Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

LOMACHENKO: GOOD FIGHT?

Hey Doug,

What do you think of the Vasyl Lomachenko loss? I thought he handled himself pretty well for his first 12 rounder and only second pro fight.

Especially against Orlando Salido, who I'm not surprised pulled off the upset.

I don't think rematch, but where does Lomachenko go?

I think he can learn a lot from this fight and improve his countering, timing, and defense. Lomachenko's holding I thought came more in response to Salido's size and pro-experience advantage, and that Lomachenko started to sharpen up his accuracy toward the end.

I'd like to see him managed well and think in a couple years he would've have handily beat the Salido from Saturday night. – Tim

In a couple of years? Tim, he almost beat Salido on Saturday – despite the grizzled Mexican veteran’s weight advantage and roughhouse tactics.

I was one of the few members of the boxing media who favored Salido to beat Lomachenko, but I would not hesitate to pick the ultra-talented Ukrainian southpaw to win an immediate rematch.

Give Lomachenko a couple of solid pro fights under his belt and I think he’d soundly beat Salido and most other top 126 pounders. I wasn’t sure about the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s world-title potential after his so-called “pro debut” last October (we here at THE RING viewed it as his seventh pro bout due to his six World Series of Boxing fights), but I’m a believer now.

We already knew Lomachenko had world-class skill, poise and athleticism, which was backed by a legendary amateur career, but he proved against Salido that he has a world-class chin and championship-level stamina and toughness.

I can’t begin to express how impressed I was with the way Lomachenko closed the fight against Salido. I thought he’d be lost after the sixth round and overwhelmed in the championship rounds. Instead, Lomachenko came on. He was the stronger fighter down the stretch. He was the one coming forward and Salido was the guy holding and looking to run out the clock.

Loma’s already at the championship level in my opinion, so if I was managing him I wouldn’t drop his level of competition much. I wouldn’t put him back in with the Jose Ramirez level. He’s grown since that fight. I would put him in with a decent fringe contender like Rico Ramos or Jonathan Barros and then in with a top-10 contender, such as Nicholas Walters or Javier Fortuna, and if he handles those fights (which I think he would) I’d have him target IBF titleholder Evgeny Gradovich or the winner of the May 31 WBA title bout between Simpiwe Vetyeka and Nonito Donarie.

Whoever “Loma” fights next, I won’t pick against him.

 

SALIDO FLIPS THE SCRIPT (AGAIN), CHAVEZ VS. GGG

Dougie! 

Decent boxing weekend. 

You came out looking as one of the few smart ones by predicting a Salido victory! I didn't care much for Lomachenko but the moment this fight was announced I laughed. If you want to become a champ with your second pro fight do not look at a grizzled Mexican like Salido to make your point. Lomachenko has the skills but Salido beat him by fighting a better professional style (with some help from the reliably incompetent Laurence Cole). Lomachenko needs to go to the body and get rough in there if need be. I don't care how much the HBO crew bitched about Salido's low blows; if Bernard Hopkins fouls it is attributed to his status as a cagey veteran. Salido fouls and all of the sudden he goes straight pass cagey veteran or rough-housing boxer to him just milking an incompetent referee's oversights. 

After watching that fight all I can think of is what Salido said afterwards: Welcome to professional boxing.

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. came closer to doing what he should have done a few months ago: putting Bryan Vera away. He didn't KO Vera but he probably hurt him worse through 12 rounds than if he had KOed him. When Vera was telling Jr. to stop running in the 12th round I was thinking that it is not the same thing to call on the devil than to see him coming at you. Chavez-Gennady Golovkin? Sign me up! I don't think that Chavez is the truth but you gotta give it to the kid, he can put on some good fights. I think Golovkin wins a decision but Chavez will not stop coming forward… a recipe for an entertaining and engaging fight. 

Badou Jack got CLOCKED! That was bad. Don't care much for Jack but this was supposed to be a showcase for the Mayweather stable. 

How do you like a Chavez-Golovkin fight? 

You think Lomachenko has the goods to bounce back? I think he does, and he now can bounce back with a spoonful of humbleness too! 

Who you got on the Canelo Alvarez-Perro Angulo fight? Perro might be slow but I have to go with him. What seals it for me is how he got to Lara. When you can tangle with a Cuban star… you can do it with almost anyone. Canelo is good but I have never drank all of the kid's Kool-Aid!

Little (yet older) Alvarez should be thanking the Aztec Gods for letting Omar Figueroa get hurt. No way the Alvarez nobody cares for beats Figueroa. – Hector

Ricardo Alvarez hasn’t escaped Figueroa. That WBC title bout was postponed, not cancelled. Figueroa’s hand injury is a buzzkill for him and his fans, but I’m kind of glad that fight is off Saturday’s pay-per-view broadcast. I don’t think Ricardo, who was lucky to get a decision over Rod Salka in December, is worthy of a shot at a major 135-pound belt or the PPV exposure. Plus, I think the replacement bout – Jorge Linares vs. Nihito Arakawa – is a better fight.

I like Alvarez over Angulo in a tough and punishing fight for both junior middleweights, one that perhaps goes the distance. I favor Canelo’s fresher legs, quicker reflexes and sharper punching over Angulo’s size, pressure, physical strength and heavier hands.

I also like that a lot of hardcore fans are picking Angulo in this fight. It will be interesting to see if they give Canelo a shred of respect if he beats “Perro.”

I don’t think Lomachenko has the goods to bounce back, I KNOW he does. He proved it in the late rounds against Salido.

How do I like a Chavez-Golovkin fight? I freakin’ LOVE it. It’s a great matchup for Junior, GGG and the fans. And don’t think it will be a walk in the park for Golovkin, though I favor him to win by decision or even late TKO (he’s the one guy I can see stopping Junior because he’ll attack lad’s midsection).

Chavez’s has size on his side and he’s probably got the most reliable chin of anyone Golovkin has ever faced, but I guarantee you that he won’t come forward the entire fight against GGG. He’s a goofy ass pot head but he’s not crazy. If Junior fights Golovkin, we’ll see him mix a lot of stick-and-move in with the traditional Chavez pressure.

Badou got jacked. Nobody saw that KO shot coming – including the Swede. Not that Floyd Mayweather Jr. needed any encouragement for his safety first approach to boxing, but if he was entertaining the thought of mixing it up more in his fights for the sake of the fans I’m sure he’s given up on that idea after watching the two most talented boxers in his Money Team stable (Mickey Bey and Jack) get iced by guys they were supposed to beat easily.

Regarding the Salido-Lomachenko fight, I think you summed it up perfectly with this line – “Lomachenko has the skills but Salido beat him by fighting a better professional style (with some help from the reliably incompetent Laurence Cole).”

Thanks for the props on the fight pick. The right guy won even though the roles were sort of reversed from how I viewed the fight going in. I thought Lomachenko would dominate early and then get drowned in the late rounds. Instead, Salido got the cleaner shots in over the first half of the bout (when Loma was doing more holding than hitting) and it was the amateur stud who was swimming like Michael freakin’ Phelps in the championship rounds. It was great drama! And I agree with you 100 percent on the HBO crew. They rip Salido for the same roughhouse stuff that veteran American stars (B-Hop, Mayweather) are praised for.

Orlando Salido vs Lomachenko fukuda

CANELO HATERS

Sup Dougie,

It’s been a while since I've written. I'll keep it very short since I'm sure you're drowning in emails right now. 

Why is everyone jacking each other off over Mayweather fighting the number 8 (9 according to THE RING) guy in the welterweight division? (I rank Marcos Maidana above Paulie btw). Then those same people s__t on Canelo for fighting Angulo and “ducking” Erislandy Lara. 

Shouldn’t the P4P king that just fought at 154 be fighting Lara? And no… I’m not a Maidana hater. I really like “El Chino” and will be rooting for the upset but lets be very clear on who Mayweather is fighting before we shower him with more credit than he deserves. – Peter, Houston, TX

I think everyone is crystal clear on Maidana. He’s 7½-to-1 underdog. Period. Good luck to him. I’d say may the better man win but we already know it’s the 14-to-1 favorite.

But hey, if fans (and certain members of the media – you know who they are) want to form a big Mayweather circle jerk every time Mr. “TBE” fights a no-hoper that’s their prerogative.

Same deal with Canelo. If hardcore heads want to take a dump on him at every turn, they should feel free to get their feces-throwing frenzy on like a bunch of cooped-up zoo chimps.

Regardless of what we say about them – pro or con – Mayweather and Canelo are laughing their way to the bank.

But I admit the Canelo hate perplexes me a bit. He doesn’t half-ass it in training or during his fights (like that other Mexican star), he doesn’t talk a lot of s__t or claim he’s the G.O.A.T. or disrespect his opponents. Yet he gets under the skin of hardcore fans for some reason.

Maybe they still view him as being “protected” (which was true a few years ago but is now a silly notion given that he will have fought Austin Trout, Mayweather and Angulo in a 12-month span).

Maybe it’s because he’s got a dedicated fanbase that doesn’t give damn about their opinions. (Lighten up you nerdy diehards! It’s a GOOD thing that Canelo can put butts in the seats. That helps our sport. Your social-media fantasizing about the “awesome” and “avoided” Lara is worth considerably less than the tens of thousands of tickets Canelo has sold in California, Nevada and Texas over the past three years.)

Maybe it just comes down to the red hair and freckles. If that’s the case, they’re just being mean. Come on #Boxingheads! Don't hate on a man just because he's a ginger. Haven’t you noticed the receding hairline of Ricardo Alvarez? Don’t you know that Rigoberto Alvarez is bald? If Canelo has the same hair genes as his older brothers he going to be looking like Louis C.K. by the time he’s 30.

Louis-C.K.-boxer_mailbag

Show some damn compassion for a change! Let the kid have his moment in the sun (which easily burns the hell out of his pale skin)!

 

STILL RESPECT AMIR

Hi Dougie,

I've been watching the Floyd saga from afar, and I'm glad he picked Maidana, considering the choice was between him and Khan. I don't think Khan has earned the shot, especially with the Argentine slugger coming off of the Broner upset, and racking up 4 straight victories.  

I think this is a blessing in disguise for Amir Khan. I don't think he was ready for Floyd, and a loss of that calibre, at this stage does not bode well for him. I want to see more fights with him under Virgil Hunter and see if he learns and makes adjustments.

I've had a few friends call Khan a disappointment, and criticize his inability to follow a game plan. Although I agree to a degree, I think this dismisses Khan's achievements. If Khan retired right now, I would not call Khan a disappointment. It's not disappointing to provide boxing fans with great match ups. Khan has balls, and I look forward to watching him in the next fight. Unlike many of the hyped prospects coming up, Khan took the much harder, battle tested road, and if he continues to improve, that big fight will be well earned; just not now.

I understand boxing fans have a "what have you done for me lately" but too many people are quick to dismiss a fighter. I seen this happen with Lucas Matthysse after the Danny Garcia fight. I'm still interested in watching Matthysse fight. I look forward to the guys who give me good fights, test themselves against the best and I'm not going to judge them harshly because they didn't do what they were expected to. They still accomplished more than many other highly talented fighters.

What do you think Amir's best route back to the top is? Do you still have hope for his career or do you see the Julio Diaz fight as more of things to come? Am I delusional in my belief that Khan's best is still to come? Thanks. – Jey Brampton, ON

You’re a little bit delusional but that doesn’t mean you’re wrong. Ten years ago heavyweight champ Wladimir Klitschko had gone 2-2 in a four-bout stretch just like Khan has (only the Ukrainian was knocked out in both losses). If you had said at that time that Klitschko would bounce back from his setbacks, boxing fans would have told you that you’re very delusional. If you told those same fans that Klitschko would win his next 19 bouts, unify heavyweight titles and be considered a future hall of famer with comparable statistics to Joe Louis, Muhammad Ali and Larry Holmes, they would have said you’re straight up bat s__t.

So you never know, Jey. I’ll never count Khan completely out. He’s still young and he’s got too much smarts, talent and guts to dismiss; plus, as you noted, he’s got an astute boxing mind coaching him now. I respect him for the same reasons you do – he challenged himself and he put on compelling fights. Khan fought more top-10 junior welters than any 140 pounder who is currently rated by THE RING. And he fought Malignaggi, Zab Judah and Lamont Peterson in their hometowns.

I think his best route back to the top is to take a rust-shaking fight against a fringe contender and then target one of the world-rated fighters in Golden Boy’s vast welterweight stable: a rematch with Malignaggi or Maidana, or showdowns with Shawn Porter, Keith Thurman or Adrien Broner.

If he wins, he’s back.

 

WHICH PPV WOULD I BUY?

Hey Doug,

Answering your question from the Monday mailbag of which upcoming PPV I would buy, it would definitely be Pacquiao-Bradley II. It’s by far the most intriguing fight of the bunch. 

I plan on making the trip to Madison Square Garden for the Cotto-Martinez fight and the hall of fame induction ceremony.

Canelo vs Angulo is a fight that will be more one sided than people think. Angulo has never won a single important fight so I won’t expect him to beat Golden Boy's cash cow.  

You plan on doing the cross country trip?

If so, I’ll see you there! I’m doing my bachelor party in NYC! Write to you soon. – Juan Valverde

I had planned for my annual trip to NYC to be GGG’s April 26 date but since that was scrapped I might try to attend Cotto-Martinez. That fight will definitely feature the most electric live atmosphere.

Although my question from the Monday bag was which pay-per-view card would you skip, I agree that the Bradley-Pacquiao rematch is the most evenly matched of the up-coming pay-per-view shows.

But I’m not that into it. Not yet anyway. Controversy aside, I thought the first bout was rather uneventful, that’s probably why I’m having a hard time getting excited about it now.

I don’t know what to think of Cotto-Martinez. I think the middleweight champ’s size and style gives Cotto fits but every knowledgeable boxing head I talk to doesn’t give Martinez a chance. They say he’s shot and I gotta admit the Maravilla haters are shaking my confidence! 

I disagree with your take on Canelo-Angulo. I think it’s a competitive fight. For the first time in his career, Canelo is in with a guy who can and will walk through his best shots (at least half the fight) and can outwork and manhandle him in close.  

I think Saturday’s main event will deliver, and I think two of the three undercard bouts – Leo Santa Cruz-Cristian Mijares and Linares-Arakawa – will also deliver. Saturday’s show doesn’t have any future hall of famers on like the other PPV shows, but top-to-bottom I think it’s the best buy of the bunch.

Congratulations on your pending marriage, by the way. If I make it to NYC in June I’m buyin’ your drinks at Jimmy’s Corner.

 

ABRAHAM-CHAVEZ IN THE SUMMER?

Dougie,
Given that both Arthur Abraham and Chavez won this past weekend, with Abe winning the WBO title and still probably coming pretty cheap these days, what would you think of Abraham-Chavez this summer? I heard Chavez was taking a fight this summer before fighting Golovkin in the fall, and this would give him the opportunity to pick up a belt. 

Me, personally, I don't think there's any way on Earth Chavez doesn't get knocked out brutally if he takes the fight, but I hate the kid, so I'd love to see that. – Todd

Based on what I saw from him during his rubber match victory over Robert Stieglitz, I’d give Chavez a very good shot of beating the veteran two-division titleholder (but maybe it’s just because I like Junior).

I wouldn’t count Abraham out in that fight. He’s the more battle-tested of the two, but he’s also the older, naturally smaller man, who does a lot of holding and covering up and only fights in spots.

I didn’t like seeing Vera take a beating for 12 rounds, but one thing his crazy toughness and will power proved (apart from the fact that the Texan gatekeeper is a major badass) is that Chavez can fight a hard championship-distance fight. I see Chavez being able to take Abraham’s best shots and I envision the Armenian strongman’s face getting chopped up by Junior’s return fire. I also think Chavez will take advantage of King Art’s armadillo defense by banging the hell out of his body.

Anyway, unless Abraham was willing to come to the States, I don’t think that fight would happen. Chavez has too much of a name in the U.S. to travel to Germany, and I think Abe got his fill of the American boxing scene during the Super Six tournament. (And by the way, I could be totally wrong about the fight not being possible and about Chavez beating Abraham. Remember, I picked Abraham to win the Super Six.)

Abraham vs Stieglitz sebastian heger

KING ARTHUR

Hey Dougie,

Here in Germany Abraham-Stieglitz was kind of a big deal (even bigger than Huck-Arslan). But after the fight there was a discussion if Abraham legitimately won. I thought that Abraham won quite fair. He surely wasn´t as active as Stieglitz, but he landed the heavier hands. Also I think, that he showed some improvement, he worked a lot more with the jab and he didn’t just hide behind his gloves all of the time, but tried to avoid getting hit by moving to the side and land a counter.

So anyway, what do you think of the fight (or were you too busy following the spoiled pothead and seeing Salido playing teacher?) and what do you think could be next for Abraham? I can’t see him against Mikkel Kessler (but maybe it’s possible, because they have the same promoter) and against Carl Froch or Andre Ward.

I’m excited about the Angulo-Alvarez fight. I think that could be a fun little war. Cheers. – Leonard (not Ellerbe!) 

I think you’re right, Leonard. I’m excited too. I’ll be flying to Vegas tomorrow night so I can cover and take part in all of the pre-fight media events leading into what should be a very entertaining card.

I made time to watch Stieglitz-Abraham III on YouTube yesterday and thought it was a decent super middleweight title bout (as most of those European showdowns tend to be) but I didn’t find it as intense as the first bout and obviously not as shocking as the rematch.

I agree that Abraham made some much-needed adjustments to his style, mainly the jab and lateral movement, which enabled him to outpoint his rival (and I agree with you that he deserved the nod). I think Abe showed that he’s got a couple more high-profile fights left in his battle-worn body before he’s finally put out to pasture. He moved well, put punches together with speed when planted his feet, and exhibited good reflexes. However, he didn’t punch with the same snap and power as he used to deliver his shots with.

Stieglitz didn’t look bad at all. I liked his forward-marching aggression but he was overanxious in his attempt to overwhelm Abraham (as he did in their rematch). The former titleholder wound up smothering his own punches when he got close enough to Abraham, as the British commentators pointed out. And he was totally gassed in the final round. The middleweight version of King Art would have whacked his spent ass out in the 12th.

All in all, there were some good rounds during the fight but too much holding and lulls in the action for my taste. Still, I consider both veterans to be legit top 10 contenders (both were in THE RING’s top five going into the rubber match) and I think they can compete with any 168 pounder not named Ward or Froch.

What’s next for Abraham? Given the disputed decision on Saturday, I wouldn’t be shocked if they had a fourth fight. There’s also British contender James DeGale, who is currently ranked No. 2 in the WBO. A showdown with Kessler would be a big fight in Germany or Denmark.

But I’d like to see some kind of showdown between Abraham and current IBF middleweight titleholder Felix Sturm. The two Germany-based standouts never fought at 160 pounds when both were long-reigning beltholders and in their primes and I always wondered how their styles would play out in a fight. I used to think Abe was too tough for the Sturminator, but not any more.

Sturm would have to come up to 168 pounds, or maybe they’d agree to a catchweight, but I think it would be a good scrap.

 

 

Photo Gallery & Photo / Naoki Fukuda
Photo /
Sebastian Heger

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