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Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Tank Davis, Pascal-Jack, Errol Spence, mythical matchups)

Photo / @ShowtimeBoxing
30
Dec

TANK DAVIS

Hey Dougie. Long time.

So, I like Gervonta Davis but not sold on him quite yet. I am reminded of past lightweight champs like Pernell Whitaker, Floyd Mayweather, Roberto Duran, even Edwin Rosario and Livingston Bramble. I think all these guys would have made Davis look ordinary. Lomachenko shuts him out if you ask me.

I thought the Pascal-Jack fight could have gone either way. Good scrap.  I’d like to see Canelo really challenge himself and fight a Demetrius Andrade or Billy Jo Saunders at 160-168.



What do you think the odds are of a Spence-Crawford fight in 2021?

Few mythical matchups:

At 160 Canelo Alvarez vs. Marvelous Marvin Hagler.

At 168 Canelo vs. Roy Jones Jr.

At 140 Aaron Pryor vs. Manny Pacquiao.

At 112 Chocolatito Gonzalez vs. Michael Carbajal.

At 147 Errol Spence vs. Donald Curry.

Finally, at 147 Roberto Duran vs. Oscar De La Hoya.

Happy New Year Dougie to you and your family. – Pedro

Happy New Year, Pedro. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and these interesting mythical matchups with us. I’ll go with:

At 160 Canelo Alvarez vs. Marvelous Marvin HaglerHagler by close but unanimous decision in a good, comeptitive fight (not unlike the Marvelous One’s 1983 showdown with Hands of Stone).

At 168 Canelo vs. Roy Jones Jr.RJJ by mid-to-late stoppage. No disrespect to Alvarez, but Jones was untouchable and ultra-dynamic at super middleweight.

At 140 Aaron Pryor vs. Manny PacquiaoThe Hawk by split decision in a GREAT fight.

At 112 Chocolatito Gonzalez vs. Michael CarbajalDangerous fight for the Little Chocolate King because Little Hands of Stone had the punching power, reach and technique to seriously threaten a KO, but I think Gonzalez’s better overall game and workrate would get the better of the 1988 Olympic silver medalist over the distance. Gonzalez by close, maybe majority decision.

At 147 Errol Spence vs. Donald CurryThe Lonestar Cobra by decision or late stoppage in a battle of attrition that features sporadic boxing and several mini-shootouts. I think Curry, who hit hard and accurate enough to earn Spence’s respect, would outbox and outmaneuver his fellow Texan in spots throughout the fight.

At 147 Roberto Duran vs. Oscar De La HoyaThe Panama legend would need to be at his best (he couldn’t afford to half-ass it vs. De La Hoya), but I see him outworking The Golden Boy like Shane Mosley (in their first fight) and also outslicking him like Pernell Whitaker over the distance in a competitive and entertaining welterweight showdown. Duran by clear unanimous decision.

I like Gervonta Davis but not sold on him quite yet. I’m sold on him as a solid attraction and a potential star. As a lightweight contender? I need to see more. Hopefully, he fights at least three times in 2020 (as he did this year).

Whitaker’s educated right jab gave Jose Luis Ramirez fits in their lightweight title-unification rematch. It was Whitaker’s 20th pro bout. Photo from The Ring Archive

I am reminded of past lightweight champs like Pernell Whitaker, Floyd Mayweather, Roberto Duran, even Edwin Rosario and Livingston Bramble. I think all these guys would have made Davis look ordinary. Well, yeah, no s__t. Whitaker, Duran and Rosario are in the hall of fame. Mayweather will be a first-ballot hall of famer. Duran, regarded by many as the best lightweight ever, and Whitaker are all-time greats. Davis just made his lightweight debut. Let’s give the kid some time. He’s 25 with 23 pro bouts. I know Whitaker was world-class by his 11th or 12th pro bouts, and Mayweather won his first world title in his 18th pro bout, but those two were Olympic medalists (as well as once-in-a-generation boxing talents). It takes most fighters more time to than that to come into their own (even hall of famers and all-time greats). Duran won his first world title in his 29th pro bout. Shane Mosley won his first world title in his 24th pro bout (and most fans and media were not sold on him until his 26th or 27th pro bout).

Lomachenko shuts him out if you ask me. Davis is clearly not ready for Loma, but nobody should have suggested that he was even prior to the Gamboa fight.

I thought the Pascal-Jack fight could have gone either way. Good scrap.  Agreed. What a comeback year this has been for Pascal, who I thought was ready to retire after losing to Dmitry Bivol in 2018. And what a gritty warrior and class act Jack is. Actually, both battle-tested veterans are class acts with championship character. It’s a pleasure to watch them fight and I’m proud there are fighters like them to represent the sport.

I’d like to see Canelo really challenge himself and fight a Demetrius Andrade or Billy Jo Saunders at 160-168. You will probably see one of those fights in 2020. (And, please, let’s not pretend that he doesn’t challenge himself.)

What do you think the odds are of a Spence-Crawford fight in 2021? I’ll give it a 25-30% chance IF Spence is able to make a successful comeback in 2020.

 

BAD-LUCK JACK

Dougie,

Has Badou Jack ever gotten a break in the ring? – Rodemeyer

No, never. He’s earned everything he’s achieved in boxing the hard way, but that’s one of the many things I admire about him. I thought he CLEARLY beat James DeGale and the draw with Adonis Stevenson easily could have gone his way.

 

LIGHTER WEIGHT

Doug –

Would Tank and Loma be significantly different at 130? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

No, not at all. Davis is not ready for Lomachenko at any weight.

 

CANELO WAS THE BEST CHOICE FOR FIGHTER OF THE YEAR

Doug,

Canelo was the best choice for Fighter of the Year; don’t let #salty fans tell you otherwise.

Most of the complainers have suggested it should have been Josh Taylor or Naoya Inoue. But if you really break it down, their campaigns are great but aren’t as impressive as Canelo’s.

In my opinion, Canelo beating Danny Jacobs convincingly is a more impressive win than Taylor eking out a somewhat debatable decision against Regis Prograis. Jacobs is in his prime and post-recovery from cancer he has only lost a decision to GGG (a controversial decision that could have easily gone the other way). Taylor and Prograis are wonderful talents but still more in the beginning stages of their careers. And you can’t tell me that beating Ivan Baranchyk (who is one of my favorite fighters) is as impressive as jumping two weight classes and beating a still-dangerous elite boxer with power like Sergey Kovalev coming off of impressive wins against Eleider Alvarez and Anthony Yarde.

Canelo’s wins hold up similarly when compared to Inoue’s 2019 resume. If wins against elder statesmen Kovalev and Nonito Donaire are comparable (although, again, Canelo went up 2 weight classes — as opposed to Donaire having come down 2 weight classes — and Canelo won by spectacular knockout as opposed to surviving a war), then I think you still have to agree that Canelo’s win against Jacobs is more impressive than Inoue’s very impressive blowout of Emmanuel Rodriguez, due to Jacobs being the higher caliber opponent.

Some will say that either Taylor or Donaire are more deserving because they won the WBSS, like Aleksandr Usyk did the prior year, which resulted in Usyk’s earning fighter of the year honors. But it’s easy to forget Usyk also added a spectacular knockout of Tony Bellew (who was enjoying a late career renaissance) to his resume for 2018, in addition to his wins against Mairis Briedis and Murat Gassiev.

To suggest that Canelo’s selection is some sort of conspiracy on the part of The Ring’s editors, and to question your integrity, is an absolute joke. These fans should admit that their real issue, in my opinion, is that they still haven’t gotten over Canelo legitimately beating GGG clean in the rematch Mexican-style (although of course I would not argue too much with those who chose to score it the other way, but just take a look at their faces after the fight…). You notice how these conspiracy-mongers never mention the negative hair follicle test, or the fact that the only judge who was brought back from the first fight for the rematch was Dave Moretti, who scored the first fight for GGG? I guess those facts don’t fit the narrative. Or maybe these fans are upset that Canelo hasn’t given GGG a trilogy yet. But fans shouldn’t act like petulant children or like conspiracy theorists just because they don’t get what they want, and in the process detract from an objectively amazing 2019 campaign.

Sorry for the lengthy rant Doug, I guess it’s #saltyseason’s greetings for all! LOL. Take care and I hope you and all fans (whether in agreement or not) have a great new year. – Jerry, Los Angeles

You make good points, Jerry, but don’t sweat Canelo’s detractors. Have fun with them and troll ‘em every now and then on Twitter, but keep most on mute because deep down they know they’re full s__t. They’re literally butthurt because Golovkin wasn’t able to knockout Canelo like they boldly predicted. (Same deal for Anthony Joshua haters that are mad at themselves for being fooled by Andy Ruiz going into the rematch.) They’ll tell you Golovkin clearly beat Canelo twice but they don’t have GGG in their pound-for-pound top five. They don’t bring up Golovkin when they discuss candidates for Fighter of the Decade? Seems strange to omit GGG if they really view him as unbeaten over 42 pro fights with two victories over a pound-for-pound entrant. But the truth is that they only bring up those fights to make an argument for keeping Canelo away from the pound-for-pound No. 1 spot and the FOTY award out of his hands.

The Hitman was the first former 154-pound titleholder to win a major 175-pound belt vs. rugged Dennis Andreis. Photo / The Ring Getty collection

For the record, I have no problem with anyone who views Inoue or Taylor as the 2019 Fighter of the Year. They both earned Ring championships by facing the best of their division in title-unification bouts (and their WBSS finals bouts were Fight of the Year candidates). However, Canelo defended his Ring middleweight championship with a title-unification bout vs. Jacobs and then won a light heavyweight title. He did more than Inoue and Taylor. He faced the best of TWO divisions and made history with the Kovalev victory. How many former junior middleweight champions have won a 175-pound title? How many reigning middleweight champions have won a light heavyweight title? Don’t bother asking the #Salty Suckas. They don’t want to know. The answers are some (Thomas Hearns, Sugar Ray Leonard and Mike McCallum) and none. That’s great company and a historic accomplishment.  

The #salty among us will just have to deal with it (or get used to being sour-ass mopes). And I hope the bitter bastards that accuse The Ring of a Golden Boy bias save some of their conspiracy theories for ESPN, which also selected Alvarez as the Fighter of the Year, and the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board, which also ranks the Mexican star No. 1 pound for pound.

What are these people going to do if the Boxing Writers Association of America votes to make Canelo the Fighter of the Year (God forbid if he wins Fighter of the Decade)? I’ll tell ya what they’re gonna do….

They’re gonna STAY #SALTY!

 

CHARLO-HARRISON 2, SPENCE INTERVIEW

Dougie,

Really enjoyed the Charlo/Harrison fight this past weekend. Tony is a very skilled boxer but he was feeling himself WAY too much as the fight went on. He was landing shots but Charlo was never hurt or out of that fight. Tony got complacent and it cost him. I was also very disappointed when I heard some of those score cards. I had it 96-93 for Harrison after 10. Lou Moret and David Southerland having it 96-93 the other way is absurd to me. Nevertheless, great fight and wouldn’t mind seeing a third.

The other big moment from that night obviously was Brian Kenny’s interview with Errol Spence. I’ve heard Spence in interviews and during press conferences in the past so I was already aware that he’s not the best on the mic but something seemed off. I’ve heard plenty of takes but wanted to get your thoughts on his interview and if you agree with his “no tuneups” stance heading into 2020. Happy holidays to you and yours! – Evan

Happy holidays, Evan.

I don’t agree at all with Spence’s “no tune-ups” declaration. He didn’t look all that healthy to me during the Kenny interview. His energy was low, his body looked “puffy,” his face still looked bruised, and his words were slower than usual (and a little slurred). Hey, it’s a miracle he’s alive. I’m not trying to piss on his parade but he’s clearly still healing and that recovery process is going to continue into 2020. I don’t think he’s going to be ready for a world-class welterweight for his first fight back. It makes more sense to me to have him comeback vs. a fringe contender type and then assess where he goes from there based on his performance.

Really enjoyed the Charlo/Harrison fight this past weekend. That was an entertaining 154-pound title bout, almost as good as Williams-Hurd.

Tony is a very skilled boxer but he was feeling himself WAY too much as the fight went on. Yeah, I admired his aggression, which was effective, but he KNOWS that it’s lateral movement that troubles Charlo. He could have mixed some stick-and-move in with his pressure fighting. I think he could have gone the distance had he done that. Would he have won a decision? That I don’t know (but I doubt it).

He was landing shots but Charlo was never hurt or out of that fight. Yep, and Charlo, who wasn’t breaking down, remained the harder puncher.

Tony got complacent and it cost him. Let’s give Charlo some credit for rallying when he needed to.

I was also very disappointed when I heard some of those score cards. I had it 96-93 for Harrison after 10. Lou Moret and David Southerland having it 96-93 the other way is absurd to me. I also had Harrison comfortably ahead, but fellow media members that I respect had the fight even after 10 rounds. Maybe Charlo’s punches just seemed that much harder up close to the ring where the judges were sitting.

Nevertheless, great fight and wouldn’t mind seeing a third. Same here, but I want to see J-Rock vs. Charlo first, or Charlo vs. the winner of Williams-Hurd II.

 

SPENCE AND THE RING WELTERWEIGHT TITLE

Hello Doug,

Happy holidays to you and family…

I’ve been reading for years now and a long time boxing fan… I would have thought Errol Spence would have been voted in as Ring Magazine’s Champion after beating Porter. Why not? He’s been #1 for quite a while now and beat a top 5 guy?

Thanks for reading, bye for now. –  Joe from Toronto

Hey Joe, thanks for reading The Ring and for sharing your thoughts and questions with us.

Spence hasn’t been No. 1 in The Ring’s 147-pound rankings as long as you might think. He climbed from No. 7 to No. 2 when he beat Kell Brook in May 2017, and he remained in second place, behind No. 1-rated Keith Thurman until the Florida native was dropped to No. 3 due to inactivity in October 2018. That’s when Spence assumed the No. 1 spot, right on top of Terence Crawford who moved from No. 3 to No. 2 after defending his WBO belt against Jose Benavidez Jr.

Spence and Porter battle it out. Photo / Stephanie Trapp-PBC

The Ring Ratings Panel likely won’t OK the vacant Ring welterweight title to be on the line unless Nos. 1 and 2 (still Spence and Bud) fight. Porter was (and still is) rated No. 5 when Spence fought him (Manny Pacquiao and Thurman are currently rated above him).

If Spence were to fight No. 3-rated Pacquiao next, the Panel could consider a vote to have the vacant Ring title up for grabs, but I’d be surprised if they pulled the trigger on that matchup. A slight majority of the panel seems against Nos. 1 and 3 contenders fighting for the Ring belt.

 

 

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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