Friday, December 15, 2017  |

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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Crolla-Burns, Eubank Jr., Groves-Cox, Charlo-Lubin, IBHOF Class of 2018)

There was mutual respect between Crolla (right) and Burns. Photo / @MatchroomBoxing
09
Oct

JUST ENJOYING THE FIGHTS

Doug,

I liked your reply to my last post about “questions being answered in the WBSS”: don’t get all cerebral about it just enjoy the fights! Well I did this weekend. Couldn’t figure out if I was rooting for Burns or Crolla until they called it I figured out it was Burns. A good fight, but I’m thinking Luke Campbell might get past either of them (it’s hard to think of Burns at lightweight by now but he actually looked good), with the winner facing Terry Flanagan. Who do you think is last man standing in that pile-up? I think Flanagan if he can stay at lightweight, and I’d love to see him fight Josh Taylor if he moves up to 140.

I’m even more excited about next weekend. I really like watching the Charlo twins fight. I’m betting on Jermell to get past Erickson Lubin but like everything about this fight, starting with the gutsy matchmaking.  Also, easy to feel good about watching Jarrett Hurd take on Austin Trout. I don’t know which way I’d place a bet. Either Hurd solidifies his IBF title creds or Trout gets his not undeserving hands on a title one more time. Which I could see Jermell taking back away from either of them. It seems like he’s upped his game recently.

Plus, George Groves vs Jamie Cox across the pond (loving these Saturdays where the UK fights come on early with the stateside stuff coming on later in the evening, for long hours of entertainment!). And btw, Chris Eubank Jr. looked sensational, and I’m still waiting to see some questions answered, about either man, if/when he faces Groves.

Thanks for always doing the mailbag Doug! Cheers. – Alec

Thanks for sharing your thoughts (and enthusiasm) again, Alec.

Eubank looked like the world-class super middleweight that most believe he is (THE RING ranks him No. 7 among 168 pounders) in dispatching Anvi Yildirim in three rounds. However, it should be noted that the unbeaten Turkish standout had the perfect style for Eubank to display his strengths. It will be interesting to see how he fares against a more experienced and versatile boxer, such as Groves.

Speaking of “The Saint,” his WBSS quarterfinal opponent is totally unproven on the world-class level but still could be a handful in Wembley this Saturday. Cox is an athletic, scrappy southpaw who had a solid amateur career (in fact, he and Groves were roommates on the British squad at one time). He’s a bit undersized for the 168-pound division (having turned pro at welterweight and spending half his career at 154 pounds) but he makes up for that with passion/aggression and a frenetic work-rate/fight pace. If nothing else, the rowdy Swindon man should make for a fun fight. Groves deserves to be the decided odds/media favorite but we should keep in mind that he had some rough moments in his WBA title-winning stoppage of Fedor Chudinov, against whom he suffered a broken jaw, this past May.

Couldn’t figure out if I was rooting for Burns or Crolla until they called it I figured out it was Burns. This lightweight contest was one of those rare occasions in boxing where, apart from the regional fans of the two veterans, you HAD to root for BOTH fighters (if you cared at all about it).

A good fight, but I’m thinking Luke Campbell might get past either of them (it’s hard to think of Burns at lightweight by now but he actually looked good), with the winner facing Terry Flanagan. I agree that Burn looked pretty sharp for a veteran with so many hard fights under his belt, and I agree that Campbell should be considered a big favorite against Crolla or the Scotsman. The Crolla-Campbell winner vs. Flanagan is a natural British showdown.

Who do you think is last man standing in that pile-up? I think Flanagan if he can stay at lightweight, and I’d love to see him fight Josh Taylor if he moves up to 140. I would favor Flanagan against Crolla. Tubo vs. Coolhand? I’m not sure. I think I slightly favor Campbell but Flanagan’s busy, mobile style could take advantage of the Olympic champ’s tendency to wait and pose a little too much (especially if the fight takes place in Flanagan’s hometown of Manchester). Regarding Taylor, he’s waiting for all of these lightweights to step up to junior welterweight, and I think the ultra-talented Scot will be ready for them when they do.

I’m even more excited about next weekend. You should be, that’s a quality tripleheader that Showtime is airing. And don’t sleep on the GBP on ESPN show this Friday (co-headlined by Fidel Maldonado Jr.-Ismael Barroso and Cesar Pablo Cano-Marcelino Lopez – two fights that will not disappoint).

I really like watching the Charlo twins fight. I’m betting on Jermell to get past Erickson Lubin but like everything about this fight, starting with the gutsy matchmaking. I also favor Charlo to defend his WBC 154-pound title against THE RING’s 2016 Prospect of the Year. The Houston native is in his athletic prime (27), he’s got excellent technique (especially his jab) and he’s been tested against a varied assortment of hungry contenders, dangerous/difficult fringe contenders and tough gatekeepers over the past five years. He’s ready for the world in my opinion. Lubin was the better amateur and has more physical tools but at age 21, and with the caliber of opposition he’s faced so far, I’m not convinced that the Floridian is ready to win his first world title. Having said that, I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on Charlo. Lubin is a formidable young gun.

Also, easy to feel good about watching Jarrett Hurd take on Austin Trout. I don’t know which way I’d place a bet. Save your money and just enjoy the matchup.

Either Hurd solidifies his IBF title creds or Trout gets his not undeserving hands on a title one more time. I’ll be happy for whoever wins this one (though I slightly favor Hurd to keep his belt).

Which I could see Jermell taking back away from either of them. It seems like he’s upped his game recently. He has, but he’s got to take it one fight at a time; just like his twin brother at middleweight (where too many fans want to christen him the Heir Apparent before he’s defeated anyone of note). The 160-pound division ain’t no joke, and neither is Lubin.

 

HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2018

What’s up Dougie?

A few things… First, did you hear Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez comment that not only does he want to continue fighting, but it would be his dream to have Felix Trinidad Sr. train him and be in his corner? As a huge Tito fan myself, I am greatly honored (as if I had anything to do with this lol), but I am also a little thrown off. I honestly don’t see Felix Sr. as the solution to Chocolatito’s recent struggles. Although, for all I know, Roman knows something that I don’t know. What are your thoughts?

Second, I saw you received your nomination ballot for this year’s Hall Of Fame Induction. A lot of great names to choose from. I personally like Vitali, El Terrible, Eubank, Calderon and Vazquez. I believe you put out a similar stance, with the exception of Vazquez, instead going with Nigel Benn. Could you share with us your thoughts on who you’ll end up going with? Big fan. – Jensen Ruiz, Tampa

Thanks Jensen. I put out an Instagram post about the five International Boxing Hall of Fame ballot fighters that I’m “leaning” toward picking, and yes, my initial picks were very close to yours (you chose a good group, by the way).


I went with the clearest first-ballot choice among new names to the ballot, which is Erik Morales (and anyone who needs an explanation as to why is a lost cause), Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank (who I believe MUST be inducted together), former heavyweight champ Vitali Klitschko and longtime strawweight/junior flyweight boss Ivan Calderon.

Those were my immediate/off-the-top-of-my-head/no-research choices, and I’d totally fine if they wound up being my final picks, but in the one day since that IG post, I’ve reconsidered Klitschko for another European standout, Darisz Michalczewski (who, unlike Vitali, has been on the IBHOF ballot for several years) and I’ve replaced Calderon with former junior lightweight titleholder Rocky Lockridge (who’s been on the ballot for as long as I can remember).

Somebody via Twitter reminded by that D-Mich made 23 defenses of the WBO light heavyweight title, which in an era of four “world” belts and careful matchmaking isn’t the be-all-end-all in terms of legacy, but the Germany based Pole also scored a title-unifying (WBO-IBF-WBA) decision over Virgil Hill, who is now in the hall of fame, and he also notched victories over the very solid likes of Graciano Rocchigiani (twice) and Montell Griffin (and he also won the WBO cruiserweight belt) en route to compiling a snazzy 48-2 (38) record.

And Lockridge, man, forget about it. This guy deserves so much more recognition and respect than he gets. He fought EVERYONE of note in the featherweight and junior lightweight divisions during the extremely competitive 1980s, beating the prime 130-pound version of Roger Mayweather (via first-round KO for the WBA belt) and former champ Cornelius Boza-Edwards among other standouts, and giving THREE great (or arguably great) Latino legends all they could handle in world title bouts – Julio Cesar Chavez, Wilfredo Gomez (who I believe he should have outpointed) and Eusebio Pedrosa (twice). Lockridge was a glove-trotter, often fighting in his opponents’ back yards, and late in his career, he and Tony Lopez fought THE RING’s Fight of the Year for 1988.

I know I’ll be in the minority in putting a checkmark next to Lockridge’s name, but I’m feeling pretty good about it, as I am about the other four candidates I’m voting for. Having said that, I’ve got most of this month to mull it over, so I might switch one or two out before mailing the ballot. There have been many borderline guys added to the ballot in recent years, such as Ricky Hatton and Winky Wright; some of whom are favorites of mine like Julian Jackson, Fernando Vargas, Genaro Hernandez and Buddy McGirt.

My thoughts on Roman Gonzalez deciding that he will continue fighting is that he shouldn’t do it, no matter who trains him (although I do believe that Trinidad Sr. would be a good fit). I think he’s given everything he has during a hall-of-fame worthy career. The opposition at junior bantamweight is just too damn big and talented for him to overcome at this stage. However, I respect his decision and his willingness to get right back into the ring against world-class opposition, such as WBA titleholder Kal Yafai. He may no longer hold a world title or be on any pound-for-pound lists, but Chocolatito remains a true champion at heart.

 

BURNS AND EUBANK JR.

Hi Doug,

I’m feeling a little ill at ease with the boxing world. I kind of find boxing to be a painfully awkward proposition sometimes. Ricky Burns is in no way a stay-up-to-watch fighter but the sheer fact a 3-weight world champion is not known outside his own house is sad. Coupled with the fact he is such a nice guy. He was in a tough fight but rightly lost. Is it a bit demoralizing that these fighters still have to contend with bad management, poor contract arrangements, so they have to fight way past their prime? Are promoters to blame? Or is it their own stupidity, etc.?

As for Chris Eubank Jr. I think once he meets the likes of George Groves and Callum Smith he will need more than his arsenal contains, that is, being big with knockout power. I know Smith and Groves aren’t one punch KO artists but they have a distinct power and height advantage, not to mention the natural weight advantage, etc., also, lots of the earth’s natural rays.

It been good to read your work, many thanks. – Rob

Thanks for the kind words, Rob.

I agree that Eubank Jr. will receive a stern test if and when he shares the ring with Groves (which could be soon) and Smith, but I think that has more to do with the style matchups than it does with the physical tools/ability of the super middleweights. I know Eubank broke into the world ratings as a middleweight a few years ago, but he weighed in between 162-164 pounds for the first 17 bouts of his pro career and he looked very much at home at that weight, as he has fighting at around 167 pounds for his last three bouts this year. Eubank is very talented athlete who appears every bit as fast and strong at super middleweight as he did at 160 pounds. Groves and Smith won’t beat him by trying to be the “bigger” fighters; I think the key to beating Eubank Jr. is to box him from a distance and to do so while employing a lot of lateral movement. Taking the fight to him or standing and trading with him for too long only leads to concussions.

I’m feeling a little ill at ease with the boxing world. I kind of find boxing to be a painfully awkward proposition sometimes. Geez, why so down and dramatic? It sounds like you simply weren’t into the Crolla-Burns fight. Nothing wrong with that, but why not skip the fight if you felt that one of the combatants was not worthy of staying awake to watch? Go see a movie. Go bowling. Hit the pub or exercise somewhere. Or stay home and read a good book or wank it to some quality internet porn. Whatever floats your boat. Why get depressed over a boxing match? The fighters and the fans that packed the Manchester Arena were all thrilled to be there Saturday night. If you weren’t into it, why watch?

Ricky Burns is in no way a stay-up-to-watch fighter but the sheer fact a 3-weight world champion is not known outside his own house is sad. Boxing fans outside of Scotland know who Burns is, Rob. Trust me on this. They may not all respect him (as they should), but he was on the world-class scene long enough – and he faced enough badasses during his time as a titleholder/contender – that he broke into the consciousness of fans throughout Europe and the U.S. He’s a bona-fide attraction in Glasgow and he’s made several healthy paydays in his time, so no need to shed any tears on his behalf.

He was in a tough fight but rightly lost. I didn’t score the fight but I thought it was legitimately close. Burns boxed well, exhibited solid form and did not embarrass himself in any way against Crolla, who is still a top-10 rated lightweight.

Is it a bit demoralizing that these fighters still have to contend with bad management, poor contract arrangements, so they have to fight way past their prime? It is when that’s the case, but I don’t believe that’s the situation with Burns. I don’t think he’s been poorly managed or promoted, as his large local fan base and three world titles (in three divisions) are proof of. I think he continues to fight because he loves boxing. He loves training, he loves learning in the gym, he loves his team and his fans, he loves the thrill and the challenge of competition, and he wants to do it for as long as he can. There’s nothing wrong with that and there’s no reason why anyone should feel sorry for him.

Are promoters to blame? Or is it their own stupidity, etc.? Nobody is to blame. If you want to blame something, blame boxing. It’s more than a sport for some people, it’s a life choice and it’s addictive. It’s got nothing to do with “stupidity” and everything to do with passion.

 

WILL LOMA GET CREDIT FOR BEATING RIGO?

Hello Doug,

I have a question for you, what happens when (not if, in my opinion) Vasyl Lomachenko stops the smaller, older, chin suspect Guillermo Rigondeaux? I mean Rigo is a top P4P player, no doubt, so should Loma finally get that No. 1 spot the fans are looking forward to? If he stops him convincingly, I think so…

I would also love that to be followed by a matchup with the Linares-Garcia winner.

Btw, your mobile site is f…ed up man, I always have to refresh and go back and forth to the site and the mail bag cause it keeps sending me to this:

Love you man, keep the honesty to that 100! – Ciobanu

Thanks for the love, Cio.

Sorry about your problems with the mobile site. I will pass this information along to the appropriate people and hopefully the glitch gets resolved soon. I think there’s a new RingTV App that is in the works, which should help boxing fans access the site via phones and mobile devices.

Regarding the Lomachenko-Rigondeaux matchup, I think many fans, media members and boxing publication will recognize the winner as the best boxer, pound for pound, on the planet, especially if the Cuban springs the upset because he’s the fighter that’s coming up in weight.

But if Loma wins in dominant fashion, especially if he scores a stoppage, the Ukrainian amateur legend will make a strong case for being the top dog among elite boxers. However, the same reasons you believe Lomachenko will defend his WBO 130-pound title on Dec. 9 – the 122-pound boss being “smaller, older, chin suspect” – will likely be used by Hi-Tech’s many haters (or by members of the “Cult of Rigo”) to deny him that coveted spot among boxing geeks. They can just say that Rigondeaux “got old overnight,” or that Loma picked on a “little guy.”

I would also love that to be followed by a matchup with the Linares-Garcia winner. You and everyone else, Cio. One step at a time, though. Let’s see if Loma can beat Rigo and if the lightweight championship showdown can get made first.

 

MYTHICAL MATCHUPS

Hi Dougie,

Long time reader, first time writer. Wanted to run a few MYTHICAL MATCHUPS by you:

Tapia vs. Chocolatito

Canelo vs Trinidad

Lomachenko vs Arguello

Thanks for your time. Love the mailbag. – John

Thanks for finally sharing your thoughts with us and for the kind words about this column, John. These are good mythical matchups.

Tapia vs. Chocolatito – I’ve got to go with Johnny Tapia, who was a natural 115/118 pounder and at his best at junior bantamweight (where he was unbeaten), via competitive unanimous decision. Gonzalez would make it close with his pressure and volume punching, but Tapia’s iron chin, speed and aggressive stick-and-move game would enable him to outpoint the Nicaraguan badass.  

Canelo vs Trinidad – I like Tito at 154 pounds, either by late stoppage or by competitive decision in a terrific fight; and I favor Alvarez (the version we saw against GGG) by close decision at middleweight.

Lomachenko vs Arguello – Man, longtime fans are not going to like this opinion, but I think Loma’s footwork, angles, speed, reflexes and creative offense/defense would have been all wrong for the Nicaraguan, who was great, but had rather heavy feet and often struggled with cagey stick-and-movers such as Ernesto Marcel (who outpointed Arguello in Flaco’s first title challenge), lightweight fringe contender Vilomar Fernandez (who upset Arguello in a non-title bout during the hall of famer’s 130-pound reign) and Ruben Castillo (who gave him fits for 10 rounds during a junior lightweight title defense that ended in Round 11 with the unbeaten contender getting stopped). The great Ruben Olivares troubled Arguello with in-and-out-side-to-side movement before getting clipped in Round 13 of their showdown in 1974 (later in the same year Arguello lost to Marcel). Arguello would catch Lomachenko late at 126 pounds, and either stop the southpaw or hurt him enough to take over and win a narrow decision; but at 130 pounds I’m going to go with Loma via decision in a competitive fight.  

 

JACKIE “KID” BERG

Hi Dougie,

Just saw your tweet regarding Jack Berg. Here’s a link to a great tribute to him. The last guy who pays tribute is particularly good (I won’t spoil the ending):

Always read the mailbag every Monday and Friday but never emailed but thought I’d send this as a thank you for all your good work.

All the best. – John W, Leeds (England…!)

Thanks for finally writing in, John (I know where Leeds is!).

And thank you so much for sharing this 1987 feature on Berg (AKA Judah Berman), arguably Britain’s greatest prize fighter ever. I had no idea that the “This is your Life” series lasted into the ‘80s, nor that one was done on Berg (or that he was even still alive at that time), but I’m glad he was honored by so many British boxing luminaries (along with film-making legend John Houston) and his former trainer, the great Ray Arcel, in such a public forum.

I hope boxing fans on both sides of the Pond that aren’t familiar with Berg look into his amazing 192-bout career that spanned from the mid-1920s through the mid-‘40s. His multiple fights with fellow hall of famers Kid Chocolate, Tony Canzoneri and Billy Petrolle alone qualify him as an all-time great.

 

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

  • Don Badowski

    I hate to say it, but Lomo should not get credit for beating Rigo, for all the reasons cited. It’s like Alvarez beating Mosley. Looks great on the resume, until you remember that Mosley was fighting way past his prime, and at least one weight class beyond what he was used to. If Rigo does pull off the upset, which I really doubt, yes he should be rated No. 1.

    • Left Hook2

      Exactly. All about context.

    • ceylon mooney

      i tend to agree.

      if rigo gives the natrix rigo-mortis he gets #1

      • Juan Manuel Valverde

        I dont agree. Vasyl looks like the goods but is still pretty much unproven to me (less than 10 fights shows no consistency at all no matter what). Rigo doesn’t fight often enough to be catapulted to no 1 with one win. Second, Rigo is very flawed, he gets dropped here and there, why doesn’t anybody say anything about his defense? In order to get dropped you have to get clipped cleanly and that shows that you have cracks in your game. If GGG had been dropped a couple of times, he would be nowhere near Teddy Atlas top 50, let alone everybody else’s. Double standard.

        • Left Hook2

          If we don’t jump on the ‘rigo’ bandwagon, then we sound like casuals, right? He might be good, but after boring me to tears, I don’t care. I would love for him to hang up his gloves too.

          • Juan Manuel Valverde

            Except we aren’t, we know what good is. Yes, Rigo has very very good ability, but does that make him a great fighter? Don’t know. I don’t think he fights enough and he has been clipped by lesser fighters, I always thought he was a little bit overrated, I even overrated him once…. Not anymore, there’s not enough info to be able to make a complete assessment of his talent. If he’d beaten more good fighters the same way then I would be convinced that he is truly a pound for pound entrant, but right now, with no activity whatsoever and whenever he does fight doesn’t look that great, I can’t favor him over someone who’s on a streak.

          • Left Hook2

            I agree. One quality win, 4 years ago. 5 fights since over weak opposition. Not saying he isn’t good…but he doesn’t give any evidence to prove p4p standing..

          • D. Gambino

            I’ve been saying this for years with my boxing pals. Rigondeaux has done nothing in his career except for the Donaire fight. The love affair Rigo’s fans have for him blows my mind away.

            As far as I’m concerned – I feel Lomachenko would beat Rigondeaux at any weight.

            Sadly Lomachenko will not get much credit for beating Rigondeaux in December. I just hope that he stops Rigo in the mid rounds which would only justify my earlier statement. Then Rigo can go back to fighting tomato cans.

          • Juan Manuel Valverde

            There’s nothing to be sad about, he’ll get rid of him and next move on to beat a quality fighter. Loma will eventually prove himself, he is that talented.

          • Mauro Hermida

            Does Rigo even have the edge in one category when sized up against Lomachenko? I would say power relative to weight class, but everything else??? I don’t see it.

          • D. Gambino

            In the upcoming fight in Dec – nope. I’m sure Rigo supporters would argue this but, just as you said, I don’t see it at all.

            MAYBE if we were talking about a Lomachenko that had only a couple pro fights AND fighting close to Rigo’s natural weight – we MIGHT be able to discuss something but even then I feel Lomachenko beats Rigo.

            As for Dec – Lomachenko over Rigondeaux by stoppage in 8th.

          • Oc

            Agree, skills wise he is at the P4P level, competition wise, he is nowhere near it.

            Loma is getting there in both brackets but not there yet.

          • ceylon mooney

            dont find him boring at all. a coupla painfully dull fights. many more that plenty exciting.

          • Juan Manuel Valverde

            He’s pretty boring inside and outside the ring.

          • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

            He no speak the English. No can express the self.

          • Mauro Hermida

            He is a dullard even in Spanish.

          • philoe bedoe

            I don’t find watching a talented boxer like Rigo boring as well.
            I’m really looking forward to seeing two of the best amateur’s of all time take on each other……

          • Stephen M

            Me too. Difficult to understand how boxing fans wouldn’t be, at the very least, intrigued by this match up.

