Dougie’s Monday mailbag
GGG & CHOCOLATITO ROCK
Hope you enjoyed Roman Gonzalez’s ass-kicking destruction of Edgar Sosa. What an eye-opener! I think Michael Buffer (believe it or not, LOL!) said it best when he said Chocolatito made a strong argument to be viewed as the P4P best fighter in the world at the moment. I enjoyed those nasty 5 minutes infinitely more than those 12 very expensive rounds a few weeks back.
Who do you think is next for this little monster? Maybe another little monster – Naoya Inoue? Or is it too soon?
Gennady Golovkin… what can I say about that freakin’ crazy sweet smiling axe-murderer apart from the fact that I love the guy! I don’t think there’s anyone at MW that can beat him. Canelo Alvarez & Miguel Cotto will definitely be “big drama shows” but I think GGG KOs them both. I think the real tests will only start when he moves to SMW where size will come into play. If he decides to stay at MW he could rule (feast on the bones of the fallen) for a very long time.
Keep up the good work! Cheers. – Stephen, Cape Town
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for giving us a new nickname for GGG.
I agree that Gennady “Freakin’ Crazy Sweet Smiling Axe-Murderer” Golovkin can rule the 160-pound division for a very long time if he chooses to remain there. I think he’ll definitely remain at middleweight through 2016 because of his goal to unify all of the major titles and the possibility of facing Canelo, Cotto or (the winner of a Cotto-Alvarez clash) sometime next year. Golovkin also might want to stick around to break Bernard Hopkins’ middleweight title defense record (20). Monroe was No. 13. He’s scheduled to fight twice more in 2015, which should bring his total defenses to 15 going into 2016. Golovkin could conceivably break the record sometime in 2017, but my guess is that long before that time the public will demand that he seek challenges at 168 pounds (even though some fans believe he was “exposed” to an extent against Monroe on Saturday).
Like most fans, I favor GGG against Canelo and Cotto, but I think the young Mexican star can give him a real fight. I’m not so sure about Cotto, because I don’t view him as a real middleweight, but if the future hall of famer decisively defeats Daniel Geale on June 6 I may reconsider his chances.
I enjoyed witnessing Chocolatito do his thing live for 5 minutes more than I did Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s last five bouts combined. Gonzalez is a master boxer-stalker-puncher-finisher, and he’s arguably the best fighter in the world, pound for pound. He’s definitely heads and shoulders above any other active fighter under the age of 30.
I think a Gonzalez-Inoue showdown will eventually happen, but as THE RING/WBC flyweight champ told the media during the post-fight press conference on Saturday, he has more than a few worthy challenges at 112 pounds to keep him busy before he starts looking at the 115-pound division (where Inoue currently resides).
I agree with Chocolatito. I want to see him attempt to become the undisputed Lord of the Flies against IBF beltholder Amnat Ruenroeng and WBO/WBA titleholder Juan Estrada, and maybe defend his belts against the veteran likes of Brian Viloria, before going up in weight to face “The Monster.” Don’t forget, Inoue is only 21. As scary talented as he is, it’s probably a good idea to allow him to mature a little bit more (while Chocolatito makes him name in the U.S. via HBO) before making that super-hardcore fans’ wet dream matchup.
UNSTOPPABLE GONZALEZ, BEATABLE GOLOVKIN
2nd time writing. Hats off to Roman for being impressive during his American debut. I’ve been hearing about him for years, but could never find time to go YouTube-hunting his fights. So if I get some off-time this week, what top five fights featuring Gonzalez should I see online?
Golovkin was a beast as always, but I don’t believe one bit in his whole “I did it for Big Drama Show” act. Monroe just happened to hold his own on the inside for a while. Now why he was able to so is a question I have for you. Did Golovkin get troubled by Monroe’s superior hand speed or did GGG reveal a weakness in his inside game?
One thing I saw in that fight was that if Canelo could touch GGG like Monroe did, I think he tames the beast and keeps him from running through him. Is it too soon to raise Canelo’s chances of beating GGG? And if so, what does Canelo have to show in his next fight to think he has a legit chance against GGG? – Justin
Canelo has to show more hand speed, better head and upper-body movement and a busier or more-consistent offense (rather than just getting off with three or four “bursts” per round as he usually does) for me to give him a legit shot at beating GGG.
Let’s be real about the Golovkin-Monroe fight, though, “El Mongoose” held his own for about a round and half, maybe two rounds. That’s it. And he took a beating doing so. I’m not trying to disrespect him or minimize his effort, because I think he’s a hell of a fighter and I believe he has a bright future, but let’s not pretend that Golovkin was seriously threatened at any point during Saturday’s fight or that the eventual outcome was ever in doubt.
Golovkin outboxed Monroe with smart/effective pressure, head movement, shot-blocking and very accurate punching in Rounds 1 and 2, and he appeared close to ending the fight midway through the second. Credit to Monroe, though, because he realized that his lateral movement and quick hands from the outside weren’t going to compete with GGG and made the bold choice to stand his ground in Round 3 (while he still had his legs and physical strength). In close quarters, he was able to land solid punches and out-land, at times, Golovkin during their exchanges.
I scored Round 3 for Monroe from ringside, and I believe Round 4 could have gone to him as well (although he only narrowly out-landed Golovkin in these rounds). By Round 5, however, GGG assumed control of the bout after stunning him with uppercuts.
Why was Golovkin “troubled” in Rounds 3 and 4? Monroe’s hand speed is part of the reason. GGG is a beast, as you say, in many categories, but his hand speed is average. He also made some tactical errors in those two rounds. He abandoned his jab and did not put punches together. From the start of Round 3, Golovkin was aggressively looking for the KO, which made him more vulnerable than he had been during the first two rounds, as Max Kellerman astutely pointed out during the broadcast.
Golovkin also got a little “macho” in Round 4, waving Monroe on after getting nailed by a few clean shots. Whether or not you or I believe that he did it on purpose to give the fans more of show, I think it was a good thing: A) because the mostly Mexican/Mexican-American crowd that filled The Forum respond to that sort of thing (and that’s the dedicated following that Team GGG and K2 Promotions is trying to build here on the West Coast), and B) it made a lot of hardcore fans – such as you – believe that potential pay-per-view rivals, such as Canelo and Cotto, have a shot at beating him, which will help sell those eventual showdowns to the general public.
I’m glad you, and other hardcore American fans finally got a good look at Chocolatito, on Saturday. I’ve been calling this young man “the Truth” for quite some time and now you see why. However, before you call Gonzalez “unstoppable” and GGG “beatable,” keep in mind that the flyweight champ was in with a 35-year-old veteran who has been in many tough fights.
If you watch some of Gonzalez’s past title bouts against opponents that are younger, bigger and more talented than Sosa (such as Juan Estrada), you’ll still see one of the baddest little men on the planet, but you won’t see an untouchable, unbeatable force. Speaking of Chocolatito’s previous fights, you asked me to list his top five bouts to watch online. Well, here’s one fight scribe’s list (you should also ask some other respected boxing writers who have followed Gonzalez’s career closely, such as Cliff Rold and David Avila):
No. 5. Yutaka Niida (August 2008 – Gonzalez stops a respected Japanese titleholder to win his first major belt, the WBA 105-pound strap),
No. 4. Francisco Rojas I (in a grueling 12 rounder, Gonzalez retains his strawweight belt with a much tougher-than-expected majority decision in Mexico in February 2009),
No. 3. Rojas II (Gonzalez crushed the stocky and always game Mexican veteran in two rounds in their rematch at 108 pounds in October 2010),
No. 2. Akira Yaegashi (in arguably his finest performance, Chocolatito wins THE RING/WBC flyweight belts with a ninth-round stoppage of the proud Japanese warrior in September 2014),
No. 1. Juan Estrada (in the most entertaining distance bout of his career, Gonzalez defends his WBA 108-pound belt with a hard-fought unanimous decision that thrilled hardcore L.A. fans at the Sports Arena in November 2012).
Honorable mention: Katsunari Takayama (outclasses a future two-time titleholder over the distance), Ramon Hirales (puts the smashdown on gangly southpaw former beltholder in his U.S. debut), Francisco Rodriguez Jr. (overpowers young future two-belt titleholder), Rocky Fuentes (crushes dangerous perennial contender)
Hi, Probably too late to be relevant but from a long time lurker, first time emailer that has just watched Roman Gonzalez the following afternoon, I feel moved to write in.
I have just seen one of the most impressive performances since I saw Carl Froch battered Lucian Bute some years ago. I haven’t had exposure to the lower weights in the UK, which I frankly haven’t cared about before now, but this has opened my eyes.
Quite simply, what is it that makes Gonzalez so good? I can see what seems to be great footwork, accuracy and relentless pressure but I am sure there is more to it than that.
What do you think the future will hold in terms of both his personal success/progress ie (Inoue) and the likelihood of him becoming seen and then acknowledged by the wider public?
(Kept it brief as you must get loads of emails basically saying the same thing when something pretty good/bad happens that moves people) Kind regards. – Tim, London
Thanks for finally writing in and for keeping it succinct, Tim.
