Saturday, September 21, 2019  |

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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Lomachenko-Campbell, Edwards-Martinez, ESPN+)

Loma on the attack against Cool Hand Luke.
02
Sep

GOOD NIGHT AT THE 02

Hi Dougie,

All the best to you, the family and the team.

Great card from the O2 in London on Sat night.

Savannah Marshall blasted through Bastieri with ease. Now she’s with Matchroom can we expect a fight with T-Rex? Eddie Hearn and Dmitriy Salita have worked together before and seem to get along. Would be a big event. Big step up for Marshall I think IMHO.

Cordina/Gwynne was an entertaining fight. I was expecting Cordina to walk through Gwynne but was happily proved wrong. It was a good scrap, but Cordina was a clear winner. Good win for Cordina. Need these type of fights to progress. Where does he go next?

Edwards/Martinez. Wow Martinez got dynamite in his gloves!!! Surely hitting an opponent on the floor is an instant disqualification? (Ref: Creed 2) Glad Eddie Hearn put Mauricio Sulaimán on the spot, in the ring, to get the fight called a no contest. Ref got it wrong?

Good learning fight for Buatsi. Shame about the low blow at the end. Yes, Ford was on his way out, but he should not have been given a count IMHO. He deserved a fair crack and allowed to recover from the illegal blow. Ford show class after the fight. The guy’s tough as nails, hope to see him over this side of the pond again.

Fury/Povetkin was a bit of a dull fight. Some good action in spots but didn’t really come alight. Credit to Fury for taking the fight. He’ll learn from it. Where do they both go next? Povetkin/Wilder would be interesting.

Loma/Campbell. Of course, was supporting Campbell with my rose tinted British boxing fan glasses on. But Loma is in a class of his own. Campbell did well to stay in there and last 12 rounds. IMHO, I do think Loma had his hands full. Did Campbell shown how to solve the Matrix without actually managing to do it? Many are inferring Loma had an easier time in there that it showed? What do you think?

Interesting Uncle Bob saying Loma will stay at 135lb and challenge the best at 130lb and 126lb. 140lb doesn’t have the depth it once had. I though he may target it to conquer a new weight class. Also, would open the door to Loma/Mikey García.

Loma is a special, special talent! What do you think he should do after getting the 135lb IBF belt?

MMs:

Loma Vs Pretty Boy Floyd at 130/135lb

Loma Vs PacMan at 130/135lb

Loma Va Naz at 126lb

Campbell Vs Khan at 135lb

Campbell Vs Hatton at 135lb

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

I’ll go with Mayweather on points in very close decisions, probably controversial (especially at 135) due to Loma’s smart pressure and crazy workrate, Loma by close decision over Pac at 130, Pac by close decision at 135, Loma over Naz by decision in an awkward fight, Campbell over Khan by decision (Amir was just a prospect at 135), and the Campbell-Hatton fight would never happen at 135 (Ricky never fought at lightweight as a pro and he’d have to cut a leg off to do so).

Lomachenko is indeed a special talent. He’s got amazing agility, skill and ring generalship, but what him stand out in my mind is his competitive nature. He’s constantly upping his game during a fight. The more competitive his opponent is, the harder he fights. That’s why I enjoy watching him.

Great card from the O2 in London on Sat night. Minus Fury-Povetkin, it was pretty darn good, a little long for a boxing broadcast, but it featured quality matchups and the usual electric English-fan atmosphere.

Savannah Marshall blasted through Bastieri with ease. Now she’s with Matchroom can we expect a fight with T-Rex? Of course! She’s the only blemish on Claressa Shields’ boxing resume, and anytime somebody brings up the British amateur standout to the undisputed middleweight champ she channels her James Toney and loudly declares that she’s gonna whup her ass. What other matchups are out there for Shields that will move the needle?

Cordina/Gwynne was an entertaining fight. It was a good scrap, but Cordina was a clear winner. Need these type of fights to progress. Where does he go next? Cordina’s got a good jab and quality footwork and counterpunching ability. I think British/Commonwealth lightweight champ is on his way to contender status, but he needs more pro seasoning. I think he’s a win or two away from fighting a tough gatekeeper – somebody like Omar Douglas or Juan Antonio Rodriguez – before he takes on a legit fringe contender, such as Romero Duno. If he can walk that gauntlet, I’d aim him at veteran (and fellow Welshman) Lee Selby (big UK matchup).

Edwards/Martinez. Wow Martinez got dynamite in his gloves!!! Especially when he aims those gloves at a dude’s body.

Surely hitting an opponent on the floor is an instant disqualification? It can, but it’s generally up to the referee’s call. If the ref believes the punch was intentional and the boxer that took the shot (or shots) while down cannot continue, the bout is usually (but not always) ruled a DQ victory for the fallen fighter. If the fallen fighter is able to continue, the fighter who delivered an intentional blow is usually penalized at least one point and the fallen fighter is given time to recover. If the illegal punch is ruled to be accidental a point might not be taken, but the fouled fighter is given up to 5 minutes to recover.

Glad Eddie Hearn put Mauricio Sulaimán on the spot, in the ring, to get the fight called a no contest. Ref got it wrong? Yeah, the ref missed an egregiously foul shot. The WBC pres did the right thing.

Good learning fight for Buatsi. Shame about the low blow at the end. Yes, Ford was on his way out, but he should not have been given a count IMHO. Hey, Andre Ward was ringside. They can’t celebrate his absolute “awesomeness,” solidified for all time by that rematch KO of Sergey Kovalev, and penalize a low blow that helped lead to a stoppage.  

Ford show class after the fight. The guy’s tough as nails, hope to see him over this side of the pond again. I think Ford is probably the most reliable gatekeeper at 175 pounds right now. Buatsi, on the other hand, appears on his way to legit contender status. I was impressed with his performance.

Fury/Povetkin was a bit of a dull fight. A bit? What Fury did is what we call “stinking it out” here in the good ole U.S. of A. I’m glad he lost to the veteran.

Some good action in spots but didn’t really come alight. I stopped paying close attention midway through.

Credit to Fury for taking the fight. Why? He’s a young former prospect/former title challenger. Shouldn’t he WANT to face a seemingly faded former titleholder?

He’ll learn from it. I hope so.

Where do they both go next? I don’t care where Fury goes next, I just don’t want it to be on U.S. television.

Povetkin/Wilder would be interesting. Wilder’s dance card is full. I can see the gutsy old Russian serving as Aleksandr Usyk’s second heavyweight opponent.

Loma/Campbell. Of course, was supporting Campbell with my rose tinted British boxing fan glasses on. It’s all good. Cool Hand Luke is worthy of British fan support. I had a lot of respect for him prior to the Loma fight and even more after the 12 rounds he went with the pound-for-pound king.

But Loma is in a class of his own. Until further notice, he’s hands down the best 135 pounder in the sport.

Campbell did well to stay in there and last 12 rounds. That came as no surprise to me. Even before the fight was made I fingered Campbell as the lightweight the right stature, style and ring IQ to give Loma a competitive bout over 12 rounds.

Loma and Campbell earned each other’s respect after 12 quality rounds.

IMHO, I do think Loma had his hands full. He did, even though he won 10 rounds on my scorecard, and, in my opinion CLEARLY won at least eight.

Did Campbell show how to solve the Matrix without actually managing to do it? Maybe, for fighters with his height, reach, stance and style, but with more athletic talent and skill. How many boxers out there at 130-135 pounds are you aware of that fit that description?

Many are inferring Loma had an easier time in there that it showed? What do you think? I don’t think there was anything easy about that fight for Loma even though he appeared to be the boss in the majority of rounds. He had to dig down deep, especially in the late rounds.

Interesting Uncle Bob saying Loma will stay at 135lb and challenge the best at 130lb and 126lb. That plan makes more sense to me as long as the best fights can be made.

140lb doesn’t have the depth it once had. I disagree. I think it’s a talented weight class with top operators in it’s top five. Prograis-Taylor will crown a Ring champ and unify two sanctioning organization belts. If the WBSS final winner faces Jose Ramirez, we’ll get an undisputed 140-pound champ – and a much needed junior welterweight star.

I thought he may target it to conquer a new weight class. I think division hopping is overrated. I’d much rather see a quality fighter attempt to unify and rule one division.

Also, would open the door to Loma/Mikey García. Meh. I think the ship has sailed on this matchup and I doubt we ever see Garcia fight below 140 pounds again.

 

LOMA VS. THE MONSTER

Hi Doug,

Great Fight between Loma and Campbell, I think Luke got him good in the 7th Round but overall Loma was simply too much to handle for Campbell.

Loma was just too fast for him and his technique just overpowerd him.

That`s what you get from a Top-10 P4P Fighter, that combination of Body and Head Shots is unique and rarely seen.

Luke still had a great Fight too, though, you think there is a chance that both Fighters will meet each other again?

I am happy about the News regarding the Prograis-Taylor Fight. I really wanted this Fight going to happen. It`s going to be Lights out and as good as the Inoue-Donaire Fight.

Talking about the WBSS:

Fighter 1 is 5`5″ with a reach of 67 1/2 ”

Fighter 2 is 5`7″ with a reach of 65″

You guessed it Fighter 1 is the Monster and Fighter 2 is Loma.

Come On Doug we have to make this happen. Let´s GO!

Inoue has fought even taller enemies (Boyeaux). This shouldn`t be a problem, they only need to come together for a Weight class, maybe at 126 what do you say? – Andy

Naoya Inoue’s title belt collection is almost as impressive as Loma’s. The mythical P4P title would be on the line if they ever fought.

Sign me up, Andy. But first things first. Inoue’s got to get past a future hall of famer in the Filipino Flash and then win at least one world title at 122 pounds in order to give any credibility to a pound-for-pound catchweight showdown with Loma at 126. And if Loma doesn’t want to drop all the way back down to featherweight, I think Inoue will need to win a world title at 126 pounds, too.

Great Fight between Loma and Campbell, I think Luke got him good in the 7th Round but overall Loma was simply too much to handle for Campbell. I didn’t think Lomachenko was in any kind of trouble in Round 7 or in any other round during a bout that was entertaining and competitive (sorry, Andy, it fell way short of being “great”) but also a CLEAR victory for The Ring champ and pound-for-pound boss.

Loma was just too fast for him and his technique just overpowerd him. It was more than speed and technique that got the better of Campbell, it was also fighting spirit. As difficult and game as Campbell was, Loma wanted the victory more.

That`s what you get from a Top-10 P4P Fighter, that combination of Body and Head Shots is unique and rarely seen. Loma has an uncanny ability to mix his punches up while walking down opposition with in-and-out movement. What amazed me was his ability to land head-snapping jabs against a taller, rangier opponent from the outside. One second he’s beyond Campbell’s reach, the next he’s in the Brit’s face with a shotgun jab. Boom!

Luke still had a great Fight too, though, you think there is a chance that both Fighters will meet each other again? I doubt it, but I think Luke can win a world title, either at 135 or 140, at some point. Like I’ve been saying in this column and on social media, he’s a class operator.

I am happy about the News regarding the Prograis-Taylor Fight. I’m over the f__king moon about it!

I really wanted this Fight going to happen. You wouldn’t be a real boxing fan if you weren’t into this matchup.

It`s going to be Lights out and as good as the Inoue-Donaire Fight. I think it will be better.

 

LOMA OUT OF A COMA

The beast has awakened. Loma has finally been chin checked by a technical opponent with the speed to stand with him. And he finally produced an entertaining fight.  Hey Dougie, hope all is well with you.  Question: How would Mikey Garcia vs Campbell look? Something tells me Mikey would’ve fared better. – Miguel from Naples

Maybe. Styles make fights, but I think Cambpell’s height, reach, solid fundamentals and (most importantly) ability to keep a boxing match at a distance would have troubled Garcia (at 135 or even 140 pounds).

The beast has awakened. Bro, he’s been wide awake – long before he turned pro, in fact.

Loma has finally been chin checked by a technical opponent with the speed to stand with him. “Chin checked”? Nah. Luke was skilled enough to put his Cool Hands on Loma here and there (I was especially impressed by his bodywork), but he couldn’t match the Ukrainian wizard’s speed or stand with him.

And he finally produced an entertaining fight. Stop it, Miguel. Loma’s had more than a few entertaining fights, including the showdown with Jorge Linares, his first title bout vs. Orlando Salido, and his 130-pound belt winning KO against Rocky Martinez.

Hey Dougie, hope all is well with you. I’m doing well, thanks.

 

THOUGHTS ON ESPN+ SHOW

Hello Doug,

First off, hope you had an awesome Labor Day weekend with your family. I sure rested and watch some interesting fights which is always good. Thank god I saw that this was in the afternoon as I was not really aware or didn’t remember this was coming from England. I did enjoy the card, I thought the Edwards-Martinez fight was a compelling matchup, and of course, thought that Campbell, because of style, would probably complicate things for Loma.

I’ve never been a huge Lomachenko fan boy. I like him, I do think he’s special, but I also think people these days overrate everything they see.   With that out of the way let me tell you what I saw. I was not blindfolded like the judges and some people on social media just celebrating everything Lomachenko did. I thought there were several legitimately close rounds that could have gone either way and I scored them for Luke because of his body attack. He was hitting down there hard and using combinations that would start down and then open up Loma’s head. That’s why he was able to maintain Vasiliy’s respect throughout the fight. His long reach and tricks he had, plus his boxing IQ kept the Ukrainian superstar at bay most of the fight. I also think that the early bodywork took its toll in the later rounds and that’s why Loma couldn’t finish him. Of course, I did see Vasiliy win the fight. I had it 8 rounds to 4 minus the knockdown point, so I did have it by 5 points. But I don’t think that tells the whole story of the fight. I think we can see that the more fighters you face, the more styles you’ll get and the more vulnerable you’ll look.

If you only have 10-13 fights against guys that make your style look good, then you can compare yourself to the greats (like Arum did before getting photobombed by Usyk, which was the highlight of the night for me). The main problem I have with this, and the reason I still don’t think Loma is the top dog in the world, is because with so few fights, we don’t have enough data to compare him to the rest, especially with guys like Canelo with over 50 fights, GGG with over 40, and Pacquiao with more than 70. These guys have faced such diverse opposition we can actually make a good assessment of how good they are. This is my problem with boxing today, not enough to really tell.   Tonight, was a very good example how size, style and trickiness can make you look not as special as fighting guys that are made right for you. Imagine if Loma only faced guys like this? We would never ever see his shifting and moves that we always see because he would never have the chance. He would hardly look special. That’s why I value activity so much, it gives us more to make a good evaluation of who you are.  I think Loma is definitely a special talent and has a lot going for him, I will continue to watch but will stay away from comparing him to all time greats like Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler (I almost cried when Arum mentioned him) and Muhammad Ali until the time comes.

Edwards vs Martinez was going one way until the late punch happened. Now, I agree with the No Contest decision, but the fact that the WBC can make the decision to use instant replay whenever they want makes this very weird. Do you think the same thing would’ve happened if Martinez was the recipient of that late punch? Neither do I. All these different rules from the commissions, alphabet organizations and countries make everything so confusing and convenient. It makes boxing so difficult to understand for new fans. I hope these kinda things get fixed.

Now, as I said, I think the right call was a No-Contest, Edwards was hit late and we never know how things might turn out in the later rounds, we don’t know if he just took a breather. I also think a disqualification wasn’t in place as the referee wasn’t close enough to separate the guys and in the heat of the moment it’s difficult to see if the guy is actually down, it’s way too fast.   Well, that’s all I got, Doug. That do you think? Thanks, and have a great week! – Juan Valverde, San Diego

Martinez lands the late shot on Edwards.

I think the punch that Martinez landed while Edwards was down was blatantly late. It was f__ked up whether he meant to do it or not, and it would have been wrong for the title to change hands on such an egregious foul. It’s that simple. I know that boxing is a fractured and complicated sport that often fails to separate from its business side and the many agendas of the non-combatants that come together to put on the events, but sometimes it just comes down to doing the right thing. Some situations just come down to what’s right and what’s wrong, not about the WBC or the British Boxing Board of Control, or who has authority or jurisdiction in given situation.  

I don’t think Mauricio was out of line with his decision – and it should be known that when he reviewed the replay of the late hit, it was done with a member of the BBBofC and they made the decision to overrule the referee’s initial call together – and, quite frankly, I’m OK with this. Boxing needs instant replay just like any other sport and I’m not mad at the WBC for utilizing it jurisdictions where the commission doesn’t have it. Also, I don’t think a case that cut-and-dry needs to go before a special BBBofC committee for review. Any boxing commission that needs to deliberate over what happened between Martinez and Edwards for hours, days or weeks isn’t competent enough to make a ruling. It should take no more than a few seconds of reviewing the tape immediately after the fight was halted to know what to do.

I’ve never been a huge Lomachenko fan boy. I like him, I do think he’s special, but I also think people these days overrate everything they see. Lomachenko ain’t overrated, dude. You don’t have to be a fan boy, you don’t have view him as the pound-for-pound king, you don’t have to think he could hang with the greats of past eras or even consider him to be a future hall of famer, but you have to admit that he’s the best lightweight in the game and one of the four or five best boxers on the planet. And if some fans and media want to geek out on his ring prowess, let them! There were fans who geeked out on Pernell Whitaker like that, even while others were bored by his defensive style, and more than a few members of the media called him one of the greatest lightweights ever even before he unified the major titles. In time, Sweet Pea lived up to his potential and hype. Maybe Loma will do the same. Time will tell.

I was not blindfolded like the judges and some people on social media just celebrating everything Lomachenko did. Seemed to me that ESPN’s commentators were celebrating Campbell just as much as Boxing Twitter was celebrating Loma, and on my TL there were fans who boasted of having the same scorecard as Andre “Can Do No Wrong” Ward after six or seven rounds (basically seeing an even fight to that point). By the way, even though I saw a competitive fight, my scorecard looked like one of the official judges (118-109) or 10 rounds 2 with the knockdown point deduction to Campbell.

I thought there were several legitimately close rounds that could have gone either way and I scored them for Luke because of his body attack. I only scored Rounds 1 and 2 for Campbell. I thought Rounds 4 and 6 were very competitive and close, but I still thought Loma had the edge.

He was hitting down there hard and using combinations that would start down and then open up Loma’s head. Yes, he was. But at the same time he was getting that work done, Loma was doing the same thing, only with smart aggression and a higher punch output.

That’s why he was able to maintain Vasiliy’s respect throughout the fight. He got Loma’s respect but Loma still put hands on him enough to repeatedly hurt him and put him down in Round 11.

His long reach and tricks he had, plus his boxing IQ kept the Ukrainian superstar at bay most of the fight. I think Campbell did enough to keep from being overwhelmed by Loma, but that’s not the same thing as keeping his antagonist “at bay.”

I also think that the early bodywork took its toll in the later rounds and that’s why Loma couldn’t finish him. I don’t think that was the case at all. If anything, Loma was fiercer down the stretch of the fight. Campbell went the distance because on top of being a world-class technician, he’s tough and has mad heart.

Of course, I did see Vasiliy win the fight. I had it 8 rounds to 4 minus the knockdown point, so I did have it by 5 points. That’s fair. I think you’re giving Campbell the benefit of the doubt in every close round, but that’s OK. He’s worthy of that.

But I don’t think that tells the whole story of the fight. I think we can see that the more fighters you face, the more styles you’ll get and the more vulnerable you’ll look. True, which is why I generally rate the Golden Age fighters, or even 1990s-era boxers like James Toney, over this generation.

If you only have 10-13 fights against guys that make your style look good, then you can compare yourself to the greats (like Arum did before getting photobombed by Usyk, which was the highlight of the night for me). Hold on, Juan. Let’s not pretend that everyone Loma has faced had the same style (or were all sub-par). Orlando Salido and Gary Russell Jr. are on opposite sides of the boxing style spectrum and both were dangerous and formidable in their own way. Jorge Linares’ talent and style is a nightmare for pure boxers. Guillermo Rigondeaux was supposed to give him fits, according to the Cult of Rigo (which now refuses to give Loma any credit for that victory). These guys had very different styles and were all world class-to-elite-level boxers.

The main problem I have with this, and the reason I still don’t think Loma is the top dog in the world, is because with so few fights, we don’t have enough data to compare him to the rest, especially with guys like Canelo with over 50 fights, GGG with over 40, and Pacquiao with more than 70. That trio (comprised of future hall of famers, one of whom is an ATG) indeed has more pro experience against more diverse styles, but most people rate Loma ahead of them in the mythical ratings because he’s been more dominant in recent years.

Loma beats the ultra-fast and talented Gary Russell Jr. to the punch during their 2014 WBO featherweight bout. Photo by Naoki Fukuda

These guys have faced such diverse opposition we can actually make a good assessment of how good they are. This is my problem with boxing today, not enough to really tell. I know Loma only has 15 pro bouts, but he’s been fighting at the world-class level since his second fight. He just beat The Ring’s No. 2-rated lightweight. Jose Pedraza is No. 3 at 135 pounds. Jorge Linares was The Ring lightweight champ when Loma faced him. Gary Russell Jr. is No. 3 at featherweight. Guillermo Rigondeaux is No. 4 at 122 pounds (he was the No. 1 junior featherweight and pound-for-pound rated when he fought Loma). I have to question the boxing knowledge of anyone who STILL isn’t sure how good Loma is after the performances he’s had against that level of opposition.

Tonight, was a very good example how size, style and trickiness can make you look not as special as fighting guys that are made right for you. Imagine if Loma only faced guys like this? Why? That’s pure fantasy, Juan. Lightweights of Luke Campbell’s size and skill level aren’t a dime a dozen. He’s an Olympic gold medalist who was developed well by Matchroom Boxing and he has a difficult style. Anyone who thought Campbell was going to be a walk in the park for Loma (or any lightweight) either hasn’t been paying attention or just doesn’t understand how styles usually mesh in the ring.

We would never ever see his shifting and moves that we always see because he would never have the chance. He would hardly look special. Well, just one man’s opinion, but I thought Loma made his usual shifts and moves vs. Campbell and looked darn special doing it.

I think Loma is definitely a special talent and has a lot going for him, I will continue to watch but will stay away from comparing him to all time greats like Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler (I almost cried when Arum mentioned him) and Muhammad Ali until the time comes. That’s fair.

 

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

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