Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

WEEKEND OBSERVATIONS

Back at it Dougie,

Some good fights on the Hopkins-Dawson undercard, even Paul Malignggi looked good at 154 lbs., but he needs to hire Emanuel Steward to train him until the end of his career, maybe the HOF trainer can teach him to punch with power like he did with The Motor City Cobra, if it’s not too late.

Looks like the WBC is keeping Hopkins as its 175 lb. champ. I think it was a good call on their part, regardless of what Cali's boxing authority does. What's your take on the decision. I think the referee screwed up (again) in a high-profile fight. Boxing fans are getting tired of the same song & dance.

This weekend had good fights also, with the exception of the Pacman-Clottey fiasco (oops, I mean Donaire-Narvaez, but it was just like watching that mess again w/out the $50 fee). Also, great fight and good article of yours on the Edwin Rodriguez-Will Rosinsky fight, although it was another travesty from the judges (again). Is there another scoring system out there that may be better than the 10-point must?

I'm out with some words that Don King used to repeat… "There's no such thing as BAD publicity." Yeah, but if the word on the street is always that the judges and refs are too often bogus, incompetent and/or unable to reflect what actually happens in the ring, then that is some BAD pub for the sport we love. EVERYONE deserves better than we are getting. Peace, (If you print me, no cheap shots at my name this time). — JitaHadi, Los Angeles, CA

No more cheap shots from me, JitaHadi. (It’s actually a pretty cool name.) Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Here are mine, starting with your observations from the top:

I think Malignaggi, who is campaigning at welterweight (and says he can still get down to 140 for the right fight), is in good hands with trainer Eric Brown. Speaking of “good hands,” Paulie’s lack of power isn’t due to a lack of proper technique (or not having the right trainer teach him how to punch with leverage), it’s because of “bad hands” (or chronic metacarpal fractures and tendon injuries). Steward’s an all-time great trainer, but he can’t teach anyone to punch like Thomas Hearns. The Hitman’s power is God given. Steward helped the Detroit legend get the most out of his ability but he didn’t “give” Tommy his power.

I don’t have much of an opinion on the WBC’s decision to keep Hopkins as its light heavy champ. It’s their belt and they can do whatever the hell they want with it. THE RING made a similar decision, although the magazine has basically put a “freeze” on Hopkins and Dawson’s rankings prior to their Oct. 15 contest until the matter of the stoppage has been resolved by the California State Athletic Commission (which probably will change the original outcome of the bout to a No Contest) at their Dec. 13 hearing. My initial thought on Dawson’s second-round shove was that it would result in a No Contest. That’s what most of press row figured. But Pat Russell saw things differently. I don’t fault him or put his call in the same category as say, Russell Mora’s officiating during Agbeko-Mares I. The flop-shove-and-fall happened very quickly and it had to be difficult for the veteran official to tell if Dawson deliberately scooped Hopkins up for a WWE-style take down or merely pushed the legend off his back. It didn’t seem malicious to me when it happened live, but watching the replay a few times this past weekend I can see where it looks like more than just a push or shove. One of the questions for the CSAC is whether Hopkins’ action had a part in Dawson’s reaction.

Rodriguez vs. Rosinsky is what I love about boxing (two evenly matched fighters giving it their all and creating a contest of skill and will that exceeds expectations) and what hate about the sport/industry (incompetence and gross bias from the officials). I don’t think we need a new scoring system. We need judges who give fighters credit for the effective work they do in a round. Period. And we need to get rid of the sorry S.O.B.’s who can’t get it right (or at least keep those nitwits away from nationally televised main events).

TOO MUCH HYPE FOR DONAIRE

Doug,

Judging by Donaire's performance vs. Narvaez, I am more convinced he does not do well versus southpaws that actually moves around, has great defense/chin, and abundant experience to bring, all of which Narvaez brought to the table Saturday night. Sure, Narvaez suffered his first loss but he stood his ground against one of the most talented fighters in the world. I say talented because I think Nonito still has a long way to be considered one of the elites in my book. Yes, casual fans think he is but a hardcore fan like me don't buy it. Let him face more southpaws that actually engages and maybe we'll see a different story from Donaire than we're used to. Of course, Donaire has awesome speed, versatility, and explosive power. He looked anything but a talented fighter as the fight went 12 rounds. He could have been more aggressive early on, break down Narvaez round by round, and eventually get a knockdown. But he was too cautious and Narvaez knew it. It wasn't surprising to me having seen some of Narvaez's fights on Youtube. Therefore, I expected exactly what Narvaez was going to do and he did. Land those "sneaky rights" and occasional jabs which landed quite often (to which I think bothered Donaire a bit).

The MSG crowd had every right to let Donaire hear it booing left and right. And yes, Narvaez obviously is also partly to blame for not taking more chances to win the fight. But overall, Donaire and his team failed to execute a game plan and I actually think they looked past Narvaez. Hell, like I said, Narvaez was just being himself and I tip my hat off to him. Donaire on the other hand, didn't gain any fans by saying, "I'm bored!" before the end of the fight. Should've done your homework, buddy! I can't wait till Nonito meets his match.

Any thoughts, Doug? — Allan

Yeah, I think you’re going to have to wait awhile for Doanire to meet his match — at least until he moves up to featherweight. There might be a few fighters with the ability to take him the distance, as Narvaez did, but I don’t see anyone at 118 or 122 pounds who can beat him.

You’re statement about Donaire having trouble with “southpaws that actually moves around, has great defense/chin, and abundant experience” is pretty much true for every fighter who ever lived, including all-time greats.

And as for this statement: “Let him face more southpaws that actually engages and maybe we'll see a different story from Donaire than we're used to.” I have to remind you that Vic Darchinyan and Tyson Marquez are aggressive southpaws and you know what happened to them.

I’m not saying Donaire’s invincible. There’s no doubt in mind that he would have “some trouble” against the likes of Toshiaki Nishioka, Anselmo Moreno and Guillermo Rigondeaux. However, I think those savvy southpaws would also have trouble with what Donaire brings to the dance.

Narvaez did indeed land his jab and the occasional right hook. But that’s about it. The rest of his game plan was to avoid any sustained contact with Donaire because he couldn’t figure out how to get to the bantamweight boss without getting his block knocked off. I guess Narvaez showed the world that Donaire can fall into offensive ruts and mental lapses, and that the Filipino star doesn’t exactly cut the ring off like a prime Julio Cesar Chavez, but playing keep-away doesn’t win rounds. I can’t see anybody scoring more than two rounds for the 36-year-old veteran. To be honest, I don’ think Narvaez had a problem with the unanimous shutout scores.

That’s saying something. Donaire fought the top-rated junior bantamweight, a former amateur star and two-division beltholder who was unbeaten in 37 pro bouts, and he won every round. After eight months of inactivity, Donaire shutout a cagey southpaw who had defeated many world-class fighters of various of styles while defending his flyweight belt a record 16 times.

That’s not bad. It wasn’t entertaining, but he can rekindle the excitement with his next fight. I think this fight will make him work harder and focus more on his next opponent.

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