Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

GARCIA-MORALES

Hey Doug,

Here’s a thought I have on the Danny Garcia victory over Erik Morales. How credible is that victory for beating an old, faded Morales that had nothing left? To me it is as credible as Manny Pacquiao’s victories over certain faded fighters. I won’t believe in Garcia as a credible champion until he fights top guys that are in their prime. Now I know you can say he beat Amir Khan and trust me I am going to be one of the last guys to defend Khan but he got punched in the neck. That will finish almost anyone.

I would love to see Garcia vs Lucas Matthysse next instead of Garcia vs Zab Judah. Have a good one. – Julio Garcia, Edmonton, Alberta

How much credit one gives to Garcia for icing Morales depends on how much he or she thought the old war horse had left. I gotta give the kid from Philly his props because I thought Morales would beat Garcia in their first fight and I thought the 19-year veteran would give him hell in a losing effort in the rematch.

Even if you thought Morales was a spent bullet, as more than a few fans and media did, I think Garcia deserves at least a little credit for improving on his first performance and for doing what a strong, young champion SHOULD do with a faded former champ – blast him the f__k into retirement.

I would also rather watch Garcia defend his titles against Matthysse than Judah. However, I also understand that Judah would make for a much bigger event on the East Coast (especially at Barclays Center) than the Argentine badass. And, though I thought Matthysse beat Judah, I do not believe that fight was a robbery as some make it out to be. I had them even in rounds with Matthysse edging the veteran with the knockdown he scored. So, it’s not like Judah lacks credible victories in recent years. I thought he looked sharp outclassing Vernon Paris in March.

Also, I don’t think fans are being fair to Garcia when they rip him for fighting Morales. The Tijuana legend had the belt when he fought him in March, and Garcia was still viewed as “untested” by a lot of folks at the time. The only reason they fought again was because Morales pressed the rematch clause they had in their contract for the first fight.

I’m not going to brand Garcia as someone who just goes after old fighters. He fought Kendall Holt, who is still in his prime and dangerous, and he took out Khan. I am not going to call that neck shot a “lucky punch.” There is no such thing as luck in boxing. What looks like luck in the prize ring is really being in the right place at the right time and being prepared and willing to take advantage of whatever opportunities come your way. Garcia had to absorb two and half rounds of punishment before he nailed Khan with that counter hook – and believe me, he was looking for that shot from the opening bell. And even after he dropped Khan he had to get through the British star’s gusty last stand in the fourth round.

FIGHTER OF THE YEAR?

Do you think that Garcia has earned “Fighter of the Year” with his 3 victories thus far? Honestly, I think Lamont Peterson would box the hell out of Swift. – Will, Oregon

I think Garcia is definitely a Fighter of the Year candidate along with Nonito Doniare. Both Garcia and Donaire separated themselves from the other standouts of 2012 (such as Andre Ward and Floyd Mayweather) by fighting three times, by unifying alphabet titles and by winning THE RING championships.

Garcia, who was a lower-level contender at the end of 2011 (many still viewed him as a prospect), improved more than any other world-class fighter that I can think of. Donaire, however, had the more impressive year in my opinion by winning a vacant title against a very solid contender in his first bout at 122 pounds, unifying belts against a stylistically difficult contender and then knocking out the No. 1-rated junior featherweight in the world.

I know Khan was highly rated, but let’s not forget the talented Brit was coming off a loss. And as much as I love El Terrible he had considerably less in his tank than the aged veteran that Nonito took out (Toshiaki Nishioka).

There’s talk of Donaire fighting Jorge Arce in Mexico on Dec. 15. If that bout actually happens and Donaire wins that will clinch Fighter of the Year honors for the Filipino Flash as far as I’m concerned. It’s extremely rare for a pound-for-pound rated boxer to fight four times in one year, especially one who is primarily showcased on HBO.

By the way, I don’t think Peterson would dominate Garcia but I agree that would be a very difficult fight for the young champ – not to mention a good scrap. I wouldn’t count Garcia out, though. Peterson likes to fight as much as he enjoys working his technique, which opens him up to getting clipped with power shots (as we’ve seen in his fights with Tim Bradley, Victor Ortiz and Khan).

