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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

16
May

Canelo-GGG-Oscar-Tom_cartoon

MARINATION STRATEGY WORKING

Hi Dougie,

Written in a few times but no luck thus far, hoping I buck the trend this time!



I want to talk about the Canelo-GGG fight but more so in terms of the marinating strategy Oscar De La Hoya decided to go for. While I was initially critical and have been on the bandwagon trying to bully Canelo into the fight, I think the strategy has worked exceptionally well. This fight is truly going to do excellent numbers and passes what I call the ‘casual sports fan’ test. I have heard friends of mine and others who only ever talk about boxing when it comes to the mega fights, e.g May-Pac, or Anthony Joshua in the case of UK fighters (probably the second biggest PPV star in the world right now), regularly mention and ask me about GGG and more specifically they keep asking me when is Canelo going to fight him. These are the kinds of people who had no clue that Canelo was fighting Miguel Cotto in November and certainly didn’t have a clue that GGG was fighting David Lemieux in October.

Even better, and what has really convinced me this fight is ready to go: school kids that I teach have asked me about it! I teach secondary school (12-18 year olds) and the students who know I am a boxing fan have been asking me about Canelo and GGG and what I think is going to happen with them. This all might be partially just a UK thing since Canelo destroyed Amir Khan and so casual folks here are looking for him to get into a big fight as a result, but I am convinced the fight is well and truly marinated and set to go for this Autumn.

Have you noticed anything similar or agree with my sentiment? Thanks. – Ibrahim, London

I’ve obviously noticed the clamor for Canelo-Golovkin here in the U.S. but I don’t think it’s to the same degree as it probably is in your neck of the woods. Here, the fight is primarily on the minds of hardcore fans and the boxing media. Many are absolutely obsessed with the fight, which is a good thing. It makes me think that De La Hoya picked up a few tricks from Bob Arum in the coy manner in which he played the media every time Golovkin was brought up. Oscar and his cohorts (Eric Gomez, Eddy Reynoso, sometimes even Canelo himself) would say the fight is going to happen, but then follow that statement with a comment that seemed to put off the bout (talk of marinating, the catchweight, purse split, ‘A-side-vs.-B-side’ BS, detracting Golvokin’s opposition, etc.) and then they’d just sit back and watch the media run with that one comment or sound bite, which would then whip diehard fans into a frenzy.

So, they created a buzz within the industry by setting off the usual Golden Boy critics/naysayers in the media (you know who they are), who made loud proclamations about how Canelo will never fight Golovkin, sparking GGG fans to go at it with Canelo fans on social media, and basically promoting an eventual Canelo-Golovkin showdown DURING the build-up to Canelo-Khan.

Golovkin’s own continual rise in popularity in the U.S. has also helped to create interest in the Canelo fight. Two years ago, the only folks I encountered who talked about Golovkin were Mexican and Mexican-American fans who attended live boxing events. White and black folks who had a passing interest in boxing only wanted to talk about Mayweather-Pacquiao, and even those who claimed to follow the sport knew more about Nonito Doniare than the undefeated middleweight from Kazakhstan.

But that’s changed in the last year. Golovkin is my favorite active fighter, so I happen to own a fair amount of “Golovkin gear.” Since Golovkin’s fight with Lemieux, when a boxing fan sees me wearing a Golovkin T-shirt or hoodie, they either yell out “GGG!” or they ask me when or if Canelo is going to fight him. Still, I run into folks who have never heard of Golovkin when I’m around casual boxing fans (the kind that know who Canelo is but haven’t followed his career, the kind that aren’t embarrassed to anticipate or talk about Mayweather-McGregor).

To put it short, I think the “casual” fan in the UK is more in tune with the sport’s currents events and boxing’s elite fighters than the casual fan in the U.S.

But Canelo-GGG will be a big event in the U.S. if it happens this year or May 2017, which means that De La Hoya’s brand of marination and “media teasing” paid off. However, it has also gradually painted Canelo and his company into a corner, while building up a lot of resentment among the press and hardcore fans of both the U.S. and Mexico. So much so, that if the fight doesn’t happen in 2016, Canelo will lose a portion of his fan base and a significant degree of respect within the industry.

Time will tell if the “marination” process for this fight was detrimental to Canelo’s legacy/reputation.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I’m glad you finally got an email through. I hope it’s not your last.

CANELO-GGG NEGOTIATIONS

What’s up Dougie!

Haven’t written to the mailbag in quite some time but I had to share my frustrations.

Every single boxing article/website has been placing the blame and responsibility on making this fight on Canelo’s shoulders. Constantly questioning his “courage”. I haven’t heard anything said about GGG lacking courage by not wanting to come down in weight. If GGG was serious about making the fight with the much bigger star who has the much better resume surely he must know some concessions will have to be made. Look I’m not justifying the games and tricks that will be played in the negotiations, I’m just saying both are to blame if it ultimately doesn’t get made. Your thoughts?

(P.S. Canelo is the most underrated boxer in the game and has a very good chance to counterpunch his way to victory vs the unproven Kazakh.) – All the best!! – Dre H., Milwaukee, WI

From your lips to God’s ear, Dre.

I don’t know if Canelo’s the most underrated boxer in the game but I think he’s the most underappreciated, which I admit is a strange thing to write/say given his immense popularity. What I mean is that no matter what he does, who he fights or what he says, there seems to be a contingent of fans and boxing media that are unsatisfied and/or agitated by his actions.

At the start of 2014, hardcore heads claimed he was afraid of/ducking Erislandy Lara, which was a bit odd given the fact that Canelo had lost his 154-pound belts to Floyd Mayweather Jr. in September 2013 and Lara had won the WBA junior middleweight title in December 2013. Why was the guy with a title calling out a guy without one? (And how was Canelo ducking Lara when he had faced then-undefeated Austin Trout – the man Lara later outpointed to win his title – and then Mayweather in 2013? He certainly wasn’t cherry picking was he? Were the hardcore heads mad at Canelo for fighting Alfredo Angulo in March 2014 instead of Lara? Did they forget that Angulo took their “avoided Cuban boxing master” to hell in June 2013? And why weren’t the same “purists” clamoring for Mayweather, the “real champ” at 154 pounds, to face Lara? You’d think they’d be in heaven with that boxer-vs.-boxer matchup. Oh well, there’s a fair amount of nut cakes among boxing fandom. All I know is that Canelo took on Lara July 2014 and the same folks who claimed he was ducking Lara gave him ZERO credit.)

I expect the same fans (and media) currently s__ting on Canelo about “avoiding” Golovkin to continue doing so when the fight is signed, sealed and delivered.

Canelo-GGG-poster_mailbagEvery single boxing article/website has been placing the blame and responsibility on making this fight on Canelo’s shoulders. I can understand placing some, even the majority of blame, on Canelo’s side. He is, after all, the star. He’s the guy with the most power and leverage. However, nobody should place all of the blame on Canelo. Team GGG have a part in postponing Golovkin’s mandatory shot at the WBC title. To ignore the fact that K2/Golovkin have played along with the WBC and Golden Boy Promotions is just plain silly (and unprofessional). If all Team GGG wanted was the WBC title, they’d probably have it by now. They’ve taken step-aside money and agreed to put off WBC title shots until now in the hopes of getting a crack at a world-famous fighter (Miguel Cotto and later Canelo). Members of the media should be professional and mature enough to acknowledge this fact and they should not act like GBP and Canelo are somehow victimizing Golovkin.

Constantly questioning his “courage”. Anyone who does this is either a nitwit or simply dislikes Canelo.

I haven’t heard anything said about GGG lacking courage by not wanting to come down in weight. I haven’t heard much of this from the media (which is a good thing), but Golovkin has a small but dedicated (and mouthy) group of detractors that barks this s__t all day and night on social media.

If GGG was serious about making the fight with the much bigger star who has the much better resume surely he must know some concessions will have to be made. He does, and so does Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions. They’re willing to concede a lot (share of the purse, promotional lead, etc.), but weight is not something they will give up easily. If the catchweight is reasonable (say 158), they will likely consider it, but then they won’t be as willing to bend on the money split and other things.

Look I’m not justifying the games and tricks that will be played in the negotiations, I’m just saying both are to blame if it ultimately doesn’t get made. I agree. But I already know that Canelo and Golden Boy will be the ones that will be vilified by the media and hardcore fans. I think GBP and K2 are also aware of this, a realization that probably adds some negotiating leverage to the Golovkin side.

 

ROBBERY IN D.C.

Hey Dougie,

It’s been awhile since I have dropped a line to you in the mail bag but after the travesty I just watched in the Dusty Hernandez-Harrison vs. Mike Dallas Jr. fight, I felt compelled.

Not only did I think Dallas Jr. dominated the action and most of the fight but was also the victim of some hometown injustice. Granted taking a knee after 2 questionable shots below the belt was probably not the smartest move, but in no way should it have been a knockdown. Also, how can you not take a point for a blatant hit on the ref breaking the action?

I’m just shocked, although what it does is trigger memories of Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson. King Khan said it best after he was robbed in DC, “that’s why there hasn’t been a championship fight in DC for quite some time.” Do you remember that one? How did you score the fight not only from last night but from the archives of Amir Khan? Do you see Hernandez-Harrison as true prospect right now? Because I was not impressed. Who would you like to see Hernandez-Harrison fight going forward and where does Mike Dallas go from here?

Last but not least I have to say I am truly excited for the Jermall Charlo vs Austin Trout fight this week. I may be the only person on the planet to say that but I used to think highly of Trout. Why hasn’t he been more active recently and who do you think wins that fight and in what fashion? Thanks Dougie. – Kristoff from Sactown

Thanks for sharing your thoughts (and frustrations) Kristoff.

I don’t really have a favorite in the Charlo-Trout matchup (and to be honest, I’m not really looking forward to the fight or the Lara-Martirosyan rematch on the same card), but if I have to pick a winner I’m going to go with the defending beltholder. Charlo’s got youth and momentum on his side. Trout isn’t “old” at age 30, but his career really hasn’t gotten back on track since his back-to-back decision losses to Canelo and Lara in 2013.

I think Trout could be more active (I feel that way about most modern fighters) but I don’t think that’s his problem. He’s been fighting twice a year since 2012. The difference between now and then is that he’s no longer fighting top contenders. The level of his competition during the past two years may have stagnated his development/comeback.

Anyway, I wish him well. Trout’s a nice guy (as are the Charlo twins – and I’m hoping the Jermell Charlo-John Jackson fight delivers some action on Saturday).

Not only did I think Dallas Jr. dominated the action and most of the fight but was also the victim of some hometown injustice. Some hometown injustice”? Try LOTS of hometown injustice. An argument cannot be made for that fight being a draw or Dallas’ hand not being raised in victory. He outworked, outboxed and outclassed Harrison. It’s as simple as that. The judges Tammy Jenkins (who scored it 95-94 for Harrison) and Wayne Smith (who had it even, 94-94) FAILED. And referee Malik Waleed had a bad night.

Granted taking a knee after 2 questionable shots below the belt was probably not the smartest move, but in no way should it have been a knockdown. I was OK with this knockdown. The body shots that caused Dallas to go down were, as you noted, “questionable” or borderline. They were not clear low blows.

Also, how can you not take a point for a blatant hit on the ref breaking the action? That was a bad call on the ref’s part. That punch was clearly landed after Waleed yelled for the two to break (and Harrison even turned his head to acknowledge him, but still let the shot fly – and I think he did so out of frustration).

I’m just shocked, although what it does is trigger memories of Amir Khan vs Lamont Peterson. Sadly, I was not shocked. This has been a poor year for Washington, D.C., officials, which is sad because the area has a rich boxing tradition and a lot of true-blue fans. It deserves more high-profile boxing cards but it won’t get them if the judges can’t get their act together. The region already earned worldwide stigma this year due to that bizarre scorecard from the Luis Ortiz-Tony Thompson fight where judge Lloyd Scaife failed to score one of Ortiz’s knockdowns and then scored Round 3 for Thompson even though the hometown fighter had been dropped in that round, and those outrageous scorecards in the James DeGale-Porky Medina (two undeserved 117-111 tallies for DeGale) and Badou Jack-Lucian Bute (two awful 114-114 scores in a fight Jack clearly won) super middleweight title bouts. And now another bogus draw.

How did you score the fight not only from last night but from the archives of Amir Khan? I thought Khan-Peterson was legitimately close, but I scored it for Khan by a point or two (even with the ridiculous point deductions). I did not think Harrison-Dallas was close. I thought Dallas won eight rounds. I only scored Rounds 8 and 10 for Harrison, so I scored it 97-91 for Dallas. I’m totally fine with Judge Paul Wallace’s 96-92 tally for Dallas. And I can live with commentator Tony Paige’s 95-93 score for Dallas (although I think Tony – who did an excellent and honest call of the action with Dave Bontempo for BET – is being very kind to Harrison). But there’s no way that Dallas did not win that fight!

Do you see Hernandez-Harrison as true prospect right now? Because I was not impressed. It was not a good performance from the 21-year-old standout. He neglected his jab, didn’t punch in combination, didn’t move his head or upper-body enough, relied too much on a high-guard defense, couldn’t cut the ring off, and didn’t fight with a sense of urgency until the late rounds (and at that point he was frustrated and resorting to roughhouse tactics). I can’t call him a prospect any more, even though he’s very young. He’s got 30 pro bouts! However, I still think he’s got promise. Dusty just had a bad night against a more mature and experienced fighter. I think Dallas boxed the fight of his career against Harrison. I’ve never seen him so quick and sharp (and smart!) Dallas knew when to box, when to move, when to take a step back and when to turn it on. He fought like a seasoned pro. There’s no shame in struggling with that version of Dallas. Although Harrison is still unbeaten, I view the Dallas fight as a setback, and he can learn from it and grow from it just as Dallas evolved as a result of the losses and setbacks that he’s experienced during his career.

Who would you like to see Hernandez-Harrison fight going forward and where does Mike Dallas go from here? Before Harrison fights again I think he and his team need to figure out if he’s a welterweight or junior middleweight. He’s very tall and rangy and still growing. I have to wonder if his 6-foot frame would perform better at 154 than at 147. I wouldn’t put him right back in with Dallas. He needs to work on some fundamentals against a durable and capable pro, but not one as talented and savvy as Dallas. Maybe an old hardnosed vet like Silverio Ortiz.

I think Dallas is a very dangerous gatekeeper right now. He’s got the potential to break into the rankings (or at least earn fringe contender status) if he can put on another performance like the one he put on Saturday (and get credit for it from the damn judges). So I’d like to see him in with an up-and-comer like Frankie Gomez or a fellow fringe contender/gatekeeper like Adrian Granados (although those two might try to get him to come down to junior welterweight, which might be tough at this point in his career). Or maybe a comebacking vet like Mike Alvarado. Perhaps a streaking stylistic nightmare like Alan Sanchez. Whoever Dallas fights next, I think it should be someone who can advance him to the next level should he win.

 

TAKE YOUR PICK

Hey Doug,

Avid reader the past 3-4 years, first time writing in. Figure you’re gonna get bombarded about the Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin debacle, so I had a random question I wanted to throw your way.

It’s obviously a bit subjective when trying to determine the top dog for each division, given all the politics & money squabbles preventing fights. If there were an elimination tourney in the following divisions, with a final occurring in say Nov 2017, who would you see emerging victorious?

Jr. Welter-

Welter-

Jr. Middle-

Middle-

SMW-

LHW-

Cruiser-

HW-

Obviously this is a dream scenario & we’re throwing politics out the window, but I wanted your 2 cents. I got Crawford, Spence, Andrade, GGG, Callum Smith, gun to my head Ward, Oleksandr Usyk, and King Kong Ortiz. Can you get behind some of these? Any of them feel way off base? Keep doing your thing man, much appreciated!

All-Michigan MMU at Middleweight: Hearns vs Toney? – Daniel, Seattle

Thanks for finally writing in, Daniel.

That’s a fascinating middleweight mythical matchup, it’s a toss-up really, if both men are at their best 160-pound form (sometimes Toney didn’t show up 100%, or even 75%). I’m going to go with Hearns on points in a competitive fight. He had the athletic talent, boxing ability, height and reach to give Toney fits, although a part of me wonders if the Hitman would get greedy and try to score a knockout, which would play right into the counter-punching prowess of Lights Out (especially his counter right). But Toney generally excelled against pressure fighters, not sharp boxers who operated from a distance on their toes. I also have to figure Emanuel Steward would have a good game plan for Tommy to follow. But then again, I bet Bill Miller (one of the most underrated trainers of the last 35 years) would have had a good gameplan for Toney to follow. (Man, this really is a tough pick – LOL!)

I’m gonna stick with it being a distance fight, though. I don’t think Hearns would knockout the slick and iron-jawed Toney but he might buzz him a few times. Toney might buzz Hearns a few times, too, but I don’t think he cracked hard enough to put the pride of Detroit away.

Interesting question about who would rule the welter-to-heavyweight classes if the top contenders had to face each other in a tournament situation. I don’t think any of your choices are off base. Here are mine:

Jr. Welter- I got Terence Crawford too (although I’m a bit worried about Bud’s next fight; Postol is a very live dog in that matchup)

Welter- Kell Brook (deal with it you haters!)

Jr. Middle- Demetrius Andrade (once again, I’m a little bit nervous about my pick’s next fight; Willie Nelson is dangerous)

Middle- GGG (again, deal with it you haters!)

SMW- I’m gonna go with Callum Smith, too. (I used to think DeGale would take over the division but not if he continues to fight with his current form. And while Jack is a complete fighter who continues to improve, I’ve never been really impressed with him.)

LHW- Sergey Kovalev (and nobody has to put a gun to my head)

Usyk-mug_mailbag

“Hey dudes! I’m the future cruiserweight king and I’m CRAY-ZAY!”

Cruiser- I’ll also go with Usyk. The Ukrainian southpaw has the amateur credentials, a cagey boxing style, physical prowess and power, plus he looks like f__kin’ serial killer. (Seriously, that mug of his – with the freakish Hitler hairdo, crazy eyes and demented grin – gives me the creeps.)

HW- Anthony Joshua (I think Ortiz is a good pick, and the Cuban boxer-puncher is definitely a legit dark horse, but my hunch is that Father Time will give AJ a helping hand in a tournament situation or if they shared the ring a year from now.)

Figure you’re gonna get bombarded about the Deontay Wilder-Alexander Povetkin debacleÔǪ No, I haven’t. I was expecting at least one email about Povetkin coming up positive for meldonium. I guess Povetkin fans are too embarrassed about the situation to comment, while Wilder fans are just relieved their guy won’t have to go to Russia to face a legit threat.

 

ALL SORTS OF STUFF

Hey Doug, how are you doing? I’ve been reading the mailbag since ’08, if I’m not mistaken, when Oscar fought Pacman. Mondays and Fridays won’t be the same without reading the mailbag. I have a few questions for u. I’ll try to keep it brief as possible.

