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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Mikey Garcia, Whyte-Parker, Chisora-Takam)

Mikey Garcia was too much for fellow lightweight beltholder Robert Easter Jr. to handle, but what happens if he takes on welterweight destroyer Errol Spence Jr. next?
30
Jul

MIKEY IS ELITE BUT HE HAS FLAWS

Hi Doug,

I love Mikey Garcia. He’s one of the top fighters in the world and very entertaining to watch. He’s also very charismatic, which is an added plus. Technically, he kind of reminds me of Juan Manuel Marquez minus the combination punching.

But in his last couple of fights I’ve seen some cracks in his defense that is making me change my mind in how I view him against Vasyl Lomachenko or Jorge Linares. I honestly feel both fights are pick-‘em, a year ago I favored him big. It might be the fact that his opponents presented no offensive threat to hm. Am I wrong here? How do you see these fights?

Obviously, I think a fight vs Errol Spence is crazy but you never know. We’ve seen crazy things happen and the only path to true greatness is challenging yourself against the odds, I admire that.

I was watching the telecast and noticed how Adrien Broner was booed and Shawn Porter received cheers from the crowd. It also got me thinking how these guys are viewed by me. I hate Broner’s personality and love Porter but once they’re in the ring things change. I prefer seeing Broner fight any day vs. watching Porter.  I absolutely hate the way he fights, he’s dirty and horrible to watch. In the end I think the main thing is who I would rather spend money on rather who I think is nicer and that’s why Showtime keeps Broner in the spotlight as he brings ratings for his personality and fights.

Thanks, Dougie. Have a good week. – Juan Valverde, San Diego

Broner definitely moves the needle, which is something very few active boxers can do. If I advised Manny Pacquiao, I’d point the Filipino Icon toward The Problem, because it’s a winnable fight that would also make for a high-profile event in the U.S. thanks to Broner’s polarizing personality.

(Garcia is) one of the top fighters in the world and very entertaining to watch. No doubt about it. I didn’t always enjoy watching Mikey before his self-imposed exile, but since returning to the sport in 2016, he’s made for exciting KOs and fun distance bouts.

He’s also very charismatic, which is an added plus. I wouldn’t call him Mr. Personality, but he’s likable and genuine and most fans appreciate that.

Technically, he kind of reminds me of Juan Manuel Marquez minus the combination punching. That’s high praise, Juan, but you’re not wrong.

But in his last couple of fights I’ve seen some cracks in his defense that is making me change my mind in how I view him against Vasyl Lomachenko or Jorge Linares. Hey, nobody is perfect, not even Loma (who was reminded of that fact when Linares sent him to the canvas during their showdown in May). As I Tweeted during the Garcia-Easter fight, one doesn’t have to be an elite talent to put hands on Mikey, but the moment anyone makes a mistake – including pound-for-pound level boxers – the four-division beltholder will make them pay.

I honestly feel both fights are pick-‘em, a year ago I favored him big. It might be the fact that his opponents presented no offensive threat to hm. Am I wrong here? I don’t think you’re wrong. I viewed these matchups as even-money or close fights one and two years ago. (I didn’t get overly excited when Mikey iced Dejan Zlaticanin or outclassed Adrien Broner; and I wasn’t blown away by his performance against Sergey Lipinets earlier this year.)

How do you see these fights? I still favor Lomachenko to outpoint Garcia (although I think the wizardly Ukrainian will need to have better form than he exhibited against Linares), and I think Mikey will eventually clip Jorge in the late rounds of a hotly contested boxing match.

Obviously, I think a fight vs Errol Spence is crazy but you never know. Wait a minute, you’re telling me Mikey’s got “cracks in his defense” and may not be able to beat Loma or Linares, but you don’t think we should count him out against Spence? Dude, Garcia has no business at 147 pounds and would likely absorb an extended career-shortening beating against Spence.

We’ve seen crazy things happen and the only path to true greatness is challenging yourself against the odds, I admire that. I do too, but there are worthy challenges for Garcia at 135 and 140 pounds.

 

STAY AWAY FROM ‘THE TRUTH,’ MIKEY!

Garcia needs to stay away from Spence. I do not see Garcia being able to keep Spence off of him. He’s not a Mayweather kind of a guy who’s the defensive wizard who won’t get hit and can win at a distance on points. I do not feel he has the power to knock out Spence or hurt Spence to keep Spence honest. That would be a very stupid fight for Garcia. You have to give him a lot of credit for having the balls to want to challenge Spence.

A better fight at welterweight would be Garcia against Garcia however Danny is fighting Shawn Porter and I don’t think Danny gets past that fight legitimately. The cards will be stacked against Porter in that fight, he’ll have to knock Garcia out to get a decision! Thank you. – Jason C. Brown

Hey, if Porter does stop or outpoint Swift, he can call out Mikey for the honor of Ohio boxers. (Garcia already has the scalps of Porter’s fellow Ohioans, Broner and Easter.)

