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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

22
Feb

WHY DON’T WE GET MORE FRAMPTON-QUIGG?

Hey Dougie,

When Carl Frampton vs Scott Quigg got made I was super excited but I started to question why. It is 2 top 5 fighters (albeit 2 guys who combined have less than 5 wins against guys ranked in the top 10 in their weight class) in the same division actually fighting each other and there was only a 7-month lead in time lol. Why is this such a rare occurrence?

I’m even starting to get frustrated with Gennady Golovkin and he seems to be the most willing champ out there. It seems like 2/3rds of his title defenses were against guys ranked outside the top 10 (Monroe, Adama, Stevens, Rubio, etc.). Now he’s fighting a guy who’s coming off a gift decision vs 40-something year old Sam Soliman and it’s not like this is just a sandwich fight, this fight going to happen 6 damn months after he fought David Lemiuex.



Will we ever get to the point where top 10 fighters actually fight each other on a regular basis? Is it even possible? If it is possible what needs to happen?

Fantasy fight:

Arturo Gatti vs Marcos Maidana at 140

Thanks. – K. Ward

Top-10 rated boxers face each other more often than a lot of hardcore boxing fans realize (or care to acknowledge). As much as the previous dominant champs/pound-for-pound elites – such as Floyd Mayweather Jr., Manny Pacquiao and Wladimir Klitschko – were often criticized for who they fought, most of their opponents were legit top-10 rated contenders.

However, most fans – including diehards – wanted to see Mayweather and Pacquiao fight so badly for so long (since the start of 2010) that they didn’t care that, for the most part, the Nos. 1 and 2 pound-for-pound players were facing top-10 rated welterweights while they avoided each other.

In Klitschko’s case, apart from his older brother, nobody in the heavyweight division appeared to be near his equal for several years, so it didn’t matter that he was defending his RING title and other assorted belts against top-10 contenders.

Golovkin is sort of in this position now. He’s not the lineal or RING middleweight champ but he’s universally viewed as THE MAN of the 160-pound division, and rightfully so, because he’s been crushing his competition. However, a lot of those “Good Boys” were top-10 ranked middleweights (and I’m talking about legit contenders as deemed by THE RING, ESPN.com, Transnational Boxing Ratings, etc., never mind the alphabet organizations). This includes guys that you think were not rated, such as Curtis Stevens and Marco Antonio Rubio. Yeah, they were top 10, as was Lemieux, Geale, Murray, Martin and Proksa. So that’s seven top-10 contenders in three and half years. That’s ain’t bad, K-Dub. I know you’re mad (or maybe just frustrated) about GGG facing the unrated (by RING and ESPN.com) Dominic Wade, but you should direct most of that toward the IBF, which rated the 25-year-old Maryland resident No. 3. When the New Jersey-based sanctioning organization’s No. 1 contender, Tureano Johnson, was unable to fulfill his mandatory challenge due to a shoulder injury, Wade became the highest available challenger and thus the new mandatory for Golovkin’s IBF strap. GGG’s on a mission to collect all the major belts, so he’s not about to risk getting stripped. Golovkin would have loved to face Canelo in May or WBO beltholder Billy Joe Saunders in April, but they weren’t ready for that kind of challenge.

Now let’s focus on your question about Frampton-Quigg. You correctly point out that the anticipated 122-pound showdown matches the top two fighters in their division. (Well, this was true, according to THE RING, until we recently stripped Guillermo Rigondeaux of our title and “demoted” him to the No. 1 junior featherweight contender, pushing Quigg and Frampton down to Nos. 2 and 3, but I think the U.K. duo is still regarded as the top two 122-pounders by other boxing publications.)

Anyway, you asked me why is this such a rare occurrence. And I say it’s not as rare as you think. It’s something that happens at least once a year boxing. The problem is that it goes unnoticed when it takes place in the flyweight classes, and it’s too quickly forgotten about after it happens in the heavier, so-called glamor divisions.

Mayweather-Pacquiao was between the Nos. 1 and 2 welterweights, according to ratings of many boxing publications and writers. Unfortunately, the fight was uneventful most fans wanted to forget everything about the matchup and move on.

When Canelo and Austin Trout fought in 2013, they were the top two junior middleweights. It’s not that long ago that fans should have completely forgotten that, but for whatever reason whenever that matchup is mentioned, all I hear about is how Trout got a raw deal from the judges, the WBC and Texas, or how the fight should have been a draw. Over the next two and half years, Canelo faced two future first-ballot hall of famers (Mayweather and Miguel Cotto) and the so-called “danger man” of the 154-pound division (the guy Twitter nerds claim GGG is ducking), Erislandy Lara. But all I seem to hear from hardcore fans whenever Canelo’s name is brought up is how he was lucky to get nods against Lara and Cotto and how he’s fixing to duck GGG.

What kind of message do you think that sends to up-and-comers in the sport? We have a young champ with the kind of star power and leverage that would enable him to avoid risky fights, he challenges himself anyway, but gets s__t on regardless of what he does. Why should boxers seek out the top-10 contenders in their divisions when so few get the respect they deserve for doing so.

I’ll give you a few examples. Amir Khan gets a lot of criticism from fans on both sides of The Pond in this mailbag column. But I often defend him because of his 140-pound title reign. With the exception of Dmitriy Salita, everyone he fought as a junior welterweight beltholder was a top-10 contender: Kotelnik, Malignaggi, Maidana, Judah, Peterson, Garcia, and even Paul McCloskey. Khan faced seven contenders in a three-year span. (And before you rip him for fighting Salita, just keep in mind that “Star of David” was the WBA’s mandatory challenger at the time.) But it seems like everyone forgot about his days at 140 pounds. Maybe it’s because he didn’t win all of those fights. (If that’s the case, I have to ask again: What kind of message are fans sending young standouts about taking risks?)

Khan’s run at welterweight isn’t as impressive due to his inactivity, but he should get more credit for dominating Devon Alexander, who also faced a lot of top-10 contenders during his title runs at 140 and 147. Alexander faced eight legit contenders (Witter, Urango, Kotelnik, Bradley, Matthysse, Maidana, Bailey and Porter) in a 4¾-year span. (The only unrated fighter he faced in that time frame was Lee Purdy, who was a substitute for top-rated Kell Brook.) But if you talk about Alexander’s prime with a lot of hardcore heads, many will only focus on his hometown decisions against Kotelnik and Matthysse. (Personally, I thought Kotelnik and Matthysse beat Alexander, but that doesn’t detract from my respect for the St. Louis native. He wasn’t afraid to face the best of his division.)

I can give you many other examples of top-10 fighters going at it on regular basis, the back-to-back-to-back super middleweight title reigns of Carl Froch is a perfect illustration. During a 6¾-year span The Cobra only fought one unrated fighter (everyone’s favorite porn star, Yusaf Mack). It should be noted that Froch was often underrated and counted out during this run. It should also be noted that when he and Ward fought, they were the Nos. 1 and 2 super middleweights (this was in 2011, so it wasn’t that long ago that y’all musta forgot). And it should be noted that there were a few controversial decisions/calls that went Froch’s way (Dirrell and the first Groves fight) and against him (the first Kessler bout). Controversy is bound to happen in boxing, including when top contenders face each other. Boxing fans should not let it detract from the fact that these boxers had the courage to challenge themselves (especially when the fights are instant classics, such as Morales-Barrera I, Pacquiao-Marquez I, Pacquiao-Morales I and Corrales-Castillo I).

Your mythical matchup:

Arturo Gatti vs. Marcos Maidana at 140 – Gatti by decision in the only manner he could prevail in such a matchup – in brutal, bloody and dramatic fashion.

 

WHAT’S THE TRUTH ABPOUT CANELO-GGG?

Dougie,

Real quick, as I may not meet your deadline. What the hell is the TRUTH in regards to the reports that Canelo now wants to push the fight with GGG back a year or TWO? Fact or fiction?

If it is fact the problem is the WBC has mandated the fight. It seems public knowledge there is a written agreement that GGG is the mandatory and there are a certain amount of days set aside to negotiate a deal after the Khan fight (should Canelo win, which we all know he will). If no deal can be made (if not likely due to GGG rightly saying no way he is dropping to 155) there will be a purse bid. Everyone will be bidding on that one to be sure. So there WILL be a fightÔǪ Unless Canelo then drops the belt and runs! What a PR disaster that would be. All my respect for him would vanish in an instant and I’d boycott every PPV he took part in for the rest of his career.

I am getting the feeling that Golden Boy and even Canelo simply do not want to face a man they know in their hearts will likely win whilst delivering some hellacious punishment that could hurt a cash-cow’s still young career. Mayweather never hurt or put Canelo in physical danger. GGG is the anti-Mayweather. He will hurt you as soon as he starts touching you!

Please shed some much needed level headed light onto this. Thanks. – Matt (stuck in China)

OK, Matt. You are definitely in need of some “level-headedness.”

What the hell is the TRUTH in regards to the reports that Canelo now wants to push the fight with GGG back a year or TWO? Fact or fiction? It’s certainly not fact. Correct me if I’m wrong, but your alarmist reaction (and those of other hardcore fans) is based on Canelo’s answer to a journalist’s question (Ryan Burton for BoxingScene.com). Burton asked Alvarez if he thought a showdown with Golovkin would be bigger if it was “pushed back a year or two.”

Before I get into what Alvarez said. Let’s back up in the article to where Burton first asks him about fighting Golovkin. Alvarez’s reply:

“That is a fight that will happen soon. That is a fight that I still want. That is a big fight that obviously needs some time to negotiate but we will definitely do it.”

That’s a pretty straightforward statement. One that he’s made many time before. How many times does he have to say it, or talk about GGG, as he goes into his fight May 7 fight with Khan?

Just one man’s opinion, but all talk of Alvarez-Golovkin before May 7 is just boxing geek mental masturbation. Let’s allow Golden Boy Promotions and K2 (as well as Team Canelo and Team Golovkin) to enter real fight negotiations before we get our GGG Underoos in a bunch about this or that.

Now, on to Canelo’s answer about the Golovkin showdown being bigger if “pushed back a year or two.” Alvarez said:

“Exactly. All of us feel that in one or two years that the fight will be even bigger. But we are here to fight and the day that they say the fight is made we will be ready to step in the ring.”

First of all, is he LYING!? The fight WOULD be bigger in one, two years. Golovkin hasn’t crossed over yet. However, he is on his way. I have no doubt that the GGG brand will be bigger in 2017 than it is now. The bigger GGG is, the bigger the Canelo clash will be. Simple as that.

But here’s my question? Why are some fans freaking about Canelo answering a dude’s hypothetical question? And why are they so focused on that part of his answer and not the second part of it where he states: BUT WE ARE HERE TO FIGHT AND THE DAY THAT THEY SAY THE FIGHT IS MADE WE WILL BE READY TO STEP IN THE RING? Somebody explain that to me.

It seems public knowledge there is a written agreement that GGG is the mandatory and there are a certain amount of days set aside to negotiate a deal after the Khan fight (should Canelo win, which we all know he will). Yeah, this is true. So what are you so worried about? (By the way, if Canelo overlooks Khan the way you and a lot of others are doing, he can and probably will lose.)

If no deal can be made (if not likely due to GGG rightly saying no way he is dropping to 155) there will be a purse bid. So there WILL be a fightÔǪ Unless Canelo then drops the belt and runs! True. A deal has to be made, either voluntarily or via purse bid, for the fight to happen this year. If Canelo doesn’t agree to fight Golovkin he will be stripped of the WBC belt.

What a PR disaster that would be. All my respect for him would vanish in an instant and I’d boycott every PPV he took part in for the rest of his career. OK. I think that’s a little extreme, but fair enough.

 

FELIX STURM

A quick one for you,

When he calls it a career, is Felix Strum a 1st ballot HOF? – Tim

No. I don’t think so. But I do believe that he’s accomplished enough during his 15-year career – 23 “world” title bouts over five reigns and he probably deserved the nod over hall of famer Oscar De La Hoya – to merit eventually getting on the ballot.

 

YOU CROSSED A LINE

HI DOUGIE,

Your defence of your beloved manny is very interesting indeed. Remember, he has history with his homophobic comments right? yet, you bring floyd once again into the conversation when it does not concern him. why?

you crossed a damn line with your veiled criticism on roger mayweather. Enlighten me when your keyboard warrior ass has boxed in a sanctioned amatuer or pro contest again? you hate floyds style but cant box a lick yourself! If, you dont like the man which you have said many times before, why dont you stop mentioning him?

imagine if floyd said those inflammatory comments then, imagine the damn moral outrage, but your beloved manny can do no wrong can he!! – regards, from london, england

Pacquiao is not “beloved” by this boxing writer. I’ve been bored with the Filipino icon since 2011 and I’ve stated that opinion on record (usually this mailbag column) numerous times. I’m over Pacquiao. Just like I’ve been over Mayweather. I’ve stated that I want both fighters to move the f__k on and make room for the new generation too many times in this column. It’s not really my problem if you missed all that, or if your mad that I’m more critical of Mayweather than I am of Pacquiao.

Floyd just happens to be more of a d__k than Manny in my view. Get over it, man.

Remember, he has history with his homophobic comments right? Yes, I remember. I didn’t care for his comments then, and I certainly don’t like what he recently said about same-sex unions.

yet, you bring floyd once again into the conversation when it does not concern him. why? Because the mailbag reader, Jason C. Brown, who hoped I would “rip Manny Pacquiao a new a__hole” brought up Mayweather in his email and related Pacquiao’s media s__tstorm to the public’s response to Mayweather’s comments on racism. Duh!

you crossed a damn line with your veiled criticism on roger mayweather. There was nothing veiled about what I said about Roger Mayweather and I was not criticizing him. I’ve always liked Roger and it pains me to see and hear about the condition he’s currently in. I don’t like Floyd at all, but I would hate to see that happen to him. What I meant by this comment (to the final email of the Friday mailbag) – If Mayweather is really feeling the itch to get back into the ring he should sit down with his uncle Roger and have a long talk about it. Oh wait. He can’t do that. So that harsh reality should be his answer” – is that Floyd should seriously consider the health consequences of extending a career that has nearly spanned 20 years. I meant no disrespect to Roger Mayweather. I mean no disrespect to any fighter, from Bobby Chacon to James Toney, when I comment on their condition. I apologize if the tone of the comment came off as flippant or mean spirited, but dude, this is boxing. It can be harsh. The Mayweathers know that (Lord knows they’ve dished out their share of mean-spirited s__talk over the decades). You should too.

Enlighten me when your keyboard warrior ass has boxed in a sanctioned amatuer or pro contest again? I haven’t. Now tell me how many you have boxed in.

you hate floyds style but cant box a lick yourself! Don’t be so sure of that.

If, you dont like the man which you have said many times before, why dont you stop mentioning him? You’re really going to ask me this question in an email about Floyd Mayweather that you sent to [email protected]?

 

B-HOP VS. GGG?

Love your column and look forward to it. Wondering how you feel about the talk concerning a Bernard Hopkins Vs GGG fight? Personally I’m not enthralled with the idea of Mr. Hopkins fighting again – PERIOD. He was soundly beaten by Kovalev and I expect the same will occur with GGG. Hopkins is an incredible athlete and master boxer. He can retire with a great legacy, money, and his faculties.

Also have to say I am very much looking forward to Canelo Vs. Khan and think it will go to the scorecards with the nod going to Khan. I’ve always considered Khan to be underrated and believe his speed and footwork will allow him to get by Canelo although one mistake and he could go down for the count. Should be interesting and entertaining unlike this Pacquiao/Bradley fiasco. Sheesh! – Joseph

I’m not hyped for Bradley-Pacquiao III but I don’t view it as a fiasco. They’re top-five welterweight contenders (Nos. 1 and 2, according to ESPN.com – so somebody tell K. Ward) and their styles mesh to make brisk (though certainly not thrilling) boxing matches. And Pacquiao has likely slipped enough (or is distracted enough by the global reaction to his own inane comments on homosexuality) to be outworked or even clipped by the Teddy Atlas-inspired “Fireman” version of Desert Storm.

Khan is underrated. And he’s got the amateur background, experience, athleticism, speed and mobility to outmaneuver and outbox Canelo. We’ll see if he has the focus and the discipline to carry out a smart game plan.

I would also like to see Hopkins retire (along with rest of the “20-plus gang,” Roy Jones, Toney, Pacquiao, Mayweather, Juan Manuel Marquez and Shane Mosley). I respect that B-Hop is bold enough to want to fight GGG and Adonis Stevenson at 51, but even if he beat them (and I’d give him a good shot at schooling Stuporman) it wouldn’t add that much to his legacy. He’s pretty much done it all.

The matchup would be a no-win situation for Golovkin. If he knocks Hopkins out he will be ripped for elderly abuse. If he doesn’t stop B-Hop, he’ll be criticized for allowing a 51-year-old man to snap his KO streak. If he struggles at all with Hopkins, his legion of detractors will loudly crow how overrated he is.

CANELO’S APPARENT DUCKING

Dougal,
I know you’ll be inundated with emails on Canelo after his apparent comments on dodging Golovkin, but I’d like to share my thoughts anyway.

I’ll start off by stating I’m no professional boxer so I can only look at it from a fans perspective, but here goesÔǪ

All a boxer has in the end is his legacy, and I can’t imagine anything more embarrassing than everyone knowing you avoided an opponent/fight.

