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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

13
Jul
Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

WHAT’S NEXT FOR KEITH THURMAN?

Hi Doug,

Ok, so Luis Collazo gave us a very nervous moment with that beautiful liver shot and in the end it wasn’t one of “One Time” Thurman’s best performances, but I still think the guy is the truth, even though I think he will have to eat a couple of s__t sandwiches from the armchair experts.

The question is: Where does he go from here?



After the fight he called out Floyd Mayweather, but I think we all know that it is highly unlikely that he will hit the “Money” jackpot. I won’t easily pick against Mayweather, but I do give Thurman a good chance against him. Then there is Kell Brook, who should be an even-money fight, although I do lean slightly towards Thurman, who I think is the more seasoned fighter. How do you think those fights could play out?

As for the rest of the welterweight division, I will pick Keith Thurman over all of them.

At this stage it looks like the Al Haymon controlled fighters who form the PBC “league” aren’t going to be risked against fighters of other promotions. So there goes Amir Khan, Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley. I guess that leaves us with Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia or perhaps even Adrien Broner if Big Daddy Al is getting tired of the erratic “Problem.”

Pity. Or am I mistaken? Should those fights happen, how do see them going down?

Regards. – Droeks Malan, South Africa

Khan is a Haymon-advised fighter and is thus of the PBC League. I think Thurman-Khan is one of the better and more significant matchups that can be made in the PBC.

However, it appears that you’re right about Haymon’s apprehension to match his top fighters against those of independent promoters (although he’s done so a few times against Eddie Hearn’s lads in pursuit of vacant titles or in mandatory challenger situations this year). So, for the time being, I guess we can forget about seeing Thurman face the likes of Brook, Bradley and Marquez. Too bad, because I think Thurman-Brook and Thurman-Bradley are excellent welterweight matchups.

We can also forget about Thurman getting a crack at Mayweather. The Money Team clearly does not care much for One Time. (Maybe he reads too much for their liking.)

I would favor both Mayweather and Brook over Thurman at the present time. They are simply more complete boxers than he is at this stage of his development.

However, like you, I would favor Thurman over most of the top fighters in the 147-pound division, including Khan, Bradley, Porter and Marquez.

I agree with your take on the Collazo fight. It wasn’t one of his better performances but I don’t think he was “exposed” or anything like that. I knew going in – as most boxing fans who have been watching the sport for more than a few years probably knew – that it’s very hard to look good against Collazo.

I didn’t like this matchup for Thurman. If he wasn’t a PBC Player and had a real manager, maybe that manager would have told Al that he didn’t like the Collazo matchup for his fighter. (Regardless, he is indeed going to have to eat some dookie sandwiches from the Armchair Eddie Futches of the Twitterverse; and I’m talking foot-long turd submarines.)

Anyway, where does Thurman go from here? Hopefully, straight to the most significant match that can be made in his organization, which would be a showdown with either Khan or Porter (or maybe Danny Garcia if the former junior welterweight champ shines vs. Malignaggi – which is not a given).

 

HERRERA FINALLY WINS A CLOSE ONE

Hey Doug,

I kind of expected this kind of scrap between Hank Lundy and Mauricio Herrera, I just didn’t expect it to end so soon. I’m glad Herrera finally got the win, he seemed to be heading to another heartbreaking loss based on something out of his control. During the first couple of rounds, seeing that Lundy was landing and overwhelming Mauricio, I thought the best choice his corner could make was call it quits and make it a no-contest. In the 4th round he turned it around and finally began to outbox his sluggish opponent.

I gave Herrera the first and fourth rounds and thought he was on his way to winning the fifth. So if we take that into account, it was a fair win. It does feel incomplete though and would like to see a rematch to see a real winner. My guess is that Herrera’s team will take the win and move on. Their styles just produce too many headbutts and fouls (both were doing all kind of stuff in there). I like Herrera and think that he’s one of the best at 140.

As for Keith Thurman, yes, he was unimpressive by getting hurt and outhustled by Collazo for a couple of rounds, but we must understand that this is boxing, it happens to the best of them. A lot of fighters have had fights where they get hurt by the most unlikely opponent. Holyfield vs Cooper, Mayweather vs Corley, Canelo vs Jose Cotto, And many others. Thurman managed to stay composed and show another facet of his game. I liked his body shots early and I knew they would take its toll. Collazo seemed to slow down and probably didn’t have enough in the tank to continue. Thurman vs Khan would be a good fight to determine who will face Floyd next year (I don’t see him retiring).

Finally, what a shot by Willie Nelson, man, that’s why we love boxing! Good to see at least one upset!

Oh and by the way, I didn’t write last week to give you my opinion on all this GGG vs Ward catchweight stuff; I’m a huge Gennady Golovkin fan and was very disappointed to read Tom Loeffler put those conditions. I hate the way boxing is being handled by the so called “A Sides” (I also hate that term) and don’t understand why they want to gain all the advantages on the negotiating table instead of just beating their opponents in the ring. I really thought Team GGG weren’t going to play that game…

Thanks Doug. See ya! – Juan Valverde, San Diego

When it comes to Andre Ward, I think Team GGG is all about playing that game. These fighters and their respective reps and camps do not like each other. They’ve made that abundantly clear in recent interviews.

So, to me – and this is just my opinion, I haven’t spoken to Loeffler or anyone else from GGG’s team about this silliness – the 164-pound catchweight offer was just a stab at Ward. They were giving him s__t in a very public way. They know Ward has a big ego and views himself as the “A-side” (I also hate this term) in a potential matchup with GGG. The catchweight offer was their way of saying, “No, Dre you are not the star in this matchup. GGG is. He will dictate the terms to you.” I just saw it as a big “F__k you” to Team Ward in response to some of Ward’s recent pissy interviews about GGG and Loeffler.

I got a kick out of the reaction within the Twitterverse. Why anyone would take what Loeffler said seriously given that Ward just came back from a near-two-year hiatus and fought an unranked fighter at light heavyweight is beyond my understanding. When Ward deems himself ready to face a legit ranked contender at super middleweight THEN I think we can take talk of a Ward-GGG showdown seriously.

Regardless, the GGG hate has definitely turned up a notch. Maybe you’re among the haters now. LOL. That’s all good. His fan base is big enough to take ya’ll on, and for the time being, it’s still growing.

Kudos to Nelson for the upset TKO of Tony Harrison. I wasn’t sure how talented Harrison was going into that matchup but I thought he would beat Nelson, who always appears like he’s wound-up too tight to me (and can be chinny on top of that). I guess not-so-slick Willie isn’t as chinny as Harrison, who seemed to fall into the Adrien Broner trap of believing he’s a star without having earned it. I liked how Harrison handled the post-fight interview, though. Maybe this setback will make him work harder, focus more and improve. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, I’d love to see Nelson get one of the 154-pound standouts of the PBC. Personally, I don’t think he’s really earned a shot at WBA titleholder Erislandy Lara, but I think the winner of a Nelson vs. Julian Williams/Charlo brother fight would be worthy.

Good point about Thurman’s rocky moment against Collazo in Round 5. That sort of things happens to the best of the best of the sport. Good examples, too. I remember the wobbly moments that the odds faves suffered in Holyfield-Cooper, Mayweather-Corley and Canelo-Jose Cotto like it was yesterday. It happens, and good fighters learn from the experience and become better fighters.

I’m glad you brought up Mayweather-Corley. Floyd, who a lot yahoos consider one of the all-time greats, suffered TWO wobbly moments against Chop Chop (who was coming off his WBO 140-pound title loss to Zab Judah). Mayweather was 27 or 28 years old at the time and was in his 32nd pro bout. If so-called TBE is can suffer a wobbly moment/learning experience at that stage of his hall-of-fame career, why can’t we allow Thurman, who is only 26 and was in his 26th pro bout vs. Collazo, to go through the exact same thing?

I expected a good, rough, evenly matched fight between Herrera and Lundy, so I was a bit disappointed by the headbutts and excessive holding/grappling (though I should have seen that coming). I scored the first two rounds for Lundy, and Rounds 3, 4 and the incomplete Round 5 for Herrera from ringside. However, watching the fight on TV at home, I scored Round 1 for Herrera and thought Round 3 could have gone either way. Regardless, it was close but Herrera was getting more done on the outside and the inside (before the action was interrupted by more butts and clinching).

I don’t know what the deal is with Lundy. He looks good in spots but his form always falls off rather quickly (before the middle rounds of most of this fights) and he often stops punching when he seems to have the advantage. Lundy did that a number of times vs. Herrera, which made me think that Herrera was either making him doubt himself by making him miss a lot or that Lundy simply lacked the confidence to go all in and try to hurt the rugged-but-crafty Southern Californian.

I agree that Herrera is one of the top 140-pounders. The guy can box and he can fight, but his lack of KO power and his tender skin is always going to hamper his success. It’s going to take a long while for those cuts to heal properly. Maybe he can get a shot at the winner of the proposed Lucas Matthysse-Viktor Postol fight for the vacant WBC title sometime next year.

IS THURMAN’S CAREER STALLING?

Hey Mr. Dougie – I hope all is well with you mate.

I just have one question for you this week: Has Keith Thurman put too much faith in his current “Manager” at a fairly crucial point in his career? Ok yep he took care of business against Guerrero and an aging Collazo however he hasn’t looked “great” doing it. Isn’t the job of a Manager to match his fighter, particularly an up and coming star like Thurman, with worthy opponents who he should not only beat but look good against? Not weaker fighters, but guys whose styles will compliment their style? Your thoughts, as always, would be welcomed mate. Cheers – Craig Brewer, Singapore

Good question Craig. I sort of addressed this in last week’s Friday mailbag (the email titled #FREEBOXING4SAPS – and that was the reader’s title, not mine). A boxing fan named Sean McDonough, who obviously doesn’t like the PBC, basically asked why undefeated young potential stars like Thurman and Danny Garcia were being matched against former beltholders like Collazo and Malignaggi who can make them look bad, instead of against each other. Rather than rehash what I said, just click here and scroll down to my answer from Friday.

To answer your question about managers, yes, their job is to put their fighters in bouts that they will win, look impressive doing so, and set up bigger and more significant matchups.

With the PBC, as you are aware of, everyone’s pretty much got the same manager, and when he says fight, you fight. You’re well compensated for your services, which is good (and it’s why you don’t hear any PBCers complaining – yet), but you’re not always placed in the kind of matchup that will make you look good to fans or raise your stature in the sport.

Thurman’s bouts against Guerrero and Collazo haven’t really done that. However, allow me to play Devil’s Advocate and opine that facing rugged grinders like Guerrero who refuse to be knocked out and well-schooled vets like Collazo are part of the educational process that forces a young gun like Thurman to experience some adversity and grow from the experience.

Has Thurman put too much faith in Haymon? It’s too early to tell. I think his profile has raised this year as he’s gained some valuable experience. That’s obviously good. However, his reputation among hardcore fans has definitely stagnated. He still has a lot of believers (and you can count me among them), but he’s got more detractors now than he had last year or in 2013. That’s not good.

 

IS THURMAN READY FOR TOP WELTERS?

Hey Doug,

Interesting weekend. I was a little surprised with Thurman-Collazo. I give Collazo credit for his determination, but we all knew exactly what he would bring to the ring. He would press and pursue in fairly predictable patterns. I’m a little surprised that Thurman appeared underprepared for this obvious strategy. He spent more time running than I would have liked to see and frankly, one of my biggest complaints about Thurman is that he doesn’t jab enough or throw in combination. This is exactly why Thurman had trouble keeping Collazo off of him.

No disrespect to Thurman, but at the elite level he will not generally stop guys because he throws punches “one time” before moving. On another note, is it me or did he look unhealthy? The last few fight’s he’s had these dark circles under his eyes that sort of look like coke circles. I’m not saying that’s what it is, but something just doesn’t seem right with him lately. I like Thurman a lot. I would love to see him make improvements to his game plans and start punching in bunches. Anyway, Dougie what were your key takeaways from the fight? Do you think Thurman is ready for the likes of Porter, Maidana, Pacquiao, or Floyd?

Hope all is well, man. – Vincent, New York, NY

I don’t think Thurman is ready to beat Mayweather but I believe he’s more deserving of a shot at “Money” than Andre Berto or Karim Mayfield (duh). I think he is ready for the likes of Porter, Maidana and Pacquiao – and if those fights were made, I would favor him.

I agree that he’s settled into a hit-and-run style of power-boxing in recent fights (Bundu, Guerrero and Collazo), which hasn’t endeared him to fans who want to see more aggression from the sport’s ballyhooed punchers. I’ve been trying come up with a name for Thurman’s recent form and style and I think “drive-by shooter” might be the most appropriate term for him right now.

I wanted to see more combination punching and body shots from Thurman against Collazo. Teddy Atlas said Thurman’s left was hurt, so perhaps that was a factor on Saturday. We’ll see if Thurman gets back to multi-punch approach and body attack in his next fight.

 

ONE TIME?

I watched the fight the other night and whilst I think Thurman does a lot of things well, he is also very prone to taking a shot and being wobbled (reminds me a bit of Khan in that respect). Let’s be honest though, if guys like Collazo are able to do that to him, what do you think guys who can actually punch would do? I would strongly favour Brook to beat Thurman if they met…I’d probably even pick guys like Porter, Bradley, Maidana and possibly even Khan (in a battle to see who gets hit/hurt first).

He done what every fighter does by calling out Mayweather but realistically that fight won’t happen so what do you think is next for both Thurman and for Mayweather?

Also, I noticed in your mailbag the other day that Roy Jones Jr plans to fight 3 times between August-September…any idea what that’s about? Seems a bit strange to me but more to the point, why is Roy still fighting? Does he need the money?

Hoping I make the mailbag for the 3rd time (lucky?). Cheers. – David, Glasgow, Scotland

Jones isn’t broke but he’s not going to say no to the extra income these under-the-radar fights against club fighters bring in (he’s already fought twice this year – in North Carolina and his hometown of Pensacola, Florida).

I think Jones is still fighting for two main reasons:

1. He loves doing it.

2. He wants one more shot at a major title by the end of this year or sometime next year, and he wants to be sharp and confident for his last hurrah.

Regarding what Thurman and Mayweather do next, I have no freakin’ idea. The PBC and Money Team electric slide through boxing to the beat of their own drum machine.

I like Thurman, and I’d like to say that his next bout will be a showdown with a top-level PBC Player in his prime, such as Khan or Porter, but who knows? Maybe his League forces him to fight Errol Spence Jr.? Maybe he fights another left-handed former beltholder? (Has Zab Judah signed with Haymon yet?)

I do not like Mayweather, and I do not care who he fights in September.

 

PBC BUSINESS MODEL

Hi Doug,

Many thanks for the mailbags each week, as my fellow commenter Sarah might say, ‘I’ve learned a lot of sh.t about boxing’ by reading it 🙂 Reckon I’ve been reading your work for over 5 years now, which surely gives me a God given right to make it at least once 🙂

Had a few points I was hoping to get your thoughts on now that I’ve just watched Thurman vs Collazo on PBC. I felt it was a pretty good card, the Nelson fight was good. I remember someone in the comments section mentioning that the PBC model could theoretically harm a fighter’s career and legacy because it doesn’t allow the fighter to fight the best. I got to thinking about that and I was wondering what you thought because I mean Thurman just fought someone with 6 losses on his record (and struggled with him – I felt Collazo could and should have continued) and obviously Danny Garcia is going to fight Malinaggi who is practically retired. And I know it has been a complaint of a lot of other fans as well. Do you think that is actually the case? And if so, can that kind of model as a business actually sustain itself long term? What do think the future of PBC is?

Also, quickly, what did you think of Collazo’s retirement? Bit disappointing, don’t you think? Cheers mate. – Alastair B.

To be honest, I wasn’t shocked or even surprised by the way the Thurman-Collazo fight ended. It seemed to me that Collazo viewed the end of Round 5 as sort of the moral victory (by the way he sort of celebrated and made that weird face to Thurman, who tapped his glove at the bell).

I know a lot of boxing pundits are pooh-poohing Thurman’s style and questioning his once-vaunted power, but his punching prowess is good enough to make proud-but-somewhat-faded veterans stay on their stools. He did it to Julio Diaz. He did it to Collazo. If Haymon, in his infinite wisdom, puts Thurman in with DeMarcus Corley next my guess is that Chop Chop will stay on his stool sometime before the final bell.

Let’s face it, Collazo’s prime was almost 10 years ago, and even great fighters – such as Julio Cesar Chavez – reach a point in their careers when they don’t want to fight through gruesome cuts around their eyes and the partial blindness that accompanies such injuries.

Regarding the PBC business model theoretically harming a fighter’s career, I think it’s too early to tell but there’s some evidence of this that is currently unfolding. There’s a stark contrast to the buzz that Thurman and Garcia had at the end of 2013 (when they were still with Golden Boy Promotions, facing non-Haymon GBP fighters and fighters from other promoters, and being showcased on Showtime) and their current status among hardcore fans.

The boxing world was very high on Thurman after he beat back the stern challenge of then-unbeaten Diego Chaves and took out streaking and still-dangerous gatekeeper Jesus Soto Karass. And even fans who hated Garcia had to give him his due props and recognize him as THE junior welterweight champ after he turned back a spirited challenge from Zab Judah and neutralized the favored Lucas Matthysse. But it seems like both young guns have lost all of their steam after the uneventful 2014 that all of Haymon’s clients who fought under the GBP banner and on Showtime had (as he got his ducks in order for the PBC revolution) and the often random matchmaking of 2015.

Same thing can be said about Leo Santa Cruz and Abner Mares. Perhaps they can rekindle some of the excitement and respect they had two years ago when they fight each other late next month.

However, I think the PBC has been very good to other fighters, mainly established veterans who are probably past their primes but still have some name recognition among hardcore fans and even some casual observers – well-spoken and media savvy guys like Malignaggi, Antonio Tarver, Sergio Mora, Steve Cunningham and Eddie Chambers. I don’t know what kind of market value these vets had among the independent promoters or if HBO was even interested in televising their bouts. However, with the PBC they are being matched with each other (Tarver-Cunningham) or against budding/potential young stars (like Garcia and Daniel Jacobs), they are being paid very well and their fights are showcased on NBC, CBS, Spike or ESPN (often in prime time).

And then we’ve got the prospects or soon-to-be contenders, like Spence Jr. and the other U.S. 2012 Olympians that Haymon signed after the London Games. I don’t know if Haymon and the matchmakers that work for his subordinate promotional companies can develop a prospect to a bona-fide contender. I guess we’ll find out during the next 18-24 months.

You ask me – as many others have – if this “kind of model as a business actually sustain itself long term?”

My honest answer is that I have no idea, and that goes for “the future” of the PBC.

We’re just going to have to let this thing play out, folks. You can enjoy what you can of it, you can ignore it, or you can bitch about it 24/7. The choice is yours.

 

GOLDEN BOY DISCLAIMER

Hello Dougie,

Hope this makes the cut but I’m not holding my breath on that. It’s great to read about boxing (it’s my drug of choice) but why is their not a disclaimer about Oscar Golden Boy owning Ring Magazine. I think the readers need to know that the articles, ranking, your opinions and overall feel of The Ring Magazine have the perception of being pro Golden Boy.

I’m sure you and the rest of the staff feel you are being fair minded towards none Golden Boy fighters but I think differently.

Like I said in the past. I’m not a big fan but I do read everyone of your mail bags. I do notice that you mostly only print the comments of the guys that kiss up to you first. Be safe and keep doing your thing. – Dalton

I will do that, Dalton.

I “mostly only” print the emails from friendly complimentary readers because that’s mostly only what I find in my [email protected] inbox. I used to get a fair amount of hate email but I guess I broke the spirits of those weak-willed suckers because I don’t hear from them anymore. (Hey, it’s not my fault that I’ve continued to “be safe” and “do my thing” while they crawled under rocks out of respect and fear for my mighty keyboard!)

Honestly, I like getting hate every now and then. I have fun with it. Feel free to hate on me, Oscar De La Hoya, The Immortal B-Hop, Golden Boy Promotions, GGG, Tom Loeffler, Chocolatito, whoever you think I like and align myself with. Bring it. I’ll debate anyone on the planet into the dirt when it comes to the subject of boxing and I’ll happily bitch slap the disrespectful fools. (Seriously, you should know this by now.)

As for the Golden Boy disclaimer, really dude? What boxing fan doesn’t know that THE RING is owned by Golden Boy Promotions? That wasn’t a secret acquisition, and it’s not a subject that anyone at GBP or THE RING tiptoes around. (And please don’t give me this bulls__t about the mag having a Golden Boy bias when you know damn well you don’t even read it and have no plans to start.)

Look, if someone asks me a question that pertains to Golden Boy Promotions or THE RING that I think calls my objectivity into question – such as my thoughts on the lawsuit between GBP and Haymon/PBC – I will state upfront that I work for RingTV.com/The RING, which is owned by GBP.

When I do the “10 Count” show for UCNlive.com if we address a subject tied to a Golden Boy Promotions event or broadcast, or any sort of news or controversy connected to the company, I look directly into the camera and state that that I work for RingTV.com/The RING, which is owned by GBP.

I’ll try to continue to remind anyone who may not be aware of THE RING’s ownership as often as possible. If that ain’t enough for you or anyone else, well, that’s too damn bad.

 

 

You can email Dougie “The Golden Mulatto” Fischer at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter @GoldenBro and on Instagram @DougieDeLaHoya

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