Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Daniel Jacobs, Jarrell Miller, Josh Taylor, Artur Beterbiev and Cletus Seldin)
HBO’S TRIPLE HEADER
First, I have to give Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” props. I swear I knew exactly how he was going to fight just by looking at his crazy shoulders and lack of neck. He is a total meat grinder! I have always loved that old-school armadillo style too. I look forward to seeing him against maybe Vargas or Postol.
I hate to say it, but Jarrell Miller might be the new Chris Arreola. Like Chris he is 6’4″, kinda sloppy and jiggly but he throws a lot and usually makes for entertaining fights. And, also like Chris, I want to root for Miller but he is going to get murdered if he moves up to the top dogs.
Now on to the main event. Wow that was a really dull fight. I am surprised Daniel Jacobs could do so well against Gennady Golovkin but then put on snore fests like that and the Sergio Mora rematch. I wouldn’t mind seeing him against Jermall Charlo but I do not care to see him against GGG again. I think Charlo might be mean enough to win that fight but it won’t be easy. Then Charlo can fight GGG next November.
Here are a few MMs:
Pernell Whitaker, Julio Cesar Chavez, and Aaron Pryor vs Terence Crawford at 140.
Tommy Hearns, Michael Moore, and James Toney vs Andre Ward at 175.
Happy Veteran’s Day. – Matt on Merritt Island
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Matt.
I like Pea, JC Superstar and The Hawk over Crawford via competitive but clear unanimous decisions in entertaining fights.
I favor the Hitman and Double M by mid-to-late TKO, and Ward via close, maybe controversial decision over Lights Out.
I have to give Cletus “The Hebrew Hammer” props. He is a total meat grinder! I liked what I saw against Roberto Ortiz and I want to see more. He’s got personality and an action style. I like to see club show-developed fighters (in this case Joe DeGuardia’s Paramount Theater series in Huntington, New York – same promoter and venue that brought up Chris Algieri and Joe Smith Jr.) make the transition to the world scene.
I don’t consider him a top-10 junior welterweight contender yet, but he’s a welcome addition to the 140-pound mix.
I look forward to seeing him against maybe Vargas or Postol. Jessie Vargas? Hasn’t he been at welterweight since 2015 (and inactive since losing to Pacquiao last November)? I guess Postol is possible but a bad style matchup for Seldin (although I heard the Ukrainian stick-and-mover struggled in his last bout). I’d rather see Seldin in against a fellow grinder like Antonio Orozco (if the San Diego resident can still make 140) or an aggressive boxer-puncher like Regis Prograis.
I hate to say it, but Jarrell Miller might be the new Chris Arreola. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Arreola made for many entertaining heavyweight battles before his decidedly less-than-Spartan lifestyle and penchant for slugging it out caught up with him. But, like my man Harold Lederman, I gotta tell ya – I think prime Arreola would have got rid of Wach in far more decisive and entertaining fashion than Miller did.
Like Chris he is 6’4″, kinda sloppy and jiggly but he throws a lot and usually makes for entertaining fights. I think Big Baby can make for fun fight if he’s in with an aggressive opponent. Otherwise, he can be in some stinkers. Despite his high punch-output, he’s not one to apply hard pressure, and I don’t think he gets the kind of leverage that Arreola used to get on his power punches.
And, also like Chris, I want to root for Miller but he is going to get murdered if he moves up to the top dogs. We’ll see. It’s not a very deep division. Beyond Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, and maybe Alexander Povetkin (who may never fight in the U.S.), who do we have? Joseph Parker? He barely beat another fat heavyweight, Andy Ruiz Jr., and was probably lucky to get the nod against Hughie Fury. Dillian Whyte? His claim to fame is getting KTFO by AJ and just edging Dereck Chisora out in their fabulous slugfest. Dominic Breazeale? Hey, I like Dom, and I think he would make for a good fight, but let’s be honest, he’d be considered a gatekeeper in any other era. I think Miller’s got a shot at being a major player.
I am surprised Daniel Jacobs could do so well against Gennady Golovkin but then put on snore fests like that and the Sergio Mora rematch. Styles make fights, and GGG is the kind of formidable opponent that will give a competitive talent like Jacobs a reason to train his ass off and be at his absolute best when he steps into the ring. Mora is a crafty veteran with an unorthodox style, and Arias got under Jacobs’ skin a bit with his pre-fight trash talk. Plus, I think Jacobs had a hard time getting up for Arias, who he probably viewed more as a prospect than a peer.
I wouldn’t mind seeing him against Jermall Charlo but I do not care to see him against GGG again. It’s going to take more than a UD over Luis Arias to earn Jacobs a return engagement with Golovkin, but a victory over Charlo would probably do it. However, I think the plan for Team Jacobs is to target the Billy Joe Saunders-David Lemieux fight next month and, if he wins that WBO title bout, go for a total unification showdown with the Canelo-GGG rematch winner.
I think Charlo might be mean enough to win that fight but it won’t be easy. I favor Jacobs in that fascinating matchup.
Then Charlo can fight GGG next November. Charlo is the WBC’s No. 1 contender, so he’s in line to face the winner of the Golovkin-Canelo rematch. If Canelo decides that he doesn’t want to do an immediate rematch with GGG, Charlo could get his title shot even sooner. Golovkin mentioned Charlo as a possible “contingency plan” opponent for early 2017 when he recently sat down with Steve Kim and Yours Truly at promoter Tom Loeffler’s office in Santa Monica.
IMPRESSED WITH BIG BABY
Hey Doug – Watching Jarrell Miller and hearing Max Kellerman bashing his weight, and rightfully so, I found myself impressed with Miller’s combination punching, and especially the doubling and tripling of his jab. I was also impressed with his defensive ability to feint, roll and turn away from punches. Most heavies don’t do that.
Lastly, I had to mute the sound before Max or Roy Jones or Jim Lampley said “power” one more time during Cletus Seldin’s fight. I could almost hear HBO brass in my own imaginary headset telling me to say “push the power angle” after a while. Play some Pantera and watch them lipsync to it.
Thanks! – Gabe
I’ll pass on the Pantera lip-syncing exercise, Gabe.
More than a few fans on my Twitter timeline were irked by the enthusiasm HBO’s broadcast booth had for Seldin, but I wasn’t bothered by it. In fact, I didn’t pay attention to social media or the commentators during that fight. I didn’t bother taking any notes, either. I just sat back and watched Seldin go about his brutally physical craft, which I suppose is a compliment to “the Hebrew Hammer.”
Do I believe that we’re witnessing the second coming of Barney Ross? Uh, hell-to-the-no. Do I think Seldin combines the accurate power of Kostya Tszyu with the relentless aggression of Aaron Pryor? Please! Do I think Seldin is even a top-10 junior welterweight? No, not yet.
So what is he? He’s just a fun fringe contender. That’s good enough for me. If he’s in the right matchups, I’ll be more than happy to watch him on HBO again.
Regarding Miller, he does have a nice, busy jab, and some good defensive and upper-body moves despite his prodigious girth. As I said in a previous response, Big Baby has the potential to be a major player in this somewhat shallow heavyweight division.
TAYLOR VS. VAZQUEZ, ARTUR BETERBIEV
I hope you are well. I watched the Josh Taylor v Miguel Vazquez fight and was impressed by Taylor’s technique. Still think he needs one or two more challenges before going world level and the European (title) could be up next which is a good shout.
He looked wobbly in the first half of the fight but he worked him out and confidence being a big part of this game he suddenly looked slick and accurate in chopping down his previously unfelled foe.
On a side note Artur Beterbiev looked rusty and his opponent was trying to survive. Are you buying this “trying to get rounds” theory? I know I said he was going to demolish Badou Jack and I still think he’s got too much power for anyone in that class. Anyway, I’ll probably be eating humble pie in a year or so take care cheers. – Rob in the U.K.
I think Beterbiev is legit top-five or six light heavyweight and I’m happy for his world title win on Saturday, but I didn’t see anything in that fight that made me question my believe that Jack would upset the Russian should the two ever meet.
I know that inactivity/rust was a factor in Beterbiev’s performance, but I’ve always thought the former amateur star was a bit too methodical (something I noted in this mailbag column when it took him seven rounds to chop down gatekeeper Alexander Johnson in June 2015), and I said it would be evident when he stepped in with experienced stick-and-movers or when faced with true world-class opposition. And, guess what? I don’t think he’s really faced a legit contender in his 12 pro bouts. Tavoris Cloud was probably still ranked when he blasted the former titleholder in 2014, but let’s be real – Gabriel Campillo exposed T.C., Bernard Hopkins took his confidence and Adonis Stevens snatched his soul. Cloud was a shell of a man by the time he faced Beterbiev. And Campillo was also shopworn when he fought the Russian.
“King Artur” is the new IBF beltholder and Oleksandr Gvozdyk and Marcus Browne are ranked in the IBF’s top 10. If he can beat one of those contenders, I’ll become a true “belibiever.”
I watched the Josh Taylor v Miguel Vazquez fight and was impressed by Taylor’s technique. So was I. I think the Scotsman has more than technique, he’s got world-class athleticism and ring generalship. I know that he didn’t start boxing until he was 15, so he must be a natural talent who was taught by some very good teachers. With only 11 pro bouts, Taylor is already in THE RING’s junior welterweight rankings. And I think he’ll climb into the top five by mid-2018.
Still think he needs one or two more challenges before going world level and the European (title) could be up next which is a good shout. I agree, but I don’t think his management should hesitate in moving him aggressively after he proves to be the best 140 pounder on the European scene. He’s got the WBC’s silver title, which puts him in the mix with top-10 WBC contenders, such as J.C. Ramirez (who looked excellent in bombing out Mike Reed on Saturday), Regis Prograis, Amir Imam and Omar Figueroa, and I think he’s got the ability to beat these standouts.
He looked wobbly in the first half of the fight but he worked him out and confidence being a big part of this game he suddenly looked slick and accurate in chopping down his previously unfelled foe. Taylor didn’t look “wobbly” at all to me early in the fight. He just needed some time to get a feel for Vazquez’s herky jerky style, and I thought he figured it out by the middle rounds. Taylor’s got excellent timing and he’s a good judge of distance. Once he got a grip on that, he went to work on the Mexican veteran’s body, which led to the stoppage.
THE RABBIT PUNCHER
Danny “Rabbit Punch” Jacobs could beat Canelo Alvarez? I’d love to see that s__t. Canelo would clean clock his rabbit punching, complaining ass. What are your thoughts? – Robert
I think Jacobs is all wrong stylistically for Canelo. Aggressive, come-forward types like GGG and Lemieux play more into Canelo’s strengths and ring savvy, than a big, athletic counter puncher who can stick and move and switch-hit.
Regarding the rabbit punching, I think Arias’ tendency to duck low and lunge in has he launches his overhand rights and his habit of covering up and falling in to block or smother punches was part of the reason Jacobs nailed him to the back of the head as often as it occurred.
ANTHONY JOSHUA ISN’T DUCKING ANYONE
I really enjoy your mailbag each week and want to join the debate. This is my first time writing in, so I hope I don’t go on too much!
I wanted to talk about the three heavyweights who are being very vocal in calling out Anthony Joshua and accusing him of trying to duck them. Unfortunately, there are some casual, and incredibly, hardcore boxing fans daft enough to go along with this narrative. Let’s look at them each individually…
TYSON FURY. As a proud Englishman, I generally support my countrymen in the big fights. Therefore, I was delighted when Fury pulled off the upset against Klitschko. However, still calling himself the real champion after never defending the title and not fighting for 2 years is wearing very thin. In my mind he is no more the lineal champion than Lennox Lewis or Vitality Klitschko. Until he is mentally or physically ready to return to the ring (preferably both) he is only embarrassing himself banging on about what he thinks he could do with AJ. Before his title defence against Takam, Joshua said, “I cannot live off my win against Klitschko forever… I need to push forward.” A very poignant statement and words which highlight the difference between Joshua and Fury.
JOSEPH PARKER. I respect Parker, and don’t hold him responsible for the dull fight against Hughie Fury (who unfortunately employed the same negative and boring tactics that proved successful for his cousin against Klitschko). I think a fight between Parker and Joshua might actually turn out to be the best fight available due to their styles, but asking for 50/50 (or even 40/60) of the total purse is fanciful considering what both fighters bring to the party. It should also be remembered that Parker was offered a shot against AJ last December but he and his team turned it down to take the easier route to a “world title” by facing Ruiz Jr.
DEONTAY WILDER. By far the biggest threat to Joshua because of his speed, athleticism and genuine knockout power. But like Parker, has to understand that he is very much the B side. When Lennox Lewis wanted to become the undisputed heavyweight world champion against Evander Holyfield in their first fight in 1999, he had to accept that The Real Deal was more well know and had two title belts to his one. Lewis therefore accepted 1/3 of the fight purse to Holyfield’s 2/3 because he really wanted the fight. If Wilder really wanted the fight as much as Lewis did back then, he would be able to get it.
In short, of course Fury, Parker and Wilder are calling out Joshua. They all need him far more than he needs them. He is recognised universally as the number one heavyweight and they would all make multiple times their highest payday by fighting him and him only. That is why they are not calling each other out. Why is Joshua not so vocal in calling out any of these three heavyweights? Wilder himself answered this when he said, “Kings don’t go around chasing peasants”.
Lennox Lewis v Riddick Bowe
Canelo Alvarez v Terry Norris
Michael Spinks v Evander Holyfield (cruiserweight)
David Tua v Ron Lyle
Regards. – Jeremy, UK
Thank for finally penning something for the mailbag, Jeremy.
Your mythical machups: I’ll go with Lewis by mid-to-late KO in a heavyweight shootout for the age
Canelo by mid-round KO (as much as I hate to write this because the fragile chinned Norris is one of my all-time faves)
Holyfield by close but clear UD
And Tua by late TKO in a wildly competitive fight in which Lyle gets up from numerous knockdowns and takes it to the Samoan hero
I agree that the three other claimants to the heavyweight crown all need Joshua more than he needs them, however, AJ would be the first to acknowledge that he needs worthy challenges in order to continue developing and to live up to his considerable potential.
Sadly, Fury – who possess the ability to outpoint all three beltholders on a good night – is more entertaining as a retired social media personality than he was as an actual contender/champion. Until he gets his license back and actually gets into the ring, he’s a non-entity as far as AJ and the other two titleholders are concerned.
Parker, in my opinion, needs to notch an impressive victory against a significant opponent before he tosses his hat into the Joshua sweepstakes. Majority decisions against Andy Ruiz and Hughie Fury aren’t enough for a heavyweight beltholder to consider himself a “world beater.”
Wilder has the best case among Joshua’s potential rivals. He talks the talk and he walks the walk (even though the best name on his resume is still Bermane Stiverne, who is a total headcase). But the American WBC titleholder has to realize that he’s not in AJ’s league when it comes to ticket sales and U.K. fame. And, despite only competing in half the number of prize fights, Joshua is the more accomplished of the two having won two world titles and grabbing the scalp of a future hall of famer in a huge event/strong fight of the year candidate.
The sooner Wilder admits his position in this matchup the sooner their teams can put together the biggest and most significant heavyweight title bout since Holyfield-Lewis I.
TONEY VS. TARVER
Who did better, Toney as Frazier in Ali or Tarver in Rocky Balboa?
Anyway… how do you think those two would have squared up at HW in 2003/4 (probably a peak for both at that weight?)
Would have been an interesting match-up, I think. Wonder why it never happened. – Giuseppe
I thought Tarver did a better acting job than Toney (who did alright), but I would favor the 2003 version of Toney (190-pound cruiserweight or heavyweight) to outpoint the best heavyweight version of Tarver.
Why didn’t this fight happen? Well, for starters nobody ever asked for it, but beyond the lack of demand, Tarver was at his apex as a light heavyweight during Toney’s best heavyweight years (2003-’04). This is the time when he was chasing down (and eventually fighting and beating) Roy Jones Jr.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer