danny Garcia at this stage. Ortiz is just 22 with 16 pro bouts (and he’s yet to fight past seven rounds). I don’t know if he’s ready for Garcia yet. Whether he is or not, the PBC’s got plans for its 147-pound players that do not involve precocious upstarts with frightening power and fast-evolving ring prowess.

Perhaps GBP can do some business with Eddie Hearn and put together a DAZN co-feature with Ortiz vs. Conor Benn (16-0, 11 KOs) or Josh Kelly (10-0-1, 6 KOs) before graduating to a main event vs. fellow Texan Maurice Hooker. The showdown I want to see by the end of 2021 is Ortiz vs. Jaron Ennis.

I was looking forward to watching Seniesa Estrada fight again after watching her epic battle against Marlen Esparza last fall. However, as she met her opponent, Miranda Adkins, in the center of the ring for fight instructions, I could see the fear in Adkins’ eyes, and the readiness of Estrada’s body language. Yeah, you didn’t have to be Teddy Atlas to see that Adkins was out of her depth. According to Boxrec.com, her first four opponents were making their pro debuts. And hey, good for Adkins! Winning five consecutive pro bouts against any level of opposition is impressive at her age (42), but she wasn’t an accomplished amateur as Estrada was and she built her record up in Kansas and Missouri (her rematch with Shania Ward, 0-2, was in my hometown of Springfield, MO, which ain’t exactly a hotbed for boxing). Estrada’s 18-0 pro ledger was forged mostly in Southern California, which IS a hotbed for boxing. Bottomline, it was too much of a mismatch to have happened. I only watched the knockout once. I did not care for or pay attention to the endless replays of it on DAZN or social media. I don’t think that was fair to either fighter.

As the bell rang, Adkins feet froze and she could barely come out of her corner to fight. Yeah, she was probably thinking “Oh s__t, Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Then the 7-second KO ensued. I felt so sad for Adkins, she was fighting on the platform of her mother’s ovarian cancer battle and was completely overwhelmed in the moment. I understand that it was difficult finding suitable opposition for Estrada, but Adkins shouldn’t have been put into that position.

She was brave to take the fight when so many other gals wouldn’t. Her management was too brave.

I hope she can come out of this holding her head high. I’m just glad she wasn’t seriously hurt.

The ESPN+ card featured Joe Joyce. I have seen quite a few of his fights, and while he won in dominant fashion, I am not sure he will be able to hang with his younger compatriots in the division. There’s only one way to find out.

He seemed to get hit more than he should have against Wallich. At his age of 34, soon to be 35, I am doubtful he can hang with his countryman in Daniel Dubois. I favor Dubois in that one, but, again, they gotta fight the fight. Joyce is painfully slow, plodding and methodical, but he’s also strong, seemingly durable and a pretty good technician. He’s got a good punch selection. I don’t think Dubois will blow him out.

I predict a TKO by Dubois over Joyce in 7 rounds or less when they meet. You might be right, but what if Dubois can’t get rid of Joyce in six or seven rounds? What if Joyce is able to pressure him and get to his body? The second half of the fight could get very interesting.

I really like the European Heavyweight fighters that are on the comeup: The aforementioned Britons, Tony Yoka of France, Filip Hrgovic of Croatia, and Guido Vianello of Italy, amongst others. I gotta see more of these guys, including Dubois, before I get too excited.

IMO, Hrgovic and Dubois look the strongest and most ready to be world titleholder challengers in this moment. I agree that those two have the most upside.

The Heavyweight division is alive and well again. It’s got potential. It won’t be “alive and well” until these guys start fighting each other.

I really appreciated the Thompson Boxing show that I just finished watching live. Beto Duran and yourself made for a fun and informative call inside that hot warehouse. I’m glad you enjoyed the PPV, thank you for the kind words. It was sweltering in there. It might as well have been a greenhouse.

Thompson even had Jimmy Lennon Jr. as the ring announcer, impressive talent indeed. Hall-of-fame talent.

I was primed for the event, as I have been an Arnold Dinong fan since watching him score a KO in person in his second pro fight in Salinas 2 years ago on a Ruben Villa undercard. Your boy got the job done against a competent opponent. I’m sure we’ll see Dinong on another Thompson Boxing card before the end of the year.

