Wednesday, July 24, 2024  |



Dougie’s Friday mailbag (GGG’s next opponent, Jarrett Hurd, the Boxing Ryder Cup)

Gennady Golovkin's DAZN debut won't be against a world-beater, but his second fight on the streaming platform may very well be.
Fighters Network


Greetings Dougie!

Thanks for providing us with work time distractions on the days most needed… Monday and Friday!

I’ll make it quick and easy for you…. Who would satisfy YOU as Gennady Golovkin’s opponent?

Apparently, Brandon Adams is out and Hassan N’dam is a possibility. Any other name that would/should be more challenging than Vanes Martirosyan and less challenging than Demetrius Andrade that should stoke the fire for Round 3 with Canelo?

Thank God April is here, and the fights can finally begin…

If you had to pick an underdog this month from this group, who would it be and why?

Crolla vs Loma

Khan vs Crawford

Culcay vs Derevyanchenko

Relikh vs Prograis

Donaire vs Tete

Granados vs D. Garcia

Fukuhara vs Menayothin

Keep up the good work! – Donavan in Bama

I’ll go with a future hall of famer, Nonito Donaire. I know Zolani Tete is an elite bantamweight and still in his prime (though probably at the tail-end of it), while the Filipino Flash is WAY past his peak, but Donaire looked sharp back down at 118 pounds for his abbreviated bout against Ryan Burnett and my hunch is that his confidence is sky high. The 36-year-old veteran is the only bantamweight with more/better experience than Tete and he presents a style the WBO beltholder is unfamiliar with. (Plus, Donaire’s got quite the track record against South African standouts – 3-0, so far.)

NDam and Ryota Murata go at it. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

Regarding GGG’s possible opponent for June, I’m OK with Ndam, even though the former beltholder has definitely seen better days. The France-based Cameroonian is as battle-tested as a veteran can be and can still be considered a legit (lower top-10) contender (he’s rated No. 10 by The Ring and the Transnational Boxing Rankings; No. 3 by the WBC). Given the stressful 2018 Golovkin had, the grueling nature of the Canelo rematch and the long period of time away from the ring/gym, I wasn’t expecting him to face King Kong in his first bout of 2019 DAZN debut.

Any other name that would/should be more challenging than Vanes Martirosyan and less challenging than Demetrius Andrade that should stoke the fire for Round 3 with Canelo? Matt Korobov would make for an interesting (and potentially dangerous) opponent. Maciej Sulecki (if he’s ready to hop back into the ring as soon as June following his tough 10 rounder with Gabriel Rosado) would also be a solid comeback opponent for GGG. But if he wins up facing Ndam, I’m totally fine with that choice. Ndam is fun. He’s got mad heart, solid whiskers and terrible balance; so, he gets dropped a lot but he always gets up and gets back to work.



Hi Doug,

Hope you’re doing well!

Hey, how come Jarrett Hurd is on 0 p4p lists?

I get he isn’t the flashiest but dude is undefeated, was no blue chip with a big promotion behind. He beat solid competition and stopped Trout and Harrison. Huge win against Lara and soon to fight highly regarded Williams. When should we acknowledge?

Besides the eye test and resume he has been « most dominant » than say Spence or Crawford at WW or Canelo at MW.

What can he do to break the top 10? (Without changing his style)

Or do we forget about him because he cuts lots of weight? (Crawford when at 140 posted a pic of him walking around at 170+ and Canelo always had a huge size advantage starting with Hatton 9 years ago.)

Share your thoughts! Best. – Diego

Jarrett Hurd (right) vs. Erislandy Lara

For the record, Steve Kim rates Hurd No. 10 on his personal pound-for-pound list. (But he’s the only member of ESPN’s ratings panel who’s got the dual-belt-holding junior middleweight in the mythical rankings.) I see where you and Kim are coming from. Hurd is a Margaritoesque bone-grinder who has been able to impose his size, strength, power, stamina and will on every boxing style he’s faced so far.

However, as much as I enjoy watching him fight, I still believe he needs to accomplish or prove a little more before I consider him an elite operator. I’d like to see him take on a fellow giant, like Jaime Munguia, or a fellow pressure specialist such as Brian Castano. And I still think the sharp-shooting Jermell Charlo would present a difficult challenge.  

I get he isn’t the flashiest but dude is undefeated, was no blue chip with a big promotion behind. He’s come a long way since struggling to outpoint spoiler Chris Chatman in a six rounder. That’s a testament to his dedication and character.

He beat solid competition and stopped Trout and Harrison. Huge win against Lara and soon to fight highly regarded Williams. Indeed. It’s obvious that wants to challenge himself. That was clear when he took on fellow unbeaten prospect/fringe contenders Frank Galarza and Oscar Molina on his way up the ladder.

When should we acknowledge? I think most hardcore fans acknowledge him now. We’ll view him as a pound-for-pounder when he does as much or more than the other standouts that are rated at No. 10 or just outside of the top 10, like Anthony Joshua and Kosei Tanaka. He’s close, but not quite there yet.

What can he do to break the top 10? Dominate Williams (which won’t be easy) then take further unify the division by facing the winner of the Harrison-Charlo rematch, and then move to middleweight and take on the Derevyanchenko-Culcay winner. If he can do that, my guess is that he’ll crack most P4P lists, and then it will be time for him to take aim at GGG and Canelo.



Hi Dougie,

Hope you’re well. Suffice to say I’m a huge fan, your mailbag drops on Monday and Friday to make London’s commutes a little bit more palatable.

Anyway. I had two main points/comments/questions.

Firstly, the fact that there is so much inactivity from top boxers is surely holding the sport back. One could argue the training camps are hard, etc., but as professional fighters it is just bizarre that some boxers fight just once a year. At one point does one become a part-time fighter? The problem with this and how infrequent fights are (which I accept is partially down to the need to promote and create hype) is matters that need resolving, often don’t get resolved in timely fashion e.g. the Fury-Wilder fight. As soon as the draw was announced I was annoyed, not just because I felt Fury won (even though I accept if you get knocked on your ass twice against the champ you’ll do well to come away with a result) but because I knew it’d now take months/if not longer to resolve the heavyweight landscape. This happens so frequently because boxers might fight just once every six months or so. I guess the problem is promoters/networks who just care about money. But can you imagine a top football (soccer) side playing just twice a year? It’d be ridiculous, part of the fun is you see your team get smashed one weekend, then go out the week after and make up for it (or continuing to lose). Boxing just doesn’t do that, so I feel casuals lose interest so easily because of the lack of clarity. I don’t know if boxing can ever be mainstream when this is the case. It also leads to other fighters waiting around for ages to get a chance (Whyte being a case in point at the moment, particularly with the WBC situation).

Second point. The Tyson Fury situation is getting ridiculous. Whilst I rate him and was impressed with how he won the belts in Germany and then was able to make Wilder look completely terrible at the art of boxing, his whole “I don’t care for money” spiel is getting boring. Presenting himself as the peoples champ and AJ/Hearn as money hungry is outrageous. Warren has been sued frequently by former fighters, whilst Hearn has never been. At the same time if he didn’t care about money he wouldn’t have gone to ESPN to take a couple of bum fights, and would have gone straight for Wilder and then AJ. In fact, if he didn’t care about money he’d be like Mikey Garcia, a network free agent who can negotiate his own deals and just chase legacy.

I have no problem with fighters being paid well. I think they should be paid for their efforts in what is a brutal and dangerous sport. But, I find the lack of honesty and the contradictory positions taken up by him, his team, his fans, to be infuriating.

Final word on the heavyweight situation being how Miller-AJ now looks by far the best fight of the three big names. Fury’s fight with Schwarz is just woeful and I imagine will do terrible numbers. I appreciate Fury’s skills but he’s actually quite a boring fighter to watch stylistically and surely the American public (all those 700000 million homes he’ll be beamed into) will get turned off. Whilst over here, without even being an AJ fan at all, Wilder just seems laughable. He’s had 41 fights and fought very limited top opposition (it is clear his team jumped on Fury because they saw him as a big name -“lineal champ” – and felt he was beatable after his two poor outings and massive weight loss) whereas aside from that he beat Ortiz who is clearly very old and I’m not sure was ever as good as we were led to believe (and gave Wilder a lot of problems). Obviously he has a lot of power but I’d favour Whyte to beat him if Wilder was ever to take that fight.

Anyway it’s all just so frustrating and we probably will be waiting along time to get any more clarity on any of this!

Sorry for the long email! Hope to get your thoughts. – Amit from London

Thanks for sharing, Amit. I won’t add much to what you said because, well, you’ve taken up a lot of space in this column already (LOL). 

I’ll just say this about the heavyweights, I’m not as frustrated as you and others are because I’m not that into the so-called glamor division and also because I expect big egos to come with their big bodies. (Never mind the Big Three, and their claims to the throne, even the heavyweight contenders, like Whyte and Miller, are tough negotiators who want to be treated like kings and very well compensated.) 

I believe Fury when he says he doesn’t care about money. I think he partnered up with ESPN/Top Rank because of pride. He was dismissed by much of the boxing world and viewed as a stepping stone by Team Wilder, Haymon/PBC and Showtime. But he carried much of the promotion and proved to be a slippery stone on fight night. He wants to be treated like a champ, not a second fiddle, when negotiating with Wilder or with Hearn/Team AJ. And since their egos are just as big as his, and they refuse to view him as an equal, he’s content to go his own way a while with ESPN and try to build his brand in the USA. (Same deal with Wilder’s choice to stay with Showtime/PBC rather than take DAZN’s $100 million plan. Pride comes before the money. Boxing is money motivated but it’s EGO DRIVEN, especially at heavyweight.) 

Regarding the inactivity of top boxers of this decade, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the sport is MUCH healthier when world-class fighters are active. With the exception of the heavyweights, most of the elite boxers averaged more than two bouts a year when I started covering the sport a little more than 20 years ago. Oscar De La Hoya fought five times in 1997. His future rival Sugar Shane Mosley fought four times that year; five times in 1998. Julio Cesar Chavez and James Toneny averaged five-to-six fights a year in the early-to-mid ‘90s. Marco Antonio Barrera and Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson were also averaging fix-to-six bouts a year during the mid-‘90s. (And I used to attend their fights at The Forum as a fan.) The activity was good for the fighters, their fans, their trainers, their managers and promoters, the arenas, the networks, and everyone else involved with the sport/industry (the commissions, the media, merchandise companies, etc.) 

Can you imagine how sharp and popular Errol Spence Jr would be right now if had been fighting four-to-six times a year from 2014-2018?



Hi Dougie,
Not too much boxing on this weekend to get excited about, so it got me thinking who would win in a boxing version of the Ryder Cup (sorry I know you hate people talking about other sports) but I’ve changed USA vs Europe to The Americas vs Rest of the world, each team picking one fighter at each weight. What do you make of a) my selections and b) the winner of the fight? (My selections in bold)

Strawweight: Rojas vs Freshmart
Jr Flyweight: Canizales vs Kyoguchi
Flyweight: Cesar Martinez vs Tanaka

Jr Bantamweight: Estrada vs Sor Rungvisai

Bantamweight: Nery vs Inoue
Jr Featherweight: Rigondeaux vs Dogboe
Featherweight: Santa Cruz vs Warrington
Jr Lightweight: Davis vs Ito
Lightweight: Garcia vs Lomachenko
Jr Welterweight: Prograis vs Taylor
Welterweight: Spence vs Pac Man
Jr Middle: Hurd vs Brook
Middleweight: Canelo vs GGG
Super Middleweight: Ramirez vs Smith

Light Heavyweight: Browne vs Gvozdyk

Cruiserweight: Dorticos vs Usyk*

Heavyweights: Wilder vs Joshua

*Gassiev if Usyk expectedly moves up to Heavy, I still pick ROTW representative here.

I have that as 7-9 in favour of the ROTW but some great fights (and some not so great fights in there)

How do you call it? Cheers – Patrick from London

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

I agree with all of your winners except for at super middleweight. I would go with Callum Smith over Gilberto Ramirez (especially at 168 pounds which Zurdo has been draining himself to make and where he’s looked anything but dominant in recent bouts; that’s why he’s moving up to the 175-pound division). You could replace Ramirez with Caleb Plant or David Benavidez.

Your selections in each weight class are solid for the most part, but I’m not so sure about your picks at junior featherweight, especially Isaac Dogboe, who was recently dethroned by Emanuel Navarrete. And while Rigo can still be considered the lineal champ of the division, the aging Cuban has only fought one legit top-10 junior featherweight contender in the last five years, Moises Flores in 2017, at that was a one-round No Contest. I think a better 122-pound matchup would be Rey Vargas or Danny Roman (repping the Americas) vs. TJ Doheny (ROTW). (Isn’t it awesome that we’ll actually get to witness Roman vs. Doheny on April 26? The pending Vargas vs. Tomoki Kameda matchup is also pretty darn good.)

And I should add that I view your matchups at junior bantamweight, bantamweight, featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, middleweight and heavyweight to be either legitimately close matchups (where the so-called underdog is very live) or toss-ups.


Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.