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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Canelo-Yildirim, Billy Joe Saunders, Lopez-Kambosos, sanctioning organizations)

01
Mar

AMAZING CANELO

Canelo is great. A shame the WBC allowed a 46-1 underdog to fight tho. I understand the best fighters will always have wide odds. But should one sanction a fight like this?

Canelo (now) vs Saunders (who beat Lemieux) – does Saunders have a shot?

Would love to see Canelo against a big young savage. Benavidez is not near Canelo accomplishment and experience wise, but he’s up there if not above as far as raw, natural talent. He’s a savage and would make for a great fight while it lasts.



I also would love to see Canelo with a mean mean and confident fighter who actually believes he has a shot, say Crawford. Crawford wouldn’t doubt. But he’s way too small so there is no question.

Now, how does GGG two (unofficial, specialist agreed) wins fare? I feel like the higher Canelo goes in history, the better old GGG’s fights with him look, right?

Canelo might be too much for everybody. Saunders and Plant will be good boxing tests but I think he’ll win. War wise, big Beterbiev might pull it off. Benavidez if active and disciplined might give him hell.

I don’t know what to think of Bivol. 50/50 but momentum favors Canelo.

Hope you’re well. Take care. – Diego

I think Bivol has the best blend of size, athleticism, amateur background and boxing style to upset Canelo, but only if he can get on a busy schedule again. If he fought Canelo without a couple of solid tuneups, I’d favor the Mexican star. Despite his considerable natural talent, at the end of the day, Bivol has never faced anyone with Canelo’s skillset in the pro ranks.

I favor Canelo over Saunders, Plant and, yes, Beterbiev, who I believe is a tad overhyped (based on one fight) and in danger of dying on the vine. Inactivity is the bane of all these guys – young and old.

Canelo is great. He’s certainly on his way. He’s got a hall-of-fame worthy resume at age 30. Not too shabby.

A shame the WBC allowed a 46-1 underdog to fight tho. The WBC mandated it, but at the end of the day, it was Team Canelo that agreed to it, it was the promoter and broadcast partner (Eddie Hearn and DAZN) that put it together, and it was the Florida athletic commission that allowed it. And you know what? We all watched. So, it was a win for all of the parties involved.

Down goes Yildirim. Photo / Matchroom Boxing

I understand the best fighters will always have wide odds. But should one sanction a fight like this? Hell no! Yildrim was the WBC mandatory because the vacant WBC title was on the line (ask David Benavidez why) when he fought Anthony Dirrell (in February 2019), and he lost that fight in close and somewhat controversial fashion. So, what needed to happen was an immediate rematch to settle matters. But instead, Dirrell fought Benavidez in September 2019 and was stopped in nine rounds. If Yildrim was going to be the WBC’s mandatory, the Turkish slugger should have had to fight – and beat – either Dirrell or Benavidez to EARN that position. Instead, Yildirim sat out for two years and then got horribly outclassed by the pound-for-pound king, who agreed to face the WBC mandatory in order to have the green belt on the line when he took on Ring/WBA champ Callum Smith in December. At least Canelo didn’t waste any time getting to – and then getting rid of – Yildirim.

Saunders sticks David Lemieux with his southpaw jab. Photo by AP

Canelo (now) vs Saunders (who beat Lemieux) – does Saunders have a shot? The current super middleweight version of Canelo cold cocks the middleweight version of Saunders that schooled Lemmy by the ninth round. No doubt in my mind. As for what happens on May 8, I don’t want to count Saunders out because he’s got real skill and savvy, plus he was an excellent amateur and has faced some legit contenders as a pro. However, Canelo is firing on all cylinders right now. He’s right up there with Naoya Inoue in terms of near-perfect offense technique and power-punching leverage/placement. But Canelo’s got better head-and-upper-body movement than the Japanese star. I think Canelo can do to Saunders what the Englishman did to Lemieux, only the four-division titleholder will make BJS pay when he misses. I won’t say Billy Joe’s chances are Slim and None, and Slim left town. I’ll just say his chances are Slim… and Slim is holding a bus ticket.

Would love to see Canelo against a big young savage. Benavidez is not near Canelo accomplishment and experience wise, but he’s up there if not above as far as raw, natural talent. Benavidez is a magnificent talent and physical specimen. He’s downright scary. I love his style and his attitude. Dude has a take-no-prisoners mentality. I think the best fight that can be made at 168 pounds (and one of the biggest events) is Canelo vs. Benavidez.

He’s a savage and would make for a great fight while it lasts. I’m all about the Savage Science. However, keep in mind that Canelo has mastered the Sweet and Savage sides of boxing.

I also would love to see Canelo with a mean and confident fighter who actually believes he has a shot, say Crawford. Crawford wouldn’t doubt. But he’s way too small so there is no question. Yeah, that ain’t happening, and neither is Canelo vs. Spence.

McCallum in action against James Toney. Photo from The Ring archive

Now, how does GGG two (unofficial, specialist agreed) wins fare? I feel like the higher Canelo goes in history, the better old GGG’s fights with him look, right? Yeah, that’s how it works in boxing. A good performance – even if it’s a loss or a draw – looks better and better if the opponent goes on to post hall-of-fame credentials. That’s especially true if the guy who got the short-end of the stick is in his mid-30s, as Golovkin was when he faced Canelo. To me, GGG’s performances against Canelo are every bit as impressive as Mike McCallum’s first two bouts (a draw and a majority decision loss) vs. James Toney in 1991 and 1992, or even Sugar Ray Robinson’s decision losses to Gene Fullmer and Carmen Basilio in 1957. Robinson, McCallum and Golovkin were all 35/36 at the time of those middleweight title bouts.

 

CANELO-YILDIRIM AND THE WBC

Hi Dougie,

I’ve not written in for a while but Canelo fighting is always big news.

Canelo did what he had to do on Saturday, dominating an over matched opponent. I saw far too many people on social media moaning about Yilidrim as an opponent but if you have a problem with that take it up with the WBC who somehow managed to have him as a mandatory. It’s not Canelo’s problem, he just did what he had to do so he could set up better fights later on this year.

Now that Canelo v Saunders is official we can start to get excited about it. I think it’s a good matchup and Canelo deserves credit for chasing the best at 168. I see Saunders slippery southpaw style creating a competitive fight but ultimately the Mexican will have too much and out work BJS to a decision win.

How do you see it going?

On a side note, do you believe something “dodgy” happens that’s allows a fighter like Yilidrim to become a mandatory, despite not having ever beaten a top opponent and having not won a fight since 2018? Thanks Dougie. – Tommy, Leeds

Zach Parker (left) floors Rohan Murdock. Photo by Dave Thompson

“Dodgy” is a good way to describe the “business-as-usual” among sanctioning bodies that continually allows undeserving fighters to achieve “mandatory challenger” status. We can’t single out the WBC, either. There are undeserving fighters ranked among the top fives of almost every weight class across all four major organizations (WBA, WBC, IBF and WBO). Keeping the focus on super middleweight, I see that the WBA has a regular “champ” named David Morrell Jr., a “gold” titleholder (Feder Chudinov, who was recently held to a draw by a shopworn Isaac Chilemba), and the sanction body’s No. 1 contender is Aidos Yerbossynuly. The IBF doesn’t do “regular” and “gold” belts, but for some weird reason it doesn’t have ANYBODY rated No. 1 or No. 2 at 168 pounds. The American organization’s Nos. 3 and 4 are Evgeny Shvedenko and Zach Parker. The WBO has Parker as it’s No. 1-rated super middleweight. Go and check the records of Parker, Shvedenko and Yerbossynuly on Boxrec.com. Actually, scratch that. Don’t waste your time. So, here’s the deal, either the sanctioning organizations’ ratings committees are absolutely clueless or the management/promoters of these unproven top contenders were able to “lobby” (hmmm, and I wonder how they do that?) their clients up the rankings.

I’ve not written in for a while but Canelo fighting is always big news. It is, no matter how much the #SaltySociety hates it.

I saw far too many people on social media moaning about Yilidrim as an opponent but if you have a problem with that take it up with the WBC who somehow managed to have him as a mandatory. And while they’re at it, they should call out networks that refuse to recognize The Ring championship or the publication’s rankings.

Now that Canelo v Saunders is official we can start to get excited about it. Sure, knock yourself out. You aware that Saunders seldom makes for entertaining fights, right?

I think it’s a good matchup and Canelo deserves credit for chasing the best at 168. Agreed, but I’m sure he’ll still get ripped for this fight by certain segments of the Boxing Twitterverse. They’ll say he’s ducking Benavidez, the Charlos, and Demetrius Andrade. Meanwhile, Benavidez is about to fight Ronald Ellis, neither twin has made any noise about stepping up to 168, and the loudest fake Andrade fan would struggle to name even one of Boo Boo’s opponents of the last seven years.

I see Saunders’ slippery southpaw style creating a competitive fight but ultimately the Mexican will have too much and out work BJS to a decision win. People have been chanting this mantra for years, mostly based on Canelo’s difficult time with Erislandy Lara. But as skilled as Saunders is, he’s not as talented as the Cuban. And Canelo has dramatically improved since 2014.

How do you see it going? I think Canelo wins in decisive fashion, perhaps by late stoppage.

 

BILLY JOE SAUNDERS’ STYLE

Hello Doug,

I might be in the minority, but I think BJ Saunders has the confidence and style to give Canelo trouble. While I’m not saying he’s going to beat him, I do believe he’s a very live dog. I think a lot of people are underestimating his talent and he might prove to be one of his most difficult fights yet.

How do you see this matchup? Juan Valverde. – Chula Vista, CA

Look, I’ve been aware of Saunders since he was outpointing fellow unbeaten prospects on the British domestic level. I pushed for him to crack The Ring’s middleweight rankings back in 2014. I was one of the few American boxing scribes who A) gave a s__t about his showdown with Chris Eubank Jr. and B) picked him to win it. Dude’s got a world-class jab, savvy ring generalship and f__k-the-world attitude that gets him in trouble outside the ring but serves him well between the ropes because he refuses to be intimated by anyone.

Having said that, who has Saunders faced that is anywhere near Canelo’s class? Can anybody reading this column name who Saunders beat for the vacant WBO 168-pound title without peeping Boxrec?

Can you tell me the last time Saunders fought more than twice during a calendar year? (I’ll save you the trip to Boxrec, not since 2013.)

Saunders nails countryman Martin Murray with the uppercut. Photo by Mark Robinson

And who are the best fighters he’s faced during his 12-year pro career?

By my reckoning the cream of his crop are Andy Lee, David Lemieux, Eubank Jr., John Ryder, a shopworn Martin Murray, Willie Monroe Jr. and Spike O’Sullivan. It’s not a bad group. There are two world titleholders and some very solid fighters listed there but compare these guys to the top seven that Canelo has faced.

No contest, Juan. And unless I hear that Saunders is having the best camp of his career, that’s pretty much my answer to your question.

 

LOPEZ-KAMBOSOS

Hi Doug,

I hope all is well.

I noticed ESPN had a shot at The Ring ratings over the weekend. For me they are the only ones that count. Then that could just be me!!!

Anyway, they also commented on the Saul “blowout”. Writing that the mandatories on some of the belts were somewhat ridiculous. A good point there!

However, they went on to say that the Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos fight may go the same way. Then I thought hold your horses. Kambosos may not be in Lopez’s league but he will come to fight and they will have to carry him out on a stretcher before he quits. And in boxing you never know.

So, what do you think Doug? Will the fight be a blowout or is George a live underdog!

Anyway, hope you and the family are going well and look forward to reading your mailbag each Monday and Friday. Cheers. – Brad (an Aussie in London!)

Thanks for the kind words, Brad, we’re doing great. And thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions.

What do you mean by “ESPN had a shot at The Ring ratings over the weekend”? Are they talking s__t about us? Maaaaaaaaaaaaan, they better not be!

Anyway, they also commented on the Saul “blowout”. Writing that the mandatories on some of the belts were somewhat ridiculous. A good point there! Yeah, yeah… but they’ll recognize and announce a WBC franchise title or a WBA regular belt before they acknowledge The Ring championship. They (ESPN and Top Rank) routinely plaster sanctioning body trinkets all over their promotional materials and fight posters, but they made sure to leave The Ring belt out of all of the graphics for Lomachenko’s lightweight title bouts, Loma vs. Lopez, The Monster’s Top Rank debut and the upcoming Taylor vs. Ramirez showdown. Ain’t that a b__ch?

Kambosos Jr. (right) opens up on Lee Selby.
Photo by Dave Thompson

They went on to say that the Teofimo Lopez and George Kambosos fight may go the same way. It might, they gotta fight the fight, but it should also be noted that Kambosos, while a big underdog, is more deserving of his mandatory status than Yildirim was. Yildirim got that mandated shot following a technical decision loss and two years of inactivity. Kambosos earned his mandatory position with a split-decision win over a former titleholder (albeit at featherweight), Lee Selby, just three months ago. Kambosos also owns a split nod over former IBF lightweight titleholder Mickey Bey. Kambosos is The Ring’s No. 8-rated lightweight. Yildirim was not rated at super middleweight by The Ring.

Kambosos may not be in Lopez’s league but he will come to fight and they will have to carry him out on a stretcher before he quits. Agreed, and I also believe that Kambosos is more talented and more well-rounded as a fighter than Yildirim.

Will the fight be a blowout or is George a live underdog! Hey man, obviously, I favor Lopez like 99.9% of the boxing community, but they gotta fight the fight. Nobody gave Mauricio Lara a shot vs. Josh Warrington. Very few picked Oscar Valdez to beat Miguel Berchelt (although after the fact it seems everybody and his momma are claiming that they did).

 

 

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 (almost) every Sunday.

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