Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

UPSET SPECIALS COMING UP

Hi Doug,

I pray all is well with you and your family. I think one of the four big names fighting this year – Pacman, Martinez, Fraud, and Canelo – is going to take a loss. I think if Martinez recaptures his best form he should have the easiest time and will beat Miguel Cotto with ease and I would be shocked if Cotto lasts the distance. I think the only chance Cotto has is if Father Time has caught up with Martinez and he can’t recover from his injuries but if both are at their best, which I expect,  Martinez destroys Cotto. Anything Austin Trout can do Martinez can do better.

I like Pacquiao to beat Tim Bradley because he is superior in every facet – speed, power and conditioning. Pac Man has better footwork and hand speed. I will be shocked if Bradley pulls this off and his only chance is to fight dirty and use his head as a weapon or a lucky punch.

Alfredo Angulo is going to show us who Canelo Alvarez is and what he is about. He is going to step to him. Angulo has a great shot of pulling this off. The only reason my total confidence isn’t in him is because he seems to always come up short. Kermit Cintron, James Kirkland and Erislandy Lara all caught hell but Angulo doesn’t seem able to sustain his pace. Great chance for a upset here but if it goes distance Canelo is going to get the nod based on his popularity and ability to sell tickets, so Angulo better go balls to the wall and go for knockout. Angulo may be due because he has had some bad breaks in the past.

I think that Marcos Maidana is going to beat Fraud and give us the fight that the media and public thought they were going to get from Alvarez. Maidana has the courage and power and intestinal fortitude to win this fight. He can be ruthless and reckless, qualities you need to beat Fraud. Fraud is more athletic but if you look at who beat him (Jose Luis Castillo) and who gave him the most problems (Cotto) it was fighters who made him engage and took him out of his comfort zone, which is why he avoided PacMan, Paul Williams, and Antonio Margarito, who would have put the heat on him. Joe Frazier gave the more athletic Muhammad Ali hell; Roberto Duran gave Ray Leonard hell and Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. gave Meldrick Taylor and Hector Camacho hell. Maidana has the mindset to win and won’t be intimidated at all especially after dealing with Adrien Broner’s antics. I‘m not letting my Fraud bias cloud my judgment and truly believe Maidana is going to exceed expectations. He has more heart than Canelo and will bring it.

God bless and take care. – Blood and Guts from Philly

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, B&G.

I don’t think having “more heart” than Canelo and "bringing it" is enough to beat Mayweather. I think Maidana is a hell of a fighter and a lot of fun to watch but I don’t think he’s in the class of Castillo and Cotto, both of whom are underrated boxers/technicians.

Maidana earned his shot at Mayweather by winning four in a row (after being shut down by Devon Alexander), a streak that included stoppages of Jesus Soto Karass, Josesito Lopez and the decision over Broner. However, Alexander, Soto Karass, Lopez and Broner are not in Mayweather’s league. Alexander outclassed Maidana. Soto Karass, Lopez and Broner all had their moments against Maidana – he did not win easy in those fights.

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words, so I’ll end this Mayweather-Maidana debate with this sweet shot ace boxing photographer Naoki Fukuda took during the Maidana-Lopez fight.

Lopez-smacks-Maidana_Fukuda

If Josesito can smack Chino upside his head like this (with his eyes closed, even), imagine what Mayweather’s gonna do all night?

I agree that Angulo is going to show us who Canelo is and what he is about. So if Alvarez beats “El Perro” decisively – no controversy or funny business from the officials – are the Canelo haters going to finally give the kid some respect? I seriously doubt it.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t enjoy the fight. Angulo will test Canelo in ways we haven’t seen before but I think the redhead will mix in the right amount of “stick-and-move” into the “toe-to-toe” exchanges the fans want to see and either score a close decision or force a late stoppage. I think Canelo’s jab, reflexes and lateral movement will be the keys to his success.

I don’t hold any of Angulo’s losses against him. I think they all made him stronger – mentally and spiritually – which coupled with his brute physical strength makes him a very hard man to take down. It one of his recent victories, the 10-round unanimous decision he scored against Jorge Silva in December of 2012, which makes me doubt his ability to beat Canelo. In that fight, the 20-year-old Tijuana talent gave Angulo a tough fight by working his jab, moving around the bigger man, and throwing his right hands at the right times.

I totally disagree with your take on the Pacquiao-Bradley rematch, even though I thought PacMan won their first bout. I don’t think Manny has superior speed, conditioning or footwork. I don’t even think Pac’s once-vaunted power is all that anymore. When’s the last time the Filipino icon scored a knockout?

I know Bradley’s no power puncher but he’s an elite level athlete and boxer in every other category. I think he’ll outpoint Pacquiao, legitimately this time, although I won’t be surprised if the judges do a “make up” call and award to Pac.

You and I see eye-to-eye on Cotto-Martinez. Unless the lineal/RING magazine middleweight champ is completely shot, he should keep his 160-pound titles on June 7.

 

CANELO WINS EASY

Hey Doug!

My short take on the Canelo-Angulo fight: I like Canelo to easily dismantle El Perro. I think Angulo’s style is tailor made for Alvarez's counter precision style. It will be entertaining though, as I think Perro will never stop trying. I just don’t trust fighters who've made their reputation by losing. Yeah, he's always in the fight, but when all is said and done, he can't pull the trigger. That’s why he was chosen.  

I was wondering, since we'll be going to NYC and fulfill one of my dreams – going to a fight in Madison Square Garden – I was wondering what are the places to go before and after the fight? I know that at the MGM in Vegas we always meet up at the Rouge, but I have no idea down in NYC what are the "in" places for boxing fans. I've been to NY three times so I'm pretty familiar with Manhattan. Yet, going for a boxing event will be very different and we want to know where is the best zone to stay. 

Thanks for the good thoughts on my marriage. I'll hold you to the Jimmy's Corner promise, Doug! Been a while since we had our last beer. I think it was before Ricky Hatton fought Mayweather. Here's a cool pic from that day! – Juan V., Tijuana

Juan-Paulie-and-the-gang

Oh my God. That was December 2007? Wow. It looks like we were having a damn good time, especially Paulie Malignaggi over to the left. (Buddy McGirt has strange look of someone you strong-armed into the picture but it’s all good.) We were probably the only folks in that lounge who weren't from Manchester.

Anyway, I have only the vaguest recollection of that night in Vegas and I have only a vague idea of what to do in New York City. Since I graduated from Columbia’s J-school (21 years ago), I rarely get back to the city that never sleeps, and when I am there it’s for boxing and I’m busy as hell, so I don’t get out much.

Apart from Jimmy’s Corner, there’s no must-visit destination for me in NYC. I just enjoy walking around mid-town when I have the time to do so. In the spring and summertime, I like to walk around Times Square afterhours because of all the people and activity.

OK, back to boxing. I agree that Angulo was chosen because he’s good enough to give top fighters a good fight without beating them but that doesn’t mean that he can’t pull off the upset. I think, as you do, that Alvarez’s quicker hands and accuracy should be able to take advantage of Angulo’s straight-forward and somewhat plodding attack. However, if the young man isn’t at his best, or if he loses concentration for just a moment, he can get clipped, he can get hurt and he can be taken out.

 

BURNS IS DONE

What's up Doug?
That was a good boxing weekend, and a good warm up for the coming months. Quick word on the action in Glasgow… Ricky Burns didn't look like he had anything left. He looked reluctant in the ring and he sounded between rounds like he just didn't want it. Crawford is good but not as good as Max Kellerman made him out to be. How would he fare against the lightweights at Golden Boy like Omar Figueroa? I think the lightweight division is pretty weak right now. Also, did you see Anthony Joshua aka “Black Thor” do his thing? He looks like the full package, so hopefully he doesn't disappoint.
 
The Chavez-Vera rematch was one hell of a fun fight. Brian Vera has one of the best chins I've ever seen. He ate up Junior's punches all night and was still smiling at the end. His speech is a little slurred though. I hope he doesn't end up like James Toney. Junior looked really fit and motivated. A fight against GGG will be crazy because everyone will be wondering how much Junior will take before getting knocked out – that's if it's even possible.
 
Finally, I have never seen a more poor incompetent, useless refereeing display than the one by Lawrence Cole in the Salido-Lomachenko fight. I thought the fight was a draw, but if the dumbass Cole was doing his job, then Lomachenko would have won because Salido was punching low so often that it was almost sexual harassment. He was all over Lomachenko's balls like flies on s__t. Have you ever seen someone get away with that many low blows? The thing that pissed me off most though, was when Lomachenko was battering Salido in the 12th, and when Salido held Loma's arms and wouldn't let go, the ref broke them up and then warned Loma for using his head. It was a total shambles. Still, Lomachenko made a s__tload of mistakes and he picked up so much in this fight. I respect that he chose not to fight dirty and I would fancy him to knock Salido out in a rematch at any weight. Still, in a time when idiot fans think one loss means you're crap, where does Lomachenko go from here?
 
Finally (for real this time), instead of mythical matchups, I'll give you real ones. Who wins Canelo-Angulo? Pacman-Bradley? Keep up the good work. Peace – Bilal, London

Thanks Bilal.

I think Canelo and Bradley win by close (but legit) decisions.

Lomachenko definitely earned his professional boxing stripes in that one bruising 12-round bout against Salido. It wasn’t “clean boxing” what Salido did in there but the fact that Lomachenko withstood it (without retaliating) and rallied in the championship rounds makes me a agree that he’d stop the Mexican vet in a rematch or win a clear decision. What’s next for the Ukrainian southpaw is bout for the vacant WBO 126-pound title. I hope he fights undefeated American standout Gary Russell Jr. (also a lefty with a extensive amateur background) for it.

Cole’s refereeing was pretty awful. The last time a witnessed a ref job that bad was Russell Mora officiating during the first Joseph Agbeko-Abner Mares fight, which just happens to be the last time I saw a dude tee-off on another man’s nuts as much as Saldio did.

(Man, I know this is an odd thought, but it just struck me that a Mares vs. Salido fight would kick ass – and punch balls – I hope the Cold War ends soon.)

Chavez-Vera II was fun but it was hard to watch after a while because of all the hard shots Vera took during the 12 rounds. You’re right about Vera’s tongue being a little thick (I noticed that he was talking through his teeth during HBO’s pre-fight interview segments). If he doesn’t hang ‘em up soon he will need subtitles for his interviews like Toney.

Chavez, on the other hand, has at least 3-4 good years left in his career – unless he fights GGG.

I agree that my man Ricky looks like he’s had it. It seems like he struggled all last year to regain the fine form he had from 2010-2012, but after Ray Beltran shattered his jaw and Crawford shattered his confidence, I seriously doubt he’ll ever find it.

Crawford proved to me that he’s the goods. I think he is as good as Kellerman said he was (only I don’t think the Omaha native is the No. 1 lightweight). I’d favor Crawford to beat Figueroa, but I’d love to see that fight. I wouldn’t mind seeing Crawford face the Jorge Linares-Nihito Arakawa winner, either. Too bad they fight for different U.S. Boxing Leagues.

Being an X-Men fan I prefer to call Joshua “Black Colossus” but yeah, I’m looking forward to watching the big man work his way up the heavyweight ladder.

 

ONE GOOD BOXING WEEKEND AFTER THE OTHER

Hello Mr Fischer,

Hope you good!!

First off I wanted your opinion on the Salido-Lomachenko fight. To tell you the truth, I was expecting way more from the Ukrainian!! Salido put a helluva performance and to be honest with you the low blows were just his experience, and the way that Loma was grabbing Salido was also foul play… any way does Salido not making weight take some merit off the upset as many people called it?…. I also streamed the Burns vs Crawford fight, what do you think about a unification fight with my boy Titere Vazquez? Their styles might not mesh but I think that Vazquez is the man at 135 after many defenses…. and last but not least Chavez vs Vera 2 was an exciting fight!!! Man Junior was a completely different fighter this time around. I think this version of Chavez would’ve most definitely stopped Martinez but should’ve, could’ve, would’ve…. Who do see Junior fighting next? GGG, Carl Froch, Jean Pascal or maybe pick up a title on the always game Sakio Bika? And how do you think he’ll do against any of them?

How do you think the Canelo-Angulo will end up? I think it will be a grueling fight and definitely not going the distance, btw will it be for any made up title just so that its 12 rounds? Keep up the good work. Greetings from Mexico City – Agustin

Thanks for sharing, Agustin.

I think don’t think Canelo-Angulo will be a grueling contest from the start but I believe it will gradually become a battle of attrition, probably after the fifth round. Whoever can shift gears or hold his form the best will be the one to prevail. I wouldn’t be shocked if the fight ends in a KO, but I think it will go 12 rounds (just like I thought Chavez-Vera II would) – and no, there is no silly made-up title on the line in tomorrow’s fight.

If the fight features toe-to-toe action in the early rounds, we’ll be treated to a brutal stoppage. I don’t know who will score it, though.

It looks like Chavez is closer to fighting Golovkin next than any of the other fighters you mentioned. I don’t see him beating any of them except for Bika (and that would be a hell of a scrap).

I agree that Miguel Vazquez should be considered the No. 1 lightweight in the world right now (not than anyone cares – even ultra-purist Rigo nut-riders crap on “Micky Vaz,” LOL). I don’t care to see Vazquez-Crawford. That fight would be torture to watch. Nothing would happen for 12 rounds but Kellerman would still cheerlead for Crawford as though he were witnessing the second coming of Ike Williams.

I can’t blame Saldio for roughing up Loma. It was his only way of breaking down the better talented boxer, and the referee allowed him to get away with it.

Yes, I do think his missing weight and coming in extremely heavy took some of the luster off the win, but so what? He got the ‘W,’ so he’ll get another significant fight and decent payday. That’s all that matters to him.

 

SPINKS & THE LIGHT HEAVIES OF THE '70s/'80s

Hi Dougie,

I think one of the most overlooked great eras in a weight class was the late 70's/early 80's period at Light-Heavyweight. Following Bob Foster's retirement, the division featured an array of talented professional fighters engaging in entertaining fights. Guys like John Conteh, Mate Parlov, Victor Galindez, Mike Rossman, Yaqui Lopez, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Marvin Johnson, Eddie Mustapha Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, put on a dozen or better great bouts until Michael Spinks cleaned up the division and unified the title. Watching those fights on Saturday and Sunday afternoons back then helped cement my love of the sport.

Speaking of Spinks, I can't think of another fighter who's career achievements have been so overlooked due to one bad loss. Did anybody actually think a pumped-up Light-Heavy was going to stand up against a peak Mike Tyson? Big wins over, M. Johnson, Mustapha Muhammad, and Qawi should rank him among the top Light-Heavies, and being the first Light-Heavyweight to step up and win the Heavyweight crown against a great champion like Larry Holmes is a pretty strong resume.

Mythical matchups: (My apologies if I missed your thoughts on these in the past.)

Michael Spinks-Roy Jones Jr. (Light-Heavy): Spinks never lost at Light-Heavy and was a better fighter than Antonio Tarver, and while Jones Jr. was a phenomenal talent, I think the "Spinks Jinx" separates him from his senses for the KO win. 

Floyd Mayweather-Tommy Hearns (Welterweight): Hearns controls the action with his size and jab and outboxes Floyd. If Floyd presses the action he gets knocked out by the overhand right. At 154, it's even easier for Hearns. – Brad

I agree on the outcome of both of your mythical matchups, which made me a “hater” to nut-huggers of the late 1990s/early 2000s (RJJ’s era) and makes me a “hater” to d__k-riders of the late 2000s/early 2010s (Mayweather’s era). I’m multi-decade hater, Brad. Ya betta recognize!

I agree that the light heavyweight class of the late ‘70s/early ‘80s was outstanding, second only the round robin that the welterweight division experienced in the late ‘70s/early ‘80s between titleholders Sugar Ray Leonard, Hearns, Roberto Duran, Wilfredo Benitez, Carlos Palomino, Pipino Cuevas, and top-10 contenders like Armando Muniz, Randy Shields and Pete Ranzany.

Those were awesome times to be a boxing fan. So much boxing talent and everyone fought everyone.

  

 

Photo / Naoki Fukuda 

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

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