Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

MAYWEATHER’S NEXT OPPONENTS

Dougie, longtime reader of yours and a big fan.

I wanted to get your thoughts on Floyd Mayweather’s next few fights. I can’t help but feel incredibly disappointed that it seems as though Mayweather is considering Devon Alexander for May 5.

I’ve watched a few Alexander fights, starting with the Tim Bradley match, and I’m not a big fan. I felt like he quit against Bradley and I find the yelping after every punch he throws incredibly annoying. Not to mention the debacle that was the Lucas Matthysse decision. Also, given Alexander’s style, Alexander-Mayweather would be a complete snoozer of a fight.

I was under the impression that Robert Guerrero was going to get the May 5 date which, in my mind, would not only make a better fight but would most likely sell better. If Guerrero doesn’t get it, you’d think that Tim Bradley or Lucas Matthysse (considering Alexander “lost” to both of them) would be ahead of Devon Alexander for a May 5 date with Mayweather.

How many fights do you think Mayweather has in him? I thought he’d take on Guerrero May 5 and Canelo on Mexican Independence Day, and (I know these are both longshots) I was hoping he’d fight Pacquiao and Martinez in 2014. Do you think we have a realistic chance of seeing those four fights happen before Mayweather calls it quits? – Kyle from CT

I’d be pleasantly surprised if Mayweather fought four times against anyone in a 24-month span, and I’d be shocked if he picked all four of the fighters you mentioned because all four matchups are potentially difficult and grueling fights in my opinion.

Despite what Mayweather Tweeted last week, I still think Guerrero is the front runner to face him on May 4, but I don’t put it past Floyd to dismiss ‘The Ghost’ just because he feels that the rugged southpaw is being pushed on him or because too many fans and boxing media are assuming the Guerrero bout is a done deal.

Regardless of whomever Mayweather winds up fighting, I hope that the May 4 bout is formally announced this week. I get tired of speculation.

I got a question: If Mayweather does choose to face Alexander will that fight be the first “major” pay-per-view bout in boxing history that was made out of spite? Just wondering.

I agree that Mayweather vs. Guerrero is a better pay-per-view sell than Mayweather vs. Alexander. Not a whole lot better, but better, because Guerrero has more career momentum coming off a Fight of the Year-candidate scrap with Andre Berto. Alexander also had a successful transition to 147 pounds last year, but he’s coming off a snoozer with Randall Bailey, and his while his welterweight debut against Marcos Maidana was impressive, it was also an uneventful 10-round bout.

Bradley and Matthysse were never in the running for Mayweather’s next fight for different reasons. Bradley is promoted by Mayweather’s former bossman, now a hated promotional rival, who has his own plans for “Thunder Dome” starting with a March 16 HBO date vs. Ruslan Provodnikov. Matthysse is just starting to garner a rep beyond hardcore fans and he’s unproven at 147 pounds.

I can’t say who Mayweather will fight on May 4, but if he fights twice in 2013, I’m positive Canelo will be the guy he faces on the Saturday of Mexican Independence Day weekend. Alvarez is the only fighter out there, apart from Pacquiao or Marquez, who can make for a mega-event. The red head brings a devoted national following and sponsors to the event. And if Mayweather’s ever going to fight Canelo, it makes sense to do it this year and not in 2014 when the strong young buck is has another year of experience under his belt and Floyd is another year closer to 40.  

How often Mayweather fights in 2014 (if he fights at all) depends on what happens this year. If he goes 2-0 this year and beats Canelo to regain the WBC 154-pound title, I can’t think of a better way to end his career than by defending the green belt against Martinez or by stepping up to 160 pounds to challenge the middleweight champ.

R.I.P OMAR HENRY

Hi,
Is there anything I can do regarding the death of Omar Henry, 12-0-1 (9 KOs)? I covered his early career and many of his friends and trainers are here in Houston. – Peter Lim

Henry was laid to rest on Friday. All you can do as someone who knew him is keep his memory alive.

I didn’t know him well, personally or as a fighter. I only saw him fight live once, a first-round blasting of undefeated Francisco Reza at the Gaylord Hotel in Grapevine, Texas, the night before the Pacquiao-Clottey event at Cowboys Stadium. I liked his hyper aggression but I could only gauge so much of his abilities from the half minute of action that I witnessed.

He made more of an impression on me with his personality the one time I met him (in the media center of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas after a big fight in late 2010). He was humble, friendly, bright, articulate and funny. He shook my hand and told me I had class, which I appreciated. Then he ripped a few of my boxing writer peers in a way that I admit made me chuckle but it also caused me to “red flag” him in my head. I’ve known more than a few very smart, very talented but very sensitive pro boxers over the years who let their careers fall by the wayside while they butted heads with various parts of the industry (media, promoters, etc).

Here’s what I wrote about Henry at the end of 2010 for an extensive three-part feature on prospects to watch in 2011 (I put him in the “novice” category because he was still at the 4- and 6-round level at the time):

Omar Henry
Weight class: junior middleweight
Age: 23
Record: 10-0 (8)
The skinny: The accomplished amateur boxer-puncher who split time between his native Chicago and Houston, signed a deal with Top Rank in 2009 but was reportedly in hot water with the promotional giant by mid-2010 over a number of social networking pranks (including a fabricated press release he sent out via Twitter and Facebook stating that he had hired Floyd Mayweather’s right-hand man Leonard Ellerbe as his new adviser) and internet message-board battles with fans and the boxing media. Henry hasn’t fought since winning a one-sided four-round decision over tough Hilario Lopez in June, which suggests that Top Rank has indeed put him on “ice.” Henry has told numerous sources that he has retired from boxing. That’s unfortunate, if true, because he looked like the real deal while blasting out unbeaten young fighters Francisco Javier Reza (6-0) and Orphius Waite (5-0-1) in one and two rounds, respectively, in early 2010.
Strengths: Strong amateur background, tight technique, KO power in both hands, combination and body punching, confidence.
Weaknesses: Combative and narcissistic personality, promotional uncertainty.
What’s next? Who knows?

As you know, Henry eventually signed with Don King and only fought three more bouts before his tragic and untimely illness and death. Who knows how good – or how popular – he could have been had he been able to get back into a groove and be matched with a higher calibre of opposition?

Maybe something you can do as young journalist who knew Henry is interview trainers and boxing people who worked with him in Houston (and other cities where he trained, such as Vegas) for a story that explores his potential.

GEALE-MUNDINE UNDER THE RADAR

Hi Doug,

My first time to write in all the way from West Australia – I love The Ring’s website but I’m a bit disappointed to see the lack of love for Daniel Geale’s latest victory??!

Yeah it wasn’t the finest fight, and yes he beat a faded fellow Australian whose record consists of talking constant garbage and fighting for vacant titles against ex junkies and bus drivers BUT STILL I gotta support the Aussie who flies under the radar here in Australia when he really deserves more recognition and praise. And he is The Ring’s Number 1 Middleweight after all.

I hope Geale gets the opportunity to face Sergio Martinez (or Julio Chavez Jr., or even GGG) before he is forced to face his fellow Aussie mandatory – the upsetting Sam Soliman. I think Geale would really shine on the big stage against a big name but I think against the middleweight king he may come up short. Geale seems to fight at “90%”, I bet after a fight he could go another 6 rounds; he can’t/ doesn’t seem to want to put it all on the line and go 100% like Martinez or Chavez Jr (see rounds 11 & 12 vs Martinez).

I’d love to see it but I think Martinez would prove too fast, too strong and too technical for Geale. Against GGG and Chavez Jr, I think Geale has the goods to put on a boxing lesson and win by UD if he can stay out of harms way… emphasis on “IF.”

Interested to know what your thoughts are Doug? Regards. – Dale Paddon

No excuses, Dale. We definitely dropped the ball by not having any pre-fight features on the Geale-Mundine rematch and not posting the result of the fight. I’m the RingTV.com editor, so I take all of the blame. I think Geale is a terrific fighter and I’ll make sure we don’t sleep on him before or after his next fight, and I’ll try to do the same with other major titleholders who aren’t based in the U.S. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of covering the UK scene, but I think we can do a better job with the top fighters from Australia, Japan, Germany, Mexico and South Africa.

I also hope Geale can land a major bout with Martinez, Chavez or Golovkin this year. I think he would give all three 160-pound standouts a run for their money (and make for good fights, too). I don’t see Martinez or Chavez giving your guy the opportunity, but I think Golovkin, who is still establishing his name, would be more than happy to do business with Geale.

But if Geale is unable to get one of those three high-profile matches, I’d still look forward to watching him fight a rematch with Sturm or defend his IBF belt against Soliman. I think those three middleweights matchup in a way that produces fast-paced, hotly contested 12-round bouts.  

POUND FOR POUND PUNCHERS

# 1 Lucas Matthysse (power is unmatched in boxing)
# 2 GGG (a close second)
# 3 no one remotely close

Martin, NYC

No argument from me, Martin.

I was talking about Matthysse and Golovkin with an old friend, former fighter and veteran trainer Rudy Hernandez, during a recent flight to Las Vegas (he was on his way to wrap hands and work cuts for UFC 156 and I was doing a Golden Boy Live! broadcast on the same Saturday, Feb. 2).

He told me those two are “among the few of today’s fighter’s who know how to punch.

“They have the right technique, they don’t waste punches, they are always in position to punch and when they see an opening – like Matthysse did with (Mike) Dallas – they take it.”

I would place Marcos Maidana in your vacant No. 3 spot. To me, Matthysse, Golovkin and Maidana are among the few world-class fighters that I would define as “punchers” in terms of their boxing style. Matthysse and Golovkin have underrated technique and boxing ability, but their mentality is just like Maidana’s once the bell rings: they seek and they destroy.

There are other elite fighters who have terrific power – and could fill in the other seven spots of a mythical pound-for-pound punchers 10 list – but they are “boxer-punchers,” not pure punchers. They – the Klitschko brothers, Nonito Donaire, Adrien Broner, Roman Gonzalez, Takashi Uchiyama, Mikey Garcia – often stop their opponents inside the distance but they are mindful of winning rounds and they aren’t hell bent on scoring the knockout.

 

 

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

Around the web