Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

 

DON’T MESS WITH MATTHYSSE!

Hey Douglass

I’m starting this email with a game called “State the Obvious.” Lucas Matthysse is going to pound Mike Dallas into mincemeat.

OK. What’s not so obvious is where the Argentine badass goes from there.

He should already be positioned to pound the 140-pound crown off Danny Garcia’s head. But apparently Team Garcia and the Golden Boy Band thought that mentally-impaired crap-artist Zab Judah was the worthier opponent.

Yeah. I still think that Zabby’s been bribing all those matchmakers with prostitutes, cocaine, and maybe even skanking himself out to keep getting all those undeserved title shots.

And if that weren’t enough even Brandon Rios is sidestepping Matthysse just to make his own comparatively easy money by further beating on his previous victim Mike Alvarado.

Bottom line: Matthysse can’t catch a friggin’ break! First he gets repeatedly robbed by morons passing off as judges and now the top guys won’t even acknowledge him.

My advice for Matthysse? Invade the welters right now instead of waiting until 2014. He’s already friggin’ 30 anyways.

OK so he may not get the Pacquiaos and Mayweathers straight away but I’m sure fight fans will be scrambling for the clicker to watch Lucas square off against fellow bone-crunchers like Marcos Maidana and Carlos Abregu. And how about a ground’ n’ pound war with Robert Guerrero? Maybe Matthysse-Bradley?

Matthysse is too damn good to be frozen on the sidelines. Hey Lucas! You want those big fights and we certainly want them for you! Move north, buddy! – Todd The Terminator

I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I’d pay to see Matthysse fight Maidana or Abregu, and I think those are 147-pound matchups that can be made, but I don’t believe that he is struggling to make 140 pounds and judging by his bone structure my guess is that junior welterweight is where the Argentine badass belongs.

I think Matthysse will eventually get a shot at Garcia. Both 140-pound players are promoted by the fine folks at Golden Boy, who I believe are open to making the fight. I also think Garcia (and his dad) are willing to accept Matthysse’s formidable challenge. (Hey, Garcia is young and strong, while his dad is just plain crazy – they think they can conquer the world. God Bless ‘em!) However, Garcia’s manager, Al Haymon, is not in a hurry to make that fight.

Take a deep breath before you curse Haymon’s name. His job is to get his fighters maximum money and exposure for minimal risk. And that’s what he’s doing with Garcia. Haymon took a gamble when he put Garcia in with Amir Khan. He doesn’t want to push his luck too much or too soon.

In the meantime, Matthysse is collecting decent paydays and getting valuable exposure by fighting on Showtime (tomorrow night will be his third consecutive appearance on the U.S. cable network). You and I know that Matthysse is the man at junior welterweight but there are still a lot of non-believers out there among casual fans. He needs to state his case to the general public.

And, while I think Matthysse will beat Dallas – perhaps even fulfill your brutal prediction – I don’t think it will be a walk in the park for him.

Matthysse is a technically sound puncher but he’s also a methodical slow starter. He’s not a pressure fighter with quick feet. He’s doesn’t cut the ring off like aprime Julio Cesar Chavez. He’s a Michael Myersesque stalker who eventually finds his prey, but he’s let a few off the hook (Devon Alexander and your buddy Zab) and got shafted for it. If Dallas utilizes a disciplined stick-and-move strategy, I think the Californian will be able to compete with Matthysse over the first half of the bout thanks to his fast hands and feet.

But I expect Matthysse’s accurate power punches and body shots to eventually wear Dallas down to a late-rounds TKO or enable the Argentine to win a decision.

I also expect Garcia to beat Judah in what should be a fun scrap while it lasts. I have no problem with Judah getting a shot at Garcia. His name helps makes that card an attractive event in Brooklyn and I think he can compete with the young buck. You have a point about Judah getting so many cracks at major world titles, but I’ll say this for the Brooklyn native – aside from his ridiculous IBF welterweight title “defense” against Floyd Mayweather that immediately followed his upset loss to Carlos Baldomir – he usually earns his way back into title contention by facing decent opposition after a setback.

And then who’s out there for Garcia? He ain’t getting Rios, either. Nobody at 140 is gonna get a shot at Juan Manuel Marquez. There’s a rematch with Khan and that’s it. Haymon’s not going to waste time (and money) putting his champ in with unknown or mid-level Russians like Khabib Allakhverdiev, Denis Shafikov or Ruslan Provodnikov. So beyond the British star, the only marketable opponent for Garcia at 140 pounds is Matthysse. The fight may not happen this year but I think it will in 2014.

WHAT IF BRADLEY BEATS MAYWEATHER?

Hey Dougie,
I know there’s a portion of fans (a majority, based on a number of arbitrary polling methods) who wanted Manny Pacquiao to have won their first fight, and I know Saul Alvarez is probably favored over Tim Bradley to get the Floyd Mayweather fight in the spring, but *if* Bradley fights and beats Mayweather this May, will THE RING rank him number one pound for pound? He will have swept THE RING’s first ever co-lb-4-lb-champions in about a year’s time.

If he gets the fight, Mayweather will of course be the wide favorite. But given Miguel Cotto’s success against what may be an aging Mayweather, and Bradley’s relative youth, vigor, physical strength, and underrated speed, there’s at least some significant chance that a more or less unknown fighter might come away from Pac and Mayweather with an undefeated record intact.

If that happens, do you think he’ll be embraced? Right now, public sentiment is down, so I could see him being something of a villain. But honestly, he seems about as likeable as a fighter can be, so how good a villain would he really make? Will he fall into something of anAntonio Tarver or Larry Holmes role? Where people grudgingly admit he’s good, but never really emotionally connect to him one way or another because they hate him for dethroning a hero(es)? If Bradley loses or doesn’t get the fight, none of this will matter, but if he manages to win, I think it raises a lot of interesting questions.

(As a side note, I like Bradley a lot and have watched all his fights from Junior Witter on, but I think he’s catching both of these guys at the perfect time, after they’ve slipped but before the public has recognized it.) – Todd S.

I like Bradley a lot, too, Todd. And I agree that he caught Pacquiao at the right time in the Filipino icon’s career (even though I thought he clearly lost that fight). If he gets a fight with Mayweather this year I think he’ll be catching the consensus pound-for-pound king at the right time.

If the matchup happens and Bradley pulls the upset how he will be ranked in the mythical ratings of the boxing media and how he’s perceived by the fans and the general public all depends on HOW he wins.

If he’s awarded another dubious decision he may not unseat Mayweather as the P4P king and he will no doubt be despised by most fans (even though it’s not his fault how the official judges scored the bout). It doesn’t matter how nice and humble a fighter is outside of the ring, if boxing fans – especially hardcore heads – believe that fighter is the recipient of biased officiating (either from judges or referees), they will HATE him and root against him until he loses. Just ask Jermain Taylor or Abner Mares if you don’t believe me.

If Bradley earns a legitimate decision over Mayweather but does so in uneventful fashion – and by the way, I don’t think these two boxers will combine to make an entertaining fight – I think he will take the top spot in most pound-for-pound lists, including THE RING’s, but he still won’t be embraced by most fans.

Now if Bradley pounds Mayweather’s ass into the canvas and wins by thrilling stoppage, he’ll be “the man,” but I just don’t see that happening. I also don’t see this fight happening.

(And while I’m bringing up things that I don’t see I might as well mention that I don’t see why you care so much about who THE RING rates as No. 1 pound for pound. Seriously, has this hypothetical question about Bradley and the mythical ratings been keeping you up at night? If so, that’s not good. And please don’t take this the wrong way. I’m not judging you. It’s just as bad for me that I took this much time to answer your question and did so with six paragraphs and more than 370 words. We’re both sick in the head.)

SEPTEMBER 15

So I was thinking about the big PPV date of September 15th and there’s talk about having 3 BIG fights on that date:

Floyd vs Canelo, Pacquiao vs Marquez 5, and Martinez vs Chavez 2.

This is NOT cool. The increasing trend of having HBO & Showtime going head-to-head on the same day is not good for the fans and the sport as a whole.

What do you see happening on that Sept. 15th date? – Mike from CT

I see another night of major boxing events going head to head, but I don’t blame HBO and Showtime for the stand off. I don’t blame Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank, either. I blame their primary sponsors, which happen to be two giant Mexican beer companies (Corona and Tecate), who happen to be aligned with Mexico’s two biggest television networks (Televisa and Azteca).

It’s like this Mike, GBP and Top Rank promote the three most popular fighters in Mexico (Saul Alvarez, Juan Manuel Marquez and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.). Those fighters have their own deals with Mexican TV and the beer sponsors (Canelo is with Corona/Televisa; Marquez and Chavez are with Tecate/Azteca). Those two networks want the most popular Mexican fighters fighting on Sept. 15 because they use those shows as the lead-in to the president’s live speech commemorating Mexican Independence – the country’s most important national patriotic holiday – which always starts at 11 p.m. (and that broadcast goes past midnight to Sept. 16, Mexican Independence Day).

Golden Boy, which is hooked up with Canelo and Corona, wants to make them happy. Same deal with Top Rank, which works with Marquez, Chavez and Tecate. These two beer companies sponsor most of the shows that the U.S.’s top two promoters put on. They are also the presenting sponsors to the two main weekly boxing programs in the U.S. – ESPN’s Friday Night Fights and Telefutura’s Solo Boxeo. (Corona Extra recently took over FNF from Tecate, which presents Solo Boxeo.) So, they’re an integral part of America’s boxing industry, which means they have POWER and INFLUENCE.

In other words, Canelo is going to fight on Sept. 15 if Corona/Televisa wants him to. It’s in GBP’s best interest to make the biggest fight possible for that date – which is the Mayweather showdown. If Tecate/Azteca wants Marquez and/or Chavez to fight on Sept. 15, the good folks at Top Rank are gonna make it happen and they’re going to make those events as big as possible.

P4P RATINGS

Hey Doug,
I understand that the ratings are an imaginary thing & have no actual meaning other than what the person imagining the list thinks will happen if these fighters were the same size. The problem I have with it, is the fact that the P4P list is very, very off. For instance, Tim Bradley is the consensus number 8 or 9 P4P fighter on pretty much every list. There are currently 3 other Welterweight fighters above him on the P4P list including Mayweather, Marquez & Pacquio. Now when you go to the actual Welterweight ratings list he is rated #8 behind the top 3 fighters, Guerrero, Maliggnagi, Brook & Zavek. That makes absolutely NO SENSE. How can a fighter be considered a P4P top 10 fighter, but rated lower than damn near every welterweight fighter nowhere near the top 10 p4p list?

So basically according to the P4P list if all of the fighters on the list were all welterweights Tim Bradley would be the 9th best & can compete with the likes of Vitali Klitschko, Martinez & others on the list, but isn’t considered better than Jan Zaveck or Paulie “all personality no skill” Malagnaggi? Please help me understand the weight class rating system & how it connects to the P4P rating list cuz it seems OFF! Thanks for helping me understand. – DJ, Bay Area!

DJ, I probably shouldn’t bother explaining any of this to you. Too much attention is given to the pound-for-pound ratings, which is why I no longer put out my own P4P list and no longer participate in all the silly media polls that various publications and websites put out on the mythical rankings (including the one THE RING has in its March year-end awards issue).

You even acknowledge that pound-for-pound rankings are “imaginary” with “no actual meaning,” but then you get all bent over where THE RING rates Bradley. That’s almost like if you walked into a comic book shop and declared “I know that Superman and the Hulk are fictional characters but anyone who thinks that ‘roided-up green mother f___ker would beat the last son of Krypton needs to have his damn head examined!”

I’d have an easier time breaking down how Superman converts yellow sun rays into his awesome powers than I would explaining how pound-for-pound rankings work. There really isn’t any set criterion for the P4P. It’s just the opinions of a bunch of hopeless boxing nerds. So I’m gonna ignore the P4P and go straight to the divisional ratings, where fighters are ranked by what they do in a specific weight class, such as welterweight, where THE RING rates Bradley at No. 8.

Bradley is where he is at 147 pounds because he’s had two meaningful welterweight fights during his 8½-year pro career – a decision over fringe contender Luis Carlos Abregu in 2010 and a split nod over Pacquiao that most observers thought he soundly lost. That’s it. The guys rated ahead of him have either accomplished more at 147 pounds than Bradley, or they have non-controversial victories over one or more world-rated welterweights.

I hope this helps you understand.  (By the way, everybody knows that Supes would make the Hulk his bitch.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

GABE ROSADO

Hi Doug,

What a gutsy performance from Gabe Rosado, huh? Mad props to Gabe for stepping up in weight and taking a fight that nobody else is willing to take.

Before that fight took place, I was hoping he would fight Canelo at 154 and I thought he would give Canelo a lot of trouble and even beat him. After the fight with GGG, I’m certain he COULD HAVE, but the question now is, how much did that fight take out him?

Is it possible that Rosado just gave us his career defining performance (beatdown) and he’s nothing but damaged goods from here on out? Do you think he’s young enough that he can still bounce back at 154 and be a real player? – Anonymyzb

Yes and yes. Rosado, who is only 27, didn’t take that bad of a beating from Golovkin. It looked bad because of all the blood but he avoided a lot of punishment with his constant movement in the early rounds and I think his trainer pulled him out of the fight just as the undefeated middleweight was beginning to overwhelm him. So I don’t think he took too many punches and I do believe that he will be a force when he drops down to junior middleweight, where he’s the bigger man (and should have a psychological edge going for him now that he’s gone seven rounds with GGG without being dropped).

I wouldn’t pick him to beat Canelo but I’d like to see that fight. I think it would be very entertaining. I’d also like to see Rosado vs. Vanes Martirosyan, James Kirkland and WBO beltholder Zaurbek Baysangurov.

BOXING AFTER DARK

Hey Doug Que Paso?
I enjoyed the fights last night and just had a couple things to say:
1. Burgos got shafted by the judges (well 2 of them anyway). The fight was nowhere near as close as they had it. I wish they would have interviewed both fighters right after the fight to get their opinion on it.
2. Rosado showed a lot of heart but I can’t help but wonder was Golovkin just toying with him the whole time. Anyways I would love to see GGG fight Andre Ward at a catch-weigh or move up and fight him. Would be an epic battle.
3. I knew Garcia would win. A tremendous young talent who is always fun to watch (the fact that he shares the same last name and his family comes from the same part of Mexico helps too, lol). I would have loved to see the fight continue but it ended and is there need for a rematch? Yes and no. Yes because it should have ended after 12 rounds or a KO for either fighter. No because Salido was being dominated. He may argue that he was coming on strong and Mikey was having problems but he could have been KTFO from coming forward so much. The head-butt itself definitely seemed intentional and I understand some fighters do it out of frustration.

Anyways what would you like to see next for all the fighters from HBO’s BAD last night? – Julio Garcia Edmonton, AB. Canada

I think Martinez and Burgos need to do it again to set the record straight (and both need to start faster in order to take hold of the fight – and to make it more entertaining!)

Rosado and Salido both need a long rest to heal from their cuts and swelling. When they return, I’d like to see Rosado in with a mid-level 154 pounder than will position him into a major junior middleweight bout later this year or in 2014; and I’d like to see Salido move to 130 pounds and test one of the junior lightweight standouts from Mexico, such as WBC beltholder Gammy Diaz or Sergio Thompson.

I want to see Garcia unify 126-pound belts with either Chris John or Daniel Ponce DeLeon.

I’ll respond to your numbered statements in order:

1) No post-fight interview was needed. Burgos thought he was robbed; Martinez was cool with the decision because he got to keep his belt. Surprise, surprise!

2) I don’t think Golovkin was toying with Rosado. He was just taking his time. I don’t think he’s ready for Ward or the 168-pound division yet. Maybe in a year or two.

3) I don’t care to see a Garcia-Saldio rematch but it will probably happen.

DEVON ALEXANDER VS. KELL BROOK

Alright Dougie,

Hope all is well. I am thinking about driving the 16+ hours from South Louisiana to Detroit to watch Kell Brook on Feb 23rd. I have followed him for some time now, and he is from my home city. You think the fight will be worth the drive? It will be my first fight in America since I have only been here for 4 months, and with only 2 months remaining it would be my only chance.

Cheers. – Adam, Sheffield, UK/ Houma, Louisiana

Personally, I don’t think Alexander makes for good fights when he’s in with fellow boxer (or a raw puncher/slugger like Maidana). Brook is a boxer. However, your hometown hero is a very talented athlete who can be aggressive (at least in spots) and he’s a bit unorthodox, which can sometimes throw off a boxer with a more classic stance. So there’s a chance that these two can make for an interesting boxing match but I have to be honest and tell you that I don’t expect a Fight of the Year candidate-type scrap. Sorry.

Still, if you’ve never been to a live fight, you might want to make the drive (take the extra time off and split that drive into a two-day trek so you aren’t wasted by the time you get to the Motor City). There’s a lot of boxing history in Detroit and the fight fans in the area are great. Plus, somebody’s gotta represent Sheffield in the audience! Who knows? Maybe Naseem Hamed will make the flight over to support Brook and you’ll get to meet the Prince.

THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION

Hey Doug,
Just wanted to drop you a quick line and say what’s up? Besides being a diehard boxing fan, I’m a big fan of your writing. I’ve been reading since the House of Boxing days and have enjoyed seeing you and Internet boxing sites become more popular over the years. I published my first article on Bleacher Report this past weekend and just started reflecting on how long I’ve been following writers like you, Kevin Iole and Steve Kim. Anyway, this is just a thanks for all of the mailbags and articles and I hope to read your insight for years to come. And if I ever catch up with you at a fight, I’ll buy you a Guinness! Regards – Alex (@301whereimfrom) 

I’m gonna hold you to that Guinness, Alex. Thank you for the kind words and good luck on your journey as an internet boxing scribe. I hope you have as much fun as I’ve had.

 

 

Dougie can be emailed at dfischer@ringtv.com. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer

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