Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

SHAWN PORTER VS. KELL BROOK

Hey Dougie,

Hope all is well. Going to skip the paragraph on saying how good this column is (which it is) and how much I respect your opinion (which I do). Well, kind of skip it, lol.

Kell Brook vs Shawn Porter has finally been made for August in California. That rules me out of flying over to see it. Had it been on the East Coast I could have made the trip with my air miles. However, I am very excited for it after following Brook for around 7 years and being from Sheffield.

Last time I wrote, you believed if the fight was in the USA it would most likely be a decision win for Porter and for Brook if in the UK. Now the fight has been made and the boxers and managers have made their first comments, which way do you think it will go?

If Brook wins this fight with a dominating performance and even a KO I believe it will be huge for his career. I am thinking it could be reminiscent of Jeff Lacy vs Joe Calzaghe, do you agree? Porter is really hot right now in the States and for good reason, however I believe Brook would have done something similar with both Devon Alexander and Paulie Malignaggi, although believing he would have and actually doing it are two different things.

Also, what do you think the outcome would be of Amir Khan vs Kell Brook, should he win or lose? Cheers Pal. – Adam

I would favor Brook to beat Khan unless the Sheffield man takes a beating against Porter.

I get where you are coming from in comparing Porter-Brook to Lacy-Calzaghe – Porter is the big favorite here in the U.S. (as Lacy was against Calzaghe), and a Brook victory would instantly launch the British fighter’s name and establish respect among American fans and boxing media (as Calzaghe’s dominant win over Lacy did for him) – however, there’s two key differences in the way the fighters matchup:

1)Porter is a more complete boxer/fighter than Lacy was

2)Calzaghe, at that point in his future hall-of-fame career, was far more experienced than Lacy, and far more seasoned than Brook is now (or Porter for that matter).

Lacy, who was a 3-to-1 favorite to beat Calzaghe, had a 21-0 pro record going into that 2006 super middleweight title unification bout. The heavy handed American had defended his IBF belt four times.

Calzaghe had a 40-0 record going into the showdown, which took place in his native Wales, as well as 17 defenses of the WBO title under his belt.

The Porter-Brook matchup is more even in terms of experience and boxing ability. It should produce a far more competitive and entertaining fight, regardless of whom prevails.

I still favor Porter by decision now that the fight is set in the U.S. (and yes, had it landed in Sheffield, I would be picking Brook to win by decision), but it won’t be a walk in the park like the IBF welterweight beltholder’s last fight. Brook is the most talented fighter Porter has faced so far, in my opinion.

However, if it’s a close fight that goes the distance, I can’t help but think that Porter will get the nod. Al Haymon fighters have a history of getting the benefit of the doubt from at least one of the three official judges for bouts that have taken place at StubHub (formerly Home Depot Center).

Gary Russell Jr. getting that 114-114 card from Lisa Giampa when he fought Vasyl Lomachenko a few weeks ago is only the latest example. In the main event of last month’s show at StubHub, I thought Robert Guerrero, a Haymon client, was in a closer fight with Yoshihiro Kamegai than those two official tallies of 117-111 indicate. I thought Max DeLuca’s 116-112 score was fair, but also believe that a 115-113 tally (for Guerrero) would have also been fair (and probably most accurate given the near even amount of punishment dished out and absorbed by both fighters).

If you watch the international broadcast of Jermell Charlo’s unanimous decision over Demetrius Hopkins (which was a dreadfully boring encounter thanks to D-Hop’s style) last June, you’ll see that I scored the bout for the Philly native, who was the superior ring general throughout. However, Charlo, the Haymon-managed fighter, won by unanimous scores of 115-113, despite his inability to put hands on Hopkins. (Note: Showtime’s commentators agreed with the official scorecards but I’m curious what fans who bothered to pay attention to the snoozer think.)  

Going back to Paul Williams’s signature victory against Antonio Margarito in 2007, I’ll have you know that the ringside press was viewed the 12-round WBO welterweight title bout as a toss-up fight: one-third scored it for Williams (most had it 115-113), one-third had it a draw, and one-third scored it for Margarito (most had it 115-113). Two official judges had it 115-113 for Williams, which were just fine (many observers watching the bout on HBO thought Williams won clearly), but Tom Miller had it 116-112 for Williams, which isn’t a horrible score, but he gave Williams the benefit of the doubt. Miller’s scorecard became head-scratching when it was revealed that he scored the first six rounds (and eight of the first nine) for Williams, even though the second half of the fight was carried by the surging Margarito. But the big red flag for me is the fact that Miller – who is from the same area of Ohio that Haymon hails from – scored the final round for Margarito. Dude, even Margarito and his corner thought he lost the 12th round. So why did Miller score it for the “TJ Tornado” rather than Williams, who rallied hard from a near disastrous Round 11 and clearly earned it? Well, the skeptic/conspiracy freak in me says it was to keep from having a 117-111 card for Williams, which would have made it obvious that Miller was bending over backwards for the Haymon fighter.

Anyway, I don’t mean to needlessly stir s__t up, but we all know that home-town or native-country advantage is a very real phenomenon in boxing (as it is with most sporting events) and we’re also well aware of Haymon’s influence in the U.S. boxing scene. If I was part of Team Brook I would do a lot of research on every judge (and ref) proposed to officiate the Porter fight. 

Also, I don’t want to turn you off to StubHub fights. That place is one of the best pro boxing venues in the U.S. I feel ya on not wanting to make such a long trip on such notice, but you really should consider saving up and making the time to attend a future StubHub show. Like my buddy Steve Kim says, there’s something magic about that place as evidenced by the instant classic Fights of the Year (Vazquez-Marquez II, Bradley-Provodnikov) that have taken place there and the two brutal slugfests that have happened just this year (Matthysse-Molina and Guerrero-Kamegai).

 

TEXAS TWO-STEP

Ah Douglas…
Conflict abroad prohibits me from coming to the west coast this summer, but I will be stopping by Teiken again. Want anything? Any weird nerd-a$$ comic books ya can't buy here? Lemme know and I'll toss ‘em in the mail.

As for the present-day “Super Flea” (Yuriorkis Gamboa)…  well, let's just say it was an easy call. I won't elaborate on matters any further. I was dead wrong about the Matt Korobov fight tho, he showed that he can be a factor of sorts. What's next for him? I'm not sure he's ready for gatekeepers like Gabriel Rosado yet…  Tureano Johnson maybe? Trust me, THAT guy's a beast and will go bawls-first against GGG some day. Yes, I said it.

My point of contention (ahem.. today) is one young Money Mayweather…  He's taking the Maidana tango, part II. Well let's examine “why”.. , shall we?

I am of the opinion (and I'll keep this politically correct, hence the title so as not to ruffle your little ponytail) that Floyd realized that Marcos Maidana was “different” during his fight. So much so… that with the absence of one team member, Floyd decided to avoid a certain fella from Caguas to take the high(er) road.

I STILL think Floyd's kicking himself for not taking the Sergio Martinez sweepstakes. Yes, revisionist history now. But can you imagine the sack juggling his nuthuggers would be doing if it had been Floyd and not Cotto who brought forth Father Time to Maravilla? – Joseph B.

Oh man, the Floydettes would’ve been louder and prouder than the Roy Boys after Roy Jones Jr. beat John Ruiz if it was Mayweather who pushed Martinez over the ledge.

Hey, too bad for Floyd and his followers. You snooze you lose. Martinez had put the invite out for Mayweather (and Manny Pacquiao) to challenge him for years, and the middleweight champ was willing boil himself down below the junior middleweight limit (as far south as 150 pounds) to make those mega-bouts happen but neither took the bait.

Yeah, Martinez was clearly fading and fading fast going into the Cotto showdown but kudos to the “man from Caguas” for taking the fight and doing so at middleweight. That could have been Mayweather looking like a middleweight star last month, but his cautious mentality and screwy politics seriously limits who he will fight.

Yeah, it looks like we’ll get Mayweather-Maidana II in Sept. 13. Who else was Mayweather going to fight? Khan’s observance of Ramadan keeps him from training for a September bout. Porter’s got his mandatory with Brook. Keith Thurman is still establishing his name and credentials (and he probably scares the s__t out of Floyd). Even if Porter and the Thurmanator were available and Floyd wanted to fight the Young Guns of Haymon’s welterweight squad, those matchups would not attract 1 million-plus PPV buys, and Showtime needs events that can at least do half of the numbers Mayweather-Canelo did. They don't need any more "duds" like Mayweather-Guerrero and Mayweather-Maidana I.

So fans will get the rematch with Maidana, which will probably do better PPV numbers than the first event due to the competitive nature of the first bout, and who knows what we’ll get next May.

If I’m reading your hints right, you think that Mayweather believes that Maidana was on some “special shakes” for their first bout and now that the “shake maker” (LOL) is out of Camp Garcia, El Chino won’t be as much of Wild Bull of the Pampas as he was in May. We’ll see.

I think Korobov is more than ready for 160-pound gatekeepers, such as Rosado and even a hardass like Johnson. He’ll get a mandatory shot at WBO beltholder Peter Quillin later this year and I think the Russian southpaw is very live in that fight. Johnson returns to the ring this Friday against unbeaten (and untested) Mike Gravonski. If he wins I’d love to see a rematch with Curtis Stevens and the winner of that scrap get a shot at GGG.  

 

BOXING BY CONTINENT

Dougie,

I was impressed with Terence Crawford, as well as Yuriorkis Gamboa. I would make the rematch a tossup and I don’t believe Crawford would beat Gamboa 5 out of 5 times. For instance, I would favor Gamboa if they fought in south Florida (although a Scottish arena is probably much more intimidating then a Miami one) All of a sudden I want to see Gamboa vs JuanMa Lopez again.

Being a boxing nut, I’m asked often who I think will win fights, and often I’m right, and pick underdogs well. Well, my reputation has taken a huge hit. I told them Gamboa, Chris Arreola, George Groves, Sergio Martinez, and Ruslan Provodnikov would all win. Also said I love Maidana, but he doesn’t stand a chance to win 2 rounds against Mayweather. I’m picking Kell Brook (am I the only one?), and Erislandy Lara to win so watch for them to lose as well. 

What are the 2 all time best boxers by continent? South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, and instead of North America lets go with Mexico/Cuba/Puerto Rico since USA has so many. – Jordan from NC

Good question, Jordan. You’re leaving out some damn great fighters by not including Central America and Canada, but I guess that’s a question for another day. Anyway, here’s my choice for the top two boxers in the continents/regions you listed:

South America: Carlos Monzon and Eder Jofre (Honorable Mention: Nicolino Locche)

Africa: Marcel Cerdan and Azumah Nelson (HM: Dick Tiger)

Europe: Jackie “Kid” Berg and Ted “Kid” Lewis (HM: Bob Fitzsimmons)

Asia: Manny Pacquiao and Fighting Harada (MH: Flash Elorde)

Australia: Young Griffo and Jeff Fenech (HM: Les Darcy)

Mexico/Cuba/Puerto Rico: Kid Gavilan and Julio Cesar Chavez (HM: Wilfredo Gomez)

I think your losing streak in picking the winner will continue this Saturday and next month.

I think Crawford would beat Gamboa four out of five times.

 

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

I want to thank Al Haymon for making the mailbag!!!

Doug, I would love to see a regular column on "Where are they now?" Do you know if one exists already?

It would be interested to read about ex-boxers successes as well as failures after their boxing career is over. Unfortunately, we only hear about their stories when they write their obituaries. Several years ago a friend of mine ran into Bobby Chacon outside a liquor store asking for money. I also read somewhere (I don't recall) that Pipino Cuevas is a very successful businessman in his native Mexico. These stories are interested to me and I think too many others boxing fans.

Doug, thank you for the mailbag and the great work you do! – Marvin LA, CA

You are most welcome, Marvin.

There have been many “Where are they now?” articles written on former pro boxers over the years but I haven’t seen any in recent years. THE RING magazine used to periodically run that sort of article but not recently and RingTV.com does not have a “Where are they now?” series. The closest thing the website runs to a “Where are they now?” is our “Best I’ve Faced” series, which catches up with former pro standouts and delves into the best fighters they fought in a number of categories.

I’d be more than happy to assign some “Where are they now?” features to RingTV.com contributors such as Tom Gray and Anson Wainwright, who pen most of our “Best I’ve Faced” articles.

Just let me know who you want us to look up.

 

TOP FIVE FIGHTS THAT NEVER HAPPENED

Hey Dougie, classic column you got going there. Hate waiting five days in between Monday and Friday to hear your opinions though. What about a shortened Wednesday blog, huh?

Anyway, what are your top five “fights that never happened”? Like PacMan vs Money Jr or Chaves Jr vs Golovkin? By this I mean, fights that were close to happening and fell through for whatever reasons. And who do you think would have won those bouts?

I agree with you that Mayweather and Golovkin would have won those respective fights, but I still think Julio and Manny had at least a 25% shot at an upset KO in both of those fights.

Mythical “what ifs,” if you will.

Keep up the good journalism! – Tdot, Canada reppin'!

I’ll try, Tdot. Thanks for the kind words. I used to occasionally do a Mid-Week mailbag back in the day. I’m willing to bring it back during really busy fight weeks. Remind me!

What are my choices for the top five “fights that never happened”? Darn good question. Let me know what you think of these:

1) Ray Robinson vs. Marcel Cerdan (in 1949, shortly after Robinson made his last defense of the welterweight title, vs. Kid Gavilan, and before Cerdan fought Jake LaMotta and then died in a plane crash prior to their rematch) – I think Robinson would have won a controversial decision in one of the toughest fights of his legendary career.

2) Riddick Bowe-Lennox Lewis (in late 1992 or in ’93, after Lewis iced Razor Ruddock to earn a mandatory shot at the WBC title that Bowe would win from Evander Holyfield, along with the WBA and IBF belts, a few weeks later and which Big Daddy dumped in a trash can before the end of ’92; and before Bowe lost his rematch to Holyfield in late ’93) – I think Bowe, who was a more complete fighter at that time, would have stopped Lewis in the middle rounds of a classic heavyweight shootout, avenging his loss in the 1988 Olympic super heavyweight final.

3) Jeff Chandler-Lupe Pintor (1980-’82, when Chandler held the WBA/world bantamweight title and Pintor had the WBC belt) – I think Chandler would have won a close but unanimous 15-round decision in a brilliant boxer-vs.-pressure-puncher matchup.

4) Pipino Cuevas-Carlos Palomino (1976-’79, when Cuevas held the WBA welterweight title and Palomino had the WBC belt) – I think Palomino’s iron chin would have held out against Pipino’s vaunted bombs and his body attack would have gradually broke Cuevas down to a late stoppage in a terrific fight.

5) Cassius Clay-Bob Foster (1959-1960, when both boxers were U.S. amateur standouts in the light heavyweight division; Foster, who earned a spot on the ’59 Pan-American team, reportedly went unbeaten in more than a 100 bouts; Clay, as we all know was a U.S. amateur champ and 1960 Olympic gold medalist) – I think Clay would get dropped hard in the first round but survive and box his way to a close decision.  

 

 

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

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