Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Jarrett Hurd, DAZN’s Thursday show, Mexican idols of the ‘50s)
GARCIA, HURD AND THE CRITICS
Hope you’re well.
Just wanted to write and talk about the problem of the “narrative” in boxing. So many times we watch a fight but what we hear doesn’t match what we see.
Jarrett Hurd didn’t destroy the man but toyed with an extremely aggressive and conditioned Francisco Santana. I was impressed by his poise and how he evaded punches, staying calm, collected, cool and countering very effectively with uppercuts.
Although smaller, Santana wasn’t there to lose and gave a strong account of himself.
People booed Hurd and commentators criticized. Nobody could acknowledge that he was, actually, very good defensively, even impressive, coming from the former Hurd.
Even Danny Garcia had a solid performance.
I just feel critics are too harsh.
If they come back in less than 5 months, those two fights are exactly what they needed. Cheers. – Hugo
I agree, Hugo, IF they return to the ring within five months, but I can also identify with the critics of this past Saturday’s Showtime/PBC offering. I wasn’t entertained much by the co-featured bouts of the broadcast.
Both Hurd and Garcia shared the ring with HUGE underdogs. Santana and Redkach are game and experienced, but they were also unranked opponents with styles that were tailor-made to make Hurd and Garcia look good. Knowledgeable boxing fans were aware of this, and many expected the overwhelming odds and media favorites to score knockouts. That may not have been a fair expectation because Santana is tough as nails and Redkach was extremely motivated following a very good camp, but it’s what a lot of fans wanted to see. When it didn’t happen, many hardcore fans assumed that Hurd and Garcia were “playing with their food” and they didn’t care for that.
I’m familiar with the underdogs (both live and train in Southern California and both are very nice guys), so I expected them to hang tough. Thus, I saw no reason to rip Hurd or Garcia via social media. Twitter can be a lot of fun while watching a good fight card at home because you get to share your excitement with the hardcore boxing community, but the drawback is that too many fans feel the need to offer their commentary on EVERYTHING and they tend to skew negative when they’re bored or frustrated.
My take on Hurd is that he was practicing ring generalship and defensive technique (not necessarily changing his style for good), but also working through the setback he suffered to Julian Williams last May during those 10 rounds with Santana. I think we’ll see more of his pressure-fighting style (with some finer points of boxing mixed in) when he returns to the ring (and let’s really hope that happens within five months).
Jarrett Hurd didn’t destroy the man but toyed with an extremely aggressive and conditioned Francisco Santana. That’s not easy to do with “Chia” but in this case Hurd had the size advantage (something Santana was used to having at 147 pounds).
I was impressed by his poise and how he evaded punches, staying calm, collected, cool and countering very effectively with uppercuts. I thought Hurd boxed well and seemed comfortable doing so, but I would have liked to see him work more aggression in over the second half of the fight. Having said that, I understood that this was a basically a “rebound” fight, a confidence builder, so my expectations were not very high. They will be higher for his next fight.
Although smaller, Santana wasn’t there to lose and gave a strong account of himself. He always does.
People booed Hurd and commentators criticized. Nobody could acknowledge that he was, actually, very good defensively, even impressive, coming from the former Hurd. They obviously preferred the “former Hurd.” I can’t be too mad at them for that. That dude was must-see TV.
THURSDAY NIGHT ON DAZN
I can’t wait for the Thursday DAZN card in Miami. Surprised me, so stacked a card coming on a Thursday, but I like it, especially with reasonable fare coming along over the weekend. Speaking of which, any word now on when/where for Ramirez vs Postol?
- Don’t know a thing about Keeler; does he have a snowball’s prayer in hell against Demetrius Andrade? I really like Andrade when he’s being pushed but get a little tired of him when he’s not.
- I see Farmer/Diaz as a great fight and almost 50-50 but think Farmer’s light punching brings him up short in the end against Diaz; if he pulls it off it’s an epic testament to his skills and the benefits of staying active, which Farmer gets an A+ for.
- Daniel Roman should beat Akhmadaliev, but it strikes me as a fight with a real edge, and a surprise not out of the question. Am I over rating MA? Who you got here (– all three)?
Hope this finds you well, and thanks as always for doing the mailbag. – Alec
Thanks for the mailbag appreciation, Alec. I have no idea when or where Ramirez-Postol will be rescheduled, but I hope it lands in California. I agree that this Thursday’s DAZN offering from Sir Eddie is a quality show. I’m not as interested in the main event as I am hyped for Roman vs. Akhmadaliev (which should steal the show) and Farmer vs. Diaz (no disrespect to the WBO middleweight champ or his challenger, I just view the 130- and 122-pound title bouts as much more competitive).
- Don’t know a thing about Keeler; does he have a snowball’s prayer in hell against Demetrius Andrade? Keeler’s your basic Irish scrapper
with heart and guile. He suffered a second-round KO in a 2016 shootout with Tom Doran and seems to have changed his style a bit since that setback (adding more craft to his game). The 32-year-old Dubliner is unbeaten in his last eight bouts (7-0-1) since the loss to Doran; he’s got decent power and counter-punching ability, he knows how to set traps and he’s pretty rough in close, but he’s at the UK domestic level, while Andrade is a world-class operator. So, while I think Keeler can be pesky I expect Andrade to be OK as long as he controls the distance. I really like Andrade when he’s being pushed but get a little tired of him when he’s not. I can watch Andrade do his thing against a second-tier fighter for about three rounds, and then I do something else.
- I see Farmer/Diaz as a great fight and almost 50-50 but think Farmer’s light punching brings him up short in the end against Diaz. Neither junior lightweight is a world-class puncher, but both have aggressive streaks when motivated. I hope they are motivated for this one (they should be). If he pulls it off it’s an epic testament to his skills and the benefits of staying active, which Farmer gets an A+ for. Sir Eddie has done right by Farmer, but he hasn’t matched him with the best of the best at 130. I think Diaz will provide a real challenge and I think the younger man can lift the title via decision if he lets his hands go (especially to the body).
- Daniel Roman should beat Akhmadaliev, but it strikes me as a fight with a real edge, and a surprise not out of the question. Am I over rating MA? Not at all. Murodjon is a badass (all those former amateur standouts from Uzbekistan are, especially the group training with Joel Diaz in Indio, Calif.). The 7-0 challenger has an aggressive-but-difficult in-and-out style backed up by speed, power and physical strength. Roman’s got his hands full with this guy and his inactivity concerns me. He hasn’t fought since unifying titles by outpointing TJ Doheny last April. But maybe he needed the time off to fully recover from that 12-round war. Obviously, Roman is the more battle tested of the two. The quality of his opposition from the past two years puts Akhmadaliev’s pro resume to shame, but I still expect an evenly contested fight (maybe another 12-round war).
Who you got here (– all three)? I’ll go with Andrade via wide UD, Diaz by close, maybe split decision, and Roman by close, maybe majority decision in a battle of attrition.
MEXICAN FIGHTERS FROM THE 1950s
I was reading Pete Hamill’s “A Drinking Life” this weekend. It is clear that he is a huge boxing fan and even personal friends with Jose Torres. At some point he is living in Mexico and mentions three fighters from that period: Ratón Macias, Pajarito Moreno and Toluco López. I have not heard of these fighters, but I suspect you can tell us something interesting about them. Best. – Dylan
Wow. I never expected anyone to bring up those names. Kudos to you (and Mr. Hamill). I know who Raul “Raton” Macias is because he was a 1952 Olympian and a former bantamweight champion. I know who Ricardo “Pajarito” Moreno is because he’s a favorite for my good friend and “Coach” Dave Schwartz, who saw him fight live back in the day. And I know who Jose “Toluco” Lopez is only because of a book I recently read, which I will now recommend to you (and the mailbag readers): Latino Boxing in Southern California by Gene Aguilera.
Here’s the main thing you need to know about these three: They were WILDLY popular in Mexico, Californian and Texas during the ‘50s. I’ll go so far as to call them “idols.” Macias was the best boxer of the three. He had the amateur background and ring savvy, plus good looks and charisma. He was in movies and recorded albums. He retired with a 41-2 (25) record.
Lopez was a bantamweight contender who was managed by the great Arturo “Cuyo” Hernandez (Google him if you’re unfamiliar with him, he’s also a Mexican boxing legend). Lopez could punch. He scored 63 stoppages in 99 wins.
Moreno was arguably the most popular of the three (which is saying something because “Raton” was truly beloved). He was a handsome featherweight contender with a kill-or-be-kill style and party boy lifestyle. He was a major attraction, like the other two; they packed L.A.-area venues, such as the Olympic, the Hollywood Legion Stadium, Gilmore Filed and the Sports Arena. Pajarito (which I think means “little bird”) lost his one shot at the title, getting knocked out in three rounds by Hogan “Kid” Bassey, but he won 59 of his 60 victories by KO and attracted the glitterati of Hollywood and the Mexican jet set. He starred in movies, dated actresses and models, drove luxury Cadillac convertibles and Fiats, owned a mansion, a race horse, dressed in dapper suits, wore diamonds, all that “Big Baller” s__t you see modern athletes indulge in.
For more information on all three Mexican idols (and some wonderful photos and fight poster/program images), please check out Latino Boxing in Southern California, which chronicles all the Latino greats (forgotten and celebrated) from the 1920s through to the 2000s.
Email Fischer at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him and Coach Schwartz and friends on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.