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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Conor Benn, Golovkin’s legacy, Prospects P4P top 10)

Photo By Mark Robinson
23
Nov

CONOR BENN

Hi Doug,

Hope you the family and team are keeping well.

Coner Benn, is he a chip off the old block?



It was a dominant performance from Benn against a decent durable appointment.

He impressed me in what was a step up in opposition.

He’s clearly set his target on Josh Kelly. Kelly’s got less fights under his belt but has a much deeper amateur pedigree and is considered further on in his career.

Kelly is a very slick fighter, but I feel he tries to show off a bit too often and ends up betting caught a bit too much for it.

How do you think the Destroyer will do against him?

If Benn is looking to step up to British, European/Commonwealth then world level in the next 18 months or so, who would you like to see him in with?

Can’t mention Benn without mentioning Eubank. Chris Jr is also immensely talented like his father but seems to have not reached his potential. Destroyer Sr is living is Australia while his son makes a name for himself fighting out of the U.K., whereas Eubank Sr has been micromanaging his son’s career from day one. With all the best intentions, has Eubank Sr hampered his sons progress while also pi**ing off most of the U.K. boxing establishment in the U.K.?

MM:

Nigel Benn Vs Sergio Martinez

Nigel Benn Vs GGG

Rambo Vs Predator

Keep up the good work and stay safe. – Tabraze, London U.K.

Your mythical matchups: Maravilla by close, maybe majority decision; Golovkin by late stoppage; Predator by third-round TKO (it would probably go much like Rocky’s first fight with Clubber Lang, only the amphibious alien hunter would rip out Rambo’s skull and spine right before his post-fight interview).

I don’t know if I agree with your take on Eubank Jr. Yeah, he’s had a couple setbacks at the world level (to quality boxers), but he’s been a legit top-10 super middleweight contender and he’s currently The Ring’s No. 7-rated middleweight. Eubank is No. 1 in the WBA’s 160-pound rankings, so he’s in position to get a mandatory shot at “regular champ” Ryota Murata. He’s also signed with the PBC, which puts him line to face WBC titleholder Jermall Charlo. Those are big fights. In terms of his potential, you might be right about him not reaching it yet, but he’s done something about that by hiring Roy Jones Jr. to train him and agreeing to re-locate to Pensacola, Florida to learn under the former pound-for-pound king. Junior made this move with Senior’s full blessing, so maybe the father isn’t getting in the way of the son’s development as much as you think. Time will tell if Jones is the right trainer/mentor for Eubank Jr., but I wouldn’t count him out just because his eccentric father seems to rub the British public and media the wrong way.

Coner Benn, is he a chip off the old block? Yeah, I’d say so. He’s not the phenomenal natural talent that his old man was, and he’s certainly not as explosive and powerful, but he is a good puncher and more composed in the ring than his father was at a similar age. I’m looking forward to watching his further development.

Benn vs. Formella

It was a dominant performance from Benn against a decent durable appointment. Sebastian Formella was the perfect opponent. The German veteran couldn’t hurt Benn but he was tough and game enough to go 10 quality rounds with the welterweight prosect.

He impressed me in what was a step up in opposition. I noted good head and upper-body movement, accurate combination and counter punching, improved balance and judgement of distance. Conor’s coming along.

He’s clearly set his target on Josh Kelly. That’s a quality domestic showdown of up-and-comers.

Kelly’s got less fights under his belt but has a much deeper amateur pedigree and is considered further on in his career. True, and Kelly, who doesn’t lack confidence and will likely try to get into Benn’s head during the build-up to the fight, also has a mobile and unorthodox style that could prove frustrating and difficult.

Kelly is a very slick fighter, but I feel he tries to show off a bit too often and ends up betting caught a bit too much for it. He might have been lucky to escape with a draw vs. Ray Robinson last June in New York City.

How do you think the Destroyer will do against him? It’s a good, challenging matchup for Benn. Kelly might have the same problem that Formella had vs. Benn – a lack of punching power. If that’s the case, I think Benn can outpoint Kelly if he applies smart pressure and is able to corner the flamboyant boxer. That’s a lot of “ifs”.

