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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

06
May
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Gennady Golovkin (L) and Canelo Alvarez (R) sparred in the summer of 2011. Fans want to see them go at it in a prize fight but Canelo ruffled some feathers when he said GGG hasn’t “earned” the fight yet given his opposition. Photo by Scott Kilbride

A MATTER OF OPPOSITION!?

Dear Doug,
I am a very new boxing follower as you may observe from my last few emails to you and I was trying to be calm and give credit to all boxers. I appreciate their craft (yes, I had a little complain about Dominic Wade but still wished him all the best) and I also give credit to Victor Ortiz, who was referred to as a quitter (but I still like the way he fights and his quitting gave me time to watch Badou Jack vs Lucian Bute). However, after I read the article this morning, “Canelo says Golovkin’s opposition, not weight, is delaying their fight“, I just lost my cool.

All this time after Canelo vs Khan was announced, I tried to be neutral and rational toward the “potential” Canelo vs GGG issue, and as a matter of fact, I don’t care if it happens or not. I don’t even care about all the catch-weight talk because I know it is part of boxing and boxing is business where the A-side gets the better of everything.

When Canelo brings up the opposition reason, I just lost it. GGG didn’t beat any big name, VERY TRUE!! However, whom did Caenlo beat that makes him much better of a fighter? The only name that he beat is Miguel Cotto over whom he had significant weight advantage and won on points. Erislandy Lara is the guy that a lot of people think Canelo lost to and Canelo decisively lost to Money Mayweather. Austin Trout was not a recognized opponent. All other the people before Trout are somewhat recognizable but didn’t provide the “opposition” he mentioned.

I said that I don’t care if “The Fight” happens so I probably should not have such reaction. However, this is not a matter of the fight but integrity. I dislike people dissing on others while himself is no better, especially from a celebrity who is supposed to be the future of this industry. I guess Money’s spirit is passed down to the next generation after all.

I am really sorry for the late email and my overreaction, but I really need your wisdom to rationalize this nonsense and of course I just have too much love for GGG (stating the obvious). I also apologize for the loose-organized email and hope you having a blast in Las Vegas. Thank you very much. – David C

No apologies necessary, David. Canelo and company probably got the reaction from you that they wanted (not that I agree with that line of thinking). Here’s my very simple take on Canelo’s recent comments about GGG’s opposition (which is basically the same rant he gave me when RingTV Live visited his camp a month ago), he’s sick of being asked about the Golovkin fight (which I can understand), so he wants to give a big middle finger to all GGG fanboys and media cheerleaders. But he (along with Golden Boy Promotions, of course) is also sending a message directly to K2 Promotions and Team GGG, not-so subtlety reminding them that they are the decided B-side whenever they finally sit down to seriously negotiate terms for a showdown.

Tom Loeffler, the managing director of K2, has masterfully maneuvered Golovkin into the WBC’s mandatory challenger position and with the cooperation of HBO, and the help of the boxing media and GGG’s growing legion of hardcore fans, they’ve made their presence felt by Cotto and now Canelo. I think Canelo and GBP are feeling the pressure and are finally at the point where they want to tell everyone to f__k off. They can’t do that. (Bob Arum would do that, but hey, he’s in his 80s, he’s gets a pass for that sort of thing.)

I think Canelo has a point. I’m a GGG fan. He’s my favorite active fighter. (I don’t think that’s a secret.) But he’s only faced a couple of legit top-five middleweights during his WBA title reign (Matthew Macklin, Daniel Geale and David Lemieux; and maybe Martin Murray, but I’m not 100% sure). Those are solid 160 pounders (or at least they were when he faced them), but none of them are future hall of famers or were considered “world beaters.”

Say what you will of Canelo’s opposition, but he’s faced three future first-ballot hall of famers (Mosley, Mayweather and Cotto). Mosley was long in the tooth, but Canelo was 20 when he faced him. Mayweather was pound-for-pound No. 1. Cotto was THE RING/WBC middleweight champ. Austin Trout was unbeaten and considered the No. 1 or No. 2-rated

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

junior middleweight by all credible boxing writers when Canelo faced him (and he’s still rated No. 2 by THE RING). Erislandy Lara was considered the No. 1 or No. 2-rated junior middleweight when Canelo faced him (and he’s currently THE RING’s No. 1-rated 154 pounder). (And whether or not you think he performed well against Trout and Lara, the bottom line is that he got into the ring with the formidable southpaws.)

So Canelo has faced the elite fighters in his old division, as well as some of the legends of the sport. I don’t think he’s lying when he says he’s faced better competition than Golovkin.

However, Canelo is overlooking three things:

1) Golovkin would have loved to face a household name like Mayweather, or gotten a shot at Cotto before Canelo did, but those veterans (wisely) want no part of him.

2) Golovkin’s dominance, activity and brutal consistency over unspectacular-but-solid opposition have not only made him the consensus No. 1 middleweight, but also a fan favorite.

3) When he agreed to fight for the WBC middleweight title after the sanctioning organization stripped Cotto, he basically agreed to eventually defend the green belt against Golovkin.

Having said that, I think Golovkin fans need to remind themselves that at the beginning of the year, K2 (on GGG’s behalf) entered an agreement with Golden Boy Promotions and the WBC to allow both fighters to have one fight before entering serious negotiations. GGG had his fight a couple weeks ago in my hometown of Inglewood, California. Canelo will have his tomorrow night here in Las Vegas.

All of the talk about Canelo-Golovkin among fans and the media so far has been mental masturbation (and it will continue to be a pointless circle jerk until the WBC’s May 22 deadline for negotiations to begin). All of the talk about Canelo-Golovkin from the fighters and their promoters to this point has been pure bluster.

I can understand rolling your eyes and getting a little fed up with some of the crap that has been said (mostly on the GBP side), but it’s silly to get too worked up about it.

KHAN CAN

Hi Dougie,

I have a feeling that Canelo can only win with a KO. Watching Khan’s fights over the years I feel that he is a difficult person to outbox or out punch and therefore out-point. I believe that Khan is fully switched on to this fight due to being conscious of the dangers and knock-out potential that Canelo possesses and will lead to him implementing a very disciplined fight.

My prediction is if Khan wins then it will be by tough unanimous decision and if Canelo wins then it’ll be by brutal KO. Although if I was a betting man I would lean towards Khan. What do you think?

Kind regards. – Anish Parekh, Ashton under Lyne

I see what you’re saying about Canelo only being able to win by KO. Most people think that’s what he’s going to do to Khan, but what if he doesn’t stop the underdog? Can he win on points? You are absolutely correct that Khan is very hard to outpoint. However, it has been done (albeit controversially), Lamont Peterson did it in December 2011. Peterson did it by pressing Khan to the ropes and outworking the faster and more-talented boxer (and also with the assist of the referee who docked Khan two points for “shoving”).

Can Canelo cut the ring off and do something similar? I don’t think Canelo can let his hands go like Peterson, but if he gets Khan along the ropes he won’t have to worry about the fight going the distance.

I believe that Khan is fully switched on to this fight due to being conscious of the dangers and knock-out potential that Canelo possesses and will lead to him implementing a very disciplined fight. I agree, and he better be!

My prediction is if Khan wins then it will be by tough unanimous decision and if Canelo wins then it’ll be by brutal KO. Although if I was a betting man I would lean towards Khan. So would I (but just for the record, I am not). I would bet a couple hundred on all of the underdogs of the HBO Pay-Per-View show (Khan, Glen Tapia, Mauricio Herrera and Curtis Stevens). Khan and Tapia are live, and I think Herrera and Stevens are just more experienced and better all-around fighters than their young unbeaten opponents (Frankie Gomez and Patrick Teixeira).

 

IS CANELO BEING SERIOUS?

Hey Dougie,

I’m excited for Khanelo! Even if it winds up a mismatch, which I don’t think will be the case, it should be entertaining while it lasts.

I don’t hate Canelo in the slightest. In fact, I quite enjoy most of his fights and have nothing but respect for the man. But what the heck is this crap? (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-boxing-alvarez-khan-20160505-story.html)

Regarding GGG – “…he needs to work his way up… to earn his shot”?!

Please tell me this is just some promotional garbage to help generate angst and sell Saturday’s fight, or maybe an odd response to an oddly phrased question. Maybe a little of Mayweather’s “Money” persona technique aimed at hardcore fans? Trying to make people dislike him so they’ll tune in? He can’t actually believe that load of bull… can he?

Geez, all of a sudden I’ve been reading and loving the mailbag for something like 15 years! I feel old, haha! Be well, and keep up the great work! Thanks Dougie! – Max Moorman, Colorado Springs

Thanks for following this column for all these years, Max. Loyal readers like you are the reason I continue to do it (even when I’m totally exhausted like I am now).

Please tell me this is just some promotional garbage to help generate angst and sell Saturday’s fight, or maybe an odd response to an oddly phrased question. It is promotional garbage but it wasn’t meant to help sell Canelo-Khan. I think it’s promotional positioning for future negotiations with K2 and Team GGG. They know Loeffler is going to come to the table saying “Gennady Golovkin is a worldwide brand, he sells out arenas, yadda, yadda, yadda, he deserves a respectful split of the pie.” They want to send this message right now: “F__k him, he ain’t fought nobody.”

Maybe a little of Mayweather’s “Money” persona technique aimed at hardcore fans? Trying to make people dislike him so they’ll tune in? I think Canelo is definitely taking a page from Mayweather (and Pacquiao’s) book by asserting that he’s the A-side and demanding that Golovkin acquiesce to all of his demands (such as catchweights, money splits, etc.), but I don’t think he’s trying to create a polarizing persona the way Floyd did with “Money.” Canelo wants people to like him. I don’t think he realizes that he will lose fans if he avoids GGG.

I’m excited for Khanelo! Even if it winds up a mismatch, which I don’t think will be the case, it should be entertaining while it lasts. I’m excited about the entire card. (And I’m going to be calling the live stream of the undercard with my good pals Beto Duran and Steve Kim – as well as the international broadcast of the main event and three supporting fights – so I hope my voice holds out!)

 

BERTO IS NOT BACK

Hey Doug,

I hate all the people who say Andre Berto is now in his “second prime”. He beat a guy who’s not in the top 15 in the division and who hadn’t had a meaningful win in 5 years. I love Victor Ortiz, but beating him doesn’t make Berto suddenly a player in the division. I think he loses to everyone in the RING’s Top 10. My Khanelo prediction: Mr. Delusional is beating my fellow redhead on the cards when he gets brutally knocked out in round 6. Thanks Doug and enjoy the weekend. – Robert from Ashton, MD

Who the hell is saying Berto is in his “second prime?” If his last name ain’t Berto, he’s either a shameless PBCheerleader or he just started watching boxing. And if Berto said that, he’s WAY more delusional than Khan and almost as loopy as our man Vic. I love Victor Ortiz, but beating him doesn’t make Berto suddenly a player in the division.

Um, no it doesn’t (although it did for Marcos Maidana, Josesito Lopez and Luis Collazo – just sayin’.)

I think he loses to everyone in the RING’s Top 10. I agree with you (and that includes our relatively unproven Nos. 9 and 10, Dmitry Mikhaylenko and Konstantin Ponomarev).

My Khanelo prediction: Mr. Delusional is beating my fellow redhead on the cards when he gets brutally knocked out in round 6. That’s a fair prediction. I think Khan lasts past Round 6, and if he’s knocked out I think it will be a technical stoppage.

 

IS HBO BROKE?

Hey Doug,

I am a big fan of you and believe you are the top expert in boxing as far as I’m concerned. I am very excited for the Canelo-Khan undercard. It’s very solid with interesting fights.

On other boxing websites I have read that HBO boxing is having budget cuts. For example, I have heard that Andre Ward wants another fight before the Kovalev showdown but it might not happen because of budget issues. Please explain? That really sucks that a lot of fights are going to be PPV. Talk about breaking the bank. Thanks. – Robbie

Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your concern for HBO. I don’t think you have to worry about the network running out of money for the Sweet Science. I think HBO Sports is just as committed as it ever was to its boxing programming. Is the annual budget for boxing as big as it was in the 1990s – hell no! Is it what it was 10 years ago? No, but it’s still the biggest budget among U.S. networks. However, the decision makers are simply being smarter about how they spend the network’s money. They’re not as willing to finance “tune-up” bouts and gross mismatches as the old guard was during the “glory years” when Roy Jones Jr. made seven-figures to fight opponents who weren’t competent enough to spar with him. Gone are the days when a Shane Mosley could make $3.5 million fighting Adrian Stone, or a Floyd Mayweather could make $2.5-3 million fighting Henry Bruseles or a badly faded Sharmba Mitchell, or an Andre Berto could make a high-six-figure purse fighting David Estrada or Michel Trabant on HBO’s Championship Boxing or Boxing After Dark.

I should point out that there were more HBO Pay-Per-View shows during this “money era” than there is now – a lot more. However, fights like Golovkin-Lemieux and Crawford-Postol probably would have been on regular HBO.

 

KHAN’S ARMY CHIEF GENERAL CHECKS IN

Hey Doug, how are you? Since the last time I wrote to you (2 years ago) I see you have started getting some screen time from HBO (good for you my man 😀 ). Will be looking forward to a “Hey Doug!” segment after Harold retires. LOL

Anyways, now for the main discussion. Canelo vs Khan! I have a few pointers and I also have a fight which happened not so long ago which I believe would turn out to be very similar to this one. Hear me out for a sec. The fight that I am talking about is Lucas Matthysse vs John Molina. Remember how Molina moved up and everyone thought The Machine was gonna absolutely kill him before the fight and then Molina comes in as a huge 140 pounder and it turned out to be Fight of the Year? My friend, history is gonna repeat itself come May 7th (albeit a few changes). Canelo is going to find out that Khan is much bigger than what most thought he would be. I think that is where the game changes.

I don’t know how fight fans have failed to see a very obvious thing here – Amir Khan is much bigger in size than Canelo Alvarez (close to 2 inches taller and quite the reach advantage for Khan). I know the cameras are not catching this but believe me that is a fact. He is going to come in looking quite big and is going to be much, much stronger than most expect him to be. This is one fight where the weigh-in is gonna be as interesting as the fight itself. That is my take on the size matter. Tell me if you disagree?

Coming to the actual fight now – if Khan tries to go all guns out he won’t win (even as a supporter I can see that). He needs to use his reach and his ring generalship to take the fight to 8-9 rounds. After that, Canelo’s gas seems to always run out to a certain degree. He needs to try and win more than 6 rounds rather than trying to win the fight if you know what I mean. He needs to understand this and act accordingly. I can really see him win this one if he executes his game plan but any deviation could prove fatal. I am really backing him up for this one. Props to him for taking this fight, and I really hope he comes out on top.

My prediction would be Khan 115-113 (an uncomfortably close win). What about you?

Also, a few good match ups got made if I am not wrong. Martinez vs Lomachenko, Crawford vs Postol and Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz. Whatz your prediction for all these fights? How do you see them unfolding?

Would love to hear from you. Keep the mailbags coming….Cheers!!! – Pranay

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on tomorrow night’s big matchup (and for the kind words). I’ll respond to your questions and comments in order:

Remember how Molina moved up and everyone thought The Machine was gonna absolutely kill him before the fight and then Molina comes in as a huge 140 pounder and it turned out to be Fight of the Year? I remember it. I was ringside for that barnburner (doing the international broadcast with Alan Massengale). But while I agree that a fighter going up in weight (especially a tall and rangy one who had been struggling at the lower weight class) can gain stronger legs and better punch resistance, I would hesitate to draw too many comparisons to Matthysse-Molina because Molina is a pure puncher and Khan is more of a stick-and-move boxer. They both have big balls, but Khan’s at a different (higher) talent level and they’re styles are completely different. Molina lasted as long as he did, in part, because he had the power to hurt Matthysse (and dropped the Argentine punisher twice).

My friend, history is gonna repeat itself come May 7th (albeit a few changes). From your lips to Allah’s ear.

Canelo is going to find out that Khan is much bigger than what most thought he would be. Maybe. But do you really think that will bug Canelo out? He’s faced taller, rangier boxers before, such as Kermit Cintron and Austin Trout.

I think that is where the game changes. We’ll see.

This is one fight where the weigh-in is gonna be as interesting as the fight itself. I agree. It will be interesting to see how heavy Khan comes in at (I’m thinking it would be smart for him to pull a “Terry Norris” and weigh-in around 151-152 pounds), and how comfortable Canelo looks making 155 (some pundits predict that the Mexican star will come in at 154 just to prove to his critics and the GGG contingent that he really is a “junior middleweight”).

That is my take on the size matter. Tell me if you disagree? I agree and I disagree. I agree that Khan is bigger than a lot of fans think, but I don’t think Canelo is going to be flustered by that. And even if Khan looks bigger at today’s weigh-in, I guarantee you that he won’t look bigger on fight night.

Coming to the actual fight now – if Khan tries to go all guns out he won’t win (even as a supporter I can see that). He needs to use his reach and his ring generalship to take the fight to 8-9 rounds. Agreed.

After that, Canelo’s gas seems to always run out to a certain degree. Canelo’s critics have been saying this for years, but I think it’s an exaggeration. Since he fought Trout, all of his opponents have said they’re going to take him into deep water and drown him but nobody does it.

He needs to try and win more than 6 rounds rather than trying to win the fight if you know what I mean. I think I understand you. (No, I don’t.)

I can really see him win this one if he executes his game plan but any deviation could prove fatal. That’s one of the factors that makes the matchup so intriguing.

I am really backing him up for this one. Really? I hadn’t noticed.

Props to him for taking this fight, and I really hope he comes out on top. Yes, props to Khan, and may the best man win.

My prediction would be Khan 115-113 (an uncomfortably close win). If he wins by this score on even one scorecard you’re going to be promoted to Commander-in-Chief of Khan’s World Army.

What about you? I think Canelo stops him late in a competitive fight.

Also, a few good match ups got made if I am not wrong. Martinez vs Lomachenko, Crawford vs Postol and Frampton vs Leo Santa Cruz. Whatz your prediction for all these fights? How do you see them unfolding? Lomachenko, Crawford and Santa Cruz on points.

 

RANDOM RANTS

What’s up Dougie. On my hour lunch break at work and typing on my phone so apologizes for any errors.

I’m disappointed that Anthony Joshua signed with Showtime. Am glad we’ll get to see him on American TV, tho. I think very highly of his ability but who can he really fight the next couple of years on Showtime? Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz are HBO. Dominic Breazeale or however you spell it is a gimme fight. Didn’t see his last fight against Amir but I heard he was lucky to win, lost every round and was knocked down.

I saw the fight against Fred Kassi and another one last year and was not impressed. He needs a lot of work. The only guy I can think of Showtime has is Wilder, that’s it. I’d expect Joshua to KO Wilder. Wilder has power, size and is athletic but that’s it.

Looking forward to Alvarez and Khan and the undercards. I always order every boxing PPV but if Canelo doesn’t fight GGG in September I probably won’t be ordering any PPVs he headlines. I don’t want to see another Canelo-Cotto.

I respect fighters a lot for all the hard work and sacrifices they make. They are putting their life and bodies on the line. I’m not heartless but at the same time I’m a paying customer who watches almost all fights, goes too live fights sometimes and orders all PPVs. They make the money they do because of us fans. Give us the fight we want, Canelo vs GGG. No marinating or catch-weight. Floyd and Manny “marinated” and it stunk.

On fight night doesn’t Canelo usually weigh a few more pounds then GGG does? I remember for the Cotto fight he didn’t weigh in on fight night.

Anyways thanks for your time.

Ortiz vs Wilder
Val Kilmer vs George Clooney Batman

Thanks – Ryan, N.Y.

Thanks for sharing your rants, Ryan. I’ll respond to them in order:

I’m disappointed that Anthony Joshua signed with Showtime. Am glad we’ll get to see him on American TV, tho. I think very highly of his ability but who can he really fight the next couple of years on Showtime? Klitschko, Tyson Fury and Luis Ortiz are HBO. I don’t have any problem with Joshua fighting on Showtime. He isn’t ready for Klitschko, Fury or Ortiz. I don’t think he will be for at least another year. In the meantime, he can build his name in the U.S. rolling over the PBC heavyweight stable (Breazeale – yep, you spelled it right – Chris Arreola, and, ugh, I can’t believe I’m actually writing this name, Gerald Washington). Who knows? Maybe Joshua will fight some non-PBC guys, and a showdown with David Haye can be made sometime next year. I’m not in a rush to see him face the absolute best of the division yet. I want to see him go at least 10 rounds first.

Dominic Breazeale or however you spell it is a gimme fight. Duh.

Didn’t see his last fight against Amir but I heard he was lucky to win, lost every round and was knocked down. He struggled with Mansour, and was dropped and repeatedly rocked, but I don’t agree with the judges that had him losing every round. Anyway, the scorecards are moot because he kept his composure and, ultimately, he nailed Mansour with a punch that caused the hardnosed gatekeeper to almost bite his tongue off.

The only guy I can think of Showtime has is Wilder, that’s it. Wilder vs. Joshua is a huge fight, especially if the American beats Povetkin this month.

I’d expect Joshua to KO Wilder. I’m not so sure about that.

Wilder has power, size and is athletic but that’s it. That’s enough to overwhelm most heavyweight contenders.

Looking forward to Alvarez and Khan and the undercards. You should be!

I always order every boxing PPV but if Canelo doesn’t fight GGG in September I probably won’t be ordering any PPVs he headlines. That’s a much better way of voicing your disapproval than bitching and moaning on Twitter like a mope.

I don’t want to see another Canelo-Cotto. Nobody does.

I respect fighters a lot for all the hard work and sacrifices they make. They are putting their life and bodies on the line. I’m not heartless but at the same time I’m a paying customer who watches almost all fights, goes too live fights sometimes and orders all PPVs. They make the money they do because of us fans. Give us the fight we want, Canelo vs GGG. No marinating or catch-weight. If you and other fans want to see the fight this badly, chances are good that Oscar De La Hoya is going to make you wait a bit longer to see it. You’re not going to boycott it if it happens in 2017. On the bright side, the longer the fight is put off the lesser chance there is of it taking place at a catchweight.

Floyd and Manny “marinated” and it stunk. May-Pac did not marinate, it spoiled. Don’t hold it against Canelo or Golden Boy Promotions because you ate it.

On fight night doesn’t Canelo usually weigh a few more pounds then GGG does? Yeah, I think so.

Your mythical matchups:

Ortiz vs Wilder – Ortiz by late stoppage or decision.
Val Kilmer vs George Clooney Batman – Clooney Bats by come-from-behind stoppage (but neither would last a round with the Christian Bale Batman)

 

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

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