Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Usyk-Chisora, Inoue-Moloney, heavyweights in action)

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USKY VS. CHISORA

Hi Doug,

Hope you and your family are well.

How do you see Usyk-Chisora going, are there any keys to the fight that you see as particularly relevant, Usyk’s power or chin etc., or is it pretty straight forward for you?

I think it’s fairly straight forward, Usyk picks him off from distance and is too light on his feet to get caught and backed up. He may not hit as hard as a some of the top 10 heavyweights but his punching is so crisp and accurate with different angles that I see a vey long night for Chisora. Am I wrong?

Late stoppage possible or landslide on the cards for Usyk. Best wishes. – Steffan

I envision a much tougher fight, Steffan. I favor Usyk by decision, but I think it could be a close contest. I’d be shocked if Usyk scored a stoppage. If the former undisputed cruiserweight champ can halt Chisora or shutout the toughest heavyweight gatekeeper in the game, I’ll be sold on him as a heavyweight.

As it stands, I can’t consider Usyk a heavyweight player based on his one pro fight above 200 pounds (vs. Chazz Witherspoon one year ago). Witherspoon was just too slow, flat footed and cautious to let us know how well Usyk would fare against a legit contender.

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Chisora vs. Szpilka (Photo by Bradley Collyer/PA Images via Getty Images)

Chisora isn’t a top-10 contender, but he’s one of the most battle-tested active heavyweights having shared the ring with Tyson Fury (twice), hall of famer Vitali Klitschko, Dillian Whyte (twice), David Haye, Kubrat Pulev and Robert Helenius. He lost those fights, but apart from the Fury rematch and the KO lost to Haye, he was competitive. He’s also got stoppage wins vs. Malik Scott (when the American sported a 35-0-1 record), Carlos Takam (the division’s other top gatekeeper), and, in his two most recent bouts, Artur Spilka (KO 2) and David Price (TKO 4).

I think Chisora is dangerous. Unlike Witherspoon, he’s not going to wait on Usyk. He’s going to press the Ukrainian and close the distance as fast as he can. He’s also going to try to match Usyk’s high punch output, and his offense includes an effective body attack and a very hard overhand right. Chisora could be the Orlando Salido to Usyk’s Lomachenko. If that’s the case, we’ll learn how tough Usyk is. We know he can box his ass off. We know he’s smart and he’s got the confidence and character of a Road Warrior – the elite brand of competitor who could beat Krzysztof Glowacki, Michael Hunter, Marco Huck, Mairis Briedis, Murat Gassiev and Tony Bellew in their home countries. We don’t know if he can take a true heavyweight’s pressure or punch. We’ll find out tomorrow.

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Aleksandr Usyk made his heavyweight debut against late-sub Chazz Witherspoon. Photo / Matchroom

(A)re there any keys to the fight that you see as particularly relevant, Usyk’s power or chin etc., or is it pretty straight forward for you? I think Usyk has to control the distance (which he’s usually good at) and stay off the ropes at all costs. I think Chisora has to crowd Usyk as soon as possible, make it a physical fight (he’s the bigger man who is used to mixing it up with 240-260 pounders; he should be able to outmuscle the favorite on the inside), get Usyk to the ropes and pound the body and arms as much as possible.

 

MOLONEY VS. THE MONSTER

Hi Doug,

I’m a longtime reader but haven’t written in since your maxboxing days. I wanted your take on Jason Moloney’s chances against “The Monster”. I can’t believe how much he is being slept on. I do agree that Inoue is among the top 5 fighters in the world and is a phenom. However, even in Moloney’s limited US exposure, he has looked like a beast. He swarms, goes to the body, and cuts the ring off like you wouldn’t expect from an Australian fighter. He reminds me a little of Jose Luis Castillio. He just beats people down and is relentless.

Rodriguez was arguably the number one bantamweight in the world when they fought. Moloney, despite the talent deficit, slowly broke Rodriguez down and had him battered and ready to go the last couple rounds. If that fight went 20 more seconds or had a 13th round, Moloney would’ve been champ. As the Breadman says, this kid has some “dog” in him. I think if he doesn’t get clipped early then he will score the monumental upset over Inoue. I normally don’t get this bullish on such a big underdog but something tells me that he is special. Curious on your thoughts. Regards. – Jesse

I think Moloney is special, but not as special as Inoue. I won’t be surprised if he gives Inoue a tough fight, especially given the grueling and punishing nature of the Japanese star’s last fight and his time away from the ring, but I expect the reigning Ring Magazine champ to defend his bantamweight titles tomorrow night.

No disrespect to Moloney. I think he’s a legit 118-pound contender and a worthy challenger for a champion of

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Inoue vs. Donaire

Inoue’s elite status. Moloney’s got all the heart and grit we expect from Australian standouts, and I expect his desire and conditioning to get him through some early rough spots to make a fight of the ESPN+ showcase. I don’t think Inoue’s invincible, Nonito Donaire showed us that the Monster is human, but the future hall of famer also exposed how tough and dogged Inoue is. He was drowning by Round 9 of the 2019 Fight of the Year, but he showed the world that he could swim in very deep waters in Rounds 10 and 11. And while Donaire was able to take advantage of some of Inoue’s flaws and vulnerabilities, keep in mind that the Filipino Flash is one of the most experienced veterans in the sport. Moloney is still learning.

I do agree that Inoue is among the top 5 fighters in the world and is a phenom. He’s No. 2 according to The Ring and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, and rated No. 3 by ESPN.com.

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Moloney (right) stopped Leonardo Baez. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

However, even in Moloney’s limited US exposure, he has looked like a beast. True, he gave Emmanuel Rodriguez all the talented former IBF titleholder could handle over 12 rounds and he forced rugged Leonardo Baez’s corner to save their man after seven. However, as skilled and talented as E-Rod is, he doesn’t possess the explosive speed and power that Inoue wields. I think Inoue has tighter technique than the Puerto Rican, as well. And as tough as Baez is, he’s nowhere near Inoue’s class.

He swarms, goes to the body, and cuts the ring off like you wouldn’t expect from an Australian fighter. Jeff Fenech was the first notable Australian fighter I watched with interest, so I actually do expect relentless badasses from the Land Down Under.

He reminds me a little of Jose Luis Castillio. I don’t see Castillo in Moloney. Not yet anyway. Castillo was more mature, measured and technically sound than Moloney by the time he was taking on the best lightweights in the world.

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E-Rod vs. Jason. Photo: Twitter @WBSuperSeries

Rodriguez was arguably the number one bantamweight in the world when they fought. Moloney, despite the talent deficit, slowly broke Rodriguez down and had him battered and ready to go the last couple rounds. He made it a fight and legitimately close on the scorecards, which is saying something because E-Rod is very talented and looked like he might outclass Moloney (who only had 17 pro fights) during the early rounds. Moloney grew from that experience and I’m sure he’ll grow from sharing the ring with Inoue, regardless of the outcome.

I think if he doesn’t get clipped early then he will score the monumental upset over Inoue. We’ll see. I think Moloney’s going to need to utilize his underrated footwork and lateral movement early on, try to beat Inoue to the jab and punch as much on the fly as he can. His goal should be to take Inoue into the late rounds, and he should start attacking the three-division titleholder’s body by the middle rounds. Of course, Inoue will likely be aiming for Moloney’s mid-section from the get-go. Call me a blood-thirsty ghoul if you like, but I’m hoping for a shootout.

 

THE HEAVYWEIGHT LANDSCAPE

Hi Dougie,

Hope you the family and team are keeping well and staying safe.

Been a while but got a packed end of the year with heavyweight action.

First of all, where is Wilder? On the cards was(is):

1) A rematch with Fury.

2) win, lose or draw, as long as the 3rd Fury fight is competitive there would be big interest in an AJ fight.

3) Potential Usyk, Whyte or even Povetkin fights.

All of the above are big money fights and Wilder is dangerous in all of them. So where is he? He can’t be happy signing off after the last fight? What’s the situation with his team? I know he’s fired his longtime trainer. There are lots of reports he’s quite removed for the main negotiations. Have they let him down?

However, it’s his decision if he wanted to hang up his gloves and if that’s the case we wish him well.

Usyk Vs Chisora

It’s a big step up for the former undisputed cruiserweight champ in the glamor division. The way I see it, if he thinks he can mix it with the likes of AJ and Fury, he needs to be taking care of Chisora handily. No mean feet for any top 5 heavyweight IMHO, certainly looking at Dereks dedication and physique recently. The Haymaker has definitely whipped him into shape.

I think Chisora causes problems for Usyk. Firstly, something Usyk will always have to deal with is being the smaller man. But Derek is tough, experienced and seems to have a better engine than years past. Usyk should aim not to trade with Chisora, out boxing him instead. Can Usyk get him out of there before the final bell?

What if Chisora wins? Of course, it depends on the manner of the win, but surly it earns him a shot at the AJ/Fury winner. Or more likely the Whyte/Povetkin winner?

For me Derek is a handful for any of the top dogs, could even cause an upset. He’s massively popular in the UK these days and has a lot of underdog support behind him.

How you calling it?

Povetkin Vs Whyte

I don’t think it was a lucky punch which took Dillian out last time. It was well placed, with feet well planted. Whyte was out cold before he hit the floor. How is he gonna avoid that punch this time round?

How can Whyte pull it off this time round?

I don’t think Dillian is technically good enough to keep Povetkin at arms length all night. Whyte did have Povetkin down multiple times before the end of the last fight. He needs to focus on what he did right in the first few rounds however I worry he’ll be too cautious and Povetkin drags him into deep water.

What if Povetkin pulls it off. That puts him on a collision with the Fury/AJ winner as WBC Mandatory.

AJ Vs Pulev

It’s a decent fight and takes care of his IBF mandatory. Potential banana skin? I think AJ has learnt his lesson and will out box Pulev and finish him within the distance. What chance does Pulev have to pull off an upset?

Fury vs ????

Considering who’s available, I’d like to see him in with Takam. Takam gave AJ a tough fight. He a durable rough gatekeeper. I know Chisora took him out. Not sure Fury will be able to do that. I know Fury took out Wilder, but it’s a totally different type of fight.

Who’d you like to see in there with Fury? Who “deserves” a shot?

Dubois Vs Joyce

This is a good one. I’m picking Joyce for this one. I think he’s technically a lot better than he looks. But it’s gonna be a tough night. Dubois is gonna bring it.

I think Joyce really needs the win considering his age, if he wants to progress to the big leagues. I’d like to see the winner in against Rivas or Hunter. Joyce Vs Rivas would be nice rematch of the 2016 Olympic final.

Finally, will we get Fury Vs AJ next year?!

Usyk is mandatory for AJs WBO and IBO straps. Also, what’s the WBC position after Whyte/Povetkin? Stay safe and keep up the good work! – Tabraze, London

That’s a question for the WBC, Tabraze. The last time I heard from Mauricio Sulaiman was during a media zoom call the week of the Lomachenko-Lopez fight. At that time, he said that the WBC had not been contacted to sanction the Povetkin-Whyte rematch, but that could have changed by now. The Russian veteran holds to the interim WBC title, so if it’s on the line for the rematch, the winner will eventually become the mandatory challenger for Tyson Fury.

I think Fury will be able to schedule a fight vs. either Wilder or Joshua in 2021 before he has to fulfill any WBC mandatory obligation. Sulaiman said there currently is no WBC heavyweight mandatory due.

Usyk, if he beats Chisora, could be the mandatory challenger that keeps Fury vs. Joshua from happening during the first half of 2021. However, Fury vs. Joshua is such a mega-event, one would think there’s enough money to pay the former cruiserweight king to wait his turn and allow for it happen.

(W)here is Wilder? Hopefully in training camp and working on strategies and techniques to deal with Fury and Anthony Joshua.

On the cards was(is):

1) A rematch with Fury. According Team Fury that ship has sailed. Team Wilder doesn’t agree. It might be decided by a judge or in arbitration.

2) win, lose or draw, as long as the 3rd Fury fight is competitive there would be big interest in an AJ fight. I agree.

3) Potential Usyk, Whyte or even Povetkin fights. Hell yeah. Just because Wilder can’t beat Fury doesn’t mean we wouldn’t want to see him vs. the winner of Usyk-Chisora, the winner of the Povetkin-Whyte rematch, or any other heavyweight standout, such as Andy Ruiz or Joseph Parker.

All of the above are big money fights and Wilder is dangerous in all of them. So where is he? I think he needed some time out of the spotlight to get his head together. We should respect that.

He can’t be happy signing off after the last fight? If he’s the champion we think he is, an insatiable fire has been lit in his belly.

What’s the situation with his team? Mark Breland is out. Other than that, it hasn’t changed.

I know he’s fired his longtime trainer. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Breland had been the main trainer from the time that Wilder won the WBC title. I think Jay Deas was/is the main coach.

There are lots of reports he’s quite removed for the main negotiations. Have they let him down? Time will tell.

However, it’s his decision if he wanted to hang up his gloves and if that’s the case we wish him well. Indeed, but I’d be shocked if Wilder were through with boxing.

Usyk Vs Chisora

I think Chisora causes problems for Usyk. I agree.

Firstly, something Usyk will always have to deal with is being the smaller man. He knows this. Let’s see if he can make being the lighter man an advantage. The Greatest, Muhammad Ali, called 212-216 “dancin’ weight.” Let’s see if Usyk can dance like an in-shape Ali.

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Usyk takes it to Tony Bellew.

Usyk should aim not to trade with Chisora, out boxing him instead. I agree, but again, I think Usyk knows this. He’s a ring general. He controls distance and mixes his punches up very well, while creating angles and finding openings. He doesn’t get aggressive until he senses his opponent is hurt or tired.

Can Usyk get him out of there before the final bell? I don’t think so.

What if Chisora wins? The sun will still come out tomorrow. And Chisora will have likely bought a ticket to huge UK showdowns vs. Fury or Joshua at some point.  

How you calling it? Usyk by close but unanimous decision.

Povetkin Vs Whyte

I don’t think it was a lucky punch which took Dillian out last time. If it was lucky Povetkin MADE his luck.

How is he gonna avoid that punch this time round? By staying off the ropes, keeping the fight in the center of the ring and Povetkin at the end of his jab.

How can Whyte pull it off this time round? I think he needs to box Povetkin from a distance for the first half of the fight and then start to work the older man’s body. He shouldn’t try to take the Russian veteran out, but should attempt to outwork him down the stretch.

What if Povetkin pulls it off. The sun will come out tomorrow. And Povetkin will get one more shot at the championship.

AJ Vs Pulev

It’s a decent fight and takes care of his IBF mandatory. I think it’s pointless. What did Pulev do to deserve a shot at Joshua? Beat Hughie Fury? Give me a break. Nobody wants to see this fight. We want AJ vs. Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder.

What chance does Pulev have to pull off an upset? Slim and none, and Slim left town (as Don King used to say).

Fury vs ????

Considering who’s available, I’d like to see him in with Takam. Sure. Why not?

He’s a durable rough gatekeeper. I know Chisora took him out. Not sure Fury will be able to do that. I think Fury would handle Takam in much the same way he controlled and punished Chisora during their rematch.

Who’d you like to see in there with Fury? Who “deserves” a shot? I’d like to see Michael Hunter get a shot.  

Dubois Vs Joyce

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Dubois-Joyce is one of five heavyweight showdowns Dougie wants to see as soon as big-time boxing is back on the schedule. Photo courtesy of Queensberry Promotions

This is a good one. I agree, and I’m really looking forward to it (I have been all year).

I’m picking Joyce for this one. I’ve got Dubois, but I’m not mad at your pick. It’s an even-money bout IMO.

I think he’s technically a lot better than he looks. I agree. He’s also got an extensive amateur background and he appears to be very strong and sturdy. I think he will test Dubois’ durability and stamina.

But it’s gonna be a tough night. Dubois is gonna bring it. No doubt. I favor the younger man’s speed, athleticism and natural talent over Joyce’s maturity, technique and physical strength.

I think Joyce really needs the win considering his age, if he wants to progress to the big leagues. Time is not on his side, but he’s not “old” by heavyweight standards.

I’d like to see the winner in against Rivas or Hunter. Me too.

Joyce Vs Rivas would be nice rematch of the 2016 Olympic final. OK, stop showing off.

Finally, will we get Fury Vs AJ next year?! Ask me right before Christmas.

 

RACIST RANKINGS

I would just like to know what African American fighters have to do to get on this list? How are you considered boxing experts when you all don’t know anything about boxing. You have Jermell Charlo, who holds 3 belts and has fought way better competition than the European fighters with 15 fights on them. You have Tank Davis who is way better than anyone on your racist ass list. You racists are just wide open with your white opinions.

How in the world is Usyk and Berbertiev on this list when no one knows them in the USA. They don’t even have 20 fights yet, but they’re still on the list; and who have they beat? And then the European fighters can also lose and still be on the list? This is just blatantly and ridiculously racist. Why do African American fighters have to be exceptional to get on the P4P list and European just have to be liked. You all are doing a great disservice to boxing and I’m glad I know better than to rely on you racist bastards for the truth. You really should be ashamed of yourselves, but we know WHITE PRIVILEGE will not allow that. – Melvin

You should be ashamed of YOURSELF for accusing others of racism and bias without supporting your allegations with evidence. You claim that Jermell Charlo has “fought way better competition” than the “European fighters with 15 fights” who are in the pound-for-pound top 10 (I have to assume you’re talking about the mythical ratings, as Charlo is The Ring champ at 154-pounds and there are plenty of black contenders in the junior middleweight rankings), but you don’t list out that competition. You’re not telling me who Charlo has faced vs. who the “Europeans” have faced. Maybe to so would disprove your allegations. Maybe you really don’t follow the sport that closely and you’re either too lazy or delusional to check Boxrec.com.

I’d really like to see you attempt to back up your statement that Gervonta Davis is “way better than anyone” on our “racist ass list.” Tell me what he’s done and who’s he’s beat so far that would merit his displacing ANYONE in The Ring’s pound-for-pound top 10. I grew up in Missouri, Melvin, so you’re going to have to SHOW ME. And if you can’t do that, you need to shut the f__k up and stop being a whiney little bitch.

You have Jermell Charlo, who holds 3 belts and has fought way better competition than the European fighters with 15 fights on them. Has he? Who are the best he’s faced? Austin Trout? Jeison Rosaio? Tony Harrison? Vanes Martirosyan? Hey, I think Jermell is a major badass. He’s THE MAN at junior middleweight. His brother is a major player at 160 pounds. They’re both featured on the cover of the most recent issue of The Ring (January 2021) because they’re formidable fighters with star potential. And the Ring Ratings Panel debated his inclusion in the pound-for-pound rankings. 

He didn’t make it in off the Rosario victory but he’s close. All he’s got to do is keep challenging himself and keep winning.

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The 2018 Fighter of the Year.

How in the world is Usyk and Berbertiev on this list when no one knows them in the USA? It’s not a popularity contest. It’s about what a fighter accomplishes. You made a big deal about Charlo holding three belts. He achieved that feat in this 35th fight, 12 years into his pro career. Usyk unified all FOUR major belts in his 15th fight, within five years of his pro debut. He was the consensus choice for 2018 Fighter of the Year, and he won all of his titles in his opponents’ home countries. He cleaned out the cruiserweight division. Now he’s campaigning at heavyweight, Evander Holyfield style! Beterbiev (please learn how to spell it) unified two major belts in his 15th pro bout, in his sixth year as a pro, and he beat the No. 1-rated light heavyweight (Oleksandr Gvozdyk) to do so. He also beat former world titleholders Tavoris Cloud and Gabriel Campillo in his sixth and eighth pro bouts.   

They don’t even have 20 fights yet, but they’re still on the list; and who have they beat? I just told you who Beterbiev beat. (And for what it’s worth, I don’t think Beterbiev should be in the P4P top 10. But I’d replace him with another European, Josh Taylor. I really hope that pisses you off.) Usyk beat all of the top cruiserweights, unified titleholder Murat Gassiev, current Ring/IBF champ Mairis Briedis, Krzysztof Glowacki (the WBO beltholder, in his 10th pro bout), long-reigning two-time former titleholder Marco Huck, former titleholder Tony Bellew (who was rated at heavyweight) and Michael Hunter (who is currently rated at heavyweight). If you’re not aware of this, you’re a f__kin’ casual.

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Loma beat Russell and won his first world title in his third pro bout. Some sorry ass so-called fans, like Melvin, don’t want to recognize this. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

And then the European fighters can also lose and still be on the list? You mean Vasiliy Lomachenko? The man who unified three major titles in his 15th pro bout, less than six years into his pro career (after winning world titles at featherweight and junior lightweight)? He defeated elite boxers in each weight class (Gary Russell Jr. at 126, Guillermo Rigondeaux at 130 and Jorge Linares at 135) and was the 2017 Fighter of the Year. Still, the Ring Ratings Panel engaged in a long and heated debate on whether to keep him in the P4P top 10.

This is just blatantly and ridiculously racist. No, it isn’t. Roy Jones Jr. and Pernell Whitaker weren’t dropped from Ring’s P4P top 10 after they suffered defeats.  

Why do African American fighters have to be exceptional to get on the P4P list and European just have to be liked. The Europeans on the list are just as exceptional as the African Americans (Terence Crawford and Errol Spence Jr.). You can’t see that because you’re racist.

 

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Periscope or Dougie’s IG Live every Sunday.

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