Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Alfredo Angulo protests after referee Tony Weeks stopped his fight with Canelo Alvarez in the 10th round. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Alfredo Angulo protests after referee Tony Weeks stopped his fight with Canelo Alvarez in the 10th round. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

ANGULO, NO. 2 AT 122, PORTER-MALIGNAGGI & BROOK

Hey Dougie, what's up?
I didn't get a chance to email you after the fights last week, so here is my late email. What's next for Alfredo Angulo after failing the cinnamon challenge? Canelo beat him to a pulp and proved he's the better Mexican. Who wins out of Canelo and Lara? Lara is cagey as hell but Angulo was able to get to him. Would Canelo do the same?
 
Also, who do you think is the No.2 122-pound fighter. Rigo is of course No.1. I'm torn between my fellow Brits Scott Quigg and Carl Frampton, and a fight between them, according to Dan Rafael, will be our version of Barrera-Morales. Hopefully they wait, and fight some time in 2015, because that way the stakes will be much higher.
 
Finally, a quick word on Kell Brook. He fights Alvaro Robles on Saturday in a sort of stay busy fight. Apparently he's been promised the winner of Shawn Porter-Paulie Malignaggi for the IBF title. Who wins out of Porter-Malignaggi, and how will Brook do against the winner?
 
Hope I make the cut this time – I've been missing the last few times. Still, always respect, Dougie. Keep up the good work. Peace. – Bilal, London

You made the cut, Bilal.

I was glad to hear that the IBF mandated the winner of Porter-Malignaggi to fight Brook within 90 days. I’m an unabashed Brook fan (one of the few among U.S. boxing scribes) but he’s occupied a very high spot in THE RING welterweight rankings for a long time without having faced a bon-fide top contender. There’s only so far an undefeated record and undeniable talent/athleticism can go. It’s past time we found out if Brook is for real.

If he beats the Porter-Malignaggi winner, he’s for real in my opinion. I think he can win the IBF belt but it depends on who he fights. If he faces Malignaggi, I’ll favor him to outpoint the savvy and tough veteran New Yorker. If he faces Porter, I think he’ll stick and move well early in the bout but get roughed up by the physically stronger Ohioan over the second half of the bout and lose a close decision.

I favor Porter over Malignaggi in a close, sometimes ugly, distance fight.

THE RING rates Frampton (the mag’s No. 1 contender) just behind the champ, Guillermo Rigondeaux, at 122 pounds so he is basically our No. 2 junior featherweight. However, as much as I like Frampton, who has had some excellent performances (such as his ninth-round TKO of current IBF beltholder Kiko Martinez), I think his fellow UK standout Scott Quigg is more battle-tested (as well as a more versatile boxer). THE RING rates Quigg as the No. 6-rated junior featherweight, behind Vic Darchinyan, Victor Terrazas and Martinez (all of whom have been knocked out within the last year) and Leo Santa Cruz.

I disagree with that low ranking for Quigg. If he takes care of business against Nehomar Cermeno on April 19, I’m going to push THE RING’s Ratings Panel to move the Lancashire man at least to No. 3 in the 122-pound rankings.

I think Quigg is arguably the No. 2 junior featherweight behind the champ, Rigo. I’m sure Frampton and his fans vehemently disagree, which is good. It means there will be a lot of fanfare when the two UK badasses finally settle it in the ring.

I think Canelo can beat Lara but he won’t do the same things that Angulo did to the Cuban southpaw. Styles make fights. Angulo’s pressure fighting styles forced Lara (who was content to back up while busting up Perro’s face) to the ropes where he was able to do most of his damage. Canelo didn’t back up against Angulo, who wasn’t strong enough to force the kid back (at least in the early rounds) and wasn’t fast or elusive enough to protect himself from the “cinna-bombs.”

Canelo-Lara will be more tit-for-tat from a distance, which favors Lara in many ways. However, Canelo has the sharper jab, the better combinations and the heavier shots on average, so I can see him winning close rounds even when he gets off in spots (much the way he did vs. Trout). Lara would be the ring general, though, and would probably land the harder single shots (with his left) from the outside.

What’s next for Angulo? Hopefully a long rest. He needs it. If he stays at 154 pounds (I think he needs to be up at middleweight), I think the smartest thing would be to put him in with a journeyman just for the confidence builder and then move on to solid name fighters who are either past their primes like Shane Mosley (if he’s still willing to lace ‘em on – and you know he would be for “El Perro”) or Cornelius “K9” Bundrage (Dog vs. Dog), or go for young guns who have build-up records, such as the UK’s Brian Rose or Texas’ Charles Hatley.

If he can win those fights, I’d try to maneuver him to a title shot against soon-to-be deported IBF beltholder Carlos Molina. They can fight in Mexico. Sure, Molina will probably stick it out and win but at least Angulo won’t absorb another awful beating.

I would definitely steer Angulo clear of a James Kirkland rematch, the Charlo Twins and WBO boss Demetrius Andrade.

 

CANELO, ANGULO AT MIDDLEWEIGHT

DF,
Hey man, I like Tony Weeks almost as much as Kenny Bayless. I thought the call was good, and that's coming from someone who bet cash on Angulo.

Even with money on the line, around the 9th round I thought Virgil Hunter should have stopped the fight. I stopped caring about my bet. That was an inhuman amount of punishment Angulo was taking. I'm as bloodthirsty as any fan but I like competition not torture. That was like Faces of Death, Passion of the Christ s__t.
Alvarez was awesome though and had plenty to do with Angulo's loss, so I take nothing from his performance. His combinations were scary, especially when he finished with left hooks to the body. He showed that he could rebound from a loss impressively even though he fought a man who was unwilling to move his head, or parry, or even block shots most of the night.

Here's my suggestion for El Perro; move the f__k up in weight. I know Alvarez put on15 pounds after the weigh-in but he's 23 years old. You don't even get hangovers at that age. Angulo is a 31-year-old war vet. I think Tony Weeks did Angulo a service and I felt bad for the ref when the MGM turned hostile. That man has seen some s__t. I doubt anyone reading this is a better judge of when a fighter needs help.

I think Canelo might take a fight to test the middleweight ranks. I'm sure he'd love a fight with the winner of Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez. I'd probably pick Alvarez to win both those fights. Should Alvarez test water at 160, how do you like his chances against say a Curtis Stevens or bonafide threat like Peter Quillin? My guess is that he carries the weight very well.
 

MMU's
Winky Wright-Alvarez
Ray Mancini-Arturo Gatti

 
All the best Doug. – WS

Wright by UD in a mostly uneventful fight. Mancini by close UD in a war.

I think Stevens would knock Canelo out. The Brooklyn bomber is too damn fast along with being the naturally bigger, stronger man, with arguably sharper technique.

I would favor Quillin over Alvarez but not by much and not for very long. I think Quillin is quickly outgrowing the 160-pound division. It’s the reason he isn’t putting his foes away and is fading after five or six rounds. At some point, the 30-year-old “Kid Chocolate” is going to hit the wall on the scales and drain himself so bad that he won’t have anything on fight night. If he were to do that against Canelo, who would feel great being able to weigh-in between 157-160 pounds, the young former champ would clean his clock.

But for now, I would suggest that Canelo stay at junior middleweight unless Cotto beats Martinez for THE RING and WBC titles on June 7, of Martinez wins but looks really shaky and vulnerable. If Cotto and Canelo were to fight in late 2014 for the middleweight title I think it would be the biggest boxing event of the year.

I agree that Angulo should move up to 160 pounds. Making 154 (or close to it) is making him sick and making him sluggish on fight night. However, if he moved to middleweight, he’d give up the one advantage he has over his opponents right now – size. I could be wrong but I think all the top middleweight beltholders and contenders would beat Angulo handily.

I also agree that Weeks did the right thing on Saturday. Had he let the fight go on, Angulo would have been knocked out cold by the 11th or 12th round and he probably would have fell flat on his face where he would have remained motionless in a pool of his blood on the canvas.

Like you, I’m a blood thirsty ghoul, but I’m not a sick f__k. I don’t want to witness scary morbid s__t like that.

Canelo Alvarez vs Angulo uppercut fukuda (1)

PET SEMATARY

Ah Douglas…
Time to crawl my tired old behind from the 'twitterverse' and formally write in.

I was wrong, Dougie. Dead wrong. I thought Angulo would turn up the heat and knock the freckles off of Canelo in an eventual dogfight. We've all seen two dogs go at it who don't like each other. That wasn't it. Angulo moves as if he came from Pet Cemetery for crying out loud. I air-boxed as I watched the fight, trying to will the last few fast-twitch fibers I have left in me for my beloved Perro to turn the tables.

Instead, Canelo proved he indeed packs a punch and decent chin to go with it. I stopped hatin' on the red-head after he took on Austin Trout, because I thought he was being protected up until that time. Hat's off to the kid, he's growing into a legit champion.

So now what? I know Lara stormed his press conference (and got clowned), but I think Canelo can get him out of there. Lara's an excellent boxer, but for a guy who moves so well he almost always plants his feet before throwing punches. I think Canelo is poised enough to put hands on him without taking too much return fire, and hits hard enough to break him down to an eventual stoppage. Kirkland? Oh yeah, good times! It will be fun while it lasts, but I think Canelo escapes the early rounds and then takes care of biz from there. He'll have the ref's help, being Canelo and fighting in Texas.

Speaking of messing with Texas. I'm getting tired of the boxing 'politricks' of weight scandal. Angulo lost, and probably would have anyway if Canelo struggled to lose the last couple of pounds. But still. The rules are in place for a reason. At least Angulo got paid an extra 100k for it. I hope he tucks that and his earnings away so he can enjoy the rest of life with the fam. – JB

Like I said in the Monday mailbag, I think we’re going to continue have high-profile fighters (especially those who make a lot of dough) come in above their contracted weights until a commission steps ups and increases the penalties for such infractions. I think it will take a fine of 50% of the fighter’s purse plus a mandatory nine-month suspension to finally get these fat slobs, shady bastards and prima donnas to play by the damn rules.

I think Kirkland presents an easier style for Canelo to deal with but ultimately the “Mandingo Warrior” is a bigger physical risk than the Cuban. I think Canelo’s only shot of beating Kirkland would be in the first two or three rounds. If he doesn’t put Texas native away in the first nine minutes of action he gonna be in a world of pain until the referee saves him the way Angulo was saved last Saturday.

I agree that Canelo would be able to put hands on Lara, who isn’t as “elite” as his diehard Twitter supporters make him out to be. The lefty can be touched. He was lucky to get the draw against Molina, the draw vs. Vanes Martirosyan was the right call (neither guy did s__t in that awful “fight”) and what happened against Angulo was not a mirage. That s__t happened. Deal with it, Lara fans. Your boy ain’t Pernell Whitaker.

Still, the former captain of Cuba’s amateur squad would be a handful for the young Mexican star. Like I stated in Monday’s bag, I view it as a toss-up fight. And contrary to what the Twitter-boobs have to say, it’s a fight that could happen this year. And if Canelo does accept the fight, do I expect him to get any props or respect from Twitter Nation? (Ahem, allow me clear my throat) HELL NO!

Cotto-Martinez-comm-shoot_F

THE MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Mr. Dougie – how are you mate? Judging from your Monday Mail Bag you enjoyed the weekend stink between Canelo and Angulo – who didn't! It was a cracker!

Speaking of cracking fights, I caught some of the back and forth this week from 2 of my favourite pugilists – Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto. Is it just me or do these 2 guys know how to promote a fight!? Bloody geniuses! I for one am convinced that they genuinely do not like each other. I also think that this fight is potentially a massive risk for both of these guys.

This is how I'm seeing it:

#1 They are both stepping into the square ring for one of the last times of their career. How much is each guy willing to leave in the tank? Will we see these two beat the absolute crap out of each other or will they both, or one of them at least, play it safe to live to fight another day?

#2 The "styles" on show in this fight; Martinez's "pot shot and short combo's and skate outa there" style vs Cotto's "up in your kitchen all night… head and nasty body work" should make for some very interesting and bruising encounters.

#3 No matter who wins, there's no guarantee that this fight won't retire the winner as well as the loser! If they end up going toe to toe for a few rounds (which given how proud each man is I think is a distinct possibility) I could potentially see them both hitting the canvas in this fight before it's over in addition to serving out some career ending damage to one another. 

#4 The winner of this fight (if he can lace the gloves back up within the next 12 months) stands to make a career high, or very close to it, pay day in his next and probably last fight e.g.: Cotto vs Canelo, Martinez vs GGG (or am I dreaming on that one?)

What are your thoughts, mate? Am I way off track or what?

P.S Hey mate, go easy on your Mayweather battering this year ok? I mean enough is enough!! (JUST KIDDING!!!! – I couldn't help myself)

Peace Dougie – Craig (An Australian Boxing fan living in Singapore)

If there’s any truth at all to those TMZ rumors I think Floyd will have enough problems of his own without me giving him s__t for his lack of all-time great credentials. I’m more than happy to go easy on Money this year.

Regarding your thoughts on Cotto-Martinez, I think you’re on track and I’m just as excited as you are about this fight.

I’ll comment on your numbered views in order:

1) There’s too much pride on the line for either fighter to half-ass it. Martinez feels disrespected because Cotto got top billing and will enter the ring second despite the fact that he’s the champ. Cotto will be fighting in his home away from home, Madison Square Garden, in front of his fans the day before the Puerto Rican Day parade. And he’s chasing history (to be the first four-division champ from Puerto Rico). I think both guys are gonna give it all they have. It may very well be the last time we see either man physically able to give such an effort.

2) I’m interested in seeing how their style play out, too. I think Cotto will get the better of inside exchanges but Martinez will dominate the action from the outside.

3) Agreed. Like I said, this could be the last major fight for either fighter.

4) I think Cotto vs. Canelo and Martinez vs. GGG are both very real possibilities. There’s too much money to be made for Cotto-Canelo not to happen if Miguel wins the middleweight title; and if Martinez wins, chances are he won’t get Canelo or Mayweather; and Junior is too damn heavy. So that leaves GGG, who’s got enough name to make for a big event (one that Maravilla can be the A-side for a change). Plus, I think Martinez is a real champ. He’s not afraid of Golovkin and probably sees the undefeated puncher as a worthy challenger.

Froch-Groves2-pose_Laurence

THE REMATCH

Hi Dougmeister,

I didn't manage to stay up for the Canelo v Angulo Saturday night fight & watched the recording back Sunday & was glad to hear on reading the mailbag that most people agreed with Tony Weeks (great referee) with the stoppage of "El Perro."

Like the dog he is he won't let go of that proverbial bone without a fight but man, the guys a warrior and sometimes fighters need saved from themselves.

On watching the fight the thing I was worried for most for Angulo right from the start was just how SLOW he was! No one seemed to pick up on it but the guy looked like he was fighting in slow motion from the start.

Tickets went on sale for Carl Froch V George Groves 2 this week & sold 60,000 in 1 hour (unlike the 12,000 I heard the greatest boxer in the world, Mr. Money, sold! Mmmmm!)

I certainly wouldn't be worried if a referee like Weeks got the call for this fight instead of that clown Howard Foster like the first fight.

It looks like the mind games have started already with Froch losing his temper & pushing Groves at the press conference.

I predicted Groves would KO Froch in their last fight.

I can't see anything but a Groves KO again. 

He's predicting a Hagler v Hearns KO fest over 3 rounds and I don't discount him after his prediction last time! I think Froch may already be beat!

Good to see Leo Santa Cruz win again. I think him and Frampton is potentially the most exciting fight in the boxing world at the moment. Cheers D. – Mark, UK

Santa Cruz-Frampton is a darn good matchup on paper, and it’s a fight that Santa Cruz needs because fans are sick of watching him pound on older, smaller guys. I think there could be a nice little round robin between Santa Cruz, Frampton, Quigg and Kiko Martinez.

If Groves is predicting a Hagler-Hearns-type shootout, I guarantee you he’s going to go down like the Hitman crashed and burned against the Marvelous One back in 1985.

Groves had his chance to KO Froch and it was in the first round of their first fight. He didn’t go for it. I think he was worried about sustained attacks against even a visibly rocked Froch.

Honestly, I think Groves’ best bet is to stick and move and even stink it out a bit en route to a decision victory. I know that won’t be popular with the 60,000-80,000 fans who will witness the event live, but I think if he tries to go for the knockout he’ll play right into Froch’s iron resolve, brute strength and willingness to duke it out.

I hope Groves keeps his word, though. British fans deserve a super fight and this one seems as big as the Nigel Benn-Chris Eubank rematch (although the Froch-Groves rivalry isn’t as deep because it hasn’t been built-up for many years as was the case with Benn and Eubank). Man, I hope this super middleweight rematch doesn’t end in a draw like Benn-Eubank II.

 

SANTA CRUZ SUCKS

Hey Doug,

I just found your email. It’s very hard to write to you. I can’t find it anywhere. Anyhow, not a big deal…

Just wanted to comment on Leo Santa Cruz. He kinda sucks, doesn't he? Why is Golden Boy pushing this guy down our throat? He made 500K for the fight? Why? He is no more skilled then Jesus Soto Karrass and fought a guy well past his prime. Cristian Mijares pre-Darchinyan kicks his ass. He looks to be a top 10 guy but not a world beater. 

This kid looks like an average pressure fighter, nothing that special, not much speed, no pap (ie, power), average foot work, his defense is his offense, put him on the back foot or with a decent boxer and he will be lost. 

Anyways just wanted to know your thoughts on this guy and if I am the only guy thinking this? Thanks. – Alex from Montreal

You are not alone, although I don’t agree that Santa Cruz is as ordinary as you make him out to be. True, he can be troubled by mobile boxers (we’ve already seen that) and he’s not the most gifted athlete or savvy technician, he’s big or his weight class and his toughness, workrate and pressure are enough to overwhelm most 122 pounders. I think he’s closer to Antonio Margarito than Soto Karass.

But I’m also biased. I like the kid. I covered his older brothers – Jose Armando and Roberto – from their first pro bouts to their last. I’ve seen the family go through their trial and tribulations (Roberto’s illness, dealing with poverty, Leo being bounced from one promoter to the next) and I’ve literally seen Leo grow up in the gyms out here. He’s also really nice (here’s a pic of me with the young titleholder a few days before his last fight in Las Vegas).

Doug-and-Leo

It’s hard for me not to root for him. However, I’m also a hardcore fan, and as good as he looked smashing Victor Terrazas, he looked ordinary vs. Cesar Seda and he bored me with his decision over Mijares (and I admit that I thought the vet could be competitive).

Santa Cruz needs to rekindle the excitement in his career. His No. 1 contender is Hugo Cazares. He needs to skip over that dude, if possible, and take on his No. 2 contender, Carl Frampton.

Cazares is like too many of Leo’s past foes, an older former beltholder who is moving up in weight (like Jose Lopez, Eric Morel, Alex Munoz and Mijares). We need to see Santa Cruz in with a fellow young, undefeated stud. Frampton fits that description. They both have technical pressure fighting styles. I can’t see how the fight wouldn’t deliver.

To Santa Cruz’s credit, he mentioned Frampton in interviews before and after the Mijares fight and has even said that he’s willing to travel to Ireland or other parts of the UK to make it happen.

 

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

Around the web