Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

 

THE STATE OF BOXING

Hi Doug
Do you think you have become more cynical towards boxing recently? I find it interesting that fans and the media are going on and on about how boxing is “dieing” as it seems they have been forever but it seems that boxing just came out of an amazing decade. Off the top of my head the Barrera-Morales trilogy and their respective careers, the Gatti-Ward trilogy, Vasquez-Marquez I, II and III, Manny Pacquiao becoming a living legend, Juan Manuel Marquez and Bernard Hopkins showing it’s never too late to shine, Castillo-Corrales I, the likes of Pongsaklek Wongjongkam carving out a HOF career are all among the highlights of the last 10 years and I could go on and on.

Boxing needs the new young hungry champions to step up and want to fight the best and be the best. It’s disappointing to see fighters that don’t do the work in the gym in the ring and those who do fail to get competitive match ups year after year. I don’t think fighters who have had one or two fights at an elite level should go straight to PPV. PPV should only be used for fighters like Pacquiao, Marquez, Hopkins, Mayweather, the Klitschkos and Cotto (depending on his opponent).

I would like to see these fights occur — and not on PPV — Dawson vs Cloud to see if Dawson really wants to be a fighter, Bradley-Maidana, Bute vs the loser of Froch-Johnson and then winner of Super 6 if he wins, the Donaire-Montiel winner vs Agbeko-Mares winner, Rafa Marquez vs Rigondeaux, Lopez-Gamboa and a sure fire FOTY contender Glen Johnson vs Libarado Andrade on Boxing After Dark. Who wouldn’t want to see that!

After seeing Bradley-Alexander I would think that Marquez would be able to win a decision vs Bradley but I think Khan vs Bradley is a better fight to make with the winner fighting either Pacquiao or Mayweather.


A lot of these fights will happen but they need to happen soon, like this year! Or over the next 18 months and in quick succession to give boxing a good shot in the arm. If you keep the public waiting between potentially good or great fights the casual fans just won’t tune in as we are seeing in the States with the continued rise of MMA with the UFC, Strikeforce, etc. Anyway hope the new year treating you well. Cheers. — Nicholas, Australia

So far so good, Nick. I don’t find that I’m getting cynical in my “old age.” I save my cynicism for cynical fans, jaded boxing writers and a__hole promoters, not the sport or the guys who have the balls to climb into the ring. I love boxing, boxers, trainers, the gyms, live fight cards and real fight fans as much as I ever did.

I’m a boxing writer who likes to visit as many gyms as possible and I’m one of those hardcore fans who pays attention to young up-and-comers, and I think that has something to do with my optimism.

Anyway, you’re right about boxing fans moving on to other forms of entertainment if good, significant fights aren’t made on a consistent basis. This year’s schedule is fairly strong so far, although it could be better. Perhaps the second half of the year will be (there’s that pesky optimism popping up).

I think Marquez would have a lot of trouble with Bradley’s speed, movement, physical strength and yes, “the bowling ball.” Khan-Bradley may very well happen before the end of this year. If Khan wins I love to see him take on Mayweather. If Bradley wins I’d like to see him get Pacquiao.

Johnson-Andrade would probably be better than Pavlik-Andrade. (And who knew Librado was in such demand? I guess winning isn’t everything in this sport. Perhaps being an exciting fighter actually counts for something.) It could happen once the Super Six is finished.

Lopez-Gamboa will happen, but we might have to wait until next June. I don’t see R-Marquez-Rigondeaux happening. We won’t see the Donaire-Montiel winner face the Agbeko-Mares winner. Both Donaire and Montiel are headed to 122 pounds after Feb. 19. Dawson-Cloud could happen, this year perhaps. I like that fight. I also like Bradley-Maidana, but I don’t think it will happen. Bute vs the loser of Froch-Johnson and then winner of Super Six could very well happen — next year.

Only Pacquiao and Mayweather are PPV fighters. The others you mentioned belong on premium cable.

I agree that the 2000s was a strong decade for the sport. I should know, I was ringside for most of those highlights you brought up (except for the Gatti-Ward trilogy and Wonjongkam’s fights). I remember when Barrera was thought to be shot (back in the late 1990s following his losses to Junior Jones) and when Hopkins, Marquez and Pacquiao could walk through a crowd of boxing fans and not get noticed. It’s been quite a ride watching their stories play out. All four are arguably all-time greats.

 

IF BRADLEY FOUGHT PACQUIAO

Hey man,
Don’t you think if these two fought, it would look a lot like Pac vs. Agapito Sanchez?

Have you picked up Mark Millar’s “Superior“? Pretty solid IMO. — E.

I haven’t read Millar’s “Superior.” I know it received a lot of hype late last year, but I was too busy to take the time to check it out. I probably should, though. I liked what Millar did with the Ultimate X-Men and Wolverine: Enemy of the State. I sort of enjoyed Old Man Logan.

I actually had a little bit of time to visit a comic shop yesterday (Comic Ink in Culver City, Calif.). I picked up Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1, which reunites one of my favorite writer-artist teams (Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen) and Jack Kirby’s The Demon (hardcover omnibus). I’m old-school.

Anyway, I can see where the Bradley “bowling ball” could bother Pacquiao the way the late Agapito Sanchez’s blatant head butts did, but you gotta realize that the Filipino icon has advanced by light years since that 122-pound title unification tilt took place back in 2001. (It was the co-feature to Floyd Mayweather-Jesus Chavez, which took place in San Francisco. I was ringside and I picked Sanchez to win that fight.) You also gotta realize that Sanchez was a much dirtier fighter than Bradley will ever be.

I don’t think Pacquiao-Bradley would look like the Sanchez fight — at least I hope not. That was an ugly bout if my memory serves me.

 

LIVE PERSPECTIVE OF BRADELY-ALEXANDER

Doug,

I attended the fight at the Pontiac Silverdome. While the main event was less than superb, it wasn’t bad. I think fight fans get a little to excited and put way to much pressure on guys in big fights to perform like Hagler-Hearns or Leonard-Hearns. The effort was there for Bradley. I feel like Devon, who I predicted would beat the Desert Storm, quit. Bottom line. The second butt was on the opposite eye and he was complaining, and then refused to give credit where credit is due.

Tim Bradley is a card-carrying badass, and I will take him over Khan, Maidana, and anyone at 140 other than major welterweight showdowns with Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather.

The undercard bouts were very exciting and I feel as though I got my money (55 dollar ticket, actually good seats) worth. Emanuel Augustus fought local favorite Vernon Paris and from hearing the crowd you would not think Paris was the favorite. He lost the fight. The referee took 3 points from Augustus which was ridiculous. The only way he would have won is if he would have starched Paris. But the fight was entertaining.

Another 20-0 prospect from Texas, De la Rosa, I believe, was dropped twice by a guy who I think was 11-4, with 9 KO’s in quite an upset. Kendall Holt did what he was supposed to do against a Mexican fighter who had like 20 loses – he starched him with a hook. And two heavyweights I had not heard of fought a good 2 round scrap, with one being brutally KO’d.

I was glad I was there live. I know most people are talking negatively about the fight – rightfully so if you watched it on HBO – but live the experience was great. And I hope that more fights go to places that may not seem “profitable” because it gives everyday Joe’s like myself (I reside in Grand Rapids, MI) a chance to see the big fights live. — Michael

You make a very good point, Michael. Just because an uneventful main event fight makes for frustrating television viewing doesn’t mean that the live boxing card was not worth attending. There’s nothing like going to a live show. It can be fun even when the fights are so-so.

I’m going to Top Rank’s card in Maywood, Calif., tomorrow even though I could watch it on Fox Sports Net or Fox Deportes. Having covered a number of club shows at the Maywood Activity Center during the last decade I know it will be worth the drive. I’m not going to the show to see any specific fighter (although the co-featured fighters are matched well and there will be plenty of young prospects worth watching on the undercard). I’m going to take in the live atmosphere, or “the Maywood experience,” as I told RingTV co-editor Michael Rosenthal recently.

I hope also hope a big boxing card returns to Pontiac (or Detroit or Auburn Hills or even Grand Rapids). Like I said prior to the Bradley-Alexander I think the show could have drawn more fans and provided more entertainment had the promoters secured the site earlier than they did and made a concentrated effort to get more regional fighters on the card (K9 Bundrage, Ronald Hearns, etc.). Let’s root for Hearns to beat Felix Sturm so he can bring the 160-pound belt back home and defend it against Bundrage. (Yeah, I know, my optimism is rearing its annoying little head again, but it could happen.)

I’m going to miss Augustus. He’s provided many thrilling fights and entertaining moments over the past 10 years.

Bradley is indeed a card-carrying badass. Nice guys can kick ass, too.

 

Doug Fischer can be contacted at dougiefischer@yahoo.com

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