Dougie’s Friday mailbag
What’s good Dougie,
I’m a long time reader, but first time mailer. I’m a big fan and I always look forward to your mailbags. Keep it up! The reason I’m writing is because I’m going to be at the Gennady Golovkin vs Willie Monroe Jr. fight this weekend. Where can I meet you? The last time I was there for the Marquez-Alvarado fight I couldn’t find you, but I met Timothy Bradley and GGG so it wasn’t too much of a travesty.
What do you think about the fight? I think Monroe is a capable opponent but not really in GGG’s league, but I won’t be surprised if he goes the distance due to his style. However, he would take a lot of punishment. I’m also looking forward to Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez’s debut on American television.
How about Canelo? He looked like a complete BEAST last Saturday. He’s been a superstar since before he fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. I remember going to the Mayweather-Canelo press conference in LA and could barely walk there was so much people and most of them were rooting for Canelo. I’ve been watching Canelo since he was 17 fighting on Box Azteca and I’m happy to see him succeed.
James Kirkland vs Ricardo Mayorga
Wilfredo Gomez vs “Prince” Naseem Hamed
George Foreman vs Sonny Liston
Peace Doug, I really hope this makes the mailbag. Holla at your boy at the fight and weigh-in! – Bobby from Escondido, CA
If I attend today’s weigh-in (and I think I will), you be sure to holla at me (I don’t know what you look like). If not, look for me at press row at The Forum tomorrow night.
What do I think of Golovkin-Monroe? I think it’s going to be a fight. I don’t know if Monroe is as tough as Martin Murray, but I think he’s slicker than Daniel Geale and a lot fresher than Marco Antonio Rubio. And I know he’s not showing up for the payday or to lay down once he gets clipped with a good shot. He’s coming to win. I think his hand speed, lateral movement and angles will challenge Golovkin, at least during the first half of the fight. I won’t be surprised if Monroe goes the distance either, and I won’t be shocked if GGG’s face has some marks on it by the end of the night.
Chocolatito has fought on American TV before (Spanish-language networks and on AWE – for his badass 12-round battle with Juan Estrada) but tomorrow night will be by far the biggest stage he’s fought on in the U.S., and for the first time in his career, he will be aggressively marketed beyond the hardcore fan audience.
Canelo will always look like a beast if he’s in with a beast. Maybe his second nickname should be “the Beast Master.” Is it any wonder he’s so popular? He challenges himself, and when he’s in with an opponent who tries to bring the pain – Carlos Baldomir, Josesito Lopez, Alfredo Angulo and James Kirkland – he delivers pure excitement.
Your mythical matchups:
James Kirkland vs Ricardo Mayorga – Good Lord, this matchup would literally be INSANE. The build-up to the fight would be must see TV (and it would definitely be R-rated material with Ann Wolfe and Mayorga going at it verbally before Kirkland got his crack at the Nicaraguan tough guy). So much machismo and violence on display, I don’t even care who would win it. Kirkland would have the advantage in size, speed and punch volume. Mayorga would have the edge in experience, one-shot punch power and ring generalship (a quality he was rarely credited for). I think it would come down to who had the better chin – and that was definitely Mayorga. Pre-Trinidad, you could hit Mayorga in the head with a brick and he’d just spit at you and call you “puto.” I’m gonna go with Mayorga by late TKO in a brutal, back-and-forth classic. F__k a cigarette after this fight, he’d need to light up a Philly blunt before his post-fight interview. (Larry Merchant would be so caught up in blood lust, he’d probably take a few hits off it.)
Wilfredo Gomez vs “Prince” Naseem Hamed – Gomez by decision or late TKO. Even without his vaunted power, the Puerto Rican legend had the boxing ability and technique to pull “a Barrera” on the unorthodox-but-gifted power-punching southpaw.
George Foreman vs Sonny Liston – Liston beats the prime version of Foreman by decision or mid-rounds TKO. It would all depend on what kind of fight the young George (who idolized Sonny) brought to the ring. If he went for the kill, he’d be killed in a shootout. If he respectfully tried to box the old badass, he’d get outjabbed over the distance. The 40-something version of Foreman may have had the maturity, patience and stamina to outbox Liston.
I hope you and the family are well, Champ. First time writer to the bag.
Really looking forward to watching Chocolatito this Saturday because of yourself. I see you rate him very highly and is exciting to watch. I take it you will be glad that he’s going to start getting the exposure he’s due on HBO?
Do you think this could be GGG’s toughest fight yet? I didn’t realize how big Monroe Jnr was until the final presser yesterday.
Anyways Dougie, short and sweet my man. Keep up the great work. – Dean, all the way from Glasgow, Scotland
Thanks for finally writing in, Dean.
I don’t know if Monroe will be Golovkin’s toughest fight to date. Kassim Ouma gave him hell back in June 2011, but the rugged former junior middleweight titleholder took the fight to GGG. I don’t know if Monroe plans to do that. I agree that he appears to have the size and athleticism to battle it out in the trenches, and I think he will do that in spots, when he’s not trying to control the distance with speedy one-twos and lateral movement.
I know Monroe can box and fight. I just don’t know how durable he is, but I reckon we’ll find out tomorrow.
Regarding “Chocolatito,” I’ve considered him an elite boxer for many years, at least a lower-top-10 pound-for-pound player even prior to his UD over current WBO/WBA flyweight titleholder Juan Estrada. At the present time, I think an argument can be made for the undefeated (42-0) flyweight champ being the best all-around boxer on the planet. Unlike Mayweather, Gonzalez (only 27) is in his athletic prime. He’s not only a supreme ring general, he can let his hands go – and he can crack with authority. For all the talk of Mayweather “breaking” Rocky Marciano’s celebrated 49-0 mark, it says here that Chocolatito will get to 50-0 before the age of 30.
BIG DRAMA SHOW
I remember Roy Jones Jr. talking about GGG during the May-Pac telecast and Lamps said to google Gennady Golovkin to see how amazing he is. Shouldn’t they have just shown is greatest hits or something? And how many of those people who say “boxing is now dead” know of the Good Boy who brings Big Drama Show?
I think Monroe is a notch below Rubio and two notches below Murray and Geale. I imagine GGG feeling him out the first two rounds, applying hurt in 3 and 4 and finishing him in 5.
Lastly, not sure if you saw but ESPN’s Brian Campbell said today, but he says he doesn’t see May-Pac’s PPV record falling. I hope he remembers after Ali came Leonard, after him Tyson, when Tyson started chewing instead of fighting, De La Hoya, then May and Pac, and now GGG is here to bring us Big Drama Show. I don’t care who is fighting, I would buy the PPV of GGG even if he is fighting 4 times a year. Would you?
Keep up the great work man. Thanks. – Robert from Ashton, MD
You don’t think much of Monroe, eh? I hope Golovkin has more respect for the New Yorker – who comes from a proud boxing family and had a very good amateur career – than you do. If he doesn’t, he’ll be in for a long night.
Of course the wonderful thing about GGG is that regardless of how he goes about dispatching his opponent or how long he takes to do it, he always bring the “drama” you speak of. And fans are obviously attracted to that. Many hardcore heads, especially those who reside in California, are willing to pay to see Golovkin fight. If I wasn’t a member of the boxing media, Golovkin (and Gonzalez) is the kind of fighter I would gladly pay to see fight – live or on TV.
How many of the people who say “boxing is dead” know of the Good Boy who brings Big Drama Show? Not many. Not many at all. Golovkin is known among hardcore fans worldwide. However, he has yet to crossover in the U.S. HBO and K2 are doing a great job of promoting him and his name – and GGG has made their job easy by fighting three-to-four times a year since his U.S. debut in September 2012 – but until he faces one or two legitimate stars of the sport and beats them, he’s going to remain an underground sensation.
It would have been cool if GGG Greatest Hits were shown before the MayPac Mega-dud (it would have been the only exciting portion of that PPV broadcast), but HBO wasn’t running that show and there’s no way Showtime (or Lord Haymon) would have been OK with them pushing one of their contract fighters during Floyd’s night.
I, of course, am all for the promotion of Golovkin and boxing’s new guard, so here’s GGG’s Greatest Hits on HBO (enjoy!):
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WHO CAN BEAT MAYWEATHER?
We all know that it is unlikely someone will defeat Floyd Mayweather before he retires. He is too good defensively and in many ways he is protected by officials who allow him to hold excessively and score his minimal-effective punch volume as “Holy.” The variables play to his favor at this point in time.
My question to you is who currently is the biggest threat to Floyd? Who can make him fight a fight he doesn’t want to? I’d say Gennady Golovkin is that guy, but if that fight got made in September it would probably be at 152 or 154 and GGG would be severely drained. I’d probably still slightly favor Floyd in that scenario.
Here are a few guys I think would be interesting and I’d like to know your thoughts as to how these fights would turn out and who would be the most dangerous fight for Floyd:
Lucas Matthysse at 140
Amir Khan at 147
Keith Thurman at 147
Shawn Porter at 147
Terence Crawford at 140
Gennady Golovkin at 154
Personally, I would say Crawford would be the biggest threat. He is sharp and fast and has that killer instinct. What do you think Dougie? Obviously most of these matchups are unlikely in the current boxing climate. – Vincent, New York, NY
Interesting list, Vincent. I’ll give it a crack:
Lucas Matthysse at 140 – his improved jab, power and high punch volume would allow him to compete with Mayweather but Danny Garcia showed that “the Machine” can be contained with aggressive holding (and as you noted, Mayweather’s clinching seems to almost be encouraged by Vegas referees).
Amir Khan at 147 – I think Khan might have the best shot of beating Mayweather due to his speed, sharp technique, punch volume and lateral movement. I can see him outworking Mayweather if he can manage to protect his chin for 12 rounds. I didn’t give Khan a shot when he appeared to be at the front of the line to face Mayweather at the end of 2013, but the 28-year-old British boxer seems to be in a groove after his two one-sided victories over Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander and Floyd hasn’t looked untouchable or unbeatable in his last three bouts.
Keith Thurman at 147 – I would probably go with my fellow long-haired Halfrican if he were to get a shot at Mayweather but I admit that it’s a heart pick (I like Thurman and his trainer Dan Birmingham). Still, if I was a betting man, I’d have no problem dropping a few C-notes on the Thurmanator due to his athleticism, one-punch power and somewhat unorthodox boxing/natural fighting style. But the wise money, of course, would be on Mayweather by decision.
Shawn Porter at 147 – I’m also fond of Porter and his father, Kenny, but I probably wouldn’t pick him to beat Mayweather. The Ohioan’s awkwardly aggressive style and brute strength would make things uncomfortable in the early going, but I think Kell Brook showed the world what a poised boxer with a jab-and-grab strategy can do against Porter.
Terence Crawford at 140 – There’s no way Mayweather would ever drop to 140 pounds and there’s little chance of him fighting a Top Rank-promoted fighter not named Manny Pacquiao. However, if Mayweather figured “Why not? I’ll throw Old Man Arum a bone before I retire” and if Crawford were to rise to 147 pounds, I think he would beat the versatile boxer-puncher to the punch from a distance enough to secure a competitive but clear UD. I think Mayweather would just land his quick jab, an occasional right hand, and play keep away for most of the fight.
Gennady Golovkin at 154 – I know GGG says he would come down to 154 pounds to fight Mayweather, but I honestly don’t see how he would do it without killing himself. He’s never weighed under 158 pounds as pro. Still, even if he drained himself to come down to a junior middleweight catchweight, I think he would pull a “Castillo” on Mayweather. He wouldn’t have the power to whack Floyd out of there as he would at 160 pounds, but he would cut the ring off with more efficiency than any of Mayweather’s previous opponents and he would land accurate power punches (especially to the body) with far more accuracy than Castillo, Cotto or a sloppy brute like Maidana did. I think GGG would win the fight in the minds of many observers but who knows about the official scorecards? You and I both know the fight would take place in Mayweather’s hometown of Las Vegas at his home arena the MGM Grand, so I can see him winning an unpopular decision with the assistance of house referee Kenny Bayless and the help of house judges Burt Clements and Dave Moretti (maybe Anek Hongtongkam or Glen Hamada would be flown in by The Money Team to be the third house judge for this special event).
Quick question –
Do you know where the network bias comes from with the lower weight classes? It seems like action, skilled boxing is just as entertaining at 112 as it is at 147. It’s not obvious to me why from a business perspective the lower weight classes would present less opportunity for the networks. Enjoy the fights Saturday! – Dan, NYC
A lot of folks just can’t take a world-class athlete who weighs under 122 pounds seriously (unless he’s a jockey). Boxing fans who think like this don’t know what they’re missing because the little guys almost always deliver.
However, part of the reason U.S. networks seldom showcase flyweights is that most world-class 112 pounders reside outside of America and most of the Asian standouts in recent decades tended to stay in Asia (Japan, Korea, Thailand and the Philippines). U.S. networks were interested in Michael Carbajal, who fought at 108 pounds, but he was a special case. He was a Mexican-American U.S. Olympian (1988 silver medalist) who was promoted by a great boxing mind (Bob Arum) and he had a fan-friendly style, as well as chief rival (Chiquita Gonzalez, who was a California ticket seller, as well a terrific champ with an exciting style).
Mark Johnson, America’s last great flyweight champ, got a little bit of love from the networks but he wasn’t featured on Showtime or HBO until he was a bit past his prime and had slowed down (either from age, fighting at heavier weights, or from partying a little too much). “Too Sharp” at his athletic peak – from 1993 through ’98 – was marvel to behold, but sadly most of those flyweight bouts were only televised regionally in Southern California (on KCAL) or on the now-defunct Prime cable network.
Johnny Tapia, who fought at 115 pounds during his prime, was featured on network TV and had a contract with Showtime for a while. HBO was high on Danny Romero, who briefly held a 112-pound belt, for a little while. HBO helped make the Tapia-Romero showdown, which took Tapia’s career to the next level.
Brian Viloria, who has held titles at 108 and 112 pounds, had been featured on U.S. TV on and off for much of his up-and-down career.
The good news for Chocolatito is that HBO is high on him and he has many attractive dance partners, including fellow flyweight standouts like Viloria, former foe Juan Estrada, Thai stylist Amnat Roenroeng, and former 108-pound champ Giovani Segura, as well as top 115-pounders such as unbeaten Mexican beltholder Carlos Cuadras and Japanese sensation Nayoya Inoue.
I think we’ll see a lot of Gonzalez, and some fantastic flyweight and junior bantamweight fights, over the next two-to-three years.