Monday, February 26, 2018  |

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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Groves vs. Eubank Jr., top shootouts, most athletically gifted)

Eubank Jr. (right) with semi-final opponent George Groves. Photo courtesy of World Boxing Super Series
12
Feb

GROVES VS. EUBANK JR.

I think George Groves vs. Chris Eubank Jr. is a really intriguing fight for a few reasons; the two men are basically in their physical primes and they’re both boxer-punchers with fun contrasting styles.

I for one haven’t written off Groves yet. Despite getting absolutely starched by Carl Froch in their rematch, Groves has balanced back and seems to have even made a few slight improvements (like cardio). To come back from such a devastating loss (both physically and emotionally) says a lot about his character I think. Oh, and I don’t hold his loss against Badou Jack against him either, that was a very competitive fight and Jack is a really good fighter.

As for Eubank, I considered him a bit of a hype job for awhile but I took notice after he rallied for a strong second half against Billy Joe Saunders. That competitive loss looks even better now after Saunders boxed so beautifully against Lemmy.

Even though Eubank’s last opponent was tailor made for his style of flashy combination blitzing, I think a lot of people have come to appreciate his incredible hand speed, good head movement, increased jabbing and great conditioning. I also don’t usually love the cocky type of persona, but for some reason I find Eubank pretty entertaining with his arrogant charisma.

The questions that remain for me are: Can he cut off the ring and deal with a mobile fighter who utilizes lots of lateral motion, and can he tighten up his punch selection–just tidy up some of that crazy offense. Groves probably isn’t quite as heavy handed or fast as Eubank, but he’s a sharp puncher who doesn’t waste his shots. He can also box and move a little, and I’m sure he’s studied the Eubank-Saunders fight for a little inspiration.

I’ll be happy for whoever wins this fight but I’ve gotta admit, it’d be kind of nice to see the less naturally talented fighter who everyone’s doubting pull off the upset. Really, though, I just want another great fight to enter the cannon of great British super middleweight showdowns. – Jack

I don’t think Groves-Eubank will disappoint, Jack. I’m looking forward to this one, and, like you, I’m not counting St. George out. The Londoner may not be the more naturally gifted of the two world-class super middleweights, but he’s the naturally bigger man, he had the more extensive amateur career (which included back-to-back ABA titles in 2007 and 2008), and he’s been in with more quality opposition (in my opinion).

Both Englishmen have faced a Chudinov (Euby stopped Dimitri in 12; Double G halted Feder in six for the WBA belt). And the Russian brothers are pretty tough. Eubank’s got Saunders, a faded Arthur Abraham and the rugged, game Gary O’Sullivan on his ledger. Not bad at all, especially considering he almost beat BJS. But Groves has got a future hall of famer (Froch) on his record, plus Jack, James DeGale, Martin Murray and a faded Glen Johnson. Granted, he lost to Froch and Jack, but he gave The Cobra fits, and as you noted, Jack is very good and that fight was legitimately close. Bottom line is that Groves has gone many quality rounds with quality fighters.

Chris Eubank Jr. and Sr.

Having said all that, I understand why everyone favors Eubank Jr. He’s looks like the goods and he’s got some of his father’s mojo. Eubank isn’t untouchable, but he seems far more durable than Groves, who often appears awkward, stressed out or fatigued during his bouts. But truth about Groves is that he’s dangerous even when he seems vulnerable. He was buzzed at the end of the opening round of his bout against Paul Smith, but he came back and blasted the far more experienced fighter in the second round. I’m not saying Smith is a world-beater or anything, but Groves took his legs with one well-timed right hand, and nobody has dismissed Liverpudlian like that. (By the way, as you might know, Groves sparred with Eubank to prepare for Smith.)

I think Groves is not only going to give Eubank problems in the early rounds, I envision him nailing Junior with eye-catching jabs and right hands. However, Euby appears to have inherited his dad’s almost inhuman ability to take a shot. I think he takes Groves’ best and dishes out his own punishment in the middle rounds. If he presses Groves hard enough down the stretch, he can score a late stoppage. I like Eubank in 10 or 11.

Even though Eubank’s last opponent was tailor made for his style of flashy combination blitzing, I think a lot of people have come to appreciate his incredible hand speed, good head movement, increased jabbing and great conditioning. There’s nothing NOT to like about Eubank Jr. in my opinion. As long as he facing the best, which he is thanks to the WBSS tournament, he’s a welcome addition to the 168-pound division.

I also don’t usually love the cocky type of persona, but for some reason I find Eubank pretty entertaining with his arrogant charisma. He doesn’t seem that cocky to me; no more so than Groves.

The questions that remain for me are: Can he cut off the ring and deal with a mobile fighter who utilizes lots of lateral motion, and can he tighten up his punch selection–just tidy up some of that crazy offense. I assume you’re talking about Eubank, and my hunch is that he’ll have some trouble Groves’ lateral movement (if the WBA beltholder elects to stick and move). I think he’ll need some help in cutting the ring off on Groves (such as Groves getting tired or greedy).

Groves probably isn’t quite as heavy handed or fast as Eubank, but he’s a sharp puncher who doesn’t waste his shots. True, but he’s no slouch in the speed and power departments. He’s got a “twitchy” quickness to his jab and right hand.

He can also box and move a little, and I’m sure he’s studied the Eubank-Saunders fight for a little inspiration. I’m sure that Shane McGuigan did if Groves didn’t.

 

MOST ATHLETICALLY TALENTED

Hi Doug,

I just read Tom Gray’s article where he says Roy Jones Jr. was the most talented fighter ever. In your opinion, who would you say is the most physically gifted fighter of all time? Who has the best blend of hand and foot speed, agility, reflexes, and power? Perhaps you could share your top 5 fighters in this category. I’m glad Tom pointed out that being the most talented doesn’t necessarily make you the best. For instance, I have Roy as the most talented fighter but don’t list him amongst my top 20 all-time greats. Here is my list of most talented fighters:

  1. Roy Jones
  2. Sugar Ray Robinson
  3. Mike Tyson
  4. Muhammad Ali
  5. Sugar Shane Mosley

I’ve seen people mention Terry Norris as being sublimely gifted but I haven’t seen enough of him to say for myself. – Mike from NJ

Norris was indeed a phenomenal athlete but he also had excellent boxing technique. To me, what made Terry special was his fierce fighting spirit. Same with Edwin Valero. He was gifted with speed, stamina and crazy power, but it was his scary will that truly made him a threat in the ring.

Sugar Ray Robinson

Regarding my pick for the most physically gifted boxer of all time, I gotta go with Ray Robinson. He was poetry in motion but fast and agile with one-hitter-quitter power in either hand. When you ask “Who has the best blend of hand and foot speed, agility, reflexes, and power?” Even the faded middleweight version of Robinson got a “10” in each category. But so did the prime version of Jones that fought at 160 and 168 pounds. I’d put him at No. 2, followed by Sugar Ray Leonard, Ali (the fastest, most fluid and agile heavyweight ever), Joe Louis (didn’t possess the agility and foot speed Ali was gifted with but had great reflexes, plus the elite power that The Greatest lacked) and Mike Tyson (most explosive big man ever while in his prime).

I should note that old-timers, such as Jack Johnson, Jack Dempsey, Mickey Walker, Kid Chocolate, Young Stribling, Henry Armstrong and John Henry Lewis were known for their athletic prowess and natural ability.

The five most physically gifted boxers that I had the opportunity to witness fight live (while still at or close to their primes) are: Manny Pacquiao, Naseem Hamed, Mark Johnson, Mosley and Nonito Donaire.

 

SHORT AND NOT-SO SWEET FIGHTS

Hope you’re well Mr. Fischer, I’ll keep it short.

What are your favorite fights that end in 6 rounds or less? For my money the fight with the most drama and savagery per round is Liles v Littles II. That fight really had it all, controversy, savagery, multiple knockdowns, back and forth action, wild swings in momentum, and was punctuated by the KO of the year (apologies to Wilfredo Vasquez).

Other strong examples that come to mind are Norris-Waters and Marquez v Pacquiao IV. Thanks in advance and thanks for making Mondays and Fridays a little easier to get through. – Sal, Mississippi

Obviously, Marvin Hagler vs. Thomas Hearns is on my short list, along with a fea classic heavyweight shootouts – George Foreman vs. Ron Lyle, Michael Moorer vs. Bert Cooper and Derrick Jefferson vs. Maurice Harris.

Other six-round-or-less shootouts to consider are Jose Luis Ramirez’s fourth-round KO of Edwin Rosario (THE RING’s 1984 Fight of the Year) and Israel Vasquez’s sixth-round stoppage of Rafael Marquez (THE RING’s 2007 Fight of the Year). Both bouts were rematches.

Antwun Echols’ up-from-the-canvas (three times!) third-round stoppage of Charles Brewer is worth noting. The stoppage was controversial, but it was pretty wild. Echols was a nut… but dangerous!

 

THE JUDGES SURE DO LOVE CANELO

Hi Dougie,

I’ve a question about Saul Alvarez which isn’t necessarily meant to imply any wrongdoing, but I was looking through his record, and there are so many fights where the judges gave him more rounds than the general-watching consensus had it. Jose Cotto, Shane Mosley, Austin Trout, Floyd Mayweather, Erislandy Lara, Miguel Cotto, Amir Khan to Golovkin (there may be others). In each case, the margin was always more in his favour than the commentators and the average viewer had it.

Only in the case of Lara and Golovkin did it makes any difference to the outcome of the fight, but, whether it’s because his precise, hard punches and measured output look better and better the closer you are to the action or whether there’s something a little more sinister going on, can you think of other fighters who’ve, so repeatedly, so openly, been viewed more favourably by the judges than by the general viewer? Thanks. – David

The bigger star (or the guy who is more connected or has the most upside or brings in the most money), is usually going to get a little “help” from the official judges – especially in Las Vegas.

If you happen to be THE biggest attraction in the sport, the officials often going to bend over backwards for you. Mike Tyson usually didn’t need help from the judges but lenient refs (guys who let him elbow opponents and hit them when they were down without even a warning) were the norm with the heavyweight superstar. It’s crazy that it took TWO bites for him to be disqualified in the Holyfield rematch. (But, when Iron Mike needed some help with the scorecards, it was there for him because there’s no way he should have been up by one point and even on another card at the time of his stoppage against Buster Douglas.)

Photo / THE RING

There’s no way Sugar Ray Leonard, deserved to defeat Marvin Hagler by 118-110 margin. He was my boyhood idol and I still had to shake my head at that score. That was a 115-113 fight – either way. His rematch with Thomas Hearns should have gone to the Hitman, who scored two knockdowns, by two or three points. But Hearns only won by a point (113-112) on one judge’s scorecard, while Leonard was somehow gifted a 113-112 score and the third judge had it even (112-112) making it a split-draw.

Oscar De La Hoya received his share of generous scorecards during his glory years, including the two 116-112 cards in the Pernell Whitaker fight, the 116-112 and 116-113 tallies in the Ike Quartey fight, and the 115-113 score in his split-decision loss to Shane Mosley in their first bout (which should not have been a split nod). Oh, and I can’t forget the unanimous 115-113 scores for the Felix Sturm fight. (Or the 115-113 tally in the Floyd Mayweather bout, although at the time, there were more than a few members of press row – including unabashed Floyd-huggers – who scored that fight a draw.) At least with the Golden Boy, the typical Las Vegas scoring shenanigans even out a bit as he was on the s__t-end of controversial decisions against Felix Trinidad and with the Mosley rematch. (Some even count the Mayweather fight as one of the “controversial” decisions that went against De La Hoya in Vegas.)

Speaking of Mayweather, the 116-111 and two scores of 115-111 he got in the first Jose Luis Castillo were totally bogus, as was that awful 119-109 tally he was awarded in the Zab Judah fight. The 118-110 card he received for the Miguel Cotto fight was disrespectful of the future hall of famer from Puerto Rico, and the 117-111 card he got in the first Marcos Maidana fight just further proves that boxing (especially in Vegas) is not fair.

 

BARRERA-MORALES I

Hey Doug,

I want your opinion on this, I rewatched Morales-Barrera I again today and man, I can never find enough rounds to give Barrera the nod as many say he deserved. What am I missing? I feel Morales won more rounds on landed punches and activity, while Barrera won rounds on stronger damaging punches. This was the closest I’ve ever seen it at 6-6 and I won’t give the last round 10-8 because it wasn’t a knockdown.  Am I crazy? Or is it my Tijuana spirit that betrays my judgement? Lol.  Awesome fight; they don’t make them as they used too.

P.S. (I also see the rematch the other way around, I saw it live and always score it for Barrera). – Juan Valverde, San Diego

I scored the rematch for Barrera too, but I understand why most observers thought Morales deserved it. El Terrible fought like he wanted it more in the second bout. To my eyes, Barrera wanted it a little more in the first and third bouts. However, I will concede that the first fight was as hotly contested and evenly matched as you can have with world-class fighters in their prime.

But I thought Barrera was just a little more willing and a tiny bit more aggressive (forcing Morales to fight back – as opposed to taking the initiative – a little more than he was used to) during that classic first bout (which I witnessed live from press row along with the other two).

From where I was sitting, it looked like Barrera had more venom on his punches and doled out a little more pain than did Morales, who appeared a bit humbled immediately after the fight and during the post-fight press conference. There’s no doubt in my mind that his struggle to make 122 pounds had an impact on his physical strength, hand speed and punching power. Barrera, who was more comfortable making the junior featherweight limit and entered the bout with a huge chip on his shoulder because so many had counted him out, simply had more of an edge to everything he did in the ring that night.

Are you crazy? Is your Tijuana spirit betraying your judgement? Yeah, I think so, just a little bit. But it’s OK to be crazy and biased for a warrior like Morales. In fact, I encourage it!

By the way, I agree that the final round should have been 10-9 for Barrera, not 10-8.

 

 

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

  • Don Badowski

    My favorite part of the Golovkin / Alvarez fight is where Alvarez is getting pounded on the ropes, then comes off and lands two good shots against Golovkin. It being my favorite has nothing to do with the boxing itself. It’s that you can see that Adalaide Byrd was totally disinterested in what was going on in the ring, until Alvarez comes off the ropes. Then it’s like someone poked her in the ribs and told her “Wake up! Canelo’s decided to fight!” And she’s back on the job, scoring for Alvarez.

    • Danny Luciano

      In my 30 plus yrs of watching boxing, I’ve never seen a fighter get scorecards that were more opposite from what took place in the ring than Canelo. 10 rounds to 2 vs trout, 6-6 vs mayweather, 9-3 vs lara, 11-1 vs cotto ajd 10-2 vs ggg. That’s 46 of 60 rounds scored for canelo vs those 5 guys. Not even sugar ray would’ve been so dominant vs that group

      • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

        Some of these judges are just fanboys / fangirls that get paid to do what they would have been doing at home anyways!

  • Mark Schoeman

    Boxing is a unique competition because there is no scoreboard, filled with examples where we can take any 3 random observers and find 3 different scorecards.

    With that in mind, none of us should defer to judges and that’s an obvious conclusion from this week’s mailbag. Juan should have the courage of his convictions and believe the result HE saw, with no conciliatory “it could have gone either way”. The fights we see, that’s the result we record. There’s no more reason to be uncertain than there is to argue with somebody who saw the reverse. Until boxing goes to unlimited rounds, fight to the finish, winners/losers will always be eye of the beholder.

    David further confirms what should be our rejection of “official judges” with corruption, biases, etc but it also reinforces why we can’t put any greater weight on any opinion, consensus or otherwise…including in some cases our own. We have fighters, styles we prefer…some even have national/racial biases. I know full well that some of my fight results are tainted, but I still believe them…and those who disagree should as well because upon closer examination we’ll find their bias as well. The point being while we should NEVER defer to judges, nor should we hold them to a standard not one of us can live up to.

    • Juan Manuel Valverde

      Oh yes, I’ve always had the courage. The only reason I rewatched it was to see if now that i’m older I see anything different (we do change the more we watch boxing) and no, I don’t see it. I always struggled with the 5th round which most give to Barrera because he clearly hurt Morales in the end of the round, even though that was the round he was also hurt the most in the fight. To me it was almost an even round and thats why I always gave the fight to Morales. Now, I saw a different video with a wider view of the final part of the round and you can see Morales’ legs clearly buckle and wobble (which you can’t in the HBO broadcast as its zoomed in to the action) and that made me give this round to Barrera and make it a tie.

      • Mark Schoeman

        Sorry about that…it was more a figure of speech, rather than questioning your courage.

        I just meant there’s absolutely no reason to question your result of any fight you see.

        • Juan Manuel Valverde

          No worries. Didnt take it that way. I do understand your point of view. I actually hate podcasts or journalist that keep watching fights and watching them closer the more they see it. The reason for this is that when you rewatch it, you’re looking for things to justify the result you “think” or people make you “think” is the real one. You don’t see it with unbiased eyes, thats why the first score you give out is the actual score you gave.

    • Left Hook2

      “unique competition”=”cluster-****”

  • Conrad

    Groves not as heavy handed as Eubank? Eubank is not a puncher even at middleweight, Groves is prob the hardest punching super middle atm

    • Andy T

      I agree Groves hits harder just his stamina concerns me

      • DRE

        Certainly his downfall against Carl Froch who by the way had a scary amount of stamina.

    • Kudos

      Post Froch his punches seemed to have lost the snap they once had. Odd considering they say that’s the last thing to go in a fighter. Agree on Eubanks, it’s guys like Steve Kim pumping him up to make his butt buddy Golovkin look better as Eubank swerved him.

      • Conrad

        I don’t think his power has changed at all since the Froch fight, but his confidence did. I think he’s got that back now though, his power was evident in both the Chudinov and Cox fights

    • Jeremy, UK

      Martin Murray said Groves is the hardest one punch hitter he’s faced… including GGG.

      • Ten Count Toronto

        Indeed although GGG obviously did more damage over the course of the fight I noticed Gorves was able to shake Murray more with single shots to the head.

    • ozzy

      Agreed – if Groves can keep up the standard of recent performances against Cox & Chudinov I think Groves will win on points or even stop Eubank Jr late.

      • Conrad

        It’s so hard to call. I think Groves struggles with guys that come forward with constant pressure, but Eubank A. Leaves himself open and B. Isn’t really a pressure fighter who’s constnatly in your face. He’s just extremely busy and a bit flashy. We’ve seen Eubank struggle with a boxer, which Groves is, but he’s also a puncher. So hard to call cause I think both their styles are bad for one another

    • Ten Count Toronto

      I think Ebuank Jr is hitting harder now than he when he was getting down to 160, while Groves’ power is becoming more spordic and effortfull as making 168 takes an increasing toll. But I get your point, Groves power is strangely underappreciated as he has proven the ability to shake ion-chinned opponents whereas Eubank has stopped only 3rd rate opponents.

  • philoe bedoe

    Great mailbag again Doug.
    Looking forward to the Groves v Eubank fight, this is the first time Eubank as taken on an elusive boxer since Saunders.
    He’s looked good against boxers who stand in front of him, but won’t be able to land those fast combos as easy as he’s done against his latest opponents.
    A good 50 50 fight that I have no favourite…………..

    • Barley’s back!!!

      Do you really think Groves is that elusive? The guy’s always so damn tight, never learned to relax in the ring.

      I agree that Eubank jr hasn’t beaten anyone nearly as good as George though. I’m picking Chris, but not without much hesitation.

      • philoe bedoe

        He’s a lot more elusive than all the boxers Eubank as faced during his career, barring Billie Joe.
        I agree he does get tense during fight, especially when he has to force his punches against boxers who bring constant pressure or a tight defence………….

