Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Saturday’s fights, RIP Marvin Hagler, Viva Chocolatito!)
Thanks for answering my latest e-mail and for all that you do. None of my friends and family have any interest in boxing, so it is nice to discuss it with you.
Pretty good boxing weekend coming up and I wanted to hear your predictions on the main events.
It’ll be interesting to see how Okolie-Glowacki turns out. We’ve certainly seen Head in some good fights in the past, but both he and Okolie can be kind of raw even ugly at times. Okolie looked nice in his latest fight though, I’m pretty certain he takes this one. Glowacki has not fought since June 2019 and that was an ugly loss. Since then Okolie has fought thrice against respectable opposition, he should be fresher and more confident. Glowacki can be outboxed by a slick fighter, but The Sauce is not The Feel, so it won’t be easy. I still think Lawrence Okolie wins a wide decision but takes some good cracks on the way. I’d be impressed if Lawrence can knock the polish warrior out.
I like Maurice Hooker, he can put punches together beautifully, he has dangerous range, good power and makes entertaining scraps, when in tough. That paired with the admirable aggression of Vergil Ortiz, could produce a shootout. Although Mighty Mo might be rusty, I think he poses a threat against the young bull Ortiz. I could see Hooker scoring a knockdown before Ortiz eventually gets to him in the middle or late rounds.
Haven’t seen much of Adam Deines and I would prefer to have seen Fanlong Meng over him against Beterbiev. My impression is Deines is tough and since they both haven’t fought in over a year, this fight could be in danger of not catching too much fire. Would not be surprised if Artur Beterbiev goes to distance for the first time, but that’s mostly a hunch.
How do you see these fights turning out? Kind regards. – Hjalte, Denmark
I’m not expecting much from the Beterbiev-Deines matchup. I think it’s ridiculous that the IBF would rank Deines in it’s light heavyweight top five. He’s a solid 10-round pro but he hasn’t defeated anyone to merit a top 10 ranking. His one loss is against Fanlong Meng, who is the definition of ordinary. So is Deines, a capable southpaw who has nothing to keep Beterbiev off of him. The IBF “contender” wings his punches, possesses average speed and power, and has a typical upright European style. Beterbiev should grind him down to a mid-to-late stoppage.
Ortiz is in a legit step-up fight. Hooker is well-traveled and battle-tested. I gained a lot of respect for the former 140-pound beltholder when he traveled to Manchester to lift the WBO title from then-unbeaten Terry Flanagan and then defended it against Alex Saucedo in the unbeaten slugger’s hometown of Oklahoma City. However, Ortiz and Jose Ramirez share the same trainer, Robert Garcia, who had the right gameplan for Ramirez to get inside Hooker’s long reach and attack the body. Ramirez backed Hooker to the ropes and went to work, eventually clipping Mighty Mo in Round 6. I think Ortiz will end matters sooner. He’s not as experienced as Ramirez but he’s got underrated craft and he’s a lot stronger and harder-hitting than his gym mate. If it goes past six or seven rounds, that won’t be a bad thing for Ortiz, he needs quality rounds, but I don’t think Hooker will last the full 12.
Okolie-Glowacki might be the best matchup on paper. It’s a crossroads clash of legitimate cruiserweights. Glowacki (31-2, 19 KOs), the former titleholder, is The Ring’s No. 3-rated 200 pounder. Okolie (15-0, 12 KOs) is The Ring’s No. 6-rated cruiser. He’s looked good in his recent fights, stopping the unbeaten Yves Ngabu and Nikodem Jezewski, but that’s very modest opposition compared to Glowacki and the level of opposition the Polish veteran has been in with. I think Okolie still needs some pro seasoning but he’s 28 years old and gifted. He should be OK as long as he uses his height and reach and keeps Glowacki on the outside. Glowacki, a southpaw, paws with his right jab, but he’s got a sneaky left cross and his right hook ain’t bad. Okolie needs to avoid exchanges and long-range bomb the Pole with his right hand. Glowacki’s only 33 but he’s been in some hard scraps. He’s battle-tested but he might be battle-worn. His punch resistance appears to be waning. I think Okolie can score a knockout if he plays his cards right.
