Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

MITCHELL VS. ARREOLA

Hey Doug,
I noticed you didn’t weigh in with the rest of the experts on who was going to win this fight? What do you reckon? I think Chris Arreola in a pretty crappy fight catching Seth Mitchell around round 8 or 9.

More importantly do you see either being able to take Deontay Wilder? The boxing purist in me wants to scream Wilder is a overrated beat down merchant who has only been thrown in with mediocre opponents, but then something about him makes me think he could be something a bit more. Brute strength, explosiveness and strong whiskers with a little technique can get a guy a long way in the modern heavyweight division. Cheers. – Leo

Hey, “brute strength, explosiveness and strong whiskers with a little technique” could get a guy a long way in pretty much every era of the heavyweight division.

I’m not sold on Wilder’s whiskers but I’m a big believer in his punching power and athleticism. The big man strikes like a giant cobra and when he bites an opponent, it’s over, baby.

Having said that, I wouldn’t count Arreola or Mitchell out against Wilder, who still hasn’t seen the fifth round of a professional bout.

For me the Arreola-Mitchell matchup all came down to Chris. If he trained like a professional, it was his fight. If he didn’t, which is often the case, I loved Mitchell’s chances for victory. In fact, I would have outright picked Seth to win if I had heard that Arreola was being Arreola and skipping out on training, sparring, running, etc.

However, I didn’t want to go on rumors and I didn’t want to make a pick until I actually saw him at the final presser (on Wednesday) and had a chance to chat with his trainer, Henry Ramirez. From what I see of Arreola and what I’ve been told, I think he’s in good shape, physically and mentally, which he will need to be against Mitchell, who may not be as natural a fighter or as experienced as Chris, but he’s very strong, focused and brave.  

I think Mitchell will have his moments in the fight but Arreola’s power, pressure and combination punching should end matters by the rounds that you picked – eight or nine.

YOUR THOUGHTS?

Doug,

First off, I want to give props to Low Blow Mares (I’ll stop calling him that, now). Admittedly, I was a hater, but his last 2 fights have changed my mind. His dominance against Daniel Ponce de Leon and his humble attitude after being stopped by Jhonny Gonzalez have gained my respect. More than any other fighter, I think he’ll learn from this loss and comeback better. I think his next 3 opponents are in trouble because he’s going to comeback pissed off.

Floyd Mayweather vs. Canelo Alvarez… who’s next for Money May after he wins? If Floyd were to lose convincingly (stoppage), do you think he would retire? So much of his game is confidence. Would he recover from a devastating loss?

I know you’re predicting the upset, but I see Alvarez touching up Floyd early, maybe even a knockdown. Then Canelo will try to finish, blow his wad and get stopped in the later rounds. What’s your over/under for knockdowns in this fight?

We’ve got the #1 and #4 ranked welterweights facing off in just a few weeks and nobody is talking about it. Except for a couple of Tecate billboards around LA, I haven’t heard anything about Tim Bradley/JM Marquez. Even my Mexican fight fan friends aren’t interested. Is this because “The One” is so big or is there something else? How do you see the fight playing out?

Sorry, I’m kind of all over the place with this e-mail, but final thought…a couple of weeks ago on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights, Teddy Atlas blasted fighter ratings by boxing organizations and then went out of his way to blast The Ring ratings because y’all are owned by Golden Boy and therefore biased. What are your thoughts on that statement? Defend your mag.

Keep up the excellent mailbag.– Anonymzb

I don’t have a problem with Atlas or anyone else questioning THE RING’s rankings or being skeptical because of the Golden Boy ownership of the publication. That’s to be expected.

I do, however, have a problem when someone discredits the publication or outright accuses it of a bias on national television without backing up those allegations or suspicions with facts. Atlas went out of his way to say that THE RING is s__t, while propping up the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board as being beyond reproach.

To me, he was basically saying the members of THE RING’s Ratings Panel are dishonest, and nothing could be further from the truth.

Look, Atlas is going to be Atlas and he’s going to go off and put folks on blast. It’s what he does. That’s fine. But I think he should have given specific examples of why the TBRB are superior or more reliable than THE RING’s rankings.

I respect the knowledge and integrity of everyone who is on the board of the TBRB and I have no problem whatsoever with any of their rankings. Same deal with THE RING’s Ratings Panel and our divisional rankings. (THE RING’s pound-for-pound rankings is another story, unfortunately.)

But here’s my challenge to you and to other boxing fans who wonder if Atlas has a case or not against THE RING. Look over our divisional rankings and look at TBRB’s rankings, weight class by weight class, and then tell me how they are better than or even different from THE RING.

I don’t see much difference. There are a few things here or there, but nothing that suggests that we bend over backwards for Golden Boy fighters. In fact, in some divisions, the TBRB rates GBP fighters higher than THE RING. They rate Peter Quillin No. 2 at middleweight. (THE RING rates the GBP/Al Haymon-managed fighter No. 5.) Their top four junior middleweights are GBP fighters or GBP/Haymon-affiliated fighters.

At welterweight, they don’t rank Kell Brook. We have him pretty high at No. 3. Is there a bias here by either ranking committee? Is there a right or wrong, or is it just a matter of opinion?

The main difference I see in the respective rankings/policies is that they don’t recognize as many champs as we do. The five champs they recognize – Adonis Stevens at 175, Andre Ward at 168, Sergio Martinez at 160, Guillermo Rigondeaux at 122 and Akira Yaegashi at 112 – are also recognized by THE RING.

But THE RING recognizes Wladimir Klitschko at heavyweight, Saul Alvarez at 154, Floyd Mayweather at 147, Danny Garcia at 140 and Mikey Garcia at 126. The TBRB titles are vacant at these weights. I get it and I respect that. They’re hardcore purists, only their No. 1 vs. No. 2 will fill a championship vacancy.

That’s what will happen next Saturday with the Mayweather-Canelo and Garcia-Matthysse bouts, so we’ll have two more champs in common after Sept. 14.

However, Klitschko would have to fight his big brother Vitali to fill their heavyweight vacancy and Garcia would have to get Chris John in the ring with him for them to crown a featherweight champ. We all know those fights aren’t happening.

But if holding out until their top two contenders fight in order to crown a new champ makes the TBRB more respectable than THE RING, let me know.  

As for the Bradley-Marquez fight, I think you’re right that nobody’s really buzzing about it right now because our collective attention is focused on Mayweather-Canelo/Garcia-Matthysse. After Sept. 14, and once the Bradley-Marquez 24/7 gets rolling, I think there will be a gradual build of excitement for that fight. HBO will show plenty of Bradley-Provodnikov highlights and lots of JMM’s greatest hits (including the Pacquiao one-hitter quitter), which I’m sure will stir up passions for the Oct. 12 showdown.

What’s my over/under for knockdowns in the Mayweather-Canelo fight? I don’t know. I’m a boxing writer, not a handicapper. If there’s a knockdown or two during the fight, however, I think the red head will score it – and if he gets those knockdowns, I think he’ll definitely win the fight.

I can see Alvarez gassing out, as you (and many others) predict, and if that happens it will be up to Mayweather to take full advantage of it. I can see Mayweather coming on strong, but I’m not sure he’s the type to go for the knockout. I know he did it against Ricky Hatton, but with the British star he had a hyper-active midget who practically jumped into counter shots (and the ring post). I’d be impressed if he could do what he did with Hatton against a big, young composed buck like Canelo.

If Canelo prevails (as I think he will) convincingly, I wouldn’t be shocked if Mayweather called it a career. But I think – and I would hope – that he would want to avenge the first loss of his hall-of-fame career. And that rematch would be a HUGE event. If “The One” isn’t the highest grossing pay-per-view prize fight of all time, I guarantee you that “The Rematch” will be.

As for who Mayweather fights next, I think Canelo is the prime candidate, whether he wins or loses (as long as the young man is competitive). Beyond Canelo, there’s the Garcia-Matthysse winner and the Alexander-Khan winner.

Agreed on Mares. He’ll come back stronger than ever.

END OF THE COLD WAR

Hey Doug! Just wanted to ask you three things.

First, the point appears moot right now considering that boxing is scheduling some incredible fights in the near future, but I believe that at some point this string of great fights may begin to fall off, or the fights being scheduled just won’t look as appealing. Granted we did just get through this mainly boxing-less summer, but my thinking is that at some point the cold war of boxing is going to start showing its head a lot more, and the fights the fans REALLY want to see will begin to be fights that can’t be made. My question is, what do you see as a possible breaking point that can bring Top Rank and Golden Boy together again? Is it a fight that is in such high demand that the promoters have no choice but to make it? Is it hold outs like Peter Quillin and Guillermo Rigondeaux, who probably should be fighting on HBO and Showtime, respectively, to get some of the biggest fights possible? Or maybe it is the changing of the guard at TR from Arum to Todd Dubeof (sadly, I think this might be the case) whenever that happens. Just curious to see what you see happening in the future.

Also, though they can’t be made anytime soon, what fights would you most love to see if these two promoters worked together again? (Maybe besides the obvious ones like Pacquiao-Mayweather or even, to some, Donaire-Mares).

Second, was wondering, how is your relationship with the fighters you cover? Have fighters ever approached you about articles you’ve written on them or things you’ve said about them? Have you developed any friendships with some of these guys? Any proposed Fischer vs ______ between some of the more hot tempered ones? LOL.

Lastly, how often do you get the Larry Fitzgerald comparison? Personally, I think you’re like the hipster Larry but then again, he thinks Mayweather’s gonna win, and I heard your Canelo prediction so maybe you guys are different, haha.

Have a great time at “The One” and hope to check in again soon! – Brandon, Los Angeles

I’m going to be watching “The One” on pay-per-view like most of us, Brandon, but thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I don’t get comparisons to Fitzgerald, but I’m flattered you think that I’m a hipster version of the wide receiver. I’m not a hipster version of anyone.

I’m about as nerdy as one can be, which is why I occasionally get comparisons’ to the Steve Urkel character. (And I deserve it given the amount of time I spend in comic shops, where I’ve occasionally seen the actor who played Urkel.)

The pro athlete/celebrity I’m most often compared to – and this only comes from Latino fans – is the Brazilian soccer star, Ronaldinho. Sometimes when I’m walking back to my car from the StubHub Center (formerly the Home Depot Center), where major league soccer is played, I’m stopped by soccer/boxing fans who want to take a picture with me holding Ronaldinho’s jersey. I always oblige them because they are always female fans.

Anyway, I think my relationship with fighters is pretty good. I try to treat everybody I meet in the boxing world with respect – especially the fighters, and I believe that most of them realize this.

Having said that, I’ve been doing this for more than a few years, and I think my criticism used to have more bite when I was in my early 30s. Every now and then I did piss off a hot-headed boxer. I recall getting a nasty email from Zab Judah because of something I wrote about Mike Tyson 10 or 11 years ago. And I had an intense face-to-face confrontation with former 140-pound titleholder Vince Phillips in 2002 (near the elevators in the MGM Grand the day before the first Mayweather-Castillo fight) after members of his entourage spotted me. They didn’t like what I’d written about him in a recent column (a Southern California Notebook) and they got him all riled up at me. I was dumb enough to try to shove past him and wound up pinned to the wall with his elbow in my neck. I calmed “Cool” Vince down by asking him (in a rather strained voice) if he’d read the column himself. Phillips, who admitted that he hadn’t read the story, really was “cool” and he immediately let me breathe again once I told him I’d print him out a copy of the column and go over it personally with him. Again it goes back to respect. I told him that I’d never try to maliciously disrespect him and what I wrote that his crew didn’t like (that he should retire) was merely out of concern for his health. Phillips and I have never had a problem since. And I think I’m cool with Judah, too.

Regarding the Cold War of the U.S. boxing scene, I think Golden Boy Promotions and Top Rank will do business again once HBO reopens its doors to GBP. I have no idea when that might be, but I hope it happens by the end of 2014. In the meantime, I’m loving the competition between Showtime and HBO, because the fights we’ve had so far in 2013 and the fights that are coming up are out of a fight fan’s wet dream.

What fights would I most love to see if these GBP and Top Rank worked together again? I think Adrien Broner vs. Brandon Rios (at 140 or 147) would be at the top of my list. Rios and Alvarado vs. Matthysse and Garcia at 140 pounds are also high on that list. A Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.-Peter Quillin showdown at 160 or 168 would be fun, wouldn’t it?

DE LA HOYA’S BLUEPRINT

Hey Doug,

This is my first time writing to your mailbag. First, I wanted to state I’ve enjoyed your work when you were with Maxboxing.com. I do miss you and Steve Kim teaming up every week giving analysis and recaps of fights. Best thing of the week to look forward to back then, but anyway…

Just wanted to state a quick observation. Oscar De La Hoya had given the blueprint to Canelo in beating Shane Money just like he gave it to Bernard Hopkins against Trinidad. It’s pretty easy. All he has to do is give Mayweather those quick stiff jabs to his midsection and top and he got him beat. Miguel Cotto was catching Money with jabs, but was slow and opted on that Jose Luis Castillo pressure, which made Cotto gas out. Although Canelo can’t really match De La Hoya’s jab, still it’s enough to keep fighters honest. I’m starting to believe more and more that Canelo may end up knocking Mayweather out, but who knows?

Keep up the awesome work. Looking forward to reading your future mailbags.  Peace. – Ruben, Union City, NJ

Thanks for finally writing in, Ruben. Don’t be a stranger from now on. And thanks for the kind words.

I’m feeling Canelo, too. I wouldn’t be shocked if he got the knockout but I think Mayweather is a lot tougher than most realize (even his own fans). Even if Canelo is able to consistently crack Floyd’s defense (which certainly won’t be an easy task), I think the 36-year-old veteran can weather the storm. I think Canelo can hurt Mayweather and win those rounds along with a few other rounds in which he outworks the defensive master. I like Canelo by close decision.

If Canelo pulls it off, I don’t think he’ll do so by fighting the way De La Hoya did. De La Hoya’s split-decision loss to Mayweather let’s Canelo know that Floyd is mortal, and that’ important, but I think Alvarez wins this fight by fighting his fight – not Oscar’s, not Cotto’s, not Castillo’s or anyone else’s.

Canelo is not elite or special in any one department but he does a lot of things very well – as Larry Merchant says, he’s got good command of the ring – and that, along with his youth and size, is what’s going to give Mayweather a run for his money (excuse the pun).

If Canelo was a welterweight I’d write off his chances like 90% of my boxing media peers. But he’s a modern-sized junior middleweight who is young enough to make the 152-pound catchweight without draining himself, which means on Sept. 14, the best welterweight in the world will fight a very good middleweight (or super middleweight).

 

 

Follow Dougie on Twitter @dougiefischer

Around the web

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>