Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

WHAT A NIGHT!

Dude, I can’t believe Darnell Boone survived longer then the Light Heavy weight champ!

Then there was the really entertaining and surprise ending to the Erislandy Lara-Alfredo Angulo fight, followed by the all action Marcos Maidana-Josesito Lopez fight.

For a guy who had a terrible Saturday with two sick kids; a few drinks and the above mentioned fights really made up for things.

So what do you think is in store for the winners and the losers? I would like to see Adonis Stevenson take on the winner of Lucian Bute/Jean Pascal, Lara with Miguel Cotto and Maidana against Luis Abregu in an all-Argentine 147-pound showdown. (I really can’t wait for Lucas Matthysse to move up to 147…but Danny Garcia first!).– Deryk, Ottawa

For as long as Maidana and Matthysse keep knocking guys out, hardcore heads are going to clamor for them to slug it out. I can see it happening sometime in 2014 or maybe 2015, and if it’s promoted right it’s a showdown that can attract 15,000 to Staples Center in L.A. or the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (which would be quite an accomplishment for a main event that does not involve an American, Mexican or Puerto Rican fighter here in the U.S.).

In the meantime, I think we’ll see Maidana, who now holds the WBA’s “interim” welterweight belt, challenge the winner of the June 22 WBA title bout between beltholder Paul Malignaggi and Adrien Broner.

As for Lopez, I think he’s earned a bit of break after facing Saul Alvarez and Maidana in punishing back-to-back bouts. I expect to see him back in the ring in September, probably headlining a Thompson Boxing card against a solid-but-second-tier opponent in Ontario, Calif. I think Lopez needs a confidence building victory or two before he gets back into the high-profile welterweight mix.

I don’t see Lara getting Cotto. I think the Cuban is after a title shot, anyway.

Stevenson and Pascal have the same promoter, Yvon Michel, who may not want to pit them against each other so soon. If Pascal beats Bute, he may want the former champ to purse a lucrative third match with Bernard Hopkins, while he secures Stevenson a few title defenses to help develop the power-puncher into an international television attraction while building his local fan base.

If Bute beats Pacal on Dec. 7, I can see Michel at least considering a showdown between the Romanian and the new light heavyweight champ. (I’d give Stevenson a very good shot at checking Bute’s chin before the middle rounds of that matchup.)

I have no idea where Dawson goes from this past Saturday’s disaster. I don’t know if he had a rematch clause with Stevenson, but if he does, I think it would be wise not to enact it. It’s hard enough to rebound from back-to-back KO losses; bouncing back from three consecutive stoppages might be impossible in this day and age.

Regarding the journeyman’s journeyman, Darnell Boone, hey, the Youngstown, Ohio native had a got a good chin to go with his underrated, cagey boxing ability. Even the fighters who stopped him (with the exception of Marco Antonio Periban), were given hell in their first bouts with Boone, who stopped Stevenson in two rounds the first time they met.

So Boone owns a KO victory over the new light heavyweight champ and he can claim to have dropped the reigning super middleweight champ, Andre Ward, when they fought back in 2005. Not too shabby for a guy with 21 losses.

MAIDANA-LOPEZ

Hi Doug,

I hope you are doing great.

Maidana and Lopez had a hell of a fight. I really enjoyed it while it lasted.

However, after watching the final presser, I was just wondering about the output for the training camp Maidana had with Brandon Rios as a sparring partner. I was looking for any article in the magazine to confirm if I missed it. Do you know what the output was? If you have anything related, it would be great to read it.

After this, where do you see both (Maidana and Lopez) going? Regards. – Jorge

Maidana is going to get a title shot. Lopez has to get back in line.

Regarding Maidana’s camp and sparring experience with Rios, I’m afraid I’m not sure what you mean by “output”? Are you asking me how many rounds he sparred with Rios, or for how long during camp?

I don’t have those details. (Unfortunately a back injury prevented me from visiting Robert Garcia’s gym in Oxnard a few weeks before Saturday’s fight.)

However, a few days before the fight, Garcia told me that Maidana had a 2½-month camp in Oxnard and that Rios had served as the Argentine Hammer’s “main sparring partner.”

Garcia said Maidana worked with bigger guys – Guyana middleweight Simeon Hardy (10-0, 7 KOs) and a junior middleweight from Lithuania whose name he couldn’t recall – during the first half of camp and then switched to Rios and local (Oxnard-based) welterweight prospect Andrew Ruiz (6-0, 4 KOs) for the second half.

Garcia wanted Rios in with Maidana because “Bam Bam” would give his fighter the caliber of resistance “Chino” would need in order to deal with Lopez’s slugging style. Rios also forced Maidana to box and work on the finer points of the sport in spots. However, for the most part, Garcia said they “went at it.”

“There were rounds I had to close my eyes,” he said. “They didn’t hold back on each other, but they hugged after each sparring session. Brandon was really happy to help out.”

A GREAT NIGHT FOR BOXING FANS

Hey Doug,

I spent Saturday night hitting the back button over and over on my TV remote switching from HBO to Showtime because I just couldn’t wait until later to see the bouts on DVR. Although there was good and bad the good far outweighed the bad.

Yuriorkis Gamboa was a disappointment. I was used to him flying in like the cartoon version of the Tazmanian Devil and scoring a KO and sometimes getting dropped. I realize that he was stepping up and was in there with a credible opponent and needed to play it differently but it seemed that he phoned it in on Saturday. Maybe a couple of those left hooks that Darleys Perez cracked him with changed his mind. Do you think we are seeing something like the change that occurred in Hector Camacho after Edwin Rosario hit him hard and he went from Macho Man to back pedaling? Where does Gamboa go from here? Who would be a good next opponent for him that could excite the fans but who he could be competitive with?

Maidana and Lopez went the way I initially thought it would but for a few moments I thought that Lopez might pull the upset. He was mixing boxing and pure punching and looked to be gaining the upper hand when he then pulled a Billy Conn and elected to slug it out. Bad mistake but man was it exciting to watch. It is clear that you can never count Marcos Maidana out. His options, it seems, are unlimited as to future opponents and the possibility of Maidana-Broner is off the charts exciting.

Angulo and Lara was another that had me shouting. It was one of those examples of will versus skill. When Angulo started to connect with the left hook and dropped and hurt Lara I could not help but root for him. I have always enjoyed watching him fight and it looked like he might take Lara out but “Landy” really impressed with his heart, determination and it goes without saying, a world-class skill set. After the fight Angulo reminded me of Hasim Rahman after the (head-butt) fight with Evander Holyfield. I hope he is OK and is able to fight again. (MAN that hurt to just look at.)

Finally, Dawson vs Stevenson. The few times I have seen Dawson fight (victories and defeats) I was amazed that a guy with so many tools and skills could fight with so little fire or passion. He just did not seem to want to be there. There were times I saw him when I thought that all he had to do was let his hands go and it would be easy for him but he fought with such a ho hum attitude. What happened Saturday did not really surprise me much.

The scene and the punch reminded me of the one shot KO of Paul Williams by Sergio Martinez. I thought the stoppage was a good one. Someone else I felt bad for was Dawson’s trainer Eddie Mustapha Muhammad. I used to watch him methodically break guys down back in the 70s when he was the light heavy champ and was still known as Eddie Gregory. He is a top trainer now and to have his charge just blasted out like that must be a bummer of the first degree. As for Adonis Stevenson, what is next for him?

To be honest, I have not seen that much of him. Is he that good and that dangerous a puncher? Everyone he said he wanted next, Jim Lampley said would all be bad choices. What would be a logical next step for him?

One more thing…just my view on the upcoming Malignaggi-Broner fight. Paulie is a fine boxer but the kid couldn’t break an egg. I see Broner kicking the crap out of Paulie who will ultimately just be fighting to hear the final bell. I don’t like Broner and find him to be an obnoxious pr__k but that’s just how I think the fight will go… but it would thrill me to see Paulie box Broner silly (fat chance, though).

Always interested to hear YOUR thoughts. – David, Nashville

I think Malignaggi’s jab and footwork can pose problems for Broner but the difference in this fight will be power. When Broner is able to time Malignaggi right and land his quick combos, Paulie, the fans and the judges will take notice.

I don’t care who Stevenson fights next as long as his fight is televised in the U.S. I never get tired of watching bona-fide power punchers. A solid opponent for the newly crowned RING/WBC champ, in my opinon, would be WBA beltholder Beibut Shumenov, who hasn’t fought since last June. Shumenov is a durable, physically strong light heavyweight who has an unorthodox slugging style that should mesh well with Stevenson’s puncher-boxer technique.

Another guy I’d like to see Stevenson fight is 175-pound puncher Sergei Kovalev, who recently iced Gabriel Campillo – who gave both Shumenov and Tavoris Cloud hell in distance bouts – in just three rounds.

Stevenson’s stoppage of Dawson was more of a great punch than a great KO, if you follow me. He put Dawson down, but Dawson got back up and would have continued (though not for very long) had the ref allowed him. Williams didn’t get up when Martinez nailed him in their rematch. He didn’t even move or quiver as that silly ref counted a full 10 count with the poor southpaw face down, blankly staring at the canvas. THAT was a great KO.

I also hope that Angulo is OK. I think it’s clear that he suffered broken or cracked eye socket, which will take some time to heal. He’s earned the rest with that gutsy performance on Saturday. I gotta admit, he showed me power and persistence against Lara that I didn’t believe he had anymore.

Lara showed me heart and grit I’ve never seen him have to display before. Both junior middleweights dug deep in their brutally beautiful, fast-paced boxer-vs.-pressure fighter matchup.

I think you’re going to get the Broner-Maidana showdown you want to see, hopefully this year.

I enjoyed watching Gamboa-Perez about as much as I enjoyed watching Charlo-Hopkins – which is not at all. I know there are a lot of hardcore Twitter Nation boxing fans who are into the Cuban’s speed and athleticism – and the fact that he’s promoted by 50 Cent – but, man, “Gamby” just doesn’t do it for me. I don’t care to see that muscle-bound midget bounce around the ring ever again.

However, if he does get back on HBO (and I’m sure he will), I think the right opponent for him is WBO lightweight titleholder Ricky Burns, who is vulnerable to a faster opponent but also skilled, experienced and game as hell. Win, lose or draw, I think Burns would force Gamby to fight a fight worth watching.

ADONIS

Doug –

Stevenson vs Ward and B-Hop: what happens? – Kevin Key, Des Moines, Iowa

Stevenson has the proverbial “puncher’s chance” against anybody in the 168- and 175-pound division. He’s in the elite punching class of Lucas Matthysse, Gennady Golovkin and Marcos Maidana.  

However, I think both Ward and The Immortal B-Hop would come prepared for Stevenson’s vaunted power and would put on a focused boxing clinic, outpointing the southpaw puncher over 12 rounds. I wouldn’t be shocked if Ward KO’d the KO artist.

SAD CHAD

I will make this quick. How much of Chad’s early championship success, and recent championship failures, have to do with him fighting mostly older guys before, and in his last couple of fights facing younger, fresher guys? Pascal, Ward, and Stevenson are the only 3 world class guys he has faced not belonging to the 40′s club. He lost all 3. Coincidence?

What’s next for him? Did he have a rematch clause? If not maybe Tavoris Cloud? – Jabre

I think Dawson-Cloud would be an interesting style matchup and potential TV fight. Both former light heavyweight titleholders are in desperate need of a high-profile victory after humiliating HBO-televised defeats.   

Interesting question about Dawson’s prime. I think he squandered it to a degree by fighting Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver in back-to-back-to-back-to-back bouts. Had he been facing young guns in 2008 and 2009 maybe he would been in more entertaining bouts and developed a more aggressive style.

Having said that, you forgot that he beat Tomasz Adamek for his first world title. He also outclassed Adrian Diaconu and was competitive with Pascal. I wouldn’t call Dawson a fraud. But he’s lacked passion and consistency inside the ring and outside of it (with his revolving door of trainers).

HBO

Doug,

It’s been a while. I have a question regarding HBO. What is the future direction with HBO boxing? I’m very confused as a boxing fan. The majority (not all) fighters and broadcasts lately have been non-American. Example(s) Sergio Martinez vs. Macklin was broadcasted in Argentina, no American fighters. Kessler vs Froch II was broadcasted in England, no American fighters. This weekend Chad Dawson is fighting but it’s broadcasting in Canada, then Macklin vs GGG and Oosthuizen all Euros it’s the 2nd after Mikey and Juanma in the States and no American fighters in the main event. After that were off to Macau with Zou Shiming.

We don’t get Tim Bradley vs JM Marquez till October for a well-known American fighter. Mikey Garcia and Terrence Crawford aren’t known yet. Then back to Macau in November, not in the states with Pacman (non-American) vs Rios. That’s the entire 2013 year; so again, what’s up with the direction of HBO, and broadcasting in America now and showing American fighters in the future? It just completely stopped.

Is it because of Al Haymon? – Khalif

Blame Bob. LOL. Seriously, Arum is now HBO’s main boxing supplier and he doesn’t have a lot of American fighters who are current stars or potential stars. If Bradley defeats Marquez in the type of battle he narrowly beat Provodnikov in early this year, he’ll be one of HBO’s stars, along with Andre Ward.

And it should be clear to you that HBO’s interest in Golovkin and Froch is, in part, the network’s strategy in developing future pay-per-view caliber B-sides for Ward.

Beyond the super middleweight champ (and co-commentator) and Bradley, HBO has Rios, Mike Alvardo (who will return on the network in October or November in his hometown of Denver) and Garcia – all world-class red-blooded Americans.

It should be noted that American lightweight prospect Terrance Crawford is in the televised co-featured bout to the Garcia-Lopez fight this Saturday in Dallas, and American 154-pound prospect Willie Nelson is on the Golovkin-Macklin undercard (the opening televised bout).

There’s no doubt that there’s more of an international push on HBO than there has been in the past, but I don’t see anything wrong with that as long as the non-American fighters and fights that are televised are quality and entertaining. Boxing is an international sport, and it’s more popular in a few other countries than it is in the U.S. Some of the biggest boxing events in the world take place outside of the U.S., so if HBO is supposed to be leader in boxing programming, shouldn’t they be there?

Another thing to keep in mind is that the world is a lot smaller now thanks to the internet. When I became a hardcore boxing fan in the late ‘80s/early ‘90s I would hear and read about excellent Asian boxers – such recent hall of fame inductee Myung Woo Yuh, of South Korea – or popular UK sluggers like Liverpool’s Paul Hodkinson – but I never got to see them.

These days, hardcore fans get to see the best overseas fighters and they want to see those boxers face the best of America (or the world) in the U.S. and on U.S. TV.

By the way, it’s nothing new for an American network to travel to foreign locations for boxing. ABC’s Wide World of Sports did it many times (Marvin Hagler won the middleweight title in England and ABC was there). Showtime showcased Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank during their super middleweight title reigns in the mid-90s (and the network gave American fans their first look at Naseem Hamed, Joe Calzaghe and Vitali Klitchko with European broadcasts).

And finally, many non-American boxers – including Ruben Olivares, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Felix Trinidad and, in recent years, Pacquiao – have proved that they can be just as popular in the U.S. as they are in their own countries.

Hard-punching standouts like Golovkin, Matthysse and Stevenson aren’t known to American sports fans or casual boxing fans yet, but given the right fights and exposure, they could be. 

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