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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Photo by: Tom Hogan/ Golden Boy Promotions
16
Sep

THOUGHTS ON CANELO-SMITH

Hey Doug,

I’ll try to keep this short.  Even though I’m disappointed Canelo Alvarez isn’t fighting GGG, I’m still going to be wearing my Canelo shirt with pride Saturday night!

I see Canelo wearing Liam Smith down to a TKO, probably around Round 10.

I’m also excited about Willie Monroe Jr.-Gabriel Rosado, and think it could be a good scrap, but I’m worried one cut on Rosado and the fight will be over just because of how bad he cuts and bleeds.

Hope you enjoy the weekend Doug! – Robert from Ashton, MD

I’ll will definitely enjoy this weekend, even though I will be working hard. I’m looking forward to today’s weigh-in and doing the call of the Canelo-Smith undercard with Beto Duran and Steve Kim (both of which will be streamed live here on RingTV.com).

Rosado’s hired a very good cutman in Mike Rodriguez. The homicide detective learned his bloody trade well from legendary California cornermen, including the recently passed Joe Chavez, and should be able to handle the cuts and swelling that often come with Rosado’s fights.

By the way, I think all four bouts on tomorrow’s pay-per-view show will be competitive. I’m interested in Monroe-Rosado but I don’t think it will feature as much sustained action as the two featherweight bouts (Joseph Diaz Jr.-Andrew Cancio and Diego De La Hoya-Luis Del Valle) and the main event. The middleweight fight pits a crafty, athletic southpaw that likes to stick and move against an aggressive hardnosed boxer that wants to score a knockout. I don’t think Monroe is all that concerned with scoring a KO. He will be just fine with scoring a points victory and will probably box accordingly.

Even though I’m disappointed Canelo Alvarez isn’t fighting GGG, I’m still going to be wearing my Canelo shirt with pride Saturday night! You won’t be alone. There will be 40,000 (or more) fans inside AT&T Stadium tomorrow night, and I’m guessing that 99.9999% will be there to cheer on Canelo. 

I see Canelo wearing Liam Smith down to a TKO, probably around Round 10. I think Smith goes the distance.

 

NOT IMPRESSED WITH LIAM SMITH

Hi Dougie,

I have decided to wait until Cinco de Mayo rolls by before losing it over the GGG-Canelo phantom fight. It is not as if he will never fight “GGG.” I have a feeling it will happen in 2017.

The thing about life is we don’t always get what we want. We get what we get and on Saturday we are getting Canelo-Smith. Even though it isn’t huge, it may well be worth watching as long as it lasts. Do you think it will be entertaining?

I don’t know much about Smith, so I YouTubed him and here are my impressions. Style wise, Smith is a rather flat footed, stalking, pressure fighter with decent power. His punching technique is excellent and he can really go to the body, especially with the left hook. On the down side, he is a slow starter and definitely not a high volume puncher. He allows himself to get outworked at times, not a good idea seeing that he is fighting far away from home. He keeps his gloves up at all times, but here is very little in the way of head movement, so his defense is very basic. You don’t have to go looking for him, he is right there in front of you.

Does this sound familiar?

If it does, it is that Smith, to me at least, somewhat resembles “Canelo” in the style department. They have similar strengths and weaknesses. Would you agree?

I think that the style of Smith is tailor made for Alvarez. If one looks at his fights against the likes of James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo, it is clear that he is at his best when his opponent presses forward, forcing him to fight. He struggles against clever boxers, but Smith doesn’t have the feet and hand speed to suddenly turn into a slickster.

Alvarez is definitely the stronger guy, he hits harder and his defense, with that body sway he does, is a bit better. He is essentially fighting a “poor man’s” version of himself. I think Smith will press him, which will make him let his hands go. That will make for an entertaining slugfest for a while, but I just can’t see it ending well for Smith. I expect Alvarez to stop him within eight rounds, unless Smith suddenly turns out to have an anvil for a chin, which we just don’t know, as he has never been at this level before.

Am I underrating Smith and will he surprise us on Saturday?

