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Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Canelo-Saunders, next for Canelo, Diego Corrales)

Photo by Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.
10
May

CANELO-SAUNDERS

Wsup Doug,

So, Canelo vs. Saunders was a very entertaining fight, but Canelo has settled in to being that defensive counter puncher too much and vs. southpaws like BJS you can’t do that, u gotta fight more offensively on the front foot like Floyd did vs. Zab and Ortiz. Canelo got touched with too many lefts and jabs for my liking. Also, Canelo should’ve pumped his own jab more.

A fighter who sets a fast pace will give Canelo fits (Charlo/Benavidez). I had it a draw or Billy Joe up a round, and I’m sorry he quit, such a disappointing finish to an entertaining fight. – Darren

It was an anticlimactic ending to what I thought was an interesting style clash (I wouldn’t call it “very entertaining”… I’m a Blood Thirsty Ghoul), but I thought Canelo legitimately deserved to have at least a narrow points lead going into the ninth. Saunders, who was skittish in the first three rounds, had his moments in the middle rounds, but Canelo resumed control in Rounds 7 and 8.

Will a fighter who sets a faster pace than BJ did give him more trouble? Maybe. But the fighters you mentioned – Jermall Charlo (I assume) and David Benavidez – will bring aggressive styles to the challenge, and Canelo’s A LOT better vs. offense-minded, come-forward types. And as Billy Joe can attest, Canelo can do a lot of damage with those accurate shots of his.  

Canelo vs. Saunders was a very entertaining fight, but Canelo has settled in to being that defensive counter puncher too much and vs. southpaws like BJS you can’t do that, u gotta fight more offensively on the front foot like Floyd did vs. Zab and Ortiz. Judah and Ortiz weren’t mobile and elusive like Saunders. They were aggressive hunters. Mayweather took away their game by flipping the script and walking them down. We didn’t really see Floyd in with any stick-and-move specialists.

 

CANELO WINS… WAS THERE EVER ANY DOUBT?

Hi Dougie,

I hope you and your family are well during these trying times; I got my vaccine last week and hope everyone does the same when possible.

B-Lister BJS thought he could wriggle out of a fight by making irrefutable demands such as ring size; boy, was he wrong. Never since Haye acted so despicably for the Klitschko fight have I wanted someone to be so badly hurt and embarrassed in the ring. I need not remind anyone of how misogynistic and disrespectful BJS has been at large.

I expected Canelo to stay focused, cut off the ring, absorb some jabs, and slowly close in during the round to hurt BJS a couple of times, for a UD. (I sat ringside for BJS’s fight against Lemieux in Laval and wow he can run, albeit with fantastic boxing acumen.) I was hoping for him to be KO’d but predicted a UD. Canelo is just too smart and strong I was thinking.

I wrote that above part before the fight. It turned out even better than I thought. Boo BJS for retiring, he showed just how much of a bully and coward he really is.  True champions don’t do that.

Keep ’em coming Canelo… ATG is not out of reach, what do you think Dougie? – Mike M.

Well, he’s already a hall of famer in my opinion, so he’s headed in the right direction, especially given his age. We’ll see how he finishes out this year and what/who he aims for in 2022; he could conceivably make a case for greatness depending on the moves he makes in the next 18-24 months. But one thing is clear, he’s at his peak right now. I’m glad he’s not wasting it.  

I hope you and your family are well during these trying times; I got my vaccine last week and hope everyone does the same when possible. Thank you for the well wishes, Mike. I got my second dose on Friday, which means I’ll start travelling to more shows with more confidence this year. Woo-hoo!

B-Lister BJS thought he could wriggle out of a fight by making irrefutable demands such as ring size; boy, was he wrong. Is Saunders really a “B-lister”? I guess so. There weren’t any “A-listers” on his resume prior to facing Canelo. Still, I thought he did OK against THE A+ “A-lister” in the game before his eye socket got crunched.

Never since Haye acted so despicably for the Klitschko fight have I wanted someone to be so badly hurt and embarrassed in the ring. You know what? The Hayemaker never triggered me. He just seemed like a really smug dude (with talent and charisma) who knew how to promote his fights via a polarizing persona. I don’t recall him crossing the line of decency apart from those gory and distasteful T-shirts he made of himself holding up the decapitated heads of the Klitschko brothers.

I need not remind anyone of how misogynistic and disrespectful BJS has been at large. True, homebody has gone out of his way to be a total dirtbag.

I expected Canelo to stay focused, cut off the ring, absorb some jabs, and slowly close in during the round to hurt BJS a couple of times, for a UD. Me too.

