Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

CHAVEZ JR. TRAINED ON BONG HITS!

Now we know why Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. was hesitant to throw his fists for 11 rounds against Sergio Martinez. Apparently he was hitting something in his living room training sessions, too bad it wasn’t the mitts as much as 24/7 showed. – Michael

Ah, what can I say about Junior that hasn’t already been teased in an endless series of Tweets and social media postings?

I’ll repeat what I said to Miguel from Long Beach when the Chavez Jr. fan noted that the son of the Mexican legend … showed tremendous heart in that last round and looks like he’s here to stay if he realizes he needs discipline”in the first email of this week’s Monday mailbag:

Chavez definitely has considerable potential if he can dedicate himself to the sport the way a world-class fighter is supposed to, but he’s 26 years old with almost 50 pro bouts under his belt. If he hasn’t discovered discipline yet what makes you think he ever will?”

If I want to watch world-class middleweights who know what the word “professional” means and have earned the right to be called “champion,” I’ll watch fights involving Sergio Martinez, Daniel Geale and Gennady Golovkin.

If I ever find myself in Culiacan, Mexico and I want to party like a frat boy, I’ll give Junior a call.

Bottom line (and best case scenario): Chavez doesn’t take professional boxing seriously.

Worst case scenario: He suffers from drug addiction, in which case I hope he admits that he has a problem/disease and then gets the help he needs. He’s seen what the disease did to his father. He knows it can kill him.

I don’t mean to be morbid or take all the fun out of this mailbag response, but amid all of our jokes and teasing Chavez Jr. could be suffering and in need of serious help.

WHAT’S UP BOSS?

Dougie,

First time writer. Longtime reader.

Thought I’d shoot out some random opinions and get your take as well on them. Number one, Pacquiao-Marquez IV. I order just about every pay per view and may watch just out of curiosity but not really expecting anything different this time around. These two know each other well and always fight their hearts out. That being said, I think they are both on their way down and have given boxing fans enough thrills over the years that they deserve the payday.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Showtime undercard this past Saturday. From Canelo Alvarez and Josesito Lopez to Leo Santa Cruz, Eric Morel, Marcos Maidana, Jesus Soto-Karass, Jhonny Gonzalez and Daniel Ponce De Leon. They all gave us good action throughout the telecast. The $100,000 bonus to Canelo for the Knockout of the Night was a nice incentive. Let’s hope the next few pay per views follow their lead.

JCC Jr. testing positive for marijuana? Big shocker. I think Maravilla should fight GGG next and see if Mayweather will give him a shot next spring. How do you like Golovkin’s chances against Martinez especially now that we’ve seen he can be hurt? I think GGG doesn’t let him off the hook and ends Maravilla’s run as the best 160 lb’er on the planet.

I think Canelo has a bright future in the sport. Chavez Jr. not so much.

My top five pound for pound: Floyd Mayweather Jr, Nonito Donaire, Andre Ward, Vitali Klitschko and Sergio Martinez (until he fights Gennady Golovkin). Keep up the good work boss. – Pedro Rodriguez

Thank you for finally sharing your thoughts with me (and everyone who reads the mailbag), Pedro.

I think your pound for pound top five is as good as any I’ve seen elsewhere. I don’t take the mythical rankings too seriously, though.

I agree that Canelo has a bright future (especially if his brain trust can resist rushing him into a showdown with Floyd Mayweather next year). I also agree that Junior may have hit his ceiling, but I’m going to be pulling for him. (That’s the Al-Anon side to my personality, I guess.)

I like Golovkin’s chances against Martinez – a lot. I don’t consider GGG to be the best middleweight on the planet (yet), but I think he has the brightest upside of any world-class 160 pounder.

If I managed Martinez’s career I would do exactly what Lou DiBella plans, which is push towards a Chavez rematch and pray that Mayweather takes the bait. I would steer clear of Golovkin, who could age Sergio from 37 to 45 in one fight.

I’m not shocked or even surprised that Chavez was busted for smoking weed, but I’m not going to spend too much time ripping him or making fun of him. If he does have a problem with addiction humiliating him in public forums everyday isn’t going to help him. I met him when he was 17 or 18 years old and he’s always been a nice, down-to-earth guy in person (in the gyms, at the fights or between fights), so I wish him well.

