Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

BAM BAM

What’s up Dougie,

Damn! Brandon Rios is a buzz saw!! Man, he kept coming and coming. Mike Alvarado tried his best to box at times, but “Bam Bam” was resilient and finally broke him down.

I don’t give Brandon too many points for style, but he sure puts on a hell of a show! A match with the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez winner is a no brainer! What do you think, Dougie? – Miguel, LBC

“Bam Bam” Rios vs. Pacquiao or Marquez? Sure! Why not? Rios isn’t in the class of the two future hall of famers, but as he notes he’s got youth on his side and – as he showed the boxing world with six and half rounds of primeval brutality with Alvarado – he’s a very hard man to beat when he’s healthy and motivated.

His infighting ability is just sick. Bottom line: Rios is an exciting fighter. I’d rather watch him fight a crash-test dummy than the majority of the pound-for-pound club members take on the best of their divisions.

As long as he’s not in with a 100 percent stylist like Richard Abril, he’ll make for a good fight. Plus, he’s got a bombastic, sometimes vulgar (but refreshingly honest) personality to keep pre-fight media events and post-fight interviews entertaining.   

Rios vs. the winner of Pacquiao-Marquez IV, the Danny Garcia-Erik Morales rematch winner, Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana, Josesito Lopez and even a boxer-puncher like Adrien Broner (provided ‘The Problem’ beats Antonio DeMarco) would be must-see TV.

Oh yeah, and so would Rios-Alvarado II. The first three rounds of that fight were as good as a bona-fide slugfest gets. And color me impressed with the way Rios withstood Alvarado’s strong surge in rounds four, five and six, only to rage back in the seventh after he caught Alvarado.

I would have liked to see Alvarado get just a few more seconds to answer back but I won’t second guess Pat Russell. Rios was all over Alvarado and the veteran referee had to take the accumulated punishment from the previous six rounds into consideration.

Anyway, Alvarado (who I thought would win a close decision) didn’t lose in any stature on Saturday. In fact, I’m sure he gained more fans with the first loss of his pro career. If Rios-Alavardo II were held at Staples Center next year I bet those two warriors could fill the joint.

BRING ON RIOS-MATTHYSSE

What do you think the chances are of Rios-Matthysse happening?

BTW that was definitely a good stoppage in the Rios-Alvarado fight. I don’t know why they are questioning it. – Matt

“They” were hoping for a classic ring battle on the level of Gatti-Ward I and Corrales-Castillo I. For that to happen that beautifully savage fight had to go past seven rounds or at least end decisively (in other words, one of the warriors needed to go down swinging if the fight was to be halted).

“They” got greedy. I was one of them. I questioned the stoppage the moment it happened and for a few minutes after. I wanted to see if Alvarado could survive and rally back. I wanted to see if an ultra-badass slugfest could escalate into an all-time great fight.

Then the adrenaline wore off and I was just thankful for what we got to witness and that Alvarado and Rios were not seriously hurt.

Rios-Matthysse can happen but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Apart from the bad blood between Top Rank and Golden Boy Promotions, Rios is better known than Matthysse and he’s in line for a pay-per-view caliber showdown with one of two legends. There’s no reason for him to take on a monster like Matthysse, especially any time soon after going to war with Alvarado.

However, I’m not going to say the fight will never happen. If Matthysse continues to win and raise his profile among fans – if he were to, say, face and defeat the winner of Garcia-Morales for the bulk of the major 140-pound belts – my guess is the demand for the fight and the TV money that should become available will make it happen.  

STEVENSON-GEORGE, B.A.D.

Hey Doug,
First time writing, although I’ve been following the mailbag for a few years now.

I tuned in late to the Adonis Stevenson-Donovan George fight and it took me around 15 seconds to see that something was wrong with Adonis’ hand. However, I don’t know why Don George didn’t try and take advantage of that. When you’re fighting a one-handed fighter isn’t it smart to put some more pressure or that’s just me being overly critical since I hadn’t seen the beating he took in the previous eight rounds?

I’m glad for Adonis though, he’s been working hard to put his career back on track after his disastrous venture south of the border (TKO 2 loss to Darnell Boone), however, I don’t think he stands much of a chance against a legit 168-pound champ. He’s more complete than Jean Pascal but will also fail against top level opposition.

The HBO card on Saturday was hyped as a good one, and half of it was. Alvarado has an unbelievable workrate. I’ve never seen a guy throw some 140+ punches in a round, which is what Alvarado did according to HBO in round 5. I didn’t think the stoppage was premature, unlike Max Kellerman. Alvarado hadn’t tried anything after getting rocked, even if his hands weren’t completely down, he was under serious fire for at least 10 seconds without trying to even throw something. Good stoppage IMO. I’ve seen much worse in the last few years.

I was really looking forward to Nonito Donaire-Toshiaki Nishioka but ended up severely disappointed. I always was a fan of Japanese fighters who usually bring it, even if a lot of them have limited resistance, Hozumi Hasegawa being a good example of that IMO. I don’t know what was Nishi’s strategy but I thought that after being champ for so long, and not losing in 8 years, he knew better than to throw less than 30 punches a round. Donaire was patient enough, and didn’t take the bait. I was surprised at the corner stoppage, because Nishi hadn’t taken a lot of punishment, even if he was down 9-0 with 2 knockdowns against him.

Last thing on my mind, on November 3rd, Lucian Bute is fighting Denis Grachev, who knocked out your boy Ismayl Sillakh earlier this year. Do you think the Canadian-based Romanian can rebound from the beating Carl Froch put on him or will Grachev put another big ‘W’ on his record? I thought Bute didn’t even try against Froch. I have no idea why, but I sure hope he’ll try better in Montreal next month.

Thanks – Guillaume from Canada

I think Bute, who is a much more accomplished and mature professional than Sillakh, will avoid losing focus during his fight with Grachev and getting caught along the ropes as the talented Ukrainian did.

I think Bute will either stop Grachev in the mid-to-late rounds or dominate the tough Russian puncher to a one-sided decision. If Bute struggles at all with “The Pirate,” something is wrong. If that happens then I’ll have conclude that Froch broke the Romanian southpaw’s spirit in their first meeting and I won’t like his chances in the rematch.

By the way, don’t dismiss “my boy” Sillakh. Once he gets his managerial matters in order, he’ll be back.

I was also surprised by the Nishioka stoppage. His legs were a little stiff when he first got up from the second knockdown, but they seemed steady once he was upright. He raised his hands up and looked directly at Raul Caiz Sr. with clear eyes as he nodded “yes” to the veteran referee’s question “Are you sure you’re OK?”

His corner knew he couldn’t beat Donaire so I guess they figured ‘Why allow him to take needless punishment between now and round 12?’ I think Nishioka wanted to continue, but he didn’t argue with his corner. He knew he was beaten by the better man.

Speaking of that better man, I have to think Donaire is a Fighter of the Year candidate with the three bouts he’s had in 2012: decisions over 122-pound beltolders Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and Jeffrey Mathebula and a TKO over THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior featherweight for the magazine’s vacant title.

Donaire is the only fighter rated in THE RING’s Pound-for-Pound Top 10 who fought more than twice this year, and he did so against quality opposition.

I didn’t like the Alvarado stoppage at first but it didn’t take long for me to agree that Russell made the right call.

Alvarado was averaging 111 punches thrown per round against Rios, according to CompuBox. Those aren’t Antonio Margarito numbers but still pretty damn amazing considering that Alvarado was in a fire fight against a fellow banger who was averaging 77 punches thrown – almost all of which were power shots – and connecting with an average of 23.

You’re definitely being overly critical of George, especially if you missed the first eight rounds of that fight. He had no business being in the fight after the body shotshe took in the fifth round. George is just crazy f___king tough. He’s Brandon Rios tough. But he’s not the infighter that Rios is. And he’s not a pressure fighter, either. He’s a stalking puncher and he wasn’t going to corner Stevenson after taking the beating he absorbed in the middle rounds. It’s not as easy to cut the ring off on a moving fighter as a prime Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. made it look.

I think Stevenson is a real contender, talented and dangerous enough to win a major title. Unfortunately for him, Andre Ward is the champ of his division. And beltholders Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham are just as tough as George, but they’ve got the experience to be able to heap punishment right back on the Haiti native.

Still, I’d love to watch Froch-Stevenson or Abraham-Stevenson.

TRANSNATIONAL BOXING RANKINGS

Hi, I am a huge fan of The Ring. I was just wondering what your feelings are on the newest endeavor called Transnational Boxing Rankings. I am not sure if you are aware of it or not but basically it is an organization that wants honest boxing rankings in an objective format. It has 25 boxing writers that will vote, etc.

Have any of your staff writers been contacted to be part of it? It seems this organization is a direct counter to your magazine as they state in their blog that The Ring is no longer objective. I wonder what makes these 25 writers more objective then other writers? Any insight would be appreciated. Thank you for your response. – Sean

I don’t have a lot of insight on the Transnational Boxing Rankings but I’m familiar with some of the American writers who are on the panel – including Cliff Rold, Michael Woods and Jake Donovan – and I think they are among the best in the business. I recognize some of the other names. I follow TBR founder Tim Starks, Adam Abramowitz and Kelsey McCarson on Twitter and they seem to know their stuff. I’m sure the others are knowledgeable and passionate about boxing as well.

I don’t know if any RING contributors or Ratings Panel members have been contacted by TBR. Personally, I would have no problem if they were part of TBR.

I don’t feel like we’re in competition with other ratings groups, be they sanctioning organizations or independent media.

I don’t care for anyone saying that THE RING’s ratings are not objective because I don’t think any rankings are “objective.” There’s always opinion involved in ranking boxers and hardcore boxing fans NEVER agree with those opinions 100 percent.

The fine folks at TBR will soon learn that once their ratings get out there a little more. I Google searched the name “Transnational Boxing Rankings” to find the website – here it is, please check it out – and I came across a thread of BoxingScene message boarders already bickering about TBR’s ranking Marco Huck over Yoan Pablo Hernandez and Gennady Golovkin over Felix Sturm and Floyd Mayweather over Pacquiao (the usual bulls__t), as well as too many Americans being on their ratings panel.

I took a look at TBR’s rankings and I think they’re great. I agree with the placement of most of the fighters in most of the divisions. I don’t agree with all of the rankings, but I don’t have a problem with any of it.

Ya know why? It’s pretty much the same group and order in all 17 divisions that we have with THE RING’s ratings.

If you have a few hours to kill, go and check out ours and theirs.

You’ll see seven or eight of the same boxers in each division’s top 10 with only slight various among the top five of each weight class.

So I don’t see how TBR is a “direct counter” to RING magazine’s ratings. I know some fans and media will state that they just feel better about a ratings organization that isn’t owned by a promotional company (in our case, Golden Boy Promotions).

I get it. I don’t think we give any extra boost to GBP boxers in our rankings, but I understand the skepticism. Having said that, I’d like to end this mailbag by pointing out that TBR ranks the following GBP boxers higher than THE RING:

Peter Quillin, Floyd Mayweather, Erislandy Lara, James Kirkland, Victor Ortiz, Robert Guerrero, Daniel Ponce de Leon and Abner Mares. (Oh my God! They’re a bunch of GBP shills!)

 

 

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

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