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Dougie’s Monday mailbag

Photo / @TRboxing
07
Aug

MAN-CRUSH TIME

Hello Doug,

Well, I had the opportunity to see Vasyl Lomachenko fight in person Saturday night and he looks even better live than on TV!

Now, I know he was not in there against world-class opposition (no offense to Miguel Marriaga), but Lomachenko did exactly what he was supposed to do – systematically apply physical (and massive mental) pressure and use his unsurpassed skills to efficiently break down his opponent, while at the same time showcasing his abilities and entertaining the crowd.

Loma is the only fighter I have ever seen who is thrilling to watch even when he is not throwing punches. His movement and fluidity are things of beauty. He is like a chess grandmaster who is several moves ahead of his opponent. Pure poetry in motion.

Now you may be thinking “man crush” here, but am I wrong Doug?

As much as I admire Mikey Garcia, I don’t think he can hang with Vasyl at 135 pounds. Perhaps Garcia has a power advantage, but would Garica be able to withstand the mental pressure that Loma brings? And if even if he could, could Garcia land more than one hard shot at a time? And if he can do that, can he hurt Lomachenko?

That’s a lot of “ifs” and I have to say “no”. And I see Guillermo Rigondeaux as even less of a threat to Lomachenko (at 130 lbs.), mostly due to the Cuban being, I think, the significantly smaller guy.

What are your thoughts on this and Loma’s overall future? Regards. – Andy, Chula Vista, CA

With only 10 pro bouts under his belt, Lomachenko is already a celebrated two-division titleholder who has been showcased in the U.S. on HBO, Showtime and ESPN. The Ukrainian amateur boxing legend has an entertaining pro style, an engaging personality, and he’s beginning to speak English during his interviews (including post-fight spots), so I’d say his future is bright.

However, he’s 29 years old, and likely at his athletic peak. He began his pro career less than four years ago but mature featherweights/junior lightweights generally “age” faster than fighters of the heavier weight classes (so we can’t expect him to prolong his prime into his mid-30s like Gennady Golovkin or countryman Wladimir Klitschko). In other words, he and his team (manager Egis Klimas and promoter Bob Arum) need to strike while the iron is hot (and everyone from Max Kellerman to Teddy Atlas to you has a nice gushy “man-crush” on him).

This means he’s got to face opponents that the boxing public deem “worthy” of sharing the ring with him, which means Arum’s gotta work with other promoters to bring in 130-pound beltholders (such as Zanfer-promoted Miguel Berchelt, Golden Boy Promotions’ Jezreel Corrales, and even Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s still-developing protégé Gervonta Davis), Team Loma needs to plan an eventual jump to lightweight, and yes, Guillermo Rigondeaux needs to be considered (perhaps even for Loma’s December ESPN return).

I agree that the Cuban counter puncher is undersized, along with being long in the tooth, but the Cult of Rigo (which includes RingTV.com writer Mike Coppinger) has faith in their idol, plus there are good story lines for this matchup because of the storied amateur accomplishments of the combatants and the Twitter beefing between Guillermo (or whoever runs his account) and Klimas, as well as the non-stop comment-section/social-media pissing contests between the boxers’ diehard fans. The modern boxing fan and pundit is absolutely obsessed with the pound-for-pound list, and both two-time Olympic gold medalists are in everybody’s elite/mythical rankings, so this is matchup that would carry a lot of “nerd-cred.”

Photo / Top Rank

Loma is the only fighter I have ever seen who is thrilling to watch even when he is not throwing punches. His movement and fluidity are things of beauty. He is like a chess grandmaster who is several moves ahead of his opponent. Pure poetry in motion. So, what are you saying? That this guy is special or something? Tell me how you REALLY feel?

Now you may be thinking “man crush” here, but am I wrong Doug? Well, you are definitely “man-crushing” on the Ukrainian, but that’s OK. He’s worthy of your adulation. I was impressed and entertained by his domination of Marriaga but not nearly as much as you were. I guess I needed to be there.

As much as I admire Mikey Garcia, I don’t think he can hang with Vasyl at 135 pounds. I know a lot of fans, boxers and writers that beg to differ.

Perhaps Garcia has a power advantage, but would Garica be able to withstand the mental pressure that Loma brings? Mikey seems like a very strong individual, mentally speaking. And I think he brings more to this potential matchup than power; he brings that steely resolve, textbook offensive/defensive technique and timing to the dance.

And if even if he could, could Garcia land more than one hard shot at a time? I don’t know, but maybe one hard shot is all he needs to turn the fight.

And if he can do that, can he hurt Lomachenko? That’s the $4 million question, Andy, because that’s probably the amount of money it’s going to take to make this fight happen.

 

LOMA WINS WITH HIS FEET – AGAIN

Doug, you’re among the best in boxing journalism and my preferred source for depth info and opinions on the sweet science. Thanks man!

Hi Tech Lomachenko wins with his feet, again. He steps too close, or too far away, left or right, doesn’t matter because when his opponents finally try to punch him, he is gone like the wind. He owns every angle, while he throws multiple combinations at varied speeds and mixed power, the space around his victim is full of punches and half of them are landing. He dances around them like Baryshnikov in the Nutcracker (pun intended). There is no air, no safe spot to land and catch a breath.

All the while Loma teases and taunts them, steps on their feet. He plays with them and bullies them all without mercy. He convinces them to give up, because he shames them into wishing for their own TKO. They start to think, why let this S.O.B Loma toy with you round after round?

This is what made Duran say “No Mas!” to Ray Leonard. This is what Walters, Sosa, and now Marriaga have suffered. Who can fight this guy? Who has a chance to make it a fight, at all? Rigo, Mikey, Linares, Crawford? Peace. – Jab Hook in Munich

I think all four of the elite boxers that you mentioned bring things to the table that would challenge Lomachenko (and for the record I would firmly favor Bud if that particular match were ever made).

Rigo brings a masterful, extensive amateur background that equals Loma’s accomplishments, plus deft defense and impeccable timing and counterpunching prowess.

Mikey brings expert fundamentals, textbook technique, pin-point offensive accuracy and greater power.

Linares brings height and reach advantages, hand and foot speed, mobility and fluid combinations.

