I read somewhere that Sherman Williams got kicked out of the Klitschko camp as sparring partner for almost knocking Wlad out with body shots, saying that the champ is ready to be knocked out.
Do you know if there is any truth to that or is it simply trash talk from a disgruntled employee?
I don't begrudge Alex Leapai his shot, after all, he did beat Denis Boytsov (who was rated by you guys) to get it, I just don't think he can stand up to Klitschko or am I wrong? Regards. – Droeks Malan, Stellenbosch, South Africa
You’re not wrong. As long as Klitschko continues to “fight” in the manner in which he did against Alexander Povetkin last October, I don’t see anybody beating him until he gets into his early 40s. Leapai has about as much chance of beating the 38-year-old heavyweight champ as Boytsov did – which is none. (And by the way, THE RING – and anyone else who had the Russian in their heavyweight top 10 – overrated Boytsov.)
I hadn’t heard the rumors about Williams hurting Wladdy to the body in sparring but I do know that both Klitschko brothers wilt when they get their midsections worked. Back when both used to train in Los Angeles (ten years ago – man, time flies) I witnessed them struggle a bit with shorter fighters, who knew how to duck under their jabs and attack their bodies. I saw former South African prospect Courage Tshabalala hurt Wladimir to the body with a left hook. The guy who gave both talented Ukrainian giants the most trouble was a stocky fringe contender from the Dominican Republic, Fernely Feliz, due to his ability to bob and weave his way inside.
B-HOP & THE DOUGIES
What's up dude?
Starting with this thing regarding The Dougies. I wasn't the one who first suggested it. Some other SOB beat me to it. Want to know the funny thing? I thought it was actually your idea. I was pretty sure that it was originally you who stated either in the mailbag or on Facebook that “Dougie awards” should be given out in the form of pony-tailed gold-plated statuettes. I just Dougie-bagged to you whom I thought the winners should be and stated that the awards instead be wind-up talking Dougie Dolls. If I got the wrong half-brother than my apologies. As a half-brother myself I wouldn't want to diss or steal credit from any of you guys. And no, I myself don't have that trademark ponytail. Instead I (according to my colleagues) look like Carlton Banks from The Will Smith Show. (Can't believe I just shared that!) By the way, how many JBs do you have in your mailbag?
And now onto B-Hop who just earned a shipment of Dougies. Five reasons why:
1. 20 title defenses at middleweight. Did the B-Hopster fight the dudes that Hagler or Monzon fought? Not at all. But guys like Glen Johnson, Antwun Echols, Felix Trinidad and Howard Eastman weren't chumps either. And when B-Hop finally got dethroned it was by a sh__ty decision loss to a younger guy who wouldn't have made it to the final bell if fights were still 15 rounds.
2. He far outlasted his peers. Roy Jones. Evander Holyfield. Lennox Lewis. Mike Tyson. Shane Mosley. Marco Antonio Barrera. Glen Johnson. They're either long gone or just plain punchdrunk.
3. He beat the crapola out of Felix Trinidad, Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlik, Jean Pascal, and Tavoris Cloud. Sure I like to nitpick too that Felix was a smaller guy, Tarver was too drained and the others weren't that good in the first place. But every one of them was picked to stomp on the old goat. Hey, I picked every one of them to beat up the old goat as well. Didn't work out that way.
4. He wasn't always a butt-hole. Sure he trashed the Puerto Rican flag and made that infamous "white-boy" remark. But after beating down Tito didn't The B-Hopster spoke and donated on behalf of those heroes and victims of the 9/11 incident and after beating down Pavlik, B-Hop wasted no time glaring down his critics but he also gave his props to Pavlik as a fighter which was cool on his part.
5. The Biggie. He's 50 and still out-boxing all these much younger guys. I'm just 30 and I get winded just getting out of bed to go to work.
So there you have it. Is B-Hop great? I'll say so. Is he greater than Pacquiao? Well it's like this. Both of them beat up quite a few champions and titlists. Pac was clearly the more athletic and more dynamic guy. And if you're going by total number of titles than yeah Pac's your dude. But if you prefer someone who wins his titles in the traditional weight-classes and sticks around to establish himself as The Man in that division then go with the B-Hopster. The Pac-tards and Hop-heads can clash over this thing all they want especially since it never gets old but I'll just play it neutral and give both dudes their props.
One more thing. I think you guys should give out a Dougie to Barley McGoo. Ooops I meant to say McGrew. You know who I mean. Your secret admirer who hides behind a penguin. Due to all those epic novels he wrote on you and B-Hop I think he just earned “The Doug-tard Of The Year” Dougie and the “Hop-head Of The Year” award. In both cases he should get a Dougie Doll wearing a B-Hop shirt.
Okay dude. I'm off. And yeah I'm going to watch our fellow half-brother Keith Thurman kick some more gatekeeper butt this weekend. Cheers Dude! – Captain Ron
You better watch our bi-racial brother Keith Thurman. He’s gonna be a star one day, maybe sooner than most of us think. Julio Diaz is past his prime but he extended his shelf life by moving up to 147 pounds where he definitely takes a better punch than he did as a weight-drained lightweight and junior welterweight. Diaz went 20 mostly competitive rounds with Shawn Porter and 12 with Amir Khan and neither contender was able to hurt the veteran.
Let’s see if Diaz can last the distance with Thurman. And let’s see if Lucas Matthysse-John Molina manages to last past five rounds. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s card. I think Jerry Belmontes has a shot against Omar Figueroa Jr. given the WBC lightweight beltholder’s inactivity, hand injuries and generally recklessness.
The dude who posts comments under the mailbag as “Barley McGrew” doesn’t need a Dougie award, he needs some damn common sense. Is it just me, or are boxing fans getting dumber and more belligerent every year?
Regarding the Hopkins-Pacquiao debate, there are more than a few active fighters who are arguably great: PacMan, Floyd Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez and the Klitschkos are in that group. But B-Hop is hands-down an ATG. I’ll take an undisputed champ who reigned longer and made more title defenses than any previous champ in his division over an ultra-talent who wins titles in multiple weight classes.
I think I’m finally going to pen that column on what it means to be an all-time great next week (just in time for Mayweather-Maidana – ha!).
Maybe I did come up with the “Dougies.” Maybe it was JB (there are two of them who regularly write in to the mailbag, by the way). I can’t recall. Someone once told me that I came up with the term “nut-hugger.” I don’t think I did, but who knows? Who cares? I’m just trying to have some fun.
By the way, nothing wrong with looking like Carlton (AKA Alfonso Ribeiro). That’s the Tap Dance Kid!
BITS & PIECES
Thanks for all your hard work! – BK in High Point, NC
Thanks for your kind words (and your concise email), BK. I’ll answer your questions in numbered order:
1) I don’t know of any member of the media who’s picking Marcos Maidana to win next Saturday. I give Chino no shot at pulling the upset.
2) B-Hop’s most recent ring-walk music was indeed memorable. I don’t usually get into fighter’s walk-ins but I’ve witnessed some special ring entrances. Hopkins’ emotional walk-in to the Trinidad bout just two weeks after 9/11 probably tops the list. Manny Pacquiao’s ring walk (to Survivor’s Eye of the Tiger) to his IBF 122-pound title winning effort against Lehlo Ledwaba in his U.S. debut was memorable. And though I’m not that into rapper accompaniments to a fighter’s ring walk, Shane Mosley entering his WBC welterweight title defense against Shannon Taylor with Ludacris (doing a live rendition of Southern Hospitality) and James Page’s walk-in with Scarface rapping a capella (can’t recall the song) to his WBA 147-pound title loss to Andrew Lewis stand out in my mind.
3) Felix Trinidad Sr. used to slap his son all the time between rounds when he thought Tito had lost focus or was straying from their game plan. I wasn’t against Canelo trying to box Mayweather in the early going but once it was clear that he couldn’t put hands on the older, smaller man, I thought he deserved a slap or two for not stepping on the gas and taking more risks over the second half of the fight (not that it would have helped).
4) The current version of Keith Thurman would have much better chance of clipping Mayweather than Maidana. He’s smarter and more versatile than Chino and he’s a far better athlete/technician.
THE PIMP GAME WITH FLOYD MAYWEATHER
Love your work whether it's the mailbag, old maxboxing stuff or the odd international feed I hear you commentating. It takes a while to get the flow right in commentating but I reckon you hold your own and don't seem to take sides, which is refreshing. Al Bernstein is probably the only major player that does that too, but enough with the ball washing, I'll get on with the email.
I'm not sure I'll be breaking ground here but a few thoughts have been going round my head since I saw an interview with Mayweather by a boxing news site, not sure if I can say who so I won't, but I'll hint that it's the guy that does his 'exclusive one on ones'… basically it's Mayweather talking and a guy agreeing with him or nodding with the camera. The interview was done in the wake of Broner-Maidana after everyone seemed to agree that 140 was Broner's sweet spot. In the interview Mayweather stated that his own true weight class was 140, too… interesting considering he's seen success up to 154 and in his older age looks pretty comfortable between 147-154, but ok.
A little ways down the track and I'm watching All Access for Mayweather-Maidana and noticed that as soon as someone in his camp said something about Maidana, Mayweather jumped in with “no, no, no my opponent is tough.” True Maidana is tough, but that's not why he said it. Following this, he said a few things about Broner's commitment and his loss, nothing too brutal and again, all of it true. However, the benevolence and candor that he said it with, is the disingenuous part.
Like I said before I'm not breaking new ground. Mayweather picks opponents he's sure he can beat at that time and talks them up so the casual fan sees it differently. But the constant talk that Broner is his heir apparent must have gotten to him. Because this time, he's talking his opponent up to indirectly put Broner down. I think he dislikes Broner more than he lets on because without actually saying it, Mayweather has been subtly putting across that 'Baby Brother' can never compete on the same level. I tend to agree unless Broner overhauls his skills to match his talent.
To be clear I actually enjoy watching Mayweather, but I disagree with him that he'll ever come close to being 'TBE'. Great fighters fight other greats in their primes, simple as that.
So to round up this rambling, grammatically awful mess; it's the Pimp Game through and through. 'I'll tell you what's good for you and you'll like it whilst I make my money'. But I don't think boxing fans should feel as bad when they're convinced Mayweather is f__king them, because right now he's f__king his main b__ch 'AB' even harder. Much love from Australia. – Rob
I don’t think Broner looks at it that way. I think the talented young gun admires Mayweather so much that he appreciates the criticism, happily takes in whatever advice his “Big Bro” drops on him, and secretly agrees that he’ll never fill the current pound-for-pound king’s shoes. I also think he’s grateful to be on the Mayweather-Maidana pay-per-view undercard (especially against a “gimme” opponent).
Of course, Mayweather is going to talk-up Maidana. He’s got a pay-per-view event to sell. He’s got to do whatever he can to make the public think that the massive underdog has a shot. Ever since Mayweather graduated from a pay-per-view B-side to a pay-per-view A-side, he’s given his opponents ample respect during the build up to their fight.
When he fought the late Arturo Gatti (in his first pay-per-view main event), Mayweather ripped the popular-but-limited slugger every chance he got during the promotion. He called Gatti (then the holder of the WBC 140-pound belt, which was stripped from undisputed king Kostya Tszyu) a “paper champion.” He called him a “C-level fighter with six losses” (which, in his words, meant that Gatti had been beat six different ways and he’d come up with a seventh way to beat the New Jersey attraction). Mayweather called Gatti a lot of disparaging things, most of which were true, which, of course, begged the question – why the hell was he fighting him?
When you’re trying to sell a pay-per-view main event, you don’t want fans and potential customers asking those kinds of questions.
Thanks for the kind words about the mailbag column (which is 13 years old next month), my MaxBoxing.com work and my commentating (I’ll be doing the international broadcast to the Thurman-Diaz card with Beto Duran tomorrow).
THE END OF THE COLD WAR?
Hello young Sir,
I just read in the LA Times that Oscar De La Hoya is out of rehab and hashing up his differences with Bob Arum, and a potential fight with Canelo and Manny later this year could be in the works! That is a very intriguing fight if it happens, but, I would be more excited to see all the other potential matchups that could possibly be made if Top Rank and Golden Boy kiss and make up. What would be your top three fights to see if they do make up? Also, I will be in Inglewood for the Marquez Vs. Alvarado fight and was wondering where boxing fans go after fights in that area? I spend most of my time in Pomona and Covina when I visit the LA area so I have no idea what Inglewood is all about. Thanks Dougie, keep up the great work. – Josh
You’re asking the wrong guy about what to do in Inglewood after a fight, Josh. I live here but I’m a family guy. I don’t hang out or go to the local clubs. Fifteen years ago when The Forum still hosted major fights, boxing media and industry folks would get together at nearby restaurants, such as the Sizzler at the corner of Manchester and Prairie, after the show.
I wouldn’t get too excited about a potential thawing of the Cold War just yet, but I guess it’s fun to think about the fights that could get made if the two U.S. promotional giants bury the hatchet.
The top three GBP-Top Rank fights I’d want to see is Danny Garcia vs. Brandon Rios, Tim Bradley vs. Shawn Porter and Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman.
Email Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer