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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Canelo-Rocky undercard, Froch, Benn, IBHOF, mythical matchups)

Photo by Tom Hogan-Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions
14
Dec

BEAUCOUP BOXING

Another weekend of beaucoup fights man. Hot damn. Daniel Dubois in a decent matchup, excited for the David Lemieux-Tureano Johnson fight. My woman is ready to see Yves Ulysses Jr. show us what he’s got next. I don’t really care about the Canelo-Rocky main event. I don’t think much of Ryan Garcia. I reckon he’ll do well as long as he’s well protected. If that fast food worker were a full-time boxer that kid woulda lost for sure. The Katie Taylor fight, I dunno what to expect, but I like Taylor. They gotta move to 3-minute rounds for women boxing. There’s been talk of Cecilia Braekhus-Taylor, but I don’t see that happening. Actually, I don’t see who is out there to really challenge Braekhus or Taylor further other than Amanda Serrano, who I think has pretty much moved to MMA. Does she box anymore?

Is a Joseph Parker-Junior Fa matchup being set up for later? Braehmer is back, and back to 175 pounds according to the fight roster. Does he have much of a future at 168? Is he goin back to 168? And whatever happened to George Groves?

And there’s unfinished business from the early 2010s. When we gonna get Devon Alexander-Lament Peterson? Ortiz-Rios? Brandon Rios lookin bad shape last time out but that performance was damn good. I was really surprised.

mm:

Holyfield-Golota

Rios-Micky Ward @ 140

Mike Alvarado-Chris Algieri @ 140

Thanks – Ceylon

I’ll go with The Real Deal (I mean, come on, dude, the Holyfield of TODAY has too much heart for the prime Golota), Rios by close decision in the Fight of the Year, and Algieri by close, maybe controversial, split decision.

Daniel Dubois in a decent matchup, excited for the David Lemieux-Tureano Johnson fight. I think the middleweight crossroads bout between the irresistible puncher and the immovable pressure fighter could be the fight of the loaded Canelo-Rocky card. Dubois was KO’d by the flu, so we won’t see him this weekend, but I look forward to witnessing his development in 2019.

Ulysse vs. Seldin. Photo by Tom Hogan – Hoganphotos/Golden Boy Promotions

My woman is ready to see Yves Ulysse Jr. show us what he’s got next. I did the international call (along with Beto Duran) for Ulysse’s dominant decision over Cletus Seldin last December and I’ve been waiting to see the talented 140-pound boxer-puncher again. He’s in with a tough dude from the Southern Californian club circuit, so we should see the Montrealer go enough rounds to exhibit his skill and athleticism.

I don’t really care about the Canelo-Rocky main event. I think Fielding will make it interesting.

I don’t think much of Ryan Garcia. He doesn’t think much of you, buddy boy!

I reckon he’ll do well as long as he’s well protected. Garcia hasn’t been thrown to the wolves (nor should he be – kid just turned 20), but I wouldn’t say he’s been protected. His last two fights were against legit fringe contenders.

If that fast food worker were a full-time boxer that kid woulda lost for sure. Jayson Velez and Carlos Morales showed that Garcia is still green in many ways, but that’s why he’s training with a top coach (Eddy Reynoso) now. We’ll see how the new partnership works out tomorrow and throughout 2019.

The Katie Taylor fight, I dunno what to expect, but I like Taylor. She’s one of the best female boxers on the planet. Her opponent tomorrow night is an unbeaten 130-pound beltholder from Finland. Taylor holds two 135-pound belts.

They gotta move to 3-minute rounds for women boxing. Why? I kinda like how the 2-minute rounds of women’s boxing force a quicker pace and move the fight along. (I wish Floyd Mayweather’s fights had 1-minute rounds.)

There’s been talk of Cecilia Braekhus-Taylor, but I don’t see that happening. Me neither, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Actually, I don’t see who is out there to really challenge Braekhus or Taylor further other than Amanda Serrano, who I think has pretty much moved to MMA. Does she box anymore? I guess you don’t follow Amanda on social media. Yeah, she still boxes.

Regarding credible challenges for Braekhus and Taylor, a skilled veteran named Layla McCarter can make 135 and 147 and has the experience to test both champs.

Is a Joseph Parker-Junior Fa matchup being set up for later? Of course! That’s a huge fight in New Zealand.

Braehmer is back, and back to 175 pounds according to the fight roster. Does he have much of a future at 168? Is he goin back to 168? Dude, are you really excited about Juergen-frickin-Braehmer facing a journeyman in an eight rounder? Yeah, you probably are. You’re a funny monkey, Ceylon. Anyway, I think the old man of German boxing has more of a future at 168, where his experience and style can befuddle a lot of young bucks. I think the top light heavyweights are too strong and athletic for him.

And whatever happened to George Groves? He got knocked out about three months ago. The veteran’s allowed to take a break.

