Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

MIKEY GARCIA

What’s up Dougie,

What a great weekend of fights for us hardcore boxing fans! We had Juan Carlos Burgos-Roman Martinez. Got to see Gennady Golovkin, who is a freakin’ beast! I would love to see him against Sergio Martinez. That would be a crazy fight!

Last but not least, Mikey Garcia. The kid has mad skills! He went in against a seasoned pro in Orlando Salido and put on a clinic. Salido tried some old-school tactics which ended the fight. I’m not accusing him of head butting Mikey intentionally, but he was on the verge of getting KO’d. What’s next for Mikey? I’d love to see a Garcia-Yuriorkis Gamboa showdown. What do you think, Dougie? – Miguel, LBC

I’d rather see Garcia-Gamboa than Tim Bradley vs. the dynamic Cuban. I don’t know if Gamboa can still make 126 pounds but I like that fight if it can be made. Gamby’s got a decided edge in speed, power and overall athleticism, but Mikey clearly has the better technique and his style (counter puncher) and temperament (patient) is a combination that should prove difficult for the Olympic champ.

That combination – along with Garcia’s footwork and decent power – was pure hell for Salido. That was the best form I’ve ever seen from the 25-year-old Southern Californian. His jab was on, his counter shots were accurate and HARD, and he mixed in the right amount of movement between their exchanges. I loved Garcia’s angles when in close with veteran pressure fighter.

The young man obviously rose to the occasion because most of us (fans and media) thought of this as a toss-up fight going in (though most picked the younger man to win).

Golovkin is indeed a beast (even when battling a flu bug). I don’t think he’s ready for THE RING champ yet, but he will be by next year. In the meantime, I hope we get to see him against increasingly tougher competition at least two or three more times on HBO this year.

Martinez-Burgos wasn’t as good a fight as I expected it to be but it turned out to be the most competitive fight on the card. I didn’t think the bout was as one-sided in Burgos’ favor as HBO’s broadcast crew but I thought the Mexican contender deserved the decision.

DON’T CRITICIZE GOLOVKIN

Hey Dougie,
I can understand people being disappointed that they didn’t see the stone-cold KO, but I thought Golovkin put on an absolutely textbook performance on how to cut the ring off and relentlessly pressure a talented, defense-minded mover. I thought his use of the jab was fantastic and that he was very accurate along with it – that to me was more impressive than if he’d gone in there and knocked Rosado’s head off in one round. What did you think of his performance, and do you think the top guys will now be more willing to face him? – Ed from UK

I think the top guys saw all of the technical attributes that you pointed out and will probably not be any more inclined to climb into the ring with GGG, but I hope I’m wrong. I hope some top 10-rated middleweight (or his management) saw the same things that Max Kellerman harped on during the fight (Golovkin’s lack of head movement, the single shots that Rosado landed sporadically) and takes it upon himself to “expose” the “hype” once and for all.

I was impressed with Golovkin’s performance. He was patient as he cut the ring off on a constantly moving foe but he was still able to throw more punches than the average middleweight and land at a very high connect rate. I liked Golovkin’s jab but I was more impressed with his lead right, which he practically used as a jab.

I was also impressed with something the HBO commentators did not mention during the fight – Golovkin’s ability to pick off Rosado’s shots with his gloves. When Rosado got a rise out of the crowd with his brief rally in the fifth round, most of those punches he fired off in close landed on Golovkin’s gloves and arms. I think GGG is good at blocking and parrying shots. It’s definitely something he should continue to work on.

I agree that it was better for Golovkin to go rounds than score a quick one-punch KO. The man has only fought the distance THREE times as a pro. He’s only fought past eight rounds once. He NEEDS to go rounds.

I’m looking forward to watching Golovkin go lots of rounds this year.

OBSERVATIONS FROM THE THEATER

Burgos vs Martinez was not a robbery. I happened to sit down next to two boxing junkies at this fight, I’m talking about people that have been going to about every fight from the late 1980s to today and they had it a draw. I can see why there’s a lot of controversy when fights are scored onsite vs television and that’s because when a fighter is backing up a lot, television cameras don’t do a great job capturing the negative effect that backing up causes… at the end of a close round you just remember that one guy was backing up and the other wasn’t. That’s what happened in this fight.

Govlokin vs Rosado. What impressed me the most about this fight was Govlokin’s hand speed. It’s underrated. The only way someone will challenge Govlokin is when he fights someone who can hurt him for coming in recklessly.

Garcia vs Salido. First I want to say that Salido did NOT look over the hill live. Garcia’s hand speed and laser-accurate shots were what was unreal. Garcia was a cool cat in that ring, it just felt like the ring was his home and he seemed to know what to do in every moment. He made it look easy but I felt like Salido could turn the fight around at any moment and the ending was extremely disappointing. I wanted to see how Garcia reacted when Salido started digging to that body more and more. I wouldn’t mind a rematch.

What I got out of this weekend is that Martinez and Burgos are ordinary, Govlokin’s hand speed is deceptively quick, and Garcia’s boxing IQ is on a Marco Antonio Barrera level and he’s going to be very, very hard to beat. – Joseph G.

I agree that Garcia will be hard to beat. In fact, the only active featherweight who has a shot at beating Mikey, in my opinion, is Chris John. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing him fight Billy Dibb, Daniel Ponce DeLeon or Javier Fortuna. I can do without a Salido rematch. His roughhouse-style of pressure fighting works great against punchers and sluggers but clearly a counter-punching technician of Garcia’s level is pure kryptonite for the veteran.

Golovkin is not the slow, plodder some think he is.

Martinez is ordinary in terms of skill, but not in terms of heart. His determination makes him special in my opinion. Burgos isn’t “special” in any one category but he’s solid all around and in his will is on par with Martinez’s. I think Burgos will be a world titleholder soon and I thought he did enough to earn the decision on Saturday.

However, I agree that it wasn’t the God-awful robbery as some described it. I had Burgos winning seven rounds. I scored three of the first four rounds and the last four rounds for the Mexican contender. I thought Martinez imposed his will on Burgos in the middle rounds (five through eight; and I gave him the first round).

Having said that, I can see how many fans and media had Burgos winning by a wider margin. The first round could have easily gone to Burgos as well as the sixth round, which was hotly contested.

COOL HAND ROSADO

Hi Doug,
We all have to hand it to Cool Hand Rosado. The kid gets back to his stool after round 6 and sees all the gloomy faces… the cutman quietly goes to work… you could have heard a pin drop. And how does the kid break the ice? He asks the question, “Yo, so what should I do?” I was hoping that his corner would get hyped up, but it’s probably best that they didn’t. It was a forgone conclusion at that point. But what struck me is that Rosado subtly asked for a way out by indicating that he couldn’t see, but his corner was either too shocked or ‘mentally deficient’ to realize this.

The icing on the cake was the subsequent clip of a cornerman trying to rationalize with Rosado’s father: “I gotta stop it or your son is going to die.” Hollywood pales in comparison. Rosdado’s balls made up for the disgusting Martinez decision. Speaking of balls, what’s up with Kellerman trying to bust GGG’s? I almost wish that he had an interpreter for his rebuttals. – BK in High Point, NC

Golovkin is working on his English and he’s come a long way since I first met him (in the spring of 2011), but he really does need an interpreter for his post-fight interviews. I’m tired of hearing him say “I feel great. I feel strong. I’m ready.” Duh, dude.

I thought Kellerman made too much of the single shots Rosado landed but I understand anyone being moved by the courage the Philadelphia junior middleweight exhibited. Rosado fought back every time he was buzzed or rocked off balance and I take my hat off to him.

(By the way, Cool Hand Luke is one of my all-time favorite films.)

Rosado had the right attitude. He was just in with the wrong guy to be brave with. I think his corner stepped in just in time. I felt bad for his trainer, Billy Briscoe, who was clearly torn between making the right decision (to stop the bout), going against his fighter’s father, and giving Rosado the benefit of the doubt.

Hopefully, he can return to the 154-pound division and get another shot at a title. I’d love to see him take on Canelo, Vanes Martirosyan or Golovkin’s stablemate Zaurbek Baysangurov.

GOLOVKIN, COLLINS, FANTASY MATCHUPS

Hey Dougie,
Was impressed with Golovkin’s first outing on American TV, I know most fans and media had expected him to blow Rosado away in a few rounds, but Rosado proved to be yet another in the line of brave Puerto Ricans who just don’t know when to throw in the towel. Golovkin wore him down and ground him out of the fight much the same was Chavez Snr. used to do back in his day, in my opinion. But although I was impressed I still think Sergio Martinez would be far too good for him and would do to Golovkin much of what he did to Chavez Jnr. I think a Golovkin – Chavez match would be incredibly exciting and one I would like to see in 2013.

What do you think of the Steve Collins return to face Jones Jnr? I know everyone I have talked to has thought it a terrible idea, but I think it’s not the worst idea in the world. I remember Steve saying back in the day he would fight Jones in a telephone box with just a man and his dog watching he wanted him so bad. So I can see that for all these years he has thought it was the one that got away. Now that Jones has lost his reflexes and has also seemed to lose his chin, Collins has a better chance even with him being 48. And While I’m not up for watching near 50-year old men fight young guys half their age (David Price vs his last three opponents for example), I’m not anti guys who are of similar age and quality fighting each other. As long as one guy is not totally overmatched I’ll watch it. Hell, I probably would have been that guy with the dog Steve Collins was talking about!

Anyway since I was talking about their era I thought I would give you some super middleweight fantasy matches to give me your thoughts on. I’m adding in Hopkins even thought he never fought at Super Middle because I think we all know he would have been just as good at that weight as he was at middleweight:

Chris Eubank vs James Toney
Bernard Hopkins vs James Toney
Nigel Benn vs Roy Jones Jnr
Chris Eubank vs Mike McCallum
Steve Collins vs Glen Johnson
Chris Eubank vs Bernard Hopkins
Nigel Benn vs Glen Johnson
Steve Collins vs Bernard Hopkins

Cheers. – Leo

Those are difficult style matchups to figure (especially the ones with Eubank, who had his own unique boxing methods – and a quirky but sharp mind to go with it), but I’ll give it a shot:

I’ll go with Toney over Eubank via close decision. Toney’s greater punch output and fluid combinations would be the difference in a nip-and-tuck fight (Eubank wouldn’t play to Lights Out’s strengths by coming straight to him).

Hopkins-Toney at 168 pounds is a toss-up fight. It’s the consummate technician vs. a bold and busy counter puncher and I think it would end up as a draw like the first Toney-McCallum bout. (McCallum was a terrific technician.)

I think Jones would stop Benn in the mid-to-late rounds of a stinker than ended dramatically. RJ would play keep away with Benn in the early rounds before timing him with booming counter punch that drops the deadly Brit in the middle rounds. After he hurt Benn and figured the “Dark Destroyer” was slowing down, the dynamic American would step it up and close the show with typical swarm of lightening fast power punches.

McCallum would box Eubank to a close but clear decision. His jab, tight defense, iron chin and technical consistency would be hard on Eubank’s erratic but usually effective style.

Same deal with B-Hop. A hardnosed technician as smart, complete and determined as Hopkins is not going to let Eubank get in his head or lure him into traps.

Benn-Johnson would have been a terrific scrap because it would have pitted a pure puncher vs. a volume-punching pressure fighter with an iron chin. Benn would have hurt Johnson a few times during the slugfest, and he might have out-maneuvered the grizzled Jamaican in a few rounds, but the “Road Warrior” would have matched his aggression and outworked him in every round. I think most observers would have Johnson winning but the judges would be enamored with Benn’s power (and personality) and given the British bomber a close and perhaps controversial decision.

Collins-Hopkins would have been a lot of fun and I think it would have gone a lot like McCallum’s fight with the Celtic Warrior at middleweight. B-hop by competitive but clear UD.

Regarding Collins vs. Jones, I hope it doesn’t happen. But if it does, I don’t count the 48-year-old Irishman out against Jones, who shouldn’t be fighting. Jones’ only edge at this stage of his career is that he’s been semi-active over the years. However, if Collins still has that concrete block for a chin (McCallum told me that Stevie took the best shot of any fighter he ever faced), Jones could be in a world of s__t.

I agree that Golovkin is not ready for Martinez – yet. But I don’t think the champ would outclass him the way he did Junior for 11 rounds. As for Golovkin vs. Chavez, s__t, where can I buy tickets?

GGG @ JUNIOR MIDDLEWEIGHT

Doug –

GGG isn’t a particularly big middle: how would you see him doing against Canelo, Trout and Cotto at 154? – Kevin Key, Minneapolis, MN

Golovkin isn’t a huge middleweight in terms of height and reach but he’s got big legs, a broad back and a thick torso. I don’t think he should try to fight at junior middleweight. However, if he could make 154 pounds without draining himself I think he would destroy the three junior middleweights you mentioned.

 

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

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