If your reaction to Gonzalez is indicative of other boxing fans who usually ignore the sub-featherweights but were blown away watching Chocolatito for the first time on Saturday, I’d say the three-division champ’s future is bright.
At 27, he’s at his athletic peak but has the experience of 43 pro bouts (12 title bouts), he was just showcased to the U.S. and U.K. public – and he delivered in a big way, HBO appears to have his back, and (most importantly), he’s got dance partners (Estrada, Ruenroeng, Viloria, maybe Kazuto Ioka or Giovani segura, and at junior bantamweight – 115 pounds – there’s “the Monster” Inoue, Carlos Cuadras and Zolani Tete).
As for what makes Gonzalez “so good,” you are correct about his great footwork and accuracy. And his pressure is relentless (in that he’s constantly applying it), but it’s not the high-speed reckless Ruslan Provodnikov variety of pressure or the plodding Antonio Margarito style – it’s smart pressure. Gonzalez is a smart young man. He’s calculating, he knows how to cut the ring off (and block or pick off in-coming punches with his gloves while he does so) and he doesn’t waste punches. He’s not just accurate, his offense is economical (even though he lets both hands go with bad intentions whenever he’s in range). Bottom line: he can punch very hard, and he knows how to punch (with proper technique and leverage), when to punch (his timing and hand-eye coordination are elite level), and where to land those bad boys.
The power and athleticism is God-given. The technique, timing and ring generalship are all part of a foundation that was given to him in part by Nicaragua’s most celebrated boxer – the late, great Alexis Arguello, who trained Gonzalez as an amateur. When you see Chocolatito nail a poor soul with a perfect hook that was set up by a laser-accurate right hand, or a left uppercut on the inside, or a paralyzing body shot – you’re seeing the fighting spirit of Arguello alive in the body of a dedicated super talent. ‘Nuff said.
[springboard type=”video” id=”1524727″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]
DON’T BOOGIE WITH THE BOOGEYMAN
Mot├Ârhead’s “Boogeyman” would be well-fitting entrance music for Golovkin. Last night Monroe learned in a hard way that “you can’t boogie with the boogeyman” and tried to fight. Unfortunately, his chances to win were like a worm against a great white shark. It seems that many mistakes we see in GGG’s game are basically showmanship.
When he sees no danger, he starts cold-bloodedly set up a great drama ending without much defending. However, now I would bet my money on Monroe if he was more than 2-1 underdog against any top-10 middleweight other than GGG.
Cruiserweight division keeps producing evenly contested fights and surprises. Ilunga Makabu might have enough punching power to collect a belt.
One mythical matchup:
GGG vs. Stanley Ketchel (just after beating Sullivan twins)
I think GGG should show us some defence here.
Keep up the good work. – Jorma, Finland
Thanks Jorma. I’ll try.
Makabu probably scored the most significant victory of his pro career by stopping the highly respected Thabiso Mchunu in 11 rounds. He’s had a very good run since the start of 2013. I think he’s certainly deserving of a shot at one of the major beltholders (he’ll probably be elevated to the top spot in the WBC rankings after Saturday’s victory), but I wouldn’t favor him to beat any of them. Grigory Drozd (WBC), Denis Lebedev (WBA), Marco Huck (WBO) and Yoan Pablo Hernandez (IBF/RING) are all formidable titleholders in their own way. Still, if any of them has an off-night against Makabu, I can see the Congo native pulling the upset.
Regarding GGG’s performance against Monroe. I’m not sure he deliberately tried to put on a show by allowing himself to get tagged by his game challenger. I just think he got caught up in the intense energy inside The Forum that night and in the high emotion of the fight. It happens. It’s usually a good thing, but it could cost him against bigger, stronger, harder-punching opponents who have more big fight experience than Monroe.
If you watch HBO’s broadcast again, you’ll notice GGG’s trainer Abel Sanchez calming his fighter down between Rounds 3 and 4, and Rounds 4 and 5, and reminding the 2004 Olympic silver medalist to move his head, go back to using his jab and to pick up his activity (in terms of combination punching).
Team GGG is down with “Mexican Style” and giving the fans the “Big Drama Show,” but they want to do it the right way.
Your mythical matchup:
GGG vs. Stanley Ketchel – I’m going to go with the New School on this one and pick Golovkin by decision or late TKO in a brutal contest. Ketchel was a young assassin in the ring, a kid with tremendous punching power (48 KOs in 51 victories), but his wild-swinging style and immaturity (he was only 24 when he died) would have eventually played into Golovkin’s heavy methodical hands.
GONZALEZ IS FOR REAL
I have been missing out. Gonzalez was awesome. Finally seeing him fight on TV, impressive. The action so precise, man yeah he should definitely be top three pound for pound.
While GGG was impressive as usual, I did notice that he throws his left hook from a really far distance. I wish Monroe’s corner would have had him throw straight lefts down the middle more often. But in the end, Monroe just didn’t have the stamina to keep him off of him. But I like Canelo’s chances more and more, as the days go on.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed the show. Take care man. – KJ
The fact that more fans are fancying Canelo’s chances against Golovkin is good news for HBO and Team GGG/K2 Promotions. They want to make that fight and they can sell it more to the public if at least some hardcore fans believe Canelo can beat the Boogeyman of the middleweight division.
I’m kind of tickled by the over-reactionary mentality of boxing fans. Last weekend I was inundated with emails about how GGG would murder Canelo after fans witnessed James Kirkland put hands on the Mexican star a few times in the first two rounds of their shootout in Houston. But then Monroe lands a few combos in Rounds 3 and 4 against Golovkin and they’re suddenly not so sure about that. LOL.
Oh, they watch Gonzalez for the first time and believe he’s invincible.
[springboard type=”video” id=”1524725″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]
I love it. I really do. Seriously, I’m just glad boxing fans are talking about entertaining fighters who are in their primes for a change.
Hey, I love me some Chocolatito and I’m really happy that others are finally discovering him. I think he’s arguably the best boxer on the planet, pound for pound (and I won’t be surprised if he advances from No. 3 to No. 2 in THE RING’s mythical rankings), but he’s not untouchable or unbeatable (nobody is). Check out some of the fights I suggested to Justin. Gonzalez is a card-carrying badass, but he’s human.
If Geale beats Cotto, do his people accept the GGG rematch? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN
They might have to if he wants to hold on to the WBC title. Golovkin wants the green belt (along with the WBO and IBF straps).
[springboard type=”video” id=”1524939″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]
GOLOVKIN IS A MONSTER
What’s up Doug?
I hope you enjoyed the fights as much as I did. I am really impressed with how Golovkin looked last night. I mean I knew he was good, but destroying and even outboxing a skilled boxer like Willie Monroe is no the easy task. But he made look too easy (he even let that man recover a couple of times). It’s scary almost. I also won’t criticize Monroe for quitting. Golovkin could’ve gotten him out of there whenever he wanted.
Who do you think is next for GGG? I know it won’t be the big names. LOL
Unlike GGG though. Roman Gonzalez gave his opponent no chance at all to recover. It’s like he has homing missiles in those gloves. Anyway, they brought up Roman Gonzalez as the best P4P fighter in the sport. What do you think the P4P top 10 will look like in a couple of years?
GGG vs Thomas Hearns
Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Robinson
‘Chocalatito’ vs ‘Finito’ (Hope I spelled it right) LOL
Keep up the great work Doug. Your mailbag is the only thing that keeps me up during class. LOL. – Wesam, H-Town
What will the P4P top 10 will look like in a couple of years? Hopefully, Mayweather, Klitschko, Pacquiao, Bradley, Marquez and Froch will be out, and Terence Crawford, Naoya Inoue, Vasyl Lomachenko and Canelo and/or Kell Brook or Amir Khan or Keith Thurman will join Gonzalez, Golovkin, Rigondeaux and Kovalev in the mythical rankings.
Who’s next for GGG? Probably Jorge Sebastian Heiland or Tureano Johnson, the WBC’s Nos. 1 and 2 contenders (Golovkin wants to remain the mandatory challenger for the winner of Cotto-Geale and Cotto-Canelo if that bout happens).
I was also impressed with Golovkin’s performance against Monroe, who I expected to put up a fight. However, I don’t thing he “made look too easy,” nor do I think he “allowed” Monroe to “recover a couple of times.” I just think it took him five rounds to break Monroe down. (No shame in that. Monroe is tough and talented dude.)
I also won’t criticize Monroe for quitting, either, because I don’t think he “quit.” I think he had enough and he knew it. There’s a difference.
Your mythical matchups:
GGG vs Thomas Hearns – at 160 pounds, I think the Hitman drops Golovkin en route to a close and very exciting decision victory. (Yes, I’m aware that I picked GGG to beat Hearns in a previous mythical matchup but that one took place at junior middleweight with the provision that GGG would not be drained making 154 and basically have all of his “middleweight” strength and power. Hey, don’t get pissed at me, I don’t propose the mythical matchups, I just answer them. LOL)
Marvin Hagler vs Sugar Ray Robinson – Robinson by competitive but unanimous decision
‘Chocalatito’ vs ‘Finito’ – Lopez by close, maybe majority decision in a classic showdown between elite technical boxer-punchers