I had fun at the “Knockout Kings” card at the MGM Grand this past Saturday. (If you live in an English-speaking area outside of the U.S. you may have heard my commentary on Showtime’s international feed along with broadcast partner Mario Solis.) It went by fast, gave us a new badass in the 118-/112-pound divisions (Santa Cruz), a heck of a fight (Maidana-Soto Karass), a comeback story (DeLeon) and a potential star (Canelo).

I watched the Showtime replay of the quadrupleheader and three things struck me:

1. Maidana-Soto Karass was a REALLY fun slugfest. I tip my hat to both men.

2. Lopez fired back more in rounds four and five than I remembered or gave him credit for during the live broadcast.

3. Paul Malignaggi is the best boxer-broadcaster in the biz.

I’m not all that excited about the idea of Pacquiao-Marquez IV, either, but I realize that can change once the fight gets closer. Here’s why: These two make for competitive fights, Pacquiao has something to prove, and we can never EVER count out Marquez.

CARL FRAMPTON, BURNS-MITCHELL

Hi Doug,

So my prediction for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. against Sergio Martinez almost came to fruition. Albeit on luck rather than judgement! Chavez got a schooling but being the considerably bigger man nearly pulled it out at the end. No doubt the promoters were licking their lips after round 12 as it makes the rematch so much more marketable.

On to this weekend and the boxing that’s on over here in the UK on Saturday. First off we have Carl Frampton fighting Steve Molitor. I really, really rate Frampton. We have quite a lively scene in the junior featherweight division over here with Rendall Munroe, Scott Quigg, Frampton and Kid Galahad. For me Frampton is the best of the lot. He is being well guided by former world champ Barry McGuigan and trained by his son Shane. He is progressing through the ranks at a good rate and steps up in class this weekend to fight Molitor. I’ve only seen Molitor fight Jason Booth so I do not have much to go on. He looked decent enough against a limited Booth and will be a good test at this stage for Frampton. But I do expect Frampton to come through it and possibly get the stoppage. He has good power and stamina. Plus his technique is improving with every fight and he puts his punches together in great combinations. How do you see the fight going? Have you seen much of Frampton’s career to date?

Then we have Ricky Burns v Kevin Mitchell. This one I am really looking forward to as it’s a 50/50 fight for me. If Kevin Mitchell can get his head right and focuses properly on boxing then I think he will have a great career going forward. I think he is a real talent. After he beat Breidis Prescott by showing he can box his way to a win I thought he would really kick on. There was talk at the time of him stepping up in weight to face Amir Khan. But then his personal problems flared up once again – drinking, rumours of taking/selling other things if you get my meaning, not training properly, etc. – and he gets beaten badly by Michael Katsidis on the biggest night of his career in front of his home East End of London crowd. Having not prepared for that fight he seemed to learn his lesson and had a great win over John Murray, beating Murray at his own brawling pressure style game. I then thought he was going on to fight Brandon Rios. But alas his personal problems surfaced again and he goes off the scene. Then Murray gets the fight. If the real Kevin Mitchell turns up then I think he will beat Burns. That’s not to take anything away from Ricky Burns who is one of the good guys in boxing. He is a talented fighter, has had nothing given to him and has his feet firmly on the ground. If you look on paper and see what Katsidis did to Mitchell and then what Burns did to Katsidis then there’s only one winner. But we both know boxing isn’t like that. Will you get to see this fight? Who do you fancy to win it and what do you think of both boxers? Cheers. – Dave, London

I will try my best to see the Burns-Mitchell fight live. That’s THE “big fight” to watch on Saturday, in my opinion. I’m very high on Burns because he was an excellent junior lightweight and, as you noted, he’s earned his high position in the 135-pound division. However, I think a focused and motivated Mitchell can give the Scotsman a stern challenge, and even spring the upset.

I toss out their fights with Katsidis. Even if Mitchell was at his best when he faced the Aussie, I wouldn’t factor that fight too much in his chances against Burns. Katsidis is a raw, hard-charging punisher. Burns is a technical stick-and-move boxer – they have completely different styles. ‘Nuff said on that. I’m looking forward to Burns-Mitchell and I would love it if the winner ventured over the U.S. to take on the Antonio DeMarco-Andrien Broner winner (if that talked-about WBC title bout actually happens in November) for THE RING championship next year.

I think Burns will win a close but unanimous decision over Mitchell in competitive, rousing 12 rounder.

I haven’t seen as much of Frampton as I have of Munroe and Quigg, but I like what I’ve seen from him in recent fights. Thanks to ESPN3, I’ll be watching the Frampton-Molitor bout with interest because the fading Canadian veteran is by far the most experienced and versatile fighter the 25-year-old Belfast native has faced in his 14-bout career.

I like Framton. I like the way he lets his hands go with power and fluidity when he’s in range of an opponent and I love the way he taps the body. I think his smart pressure and combination punching will eventually take a toll on Molitor, who will have his moments and outbox the lesser experienced pro in spots. But I think Frampton’s hooks (to the body and head) and well-time right hands will wear the southpaw down in the late rounds and enable him to take a close decision.

GGG VS. THE LATIN TRIO

Hey Doug,
Great seeing Martinez, Chavez and Canelo this past weekend. All I can say
is: “Golovkin! Golovkin! Golovkin!”

How do you think he does against the Latin Trio?

Bang the drum for those fights Doug. – Stephen, Montreal

“Bang! Bang! Bang!” (in my best Jim Lampley voice)

I remember the harsh backlash I got when somebody asked me how I thought a then-untested Edwin Valero would fare against the best 130 pounders of the early-to-mid-2000s (including Erik Morales) years ago, so I know my answer to your question is going to get me in trouble with some fans but to be honest I think Golovkin wears down all three Latino idols to late stoppages.

GOLOVKIN-ALVAREZ

Two quick questions:

1. Can a Canelo-Golovkin fight happen in 2013 at 154 or 160? Who do you think wins this one?

2. If Mayweather and Pacquiao are always at number 1 and 2 of the Pound 4 Pound list, theoretically, can Martinez ever become number one even if he doesn’t ever fight them but continues to win in a dominant fashion over other high quality opponents?

Thanks. – Guy, Israel

Short and to the point, Guy. I love it. Please email the mailbag more often.

1. Can Alvarez-Golovkin happen next year? Yeah, I suppose it’s possible. Will it happen – ever? HELL no! Alvarez and his team are more familiar with GGG than most boxing people having shared two camps with the iron man from Kazakhstan and having sparred numerous 4-minute rounds with the beast in the high altitude of Big Bear, Calif. I witnessed Golovkin (who was clearly holding back) rock a headgear-clad Canelo with big gloves. The redhead can make a lot more money fighting worthy world-class junior middleweights who aren’t half as dangerous as GGG. I think the plan for Canelo is to go after the Cotto-Trout winner and maybe another 154-pound beltholder next year and then go for Mayweather in 2014. (At least that should be the plan.) Golovkin has plenty of worthy world-class middleweights to fight next year, including Daniel Geale, the N’Jikam-Quillin winner, and Dmitry Priog.

2. Boxing’s Dynamic Duo won’t top the mythical rankings for much longer. In fact, they could both be replaced by next spring. If Pacquiao loses to Marquez or even struggles against his arch nemesis (which is very possible), he’ll be dropped from everyone’s top two spots. If Mayweather doesn’t sign to fight anyone by next May (which is very possible) he could be dropped entirely due to inactivity. Thus, an elite veteran, such as Martinez could advance forward without having to fight one of the two. (However, I should note that most boxing scribes and publications rate Andre Ward ahead of Maravilla on their pound-for-pound lists.)

THE HITMAN’S RETURN

Hi Dougie,
I’m a huge fan of your mail bags and always read them to stay in the know with boxing.

I’m from northern England and a big Ricky Hatton fan but I can’t help worrying about his recently announced come back. Has he been out of the ring for too long? Has his intense fighting style taken too much of a toll on him to be able to still compete on an elite level? I guess these are questions that will be answered on November 24th.

I would love to hear your opinion on this. Have fighters that are as potentially battle worn and been out of the ring as long as The Hitman made successful comebacks before? Who do you think he should face if gets to world level again?

Okay here’s a couple of Hatton mythical match-ups for you;

Prime Hatton vs Juan Manuel Marquez at light welterweight

Roberto Duran 1980 vs Hatton at welterweight

Thanks! – Andrew P. from East Yorkshire

Thank you for writing in and for the kind words, Andrew.