          • philoe bedoe

            The amount of skill on display should be a wet dream for any boxing fan……….

          • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

            Would you like it more if Rigo gets deported back to Cuba? Haha!

          • Left Hook2

            I’ll let that be his choice..

        • Don Badowski

          I don’t think Rigo’s defense is suspect at all. His chin is. Even if he outclasses them, Rigo is not going to go into the ring with professional fighters and not get hit. It just doesn’t happen that way.
          While I agree Rigo doesn’t fight nearly enough (a combination of the arrogance and stupidity of himself and his manager), I don’t think the compilers of the P4P lists take that into consideration much.

          • McGirt for the Hall of Fame

            Yeah, reminds me of Benitez to a degree. Wilfred’s chin was a massive liability, was hurt by grazing punches throughout his career, but his wondrous defense alone carried him to the final bell against prime Leonard (well, almost) and Hearns.
            Rigo’s not quite on that level but possesses similar strengths and flaws.

            I don’t think Pernell Whitaker had a great chin either but, again, he really fought on another level to rigo in terms of competition.

          • Juan Manuel Valverde

            I agree, Whitaker had lapses and also not the greatest chin, the fact he had such good defense let him survive guys even when hurt. He was only stopped once and it was his last fight on an injury.

          • Mauro Hermida

            I thought Tito would take him out. I remember him dropping Whitaker a couple of times and having him on his bike. Whitaker managed to survive it in the end, but he lost every round.

        • ceylon mooney

          i see what youre sayin.

          every rigo conversation ive encountered folks mention he gets dropped and call him chinny.

          • Juan Manuel Valverde

            Not chinny, he actually has holes in his defensive skill, even though he looks to be very elusive. People tend to overlook those holes when they see a guy be so elusive, but we have to be clear: A great defensive genius shouldn’t be on the floor against C level opposition.

          • ceylon mooney

            i dont think hes chinny, but its a common criticism.

            yeah that giant japanese dude put him down.

            it means either he has holes or he chose to expose himself to risk and didnt care. he went for it that fight. thats what happens. dont see it as a flaw.

            hell, marquez has good defense and pacquiao put him down 3 times their first fight. donaire aint no pacquiao, but you get what im sayin.

          • Oc

            I’m with you mate. I hear the criticisms as well but think that it is possibly his style adds to his likelihood of getting dropped as well though (Donaire got him for real but Donaire was a brilliant puncher).

            Most of Rigo’s knockdowns come during his defensive pivots when he and his opponent are in motion around each other. Also, to my knowledge, most of the time he goes down they’re not hard knockdowns (partly because his opponent is also moving at the time he throws the punch) and to date he has always come up sharp after the visit to the canvas, like I said though, Donaire got him good…and he still came back strong if I remember correctly.

            I personally see his knockdowns as a “flaw” or “weakness” during his defensive maneuvers or maybe in his concentration (it often happens when he is dominating a guy), it’s hard to say. No one’s style is perfect and it’s a fault he is not overly prone to, any moving boxer can get dropped by any level (A, B or C) of opponent…ask Ali.

          • ceylon mooney

            donaire got him good…the big japanese dude man rigo bounced right back up poker face and thousand yard stare.

            offensively, lomachenko is far more sophistocated than anyone rigo has faced, so those flaws will be opportunity. now i see rigos timing as being just…brilliant. add to that the mean streak. really the biggest question for me over this matchup is how you time a guy who shifts gears mid-combination?

          • D. Gambino

            Rigo’s problem is that he’s been fighting sub-par competition his whole career (exception Donaire). Rigo has struggled in a couple of those fights which I will be nice and attribute that to him not taking the challenge as seriously as a professional should.

            Rigo’s only real chance is to punch with Lomachenko. There is no way that Rigo outboxes Loma. He’s not good enough to adapt to the challenges that Loma brings in the ring – especially due to his age, body wear, and weak opposition. I fully expect Rigo to be in full retreat/defense mode by round 5 when he realizes he’s out gunned.

            Couple all that with Rigo’s suspect chin and you get Lomachenko by stoppage in the 8th or 9th round when Lomachenko starts to put heavy pressure on him.

          • Mauro Hermida

            And Donaire was one weight class above peak weight at 122. In fact, I can think of two fights previous that could have gone either way for him. He was not some monster. He didn’t look impressive.

          • D. Gambino

            Exactly. I was never enamored with Rigo when he went pro. I saw all this hype for the guy but I didn’t bother watching any of his early pro fights. Then when I saw him fight Donaire – all I could think was “this is it? This is the great Rigondeaux?” Yawn.

            Then to see him get ranked in P4P lists and all the fan boy love was really laughable for me since none of it is merited. Rigo was a really good amateur fighter but a disappointing pro fighter.

            Watch he beats Loma and I have to eat all my words. LOL!!

          • ceylon mooney

            you make some great points, man, and i think thats a strong possibility, but it aint the only one. say rigo cracks him good early on–like in a way that nobody has cracked him good yet? i aint sayin that would rattle lomachenko, but it could have a good impact on his approach. plus retreat/defense mode aint necessarily a disadvantage for a counterpuncher. but there i go back to my point above about counterpunching a guy who shifts gears mid combination.

          • D. Gambino

            Oh I’m certain that Rigo will land some good shots on Loma. I have no doubt that he will. I just feel his power won’t have an effect on Loma at 130. Marriaga hit Loma with more than a few really good heavy punches and it didn’t bother him. There’s no way Rigo hits harder than Marriaga at 130.

            I understand what you’re getting at CM. I really do. But what can Rigo do when he’s back peddling and throwing counters only to have Loma counter that?

            I know it sounds like I’m a Loma nuthugger but I assure you I’m not. I’m just looking at this from both guys skill sets and everything that Rigo can do – Loma does it better. My fear is that this fight will not be entertaining and one-sided. I hope we get a good fight!

          • Oc

            Offense versus timing…both masters in their respective areas. It’ll be a constant changing of gears throughout the whole fight I reckon…that’s why it could be a stinker, to much changing and counter changing for there to be much action. Hope not but we shall see how it plays out.

          • Teddy Reynoso

            Yeah agreed on that keen observation. Flash knockdown don’t count for much. Even the granite chinned Aaron Pryor got floored in like fashion and came back stronger to stop or kayo the other guys.

          • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

            Maybe he got dropped on purpose because he was testing out his chin?

          • Oc

            Chinny maybe, defensive lapses maybe, possibly his style adds to his likelihood of getting dropped as well though (Donaire got him for real but Donaire was a brilliant puncher).

            Most of Rigo’s knockdowns come during his defensive pivots when he and his opponent are in motion around each other. Also, to my knowledge, most of the time he goes down they’re not hard knockdowns (partly because his opponent is also moving at the time he throws the punch) and to date he has always come up sharp after the visit to the canvas, like I said though, Donaire got him good…and he still came back strong if I remember correctly.

            I personally see his knockdowns as a “flaw” or “weakness” during his defensive maneuvers or maybe in his concentration (it often happens when he is dominating a guy), it’s hard to say. No one’s style is perfect and it’s a fault he is not overly prone to.

    • Juan Manuel Valverde

      Look dude, Loma vs Rigo will look a lot like GGG-Brook. If you give Vasyli too much credit for that win (he will win easily) then we have to give GGG a lot more credit for his Brook butchering.

      • Don Badowski

        Hey, personally I don’t give Golovkin much credit for beating Brook, Although I did expect Brook to make it to the 8th round. But Golovkin’s credit, at least in terms of the P4P rankings, comes from beating Jacobs, plus that ridiculous “draw” against Alvarez.

        • Juan Manuel Valverde

          I’m with you, he did destroy him, but he was a much smaller guy, so I won’t give Loma that much credit when he destroys Rigo.

          • ceylon mooney

            golovkin was smaller than brook but it didnt count against him

          • Teddy Reynoso

            Remember Sugar Ramos fighting Carlos Ortiz back in the 60s? Ramos was no more than a featherweight while Ortiz who was lightweight champion had the reputation of coming into a fight a full welterweight even in the era of same day weigh in. Even if Ramos could come in as a full lightweight, he would have been outweighed by Ortiz by more than ten pounds. Ortiz destroyed Ramos but never got credit for it simply because of the huge size and strength disparity albeit the fact that both packed dynamite in their fists.

      • ceylon mooney

        i give golovkin all the credit for beatin a bigger, heavier and solidly-skilled fighter.

      • philoe bedoe

        Brook isn’t as talented a boxer as Rigo.
        Golovkin’s style would be a lot more difficult to over come for a smaller boxer imo.
        He’s more about power, pressure……….

        • Oc

          Agreed mate, Loma is not a physical fighter like Triple G and Rigo is not there to be leaned on like most other boxers…this fight has no connection to Triple G vs Brook in my mind.

          Skills and style messing will win this for someone and it will be closer than people think, Loma’s angles and volume against Rigo’s pivots and sharp shooting. I wouldn’t be surprised if Rigo actually tries to use his lack of height to his advantage by pivoting very low and leaning back while leaving the lead leg out there to stop a straight forward march by Loma (not that he is much of a straight forward guy).

          A great fight (not action wise, probably) and the guy that wins deserves all the kudos for it.

          • philoe bedoe

            I agree and good breakdown……….

      • Stephen M

        Rigo’s trainer says that they aren’t worried about the weight. Apparently Donaire weighed 142 lbs when they fought. I find that intriguing.

        • Oc

          And so you should mate.

          As it stands no one has ever leaned on or muscled Rigo in a fight, he doesn’t have a style that allows that, he is rarely resting against an opponent or leaning back on the ropes looking for space during the action, he generally maintains center ring and pressures with timing while defending with pivots and sharp hard counters. Add to that that Loma is not a very physical fighter either, he doesn’t lean on fighters (except when pivoting off a lunging fighters head so that he can throw back) and he doesn’t muscle them back with size or strength either, instead he does it with the sheer volume of his punches and the angles he can create.

          Size won’t play a huge factor in this fight, Loma’s extra length might though. Also, Rigo might just not “turn up” and stink the joint out, you never know with him but, I doubt that will happen this time. A very interesting fight, a real mesh of styles and testing of very individual techniques, the winner should get all the kudos for the victory.

    • McGirt for the Hall of Fame

      An unlikely (in my opinion) win for Rigo definitely means a lot more than vice versa, but I wouldn’t suggest that Lomachenko deserves zero credit if he does what is expected. It will depend on the nature of the win, and what kind of challenge the Cuban general ultimately provides. We’ll just have to see how it pans out.

      • Teddy Reynoso

        People seems to forget that Rigo feeds on his opponent’s aggression and I think Loma will be the one pressing the fight and leading which could play into Rigo’s main strength. Loma also has that ability but essentially he would be the hunter here and that could spell the difference.

  • Left Hook2

    Dougie—vote for Julian Jackson. Human highlight reel. One of the strongest punchers P4P ever. The guy had something special, and will long be remembered. 27 years after it happened, fans still get chill bumps recalling the Herol Graham discombobulation. I guarantee Terry Norris doesn’t remember the 2nd round. I don’t know how a JJ-Eubank/Benn bout would have turned out, but I could easily envision Jackson putting either man to sleep. The Hall of Fame should include all of the fighters with superlatives–‘the best_____’….and Jackson had something in his arsenal that none of the fighters you listed have. Morales, Klit, Jackson. Thank you for your support.

    • McGirt for the Hall of Fame

      Greatest single punch KO artist in boxing history. Certainly lacked the complementary boxing ability of other great punchers like Robinson, Hearns, Arguello and Moore but, shot for shot, no-one was more dangerous.

    • You make a great case for Jackson.

  • Juan Manuel Valverde

    There’s a very very good Joe Louis documentary based on his “This was your life” show that I recommend everybody who loves boxing to watch. It brought tears to my eyes.

    I was an 80’s kid and remember that show was still on the air.

  • John Swan

    Eubank Jr appreciation ballbag:

    1. Eubank Jr has arrived. I have been on the Jr bandwagon for some time now – even asking last year whether he might be in the running for best son of a legend of all time? Certainly of the modern era I can’t think of anybody better – open to any suggestions?

    2. What’s not to like about Eubank? He goes out to destroy, his style is a lot of fun to watch, and though he’s arrogant in his manner, it’s all just part of the “Eubank” show and in keeping with what his father did before him. And like his father, there’s nothing ever X-rated about what he says or does before or after fights – no bad language, no arrests for beating up women, just a self-belief and understanding that the Eubank heel character plays a significant role in terms of people tuning in to watch him fight. The way he stood motionless over his fallen opponent was bad ass – I can see how some would be outraged and see it as bad taste, but I loved it.

    3. 168, a step too far? Just before the fight I was watching the training montages and both fighters alongside each other – Yildirim very much looked the naturally bigger man. I’ve heard Junior doesn’t even have to make weight as such, he’s already walking around within the 168 limit while in camp – you’d have to think he might be giving a size and strength advantage to his opponents by choosing not to boil down to 160 – but on the other hand – he’s quick, he’s unorthodox, he appears to have inherited the family granite chin and questions over his power have, for now, been put to rest.

    4. Comments before the fight. This gave me a laugh. Yildirim’s trainer: “He has nothing to stop Avni. Eubank Jr. has good movement but he has no power”, while Jr said: “Yildirim’s chin hasn’t been tested. I will test it to the absolute limit and, if it has even the slightest bit of weakness, he won’t last six rounds”. I guess there’s nothing left to debate.

    5. Groves-Eubank. Let’s see how Groves gets on next week, in what is by no means a walk over. Grove’s jab would give Eubank a lot more to think about than his Turkish opponent did, but I think Grove’s tendency to stand and trade, coupled with his questionable chin, would make Eubank for me a betting underdog worth getting on board with. If this goes ahead in January as expected – I’ll be there.

    6. Crolla-Burns. A complete anti-climax after watching the Jr fight. This bout just never really lit up, no matter how much the Sky commentary team tried to talk it up throughout the broadcast. As I said prior to the Linares-Campbell fight, I’d pick Campbell to beat both of them. Both are nice guys, both overachieved in their careers – certainly on the evidence of their earlier careers, but both are also beyond their peak, only Burns more so. For Crolla I’d like to finally see him in with fellow Manc Terry Flanagan, while Brusn seems destined for a painful cash out next year against Josh Taylor.

    7. Why are American commentators and podcasters still referring to Crolla as COR-O-LA? Where do they think his “Million Dollar” moniker comes from? It wasn’t because Dollar and COR-O-LA sound alike, was it?

    • philoe bedoe

      I’d still like to see Eubank in with another elusive boxer before raving too much about him.
      Yildrim was stylistically tailor made for him like every boxer he faced since the Saunders defeat………..

