Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

GOOD BOXING WEEKEND, RESPECT FOR CANELO

Dougie!

First things first: two weeks ago you asked if I would give Canelo Alvarez any credit if he defeated Alfredo Angulo. Here is a resounding yes! I have seen boards full of people claiming everything from “Perro” being weight drained to Perro taking money to let the boy win. This is all bullcrap. Perro had no pop in his punches but this was all due to Canelo's excellent positioning. He fought him from either the outside where it would take a Perro punch like a good 10 seconds to reach their target or very close where Perro's arm punches carry no pop. Canelo stayed out of the middle ground where Perro's punches might have hurt him bad. Felt bad for Perro but Tony Week's stoppage was fully justified.

On to more recent events!

Was this a great early round KO weekend or what? Daniel Jacobs put Milton Nuñez away like he was supposed to. Good for him. I like Jacobs. Now he needs to start stepping it up. How big a step-up you think he can handle? I say he needs to start facing the Andy Lees of his divisions before hitting the Top 10.

JuanMa Lopez… Wow what a 2nd round! I have never been completely sold on JuanMa but used to enjoy watching his pre-Orlando Salido firefights. That been said: I thought that JuanMa was finally showing some balance again. Ever since that 2nd Salido fight I thought JuanMa's legs forgot to move lucidly inside the ring. I know he would never be confused with Sweet Pea or Hector Camacho but it seemed like Salido beat the coordination out of his legs and made him a very sluggish and awkward (bad awkward, not Mayorga awkward) fighter. I was happy to see him be able to move in the ring like someone who scratched the P4P list at some point before. Luis Pabón's stoppage is not the worse I have seen but it was a little quick. Ponce de León was absorbing some punishment but I don't think he was unable to protect himself. What's your opinion on the stoppage?

Deontay Wilder… All I will say is that I will be watching when he fights Chris Arreola. He needs to fight people in the Top 10 as well. No more Gary Russelling for him.

Danny Garcia… I think a mix of the pressure of fighting in Puerto Rico and Mauricio Herrera's awkwardness (good awkwardness this time) did not allow him to shine. I like Danny. I used to think he was overrated but he had me when he fought Amir Khan and drove it home when he defeated Lucas Matthysse. I think he should go to 147, fight a solid contender and wait in the sidelines to see if he is blessed by Floyd Mayweather Jr. for one of his last fights. Although if his body can take 140 lbs for another 6 months I would not mind watching him battle Ruslan Provodnikov. Where do you think he should go next?

Who is your early pick for Miguel Cotto-Sergio Martinez? I think Cotto can pull this off but I think between then and now I will flip my choice several times. If Cotto wins it will be TOUGH fight for him mainly because when he stands next to Maravilla his arms look like tiny T-Rex arms. I am not buying into the whole "Maravilla is SO offended by Cotto that he want s to beat him up now!" I think it is the best (and only) grudge angle for the fight marketing and they will ride it. You think Martinez is seriously pissed at all of Team Cotto's requests?

Alright brother! Take care and keep up the great work.

PS: I hope you enjoyed your 3 seconds of Showtime All Access fame while interviewing Canelo! – Hector Ojeda

I enjoyed it, but I’ll try not to let it go to my head.

The Cotto-Martinez matchup is one that could also make me flip-flop a few times before fight night (especially because both vets are training here in Southern California where I can peak in on their progress). However, for now I’m going with the champ – the “disrespected champ,” LOL.

I think second billing, having the contracted weight set at 159 and having to come into the ring first are little annoyances for Martinez. He’ll use the slights to motivate him during training but he’s not so bothered by it that he’ll fight out of character or do anything stupid on fight night. The guy is a mature gentleman; he knows he’s the champ and his only goal is to remind Cotto (and those who think he’s shot) of that fact. And the truth of the matter is that this fight is a dream come true for him. He has wanted one of boxing’s lower weight stars to step up and challenge him for many years, and finally, Cotto has answered the call. It’s not as big an event as a Mayweather fight would be, but it’s big, and Maravilla is happy to take it and hopefully make the most of the opportunity.

