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Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Povetkin-Whyte 2, Ruiz-Arreola, mythical matchups)

Photo by Mark Robinson/ Matchroom Boxing
26
Mar

POVETKIN-WHYTE 2

Hi Dougie,

Hope all is fine with you and yours.

Whyte-Povetkin. A very anticipated rematch. I’m rooting for Whyte, but the main question heading to rematch is had Whyte recovered completely psychologically and physically from that hellish KO. I wish he had. For as he said himself this is a “must-win rematch” for him. Another loss could definitely destroy his career.



But props to Povetkin, too. He is somewhat reminiscent of Joe Frazier – there’s no quit in him. Even at the advanced age still got skills and stamina to KO younger, bigger & physically stronger opponent. And, I think, now, at 41, he will be a solid gatekeeper for up-and-coming top contenders eyeing the heavyweight throne. And a question to you. Who’s more dangerous of two vets of The Ring magazine’s Top 10 – Povetkin or Luis Ortiz? To me Povetkin is more accomplished amateur and professional and has faced a better opposition throughout his career.

Some mythical or potential matchups:

Luis Ortiz vs. Dillian Whyte

Povetkin vs. Ortiz

Andy Ruiz vs. Dillian Whyte

Jarrel Miller vs. Dillian Whyte

Ivan Drago vs. Clabber Lang

Thanks. All the best. – Roberto, Mexico

Your mythical/ potential matchups: 

Luis Ortiz vs. Dillian WhyteWhyte MD or SD

Povetkin vs. OrtizPovetkin by MD or close UD

Andy Ruiz vs. Dillian WhyteRuiz by mid-to-late TKO

Jarrel Miller vs. Dillian WhyteWhyte by competitive UD (provided there’s VADA testing)

Ivan Drago vs. Clabber LangLang by middle rounds stoppage via concentrated body attack provided the fight takes place in Vegas (where boxers from the former Soviet Union can’t catch a break AND provided t here’s VADA testing).

Photo by Dave Thompson/ Matchroom Boxing

Whyte-Povetkin. A very anticipated rematch. It kind of snuck up on me to be honest. I was glad it was postponed from its original November 2020 date (which was WAY too soon) and then from a January 30 date (due to Povetkin testing positive for COVID-19) and then postponed again from its March 6 date (due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in the UK). It’s given Whyte more time to rest and physically recover from that chilling one-hitter-quitter KO he suffered in Round 5 of their first fight. I would have been worried about Whyte had the rematch taken place last year. Anyway, this return bout has been out of sight and out of mind for me. I guess the main rematch I was focused on since the start of 2021 was Estrada-Gonzalez2. But hey, I’ll be watching with interest tomorrow along with all the other degenerate boxing junkies out there talking dookie on Twitter.

I’m rooting for Whyte, but the main question heading to rematch is had Whyte recovered completely psychologically and physically from that hellish KO. Physically, I think yes, unless he foolishly engaged in hard sparring prior to the original rematch date. Psychologically, I have no idea. Whyte probably has no idea. We’ll know for sure from his body language early in the fight and certainly after he gets clocked with a good shot.

I wish he had. For as he said himself this is a “must-win rematch” for him. Another loss could definitely destroy his career. Nonsense. If he gets sparked again and wants to keep fighting, he’ll eventually get other significant fights. A heavyweight is always one big win away from being right back in the title mix. This ain’t the 1970s or 1990s, the division ain’t that deep. If nothing else, Whyte’s got a name.

But props to Povetkin, too. He is somewhat reminiscent of Joe Frazier – there’s no quit in him. We gotta respect and admire the steel will and longevity of the Russian veteran. He’s been a world-class operator since 2007.

And, I think, now, at 41, he will be a solid gatekeeper for up-and-coming top contenders eyeing the heavyweight throne. At the present time, Povetkin is The Ring’s No. 3-rated heavyweight, behind only Ring/WBC champ Tyson Fury, unified beltholder Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder. He’s far from a gatekeeper, even if he loses to Whyte tomorrow.

Who’s more dangerous of two vets of The Ring magazine’s Top 10 – Povetkin or Luis Ortiz? I gotta go with Povetkin. He’s more versatile.

To me Povetkin is more accomplished amateur and professional and has faced a better opposition throughout his career. You’re not wrong.

 

RUIZ-ARREOLA

Hey Dougie,

Hope all is well with you, and your family. Boxing has been really heating up this year. I’m almost forgetting 2020 even happened. When I hear fighters have been off a year I forget about the Pandemic.

Anyways just read Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola PPV is reasonably priced, but if it’s limited attendance I might try and get some tickets. I still don’t think this fight is PPV worthy, but you know how the game works.

Is there any chance of the Thompson Boxing fight cards having crowds?

I had a debate with a friend about a fighter who is considered feather fisted which style they should adopt. He feels a light puncher should become a volume puncher. Overwhelming the opponent until he gets the K.O. I think they should box on the outside like Lara or Rigondeaux. Connect with accurate punches to beat your opponents down.

MM:

Edwin Valero vs Mikey Garcia

Andy Price vs Aaron Pryor

Tony Cerda vs Artur Beterbiev

Rey Vargas vs Gary Russell Jr

Alright Dougie take care, and hopefully California gets more events soon. Texas and Florida are getting spoiled right now. – Joey, Pomona

Those state governments are willing to roll the dice in regard to COVID-19 infection rates and their gamble is paying off in terms of hosting major sporting events. But I think Nevada and California will gradually get back into the swing of things starting mid-summer and hopefully we’ll see some decent boxing crowds by the fall.

Your Mythical Matchups:

Edwin Valero vs Mikey GarciaValero by late stoppage at 130 pounds; competitive UD at 135 pounds.

Andy Price vs Aaron PryorPryor by competitive but clear UD (nice one, Battle of the “Hawks”)

Tony Cerda vs Artur BeterbievYour Pomona homie was more of a middleweight than light heavyweight, so no disrespect, but I think he’d get brutalized to a middle-rounds stoppage (if not sooner).

Rey Vargas vs Gary Russell Jr.This ain’t no Mythical Matchup. This an awful style matchup that will likely become a reality because it’s a WBC mandatory for Mr. Russell. I think Vargas will do his best to stink out the joint, but Russell (AKA Halley’s Comet) will get the decision even if the Mexican bean stalk’s usual game of Keep-Away limits any meaningful contact for 12 rounds.

Anyways just read Andy Ruiz and Chris Arreola PPV is reasonably priced, but if it’s limited attendance I might try and get some tickets. I would pay for a $100-$150 ticket to see the entire show live in what has always been a fun outdoor venue (Dignity Sports Health Park, AKA StubHub Center, in Carson) before I’d pay $50 to watch four bouts via PPV.

I still don’t think this fight is PPV worthy, but you know how the game works. Yep, and I also know why the game is more marginalized than ever.

Is there any chance of the Thompson Boxing fight cards having crowds? Yes, but probably not until the late summer or early fall.

I had a debate with a friend about a fighter who is considered feather fisted which style they should adopt. He feels a light puncher should become a volume puncher. Overwhelming the opponent until he gets the K.O. I think they should box on the outside like Lara or Rigondeaux. Connect with accurate punches to beat your opponents down. It all depends on the natural talent, amateur experience, athletic ability, durability, and style preference/temperament of the individual.

 

REPEAT OR REVENGE

Hi Doug,

Hope you the family and team are keeping well.

Finally, the rematch. Been looking forward to this.

It’s a tricky one. Dillian “Just” has to do what he did before but look out for that punch up close. Just!

Never has it been so easy to say something than actually being able to pull it off I feel.

I don’t think Dillian will completely change the way he boxes to avoid Povetkin. I don’t think he has had enough time to do make that adjustment or is possibly be able to. However what he did last time was very effective so I would have thought he has been concentrating on not getting caught and staying alert to a wiley operator. The problem is thats easier said than done and there are a couple of issues.

Firstly he was caught completely unaware by a well paced punch he did not expect and was knocked out cold before he hit the floor. I hope he’s spent hours watching that fight back and other Povetkin fights to better learn what to look out for. However being able to spot something under fire is gonna hard and is difficult to train for.

Secondly what does a knockout like that do to you physiologically? The AJ KO was different. Dillian was out on his feet that time. This time it came out of nowhere and completely turned the tables. He’s got to have some lingering doubts about how Povetkin pulled that out of the bag. He’s got to be wary of that negativity affecting his performance, and maybe preparation, this time round?

I think Dillian is mentally a tough cookie. He handled the AJ fight build up really well. Also after that loss he’s moved from London to Leicester (about 2 hours from London) to train at the university sports science department. That shoes me he not afraid to try new things and move outside of his comfort zone.

You’d think Povetkin would be going in with all the confidence in the world, but he’s been around long enough to know this is gonna be a tough fight. It certainly wasn’t a lucky punch, but a once in a career punch maybe? I’m thinking Froch Groves 2.

Povetkin is very skilled, dangerous, tried and tested on the inside. He’s a night mare for any top Heavyweight. AJ and Klitchko’s size and athleticism was a problem for Povetkin I feel, but guys closer to his height are always gonna struggle.

How has the COVID affected Povetkin? It’s definitely given Dillian more time to recover from the KO and train, but has Povetkin fully recovered? Will it be a factor? I fell an earlier rematch would have favoured him.

I’m gonna go with my UK fighter for revenge, but won’t be surprised if we see a repeat.

How you calling it?

All the best, stay safe and have a good weekend. – Tabraze, London, U.K.

Will do, Tabraze, thank you – and all of this week’s mailbaggers – for the family well wishes. Wifey and the girls are doing great.

I think the Povetkin-Whyte rematch is a 50-50 toss-up, which is something I love to witness in this sport, but I’m going with the odds underdog, Whyte, to win a close UD.

I think COVID-19 generally has a greater impact on older fighters, but the Russian veteran has had three months to recover, so I’m going to assume he’s 100% for this rematch. I think he’ll need to be to repeat his victory.

Whyte’s jab was a key component in his off-the-canvas victory over fellow contender Oscar Rivas. Photo by Dave Thompson.

It’s a tricky one. Dillian “Just” has to do what he did before but look out for that punch up close. Just! I don’t agree. I think Whyte was a little too willing to engage with Povetkin on the inside during the first bout. I think he needs more distance, patience and focus to win this rematch. He’s gotta get his jab going early, resist the temptation to attack Povetkin’s body, and employ some lateral movement. Whyte must not back straight up against this battle-tested veteran. He’s got to take his time, wait for opening for his long-range right hand, get the older man into the late rounds and then step on the gas when Povetkin’s technique begins to drop off.

I don’t think Dillian will completely change the way he boxes to avoid Povetkin. I don’t think he has had enough time to do make that adjustment or is possibly be able to. If that’s the case, he’s f__ked. But I think he can do the same thing that domestic rival Anthony Joshua did after getting humbled by Andy Ruiz, I think he can switch out his seek-and-destroy game for a stick-and-move strategy.

Secondly what does a knockout like that do to you physiologically? It all depends on the individual. Some boxers will shake it off as just part of boxing. They’ll tell themselves anybody – even great fighters – can be caught cold like that, and they put it out of their minds. Others lose whatever sense of security they used to carry into the ring. They think, “Oh s__t, anything can happen in that ring. I could get my lights turned out at any moment!” And they become hesitant, safety first. My told MaxBoxing cohort calls it getting “Camachoed,” which harkens back to when a prime Hector Camacho was badly rocked a couple times during his split-decision victory over Edwin Rosario – after that scare the Puerto Rican marvel stopped living up to his “Macho” moniker.

He’s got to have some lingering doubts about how Povetkin pulled that out of the bag. Does he? YOU’VE got doubts. You really don’t know if he does.

He’s got to be wary of that negativity affecting his performance, and maybe preparation, this time round? We’ll see on Sautrday.

I think Dillian is mentally a tough cookie. I do too.

Dillian Whyte is out before he hits the canvas from a left uppercut. Picture By Mark Robinson

He handled the AJ fight build up really well. Also after that loss he’s moved from London to Leicester (about 2 hours from London) to train at the university sports science department. That shoes me he not afraid to try new things and move outside of his comfort zone. Yeah, he handled the first loss of his career, which was a pretty violent stoppage in front of a huge live audience, very well. He went on an 11-bout win streak against solid-to-world class opposition following that loss. Who’s to say he can’t go on another win streak following the second setback of his pro career?

You’d think Povetkin would be going in with all the confidence in the world, but he’s been around long enough to know this is gonna be a tough fight. Of course, he knows that; it’s why he’s so dangerous.

It certainly wasn’t a lucky punch, but a once in a career punch maybe? I’m thinking Froch-Groves 2. I don’t think Povetkin thinks like that. This isn’t a game of craps to him. He just prepares as best he can and does his best on fight night. He’s an experienced veteran who can adapt to any situation; I doubt he’s even thinking about the first fight.

Povetkin is very skilled, dangerous, tried and tested on the inside. No doubt about it, he’s just got to play his cards right on his way in close. I think Povetkin needs to feint and counter as he stalks and cuts the ring off (assuming Whyte tries to box from a distance), once he gets the Brit to the ropes he can put his considerable experience to good use.

He’s a nightmare for any top Heavyweight. AJ and Klitchko’s size and athleticism was a problem for Povetkin I feel, but guys closer to his height are always gonna struggle. I disagree. Marco Huck almost held him to a draw in 2012 and Michael Hunter gave him hell (in an official draw that I thought the American won) on the undercard of Ruiz-Joshua rematch.

 

 

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 or Dougie’s Periscope (almost) every Sunday.

 

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