Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

MATTHYSSE AND FROCH

Hi Doug,

Been a while since I wrote to you about my man Lucas Matthysse.

Was just wondering how you think he will fare against Lamont Peterson? I personally think Lucas will score a mid-rounds stoppage. I just can’t see how Peterson won’t get involved in a war, and as we all know, he’s no stranger to the canvas. I really hope the 140-pound tournament that Golden Boy has talked about actually materialises. We could be in for a right treat as fans, although I do feel it is unfair that Amir Khan is a potential prize for the three top contenders (Danny Garcia, Matthysse and Peterson). They could easily get involved in some absolute wars and take lumps out of each other, although I’m still not sure if that would be enough for Khan to clear them all out.

As a UK writer, I’m also intrigued to see how you feel and think Carl Froch’s career will end, providing he takes care of Mikkel Kessler later this month. I think Froch could stop him late on, although I would not be surprised if Kessler tears up the script. How do you see a Froch-Bernard Hopkins fight at 168/175 panning out? I’ve vowed never to go against Hopkins again, and if the fight was somehow made this year I would possibly favour B-Hop to take Froch to school.

All the best. – Adey

At this stage of his career, nobody can really “beat” Hopkins. Even if someone scores a first-round knockout against Hopkins he can’t take too much credit because he was in against a “50-year-old man.”

If Froch beats Kessler, I’d rather he try to avenge his other loss and challenge Andre Ward. If he can beat “S.O.G.” in a rematch he can not only punch a first-ballot ticket to the hall of fame, but claim to be one of the best UK fighters of the past 20 years.

Win, lose or draw against Kessler (and/or Ward), I’d like to see how he fares at 175 pounds. If a showdown with Hopkins can be made and B-Hop is willing totravel to the Britain (and you and I both know that he is because he’s a real fighter, and the only active boxer who deserves to be called “great”), I would not be against that matchup because it would be a tremendous event in the UK and it would do good business.

I don’t see B-Hop taking “The Cobra” to school, but the old man has proven me wrong many times in the past and he may do so a few more times before he’s done. I think the two grizzled veterans would go tit for tat in a roughhouse chess match. It will probably be a decent fight, but the future light heavyweight showdown I’m really interested in is between Froch and Nathan Cleverly. I think that would be a hell of a fight.

Regarding this Saturday’s excellent matchup between Matthysse and Peterson, I think “your man” will have his heavy hands full with the once-beaten IBF titleholder. I see an even fight that begins as a boxing match and gradually evolves (there are some wussy ass purists who would say “devolves”) into a grueling give-and-take battle that hopefully ends in climatic and dramatic fashion.

I would be surprised if Matthysse, who is also one of my favorite fighters, scored a mid-rounds stoppage; but nobody should be shocked if that happens. Matthysse is one of the few active boxers I categorize as “a puncher.” I do that not because the Argentine is gifted with punching power, but because he knows how to punch and he has a seek-and-destroy mentality. His only drawback has been slow starts (which cost him decisions against Zab Judah and Devon Alexander), but beginning with the Humberto Soto fight, it seems like “Matty” has been trying to start faster.

I love that Golden Boy Promotions has already announced that RING champ Danny Garcia is supposed to face the winner of Peterson-Matthysse in September, and I have no problem with Khan facing whoever emerges from these terrific matchups in December. Why? Because Khan makes for damn good scraps when he’s in with aggressive fighters – especially when they can punch like Matty and Garcia.   

MIGUEL COTTO

Hey Douglas. What’s up?

I know you’re probably tired of this whole “May Day” thing by now but there’s several things I want to point out. Mayweather’s complete domination over a capable contender like Robert Guerrero just further showed how good Miguel Cotto was.

You know what I’m talking about here. A ringworn battle-damaged Cotto gave Floyd hell like no one came close to doing since the first Castillo fight in 2002. Yeah I know it was at 154 pounds but Cotto’s no more a natural junior middle than Floyd is. Makes me wonder what would have happened if Floyd did fight Cotto in 2008 instead of taking time off.

