Michael Koncz on Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquiao: "If the fans still want to see this fight, we're willing to do it."
Dougie's Friday mailbag
Readers want to talk about the series of high-profile middleweight bouts that take place in September, including Golovkin-Proska, Sturm-Geale and, of course, Chavez-Martinez, in this week's Friday mailbag. Enjoy.
How you doing Douglas?
Didn't hear back from you concerning my last e-mail. No biggie. It was probably too long with too many F-bombs. Since when did boxing become part of the freaking Disney channel? In all fairness however, I noticed that you chopped down on the cursing so I guess it's fair that I do the same.
With that huge upcoming Fall schedule just about upon us I'm gonna give my take on the suddenly resurgent middleweight division.
Even though Arthur Abraham has been a super middleweight for the past three years I'm wondering if he's going to fight at 160 pounds again especially since he did much better at that weight. Actually King Artie here has been kind of frustrating to watch at times. Never lets his shots go often enough. With his granite chin and iron fists you would figure he would fight more like the prime Antonio Margarito did: fists churning in all directions. But since he can still do damage with what few punches he does unload he should bust up Robert Stieglitz like Andrade once did.
While I'm looking forward to Gennady Golovkin's HBO debut like most fight fans I haven't forgotten about the guy in the other corner. Grzegorz Proksa was good enough to batter the overrated Sebastian Slyvester into retirement but crappy enough to lose to some Brit journeyman who we never heard from. As in Golovkin's case there's a big question mark concerning how good Proksa really is. It's doubtful, however, that Golovkin would have lost to that same Brit even on a bad night so he'll be my pick for this one.
As for Felix Sturm-Daniel Geale, I regard this as a toss-up. Geale is tougher and harder-hitting but Sturm's a better boxer and has the home-ring advantage and therefore the judges on his side, which could suck but that's boxing for ya. Providing we do get a clear-cut winner that guy should be next in line for a title shot. These are THE RING’s top two contenders for crying out loud.
The Biggie. I said repeatedly that Sergio Martinez is going to chop up the overrated Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and I'm certainly not switching sides now. Never mind Chavez's huge size or supposedly "granite chin." This is based on what? Chavez beating up on Andy Lee who has less than a 40% kayo rate. Get real.
And why does Chavez look like such a big, giant, mentally-challenged doofus? Too much steroids and booze maybe.
Well all that drugging and bulking won't help him here. Marvilla may not be getting any younger but he's by far the division's best boxer and the hardest puncher. More than good enough to literally pound the piss out of Junior here.
Your thoughts? – Dave
I think Martinez will put a gradual systematic beating on Chavez over the course of the fight, but I believe the younger, bigger man will take THE RING champ’s best shots early on and have his moments in the middle rounds. The second half of the bout, especially the late rounds, will belong to Martinez. He might stop Junior late but my guess is that this one going the distance. I think Martinez will win a close but unanimous decision.
By the way, I agree that Chavez sometimes wears a goofy look on his face but he’s actually a bright guy.
I also view Sturm-Geale as an even fight and agree that the winner should be in line to face the winner of Martinez-Chavez. In a perfect world that’s exactly what would happen. But we don’t live in a perfect world, which is why I have a hard time believing Geale can beat the Germany based fighter on points. I have nothing against The Sturminator but I’ll be rooting for the Aussie. Still, if I have to make a pick I’ll go with Sturm by close – perhaps controversial – decision.
I’m glad you haven’t forgotten about Proksa. He’s no joke. I think he’s stronger and stylistically more difficult than Golovkin’s original opponent, WBO beltholder Dmitry Pirog. And while the majority decision loss to Kerry Hope hurt Proksa's credibility, it also probably served as a strong wake up call to train harder and to never underestimate any opponent. (We should note that knocked out the gutsy Brit in their immediate rematch.)
I think it’s impossible to underestimate Golovkin if you pay close attention to the sport. The guy’s got a “Valeroesque” underground buzz going and he deserves it in my not-so humble opinion. I favored Golovkin to beat Proksa in a competitive fight when the bout was first made, but after witnessing him manhandle an undefeated pro cruiserweight and a talented amateur heavyweight in sparring on Wednesday I think he’s going to score a mid-round knockout.
I also favor Abraham to beat Stieglitz. I don’t think it will be an easy fight for the Armenian assassin but I believe he can wear down the WBO beltholder to a late TKO. If he loses to Stieglitz, he may consider dropping down to 160 pounds. Or he might consider retirement. Who knows? We’ll find out tomorrow.
Thanks for keeping your email relatively free from foul language. I don’t think boxing belongs on the Disney channel (I hate that network), but that doesn’t mean we should all go out of our way to be crude and offensive.
ERIK MORALES VS. JUAN MANUEL MARQUEZ
Who do you take if the Mexican legends fight next year?
Thank you. – Byron, Columbia, MO
Even though he just turned 39, I still gotta go with Marquez but I believe El Terrible would rise to the occasion and push his countryman to the limit in a high-level barnburner. Marquez by close decision.
THIS AND THAT
Thanks for writing, Tosh (hey, you nicknamed Nishioka after yourself!).
I like those mythical matchups.
I also like Robinson by mid-round KO (an “ice cold” one at that). Seriously, the 160-pound version of Jones was an awesome athlete, but the prime middleweight version of the original Sugar Ray (1950-’52) would have killed him. He had one-punch KO power in both hands, comparable speed and reflexes, better technique, less defensive flaws, and an all-time great chin. He was stopped once in 200 bouts – and that was due to heat exhaustion in a light heavyweight title bout that he was WINNING!
Smokin’ Joe and Iron Mike over Marciano via TKO – who would boldly try to walk both badasses down but get his face ripped in half in the process.
Juan Manuel over Rafael by mid-round KO – big brother was at his absolute best at featherweight and Rafa didn’t have reliable whiskers at 118 pounds.
I also favor Donaire in a closely contested distance bout, but it wouldn’t shock me if Nishioka sprung what probably should be considered an upset. I’ve also got a soft spot for Japanese boxers. I don’t read manga comics (which probably surprises a lot folks – I guess I just lost some of my geek chic), but I’ve had the opportunity to meet many Japanese fighters and I can tell you that they are all among the most humble and dignified human beings I’ve come into contact with.
I’m going to ride with Martinez against every middleweight he fights until Golovkin gets a shot at THE RING champ.
I’m also impressed with the recent strides Chavez has made but I think he’s lucky to have the No. 3 spot he currently holds in THE RING’s middleweight rankings. I think Sturm and Geale have faced more quality opponents than Junior. (If you want to talk about middleweights the magazine overrates, talk about Pirog and Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam.)
Regarding Olympic boxing, I think the return to pro-style judging without the headgear is a step in the right direction. It won’t solve all of its problems, you can bet there will still be awful decisions, but I don’t think Olympic boxing can get any worse than it is right now.
Email Dougie at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer