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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

03
Apr

 

PACQUIAO GOES OUT WITH A WHIMPER

Yo Dougie,

Of all the things that I could say about Manny Pacquiao-Tim Bradley III, I think the only the thing that matters is that I have absolutely no plans to watch the fight.

And that truly hurts me to say. Pacquiao’s demolition of Oscar De La Hoya is the fight that got me into boxing. It was pure luck that I happened to be with some friends who were buying it, but I still remember seeing a presser clip in the intro. Oscar (whom, of course, everyone knew) was smiling, chatting with the press, and having a good time. But Pacquiao, man… Pac just had this look and I remember clear as day thinking, “Man, Oscar better watch out or I think this dude is gonna hurt him.”

And we all know what happened next. But after the misfire against Floyd Mayweather, Manny’s time is clearly over. It seems like he’s waffling now about whether this is truly his last fight or not, but I wish he’d stuck to his guns because if he loses bad or if the buy rates are as poor as I think they’re going to be, the decision may get taken out of his hands. Even if he is done, I’d still rather see Pacquiao leave on his own terms rather than get shown the door.

Lastly, I hope you’ll indulge me in some boxing conspiracy chatter: the official story is that the cable providers pushed for Bradley because he’s more of a “proven draw” than Terence Crawford or Amir Khan. But I’ve heard some rumblings, mostly from Al Haymon nuthuggers, that Bob Arum picked Bradley, even though nobody wants that fight, because it benefited TR the most financially. Care to weigh in? Best as always. – Sean

I’m sure Arum had a say in who Pacquiao would face for his supposed Swan Song but so did Michael Koncz, Freddie Roach and the Filipino icon himself. If it were solely up to Arum, I think Crawford would have been Pacquiao’s opponent. Arum knows Pac’s best days are behind him and he’s got his eye on the next generation of Top Rank stars, which includes “Bud.” Crawford’s got more talent and upside than Bradley, who’s already made a name for himself, so I think Arum would’ve liked to see Manny take on the Omaha native. If Pac beat Crawford, Arum could say “Wow, Manny beat an undefeated badass who’s on everybody’s pound-for-pound list – this proves that he wasn’t at his best when he fought Mayweather. Let’s see how Floyd fares against Pacquiao when Manny’s got TWO hands!” Yadda-yadda-yadda-jabber-jabber-jabber. You know the promotional spin.

If Crawford beat Pacquiao (which is the outcome that I – and many others – predict of this matchup), then the torch will have passed and hopefully Top Rank and HBO could take the momentum from that victory and start to build a casual fan base for the American standout.

But I think Pacquiao’s side viewed Crawford as a real threat. I think the Nebraskan’s lack of pay-per-view experience and lack of name recognition among casual fans was a factor in his being passed up for the April 9 opportunity, but so was his talent, skill, difficult style and tenacity.

Regarding Khan, I don’t think he was passed up because he didn’t make for a successful PPV main event. Look at the interest Canelo-Khan has generated so far. I think Arum liked the idea of opening negotiations with Khan just to dig in Al Haymon’s craw a little bit, but ultimately, I think Khan was deemed too risky and was probably asking for too much guaranteed money.

Regarding Pacquiao, I’m with you. I think he was a terrific action fighter from 2001-2007 and an elite/pound-for-pound force who had an amazing two-year run from 2008-2010, but I believe he’s been mailing it in to an extent since 2011. And I’m sick of him.

I’m not anticipating his third fight with Bradley at all. I will watch it on Saturday (it is part of my job, after all). I’m expecting a decent fight, and a good PPV show overall (I think the Valdez-Gradovich and Abraham-Ramirez fights will deliver), but I’m not buzzing about it and I was more than happy to stay home for this event.

Oh, and one more thing: War Bradley! #WeAreFiremen

 

WHAT’S NEXT FOR BRONER, JACOBS?

Hey Dougie,Hope you’re well. I know he makes horrible decisions out of the ring but would you give Adrien Broner any chance against that “retired” boxer? What in the world is Daniel Jacobs doing? Why wouldn’t he get Andy Lee lined up & keep busy? The PBC should have him on NBC every time out. He has the best chance to be a household name. What do you think? Thanks. – Marty

I think Jacobs is a very talented and very marketable boxer. The bright and articulate New Yorker probably has more star potential than any other PBC fighter (apart from Deontay Wilder). Nothing has been formally announced about what or who is next for Jacobs, who rekindled hardcore interest in his career with a shocking first-round blitz of Peter Quillin in December, but the 29-year-old Brooklynite recently called out WBO middleweight beltholder Billy Joe Saunders via his Twitter account @DanielJacobsTKO:

There’s been a lot a talk about my next .. wanna make it clear, I’ll fight anyone they put in front of me . But I want B.J !”

The unbeaten British standout had a funny response from his own Twitter account: “You want me I’ll kick your ***, son. You’re not even the world champ… belt No 2 you hold.”

Jacobs holds what my cohort Steve Kim calls the “JV belt,” the WBA’s “regular” world title. Gennady Golovkin is the WBA’s “super champ” at middleweight (and GGG is who THE RING recognizes as the WBA titleholder).

If you believe in the power of social media (and Al Haymon) this is an intriguing USA vs. UK middleweight matchup that can be made. I’d certainly like to see it.

What in the world is Daniel Jacobs doing? Chillin’. Tweetin’. Hopefully trainin’.

Why wouldn’t he get Andy Lee lined up & keep busy? Lee is a credible challenger for Jacobs but the Irish veteran might be a little too risky for someone who is looking for a big-event matchup. I’m not saying I don’t think Jacobs should fight Lee, I just doubt Lee will get the call. Jacobs does need to keep busy, though. Maybe he should take care of the WBA’s No. 1 contender (the undeserving Alfonso Blanco). I think the lanky Venezuelan would be easy work for Jacobs.

The PBC should have him on NBC every time out. Agreed (provided the opponent is a legit top-10 contender).

I know he makes horrible decisions out of the ring but would you give Adrien Broner any chance against that “retired” boxer? Only if that “retired” boxer got old overnight. It happens in boxing, but I think the version of He Who Shall Not Be Named that fought Andre Berto last September has the legs, reflexes, and jab (I don’t even have to mention experience/skill do I?) to contain the sporadic boxer-fighter that is Adrien Broner. The wayward Ohioan is one of the few supposedly world-class boxers in their prime that You Know Who can outwork. He would do so only with his jab, but hey, that’s all he really needs to solve “The Problem.”

 

CALLUM SMITH

Hi Doug,

I’ll keep it brief. Callum Smith was impressive. What impressed me most was that he was still looking and assessing while covering up. That’s a sign of an elite. I think he can clean up the division if (and it’s a big if) he can deal with awkward boxers like Chunky.

How would you see him against GGG in 2017 or 2018 at SMW?

Regards. – Ollie, UK

I was also impressed with Smith’s first-round stoppage of Hadillah Mohoumadi, a rugged sort who had never been knocked out as a pro (and went the distance with James DeGale in October 2012).

Smith, THE RING’s No. 8-rated super middleweight, was sharp and accurate with his offense while being defensively alert (as you noted). I love the unbeaten 25 year old’s body shots! There’s no doubt about the tall-and-rangy boxer-puncher’s ability and potential. He will be a major titleholder.

But having said that, let’s not crown Smith as the world beater of the 168-pound division just yet. Mohoumadi is a card-carrying tough guy, but the 35-year-old veteran had the footwork and movement of a heavybag. He stood straight up, right in front of Smith and continually left himself open while lobbing punches like a hyperactive kindergartner in a playground scrap.

The top-five contenders and beltholders at super middleweight will be much tougher assignments for the Liverpudlian.

How would you see him against GGG in 2017 or 2018 at SMW? Even if he wins a major title this year, I don’t think he’ll be ready for Golovkin by 2017. Maybe by 2018.

 

FAKERY

doug,

i was at the gym a while back having a bro down, talkin about vegetable gardening and hockey/baseball fights with a very famous and very large ex pro wrestler champ. we got to hockey fights and he said, “man that s__t’s faker n rasslin!”

the latest broner-mayweather chapter had me hearin that over and over

in my head the other day (so did thurman-collazo). i’m damn curious

about what you think, and i ain’t the only one who’s sayin this.

put broner in with ANY top 10 WW and he loses. he’s a by the numbers

underachiever/let down, kinda the opposite of chris algieri (who’d beat

his ass by the way). put broner in with someone WAAAAY above or WAY below his abilities he looks good. put him in with some competition – where there is an actual risk of winning or losing – he chokes. don’t see this changing any time soon.

underachiever mythical matchup

broner-judah

can u think of anyone else? – ceylon

Can I think of any other underachiever mythical matchups? How about Francisco Bojado vs. Frankie Gomez for the East L.A. Coach Potato Prospect belt (which is made from hemp and melted down X-Boxes and remote controls). Don’t laugh, those two would have made for a hell of a fight (even if they entered the ring with beer guts).

I think Judah outpoints Broner via competitive but clear UD in your underachiever mythical matchup.

Regarding Broner-Mayweather, yes, I think the beef is fake and the two are trying to create storylines that might help sell a future pay-per-view showdown (aimed at hardcore suckers, young Hip-Hop heads and whoever enjoys TMZ – and I don’t mean that as a diss, all three groups are considerable markets/fan bases).

Regarding Broner-Theophane, I don’t think that fight was fake but I do believe that Ashley was overmatched from the get-go. And, to my eyes, Theophane (along with Argenis Mendez, who was stopped by the promising Robert Easter in the co-featured bout of the PBC card) was going through the motions. I’m not saying he laid down against Broner. I think he tried but in the back of his mind, maybe even his subconscious, he didn’t believe he could really win and he never truly cut loose on Broner.

put broner in with ANY top 10 WW and he loses. That’s harsh but you might be right. Broner needs to be able to make 140 pounds if he wants to be considered a world-class fighter.

he’s a by the numbers underachiever/let down, kinda the opposite of chris algieri (who’d beat his ass by the way). I agree that Algieri can beat Broner. I don’t know if I’d brand him an underachiever (even though he has underachieved at times during his career and has occasionally fought down to his opposition). At the end of the day, he’s only lost to extremely motivated versions of Marcos Maidana and Shawn Porter – and those are two big, strong, relentless world-class welterweights.

put broner in with someone WAAAAY above or WAY below his abilities he looks good. put him in with some competition – where there is an actual risk of winning or losing – he chokes. I don’t know why, but these two sentences are confusing me. Are you saying Broner chokes against opponents that are on his level but excels against fighters he’s supposed to beat and fighters that are supposed to beat him?

 

VIEW FROM ECHO ARENA, LIVERPOOL

Hi Dougie,

Loving your work as always – especially when I get printed. My new aim is to make the actual printed magazine’s mailbag recap pages!

Let me keep it brief.

I was at the Echo in Liverpool last night. Callum Smith looked awesome blitzing a guy who took Degale the full twelve in under two mins. Watching it back on TV, Johnny Nelson and Tony Bellew were pretty generous with their praise for Mondo on Sky TV. Which of these statements do you agree with?

Smith vs Abraham – Arthur is one dimensional. Smith outboxes, outmuscles and KO’s him.

Smith vs Sturm – Would look like a middleweight vs a Light Heavy. Easy KO win for Smith.

Smith vs Jack – Smith would dictate at range or get the KO if Jack tries to mix it up.

Smith vs Degale – Is the only close fight and Degale should take it before the 25 year old gets even better.

They going over the top or is it Callum already that special?

Also the atmosphere for an undercard fight with relative novice ‘Masher’ Dodd fighting for a British title was incredible. I was at Quigg v Frampton and that atmosphere was NOT an aberration over here. If someone offers you a ticket to Joshua vs. Martin I’d apologise to Mrs Fischer and jump on a plane! That will be something special, the 02 will be rocking. Any updates on your prediction after the press tour? Martin has been very cool and calm over here, but I’ve still got AJ for a mid rounds TKO. Followed by a ring invasion from the not very cool and calm Shannon Briggs who’s been all over London this last fortnight shouting at cameras, buildings, passersby and David Haye. I love this guy and his self promotion – fighters who can get themselves over with the viewers are alright by me. Have you seen much of his recent stuff such as the 30min meeting with Eddie Hearn?

Also – Ashley Theophane is no better than a domestic class fighter whoever promotes him. Is this potentially some masterplan between AB and F***d to build interest in a master vs apprentice 50-0 comeback? Their relationship is otherwise very weird. I would say that no idiot would ever fall for it and believe a guy who’s been exposed everytime he steps in with a genuine world class opponent has a prayer, but then 400,000 people paid to watch the Berto ‘finale’ so maybe they would.

Is it bad that one of the few reasons I’d like to see ‘He who should not be named’ fight again is so the lunatics, wallies and w*nkers who adore him can start talking smack in this mailbag again? Getting put down by someone who clearly knows far more about boxing is plenty of fun! I miss the rant emails.

