Dougie’s Monday mailbag (the Charlos’ ‘bad’ behavior, Charlo-Lubin, Hurd-Trout)
I just watched what I thought would be the fight of the weekend: Jermell Charlo vs Erickson Lubin.
Incredible finish and not what I expected. The headline for me – How unpleasant was the behaviour of the Charlos? I understand the adrenalin was pumping but absolutely zero concern for the welfare of the opponent and shoving female photographers out of the way. Call me old fashioned, but men don’t do that where I come from.
I guess there will always be bad guys and he is a young man who clearly felt he had a point to prove but it still doesn’t feel right to me. How insecure do you have to be to behave like that after knocking someone the f out? Give me a gentleman like Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko or Leo Santa Cruz any day! Brit fans, and I’m guessing lots of American ones, don’t like all that nonsense.
Talking of knock outs – Did you see Reece Bellotti’s to win the Commonwealth strap? How far can he go? I think he needs to improve if he wants a world title but under Jim McDonnell he is in a good place.
Cheers and keep up the good work! – Mark
Thanks, Mark, I’ll do my best.
I hadn’t heard of Bellotti prior to reading U.K. editor Tom Gray’s excellent New Faces feature on the Watford featherweight, but I generally liked what I saw of his sixth-round stoppage of the tall, rangy left-handed Commonwealth champ, Jason Cunningham. Bellotti is a high-energy pressure fighter with solid fundamentals, a good body attack and some versatility, but I agree that he’s going to need to sharpen up his technique (especially his defense) as the quality of his opposition improves. I think he needs to go more rounds (fight past eight rounds a few times) in order to gain more polish to his game. He’s got a high KO percentage (10 stoppages in 11 bouts) but that’s due to his opposition, I don’t think he’s got world-class power or brute strength, so he’s going to have to rely more on his wits as he advances.
Incredible finish and not what I expected. I figured Charlo’s blend of skill, athleticism and experience would eventually be too much for Lubin but I did not envision a first-round KO victory for the defending WBC 154-pound beltholder. Hindsight is always 20-20, but it appears that the still-learning prospect was not ready for his first title fight.
The headline for me – How unpleasant was the behaviour of the Charlos? Honestly, I got a kick out of their emotional eruptions while watching in real time. Did they behave in a sportsman-like manner? No. But I didn’t think they went overboard while watching it live. Let me put it this way, I’ve seen far worse behavior from KO winners in my time.
I understand the adrenalin was pumping but absolutely zero concern for the welfare of the opponent and shoving female photographers out of the way. I didn’t see Charlo shove any photographers during his post-fight ring-post-climbing celebration/rants. If he did that, he was definitely out of line and I hope that he will recognize that now that he’s cooled off and the fight is behind him, and I would hope that his family and handlers (trainer, management, advisor) will also have a talk with him (and his twin brother) about being more professional after their fights.
Call me old fashioned, but men don’t do that where I come from. I believe you, but men do a lot worse than that where some of these fighters are from in the U.S. (I’m not saying that excuses bad behavior, just pointing out that getting a little crazy after knocking somebody out isn’t a big deal to some people.)
I guess there will always be bad guys and he is a young man who clearly felt he had a point to prove but it still doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t think Jermell or Jermall are “bad guys” at all. Perhaps they want to play the role of the “bad guy” or “heel” to gain fans and loyal haters, as several talented boxers – from Hector Camacho Sr. to Chris Eubank Sr. to Floyd Mayweather Jr. – have expertly done to the benefit of their bank accounts over the decades. If that’s what they’re doing I think someone close to them, perhaps their trainer Derrick James, should explain that those former champs/future hall of famers mostly took on their “heel” personas when their boxing styles became boring. With the current form the peaking Charlos have, they are anything but boring. They don’t have to be loud and crazy after their fights to attract attention, they can do that with their KOs. However, I think the main reason for their post-fight outbursts is emotion/adrenaline/fighter pride.
How insecure do you have to be to behave like that after knocking someone the f out? I don’t think it’s insecurity, it’s pure emotional energy that became negatively tainted due to
circumstances (Lubin being forced on Charlo by the WBC, the still-green prospect carrying what he felt was too much hype into their fight, somebody tossing a chair at his brother immediately after the fight, etc.). Charlo pushed his body to its limits in training and focused his mind and spirit on defending his world title for several weeks (even months) but he ended the fight before he was able to break a sweat. All that physical, mental and emotional/spiritual energy that was pent up during the build up to this fight had to escape. I think it’s natural. Some boxers know how to contain it or control it in a positive manner, others don’t, and some don’t want to control it or hold it back. Some of my favorite fighters could be extremely disrespectful, mean and nasty after they knocked an opponent out, especially when they felt that opponent lacked proper respect (or that the public was doubting them). James Toney loved to go off during his post-fight interviews. I recall Fernando Vargas spitting (or trying to spit) on an opponent he’d just dropped and stopped (it was Ross Thompson, in case you’re wondering). I remember Erik Morales tossing a water bottle in Marco Antonio Barrera’s face when his rival tried to embrace or congratulate him after their rematch (or maybe it was their rubber match) and I recall “El Terrible” posing for photos while standing over (and pointing down to) the prone body of Fernando “Bobby Boy” Velardez immediately after he’d stopped the overmatched underdog. Even popular fighters who didn’t have a reputation for being surly, mean or angry, such as Roy Jones Jr., could lose their cool during post-fight interviews that followed highlight-reel KOs. Jones was especially animated (and a little crazy) after his one-round rematch blowout of Montell Griffin and his stoppage of Glenn Kelly due to the circumstances surrounding both bouts.
Give me a gentleman like Anthony Joshua, Wladimir Klitschko or Leo Santa Cruz any day! I like the gentlemen warriors as much as you do. It’s one of the reasons Gennady Golovkin and Roman Gonzalez have been my two favorite boxers over the past four or five years. But I also think there’s some room for wild boys, badasses and nut cakes. It’s great when boxing has stars that say all the right things before and after a fight, such as Lennox Lewis and Oscar De La Hoya, but the raw (sometimes crazy) emotion of Mike Tyson and “El Feroz” Vargas was just as important to the sport’s popularity. Yin and yang, my man, yin and yang.
Brit fans, and I’m guessing lots of American ones, don’t like all that nonsense. Many do not, but many do.
I watched that replay so many times and don’t understand how that shot KTFO him like that. Was it that good of a shot or that bad of a chin? All the best. – Cory, NYC
Lubin said it best himself during his post-fight interview, it was a “blind shot.” He got caught with a punch that he didn’t see coming. It happens. It’s part of boxing, as Lubin also stated after the fight.
I don’t think Lubin has world-class whiskers (he’d been dropped hard by journeyman Norberto Gonzalez in 2014), but I don’t think Charlo has Tommy Hearns or Julian Jackson power, either. I think the KO was the result of a combination of Lubin not seeing the punch, his less-than solid chin, and Charlo’s timing, speed, accuracy and power. I think the more-experienced fighter’s timing and accuracy was just as integral to the stoppage as his speed and power.
Wasn’t Austin Trout the better boxer? He touched Jarrett Hurd with everything he threw, especially the jab. Hurd came in looking two weight classes above Trout and won mostly because of size. Sooner or later size and strength win over speed and technique. Like Kell Brook vs. GGG (yes, I said it!).
Anyway, would love to see Charlo vs. Hurd next. And if I could dream a little, see Jermell move up and fight Canelo in a year or two. Could be a hell of a fight. How do you see those fights pan out?
Also, Spence vs. Peterson, didn’t see that one coming.
With love from Stockholm. – Stefan
Thanks for the love, Stefan.
I like the Spence-Peterson matchup. It’s a solid first title defense for the formidable 27-year-old IBF welterweight titleholder. I just wish Spence could have fought more than once this year.
Wasn’t Austin Trout the better boxer? Yeah, I think Trout was the better boxer for five or six rounds. But Hurd was the better fighter from Round 7 on.
He touched Jarrett Hurd with everything he threw, especially the jab. I thought Trout came close to recapturing his peak form during the first half the fight. He was active, accurate, mobile and gutsy. I think he would have defeated many top junior middleweights on Saturday. But Hurd’s a monster. He gave me prime Antonio Margarito flashbacks (only better – Trout used to give the Tijuana Tornado all he could handle in sparring).
Hurd came in looking two weight classes above Trout and won mostly because of size. Hurd has the bone structure of a middleweight – a big one. In the era of same-day weigh-ins I don’t think he could have made 154 pounds, and I even wonder if making 160 pounds would have been a struggle for him.
Sooner or later size and strength win over speed and technique. Like Kell Brook vs. GGG (yes, I said it!). Not always. Hurd’s big, strong, durable and fearless but he’s technically raw (lacking Golovkin’s jab, blocking-defense, footwork and ring-cutting ability). However, at 27, time is on his side. He can still improve and make adjustments to his game.
Anyway, would love to see Charlo vs. Hurd next. Who doesn’t?
And if I could dream a little, see Jermell move up and fight Canelo in a year or two. Could be a hell of a fight. How do you see those fights pan out? Right now, I’d favor Charlo over Hurd via competitive decision, and Canelo over Charlo via late TKO or competitive decision.
THE TERROR TWINS
I was trying to think of a good superhero name for the Charlos and, since you’re a comic book guy, was wondering if I could get your input.
Seeing as the Wonder Twins is already taken and, frankly, doesn’t really reflect the Charlos’ image, I thought something along the lines of the Terror Twins or the Perpetually Pissed Prospect Pulverizers (considering these guys have no chill even after putting their opponents on blast + the way in which the Jrock and Lubin fights played out) would be appropriate. What do you think?
The Charlos are becoming must-watch boxing for me. I think Daisuke Sugiura hit it on the money when he tweeted (in Japanese) that it’s probably only a matter of time until they become breakout stars in the US. Let’s hope they take a page out of GGG’s book when he made his HBO debut a few years ago and fight more than twice a year going forward.
As always, I enjoy your mailbag whether you publish my letters or not. Keep up the good work! – Benjamin (Seattle)
Thanks for the kind words, Benjamin.
The Charlos are 27 years old and currently hitting their peaks (just like the two biggest attractions in the sport, Anthony Joshua and Canelo Alvarez), so they have time to develop into popular fighters. I don’t think they’ll ever have the giant dedicated fan bases that AJ and Canelo command, but if they fight the right opponents, fight more than once or twice a year – including hometown bouts (in Houston) – they can build respectable live and TV audiences.
I think “Terror Twins” is an apt comic-book-style nickname for the Charlos, or maybe “Texas Terrors.” If you’re looking for the names of actual comic-book characters that are badass twins, check out the “Blood Brothers” created by writer/artist Jim Starlin (the guy who gave the Marvel Universe Thanos) in the early 1970s. They were big athletic ape/werewolf-looking aliens that served as intergalactic henchmen for Thanos. Their build and fighting style was modeled more from pro wrestling than boxing, but their blend of speed, agility, power and symbiotic relationship (they were stronger and faster when in close proximity of each other) plus their ultra-confident attitudes remind me a lot of the Charlos.
How tough are the Blood Brothers? They held their own with Iron Man and the Thing.
THANKS FOR THE MAILBAG RESPONSE ON BENN
Dear Doug,Thanks for answering my question in the mailbag. I don’t agree with you but as always I respect your opinion. And I greatly appreciate having a chance to share my take on Nigel Benn with your readers.Best. – Leslie Gerber, Woodstock, NY
It was my pleasure, Leslie. And it’s quite alright for you (or anyone) to disagree with me on any subject. Your opinion on Benn’s tactics in the McClellan fight gave me some food for thought. I don’t know if there’s a right answer on this particular issue but I respect your take on the subject/situation.
CHARLO THE VILLAIN
I always look forward to your mailbag at the crack of dawn on Mondays and Fridays. They are uplifting and give me something to talk about with my buddies who follow the sweet science. They are the best.
For as good as Jermell Charlo is, its becoming obvious that he has not endeared himself to the public because of his actions after every fight. As opposed to dialing it down and respecting his opponent after a fight he always takes the opposite course and ridicules him. I’m not sure if this is his plan but it appears to look like he is developing discourse with fans because of the way he (and his brother) act the way they do. He has become a Villain in this sport and I am beginning to think that being a Villain isn’t such a bad thing. Both he and his brother’s actions in the long run (I think) will make them more money creating interest in them fighting higher tiered opponents because most of the civilized world will want them to be annihilated like they do their opponents.
For as good as Hurd looked I think he’ll get hit way too much when he and Charlo fight. Charlo must of been either a football player or track guy in the past because of the way he can flip his hips and create more angles to punch. That is his calling card and watching him exclusively he is becoming a more complete boxer/puncher that gives opponents fits trying to figure out where the punches are coming from. I don’t think enough quality fighters today have this skill and I don’t see him slowing down any time soon. Hopefully some bigger names will be on his resume. Speaking of bigger names, (in either junior middle or middleweight) what up and coming big names are there for either fighter? That is the major question. And lastly, where does Lubin go from here?
Lastly, wouldn’t Jermall be the perfect sparring partner for Jermell if he fights Hurd next?
Mythical match up: Vinny Pazienza vs James (Hard Rock) Green. – Armand from Philly
Hmmm, I think I’m gonna go with Hard Rock by close, maybe majority or split decision, if they fought at 154 pounds or middleweight. Despite being the shorter man, Green was more natural at those weights than Paz, but the Rhode Island attraction’s speed, athleticism, high-volume attack and toughness would have allowed him to compete.
I’m guessing that Jermall would be an excellent sparring partner for Jermell if the junior middleweight titleholder gets a unification bout against Hurd. I also favor Charlo in that matchup due to his experience and superior technique, but I wouldn’t expect Jermell to look as powerful against Hurd as he has against recent opponents. The Maryland-area stalker has a much better chin than Lubin and is much stronger and durable than Charles Hatley, John Jackson and the shopworn Joachim Alcine. I envision a tough distance fight for Charlo if that match is made.
Other junior middleweights (and one middleweight) out there for Jermell Charlo include WBA interim titleholder Brian Castano, the winner of Saturday’s Jack Culcay-Maciej Sulecki fight, former European champ Michel Soro, Kanat Islam (who is a fellow PBC fighter), and Hugo Centeno Jr. (also with the PBC). I think the Hurd fight is his best option.
What’s next for Lubin? A confidence-building comeback fight as soon as possible and then hopefully his handlers go about the business of building him into a legit contender the right way. I think he still has a bright future. He just needs to get more experience and learn how to hide his chin better.
I agree that being viewed as “villains” by most of the boxing world will only assist the Charlo twins in marketing themselves to a larger audience. I don’t think they NEED to play that role (if that is what they’re trying to do) because I think they’re on the ascent on the strength of their ring performances, but their rise to prominence will be quicker if they stand out more.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer