Dougie’s Monday mailbag
BRADLEY VS. RIOS
What’s up Dougie? I hope that you are keeping well mate.
I just noticed that Tim Bradley-Brandon Rios is just around the corner and wanted to get your thoughts. I see this as a potential career-defining fight for both guys and I think it’s flown under the radar a little bit.
In my opinion, Bradley would have to be one of the most under-rated fighters around. He hasn’t looked himself of late however with the near disaster against Jessie Vargas and the draw with Diego Chaves. Add to that equation a new trainer in Teddy Atlas… He’s had a lot going on.
Rios on the other hand has nothing to lose. Everyone knows he can bang with the best of them and he will be throwing bombs from the 1st second of the 1st round. If he wins then he’s the WBO champion and a two-division world champion at that!
How do you see this fight playing out mate? A pleasure as always Dougie. Cheers. – Craig Brewer, Singapore
When the Bradley-Rios fight was first announced I didn’t give it much thought. I favored Bradley over Rios by a comfortable decision at that was the end of it. Rios is a badass but he’s not an elite boxer. Bradley is – or at least he was on everybody’s pound-for-pound lists not too long ago. That’s about all the thought I put into the matchup.
Now that the fight is upon us, I’m starting to think it’s gonna be a tougher fight for Bradley. Not because of his switch in trainers. Bradley knows how to fight. Atlas knows how to train, and how to motivate professional boxers in the gym and during their fights. They’ll workout just fine together.
I started thinking this might be a tough out for Timmy because of the wear and tear on his body that you may have eluded to (by noting that he “hasn’t looked himself of late” against Chaves and Vargas) and because of a recent RingTV interview with Rios.
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I’ve covered Rios’ entire pro career. I remember when he was a 16-year-old amateur living at Robert Garcia’s house in Oxnard (along with fellow Garden City, Kansas standout Victor Ortiz) and traveling around to all the top gyms in Southern California for sparring. I remember when he wasn’t that serious about boxing and I recall when he made the choice to really dedicate himself to his profession. And I know when he’s motivated for a particular fight. Rios is motivated for this fight, as much as he was for his lightweight title-winning effort against Miguel Acosta or his first bout against Mike Alvarado.
Rios is going to bring it to Bradley and if the defending WBO welterweight beltholder is anything less than his best, he is going to absorb a lot of punishment. I think Bradley will be at his best and he’ll use his quicker hands and mobility to rack up points while limiting exchanges (not unlike his game plan vs. Juan Manuel Marquez), Rios will still do his share of damage (especially on the inside and when Timmy gets a little macho).
I’m going with Bradley by close but unanimous decision in a good fight.
As always, outstanding stuff on these mailbags.
Are the Charlo Brothers at all within range of being a serious challenge for Gennady Golovkin or Canelo Alvarez? I know both are listed as junior middleweights but they appear to have frames that will allow them to easily move up to 160. Also, where does Demetrius Andrade fall in here or is he not in their class yet?
I find it interesting that (unlike the ’80s or ’90s) you don’t hear nearly as much anymore regarding detached retinas. Back then it prompted many great boxers to permanently or prematurely retire. Is this a matter of the changes in the gloves being used or has improvements in the treating of them made this issue more a thing of the past?
Edwin Rosario vs. Diego Corrales
Crawford vs. Spence: Crawford will eventually move up to 147. Curious as to your feelings on Spence.
As always, sensational stuff. – Armand in Philly
Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts, Armand.
I think the Charlo twins, Jermall (who holds the IBF junior middleweight title) and Jermell (who is the No. 1 contender for the WBC), are potential stars if they are moved and developed correctly. However, I won’t consider them “serious challenges” for GGG, Canelo or any other top middleweight until they firmly establish themselves as the best of the 154-pound division by taking on (and beating) fellow contenders, such as Erislandy Lara, Julian Williams, Vanes Martirosyan and Austin Trout (matchups that can be made within the PBC Universe); and then step up to the 160-pound division and defeat a young gun, such as Chris Eubank Jr. or Willie Monroe Jr.
Andrade is currently ranked below the Charlos by THE RING (he’s No. 6 behind No. 5-rated Jermall and No. No. 6-rated Jermell), but that’s only because he had been dropped from the 154-pound ratings for inactivity and was only recently reinstated after a second-round TKO of Dario Pucheta on Oct. 17. I think “Boo Boo” is more talented than the Charlos and has every bit of their star potential. He simply needs to be more active and properly managed.
Fixing the thumbs on boxing gloves (so that they don’t protrude as much) has helped limit serious eye injuries, but the primary reason we don’t hear about detached retinas ending careers is because of advancements in surgical procedures to “correct” the damage. However, detached retinas is still one of the many dangers of boxing and the injury still ends or shortens careers.
Your mythical matchups:
Edwin Rosario vs. Diego Corrales – Rosario by mid-round KO in a beautiful shootout between dearly departed lightweight bombers. When he was at his best (i.e., training properly and not on drugs) the Puerto Rican champ had superior technique, footwork and punch selection. Rosario could make his relatively stout stature (he was barely 5-foot-6) work for him against Chico by bobbing and weaving his way inside where his angles would enable him to get the better of his fellow badass.
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Crawford vs. Spence: Crawford will eventually move up to 147. Curious as to your feelings on Spence. – Spence is a blue-chip prospect. He and Joseph Diaz Jr. are the best of the 2012 U.S. Olympic squad. Spence might have more upside than Jo-Jo because he fights at a heavier weight and possesses KO power. However, I’d favor Crawford over the Dallas-area southpaw if they were to fight next year. Spence isn’t experienced enough to deal with Crawford’s switch-hitting excellence.
WHAT’S UP WITH RIGO?
I’ve been reading and enjoying your mailbags for some time now and had to write in to see if perhaps you could shed some light on what’s happening with El Chacal? I read the article by Michael Woods about Rigo and what his former manager Gary Hyde has said about the people surrounding him. A quick internet search of his promotional company Caribe Promotions only produced a semi-active Twitter account, a few instagram pictures, and a website that was under construction (God knows how long it been on that status?). I understand Rigo isn’t the most marketable boxer with a “boring” style and a personality as exciting as white bread, but it can’t this difficult to promote one of the best amateur boxers in recent history, and (formerly) two belt titleholder can it? Did Rigo just sign on with a bad company? Is Caribe promotions an actual company? Just trying to get some info.
(BTW did Mikey Garcia retire and not tell anyone because he’s another one who’s sitting on the sidelines as the aforementioned article stated.) – D.W. from Boston, Ma.
Garcia isn’t retired but he’s in no hurry to get back into the ring. Mikey is very, very good at boxing but he doesn’t love the sport. He did it because he comes from a boxing family, he knew he could succeed at it and he knew he could make very good money once he reached a certain level. But if he can’t get paid what he wants or the get the kind of deal he wants at this stage of his career, it won’t break his heart to hang up his gloves for good.
I can’t help but wonder if Rigondeaux’s also OK without boxing in his life.
Since Top Rank stopped co-promoting him after the Sod Kokietgym blowout last July, I’ve heard from numerous insider sources that he has received multi-million dollar fight deals from various promotional/managerial organizations (Al Haymon, Roc Nation, Frank Warren). If Caribe Promotions is stonewalling these deals without keeping Rigo busy I think the fighter needs to address this situation before he is stripped of all of his world titles (including THE RING belt) and dropped from everyone’s rankings. Rigo has got two full months before he reaches the one-year mark of inactivity (his last bout was an up-from-the-canvas 11th-round stoppage of unrated Hisashi Amagasa in Japan). He’ll be removed from most of the credible independent rankings once he reaches 12 months of inactivity (without having a fight scheduled). He will be stripped of THE RING’s 122-pound title if he does not schedule a fight at his championship weight for 18 months (or if he’s inactive for that period).
I have no reason to doubt the claims of Rigo’s former manager (Gary Hyde) that Caribe is ruining the Cuban southpaw’s career, but I think the fighter needs to show some urgency, or at least public concern, in regards to his future. I know the junior featherweight champ has a small-but-dedicated legion of “boxing-purist” supporters (the Cult of Rigo) who laude his skills and love his minimalist approach to the Sweet Science, but I think it’s time the fighter take action. He doesn’t have to do it in the ring, but he does need to get IN the ring. If Caribe is preventing this, he needs to look into a legal separation – and while the case is pending, he needs to find a way into a boxing ring (they can take him to court or fight him in court but they can’t legally prevent him from earning a living).
When Gennady Golovkin reached a legal impasse with his former promotional company (Universum in Germany), which would not release him from their contract, rather than sit out until the contract expired (which would have been an entire year) GGG sought out ways to remain busy. He basically formed his own promotional company with his management team and fought Milton Nunez, Nilson Tapia and Kassim Ouma in Panama and Kazakhstan from late 2010 to mid-2011. He wasn’t able to fight in Europe or the U.S. because the major networks in those regions weren’t going to get involved while his lawsuit with Universum was active, so he didn’t make much money with those three bouts, but he grabbed the WBA’s interim/regular titles and kept active until his business with Universum came to a close and he caught the attention of K2 Promotions. The rest, as they say, is history.