    • DRE

      Maybe I’m missing something here but I don’t think Groves is as elusive as Saunders. But then again very few fighters are.
      Definitely agree with the 50-50 odds though. Groves clearly has the edge in punching power. Didn’t he hit Froch harder than The Sheriff has ever been hit before. And looking at all those other guys Carl fought that’s really saying something. But on the other hand Groves does tend to up-chuck gas by the mid-late rounds. I’ve never seen Junior get tired. Actually he seems to get stronger as the rounds count up and he does have that cast-iron chin which is typical when you’re a Eubank. So I’ll probably go with him.
      And where did all the time go? Wasn’t it 25 years ago exacty when Eubank Sr was squaring off against his buddy Nigel Benn for Super-middleweight supremacy.

      • Kudos

        Doesn’t seem to have the same power that he displayed against the Sheriff.

      • philoe bedoe

        Your right he’s not as elusive as Billie Joe, but he is a better puncher.
        Eubank was buzzed a couple of times by Spike Sullivan, so if Groves can hurt Eubank along with avoiding those big flurries he should take this.
        But Eubank does look the better man physically……….

        • DRE

          Definitely the better puncher than BJ. And the killer instinct to back it up. I think BJ clearly does have some good pop behind his mitts. He would rather just win on points though.

        • WR

          I agree with you philoe
          Billy Joe Saunders is the most Elusive middle weight out there
          Daniel Jacobs and Triple G couldn’t find him inside the ring
          Sorry philoe couldn’t resist
          lol

          • philoe bedoe

            Ahah come on you know different than that now don’t you, that’s very two years ago.
            He should have fought GGG after he was out for 12 months with two injuries and out of shape, real smart lol.
            Jacobs blew that fight out of the water when he signed with Eddie Hearn, who never does business with Frank Warren.
            Keep up Wayne lol………..

          • WR

            Come on now Philoe do your research
            Triple G’s team offered to unify with BJS
            But he wanted 4 million to fight Then afterwards said he had an injury
            He instead got his face busted up by Artur Akavov
            How soon you forget….elusive Lol
            Danny Jacobs been calling out BJS
            After his fight with Peter Quilin
            In 2016 they went back n forth on twitter
            BJS accused of Jacobs of not having a real belt
            Long before he signed with Hearn
            Elusive
            Facts
            Cheers

          • philoe bedoe

            And Billie Joe wanted to fight GGG in Kazakhstan, but he chose to fight Canelo instead.
            Does that make GGG a duck lol.
            Jacobs calling out Billie Joe on twitter wow, I’ve never heard boxers call each other out before lol.
            Fights don’t get made on twitter, or did he want to fight him when he’d been out of the ring for a while and was out of shape.
            Wasn’t to quick to call him out when Billie Joe got himself into shape…………..

          • WR

            Where’s your timeline?
            BJS called out Triple G when he was already in talks with Canelo
            A Huge Ppv Fight- not a duck lol
            You didn’t address in 2015 when BJS turned down that K2 official contract
            after making different videos about wanting millions to fight GGG ….
            Danny Jacobs just called him out again But he took the Martin Murray fight read on BS that Frank Warren said he can work with Hearn
            I know you ride for your guys nothing wrong with that But please stick with Facts

          • philoe bedoe

            There’s been talks between Canelo and GGG for sometime but nothing was signed, everyone knows GGG took the Canelo fight instead.
            I don’t blame him going for the bigger money it’s a business and I understand that, I don’t get off like some people do calling boxers cowards.
            Warren and Hearn DONT work (FACT) everyone in British boxing knows this, even Doug brought it up in one of the recent mailbags.
            Al Haymons love child lol…………

          • WR

            I don’t call Boxers cowards or bums….
            Never say never Warren will work with Hearn wait for it…
            I’m lost
            Al Haymon love child? i didn’t get that part
            i wouldn’t call you Billy Joe’s half cousin

          • philoe bedoe

            Your implying boxers are scared of each other.
            It will have to be a considerable amount of money for Hearn and Warren to work together, Jacobs vs Saunders isn’t that fight.
            You love Al Haymon and HBO.
            More like Billie Joe’s long lost uncle lol………

          • WR

            Nah just think Billy Joe talks too much & is not that good a boxer
            Philoe remember Haymon and HBO don’t do business
            When do i ever post about Al Haymon?
            But i do love me some HBO
            Glad Match room is working with the network

          • philoe bedoe

            That’s better, some opinions and actual facts…………

          • WR

            Lol wow you sound like my high school teacher Btw previous post correction. it’s You’re not your

          • philoe bedoe

            Well done, extra house points for you lol………..

          • WR

            I’ll take that

    • Ten Count Toronto

      I doubt Groves will have the gas to work hard enough to just box Eubank tactically as Suanders might do.

  • Left Hook2

    I love you Derrick Jefferson!—one of the great Larry Merchant lines of all time..

  • Left Hook2

    Judges are too often pansies who will not score 10-8 without a knockdown. I just rewatched Horn-Pac, and that was as 10-8 as it gets. You don’t need a knockdown. How the hell can you score that round the same way that any of the close rounds were scored? That is the reason why the 10-pt must needs to be truly used or put out to pasture.

    • Juan Manuel Valverde

      Agree, watching Barrera-Morales I I noticed that Harold Letterman said that because the referee counted the knockdown it HAD to be a 10-8 round. It has too? Isn’t it up to the judge to score the round as he sees it? Weird.

      • Left Hook2

        It depends…the ABC site says to score it 10-8 for a knockdown. That is bogus, because either a blown call or a glove touching the canvas does not constitute domination by another fighter. That being said, the ABC only governs the US. That is why it sucks, and why other countries, such as Japan, actually score even rounds.

        • Juan Manuel Valverde

          yeah, agree

    • ceylon mooney

      i think you gotta score 10-10 rounds sometimes, also. i can think of fights where judges give every close (not necessarily debatable but close) round to one fighter.

      • Left Hook2

        They should. There is no shame in nobody ‘doing enough’ to earn a round. Where is the incentive to fight when you know that if you do nothing you still get a round? And yes, they absolutely do. Scoring ‘do-nothing’ 10-9 rounds, giving the same fighter all of the close rounds, and refusing to score 10-8 rounds are some of my pet peeves. Go watch Horn-Pac, Briedis-Usyk, Ward-Kovalev or even GGG-Canelo and compare your ‘close’ rounds to the judges scorecards, round by round. In every instance it goes to the same fighter (homer or favorite).

        • ceylon mooney

          ward-kovalev is a good example. heck, the commentators even mentioned that one when it happened. hooker-perez was also rigged. TWO FIGHTS ON ONE CARD! no one can say ROC nation dont take care of its interests.

          • Left Hook2

            I thought that about GGG-Alvarez, Horn-Pac as well, but when you rewatch it and look at the individual rounds that were close, each one went to the homer. Briedis Usyk as well. Either Usyk dominated, or Briedis got it. Hooker Perez was garbage. Sometimes results cannot be justified in any form or fashion.

          • DRE

            Usyk-Breidis was the only fight I watched on that card. I love the Super Series championship fights but find the rest of the telecasts too long and the undercards underwhelming.
            But anyhow I agreed that while Usyk wasn’t dominant throughout the fight still clearly won. And Hooker-Parez? From what I heard I guess I wasn’t the only one who passed on that one. The judges must have skipped it as well and just said “Screw it just give to the home-boy,”

          • Left Hook2

            The undercards on WSBB would be main events on HBO the way they have sunk!

          • DRE

            Ha! Good point! I actually did watch the whole Gassiev-Dorticos show and in all fairness, even though I never heard of most of the fighters those undercard bouts were still better than that completely awful Matthysse vs whoever thing that HBO so kindly brought to us a couple weeks ago.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            Dorticos-Gassiev was an eception. I thought two of the four judges (there’s an aux judge in case of draw) gave the visitiong fighter every benefit of the doubt, One guy had him sweeping the first 5 the others 4 of the first 5 and one guy gave him the 8th as well.

          • Left Hook2

            I felt that fight was different–Gassiev wasn’t very active the first 4 rounds, whereas Dorticos let his hands go. Of course, that never stopped anyone from giving Floyd a round (Burt Clements…)

          • Ten Count Toronto

            Yeah those scores were reasonable, but what I’m saying is they were an exception to favoring the house fighter. A real “hometown” or “house” scorecard wouldn’t have given Dorticos anything except the 1st & 3rd. I think Doericos kept that in mind when picking his game plan as well as the decision to stick with it.

        • Nicolás Pell Richards

          In Argentina we have the half point system. Close rounds are scored 10-9,5 so there is a difference with clear 10-9 rounds.

          • Ten Count Toronto

            That may turn out to be more practical to implement and adjust to as opposed to more liberal use of extra point margins. However it still shouldn’t be used as a way to award basically Even rounds on a coin-toss or to a “default winner” when neither fighter has really met the threshold for winning around. A wrong score with 3 half point margins as opposed to full point margins still results in a false winner, only with less objectionable numbers.

        • DRE

          One fight that comes to mind is Oscar’s “win” over Felix Sturm back in 04. But not only was he the home-boy he was also the one with the big-bucks event coming up. Mainly his bout with BHop.

          • Left Hook2

            For sure. With the internet it makes it easier to see the shady practices. There would have been zero outcry with Manny-Horn in 2004–it would have been a blurb in Ring Magazine.

    • Barley’s back!!!

      I think Pac actually could have done considerably less than he did v Horn to earn a 10-8 round. If judges are indeed too reluctant to score a round by that margin without a knockdown, then they’re equally reluctant to score 10-7 rounds.

      In my opinion, if one fighter bosses a round AND badly wobbles his opponent that’s a 10-8, even in the absence of a count. If he badly wobbles his opponent repeatedly, still without a knockdown, that’s justification for 10-7, or maybe even wider.

      • Left Hook2

        You and me both. Why have 10-8 if you don’t use it appropriately? I believe the ‘clear’ rounds (10-8) would help water down the impact of “I guess” rounds that so often go to name fighters. Of course, the Byrd’s and Kevin Morgan’s of the world (write his name down..he is bad) would probably score every round 10-8 because it was so crystal clear to them who dominated that round…

  • Stephen M

    Just doing a little research on the 6 round or less fights and came up with this. Fun… Closet Classic V – Soo Hwang Hong Vs Hector Carrasquilla https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLxSNZFA468

    • Teddy Reynoso

      Great video. The fight was held in South Korea and had it been elsewhere, am sure the ref would have stopped it in the second round and award the TKO win to Carrasquilla. The ref might have been afraid of the reaction of the highly partisan crowd had he done that. Turned out to be the right decision though as the knockdowns seemed to even fire up Soo and sap Carrasquilla’s energy in the effort.

      • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

        Horrible video. Disgusting low-fi, low-def. The best boxers fight in HD, homes!

        • Teddy Reynoso

          The fight was held in 1977,-dude and was culled from you tube archive.

    • Teddy Reynoso

      It’s a pity, internal sports politics caused Korean pro boxing to retrograde. In the 70s and the 80s, Korean fighters were among the most feared especially in the lower weight classes and very competitive in the light.middleweight, middleweight and super middleweight divisions. Hope the Ring one time come up with a series on the Asian invasion of the American and South American rings featuring even now unfamiliar name fighters such as Shig Fukuyama who held a surprise TKO win over featherweight champion and great Little Red Lopez.

  • Giuseppe

    i have a gut feeling eubank Jr is going to stop groves. R10 maybe. it just feels like that’s the way its gonna go. One’s coming up, the other’s going down. I just can’t shake that feeling. So its not based on reason, really, even though its a fairly even fight in terms of styles and ability.

    • philoe bedoe

      My gut feeling says Eubank, but when I study the alternative’s I say Groves by decision…………..

      • Teddy Reynoso

        I don’t think George is as good as a boxer as Billy Joe.

        • philoe bedoe

          I think Billie Joe as the better boxing IQ but George is the better puncher………

        • Andy T

          Are you basing BJS on now or when he beat Eubank because BJS has improved massively. BJS beats both 🥊

    • Jeremy, UK

      I have the same gut feeling as you guys. Are we being fooled by the “x-factor” confidence that seems to ooze of Eubank Jr?

      • Giuseppe

        probably!

    • Teddy Reynoso

      Fair enough, Gus. I feel the same way too. You know, Euby’s pedigree. His dad happens to be one of my favorites back in the late 80s. It’s a shame, Junior has outgrown the middleweights before he hits his physical and athletic prime. He could have also been in the derby today.

      • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

        His mom is a big woman, see…..

    • ceylon mooney

      i feel the same way

  • philoe bedoe

    Canelo, Tyson, Leonard, all threw fast hard combinations.
    I wonder if that as any bearing on the judges, good technique………..

  • Left Hook2

    Must-watch TV—Precious Paul Whitaker vs Dangerous Don Lee. Knockdowns, low blows, debris flying into the ring. One of the most entertaining spectacles I have viewed.

    • D Johnson

      I’ve never even heard of this fight. I’ll definitely have to check that out

      • Left Hook2

        You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll become a part of it. Seriously–it’s a great scrap and the extras make is priceless.

    • ceylon mooney

      im on that dude, thx

  • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

    Why are you people always leaving out Floyd on your whatever lists these days? It’s at best disrespectful and at worst treason!

    • Teddy Reynoso

      Floyd was tagged many times especially in his second coming and he passed the test mostly by clinching and holding which i don’t fault him for as I consider that wise defensive moves, definitely much better than resorting to foul punching or ear biting LOL. But he was too defense oriented for my taste.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      it’s difficult for Floyd to get the credit for sensational athleticism because he combined it with perfect form & skills and one f the deepest knowledge bases in the history of the sport. It’s easier to notice pure athletic attributes when a fighter relies on them to get away with risky or “wrong” techniques that would normally end in disaster if not for nearly superhuman quickness & dexterity.

      Because Floyd seldom made a questionable choice in the ring, and generally applied his athletic gifts to things which CAN be learned, I think Floyd is regarded as a great student first and great athlete second. It’s hard to separate the two with Floyd.

      So he probably does get overlooked in that regard. To execute all those skills so well and in concert (legs waist, upper body and hands) does require outstanding athleticism, otherwise all the knowledge and practice in the world won’t get it to that speed. Not sure if he’s top-5 all time on athletics alone, but he’s definitely on one of the shorter lists.

  • Abraham E. Hernández

    Nice mailbag but today is a sad day for me. After talking my wife into it, apparentley we cannot name our first son Ezzard in México.

  • Dougie: “The five most physically gifted boxers that I had the opportunity to witness fight live (while still at or close to their primes) are: Manny Pacquiao, Naseem Hamed, Mark Johnson, Mosley and Nonito Donaire.”

    Glad to read that because i thought most people including Doug who replies in most of the mailbag is counting Pac now as nothing.

    He is great during his prime.

    • TMT NYC-DA REAL GHOSTBUSTERS

      Pac allows Arum to bully him.

      • Teddy Reynoso

        It’s more out of debt of gratitude which I believe he has more than paid for by 2012. But he decided to still renew his contracts with the old Scrooge.

    • DRE

      I wouldn’t regard Pac as a nothing right now. Not even close. He’s just nowhere near the great fighter he was a few years back. In the ATG standings I definitely rank Pacquiao above guys like Golovkin ( and I definitely don’t care how many Golovkin nuthuggers I may offend )
      Beatdowns over guys like Marco Antonio Barrera, Erik Morales, Ricky Hatton, and Miguel Cotto. Plus his wins over Tim Bradley and his rivalry with JMM. Hard to beat that.

      On a side-note I thought that Sergio Martinez should have been included on that list. True his championship years came a little late and he didn’t last that long but when he was on top that guy was a real athletic marvel.

      • Chris Stans

        That’s a strawman, definitely no sane person has ggg above pac

  • Teddy Reynoso

    Athletically gifted should include durability and taking power. Adding those criteria, I doubt it if Roy Jones Jr. would have been even on top ten so is Mike Tyson. Roy was never really tagged cleanly in his prime. He was so elusive, no opponent was really able to check his whiskers. Tyson’s potency tapered off as his fights lasted and seemed discouraged, even frustrated in many a time that happened.

    My top five given the added criteria will be Robinson, Ali, Leonard, Louis and Hamed. The first four only truly lost to Father Time while Hamed inexplicably cold turkey simply just lost his passion for boxing.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      I understand what you’re saying but if you broaden the definition of “athletically gifted” to include those attributes it almost defeats the purpose of viewing it separately from the master list of greatest fighters… although you could well argue that such a distinction is pointless in fighting because less “athletically gifted” competitors win fights much more often than is the case other individual sports.

      But for whatever reason people like to give separate credit to fighters who have athletic attributes which seem like they’d translate to other sports – speed, explosiveness, agility, coordination and “finesse” – attributes which allow them to master classic skills with greater ease & virtuosity compared to other accomplished pro’s as well as the freedom invent skills that lesser athletes can’t even contemplate – of course, while taking for granted a prerequisite level of fitness & toughness needed to do the work of even getting to the elite level.

      • Left Hook2

        Correct. Two different animals. Chavez wouldn’t be able to put his hands behind his back and then kayo his opponent with the next punch. He wasn’t athletically gifted. All he could do was beat you until your kidneys were full of blood and make you look for a soft spot on the canvas.

        • Ten Count Toronto

          LOL I wouldn’t go that far, he could be deceptively compact on the inside, doing damage with short punches and could parry punches well if he set his mind to it. But I get the point, Chavez would not be even top-40 all time on traditional athletic attributes alone.

          More dramatically, in most sports other than fighting, an “athlete” like Jose Luis Ramirez or Glen Johnson could never even be the 20th best amateur in their home town, let alone a world-level professional.

          • Left Hook2

            Maybe we should ask Dougie and Teddy what drills their boxing athletes would have to compete in for the “boxing combine”. 24 foot dash, circus punching bag for power, chicken-chase for quickness…I would so totally pay for those events!

  • ozzy

    Eubank Jr is being talked up based on the flimsiest of evidence, outpointing an old and uninterested Arthur Abraham and a 3rd round KO of an unknown Turkish kid who fought face first, with his hands low, are not the performances imho of an unstoppable force.

    Groves has fought the better opponents, even his last 2 opponents, Cox & Chudinov, are better than anyone Eubank Jr has fought except for Saunders (who didn’t prepare properly for Eubank Jr by the way). Groves hits much harder and his experience should see him home in this fight on points but imo he may also have an outside chance of stopping Eubank Jr late on.

  • shza

    I scored the Floyd-DLH fight 9-3 for Floyd and cannot understand how anyone thought that fight was even close, let alone “controversial.” I’ve never seen someone miss so many times in my life (and get so much cheering for it).

  • J rock

    I hated Oscar for years after that Sweet Pea decision. He regained my respect when he was robbed against Tito. I started noticing how Oscar ducks noone. From that point I have been a fan

    • Jeremy, UK

      True, DLH was a real champ and never ducked anyone as a fighter. Not so brace as a promoter though!

  • Autosmell

    smh at you peeps sayin Eubanks – Groves is 50/50!!! Grove is dum like a ox and slow like one and look like one and yall still pick him to win gee I wander why? Is your hood too tight ha ha ha ha! Lil Floyd call it Barkley – Van Horn II he know wassup.

    • Ten Count Toronto

      You’ll get to claim credit if the prediction turns out. But it’s too simplistic. Groves is more talented and a better boxer than Van Horne, while Eubanks is not nearly as experienced & tested as Barkley was. Groves may well lose by KO but he won’t look like he never belonged the way Van Horne did.

  • Jorge

    1. Barrera 2. Morales 3. Barrera

    Great rivalry. True Prizefighting. Simply the best.

  • TommaT

    Look, we all know boxing is corrupt, any multimillion pound/dollar sport/industry is going to be open to corruption, as simply put, there is too much money to be made and what with human greed being what it is, it is inevitable. What needs to happen is judges who mess up should be put out to pasture, for good.An maybe get ex fighters to judge fights, people who know what they are seeing and doing. But this won’t happen because of £££$$$