Another thing. If there was one fighter who went all out to fight everyone it was Cotto. We’re talking guys like Zab Judah, Shane Mosley, Antonio Margarito, Josh Clottey, and Manny Pacquiao. That’s just at welter and they were in their primes. Wonder if Floyd would have still had that “O” if he fought all those guys at their best like Miguel did here.

Take Margarito in particular. Concrete mitts or no Marg withstood Cotto’s crushing hooks and kept coming. I actually don’t think that May could have done anything to hold off the big Mexican Mummy for 12 rounds. ( I guess that makes me a “hater.”)

Of course, neither Cotto nor Marg were the same after that brutal war. But in Cotto’s case he still kept fighting the toughest opposition available. He didn’t always win the big one but he always fought it. That surely backs your argument when you stated that not all of today’s fighters are in it for the big bucks alone. They do it because they’re fighters.

And now? Well it looks like Cotto will be challenging Saul Alvarez, right after fights with Mayweather and Austin Trout. It’s doubtful he’ll win this as much as I’d like to see him pull it off but it just further shows that he was no cherry-picker whatsoever. Still isn’t.

Anyways, how do you think Floyd would have done if he fought Marg back in 2006-‘07 and Cotto in ‘07-‘08? What if Pacquiao fought those versions? Holler back. Thanks. – Dave

I think the best welterweight version of Pacquiao (late 2009/early 2010) edges the 2006-’07 version of Margarito in a brutal 12-round war that basically ruins both fighters. I think that same version of Pacquiao narrowly outpoints Cotto in a tit-for-tat fight that is very heated in spots but also features a fair amount of boxing from both fighters.

I think the 2006-’07 version of Margz outworks and outpoints Mayweather in an interesting and competitive fight for about seven or eight rounds. I think Mayweather would have played keep away for the final four or five rounds of the bout to avoid undue punishment, and would have lost a close but unanimous decision. And yes, this shared opinion definitely makes us “haters.” But so what? There’s a reason Mayweather turned this fight down in ‘06 (and bolted from Top Rank soon after), and it ain’t because Margz didn’t have a big enough name. It was because he was a big, rangy, rugged pressure fighter with an anvil for a jaw. But those aren’t the attributes that sway with mythical matchup to the Mexican in my mind. It’s the TJ Tornado’s volume punching that does it for me. According to CompuBox, he averaged 90.2 total punches per round at welterweight (compared to the 147-pound average of 57.8); and 55.4 power shots per round (compared to the welter average of 33. 6). It was in 2006 when Margarito broke CompuBox’s all-time record for punches thrown in a 12-round bout (vs. Clottey) – 1,675. That’s sick! (And he did that with a badly sprained ankle and injured wrist following a crappy camp.)

I think the 2007-’08 version of Mayweather would have had a difficult time with that year’s version of Cotto (pre-Margz, of course), but I think the fight would have taken place in Vegas and I think Floyd would get the benefit of the doubt on the scorecards and win a close (but deserving) decision. I think the current 147-pound version of Mayweather (which is more settled at 147 pounds) would fare better against that undefeated, peak-form of Cotto, and win a competitive but clear-cut decision in a damn good fight.

I know it sounds like I’m not giving Cotto enough props, but believe me, I’m one of the Puerto Rican star’s biggest fans. (I just call ‘em how I see ‘em when it comes to hypothetical matchups). Cotto was one of the rare fighters I would travel to the East Coast or to Puerto Rico to cover. I made it a point to be ringside for his title-winning bouts at 140 and at 147 pounds. I agree that that his welterweight run was very special.

I think you’re embellishing a bit by saying all those guys Cotto fought at 147 were in their primes. Mosley was definitely not in his prime in 2007. He was definitely a top contender, and still dangerous, but that wasn’t his prime. I think he obviously had more in the tank in ’07 than in 2010, when he fought Floyd. (And yes, that opinion makes me ever more of a “hater.”) But I take nothing away from Cotto. Mosley was on a good 5-0 run when he faced Cotto in NYC. The Southern California veteran entered that fight with a lot of confidence having knocked out Fernando Vargas and outworked Luis Collazo in his previous two bouts. I also have to point out that while Judah was still in his athletic prime when he foughtCotto, he wasn’t on a good run heading into their ’07 showdown, having lost back-to-back decisions to Carlos Baldomir and Mayweather (followed by a one-round No Contest with some journeyman) prior to the HBO PPV main event.  

What I appreciate about Cotto’s 147-pound run is that he faced all of the fighters you mentioned – Judah, Mosley, Margarito, Clottey and Pacquiao – along with Carlos Quintana (23-0 at the time, for the vacant WBA belt), Oktay Urkal, Alfonso Gomez and Michael Jennings, in a three-year span.

I agree that Cotto’s competitive loss against Mayweather looks more impressive after Floyd’s boxing clinic against Guerrero. I also think it was probably the 32-year-old veteran’s last hurrah. Whatever was left over after the Mayweather fight was used up in the Trout fight. As much I respect Cotto, I give him almost no shot at beating Canelo.

RICKY BURNS

Hey Dougie,

Ricky Burns just beat someone who I think is probably a better fighter than he is. Why? Character. – Scott, Glasgow, Scotland

I agree, Scott. I thought Gonzalez, who proved to be a complete boxer-puncher with a similar style to Burns’ (but with a little more class and athleticism), was up five rounds to four after the ninth but he knew he couldn’t hold off the defending titleholder over the next three rounds and remained on his stool.

I know Gonzalez hurt his wrist at some point during the fight, but I think the Puerto Rican’s fatigue and the fact that Burns had taken the fight to him hard in rounds eight and nine (after surviving his best shots in the seventh) had more to do with his decision to stay on his stool.

Burns was not having a good night, but at no point during the fight did he give in, mentally or physically. Bottom line: Champions fight through adversity.

(By the way, I think it’s great that you’re from Scotland and your name is Scott. The only better name for a sports fan from a given region of the world that I can think of would be “Ozzie” from Australia.)

HEART OF A CHAMPION

Alright Doug
Just a few comments about the action in Scotland on Saturday night. I had it 6-3 to Gonzalez when he retired on his stall against Burns! For me, when they went to war in the seventh round only one man came out of it and that was Burns. He looked exhausted and there for the taking, maybe the hand was broke, maybe it wasn’t, but I feel with his solid chin, excellent stamina and heart Burns could have stopped him or took a draw on the cards (he was 3 behind officially)! What do you think is next for Rickster?

On a side note the interview he did after for IFilm London just shows his class as a champion and a person admitted his flaws in the fight what a humble guy he is. Cheers, Doug. – Dave, Weymouth UK

Burns is a titleholder worth cheering for. He deserves the loyal fans he has in Scotland and other parts of the UK. And if he ever fights in the U.S. (and on live U.S. television), my guess is that he’ll win some American fans (even if he comes up short).

Next for the Rickster could be the unification bout against IBF beltholder Miguel Vazquez that failed to come off earlier in the year. That matchup will be just as difficult, stylistically, as the Gonzalez fight turned out to be, if not more so (due to Vazquez’s constant herky jerky movement) and the young Mexican veteran won’t quit when the going gets tough.

If Burns can beat Vazquez (big “if”), he’s the only lightweight challenge out there for Adrien Broner. If Broner is successful against Paul Malignaggi, and he decides to stay at 147 pounds, I’ll consider the winner of Burns-Vazquez to be the real champ at 135 pounds.

FOSTER, FROCH & THE WELTERWEIGHTS

hey doug-e fresh, how goes it? i am curious of your opinion on a couple of things. besides the top dogs is it just me or is welterweight a dead fish right now? i remember a little while back it was the “it” division, fights to be made that people dreamed to see, then all the sudden its kinda… weak…full of people that are not supposed to be there other then a few names. is this the case?

second thing, i was watching some bob foster videos and it dawned on me, him and mike mccallum have very similar styles. moving but always in your face, working behind a long constant jab that often goes back to the hip. big difference, of course, is bob’s wild power. Also, i guess like james toney, too. wondering if I’m the only person that thinks this.

not at all like I’m a huge carl froch fan but seems like this guy is majorly slept on. He’s got a very impressive resume. why doesn’t he make many people’s pound for pound list. i think carl is a hell of a problem for anyone not named andre ward. i’m not guna dookie on the p4p list of the ring but i think carl’s got more right to be in there than alverez (who i think has a very bright future). thoughts? – a.p.

Feel free to take a nice, healthy dookie on THE RING’s Pound-For-Pound ratings. In the immortal words of KRS-One, it’s “Wic-Wic-Whack.”

I agree that Froch is WAAAAAAAY more deserving of a top-10 spot than Canelo in the so-called mythical rankings. The Cobra is also more deserving of a spot than Broner, IMO (along with Guillermo Rigondeaux, Vitali Klitschko, Roman Gonzalez, Kazuto Ioka, and a few others).

Why doesn’t the super middleweight badass make many people’s P4P lists? F__k if I know. My guess is that it has something do with everyone’s fetish for unbeaten records (or extended unbeaten streaks).

I think Foster was closer to McCallum than Toney in that he was more of a technician than a slick boxer (although he definitely had some savvy moves to go with his one-punch KO power). But in truth, I never really compared Foster with The Body Snatcher or Lights Out.

His tall boney frame, long reach, fighting heart and bone-crunching power always made me put Foster in boxing’s “explosive thin men” club that includes hall of famers such as Jimmy Wilde, Sandy Saddler, Alexis Arguello, Danny Lopez and, of course, Thomas Hearns.  

The welterweight division is certainly shallow compared to the way it was five years ago. However, I think it has potential, which might be realized in the next 12-18 months. I think undefeated UK talent Kell Brook is the goods and I believe unbeaten puncher Keith Thurman is rapidly developing into a 147-pound player.

There are also lighter-weight standouts that are clearly headed to welterweight. Danny Garcia and Amir Khan have both stated on record that their days at 140 pounds are numbered, while Adrien Broner and Brandon Rios are both in high-profile welterweight bouts (vs. Malignaggi and Pacquiao, respectively) that they could win. If they do, I think they will stay at 147, adding more star power and personality to a division that Mayweather, Marquez and Tim Bradley already call home.

MARES, MAYWEATHER & WHITAKER

Mr. Douglass Fischer,

I have a few questions that I’ll lay out in order:

First, Abner Mares surprisingly manhandled Daniel Ponce De Leon. How do you think he’d do against Donaire or Rigo?

Second, Mayweather moved a lot more than he has in recent fights, which combined with accurate pot shots made Guerrero look like a sparring partner. People usually refer to May as a defensive wizard, but how would he fare against Sweet Pea Whitaker? Who had the better defense? Best. – Niku from South Michigan

I’ll gotta go with Sweet Pea’s “D” over Mayweather’s. Whitaker proved hard to hit against more slick and savvy world-class boxers (who were in or near their primes) than Floyd has. Whitaker made Floyd’s uncle Roger, Anthony “Baby” Jones, Harold Brazier, Freddie Pendleton, Buddy McGirt and future hall of famer Azumah Nelson miss with their best shots.

Mayweather really hasn’t faced many (if any) pure boxers or savvy sorts. He faced one crafty veteran with moves (Emanuel Augustus, who tagged him and made him miss), a couple fast southpaw boxers (Judah and Chop Chop), and a few solid technicians with good jabs (Castillo, De La Hoya and Cotto), and though he made the right adjustments against all of them (except for in the first Castillo bout), he was hit more than usual in those bouts. A faded version of Whitaker gave a prime De La Hoya fits in ’97. ‘Nuff said.

But to be fair, Whitaker was hit more than usual when he was in with unorthodox fighters, such as Jorge Paez and undefeated-but-unheralded Poli Diaz from Spain.

I think Mares would more than hold his own with Donaire or Rigo (which is not an opinion I held two years ago). I thought Donaire would ice Mares at 118 pounds. I thought Rigo had the wrong style for Mares (prior to Abner’s fight with Anselmo Moreno). Now my gut tells me he can beat either man on a good night.

Still, I’d like to see Rigo fight a few more world-class opponents and I’d like to see Donaire fight at 126 pounds before I really form a hard opinion.

 

 

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

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