The Doggy Bag
By Aaron Imholte (December 17, 2004) 
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We have often heard that history repeats itself and boxing provides no exception. Another Mike Tyson conqueror has been beaten down in his next big title fight. Almost 15 years removed from the biggest upset in sports history that was Buster Douglas-Mike Tyson, Danny Williams got his chance to prove that he was no fluke against reigning Ring Magazine and WBC heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko. The only problem was that he did nothing to make his case to the world. Danny was viciously beaten by the giant Ukrainian and was behind by 10 points on each scorecard when the referee mercifully stopped the fight.

It was just one fight in a weekend that brought Michael Moorer back into the heavyweight picture and brought Miguel Cotto one step closer to mainstream boxing and a major title. Those fights and much more are soon to come in this week's Doggy Bag.

Do you think the Jirov stoppage was premature? Whats next for Jirov? Does he stay at heavy or go back to cruiser? Do you see Moorer as a legit contender? - VatoLoco

No, I don't believe the stoppage was premature. Jirov's legs were gone and he would have gotten hurt in there as Moorer was really starting to come alive as the fight went on. He would not have been able to work in and out from those angles and double and triple up on the jab that he was doing so well earlier. He would have been two spent and his legs would not have let him move that well.

I think Jirov goes back to cruiser. He can't bang with the heavyweights and there is nothing wrong with that. He gave it a shot and it did not work out for him. Time to go back to cruiser and make yourself a decent living.

I think anyone with two heavy hands and a good heartbeat can contend in this division (see Lamon Brewster). Moorer is patient and has good power and hand speed left. Not to mention he can take just as good a shot as any other heavyweight out there. I think he could beat Lamon Brewster and I think the kind of fighting John Ruiz likes to do might just suit Moorer well. But forget Byrd and forget Klitschko because one would embarrass him and the other would just plain hurt him.

Whats up with Mike Tyson, is he still the same emotionally untable creature we all know or has he changed per the interview with Jim Gray on Showtime Kosta vs Mitchell. Hey I'm the most handsome dogg in this Doghouse... - Joe Jabber

Yeah Joe like my mother always says to me, you have a great face... for radio.
I think Mike is just one of those people who was born mentally dysfunctional and will always have moments where he loses it. I think he has too many demons to exorcise before he can be stable and happy. I think the story of Mike Tyson's life is more apt to end bad then good.

Here's a few Aaron,

In terms of Mythical Bouts who wins these and how? (Assumes all fighters at or near their prime).

Moorer-Qawi (at Cruiserweight)

Also, have you heard any news on Dokinwari? He looked pretty good against Guinn in the loss (in the night of the young heavies) and like a guy that could be decent with some seasoning. Haven't heard from him since. What are your thoughts?

One final thing, I know that holding a potential fight up due to weight is more of a financial issue, but is there any hope that one day boxing will have weigh-ins that are more meaningful to parity in the fight (e.g., like wrestling, weighing in the actual day of the fight [especially] in the lighter divisions to reduce the risk of fighters coming in alot heavier than the division limit--i.e., Gatti/Gamache). Just seems to almost render the notion of weight classes useless. Thanks! - Doc

I'm going to take Cooney in a fight that wouldn't go the distance. I was never sold on Morrison's chin and he could never really put it all together to make it to that top level. Whereas Cooney could have been the second best heavyweight of his time if Larry Holmes hadn't been there. Cooney would stop Morrison in say the 9th round by out boxing him and occasionally winning some good exchanges inside and wearing Morrison down.

Liston's reach would be too much for Tua. Tua would have to get hit too much coming in. Although he had some good whiskers I think Liston could bomb him out. He was ferocious in his prime and was just a head and shoulders above anything Tua could have ever been.

Ibeabuchi was a monster and we never got to see how good he could have been. I think he would have imposed his aggressiveness on Shavers first and won a slugfest in about 6 rounds. Ike could take one hell of a punch and could dish one out with twice as much on it. Shavers could hit hard but I really don't think he could prevail against Ike, who would just be more dogged and aggressive and that, in my opinion, would make the fight.

I like Moorer knocking out Qawi late. Don't ask why, I just always loved Moorer's power below heavyweight and I just don't think Qawi would be able to beat it.

I have a question about big Vitali. If he cleans out the heavyweight division, will he make it as one of the best ever heavyweight? - Poppa

I know it sounds absurd now but I would give him a top 15 nod if he cleaned out this division. I mean look at how much credit we give Larry Holmes for beating has-beens like Norton and Shavers! If Klitschko can clean out the division with wins over Byrd, Brewster, Ruiz, Rahman, Toney, Peter, and maybe even Lennox Lewis in a rematch, then you are looking at a guy who built up one nice resume during his reign at the top and would guarantee him a spot in the top 15 of all time.

Okay Aaron, first if you had a chance to get little Poppa our resident Val Kilmer lookalike in the ring how do you see that fight playing out?

Whoever has won the Vitali Klitschko-Danny Willaims fight, who should that guy try to fight next? Who is James Toney's next logical fight and do you think Byrd will ever fight Toney?

Thanks - Joey (the fattest guy in the dogpound as voted by Mario Lopez better known as JoeJabber)

Are you joking? If I came in at my usual fit 6'3 215 I could probably just do a Virgil Hill on Poppa and use one hand basically the whole fight. I see a fifth round knockout with one of the weakest jabs you will ever see. The jab will be effective all night but Poppa's eyes will be so swollen shut that he'll feel one more tapping his nose and just fall down and quit. I just sense that Poppa would have no heart in the ring. He is no Manny Pacquiao.

Klitschko SHOULD fight Byrd or Ruiz next but King will throw his other soldiers at him before he gets a title shot. Rahman will be the next in line and then Vitali will get a crack at Byrd, Brewster or Ruiz. As far as James Toney is concerned I won't be impressed until he can (a) beat someone at heavyweight who can still box; and (b) stay healthy long enough to put together some quality wins. I think his mouth is a lot bigger than anything he has accomplished at heavyweight so far. He should take a big test next like, yes, Chris Byrd or even Samuel Peter, who I think would give Toney fits. Once he gets hit by the Nigerian Nightmare his mouth might shut pretty quickly, as well as his eyes.

Aaron, Good job answering the questions last week. I asked about Tua now I'm wondering if you've heard anything about his nemesis Ike Ibeabuchi. He's been in jail / mental hospital for five years now. Is there any talk of Nevada finally letting him out and him making a comeback? - Strangerwithcandy

No man, sorry. Ike was denied parole this year and won't be up again until he is I believe 37. We will all just have to wonder what might have been.

Hey , Aaron. Is DLH's moving to welter mean that he will never settle his business with Tito? And does the DK lawsuit and the removal of Arum from the Hopkins picture help or hurt a potential rematch with Tito down the line? Is it merely a ploy? Where the hell is The Viper? Is Mayo really coming back? Will Vargas ever get a shot at DLH again? - AbrahamG

De La Hoya said recently that the only way he would fight Tito again is if he came down to welterweight. Since we know that isn't happening, I think Tito-Oscar 2 is all but dead. I think Vargas and Forrest are both planning to fight at 154 when they come back so I don't think Vargas will fight Oscar again because Oscar has said that 154 is just too big for him and he doesn't want to fight there.

Ricardo Mayorga will be back now that his rape case has been settled and I believe he will fight at welterweight again and try to reclaim his title in an ever deepening division with the addition of Judah and De La Hoya.

Aaron, how do you feel the heavyweights of the early to mid '90s (Holyfield, Bowe, Lewis, Tyson, Foreman, Moorer, Mercer, Morrison, Ruddock, etc.) stack up against the Golden Era of the ‘70s (Ali, Foreman, Norton, Frazier, Quarry, The Jimmys Young and Ellis, Shavers, Holmes, etc)? - Zeke+

I think the 70's era is the golden age of heayvwieghts and nobody will ever bring us back to that again it was a once in a lifetime thing. As far as the mid 90's heavyweights go I think they are the second best crop ever believe it or not. I think if Tyson would have stayed out of prison we could have seen some really interesting matchups (i.e. Bowe-Tyson, Lewis-Tyson and Holyfield-Tyson, except all in their primes).

With Klitschko's win over Williams, what would you say his future in the Heavyweight division looks like. How would you say he would do against Toney or Rahman who are the 2 that are directly in his path. - USMC0331

I think Rahman would be his toughest challenge because of that big right hand of his. If he can get inside and figure out Klitschko's awkward yet effective style he can really do some damage. That being said I still don't think he would win or even take Vitali the distance. Every time I see Klitschko fight I get more and more impressed (I actually picked him to beat Lennox Lewis in the first fight, it was one of those gut feelings that cost me some respect and alot of money to friends). Toney on the other hand will get worked by Klitschko and all the Toney lovers will be shocked and amazed at how useless of a heavyweight James Toney really is. Vitali will knock him back to cruiserweight.

Well, that's this weeks mailbag and with Tarver Johnson just around the corner I think we are in for another big bag next week too. You keep writing them and I'll keep responding, Dogpound. Until we meet again keep those gloves up and your elbows in.
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