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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Hekkie Budler, Naoya Inoue, Brendan Ingle, the WBC)

Few fighters give as much of themselves as newly crowned RING 108-pound champ Hekkie Budler (left), seen here butting heads with Ryoichi Taguchi. Photo / Naoki Fukuda
01
Jun

BIG IN JAPAN

Hi Doug.

As you can imagine, the South African boxing fraternity has been in a perpetual party mode after Hekkie Budler’s victory over Ryoichi Taguchi in Japan, hence I only now came down from Cloud Nine to write to the mailbag.

The fight went almost exactly as I expected (although I am not going to crow too hard about getting this one right, I was also the guy who picked Tim Bradley to beat Pacman in the second AND third fight lol) and what a great fight it was!



One also has to give some props to Japanese boxing. When last have we seen a visiting fighter win a close decision? Am I right when saying that Japan is possibly the best place to be if you are going to fight on the road? They really seem to respect the sport above all else.

Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Also, they made use of a TV replay to reverse the referee’s decision where he wrongly called the last round knockdown that Taguchi scored a slip and the scorecards were accordingly adjusted. Luckily, our man had enough early rounds banked to come out a close, but very deserving winner but I think that was a very progressive move on their part. Any chance this could be rolled out world wide, not only for knockdowns but determining the cause of cuts?

Would you agree that Japan is probably the best place for the small guys if you don’t bring a Michael Carbajal package to the table?

I would like to see Budler fight Ken Shiro and rematch Taguchi. How do you see those fights going?

On the subject of Japan, Naoya Inoue is an absolute beast! I expected Jamie McDonnell to give him some work. Instead, in spite of looking tiny compared to the Brit, it looked like a school yard beatdown.

He must be the firm favourite in the WBSS and a lot of people this side is now expecting him to do the same with Zolani Tete. Maybe, but I am not convinced. What happens if Tete tags him? The forward marching style of the Japanese phenom suits Tete. It all depends if he can keep The Monster at the end of his jab and whether he can hurt him. If he just walks in unchecked like he did against McDonnell, then Tete is in big trouble. How do you see that fight going if it happens?

Mythical matchups:

Budler vs Carbajal & Chiquita Gonzalez

Regards. – Droeks Malan, South Africa

What!? Where’s Jacob Matlala in your Mythical Matchups? No all-South African junior flyweight champ showdown between Hekkie and Baby Jake? For shame! (Unless, of course, you’ve proposed that MM before, which you probably have.)

Anyway, I gotta go with Carbajal by late stoppage and Gonzalez by unanimous decision in competitive and entertaining fights.

One has to give some props to Japanese boxing. I often do and will continue to. I’m pleased that the Japanese boxing scene is attracting more international attention these days than it did in years/decades past.

When last have we seen a visiting fighter win a close decision? Caleb Truax won one against James DeGale in England in December, but it is quite rare, unfortunately.

Am I right when saying that Japan is possibly the best place to be if you are going to fight on the road? They really seem to respect the sport above all else. The Japanese public (and the Japan Boxing Commission) does not like it when a native fighter gets a decision that he did not truly deserve.

Also, they made use of a TV replay to reverse the referee’s decision where he wrongly called the last round knockdown that Taguchi scored a slip and the scorecards were accordingly adjusted. Any chance this could be rolled out worldwide, not only for knockdowns but determining the cause of cuts? Eventually, I think instant replay will be part of boxing’s unified rules (at least for the higher-profile shows that are recorded).

Would you agree that Japan is probably the best place for the small guys if you don’t bring a Michael Carbajal package to the table? There’s no doubt about it. When you’re talking about the sub-bantamweight divisions, Japan is where the world-class, big-event action is. However, I’m hoping that my buddy Tom Loeffler’s “Superfly” series can eventually create a serious market for the little giants of the sport. They seldom disappoint.

I would like to see Budler fight Ken Shiro and rematch Taguchi. How do you see those fights going? I would slightly favor Shiro by close (probably majority) decision and Budler to edge Taguchi again on points.

Nayoya Inoue lived up to his “Monster” moniker with his first-round demolition of highly rated bantamweight Jamie McDonnell. Photo / Naoki Fukuda

On the subject of Japan, Naoya Inoue is an absolute beast! I expected Jamie McDonnell to give him some work. Instead, in spite of looking tiny compared to the Brit, it looked like a school yard beatdown. I also expected McDonnell to take Inoue rounds, and I thought the experienced Englishman would be “pesky” at the very least, but the 25-year-old boxer-puncher is a special talent, and he’s not someone you can hang with if you’ve drained yourself making weight.

He must be the firm favourite in the WBSS and a lot of people this side is now expecting him to do the same with Zolani Tete. They need to put The Monster Pom Poms down. Tete is a much better boxer/talent than McDonnell.

How do you see that fight going if it happens? Until I see more of Inoue at 118 pounds, I have to favor Tete by decision.

 

WELTERWEIGHTS OF THE ‘90S, EDWIN VALERO

Dear Dougie,

I have been a reader of your mailbags since the Maxboxing days, when I

was the only French paying member of the site.

I was thinking recently that a few welterweights from the 90’s (which was the golden era of the division in my opinion) would have beaten Floyd Mayweather, namely:

-Ike Quartey

-Jose Luis Lopez

– Tito Trinidad

– James Page (maybe)

-Vernon Forrest

– Maurice Blocker (big maybe)

And on a side note, a prime Paul Williams would have been too much size and volume punching for Floyd.

I know you are tired of reading about him, but I saw Edwin Valero fight live in Paris 13 years ago:

I have been in the ring with world champions, had my share of amateur fights and gym wars, and have been following boxing live and on TV for 25 years.

Let me tell you that the strength, power and cold hatred that Valero exhibited for the 2 minutes of the fight was something that I had never seen before and will never see again.

Best regards. – Valentin

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Valentin, and thanks for being our one paying customer from France back in the MaxBoxing days.

Valero proved to be more than a power-punching front-runner with his savage battle against Mosquera.

Valero was a sight to behold live. When I witnessed him train and fight, I figured it was the closest boxing-observer experience to watching a young/prime Roberto Duran ply his brutal craft in the gym and the ring. The thing about Valero is that to truly appreciate his skill, power and ferocity, you had to see him live.

The welterweights of the 1990s were indeed excellent (and you didn’t even mention Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Mosley, Buddy McGirt, Meldrick Taylor, Aaron Davis and Crisanto Espana).

I’m not sure Mayweather would have bothered venturing up into the welterweight division if he had to deal with that many dangerous 147 pounders. However, I don’t think they could all beat the 147-pound version of Floyd.

I think Mayweather could beat Quartey (narrowly), Page and Blocker (although those wouldn’t be easy fights). I think Forrest and Tito would have outpointed him. I think Lopez at this best (which we didn’t often see) could have stopped him late.

 

INGLE MADE A DIFFERENCE

Hi Doug,

As these letters often say, long time reader first time writer. I’ve felt compelled to write after the sad passing of the legendary trainer Brendan Ingle.

As many will know Ingle trained some top fighters such as Prince Naz and Johnny Nelson, taking them from kids who walked into his gym to world champions. However more impressive from what I have read is the difference his gym made to his local community and the way he used boxing to teach discipline and respect, by many accounts transforming some people’s lives for the better.

Some people are quick to claim boxing is a sport for thugs who are out to damage each other – they should perhaps look at the humanity and compassion of the late Mr Ingle. A well-researched article in Ring Magazine would be welcome!

Many thanks and keep up the good work! Cheers. – David, Scotland

Thanks for finally writing in, David, and thank you for sharing your thoughts on Ingle and your request for a feature story on the dearly departed boxing sage in THE RING.

I will see to it that you get that article in a future issue of the magazine (in either the October or November editions, which see print in early August and September).

 

R.I.P. BRENDAN INGLE

Hi Doug,

I’m just writing in case no one else does, because I’m sure there are 1000s better qualified to pay tribute to Brendan Ingle. But I wouldn’t want his passing not to be noted in the mailbag.

He truly did seem a one-off, not just that everything he did simply started with helping kids in his community and for all the success, he carried on in that spirit, but in that, somehow or other, he developed an almost-unique and effective style for his fighters. Any half-knowledgeable boxing fan can spot a Wincobank fighter, and so many of them have been massive stars of British (and international) boxing.

Hamed, Graham, Brook, etc., are some of the most mesmerising fighters Britain has ever been received, not to mention a story like Johnny Nelson’s, of persistence and a coach’s belief in the eventual outcome. And it’s all down to Brendan Ingle. Truly, as a casual boxing fan going back to the 90s, he strikes me as one of the greatest men in boxing’s history. – David

Brendan Ingle (left) with former unified featherweight titleholder Prince Naseem Hamed. Photo courtesy of Sky Sports.

He certainly made his mark on the sport, especially the British scene, and, most importantly (as you and David noted), within his community. Ingle trained boxers for the right reasons, he did so in his own inimitable style, and he was very, very good at it.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Mr. Ingle and making sure that his passing did not go unmentioned in the mailbag column (which belongs to its readers as much as it does to me).

 

BLATANT CANELO BIAS FROM THE WBC

It’s been awhile, Doug. As always, all my best to you. The WBC has definitely ceased to be an objective organization, not that they ever really were. Their president from day one says Canelo is innocent of failing 2 drug tests. Then Suliaman tells GGG to just accept all Golden Boy offers and fight Canelo. Now he says that if GGG doesn’t fight Canelo next, he must fight Jemelle Charlo.

You can’t make this s__t up, Doug. Of course, Canelo should be able to fight potential HOFer Spike O Sullivan. I’ve loyally followed boxing for 50+ years and the WBC has finally surpassed the WBA in absolute corruption. It’s not even debatable anymore.

Sorry for the rant, Doug, but I love the sport of boxing and this B.S. just pisses me off. As always, Doug. Keep up the good fight. You’re one of the good guys. – Jeff from Tampa

Thanks for the kind words, Jeff.

We can’t really criticize the WBC’s stance on Canelo here at THE RING (for well-publicized reasons). At the end of the day, the WBC did eventually follow its rules and dropped Canelo from its middleweight rankings for not enrolling in their Clean Boxing Program. (I think Alvarez has since signed up.) We didn’t follow ours.

That said, the WBC has always rode for the fighters, especially the stars that bring in buku bucks. And after being on the outs with Canelo for about a year and half, they are pleased to be back in his good graces. It doesn’t hurt that he’s Mexican.

The WBC has definitely ceased to be an objective organization, not that they ever really were. They’re a business first, an “organization” second. All of the major sanctioning bodies have to be about their business. They wouldn’t exist if they weren’t about the Benjamins.

Their president from day one says Canelo is innocent of failing 2 drug tests. No, that’s not true. He’s doesn’t say that Canelo is innocent of failing two drug tests. He says that he believes that Canelo is innocent of cheating because there is a problem of meat contamination in Mexico.

You hardcore knuckleheads have your opinions on the Canelo-GGG rematch negotiations, and so does this guy. (But do you mutants have a smile as nice as Mo’s?)

Then Suliaman tells GGG to just accept all Golden Boy offers and fight Canelo. Hey, everyone else has an opinion on what Golovkin should or should not do, why can’t Mauricio have his?

Now he says that if GGG doesn’t fight Canelo next, he must fight Jemelle Charlo. Jemelle? Is that the third Charlo twin? Are they triplets? Or is that Jermell and Jermall’s sister? No, that can’t be right. JerMALL is the Charlo the WBC believes should get first crack at GGG if the Red Diva decides to pass on a rematch. And you know what? A lot of fans – including hardcore heads – want to see that fight.

You can’t make this s__t up, Doug. I know. I’ve got a Twitter account.

Of course, Canelo should be able to fight potential HOFer Spike O Sullivan. Do I detect some sarcasm, Jeff?

I’ve loyally followed boxing for 50+ years and the WBC has finally surpassed the WBA in absolute corruption. It’s not even debatable anymore. Who would want to debate that? Oh yeah… Boxing Twitter. Anyway, allow me to state for the record that I like and respect Mauricio and Gilberto Mendoza Jr.

 

KEEP YOUR CHIN UP

Dougie,

I’ve been a fan of yours since “The House of Boxing” days & have been a boxing fan for a long, long while. I was present at the Joe Frazier vs. Bob Foster fight (I loved the style of both) at Cobo Hall just before I left for Vietnam. I know I’m showing my age. I was also at the closed circuit showing of Smoking Joe vs Jerry Quarry.

I know that you are in a tight spot because of the Canelo predicament but regardless, true boxing fans can see that your integrity shows through. Everyone goes through tough battles in life, it’s what makes us stronger when we fight the good fight.

I’m not looking to get published (I wrote Steve Kim a similar email during the MaxBoxing fiasco) I just wanted you to know that you have a lot of folks’ respect.

Incidentally, a note on Smoking Joe’s confidence level before the fight with Bob Foster –  he had people handing out bright yellow flyers that resembled an index card that said “Come to the Joe Frazier victory after fight party featuring Joe Frazier & the Knockouts”.  Fortunately for we boxing fans he was much more proficient at belting out an opponent vs belting out a tune. – An aficionado of the Sweet Science, Dan De Vita

I don’t know about that, Dan. “First Round Knock-Out” and “The Bigger They Come” are kinda catchy tunes.

Anyway, I know you weren’t looking to be published, but I figured I would because:

  1. It’s a slow fight weekend.
  2. You shared an anecdote on Joe Frazier’s singing career.
  3. What you had to say was very nice.

And for the record, the respect of fans like you holds A LOT more weight with me than the negative opinions of detractors.

 

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

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