Either way, the “Canelo” road show should roll on.

Mythical Matchup:

Chocolatito vs “Baby Jake” Matlala at flyweight – as much as I liked Jake, I can’t see him winning, even though I think the fight would be a scorcher, given how many punches both throw.

Regards. – Droeks Malan, South Africa

Thanks for sharing your well-researched (and, as always, very detailed) thoughts, D.M.

I agree that the “Canelo show” should roll on Saturday, I favor the redheaded Texas attraction by decision, but I also think you are underrating the defending titleholder a little bit.

I agree that Smith does have a lot in common with Canelo in terms of strengths and style. However, I think the Liverpool native does a better job of fighting while coming forward than Canelo does. Canelo likes to stake out the center of the ring, hang back and allow his opponents to come to him if they are willing to do so. Smith’s feet may be “flat” like Canelo’s but he can pick them up enough to gradually cut the ring off on an elusive opponent.

Smith also has a good jab, which you didn’t mention in your analysis. It’s a stiff left stick and he can be sneaky with it. Go back and rewatch his fight with John Thompson and see if you notice when he sticks his jab to the American’s chest and stomach.

Also, he may be a somewhat plodding “stalker,” as you described him, but he doesn’t apply “dumb pressure.” He’s careful as he closes distance. He pauses to drop feints and he’ll take a half step back to avoid return fire.

I think that the style of Smith is tailor made for Alvarez. Smith’s aggression should play into Canelo’s counter-punching strengths, but he’s also big and strong enough to do some damage (especially if sweating off that last pound to make the junior middleweight limit depletes him a little bit).

If one looks at his fights against the likes of James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo, it is clear that he is at his best when his opponent presses forward, forcing him to fight. True, but Smith is a more calculated technician than those two sluggers. He’s not as plodding and open as Angulo, and he’s not as reckless as Kirkland.

He struggles against clever boxers, but Smith doesn’t have the feet and hand speed to suddenly turn into a slickster. True.

Alvarez is definitely the stronger guy, he hits harder and his defense, with that body sway he does, is a bit better. I’m not so sure Canelo is stronger or the harder hitter. That remains to be seen. I think Canelo wins this fight on experience and brains, not brawn.

I have decided to wait until Cinco de Mayo rolls by before losing it over the GGG-Canelo phantom fight. It is not as if he will never fight “GGG.” I have a feeling it will happen in 2017. Canelo and Golden Boy are “on the clock,” as Steve Kim is fond of saying.

The thing about life is we don’t always get what we want. We get what we get and on Saturday we are getting Canelo-Smith. Even though it isn’t huge, it may well be worth watching as long as it lasts. Do you think it will be entertaining? Yes, I do.

Your mythical matchup:

Chocolatito vs “Baby Jake” Matlala at flyweight – I think Gonzalez stops Matlala late (between Rounds 9 and 12) in a very good, high volume, give and take fight. Chocolatito, the bigger, rangier and more technically sound of the two, would land the harder and more accurate blows throughout the scrap.

 

YAMANAKA-MORENO II, RUIZ-HASEGAWA

Hi Dougie,

Hope all is well bro.

Will keep it short bro but had to show some respect for a fight card in Osaka this week; Japanese boxing keeps on showing strong matches with the Shinsuke Yamanaka-Anselmo Moreno rematch and Hugo Ruiz vs. Hozumi Hasegawa.

I am a little unsure how much left “God’s left” has and with Moreno’s exceptional boxing skills, we could see another razor-thin decision one way or another, maybe this time for the Panamanian.

Big fan of Hasegawa but not sure how much he has left at 35, but always one of my favourite fighters for his courage. Looking forward to this one too. What do you think Doug?

Great work as always Dougie, keep up the fantastic work! Yours. – Abdul-Qadir, Dublin, Ireland

Thank you, A.Q. Just like last weekend, high-profile world-class boxing is taking place in different parts of the world. The U.S. and U.K. boxing media is firmly focused on Texas, but the Yamanaka-Moreno rematch for the WBC bantamweight title (and vacant RING championship) in Japan and the WBO cruiserweight title bout between unbeaten beltholder Krzysztof Glowacki and Ukrainian amateur star Oleksandr Usyk in Poland are quality matchups that deserve attention.

Ruiz-Hasegawa is also an interesting crossroads bout with the WBC 122-pound title on the line. I’m rooting for the Japanese veteran because winning a third title in a third weight class would secure his legacy, but Ruiz comes from a Mexican boxing family and at age 29 is still in his prime. I favor Ruiz by mid-to-late stoppage in a good fight.

I think Yamanaka narrowly outpoints Moreno again. Whoever happens to be a Moreno fan will believe the Panamanian deserved the nod by two or three points.

 

WEIGHT ISSUES

Hey Dougie,

Not written in for a while, how’s tricks? Just a quick question in order to get your opinion. Joe Gallagher has said that the fight is off if Canelo doesn’t make 154, what significance does this make when you consider that Canelo could possibly weigh 170 when standing opposite to Smith, in the ring, come fight night?

Is it just a case of Gallagher wanting Canelo to work that little bit harder in order to make the weight at the weigh in?

Now my second question… I understand why they have the weigh in earlier these days in order that fighters don’t go into the ring weight drained, but why do they not have a second weigh in, so fighters like Canelo can’t blow up ridiculously? Cheers. – Chris

The IBF has a second-day weigh-in the morning of their title bouts, in which the fighters are not allowed to come in more than 10 pounds heavier than the division limit that they had to come in at (or under) the previous day. I think it’s a good rule and one that the other major sanctioning bodies (WBA, WBC and WBO) should adopt.

I also think this is a stipulation that the fighters (and their management) can put into fight contracts, whether a title belt is on the line or not. Of course, many fighters would probably shy away from doing this because most put on a lot weight between the weigh-ins and when they step into the ring. If you think Canelo is the only guy in boxing who puts on an obscene amount of weight after the weigh-in you’re either naïve or a Canelo hater.

Joe Gallagher has said that the fight is off if Canelo doesn’t make 154, what significance does this make when you consider that Canelo could possibly weigh 170 when standing opposite to Smith, in the ring, come fight night? First, I should say that I believe both fighters will hit 154 on the head at today’s weigh-in. Second, if Canelo doesn’t make 154 pounds, I don’t think Gallagher, Team Smith and Frank Warren will immediately hop a plane back to the U.K. I think Canelo will be given the allotted two hours to try to make the junior middleweight limit and I think there will be some negotiating if it looks like he can’t get down to 154. Third, if Canelo fails to make 154, I think we’ll still have a fight as long as he’s within a pound of the limit AND he pays through the nose. Lastly, I think BOTH fighters will rehydrate to 170 pounds by fight night.

Is it just a case of Gallagher wanting Canelo to work that little bit harder in order to make the weight at the weigh in? I don’t think so. I just think Gallagher expects Canelo to honor the contract and the championship belt they are fighting for.

 

JUNIOR BANTAMWEIGHT & THE CRUISERS

ok, (juan) Estrada (is) up at 115 now? holy crap. and cruiserweight this weekend we have the top guy facing the top up-n-comer. 200 has a mean ass top 5.

does this mean an estrada rematch?

could 115 in 2016-2017 be like middleweight 42-61? speakin of those days why tony zale and ray never fight?

about that brook corner stoppage: brook keep goin the referee stops the fight the second exchange of round 6, and kell brook says u never knock me down ray.

another mm:

kevin mcbride – nikolai valuev

charles martin – david price

tony danza-erik estrada

kitt – general lee (yea its like rocky-drago)

mora – malignaggi at 154

thx doug. – ceylon

Be honest, C-Dog. Did you get s__t faced before writing this email?

ok, (juan) Estrada (is) up at 115 now? holy crap. “El Gallo,” who hasn’t fought since last year due to a hand injury, has vacated his WBO and WBA flyweight titles and plans to fight at junior bantamweight beginning with a comeback bout in October. According to an article on BoxingScene.com, his promoter wants him to face Carlos Cuadras in a WBC title-elimination bout sometime in 2017. The winner obviously would get a second crack at Chocolatito. Hey, I’m all for that plan.

could 115 in 2016-2017 be like middleweight 42-61? Are you asking me if one year in the junior bantamweight division can be comparable to 19 years of the middleweight division during boxing’s Golden Age and Silver Age? Um, no. You can stop drinking now and get some rest, homie.

speakin of those days why tony zale and ray never fight? Because, by the time Robinson vacated his welterweight title to campaign fulltime in the middleweight division, which was late 1949, Zale had been retired by Marcel Cerdan. (Robinson-Cerdan is a middleweight mythical matchup to marvel at.) Zale was not the same when he returned to boxing in early ‘46 after serving four years in World War II, and he was a spent bullet after his brutal trilogy with Rocky Graziano. (So was Graziano, come to think of it.)

and cruiserweight this weekend we have the top guy facing the top up-n-comer. 200 has a mean ass top 5. Indeed, the cruiserweight Top Five, according to THE RING – Grigory Drozd, Denis Lebedev, Glowacki, Marco Huck and Tony Bellew – is comprised of some hardnosed mother f__kers. Usyk, currently rated No. 7 by THE RING, can crash that group in his 10th pro bout if he’s successful tomorrow against Glowacki. I’m really looking forward to that fight.

about that brook corner stoppage: brook keep goin the referee stops the fight the second exchange of round 6, and kell brook says u never knock me down ray. Seriously, Cey. Lay off the sauce. And the smoke, if you’re doin’ that too.

Your weird-ass mythical matchups:

Kevin McBride-Nikolai Valuev – the Russian Bear gradually mauls McBride to a late TKO (and then calls out Mike Tyson AND Don King).

Charles Martin-David Price – Price zaps the Prince early (within first three rounds) and before the St. Louis native gets the chance to take advantage of his shaky whiskers/stamina.

Tony Danza-Erik Estrada – Danza would show Estrada who’s the boss (see what I did there?) within one round. Tony actually fought as a professional boxer.

Kitt-General Lee – it’s probably not politically correct pick given the “Stars and Bars” on the G.L.’s roof, but I’ll take a 1969 Dodge Charger equipped with an engine supped-up by Hazzard County good-ole boys over some highfalutin A.I. robot car any day of the week. I also think Bo and Luke Duke can hold their drink a hell of lot better than David Hasselhoff, I mean Michael Knight.

Sergio Mora-Paulie Malignaggi at 154 – Latin Snake by unanimous decision, but Paulie edges Mora in a boxing commentating battle.

 

IF WLAD KLITSCHKO REGAINS CHAMPIONSHIP

Mr. Doug,
If Wlad Klitschko regains his belts against Tyson Fury in October, would this put him higher on your all-time great heavyweights list? Where do you rank him now, and where would you rank him if he regains the championship?

Will he make it back into the current Ring P4P list if he beats Fury?

Mythical Matchups with big brother at his peak:
Vitali vs Fury
Vitali vs Wilder
Vitali vs Joshua

Thanks. – Behr Becker

Will Wladimir Klitschko make it back into THE RING’s pound-for-pound rankings if he beats Fury in their oft-rescheduled rematch? I haven’t really given that much though, because, to be quite honest I haven’t given either big man much thought this year.

But I think it’s certainly possible that Baby Bro could displace of the fighters currently rated between No. 8 and No. 10 (Canelo, Yamanaka and Carl Frampton) if he looks impressive against Fury, and if they have sub-par performances in their next bouts.

If Wlad Klitschko regains his belts against Tyson Fury in October, would this put him higher on your all-time great heavyweights list? No, probably not.

Where do you rank him now, and where would you rank him if he regains the championship? He’s not in my top 10, nor my top 15. I’ve never bothered compiling an all-time heavyweight top 20, but I’m not sure he would make the cut. Maybe he would. I’d need to really go over his record and compare and contrast it with the best former champs and top contenders of previous decades/eras before I could really say for certain.

Your mythical matchups:
Vitali vs Fury – Klitschko by late TKO.

Vitali vs Wilder – Klitschko by mid-rounds KO

Vitali vs Joshua – Klitschko by late TKO

 

THE RING MIDDLEWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP

Hey Doug,
Ed from Montréal. I had a question. Let’s say GGG wipes out Daniel Jacobs in November and then gets BJS in the ring mid-2017 and wins the WBO belt, would you guys still recognize Canela as the Lineal Champ?

Could the magazines board/panel actually deny Golovkin the last title that would solidify him as undisputed champ? (Cuz we all know you ain’t THE man without that gorgeous piece of swag.) Even if after Canela fights Smith, lifts his 154 lbs title and decides to fight a non titleholder middleweight at 160 lbs (cuz he ain’t fighting GGG and there won’t be any titleholders left but him), would you guys recognize him while GGG holds all four major belts?

BTW, I read somewhere that they might try and make Cotto vs Lara at 154, thoughts? Always a pleasure reading your stuff! – Ed

Thanks for the kind words, Ed, and for sharing your thoughts and opinions.

I have no thoughts on a possible Cotto-Lara fight, other than I think it’s a horrible matchup for the Puerto Rican veteran.

Let’s say GGG wipes out Daniel Jacobs in November and then gets BJS in the ring mid-2017 and wins the WBO belt, would you guys still recognize Canela as the Lineal Champ? Boy, that is some wishful thinking there, Ed. Do you REALLY think it’s gonna be that easy for Golovkin to get Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders into the ring? Do you really believe all that crap they spew on social media? LOL. OK. Bro, they and their management want to push the GGG Challenge back just as much as GBP and Team Canelo want to. (However, unlike the Mexican attraction, they aren’t stars and they don’t have the leverage he does in negotiations.)

If you can’t see that, you’re just being naïve or you got an extra hardon for Canelo.

But whatever, let’s pretend Golovkin gets Jacobs and Saunders in back-to-back fights and beats ‘em both. That would make him the undisputed middleweight champ (first since Bernard Hopkins). It would not, however, make him the lineal champ. That recognition belongs to the man who beat the beat the man all the way back to the last universally recognized champ, which is B-Hop. Canelo beat Cotto who beat Sergio Martinez who beat Kelly Pavlik who beat Jermain Taylor who won back-to-back controversial decisions over Hopkins in 2005. Golovkin never got a shot at Martinez or Cotto, so he can’t be considered the “lineal champ.” Simple as that. He has to beat Canelo for that recognition. And the same goes for THE RING title.

Could the magazine’s board/panel actually deny Golovkin the last title that would solidify him as undisputed champ? We aren’t the ones denying GGG anything. It’s the fighter who holds the belt, not the ratings panel.

Even if after Canela fights Smith, lifts his 154 lbs title and decides to fight a non titleholder middleweight at 160 lbs (cuz he ain’t fighting GGG and there won’t be any titleholders left but him), would you guys recognize him while GGG holds all four major belts? The only way Canelo can lose THE RING middleweight title is if he gets beat in the ring with it on the line, or if he leaves the middleweight division to campaign in another (such as junior middleweight), or if he fails to fight or defend the title for 18 months, or if he fails to face a top-five rated fighter in a two-year span.

I think he’s going to remain active. He’s scheduled to fight in December, probably against a solid but not top-10 middleweight contender, then come back in May against a top-10 middleweight or Saunders and it’s supposed to be GGG in September.

I think there’s a very good chance that Canelo faces GGG before Jacobs or Saunders.

 

GGG, PPV AND ME

Doug,

GGG-Brook did about 3 million views worldwide. He’s popular, and people clear want to see him punch other humans.

But do you think he’s punched his way out of PPV? I think it’s safe to say many of those 3 million views were an effect of it being replayed just after Chocolatito-Cuadras (850k in the afternoon, 600 or so for the replay). Nobody was ever in doubt of the outcome of GGG-Brook, either.

Gennady is a monster, just not a sensational one like Tyson in his heyday. Each time out, it’s the same formula: when will Golovkin figure his guy out, get bored and get hit, then snap back to attention and close the show?

Golovkin-Lemieux did “just over” 150,000 PPV buys, and that was a guy many thought had a solid puncher’s chance agains Golovkin. Loeffler himself thought it might break 200,000 buys (sadly, it was drowned by other sporting events), but GGG out-classed Lemiuex throughout.

Is Golovkin-Jacobs or Golovkin-Saunders (I mean, you know, if BJ ever decides to actually fight someone) worth buying on PPV? More to the point, is it worth the $60 or more HBO will undoubtedly ask us to spend?

The public seems fairly cool on Kovalev-Ward, and that pits Ring’s #2 and #4 pound-for-pound guys against one another. It’s a purist’s dream; a heavy puncher with good boxing skills against a true master of his craft. It’s the perfect yin-yang! Still, there’s no solid buzz for the fight save for early concern it wouldn’t even be made (thanks for everything, Roc Nation).

While Saunders and Jacobs are both tough fighters with recognized belts from sanctioning bodies, it’s starting to feel as though PPV should be reserved for the truly great fights between guys on p4p lists — not Golovkin gobbling up said belts via another systematic beatdown and everyone taking their cut. We can argue nobody will get in there with Gennady all day long because he’s a monster, but to me that’s precisely why he’s punched his way out of a PPV.

Save for a bout with Canelo, I just don’t see a reason to pay a premium to see one of my favorite fighters, and that’s pretty sad. Talk me into it, Doug! – Nate Swanner

Why would I talk you into spending your hard-earned cash on matchups you don’t want to see badly enough to pay for? Golovkin-Canelo is the only pay-per-view worthy matchup (in the U.S.) for GGG. Period.

Team Golovkin and Tom Loeffler of K2 Promotions are well aware of this and they are OK with it. You should be too. You shouldn’t want GGG to become a PPV-only fighter like Mayweather and Pacquiao. That’s no good for boxing.

Is Golovkin-Jacobs or Golovkin-Saunders (I mean, you know, if BJ ever decides to actually fight someone) worth buying on PPV? I don’t think Golovkin-Jacobs belongs on PPV. I think it’s an excellent HBO Championship Boxing main event that should be held in the NYC area. One of Jacobs’ managers believes that it should be a pay-per-view fight, so that should give you some indication of how those WBA-mandated negotiations are gonna go. I think Golovkin-Saunders could be a PPV event in the U.K., but definitely not in the U.S.

More to the point, is it worth the $60 or more HBO will undoubtedly ask us to spend? That up for the consumers to decide. How good to think Jacobs is? Does he really have a shot at beating GGG? How good will the fight be? Make up your own minds about this matchup. Given how Golovkin-Lemieux went, even though GGG has more fans now and Jacobs is better known than Lemmy, I don’t think Golovkin-Jacobs belongs on PPV.

The public seems fairly cool on Kovalev-Ward, and that pits Ring’s #2 and #4 pound-for-pound guys against one another. “Pound-for-Pound” means nothing outside of hardcore boxing geekdom.

It’s a purist’s dream; a heavy puncher with good boxing skills against a true master of his craft. It’s the perfect yin-yang! Yeah, true. But ask yourself this: How many “purists” are out there?

Still, there’s no solid buzz for the fight save for early concern it wouldn’t even be made (thanks for everything, Roc Nation). Bro, the cold, hard truth is that neither Kovalev nor Ward have dedicated fan bases. They can draw a little bit in their home regions, but both are unproven in Las Vegas or any other major market. And their showdown has been scheduled in a very difficult month. Apart from Thanksgiving, there’s the presidential election, Pacquiao’s PPV return and the UFC’s New York City debut. There’s a lot of s__t to attract the attention of casual fans before and after Kovalev-Ward. I hate to say it but I don’t think Nov. 19 will make much of an impact outside of the boxing world.

 

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

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