Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

UPCOMING CLASHES

What’s your view of the fight card this weekend? I’m not exactly thrilled about the Bernard Hopkins-Tavoris Cloud match. I’m afraid that this one has stinker written all over it. We’ll probably get a tired, depleted Hopkins hugging and conning his way to survival with Cloud doing just enough to win.

Mind you the Hopkins of 2006-08 would have completely schooled Cloud but right now he’s just another crusty old man for Cloud to pad his record against.

I’m more interested in the Keith Thurman-Jan Zaveck fight. I noticed that a lot of fans aren’t impressed with Thurman yet. But really, the kid’s still in his early 20s and is on the verge of taking a major step here. Zaveck’s certainly no chump. If Thurman can take him out convincingly, he’s the real deal. Not to mention a guy worth watching.

Moving onto Floyd Mayweather-Robert Guerrero and Saul Alvarez-Austin Trout. Which of these two fights are you more excited about?

Got another question: If Mayweather and Alvarez both win, how strong do you think are the chances of them actually squaring off later in the year. I’m just hoping we don’t get another rehash much like the long-winded Mayweather-Pacquiao nonsense.

I myself would rather just see Floyd clean up the welters already (providing he does get past Guerrero). And call me dumb but I’d rather see Canelo fight another hard-hitting junior-middle like Alfredo Angulo or James Kirkland, especially Angulo. At least we know he’s willing to fight!

Keep the faith as always! – Dave

I will, Dave.

If Mayweather was able to fight three times a year, I wouldn’t mind watching him take on all of the young welterweight beltholders – Tim Bradley, Paul Malignaggi, and the Devon Alexander-Kell Brook winner – but since he’s only fought once a year since 2007 and has only “promised” to fight twice this year, I want to see Mr. Pound-for-Pound in the most competitive and intriguing matchups that are available. Alvarez is on that short list.

Will Mayweather-Alvarez happen this year (on the Sept. 14 date that both fighters are targeting)? If Mayweather beats Guerrero without taking too much punishment and Alvarez gets by the very difficult Trout, I’d say there’s a 50-50 chance. I know Golden Boy Promotions and Showtime will try to make it happen but it won’t be easy.

Although both Mayweather and Alvarez operate under the Golden Boy banner both stars have their own promotional companies and both are very much their own boss. In other words, they don’t like being dictated to and they pretty much to what the f__k they want.

If I was a betting man, I’d put a little money on them headlining separate cards on Sept. 14. (And I would expect Showtime broadcast both fights on a split-site pay-per-view show.)

If Alvarez fights someone other than Mayweather, I fully expect that fighter to be Angulo. Alvarez has tossed out Sergio Martinez’s name, which is extremely tantalizing to hardcore fans, but the fact is the middleweight champ fights on HBO and Canelo appears to be doing business with Showtime these days. Angulo makes sense. The former contender is a Golden Boy fighter, won’t be as expensive (or as much of a threat) as Martinez, and he’s Mexican, which matters when one is fighting on Mexican Independence Day weekend.

I’m excited about both Mayweather-Guerrero and Alvarez-Trout, but I have a little more interest in the junior middleweight showdown because it matches two young unbeaten titleholders in their primes and it should be the sternest test of Canelo’s career. This is a fight the “star” fighter can lose. I’m also curious to see how many fans Alvarez can attract to the Alamodome in San Antonio. That’s why I’ll be there on April 20.

I’ll also be in Vegas for the big May 4 show, of course.

I’m looking forward to both fights on tomorrow’s HBO broadcast from Brooklyn. I know that Hopkins, who should probably be retired, had to slow down the pace of every fight and make it as ugly as possible in order to win it at this stage of his career, but I think Cloud’s aggressive style and strong will can make for an intense contest that features some action and drama (at least in spots).

Like you, I favor the younger man to win a decision. However, there are more than a few fans and observers who think Hopkins will outthink and outclass Cloud en route to another record-breaking victory. Check out Lem Satterfield’s boxing insider picks on this fight. Half of the participants picked B-hop.

We’ll see what happens.

Like you, I expect to get a good action scrap with the Thurman-Zaveck fight.

I’ll admit it. I’m a fan of Mr. “One Time.” What’s not to like about him? Thurman looks and speaks a little off, a little different; he can crack and he takes no prisoners in the ring.

altaltIt’s like the Thulsa Doom character (played by James Earl Jones) from the 1982 version of Conan the Barbarian and former female boxing champ Lucia Rijker had a baby.

I’ve heard and read the criticism on Thurman and I don’t get it. People are saying that he’s protected and that he lacks skill. They say he doesn’t deserve to be on HBO and is only there because he’s managed by Al Haymon.

altI’m sure Haymon has something to do with him being on HBO but I also gather his fighting style has something to do with it. It’s not like he’s been facing bums since debuting on HBO against 29-2-2 Orlando Lora last July. Carlos Quintana, who he stopped in November, is a former titleholder who was coming off a TKO of Deandre Latimore. The Puerto Rican vet also had a good camp for Thurman.

Zaveck is another former titleholder, and although he’s no spring chicken, he’s strong, experienced and proven over the 12-round distance. I thought he fought well against Andre Berto before cuts prematurely ended their shootout in 2011.

The thing Thurman’s critics should keep in mind is that nobody’s hyping the 24 year old up to be an ultra-talented practitioner of the Sweet Science. Nobody’s touting him as the next Donald Curry. He is what he is: an aggressive and very heavy handed boxer-puncher who makes for explosive fights.

And there’s nothing wrong with that. His seek-and-destroy-mindset makes for compelling TV.

BHOP IN NYC

It’s JB/JCB whatever. You gonna be in NYC to watch my grand pop BHOP? We’re staying at the Trump International Central Park. – JCB

I kind of wish I was in Brooklyn for this card, JCB, but I’m staying home for this one. I was in NYC for the Salido-Garcia card in January and I didn’t want to head back out east so soon.

But I’ll be back at least once before the year is out. The New York boxing scene has heated up considerably and it looks like it’s going to stay hot.  

Anyway, I’ll be thinking about you if Hopkins pulls it off – yet again. And I’ll be expecting your thoughts and perspective on the occasion in the form of an email for the Monday mailbag.

DOGGIE DOO BAG

Dougie Doo!

I E-mailed you numourous times and you never responded. My input not good enough for you. And yet you willingly include letters talking about pointless topics like Haitian Canadians, screwy refs in boring fights, and Tony Thompson and David Price. And not to mention gushy e-mails from some of your many ass-kissers.

Further more you actually picked Riddick Bowe over Vladermir Klitchko?! The same Bowe who went life and death with Evander Holyfield and Andrew Golota! And your constant gushing over Gennady Golovkin is getting kind of ridiculous as well. That guy is over 30 and still fighting nobodies!

I think it’s time you get your face out those nerdy comic books of yours and get with the program already! Your mailbag used to be a fun read but now it’s gotten tedious!

We might as well call it your Doggie-Doo bag or better yet, your Dougie-Doo bag! – Ron

Thanks for the hate, Ron. It’s been awhile since I received a negative email. I was wondering if all the angry cretins of the boxing world were merely satisfied to Tweet insults and leave nasty comments at the bottom of articles these days.

Thank you for being “old school” and taking the time to actually write a dismissive email.

I’m sorry I missed (or passed up on) your previous emails. Try again. There are many significant bouts coming up, plus the usual industry drama and controversy, for you to comment on or ask questions about.

I’ll look out for the name “Ron” in the next couple weeks.

And I’ll even answer your rhetorical questions in this snarky email.

Sorry to gush so much about Golovkin. I’ll try to lighten up on GGG until he faces a top contender, which should happen by the end of the year. And if it does, my guess is that you will be gushing about him too.

Yes, I favor the version of Bowe that went to war with Holyfield (not the faded, disinterested version that struggled with Golota) over Klitschko. I don’t think it’s a one-sided fight for the Brooklynite. I think it’s a very competitive matchup, one that Klitschko could certainly win, but if they fought three times, I think Bowe would win two out of the three.

The prime version of Bowe was always able to outjab, outwork and hurt tall, stand-up boxers who liked to operate from the outside like Wladdy. (Watch his fights with Pinklon Thomas, Tyrell Biggs, Larry Donald and Jorge Luis Gonzalez for evidence.)

I’m not going to apologize for the “gushy emails from my many ass-kissers.” For starters, I consider fans/readers like you to be the ultimate “ass-kissers.” You’ve alluded to the fact that you’re a longtime reader of the mailbag and you basically admitted to being mad because I haven’t given you enough attention, all of which feeds into my ego more than any “good work, Dougie” comments do.

