Dougie’s Friday mailbag
NOT GOOD FOR BOXING
Can we just be honest about the Canelo sitch? Let’s start with De La Hoya, the first to drink his own cool-aid and go full frontal hypocrite. “The best fight the best.” That was his catch phrase for Golden Boy when he was trying to fight off Al Haymon and be the dominant superpower in the post Mayweather era.
So he builds up the Ginger Mexican to be the man and makes us all believe that Canelo is going to be the “best” that actually fights “the best.” But as soon as the hype says go for the dough, but not the risk, he abandons his own catch phrase in hopes of duping the fans into paying $65 for Ginger fight safe opposition (and I’ve been in the ring, so I know that nothing’s “safe” but Doug, Smith is as safe as it gets). Then what happens? 250K PPV buys. A stinker. I’m a crazy boxing fiend, but I was like, “NO F’ING WAY I’m paying for this sham.”
But worse than fans abandoning the PPV event is that we all huff off and two things happen: I don’t want to invite others to be a fan of our sport and the headlines start to pile up about what a BUST boxing is. And the headlines are RIGHT!
So can we be honest? Yes, Canelo can fill a stadium and I’m sure plenty of folks at the top made some cash, but would you agree that it’s a short term gain (and not a great one at that) at the expense of a long term loss?
Thanks Doug! Love your mailbag — it’s what’s right about boxing. – David S.
Thanks for the kind words about the mailbag column, but jeez man, are you really on the ledge because Canelo-Golovkin didn’t happen immediately after the Mexican beat Miguel Cotto last November? Are you really giving up on inviting potential fans to watch boxing because Canelo-Smith was on PPV? Are you really gonna agree with “professional” Golden Boy Critics, like Kevin IoLOLe, because you think De La Hoya is a hypocrite?
I thought I’ve made it clear that I’m no longer talking jaded fans off the ledge. Some folks need to go ahead and jump. I’m not saying you need to piss off from the sport right now, but I think you’re getting too worked up over De La Hoya’s efforts to build-up a potential mega-event (which is his job as a promoter).
I also believe that WAY too many so-called hardcore fans are overlooking excellent matchups – such as last week’s Yamanaka-Moreno rematch and Usyk-Glowacki and this Saturday’s Anthony Crolla-Jorge Linares lightweight showdown – because they are so damn focused on Canelo-GGG/“the Great Wait.” (Are you one of these people? If so, maybe it’s time to hop off that ledge.)
If you didn’t want to pay to watch Canelo-Smith, I totally understand. Canelo looked sharp and Smith was as gutsy as advertised but the end result was the expected outcome, and the PPV undercard was boring. So you didn’t really miss much, but you do realize that a fight doesn’t have to be a pay-per-view event for you to invite friends/potential boxing fans over to watch it with you, right? You should have had friends over to watch Francisco Vargas-Orlando Salido or Keith Thurman-Shawn Porter or Carl Frampton-Leo Santa Cruz or Roman Gonzalez-Carlos Cuadras.
Anyway, in regard to your question about Canelo-Smith being a short-term gain but a long-term loss, I don’t see it as a long-term loss. I think Golden Boy was thinking long term by bringing Canelo back to Texas. It’s one of the biggest markets for boxing in the U.S. By reopening AT&T Stadium with Canelo, 51,000 fans that usually don’t get to witness bigtime boxing were treated to a very special atmosphere and those that were not already hardcore heads were likely bitten by the bug. I think Canelo’s ticket sales in Texas will also help entice K2 Promotions to bring Golovkin to the Lone-Star State sometime next year (or the near future). That’s not bad for boxing. That’s good for boxing.
GBP also wet Jerry Jones’ appetite to host Canelo-Golovkin at the monster venue in Arlington, and should the middleweight showdown land there it would likely pull in 80,000-90,000 fans. That won’t be bad for boxing. That will be very good for boxing.
And should Canelo get hammered to a late stoppage in that fight (which is the outcome that 90% of the fans and media expect), he has a region with a HUGE loyal fan base to support his comeback. Canelo is good for boxing. If you don’t recognize this I don’t know what else to tell you.
“The best fight the best.” That was (De La Hoya’s) catch phrase for Golden Boy when he was trying to fight off Al Haymon and be the dominant superpower in the post Mayweather era. So, because he doesn’t push Canelo – the cash cow of his company – to fight Golovkin (boxing’s foremost bone-crusher along with Sergey Kovalev and Chocolatito) in 2016, De La Hoya is a hypocrite? Really? So you’ve already forgotten that David Lemieux fought GGG in his first title defense last October? (Good Lord, and you guys wonder why fighters and promoters aren’t in a hurry to take huge risks – the same hardcore heads that demand it forget about it as soon as the fighters get beat down.)
