Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

THE HEAVYWEIGHTS

Hello Doug,
So the big shock this past weekend (or not so big in my opinion!) was Tony Thompson stopping David Price in the second round. For me Price has been known to have suspect whiskas and this is the first time he has had someone land a clean shot in the pros. This will go down as his Lamon Brewster/Corrie Sanders moment in his career. I expect when comes back to use his size more like Wlad Klitschko does and box smart at a distance.

Do you think he can come back and be world champion??

On related note Tyson Fury has been going mad on Twitter saying he wants to avenge Price and destroy Thompson after he fights Steve Cunningham. I think Fury would be too much for either and could stop both in their tracks in the later rounds how do you see them too going down?

Your view and insight into boxing is always a good and informative read. Cheers – Dave, Weymouth, UK

Thanks Dave.

I favored Fury over Price before the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist was KTFO by Thompson based on the still-unbeaten British heavy’s experience with distance bouts and underrated versatility.

I don’t think Fury would have an easy time with Thompson (and he’d best focus on Cunningham), but that’s a fight I’d like to see later this year (provided he doesn’t get upset by the former two-time cruiserweight beltholder).

I definitely believe that Price can rebound from Saturday’s loss and one day hold a major world title. And think the way to do that is to make the necessary adjustments to his style, as both Klitschko and Lennox Lewis did under the guidance of Emanuel Steward.

In fact, if the late great trainer were still alive, I’d say Price would best be served by hiring the Detroit guru. Heck, I’d suggest Price bring in Johnathan Banks as a “technical advisor” if it were not a conflict of interest for the active boxer-trainer.

And this might sound totally “off” to some readers, but I think Price (and any developing heavyweight, for that matter) would do well to hire Thompson as a co-trainer or “sparring coach.”

The 41-year-old veteran has an astute boxing mind and a world of experience to share from all of his fights and world-class training camps.

WASHINGTON DC, PRICE & SMITH

Dear Doug,

How have you been?

It was a great weekend for DC boxing. I went to the Lamont Peterson-Kendall Holt fight last Friday. As was the case with Peterson, the crowd got off to a slow start, but once Peterson turned things around in the fourth round, the audience went crazy.

I’d like to attribute Peterson’s slow start to the 14-month layoff, but he’s started slowly in all of his big fights. Why do you think he started slowly against Holt? Who would you prefer to see Peterson face, Lucas Matthysse or Danny Garcia (assuming he gets by Zab Judah)? Which opponent do think is more likely or do you feel Peterson will fight someone else? Would you pick Lamont to beat either Matthysse or Garcia?

I was glad to see Tony Thompson travel to England and upset David Price. What do you think of Price? Was it just a fluke or was he a bit overrated? And do you think Thompson will be able to parlay this win into another fight against a contender?

Congrats to Ishe Smith. I might be in the minority, but I’m looking forward to a potential fight between him and Carlos Molina, one of my favorite fighters. Both guys are real technicians. I’d favor Molina to win a well-deserved title if that fight comes to pass. Thoughts on that matchup?

Be well. – David, Washington DC

Thanks David.

I think Smith-Molina is a toss-up fight, but as much as I respect both veterans, I’m not looking forward to that IBF mandatory matchup. I know both boxers are ring generals with effective technique but I need the promise of sustained offense in order to really anticipate a fight. Yeah, I know, I know…. I’m a blood-thirsty ghoul. Shame on me.

I’m still high on Price. He ran into a serious bad-ass gatekeeper. Thompson let Price know that he isn’t ready to transition from prospect to contender right now, but that’s OK as long as the British hope learns from the experience. Heavyweights mature much slower than fighters in lighter weight classes, so even though Price is almost 30, I still think time is on his side.

I think Thompson will get at least one more decent payday as the result of his upset KO.

I think Peterson can beat both Matthysse and Garcia on a good day but I don’t know if I’d pick him to win either fight. The Judah fight will tell us a little more about Garcia, who certainly doesn’t lack heart or punching power. Ask me about that matchup after April 27. I think Peterson-Matthysse is the more likely matchup anyway. Unlike Garcia, Matthysse is looking for a world title, which Peterson holds. Peterson is looking for an opponent who will garner him a good payday and Showtime exposure – Matthysse fits the bill. But the Argentine is probably the most formidable fighter Lamont will face since Tim Bradley, and unlike Desert Storm, Matthysse can do serious damage with his mitts.

Regarding Peterson’s slow starts, it’s just how his body works. He’s always going to need a few rounds to warm up. It doesn’t mean he can’t achieve great things. Julio Cesar Chavez and his favorite fighter, Juan Manuel Marquez, were also slow starters.

I don’t mind slow starters. They make for dramatic fights. Peterson’s slow starts (and early rounds knockdowns) vs. Bradley and Victor Ortiz cost him in those bouts, but I also think those non-wins are two of his better performances.  

I’m glad that Washington DC fans still support Peterson. I hope Golden Boy Promotions brings him back to his hometown on a semi-regular basis.

DECLINE IN SKILLS

What’s good Dougie,
Am I the only one who has noticed the huge drop in skills of today’s top fighters compared to those of past eras? We have guys like Randall Bailey, Ishe Smith and Cornelius Bundrage winning World Titles now, when in reality all three are past their primes.

Today’s boxers have just been fed much softer competition than they had to face in years past. Guillermo Jones couldn’t neat Laurent Bouduani at 154lbs 15 years ago, but in this era he is a top cruiserweight? The talent level has really fallen off; blame MMA or whatever else you want.

I don’t even want to waste the time comparing today’s up and coming stars to the greats, let’s just compare them with decent fighters of the past:

Canelo Alvarez vs Terry Norris (I take Terrible Terry by KO)
Adrian Broner vs Stevie Johnston (I like Stevie by dec.)
Danny Garcia vs Bruce Curry (again I like Old School)
Lucas Matthysse vs Edwin Rosario (toss up, depending which Rosario showed up)
Timothy Bradley vs Donald Curry or Marlon Starling

Thanks for your time. – Mike Manning

I agree that, on average, boxers from previous decades (particularly those whose primes were before the 1990s – but also including top fighters from the ‘90s) were brought up against tougher opposition than today’s fighters and had a harder road to a major titles and high-profile headliners (primarily because there were fewer sanctioning organizations and networks did show as much favoritism back then as they do these days).

I also believe there were more world-class trainers (and certainly less “groupie coaches”) in previous decades.

However, I think the very best boxers of today, the guys who are in everybody’s pound-for-pound top five – Floyd Mayweather, Andre Ward, Juan Manuel Marquez, Sergio Martinez and Nonito Donaire – could have competed in any era.

Even the top fighters in their respective divisions who aren’t on any pound-for-pound lists could have given good accounts of themselves against the best of the past, in my opinion.

Yeah, I agree that Norris would have beat Alvarez. He probably would have splattered Canelo’s freckles all over the ring, but we should keep in mind that the guy we favor is in the hall of fame and was considered to be a top-three pound-for-pound player during his prime.

But I wanna note that even though Norris is one of my all-time faves and an ultra-talented boxer-puncher, he did not possess a world-class chin. I hate to write this (but I gotta keep it real), it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that an accurate, heavy puncher like Canelo would have the proverbial puncher’s chance against Norris. I think the red head has enough ability to make for a dramatic moment or two versus Norris without getting “lucky.”

I think the Broner-Johnson fight is a toss-up matchup. Johnson’s busy, southpaw style and reliable chin would have enabled the squat in-and-out boxer to trouble Broner, but The Problem’s speed, power, height, reach and reflexes would have given the underrated Denver native something to think about in every round. Again, I hate writing this, but I’m kind of feeling the Cincinnati native in this mythical lightweight matchup. But I think it would be a competitive distance fight.

Garcia-Curry would be a fun 140-pound scrap. Like you, I think Curry – a rugged boxer-slugger – would be too much for the current junior welterweight champ, but I think it would be a competitive fight. Curry was no defensive genius (although he gave a bona-fide defensive wizard – Wilfred Benitez – hell). He’d get hit by the heavy handed Philadelphian, who is an underrated counter puncher in my opinion. HOever, I think the best version of Curry would wear down Garcia in a battle of attrition.

I agree Matthysse-Rosario is a toss-up, and I’ll go with the Argentine on points because he’s the naturally bigger fighter and I think the late “Chapo” was at his best at 135 pounds.

I think both Donald Curry and Starling would have bested Bradley (probably on points, however I wouldn’t rule out the prime version of the Lone Star Cobra stopping the Thunder Dome), but those two are borderline hall of famers in my opinion; not to mention natural welterweights.

CANADIANS OF HAITIAN DESCENT

Hey Doug,
I’m gonna nitpick a bit here. You say “Speaking of Stiverne, the Canada-based Haitian”. Stiverne is a Canadian of Haitian descent (based in Vegas by the way). I noticed that you characterized Pascal and Alcine in the same way: Canada based Haitians. Both Canadians of Hatian descent. – Stephen, Montreal based nit picker.

Duly noted, Stephen.

All three are Haiti natives but I gather they are also citizens of Canada.

Do you think it would be fair (and politically correct) for me to refer to them as “Haitian Canadians” (like African American, Irish American or Mexican American), or could I just drop where they were born and refer to them as “Canadians?”

 

 

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

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