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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Wilder-Fury, War-A-Week, GGG-Charlo, AJ & the P4P, Callum Smith)

Tyson Fury won the war of words against that "bum dosser" Deontay Wilder, but what happens when they step into the ring on December 1?
05
Oct

WILDER-FURY PRESS CONFERENCES

Hi Dougie,

Have not wrote in a while but always a privilege to read the column each Monday and Friday. Hope you and yours are all well and with regard to the mailbag, I love the opinions, the knowledge shared and the banter that usually follows on the discussion threads each time.

First off, let me offer my congratulations to Josh Taylor who recently was awarded the British version of their fighter of the year. Josh is a local lad in my parts who is very, very well liked for being down to earth, very approachable and he has a strong fan-following. Between winters 2018 – 2019 I anticipate his road to being the 140lbs division king will take a major step forward if he can shine in the WBSS event starting next month. How do you see that series unfolding given your excellent prediction of Callum Smith coming thru the Super Middleweight series? I think with Jorge Linares now moving into the division, we have some excellent match-ups to anticipate when we include Jose Ramirez and Regis Prograis to name but 3.



On to The Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder pressers that have been held this week. Before I start, let me state that I have a massive soft spot for Fury. I enjoy the entertainment value he brings and as you have alluded to yourself in the past, he is just a big goof-ball at times who makes me laugh. Having watched the UK and NY events online, I was struck by just how much fitter Fury now looks. I know that this is no guarantee of success but kudos to him for getting himself in what appears to be ‘match-fit’ shape for the upcoming event (even tho there will be doubts over his lack of competitive action for 3 years). Did you catch the UK press conference? I thought Fury did a pretty good job of striking a 1st blow in the mind-games dept. He set out to rile Wilder and it must be said, he succeeded with comparative ease.

I’m actually thinking at this point that he may just pull off a 12-round snooze-fest unanimous points decision when they meet in December. Fury himself is talking openly about taking Wilder into the deep waters of rounds 9-12 which has me curious if this is a ploy to goad Wilder into throwing big early in the fight and tire himself out. That’s what I love about Fury – You just never know what you are going to get with him. How do you see this match-up panning out?

Keep up the good work. – Raymond, Tranent, Scotland

Thanks for the kind words, Raymond.

I don’t know what to expect from the big men on December 1. Both men are supremely confident, unbeaten and with legit ties to the heavyweight crown, so the bout is obviously significant. Both men are natural showmen, which has made the three-city press tour eventful and amusing. This is all good, but when I think about how their styles might mesh in the ring, I get three scenarios – an early KO victory for Wilder, a late come-from-behind stoppage for the American puncher, and a 12-round decision for Fury. Only the first scenario is guaranteed to be exciting, in my opinion.

Despite their considerable talent (Wilder’s more on the athletic side; Fury’s on the boxing side), both heavyweights are the definition of awkward. I mean Fury once punched himself in the face with an uppercut, for Pete’s sake. (I can already hear his supporters whine: “Oh, come on, Mate, that was early in his career!” Hey, goof balls, I don’t care if he was five years old at the time; that’s some sloppy, uncoordinated s__t.) Wilder literally resembles a windmill when he goes for the kill. This could be a very ugly style matchup, folks. Sorry if this opinion pisses on anyone’s parade.

Viktor Postol vs. Josh Taylor (right). Photo by Shabba Shafiq

First off, let me offer my congratulations to Josh Taylor who recently was awarded the British version of their fighter of the year. Taylor is worthy. He’s had an excellent past 12 months and he’s done a lot in just 13 pro bouts. The Scotsman’s not afraid to take risks. He reminds me of the badass Japanese and Ukrainian boxers currently making world-class moves with just a dozen or so bouts under their belts.

Josh is a local lad in my parts who is very, very well liked for being down to earth, very approachable and he has a strong fan-following. I expect them to turn out for him for his WBSS first-round clash with Ryan Martin next month. I think they’ll be treated to a good scrap.

Between winters 2018 – 2019 I anticipate his road to being the 140lbs division king will take a major step forward if he can shine in the WBSS event starting next month. We’ll see. He’s got get past Martin first, and the undefeated (22-0) American won’t be a walk in the park. I’ll go so far as to say if Taylor handles Martin, I’ll consider him to be the clear favorite of the tournament. (Currently, I think it’s between Taylor and Regis Prograis.)

How do you see that series unfolding given your excellent prediction of Callum Smith coming thru the Super Middleweight series? Don’t bet any money on my predictions. Yeah, I did favor Smith to win it all when the WBSS 168-pound tourney was announced, but I changed it to Groves before the final.

I think with Jorge Linares now moving into the division, we have some excellent match-ups to anticipate when we include Jose Ramirez and Regis Prograis to name but 3. Yes Sir. Perhaps we will see Taylor vs. Prograis in the WBSS final. I hope so. The vacant Ring 140-pound championship would be on the line with that matchup. Ramirez-Linares is a fascinating pressure fighter/volume puncher-vs.-boxer matchup. I hope that fight can be made if Linares notches another victory or two at 140 (vs. better opposition than Abner Cotto). Taylor vs. either would be excellent.

On to The Tyson Fury v Deontay Wilder pressers that have been held this week. I think BT Sport/Showtime did a good job with all three broadcasts/streams.

Before I start, let me state that I have a massive soft spot for Fury. I enjoy the entertainment value he brings and as you have alluded to yourself in the past, he is just a big goof-ball at times who makes me laugh. You don’t have to explain or apologize for you affinity for Fury. He’s fun. I get that. I think we need more fun in boxing.

Having watched the UK and NY events online, I was struck by just how much fitter Fury now looks. He does look fit (by his standards – he never had a “body beautiful”). As long as he’s in “dancing shape” by December 1, he’s got a shot against Wilder.

Did you catch the UK press conference? I thought Fury did a pretty good job of striking a 1st blow in the mind-games dept. I watched most of it, as well as highlights from the NYC and L.A. pressers, and I agree that he got under Wilder’s skin.

He set out to rile Wilder and it must be said, he succeeded with comparative ease. I agree. That strategy might backfire on him, though.

 

DON “WAR-A-WEEK” CHARGIN

What’s up Dougie!

Just wanted to write in because it’s been awhile but we lost a great one in the late “War-A-Week” Mr. Don Chargin. Great article by Lee Groves depicting the life and history of Mr. Chargin.

I was blessed enough to be able to work with him and will be a part of his final show Saturday at Cachecreek Casino as we train Joel Diaz Jr. (23-1, 19 kos). He was an incredible man with captivating stories and incredible knowledge. He was as grateful to see you as you were to see him. From the club fighters to the super stars, he treated every combatant with respect and thankfulness. He had a Johnny Cash vibe about him, very cool, collected, confident, but far from arrogant. My family, Garcia Boxing of Salinas, California, was revived with his and his protégé, Paco Damien’s shows in Northern California and for that I’m am thankful. Rest In Peace, Don.

One question, Dougie, who’s on your Mt. Rushmore of Boxing Promoters? Two on my list are close to my heart Don Chargin and Jerry Hoffman, the others will remain vacant, I don’t wanna be black balled by anyone lol… it’s hard enough for a mom-and-pop shop like us. Take care brother, got some new shirts headed your way as well. – Sam Garcia

Hey Sam, you know I will always represent Garcia Boxing (Salinas Chapter, no disrespect to the mighty Robert Garcia Boxing Academy) to the fullest. Your family represents REAL boxing to me and to the people who really eat,

Lorraine and Don at a hall of fame induction dinner. Photo courtesy of BoxRec.com

sleep and live the sport. Chargin was on another level. He WAS boxing. He loved and lived the sport for so long, wore so many hats along with his wife and business partner Lorraine, and was so integral to the development of legendary fighters, fights, on-going programs and events, that he became one with West Coast boxing history and folklore.

I’ll miss his presence at boxing events (small and major) and our conversations (which was mostly me just listening to him tell stories; I was always fascinated with his life and I always learned something when he spoke). You and I have been blessed to meet old-school boxing figures like Chargin, Amilcar Brusa, Bill Slayton, Don Familton, Ray Barnes, and so many others, before they passed on. We’ll keep them alive (along with countless others) in our memories, just as they kept the legends of the past alive with their stories and lessons.

My Promoter Mt. Rushmore? Chargin, Bob Arum and Don King (because they’re the hall of famers that I witnessed the most during my time covering the sport), and Aileen Easton (also a hall of famer) because Don said she was the best.

 

BATTLE OF JABS

The WBC is on fire!

Super exited to see the match ups mandated at the convention this week, GGG vs Charlo is exiting as hell, got me thinking about GGG’s educated jab vs Charlo’s underrated jab (imo) of course Golovkin is the more educated fighter but Jermall Charlo’s jab has knocked down THREE different opponents! I can’t think of another fighter who’s done that. Personally, I think that Charlo may carry more power per shot if talking about Explosive KO potential, but I still favour GGG to win this fight.

Whats you’re thoughts on this MW eliminator? And which of the matchups mandated are you most exited about?

MM:

(Theme of tall/lanky KO artists)

Froch vs Hearns @ 168

Froch vs Andy Lee @ 160/168

Lee vs Hearns @ 160

Love the mailbag keep up the good work. – Will, UK

Thanks for the praise, Will.

I’ll go with Hearns over Froch by competitive UD, Froch over Lee by up-from-the-canvas MD, and Hearns over Lee by mid-rounds KO in a shootout.

Super exited to see the match ups mandated at the convention this week. I wouldn’t get too excited, Will, those are more like suggestions than actual mandates. I love the prospect of Golovkin-Charlo too, but GGG is without a belt right now, which means he’s got options. If he’s going to fight a secondary beltholder, he might choose Ryota Murata if the Japanese star beats Rob Brant later this month. He could go for the Jacobs-Derevyanchenko winner, or the Suanders-Andrade winner (if that fight happens in light of BJS’s VADA infraction). He might challenge newly crowned Ring/WBA super middleweight champ Callum Smith. My guess is whoever offers Golovkin the most lucrative deal gets that date with GGG.

GGG vs Charlo is exiting as hell. Indeed. It would make for a heck of a style clash and a pretty big event in Houston (maybe the Toyota Center could host).

It got me thinking about GGG’s educated jab vs Charlo’s underrated jab (imo) of course Golovkin is the more educated fighter but Jermall Charlo’s jab has knocked down THREE different opponents! Yeah, that’s impressive, but who were the fighters Charlo dropped with his jab? Golovkin has the more proven world-class left stick, IMO. But both Charlos have excellent jabs.

I can’t think of another fighter who’s done that. I recall both Miguel Cotto and Canelo Alvarez doing it against Alfonzo Gomez (maybe both did it in the opening round, too – I’m too lazy to check on this).

Personally, I think that Charlo may carry more power per shot if talking about Explosive KO potential, but I still favour GGG to win this fight. You might be right, but once again, you gotta ask who Charlo’s scored his explosive KOs against. Or more importantly, you might want to ask yourself how many explosive punchers Charlo has faced. I know GGG has been in with some major hitters.

What’s your thoughts on this MW eliminator? Honestly, I don’t think we’ll see that fight next.

And which of the matchups mandated are you most exited about? Again, these are more like suggestions from the WBC, but the featherweight showdown between Leo Santa Cruz and Gary Russell Jr. is the most interesting potential matchup to me. If they were to fight, the WBA/WBC title unification would crown a new Ring featherweight champ.

 

WHEN WILL AJ MAKE THE P4P LIST?

Hi Doug, been a big fan of the mail bag for a number of years and have always loved your honesty when it comes to fighters , promoters and the fight game in general

Anyways was looking at the P4P list and was always curious how The Ring makes its decisions on who should be in the top 10.

As a boxing fan I thought it was odd not to see Anthony Joshua not been in the bottom half of the top ten, he’s beaten 2 fighters back to back who was rated number 3 by the Ring at the time, defeated a legend in Klitschko, and even beaten Whyte and Breazeale who are rated in the top 10. He also has 3/4 major world titles. But yet Spence Jr is ranked in the top 10 of the P4P? Don’t get me wrong I think Spence is a great fighter and probably the best welterweight out there, but he hasn’t thought to many big names like AJ. Kell Brook was a good fighter but was he too drained at the weight and Peterson I don’t believe was step up. But I’m just curious to know how the decision is made and what it’s based on for a fighter to be considered a top P4P fighter.

Thanks for taking the time to read and I hope you have a great weekend. Nothing but respect. – Damien

Thanks for the respect, Damien, and for reading the mailbag column all these years.

I see your point about Joshua being out of our top 10 and Spence being in it, but I don’t have an answer for you. The Ring’s Pound-for-Pound Rankings are determined by committee (the Ratings Panel and Editorial Board) and each individual has his own criteria for the mythical ratings. Some base their opinions mainly on a fighter’s quality of opposition, others look for sheer dominance. Some always rate a division hopper above a badass who rules one weight class, while others prefer a fighter to clean out his division before seeking challenges in another. Some are all about the “eye test.”

You’ll get an idea of how each member comes to their own conclusion in the recent Ratings Update than announced Canelo Alvarez’s pound-for-pound placement. Some argued that the Mexican star could arguably be No. 1 or 2 because he had just beat the magazine’s P4P King (GGG). However, others were against that because they either didn’t believe Golovkin should’ve been No. 1 or they didn’t like that Canelo’s decision was disputed (or that last year’s draw was controversial as were a few other decisions he won, such as the split nod over Erislandy Lara).

Regarding Joshua, I think the prevailing thought that the heavyweight division isn’t very deep has held the UK star back. If the Panel thought the two No. 3 contenders (Joseph Parker and Alexander Povetkin) were strong enough, they would have cleared those bouts to be for the vacant Ring title, but they did not do that. And while AJ’s victory over Klitschko is a huge feather in his cap, I’m sure the Panel members note that the future hall of famer had been inactive going into that showdown and was not rated at the time. They also note that Joshua struggled with the aging lion. I know it doesn’t seem fair (and I certainly don’t agree with this mentality), but people want perfection and absolute dominance in their elite boxers.

That’s why is Spence rated in the P4P top 10 despite only having one top-five contender on his resume (Brook). He’s dominant. He crushes his opposition the way GGG used to. AJ “looks the part” but Spence “passes the eye test.” The Panel members watch Spence fight and they can’t imagine any welterweight beating him. (I can, but I’m just one guy, and I really don’t get too worked up over the pound-for-pound rankings – last time I really pushed for anyone was Chocolatito four or five years ago.)  

Anyway, Joshua’s time will come. Be patient and enjoy the ride. I think your guy is going to be around for awhile.

 

STILL NOT A BELIEVER IN CALLUM SMITH

Doug,

You are one of the best things in boxing. Thanks for all you do.

I’m writing to say, and expecting to be flamed for it, that I am not now a believer in Callum Smith. In fact I don’t believe in any of those U.K. fighters who have little or no experience fighting in the USA against American, Cuban, and Mexican boxers. Smith has fought exactly one time in this country, four years ago.

Lest I be accused of having an anti-British bias let me hasten to say that I am of British extraction myself and my anglophilia is practically boundless. I just don’t believe in any European fighters until they’ve proven themselves, like the boxers from the former Soviet Union, in the USA. – Patrick

Fair enough, Patrick (thanks for the kind words, by the way). I agree that Smith still has a lot to prove, but he’s made two things clear with his WBSS participation and tournament victory: he’s willing to fight the best of his division and he’s earned the right and honor to be called “champ.” 

Callum Smith wears The Ring super middleweight title after defeating George Groves in the World Boxing Super Series 168-pound final on Sept. 28, 2018. Photo / WBSS

For what it’s worth, I think he can beat WBO beltholder Gilberto Ramirez, who just happens to be Mexican. And if Jesse Hart were to beat Zurdo in their rematch slated for mid-December, and then take on Smith, I’d favor the Liverpudlian over the American. I’d favor Smith over American Anthony Dirrell, too, as well as Mexican-American beltholder David Benavidez (especially in light of the young man’s out-of-ring activities). There aren’t any Cubans in the 168-pound rankings but if Smith were to step up to light heavyweight and fight Sullivan Barrera, I wouldn’t count him out in that matchup.  

Of course, this is all my opinion. Smith has to fight these guys to prove me right and validate himself to his critics, but politics aside, I think he’s going to try to do that in the next year or two.

 

KEITH “NO TIME” THURMAN

Hi Doug,

I’ll keep this short but what’s up with Keith Thurman’s next bout and is The Ring considering dropping him from the #1 ranked position in the welterweight division if he doesn’t announce his next opponent soon?

On the subject of welterweights I do have some MM’s for you too. My apologies if you’ve seen these already…

Trinidad vs Crawford

Trinidad vs Spence Jr.

Napoles vs Crawford

Napoles vs Spence Jr.

Thanks. – Eli, Austin, TX

I’ll go with Tito over Bud by decision and over Spence by late stoppage, and Mantequilla over Crawford and Spence by decision.

The Ring Ratings Panel has brought up Thurman in recent weeks and his inactivity is something that we will discuss soon. If he isn’t scheduled to fight by the time we have the discussion (it could be this Sunday if I can remember – although I probably won’t), he will likely be dropped from the rankings.

 

 

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

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