Saturday, September 23, 2023  |



Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Fighters Network

[springboard type=”video” id=”1540567″ player=”ring003″ width=”648″ height=”511″ ]


Hey Dougie,

What’s your take on Shabranskyy now that he got smacked by Paul Parker? Does his stock drop, or rise because of the comeback KO? Is he (or Parker) a future player or is it still too early to tell?

I think Tim Bradley deserves to be on the p4p list. Thoughts?

Peace. – Abs, Cape Town

Shabranskyy’s stock drops a little with fans because he got clocked, rocked and dropped (twice) by a complete unknown (and a late-starter to the game as well). So in the eyes of most boxing fans that frequent the “all-knowing” Twitterverse, the Ukrainian boxer-puncher went from being a prospect to a “suspect.”

And you know what? That’s fair. He wasn’t able to defend against Parker’s overhand rights and he didn’t take those shots very did he? So from now on, people will question Slava’s defense and his chin.

However, they can’t question his resolve or his conditioning, because you don’t get up from knockdowns like that and put it on your tormentor the way he did in Rounds 2 and 3 without having a lot of heart or being in tremendous shape.

So among boxing insiders, I think Shabranskyy proved that he possesses certain intangibles – things you really can’t learn in the gym – that will serve him well going forward.

Let me put it this way, I don’t think it will get any easier for Golden Boy Promotions’ matchmakers to find Shabranskyy quality opponents.

I think it’s too early to tell if Shabransky or Parker will be future players in the 175-pound division, but I think the Ukrainian is closer to being a fringe contender than the Toledo, Ohio native. Shabranskyy has a late stoppage victory over a tough-as-nails cruiserweight/heavyweight gatekeeper (Garrett Wilson) and he stopped two undefeated opponents in a row (Fabiano Pena and Parker).

Both guys are dangerous, though.

I think Bradley is arguably worthy of a lower top-10 ranking on anyone’s pound-for-pound list. He isn’t currently rated in THE RING’s “mythical rankings,” but hey, that could change with his next bout depending on who he fights.



I’ve been reading these lawsuits, I’m a business school graduate (you know, one of the guys you hate and think are bad for boxing lol). They make a point in their argument (they are lawyers, you would expect that).

BUT, here is the most _____ up part about it. When Hey Man was feeding all of his business to Golden Boy and Golden Boy had the exclusive HBO deal and then the exclusive Showtime deal, they NEVER SAID A WORD while all the other promoters complained.

Now that Hey Man has taken his ball and run with it, GBP is crying foul, but all those years when those very same “illegal practices” benefited them, they never said a word. We all know GBP was a “sham promoter” remember, when Oscar woke up, he found out he didn’t “promote” any of his fighters. Didn’t the Golden Boy famously talk about creating THIS VERY SAME LEAGUE years ago when he and Hey Man were buddy, buddy and Arum went ballistic back them?

All of the media for YEARS complained about boxing needed to be on “FREE TV” nobody thought it could be done, now that Hey Man has done it, everyone is on his ass.

The media wants to laugh at “Hedge Funds” these I guess would be broke people, because I see nothing wrong with a businessman with a vision creating something. Now, I HATE the Watson twins and want to smash my own TV every time they smile in the background, so I am not on his ____ but all of this is crazy. Why can’t these other guys get their money up and do something big? Because they love the sport? Get the ___ out of here, because Hey Man did it, not them and they are upset. I guarantee you if Hey Man continued to use them as “sham promoters” they wouldn’t be saying ____. – Jason C. Brown

I can’t really comment too much on Golden Boy Promotions’ and Top Rank’s lawsuit against Al Haymon because I haven’t read the legal documents (and I can’t say that I plan to) and I work for THE RING magazine/ website, which is owned by GBP, so I’m not exactly an impartial observer in all this.

However, I will point out a few differences in Haymon’s previous situation with GBP/HBO and the way it is now with the PBC.

First, GBP never had an exclusive deal with HBO. The subscription cable network worked with other promoters, including Top Rank, Main Events, Goossen Promotions, DiBella Entertainment and other companies. Even when GBP went to Showtime, it wasn’t 100% exclusive. Showtime still reserved some dates for other promoters (but not many).

Second, Haymon had many of his clients fighting under the GBP banner but not all of them. Some of his notable fighters, such as Paul Williams and Chris Arreola, fought for Goossen Promotions. Andre Berto was with DiBella for a long time. The late Vernon Forrest was never a GBP fighter.

The difference between the PBC and GBP is that with the PBC, Haymon acts as both manager and promoter. His fighters fight who he wants them to fight, when he wants them to fight, on the network he chooses, at the weight that benefits his “A-side” and so on. There’s no input from the promoters he’s working with. With GBP, Haymon had to act as a manager. He was an extremely influential manager (who received extra help from his homie Richard Schaefer) but he had to compete with the other managers that GBP worked with (such as Frank Espinoza, Cameron Dunkin and Joel De La Hoya) for spots on big shows and televised cards. GBP’s matchmakers would try to develop his fighters the way they saw fit and he was able to act as a manager and say “no” to some matchups (actually, he said no A LOT) and “yes” to others. Haymon represented his clients to the promoter (GBP) and GBP tried to develop his talent while putting together the best possible matchups/shows for HBO, Showtime and other networks. That’s the way the business of professional boxing is supposed to work in the U.S.

I wouldn’t call GBP a “sham promoter” in regard to the Haymon fighters. They developed many of the top fighters in Haymon’s stable – including Deontay Wilder, Keith Thurman, Abner Mares, Danny Garcia, Gary Russell Jr. and Adrien Broner – from scratch. They did their job as best they could, despite Haymon’s constant push to have his fighters in against soft opposition. Their mistake was trusting Haymon and Schaefer (who purposely failed to resign talent when their promotional contracts expired and also guided fighters who had other managers – such as Mares – to Haymon when their managerial contracts expired). I would call Al and Ricahrd “shame promoters.” (But like I said, I’m not exactly unbiased in all of this.)

Did Oscar once say something about making GBP into a UFC-type organization that signed all the talent? Yes, he did. De La Hoya said a lot of whacky s__t. He had a drug problem, ya know. He would probably be the first person to admit that he was wrong, too (that’s the beauty of recovery and those 12-step programs – you get to be honest and humble – Richard and Al should look into those concepts).

Did GBP try to take over certain venues, such as the MGM Grand? Yes, they did (probably at the behest of Schaefer). However, that tug-of-war was mainly with Arum, and they didn’t try to hoard every damn arena and venue from every other promotional company. Haymon’s been squatting on venues and pushing other promoters out of their network deals. If he – or his supporters among his clientele and the Twitterverse – think the rest of the industry (rival promoters, managers, commissions, sanctioning organizations and networks that can’t be bought) are going to just roll over on their stomachs and spread their collective ass cheeks for himÔǪ well, he’s f___ing delusional.

It’s also silly to expect all of the boxing media to “play nice” with Haymon. His organization set the tone with their very first press conferences (the PBC on NBC announcement in NYC and the PBC on Spike announcement in Santa Monica). They invited a very small, select group of media to each event and basically told everyone else to get bent. Some members of the media shrug that s__t off, others say “Oh OK, you’re saying f__k me? Well, I’m saying f__k YOU, buddy!”

If you’re organizing a hostile takeover of an adversarial renegade sport like boxing, you gotta expect some hostility. That’s just the way it is.

By the way, where was all this #FreeBoxing4All stuff when Main Events was putting shows on NBC?

Oh, and one more thing I must state for the record, I love Sam Watson and his sons.


Hey Dougie,

I was wondering what your thoughts are on Bradley’s comments post-fight about facing Gennady Golovkin. I know there’s a long standing tradition in boxing of brave, elite welterweights stepping up to face the middleweight kingpin, but in Bradley’s case, I think it’s a really bad idea. It’s easy to forget how small Bradley is given that he’s so muscle bound; the guy’s 5’6, and though he’s got sting in his punches, I don’t think they’d be enough to keep Golovkin at all honest.

I’ve really come to respect Bradley for the fact that every time he gets in the ring, he really digs deep and gives it more than we’re accustomed to seeing from most top level fighters these days. I’d love to see Bradley in with a guy like Lucas Matthysse or Keith Thurman; middleweight’s just too big for a guy who should be a lightweight. (Tim’s no Roberto Duran, though his balls might be on par.)

Curtis-Steevens-downAlso, what are your thoughts on Triple G and Ward’s recent war of words? The last time I remember Golovkin getting mad was before the Curtis Stevens fight and boy did he bring the thunder. Who can forget Curtis’s face after his first taste of Triple G’s power?

Ward’s a proud fighter, I think he’ll eventually be forced to take the fight as public pressure builds and he runs out of plausible excuses. I still favour Golovkin. I was not at all impressed with how Ward tortured Paul Smith with his jab for way, way too long. Ward’s got a mean streak in him. I hope we get to see Triple G teach him some humility soon.

Some mythical middleweight matchups:

James Toney vs Bobo Olson

Roberto Duran vs Rocky Graziano

Tommy Hearns vs Marcel Cerdan

Stanley Ketchel vs Carlos Monzon

Sugar Ray Robinson vs Michael Spinks for his Light Heavyweight titles, (nice cloudy day)

– Jack E.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Jack. I agree (like most rational thinking fight fans) that Bradley should stay away from GGG and out of the middleweight division. He’s a good welterweight but he’s not on the level of the elite 147 pounders of the past who challenged the 160-pound titleholders of their eras (Walker, Armstrong, Robinson, Gavilan, Basilio, Griffith, Rodriguez, Napoles, Hearns, Leonard, and so on right up to Trinidad and De La Hoya).

Bradley vs. the likes of Matthysse, Terence Crawford and Kell Brook makes a lot of sense to me. (So would a showdown with Thurman, but given the current politics of the game there’s no point in fantasizing about Timmy taking on any of the 147 pounders in Haymon’s PBC League.)

I don’t have any thoughts or opinions on the Ward-Golovkin “war of words.” There’s no point to it. Ward just fought for the first time in 19 months – at 172 pounds! He’s just one fight into his comeback. He’s not going to take on an active beast like GGG without at least one more tune-up fight. Maybe after Ward has his second comeback fight – hopefully sometime this year, against a ranked fighter, and at super middleweight – then I’ll give a rat’s ass what these guys have to say about each other and a potential fight.

My guess is that we’ll see David Lemieux and the Cotto-Canelo winner in the ring with GGG before we see Ward take the “Good Boy Challenge.”

Your mythical middleweight matchups:

James Toney vs Bobo Olson – Toney at his best at 160 pounds would have given Olson (a very underrated former champ in my opinion) a good fight but the middleweight version of Lights Out was too inconsistent for me to favor him over the talented and ultra-tough Hawaiian Hall of Famer. Olson by close decision.

Roberto Duran vs Rocky Graziano – Duran at his best at 160 was savvy enough to outpoint the murderous punching but somewhat one-dimensional Graziano. I’m going with Hands of Stone by decision in a very entertaining fight.

Tommy Hearns vs Marcel Cerdan – I think Cerdan (another very underrated former champ) had the style (smart pressure with a bob-and-weave peek-a-boo defense), iron chin and power to get in close and hurt the taller, rangier boxer-puncher. Cerdan by middle-rounds stoppage.

Stanley Ketchel vs Carlos Monzon – Monzon by decision. Ketchel too raw for the rugged-but-technical Argentine (who fought 100 pro bouts without every suffering a stoppage – he wasn’t even dropped until his final bout).

Sugar Ray Robinson vs Michael Spinks for his light heavyweight titles, (nice cloudy day) – Spinks by decision (The Jinx was quicker and a hell of lot savvier than Joey Maxim)



Golovkin-Canelo_trainingWho do you think GGG is rooting for in the Canelo vs. Cotto superfight? – Miguel from Chicago

I think Golovkin would rather fight Cotto for THE RING/WBC titles because the Puerto Rican veteran is a future hall of famer, but he would be happy for Canelo if the young Mexican star won because they are friends.



How you livin Dougie Smalls???

I hope your summer’s off to a great start. As always thanks again for putting the mailbag out each week!

I have a bunch of questions I was hoping to hear your thoughts on, hopefully this isn’t too much for one email.

  1. I liked what we saw from Erislandy Lara a few weeks back (staying in the pocket, seemingly giving a s__t if the fans are entertained), granted he was in with a guy who didn’t seem likely to hurt him. If this version of Lara fought Mayweather at 154, do you think there’s enough of a chance Lara outpoints him to make it worth watching the non-action, interpretive dance these two would likely put on?
  2. With GGG boiling down to 154, if nether him nor Lara hit the Mayweather sweepstakes how would you see GGG fairing with Lara?
  3. Next move for Broner — Manny Pacquiao. A few years back I would have wanted this fight around now from a competitive standpoint. But now, wouldn’t it be great to watch Manny lay the smack down on this dude as a send off to his career? It’s a shame promotional issues will make this impossible.
  4. Canelo/Cotto. It seems like a consensus is forming that this is a 50/50 match … but that Canelo is the clear favorite. Am I crazy for thinking that Cotto will outbox him? Canelo definitely has a creative, powerful attack but it seems too flat footed for me. I thought his ring generalship against Trout, Mayweather, and Lara is enough to cast serious doubt in this fight.
  5. I was curious what do the writers consider to be the premier, Spanish-language boxing publication?

Have a great 4th. – Dan, NYC

Thanks Dan. I will do that. The kids are out of town (with their grandparents) and the wife and I plan to spend the day and night in Long Beach (away from Inglewood – which literally turns into a war zone on the Fourth).

Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions. I’ll comment on each in order:

1) I tried watching Lara-Rodriguez. I really did. I couldn’t make it past Round 6. I also tried to envision Mayweather-Lara. I really did. I kept falling asleep.

2) Why would GGG “boil down” to 154 pound for Lara?

3) This is one instance where I would support boxing’s extreme tribalism. I’m tired of Broner and Pacquiao.

4) Good point, but Cotto doesn’t exactly box like Trout, Mayweather and Lara.

5) That, mi amigo, is a question for a Spanish-speaking member of the boxing media.



I am obsessed with reading your weekly mailbags.

Why Miguel Cotto is not in the top 11 pound for pound list whereas Timothy Bradley is? Who should Miguel Cotto beat to claim back in P4P list? I personally believe MC should be ranked higher than TB. – Ahmed Fahim from Afghanistan

Thanks for sharing your opinion, Ahmed. I am flattered by your obsession.

THE RING’s Pound for Pound rankings only go to 10, and Bradley isn’t rated. But I can ASSURE you that Cotto is No. 11, and Bradley is No. 12. Actually, I’m making this up. It’s really not my call. Our mythical rankings are debated by the few members of the Ratings Panel who care about pound-for-pound status and then it’s decided by Chuck Giampa. Nos. 11 and 12 could be Vasyl Lomachenko and Naoya Inoue for all I know.

I tell you what, if Cotto beats Canelo I’ll go to bat for him.




Another great night of fights took place in Carson, California. I’ve got to get out to the StubHub for one soon. Probably the next time GGG laces up.

How’d you like Oscar Valdez? Do you see him competing with Felix Verdejo if they made it at 130? I think it would be an awesome fight but I’d lean toward the Puerto Rican based on what I saw.

All the best. – WS

I thought Valdez got the job done. He didn’t awe me but I thought he showed a lot of potential. I don’t see him fighting Verdejo in the future. Verdejo is headed toward junior welterweight, while Valdez can probably make featherweight if he wanted to.

I think Valdez’s future big fights will come against fellow 2012 Olympian Joseph Diaz Jr., former Mexican amateur team rival Diego De La Hoya, Jesse Magdaleno and Julian Ramirez.



Hey Doug!

Paulie Malignaggi was recently in the news for bringing up the point that Floyd Mayweather vs. Gennady Golovkin would be an extreme ask for “Money” May. While he’s definitely not the most popular champion we’ve ever seen, Malignaggi’s point that Mayweather is asked to rise up to some catch weight to fight Golovkin would represent a “fifth or sixth” weight class, while Golovkin isn’t expected to move to 168 to face Andre Ward struck me as weirdly accurate.

Personally, I think Golovkin has honorable goals in trying to unify the 160 pound division (love his old-school attitude), and asking him to jump up a division to fight arguably the best pound-for-pound fighter is a lot, but it is still probably more reasonable than Mayweather fighting a powerful and skilled middleweight, even if it’s at 154.

What do you think of those comments? On one hand I think he has a point, but on the other, I just don’t think Golovkin vs. Mayweather makes a ton of sense for either guy, as much as I’d love to see it happen.

Hope that wasn’t too long. Your mailbags make my week. Oh and one more thing…

Mythical Matchup: Mike Tyson vs. George Foreman in their primes.

– Rai in Staten Island

Foreman punks Tyson. (Happy birthday Mike!)

I think Malignaggi has a point. Not that GGG should go to super middleweight, but that Mayweather has likely hit his weight-climbing ceiling at 154 pounds.

I think talk of a GGG-Mayweather matchup is a waste of time. Mayweather is winding down his hall-of-fame career and probably wishes to do so at welterweight. Golovkin is a natural middleweight who has some attractive matchups to take part in at 160 pounds – Lemieux, the Cotto-Canelo and Lee-Saunders winners – before venturing to the 168-pound division. GGG has no business at 154 pounds.



Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter (Do it. Now!)