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Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Is Estrada-Gonzalez II in jeopardy? Does Canelo have to fight Yildirim?)

22
Jan

GALLITO-CHOCOLATITO II

Hey Dougie,

Hope everything’s good with you and your family. Just wanted to talk about something I just heard that was kind of disconcerting. I saw an interview on Youtube with Gallito’s trainer and he pretty much said that there’s no fight signed and that they haven’t agreed on anything as the amount of money the promoters are offering is half of what they want.

He mentioned they asked for a million each and that at least their part is not even half of what they want. He also says that said promoters are threatening them saying that if they don’t take the offer that it will go to purse bid. He says they don’t care about and that they’re in no rush to get this fight done in March, they can pretty much wait until the middle of the year with no problems as long as they meet their financial request.



So, my first question of course is if you’ve heard anything about this.  Gallito’s trainer looks pretty serious about this and sounds like they want to get more money than what they can actually generate.

For as much as I love Gonzalez and Estrada, they simply don’t sell enough or generate enough ratings to justify that kind of money. I’ve seen Gallito fight to empty arenas and he mostly doesn’t generate any interest in Mexico let alone other places in the world. From the tone of the trainer they almost feel offended that they were offered so little money.

From what I’m seeing this is going to continue happening with other fighters as I’m sure most promoters will have to adjust to realistic purses as those million dollar checks are not going to be available anymore no matter what unless they are legitimate superstars that generate enough interest for whoever’s broadcasting to get their investment back.

What do you think?

(Here’s a link to the interview, its in Spanish but if anybody that understands wants to see it, they’ll see what I’m talking about:

https://youtu.be/KR2BLdiZFvI)

Thanks. – Juan Valverde

Well, I’m not going to say that there aren’t issues to be dealt with in order to secure the proposed March 13 date for this long-anticipated rematch, because (as you noted) all of the fighters connected to major bouts that were in the works prior to the pandemic have had to either accept the reality that they have to get “haircuts” from what was originally promised/negotiated or settle for “lesser” fights (or inactivity). However, I will add that it’s not uncommon for trainers to talk out of turn by assuming the manager’s role when speaking to the media, and it’s not rare for fighter contracts to remain unsigned for weeks following the announcements of major matchups (sometimes the “i”s aren’t dotted and the “t”s aren’t crossed until fight week).

I know that Alfredo Caballero, who also trains Miguel Berchelt and serves as manager for other fighters, is just looking out for the best fighter of his stable (a young veteran who – because of his size and lack of charisma – has been underpaid for much of his decorated career) and probably speaking out of frustration. But there’s time for Estrada’s promoters – Matchroom USA and Zanfer – to come up with extra money and added incentive. In the meantime, I hope Estrada is keeping his eye on the prize and that Alfredo is preparing the elite Mexican champion for the fight of his life, because I can assure you that Gonzalez has already begun his camp with the “other” Coach Caballero (Marcos) in the Coachella Valley area of Southern California.  

He mentioned they asked for a million each and that at least their part is not even half of what they want. Estrada is definitely worth $1 million vs. future hall of famer like Chocolatito, even during the pandemic. I can see why his trainer is pissed. But the fight doesn’t have a site yet. That will likely play a part in how much the fighters are able to be paid.

Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Srisaket Sor Rungvisai 2. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

He also says that said promoters are threatening them saying that if they don’t take the offer that it will go to purse bid. I could be wrong, but I don’t think they can do that. Gonzalez is not Estrada’s WBC mandatory, Srisaket Sor Rungvisai is. If I’m following correctly (and it ain’t easy with the sanctioning bodies), the WBC merely allowed for Sor Rungvisai to step aside for the title unification rematch to happen. If Estrada-Gonzalez II can’t be made, my guess is that the WBC would once again mandate that Gallito face Sor Rungvisai. That rubber match is as a good a matchup as any, but I don’t think it has the market value of the Gonzalez rematch. If Estrada isn’t careful, he could wind up with less money for a fight that is just as tough as the Gonzalez rematch would have been.  

