KLITSCHKO vs. HAYE
2) Devon Alexander has taken another beating from fans this week. I think he showed real guts the last few rounds and he seemed to want it more going down the stretch. Fighting that way down the stretch will win him a lot of close fights. — J in FLA
Good to hear from you J. It’s been awhile.
1) I like Klitschko by mid-to-late rounds stoppage in tomorrow night’s big heavyweight showdown. You’re absolutely right that Haye barely took any chances in barely out-pointing Valuev in November of 2009. He might decide to try the same approach with Klitschko (especially after feeling the power behind Wladdy’s jab) but he won’t be able to get away with it. Klitschko is too athletic to allow Haye to stink it out. I know the RING champ is usually a patient sort who doesn’t mind winning by decision but I think he’ll go for the kill whenever he hurts Haye.
2) I agree that Alexander showed guts in the final two rounds of the Matthysse fight. He’s already won two close fights by closing strong (or by being busier than his opponent) and my guess is that there are more to come — unless, of course, his chin fails to hold up once he makes his imminent move to welterweight.
WE DON’T ALL WANT HAYE TO GET KO’D
As I write I'm listening to a radio phone-in discussing David Haye's conduct going into this weekend's fight (most callers are slaughtering him), which reminded me of The Ring's recent article where Bernd Boente claimed that the Brits want to see him get knocked out.
I have to say I'm finding it almost laughable that so many people over here are so shocked by what they're hearing from him, as if it's anything new in boxing. It would appear to outsiders that we Brits prefer our sportsmen to be polite, courteous types whom mothers love and fathers would like their daughters to bring home, but who ultimately win nothing (think Tim Henman). I, on the other hand, like the fact that Haye has a personality and a winning mentality, and regardless of what happens on Saturday no-one can deny he has brought some interest back to the heavyweights. And surely that's good for boxing? Besides, is his conduct really any worse than we've seen from, say, Bernard Hopkins (I'm thinking of the Calzaghe fight in particular)? And Hopkins is universally revered, and rightly so.
Finally here's my tuppence worth on the fight itself… Haye can win if he lands cleanly early on, but the more I think about it the more sure I get that Wlad will not allow that to happen.
All the best. — Tom, Oxford, England
I see the fight the same way you do. Haye’s got to score first blood ASAP and really go for it once he sees red. We’ll see if he can back his big mouth up in the ring. Speaking of which, there’s no doubt that Klitschko, the heavyweight division and fight fans have the big mouth of the Brash Brit to thank for all the interest in this fight. If Haye didn’t have his polarizing personality this matchup would be like any other fight between Klitschko and a good opponent (such as Ruslan Chagaev) — a big event (but not a big deal) in Germany, a fight of marginal interest in Europe, less so in other parts of the globe, and absolutely nothing to American fight fans.
Haye’s victories over solid heavyweights such as Valuev and John Ruiz didn’t earn him this shot at Wladdy, his mouth did. Good for him. If he can somehow pull the upset, we’ll really see how much general interest his personality can generate. If he does win I know a lot of British fans who said they wanted to see him KTFO by Klitschko will come around.
I'm pulling for Wlad to knock out Haye on Saturday, but I'm getting frustrated with his poor trash talking skills. I cannot fathom how he got this far without ever learning how to do a good trash talk promo.
Do you suppose Haye has won that "first round" by getting him out of his comfort zone?
What is Haye's best chance in the ring?
I figure he needs to either catch him early or late. Either go for broke immediately, or get Klitschko to expend energy chasing him around the ring, and then strike hard and fast in the later rounds. That latter strategy carries the risk of a dull fight in which he loses fans if he cannot pull it off. Does that make sense? — Gopal
It does, but I think the duller the fight is, and longer it goes, the more punishment Haye is going to take. He can’t completely avoid contact during the first half of the fight (in hopes that Klitschko poops out) without at least catching some jabs in each round. And one thing all fans should know about the jabs of both Klitschko brothers is that getting caught by one is the equivalent to getting hit upside your head with a shovel.
If Haye goes for broke early he might make something happen. He’s fast, powerful and a bit awkward in his punch delivery, which makes him dangerous. Fighters with less athletic talent than the former cruiserweight champ have caught Klitschko early and taken him out. However, two things must be considered with both scenarios that you brought up:
1) Klitschko has improved his all-around game since his losses to Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster,
2) I think the versions of Sanders and Brewster that Klitschko lost to take a much better shot than Haye does now. Klitschko’s first loss, to journeyman Ross Purrity, which was a late rounds stoppage that was result of exhaustion, was also to a natural heavyweight who was known for a having a tremendous chin.