I think what Garcia experienced vs. Herrera was the classic “let-down” fight. Garcia had become used to fighting much bigger names and more respected fighters – such as Erik Morales, Amir Khan, Zab Judah and Lucas Matthysse – and despite the things he told the media (the same s__t every fighter tells us), he couldn’t help but overlook the unheralded Southern Californian a bit. It’s hard to get up for a basic cable fighter who had lost two of his last four bouts when you’re last bout was against the Godzilla of the 140-pound division in the co-featured spot of the richest pay-per-view event in history. Think about that. Garcia had come off the biggest victory of his career, which earned him his biggest payday, prior to facing a hardnosed challenger who was all but ignored by most hardcore fans and boxing media. How was he going to be motivated to be at his best? Yeah, I know Marvin Hagler and Bernard Hopkins would’ve still come in 100 percent, but Danny Swift is still young and still learning. To his credit, he admits that.

I know much of Twitter Nation is still taking a stanky dookie on Garcia, but what he and everyone else should keep in mind is that he wasn’t in with a chump. Herrera may have a few losses on his ledger but nobody has ever had an easy night with him.

What should Garcia do next? I think he should get right back into training after a short break and try to fight sometime in the summer. I think inactivity was part of his trouble making 140 and his less-than-sharp reflexes against Herrera (although the challenger’s jab and timing had more to do with that). If he stays at 140 I’d like to see him fight IBF beltholder Lamont Peterson, which I think would make for a fine fight. (I’d beat the drums for Provodnikov but we both know there’s a Cold War going on.) If he moves up to welterweight, I wouldn’t mind watching him take on Josesito Lopez (even if they do some silly ass 144-pound catchweight bout).

Regarding Wilder, don’t be so sure that it’s Arreola who he winds up facing. It could be Bermane Stiverne who looked like a handful beating Arreola in their fight last April. Regardless of which contender Wilder eventually takes on for the WBC title, both guys are battle tested and will have no problem hitting the Bronze Bomber back. I can’t wait.

I thought Pabon stopped the Lopez-Ponce de Leon a little too soon, but the Mexican veteran put himself in that position by going for the stoppage way too early in the fight. He should know more than anyone else that Lopez right hook is a deadly weapon. Ponce de Leon needed to break Lopez down a lot more before going for the kill. But props to Lopez for keeping his composure after going down and striking with authority at just the right moment. I don’t know where the Puerto Rican veteran goes from here but if he wants one last shot at a title I wouldn’t mind watching him try his luck against Japanese badass (and WBC beltholder) Takashi Miura. Like the Ponce de Leon fight, that would be fun while it lasted (and my money would be on the man from Tokyo). However, I suspect that Golden Boy Promotions will feed him to Abner Mares.

I also like Jacobs (who doesn’t?) and I agree that he should step up to the Andy Lee level of middleweights before taking on the top dogs of the 160-pound division but I think the plan is for him to challenge undefeated WBO beltholder Peter Quillin in his next fight. Quillin’s got a title defense on April 19 but if he takes care of business there, a fight with Jacobs would do well in Brooklyn and would be an interesting style matchup. Jacobs is the better skilled and more naturally talented of the two, but Quillin is probably the stronger and more durable fighter.

Very nice to see someone who doubted Canelo going into the Angulo fight give the young man his due. Just when I start thinking that every hardcore boxing fan is a sorry ass cretin, someone like you reminds me that there’s still some class out there.

 

ROBBERY!

Hey Dougie.

First of all I want to say ROBBERY! I had Herrera winning 117 to 111. Herrera was just jabbing him beautifully, landed quite a few hard jabs. I like how Herrera made Garcia miss most of his punches. LOL. Garcia should have been the underdog. And to think that I wanted to see Garcia vs. Floyd Mayweather; not so sure no more. By the way, I won’t be buying any Mayweather PPV until he fights either Manny Pacquiao, Erislandy Lara, Shawn Porter or Sergio Martinez.

What do you think?  Is 117 to 111 a good score? Did I get carried away too much?

Man, I thought Daniel Ponce de Leon was going to KO JuanMa Lopez. I guess he got to careless going for the KO. The referee stopped it a little early. Ponce de Leon was still swinging and it’s not like JuanMa was landing all those shots. What do you think? – Jose Martinez, Michigan

I thought the stoppage was a tad premature. I won’t complain too much because of the way Ponce de Leon ate that right hook and slammed into the canvas. I think that’s the hardest I’ve ever seen him dropped. The Mexican veteran was definitely hurt. However, as Paulie Malignaggi noted after the fight, Ponce de Leon was gradually getting his wits back (and that second knockdown was more from a shove than any clean shots landed). Ponce de Leon’s gloves were up and he was blocking most of Lopez’s follow-up shots when his back was to the ropes. He had enough left to firmly catch most of those power shots with his gloves. And I don’t think the ref was in a great position to really tell if Ponce de Leon was out of it.

But it is what it is. Ponce de Leon knew he was in the lion’s den fighting Lopez in Puerto Rico, plus, he definitely got greedy after scoring his own knockdown. He needed to remain poised and patient.

Regarding the main event from Saturday night, I agree with your opinion that Herrera did enough to earn the victory. I scored the fight for Herrera, 116-112 (or eight rounds to four). I only scored Rounds 1, 4, 10 and 11 for Garcia.

Herrera out-jabbed and outworked Garcia, plus he walked the champ down for most of the fight. I thought the challenger was in command for the majority of the fight. However, there were some close rounds that could have gone to Garcia, the naturally harder hitter who connected with more power punches. From ringside, my guess is that Garcia’s counter pot shots and hook-cross combos carried more “weight” with the judges and some members of the press than Herrera’s jabs and less powerful crosses. Tim Smith, who covered the fight from ringside for RingTV.com, scored the fight a draw, 114-114. RingTV.com’s staff writer Lem Satterfield, who did the live round by round for the site (from TV), scored the fight for Garcia, 115-113.

 

CLOSE FIGHT, NOT A ROBBERY

Hey Doug, 

May be too late to make your Monday edition but thought I'd give it a shot. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods. I wanted to get your thoughts on Garcia-Herrera. I had Garcia winning 115-114, but thought no judge should have had it more than 115-113 in either direction. I could see a case for a Herrera win. 

Additionally, what was up with Garcia? I think Herrera is tough, but usually Garcia has a great game plan. Against a guy staying so low, he stands straight up? No body work? No feinting? I think if he had the right game plan, he could have gotten Herrera out of there by the 10th. I'm surprised he didn't, especially considering how important his first Puerto Rican showing was. 

Also, heard Hank Lundy may face Ruslan Provodnikov – how do you see that one playing out? And lastly, who do you see Canelo fighting next? I think if he wants to do a PPV in July, he's going to have to face Erislandy Lara or a bigger name from middleweight. There is no way people will buy another cake walk like the Angulo fight (which still seems fishy to me how it turned out). – Vincent, New York, NY

What’s fishy is how the Angulo fight became a “cakewalk” after Canelo beat the hardcore fan favorite's ass. Alvarez was a clear odds favorite going in but very few fans or members of the media described that matchup as "easy" prior to March 8. I guess it turned into a cakewalk as soon as the fight began.

Anyway, the biggest fight out there for Canelo right now is the Cotto-Martinez winner, but they don’t throw down until June 7 and the young Mexican star wants to go again on July 26. So, I think the next biggest available name out there for Alvarez is James Kirkland, who would make for quite an event in San Antonio (where Canelo’s a proven attraction and Mandingo’s hometown of Austin is just a couple hours drive away). Can you imagine an All Access that features Ann Wolfe?

And the fight would deliver. We all know that it would because Kirkland’s involved. The Texas Tornado would go for broke against Canelo and with the insane amount of pressure and volume punching he puts forth I think he would have real chance of beating up and stopping the Mexican favorite if he can take the kid past the fourth or fifth round.

Of course, if Canelo wound up catching Kirkland in the early rounds, a lot of fans would describe the fight as a “cakewalk,” another set up for the freckle-faced ticket seller, eh?

So I guess in terms of respect among hardcore heads the only junior middleweight out there for Canelo is Lara, which is not an easy sell. Say what you will about the technical limitations or crudeness of Angulo and Kirkland, those boxing barbarians have fans. Angulo brought in a lot of fans to the March 8 event and I’m sure Kirkland would do the same in July. Lara? Nah, I don’t think so, not even if they fought in Miami.

But the matchup would be of interest within the boxing world because I think a slight majority of boxing writers would pick Lara to win. I’m going to go out on a limb here: I’m going to predict that Lara will be Canelo’s next opponent. I think he’s more available than Kirkland and he would probably ask for less money. I’m not really going out on a limb at all with my next prediction, which is if Canelo beats Lara, he will receive only grudging respect – at best – from hardcore fans.

I hope the Provodnikov-Lundy fight happens. Lundy deserves a shot and I think he’ll be more competitive than Antonio DeMarco would have been. I think Lundy will be competitive for awhile if he employs a stick-and-move game, but Siberian Rocky is so good at cutting the ring off and launching damaging power shots from odd angles when in range that it’s only a matter of time before the challenger gets chopped down.

Herrera is more than just “tough.” He’s a good technician with very solid fundamentals. If he had world-class power he’d probably have a major belt (or be avoided like the freakin’ plague).

I guess I can see Garcia retaining his RING, WBA and WBC titles with a draw, but even a 115-113 card for the champ is giving him too much credit. Yes, I recognize that he landed more power shots, but he ate a lot of hard punches in the process and he backed away from Herrera whenever it happened. It’s hard for me to score a round for a boxer who is out-jabbed and outworked while backing away from confrontation.

But don’t get me wrong, just because I think Garcia got a gift on Saturday doesn’t mean I suddenly think he’s a piece of s__t like a lot of folks are chirping. I think he had an off night – mentally and physically. It happens. It doesn’t erase all of his considerable accomplishments. He’s still worthy of being the champ even though he’s lucky to hold those belts after Saturday’s less-than-stellar performance.

I’m looking forward to Garcia bouncing back, but he should probably stay away from Herrera. Even at his absolute best, I don’t think he would be able to KO the Californian and I think Herrera’s pesky aggression will always give him problems.

 

BRONZE BOMBER = HEAVYWEIGHT GOLD?

Hey Doug how are you mate, as we say over here. 

I Just won £1000 on a Deontay Wilder 1st-round KO so I'm over the moon, man. I’ve watched the KO punch back 5 times to see how the punch hurt Malik so much. 

Deontay is hype and I love watching his fights. Why does the guy get so much stick? He will KO winner of Stiverne-Arreola II in the first few rounds and I would not put it past him to KO Wladimir Klitschko, either. Am I getting too carried away with him or what? He would kill Tyson Fury and Dereck Chisora in no time at all.

Is it me or are Danny Garcia's fights quite boring to watch?? I like the guy but he just lacks something?? Who is there left for him to face? How about Garcia v broner?

Groves-Froch 2 will be massive over here and I would love Groves to win but after the 1st fight and everyone picking Groves, I strongly fancy Froch but my money will be on a 25-1 draw. How do you see this fight, Doug?

Froch was our national hero before the 1st fight, but now the tables have turned on him as he is sooooo arrogant and lacks class outside the ring. He is a poor man’s Joe Calzaghe but not in Joe’s class and if Froch loses this match he loses all credibility and has to retire a loser, which makes this fight even more important for him.

Are there any American fights that could sell 80,000 tickets in a stadium???  

Lastly, Canelo looked fantastic last week, which made me realise how good Floyd Mayweather must be. His fights are boring but he didn't take 1 big punch from Canelo, which is pretty impression don't you agree?

I love the mailbags, pal, keep up the good work. It takes me about an hour to write this. I don't know how you do all your replies. – Nikkie, S. London

I do ‘em one email at a time, Nikkie, and I routinely stay up until 2-3 a.m. on Sunday nights.

Mayweather’s mastery of Canelo was indeed impressive, but it’s silly to realize that after the way Alvarez looked vs. Angulo. There’s an astronomical difference in skill and talent between Mayweather and El Perro.

I can’t think of any fight between two Americans that could sell 80,000 seats, but there might be a few bouts between one American (Mayweather) and one foreign-born fighter (Pacquiao, Cotto or Canelo) that could come close to selling that many in the U.S.

Even though Mayweather-Pacquiao is way past its expiration date, I think the two superstars could almost fill Cowboys/AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas (which holds 80,000) if that mega bout were made this year or next (provided PacMan beats Tim Bradley, which ain’t a given).

If Cotto beats Martinez, I think a Mayweather-Cotto rematch (for the middleweight title but probably at a dumb-ass catchweight of 155) could probably pack Yankee Stadium in the Bronx (which holds around 50,000, plus however many seats promoters could fit onto the field).

And if Canelo continues to win this year, a Mayweather-Alvarez rematch at the Alamodome in San Antonio in 2015 could probably sellout the venue (which is around 70,000).

I don’t think Froch was motivated to fight Groves first time around. Now he is, as you noted. For that reason, and the fact that Groves had him out on his feet in the opening round of the first bout but couldn’t put the veteran away, I’m going with the cocky old man.

I think it’s worth it to bet the draw because I see a tit-for-tat contest unless Groves keeps his word and takes it to Froch. If Groves tries to make it a war, he will get his ass kicked.

Are you getting carried away with the Bronze Bomber? Yes, you are. But that’s OK. He made you a decent chunk of change and the Southern brotha is an exciting ring assassin with a bombastic personality to match his frightening punching power. What’s not to like about Wilder?

I’ve said this before but I’ll repeat it. I think Wilder can knockout any heavyweight he connects against – cold. I would not be shocked at all if he iced the heavyweights you mentioned. However, I would not be shocked if they cold cocked his lanky ass, either.

Remember this: you haven’t seen Wilder in against a fellow puncher yet. Scott was the most advanced fighter Wilder has faced to date, but the Philly jab master is not a puncher. He’s a pure boxer, who never really got started against Wilder.

We don’t know how well Wilder’s chin will hold out when he faces world-class boxer-punchers like Klitschko and Stiverne or battle-tested sluggers like Arreola and Chisora.

 

DANNY FARCIA

Fifth round, 30 seconds to go and I remembered why I've never been a fan of Danny Garcia; nothing to look forward to. No pop, no effective speed, no combinations or aggression. Just a cute, counter 1 or 2 and out. I would agree he's The Ring champ at 140 but he is close to wearing the crown that Bernard Hopkins might retire, as the P4P king of fighters I hate watching. 

Also, he's no more Puerto Rican then I'm from Africa. Sorry buddy, it's where you're born and raised Olympic style. You never saw Arturo Gatti claim Italy or even Canada. I doubt Garcia grew up in a Cuban style finca. He reminds me of all the "Irish" people I met this weekend. Promo bulls__t. I'd say Andre Berto is next, at welterweight for Garcia, no?

I'll skip the headlines but I would pick Mayweather to absolutely destroy Kirkland, despite your insight. I mean I'd place a lot of money on that mismatch. The only way I see Mayweather ever losing is to a 160 pound fighter that GB and SHO doesn't own. So pretty much never, ever happen. 

The best fight possible is GGG vs Floyd, and I'd probably pick Money to win in the same way he best Augustus (which is like picking against your favorite team).

I pick Cotto inside four rounds vs Martinez and then Alvarez for the winner in a bloody Top Rank promoted mismatch. Easy Doug. – WS    

If Cotto beats Martinez and opts to face Canelo (in the biggest fight that can be made this year or next), it won’t be a Top Rank fight. Cotto would have to cross that street again (as he did for Mayweather) and team up with Golden Boy, and he’d do it in a Puerto Rican New York minute because of the money involved.

Mayweather beat Gennady Golovkin the same way he beat Emanuel Augustus? You view a power-punching technician with ring-cutting ability and a World Championships/Olympic-level amateur background as comparable to an unorthodox journeyman who had no power? Young man, do yourself and the people around you a favor and stay off them damn drugs! A mind is terrible thing to waste.

Mayweather will never fight GGG, but if he did he would get folded in half before the sixth round.

I’d love to see Mayweather-Kirkland. I wouldn’t count Floyd out in that one. But Mayweather knows the kind of hell Kirkland can dish out (especially as motivated as he would be in that fight). No way Mayweather would be dumb enough to view that as an “easy” fight, which is why it ain’t happening. (And by the way, if the fight did happen, Ann Wolfe would b__tch slap some sense in Mayweather Sr. and Roger if they started talking their usual s__t at the press conferences.)

I don’t think Garcia will face Berto at welterweight any time soon. Berto isn’t going to be able to make 147 pounds in his first fight back, and Garcia’s father wants him to “ease” his way to welterweight, which means have his son fight someone at 143 or 144 first, and then move up to full-fledged welters. I think GBP/Haymon puts Garcia in with Josesito Lopez or Jesus Soto Karass first. They might try to rebuild Berto before putting him in a risky fight. (If Garcia-Berto was made would it be for the “B-Hop belt” reserved for the fighters you hate to watch? I’m guessing, it would. Berto has a style similar to Garcia’s.)

I’m not going to try to dictate another man’s nationality or his right to define himself. Of course, Garcia is American. He was born in Philly and he’s proud of it (and it should be noted that Puerto Rico is a commonwealth territory of the U.S., although it absolutely retains its own unique culture). But he’s also proud of where his parents are from and if he wants to acknowledge his Puerto Rican roots, what’s wrong with that?


 

 

Video / SHOWTIME

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

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