GOOD SHOW BUT HARD TO WATCH MORALES KO’D

Dougie,

Decent night of fights but the Morales-Garcia fight kind of brought me down. Erik Morales is a legend who had some of the most exciting fights I’ve seen since I’ve been a fan. You could tell from the beginning that he had no chance and the knock out was hard for me to watch. He should retire. He has money and I believe he still has his brains. It’s time for him to sail into the sunset a proud warrior.

Danny Garcia is young, exciting and I’m excited to see his next fight. I don’t think he gains any real kudos from this fight because I believe Morales was a burnt piece of toast. I’d like to see him fight Rios! All I could say is WAR!!!!! Then the winner of this gets Pacquiao-Marquez winner. Wishful thinking…. If he doesn’t fight any of these guys then I’d like to see him try to unify against Peterson.

Paul Malignaggi-Pablo Cesar Cano was a very close fight and I will definitely be watching Cano’s next fight. I thought it was pretty even and thought either guy could have won. I don’t know if Cano is a dedicated guy or not, but just basing my opinion on how he came in overweight while moving up in weight for a championship fight makes me think he might not be 100% focused. If that’s true then I believe if he’s 100% focused he could be a special warrior. Who did you think won? I’d like to see Cano-Josesito Lopez. Lopez can finally fight at his real weight and I think it would be a war. Malignaggi-Hatton doesn’t really excite me, but I get both men for wanting it. Malignaggi can try and get redemption and make some good money while Hatton most likely will have the best chance of winning a title at 147 by fighting The Magic Man.

Peter Quillin-Hassan N’Dam was exciting and again looking forward to seeing both guys fight again. I do think Quillin might be a little overrated. I just can’t see him beating any of the top fighters in his division. Sergio Martinez would wipe the floor with him. Where do the winners and losers go from here? What fights are you most looking forward to and what fights do you hope are made in 2013? Don’t include Pac vs. May, because that’s just a dead issue not worth talking about. – Michael, NYC

I agree about Pac-May. You won’t read anything on that fight from me next year unless the damn thing is made. (And even then, I’ll still be tempted to ignore it.)

N’Dam-Quillin was the fight that I was looking forward to the most on Saturday and it did not disappoint. It also went the way I expected it to. Going in I thought N’Dam was the more fluid and mobile boxer as well as the busier of the two athletic middleweight, but my hunch was that Quillin could turn the fight at any given moment because of his power punching. And damn if that didn’t make for a fun matchup!

I agree that Martinez would beat Quillin and N’Dam handily, as would Gennady Golovkin. But so what? I’d love to see Quillin take on Matthew Macklin, Dmitry Pirog or Martin Murray. Those would be good, competitive fights IMO. And if Kid Chocolate won, I wouldn’t mind seeing him face WBA/IBF titleholder Daniel Geale. I’d like to see N’Dam go up against a comebacking middleweight such Felix Sturm, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. or Andy Lee. A rematch with Quillin would be welcomed if the French Cameroonian can win a few matches in a row.

I don’t think Quillin’s overrated but I do believe he needs work in a few areas, including his conditioning. I don’t think all that modern cross training he’s doing is helping him go rounds in a real fight because he looked gassed in the middle-to-late rounds vs. N’Dam to me.

I was updating RingTV.com with Quillin-N’Dam results and photos during the early rounds of the Malignaggi-Cano fight so I didn’t score it, but it seemed like it was up for grabs going into the late rounds. I’m glad Malignaggi was able to hold on to the title. Cano couldn’t win it anyway because he failed to make weight and at 23, I’m sure he’ll have more title opportunities in the near future. The kid is durable and punishing. He’s not pretty in the ring, but he’s got good technique and timing. I think he’ll be in some very good fights at 140 and 147. Cano-Lopez is great matchmaking, my man.

If Malignaggi doesn’t fight Hatton (provided the Hitman defeats Senchenko next month), who does he fight? I sure as hell don’t want to see Malignaggi vs. Alexander. Maybe the Guerrero-Berto winner is viable, but I think he’d make more money (and definitely draw more fans) fighting Hatton.

Well, I think it’s clear that many hardcore fans are not going to give Garcia credit for icing Morales. I get it. They either have too much respect for (or pride in) the “proud warrior that was,” or they lost all respect for him for testing positive for a banned substance, or they think he was completely shot.

Garcia’s going to have to just keep plugging along. If he continues to score knockouts as he did against Khan and Morales I think fans will come around. Of course, they’ll get on his bandwagon a lot quicker if he fights someone like Rios or Peterson in his next bout.

GARCIA-RIOS

What’s up Dougie,

Danny Garcia scored what much of us expected, a KO of a 36-year-old, 19-year veteran in Erik Morales. How good should he feel about that? Danny’s 24 and Brandon Rios is 25! If Golden Boy and Top Rank really care about the sport of boxing and its fans they need to make this fight happen!

Garcia vs. Rios would be a freakin barn burner! What do you think, Dougie? – Miguel, LBC

I think the same thing that you and 46.5 percent of the fans who voted in RingTV.com’s most recent poll (Who would you like to see junior welterweight champ Danny Garcia fight next?) think: that Brandon Rios is the most crowd-pleasing matchup out there for the Philadelphian.

Unfortunately, I think Bob Arum has his plans for Rios and Al Haymon and GBP have their road for Garcia to walk and I don’t think the paths of the fighters will cross any time soon. I’d love to see one of the networks, either HBO or Showtime, put some pressure on the power brokers to make it happen but I’m not going to hold my breath.

By the way, as of 12:15 a.m. Pacific Time, Matthysse was the second biggest vote getter in the RingTV poll with 28.8 percent. Despite what some media and fans are tweeting, I think this an all-GBP matchup than can happen. I know the Hardcore Harrys and Henriettas out there in the Twitterverse will remain skeptical, but a lot of those same naysayers said GBP would try to keep Anselmo Moreno as far away from Abner Mares as possible.

Juan Manuel Marquez garnered 10.5 percent in the poll, proving that there are some “old men” that the hardcore heads will OK to face Garcia.

UNBREAKABLE RECORDS

Hello my dude,

Many thanks for these mailbags – a great Monday and Friday morning diversion at work. Anyway, what do you think is the most unbreakable record in boxing?

Bernard Hopkin’s 20 middleweight defenses? Three Olympic golds? Something else entirely? Anyways take care. – Brendan

Interesting question, Brendan. The easy answer are the records that will never be challenged because of a change in rules or regulations in the sport, such as Henry Armstrong simultaneously holding titles in three weight classes or the number of 15-round title bouts Miguel Canto fought in (17; he won 14 of ‘em).

B-Hop has two world records that are going to be hard to break, being the oldest boxer (at 46) to win a major world title and the number of middleweight title defenses he made.

I can see the age record falling in the next 10 years due to the advances in sports science/medicine (both legal and illegal), the fact that elite boxers don’t fight as often as they used to (thus they have less wear and tear on their bodies) and because of the lack of talent in some divisions. I mean, seriously, couldn’t you see Lennox Lewis un-retiring and knocking Alexander Povetkin’s head off without even having a tuneup bout? LOL.

The 20 title defenses in the middleweight division is going to be very difficult to break. For starters, like I mentioned earlier, top fighters just aren’t very active, especially once they get their hands on a major belt. And nobody seems to want (or have the discipline) to stick around in one division for the majority of their career. Guys like Carlos Monzon and Marvin Hagler, who prided themselves on being kings of the 160-pound mountain, don’t exist anymore.

Martinez is a hell of a champ, but it seems like he can’t wait to jump back down to 154 pounds. And I think there will be a lot of pressure for the young middleweight standouts who emerge in the next year or so to go up to 168 pounds to make big bucks against Andre Ward.

I think it’s possible that we’ll get a four-time Olympic gold medalist in boxing within the next 10-15 years. These Cuban amateur stars can’t all defect, can they? Plus, now that women’s boxing is part of the Olympic Games I think some talented teenage girl, maybe Claressa Shields, will realize that she’s better off remaining amateur and collecting Olympic gold medals (and the endorsements that come with them) than gambling with a pro career.

Yep, I think I gotta go with B-Hops middleweight title defense record as the one that will stand the longest in boxing.

 

 

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

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