Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Danny Garcia vs Herrera 2 casino

ONE LAST TIME ON GARCIA-HERRERA

Hey Doug!

I will disagree with most of the boxing world and you on the Danny Garcia-Mauricio Herrera fight. Watching it again, with slow motion replay, I have to say, a lot of the “combos” being called by the broadcast team for Herrera weren't landing at all. I’m not saying he didn't do some good work in there, especially in a few of those rounds, I’m saying that most of the rounds he really wasn't doing any landing, although his ring generalship and defense are fantastic.

Watching with that type of detail I gave the fight to Danny, 116-113. There were still like three rounds in there that could have gone to Herrera though. This was not an easy fight to score. I also understand that judges and people commenting are scoring in real time without the ability to stop and rewind.

Garcia looked sluggish and I have to think that it is probably time to move up. What do you think about Garcia vs Malignaggi? Regards. – Fred

If Paulie Malignaggi beats IBF welterweight titleholder Shawn Porter next month, I think a Malignaggi-Garcia showdown at 147 pounds is a very real possibility for November or December of this year or sometime in 2015.

The fight’s a natural. Both guys are promoted by Golden Boy, both are East Coast fighters who have headlined big Showtime cards at Brooklyn's Barclays Center, and I’m certain that both are confident that they can win the fight. I’m sure Malignaggi, who scored the Herrera fight 116-113 for the challenger, was taking notes on Garcia’s trouble with the Southern Californian’s jab and overall activity during the broadcast last Saturday. And I’m sure that Garcia, and his father, view Malignaggi – along with way too many folks – as a lesser threat than other top welterweights due to his low KO percentage (and his successful broadcast career).

Regarding the general perception of the fight, I agree that there was more than one swing round, and that a case can be made for Garcia just edging Herrera or keeping his titles with a legit draw, but he simply wasn’t active enough for my liking and though I’m sure that he hit hard whenever he landed, the fact is that his power punches weren’t effective against Herrera.

There’s nothing that Garcia did during those 12 rounds that troubled or even discouraged the challenger.

Could Garcia’s lack of activity and pop and aggression during the Herrera fight be signs that he’s struggling to make 140 pounds. Sure, but I think Herrera’s toughness, conditioning and underrated boxing ability also had something to do with it, and I’m not convinced that moving to 147 pounds is going to make Garcia a more dynamic fighter.

However, I’ll be watching and I wish him luck in whatever move he makes going forward.  

 

WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE?

Dougie,

I thought your analysis of the fight was right on. The only thing I objected to was that you didn't seem as pissed-off as many fans were. The Showtime guys seemed irked as well. Herrera clearly won as you pointed out. So how come it's not an injustice? Another boxing injustice. Bad judging shouldn't get a pass on the grounds it's a hometowner, or what can you expect – hey, its boxing and we all know it's corrupt. Ho, hum.

I agree that Garcia is an elite fighter who maybe had an off night. Still, he lost, and off night or not, Herrera took his belt. Would Garcia have been entitled to a re-match if it was a fair decision in a neutral venue? Sure, the fact that Ring's other observers had it even and 115-113 for Garcia doesn't mean it was close. It means they are dead wrong. Just like the Puerto Rican judge who had it even. He was half -assed honest, knew Garcia lost, but couldn't take the title for his countryman. B/t/w, Garcia is an imported hero from Philly, and not exactly homegrown. But you know that. Just because he's one of the golden boys who are more easily promoted doesn't mean he won THAT fight.

All this means is that you have to knock out the local favorite to win. I appreciated Herrera's boxing skills. You did too. Danny was missing all night. Power shots? They weren't so powerful and many of them hit gloves. All I'm trying to say here is that good writers like you needn't let the boxing incompetents and fakers get off the hook. Bad refs, judges, promoters, corner-men should be called out fight by fight by fight. I know you've done that often, but don't get fatigued. Best. – Mike Silver

I’ll try not to, Mike. But in a sport where incompetence, cronyism, and yes, outright corruption, is almost the norm, “outrage burnout” is a real syndrome that any longtime observer can suffer (as I’m sure you’re aware).

Having said that… although I felt that Herrera clearly won the fight on Saturday, I wasn’t certain that he was the victim of a robbery. Tim Smith’s 114-114 card was part of the reason. Not because I respect his opinion more than anyone else’s (although I do have the utmost respect for him as a writer/reporter), but because he was there, ringside, in Bayamon. I wasn’t, and I know that sometimes you can see a different fight when you’re there in the arena than what someone else sees from TV.

I realize that the Showtime commentators all had Herrera winning, but I also know from my own broadcast experience that you’re basically multi-tasking when you score a fight that you’re commentating on. You’re not just focused on the scoring aspect of the fight. You’re calling the action, or making points about the fight as it unfolds, and you’re distracted by looking at the monitor in front of you and listing to whatever the producer or director of the broadcast is telling you through your headset.

I haven’t watched the fight again in its entirety since watching it live on TV. Maybe if I do so again, I’ll be even more convinced that Herrera won the fight and feel that he was robbed (along with the outrage and frustration that comes with such an opinion). But I don’t rule out the possibility that I might see it a little bit closer. Emails from honest fans like the one from Fred make me think that I may have missed something the first time around.

The other reason I didn’t go ape s__t when Garcia was declared the winner was that I’m never sure that my scorecard is the right one. As promoter Gary Shaw told me after the Tim Bradley-Lamont Peterson fight (which I scored 115-113 for Bradley – much closer than anyone else did – as one of Showtime’s “press row scorers”):

“Dougie, you’re a good writer, but a terrible judge.”

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes I give too much credit to the underdog or the lesser-known fighter in a high-profile matchup. I scored Erik Morales-Paulie Ayala 115-113 for El Terrible, when most observers thought the Mexican badass took the tough little Texan to school. I scored Shane Mosley-Sergio Mora 117-111 for the Latin Snake, when HBO’s commentators (Jim Lampley and Larry Merchant) and pretty much everyone else thought Sugar Shane won it going away.

More recently, I scored Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Canelo Alvarez 116-113 for Mayweather, when most members of the media had it a shutout for Floyd.

After watching the replays on TV, I thought that my scores for Morales-Ayala, Bradley-Peterson and Mayweather-Alvarez were too close. (I haven’t seen a replay of Mosley-Mora, and don’t really plan to; as far as junior middleweight bouts go it wasn’t exactly Felix Trinidad vs. Fernando Vargas.)

Bottom line: I’m never sure if my scorecard is the right scorecard.

However, I definitely feel better about my Garcia-Herrera tally than those other scorecards thanks to Showtime’s commentators and fans like you.

 

AMERICAN HEAVYWEIGHTS

Hi Dougie,

What's up? This is my first time writing to you, I hope I make it to your mailbag.

I have been following the sweet science since mid-90's (Tyson's comeback) thru the influence of my late father who was a big fan of American heavyweights, Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson. After watching a couple of "American Heavyweight" fights (Mitchell vs Banks 1 and 2; Arreola vs Mitchell; Wilder vs Scott), I feel that Uncle Sam clearly does not have those next generation "Legendary" heavyweights. Maybe Deontay Wilder would come close, but I cannot see him get to the same level of Evander Holyfield and Tyson (heck, even the 90's version of George Foreman). Do you think he can be the best heavyweight someday (meaning having a high possibility of beating Wladimir Klitschko)?

Also, after watching Danny Garcia come out with a "gift decision" against Mauricio Herrera (I strongly felt Danny Garcia would get a draw at most, even though I was rooting for him), I think he is already outgrowing the light welterweight division and should move up to welterweight. If so, how do you think would he fare against today's version of my fellow-Filipino Manny Pacquiao (disregard the Golden Boy-Top Rank rivalry, which robs fans off many meaningful fights)? 

BTW, I think Herrera deserves another title shot, this time against Ruslan Provodnikov who he already beat. What do you think? Best Regards. – James, Singapore

Sign me up for Provodnikov-Herrera II. The first fight was a good one but the rematch would be even better because both fighters are more experienced and both have improved a lot since their first meeting. I think Provodnikov has improved more than Herrera has and I would favor him to win, but nobody has an easy time with El Maestro.

I think the 2009-2010 welterweight version of Pacquiao would wipe Garcia out. The 2011 version would dominate him over the distance, but I think Garcia would compete with the recent version of the PacMan; maybe be even clip the Filipino legend if he has good night and Manny has an off night.

I don’t know if Wilder can advance to the top of the heavyweight division. After 31 pro bouts, all I can really say about the Alabama native is that he can punch with the best of them. He’s definitely the best pure puncher of the heavyweight division. But there are still questions about his chin and about his stamina, which won’t be answered until we witness him go into the late rounds against fellow puncher who can take his power – at least for a while.

It was the same deal with the late Edwin Valero in the early-to-mid 2000s. All his 18 consecutive first-round KOs (and one second-round stoppage in his 19th pro bout) told us was that the little mother f___ker could punch. We didn’t know if he could take a punch or go the distance until his first title shot, a wild dog fight with WBA 130-pound beltholder Vicente Mosquera in his fellow homicidal maniac’s home country of Panama in 2006. In that fight, Valero was not only taken past the second round for the time in a pro bout, he was dropped in the third round, cut, and hurt to the body a few times before he pulled away in the middle rounds and forced Mosquera’s corner to stop the fight in the 10th round.

Wilder might be “the truth” or he might be a front runner with a totally built-up record. We probably won’t get a real idea of which until his first title bout, which is coming soon, so be patient.

 

PROOF THAT WILDER IS A HYPE JOB

Hey Dougie. I would love for there to be a cool, handsome, intimidating, charismatic black heavyweight to claim the heavyweight championship again, but I don't think Deontay Wilder is that man. I wanted to believe, but I researched him as much as possible on the web, and besides his obvious lack of technique and slow rate of improvement, I found plenty of evidence that he's being set up as a black Gerry Cooney. I'm sure his management is doing this intentionally, as it's almost impossible to find the videos of him being knocked down and/or KO'd, which has apparently happened several times already. Why are his losses and near-losses the only videos that are suspiciously missing online? 

James Ali Bashir (Emmanuel Steward's former assistant) said Deontay Wilder got knocked down during sparring with Wladimir Klitscho (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc-_8Kas1uw). Hard to find, but I've read other supposed eye-witnesses say Wilder was knocked down more than once, and hurt numerous times by Klitschko. 

Wilder was TKO'd in the amateurs by Russian Evgenyi Romanov.

 

He was also knocked down and hurt badly by Harold Sconiers, who won 18 (KO 11) + lost 27 (KO 13) + drawn 2) in the pros, and although he came back and won by KO, he apparently was very slow to recover and was almost KO'd. All online video has been deleted of it. Thoughts? – Jason A.

I was at the Sconiers fight (which took place at Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif., in October of 2010, it was on the undercard of an Eloy Perez fight). I can tell anyone who wasn’t there that Wilder was not only dropped hard by the journeyman (it was the second round, if memory serves me – he dropped Sconiers and then Sconiers dropped him), he got up on VERY wobbly legs, but he survived. He did things (like hold and push off) that he didn’t do in that amateur fight you found on YouTube.

Wilder, who didn’t start boxing until he was an adult and had less than 30 amateur bouts, was a “baby” in that amateur bout. He obviously learned enough from the experience not to get sparked during the 2008 Olympic Games where he won a bronze medal.

Since the Sconiers fight, Wilder has had 18 pro fights, most of which have come against cannon fodder, but a some of them have been decent fighters and veteran boxers who are much better than Sconiers (such as former WBO beltholder Sergei Lyakhovich and Malik Scott). He’s grew from the scare he had versus Sconiers, who he dropped two more times before stopping in the fourth round (the longest he’s fought as a pro), and he’s grown from all the bouts he’s had over the past three and half years.

I don’t think you should judge Wilder as the “black Gerry Cooney” based on a few gym stories and an amateur knockout. Keep in mind that the man who supposedly “exposed” Cooney, all-time great heavyweight champ Larry Holmes, was knocked out in more than one amateur bout and also took his share of gym beatings as a young buck learning the game.

Mike Tyson was stopped in an amateur bout and knocked out in sparring. Tyson’s pro conqueror and fellow hall of famer Lennox Lewis, as well as future hall of famer Wladimir Klitschko, were both said to have “china chins” after suffering knockout losses as young pros.

Many of the heavyweights enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame were knocked out more than once during their careers, including the Jack Johnson, Joe Louis, Jack Dempsey, Max Baer, Max Schmeling, Jersey Joe Walcott, Ezzard Charles, Floyd Patterson and Ken Norton.

A good chin can serve a fighter well but it’s not absolutely necessary for success.

 

DMITRY PIROG

Hey Dougie, how are u doing? Danny Jacobs continues to look good despite coming back from life threatening and what should've been a career ending illness. Now he's in line for a championship, really impressive. But it makes me wonder, what the hell happened to the one guy that made him look bad, beat him up and knocked him out? Dmitry Pirog had an unorthodox herky jerky style but with real skill and athleticism, and KO power as we saw in his fight with Jacobs. I actually thought he was entertaining to watch, too. I checked him out on Boxrec and it says he hasn't fought in 2 years, and he's no spring chicken at 33 years old. He had some real momentum after his KO of Jacobs and I think could've made some real noise at middleweight. You know what happened? – SK

From what I’ve been told (by the folks who manage Gennady Golovkin, who was supposed to fight him at one time), Pirog had back injury issues that kept him out of the ring (and resulted in his being stripped of the WBO title he won by icing Jacobs in 2010). Then he did some acting work in his native Russia, which kept him busy (and out of the gym and ring).

I recall reading some reports last year that Pirog's back was healed up and he was ready to resume his career but he has yet to return to the ring, so I have to assume that the movie biz in Russia is treating him well.

 

 

Photo / Tom Casino-SHOWTIME

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

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