LOTS OF WEEKEND ACTION
Where to start? First the return of boxing to network TV: A good sign.
Some naysayers where I work sniped that boxing is struggling so they returned to network TV. I came back that it is in an upswing and TV would not have scheduled it if they did not think it would bring ratings. Fortunately, it was a good contest and hopefully there will be more.
On to HBO and the replay of Pacman-Marquez 4. I did not pay for it because I figured it would be more of the same but….DAMN what a fight! I have seen guys KO’d in that manner who were never the same again. Remember John Tate and Mike Weaver? I saw that live. Tate never recovered from that big shot. I know Manny will fight again. Probably fight #5 with Marquez. That’s where the biggest payday is. I’m not sure if I want to see it…..and please don’t throw him in there with Brandon Rios.
Nonito Donaire-Jorge Arce went pretty much like I thought it would, I just thought it would last longer and be a little more entertaining.
Alfredo Angulo is always in a good scrap and is a fighter I will tune in to see every time.
Amir Khan looked good. He needed that fight to get his confidence back. What’s next for him?
Finally, Deontay Wilder. I wrote to you back in November of ‘08 when I saw his pro debut in Vanderbilt’s Memorial Gym in Nashville. He was pitiful that night. Fought and threw punches like a girl (you know what I mean). His jab was nonexistent. I screamed at him from ringside to throw it because his opponent was there for it. He later KO’d the guy with a wide sweeping right-hand haymaker. This Saturday he did KO his man with a huge right handed bomb but up to that point he was throwing arm punches. His technique still seems to be lacking for a guy with the tools (and record) he possesses. Although I think he would clobber someone like Seth Mitchell, do you see the potential in him that I heard Manny Steward did? I checked his record on BoxRec.com and did not see any names I knew. I always appreciate your views. – David, Nashville
Wilder is less of a raw talent than he was four years ago, but he is still very much a work in progress. I’ve seen him fight many times live and I consider him to be a legit prospect but not one on the level of his fellow 2008 Olympic bronze medalist David Price, even though the Brit has half the bouts (13) that Deontay does. Price has better technique and has been developed against more solid opposition.
However, Wilder’s speed and power are real. I think he can take out top-10 contenders who are known for being rugged – perhaps with one shot as he did with Kelvin Price. Having said that, I don’t think he’s ready for a bona-fide contender. There are two roads his management can go in terms of developing him to one day face a real heavyweight contender (and in terms of marketing his name to the public) in 2013: they can put him in with fellow U.S. prospects, such as Bryant Jennings, Johnathan Banks and Joe Hanks; or they can match him up with faded former champs and title challengers, such as Hasim Rahman and Michael Grant.
Wilder says he wants the fellow U.S. prospects. He says “There can only be one American heavyweight,” sounding like the guy from the Highlander movie. However, Oscar De La Hoya told me that Rahman and Grant are the names he wants for his 220-pound Hitman.
I think the promotional company (Golden Boy Promotions) is going to get its way next year, which is fine with me, as long as they are targeting top-15 contenders by the end of 2013.
I thought Khan looked extremely sharp. He threw a high volume of punches but generally did so in combination and also mixed in a lot of lateral movement. He fired with blinding speed and landed with good power, but he rarely overextended himself. Carlos Molina was the perfect foil. The Los Angeles-area prospect was tough and determined but he didn’t possess the power or the workrate to seriously threaten Khan.
I think Khan should fight in early 2013 against a lower-top 10 or fringe contender, such as Ruslan Provodnikov or Olusegun Ajose, and then go after the champ (Danny Garcia) or one of the division’s badasses (Lucas Matthysse).
I knew Angulo’s fight with Jorge Silva would be the fight of the Showtime broadcast (although the Shawn Porter-Julio Diaz draw on Showtime Extreme was damn good). I called the action to Silva’s hard-fought draw with unbeaten Yoshihiro Kamegai on Fox Sports Net in October, so I knew the 20-year-old Tijuana talent was no walk in the park for “Perro.” I felt lucky to call Angulo-Silva (with good buddy Rich Marotta on Showtime’s international broadcast) because it was a fun fight and I think both guys will have success in 2013.
I thought Donaire would clip Arce, but I didn’t think he’d blast the veteran Mexican badass in three rounds and barely break a sweat doing so. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Nonito Donaire is my CLEAR choice for Fighter of the Year for 2012.
Regarding the clear KO of the Year, my guess is that Pacquiao will not be the same going forward. And the only reason I say this because I thought he was fighting with less passion and focus in recent years.
Golden Boy’s matchmakers (Eric Gomez and Robert Diaz) got it right on Saturday. Khan, Wilder and Angulo were in with the kind of opponents they needed to either boost their confidence (in Amir and Deontay’s case) or knock off ring rust and answer questions about their ability to take a solid shot (in Perro’s case). And the best matchmaking was saved for the CBS broadcast because Alberto Guevara proved that he could do everything but punch against Leo Santa Cruz.
The result was an entertaining pressure fighter-vs.-boxer matchup that the house fighter (Santa Cruz) won. And hopefully, it helped launch Guevara’s career in the States (I’d like to see more of crafty-but-gutsy boxer on U.S. TV) and will result in more CBS shows. Golden Boy CEO Richard Schaefer said he’s going to work on getting three or four CBS dates in 2013 at the Khan-Molina post-fight press conference.
What’s up Dougie,
I expected Nonito Donaire to blast out Jorge ‘El Travieso’ Arce the way he did. Maybe not that soon, but eventually. I’m gonna keep it short. Golden Boy and Top Rank, if you really care about boxing and boxing fans, make Donaire vs. Abner Mares!!! That’s what we want to see!!! Right, Dougie? – Miguel, LBC
Right you are. That’s the No. 1 showdown I want to see in 2013. I know I’m not alone.
What up Dougie! Just have a couple thoughts from the Khan-Molina fight.
I noticed Khan was pulling back on his punches pretty much the whole night so he wouldn’t get caught. It’s unfortunate his Achilles heel is a glass chin, because that will keep him from greatness he deserved. He has the speed, power, height and pure boxing ability but I don’t believe he’ll reach his full potential because of that chin.
Also, I was shocked and appalled that Molina’s corner refused to stop the fight after the 8th round. The referee was literally pleading with them to stop the fight. Your thoughts on these topics.
Lastly, I wanted to give you huge props for addressing THE RING’s Pound-for-Pound Rankings at length in Friday’s mailbag even though we all know you’re not a big fan of them. We all know it’s mythical but that doesn’t take away from the significance we diehard fans give them. So I won’t go on the rant I originally planned on going on. – Adrian “Dre” Milwaukee, WI
I had to say something about THE RING’s Pound-for-Pound fiasco even though I’m not only uninterested in the “mythical rankings” but I’m beginning to hate discussing anyone’s P4P top-10 lists. Having said that, I wasn’t going to accept any heat for Chuck Giampa’s Bizarro World Pound-for-Pound list or allow the members of the Ratings Panel to take any blame.
(Come to think of it, when I posted the Ring Ratings Update with Giampa’s P4P I should have put a pic of Bizarro Superman’s face next to it on the homepage instead of Floyd Mayweather’s mug.)
I was thinking the same thing referee Jack Reiss was saying out loud during the late rounds of Molina’s brave stand against Khan’s controlled onslaught – “Is this necessary?” I thought that Molina’s corner should have started thinking about keeping Molina on his stool after the seventh round (and I said so during the international broadcast). At that point in the fight Khan had landed 40 percent of 495 punches. Molina had landed 27 percent of 238 punches thrown. He simply wasn’t able to get off against the fast-and-mobile British star. Molina only landed 87 total punches after 10 rounds, which means he averaged less than nine landed punches per round. That wasn’t going to get it done without world-class punching power, which Molina lacks.
That begs the question, what will happen once Khan steps into the ring with a KO puncher again. I think he’ll do alright given the form he showed on Saturday. The more camps with Virgil Hunter, the sharper and shrewder he will become in the ring.
I disagree that Khan will fail “to reach his full potential because of that chin,” as you put it. Thomas Hearns and Terry Norris are first-ballot hall of famers despite possessing shaky whiskers. Their other attributes – speed, power, heart, technique, height and reach – usually made up for their shortcomings in the chin department, and I think Khan possesses all of those attributes.
Khan will win at least two more major titles and be in many high profile bouts at 140 and 147 pounds. All the shaky chin mean is that those big fights will feature a high degree of action and drama (just as most of Norris and Hearns’ fights did).
HUGE FAVOR, PLEASE
I don’t know if you remember me…but I spoke with you while you were with Maxboxing and we also hung out a while back for the third Corrales/Castillo fight (Castillo didn’t make weight that night). I’m a HUGE boxing fan…and jumped out of my seat when Marquez knocked Pacquiao out cold…but I’m emailing you for a different reason this time. I’m sure you’ve heard of the shootings in Newtown, Conn., recently. I lost my baby cousin this past year in the Oikos Community College shootings earlier this year…she was only 21. She loved the fights and I want as many people as possible to celebrate her life.
Thank you, Dougie. – Derrick Lee
I remember chatting with you and a bunch of young boxing aficionados (including Gabriel Montoya) at a Ceasars Palace lounge in 2006, Derrick. Those were good times.
The senseless killings in shooting rampages in Connecticut, Colorado, Oregon, and in Oakland, Calif., (where Oikos University is located) this year have made these grim times.
My heart goes out to you and your family for the loss of your cousin, as it does to the families of the 28 people who died in Newtown, Conn., on Friday.
Email Dougie at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer.