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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

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17
Mar

GGG VS JACOBS UPSET SPECIAL

What’s up Doug,

Wanted to chime in about this Saturday’s middleweight unification tilt. Cutting to the chase, I have Daniel Jacobs with the upset special.

I envision the two power-rich MWs boxing and punching on even terms until GGG hurts Jacobs mid-rounds. GGG gets a bit lax during a subsequent exchange and is diminished by a vicious short left hook he never saw. While regaining his equilibrium, he’s dropped and finished by a right to the top of his dome.

I know it’s a gratuitous leap, but this has shades of Kostya Tszyu/Vince Phillips written all over it.

I don’t see Jacobs ever stepping to you a la Cool Vince (great story man lol) in an elevator though.

Try and squeeze this in Friday’s mailbag so armchair Futch, Benton, Dundee, McGuigan, Beristain and Duva can tell me I’m crazy and DKSAB lol. Later brutha. – Reggie Woodard

You won’t hear that tired-ass Roger Mayweather line from me, Reggie. Jacobs is a live dog in Saturday’s showdown. The only folks who don’t see that are GGG fanatics and GGG haters. Those two extreme groups can go f__k themselves in a locked rubber room for all I care.

I envision the two power-rich MWs boxing and punching on even terms until GGG hurts Jacobs mid-rounds. OK, I’m with you so far…

GGG gets a bit lax during a subsequent exchange and is diminished by a vicious short left hook he never saw. Hold up. Why would GGG become “a bit lax” after hurting Jacobs? From what I’ve seen, Golovkin is a pretty good finisher. When he hurts an opponent, he goes into hunter-killer mode.

While regaining his equilibrium, he’s dropped and finished by a right to the top of his dome. We’ve yet to see anyone rock Golovkin bad enough to take away his legs, but Jacobs can crack with explosive speed, and I guess there’s a first time for everything.

I know it’s a gratuitous leap, but this has shades of Kostya Tszyu/Vince Phillips written all over it. Really? I don’t see the comparison, other than Tszyu being an unbeaten, Central Asian/Russian mix who was a big odds favorite over an American talent. In terms of styles, I think it’s a very different matchup. Phillips was an aggressive fighter who got in Tszyu’s ass – and was willing and able to take whatever punishment the Russian-Australian star dished out – round after round. Tszyu was stalking boxer-puncher. GGG is more than a stalker, he’s a very efficient power-hitting pressure fighter who is an expert at cutting off the ring and at banging his opponents body (which Tszyu didn’t too much off at that time). Jacobs is a very talented boxer-puncher, but he’s not as aggressive (and likely not as a durable) as Phillips was.

I don’t see Jacobs ever stepping to you a la Cool Vince (great story man lol) in an elevator though. Ha! That little 2002 altercation happened outside the elevators in the MMG Grand’s lobby, and no, I don’t see Jacobs ever doing anything like that. He (and his team) have too much class. (By the way, I still love Cool Vince.)

 

PPV NUMBERS, THE REMATCH, HBO

Sup Doug,

I hope you & family are well. So glad HBO delivered the Lemieux-Stevens fight after it was scrapped last year due to budget cuts. Good thing I didn’t bet because I picked Stevens last year comparing their fights w/ GGG. Quick questions for you:

1) What’s the buzz like for GGG vs Jacobs in the boxing biz? I can see this fight breaking 300K due to their impressive followings on the East Coast. Wishful thinking??

2) Are we any closer to seeing Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev 2 being made? If Ward actually retires I assume Kovalev has to fight the No. 1-ranked contender for each belt he lost, right?

3) Appreciate your response about your picks for new Legendary Nights episodes. I would love to see those too! The Hopkins-Trinidad especially, as it was an unrivaled time of patriotism. Had me thinking, what about one bout Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacqauio? That was Pacquaio’s coming out party & the passing of the torch from Oscar. Maybe one about Mayweather-Hatton. It was pne of the few times I was entertained in a Mayweather fight & the Hatton fans surely upped the drama factor. Nobody does storytelling like HBO. I wish they would do more. Legendary Nights, Assault in the Ring, Thrilla in Manilla show their mastery.

Thanks again Doug for the mailbag. I enjoy reading it & browsing the comments even! All the best. – Gerry K.

Thanks for the kind words for the mailbag column and its comment section, Gerry. I’m glad you didn’t lose any money on the Lemieux-Stevens matchup and that you got your money’s worth in ring action/drama.

What’s the buzz like for GGG vs Jacobs in the boxing biz? It’s pretty hot. Most of the industry is here in New York City (although tonight’s Boxing Writers Assoc. of America dinner and tomorrow’s Michael Conlan-headlined show have something to do with the turnout).

I can see this fight breaking 300K due to their impressive followings on the East Coast. Wishful thinking?? Just a bit. I’m thinking it does around 250,000 PPV buys (not including the sales of the official online pay-per-view show, which is being hosted by RingTV.com). If they break 300,000, I think all parties involved with the event will be very satisfied.

Are we any closer to seeing Andre Ward-Sergey Kovalev 2 being made? Maybe this is a bit of wishful thinking on my part, but I think we are.

If Ward actually retires I assume Kovalev has to fight the No. 1-ranked contender for each belt he lost, right? Do you really believe Ward when he spouts that retirement talk? LOL. Anyway, yeah, if Dre hung up the gloves, the three light heavyweight world titles he “won” from Kovalev would be vacated. Kovalev is currently rated No. 1 in the WBC, No. 2 in the WBA and No. 3 in the IBF. So, he would have to fight No. 2-rated Dominic Boesel for the WBO belt, No. 2-rated Artur Beterbiev for the IBF title, and No. 1-rated Dmitry Bivol for the WBA strap (and then he’d probably have to face off against WBA “regular” beltholder Nathan Cleverly to be considered the real WBA “champ”).

Appreciate your response about your picks for new Legendary Nights episodes. I would love to see those too! The Hopkins-Trinidad fight especially, as it was an unrivaled time of patriotism. No doubt about it.

Had me thinking, what about one bout Oscar De La Hoya vs. Manny Pacquiao? That could be a good one, but I’d only be interested if the producers went deep into De La Hoya’s crazy camp in Big Bear, California, where hall of fame trainers Nacho Beristain and Angelo Dundee (and should-be HOF trainer Kenny Adams and his then-pupil and Oscar sparring partner Edwin Valero) witnessed a lot of off-the-record stuff that ultimately impacted The Golden Boy performance in that final stand.

Maybe one about Mayweather-Hatton. Meh, maybe.

It was one of the few times I was entertained in a Mayweather fight & the Hatton fans surely upped the drama factor. To me, Hatton’s fans were THE story of that fight.

Nobody does storytelling like HBO. You’re not wrong.

 

ACTION GUARANTEED

What’s happening Doug,

This is my first time writing in, so let me start by thanking you for easing me into and out of my work week with your mailbags.

The Monday and Friday schedule is always a great way to wind down from some exciting action and to get even more excited about the upcoming bouts for the weekend.

That being said, there is probably no better example of that, than this week! Just as we’re coming down from Lemieux’s highlight-reel finish over Stevens, we get even more guaranteed action with GGG taking on, arguably his toughest challenge to date, in the Miracle Man. I say “guaranteed action” even though I’m not anticipating a pure shoot-out, but a more methodical dissection from GGG, while maybe Jacobs comes out the gate swinging for the fences.

What do you think Jacobs’ best chance would be? Do you think he’ll come out hot or patiently wait for his opportunities to leap in with big counters? Either way, I don’t see this fight not delivering, but can you think of any classic let-downs that should’ve produced fireworks, stylistically, and didn’t?

Lastly, how much credit should Golovkin deserve if he beats Jacobs? I’m convinced that, if he wins, people will say he was supposed to win and he still hasn’t fought anybody. But, if GGG were to lose, I’m pretty sure those same people would be claiming that GGG got “exposed” once he stepped in the ring with a respectable boxer/puncher in his weight class. So, what do you think a KO or a decisive win over Jacobs should really tell us about the killer Kazakh?

Have yourself a great week! – Khantemplate

You too, and thanks for the very kind words about the mailbag column.

A KO or decisive victory over Jacobs will further solidify Golovkin’s claim to being the best middleweight in the world. Jacobs is the consensus No. 2-rated 160-pound fighter right now. GGG is the only middleweight rated above Jacobs, according to THE RING, ESPN.com, BoxRec.com and the Transnational Boxing Rankings. So Golovkin should receive the credit that a division’s No. 1-rated fighter is due when he beats the No. 2-rated contender in his weight class. End of story.

Any fake-ass fans that says Golovkin “was supposed to win and he still hasn’t fought anybody” if he scores the victory tomorrow night, and any sorry MFs that say he was “exposed once he stepped in the ring with a respectable boxer/puncher in his weight class” should he lose to Jacobs, needs to jump into a deep lake wearing concrete shoes. The world – never mind the boxing world – doesn’t need pitiful mopes like that. Please tell those fools that I said that.

I say “guaranteed action” even though I’m not anticipating a pure shoot-out, but a more methodical dissection from GGG, while maybe Jacobs comes out the gate swinging for the fences. I don’t envision a shoot-out either, but I’m hoping Jacobs tries to check GGG’s chin early in the fight. I would like to see him swing for the fences, but not too wide as to get countered by the odds favorite.

What do you think Jacobs’ best chance would be? Do you think he’ll come out hot or patiently wait for his opportunities to leap in with big counters? I think he needs to do a combination of both to have any hope of beating GGG. I believe that he has to come out hard and fast and stun or hurt the unified titleholder in the opening rounds – or at least threaten to do so – in order to make the odds/media favorite cautious and tentative. And then I think Jacobs should box a smart and responsible fight while looking for long-range offensive opportunities.

Either way, I don’t see this fight not delivering, but can you think of any classic let-downs that should’ve produced fireworks, stylistically, and didn’t? Well, I had high hopes for Golovkin-Lemieux, which I figured was a can’t-miss middleweight shootout in the vein of McClellean-Jackson, but GGG totally outclassed the Montreal puncher. I don’t think he’ll be able to dominate Jacobs in quite the same manner, but who knows? Jacobs might not be as durable as Lemmy.

 

THE RING AND CHOCOLATITO

Hey Doug,

This is the first email I’ve sent but I’ve been reading the mailbags for a while now and I’m a huge fan. I’m a recent boxing fan, the first fight I ever watched was Danny Garcia vs Lamont Peterson. Great introduction to the sport right? But I stuck with it and since then I’ve become pretty obsessed. So, in that spirit I have three questions.

Obviously, everyone this week is going to be asking about GGG-Jacobs so I’m going to avoid that topic and ask you some questions about The Ring itself. I was going through the ratings on RingTV.com and noticed that while Chocolatito is (rightfully) rated #1 pound for pound, he’s also rated by The Ring #2 at 115 lbs. How does that work? Is he the best or not?

Second is about ownership of The Ring. I recently became aware that The Ring is owned by Golden Boy Promotions. I read a lot of the articles on the website and they never seem biased or unfairly favoring Golden Boy fighters, so I’m just curious how much input Golden Boy has on day to day operations and content.

Finally, Chocolatito again. One of the major fights hardcore boxing fans seem to want is Roman Gonzalez vs Naoya Inoue. I would love to see that myself. How do you see Chocolatito faring against The Monster? Also why does it seem like Japanese boxers don’t get much love? No one seems to talk about them much even though they’ve got two spots on the pound for pound list. I always enjoy watching them fight.

One more just for the hell of it. Who’s better at their peak? Floyd or Roy Jones? Once again, I’m a huge fan of your work, keep it up! Best. – Graham

Thanks for the very, very kind words and for sticking with the sport after the somewhat controversial letdown of Garcia-Peterson.

I can’t really choose between Jones Jr. and Mayweather Jr. as far as who was better at their peak. I think it’s dead heat between the marvelously gifted American prima-donna control freaks. Both were master boxers. Roy was the better athletic talent/offensive fighter. Floyd was the better technician/defensive boxer. Both accomplished enough to be considered first-ballot future hall of famers, and both could have done more to prove their greatness.

I was going through the ratings on RingTV.com and noticed that while Chocolatito is (rightfully) rated #1 pound for pound, he’s also rated by The Ring #2 at 115 lbs. How does that work? Is he the best or not? Gonzalez is the best fighter on the planet, pound for pound, because he’s unbeaten in 46 consecutive fights, he’s won major world titles in four weight classes and he’s faced the best opposition of those four divisions. He’s “only” No. 2 at junior bantamweight (115 pounds) because he just moved to that division and his one fight in his new weight class was a hotly contested decision over THE RING’s No. 2 contender at the time, former WBC beltholder Carlos Cuadras. So Chocolatito assumed Cuadras’ place in the magazine’s rankings, but he hasn’t done enough at 115 pounds to prove that he is superior to THE RING’s No. 1-rated junior bantie Naoya Inoue.

I recently became aware that The Ring is owned by Golden Boy Promotions. I read a lot of the articles on the website and they never seem biased or unfairly favoring Golden Boy fighters, so I’m just curious how much input Golden Boy has on day to day operations and content. The company (since Dickie Schaefer’s departure) doesn’t have any editorial input at all and they don’t treat us any better than any other boxing news organization, but they do have a say-so in certain business/financial decisions, such as how many magazines we print a year, or what fights or fight cards the website streams live, or which server or web-design company hosts or re-designs RingTV.com. This doesn’t mean Golden Boy doesn’t have editorial biases in favor of their fighters. Believe me, if THE RING were to name Canelo Alvarez as Fighter of the Year and Eddy Reynoso as Trainer of the Year they’d piss their collective pants in celebration. Hey, it is what it is, they’re happy if their star is happy. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, but you should know that we keep it real.

One of the major fights hardcore boxing fans seem to want is Roman Gonzalez vs Naoya Inoue. I would love to see that fight myself. So do I, but I want to warn you not to overlook Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (AKA Wisaksil Wangek) tomorrow night. The Thai veteran is NOT a “gimme” fight. Gonzalez has his heavy hands full with a tough, relentless former titleholder he may crack harder than he does at 115 pounds.

How do you see Chocolatito faring against The Monster? Last year or in 2015 (when more than a few boxing nerds were clamoring for this showdown), I would have heavily favored Gonzalez, but not – in part because of the wear and tear that is beginning to show on Chocolatito, and in part because of the pro seasoning Inoue has gained – I view it as an even-money match (perhaps even an elite-level crossroads bout). I think it’s a tremendous matchup that would deliver a lot of action and drama, but it’s also a fight that Gonzalez can lose.

Also why does it seem like Japanese boxers don’t get much love? I don’t know. I think they get love.

No one seems to talk about them much even though they’ve got two spots on the pound for pound list. I don’t know. Again, they get love in the boxing circles I run in, and definitely on my Twitter TL, but I guess if they’re not recognized in the circles you run in it’s because they’re mostly sub-featherweight fighters on the elite level (and most causal fans ignore the little guys), and because they don’t travel outside of Japan too often.

I always enjoy watching them fight. Me too!

 

FIRST UNDISPUTED (MALE) CHAMP THIS DECADE

Hey Doug what’s up?

I just want to know your thoughts on this topic.

Although we have a current undisputed female champ, the male side hasn’t had an undisputed champ since Jermaine Taylor after he beat B-Hop. Since the beginning of this decade, a lot of fighters won and unified two to three world titles but none of them won all four major belts (plus THE RING belt). It’s really frustrating that those who held three belts like Wladdy, GGG and Kovalev always had problems securing a fight with the boxer who holds the other belt in their division.

Right now, I think Terence Crawford has a really good shot of being the first undisputed champ of the decade. I’ve read that Top Rank is interested in matching Terence Crawford against the winner of the Burns-Indongo fight. The winner of that fight will have 3 belts, and if Bud fought the winner and wins, he will have a total of 6 belts including THE RING and IBO.

If It’s not Bud, who do you think it will be?

Mythical Matchups:

Zab Judah vs Tim Bradley @147 &140

Cory Spinx vs Erislandy Lara.

As always, keep up the good work Dougie. God bless you! – Yves, UAE

Thanks for the blessing, Yves.

Your mythical matchups:

Zab Judah vs Tim Bradley @ 147 & 140 – I’ll take Judah (at his best following a good camp) over Bradley via decision at 147, and Desert Storm over the erratic but fearless Brooklynite by decision at 140. Both fights would be close and hotly contested. Judah might score knockdowns in either fight.

Cory Spinks vs Erislandy Lara – No idea who wins this, I’m just certain that I would last the distance as an observer.

Right now, I think Terence Crawford has a really good shot of being the first undisputed champ of the decade. I hope you’re right about this. Crawford needs a worthy goal to focus positive career-related efforts toward and accomplishments that help him crossover into general sports fan consciousness. However, I wonder how long he’ll really stay at 140 pounds.

I’ve read that Top Rank is interested in matching Terence Crawford against the winner of the Burns-Indongo fight. Yeah, Top Rank boss Bob Arum says a lot of things. Burns-Indongo fight for the WBA, IBF and IBO belts in April, while Bud is scheduled to fight Who The F__k Knows on May 20. We’ll see what happens after Crawford takes care of biz in May.

The winner of (Burns-Indongo) will have 3 belts, and if Bud fought the winner and wins, he will have a total of 6 belts including THE RING and IBO. Yeah, that’s true (not that many hardcore fans in the U.S. care about the IBO strap, but it’s still significant to be the only male undisputed boxing champ). And I would heavily favor Crawford to beat Burns or Indongo, as would most fans and media.

If It’s not Bud, who do you think it will be? Well, if Golovkin beats Jacobs tomorrow night, his reported plan is to fight WBO beltholder Billy Joe Saunders in Kazakhstan in June and then face Canelo (should the redhead beat fellow Mexican star Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in May) in September (or sometime in late 2017). If he does that – and wins – he’ll hold all of the major 160-pound world titles.

 

WORLD BOXING SUPER SERIES

What’s s up Dougie!

Since I’m sure the mailbag will be full with question about this weekend’s fight, I wanted to get your take on another topic I haven’t seen you talk about yet? I wanted to know what you think about the World Boxing Super Series? What two divisions would you like to them to pick, and do you see this being successful?

I am definitely excited for it. Give me free competitive boxing and I’m all for it! My top four divisions I’m hoping gets chosen are 126, 135, 154, and 200. Hell, even 115 or 130; as long as Top Rank fighters join I think any will be great! How likely do you think Top Rank fighters will join? I think it’s a good I idea to pick a division where they generally don’t get too much attention because I think just about every top ranked fighter will be up for the challenge? Last question is which division do you think has the most ranked fighters willing to join this for the money being offered?

Hope I make the mailbag, if not it’s cool, I’ll be at the Big Drama Show this weekend and actually hoping to catch you to talk to you about everything in person! – Omar, Paterson, NJ

Don’t be a stranger if you see me, Omar. I’m here in NYC and looking forward to experiencing the Big (and Little) Drama Show(s) tomorrow night inside a packed Madison Square Garden.

I wanted to know what you think about the World Boxing Super Series? I don’t really have an opinion on the proposed tournament series from my good friend Dickie Schaefer and his fellow “Boxen Führers,” the Sauerland Bros., (other than Golden Boy’s former CEO really must miss the spotlight to hold a press conference about his new venture before he’s got any fighters or networks signed on). I think it’s good that he’s doing it and I’m curious to see what two weight classes will be featured and which top fighters from each division partake in the tournaments, but I won’t get excited until those details are filled and we get closer to the first round of fights.

What two divisions would you like to them to pick, and do you see this being successful? In an ideal world, I’d love to see the best lightweights (the Linares-Crolla winner, Mikey Garcia, the Flanagan-Petrov winner, Robert Easter, Denis Shafikov, Richard Commey, Felix Verdejo and maybe Ray Beltran) and the best junior lightweights (Lomachenko, Siri Salido, Miguel Berchelt, Takashi Miura, Jezreel Corrales, Takashi Uchiyama, Gervonta Davis and maybe Francisco Vargas) duke it out until there are two undisputed rules in each weight class.

I am definitely excited for it. I can tell! Whoo-hoo!!!! Let’s all get pumped up!!!!! See y’all in September!!!!!!!!!

Give me free competitive boxing and I’m all for it! As well you should be.

My top four divisions I’m hoping gets chosen are 126, 135, 154, and 200. I think featherweight (126) and junior middleweight (154) are likely because Al Haymon advises many of the top contenders in those divisions (and there are UK standouts among his featherweight cadre), and also cruiserweight, because the Sauerlands manage the careers of many 200-pound contenders.

I don’t think it’s likely. How likely do you think Top Rank fighters will join?

I think it’s a good I idea to pick a division where they generally don’t get too much attention because I think just about every top ranked fighter will be up for the challenge? If that’s the case, you should be happy if cruiserweight winds up being one of the featured divisions.

Last question is which division do you think has the most ranked fighters willing to join this for the money being offered? Probably featherweight (Santa Cruz, Frampton, Russell Jr., Selby, Mares, Cuellar, Vetyeka and Jorge Lara). I don’t think Oscar Valdez or Joseph Diaz Jr. would partake if featherweight is a featured division but I could be wrong.

 

 

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

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