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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Lara-Hurd, Canelo’s May 5 withdraw, GGG vs. BJS)

Photo by Amanda Westcott/Showtime
06
Apr

CANELO’S WITHDRAW, LARA-HURD

Hey Doug, hope you’re doing all right and not too overwhelmed playing catch up regarding the domino effect of updating the latest issue. Sounds quite stressful.

Regarding Canelo pulling out of the GGG fight, I admit I was disappointed as I really enjoyed the first fight and figured the second one would be even better given GGG’s desire for vengeance and Canelo likely upping his punch output a bit. I do think it’s a good thing too, though; I imagine Canelo pulled out because he’s been informed the commission is sure to suspend him. Selfishly, I want to see the fight anyways but this helps set a precedent that there will be no tolerance for failing drug tests, even if you’re a super star who brings in the big money.

I’m one of the fans who, if you put a gun to my head, would say he cheated–but I also understand your frustration with all the fans who “know” he’s guilty. Nobody really knows accept for Canelo and maybe some of his team, and it’ll probably stay that way. But he failed 2 tests so you’ve gotta throw the book at him I think. As a person mentioned is the comment section last week, none of the 100 plus athletes on the Mexican national team tested positive for Clenbuterol during the 2016 Rio Olympics. I think this shows that people who are serious know how to get around the issue of meat these days, but again, I don’t KNOW that Canelo is guilty. Maybe he was just careless and got unlucky. It’s totally possible.



On a more positive note, I’m very much looking forward to Lara vs Hurd. A year ago I would’ve picked Lara to school Hurd but after his beast mode performance against Trout, I think Hurd is gonna stop Lara. He might eat plenty of straight lefts in the process, but as my favorite sports pundit Shannon Sharpe would say: “he’s got that DOG in him!” I think this will be the deciding factor in the fight. Unlike other finesse counter boxers like Mayweather and Hopkins, Lara gets flustered when it becomes trench warfare. He wants a chess match where he can breath and he’s gotten that for the last couple of years. But Hurd doesn’t play that, and I think he’s going to break the Cuban down. – Jack

We’ll find out tomorrow night, Jack. I know Lara is probably no longer in his prime, but he doesn’t appear to be on the slide to me. He’s still got his legs and reflexes, which could give Hurd fits. The question is, how long can Lara stick and move on the ever-advancing Hurd before the young, bigger man finally closes the gap and puts a hurt on the older, more experienced titleholder?

If Hurd can’t get to Lara within the first eight rounds of the fight, I think Cuban will hang on for a hard-fought decision. If Hurd, who appears to have the bone structure of a super middleweight, can put hands on Lara before the halfway mark, we might witness a dramatic late stoppage for the 27-year-old IBF beltholder. Either way, I’ll be watching with interest.

I hope you’re doing all right and not too overwhelmed playing catch up regarding the domino effect of updating the latest issue. Sounds quite stressful. It was stressful, Jack. But we were all working so hard to replace the Canelo-GGG material in the latest issue with last-minute Linares-Lomachenko-related content that we barely acknowledged all the hours we put in. However, we (the Editorial Board, which consists of managing editor Brian Harty, associate editor tom Gray and myself) must be getting old because it all recently caught up with us as we all got sick in the last 48 hours. That’s why this mailbag came out later today than it usually does.

Regarding Canelo pulling out of the GGG fight, I admit I was disappointed as I really enjoyed the first fight and figured the second one would be even better given GGG’s desire for vengeance and Canelo likely upping his punch output a bit. The first fight was a high-quality middleweight championship bout, but the second one had the makings of a great fight given the adjustments Canelo and GGG would make and due the bad blood motivating both sides. Oh well, maybe we’ll get the grudge match in September.

I do think it’s a good thing too, though; I imagine Canelo pulled out because he’s been informed the commission is sure to suspend him. That’s the writing on the wall, and if they do pass that judgement it will cost him time, money and status.

Selfishly, I want to see the fight anyways but this helps set a precedent that there will be no tolerance for failing drug tests, even if you’re a super star who brings in the big money. I don’t think “zero tolerance” is ever a good precedent for any kind of regulating authority, tribunal or judicial system. I don’t want Canelo to be punished just because he’s famous and can help the NAC “send a message” to the world that they won’t be influenced by money and star power. I want Canelo to be punished if he’s guilty of cheating. And if he’s only guilty of screwing up, I think the punishment should fit his infraction. I don’t think it’s a good thing if he gets fined more money and gets a longer suspension that boxers that were clearly cheating or had WAY more potent PEDs in their system and had actually competed with these banned substances in their bodies.

But that’s just me. I realize that most of the boxing world wants Canelo’s head. That’s fine. They have a right to believe he’s “guilty AF,” as they would post on social media, but I hope those same fans and members of the media, as well as Canelo’s fellow boxers, understand that going forward, a positive drug test in boxing equals GUILTY in the court of public opinion – regardless of the type of banned substance(s) detected, the amount found, or any of the circumstances. Most hardcore heads are cool with this right now because a guy they hate (Canelo) is taking the brunt of this extremist mentality, but sooner or later (probably sooner), a boxer that they like, identify with and root for will fail a PED test and all the fans that hate their boy (or gal) will come out of the woodwork with the same lynch-mob mindset. Gee, won’t that be fun.

 

SHOWTIME’S CARD

Dougie,

Hope all is well with you and yours. I’m really looking forward to Saturday’s fight card on Showtime. All three fights could produce the action sorely missing in last week’s Joshua-Parker snoozer; of course, that won’t be a hard standard to exceed. Is Caleb Truax for real, or will James DeGale adjust and focus and win back his championship share of the 168lb. world? I’m thinking that DeGale wins a close decision, setting up a third fight.

Erislandy Lara-Jarrett Hurd should be the fight of the night. I wouldn’t want to bet on this one. As styles make fights, on paper in looks like defense (Lara) vs. offense (Hurd) so who knows? It should be fun. What’s your take on Nathaniel Gallimore? I’m not familiar with him, but again on paper, Julian Williams should take care of business. I can’t say I’m too familiar with him either, but I like the way he has carried himself in the interviews since his KO loss to Jermall Charlo.

I thought I’d put this one to bed, but like in the Godfather, Canelo pulling out of the May 5th Gennady Golovkin fight brings me back in. It’s the right thing to do. I’ve settled down from my disappointment with him; who knows if it was intentional or not. I don’t, you don’t, none of the social media trolls do. Either way he should be suspended. He admits taking clenbuterol. Intent should determine the length of his suspension, and let the Nevada officials figure that one out. Breaking rules has consequences. That’s it for me. Thanks again for your work on the mailbag. – Ken Kozberg, Oakham, MA

You got it, Ken. We’ll find out what the NAC rules on April 18. Depending on the length of the suspension (if that’s what they do), it will make for some interesting machinations within the 160-pound division this year. We could get Canelo-GGG 2 in September, or the GGG-BJS undisputed showdown in the fall, or a Golovkin-Jacobs rematch. There’s no shortage of worthy challengers for GGG, from Charlo to Derevyanchenko to Murata.

Is Caleb Truax for real, or will James DeGale adjust and focus and win back his championship share of the 168lb. world? Truax is realer than Real Deal Holyfield, but that doesn’t mean a focused version of DeGale won’t beat him. The brash Brit is a handful (stylistically) when he’s on. However, something’s missing with Chunky. He’s tough and talented but he seems incapable of putting it all together during any given fight. The hunch here is that he will never have an easy time with Truax, who never had the luxury of a full training camp until now. So, the Minnesotan might put it on DeGale harder than he did in December in the U.K.

I’m thinking that DeGale wins a close decision, setting up a third fight. That’s certainly a realistic scenario.

Erislandy Lara-Jarrett Hurd should be the fight of the night. Should be.

I wouldn’t want to bet on this one. Me neither. I wouldn’t do it. (I wonder who our buddy JP has his money on? I’m guessing it’s Hurd.)

As styles make fights, on paper it looks like defense (Lara) vs. offense (Hurd) so who knows? That’s a bit of an oversimplification. Lara is more than defense. He will let his hands go with bad intentions if he’s pressed with the kind of heat that Hurd is sure to bring. I would break it down to their basic styles and traits – a southpaw stick-and-move specialist from the Cuban amateur system vs. a giant orthodox pressure fighter. Lara has the edge in ring savvy/craft but he’s getting long in the tooth. Hurd’s got youth, size and physical strength on his side but if his ring-cutting ability is not up to snuff, he won’t get the “W.”

It should be fun. I hope so.

What’s your take on Nathaniel Gallimore? He’s an action fighter with an attitude; a tall, rangy boxer-puncher with bad intentions and some bad habits. He doesn’t have J-Rock’s experience or technique, but he’s naturally bigger and probably punches harder.

I’m not familiar with him, but again on paper, Julian Williams should take care of business. I think Williams can win it if he boxes a disciplined game plan. Gallimore doesn’t have much in the way of defense (he just covers up behind a high guard) and he swings wild when in the trenches, but he often makes those flaws work for him by goading his opponents into slugfests. He wants to get into heated exchanges as soon as possible because he’s very confident of his power. However, he can be hurt by accurate shots to the jaw.

I can’t say I’m too familiar with him either, but I like the way he has carried himself in the interviews since his KO loss to Jermall Charlo. Williams does seem to have learned and grown from that setback, and I think maturity will be his key to victory.

 

COLLECTOR’S ITEM

Hi Dougie,

The ring issue (April 2018?) that would have had all the Canelo v GGG analysis and articles would absolutely have been a great read, maybe even had become a collector’s item. I must say, I really still want to read that version of the issue regardless of the current circumstances…

My suggestion is that you still publish that version at a later date just as a novelty. I’m sure you can paint another portrait if the fight does happen in future.

Thanks especially for this mailbag and for all the other good stuff. – Jasper, Nigeria

Thank you for the kind words and the interesting idea, Jasper. I’ve brought this up with the publisher and the editorial board, and I think there’s a good chance that we will use some of the Canelo-GGG material for the original June 2018 issue on the RingTV.com website or in a future special digital edition.

 

WHAT’S NEXT?

Dear Mr. Fischer,

I’ll get right to it, as this will likely be long. What do you make of Santa Cruz and Mares signing up for a rematch? I think it will be a good fight, although I believe that Santa Cruz has improved considerably more than Mares since their first. It’s great to see El Terremoto take on challenges, hopefully he can fight at least once more this year. Win or lose, do you think he’s any closer to a third fight with Frampton in Belfast? I think Frampton more than deserves as much, but admit I’ll be surprised if Leo leaves the Southwest U.S.

About Hurd against Lara this weekend, do you see Hurd as having improved enough to trouble Lara or consistently pressure him enough to wear him down? For someone nicknamed Swift, the Maryland man’s footwork is dreadful (as noted by you, Michael Baca, and Michael Montero, among others). All the same, he puts some real pressure and hurt on all his opponents. If he can take the fight to Lara as well as Angulo did, I can see him breaking down the older man in a brutal fight. This one is compelling for me, I’m excited to see it play out (which might be a first, for a Lara fight).

I also wanted to repeat three questions that I sent you concerning Canelo’s looming suspension, which I think are still relevant (they were lost in the shuffle of the announcement of the NAC complaint). I’m more than willing to wait for the results of the hearing for any discussion of the length of the suspension and financial penalty, but I figured you could answer these questions in the meanwhile, and it might save you from having to respond to more nonsense.

What do you think the long-term effects of Canelo’s pending suspension will be on the sport? Is there any chance that VADA gets more or less support (financial and in public opinion) as a result of this? Do you believe anyone (Golovkin, a promotional outfit, anyone in Las Vegas) will go after Canelo for loss of earnings? What do you believe is the best course forward for Canelo?

I’m sure you’ll be bombarded with plenty of drivel and vitriol about Canelo and his suspension and I apologize for focusing more on it. However, even without that fight (at least in May), this year continues to be one for the books. I think in the days to come we’ll get more information about Golovkin’s opponent and the undercard. Is Chocolatito really coming back?! Does he have an opponent yet? Are you excited to see the Little Big Drama Show back? I have to admit, as much as I love him, I’m somewhat concerned for his wellbeing after being run over by the Thai Tank.

That’s it for me this week. I hope this finds you and yours well. I also hope you’ve had plenty of time with your family, friends, and loved ones in spite of the long hours fixing the next RING issue and sorting through mailbag submission ackamarackus and social media trolls poking bogey. I send the best. Very respectfully. – John

Thanks for the kind wishes, as well as the strange terms/phrases (I have no idea what “ackamarackus” or “poking bogey” mean), John. Unfortunately, my girls’ spring break and Easter weekend was interrupted by the mad scramble to update the June 2018 issue of THE RING, but unforeseen snafus like that are just part of publishing. It comes with the territory, just like being “bombarded with plenty of drivel and vitriol about Canelo and his suspension” from social-media goons.

And you know what? It’s all good. I realize that sports fans are crazy, and boxing fans are as reactionary and extreme as they are passionate. I just hope all those mutant freaks that are part of the Canelo Lynch Mob understand that today it’s the red-headed Mexican that hardcores love to hate, but tomorrow it could be one of their favorites that tests positive for a banned substance. And nobody – especially the fans that happen to hate that guy (and let’s face it, EVERY notable boxer has a legion of haters these days) – will care to examine the circumstances or give him the benefit of any doubt. It won’t matter if the positive is due to legitimate prescribed medication, or due to contamination (banned substances find their way into more than just Mexican meat), and it won’t even matter if that fighter is cleared by a boxing commission or sanctioning organization, that dude will be viewed as a CHEATER. And I hope today’s witch hunters don’t look to me to be the “voice of reason” for their boy. I’m done fighting lynch mobs. I’m not saying I’m going to join in with the “presumed-guilty” crowd, but from now on when fans ask me about a fighter who tests positive for anything my stock answer will be: “In the court of public opinion, he’s now a cheater. It is what it is.”

However, even without that fight (at least in May), this year continues to be one for the books. I agree, and we might still Canelo vs. GGG.

I think in the days to come we’ll get more information about Golovkin’s opponent and the undercard. It ain’t gonna be Jaime Munguia, so don’t even trip on that.

Is Chocolatito really coming back?! That’s the word from Tom Loeffler.

Does he have an opponent yet? No, but I’ve heard rumors that it could be former 112- and 115-pound contender Luis Concepcion (who always makes for good scraps). The perfect Cinco De Mayo opponent for Chocolatito would be Mexican veteran Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, if the former flyweight titleholder can make 115 pounds on short notice.

Are you excited to see the Little Big Drama Show back? Yes and no. Along with GGG, he’s been my favorite fighter to watch, follow and cover during the last six years, but he’s seen better days and I worry about him getting hurt.

What do you think the long-term effects of Canelo’s pending suspension will be on the sport? Well, as I’ve already stated, I think it puts us firmly in the “zero-tolerance” era of PED testing/results, and many view this as a good thing. And I see their point if they believe that this will “scare” would-be PED cheats “straight.” However, I think the flip-side of that argument are the boxers who will be vilified for accidentally ingesting any level of banned substances. Beyond the attitudes of the boxing public, I think Canelo’s suspension will mainly impact the middleweight division. Starting with the Mexican star, it will definitely back in terms of money and reputation, but I think he can eventually rebound from it if he fights the right bouts in the right places (Texas) and he opens up a little more to the media and his fans. If he winds up being suspended for the rest of the year, it will open the door for Golovkin to become the undisputed middleweight champ (with a showdown with Billy Joe Saunders) and engage in a high-profile mandatory (against either Jermall Charlo or Daniel Jacobs), or a hard mandatory against a card-carrying tough guy (Sergiy Derevyanchenko).

Is there any chance that VADA gets more or less support (financial and in public opinion) as a result of this? That would be great if VADA received more support, but somehow I doubt that it will. I think some fighters (mainly the big shots) might be leery of using VADA because the organization is “too good” at detecting what’s in an athlete’s system. However, it would be wonderful if all of the fans and boxing insiders that suspect EVERYBODY of doing PEDs put their money where their neurosis is and donated to VADA. I proudly support the organization with a recurring monthly donation.

Do you believe anyone (Golovkin, a promotional outfit, anyone in Las Vegas) will go after Canelo for loss of earnings? No, I seriously doubt it. Everyone still wants to be in the Canelo business. If the rematch can be rescheduled for September, I believe everyone will be on board for that.

What do you believe is the best course forward for Canelo? Undergo stringent random VADA-testing during the suspension (heck, he should voluntarily sign-up for year-round testing), keep training, stay focused and fight as soon as possible (whether it’s GGG or another opponent).

What do you make of Santa Cruz and Mares signing up for a rematch? To be honest, I haven’t given it that much thought. Their first bout was good, but it was not a classic in my opinion, and it didn’t really beg for a return bout.

I think it will be a good fight, although I believe that Santa Cruz has improved considerably more than Mares since their first. I agree with you.

It’s great to see El Terremoto take on challenges, hopefully he can fight at least once more this year. Likewise, a unification bout against Gary Russell Jr. or Lee Selby would be great, but I’d also be into his mandatory with Jesus Rojas.

Win or lose, do you think he’s any closer to a third fight with Frampton in Belfast? I think that all depends on how Frampy fares against Nonito Donaire in tow weeks.

About Hurd against Lara this weekend, do you see Hurd as having improved enough to trouble Lara or consistently pressure him enough to wear him down? I haven’t seen any technical improvement in Hurd since I first saw him fight, but he’s so big, strong and relentless I think he can “trouble” any 154 pounder, including Lara.

If he can take the fight to Lara as well as Angulo did, I can see him breaking down the older man in a brutal fight. So can I, but I don’t know if Hurd will press Lara as hard as Angulo did. Hurd is relentless but he’s also methodical. He’s not a frenetic Joe Frazier-type pressure fighter. Also, Lara probably overlooked Angulo (who was thought to be shopworn). I doubt he’s overlooked Hurd.

 

CANELO, MAYWEATHER AND THE NAC

Hi Doug, long time no write. I just saw Canelo withdrew from the rematch. It seems like the NSAC is making an example out of Canelo. I seem to remember Mayweather going through a similar situation around the time of May/Pac I believe (I may be wrong about which fight it was). Not only was Mayweather allowed to fight, it seemed like the NSAC and everyone else swept the whole thing under the rug. So if I’m remembering correctly, why is this situation so much worse and/or different? Can you refresh my memory and shed some light Doug? Thanks. – flatfish, s.d.

The Mayweather situation was strange indeed. His WADA infraction (of using an IV after the weigh-in for the Pacquiao fight) was not reported by USADA to the NAC until 20 days after the bout took place. And USADA granted Mayweather a retroactive exemption, which, I guess, cleared the Las Vegas resident in the eyes of the commission. That all took place in 2015. I think the NAC – and most of the boxing world – has become more educated, savvy and paranoid about PED use over the last two years, so perhaps that worked against Canelo, whose case was made very public BEFORE a high-profile Las Vegas fight. So, there was more public and media scrutiny surrounding Canelo’s situation than Mayweather’s, which was reported after the fact. I also think the controversial scoring in the first Canelo-Golovkin fight (and the allegations that Team GGG made about the NAC’s favorable treatment to Canelo with the hand-wrapping and weigh-in) added to the public scrutiny on the clenbuterol case.

 

GGG VS. BJS

Hello Dougie,

How’s it going man? Say what do you think of a Golovkin vs. Saunders match?

Edge to Saunders?

Anyway, the situation with the Canelo fight is a major bummer.

He says he may still fight May 5th, is that true that you know of?

Have you heard the theory that he ate meat from the Chupa Cabra and that’s what got him pinched? Kidding.

Hey, those vids with Coach Swartz and Tom Loeffler are really cool. Thanks for posting. Hope your family is well. – Adam, CA.

The fam is good, Adam. Glad you’re enjoying the Periscopes from the SMC track. We have fun with those. But we need more JP! Every boxing broadcast can use a gambling guru.

Say what do you think of a Golovkin vs. Saunders match? It’s the most significant middleweight fight apart from Canelo-GGG 2.

Edge to Saunders? No, I give Golovkin the slight edge, but I think it’s a competitive fight that goes the distance.

Anyway, the situation with the Canelo fight is a major bummer. Totally, but the boxing world goes. The Big Drama Show will return on May 5 and maybe we’ll get Canelo-GGG 2 in September, and if not, maybe we’ll get GGG-BJS in the fall.

He says he may still fight May 5th, is that true that you know of? That’s a fact! I should probably book my flight today.

Have you heard the theory that he ate meat from the Chupa Cabra and that’s what got him pinched? Kidding. Ugh. I’m going to have see and hear corny jokes like this for the rest of the year, aren’t I.

 

DE LUCA, AJ, CANELO AND A THNAK YOO

Happy Easter Doug,

I just wanted to send a quick shout out from my family to yours on this Easter Sunday, I hope you had a blessed day. I have been a big fan of your writings since the House of Boxing days and always look forward to your input on upcoming fights and ring analysis.

In 2003 I was in the Marines and was deployed during Operation Iraqi Freedom and the internet was the only way for me to follow the sport I have loved. You and your PIC Steve Kim would always respond to my inquiries and questions and that little gesture gave me something to look forward to during tough times. As I celebrated this Holy Week I have given thanks to those that have helped me during a rough spell, so I thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me hope in what felt like a hopeless situation.

That said, a few random thoughts from this week’s boxing events.

I thought AJ looked good but I was hoping for a less conservative approach. I’m not knocking AJ for using his God gifted boxing skills, I just wished it was more will and less skill in this fight. If he were to fight Wilder in this fashion, my opinion is he beats Wilder rather easily on points. Let’s hope I’m wrong about that. What is your over/under on Wilder being able to clip Anthony Joshua and get him out of there?

De Luca appeared ordinary to me, it felt like he should have gotten his opponent out of there in the first round. I guess he got some rounds in and pleased the crowd a little but I’m curious how you feel he would do against more legit fringe contender. If so, whom would be a good stepping stone for him?

I’m a big fan of Canelo and I feel bad for him as I don’t believe he would intentionally attempt to cheat. With that being said, it’s tough to argue the circumstances that there wasn’t ill-intent. I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and allowing due process but I don’t think he ever recovers from this.  Canelo to me has always been someone that has tried to appease his fans and seems to legitimately care about what is said about him. As you have pointed out on several occasions, this incident will follow him the rest of his career and he will have address it over and over while he remains in boxing. I think the pressure and the negatively gets to him and he is never the same fighter again. Do you think the negativity and distractions will impact him to the point he is not mentally focused? Could he be in a similar situation as Margarito or Tyson? (Different circumstances but both were never the same once the mind games set in)

Anyways, I hope you had a great weekend with your family and thank you for your continued contributions to the boxing community!

(P.S. – Maybe Steve Kim can make a “guest appearance” on the website sometime, I haven’t read his work in a while. Take care.) Best Regards. – Efren

Thanks for the kind words and the thanks, Efren. Believe it or not, I remember your name, military affiliation, and some of your emails. Time flies, don’t it? I’m honored that you’ve been read our work going back to the HOB days, and I’m glad Kim and I could be there for you. (By the way, you can find Steve’s fine boxing writing at BoxingScene.com, UCNlive.com and in the pages of THE RING magazine.)

I thought AJ looked good but I was hoping for a less conservative approach. Me too. I thought Parker would have taken more risks and forced AJ out of his boxing stance and into fighting mode, but the WBO beltholder boxed cautiously and Joshua seemed glad of that.

If he were to fight Wilder in this fashion, my opinion is he beats Wilder rather easily on points. I’m not so sure about that. I don’t think Wilder will allow him to box conservatively the way Parker did. I favor Joshua in the matchup, but I don’t think there’s anything easy about this fight (for either heavyweight).

What is your over/under on Wilder being able to clip Anthony Joshua and get him out of there? It’s almost 50-50 in my honest opinion, let’s that it’s 40-60 that Wilder lands the bomb that earns him the biggest prize in all of sports – the undisputed heavyweight championship.

De Luca appeared ordinary to me, it felt like he should have gotten his opponent out of there in the first round. Mark De Luca isn’t a flashy boxer, nor is he blessed with eye-catching natural ability or athleticism, but I think he’s a solid southpaw technician with some decent ring craft. He’s got good balance, a nice jab, works the body well, plus he’s poised and mature. I think he can upset brighter-looking 154-pound prospects.

I guess he got some rounds in and pleased the crowd a little but I’m curious how you feel he would do against more legit fringe contender. I consider De Luca a fringe contender. I don’t know how he would do against a fellow fringe junior middleweight contender, such as Philly’s Tyrone Brunson or Brooklyn’s Frank Galarza. I think I would view those matchups as even money or give his opponents a very slight edge (Brunson is dangerous because of his power and experience and Galarza’s height and reach could prove difficult).

If so, whom would be a good stepping stone for him? Brunson or Galarza (both of whom would make for nice North-Eastern City rivalries with De Luca). If De Luca beat either man, I’d try to get him a fight with hardnosed Japanese slugger Yoshihiro Kamegai. A win over my favorite gatekeeper would push De Luca from No. 12 in the WBA’s rankings into the top 10.

I’m a big fan of Canelo and I feel bad for him as I don’t believe he would intentionally attempt to cheat. With that being said, it’s tough to argue the circumstances that there wasn’t ill-intent. Hey man, this is what I’m going to say about these situations from now on: In the court of public opinion, homeboy is guilty. It is what it is.

I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt and allowing due process but I don’t think he ever recovers from this. There’s always going to be a segment of boxing fandom that views him as a cheater or with suspicion, but he’s still got his diehard fans that will buy his PPV shows or tickets to see him fight live. My next door neighbor buys every boxing PPV, and always roots for the Mexican fighters (he’s from Sinaloa), and he hadn’t even heard about the positive test, let alone the temporary suspension and May 5 cancelation. You gotta remember that there are different kinds of boxing fans and that the dudes on social media and comment sections that say they’re going to boycott Canelo forever aren’t necessarily the same folks that actually go to fights or buy PPVs. Going into the Canelo-Smith fight all I heard on my Twitter TL was how Canelo was a disgrace and nobody was going to support that fight, but in the Dallas area fans flocked to every media event and then more than 50,000 fans turned up at AT&T Stadium.

Canelo to me has always been someone that has tried to appease his fans and seems to legitimately care about what is said about him. I’m not so sure about this. Maybe this was true earlier in his career, but I think there’s been some separation in recent years due to his enormous success. It happens.

As you have pointed out on several occasions, this incident will follow him the rest of his career and he will have address it over and over while he remains in boxing. True. Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

I think the pressure and the negatively gets to him and he is never the same fighter again. Time will tell.

Do you think the negativity and distractions will impact him to the point he is not mentally focused? My hunch is that he will overcome it. I think Canelo is very strong, mentally.

Could he be in a similar situation as Margarito or Tyson? No, I don’t think so, those two were burned out physically (and Tyson was jaded emotionally as well) before they were burdened down with media scrutiny and public scorn.

 

 

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

 

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