Just one man’s opinion, but I think Rigo – who is 35 years old – needs to do the same thing GGG did until he can make a lucrative deal with one of the sport’s power brokers.
I understand Rigo isn’t the most marketable boxer with a “boring” style and a personality as exciting as white bread, but it can’t this difficult to promote one of the best amateur boxers in recent history, and (formerly) two belt titleholder can it? Obviously it can.
Did Rigo just sign on with a bad company? It sure looks that way, doesn’t it?
Is Caribe promotions an actual company? Yeah, probably – in the Caribbean.
WHAT HAPPENED TO ‘IV GATE’?
First off I want to put it out there that that I am a big fan of yours. Have mad respect or your reports and opinions in the boxing game (barring your prediction of Canelo over Mayweather, ha ha).
Speaking of the Moneyman, I have found it quite shocking that IV-gate has been swept under the rug recently. When I first read Thomas Hauser’s long in-depth report on the matter, I thought it would send waves through the boxing world and put Floyd’s legacy into massive questions (on the same level that Lance Armstrong’s was). But instead, after about a week of it being in headlines, it has disappeared and been pretty much forgotten.
As a person in the boxing media, what has happened since then? I know you have made your thoughts known about the matter but to me is seems like the boxing world has pretty much let it go. – Julian, Sydney, Australia
A lot of the boxing world has let it go, but Hauser isn’t among them, so you can bet your favorite TMT hat that you haven’t read the final inside scoop on Mayweather’s cozy relationship with USADA (or on the anti-doping agency’s various improprieties).
Here’s a link to Hauser’s second article on the Mayweather/USADA mess, which was published on BoxNation.com the week of the GGG-Lemieux fight. Read it and pass it along if you believe that Hauser is onto something.
There will be more articles to come. Trust me.
When I first read Thomas Hauser’s long in-depth report on the matter, I thought it would send waves through the boxing world and put Floyd’s legacy into massive questions (on the same level that Lance Armstrong’s was). Why did you think Hauser’s first article would do all that? It just called into question USADA’s testing protocol, particularly where Mayweather is concerned. The article did not present any sort of irrefutable proof that Mayweather is or has been using banned performance-enhancing drugs. And Mayweather has not admitted to using PEDs. So I don’t see how you can compare Mayweather’s situation (and the public’s reaction to it) to Armstrong’s situation.
But instead, after about a week of it being in headlines, it has disappeared and been pretty much forgotten. Well, it’s been “forgotten” but it hasn’t disappeared. Hey man, the whacky world of boxing keeps turning and modern sports fans like to keep their focus on what’s gonna happen next – their minds are perpetually fixed on the future (or potential outcomes of current events) – so boxing geeks are currently mentally masturbating to what the winner of Cotto-Canelo is going to do in regard to GGG (or what Andre Ward is going to do after his second “gimme-opponent” showcase). But rest assured once Mayweather makes his “triumphant return” to boxing, Hauser and his many questions will be patiently waiting for him.
As a person in the boxing media, what has happened since then? Mayweather staged a fake farewell fight, but everybody – especially those in the sports media – knows that he will be back. And most of the media members want to avoid pissing off Mayweather and his very influential adviser, Al Haymon, so they’re not going to piggy back on any of Hauser’s investigative reporting – not yet, anyway.
(By the way, if Canelo and Floyd fight a rematch, I’m picking the Mexican star again – provided there’s VADA testing!)
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
Hay Dougie hope all is good with you and looking forward to lots of good fights before the end of 2015.
I am emailing you because an important issue has come to a head this week and that is the wretched WBA and their absurd title mess which they’ve created purely for the greed of sanctioning fees.
As it stands they currently have 43 fighters listed as champions across the 17 weight classes with super/regular and totally unnecessary interim belt holders. The Roy Jones-Enzo Maccarinelli clash is rumoured to be for the super title at cruiserweight which is baffling as neither are ranked and they already have Denis Lebedev as their regular champion so surely he should be upgraded?
I was glad to see that Boxing Monthly were extremely vocal about the WBA on twitter and I think I’m right in saying that The Ring doesn’t class interim and regular belt holders as legit champions but what can we do Doug? Us fans can mock, sneer and slag off the WBA as much as we want but is that really making a difference? Do you think it will take a reputable commission expelling the WBA to have any real impact in enforcing change? Would The Ring consider derecognising the WBA altogether?
Finally and apologies for droning on but I do wish the whole of the boxing media would speak out about this issue and not just when it suits their particular agenda, keep up the good work. – Marcus from England
Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your opinions, Marcus.
I generally don’t pay any of the sanctioning bodies that much attention so I seldom get up in arms about their various questionable “business” decisions.
Like most fans, I don’t see the reason for the WBA to have an “interim,” “regular,” and “super” champion in every weight class. Well, actually, I do see the reason. More titles mean more sanctioning fees. I get it, but I find it confusing and annoying.
However, unlike most hardcore fans and members of the boxing media, it doesn’t drive me crazy. And while I know that multiple world titleholders in every division contributes to the public’s confusion, which hampers boxing’s popularity (especially in the U.S.), I don’t view the silliness of the WBA (or other sanctioning organization) as one of the most “important issues” in the sport.
I think fighter safety, quality control among commissions/officials, PED use/testing, and fair/ethical business practices within the industry are far more important issues than who the WBA recognizes as champion (interim, regular or super) in a particular division.
I also don’t view the sanctioning organizations as “evil,” “wretched” or “foul.” They are integral pieces of the international boxing industry. Their titles (world, interim, regional, youth, etc.) instantly boost the stature and earning power of the fighters who hold them (and they usually mean a lot to those who win them). The sanctioning organizations also do a lot of positive things in the boxing world, such as raising money for sick or ailing fighters (active and retired), donating money or equipment to gyms and youth programs, and helping to clean up the sport (with anti-drug programs/regulations and the support of head-injury research).
Regarding the Jones-Maccarinelli fight, the rumor about it being for the WBA “super” 200-pound title is just that – a rumor – according to the WBA’s website (at least for now).
I was glad to see that Boxing Monthly were extremely vocal about the WBA on twitter and I think I’m right in saying that The Ring doesn’t class interim and regular belt holders as legit champions but what can we do Doug? You are correct in that THE RING does not recognize interim or regular WBA titleholders. The WBA beltholders we recognize are those who old the “super” versions of the title, usually the longest reigning and most accomplished. What can you do? You can make your voice heard by contacting the WBA. You can do so through their official website.
Us fans can mock, sneer and slag off the WBA as much as we want but is that really making a difference? Nope. However, if you contact the WBA with a respectful, well-written/thought-out email expressing your concerns as a fan (and if you get as many likeminded fans to do the same) perhaps you can sway the powers that be within the organization.
Do you think it will take a reputable commission expelling the WBA to have any real impact in enforcing change? Maybe, but I don’t envision any commission doing so (which is a bigger issue to me than the WBA having three “champs” in each weight class).
Would The Ring consider derecognising the WBA altogether? Maybe. The editor of THE RING magazine, Michael Rosenthal, is not a fan of the sanctioning organizations. Write or email him a letter with your concerns and suggestion and see what happens.
GOLOVKIN VS. GREATS
Have been reading the mailbag for a year now. Love it. This is the only site I can stand the other boxing fans on. Some good readers and debates. You’ve attracted a good crowd!
I think it’s been a hypothetically great year of fights so far. What I mean by that is we’ve had a lot of good fights on paper that haven’t really blown me away on fight night. Not a vintage year of drama. That was punctuated by Lemieux v Golovkin. But I cannot complain, we got to see a fighter at the top of his game. So I should stop whining. How do you think the anointed Golovkin would have fared against these fellas?
And I have one mythical match-up for you: Duran v Mayweather at Welter or Light Welter.
Anyway, I’d love to know your thoughts. I’m rubbing my lucky rabbit’s foot against my baby daughter hoping you’ll pick my letter this week. – P – London
How can I not publish your email after that image, P? LOL. Thanks for the kind words about the mailbag column and its readers/commenters.
I agree that we’ve had some really good matchups on paper that didn’t play out as well (or as fiercely) as we’d hoped in the ring (Rios-Alvarado III, Matthysse-Provodnikov, Garcia-Peterson, Santa Cruz-Mares and GGG-Lemmy come to mind). But the year ain’t over. Let’s see what happens with Cotto-Canelo, Klitschko-Fury and Jacobs-Quillin.
Your GGG mythical matchups:
- Hopkins – B-Hop by close decision.
- Toney – GGG by competitive but clear decision at 160 pounds (Toney’s struggle to make weight would detract from his punch resistance and hamper his punch output/stamina); Toney by close decision in a terrific (and bloody) fight at 168 pounds.
- Calzaghe – The Welshman by an up-from-the-canvas decision, very close on points but not controversial.
- Monzon – The Argentine legend by close but clear decision.
Duran clearly outpoints Mayweather at 147 pounds; “HOS” stops “TBE” in the late rounds at 140.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer