Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

HE CAN COUNTER!

Hey Doug,
Lucas Matthysse’s KO over Mike Dallas Jr. was quite impressive. The one punch-counter KO (or maybe two punch, but I think Dallas was already gone when the left hook landed) from Matthysse who is an aggressive pressure fighter is what stunned me the most. This guy ain’t a typical puncher. When I saw Dallas coming up aggressively with this good long jab, I thought that a counter-puncher would do the job. Blink and a second later – BOOM! – Dallas down! Never saw that coming. Who would have thought that Matthysse can counter that nice? I bet no one from Dallas’ team. I thought Dallas was doing nice pressuring the pressure fighter with long-range boxing. But now I think he somehow underestimated Matthysse and didn’t think – just like Zab Judah before – that he could box.

Now I know that everybody is thinking about Matthysse fighting Danny Garcia but how do you see him vs. the other champs at 140 lbers: Khabib Ałłachwierdijew, Juan Manuel Marquez, and Lamont Peterson? – Lucas

I think Peterson-Matthysse would be a very close and entertaining fight (provided the American IBF titleholder has an opportunity to shake of some rust and get into 100-percent fighting shape). If it were made I would go with Matthysse on points. Peterson’s jab, reach and high punch volume would make for a competitive fight, but the Washington D.C. native’s penchant for mixing it up with cost him against a puncher like Matthysse, who would score one or two solid knockdowns en route to a close but clear decision.

Marquez-Matthysse is a dream fight. I’ll NEVER completely count JMM out in any matchup, but I have to go with the younger man in this excellent matchup (which will never happen). I don’t just favor Matthysse because of his youth. It’s mainly his style that gives him the edge against the 39-year-old future hall of famer. As you noted he can box and he can obviously counter punch, but though he is aggressive, he is not a pressure fighter, as you labeled him. He’s a puncher with good technique and underrated ring smarts. And he’s patient. That’s what would undo Marquez. If Matthysse was a pressure fighter who looked to cut the ring off and smother his opponent in every round, I’d pick Marquez to beat him. But he isn’t. He would pick his spots, press when necessary, counter when needed and gradually wear down Marquez over 12 entertaining rounds. I like Matthysse by a clear but hard-fought decision.

Allakhverdiev would probably surprise a lot of U.S. fans with the amount of difficulty he could present Matthysse given his Russian amateur style, southpaw stance, quick hands and his in-and-out footwork. (However, it should be noted that I thought Dallas could trouble Matthysse early, so please take this opinion with a grain of salt.) I think Allakhverdiev would have his moments, popping in and out with quick shots and flurries, over the first half of the bout, but his habit of keeping his hands down by his waist would enable Matthysse to time and clip him sometime between the sixth and ninth rounds. I like Matthyssee by late TKO.

Regarding Matthysse’s KO of Dallas, I was impressed – not that he stopped the prospect, but with the quick and final manner in which he did it. He saw the opening, he struck and Dallas went to sleep. It doesn’t get any more efficient than that.

And with his third consecutive stoppage on Showtime, the Argentine badass has finally built up enough momentum to attract a solid following among U.S. hardcore fans, many of whom think he’s the class of the 140-pound division.

Of course, Matthysse also has his critics among the hardcore fans (especially the “purists,” who always seem to pooh-pooh punchers), as evidenced by this next email.

LET’S NOT GET TOO EXCITED

Lucas Matthysse’s KO over Dallas was impressive, but Matthysse had a fighter with no power coming straight at him recklessly. After the first 15 seconds of the fight I knew it was going to be an early night for Dallas because of his aggression. Did Dallas not study the tapes on how to beat Matthysse? You got to box the guy! Use your speed from the outside and make Matthysse come at you!

Matthysse still doesn’t have a win against a top guy in the division (no matter how many excuses are out there for him) and he’s just a very good contender at the moment. What was Virgil Hill thinking giving Dallas that strategy? – Joseph G.

I can’t tell you what Virgil Hill was thinking, but ole “Quicksilver” was a skillful boxer with an elite jab, so my guess is that it was probably something similar to what Dallas’ trainer Virgil Hunter had in mind for his young boxer – which was to stick and move, of course.

I think Dallas was overcome by the moment of the big fight and all the attention and bright lights that came with it. He didn’t completely freeze, but he was tight and he was clearly more aggressive than he needed to be against a puncher of Mathysse’s caliber.

Having said that, even if Dallas studied the tapes of Matthysse’s losses to Judah and Devon Alexander, I don’t think he had the experience to carry that plan through. Zab and Devon BARELY got it done, and many fans think they deserved to lose to Matthysse.

You are obviously not one of those fans, which is cool. Regardless of the official verdicts of the Judah and Alexander bouts, I think it was pretty clear that Matthysse has world class ability. But if “wins” are the only bouts that count on a fighter’s resume, I’d say Matthysse’s last three fights – stoppages of former lightweight beltholder Humberto Soto, undefeated (30-0) Olusegun Ajose and Dallas – were good enough victories to establish him as the consensus No. 1 contender of the 140-pound division.

I guess arguments could be made for Marquez, Peterson and Brandon Rios being ranked ahead of Matthysse. However, Rios has only one 140-pound victory (hisTKO of undefeated contender Mike Alvarado) and Marquez only has two junior welterweight bouts on his resume – a one-round KO of unheralded Likar Ramos and a decision over fringe contender Serhiy Fedchenko.

Peterson has a very good 140-pound track record with his split nod over Amir Khan, stoppages of Victor Cayo and Willy Blain, and even his loss to Tim Bradley. However, he hasn’t fought in over a year.

I think Matthysse is more than just a very good contender. I think he’s numero uno.

Some fans think Matthysse is more than a No. 1 contender. They think he’s an elite fighter and they want him to get his heavy hands on a title bout asap. Check out this next email:

MAKE GARCIA-MATTHYSSE – OR ELSE!

Doug,
In the many years of reading your material, I’ve only written twice, but this time I need to voice my opinion. I watch all the fights on TV every week, but I refuse to watch Danny Garcia or any other Golden Boy-promoted card until a match is made between Garcia and Lucas Matthysse, whom I consider pound-for-pound material. Garcia is a pussy if this fight is not made next. Cordially. – Uriel from Winston-Salem, NC

Damn. Why are hardcore fans so extreme when it comes to Golden Boy Promotions and Garcia? GBP helped deliver Matthysse from obscurity. Why hate on the promotional company that brought Matthysse to the U.S. and got him on TV? They didn’t dump him when he dropped disputed decisions on HBO. They’ve helped him get three consecutive fights on Showtime (the last two as a headliner), which has drummed up a lot of excitement and anticipation for a shot at Garcia.

I want to see Garcia-Matthysse as much as the next fan, but I’m not going to call him a “pussy” if his next fight isn’t against the Argentine wrecking machine.

Garcia should be allowed to heal from his sparring injury and get his postponed fight with Judah out of the way before fans accuse him of ducking Matthysse or brand him as some kind of “coward.”

Folks need to remember that the 24-year-old boxer-puncher didn’t emerge as a world-class player until last year. Garcia wasn’t even on the radar of most hardcore heads until he knocked out Khan last July. And more than a few fans viewed that performance as a “lucky punch” victory. He proved he can really punch by icing Erik Morales in their rematch. If he can do the same to Judah on April 27 (the announced new date for the fight), don’t you think it would create more excitement for a showdown with Matthysse?

The bigger that fight becomes, the more money both Garcia and Matthysse will make (which both fighters deserve). It takes a little time for major boxing matchups to marinate.

I’m not saying that Garcia-Matthysse should be pushed into 2014, but I don’t have a problem with waiting until the second half of this year to see it and I don’t think Garcia making a title defense against Judah (and possibly another opponent) makes him a “pussy.”

But that’s just my opinion (one that isn’t shared by most of the folks who comment at the bottom of RingTV.com’s articles, LOL)

GOOD BOXING WEEKEND

Dougie,

I hope you agree when I say this was a good boxing weekend.

First things first… Matthysse! We all knew he could crack but DAMN! Dallas was out cold. I don’t think Dallas belonged in that ring on Saturday night but hey, props to him for taking on a ridiculous challenge. There are many good possibilities opening up now for Lucas (although not many opponents jumping at the chance). I think Lucas is making enough of a name for himself that he should not be shafted like it happened against Judah and Alexander. I think Lucas could beat just about any of the top 140 lbers out there. The only two fighters that might give him a run for his money are Marquez and Danny Garcia but I think he could put Garcia away. And although I cannot see Rios beating him, that fight would be fun for as long as it lasted!

