Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Crawford-Porter, Errol Spence, the worst division, 5 fights that need to be made)
HAIL TO THE VICTOR, HAIL TO THE DEFEATED
Crawford-Porter was just what the world needed. Terence Crawford was tested harder than perhaps ever and showed why he’s (at least in my mind/in this era, a special guy). What did it take to bring that out? A fighter who arguably was winning/even on the cards until Crawford found another gear. This is why I love boxing. – MT from OC
It was legit world-class boxing, a tit-for-tat chess match with spots of roughhousing and technical violence throughout. I wish I could have been ringside (I had planned to be but wasn’t able to finish the 100th anniversary special issue in time), but I was lucky to watch it with veteran observers (Coach Schwartz, Tom Loeffler and Dean Familton). We all appreciated Shawn Porter’s bold and versatile physical effort just as much as we savored the finer points of boxing and constant adaptation on display from Crawford. They traded every one or two rounds through nine rounds on my very unofficial scorecard. I scored the first rounds for Porter, the next two for Crawford, the fifth for Porter, the sixth for Crawford, the seventh for Porter and then the eighth and ninth for Bud, which put the defending WBO beltholder up by one point (86-85) going into Round 10. (If you had Crawford up by a couple points, I wouldn’t argue with you. If you had Porter up by a point or two, I wouldn’t argue with you. Dave, Dean and I scored a few rounds different. Each round was hotly contested, so it was that kind of fight.)
Just as I was about to Tweet something about both fighters needing to summon something special to pull ahead in the final three rounds, Crawford did what elite-level fighters are supposed to do with world-class opposition.
SHAWN AND KEN PORTER
Shawn Porter has been one of my favorite fighters for a long time. He’s gives his all, is tough and competitive, and is never in a bad fight. More importantly, he works hard and is a super decent human being—a class act. Anyone that watched Shawn’s zealous and skillful work as a boxing commentator had to wonder where it would be prioritized in relationship to his boxing career. It’s not a surprise that it competed with his preparation with the Crawford fight.
That said, I don’t know how Shawn could have fought any better, and it saddened me that his dad felt the need to voice his thoughts on Shawn’s (lack of) preparation.
Frankly, Shawn was more gracious in his post-fight comments toward his dad than vice-versa. I’m sure a fighter’s preparation can be a constant tension between trainer and fighter, especially when the trainer is your dad, but some of those comments shouldn’t have been aired—we didn’t need to hear them. A trainer should be mindful to protect his fighter’s reputation, especially when it IS his son. It seems to me that post-fight comments too often stray from what they should be–a post-mortem on the fight itself.
I wish Shawn the very best in his next career! He’s a great ambassador for boxing! – Bryon McLaughlin, Kansas City, MO
I agree 100%, Byron. Most fans and media agree with you. We’ll miss Showtime Shawn the fighter, but we’ll still get to see and listen to Shawn Porter the commentator. He’s already one of the best, but he’s going to get even better now that he can concentrate fulltime on his second career.
Regarding Ken Porter’s post-fight comments, well, that was one of the more cringe-worthy moments of 2021. Shawn did not deserve that after the effort he gave. To Shawn’s credit, he kept it classy immediately after the fight (when he was dealing with a storm of adrenaline and emotions) and throughout the post-fight press conference, which didn’t come as surprise. Kenny isn’t perfect, but he did raise his son well. And to Kenny’s credit, my guess is that he spared his son from a brutal, out-cold KO. It was a bold move. Some fans and media viewed it as a poor decision, one that denied his son the opportunity to pull himself out of the well. Others (myself included) view it as mercy stoppage, one that saved his son from physical punishment AND a humiliating defeat. So, it was kind of sad when he tossed his son under the bus with the “he didn’t prepare like I wanted him to prepare” comment. But hey, it was an emotional moment for Kenny, too. If he regrets what he said, I’m sure he’s conveyed that to his son by now. I’m sure he’s apologized if he feels he hurt his son. Kenny and Shawn are very close (you’re probably aware of that).
IS CRAWFORD THE NO. 1 WELTERWEIGHT?
Well, I saw the fight on my phone and initially wasn’t as impressed as some of you were. I just watched the fight again on a bigger screen and I can now see some of the things that were a little difficult to see on the small screen.
First of all, hats of the Porter and his dad, both of them are as classy as you can get. I wish more guys were like them in this sport. I just have to wonder why Kenny would say that his son’s preparation was the reason he stopped the fight. I’m not in his shoes so I can’t say how I would respond after my son just got KO’d and I understand that sometimes when put on the spot after an emotional decision you had to make you might say something you didn’t intend, so I’m just going to go with that. What do you think really happened there? It sure seemed to me Porter could continue fighting.
On to the fight. It was a tactical competitive fight that played out a little different than I expected. It sure didn’t help that I watched the Spence-Porter fight that same day (what a fight! Can’t believe I forgot how good this was lol) as it set unrealistic expectations for me. Watching it a second fight without that expectation I saw a lot of little things Crawford was doing, the things that make him special. I’ve said it before but he reminds me a little bit of Pernell Whitaker in a less defensive and more offensive way (hopefully that makes sense). He sets traps, puts you in awkward positions, doesn’t let you get your game setup and he’s always making you reset. I think that’s what happened to Porter, he could never start his ongoing assault that has made him such a dangerous opponent. Yes, he won 4 rounds, but you know those rounds were close and difficult. He was never able to start up his offense as he did against Spence. He was always thinking twice about doing what he always does and that’s what Crawford does to you.
I think Crawford-Spence is still a 50/50 fight and I still think Bud has a little more in his bag of tricks than Errol, so I would pick him to beat him in a 12 round tactical fight. I don’t think it would be a fight of the year type of fight but more of a competitive chess match that would come up to who has more to show. Spence is also a tough cookie. Watching his fight vs Porter made me realize what a complete fighter he is. He dug to the body hard in that fight and landed some hard punches everywhere. His offense is really something. Then you see him vs both Garcias and you see his boxer side. Man, I can’t wait to see this fight. I’m sure it’s going to happen now that Crawford stated that he’s not working with Bob anymore.
Some welter MMs:
Crawford vs Felix Trinidad
Porter vs Oba Carr (the battle of the B sides)
Spence vs Ike Quartey
Keith Thurman vs Oscar de la Hoya
Simon Brown vs Danny Garcia
Mayweather vs Crawford
Whitaker vs Crawford
Thanks Dougie, see ya soon. – Juan Valverde
I’ll go with Tito on points (maybe controversially), Carr on points (very close), Quartey on points (very close, very good fight), De La Hoya on points (close by clear UD), Brown on points or late stoppage (good scrap), Mayweather on points (at 147, close, maybe controversial), and Sweet Pea on points (close, very tactical).
I just have to wonder why Kenny would say that his son’s preparation was the reason he stopped the fight. Because it’s his truth.
What do you think really happened there? I think Shawn and Kenny had reached the point where the son/fighter no longer listens to and 100% obeys the father/trainer. It happens. I also wonder if part of Shawn’s decision to retire was the realization that he needed a new trainer but not wanting to continue his career without his father in his corner.
It sure seemed to me Porter could continue fighting. I thought he was a sitting duck after the second knockdown. Kenny obviously thought the same thing.
I’ve said it before but (Crawford) reminds me a little bit of Pernell Whitaker in a less defensive and more offensive way (hopefully that makes sense). That makes sense. He takes his time just like Whitaker did, delights in frustrating his opponents just like Pete, and he’s a surly S.O.B. once he goes about breaking a man down. However, unlike, Whitaker (may he rest in peace), Bud is very good about closing the show.
I think Crawford-Spence is still a 50/50 fight and I still think Bud has a little more in his bag of tricks than Errol, so I would pick him to beat him in a 12 round tactical fight. I think it’s 60/40 in favor of Crawford.
I don’t think it would be a fight of the year type of fight but more of a competitive chess match that would come up to who has more to show. The more of a chess match it is, the more it will favor Bud.
Spence is also a tough cookie. No doubt about it. I wouldn’t pick Crawford to stop him.
Watching his fight vs Porter made me realize what a complete fighter he is. Spence is complete in terms of offense, but his defense was lacking in that fight. So was his balance.
Then you see him vs both Garcias and you see his boxer side. At the risk of sounding like a Spence hater (which I’m not, I really enjoy watching him fight), I gotta be real and tell you that those wins over Mikey and Danny are overrated.
Man, I can’t wait to see this fight. I’m sure it’s going to happen now that Crawford stated that he’s not working with Bob anymore. Don’t be so naïve. The PBC has had a tough 2021. Deontay Wilder and Caleb Plant took punishing “Ls” in big pay-per-view events that likely cost the company a lot of money. Then Porter (probably their gamest warrior) retired after being stopped by Crawford. They can’t afford to risk their lone undefeated star, Spence. Listen, I hope I’m wrong about this, but my guess is that unless Crawford is willing to sign a long-term multi-fight agreement with the PBC, Al and Co. are going keep Spence away from Bud for the time being. You can expect to see Spence vs. Yordenis Ugas first.
Hope you enjoyed the fight. I thought it was a really fun fight and a great performance from Bud. I thought Andre Ward was really off with his commentary. He talked as if Porter was clearly winning the fight. I thought Shawn won some rounds but Crawford was landing the more effective punches most of the night and it looked very similar to Canelo’s recent fights in that it looked like no matter how you were scoring the rounds, Crawford was clearly breaking him down. How did you see it? Where does Crawford go from here? – Ryan, Cincinnati
I’m not sure what Crawford does next. He might try to do what Canelo has done so well over the past year: remain a free agent and go wherever the best deal is offered. Crawford is not nearly as big an attraction as Canelo is, so we’ll see how well he can emulate the Mexican star in this regard. Despite the somewhat frosty relationship he has with Arum, I wouldn’t be shocked if his next fight was under the Top Rank banner if a showdown with Josh Taylor can be made by next spring or summer. After that, I can see him doing a one-off with Golden Boy if Vergil Ortiz, the WBO’s No. 1 contender, feels ready to challenge the pound-for-pounder. Or maybe he works out a deal with the PBC that includes the Spence fight (which is the best move for the sport). I don’t think the PBC will do a one-off with Bud the way they did with Canelo, but maybe they offer him a sweet-enough deal for him to stick around for three or four fights. Time will tell.
Hope you enjoyed the fight. It was a quality matchup and fight. I enjoyed it with good friends (and sushi and pizza and a little bit of tequila). It doesn’t get any better than that.
I thought Andre Ward was really off with his commentary. I don’t think he was THAT off. My card was close to Dre’s during the early rounds (he scored an extra round for Porter after four, I had it even at that point; I know some fans thought Crawford was up 3-1), but I think it was just like his by the middle and late rounds. I had it scored 86-85 for Crawford after the ninth round, just like Dre (as well as Dan Rafael, who was ringside for The Ring, and two of the official judges) had it.
He talked as if Porter was clearly winning the fight. No, he just had Porter winning rounds with his aggression, clean-scoring right hands, and activity. It doesn’t mean Dre couldn’t see that Bud was attacking the body consistently, landing clean counter shots, and setting Porter up from something big down the stretch. It ain’t over ‘till it’s over in boxing. Dre knows this.
I thought Shawn won some rounds but Crawford was landing the more effective punches most of the night and it looked very similar to Canelo’s recent fights in that it looked like no matter how you were scoring the rounds, Crawford was clearly breaking him down. Whose punches were more effective over the first half of the bout is matter of opinion. I didn’t clearly see that Porter was beginning to wilt until the eighth round.
RINGSIDE FOR CRAWFORD-PORTER
It is Sunday morning in Las Vegas as I write this. I marked something off my bucket list last night when we attended Crawford/ Porter. I have always wanted to see a major boxing event live. My wife and I originally came to town to celebrate our 25th anniversary and her 60th birthday. A couple of days before we left for Vegas I splurged and got a pair of good seats. It was beyond my expectations.
The only downside was Bob Arum should be ashamed for attaching such a lame undercard to such a great main event. When the intros were made and the fight started all that was forgotten. The energy in the room was beyond words. The people sitting around us became a big partying family. Two brothers sitting beside us fired up a big joint (I guess what happens in Vegas….) when Porter went down the place exploded. I could not even hear the after fight in the ring interviews. I will have to catch the replay.
When Errol Spence, who was in attendance was shown onscreen afterwards the crowd jeered. As big as this event seemed to hit I just don’t know how they can NOT make Crawford/ Spence. I had hoped I might run into you there and I looked for you but… maybe next time. I am still excited by what I witnessed last night and my wife even has a new appreciation for the sport. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Terrance Crawford. He really made a statement Saturday night. The other welters can’t duck him anymore… or can they? – David, Nashville
They certainly can, but hopefully, they won’t. I think Ugas would fight Bud at the drop of a dime. But, like I told Juan V., you can expect Spence vs. Ugas before Spence vs. Crawford (or Crawford vs. Ugas). If Bud signs a multi-bout deal with the PBC, maybe we’ll see Crawford vs. the semi-retired Thurman and THEN the big Spence vs. Crawford showdown. I’ll say this, if they don’t pull the trigger on Spence-Crawford next year, I really don’t want talk about this matchup anymore. I’d much rather focus on the new generation of 147-pound standouts like Vergil Ortiz, Boots Ennis, Eimantas Stanionis, and Radzhab Butaev.
BIGGEST FIGHT IN BOXING?
First: LOL!!!! How does Chris Mannix remain employed with this level of stupidity? Seriously, is he on Boo Boo’s PR team?
Andrade handled Quigley in 2 rounds and still was tough to watch. Stylistically, I don’t know that any of the top Middleweights can make him entertaining and Jermall Charlo definitely would not mesh well. Jab, jab…swing and miss and then clinch…rinse and repeat.
I did come away with a thought as matchups were thrown out at Middleweight… is this the worst Division in Boxing right now? If not, then which is?
What are your top 5 fights that need made in Boxing?
Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend’s activities and that all is well. Thanks! – Scott
It’s all good, Scotty!
Mannix had got to be trolling the boxing community with all of that “Charlo-Andrade-is-the-biggest-fight” silliness. Either that or his brain has addled from watching too many Demetrius Andrade fights.
I did come away with a thought as matchups were thrown out at Middleweight… is this the worst Division in Boxing right now? I don’t know if it’s the worst, but it lost a lot of star power when Canelo moved up to 168 pounds. It wasn’t helped by Golovkin’s inactivity, but now that GGG is on a collision course with the always aggressive and entertaining Ryota Murata, the middleweight division will finally host a high-profile event. I think Jermall Charlo and Jaime Munguia add excitement and potential to the division, too. They’ve just got to fight better opposition (image the attention they would draw in Texas if they faced each other).
If not, then which is? Honestly, apart from strawweight, the division that has failed to grab my attention (or respect) all year is light heavyweight. Joe Smith Jr.’s WBO title win over Maxim Vlasov was an inspirational story and a very close and competitive fight, but it wasn’t particularly memorable (and more than few observers thought JSJ was the recipient of a home-country gift). I was ringside for the Gilberto Ramirez-Sullivan Barrera fight in L.A., and while Zurdo finally scored an impressive early rounds KO, he did what he was expected to do vs. a faded veteran. I wasn’t impressed with Artur Beterbiev’s 10th-round TKO of Adam Deines. I’m starting to think the top man in the division is overrated (or overhyped), but I’ll wait until his mandatory title defense against Marcus Browne next month before I make up my mind. And don’t get me started on Dmitry Bivol. He’s bright talent and a really cool guy, but homey is dying on the vine. Dude is a non-entity right now. If these top 175-pounders don’t start fighting each other they’re going to continue to devalue the division.
What are your top 5 fights that need made in Boxing? Fury-Usyk, Crawford-Spence, Jermall Charlo vs. the GGG-Murata winner, Teofimo Lopez vs. Haney-Diaz winner (or Josh Taylor vs. Lopez at 140 pounds), and Beterbiev-Bivol.
CRAWFORD VS. THE GREATS
Dear Mr. Fischer,
MM (all at Welterweight)
Best regards. – Matthias, Germany
SRR – Robinson by late stoppage or UD in a competitive, crowd-pleasing fight
SRL – Leonard by late stoppage or UD in a competitive, crowd-pleasing fight
Duran – Hands of Stone by MD or close UD in a great fight
Hearns – Hitman by mid-to-late rounds KO
Mayweather – Mayweather by close, perhaps controversial MD or UD in a chess match
Pacquiao – Crawford by close, perhaps controversial MD or UD in a rousing fight