Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

PORTER-BROOK PICK

Hi Doug,

I haven’t emailed you in a few years but I have always kept up with your work. I want to go out on a limb here and pick Kell Brook by either close decision or more likely a late TKO on cuts. I haven’t heard anyone bring up the fact that Shawn Porter has a pretty serious tendency to get cut in his fights. His first against Julio Diaz, if I remember correctly involved a horrific cut in his eyebrow. I actually thought Diaz should have won that fight on a doctor’s stoppage. Additionally, I think that he got cut against Devon Alexander, too. At welter, neither of those two carry the pop that Brook does. I think that this will be a pretty good one.

I just watched the Davey Moore vs Roberto Duran fight on youtube. What an atmosphere. So, here goes:

Mythical Match-ups I haven’t heard you answer-

Duran vs a trio ‘90s/ millennium welters consisting of: Fernando Vargas, Tito Trinidad, and the big boss Oscar De la Hoya.

I would pick him against possibly all three. I would think that Oscar would have the best chance due to his great chin and more polished boxing skills. What say you?

2nd matchup:

Which movie has a better beat-down scene-

The bathroom scene in The Warriors vs The RC Colas in the pillow case from Bad Boys. I gotta go with Sean Penn for that one.

Take it sleazy. – Alan 

The Warriors is a personal favorite of mine, so I gotta go with the brawl in the subway bathroom.

Duran is also personal favorite of mine. You KNOW I think he’d handle that talented trio of the ‘90s. Vargas (who fought most of his pro career as a junior middleweight) was too emotional, aggressive and impetuous to deal with Duran’s savage ring savvy. Tito’s power and precision made him dangerous but he was too methodical, flat footed and one-dimensional in his offense to clip Duran. De La Hoya would have probably given Duran his most difficult fight, not because of his chin or even his boxing skills, but due to his sense of self-preservation (and lateral movement). The same mentality that cost him the Trinidad fight would have likely frustrated the hell out of Duran. I still think Hands of Stone would outpoint De La Hoya in a welterweight bout, but it would be a close fight. At 154 pounds, I’d probably go with the Golden Boy.

Anyway, let’s get out of fantasy land and focus on the terrific welterweight matchup we have tomorrow night.

I don’t think you’re going out on a limb at all by picking Brook. I’ve been high on the undefeated Sheffield native for a few years now, and probably would have picked him to win as well, had the IBF welterweight title bout landed in the UK. But given Porter’s career momentum, sky high confidence, brute physical strength and home-country/house fighter advantage, I gotta go with the Ohioan by decision.

Still, I think Brook will give Porter a much tougher fight than Alexander or Malignaggi.

Good point about Porter’s tendency to cut. I haven’t heard anyone bring it up as a factor in the fight analyses I’ve read. I don’t remember Porter being cut badly in the first Diaz fight. I do recall him suffering gruesome gashes over both eyes during his 10-round bout against Alfonso Gomez. Thing is, Porter handled the cuts and the blood that dripped into his eyes quite well – and that was before he gained the valuable experience of 20 rounds with Diaz and his title-bout victories.

Porter’s got character. Keep that in mind on Saturday.

 

SPECIAL K

Hi Doug,

Long-time reader, first-time writer. I always look forward to lunch-time on a Monday (+8hrs) when your mailbag comes out; helps get me through the day!

A lot of American boxing fans have got my back up recently writing Kell Brook off as a bum and even people close to Porter and Golden Boy are talking about Porter vs. Keith Thurman already. To be fair a lot of sports writers (you included I believe) have it as a 50-50 fight. I know the claim is that Brook hasn’t been in with elite competition but to be fair the only time he has been in any trouble was against Jones and he just gassed in that fight, he was taking him to school for 6 rounds. He did a demolition job on Senchenko and I fancy Brook on pts provided the judges aren’t wearing American bandannas.

Do Americans genuinely think he is a bum? Is it a lack of knowledge that they don’t know much about him or do they just think he is an over-rated Brit?

Also unrelated – I was always surprised more people weren’t calling for Floyd Mayweather-GGG; I know there was the whole network issue, but I think you hit the nail on the head in one of your mailbags, possibly just after the Curtis Stevens fight, when you said GGG would pretty much take his head off.

I think Mayweather’s technical skills are phenomenal and I am a fan of his but when he starts to compare himself to all-time greats he has no defence (pardon the pun!). There is no shame in losing but there is a lot of shame in not challenging yourself against the best!

Keep up the good work! – Brian, Ireland

Thanks Brian. I agree (of course) with your take on Mayweather. If you wanna call yourself great, you gotta occasionally roll the dice against a monster. Bernard Hopkins gets it. Floyd and a lot of his fans don’t.

I didn’t say GGG would take Mayweather’s head off. I said he’d fold him in half (meaning he’d kill the little guy to the body).

Do American fans genuinely think Brook is a bum? No, if they know him at all, they don’t think he’s a bum. I think they realize Brook has talent, but they think he’s overrated as far as being a contender because the only names they recognize on his record are Carson Jones and Matthew Hatton.

I don’t hold that against Brook. I think he gained as much from his gut check in the first Jones fight and with the 12 rounds he went with Hatton as Porter did with his two 10-round bouts against Julio Diaz. I think Brook proved his resolve against Carson and his stamina against Hatton. I also think he proved that he can punch with his stoppages of normally durable vets Vyacheslav Senchenko and Rafal Jackiewicz.

Porter is defending his title against a real contender in my opinion. Win, lose or draw, I believe that Brook will make that very clear tomorrow night.

 

THE HUMBLE WELTERS

Hi Dougie,

I’ve never emailed before but follow your Monday/Friday mailbag every week being an avid boxing fan for many years. Love the website, too, and happy you are doing more commentary.

Just would like you to comment too on who currently in boxing you consider to be the really nice genuine guys – those with intelligence, humility, and are  respectful of their opponents. I am thinking welterweights here because it’s one of the most exciting divisions. I have noticed these traits in Porter, Peterson (amazing life story), Bradley, Thurman, Algieri, Malinaggi and no doubt others. With these guys we can find a particular intelligence – a sense of perspective – a burning desire to excel, and an ability to articulate thoughts and feelings. I am not talking about the promotional hype before the fight where things are turned on to sell tickets – they all have to suffer that process. Boxing is a business after all. And let’s face it: these guys have become commodities to be milked for all their worth – then discarded. That’s the reality. Very few leave on their own terms.

Porter is perhaps the most impressive to me – he wants to knock your head off inside the ring. He has really improved over his last few fights. He’s big, strong and mean – all over his opponents like a cheap suit. And yet remember how Paulie, after taking that beating, whispered in his ear: “dare to be great – you can go all the way – just believe, etc.” A moving moment. Boxing, sadly, has so few of them. Porter is intelligent and articulate and seems very grounded indeed. His Father must be very proud of him. I hope he wins at the weekend. And if he does, I’d love to then see him put Mayweather to sleep….

By contrast it pisses me off to see the likes of Mayweather and his sidekick wannabe Adrien Broner show so much disrespect (to opponents) and showcase their wealth and success is such obscene ways. I imagine they’re both impossible to manage, coach, advise or educate. They are perfect examples of what happens when people from humble backgrounds get too much money too quickly – they overcompensate and lose perspective – they want to rub all that money in people’s faces – to glorify the material realm. Lost in pure ego, they are unable to step outside of themselves. This is not unique to them. Both Mayweather and Broner are most certainly not the sharpest knives in the draw – to borrow a phrase – and that should be obvious to anyone who watches and listens carefully. But that’s not their fault either. I am not being a bitch here – I am just saying that the good guys seldom get the recognition they deserve and few in boxing appear to notice these things. There’s always an amazing back story, just think of a once homeless Lamont Peterson sleeping on the streets. Wow. Just wondered what your thoughts were on this subject. Be well, my man. Love your work. Enjoy the fight on Saturday. – Gary, Bangkok, Thailand

There are far more genuine nice guys in boxing than pr___s; but there’s always going to be pr___s like Mayweather and his Boy Wonder. They’re obnoxious pains but they keep things interesting. If everyone in boxing was a sweetheart we wouldn’t want to see anyone lose, would we?

The wonderful thing about the 147-pound division is that, as you pointed out, most of the top fighters in the weight class are nice guys, and they’re not just friendly to fans and media, they’re smart, thoughtful and articulate but also fierce competitors.

I’m looking forward to when Porter, Brook (you didn’t mention him but he seems like a nice bloke to me), Thurman, Algieri (I give him a shot at upsetting Pacquiao), Bradley, Provodnikov (very humble dude) and Peterson (who should be moving up in weight soon) all take over the welterweight division once Mayweather and PacMan are retired (I don’t really view Broner as a dominant factor at 147 pounds). And I’m looking forward Malignaggi’s commentary on their fights.

By the way, I think Danny Garcia (who’s on a lot of hardcore fans’ s__t lists right now) is a nice guy. People get mad at him for what his trainer/father says (and maybe for his somewhat annoying “swag” style), but I’ve always found him to be down to earth. Likewise with Marcos Maidana and Lucas Maidana, although those two Argentine sluggers aren’t the warmest or most articulate dudes (at least not in English).

 

FIGHT OF THE YEAR?

Dougie,

Didn’t see it mentioned, wanted to make sure you caught the action in Monty Meza Clay vs Alan Herrera. I boycotted Showtime but there were fights on ESPN2, NBC Sports, and I think even Fox Sports. Clay vs Herrera definitely was worth watching and got everyone at my house (the non-boxing fans) to stop what they were doing and come cheer. Haven’t caught the strawweight fight from the weekend yet so maybe I’ll change my mind on FOY but this is certainly up there.

I’m calling a Brook victory, I like his style, but I consider this an even matchup and would not bet either way on this fight.  If Brook pulls the victory I’d rather see Brook vs Khan then Mayweather vs Khan. – Jordan, from NC

Wow, another Brook pick in tomorrow’s welterweight showdown – and from an American fan! I guess some of you hardcore heads aren’t as impressed with Porter’s recent form as most U.S. boxing writers are.

Who knows? Maybe the Alexander and Malignaggi victories were a bit of a mirage. Alexander could have overlooked Porter and Malignaggi might be a little shopworn. We’ll find out if Porter’s the real deal tomorrow. Brook isn’t overlooking him and the Brit is definitely in his prime.

I saw the Meza-Clay-Herrera slugfest (which was on Fox Sports 1) and I thought it was a Fight of the Year candidate. The strawweight title unification bout surpassed it in terms of class, technique and sustained action, but I think that thriller is THE Fight of the Year, so far.

What’s notable is that many of the best scraps of 2014 have taken place on basic cable (Rodriguez-Takayama, Meza-clay-Herrera, Curtis Stevens-Tureano Johnson, Joseph Diaz Jr.-Ramiro Robles). What have been the best premium cable fights, so far? Lucas Matthysse-John Molina? Robert Guerrero-Yoshihiro Kamegai? Carl Froch-George Groves II? Not many come to mind?

 

ROSADO VS. VERA

Whats up Doug!

Quick question that I hope I get your reply and thoughts on. What do you think about BKB and how do you see the main event playing out? Rosado vs Vera is gonna be a straight up fire work show that I think Vera will win by KO!!! I can’t see Rosado hurting the tough Texan at any point of the fight. Well, I hope to hear back from you. BTW I’m also really looking forward to the fights at the Stub Hub Center, nice card all around!!! Greetings from Mexico. – Agustin

There’s no doubt in my mind that tomorrow’s tripleheader will deliver. I think the Omar Figueroa-Daniel Estrada fight and Sakio Bika-Anthony Dirrell rematch will set up the main even nicely. There’s a chance that Figueroa-Estrada steals the show.

I don’t know what to think about “Big Knockout Boxing.” To me, it’s not really boxing if it’s not in a regulation ring and BKB takes place in a small pit. I don’t want to crap on it without seeing how it plays, and Bryan Vera-Gabriel Rosado is a decent matchup, but there’s something about the organization’s claim that it’s “the next evolution in combat sports” that makes me suspicious. Or maybe I’m just being cynical. Let me know how the PPV broadcast goes. Maybe DirecTV is onto something.

Regarding the main event, I agree with you. I think Vera is just too big, too rugged and too active for Rosado to cope with. But who knows? Maybe the 2-minute rounds and seven-round limit of BKB will allow him survive. We’ll see. (Actually, YOU’LL see. I’m going to be at StubHub Center.)

 

SUPER MIDDLEWEIGHT SHUFFLE

Hi Dougie,

Long time reader – first time posting to the mailbag!

I see Carl Froch has started a poll on his Facebook this week to ask the fans who they would like to see him fight next – Degale/Chavez Jnr/Golovkin and no surprise GGG is leading the poll! Do you think the GGG camp might see this as too risky a fight at this stage of his career or do you think that ultimately money talks and we could have a super fight between these two? I would imagine this fight would also allow The Cobra the chance to realize his dream of fighting in Vegas as well?

I read online this week that Andre Ward is set to fight Mikkell Kessler in Denmark….do you know if there is any truth to this? I was surprised to hear that Ward would travel outside the US for this fight but if it’s true then fair play to him….it’s a good fight and will be good to see Ward back in business with the super middleweights.

Thanks Dougie. – From Stuart in Belfast

I wouldn’t mind seeing Ward-Kessler II, but I don’t think there’s much merit to rumors of that rematch being seriously discussed.

One of Ward’s attorneys, Josh Dubin, didn’t mention anything about a Kessler fight when he called RingTV.com’s Lem Satterfield to defend the super middleweight champ’s honor after we published an interview with Abel Sanchez, in which GGG’s trainer claimed that his fighter has more bargaining power in a potential matchup than the inactive American.

It would be a pleasant surprise if Ward dusted off his passport and defended his titles against Kessler in Europe but I’m not holding my breath for that one.

Regarding a Froch-Golovkin showdown, I think it can happen but not this year and not in the U.S. Froch and GGG aren’t big enough attractions in the U.S. to make for an event that would allow the British star to get paid what he’s going to want to be paid to get in the ring with a beast like Golovkin.

I think that matchup makes economic sense in Britain and I believe that Team GGG is willing to travel for this particular matchup. (I know that I would be willing to travel to see that fight.)

 

EARLY PREDICTION

Someone in the Andre Ward camp is beating the air, saying Ward should be the A side over GGG if they fought. Meaning Ward should get the lion’s share because the fans want to see him more. This seems bizarre. I would rather see GGG than SOG against any top middleweight or super middleweight. Who wouldn’t?

Ward’s accomplishments are impressive and undeniable, but one of his most effective skills is his grappling ability. I don’t care to see that so much. Making a style comparison with “Rasslin’ John Ruiz” is probably unfair, but his fights aren’t much more fun to watch as far as I’m concerned. However, I would like to see Ward against GGG, a proposed fight that raises pleasant thoughts of David Tua.

I’m not predicting a repeat of the puncher vs. grappler, Ruiz-Tua fight. I suspect Ward has a good enough chin (and ribs) to lose a decision, but he could also get taken out. Another possible scenario is Ward’s holding frustrates Golovkin, Ward wins a decision, and the fans get a typical Ward fight. I hope we get a dramatic back and forth contest between titans, but I’ll be satisfied with a typical GGG fight. Please not a typical SOG fight. Doug, how do you see this one turning out? 

Thanks. – Chuck

I can envision either scenario that you brought up play out if and when these two share the ring, Chuck. When fans first began talking about a potential Ward-Golovkin showdown about year and half ago, I strongly favored the super middleweight champ to outpoint his fellow 2004 Olympic medalist. And yes, I think Ward’s penchant for grappling would be a major factor in the American’s ability to frustrate the Kazakh wrecking machine.

However, since Ward has only fought once in the time GGG has emerged to become one of HBO’s darlings and it doesn’t look like he’s going to fight at all this year, I’m liking the undefeated middleweight titleholder’s chances more and more. Golovkin’s getting the time to further develop his pro skills against different styles (in the gym as well as the ring) and to gradually grow into the super middleweight division while the 168-pound champ is getting stale.

If they fight after GGG has a few super middleweight bouts under his belt I can see his ring-cutting ability, inside technique and power punching getting to Ward.

But I don’t want to go on and on about this fight. I think there’s a good chance it will eventually come off, but the fact of the matter is that HBO has to be involved for the bout to happen and the network isn’t going to do that while Ward is in the midst of a promotional contract dispute.

Once Ward’s got his promotional issues squared away and a tune-up bout (or two) under his belt, we can all start beating the drums for this showdown and endlessly debate the matchup like the crazy f___ed hardcore nerd fans that we are.

 

 

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

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