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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Next for Herring, Frampton’s legacy, Ennis vs. Ortiz)

Jamel Herring celebrates victory as Carl Frampton reacts following their WBO 130-pound title bout at The Rotunda at Caesars Palace in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
05
Apr

A BRIDGE TOO FAR

Dougie,

I just finished watching the Carl Frampton vs Jamel Herring fight…YOU MADE THE POST FIGHT INTERVIEW!!! RingTV and Dubai! Obviously, you’ve come a long ways and I hope your star continues to rise.

However, my theme is little guys over-reaching. I can’t believe anybody other than his hardcore fans actually thought Frampton could climb Mt. Herring. SIZE MATTERS!!! A good big man will almost always beat a good smaller man and Herring is a massive Jr. Lightweight. I actually couldn’t believe Carl could get up after the way he went down from the uppercut. There was no question of his toughness and I do hope he keeps his word and enjoys his retirement.

The questions:

If Frampton doesn’t stay retired, then what do you think of another fight with Leo Santa Cruz at 130? Both seem truly in between weight classes and would still match well.

Jamel Herring vs Oscar Valdez? Valdez proved he can still swat at 130, but Herring seems more versatile than Berchelt. Thoughts? How hard is it for him to make 130? How concerning are the cuts on the same eye on consecutive fights?

Herring vs Shakur? Two massive Jr. Lightweights, but I’m not sure this would be a fun fight. Shakur has stepped it up a little lately, but his opposition hasn’t been as good as Herring. Do you even want to see this one?

Lastly, who was the best little guy moving up? I’m leaning toward Pacquiao, but Roberto Duran definitely deserves consideration.

PS: I received my Ryan Garcia issue of The Ring, but haven’t received the Frazier-Ali commemorative yet. Should I be concerned?

Congrats on your international call out and keep up the great work! – Scott

Thanks Scott, I’ll try not to let Herring’s shout-out go to my head.

Regarding the Frazier-Ali Special (April 2021), it came before the Ryan Garcia cover (May 2021), so yeah you should be concerned. Call this number: 1-800-846-6438 or email [email protected], give them your subscriber info. and tell them you didn’t get the April 2021 issue.

Frampton (left) and Santa Cruz go at it a second time. How about a rubber match? Photo by Esther Lin

If Frampton doesn’t stay retired, then what do you think of another fight with Leo Santa Cruz at 130? Both seem truly in between weight classes and would still match well. If he still has the itch for one more fight, the rubber match with Santa Cruz makes the most sense (and money). Both are coming off devastating stoppages, they’ve got the history and name recognition to make it a big event, and, as you noted, their styles mesh well in the ring. If I were advising Frampton, I’d only agree to it if Santa Cruz were willing to travel to Belfast, and I’d also try to do it at 126 or at a 128-pound catchweight.

Jamel Herring vs Oscar Valdez? Valdez proved he can still swat at 130, but Herring seems more versatile than Berchelt. Thoughts? I agree. Valdez’s iron will, physical strength (and underrated boxing ability/punch-accuracy) makes him a threat to any junior lightweight, but Herring is a better boxer/technician than Berchelt, who relied too much on his size and power. It would be interesting to see what kind of game plans Eddy Reynoso and BoMac come up with for their fighters.

How hard is it for him to make 130? It’s not easy. I’m thinking Valdez might be the only fighter he’s willing to make junior lightweight for again.

How concerning are the cuts on the same eye on consecutive fights? It’s gotta be a concern for Team Herring because I know it’s going to be a target for whoever he fights going forward.

Herring vs Shakur? Two massive Jr. Lightweights, but I’m not sure this would be a fun fight. That matchup has “tactical chess match” written all over it. Some folks are really into that. Most are not that into it.

Shakur has stepped it up a little lately, but his opposition hasn’t been as good as Herring. Do you even want to see this one? I do, but I’m not in hurry to see it. I don’t care to see this matchup next. Herring has earned the right for a high-profile/big-money fight, which Valdez can provide immediately, while Stevenson (as talented as he is) still has some dues to pay at 130 pounds and needs to grow his brand/fan base a little more.

Duran at war with Iran Barkley in the 1989 Ring Magazine Fight of the Year. Photo from The Ring archive

Lastly, who was the best little guy moving up? I’m leaning toward Pacquiao, but Roberto Duran definitely deserves consideration. You can’t go wrong with either warrior, but I’m 50 years old, so I’m gonna lean toward Hands of Stone. You gotta love that a former undisputed lightweight champ took on Marvin Hagler for the undisputed middleweight championship during the Marvelous One’s prime and went 15 competitive rounds with his fellow ATG, and then, at age 37, won a major 160-pound title by outpointing Iran Barkley (who had stopped the fellow ATG who had blitzed him at 154 pounds). You can also add Henry Armstrong, Thomas Hearns, James Toney, Tony Canzoneri and Sam Langford in that mix.

 

BOOTS VS. ORTIZ

Hi Doug,

If Jaron Ennis and Vergil Ortiz fought tomorrow, who would you pick? – Ross, Norwich, UK

I have no idea. I was leaning toward Ortiz via late stoppage or close decision prior to his step-up vs. Mo Hooker, but the rate his fellow Texan was able to put hands on him has me a bit concerned (although I’m keeping in mind that Ortiz was recovering from COVID-19). Ennis’ combinations are harder, faster and more fluid than Hooker’s salvos. But then again, I haven’t seen Boots stand up to a world-class puncher, and Ortiz has pretty good technique to back up some savvy moves.

I tell you what, Ross, ask me this question next Sunday, the day after Ennis takes on his step-up vs. Sergey Lipinets. That bout should give us more a little more insight on Philly’s latest gift to boxing.

 

THE BETTER MAN WON

Hi Doug,

Hope you the family and team are all keeping well.

Was sad to see Carl Frampton close curtains on his carrier. He’s a well loved fighter this side of the pond with great nights behind him and wins over Quigg, Martinez and Santa Cruz. However, there is no shame is that loss to simply the better man on the night.

I had the first three rounds to Herring, round 3 was close. Frampton done really well in the 4th and it looked like the tide was turning after Jamel was cut.

I think both fighters adjusted well to each other’s style. The athleticism of years past may not have been there, but they both brought a ton of experience and ring IQ to the table.

The two knockdowns were brilliant by Herring. Well timed and placed shots. Considering the bleeding I think he answered a lot of critics after his last outing.

What did you make of the stoppage and when the towel came in? I thought it was spot on, there was absolutely no need for Frampton to take anymore punishment.

Herring is receiving a lot of praise in the U.K. press today and it’s well deserved. He took a dangerous fight to prove a point. He overcame another cut to stop a battle-hardened veteran.

Also got to note the total class shown by both after the fight. That’s what young fighters need to take note of.

So Frampton has said he’ll retire. I hope he does and wish him well.

What would you like to see Herring do next? He mentioned a unification fight with Valdez and a move up to 135. He’s huge at 130. How do you think he’d get with Valdez?

How about Tank, Farmer or Stevenson? His size is a definite advantage against these guys, but is it enough?

Finally, I noticed Herring gave you a shout out at the end of the fight? What’s the story?

MM:

Frampton vs McGuigan

Stay safe and keep up the good work. – Tabraze, London U.K.

I gotta go with McGuigan, who isn’t as tall as Herring but would present the same reach advantage and stylistic challenge that the American, by close but unanimous decision (especially if we’re talking about a 15-round bout).

I’d view Herring as a slight favorite vs. Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer and would pick him to win decisions over both. I consider Stevenson, a rare, potentially elite-level talent, to be a slight favorite over Herring.

Quigg battles old rival Carl Frampton. Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

Was sad to see Carl Frampton close curtains on his carrier. He’s a well loved fighter this side of the pond with great nights behind him and wins over Quigg, Martinez and Santa Cruz. I was ringside for the showdown vs. Scott Quigg (who I thought would win an epic barnburner – which tells you how much I know about boxing LOL) and I’ll never forget that atmosphere. Frampton brought Belfast to Manchester and they took over that storied arena, the energy his fans brought to that event was almost overwhelming. I was freakin’ out when it was evident that the official judges somehow had it a split decision, and was desperately looking for an escape route out of the arena or a safe place to crawl under (maybe the ring itself) prior the third scorecard being read because, God forbid, had it been for Quigg all hell would have broken loose. Thankfully the right man won, and those crazy (drunk) Frampton fans were the best. I met some real characters that night.

However, there is no shame is that loss to simply the better man on the night. Indeed, Herring put on a near-perfect performance, the best of his pro career. Shout out to BoMac for the right game plan, and of course to Herring, who put it into play with real conviction. We forget that the man was a 2012 U.S. Olympian, the team captain, in fact, and a Marine. He’s got mad skill and heart.

I had the first three rounds to Herring, round 3 was close. Frampton done really well in the 4th and it looked like the tide was turning after Jamel was cut. I scored every round for Herring, who controlled the center of the ring and consistently beat Frampton to the punch with a variety of accurate shots, but I can see Round 4 going to the Belfast native. I thought Frampton finally got into his groove in Round 5 when he began to swarm the defending champ, but as soon as I Tweeted that he was doing the “right thing,” Herring dumped him on his butt.

The two knockdowns were brilliant by Herring. Well timed and placed shots. Considering the bleeding I think he answered a lot of critics after his last outing. Nobody should have questioned his character. I thought it was funny that both Tim Bradley and Andre Ward kept bringing up Herring’s “doubters” (on the ESPN+ broadcast) when they were Herring’s main critics during and immediately following his DQ win over Jonathan Oquendo.

What did you make of the stoppage and when the towel came in? I thought it was spot on, there was absolutely no need for Frampton to take anymore punishment. I thought the corner did the right thing at the perfect time. I’d like to think that the referee was just about to stop it before the towel was tossed into the ring.

Jamel Herring (right) vs. Masayuki Ito. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Jamel Herring (right) vs. Masayuki Ito. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Herring is receiving a lot of praise in the U.K. press today and it’s well deserved. He took a dangerous fight to prove a point. He overcame another cut to stop a battle-hardened veteran. I’m glad the British media is giving Herring his due. He’s earned it, and my guess is that the Ring Ratings Panel will vote to elevate him into the top three of the junior lightweight rankings (joining Gervonta Davis and Oscar Valdez). So far during his six-bout, four-year junior lightweight campaign, Herring has upset a hardnosed Japanese slugger (Masayuki Ito) for the WBO title and defended it against a talented, undefeated young technician (Lamont Roach) and a battle-tested two-division titleholder. Not too shabby!

Also got to note the total class shown by both after the fight. That’s what young fighters need to take note of. Herring and Frampton are as classy and charming as prize fighters come. We’re definitely going to miss Carl, so we should appreciate Jamel while we’ve got him.  

So Frampton has said he’ll retire. I hope he does and wish him well. Me too.

What would you like to see Herring do next? He mentioned a unification fight with Valdez and a move up to 135. He’s huge at 130. How do you think he’d get with Valdez? I think it’s an even fight and one of the best matchups that can be made at junior lightweight.

Finally, I noticed Herring gave you a shout out at the end of the fight? What’s the story? Herring and Brian McIntyre have targeted the Ring Magazine championship from the moment they united to revamp his career at 130 pounds (BoMac told me so at the 2019 Boxing Writers Association of America awards dinner in NYC). Herring won The Ring’s 2019 Comeback of the Year award, but neither man was content with that. Both are smart and ambitious with a deep respect for boxing history. They want more than sanctioning body titles, money and fame; they want to forge a lasting legacy. They believe The Ring title equals glory. If you don’t believe me, just ask them. And while you’re chatting with them, tell them they’re getting very close to their goal.

 

WHYTE’S ALRIGHT

On a second watch back, Dougie, I noticed after the fight that Dillian Whyte goes to Povetkin’s corner to assess his work and sees no stool for his opponent. He goes back to his own corner; gets one (from outside the ring I might add) back to Povetkin’s corner, gives him the seat and proceeds to water his head.

Much as I love a dust up, it’s the human stories that count sometimes.

Gives the sport depth. Peace. – Kev, Edinburgh

It does indeed, Kev. I don’t get all of the disdain for Whyte that I see on social media and in comment section posts. He seems like a good bloke to me. Given his quality of his opposition, I’d respect him as a fighter even if he were a bastard, but he seems to care about his fellow warriors (despite the s__t he sometimes talks prior to their fights).

 

THE END OF CARL FRAMPTON

Hi Dougie,

So, after a long and glorious career, Carl Frampton has retired. He was a fantastic advert for British and Irish boxing and was a very popular fighter across the world as well. A wonderful career and we will miss the excitement he brought to the sport.

Going into the Jamel Herring fight, I had the familiar voice of Duke Evers from Rocky II in my head: ‘He’s all wrong for us, baby…’ Herring is a tall fighter with a generous reach. He’s strong and a correct if not a massive puncher. He has a very good engine, is very tough and ultimately he is well-schooled. Whilst Frampton was considered a tough fight for him, it’s fair to say it was a small super-featherweight vs a huge one. I thought Herring would win a tough decision fight but a stoppage defeat wasn’t a massive surprise, given that I felt Jamel was a nightmare for Carl. Even at Frampton’s peak, I suspect this guy may have been a handful for him.

Carl said in his post-fight interview that he felt that his training had been better than ever. I have to disagree with him. I don’t see that he has been the same force since Shane McGuigan stopped training him. I know there were well-publicised reasons for Carl parting company with Cyclone Promotions, and de facto Shane, but I feel the change in trainers didn’t work in his favour. The stats don’t lie: Frampton was 5-2 under Jamie Moore, and both times he stepped up to world title level he was handily beaten. OK, he had a decent win over Nonito Donaire, but he was almost stopped by a non-puncher in Josh Warrington as well as being handily stopped by Herring.

Now it may well be a coincidence that Carl’s peak was already winding down after he left Shane, but you can’t argue with his performances whilst being trained by him. Two impressive victories over Kiko Martinez, a comfortable unification decision win over Scott Quigg, and he split two sensational bouts with Leo Santa Cruz, with the second being only a close win for the Mexican.

I think Carl has had a wonderful career, all told. The big question I have for you, Dougie is this: Canastota – yes or no?

Kind regards. – Paul

Off the top of my head, without looking at his record, I would have told you that Frampton is, at best, a borderline candidate for the International Boxing Hall of Fame. However, upon closer inspection, I think his name will eventually appear on the IBHOF ballot and I believe he’ll be voted in but only after Nonito Donaire and Leo Santa Cruz are inducted.

Frampton cracks Martinez with a right en route to his first world title win. Photo courtesy of Sky Sports

I think Frampton made the most of his 31-bout pro career. He could have had a financially successful run in Belfast but he was willing to leave his hometown for world-class challenges as evidenced by his two bouts in 2016 – Quigg in Manchester and Santa Cruz in NYC (when his opponents’ combined records were an impressive 63-0-3) – which earned him The Ring’s historic Fighter of the Year award. Add the UD over Donaire and the slew of teak-tough Hispanic warriors he faced – Martinez (twice), Raul Hirales, Alejandro Gonzalez Jr., Horacio Garcia and Chris Avalos – and you’re looking at a pro ledger to be very proud of.

Going into the Jamel Herring fight, I had the familiar voice of Duke Evers from Rocky II in my head: ‘He’s all wrong for us, baby…’ That Duke voice in our heads will seldom steer us wrong but I understand why anyone picked Frampton beat Herring, and it comes down to that old adage “You’re only as good as your last fight” – the American did not look like a world-beater vs. Oquendo, and Frampton has upset the odds before.

Herring is a tall fighter with a generous reach. He’s strong and a correct if not a massive puncher. He has a very good engine, is very tough and ultimately he is well-schooled. You could say the same things about Leo Santa Cruz going into his first bout with Frampton. They gotta fight the fight. But it’s obvious that Frampton has lost a step since 2016 and isn’t as sharp at 130 as he was at 126.

Whilst Frampton was considered a tough fight for him, it’s fair to say it was a small super-featherweight vs a huge one. Shoot, it’s fair to say that Frampton was a blown-up junior featherweight facing a big lightweight who boiled down to junior lightweight.

I thought Herring would win a tough decision fight but a stoppage defeat wasn’t a massive surprise, given that I felt Jamel was a nightmare for Carl. Even at Frampton’s peak, I suspect this guy may have been a handful for him. You’re probably right about that, especially given that Frampton was a 122 pounder at his peak.

Carl said in his post-fight interview that he felt that his training had been better than ever. I have to disagree with him. It’s gotta suck being a professional fighter or pro trainer. Anytime you lose a fight, you’re second-guessed by people who don’t do what you do.

I don’t see that he has been the same force since Shane McGuigan stopped training him. I know there were well-publicised reasons for Carl parting company with Cyclone Promotions, and de facto Shane, but I feel the change in trainers didn’t work in his favour. You might be right. Shane’s a heck of a trainer, his track record speaks for itself, but who’s to say that he’d have had any more success with Frampton vs. the likes of Warrington and Herring than Jamie Moore?

The stats don’t lie: Frampton was 5-2 under Jamie Moore, and both times he stepped up to world title level he was handily beaten. OK, he had a decent win over Nonito Donaire, but he was almost stopped by a non-puncher in Josh Warrington as well as being handily stopped by Herring. That’s one way to look at it, but another perspective is to give Warrington and Herring their due credit for fighting the best fights of their respective pro careers vs. Frampton.

 

LUIS ORTIZ

Hey Dougie,

Why is Luis Ortiz ranked so high?! What has he done that ranks him over Parker and Ruiz? He’s barely been more active than Ruiz, with one fight in 2020 against Alexander Flores, compared to Ruiz’s zero, and Joseph Parker has fought stiffer competition and won. I’d even say Hunter’s controversial draw over Povetkin is more impressive than any of Ortiz’s wins. Thanks. – Joe

That’s an interesting argument, Joe. I can’t speak for the members of the Ring Ratings Panel, but if you want

Ortiz (right) performed well in two losing efforts to Deontay Wilder. Photo by Ryan Hafey/PBC

to reach out to those who are on social media, you might get them to divulge their opinions on the magazine’s heavyweight rankings provided you approach them with respect.

I’m not a King Kong advocate, but my guess is that the majority of the Panel believes that having Deontay Wilder out on his feet during their back-and-forth first bout and being ahead on the official scorecards prior to getting clipped in their rematch, plus Ortiz’s stoppages of Bryant Jennings and Tony Thompson, are more impressive than Parker’s wins over Andy Ruiz, Carlos Takam and Hugie Fury or his decision losses against Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte; or Ruiz splitting bouts with AJ and dropping a competitive decision to Parker.

 

 

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 IG or Doug’s YouTube channel every Sunday.