Crawford brings a considerable size advantage, plus switch-hitting punching power and versatile ring generalship.

All four boxers have a lot of experience and high boxing IQs.

Nice description of Lomachenko’s ring prowess. I don’t think any other active boxer brings out the “inner-writer” in fans the way the marvelously talented, skilled and athletic junior lightweight does.

And thanks for the kind words at the start of your email.

 

IN DEFENSE OF MARRIAGA

Dougie,

Hope all is well with you and yours and I’m loving the Sunday morning Periscope party with you, Coach Dave and JP (welcome back)… hell Tom Loeffler is gettin’ to be a regular.

I absolutely love Lomachenko and feel he’s the best pure boxer in the sport. His balance, foot work and combination punching is mad fun to watch. He knows when to punch, where to punch and how to punch.

Having said that, I might be in the minority but I did not see a virtuoso performance last night (not that every fight out, has to be one.)

Marriaga is a very good fighter and not some bum but you’d never know it from the ESPN crew. Folks need to see his fight against Oscar Valdez. He unfortunately got clipped in the 10th but, prior to that, it was a great even war against one of the best prospects out there.

He got in some good clean shots in the early part of the fight against Loma and his upper body movement made Loma stop and think. Lomachenko was waving Marriaga in to fight during the mid-rounds because he had just taken some good shots… the equivalent of a fighter shaking his head “no” when his opponent lands on him.

I thought Lomachenko was hit more than I have seen in the past (which was still not a lot by any means) and perhaps took more chances because of who he had in front of him. Don’t get me wrong, he won every minute of every round but the patting on the head, hip wriggling and quasi-clowning does not belong in his repertoire. But who the hell am I to judge?

I’m just nit-picking, I know. It was a good performance and he made another good fighter quit… but can the commentators not tell us how Loma is perfection personified and would beat Armstrong, Ali and SRR all in the same night??? Damn, Teddy Atlas was on Loma’s jock like a pit bull…it’s just irritating. OK, jumping off my soapbox.

Lastly, Coach Dave and I have absolutely, positively no interest in McGregor vs The Fighter Who Thinks He’s The Best All Time Ever and Wears a Hat to Prove It. Peace. – Carlos in Sacramento

You and Coach Schwartz are too smart and honest to be fooled by fools, but you two are in the vast minority of our entertainment-addicted society.

You don’t have to apologize about nit-picking in this forum, Carlos. We can have “man-crushes” and we can keep it real in the mailbag. Lomachenko was impressive against Marriaga. As you noted, he made a solid featherweight contender look like an average fighter, and he eventually took the proud Colombian’s will to win. However, he wasn’t the perfect-boxing force of nature that the commentators gushed about. Marriaga did nail him a few times, as the swelling and bruising around Loma’s eyes attest to.

And you’re not the only observer who picked up on Loma’s showboating as a way to hide the fact that he had been countered a few times from the fans in attendance, as well as a means of goading Marriaga out of a gameplan that was working (to an extent) – THE RING’s managing editor Brian Harty also picked up on this and shared his astute opinions with the RingTV/magazine editorial board while we were IMing after the ESPN broadcast. It seems that we all saw a different fight. Michael Rosenthal, who was on press row, thought Lomachenko easily toyed with an ordinary fighter. I thought Loma’s defense lapsed a little bit (mostly because he was going for the stoppage) but was impressed with the manner in which he imposed his will on an experienced boxer that I view as a lower-top 10 contender at 126 pounds. Brian thought Marriaga took Loma out of his rhythm a little in the early rounds and exposed some flaws in the 130-pound beltholder’s game (fundamental flaws he believes the Ukrainian needs to correct asap). Mike Coppinger thought Loma looked like a guy that will lose to Rigondeaux.

Hopefully, if Lomachenko gets the kind of fights he says he wants, time will tell how great, special, good or overrated he truly is.

I absolutely love Lomachenko and feel he’s the best pure boxer in the sport. Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by “pure boxer”? I’ve heard that term before, mainly from Floyd Mayweather Jr. fans, but they either refuse or are unable to provide a clear definition. I always thought it was kind of a weird label to give one boxer because it kind of suggests that all the other pugilists out there are “impure.”

His balance, foot work and combination punching is mad fun to watch. Agreed. He’s agile, nimble and BUSY, and I like that about him.

He knows when to punch, where to punch and how to punch. Did you know that this is what 1950s light heavyweight/heavyweight contender Paul Andrews told me when I asked him what made Joe Louis special? (The Brown Bomber managed and briefly trained Andrews.)

Having said that, I might be in the minority but I did not see a virtuoso performance last night (not that every fight out, has to be one.) I didn’t either, and I’m OK with that. I’m not a big fan of virtuoso performances in the ring.

He got in some good clean shots in the early part of the fight against Loma and his upper body movement made Loma stop and think. He did indeed. Marriaga is no pushover. Again, I’m OK with Loma not being untouchable. His defense is usually very good, but if he gets hit a few times while in pursuit of a stoppage, I understand why and I’m in full support of this decision. I want to see knockouts if it’s possible.

Lomachenko was waving Marriaga in to fight during the mid-rounds because he had just taken some good shots… the equivalent of a fighter shaking his head “no” when his opponent lands on him. I’m OK with this, too, as long as the fighter exhibiting the theatrics after being hit makes the necessary adjustments to avoid those shots in later rounds. I think Loma did that vs. Marriaga.

I thought Lomachenko was hit more than I have seen in the past (which was still not a lot by any means) and perhaps took more chances because of who he had in front of him. I don’t think he took more chances because he viewed Marriaga as some kind of a chump, I think he wanted to make a statement by stopping his opponent and thus committed to his offense and punch volume in a way that opened him up for the occasional counter shot from Marriaga.

Don’t get me wrong, he won every minute of every round but the patting on the head, hip wriggling and quasi-clowning does not belong in his repertoire. Those kinds of antics are not for everybody, but my guess is that the majority of under-40 casual fight fans (boxing and MMA) are into it. Hey, that’s the kind of thing that made Muhammad Ali stand out to me as a kid (although Ali did more verbal taunting and clowning before the bout than actual hotdogging during the fight).

 

RETIREMENTS AND COMPETITIVE MATCHUPS

Hi Dougie,

Thank you, as always, for your mailbag and making Monday and Friday better days! A lot on my mind this week:

1) Juan Manual Marquez is one of my favorite fighters and, while I will miss him, I am glad he retired with dignity, without needing to be KO’d to understand it was time to hang up the gloves. He’s certainly a 1st ballot hall of famer and his dramatic stoppage of Pacquiao will be what is talked about most as we look back on his career. But I think he was a major badass at 126, just watch you tube when he fought Robbie Peden, Derrick Gainer and Marco Antonio Barrera. I wish we could see a prime JMM vs Leo Santa Cruz or Lomachenko. The guy was one of the most brilliant tactical fighters, who made in-fight adjustments as well as anyone, but who also loved to brawl! I wish him well.

2) Tim Bradley will be missed too. I loved the way his fights would typically unravel into all out brawls. The bout against Provodnikov is a top 10 fight for me. Timothy unfortunately lost fans for winning the controversial decision against Pacman, but it wasn’t his fault the judges got it wrong!  Safety first did not exist in this guy’s vocabulary and I hope today’s younger fighters understand that what made Bradley so popular was his willingness to go war and his desire to stop every opponent.

3) Yes, Lomachenko is a top 5 p4p fighter and I understand he wants to clean out the jr. lightweight division, but come on! Let’s get the guy in there with someone who can be more competitive. We don’t need to watch another mismatch! I hope they pursue a match against Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares, Terry Flanagan or Robert Easter. How do you see those matchups (which for now we can call mythical!) playing out?

4) Jesus Soto-Karass vs Mauricio Herrera was an awesome crossroads fight that showcased veteran smarts, toughness and aggression. I love the come forward style of Soto-Karass and the counter punching of Herrera. The fighting on the ropes was excellent and the counter hooks that Herrera landed were terrific. These guys kept their foot on the gas the entire bout and it was too bad someone had to lose that bout. Sign me up for more competitive fights like this one! Thanks!! – Rahn

Photo / HoganPhotos

You know, as crazy as it sounds, I enjoyed watching those two battle-worn gatekeepers go at it Friday night more than I did watching Lomachenko do his elite-boxing thing against Marraiga the following evening.

Soto Karass fooled me again. I thought for sure the Los Mochis native had given all he had to give with those two scraps with Yoshihiro Kamegai last year, but the heavy handed stalked obviously still has something left – enough to make for a competitive second half against Herrera.

And I was pleasantly surprised with Herrera’s effort. His educated jab was back for this fight, as was his ring generalship and defense (head- and upper-body movement and punch-blocking ability). Herrera’s still got his timing and reflexes, so he’s still a threat to unsuspecting welterweights. I think he could provide a test to fellow Golden Boy promoted 147 pounders, such as Lucas Matthysse or Sadam Ali, or fringe contenders like Konstantin Ponomarev and Adrian Granados (that would be good fight).

Soto Karass is definitely longer in the tooth with less in the tank, but he’s got enough pride, determination and experience to serve as a gatekeeper for prospects, such as Rashidi Ellis and Jamontay Clark.

Juan Manual Marquez is one of my favorite fighters and, while I will miss him, I am glad he retired with dignity, without needing to be KO’d to understand it was time to hang up the gloves. Marquez was always smart.

He’s certainly a 1st ballot hall of famer and his dramatic stoppage of Pacquiao will be what is talked about most as we look back on his career. The fourth time was the charm for JMM. With bout No. 4, Marquez earned THE RING’s 2012 Fighter of the Year award in the magazine’s Fight of the Year, which was also KO of the Year, and I believe the shootout included the Round of the Year.

But I think he was a major badass at 126, just watch you tube when he fought Robbie Peden, Derrick Gainer and Marco Antonio Barrera. The Barrera fight, which took place at 130 pounds (for Barrera’s WBC super featherweight title), is one of my favorite boxer-vs.-boxer matchups (maybe the best that I covered from ringside). That fight matched two Mexico City masters who put their skill, technique and hearts on the line. The fight was so good and intense that it seemed like the rounds were one-minute long. It zipped by. Of course, I’ll also cherish being ringside for JMM’s featherweight slugfest with Thai badass Terdsak Jandaeng, and his lightweight title rumbles with Juan Diaz (the first bout, of course, which was Fight of the Year) and Michael Katsidis. His RING lightweight title win over Joel Casamayor is an underrated boxer-vs.-boxer matchup.

I wish we could see a prime JMM vs Leo Santa Cruz or Lomachenko. Careful what you wish for, Marquez could stink the joint out during his featherweight prime. His blood-and-guts side didn’t really begin to emerge until that first showdown with Pacquiao. (Another reason to appreciate the prime PacMan!)

The guy was one of the most brilliant tactical fighters, who made in-fight adjustments as well as anyone, but who also loved to brawl! JMM was the opposite of most technicians, who usually become more technical and cagey as they get older and rise in weight. Marquez became more of an aggressive, high-volume offense risk-taker as he got older and climbed from 126 to 147 pounds.

Tim Bradley will be missed too. I loved the way his fights would typically unravel into all out brawls. Me too. But I also appreciated the times he boxed a controlled fight as he did with his master class against Marquez and stick-and-move clinic against Lamont Peterson.

The bout against Provodnikov is a top 10 fight for me. It’s one of the best fights I’ve witnessed in the last seven-to-10 years.

Lomachenko is a top 5 p4p fighter and I understand he wants to clean out the jr. lightweight division, but come on! Let’s get the guy in there with someone who can be more competitive. We don’t need to watch another mismatch! I think most hardcore fans agree with you.

I hope they pursue a match against Mikey Garcia, Jorge Linares, Terry Flanagan or Robert Easter. How do you see those matchups (which for now we can call mythical!) playing out? I think all four lightweight titleholders are capable of beating Lomachenko because of their considerable size advantage. I believe WBC 130-pound titleholder Miguel Berchelt, who is huge (and rangy) for junior lightweight, can give Lomachenko problems.  

LOMACHENKO’S RING ANTICS

Hello Dougie and thank you for the ever-exceptional mailbags.

What do you think of Lomachenko´s bullfighting antics against Sosa and now the things he did with Marriaga? I think it´s ok to be disrespectful against a guy who has disrespected you, but I didn´t see any real animosity between Loma and those guys prior the fights. Maybe today´s fight fans want to see this s__t, but as a fight fan almost at my 40s it doesn´t connect. I understand the side of one promoting himself, but in my view it´s the wrong kind of promotion.

Lomachenko is one of my favorite fighters. I even have t-shirts that have his face on them. He is one talented mf and probably the face of boxing for years to come. It´s just not right to do that s__t to your opponents just for ratings, if that is the purpose.

By the way Ray Beltran is still one tough SOB. – Joni Nurminen, Finland

I consider Beltran a lower-top-10 lightweight contender and, despite the trouble he had with Bryan Vasquez on Saturday, I think he remains a threat to all of the 135-pound beltholders. However, I would favor the current titles – and “little Loma” – to outpoint the Los Mochis native. Mikey Garcia might have the power and accuracy to take Beltran out at this stage of the veteran’s career.

Regarding Lomachenko’s ring antics, I understand why he does it (to demoralize or mentally wear down his opponents as he outboxes and physically breaks them down, and to garner attention) but it doesn’t add anything to my viewing pleasure. I would appreciate him just as much – probably a little more – if he didn’t try to embarrass his opponents as he bewilders them. (It just seems like overkill to me.)

But having said that, I must admit that it doesn’t bother me that much. It’s not so much of a turn off that it distracts me from the real craft and effort that he puts forth in the ring. The theatrics and the taunting seem arrogant and dismissive of his opponents but they don’t appear to be nasty, contemptuous or mean spirited. Not yet, anyway.

I hate to admit this, but I think the ring antics are going to help raise his profile in the U.S. because the highlights make for eye-catching sports program highlights and social media memes/gifs. It will make some fans hate him, but that will also probably add to his buzz.

 

DREAM MATCH

Doug – How would you see Lomanchenko vs Garcia at 135 turning out? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN If I have to make a way-advanced pick on this fight, I’m going to go with Lomachenko by close decision. I think Loma would take his preparation to the next level for Garcia and the Southern Californian would bring out the Ukrainian’s best during a high-speed chess match.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer and on Periscope where you can join him and Coach Schwartz (and JP when he shows up) every Sunday for boxing talk on the track:

  • Larry Connor

    I’ve gone on record last year, no one beats Loma 140 and lower; that includes Bud. Loma skills are pure, clean and dangerous. He may not have bone breaking power, but his boxing skills are other worldly. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of ” hit and not get hit ” vs “slugging and super power” and Loma is our new champion we can trout out now that Floyd is old lol. Ward, Rigo, Loma boxing skills in abundance.

    • ceylon mooney

      as car as loma goes i think buds got em.

      • Larry Connor

        You have to be basing that assessment on size more than skill set

        • ceylon mooney

          nope: skill and style; how they they each look to me.

          • Orca

            If Loma has Crawford in his W column in the next 18 months, I’ll be gobsmacked. I think he’s a better boxer than Bud by a bit but that size is going to be hard to get past.

          • Abraham E. Hernández

            I’ll be gobsmacked (never heard that word before lol) if he beats Mikey.

          • IanF69

            Bud has alot more to his resume than size…he creates angles that Loma hasn’t faced yet and If Loma takes him on and wins then I would be shocked to my socks to say the least…Bud is a killer…Loma a showman.

          • Mauro Hermida

            Crawford should be going up to 147 soon as big as he is. That fight will not happen and Loma should not be moving up to welter. Incredibly dangerous.

          • Orca

            Yeah, he’s no slouch. He’s a definite p4p talent. Put them the same size and we have a real fight. The way it stands, I have to favour Crawford.

          • IanF69

            Yea , I’m with you on Crawford…Loma is still brilliant to watch and he could well prove us wrong but for the moment…Bud is still favorite with me as well….maybe Indongo will make me eat my words or even Garcia as well…..It’s shaping up to be great around 135 and 140 divisions.

        • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

          I agree. Pound for pound, Loma’s got that little bit more juice than Bud. Not sure he’s got enough to overcome that size deficit though.

    • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

      I’m not sure how Loma fares against the very, very best at 140lb just because he seems pretty filled out already at 130lb. I think I’ll need to see him at 135lb first, and don’t want to see him rushed into potentially compromising himself physically. It’s the ‘names’ on a fighter’s resume that really make that fighter though, so I agree he might have to venture that far north eventually if he truly wants that label of greatness.
      Regarding the ‘hit and not get hit’ ‘Holy Grail’ of boxing skill, Loma stresses it home more than any other fighter I’ve seen that that is fundamentally about foot positioning more than anything else, which was touched on in the mailbag. He gains position aggressively and consistently, like a combination of a prime Pernell Whitaker and Donald Curry. The only difference being that Whitaker, through boredom of dominance, would often relinquish that positioning by choice, and Curry lacked the upper body fluidity that Loma (and Whitaker) has in abundance. Rigo is also a master in placing his feet, but far more defensively in mindset.
      That aggressive positioning of Loma does allow an opponent opportunities to score when the occasional misjudgement is made (no-one’s perfect) and Loma does seem to mark up fairly easily with that Caucasian skin, so there are potential dangers against bigger elite fighters, but that just makes things more exciting for us fans.

    • Orca

      ‘Loma is our new champion’

      Who is ‘our’? And Ward doesn’t belong in that list. He’s a completely different style of fighter.

      • Larry Connor

        “Our” fans of “skills to pay the bills”. Fighters who can beat you with out having bone breaking power. Guys who knows how to use the ring well, guys who can make you miss them make you pay for it. Guys who can fight just as good going backwards as well as forward,guys who “rarely” take punishment, guys who are a mental master inside the squared circle. Our current active champions. Rigo, Ward, Loma

        • Jorge

          You dropped your man Broner with the quickness… Welcome Back

          • Larry Connor

            What do you mean by I dropped Broner with the quickness?? I never had Broner under the best boxer banner.

            Well I guess is you want to create a new narrative or make something up then go ahead.

          • Jorge

            It was a joke man

        • Mauro Hermida

          Chocolatito should be on your list….he had some serious power at the lower weights, but moving up to 112 and 115, he is proving how good his boxing skills truly are. Gonzalez may not move his head a lot, but he picks off shots well. Im more impressed with parrying than just sliding your feet and head to move out of the way. Btw, I will put Gonzalez above the 3 you mentioned. He doesn’t get enough credit.

          • Larry Connor

            Chicalito is nice, very nice!! All things being the same, I have choc ranked higher as a skilled fighter than ggg. I only compared the two because they fought on the same card so often.

            Chocaliti only drawback in my opinion is that he trades a lot

    • chickenstock

      I think Crawford v Loma is a good matchup. A lot to lose for Crawford as his size advantage is huge and his skills are sharp. If Loma beat Crawford, he is straight up brilliant.

      Floyd v Loma if McGregor pulls out – who wins?

      • Larry Connor

        At what weight as far as Floyd and Loma? TBH, Floyd is old as fuck now so I would have to go with the young, elite, highly skille, high IQ Loma at 140.

        • Giuseppe

          144!

          you have to give Floyd the weight advantage as Loma has the speed/ age advantage.

          • Larry Connor

            At Floyd’s advanced age. I would have to go with the younger fighter

          • Giuseppe

            me too.

  • ceylon mooney

    “That’s the $4 million question, Andy, because that’s probably the amount of money it’s going to take to make this fight happen.”

    man. i hate it. prolly
    true.

    carlos from sacto had a great letter, and the response was the best i read in ages. thx for briefing us on the in-house roundtable doug.

    on rigo:
    luv him. the two painfully
    dull fights i seen dont bother me overall. hes frickin great. luv the thousand yard stare.
    loma not only moves around and changes angles he changes gears as hes punching, between combinations…how the hell u time that?

    no im notnsayin he aint hittable im sayin his offense doesnt give away much to s counter puncher with crazy ass good timing.

  • Droeks Malan

    Good mailbag, I’ll go watch those Marquez fights again..

    • ceylon mooney

      never watched casamayor one

  • Conrad

    Rigo vs Loma is about as hardcore as hardcore boxing matches can be. Two ATG amateurs, fight needs to happen.

    • ciobanu catalin

      Exactly. I dont know whats this bs about garcia matchup being better. Nothing beats best skills vs best skills in the game right now…

      • ceylon mooney

        more interested in – loma

      • Left Hook2

        Mikey is bigger. Fresher. Closer to his prime. He won’t be passive. Much better fight.

        • Mauro Hermida

          And he is very SKILLED.

        • Floridastorm

          Got to differ with you on a couple of points;

          Mikey is a small lightweight. Comes in under 135. Lomo is the same height and comes in at about 132. Little difference physically.

          Mikey has 37 fights and will be 30 this year. Lomo has 10 fights and is 29. In what way is Mikey fresher?

          Walters, Soto, and Marriaga were anything but passive. Three aggressive fighters. Can’t see Mikey being any more aggressive.

          It is true that Mikey is probably closer to his prime. However, Lomo had nearly 400 amateur fights against the best from many countries. Mikey had only 56 amateur fights. It would seem that these diverging experiences cancel each other out and make them on a level playing field competitively.

          Just my opinion, now.

          • Left Hook2

            Those are all great points. I was actually comparing Mikey to Rigo, and why I prefer Mikey-Loma as opposed to the other. I think it is a pick-em fight, as Mikey is well-schooled and slightly bigger (longer reach), and the fight may (repeat, ‘may’) look like Naz-Barrera (or it could resemble Floyd-Genaro Hernandez….) Great fight.

    • Left Hook2

      Rigo is too small. When he loses he will be ‘too small’ or ‘too old’. A fight with him is less meaningful or intriguing than fighting Salido or Berchelt. BTW, I think hardcore is someone who stays up til 2 in the morning watching fighters from another country on youtube, not a bout between decorated amateurs.

      • Conrad

        People can make up whatever excuses they want after. But as you know, there’s plenty of examples of smaller guys beating bigger guys. Rigondeaux hasn’t shown his age yet to me either.

        • Left Hook2

          If Rigo earned a fight at 130 by beating someone at 130, I would have interest. Until then, he is not on my radar. And no, I was not a fan of Brook challenging GGG, which is a fight that GGG haters continually mention as ‘picking on little guys’. What is the difference in Rigo moving up and Loma bulldozing him? Nothing, unless Rigo proves he is a viable 130 lb fighter first.

          • Conrad

            Is Lomachenko gonna bulldoze him though? GGG and Brook’s styles necessitated a full on aggressive clash and GGG was a huge puncher. Rigo-Loma wouldn’t be a slugfest and Lomachenko isn’t a devastating puncher. It will be high speed chess as Dougie likes to say

          • Left Hook2

            More like an even less-offensive-minded fighter than Marriaga doing his best to stink out the joint. No….Rigo doesn’t deserve TV time…

          • Floridastorm

            Lomo is not a devastating puncher, in the same respect as GGG, Lemieux, or Jacobs, but his punches are very sharp and accurate and he hits equally with both hands. The fact that he made Walters, Soto, and Marriaga quit, due to the punishment they were taking, shows that he does hit hard enough and often to make the opponent not to want to get hit any more. I believe that Walters quit because he was afraid he was going to be badly hurt as he had felt the power of Lomo and wanted no more. Lomo seems to have a training regimen similar to that of GGG. These Ukrainian and Russian fighters are gym rats and most of their training would put the average US fighter to shame.

          • ceylon mooney

            people can say all kinds if stuff, tho in both cases its the smaller guy challenging the bigger guy. and, to me more honest, brook was bigger and heavier than golovkin every step of the way from before the first weigh to the day after the fight.

          • Left Hook2

            I would be fine with Rigo if Salido and Berchelt and Garcia and Davis and Corrales and Linares and Flanagan and Jhonny Gonzales are unavailable, unwilling, or cannot find their pen to sign the contract. Unpopular opponents moving up from 2 divisions below should only be considered if they are the only true option available in the time span given–much as GGG needed a fight soon, and only Brook was brave enough to step into the ring with him.

