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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Canelo’s hair test, Joshua-Wilder posturing, GGG-Martirosyan)

Gennady Golovkin (left) and Vanes Martirosyan face off during a media workout event for their May 5 middleweight title bout. Photo credit: Tom Hogan/Hogan Photos/GGG Promotions
27
Apr

CANELO AND THE HAIR TEST

Hello Doug,

Looking forward to the fights this weekend, but I wanted to just get your thoughts on the hair follicle test and results from Canelo. I was surprised he went to that extent to clear himself, but I’m glad he did, because every argument you hear the Haters constantly say is “if he’s innocent, take the hair test bro!”. Well Canelo did exactly that and it was great result for salvaging his reputation because it came up negative. Thanks as always. – Andrew Chula Vista CA

I think the additional testing Canelo did for the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC), along with his cooperation during the investigation (providing food logs, credit card statements, etc.), was a major factor in the commission’s adjudication agreement of a six-month suspension for the Mexican star.



The hair test Canelo took at the behest of the NAC should help him rebuild his damaged reputation among hardcore fans – many of whom loudly DEMANDED that he do so, claiming that it was the “ONLY” way to determine if he accidentally ingested clenbuterol from tainted meat or was merely caught (by the early VADA testing) near the end of a PED cycle – but you know how some of these people are. Some of them have their minds made up on Canelo. They don’t trust him (or Golden Boy or the NAC), they don’t like him, and they want him out of boxing.

Hey, that’s their prerogative. If fans (or media) want to hate a certain fighter they have a right to do so. (Those same folks shouldn’t bitch and moan when fighters that they like and support get s__t on, though.)

I do find it amusing that some of the same fans that said the hair test could be the ultimate indicator of Canelo’s innocence are now saying (via social media – where else?) that it’s not all that reliable and the timing of test is suspect.

Ya gotta love hardcore boxing fans (and all the jaded-and-jealous boxing insiders that took delight in pissing all over Canelo’s name and legacy). At the end of the day, they’re just f__king crazy. However, beyond the hardcore set and the boxing industry folks are casual fans and Canelo’s faithful that weren’t sure what to believe during this whole sorted month-and-a-half long saga. I think those fans, including the ones that were on the fence and those who leaned toward him being guilty of cheating, will give him the benefit of the doubt and a second chance in light of the results of this vaunted hair test.

 

JOSHUA VS. WILDER

Hi Dougie,

I hope all is well mate and you’re looking forward to the next few weeks of fights. Personally, I can’t wait for Lomachenko/Linares for the skill and Bellew/Haye for the drama!

If possible, I just wanted to get your take on the current happenings in the negotiations for the Joshua v Wilder fight…

Personally, I can’t stand the keyboard warriors fighting for either side in any negotiation (let’s just wait and see what happens!) however with this being a transatlantic fight I am more interested in your perception from the American standpoint.

From a UK perspective the situation very much seems to be as follows: Joshua brings the money, Joshua brings 3 belts, Joshua has a guaranteed following in the UK, Joshua has a good PPV track record in the UK and unrivalled live gates; all this versus Wilder brings little money, Wilder brings one belt, Wilder has a small following in the US, Wilder has never had a PPV fight, Wilder typically struggles to sell out medium sized venues.

This isn’t to denigrate Wilder or say he doesn’t deserve to be paid well, but seems to be based on facts. As such it would be great to get your (educated) perspective on the following from a US perspective:

  1. Does Joshua v Wilder do over 1 million US PPV buys which is would surely need to guarantee AJ the £50million purse being “offered” to him by Wilder to fight in the US?
  2. Based on Klitschko getting a reported £25m and Parker a reported £6m, does Wilder DESERVE more than the £12.5m being offered by Hearn?
  3. Hearn talks of Joshua having to overpay his opponents, something they feel they shouldn’t have to continue to do now they are at the top. Should it now be enough of a payment to get paid well and get a shot at the champ for the rewards you get for beating him?
  4. Isn’t this whole situation akin to Billy Joe Saunders trying to dictate terms to Canelo and get him over to the UK for a fight?

Anyways, be great to get your take mate. All I hope is Deontay can keep off Instagram long enough for the negotiations to take place behind closed doors and we all get the fight. Much love, brother. Peace out. – Mike, Weymouth

Thanks for kind words and for sharing your thoughts/questions, Mike.

I’m fine with Wilder’s social media “call outs” to Joshua, as I am with the ongoing posturing between the undefeated heavyweight beltholders’ management. This is one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing, and there’s a lot of money that’s potentially at stake if and when they get it on, so I expect a lot of public “back-and-forth” between both teams and I expect nutty hardcore fans to take sides (in a “ride-or-die” manner that would suggest that their silly asses were getting a cut of the fighters’ purses).

The posturing was just as ridiculous in the build-up to Lennox Lewis’ never-to-be-realized showdown with Riddick Bowe, his unification bout with Evander Holyfield and his mega-event against a faded Mike Tyson. As the old adage goes, there’s boxing and there’s heavyweight boxing. People take notice when the big boys are set to go at it.

From a UK perspective the situation very much seems to be as follows: Joshua brings the money, Joshua brings 3 belts, Joshua has a guaranteed following in the UK, Joshua has a good PPV track record in the UK and unrivalled live gates; All of this is true, but AJ has yet to fight in the U.S., which is something Lewis did five times prior to winning an elimination bout against Razor Rudduck for the WBC belt held by Bowe, 15 times before the first Holyfield fight and 20 times before the showdown with Tyson. That’s part of the reason the first Lewis-Holyfield fight did 1 million PPV buys in the U.S., and Lewis-Tyson did nearly 2 million buys (generating well over $100 million).

…all this versus Wilder brings little money, Wilder brings one belt, Wilder has a small following in the US, Wilder has never had a PPV fight, Wilder typically struggles to sell out medium sized venues. I think Wilder brings more than a “little” money to this particular matchup. It’s true that he’s not a huge draw and that he’s a pay-per-view virgin, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t a viable/marketable B-side for Joshua. Shane Mosley was never a big draw in terms of ticket sales but he made for a strong PPV B-side against Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. More recently, Gennady Golovkin (who is a big draw but did poor PPV numbers as the “A-side”) made for a very strong PPV B-side with Canelo.

  1. Does Joshua v Wilder do over 1 million US PPV buys which is would surely need to guarantee AJ the £50million purse being “offered” to him by Wilder to fight in the US? HELL NO! They’d be lucky to garner 400,000 buys if they did it next. If they want U.S. PPV money to be a major factor in this showdown then Joshua MUST fight in America at least TWICE and Wilder has to be ringside for both bouts so the two can jaw at each other under the same roof with all the fans and media gawking and sharing on social media. And AJ needs to be ringside for at least one of Wilder’s fights. They gotta pump this s__t up WWE style for it to be a hit in the U.S.
  2. Based on Klitschko getting a reported £25m and Parker a reported £6m, does Wilder DESERVE more than the £12.5m being offered by Hearn? I think so, because he’s viewed as a bigger threat to Joshua than Klitschko or Parker were, and he’s got an exuberant and cocky personality that can help fuel a big promotion. Klitschko and Parker are classy dudes who were gentlemen during the build-up their fights with AJ, which was just fine for the U.K., but Americans tend to pay attention to loud and animated characters.
  3. Hearn talks of Joshua having to overpay his opponents, something they feel they shouldn’t have to continue to do now they are at the top. Should it now be enough of a payment to get paid well and get a shot at the champ for the rewards you get for beating him?Hearn wanted to fast-track Joshua’s road to the still-developing heavyweight’s first world title, so he overpaid then-IBF beltholder Charles Martin (who was one of the worst heavyweight beltholders ever) to come to the U.K. to basically hand over his title. The problem with paying a no-hoper like Charles a $5 million guarantee is that legit contenders/beltholders are going to want WAY more than that when they fight AJ.

Isn’t this whole situation akin to Billy Joe Saunders trying to dictate terms to Canelo and get him over to the UK for a fight? A little bit. BJS and Wilder are quirky individuals, though. They’re both a little crazy, and it works for them. It’s silly for BJS to think Canelo would bother traveling to the UK to fight him. The Mexican star is the biggest boxing attraction in North America. Joshua is the biggest boxing attraction in Europe. However, it’s also public knowledge that AJ has thought about fighting in America, and his promoter has told the U.S. sports media that he intends to eventually bring Joshua to America (sooner rather than later), so Wilder’s people are not totally out of line when they propose that the big showdown take place on their side of the pond.

 

GGG VS. THE NIGHTMARE

Hi Doug.

Sure enjoy your column twice a week. No matter how GGG beats Vanes he probably will not get much respect for it. I personally think Vanes will be tougher than most expect. This is the fight of his life for sure and I think he will come to fight. No matter what, this is much needed work for GGG and may make him more ready for a possible fight with Canelo in Sept. What do you think? Thanks for your column again. – Jon from Texas

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, Jon. Please write again soon.

I think fighting on May 5 will help Golovkin be much sharper against Canelo in September (if the anticipated rematch can be made) or against whoever he winds up fighting in the fall (could be IBF mandatory Sergiy Derevyanchenko, could be Billy Joe, could be WBC mandatory Jermall Charlo, or even a Danny Jacobs rematch). GGG’s got options, but he wouldn’t be at his best against any of them had he been inactive for a full year.

It’s not good for fighters in their mid-30s to repeatedly start and stop training camps or extend camps beyond their usual duration.

No matter how GGG beats Vanes he probably will not get much respect for it. True. There’s a segment of hardcore fandom and members of the boxing media that absolutely hate this matchup and they don’t care about the circumstances that led to it. And you know what? Their opinion doesn’t mean squat to the 8,000 GGG fans that are going to sell out StubHub Center on May 5 and set a gate record for the celebrated outdoor venue.

I personally think Vanes will be tougher than most expect. I do too. Martirosyan is a young veteran who can box and fight. He’s only lost to very talented word-class boxers and he’s never been dominated or blown out.

This is the fight of his life for sure and I think he will come to fight. There’s no doubt in my mind. Martirosyan’s got balls.

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS

Hi Doug,

Hope everything’s well with you and your family. 2018 has turned out to be as good or better than last year, fights I didn’t expect to be good, like last week’s Vargas-Broner scrap, have turned out to be better than expected. Unfortunately married life has made it difficult for me to watch fights live, but I do watch them though, Showtime lets me do it live on my phone and HBO, well… if they have a fight, will let me do it a full 4 days later, which is a shame and shows you how far behind they are and how invested they are in the sport these days.

I’m glad we have GGG fighting on 5 de Mayo. Unlike others, I do respect the fact that he kept the date and decided to stay active. I also understand the logic of going with Vanes Martirosyan (who is actually not a bad opponent, just one that hasn’t fought in two years or at the middleweight division). A guy that has a following in the area you’re fighting gives you an opportunity to do a fast promotion (2 and a half weeks, which is crazy, props to Tom for pulling that out) and keep the date (whoever says GGG should’ve cancelled and waited on BJ Saunders clearly doesn’t understand the value of having May 5th all to yourself). Vanes is also a guy that will take the purse, he needs it and is hungry to fight. If GGG is distracted and not 100%, he may find himself in a tougher fight that most expect, though I don’t see him losing. The only two things I don’t like about this fight is that it’s a title fight and the ticket prices. Why can’t you do a non-title fight? Why don’t fighters do this anymore? I don’t see how Vanes is deserving of fighting for the title if he’s never fought at that weight. While I understand the need to price the tickets the way they were I also feel disappointed that It will be hard to get the affordable prices to the fans. (I can see salivating scalpers right around the corner).

On the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysee fight in Malaysia, I think it’s a good fight that will feature good action. I kind of like Lucas on this one, I don’t think Manny is a 100% into the sport anymore and think Lucas has a lot more left than him. I would actually love to go see the fight live, do you know anything about ticket prices and where to get them? I usually do a trip to Asia once every couple of years and haven’t visited this country, it would be a good chance to do it and watch a fight on foreign soil.

I’m wondering how all those fighters that have criticized GGG for taking this fight won’t fight each other? Why isn’t Danny Jacobs fighting Charlo? That is certainly an easy fight to make considering they have the same promo…ahem, advisor in Al Haymon. Also, why is Derevyanchenko being touted as the next great thing and people saying that GGG is ducking him when the guy has barely had a chance to prove himself against worthy opposition on a consistent level? He only has 12 fights and his two best wins are against second-tier opposition (Tuerano and Soliman?). I think people are just trying to find ways to discredit Gennady and make him take the blame for the whole Canelo thing. Fans, just be glad that we’re having a card on 5 de Mayo. Without Glolovkin pressing for this we would have to wait more to see him back in the ring.

I’m glad Keith Thurman finally did the right thing and leave the title that he’s kept hostage vacant. Now we can see Porter and Garcia go at it and potentially setup a fight with Spence for the end of the year.

On a final note, I was disappointed the cruiserweight final between Usyk and Gassiev was postponed. Hopefully this is still in the calendar for the second half of the year. That is potentially my most anticipated fight of the year! Prediction for this weekend’s fights, I think Magdaleno should win comfortably and Danny Jacobs should get the win by KO.

Thanks Doug and hope you have a wonderful weekend. BTW, great work on the UCNLive videos, they are always a treat to watch. – Juan Valverde, San Diego

Glad you like the “10 Count” series that I do with Steve Kim, Michael Montero and Mike Baca. The UCNLive.com film/editing crew does a great job producing those segments.

I also favor Jesse Magdaleno to prevail in his stern WBO mandatory against Isaac Dogboe. It won’t be easy, but if the Vegas native boxes a disciplined fight, he can outclass the Ghanaian challenger. I think Jacobs will outclass the Polish fringe contender, but I envision a distance fight.

Don’t fret too much about Usyk-Gassiev. My guess is that it will only be pushed back one or two months from its original May 11 date. It’s not like there isn’t enough world-class boxing taking place on that particular weekend. Anyway, you had A LOT on your mind to share with us, so let’s get into it.

I’m glad we have GGG fighting on 5 de Mayo. Of course, you are. You’re a real fan. I don’t understand the people are upset about Golovkin fighting on this date. I get it if you don’t like the matchup. That’s fine. Skip watching the fight. Go see Avengers: Infinity War. Or stay home and jerk off to internet porn. Do whatever floats your boat, folks, but why bitch about a professional fighter opting to fight on the date that he’s been training for after his original opponent had to pull out of the bout?

Unlike others, I do respect the fact that he kept the date and decided to stay active. What good would have come of NOT fighting?

I also understand the logic of going with Vanes Martirosyan (who is actually not a bad opponent, just one that hasn’t fought in two years or at the middleweight division). Agreed. Martirosyan’s inactivity is the main knock on him, even as a late-sub. But he’s been training since the start of the year for a couple fights (including one against Sulecki) that fell out, so while he may suffer from some ring rust, he’s not out of shape.

A guy that has a following in the area you’re fighting gives you an opportunity to do a fast promotion (2 and a half weeks, which is crazy, props to Tom for pulling that out) and keep the date (whoever says GGG should’ve cancelled and waited on BJ Saunders clearly doesn’t understand the value of having May 5th all to yourself). “Fanagers” are a silly lot.

Vanes is also a guy that will take the purse, he needs it and is hungry to fight. That’s main reason he became the front-runner after the MGM Grand withdrew from the equation (and the NAC pooh-poohed your TJ homie Jaime Munguia – who’s now slated to be on the GGG-Martirosyan undercard) and Gary “Spike” O’Sullivan turned down the offer over money. All the Derevyanchenko cheerleaders (who didn’t have s__t to say about the Ukraininan before Canelo pulled out of the May 5 fight) don’t realize that it would have taken too long negotiate that particular deal.

The only two things I don’t like about this fight is that it’s a title fight and the ticket prices. Why can’t you do a non-title fight? Good question. I think most Golovkin fans wouldn’t care if his 160-pound belts were not on the line for the May 5 date, but my guess is that it’s part of Vanes’ incentive to take the fight on short notice and for modest money, it’s something the network prefers (after all, it’s going to be on HBO’s “Championship Boxing” series), and Team GGG is interested in equaling and/or breaking Bernard Hopkins’ middleweight title-defense record, so every title bout counts. As for the ticket prices, hey, GGG is a star now.

Why don’t fighters do this anymore? Because titleholders rarely fight more than twice a year these days and having the belts on the line adds to their paydays.

On the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysee fight in Malaysia, I think it’s a good fight that will feature good action. I’d be shocked if these two veterans stank out the joint. Both men are aggressive boxers by nature and sometimes faded world-class fighters make for classic scraps (see Ali-Frazier III or Leonard-Hearns II).

I kind of like Lucas on this one, I don’t think Manny is a 100% into the sport anymore and think Lucas has a lot more left than him. I’m with you. I think Manny has been mailing it in for years and while he can still be in entertaining fights, he showed in the ninth round against Jeff Horn that he’s totally lost his killer instinct. Matthysse is more motivated to fight Pacquiao than Manny is to face Lucas. Hunger counts in boxing, even when the fighters get into their mid-30s.

I would actually love to go see the fight live, do you know anything about ticket prices and where to get them? I have no idea, but I’ve been wondering the same thing. I’m hoping Top Rank and Golden Boy offer some kind of travel package deals for fans and the media.

I’m wondering how all those fighters that have criticized GGG for taking this fight won’t fight each other? Why isn’t Danny Jacobs fighting Charlo? That is certainly an easy fight to make considering they have the same promo…ahem, advisor in Al Haymon. The simple answer is that there’s more money and more on the line (titles/prestige) for them to fight GGG than each other.

Also, why is Derevyanchenko being touted as the next great thing and people saying that GGG is ducking him when the guy has barely had a chance to prove himself against worthy opposition on a consistent level? Because Golovkin has his share of detractors, many of whom are total douche bags.

He only has 12 fights and his two best wins are against second-tier opposition (Tureano and Soliman?). That’s a fact, which doesn’t mean he isn’t worthy of a shot at Golovkin. I personally believe that Derev is the most physically demanding of all of GGG’s mandatory challengers. However, I also believe that fans and media that claim Golovkin is avoiding the Ukrainian are being foolish. Derev “earned” his IBF No. 1 position by beating Johnson, who had been inactive for more than a year and was coming off a two-round blowout of a journeyman prior to their fight. And who had Johnson beat prior to the Dereveyanchenko fight? As I’ve said (and will repeat), let’s not pretend that Derev is Marvin Hagler in 1979 and 1980 or Sonny Liston in the late 1950s. He hasn’t cleaned out his division while waiting years for his mandatory title shot.

I think people are just trying to find ways to discredit Gennady and make him take the blame for the whole Canelo thing. There are sickos among us.

Fans, just be glad that we’re having a card on 5 de Mayo. Or go ahead and be miserable f__ks. Either way is fine with me.

I’m glad Keith Thurman finally did the right thing and leave the title that he’s kept hostage vacant. Now we can see Porter and Garcia go at it and potentially setup a fight with Spence for the end of the year. Don’t get too excited, Juan. You should know that the winner of Garcia-Porter is going to opt to wait for “Some Time” to get better rather than challenge the welterweight boogey man.

 

LOVING THE NEW RING

Hey Dougie.

First time posting. Love the new look of The Ring. Been buying this great magazine since the ‘70s. I’ve kept as many as I can. It’s my answer to anything boxing. You’ve sweated blood over the years and if anyone is going to keep this great magazine going into the next era it’s you and the great team you have behind you.  Loved the article on the Japanese fighters. These kids are as proud as any Mexican warrior. Fighting Harada was my introduction to the Oriental way of fighting. As an Aussie, I saw the magnificent Fighting Harada against Lionel Rose and Johnny Famechon.

Keep The Ring going into the next era mate. It’s ole timers like myself who still rely on the Bible for the best boxing news. Don’t underestimate my boy Jeff Horn vs Terence Crawford. That’s all I needed to say. Cheers. – Steven

Thanks for finally writing into this column and for the very, very kind words of encouragement, Steven. I won’t underestimate Horn. I plan to be ringside for that welterweight showdown in Vegas. I’m humbled that a boxing longtimer like yourself is enjoying the new look and direction of THE RING, and I’m thrilled that you enjoyed the “Rising Sons” article Anson Wainwright and I prepared for the May 2018 edition of the magazine. You can expect more educational features on other hot boxing regions of the world in future issues.   

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Hi Dougie,

I’ve been trying to come up with a succinct and accurate description of social media for years but you’ve just nailed it with this one from the Monday mailbag – thank you :]

Nobody wins in the realm of social media. It’s an online insane asylum.

Cheers. – Cogs

Hey, crazy recognizes crazy.

 

 

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

 

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