Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Monday mailbag

THE TRIPLE G SPOT

Dougie:

Long may Gennady Golovkin punch and here’s hoping that Madison Square Garden becomes known as the Triple GGG Spot!!!

Mythical matchup for you: assuming GGG could make 154 in his prime without being compromised who wins in a fight with Thomas Hearns? – Dirk J., Raleigh, N.C.

That’s a crazy mythical matchup, Dirk. It takes place at junior middleweight, which I consider Hearns’ best division. The Hitman was unbeaten fighting at 154 pounds, where he outpointed Wilfred Benitez and scored his legendary second-round KO of Roberto Duran. I think Hearns has the height, reach, style, athleticism, speed and explosive power to beat Golovkin. However, Golovkin also has the kind of style – steady technical pressure not unlike that of Marvin Hagler – that gives Hearns trouble.

Ultimately, I think Hearns’ ring mentality – which is that of a puncher, not a boxer – would be his undoing in a fight that he would probably dominate early. GGG looks like such an inviting target that I don’t think Hearns would be able to resist taking the fight to him from the get-go with the goal of scoring an early KO. That would play into Golovkin’s very heavy hands (and his underrated ability to slip and counter).

I’m going on the hunch that Golovkin, who possesses a world-class chin, can take a shot from an all-time elite puncher, thus allowing him to either catch Hearns cold with a big shot by the middle rounds, or gradually wear the Moto City Cobra down to a late stoppage in what would definitely be a thriller.

Regarding Golovkin’s punch, I don’t think it’s going anywhere, and like Hearns, I think GGG has the ability to bring it to higher weight classes (at least up to super middleweight). Regarding his future with at MSG, I think he’s on his way. Getting 8,500 in the building for his first headliner in the big room is a very good start.

It’s not as much as Felix Trinidad and Miguel Cotto attracted for their first headliners in the storied arena – Tito packed the house with 14,000-plus for his first-round annihilation of Troy Waters, while Cotto attracted a little over 10,000 for his ninth-round stoppage of Muhammad Abdullaev – but it’s an indication that GGG can build his way to sellout crowds there as the two Puerto Rican stars eventually did.

If Golovkin fights at Madison Square Garden two or three more times over the next year to 18 months, I think he can pack the joint to the rafters with the right dance partner.

 

GOLOVKIN’S BELIEVE IT OR NOT

Hi Doug,
Huge fan of your work, long time reader first time writer. I distinctly remember reading your articles when I start following boxing mid 2007-2008, always liked your work and valued your opinion on fighters past and present but one article caught my attention more than most, it was an article in early 2011 in and around the time Canelo Alvarez won a vacant title against Matthew “Magic” Hatton … You know the rest!

Anyhow you had written an article speaking of this boogeyman who trained in the mountains with such subtle skill yet debilitating power who bullied well known fighters in sparring – a certain “El Perro” comes to mind. I was curious so I looked up tape and everything you had spoken of was true. I knew it was only a matter of time before the world took notice of this seemingly other worldly talent. So three years later and after the biggest test of his career against a two-time world champ with very good credentials succumbing to one (off balance) right hand, what is next?

His rise has been meteoric, his character humble, relaxed, his power? Put it this way do you think an angry Eric Bana could take a Golovkin right hand? Peter Quillin wouldn’t last as Gabriel Rosado showed he can be shaken mentally (he back-pedaled the rest of the fight after he got hurt) and physically. Sam Soliman is 40 and no Bernard Hopkins! Miguel Cotto is quality but just plain undersized and out gunned I’m afraid. Carl Froch and Andre Ward pop into mind. The thing I wonder is could Golovkin finish Froch if he hurt him and could he go twelve if necessary against Ward who would make him think and use everything he knows to take Golovkin places he hasn’t been i.e twelve rounds?

Take care and keep ‘em how it is Doug. – David, Dublin

I will, David. Thanks for the kind words. That Gym Notes I wrote on both Golovkin and Alvarez training in Big Bear is one of my favorite columns in recent years. I’m really happy that both fighters have gained fame in the U.S. since that article and continue to accomplish big things.

I think the best is yet to come from both. Alvarez, the more popular of the two, has already had his shot at one of the sport’s superstars (Mayweather) and will probably get another one (vs. Cotto) before Golovkin, the better fighter, will get his shot. But with GGG’s increasing profile and gradually growing fan base I think it’s only a matter of time before he squares off with a really big name.

In the mean time, he’ll fight whoever’s willing to step in the ring with him. Golovkin, who will fight again in October or November, according K2 Promotion’s Tom Loeffler, says he wants to unify middleweight titles. The only major 160-pound beltholder who will jump at the opportunity to test himself against Golovkin is Soliman. Yeah, I know, that’s not a fight that fans – particularly Americans – are clamoring for.

However, I think the 40-year-old IBF titleholder can make for an entertaining fight thanks to his busy, awkward style, vast experience and durability. Then again, I said the same thing about Geale, who I thought had the potential to take GGG the distance. Funny thing about Golovkin, he seems to take out guys who have never been stopped (Lujan Simon, Gregorz Proksa, Nobuhiro Ishida, Geale) earlier than he does opponents who have been knocked out before.

Anyway, I think Soliman would last longer than Quillin, Cotto, and even a pissed-off gamma radiation-pulsing Eric Bana.

The only fighters I can envision giving GGG a real fight is Froch and Ward. And Ward is the only guy I would pick to beat Golovkin (though that prediction will change if the super middleweight champ remains out of action).

I think Golovkin could indeed finish Froch if he hurt the British badass, and I think he can go the full 12 with Ward. I’ll add that I think Ward would have to box a near-perfect fight to go the full 12 with GGG.

 

ONLY POWER BEATS GGG

Mister Fischer,

I was thinking about the necessary skills to beat GGG. I only can see someone with devastating one-punch-KO-power. But who should this be between 154 and 168? Did I overlook somebody? – Matthias, Germany

Well, if you’re talking about pure punchers, you forgot about David Lemieux, the 25-year-old middleweight darling of Montreal.

I don’t see the young gun’s vaunted power overwhelming GGG, but that fight would explosive while it lasted, and it would pack MSG and sellout the Bell Centre in Montreal.

I disagree that only a fighter with one-punch KO power has a shot at beating Golovkin. Curtis Stevens possesses the “one-hitter-quitter” and he failed to dent GGG’s chin.

There are a variety of styles among junior middleweight, middleweight and super middleweight standouts that could possibly test Golovkin, from the herky jerky savvy of Sergio Mora to the maniac volume-punching pressure of James Kirkland to the awkward rugged aggression of Sakio Bika.

I’d love to see Golovkin fight all these guys.

 

JENNINGS-PEREZ

Hi Dougie,

Man, what a disappointment! I really thought Bryant Jennings was better than that. I had seen Mike Perez fight before and knew he wasn’t very good but had not seen Jennings. I think Perez won the fight but he wasn’t anything special either (he did supply what little aggression there was). The ref was waaay out of line taking that point away which kept the fight from being a draw (which it probably should have been). Bottom line is I don’t think any of the good heavyweights have anything at all to worry about from Jennings – that’s for sure! Can you imagine how quick Deontay Wilder would put Jennings to sleep? – Mike

Wilder would have to put Jennings away fast, because if he doesn’t I can see the Philly fighter grinding him down.

I was disappointed with the way Jennings-Perez played out but I wasn’t really disappointed with either heavyweight. Sometimes certain styles and mentalities don’t mesh well in the ring. That was the case on Saturday.

I think both Jennings and Perez need aggressive, offense-minded foes to look good against or to make for entertaining fights. Jennings was more cautious than usual against Perez, which is understandable given the Cuban’s experience, lefty stance and rock-solid chin. And I think Perez was frustrated by the American’s “touch-and-move” tactics and subtle inside game. The referee (Harvey Dock, one of the best young officials in the game in my opinion) was frustrated by Perez’s roughhouse tactics.

I don’t think Dock was “waaay out of line” when he penalized Perez that point in Round 12. The Cuban, who had been reduced to mauling and fouling in the late rounds, blatantly nailed Jennings when Dock called for them to break. That’s an intentional foul. I think HBO’s commentators (with the exception of Steve Weisfeld) overreacted to Dock’s decision.

I think Perez needs to be held accountable for his actions. He came in with his head too much, and shoved Jennings’ head down and tied him up too much whenever they were in close for my liking. At least Jennings threw punches on the inside.

I agree that the fight should have been a draw because neither heavyweight deserved to win, nor did either look worthy of a WBC title shot. Having said that, I do consider both Jennings and Perez to be contenders and I think they will look like more complete fighters against different opponents.

Who knows? Maybe the winner of Stiverne-Wilder will bring the best out of Jennings.

 

THE NEW TYSON

Dear Dougie,
Watching GGG reminds me of when I followed Mike Tyson during his prime. I would excitedly wait for months for his fights then he would end the fights so quickly. 

