Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

REALLY?

The Julio Cesar Chavez-Bryan Vera decision is yet another example of boxing marginalizing itself.

Props to the fighters who stand in there and take the punishment.

Can the fans file a class-action suit vs boxing judges? – C

No, I’m afraid not, C. But fans can put heat on the state athletic commissions that select the judges who continually botch the scoring of fights.

I adore Gwen Adair, who is one of the sweetest human beings one could ever meet, and I have the utmost respect for Marty Denkin (who’s sort of the God Father of California boxing officials), but both judges are getting long in the tooth and both have turned in their share of head-scratching scorecards in recent years.

Don’t be mad at Adair (who doesn’t look it, but is at least 80 years old) or Denkin (who’s in his late 70s). Be mad at the California State Athletic Commission for assigning them to Saturday’s main event in Carson.

If you polled the boxing writers who regularly cover Southern California fights (from club shows to the high-profile televised cards like Chavez-Vera), they’d all tell you that Adair and Denkin are far from the most reliable judges these days. So if the boxing writers know this, why doesn’t the commission know this? And why don’t they – and other state commissions – select the most reliable officials for major fights that are going to be televised around the world?

This is the question that fans and the boxing media have to keep asking the commissions. 

There was a photo taken (by THE RING’s Naoki Fukuda) of a despondent-looking Vera at ringside immediately after the fight. Vera was standing next to California judge Max DeLuca, a young judge, who in my opinion is one of the best around. When a fan asked MaxBoxing.com’s Steve Kim to name some of the better judges during the most recent episode of The Next Round, the first judge that Kim named was DeLuca.

I would have named DeLuca as well, as would most boxing scribes familiar with California’s officials. I can’t think of a single instance when DeLuca has turned in a questionable scorecard. So why wasn’t he selected to judge the main event of such a high-profile card, along with at least one other veteran California official with a proven track record of competence?                                                     

                                 

SATURDAY’S FIGHTS

How’s it going Doug?

Won’t bother wasting words on the Chavez-Vera controversy. It is a tough break for Vera, though. Knowing that the majority of fans and experts who watched that fight thought he won is probably little consolation for the fact that officially he was the losing fighter. I have watched his fights in the past because of his exciting style and I will watch his fights in the future. I think Bob Arum and Top Rank owe him another slot on HBO and another six-figure payday.

Was thoroughly unimpressed with Chavez Jr. His output was anemic and his constant whining to the ref was an embarrassing display of Chavez Jr.’s childlike sense of entitlement. Maybe the ref could have called those low blows, but he also could have called Junior for using his forearms and pushing Vera off to create space. He called neither and instead chose to let the men fight. I don’t think Chavez Jr. is a big threat to any of the top dogs in the super middleweight division (should he be able to actually make weight). Andre Ward, Carl Froch, Mikkel Kessler, Robert Stieglitz, George Groves, and Edwin Rodriquez would all easily dispose of him if he were to step in the ring with those men and put on the type of performance he put on against Vera.

Really impressed with Adonis Stevenson. The guy dismantled Tarvoris Cloud last night. Stevenson has got great speed and power, and really showed his ability to box last night. While he might be a great natural fighter, it is obvious he is working his ass off in the gym to hone his craft. I wouldn’t mind seeing him square up against Sergey Kovalev or one of the potential victors of the Hopkins-Murat and Bute-Pascal fights.

Hope you enjoyed the fights, and as always I got to throw out the hypothetical question:

How entertaining would a fight between Peter Quillin and Gennady Golovkin be assuming they both win against their respective upcoming opponents? – Gino

Golovkin-Quillin is potentially the most explosive matchup between middleweight beltholders since Julian Jackson and Gerald McClellan fought for the first time (20 years ago). You can call that one “The Irresistible Force vs. the Immovable Object.”

I was also impressed by Stevenson. I figured he would prevail against Cloud (especially if he was able to hurt the hardnosed former beltholder early – which he did) but I viewed their fight as an even matchup and I thought the Haitian-Canadian champ would have to work harder for the “W.”

Stevenson didn’t struggle at all because he’s a very good boxer with a very smart boxing mind in his corner (Javan “Sugar” Hill). THE RING champ made good use of his superior speed, feints, lateral movement, punch variation, counter punching, well-placed body shots and showboating. Cloud was bewildered and beat down.

I’d LOVE to see Stevenson-Kovalev (you could call that “The Irresistible Force vs. the Immovable Object,” too, but “Superman vs. the Krusher” sounds good to this comic book nerd). However, I don’t mind letting that one marinate a bit. I think Stevenson will target Hopkins (who is familiar to Montreal fans thanks to his two fights with Pascal), if the “old man” beats Murat, or the Pascal-Bute winner because those fights are big events in Montreal.

I wasn’t impressed with Chavez, either, except for one area – I thought he moved around the ring pretty well for a guy carrying that much excess bulk. But I didn’t care the all the pot shots and the whining to the ref, and that stuff certainly didn’t endear him to his dwindling fan base.

I agree that the super middleweights you mentioned would outclass and beat up Chavez.

I agree that Vera deserves another HBO date and I believe that Arum and Artie Pellulo (Vera’s promoter) will lobby the network to give the tough Texan another shot (just as they did with Ruslan Provodnikov).

STEVENSON DOMINATES

Hey Doug,
Could you do me a favor and tell all the Floyd fans in the media that Stevenson-Cloud is what it looks like when one fighter “dominates,” “schools” and “toys with” another fighter, not Mayweather -Alvarez?

I was really impressed with Stevenson. I was worried that the Dawson fight was a one shot deal…  Stevenson-Kovalev?  I can’t pick how about you?

Can Cloud come back from these two losses? I was unimpressed with him in the article on RingTV.com where he sizes up opponents. Is he dumb or dreaming? – Stephen, Montreal

Cloud was a bit dismissive of his fellow light heavyweight standouts in Anson Wainwright’s Q&A before the Stevenson fight. I’m guessing that Saturday’s fight humbled him a little bit.

Can he comeback from those back-to-back losses (and many – myself included – would say back-to-back-to-back losses because he didn’t deserve the nod over Gabriel Campillo)? It’s possible but he’s going to have to be matched right. Whoever is guiding his career cannot put Cloud in with mobile boxers because the man can’t deal with lateral movement. I’d give Chavez Jr. a good shot at beating Cloud at this point provided Junior moved as much as he did against Vera.

I can’t pick a winner in Stevenson-Kovalev, either. Both light heavyweights showed me something in their last fights and both might show us all even more talent and skill in their next couple of bouts. I don’t think either man has hit his ceiling yet.

All I know is that neither puncher-technician is a one-hit wonder.

No comment on your Stevenson-Cloud/Mayweather-Alvarez comparison.

SUPERMAN VS. THE KRUSHER

Wow. I stand corrected on Stevenson. I had no idea he had good footwork and such quick reflexes with his hands. I was very impressed with him. I figured he was just another Kovalev KO 3 in the waiting. I’m not so sure anymore.
My question is would you like to see those two fight next? Of course I’d like to see it, but I actually think this is one of those fights that needs a LITTLE marinating. Not the Arum marinating of Gamboa vs Juanma and fight on numerous cards together. But at least a double header with both of them on the card against solid opponents.

In Doug E. Fresh’s perfect world, what’s next for those two? Each other?

Cheers! – Chris Gowler, Alberta, Canada

There’s no way they fight each other next and I think that’s a good thing because I believe their eventual showdown can quickly build into a super fight, something the 175-pound division hasn’t had in many years.

I think both Stevenson and Kovalev will need to make two HBO-televised title defenses to properly whet the appetites of U.S. boxing fans. Stevenson, the RING and WBC champ, will likely take on WBC No. 1 contender Tony Bellew next and then the Pascal-Bute winner. Kovalev, the WBO titleholder, will likely face his mandatory challenger, Juergen Braehmer (maybe in Germany), and then Andrzej Fonfara (in Chicago). If both scientific bombers can keep their titles against their top two contenders and look good doing so (which I think they would) my guess is that fans in the U.S., Canada, Russia and most of Europe will be clamoring for them to fight sometime in 2015.

GOOD TIME TO BE A MONTREAL BOXING FAN

Man it’s good to be a boxing fan in MTL these days… 

Was close to ringside! Great night! Stevenson’s performance was impressive… He picked Cloud apart! Cloud showed a good chin as usual but he kinda quit early in my book. Now Doug, who would you favour if Kovalev and Superman were to fight next?

I see Stevenson beating Kovalev. Don’t get me wrong, Kovalev is good, but Superman his better, faster and stronger. Just try to imagine what Stevenson would have done to that poor Cleverly. I doubt Kovalev would have played with Cloud and Dawson the way Adonis did. Plus we still don’t know about Kovalev’s chin, but to be honest, there’s no indication it’s fragile at this point.

Quick jabs:

-Pascal looked very sharp in his tune up and he should enter the Bute fight as the favourite. 

-Elieder Alvares beat the crap outta Miranda! The one judge who had it close was prolly a CJ Ross relative… Miranda went down early in a round (don’t remember which one), got up and took a severe punishment for the rest of it. It was really incredible that he made it out of the round. He showed great heart.  

-Cloud has to rebuild like Pavlik did… He’s gonna have to take his time if he doesn’t wanna ruin his career. 

Next on the menu, Bellew vs Stevenson and Bute-Pascal and I hope Dierry Jean gets a title shot next year, this guy can fight!

Keep up the good work Doug!C’est un plaisir de te lire chaque semaine! – Frank Boileau, Montréal

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Frank.

Last I heard was that Jean was closing in on a mandatory shot at Lamont Peterson’s IBF title. I’m not sure if that fight will be made this year, but I think it will happen.

Cloud’s career is indeed in need of some serious rebuilding. If he’s lucky Pavlik decides to make a comeback at light heavyweight next year and agrees to fight him.

Alvarez has potential but I can’t get too excited about a decision victory over Miranda at light heavyweight in 2013. I know Alvarez wants a title shot soon but I don’t see him doing well against Stevenson, Kovalev or B-Hop. His best bet is to target the winner of WBA beltholder Beibut Shumenov-Tamas Kovacs.

Pascal-Bute will be a fun fight. Don’t count Bute out. He’s the better boxer-technician in that matchup, which will create a truly electric atmosphere in the Bell Centre.

Don’t count the Krusher out against Stevenson, either. Stevenson is definitely the better athlete with the quicker hands and feet, and probably the better one-shot power, but the Russian has tighter technique, heavier hands on average, and he knows how to cut off the ring. Both KO artists are good combination punchers who go to the body well. I’ll state this again for the record: I don’t see a clear favorite in that potential matchup.

Hey, I tell you what, Frank, if Stevenson-Kovalev happens and it winds up in Montreal, I guarantee you I’ll make the trip to your hometown to see that one live.

ADONIS ROCKS; CHAVEZ SUCKS

Hey Dougie!

Let’s start with Adonis Stevenson’s busting up of Tavoris Cloud. Note to Cloud: Never f__k with a really kickass Canuck! Especially one who can crack hard enough to leave you looking like you just got cannonballed face-first through a brick wall.

And, oh yeah, who knew that Stevenson can box like that as well? Cloud sure found out the hard and painful way did he?

I don’t care whether it’s Andre Ward, Bernard Hopkins or Sergei Kovalev. Anyone who thinks that Stevenson will be easy pickings for any of those guys don’t know jack-s__t! He’s the real deal! So deal with it! And Stevenson, as a fellow Canadian, drinks are on the house. Way to kick some ass!

As for the Chavez-Vera fight, I’m not even going to go on about the scales of injustice (literally speaking) that keeps working in Chavez’s favor. We all know he got outfought, plain and simple, except where those ass-kissing judges are concerned. They obviously didn’t have the balls to score against the Privileged Son did they?

As for the argument that Vera’s punches didn’t do enough damage, well one look at Chavez’s puffed-up kisser says otherwise.

And what’s with Junior’s whining like a little bitch? Hard to believe he shares the same genes with the great J.C. Chavez Sr.!

This goes without saying but I’m going to say it anyways! If Junior here goes up against guys actually his size like Adonis Stevenson, Mikkel Kessler or Carl Froch the pampered pothead will be pounded to the point that he’ll be looking much more stupid than he already does! And that’s really saying something. – Triple T

That’s a harsh but true statement, TTT.

I believe Junior shares genes with his legendary father. He clearly inherited his daddy’s cement chin and overall durability. He’s also got a certain command of the ring even when he’s grossly overweight as he was on Saturday. What he lacks – work ethic and the desire to improve himself – has nothing to do with genetics. It has to do with his upbringing. Chavez Sr. grew up in poverty. Junior grew up comfortable (if not rich) and famous.

I agree that Vera simply outworked Chavez – landing many significant head and body punches along the way – and deserved to win the fight. I scored the first four rounds for Vera as well as the seventh and 10th (96-94 for Vera).

I think Chavez landed the harder blows. If anyone gave him the seventh round because he rocked Vera at the bell and one other close round I won’t argue with them. The bout could have been a draw or 96-94 for Junior, but he didn’t do enough to win it in my view.

I agree that Stevenson is a threat to every elite 168- and 175-pound fighter on the planet. He and Kovalev have certainly injected a lot of excitement and potential into the light heavyweight division.

I wish there was a time machine that we could use to bring the light heavyweight version of Michael Moorer from 1988-‘90 to this era just to spark a puncher-technician round robin with Superman and Krusher.

WHAT NOW FOR CHAVEZ JR.?

We all know what we saw, very few saw Chavez Jr. win. Most saw Vera winning the fight. In the eyes of the ones that counted, they saw Junior winning. His ego/pride hurt, his family name tarnished, who knows if the silver spooned kid cares. But he’s still gonna keep fighting. What trainer and what way do you see Junior going to be most successful, because sadly, he does have some f___ing talent! Should he go with Robert Garcia, or back with Freddie, who never seemed to be able to light a fire under Junior, but to who’s fault, I can’t say. What do you think? – Gabe P.

I think Chavez will go back to Roach and take aim at the 168-pound division. He’s probably a natural light heavyweight at this stage, but if he can make super middleweight without draining himself too badly he’ll do it just to have the weight advantage on fight night.

If Roach can’t light a fire in Chavez’s belly that’s completely the fault of the fighter, not the trainer.

You’re right. Chavez does have some talent. I think Roach got the most out of that talent two years ago and he can do so again provided Chavez wants it.

We’ll know if he really wants it by who’s in his corner and how much he weighs for his next fight.

THREE THINGS

What’s up Dougie?
Three things:
1. I’m still not 100% convinced with Adonis Stevenson. He has that raw power and he decimated Tavoris Cloud. I’m 95% convinced. My question, though, is do you think Cloud was a ruined fighter after losing to Hopkins? B-Hop always reminds us how fighters aren’t the same after he beats them- think Trinidad, Tarver and Pavlik. Still, Stevenson fought a perfect fight. Who wins the imminent firefight between Superman and The Krusher? And can Hopkins beat these two?
 
2. I don’t care AT ALL for JCC Jr. He’s a spoiled slob who hasn’t earned anything the hard way. One thing he will never earn is respect. The sheer amateurism and lack of discipline he shows for something he gets paid to do bewilders me. And after the whole weight issue, this 27 year old baby still managed to lose… Everyone knew it apart from the judges, who apparently attended the CJ Ross-Duane Ford joint seminar in “The Art of Judging”… If Junior ends up in a fight with Ward, I hope Ward puts such a beatdown that Junior decides to retire – it will be the first and last good thing he’d do for boxing.
 
3. I prefer 24/7 to All Access. Liev Schreiber’s narration is so much better than the dude on All Access – what happened to Common? I watched 24/7 and the thing that surprised me was how honest and classy both Joel Diaz and Nacho Beristain are… I guess I’m used to watching Mayweather. Who wins this fight? I reckon Marquez is too experienced and beats Bradley in an entertaining UD.
 
Peace. – Bilal, London, UK

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Bilal. I’ll respond to them in order:

1) I’m 100-percent sold on Stevenson. I’m also 100-percent sold on Kovalev, so you hardcore heads should stop asking me who would win if they fought. Let’s get into that when that matchup is actually made. I don’t think Hopkins can beat Stevenson or Kovalev but the Immortal B-Hop has proven me wrong many times before. I don’t think Hopkins “ruined” Cloud. He just took advantage of Cloud’s limitations that were exposed by Campillo. Cloud may have had some confidence issues going into the Stevenson fight but I don’t think he was “mentally shot” and I think he was fine, physically.

2) I agree that Chavez Jr. is a spoiled slob who lacks discipline and that he may never earn anybody’s respect, but I must admit that I like the big goofball for some reason. And part of me hopes he gets his act together and maximizes whatever his potential may be. Even if he does get it together and reaches his peak, he’ll get outclassed by Ward if and when they fight. I guarantee you that won’t be his last fight.

3 )I don’t have a preference between 24/7 and All Access. I’ve been completely burnt out on these over-produced infomercials that HBO and Showtime use to promote their pay-per-view events for a few years now. However, I watched the first episode of 24/7: Bradley vs. Marquez and I enjoyed it once it got past the rehashing of Pacquiao-Bradley and the backlash poor Timmy got from all the cretins. The shot of a Marquez taking a shower with the blood washing off his face immediately after the Pacquiao knockout was dramatic, like something out of a movie. I thought JMM’s commentary on the fourth bout was eloquent and fascinating. Bradley’s commentary of the Provodnikov fight was gripping (as was the footage, of course). The episode earned a few points for addressing the PED subject and few more for Schreiber’s narration. Ole Ray Donovan’s got great voice, don’t he?

 

 

Photo / Naoki Fukuda

Around the web