Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

COUNTDOWN TO SUPERBRAWL SATURDAY

Hey Dougie:

Now that we’re approaching that final countdown to Superbrawl Saturday, here’s my final pre-brawl rundown.

Starting with the biggie: I’m hoping that Saul Alvarez kicks ass and shuts the mouths of all those Canelo-bashing f__kwads who keep insisting that he is Oscar’s pampered little golden love-slut and that’s it. And he just might.

Have you also noticed how some of these faceboobs are also insisting that if Canelo does win it’s only with the help of ass-kissing GBP stooges masquerading as judges? All the more reason for the heavier-handed Canelo to rip into Trout with everything he has. No, I’m not going to overlook how Trout beat a still dangerous Cotto more convincingly that Mayweather did.

Still, Alvarez has much more in the fuel tank than Cotto and I’m picking him to win by either UD or late-round TKO.

Steve Cunningham-Tyson Fury? Fury here is the biggest, hairiest mother f___er not named Nikolai Valuev and he has a cool nick-name. But what else does he have (besides a huge friggin’ mouth)?

Cunningham is clearly the better boxer here. He also has a pair of balls bigger than an elephant’s ass. He proved that with his tenacious fights with Tomasz Adamek and Pablo Hernandez and he’s certainly proving it now by fighting a much younger guy twice his size. Providing the size advantage isn’t too much he should box the big Brit’s gorilla-face to pieces. At least that’s what I’m hoping for.

Sergio Martinez-Martin Murray: The little known Brit going up against the elite world champion right in that champion’s own backyard. Hmmm. I’m going to stretch myself out on a limb here and predict Maravilla by KO. Okay Doug. I’m done. Let’s steel ourselves. This should be good! – Todd The Terminator

I can’t wait for Saturday.

I won’t comment on Martinez-Murray because that’s next week, but I think Murray put forth a much-better challenge than most American fans think he can.

Your description of Fury had me laughing out loud, but I don’t think the young British contender is a joke. He is a big hairy dude with a very big mouth, but he’s been developed fairly well and he has some boxing ability to go with his great size.

You’re right that Cunningham’s fighting heart is bigger than any heavyweight on the scene right now, but I don’t think Fury is going to commit to putting the smash down on the older, smaller Philadelphia veteran. If Fury can overwhelm Cunningham with size and strength, he will allow the gutsy former cruiserweight titleholder to come forward while he boxes from the outside. Fury’s got a good jab and moves very well for a big man. I think he’ll earn a fairly comfortable decision.

The great thing about the Alvarez-Trout matchup is that neither fighter has a huge advantage in size or age. Both are natural junior middleweights and both are in their athletic primes. Oh, and both guys can box and fight their asses off, too. Trout gets more credit for his boxing ability than Alvarez, but he’s also a tough customer.

Alvarez is given a lot of credit for his strength and punching prowess, but he’s also solid boxer with a good jab and counter-punching ability.

I see a nip-and-tuck battle from start to finish. My hunch is that Alvarez will land the more telling blows – and perhaps score a knockdown – to clinch a close but deserved decision. I don’t see Alvarez stopping Trout, who is among the most durable fighters I’ve seen in recent years (and this observation is in part based on sparring sessions I’ve witnessed of the El Paso native going hard rounds with Martinez and Antonio Margarito).

I’d say all the “Canelo-bashing” Faceboobs (I like that term) should lay off Alvarez if the 22-year-old Mexican star beats Trout decisively, but I know that will never happen. There’s always going to be a portion of hardcore fandom that hates the young man. There are just too many things about him that irk them. He’s Golden Boy’s “golden boy,” a white-skinned red-headed Mexican with a goofy nickname who was basically handed the WBC title. He’s doesn’t speak English and he doesn’t have to. He’s got a built-in fan base that continues to grow and he can call his own shots.

I’m sure many of his critics think he’s too big for his britches (and they’re hoping those britches split wide open tomorrow night in San Antonio).

I see a very mature fighter for someone his age, and I think he has been brought along very well. I understand the criticism of his opposition, especially his WBC title challengers, but I think he faced the appropriate fighters from the age of 18 to the present that would help him develop from a prospect with raw talent into a well-rounded professional.

TROUT ALL WRONG FOR CANELO

Mr. Fischer,

I’m really excited about this upcoming matchup. Say what you will about hand picking opponents but I think Trout is an all-wrong matchup for Canelo Alvarez. I consider this fight as similar to Winky Wright v Felix Trinidad. I don’t recall how you felt about that fight. I’ve been reading you before then, but I was the only one in my circle of friends that picked Winky.

Now Alvarez and Trout are closer in size than the matchup I’m citing, but the little I’ve seen from Trout I see a stylistic nightmare for Alvarez. Trout has good footwork, southpaw stance and discipline, which I predict will be enough to win a unanimous decision, after a few tense beginning rounds and then frustrating Alvarez into walking into counters. How do you see the matchup? And am I on or way off base in the comparison between these junior middleweight marquee matchups.– Jared

I haven’t thought of the Wright-Trinidad matchup in conjunction with tomorrow night’s junior middleweight showdown. It’s certainly possible that Trout could frustrate Alvarez to a unanimous decision – that’s why this fight is such a big deal. For the first time since he’s emerged on the U.S. boxing scene, Alvarez is in a fight he can really lose.

However, if he does lose to Trout, I don’t see it being anything like Wright’s route of Trinidad (and, by the way, I picked Tito to win that 2005 match – by knockout, I think). Canelo is not the offensive force Tito was, nor does he have the punching technique the Puerto Rican icon possessed, but he’s moves about the ring a lot better. He has side to side moves and a reverse gear. Tito did not.

Wright wasn’t the most mobile fighter, either. Not that he needed to be vs. Trinidad. But Trout can stick and move and he might do that against Canelo, so I think their matchup will look a lot different than Wright-Trinidad.

Another big difference between the two matchups is that Trinidad was near the end of his future hall-of-fame career, while Canelo is just entering his prime.

Regardless of who wins tomorrow night, I’m confident that fans will be treated to a more competitive fight than Wright-Trinidad turned out to be.

WTH IS UP WITH THE P4P!?

I’m sorry but how the f__k is Guillermo Rigondeaux not being included in THE RING’s pound for pound top 10? I just read the reason on Chuck Giampa’s update and I think that is ridiculous. The guy just dominated an elite guy from start to finish – that happens in boxing maybe once in a generation!!!

Beating Antonio DeMarco (i.e., Adrien Broner) or getting a gift over Manny Pacquiao and your head beaten in by an unproven Ruslan Provodnikov (i.e., Tim Bradley) does not come anywhere close to schooling a guy like Nonito-freakin-Donaire! Come on Dougie, tell me you spoke out for Rigo please?!! This has gotta change. Longevity and accomplishments cannot take precedence over doing something historic like he did! – Ed from UK

I disagree. Longevity and accomplishments count a lot in the way I view and rank so-called elite fighters in a pound-for-pound sense. One big win – even those of historical magnitude (such as Douglas over Tyson) – can sometimes be a matter of styles and circumstances. It doesn’t always mean the winner will go on to dominate.

I think a fighter proves his elite status by scoring a series of quality victories over a number of years as veterans, such as Floyd Mayweather, Pacquiao, Juan Manuel Marquez and Martinez have done, as well as super middleweight champ, Andre Ward.

Having said that, I don’t think Broner has paid such dues, and I did suggest to Chuck that Rigondeaux break into the magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings by dropping “The Problem.” I also suggested that Rigo replace Guerrero in the pound for pound ratings. Giampa decided against it and I didn’t argue with him (we had email correspondence and we spoke over the phone) because his rationale was acceptable to me.

Guerrero is fighting Mayweather in two weeks. If he wins – or even comes close to winning – he proves his spot on the list. Broner is challenging Paul Malignaggi for the WBA welterweight title in June. Now, I know a lot of fans are pooh-poohing this matchup but if Broner wins (especially decisively) I think he lends credence to the notion that he is an elite boxer. Very few former 130-pound beltholders have won 147-pound titles and few lightweights have defeated top-10 welterweight contenders in their first bouts at 147 pounds.

If Guerrero is dominated by Mayweather, I can see Rigondeaux replacing him in the top 10. Same deal if Malignaggi teaches Broner a lesson in respect.

POUND FOR POUND RANKINGS

At least before you were being subtle about your Golden Boy bias at The Ring. But this is taking the mick.

Broner at number 5. Ghost at number 8, ahead of Donaire!!!

Shocking. And what annoys me the most is, you’re punishing a fighter like Donaire for fighting all comers.

Why should he be dropped? It was clear to anyone that Rigondeux was P4P worthy in that ring.

I get that you need The Ghost high in your rankings to help make Floyd’s horrendous matchmaking actually look like he’s now defeating a top p4p player, and Broner is a future star, but this is getting embarrassing!

And I know you like to say P4P doesn’t mean anything, but it does!

In a world where there’s no more credible boxing outfits declaring the right champion I used to use your Ring ratings to determine who is the best. But now they’re even worse than the actual Governing Bodies! – Michael

I’m sorry you feel that way, Michael. I still think THE RING’s divisional rankings – which has a listed criteria and takes in the input of an excellent advisory group, the Ratings Panel (none of whom are responsible for the mythical rankings, by the way) – are superior to the rankings of the sanctioning organizations.

The pound-for-pound rankings do not have a set criteria, and, for the most part, do not factor in the suggestions of the Ratings Panel (many of whom do not offer their opinions on the mythical top 10 list). The Editorial Board (which is Michael Rosenthal and I) do have significant input but the final decision belongs to Giampa.  

I’m sorry that you disagree with Giampa. I understand that the pound-for-pound rankings are of EXTREME importance to a segment of boxing’s hardcore fandom.

(And when I refer to you “pound-for-pound-philes” as “hardcore,” I mean that in the geekiest sense. You guys are every bit as nerdy and irritating as some of the goofballs I bump into at comic shops. If comic books were your thing instead of boxing, you’d be one of those grown-ass men who dress up like Green Lantern and go to all the conventions; and you’d definitely be the type to argue the merits of Marvel over D.C. or Star Trek over Star Wars for hours.)    

I’d tell you to get over it, but I know you won’t. So have fun being crazy.

But before I move on, I want to point out a few things.

First, the magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings is not a marketing tool for major fights like Mayweather-Guerrero. There is no F___ING way that Guerrero being on anyone’s pound-for-pound list is going to help sell or legitimize this fight.

Very few of the casual fans who buy the “May Day” pay per view know who Guerrero is, let alone his pound-for-pound status (and most have no idea what “pound for pound” even means). All they know about Guerrero is what they’ll watch of him on Showtime’s All Access, and I guarantee you nobody is going mention where The Ghost is ranked in THE RING mythical ratings during that series. The fans who buy the May 4 PPV who are familiar with Guerrero don’t care about his pound-for-pound ranking. Even Guerrero’s fans don’t care. They just want to see him beat Mayweather.

And by the way, now that Pacquiao has been KTFO, Floyd is the ONLY pound-for-pound rated boxer that anyone – outside of a couple thousand hardcore nutcakes worldwide – gives a rat’s ass about. Showtime’s commentators will mention that Mayweather is No. 1 during the May 4 pay-per-view broadcast. They will not likely mention that Guerrero is No. 8. And if they do mention his ranking it won’t help or hurt the credibility or popularity of the magazine’s mythical rankings.

I hate to break this to you, Michael, but normal folks don’t care who’s pound for pound. If the Ring Ratings Update gets any attention, it’s because of nutty hardcore fans.

The latest RRU received 407 “likes,” about 10 times as many likes as the average RingTV.com blog items receive. You can diss the list all you want, but you’re just driving more traffic to it. And many of those curious first-timers will come back.

ALL of the critics of the rankings will come back.

The folks who comment at the bottom of the RRU, like “Valerie Crosbie,” are there EVERY WEEK. What else are they going to do with their time?

You guys live for this s__t the way a cosplay fool can’t wait to show off his new Deadpool getup at the San Diego Comic Con.  

TOP 10 INEDIBLES

What’s new Dougaroo?

The Universal Council Of Concerned Boxing Fans is calling you over dude! No biggie! Just hear us out!

We all got in touch with our inner geeks and ventured off to where no man with a life has gone before. Mainly some intergalactic comic-book convention. We all conducted a top 10 survey listing the kind of tasteless crap that not even the living appetite known as Galactus would devour. Ready for this? Here they are. Plug your nose!

1. English-style cooking!

2. England itself! No substance there!

3. Marvel comics from the 90s. Marvel really sucked at that point!

4. That bland but overpriced health-food crap!

5. Carnival popcorn!

6. Tapings of Bernard Hopkins’ last few fights!

7. The scorecards for Timmy Bradley’s last two fights!

8. Tickets for a Devon Alexander fight!

9. Those Alphabet-soup orgs!

10. The Ring Rankings! They’ve been hard for anyone to digest!

Moving on we all were pretty much evenly divided on who’s going to win the big upcoming fight between Saul Alvarez and Austin Trout! Even Galactus and The Watcher weren’t certain on what the outcome’s going to be. So I’m not making any predictions here. We all agreed to just wait and watch!

We all also agreed that Jim Bagg needs to return to Ring Magazine and have his own mailbag online. Anyhow, may The Force be with both you and good ol’ Baggaev! – Captain Ron

Being a Jim Bagg fan makes you a bigger geek than knowing who Galactus and The Watcher are (or referring to yourself as Captain Ron).

“Wait-and-watch” is the best way to approach an even matchup like Alvarez-Trout. I wish we didn’t all get so caught up in fight predictions these days. It would be nice to focus on the fight and not who “called it right” or “got it wrong.” The UCCBF has the right idea.

My thoughts on your Tasteless Crap Top 10:

1. I like fish and chips.

2. Stop hating.

3. Marvel comics did indeed suck ass during the ‘90s.

4. This is true.

5. I LOVE carnival popcorn.

6. I found the Cloud fight to be compelling, but I’ll gladly choose internet porn over watching a replay.

7. The Pacquiao cards were bogus, but I was OK with the Provodnikov verdict.

8. Um, yeah, maybe even in the Lou.

9. I don’t have much of a problem with the sanctioning organizations.

10. You HATERS! Y’all can kiss Chuckie’s ass.

Peace out and may the “Power Cosmic” be with you.

THREE RANDOM MAILBAG QUESTIONS

1 – Do you think 2013 Roy Jones Jr. can beat any current cruiserweight titleholders?

2 – Post-Mercado, who do you think is the fastest fighter Bernard Hopkins fought at middleweight? How do you think their speed compares to Sergio Martinez’s?

3 – We never got to see it, but who would you put your money on between Joel Casamayor and Juan Diaz?

Thanks, I’m a big fan. – Marcus from Ohio

Thanks Marcus. Ohio rules.

I’ll answer your questions in order:

1) No.

2) Post Mercado, the fast boxers that Nard fought at middleweight is a three-way tie between John David Jackson, Carl Daniels and Oscar De La Hoya. Their speed at the time is comparable to Martinez’s but Maravilla has more power than those three.

3) Casamayor at his best would beat Diaz but the Baby Bull would have given the crafty Cuban a good distance fight.

BOXING AT ITS BEST

Hi Doug! First time writer, long time reader.

I’ve been hearing some opinions about the Rigo-Donaire match that I can understand because they come from non-hardcore boxing fans or relative new fans, but I can’t understand why some specialized boxing writers have that same opinion (Dan Rafael and Kevin Iole). They say that was a boring and terrible fight, that they feel disappointed. I feel exactly the opposite.

How many times in a calendar year we will be able to see such a good match-up between two boxers who are young, talented, blinding fast with excellent technique, great stamina to go for 12 rounds and amazing power? It’s such a good matchup that we can only dream about it and, at least for me, it lived to my expectations.

I guess that what I’m trying to say is that if you want blood you had Bradley-Prodovnikov and Ríos-Alvarado II in March and you will have Froch-Kessler II and Matthysse-Peterson in less than a month. Why can’t you sit, relax, drink a beer and enjoy watching Rigo doing his thing, displaying his art? The guy moves like a cat in the air and dolphin in the sea, the ring is his natural environment. And please give props to his talent. It’s harder to dodge a Filipino Flash and make him miss than to hit Ruslan or Bam Bam. This is boxing, it’s not catch punches with your face.

Finally do you think we will be able to watch another fight including two elite level boxers?

I can only imagine:

Martinez-Mayweather

Broner-Mayweather

Rigondeaux-García

I guess only Rigondeaux-García could be better than Rigondeaux-Donaire because in both cases both guys are in their prime. This kind of matchups it’s what is most difficult to happen in boxing, so when the planets align and we are able to watch one, lets enjoy it. (PS: Sorry if my English is not too good, it’s the best I can do!)

Peace! – Mauro “La Gacela” Campillo from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Your English is fine, Mauro. Thanks for writing.

I found Donaire-Rigondeaux to be compelling, even though I was disappointed with Donaire’s effort. I was impressed with the Cuban southpaw and I do want to see him in future fights.

I can’t speak for Rafael or Iole but I respect their opinions.

You ask why can’t some fans and media “sit, relax, drink a beer and enjoy watching Rigo doing his thing, displaying his art?”

And my question to you and other connoisseurs of the Sweet Science is why can’t you enjoy watching a boxer like Rigondeaux without worrying what other fans think?

You are correct in that matchups between elite-level boxers in their primes is rare, which is all the more reason to enjoy those fights without letting the opinions of others bother you if you are a purist who appreciates the finer points of boxing.

I’m not a purist in that regard. I generally prefer boxer-puncher, boxer-slugger or slugger-slugger matchups to boxer-boxer matchups, but there are a few potential high-level boxer-boxer “dream” matchups that I’d love to see. I’ll share them with you with this special Boxer vs. Boxer Top Five:

1) Anselmo Moreno vs. Shinsuke Yamanaka (which would be for THE RING’s vacant bantamweight title)

2) Roman Gonzalez vs. Kazuto Ioka (the best little boxer-punchers in the sport fighting at 108 pounds)

3) Takashi Uchiyama vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa (at 130 pounds)

4) Mikey Garcia vs. Chris John (for featherweight supremacy)

5) Rigondeuax vs. John (at 126 pounds)

 

 

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

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