Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

WHY BOXING WILL NEVER DIE

Random thought: I always crack the (blank) up when after a few dreadful decisions or failures to make fights sets off the new generation of Panic Nation. I watched free boxing as a kid. Saw the first UFC and have studied the arts. I choose to watch both and enjoy what both forms of combat sports offer.

Nights like Saturday – when if you weren’t standing from the time Khan got dropped til the end of the fight, you are over medicated – are why boxing will never die. Great job by Danny Garcia (though his dad annoys me)… He is the perfect example of why fundamentals (or as I like to call them Fundy’s) with hard work can make you a Superstar.

Amir Khan: Boy oh boy. Like Max Kellerman said on the broadcast, Khan is easy to root for. He wants the best and takes risk with his style… I think he could’ve stayed on the outside and bust up Danny for 12 rounds, but he chose to step on the gas peddle and attempt to look for greatness. Too bad his kryponite chinny betrayed him again. Still, I will watch him fight anytime. – Marcos

I don’t think you’re alone, Marcos. Even the many U.S. and UK fans who can’t stand Khan for whatever reasons want to watch him fight because of the unpredictable nature of his bouts. Sometimes he dominates, sometimes he goes life and death, sometimes he gets KTFO.

Khan has many flaws but at the end of the day I respect him because he seeks to challenge himself and he’s willing to take risks once he’s in the ring.

I tip my hat to the Garcias and I’m very happy for Danny, who took a risk by accepting this fight and took advantage of what Khan gave him, but I’m going to hold off on christening him the latest “Superstar” of the sport.

Right now I view him as a 140-pound Lamon Brewster – a strong, determined underrated contender who was in the right place at the right time against the right guy (a more talented but chinny odds favorite who fought too hard for his own good). Heck, Garcia even scored his KO in the same arena where Brewster upset Wladdy Klitschko.

I hope this doesn’t sound like I’m dissing Garcia because I’m not. Brewster is one of my all-time favorite fighters and boxing people and the affable heavyweight had one of the more entertaining and dramatic title reigns in recent memory.

And as you correctly stated, no sport delivers entertainment and drama like boxing does and that is why it will never die.

BIG UPSET

Hey Dougie,

Danny Garcia made my night. Not only did he score a really entertaining upset KO but his performance also shut down the nut-hugging HBO crew, who started running him down and worshiping Khan a whole minute and half into the first round. Looks like Khan is back into rebuilding mode, maybe Breidis Prescott will get his rematch.

Keep up the good work! – Deryk, Ottawa

Khan is indeed back to “rebuilding mode,” but he doesn’t need as much time and work as was required after the Prescott KO. Khan just needs to learn how to stick to his own gameplan. The back-to-back losses he’s suffered (to Lamont Peterson – and I realize the official majority decision result could be changed to a No Contest, but it’s still a set back – and to Garcia) were due in large part to Khan allowing himself to be sucked into the kind of fights that benefitted his opponents.

He stood and traded with Peterson too much, allowing the busy technician to outwork him on the inside in many rounds. He was too offense-minded and took too many risks from the get-go against Garcia, playing into the counter puncher’s quick and powerful hands.

Regarding HBO, I honestly thought it was one of their more balanced broadcasts in terms of commentary. Yeah, they were high on Khan but Jim Lampley mentioned at the start of the broadcast (after they posted the HBO poll results, I think) that Khan could be overrated and Garcia, because of his lack of exposure, could be underrated.

And although they did seem to start predicting doom for Garcia early in the bout, I thought Kellerman made many comments that were right on, including his remarks that Khan “makes decisions that aren’t always in his bet interest” (in round one), “is a tall fighter fighting an aggressive fight, giving Garcia some chances” (in round two), and mentioning that Garcia “does have solid punching power and he is hitting Khan every now and again… Khan has been hurt and dropped several times in the past” (in round three).

NOTHING TECHNICALLY WRONG?

Dougie,
HBO’s broadcast kept repeating that Amir Khan did not do anything technically wrong before he got caught cold in the third round, but are they correct? Khan was throwing a right uppercut from far away which left him wide open for the left hook which he got caught with. Isn’t that a technical mistake? I was just very surprised that the HBO crew didn’t point this out.  – Joseph

They did note that Khan was nailed by Garcia’s monster left hook in the third round because he was winding up with a right uppercut shot from his hip (Kellerman pointed this out and did so again when Khan foolishly loaded up with the right uppercut again in the fourth).

I don’t know why they didn’t call that move a technical mistake. I think Khan made more than a few technical and tactical errors during the fight. He started getting sloppy with his punches and advances midway through the second round, but from the very start of the fight there was no head movement and his chin was seldom tucked.

Despite the commentators’ observations that Khan was more settled in this fight than he was in the Peterson bout, I thought he was tense and often forced his punches before he got clipped. And once he gets hurt – forget about it. Khan does not have good survival instincts. Some fighters – Fernando Vargas, for example – just know how to avoid follow-up shots from their opponents with upper-body movement after they’ve been dropped or hurt. (Commando Nando’s uncanny ability to bend at the waist at the right times – even when he was out of it – enabled him to survive that crazy first round against Trinidad; well, that and a lot of heart.)

Khan’s all over the place when he gets hurt. He becomes that moth that’s attracted to flame when he’s hurt and when he gets nailed again he’s forced to retreat on his unsteady legs.

Standing in front of Garcia and using his gloves as ear muffs as he took unnecessary haymakers doesn’t qualify as sound defensive technique, but it did make for one hell of a fourth round.

QUICK STOPPAGE?

Doug,

That was an awesome fight! I am glad Danny Garcia proved his class…

I have to admit, though, I don’t think it was a good stoppage… If it would have been stopped after the first knockdown in the 3rd round I would have no issue as Khan did not look coherent at all… but since Kenny Bayless let him continue why did he stop it after the last knockdown when Khan looked more coherent than after the first?

Khan definitely has heart and I commend him for that. He would have kept fighting on until he was KTFO. Where do both fighters go from here? – Jay

Hopefully Garcia will get one more fight in before the end of the year. I’m hoping he defends his RING, WBC and WBA titles against Lucas Matthysse. However, I admit that the young man has earned an easier opponent than the Argentine badass. I know Angel Garcia wants his son to have three fights in 2012 and they say they’ll fight anyone Al Haymon tells them to. There’s no shortage of attractive opponents in the 140-pound division. Matthysse, Zab Judah and Mike Alvarado are all worthy foes who make for good matchups against Garcia.

A rematch with Khan is one of those good matchups but the British star might need a “breather” bout before jumping into the lion’s den once again. Rather than risk another KO loss, I think Khan’s earned a “gimme” fight back home in the UK. I think a welterweight bout against Matthew Hatton in Manchester (where Khan once drew 20,000 for his fight with Marco Antonio Barrera) is just what the doctor ordered.

When the fight was first stopped I thought it may have been a tad premature but I also thought it was in Khan’s best interest given the amount of punishment he absorbed in the fourth.

You can’t see Khan’s legs at the time of the stoppage on the HBO broadcast (because TV usually shoots from the waist up), but homie’s legs were like wet noodles.

And be honest, judging from that referee cam HBO hooked Bayless up with, do you really think Khan had his wits about him? Let’s say Khan was the designated driver of a group of your drinking buddies. If you asked him if he was OK to drive and he nodded “yes” in the same half-assed manner he answered Bayless would you get in a car with him?

HAYE-CHISORA

What’s up Dougie? Hope you enjoyed your weekend.

After a lengthy and stern test of boxing’s credibility with petty controversies and dumbfounding decisions making headlines in the past few months, hats off to our sport for a damn good weekend of high-octane action.

Thankfully, and with all credit to Frank Warren and the two fighters, Haye vs Chisora was not a freak show. If you set David Haye’s BS to one side he’s a hell of a fighter for a very small heavyweight. He can be an absolute d-bag who should try to develop a vocabulary before he smack-talks, but at least he brings some excitement to heavyweight (“some” being key to the sentence).

To those who pray twice daily that a fight between Haye and Vitali Klitschko never comes off, chill. In my view it’s a win/win scenario. A) Klitschko beats Haye and we never hear from The Hayemaker again. Or B) Haye pulls a rabbit out of the hat, stuns the boxing world and royally shakes things up at heavyweight.

I’m delighted for Danny Garcia, but less delighted at the prospect of hearing from his dad in the coming months. Who’s next for Danny ‘Swift’? How about Lucas Matthysse in an absolute barn-burner?

However, I’m more interested in what’s next for Amir Khan. For a guy of his experience he makes a lot of basic mistakes in big fights. Forget his chin – he had the ability to take Danny to school and simply rushed in too close to a decent puncher. One right hand in Round 2 aside, Danny was taking wide, almost embarrassing swings before Khan put his neck in the way of that left hook. How about a crossroads bout between Khan and Victor Ortiz at 147, and how would you see that one going? That fight or a huge domestic dust-up with Kell Brook would really set a recently slow division alight once more.

And finally, to Canelo vs Josesito Lopez – nah.

Would love to hear your thoughts. Take it easy! – Gavan, Cork, Ireland

Hey, don’t sleep on Josesito. I’m not saying he’s going to shock the world (again), but I think he can make for an entertaining – even competitive – fight with the red head.

Khan-Ortiz is a matchup I’ve wanted to see for a long time. I like Ortiz in that fight. Like Garcia, Vic is a quick and hard-hitting counter puncher, only he’s bigger, more athletic and has better technique than Danny.

Khan-Brook would be HUGE fight in the UK (as you well know), however, I don’t see that fight happening until Brook win a major 147-pound title.

You’re right about Khan rushing in too much. He is an amazing talent, one of the best I’ve ever seen, but he needs to slow down and settle down a bit.

Anyone who doesn’t think Garcia deserves to hold THE RING 140-pound title should shut the hell up if and when Danny takes on Matthysse, which could happen by mid-next year. The winner of that fight (I’ll take Lucas in – what else? – a barnburner) definitely deserves to be viewed as the real junior welterweight champ.

I must tip my hat to the Hayemaker, who exceeded my expectations by knocking Chisora out (I thought he’d pot shot his way to a decision). Hat’s off to Chisora for being a sportsman and showing some class in defeat. I’m a little disappointed that Chisora didn’t let his hands go as much as I thought he should have but I gotta credit Haye’s careful lateral movement and well-timed combinations for keeping ‘Del Boy’ in check.

Haye can fight. I’d love to see him take on any top heavyweight not named Klitschko, but you make a good point about a potential showdown with Big Bro. I haven’t looked at it like that. Either V-Klitsch smashes Haye or the Brash Brit becomes by far the most interesting active heavyweight titleholder.

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