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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

22
May

Froch-vs-GGG_poster

GOLOVKIN VS. FROCH

Dougie, as always wishing you all the best.

I see the Gennady Golovkin hate as already started. Checking out the various boxing websites, I see people are saying he is ducking Andre Ward by fighting Carl Froch at 168 lbs. That’s complete BS. If he gets the fight with Froch he’ll be fighting at Wimbley Stadium in front of 50,000 people for an enormous payday, as well as fighting one of the 10 top P4P fighters in the world. Hardly a duck.



He’s got plenty of time to fight Ward. For Golovkin’s first fight at 168 I give him all the credit he deserves.

Take care, Doug, and as always, keep up the good fight. – Jeff

What kind of goof-ball boxing websites are you visiting, Jeff? How can Golovkin be actively ducking Ward when:

A) Ward’s contractual/legal dispute with his former promoter had him fighting ONCE (his UD over Edwin Rodriguez in November of 2013) since Golovkin made his U.S. debut in September of 2012 and on the shelf during all of 2014.

B) Ward has yet to compete in his first bout since his layoff, scheduled for June 20, (despite signing with Roc Nation in January).

C) Ward, who will be fighting above 168 pounds for his comeback bout against Paul Smith, has repeatedly stated on record that he needs at least two tune-up bouts before he’ll be ready to face a top-10/elite opponents.

Golovkin-Ward is a fight that can – and should – happen. But now is not the time to be talking about it. Ward needs to – in his own words – “get his groove back.” He needs to shake off whatever amount of ring rust he’s accumulated during his inactivity, remind the boxing world that he’s one of the best boxers in the game, and build up public demand for a GGG showdown by putting butts in seats, attracting high TV ratings and repeatedly impressing those who watch him fight.

Froch isn’t as active as GGG, but he’s fought five times since his loss to Ward, and in that time he’s become a star in his native UK. If Golovkin is willing to travel to fight Froch (which he probably is) you’re correct in that it would be a huge show in Britain. Golovkin also has a big enough West Coast fan base to possibly make a Las Vegas fight (one of Froch’s career goals) viable.

Regardless of where they fight, Froch-Golovkin would do good business and would be a hit with hardcore fans.

You are correct in assuming that the only folks who have a problem with the Froch-Golovkin matchup or view it as the unbeaten middleweight ducking Ward are the “GGG Haters.” Everybody else will view it as both fighters challenging themselves.

 

GGG & THE COBRA

Dougie,

It’s a dream matchup. The current best fighters at 160 and 168 (let’s see how Ward looks next month). Styles make fights and this is one we hardcore fans can agree will provide big drama, shifts in momentum and fight/round of the year potential.

GGG, Froch and Sergey Kovalev are my three favorites so I am really excited about the negotiations taking place.

What percentage chance does it have of coming off, when could it take place and who ya got at this moment in time?

Feelin’ GGG by UD after knocking Froch down early. – Dan (CT)

It’s too early to be making predictions on this potential matchup, Dan. Froch’s promoter Eddie Hearn told Sky Sports that he’s “definitely talking” to Golovkin’s people but that doesn’t mean that real negotiations are taking place. Hearn also said that Froch is still seriously mulling retirement.

What percentage chance does it have of coming off? Right now I’d say there’s a 50% chance.

When could it take place? As early as early September, but I can see it happening in October or early December.

But again, we’re all getting ahead of ourselves. “Talking”/”discussions” is not necessarily “negotiating” in boxing, and negotiations don’t always lead to fights being made. I know Froch is a card-carrying badass, I know he has made some bold comments about how he would fight Golovkin, and I know Hearn says the Nottingham veteran is “interested” in the match, but if the money isn’t right for the risk he would be taking in fighting GGG I can see (and understand) him passing on this particular “farewell fight.”

 

FIVE QUESTIONS

Hi Doug,

Before I start, let me say, I have a lot of respect for you, your knowledge and the job you do covering the sport. Reading the mailbag is top of my list of things to do when I wake up Monday/Friday morningsÔǪ. one eye open, drinking my industrial strength coffee. It’s great to read what other fans opinions are during the lead up to a big fight, and the reaction following the result. And as everybody who follows boxing knows, there is ALWAYS something to talk about!

I was looking for your take on the following

  1. Have you heard anything from HBO/K2 regarding the possibility of putting Gonzalez/Golovkin together for future promotions? It seems like such a perfect fit. Both fighters are among the most exciting in the world, if not THE two most exciting fighters. With GGG currently taking boxing by storm, and Chocolatito’s performance (talk about making the most of an opportunity!), it would be the greatest one-two since George Foreman knocked out Michael Moorer (It happened!)
  2. If you were the High Priest of Boxing, and you had the power to change and improve Boxing in a positive way, where would you start?
  3. Is there any fighter out there you would like to hear commentate on a fight? I heard Tim Bradley, and was really impressed. In my opinion, Keith Thurman would own the mic!
  4. I know P4P is just something that adds to the boxing discussion, and there is no exact science, but looking at the list as it is now, in my opinion, it seems to me there is a definite changing of the guard happening. It will be interesting to see it a year from now. Is there anyone you think should be there who isn’t, or someone you think shouldn’t be on the list that is? I know he hasn’t had that many fights, but Lomachenko is such a special talent, it can’t be that long before he is on there.
  5. Finally, I can’t be alone in thinking that GGG’s interviews are as entertaining as his fights? Who would you say was the best post-fight talker? Past or present.

Mythical Matchup:

Doug Fisher vs Steve Kim – No Holds Barred

Look forward to the next mailbag, whether I make it or not!

Take care. – Jon, England

Thanks for your kind words about the mailbag column, Jon. I’ll answer your questions in order:

1. I know HBO would be happy to pair boxing’s new Dynamic Duo together for future broadcasts, and I know the good folks at K2 are open to that idea (they’re pretty much open to working with anyone in case you haven’t noticed), but ultimately it will be up to Gonzalez’s promoter, Teiken, and his manager, Carlos Javier Blandon Vidaurre. My guess is that they’re open to paring up with GGG again, but both have relationships/obligations with networks in Japan and elsewhere that could conflict with Golovkin and HBO’s schedule.

2. What do mean IF I was the High Priest of Boxing? I got news for ya homie, I AM the High Priest of Boxing! Bow the f__k down and recognize! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to insult you in any way. Sometimes my vast power goes to my head. Anyway, if I wanted to use my powers to instantly change and improve boxing I would start by replacing 90% of the lawyers/attorneys/business school grads pretending to be managers/advisors/network executives with crusty, old hardcore boxing people in the mold of Don Chargin and the late, great likes of Eddie Futch, Cuyo Hernandez, Mickey Duff and Gil Clancy. (But just for the record, I would never alter reality in any way. I believe in free will, my brotha.)

3. I’ve heard Bradley does an excellent job behind the mic, which doesn’t surprise me at all because he’s a smart, articulate, down-to-earth, likeable guy who understands boxing from many perspectives. I would also love to hear Thurman on a boxing broadcast. The Thurmanator is a genuine “deep thinker” with a knack for boxing-style analysis that is backed up with an interesting personality. I think heavyweights Deontay Wilder and Chris Arreola would be fun commentators. They know their sport, talk a good game, don’t take themselves too seriously and I get the impression that they wouldn’t be overly technical/analytical in their observations (which can be a turnoff to casual fan viewers).

4. I think one can make strong arguments for all the boxers currently rated in THE RING’s Pound for Pound Top 10 deserving to be there. However, I also believe that arguments could be made for Vasyl Lomachenko, Nayoya Inoue and Terence Crawford being ranked right now. I believe that all three will be included in most pound-for-pound rankings by the end of 2016.

5. GGG does display a certain broken-English charm in his post-fight interviews, doesn’t he? Maybe he shouldn’t become too fluent in English. My personal favorite post-fight interview talker is James “Lights Out” Toney.

[springboard type=”video” id=”1526343″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]

Your mythical matchup:

Me vs The Korean Hammer – Come on, bro, you know the High Priest of Boxing would take a dive. I like K9 too much to want to hurt him.

 

GOLOVKIN-MONROE REVIEW

Hello Doug,

I trust you are ok. Glad you enjoyed last Saturday’s fights. Pretty good and fun it was.

The TV Azteca crew had the fight dead even at the moment of the stoppage. JC Chavez Sr. thought that Golovkin got tired in the 2nd round as he was trying to get the KO however one of the boxing pundits thought that GGG let Monroe to get in to the fight in order to provide the so coveted Big Drama Show. For me it was a case of Golovkin getting hurt or at least bothered by Monroe’s body attack in the in the first minute and a half of the 3rd round. I’m a bit surprised that nobody has mention it. After this, GGG started to follow around Monroe rather than cut the ring as he was doing. Nevertheless, this makes GGG victory more impressive as it is not easy to recover and focus from a sustained body blow attack.

“Chocolatito” looked great even if he faced an over-the-hill Sosa. I’m just happy that finally he’s getting the recognition that he deserves. Now let’s get that Estrada rematch as “Gallito” is well up for it!

It has been 4 years or so since you did that famous report of the sparring between GGG and Canelo. If I remember correctly this was before Alvarez fought Ryan Rhodes. We all know that Golovkin is the favourite if they fight, but who do you think it has improve the most since those days? And would that improvement be a major factor of they fight in the next 12-15 months?

Mythical Match ups

Chocolatito vs Melchor Cob Castro, Michael Carbajal and Chiquita Gonzalez. I think Baby Cob Castro, has the better chance to defeat little chocolate. Maybe Chiquita but only if he sticks to the plan and don’t to war with him. Carbajal gets KOed.

Keep on the good work! – The Naughty Mexican

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, TNM.

If the TV Azteca crew had Golovkin-Monroe even at the time of the stoppage, I think it’s time for the producers to hire a competent Spanish-speaking former judge to score their fights for them.

Chavez Sr.’s observation may have been on point. I thought GGG looked a little winded at the end of Round 3.

I saw that Monroe landed a few good body shots, but I didn’t notice any of them hurting or “bothering” Golovkin. I’ll have to ask him about that before his next fight.

Gonzalez-Estrada II may very well be the best matchup to be made in boxing (in any division).

It’s been EXACTLY four years since I did that Gym Notes on Golovkin and Canelo sparring up in Big Bear. Time flies, eh? And both guys turned out to be fairly decent fighters, am I right?

You are correct in that Canelo was preparing for his first WBC 154-pound title defense against Rhodes. (GGG was getting ready for Kassim Ouma.)

Who do I think has improved the most since that sparring session? That would have to be Canelo. He was only 20 at the time, and obviously still learning. Golovkin was only 20-0 at the time, but he was nearly 30 and had the seasoning of more than 350 amateur bouts under his belt.

Canelo has improved his standing-defense since then, as well as his offensive technique and his power. Golovkin has improved the power in his left hand and has changed his style. At the time of that sparring session, he still had his amateur/European style, which I likened to that of Kostya Tszyu. He pawed a little bit with his jab and looked to fire his powerful straight right over whatever his opponent tried to throw his way. He was more of a methodical stalker back then. Abel Sanchez has developed Golovkin into a pressure fighter whose money punch is his left, and in doing so has improved his ring-cutting ability and body attack.

Would their improvements be a major factor if they fought in the next 12-15 months? Yeah, of course. Canelo’s bigger, stronger and more mature. That gives him a better chance of upsetting the best middleweight on the planet. However, GGG’s pressure and killer hooks will test the Mexican star’s stamina and chin in ways that none of his previous opponents have been able to.

Your mythical matchups:

I think Chocolatito beats all three at flyweight (and probably stops Chiquita). At 108 pounds, I can envision Cob Castro and Chiquita outpointing him if they box the fight of their lives.

MASTERS OF STYLE

What’s up Dougie!

Been following you for a while now and love your work. I’ll keep it short and sweet for you as I know you get smashed with emails.

I know you have your favourite fighters and where they rate against each other but my question is “what fighters were the best in their particular style”.

The reason I ask is after the May-Pac disappointment a lot of my casual boxing mates didn’t understand what I meant when I said “styles make fights” which got me thinking, in your opinion, who was the best at their particular style?

Infighter:

Out-fighter:

Slugger:

Swarmer:

Boxer/puncher:

Boxer:

Counter puncher:

(And any others I missed)

Thanks for the response in advance dougie… Keep up the good work!

Cheers. – Shabz, Sydney, Australia

In my time as a boxing writer (going back almost 20 years), the following fighters were the best at these particular styles:

Infighter: James Toney

Out-fighter: Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Slugger: Erik Morales, Israel Vazquez Arturo Gatti

Swarmer: Paul Williams

Boxer/puncher: Roy Jones Jr., Manny Pacquiao, Chocolatito Gonzalez

Boxer: Mayweather, Bernard Hopkins, Marco Antonio Barrera, Joe Calzaghe

Counter puncher: Juan Manuel Marquez, Mayweather

 

And, yes, you did miss a few styles:

Technician: Finito Lopez, Hopkins, JM Marquez

Pressure fighter: Antonio Margarito, GGG

Puncher: Tito Trinidad, Edwin Valero, Chico Corrales, Rafael Marquez

 

CHOCOLATITO HAS ARRIVED

What up Dougie?

I’m a long time reader, and first time write in. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to the mailbag. Thanks for the amazing work.

Now on to business. As I know that you are a Roman Gonzalez fan as well, how great was it to finally see him on HBO? I’ve been waiting years for this and he definitely handled his business. So the question is, is there a plan in place for HBO to offer him a contract? Surely they wouldn’t be dumb enough to let a P4P fighter slip away at a point in boxing where they are actually starting to see some competition from other networks.

Which leads into my other question…will this lead to funding to drag out all of the other big names in the division? If they could find a way to secure him Mthalane and Estrada in 2015, I’d be the happiest boxing fan on the planet. I know other people would rather see him in other fighters besides Mthalane, but I think it’s a great fight for him. What are your thoughts on that fight? Any way it goes though I’d be happy if they brought him on board at HBO and made him a mainstay on GGG cards.

Anyways, I’m way too stumped right now to even begin to try to toss some mythical matchups your way so I’ll just sign off. Thanks again for all of the great work and keep it up…boxing needs more people like you. Peace. – Corey, Taos, NM

Thanks for sharing your thoughts our man Chocolatito and the very kind words about the mailbag, Corey.

I don’t believe that HBO has offered Gonzalez a contract but the network is obviously pleased with what they witnessed on May 16 and wish to continue televising the little giant’s fights. HBO Sports executive Peter Nelson has been aware of Gonzalez for some time now, and I know that he’s wanted to showcase the three-division titleholder on HBO for at least last two years. Nelson is aware of all of the standouts in the 112- and 115-pound divisions, and he’s aware there that there are more than a few badass fights to be made involving Chocolatito. So I can guarantee you that you’ll see Gonzalez on HBO again before the year is out.

I don’t think fights with Estrada and Mthalane (who is indeed a worthy challenger) will be made this year – the rumor is that former 108-pound champ Giovani Segura could be next – but I believe those matchups are very possible for 2016.

 

THE GGG EXPRESS

What’s up Dougie,

It’s been a while, hope all is well. The GGG train is gaining steam and it’s a breath 5 fresh air for boxing. However, do you think he can beat Andre “The Oakland Raider” Ward? – Miguel, LBC

Yes, I do. But when I was asked about this matchup 18 months ago I favored Ward. Now I favor GGG due to his activity and Ward’s inactivity. Depending on how Ward looks in his next fight or two, I could easily change my mind again.

Bottom line: it’s a fascinating matchup of styles between elite boxers.

 

CANELO & GGG – EXCITING BUT FLAWED

Doug –

So much excitement surrounding these two fighters. And for good reason. But they’ll never be great.

There’s much to like about Golovkin. Huge puncher. Sturdy chin. Aggressive and fearless fighter. Seemingly nice guy outside the ring.

But no defense. Whatsoever.

Monroe, at best a B-level fighter, showed how easy it is to hit him, and said so after the fight. Fighting against B and C-level fighters, while not Golovkin’s fault, has helped Golovkin win despite this significant flaw. I think he can beat higher level competition (Quillen, Lee) but Golovkin will be exposed once he fights an elite boxer. Andre Ward, if anything like he was two years ago, would toy with Golovkin just like Mayweather did with Canelo.

My rankings:

The best of the best (in order):

-Floyd Mayweather (time is running out)

-Roman Gonzalez (likely pound for pound king once Floyd retires)

-Andre Ward (assuming he returns to form)

The elite (in no particular order):

-Crawford (may rise to the next level but hard to tell)

-Walters

-Lomachenko (may rise to the next level but hard to tell)

-Rigondeaux

-Klitschko (still think his brother was better)

-Mikey Garcia (assuming he returns to form)

The best of the rest (in no particular order):

-Golovkin

-Canelo (better boxer than Golovkin, but doesn’t punch or take a punch as well)

-Kovalev (better boxer than Golovkin or Canelo)

-Thurman (might be exposed against a top level boxer)

-Khan (never been out-boxed in any fight — elite level if not for that glass chin)

-Brook (might become elite but low level competition)

-Bradley (on the downside of his excellent career)

-Lara (strange career — but not his fault)

-Frampton

The aging/injured HOFs:

-Pacquiao (should retire due to that injury)

-Hopkins (enough already, nothing left to prove)

-Marquez (should retire due to age and noticeably slowing down)

-Cotto (stop fighting at middleweight before getting crushed; perhaps retire)

-Froch (once a fighter starts thinking about retirement, he should retire).

— Marc

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, opinions and rankings.

I have no idea if GGG or Canelo will ever be great, but I don’t know if Ward will be either. You don’t have to be a defensive genius to become a great fighter. You just have to fight the best when they are at their best and you have to win most of the time. We’ll see if any of boxing’s new guard are able to do this over the next five to six years.

I disagree with your observation/opinion that Golovkin has “no defense whatsoever.” This is a gross exaggeration on your part, and I think you need to re-watch his fight with Monroe and pay attention to the number of punches he picked off, blocked or dodged while pressing the southpaw in the first two rounds.

Yes, he was touched a little bit by Monroe’s jab and some cuffing hooks but he was able to land more of his punches (which were cleaner and harder) while avoiding most of what his opponent tossed out while on the move.

Golovkin loaded up too much in Round 3 and Monroe, to his credit, took advantage of it. Golovkin also got macho in Rounds 4 and 5, but I think he did so wanting to encourage Monroe to open up more, offensively, which would create more opportunity for him to land fight-ending punches (which is what happened).

In my opinion, Golovkin is as defensively competent/responsible as pressure fighting KO artist can be without taking away from his offense.

In other words: GGG’s bread and butter is his offense, not his defense. This means he’s going to get hit occasionally, but that’s OK as long as he’s able to tag the other guy.

 

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer

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