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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

Photo / Esther Lin-Vox MEdia
24
Jul

FAKE FIGHT?

Hi Dougie,

Can you elaborate on what you mean by fake fight?

And why is the Ring Magazine being such haters towards that event!

Thanks. – Abu, London

By “fake fight” and “event,” I assume that you are referring to Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor, Abu.

I call it a fake fight because it pits a 1996 Olympic boxing bronze medalist and future hall of famer who is unbeaten in 49 professional bouts against an MMA fighter making his pro boxing debut.

It’s a ludicrous mismatch that should not have been sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission and I shouldn’t have to point this out to you.

I don’t believe that acknowledging the non-competitive nature of this bout makes anyone a “hater.” (And I don’t mean to come down on you but that is such a vapid, trite and juvenile term. If you have a problem with the manner in which THE RING magazine or RingTV.com has covered Mayweather-McGregor thus far, you should be able to articulate your dissatisfaction beyond accusing us of being “haters.”)

Anyway, I don’t think we’ve been any more (or less) critical of Mayweather-McGregor than any other sports news site or publication. If we truly wanted to “hate” on the event, we would completely ignore it.

 

GGG VS. JACOBS, CANELO

I’ve read a lot of comment posts on the RingTV site suggesting the Gennady Golovkin-Daniel Jacobs fight shows GGG is slipping. First, I think that is a disservice to Jacobs who established a very good record capping it with an impressive KO of Peter Quillen. Sometimes fights are hard and not pretty and that’s how I saw that one.

I do not see Canelo Alvarez out-boxing GGG. I see two roads for Canelo winning: (a) KO/TKO; or (b) cuts. (a) maybe a cold lucky punch (very low possibility). (b) a 35-year-old hide getting busted open is much more likely.

But for (b) to happen doesn’t Canelo have to fight in the pocket? So, beyond that I see tough choices for Canelo: box, probably a loser; fight in pocket, dangerous.

The only thing I believe I’m not considering is Canelo having crazy one-punch KO power. Thoughts? – John B.

I don’t think Canelo is a “one-hitter-quitter” puncher at middleweight, and even if he was, I don’t believe that he could rely on that power to see him through to victory against Golovkin, who’s got a very reliable chin.

I haven’t considered Canelo winning the Sept. 16 showdown via stoppage due to facial cuts, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. For weeks I’ve been telling my track coach/Periscope partner/longtime boxing aficionado Dave Schwartz that while Golovkin was able to box 12 rounds with the marvelously talented (and freakin’ HUGE) Jacobs without being marked up, I can almost guarantee that his face will be bruised and swollen after the Canelo fight.

That’s because I believe Canelo will stay in the pocket and engage in infighting (and I think the heavy-handed combination puncher is pretty good at doing that). In my opinion, Canelo’s key to victory is knowing how long to stay in close and when to get out of the kitchen.

Regarding the notion that Golovkin is slipping, I disagree. I think he’s already hit peak (probably did so in 2013 or 2014) and he’s probably no longer improving in any department (athletically, technically, tactically, etc.), but plateauing is not the same thing as “slipping.” And last time I checked, Golovkin was the consensus No. 1-rated middleweight in the world. Did he struggle against Jacobs? He sure did. But Jacobs is arguably the No. 2-rated middleweight in the world.

Yeah, Canelo is the linear (and RING magazine) champ, but he’s also largely unproven at middleweight. The Mexican star’s proving ground at 160 pounds takes place on Sept. 16.

 

WILL HBO EVER DUMP JONES?

Hi Doug!

I’m an avid reader. I love your insight and while I don’t always agree with you, I enjoy your opinions and certainly respect them.

I have never written before but after last weekend’s HBO broadcast I felt compelled to write and ask one simple question: Is HBO ever going to get rid of Roy Jones Jr.? I am so tired of listening to him. He is far and away the worst of the former boxers that are on broadcasts. Give me Paulie, Raul, anybody but Roy. I’m sorry I just don’t get it. Thanks. – Mike

Maybe I’m a bit “punchy” due to the osmosis of covering this wacky sport for as long as I have, but I “get” Jones. And as I’ve stated numerous times in this mailbag column, I really enjoy his commentary on HBO broadcasts.

Is he as quick and articulate as Maliganggi; does he prepare as well as Marquez or take his commentary job as seriously as those excellent boxer-broadcasters do? No, not at all. But he’s astute in his own way, and even when he has a bad night behind the mic, he always offers at least one gem of insight.

When Jones is “on” and feeling confident and having a good night of commentary, I think he adds a lot of entertainment and education to HBO’s boxing shows. But that’s just me.

I like the commentary of most of former-or-active boxers that help the broadcast specialists call the fights we watch on TV, including Malignaggi, Marquez, Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, Sergio Mora, B.J. Flores, Chris Byrd, Kevin Kelley, Andre Ward and even Lennox Lewis. Heck, I even found “Big” George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard to be amusing.

 

FAKE FIGHT – PART II

Hey Doug,

You continue to refer to the Aug. 26 fight as a fake fight. I do understand it is a circus and that one of the best fighters of this era shouldn’t be competing against what most perceive as a no-hoper in McGregor, but once the bell rings, don’t you think it will be a real fight?

So, not a highly competitive boxing match, but a fight where McGregor will do whatever he can to take off Mayweather’s head and Mayweather doing the same song and dance he’s been doing to get the ‘W’ for the past decade?

When you say fake, you aren’t implying scripted are you? Since the Miguel Cotto fight, I feel Mayweather’s taken a few more shots than normal, and yes, he’s been in with experienced pro boxers. But at his age and with his rust, and McGregor’s bad ass attitude, isn’t there a decent possibility he lands something and make this fight more entertaining than what we’ve seen in a Mayweather fight in a while?

I’ve been watching boxing since early 2000 and I’ve always been a sucker to the build ups, tours, 24/7’s what not. Am I just drinking the Kool Aid here?

I tell ya what though, I’m stoked for Adrien Broner v Mikey Garcia. Both guys are fun to watch, but I hope Garcia smashes Broner, after 8 or 9 rounds of fun. – John, RVA

Broner-Garcia is a real fight: two tough, talented and skilled multi-division titleholders that are in their athletic primes going at it in a high-stakes showdown. That’s boxing.

Mayweather-McGregor is not boxing. Mayweather is a boxer and it’s been sanctioned as a boxing match, but I don’t see it as boxing. That doesn’t mean I have a problem with the event taking place (I don’t), or that I view it as a threat to boxing or upcoming boxing events (I don’t), it just means that I’m not interested in it.

Hey, when it comes to professional sports, I’m just a boxing guy. It’s nothing personal to Mayweather-McGregor or MMA. I don’t pay any attention to the NFL, NBA, soccer, tennis, hockey or golf either.

I do understand it is a circus and that one of the best fighters of this era shouldn’t be competing against what most perceive as a no-hoper in McGregor, but once the bell rings, don’t you think it will be a real fight? No, I don’t. But I’ll admit that I’m not familiar with McGregor or his body of work in MMA. I’d probably do some research on the Irish star if I gave a rat’s ass.

So, not a highly competitive boxing match, but a fight where McGregor will do whatever he can to take off Mayweather’s head and Mayweather doing the same song and dance he’s been doing to get the ‘W’ for the past decade? Um, yeah, that’s probably what’s going to transpire in Vegas on Aug. 26, and the likely result will be the usually uneventful Mayweather 12-round decision.

When you say fake, you aren’t implying scripted are you? No, I don’t think there’s a “fixed” outcome to this Bizarro World matchup (although I don’t put it past Floyd and Conor to have struck some kind of “gentleman’s agreement” where they don’t inflict too much punishment on each other). I call it “fake” because the odds are so hopelessly stacked against the totally unaccomplished and unproven McGregor that the bout should be an exhibition, not a real state-commission sanctioned boxing match.

Since the Miguel Cotto fight, I feel Mayweahter’s taken a few more shots than normal, and yes, he’s been in with experienced pro boxers. But at his age and with his rust, and McGregor’s bad ass attitude, isn’t there a decent possibility he lands something and make this fight more entertaining than what we’ve seen in a Mayweather fight in a while? I don’t see that happening, and don’t forget that McGregor’s chin may not hold up to the accurate punches that Mayweather will counter him with.

I’ve been watching boxing since early 2000 and I’ve always been a sucker to the build ups, tours, 24/7’s what not. Am I just drinking the Kool-Aid here? Bro, you’re guzzling it.

 

MAYGREGGOR

How’s things Dougie? I hope you’re well.

Just a quick note about the MayGregor fight. I realise that the pressers were farcical and embarrassing to watch. But make no mistake, come fight night, Conor’s going to come and try take Floyd’s head off. Of course, he’s going to get KTFO but he’s deserved the right to fight the #1 p4p fighter of the last 2 decades.

All the butthurt boxing fans complaining of the damage it’s doing to boxings “integrity” are hilarious. This fight will bring way more fans to boxing than the PacMan-Floyd fight. It’ll also be Mayweather’s most exciting fight to date. For one specific reason: Conor McGregor will be taking part.

If I was Oscar I’d be purchasing some advertising time on the fight card to promote Canelo-GGG to the casuals. Could you see that happening?

(PS: I was watching fight footage on youtube with a lady who never watches combat sports. McGregor’s fights were brutal and highly competitive with lots of back and forth action. Next we watched Anthony Joshua’s rise to the top. This lady, remarked “They’re all fat and old” about AJs opponents. If I was you, or anyone else, I’d keep that comment in mind before s___ting all over McGregor.) Cheers. – John

Huh? Why do you think that a boxing fan that wants to s__t on McGregor would care if “a lady who never watches combat sports” thinks Joshua has only fought “fat and old” guys? She’s pretty much correct with the exception of Dillian Whyte and Wlad Klitschko (who is old, but also built like damn superhero).

But make no mistake, come fight night, Conor’s going to come and try take Floyd’s head off. Yeah, I think Mayweather is counting on that happening. His brand of defensive, counterpunching boxing expertise is predicated on an aggressive opponent. (By the way, you sound like Leonard Ellerbe with that “come fight night…” line.)

Of course, he’s going to get KTFO but he’s deserved the right to fight the #1 p4p fighter of the last 2 decades. There’s a good chance that McGregor will get pancaked but how do you figure that he “deserved the right” to fight Mayweather?

All the butthurt boxing fans complaining of the damage it’s doing to boxing’s “integrity” are hilarious. I think a lot of folks are overreacting to Mawyeather-McGregor, and it can be annoying (or, I guess, amusing from your side of the fence). It’s a big entertainment event, but it’s not that big of a deal, really. It’s just two extremely popular and polarizing combat sports egomaniacs looking to make a mega-grip of money. There’s no law against doing that.

This fight will bring way more fans to boxing than the PacMan-Floyd fight. That’s not saying a lot. Mayweather-Pacquiao didn’t bring ANY casual fans to boxing; it turned them away from the sport.

It’ll also be Mayweather’s most exciting fight to date. For one specific reason: Conor McGregor will be taking part. OK, I’m starting to get the feeling that you’re a McGregor fan.

If I was Oscar I’d be purchasing some advertising time on the fight card to promote Canelo-GGG to the casuals. Could you see that happening? No. And I don’t think Canelo-Golovkin is in need of additional advertising/promotion/hype.

 

HOW FAR CAN TOUGH GO?

Hi Doug, hope all is well with you.

Watching some of the McGregor/Mayweather hype with mild amusement and allowing myself to muse on a bit of “what if?” despite the fact I think McGregor has no chance.

Seeing McGregor in action tells you his only chance of making any sort of go of it is if he is as tough as all hell because he’s doing very little right. Look at Lomachenko, one of the greatest amateurs of all time, against a grizzled veteran in Salido and it tells you all you need to know about the benefit of experience…

What I’m thinking is that there have been guys who have made great careers out of toughness, stamina and heart despite obvious technical limitations. Marciano gets tagged unfairly with that but someone like Froch would not have gone so far if he hadn’t been a bit abnormal. Maidana, Margarito and Mayorga stand out as well in recent years, along with Ruslan Provodnikov to a lesser extent as they’ve all managed to beat or at least give hell to vastly superior technicians.

I wondered who you reckon fits the bill for an all-time top 5?

I don’t really think this will apply to McGregor but if people want to have a bit of fun or cling to the delusional then it might be worth remembering that it was Maidana who arguably gave Mayweather his toughest outing since Castillo 1 predominantly because he’s just a bad little bastard! Cheers! – Ewan, Scotland

Yeah, Maidana’s swarming heavy handed volume-punching style made for a legitimately close first bout against Mayweather and made for a physically punishing (though not as close) rematch.

I don’t think McGregor deals in that kind of punching volume, does he? From what I’ve seen of him, he’s a lot more calculating than “Chino.”

But hey, if fans want to be delusional, who am I to discourage it?

Seeing McGregor in action tells you his only chance of making any sort of go of it is if he is as tough as all hell because he’s doing very little right. Hmmmm, my thought is that if he’s tough enough to take whatever Mayweather dishes out, he’ll just lose a ridiculously lopsided decision. (But maybe I’m just “hatin’”.)

Look at Lomachenko, one of the greatest amateurs of all time, against a grizzled veteran in Salido and it tells you all you need to know about the benefit of experience… Yeah but Loma was in his second pro bout (after six or seven “semi-pro” bouts in the World Series of Boxing) and Salido was a veteran of 55 pro bouts (in a career that had spanned 18 years at the time of that fight). In that matchup, the “boxing master” was the inexperienced pro. In the MayMac matchup, the master boxer is the one with all of the pro boxing experience.

What I’m thinking is that there have been guys who have made great careers out of toughness, stamina and heart despite obvious technical limitations. Bless ‘em all.

Marciano gets tagged unfairly with that but someone like Froch would not have gone so far if he hadn’t been a bit abnormal. I don’t disagree.

Maidana, Margarito and Mayorga stand out as well in recent years, along with Ruslan Provodnikov to a lesser extent as they’ve all managed to beat or at least give hell to vastly superior technicians. Jeff Horn is the most recent example of “will over skill,” “tenacity over technique,” and “heart/guts over experience” (although I thought Pacquiao beat him).

I wondered who you reckon fits the bill for an all-time top 5? Good grief, man, there’s too many card-carrying tough guys in the International Boxing Hall of Fame to narrow them down to a credible Top 5 list, but five of the more celebrated grizzled badasses that regularly held their own with the best Sweet Scientists of their eras are Harry Greb, Sammy Angott, Fritzie Zivic, Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio (although the “Upstate Onion Farmer” had underrated technique and craft).

 

NO MORE

Mr. Fischer,

Please do me a favor: If you can’t stop the magazine writing about that “I don’t know what it is but it is not boxing” at least you should not waste a single line of your quality mailbag for that circus. Thank you. (Personally, I skip all articles about that something). We have a terrific year of quality boxing – there is enough to discuss about the real things. – Matthias

I don’t disagree, Matthias, and I apologize for all of the “You Don’t Know What It Is But It Ain’t Boxing” content in today’s Monday mailbag, but we’re coming off a rather slow weekend and my inbox was mostly filled with emails concerning “MayMac” (or this publication’s coverage of it, or my opinion on the event/“fight.”).

I can’t stop the magazine from writing about it, and I won’t get in the way of any of RingTV’s contributors from covering it, but you should know that I’m not going to place emails about it over emails about legit boxing matches in the mailbag. So, if I’m getting a lot of emails about Broner-Garcia, Lomachenko-Marriaga, Yamanaka-Nery, Crawford-Indongo, Johnson-Derevyenchenko, Vargas-Rios and Cotto-Kamegai between now and Aug. 26, there won’t be any space in this column for MayMac.

However, if fans sleep on these legit high-profiled boxing matches and I continue to get emails about “that other event”… well, it is what it is.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer, Instagram and Periscope:

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