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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

Fighters Network
25
Nov

SUPER-FEATHER SUPREMACY
What’s up Doug,
Is it me or is the nuclear fallout from Kovalev-Ward robbing us boxing fans of a proper buildup to what should be a sensational fight this Saturday between Vasyl Lomachenko and Nicholas Walters?

I have Walters being Sandy Saddler to Lomanchenko’s Willie Pep although it’s easy to envision The Matrix winning via sublime boxing.

Later brother. – Reggie Woodard

I love your bold pick, Reggie. I never thought to compare Lomachenko-Walters to the Pep-Saddler style matchup, but I’m glad that Walters has some believers out there. We will find out tomorrow if there are any stylistic similarities between Lomachenko-Walters and that classic featherweight rivalry between all-time greats.



I can see why you’d view the Axe-Man as the new Saddler. He’s a giant boxer-puncher with a punisher’s mentality. However, Saddler had WAY more craft than the Jamaican (including more fluid boxing, better upper-body movement, blocking/parrying ability and, of course, roughhouse tactics). But that’s to be expected when you compare a fighter from this era to one from the 1940s/’50s. Saddler had 93 bouts under his belt before his first bout with Pep, who had an unreal record of 134-1-1 at the time. (Heck, Saddler fought 46 times in the first two years of his pro career.)

Lomachenko is considered one of the game’s most complete boxing artists, so it makes sense that you’d view the Ukrainian as Pep in Saturday’s matchup. The amateur legend certainly has the footwork and mastery of distance of the ATG, but Pep was more of a super savvy jab-master than the busy combo-punching infighter that Loma is (although Pep could get down and dirty on the inside when he needed to). Fun fact: Saddler, who was a terrific infighter despite his uncommon height, was a converted southpaw.

Did the “nuclear fallout” from Kovalev-Ward rob us of a proper buildup to Lomachenko-Walters? Maybe. That’s one of the awful things about controversy (especially controversial decisions), it takes away from the fight itself and it also pushes upcoming fights to the side for days after the event (or even weeks after depending on how big the fight was). The Thanksgiving holiday probably didn’t help the Lomachenko-Walters promotion. And, let’s face it, despite this being a hardcore fan’s dream matchup, these are “little guys” and the weight classes under 140 pounds generally don’t get as much coverage as the heavier divisions in the U.S.

However, there are more than a few boxing media outlets that are as hyped as you are about Saturday’s 130-pound showdown. Here’s one of UCNLive.com’s 10 Count episodes on the fight (featuring the commentary/discussion of Michael Montero, Michael Baca and Yours Truly):

And here’s the Lomachenko-Walters segment of the latest RingTV 5 episode (co-hosted by Steve Kim and Yours Truly):

 

LOMACHENKO IS OVERRATED
Hello Dougie,
Contrary to what you regularly write in your boxing column about Vasyl Lomachenko, his skills are highly overrated. Orlando Salido gave him a professional boxing lesson, he was unwilling to meet Guillermo Rigondeaux at a catch-weight of 124 where if they had, El Chacal would have shown him who truly was the better amateur and he’s recently made excuses of how he would need a minimum of at least one year to prepare for Pacquiao – a man who has his exact physical dimensions in terms of height and reach and if he were to beat, would propel him to superstar status.

No one should be surprised when Nicholas Walters knocks Lomachenko out this Saturday and gives everyone a reality check. – Dennis, El Centro, California

Wow. Not a Loma fan, eh Dennis?

Two things to say about your prediction: 1. If Walters knocks out Lomachenko, I’ll be both happy for and awed by the Axe-Man. 2. It doesn’t mean Lomachenko was overrated if Walters clips him. Why take away from Walters victory with a statement like that? Why can’t Walters victory simply mean that he is much better than most observers thought he was (and, by the way, pretty much everyone gives the Jamaican respect).

Regarding your take on Lomachenko’s overrated skills. Exactly where do you think the Ukrainian southpaw needs to improve? I’m really curious to hear your answer because I don’t see a lot of flaws in his technical game, nor do I see any lack of boxing/athletic ability.

Regarding the Salido fight, come on man. I picked the Mexican to beat Loma because I thought the amateur star was biting off more than he could chew by challenging the veteran in his second pro bout and I was BARELY right because it turned out that the two-time Olympic champ was almost able to chomp up and digest the ultra-rugged veteran. Loma had Salido reeling in the 12th round.

Salido gave him a professional boxing lesson… you’re funny. Salido gave Loma a FIGHTING lesson and a lesson in boxing’s dirtier tactics (that included purposely missing weight to be stronger and unfairly heavier on fight night, and a shameful low-blow clinic).

He was unwilling to meet Guillermo Rigondeaux at a catch-weight of 124… Was he? Are you sure Rigo wasn’t willing to come up two pounds? That sounds like the Cuban’s M.O. And who has challenged himself more since that proposed showdown of amateur legends?

And he’s recently made excuses of how he would need a minimum of at least one year to prepare for Pacquiao… those aren’t excuses, that’s just reality. He just moved up to 130 pounds. Pacquiao has been fighting above 140 pounds since late 2008. Pacquiao had a fight at 135 (vs. David Diaz) before he faced Oscar De La Hoya at 147, it only makes sense (for Loma and for promotional purposes) that the Ukrainian have at least one bout over 130 pounds before meeting Manny at an appropriate catchweight, such as 140.

But, as I’m sure you know, Lomachenko’s got to get past Axe-Man before we talk about the Pac-Man.

 

LOVING LOMACHENKO
Sup Dougie,
Read the mailbag with great interest on Monday and agreed with your assessment of the Krusher v SOG fight and scandalous judging. I’ve watched the fight 3 times now and cannot comprehend why the referee doesn’t get involved more than he does. The last time I was so frustrated it was watching Joe Cortez royally stiff Ricky Hatton by not letting him fight on the inside at all against Mayweather. If only the refs were reversed for the two fights! We would have had no holding/grappling in the fight last weekend and some great infighting from Ricky!

Talking of the fight, are you aware of the pundit/commentator Spencer Fearon on Sky Sports? He’s almost the closest we have to a Dougie Fischer over in the UK, in terms of knowledge and understanding of the fight game, so I look out for him with great interest. Interestingly he had Ward winning clearly in direct contradiction of your good self.

Anyway, I am SOOO buzzed about the fight this weekend. Lomachenko is just one of those fighters that I absolutely cannot miss a second of his fights. Movement, footwork, tenacity, defensive wizardy, every punch in the book, respectable power – I just love it! He cleans out Walters for me. Who you got?

As much as I am over the Senator, I would genuinely be interested in seeing him fight Loma at 135-140 (or a catchweight – dare I say it!). Who you got in that match up at each weight?

Finally, bit early on this as its a couple of weeks away but do you have AJ icing Molina quicker/more devastatingly than Deontay did? Molina doesn’t go past 4 for me.

Love to get your thoughts as always but either way I’ll be reading on the plane tomorrow morning! Stay safe! – Mike, Weymouth, England

You too, Mike.

I don’t think Joshua will have too much trouble with Molina, who I expect to be stopped by the middle rounds. However, if it goes past Round 5 or 6, I don’t think that’s a bad thing for AJ. He can use the rounds (just as Wilder needed them).

I think it’s too early to really discuss Pacquiao-Lomachenko. Loma has to get by Walters, which won’t be a walk in the park (even if he makes it look that way), and then he needs to prove/establish himself at a heavier weight. I don’t see Pacquiao dropping all the way down to 135, but I can see the Senator coming down to junior welterweight or maybe 142, 143. At that weight, if Loma can retain his speed and activity (and provided he proves that he can hang at lightweight), I think he can outwork and outmaneuver Pacquiao to a decision victory.

Anyway, I am SOOO buzzed about the fight this weekend. You should be. You’re a hardcore boxing fan, ain’t ya?

Lomachenko is just one of those fighters that I absolutely cannot miss a second of his fights. Movement, footwork, tenacity, defensive wizardy, every punch in the book, respectable power – I just love it! You really ARE a hardcore boxing fan! (I knew it.)

He cleans out Walters for me. Who you got? I got Loma via decision in a competitive fight. I don’t think he cleans out Walters (whatever that means).

I’ve watched the fight 3 times now and cannot comprehend why the referee doesn’t get involved more than he does. Byrd could have done a better job (he kept warning Kovalev as though he were the one trying to initiate clinches – meanwhile Ward was sometimes literally diving in head first), but the bottom line is the three judges did a poor job of scoring the fight.

The last time I was so frustrated it was watching Joe Cortez royally stiff Ricky Hatton by not letting him fight on the inside at all against Mayweather. Cortez was neither fair nor firm for that particular fight.

are you aware of the pundit/commentator Spencer Fearon on Sky Sports? Interestingly he had Ward winning clearly in direct contradiction of your good self. I’m not aware of Mr. Fearon, but I’m sure he’s a quality pundit/commentator. I’m not so sure of his ability to score a professional boxing match. Hopefully, he gets it right with the Ward-Kovalev rematch.

 

WARD GETTING NO RESPECT
Hi Doug,
Hope all is well with you and your family. Much respect to all you do and your knowledge of the sport.

Just finished reading your Monday mailbag and am pretty disappointed. First thing I read Monday and Friday mornings. You should have renamed it the Krusher Fan-boy Mailbag. You sounded more like a crushed fan than an objective journalist. Really sad reading how mad you were. Biggest Robbery, are you serious? It was a very close fight, I did have Kovalev winning, but not shocked that Ward got the nod either. What did Kovalev really do second half of the fight? He kept coming forward everyone says – really, that’s all you have to do to win a fight? The guy couldn’t cut off the ring, simple as that. Ward kept circling him and countering. Look at the Compubox #’s, from round 5 onwards, Ward out landed him every round expect round 6 which was 9-8 Kovalev and round 10 which was 21-16. You take away round 2 as well and Ward out landed him in the fight. How you and others come across as Kovalev dominated the fight is just a disservice to Ward. The compubox #’s do not show that, if anything they show Ward winning the fight. You kept talking about his world-class jab, Ward out jabbed him according to the #’s. Ward had a higher connect rate too. So I don’t know what monster jab you talking about. As well, everyone says Ward is a dirty fighter, it was Kovalev that kept grabbing him in close and how many headlocks did he put him in?

For all the praise you throw Kovalev’s way I have always been suspect about him. Who the hell has he beat? Nobodies in my honest opinion. A 50 yr old Hopkins does not count. If Ward had 2-3 more fights to fight off the ring rust, I suspect he would have dominated the fight. I believe in a rematch he wins more easily. All this talk of Kovalev as one of the great fighters of this generation is a disservice to those actual fighters. He looked average in my view and not some monster as you and others have made him out to be. The fact Ward moved up in weight to take on the “biggest” puncher in boxing after such a long lay-off and made him look average says more about Wards skills than Kovalev.

I am sorry but for you to have 9 rounds to 3 is ridiculous in my honest opinion. Your friend from Toronto. – Deep

Deep, my dear, dear respected friend from Toronto, I didn’t score any rounds for Ward that he didn’t truly earn. People who scored more than five rounds for Ward (and I think five rounds was being very nice to the former super middleweight champ) GAVE him rounds. People who scored more than five rounds for Ward do not understand HOW to score professional boxing. They do not understand the criteria. Boxing is scored on clean punching, effective aggression, defense and ring generalship. That criteria are in that order for a reason. Kovalev landed more clean punches and his punches were more effective than Ward’s (and by “effective” I mean the harder and more damaging blows). End of story for me. It wasn’t a hard fight to score and people who really understand boxing, from veteran matchmakers to former fighters to esteemed members of the media, scored the bout the way I had it or the way Harold Lederman scored it (eight rounds to four).

Now, just because I didn’t bend over backwards for Ward and give him rounds that he didn’t deserve doesn’t mean that I’m being a “Kovalev fan boy” or that I’m not giving Ward any respect or credit for what he did accomplish during the fight. I have more respect for Ward now than I did prior to the fight because he got up off the canvas and (after being in survival/keep-away mode for a couple of rounds) he began making adjustments (in the middle rounds) and finally tried to mount a rally (in the late rounds, when I thought he did his best work – mainly to the body). Ward fought a valiant fight. He has nothing to be ashamed of (it’s the official judges that need to be ashamed). Ward did enough to make the bout compelling and competitive down the stretch. He did not do enough to win the fight. That’s why I was upset, even outraged. Because boxing got it right with this fight happening when it did (with Kovalev and Ward at the top of their game), there was a lot on the line, there was compelling drama in the ring, and then the three official judges – Burt Clements, Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie – flushed it all down the toilet in the eyes of most non-biased observes and casual fans. That awful decision hurt a sport that has been hurting for far too long, and I didn’t take kindly to the situation.

You can go on all you want about me being a Krusher fan boy and you can spout CompuBox stats that don’t reflect the effect or impact of the punches that were landed, but you can’t change the fact that MOST observers (AT LEAST 70%) thought Ward lost. In the days that have gone by since Saturday night, I haven’t come into live contact with a single person that watched the fight who thinks Ward won. Not one! I know that some of my peers in the media – many of whom I respect (but not all of ‘em) – scored the bout for Ward by a point or two. I think they got it wrong. And nothing is going to change my mind.

Biggest Robbery, are you serious? As serious as mother f__king cancer. Deal with it.

It was a very close fight, I did have Kovalev winning, but not shocked that Ward got the nod either. What did Kovalev really do second half of the fight? Firstly, if you don’t think Kovalev did anything in the second half of the fight, I have to assume that you either have severely impaired vision or you don’t know how to score a boxing match. Second, if Kovalev didn’t do anything in the second half of the bout, why did you have him winning? You’ve basically admitted that Ward didn’t do s__t in the first half of the bout.

He kept coming forward everyone says – really, that’s all you have to do to win a fight? Nobody says that. What wins rounds is when you come forward and land jabs that repeatedly snap the head back of your retreating opponent, which is what Kovalev did all night. And Ward couldn’t come back with anything that would stun or move Kovalev.

The guy couldn’t cut off the ring, simple as that. Kovalev didn’t cut the ring off but he was still able to land on Ward, and he landed 10 more punches by the end of the night (according to CompuBox). And sadly, once more, I have to point out what should be obvious to anyone who knows how to score PROFESSIONAL boxing: Kovalev’s punches DID MORE DAMAGE.

Ward kept circling him and countering. He didn’t counter enough to deter Kovalev, let alone win the majority of rounds. And I don’t give fighters credit for just circling and/or clinching. They gotta land effective punches too!

For all the praise you throw Kovalev’s way I have always been suspect about him. Why? Are you biased, Deep?

Who the hell has he beat? Nobodies in my honest opinion. He beat Andre Ward (in the court of popular opinion and on YOUR scorecard), so I guess S.O.G. is a “nobody” in your book. (Now who’s the one not giving him his due respect?)

A 50 yr old Hopkins does not count. That’s OK. That gift decision Ward got on Nov. 19 doesn’t count either.

If Ward had 2-3 more fights to fight off the ring rust, I suspect he would have dominated the fight. Good Lord, and you have the nerve to call me and others “fans boys.” My dude, you are a member of the “Mental Ward.” Your hero already had TWO tune-up bouts this year (three if you count last summer’s paid sparring session with an overweight Paul Smith). You’re telling me he should have had four-to-five “tune-ups”? That’s just pathetic.

I believe in a rematch he wins more easily. OK. But what does Team Ward believe? Not what they’ll say on record, but what will their actions (or lack of actions) tell us? I hope they believe what you believe and do the right thing and grant Kovalev the immediate rematch his team is calling for.

All this talk of Kovalev as one of the great fighters of this generation is a disservice to those actual fighters. That’s exactly what I was thinking about Ward when Max Kellerman and Jim Lampley were going on and on about his “greatness” when he was moon walking around the ring against Kovalev.

He looked average in my view and not some monster as you and others have made him out to be. Well, I guess an “average” fighter got the better of Ward on Nov. 19.

The fact Ward moved up in weight to take on the “biggest” puncher in boxing after such a long lay-off and made him look average says more about Ward’s skills than Kovalev. A)Ward had three bouts between his layoff and the Kovalev fight, B)he made himself look average too, and C)it said more about his heart than it did his skills, which were overrated.

As well, everyone says Ward is a dirty fighter, it was Kovalev that kept grabbing him in close and how many headlocks did he put him in? Kovalev grabbed and put Ward into a headlock whenever Ward tried to dive in (head first) to grab/tackle him – which was often. If Ward learned how to box without the dive-and-grab tactics, his fights wouldn’t be the ugly grappling matches so many of them turn out to be.

You kept talking about his world-class jab, Ward out jabbed him according to the #’s. That doesn’t mean Ward’s jab was more effective than Kovalev’s jab.

Ward had a higher connect rate too. So I don’t know what monster jab you talking about. Which probably means that you shouldn’t be scoring professional boxing matches.

 

ANDRE WARD/BOXING MEDIA RANT
Hi Doug,
First I want to say thank you for being the voice of reason after this horrible decision. I honestly do not know what everyone else was watching.

I knew that this fight was always about Ward and never about Kovalev. Kovalev could never truly come out the winner in this match up. If he knocked Ward out, well Ward was rusty and only fought a few stiffs, or he simply got caught. The talk would be about how Ward is no longer Super 6 Ward and not about Kovalev being P4P worthy. If Kovalev won the decision, the nuthuggers (Malignaggi, Rosenthal, Kellerman) would say it took Andre half the fight to work off the rust and that a rematch would prove to be much different. If he had dominated Kovalev, as your boy Rosenthal wrote an article saying he would (as Ward’s boxing IQ is head and shoulders above everyone else), the day before the fight, everyone would be saying “OMG he is the greatest boxer ever,” which they still are even if this outcome didn’t come to fruition. The fact that he climbed off of the canvas and had some good rounds the story changes to “OMG, we knew Ward was good but when faced with adversity he stepped to the plate” and made all these imaginary adjustments that we (Kellerman, etc.) pretend to see and won, ignoring the fact that a few days before they said Kovalev can’t box with Ward. So all in all, Kovalev was always going to be the loser as the nuthuggers had every scenario covered to make the story about Ward. The fact that Kovalev was robbed is one thing but now I get upset when everyone else in the media is telling me I am witnessing greatness.

The actual fact is that Kovalev is an underrated boxer and was out thinking and OUT BOXING the ultra talented, super duper boxer extraordinaire (sarcasm) Ward. I do not find Andre’s infighting skills all that exceptional, he knows how to fight within the rules by mauling and wrestling and positioning himself to throw a shot here and there frustrating his opponents and the media confuse it for him having high IQ and being so slick. He is no James Toney, he is not Floyd Mayweather. Hell, I think, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomanchenko show much better boxing IQ and infighting skills and they are boxers we as boxing fans can be proud of and look in amazement when they ply their craft. I am not sure why the media wants so badly for him to be great? Because he is American? Because Maywether is retired? If the media needs to get on an American jock, can they just cheerlead for Crawford who is a better all-round fighter hands down?

As good as Ward is he is not great and never will be, and that’s OK, he is a pretty good little fighter. I just wish the media would stop making out like he is Leonard or Mayweather or Hopkins. Hell, he can’t even hold Calzaghe’s jock strap, not even close.

Sorry for the rant, I just really needed to get this off my chest, even if you might not read it! Man, I miss Merchant in times like these.

I am looking forward to Walters-Loma. This is an interesting matchup and more in common with Leonard-Hearns then this past Saturday. I think both guys are terrific and it’s a toss up. I think Loma has to pitch a near perfect game as Walters is a good boxer with crazy power. How do you see it going down? Thanks – Alex from Montreal

I favor Loma on points in a good fight. Whatever happens in the fight, let’s just hope the official judges get it right on their scorecards.

I want to say thank you for being the voice of reason after this horrible decision. I honestly do not know what everyone else was watching. Thanks for viewing me as a “voice of reason.” I know others think I’ve overreacted to last Saturday’s controversial scorecards. However, please keep in mind that most people who watched the fight live believed that Kovalev won. And most of the observers who did not think Kovalev won (such as much of the Sky Sports commentating team), either believed the bout to be a draw or they had Ward winning by one point. Paulie Malignaggi is the only notable boxing pundit I know of who had Ward winning by more than one point.

Paulie’s scorecard did not surprise me. But you know who did surprise me? ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith. He had Kovalev winning!

Come on, man, you KNOW Smith usually rides with the African-American boxer, but he kept it real last Saturday, which is to be respected.

And Smith is one of the most influential members of the U.S. media, so you can’t say that all of the sports/boxing press is looking to create a narrative of Ward’s greatness regardless of what actually transpired on Nov. 19 (although some obviously are trying to do that). Even the celebrities of the boxing world, such as Mario Lopez (listen the most recent episode of his 3 Knockdown Rule podcast with Kim) and Rosie Perez, didn’t buy into what the bulls__t of Burt Clements, Glenn Trowbridge and John McKaie (as the Sky Sports crew and Max Kellerman did).


I knew that this fight was always about Ward and never about Kovalev. Kovalev could never truly come out the winner in this match up. I wish I could disagree with you here, but given the official scorecards it does indeed look as though the only way Kovalev could win was by knockout (or by scoring more than one knockdown) – the judges (and a portion of the media) were not going to give him the credit he deserved for his boxing ability.

If he knocked Ward out, well Ward was rusty and only fought a few stiffs, or he simply got caught. Some members of the media (particularly those that predicted that Ward would soundly outclass Kovalev) probably would have said and written this. Some, I think, would have given Kovalev credit for KOing an “elite boxer.” (Others probably would have been too deep in shock to say or write anything.)

The talk would be about how Ward is no longer Super 6 Ward and not about Kovalev being P4P worthy. Maybe. Or maybe some would say that Kovalev is the greatest puncher since a prime Joe Louis.

If Kovalev won the decision, the nuthuggers (Malignaggi, Rosenthal, Kellerman) would say it took Andre half the fight to work off the rust and that a rematch would prove to be much different. Yeah, probably. Ward’s their guy and they’re going to ride or die with him. I think they feel that American boxers and boxers who don’t have world-class power don’t receive enough credit or fan support so maybe they try and make up for that by advocating for them. I don’t know. (I tend think that American boxers and non-power boxers often receive too much credit from the media and networks.)

If he had dominated Kovalev, as your boy Rosenthal wrote an article saying he would (as Ward’s boxing IQ is head and shoulders above everyone else) the day before the fight, everyone would be saying “OMG he is the greatest boxer ever,” which they still are even if this outcome didn’t come to fruition. You’re right about this. If Ward dominated Kovalev they’d view him as an ATG on par with Ray Robinson, or at least Ray Leonard, which is laughable in my view. (And yeah, some still do, which is just pathetic.) But give Rosenthal some credit because he has given Kovalev credit for the boxing skills the Russian exhibited against Ward and he’s admitted that he was wrong about Ward being too much for the former light heavyweight champ to handle.

The fact that he climbed off of the canvas and had some good rounds the story changes to “OMG, we knew Ward was good but when faced with adversity he stepped to the plate” and made all these imaginary adjustments that we (Kellerman, etc.) pretend to see and won, ignoring the fact that a few days before they said Kovalev can’t box with Ward. What are ya gonna do? Huggers are gonna hug. I think most rational fans can tell when a few are overvaluing what one fighter did in a controversial fight while undervaluing what the other fighter did.

So all in all, Kovalev was always going to be the loser as the nuthuggers had every scenario covered to make the story about Ward. The fact that Kovalev was robbed is one thing but now I get upset when everyone else in the media is telling me I am witnessing greatness. Don’t let a few nuthuggers get you down, Alex. Like I said, most observers have no doubt that Kovalev won the fight. Even some of the Ward boosters, such as your fellow Canadian, Deep, thought Kovalev deserved the nod. Most of the people who agree with the official scorecards are arguing that the fight was close and could have gone either way, not so much in favor of Ward actually winning the bout. Keep that in mind. And if you don’t think the fight was close at all (like me), don’t capitulate when someone tries to sway or convince you that that Kovalev wasn’t robbed. I know I’m not going to lose my conviction. And I’m not alone. There are veteran observers/media members that are enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame who thought Ward received a blatant gift decision, including Larry Merchant, Harold Lederman and Al Bernstein, who wrote this gem on his Facebook page immediately after the fight:

bernstein-on-kovalev-ward_mailbag

And there are younger pundits out there who have their heads screwed on straight. Please check out this video by Richard Dwyer of the Gamblers Advisory YouTube channel and blog site. I know he isn’t a boxing writer or official member of the media, but Dwyer is one of the most mature, even-keeled, emotionally detached and logical boxing observers that I know of. He breaks Kovalev-Ward down with expert analysis and insight (and I should point out that he is a Bay Area lawyer who has the utmost respect for Ward):

I know it’s a bit long but I wanted you to watch this to drive home the fact that three veteran Vegas judges and some members of the press can’t fool those who KNOW WHAT THEY’RE LOOKING AT. I love it when Dwyer says “the media is talking about a second-half comeback (from Ward) that doesn’t show itself on film.” Word!

The actual fact is that Kovalev is an underrated boxer and was out thinking and OUT BOXING the ultra talented, super duper boxer extraordinaire (sarcasm) Ward. I agree, and we’re not alone in that opinion.

I do not find Andre’s infighting skills all that exceptional, he knows how to fight within the rules by mauling and wrestling and positioning himself to throw a shot here and there frustrating his opponents and the media confuse it for him having high IQ and being so slick. I don’t confuse what Ward does for being “slick” and don’t like watching it but I can’t fault him for doing it because it works and he gets credit for doing it.

He is no James Toney, he is not Floyd Mayweather. Agreed (and you know I’m not fan of Floyd’s).

Hell, I think, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomanchenko show much better boxing IQ and infighting skills and they are boxers we as boxing fans can be proud of and look in amazement when they ply their craft. Well, it can be debated who has more boxing IQ and infighting skills, but I know who I’d rather watch ply their in-close fighting prowess and that’s Loma and Bud!

I am not sure why the media wants so badly for him to be great? Media and pundits of this era want the sports figures of their generation to be “great” badly enough lower the bar of “greatness,” this is especially so in boxing. If they had better knowledge of and appreciation for the sport’s history they wouldn’t be in such a rush.

Because he is American? That’s part of it.

Because Maywether is retired? That’s part of it.

If the media needs to get on an American jock, can they just cheerlead for Crawford who is better all-round fighter hands down? Bud needs to dominate a little longer and/or win a high-profile fight or two as Ward did with Carl Froch, Chad Dawson and Kovalev. He’s on his way. If Ward gets clipped in the Kovalev rematch, believe me, Crawford (if he remains undefeated) will be elevated to the top spot (by U.S. media) before Kovalev is.

As good as Ward is he is not great and never will be, and that’s OK, he is a pretty good little fighter. I think he’s more than pretty good. I think he’s sensational, but he shouldn’t have received that decision last Saturday.

I just wish the media would stop making out like he is Leonard or Mayweather or Hopkins. They can’t help themselves. Pity them.

Hell, he can’t even hold Calzaghe’s jock strap, not even close. You’ve probably pissed off media on BOTH sides of the Pond with that statement (evidently, the British boxing press rides pretty hard for S.O.G.)

Sorry for the rant, I just really needed to get this off my chest, even if you might not read it! Man, I miss Merchant in times like these. Most of us do.

 

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

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