Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Massive Monday mailbag

THE PROBLEM

Hey Dougie….. Adrien Broner is INDEED a problem!! I know he was 3/1 favourite, but people still expected a close-ish fight with Antonio DeMarco having his moments, but geez…..that was a harsh beatdown dished out by AB! He looked so comfortable fighting up close, and even standing right in front of AD he was still difficult to hit cleanly! All in all, very impressive by AB, he simply picked AD apart punch by punch….

The question now is what’s next? I would like to see him fight my fellow Scotsman Ricky Burns. After tonight’s showing, it would be a tough fight for Ricky, but he has the size, strength, and boxing skills to give any 135 lber a tough fight! Thoughts on that match up? Take care Dougie, until next time… – Peter, Glasgow, Scotland

I love that matchup. I think it’s a competitive fight and I believe it would be for THE RING’s vacant title. Burns has the height, reach and heart of DeMarco but he’s got more skill than the now-former beltholder from Mexico and he’s a much better athlete. Burns isn’t in Broner’s league when it comes to athletic ability but he’s got the edge in experience and the tools and versatility I think a fighter must possess to challenge the prodigy from Cincinnati.

Burns has an excellent jab that sets up power shots when he’s on his toes outside of his opponent’s reach, he’s got good footwork and lateral movement, and he’s a decent infighter. The Scotsman covers up well when in close and he’s got a sneaky uppercut that he fires in the trenches. Burns taps the body every now and then, too.

I would favor Broner if they fought for three reasons: Broner’s decided edge in speed, Burns’ lack of pop (only 10 knockouts among his 35 victories) and the American’s political juice (Al Haymon and HBO – who have a better shot at getting the Scotsman to come to the U.S. than Burns’ reps have of getting Broner to dust off his passport).

That was indeed a harsh beatdown Broner handed DeMarco, worse than the one Edwin Valero dished out a few years ago. I thought Broner was in command from the get-go and began to dishing out punishment as soon as he decided to step on the gas at the start of the fourth round. The bout had become an exercise of sadistictarget practice for Broner by the fifth, and I honestly think the referee, ringside physician or DeMarco’s corner could have stopped the bout before the start of the sixth without much complaint from the fans.

It was a terrific victory for Broner, the best of his career so far, and one that vaults him to the top of THE RING’s 135-pound rankings.

I WAS WRONG

Well…. I sure was wrong about this fight. I underestimated Broner’s speed and defence.

I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to warm up to Broner’s style…. the super tight defence just turns me off, which isn’t fair I guess cause he’s aggressive enough, and goes for the KO… just something about it. I completely respect him…. just can’t seem to root for him.

Will be interesting if he steps up to 140 where there are a lot more challenges….

What type of opponent is best suited to penetrating the tucked shoulder roll style of Broner? Cheers. – Corban, Toronto

There are a few styles that can trouble the style that Broner employs. The question we must as is are there any fighters out there with the talent to back those styles up? It’s not Broner’s style that makes him such a formidable boxer-puncher, it’s his talent and ability. A boxer with less skill and talent would get clipped by a world-class fighter doing the exact same things that Broner does.

So I can tell you that a rough-and-rugged boxer-brawler who likes to swarm and mug world-class opponents the way Abner Mares has at 118 and 122 pounds would sternly test Broner, but is there anyone fighting at 135 and 140 pounds who fights like Mares and possesses the Mexican’s attributes? I don’t think so.

Brandon Rios and Lucas Matthysse come close. They have the iron chins, brute strength, heavy hands and infighting ability, but they’re both a bit methodical and sort of stuck in one speed. They don’t have Mares’ footwork or ability to shift gears. They don’t have his versatility either. Rios and Matthysse like to come forward – period. Mares can back off and work his jab or counter-punch if need be.

Still, I’d gladly pay to see Broner vs. Matthysse and Broner vs. Rios (which is the fight that fans have voted for the most on RingTV.com’s most recent poll).

I think Broner has an entertaining style and personality but that’s just me. You are well within your rights as a fan to choose NOT to root for Broner. It doesn’t make you a “hater” in my book.

BRONER-MATTHYSSE

Hey Doug

I am big fan of your work and I really enjoy your insight, this is my first time writing for the Monday mailbag. First off, what a great performance by Broner on Saturday but it is always sad to see warriors such as DeMarco losing. What matchups do you think will really test Broner at 135? I would LOVE to see Broner vs. Mathysee at 140 and I think the Argentine badass can pull of a later round knockout.

However, who would you favor in this matchup? Also, do you think Miguel Cotto will win against Austin Trout? If so, how do you think he would do against Canelo if they fight in May? Thank you Doug. – Jose A. Lopez

I don’t see Cotto beating Trout but the Puerto Rican star has proven me wrong before and I certainly won’t have a heart attack from shock if he finds a way to beat the young contender or ever breaks the WBA titleholder down. I think Cotto-Alvarez is one of the best matchups that can be made in terms of style and marketability. I like the red head in that one, but again… I know that Cotto has the experience, ability and heart to make a liar out of me.

Of all the potential matchups that are out there for Broner, a showdown with Matthysse (one of my favorite active fighters) is the one I want to see the most. I think it’s a toss up. I can see the scenario you envision with the Argentine power-technician grinding the young upstart to a late TKO and I can see Broner mixing in the right amount of boxing, moving and exchanges to outpoint Matthysse.

The only two 135-pound matchups I think will test Broner are against his fellow beltholders, Burns and Miguel Vazquez. Both guys are tall, rangy with good jabs. Burns is versatile and athletic, while Vazquez is cagey and awkward. However, both titleholders lack the speed and power to really threaten Broner.

WEEKEND NOTES

A few comments after this very enjoyable weekend with some very good fights. On WealthTV Larry Holmes was quite vocal: “I know this game!!! I know this game!!” “It’s a heck of a fight and you heard it from me.” Overall I thought that the WealthTV crew was over hyping the greatness of the Gonzalez-Estrada fight: best in a lifetime??! A bit tiring to hear that little guys “can” be exciting and powerful… that’s nothing new and seriously when the quality of the fights is as good as what it was with the flyweights I don’t see the need to explain how good the fights are… That was quite obvious wasn’t it??

Juan Estrada’s toughness and conditioning deserved to be seen. Roman Gonzalez’ chin, determination, skills and power makes him the king of the 108 and a very tough proposition for Viloria. But I got the feeling that Gonzalez is at his best at 108. Estrada looked way bigger than Chocolatito.

Tyson as usual was tough as nails but you predicted a Viloria victory and you got it right (this time!). Haven’t seen Viloria much before but he’s an excellent fighter: good body punches, very good power, good boxing skills especially in the 7th where he was really smooth. Anyway it was a good stoppage from Robert Garcia.

Carl Froch looked like an absolute monster against Mack and he looks like his confidence is sky-high (especially thanks to the Bute destruction). I wanna see him against Mikkel Kessler again and I’ll make him the favorite this time. Angelo Santana just put himself on the lightweight map with a scary KO. The Cuban looks like a complete fighter already. The whole performance was impressive! Broner vs Burns next! So far it seems that Broner goes for the biggest challenges and I respect that. I thought DeMarco would have his moments but Broner’s short, compact punches in the pocket were devastating. I would expect Burns to be much more competitive because he’s got quickness along with his skills.

You were also right about the tough Mongolian Choi! The guy didn’t come to Singapore to lose the fight (vs. Daud Yordan). He did lose but made it a fight. Both main event fights were entertaining enough but I thought the crowd was clueless about the sport. I was surprised to see many people leave before the Chris John fight… I don’t see the sport getting bigger on the island. Peace. – Vince

Give it some time. I’m sure the folks who left early were high rollers who wanted to get back to their gambling. Or maybe they just aren’t fans of John’s stick-and-move style. Regardless, the more world-class boxing Singapore hosts the more its casinos will attract significant matchups, which will bring in more fans.   

I agree that Broner-Burns is a good fight, and to his credit, “The Problem” has mentioned Burns in a number of post-fight interviews.

I’ve been high on Santana since I saw him blast out an undefeated Russian welterweight, who just happened to be a last-minute sub, on the undercard of Agbeko-Mares I. He’s one to watch.

I think Froch-Kessler II is a much better fight than Froch-Bute II. I favor “The Cobra” in both matchups.

I was at the Viloria-Marquez card (and boy am I glad I decided to go) and I forgot to DVR the Wealth TV broadcast, so I can’t really comment on the commentators (other than it was great to see Holmes interact with the fans who were at the Sports Arena after the show).

I’ll say this on their behalf, though. WealthTV is not a sports network. It’s a relatively new channel (just eight years old) that’s just begun to dabble in the Sweet Science, so it’s safe to say that a lot of casual fans who don’t know that junior flyweights and flyweights usually make for good action often stumble across the network’s boxing programming. So I’m OK with the commentators reminding the viewers that these guys who are smaller than some viewers’ kids are badasses who bring the ruckus (even thought it was evident by the action taking place).

I thoroughly enjoyed Gonzalez-Estrada, which I thought was as entertaining as a one-sided fight could be. Gonzalez – who is as technically skilled as a fighterwithout a consistent jab and who is hell-bent on scoring a KO can be – landed the cleaner and harder punches in every round, while blocking many of Estrada’s return fire, but damn the young challenger could take a shot and he let his hands go furiously in spots.

Viloria was always a talented boxer-puncher but he has matured into a complete fighter who knows when to box and when the go on the attack. I’ve never seen him as focused and effective as he was versus Marquez, who almost turned the fight around in the fifth round (a Round of the year candidate for sure).

I’d love to see Viloria or Marquez take on Chocolatito. Gonzalez-Marquez would be a freakin’ war. I don’t know who wins that fight but I want to see it. I think Viloria beats Gonzalez, who lost some of his vaunted power going from 105 pounds to 108 and will likely lose a little more with a jump to flyweight. Viloria’s versatility would serve him well against Gonzalez, who loves to stalk without a jab.  

WHO’S GONNA BEAT BRONER?

What’s up Dougie,

Damn, just when I think we don’t have to hear Floyd Mayweather’s big mouth we get Adrien Broner! And we are going to have to hear him because the kid is good!….Well, he looked good against DeMarco. You think guys like Danny Garcia, Brandon Rios, or the winner of the Andre Berto-Robert Guerrero fight can shut him up? I’d hate to go through another freakin’ 10 years of a Mayweather-like BS talking fool! Maybe Jose Ramirez, who just turned pro, will whoop him in three years or so. I can’t stand guys like Broner and Mayweather! – Miguel, LBC

I don’t know what to tell ya, Miguel. Broner might be irking you for at least a few years.

Ramirez isn’t going to be ready to fight anyone of note for at least three years.

Garcia and Rios have a shot at taking Broner down a peg but don’t hold your breath. Rios is promoted by Top Rank and Garcia, like Broner, is managed by Al Haymon, who doesn’t match his fighters together.

And Broner is in no rush to jump all the way to welterweight.

PROPS TO BRONER

Hey Doug, I hope you and your family have a great Thanksgiving.

I gotta tell ya, I became a fan of “The Problem” Saturday night. Like Larry Merchant said in the post-fight interview, Broner comes to fight. He could have coasted and stunk the joint out against DeMarco but he took his time, picked his shots, showed power and closed the show at the perfect time. More impressively, his demeanor in the post-fight interview was quite grounded. Granted, someone like him (and a Mayweather) are going to be brash. With skills like he has, how can you not? We, the boxing public, can’t expect these guys to walk around with an “aww shucks” humble persona on their way to the top. Given how Broner answered each of Merchant’s questions and was respectful and engaging, I can’t help but become a big fan of his. And yes, I loved the ring walk too!

Forget 135lb, I think he cleans out 140lb division and doesn’t encounter any real challenges until he faces a 147lb’er with speed (Bradley, Alexander). Even my boy, Bam Bam Rios would be overwhelmed with what we saw Saturday night. Cheers bro. – Mark

I don’t know if we’ll ever get to see Broner vs. Rios, Mark. But I’m glad Broner is not in a hurry to rise in weight to 140 or 147 pounds. He just got to lightweight and I’m happy he wants to stick around because while the victory over DeMarco is impressive, it’s just one major win and it came against a titleholder who had the right style for him to shine against. The other titleholders aren’t as basic and flat-footed as DeMarco and I’d like to see Broner fight Burns and Vazquez before venturing to junior welterweight.

Regarding his personality, I don’t mind his ego or his silliness as long he faces truly world-class opposition. However, if he’s going to exhibit Ray Robinson/Muhammad Ali/Roberto Duran/Sugar Ray Leonard/James Toney-style brashness he’s really going to have to challenge himself in order to have my respect. Mayweather did so early in his career but he began taking the Roy Jones Jr. route to “fake greatness” after his back-to-back fights with Jose Luis Castillo. If Broner wants to be better than Mayweather, as he states, he’s gotta do things Floyd did not, such as unify the major titles in divisions he occupies and not avoid the dangerous/stylistically difficult contenders. In other words, if he’s gonna talk the talk, he’s gotta walk the walk.

BRIAN VILORIA

I can’t think of a fighter in the last 10 years who had such a resurgence in his career as has Brian Viloria. What a tremendous fighter he’s become. What power he showed against Tyson Marquez. The man is so quick in exchanges and so powerful, he reminds a lot of the late Edwin Valero. That left hook in the 10th round was nasty and any other fighter would have been out, but Tyson Marquez is one tough S.O.B.

I think Brian has finally figured out what type of fighter he is now and seems to have a plan A, plan B and plan C. Major networks take notice, this guy is must see TV. – Tyler K.

I agree. The dilemma Viloria has is having the right dance partners to attract the attention of HBO and Showtime.

The two major U.S. cable networks already missed out on Viloria vs. Giovani Segura and Marquez. Hopefully, they don’t sleep on Viloria vs. Chocolatito Gonzalez if that fight is made. I can’t think of any viable matchups for Viloria beyond the Gonzalez showdown.

Perhaps rematches can be Brian’s bread and butter. A return bout with Archie Solis, who’s unbeaten in eight bouts since his 11th-round KO to Viloria, could be a good matchup. Edgar Sosa, one of the three guys who beat Viloria, has won four fights since losing to Pongsaklek Wonjongkam. I’m sure he’s available. If Segura and Marquez can get a few comeback wins under their belts both southpaw bangers would make for very attractive return bouts.

HOW GOOD IS FROCH?

Hey Dougie,

Long time reader, first time writing in.

After Carl Froch’s destruction of Yusuf Mack, Steve Collins while commentating the fight for Sky said that Froch, in current form, could have beat Chris Eubank, Nigel Benn, Joe Calzaghe and himself. What do you make of that? I think it’s definitely possible. Froch seems to have found a new lease of life after the Andre Ward fight and is seeing blood quicker in the ring than ever before. I always felt like he should have been EVEN more committed in his attacks as his chin is as tough as I’ve seen. Which definitely helps when launching at your opponent.

And finally, who do you like best out of those fighters? Cheers. – Luke

I think Calzaghe proved to be the best of the UK’s super middleweights. Benn was always my favorite, thought. I loved the Dark Destroyer’s take-no-prisoners attitude.

Froch has certainly accomplished enough to be mentioned along with those former champs from various parts of the UK, but I don’t agree with Collins’ comment that The Cobra would have defeated them all. He would have given them all a good fight, though. I think Froch and Collins would have battled each other to a near standstill. I can see Froch edging Collins on points because he’s naturally bigger (taller and rangier) and a little more versatile. If Froch’s vaunted chin held out against Benn, I can see his greater stamina getting the better of the super banger in the late rounds of a war, but that’s a BIG “if.” Froch could have outworked Eubank but it’s hard to envision mythical matchups with the enigmatic Brit because his style was so unorthodox and he was so very good at making adjustments during his fights.

Calzaghe had too much talent and toughness for Froch to overcome in my opinion.

SETH MITCHELL

He’s a nice guy and all. He has some athletic qualities and is a class act, but Seth Mitchell is going nowhere in this sport. Now, it is a testament to him how far he came and how fast he moved in boxing. Some of the guys he beat on his way is really, really impressive! But against Johnathon Banks his inexperience and defensive liabilities were on full display. Especially the way he brings his arms out away from his face to block punches. When he got hurt, yea he didn’t tie up correctly, but I think his inability to keep his defense tight to his face is really what cost him big. Big ups to Golden Boy for moving him at a good speed and getting some buzz behind him, and I hate to sound hypocritical because I like when guys are matched tough, but this one is a dud and was way overhyped as the next American hope. Sucks how one loss can prove you are overrated in some peoples’ eyes, huh?

Anyway, I think this means we won’t be seeing Deontay Wilder in with ANYBODY of consequence anytime soon. From the look in Oscar’s eyes after that fight, I don’t blame him.

Brian Viloria-Hernan Marquez made me sign up for Wealth TV. Really fun fight.

Broner looked excellent. Flawless even. That’s all. – Jabre

I agree that Mitchell definitely has his flaws which were “exposed” against Banks (and to a degree against Chazz Witherspoon), but I’m never going to dismiss a prospect after one loss – even if it’s a knockout.

Mitchell’s not a kid (not even by heavyweight standards), but he’s still learning. He seems smart and dedicated to his craft, so there’s no reason for me to think that he can’t improve his defensive technique.

I think fans write up-and-comers off too fast. The truth is that we have no idea where a still-developing fighter might wind up a few years after suffering a loss (even by KO).

The great Jack Johnson was knocked out a couple times early in his career (by boxing master Joe Choynski and some chap named Klondike).

Jack Dempsey was blasted in one round by “Fireman” Jim Flynn early in his career. That same year (1917), Dempsey went 1-1-2 in four four-round exhibition bouts with a chubby sailor named Willie Meehan. Two years later he demolished Jess Willard to with the biggest prize in sports.

Max Schmeling suffered a fourth-round stoppage to Max Diekmann (Twitter Nation would have fun with that guy’s name, eh?) in only his fifth pro bout. The German legend was outpointed by Jack Taylor in his 17th pro bout, then held to a draw by Leon Randol and KO’d in two rounds by Larry Gaines in his next two bouts. I’m sure you and most of today’s fans would have loudly declared THIS GUY IS A F__KING BUM if you were around in the 1920s. But Schmeling went on to win his next 22 bouts – earning the German heavyweight title (with a first-round KO of Diekmann) and the European championship – before getting starched in one round by Gypsie Daniels. If you’re counting that’s THREE knockout lossesSchmeling suffered before winning the world heavyweight crown and then upsetting the hottest prospect in boxing, Joe Louis (who today’s fans would have proclaimed to be EXPOSED after suffering a 12th-rond TKO to the German veteran).

Like Mitchell, Ken Norton excelled at other sports (football, basketball, and track) in high school and attended college (Northeast Missouri State) on a football scholarship for two years before joining the marine Corps, where he was introduced to boxing as an adult. Norton who had a limited amateur career in the military (a reported 24-2 record) won his first 16 pro bouts before getting “exposed” by top-10 rated Jose Luis Garcia, who stopped him in eight rounds.

However, 13 bouts after that loss, Norton upset “The Greatest.” There are other heavyweight examples, such as Jersey Joe Walcott, who was knocked out in his 13th and 22nd bouts (and lost seven bouts in his first seven years as a pro), but you understand what I’m saying. All these guys who were KO’d while they were still developing dealt with their losses and went on become hall of famers.

I’m not saying that Mitchell will one day be in the hall of fame. I’m not saying that he’ll win a world title, or even develop into a bona-fide contender (although I think that’s very possible). I’m just saying that losing – and getting knocked out – is part of boxing. It’s not the end of boxer’s career and it doesn’t mean he won’t be successful on some level.

Who knows? Maybe the heavyweights I mentioned achieved what they did BECAUSE they suffered those knockouts.

 

 

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

Around the web

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>