I know a bunch of Twitter Twits are going to call me a Golden Boy Homer for pointing out some facts out to, but ya know what? F__k ‘em. For the most part, I believe that De La Hoya has strived to put the best of the GBP stable in with the best opposition available since regaining control of his company from Schaefer and Haymon. (I won’t even mention all the even-money in-house matchups, such as Orozco-Soto, Gomez-Herrera or Ramirez-Lopez.) In fact, I think GBP has matched its up-and-comers/fringe contenders/contenders vs. formidable fighters from other promotional companies more than other promoters. Sometimes they lose (Lemieux to GGG, Patrick Teixeira to Curtis Stevens, Gabriel Rosado to Willie Monroe Jr.), sometimes they win (Luis Ortiz over Bryant Jennings, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy over Yunieski Gonzalez), sometimes they break even (Vargas-Saldio). There is no clear favorite in tomorrow’s lightweight championship between Linares (Golden Boy) and Crolla (Matchroom Boxing). On the fringe contender level (although the winner is supposed to get a shot at the Linares-Crolla winner), the Michael Perez (GBP) vs. Petr Petrov (Banner Promotions) matchup next Friday is a toss-up fight. I favor Crolla and Petrov in both matchups.
Also, GBP is not babying its youngsters, such as Joseph Diaz Jr., Diego De La Hoya and Jason Quigley.
But back to the Canelo-Golovkin matchup, I find it odd that fans who believe Canelo was shutout by Mayweather, was given a gift decision against Erislandy Lara and barely scrapped by Austin Trout needs to face GGG because “the best fight the best.” Just because Canelo lifted THE RING/WBC/“linear” titles from Cotto, a faded 35-year-old junior middleweight, doesn’t mean he’s the No. 2 middleweight behind Golovkin.
So he builds up the Ginger Mexican to be the man and makes us all believe that Canelo is going to be the “best” that actually fights “the best.” Golden Boy has done a great job with Canelo since 2010, but give the kid and the Reynosos (and the Televisa network in Mexico) some credit for building him into a wildly popular teen in his home country before he ever debuted in the U.S.
But as soon as the hype says go for the dough, but not the risk, he abandons his own catch phrase in hopes of duping the fans into paying $65 for Ginger fight safe opposition (and I’ve been in the ring, so I know that nothing’s “safe” but Doug, Smith is as safe as it gets). I wouldn’t call Smith “safe,” but the Brit was obviously outclassed. He served his purpose. He let Canelo and GBP know that 154 pounds was still a weight that he could make (though not easily), and he provided a strong, forward-marching body to showcase some of the Mexican star’s improved arsenal/defensive moves.
Then what happens? 250K PPV buys. A stinker. That’s not a good PPV buy number for Canelo, but it’s not a financial disaster in the vein of Pacquiao-Bradley III or Crawford-Postol. It’s more like GGG-Lemieux, underwhelming but enough to cover costs (especially with the help of a $7 million gate). And if you really want Canelo-GGG sooner rather than later, you should be happy about the lukewarm PPV numbers because they let GBP know that the only big event out there for the red-headed star is the Golovkin showdown.
CANELO DOING RIGHT THING, KOVALEV-WARD
Canelo. After he dismantled brave Smith looks like Canelo is on his way to be GGG-ready by Sep 2017. Looks like he has a strategy. I cannot blame Canelo for taking a long time to prepare to face best puncher in MW division.
Also I cannot blame Golden Boy Promotions for “marinating” the audience to get most $$$ from the mega fight. We will have a good year of twitter battles and trash-talking.
Kovalev-Ward – I think my brutal countryman from Ural mountains (looking from Moscow his native Chelyabinsk is a s__thole full of drunken smelter workers and bandits) will have an easy job. What Ward can do? Do you have an idea?
Tzyu vs Juan Manuel Marques @140
All the best to you and your family. Your column is my first priority reading twice a week. – Sergey, Moscow
Thanks for the kind words, Sergey. I don’t think your opinions are going to elicit kind words from a lot of readers that post comments below this column, but I appreciate you sharing them.
You think the never-ending Canelo-GGG debate will spark “twitter battles and trash-talking”? I bet the heated arguments sparked by Kovalev-Ward will make the Canelo-GGG spats look like tame banter by comparison, and there will likely be an extra degree of racial nastiness attached to the light heavyweight showdown (God help us). Thankfully, we won’t have to deal with the Kovalev-Ward back-and-forth for more than eight weeks (maybe 10-12 depending on how the fight goes).
Canelo. After he dismantled brave Smith looks like Canelo is on his way to be GGG-ready by Sep 2017. Looks like he has a strategy. I agree. I think Smith was solid preparation for an eventual Golovkin fight, although GGG is light years ahead of Smith in terms of ring-cutting ability, punching technique and physical strength. However, I thought Canelo dealt with the Englishman’s aggression in a more mature and well-rounded manner than he handled pressure-fighting sluggers James Kirkland and Alfredo Angulo.
I cannot blame Canelo for taking a long time to prepare to face best puncher in MW division. I don’t either. Fans act like GGG is playing patty cake in that ring. I don’t want Canelo to “pull a Mayweather,” but I don’t want him to “pull a David Reid/Fernando Vargas” either.
Also I cannot blame Golden Boy Promotions for “marinating” the audience to get most $$$ from the mega fight. It’s kind of their job.
Kovalev-Ward – I think my brutal countryman from Ural mountains (looking from Moscow his native Chelyabinsk is a s__thole full of drunken smelter workers and bandits) will have an easy job. Really? You sure that ain’t Russian Pride talking, Sergey? I think Krusher will have his heavy hands full with Ward.
What Ward can do? Do you have an idea? He can work his way inside and test Kovalev’s infighting ability – which many boxing pundits believe the Russian lacks completely. We’ll see soon enough.
Your mythical matchup:
Kostya Tszyu vs Juan Manuel Marquez @140 – Tszyu by late TKO in a good fight (but not a thriller because while somewhat competitive, I think the pig-tailed boxer-puncher from the eastern foothills of the Ural Mountains would be in command for most of the fight). Tszyu would not rush in or offer himself to JMM’s counter-punching brilliance. I think he would carefully stalk the naturally smaller man behind a ram-rod jab and accurate right-hand bombs from the outside and gradually bust up and breakdown the proud Mexican technician.
I’m writing because i want to get something off my chest, because apparently no one else is bothered by this…
Misleading the fans? Gbp said they offered GGG eight figure (an ambiguous statement), without mentioning what that figure is (i heard is the minimun 10mil), what other contractual agreement there might be, weight, height (kidding), gloves, ppv split and so on….because it seems like they’re trying to get out of the duck pond and somehow pull ggg in, witch is (like everything they’ve done so far) RIDICULOUS.
I mean if they offered ggg only 10mil for a mega fight witch will produce close to 100 mil when its done, not only that i wouldn’t blame the triple for declining, but i wish we wouldn’t sell himself that short. I mean could you blame him for not taking that bs offer to make 7-8 times less then his weaker (titles competitor).
The fairest thing is 60-40 for the winner or at MOST, for canelo.
Hope to hear your oppinion on this. Have a nice day. – Ciubano
Listen man, it’s not up to me. I can’t say what’s a fair offer to Golovkin (although my guess is that 10 million U.S. dollars buys a lot of groceries in Kazakhstan), and I don’t have to. GGG has excellent representation with Tom Loeffler and his manager Oleg Hermann. This ain’t Loeffler’s first rodeo, Ciubano. He knows the boxing business and he knows what GGG’s market value is. He’s also arguably the most rational promoter on the U.S. boxing scene. He understands that Canelo is the “A-side” in the matchup, so he’s not going to demand anything unreasonable.
What you need to keep in mind is that Golden Boy wants to push this potential mega-event to Sept. 16, 2017 (Mexican Independence Day weekend). Golovkin will arguably fight twice before that date. Canelo will fight at least once before next September. So this offer from Golden Boy is very premature. There’s no reason for Team GGG to immediately accept anything. This offer is just a starting point for what hopefully will gradually become serious negotiations by early-to-mid next year and all those other details you brought up will be worked out.
I’m really pumped for the Crolla-Linares fight this weekend. Tough one to call given Linares’ experience at this level and Crolla’s recent form. Really can’t decide if Linares is able to box for 12 rounds without being dragged into the type of fight where blood will flow and knockdowns will be exchanged. Linares has been in some fine form himself after a couple of tough losses and Crolla has really surprised me getting to this level and maintaining it. Linares is probably more likely to be “broken” in the ring I feel but equally he’s more likely to pile up the points. A toss-up. How do you see it panning out in terms of who wins and how and can it challenge Salido-Vargas, Chocolatito-Cuadras & Kamegai-Soto-Karass as one of the fights of the year?
What’s going on with DeGale-Jack? Thought that was signed, sealed and delivered? Has PBC blown too much of the budget to pay both guys?
Also, do you think we will see Terence Crawford before 2017? I’m not expecting a fight with another star but be shame to see him shelved for 6-9 months after such an impressive showing.
Cheers. – Chris Smith, Norwalk, CA (via jolly old England)
Last I heard, Crawford’s management was trying to secure a fight date in November. However, he’s definitely not going to be on the Pacquiao-Vargas PPV undercard on Nov. 5 and I don’t see where else he can go that month unless HBO comes up with the budget to schedule him for Thanksgiving weekend (Nov. 26 – the date GGG was aiming for until Canelo’s hand injury opened up the Dec. 10 date for a possible Daniel Jacobs showdown). I think there’s a real possibility – due to HBO’s limited budget at this point of the year and to the lack of viable opponents for THE RING 140-pound champ – that “Bud” could done for 2016 (which is just more bad news for the Omaha native given his recent misdemeanor convictions).
I’m really pumped for the Crolla-Linares fight this weekend. THANK GOD somebody is! I was starting to wonder if the fight was still on. I’m VERY disappointed that you were the only fan to write to me about Saturday’s excellent matchup for the vacant RING lightweight title.
Tough one to call given Linares’ experience at this level and Crolla’s recent form. Agreed.
Really can’t decide if Linares is able to box for 12 rounds without being dragged into the type of fight where blood will flow and knockdowns will be exchanged. I know that Linares has had one of the best camps of his life and I know that he has the talent, technique and experience to box circles around Crolla, but I think his inactivity (close to one year) will hurt his timing and 12 rounds is long time to avoid a determined defending beltholder like the Manchester native.
Linares has been in some fine form himself after a couple of tough losses and Crolla has really surprised me getting to this level and maintaining it. I’m more impressed with Crolla’s recent form and effectiveness than Linares’ more dramatic scraps (the Mitchell TKO) and eye-catching performances (the blowouts of Contreras and Cano).
Linares is probably more likely to be “broken” in the ring I feel but equally he’s more likely to pile up the points. A toss-up. True, which is why this is such an intriguing matchup. I’m still baffled by the lack of buzz among hardcore U.S. fans. Maybe a fight has to be on Showtime or HBO to “count” over here.
How do you see it panning out in terms of who wins and how and can it challenge Salido-Vargas, Chocolatito-Cuadras & Kamegai-Soto-Karass as one of the fights of the year? I don’t think it’s going to be an in-your-face blood-and-guts slugfest like Salido-Vargas or Kamegai-JSK I, but I think there’s a good chance that it can be a world-class boxer-vs.-pressure fighter matchup as Cuadras-Gonzalez was, and thanks to Linares’ shaky whiskers and tendency to cut/swell there might be a little more drama in Manchester than the most recent Little Drama Show. I think Linares will box very well early and might even hurt Crolla at some point in the opening or middle rounds but I think the Englishman’s constant (but purposeful) pressure and body attack will gradually wear the talented Venezuelan down over the second half of the fight. I favor (only slightly) Crolla by close, maybe majority or split decision in a very good 12-round bout.
What’s going on with DeGale-Jack? Thought that was signed, sealed and delivered? Last I heard, it was close to being done for October or November with Las Vegas being the likely location (although DeGale would obviously rather the IBF/WBC title unification bout – for which the vacant RING 168-pound belt is on the line – to take place in England). Whenever DeGale or Jack are interviewed they say they are in camp, training for the fight and that it’s almost a done deal.
Has PBC blown too much of the budget to pay both guys? Good question, but Showtime has signed on for this match, which means there will be a licensing fee to help pay the titleholders’ purses (along with UK television, which would probably be Sky Sports given Eddie Hearns’ connections). I hope the fight happens. It’s another even matchup that appears like it could be a good scrap on paper and it will crown yet another RING champ as Yamanaka-Morneo has and Crolla-Linares will. It will also create an attractive 168-pound opponent for Golovkin, or perhaps even a future challenger for the Kovalev-Ward winner.
First time mailbag writer, but reader of the column over the last 2 years. Always impressed with your ability to decipher BS, whilst articulating balance to the extremists or nut huggers as y’all Americans call them.
Anyway to the point of writing in. I watched the fight and listened your joint commentary of the young British light heavyweight fighter Anthony Yarde.
I have been watching him for a while now. Do you think he has the potential to become an elite fighter? His poise, athleticism and ability to smile whilst delivering skillful combinations and accurate punches makes me think he is one to look out for in the next 18-24 months.
If you do think he can, what does he need to work on over that time period? If you don’t why?
It’s probably the first time you watched him on Saturday, but from what I could see he was cat like with that left hook.
Hope I make the cut. – Tyrone, London, England
You made the cut, Tyrone. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions about Yarde.
I was impressed with the now 8-0 (7 KOs) light heavyweight prospect (who I think might be better suited at cruiserweight, although I haven’t seen him fight under 180 pounds). He was fast and powerful but also poised, accurate and technically sound.
Even though Yarde was in with an old journeyman (Rayford Johnson) that was there to be knocked out, the way he did it tells me that he had a lot of potential. He was aggressive, constantly stalking forward, but he took his time and controlled distance with a quick jab. The moment he backed Johnson to the ropes a quick, compact lead left hook instantly separated the Texan from his senses. The old man was out on his feet. I couldn’t believe the referee bothered to give him a count. (Thankfully he waved it off when the journeyman stumbled forward. Had the fight been allowed to continue I seriously would have feared for Johnson’s life.)
Yarde’s also got a good personality to go with his athleticism and boxing talent.
Do you think he has the potential to become an elite fighter? It’s too early to tell. He’s 25, but he’s only got eight pro bouts and he got a late start in the sport. However, I think he’s a legit prospect with the potential to become a legit contender.
His poise, athleticism and ability to smile whilst delivering skillful combinations and accurate punches makes me think he is one to look out for in the next 18-24 months. If he can take a good shot, he will be very hard to beat because he’s sharp, explosive and he knows how to pace himself.
If you do think he can, what does he need to work on over that time period? If you don’t why? I think he can. I don’t think he needs to work on anything in particular (apart from maybe adding a little more head and upper-body movement to his game), I just think he needs stay as active as possible and bank as many quality rounds against increasingly tough opposition as he can. That’s the only way he will graduate from four-and-six rounders to eight-and-10 rounders, which will eventually prepare him for the championship distance.
Luckily for Yarde, his promoter Frank Warren has a proven track record of developing British talent into world-class players.
What’s up Doug?
I didn’t watch the fight last Saturday but will watch the replay. The fight was entertaining both Canelo and Smith put on a good performances from what I read.
I was disappointed but not surprised when I heard that Canelo’s fight night weight was unavailable. I will have to see the replay to see if that’s true. This has been true for his last couple of fights which leads to my question. GBP is talking about the money they offered GGG and how he walked away resulting in the fight not being made. I wonder if the weight might be a major obstacle aside from the money.
Would you say GBP is dangling the money in the public eye while wanting to bring GGG down to 155? While Canelo comes in heavier than GGG but can still make weight but who knows for how much longer. Why not put his fight night weight on display?
I think there should be same day weigh ins. What about you?
MM: EUBANKS SR VS GGG
BENN VS GGG
Take care Doug. – D
I also think we should go back same-day weigh-ins (and I don’t think they should be the public/media spectacles they have become), but we both know that’s never gonna happen.
From what I’ve heard, there are no weight stipulations with GBP’s offer to K2.
As to why Canelo won’t allow his fight-night weight to be announced, it’s pretty obvious isn’t it? He doesn’t want to be scrutinized by the press and public about how much weight he puts on. I think he gets ripped too much for his weight. There are so many other elite fighters that put on a ridiculous amount of weight for their respective divisions – including Terence Crawford and Chocolatito Gonzalez – but fans don’t seem dump on them the way they do Canelo. It’s unfair, but I guess that’s the way it is when you’re billed as boxing’s main attraction.
He might as well step on the scale for HBO because I doubt his actual fight-night weight is anywhere near as heavy as some fans speculate (they claim anywhere from 180-190 pounds). I think he was between 172-175 pounds against Smith, which is simply an indication that he needs to be fighting at middleweight and allowing himself to weigh-in over 155 pounds.
Your mythical matchups:
I think GGG beats both Eubank and Benn at 160 pounds. Eubank, whose chin was inhuman, would go the distance and trouble Golovkin but he would be outworked to a points loss. Benn would probably hurt GGG early but would also be hurt himself during the early shootout before running out of gas and getting stopped in the middle rounds in a very fun fight.
At 168 pounds, I think the dynamic British duo could outpoint Golovkin if they fought the right fight. But GGG’s constant pressure, heavy combo punching, body attack and iron chin would be hard to overcome even by the excellent super middleweight versions of Benn and Eubank.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer