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Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Manny Pacquiao, Adrien Broner, welterweight rankings)

Photo by Esther Lin/ Showtime
25
Jan

SINCERE APOLOGIES TO THE PACMAN

Hi Dougie,

It’s been a while since I have written in. I hope that you are well mate.

I wanted to vent a bit after Manny Pacquiao’s win on the weekend. I’ve actually been quite a harsh critic of him over the past two to three years and I’m now thinking that I’ve been out of order.

I was a big PacMan fan from around 2008-2012 and attended two of his fights in Macau. I was blown away at how he smashed everyone that was put in front of him in such a dramatic way – seemingly all offence!

I’m now feeling like I should check myself a bit though. I’ve complained recently about his lack of firepower and the fact that he’s just not who he used to be, blah, blah, blah … I even wrote to you and compared Pacquiao to “frozen seafood”.

What I have realised is that Pacquiao inspires so many people by continuing to fight. The people of the Philippines, and it seems Filipino people all over the world, just adore him. They relish in every fight he takes even now when he’s (with all due respect) nothing like the fighter he once was.

So anyway, I’m basically apologising for being too harsh and only seeing Pacquiao as a boxer and not a global icon and someone people can look to for hope. If he wants to keep fighting, then credit to him

All the best for 2019, Dougie. Keep doing what you do! Best regards – Craig Brewer, Melbourne, Australia

Thanks for the kind words, Craig.

I can understand your past criticism of Pacquiao and your newfound (or renewed) admiration for the future first-ballot hall of famer. I’ve been burnt out on Pacquiao since 2011 or 2012 (I can’t recall exactly when I became bored by his team’s choice of opponents due in part to the Golden Boy-Top Rank “Cold War” and the “Never-Ending Story” with Floyd Mayweather, and I don’t care to research the subject). Unlike you, I’m not apologetic for getting tired of the Manny Show. The dude’s been around a long-ass time. He had a hell of a run during his Pac-Monster prime, which I give him credit for, but I’m just not a huge fan of the older, kinder, gentler version of Pacquiao who fights with intensity for about one minute of each round, and I don’t care if my apathy pisses off his fans.

At the same time, his longevity – especially for a once-offensive fighter who took on the best of several divisions – is mighty impressive. He’s continued to face contenders and young veterans in his late-30s. Gotta tip your hat to that. And, like you, I also recognize that he’s still an iconic hero in the Philippines, still brings pride and inspiration to Filipinos worldwide, and – bottom line – the 40-year-old bossman still moves the needle in terms of ratings and PPV buys (if the reports of 400,000 for the Broner fight are accurate, that’s damn good). So, he’s still a player whether I like it or not.

I think he’s way past his prime (though not “shot”), and I think he’d get smashed by the top welterweights that are still at or near their athletic peaks (Errol Spence, Bud Crawford, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia) but it’s his choice if he wants to fight those young guns. However, I’m pretty sure the end game with him and Al Haymon is the Mayweather rematch, which I’m totally fine with (although I’ll probably ignore it for the most part).

 

THE PBC SHOULD DUMP BRONER

Yo Dougie!

Hope you have been able to keep at least one of your New Year resolutions so far, whatever they may be.

What was your biggest surprise/disappointment of the past weekend? Badou Jack’s inability to stave off a Marcus Browne who had not heretofore shown himself to be a world class fighter? (BTW–they should have stopped the fight when that gash opened. I understand wanting to give the man his chance, but he hadn’t shown much through 7 frames and I don’t think anyone would have questioned the stoppage.) Linares freezing vs Cano? I didn’t see that coming. Or Jennings’ passivity and eventual loss to Rivas?

I guess that is why they fight the fights… It’s like the more I know about boxing… the less I get it right.

One more rant: PBC/Showtime/Espinosa/Ellerbe/whoever needs to dump Adrien Broner like a sack of rotten potatoes. This is not a one-off for that clown. In what other sport would he even be allowed to compete after attacking Al Bernstein like that? Can you see Tom Brady or LeBron James throwing the n-word at a respected news reporter and the NFL/NBA letting him get away with it? I think those responsible for giving him these opportunities need to be held to the fire and start acting like men. Those gutless pansies should make a public statement and example of him and his abhorrent behavior, rather than hide behind “we will address this privately”. Plenty of fighters with class, or heck, a lesser degree of trash talk, have done much more to earn millions of dollars fighting PacMan than the laughable gatekeeper Broner. He was the one thing I could count on this week… being a jerk and also not throwing very many punches.

Thank goodness we get to see the return of Keith Thurman, to quote PBC, “one of the greatest welterweights of this era” on Saturday. Too bad for him I’ll be watching Jaime Munguia over on DAZN.

Who do you want to see Pac fight next? Who do you think he will?

And… props to Canelo Alvarez for taking on Daniel Jacobs. Forgetting the oft-questionable scorecards—this guy takes on other good/great fighters. Keep on keeping it real. – Donavan

Never let it be said that Canelo hasn’t faced legit threats, or that he doesn’t continue to face top fighters. Credit to the middleweight champ, Jacobs, Golden Boy Promotions, Matchroom Boxing USA, and DAZN for getting this title unification bout done. DAZN needed to schedule a pay-per-view quality fight in 2019 in order to give themselves a fighting chance to gain a foothold in the crowded U.S. combat sports market and they did it just four months after their American launch.

It’s not only a subscription-worthy fight, it’s a fascinating matchup. Canelo-Golovkin 2 reminded me of Toney-McCallum I and II. Canelo-Jacobs could be like Toney vs. Reggie Johnson or Michael Nunn, with Canelo in the “Lights Out” role and Jacobs being the stick-and-mover (and with his switch-hitting ability, he could emulate the southpaw stances of both Nunn and Johnson). Or maybe we’ll get lucky and Jacobs will attempt to blitz Canelo the way he did Peter Quillin and we’ll get a Hagler-Hearns redux.

What was your biggest surprise/disappointment of the past weekend? Badou Jack’s inability to stave off a Marcus Browne who had not heretofore shown himself to be a world class fighter? Linares freezing vs Cano? I didn’t see that coming. Or Jennings’ passivity and eventual loss to Rivas? Jorge Linares getting bounced by Pablo Cesar Cano was definitely the biggest surprise of last weekend for me. I didn’t envision an opening-round stoppage as a possible scenario. However, I don’t want to call it a disappointment because I’m happy for Cano, an honest fringe contender who has been willing to fight all comers and all styles at 140 and 147 pounds (from legends to titleholders to gatekeepers and spoilers) since 2011. Linares has had his time and Cano has paid his dues, so I’ll be rooting for the young Mexican veteran going forward.

I guess that is why they fight the fights… It’s like the more I know about boxing… the less I get it right. It’s true. Isn’t it great?

PBC/Showtime/Espinosa/Ellerbe/whoever needs to dump Adrien Broner like a sack of rotten potatoes. Not gonna happen, especially not after he helped Pacquiao garner 400,000 PPV buys in the middle of January. Broner is the new Ricardo Mayorga (who was the B-side to strong PPV shows vs. Felix Trinidad and Oscar De La Hoya). Get used to him hanging around.

In what other sport would he even be allowed to compete after attacking Al Bernstein like that? I wouldn’t know. I don’t follow any other sport. I didn’t care at all for the way Broner treated Bernstein at the final presser, but I wouldn’t call that “attacking” the veteran broadcaster. Broner was just being a dick. He didn’t bug Bernstein, a mature, thick-skinned professional. All he did was behave in an immature and unprofessional manner.

Can you see Tom Brady or LeBron James throwing the n-word at a respected news reporter and the NFL/NBA letting him get away with it? I doubt it, but again, I don’t know for sure because I don’t pay any attention to either league.

I think those responsible for giving him these opportunities need to be held to the fire and start acting like men. They might argue that they are acting like men – BUSINESSmen. Hey, if they deal with his legal drama and general craziness outside of the ring, who am I to tell them not to continue working with the loose cannon.

Thank goodness we get to see the return of Keith Thurman, to quote PBC, “one of the greatest welterweights of this era” on Saturday. Too bad for him I’ll be watching Jaime Munguia over on DAZN. Ooh, no love for my man, Keef? I don’t blame you for being excited about Munguia. The 22-year-old 154-pound titleholder is active (fought five times last year), entertaining (always gunning for the KO) and very humble (the anti-Broner, if you will). Mexican fans are taking notice and he’s gradually earning a dedicated following. Boxing needs young guns like “Mungie,” who should engage Takeshi “Not a Monster” Inoue in a fun scrap tomorrow night in Houston. I’m looking forward to peeping Vergil Ortiz on that show, too. He might turn out to be like Munguia and win his first world title at age 21. But I’m also looking forward to watching Thurman take on Josesito Lopez, one of the most reliable gatekeepers in the sport. The Riverside Rocky should let us know how much ring rust Thurman has accumulated since his last bout (March 2017).

Who do you want to see Pac fight next? I don’t have a preference. I don’t want to see him tortured, beat down or annihilated, so I’ll pass on Manny facing Crawford or Spence, but I have no interest in a 12-round sparring session with Mayweather. I’m not sure if there’s a middle ground for him, but I wouldn’t mind seeing Porter getting a huge event and a shot at a career-defining victory by defending his WBC belt against his famous former sparring partner.

Who do you think he will? Either Mayweather or the Spence-Garcia winner.

 

ERROL SPENCE’S CREDIBILITY

Hey Dougie,

It’s been about 5 years since I last sent you an email! During that time, I lost a little interest in the sport, but it’s gone full circle and I’m back in love with Boxing.

I need to put a big fat caveat on this following rant: I am not a Spence hater.

Ok… here we go…

How the hell is Errol Spence rated #1 in The Ring’s welterweight rankings, and #10 in the P4P list!? His best win is against a weight drained, 1-eyed, Kell Brook! Other than that, he lays claim to beating an old Lamont Peterson, Chris Algeri (who belongs at 140 lbs), Phil Lo Greco (who Khan KO’d quicker), and Sam Vargas (I haven’t got much of an opinion on Sam). Has he even fought anyone in the current WW top 10!? Who am I missing, did he retire a legend or a killer prospect I’m unaware of?

Just because Spence would likely beat 8 out 9 of the other WW’s in The Ring’s rankings isn’t enough to be considered the #1. And now he’s in the same discussion as Loma, Inoue, Usyk and Donnie on the P4P list…

I haven’t even got a problem with his next fight. Floyd Mayweather hand-picked Juan Manuel Marquez when coming out of retirement. Mikey Garcia went after Spence, and Errol obliged. But it don’t do anything for his WW or P4P credibility when he wins.

Ok, rant over. I haven’t got any mates who know a boxer outside of Mike Tyson, so help me out; why am I wrong?

All the best mate, appreciate your mailbag. Cheers. – Thomas, Portland, Or.

Thanks for the appreciation, Thomas. I’m glad you made-up with boxing. Hopefully, this year brings you lots of lovin’.

Regarding Spence’s lofty ratings in The Ring’s welterweight and pound-for-pound rankings, I can mostly sum it up with two words: Eye test. The IBF welterweight titleholder passes it.

Spence vs. Brook.

And I guess that – along with an 11th-round KO of Brook in the defending beltholder’s hometown in England, plus 21 stoppages in 24 consecutive victories – is enough for him to get to No. 1 in this era of the 147-pound rankings. And I suppose his vast potential gets him inside the P4P rankings. (He’s No. 10 in The Ring’s mythical rankings; ESPN.com has him at No. 6.)

For the record (and I’m sure I’ve stated this many times), I’m not a fan of the “eye test.” Keith Thurman should be our No. 1-rated welterweight based on accomplishments. He’s faced more contenders than Spence, including two title winning decisions over Shawn Porter and a then-unbeaten Danny Garcia, but, once more, it comes down to “our eyes.” Thurman didn’t look as good (or destructive) outpointing Porter and Garcia, and he’s been M.I.A. since early 2017. Out of sight, out of the minds of the Ring Ratings Panel. That’s the way it goes.

But to be fair to the Panel members, Spence has a lot going for him, including an extensive Olympic-level amateur background, powerful athleticism, sound fundamentals/technique and a take-on-all-comers attitude. I think the fact (or perception) that the other top welterweights are afraid or leery of fighting him adds to his mystique and respect. However, I’d have no problem with Thurman or Terence Crawford being our top-rated welterweight, and I think Kosei Tanaka and Anthony Joshua are worthier of that No. 10 spot in the P4P rankings than Spence, but that’s just me.

His best win is against a weight drained, 1-eyed, Kell Brook! True, but Brook’s only loss was to Gennady Golovkin. He was unbeaten and highly rated at 147 pounds where Spence faced him.

Other than that, he lays claim to beating an old Lamont Peterson, Chris Algeri (who belongs at 140 lbs), Phil Lo Greco (who Khan KO’d quicker), and Sam Vargas. He’s also got stoppage victories over cagey fringe contenders Leonard Bundu and Chris Van Heerden, neither of whom had even been halted in a pro bout.

Has he even fought anyone in the current WW top 10!? No, but Peterson was rated (lower top 10) at the time that Spence fought him.

Who am I missing, did he retire a legend or a killer prospect I’m unaware of? Nope, not yet. But he’s 29. There’s still time.

 

RECENT ACTION

Hi Doug,

The Manny/Broner fight was not so hot! Broner didn’t look like he was even trying to win. Manny looked old much of the time. He should retire – nothing left to prove! Hard for me to believe The Ring rates him at #5 in the ratings!

I hate that they didn’t come up with an opponent for Jarrell Miller. I would love to see him fight one of the top 3 or 4 heavyweights. I think he will surprise a bunch of people when he does!

Still no announcement on who AJ fights in April. Looking like Whyte, though. Wish it was Miller. I don’t understand all the considerations in making bouts. I know that money is the biggest concern. Second is probably the manager/promoter wanting to keep their guys on a winning streak. They may be protecting AJ a little too much! He eventually will have to fight one of the top guys and I think he will probably lose.

Joyce is fighting a guy I’ve never heard of, though he is unbeaten.

Really looking forward to seeing GGG fight again!

Keep up the good work. – Mike

Thanks, Mike.

Every boxing fan on the planet is looking forward to Golovkin making an announcement about his network/platform affiliation and setting a date for his first bout of 2019. Even his haters are dying from the angst of not knowing!

Joe Joyce is facing former WBC titleholder Bermane Stiverne on Feb. 23 in London. Stiverne looked like a fat crash test dummy against Deontay Wilder in his last fight, but he’s a solid step-up opponent for a guy with only seven fights.

The Manny/Broner fight was not so hot! It was a typical old Pacquiao fight. What were you expecting?

Broner didn’t look like he was even trying to win. You were expecting an Aaron Pryor-like offensive output from the 29-year-old Ohioan? Nah, brah, they don’t make ‘em like The Hawk in Cincinnati (or anywhere else) anymore.

Manny looked old much of the time. Yep. That’s because he’s old for a prize fighter.

He should retire – nothing left to prove! He’s not trying to prove anything. He’s trying to make money (and he’s doing quite well).

Hard for me to believe The Ring rates him at #5 in the ratings! Why? Don’t you think he deserves his ranking? Whom do you think should be in that No. 5 spot? Danny Garcia? Jeff Horn? I know The Hornet has a decision victory over the PacMan but it was controversial and he was trashed by Crawford. Garcia’s formidable as he proved by extending both Thurman and Porter in hotly contested bouts, but he lost those fights. Pacquiao has faced Tim Bradley, Jessie Vargas, Horn, Lucas Matthysse and Broner in his last five bouts. Bradley was The Ring’s No. 4-rated welterweight when the fought their third bout (April 2016 – Pac was No. 2), Vargas was No. 8, and Matthysse was No. 9. Horn and Vargas are currently in the rankings (Nos. 9 and 10). I think it’s fair to rank Pacquiao at No. 5 (behind Spence, Crawford, Thurman and Porter).

I hate that they didn’t come up with an opponent for Jarrell Miller. Had Big Baby been in action tonight, he’d probably facing Ossie Ocasio.

I would love to see him fight one of the top 3 or 4 heavyweights. I think he will surprise a bunch of people when he does! You might be right about that.

Still no announcement on who AJ fights in April. Looking like Whyte, though. Not really.

Wish it was Miller. You might get your wish.

I don’t understand all the considerations in making bouts. I don’t either. That’s why you and I aren’t managers.

I know that money is the biggest concern. Only 99.999999% of the time.

Second is probably the manager/promoter wanting to keep their guys on a winning streak. True! (Hey, maybe you could be a manager.)

They may be protecting AJ a little too much! Really? He’s faced more legit contenders than any other heavyweight ranked in The Ring’s top 10.

He eventually will have to fight one of the top guys and I think he will probably lose. Hopefully, your theory is put to the test this year.

 

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