I can’t make this stuff up.

And there’s unfinished business from the early 2010s. When we gonna get Devon Alexander-Lament Peterson? LAMONT is in tough against Sergey Lipinets in March. If he gets past the Russian, maybe Alexander is available but if Devon’s Twitter account is to be believed the St. Louis native might be considering a career in politics.

Ortiz-Rios? Victor Ortiz has much bigger problems he needs to deal with.

Brandon Rios lookin bad shape last time out but that performance was damn good. I was really surprised. Bam Bam is always entertaining, but it’s getting harder for me to watch his fights. I hope his current team are looking out for him in terms of the matchmaking.

 

THE COBRA

Hi Dougie,

I’m looking forward to the Alvarez-Fielding fight this weekend but can’t see anything other than an easy Canelo win, probably within the first 4 rounds.

I’ve been thinking about other British super middleweights, a division which us Brits have excelled in over the last 20 years.

My favourite of all them is Carl Froch (who, by the way, is developing into an accomplished pundit on Sky Sports in the UK). He was as tough as nails with a sold chin and incredible stamina. In my view his boxing skills were underestimated (remember he won a bronze medal at the World Amateur Championships in 2001). At one time or another he held the WBA, WBC and IBF Super-Middleweight titles.

His record is stacked with top quality opposition. 11 of his last 12 fights were against former, current or future world champions and in that time he amassed a record of 10-2 with one of the two defeats, against Mikkel Kessler, being avenged. The only other defeat was against Andre Ward which is nothing to be ashamed of.

This opposition was, man-for-man, much stronger than other British Super-Middleweight Champs of the 1990s and 2000s.

How do you view ‘The Cobra’ and do you think he is deserving of a spot in the Boxing Hall of Fame?

Mythical Match-ups

Froch v Nigel Benn

Froch v Chris Eubank

Froch v Steve Collins

Froch v Joe Calzaghe

Froch v Callum Smith

All the best for Christmas. – Phil Coates, Beverley, United Kingdom

I’ll go with Benn by late stoppage in a wild, see-saw war, Froch by close (perhaps controversial) decision over Eubank and Collins, Calzaghe by competitive but unanimous nod, and Cobra over Smith by competitive but unanimous decision.

I’m looking forward to the Alvarez-Fielding fight this weekend but can’t see anything other than an easy Canelo win, probably within the first 4 rounds. I think Fielding lasts longer than four rounds, unless he gets caught with a really good body shot. His reach could be a problem if he’s able to get his jab off early. Rocky’s a pretty good combination puncher once he gets warmed up. That could be a problem, especially if Canelo’s barely healed facial lacerations bust open. However, Fielding isn’t very fast. I think Canelo’s quicker hands and better timing will enable him to clip the big Englishman during an exchange. But I think that happens after four rounds.

How do you view ‘The Cobra’ and do you think he is deserving of a spot in the Boxing Hall of Fame? Yes, I do. And he earned it with his strength of schedule and willingness to travel the world as much as he did with his underrated skills and massive heart.

 

P4P QUERY

Yo ho ho Doug,

Hope you and yours are looking forward to the festive break.

It’s been a great 2018 and I’m looking forward to hopefully another stellar year in 2019 which could see unified champions at lightweight and heavyweight.

With Canelo in action this weekend I have a quick question for you on The Ring’s P4P list. I’ll preface this by saying I appreciate it is a subjective list and is voted for by a panel, so no single person is responsible.

My query is this… Fury earns a draw against Wilder but in the eyes of almost all was the winner of the fight. As a result The Ring (rightly in my humble opinion) elevated the Gypsy King above Wilder in the heavyweight rankings. Dial back 3 months and GGG drops a hotly disputed decision to Canelo, 12 months after an even more outlandish draw. Following this Canelo is elevated above GGG in the middleweight and P4P rankings.

The vast majority of writers, fighters and fans agree that GGG probably deserved a win and a draw out of the two fights yet has been dropped down the rankings, whereas Fury was elevated in a similar scenario. Can you shed any light on the reasoning by the panel?

I must admit, I’m not overly fussed on the rankings and regularly change my mind on who should or shouldn’t top my own list (Loma, Crawford, GGG, Usyk, etc.) but like most fans I do hold The Ring up as the bastion of quality and fairness in an otherwise shady sport and can’t help but think the spectre of GBP bias is looming over this.

I’ll stress, your integrity should never be questioned old chap and your mailbags, interviews, editorials and track sessions are a must read/view for any boxing fan. The way you handled the Canelo/Ring belt controversy earlier this year was professionalism personified.

Thanks for including my musings in the mailbag over the past few years and have a splendid Christmas and New Year! – Mike, England

Thanks for the kind words and the holiday wishes. My family (and The Ring family) are looking forward to a week or two of relaxation and holiday merriment (although my colleagues and I will continue to work – the deadline for April 2019 issue of the magazine will likely fall between Christmas and New Year’s Eve).

