Monday, March 04, 2024  |


Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Ring credibility/Canelo contempt, Liam Williams, Andy Ruiz)

Stay #salty, my friends.
Fighters Network


Hi Dougie,

I just finished reading the Feb 2020 issue of Ring and as a new subscriber I have to say I’m disappointed. I decided to subscribe for two years a few months ago; primarily because I thought the magazine is in good, objective hands due to you specifically standing up to Golden Boy after their sickening decision to try to keep Canelo ranked in the magazine after he was suspended for using PEDs. I thought that took some balls and showed journalistic integrity. It even made me forgive you for insulting many of us fans personally (even some nasty name calling) when they wrote in concerned about the Rings and your credibility. So I decided I’ll pay some money for a subscription. Only to read this article of yours that opens the

magazine: “How to properly hate on Canelo“. I can only view this article as straight PR for Golden Boy and their Ginger Diva (which is a term you have all of a sudden stopped using). The entire thing is just sarcastically and indirectly bashing anyone who questions Canelo’s accomplishments acting like they are just #sour over and over. Not one time in this article do you mention cheating, failed drug tests, the fact that after getting caught all of a sudden he’s ballooning up in weight, etc. You know, the REAL and legitimate reasons to hate on Canelo. You just talk about how the #sour fans who hate cheaters and love boxing won’t give Canelo any credit no matter what. Well the only point that really should matter is that nothing cheaters do matters and all of their accomplishments must forever be questioned. Who really cares if a cheater is working hard and constantly improving and “challenging” himself and making “history”? A cheater is a scumbag who has disrespected his sport. Isn’t the media supposed to serve the public and tell the truth? Isn’t the Ring an institution in boxing that is more important than any single fighter?

PEDs should be regarded by all boxing media as an absolute crisis in the sport right now! Instead you and many others, most of whom admit that they think the tainted beef excuse is a joke and DO think Canelo and others cheated, have voted him as the best fighter in the world. Dougie what % chance do you honestly think he’s guilty? Because if the number is even close to 50% then you writing articles like this is really messed up. I get it that you think it’s the system more than the fighters that is messed up. But isn’t it your job as the most important person in boxing media to do everything you can to help fix it? Or have you just gotten tired and given up? Because any time one of us writes in concerned about the state of our sport you usually just make fun of us saying we’re too grumpy. Grumpy because our sport has become a joke compared to all other sports? Why aren’t you more pissed off about it? Real dudes like Teddy, Paulie, Breadman, even your own Montero all agree with these views on cheating. And none of them are the editor of Ring magazine! Why is there no article about how the WBC has decided to stop caring if boxers test positive for small amounts of clenbuterol? The Mexican sanctioning body literally enabling Mexican fighters to get away with cheating! How is that not the cover story in your mag?? I can’t think of any more important story in the sport. Yet it’s not even MENTIONED in Montero’s article about safety this month! You always act like zero tolerance is some kind of stupid idea for PED use, but can you really argue that it is not by far the best thing for the long term health of the sport? And then in your mailbag you say you wonder why fans are pissed off and question the credibility of this magazine.

I still tell everyone I know that Ring magazine has the only belt that signifies a true champion. That you have the best ratings and the only ones that matter. But then when people say “they’re owned by Golden Boy and are biased as hell just like the rest”, what am I supposed to say? I want the Ring magazine to really matter to all boxing fans so that our sport can be a real sport with real champions again. It has a great history just like boxing itself has a great history and must be honored. If 90% of boxers are cheaters these days then only 10% deserve any respect and deserve to be compared to the greats of the past. If this generation has to be known as a giant disgrace so be it. Baseball has dealt with it’s disgraced generation exactly how boxing should. Barry Bonds can’t even get into the Hall of Fame and he’s a top 5 player of all time because the writers value the historical integrity of the sport. And that’s the only way it should be. You reap what you sow. – Filip, Toronto, Canada

Jesus Christ, Filip, if you’re going to pen a damn dissertation in regard to your steadfast belief that Canelo is a despicable “cheater” (and that his “righteous” detractors must not be made fun of) could you at least spend equal time and energy researching the drug clenbuterol and looking into Alvarez’s case in 2018? Maybe if you did that you wouldn’t be so outraged. But then again, maybe you want to be outraged when it comes to Canelo, who has become boxing’s equivalent to Donald Trump in that he’s so despised and polarizing that he seems to have driven a segment of fandom insane.

Those refusing to acknowledge Alvarez’s KO of Sergey Kovalev will probably never give him credit for any victory. (Photo by Valery SharifulinTASS via Getty Images)

You didn’t need to go on a rant for 850 words about a column that merely points out that Canelo, especially following the Sergey Kovalev victory, has become “that guy” – the superstar that hardcore fans love to hate – and then predicts how his critics will discredit him should he beat any of the top light heavyweights, super middleweights and middleweights. It was just the opening editorial of the magazine, not an investigative news story, and it was CLEARLY tongue-in-cheek. You reacted like it was my FOOT JAMMED BETWEEN YOUR BUTT CHEEKS! Your email is almost as long as the damn Ringside column!

Why the hell would I bring up Canelo testing positive for clenbuterol in that column? That’s not what his haters were talking about after the Kovalev fight. They were saying Kovalev was “old,” “shot,” “weight drained,” or that he even “took a dive.” I didn’t hear folks accuse Canelo of being on PEDs before or directly after the Kovalev fight (and anyone who was doing that is an idiot because their was VADA testing for that bout). The “cheater” talk didn’t begin to sprout until he advanced to No. 1 in the magazine’s pound-for-pound rankings (and even more so after he won 2019 Fighter of the Year).

But I’ll go on record and state that I believe most fans that accuse Canelo of being a “cheater,” or claim that the positive clenbuterol test is the reason they hate him, are chock full of s__t. I say this because most of these fans don’t stick the Scarlet Letter “C” on other fighters who have tested positive for banned substances. And believe me, when I get an email like yours, I check that reader’s email history. I’ve got over 500,000 emails, dating back to 2004, in just one of my inboxes. I’ve got more than 4,000 emails (dating back to 2013) in the newer [email protected] inbox. So, if a fan was super outraged about Canelo’s positive test but defended Billy Joe Saunders when he tested positive for a banned substance (and offered a similar excuse) – and, trust me, there were A LOT of these blokes – I know about it. I ran a check on you and only found one previous email. It was about the Archie Moore and Ezzard Charles rivalry, and The Ring possibly putting out an updated top 100 rankings of all time this year. You’d never previously written to me about any concerns about PED use in boxing, despite dozens of prominent fighters testing positive before or after major fights during the past decade. I’m not saying your PED outrage if fake, but I can’t help but be skeptical (just like you’re skeptical about Canelo’s honesty and The Ring’s – or my – integrity).

Because many fans that email me about Canelo being a “cheater” have also sent me very positive and enthusiastic emails about other fighters that have tested positive for banned substances, including Luis Nery, Luis Ortiz and Alexander Povetkin, among others. It’s as though some fighters (many, actually) – dating back to Lamont Peterson, Andre Berto, Orlando Salido, Mickey Bey and Raymundo Beltran – are forgiven for their past transgressions, whether they were punished or not. Others are branded “cheater-for-life.” I don’t care for selective outrage. If I suspect a fan of this, I will serve him or her a much-deserved s__t sandwich.  

I’m not going to treat Canelo any different from Saunders, Tyson Fury, Kenichi Ogawa, Ryan Martin, Willie Monroe Jr., Jarrell Miller or Dillian Whyte. It was fine to put him under the microscope soon after his positive test and during the investigation period. I didn’t even mind all the scorn that was heaped on him during his suspension. But when he’s back, he’s back, same as all the others (Povetkin and Ortiz tested positive TWICE and returned to the rankings and received title shots). If we’re going to have “zero tolerance” for him, it’s gotta be the same for the rest, but it obviously isn’t among way too many fans. And these fans can’t expect the media or the sanctioning bodies or the athletic commissions to crack down on PED users if they only get outraged about one-out-of-15 fighters that test positive for banned substances.

The entire thing is just sarcastically and indirectly bashing anyone who questions Canelo’s accomplishments acting like they are just #sour over and over. Actually, you guys are #salty, very, very #salty. I didn’t say they/you were #sour, and I wasn’t “indirectly bashing” your #salty butts, I was DIRECTLY making fun of your comical obsession with Canelo.

Not one time in this article do you mention cheating, failed drug tests, the fact that after getting caught all of a sudden he’s ballooning up in weight, etc. I don’t know if he cheated. You don’t know if he cheated. If “ballooning up in weight” is evidence of PED “cheating” then almost every boxer is guilty. As for mentioning the failed the drug tests, we covered the clenbuterol scandal from start to finish in the website and in the magazine (which featured in-depth articles on the subject by the aforementioned Michael Montero and veteran Wallace Matthews). Canelo provided a reason for his positive test and he cooperated fully with the Nevada State Athletic Commission’s investigation (and, once again, if you’re going to get this worked up about the positive VADA test, I suggest you spend SOME energy looking up NSAC’s official findings from that investigation, as well as what VADA officials had to say about it). He was penalized for the infraction via a six-month suspension, which resulted in him being dropped from The Ring rankings and stripped of the Ring middleweight title (thanks to our persistence).

You know, the REAL and legitimate reasons to hate on Canelo. Canelo regained the title and got back into the ratings (middleweight and P4P) by defeating the No. 1-rated middleweight (and in the P4P rankings) Gennadiy Golovkin upon his return. And THAT is what I think the hate is really about. If you were the anti-doping advocate that you pretend to be, you’d have been up in arms about Billy Joe Saunders not being dropped from The Ring rankings after he tested positive for a banned substance but you, and everyone else, didn’t make a peep. I guess if Canelo winds up fighting BJS in May you and the other members of the CCC (Canelo Contempt Club) can call it the “Cheater’s Championship.”

You just talk about how the #sour fans who hate cheaters and love boxing won’t give Canelo any credit no matter what. You’re #salty. If you want me to believe that your hate is really about “cheaters” than prove it by supporting VADA with a monthly donation (which is what I do).

If it wasn’t for VADA you wouldn’t know about any of the banned substances that were detected in the systems of Canelo or 99% of the world-class boxers that have tested positive in recent years. (And you should also lighten up on the scorn for the WBC, which does more for boxer safety than any other boxing organization and is the first sanctioning body to support VADA testing and require its contenders to enter a testing program.) Or you can stay #salty.



Hey there Dougie – I trust all is well.

What are your thoughts on Liam Williams? After back to back defeats to Liam Smith at light-middleweight he looks a different kettle of fish at middleweight – 6 straight wins now. He looks heavy handed at the higher weight and it certainly seems to suit him. Do you think he could be a threat to the belt holders at middleweight? I’d love to see him v Jaime Munguia. How do you see that one panning out?

I like it when a serious contender appears from nowhere and it doesn’t do any harm that he’s a fellow Welshman!  Would love to hear your take on it.

Also a few MM for you:-

Carlos Monzon v Ray Leonard

Barry McGuigan v Josh Warrington

Lloyd Honeyghan v Errol Spence

Dillion Whyte v Bert Cooper

All the best. – Dave, Ruthin, Wales, UK

Interesting Mythical Matchups, Dave. I’ve gotta go with Monzon, McGuigan, Spence and Whyte – all by close, hard-fought, but unanimous decisions. (I’m assuming Monzon-Leonard is scheduled for 15 rounds; my man Sugar Ray has a slight shot to upset the malevolent middleweight king over the 12-round distance)

Liam Williams

What are your thoughts on Liam Williams? I think the Welshman is a card-carrying badass and an underrated technician. I was high on him as 154-pound prospect. In fact, I thought he would beat Liam Smith. But those losses only made him better, tougher.

After back to back defeats to Liam Smith at light-middleweight he looks a different kettle of fish at middleweight – 6 straight wins now. Yeah, he’s earned his No. 10 ranking by The Ring and his No. 7 ranking in the WBO.

He looks heavy handed at the higher weight and it certainly seems to suit him. I think his activity (fighting three times a year in 2018 and last year) has also fast-tracked his development and maturity in the ring.

Do you think he could be a threat to the belt holders at middleweight? I think he can give them all good fights, he might be able to give one or two hell, but I wouldn’t favor him to beat Canelo, GGG, Andrade or Charlo. I’d probably favor Derevyanchenko to outpoint him (in very good fight), too. I think he’s got a shot at upsetting secondary WBA beltholder Ryota Murata (and, man, that would be a hell of a scrap).  

I’d love to see him v Jaime Munguia. How do you see that one panning out? I think that’s an even-money matchup – and another barnburner. Munguia’s got the edge in size, strength, athleticism and punch output, but I think Williams has the edge in technique and ring generalship. They’re equal in punching power and both have a mean streak. With the right game plan, and footwork, I think the man from Wales can outpoint the unbeaten TJ native (despite the fact that Munguia has a victory over the only man to have bested Williams in the pro ranks).

I hope we get to see this fight one day – soon!



Hi Dougie,

Just a quick question about Andy Ruiz Jr. Do you think the events of last year have elevated or harmed him regarding (a) his stature in the division and (b) his potential to get the ‘big’ fights? His name recognition & bank balance no doubt soared over 2019, but the fact he laid an egg in the return bout coupled with his less than impressive physique have me thinking he’ll once again return to the fringes. Any promoter’s got to be gun shy about throwing money his way because you honestly don’t know who will turn up. I reckon he’ll be avoided by the cream of the division also; despite the fact he’s arguably top 5-6 the reward of “so what you beat a fat guy” just isn’t there to justify the risk.

What are you hearing? How does Ruiz get back to the top? Does he even want to?

Thanks as always, & here’s hoping for a great year for boxing in general. Cheers. – Luke, Brisbane, Australia

I think it’s going to be a good one, Luke. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions.

I’m hearing that Ruiz is training and keeping his weight down, which is promising. He seems “up” in his social media posts, which is also a good sign.

How he gets back to the top is very simple: he needs to get back into a serious camp and back into the ring as soon as possible. It doesn’t matter who he fights, he just needs to be active. The opportunities will present themselves because despite the global disappointment with his performance in the rematch with Anthony Joshua, he’s still a name, still a top five or six contender and a former unified champ who shocked the world last year, and if he’s active, he’ll be able to capitalize on any opportunity that comes his way (just as he did in 2019).

I think he will eventually get another “big fight.” It may not happen this year – as Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury do their thing and Joshua takes care of mandatories – but if he beats Adam Kownacki or Oscar Rivas (especially if those fights are good, which they should be) he’ll be in position (possibly even mandatory position) to take on one of the champs, or at the very least, Luis Ortiz (and the winner of that fight would get a title shot). But, again, activity is going to be the key to Andy’s success. He’s got to stay busy, and if that means fighting the Gerald Washingtons, Travis Kauffmans and Chris Arreolas of the PBC Universe, so be it.



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