Wednesday, July 18, 2018  |

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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Eddie Hearn, Anthony Joshua, boxing’s new platforms, the perfect fighter)

Promoter Eddie Hearn and Anthony Joshua. (Photo by Nick Potts / Getty Images)




09
Jul

IS PACQUIAO-MATTHYSSE A GO?

Well Ringtv haven’t been reporting on it!

There’s an open letter to Keef Thurman over on ‘Fight City’….which to some…might be as ridiculous as the original from the man himself…his is forgettable so….

Right now..or this time next year….Crawford vs Spence jr.? – Ray K

Don’t hold your breath for a Bud Crawford-Errol Spence showdown this year or next year. Maybe we’ll get it in 2020, IF both welterweight badasses can continue to dominate, build their ratings/fan bases, and get the opportunity to at least partially unify on their sides of the street (Spence vs. Garcia-Porter winner or Thurman; Crawford vs. Pacquiao-Matthysse winner).

I think Thurman will begin his comeback this fall, and then gradually get back into the welterweight mix in 2019. Time will tell if it will be a triumphant return.

Manny Pacquiao vs. Lucas Matthysse is a go for July 14 (July 5 in Malaysia) and it will be streamed live on ESPN+. Read all about it here:

https://www.ringtv.com/538857-pacquiao-matthysse-to-be-streamed-live-on-espn-in-u-s/

 

AJ IS STAYING AT HOME

Afternoon Doug,
Writing this fresh after England’s recent football victory over those blonde bombshells from Scandinavia.

One thing that struck me with AJ’s promotional team over Wilder is that they are so much more proactive and able to capitalise and converse with the mood of his growing UK fan base. I can only assume by now you’ve seen the promotional poster for Joshua’s next 2 fights, both of which will be at Wembley and with the tagline ‘Boxing’s staying home.’

Now I can’t say how far the British memes have transferred off the back of the World Cup across the Pond with the UK theme tune ‘It’s coming home’ but to me it is Hearn just being one step ahead, knowing he can offer AJ 2 fights that will draw the best part of 200k fans to his north London home and national stadium, which he will eat up and if it means he waits until September 19 for Wilder or dare I say it, Tyson Fury, then so be it.

My only worry would be the next opponent lined up is no mug, a drug cheat yes and although he has now signed up to random testing this will be no walk over and more risky given AJ’s rather limited if effective boxing skillset. my thinking as of now is AJ on points or late stoppage but with a few wobbles along the way. not something I’d be putting the house on by any means.

And should Fury win, say, 4 more tune ups/ranked fights in 6 months and is at least similar level to Klitschko fight can his boxing skills, slightly off kilter mentality and silky footwork for a big lad see him reign supreme? My guess is yes, however, as far he has come he still has a long way to go!

Finally, Kell Brook. I’ve always followed and big fan, understand both losses and he’ll be having his 2nd tune up as a result of that previous year. Always fancied him to do a number on Amir Khan simply on timing beating speed (along with Khan’s whiskers). I see it ending before the 5th. I’d like to see him have this before year’s end without the catchweight which given Khan’s extra-curricular activities with women of the night and the rest! I doubt he really needs and most likely a negotiating tactic.

Who do you fancy should these two ever meet? And could either topple Hurd or Charlo next spring? All the best. – Lockie

I’ve always favored Brook to beat Khan, but I view it as a competitive fight, especially given Khan’s new relationship with underrated veteran trainer Joe Goossen. For now, I’ll go with Brook by late TKO if they meet in next six-12 months. I would favor the younger, fresher 154-pound titleholders (Jermell and Jarrett) over the battle-worn veterans coming up in weight.

I’d like to see him have this before year’s end without the catchweight which given Khan’s extra-curricular activities with women of the night and the rest! You lost me with this line.

One thing that struck me with AJ’s promotional team over Wilder is that they are so much more proactive and able to capitalise and converse with the mood of his growing UK fan base. That’s what a good promoter should do. Joshua has a good and dedicated fulltime promoter in Eddie Hearn. Wilder is affiliated with a good, experienced promoter in Lou DiBella but I don’t know how much authority or autonomy the boxing veteran has in moving/planning/marketing the WBC titleholder’s career. I think we all know that Al Haymon is the boss in that situation.

I can only assume by now you’ve seen the promotional poster for Joshua’s next 2 fights, both of which will be at Wembley and with the tagline ‘Boxing’s staying home.’ If Joshua can fill that stadium, that’s where he belongs.

… it is Hearn just being one step ahead, knowing he can offer AJ 2 fights that will draw the best part of 200k fans to his north London home and national stadium, which he will eat up and if it means he waits until September 19 for Wilder or dare I say it, Tyson Fury, then so be it. Hopefully, Joshua fights one of the other claimants to the heavyweight crown by then. Honestly, if he doesn’t plan to make his U.S. debut at any point next year, it probably makes more sense to face Fury first (provided the lineal champ can continue regain his form during his comeback phase).

My only worry would be the next opponent lined up is no mug, a drug cheat yes and although he has now signed up to random testing this will be no walk over and more risky given AJ’s rather limited if effective boxing skillset. Povetkin is a legit threat to any of the champion claimants (Joshua, Wilder and Fury).

My thinking as of now is AJ on points or late stoppage but with a few wobbles along the way. That sounds right to me. It will serve as another important learning experience for AJ.

He’s baaaaaaaack!

And should Fury win, say, 4 more tune ups/ranked fights in 6 months and is at least similar level to Klitschko fight can his boxing skills, slightly off kilter mentality and silky footwork for a big lad see him reign supreme? I have no idea. I’m taking Fury’s comeback on a fight by fight basis. All the last fight did was prove that he’s mentally able to complete one training camp and actually show up for the fight. He still needs to go enough quality rounds to prove his conditioning and to regain his form and fighting reflexes, and that’s going to take time. Consistency is the key to Fury’s success.

 

A NAIL IN THE COFFIN FOR PPV?

Hi Doug?

Hope you and the family are well.

Just reflecting on the announcement from GBP on the use of Facebook to live stream fights.

We have to except people watch content in a different way than they used to. If promotional companies don’t adapt they will be left behind.

I think it’s a brilliant response to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom boxing partnership with DAZN.

Eddie has secured a massive budget with the aim to make the fights people want to see and entice them to subscribe to DAZN. However, GBP will stream on the largest social media platform out there.

Do you think these are further nails in the coffin for PPV? In your opinion is this good for boxing?

Keep up the totally excellent job you and your team are doing. – Tabraze, London, UK

Thank you, Tabraze. We’ll continue to do our best.

Will Golden Boy (and Main Event’s) new Facebook series and Hearns’ partnership with DAZN kill boxing’s pay-per-view model? I don’t think so, but I do believe it will limit PPV boxing shows only to truly major events. Fights that would have been minor PPV shows, such as Pacquiao-Matthysse and Joshua-Povetkin, are now going to ESPN+ and DAZN, which is a good thing. However, the really big PPV matchups, the fights that are hotly anticipated by the boxing world and have the potential to be crossover attractions, such as Canelo-Golovkin or the future Joshua-Wilder showdown, will still be sold for $80-$100 per live viewing – whether it’s on TV or via stream.

We have to (accept) people watch content in a different way than they used to. I agree. I’ve got two daughters, ages 10 and 14, and they don’t watch TV like I did when I was their age. In fact, they watch very little traditional television. (And even their old man has finally got with Netflix and streaming programming.)

If promotional companies don’t adapt they will be left behind. True.

I think it’s a brilliant response to Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom boxing partnership with DAZN. I don’t think Golden Boy’s deal with Facebook has anything to do with what Hearn is doing with DAZN. It’s about gaining more exposure for their young stable of fighters, attracting new fans (or perhaps “old” fans back) to the sport, and learning more about the audience that watches the sport. I don’t think it’s about competing with DAZN or going head to head with Eddie.

Eddie has secured a massive budget with the aim to make the fights people want to see and entice them to subscribe to DAZN. We’ll see who he signs and how that goes very soon.

However, GBP will stream on the largest social media platform out there. And it’s gonna be FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!

 

IS BETERBIEV GOING TO THE DAZN?

Hearn making the moves.

Do you think it works, or is it another P.B.C? I’m guessing Hearn isn’t looking to monopolize. He is looking to secure a worldwide format for boxing fans, smart and right?

It’s about time a person who knows what us hardcore fans want, takes the reigns and offers it for a reasonable fee? The problem is in boxing there can be no main man, as there is in UFC because of the way it started, unless we lose a key player (Bob Arum) but still there are too many on the scene anyway. I want to see Beterbiev fight soon. Super skilled wrecking machine. Will plow through most and I’d give him a shot against Usyk too? Cheers. – Rob

I give Callum Johnson a shot at beating Beterbiev. (Forget about Beterbiev challenging Usyk, who will have his hands full with Murat Gassiev this month.) The Russian light heavyweight has lost career momentum and his much of his formerly destructive form due to inactivity caused by promotional squabbles. (Although it should be noted that Johnson did not fight at all in 2017.)

By the way, Beterbiev is still officially under contract with Yvon Michel. The Beterbiev-Johnson fight is an IBF mandatory title bout that Hearn cut a deal to stream on DAZN in the U.S. Johnson is Hearn’s fighter, not Beterbiev.

Do you think it works, or is it another P.B.C? DAZN is definitely not following the PBC model. Only time will tell if it will be successful, but nothing comes easy in the boxing business.

I’m guessing Hearn isn’t looking to monopolize. Nah, he couldn’t even if he wanted to. He’s just looking to sign whoever is available. Good luck to him and whoever he signs.

He is looking to secure a worldwide format for boxing fans, smart and right? We will find out.

It’s about time a person who knows what us hardcore fans want, takes the reigns and offers it for a reasonable fee? Hearn knows what hardcore fans want but he doesn’t always deliver it, and what’s a “reasonable fee” is matter of opinion. We’ll see if U.S. boxing fans find whatever DAZN is going to charge “reasonable.”

The problem is in boxing there can be no main man, as there is in UFC because of the way it started, unless we lose a key player (Bob Arum) but still there are too many on the scene anyway. Hey man, the more the merrier. All Hearn wants to be in America is another major player. Good luck to him. Competition can be a good thing.

 

THE PERFECT FIGHTER

Hi Dougie –

I hope all is well. To be short, I was wondering who is the closest to being a perfect fighter that you’ve ever covered/studied and what are the qualities you would use.

From what I’ve read & the limited video I’ve seen I’d say Sugar Ray Robinson. And I’m a little biased because I think one of my favorite fighters Tommy Hearns was close if it wasn’t for his chin. Keep up the great work. – Jamaal, Louisiana

Sugar Ray Robinson

Thanks Jamaal, I don’t think you can go wrong with Robinson. He got an A+ in every conceivable boxing attribute (tangible and intangible) – skill, technique, ring generalship, reflexes, coordination, speed, power, stamina, chin/durability, heart and instincts. Technically and athletically speaking, Hearns was right up there with Ray, as was Ray Leonard and Donald Curry. But Robinson was more durable than The Hitman and was more of a vicious offensive force than Leonard and Curry (which is saying a lot because the Sugarman and Lone Star Cobra could be killers when they wanted to turn up the heat).

The closest-to-perfect fighters that I’ve witnessed live (as a fan and member of the media) are Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson and Ricardo Lopez. Floyd Mayweather Jr. at 130 pounds and Juan Manuel Marquez at 126 are up there, as is Marco Antonio Barrera at 122-126.

 

THOMAS HEARNS

Hey Dougie,

Can you think of any fighters whose losses in major bouts altered the outcome of subsequent fights for the victor. A guy who I think of is Tommy Hearns.

Lost to Sugar Ray in the first fight, granted Sugar Ray has a detached retina but he becomes a part time fighter while still in his prime taking off 1983, 1985, 1986

Draw to Sugar Ray in the second fight, Sugar Ray goes on to have a stinker with Duran in the trilogy and eventually gets served up to Norris

Lost to Hagler and then Hagler seems to have lost a step in subsequent fights to Mugabi and Sugar Ray. – Kinonomics from NYC

It should be noted that Hagler was probably past his peak by 1985 and Leonard (like Hearns) was way past his prime by the time of their rematch, but I can only imagine that preparing for and fighting The Hitman took a tremendous physical and mental toll on every boxer he faced, even all-time greats like Leonard and Hagler.

 

 

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