Speaking of Mr. Garcia! What is up with these rumors of him backing out of the Zab fight two weeks before the fight? Does he know about a guy named Kelly Pavlik who did that and left a bad taste in people’s, promoter’s, and network’s mouths? Anything short of an injury… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. It is not like him to back out of a fight but who knows.

I want to see more of Jermell Charlo! That kid is sharp! I first took notice of him when he knocked out Chris Chatman in Texas last year. I agree with the Showtime commentators, what caught my attention about this guy almost a year ago is how faithful he is to his plan and he sticks with it until he catches you and it’s over. Harry Yorgey is an OK gatekeeper. I would like to see Charlo with a boxer that shows him movement. I think we will see more of Charlo.

And in surprising results from inconsequential fights: I didn’t imagine Brian Vera could hurt Dzinziruk the way he did. – Hector

I figured Vera was too big and strong for Dzinziruk, and favored the Texan to win, but I didn’t foresee the rugged gatekeeper dropping and eventually stopping the former WBO 154-pound beltholder. Good win for Vera, who probably earned an HBO payday against Gennady Golovkin in the spring.

I’m high on the Charlo twins. I saw Jermall Charlo up close when he fought on a Fox Sports Net show in December and the non-braided brother flashed the same stiff jab and fast-accurate combinations (albeit vs. modest opposition) that Jermell exhibited against Yorgey. I think their jab is among the best of all U.S. prospects. Jermell is slightly less aggressive than Jermall, but he’s more proven thanks to greater activity against better opposition (such as Chatman, Denis Douglin and Yorgey). He might piss off some fans with his patience and lack of killer instinct, but I think his future is bright. Hopefully, I’ll be able to say the same thing about his brother by the end of this year.

We know now that Garcia suffered a rib injury – a very painful variety (a bruised rib with a contusion on the lung) that I experienced myself back when I was crazy enough to spar with pros in the mid-1990s – and had no choice but to withdraw from the Feb. 9 date with Judah. They will hook up at the same place (Barclays Center in Brooklyn) and on the same network (Showtime) on April 27. I might just travel to that show. I love the New York City area in all seasons, but it’s best in the spring time.

I agree that we had a good boxing weekend. ESPN2’s Friday Night Fights featured two entertaining bouts that ended with upset TKOs (Jose Hernandez over Tony Luis and Vera over Dzinziruk) and Showtime’s broadcast featured a hot prospect (Charlo), a good crossroads match won by the underdog (Jesus Soto Karass over Selcuk Aydin) and a KO-of-the-Year candidate with Matthysse’s annihilation of Dallas. Oh, and Demetrius Andrade looked impressive dominating Freddy Hernandez on ShoBox.

I would favor Matthysse over every top 140 pounder, except Rios. I don’t know who wins that fight. I used to think that Matthysse was too technically sound for Rios before the Oxnard banger fought Alvarado, but the manner in which “Bam Bam” broke down a much bigger slugger who has solid boxing skills has made me think twice. Rios seems to have an unlimited reservoir of fighting spirit when he’s in with a fellow warrior.

I can’t pick a winner in Matthysse-Rios. I just know that I’d be happy to forgo press row, buy a ticket (and a few beers) and watch it in the stands with all the other blood thirsty ghouls.

THOUGHTS FROM A NEW FAN

Hey Doug,
Let me start off by saying I’m relatively new to the Sweet Science. I was drawn in by HBO’s 24/7 series during the Mayweather/Cotto fight and haven’t looked back since. So I’m really new, and I wanted to ask you a couple questions because I believe you have one of the best, least biased well informed opinions of all the voices out there. With that said let me dive right in, what a start to the New Year!!! I have to say fights like Matthysse/Dallas Jr. turn me off from the sport. I’m not the type of fan that likes to watch someone who is completely outclassed get brutally K.O.’ed. I understand the politics behind no one wanting to get in the ring with Matthysse, but it doesn’t seem right that the Dallas Jr.’s and Gabriel Rosado’s of the world have to get in the ring and get hurt when there is talent out there to fight these guys. On the other hand, they could be the next Josesito Lopezes to spring upset wins I guess…

Why is Matthysse having to fight non-elite level talent? Is it because he “lost” to Judah? I feel it would do more good to the sport and fun for the fans to watch him fight a full 12 rounds showcasing his talent. I was really looking forward to him getting to show off his style, like Gennady Golovkin did last week. I think GGG and Matthysse are two of the best fighters out there. Matthysse will dominate anyone at 140. He can take a hard punch and give a harder one.

I’m really worried GGG isn’t going to get his chance to shine. Do you think that is a possibility? I’m worried HBO wasn’t impressed enough with his last fight and won’t put him on their air again. What are the chances and how would these fights end: Matthysse-Garcia and GGG-Canelo? Those are two fights I want the most. I think Matthysee would have a hard fight that would go the distance. As for GGG/Canelo, GGG would systematically breakdown Canelo while exposing his flaws, but not without getting caught with relentless body shots. Canelo would eventually lose a 12 round decision.

Also, did you catch the Andrade fight? This was the first time I saw him fight and man what a good job. He showed excellent ring generalship and controlled the fight right from the start. I thought he did a really wonderful job. The commentators on ESPN have said he’s been moving really slowly in his career since turning professional. Do you think that will change? Is that some type of strategy? I for one would like to see more.

Sorry about the length, I guess I had a lot to say. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I really appreciate any feedback you might have to a new fan.

P.S. What the hell was up with Virgil Hunter and the vitamins? Was it really all just what Paulie said? A mind game? If so I wouldn’t expect that from someone with such stature as a trainer, is that common? – Jason H., CT

Yes, it’s common for veteran trainers to make mountains out of mole hills just to disrupt the focus of the opposing fighter and his team. And, of course, there are times when what seems like a mole hill turns out to be mountain (such as when Naazim Richardson caught Javier Capetillo trying to slip bloody gauze inserts into Antonio Margarito’s hand wraps prior to the Shane Mosley fight).

Hunter was within his rights and responsibility as a trainer to ask what Matthysse was ingesting prior to the fight. I think the Nevada State Athletic Commission (and all boxing commissions) should have set rules as to what fighters are allowed to eat and drink in the dressing rooms before their fights. I also think one of the commissioners should have noticed what Matthysse was drinking and inquired about it before Hunter.

I did watch the Andrade fight and I was also impressed by his performance. I said it best when you noted his “ring generalship.” He did a little bit of everything against Hernandez – stick and move, stand and trade, switch hit, pot shot, press to the ropes – and it was all effective. I agree that Andrade has been moved kind of slow, especially for someone with his amateur background and natural talent, but I think his promoters and management know that he can be moved a lot faster from here on out. I also think that he will get ever better under hunter’s guidance.

Don’t worry about Golovkin. I think HBO loves him and they’ll have him back at least twice more this year. And if they don’t, he’ll still get his shot at the elite fighters of the division because he’s with a promotional company (K2 Promotions) that does business overseas and with the top networks of those countries, such as Germany and the UK, and those areas have their share of world-rated middleweights. Their goal is to have GGG fight five times this year. If they do that, there’s no doubt in my mind that Golovkin will be in a position to fight the champ, Sergio Martinez, or a fellow beltholder like Peter Quillin, sometime in 2014.

I’m in the minority among U.S. boxing writers and hardcore fans, I actually think Saul Alvarez is the real deal at junior middleweight. However, I think he would be overwhelmed by Golovkin at 160 pounds. The red head would make for a damn good fight for six or seven rounds but beyond that point, I think Golovkin would issue a brutal beating and stop the Mexican star in the late rounds.

I see a similar scenario with Matthysse-Garcia. I think they would go tit for tat for six or seven rounds – they might even trade knockdowns – but I see Matthysse taking over the fight down the stretch.

Why was Matthysse fighting a “non-elite talent” on national television?  I think you answered your own question when you stated that “Matthysse will dominate anyone at 140. He can take a hard punch and give a harder one.” You’ve only been watching boxing since last May and you realize that Matthysse is a hard MoFo. You think the managers of the elite 140 pounders want their fighters to get dominated on national television? It’s hard enough for pro boxers to bounce back from competitive losses, but when they’re beat up and knocked out in front of a wide TV audience it’s almost like they have to start their careers over from scratch.Few fighters and even fewer managers are willing to take that risk.

I agree Matthysse that should be fighting higher-caliber fighters than Dallas (who was a substitute for Henry Lundy). I also agree that it would be “fun for the fans to watch him fight a full 12 rounds, showcasing his talent.”

So far, only Judah has been able to go the championship distance with Matthysse. Maybe if the former champ beats Garcia on April 27, he’ll grant the formidable Argentine a rematch and we’ll see if he can do it again.

Thanks for the kind words at the start of your email, Jason. I hope you remain a fan and continue to email me your questions and opinions on the Sweet Science.

 

 

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

Around the web