Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Spence-Garcia, women’s Ring titles, lineal championships)
DON’T SLEEP ON MIKEY
I pray you and your family are doing well and all the readers of the mailbag and their families are doing well.
I’m really looking forward to the Garcia and Spence fight. It is going to be a great fight with two guys who are predators. This is not going to be Canelo and Khan, which was a mismatch from the moments it was signed not because Canelo is so good (he isn’t) but Khan didn’t have the chin or the punch to win. Garcia has both and is the better technician. He has scouted Spence and he see’s flaws that he can exploit and I think his conditioning will be up to par.
I love the way both fighters fight but Spence resume isn’t as impressive. Only two guys – Algeri and Brooks – are guys who had a legitimate chance and neither guy was really all of that. Brooks was given a decision against Porter (should have been a draw) I didn’t agree with and Algeri got a gift vs the Siberian Rocky.
This is not a mismatch and I feel that Garcia is going to win because I feel he will be able to weather the storm and I don’t think he will be intimidated at all. I like Mikey’s skills better.
Spence is starting to feel himself a little bit and is overconfident to me. Can’t wait for the fight.
Glad to see Julian Jackson and Donald Curry made the Hall of Fame they were two of my favorites. Nigel Benn should have made it based on his performance against Gerald McClellan alone. One of the greatest performances in one of the greatest and most savage fights I have ever seen. I’ll never forget the courage displayed by Benn under such a vicious attack. He literally climbed back into the ring. Incredible. Great fight with a sad outcome. God bless and take care. – Blood and Guts from Philly
I agree that The Dark Destroyer is worthy of the International Boxing Hall of Fame and I will continue to vote for him (and his domestic rival Chris Eubank, who some feel is unworthy) until both are inducted.
I’m also glad to see Jackson and Curry (as well as Tony DeMarco and Buddy McGirt) inducted in conjunction with the IBHOF’s 30th anniversary celebration. It’s great that all the fighters receiving the honor are alive and well.
I’m really looking forward to the Garcia and Spence fight. This is one of those matchups that I wasn’t sure about when it was first announced, mostly because I want to see Spence in with top welterweights instead of an elite lightweight, but it grew on me as the fight date got closer. It’s kind of like the Wilder-Fury matchup where most fans and pundits counted the underdog out upon its announcement, but gradually gave Fury a realistic shot as they learned of his intense focus and news of his successful training camp got out. Same deal with Mikey. The sincerity he shows in his interviews and the footage of his training at the SNAC facility have convinced a lot of us that he can at least make it a fight if not pull the upset. So, yeah, I’m into this fight now. I don’t have a horse in this race (although I’m picking Spence to win), I’m just looking forward to some entertaining, high-level boxing.
It is going to be a great fight with two guys who are predators. Two SKILLFUL hunters.
This is not going to be Canelo and Khan, which was a mismatch from the moments it was signed not because Canelo is so good (he isn’t) but Khan didn’t have the chin or the punch to win. Yeah, we knew that going into that matchup, and yet, I thought Khan was comfortably ahead on points at the time of the cold stoppage.
Garcia has both and is the better technician. Yes, he’s a more complete fighter than Khan, as well as the better technician with the more reliable whiskers, but he’s not as fast, rangy or mobile as the British veteran, which might make it difficult to avoid Spence’s smart pressure. And I’m not sure it’s a good thing to have a strong chin against Spence. That could just lead to an extended beating.
He has scouted Spence and he see’s flaws that he can exploit and I think his conditioning will be up to par. For his sake, it better be! And while I’m sure Garcia will have a solid game plan on March 16, it’s one thing to scout Spence, quite another to fight him.
I love the way both fighters fight but Spence resume isn’t as impressive. Only two guys – Algeri and Brooks – are guys who had a legitimate chance and neither guy was really all of that. I adore Chris Algieri, but did you REALLY think he had a legitimate chance to beat Spence? I picked Brook to beat Spence, and to the American Olympian’s credit he traveled to the defending titleholder’s hometown and seized the IBF belt in the late rounds of a tough fight. Spence really showed character in that fight.
Brooks was given a decision against Porter (should have been a draw) I didn’t agree with and Algeri got a gift vs the Siberian Rocky. I thought Brooks deserved the decision over Porter, and while I thought Provodnikov beat Algieri by two points I didn’t view Chris’ victory as a “gift.”
This is not a mismatch and I feel that Garcia is going to win because I feel he will be able to weather the storm and I don’t think he will be intimidated at all. I know he won’t be intimidated, but I’m not certain that he can weather the storm.
I like Mikey’s skills better. I don’t know about that. I think Garcia is more experienced, maybe more complete, but I think they’re about equal in terms of skill and technique. Don’t forget that Spence’s amateur background is more extensive than Garcia’s, and he was known more as a boxer than a puncher in the unpaid ranks. I think Spence is more of a boxer and more versatile than you’re aware of.
Spence is starting to feel himself a little bit and is overconfident to me. Well, if he’s overconfident to the point of underestimating Garcia, he’s in trouble, but I think he understands the magnitude of this fight and respects the four-division beltholder.
Can’t wait for the fight. I’m hoping they pack AT&T Stadium and deliver a pay-per-view worthy main event.
Hello Mr Fischer, just a few questions on the female game here.
Commendable that Ring have offered their first female title to the Shields/Hammer winner, however is this not a disservice to Cecelia Braekhaus, who already is the first undisputed champion? What was the reasoning for bypassing her and deciding to give the first Ring belt to the second undisputed champion?
I know The First Lady was gifted the p4p belt, but if you had to pick what Cecilia has the strongest claim in, either p4p best, or best at her weight, surely it’s best at her weight, the p4p scenario can be open to debate, but her dominance at her weight simply is not. (I know she probably ticks both boxes).
Also, do you expect to start compiling female rankings per weight? And if so, how can this be tracked? As the top 5, or especially top 10 in each division can be very hard to track with such little exposure. And how will you form the championship criteria with this? With far less women per weight than men, having it open to the top 5 would really dampen the quality of champions. – Alan, Scotland
One step at a time, Alan
We will eventually include women’s rankings in the pages of The Ring, but I’ve got to put together a qualified Ratings Panel first. I’m confident we can get this done by the summer months.
For the time being, the April 13 showdown between Claressa Shields and Christina Hammer will be The Ring’s first women’s boxing championship bout. This isn’t being done just because all four sanctioning organization titles are on the line (although that’s certainly part of it), it’s because Shields and Hammer are clearly the two best female boxers in the 160-pound division. It just made more sense to me to award for the first Ring women’s divisional championship to the winner of an evenly matched, high-profile showdown between two undefeated titleholders than to sort-of “retroactively” award it to a long-reigning unified titleholder.
Don’t get me wrong, I agree that Braekhus is worthy of a Ring women’s welterweight title, but it seems as though she’s currently without a worthy rival.
Had I been The Ring Editor-In-Chief four and half years ago when she was about to unify all four titles against Ivana Habazin, maybe I would have proposed that the winner of that bout be crowned the first Ring women’s welterweight champ. (However, I must admit that I wasn’t following women’s boxing as closely in 2014 as I am now, and maybe the thought wouldn’t have occurred to me.)
If Braekus takes on a respected, top-rated welterweight this year, such as Layla McCarter (although I’d rather see the Vegas veteran drop down to a more-natural 135 and take on Katie Taylor), I’ll see about getting the Ratings Panel to sign-off on putting the inaugural Ring women’s 147-pound title on the line.
LATE THOUGHTS FOR A SLOW WEEK
I got some things that are way out of date and not urgent, but maybe you could answer them in one of the slow weeks, when mails a scarce.
- Canelo-Golovkin II. I was not the only one who thought that Golvkin won but I seem to be one of the very few who saw him winning more clearly than in their first encounter. I was under the impression that the mere fact that Canelo made GGG move backwards made a lot of people believe that he won. But I felt that GGG was more consistently effective moving backwards than Canelo was pushing him.
I also thought that GGG got gradually better from Round 4 to 12. How do you think the championship round would have looked had it been a classic 15-rounder?
I´m not sure wheter I would like to see a third fight. I´m afraid it would be another close fight but this time one where even I (one of those horrible `Golovkin-nut-huggers` as Twitter would label me) would see Canelo win. But one thing is certain: I would watch it.
- I had a similar view on Fury-Wilder. Fury made his opponent look clumsy and clueless, that´s true, but he didn´t capitalise on it as much as he should have to win. There were rounds where Fury moved and boxed beautifully and still got touched enough to lose the round. The fact that Fury looked so slick doesn´t mean he won. I was ok with a draw but honestly surprised so many people yelled (or rather typed) `robbery`.
- Anatoly Lomachenko and his son. For a long time that relationship seemed a bit twisted to me. There was so much emotional manipulation from Papachenko (the fact that he scored every childhood fight, however clearly Vasya won, a draw at most; or how he encouraged his son to do other sports while it was always implied, that he should box so that he made his son „decide“ to box) that his desire to produce the perfect fighter was always more palpable than his fatherly love. It took me some time to realise that this father-son-thing is quite often in boxing. Maybe not as intense as in the Lomachenkos but there´s the Mayweathers and right now Teofime Lopez and Devin Haney are always with their fathers, aren´t they? Now that I think about it: My own trainer often brings his son to the gym and that little guy is better than me! Can you name other notable examples?
I recently read, that Papachenko refuses to train his son should he move up in weight again. Evil spirits might say he doesn´t want his project, “perfect fighter” to fail but I´m inclined to see it as a sign of fatherly care. I believe he doesn´t want his son to be hurt.
I got to express my gratitude for the mailbag. Thanks for those late nights of writing! The mailbags make Mondays more bearable and Fridays even sweeter.
MM: old Duran vs young B-Hop @MW
(P.S.: I´m will tread on US-soil for the first time in my life in a few days. First thing I´m gonna do is buy myself a print-version of The Ring!) Cheers. – Hans from Hamburg
That’s what EVERY red-blooded boxing fan should do when they visit the good ole US of A for the first time. If you can’t find a copy, you be sure to contact me. I’m serious!
Old Roberto Duran vs. young Bernard Hopkins? Interesting mythical matchup. If by “young” you mean Hopkins in his 20s – before or just after he won his first world title – I think the chubby middleweight version of the Panamanian ATG would outpoint him in a good fight. But if you mean “young” by B-Hop’s Archie Mooresque standards, and you’re talking about the early-to-mid-30s peak middleweight version of Hopkins, I think the Philly fighter would earn a decision in a rough-and-tumble chess match between ring masters.
Canelo-Golovkin II. I was not the only one who thought that Golovkin won but I seem to be one of the very few who saw him winning more clearly than in their first encounter. Most observers saw a close fight, though the majority did not see Canelo winning, scoring it a draw (as I did) or 115-113 for GGG. With the number of close rounds in the hotly contested bout, it was hard to cry “robbery” over the two 115-113 cards for Canelo (unless you were a GGGroupie or Teddy Atlas). However, you’re not alone in viewing the rematch as a clear victory for the Pride of Kazakhstan. Harold Lederman (HBO), Brian Campbell (CBS Sports), Gareth A Davies (The Telegraph and The Ring) and Barry Jones (BT Sport) all scored the bout 116-112 for Golovkin. I respect the boxing knowledge and scoring competency of all four.
I was under the impression that the mere fact that Canelo made GGG move backwards made a lot of people believe that he won. Canelo didn’t really push Golovkin back. He stood his ground in the center of the ring and forced the older man to box around him.
But I felt that GGG was more consistently effective moving backwards than Canelo was pushing him. Golovkin outjabbed Canelo as he orbited the Mexican star, but Alvarez worked GGG’s body well. I thought both middleweights exhibited expert mid-range and inside technique (offense and defense).
I also thought that GGG got gradually better from Round 4 to 12. How do you think the championship round would have looked had it been a classic 15-rounder? Golovkin wouldn’t stop Canelo but he probably would have finished the fight with a clear points edge.
I´m not sure whether I would like to see a third fight. Who would you rather see Golovkin fight?
I´m afraid it would be another close fight but this time one where even I (one of those horrible `Golovkin-nut-huggers` as Twitter would label me) would see Canelo win. Oh no! That would be the worst thing ever! How could you live with yourself? (Can you tell I’m being sarcastic?)
But one thing is certain: I would watch it. That’s all that matter, Hans.
I had a similar view on Fury-Wilder. Fury made his opponent look clumsy and clueless, that´s true, but he didn´t capitalise on it as much as he should have to win. Yeah, but that’s not how Fury boxes and he still has some ring rust to shake in those early rounds. I think he did enough to win a close but clear decision even with the two knockdowns.
There were rounds where Fury moved and boxed beautifully and still got touched enough to lose the round. Apart from the two knockdown rounds (9 and 12), it’s hard to find more than two that could have gone Wilder’s way.
The fact that Fury looked so slick doesn´t mean he won. I would agree with you if Fury hadn’t outlanded Wilder in jabs, power shots and total punch connects.
I was ok with a draw but honestly surprised so many people yelled (or rather typed) `robbery`. I scored it for Fury by two points (like judge Robert Tapper) so I couldn’t get too mad at a draw. (Hey, I’m not a Fury Groupie or Teddy Atlas.)
Anatoly Lomachenko and his son. For a long time that relationship seemed a bit twisted to me. Papachenko is a stern taskmaster, but he’s like that with all of his fighters. He doesn’t treat his son any better or worse, but I can tell that they respect each other as adults and professionals. I haven’t sensed any disfunction when I’ve been around them at the Boxing Laboratory in Oxnard, California (and trust me, I’ve been around enough sick father-and-son boxing duos over the years to spot it).
It took me some time to realise that this father-son-thing is quite often in boxing. Yes indeed.
Maybe not as intense as in the Lomachenkos but there´s the Mayweathers and right now Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney are always with their fathers, aren´t they? Can you name other notable examples? The Mosleys (Jack and Shane), the Calzaghes (Enzo and Joe), the Judahs (Yoel and Zab), the Garcias (Eduardo and Robert; Angel and Danny), the Donaires (Nonito Sr. and Jr.), the Guerreros (Ruben and Robert), and the Santa Cruzes (Jose and Leo) come to mind. Of this bunch, I think only the Calzaghes and the Garcias (both sets) stuck together from start to finish.
I recently read, that Papachenko refuses to train his son should he move up in weight again. Evil spirits might say he doesn´t want his project, “perfect fighter” to fail but I´m inclined to see it as a sign of fatherly care. I believe he doesn´t want his son to be hurt. I agree, and I also think that if he’s the “perfectionist” you believe he is (and you might be right), he doesn’t want his son to fight at a weight that will detract from his overall effectiveness. I think Anatoliy realizes that Loma has hit his limit at 135 pounds. Any heavier and the pound-for-pound king’s speed, reflexes and mobility will likely be compromised.
I got to express my gratitude for the mailbag. Thanks for those late nights of writing! The mailbags make Mondays more bearable and Fridays even sweeter. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, and for the gratitude, Hans.
LINEAL TITLE DEGENERATION
I’m fascinated by the lineal championship concept, and I know that The Ring can strip a champion if they don’t schedule a title defense against a magazine Top 5 opponent in two years. This is a safeguard to make sure that the champ tests his mettle against the very best boxers.
However, what if a divisional champion keeps losing to inferior opposition? For example, the legit champ loses to a theoretical #15, who then loses to a theoretical #100, and so forth…
Could The Ring vacate a “degenerating” lineage to start anew, the same it could strip a single champion? Is there any precedent? – Ben Simon, Saint Louis, Mo.
No, not that I’m aware of. For starters, the lineal championship is not the same thing as The Ring title. The lineal championship begins when a fighter gains universal recognition as THE champ in a particular division and it is passed on to whoever beats that champ in the ring. It also exists with or without world title belts. For example, Naseem Hamed established himself as THE featherweight champ by beating all the major beltholders (or in the case of Wilfredo Vazquez, he beat the guy who SHOULD have held the WBA title when they fought) during the mid-to-late 1990s. However, when Hamed fought and lost to Marco Antonio Barrera in 2001, no major titles were on the line, but the Mexican master earned the lineal championship and held it until he lost to Manny Pacquiao in 2003.
More recently, Tyson Fury is regarded by many as the lineal heavyweight champ even though he was stripped of all his major belts (including The Ring title).
Sometimes the lineal and Ring champs are one and the same, as is the case with Canelo Alvarez, who earned The Ring title by beating Miguel Cotto, who beat Sergio Martinez, who beat Kelly Pavlik, who beat Jermain Taylor, who “beat” Bernard Hopkins, who was the last undisputed/unified middleweight champ. So, the lineal championship was restarted with B-Hop.
Anyway, if The Ring or lineal titles are “degenerated” or “devalued” in the eyes of the public because lesser or unheralded fighters upset the champions, that’s no reason to strip or withdraw championship recognition from the underdogs. (If anything, they should be celebrated.)
Besides, it’s usually only a matter of time before a world-class or elite boxer takes the title from the overachiever.
Carlos Baldomir was considered an average welterweight, a fringe contender at best, before he upset then-undisputed champ Zab Judah in 2006. He defended The Ring/lineal title against a shopworn Arturo Gatti, but was outclassed by Floyd Mayweather.
More recently, Filipino junior flyweight veteran Sonny Boy Jaro was viewed as a tough journeyman before he upset Thai legend Pongsakek Wonjongkam for The Ring/WBC (and I think the lineal) flyweight titles in 2012. Jaro lost the belts to Toshiyuki Igarashi, who lost to Akira Yaegashi after one defense, and Yaegashi lost to Roman Gonzalez.
So, The Ring/lineal titles that fell into the hands of “lesser” pugs rather quickly wound up around the waists of Pound-for-Pound Kings/future hall of famers. It all works out, bro, but let’s give the underdogs their deserved props during their 15-minutes of fame.