Dougie’s Friday mailbag
NEW FOUND RESPECT
Two fighters that I haven’t been fans of have earned my respect by their out of the ring actions this week.
Deontay Wilder: I haven’t been a fan of Wilder’s and his slow opposition and was pumped to see him fight Alexander Povokin. But by calling off the fight, giving up $4 million, and not being willing to fight a guy who is taking PEDs he earned a ton of respect from me. I still want to see him in against tough opposition, but I’m glad to see him take a stand.
Erislandy Lara: Nothing against Lara as a person but I don’t like watching him fight. He, like Guillermo Rigondeaux, has the ability to engage and use his defensive skills to create offensive openings but is content not to. That said, I respect that he called out Gennady Golovkin, and how he did it. He said GGG is the biggest threat out there and he wants to fight him. As a fan I love that. Usually we hear fighters ignore GGG, like Daniel Jacobs, Peter Quillen, Miguel Cotto, Sergio Martinez did, or disparage him like Andre Ward with his “Lil G” comment or Canelo Alvarez when he said GGG hadn’t earned the fight. Golovkin-Lara is not my first choice, but if Canelo, Jacobs, Saunders don’t take the September fight I’d be okay with Lara as an opponent. What about you? The only block is HBO/Haymon and GGG’s last opponent was a Haymon guy so I’d think HBO would approve Jacobs or Lara…
2003 Pacquiao (who beat Barerra) v Lomachencko at 126
Thanks. – Tyler
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tyler. It’s nice to see Wilder gaining new fans, regardless of the reason. I think he’s a lot of fun given his dynamic-puncher style and bombastic personality, and if the manner in which he handled Povetkin’s PED use earns him new respect among fans, more power to him (and the sport, which finally seems to be pointed in the right direction concerning anti-doping testing and policy).
Hopefully Wilder’s intense preparation for Povetkin won’t totally go to waste (I’ve been told that he was extremely motivated during training camp) and his handlers can put together a voluntary defense by the end of July. Looking at the heavyweights ranked by the WBC, I think former title challenger Kubrat Pulev is the most worthy (of a rather weak group, to be honest). Pulev, who was knocked out in five rounds by Wladimir Klitschko (in one of the former champ’s best performances in November 2014), has won three bouts and earned the European title in his last bout (a decision over Derek Chisora).
Regarding Lara, I don’t respect that he keeps calling out GGG. When he instructs his manager, Luis DeCubas Jr., or advisor, Al Haymon, to contact K2’s Tom Loeffler and make a serious offer, or at least try to start up real negotiations, THEN I will give him respect for calling out “the man” of the 160-pound division.
Golovkin-Lara is not my first choice, but if Canelo, Jacobs, Saunders don’t take the September fight I’d be okay with Lara as an opponent. What about you? I’m not into it. I don’t see how he would be competitive and I don’t think he’s earned the right to challenge a unified middleweight titleholder. The guy lost four or five LEGIT rounds to Vanes Martirosyan. Nothing against the perennial 154-pound contender, but if you can’t hurt Martirosyan, how the f__k you gonna hold off GGG?
The only block is HBO/Haymon and GGG’s last opponent was a Haymon guy so I’d think HBO would approve Jacobs or Lara… I would MUCH prefer Jacobs – I think that’s a competitive fight and I believe it would make for a high-profile event in the NYC/Brooklyn area – but if Haymon and HBO OK’d Lara for GGG that would definitely continue the trend of the PBC offering up sacrificial lambs to other promoters.
Your Mythical Matchup:
2003 Pacquiao (who beat Barrera) v Lomachencko at 126 – Pacquiao by close decision in a terrific fight thanks to a knockdown or two.
Hope all is well Mr. Fischer,
I couldn’t help but scroll through your Twitter TL the other day and see you educate certain people on the “demographic”. I believe that there is innate bias within all of us and it’s hard for that not to be even slightly reflected in anything we do, whether that be writing or commenting on sport. But that’s besides the point. I thought about the claims you and others have raised about certain bias against GGG and more and more it makes sense. These are some of the things I’ve read about GGG and his team on various boxing forums:
“GGG takes step aside money and then pretends like everyone’s ducking him”
“He ducked Andre Ward, he wanted him to move down but he won’t move down for Canelo”
“GGG is white so he can get away with not moving up in divisions. Andre Ward had to move up to face Kovalev”
“GGG only fights bums, he and his team are not interested big fights or fighting the best”
Just a select few. My question is that is this type of bias against a guy completely uncommon in boxing or is it usual for someone in GGG’s position to face resistance because he’s not African American?
As a Brit the best comparison I can make with this is with Amir Khan, there is a “demographic” of people who have British/English flags as their profile pics, yet slam Amir for being a foreigner or having a glass chin. Or failing that, just straight up racially abuse him. Seems like it’s a case of the boxing world imitating life and there is bias and bigotry wherever you go.
Interested to get your perspective on this as well as a couple dream matchups:
GGG vs Monzon
Hagler vs Hopkins
Khan vs Sergio Martinez at (154)
Joseph Parker vs David Tua
Thanks for your time! – Babs, UK
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on an ugly and complicated subject/issue, Babs.
An African-American boxing fan (that I respect) asked me what I meant by “the demographic” (by the way, it’s not a term that I coined – I was content to continue calling that segment of fandom “a__holes”) via Twitter earlier this week. My answer (which had to be brief thanks to Twitter’s word limit) was “Racially biased African-American fans that are uninformed jerks.”
The definition ruffled some feathers, which is understandable. Some African Americans don’t believe black people can be racist. I disagree. Some feel it’s OK be racially biased or flat-out racist if you’re black because of the oppression that Africans/African-Americans have suffered in the U.S. since slaves were brought over. Again, I disagree. Racism is wrong, period.
And some were merely frustrated because some non-black fans who happen to be a__holes labeled them as part of “the demographic.” And I get that. But the bottom line is that if you’re a black fan whose boxing opinions are not racially biased or racially motivated, you are NOT in the “the demographic.” If anyone says you are (in a weak attempt to intimidate you or win an argument on social media or message boards) when you clearly aren’t, well, they’re part of a different “demographic.”
If you’re a black fan who knows his s__t and isn’t rude or needlessly antagonistic, you’re not part of “the demographic.”
“The demographic” is not made up entirely of Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Andre Ward fans. Those boxers have plenty of fans from other ethnic groups that are every bit as annoying their black supporters (they even have rational fans). “The demographic” is easy to spot. They only offer their opinions when supporting (or defending) a black boxer or when ripping a non-black boxer. They’re going to support/defend Al Haymon and the PBC to the bitter end, and they’re going to crap on HBO, Top Rank, Golden Boy Promotions, Main Events and any other boxing organization currently not controlled by Haymon. They literally see the boxing world (and probably the rest of the world) as black and white. Black is good, white sucks. A member of “the demographic” will Tweet that Golvokin has never fought a decent opponent and in his very next Tweet proudly defend Deontay Wilder’s opposition. You get the picture. I can go into more detail but I’m waiting to get an email from an African-American fan on the subject. (And for the record, I welcomed the fans I debated with on Twitter to email the mailbag with their questions and concerns about the term, and I’m proud to say that the Twitter discourse was respectful.)
My question is that is this type of bias against a guy completely uncommon in boxing or is it usual for someone in GGG’s position to face resistance because he’s not African American? It’s not unheard of. Just like white America had a massive collective hard-on for Jack Johnson back when the heavyweight championship was the biggest prize in sports (and the sole domain of white-skinned pugilists), once boxing’s most coveted title became the domain of African Americans, prideful black fans learned to be antagonistic to white heavyweight contenders during Muhammad Ali’s reigns (and beyond). One of my earliest boxing memories is of a lady in church going off on Jerry Quarry (her tirade shocked and confused me because of its intensity and because I had no idea she followed boxing – she really wasn’t a fan, she was black and proud and Ali had become a cultural hero by the 1970s). Black boxing fans I knew in the 1980s and ’90s did not have nice things to say about Gerry Cooney or Tommy Morrison (who I liked and supported, which many of my black friends found annoying). They more I cheered for Morrison, the more they booed his white ass. And, man, when he would get knocked out (which happened, often in brutal fashion) there was a celebration. LOL.
The hate/racial bias for GGG (which is real) seems out of control because of social media. It’s like all of the s__t talk about a fighter that used to be confined to barber shops and locker rooms has been put into a very far-reaching public forum. The backlash against GGG is, in my opinion, a product of his fast rise to prominence (in both the media and the sport), his HBO affiliation/support, and his look/demeanor.
Golovkin, who was unknown to most of the fans who rip him today prior to his HBO debut in September 2012, climbed the middleweight rankings (and eventually the pound-for-pound lists) during a time when the sport’s two most talented African-American boxers Ward and Mayweather were struggling (Ward with his inactivity; Mayweather with general public acceptance). Mayweather and Ward carry the mantle of black pride for a significant number of African-American fans because they are undefeated, dominant champions, and were, at one time, Nos. 1 and 2 in the mythical pound-for-pound rankings. Being a middleweight, Golovkin is a potential opponent for Mayweather, who was the junior middleweight champ, and Ward, the former super middleweight champ. That gets fans talking about potential fights, which sparks arguments when Golovkin fans opine that their man can beat the two best black boxers in the sport. (Plus Mayweather and Ward’s diehard fans are already miffed that GGG is rated ahead of Ward on most P4P lists.) Of course, arguments on social media can easily and quickly turn ugly, and racial epithets are never far behind.
Adding fuel to the GGG hate is the media love for the Kazakhstan-born fighter. He’s the darling of the boxing press (as Oscar De La Hoya and Canelo Alvarez have discovered). I was looking at BoxingScene.com’s homepage on Tuesday night (about 10:45 p.m. PT) and found NINE headlines with Golovkin’s name in it. Any news about Golovkin, it seems, is fit to post. LOL. This media love and HBO’s usual marketing push for a contract fighter has created an added backlash from GGG haters because they feel like he’s being crammed down their throats.
And finally, although mixed with Asian (and hailing from a country in Central Asia), Golovkin’s skin is white and he’s got a clean-cut look – short hair (sometimes with a part in it), no tattoos. He’s also polite and respectful outside of the ring. He just smiles, offers his sound bites and stays out of the usual mud-slinging between rival fighters, promoters and managers. This drives cretins crazy. (Trust me, I’m an expert on a__hole boxing fans.) They want the fighters they hate to engage with them, sink down to their level. GGG won’t do it, and it pisses a lot of them off. They actually like it when a white-skinned fighter they piss on spews some s__t back, which is one of the reasons Krusher Kovalev isn’t as hated on as much as GGG.
Your mythical matchups:
GGG vs Monzon – Monzon by close decision
Hagler vs Hopkins – Hopkins by close decision
Khan vs Sergio Martinez at (154) – Martinez by mid-to-late rounds stoppage
Joseph Parker vs David Tua – Tua by early-to-mid rounds stoppage
What’s up Doug?
Hope you and the family are well. Second time writing, hoping I make the cut.
Although I don’t always agree with you, I do like points you make and your perspective. In addition, although I don’t always agree with you, I don’t lose sleep over people’s opinions.
Anyway, on to more important matters.
First, I love how fans “categorize” themselves as hard core or casual etc. Why not just being a “fan”? Period.
Secondly, Canelo. I can understand people’s dissent towards him (I don’t agree with all of it, but I can definitely understand it). I honestly feel the media has a big part to play in everything, if not the biggest. They are quick to say “Canelo said this, Sanchez said that”. Really wish GGG vs Canelo went through the same process as Canelo vs Khan and BAM! Surprise everyone with a fight date and location. Or maybe it’s all a promotional ploy to maximise interest? Hmm.
Thirdly; David Haye. I think I actually wrote about him in my last email to you. I’m not sure what exactly he’s doing right now. Shaking off ring rust? Climbing up the rankings? Passing time while earning money? I have absolutely no idea, or maybe he’s doing all actually. There are ways to go about securing fights, he wants a crack at the world title why not fight actual contenders? Maybe he is but I don’t see how De Mori or the Cobra are/were ranked at HW. And Briggs? lol. If they were then *scratches head* sanctioning bodies ay?
Finally, Mayweather vs McGregor: Oh God please no. Take Care, Chris – London
Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts, Chris, but I’m not going to bite on that Mayweather-McGregor bulls__t. Just like I refuse to lose my head over Canelo-Golovkin until both camps actually let us know what they plan to do next, I’m not even going to bother expressing my opinion on Mayweather-McGregor unless it becomes a real boxing match/exhibition or whatever they care to call it.
First, I love how fans “categorize” themselves as hard core or casual etc. Why not just being a “fan”? Period. Hey man, there’s levels to this fan s__t, and we gotta let those casuals know it! (LOL)
Secondly, Canelo. I can understand people’s dissent towards him (I don’t agree with all of it, but I can definitely understand it). I honestly feel the media has a big part to play in everything, if not the biggest. The boxing media certainly has a part in the madness of the Canelo-GGG saga, but so do obsessive fans that come up with narratives on this potential fight that even the most biased and deranged members of the press couldn’t dream up.
Really wish GGG vs Canelo went through the same process as Canelo vs Khan and BAM! Surprise everyone with a fight date and location. That would be cool.
Or maybe it’s all a promotional ploy to maximise interest? Hmm. Maybe.
Thirdly; David Haye. I’m not sure what exactly he’s doing right now. Shaking off ring rust? Climbing up the rankings? Passing time while earning money? I have absolutely no idea, or maybe he’s doing all actually. He’s doing all three, an accomplishment that could only be done in this era of boxing, because he’s fighting nobodies.
There are ways to go about securing fights, he wants a crack at the world title why not fight actual contenders? Obviously, he doesn’t feel that he’s ready.
Maybe he is but I don’t see how De Mori or the Cobra are/were ranked at HW. And Briggs? lol. If they were then *scratches head* sanctioning bodies ay? The WBA ranks Briggs (No. 7) for some reason (right between Haye and Antonio Tarver – smh), but those other two are not ranked by any of the major sanctioning organizations.
Long-time reader of and occasional submitter to your mailbag. Thanks for the work and giving me something else to look forward to on Mondays and Fridays.
I’m staying away from the politics of boxing, particularly as it concerns a potential showdown between Canelo and GGG. I hope it takes place this year but I’m not holding my breath and since there is very little to nothing that I can do about it, why waste the energy fretting and complaining?
I’ve been watching a lot of GGG fights recently on Youtube going back to when he had single-digit wins. You being an avid GGG fan and boxing expert, I wanted to get your take on my thoughts concerning what it is that makes Golovkin great. We all know about GGG’s tangible assets: he has thudding power (not necessarily one-punch power but the type that makes mofos want to quit), a granite chin, under-rated footwork and defense, and a masterful ability to stalk and cut off the ring. But what I think makes Gennady so damn good is his mental game. We’ve all heard the old adage that sports is ninety percent (or seventy-five, whatever) mental and the rest physical. I believe this adage to be true, particularly in a sport like boxing where your life is in literal danger.
GGG never seems to get flustered. Ever. He appears to maintain calm and patience in every fight of his that I’ve watched. He almost seems to have a Zen-like quality to him when he fights, like he knows that he will win, that he can take whatever his opponent dishes out and that he will beat his opponent, usually through attrition. In addition, he has a massive amount of patience, rarely over-extending himself even when he has his opponent in trouble. I can’t recall any other boxers that have this mental toughness and fortitude where they seem to be in the zone all of the time.
What do you think about my assessment of Golovkin, Dougie? Do you agree and can you think of other fighters with his mental makeup?
Also, no mythical matchups this time but I do have a question concerning you MM picks. I may be wrong but I don’t think you have ever gone against Joe Calzaghe in an MM. Is there anyone in the 168lb. area, past or present, that you think could beat him? There must be at least one. Keep up the good work. – Hammer
Calzaghe, at his best at 168 pounds, was a very difficult fighter to beat because of his athleticism, high-volume southpaw boxing style, durability, recuperative powers, and – most importantly – his ability to adapt. Like GGG, a lot of fans and boxing writers overlooked Calzaghe’s ring intelligence. He figured out his opponents’ styles and took over fights with the efficiency of Pernell Whitaker.
Having said that, I think the prime super middleweight version of Roy Jones Jr. would have defeated Calzaghe.
Regarding Golovkin, I agree that his mental game is his greatest strength. Abel Sanchez also agrees with you.
GGG never seems to get flustered. Ever. He appears to maintain calm and patience in every fight of his that I’ve watched. I’ve noticed (in the gym as well as the prize ring). This is one of the reasons I believe he is so effective against mobile boxers that employ stick-and-move tactics. He doesn’t let elusiveness get to him the way other heavy handed pressure fighters often do (check out the way Ruslan Provodnikov was gradually frustrated in his pursuit of Chris Algieri for a prime example). Just an educated hunch, but I think in order to fluster GGG, a fighter has to do so in a very physical manner.
What do you think about my assessment of Golovkin, Dougie? I think it’s “spot on” as the British say.
Do you agree and can you think of other fighters with his mental makeup? Sure, Mike McCallum, Kostya Tszyu and the late ’80s/early ’90s version of Evander Holyfield come to mind. Active fighters – Roman Gonzalez, Terence Crawford and Sergey Kovalev also appear to have this steely disposition in the ring.
- As far as I remember, you have always picked Roberto Duran in mythical lightweight matchups. Duran could be the greatest lightweight ever, but is the best version of Duran unbeatable at 135 pounds?
Can he beat anyone including Joe Gans, Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, Ike Williams and Carlos Ortiz? While it’s hard to imagine Duran at his best losing at 135, I believe nobody can be invincible in boxing.
- If Golovkin fights and beats Canelo and Saunders, will his middleweight reign be better than B-Hop’s? The wins over Canelo, Saunders, Lemieux, Murray and Geale are better than Hopkins’ wins over Tito, De La Hoya, Joppy, Holmes and Johnson? (Well, it’s amazing what Hopkins achieved after he turned forty and left the division…)
Eder Jofre vs Panama Al Brown, Manuel Ortiz, Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate at 118
Cheers. – Taku from Japan
- As far as I remember, you have always picked Roberto Duran in mythical lightweight matchups. Duran could be the greatest lightweight ever, but is the best version of Duran unbeatable at 135 pounds? Nah. He was beatable. The late Esteban DeJesus, a very underrated lightweight/junior welterweight standout from Puerto Rico, beat a near-prime lightweight version of Duran (and was competitive in two subsequent late rounds stoppage losses to Hands of Stone).
Can he beat anyone including Joe Gans, Benny Leonard, Tony Canzoneri, Ike Williams and Carlos Ortiz? While it’s hard to imagine Duran at his best losing at 135, I believe nobody can be invincible in boxing. Nobody is invincible. I can see the five all-time lightweight greats you noted beating Duran on a good night. Williams probably had the best shot at stopping the lightweight version of Duran.
- If Golovkin fights and beats Canelo and Saunders, will his middleweight reign be better than B-Hop’s? I don’t think so. Not unless Canelo and Saunders go on to accomplish a lot after losing to GGG.
The wins over Canelo, Saunders, Lemieux, Murray and Geale are better than Hopkins’ wins over Tito, De La Hoya, Joppy, Holmes and Johnson? I don’t think so. Hopkins has two first-ballot hall of famers (De La Hoya and Trinidad) on his ledger, and the victory he had over Johnson (a 32-0 prospect at the time) looked better after the Road Warrior’s light heavyweight title run.
Your mythical matchups:
Eder Jofre vs Panama Al Brown, Manuel Ortiz, Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate at 118 – Jofre narrowly outpoints Olivares and Zarate, and ghe ets narrowly outpointed by Brown and Ortiz.
JUST A BIT ANGRY
my name in Ciobanu Catalin, from Romania,
I wanted to ask you why hasn’t the ring changed the mention that Alvarez no longer hold the WBC belt and it is currently at GGG, in more then a week since he has given it up? give the man what is his!
I love your mailbag and I’ve always respected your opinion, witch I thought was objective….until recently, when you gave me doubts about how fair you are to your boy canelo. The way i see it, it’s like this, the fight should have happened in may, canelo knew what he was fighting for (the belt, witch cotto gave up, but he accepted), but then he got a postpone on it and we, the fans, let him have it ( even dough we didn’t like and you took his side) cause he promised us the fight in sept this year, but this time around he says one thing when asked (will you defend?-shows us his guns, and says he doesn’t f… around) and then gives up the belt, interrupts the negotiations (he is too troubled with the law suit now-allegedly) and you again say we shouldn’t jump him, okay, i’m with you so far… What will you say if/when he back out from this?
Marinating isn’t good for boxing, it’s good for fighter and promoters(they get filthy rich) , but the fans don’t get to see prime fighters, you beat the drums on maypac disaster, this is the same thing , a fight for witch the fans have been asking from 2014, if they give it to us in 2017 who knows in what condition these guys will be in….i say too long, i say screw em and their money makin ideas off the back of the fans, i RESPECT the fans and take the DAMN fight when it’s demanded…
I still appreciate you Doug, don’t get me wrong… I’m just a bit angry.
Have a nice day. Love from Romania. – Ciobanu
Thanks for the love, Ciobanu. Now, don’t take this the wrong way, but you don’t seem a bit angry, you seem a bit crazy. Not totally crazy, just where Canelo is concerned. But hey, at least you’re not alone.
I don’t know what to say fans who think I’m protecting Canelo or have a Golden Boy bias or whatever. All of this is getting very stale, so I’ll state for the record (one more time), I’m just not mad at the young man the way you are. I think you’ve taken all of the frustration that boxing has given you over the past 10-15 years and dumped on the redhead. I don’t think it’s fair but I’m not going to tell you how to feel. Hate him if you want. Boycott him if you need to that. But don’t expect me to agree with you if I think you’re being unreasonable.
Marinating isn’t good for boxing, it’s good for fighter and promoters (they get filthy rich) – You might hate that word/term, but allowing a major fight to build up for a year or so usually makes it bigger. Can things happen to ruin a potential mega-match while it’s “marinating” (like one of the fighters losing)? Yup. It’s a risk. And of course the fighters and the promoters want to get rich. That’s why they do this crazy s__t.
but the fans don’t get to see prime fighters Oh stop it. Despite the nine year difference in age, both Canelo and GGG are in their primes and they will be in their primes next year.
you beat the drums on maypac disaster No I didn’t.
this is the same thing No it’s not.
a fight for witch the fans have been asking from 2014 No they haven’t. (What’s up with fans making weird s_t up? Stop doing that!)
if they give it to us in 2017 who knows in what condition these guys will be in? They will be in the same – or better – condition they are in right now.
i say too long, i say screw em and their money makin ideas off the back of the fans, i RESPECT the fans and take the DAMN fight when it’s demanded… What you need to do is take your damn medication.
The way i see it, it’s like this, the fight should have happened in may No, it should not have happened in May.
canelo knew what he was fighting for (the belt, witch cotto gave up, but he accepted) This is true. He shouldn’t have fought for the WBC title if he wasn’t ready to fight GGG in 2016.
but then he got a postpone on it and we, the fans, let him have it ( even dough we didn’t like and you took his side) cause he promised us the fight in sept this year He didn’t promise anything. He agreed to enter negotiations with Team GGG after his voluntary defense against Amir Khan, which he did. And why would I have a problem with him deferring the fight? I don’t think he’s proven himself to be a real force at middleweight yet. He’s had two middleweight title bouts – against a 35-year-old junior middleweight and a welterweight contender. Despite being the lineal/RING magazine champ, he’s accomplished less at middleweight than Jacobs and Saunders. I’m fine with him fighting at least one top-10 middleweight (at middleweight, not 155 pounds) before he challenges the best 160 pounder in the game.
but this time around he says one thing when asked (will you defend?-shows us his guns, and says he doesn’t f… around) and then gives up the belt, interrupts the negotiations (he is too troubled with the law suit now-allegedly) and you again say we shouldn’t jump him, okay, i’m with you so far… What will you say if/when he back out from this? It depends on what he does next, who he fights next, and if he’s got some kind of long-term deal with K2/GGG to make the fight eventually happen.
I wanted to ask you why hasn’t the ring changed the mention that Alvarez no longer hold the WBC belt and it is currently at GGG, in more then a week since he has given it up? give the man what is his! If you’re talking about the RingTV.com middleweight rankings, we’ve made those changes. There’s no GGG hating going on here!