Dougie’s Monday mailbag
A SPECIAL FIGHT
Dear Mr Fischer,
What a second round by Kell Brook! Because Special K didn’t go down after that vicious round one left hook to the body and the grazing one upstairs, I’m going to ignore the fact that this fight resembled so many of Golovkin’s previous in that after he blasted his opponent early and then didn’t seem to throw power shots for a few rounds. Though if that’s the case, this was by far the biggest drama show GGG has given us. It may have been the pro-Brook crowd, or the fact that the first real power shots didn’t give Golovkin an early knockdown, maybe it was the bloody nose or how angry GGG seemed to be in Round 3, but for at least one round it felt like the Special One was in this fight.
Then Golovkin was Golovkin.
No one that weighs in at the middleweight limit can handle those shots for long. I doubt GGG did anything that makes Canelo Alvarez or Billy Joe Saunders (or Chris Eubank Jr. or Daniel Jacobs) think they have much more of a chance with him, but it was nice to hear Paulie Malignaggi talk about how a faster fighter could beat and outbox Golovkin because “he doesn’t move his head.” How about it, Dougie, do you think a faster, smoother middleweight could last more than a carried round or two against GGG? Do you believe any current middleweight wants to try? I’m just pleased I get to continue to watch GGG fight!
As for Brook, there’s no doubt in my mind that if he can keep his health and stamina going back down (until Golovkin moves on, no one should want to come to middleweight), he’ll be a huge draw for the rest of his career. I was a Brook fan before the fight was announced, and now I’d be surprised if I missed any of his fights going forward. Peace. – John
Even if you disagreed with the stoppage or Brooks’ decision to take the Golovkin fight, I don’t see how anyone can not be impressed with his effort against the Boogeyman of the Middleweights or not want to see the Sheffield native display his talent and heart in the junior middleweight division.
(I)t was nice to hear Paulie Malignaggi talk about how a faster fighter could beat and outbox Golovkin because “he doesn’t move his head.” I think it’s going to take A LOT more than superior hand speed to beat Golovkin.
How about it, Dougie, do you think a faster, smoother middleweight could last more than a carried round or two against GGG? Yeah, a think a world-class middleweight with elite hand speed and a smooth, slick style can trouble Golovkin for more than a few rounds. But he’d have to have a world-class chin and tremendous durability to last the distance. And I’m not sure that fighter currently exists at 160 pounds.
Do you believe any current middleweight wants to try? If you take them at their word, ALL of the top middleweight contenders want to take the GGG Challenge. They just don’t want to do it right away, and they either want to dictate all the terms of the bout or they want to be paid two-to-three times more than their highest payday.
I’m just pleased I get to continue to watch GGG fight! Me too. He’s still my favorite fighter, although Chocolatito is very close second, especially after his performance on Saturday.
(T)his was by far the biggest drama show GGG has given us. Hmmm. You might be right about that.
It may have been the pro-Brook crowd… The packed O2 Arena was definitely a factor in the entertainment/intensity of the fight.
… or the fact that the first real power shots didn’t give Golovkin an early knockdown, maybe it was the bloody nose or how angry GGG seemed to be in Round 3, but for at least one round it felt like the Special One was in this fight. He was definitely in it during Round 2, which most folks scored for Brook. And he boxed/fought well in Round 3, too.
THANK YOU CHOCOLATITO, CUADRAS
Hello again Doug!
It’s not like I can see the future, nor I’m a boxing genius. But I was certain that this fight was a hardcore fan’s wet dream. I told you this a few weeks ago, and a few weeks later the little guys absolutely delivered. And then some.
The contest was an exquisite display of technique and pressure fighting from wire to wire. Awesome. This is what boxing is all about. This is what drives us all crazy and makes me write an email at midnight on Saturday.
The right guy won. And the right guy, while losing the fight, also won.
Carlos Cuadras, welcome to the really Big Leagues. Carlitos made the most of his opportunity to show the world some serious boxing skills. I think he elevated his game at the right time and gave us his best performance. He should be proud. Cuadras refused to play the role of the victim and tried his best to swing for the fences. Yes, he lost. But he only lost his “0”. At the same time, he won everybody’s respect and he also won stature within the sport. Who wouldn’t want to see him fight again? This is why fighters should not be afraid of risking their zeroes. They should be afraid of not giving their best every time they climb into a boxing ring.
On to Chocolate.
Good Lord. The dude never ceases to amaze. This time, it was his chin and his stamina what caught my attention. Of course, his wicked precision and hand speed are on a celestial level. But that I already knew. But the way he walked thru Carlitos’ punches all night long was truly remarkable. González noticed when Cuadras was gaining momentum and he applied more and more pressure to his rival. His conditioning on Saturday was magnificent. Championships are truly manufactured in the gym.
Mad respect to the Nicaraguan AND for Cuadras. The Mexican was not afraid of taking a huge risk, and Chocolate keeps putting himself in real danger against real opponents. I’m thinking of a lot of boxers who should the same.
I was expecting an easier night for Chocolate. But the way Cuadras fought and the way González made adjustments was very satisfying to watch. Vargas-Salido is still my fight of the year so far, but this one was an absolute pleasure to watch as well.
Lastly, what’s right about the LA area? It seems like every big fight there is thrilling :). – Carlos, from Hermosillo, México
Hey brotha, Los Angeles (and its surrounding municipalities) is a major fight town going back to the 1930s, and The Forum’s history with the lighter-weight fighters goes back to the late 1960s and the great Ruben Olivares, who used to sell the joint out and still have thousands of fans in the parking lot where they followed his fight on their car radios. Southern California has the tradition and it attracts the talent.
Gonzalez and Cuadras lived up to that proud tradition on Saturday. I think Chocolatito is the most talented/skilled/gutsy flyweight/super fly to fight at The Forum since Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson. And I think Cuadras has the potential to be as much of a Mexican attraction/ticket seller at The Forum as Humberto “Chiquita” Gonzalez was. (And for those fans who aren’t familiar with “Too Sharp” and “Chiquita,” both are hall of famers and that’s HIGH praise.)
Vargas-Salido is still my Fight of the Year front-runner too, but Gonzalez-Cuadras is definitely among my top five (maybe top three) candidates. I figured Gonzalez would have a real challenge on his heavy little hands and I knew Cuadras would go the distance, but I agree that “Principe” put forth the best performance of his career. Kudos to him and to trainer Rudy Hernandez for giving Chocolatito one of the toughest fights of his career.
Cuadras refused to play the role of the victim and tried his best to swing for the fences. Yes, he lost. But he only lost his “0”. Agreed. Cuadras entered the ring with confidence and swagger and tried like hell to back it up. He came to win and that’s what fans will remember. I know the Mexican fans that were in attendance will have his back from now on, and he probably earned a lot more that watched on HBO and Mexican TV.
Who wouldn’t want to see him fight again? The dips__ts that don’t pay attention to sub-lightweight boxers.
This is why fighters should not be afraid of risking their zeroes. They should be afraid of not giving their best every time they climb into a boxing ring. Agreed, but it’s going to take a few years for the Mayweather Mentality to fade away from the sport.
(Gonzalez) never ceases to amaze. This time, it was his chin and his stamina what caught my attention. I was once again in awe of his relentless pressure and ability to maintain balance and firing position at all times. He is the definition of an effective aggressor. His chin was definitely solid but I don’t know if Cuadras is a home-run hitter. Gonzalez has to have awesome stamina to fight the way he does but he was tired in the final rounds.
Of course, his wicked precision and hand speed are on a celestial level. I love your choice of words here.
- Gonzalez-Cuadras was more competitive than many had expected. It was Cuadras’ boxing skills and footwork that made the fight competitive, but I believe the weight class also mattered a lot. Chocolatito looked smaller than Cuadras, his power wasn’t the same as that at 112, and he sometimes seemed to feel the power of his opponent: it prevented him from carrying out his usual non-stop attack.
Still, Gonzalez beat the 2nd best superfly weight clearly (at least to my eye) and showed his greatness.
Now I’m looking forward to the potential big fight between Inoue and Gonzalez. Inoue’s size and strength might be too much for the current PFP king, but due to injury he hasn’t been so spectacular lately (especially in his last two fights), and we mustn’t forget that Gonzalez is special.
- What is “physically strong”? This term is heard very often, and I know some fighters, like Margarito, are physically strong. But is “physically strong” different from “hitting hard”, “iron-chinned” or “tireless”?
Can a fighter without power/chin/stamina be physically strong?
Rosendo Alvarez vs Ivan Calderon at 105
Salvador Sanchez vs Vicente Saldivar at 126
Regards. – Taku from Japan
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions, Taku. Yes, a fighter without power, chin or stamina can be physically strong. Physical strength in boxing pertains to the brute force a fighter can use to move or manhandle his opponents in the ring. It’s not the same thing as punching power. It’s usually connected to durability, heavy hands or even elite punching power, as it is with Golovkin, but not always. Sometimes awesome punchers – such as Thomas Hearns – lack great physical strength and punch resistance and can be bullied or roughed up by stronger fighters that may not hit as hard as they do (as Marvin Hagler, Iran Barkley, and to a lesser extent Juan Roldan and James Kinchen did to the Hitman).
Gonzalez-Cuadras was more competitive than many had expected. To paraphrase Roger Mayweather (another example of a world-class hitter who didn’t have great physical strength), people who didn’t expect a competitive WBC 115-pound title fight on Saturday didn’t know s__t about Cuadras.
It was Cuadras’ boxing skills and footwork that made the fight competitive, but I believe the weight class also mattered a lot. I agree.
Chocolatito looked smaller than Cuadras… that’s because he was/is smaller than Cuadras.
…his power wasn’t the same as that at 112, and he sometimes seemed to feel the power of his opponent: it prevented him from carrying out his usual non-stop attack. Bro, that attack was non-stop. Had Cuadras not moved and held (and fired back) as much as he did he likely would have wilted under the pressure and assault. I’m not sure Gonzalez’s power has diminished. As Roy Jones Jr. astutely pointed out to Max Kellerman during the HBO broadcast, it could simply be a matter of Cuadras having world-class whiskers.
Still, Gonzalez beat the 2nd best superfly weight clearly (at least to my eye) and showed his greatness. Yes, indeed. And in my opinion he further solidified his spot as the best fighter on the planet.
Now I’m looking forward to the potential big fight between Inoue and Gonzalez. I bet you are!
Inoue’s size and strength might be too much for the current PFP king, but due to injury he hasn’t been so spectacular lately (especially in his last two fights), and we mustn’t forget that Gonzalez is special. Yeah, I know all the boxing nerds are (and have been) geeking out to this potential matchup – and that’s cool because it’s a geek-worthy matchup – but I think it would be mistake to put the 23-year-old Japanese phenom in with Chocolatito in only his 12th pro bout. I think Inoue should make his U.S. debut first and also get some quality rounds in against a durable and experienced junior bantie veteran before taking the Chocolatito Challenge.
Your mythical matchups:
Rosendo Alvarez vs Ivan Calderon at 105 – Calderon by close, maybe split decision
Salvador Sanchez vs Vicente Saldivar at 126 – Sanchez by close but unanimous decision
CHOCOLATITO, KAMEGAI-SOTO KARASS II
I hope you enjoyed the Fabulous Forum fight card, what a night of fights!
Really happy for Yoshihiro Kamegai, such a courageous fighter and really liked his combination punching especially to the body which really helped him get the stoppage victory over Jesus Soto Karass. I think Kamegai gets some good fights coming up at 154. Not sure about JSK, do you think he should retire Doug?
I was so hyped for the main event Dougie and it really lived up to our hopes. Wow, both fighters put everything into the fight! Gonzalez was relentless as always but Cuadras stayed with him and what a barnburner we got.
I called the fight 116-112 for Roman Gonzalez. Would you say that is a fair score? I think his accuracy and pressure helped him overall against Carlos Cuadras.
When fans on Twitter start to downplay RG after this fight, the ignorance and blasphemy honestly, they could have seen Sugar Ray Robinson put on a masterpiece and still complain he wasn’t trying hard enough! It was a great fight and Cuadras played a massive part in it. Kudos to both warriors. I share your desire for a rematch and would love to get Inoue fighting Gonzalez in 2017 too. 115 weight class looks great.
I am so happy that a larger boxing audience got to see the greatness of Roman Gonzalez, Carlos Cuadras and the lower weight classes. I hope more fans get to appreciate and follow the lower weight classes and we get to see more great fights shown to a wider audience.
Thanks Dougie, keep up the great work! Yours. – Abdul-Qadir, Dublin, Ireland
Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts, Abdul-Qadir.
I’m also happy that an HBO audience got a chance to see Chocolatito in with a worthy opponent and were treated to a high-caliber championship showdown. I think Gonzalez (with the backing of Teiken, K2
Promotions, HBO and Madison Sqaure Garden/The Forum) has shed some much-deserved light on the sub-bantamweight divisions and is creating a dedicated audience for the fighters in those weight classes.
There are some really attractive future bouts for Gonzalez, which I’m sure HBO will help build up and showcase, such as the potential rematches with Cuadras and Juan Estrada, and the anticipated showdown with Inoue. (Cuadras could also get back on HBO vs. the likes of WBA titleholder Luis Concepcion, Puerto Rican contender McJoe Arroyo or new IBF beltholder Jerwin Ancajas.)
When fans on Twitter start to downplay RG after this fight, the ignorance and blasphemy honestly, they could have seen Sugar Ray Robinson put on a masterpiece and still complain he wasn’t trying hard enough! Tell me about it. I could barely stomach the amount doofuses tweeting about Gonzalez’s “poor” performance. Going forward I’m going to have to unfollow such Twitter twits. I don’t even care to argue with that level of boxing ignorance.
I called the fight 116-112 for Roman Gonzalez. Would you say that is a fair score? Yes, that’s how I scored it from press row. I thought 115-113 was also a fair scorecard after watching it live. I watched a replay at home on Sunday and scored it 117-113, or 8-3-1 in rounds, for Gonzalez. I only scored Rounds 1, 6 and 8 for Cuadras and I thought those rounds were very close. I scored Round 11 even. When a fighter comes forward and throws and lands as many power punches as Gonzalez does, it’s hard not to score rounds for him unless he gets rocked.
I hope you enjoyed the Fabulous Forum fight card, what a night of fights! Enjoyed? I had a f__king blast. That passionate atmosphere reminded me of the crowd of 6,300 that assembled for the first Barrera-Morales fight – modest in number but thunderous in noise. Evenings like Saturday are why I love covering this sport.
Really happy for Yoshihiro Kamegai, such a courageous fighter and really liked his combination punching especially to the body which really helped him get the stoppage victory over Jesus Soto Karass. Me too. This was the first time Kamegai won a major fight in the U.S. He was due. I was surprised he immediately took the fight to JSK and committed to the body the way he did, but it was the right thing to do against the veteran.
I think Kamegai gets some good fights coming up at 154. It will be interesting to see what Golden Boy and Teiken do with him going forward. Most of the name 154 pounders fight under the PBC banner. If they can’t get him a big fight, they might go in-house and match him with the Brazilian kid who got iced by Curtis Stevens (Patrick Teixeira) or Mexican up-and-comer Antonio Gutierrez (if the TJ native can make 154 pounds).
Not sure about JSK, do you think he should retire Doug? Yes, I think it’s time for Soto Karass to hang up the gloves. He hit the wall on Saturday. His last special effort was given on April 15 in the first Kamegai fight.
Being a fan of both Kell Brook and Trips what I got Saturday was the perfect outcome.
Exciting fight – check,
Brook proving how good he is – check,
and a Triple G stoppage – check
Both fighters come out winners and neither of them harm any future big fights they have on the horizon. Funny enough the both of them will now being chasing a fight with the ginger Mexican. After watching Saturdays fight I’d say Brook vs Canelo at 154 is a 50-50 fight.
Talking about the stoppage I think it was the right call, if the fight had gone on another round Kell could of been seriously hurt. A fighter’s health is the most important thing but the corner stopping the fight also means Kell’s confidence stays intact, being rendered unconscious has lasting psychological damage so everyone that booed at the end of the fight will get to see their fighter fight another day.
Where does Kell go from here? 154 is the obvious choice. Funny I think Saturday he proved he’s the best welterweight in the world without fighting any of the top guys in the division. Kell has been one of the most avoided fighters. Do you think that will change at 154? I’m not so sure. Who do you think would jump at the chance to face Kell? Cheers! – James, Vancouver, BC
I don’t think the top junior middleweights will fear Brook if he decides to campaign in their weight class (which seems imminent once he’s recovered from his eye socket operation). They should welcome another name to the 154-pound division and I think Brook can make for many significant, high-profile fights there, such as the Canelo-Smith winner, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan, IBF titleholder Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Julian Williams, even WBA beltholder Erislandy Lara (although that might not make for the most entertaining showdown). Some of those matchups (Khan and Smith) would be mega-fights in the U.K., some would be big in the U.S. (Canelo and Cotto), and some would simply whip hardcore fans into a frenzy (as fights with “Boo Boo” and “J-Rock” would).
Both fighters come out winners and neither of them harm any future big fights they have on the horizon. I think that’s the case, but I’ve seen a fair amount of Twitter derision from mopey fans, so not everyone sees it like we do.
Funny enough the both of them will now being chasing a fight with the ginger Mexican. Why not? That’s where the money is.
After watching Saturdays fight I’d say Brook vs Canelo at 154 is a 50-50 fight. I agree, and I think it would be very entertaining.
Talking about the stoppage, I think it was the right call, if the fight had gone on another round Kell could of been seriously hurt. That’s how I see it. Brook gave it his best shot in Rounds 2 and 3. The writing was on the wall in Round 4 when GGG stopped head hunting and switched focus to the body. The way he was banging on Brook early in Round 5 suggested that the Englishman was going to go down hard soon. And if he was tough enough to last to Round 8 or 9 (when most folks, myself included, thought he’d be stopped), he’d likely have the career beat out of his body.
A fighter’s health is the most important thing but the corner stopping the fight also means Kell’s confidence stays intact, being rendered unconscious has lasting psychological damage so everyone that booed at the end of the fight will get to see
their fighter fight another day. Yeah, I understand the disappointment from fans when a fight that looked like it was heating up into something special is abruptly stopped in that manner. It’s anticlimactic, especially after all the talk and media/promotional buildup. But I think more corners need to recognize when their fighters have had enough. I think we witnessed two instances of trainers knowing when to say when on Saturday – Dominic Ingle with Brook and Ramon “Yukita” Morales with Jesus Soto Karass. I’d rather see trainers toss in the towel or keep their fighters on the stool between rounds than witness a Jeff Lacy vs. Joe Calzaghe or Antonio Margarito vs. Manny Pacquiao scenario when the guy taking a beating goes 12 rounds but loses his fighting spirit forever or his eye sight.
Ok, I know you’re a GGG fan but I need to get something off my chest; The GGG nuthuggers have taken over from Floyds as the most ridiculous fans in boxing. You only have to look at The Ring websites own comments sections after the Brook fight to see this. They can’t seem to accept any criticism of their guy no matter how constructive or factual. Shocked at the fact that GGG actually lost some rounds (gasp) and was made to look clumsy at times they justify this with comments such as; “”he was ill” or “”he was headhunting and wanted to take Brook out“”. Right, so nothing to do with the skills and ability of Brook then? Are they so insecure that they can’t accept that their guy has flaws and there may be some guys out there that may be superior technicians? They also tell us that Brook was (correctly) ahead on the scorecards only because it was in the UK and the judges were biast. Lol!
I feel some of these GGG fans need a dose of reality. Yes, he’s a beast and he won the fight but he’s not technically perfect. His head movement is non existent and he has quite a slow methodical style. It’s taken little Kell to expose these flaws (to an extent) because he simply hasn’t fought anyone good enough at his own weight. Look, it may be true that nobody at MW or SMW wants to fight him but if the nuthuggers want to justify calling him an ATG or even the PFP best today the ne needs more on his résumé. I’m not saying he only fights bums but has he beaten anyone truly world class at his own weight? Lets not give him a free pass on this because other fighters get criticised for not beating anyone. If he can do to Canelo or Ward what he did to Brook then I may start to believe the hype. – Mark
Mark, I don’t deny that Golovkin has some insufferable cretin types among his ever-growing fan base. I believe they are referred to as “GGGoons,” and some of them have definitely earned that name. However, they’ve got a long way to go before challenging May-huggers as “TWE” among delusional boxing fans.
Don’t let it bother you too much. It’s just part of boxing. Anytime a world-class fighter strings together several dominant high-profile victories (or goes on a record-breaking KO streak, as Golovkin has) and packs them in the way GGG does, he’s going to garner some true fanatics along the way. As much as I love Golovkin, I butt heads with the whack jobs among his fan base all the time in comments sections and on social media (usually when the subject of Canelo comes up, but sometimes it’s over silly stuff like mythical matchup opinions).
But I don’t bother with them for very long. Sometimes ya gotta let morons be morons.
Having said that, you probably draw their ire more than others because of your dismissive attitude toward Golovkin’s ability and accomplishments. I agree that Brook deserves all the credit for making the fight competitive while it lasted, but I also think some fans (GGG detractors) are making way too much of the underdog winning one clear round (Round 2) just to throw shade on a fighter they dislike (or to piss off that fighter’s fans who they absolutely hate).
This question you asked, “I’m not saying he only fights bums but has he beaten anyone truly world class at his own weight?” is every bit as asinine as a GGGoon’s claim that Golovkin is already an all-time great.
Do you really think Golovkin has become the CONSENSUS No. 1-middleweight without having faced a single “world-class” opponent “at his own weight”?
I’d like to see top middleweights, such as Billy Joe Saunders and Daniel Jacobs, take on some of Golovkin’s victims, such as David Lemieux or Curtis Stevens.
And do you really think Golovkin’s “head movement is non-existent” and that his style is really that “slow and methodical?” Do you REALLY think Brook EXPOSED him?
If that’s the case, why the hell won’t any of the top middleweights fight him? Don’t they have enough skill and talent to deal with a slow, methodical, defenseless plodder that was EXPOSED by a welterweight?
We heard Jacobs call GGG out after his rematch with Sergio Mora and witnessed a lot of middleweights (including Saunders and Eubank Jr.) talk tough on Twitter after the Brook fight. Well, Golovkin is due back in the ring in late November. Let’s see who walks the walk against this suddenly very vulnerable and overrated middleweight titleholder.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer and on Periscope, where you get to talk boxing with him and Coach Schwartz live from SMC track every Sunday.