Monday, February 06, 2023  |

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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (next-gen stars, Crawford, Loma, GGG, young fans sound off)

Photo by Andrew Hemingway/Showtime
04
Jun

MANY QUESTIONS FROM A YOUNG BOXING FAN

Dougie,

This is my first time writing in but I’m a long-time reader of the mailbag and want to thank you for the effort you put in to bringing the readers all the best in boxing. As a teenager, I got into boxing solely for the heavyweight battle between Joshua and Klitschko last year and have been hooked ever since. However, most of my friends are only really now starting to get into boxing due to all the buzz Joshua vs. Wilder is creating.

What fighters right now could you see drawing more attention the sport amongst younger people? I feel like the Joshua vs. Wilder rivalry as well as GGG vs. Canelo are well known, but after that I don’t know how many kids my age would know who a guy like Lomachenko is.



Speaking of Lomachenko, how do you think his surgery impacts him? The unification fight against Ray Beltran in late August is probably off which is a bummer. I hope that he heals pretty swiftly as the Garcia-Easter fight promises to be good and with Loma vs. Beltran we could be in for a Garcia-Loma super fight at 135. I hope this happens as it would almost be like the WBSS in a way.

Also, how do you think Terrence Crawford will look this Saturday in his welterweight debut? Bud is a monster and is my favorite boxer on the planet, so I think he KTFO out of Horn. From there, a Crawford-Spence fight would be a dream come true, but do you think there are any other fights he could take? I find Thurman to be an inferior opponent to Spence but he is still undefeated and did beat Shawn Porter. Also, who should be favored in Porter-Garcia? I have Porter winning easy as I think he is a pain in the neck for anyone and will make light work of Swift.

Finally, do you think Golovkin’s next fight will be against Canelo as I hope it will? I just pray he doesn’t end up fighting someone like Derevyanchenko or Andrade who are both dangerous but too many aren’t the bigtime fights GGG should fight. I hope he takes on Canelo and if not, let Charlo get a crack. The Charlo brothers are both beasts and I think Jermall can be the best middleweight in the world.

Mythical Matchups: (These are all mostly current as I was born in 2003)

Jermell Charlo vs Hurd

Mayweather vs. Spence (147)

Hagler vs. GGG

Shane Mosley vs. Sugar Ray Leonard

Pernell Whitaker vs. Loma (135)

Thanks for all the hard work Dougie. – Nick, San Diego

Thanks for the kind words, Nick. It’s awesome to hear that a sensational heavyweight title showdown like Joshua-Klitschko can instantly transform a young casual boxing observer into a hardcore fan.

Your (mostly) mythical matchups:

Jermell Charlo vs Hurd – Charlo by close decision

Mayweather vs. Spence (147) – Mayweather by close decision in a very tough fight for the defensive wizard if you’re talking about the prime 147-pound version of Floyd; if you’re talking about how they would matchup now, I think Spence wrecks “Money” within eight rounds.

Hagler vs. GGG – Hagler by close decision in a great fight.

Shane Mosley vs. Sugar Ray Leonard – Leonard by clear unanimous decision in a competitive fight.

Pernell Whitaker vs. Loma (135) – Sweet Pea by close but unanimous decision.

As a teenager, I got into boxing solely for the heavyweight battle between Joshua and Klitschko last year and have been hooked ever since. However, most of my friends are only really now starting to get into boxing due to all the buzz Joshua vs. Wilder is creating. Hey man, that comes as no surprise to me. There’s an old adage in this sport that you should know about and it goes something like this:

There’s boxing, and then there’s HEAVYWEIGHT BOXING. In other words, when the big men of the sport are firing on all cylinders, none of the lighter-weight classes – including the other glamor divisions, such as middleweight and welterweight – can compete with the heavyweights for the general public’s attention. Joshua-Wilder is arguably the highest profile and most lucrative fight that can be made in boxing. It’s the reason that THE RING magazine that is currently on sale (the July 2018 issue) features a beautiful painting of the undefeated heavyweight titleholders on the cover.

What fighters right now could you see drawing more attention to the sport amongst younger people? The Charlo twins have the kind of fiery personas and fighting spirit that turn heads (young and old) during their fights, immediately after during post-bout interviews, and between fights. All they need to crossover are high-profile opponents. Tyson Fury has that pro-wrestling-style schtick down pat and it’s the kind of nuttiness that polarizes and intrigues boxing fans and casual observers even if his actual fights are snoozers. But there are some young guns that are quickly making names for themselves right now that have the potential (i.e., personality, talent and styles in and out of the ring) to attract their social-media-bred generation to boxing, and among those boxers are Gervonta Davis, Ryan Garcia, Josh Kelly and Teofimo Lopez.

I feel like the Joshua vs. Wilder rivalry as well as GGG vs. Canelo are well known, but after that I don’t know how many kids my age would know who a guy like Lomachenko is. Loma is for a more mature, discerning boxing fan, but he has the uncanny ability and style to retain jaded observers that probably want to walk away from the sport. Joshua-Wilder and GGG-Canelo II will attract mainstream media attention and appease hardcore and casual fans alike. So, even if they don’t bring in Millennials and Generation Z, boxing needs them.

Speaking of Lomachenko, how do you think his surgery impacts him? I think it will limit him to only two bouts in 2018, which will slow down the momentum he earned by fighting Guillermo Rigondeaux and Jorge Linares in back-to-back bouts (which garnered very good ratings on ESPN and lots of media coverage), and that’s major buzzkill. However, Loma seems like one of those special athletes that recovers from injuries uncommonly fast, so I wouldn’t be shocked to see him back in the ring by October. (Seriously, the Ukrainian southpaw might be a meta-human. Cue a YouTube interview with Paulie Malignaggi ranting about what a disgrace it is that boxing allows people with mutant healing factors to compete. “I knew it! I knew this guy was a f__kin’ mutie! Anyone who says he’s a normal human is a f__kin’ mornon!”)

The unification fight against Ray Beltran in late August is probably off which is a bummer. It’s a total buzzkill, as my pal Steve Kim likes to say.

I hope that he heals pretty swiftly as the Garcia-Easter fight promises to be good and with Loma vs. Beltran we could be in for a Garcia-Loma super fight at 135. Fingers crossed, my man.

Also, how do you think Terrence Crawford will look this Saturday in his welterweight debut? I think he’ll perform like the elite boxer that he is and outclass a very game Jeff Horn over 12 rounds.

Bud is a monster and is my favorite boxer on the planet, so I think he KTFO out of Horn. I’ll be very impressed if Crawford can blast the Australian out in the early to middle rounds.

From there, a Crawford-Spence fight would be a dream come true, but do you think there are any other fights he could take? If Crawford-Spence ever happens it won’t be for another year or two. Both welterweight talents have to build up their ratings, fan base and revenue-generating ability/potential in order to convince their respective promoters and networks to work together. So, Top Rank has no choice but to find other fights for Crawford. I think the winner of the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse fight is the perfect first or second WBO welterweight title defense for Bud. If it’s Pacquiao we’ll likely witness a legendary first-ballot hall of famer pass the torch to a worthy successor and help launch Crawford to stardom. If it’s Matthysse we’ll witness a well-known veteran coming off the biggest win of career try to impose his entertaining, offense-minded style on arguably the best boxer in the sport.

I find Thurman to be an inferior opponent to Spence but he is still undefeated and did beat Shawn Porter. I’d be interested in watching Thurman vs. Spence or Crawford. I think he’d be the (deserved) underdog in both matchups but I believe that his style and talent would also pose problems to both badasses.

Also, who should be favored in Porter-Garcia? I view that as an even matchup.

I have Porter winning easy as I think he is a pain in the neck for anyone and will make light work of Swift. I don’t think ANYONE will ever have an “easy” time with Garcia.

Finally, do you think Golovkin’s next fight will be against Canelo as I hope it will? I have no idea. Last time I checked, Eric Gomez and Tom Loeffler were still discussing the fight, and HBO, the network that brings the most money to both Golden Boy Promotions and 360/GGG Promotions, still wants the rematch to happen, so I don’t think it’s dead in the water (despite all of the promotional posturing and rumors currently circulating). I’m OK with allowing the negotiating process to play out. I don’t obsess over potential fights that are in the works.

I just pray he doesn’t end up fighting someone like Derevyanchenko or Andrade who are both dangerous but too many aren’t the bigtime fights GGG should fight. Why would you pray for GGG not to challenge himself against under-the-radar middleweights? Even at 36, Golovkin is a badass mother f__ker, Nick. THE RING magazine’s Pound-for-Pound King can handle himself against any 160 pounder. Derevyancheko is his IBF mandatory challenger, so he’s gotta fight the brute-strong Ukrainian technician. That’s not an easy fight but Golovkin’s more battle-tested as a pro and possesses the superior jab and ring generalship. And though Andrade was a world amateur champ like GGG, and I think the former 154-pound beltholder is very talented, nothing I’ve seen from him as a pro makes me think he could beat the unified middleweight champ.

I hope he takes on Canelo and if not, let Charlo get a crack. I think Golovkin vs. Jermall Charlo would be well-received in the U.S. (and by U.K. fans and media). I’d love to see that matchup land in Houston.

The Charlo brothers are both beasts and I think Jermall can be the best middleweight in the world. They’re definitely beasts, and you might be right about Jermall, but we won’t know for sure until he fights a 160-pound titleholder or a couple legit middleweight contenders.

 

A FAN’S RANT

Hey Doug, love your work.

I’ve been a fan since your Maxboxing days. I’ve met you a few times at fights and once at the Macy’s in Paso Robles. You were shopping with your wife. I was like 12 or so and was with my older sister and we chatted for like a good 30 mins about boxing.

Anyway, dude, no need to bring down a fan:

“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.”

Now, I didn’t write this, but come on dude, he wasn’t being disrespectful or a jerk. He was giving an objective take on this situation (Canelo-GGG) (minus the Spike part).

Mauricio shouldn’t be mouthing his opinions when he is the President of a belt organization. Jemelle? Typing mistake, dude, and I think what he is trying to say is “imagine the WBC mandating Charlo vs Canelo” not happening. The Ring letting Canelo keep his “lineal title” is just so ODLH has some added leverage on negotiations for the fight, and for fan credibility.

Hey, I have no idea why the The Ring took Superman’s title.

Anyways, sorry to rant. Boxing, like politics, has become so divisive, tribal, everyone taking a side. It’s not even an ethnic or racial thing – fans take sides with promotional entities. Fascinating stuff. But some stuff is easy to see and clear to see, no need to pick or defend a side. Sorry just bored at work, take care Doug. – David

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, David. I think I remember that day you were with your sister. Was it in 2006? I recall your older sister (if I’m remembering the right fan interaction) telling me that she watched The Next Round show that Steve Kim and I co-hosted on MaxBoxing (thanks to the membership your older brothers had). She told me that she was looking forward to the “big fight” coming up in Las Vegas and I assumed that she was talking about Fernando Vargas vs. Shane Mosley, but she surprised me when she said she was looking forward to Antonio Margarito vs. “Shotgun” Gomez. (I thought to myself, “OK, this is a real fan.”)

Anyway, I wasn’t picking any sides in my responses to Jeff from Tampa.

I was just poking fun at some typical hardcore fan outrage, which has become a bit trite in this age of social media. I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful to Jeff in any way, and I hope his feathers weren’t ruffled as much as yours obviously were.

If you think politics has become too divisive and tribal, then you shouldn’t take boxing seriously. It’s a just a sport that combines business and entertainment. It doesn’t affect your life (as politics can).

He was giving an objective take on this situation (Canelo-GGG) (minus the Spike part). Yeah, I understand that, and I was just giving my “objective take” on his “objective take” – this is a column, after all – which was to poke a little fun at his caring so much about what the president of a sanctioning organization has to say about the Canelo-GGG negotiations.

Mauricio shouldn’t be mouthing his opinions when he is the President of a belt organization. Really? Why not? Are you making up rules and boxing etiquette, David?

Jemelle? Typing mistake, dude, and I think what he is trying to say is “imagine the WBC mandating Charlo vs Canelo” not happening. I’m aware that it was a typo, I see them all the time, and I correct them nine out of 10 times, but this one tickled me. I saw the opening to make a joke (that you clearly did not appreciate) and I took it. Maybe I’m just a corny ass mulatto, David, but I don’t give a f__k. I think fans that can’t see the humor in things need to lighten up.

The Ring letting Canelo keep his “lineal title” is just so ODLH has some added leverage on negotiations for the fight, and for fan credibility. There is absolutely zero credibility in Canelo keeping THE RING middleweight belt, which is not the same thing as the “lineal title,” and it doesn’t give him or GBP any leverage in negotiations. What gives Canelo leverage in negotiations is his pay-per-view track record and the fact that he’s one of two active STADIUM fighters in the sport (along with Anthony Joshua).

Hey, I have no idea why the The Ring took Superman’s title. He didn’t face a RING-ranked contender in two years.

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

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