Monday, July 23, 2018  |

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Dougie’s Friday mailbag





11
Aug

THIS AND THAT

Doug hi,

Jermell Charlo vs. Erickson Lubin was just announced. Seems early for Lubin, but he’s clearly special and they must be confident to put him in with Charlo. I love the match & only say “early” in the context of how fighters often wait nowadays before taking substantial risks. How does Lubin go about winning this fight? I see Charlo taking it, but with the nagging feeling that Lubin might be packing some surprises.

It’s become hard by now to imagine Terence Crawford losing, period. But Julius Indongo’s been nothing but full of surprises and his size and athleticism will give Crawford some things to think about. Which of course is what Crawford does best. How do you see this going? Does Crawford suss him out and find his (pretty well hidden) weaknesses? Indongo seems like he has the potential to make Cawford work a lot harder than he likes to, and if so, can he pull him into “deep water” late in the fight and have a shot at all the titles?

Ricky Burns and Anthony Crolla — I’d have called it an even fight at 140 pounds or somewhere in between. Given Crolla’s work rate, and Burns having to drop down 5 pounds at his age, Crolla seems likely to have this one. It’s hard not to root for both of these guys, and I hope they’re getting really good money for the match. But Burns seems maybe closer to the end of the road and at 135 this looks to be uphill for him. How do you see this going?

And, going out on a limb here: I know Canelo Alvarez is mighty. But I think at least a couple of Gennady Golovkin’s victims would trouble him some (David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr.), and it’s hard to see Danny Jacobs losing to him. While Jacobs troubled Golovkin, it wasn’t a razor-thin decision (btw Jacobs should stop whining, it’s unseemly). Factor that in with the closeness of some of Canelo’s decisions (Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto), and often rather indifferent/past prime opponents, and I just can’t come to any logical conclusion but Golovkin kicking his ass. Golovkin’s “exposure” against Kell Brook is wishful thinking.

His boxing talents are underrated b/c he’s happy to brawl when that’s all he needs to do. But consistently, he’s done whatever needed to win, with a pleasing penchant for “big drama”, but proving with Jacobs, and for awhile with Lemieux, that he can be disciplined and reign it in too. Canelo has the speed to hit him but will eat shots in return.  I bet that won’t wear well… I’m calling for a beat down somewhere between rounds 9-11. There. Come 9/16 I’ll happily eat crow if that’s what’s served. Thanks again for the mailbag! – Alec

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on all of these interesting upcoming matchups, Alec, but I wouldn’t call picking GGG to beat Canelo “going out on a limb.” That’s called “going with the chalk.” Golovkin is the odds-makers favorites. He’s the overwhelming pick among boxing writers, industry insiders and pundits. He’s the higher regarded middleweight. Most observers believe he’s the better 160 pounder, and most say he’s more proven at the weight.

I think at least a couple of Gennady Golovkin’s victims would trouble him some (David Lemieux, Willie Monroe Jr.), and it’s hard to see Danny Jacobs losing to him. I agree. I would pick Jacobs to beat Canelo. I would favor Canelo to beat Lemieux and Monroe but I think both middleweight standouts would have their moments against the Mexican star. Lemmy would dish out his share of punishment and The Mongoose would do his share of frustrating with his speed and movement.

Btw Jacobs should stop whining, it’s unseemly. I don’t think Jacobs is “whining,” it looks to me like he’s been celebrating his performance. He’s been on an extended “moral victory” lap since March and seems to be enjoying himself.

Factor that in with the closeness of some of Canelo’s decisions (Austin Trout, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto), and often rather indifferent/past prime opponents, and I just can’t come to any logical conclusion but Golovkin kicking his ass. That may very well be the eventual outcome of this fight, but I think Canelo is going to do his share of ass kicking along the way. I’ve said it before and I’m going to keep saying it: GGG’s face was clean after 12 rounds with Jacobs; it’s gonna be lumped up after the Canelo fight. By the way, I thought the Lara fight was legitimately close and could have gone the Cuban’s way. The Trout and Cotto fights were competitive, in my opinion, but not all that close.

His boxing talents are underrated b/c he’s happy to brawl when that’s all he needs to do. That’s one reason why GGG’s boxing talents are underrated. Another reason is just good ole fashioned hatred.

But consistently, he’s done whatever needed to win, with a pleasing penchant for “big drama”, but proving with Jacobs, and for awhile with Lemieux, that he can be disciplined and reign it in too. Very true. I think that’s the version of Golovkin that we will see on Sept. 16.

Canelo has the speed to hit him but will eat shots in return. I think Canelo brings more than speed to this showdown. He’s got enough power to get GGG’s respect; I think he’s got enough to hurt the unified beltholder (Especially if he goes to the body. He also brings very good block-and-counter ability and head/upper-body movement.

I bet that won’t wear well… We will find out soon.

Jermell Charlo vs. Erickson Lubin was just announced. Well, sort of. The WBC mandatory is still looking for a date, venue and network, according to RingTV’s Mike Coppinger, but at least the two 154 pounders have agreed to get it on.

Seems early for Lubin, but he’s clearly special and they must be confident to put him in with Charlo. Lubin’s handlers are either confident or impatient or desperate; maybe they’re a mix of all three things. I agree that the former U.S. amateur standout is special (he was THE RING Prospect of the Year for 2016), but I don’t see why they need to rush him to this title bout. However, if they feel he’s ready, and if the WBC is going to mandate it anyway, they might as well go for it.

How does Lubin go about winning this fight? He’s a big, strong, southpaw boxer-puncher, so I think he needs to impose his size and power on the more experienced titleholder as soon as possible. If he allows Charlo to get into his boxing rhythm the Houston native might do more than outbox or outmaneuver him, the defending WBC beltholder might check his chin.

I see Charlo taking it, but with the nagging feeling that Lubin might be packing some surprises. Yeah, I see it the same way you do.

It’s become hard by now to imagine Terence Crawford losing, period. But Julius Indongo’s been nothing but full of surprises and his size and athleticism will give Crawford some things to think about. That’s what I think, at least during the first half of the bout. I think Indongo’s technique is also a factor in the competitiveness of this bout.

How do you see this going? Does Crawford suss him out and find his (pretty well hidden) weaknesses? Yeah, I think he will, but it might take more than two or three rounds. He might not begin the “break-down” phase of his game plan until the sixth or seventh round. I won’t be shocked at all if the fight goes the distance.

Indongo seems like he has the potential to make Crawford work a lot harder than he likes to, and if so, can he pull him into “deep water” late in the fight and have a shot at all the titles? I think Crawford will be the one doing the deep-water drowning late in the fight, but I agree that Indongo appears to have the ability to compete with the two-division RING champ.

Ricky Burns and Anthony Crolla — I’d have called it an even fight at 140 pounds or somewhere in between. I would have too – had this bout taken place early last year.

Given Crolla’s work rate, and Burns having to drop down 5 pounds at his age, Crolla seems likely to have this one. I give Crolla the slight edge, but not because of the weight or the Manchester native’s busy punch output. I like Crolla in this one because he’s the younger, fresher fighter. Both men are battle tested (and battle worn), but Crolla, who is 30, has been a pro since late 2006. Burns, who is 34 and has been in more wars than Crolla, has been a pro since late 2001. There’s more wear and tear on the Scotsman and I think that was evident during his one-sided loss to Indongo in April. Crolla’s coming off back-to-back losses to Jorge Linares but there’s no shame in being outpointed by the Venezuelan. I thought Crolla was competitive in the first bout, so even though he’s 2-2-1 in his last five bouts, I factor in that he’s been in with quality cats (Linares, Ismael Barroso and Darleys Perez – and I think he majority draw vs. Perez in their first bout could have gone his way).

It’s hard not to root for both of these guys, and I hope they’re getting really good money for the match. I think they’ll be well compensated and I know they’ll give their loyal fans their moneys worth. It’ll be a very good fight in a great atmosphere. If I lived in England, I’d attend because the Manchester and Glasgow fans will definitely raise the roof off the Manchester Arena. I’ve never met either fighter but both seem to be very nice, down-to-earth and classy men.

How do you see this going? Crolla by close, hard-fought decision.

 

SNORE-MACHENKO

Hey Doug,

Hope you are doing ok. I just watched the Vasyl Lomachenko vs Miguel Marriaga fight and I had a few questions pop into my mind during the broadcast.

The first thing was that they are certainly trying to sell us the Loma story and hype, almost as if Top Rank is trying to look for a Pacquiao replacement but sadly Loma fights aren’t as exciting as Pacquiao fights were. Do you know why that is?

My guess is competition which Loma may be seeing in the future, but so far competition has been weak. I laughed when Teddy Atlas said he had Loma as #1 on his P4P list above Andre Ward… how do you come to that conclusion? It’s insulting to his own intelligence, especially after Ward beat Sergey Kovalev for the second time. What has Loma done to warrant him being higher?

Also, they said Salido was offered $750k to fight tonight, I personally think that’s a low ball offer, he was right to decline it. It’s a very, very risky fight and Salido would almost surely lose, but it would still be a big fight and it would generate a lot of attention. He should’ve been offered more, Loma needs to be challenged.

Overall, I thought Loma gave an underwhelming performance, and it was not exciting or memorable. Is it because he doesn’t have KO punch power?

Lastly, do you think that Mikey Garcia gained more from his win or did Loma gain more from his Marriaga win? Who wins if they fought next.

Thanks for the bag Doug, it’s the only thing I read consistently and never miss. Keep up the amazing work. God Bless you. – Miguel from Fort Myers

Thanks for the very kind words, Miguel.

I think Garcia definitely gained more respect/stature from his victory over Adrien Broner than Lomachenko did by stopping Marriaga. Garcia stepped up in weight and outclassed a well-known fighter who was the underdog but was also viewed as “talented” and was given a shot to win (or at least be competitive) by some fans and media. Loma beat up on a solid contender, but also a relatively unknown fighter who was coming off a loss, was coming up in weight, and was given no chance of winning. 

I don’t really care to get into the silly pissing contest between Garcia’s and Loma’s fans. There’s no point to comprehensively analyze this potential fight until Lomachenko has announced that he’d leaving the lightweight division and there are some real talks between his reps and Mikey’s people. Until then, it’s just mental masturbation. (Plus, I’ve already given my thoughts on who might win if the two ever fought.)

Regarding Loma’s performance against Marriaga, I wasn’t thrilled or awed by it but I was impressed by the manner in which he took the tough, proud and capable Colombian’s will/heart. And I generally enjoy watching Loma fight.

The first thing was that they are certainly trying to sell us the Loma story and hype, almost as if Top Rank is trying to look for a Pacquiao replacement but sadly Loma fights aren’t as exciting as Pacquiao fights were. First, I don’t think there’s any “hype” to Loma’s story. He’s one of the greatest amateur boxers who made a successful transition to the pro ranks where he’s won world titles in two divisions and established himself as an elite fighter in record time. Second, very few fighters of this era can come anywhere near being as exciting as the prime Manny Pacquiao was, but of course Top Rank is going to try to pass the torch to Loma. They’re in need of a new star (and so is boxing).

Do you know why that is? Um, yeah, they’re PROMOTERS – it’s their job.

Vasyl Lomachenko lands a left cross en route to outpointing Gary Russell Jr. for the vacant WBO featherweight title. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

My guess is competition which Loma may be seeing in the future, but so far competition has been weak. Really? I think he’s challenged himself since turning pro in October 2013. He fought Orlando Salido and Gary Russell Jr. in his second and third pro bouts. He fought unbeaten Nicholas Walters late last year. That was a fight the hardcore heads were all hot and bothered with, and more than a few gave The Axeman a shot at winning. Don’t be mad at Loma because Walters quit. Be mad at Walters. (Or, better yet, recognize that he was outclassed and bewildered by a very special talent and have some damn compassion for him.)

I laughed when Teddy Atlas said he had Loma as #1 on his P4P list above Andre Ward… how do you come to that conclusion? Well, first of all, it’s Teddy’s list, he can put whoever he wants wherever he wants. It doesn’t have to make sense to anyone but him. (And, quite Frankly, it’s not worth getting worked up about. Let Teddy get worked up. He’s good at it.)

It’s insulting to his own intelligence, especially after Ward beat Sergey Kovalev for the second time. What has Loma done to warrant him being higher? Well, just to play devil’s advocate, Loma has faced almost as many world titleholders, five (Salido, Russell, Walters, Martinez and Sosa), as Ward (who’s faced six – Kovalev, Kessler, Froch, Dawson, Abraham and Bika) and he’s done so in one-fourth of the time and in about one-third the number of pro bouts. I shouldn’t have to remind you that Loma just fought his 10th pro bout. He hasn’t even been a pro for four years. Ward’s got 32 bouts and he’s been a pro for 12½ years. You know who Loma fought in his second and third pro bouts. Do you know who Ward fought in his? Do you think those guys come close to the standouts that Loma faced so early in his career? Maybe Teddy is rewarding Loma for taking risks.

Also, they said Salido was offered $750k to fight tonight, I personally think that’s a low ball offer, he was right to decline it. That was certainly Salido’s right. The man has more than paid his dues over the decades. But I can’t help but wonder if Siri or his team got a little greedy because of some of the other offers that were floating around at the time that Loma was looking for an ESPN dance partner (which includes Jorge Linares and Tank Davis). Maybe he thought he could have everyone bid against each other until he got a seven-figure offer, and more power to him if he had achieved that but Loma, Linares and Davis all got other opponents. Who’s left for Salido? Maybe he can still do the rematch with Francisco Vargas later in the year, but I don’t think there’s more than $700,000 for him with that return bout.

 

JMM AND MEXICO’S GREATEST

Hey Doug,

In honor of one my favorite boxers, Juan Manuel Marquez, retiring, in your honest opinion, where does he rank among the great Mexican boxers? In the top ten?

My most memorable moment of watching Marquez will always be the knockout of Pac-Man in their last fight. What a great fight. – Robbie Marquez

That seems to be the favorite of most JMM fans. It’s not mine. The Marquez-Pacquiao rivalry belonged under 147 pounds, and PacMan was mailing it to a degree by that point of his career in my opinion. Full credit to JMM, though, he always had the dynamic Filipino’s number, stylistically speaking, and he finally clipped his fellow future first-ballot hall of famer in his fourth try.

My favorite Marquez moment was when he won the WBC 130-pound title bout outpointing fellow Mexican great Marco Antonio Barrera in a brilliant 12-round boxing battle.

Marquez definitely makes my Mexican all-time top 10. He’s in there with his peers, Barrera and Erik Morales, and other badasses: Julio Cesar Chavez, Salvador Sanchez, Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate, Baby Arizmendi, Finito Lopez and Kid Azteca. (And, no, this is not in order… nor is it final… I ran this off the top of my head, but after close inspection of everyone’s records, I could conceivably bump a few for the excellent likes of Miguel Canto, Enrique Bolanos, Vicente Saldivar or even Chalky Wright – a hall-of-fame brotha who was born in Durango.) Viva Mexico!

 

JSK VS. THE SIBERIAN ROCKY

Hey Doug,

I really enjoyed watching Jesus Soto Karass and Mauricio Herrera get it on last week and like you I was pleasantly surprised by Jesus’ form and determination down the stretch; I thought Kamegai might’ve beaten all the fight out of him over the course of their two bouts. It got me thinking, I’d love to see Soto Karass take on the Siberian Rocky or even Bam Bam Rios in his next fight – either one of those match-ups would make for a really fun and furious 10 rounder.

What is your prediction for Crawford vs Indongo? It’s pretty hard to pick against Bud right now and to be honest I’d favor him against any fighter at welterweight or below. Like Loma, he’s a super technician with a sadistic streak, plus he’s got very solid power and great versatility. (Can stalk and hunt you down, stick and move, switch stances.) Then again, anyone who’s overlooked Indongo has suffered the consequences thus far, and who can forget that spectacular one-shot KO of that poor Russian fellow? – Jack

Eduard Troyanovsky would like to forget about it.

I favor Crawford by unanimous decision in a competitive fight, and I’m looking forward to watching the Aug. 19 showdown for all the marbles at 140 pounds.

Soto Karass vs. Provodnikov or Rios? Sign me up for some of that! I’d buy tickets to those fights. But, alas, I don’t see it happening due to boxing business/politics. Provo’s got a contract with Showtime, which does most of its business with the large PBC talent pool, and Rios is currently a PBC player who’s got eyes on a grudge match with fellow Garden City, Kansas standout Victor Ortiz.

I’ve seen Soto Karass around in recent days and he’s still at his fighting weight and in great spirits. He told me that he’s got a few more fights left and still has the desire to get into a top condition and to challenge himself. My guess is that he will serve as a gatekeeper for young Golden Boy Promotions prospects that are at the ESPN level, such as Rashidi Ellis, or against a sliding fringe contender like the winner of the Mike Perez-Pablo Cesar Cano fight that’s slated for Oct. 13 (that is, if the winner wants to step up from 140 to 147 – Cano can, I’m not sure about “The Artist”). Whoever JSK winds up fighting, I hope he’s welcomed back to ESPN.

 

RAY ARCEL

Hi Dougie,

I hope you are well.

I recently watched the movie Hands of Stone on Netflix. As a Roberto Duran fan I enjoyed it very much, did you? Boxing aside it was a good movie. My only criticism was that they tried to cover a very long time period of time and numerous topics in one movie. I would have preferred a deeper dive in to specific periods of Duran’s life and career. I thought it was some of De Niro’s best work in years. Ray Arcel is an amazing character to think he trained the great Benny Leonard, Barney Ross and was back in the late 70s with Duran all while dealing with the mob. I would love to read more about him. I saw two listings on Amazon, one by Donald Dewey and the other by John Jarrett.

Any recommendations on further reading or which of these two books is best. I would also love to hear some tidbits from you on Ray Arcel.

All the best, from the never satisfied boxing fan in Miami who is looking forward to GGG-Canelo. Regards. – Aaron

Arcel is a hall-of-fame trainer (inducted into the IBHOF in 1991) and regarded as one of the best of all time. The native of Terre Haute, Indiana, grew up in NYC, where he learned to train fighters by serving under Frank “Doc” Bagley and Dai Dolling at the legendary Stillman’s Gym. Arcel trained (at least) 20 world champions beginning in the early 1920s, including former flyweight champ Frankie Genaro (the first standout he developed), Jackie “Kid” Berg, Lou Brouillard and Sixto Escobar (all but Genaro he coached alongside Whitey Bimstein), and all four fighters are in the hall of fame (as is Bimstein). Arcel also worked with Barney Ross, the great Benny Leonard (during his ill-fated comeback), Jimmy Braddock, Tony Zale and Billy Soose (all HOFers); as well as Ceferino Garcia and Tony Marino.

He pissed off some organized crime figures who were involved in boxing during the 1950s while he was television matchmaker for ABC and wound up getting a lead pipe planted in his head. The violent incident, which occurred in 1953, prompted him to leave the sport for 20 years. He returned to train Panama’s Alfonzo “Peppermint” Frazer before beginning his eight-year association with Duran.

I haven’t seen Hands Of Stone. I’m always a bit skeptical of modern boxing movies, and I didn’t hear glowing reviews of the film when it came out, but if you really think Robert De Niro  delivered one of his best performances in it I’ll check it out.

As for book recommendations, you can’t go wrong with Corner Men: Great Boxing Trainers by Ronald K. Fried. It contains wonderful profiles on Arcel and many of his contemporaries, and it’s available at Amazon and Barnesandnoble.com.

 

MYTHICAL MARQUEZ-MATRIX MATCHUPS

Dougie, how’s it going?

One question…

Juan Manuel Marquez v Lomachenko at 126, 130, 135

Or maybe that’s 3 questions?

Anyway – who wins? Cheers. – Giuseppe

I think Loma would win a controversial, maybe majority or split decision at featherweight (where’s JMM’s reserved counter-punching style would bit him in the ass against the more athletic and mobile boxer, much as it did vs. Freddy Norwood and Chris John); Marquez would triumph via close decision at junior lightweight where he was more aggressive and active; and I guess I have to go with the Mexican master at lightweight (probably on points) because I’ve yet to see Loma do his thing above 130 pounds and Marquez was good enough at 135 to clip and stop the crafty, cagey (and dirty) Joel Casamayor.

 

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