Come back to the UK Doug! Vegas isn’t the fight capital of the world – high rollers with comp tickets don’t feed this business. Genuine fans who chant and shout and spend their money are. The fight capital is right here my friend.

Was that brief? I get carried away. All the best. – Jason, Nottingham

Thanks Jason. That was definitely not brief, but you made the mailbag anyway (this column is compiled by a longwinded writer, so I’m not going to discriminate against my own kind). But if you want to make the Best of the Mailbag feature in THE RING magazine – keep it brief!

I’m glad Smith has a real buzz about him going in Merry Ole England. He deserves it. I saw less than three minutes of him in Carson, California in 2014. I want to see him fight live in a world title fight before too long.

Smith vs Abraham – Arthur is one dimensional. Smith outboxes, outmuscles and KO’s him. I would go with Smith in that matchup but I don’t think he would stop the veteran.

Smith vs Sturm – Would look like a middleweight vs a Light Heavy. Easy KO win for Smith. I agree. Sturmy’s seen better days. Still, I don’t think the stoppage would occur until the mid-to-late rounds.

Smith vs Jack – Smith would dictate at range or get the KO if Jack tries to mix it up. I don’t agree. I think Badou Jack is underrated, and I think he’d give Smith a tough fight. This is an even matchup in my mind for the time being.

Smith vs Degale – Is the only close fight and Degale should take it before the 25 year old gets even better. I would favor DeGale by competitive decision if it happened this year. Next year? I don’t know. It depends on how often Smith fights, who he faces, and how he progresses.

They going over the top or is it Callum already that special? I respect the boxing opinions of both Nelson and Bellew, but I think they have “Mundo Fever” at the moment. And that’s OK. This is what drives boxing. I’m all for it.

I was at Quigg v Frampton and that atmosphere was NOT an aberration over here. If someone offers you a ticket to Joshua vs. Martin I’d apologise to Mrs Fischer and jump on a plane! I would if I could.

Any updates on your prediction after the press tour? Martin has been very cool and calm over here, but I’ve still got AJ for a mid rounds TKO. I still favor Joshua, probably by late-round stoppage, but I think Martin could be dangerous. He’s a good athlete with size, reach and speed, and he’s still an unknown quantity, so he could surprise AJ with his approach to the fight.

Followed by a ring invasion from the not very cool and calm Shannon Briggs who’s been all over London this last fortnight shouting at cameras, buildings, passersby and David Haye. As long as Shannon doesn’t have a heart attack, stroke or severe asthma attack while lobbying for a big payday fight, I’m all good with this routine. I wish Briggs luck, but more importantly, I wish him good health.

I love this guy and his self promotion – fighters who can get themselves over with the viewers are alright by me. Me too.

Have you seen much of his recent stuff such as the 30min meeting with Eddie Hearn? Nah. I go way back with Shannon. I know all about the Shannon Briggs Show.

Ashley Theophane is no better than a domestic class fighter whoever promotes him. Duh.

Is this potentially some masterplan between AB and F***d to build interest in a master vs apprentice 50-0 comeback? Um, DUH! What do you think?

Is it bad that one of the few reasons I’d like to see ‘He who should not be named’ fight again is so the lunatics, wallies and w*nkers who adore him can start talking smack in this mailbag again? Well, it’s not good. There’s gotta be better sources of entertainment out there.

Getting put down by someone who clearly knows far more about boxing is plenty of fun! I miss the rant emails. I don’t. That s__t got old.

Come back to the UK Doug! I will. Sooner than you think.

Vegas isn’t the fight capital of the world – high rollers with comp tickets don’t feed this business. Genuine fans who chant and shout and spend their money are. Word!

The fight capital is right here my friend. Yes, it is. It’s also anywhere Canelo Alvarez fights. And whenever GGG gets down in New York City or Southern California.

 

THE BEEF WITH CANELO

Hi Doug,I think you miss the point about Canelo in your reply to “Captain Ron” in Friday’s mailbag. I have no problem with Canelo having one or even several tune-ups before facing GGG. I and most other boxing fans do have a serious problem, however, with him claiming to be a Middleweight champion, and then stating over and over again that under no circumstances will he fight Golovkin if Golovkin fights at anything over 155lb. That’s plain wrong. In any case, fighting a Welterweight who has never fought at higher than 147lb can’t be called a tune-up for facing Golovkin. It’s a stay-busy fight, and it’s a money-making fight – but it isn’t a tune-up. – Dave Rado, Colchester, UK

Whatever Dave. I think there are clear double standards on what’s acceptable and unacceptable among hardcore boxing fans where Canelo is concerned. And that’s fine. He’s one of the biggest attractions in the sport, so it comes with the territory. He knows this, and to his credit, he doesn’t bitch about it too much. From my perspective, it’s funny how many hardcore heads suddenly become “purists” obsessed with boxing tradition or geeky sticklers for the rules whenever the subject of Canelo comes up. Fans who seldom make a peep about lineal championships, divisional weight limits, sanctioning organization mandatory obligations, catchweights or how many pounds a fighter walks around at or puts on after a weigh-in lose their s__t about all this and more when Canelo is part of the equation.

To hear you (and others) go on and on and on about Canelo, I’d swear that you honestly believe that he’s going to ruin the sport (which tells me that you’ve probably never actually been to one of his fights). You guys are almost as ridiculous as the Golovkin detractors with their silly outrage/fixation on GGG’s supposed “avoidance”/fear of Andre Ward.

I and most other boxing fans do have a serious problem, however, with him claiming to be a Middleweight champion, and then stating over and over again that under no circumstances will he fight Golovkin if Golovkin fights at anything over 155lb. You have a “serious problem” with a 25-year-old former junior middleweight champ who won THE RING/WBC middleweight titles LESS THAN FIVE MONTHS AGO and has never fought above 155 pounds saying that he’s not sure if he’s ready to take on the baddest middleweight on the planet 160 pounds. That just burns your ass and blows your mind, eh? Really? REALLY!?! OK, first of all, as far as I know Canelo himself has never said there’s no fight with Golovkin if it’s not at a 155-pound catchweight. You and the other Canelo Critics act like the Guadalajara native declares that he’ll never fight GGG every time he’s interviewed and this is pure fantasy on your parts. His trainer, Eddy Reynoso, recently stated that the fight won’t happen at 160 pounds but he implied that it didn’t have to be contested all the way down at 155. Reynoso said this (along with the usual GGG detractions) to a Spanish-language media outlet on March 22 – that’s 44 days before the weigh-in for the Amir Khan fight. His fighter is healthy and happy right now (I saw him singing and goofing around at his gym in San Diego just two weeks ago) weighing at least 175 pounds (probably a few pounds heavier). We’re talking about a month and half and 20 POUNDS away from the moment of truth for a fighter who plays the weight game. Let’s see if Reynoso is so dead-set against his fighter fighting at 160 pounds one week before (or after) the showdown with Khan. The thing about fighters and their trainers is that sometimes they’re the last to know when they are done with a certain weight class. Even after Canelo missed weight for his WBC super welterweight bout against Matthew Hatton in 2011 he thought he could still make 147 (he told me this up in Big Bear when he was sparring with GGG – watch the video interview at the top of this Gym Notes story). He never made that weight again. Sooner or later, he WILL hit the wall with 154/155. And it’s just silly (in my not-so-humble opinion) for grown-ass boxing fans to be in constant freak-out mode concerning what Canelo MIGHT demand of Golovkin once negotiations begin for their fight. That’s my two cents on the Canelo outrage. I’m not gonna f__k with it any more. (But I will probably make fun of it.)

That’s plain wrong. Really? It’s “plain” wrong? As in fundamentally wrong? Is it wrong on a basic human level, Dave? Is Canelo disrespecting Golovkin as a human being? Is it morally wrong? Is there something about the “evil of catchweights” in the Bible? Is the redhead flirting with eternal damnation? Is this something that Canelo, a practicing Catholic, should bring up during his next confession? Do you think his priest is a boxing purist? Let’s hope so, eh!? CANELO! LISTEN TO THE REAL BOXING FANS! IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO SAVE YOUR SOUL!

In any case, fighting a Welterweight who has never fought at higher than 147lb can’t be called a tune-up for facing Golovkin. It’s a stay-busy fight, and it’s a money-making fight – but it isn’t a tune-up. So? What’s your point? What’s the difference between a “stay-busy fight” and “tune-up”? Are you trying to tell me that a “tune-up” is a bout that is supposed to help prepare a boxer for a specific fight? And that a “stay busy” bout is just passing time (and hopefully making a s__tload money while you’re at it)? OK. I have two things to say about that:

1.)There’s nobody out there that Canelo can fight who can mimic Golovkin’s strength or what he does in the ring,

2.)If Canelo views Khan as a “stay-busy” fight, he’s not going win on May 7.

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

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