Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

CARL FROCH VS. GEORGE GROVES

Hi Doug,

When I heard this was confirmed 2 words sprang to mind; lamb and slaughter. What’s your thoughts on this matchup? Cheers. – Cogs, Belfast

I don’t think Groves is quite ready for a world titleholder as smart and battle-tested as Froch, but I don’t think he will be slaughtered by “the Cobra.”

I believe Groves has the amateur foundation, talent and physical tools to give any 168 pounder in the world a run for his money, even a card carrying badass like Froch.

Something to keep in mind is that it might be difficult for Froch to be mentally up to fight a “kid” like Groves after all the major fights against elite boxers, titleholders and former champs that he’s been in.

On the flip side, the 25-year-oldLondon native will be more motivated than ever going into this showdown. And I don’t think Groves will be without confidence, either, having outpointed Glen Johnson in more dominant fashion than Froch did and having an Olympic gold medalist (cross-town rival James DeGale) on his resume.

I could be wrong but I think Froch is going to have to be at his absolute best to defend his titles against the unbeaten young challenger.

THOUGHTS FROM RANDY’S DONUTS

what’s up dougie… since the maxboxing days, i’ve read the mailbag and probably sent 1, maybe 2, emails every other year… waiting for a slow period in big-time, big-name quality matchups – notwitstanding chisora-scott – before i wrote again… perfect time to ask about less-mentioned mythical matchups and other boxing news… in order:

1. del boy vs. malik scott?… well, chisora doesn’t look bad (still not great) when he’s in better shape (what boxer doesnt?)… he wasn’t taking a beating, but i think he was clearly behind on points to scott, who has a hell of a skillset but has two problems: one, he can’t crack an egg… and two, despite being an AMERICAN heavyweight with decent fundamentals, is about as exciting as breadcrumbs or a midseason baseball game…why he took the loss in stride, almost no protest, is baffling… questionable ending on many fronts (ref, scott’s reaction, frank warren… i could go on and include all sorts of US/UK bullshyt)

2. concluding thoughts to this slow weekend: quick mention to john molina, always cool to see an out-of-nowhere comeback in boxing (last one i remember was bredis prescott getting gassed and clocked; was that to mike alvarado?)

3. quickly, do you ever catch the fights at hollywood park?…with the track closing soon, maybe boxing in inglewood will return as the sport of the town without NBA or NHL (forum boxing was cool)… i’m sure i’ll go soon, but haven’t noticed any ‘names’ on the card despite being a reasonably knowledgeable boxing fan

4. mythical matchups, you knew they were coming… a few that haven’t been discussed, if at all:

—mike tyson (post-buster, pre-real deal) vs. riddick bowe (pre-golota): lewis/holyfield, tyson/holyfield, lewis/tyson all happened too late, lewis/bowe not at all (as pros)… this is the fight I’d want to see most… though 6-4 or 6-5, big daddy didn’t mind mixing it up inside, thus giving iron mike a chance as most tall, stand-up heavies gave tyson a problem… the bowe in holyfield/bowe 1 gives tyson all kinds of fits… bowe had a better-than-above-average chin, tyson’s ‘iron’, but all the close-range action will still take their toll on the relatively young fighters, and if not a early 1st or 2nd rd KO, id say tyson by late KO– that’s my heart talking, my head wants to go with bowe…what say you d-fish?

—if we could add one more to the mid-80s ‘big 4′ (hagler, hearns, leonard, duran) and that one was aaron pryor, how does the hawk fare…marvelous marv would be too big for him, he’d get smothered, fight most likely cant happen, but the others sound like good scraps…style-wise, duran wins in a back-an-forth slugfest (maybe goes all 15), hitman probably wins by KO in a six-round shootout (hearns would fade if he doesn’t score KO b/f rd 6), leaving pryor’s best matchup with leonard… i have no prediction for that last one, a toss-up for me… plus, this is the hawk pre-arguello (jesus, let’s not get crazy, give pryor a chance, at least pretend the second arguello fight didn’t happen) and unfortunately these bouts have to be at 147 (140 by far his best)

—i was going to ask broner vs. the 140 contenders, but by skipping the class altogether, maybe ‘the problem’ saw ‘problems’ at jr welter and answered the question for me (matthyse, garcia, rios, peterson, alvarado – s__t, add super zab to that list)

later doug…to paraphrase tony montana, in words and in meaning, “keep up the bad work”… nice talking to you. – jack, drinkin coffee at randy’s donuts

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jack. I didn’t know Randy’s Donuts was equipped with WiFi. I might have to swing by with my trusty laptop one morning.

Anyway, I’ll start with your mythical matchups and work my way up…

I think all of the junior welterweight standouts you mentioned, including Judah, would give Broner a serious run for his money. I wouldn’t count The Problem out but I wouldn’t strongly favor him over any of those guys.

I think Pryor was a monster at lightweight and junior welterweight, but he never fought at 147 pounds and he didn’t appear to have the physical frame to effectively carry the extra seven pounds. The fact that Pryor had to dig very deep (perhaps to the bottom of the special bottle that Panama Lewis mixed for him) to beat Alexis Arguello, a great fighter, no doubt, but one who began his career at bantamweight and won his first world title at featherweight, makes me think that The Hawk was too small to best the members of the Big Four club.

Hagler was way too big, strong and technically sound for Pryor to deal with. That would have been a blowout. Duran and Pryor would have went at it and it would have been beautiful brutality but Hands of Stone was sharper, smarter and physically stronger than Cincinnati’s ghetto hero. I think Duran would have stopped Pryor late had they fought at 147. I think he goes the distance with Hands of Stone in lightweight and 140-pound bouts, but still loses on points. Pryor, who beat a 17-year-old Hearns in the amateurs, would trouble the pro version of the Hitman with his relentless, bobbing-and-weaving pressure, but the moment Hearns found enough distance to land his straight right the fight would end abruptly. Leonard’s my guy, so maybe I’m biased, but I think Ray just has too much of everything for Pryor to deal with. It would be a good fight but I envision Leonard in control most of the time. I like Leonard by unanimous decision or late TKO.   

Even the post-Douglas version of Tyson had a good shot to beat Bowe, who would have been a little start struck fighting Iron Mike (being a native of the Brownsville section of Brooklyn). But if we’re talking about the 235-pound version of Bowe who beat Holyfield in their classic first bout, I think Big Daddy would have survived a few wobbly moments to score a late TKO. If we’re talking about the heavier, less-motivated version of Bowe that fought the Real Deal in the rematch and rubber match, I can see Tyson landing a fight-ending hook by the middle rounds. If Tyson landed the kind of sweeping left hook that Holyfield dropped Bowe with in their third fight, Big Daddy would not have gotten up.

I’ll go over your numbered points in order:

1) Chisora is what he is – a heavyweight gatekeeper. Nothing wrong with that. Scott has the talent and skill to be more than a gatekeeper; however, while I believe he has the most ability among American heavyweights, I don’t consider him to be the best U.S.-born big man (that distinction belongs to Tony Thompson IMO). Scott’s lack of power and passion are the reasons why.

2) That was indeed Alvarado, behind on the scorecards (and busted up pretty good) against Prescott, who rallied in the final round to stop the Colombian gatekeeper. Molina’s final-round, final-minute stoppage of Mickey Bey was a dramatic reminder that it ain’t over until it’s over in boxing. (And that it ain’t wise to trade too much with a bona-fide puncher.)

3) I haven’t been to a boxing card at Hollywood Park in more than 10 years (in fact, I recall watching Nonito Doniare’s pro debut there). I wanted to attend the UniMas-televised show held there two Saturdays ago but there was a family gathering in the Bay Area that I had to attend. Hopefully, there will be another show there before it’s closed down, or at the nearby Forum once they’re done renovating it. I’ll definitely cover or attend those shows. I live less than 10 minutes away from both venues.

PAC PANNED

Hey Dougie Doodle!

Are you a big fan of Manny Pacquiao’s? If you are then you’re not going to like what I’m going to say here but I gotta say it anyways!

Here’s hoping Brandan Rios batters Pac Man into retirement. Why? Manny’s preachiness and his stupid excuses are getting on my nerves!

When he wins a fight he gets all holier than thou on us and tells us how he won because he’s God’s chosen!

But when he loses then that’s when Pac-Man becomes Baby Pac and starts his little whine-fest!

His gloves were too soft! The mosquito-men sucked him dry! He got butted! The other guy landed a lucky punch! WAAAAHHHHHH!

Further more it’s about time Manny should take his share of the blame for not fighting Mayweather. Sure, Mayweather did all he could to avoid that fight. But what about Manny and his fear of a little needle? Or his tendency to let his puppet master Bob Arum choose his opponents for him.

It takes two not to tangle! Either blame both fighters for the big one not happening or let it slide of both of them!

One more point! When Floyd does his “cherry picking” at least he boxes guys who actually won their last few fights! Aside from Bradley and JMM, most of Manny’s opponents are coming off losses.

Regardless of what happens against Rios, I wonder who’s next on Manny’s hit-list? Lamont Peterson? Zab Judah? The Soto Karass-Berto loser? Oh I can’t wait! – Captain Ron

Whether Pacquiao wins or loses against Rios, if he were to take on Peterson, Judah, Soto Karass or Berto in his next fight I would probably watch with interest – as would his legion of fans. Know why? He’s an action fighter and he’s earned respect among hardcore fans and undying loyalty from his country because of his willingness to take risks during his hall-of-fame career.

Go ahead and diss Pacquiao all you want. His fans and his people will support him to the fullest until he decides to retire.

I agree that he makes excuses after his losses or poor performances. I agree that he’s partially responsible for the Mayweather fight not happening (and come on, dude, where have you been? – plenty fans and media have placed blame on Pac and Bob for the implosion of “Super Bout: 2010, 2011 and 2012”).

I also think Rios has a good shot at beating the Filipino legend.

That’s not wishful thinking. It’s the same reason I believe Canelo has a good shot at beating Floyd and Tyson Fury has a good shot at beating David Haye – boxing is a young man’s sport.

Two quick points:

1) I don’t recall Pacquiao “over-preaching” after a victory.

2) I think Rios is an appropriate and fascinating matchup for Pacquiao, who is coming off of a knockout loss. Apart from Rios and Joshua Clottey, who else has Pacquiao fought who was coming off a loss in recent years? Both Rios and Clottey (who had dropped a disputed slit decision to Miguel Cotto prior to facing the PacMan) were coming off close points losses to credible opponents.

2 QUICK QUESTIONS

1. Is it true that Wladimir Klitchko (and maybe other fighters) doesn’t have an incentive to end fights early because he’s getting a lot of money for the commercials in between rounds so he keeps his fights going until at least 3-4 rounds and then goes for the kill?

2. Who would win Matthysse vs Provodnikov at 147?

Thanks! – GuyOshky

The last time Wladdy went for the early kill he punched himself out and then got KTFO by Lamon Brewster. Since then, he’s learned to take his time and box – his natural size and power advantages generally wear down his opponents without his having to physically impose himself on them.

There’s no way he’s carrying his opponents just to make for more commercial time during his fights.

I think Matthysse would stop Provo in a terrific war, probably sometime between the sixth and ninth rounds.

GETTING STARTED

Hi Doug,

Long time reader, first time writer…
I’ve recently graduated from university with a degree in Mathematics (yes, I actually enjoy Math!), but I enjoy boxing more, and especially writing about boxing. Would starting a blog be the best way to start?

Also, what do you think of Kell Brook? I watched his rematch with the very game Carson Jones, and I thought Kell totally outclassed him. I can see him doing that to most of the lower half of the top 10 welterweights. How would you see a fight between him and fellow Brit Amir Khan pan out? IMO I think Kell has too much power, and his effective and strong jab will set up a straight right that will put Khan to sleep in the mid-rounds.

Also, since I don’t want this to be just any boring email, I have a few mythical matchups:

1. Roberto Duran vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (Anywhere between 130 and 154)

2. Marvelous Marvin Hagler vs. Andre Ward

3. Roberto Duran vs. Julio Cesar Chavez (anywhere between 130-140, since the 147 version of Manos de Piedra would destroy the out-of-shape 147 Chavez)

4. Roberto Duran vs. Adrien Broner (I know Duran wins, but I’m interested to know how many rounds Broner can survive against a legit ATG)

Thanks Doug, keep up the good work. – Bilal, London

Thanks for finally sharing your thoughts with me, Bilal. I think a blog is the best way to get started writing about your favorite sport.

I think Kell Brook is a sensational talent. He can be slick and ring savvy but he never stinks it out. The Sheffield native has guts and just enough power. I really enjoy watching him fight.  

Brook vs. Khan would obviously be a huge event in the UK. A lot of American fans would watch that one with interest. I agree with your call on this potential matchup (although I think Khan would last into the late rounds before being stopped).

Mythical matchups (I never get tired of these)!

1) At 130, we got a good fight. I like Duran by close decision. At 135 up through 154, it’s all Hands of Stone. He stops Floyd at lightweight, junior welterweight and welterweight. Duran has some trouble at 154 pounds but still gives him a 12-round beating.

2) Hagler would stop Ward at 160 pounds, but S.O.G. would outpoint the Marvelous One at 168.

3) Chavez would give Duran a run for his money at 130 pounds. That’s really a toss-up fight, but I think Duran was more versatile and ring savvy. If Rocky Lockridge and Juan LaPorte can give JCC difficult distance fights at 130, Duran could beat him. (Keep in mind, Duran weighed 132¼ pounds when he won the lightweight title from Ken Buchanan – and this was during the era of same-day weigh-ins. I t would have been a struggle for him to make 130, and Chavez probably would have been stronger, but I think Duran could have done it and still been effective.) Chavez, who I thought was at his best at 135 pounds, would be competitive Duran at lightweight (which is saying something because most historians consider Duran the best lightweight ever), but I like the Panama legend over the Mexican icon. I think Duran outpoints Chavez at lightweight and junior welterweight.

4) I think Broner would last until the 10th or 11th round of a punishing fight (for him), which is saying something. I think the Cincinnati Kid would have his moments before being overwhelmed.

 

 

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