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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Dillian Whyte, Alexander Povetkin, Oscar De La Hoya, Amanda Serrano)

Photo by Dave Thompson/ Matchroom Boxing
29
Mar

WHYTE TKO 4 POVETKIN

Hey Dougie,

Looks like Povetkin “grew old” in the ring Saturday. Even during his ring walk he appeared tired and disinterested.

Covid had to have an effect on the aging warrior.

Do you think he retires or sticks around as an aging gate keeper? – Rodemeyer

Alexander Povetkin hinted at retirement even before suffering the second stoppage loss of his pro career, and his promoter Andrey Ryabinsky has been quoted as saying that he will encourage the star of his promotional stable to hang up the gloves, but I would be surprised if we’ve seen the last of the Russian veteran.

You’re not the only observer to believe that Povetkin’s COVID-19 infection had a negative impact on his rematch performance. Judging by my Twitter timeline, MOST fans and media think his sluggishness and stoppage loss had something to do with being sick with COVID earlier this year. Don’t think for a second that Povetkin isn’t hearing this talk and wondering about it himself. If the old warhorse feels he could have performed better had he not gotten sick, he might convince himself to make one last comeback. That’s what combat athletes do. If they weren’t delusional on some level they wouldn’t have become prize fighters.

You and most fans will view him as an “aging gatekeeper,” but The Ring Ratings Panel might not drop him out of the top 10 (the heavyweight division ain’t that deep). Even if he does drop out of The Ring’s rankings, just know that the sanctioning bodies will keep him in the mix. The WBC will keep him in the top five or six, and now that he no longer holds the WBC’s interim title, the WBA, IBF and WBO will add him to their top tens. Bottom line: If Povetkin really wants to continue, Ryabinsky is going to have his back (they’ve been through too much together to part ways now), and since Ryabinsky’s got deep pockets, the sanctioning bodies are going to want to be in the Povetkin business.

I think Povetkin will be back for at least two more fights. He might lay out for the rest of the year, but once his body heals and he starts to feel the itch again, he’s headed straight for the gym.

Looks like Povetkin “grew old” in the ring Saturday. Even during his ring walk he appeared tired and disinterested.

@leonTheCanteen had the best Tweet on Povetkin’s ring walk:

Covid had to have an effect on the aging warrior. It probably did. I also think the multiple postponements for the rematch, which either caused too many starts and stops to his camps or made for one really long camp, negatively impacted his timing and reflexes. Maybe the COVID-19 sapped his legs. His chin was still pretty darn solid, though, and I’ll take my hat off to the 41-year-old for swinging back every time he was nailed with a hard shot.

 

OSCAR DE LA HOYA’S COMEBACK

Hey Dougie,

Quick hitter on DLH comeback. Trying to think of opponents, my buddy says Mosley is natural option. I was thinking no matter how undeserving from $$$$$ + business JCC Jr. makes most sense. At say 170. Thanks. – Brian, Tucson

Your buddy has the right matchmaking idea in terms of entertainment (Sugar Shane wouldn’t be able to help himself from going full tilt vs. his childhood rival), but in Texas, where they’re supposed to stage this comeback, I have to agree with your pick. Chavez, at whatever weight Junior wants to come in at, makes the most sense in terms of putting butts in the seats. However, I keep hearing that the fine folks at Triller want Oscar to face an MMA star, which probably makes the most sense in terms of pay-per-view buys. And, hey, they’re the ones cutting the check, so …

De La Hoya (left) and Trinidad in their 1999 welterweight unification bout. Photo from The Ring archive

But the out-of-retirement showdown for De La Hoya that would fascinate me the most (and you probably know I’ve got almost zero interest in most of this stuff) would be vs. Felix Trinidad. It would have to go down at Madison Square Garden (obviously once the pandemic is under control and COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted for full capacity). I like it because they never had a rematch when they should have and my guess is that even if they have a “gentleman’s agreement” not to beat the s__t out of each other the matchup up of older, heavier, slower rivals would produce more entertainment than their 1999 encounter in their primes.

 

WAS POVETKIN SICK?

Hi Doug,

I was surprised there was not more chatter about this. To me Povetkin looked completely sick from the moment they showed him in the locker room and during his walk in. Once the fight started he seemed like he could barely keep his balance anytime Whyte bumped into him at all. He didn’t look out of shape; he looked unhealthy.

I know he had Covid a few months ago but he looked to me like he should be home in bed drinking OJ instead of being punched in the head by a large man.  This fight does not really change my opinion of Whyte. In my mind he is entertaining, somewhat limited, has a decent jab and excellent power. I would be happy to see him fight Wilder if that could actually be made. – Dylan

The likelihood of Wilder vs. Whyte being made is slim and none (and, yes, Slim left town! Shout out to Don King!).

Dillian Whyte on the scale. Photo by Mark Robinson/Matchroom Boxing

So you say, Dillian Whyte is just an entertaining, somewhat limited heavyweight with a decent jab and excellent power. You might be right about that, but guess what? That’s enough to be a top-five heavyweight at the present time! Name five heavyweights that are clearly better/more battle-tested than Whyte? Apart from Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua, and maybe Deontay Wilder, you’ve got to figure Whyte’s got the edge. And even the Wilder fight (which we’ll never get to see) is a closer to a toss-up. Wilder is the better athlete, has more speed and one-punch KO power, but he’s got less of an arsenal and a crappier foundation. And who knows where the Alabaman’s mind/heart is at the present time? Whyte was able to come back and avenge his most recent KO loss (and he didn’t lack confidence while setting the record straight). Wilder hasn’t fought since Fury thrashed him. He might be vulnerable.

I was surprised there was not more chatter about this. I take it you don’t spend a lot of time on Twitter during and after the fights? If you’re looking for fight game-related speculative chatter, Boxing Twitter will deliver.

To me Povetkin looked completely sick from the moment they showed him in the locker room and during his walk in. He didn’t seem to have a “glow” or a fighting edge to him. That’s for sure. Sometimes fighters, even those who had good camps, just don’t have it when they make their walks to the ring, this happens more often when they get into their late 30s and 40s. But sometimes pros who feel like s__t the day of the fight can literally “fight themselves into shape” if they are allowed to get into their rhythm. I’ve witnessed this many times from ringside. However, to Whyte’s credit, he pounded on the veteran in the opening round and did not allow that to happen. Povetkin never did find his “fighting legs.”

Once the fight started he seemed like he could barely keep his balance anytime Whyte bumped into him at all. His legs weren’t under him, and his reflexes seemed off, too, which was fortunate for Whyte, who got a little bit wild and overanxious in the opening round when he thought he’d hurt the former beltholder.  

He didn’t look out of shape; he looked unhealthy. I hope I don’t get in trouble for saying this, but f__k it, I can’t be PC all the f__king time, I’ve always thought that white-skinned Russians looked under-the-weather. Seriously, I’m always a bit surprised when the really pale Russian dudes with clammy looking skin and dark circles under their eyes kick ass in the ring. They look like they’ve got the flu even when they’re 100% healthy. (OK, you can all cancel me now.)

I know he had Covid a few months ago but he looked to me like he should be home in bed drinking OJ instead of being punched in the head by a large man. You know what? If he was under-the-weather, he can take one HELL of a shot for a sick man.

 

AMANDA SERRANO

Hey Dougie,

Amanda Serrano’s performance on Thursday night got me thinking why she doesn’t have more star power. She’s a ko artist with a fan-friendly style, has a Puerto Rican background which I think still makes up a decent portion of the U.S. boxing audience, longevity, and is charismatic. I feel like she should be more popular than she is. Hopefully, she continues to fight on platforms like Ring City USA, which has been a great injection of vitality to the sport so far.

Do you know what glove size is used for women’s boxing? I saw promoter Lou DiBella tweet that smaller gloves would help create more exciting fights after the Shields dominance of Eve-Dicaire.

I’ve generally thought expanding to 3min would create more knockouts as there have been a few bouts where a fighter is hurt only to be saved by the bell but I hadn’t considered DiBella’s point. However, I also like the enforced pacing of 2min rounds. What are your thoughts? – Jonathan

I also like the fast pace of 2-minute rounds. I wish some men’s matchups could be reduced to 2-minute rounds.

Ann Wolfe

I disagree that expanding to 3-minute rounds or smaller gloves will result in more knockouts in women’s boxing. Either a woman can punch or she can’t. Do you think the size of the gloves or the duration of the rounds mattered to Ann Wolfe or Lucia Rijker? Nah. They were knocking b__ches out regardless. But seriously, if female boxers really want 3-minute rounds (as some and fans/media trumpet), they just need to request it of the state athletic commissions. If Marlen Esparza could convince the Nevada State Athletic Commission to allow her second pro bout to be fought with 3-minute rounds, why can’t Serrano or Claressa Shields or Katie Taylor or Jessica McCaskill do the same for their championship bouts?

Amanda Serrano’s performance on Thursday night got me thinking why she doesn’t have more star power. Serrano can really fight (and punch). With her entertaining/versatile fighting style, impressive record (40-1-1, 30 KOs) and accomplishments (world titles in seven weight classes), I think all she needs is more exposure to get fans to jump into her bandwagon. Kudos to Ring City USA and NBC Sports Net for making her the main event of their most recent program and showcasing her against a worthy opponent in Daniela Bermudez. Serrano was No. 4 in Ring Magazine’s women’s pound-for-pound rankings going into the fight with Bermudez, who was No. 8. The high-level matchup produced a quality fight (even though Serrano arguably won every round before stopping the game Argentine). More matchups – and victories – like that one will add to her claim of being the best female fighter in the game.

She’s a ko artist with a fan-friendly style, has a Puerto Rican background which I think still makes up a decent portion of the U.S. boxing audience, longevity, and is charismatic. I feel like she should be more popular than she is. She needs to be fighting on ESPN, Fox, Showtime, or some other major network, but the options, as you know, are pretty limited, even for top male boxers.  

Amanda Serrano, who has won seven world titles in seven weight classes, must write a diet book one day. Photo / @DAZN_USA

Hopefully, she continues to fight on platforms like Ring City USA, which has been a great injection of vitality to the sport so far. I agree. I don’t know if they have the money to get the top female fighters from 122-126 to share the ring with Serrano, but if they do, I’d love to see Serrano vs. Jelena Mrdjenovich (WBA featherweight titleholder), which would be for the inaugural Ring Magazine championship, or Jackie Nava (esteemed Mexican veteran who fights at junior featherweight). A showdown with Mikaela Mayer (WBO 130-pound titleholder) would probably need the blessing of Top Rank and would likely take place on ESPN; showdowns with lightweight champ/pound-for-pound queen Katie Taylor and Terri Harper (WBC 130-pound titleholder) would need to be worked out with Matchroom Boxing would probably air on DAZN (in the U.S.).

Do you know what glove size is used for women’s boxing? I saw promoter Lou DiBella tweet that smaller gloves would help create more exciting fights after the Shields dominance of Eve-Dicaire. I’m guessing that DiBella Tweeted that because Shields-Dicarie took place at junior middleweight (154 pounds), which uses 8 oz. gloves. In women’s boxing middleweights on up use 10 oz. gloves. (In men’s boxing the divisions under junior middleweight use 8 oz. gloves.) I think smaller gloves cause more damage if the person wearing them can crack. But Shields isn’t a KO puncher, so I don’t think there’s much difference between 10 and 8 oz. gloves.

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR DILLIAN?

Hey Dougie,

Promised myself I’d never email you drunk again after my first email and buying a two-year magazine subscription…. Then I did last week. But this week I got my first issue through the door – I’m so happy!

Ring Magazine joins Private Eye (both subscriptions) in the magazine rack.

Anyway. Just watched the Dillian Whyte win. People seem to be calling a Covid win or at least saying Povetkin had no legs from the off. Thought DW looked good! He was patient yet effective. Not saying he’s top two but seems to be definitely up to fighting for supremacy in the UK. So world (in this division) He’s no chance of that for now (plus the rematch) so what do you see / hope for him? I’d love a couple of goes with Wilder. Maybe three if they’re even after two. Not a lot else is floating my boat right now. Usyk would I guess.

Him vs Joyce is definitely not it!

Cheers Doug. – Thomas

I wish we could get a Wilder-Whyte showdown, but boxing is not in a very good place right now. I don’t think the networks and promoters involved with that matchup can get their s__t together for that one. Sucks, I know, because that’s an explosive promotion and fight.

The winner of Usyk and Joyce are in line to fight the winner of Fury and Johsua (whenever that super fight is finally set), so neither is even thinking about Whyte.

However, I would be very much interested in a rematch with Parker, or crossroads bouts vs. the likes of Michael Hunter, Filip Hrgovic or Tony Yoka.

 

MOVIN’ ON UP

Hi Doug,

It’s been a while since I wrote, but still loving the words of wisdom twice a week!

I only just got around to watching Estrada vs Chocolatito, like many others I felt Roman edged it 7-5 or 8-4, but most of the rounds were very close and evenly contested so it’s no robbery.

It got me thinking about what makes some fighters able to reach the top and win titles in multiple weight classes. Right now there’s the likes of Chocolatito, Canelo, Inoue, Pacman and Crawford. De La Hoya, Roy Jones and Mayweather also had success through the divisions, and I’m sure you could name looooads of great fighters through the ages who managed to be successful in multiple divisions. All these guys are undoubtedly fantastic boxers.

When you think about a “complete fighter”, you have to think about so many attributes – punch power, chin, footwork, body/head movement, shot selection, ring generalship, boxing IQ, heart/willpower, strength, conditioning/endurance, hand speed, height/reach and probably more.

So my question to you Doug is what do you think are the most important attributes for being successful in multiple weight classes?

And how do you think these current divisional standouts would fare against the best guys in the next weight class up? I’ve tried to pick some intriguing match ups that you don’t get asked all the time.

Julio Cesar Martinez v Chocolatito at 115

Estrada v Inoue at 118

Inoue v Akhmadaliev at 122

Gary Russell Jr v Tank Davis at 130

Teofimo Lopez v Jose Ramirez at 140

Prograis v Porter at 147

Taylor v Spence at 147

Spence v Jermell Charlo at 154

Crawford v Jermell Charlo at 154

Hurd v Jermall Charlo at 160

GGG v Benavidez at 167

Callum Smith v Bivol at 175

Canelo v Beterbiev at 175

Beterbiev v Briedis at 200

Keep up the great work Doug,

Many thanks. – Graham in Trondheim

Thanks for the kind words and thanks for sharing your thoughts, Graham.

Julio Cesar Martinez v Chocolatito at 115Gonzalez by close UD in an entertaining fight.

Estrada v Inoue at 118The Monster by late stoppage or UD in a very close/competitive/entertaining fight.

Inoue v Akhmadaliev at 122Inoue by close UD or MD.

Gary Russell Jr v Tank Davis at 130Russell by close UD or MD.

Teofimo Lopez v Jose Ramirez at 140Lopez by close UD.

Prograis v Porter at 147Porter by close, maybe controversial UD or MD.

Taylor v Spence at 147 – Spence by close UD in an entertaining scrap.

Spence v Jermell Charlo at 154Charlo by close UD in an entertaining scrap.

Crawford v Jermell Charlo at 154Charlo by close UD or MD/SD in an entertaining scrap.

Hurd v Jermall Charlo at 160Charlo by competitive but clear UD.

GGG v Benavidez at 167Golovkin by close UD, maybe MD, in a very entertaining fight.

Callum Smith v Bivol at 175Bivol by close UD.

Canelo v Beterbiev at 175Canelo by close, maybe controversial UD or MD, in a very entertaining fight.

Beterbiev v Briedis at 200Briedis by close UD or late stoppage in a great fight.

I only just got around to watching Estrada vs Chocolatito, like many others I felt Roman edged it 7-5 or 8-4, but most of the rounds were very close and evenly contested so it’s no robbery. It wasn’t a “robbery” but I’m glad that you know who really deserved the decision.

So, my question to you Doug is what do you think are the most important attributes for being successful in multiple weight classes? You have to have a lot of natural talent and athleticism, a good amateur (or early pro) foundation forged by competent or world-class trainers/management, but the most important attribute is the ability to adapt your style as you add weight to frame and age. Pressure-fighting/volume/power-punching badasses like Roberto Duran, Wilfredo Gomez, Bernard Hopkins, Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales and Manny Pacquiao became more-technically inclined ring generals as they aged and climbed in weight. Even Floyd Maywether Jr. settled down from a boxer-punching technician at 130-140 pounds to a defensive minded ring general/minimalist at welterweight/junior middleweight.

 

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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