Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA GYM NOTES

Dougie Fresh,
It’s been awhile since I wrote you. The last time I did I was urging you to visit various gyms here in the Bay Area while you were here covering the Andre Ward-Allan Green bout and to do a Northern California notebook. You didn’t have the time to do it at the time but assured me you would do something along those lines one day, which is why it was SO good to see your Gym Notes featuring Eloy Perez working out with Virgil Hunter. It was a great article that I really enjoyed. I had no idea that they ever worked together although it does make much sense.

I was counting out my homeboy Eloy against Adrien Broner also but you’ve convinced me that Perez is more than a live dog in his fight against the Cincinnati kid. Fundamentals trump talent. However, I must disagree with one opinion of yours regarding King’s Gym. East Oakland ain’t Hollywood. It will never be packed with celebrities and soccer moms the way Wild Card is at times. It may however, feature just as much world-class talent one day. Maybe Kronk Gym would be a better comparison.

While we are on the topic of the Bay Area I want to ask you if you’ve seen much of contender and San Francisco native Karim Mayfield? He’s been hired to emulate Shane Mosley by many of his opponents and there’s a Youtube clip of him beating up Manny Pacquiao in sparring. I was wondering what you thought of him.

You know it’s a rare to get mail from a reader that doesn’t mention Mayweather and Pacquiao and this one is no different. I couldn’t agree more with your assessment of Mayweather vs. Cotto. Cotto’s only two losses were to high volume punching, pressure fighters which Floyd is anything but. I also think Floyd is a bit more stationary at this stage of his career and Cotto’s piston-like jab (that actually DROPPED Clottey for the only time in his career I believe) will be in Floyd’s pretty face all night and this will make Money more susceptible to Cotto’s excellent body punching. But at the end of the day, Cotto is just very good. I think Floyd is great. The master of adjustments will find a way to win.

I hate to say it but I think Tim Bradley unseats the Pac-man. If we’ve learned anything about Manny from his last few fights it’s that he has lost a step and he isn’t as invincible when he’s not fighting much slower, flat-footed, weight-drained, fighters. Meanwhile, Bradley is just entering the peak of his prime. Upset of the year. I’m calling it now. Keep up the good work, Dougie. – J- Nava

Thanks for the kind words, J. You’re not alone in your Pacquiao-Bradley prediction. More than a few trainers and boxing writers that I’ve spoken to recently also believe Bradley’s youth, athleticism, tenacity and quirky style will be too much for the Pac-monster.

However, I’ve noticed that most of the folks I know who are picking Bradley also believe that Pacquiao has fought a string of dead men between his second and third fights with JM Marquez. I don’t agree with that revisionist point-of-view but I do agree that Bradley is a formidable foe for the Filipino hero.

I also think, as you do, that Cotto will give Mayweather problems, and he’ll do it with his jab and underrated boxing skills. I see his jab and counter-punching ability (especially with his hook) giving Money more trouble than his size or once-vaunted body attack.

Good point about the only two losses on Cotto’s record: the first was to giant volume-punching pressure fighter (who many believe was loading his hand wraps at the time) and the second setback was to a hyper-frenetic boxer-puncher with speed and reflexes of a junior lightweight. Margz and Manny were/are offensive forces in the ring. I’ve yet to see Cotto dominated by a defensive-minded boxer. Of course, there’s a first time for everything.

I’m familiar with Mayfield. I don’t consider him to be a contender right now, but I recognize his talent. I wrote a New Faces article on him prior to his ESPN2-televised bout against Steve Forbes last June. I’ve also seen him fight live a couple of times. His sixth-round TKO of Francisco Santana on the Ward-Kessler undercard in Oakland and his six-round decision over Mario Lozano underneath the HBO B.A.D. triple header featuring James-Kirkland, Roberto Guerrero and Victor Ortiz in San Jose.

Mayfield has a lot of power in his right hand. His stoppage of Santana (11-1 at the time) was sudden and explosive. He dropped Lozano (8-0 at the time) twice with that punch. However, he was dropped himself in that fight and he struggled a bit because he loaded up with it too. His awkward style can give anyone fits though. It bothered Forbes, who’s seen it all, and it gave Pacquiao something to think about in the gym (although, if this is the Youtube clip you were referring to, I’d hardly call that “beating up” the star).

By the way, Perez was also on the undercard of that HBO/Golden Boy triple header at the HP Pavilion in San Jose (he stopped Gabe Garcia in the fourth round). He was unsigned and completely unknown outside of your area. He’s come a long way hasn’t he?

I’m glad you liked the Gym Notes on Perez. I must point out that he wasn’t training under Hunter. He was just sparring with some of Hunter’s young guns, primarily Mike Dallas Jr. and Stan Martyniouk, at King’s Gym. Perez’s head trainer is Max Garcia (there’s a pic of him in the Gym Notes; he’s the bald guy with the beard talking to Eloy in headgear). Also, I didn’t say King’s Gym will ever be as famous or trendy as the Wild Card, I wrote that it will soon be as busy and highly regarded (by hardcore folks like you and I).

Perez got in some very good work at King’s Gym. He’s finishing up his camp at Robert Garcia’s (no relation to Max) gym in Oxnard, Calif., where he’ll get more quality rounds with RING-rated Argenis Mendez and a 21-year-old prospect from St. Louis named Keandre Gibson. Perez will be ready for Broner.

Most fans view him as a relatively safe opponent for “The Problem” because of his low KO percentage, but that lack of one-punch pop has given Perez a lot of rounds – including a couple hard-fought 10 rounders – that will serve him well over the 12-round distance. Folks think Broner’s going to blitz Perez, but you are absolutely right that fundamentals trump talent. I think we’re going to be treated to a very interesting “cobra-vs.-mongoose” type of boxing match on Feb. 25.

BRONER-PEREZ

Hi Doug, how do you see the Broner-Perez fight playing out? – Mandujano

I see an intense boxing match with periodic exchanges and a few dramatic moments. I think it will go the distance and I believe that Perez will win a close decision.

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Hi Dougie,

Long time no writing but always enjoying all your great work. I just wanted to ask a few questions:

1. I know you talked about it on your show (I still could not watch it) but I was sorry I did not read any comments in your mailbag about the new RING cruiserweight champion, Yoan Pablo Hernandez. I think he looked very good and exciting in the 2 fights vs Cunningham, but I think Denis Lebedev beats him (he clearly won against Huck, but it was Germany, it can happen again). What do you think about this matchup?

2. Isn´t there anything to be done about the weight fighters like Chavez Jr gain after the weigh in? I like what the IBF does.

3. Comparing the last 3 opponents´ previous performances and situations (Mosley, Ortiz, Cotto vs Margarito, Mosley, Bradley), don´t you think that if Floyd beats Cotto clearly he deserves to be No. 1 P4P? (I hope he doesn´t since I am a big fan of the Puerto Rican, because of his career and being a fan of my soccer club River Plate).

4. On a more local note, Luis Lazarte is fighting for the IBF 108lb title again tomorrow. Have you seen his opponent Casimero and have an opinion on this bout? I do not enjoy Lazarte´s style, but you have to love his story: abandoned child, wakes up at 4 AM to work sweeping the streets, lost his first 5 world title chances but kept trying, lost it and now is trying to get it back.

Thanks a lot for everything you write for your loyal readers! — Nico from Argentina

Thanks for taking the time to email me, Nico. I’ll respond to your questions in order:

1. Although I receive a fair amount of email from Europe and even some from non-English speaking parts of the world (such as yours), most of my readers are based in the U.S., and the Hernandez-Cunningham fight was not televised here (few cruiserweight bouts are). Thus, no feedback. But I’ve seen the first bout and will watch a recording of the rematch sometime this weekend. Cunningham generally makes for good fights, so it was no surprise that it was a barnburner given the skill, heart and bad blood between the two. I think an entertaining round-robin could be made with Hernandez, Cunningham, Lebedev, Krzysztof Wlodarczyk, and Antonio Tarver. If Marco Huck’s heavyweight experiment goes wrong, he would make a welcome addition to that mix.

2. The other sanctioning organizations could emulate the IBF, which holds a second weighin the morning of their title bouts and penalizes any fighter who weigh more than 10 pounds over the division limit. I think such a stance among the WBA, WBC and WBO would help the situation. However, I also believe that boxers who play the weight game eventually bite themselves in the ass. It caught up with Brandon Rios before his last fight and it almost caught Chavez this past Saturday. If he doesn’t do more to control his weight between fights there will come a time – very soon – when he will not be able to make 160 pounds, and if he does, he’ll completely drain himself and risk losing or getting KTFO when he steps into the ring.

3. Like everything else connected to boxing’s Dynamic Duo, deciding who deserves to be No. 1 P4P based on their next bout comes down to opinion and preference. Mayweather boosters can say their man is fighting a bigger opponent, one with experience, near hall-of-fame credentials. Pac-fans can say their hero is fighting a talented young titleholder, one who is accomplished, rated in many pound-for-pounds lists, and has never lost. I think it will come down to how they win (IF they win). If Mayweather dominates Cotto and Pacquiao struggles against Bradley, Money goes to No. 1 in the court of public opinion. If Cotto rocks Mayweather a few times and gives him hell, while Pacquiao blows out Bradley, the Pac-Monster will once again be the man.

4. I haven’t seen this kid, Johnriel Casimero, but I’ve heard he’s talented. I have seen Lazarte fight (vs. Carlos Tamara) and I don’t care to watch that ugly, mauling crap ever again. That guy makes Carlos Baldomir look like Willie Pep. But I think your countryman will get the job done against the 21-year-old Filipino. He’s got maturity and experience on his side, plus the home country advantage.

FANTASTIC FOUR TOURNEY

Hey Doug.

First we had Tim Bradley calling out Manny Pacquiao for the past year while ignoring the rest of the world. Then came all these talks of Pacquiao-Cotto 2. And oh yeah, we also had this bout between Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather that was suggested from time to time. All of which led to the Mayweather-Cotto and Pacquiao-Bradley fights which await us later this year. Quite the high-powered quartet we got facing one another. Two of them are the very two best fighters in the world. Three of them are in the top-10 P4P rankings. And two of them are undefeated. What more do we want? Let’s start with Cotto-Mayweather. I’m still surprised that Floyd’s going to tackle Cotto at the full 154 pound limit instead of arranging for Cotto to starve himself to 142 pounds. I also thought the whole world went topsy-turvy when the haters were actually giving Mr. Money his props and admitted that they’ll even credit Floyd further if he wins convincingly. Will he? Probably.

As dangerous as Cotto still is, Mayweather’s speed, ring smarts, and under-rated punching power will enable Floyd to win what promises to be a tough bout. I’m no Floyd fan either and I’m not ruling out the possibility of Cotto scoring a big upset but my smart money’s on Floyd.

Pacquiao-Bradley? Some fans are really scoffing at this one and while Bradley fights like a frigging billy-goat most of the time he’s also a young, strong, undefeated top-notch contender who’s all willing. When’s the last time Pac fought one of those? Will Timmy pull a Buster Douglas against the vastly more experienced, harder-hitting Pac-Man? Not likely, but I’m not completely ruling out that scenario either.

The big question is what happens after the initial “round’ of this “tournament” is over? We all know that if Mayweather and Pacquiao both win as expected fans and experts will once again go ape-s__t, mindlessly urging for the big super-duper mega-bucks fight that seemingly won’t happen. But what if either Cotto or Bradley or even both of them refuse to go along with the script and win instead. We’re talking about a major f___ing shake-up right there. What will the fighters do from there and what will Sponge-Bob Arum arrange for us next if that is the case. Providing of course, that Arum doesn’t suffer from a cardiac-arrest over the whole thing. Big what-ifs but possible ones nevertheless.

One observation from last week:

Chavez Jr. may not be even half the great fighter that his father was (who is) but he certainly appears to be twice the man — as in physically. Shouldn’t this boiled down cruiserweight be fighting as a super middleweight? Or even as a full-fledged 175 pounder. You also mentioned middleweight power-hitters Dmitry Pirog and Gennady Golovkin. Who wins in pound-fest between these two? I know someone will get knocked the f__k out but I’m not sure who that will be.

Well, have a good one Doug. Cheers again. – Todd The Terminator

I don’t know if we’d get a KO finish to a Golovkin-Pirog showdown. Both guys are good technicians with underrated skills. Both beltholders are smart, too. I think they’d mix a lot of jabs, and head movement with their powerful right hands. It would be a hard-fought boxing match, I think. Golovkin’s better amateur background and pro training situation would tell over 12 rounds and he would win a decision.

Chavez could comfortably fight at 168 or even 175 pounds, but those divisions are deeper than middleweight and he wouldn’t have his usual size advantage against natural super middleweights and light heavyweights, so we can expect Junior to fight at 160 pounds for as long as he can.

Let me tell you something, Triple T. I would LOVE it if Cotto and Bradley upset Mayweather and Pacquiao. That scenario would save boxing, in my opinion. The mainstream sports media would stop embarrassing themselves with their awful commentary on the matchup, and the obnoxious message board fans of Mayweather and Pacquiao would crawl under rocks (where they belong). We’d get our sport back!

But if the favorites win, I have to assume the people involved with Mayweather and Pacquiao will try harder than ever to make the super-mega-awesome-fight for late 2012. I mean, let’s be real: these fools are running out of credible opponents.

Having said that, I would not be surprised at all if we got Mayweather-Alvarez in September and Pacquiao-Marquez IV in November. If that happens, I’m counting on real fans and fight scribes – and even those mainstream, general sports media goons – to stop discussing Mayweather-Pacquiao.

 

 

Doug Fischer can be emailed at dfischer@ringtv.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer

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