Aye you might have millions but you’ll go down in history as someone who was scared. And as much as money is a motivator to a boxer, credibility should be more important.

Or maybe I’m wrong and boxing has been reduced to nothing more than the WWE where you script a career. The governing bodies should have the balls to work together to create knockout tournaments between the top boxers in certain divisions to create linear champions.

I’m aware it’ll never happen as they’ll all have one champion but different no.1 contenders. It just feels that the fan is continually being shafted while the standard of title fights is watered down.

Rant over lol, cheers. – Blair, from Inverness (Scotland)

I hear what you’re saying, Blair, but don’t you think you’re overreacting juuuuust a bit to Alvarez’s comments? Maybe twisting his words? Did Alvarez say that he wants to avoid fighting Golovkin this year? Has he said that fighting Golovkin isn’t important to him or to his legacy?

I don’t think Canelo has said anything like that. And given that he just won the lineal/RING/WBC titles in November, and there’s a WBC-mandated agreement in place for him to meet Golovkin this year, isn’t it a bit premature to worry about him “dodging” GGG?

All a boxer has in the end is his legacy, and I can’t imagine anything more embarrassing than everyone knowing you avoided an opponent/fight. OK. But given who Alvarez has faced since 2013, does he strike you as a fighter who isn’t concerned about his legacy?

The governing bodies should have the balls to work together to create knockout tournaments between the top boxers in certain divisions to create linear champions. That might be a pipe dream, but there are boxers who have strived (and are currently striving) to hold all of the major belts – such as B-Hop, Wlad Klitschko, Krusher Kovalev, GGG and Chocolatito – and boxing fans should appreciate them.

 

2016 IS LOOKING GOOD

Hey Dougie,

Quick list of the top of my head:

Frampton vs quigg

Thurman vs porter

Fury vs vlad

Khan vs canelo

Joshua vs martin

Wilder vs povetkin (probably)

Probable big fight for david haye

Probable big fight for kell brook

All this in the first half of 2016..Did boxing just get good again lol? РStuart from Belfast

I can only speak for myself but I’m looking forward to those fights (or in the case of Haye and Brook, seeing them in significant matchups). I think this weekend and the next four months are looking pretty good to any fan who isn’t completely consumed with Canelo-GGG or obsessed and upset about the media not giving Pacquiao as much s__t as they give Mayweather.

 

RINGTV’S ROKU CHANNEL

Hey Doug, I’m watching you on RingTV Live on Roku right now and I’m trying to enjoy it, but the stream cuts out every few seconds. It looks and sounds great when it works, but it’s hard to watch with all the skipping. Maybe you could pass this along to The Ring’s IT department? Thanks keep up the good work. – NM

I will pass this information along, NM. Thank you. In the meantime, please try watching the RingTV Live streams online at RingTVLive.com, FilmOn.com, EstrellaTV.com and GoldenBoyPromotions.com.

 

RAY ROBINSON VS. ROCKY MARCIANO

I’ve been thinking about this since news of Khanelo broke out, seeing as how a smaller guy in Khan is going up against Canelo. Sugar Ray Robinson fought Joey Maxim who weighed over ten pounds more than him went they fought. Robinson was ahead on the cards when he retired due to heat (or maybe from Maxim just being the bigger fighter and letting Robinson wear himself out). What if Robinson was able to fight Marciano? Marciano always was around 188 lbs and he was only 5’10. What if Robinson was able to get himself up to maybe 165-170? Neither fighter was ever knocked out or stopped in their fights. How would you see this fight going on? Thanks. – Zack

I think Marciano would have brutalized Robinson to a mid-to-late stoppage. Getting up around super middleweight/light heavyweight would have slowed Robinson down and made him less mobile, which would be a bad thing against Rocky. (Don’t forget, Ray only weighed in at 157¾ pounds when he challenged Maxim.)

And though he had one-hitter-quitter power at middleweight, I doubt he had the power to dent The Rock’s chin. (Even if he could hit hard enough to buzz or drop Marciano, I don’t think he’d be able to keep him down or follow up without getting clipped himself.)

Think about it: Robinson always had trouble fighting strong and awkwardly physical fighters like Randy Turpin and Gene Fullmer, and rugged (but smart) pressure fighters like Jake LaMotta and Carmen Basilio. (Rocky Castellani, who was a strong come-forward type, gave him a tough, close fight in 1955.) Marciano was a lot bigger and stronger than these men (and just as awkward and punishing).

 

 

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

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