Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

MIKEY GARCIA VS. JUANMA LOPEZ

I actually think this will be a better fight than most people expect. Orlando Salido would always make Lopez look bad and make Garcia look great. Styles make fights. I’m picking Garcia, but I’m seeing a distance win for him. Maybe 116-112 for Garcia in a very technical but intense boxing match. – Tyler K.

You might be right about the outcome and the way the fight goes tomorrow, Tyler. I think it will be a competitive fight and I’m hoping for shootout.

You’re definitely right about styles making fights. Just because Fighter-A beats Fighter-B, who beat Fighter-C, it doesn’t automatically mean he’s gonna whup Fighter-C.

Fighter-B might have had Fighter-C’s number. And Fighter-C just might kick Fighter-A’s ass.

There are too many high-profile examples of this to list out, but the most famous example is the Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier/Ken Norton-George Foreman round robin. Frazier and Norton gave Ali hell, Foreman squashed Frazier and Norton like insects, but Ali took Big George’s best shots and then knocked him out. Ya gotta love boxing! My favorite styles-make-fights example is 1980s middleweight slugger Iran Barkley’s mixed results fighting two future hall of famers – Thomas Hearns and Roberto Duran. Barkley went 2-0 vs. the Hitman – took Hearns’ best for two rounds before landing his own fight-ending bomb in the third at middleweight and then just plain out-slugged the ATG over 12 at light heavyweight – but the Bronx Blade was outboxed and outfought en route to losing his middleweight title to Duran, who was KTFO by Hearns at junior middleweight.  

We’ll see what happens with Garcia and Lopez.

JUANMA NO. 10!?!?

Dougie,

Hope all is well. I am looking forward to seeing this weekend’s fight between Juan Manuel Lopez and Mikey Garcia. It’s a pretty good style match up, especially with JuanMa’s tendency to fade late in longer fights and Garcia’s significant KO percentage.

My question is about Lopez’s place in THE RING’s featherweight rankings. After such a brilliant start to his career do you think it’s fair to drop him as far as No.10 because of his difficulties with one opponent? You’re always saying that boxers who take meaningful fights should not be punished or found to be “exposed” after one or two losses. He holds a TKO over Daniel Ponce DeLeon who’s ranked 5th. I understand JuanMa took a year off but a 6-1 underdog?? That’s insane right?

Take care, Doug. – WS

I think Lopez is better than a 6-to-1 underdog (2-to-1 underdog sounds about right to me), but his RING featherweight ranking can be debated. As a former 126-pound titleholder, I can see an argument to have him rated over undefeated young contenders Javier Fortuna (No. 9) and Nicholas Walters (No. 8). However, you have to remember three things: 1. Lopez was dropped from the rankings after the Puerto Rico Professional Boxing Commission suspended him for one year (of which he only served 11 months); 2. He hasn’t beaten any world-beaters since coming back; and 3. The bulk of Lopez’s resume is at 122 pounds (where he blasted Ponce DeLeon), not 126 pounds.

Lopez has two really good featherweight victories – his WBO title-winning TKO of Steven Lueveno in January of 2010 and his eighth-round stoppage of faded-but-still dangerous Rafael Marquez in 2011. Those wins were basically cancelled out by his two beatdowns to Salido.

The good news for the Puerto Rican southpaw is that he’s in position to remind the boxing world about what made him special at 122 pounds and when he first stepped up to 126, and if he beats Garcia, he’ll be THE RING/WBO featherweight champ.

BLOODY BRAWL

Hey Douglas.

Regarding the previous weekend:

There’s no doubt that Adonis Stevenson scored the punch of the night when he blasted Chad Dawson into a numbing stupor. And as a fellow Canadian I enjoyed every minute of that one single round!

Marcos Maidana also looked pretty potent there with his pounding out of tough guy Josesito Lopez. But for me the clear fight of the night was the bloody Erislandy Lara-Alfredo Angulo brawl. It was also the fight that, for me, raised the most questions.

Let’s start with Angulo. There’s no question that this guy can really crack. Noticed that practically everyone he fought so far has found themselves tasting the canvas, including his conquerors Lara and James Kirkland?

On the other hand, Angulo took a real beating down the stretch from Kirkland and an even more brutal one from Lara. The glaring issues with this guy is that he flames out pretty quickly and is ridiculously easy to hit.

I’m just wondering how much that all that punishment in just two fights is going to take its toll on the guy. Angulo has still yet to beat a top-10 guy (as far as I know) and I’m curious about his chances of still being a factor in even the division’s lower top 10.

As for Lara, his beatdown of Angulo was certainly good enough to earn him a world title shot. Pardon my refusal though to recognize Lara as the world’s best 154 pounder like some other fans are already doing. Yeah, if you throw Lara in against a one-dimensional brawler like Angulo or a weak-chinned fringe contender like Ronald Hearns then the Cuban will look like a prime Marvin Hagler. The problem is that Saul Alvarez doesn’t lead with his face nor would he crumble on the first contact. Same goes with Floyd Mayweather, Austin Trout, and for that matter the last top-5 guy Lara fought, Vane Martirosyan. Not that I would want to see Lara and Vanes share the same ring again. But you know what I’m getting at here.

Unless Lara scores a quick knockout or is able to land his big left at will then he gets thrown of his game and ends up looking like s__t.

Maybe I’m just being too critical here. Against Angulo, Lara fought his ass off harder than what we’re used to seeing and maybe now that that fire has been ignited up his you-know-what he will indeed be kicking more major ass in his upcoming fights.

I guess my question for you is how Lara would do against guys like Canelo or Mayweather or even a full-fledged middleweight like Maravilla or Golovkin? Is Lara a championship caliber fighter or is he just the kind of guy who only looks good against brainless brawlers who come straight at him with their chins hanging out looking all nice and available? – Dave

Lara is a legit top-five junior middleweight contender. I think he deserves a title shot and I believe that on a good night he would give Martinez, Golovkin, Mayweather and Alvarez hell; he might even beat one or two of those guys.

However, if he doesn’t have a good night, I can see those guys giving him hell (I think GGG would knock him out). Lara is skilled, talented and I think he proved against Angulo that he’s got heart. But I think he showed us that he’s far from invincible even before he twice hit the deck against Angulo. Paul Williams showed that he can be outworked (even though P-Will didn’t deserve that decision). Carlos Molina showed that he could be frustrated by a crafty boxer. Angulo showed us that his chin isn’t exactly an anvil.

Angulo also showed that he can be made uncomfortable when the pace is set on him. However, only the best 154 and 160 pounders will beat Lara.

Speaking of Angulo, I think the combined punishment he took in the Kirkland and Lara fights have probably taken their toll and we may never see him realize the potential he seemed to have just three years ago. Having said that, I thought he was shopworn going into the Lara fight. I didn’t think he’d land any significant punches, let alone get to Lara’s body and hurt and drop the former amateur star. So maybe I shouldn’t write “El Perro” off just yet.

BLOOD ‘N GUTS

Hey Doug!

You didn’t get back to me this past Monday. No problem. I’ll try for the Friday edition! After all, a lot of really tough-ass, blood and guts s__t happened over the past weekend!

Starting with Marcos Maidana’s demolition of Lopez; actually, in that fourth round it looked like Lopez was going to hammer Maidana’s brain cells into mush prior to making him his little zombie bitch! But if there’s one guy who can take a real serious ass-kicking and come back to knock the other guy the f__k out, it’s Maidana.

Simply put, Maidana left Lopez feeling all completely empty inside after pounding the living f__k out of him!

What’s this bulls__t again with these know-nothings declaring that Maidana has no power at welter!? Try explaining that to Lopez! Maidana’s right hits like a friggin’ freight-train and his body-shots can knock the puke out of a gorilla. Anyways, to deny this guy a title shot now would be pure and utter horses__t! Of course, if he doesn’t get one straight away I’m all for Marcos swapping powershots with another badass like Ruslan Provo or Keith Thuraman.

Lara-Angulo. When I mentioned “blood and guts s__t” I especially meant this fight in particular. For the most part Lara stinks out the joint with this uglier-than-s__t style! But this bout was a real brutal war! For his part, Lara showed a pair of balls bigger than the sinkhole in Butterbean’s sofa by surviving two big knockdowns and battering Angulo’s face into a mangled heap of roadkill!

Of course Angulo’s problem has always been his tendency to leave his face wide open like some cheap, sex-crazed hooker!

Overall, it was definitely Lara’s best performance since beating up the defensively-challenged Paul Williams. Bottom line: Throw Lara in with a division full of P-Wills, Angulos, and other face-first brawlers and the Cuban will kick some serious ass!

Stevenson-Dawson: Two big thumbs up for Stevenson for winning a genuine world title the way it’s supposed to be won! By going out there and wiping out the f__ker! I was never a Dawson fan anyways! For all his considerable skill, Drab Chad often “fought” like a real p__sy. He might as well grab a rag and go plug himself for all his troubles.

As for Stevenson, his first-round blitz of Dawson was the shot of juice sorely needed for this division full of crusty old farts and uneven performers.

I know it’s not likely we’ll see the ass-kicking Canadian go straight after Andre Ward or Carl Froch but how about an all out Canada vs Russia war between Stevenson and Sergei Kovalev? If that fight ever gets held in Montreal I’ll be trampling over the ticket stand and the ticket-guy himself to see that one up close and person! Friggin right!

Altogether the fights we just saw won’t change the world or save it from planet-bashing asteroids but they certainly proved that our sport still kicks ass and had us bloodthirsty bastards all pumped up for more! To Maidana and Stevenson in particular, CHEERS!! Thanks guys! – Triple T

And thank you for your unbridled (and uncensored) enthusiasm, TTT. Like you my favorite fight of last Saturday was Lara-Angulo scrap. It delivered blood and guts, as you mentioned (and thankfully not s__t, which should never be paired with “blood and guts”). I agree that it was by far Lara’s best pro performance.

My guess is that Maidana will get the major title shot he wants with the winner of next week’s Malignaggi-Broner fight, maybe before the end of the year. The only way I see Maidana fighting The Thurmanator is if he wins a title or One-Time Keith wins one before he does.

I think Provodnikov is going to stay in the HBO/Top Rank boxing league for the foreseeable future, which rules out a showdown with Maidana. Too bad. That would be a good one.

So would Stevenson-Kovalev. Like you, I’d pay to see that fight. Hopefully, HBO is willing to pay for it so the power-puncher clash can become a reality. Of course, Kovalev has to get by Cornelius White tonight (on NBC Sports Net) before we can really talk about this potential fight.

THUMBING

Doug,

I think Angulo and Virgil Hunter need to cool it with “thumbing” accusations that have been thrown Lara’s way. It’s 2013, we have replay, and I can clearly see the punch that caused that massive swelling. To take away from Lara’s performance that way is slightly disgraceful for two professionals.

I’ve written you before expressing how much I like Maidana, and watching his heart and underrated skill in defeating Lopez was as big a thrill as I get from the sport. There isn’t anyone I wouldn’t love to see him fight. I’ve read that he had to fight Matthysse to get on the Olympic team and won. If they fight again in the future, do you think Maidana will have a psychological edge because of that? Thank you. – Byron, Columbia, MO

I don’t think Maidana or Matthysse are the kind of fighters who get “psyched up” or “psyched out” based on things that happened in the past. I don’t think they’re the kind of guys who look for psychological edges. They’ve got bone-crunching power, that’s all the edge they need.

I agree that Maidana has some underrated boxing ability (not as much as Matthysse – but it’s clear that he’s got better balance and has polished up his technique a bit). I also agree that he would make for a good fight vs. any 147-pound fighter not named Mayweather or Devon Alexander.

I don’t think anyone is buying the “thumbing” accusation. Even if part of the thumb area of Lara’s glove hit Angulo’s eye, it obviously wasn’t done on purpose. Lara was just letting his hands go as he had all night, and Angulo was walking right into those shots as he had all night. Something had to give. It was either going to be Lara’s chin or Angulo’s face.

HOW IS STEVENSON LIGHT HEAVY CHAMP?

Good morning Dougie,
I can’t understand how Stevenson is now The Ring’s LHW champ.

The Ring’s LHW page, in The Ring’s ratings tab, on The Ring’s own website, states that…

Championship vacancies can be filled in the following two ways:
1. THE RING’s Nos. 1 and 2 contenders fight one another. (Stevenson was previously rated as number 9)
2. If the Nos. 1 and 2 contenders chose not to fight one another and either of them fights No. 3, No. 4 or No. 5, the winner may be awarded THE RING belt if the Editorial Board deems the contenders worthy. (Stevenson was rated at number 9)

How has Stevenson has managed to become the ring LHW champ when he fits neither of the 2 criteria specified by The Ring. What is the point of rules and policy if they are ignored?

P.S. Come to think of it, doesn’t the same query apply to Broner and his suspicious rise to the top of the LW tree? – Confused, England

No, it doesn’t. Broner fought THE RING’s No. 1-rated lightweight, Antonio DeMarco, and beat the crap out of the veteran. Nothing suspicious about that beatdown or Broner taking DeMarco’s place.

THE RING ratings rules/policy that you refer to apply to the VACANT titles (key words: “Championship vacancies”).

Dawson and Stevenson weren’t fighting for the vacant RING title. Dawson was the defending champion. He got knocked out by Stevenson, who won the title.

 

 

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

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