Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

FURY, CHISORA, BUGLIONI & CAPT. RON’S GGG RANT

Hey Doug,

Just wanted to email in after reading Captain Ron’s GGG rant in this week’s Monday mailbag.

It always amazes me when boxers can get people so riled up and angry! I understand to an extent if people don’t like boxers such as Adrien Broner or the like as his antics can be a little ridiculous in and out the ring. He courts controversy and will therefore receive some hate. But going off on one about GGG because you think he lacks intelligence and isn’t attractive? Ok you don’t like him as a fighter and you think he’s overrated. That’s fair enough. We all see/like different things in fighters. But why all the insults to try and make a valid point? I don’t get it? The internet is the perfect tool for your average angry keyboard trolling warrior. I find it very odd.

I guess you have to publish these emails as everyone is entitled to an opinion. Maybe sometimes people’s opinions should be kept to themselves if they can’t make their point without petty insults.

Anyway enough about that. Will you get to see any of the Frank Warren card that’s on over here in London on Saturday? Dereck Chisora v Kevin Johnson and Tyson Fury v Joey Abell? Neither are particularly appealing fights but hey it’s been a slow month and I’ll take this over no boxing. I expect Chisora to win a relatively boring UD and Fury by mid-round KO. I think Fury is a knockout waiting to happen but I don’t see Abell as the man to do it. What are your thoughts on Chisora and Fury in the heavyweight scene? I think they’re best off fighting each other like’s been mooted in the summer. I don’t see either of them doing much on the world scene. Still Fury talks a good game so he might just get his shot that way if he wins Saturday and beats Chisora in their rematch. I’m not convinced he will beat Chisora but it looks like he’s going to have to if he wants to go on to bigger and better things.

There’s a young fighter on the undercard called Frank Buglioni. Have you seen any of him? What do you think? He’s a bit easy to hit at the moment but he looks a decent prospect. Hopefully one for the future. Be interested in your thoughts? Do young British prospects get much coverage in the States?

Thanks for the mailbag as always. Enjoy kicking off and finishing the week with it.

Cheers – Dave, London

You are most welcome, Dave.

Do young British prospects get much coverage in the States? A little bit but not nearly as much as they used to. I recall watching highlights, and in some cases full bouts, of up-and-coming British talents – such as Nigel Benn, Lennox Lewis and Naseem Hamed – on U.S. networks, basic cable and sports channels during the late 1980s and ‘90s before they even had their first fight on American soil.

The last British prospects to really get some love from the American boxing media before they ventured to this side of the Pond was Ricky Hatton and Amir Khan. Carl Froch, George Groves and Tyson Fury got a little bit of attention before their U.S. debuts.

Buglioni is unknown to most U.S. boxing fans but I think he’s a super middleweight prospect worth keeping an eye on. I can’t say too much about him because his first 10 bouts were against guys he was supposed to smash but he got the job done against a decent fighter in his last bout and apart from his considerable physical tools (good height, reach and, of course, punching power), I think he’s got a solid boxing foundation. He’s got good balance, sound technique and he puts his punches together well. I think his defense needs some work (more head and upper-body movement will help him out as his opposition improves) and I think he could settle down a little bit. He’s and aggressive, busy fighter, which fans appreciate, but sometimes it looks like he’s in a rush to get his opponent out of there.

Anyway, I look forward to following the 24 year olds development. He seems to the have the talent, looks, attitude and personality of a potential star. And, yes, I’m sure I’ll find a stream of tomorrow’s show from London to watch.

I view the co-featured heavyweight bouts as you do: Chisora by decision (though I think KJ might give the rugged pressure fighter some trouble if he elects to stick and move) and Fury by mid-rounds TKO.

I don’t view Chisora or Fury as world beaters but I think both can be players on the world-class heavyweight scene, regardless of who wins their imminent rematch. I view Chisora as a gatekeeper who can spoil the plans of up-and-comers or legit top-10 contenders who don’t take him seriously. He has a rugged style and slightly imbalanced personality that makes him fun to watch and follow.

Fury is better than a future gatekeeper in my opinion. I know he doesn’t have a great chin or the most refined technique, but he’s got underrated boxing ability and ring smarts and a champion’s heart, as well as size and youth (25 years old is a baby by heavyweight standards) on his side.

If I was advising him, I wouldn’t rush him into a title fight immediately following a Chisora rematch (assuming he beats his former adversary). I’d have him hold off on that dream until 2015 or maybe even 2016. I’d put Fury in with old-but-tough veterans, such as Tomasz Adamek and Tony Thompson, who will push him and test him and help him mature in the ring but (hopefully) fail in popping his cherry. In the meantime, Wladdy will get closer to 40 and the box-off series for the vacant WBC title will play itself out, so Fury will have a new king (with a green belt) and an older (hopefully fading or complacent) real champ to target.

Regarding Capt. Ron’s Gennady Golovkin rant, I don’t get the GGG hate, either, but I wanted to include his email in the Monday mailbag because I’m a big fan of the undefeated WBA middleweight titleholder and I know that I post a lot of emails that unabashedly praise and overrate the 2004 Olympian.

I welcome criticism on all fighters, especially my favorites. The mean-spirited jabs at Golovkin don’t make sense to me. The guy’s not an a__hole. He’s respectful to all of his opponents and he doesn’t laud himself as an all-time great or the best ever (although his trainer does). But my guess is that some fans who consider themselves “purists” don’t appreciate his style and aren’t able to see the effective finer points of his ring generalship. They see a “one-dimensional” stalker with average hand speed and defense and they have convinced themselves that the moment he faces and “elite boxer” he’ll be EXPOSED (the favorite word of armchair Eddie Futches everywhere).

Other fans get into arguments with fellow nut cakes – and Golovkin has his share of whack job followers like most prominent boxers – on social media and boxing forums and they wind up getting a hard-on for the fighter because of what that fighter’s diehard supporters said.

It’s crazy and it’s pointless, but guess what? That’s boxing.

 

FIGHTER BRAIN HEALTH STUDY

Hey Dougie,

First off, I love your weekly mailbags. I look forward to them every Monday and Friday. I enjoy your approach to looking at boxing both subjectively and objectively with an emphasis on the culture, art, and historicity of the sport. Keep it up!

I was pleasantly surprised to see the Cleveland Clinic's Fighters Brain Healthy Study be supported by a major press conference with the likes of Bernard Hopkins, Mikey Garcia, Richard Schaefer, as well as many big names in MMA like Jon Jones. I just finished an excellent documentary entitled "After The Last Round" (check it out on Youtube) that focuses on the dramatic affect and impact boxing has on the body and mind over time. It surprises me, that even in 2014, little research has been done on the subject of brain trauma, or more appropriately, how to detect warning signs for those who could develop serious trauma. Do you think such research could be a turning point for the health and well being of the sport?

I think there is a great dichotomy to how I view the sport. I love slugfests and bloodfests. The best fights in my opinion are long grueling wars of attrition. I could watch Gatti vs Ward a hundred times and still get pumped up about it. On the other hand when I hear in the news about the recently deceased Oscar Gonzalez or the problems that Magomed Abdusalamov had to deal with, it reels me back a bit and gets me thinking "Why do I enjoy this so much?"

This brings me to my real question. Why is there not an international or national organization for the care and well being of boxers, especially those who are past their primes and suffering from medical conditions caused by the sport that they dedicated their lives to? Has there ever been discussions with the major boxing commissions or promotion companies about such a support system? Is it even feasible?

I understand that boxers choose their lifestyle, but they are commodities as well for our entertainment as well as fill purses of promoter, commissions, and sanctioning bodies and I think there needs to be an ethical responsibility to have a support system for fighters.   

I'll end on a lighter note with some mythical match ups:

1. GGG vs Jake LaMotta  

2. Emile Griffith vs Pacquiao 

3. James Toney vs. Tommy Hearns (at 160)

4. Stanley Ketchel vs Harry Greb (25 round fight)

– Jon M., Grand Rapids, MI

I think there are thousands of fans like who, like you, care about the well-being of boxers beyond their fighting days and I believe that there’s enough money to support some kind of national or international organization that helps former prize fighters who suffer from the debilitating effects of the sport.

However, in order for such an organization to come into existence, the various parts of boxing – both sport and business – must come together.

The most promising aspect of the recent press conference in Washington, D.C., to support the Cleveland Clinic's brain health study was the fact that fighters, promoters, network executives and politicians united for a common goal.

But guess what, Jon? Fans are a major part of this equation. Don’t leave the well being of former fighters to promoters or commissions or the media or even the fighters themselves. FANS are the ones who put the money into the sport. YOU’RE the ones who buy tickets, purchase pay-per-view shows, subscribe to premium cable networks like HBO and Showtime, and guzzle down the beer whose companies sponsor boxing events.

You have power if you get organized. Educate yourselves on what can be done to prevent brain injuries and what can be done to support fighters who suffer from pugilistic dementia and other mental/psychological ailments brought on by repeated head trauma and then take your cause to your fellow fight fan. This is the age of social media and Kickstarter. If a bunch of nerds from across the globe can come together to help a fellow geek produce a comic book or video game or independent film, than the fans of a truly international sport can do something to assist the retired athletes of that sport who are in need of help.   

Don’t sit around feeling sorry for boxers and guilty about being a blood-thirsty ghoul. DO SOMETHING about it. Reach out, pool your resources and then contact the commissions, promoters and media about making a difference.

Anyway, thanks for the very kind words about me and the mailbag; and for the excellent mythical matchups you provided (I can’t get enough of these):

1. GGG vs Jake LaMotta – Raging Bull by decision in a competitive and very entertaining fight.  

2. Emile Griffith vs Pacquiao – Griffith by decision in a fight that starts off hot but simmers down once the Virgin Islands-born New Yorker adjusts to PacMan’s speed and times and ties up the Filipino icon during the second half of the bout.

3. James Toney vs. Tommy Hearns (at 160) – Hitman by close decision. Toney’s awesome chin holds out against Hearn’s awesome power, and his counterpunching ability makes it interesting, but Tommy still outjabs and outpoints Lights Out from a distance.

4. Stanley Ketchel vs Harry Greb (25 round fight) – Greb by decision. The Pittsburgh Windmill’s chin withstands the best shots from the Michigan Assassin as he outworks his fellow middleweight legend over the distance of a grueling fight.

 

DEONTAY WILDER, BEST KOS & FIGHTS SINCE Y2K

Hey Dougie,
In the event that Deontay Wilder keeps his KO streak alive in route to becoming not just a belt holder but the Heavyweight Champion of the World, do you think he can create widespread mainstream interest in the sport. I know it's a tall task and the likelihood is he will not be able to win as emphatically once he fights the upper echelon of the division, but I guess what I'm asking is can an American who is in shape, has charisma and packs a serious punch bring boxing back to where it was in previous generations or is it going to be relegated to a niche sport in the US from here on out.
 
I know it's very early in the century but,
My Top 5 KO's this century:
Lennox Lewis Vs Hasim Rahman 2
Sergio Martinez vs Paul WIlliams 2
Marquez vs Pacquiao 4
Pacquiao vs Hatton
James Toney vs Jason Robinson
 
My Top 5 Fights this century:
Gatti vs Ward 1
Corrales vs Castillo
James toney vs Vassilly Jirov
Lamon Brewster vs Sergei Liakhovich
Cotto vs ricardo Torres
 
What do your lists look like? – Frank, Brooklyn, NY

Thanks for sharing, Frank.

Off the top of my head (and I must note that Thursday was a long day and it’s 1:45 a.m. as I write this), my top five fights since 2000 are:

1. Diego Corrales-Jose Luis Castillo I

2. Israel Vazquez-Rafael Marquez III

3. Erik Morales-Marco Antonio Barrera I

4. Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward I

5. Lamon Brewster-Wladimir Klitschko I

 

Top five KOs since 2000:

1. Antonio Tarver-Roy Jones Jr. II

2. Sergio Martinez-Paul Williams II

3. Manny Pacquiao-Ricky Hatton

4. Felix Trinidad-William Joppy

5. Lennox Lewis-Hasim Rahman II

I’m not 100 percent sure Wilder will get by Malik Scott next month, let alone go on to win a major title or recognition as THE heavyweight champion, but if he does I have no doubt that the Bronze Bomber will command the attention of the general sports media and captivate the imagination of casual fans. He’s got the explosive style and bombastic-but-likable personality that makes people stop and watch him fight.  

If Wilder can beat Scott and then the winner of the Chris Arreola-Bermane Stiverne rematch he’ll make believers of the boxing media and hardcore fans, which is a good launching point to crossover success. Bottom line: I don’t think the U.S. public is ready to give up on the idea of an American heavyweight champ.

 

GGG IS NOT EQUAL TO S.O.G

What's up DF?

Have never agreed with your boxing opinions, but they're yours. GGG is a good fighter with a strong amateur pedigree, but he's being built up off of the softest of competition while proclaiming that he'll fight anyone from 154 to 168. But still the boxing public believes that the Super 6 Champion should acquiesce to Golovkin? Abel Sanchez is demanding that Ward treat GGG as an equal? There's nothing equal about them, Ward is miles ahead of GGG and would beat him like he stole something should they meet! – Robert

Well, that’s your boxing opinion, Robert, and it’s all yours. LOL.

I would favor Ward over Golovkin if they were to fight at 168 pounds this year but I don’t think the super middleweight champ is “miles ahead” of GGG, whose amateur background was not just strong, it was stellar. And while it’s true that he’s being built up, his opposition is far from the “softest competition.” That’s a gross exaggeration.

Let me tell you something, GGG might be knocking off B-level middleweights and lower top-10 contenders, but he’s staying active and I think he’s getting better. Ward’s an amazing boxer but he’s not going to improve fighting once a year. If he only fights once in 2014, while Golovkin gets in another four bouts, I don’t know if I’ll favor him over the middleweight beltholder in 2015.

Every trainer is going ride for is fighter, especially in the media. Why would you expect Sanchez to say anything less than “Ward must treat Golovkin as an equal”? Sanchez says Golovkin is the second or third best middleweight of all time; he says GGG is better than Marvin Hagler. (Hey, it’s his boxing opinion and it’s all his.)

It’s silly to proclaim that “the boxing public” believes Ward should “acquiesce” to Golovkin. Some fans believe that, some fans don’t. Others don’t give a rat’s ass at the moment. However, the fact that there are so many hardcore heads who are either strong supporters of GGG or vehemently against him tells me that the undefeated Kazakh’s stature is growing in American and sooner or later he’s going to have the clout to bring Ward to the negotiating table.

 

REALLY ENJOY THE SMACKDOWNS
I really enjoy reading your responses to the seemingly endless amount of letters from uneducated fans. I'm no exception lol. I've noticed all too often tho you let some of these chumps off the hook after they bad mouth your guys. Like Captain Ron or that clown that thought Deontay Wilder should be number two and Solis higher in the rankings. These guys needed a serious case of the (written) beat downs for being morons. It's almost like they have no clue yet talk crap. I look forward to every column but the nerve or lack there of is ridiculous. 
 
Thanks again for the balanced view of the sport. – Nathan
 
You got it, Nathan.
As you know I’m not above going off on my fellow fans on occasion, but it’s not something I’m particularly proud of or want to make a habit of.
 
I’m generally a quiet, easy going and friendly person (seriously, ask some other boxing writers if you don’t believe me). I don’t have a big chip on my shoulder, but I do have as much pride and ego as the next guy and sometimes it gets the better of me, especially when I feel that I’ve been insulted or disrespected.
 
Capt. Ron had nasty things to say about Golovkin but he was respectful to me. (Hey, I’m an unabashed GGG fan but I don’t feel like I need to fiercely defend his honor every time someone says he’s overrated.)
 
And the heavyweight-obsessed guy was simply expressing his opinions on the division. I agreed with some of his observations and found the rest to be unsupported. I didn’t need to rub his nose in it.
But don’t think I’m going soft. I wasted a good four or five hours trading insults with a notorious Twitter troll earlier this week (and in the opinion of many witnesses I “crushed,” “destroyed,” “ethered,” “shutout,” “owned” and delivered a beatdown reminiscent of “Larry Holmes-Tex Cobb” to the poor deluded fool).
 
I’ll try to save some of that venom for the mailbag going forward.

 

JONES VS. COLLINS

Hi Doug,

You recently printed my question bout Cotto vs Hatton so I hope u remember me! http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/181939-dougies-friday-mailbag-135

Another short question… and I’m sure you’ve answered before….Who wins between ‘96 Steve Collins and Roy Jones Jr – Wayne

Jones by unanimous decision in one of those fights where half the observers think RJ was in complete control while the other half believes it was a close and competitive bout.

I think the prime 168-pound version of Jones may have scored a knockdown or rocked Collins a few times early in the bout, but he wouldn’t dent the Irishman’s will to win, which means he’d look to out-quick, outmaneuver and outpoint him over the distance.

I don’t think Jones would have had his way with Collins. Along with an aggressive busy style, an iron will and the ability to take brick to the face without blinking, Collins had underrated ring generalship that was developed over the years after many 12-round bouts against talented boxers such as future hall of famer Mike McCallum, Chris Eubank, Sumbu Kalambay, Reggie Johnson and Chris Pyatt. The Celtic Warrior learned his craft well from the Petronelli brothers and later Freddie Roach.   

 

 

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

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