  1. Adrien Broner. He’s a 4 division champion. If he decides to call it a day, do you think with his resume, could he enter the hall of fame? Not a fan of Broner though, but I think with discipline, he can beat top fighters at 140, except for Bud and Postol.
  2. It sucks when I tried to watch Canelo Khan 24/7, only to know that it’s not available in my country. Dude..that sucks a lot. Where can I watch besides YouTube or Golden Boy website? Btw, that was not the first time I encountered that kind of problem.
  3. Gennady “God of War” Golovkin will have some problems with Canelo when they share the ring this September(hopefully!!) With his vast amateur background, GGG will hand Canelo his second defeat but a it’s hard for me to see GGG knocking out Cinnamon.
  4. Let’s hope Pacman and Money May stays in retirement. I appreciate what they did in boxing and really, they don’t have anything else to prove to the boxing world. Just like you, I’ve moved on. It’s time for fighters like GGG, Kovalev, Ward, Bud, Gonzalez to occupy the front page.

M.M

  1. The Machine/ Pistol/ Bud vs Aaron Pryor or Alexis Arguello at 140
  2. Top 5 welterweight today (excluding Pac and Floyd) vs Ray Leonard, Hitman Hearns and Duran.
  3. Hagler vs Martinez/ Paul Williams.
  4. David Tua vs Deontay Wilder.

Keep up the good work Doug. – Adrian, Sarawak

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Adrian, and for reading the mailbag since it debuted on RingTV.com (actually, I think it was called thering-online.com in December 2008). I’ll try to keep my responses to your questions/comments as brief as possible (which ain’t easy for me).

  1. Adrien Broner. He’s a 4 division champion. If he decides to call it a day, do you think with his resume, could he enter the hall of fame? No. He’s got an impressive ledger for his age, but he hasn’t defeated any world-beaters and he hasn’t put forth the kind of elite-level consistency needed to get on the IBHOF ballot. Not a fan of Broner though, but I think with discipline, he can beat top fighters at 140, except for Bud and Postol. At his best, I think he can beat the lower-top-10-rated junior welterweights but I’d not only favor Postol and Crawford over the brash Ohioan, I think Ruslan Provodnikov and Lucas Matthysse can beat him.
  2. It sucks when I tried to watch Canelo Khan 24/7, only to know that it’s not available in my country. DudeÔǪthat sucks a lot. Oh, come on, it’s not that bad. Where can I watch besides YouTube or Golden Boy website? No idea, but if it bugs you to watch “24/7” online this bad, you gotta take it up with HBO, not Yours Truly.
  3. Gennady “God of War” Golovkin will have some problems with Canelo when they share the ring this September (hopefully!!) With his vast amateur background, GGG will hand Canelo his second defeat but it’s hard for me to see GGG knocking out Cinnamon. I can see it. I don’t think the stoppage will come easy, but I can envision it. I can also envision Canelo going the distance (although I’m not sure that will be a good thing for him).
  4. Let’s hope Pacman and Money May stays in retirement. Yes, let’s hope and pray. I appreciate what they did in boxing and really, they don’t have anything else to prove to the boxing world. Fact! Just like you, I’ve moved on. You’re smart. It’s time for fighters like GGG, Kovalev, Ward, Bud, Gonzalez to occupy the front page. Indeed! Preach! Hallelujah!

Your mythical matchups:

  1. The Machine/ Pistol/ Bud vs Aaron Pryor or Alexis Arguello at 140 – Pryor outworks all three to competitive decision victories (maybe a late TKO with Matthysse); Arguello outpoints Matthysse in a hotly contested and thrilling fight, gets outmaneuvered and loses an unpopular decision to Postol and gets outpointed by Crawford in a war.
  2. Top 5 welterweights today (excluding Pac and Floyd) vs Ray Leonard, Hitman Hearns and Duran – The Dynamic Three defeats the current Top Five by mid-to-late stoppage.
  3. Hagler vs Martinez/ Paul Williams – Hagler by close but unanimous decision over Martinez and by late TKO against the Punisher in a good, grinding scrap.
  4. David Tua vs Deontay Wilder – TuaMan by come-from-behind late TKO.

 

 

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

 

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