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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

23
Oct
Photo by Al Bello

Photo by Al Bello

GGG’S NEXT PPV

Hi Dougie,

Just finished reading your last mailbag (left it a bit late this week) and now I’m hooked on the idea of a GGG/Klitschko PPV. Do you think this is a card that could realistically be made? To me it makes perfect sense, Wlad still struggles to get the kind of recognition he probably deserves (admittedly, I wouldn’t spend PPV money just to see him) and GGG still isn’t a full-blown PPV star. The combination of the Triple G hype and Wlad’s name recognition and long-lived reputation has got to get some good numbers. Throw in Gonzalez and that’s PPV gold. But my question is, how would this play out logistically, who would get the top spot, etc.? And this point, would either want to share the spotlight?

Also, just quickly, what do you make of Joseph Parker? After watching the way David Tua’s fading career was drawn out and exploited I’m skeptical about any NZ star they try to sell. Do you think he’s for real/should I start paying attention? Where would you place him in the division right now?



Some MMs:

David Tua in his Prime v Tyson, 90s and on the decline (when the fight should have been made) – I think Tua would have hung with him too well and Mike would have lost composure/beat himself, ending with a mid to late round KO for David

Postol v Danny Garcia (now that it looks only mythical) – What Garcia is really made of? He always looks underwhelming, but keeps winning. Maybe Postol would have pushed him enough for us to find out

Thanks for the boxing insights (still owe you for the heads up on Chocolatito) and good reading. – Isaac from New Zealand

You are most welcome, Isaac. I’m just doing my job. Thanks for reading and for sharing your thoughts.

It’s funny, I’ve never thought of the possibility of a Wladimir Klitschko/Gennady Golovkin co-headlines pay-per-view show, even though both standouts are under the same promotional banner (K2) and fight on the same U.S. cable network (HBO).

But given the fact that Golovkin isn’t yet “a full-blown PPV star,” as you put it (and that’s an understatement given the 150,000 buys the showdown with David Lemieux did), it’s not a bad idea to package GGG with the heavyweight champ for his PPV show (if a big-name opponent, such as Canelo, is not available).

Who would get the “top spot” in a joint PPV show would probably depend on their opponents, but I imagine Klitschko would be in the main event if the show landed in Europe (where Wladdy has significant TV, venue and sponsor support).

Here’s a scenario that could possibly lead to a Klitschko/GGG PPV show sometime in 2016. Let’s say Tyson Fury gives Klitschko a hell of a fight next month. The two big men go at it the way heavyweights used to throw down in championship fights and Klitschko keeps his titles by the skin of his teeth. The public loves it, Fury says he deserved to win, and the media immediately starts beating the drums for a rematch.

Then, in December, Andy Lee turns back the challenge of young Billy Joe Saunders to retain his WBO middleweight title in impressive fashion. Lee calls out GGG during his post-fight interview and Twitter starts buzzing.

I think Klitschko-Fury II and Golovkin-Lee could be a mega event that is staged in the U.K. but televised live in the U.S. on HBO Pay Per View. Fury and Lee (who are cousins, by the way) would properly talk up their matchups and the event to the boxing media on both sides of the Pond, and hardcore heads everywhere would want to tune in (especially if Roman Gonzalez were on the undercard).

Regarding Parker, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I think he’s a real prospect, one worthy of any fan’s attention but especially New Zealanders. I rate him just outside of THE RING’s current Top 10, behind Luis Ortiz and Anthony Joshua.

Your mythical matchups:

Prime Tua vs. faded ’90s Tyson – Tua by late TKO. TuaMan had the rock-solid chin to survive Tyson’s early onslaught, the punching power to get Mike’s respect, and the greater size (I’m talking pounds, obviously, both guys were squat MFs) to impose himself on the Brooklyn native and gradually beat the fight out of him.

Postol vs. Garcia – Postol by split decision in an awkward, uneventful fight that most observers believed the Ukrainian won handily.

 

GGG HATE WORSE THAN I THOUGHT

Hi Doug,

First time writer here, but long time reader.

I just wanted to express my surprise at all the banter that’s been going on ever since the PPV numbers were released for GGG/Lemieux. Am I naive in saying that people are overreacting? I am a hardcore fan but haven’t been for that long so I can understand the frustration of fans who were used to seeing this type of match up on regular HBO. My question is in light of the Mayweather era, was it really all that bad to have this fight on PPV? May/Pac was 100 bucks right?

Also, assuming it was budgetary reasons that HBO decided to go PPV, which I understand it was, would these fans have preferred the fight not happen at all? It was definitely one of the better cards I’ve seen in 2015 and maybe I’m jumping the gun but the Chocolatito fight alone was a main event quality fight alone.

The other thing that’s starting to bug me is the constant comparison of Andre Ward and GGG. For goodness sakes, yes Ward has amazing skills and all that jazz but the FACT is, the dude hasn’t been relevant since the Super Six days which was like 4 bloody years ago! I’m sick of hearing the would, could and shoulds, let’s stick to the facts. GGG has been active, knocking out guys and entertaining fans and building a fan base. Granted, it hasn’t been the best opposition but I argue his opposition is getting better and better and he’s growing as an attraction. Comparing GGG and Ward to me is quite simply mental masturbation. I wish Ward nothing but the best and hope he starts to build himself up again but until that happens, I’m happy to be living in the GGG era.

One more thing, apart from Cotto/Canelo what’s the fight you’re most excited to see as 2015 closes out? I’m looking forward to Rios/Bradley.

Love the mailbag, keep up the good work. – Loon from Australia

Thanks Loon. I will. And thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I don’t get all of the GGG hate that exists in social media and comments sections, but like you, I’m happy to be witnessing the birth of the GGG era. I much prefer covering GGG-headlined shows (PPV or not) than those tedious Mayweather events of recent years. The hate for GGG is only going to grow as his stature increases in boxing and the general sports world, but if that’s the price of his fame, so be it.

It’s not hard to ignore Golovkin’s detractors. For starters, there really aren’t that many of them. They’re merely persistent because they either have no lives or they’ve got a pathological obsession with the Kazakhstan native.

If they view the GGG-Lemieux PPV doing “only” 150,000 buys as some sort of victory for Mayweather or Ward or whoever (themselves?), that’s really on them.

Am I naive in saying that people are overreacting? No, you’re not na├»ve, you’re normal.

I am a hardcore fan but haven’t been for that long so I can understand the frustration of fans who were used to seeing this type of match up on regular HBO. My question is in light of the Mayweather era, was it really all that bad to have this fight on PPV? May/Pac was 100 bucks right? It wasn’t the best case scenario to have GGG-Lemieux on PPV. This wasn’t like Mayweather facing Arturo Gatti in his first PPV headliner 10 years ago. Mayweather and was a member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic squad and he medaled in those Games (the last time NBC covered the boxing in primetime). Most (if not all) of his pro bouts were on basic cable, network TV and HBO (I believe his 10th pro bout was on Boxing After Dark). Gatti had been an HBO staple (and ratings getter) since the late ’90s. It was no surprise their PPV did a little over 350,000 buys.

Golovkin made his U.S. and HBO debut in Sept. 2012. Lemieux made his U.S. and HBO debut last December. GGG is just beginning to cross over from hardcore fandom to being known by general sports fans. Lemieux is still only known by hardcore fans outside of Quebec. So it was a gamble to ask U.S. fans to pay an extra $50 to watch these two non-Americans fight on TV.

However, if the fight was going to happen, it had be delivered on the pay-per-view platform in the U.S. Golovkin was without a dance partner for his third bout of 2015. Luckily for him, Lemieux grabbed a major title with an impressive performance against Hassan N’Dam over the summer, and the Canadian kid was crazy enough to fight GGG in his first title defense. However, Lemieux’s management was not going to let their young buck fight the monster of the division for $500,000. They wanted seven figures. For them to get what they wanted (and for GGG to get a little more) the co-promoters (K2 and Golden Boy) had to take the risk of taking the fight to PPV.

Having said all that, as I told a few loud-mouthed GGG haters on Twitter the day before yesterday, 150,000 PPV buys isn’t bad for a first PPV headliner. The promoters were able to pay the fighters what the fighters demanded and still cover their asses. They brought in $8 million in PPV revenue, around $2 million from the gate, and at least $1 million (probably more) from ancillary revenue (sponsorships, the HBO rebroadcast, international TV sales, their cut of the merchandise sales,etc .). Half the money goes to the cable systems, the other half goes to the promoter(s). So do the math. Golovkin was guaranteed $2 million; Lemieux $1.5 million. Gonzalez made $250,000; Viloria $100,000. The total card probably cost $4 million. The promoters made enough dough to cover it; plus they put on a terrific event that enhanced the fame and respect of the fighters involved and probably made few thousand new hardcore fans.

Also, assuming it was budgetary reasons that HBO decided to go PPV, which I understand it was, would these fans have preferred the fight not happen at all? Sadly, yes. I think a significant amount of the so-called fans who are s__ting on the GGG-Lemieux PPV numbers wish the fight had never taken place. They seem to get very agitated whenever Golovkin fights and whenever GGG is in the news.

A lot of these folks are confused Ward fans. They tell me GGG is a fraud and that he only fights “bums.” Then they demand that he stop “ducking” Ward, who they deem the best boxer in the game now that Mayweather has retired (which I have no problem with). When I ask them why they care to see Ward fight a guy who is “overrated” and only faces “crap opposition,” they tell me “the best should face the best.”

Huh? “So GGG is the best in the middleweight division?” I ask. No, they tell me, “he hasn’t fought anyone,” which is why “so many” fans don’t respect him.

I tell them, well, his plan is to win all of the major 160-pound belts and to become the undisputed middleweight champ – the same thing that earned Bernard Hopkins his respect in the sport as well as crossover recognition. “Why can’t GGG do what B-Hop did (and what Ward did to a lesser extent by winning the Super Six tournament)?”, I ask. The Cotto/Canelo winner could be to GGG, what De La Hoya was for Hopkins.

They say “F__k that! He needs to fight Ward now!” They say there’s no point in GGG fighting the Cotto-Canelo winner or any other middleweight titleholder because he’ll beat them easily. I tell them if they believe that, they really do view him as “the man” in the middleweight division. Again they tell me, no, he’s a fraud. Again I tell them, then why do you want to see him fight Ward (who hasn’t made 168 pounds since November 2013). “Because the best must face the best,” I’m told.

Like I said. They’re confused.

They’re GGG fans. They just don’t realize it.

Apart from Cotto-Canelo, I’m looking forward to Klitschko-Fury.

 

CANELO TOO SMALL FOR GGG?

Hi Dougie,

Was great to see I made the mailbag last week! My predictions ended up being pretty spot on! (“So Excited“) wish I put my money where my mouth was for those predictions!

I’m curious to get your take on Canelo’s recent comments saying if GGG wants to fight him he has to fight at 155 until Canelo fills out. GGG came into the bout last weekend at I believe 170 when he walked into the ring, yet Canelo weighed 172 in the ring vs Trout, 174 vs Angulo and I’m assuming probably the same or more vs Kirkland (having trouble finding that weight).

This makes me wonder why he would make this sort of stipulation? I understand it might be to get an advantage and he thinks GGG won’t be as powerful after draining to get to 155, but I would have thought Canelo’s pride at being a legit Lineal Middleweight champion (IF he gets through Cotto) would make him want to fight at 160?

I love Canelo, his combination punching, his style and seemingly fearless attitude so I was a bit disappointed to read about this. I guess when you’re looking at the amount of money he would make by defeating Golovkin you look for any advantage possible…

Keep up the good work! – Luke from Melbourne

I will, Luke. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I’m also a bit disappointed to hear about Canelo’s weight stipulation for Golovkin, but not because I think he’s being unfair or evasive to GGG or manipulative of the rules of boxing, but rather because I think he needs to be 100-percent focused on Miguel Cotto – not any future showdown.

It’s fine for fans to look past Cotto-Canelo and mentally masturbate to what the winner of the showdown might do in regard to the looming GGG challenge, but it’s not a good thing for fighters of the Nov. 21 showdown to play that game.

Canelo-WBC-30-day-weighinAnyway, I wouldn’t get too caught up with Canelo’s comments. For starters, I just think he’s firing a few psychological shots at Team GGG and reminding them that he’s the star of that future event, not Golovkin (duh). (It’s not unlike Tom Loeffler tossing out the 164-pound catchweight for Ward during his email convo with Dan Rafael – he was letting Ward and the boxing world know that GGG is the A-side in that potential matchup.)

And secondly, I don’t think it will be long before Canelo struggles like hell to make 155 pounds. As you noted, he often comes into the ring heavier than GGG does. (He weighed around 167 pounds on fight night against Kirkland if memory serves me.) Canelo weighed more than GGG for his WBC-mandated 30-day advance weigh-in (167.8 pounds to 165). He’s able to boil down to 155 because he’s 25 years old, but that’s not going to last. He may struggle to make 155 for the Cotto fight. If he does, I expect him to back off that catchweight stipulation a bit if and when he meets GGG in the ring.

 

155!?!

Yo Doug! I been on this mailbag for years. I’ve read so many that it wouldn’t surprise me if we ran into each other & you recognized me. When my lady asks me what I’m reading, I tell her “my newspaper” & she immediately knows it’s the mailbag. A few things I want to address:

  1. I read Canelo’s comments regarding the weight for GGG. It gets worse when I hear “fans” agree with the stance. These people aren’t fans of THE SPORT OF BOXING, they’re just fans of one particular person. Wouldn’t that be considered a “groupie”? It disgusts me to the point I no longer care about November 20something. I hope they do vacate & GGG doesn’t give in to their “terms”. I’m SERIOUSLY considering giving up this beautiful sport for good. I’ve invested too much time and money into mediocrity. I don’t even get the fights I ask for. No more PPVs or live fights for me. (I’ve attended over 50 live in 3 years).
  2. Does the 30-day weigh in tell us ANYTHING about the 155 issue? Canelo 167.8 30 days before the Cotto fight and GGG 165 lbs 30 days before Lemmie.mailbag-fan-pic
  3. Should GGG call the bluff and agree to 155? If he does agree, what do you expect the next obstacle/excuse would be?
  4. If the WBC belt is vacated, playing devil’s advocate, how would you DEFEND Cotto/Canelo? (I’m asking so I can find holes in any similar future debates, lol)
  5. Where would Cotto/Canelo rank on the all-time ‘duck’ list if they in fact, do decide to vacate because GGG won’t fight them at cottoweight or caneloweight?
  6. Canelo was 153 for Trout, then did 152 his next fight vs Floyd. Am I right to assume 154 would’ve made the outcome NO DIFFERENT? What’s the difference between Floyd making Canelo drop to 152 & Canelo making GGG drop to 155?

Mythical matchups: Marquez vs Morales Marquez vs Cotto Pacquiao vs Canelo Cuba Gooding Jr in Gladiator vs Tyrese Gibson in Annapolis

(PS – attached a pic of when we once met, I drove from Vegas to LA to meet & greet with G man before Monroe Jr.) – @mikesright, @mikesright702 from Las Vegas with disappointment

Thanks for sharing your thoughts/rants, Mike; and thanks for being such a dedicated fan and mailbag reader.

I’ll answer your questions in order:

1) Canelo’s got a lot of groupies. He’s popular. He’s got his share of haters, but he’s got many more fans who will support whatever he says and does. I’ve been told that Team GGG will not give in to catchweight demands from whoever wins the Nov. 21 fight. They say that as the WBC interim champ, weight stipulations cannot be a part of the negotiations for the mandatory challenge. We’ll see what happens on Nov. 21 (I wouldn’t skip it if I were you) and we’ll see what the WBC decides 15 days later. I plan to visit Canelo’s training camp next week for a sitdown interview and one of the questions I’m going to ask him is how important is it for him hold onto the WBC title.

2) It tells me that Canelo is ready to be a full-fledged middleweight. He can still make 155 because he’s young but he won’t be able to do so much longer.

3) I don’t think GGG should agree to come down in weight. If Team Canelo is unhappy with this stance they may just say that the young man is not yet ready for Golovkin.

4) I don’t think I have to defend Cotto-Canelo. It’s a terrific matchup regardless of any titles being on the line. The WBC won’t strip anyone until after the fight, anyway, and that’s only if they don’t begin negotiations with K2 and Team GGG within 15 days.

5) I think it would rank right up there with Riddick Bowe publicly tossing the WBC heavyweight belt in a trash can rather than face mandatory challenger Lennox Lewis.

6) You might be right that coming down to 152 had no effect on Canelo’s performance but then again every pound counts when making weight. Sometimes having to lose just half a pound or a quarter of a pound is the difference between “comfortably” making weight and being weight drained.

Your mythical matchups: Marquez vs Morales – Marquez by close decision

Marquez vs Cotto – Cotto by competitive but clear decision in an entertaining fight

Pacquiao vs Canelo – Canelo by competitive but clear decision

Cuba Gooding Jr. in Gladiator vs Tyrese Gibson in Annapolis – Gooding by an up-for-the-canvas mid-rounds TKO

 

WHERE ARE THE WHITE AMERICAN BOXERS?

Hi Doug,

I wrote to you once before on the same subject but decided to write again as it is a subject I would love an expert’s opinion on. I can’t help but wonder where all the white American boxers have gone? Great Britain a country some 50 times smaller than America has produced countless world-class white boxers so why doesn’t America seem to produce any at all? Are young white boxers not taken as serious by trainers, managers and promoters as young black fighters are? Are they not given the right opportunities and guidance or is it just that they are not good enough? I honestly couldn’t picture 4 white brothers from America competing for world titles like the Smith brothers are set to do.

I hope having said this don’t mark me down as a racist. The black fighters America and Britain have produced are most of my favorites of all time. I just can’t help but wonder why America has such a problem producing white boxers. Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully reply to my letter.

Here’s a couple of heavyweight mythical match ups to round it off:

Joe Frazier vs Jack Dempsey

Mike Tyson vs Jack Johnson

W.Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis

The real TBE vs Joe Louis

V.Klitschko vs George foreman

Sonny Liston vs Riddick Bowe

Larry Holmes vs Harry Willis

Rocky Marciano vs Evander Holyfield

Thanks Doug you d mayn. – Blakey from Bradford, England

Wow. I haven’t really thought about this until you brought it up. I just glanced through THE RING’s rankings and didn’t see any white/Caucasian fighters currently rated.

I guess one reason I hadn’t thought about it is that there’s never been a lot of white top contenders/titleholders around since I’ve followed boxing closely. However, there always a few around. In the 1970s, they were known and respected even by casual fans.

When I was kid growing up in Ohio, Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini was a star. He wasn’t on Ray Leonard’s level, but he was a household name. And I can recall watching world-class welterweights, such Pete Ranzany and Randy Shields, fight the best of their division and challenge for major titles on network TV.

I remember Sean O’Grady when he briefly held a major lightweight title in the early ’80s. And in the late ’80s through the early-to-mid ’90s, two-division champ Vinny Pazienza and heavyweight contender Tommy Morrison were among my favorite fighters. By the time I started covering boxing in the late ’90s (fulltime beginning in early 2000), Joey Gamache, who had won belts at 130 and 135 pounds, and 140-pound contender Micky Ward were still around. Bones Adams, who won a title at 122 pounds in 2000, was one of the first fighters I became friends with. I covered Kelly Pavlik’s pro debut in 2000 and watched him develop into the middleweight champ by 2007. And, of course, there’s our man Paulie Malignaggi. He’s still around, sort of.

But on to your questions about why white American boxers have disappeared. I don’t think it’s because the talent isn’t there, or because they aren’t respected by boxing trainers, managers or promoters. I think they’ve dwindled out of boxing over the past decade due to greater involvement with MMA (thanks in part to the rise of the UFC in the U.S.). I think a lot of young white athletes who may have been drawn to boxing in past decades have gone to MMA to scratch their combat sports itch. With the popularity of high-school wrestling in some of the Midwestern states and the rapid increase of MMA- or BJJ-oriented dojos and gyms across America, the drop off of Caucasian involvement in boxing makes sense to me.

Now that you brought this subject up, I find myself missing a lot of those white fighters!

Your mythical matchups:

Joe Frazier vs Jack Dempsey – Dempsey could have caught Frazier early in this awesome matchup up of pressure-fighting punchers, but I think Smokin’ Joe would survive an early knockdown, get warmed up and grind The Manassa Mauler to a late stoppage.

Mike Tyson vs Jack Johnson – Tyson would lose this fight before he stepped into the ring. Johnson would psychologically abuse the insecure powerhouse with his words before the fight and with taunts and deft defensive skills during the fight. I think Johnson would stop a mentally drained Tyson in the late rounds of a one-sided, hard-to-watch beating.

W. Klitschko vs Lennox Lewis – Lewis by mid-rounds TKO in a chess match that quickly turns into a very entertaining shootout. Both would get hurt (maybe dropped); Lewis would hold it together just a little better than Baby Bro.

The real TBE vs Joe Louis – Ali by an up-form-the-canvas decision

V. Klitschko vs George Foreman – Klitschko wears down the young version; gets chopped up to a TKO loss by the old man.

Sonny Liston vs Riddick Bowe – Liston by late-rounds KO.

Larry Holmes vs Harry Willis – Holmes by decision

Rocky Marciano vs Evander Holyfield – Holyfield by decision in a brutal, bloody, great fight

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