Thank God Sergey Kovalev fights next week but then again he will probably end that fight quickly too. What do you make of Carl Froch’s tweet? Reverse psychology maybe? – Karl, Brunswick, GA

I don’t make anything out of Froch’s comments on Golovkin, other than the British veteran respects the undefeated middleweight titleholder. Froch was just giving GGG his due props; one badass acknowledging a fellow badass.

I don’t think Froch is at all leery of fighting Golovkin, and if the money is right, I believe he’d accept GGG’s challenge.

I agree that Golovkin’s building up a prime-“Tysonesque” aura. Most fans can’t wait to see him fight and don’t mind witnessing him blow opponents out (provided they are quality, as Geale is).

He’s one of my favorite active fighters, along with Froch, Roman Gonzalez, Lucas Matthysse, Marcos Maidana and Guillermo Rigondeaux (just kidding about that last one).

 

THE COBRA KNOWS

Wow. You know your a f’n bad ass when Carl Froch openly says everyone should avoid you like the plague. I think the most impressive thing about Golovkin is his ability to cut off the ring. Out of about a million things he does well. Who do you think are the top five guys in history who could cut off the ring like that? Thanks. – D-Bone

The top five who cut the ring off in the technical, methodical yet physically overwhelming manner that GGG does that come to my mind are Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Dwight Muhammad Qawi, Marvin Hagler, Rocky Marciano and Khaosai Galaxy.

Golovkin isn’t a relentless volume-punching swarmer like Henry Armstrong, Aaron Pryor or Joe Fraizer, and he isn’t a dynamic offensive force like Mike Tyson, who closed the distance with frightening speed and efficiency during his prime.

GGG takes his time and places his punches right. Sometimes takes a back step, but he’s always gradually making the ring smaller for his opponents and he’s constantly punishing them with hard, accurate shots to the body and head. In other words, he walks his man down like a pro and he happens to be extremely strong and powerful. That’s what Chavez, Qawi, Hagler, Marciano and Galaxy had in common with him. They all had brutish strength but also underrated craft.

I thought Geale fought his usual busy and energetic fight against Golovkin. The Australian veteran was not scared or intimidated. He let his hands go in spots. Geale’s problem was that Golovkin is not the easy target some of his critics think he is. And along with cutting the ring off, Golovkin also did a great job of blocking and countering.

I’m sure Froch noticed that.

 

YAEGASHI VS. GONZALEZ

Hi Doug,

I hope you are doing well, bro.

I am guessing you will get loads of mail on GGG, and rightly so. What a performance and the sequence leading to the KO where he took Geale’s punch and countered with his own was awe-inspiring.

I would like to talk about the great match-up taking place in Japan between Gonzalez v Yaegashi. I am truly happy to see this match-up being made between two terrific fighters. Both fighters are highly skilled and it is for the legit Champion at 112lbs. 

I have been watching El Chocolatito for some time now, and his combination punching, ring generalship in cutting the ring off and his truly stunning body punches and body work makes him a terrific fighter. Add in his humility and his respect to his mentor and all-time great countryman, Alexis Arguello, and you have a true fighter and one of my favourite fighters. Yeagashi’s counterpunching ability and his boxing intelligence makes this a fight to savour. 

Who are you backing Dougie? I am backing Gonzalez by UD.

Finally, some mythical match-ups for you bro.

Prince Naseem Hamed v Eric Morales

Roy Jones Jr. v Andre Ward [168]

Andre Ward v James Toney [168]

Many thanks Dougie and keep up the good work bro! With thanks. – Qadeer

As far as I’m concerned, the most significant fight in September is THE RING/WBC flyweight championship between Yaegashi and Gonzalez, not Mayweather-Maidana II.

I also like Gonzalez by unanimous decision. He’s simply the more talented fighter/boxer and he’s in his prime. However, it won’t be a walk in the park for the Nicaraguan. Yaegashi is the champ for a reason. He’s one of Japan’s top two or three veterans and he’s been on a hell of a run since his Fight of the Year candidate with Pornsawan Porpramook. His only loss was a very close UD to Kazuto Ioka in a strawweight title unification bout. Ioka was a beast at 105 pounds.

Chocolatito was a monster at strawweight and he continues to be one at junior flyweight and 112 pounds. Yet, like you noted, he’s a total prince outside of the ring.

Your mythical matchups:

Prince Naseem Hamed v Eric Morales – Morales by decision in a wild fight

Roy Jones Jr. v Andre Ward [168] – RJJ by late TKO in a competitive match

Andre Ward v James Toney [168]–> – Toney by controversial split decision

 

THE DEMOLISHER

What’s up Dougie?

And when I say “What’s up” I wasn’t referring to the piling up of battered broken bodies GGG has been leaving behind his path of destruction. Though I’m certainly going to get to that right now. And with that said, we can now add Danny Geale to that pile. Gotta love The Demolisher! Any guy who can pulverize a rack of ribs like this dude does in the ring has got to be considered Da Bomb as far as every true fight-fan is concerned. And really, once that bell rings that mother-f__ker from Kazakhstan is like a friggin’ H-bomb with mitts and trunks.

And what about those clowns who keep ragging out like a bunch of sweaty middle-aged hags on menopause with their tiresome “Golovkin fights nothing but bums” bulls__t? Danny Geale was certainly no joke! The guy beat up the accomplished Felix Sturm and has been ranked in the top three for over the past 5 years or more. He would have driven a prime Maravilla to the brink. And yet The Demolisher just nearly decapitated him in three rounds

And for all those G-haters who refuse to count, that’s four top contenders GGG has taken down. G. Proksa, Matthew Macklin, Curtis Stevens, and now Dan Geale.

In all fairness to Mr. Geale it’s to his credit that he challenged The Demolisher like a true top-5 contender is supposed to do. Before, I was ripping him for supposedly punking out at first but I was wrong in that regard. And the tough Aussie certainly didn’t show up to take a dive and collect his pay-cheque. He tried to put up a real fight and even nailed the Russian-Korean badass with a really hard shot that would have left most other guys staring at stars. But Golovkin has a fortified block-house of a chin to match his mitts of mass destruction. That and the fact that The Demolisher is just so f__kin’ strong. And when the The G-Man smashed home that massive counter-shot poor Danny-Boy was f__ked. He had the look of some poor stray mutt that just got rammed from behind by a mack-truck. Game over.

So where does The One-Man Red Army march on from here? I certainly can’t picture Miguel Cotto or Saul Alvarez wanting to come within driving range of the guy. Same with grizzled vets like James Kirkland, Sam Soliman and Felix Sturm. The G-Man would kill them all. As in all at once, even.

Of course, fights with Andre Ward and Carl Froch has been hinted at repeatedly. Problem with Ward though is that he can’t seem to finish a training session without ending up in traction. So what will happen when he’s in against a destroyer like GGG? One thing for certain is that those injury-forced lay-offs of Ward’s aren’t helping him any while GGG clearly has all that momentum swinging in his favour. As for GGG-Froch, look at it this way. JC Chavez Jr. punked out from the G-Man despite outweighing him by 50 f__kin’ pounds or more but now here is the same Chavez ready to challenge tough-guy Froch. So what does that tell you all?

Anyhow, I’m going to leave it at that since my Pro-G rants are again no doubt pissing off those purists who bitch out about The Demolisher having no technique but yet get their rocks off watching these Betsy-boys in the ring prance around for 12 rounds without throwing a single punch.

To that, I say, let them eat s__t. Oh and there’s nothing wrong with Golovkin’s underrated technique either. This is no brainless face-first brawler we’re talking about. For instance, he’s really precise with those jabs and power-shots of his. Kind of like perfectly-timed pistons.

By the way Doug, the next time you’re in Southern California watching The Demolisher smacking around a few more cruiserweights tell him I said hi and to keep up the royal ass-kicking. Hey if it wasn’t for action-fighters like Golovkin among others boxing would be like a beer-mug full of foam but with no beer. Cheers! – Triple T

I agree TTT.

I also agree that Cotto and Canelo will take a pass on GGG, but I disagree that Kirkland, Soliman and Sturm wouldn’t fight him. Kirkland loves to fight and he loves a challenge. He’s in the running to face Alvarez in November but if that fight doesn’t come off, I don’t think he’d shy away from challenging GGG that same month. Middleweight title shots don’t come around every day.

Soliman would fight GGG because I don’t think there’s a bigger payday out there for him. Sturm would finally agree to face his old promotional stablemate because it could be his last shot at a world title (as well as a good payday).

Other contenders would fight GGG include Mora (who could make for a solid opponent in Los Angeles), Matt Korobov (though he has a pending mandatory shot at WBO beltholder Peter Quillin), Martin Murray and Billy Joe Saunders (both of whom could make for attractive bouts in the UK).

Froch vs. GGG would be a huge event in the UK or the U.S. I also think Ward is willing to fight Golovkin but until he get his contractual situation with Dan Goossen straightened out there’s almost no reason talk about this potential mega-fight (unless, of course, it’s to taunt the “G-haters”).

 

 

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

 

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