Hey Dougie, how's it going?
I haven't sent anything to the mailbag for a while now, so this is my glorious comeback…
2014 has been pretty boring so far. I was disappointed in Mikey Garcia. It seems that 130 lbs is going to be lot harder than 126 lbs when it comes to knocking a guy out.
I'm also not impressed with Amir Khan's hissy fit reaction to Floyd Mayweather announcing that the fans will "choose" his next opponent. Khan is pretty dense, but I didn't think he was an out and out idiot. Does he not realise (British spelling) that this is Mayweather trying to get into his head? Khan has the tools to give Mayweather problems early on, but I think, come fight night, Khan will go in with his blood boiling; he'll get reckless, and subsequently get taken apart. What do you think?
I also want to talk about Vasyl Lomachenko. This guy is fighting for a world title in his second pro bout. Has that ever happened or are we witnessing history? Since he won gold at featherweight and lightweight, how do you think he will fare against the top 126-130-135 lb fighters? I want to see him against Mikey Garcia, although I do think it's a little early for that kind of competition… He does look the part though. Is it Teddy Atlas that has Lomachenko already in his p4p top 10?
Speaking of lightweights, who would win a lightweight Super 6 out of these more modern fighters: Pernell Whitaker, Julio Cesar Chavez, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Floyd Mayweather and Diego Corrales. How long would the winner last against the greatest lightweight of all time and my second favourite fighter, Roberto Duran? (Ali is number one for me. Shocker, right?)
By the way, I know you have very distinct criteria when it comes to goodness, greatness and all-time greatness. I was wondering where you rank Roberto Duran.
All the best, and keep up the good work. Peace. – Bilal, London
Hands of Stone is definitely an “all-timer,” in my not-so-humble opinion. He’s beyond the Hall of Fame, and he’s better than just “great.” He’s on Boxing’s Mt. Olympus with Robinson, Pep, Armstrong, Charles, Moore and the other standouts from the sport’s Golden Age.
The winner of your 135-pound Super Six would be Whitaker (who would outpoint Mayweather in a close and very boring unanimous decision in the tournament finals). Sweet Pea would be stopped in the championship rounds of a competitive 15-round bout with Duran, or he would drop a close but clear unanimous decision in 12-round bout with the Panamanian legend.
Lomachenko has to beat Orlando Salido, which will not be an easy task, before anyone can look forward to him fighting Mikey Garcia or Guillermo Rigondeaux or any other elite champ or titleholder from 126-130 pounds. I think the world of Lomachenko, who was THE RING’s Prospect of the Year for 2013, but I don’t know if the former amateur superstar will be able to hold off and outbox Salido for 12 rounds.
If he does beat Salido, I’ll be beyond impressed – I’ll be amazed. And yes, we will be witnessing history if Lomachenko wins the WBO featherweight bout in his second pro bout (unless you consider the six World Series of Boxing bouts he had before his “debut” on the Tim Bradley-Juan Manuel Marquez undercard last October). No one has ever won a major world title with so few pro bouts and in so short a time after turning pro.
The current record is held by former two-time 140-pound beltholder Saensak Muangsurin, who stopped Perico Fernandez for the WBC title in 1975 in his third pro bout (and less than a year after his pro debut). Muangsurin made eight defenses of the WBC belt during his two reigns and fought in 12 title bout in a career than only spanned 20 (14-6) pro bouts. The crafty, hard-hitting and well-traveled southpaw beat some good fighters of his day, including Fernandez, Miguel Velasquez, Guts Ishimatsu, Saoul Mamby and Monroe Brooks.
Like many successful pro boxers from Thailand, the popular Muangsurin was an accomplished Muy Thai kick boxer before he switched sports.
Yes, Atlas rates Lomachenko No. 10 among his pound-for-pound boxers. That ranking is fine with me. It’s just an opinion, but it’s an educated one. Atlas is familiar with the Ukrainian southpaw’s storied amateur background, he witnessed the young man’s Olympic performances, and he knows boxing. There’s no set criteria for the pound for pound, so sometimes boxing folks rank young up-and-comers on their talent, skill and potential as opposed to their actual pro accomplishments.
Regarding Khan’s reaction to Mayweather’s social media/publicity stunt, you’d think the former 140-pound titleholder would have learned his lesson after the Angel Garcia/Danny Garcia experience. But I guess his fierce pride and that sizable chip on his shoulder is what helped drive him to success as an amateur and helped him get back on the horse and achieve what many thought he couldn’t after he was blitzed by Breidis Prescott back in 2008.
The odds are already stacked against Khan in a showdown with Mayweather given his career momentum, lack of welterweight experience and his physical limitations (i.e. his shaky chin). Toss in Khan’s susceptibility to Mayweather’s mind games and it’s very hard to give him any shot of pulling the upset even though he is a very talented young (27) veteran with a lot of heart.
Yeah, like you, I see Khan getting reckless and getting knocked out. Is there anyone who doesn’t envision this scenario?
