Thursday, September 21, 2017  |

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Dougie’s Friday mailbag

19
May

EARLY PREDICTION FOR BROOK-SPENCE

Happy Friday Doug,

Moving up in weight and then moving back down to fight a young speedster like Errol Spence Jr. seems like a recipe for disaster. It does not help matters that Kell Brook moved up and got his face broken by GGG. I hope I am wrong but I see Brook getting outquicked all night in a fairly one-sided fight.

Hope I am wrong! – Dylan

We’ll find out next Saturday, Dylan. All I know is that this IBF welterweight title bout in Sheffield, England is a big deal within the boxing world. Fans were buzzing about it before and after the Joshua-Klitschko and Canelo-Chavez Jr. mega-events and it continues to occupy their minds one week away even though there’s no shortage of interesting matchups – Crawford-Diaz, Davis-Walsh, Russell-Escandon, Dirrell-Uzcategui, Hernandez-Higa, Lopez-Shiro, Murata-Ndam, Tanaka-Acosta, Inoue-Rodriguez, Yaegashi-Melindo  and Benavidez-Medina – happening this weekend.

Oh well, I get it. Spence is viewed as the Heir Apparent – not just of the welterweight division, but in terms of the mythical pound-for-pound rankings – by fans on both sides of the pond, and Brook (who is unbeaten at 147 pounds) is an experienced, formidable talent who has some questions marks hovering around him going into the May 27 showdown. Has he fully recovered from the severe facial injuries he suffered against Gennady Golovkin? How will rising to 160 pounds and then dropping back down to 147 (where he admits he’s struggled to make weight) affect him?

Fair questions for the defending beltholder. However, I think Spence has a few questions floating around his head, primarily:

What’s going to happen when he gets hit by somebody who can punch?

The best boxers on Spence’s pro resume – Chris Algieri, Leonard Bundu and Chris Van Heerden – aren’t known for their punching power. Brook isn’t Thomas Hearns but he can crack. And as technically sound as Spence is, he’s not Pernell Whitaker in terms of slickness and defense.

Anyway, I think we’re in for a treat with Brook-Spence.

 

FANBOY-UERISM

Hi Dougie,

In a moment of weakness I joined a boxing page on Facebook. Within minutes, it was obvious it was rampant with newbies. Within hours, I was frustrated by the sheer fanboyeurism of it all. Within a week, I left the group.

Some of the boulders that crushed the camel’s back …

“What would have happened if Mayweather v Ortiz wasn’t stopped?”

“Chavez Sr. was protected at 87-0 … Mayweather would KTFO Chavez at 130 and 135.”

“Canelo is in Top Three Latino Fighters Ever”

Where do you find the strength to deal with the delusional? I imagine I experience a sliver of what you see hourly. I’ve respected your work since HOB days, but now I’m willing to canonize you for your saintly patience with the ignorant.

Also, do you have any recommendations on any boxing fan site that has minimal stupidity? I know it’s impossible to eliminate fully. Despite some of the dumbest comments that nearly made my eyes bleed, I did enjoy being part of a boxing community online.

As always, thank you for the great work. Cheers – Dennis L.

Thanks for the kind words, Dennis.

I’m the wrong person to ask about online boxing communities. I get more than enough discourse and feedback from fellow fans with my mailbag column (which is 16 years old, by the way), and these days with social media (mainly Twitter) it’s almost too much, so I haven’t had a reason or real need seek out and join a message board/forum-type community.

If you don’t have a Twitter account, you might want to give it try. It doesn’t take long to turn your timeline into a 24-hour boxing community/news wire. All you have to do follow all of your favorite boxers, trainers, and media members, plus the major promoters, and, of course, your fellow boxing fans. I enjoy being on my Twitter TL when watching a really good or dramatic scrap (such as the Joshua-Klitschko fight) on TV.

But if you’re a bit “old fashioned” and you want something more like the Facebook experience (but without all the dips__ts) maybe you should check out Reddit.com’s boxing forum, or the forums connected to BoxingScene.com and East Side Boxing/Boxing247.com. I’m pretty sure those forums are home to many longtime hardcore fans with a lot of love and knowledge for the sport. I can also guarantee those sites will harbor their share of insufferable cretins, thugs, racists, misogynists, xenophobes and mopes.

Where do you find the strength to deal with the delusional? I try to be patient with new or young fans that speak or post without much thought, perspective or insight (and I try to be as educational as I can to those newbies that really want to learn), but I don’t have much “strength” in resisting the call to battle with belligerent a__holes that should know better. I still get into it with them from time to time on Twitter and in the Disqus comment section (that’s another forum you might try joining) below this column, and it can get mean and nasty. I’m not as bad as I used to be (I turn 47 on Saturday, so I guess age – and perhaps fatherhood – has mellowed me out a bit). My mailbag “beefs” with rude fans from 10-12 years ago used to rage on for weeks (mostly off-column and in private where macho threats of violence was batted back and forth). I’m not proud of those days or that kind of prolonged juvenile reaction, and even back then I was a little embarrassed by it after the adrenaline rush from my raging wore off, which is why I generally stayed off of MaxBoxing’s message boards and other popular forums of that time.

Anyway, I know I’m not the Yoda-like boxing Jedi you make me out to be, but I’m trying to be better about how I interact with other fans in forums and social media. I think that’s all any of us can do.

 

IT’S COMING!

Hey Dougie!!!!!!!

I’m like a couple weeks late to the party but it’s ON!!!! I’ve been salivating for this fight man, GGG-Canelo’s gonna blow the roof off everything else this year! Even if the fight doesn’t, the damn parties are gonna be epic!

And what’s with these whiners on social media calling that announcement they did after the Chavez fight cheesy? Come on man, that s__t gave me goosebumps, I loved it! That’s what we’re missing right now, some showmanship. Do it with style, I say. Remember Naz? That dude knew how to make an entrance, none of these tired old press conferences and bouncing in with a robe. Gimme a flying carpet any day! Canelo totally schooled GGG with that trash talk though. “Luck is for the mediocre, my friend” Ooooh what a quote! That said I think GGG is gonna decapitate him.

Dougie, how do you see Spence-Brooke? I can’t for the life of me see the winner in that fight, for some reason.

And when is Terrence Crawford gonna get his breakthrough fight? I think he’s probably already the best boxer in the world, but his opponents are getting kinda meh…

Anyway, thanks for all your hard work Dougie. It’s great to be a boxing fan again, isn’t it? Peace. – Abs

It is indeed, Abs. The schedule, so far, for 2017 has been exceptional and the summer and fall line-up continues to get better and better. We’ve had a few duds here and there (Thurman-Garcia, Canelo-Chavez) but most of the high-profile matchups have delivered compelling action/performances.

It says a lot about Crawford’s ability and potential that most fans completely pooh-pooh tomorrow’s fight against Felix Diaz – an awkwardly athletic southpaw and 2008 Olympic gold medalist whose only loss is a disputed majority decision against Lamont Peterson. I think it will be interesting to see how Bud figures out the Dominican’s unorthodox style, but I agree that there are bigger fights out there for THE RING/WBC/WBO junior welterweight champ.

I know most fans want to see Crawford step up in weight and challenge the best welterweights in the game, and I want to see this too, but I think IBF-WBA junior welterweight titleholder Julius Indongo is a worthy challenger at 140 pounds (and I think winning all of the major belts to become the undisputed champ is a worthy goal for the Nebraskan).

Sadly, at 147 pounds there’s a political divide between Crawford’s promotional company (Top Rank) and the PBC, which is home to most of the top welterweight talent, including Thurman, Spence, Porter, Garcia, Khan, Broner and Peterson. However, Top Rank is home to future hall of famer Manny Pacquiao, Tim Bradley and Jessie Vargas; and if Brook beats Spence on May 27 the Englishman would make for a fascinating target for Crawford.  

Speaking of Brook-Spence, I see an even matchup and, like you, have a hard time picking a clear favorite.

I’ve been salivating for this fight man, GGG-Canelo’s gonna blow the roof off everything else this year! As I stated in a previous mailbag, the only matchup that could come close to equaling the worldwide anticipation of Canelo-Golovkin is Anthony Joshua-Deontay Wilder.

Even if the fight doesn’t, the damn parties are gonna be epic! No doubt about it, but there’s no f__king way the fight won’t deliver.

And what’s with these whiners on social media calling that announcement they did after the Chavez fight cheesy? Mopers are gonna mope. Let’s just continue to give them s__t for their habitually cloudy disposition.

Come on man, that s__t gave me goosebumps, I loved it! I was more excited by the actual announcement of the fight than the WWE-style of it all immediately following Canelo-Chavez Jr. (in fact, I felt kind of sorry for Golovkin because he didn’t seem that into the theatrics), but I had no problem with it. Canelo-GGG is a big deal. The promoters should give it the lavish launch pad and attention it deserves.

That’s what we’re missing right now, some showmanship. Do it with style, I say. Nothing wrong with some showmanship and style, it certainly didn’t hurt the careers of Sugar Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard, Hector Camacho Sr., Chris Eubank Sr., or Floyd Mayweather Jr.

Remember Naz? Oh hell yeah, he belongs in that “showmanship and style” group I just mentioned. The Prince was a lot of fun, and definitely good for the sport (in the U.K. and the U.S.) from 1995 to 2001.

That dude knew how to make an entrance, none of these tired old press conferences and bouncing in with a robe. Gimme a flying carpet any day! His ring entrances were fun when they didn’t last too long, but what really made Hamed special and must-see TV was his bizarre-but-effective boxer-puncher style, which usually resulted in a chilling KO, and the fact that he was often in with top featherweight opposition. His victories against the likes of Kevin Kelley, Wilfred Vazquez, Wayne McCullough, Manuel Medina, Vuyani Bungu, Cesar Soto, Tom Johnson and Steve Robinson – all current or former world titleholders – is nothing to scoff at.

Canelo totally schooled GGG with that trash talk though. “Luck is for the mediocre, my friend” Ooooh what a quote! OK, calm down, it wasn’t all that. It was just a clever comeback. We’ll see if he can counter GGG as well on fight night.

That said I think GGG is gonna decapitate him. I think the fight goes the distance.

 

BOOK RECOMMENDATION

Hello. I am hoping you could point me in the right direction. Boxing is far and away my favorite sport. The backstory of each fighter is often as intriguing as the action within the ring.

The vignettes that HBO used to do (in years prior to the docu-series 24/7) before the fights were captivating. For instance – the Colombian born fighter Edison Miranda had a backstory that he was abandoned at age 3 on the streets of his village and learned to find food, including roadkill.

These stories – the hardships, the unorthodox training techniques, the extreme characters – draw me in closer. I am wondering if you know of any book that captures these stories and tells this type of background information on the fights and fighters. – Lou Rizzo

Most (but not all) professional boxers – especially those from poor or developing parts of the world – had very hard upbringings. Pick any autobiography or authorized biography – from Jack Johnson to Jack Dempsey to Joe Louis to Archie Moore to Ray Robinson to Joe Frazier to Aaron Pryor to Mike Tyson – and you’re going to learn about the poverty and hardships of their youth.  

 

TOUGH UPBRINGINGS

Hi Doug,

First let me say that I was upset about having to subscribe to the Ring online. I probably wouldn’t have but my Mondays and Fridays would have sucked because I wouldn’t be able to read your mailbag! You should be getting a percentage of all those subscriptions, Dougie!

Anyway, in a recent mailbag you were asked about fighters who grew up with money. I know far more fighters have come from poor backgrounds. One story that always seems crazy to me is the story about Matthew Saad Muhammad being abandoned in a city park as a 5-year old by his brother because his Aunt could no longer afford to take care of both boys. Then he was raised in an orphanage or something like that.

What other crazy stories have you heard about fighters’ upbringings? Any that stick out in your mind?

Thanks, and keep up the great work. – Karl

Man, you guys are really into heart-breaking hardship, huh? How about former lightweight title challenger Fernando Angulo (he dropped a decision to then-WBA beltholder Juan Diaz in 2006). The tough-as-nails Ecuadorian ran away from an abusive home at age 7 and survived in the streets of his poor town, which bordered the rainforest, by begging for food and clothing or depending on the kindness of others to take him in for periods of time. When he was 11 he ventured into the rainforest and lived there for two years completely on his own, subsisting on plants, bugs, worms and snakes (he said he stayed away from the frogs, though – maybe he had a bad trip after eating one). Thankfully, he found boxing at age 16.

Angulo fought the 12-round distance against a prospect in his seventh pro bout and faced top lightweight and junior welterweights around the world from 2002 until he was stopped by Amir Imam in 2015. Apart from the Imam fight, he gave everyone he fought a hellish time. Like Saad Muhammad, who was inhumanly tough and is rightfully enshrined in the International Boxing Hall of Fame, I have no doubt that Angulo’s incredibly hard childhood helped to forge the resilient and fearless prize fighter he became.

First let me say that I was upset about having to subscribe to the Ring online. Really? It’s just $2 a month for unlimited access to our fine articles and original features that include “New Faces,” “Best I Faced,” and, of course, the column you’re reading now. You do realize that we pay our writers, right? That money’s gotta come from somewhere… and, just so you know, there will be new ongoing original features (video, audio and print) that come with the other subscription packages.

I probably wouldn’t have but my Mondays and Fridays would have sucked because I wouldn’t be able to read your mailbag! True. Who’s always there for ya? THIS GUY!

You should be getting a percentage of all those subscriptions, Dougie! If you say so, but I’m good with continuing to get paid to cover the sport I love and to provide this column with fans who are just as passionate about boxing as I am.

 

2017

2017 is already the year we wanted for 2015 & 2016. It’s about damn time. – Ceylon Enjoy it in the moment, Ceylon. My hunch is that the good times will last through 2018, but ya never know with boxing.

 

FALLEN WARRIORS

Thanks for printing my letter the other day – hope the negativity of ‘mopey’ fans like myself doesn’t get you down too much. Sometimes it’s just fun to bitch and moan after a crappy fight, but really, there have been so many good ones already this year that I personally don’t mind a clunker here and there. Hell, I’m still stoked on Joshua-Klitschko.

On another note, any chance The Ring might cover some of the fallen warriors of the sport? It would be interesting to read about guys like Emanuel Augustus, Mago, the Punisher, etc. I hate to think that these guys might have been forgotten by fans, when they once gave everything they had. I’m also surprised that guys like Gatti or Corrales haven’t had movies made about them; their lives seem almost stranger than fiction. Thanks. – Jay Vanian

I think it’s only a matter of time before we see major motion pictures based on the lives and careers of Arturo Gatti and Diego Corrales.

Regarding the “Fallen Warriors,” such as Paul Williams, I think it’s a grand idea for an ongoing feature (both print and video) and it’s the kind of original programming we’re currently planning to produce for RingTV readers/viewers/subscribers, so thanks for the inspiration.

I don’t think fan favorites like Williams or Augustus have been forgotten but, who knows? Maybe the fighters think they’ve been forgotten and we can’t have that. It would be great if some of the features could help to raise money for the fighters that are in need.

Hope the negativity of ‘mopey’ fans like myself doesn’t get you down too much. Nah, mopes don’t really get me down. They piss me off from time to time but I mostly feel sorry for them.

Sometimes it’s just fun to bitch and moan after a crappy fight, but really, there have been so many good ones already this year that I personally don’t mind a clunker here and there. They can’t all be Fight of the Year candidates. All we can ask for is the top talent and big names to roll the dice by facing each other – if the majority of their fights are entertaining, we’ve got it good. I think the majority of marquee matchups have been good this year. Anyone who doesn’t acknowledge this is probably clinically depressed and I hope they get the psychiatric help they need.

 

U.K. HEAVYWEIGHT SCENE

Hey Dougie,

Some thoughts and queries re heavyweight scene – apologies for the length – please feel free to shorten to make the cut if required!

I have just listened to Tyson Fury’s interview with Steve Bunce this week – I am not sure whether you know Steve but by far my 2 preferred regular doses of boxing journalism are (1) what you write and (2) what Steve says. Basically, Fury sees himself v AJ as “the Boxer v the Bodybuilder” and he would “play with Joshua” – he says he would be “very disappointed if AJ laid a glove on him”, never mind knock him out.

I am a Fury fan and really hope he gets back to 18 stone as he says. Following the AJ / Wlad fight I looked again at the Fury /Wlad fight. I think the Fury performance v Wlad was much more impressive than AJ’s – and Fury was actually younger at the time than AJ is now. I also think the home fighter basis on the judges’ scorecards was prevalent in both fights – Fury actually dominated Wlad far more than the judges scores it, and Wlad should have been well ahead on points v AJ before the 11th.

Whatever Fury says I firmly believe in one thing – I cannot see AJ ever beating Fury on points. AJ will have to knock Fury out to win. I would favour an 18 stone Fury in the fight currently. Although not at the same level, I think it could resemble Foreman v Ali in both the shape and outcome – Fury making AJ punch himself out. What do you think?

I note that Fury is still The Ring champ, and of course he is the Lineal champ. If a bloated Fury gets beat in a warm-up fight does his victor automatically become The Ring and Lineal champ? Being heavyweight, Fury can’t exactly put some weights in his pocket to make it a “non-title” fight – I seemed to remember reading in the excellent George Kimball book “Four Kings” that a principle of boxing was that if a champion goes into the ring with anyone, and both at the correct weight, that all titles are automatically at risk.

Finally, Tony Bellew. I like him and he is intelligent for a boxer which is why he will never get in to a ring with AJ or The Gypsy King, as he will be the 1st to tell you!

What do you think of this scenario? I actually see Bellew possibly getting 2 more big pay days in heavyweight contests at Goodison Park. He could beat Parker late 2017 with an industrious stoppage in 2nd half of the fight, before getting knocked into a rich retirement in heroic defeat by Wilder in early 2018. That would allow Wilder to bring 2 bets to a unification fight with AJ or Tyson Fury in late 2018 at another Wembley sell-out.

All the best from the UK!! Kind regards. – Darren Naylor

I’m a Bellew fan as well. I think he’s got at least one more big payday ahead of him before he hangs up the gloves. It could be against WBO heavyweight beltholder Joseph Parker but I think the New Zealand star would be a tougher fight for The Bomber than the semi-retired David Haye and I don’t see Bellew beating Parker by stoppage.

Honestly, as formidable a puncher Deontay Wilder is, I think he’s more vulnerable to Bellew’s craftiness than Parker is.

I have just listened to Tyson Fury’s interview with Steve Bunce this week – I am not sure whether you know Steve but by far my 2 preferred regular doses of boxing journalism are (1) what you write and (2) what Steve says. Thanks for the kind words. I know who Bunce is. I also know that he can’t stand me. It’s all good, though…

Basically, Fury sees himself v AJ as “the Boxer v the Bodybuilder” and he would “play with Joshua” – he says he would be “very disappointed if AJ laid a glove on him”, never mind knock him out. I don’t doubt Fury at all. At his best (mentally and physically), I think he gives any heavyweight on the planet fits, including Joshua.

Following the AJ / Wlad fight I looked again at the Fury /Wlad fight. I think the Fury performance v Wlad was much more impressive than AJ’s – and Fury was actually younger at the time than AJ is now. I was more impressed with Joshua’s performance. Yeah, Fury took less punishment, but he also took less chances. Fury fought a neutralizing boxing match, AJ fought a seek-and-destroy fight. I prefer the latter.

I also think the home fighter basis on the judges’ scorecards was prevalent in both fights – Fury actually dominated Wlad far more than the judges scores it, and Wlad should have been well ahead on points v AJ before the 11th. I was OK with the official scoring at the time of the Joshua-Klitschko stoppage.

Whatever Fury says I firmly believe in one thing – I cannot see AJ ever beating Fury on points. I can, but it would be a year or two down the line.

AJ will have to knock Fury out to win. I would favour an 18 stone Fury in the fight currently. Me too, but that’s a big fat “if” (excuse the pun) for the time being.

Although not at the same level, I think it could resemble Foreman v Ali in both the shape and outcome – Fury making AJ punch himself out. What do you think? I can see that happening, but I think a distance fight is a more likely scenario.

I note that Fury is still The Ring champ, and of course he is the Lineal champ. Yes, at least until the end of this month, in which time Fury might be stripped of THE RING title. He’ll still be lineal champ, though, at least until Joshua or someone else can collect all the sanctioning organization belts.

If a bloated Fury gets beat in a warm-up fight does his victor automatically become The Ring and Lineal champ? Yes.

 

PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS

Hola Doug –

First time writer to the hallowed mailbag but been reading for too long.

Will keep it relatively short-ish and sweet re Saul-Gol September but very happy.

  1. Both guys will give each other more than enough to handle. Whether or not Canelo’s improving fight on fight he looks plenty comfortable at the weight and if GGG is allegedly on the slide, which I don’t buy into, timing by GBP has to be recognised I think. (Though I’ve been waiting on this since the photo way back when of them in training at Big Bear – I think.)
  2. GGG will get the kind of stage and payday his talent deserves. (No disrespect to Jacobs and no tomato cans or welterweight here.)
  3. Canelo gets a chance to really prove his worth against a bona fide skilled beast. (Froyd Paybetter don’t count.)
  4. Hope it gets the venue and undercard it deserves. (Will we get a Chocolatito rematch to continue his parallel venture with his Kazakh friend?)

Digressing slightly, is this what you thought of last Saturday’s human piñata show?

(Just winding you up bud. The clips with Steve Kim are really good.)

Keep writing the good fight. – Nathan in Dundee, Scotland

Will do, Nathan.

Now be honest with me, those middle fingers are a Photoshop job, right? I’d hate to think that I inadvertently flip the birdies while I’m analyzing a fight on camera.

Both guys will give each other more than enough to handle. That’s what I think. I think Canelo has the jab, physical strength and inside game to halt GGG’s forward march and do some damage during exchanges. However, I think Golovkin has the technique to get through Canelo’s defense and the power to test the younger man’s chin.

Whether or not Canelo’s improving fight on fight he looks plenty comfortable at the weight and if GGG is allegedly on the slide, which I don’t buy into, timing by GBP has to be recognised I think. I think Canelo is improving, and I’m positive that it’s better for him to fighting at full middleweight than at 154-155. I don’t think Golovkin is sliding at all. He may have hit his peak, but he’s not “sliding.”

(Though I’ve been waiting on this since the photo way back when of them in training at Big Bear – I think.) You, Sir, are a real hardcore fan.

GGG will get the kind of stage and payday his talent deserves. Amen to that. It will be very satisfying to witness and cover a mega-event involving my favorite fighter.

Canelo gets a chance to really prove his worth against a bona fide skilled beast. (Froyd Paybetter don’t count.) That’s what boxing is all about.

Hope it gets the venue and undercard it deserves. (Will we get a Chocolatito rematch to continue his parallel venture with his Kazakh friend?) No, Tom Loeffler says Sor Rungvisai-Gonzalez II will get it’s own date and card to headline. I’d love for Canelo-GGG to land in Texas at AT&T Stadium but I won’t be heartbroken if it winds up in Vegas. Sin City was made to host such events, and, as Loeffler pointed out to me during last week’s Periscope, GGG has never fought in Las Vegas and that’s a goal of every champion.

 

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

  • RayK

    I remember waiting and waiting and waiting for a Naz boxing game to come out on the Playstation back in the day. When it finally arrived it was really..shit. Played it once.

    • Orca

      Ha, I remember that game. Fight night was ok though.

  • Orca

    I’m totally on board for a ‘fallen warriors’ regular feature and mentioned something similar a while back. You can’t beat a ‘where are they now’ kind of article. Regarding the letter from ABS concerning showmanship in boxing, I’m right behind that. Hardcore fans might not need to be ‘sold’ a certain fighter or event but it can really bring in casual fans and non-fans. We really need to get to know a fighter….make a connection with him. Whether that’s a positive or negative connection….it doesn’t matter.

    As many people tuned in to watch Naz get beat as did to watch him win. A pair of eyes is a pair of eyes…..all good. The sport isn’t what it once was. Fighters and their promoters really have to sell the fights and fighters. GGG Canelo is a great fight but there is a story behind it and the two fighters. That story is what will get the average Joe sports fan to pick up his/her remote and tune in. More flying carpets, coming to the ring on a Harley, putting on your best Roman Gladiator outfit for the walk in…more please 🙂 If I was a manager/promoter, I’d be a real pain in the ass to my guy. As many interviews as my guy could stand, little 3 minute intros to my guy on youtube, regular press access to gym workouts (even if one of the writers has pissed us off), get on as many talk shows as possible and have a major social media presence. Bring in more fans.

    • RayK

      Agreed. Just like the leopard print adidas trunks and the tumble over the ropes!

    • Giuseppe

      i think i would find it too depressing.

      • Orca

        I hear you but it’s really about appealing to the non hardcore’s. Plus, i really meant more the marketing the fighters properly rather than in ring theatrics.

    • TNT

      I was a huge Naz fan–less so for his ring entrances and more so for his fight prowess and interviews. But I agree with the gist of your post–they need to find creative ways to lure in the casuals and if possible even get them “hooked.”

      • Orca

        Yeah, i have no great love for the theatrics but it isn’t about us. It’s all about bringing more fans to the sport. The world’s a different place than what it was, even in the 90’s.

    • IanF69

      I still cringe at Groves in the London Double-Decker Bus against Froch….Nooooo

      • Orca

        Ha, ha, ha. That was a tiny bit too much.

  • Mike, Weymouth

    Froyd Paybetter? Jesus. Why is it only in boxing that fans insist on coming up with these awful monikers?!! I would read this simply for these nicknames if I thought the author’s were writing them ironically.

    • Nathan Ritchie

      Fair point but it was in jest brother. Just know Doug gets a sweat on about Mr TMT / PBF. And in truth I posted it at 1 in the morning which my have meant it read better when I was bleary eyed. Hey-ho…

      Yours in boxing

      • Mike, Weymouth

        Ha ha fair play mate!

  • Jorge

    Speaking of heartbreaking and hardship stories I once paid a hundred dollars for a Mayweather v Pac PPV.

    • Orca

      *hugs* it will get better with time man. Go watch Gatti Ward 1 and Ali Frazier III. You’ll get there.

    • RayK

      $60 is too much!

      • Jorge

        You forgot to delete the 0

  • IanF69

    Read a good article on Sky this morn and Greg Marriott (Brooks Nutritional Expert) reckons he can only make Welterweight two more times before he has to move up. At the beginning of the 10 week camp Brook weighed 12st 5lbs which is (if i’m correct) 5lbs heavier that a Super MW. That’s a lot of carbs to be burning over 70 days….Hope this does not affect his performance in any way as he needs to be at his very best to beat Spence who is Imo a better fighter that both Thurman and Garcia.

    • Stephen M

      I don’t want to be a critic but I think only the UK fans know how much a stone is. The rest of us will Google: 173 pounds.

      • IanF69

        He he , didn’t think about that …ok a stone = 14lbs …I forgot on that side of the Atlantic a stone is something you get from smoking weed,

        • Orca

          ….and a pound is the quantity JCC Jr buys his weed in.

    • Orca

      I have to think the weight will play an issue. A guy like Manny, I can imagine him moving down to 140 and looking good but that’s only because he isn’t a real natural 147 anyway. Kell is a big welter who moved to middle and still looked cut. Moving back down is going to be way harder than it was before. I give both guys credit for taking this fight and hope my weight concerns come to nothing.

  • Mark Schoeman

    When fans are already drafting excuses for their fighter before a fight, looking for anything to explain away what they fear and know in the back of their mind is coming, it speaks volumes. Brooks fans are cushioning the blow, trying to set it up so that Spence outclassing him is about ANYTHING other than simply being a different class of fighter.

    Dougie’s the best…but thinking Brook/Spence will be competitive is like when he though JC Jr would trouble Canelo.

    • TNT

      How many fighters successfully move up and down in weight in a short period of time? It happens but the more likely outcome is that said fighter is physically drained. It is a part of boxing history. That is what makes this upcoming bout more so appealing. Large questions loom over both fighters.

      • Giuseppe

        I think you may be correct. It will make his victory all the more impressive though should he pull it off. I cannot call it at all. Spence looks the goods. But Brook has one high calibre victory and spence doesn’t. There lies the intrigue.

    • IanF69

      Comparing the Canelo- Chavez miss match to the Brook Spence fight is an insult really and a lack of respect to both Spence and Brook…behave you.

  • Giuseppe

    I think Brook is really good but i can’t shake out of my mind how bad he looked against Carson Jones. I can’t do it. If he beats Spence on points he’s very good. If he stops Spence he is very very good.

    • Orca

      I hear ya. Brooks career has been mismanaged. He’s beat a few solid guys and a top 5 in Porter. That’s pretty much it. I wish the Spence fight had happened instead of the GGG fight. Kell was already struggling with the weight before moving up. To me, moving back down spells doom in this fight. Spence is relatively untested but if he is the goods, Brooks will find himself in trouble. To be honest, even if Spence isn’t quite as good as he looks, he still might be good enough to beat Kell at this point. Hope I’m wrong and Brook knows what he is doing and we get a good fight,

      • Porter would have beatdown every single fighter on Spence’s pro resume….

        • Orca

          True. No doubting that. It was a great win, i just wish he had got bigger fights. He was the goods way before the porter fight. Since then, apart from the GGG fight, the man has been treading water. This fight will help make up for that but i worry about his stamina the longer the fight goes. A great fight though.

          • IanF69

            Brook has been underrated by fans but not by opposition trainers and promoters..big risk ..low reward…Thurman, Garcia and Khan have made a point of swerving him..If he beats Spence it will surprise only the casual fans not the boxing realm…they know Brook is a talent.

          • Orca

            Totally agree. At times, when you hear those guys talk, it’s like Brook doesn’t even exist. I give Spence props for coming over and taking him on and I’ll give him credit if he gets the W.

          • Mauro Hermida

            If his legs arent there, its going to make Spence look like King Kong. Brook is durable, so if I see him staggering with punches he could brush off in the past, I will know the scale beat him.

    • IanF69

      I remember thinking he looked spent in that fight as well but after it he started working with a nutritionist and being a professional between fights….it has transformed his stamina 10 fold.
      Spence will be just as tough a fight as Porter mabey harder but I think Brook has enough ability to win…I hope.

    • Jones was Brook’s first gut check. Jones was ready for Brook (trained hard in Big Bear with Abel Sanchez & Team GGG). Brook overlooked the American. Every fighters has a gut check or needs them. Brook stopped Jones in the rematch. That experience will serve him well vs. Spence. He’s been to hell and back. Spence hasn’t.

      • philoe bedoe

        Well said……….

      • Ewan Leaper

        Agreed Doug. Most ATG fighters found a Carson Jones at some point in their careers

      • Giuseppe

        I hope so. It’s good to have a WW champ over here!

    • FreeWilly

      Right now, Brook is like a wounded lion and has a point to prove after that loss to GGG. Its a wrong time for a novice like Spence to fight Brook. I’m sure Brook has given it all in this camp than he has before and that spells trouble for Spence. One thing people forget, Brook fought Porter when he was on a higher, with other Welterweights avoiding him. If I’m not mistaken, Porter was the only other Welter with a legit belt besides Mayweather and Pacman. That makes him top three then. I agree with Mr Fischer regarding the Jones fight. May the best man win but my money is on Brook.

  • Breadking

    Dennis L – Check out Badlefthook.com. That is the best site for reasonable discussions among actual boxing fans I have ever come across. The types of “fans” you describe come around from time to time, but they tend to be quickly thwarted as the regular community members descend on them like anti-bodies removing a virus with logic. Well logic and ridicule. But c’mon lots of these jokers deserve the ridicule.

    • Jorge

      This is the the best website the most professional as well.

      • Autosmell

        your welcome!

    • Giuseppe

      I disagree. I find the overall vibe at badlefthook overwhelmingly pessimistic. But to each his own.

      • Orca

        A lot of sites are like that. Real buzz kills.

  • Brad McKain

    There is way too much free content out there to start charging now. Move the mailbag questions to [email protected] over at boxingscene.

    • Orca

      The quality of writing (along with experience) is what brings a lot of people here.

      • Autosmell

        i do what I can dawg!

        • philoe bedoe

          You are the only reason i stay on here.
          Especially your poems………

          • Autosmell

            the only poet here is you phiLOE beDOE

          • philoe bedoe

            Come on now Rupert! How can an old Gypsy boy be a poet lol………..

        • Orca

          Ha 😁

  • Juan Manuel Valverde

    Mexicans for GGG!

    • Jorge

      Is that you Santa Anna?

      • Juan Manuel Valverde

        I don’t consider Canelo mexican. I consider GGG a full Mexican National after he said “Hola , Como estas?’ after the Rubio fight, he knew I was there and felt it was a personal message.

        • Jorge

          Ha Ha

    • Dee Money

      The bar where I watched Alvarez v Chavez was probably 80% Mexican; I would say about half of them were cheering for GGG after the announcement (most of the females sided with Canelo though)

      • Chris Stans

        Why do women love Canelo so much? I can’t for the life of me see the appeal

        • Dee Money

          He’s young and he’s the local Mexican star.

        • Charlie U.

          Ummm. Should you see the appeal, dude?

          • Chris Stans

            lol fair point

      • JV316

        same here

  • TNT

    I hope Brook wrecks Spence. I didn’t find the Olympian Spence to be special and I still don’t.

    • Juan Manuel Valverde

      I hope too… I’m thinking its going to go to the cards and because I see it as a close fight I will go with Brook by split decision

    • Chris Stans

      his best names are all guys he could walk through. Hasn’t done anything to show he has the defense to beat Brook

  • william ellis

    I agree with the fellow above who wrote that, without this mailbag, he wouldn’t subscribe to The Ring. Mr. Fischer should get a cut of the subscription money.

  • Charlie U.

    Is Brook-Spence on PPV in England or other parts of the UK?

    • IanF69

      Yea …Sky Box Office

      • Orca

        You buying it?

        • Charlie U.

          What is it, like $20 for you guys? That’s a no-brainer every time, no?

          • Orca

            It’s all relative. PPV’s are slowly creeping up in price here. Pretty much all ppv’s here involve UK fighters. May Pac was the exception. Good thing is we get things like GGG Canelo on non-ppv.

          • Stephen M

            70$ (52 US$) Canadian (+15 % tax) for Stevenson vs Fonfara… I watch all the fights the next day off of a bit torrent site.

        • IanF69

          no my openbox will have it on there for free….just means I’m in the kitchen but not bothered about that.

          • Orca

            Small sacrifice to make. At least you’ll be closer to the fridge for the beer. Not sure if I’ll stream it or buy it. I’ve been let down by streams so many times just as a fight gets interesting.

          • IanF69

            Yea it’s terrible as the main event starts the stream stutters and freezes…. try Cric free tv or Streamking …The Openbox is only €150 and it’s got every channel on it Boxnation, BT sports and Boxoffice all included…all you need is 6 mb internet and it’s cool…..but as Charlie U says next to what the US fans are asked to pay the 20 quid is nothing….Davis really struggled to make the weight so he will be big tonight…hope Walsh does well.. Enjoy M8

          • Orca

            I’ll give your suggestions a try. Cheers. Yeah, £20 is good in comparison. Yeah, i seen the weigh in. The press conference was a laugh. Floyd was getting a bit riled up by the Walsh brothers. Looks like Davis did a real number on him. I’ll check it out later.

  • IanF69

    Gone are the day’s when Doug’s Mailbag had over 300 comments by this time…Alas.

    • philoe bedoe

      I wonder if it’s to do with the subscription charge or the announcement of Canelo fighting Golovkin?
      And the realisation to the Golovkin gang that not every other 160 competitor is afraid of him.
      I bet that really pissed them off lol……….

      • IanF69

        Hahaha…much more the money I’d guess….Give it time and they will come back I’d say…it’s like a drug….still, it’s not the same when it would take an hour or so to work through the comments…I looked at a few threads last night and today and they were still awaiting the first comment….very unusual. Cheers m8

        • philoe bedoe

          I agree, sometimes it was like reading “war and peace” to get through all the comments lol………

    • zapallo

      yet so easy to use a private browsing window

  • philoe bedoe

    Excellent mailbag again Doug.
    I hope the weight issue doesn’t effect what looks like a cracking fight between Brook and Spence.
    He only dipped his toes once at 160, it’s not like he was there for years…………

  • philoe bedoe

    Good question about who’s victory over Klithcko was the more impressive, Joshua’s or Furys.
    Even though Joshua’s was more exciting, Tyson won his away from home.
    Against a Klitchko that was unbeaten in 11 years and wasn’t coming off a 17 month layoff.
    So I’d say Tysons was a more impressive win…………

  • Scott

    1. Spence beats Brook up pretty good and becomes a star.
    2. That autosmell guy killed the mailbag.
    3. When Barley comes back this place will be hopping.
    4. Swan’s self-upvotes are the funniest thing ever.

  • Abraham E. Hernández

    Estadio Azteca for Canelo-GGG. ‘Nuff said!

    • Kudos

      Should be but it won’t.

  • Pit bull

    Alverez’s got this. And there’s nothing GG can do about it.
    Alverez has GG covered in most departments i beleive.
    GG has power of course, but it’s not the hit that leaves them out cold. GG has to work hard to get them. Let’s not forget now, GG has only beaten average fodder n past their best kids.
    Jacobs beat gg imo. Jabs don’t beat power punchs as far as I’m concerned
    Not in the professional ranks. GG had to work so hard against jacobs, you could see it.
    Alverez will take what GGs got, fight back hard, something GGs never been up against before. This isn’t stevens or lemiuex. Alverez is a level up from those kids. If GG trys to hide behind the jab as he did with lemuiex, alveraz
    Will just wait n let GG to him then counter, canelo is in no hurry. It will be the middle rounds when GG realises he needs to drop the jab n. Get in their
    Now. That’s when the fun starts. GG will be doing his normal mid rounds
    Huffing n puffing, but alverez isn’t going anywhere. GG will start to take a beating now. Alverez by 12rd pts or ref stops GG from going on 12th rd.

  • IanF69

    Davis really struggled to make weight….3 attempts and bollock naked before he made it….Guess he will be well over by ring walk….cheeky boy.

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