(I sat ringside for BJS’s fight against Lemieux in Laval and wow he can run, albeit with fantastic boxing acumen.) I was there, too. Who knows how that version of Saunders would have fared against the middleweight version of Canelo in 2018.

It turned out even better than I thought. Boo BJS for retiring, he showed just how much of a bully and coward he really is. True champions don’t do that. Maybe not, but normal human beings do. And since you and I are mere humans we shouldn’t be too hard on Billy Joe.

 

ANOTHER NIGHT AT THE OFFICE

Hi Doug,

Hope you the family and team are doing well.

“Just another day at the office” is what Canelo tweeted after his win over BJS last night. I think the fight was closer than he may have anticipated. Some of the pundits’ scorecards even had BJS up at the time of the stoppage. How did you score it?

I think Canelo’s early tactics to go to the body was correct and BJS took those shots well. Man, you could really hear them land. BJS seems to be getting back into the fight then Bang! What was surprising is that it was not as if Canelo was delivering a beating on BJS or had been targeting that eye all night. But with that one punch from Canelo it broke BJS’s orbital or cheek bone. Canelo hits bloody hard!!!

I felt that if the fight went on it would have been stopped the same at some later point. Canelo was getting closer and closer to landing big shots and there was no way BJS was keeping him off all night.

The future. I can’t see anything apart from a victory over Plant to unify the division for Canelo. Then the biggest fight out there for him is GGG? It’s a shame, I would have loved to have seen the trilogy earlier, but at 39 can GGG keep up?

What else for Canelo? Back up to light heavy? There was a time when Canelo Vs Bivol was talked about? Not sure that fight is so big now.

How about guys from lower weights coming to fight Canelo at MW?

Spence

Crawford

Either Charlo brother?

It almost seems he’s running out of opponents?

Wish BJS a full and speedy recovery. Do you think 168 is the right division for him or should he campaign at 160 again? He done well against Canelo until the stoppage and I’d favour him over Charlo and Andrade. The Eubank rematch is interesting, in the U.K. at least. There’s history there but I think Eubank is much improved since their last meeting and a win over BJS puts him right where he want to be.

MM:

Cobra Vs Latin Snake 168 (after the 80,000 at Wembley came up last night I thought we might just get it there and then!)

Calzaghe Vs Canelo at 168

GGG Vs Cobra

Doug Fisher Vs Dan Rafael in the commentary box

Keep up the good work! – Tabraze, London U.K

Hmmmm…. I gotta go with Cobra over Snake via UD in a surprisingly competitive match, Golovkin over Froch by MD in a Fight-of-the-Year battle, and DTM over Yours Truly by controversial SD.

I think Saunders should remain at super middleweight. He had his moments vs. the pound-for-pound king at this weight, why boil back down to 160? Saunders-Eubank is a mouthwatering grudge match, big event in the UK, as you noted, but the pre-fight build-up (and s__t talk) alone would garner attention of hardcore fans in the U.S. Saunders-Andrade is a stylistic stinker but it’s a makable fight with some backstory and, again, the pre-fight promotion would probably be a lot of fun. My guess is that Saunders would have a slight edge if he were to get Boo Boo to come up to 168 for that one.

“Just another day at the office” is what Canelo tweeted after his win over BJS last night. I think the fight was closer than he may have anticipated. I think the fight went EXACTLY the way he anticipated. When Canelo is on a seek-and-destroy mission, as he was vs. Amir Khan and Sergey Kovalev, he doesn’t care if he might be behind on the scorecards at any point of the fight. He knows he’s going to close the show.

Some of the pundits’ scorecards even had BJS up at the time of the stoppage. How did you score it? I had Canelo up by two points (and in firm command) going into the ninth.

I think Canelo’s early tactics to go to the body was correct and BJS took those shots well. I agree 100%.

BJS seems to be getting back into the fight then Bang! What was surprising is that it was not as if Canelo was delivering a beating on BJS or had been targeting that eye all night. But with that one punch from Canelo it broke BJS’s orbital or cheek bone. Canelo hits bloody hard!!! He’s not a volume puncher and he’s not a one-punch KO artist, but he does a lot of damage with his selective shots.

The future. I can’t see anything apart from a victory over Plant to unify the division for Canelo. To not give a talented boxer like Plant any shot is a testament to Canelo’s ability and stature in the sport right now.

Then the biggest fight out there for him is GGG? Is it? I guess it could be if it were to be hosted by AT&T Stadium. If Canelo can draw 73,000 with BJS, the third bout with GGG could do 90,000.

It’s a shame, I would have loved to have seen the trilogy earlier, but at 39 can GGG keep up? They’re gonna have to fight the fight to answer that question.

What else for Canelo? Back up to light heavy? That’s an option.

There was a time when Canelo Vs Bivol was talked about? Not sure that fight is so big now. It’s not. Bivol is just another talented beltholder like Plant or Andrade. These guys need to fight other up-and-coming standouts to separate themselves from the pack. Bivol needs to fight Beterbiev. The winner of that fight has the right to call out Canelo. Plant needs to fight Benavidez. The winner of that fight has the right to call out Canelo. Andrade needs to fight Charlo. The winner of that fight has the right to call out Canelo.

How about guys from lower weights coming to fight Canelo at MW? What makes you think Canelo would drop back down to 160 for anybody?

SpenceI don’t see this as a competitive fight. Spence was taken the 12-round distance by Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia and Danny Garcia, and Porter – the only natural welterweight – gave him hell.

CrawfordSame deal, although I think Bud’s versatile style could allow him to be more competitive than Spence. But bottom line is that these guys aren’t middleweights, let alone super middleweights.

Either Charlo brother?These are competitive fights (at least on paper). They’ve got the height, reach, athleticism, skill, technique, experience and fire to give it a go. I’d favor Canelo, tho.

It almost seems he’s running out of opponents? That wouldn’t be the case if the top middleweights and super middleweights fought more often and fought each other.  

 

CANELO NEEDS A REAL CHALLENGE

Dougie,

Watched the fight last night—meh. Another easy touch for Canelo. Assuming he fights Plant (zero chance Canelo loses that one) next, that would mean his 7 most recent fights would be: Fielding lol, Jacobs decent but not dangerous, a shop worn washed up Kovalev, a mediocre at best Callum Smith, Yildrim no comment, and BJS highly overrated never was. Sure Canelo is good enough to make all those look lopsided but it’s not exactly a murderer’s row, far from it in fact.

When I look at Canelo’s resume, I see three serious challenges to date. GGG which I think he lost once and won once. Lara, I had Erisandy winning a razor thin decision and Mayweather who dominated a young Canelo and gave him a lesson.

I get it, I get it he is the star and can choose who he fights blah blah. Don’t get me wrong Canelo is a sure hall of famer and a top 2 or 3 pound for pound, but let’s not anoint him an all time great until he takes the serious challenges out there. I would much prefer to see him fight Charlo, Benavidez, even an old GGG again and the biggest challenge of all Beterbiev. I contrast that with Hagler last few fights, Leonard, Mugabi, Mustafa. Hearns and Duran.

I am not a hater of Canelo but when I switched off the TV and gratefully got into bed I thought to myself this guy loses to Calzaghe maybe not easily but he loses. Canelo might be on top today in terms of box office but if he wants to cement his place among the all time greats he needs to seek out real challenges not just decent to average opposition that poses little risk, and the media should stop carrying his water in terms of proclaiming him an all timer until he does.

Regards. – Aaron in Miami

No offense, Aaron, but my hunch is that there’s nothing Canelo can do to make you view him as even a potential great.

You dismiss his victories over Jacobs, who was the No. 2 middleweight at the time; and Kovalev, who was the No. 2-rated light heavyweight at the time; Smith, who was the Ring champ and No. 1 in the ESPN and TBRB rankings at the time; and Saunders, who was Ring’s No. 4-rated super middleweight going into Saturday’s showdown.

And you talk like he was a big failure in his “three serious challenges” to date, like he should be embarrassed for going 1-1 (in your view) with GGG, who was a world amateur champ, an Olympic silver medalist, an unbeaten, long-reigning champ and No. 1 in Ring’s pound-for-pound rankings when they fought; for losing a “razor-thin decision” to Lara (in your view), another world amateur champ and the No. 1 junior middleweight at the time; and for being outclassed by Mayweather, an Olympic medalist, the reigning P4P King at the time, and a first-ballot hall of famer, when he was 23 years old.

He hasn’t even fought Plant yet and you’re already dismissing The Ring’s No. 2-rated super middleweight.

But somehow, I’m supposed to believe that you’ll give him credit for fighting Charlo, Benavidez, GGG (again) and Beterbiev? I’m not buying it, Aaron. Saunders has a better resume than Charlo or Beterviev and you called him an “easy touch.” BJ’s owns decisions over John Ryder and David Lemieux (currently Nos. 6 and 7 in Ring’s super middleweight rankings), as well as Chris Eubank Jr. (Ring’s No. 6-rated middleweight). Charlo’s got one legit middleweight contender on his resume, Sergey Derevyanchenko (No. 4). Benavidez has one legit super middleweight contender on his resume, Anthony Dirrell (No. 5).

If Canelo beats them and makes it look easy, you’re going to call them “easy touches” too. There’s no way you’re going to declare Canelo an ATG if he beats Charlo and/or Benavidez.

And we all know what you’ll call GGG and Beterbiev if they lose to Canelo – “old.”

I get it, I get it he is the star and can choose who he fights blah blah. Bro, he’s choosing to fight better opposition than the fighters you claim will give a proper challenge.

Don’t get me wrong Canelo is a sure hall of famer and a top 2 or 3 pound for pound, but let’s not anoint him an all time great until he takes the serious challenges out there. How is Charlo a more serious challenge than Saunders? How is Benavidez a more serious challenge than Plant? They’re all the same, and it’s their fault for not fighting each other. Golovkin is a future hall of famer, but he’s 39. Don’t lie and tell me you’re gonna give Canelo more credit for facing GGG now than you did in 2017 and 2018. Beterbiev is 36 and he did not look like a world-beater vs. Adam Deines. Right now, you’ll liken the Russian to Rocky Marciano. If and when he fights Canelo you’ll be saying his “old and plodding.”

 

DIEGO CORRALES IN THE HALL OF FAME

Hi Dougie,

All the best to you and yours from me and mine. While the rest of the boxing world discusses Canelo Alvarez’s spectacular if predictable destruction of Billy Joe Saunders, I’d just like to thank you for Joseph Santoliquito’s article about the anniversary of the death of Diego Corrales. He was one of my favorites of that era and it’s hard to believe that 14 years have passed since his death. My question – why hasn’t he been placed in the Hall of Fame? It’s a no-brainer to me. Thanks for all your great work for the sport we love. – Ken Kozberg, Oakham, MA

Thanks for the kind words, Ken. I’ll pass them on to Joe.

Corrales closes out the most epic fight of the 2000s.

That’s a good question about Corrales. Personally, I think he’s worthy. He’s got victories over two borderline hall of famers, Jose Luis Castillo and Joel Casamayor, and he won the greatest fight of this era (the epic first encounter with Castillo). Plus, he beat an elite (or near-elite) level two-division titleholder in Acelino Freitas, as well as the quality likes of Robert Garcia, Derrick Gainer and Angel Manfredy. It’s an excellent body of work.

The only reason I can come up with for BWAA members/IBHOF voters not giving Chico the green light is the fact that he was dominated by Floyd Mayweather Jr. and was too much of a “brawler” for their taste. But if that’s the reason, why is Arturo Gatti enshrined in the IBHOF? Maybe if Corrales had the HBO push that Thunder had. If you recall, most of Chico’s highlights took place on Showtime. That shouldn’t matter, of course, but trust me, HBO used to be the be-all-end-all of American boxing. I think as we get farther away from that era, newer voters will explore and re-evaluate Corrales’ career and give him his due.

 

GGG VS. BSJ

Doug –

How would Saunders do against the GGG we saw vs Szeremeta? – Kevin Key, Duluth, MN

What If?

I think he’d do well. I don’t think he’d win, but I’m certain he would have his moments in the fight, probably during the middle rounds, he might steal a few late rounds too. However, while Golovkin has slowed down a bit with age, and no longer commits to the body the way a prime Canelo does, he is still a lot busier (especially with his world-class jab) than the Mexican star. I think GGG’s power and precision would keep BJ honest in the early rounds. Once the Englishman warmed up, I think his stick-and-move game would earn him some rounds as it did vs. Canelo, but he’d still have to contend with that ram-rod jab (as well as GGG’s ring-cutting pressure). Golovkin’s age might show over the second half of the bout but I also think Saunders’s would be worn out down the stretch. If BJ made it to the final bell, my guess is that GGG would have landed the harder punches that would impress the official judges and he’d earn a close decision.

 

CANELO-SAUNDERS

Dear Mr. Fischer,

Just read the comment of Dan Rafael about the Canelo vs. Saunders fight on ringtv.com. Reading that, the fight was a one-sided demolition of BJS: “…while also seizing Saunders’ WBO title in a destructive performance in which he damaged Saunders to the head and body and left him slumped on the stool with a battered right eye after the eighth round.” And that seems to be the consensus view of the judges and the boxing media.

Actually, I have seen a pretty competitive fight and had it like 4:4 or 5:3 for BJS. Probably BJS would have lost without the shut eye in the further process but until the end of round 8? I had the same problem with the comments of Lopez vs. Loma (remember, I was fine with Lopez’ win but not near as impressed as all the boxing experts). You know I am a member of the #salty-canelo-league but I am not a big fan of BJS either. So this time I was not even biased. Now to my questions:

  1. Is it possible that from the TV-couch a fight looks completely different to what you see from press row? (btw. I had pretty good seats at MSG for the King vs SSR I and still could not get how the judges scored that fight).
  2. How did you see the fight?
  3. Did BJS quit or was his eye hurt seriously? (I am not blaming anybody for not risking his eyesight). But if the eye “only” was shut…?
  4. If the scorecards were ok at the time of the end of round 8 nobody can win against Canelo on points. (That statement is only a repetition of the scorecards vs. GGG).
  5. I don’t see anybody 168 or below who can knock him out.
  6. So, after collecting the belt from Plant (I have no doubt that this will happen in September) what fight could be intriguing?
  7. Do you see any of the young guns coming up to 168 and being a challenge before 2025? Who could be the first? Vergil Ortiz?
  8. Can you envision Canelo going up to 175 and unify all belts? (If so Canelo would be an ATG even in my opinion).
  9. What does Canelo need to do to be an All-Time-Top 10 around the classic middleweight (from the 8 weight classes era)?

Best regards. – Matthias, Germany

Thanks for sharing, Matthias. I thought the fight was competitive, but not as competitive as you and some of my respected peers viewed it.

Is it possible that from the TV-couch a fight looks completely different to what you see from press row? Totally. Being on press row or seated up close you get a better “feel” for who’s landing with more impact. In this case it was definitely Canelo. Having said that, DAZN commentators Chris Mannix and Sergio Mora thought BJ was doing quite well, and they were pretty darn close to the action. (I agreed with Carl Froch’s view of the fight.)

How did you see the fight? I thought it was competitive. I had Canelo ahead 77-75 (as one of the official judges scored it), or five rounds to three. I scored Rounds 4-6 for Saunders. Could it have been closer than that? Sure. I guess I could have given the opening round to BJ. Then again, I could have scored Round 4 for Canelo.

Did BJS quit or was his eye hurt seriously? According to Eddie Hearn, he suffered multiple fractures to his orbital area and had to undergo surgery. I’m not a doctor but that sounds like a serious injury.

If the scorecards were ok at the time of the end of round 8 nobody can win against Canelo on points. I thought the official scorecards were fair. A fighter simply has to do more than Saunders was doing if he wants a lead on the scorecards going into the late rounds vs. Canelo (or any opponent).

I don’t see anybody 168 or below who can knock him out. I don’t see anybody TRYING to knock him out. Canelo is only 5-foot-8 but he intimidates the s__t out of much bigger opponents. Nobody with a clear height and reach advantage wants to try to impose their size upon him. Let’s keep it real, these dudes are nervous about letting their hands go against Canelo.

So, after collecting the belt from Plant (I have no doubt that this will happen in September) what fight could be intriguing? I think the Plant fight is intriguing, but if the fight happens and Canelo is victorious, the two matchups that I would be most interested in are Benavidez and Jermall Charlo (preferably in Texas, where the largest attendance is possible). I’m not saying they have any better chance of beating Canelo than Plant does, I just like the way their styles mesh with Canelo’s better.

Could we see the Towering Inferno attacking Canelo like this at 168 pounds one day?

Do you see any of the young guns coming up to 168 and being a challenge before 2025? Who could be the first? Vergil Ortiz? Not Vergil. I think 154 is probably his ceiling. But Jaime Munguia would be just fine at 168. Sebastian Fundora certainly has the frame to carry 168 pounds (and I think he will one day). Edgar Berlanga is already at super middleweight and could possibility develop into a legit contender (he would make for a marketable opponent for Canelo). And maybe one or two from that bunch of up-and-comers from Central Asia – which includes Bektimir “Bek Bully” Melikusiev (Uzbekistan), Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (Kazakhstan) and Meiirim Nursultanov (Kazakhstan) – could eventually move up (or drop down in Bek’s case) to super middleweight.

Can you envision Canelo going up to 175 and unify all belts? Yeah, it would be a tough challenge but not inconceivable.

What does Canelo need to do to be an All-Time-Top 10 around the classic middleweight (from the 8 weight classes era)? Nothing. He can’t. He’s at super middleweight now and he’s not going to drop back down to 160. And while his body of work at middleweight ain’t bad, it’s a light year away from the resumes of the greatest middleweights of all time.

 

 

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 Doug’s IG Live every Sunday.

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