He says they don’t care about and that they’re in no rush to get this fight done in March, they can pretty much wait until the middle of the year with no problems as long as they meet their financial request. Again, I’m not sure that’s true; the WBC might force bout No. 3 with Sor Rungvisai. However, if they were able to postpone the rematch until May or June or a time when (hopefully) COVID-19 restrictions in California can at least be partially lifted, and the rematch were to land at The Forum in Inglewood or “the War Grounds” in Carson, I would be OK with that. It would be worth the wait in order to be there live with fans.

So, my first question of course is if you’ve heard anything about this. Yeah, I read a report on BoxingScene where Zanfer was doing some damage control.

Gallito’s trainer looks pretty serious about this and sounds like they want to get more money than what they can actually generate. No s__t, just like every other professional fighter in the world. I ain’t mad at ‘em.

For as much as I love Gonzalez and Estrada, they simply don’t sell enough or generate enough ratings to justify that kind of money. I think they could generate enough money to satisfy their demands (or close to it) here in Southern California if there weren’t COVID-19 restrictions keeping fans away from the major venues.

I’ve seen Gallito fight to empty arenas and he mostly doesn’t generate any interest in Mexico let alone other places in the world. It’s true, he’s not a huge attraction. However, there was a full crowd for his first bout vs. Cuadras (although that was “SuperFly I,” a stacked card that featured Naoya Inoue’s U.S. debut and was headlined by Sor Rungvisai-Gonzalez II) and he brought in good-sized crowds for his two bouts vs. Sor Rungvisai at The Forum; but his fights against Felipe Orucuta and Victor Mendez were barely attended.

From the tone of the trainer they almost feel offended that they were offered so little money. Can you blame them? How much is Demetrius Andrade making per fight? Or Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. for his non-efforts? Tevin Farmer was making $500,000 per fight. I think Jessie Vargas (who I adore, by the way) was making $1 million per fight. I’m sure he made more than that for the Mikey Garcia fight (and you know Mikey made grip).

 

CANELO AND THE “FRANCHISE CHAMPION”

Hi Dougie,

I hope this email finds you well!

Just wondered if you could clarify the WBC’s position on their Franchise Champion and mandatories. I love Canelo as a fighter, I think he’s number 1 P4P and a shoo-in the for the Hall of Fame. I don’t, however, like this fight. I agree with you that if any fighter deserves a “gimme” fight it’s him, but I frankly feel no top fighter should ever fight a “gimme” fight, and if Canelo doesn’t lead the way as the sport’s top attraction, who will?

When people have been quite rightly saying that this is a garbage fight, his supporters have flocked to tell us that it’s his mandatory, but as a Franchise Champion he can move throughout weights without the fear of mandatories. That’s what I thought anyway. Thank you. – Joe

The vacant WBC super middleweight title was on the line when Canelo challenged Ring/WBA champ Callum Smith in December. Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom

Canelo is the WBC’s “Franchise Champion” at middleweight, not at super middleweight. As holder of the WBC’s 168-pound title (not its Franchise belt), he’s got a mandatory defense due against Avni Yildirim. Count me as one of the “media cheerleaders” patting the Mexican superstar on his freckled back for taking care of it with a quick turnaround (just a little over two months removed from his last bout) and creating the potential for a three-bout 2021 (if he fights on Cinco De Mayo and Mexican Independence Day weekends as planned). If he winds up fighting four times in 2021 by adding a November or December date to his schedule, he will have been the busiest top-five pound-for-pound rated fighter since Nonito Donaire’s 2012 campaign (which earned The Filipino Flash the BWAA’s Fighter of the Year award).

I love Canelo as a fighter, I think he’s number 1 P4P and a shoo-in the for the Hall of Fame. Oh my god! Me too! Are you also a media cheerleader?

I don’t, however, like this fight. Oh bummer. You’re not a very good cheerleader. Come on, bro, you’re not a little bit excited at the prospect of Canelo going toe-to-toe with a poor man’s Arthur Abraham? In all seriousness, it’s OK if you skip watching this one.

I agree with you that if any fighter deserves a “gimme” fight it’s him, but I frankly feel no top fighter should ever fight a “gimme” fight, and if Canelo doesn’t lead the way as the sport’s top attraction, who will? Well, maybe we’ll have to be satisfied with Canelo leading the way for elite fighters to fight more than once or twice a year.

 

THE STATE OF BOXING JOURNALISM

Sup Doug,

A few days back I saw a tweet from Adam Abramowitz. I replied to it and over the course of our conversation, I got to know that he is not a full-time boxing journalist. I remember, Michael Montero saying that he has a separate full-time job and he keeps doing boxing gigs in parallel. I am assuming that you being the Editor of Ring Magazine are a full time journalist. I am guessing, so is Mike ‘the baldie’ Coppinger and Chris Mannix but then they are not just in print journalism.

Is the state so bad in print that most boxing journalists are only doing it as a side gig? Regards. – Saurabh

Yeah dude, newspapers have been struggling for the last 30 years! The ones that have survived certainly don’t have the budget to employ full-time writers to cover niche sports that have been marginalized over the past two decades. There’s only one boxing magazine left in print in the U.S. (The Ring) and in the UK (Boxing News). There used to be a dozen boxing magazines to choose from on newsstands during the 1990s (I used to buy ’em all). Those days are long gone. There are just a handful of newspapers that still bother to cover boxing regularly and you can count the number of boxing websites that can pay freelancers (anything) on one hand. However, there’s more to covering the sport than writing these days. I think there are some YouTubers who cover boxing (among other sports and entertainment) that have enough subscribers and do the kind of numbers/views that brings them enough revenue to cover boxing full time (or close to it).

A few days back I saw a tweet from Adam Abramowitz. Adam’s a terrific boxing columnist and pundit, isn’t he?

I replied to it and over the course of our conversation, I got to know that he is not a full-time boxing journalist. He’s way too smart to dedicate his professional life to covering boxing.

I remember, Michael Montero saying that he has a separate full-time job and he keeps doing boxing gigs in parallel. Montero is another super talented “boxing media guy,” a jack of all trades, really – he writes (features and deadline reports), does on-camera work, YouTube videos/interviews, and podcasts. But yeah, he’s not full time, although he probably puts in full-time hours on top of his other job. I was like that during the mid-to-late ’90s, and although I was still learning about the sport and developing as a writer, I think I did some of my best work during that “hustle” period. (Being in my 20s without kids probably helped.)

I am assuming that you being the Editor of Ring Magazine are a full time journalist. You are correct. I’ve been a full-time member of the boxing media for more than 20 years, my friend, and I’ve got the coffee-stained teeth and mental derangement to prove it. However, you should know that even back in 2000 that was a rare thing. Even when I first started covering major boxing events in the late ’90s, the only full-time boxing media were sports writers for major metropolitan daily newspapers that covered the sport on the regular basis and a handful of broadcasters. You could count the newspapers with dedicated boxing writers on two hands (OK, maybe three hands); you can add to that small group the commentators on HBO, Showtime, ESPN, USA, FOX, Prime, etc. The digital revolution from the late 1990s to the present either crippled or killed newspapers and boxing coverage moved to the internet, where it is done mostly by hobbyists. It was a labor of love for me until HouseOfBoxing was bought by boxing manager/sports agent Marc Roberts and his Worldwide Entertainment & Sports venture (at the start of 2000). Steve Kim, Tom Gerbasi, Gary Randall and I were able to segue HOB into a small business (LLC) with MaxBoxing.com in 2001, which kept us mostly in the boxing world (although we occasionally had to pick-up side gigs to make ends meet from ’01 until around 2003 when our subscription model finally took off), but most sane folks are not going to gamble and grind the way we did. It’s either more comfortable or manageable to keep the boxing coverage/writing/punditry as a hobby, or freelance/part-time gig.

I am guessing, so is Mike ‘the baldie’ Coppinger and Chris Mannix but then they are not just in print journalism. Why you gotta disrespect Coppinger? If you’re gonna give him a nickname, call him “The Source!” But you are correct. Coppinger, who does a great job, is full time; while Mannix, who is also one of the best, splits his time between boxing and the NBA.

 

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

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