However, while Danny Garcia and Porter are not as complete or formidable as Spence, they would still present a serious threat to Garcia’s health due to their physical strength and punching power. Think about the facial damage a smallish, lower-top-10-rated 140 pounder like Lipinets was able to inflict upon Mikey. Think about the jabs, right hands and body shots the little Russian landed on Garcia. It doesn’t bode well for Mikey, who I believe is at his best at lightweight, to face ANY world-class 147 pounder.

Garcia needs to stay away from Spence. Good advice.

I do not see Garcia being able to keep Spence off of him. I don’t either.

He’s not a Mayweather kind of a guy who’s the defensive wizard who won’t get hit and can win at a distance on points. Agreed.

I do not feel he has the power to knock out Spence or hurt Spence to keep Spence honest. Agreed.

That would be a very stupid fight for Garcia. Agreed, but I have to wonder given Mikey’s history to float the big names of various divisions (from Linares to Cotto to Keith Thurman to Bud Crawford to Linares again and Loma) as possible opponents without making anything happen, if he’s serious about The Truth.

You have to give him a lot of credit for having the balls to want to challenge Spence. Yes, if he’s indeed serious about it. On the other hand, what’s in it for Spence (apart from the healthy pay day)? Is this a lose-lose situation for him? Will the same fans that ripped Gennady Golovkin for fighting Kell Brook rip Spence for fighting Garcia?

 

EL NINO DE ORO VS. THE E-BUNNY

Doug –

Who wins between Easter and Linares? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

I favor Linares on points, but that’s very close to being an even-money matchup. Easter’s height, reach, speed and durability would give Linares fits, but when the Venezuelan is at his best (think about the motivated version that just fought Loma, not the disinterested veteran that struggled with Luke Campbell and went through the motions with Mercito Gesta) I believe his movement, angles, combos and experience would be too much for the Toledo native.

 

FOUR-DIVISION CHAMP

Hi Doug,A really quick one regarding Mikey Garcia. A fantastic fighter with superstar appeal, a perfect 39-0 record and world titles in four weight classes. But would it be fair to suggest that he has exactly fought the best fighters, or remotely dominated a single weight class, in any of those divisions? Keep up the great work! – Jeremy, UK

Thanks for the kind words, Jeremy.

I don’t think it’s fair to say that Garcia hasn’t fought the best fighters, because he’s fought many top contenders in the divisions he’s occupied, but it is fair to say that he hasn’t dominated any one weight class because he doesn’t stick around long enough to do so. That’s one of the problems I have with division hopping and why I think it’s overrated to an extent. Sometimes going up and down in weight prevents the best from fighting the best.

Garcia, who earned The Ring’s featherweight title when he beat Orlando Salido, fought solid beltholders and contenders upon his rise to the 130-, 135- and 140-pound divisions, but despite calling out the top dogs of some those weight classes, he didn’t face the No. 1 junior lightweight (Takashi Uchiyama – understandable given the WBA champ’s base of operations in Japan) while he was there in 2013, or the No. 1 lightweight/Ring champ Jorge Linares (not so forgivable with the deals he was twice offered), or the No. 1 junior welterweight/Ring champ Terence Crawford (somewhat understandable).

 

WHYTE VS. PARKER CARD

Hey Doug, hope this reaches you well.

A couple months back, when the Whyte-Parker fight was announced on PPV here in the UK, there was a lot of grumbling, made worse by the fact that only 2 fights of any significance (Chisora-Takam and Katie Taylor) were on the undercard – 90s Don King this was not. But how easily that will be forgotten now after two truly spectacular heavyweight fights.

The final round of Whyte-Parker was reminiscent of Sergio Martinez-JCC Jr and really had me out of my seat, there is no way Whyte would have survived even another 30 seconds of that fight. But that aside, he

Whyte (left) trades with Parker. Photo by Lawrence Lustig

really showed his qualities as a worthy contender in the heavyweight. I have to admit I considered him to be quite overrated – what was his best win before Saturday – going life and death with a quite limited Chisora? Blowing out a hapless and out of shape Browne? And the less said about his fight with Helenius, the better. But he silenced those doubts convincingly – apart from the first and last 2 rounds (iffy knockdown call aside), he really imposed himself on his quicker foe, albeit with some lenient refereeing and has shown clear improvement since his loss to Anthony Joshua. Could a rematch be next? As huge as that event would be in the UK, I really hope that this doesn’t get in the way of Joshua-Wilder.

As for Chisora, I was glad to see him get what is probably a career-best win with his stoppage over the always tough Takam in what must surely be a fight of the year contender, but where does he go from here? His limitations on the world level have been displayed numerous times, and though he has probably earned one more shot at a high-level fight with his win, I can’t really see many winnable fights for him among the current crop of heavyweight contenders, especially considering I had him losing the fight until he got the KO. He will at least give anyone a tough outing.

I unfortunately didn’t stay up to watch the Showtime card, but I have seen a lot about Mikey Garcia wanting to fight Errol Spence at 147. As sublimely skilled as Garcia is, I can’t see that ending well for him against a monster like Spence. Do you see this fight happening? I know it would probably be too much to ask for Garcia-Lomachenko given the promotional issues that will arise. All the Best. – Hatau in Sheffield

Loma-Garcia won’t happen any time soon, which might be why Mikey is calling out Spence (it’s a big-money fight for him), but I think it’s worth waiting for. At some point, whenever Loma is healthy, Bob Arum is going to push for WBA/WBO lightweight title unification with Ray Beltran. If that happens and Loma wins as expected, there would be great interest in a total unification bout between the Ukrainian and Garcia, maybe enough demand to bring in the kind of money that would prompt Arum to workout a deal with Team Garcia, Haymon, Schaefer and Showtime. Yeah, I know it’s a long shot. But it’s still better than getting crushed by Spence. If the Loma showdown doesn’t come to fruition there’s the winner of the WBSS 140-pound tournament.

Chisora (left) attacks Takam. Photo by Lawrence Lustig

As for Chisora, I was glad to see him get what is probably a career-best win with his stoppage over the always tough Takam in what must surely be a fight of the year contender, but where does he go from here? Del Boy remains what he’s been for years – a reliable heavyweight gatekeeper. Chisora-Takam was a battle between the best gatekeepers among the big men. The London man won, so he’s the guy who will get the call to test up-and-comers, fringe and former contenders who want to be rated in the top 10, guys like Hughie Fury, Andy Ruiz Jr. and Bryant Jennings.

The final round of Whyte-Parker was reminiscent of Sergio Martinez-JCC Jr and really had me out of my seat, there is no way Whyte would have survived even another 30 seconds of that fight. There’s nothing like heavyweight boxing drama.

But that aside, he really showed his qualities as a worthy contender in the heavyweight. I consider Whyte to be a legit contender. The Ring currently ranks him No. 6 and I would have no problem with him switching places with No. 5-rated Luis Ortiz.

(He) silenced those doubts convincingly – apart from the first and last 2 rounds (iffy knockdown call aside), he really imposed himself on his quicker foe, albeit with some lenient refereeing and has shown clear improvement since his loss to Anthony Joshua. Could a rematch be next? That’s likely. I think Whyte is now Hearn’s in-house substitute for Wilder, should AJ’s showdown with the American puncher fail to come to fruition next April, or he’ll be the first legit contender to face Jarrell Miller now that Big Baby has signed a co-promotional deal with Matchroom/DAZN.

 

GREAT WEEKEND OF BOXING

Hi Doug,

Hope all is well with you. This weekend was what great boxing is all about. Everyone came to fight – not to just dance and collect a paycheck!

Mickey Garcia is just ‘Awesome’! Don’t know what more to say about him. Bring on Spence Jr.!!!!! Ortiz showed that he is still at the top of the heavyweight division! Whyte pretty much ended Parker’s career for another shot at the heavyweight title! I would dearly love to see Ortiz fight Wilder again and maybe ‘box’ more – he might win this time round. Whyte will get a big payday against a top heavyweight, but I think Wilder, Joshua, Ortiz, Fury or Miller would beat him. Parker almost got him in the last round – good thing there wasn’t a round 13!

What about these Mythical Matchups:

  1.  Garcia vs Spence Jr.
  2.  Ortiz vs Wilder II.
  3.  Whyte vs Wilder.
  4.  Whyte vs Ortiz.
  5.  Whyte vs Miller.
  6.  Whyte vs Joshua.
  7.  Ortiz vs Joshua.

Keep up the fine reporting and knowledgeable analysis. – Mike

Thanks for the kind words, Mike, and for sharing your opinions (and enthusiasm).

Mickey Garcia is just ‘Awesome’! Don’t know what more to say about him. I think “awesome” pretty much covers it.

Bring on Spence Jr.!!!!! Settle down.

Ortiz showed that he is still at the top of the heavyweight division! He showed that against Wilder. He gets better work in sparring sessions than he received from Razvan Cojanu.

Whyte pretty much ended Parker’s career for another shot at the heavyweight title! I disagree. It was a close, competitive fight, and Parker is only 26. Time is on his side. He can earn another another shot at a title.

I would dearly love to see Ortiz fight Wilder again and maybe ‘box’ more – he might win this time round. I don’t see Team Wilder giving King Kong that opportunity any time soon.

Whyte will get a big payday against a top heavyweight, but I think Wilder, Joshua, Ortiz, Fury or Miller would beat him. Perhaps, but they can’t afford to have an off-night against Whyte (and I’d give him a good shot at beating Big Baby and the current version of Fury).

What about these Mythical Matchups. These aren’t mythical matchups, these are potential matchups.

Garcia vs Spence Jr. – Spence by late stoppage.

Ortiz vs Wilder II – Wilder by close, maybe controversial decision.

Whyte vs Wilder. – Wilder by late stoppage in a very entertaining fight.

Whyte vs Ortiz. – Ortiz by decision.

Whyte vs Miller. – Whyte by close decision.

Whyte vs Joshua. – Joshua by late stoppage.

Ortiz vs Joshua. – Joshua by decision or late stoppage in a competitive fight.

 

 

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

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