Ruben Torres looked so polished and dominant against a tough opponent in Oscar Bravo, who had only been stopped once before tonight. Torres is definitely one to watch. I think he’s got the potential to be a legit contender and an attraction. He’s got the talent, physical tools and personality to move the needle and generate a lot of excitement.

As far as the Michael Dutchover fight, I felt that he would run through and TKO Marron in 3 or 4 rounds. While Dutchover won easily on the scorecards, much respect goes out to Marron, he made it a tough fight. I didn’t think that Marron would get blown out, but he’s a lot better than I anticipated. He’s a tricky southpaw technician, a stylistic nightmare for most lightweight up-and-comers. I was impressed with Dutchover’s ability to figure out how to reach Marron in Round 6-8.

Both Dutchover and Torres got some quality rounds under their belts on Sunday. The experience will serve them well going forward.

 

TYSON VS. JONES: ANOTHER TAKE

Just came from ESPN.com where a group of their pundits were absolutely trashing this fight, and it got me to thinking…

At the risk of getting chewed out by you in the Monday or Friday mailbag, is this fight really that bad to the point that any of us have the right to rip it the way I’ve seen some sportswriters and fans on social media do?

When I heard about it, I did three things in a very short time:

  1. Sit in stunned silence for a period of about 10 minutes
  2. Text my best friend to let him know it was happening, and that we were watching it no matter what the cost
  3. Google “Rocky Balboa” to see if Tyson was older than him when he pulled off his unlikely comeback in 2006 (he’s not!  Rocky was in his 60s lol)

Look, part of me is concerned for them too, but that’s partially if not entirely because I’ve read or watched dozens of opinions telling me it’s the right thing to do. But then I also watched a video of 54 year old Mike Tyson hitting the mitts, and MAN…

The guy is still a BEAST! He has vastly more power, speed, and athletic ability than pretty much the entire population, including very talented semi-pro athletes in their 20s and 30s. People are acting like he’s a frail 90 year old and any young, fit man off the streets should be able to step in there and mop the floor with him.

The reality is he probably shouldn’t even be allowed to fight the majority of young 20 year old “pro” heavyweights just starting out with 4 rounders because he’d absolutely demolish most of them.

So do I want to see him fight Joshua or Wilder next, or even anyone in the top 20? No. Do I think he’s as good as he was in the 80s and 90s? Hell no. But do I have a problem with a man of his ability, even at this age, stepping in with a very similar opponent? Still no.

Unless there’s solid medical evidence to suggest that getting knocked out later in life is significantly more dangerous (which I could buy, but initial Google searches have turned up inconclusive for me), why not let two past their prime, evenly matched, beloved all-time greats have one final battle doing something they both think they were born to do?

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr still have more fight in them than the vast majority of young, able bodied men on the planet, so let’s not insult these two legendary warriors by calling them old.

Maybe Little Marie was right. Fighters fight. – Nick, Austin, TX

Yeah, but the fight game is a young man’s sport, Nick, and I don’t need “solid medical evidence” to tell me that older human beings are more prone to serious injuries in the prize ring.

Having said that, I’m not going to “chew out” you or anyone else who is excited about this comeback/exhibition. I’ve shared my opinion on the matchup. I’m not thrilled or even mildly curious about it. I am a little worried about their health, but I also realize that they are grown men who know how to handle themselves in the ring. So, maybe they can “move around” in a manner that entertains their fans without suffering concussions. I certainly hope so.

Anyway, I’m not going to shame anyone who’s excited about the event. There’s not much more I can say about it, and I don’t have any desire to write about it or debate enthusiastic Tyson/Jones fans on social media (or this column), but if mailbag readers want to bring it up or chat it up in the comment section I’m OK with that.

Look, part of me is concerned for them too, but that’s partially if not entirely because I’ve read or watched dozens of opinions telling me it’s the right thing to do. Hopefully, some of your concern is because you care about them and their health.

But then I also watched a video of 54 year old Mike Tyson hitting the mitts, and MAN… Yeah, impressive, but mitts don’t hit back. And how long are those video clips? 30 seconds? One minute?

The guy is still a BEAST! For about one minute… hitting mitts.

He has vastly more power, speed, and athletic ability than pretty much the entire population, including very talented semi-pro athletes in their 20s and 30s. So? Those “very talented semi-pro athletes” have no business being in the ring, either.

People are acting like he’s a frail 90 year old and any young, fit man off the streets should be able to step in there and mop the floor with him. No, most are simply viewing him as a 54-year-old former champ who hasn’t fought since 2005 and who lost three of his last four bouts by knockout.

The reality is he probably shouldn’t even be allowed to fight the majority of young 20 year old “pro” heavyweights just starting out with 4 rounders because he’d absolutely demolish most of them. Maybe. I wouldn’t want to see your theory tested out. If you really believe this, what do you think he’s going to do with Jones, a natural middleweight who was a fringe-contender level cruiserweight from 2011-2015 and suffered frightening stoppages to Denis Lebedev and Enzo Maccarinelli during that time?

(I apologize if these responses constitute “getting chewed out”)

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS AND QUESTIONS

Hey Dougie,

Great to see you back on TV. I was glad the Thompson PPV was at a reasonable price. Some good fights for a Sunday. Like I said before I like your insight on the club level shows. I actually learned a lot about these fighters.

Quick question: Do you think Oscar Valdez will benefit more from a trainer like Robert Garcia? He wants to be defensive while being offensive what better coach than Garcia?

Michael Dutchover had a good test I know with the pandemic going on it’s kind of hard but when do you think he can step up his competition.

I know I gave Charlo a lot of sh*t for not fighting anybody at 160 but damn he’s fighting Sergiy Derevyanchenko. I know people are saying he’s not the same after the GGG fight but come on we have to give Charlo props for this fight win or lose. Do you know how the PPV is supposed to play I heard half the card is in the day and the other half is at night do you know anything about this?

What happened with Daniel Roman I thought he was with DAZN? Is this going to affect his rematch with MJ? You know I want to see that fight!

I know it’s still far from now but how do you see the Charlos double header playing out?

Oh before I go I think I started this pandemic because I said nothing can make me interested in Tank vs Santa Cruz after being away from boxing for so long I’m kind of interested in this fight.

Well as always take care of yourself Dougie. – Joey, Pomona

I’m still not interested in David-Santa Cruz but sign me up for that Charlo PPV doubleheader. I think Houston’s dynamic duo will prevail in tough, entertaining fights.

Quick question: Do you think Oscar Valdez will benefit more from a trainer like Robert Garcia? Training with Garcia certainly wouldn’t hurt, but there’s no guarantee that Robert mesh better with Valdez than Eddy Reynoso.

He wants to be defensive while being offensive. What better coach than Garcia? The only way to know if Garcia can bring that out in Valdez is for Valdez to train with him. But I think Valdez is what he is. He could be trained by Garcia, Freddie Roach, Ronnie Shields, Joel Diaz, whoever. He’s gonna do what he always does once the bell rings.

Michael Dutchover had a good test. I know with the pandemic going on it’s kind of hard but when do you think he can step up his competition. I think Dutchover’s competition remains at or just a little bit above the Jorge Marron Jr. level for the rest of this year and at least the first half of 2021. Maybe a rematch with Thomas Mattice can be worked out for his next fight or the bout after that. By fall/winter 2021, I can see Thompson Boxing stepping it up a little bit by trying to get Dutchover some of the opponents that his more-advanced peers in the 135-pound division have faced, such as Carlos Morales, Xolisani Ndongeni, Diego Magdaleno and Mason Menard.

I know I gave Charlo a lot of sh*t for not fighting anybody at 160 but damn he’s fighting Sergiy Derevyanchenko. That’s a showdown of legit top-five middleweights (The Ring ranks Charlo and Derevyanchenko Nos. 3 and 4).  

I know people are saying he’s not the same after the GGG fight but come on we have to give Charlo props for this fight win or lose. Absolutely. As long as he’s competitive, Charlo should receive nothing but respect from hardcore fans. But if he’s able to stop the rugged Ukrainian, he deserves to be celebrated.

Do you know how the PPV is supposed to play? I heard half the card is in the day and the other half is at night. Do you know anything about this? That’s what I’ve been told.

What happened with Daniel Roman I thought he was with DAZN? Is this going to affect his rematch with MJ? You know I want to see that fight! Me too. It was a Fight of the Year candidate. However, Roman is set to debut as a PBC player on the Charlo doubleheader, so start matchmaking him with the standout 122 and 126 pounders on that side of the street.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Instagram Live every Sunday.

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