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Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Tyson vs. Jones, Sammy Angott, El Alacron)

Mike Tyson and Roy Jones Jr. are going to share the ring tomorrow. Are we in the Twilight Zone? Who should be the favorite in this Bizarro World exhibition?
27
Nov

WHY IS TYSON THE FAVORITE?

Hi Dougie, hope you are doing well.

I just can’t get my head around the fact that Mike Tyson is the favourite for his Roy Jones Jr. exhibition fight.

The last time Roy fought was 2 years ago.

The last time Tyson fought was 15 years ago.

Roy runs a boxing gym, training boxers. Presumably that means keeping in shape. As far as I understand, Tyson had not exactly been a model sportsman for the past 15 years, and only cleaned up his act recently.

Roy is 3 years younger. Tyson has no height or reach advantage. The fight is 8 rounds, which is a lot for a 54 year old. Does Tyson even have stamina to finish the fight on his legs? In his last fight with Kevin McBride Tyson ran out of steam by round 6, and that was 15 years ago!

Do the little men in Vegas know something we don’t? Please share your wisdom with us. – Tigran

According to DraftKings, Tyson is a -225 favorite, Jones is an underdog at +175, so he’s not a huge favorite but I have to figure odds makers lean toward the former Baddest Man On The Planet for two reasons: his greater celebrity and the fact that he’s the natural heavyweight in the matchup of senior legends.

For value, I think Jones (or that the exhibition doesn’t go the full eight for any reason) is an excellent bet.

You’re right about Jones being the younger, fresher, better preserved athlete. You’re right about Jones being the more active boxer in recent years/decades and having the superior stamina.

However, Tyson remains the harder puncher (regardless of the glove size) and the 2-minute rounds could help him maintain power throughout the rounds and until about the mid-way point.

Now, eight minutes doesn’t sound like a long time, and it isn’t a long time to a natural athlete like Jones if we’re talking about hitting mitts or the heavybag or even sparring with an average Joe, but it’s a LONG time to share the ring with Tyson if the former undisputed heavyweight champ is trying to take your head off.

Also, consider this: Since Tyson lost to McBride (June 2015), Jones has been knocked out three times (by Danny Green, Denis Lebedev and Enzo Maccarinelli). The stoppages in the Lebedev and Maccarinelli fights were both disturbing. His lights were turned out.

Jones had a semblance of his old form in the Green fight, but his punch resistance just wasn’t there. He had decent footwork and reflexes (backed by great experience and ring generalship) vs. Lebedev, and he almost went the distance with the Russian cruiserweight standout, but vs. Maccarinelli he was operating on muscle memory and his muscles musta forgot (forgive me for that one; I couldn’t resist). Jones couldn’t keep the 2015 version of Big Mac off of him, and he couldn’t defend against the Welshman’s uppercuts.

And, lastly, remember that Jones’ style is not one that works well with an aging athlete with diminished reflexes. And even when Roy was at his untouchable peak, he had the bad habit of willingly backing up to the ropes. In his prime, he could adequately protect himself just by covering up, and he was often able to set traps with his magical blend of speed, power, timing, accuracy, and unorthodox angles/punch selection. In 2020, against even the “old-man” version of Tyson, that tactic/habit could result in a wobbly moment, which is all the California commission and referee need to see to stop the fight.

 

LISTON’S JAB, SAMMY ANGOTT AND INTERNET IDIOTS

Hi Dougie,

I have read several times that Sonny had an extra joint in his shoulder or could somehow manipulate it to get extra reach on his jab. Is there any truth to this or was it just his extraordinary long arms?

I’m 37 Dougie and grew up in a time where my only boxing news sources were magazines (2 months old  by the time they reached Australian news stands). But what I miss from those days is, that the only opinions I’d be exposed to, were from knowledgeable boxing writers. Even the “letters to the editor” sections seemed to be from well informed fans. My question is, did the countless idiots who now inhabit Twitter and boxing forums exist prior to the internet? Or have they always been there and just  previously lacked an outlet to share their stupidity?

Where do you rank Sammy Angott among the best at 135? Is it true he perfected a hit and hold technique, which lead to his nickname “the clutch”? Hopefully he was more entertaining than John Ruiz.

I’m watching the “fight” this weekend for nostalgia reasons. If Tyson wins, expect an influx of emails from morons stating how he could still beat Fury or Joshua.

MM:

Liston vs Wilder (I feel like Deontay better of had some excuses ready).

Thanks mate. Regards. – Will

If Wilder was more consistent with his jab and really learned how to pop that fundamental shot (the way his former assistant trainer Mark Breland used to work it at welterweight), I’d give the Bronze Bomber a puncher’s chance in this mythical matchup, but he wasn’t, so I gotta go with the prime-version of Liston (by FAR the better technician) by mid-rounds stoppage.

I have read several times that Sonny had an extra joint in his shoulder or could somehow manipulate it to get extra reach on his jab. Is there any truth to this or was it just his extraordinary long arms? Liston was rangy with a long wingspan, but I’ve never heard of him having extra joints in his left shoulder. He just had really good jab technique. He could get extra length/torque on his jab without stepping forward because of the way he’d lean forward/extend the punch while pivoting on his front foot and rotating his hips.

I’m 37 Dougie and grew up in a time where my only boxing news sources were magazines (2 months old by the time they reached Australian newsstands). But what I miss from those days is, that the only opinions I’d be exposed to, were from knowledgeable boxing writers. I hear ya. Even when those opinions turned out to be wrong, at least they were informed opinions.

Even the “letters to the editor” sections seemed to be from well informed fans. Yes, they were for the most part. Hey, if you’re going to take the time to pen or type a formal letter, pay for postage and mail it off at the post office, you’re generally going to THINK about what you’re writing. You’re going to research your subject and check your “Ps” and “Qs” before folding that page or pages up into that envelope and sealing it. Social media makes it too easy to fire off abbreviated, emotional, knee-jerk reactions (emphasis on the JERK).

My question is, did the countless idiots who now inhabit Twitter and boxing forums exist prior to the internet? Or have they always been there and just previously lacked an outlet to share their stupidity? I think the dips__ts were always there, but I also believe that there are more dumb-ass fans now than ever before because they simply don’t read as much quality material on the sport as previous generations.

Sammy Angott.

Where do you rank Sammy Angott among the best at 135? He’s lower top 10 in my book. (Bro, I’m one of the very few writers/amateur historians who rank Angott among the pound-for-pound best of all time.) Angott was a three-time champ who faced 10 hall of famers during his 131-bout career, which spanned from 1935-1950. He holds victories against two great lightweight champs, Bob Montgomery (who he outpointed three times) and Ike Williams (who he stopped in six rounds, but lost split decisions in two other bouts), and against three great featherweight champs (Willie Pep, Freddie Miller and Baby Arizmendi). Angott was the first pro boxer to beat Pep (who was 62-0 going into that 1943 lightweight bout). He faced the best fighters of the late 1930s/early ’40s, including the African-American standouts and contenders, as well as Mexican stars (Arizmendi, Juan Zurita and Kid Azteca).

 

Is it true he perfected a hit and hold technique, which lead to his nickname “the clutch”?

Angott lunges at Pep.

Hopefully he was more entertaining than John Ruiz. From the limited footage I’ve seen, he was. While Angott did a good job of holding and grappling on the inside, he had the experience, ring generalship, rock-solid chin and respectable offense to outwork the masterful likes of Pep and battle on even terms with killers like Henry Armstrong, Beau Jack and Williams. Angott went the distance three times with young, prime lightweight, junior welter and welterweight versions of Sugar Ray Robinson in 1941, 1942 and 1946. He couldn’t do that just by clutching; he had guts, he could punch and he had good defense and footwork.

I’m watching the “fight” this weekend for nostalgia reasons. If Tyson wins, expect an influx of emails from morons stating how he could still beat Fury or Joshua. Until Fury and Joshua fight each other and create some legit boxing excitement and intrigue, I can’t blame all the dumb asses for fantasizing about Iron Mike.

 

MIGUEL BERCHELT

Hi Dougie,

Obligatory first-time writer long time reader. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. On Monday’s Mailbag you favored Tank over El Alacran. I in no way see your “Davis by come-from-behind late-rounds stoppage in a grueling battle” as a stretch. We saw Florez TKO Berchelt back in 2014 and since winning and defending his 130 WBC strap 6 times there were moments when Berchelt was hurt by his opponents. But I believe Berchelt beats Davis at 130 and 135. With all due respect to Santa Cruz, Tank’s best win is against Pedraza. Over the course of winning and defending the belt Berchelt has shown improvement in his defense but he is still very hittable and that is all Tank needs, however I think Berchelt is smart enough to respect Tank’s power and I think we would see a similar fight plan executed to the one used against Miura. Given Berchelt’s power in his left hand I could envision him keeping Davis away with strong jabs and hooks while never forgetting to dig to the body (he never does).

Hopefully my bias is not showing too much, not counting Valdez out since I always make sure to watch his fights, but “if” Berchelt beats Valdez how do you see the following potential fights for Berchelt going?

130:

Berchelt vs. Herring (if Herring can avoid Shakur Stevenson)

Berchelt vs. Stevenson

Berchelt vs. Jojo Diaz (if cross promotion allows for it)

135:

Berchelt vs. Lomachenko

Berchelt vs. Commey

Berchelt vs. Haney (I think Hearn can make this fight)

Also, Mikey Garcia vs. Teofimo Lopez 135 – Jason

Your mythical matchups:

Lopez by close decision in a good scrap

Berchelt vs. HerringBerchelt by close (maybe controversial) decision

Berchelt vs. StevensonStevenson by close decision

Berchelt vs. Jojo DiazDiaz by close, maybe split decision

135:

Berchelt vs. LomachenkoLomachenko by decision

Berchelt vs. CommeyBerchelt by close decision

Berchelt vs. HaneyHaney by close decision

Miguel Berchelt (left) lands a left hook to the bloody face of Francisco Vargas en route to stopping the previously unbeaten WBC 130-pound titleholder on January 28, 2017, in Indio, California. Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions

Berchelt (left) batters Francisco Vargas en route to stopping the previously unbeaten WBC 130-pound titleholder. Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos / Golden Boy Promotions

I believe Berchelt beats Davis at 130 and 135. That’s fair. The Mexican veteran is still in his athletic prime (29) and he’s shown some skill and versatility in defending the WBC 130-pound title six times since lifting it from Francisco Vargas in January 2017. Davis is explosive at 130 but hasn’t shown the consistency El Alacran has at the weight. And though Tank has a WBA secondary belt at 135, he hasn’t done much in the division. (However, I should point out that none of the contenders Berchelt has defeated are as talented as Davis.) If they ever do fight, I hope they do it at 130 because as The Ring’s Nos. 1 and 2 junior lightweights, the magazine’s vacant title belt would be on the line.

With all due respect to Santa Cruz, Tank’s best win is against Pedraza. That’s a fair call, especially given Pedraza’s run and form at 135 and 140 since that loss.

Over the course of winning and defending the belt Berchelt has shown improvement in his defense but he is still very hittable and that is all Tank needs, however I think Berchelt is smart enough to respect Tank’s power and I think we would see a similar fight plan executed to the one used against Miura. I agree. However, I think it’s harder to evade Tank’s attack than Miura’s straight-forward aggression.

Given Berchelt’s power in his left hand I could envision him keeping Davis away with strong jabs and hooks while never forgetting to dig to the body (he never does). Hey, Santa Cruz, is close to the same height and wingspan as Berchelt, and he was able to put hands on Tank, even lumping-up the younger, naturally bigger fighter’s face a bit. Berchelt can box with more athleticism and punch with a lot more authority. However, Tank is tough and determined and I’m sure he’ll be looking to counter Alacran whenever the Mexican goes to his body.

It’s a fascinating potential matchup.

 

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 Periscope or Dougie’s IG Live every Sunday.