LEO SANTA CRUZ
DOUG, WHAT UP!
Help me out. I got a question about the Victor Terrazas-Leo Santa Cruz fight. I know a little about Santa Cruz. He’s a big time volume puncher, right? Like the guys who run CompuBox call out sick during his fights kinda volume punching.
My question for you is, how skilled of a boxer is he? Volume punching might get you through a lot of fights, but at some point you’re going to need some real boxing skills. I’m not saying he doesn’t have them, I’m just saying I don’t know if he does. What do you think? He’s up against a really stiff test in Terrazas right? I read a couple places that Mares vacated his WBC title rather than take on Terrazas, if this is correct that says a lot about Terrazas because Mares is a really good all around fighter? I’m thinking Terrazas might win by SD. Am I crazy? Obviously anything is possible, but what do you think? Do you think Santa Cruz has the ability to “pitch a shutout” against him? You think Mares-Gonzalez goes the distance?
Now you know I couldn’t fire off an e-mail to you without mentioning my main man GGG. Good news about Curtis Steven’s and Gennady Golovkin’s camps getting closer to putting pen to paper for their Nov. 2 clash. In one of my last e-mails you said you would be heading to GGG’s next fight. You still thinking of coming out to the East Coast? It’s a helluva flight to watch 4 rounds of boxing! But really, what do you think of this match up? I think it’s a little too early for Stevens. He really managed to gain a lot of media attention KO’ing a 154 lber. That’s just what GGG needs. Hope to run into ya at the fight! And hope all is well. – Jason, CT
It’s all good, Jason. Thanks for asking, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.
When Golovkin-Stevens is finalized and announced for Nov. 2 in New York City, I will definitely make reservations to head out for that one. I don’t care if the fight only lasts 30 seconds, the atmosphere and intensity leading up to the event will be worth the flight and coverage. Besides, I’m a GGG bandwagoner and I love NYC.
What do I think of the matchup? I like it! I don’t believe Stevens is in Golovkin’s class, but I do think the Brooklyn native is dangerous due to his power and I figure two bona-fide punchers should mesh to make for an explosive fight for however long it lasts. I also think Stevens will help push the event in NYC, so we should have a lively crowd (hopefully not too crazy) and atmosphere at Madison Square Garden.
I don’t think it’s too early for Stevens to take this fight. He’s been a pro for nine years and he’s had three bouts this year. He is what he is. I don’t think he’s going to get any better. This is a big opportunity for him – a shot at a major title and career-high payday – and I think he did the right thing by going for it.
I don’t think Mares-Gonzalez will go the distance. I have a lot of respect for Gonzalez, a real world-class veteran who has been in with the best 118-126 pound fighters of the past 10 years, but this is Mares’ time. I think Mares is at his absolute peak right now and I wouldn’t pick any 126 pounder to beat him.
I think Gonzalez will have his moments early in the fight, but Mares will gradually break him down to a late stoppage.
Santa Cruz definitely has his work cut out for him in challenging Terrazas, who is on an 11-bout win streak that includes decisions over skilled veterans Fernando Montiel, Nehomar Cermeno and Cristian Mijares (who he beat for the WBC 122-pound belt). Terrazas has only lost one bout in the last 10 years – to then-European champ Rendall Munroe. That’s impressive.
“Vikingo” is a tough competitor with solid all-around skills but it should be noted that Munroe wore him down to a ninth-round TKO with body shots. Terrazas also faded in the championship rounds with Mijares, who dropped him in the final round. Munroe and Mijares are very good boxers, but they’re not as strong as Santa Cruz and they don’t apply pressure like the 25-year-old Southern Californian.
I think Terrazas is better prepared for and more motivated for this fight than any other in his career, so I think he’s going to give the young man a fight for seven or eight action-packed rounds, but then I see Santa Cruz taking over and wearing him down. I think this fight might outshine Mares-Gonzalez.
Regarding Santa Cruz’s boxing prowess, I believe that he can box, but he hasn’t had the mentality of a boxer in a long time. You’ve heard of fighters falling in love with their power, right? Well, I think Santa Cruz fell in love with his pressure and volume punching a few years ago.
He was a good boxer in the amateur ranks where he defeated local standouts like Rico Ramos and Christopher Martin, and he relied on his skills early in his pro career before he developed his “man strength” (he only scored two knockouts in his first 11 bouts), but once he started backing opponents up and breaking them down with volume and body punching I think he committed to being a pressure fighter.
Santa Cruz stopped nine consecutive opponents going into his first title bout and I think his mentality may have changed for good during that run. I think he has the intelligence and talent to add more technique and defense to his game but I’m not sure his father, who is his head trainer, is the guy to teach him the finer points of the sport.
When Santa Cruz was doing more boxing early in his career he had veteran trainers Rudy Hernandez and Abel Sanchez in his corner.
My buddy over in L.A. said Showtime is blacked out over there, too. Do you know of how we can catch these 360s about to start? I know Golden Boy, TMT, Showtime, etc., has to be concerned with what this will do for business on this fight! I have heard that N.Y., Calif., etc., are all blacked out. This fight could absolutely flop because of this nonsense. You would hope they can work out this petty disagreement before then, if not they will all lose money.
Anyway, I’m sure you will be hearing something about this, because your ear is close to the ground as the Money Teams PR Guy. Tell Ellerbe I said what’s up! LOL (Just breaking your balls) – Jason C. B.
Ha ha, Jason. I will be sure to tell Ellerbe what’s up. Contrary to what most believe, I like Leonard and wish him well.
I also wish the Mayweather-Canelo Showtime Pay Per View event well. It’s good for the sport for these mega events to do well. It’s definitely not good for Golden Boy/Mayweather Promotions/Showtime for CBS/Showtime networks to be removed from Time Warner cable systems four weeks out from their biggest show of the year.
If the “blackout” lasts until or past Sept. 14, I think fans can still order the fight through pay-per-view distributors, such as iN Demand, which is part of Time Warner’s system. However, the promotion will be crippled in some major markets if casual fans aren’t able to watch all of the pre-fight build-up on CBS/Showtime networks.
Hopefully, CBS and Time Warner work out their issues before the start of September.
Regarding the first episode of All-Access: Mayweather vs. Canelo (they don’t call it 360 anymore – I think that was just for the Super Six tournament), which airs tomorrow night, you can watch it (and the other three full episodes) on Sports.Sho.com or Showtime’s YouTube channel after they premiere on the network.
CANCUKS VS. RUSKIES
Sorry to keep dropping in and hogging space but hey, can’t disappoint my adoring public! You know how it is!
Just going to follow up what we discussed last Monday. You can’t wait until Sergey Kovalev invades Canada. I say bring it on! Canucks vs. Russkies Round 19,989 here we go. Oh, in case you’re wondering, all those previous rounds were fought on the ice-rink with Canadians holding the overall edge. Yeah!
So how will The Russian Raider do when he goes to war with Canada’s finest fighting guys? Well I’ll have to admit that The Krusher will ground up both Jean Pascal and Lucien Bute and spit them out.
But when the Russian badass takes on fellow destroyer, Adonis Stevenson, that’s when both Canada and Russia will come to a sudden halt. Almost like they did when they waged their 1st Blitzkrieg On Ice back in ’72.
And if the fight is held in Montreal (and it probably will be!) those fans will blow off the whole f___in’ roof! We all know how passionate those Montrealers are when it comes to the fight game!
And for the record I can’t picture any American fighter other than Andre Ward who’s capable of holding back the Russian Steamroller! It’s like this. The Krusher will be too damn strong for Old Man Hopkins and he’ll take the heart out of Tavoris Cloud! Maybe literally!
Yeah I know that Nard spat in the face of Father Time when he boxed Cloud’s face off! But Kovalev’s not Cloud as Gabe Campillo sure found out!
Switching the topic what’s your intake of the upcoming Stevenson-Cloud/Klitchko-Povetkin championship fights? I think that Adonis is going to wipe his ass with Cloud and Klitchko will do the same with Povetkin.
Mind you though, if Povetkin was a 240-pound version of Kovalev, Klitchko would already be s___ing bricks big time! The K-Bros should be thankful there’s no 240-pound Stevenson around either.Which just goes to show how strong the 175-pound division has gotten. Good riddance to all those friggin’ greybeards!
On a final note, I noticed that my E-mails still have all these Facebook morons ragging out like a bunch of mentally-ill menopausing molly-maids! How flattering.
Just like we get these same jerk-offs whining about how they can’t stand you and your columns but still keep reading so they can smear more of their s__t all over the board. Debating with a tree-stump would be more stimulating then wasting any wit on these eternally stupid dips___s.
On that lovely note I’m going to call it quits for now! Got to work all these overtime hours this weekend, which means missing out on the Abner Mares fight. Damn! I like watching the little bastard! And then it’s off to take my folks to both sides of Niagara Falls and then the CNE. Won’t be back to you until after the Lucas Matthysse-Danny Garcia fight.
Guess that leaves my adoring fan-club in your capable hands for now! Cheers! – Triple T
Yes, and I will happily ignore the “menopause mollies” (whatever that means – who cares? It made me laugh.). (I’m fairly certain that your detractors will miss you more than the readers who compliment you.)
Anyway, if Povetkin had Kovalev’s power at heavyweight, I’d give him a great shot at unseating the heavyweight champ, but since he had to be mentally whipped by Teddy Atlas to get by Ruslan Chagaev and he went life and death with cruiserweight beltholder Marco Huck, I like Klitschko by decision or late stoppage.
I think Stevenson-Cloud is an event fight. Stevenson can stop Cloud, but only if he commits to the body. Cloud takes a good shot to the head. I’m not sure Stevenson’s whiskers are as reliable. Don George buzzed him a few times during their 168-pound war, and of course, Stevenson has that embarrassing second-round TKO to Darnell Boone a few years ago.
I hate to piss on your parade, but I think Cloud can beat Stevenson. But if “Superman” defends his RING/WBC titles against Cloud, of course the 175-pound fight we’ll all clamor for is Stevenson-Kovalev.
Again, I don’t mean to doubt your guy, but my money would be on Kovalev – the natural 175 pounder with the better technique and amateur background.
Regardless of who wins, we know the fight would be explosive and it would produce a great atmosphere if it took place in Montreal (which it would).
BEST DEFENSIVE FIGHTERS
What’s up? Love your work, keep it up. Been a while since I emailed in to the mailbag, it was me boldly predicting Hatton would do a job on Manny. How wrong was I?!!
Anyways, been giving some thought as to best defensive fighters of all time, so here’s my top 5 in no particular order, please feel free to disagree!
1. Willie Pep (how can you leave him out?)
2. Muhammad Ali (in his prime, based on reflexes and footwork)
3. Pernell Whitaker
4. Floyd Mayweather Jr (please don’t hate me for that!)
5. Guillermo Rigondeaux (bit of a curve ball this one, and maybe premature, but look at the Donaire fight)
Honorable mentions… Nicolino Locche (“El Intocable” is excluded only for lack of big wins, eg TKO by Cervantes despite earlier points win, draws with Ortiz and Laguna – OK I admit I’m being harsh, he probably should be in, but this is a debate right??)… and gotta love B-Hop.
Some mythical matchups I’d love your views on:
Smoking Joe Frazier (toughest and bravest man to set foot in the ring IMO – legend) vs Wlad Klitschko (let’s remember Buster Mathis was 6-foot-3 and no slouch, so I’m already pretty certain in my mind of the answer)
Frazier vs (prime) Tyson
Aaron Pryor vs Kostya Tszyu @ 140
Kostya Tszyu vs Lucas Matthysse @ 140
Aaron Pryor vs Julio Cesar Chavez @ 140
Gotta end with some comic book stuff…hugely disappointed with Man of Steel, and the proposed sequel makes me feel slightly ill. Not sure what they’re thinking, but please don’t let it be a sacrilege to the holiest of holies, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns. I grew up on that book. I always thought in the late 80’s/early 90’s if they were going to do that film, Clint Eastwood would have been pretty cool as a gnarled, nasty Bat come out of retirement, what do you think?
Anyways, signing off for now, would be great to hear back from you. All the best. – Nathan G, New York City, NY
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Nathan.
I thought the same thing about Eastwood and Miller’s Dark Knight back in the mid-’80s (and I believe I’ve read somewhere that Miller’s inspiration for the old version of Bruce Wayne was Eastwood), but I also thought the veteran actor was better suited to portray Judge Dredd (certainly more so than Stallone).
I haven’t seen Man of Steel or The Wolverine yet. News of Ben Affleck playing Batman in a Man of Steel sequel didn’t bother me much. What kind of comic book fan am I!? The kind who just likes reading them (not Tweeting about the books or movies based on thier characters).
Anyway, onto your mythical matchups, most of which I’m sure I’ve answered before (but since you’ve been away, I’ll give ya a pass):
Frazier vs. Klitschko – Smokin’ Joe by mid-to-late rounds TKO
Frazier vs (prime) Tyson – Iron Mike would have a two-to-three rounds window to get Joe out of there, but if it went past three rounds Frazier would take his heart.
Aaron Pryor vs Kostya Tszyu @ 140 – King Kostya was the kind of sharp shooter to catch Pryor coming in but The Hawk put forth the kind of smothering pressure (with head and upper-body movement) and volume punching that broke the Russian down. I like Pryor by late TKO.
Kostya Tszyu vs Lucas Matthysse @ 140 – Tszyu by decision (with less action than most would anticipate)
Aaron Pryor vs Julio Cesar Chavez @ 140 – Pryor by close decision in a great fight.
I don’t have much to say about your Top Five of defensive boxers. It’s your opinion and I’m not a big fan of defensive wizards. However, I definitely think it’s premature to have Rigo at No. 5.
Wilfred Benitez is WAY more deserving of that spot. PLEASE go and watch some of Benitez’s his fights on YouTube. Locche is definitely more deserving (come on, dude, his nickname was “The Untouchable”! He won 103 of 117 bouts via decision, only four losses!) James Toney is also more deserving.
Azumah Nelson and Robert Duran don’t get enough credit for their defensive prowess because they were good punchers who were usually aggressive, but both were very hard to hit when they were on top of their game.
A lot of Golden Age standouts were defensively adept without necessarily being slick (in other words, they did more blocking and parrying of punches than slipping).
Anyway, I don’t want to get into another Old Timers vs. New Breed debate with readers. I’ll just encourage you to check out as many videos and clips of Benitez and Toney as you can find. You won’t be disappointed. They were defensive masters without being boring.
Photo / Gene Blevins-Hoganphotos / Goldn Boy