SUPERFLY SHOWDOWN / WELTERWEIGHT YOUNGBLOODS
Events of last weekend stayed on my mind all week. The one-two of Hagler passing so closely before the Estrada-Gonzalez virtuosity, it’s kaleidoscopic. Condolences to Hagler’s family and loved ones. He is a hero of mine.
I feel Gonzalez got the wrong end of that decision, again, in about the same degree as the first Sor Rungvisai fight. I keep thinking, it’s not like in either case he left anything on the table: he just plain out-landed, out-hustled, and out-ring general’d two bigger, stronger (& in Estrada’s case, faster) masters, in thrilling all-out fights where it actually wasn’t that hard to see what happened. Then, the judges got it wrong. It is what it is, but I have to say it.
What I’d most like to see now, is Estrada face Sor Rungvisai, whose mandatory status deserves to be honored; and Gonzalez face Ioka, which I just want to see: because. Then the two winners and the two losers should face off. Can we think of another weight class with four such HOF level badasses, that might actually all fight each other (some more)?
Also… supposing Vergil Ortiz gets past Maurice Hooker (I got that 75% likely) and Boots Ennis gets past Lipinets (I got that 95%), shouldn’t both those guys be in The Ring top ten at 147? Mikey Garcia has only fought twice at 147 over the course of two+ years, losing in a highly uncompetitive fashion to Spence + decisioning Jessie Vargas. Does that really earn a top ten spot? Can I put in a vote for Mikey’s place going to whoever wins between Hooker and Ortiz; with Lipinets and Boots fighting for Lipinets’ spot?
Thanks for doing this twice a week! It sure gives us fans a lot, and I hope things are going your way. – Alec
I appreciate your appreciation, Alec. It’s all good.
You make a good point about the two most talented welterweight up-and-comers – The Ring’s 2019 (Ortiz) and 2020 (Ennis) Prospects of the Year – not being in our rankings. I think Ennis will definitely crack the rankings if he defeats Lipinets (which I’d say is 99.99999%) certain. Lipinets is currently No. 8 in The Ring rankings. I’m not sure if Ortiz will earn a Ring ranking by beating Hooker (which I’d say is 99.999999999999999999999%) certain, because Hooker isn’t rated in our welterweight top 10 and hasn’t accomplished anything at 147 pounds. All of Mo’s good work was done at 140. Ortiz actually has a better 147-pound resume than Hooker. But if Ortiz obliterates the veteran, I can see him taking Mikey’s No. 10 spot, maybe higher. If Ennis and Ortiz both shine in their bouts I can see them taking the No. 8 and 9 spots, pushing current No. 8 Kudratillo Abdukakhorov to No. 10.
I feel Gonzalez got the wrong end of that decision, again, in about the same degree as the first Sor Rungvisai fight. I agree. And I gotta tell you, it was an honor to be ringside for both of those 12-round ring wars.
I keep thinking, it’s not like in either case he left anything on the table: he just plain out-landed, out-hustled, and out-ring general’d two bigger, stronger (& in Estrada’s case, faster) masters, in thrilling all-out fights where it actually wasn’t that hard to see what happened. Then, the judges got it wrong. F__k the judges. I think those decision losses to Sor Rungvisai and Estrada only ENHANCE Chocolatito’s legacy. They do in my book, anyway
What I’d most like to see now, is Estrada face Sor Rungvisai, whose mandatory status deserves to be honored; and Gonzalez face Ioka, which I just want to see: because. That could very well happen. I doubt Estrada will pull a Canelo and dump the WBC title to bypass a mandatory, so we’ll probably get Estrada-Sor Rungvisai III in the summer. If Estrada wins, I think we’ll see Estrada-Gonzalez III in the late fall or winter. If Estrada loses to Sor Rungvisai, I think we’ll see Ioka-Gonzalez (in Japan) on New Year’s Eve.
Then the two winners and the two losers should face off. Can we think of another weight class with four such HOF level badasses, that might actually all fight each other (some more)? No. That’s why junior bantamweight (AKA super flyweight) is arguably the BEST division in boxing.
THE MARVELOUS ONE
I had too busy of a weekend to get this in by Monday, so I apologize for that Dougie. I just wanted to take a moment and pay my respects to Marvelous Marvin Hagler. When I found out about his passing on Saturday night, the news hit me like a thunderclap. I was devastated to learn that one of my all-time favorite boxers was gone. I didn’t grow up and watch Hagler live (much to my dismay) but I had the joy of discovering him via YouTube. I love watching and rewatching his fights again and again and again. One of the things that always captivated me about him was his switch hitting. A guy who was comfortable fighting with either foot forward. Incredible!
A couple other things I wanted to point out after looking back on his life and career:
1). For my money, Hagler is one of the most misunderstood practitioners of boxing. Because of his wars with Thomas Hearns and John Mugabi (more on those in a minute), a lot of folks think of him as a seek-and-destroy slugger with a cast iron chin. He definitely had a cast iron chin (the dude’s skull practically came with a built-in football helmet), and he could slug but he was so much more from a technical perspective. You think he was misunderstood?
2). Is it a stretch to say Hagler had one of the toughest pre-title runs in boxing history? He turned pro in 1973 and didn’t get a title shot until 1979! Criminal! Along the way, he collected scalps like of fighters like Monroe, Watts, Seales, Hart, Briscoe… just to name a few. That’s insane! Also… is Briscoe the only mutual opponent of Hagler and Carlos Monzon? Then he eventually wins the middleweight title and makes 12 defenses?! Man! And also is one of the few champs who doesn’t have a clear duck in his reign (some might argue an emerging Nigel Benn but I think that’s a slim argument)?! MAN!
3). Would it be a stretch to call Hagler one of the greatest rematch fighters ever? He avenged his losses (except the loss to Leonard), beat them more decisively, beat guys he already beat faster… he truly was The Marvelous One!
4). Going back to the Hearns and Mugabi fights for a second… how many guys do you know would take on fighters nicknamed “The Hitman” and “The Beast” BACK TO BACK?! I know some who I’m confident would face both… but there would probably be an easy paycheck over a soft touch in-between those fights. Not to knock on someone who would do that… if you can reach the heights Hagler did and coast to a quick payday, you’ve earned it. It just speaks to me about the kind of man Hagler was, that he would take on killer after killer like that!
5). I follow Mr. Breadman Edwards on Twitter… and he posted a story about how Hagler’s managers wanted to take a flat rate instead of a percentage after he became a seven-figure fighter. Apparently, Hagler would have NONE of it. They were along for the ride with him, and he said he would fire them if they tried to take anything less. Man’s MAN! Have you heard that story?
I apologize if this really went a LONG ways, but Hagler is one of my favorites and I wanted to pay him my proper respect. I’m a guy who likes guys with efficient talents who are more professionals than they are showmen. Don’t get me wrong, I got mad respect for guys like Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali, but I connect with guys like Hagler more personally. I also respect that he left the sport on his terms. He may have had some wear and tear, but I don’t think he was one of those fighters guilty of hanging on too long. It breaks my heart knowing that one of the Four Kings is gone now… and he will be missed.
P.S.: I wanted to run some mythical matchups for you concerning Marvelous Marvin Hagler:
Hagler vs Jake LaMotta
Hagler vs Carlos Monzon
Hagler vs Dick Tiger
Hagler vs Nigel Benn
Hagler vs Gerald McClellan
Hagler vs Mike McCallum
Hagler vs Bernard Hopkins
Hagler vs James Toney
Hagler vs Felix Trinidad
Hagler vs Gennady Golovkin
Hagler vs Canelo Alvarez
P.S.S.: What does it say about him that Leonard said in an interview that he’d give away his win over Hagler if he thought it might bring him back? Might seem silly… but I don’t think those are just cheap words. That win made Leonard an ATG in the eyes of many… for others Leonard was already an ATG, but that win wiped out any lingering doubts. I think that win also determined which of the two would be named The Fighter of the Decade. Agree? – Gregory K.
Agreed. The upset victory cemented Leonard as THE star of the 1980s (had he lost I think that title would have been either Hagler’s or maybe Mike Tyson’s). It injected a lot of casual fan interest in the sport (as did Tyson’s rapid rise to the heavyweight throne), but Hagler didn’t lose any respect or admiration with that loss to Leonard, in fact it boosted his public appeal and his retirement added to his mystique. Insiders and hardcore heads thought he’d come back in 1988, ’89, ’90 or ’91… when it finally sank in that he wasn’t coming back, suddenly everyone – including his detractors – missed him.
Your Marvelous Mythical Matchups:
Hagler vs Jake LaMotta – Hagler by split decision
Hagler vs Carlos Monzon – Monzon by split decision
Hagler vs Dick Tiger – Hagler by majority decision
Hagler vs Nigel Benn – Hagler by middle-rounds stoppage (in a shootout)
Hagler vs Gerald McClellan – Hagler by late-rounds stoppage (in a battle of attrition)
Hagler vs Mike McCallum – Hagler by majority decision
Hagler vs Bernard Hopkins – Hagler by majority decision
Hagler vs James Toney – Hagler by majority decision
Hagler vs Felix Trinidad – Hagler by late stoppage
Hagler vs Gennady Golovkin – Hagler by majority decision
Hagler vs Canelo Alvarez – Hagler by close unanimous decision (or split draw if the bout takes place in Las Vegas)
1). Because of his wars with Thomas Hearns and John Mugabi, a lot of folks think of him as a seek-and-destroy slugger with a cast iron chin. He definitely had a cast iron chin (the dude’s skull practically came with a built-in football helmet), and he could slug but he was so much more from a technical perspective. You think he was misunderstood? I don’t think so. If you were a hardcore fan during his title reign, you knew he was a methodical technician who systematically grinded down his opposition. It’s the reason he wasn’t as popular as the other three Kings. But casual fans really didn’t take notice of Hagler until they saw replays of the epic shootout with Hearns, so they figured he was a frenetic slugger. These folks were surprised by his slow start vs. Leonard.
2). Is it a stretch to say Hagler had one of the toughest pre-title runs in boxing history? He turned pro in 1973 and didn’t get a title shot until 1979! Criminal! Along the way, he collected scalps like of fighters like Monroe, Watts, Seales, Hart, Briscoe… just to name a few. That’s insane! Hagler definitely had a hard road to the title, especially when you consider that he was probably ready by 1977. He had 49 pro bouts (46-2-1) by the time he got his shot vs. Vito Antuofermo (he had 53 bouts by the time he faced Alan Minter). But his road to glory wasn’t as hard as a lot of the standouts of past eras. Archie Moore, a member of the avoided group of excellent African-American middleweight and light heavyweight contenders called “Murderer’s Row), didn’t get a shot at a world title until he had 160 bouts under his belt (133-19-8). Moore, who turned pro in 1935 was ready for middleweight title shot by 1942 and ready for a light heavyweight title shot by 1945, but he didn’t get a crack until December 1952 (vs. Joey Maxim). Prior to his first title shot, Archie faced the hall of fame likes of Ezzard Charles (three times – losing all three bouts), Harold Johnson (four times – going 3-1), Jimmy Bivins (five times – 4-1), Charley Burley and Teddy Yarosz (who beat him in 10-round middleweight bouts), Lloyd Marshall (twice) and Holman Williams (twice – 1-1). Sugar Ray Robinson turned pro in late 1940 but didn’t get a title shot until late 1946. He had 75 bouts before he faced tommy Bell for the vacant welterweight title in December 1946. Prior to that bout, Robinson beat hall of famers Jake LaMotta (four out of five times), Sammy Angott (twice), Fritzie Zivic (twice) and Henry Armstrong, as well as future welterweight champ Marty Servo (twice) and a bunch of Ring-rated contenders.
3). Would it be a stretch to call Hagler one of the greatest rematch fighters ever? Not at all. Just look at what he did to Sugar Ray Seals, Bobby Watts, Willie Monroe, Antuofermo, Fulgencio Obelmejias and Mustafa Hamsho.
4). Going back to the Hearns and Mugabi fights for a second… how many guys do you know would take on fighters nicknamed “The Hitman” and “The Beast” BACK TO BACK?! Hagler never shied away from big punchers, which was a gift to the fans.