If Benn is looking to step up to British, European/Commonwealth then world level in the next 18 months or so, who would you like to see him in with? Well, I think a win over Kelly (no easy task) would push him near the top of the British rankings, but if he wants to be the best in Europe, he’ll have to take on rugged Armenian veteran David Avenesyan, no? Doesn’t Avenesyan hold the European welterweight title? That could be a step too far for Benn if it happens in the next 12 months. Avenesyan is very strong. But let’s see where Benn is this time next year. Maybe he’ll be ready. I’d like to see him take on some American talents, perhaps the aforementioned Robinson, or maybe two speed demons that fight under the Golden Boy Promotions banner – Blair Cobbs and Rashidi Ellis.

 

GOLOVKIN’S LEGACY

What’s up Doug hope all is well,

I’m a die-hard Golovkin fan like yourself. In fact, I think it was your article way back when about him whipping Angulo in sparring that introduced me to him…however, I recently watched a Max Kellerman video on ESPN from last year where he states Golovkin’s legacy needs to be reviewed…I agree he hasn’t always faced the best but it takes two to tango? Along with a load of promotional conflict and political bs…anyhow, what’s your view on his legacy if he retired tomorrow?

Mythical matchups:

Prime Golovkin around 2015 (Geal fight) vs

Canelo now

Froch

Cotto (Martinez fight)

Martinez (Chavez fight)

Tank vs Berchelt

Cheers. – David, Dublin

Your mythical matchups: Golovkin over both Canelo and Froch by close UD or MD (the Geale fight was in 2014, by the way), and he stops both Cotto and Martinez late. Davis by come-from-behind late-rounds stoppage in a grueling battle.

I’m a die-hard Golovkin fan like yourself. In fact, I think it was your article way back when about him whipping Angulo in sparring that introduced me to him. That, my friend, is the ultimate compliment.

However, I recently watched a Max Kellerman video on ESPN from last year where he states Golovkin’s legacy needs to be reviewed… Really? So, GGG was in Marvin Hagler’s class when he was knocking middleweights out on HBO, but now he’s… what? A media creation? A fanboy fantasy? Maybe Andre Ward is getting in Max’s ear.

I agree he hasn’t always faced the best but it takes two to tango? No, doubt about it. Elite middleweights did NOT want that Kazahk Smoke during Golovkin’s prime years, 2012-2016.

What’s your view on his legacy if he retired tomorrow? He’s a first-ballot hall of famer in my opinion. Golovkin has been world-class for the last 10 years and during that time he made more title defenses than two all-time greats, Hagler and Carlos Monzon (only Bernard Hopkins, the division record holder, made more consecutive defenses than GGG, or reigned longer). His longevity is special. Golovkin, STILL the Ring’s No. 1-rated middleweight (at 38), has been in the publication’s 160-pound rankings for 468 weeks (divide that number by 52 and we get NINE years, folks).

And since I’ve got a couple hundred Ring magazines right next to my desk, I can look it up and tell you when he first entered The Ring rankings. It was in December 2011, right after he blasted former title challenger Lajuan Simon in one round. Golovkin replaced Marco Antonio Rubio for the No. 10 spot off that KO (No. 9 in a streak that would eventually reach 23 consecutive stoppages). At the time, Sergio Martinez (No. 3 in the pound-for-pound rankings) was the Ring middleweight champ. The nine middleweights ahead of Golovkin in The Ring’s rankings at the end of 2011 were as follows: 1. Daniel Geale, 2. Felix Sturm, 3. Matthew Macklin, 4. Grzegorz Proksa, 5. Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., 6. Sebastian Zbik, 7. Dmitry Pirog, 8. Hassan Ndam, and 9. Martin Murray.

GGG was in peak form vs. former IBF/WBA middleweight titleholder Daniel Geale in 2014.

Golovkin eventually faced four of the nine (Geale, Macklin, Proksa and Murray) – stopping them all. Martinez’s promoter Lou DiBella went on record saying he wouldn’t let the Ring/WBC champ fight the undefeated WBA titleholder following GGG’s body shot destruction of Macklin (in 2013). Sturm shamelessly avoided Golovkin. It’s what led to GGG’s split with Germany’s Universum Promotions. Team GGG and HBO tried like hell to make a PPV showdown with Chavez (at super middleweight in 2014) but Junior wasn’t havin’ it and split with Top Rank (who wanted an extension if he took the fight). GGG’s original opponent for his U.S./HBO debut in September 2012 (before Proksa) was Pirog, but the WBO titleholder pulled out with a back injury and never fought again. Ndam could have had a shot at Golovkin any time he wanted (as the interim WBA beltholder in 2010-2011) but as soon as that fight was brought up, he vacated that title to fight for the WBO’s interim belt (go figure). Starting with Proksa in 2012 and ending with Sergiy Derevyanchko in 2019, Golovkin has fought 10 Ring-rated middleweights (including Ring champ Canelo Alvarez). The only fighter he hasn’t defeated is Canelo, who is also a future hall of famer, and his draw and loss to the Mexican star were disputed by much of the media and public. But you know this. Kellerman should also know this.

 

PROSPECT POUND FOR POUND

Hi Doug,

Everyone loves a list, and nothing stirs up as much controversy as P4P. With that in mind, I wondered if we could get your Prospect P4P Top 10?

MMs

Artur Beterbiev vs Rocky Marciano

Amir Khan (Prime 140) vs Josh Taylor

Vic Darchinyan vs SSR

Cheers. – Conrad, Sheffield

Your mythical matchups: Marciano by mid-to-late rounds stoppage; Taylor and Darchinyan by close decision.

Bohachuk has won all of his bouts by stoppage. Photo by German Villasenor

Interesting request to compile a pound-for-pound rankings for fighters who are still proving themselves. I’ll give it a try because I love prospects. I see promising young up-and-comers all the time on the local developmental shows promoted by Golden Boy, Thompson Boxing and Tom Loeffler’s 360 Promotions – including Serhii Bohachuk (360), Luis Feliciano (GBP), William Zepeda (GBP), Hector Tanajara Jr. (GBP), Brian Ceballo (360), Ruben “Ace” Lopez (TB) and Saul Bustos (unattached but recently featured on a Thompson Boxing show) – and it’s always a thrill when they finally advance to a level when the rest of the boxing community takes notice. We saw that last Thursday with Zepeda’s performance on the first episode of Ring City on NBC Sports Net. We’ll see it happen again with Bohachuk and Ceballo on the next Ring City (on December 3).  

However, the prospects I’m gonna list are a bit more advanced than the young men I mentioned. But let’s be clear on the definition of “prospect” and the level of prospect that I’m looking at. If a boxer is in The Ring’s rankings, I don’t consider him to be a prospect. He’s a contender. I don’t care how young he may be or how many fights he may have. If he cracks our rankings, he’s graduated from prospect status.

The prospects I’ll list are beyond the 4- and 6-round level. They’re at least at the 8-round level, if not 10 and 12. And they’ve either been tested enough to know they’re legit, or they’ve been so dominant or looked so damn awesome that they shine brighter than most of the other up-and-comers that are being featured on televised/streamed undercards.

So, here it is:

1 Jaron Ennis, 26-0 (24), 23, welterweight

2 Vergil Ortiz Jr., 16-0 (16), 22, welterweight

3 Jesse Rodriguez, 12-0 (8), 20 junior flyweight/flyweight

4 Elvis Rodriguez, 10-0-1 (10), 24, junior welterweight

5 Daniel Dubois, 15-0 (14), 23, heavyweight

6 Bektemir Melikuziev, 6-0 (5), 24, super middleweight

7 Ginjiro Shigeoka, 5-0 (4), 21, strawweight

8 Tony Yoka, 8-0 (7), 28, heavyweight

9 Joshua Buatsi, 13-0 (11), 24, light heavyweight

10 Edgar Berlanga, 15-0 (15), 23, super middleweight

I know there will be Filip Hrgovic groupies wondering why I included Dubois (who can justify my high ranking this weekend vs. Joe Joyce) and Yoka but not their big man, but hey, he just doesn’t do it for me right now. Same deal with junior middleweight standout Israil Madrimov. I know a lot hardcore heads are in love with him, but I’m not seeing it. Not yet, anyway.

 

Email Fischer at [email protected]boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Periscope or Dougie’s IG Live every Sunday.

 

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