Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

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PASCAL VS. BUTE

Hey Doug,

So this is what I am thinking about the Lucian Bute-Jean Pascal fight:

Bute is a better boxer and a lefty. He moves well and punches accurately. He has shown that sometimes he lacks stamina; he doesn't have a granite jaw and seems to lack world-class toughness. Normally, he has really good defense. Not against Carl Froch. I still don't understand why he got trapped on the ropes in that fight…

Pascal is more athletic and explosive, and he is really tough. On the other hand he fights in spurts, gases out and is injury prone.

So even though I have zero certainty, I think Bute will outwork Pascal. Pascal can only win by KO and he doesn't have one KO against good opposition. If Bute has his head together he should be able to get the ‘W.’

What do you think? – Stephen, Montreal

I think we have an interesting light heavyweight matchup that should deliver a competitive and entertaining fight. I can see Bute outboxing and outworking Pascal to a decision victory, but in order for him to do that I think he’ll have to operate at peak form and I’m not confident that he can bring out his best against the motivated version of Pascal that he’s going to face tomorrow night.

I favor Pascal by close decision. I think Bute will outbox and outhustle him for significant stretches of the fight but I also believe that when Pascal lands, he’ll shake Bute and gradually chip away at the southpaw’s confidence. Over the second half of the fight, I think Bute will be looking to protect his early lead and run out the clock, while Pascal will be fighting to win. He’ll gun for the stoppage but he won’t get it because, as you pointed out, he doesn’t have a consistent offense. Pascal gets off in spots. Still, I think the judges will reward his aggression down the stretch and he’ll take a close points victory.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the fight is close enough to merit a rematch.

 

PREDICTIONS & QUESTIONS

Dougie Fresh,

What's up my man? Sometimes I wish I was still living in Cali., especially when it’s been as cold as it has been here in St. Louis.

Anyways on to boxing. Just a few statements and questions.

1. I think Bute wins by KO with a left hook to the body or upstairs. Bute can’t stand pressure but Pascal doesn't bring that to the table.

2. Angulo by KO late. He is rested and ready. You have to be able to hurt him hard or box him every second of a fight. Too much dog. Ask Lara.

3. Yory Boy Campas Vs Angulo. Who wins, prime and after prime?

4. Keith Thurman vs. Kell Brook. Who wins?

5. Who would beat Oba Carr at his best in the top 5 of our current welterweight division, sans the champ?

6. Barrera vs Marquez vs Morales vs Pacquiao – round robin, lose two you’re out. When each is at their best at 126 pounds.

Thank you and may your family be blessed. – Efrain Aguilar

Thanks for the kind words and for sharing, Efrain. I know you’re missing Southern California right now. Wildfires aside, the weather has been absolutely beautiful this month – sunny, breezy and into the low 80s on some days this week.

But the eyes of the boxing world will be on a frozen province of Canada, so let’s get into your predictions and questions, which I’ll answer in order:

1) Bute has a hell of a left, and for a while he was one of the sport’s best body punchers. It certainly wouldn’t shock me if he abruptly ended the anticipated showdown with his money punch – the left to the body. However, I think he’ll get clipped upstairs before he gets comfortable enough to set up and get off to Pascal’s body. It’s true that Pascal isn’t a pressure fighter, but he has quirky in-and-out movement and an athletic awkwardness that tends to trouble boxers (see his fight with Chad Dawson).

2) I have no doubt that Angulo will bring it when he takes on Canelo Alvarez, but I have my doubts as to how “rested and ready” he is. He was looking shopworn to me before the Lara fight, which was extremely punishing. Angulo took Lara to hell and back but he absorbed a lot of facial damage – especially around his eyes – in the process. Canelo may not be as talented or skilled as the Cuban, but he’s got a harder jab and he drops better combinations. I think he’s going to gradually bust Angulo up to a late stoppage.

3) Prime Campas knocks out prime Angulo in a shootout. Past prime Angulo takes past prime Campas’ heart and make him quit.

4) Battle of the “K-Men,” eh? I view this potential matchup of two of my favorite welterweights as an even money fight. I think Brook has the edge in experience and talent, but I’m gonna go with “the Thrumanator” by late-come-from-behind stoppage.

5) I would only favor Bradley and maybe Pacquiao to beat the prime version of Carr, but I think the other current 147-pound welterweight contenders – Maidana, Brook, Porter, Broner, Malignaggi and Thurman – would make for competitive fights against the Detroit standout.

6) In a featherweight round robin with the 2000s version of the Fab Four, I think Marquez would emerge victorious.

 

PEREZ, COTTO, KATZ

Hi Doug,

A few points:

1) Amazing to see Mike Perez out again so soon after his brutal slugfest with Magomed Abdusalamov in November. Perez is a very strange case. Hugely impressive in scoring two 1st round KO’s when winning Prizefighter, only to drop off the radar completely and not fight at all from December 2011 to May 2013. Rumours at the time were that he was lazy and not motivated. Now he’s back and seemingly with the backing of HBO. Hopefully this will be his break out year given this is his third fight in eight months. For all the talk going on between Chisora-Haye-Price-Fury, not one of them ever mentioned Perez’s name when he was based over here, but at the same time I never heard anything coming from his camp about calling out opponents. Any idea of what his plans are for 2014? I wouldn’t pick any heavy against him other than Wlad Klitschko, and even that would be an interesting fight.

2) Miguel Cotto. I think he’s one of the most overrated fighters of the past ten years. I recently read something about him being a first ballot certainty for the Hall of Fame. Really? A three weight alphabet world champion, but look at his best wins at the weight.

Light Welter: Malignaggi & Corley.

Welter: Quintana, Judah, Clottey & Mosley.  

Light Middle: Foreman, Mayorga, Margarito.

The Mosley fight was close and finished with Cotto backpedalling. Clottey was a split decision. Margarito beat him up at Light Welter. Pacquaio almost killed him, while Mayweather and Trout both dominated him. I can see why he would be a big deal in his own country, but in terms of the history of boxing I don’t think he was outstanding at all. He was never “The Man” in any of those three divisions. Unbeaten at Light Welter but didn’t face any of Tszyu/Hatton/Witter before moving up. Third best at Welter behind Mayweather and Margarito. His Light Middle wins were meaningless and the only genuine opponents he fought at the weight beat him (FM & Trout).

3) I used to always enjoy reading your articles at MaxBoxing which were interesting, nicely written and often carried well reasoned opinion. Now it appears your time is spent more in an editorial capacity and in terms of personal output you appear to have dedicated yourself to primarily the bi-weekly mailbags and the occasional fight write up. I know you’ve got other bits on the side with the telecasts, etc. but it would be great to see you going back to doing more of what you do best.

4) Where is your old mentor Michael Katz these days? Does he even write any more? I used to love his weekly pieces but after leaving MaxBoxing I had trouble following him from one website to the next, until eventually he seemed to disappear.

Cheers. — JS

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

1) Perez sounded motivated a recent press conference here in Southern California and he told the boxing media that he wanted to fight as often as possible in 2014. I think his past inactivity was due in part to promotional issues, but he seems happy with K2 Promotions. The managing director of K2 (Tom Loeffler) says they are looking to have Perez fight four times in 2014 and raise his profile with the help of HBO as they did with Gennady Golovkin last year. If Perez defeats Carlos Takam tomorrow (and he should), I think they’re going to target the winner of next week’s Bryant Jennings-Artur Szpilka fight for the next opponent for the busy Cuban southpaw.

2) Cotto is one of my favorite fighters of the past 10 years. It’s been an honor to cover his career – overrated or not. I agree that Cotto has never been “the man” in any of the divisions he fought in, but he always earned his way to the top of each weight class and he seldom hesitated to fight the best or the toughest hombres when at the elite level. You can say that he fell short against Margarito, Pacquiao, Mayweather and Trout, but I give him credit for facing them all. The version of Mosley and Zab Judah that he faced in 2007 were formidable. I had no problem with the way he boxed Sugar Shane in the final rounds of their fight. He’d been in enough wars to earn the right to fight smart against a motivated veteran, and I thought he deserved the nod (in a good fight).

I also give him credit for taking on fellow young undefeated fighters of various styles, such as Malignaggi, Quintana, Ricardo Torres and Carlos Maussa, who would all go on to win major titles. I give him props for facing his amateur rivals, Muhammad Abdullaev and Kelson Pinto; and I think the veterans he faced as a prospect – Victor Sosa, Lovemore Ndou (who also went on to win a major belt) and Chop Chop – still had a lot to offer when he fought them.

Those who think Cotto is hall of fame worthy aren’t focusing on his biggest fights; they’re looking at his body of work, which is impressive in its entirety. If he beats Sergio Martinez for the middleweight championship, he’ll get my vote. I know a lot of fans and media will say that Martinez was “old” or “faded” or “damaged goods” if that happens, but once again, I’ll give Cotto for having the balls to step up to the plate. Mayweather and Pacquiao could have taken that chance any time they wanted over the past three years but neither seemed interested.

3) Thanks for the kind words about the feature articles I wrote back in my MaxBoxing days. I miss being a fulltime writer. I wish I had the time to write at least one feature story a week these days but my editing (posting and managerial) duties make that very hard to do. Regular RingTV.com contributor Mike Coppinger has recently offered to help me with copy editing and posting, but like Brian Harty (our staff copy editor), he’s a part timer (if that). I’m the only fulltime editor for the website, and dealing with almost every news item and story that Lem Satterfield, Ryan Songalia, Anson Wainwright, Corey Erdman, Tom Gray, Harry Pratt, Tim Smith, Joe Santoliquito and Coppinger file takes time (and its toll in terms of mental energy) as you can imagine. Still, I love writing and I’m going to try to do it as much as I can this year.

4) As far as I know my “Uncle Mike” is retired. If I see the Hall of Famer in Las Vegas this year, I’ll ask him how he’s doing and if he’s interested in making a “comeback.”

 

THE DOUGIES!

Doug. E, 

This is it dude! The year is up! Time for “the Dougies!”

Earlier we had the mid-year poll with Fleetwood and Triple T leading the pack. At lot has changed since then. Triple and Fleet have pretty much disappeared and other dudes have taken over. Although TTT made one last hurrah in October and still earned himself a “Dougie” award.

So enough with all those other awards. Been done to death already. Cheers to Floyd Mayweather, Danny Garcia, Adonis Stevenson and all those other guys who had a great whoop-ass year! Hooray to all of them. Now it's Dougie Time! Time to show that baggers can be chosen too! And as you recall, the awards come in the form of talking Dougie Dolls that call you a “cretin!”

1. Mailbagger of The Year: JB

This guy (aka Dude Without A Face) wrote some of the best e-mails including “Grabamir Fizzles,” “Popkins The Alien,” and “Double-sided Dougie.” He should be a journalist. He's very insightful and refuses to show himself. Much like a true writer.

2. Quote of The Year: Dougie Fischer himself, who referred to Ricky Hatton as “a hyper-active midget who ran face-first into punches as well as the ring post.” I'll admit, Mr. Doug E., that's was so funny. And true!

3. E-Mail of The Year: JB again for his “Grabamir Fizzles” column. So funny, direct and honest. Especially the reference to Wlad's grab-and-mount crap as “gay-porn.” As well as the comparison to Wlad's fights as “male walruses fighting for mating rights.” Where does this Faceless Dude come up with this stuff?

4. Insult of The Year: Todd The Terminator in regards to Bernard Hopkins: “When Hopkins vows to knock out someone we get some Ruiz-style f__kathon that's about as exciting as watching two turtles hump each other in slow-motion!” Funny and nasty at the same time. By the way TTT's referring to his haters as a bunch of “mentally-ill menopausal molly-maids” ranks up there as well.

5. Nickname of The Year: “One armed bandits” by Mr. Doug again, in reference to southpaws who keep unloading that big left but have no right-hooks whatsoever.

6. Longest E-mail of The Year: Wiley with his “School Bully Gets His” article. More like some big long-winded novel. OK we all saw how Broner got his butt kicked by Maidana. Wiley needed a gazillion words to tell us this?

7. Myth-Matches Award: Harsh and Happy Hugo. Hey, we need to give our good buddy Hugo a Dougie for something. And we all know how much he loves those mythical matchups!

8. Pacamaniac of The Year. Floyd Mayweather. It's tempting to give this one to loyal reader and everybody's favourite Filipino Roderick Cosquella who sometimes talks like his hero Manny can walk on water and beat up Ray Robinson and Henry Armstrong at the same time. But Floyd is never at a loss of words about Manny Pacquiao. He just carries on and on about Pacman but refuses to fight him. He's obviously a hopeless devoted hardcore Pac-Fan.

Sorry Roderick. Better luck next time.

Okay Doug E. That's it. Agree or disagree but the Universal Council of Concerned Fight Fans have given their votes. The results are final. And you get to tally two Dougie dolls anyways. See you at the Dougies! You and JB can host the awards. I'll just discuss mythical matches with good ol Mr. Happy himself – Captain Ron

Thanks Cap (you damn cretin). These are the only boxing awards that really matter to me. Your email is a wonderful reminder that the mailbag is a forum where hardcore boxing fans can be insightful, witty and absolutely vulgar and offensive at the same time.

 

THE OLD DAYS AND RING ENTRANCES

Hello Doug,
What's up ? I still enjoy your mailbag and the subjects to read about. Back in the 1980's when I discovered boxing I had to wait 4 weeks for The Ring magazine to get the latest results. And if we were lucky in bleeding soccer country we could watch Mike Tyson in the middle of the night every 2 months. Oh yeah, and we could spend a fortune on videotapes!

Long live the internet. The NSA can read about my love for boxing but at least there is more to read and to see. What riches don’t you think ?

I read about you remembering Felix Trinidad and Mike Tyson for entrances. But i still think Chris Eubank was the master. It was completely over the top but at the same time he looked to believe he was “SIMPLY THE BEST.”

Keep up the good work Doug! – Bart Plaatje, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Eubank did indeed have a special ring walks to go with his adopted theme song from Tina Turner. His entrance for his WBO super middleweight title defense against Graciano Rocchigiani (which took place in the 35-0 challenger’s home country of Germany) was particularly dramatic and intense as he literally tried to staredown the audience before getting into the ring. The dude actually tried to psyche out the spectators! Classic.

Eubank was a weird brotha (by American standards) what with the high society act and all the posing he did en route to the ring and during his fights. But there’s no doubt that he was a unique showman. He was jumping over the top rope of the ring before Kostya Tszyu and Naseem Hamed attracted attention in the U.S. doing the same thing.

And now that I’m on the subject of ring walks, Pernell Whitaker’s entrance to “Hip-Hop Hooray” for the Julio Cesar Chavez fights has suddenly popped into my head.

And speaking of how things have changed for boxing fans thanks to technology, I didn’t become a magazine-collecting diehard fan until the late ‘80s/early 1990s but even in the mid-‘90s it took forever to receive boxing information and to get a hold of fight tapes.

I used to drive the cashiers at the newsstands crazy after big fights because I’d ask them when the latest boxing mags were due every other day. Remember looking through the “Collector’s Corner” in the back of Boxing Illustrated to find fight collectors with quality videos of old and foreign bouts?

I’d scan the ads – “VHS BOXING TAPES,” “BOXING ON VHS & BETA,” “BOXING CASSETTES” – and hope I’d find a reliable collector with an extensive catalog that I could order from. I had good results with Keith’s Korner and a guy named Kurt Noltimier. In fact, I think my first contact with boxing scribe/historian/CompuBox staffer Lee Groves was by ordering or trading boxing tapes.

Damn, it was exciting when those tapes finally arrived in the mail. Just like when the new mags came out. Boxing heaven. The wait made you appreciate it even more. Anyway, I better end this trip down memory lane. It’s making me feel old and I’m sure there are some younger readers who are wondering what “VHS” and “beta” mean.

 

BEST BOXERS SINCE 1990

Dougie, 

To cut it short, who do you believe are the top 10 best boxers to start their career after 1990. I’ve been reading your mailbags for a couple of years, and I know you have less respect for the modern era, so tell me who are the top 10 closest to meeting your criteria. My start is below:

1.       Manny Pacquaio- only 8 division champ in history, BWAA’s boxer of the decade, currently 9-3-1 against current or future hall of famers (assuming Bradley will be, and that he “won”). 

2.       Benard Hopkins- unified the belts at middleweight, oldest world champion ever (only one fight in the 80’s so don’t correct me)

3.       Floyd Mayweather Jr.- made a lot of money, 5-0 against future or current HOF

I’d like you to put in order so I can see who you consider having better careers.  Also, it will be funny to see the people in the comments have panic attacks if you don’t agree with them. 

One fantasy fight for you to analyze: Kelly Pavlik vs Paul Williams. – Jordan, North Carolina

This fight almost happened a few years ago when Williams was undefeated and Pavlik was trying to bounce back from his loss to Hopkins. At the time, Williams was favored by a lot of insiders. They figured P-Will would outwork Pavlik, and that may have happened. But in retrospect, Williams was never a full-bodied middleweight despite his height. He never weighed over 157 pounds and never appeared to have world-class middleweight strength or power. Pavlik was a very big, very hard hitting middleweight; and Williams, as you know, never met a punch he didn’t like. I think Pavlik would have had trouble with the quickness and high punch volume of the swarming southpaw early in the bout but by the midway point I think Williams would get nailed with something that hurt him. Williams would suck it up and fight valiantly but I believe Pavlik would walk him down to a late stoppage.

Regarding my opinion on boxers from different eras, it’s not that I have “less respect” for the modern fighters. I simply maintain that the best boxers of this era – one with 17 weight classes, at least four major titles, and schedule of one or two fights a year for the “elite” – have to do a lot in order to equal or compare to the best fighters of past eras that only had one championship in each division, eight-to-10 weight classes and elite fighters who averaged a fight per month (or more).

Having respect for the past is not the same thing as disrespect for the present. Too many young fans get it twisted. And too many boxing fans are twisted, period, which is why I’m not going to fall into another endless Mayweather circle-jerk debate by ranking him among the best boxers who turned pro after 1990. I definitely think he’s one of the 10, but you and I both know that if I don’t put him at No. 1, I’ll get a bunch of doo-doo comments and emails from The Money Team Army. F___ that! I’m tired of those fools.

So I’ll give you my 10 best boxers since 1990, but I ain’t ranking them. I’ll put ‘em in alphabetical order and let you guys argue about who’s better than who. (Have fun with that.)

By the way Hopkins isn’t on the list because he turned pro in 1988. Another future hall of famer I considered but could not include because he entered the professional ranks before 1990 is Marco Antonio Barrera (who turned pro in November of ’89).

Here’s the 10: Joe Calzaghe, Oscar De La Hoya, Wladimir Klitschko, Juan Manuel Marquez, Floyd Mayweather, Erik Morales, Shane Mosley, Manny Pacquiao, Felix Trinidad and Kostya Tszyu.

Honorable mention: Chris Byrd, Ivan Calderon, Joel Casamayor, Jose Luis Castillo, Diego Corrales, Miguel Cotto, Naseem Hamed, Mark Johnson, Vitali Klitschko and Antonio Tarver.  

 

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer

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