Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

‘CHENKO,’ MAYWEATHER, B-HOP

What's up Dougie? First time writing to the mailbag.

Vasyl Lomachenko looked like a slasher and vicious with the body punching. He was really diggin’ into Gary Russell. I questioned all the hype especially after the Orlando Salido fight, but he erased any doubt this time around. And Russell didn't look bad, either. Even though he was pretty one dimensional with his spray-and-pray combinations, in the early rounds he was extremely fast, but didn't mix up his angles or go to the body enough. Attribute that to Chenko’s lateral movement. Russell was on the brink of getting stopped, but he had guts to last the whole 12. I think Chenko gives problems to Donaire, Mares, and wouldn't be a walk in the park for Rigo, either. Maybe a warm up fight with Zahir Raheem, who I heard was making a comeback.

I heard Floyd doesn't have a promoter’s license in Nevada. If he's going on his own without Golden Boy Promotions, and that date is saved for a Golden Boy show, does that force him to work with Golden Boy in order to keep that date?

What's up with James Kirkland? When's his next fight and who dares get in the ring with him?

Where does B-Hop fit in to the Golden Boy soap opera? Isn't he an executive for the company? Is Al Haymon one of the illuminati or something? I bet he knows who killed Tupac and Biggie. – Adam, Hayward, CA 

Of course, Haymon knows who killed Tupac and B.I.G. S__t, the people who killed them probably had to get his permission before they did it!

Bernard Hopkins is more than an executive with GBP; he’s a survivor, which means he’s going to do whatever is in his best interest. I think he’s going to sit back and observe what happens with GBP and Haymon (and Richard Schaefer) over the next few months (perhaps until the end of 2014), and then make a decision on whether he remains with the company he has some equity in, or bolts to reunite with the President of the B-Hop Fan Club (his boy Richie Rich).

Last I heard on Kirkland was when he was rumored to be a part of a May 24 HBO broadcast (against Willie Nelson), which obviously did not happen. He seems to be in limbo at the present time. I hope he’s staying in shape because I consider him to be a major player at 154 pounds and 160.

Who dares to get in the ring with him? I think there are more than a few junior middleweight and middleweight titleholders and contenders who are willing to fight Kirkland, despite his ferocity. I think Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara and Carlos Molina (who’s already tangled with “Mandingo”) would face him. Nelson is obviously willing, and I wouldn’t be shocked if WBO beltholder Demetrius Andrade agreed to take him on (but I don’t think his promoters/management would sign off on that course of action).

I think most of the middleweight standouts – except for RING champ Miguel Cotto – view Kirkland as a mark, a dangerous one, but one that is worth the risk as long as there’s a nice payday attached to it (thanks to HBO’s licensing fee).

Mayweather Promotions is not licensed in Nevada, and even if they did get licensed before Mayweather’s targeted Sept. 13 date, it still wouldn’t be time enough for the fledgling company to put together an experienced-enough staff to handle a Las Vegas/Showtime/MGM promotion as big as Floyd’s PPV events are. So, Mayweather has two options: stick with Golden Boy for his next fight, or sit out the rest of the year.

Also, I wouldn’t put too much stock in the Mayweather’s “vow” to stop working with Golden Boy Promotions. That was Leonard Ellerbe talking to Dan Rafael shortly after Schaefer announced his resignation from the company. Ellerbe was emotional. He’s the President of the Richard Schaefer Fan Club. If Al Haymon had made that announcement, we could all believe it. However, Haymon doesn’t make announcements like that. (Haymon doesn’t make announcements at all.) He’s smart. He’s not going to needlessly burn any bridges before he knows he’s able to operate his own autonomous company or partner up with another established powerhouse promotional company (which doesn’t exist in the U.S. apart from Top Rank, which won’t f__k with him, anyway).

I agree that Lomachenko’s lateral movement kept Russell in check. I hate to toot my own horn (oh, who am I kidding, I f___in’ love it!) but I predicted in the Friday mailbag that the Ukrainian’s footwork and movement were keys to victory (“Against Russell, his footwork and lateral movement will be just as important as his offense”).

I also agree that Lomachenko would cause problems for every notable featherweight out there – expect for Zahir Raheem; the “Z-Man” hasn’t fought at 126 pounds in 10 years.

Thanks for finally submitting an email for the mailbag, and please do so again. You have a way with words. I love the “Chenko” nickname (might have to steal that) and “Slasher” label for the Ukrainian. Also, “spray-and-pray combinations” was the perfect way to describe what Russell did all night on Saturday.

 

GOLDEN BOY PROMOTIONS VS. TOP RANK (IN THE RING)

Hi Dougie,

How are you? 

Wow, I've read that finally Top Rank and Golden Boy are starting to mend their differences and are willing to collaborate for future fights (according to Oscar De La Hoya and Bob Arum). If that's the case, the deep 140-147 lbs roster of Golden Boy can already box with the Top Guns of Top Rank!! It's exciting to a lot of fans just thinking of probable matchups. Can we have your take on the following crossover matches:

1. Pacquiao vs Algieri (at 140 and 147)

2. Bradley vs Garcia (at 147)

3. Provodnikov vs Khan (at 140 and 147)

4. Porter vs Bradley (at 147, for Porter's belt)

5. Pacquiao vs Porter

6. Pacquiao vs Alexander

7. Provodnikov vs. Porter

8. Guerrero vs Pacquiao

9. Provodnikov vs. Thurman

There are more matches I can think of, but only that for now. Isn't it great if there would be tournament for the deep 147-pound division (like the SuperSix – Super Middleweight tournament some years back)? It's such a shame that Money May vs Pac would never happen, but because of this good news between Top Rank and Golden Boy, we can be rewarded with many options to forget about that saga.

Regards. – James, SG

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and list of potential GBP/TR matchups, James.

1) Pacquiao vs Algieri (at 140 and 147) – Chris Algieri is promoted by Joe DeGuardia’s Star Boxing, Inc. Not GBP or Top Rank. Anyway, I think he’d give Pacquiao some problems with his height, reach and movement, but I see Manny winning a close and competitive boxing match by having the more dynamic moments in the majority of rounds. I don’t think Algieri has the power to keep Pacquiao off of him.

2) Bradley vs Garcia (at 147) – This would be an entertaining boxing match highlighted by some nice exchanges. Garcia would land the harder punches but Bradley would be the ring general and the busier fighter (with both hands and feet). I see Bradley winning a close but clear decision.

3) Provodnikov vs Khan (at 140 and 147) – Ruslan Provodnikov is promoted by Artie Pelullo’s Banner Promotions. (Hey kids, this might surprise you, but there are other promotional companies in the U.S. and abroad apart from Golden Boy and Top Rank.) Anyway, I think they would mesh to make an entertaining and dramatic pressure fighter-vs.-boxer matchup. Khan would use his speed, height, reach and movement to neutralize Provo’s forward-marching aggression, but the Russian would eventually connect (as he does with every boxer he’s faced) and I don’t think Amir will take as good of a shot Algieri did. I see Provo winning via late (maybe come-from-behind) TKO.

4) Porter vs Bradley (at 147, for Porter's belt) – This is an interesting boxing match that could turn into a fight given Porter’s aggression and Bradley’s penchant for brawling when confronted. I see a nip-and-tuck battle with the younger, fresher, bigger, stronger man prevailing by close, maybe split or controversial decision.

5) Pacquiao vs Porter – These guys know each other well from their sparring days. Pac would probably handle the version of Porter from a few years ago but the current version could give him a run for his money. I’d go with Porter by knockout if he was a cleaner and more accurate puncher, but the affable Ohioan is a little bit wild when he lets his hands go. His swing-for-the-fences hooks and crosses may have shocked Devon Alexander and clipped Paulie Malignaggi. Porter’s would be a very live dog but I think Pacquiao’s more-reserved style of late, plus his underrated ring generalship, would enable him to outpoint the younger man.

6) Pacquiao vs Alexander – Alexander’s speed could trouble the older version of Pacquiao but the Filipino veteran’s footwork, timing and edge in power would probably enable him to outpoint the Missourian in a tit-for-tat boxing match.

7) Provodnikov vs. Porter – This could be a lot of fun and perhaps a Fight-of-the-Year-type slugfest depending on how much Porter opts to stand and trade with Ruslan. If Porter tries to overpower the Russian he’ll get taken out, but if he picks his spots to let his heavy hands go, I think he can outpoint Siberian Rocky. 

8) Guerrero vs Pacquiao – Pacquiao outclasses the always game Ghost en route to a unanimous decision.

9) Provodnikov vs. Thurman – The Thurmanator would play it smart and stick (with authority) and move his way to an early lead but I question his whiskers and I think Provodnikov would press through the punishment he dishes out and eventually connect with a fight-ending punch sequence.

 

CHAMPIONSHIP UNIFICATION BOUTS

Hi Dougie,

I hope all is well over there in the States (especially as the USA team has done a lot better than England in the World Cup). Long time reader, 3rd time writer, hoping this time I make the cut! Just read an article about the WBC, WBA and IBF having a meeting in the near future. Now with slight progress between Golden Boy and Top Rank in the "Cold War" do you think we'll get some good unification match ups? We all want to see Hopkins vs Stevenson, but I was wondering what would be the top 5 (in no particular order) unification bouts you'd want to see, and what have been, in your thoughts, the top 5 unification bouts of all time?

The five I want to see:

Garcia vs Peterson (apparently on the same card August 9th)

Hopkins vs Stevenson

Ward vs Froch

Klitschko vs Stiverne (or Wilder when he wins)

Golovkin vs Cotto

Cheers. – Greg, Nottingham, England                                    

Three of the four major sanctioning organizations meeting for the better of the sport along with De La Hoya and Arum announcing that they will try to work together definitely increases the likelihood of more title unification bouts, but ultimately it’s up to the fighters.

The five unification bouts I’d like to see are:

The winner of Akira Yeagashi-Roman Gonzalez vs. Juan Estrada (RING/WBC-WBA/WBO flyweight unification)

Adonis Stevenson vs. Sergey Kovalev (RING/WBC-WBO light heavyweight unification)

Jhonny Gonzalez vs. Vasyl Lomachenko (WBC-WBO featherweight unification)

Takashi Uchiyama vs. Mikey Garcia (WBA-WBO junior lightweight unification; with the vacant RING championship on the line)

Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Geale winner vs. Peter Quillin (WBA-WBO middleweight unification)

Honorable mention: Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Manny Pacquiao (RING/WBC-WBO welterweight unification)

 

Top five unification bouts ever (in my opinion and in chronological order):

Roberto Duran-Esteban DeJesus (WBA-WBC lightweight titles – 1978)

Ray Leonard-Thomas Hearns I (WBC-WBA welterweight titles – 1981)

Julio Cesar Chavez-Meldrick Taylor I (WBC-IBF junior welterweight titles – 1990)

Felix Trinidad-Fernando Vargas (WBA-IBF junior middleweight titles – 2000)

Bernard Hopkins-Felix Trinidad (WBC/IBF-WBA middleweight titles – 2001)

Honorable mention:

Donald Curry-Milton McCrory (WBA-WBC welterweight titles – 1985)

Pernell Whitaker-Juan Nazario (IBF/WBC-WBA lightweight titles – 1990)

Roy Jones Jr.-Reggie Johnson (WBC/WBA-IBF light heavyweight titles – 1999)

Oscar De La Hoya-Trinidad (WBC-IBF welterweight titles – 1999)

Lennox Lewis-Evander Holyfield II (WBC-IBF/WBA heavyweight titles – 1999)

Marco Antonio Barrera-Erik Morales (WBO-WBC junior featherweight titles – 2000)

Shane Mosley-Winky Wright I (WBC/WBA-IBF junior middleweight titles – 2004)

Joe Calzaghe-Mikkel Kessler (WBO/IBF-WBA/WBC super middleweight titles – 2007)

 

LOMACHENKO-RIGONDEAUX, AUG. 9 LETDOWN

Hi Dougie,

Big fan of the mailbags and have been an avid reader for over 2 years now, this is my first message to you, though.

Like many fans, I was really impressed by Lomachenko's victory over Gary Russell, Jr. The footwork, technique and the vicious body shots were beautiful to see. The combination of all three really were effective in limiting the effectiveness of Russell Jr. As you mentioned, he is promoted by Top Rank and could soon face the likes of Donaire, Gradovich & Walters. What would be your predictions in those 3 match-ups? Personally, I feel Lomachenko's skills would prevail against all three. 

The fight that would be truly epic would be Lomachenko v Rigondeaux, a fight for the ages between the two great amateur fighters of the recent era. I cannot pick a winner, which is testament to the quality of the two fighters.

I am really disappointed about the upcoming fights on Showtime's August 9 card. Danny Garcia, Lamont Peterson and Daniel Jacobs are terrific fighters, but their opponents are lackluster and it is a shame to see. I hope Golden Boy pits their stars against better opposition in future shows.

Thanks Dougie and wishing you all the best! – Qadeer Ali, Dublin, Ireland

I think the sub-par opposition of Garica, Peterson and Jacobs has more to do with their adviser (Al Haymon) than it does with Golden Boy Promotions. Of course, the fighters have a part in who they fight, too. Fans seem to forget that. Regardless of who’s to blame, I’m not very excited about that show.

Having said that, I think Garcia and Peterson are two standout fighters that have earned a “gimme” fight. The two East Coast junior welterweights have faced some of the best of the 140-pound division. Both guys fought Amir Khan, “the Machine” Matthysse, and Kendall Holt. Peterson also fought Bradley. Even the their last opponents (Dierry Jean and Mauricio Herrera), though not well known, were dangerous/difficult fighters.

And Jacobs is actually facing a step-up in competition with Jarrod Fletcher. The Australian will be the first rated fighter the Brooklyn native has fought since Dmitry Pirog.

I doubt Lomachenko-Rigondeaux will be a “fight for the ages.” An elite-level boxing match for the purists? Yes. A fight? Nah. These guys are too smart, too skilled and too versatile for a fight to break out.

I think it’s the most fascinating matchup that can be made at 126 pounds, but I envision another high-speed chess match like we got with Lomacehnko-Russell; only this time the Ukrainian star will actually share the ring with a fellow chess player. (Russell turned out to be a checkers player.)

I agree with you, I think Lomachenko can outbox and outmaneuver (thus outpoint) Donaire, Gradovich and Walters.

 

IS AL HAYMON GOOD FOR BOXING?

What’s up Doug. This is my second time writing in so let’s see if I make the cut.

Al Haymon…is he good for boxing? Does he even care about the fans or the sport or is he just another business man that don’t give a s*** about the sport. Excuse my French.

Look at the case of Gary Russell Jnr fought bum after bum after bum, then stepped up in opposition and got found out. 

Peter Quillin – fights nobodies. 

Mayweather – Cherry picks opponents. 

Danny Garcia and Peterson on the same card but not fighting each other. What’s the deal, man? Took Stevenson to Showtime and so no Kovalev fight… And the list goes on.

Yes, he has put on great shows but I’m of the opinion that he safely maneuvers his fighters through their careers and if a tough fight comes up, on many occasions, he will stop the fight happening.

Look I may be wrong but as a fan I’m just venting my frustration on the fact that so many fights don’t get made.

PS – Maidana VS Matthysse… when are GB and Haymon going to make that fight man? Seriously put them in a Football stadium (soccer for myAmerican buddies) in Argentina and let them fight. How hard is it?!

Peace out. – H. Ali, Leicester, England

I think Maidana-Matthysse will happen as soon as “the Machine” makes the jump to welterweight and the commitment to stay in the 147-pound division. Neither guy is the type to avoid a challenge or hard fight. I agree that the fight would sell a lot of tickets in their home country, but it would make a s__tload of money here in the U.S. So I think it’s gonna happen in the near future, but Matthysse probably wants to get his hands on a world 140-pound world title first.

Is Al Haymon good for boxing? Yes. Is he bad for the sport? Yes. Does he care about the fans? A little bit, but his attention is mainly on his clients, who he does well for. That’s how the former concert promoter is good for boxing. He helps the fighters get the exposure and fights they need to take their careers to the next level, and he gets them paid nicely, too.

He’s bad for the sport because he’s signed up a lot of talent and he often maneuvers his clients away from threats for as long as he can, while getting them nice paydays and TV exposure against sub-par opponents (which is what managers are supposed to do, by the way). So, there really isn’t a lot incentive for Haymon fighters to seek out the toughest challenges in their respective divisions.

I understand the frustration that hardcore heads have with Haymon. I was really looking forward to Stevenson-Kovalev, and it irks me when crazy talented boxers (from Mayweather to Russell) mainly fight underdogs, while lesser-talented fighters (from Berto to Arreola to Quillin) get paid better and receive TV dates that could go to more deserving contenders.

However, I think a lot of fans forget that sometimes Haymon helps make the hardcore matchups that we drool over. I don’t think Garcia-Matthysse or Broner-Maidana would have happened had Matty and Chino not signed with Haymon.

Nobody’s into Showtime’s Aug. 9 show, but most of us want to see Garcia-Peterson. That card – along with Haymon – will help set up the 140-pound title unification showdown. Haymon’s just getting two of his clients extra money and exposure before matching them in a bout where one will likely advance and the other will likely lose stature within this often harsh sport. (Hardcore fans clamor like hell for high-profile even matchups to be made, take a big ole greasy dump on the loser, and then wonder why those kinds of fights aren’t made. LOL.)

Haymon cares about the fans but he also realizes how unforgiving they (and the industry) can be, so he cares a little more for his clients.

 

REALISTIC MYTHCIAL MATCHUPS

Hey Dougie,

How’s it going? I enjoyed talking to you briefly at the fights in Carson, Calif., the other night. It’s been a while since we have crossed paths. I know you must drive yourself crazy trying to answer those foolishly unrealistic mystic match ups that fans ask. Ali vs Tyson?  Leonard vs Mayweather? Superman vs Thor? These fights never happened for a reason. They are from two completely different eras (or comic book companies). I have compiled a list of some of the most realistic fights that could've and should've happened but never did. I know how each and every one would have played out, but it’s nice to hear how other experts would have viewed them. My list as follows:

1. Wright vs. Pavlik (160)

2. Quartey vs. Trinidad 1998

3. Norris vs. Trinidad (147)1997

4. Norris vs. Delay hoya(147) 1997

5. Julian Jackson vs. T. Hearns (160) 1989

6. Mayweather vs. Casamayor (130) 2002

7. Paul Will vs. May (147) 2007

8. De la hoya vs. Jose Luis Lopez (147) 1998

9. Julian Jackson vs. J. Toney (160) 1992

10. G. McClellan vs. Lamar Parks (160) 1994

The last one is old school and didn't happen because Parks tested positive for HIV. Most youngsters probably don’t know who both those guys are, but we do. I've attached a pic of us at the fight. As always Dougie, it’s a pleasure. Chat with you soon. – Rahmon, Hawthorne, CA

Me-&-Rahmon_mailbag

Thanks for writing, Rahmon. Don’t be a stranger. Good job with the selfie you took at StubHub Center. (I wish we had a make-up artist around to help control the “shine” on our foreheads, but what the heck, it was OK to sweat during that badass Guerrero-Kamegai main event.)

My thoughts on your “realistic” mythical matchups:

1. Wright vs. Pavlik (160) – Pavlik by close, perhaps controversial decision.

2. Quartey vs. Trinidad 1998 – Trinidad by late TKO.

3. Norris vs. Trinidad (147)1997 – Terrible Terry is my favor fighter of the 1990s, but his prime was the early part of the ‘90s and he was close to being shopworn by ’97, so I like Tito by a particularly brutal mid-rounds TKO.

4. Norris vs. De La Hoya (147) 1997 – Golden Boy by late TKO for the same reason Tito would stop Terry by the middle rounds.

5. Julian Jackson vs. T. Hearns (160) 1989 – The Hitman shoots down the Hawk by the middle rounds. Even though Hearns was getting long in the tooth by the late ‘80s, his height, reach, straight-punching technique and greater speed would enable him to land the fight-ending bomb before the Virgin Islands assassin.

6. Mayweather vs. Casamayor (130) 2002 – Mayweather by close, perhaps split decision. The Cuban southpaw would give Mayweather fits with his jab, lateral movement and roughhouse tactics, but The Pretty Boy would gradually adjust to the Olympic gold medalist and zero in with enough well-timed right hand leads and one-two combos to edge him on the scorecards.

7. Paul Will vs. May (147) 2007 – Williams swarms, smothers and outworks Mayweather to a close but clear unanimous decision.

8. De La Hoya vs. Jose Luis Lopez (147) 1998 – “El Maestrito” knocks Goldie out in the late rounds of a very good boxing match that features heavy exchanges. Lopez, a native of Durango, Mexico like Oscar’s father, was the one elite welterweight that Joel Sr. would not sign-off on for his son to fight.

9. Julian Jackson vs. J. Toney (160) 1992 – Toney gives Jackson a boxing lesson and beating en route to a late TKO.

10. G. McClellan vs. Lamar Parks (160) 1994 – “Kidfire” outboxes "The G-Man" (mainly with his jab and lateral movement) en route to a close, competitive and entertaining unanimous decision that features numerous power-punch exchanges.

 

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

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