But I want to point out that emails about Thompson-Price, poor officiating and, yes, even Canadian Haitians (or is it Haitian Canadians?) are just as important to me as any subject that you’ve come up with. And you should keep in mind that most of those readers find emails like this one to be “tedious.”

PACQUIAO SITUATION

Hi Doug,
As a boxing expert I’d think that you would have the scoop on what is going on with Pacquiao and his future. Obviously no one can imagine him leaving the sport of boxing face down on the canvass like that, he’s too much of a warrior. However he is becoming less relevant as time goes by and no one knows what is going on with him right now.

I do have some thoughts regarding a 5th fight with JMM and no one else really shared my perspective because they were caught in the JMMmania ignorant to the fact that Marquez fought the 4th fight like he was 40; older and slower but made up for it with his size and power. He clearly wasn’t boxing with Pacquiao as he did in their previous fights. He was taking an awful lot of punishment just looking for one shot.

I think Pacquiao destroys Marquez in a 5th fight as long as he uses his brain and becomes less predictable. However, I have this one question for you, do you think JMM can still keep up with Manny’s pace and box with him like he did the 3 previous fights or is he too old to do so and has no choice but to search for one punch to beat Manny because he can’t keep up with him no more?

Regarding a mythical Pacquiao-Broner matchup @147, I think that if Broner fights in his normal aggressive style he gets caught by a punch harder than he’s ever felt before and at his size he doesn’t take it well at all. The styles may conflict but just as the situation with Mayweather and Marquez was Mayweather’s physique I think Pac as small as he may be has more power to hurt Broner than Broner does to hurt him and could probably shake off Broner’s best shot. Just wanna hear your thoughts as to whether you are in agreement with me here on this one?

Andre Ward: what is next for him? Two things that I think would be good would be a fight against GGG because on paper it looks interesting and I will throw in Chavez Jr’s name just to help boost Andre Ward’s name by taking him out. Other than that what is left for him? – Sam G.

What’s next for Ward is getting into fighting shape following his shoulder surgery. He just returned to the gym and will only be able to shadow box and do cardio exercises for the next couple of weeks.

When he is finally cleared to return to the ring, he’ll have a couple rematches to mull over: WBC mandatory Sakio Bika (yawn) and the winner of Froch-Kessler II (yes!). We’ll probably see Ward-Bika II in the summer and hopefully we get to see a rematch between THE RING champ and Froch or Kessler before the year is out.

Ward’s only challenges beyond Froch and Kessler are probably in the light heavyweight division. If Cloud beats Hopkins, he would make a good opponent for Ward at 175 pounds, as would undefeated WBO titleholder Nathan Cleverly.

I gotta go with the Pac-monster in a mythical 147-pound matchup with The Problem. Pacquiao’s proven at welterweight; Broner isn’t, simple as that. Plus, Broner seemed troubled by Daniel Ponce De Leon’s southpaw jab and susceptible by an early rounds blitz in the Gavin Rees fight. Unlike Ponce and Rees, Pac’s got the talent and technique to land meaningful bombs.

I agree that Marquez took a gamble that paid off by looking for the one big shot against Pacquiao in their fourth showdown, but he had to pay the price for that strategy as evidenced by his busted nose and bloody face after six rounds.

The Mexico City technician knows that he could lose a fifth bout, maybe by knockout, but he also knows that he’s got a psychological edge over the Filipino icon having just knocked his rival out and having never been stopped himself.

What happens next really depends more on Marquez than Pacquiao. If Marquez wants a fifth fight, it will happen. But he’s got options. He can fight Tim Bradley or Brandon Rios (provided the young guns win their next bouts this month).

Of course, Bradley is a difficult style matchup and Rios is an absolute beast who has the ability to overwhelm the old master. And he wouldn’t make as much money fighting those two as he would his arch rival. If Marquez fights this year, my guess is that it will be No. 5 with Pac, but I would welcome a showdown with Rios. If JMM passes on Pac, I wouldn’t be shocked if we got Pacquiao-Rios.

NEW BLOOD ON RINGTV.COM

Hello Doug,

I’m a longtime fan of The Ring and think you’ve done a brilliant job extending the Bible of Boxing onto the web where there was absolutely zero presence for a laughable amount of time under the old regime. I couldn’t believe how long THE RING’s site was nothing but a weekly column from Bill Dettloff and limited updates. You guys have really done a great job bringing things into the 21st Century.