5). I follow Mr. Breadman Edwards on Twitter… and he posted a story about how Hagler’s managers wanted to take a flat rate instead of a percentage after he became a seven-figure fighter. Apparently, Hagler would have NONE of it. They were along for the ride with him, and he said he would fire them if they tried to take anything less. Man’s MAN! Have you heard that story? Only about 1,000 times, but I never get tired of it.
Chocolatito vs Carbajal? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN
I’ll go with Gonzalez via close unanimous decision at 108 and 112 pounds.
THE KING’S RETURN WAS SPOILED
What fight was Carlos Sucre watching? Estrada is great and he fought well, but Chocolatito won that fight closely but clearly. He was robbed of one of the most triumphant comeback stories in the sport’s history due to nothing short of incompetence. They need to start making these judges available to the media because cards this atrocious need to be answered for. Two incredible men poured their souls out in front of the world only for it to be spoiled by despicable judging.
That’s the end of my rant. I hope the ratings panel gives serious consideration to include Chocolatito on the pound for pound list after he proved that he is better than the larger man who currently sits at number eight. – Mack
What fight was Carlos Sucre watching? Certainly not the fight that I saw. He’s either blind, is biased in favor of Estrada, or has an axe to grind with Chocolatito.
Estrada is great and he fought well, but Chocolatito won that fight closely but clearly. That’s how I saw it.
He was robbed of one of the most triumphant comeback stories in the sport’s history due to nothing short of incompetence. Or bias.
They need to start making these judges available to the media because cards this atrocious need to be answered for. I agree. They don’t worry about doing stupid s__t because they know they’re invisible. They should be present and introduced at the final press conferences for big events and then available for media interviews after the final and post-fight pressers.
Two incredible men poured their souls out in front of the world only for it to be spoiled by despicable judging. And it’s not fair to Estrada and his team. Because now there’s a lot of bitter Chocolatito fans who will hold it against the Mexican Master and beef with his fans. That’s sucks because Gonzalez doesn’t roll like that (holding grudges and attacking rivals via social media) and Estrada only deserves respect.
MEETING MARVIN HAGLER IN 1979
I will never forget that summer evening, 1979 in Province Town, Cape Cod, when Marvin was preparing for his first title shot vs. Antuofermo. He and brother Robbie Sims walked into my cousin’s jewelry store on Commercial Street.
My mouth dropped, I got goose bumps and butterflies standing next to him. The first thought that came to mind, he wasn’t such a tall guy, rather short for a middleweight, but being that close, all I could think of, he looked like a mini-linebacker, narrow waist, broad shoulders. Couldn’t say there wasn’t any fat on him, but his physique made those clothes look perfectly tailored.
Larger than life, especially when I stood no more than three feet from him. I asked for his autograph. If looks could kill… Marvin back in those days when he was steam rolling opponents, a Saturday afternoon at the fights staple, he wasn’t what you would call a fan-friendly guy. He hesitated for a brief second or two and obliged my request with a very quick signature.
He didn’t stay long. I thought he was put off by all the attention I caused him because customers were taking notice. As he was leaving I yelled, “Good luck, Marvin, kick his ass in!!” He said, “Thanks buddy” and that was it, gone into the night, probably back to the P-town Inn, his training headquarters.
Wow, a world-class boxer, future HOFer, he looked so professional, like a true fighter. That was the highlight of my summer of 1979. – Thomas Z.
Thanks for sharing that blast from your past, Tommy.
CHOCO-ESTRADA III, BRAEKHUS
Mixed emotions knowing boxing fans won tonight with an early FOY candidate, BUT Chocolatito should’ve won that fight. What a bummer. This has been the 2nd time that he lost a fight that he should’ve won (Srisaket 1). A lot of opinion shows it was Choco who won it, so I wonder what would the team of Estrada think? How did you score the fight by the way? Also, with this performance, I hope Chocolatito returns to Top 10 P4P and they get their rubbermatch. I don’t care if it’s after Sor Rungvisai-Estrada or a direct fight within the year.
P.S. – I am gutted for Cecilia Braekhus losing again. I guess no matter how I hate the trash talking of ‘Caskilla’ to the humble Braekhus, I have to accept the other lady’s win. Now I hope Caskilla rematches Katie Taylor and see who really is the best. Where do you think The First Lady goes after this? Thanks a lot! – Djbiancafrost
I think Braekhus will another fight or two vs. solid-but-not world-class opposition, just go out on a win, and on her terms, and then call it a career. She’ll be a first-ballot hall of fame inductee three years from her official retirement. Jessica McCaskill has earned her place among the top female champions. It’s her time now, and I can’t think of a bigger matchup for her than a rematch with Taylor.
A lot of opinion shows it was Choco who won it, so I wonder what would the team of Estrada think? They think their man won. (Or that’s that story they’re sticking to.)
How did you score the fight by the way? 115-113, or seven rounds to five, for Gonzalez.
Also, with this performance, I hope Chocolatito returns to Top 10 P4P and they get their rubbermatch. I think we’ll get the rubbermatch, but The Ring Ratings Panel did not suggest Gonzalez’s re-entry into the pound-for-pound rankings. Whatever. I think Chocolatito is beyond P4P rankings at this point. With that performance vs. Estrada, and the potential opponents for the final fights of his career, I think he’s chasing greatness.
I don’t care if it’s after Sor Rungvisai-Estrada or a direct fight within the year. I think it will come after JFE-SSR 3.
MARVELOUS MARVIN AND MR. CHOCOLATITO
Hoping all is well. Firstly, I want to honor the great Marvelous One, condolences to his family, friends and fans. Words can’t really explain at this moment …
Regarding the fights … (not to bash the judges) but they were shaky for the entire card IMO. I thought Breakhus was a bit over refereed (not sure that’s a word) and the opening fight was surprising as I thought it was an easy Ford win.
My biggest takeaway from the night is regarding the GREAT action fight in the main event. Not to take away from Estrada but I feel Chocolatito was robbed of his transition from first ballot HOF to ATG. To elaborate, I believe the trilogy would favor the younger, bigger Estrada and I also believe El Gallo has a real chance to beat Sor Rungvasai and possibly belt at 118 which would only enhance what Gonzalez did. I think he’s 51-1 and fear that Saturday may have been his last great showing but I hope I’m wrong.
I may be off with this insert but whoever’s score is read first in a split decision always loses.
On a final note, I’d like to see Aragón Vega again (not just because of his height). He was pretty exciting, and that fight was heating up. Well wishes and health. – Jamaal, Louisiana
Thanks Jamaal! I’d like to see Vega return vs. WBO 108-pound beltholder Elwin Rodriguez (a fun matchup of two squat fireplugs) and Kyoguchi take on IBF titleholder Felix Alvarado in a unification bout. Then I want to see the winners fight. Make it happen DAZN!
Regarding the fights … (not to bash the judges) but they were shaky for the entire card IMO. I agree. I thought Ford won five out of the eight rounds, and ridiculous that one of the judges for the Austin Williams-Denis Douglin bout had it as close as 77-75. Ammo won at least six rounds clearly.
My biggest takeaway from the night is regarding the GREAT action fight in the main event. That should be everybody’s takeaway, but it’s hard to ignore that 117-111 card.
Not to take away from Estrada but I feel Chocolatito was robbed of his transition from first ballot HOF to ATG. I don’t know about that. I think fans and media need to learn to look at the performances and the quality of opposition/matchup more than the official verdicts. If you thought a rematch win against Estrada would make Gonzalez an ATG, and you truly believe Chocolatito won that fight, then you should consider him a great fighter.
To elaborate, I believe the trilogy would favor the younger, bigger Estrada and I also believe El Gallo has a real chance to beat Sor Rungvasai and possibly belt at 118 which would only enhance what Gonzalez did. I agree with all of that, but I won’t count out Gonzalez or Sor Rungvisai in a third bout with Estrada.
I think he’s 51-1 and fear that Saturday may have been his last great showing but I hope I’m wrong. I do too. But if you’re right, he’s had an amazing career.
I may be off with this insert but whoever’s score is read first in a split decision always loses. It does seem like that, doesn’t it?
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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