Monday, October 14, 2019  |

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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Canelo-Golovkin 2, Ring ratings and titles, Fury’s fake fight)

15
Jun

CANELO-GOLOVKIN 2

Hey Doug,

Well it seems The Neverending Story II is finally set for release. I figured there was no way this fight was not going to be made if Gennady Golovkin let one of his loved titles go. He negotiated hard because he knows that even though Eric Gomez and Oscar De La Hoya say that Canelo Alvarez has more options, none of those bring in the kind of money Canelo needs to cover that big income deficit the May 5 Clembuterol scandal left in his pocket and none of the middleweight players can make him earn as much as this fight will. As an old NBA player said, when you make a lot of money, you spend a lot of money and Canelo certainly needs his business to be going.

I really don’t care what the percentages are, let’s get this fight over with, there are a lot of potential fights that are going to be made out of this result.  Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo, Sergey Deyrvenchenko, Billy Joe Saunders, all these guys are capable of giving these two very tough fights, even beat them, so I hope that by the end of the year we have a mix of great matchups based on the result of this one.

Good to hear The Ring stripped Canelo of the Middleweight title. Hopefully, this keeps those haters out of your mailbag. It was the right thing to do to bring back legitimacy to the historic Ring belt. It will come back, if I’m not mistaken it had a hit mid-Century with some controversy, correct me if I’m wrong.

Anyways, another weekend of mismatches so I won’t go into that. Have a great week Doug! – Juan Valverde, SD/TJ

Yes, you are correct about “mid-Century” controversy with THE RING rankings. It happened in 1976-77, and it involved Don King, two of Don’s generals, managers/cornermen Al Braverman and Paddy Flood, RING writer and ratings chief Johnny Ort, ABC Sports, the chairman of the New York boxing commission, and the concept of a televised elimination tournament to crown “American champions” in key weight classes. For the details on this boxing scandal and black-eye for the Bible of Boxing, please consult the late Jack Newfield’s book “Only In America: The Life and Crimes of Don King” and read Chapter 6 (“Dung King and Johnny Bought”).

I figured there was no way this fight was not going to be made if Gennady Golovkin let one of his loved titles go. Don’t be so sure of that, Juan. Team Golovkin and Tom Loeffler were very close to making a fight with WBO beltholder Billy Joe Saunders for The Forum in my hometown of Inglewood, California (a PPV event that would have likely included the return of Roman Gonzalez and Jaime Munguia on the televised undercard). But the MGM Grand intervened and obviously made the Canelo rematch worth GGG’s while. Good for them.

He negotiated hard because he knows that even though Eric Gomez and Oscar De La Hoya say that Canelo Alvarez has more options, none of those bring in the kind of money Canelo needs to cover that big income deficit the May 5 Clembuterol scandal left in his pocket and none of the middleweight players can make him earn as much as this fight will. That’s for sure. A showdown with Daniel Jacobs would – at best – garner in the neighborhood of 700,000 PPV buys (which is nothing to scoff at but doesn’t come close to making up for the lost payday and revenue that the May 5 rematch with GGG would have earned for Canelo and GBP). And on the other side of the street, the unification clash between GGG and BJS would have likely topped out at 250,000-300,000 PPV buys. With the clenbuterol scandal and mutual animosity between Team Canelo and Team GGG, the rematch can possibly do 1.8-2 million PPV buys. They HAD to do it again.

I really don’t care what the percentages are, let’s get this fight over with, there are a lot of potential fights that are going to be made out of this result. Amen to that. And I’m glad they’re doing it right away. If either middleweight star faced a different opponent, all the media would talk about during the build-up to those fights is the rematch, so they might as well get it out of the freakin’ way.

Daniel Jacobs, Jermall Charlo, Sergey Deyrvenchenko, Billy Joe Saunders, all these guys are capable of giving these two very tough fights, even beat them, so I hope that by the end of the year we have a mix of great matchups based on the result of this one. I agree, but why do we have to wait until the “end of the year” to have “mix of great matchups”? What’s keeping these other middleweight standouts from fighting each other around the same time of Canelo-GGG 2? Why can’t we see Jacobs-Derevyanchenko now (since the IBF mandated it)? Why can’t Charlo fight Saunders, Jacobs or Derevyanchenko next?

Good to hear The Ring stripped Canelo of the Middleweight title. Better late than never. What do you think, should the vacant belt be on the line on Sept. 15?

Hopefully, this keeps those haters out of your mailbag. Yeah, right. The haters will always be there. Nobody else will tolerate them.

 

TERENCE CRAWFORD

Hi Dougie, Man, what more can I say about Terence Crawford. His footwork and the way he steps in to setup his offense is just fun to watch. I love seeing him in against anyone. With that being said, he does need a top dog next. Who do you do you realistically see TC in the ring with next? Peace. – Cory in SF

My guess is that we’ll see Crawford in with the Manny Pacquiao-Lucas Matthysse winner (if that fight happens next month). If Pac-Matty doesn’t happen, maybe Bob Arum makes a deal for a torch-passing event vs. PacMan or he deals with Golden Boy for the services of The Machine. If those bouts can’t be made, Bud’s first defense of the WBO title might be against the highest rated WBO welterweight contender promoted by Top Rank, which is the “Mean Machine” Egidijus Kavaliauskas.

 

RING RATINGS UPDATE, MORE GOOD FIGHTS

Doug,

I was really pleased to hear of The Ring’s decision in stripping Alvarez. It actually happens to make it easier to feel good about Canelo Alvarez, an elite fighter who made, perhaps, some bad or questionable choices but is now enrolled in full time VADA and moving on with his career. Losing his ranking is appropriate whether the doping was intentional or inadvertent — that is the way the rules are written — and I applaud Stefan Friedman for coming to the right decision. Sure, he could have done so sooner, but he got there, that is what matters to me. Good on him, and extra especially on The Ring editorial staff for navigating the narrow, tricky passage artfully and, coming through finally in a solid and upright manner.

Those hastening to wax shitty about the whole thing might pause to consider how well they’ve handled every difficult situation life throws at them/how it’d go with the whole world there watching them go through it on social media.

Now it looks like Canelo and Golovkin are going to throw down again, and I’m more psyched for it than I was willing to admit.

I hope Saunders/Charlo/Jacobs/Derevyanchenko/Andrade/Murata can also duke it out some among themselves, and if so we should have some rocking middleweight fights on tap. Which among those fights do you think are likely to get made in the next six months or so?

Re: the rest of the ratings, I’m glad to see Oleksander Usyk in the P4P top ten. His upcoming fight with Murat Gassiev is among the fights I’m most looking forward to this year. Gotta say, I don’t see how Pacquiao can be ranked above Horn at this point in time at welterweight, but perhaps how either of them do in their next bouts will be revealing.

And, it even seems like Wilder and Joshua are getting it on this fall. I’ll be psyched for that and pulling for Wilder, and I’m betting Whyte/Parker is going to be a better fight than Joshua/Parker was too.

Thanks Doug. I’m sure the settling of the “Canelo thing” politics has got to be a major relief, I hope from here you get to enjoy a nice peaceful summer of nail bitingly close, bloody, edge-of-seat scraps, sans bullshit controversy! Cheers. – Alec

That would be nice, Alec. Settling the Canelo/RING title/rankings controversy is a big weight off my shoulders. The past three months (especially the last 4½ weeks) have been stressful. I’m more than ready to move on.

I was really pleased to hear of The Ring’s decision in stripping Alvarez. I’m glad to hear that. I’m pleased that you – and numerous other fans – still care.

It actually happens to make it easier to feel good about Canelo Alvarez, an elite fighter who made, perhaps, some bad or questionable choices but is now enrolled in full time VADA and moving on with his career. And hopefully other active world-class boxers – especially those who threw shade on Canelo after the positive VADA tests – do the same thing and sign-up for year-round random testing. It’s the only way to know if an athlete is clean.

Losing his ranking is appropriate whether the doping was intentional or inadvertent — that is the way the rules are written — and I applaud Stefan Friedman for coming to the right decision. Agreed. I respect that he continued to review the case after his initial decision and consider input from THE RING Editorial Board, other members of the media, and, most importantly, the fans.

Sure, he could have done so sooner, but he got there, that is what matters to me. Good on him, and extra especially on The Ring editorial staff for navigating the narrow, tricky passage artfully and, coming through finally in a solid and upright manner. It’s been an arduous experience but ultimately, I think it will lead to an improved PED policy.

Those hastening to wax shitty about the whole thing might pause to consider how well they’ve handled every difficult situation life throws at them/how it’d go with the whole world there watching them go through it on social media. Yeah, that would be nice, but those that tend to “wax shitty” about things generally aren’t the most introspective individuals.

Now it looks like Canelo and Golovkin are going to throw down again, and I’m more psyched for it than I was willing to admit. Hey, there shouldn’t be any shame in wanting to see this rematch. It’s a showdown between two of the best middleweights who also happen to be two of the most most popular and entertaining boxers on the planet.

I hope Saunders/Charlo/Jacobs/Derevyanchenko/Andrade/Murata can also duke it out some among themselves, and if so we should have some rocking middleweight fights on tap. Which among those fights do you think are likely to get made in the next six months or so? Sadly, I don’t think any of those middleweight standouts will face each other in the next six months. Saunders is a head case. Charlo is going to sit on his WBC mandatory. Jacobs and Derevyanchenko could fight for the IBF title that was stripped from Golovkin, but they have the same trainer and have sparred a lot, so they will likely explore other options (Derev probably doesn’t want his trainer, Andre Rozier, to be working his opponent’s corner, and Jacobs wants to fight higher-profile middleweights for bigger purses than Derev can command), Andrade will likely sit on his WBO No. 1 ranking, and Murata is going to play safe until a showdown with GGG can be made. I hope these guys prove me wrong.

Re: the rest of the ratings, I’m glad to see Oleksander Usyk in the P4P top ten. He’s worthy.

His upcoming fight with Murat Gassiev is among the fights I’m most looking forward to this year. Same here. That’s among the top five matchups that can be made in any weight class. The winner of that cruiserweight matchup is easily top five or six, pound for pound.

Gotta say, I don’t see how Pacquiao can be ranked above Horn at this point in time at welterweight, but perhaps how either of them do in their next bouts will be revealing. I think the majority of observers thought Pacquiao outpointed Horn, and even if you thought The Hornet legitimately won there’s no denying that the decision was controversial. Given that fact, the manner in which Horn was dominated by Crawford, and the body of work Pac has at 147 pounds (which includes victories over Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto, Shane Mosley and Tim Bradley), I don’t think it’s that strange to have the Filipino legend rated above the Aussie upstart.

And, it even seems like Wilder and Joshua are getting it on this fall. It’s possible, but even if it happens in December 2018 or Spring of 2019, I’d be satisfied. All that matters is that we’re moving closer to the big heavyweight unification showdown.

I’ll be psyched for that and pulling for Wilder, and I’m betting Whyte/Parker is going to be a better fight than Joshua/Parker was too. I agree. Styles make fights.

 

KUDOS TO THE RING

Hi Doug,

I wanted to wait for the dust to settle for a few months before replying back to you in regards to the Canelo ruling last month. I believe it was my email to you back in April of your mailbag which raised this question of Canelo’s Ring Middleweight Champion Status at that time.

Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Ryota Murata, Higa-Rosales, Hagler-Hearns) – The Ring

Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Ryota Murata, Higa-Rosales, Hagler-Hearns) – Th…

MURATA AND HIGA Hi Doug, I’m a long-time reader, first-time writer. I enjoy the bags. Hope you keep them coming …

With your recent Ring Ratings Update this week, I thought it might be a good time to write in. I want to thank you, Mr. Friedman and the rest of your Editorial Board by acknowledging the mistake made and correcting it as such. I, for one, never stopped reading your articles on the website but I’m sure there were others who felt opposite of me.

Most of us sane individuals understood the situation that was at hand at the time of the decision to keep Canelo as the Ring Middleweight Champion. But it’s great to know that your website’s journalistic integrity was upheld at the end.

Plus, being a Canelo fan as I am, I know he’ll be back being ranked no lower than #2 in the division’s rankings after the suspension has been served. There’s no logical argument for those that feel otherwise.

On a lighter note, some MM’s for you to ponder and apologies in advance if you’ve seen these before…

Joltin’ Jeff Chandler vs Ruben Olivares

Alexis Arguello vs Julio Cesar Chavez (Junior Lightweight)

-Eli, Austin, TX

I’ll go with Olivares and Chavez by close (maybe controversial) decision in sensational fights.

With your recent Ring Ratings Update this week, I thought it might be a good time to write in. I want to thank you, Mr. Friedman, and the rest of your Editorial Board by acknowledging the mistake made and correcting it as such. Thank you, Eli. I’ll pass your sentiments on to Brian Harty, Tom Gray, and our esteemed Publisher.

I, for one, never stopped reading your articles on the website but I’m sure there were others who felt opposite of me. There were some, and I hope they all come back if they stopped reading the site or cancelled their subscriptions.

Most of us sane individuals understood the situation that was at hand at the time of the decision to keep Canelo as the Ring Middleweight Champion. I know. But “sane individuals” are in the minority among boxing fans.

But it’s great to know that your website’s journalistic integrity was upheld at the end. Like I said earlier, better late than never.

Plus, being a Canelo fan as I am, I know he’ll be back being ranked no lower than #2 in the division’s rankings after the suspension has been served. We’ll see. Generally speaking, a boxer dropped from the ratings has to fight before he’s allowed back in, but given the circumstances – and the fact that Golovkin deserves (perhaps more than any other active fighter) to fight for THE RING championship – maybe the Panel will make an exception in the case of the rematch.

There’s no logical argument for those that feel otherwise. Come on, man, you know there’s always an argument when it comes to boxing rankings.

 

THANK YOU

Hello Doug,

The Ring ended up doing the “right” thing, and removed Canelo from the ratings, as well as stripping him.

When I first found out that The Ring would not be stripping Canelo, I was deeply disappointed. So much so in fact that I canceled my Ring subscription. Now that the correct move has been made, I decided to re-subscribe.

This move brings back a lot of credibility that I think The Ring lost by not stripping the Red Diva. I want to thank and commend The Ring for doing the correct thing!

Now that brings me to the next question…why? What happened or what caused The Ring to change their minds? I understand it was not your call to keep him in that position, so what happened to make the shot caller change his mind?  Anyways, thanks again! I am locked in for another 6 months!

Mythical Matchup of the day: Shawn Porter vs Jeff (Joe) Horn. What a physical scrap! Sincerely. – Mark Stoy McCahill

That’s not a Mythical Matchup, because you’re talking about two active fighters in the same division. That’s a potential fight. It could happen, but I hope it doesn’t. Yeah, it would be a physical scrap – TOO physical! I think Porter-Horn would be beyond ugly. Beyond awkward. It might feature more grappling than clean punching. That’s not boxing. Anyway, if it did happen (and it better not), I have to go with Porter by decision or late stoppage. 

The Ring ended up doing the “right” thing, and removed Canelo from the ratings, as well as stripping him. At the end of the day, we’re just following our own rules (which I admit are outdated and in need of an overhaul).

When I first found out that The Ring would not be stripping Canelo, I was deeply disappointed. So much so in fact that I canceled my Ring subscription. Now that the correct move has been made, I decided to re-subscribe. Thank you for coming back. I hope we never push you or any other reader away again.

This move brings back a lot of credibility that I think The Ring lost by not stripping the Red Diva. You like that nickname, don’t you? I can think of a few dudes who aren’t so keen on it.

I want to thank and commend The Ring for doing the correct thing! Thank you. Again, props to Stefan Friedman for not closing the book on this issue and for listening to what we (THE RING editors) and the fans had to say about it.

Now that brings me to the next question…why? What happened or what caused The Ring to change their minds? Good question. Here’s what Friedman said in his letter to RING readers that I published in this week’s RING Ratings Update:

After a closer study of the efficacy of hair-follicle testing; re-looking at our past and current drug policies; and speaking with those who have been affiliated with Ring Magazine for decades, I have decided to abide by the Editorial Board’s vote to strip Canelo Alvarez of the Ring Magazine Middleweight championship.

To be clear, I personally believe — and know many others who agree — that the evidence to date shows that Canelo did not intentionally take a banned substance. However, that evidence is not conclusive and therefore cannot be used to keep him installed as champion given the suspension handed down by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.

 

RING TITLE VACANCIES

Hey Doug, been awhile but still tuning into the mailbag each week! Hope all is well with you.

I was scrolling through Boxrec and noticed nearly all the titles are vacant?

Is this normal or are we in unusual times? Do you happen to know if there are any bouts coming up where the vacant title is up for grabs?

Also do you know of any high quality lower weight category fights coming up in the New York City area? I normally follow the heavier guys but seeing the lower weight classes go at live is totally different than watching it on a screen. Thanks. – Seth

That’s a question for a New York City based boxing writer, Seth. I suggest you contact two of THE RING’s top contributors – Michal Woods and Ryan Songalia – who reside in and around NYC, have covered the club shows in the area for years, and have their fingers on the pulse of the local boxing scene. You can reach them via Twitter: @ryansongalia and @Woodsy1069  

I was scrolling through Boxrec and noticed nearly all the titles are vacant? Does Boxrec.com keep track of THE RING titles? I didn’t know they did that. (But I did notice that they still regard Canelo as the middleweight champ.)

Is this normal or are we in unusual times? In order for THE RING title to be on the line, the Nos. 1 and 2 (and in some cases the Nos. 1 and 3) rated contenders in a given weight class need to fight. That doesn’t happen as often as it used to in the sport. So, no, we are not in unusual times.

Do you happen to know if there are any bouts coming up where the vacant title is up for grabs? The WBSS cruiserweight final between Oleksandr Usyk and Murat Gassiev will be for the vacant RING 200-pound title. The WBSS super middleweight final between George Groves and Callum Smith (the Nos. 1 and 3 contenders) could be for the vacant 168-pound title if THE RING Ratings Panel deems it worthy. The talked about potential showdown between Anthony Joshua and Deontay Wilder, and Jarret Hurd and Jermell Charlo would be for the vacant heavyweight and junior middleweight titles. And if Leo Santa Cruz fights Gary Russell Jr., a match that has been mentioned a few times during recent Showtime broadcasts, takes place, the vacant featherweight title will be up for grabs. Also, the winner of the just-announced WBSS bantamweight tournament will likely earn THE RING’s vacant 118-pound title.

 

ESPN+

I’m sure someone told you by now but if you open the espn app, espn+ should be there within the regular espn app. That’s how it is on my roku at least because when first launched I was looking for an espn+ app myself as well. Just an fyi in case no one informed you. – Darius Royster

Thanks, Darius. I didn’t see the ESPN+ App within the regular ESPN App when I accessed it from my Fire Stick. Maybe I need to take a closer look, or purchase Roku.

 

HDMI CORD

I used the HDMI cord from my TV to my laptop and watched it on an 83 inch versus a laptop. Took two seconds.

Thank you. – Jason C. Brown

Thanks, Jason. I access ESPN+ from my iPhone, but I’ll get it on my laptop before the next big fight is streamed on the App if I can’t figure out how to put the stream on my TV without the use of an HDMI cord.

 

FIRE STICK

Hey Dougie… Just a quick note after reading your Monday Mailbag. You can access ESPN + through the regular ESPN app on the Firestick… quality is great. Took me a minute to figure it out too!

Keep up the great work. – Ric from NYC

You’re clearly smarter than I am, Ric. Don’t rub it in.

 

FURY AND THE FRAUDULENT FIGHT

Hi Doug:

Longtime casual boxing fan (would watch the huge fights and not much else) back to the mid-90s and lately paying more attention to the sport overall. I believe (hope?) that there are very few (if any) rigged fights where a guy just takes a dive. The rigging should happen before a fight is made — get an over-matched opponent and there’s no need for in-ring hi jinx.

When Fury made his way to the ring, I said out loud there is zero way he walks out with an L. First fight in a popular comeback with tens of millions of dollars in the offing with a W (just look at that arena!).

And then it turned into a WWE (nee WWF) match. I get showmanship and being entertaining. But then … Fury looks at a fight in the crowd (more action there than in the ring, I guess) and the other guy lets him without attacking. Fury puts his hands behind his back and his chin out and the other guy does nothing. Fury goons and the other guy goons back (what, he’s going to win the crowd over?). The only way that happens is if the outcome is predetermined. Swiss dude wasn’t even there as a boxer — he was just in the ring as a foil.

IT TOOK MORE THAN 30 SECONDS FOR ANYONE TO THROW ANY PUNCH. Then the action REALLY heated up to about 2 punches per minute. Wow. Even the biased British announcers commented about fans coming for a boxing match and not getting it.

Then Fury’s punches were just crap — so slow and looping. The Swiss fighter just seemed to put his face where the punch was coming at times.

I found nothing at all redeeming about that “fight” — nothing learned about Fury’s fitness or fighting skills. Nothing about the over-matched Swiss fall guy.

This is what drives me back to just caring about the 2-3 mega fights each year — thank you but I’ll bypass all this lower-level ridiculousness and wait for the AJ-Wilder caliber fights where you know going in both guys will at least try. – Ben

You’ll be missing out on a lot of quality boxing if you only pay attention to the “mega fights,” Ben, but it’s your prerogative, to paraphrase Bobby Brown.

I agree that there was nothing to be learned about Fury’s fitness or skills with his four-round stoppage of Sefer Seferi. The sole purpose of that matchup was to get Fury back into the ring. End of story. That was the victory: getting Fury to complete a full training camp and to get his big flabby, gangly ass into the ring. It wasn’t about anything else. Seferi was not there to test Fury’s conditioning, skills or mettle. That will come later.

When Fury made his way to the ring, I said out loud there is zero way he walks out with an L. Did anybody in the world think there was a chance that he could lose that fight?

First fight in a popular comeback with tens of millions of dollars in the offing with a W (just look at that arena!). Yup, Frank Warren would be fool to match Fury tough after the linear champ spent two and half years out of the sport (and away from the gym while struggling to conquer personal demons), and Warren is no fool.

And then it turned into a WWE (nee WWF) match. Hey, the WWE is very popular. (I used to love the WWF.)

I get showmanship and being entertaining. But then … Fury looks at a fight in the crowd (more action there than in the ring, I guess) and the other guy lets him without attacking. Fury puts his hands behind his back and his chin out and the other guy does nothing. Seferi was just being sporting. Don’t diss the man for that!

Fury goons and the other guy goons back (what, he’s going to win the crowd over?). If Fury can get into Wladimir Klitschko’s head, he’s going to be able to con Sefer Seferi. That ability is one of his gifts.

The only way that happens is if the outcome is predetermined. Not necessarily. Maybe he was simply outclassed and undersized.

Swiss dude wasn’t even there as a boxer — he was just in the ring as a foil. No s__t. Seferi wasn’t even a top-30 heavyweight.

Then Fury’s punches were just crap — so slow and looping. True, but they still land with authority because of his size.

The Swiss fighter just seemed to put his face where the punch was coming at times. Tough way to make a living. Bless him.

 

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

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