I’d also like to compliment you on the new blood you’ve brought onto your staff in recent years. I’ve been a big fan of both Mike Coppinger’s and Corey Erdman’s writing for awhile and look forward to reading their regular features whenever they are posted. It is good to see young guys in the sport that don’t have that embittered feeling of the Sweet Science that a lot of the old boxing beat guys grew to adapt into their writing styles in the past few decades.

I got to say I’m also glad to see you add stuff from Anson Wainwright and Mark Ortega in recent months. I’ve long read Anson on Maxboxing.com and his Q&As with fighters from all over the world is an impressive feat. He’s probably interviewed fighters from every country not in Antarctica. As far as Ortega, I’ve followed his writing for a number of years and it has rapidly improved in the past few. He’s got a big personality on Twitter but I appreciate how he doesn’t discount casual fans’ opinions on the sport or call them idiots for disagreeing the way some of the sport’s bigger name writers do. I enjoyed his pieces on Ishe Smith and Sharif Bogere in the past few weeks and you can feel his passion through his writing. I hope to see more from Anson and Mark on RingTV in the coming months and look forward to any new blood you guys decide to bring on staff.

There’s a new breed of boxing writer out there and I tend to favor those with styles like Coppinger, Erdman, Ortega, and Wainwright over some of the “established” names that seem to have gotten stale on the sport. It’s another spot where you guys have the ability to be ahead of the curve, keep it moving! Cheers. – Sheldon

Thanks Sheldon. We’ll do our best. I’m glad you appreciate RingTV.com’s “new blood.” The young writer’s you’ve mentioned, along with Ryan Songalia, have all improved as you noted and I think they will continue to grow as boxing journalists this year. I’m proud of them all, and I think their involvement in the sport is almost as important as talented young boxing prospects. There’s got to be a “Next Generation” in every facet of the sport – fighters, trainers, managers, promoters, network executives, publicists and media members – in order for it to continue and one day thrive. It’s my hope that THE RING and RingTV.com can help cultivate the next generation of boxing writers.

You’ll see more variety (such as columns and deadline pieces) from Coppinger and Erdman this year and you’ll also read more features by Wainwright and Erdman, both of whom also contribute a lot to THE RING as members of the Ratings Panel.

WHAT HAPPENED TO DOUGIE?

Doug,
I’ve been a hardcore boxing fan, and a fan of yours, since January 2005. It’s no coincidence that I signed up for Maxboxing at that time, which not only got me deep into the Sweet Science but also your writing. Over the years I’ve followed your work at Maxboxing and The Ring, enjoying the various projects you’ve worked on including post-fight pieces, the Southern California Notebook, head-to-head analyses, special interest articles, The Next Round web-show with Steve Kim, Ring Ratings Ratings updates, and others.

However, I’ve noticed that over the last year you’ve written fewer and fewer articles for The Ring. In fact, over the last 6 months I’ve only seen your Friday and Monday mailbags on the site.

Have you been focusing on other things such editorial duties, television broadcasting, etc.? What gives!? – John, Irvine, CA

Thanks missing my stories and features, John. I have indeed been focusing on other things in recent months. It’s not broadcasting, which I only do on a monthly/bi-monthly basis, it’s definitely my editing and web master duties that have limited the time I used to have to report and write.

Ninety percent of the content you see and read on RingTV.com was posted there by Yours Truly. With the help of part-time copy editor Brian Harty, I proof read every story that is posted on the site (except for Lem Satterfield, who posts his own articles, which Brian and I try to get to later in a timely fashion). I crop, resize and PhotoShop almost every photo, process almost every video, write almost every headline and homepage blurb, plus Tweet and post most of what goes on the RingTV Facebook page.

I also assign stories to the regular contributors, take care of their media credentials when needed and make sure they are able to get in touch with their subjects.

On top of that, I deal with social media giveaways and promotions, as well as special events like the Ring Girl Madness competition.

There are only so many hours during the day and night that I can devote to writing due to these editorial responsibilities and those to my family (I’m married and I have two wonderful girls).

I’m going to wrap this mailbag up so I can get enough sleep so I’ll be able to wake up early enough Friday morning to get my two girls ready for and to school on time, but I want to repeat that I truly appreciate that you miss reading my stuff. I’m going to try to budget my time – and make time – so that I can add at least one significant weekly feature to my regular mailbags.

Editing is my job, but boxing is my passion and I love writing about it.

 

 

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

Around the web