Like you stated, many of the questions we have about Hatton will be answered with his comeback fight in November (unless he picks a total chump to fight in his first bout in three years).

Keep this in mind, though. Hatton didn’t just have a grueling physical style and many fights (47) over a 12-year period, he lived the fast life. With the exception of Ray Robinson and Ray Leonard – the G.O.A.T and an a bona-fide ATG – the world-class fighters who were able to make successful comebacks after being retired for a number of years were men who lived a CLEAN lifestyle.  

Who do I think Hatton should face if gets to “world level” again? If he wins and looks good on Nov. 24 and perhaps beats a solid opponent in a second comeback fight, I think the natural targets for him would be 147-pound beltholders Tim Bradley and Paul Malignaggi. If he can safely make 140 pounds, he should go for the winner of Garcia-Morales II (especially if El Terrible wins). However, he didn’t look very good the last time I saw him make junior welterweight (for the Pacquiao fight).

Mythical matchups:

I think JMM would wear Hatton down to a dramatic, come-from-behind 12th-round TKO stoppage in a Fight-of-the-Year that surpasses Marquez’s showdowns with Juan Diaz and Katsidis.

I KNOW the 1980s version of Duran destroys Hatton within four rounds.

CANELO’S BANDWAGON

Hi Doug,
To start with, this was a fantastic weekend for boxing in addition to the fine displays from the previous weekend. There’s a lot of promise and life in the old dog yet.

I hadn’t previously been super impressed with “Canelo” but he really won me over with his performance against an ever-game Lopez (even though he seemed out of his depth at 154 lbs). I had always been doubtful as to whether Canelo really would be able to mix it up with the biggest names from the 147-160 divisions but his performance on Saturday night was a very accomplished one which has led me to believe that he really could bring a credible challenge to those names (e.g. Mayweather, Cotto , Lara etc.). I would love to see him fight again this year and given that Cotto, Lara and most probably Mayweather are all out of that question I think a Canelo-Kirkland fight could be a great show (provided the Texan tornado can get his act together).

Martinez-JCC was a great show although I feel JCC has received too much credit in many parts of the boxing media – he was dominated over 11 rounds by a gifted boxer who perhaps in a more logical world would be separated by 2 weight classes from the over-hyped Chavez. Nevertheless Chavez plodded through those 10 rounds and almost managed to cause the upset in the last round. If Chavez were in the light-heavyweight/cruiserweight divisions I can’t envisage him being in the position of challenging for world titles.

The middleweight division is really exciting at the moment although there are slightly annoying glitches in the mechanism. I think Matthew Macklin will be awarded the fight against Daniel Geale ahead of GGG and I think he has a good chance in that fight. At the same time however I think GGG would blow Macklin away within 7 rounds were they to fight each other. But I can’t see GGG’s awesome talent being credited with a world title challenge ahead of such inferior but nontheless world-class fighters such as Macklin and Martin Murray.

Anyway I hope you’re well and I’m sorry for the long-winded letter. Take care. – James, London

I agree that the 160-pound division has really heated up in recent years and I also agree that the major beltholders will look for challengers who are less threatening than Golovkin (but still worthy). That’s OK. I think Geale vs. Macklin or Murray would make for a very entertaining 12-round middleweight bout. All three are aggressive boxers who close to the same talent/skill level (if you use Felix Sturm as the measuring stick). And the division is deep enough for Golovkin to find worthy opponents to further test and extend him in front of his new and growing fan base. I think Pirog, the N’Jikam-Quillin winner and even aging veteran Sam Soliman provide my favorite middleweight with quality rounds and make for entertaining fights while the Martinez-Chavez-Geale-Macklin-Murray round robin works itself out.

I also agree that Junior received too much credit from fans and the media for having one good minute in one round out of 12 against Martinez. Prior to scoring the knockdown all he did was willingly get smacked around by the real middleweight champ. Until he gets his s__t together, he’s basically a popular Librado Andrade who can make 160 pounds.

Nice to know that there are hardcore fans who give Canelo credit and see some potential in the popular redhead. I agree that if he fights again this year (sometime in November and December), James Kirkland makes the most sense as his opponent. If not Kirkland than maybe IBF beltholder Cornelius Bundrage.

 

 

Email Dougie at dfischer@ringtv.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer

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