Garcia didn’t set the world on fire against JC Burgos but I think his inability to score a knockout had more to do with the contender’s style and ring tactics than Mikey’s new weight class.
RING HEAVYWEIGHT TOP 10
I've been a boxing fan since the 50s. Some of my views are the two best fighters in my lifetime were Muhammad Ali and Duran. Watched Joe Louis as a kid and think Ali would have whupped him with ease. Rocky Marciano was good but really a cruiserweight by today’s standards. My biggest problem is today’s heavyweight top 10 rankings are like a bad joke! No problem with Kubrat Pulev at #1. Alexander Povetkin was beaten by Marco Huck, a cruiserweight – should be further down the list if on it at all. Tomazs Adamek has been given at least three "Gift Decisions", is a cruiserweight actually and shouldn't be on the list. OK with Bermane Stiverne at #4 but don't see him winning any titles. Tyson Fury is kind of a question mark until he beats a real contender. Robert Helenius has been "Gifted" at least twice and shouldn't even be anywhere near the list. Chris Arreola is a club fighter and I think Stiverne will take him out of the picture this time. Odlanier Solis should be much higher up on the list and would have had a very good chance against Vitali Klitschko except for the injury. Ruslan Chagaev is about as exciting as a free bowl movement and inactive so shouldn't be on the list. Deontay Wilder should be #2 on the list. That's the present top 10.
Andy Ruiz should be on the list and could beat at least 5 or 6 who are on the list. Bryant Jennings should be on the list somewhere in the middle but too small to beat the top people. What is your opinion Dougie??? – Mike White
My opinion is that the division is obviously pretty weak when Pulev (rated No. 1 by both THE RING and the Transnational Boxing Rankings; No. 5 by ESPN.com), Povetkin (rated No. 2 by both RING and TBR; No. 4 by ESPN), Adamek (rated No. 2 by ESPN; No. 3 by RING and TBR) and Stiverne (No. 3 by ESPN, No. 4 by RING, No. 5 by TBR) are consensus top-five heavyweights.
That’s the bottom line. I agree with your criticisms of the seemingly perennial contenders but I don’t think you make much of a case for the up-and-comers (Wilder, Ruiz and Jennings) that you think should be ranked or rated higher on THE RING’s top 10.
I’m a Wilder fan. Everyone knows I’m fond of the punchers, but the 30-0 KO artist has yet to face a legit top 10 contender. His next fight, against Malik Scott on March 15, is the biggest step-up of his pro career. Scott is not rated by THE RING, TBR or ESPN.com. How you think he deserves to be No. 2 is beyond me.
Jennings is strong and capable but his best wins are against shopworn former WBO beltholder Sergey Lyakhovich and limited prospect Artur Szpilka. You could argue that he belongs in that No. 10 spot that Wilder currently occupies on THE RING’s rankings (TBR has him at No. 10) but not much higher than that. I like Ruiz and I think the young man has potential but stopping Joe Hanks and making Tor Hammer quit does not make one a contender.
Why do you think Solis deserves to be higher on the list? The Cuban has only fought three times since his loss to Klitschko in March of 2011 and he hasn’t faced world beaters. (And by the way, I think Vitali would have beat his flabby ass to a late stoppage if his knee hadn’t blown out in the first round.)
And why do you say it’s OK for Stiverne to be ranked No. 4 when you think Arreola is a complete piece of s__t? Arreola is the only fighter of note that Stiverne has defeated.
I'll try make this short. Much like those robotic hooks your hero Gennady Golovkin will be lobbing on his next tomato can. Don't get me wrong dude. I respect you lots and agree with you most of the time. This ain't one of those times though.
All this Golovkin drool that's been smearing your past two or three mailbags is getting ridiculous. And I really find myself needing a puke-bucket when ever some of these droolers compare GGG to legends like Julio Cesar Chavez and Marvin Hagler. That's so sickening! When you're already in your 30s and the best guys you beaten are fringes like Gabriel Rosado and Curtis Stevens then you don't even deserve to be in the same sentence with those great fighters.
S__t man, GGG shouldn't even be in the same sentence with today's finest like Adonis Stevenson, Andre Ward and Danny Garcia.
And some of you can rip guys like Mayweather and James Kirkland all you want for not moving up to fight GGG but that grinning clown is in a no big hurry himself to move north and challenge the better fighters. Once again he really has this double-standard crap working in his favor. But hey maybe it's true that the other top guys are avoiding your hero. Because he's so damn creepy looking and also looks like he's half mentally-challenged. They're just scared that some of that dumbness and ugliness will rub off on them. But don't you guys worry. Eventually GGG might be moving up and challenging the big boys like Ward and Stevenson. And when he does he's going to get his overrated ass kicked! And trust me. There's no one else out there who more deserves a mega-beatdown and the harsh reality check that goes with it. – Captain Ron
Settle down, Cap.
Golovkin hasn’t committed any crimes or seriously wronged any human beings. He doesn't deserve any sort of horrible beating. Having a creepy or goofy looking grin shouldn’t bug you out this much. Yeah, the guy has his fans (and I’m among them), but he’s earned them (along with his arcing HBO ratings) by fighting in a manner that most (though clearly not all) boxing fans can appreciate.
Ward and Stevenson may indeed possess the ability to beat him but you know as well as anyone than neither champion is all that eager to take that fight. Ward would rather face Chavez Jr. and Stevenson would rather take on oldman Hopkins. Both will admit this.
Golovkin is not avoiding super middleweights. He has agreed to face more than one world-rated 168 pounder that was approved by HBO (including Edwin Rodrgiuez) but they did not want to fight him, even though he would have been coming up in weight.
Apart from his trainer, Abel Sanchez, nobody is saying that Golovkin is on the same level as Chavez Sr. and Hagler. Fans have simply noted that his style is similar to those two hall of famers, which explains his growing popularity.
FIGHT FOR THE HUMAN RACE
Hypothetically, evil aliens invade the Earth and tell us to pit our single best boxer against theirs (weight comparable). If our boxer wins, they leave us alone. If the alien (no, not BHop) wins, we are exterminated. If you had to pick one active fighter for the survival of the human race, who would it be?
I would pick Floyd Mayweather – I think he would defend his "zero" like no other day. If he gets knocked down or needs a late KO to win, I think we would see a side of him we have never seen before – absolutely rage and fury because of his unwillingness to lose. It would be a site to behold. I would consider Manny, but no way am I risking the lives of my wife and kids on the great Asian because if the alien is an elite counter puncher, they're toast. My second choice might be GGG, but we simply do not have enough data to see how he holds versus high level competition. I don't trust the clinch master Andre Ward, unwilling to chase-greatness Rigondeaux, or untested Kovalev to save humanity.
And what fighter in his absolute prime would you pick all-time? I would take late 80's Mike Tyson. At the apex of his powers, there's nobody else I would rather ride or die with, than Iron Mike.
Predictions on welterweights fights that I really want to see in 2014?
Khan v Broner (I have Khan by SD)
Matthssye v Maidana (MD – because I just can't decide)
Thurman v Brook (Thurminator by late TKO)
Happy Black History Month. – Omar
Thanks for the Black History Month mention, Omar, and for the unique and seriously geeky boxing fantasy question (you came to the right boxing writer, my friend).
I agree with all of your welterweight predictions, and I hope we get to see those matchups play out in the ring because I think they are all toss-ups and I believe they would all deliver a lot of excitement and drama.
The active boxer I’d choose to defend the human race would be my current fave, Golovkin. (Captain Ron just barfed onto his keyboard – sorry Cap!) I’m I fairly confident that the undefeated middleweight’s brand of smart pressure and technical “power-boxing” will breakdown most alien beings (FYI, the word around the multiverse is that non-Earthlings can’t take it to the body). However, I agree that we don’t know for sure how GGG will deal with “high-level competition,” as you put it. I can see him whup on some Wookie ass, maybe even put the smashdown on the dangerous Xenomorph alien species (watch out for that acid blood!), but athletic and battle savvy extraterrestrials like the Predators might beat the Good Boy.
However, here’s the silver lining if Golovkin’s Hagleresque style doesn’t prevail …. I think his hard effort, honest sportsmanship, humility and boyish charm will win over our would-be conquerors – even if they’re some cold-ass Sith Lords – and they’ll let us live our lives with a newfound respect. (We might even see the alien leaders sitting ringside by Prince Albert II of Monaco at GGG’s next ‘stay-busy’ fight in Monte Carlo.)
I would go with Mayweather, but I can’t help but think that Floyd’s ring style, attitude and pre-fight antics will agitate the aliens so much that they won’t honor their agreement, even if Money appears to win in the eyes of most earth folks. If the aliens are of the barbaric variety, like Klingons, they won’t respect Mayweather’s defensive prowess.
If they’re of an advanced civilization, such as the Vulcans, they may be turned off by Mayweather’s “illogical” pre-fight statements and behavior. Basically, I think the “Money May” persona might be just as polarizing to interstellar beings as it to international boxing fans.
If I could choose a semi-retired boxer, I’d go with Vitali Klitschko. He’s got size, smarts, an iron chin and I know he’s a mean MoFo when he needs to be. Plus, if he wins the match handily and decides to declare himself President of Planet Earth, I think he might actually do a good job in that role.
The all-time fighter in his absolute prime that I’d pick to champion the Earth would be Muhammad Ali. Who better to be our ultimate champion than “The Greatest”? He beat the best heavyweights of the two deepest decades for the glamour division on almost every continent during his all-time great career, plus I’ve got a comic book from the 1970s where he beat up Superman – who hails from the planet Krypton – so he’s got alien-fighting experience.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer