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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Canelo-GGG burnout & the middleweight mix, Sor Rungvisai & boxer heartbreak, Loma vs. Pac)

Painting by Richard Slone
28
May

GGG-CANELO BURNOUT

How’s it going Dougie?

Hope all is well. I’ve been reading too much on Canelo vs GGG. Honestly, if it happens or if it doesn’t the middleweight division is stacked right now and any fight between top fighters would be great. Charlo, Andrade, Saunders, Jacobs, Derevyanchenko, Golovkin and Canelo can all fight it out to see who’s the best and I’d be a happy fan for years to come.

As a Golovkin fan my only hope is he’s not slipping because of his age. I know as a mid-30s guy the hangovers hurt more than they used to. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be a prime athlete that gets punched every day for a living. What are your thoughts on the most likely non-Golovkin-Canelo-rematch middleweight fights available?



Some Canadian themed mythical matchups for ya:

George Chuvalo vs Ray Mercer (battle of the chins)

Yvon Durelle vs Adonis Stevenson vs Don Lalonde round robin

Sam Langford vs Gene Tunney and or James Toney

Arturo Gatti vs Boom Boom Mancini

Thanks for your time the Monday mailbag is always a favourite. – Nathan

Thank for the kind words, Nathan.

I’ll go with Chuvalo on points (naturally, these guys would need to wield baseball bats to have any hope of knocking the other out) in a good scrap, Durelle by late stoppage in wild slugfests (that he forces), Tunney and Toney on points (Tunney rather wide if he employs his stick-and-move game; Toney just narrowly in a contest that features great infighting), and Mancini on points in a sensational fight.

I’ve been reading too much on Canelo vs GGG. Yeah, I hear you, the Canelo-Golovkin saga has dominated boxing news in North America for two very long months, and, unfortunately, most of what’s being written about (and tweeted about by fans) right now is the ongoing negotiations, which have recently hit a snag. That means we’ll have to suffer through promotional posturing via the media and endless “fanager” opinions on what both parties should accept via social media. It’s not my cup of tea, either, and I might “mute” those conversations on my Twitter account.

Honestly, if it happens or if it doesn’t the middleweight division is stacked right now and any fight between top fighters would be great. I agree (although I hope to see the rematch this year or next). The question is, will the other middleweight standouts face each other or will they all stand in line and wait to win the Canelo sweepstakes or for a mandatory shot at GGG?

Charlo, Andrade, Saunders, Jacobs, Derevyanchenko, Golovkin and Canelo can all fight it out to see who’s the best and I’d be a happy fan for years to come. The potential for an entertaining, maybe even historic, 160-pound round robin exists. But it will only happen if the middleweights not named Gennady and Saul are willing to face each other.

As a Golovkin fan my only hope is he’s not slipping because of his age. I don’t think he’s at his physical peak anymore but he’s not out of his prime yet. I think GGG at 36 will remain a dominant force at middleweight, just as Mike McCallum and Bernard Hopkins were at the same age. Like those two, Golovkin is a hardnosed technician who lives clean and trains hard.

What are your thoughts on the most likely non-Golovkin-Canelo-rematch middleweight fights available? Interesting question. We’ve heard talks of Andrade-Derevyanchenko late last year, and chatter of Jacobs-Charlo in recent months, but with Sergiy and Jermall in mandatory position to fight GGG (and Charlo’s name also being dropped by Oscar De La Hoya, along with Daniel’s, for a shot at Canelo), I don’t see those bouts taking place. (We’re now hearing that Andrade may face unbeaten but unheralded Brazilian Olympian Yamaguchi Falcao in July.) I’m going to guess that if Saunders beats Martin Murray next month and can’t finalize a deal to fight GGG or Canelo for whatever reason, the WBO beltholder will stay busy against a top contender within his sanctioning organization, such as Andrade (No. 1) or Jacobs (No. 2).

 

IS 10-POINT A MUST?

Hey Dougie,

Long time listener, first time caller. My question is, why the 10-point must system? I think an interesting (and possibly better) twist, might be a 10-point rating system. If a boxer has a fantastic round, shows all his skills, and executes as good as he possibly could, he might be awarded a 10 rating. If a boxer has an awful round, they would get a 1. But more importantly, those middle numbers would get used more – a guy goes out there and tools around but doesn’t get hurt and lands a little, he might win a 5-4 round, therefore rewarding truly excellent rounds with a higher total, and making a “real 10-9” round mean more than an “eh, I guess 10-9 even though nothing happened” type of round, which might actually be closer to a 5-3 (one boxer was average, and the other boxer didn’t engage as much, got caught a couple more times, etc.).

What am I overlooking that would make this not work properly? Anyway, thanks for the best-in-class years of analysis and opinions. – Brian

Thanks for the kind words, Brian.

I don’t think you’re overlooking anything with your “10-point-rating system,” but you’re probably making the scoring for boxing more complicated than it should be. Boiled down to its essence, the Sweet Science is about hitting and not getting hit while imposing your will (or style) on your opponent. It’s a combat sport, not artistic athletic competition.

Let’s keep the scoring criteria for boxing and figure skating as far apart as possible, OK?

I think the rating system that you propose has more in common with the kind of scoring criteria we see with Olympic diving, gymnastics or figure skating – where style, technique and creativity are essential – and it probably opens the door to more subjectivity and the possibility for even wider disparities between the three official scorecards than we often see now.

What one judge views as a “truly excellent round” or a “fantastic round” where a boxer “shows all his skills, and executes as good as he possibly could,” thus earning a 10 on his scorecard, another judge might perceive that same boxer as “stinking out the joint.”  

 

THE PRINCE AND THE PRETTY BOY

Hi Dougie,

Big fan, read all of your mailbags.

Was watching a highlight reel of Prince Naseem, what do you think would of happened had he fought Mayweather at feather or super feather?

Cheers. – David Rice

Naz was no joke at featherweight.

Although I was a huge Marco Antonio Barrera fan, I had a lot of respect for Hamed and his featherweight title reign from the mid-‘90s until the Mexican master humbled him in 2001 (a night that still ranks among the most memorable of my career). I was also a big fan of Floyd Mayweather Jr. during the mid-to-late ‘90s, and I believe I saw the best of the Michigan native when he fought at 130 pounds. And if memory serves me right, Floyd had a major hard-on for The Prince because of how much money the Sheffield native of Yemeni descent earned per fight. Mayweather BADLY wanted to knock Naz off his perch, and I think he had the size, style and tools to do so had he been given the opportunity.

There’s a reason Hamed lobbied the WBO to keep his No. 1 contender, Juan Manuel Marquez, out of his way for more almost two years. That technically sharp, counter-punching style was dangerous for him. Mayweather had that style but was a lot bigger, stronger, faster and rangier than JMM. I don’t think the matchup would have been a walk in the park for Mayweather because Hamed’s style was truly unique, and I believe he would have had more respect for Floyd than he did for Barrera and would have prepared accordingly, but ultimately, I envision outpointing Naz. If Mayweather were to drop to 126 pounds for the matchup, there’s a chance that making the lighter weight would drain Floyd enough to dull his reflexes and give Hamed the opportunity to land the one-hitter-quitter (which he certainly possessed, along with the speed, precision and odd angle of deliver to make it count).

 

SOR RUNGVISAI’S BREAK-UP

Hi Doug,

Don’t know if it’s made the boxing news in America, but in Thailand EVERYONE has been following the story of Srisaket Sor Rungvisai’s split with his fiancé a week before their wedding. Here’s a link in English if you’re unfamiliar: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30345029

Sor Rungvisai has postponed his next fight, and sadly, I wonder if we will ever see the same brilliant intensity from him again.

Hence my question:

Plenty of boxers overcome hardship to get to the top, but what are some good examples of boxers who’ve made it to the top, THEN had a personal tragedy, AND been able to return to their old form?

(PS Like everyone else I was really disappointed with The Ring not stripping Canelo. Good Luck with the process of formalizing the magazine’s rules on drugs in the future.) Thanks. – K

We (of THE RING’s Editorial Board and Ratings Panel) were not happy with the Canelo situation either, K. Hopefully, going forward, we can create a better PED Policy (and form an advisory board) with the help of the right experts and advocates, some of whom have already contacted me about getting the process started.

I am aware of the breakup Sor Rungvisai had with his fiancé, as are many hardcore U.S. fans. One of the members of his team contacted me around the time of the break up to inform me that Srisaket was asking about THE RING title that he won with his hard-fought majority decision over Juan Francisco Estrada in February. We hope to get the personalized 115-pound championship belt to him within the next 30 days, and hopefully, receiving the title makes him feel a little better.

Sor Rungvisai has postponed his next fight, and sadly, I wonder if we will ever see the same brilliant intensity from him again. If he falls off in terms of form or durability in his next bout, it may have nothing to do with his broken heart. Sor Rungvisai has been in some grueling battles (most recently his first bout vs. Roman Gonzalez and the showdown with “El Gallo”) and he’s been killing himself to make 115 pounds. However, the emotional distress from relationship breakups (be it a wife, fiancé, girlfriend/boyfriend, father/trainer, etc.) have been known to negatively impact a fighter’s performance; but Sor Rungvisai appears to be a very spiritually centered individual, so I expect him to deal with this particular setback and be his usual destructive self the next time we see him in the ring.

Plenty of boxers overcome hardship to get to the top, but what are some good examples of boxers who’ve made it to the top, THEN had a personal tragedy, AND been able to return to their old form? Look no further than Sor Rungvisai’s most recent opponent – Juan Estrada. The Sonora native lost both parents to tragedy at an early age (his mother passed away from Leukemia; his father died scuba diving), so he and his siblings were raised by his aunt, who died just three months before his first title shot against Chocolatito, who was undefeated (33-0) and considered the best 108 pounder on the planet. Estrada gave

Photo / German Villasenor

Gonzalez all the Nicaraguan pressure fighter could handle in a competitive 12-round loss and then bounced back to outpoint Brian Viloria for two 112-pound titles just five months later in Macau. Estrada won his next nine fights (including victories over juhnior flyweight/flyweight/junior bantie standouts Giovani Segura, Tyson Marquez, Carlos Cuadras and Milan Melindo) before dropping that close decision to SSR in a Fight of the Year Candidate.

The most notable example of fighting on to the best of one’s ability with a broken heart that I can think of is the late hall of famer Bobby Chacon in 1982. His wife committed suicide just days before a bout vs. Salvador Ugalde in March of that year, but Chacon went through with the fight, stopping Ugalde in three rounds, and then stopped Rosendo Ramirez in eight just two months later before outpointing Arturo Leon in a 10 rounder, prior to winning back-to-back Fight of the Year honors with unforgettable decisions over Bazooka Limon and Cornelius Boza-Edwards.

 

BANTAMWEIGHTS

How’s it going Doug?

Eagerly anticipating the next issue of THE RING. I’m currently watching some old fights of Fighting Harada, one of my all-time favorites. I’ve always believed the best quality fighters on Earth are the Flies and Bantams from Japan and Thailand.

I hear the next WBSS will take place in the Bantamweight class and I couldn’t be happier. With this and the Superfly series, the action fighters from the far east are finally getting American eyes. If The Monster enters the tournament then I’m picking him to clear it out. What are your thoughts?

Thank you for responding to my last email in regards to Canelo not being stripped for using performance enhancing drugs. I can only imagine how sick and tired you must be talking about this subject. I read your article explaining why The Ring couldn’t punish Canelo. The general consensus on social media and in the comments section seems to be universal disappointment. As I do understand the pressure that must be put on you and your team, I must respectfully say that this situation has harmed the reputation of this respected Magazine of which I’ve been purchasing for 20 years. I’m not joining any boycott of the Bible of Boxing but I am very disappointed. Hopefully, the great work you’ve been doing since taking the reigns a few months ago will repair any damage done, but that being said, in the court of public opinion a great deal of damage has been done.

Sorry for the long-winded rambling. Best wishes to you and your family. – Sean from Washington

Thanks, Sean. I’ve got my work cut out for me, but thankfully I’m supported by a tremendous team that includes managing editor Brian Harty, associate editor Tom Gray, creative director Lamar Clark, controller Deborah Harrison, circulation director Kenneth Gudaitis, a host of excellent contributors and hall-of-fame-enshrined guest editors that include George Foreman, Lennox Lewis and Sugar Ray Leonard. I think you’re going to enjoy the next issue of THE RING and the subsequent editions going into 2019.

I’m currently watching some old fights of Fighting Harada, one of my all-time favorites. Despite the recent evolution and influx of world-class and elite boxers from Japan, Harada is still the best ever from the Land of the Rising Sun. (Although I’m not sure he beat the great Eder Jofre in their first meeting.)

Hall of famer Khaosai Galaxy, the former 115-pound titleholder from Thailand who who retired with 50-1 (44 KOs) record.

I’ve always believed the best quality fighters on Earth are the Flies and Bantams from Japan and Thailand. You won’t get an argument from me, Sean. One of my favorite moments as a boxing writer was meeting Khaosai Galaxy at the media mixer night before the World Boxing Hall of Fame’s Class of 1999 induction banquet. (With the help of his translator, who I think was some kind of general of the Thai military, I got a decent on-camera interview that was posted on the old HouseofBoxing site that included Galaxy’s tips for proper Muy Thai kickboxing form.)

I hear the next WBSS will take place in the Bantamweight class and I couldn’t be happier. You and me both.

With this and the Superfly series, the action fighters from the far east are finally getting American eyes. Yep, and it’s about damn time.

If The Monster enters the tournament then I’m picking him to clear it out. What are your thoughts? I agree that Inoue is – and should be – considered at least a slight favorite, but I think Zolani Tete will have something to say about that.

 

LOMA VS PAC

Hey Doug,

Loma vs Linares was my idea of how fights should be – two guys with great skill playing bloody chess. They both took risks and both put a lot of mustard on their shots. I saw the bout pretty close, Loma 5-4 after the ninth. Could make an argument for 6-3 though. How did you see it?

Interestingly, the rounds I felt Linares took, it was because he was putting so much leverage on them. Loma was brilliant in his movement and ability to land at will, but I noticed he doesn’t often drive into them. I think against other bigger guys that will be a problem. He can break down smaller guys that way.

Which leads me to my question. If Arum does succeed in making Pacquiao vs Loma later this year, how do you see that playing out? I definitely agree that Manny is on the slide, but even so I wonder if the size difference will be too much for Loma. Manny has a pretty thick frame and he’s still quite quick with great fundamentals. I could be underestimating Loma or overestimating Pacquiao. Or both. Thoughts? – Vincent, Seattle, WA

It’s too early to tell, Vincent. Loma’s not going to get Pacquiao right away. He’s got an August date in the Los Angeles area (maybe against Ray Beltran at The Forum in my hometown of Inglewood, Calif.) That fight will give Lomachenko more time to acclimate to competing at 135 pounds, and another chance for us to assess his effectiveness at the heavier weight. Meanwhile, Manny’s got a July 14/15 date with Lucas Matthysse in Kuala Lumpur, and I’m not counting The Machine out in that matchup of fading veterans.

But I tell you what, if Pacquiao gets by Matthysse and the Lomachenko showdown is made at 140, I don’t think the Ukrainian star will need to get respect with his punching power – his boxing IQ, footwork/movement, speed and reflexes will bedazzle the Filipino Icon to the extent that Pacquaiao overwhelmed Oscar De La Hoya 10 years ago. Mark my words.

Loma vs Linares was my idea of how fights should be – two guys with great skill playing bloody chess. They delivered, Vincent, and made for a quality championship bout worthy of the venue where it took place.

I saw the bout pretty close, Loma 5-4 after the ninth. Could make an argument for 6-3 though. How did you see it? I saw it as you did, 5-4 for Loma after nine rounds, so I had it even due to Linares’ 10-8 Round 6.

Interestingly, the rounds I felt Linares took, it was because he was putting so much leverage on them. Jorge’s got balls. F__k anyone who says otherwise.

Loma was brilliant in his movement and ability to land at will, but I noticed he doesn’t often drive into them. The wizardly southpaw picks his spots to land with leverage, but when he does, he make ‘em count.

I think against other bigger guys that will be a problem. He can break down smaller guys that way. I think he proved that he can break down bigger guys that way against Linares.

 

 

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

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