      • Colin Mc Flurry.

        Fair comment.

        But at least he’s in a good competition – with a chance to really become a Legit player.

        What has Saunders got to look forward to? GGG-Canelo are at least year away ( I wouldn’t hold my breath then ) is he going to face a Jacobs, Charlo, Lemieux? Or will he go back to facing opposition nobody gives a shit about?

        • Colin Mc Flurry.

          Keep fighting opposition nobody gives a shit about.

        • philoe bedoe

          If Eubank can win this tournament it will make his career, no doubt.
          People talk about Billie Joe’s career, but he’s beat five unbeaten fighters, including Eubank, Andy Lee( who was on the best form of his career) Monroe, who was supposedly one of Golovkin’s better opponents………..

          • Colin Mc Flurry.

            Time will tell who ends up having the better career.

            But if anyone ends up back at a Leisure centre, I know where my money lies.

          • philoe bedoe

            Personally I’d like to see both of them have a good career.
            I back all the British fighters.
            As a matter of fact I don’t have a problem with any boxer from any country……..

    • Don Badowski

      What’s not to like? Well, there was the fiasco of the proposed Golovkin fight. Remember we were all wondering for weeks on end, When is he going to sign?
      And then there is the thing about him taking steps down in competition rather than up. Yes, I realize that fighting for those British belts is a big thing in Britain. But it does make him look like he’s picking on softies just to pay the bills.

    • Stephen M

      I didn’t enjoy Crolla Burns either… I didn’t notice the Americans saying Corola but I did find it funny that you guys can actually rhyme dollar and Crolla. When I say them the rhyme doesn’t work…

      • Ten Count Toronto

        If you say Dollah’ with a Southern drawl or New England accent the termination would sort of rhyme with Crollah’…

    • Ten Count Toronto

      Physical tools of Eubank Jr have been obvious for some time, however it’s nothing new for him to look good against this level of opposition. The Gorves fight will hopefully be something of a test. Groves has some vulnerabilities and I think he gets weaker with every fight boilling down to 168, but the skill, power and experience are world class. I’ll hold back on the excitement until then.

  • Juan Manuel Valverde

    I like Julian Jackson, and he probably deserves more HOF love. I think Vitali doesnt have a signature win but a signature loss, I wouldnt vote for him. I think Michaelschewski should be in, no matter how, getting to 23 defenses is not that easy (I dont see a lot of people doing it) he does have a win over a HOF and was a very solid fighter. Calderon and Benn and Eubank are close. I dont like some of Benn’s losses. I would put Eubank first if I were to put one of them. Calderon is also a very close one to me, very good little fighter, but again, dont see a signature win, I think there’s better options. The only obvious one is Morales. No need to explain. Believe it or not I also like Genaro Hernandez over a lot here, I think he’s very underrated, he did best a hall of famer in Azumah Nelson, and he was quite dominant. I would consider him over Calderon and Klitschko everyday.

    • ceylon mooney

      that signature loss counts as a win for me. lewis luck the fight ended on that nasty cut cuz vitali had his number.

      • Juan Manuel Valverde

        yet it wasn’t. He didn’t beat him, he gave a very good performance, but you actually have to beat a guy. Those punches opened up a cut, and that’s a KO. There’s no luck in that. Having bad skin is like having bad stamina, it’s not the other fighters fault that you have those weaknesses, and the fact that an older guy like Lewis was able to exploit them is what got him the win. People: losses are not wins, there are no wins in losses unless they rob you. Klitschko had a good showing but he wasn’t dominating the fight, as a matter of fact I think the tide was turning, I don’t think Vitali was going to be able to maintain that level of energy especially with all the blood. For HOF consideration we need real wins bro. That’s what separates the true greats from the chumps.

        • Left Hook2

          Two words…Ed Mahone…wait…Obed Sullivan…wait… Herbie Hide….wait..Vaughn Bean…..wait…I’ll think of somebody….

          • Juan Manuel Valverde

            hahaha

        • ceylon mooney

          i think he was ahead on score at the time of the stoppage and gonna close the deal.

          but thats a legit win for lewis i dont dispute that at all. i saw that vitali had his number. never heard a klitschko. caught the fight by accident channel surfing in hotel. good fight. i thought no way hell rematch that guy.

          • Martin Hall

            I think, like Juan said, the tide in that fight was very much turning to Lewis’ favour. He was really starting to bang in some monstrous shots on Vitali (explains mangled face i guess). There’s no question like you said though that Vitali was up on the cards. I think even if the stoppage hadn’t happened i could have seen Lewis turning that around.

          • ceylon mooney

            i think ill be reatchin that.

            his mangling of briggs was pretty brutal.

        • Teddy Reynoso

          Even if that fight is held elsewhere, Vitali was still in danger to lose if not by TKO on account of that bad cut, then by late round KO as Lennox was really coming on strong while Vitali was characteristically fading. He might have had a tough whisker but his lack of stamina was his biggest liability.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            What do you mean “characteristically fading”? What other examples are there of Vitali slowing down? The only other one was when he gassed out early in a kickboxing match but that was a previous career and lesson learned almost decade earlier.

            As a pro boxer, Vitali was characteristically an effective distance fighter who got late round stoppages over proven durable survivalists like Bean & Donald (both had never been stopped in pros or amateurs). Even in some of his late 30’s bouts he was throwing between 60-75 punches a round (Johnson, Arreola, Adamek).

            This is not aguy with a fading problem. What you saw was the ebb & flow of a an intense sluggfest in the midst of a massive step-up in class on a week’s notice.

            Fight was still up for grabs, 50:50 experience & power vs. youth & fitness.

        • Ten Count Toronto

          It wasn’t a robbery but it was a bit of a fluke. It’s not like the facial damage was from an accumulation of opponents offensive success, it was one shot at an angle where a a knuckle landed right on the half inch of bone between the eyebrow & eye socket.

          The official result is legal and legitimate, just like a baseball game called after 6 innings, but in the all time retrospective sense, it’s an unfinished fight.

    • McGirt for the Hall of Fame

      Eubank (sr) was tough as nails, granite chinned, and a much harder puncher than his KO ratio indicates, but he was never really bothered about testing himself against the very best international competition. He admitted that he had no interest in dealing with McCallum’s ‘body snatching’, and shied away from any Toney or Jones talk.

      Benn wouldn’t have beaten any of those guys either, but had a burning desire to face Jones off the back of his McClellan win, a more significant victory than anything his arch rival accomplished. Furthermore, when Benn and Eubank were in their absolute primes, I thought Nigel got the wrong end of the stick in their rematch draw. Those two performances (McClellan and Eubnk II) force me to rate Benn that touch higher than Chris sr.

      • Juan Manuel Valverde

        Yeah, its a close one with those two… I think they don’t get that much credit by the american media because they weren’t fighting here that often. That’s what hurts a lot of these overseas fighters a lot. Sot Chitalada, Sung Kil Moon, Orzubek Nazarov, all those fighters have legitimate claims, but the fact that they weren’t seen that often and a lot of people also don’t know to much about the quality of their opposition hurts their possibilities. Out of those three I personally like Sung Kil Moon. I also liked Myung Kyung Who.

        • McGirt for the Hall of Fame

          I remember Nazarov blasting Gamache out, and what Moon lacked in real finesse he made up for in physical strength. Tough, tough champion.
          Chitalada really takes me back – early days as a boxing fan watching him whup Charlie Magri.
          Kudos my friend.
          Not saying he’s anywhere near a consideration for the Hall of Fame but, on the subject of those little guys, do you remember a 115lb champ from the early 90’s, Julio Borboa? Upset Robert Quiroga, made a few defenses, and was unlucky to lose his title I thought against Harold Grey. Very skilled, very forgotten belt holder.

          • Juan Manuel Valverde

            Me too, I was very young but remember all those Asian fighters back then. Guys like Yuri Arbachakov, Nazarov, Chitalada, Moon, Yuh, Khaosai Galaxy, Tatsuyoshi. Man, old times…..Cheers!

          • Teddy Reynoso

            How about Luisito Espinosa?

      • Ten Count Toronto

        You could make the exact same argument for Jones and Toney wanting no part of the international competition. They were all guilty of it together, choosing to make good enough money dominating separate pools, a geographic version of today’s network & Promotional embargos. I’m sure any of them would have agreed to a fight but only for an unrealistic budget and dictatorial control over the location & purse split.

    • Dee Money

      Vitali still has his signature win coming, he said he’s gonna KO AJ. HOF class 2023

      • Juan Manuel Valverde

        When he beats AJ I’ll vote for him

        • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

          You don’t get to vote. Dougie does! Haha!

      • wrecksracer

        I’d watch that fight lol.

    • Teddy Reynoso

      I agree, Juan. You surely knew your Latino boxing scene from way back as well as the credentials of past fighters from other continents like Eubanks and Benn. Indeed Eubanks had the better record and credentials than Benn who had bad losses. In fact, I think the referee sort of bailed him out in the earlier rounds of his fight against American MCClellan where he should have been stopped had it not been held in UK. Erik Morales no doubt is the most qualified and deserving of enshrinement.

  • philoe bedoe

    Excellent mailbag again Doug.
    Personally I’d pick Morales, Klitchko, Benn for the HOF.
    Benn fought a lot better opposition than Eubank during his career……..

    • True but Eubank helped defines Benn’s reign and vice versa — and both helped energize British boxing during their title reigns/rivalry — so, to me, they’re a package deal.

      • philoe bedoe

        True, and it’s the international boxing hall of fame, with the word Fame being an integral part……….

      • Ten Count Toronto

        Lockridge first before any of the above. Agree that Benn & Eubank should go in together, but they’re not same priority level as Lockridge & Morales. Vitali only squeaks in on the Heavyweight exemption which allows a lower standard but he can wait until a weaker ballot.

  • Michel Desgrottes

    Eubank would give ggg problems, beat him? Idk, but I think he’s better than accredited for, AJ ducking deontay, which he shouldn’t have to cause he can probably beat wilder, cotto Ali a joke, thanks hbo/golden boy

    • Juan Manuel Valverde

      he did lose to BJS.

      • philoe bedoe

        Nothing wrong with that……..

      • David Telfer

        Worth remembering that he had fought less than 20 pro fights by this point and it was a close fight. I’d strongly fancy Eubank in a rematch.

      • Teddy Reynoso

        Very close loss.

    • David Telfer

      Also, Deontay Wilder knocked back $3m+ to fight Dillian Whyte! He’s the only man ducking here.

  • Larry Connor

    I love Rigo, but Loma will destroy the smaller man. It will not even be a close fight, but I’m still looking forward to the fight simply because Rigo does not get many fights. Rigo can fight, but at this stage and weight it will be hard to overcome

    • Oc

      Maybe mate but I think it will be competitive than most think (I could be very wrong though). I agree with you that it will be good to see Rigo mix it with a good fighter after so very loooooonnng.

      This very scenario was predicted by the excellent Mr. Charles Farrell in a very good article:

      https://deadspin.com/the-greatest-boxer-alive-is-too-good-for-his-sport-1721737812#_ga=2.159889661.1736013589.1507618739-656577506.1469181403

      • Mauro Hermida

        I have a feeling Rigo’s gameplan will be to stink it out(seems like his normal gameplan though) and go path of least resistance. He tries to limit Loma’s offense all the while staying just a bit busier and leaving it up to the judges. I really hope Loma gets into his ass after a few rounds.

        • Oc

          Is it fair to say that you are not a Rigo fan mate. I personally don’t find him boring though (not against aggressive fighters anyway) he has certainly been in some boring fights (counter punchers and guys happy to survive) though.

          I partly agree with you though, I think the only way to beat Loma is to limit his offensive work rate, enough to have a chance at winning on the cards, Rigo will do this with movement and by trying to sting Loma with hard sharp counters, if Rigo can’t do that then he can just forget winning. I expect a fairly measured and patient fight from both men, caution will be the key word, at least at the beginning.

          It won’t be easy for either guy I reckon but we shall see.

          • Stephen M

            I suspect that if Rigo fought more often I might get bored with him. He tends to make his opponents very timid and inactive, which is caused by his brilliance.
            But taking on this type of challenge… what’s there too criticize?

          • Oc

            My thoughts exactly mate.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            I would call it FRUSTRATING, not boring, because Rigo’s way of movement, almost as if hovering an seemingly 360 degree flexibility of direction from any given position off either foot, is completely unique and unequaled, not to mention being able to punch while doing all the above.

            Although I generally don’t want to see anywhere near that much movement in a fight, there’s a degree of entertainment to the spectacle of a guy doing something completely without peer. It’s just frustrating that he makes relatively little offensive use of the tactical advantages afforded by this maneuverability.

          • Stephen M

            Well, I guess I was debating with myself as to why I was so down on Floyd but enjoy watching Rigo. Was it because Floyd’s fights were repetitive or simply because I didn’t like him? I decided to make myself seem fair…

          • Ten Count Toronto

            It’s fair to put them in the same general basket. But the subtle distinction by which I see Rigo as slightly more interesting to watch is this: I view what Floyd does as “merely” skill, while what Rigo does seems to me like magic.

            When I watch Floyd’s way of moves in slow motion, I understand what and how he does it. Sure it’s also assisted by outstanding athletic ability. But other fighters can imitate it 15%, 25% or 40% slower. I can imitate it 400% slower.

            But the way Rigo moves back & forth or sidedeways as if his feet were ball bearings does not even seem physical possible to me. I don’t even understand the biomechanics of it, let alone how he can throw his Left with snap & leverage seemingly at any moment without perceptibly pausing to set either foot!

            Throwing a trialing hand powerpunch off the backwards step is lost a lost art. The ability to do it in the middle of a zig-zag or hovering back & forth like a mosquito would be rare in any era and a show in it’s own right.

          • Stephen M

            Man you are a real fanatic! Floyd in slow motion… Geez, I hope not the whole fight, that would be masochism…

          • Mauro Hermida

            I have seen him put the running shoes on too much for my taste. Even in the Donaire fight(which he gets way too much credit for), I found it very hard to give him rounds when he was moving a lot more than punching. The rounds were hard to score when most of them would be like 11-9 for punches landed. They were all pretty close, yet a lot of his nuthugger fans acted like it was pure domination. I, like others, saw a closer fight. I have also seen him stink it out against unknown opposition. If you are that good, you should never have this problem. Guys that are beneath you skills wise should be made to know they are beneath you in the ring.

          • Oc

            Each to there own mate, I never seen Rigo as a runner…and no, I’m not blind…I just don’t consider him a runner because he never gets much distance from an opponent and never turns away from them like, say Amir Khan…that dude runs, a prime Ali could be a runner when the mood took him, Pastrano, Pep they were runners…but say guys like Whitaker, Ward or Floyd they weren’t runners in my book (Floyd could and did at times but at his best, rarely).

            Again, just opinions and preferences. Fighting to the level of your competition IS a curse, I knew it well, and shall not judge another for it but I get it…it’s a horrid thing to see.

          • D. Gambino

            I disagree with you on the plan to beat Lomachenko OC. Speaking solely within Lomachenko’s current weight class, I don’t see anyone out boxing him or limiting his work rate at this point. If Lomachenko wants to punch you – you’re getting punched. That’s all there is to it.

            I feel the way to beat him is to punch with him. Unfortunately, that opens opponents up more to Loma counters.

            The only guy I feel would be somewhat competitive in Loma’s weight class is Berchelt but he would struggle mightily with Loma’s speed.

          • Oc

            Good call mate, I reckon you’re right…if Loma wants to punch you, and he always does, yoru getting punched, that’s about all there is to it. Punching with him at least give the chance to work against his speed…simultaneous punching makes the speed fighter wary…especially if the other guy is a harder hitter, Berchelt fits the bill and would try it for sure, would it work for him? Maybe, maybe not. Your suggestion is the only thing (I feel) that would work for mere “mortals” at this stage of Loma’s development I reckon. I’m not saying Rigo will definitely win this fight or nothing but…I think he has a style that could give the young stud fits, any and all boxers fits in fact.

            My thought is Rigo has to come to fight, he has to come to win (some say that is not a given…but I don’t buy that), then he has to give the angle creating Loma problems with his own pivots thereby constantly squaring Loma back up, that alone should slow the punch volume some, then he tries taking away the rest of that volume punching with sharp counters…it’s some task, a helluva job for any boxer to do with Loma, can he do it? Who knows?

            I stand by Rigo because I like his style so bloody much (not his management or promotion, or nothing else, just his style), he never gets a chance to come again if he loses…Loma will get heaps of chances (because, like most E. Europeans, he is much better for the sport of boxing – attitude, style, hunger etc.) if he falls short, no big deal…he comes again. So I stand by the little Cuban this time around.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            I wouldn’t just carve that in stone yet, after all WHICH excellent defensive fighter has Lomachenko faced in a bout longer than 4 rounds?

            I agree that he has the style and tools to be one of those guys who’s almost impossible to keep from scoring – but so far the challenge level on that particular aspect of the game has been modest.

          • D. Gambino

            You’re right that Loma hasn’t faced a pure defensive fighter like Rigo. I still don’t see that being a problem for Loma.

            IMO – Loma’s ring intelligence and adaptability are the best in the sport right now. I don’t see any scenario where Rigo wins this fight.

      • Stephen M

        Really good a article, and prediction!
        Another good point he makes to those who say Rigo is overrated, why do the other so called champs never even dare to say his name?

        • Oc

          Strewth.

  • Bar Kokhba

    Dammit, John W. from Leeds, the ending of that tribute to Kid Berg brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for making me feel like a pussy! (But honestly…thanks. Really enjoyed that.)

  • Joe Steed III

    I don’t understand why guys “need” to retire after 1 knockout loss?? This time last year Choco was considered the best fighter in the world now he “needs to retire”…🤔 I don’t even like Choco but damn! I think you guys just don’t like seeing your favorite fighters get their asses kicked. So when it happens (1 TIME) now you ready for dude to retire..Thats some coward shit. And dont talk to me about styles and age!! These dudes is grown men, get the fuck outta here with this witness protection program shit! And Rigo and is going to kick Lomas ass!! You dudes is hella nervous bout that fight all the Ls yall done took this year…smh. Yall better pray Loma comes through for y’all! Even if he does he loses to Mikey or he loses his p4p #1 spot within a year after Crawford moves up and starts collecting belts. Best of luck to you sucka dudes.

    • Nixtradamus

      Well said. The girlie fans/groupies use the ‘he must retire’ excuse to cover up the fact their chosen P4P idol is not as good as they claimed. You saw it with Chocolatito (an HBO-created scam) and you’re beginning to see it with GGG…

      • David Telfer

        Funny that nobody ever says “you see it with…” and use any black American fighter.

  • Teddy Reynoso

    Just wondering why I have not seen for HOF consideration names as Erbito Salavarria and Ben Villaflor who were two time world champions at highly competitive flyweight and super featherweight divisions respectively in the 70s and Luisito Espinosa and Gerry Penalosa who were dominant two division world champions in the bantamweight and featherweight classes respectively in the 80s and 90s both of whom even saw action in the USA.

  • Black Oracle

    Well I guess you gotta give Tito the win at 154 over Alvarez, since I have never seen Alvarez make that weight comfortably. But I don’t know….Alvarez is just a flat out better boxer than Tito. Tito was a headhunter and that’s about it. He had horrible balance….I can see Canelo dropping him more than once….not that Tito would be hurt, he just had a terrible stance. Yeah I gotta hate ya picking Loma to beat Arguello. I mean cmon have we seen enough of Loma? He lost to Salido for goodness sake…..yet you got him beating a prime Arguello? This is why I believe you are a suspect analyst…..You know your history but you have an awful eye test. Sure Loma looks like the matrix…..but look who he is doing it against? Either against guys who are too small, or against guy who aren’t battle tested. I got Loma getting stopped in the 9th round by the great Arguello? Arguello had slickness and his pressure game was off the charts….Loma aint gonna be able to dance his way out of that.

  • Ten Count Toronto

    You guys are nut!. No way Alvarez would ever beat prime Trinidad, The idea that Trinidad “could be boxed” because of what Hopkins and prime DelaHoya has no bearing on the discussion. In the first place those guys are a higher talent and athletic bracket from Alvarez, not to mention that Canelo is nowhere near capable of the sustained pace to emulate those intense 3-minute-a-round efforts.He couldn’t even fight the pace that David Reid held for half the fight.

    Canelo would have his hands full with a younger Cotto – heck he didn’t exactly thrash a faded Cotto – never mind the pre-Hopkins version of Trinidad at 154!

    Against Trinidad, Canelo could chose between going the distance with a Kevin Johnson inspired survival plan, or if he actually tried to win it would go something like Kovalev-Pascal 1.

    • Mike M.

      Bro “Winky” Wright made Tito look silly by just flicking his jab in his face for 12 rounds at 154 and he stunk it out. Canelo would probably kick his ass.

      • Ten Count Toronto

        Bro Canelo was just thoroughly outjabbed by Golovkin, could barely get off any of his own jabs for half the fight. Wright was twice as good as the Austin Trout off whom Canelo barely got a controversial decision. The group of fighters that were Trinidad, Wright, DelaHoya, Vargas & Quartey as they were between 1998 & 2001 were a different level from Canelo (who would have had his hands full with Ray Joval & Javer Castelljo never mind those guys…) so talking styles and tactics is pointless.

  • Ten Count Toronto

    Come on man, Rocky Lockidge is first priority here. Pedroza x2, Mayweather, Laporte, Gomez, Chavez Sr. Knight, Lopez x2 . And no old guys, all those elite opponents were between 21 & 28 when he fought them, with his only clear-cut losses 7 years apart (the Laporte KO & Lopez rematch by which time he had a lot of ring wear & years of drug abuse..).

    Fought HOF’er Pedroza at 22 yeas of age, less than two years after turning pro – no 8 years of babying & record padding. He should have been in before Morales & Barrera.