        • Will Arbuckle

          Agreed

      • ceylon mooney

        rigo-anyone is a fight for hardcore boxing fans. rigo-lomachenko is more than just for hardcore fans cuz lomachenko is exciting to watch.

        loma-rigo would do a lit better than loma-marriaga but prolly not as well as the salido rematch, really cuz i reckon more mexicans will watch salido than rigo.

    • That’s not a very TV friendly matchup though. I don’t see it happening because no network will risk their money on a guaranteed stinker with mediocre ratings. Mikey is the way to go but I expect him to play hardball with negotiations. He has nothing to gain by accepting Top Rank’s terms even if they offered him a good purse. The more he drags his feet the worse Arum looks and the less likely he is to lose his undefeated record. The only solutions would be a purse bid, put it on ppv so Mikey gets the purse he feels he deserves, or fight Crawford.

  • Ramreiz Manuel

    Zzzzzzzz wake me up when he beats a great figter

    • Ain’t no dinos in Holy books

      Ok, and in the meantime we’ll just enjoy watching a very special fighter ply his trade.
      And anyway, with that attitude, you can’t honestly be watching much boxing at all. How many truly great fighters has Ward beaten? Or Crawford? Or Spence? Or Golovkin? Unfortunately, boxing as a whole is not quite what it was, but there’s always hope.

      • Left Hook2

        Thank you. These fans should be glad that Loma is ACTIVE and entertaining us, rather than disappearing like the PBC fighters….8 months or more between fights… There are no guarantees that a ‘great’ fight could be made anytime soon, so treat this is a reminder of how he makes the good look very ordinary. Bouts get made through negotiations on both sides, not by fans who think a magic wand and a tweet should make the bout appear…

        • Orca

          I wish he was more active. He is dominating his opposition and can afford to fight 3-4 times a year. He turns 30 in Feb so figures to have a couple of good years left at his best. I get why he isn’t fighting more often but it’s annoying! He fought twice in ’15 and twice in ’16. That’s just not enough. I hope next year is a BIG year for him.

          • ceylon mooney

            at least in the top ten none (barely any) a these guys fight more than twice a year, many less often than that–and thats when theyre
            winning. a loss often means a year off.

            bummer.

          • Giuseppe

            So true.

            I have criticised loma for his opposition. So easy to forget that in his FIRST TEN fights he had salido, GRJ, Walters. Now he’s buzzing, we are so desperate to see him matched against a threat. Here are the next five fights i want to see him in, in order.

            1. Rigo. Let’s just do it. skill vs skill, Loma with size advantage.
            2. Gervonta. To cut him down a bit.
            3. Mikey Garcia. Supreme skill vs great skill AND size.
            4. Crawford. Supreme skill vs supreme skill AND size.
            5. Thurman. Aka Manny v Margarito

            I think Crawford is his toughest challenge.

          • David Telfer

            Crawford & Thurman will be fighting at 147+ by that point. I can see Loma moving to 140 at a push and even then it’d probably only be for a huge name like Pacquiao.

          • ceylon mooney

            man what a run that would be.

            u read davis’s comments on this? last week he preemptively ducked lomachenko.

            at least when billy joe saunders, told thenwolrd he wanted no part of golovkin, he actually said he wasnt ready.

            i dunno enuf about what really goes on in rigondeaux camp to say, but i

          • Giuseppe

            close, close fight. we’d see some expert moves in there. Loma by SD, having taken a few bad round beatings.

          • ceylon mooney

            rigo hits the deck twice; lomachenkos face gets busted up good.

          • Left Hook2

            The real issue is how much money Rigo thinks he is worth. He doesn’t bring one additional fan to the show or the tv screen, so he probably thinks he should get $1M for the fight (I mean, Salido was offered $750K, so Rigo deserves more, right??)
            Fighting Rigo is even more meaningless, as the 2-division jump will have the haters, who didn’t like that Marriaga was 126 in his last fight, will complain that Loma is picking on little people. I say screw Rigo, let him fight someone at 126 or 130 for a title, and let Loma move on to Berchelt.

  • Don Badowski

    Wears a Hat to Prove It. That is funny. TBE hats are now half-price.

  • Jorge

    Loma is a great talent but not all fighters have the ability of moving up in weight and being as effective as they were in the lower weights. That’s something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • FLOMATARD

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    Manny Pacquiao – ??? Still shittin his ass out

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    go check it out
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  • Left Hook2

    I LOVE that Loma shows his arrogance in the ring. It is entertaining, especially since he backs it up. He was tired of Marriaga looking to merely survive and wanted to shame him into actually engaging in the contest. Loma realizes that fans come to see fights, not ’12 boring rounds to see your favorite get his hand raised at the end’. Job well done. ESPN does need to tone it down with the fawning over favorites. It’s okay to talk about the other guy in the ring.
    JMM–bored me to tears early in his career, but was must-see in the 2nd half. Hope he enjoys his retirement.

    • Orca

      Agree with all points. With the Youtube clip generation, the showboating will get clicks. We all remember Ali’s shuffle, Leonards bolo and Jones Jr’s hands behind back shot.

      • Left Hook2

        And in all fairness, when the opponent is reluctant to fight you have to do something to entertain the crowd…

        • Juan Manuel Valverde

          I’ll agree with thst

        • Stephen M

          I think it was also done to goad Marriaga into mounting some offense. It’s tough fighting a guy who isn’t trying to win.

      • IanF69

        I always liked Naz’s face poke at Robinson…and the punch combo finishing with the uppercut and arrogance was brilliant.

        • Orca

          Ha, I can replay that finish in my head at will. Such an exciting time.

          • IanF69

            Yea its still so easy to picture…Sky’s KO of the year if im not mistaken.

        • Dee Money

          Got me think how crazy Lomachenko vs Hamed would be/look.

          • IanF69

            A true battle of confidence in their own capabilities….For me Naz bottled it against Barerra so I would need to favour Loma who thinks he can beat anyone….nice MM …you might want to ask Doug his thoughts on that one.

  • Juan Manuel Valverde

    Marriaga is a good little fighter but he didn’t come to win and that kind of bothered me. From the first minute of the fight I thought he knew that his only chance was to survive. He stayed away from his usual style and got on a bicicle Was he intimidated? I think so. He looked like one of those 80’s Tyson opponents; they never had a shot because they never tried. I think that if you put a guy that can fight back then we can see how good Lomachenko is.

    • Stephen M

      Well, if you view Loma’s performance in light of the fact that Marriaga just wanted to hear the final bell, he did pretty well. It isn’t easy looking good against a guy who mostly wants to survive.

      • ceylon mooney

        sulliivan barrera did it

        • Stephen M

          ??

          • ceylon mooney

            to joe smith

            he was in survival mode for most that fight. referee even brought it up midway thru.

      • Juan Manuel Valverde

        Agree but still I expect an effort.

    • Chris Stans

      I think Walters was the same way, he wasn’t winning but he wasn’t getting waxed either and still just quits out of nowhere. They get so caught up in “the matrix” that they psych themselves out

  • Michel Desgrottes

    Mike copp reporting low espn ratings for loma

    Overnight ratings for #Lomachenko-Marriaga on ESPN: 10-12 on ESPN2 pulled about 250K. Main event pulled about 750K. Perhaps switch hurt

    • Stephen M

      You should sell your shares in ESPN.

      • Michel Desgrottes

        You were triggered

        • Stephen M

          Guilty. Disingenuousness and stupidity does that to me

          • Mauro Hermida

            Don’t let agenda get to you…if Loma was on PBC, he would have committed euphoric suicide.

      • wayne reid

        While you @ it give us the ratings on those PBC cards on Fox sports and Bounce tv

    • Mark Schoeman

      I “manage” a dozen casual fans. All were given the heads up, all tuned in to ESPN, saw the HOF, waited 10 minutes, saw no cue to where they could find the fight and moved along with the exception of 2…not saying Loma is a business juggernaut, but if ESPN is disappointed with the ratings, that’s on them and their lack of preparedness.

    • FLOMATARD

      And suddenly you turned into media exec? are you okay dude?

    • Left Hook2

      switch? I guess you mean they let the long-winded HOF inductees go over their allotted time? Boxing always seems to get the shaft–being behind events such as baseball, soccer, tennis, etc….that tend to go over the time slot.

    • Jorge

      no bueno

  • Mark Schoeman

    When I watch Loma, I see Pernell Whitaker…and as an incredibly biased in favor of Pernell and perpetually hurt that he doesn’t get more accolades in retirement guy, I just don’t think Loma is beatable until father time catches him, no different than Whitaker.

    I think his ability, if not his frame, can take him to 147. I think many of those perceived challengers would be tailor made for him (Mikey is great…but he needs a stationary target, which Loma ain’t). I don’t think he should waste his time unifying, cleaning out divisions, or doing anything folks outside the hardcore boxing bubble yawn at. I think his late start, career trajectory says he should chase the money, period. I don’t want to match-make his record to HOF greatness, I want him to take risks for money…and he’s got that arrogant gambler vibe about him. Bob Arum will try to quell that, micromanage him to avoid risk, but hopefully he’s that head-strong, devil may care, guy that I perceive and whoever generates the most money, that’s who he fights…and if he gets beat (fairly or unfairly…), that Sweet Pea-f**k it, get me another fight vibe, makes him just get right back on the horse.

    • ceylon mooney

      whitaker…yea good call

      • Mark Schoeman

        I make no excuses for my Whitaker fanboyism…it’s kinda pathetic…but I’ve never seen anybody that reminds me more of him. Maybe not quite the defensive wizard, but without the bad hands that allowed Whitaker to only punch hard to the body, Loma can tee off on the head too…

        • DougWilsonFan

          I have it too. And while my kids understand my love for Finite and RJ, they can’t watch the Pernell fights with out drifting to other rooms, my god, his ring command, footwork and upper body movement were other worldly!

    • Kingram

      Definitely Whitaker and some Roy Jones Jr. as well who in his prime moved laterally like setting his opponents up for shots they didn’t see coming.

    • Jorge

      I see some Whitaker, but I don’t see him going to 147. I think he might make it to 140 but fighting around 138.

      • Mark Schoeman

        If Manny can fight 147, nobody is convincing me Loma can’t…and I think the dollars will dictate that’s ultimately where he’s heading.

        • Stephen M

          Interesting point.

      • Giuseppe

        I think he can beat some WWs.

        I’d take Loma over Danneeee Garcia, no doubts at all. But he’d really struggle with the big guys just because…. size.

  • chickenstock

    I think Lomachenko is fantastic but PLEASE match him with someone who we all think stands some sort of chance. Aside from Salido (who did actually beat him or, according to some won an undeserved close decision) and Walters — he hasn’t had good match ups. A pity. I want to see him pushed. My guess is, he will find gears most boxers never even dare dream of.

    • Kudos

      Gary Russel was a good match up

      • chickenstock

        double kudos mate

  • Abraham E. Hernández

    Marquez-Katsidis is the epitome of combination punching perfection.

  • Kudos

    Mike Coppinger is such a cuck

  • Chris Smith

    Realistically, Rigondeaux is just to satisfy the hardcore because I just don’t see him being competitive as skilled as he is. The size difference and overall overwhelming style of Lomachenko will prove way too much. Mikey Garcia presents the best test and I think we could see that in a year or two as both guys keeping impressing and collecting titles. Garcia throws punches about as well as anyone right now and perhaps his style isn’t to swarm and roughhouse a guy (probably the best way to make Loma work) but he is intelligent enough to come up with a good game plan and work his strengths. I’d bet Lomachenko though and confidently.

    • Son Lyme

      Rigo brings no $, only the kudos from the hardcore. He may well be among the best but he is also box office poison. Fans don’t want to see slippy and cagey – they want to see toe to toe brutalism. Not saying it’s right, but it is what it is.

  • Chris Stans

    Loma was more hittable than people are letting on. The only reason this was an impressive win was because of how much trouble Marriaga gave to Valdez months ago

  • Ramreiz Manuel

    zzzzzzzzzzz wake me up when he beats a great fighter.He lost to a Mexican gardener how can he be great ?

    • Jander78

      He embarrassed two top tier fighters in Nicolas Walters and Gary Russel Jr. Salido is no joke and he questionably squeeked out a win in Loma’s second pro fight using some “pro” tactics. And now he’s avoiding him at all costs.

      • Black Oracle

        Who is Gary though? He is mostly inactive and he fights soft competition. Who is Walters? Both those guys haven’t really proven anything in the sport.

        • Jander78

          Both of those guys are or were champions. Walters was knocking dudes out left and right, with KO wins over Darchinyan and Donaire. Gary Russel Jr. is the current WBC champ that TKO’d a solid champ in Jhonny Gonzales. I’m not saying they’re world beaters, but they’re in the top tier of their respective divisions.

          • David Telfer

            This is a classic case of damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Loma could whoop Mayweather next week and people would criticize him saying he’s too old. Just enjoy guys like Loma while they’re here…

          • Stephen M

            It’s really amazing. Loma goes 12 rounds with a guy like Russell in his third pro fight and guys still find a way to discredit the win!

  • Dee Money

    On a side note, I really enjoy the little trivia box that pops up now. Its always a fun distraction.

  • Tony Nightstick

    I agree with Joni that Loma’s showboating is a real turnoff. Whatever the underlying purpose, it indicates disrespect for the sport. I’ve always hated that sort of thing, going back to Ali.

    Good as Loma is, he’s not unbeatable. Both Rigondeaux and (especially) Garcia would have an excellent chance against him. There’s an emperor’s new clothes aspect to Loma that fans should keep in mind.

    • Jander78

      Sounds like none of us more hardcore fans are crazy about the showboating antics. I can see Loma’s team doing this for the publicity and appeal to the casual audience. They’re looking to rise to the top (not just in skill, but $$) as quick as possible, so anything to get press / fans talking about him is a win.

      • Left Hook2

        I’m a hardcore fan. I love his showboating. If his opponents are too terrified to fight, he has to do something to keep it entertaining. People pay to be entertained, and they will remember him as the guy ‘who kept patting the other guy on the head’, as opposed to Beltran, who did nothing memorable in his fight.

        • Jander78

          Why not just finish the guy instead of carrying him with showboating? Marriaga wasn’t too terrified to fight. He was a game opponent, just severely outclassed.

          Loma is doing it to pick up more fans, which I can’t knock the guy for. He’s trying to make his run, and the more fans the better. In the end (whether I appreciate it or not), the more eyes that are on him is a win for all of us.

          • Left Hook2

            I don’t think showboating extended the bout for a single second. He did it mostly during clinches and brief ‘lulls’. It makes his bout memorable, and being remembered is often more important than being good.

    • Son Lyme

      I think the ‘patting on the head’ moments were more to do with Marriaga’s frustrated use of his head a round earlier. Lomachenko started it when Marriaga’s head movements became wildly erratic – a little reminder to the referee to keep an eye on it. To be fair, a head butt was the only way Marriaga could win.

  • Black Oracle

    Loma is definitely a master boxer…..I don’t see any flaws to the kids game. But I can’t put him in the top 5 p4p, because he hasn’t faced anyone who is really worth a [email protected] Sure he beat fast Gary Russell….but who is Gary Russell really? Maybe if Gary had some better names on his resume I might give Loma more credit for a win over him….as a matter of fact I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch between Gary and Loma, because I don’t think Gary understood what he was in the ring with when they fought. Same with Nicholas Walters….Who is he really? No disrespect to Loma, but he hasn’t beat an A+ fighter yet. He needs to beat a Lineras or a Mickey Garcia…..Because I don’t get how Loma can be ranked ahead of Mickey…..Broner is better than anyone on Lomas resume, and he beat Salido.

    • Giuseppe

      Good stuff. Though I disagree with what the Salido fight showed us. I think he learned a lot that night. By the 2nd half of the fight he was up to speed and looked to have made good adjustments. He is very clever in the ring and I say put him in with Berchelt or Salido again and he smashed them. I agree with you, i’d love to see him vs Garcia and Linares. Hopefully those fights can be made. My guess is a very close points win vs Garcia, after taking some big hits. And i think he stops Linares.

      • Black Oracle

        I can see your prediction coming true, but I can also see Garcia knocking him out. Or a Lineras out working Loma considering Lomas tendency to start late.

    • Stephen M

      The fight against Salido was a 12 round championship fight in Loma’s second pro fight . I’ll repeat that, Loma’s second pro fight was for a championship. It was his first fight longer than 5 rounds and he, not Salido,was coming on strong at the end. I’ll repeat that, his first fight longer than 5 rounds was a 12 round championship fight.
      Just for comparison, Ward, who was also a Gold medal olympian, fought for a championship in his 21th first fight. Floyd ( a bronze medalist ) didn’t fight for a belt until his 18th fight…

      So I would not read anything negative into the Salido fight…

      • Left Hook2

        That’s right. 10 fights in his career he should already have Rigo, Mikey, Linares, Berchelt, Corrales, and Klitchsko under his belt! ha. Oracle sounds like a clown on another site who things he has the gift of ‘grading’ fighters. Lomachenko is staying active and taking the fight that could be made in a timely manner. Where are all the PBC fighters? Quillen? Jacobs? Thurman? Garcia? When are these guys fighting again? And I agree with you…if Cole penalizes Salido one point early…Loma wins going away. If there was a 13th round, he would have kayoed that overweight-cheating, but usually fun to watch Siri!

      • Black Oracle

        You misunderstand. When Salido fought Loma he was shopworn. Let’s not pretend that was a prime Salido. And I believe a shopworn Salido may have shown a more prime pressure brawler a blueprint into beating Loma. Garcia or Lineras may be the guys to do it. Guys who have the right savvy and determination not to be bullied by quick lateral movement or flashiness. Those two guys have a pressure mentality…..they don’t go backwards….they don’t know how to, kind of like Salido, but they aren’t shopworn. I’m not saying Loma can’t overcome that kind of pressure, I’m just saying we have seen him beat with that kind of pressure by a shopworn fighter. And we haven’t seen him fight a guy like that since.

        • Stephen M

          Salido was still #2 Ring ranked featherweight when he fought Loma. Loma was a 1 professional fight novice when Salido fought him. I don’t see a blue print…

  • Andrii Matiash

    Only Crawford does not have a big chance with Lomachenko, other chances do not have.

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