Friday, November 16, 2018  |

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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Porter-Garcia, Usyk-Bellew, Canelo-GGG2)

Photo by Amanda Westcott-SHOWTIME
07
Sep

GOTTA KEEP AN EYE ON THOSE JUDGES

Dougie,

You the man! I appreciate your honesty and wit, as well as anecdotal support when necessary, in the mailbag.

Big weekend and start of a great run of bouts after a rather disappointing summer. One question/request: When big bouts are likely to go the distance, I suggest an article on the assigned judges, along with some of their most terrible moments. They will determine the winner of most high-profile fights, but we don’t know who they are until the intro to the bout. Yes, GGG-Canelo is an exception for obvious reasons, but the scorecards of the ‘three blind mice’ are so important that they need to be put under the microscope BEFORE the bout. HBO’s Lederman does a blurb on the judges when it goes to the cards, but as a former judge he is too kind to scathe them publicly.

For instance, Glenn Feldman scored the Darlys Perez-Maurice Hooker bout a draw 95-95, when most anyone with a brain had Perez the winner. He also scored a draw between Orlando Salido-Roman Martinez when it was apparent that Martinez deserved the decision. Dave Moretti, in a “Dishonorable Mention” for BoxingScene’s Robbery of the Year in 2014 scored the Jose Benavides-Mauricio Herrera bout 117-111 for Benavides. Sure, he wasn’t the only crook sitting ringside, but I think it is important to set the table for the fans as to what to expect. It certainly cannot hurt.

Who ya got?

Porter-Garcia

Nietes-Palicte

Ioka-Arroyo

MM:

Jerry Quarry vs Michael Moorer

Keep up the good work. – Donavan

Thanks for the kinds words, Donavan.

I think Moorer is an underrated former heavyweight champ, but although Quarry never won the title (which was still the “biggest prize in sports” during his era), I think the Californian perennial contender at his best would knockout “Double M.”

I’ll go with Porter, Nietes and Ioka – all by close decision. I view all three bouts as even matchups. Garcia’s powerful counters could possibly dent Porter’s iron chin (or maybe the Philly standout will wisely attack the body), Palicte might be too big and fresh for the 37-year-old veteran, and Ioka may have bitten off more than he can chew by taking on a legit contender like Arroyo in his 115-pound debut and after a long layoff.

One question/request: When big bouts are likely to go the distance, I suggest an article on the assigned judges, along with some of their most terrible moments. I think this is a very good idea for a semi-ongoing feature on RingTV.com, but I don’t feel right digging up all of a judge’s controversial scorecards – or going back too far back in the judge’s career – because everyone has a bad day or two at the office, and sometimes there is no “correct” verdict after a hotly contested bout. (For example, I thought that Salido “clearly” won his rematch with Martinez that was ruled a draw.) However, I think it’s fair to run an article that shows a judge’s recent history – perhaps going back two or three years – going into a high-profile fight. If he or she has two or more “head-scratchers” during that span, it could be just cause for concern. One year before her infamous 118-110 tally for Canelo-Golovkin, Adaliade Byrd handed in the same score for Jesse Magdaleno over Nonito Donaire, which was ridiculously wide for the WBO 122-pound title winner. Also in 2016, she had Jose Benavidez winning a shutout (100-90) over Chia Santana in a bout that most thought could have gone either way by a point or two. In 2015, she had Gerald Washington beating Amir Mansour by a 97-93 margin in a bout that most thought Mansour edged (or could have been a legit draw).

For instance, Glenn Feldman scored the Darlys Perez-Maurice Hooker bout a draw 95-95, when most anyone with a brain had Perez the winner. That decision was actually worse than the shameful unanimous tally in the main event that night.

Dave Moretti, in a “Dishonorable Mention” for BoxingScene’s Robbery of the Year in 2014 scored the Jose Benavides-Mauricio Herrera bout 117-111 for Benavides. Dude, you’re making me nervous about the big main event on Sept. 15.

 

CRUISERWEIGHT RANKINGS, DSG VS SHOWTIME

Hi Doug,

First time writer, long time reader. What is the rationale behind ranking Briedis ahead of Gassiev? Sure, he gave Usyk a better fight, but Gassiev has beaten two of the other top 5 cruiserweights (as ranked by The Ring), while Briedis has beaten 0.

Also, I know you’re not crazy about the fight, but I think Garcia-Porter is going to be a banger this weekend. My money says DSG gets him out of there inside the distance. Keep up the good work! – Michael M.

Will do, Michael. Thanks for finally writing into the mailbag column.

It’s true that I’m not super excited about Porter-Garcia but I’ll still watch a replay of the fight either late night tomorrow (after I cover the SuperFly3 show) or sometime Sunday and I’ll do so with interest. It’s a significant welterweight bout. Both former beltholders are battle-tested but still in their athletic primes and it’s an intriguing style matchup.

You like Garcia by KO? My man Keith Thurman says that’s the “only” way Swift can win tomorrow’s showdown. Chief Keith says if Porter wins, it will be via decision, and he says (according to a Showtime press release) that he’s leaning toward the Ohioan. (I won’t disagree with Thurman.)

What is the rationale behind ranking Briedis ahead of Gassiev? To sum it up, The Ring Ratings Panel thought Gassiev was “exposed” to a degree against Usyk, which made Briedis’ competitive and close points loss to the new undisputed champ look damn impressive. I think the bottom line with the Panel was that Gassiev shouldn’t assume the No. 1 ranking coming off an embarrassingly one-sided loss (even to a boxer as special as Usyk).

Sure, he gave Usyk a better fight, but Gassiev has beaten two of the other top 5 cruiserweights (as ranked by The Ring), while Briedis has beaten 0. That’s not true. Marco Huck was No. 5 in The Ring rankings when Briedis beat the German veteran last April.

 

THE WELTERWEIGHTS AND USYK-BELLEW

Hi Dougie,

Hope you and the family are well.

Danny Garcia Vs Shawn Porter is such a good fight on paper. With the style both bring, especially Porter, can’t see how this one won’t deliver! How you calling it? I’m on the fence. Porter got such a rough aggressive style, but Garcia is so good at finding a way.

The King is back in action again against Samuel Vargas. Amir Khan expected to win. If he can deal with a second Spence victim in better style what’s his next move? I’d like to see him in against any of the top 5 welterweights. With his speed, engine and experience he’s a nightmare for any of them. High risk but high reward. Of course, wouldn’t mind seeing the Brook fight either.

WTF is going on with the WBA and the situation with Oleksandr Usyk? The article by Tom Gray was spot on! Don’t get me wrong. Mandatories do have rights, but for example you can’t compare Dillian Whyte’s situation to Denis Lebedev being a mandatory! Both Usyk and Tony Bellew have earned this fight. We want to see it! Hopefully they can get it on!

Enjoy the weekend. – Tabraze, London, UK

I will, Tabraze.

Regarding the WBA’s potential roadblock to the Usyk-Bellew fight (which I heard was agreed to and ready to be officially announced next week), I couldn’t express myself any better than you or Mr. Gray did in his excellent commentary piece: https://www.ringtv.com/543116-gray-matter-aleksandr-usyk-tony-bellew-and-a-denis-lebedev-in-the-wba-ointment/

Usyk and Bellew have earned the right to engage in a high-profile, big-money event, and the WBA (as well as Team Lebedev and the Russian veteran’s promoter Andrei Ryabinsky) should make a deal with K2-Ukraine and Matchroom to allow the fight the fans want to see to happen sooner rather than later.

I agree that not all mandatories are created equal. Lebedev is a legit contender and former beltholder, but he hasn’t earned a mandatory shot at the WBA title, let alone a shot at the undisputed champion. Here’s what I would do if I could wave a magic wand to take command of the situation: I’d make Lebedev fight the WBA’s “regular” champ (Beibut Shumenov). Then the winner of that fight can defend against the WBA’s “interim” champ (Arsen Goulamirian). Whoever wins that bout to consolidate the WBA’s bulls__t belts can get in line to face the Usyk-Bellew winner.

Danny Garcia Vs Shawn Porter is such a good fight on paper. I think they are good welterweights and it’s an interesting style matchup (hard to say who’s got the edge), but I’m not sure their styles/mentalities will mesh in a way that will be entertaining. (It could be ugly and cuts from accidental clashes of heads could be a problem for both fighters.) I hope it’s an exciting fight.

How you calling it? Porter by close decision.

I’m on the fence. Porter got such a rough aggressive style, but Garcia is so good at finding a way. True. I don’t blame you for not being able to make a pick

Khan (left) and Vargas. Photo by Lawrence Lustig

The King is back in action again against Samuel Vargas. Amir Khan expected to win. If his mind is right and he’s had a good camp (which I believe he has), he should outclass a tough but limited boxer like Vargas. He may not get the KO this time (Vargas is usually durable and he’s been active), but he probably needs to go rounds.

If he can deal with a second Spence victim in better style what’s his next move? I think Eddie Hearn’s plan is to either woo Manny Pacquiao to DAZN platform and a showdown with Khan, or to pit “The King” against the “Special One.” Both matchups have been talked about for years. I think Khan would prefer a showdown with Pacquiao if that bout can be made.

I’d like to see him in against any of the top 5 welterweights. If he flashes prime form against Vargas, I think Khan makes for a high-profile option for all of the 147-pound beltholders.

With his speed, engine and experience he’s a nightmare for any of them. Agreed. Believe it or not, I think Khan’s style and attributes could trouble Terence Crawford (at least until Bud connected with a solid shot to his chops).

Of course, wouldn’t mind seeing the Brook fight either. It will happen eventually.

 

CANELO VS. GGG 2

Dear Dougie,

It’s been a while.

Thanks for your work and honesty. Your messages on the self-proclaimed TBE made me laugh and your brilliant defense of GGG (regarding Loma’s comment) was a pleasure to read.

This email is a little long but I need some answers. It can’t stay in my head for more and you and Da Breadman are the two best sources of knowledge 🙂 I structured it so you can answer pretty fast.

I like Canelo but will always defend GGG because I don’t like injustice. I’m pissed that GGG was never able to achieve a certain greatness because of circumstantial factors. He hit his prime in a weak era and was avoided by them all. He hit the big stage just before getting too old, giving a false idea to people. I believe the 2014 GGG would have stopped both Jacobs and Canelo but history will not remember that. I think he could have accomplished as much as Hagler if in the right era and with the right challenges. It’s just too bad that such a dominant force was not tested much during his athletic peak. At the end of the day, if he was to lose against Canelo, it’d make the latter a legend, and GGG a good overrated pressure fighter when I truly believe that historically, on his best night, during his peak, he could have won or lost very closely against the 5 best MW ever.

Questions:

Canelo-GGG

-Do you think it smells like Kovalev-Ward in many aspects?

(HBO star, Eastern boxer with limited English, smaller promotion, weird stoppage in the second fight of the never stopped feared puncher by a non-puncher with help of a blind ref and then dismissing of the now beaten puncher’s career and accomplishment?)

-The consensus seems to be Canelo is favored since he’s younger, fresher, and more versatile and in rematches, history says the more cerebral and versatile boxer gets the edge.

Would you agree? And do you agree with this narrative?

Is being a sharp flashy combinations counter puncher being more of a boxer than GGG (who I believe won against Lemieux, Stevens, Jacobs, and Canelo by actually boxing them all?)

-Do you think, like many, that GGG can’t do anything better, adapt or change in this rematch?

-Now that GGG got a taste of Canelo’s power during 12 rounds, can he replicate the Brook/Martyrosian fight where he decides to go for the kill with confidence?

-Do you think Canelo got hurt one of GGG’s left hook late in the fight and do you think the clean right hand that landed on Golovkin’s temple (HBO 24/7) actually hurt him?

-By watching the fight multiple times, I do believe that GGG started late and was shy, and I don’t only attribute that to Canelo’s counter punches but I think a lot has to do with the pressure of the mega event. It took him a few rounds to warm up.

I don’t see the same look in GGG’s eyes.

-Finally, despite Canelo’s younger age, the knee operation, the PED scandal and the Martirosyan fight, who’s gonna come fresher?

-Impossible to publicly trash a trainer but how good are the Reynosos and, looking at the 24/7, Chepo saying: “Golovkin is a donkey who can only move forward and throw rocks, who’s dumb”, would you say they got emotionally involved and defend Canelo or do they absolutely don’t know anything about boxing?

-Do you believe GGG when he says he won’t let it go the judges because of the first match? And do you believe Canelo saying the same or for him, regarding his style, it’s just words and promotion?

What do you make of the psychological factor?

It’s my understanding that it can fuel fighters but also be a weakness if there’s too much. Those guys have deep animosity, but I don’t know who it’s gonna help more. I lean towards GGG because of the injustice feeling, and also because I believe that if it’d become a street fight, a fight of attrition, a slugfest, a war, GGG would get the edge because in my opinion, despite his excellent technique, underrated boxing abilities, powerful and precise jab, he has a granite chin and warms up ala Hurd, Rios or even Chavez Jr in the storm (for modern names). I think deep down, and we can see it when he’s punched or when things get ugly, he’s a real brawler, but too smart, technical and powerful to abandon himself in this. I don’t think he will do it but if he was to go for the kill, granted he’d receive his fair share of blows but eventually would stop Canelo who I believe has a lesser chin, less conditioning, and probably a little less heart if it was to happen. Opinion?

Ps: I think Lemieux is gonna smoke Spike real bad ala Stevens. I don’t see anything the brash and cocky Irishman can do to Lemieux. It’s gonna be fun while it lasts but ugly soon. Lemieux KTFO Spike inside 4. Thanks. – Diego

I also favor Lemieux, but I’m not counting out O’Sullivan. I believe that Spike is a better boxer than he’s given credit for and he’s proven to have world-class whiskers (I don’t think he’s ever been down as an amateur or pro). O’Sullivan also makes 160 pounds easier than Lemmy does, and he’s got good momentum coming into this fight.

Anyway, onto the middleweight main event and your many questions about it:

-Do you think it smells like Kovalev-Ward in many aspects? No, I don’t. Golovkin is a much bigger name than and a more complete fighter than Kovalev is, and Canelo is not as cagey as Ward. Plus, this is a MUCH bigger event than Ward-Kovalev II was, thus there’s way more eye balls and pressure on the NAC and the appointed officials to be fair and competent.

-The consensus seems to be Canelo is favored since he’s younger, fresher, and more versatile and in rematches, history says the more cerebral and versatile boxer gets the edge. Most fans and media that I know are picking Golovkin. I don’t think either fighter has a decided edge in intelligence and/or versatility.

Would you agree? And do you agree with this narrative? No, but I think Canelo (who is a slight betting underdog) is definitely live.

-Do you think, like many, that GGG can’t do anything better, adapt or change in this rematch? No, that’s an asinine notion. If Golovkin couldn’t adapt during a fight, Canelo would have beat him fair and square in the first bout. If he wasn’t able to change from fight to fight, he would be boxing like a Kazakhstani amateur and not with his signature “Mexican Style.” His style has changed over the years and he’s always making little adjustments during his fights.

-Now that GGG got a taste of Canelo’s power during 12 rounds, can he replicate the Brook/Martirosyan fight where he decides to go for the kill with confidence? No, because Canelo is bigger, stronger and more accurate than Brook and Martirosyan. He might start a little faster and punch with badder intentions, but there’s no way GGG is going to toss caution to the wind.

-Do you think Canelo got hurt with one of GGG’s left hooks late in the fight and do you think the clean right hand that landed on Golovkin’s temple (HBO 24/7) actually hurt him? No. I think both fighters felt these power shots but weren’t seriously hurt; they know how to subtly roll and turn with punches and both men have good chins.

-By watching the fight multiple times, I do believe that GGG started late and was shy, and I don’t only attribute that to Canelo’s counter punches but I think a lot has to do with the pressure of the mega event. It took him a few rounds to warm up. I agree. I think the magnitude of the event made him a little tight in the opening rounds of the bout, but he got over it by the fourth.

I don’t see the same look in GGG’s eyes. I’m not sure what you mean by this, but OK.

-Finally, despite Canelo’s younger age, the knee operation, the PED scandal and the Martirosyan fight, who’s gonna come fresher? Canelo’s got youth on his side, but he’s also been inactive for one full year amid a lot of distractions (as well as an interrupted camp for the originally scheduled rematch). He’s also got 52 pro bouts under his belt. GGG had a long amateur career and 39 pro bouts under his belt, but he leads a Spartan lifestyle and shaking out against Martirosyan on May 5 probably helped him from getting stale going into this rematch. I’m not sure either fighter has a big edge in “freshness.”

-Impossible to publicly trash a trainer but how good are the Reynosos… I consider them to be world-class trainers. They’ve developed other world titleholders apart from Canelo and I thought Eddy did a good job between rounds during the first GGG fight.

… and, looking at the 24/7, Chepo saying: “Golovkin is a donkey who can only move forward and throw rocks, who’s dumb”, would you say they got emotionally involved and defend Canelo or do they absolutely don’t know anything about boxing? I think they’re just trying to piss off Abel Sanchez, who his talked his share of s__t about Team Canelo for the past few years.

-Do you believe GGG when he says he won’t let it go the judges because of the first match? Yes, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to do it.

And do you believe Canelo saying the same or for him, regarding his style, it’s just words and promotion? I think Canelo will go for the stoppage if he visibly hurts GGG at some point during the fight, but most of his KO talk is meant to get into the heads of Team Golovkin (just like most of Sanchez’s talk is designed to get under the skin of Team Canelo).

What do you make of the psychological factor? 

It’s my understanding that it can fuel fighters but also be a weakness if there’s too much. Those guys have deep animosity, but I don’t know who it’s gonna help more. I think both seasoned middleweights know how to control their emotions once the bell rings. They’re not wired to go buck wild just because they dislike an opponent. They always remain focused and collected. That’s part of the reason both are elite boxers.

I lean towards GGG because of the injustice feeling, and also because I believe that if it’d become a street fight, a fight of attrition, a slugfest, a war, GGG would get the edge because in my opinion, despite his excellent technique, underrated boxing abilities, powerful and precise jab, he has a granite chin and warms up ala Hurd, Rios or even Chavez Jr in the storm (for modern names). I think deep down, and we can see it when he’s punched or when things get ugly, he’s a real brawler, but too smart, technical and powerful to abandon himself in this. I don’t think he will do it but if he was to go for the kill, granted he’d receive his fair share of blows but eventually would stop Canelo who I believe has a lesser chin, less conditioning, and probably a little less heart if it was to happen. Opinion? 

I think if Golovkin sensed that he could stop Canelo, he would have gone for it in the first fight. (He didn’t, which should tell you that Canelo’s chin, conditioning and heart are up to snuff.) If he thinks he can get the KO in the rematch, he’ll do what he needs to do to make it happen. But I think the return bout will go the distance.

 

 

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

 

 

 

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