Saturday, May 25, 2019  |

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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Terence Crawford-Amir Khan)

Photo by Mikey Williams-TOP RANK
22
Apr

ANTICLIMACTIC

Hi Dougie,

Hope you, the family and team are well. It wasn’t to be for King Khan. Looking as positives he did well to win round 2 after the knockdown from round 1.

I won’t say the fight was turning by the stoppage, but he was answering Terence Crawford much and better. He made Crawford miss at times and scored, also pushing him back at times.

But let’s not sugarcoat it. Crawford showed why he’s P4P one of the best fighters in the world. Khan’s speed and combinations didn’t look as flashy as before, however credit has to go to Bud for not letting Khan use his speed or get his combinations off.

Is Khan slower? Yes, but let’s not underestimate how good Crawford was in nullifying Khan. Khan may not be as fast as before, but he is still fast and would still trouble a lot of fighters.

Is Khan’s chin/style better or does Bud have an issue with power? I suppose I’m asking why didn’t Bud stop Khan when he had him in trouble a few times?

Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

The stoppage was via an accidental illegal blow. To be honest a crap way for the fight to end for both fighters.

Social media is fully nuts saying Khan quit. These are people who have never laced up a pair to have an informed opinion. Khan’s never looked for a way out of fights. He was losing before and has taken the hardest fights he could get and delivered value for money fights. He doesn’t deserve the abuse he’s been getting IMHO.

What now for Khan? I think it shows he cannot hang with the elite level fighters. Division champs and top 5? Kell Brook? Retire?

For Bud? He’s an amazing fighter who looks like he always had a few more gears.

Spence gonna have his hands full. But the fight with Loma is what I want to see. Both are on a different level!

Keep up the good job! – Tabraze, London, U.K.

Don’t hold your breath for Crawford vs. Spence, Tabraze, and get Loma vs. Crawford out of your head – that ain’t happenin’!

Truth be told, Crawford’s biggest challenge is going to be finding a worthy challenge. There’s nobody of note in the WBO’s welterweight top 10, aside for Luiz Collazo, who is well past his prime. If Bob Arum can’t entice any of the PBC’s 147-pound players fight on the ESPN platforms, the grand old man of boxing promoters is going to have to get creative and maybe look to the standouts of the junior welterweight division.

I know Bud and Mo Hooker are cool with each other, but maybe the WBO 140-pound titleholder (who had a “mighty” struggle making weight for his last bout – see what I did there?) would be willing to come up in weight for a career-high payday. Or, perhaps the winner of the WBSS will be willing to look for glory in the 147-pound division with a Crawford showdown.

It wasn’t to be for King Khan. It never was never gonna be.

Looking as positives he did well to win round 2 after the knockdown from round 1. Did he? I guess I’ll have to re-watch that round.

I won’t say the fight was turning by the stoppage, but he was answering Terence Crawford much and better. He made Crawford miss at times and scored, also pushing him back at times. Khan had some moments, but they were few and far between. Bottom line: he couldn’t get enough respect with the shots he landed.

Crawford showed why he’s P4P one of the best fighters in the world. No doubt about it. I thought it would take a few rounds for him to dissect Khan’s style and acclimate to the speed, but the Nebraskan was in total command from the opening bell.

Khan’s speed and combinations didn’t look as flashy as before, however credit has to go to Bud for not letting Khan use his speed or get his combinations off. While still a speed demon, Khan has slowed down a bit, and Crawford’s mind is quicker and sharper than his.

Khan may not be as fast as before, but he is still fast and would still trouble a lot of fighters. Not the best fighters of the 147-pound division.

Is Khan’s chin/style better or does Bud have an issue with power? I suppose I’m asking why didn’t Bud stop Khan when he had him in trouble a few times? Crawford likes to take his time and administer a quality ass kicking. Nothing wrong with that.

The stoppage was via an accidental illegal blow. To be honest a crap way for the fight to end for both fighters. That conclusion was a buzzkill.

Social media is fully nuts saying Khan quit. Is there a more politically correct way of putting it? “He opted not to continue”? Look, his coach bailed him out and he didn’t resist the escape hatch. I don’t hold it against him given the valor he’s shown in the past. I just think he’s reached a stage that most veterans reach at some point in their careers where they’re not willing to go out on their shield. I can accept that without ripping Khan. So can you, obviously (you’re a Khan fan). Others can’t.

These are people who have never laced up a pair to have an informed opinion. Welcome to Boxing Twitter.

What now for Khan? I think it shows he cannot hang with the elite level fighters. Not at all. The version of Danny Garcia that fought on the same night would destroy Khan. Shawn Porter’s too physical, Keith Thurman can match his speed but hits harder, even Oldman Pac might have more hustle than Amir can handle at this point.

Division champs and top 5? Forget about it.

Kell Brook? That’s Khan’s 401K, right there.

Retire? That would be the wise move. He’s financially secure, but he’s got so much pride, we both know that he’ll fight again. Bless him.

For Bud? He’s an amazing fighter who looks like he always had a few more gears. Fact. Too bad we can’t see him in with a welterweight who can push him to his limits.

Spence gonna have his hands full. Yeah, IF he ever shares the ring with Bud.

 

KHAN DESERVES RESPECT

Hey Dougie,
Love your work, keep on keeping on.

Khan boldly takes it to Canelo. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

After Amir’s loss versus Bud I feel like you will probably be getting a lot of derogatory messages about Khan. Maybe he took the opportunity to quit? I don’t know, neither do you and neither do the multitudes who will be quick to laugh at him from behind their phones or laptops. This is a man who has taken on the toughest of fights during a 15+ years career. He fought Canelo at middleweight! This man has got balls, regardless of whether they were bruised or not the other night. I hope that real fight fans will show some respect to a true warrior. I have enjoyed watching Khan over the years and have nothing but respect for him.

That’s all I have to say, other than keep up the good work! Cheers. – Ross, Irishman in Spain

Well said, Ross. I don’t have much to add to that other than I also have a lot of respect for Khan and the career he’s put together since turning pro in 2005. He’s won a pair of world titles, he’s made a name for himself in the U.S., he’s faced 13 major beltholders/champs, he’s taken on quality fighters in their hometowns, he’s made a lot of money, and – most importantly in my view – he’s come back from adversity.

If some fans can’t respect what he’s done, that’s on them.

 

CRAWFORD DOMINATES “OLD, SHOT” KHAN

Hey Doug,

Had a great time here in my first visit to Madison Square Garden, it wasn’t the fight or card that I wanted, but in the end, the fact that I was here and put foot in this historic venue was good enough.

Shakur Stevenson was perhaps the most disappointing because he started real good and ended up laying an egg. Hopefully, the kid understands that he doesn’t have to imitate old Floyd Mayweather, he can do what young Floyd did and impress the crowd. Tonight wasn’t the best impression and even though he did show sparks of what he can be, he decided to cruise to a decision win instead of finishing the show.

Felix Verdejo looks exactly like you said, not good enough as some expected. He has absolutely no shot vs Teofimo or Loma.

Teofimo looked a little flat in the beginning but oh my, that body shot was brutal. When he decided to turn it on, you could see how special he can be.

Crawford was impressive too. Yes, Khan is shot and old, but he’s also one dimensional and lacks variety, that and his chin have always kept him from being elite.

I think Crawford let him off the hook and gave him a few rounds. By the 4th and 5th, you could see what was going to happen. Crawford was hitting him with some nasty body shots and combinations. You could feel every punch he landed from the stands. My wife was even telling me that she was so nervous for Khan, as every punch Terence threw was with bad intentions; and that’s precisely what I love about him (Shakur should take notes).

He wants to impress and give the fans their money’s worth. I still favor him over Spence, I think he has a little bit more variety in his tool set and can do a little bit more on every facet of the game.

Hopefully his next fight is against somebody who has a shot.

Thanks, and have a great week! – Juan Valverde, San Diego

Don’t count on Crawford’s next fight being against anyone who has a prayer of beating him. And that’s not only because of the divisive promotional/network/platform allegiances in boxing; it’s because apart from Errol Spence, there may not be anyone in the 147-pound division who can hang with Bud.

Glad you enjoyed your trip to New York City and the Mecca of Boxing. I hope you found your way to Jimmy’s Corner and listened to Steve Kim hold court in front of his crew of fight-game degenerates at least one of the nights you were in town.

Shakur Stevenson was perhaps the most disappointing because he started real good and ended up laying an egg. Hmmm, so you weren’t as impressed and excited about the prospect’s performance as Tim Bradley and Max Kellerman, who believe he can defeat every titleholder in 126-pound division right now? Wow, man, why you hatin’ on this kid?

Hopefully, the kid understands that he doesn’t have to imitate old Floyd Mayweather, he can do what young Floyd did and impress the crowd. By the tone of his post-fight interview, it looks like he’s going to try to emulate “Money” Mayweather’s polarizing style outside of the ring as much as he will inside it. Oh well. I guess up-and-comers can’t all be likable outside of the ring and entertaining inside of it.

Felix Verdejo looks exactly like you said, not good enough as some expected. Yeah, I hate to say it but something’s just missing with that guy.

He has absolutely no shot vs Teofimo or Loma. Agreed, but I still wouldn’t mind seeing him take on Lopez in NYC.

Teofimo looked a little flat in the beginning but oh my, that body shot was brutal. When he decided to turn it on, you could see how special he can be. It’s hard to look good against an experienced boxer with Edis Tatli’s style, but when Lopez shifts gears he’s a very dangerous fighter. I’m sold on him as a future star but I still want to see how he handles an experienced fighter with athleticism and world-class punching power.

Crawford was impressive too. Yes, Khan is shot and old, but he’s also one dimensional and lacks variety, that and his chin have always kept him from being elite. Wait a minute. If Khan is truly “shot” AND “old” (at 32), as well as “one dimensional,” explain how Crawford’s win was so “impressive”?    

I think Crawford let him off the hook and gave him a few rounds. That was sadistic of him, if that’s true.

By the 4th and 5th, you could see what was going to happen. So could Khan and Virgil Hunter.

Crawford was hitting him with some nasty body shots and combinations. Yes Sir, and those body attacking combos were a thing of beautiful brutality. Crawford’s a throwback craftsman in the ring.

You could feel every punch he landed from the stands. My wife was even telling me that she was so nervous for Khan, as every punch Terence threw was with bad intentions; and that’s precisely what I love about him (Shakur should take notes). Crawford has a mean streak that reminds me of peak James Toney. He just loves to punish.

I still favor him over Spence, I think he has a little bit more variety in his tool set and can do a little bit more on every facet of the game. I agree, but they gotta settle it in the ring.

 

CRAWFORD’S MEANINGLESS CAREER

Been too long, boss. Hope you’re well and see you at some coming events.

Straight to the chase: there’s been no fighter in my 35 years on earth/25 years as a fan that I can recall having as meaningless a career, without obvious outside interference, as Terrence Crawford.

For context: he made his pro debut on March 14, 2008. The very next day Manny Pacquaio fought as a super featherweight. Has anything happened since then?

Rob Gronkowski just retired as the best NFL TE of all-time. In March 2008? He was a college freshman at Arizona and two and half years from meeting Tom Brady.

Lebron was 2.5 years from leaving Cleveland….. the first time. I could keep going.

Purely against his most oft-included contemporaries: Loma and Spence were 4.5 years away from their amateur climax in the 2012 Olympic Games.

And yet here we are in his 12th year as a pro, 8th as a world title contender and we sit with hapless hype job Gamboa as his best win? Other than that: a series of handpicked no-hopers who enter the ring as a stepping stone to the “big” fight. One that isn’t coming.

Amir F__king Khan in 2019. Give me a f__king break.

He might be really talented and maybe one day I’ll regret not giving a s__t about this road to nowhere career; but right now I happily enjoy doing other things on nights he fights.

Tell me where I’m wrong, brother. Be well. – Swider

The Friendly Neighborhood Swider-Man is checking in!? Is that really you? Talk about a blast from the past!

I get where you’re coming from in regard to Crawford’s career. He’s lauded as one of the two best boxers on the planet, he’s held numerous world titles over three weight classes over the past five years, and he’s unbeaten in 35 pro bouts but his record still lacks a fellow elite name. Amir Khan is the biggest scalp on his resume. And, as you know, that scalp meant hell of a lot more eight or nine years ago.

Bud bangs a right off Postol’s head en route to a decision that unified WBO and WBC 140-pound titles.

Still, I wouldn’t call Crawford’s accomplishments “meaningless.” Traveling to Scotland to beat Ricky Burns meant something to me, and I was impressed with the manner in which he handled Gamboa and Postol (even though I knew he’d win those fights). Winning The Ring Magazine’s lightweight and junior welterweight titles, and earning undisputed status at 140 pounds, holds weight with me.

But if you tell me that fighters with less than 20 bouts, such as Loma, Aleksandr Usyk and Naoya Inoue, have had more impressive careers than Crawford, I won’t argue with you.

For context: he made his pro debut on March 14, 2008. The very next day Manny Pacquaio fought as a super featherweight. Has anything happened since then? Yeah, he’s evolved into one of the stars of the Top Rank stable, he’s become an attraction in his hometown and a solid draw in NYC, he’s impressed the hell out of a lot fans and media members (especially the network executives and commentators for HBO and now ESPN), and as I noted he’s collected a lot of belts over three weight classes. Is he Sugar Ray Leonard with legacy defining fights with Wilfredo Benitez, Roberto Duran (twice) and Thomas Hearns in a two-year span? No. Is he Oscar De La Hoya facing Julio Cesar Chavez (twice), Pernell Whitaker, Ike Quartey, Felix Trinidad and Shane Mosley in a four-year span? No! Is he Manny Pacquiao facing Marco Antonio Barrera (twice), Juan Manuel Marquez (twice) and Erik Morales (three times) in about a four-and-half-year period? NO!!!! But Crawford isn’t an Olympic gold medalist like De La Hoya, or phenomenal natural talent like PacMan, or both like Ray; and the sport is lot more divided than it was in the early 1980s, late ‘90s and even the mid-2000s.

Purely against his most oft-included contemporaries: Loma and Spence were 4.5 years away from their amateur climax in the 2012 Olympic Games. I get your point, but we can’t compare the development of every fighter – even one as tough, smart and determined as Crawford – to ultra-talented Olympians like Lomachenko and Spence. Loma was an amateur legend, few in the history of the sport can match is record or accomplishments there. Spence had a far more extensive and decorated amateur career than Crawford, who had around 70 bouts. Bud won some national tournaments, such as the PAL, but not the notable ones, such as the U.S. Championships or Golden Gloves. He wasn’t anywhere near as seasoned as Loma and Spence when he turned pro, and it should be noted that he wasn’t signed to a major promoter (or “adviser”) as the two Olympians were, so his career was going to move a lot slower.

Crawford was fighting four-rounders for a year and a half after he turned pro. He was still fighting six-round bouts by mid-2012. And he was totally under the radar unless you paid attention to small shows put on by minor promotional outfits like TKO Boxing (which signed Bud in 2010 but was out of business by the end of 2011) that were either off-TV or televised on regional cable systems on tape delay.

The thing I admire about Crawford is that he learned his craft well during those early years of non-televised four- and six-rounders. He was ready when he got his opportunity to face better opponents on bigger platforms in 2013.

And yet here we are in his 12th year as a pro, 8th as a world title contender and we sit with hapless hype job Gamboa as his best win? Gamby was an Olympic champ and former featherweight titleholder, and he was undefeated when Bud faced him, but I agree that the Cuban fireplug was overrated. If that’s Crawford’s best win, I can see where some would ridicule that. However, his long road to becoming a world-class fighter and later elite status, shouldn’t draw so much criticism. Bouie Fisher, who guided Bernard

Hopkins was 35 years old and 13 years into his career before he scored his first truly significant victory vs. Felix Trinidad. Photo credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

Hopkins through a record middleweight title reign, once told me that it takes at least 10 years to develop a complete fighter unless you’re dealing with a very special talent (he used Roy Jones Jr. as an example of “special talent”). And B-Hop didn’t really come into his own until ’99 or 2000, more than 10 years after his pro debut. It took Marvin Hagler six years and 45 pro bouts before began to enter his prime (in 1979). Julio Cesar Chavez didn’t win his first world title until his 44th pro bout, and he probably didn’t enter his peak years until late 1987 (around the time of the Edwin Rosario fight). Now, it didn’t take these great former champions as many years as Crawford to hit their peaks, but they were able to fight more often in the ‘70s and ‘80s. My point is that they weren’t Olympians or “special talents” like their rivals (Ray Leonard and Meldrick Taylor, who were fighting legit top-10 contenders within a year and a half of turning pro and before their 14th fight. It them a considerable amount of time to develop into world-class fighters.

Other than that: a series of handpicked no-hopers who enter the ring as a stepping stone to the “big” fight. “No-hopers” is a bit of a stretch, but he has been the odds/media favorite for all of his title bouts.

One that isn’t coming. I hope you’re wrong.

Amir F__king Khan in 2019. Give me a f__king break. I’m guessing you didn’t purchase the ESPN PPV?

He might be really talented and maybe one day I’ll regret not giving a s__t about this road to nowhere career; but right now I happily enjoy doing other things on nights he fights. Hey, that’s your prerogative; there are other active boxing standouts to pay attention to.

 

CRAWFORD VS. SPENCE IS PPV WORTHY

Hi Doug,

I passed on the Crawford/ Kahn fight because it went pretty much like I thought it would and I wasn’t going to pay 70 bucks to see that (I did see the highlights on YouTube). All that being said, Crawford is one of my favorite fighters and for my money at the top of the pound for pound listings.

So now Crawford is calling for Errol Spence. I can’t think of a more exciting fight to be made in all of boxing right now (are you listening heavyweight division?) Ok I know they have different promoters but those hurdles have been crossed before. This bout needs to be made NOW. There are big bucks to be made all around. They should make this fight and then let the winner go down the list of the welters that are left. I think this fight could be one of those fights that capture even casual fans with the right promotion…..and I would shell out my 70 bucks (in this case they will probably ask more) for this fight.

What do you think Doug? Is there even a chance? History has shown that sometimes you can wait too long. – David, Nashville

Yeah, the fight can pass us by like Bowe vs. Lewis or we can get it way past its due date like Mayweather-Pacquiao. Both scenarios frustrate hardcore fans and turn away casuals.

Is there a chance that boxing does the right thing with Spence-Crawford? Yes. But I don’t see it happening this year. Haymon and Spence have too many options on their side of the street to care to deal with Arum and ESPN right away. I’m sure Haymon believes Spence should continue to raise his stature in the sport with fights vs. Porter, Danny Garcia, and the winner of Pacquiao-Thurman (if that fight happens) before negotiating anything with Crawford/Arum/ESPN. Team Spence wants to have as much leverage as possible and they want Team Crawford to be desperate.

However, fans and the boxing media can keep the pressure on both sides and their platforms, which should realize at some point that there’s a lot of money to be made for all involved if they do business. Like you said, you’d be eager to shell out your hard-earned cash to watch this matchup, and you’d probably tell your casual-fan friends all about the fight like a giddy boxing geek if it was made. Imagine the exposure the build-up to the fight could have if ESPN and FOX (and maybe Showtime) joined forces in getting the word out?

No doubt Spence-Crawford would do business. I just think the earliest that business could take place is next year.

 

GARCIA VS. GARCIA

Doug –

Who wins between the Garcias at a 140 catchweight? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

Prior to their most recent fights, I would have told you Mikey in a heartbeat. But after watching Danny take apart rugged journeyman Adrian Granados on Saturday, I’m not so sure. I’d pick Danny, the naturally bigger fighter, by decision if the matchup were at welterweight.

But at 140 pounds? It’s likely that Danny would drain himself to make that weight, so I’ll go with Mikey by close, maybe split decision.

 

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