LEGACY VS. MONEY
If you would have asked me 2 years ago, I would have said that Manny Pacquiao is the better fighter overall (and I’m not a Pac or Floyd lover or hater). Now that I see Floyd Mayweather fighting Victor Ortiz, and seeing the opponents that Manny has taken I'm thinking backwards: Mayweather is nowadays the better fighter. Pac has been getting as you know, the senior citizen of the month (Marquez will turn like 38 or 39 by November) or has been cherry-picking EXCESSIVELY; one thing is to cherry pick looking for money and legacy, but another one is to pick opponents who show no threat at all. So, Manny took the all-money approach, but Mayweather has surprised me: he takes on young, hungry Ortiz.
And this raises the question: What will Floyd will win from this fight? If he beats Ortiz, he beats “the kid with no heart,” someone who is unproven (as some people say).
Thing is, he has a lot to lose if he is defeated:
1. Loses his marketability by being undefeated.
2. Will be "exposed" by losing to a good but not great fighter.
I now, finally after many years, respect Mayweather (and I do think that he will beat Manny by decision; Manny is slowing down and can’t chase fighters, ask Mosley), because he is doing what Manny isn't: taking a challenge where he has a lot to lose (even when it is most likely he will beat Ortiz, there is still a big risk) and little to win. Never thought I would say this but kudos to Mayweather.
Thanks Doug, always read your articles down here in Mexico. — Eduardo B.
I give Mayweather credit for fighting a strong, hungry young titleholder instead of another aging veteran, but you can’t ignore the fact that Ortiz is still a huge underdog in this fight. He opened at +525 for a reason. So it’s not like Mayweather is taking that much more of a risk than Pacquiao is with JM Marquez. I give Ortiz more of a shot of pulling the upset than I do Marquez, so I think Mayweather is in the more interesting matchup, but his choice of opponent wasn’t so bold and shocking that it makes me reevaluate his legacy or reconsider how I currently view him. Sorry bro, it’s not like he’s fighting Sergio Martinez.
Sure, he’s risking his precious “41-0” against a guy a lot of people wrote off. But is a loss to Ortiz any worse than losing to an older fighter who was dominated by Mayweather and struggled against an tough but ordinary lightweight in his last fight?
Both Mayweather and Pacquiao are so high above the sport that a loss to anybody (but each other) would be a huge fall.
Regarding the Mayweather-Pacquiao matchup, I agree that Manny is slowing down a bit and he doesn’t care much for hunting down guys who run from him. However, just because he let a backpedaling Cotto and Mosley off the hook doesn’t mean he can be beat by Mayweather. There’s three things you should consider: 1) Cotto and Mosley were in total survival mode and lost every round that they ran from Pacquiao, 2) Mayweather doesn’t move or “run” like that anymore (I haven’t seen him do it since the Castillo fights), and 3) think about how hard the Pac-monster much have hit Cotto and Mosley to make those proud fighters bitch out the way they did.
GOMEZ VS. PROCTOR
What’s your opinion of the Frankie Gomez vs. Khadaphi Proctor fight. Showcase fight?…
I don’t got much to go on besides Boxrec to see how good Proctor is. You are boxing insider. Have you seen one of his fights? He has lost by knockout once but most of his loses are split or close decision losses against guys with winning records. He is coming off a big victory for himself against Stan Martyniouk but I don’t know how good this Stan guy is because I have never seen his fights either. So basically Doug, is Frankie in a showcase fight or is he in tougher than Proctor’s record would indicate? — Christopher
Gomez is in tougher than Proctor’s record would indicate. Proctor is more dangerous than a lot undefeated prospects out there. He’s durable, defiant and he can box a little bit. I called the action (during an internet broadcast) to one of his early fights, his first upset victory over a 2-0 kid on the undercard of the Pacquiao-Diaz fight in 2008. Proctor can fight, as his decision over Martyniouk, who was 10-0, suggests. However, Maryniouk is not a puncher and he’s not as aggressive as Gomez is. I think Gomez’s power and pressure (and body attack) will be the difference in a good Solo Boxeo main event tonight. Gomez, who weighed in at 137, has been training hard in Big Bear, Calif., where he’s sparred hard rounds with Urbano Antillon, so I’m sure he’s ready for Proctor. I like Gomez by stoppage sometime between the sixth and eighth rounds.
I'm anxious to see Sturm take on Sergio Martinez. They’re the two best middleweights at the moment and I feel like it would make for an interesting chess match. Martinez is busier, faster, and more powerful, but he's occasionally off-balance and perhaps Sturm could capitalize. What do you think of that fight? Is it likely? Would Martinez be a big favorite? Be well. — David, Washington, DC
I did see the fight and I thought it was a damn good one. I had Macklin winning handily, eight rounds to four, but I watched it on my laptop. Perhaps if I watched it on a big screen TV or if I witnessed it from ringside, my score would be different.
Anyway, I agree that Sturm is probably the best middleweight opponent out there for Martinez. He’s got talent, technique, heart, experience and name recognition. However, seeing how often Macklin was able to tee off to his body and around his high guard makes me believe that Martinez would punish him and stop him late. The fight would probably be competitive for five rounds but I think Martinez’s speed and power would take over the second half of the bout.
I imagine Martinez would be a huge favorite in that matchup. However, I still want to see it!
KEEP YOUR NEUTRALITY
For the record, I think I said as much out loud while watching the fight live in my living room sometime during round 9. Despite having "Alexander the Great" bouncing on unsteady legs with a facial expression (lower lip jutted out) that reminds me of that Bugs Bunny cartoon where he comes across the king of the jungle who's a few cards short of a full deck. Y'know the one… Wonder if anyone will publish some photos (of which I'm sure many were taken by ringside photographers) and post online. Lucas gave Alexander an out by not pushing the issue and letting him back into the fight.
Never let those turds ruffle your feathers as you try to explain boxing politics. For one, if you judged fights for a living I doubt we'd be reading about such a thing. But since you aren't responsible for the unfortunate wrinkle in the unwritten rules of boxing, I don't think you have to go to great lengths to rationalize why either. Bottom line, Matthysse won in the eyes of most but scoring is subjective. And by leaving some holes open for that debate, Lucas can only learn from this and hope to get another shot. — JB
I hope he does. And yes, I knew that my article would get a negative response from some over-reactionary fans. I was prepared for the email feedback, but some of the Facebook comments at the bottom of the article pissed me off. I’m always surprised at how nasty some of those quick little statements can be. I guess I shouldn’t be.
Anyway, thanks for the vote of confidence. Don’t worry, I’m never going to let a few (or even a lot) of negative comments influence what I write or how I do my job.
(Is the Looney Tunes character you brought up the lion with the really goofy, wheezy laugh?)
I feel concerned for Devon Alexander. His diet of right hands and left hooks to the body could cause some problems in the future. The man who hit him easy was slower than Khan, Judah, Bradley. It's frustrating to see such potential go wasted by lack of punching power. He does not turn over his punches. It almost looks as if he pats, and pulls back upon initial contact. He's so fast, that he's pulling his punches back before full impact. he cannot fight in the pocket, inside, he goes into this bounce mode instead. Louis is entertaining to watch. It was my first time seeing him fight, only caught highlights of him and Judah. Which leaves me to believe that Boxing is as crooked as ever. Because How can the judges screw up another decision?
So who's going to be the new Heavyweight Champion after next Saturday?
Just curious; what's the latest on Jermain Taylor? Oscar?
Chavez vs. Alvarez at 158? Timing is off it seems, but I'd love to see the fight.
Is Ortiz a live dog vs Mayweather?
Thanks for taking the time. Keep up the great work, I miss the show with Steve Kim and you back in the day. You guys could start your own brand of commentary covering boxing.
Peace. — Zo in NYC
Thanks for writing, Zo. It’s nice to know that someone who watched The Next Round when it was me and K9 is still keeping up with my writing. I’ll respond to your questions and observations from the bottom up:
Is Ortiz a live dog vs Mayweather? — Yes
Chavez vs. Alvarez at 158? — I like Canelo by decision.
What's the latest on Jermain Taylor? Oscar? — Comeback (in August). Rehab.
So who's going to be the new Heavyweight Champion after next Saturday? — There won’t be a new champion.
How can the judges screw up another decision? — Only one screwed it up. The 96-93 card for Matthysse was right on. The 95-94 card for Alexander was feasible. The 96-93 card for Alexander was dog doo doo.
I feel concerned for Devon Alexander. — We’ll see how he fares at 147 pounds. If he retains his 140-pound speed maybe he’ll be too quick for the lower top-15 welterweights.
It’s LUCAS Matthysse, not Louis! Next thing you’re gonna tell me is that Alexander is a native of St. Lucas, Missouri.