Regarding the Wilder-Fury and Canelo-Golovkin II rankings choices, it basically comes down to the Ratings Panel and the differences in the two fights. Wilder-Fury ended in a draw, and NOBODY on the Panel thought Fury lost. Canelo-GGG2 ended in a majority decision victory for Alvarez, and there were members of the Panel that agreed with that official verdict, including Associate Editor Tom Gray (who pushed for Fury’s advancement above Wilder). I scored Canelo-GGG2 a draw.

It should also be noted that Golovkin did not drop in the divisional rankings. He was the No. 1 middleweight going into the rematch and he remained in the No. 1 spot after the September 16 showdown. Canelo regained The Ring title that was vacated (following his NAC suspension and after a prolonged editorial battle) with the victory. Golovkin did fall in the pound-for-pound rankings after his first official loss, but that had as much to do with the Panel’s belief that Lomachenko and Crawford were more deserving of the top two spots than anyone else. Canelo re-entered the P4P rankings at No. 3 in part because of his performance against GGG in their rematch but also because of his previous accomplishments. Remember, the P4P ranking criteria is not the same as the divisional criteria.

 

FIVE QUESTIONS

Hi Dougie,

It’s been a minute, thanks, as always for your terrific and objective reporting!

1) Knockout of the year front runner! Can you remember a guy who was knocked out but remained standing before he crumbled, for as long as Mason Menard? Teofimo Lopez certainly got the boxing world’s attention with that crazy KO. I hope his team holds off on putting him in with Loma just yet. Hoping we see him with someone like Corolla, Beltran or Burns – before he gets in with a beast like Loma

2) Dogboe-Navarrete was a terrific fight! Great back and forth battle with lots of heart shown by both men. Navarrete was determined and those lefts he was landing were vicious. Looking forward to seeing both these guys again. Certainly they have very different styles but would be curious to see how either guy does against Rigondeaux, who would have a hard time being elusive in either fight.

3) Loma showed why he’s the P4P guy. Pedraza was game but a notch below. After he fights Spence, wouldn’t it be nice to see Mikey-Loma?

4) As a boxing fan, one of the most frustrating things we can see is a bad decision, particularly in a location that has a history of bad decisions. Gvozdyk was down on the scorecards when he stopped Stevenson – what a joke!! I think Quebec is near the top of the list of bad decisions, along with Vegas. If you managed fighters, what spots would you avoid?

5) I am shocked Mauricio Sulaiman’s recent comments, “we will never forget Canelo’s win” as well as his “nonexistent doping” at the Mexico National Sports awards lauding Canelo after his decision over GGG, did not generate more criticism. Call me naive but isn’t the head of the WBC, or any sanctioning body, supposed to be objective and not show any favoritism? Isn’t his job to treat all fighters the same? Can you imagine the commissioner of the NBA saying he will “never forget Golden States’ championship “or criticizing positive PED tests on suspected athletes? Sulaiman’s behavior threatens the integrity of the sport and actually hurts Canelo because the next close decision he wins will get called into question.

Keep up the outstanding work! Best. – Rahn

I don’t know what to say about Mauricio Sulaiman’s and the WBC’s unabashed Canelo cheerleading other than Mexican pride runs DEEP and they are very proud of the Guadalajara native. If you don’t know that, you better ask somebody. But, having said that, I think it must also be noted that the WBC president was a staunch supporter of Gennady Golovkin from the moment the pride of Kazakhstan won their interim title (vs. Mexican national Marco Antonio Rubio in 2014), and pressed Team Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions very hard to make the middleweight SuperFight with GGG. He pressed so hard that he forced Alvarez to dump the green belt, and, for a time, he and the WBC were on Canelo’s s__t list. So, while Sulaiman is a proud Mexican who is clearly proud of Alvarez’s considerable (even historical) accomplishments, he also tries very hard to do what’s right for the sport (which is evidenced by the charitable work the WBC does and with the sanctioning organization’s support of VADA and the formation of the Clean Boxing Program).

Knockout of the year front runner! The Teofimo Takeover is in full effect.

Can you remember a guy who was knocked out but remained standing before he crumbled, for as long as Mason Menard? Yeah, like half of Julian Jackson’s KO victims (and no disrespect to Menard or to Lopez, but The Hawk “froze” much better fighters than “Rock Hard Mighty” – jeez, that’s a creepy nickname. Jackson had his KO victims doing some crazy dances, too, but it should be noted that a lot of those KOs came at a later stage in Jackson’s pro career than young Lopez is currently at).

Teofimo Lopez certainly got the boxing world’s attention with that crazy KO. I hope his team holds off on putting him in with Loma just yet. They’re not going to try to immediately challenge Loma. Nobody on his team has said that.

Hoping we see him with someone like Corolla, Beltran or Burns – before he gets in with a beast like Loma. My guess is that Beltran will get that assignment.

Dogboe-Navarrete was a terrific fight! I don’t think Dogboe is capable of engaging in a stinker. Bless him.

Looking forward to seeing both these guys again. Me too. I don’t think we’ll have to wait long. Both have good promoters.

Certainly they have very different styles but would be curious to see how either guy does against Rigondeaux, who would have a hard time being elusive in either fight. If Rigo had been more active in recent years (and a little bit younger), I wouldn’t give either 122 pounder a chance against the Cuban master, but who knows now? Rigo’s run in the PBC will be interesting.

Loma showed why he’s the P4P guy. Pedraza was game but a notch below. I agree.

After he fights Spence, wouldn’t it be nice to see Mikey-Loma? Yes, it would be nice. Hopefully, there’s something left of Garcia after that bold welterweight challenge.

As a boxing fan, one of the most frustrating things we can see is a bad decision, particularly in a location that has a history of bad decisions. Gvozdyk was down on the scorecards when he stopped Stevenson – what a joke!! I think Quebec is near the top of the list of bad decisions, along with Vegas. If you managed fighters, what spots would you avoid? Las Vegas if I managed a fighter from a country that was part of the former Soviet Union. I swear, somebody high in that commission thinks the Cold War is still going on. And I wouldn’t go against any fighter connected to a powerful promoter in Vegas. That seldom works out for the “little guy” unless he scores a KO. I’d also steer clear of Texas if I managed a guy going against a popular Mexican or Mexican-American fighter. Same deal with the Quebec region if I managed a guy who was to fight a popular or well-connected Montrealer.

 

MMU

Doug –

Loma vs Marco Barrera at 130? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

Barrera is among my top five favorite fighters of the mid-90s-to-mid-2000s, but I think Lomachenko’s style (primarily the amateur legend’s footwork/lateral movement and creative, high-volume punch output) gives the junior lightweight version of the Mexico City master a very hard time. Loma by close decision. I hated writing that.

 

NIGEL BENN AND THE IBHOF

Hi Doug,

Still very much enjoying the mailbag every week. I just read about the latest inductees into the hall of fame. And while all three of the modern fighters I wouldn’t usually argue against being inducted. I’m really disappointed not to see Nigel Benn being inducted.

I’m a British fight fan, but regardless of who watched, Benn’s career was far more deserving considering what he put into the sport and the popularity surrounding his career. He brought entertainment every time and was considerably successful. It’s a shame to see a champion sacrifice as much of themselves as Benn has and not get the recognition as one of modern boxing’s greatest warriors. What was your take on this year’s ballot and who did you vote for? – Will, Peterborough, UK

I voted for every fighter and non-participant who got in (and I’m happy that all of the inductees – including Tony DeMarco, who might be the oldest living former boxing champ – are alive and well), plus Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank. I agree that Benn is hall-of-fame worthy (as does Tom Gray) and I’ve voted for him and his eccentric and mercurial British rival every year since their names were first added to the modern category of the IBHOF ballot.

Congrats to Donald Curry, Julian Jackson and Buddy McGirt – the three fighters from the modern category that got in – and to DeMarco, and the non-combatants: publicist Lee Samuels, matchmaker-promoter Don Elbaum and the one and only Teddy Atlas. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting them all, except for the Lone Star Cobra. I’ve got a special place in my hart for Samuels, Top Rank’s longtime PR ace, because he was extremely helpful and encouraging to me and Steve Kim 20 years ago when we were first getting into this boxing-writing thing.

 

SEVENTEEN AND HALF YEARS OF THE MAILBAG

Dougie,

Hope you and your family are well.

Wow, you mentioned in Friday’s mailbag it’s been 17.5 years since you starting this. Hadn’t realised I’d been following since the start and have sadly only wrote in about 3 times. So better late than never – BIGGUPPPP DOUGGIEE!!!

How about a link to the first ever mailbag?

Peace. – Adz, London, United Kingdom

Thanks for the BIG UP, Adz. I don’t think a link to my first mailbags – which began in April or May of 2001 – exist, however, if you go to the internet archive website called “Wayback Machine” at web.archive.org and search “MaxBoxing.com,” you’ll be able to find a dozen or so early mailbag columns from 2001 and 2002. The earliest one I could find was from August 7, 2001, and it focused mainly on the controversial junior featherweight championship between Paulie Ayala and Bones Adams (who was a friend of the old MaxBoxing site). Click here to check it out. Actually,if you scroll down to the bottom of that page, you’ll a link to “Doug Fischer’s Archives” where, among other articles, you can find mailbags from May, June and July. It’s real blast from our past.

 

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

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