Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

FLOYD MAYWEATHER’S NEXT STEP

Hi Dougie. 

A lot of people going for a Floyd Mayweather Jr. win tomorrow and that's fine. What I wanna know, in your opinion (the Manny Pacquiao fight excluded because of promotional differences), would be the biggest challenge at 147/154 for Mayweather? People are getting sick of the near shutouts so who can really, in your opinion, push him to the fullest before he retires? Is a middleweight/catch weight completely out of the question against any 160 pounder?

(PS – 24/7/All Access could do with some more training footage, drill exercises, sparring, etc. instead of the usual antics.)

Thanks for your time. – Malcolm, Dublin, Ireland

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions, Malcolm.

I agree that both HBO’s 24/7 and Showtime’s All Access series are in need of revamping. Along with more real training footage and gym scenes, I think both shows could do with less scripting and narration. The directors/producers should let the subjects and their respective routines do more of the talking.

To be truthful, I’ve been completely bored with the current formats of both boxing pay-per-view infomercial series for at least the last four or five years.

I think there are worthy opponents out there for Mayweather, but he would have to go up in weight to make those fights happen. The winner the June 7 middleweight championship between Sergio Martinez and Miguel Cotto would make for a very marketable event – and Mayweather would not be a huge favorite against either veteran.

If Erislandy Lara beats Canelo Alvarez in July, the Cuban lefty could present some style problems for Mayweather, who has not faced many world-class boxers during his hall-of-fame career.

If Alvarez beats Lara, he can be brought back as an opponent but not this year.

The man I’d like to see Mayweather test his mettle against is WBA middleweight titleholder Gennady Golovkin, but I know that fight is a pipe dream given GGG’s size, power, style and HBO allegiance.

However, the Golden Boy-Haymon-Showtime “boxing league” has its own undefeated middleweight beltholder in Peter Quillin, and while “Kid Chocolate” is not in Golovkin’s class in my opinion, his greater size would make the match-up with Mayweather interesting.

I doubt we’ll get these fights, but I think they could get made, and I think most of the boxing public and some casual fans would embrace them. We’ll probably see Mayweather look at the winner of Khan-Collazo for his next opponent.

I think if the winner of the imminent Shawn Porter-Kell Brook IBF title fight takes on Keith Thurman, the winner of that showdown would make a worthy welterweight challenger for Mayweather.

 

BE GLAD WHEN ‘THE MOMENT’ HAS PASSED

Hey Doug,

I'll be happy when this Floyd event is over. More hype than fight. So many articles in my face for someone I am uninterested in and who deserves more criticism and a bit less fawning admiration by the press. The way Floyd chose his opponent is beyond cynical: “Hey fans! Vote for my next opponent: No hoper #1 or no hoper #2? 

“I give my fans what they want”…  Really?

I only care about the fight part of boxing. I have never watched one of the pre-fight hype shows on HBO or Showtime and probably never will. I wish that the networks would save their boxing budget for putting on fights. – Stephen, Montreal

Me too. You haven’t missed anything with those PPV-hype shows.

And I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks the boxing media kisses a little too much Mayweather ass during the build up to his fights. If everyone agrees that Mayweather is super awesome peachy keen, why does it seem like these boxing writers are trying sooooooo damn hard to convince the reader of his supposed “genius” and “greatness”? Why do they have to do the hard sell?

You’re not alone in your opinion of Saturday’s event and Mayweather’s choice of opponent. This promotion is lacking buzz because of the perception that Maidana has absolutely no shot to win (which may very well be accurate).

To be fair, I also think it’s been hurt by a busy news week, both within the world of boxing (the Oscar De La Hoya-Richard Schaefer feud, the Main Events civil suit, the Goossen Tutor-Andre Ward ruling) and outside of it (the Donald Sterling melodrama).

Although I’m not that into the main event of the Showtime PPV, I am a bit curious if Maidana’s swarming unorthodox style enables him to land a few of those haymakers. I’m definitely interested in the Khan-Collazo fight, which I view as 50-50 matchup (and I’m leaning toward the Brooklyn lefty in that one).

I also want to see what Adrien Broner looks like at 140 pounds. However, I’m not exactly giddy with excitement about this card. I’m definitely looking more forward to the other major fights this month (Stiverne-Arreola II, Marquez-Alvarado and Froch-Groves II).

 

NO MAS!

Yo Doug,

I haven’t written since I predicted a Broner victory over Maidana months back. Wow. I have never been so happy to be WRONG! I ate an epic amount of crow for that call. But hey, ya win some and ya lose some. Isn’t that why we love this sport? Because ANYTHING can happen! Kudos to Marcos. He deserves this payday against Floyd, which brings me to my first question.

To start things off – I will not be purchasing this fight. As much as I like Maidana, I just don’t see this ending well for him. I know, I know… I said the same thing with him and Broner, but let’s face it. Broner is NOT Mayweather. Doug, I’ve been a boxing fan since I was a little kid. I love this sport more than any other. But enough is enough. I refuse to pay 80 dollars of my hard earned money to see a wipeout. First Robert Guerrero and now this. The only reason I bought Canelo vs. Mayweather was because of The Machine and Swift fight. My question to you is, do you think this is the fight that people finally make a statement to the networks, promotional companies, and fighters? A statement as in “we’re not gonna take this anymore!”

Doug, the promotional aspect of this fight has been bloody terrible!!! No city tour, All-Access is damn disgrace, and there is hardly any buzz for this fight. The way I see it is Floyd knows he doesn’t have to work at it anymore. His contract is signed, sealed, and delivered. And plus he probably raked it in for the Canelo fight. But seriously, The Moment? What moment are they referring to? It’s an absolute disgrace. They’re not even trying. It’s pathetic, sad, and a slap to the face of the real fans. No more. I’m saving my pennies for Martinez vs. Cotto.

Sorry for the winded email, but I had to complain to somebody. That’s why I keep writing ya. You give us fans a voice through your mailbags. We will be heard! Hopefully this makes the cut. Mondays or Fridays. : ) Peace. – Patrick from Houston

I’m happy to help give fans some voice but the way fans can make real noise is with their business. The Pacquiao-Bradley rematch didn’t do as well as Top Rank and HBO had hoped and if Mayweather-Maidana underperforms, it may send a message to Mayweather, GBP and Showtime. The message is to make the fights that fans demand.

Now, you may be right that Mayweather doesn’t give a rat’s ass about PPV numbers or what the fans think at this point in his career and Showtime contract, but the network and GBP might try harder to put quality bouts under the next Mayweather event (which they generally do a decent job with) and they’ll definitely try to make more fan-favorite bouts with their other contracted fighters.

Regarding your thoughts on the Mayweather-Maidana matchup, I agree 100 percent. I thought Maidana had to put forth the fight of his life to beat an unfocused and immature Broner, who even at his best isn’t near Mayweather’s class. And though Broner soundly lost, I thought he had his moments in the fight, as did gatekeepers Josesito Lopez and Jesus Soto Karass when they fought Chino.

I think Mayweather outmaneuvers and beats Maidana to the punch from the outside and ties the slugger up on the inside. I even think Mayweather will outmuscle Maidana during the clinches. I wouldn’t be shocked if a frustrated Maidana gets himself DQ’d by the late rounds but I hope that doesn’t happen.   

 

WLADIMIR KLITSCHKO’S LEGACY

Great Monday morning reading (as usual).

In watching the Klitschko fight Saturday, Teddy Atlas, when asked how he compares this title run versus Joe Louis and Larry Holmes, said it doesn't compare because of Wlad's level of competition has not been as good as the other two and the fact he had several losses, albeit over many years ago. Fine and well he feels that way. But when it comes to level of opponents, and not to take anything away from Louis, there was a reason they said he fought the "bum of the month club."

As far as who's championship run is better, that's a debate I stay out of. All three boxers are great champions.

Keep the up the great columns!!!!! – Al Arrighi, Dagsboro, Delaware

Thanks Al.

Louis and Holmes are in the International Boxing Hall of Fame and Klitschko (as well as his brother) will join them there as soon as he’s eligible.

Louis is universally considered to be one of the top two or three heavyweights of all time. Holmes is universally considered to be one of the top five heavyweights of all time. We’ll see where Klitschko is rated once his career is completed. Right now he wouldn’t make my all-time top 10 but his fighting days look far from over. He might have another solid four or five years of being “the man” of the heavyweight division. Who knows? Maybe if he breaks Louis’ record boxing fans will view him as one of the best big men ever.

However, right now, I agree with Atlas. I think this comparatively weak era of heavyweights and his three KO losses keep his body of work from being in Louis’ league. It’s true that Louis’ era of heavyweights wasn’t as strong as Muhammad Ali’s era (1960s/’70s), which Holmes was part of, but I think it was a little better than today’s. Louis fought 11 fighters who are in the hall of fame (including the three men who beat him – Max Schmeling, Ezzard Charles and Rocky Marcinao).

Which of Klitschko’s past opponents do you think will one day be enshrined in the hall of fame? Chris Byrd? Even he’s a long shot. And I’m pretty certain that the three guys who beat Wladdy – Ross Puritty, Corrie Sanders and Lamon Brewster – won’t be inducted.     

 

BRONER CASHING IN ON WHAT’S BAD ABOUT BOXING

Hey Dougie,

I just wanted to vent some frustration. I recently watched an interview with Adrien Broner and he was talking about becoming a world champion in the light welterweight division making it his 4th world championship in as many divisions. How can that be? Who has he fought? It's sad really and he's not the only boxer cashing in on the negative side of boxing, where you don't have to be an elite fighter or beat an elite fighter to win a belt. I love Paulie but Maidana was Broner's first real test of his career to show how great a fighter he claims to be and he got blown away. 

I'm looking at the 140 division and I’m finding it hard to see which route he will take to claim his 4th title. He's recently trained with Lamont Peterson so it won’t be him, he's making friends with Danny Garcia so it won’t be him and after the Maidana fight there's no way he'll want a piece of Ruslan Provodnikov. My belief is he'll take the easy route and wait for Danny Garcia to move up in weight and then he'll fight for the vacant title with some mandatory. 

The record book shows Broner as a three-division world champion, but in my mind he's achieved absolutely nothing yet. James. – Vancouver, Canada   

I wouldn’t go that far, James. Broner defeated two legit top-10 contenders (Antonio DeMarco and Malignaggi) to win his lightweight and welterweight titles (the guy he beat to win the vacant WBO 130-pound title was garbage). However, I agree that his accomplishment of major titles in three weight classes isn’t as impressive as it sounds due to the proliferation of divisions and sanctioning organizations of this era.

We can’t even compare what Broner’s done to the great Henry Armstrong’s feat of winning featherweight, lightweight and welterweight championships. When Hammering Hank did it there were only eight weight classes and one world title in each division.

However, it’s not Broner’s fault that the sport has been watered down. I think he’s challenged himself adequately for a 24-year-old boxer, and though he isn’t facing a world beater on Saturday, I don’t think he’s going to half-ass it going forward.

Yes, he probably will target the WBC title that Garcia will vacate when he jumps to welterweight (the WBA belt is connected to Jessie Vargas, a Top Rank fighter), however, sooner or later, he’ll have to deal with Lucas Matthysse, who is highly ranked by the WBC.

Speaking of Matthysse….

 

MACHINE BREAKDOWN?

Hi Doug,

I was interested by the Matthysse-Molina fight. For all his talent, I thought it exposed a real weakness “the Machine” has, that a better boxer and/or harder puncher than Molina could exploit. For all his power, Matthysse leaves himself open for counters. He can be hit. Garcia showed that, but I noticed it more in the Molina fight. Of course, the Machine also hits hard as well…

What did you think of the possibility of the PacMan dropping to junior welterweight? He never was a true welterweight, so it would be interesting…

What can a fan say about Bernard Hopkins? While a genetic freak in terms of keeping his skills into late middle age, he was NOT the most gifted fighter in his generation, let alone of all time. But he made himself an all-time great by tireless work, matchless preparation, an incredible ability to adapt to his opponents, (gotten I believe from his endless preparation, watching tape, et al), a wonderful ability to get in their heads, never losing his cool in the ring while he outthought and outfought those who perhaps had more skills, but less will, because he had an implacable will. While it is not impossible for him to beat Adonis Stevenson, (in fact, he has a better chance than people think), I do worry about him getting hurt.  Even his iron chin would be dented by “Superman” if he caught him right…

On to the light heavys – comparing Kovalev to the 70's and 80's great crop of light heavyweights is interesting.  How do you think he would have fared against Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Matthew Saud Muhammad, Dwight Muhammad Qawi, John Conteh, Yaqui Lopez, and Marvin Johnson?

I believe at least two of them would have stopped him – Matthew Saud Muhammad, and certainly Dwight Qawi (the Buzzsaw was the truth!) I think Eddie Gregory, ie Muhammad might have outboxed him, and Conteh was a much underrated boxer as well. Yaqui Lopez was tough as old shoe leather, and Marvin Johnson was a good boxer-puncher. (I saw three of the foregoing fight in person!  Those were the days…)  Truth is, though it is not Kovalev's fault, this is not a time for great light heavys… and he has not had the wars those earlier fighters had, and the experience that went with them…

I have to give you some "what if's:

Liston at his prime against Lennox Lewis at his;

Roy Jones against Mike Spinks at light heavy;

Prime Foreman against prime Liston;

old clever Foreman against prime Liston;

Prime Frazier against prime Tyson;

Roy Jones at middleweight against Monzon at their prime;

Sanchez against Floyd Mayweather at 130, again in their primes

Doug, thanks again for the mailbag! You are the best, and you make Mondays and Fridays! – John

Thanks for the kind words, John.

Yeah, Matthysse can be hit but I think he proved against John Molina that he can take a hell of a punch. And even when he’s dropped, he recovers very quickly. There are definitely better boxers out there than Molina, but there aren’t many 140 pounders who hit as hard as the rugged Southern Californian.

We’ve seen Matthysse outboxed before (Judah, Alexander and Garcia) but nobody’s had an easy time doing it. The Molina fight was his first bout with former champ Juan Coggi in his corner. Let’s see if Coggi, who was a very savvy southpaw boxer, can add some defense and finesse to Matthysse’s game. I think a little bit will go a long way with the Machine.

I think it would be interesting if Pacquiao dropped down to 140 pounds but who would he fight? Jessie Vargas? Golden Boy has most of the top 140 pounders under contract. Provodnikov, who is promoted by Banner Promotions, is available but I’m not sure I want to see that matchup. Much like the Hopkins-Stevenson matchup, it’s a fight that the veteran could win but it’s also extremely dangerous for the older man.  

I think Kovalev is a badass but based on what I’ve seen so far of the Russian I have to assume that all of the 1970s/’80s light heavyweight standouts that you mentioned would beat him.

Your mythical matchups:

Liston at his prime against Lennox Lewis at his – Liston by mid-rounds KO

Roy Jones against Mike Spinks at light heavy – Spinks by mid-rounds KO

Prime Foreman against prime Liston – Liston by decision or late TKO

old clever Foreman against prime Liston – Liston by decision

Prime Frazier against prime Tyson – Iron Mike would have a two- or three-round window to get Joe out of there, otherwise I think Frazier wears him down to a late (and brutal) TKO.

Roy Jones at middleweight against Monzon at their prime – Monzon by decision

Sanchez against Floyd Mayweather at 130, again in their primes – Interesting matchup because Mayweather hasn’t really faced a boxer-technician as mobile, tough and savvy as Sanchez but Floyd may have been at his best at 130 pounds and the Mexican icon was unproven at junior lightweight. Mayweather by decision.

 

MYTHICAL (MIC) MATCHUPS

Hey Dougie.

I'm not going to comment on Mayweather-Maidana. It's all been said already. On the other hand I enjoyed your latest batch of myth-matches. Especially TTT vs Jim Bagg. Imagine those two clowns working together as a pair of obnoxious, annoying broadcasters.

And speaking of battles among broadcasters I have here a few more myth-matches to add to your column.

1. Larry Merchant vs Jim Gray

2. Bernard Hopkins vs Paulie Miliginaggi ( Behind microphones of course)

3. George Foreman vs Roy Jones. (Again, armed with the microphones)

4. Roy Jones vs Joe Calzaghe. In the ring and I'm talking about the prime Jones with this one.

5. Triple T vs Captain Ron. Who out-insults and out-annoys whom here? 

Thanks. – PM

Thanks for the interesting email, PM.

Triple T and Bagg as co-commentators would be must-see (or must-listen) TV.

Your matchups:

1. Larry Merchant vs Jim Gray – Merchant. He doesn’t have to be 50 years younger to kick Gray’s ass in the art of the post-fight interview.

2. Bernard Hopkins vs Paulie Miliginaggi (behind microphones of course) – Malignaggi, he’s got a quicker lip and more astute (and to-the-point) observations.

3. George Foreman vs Roy Jones (again, armed with the microphones) – I’ll go with Jones, I think he has a better understanding of ring generalship and he expresses himself slightly better than Big George, who sometimes allowed personal biases to come through in his commentary.

4. Roy Jones vs Joe Calzaghe. In the ring and I'm talking about the prime Jones with this one – Jones by late TKO or decision. The shopworn version of RJJ was able to land counter right hands during the first half of his 2008 fight with Calzaghe. The prime 168-pound version would have had the legs to keep off the ropes and keep Joe at a distance where he would set traps using his feints and incredible reflexes. Calzaghe had a very good chin and amazing recuperative ability but prime Jones possessed the one-hitter-quitter punch and finishing instincts.

5. Triple T vs Captain Ron. Who out-insults and out-annoys whom here? – Come on, man, you know TTT is TBE.

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