Middleweight beltholder Peter Quillin could soon defend his WBO title against promotional stablemate Danny Jacobs.
Dougie's Friday mailbag
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Readers have many questions and comments about Gennady Golovkin (who makes his U.S. debut vs. Grzegorz Proksa on HBO on Saturday), plus thoughts on Sturm-Geale, Mares-Moreno, and much more in this week's Friday mailbag.
THE MOUNTAIN MAN
Dougatron 3000! What's up, buddy? I'm kind of surprised that your Mountain Man article (the Gym Notes on Gennady Golvokin) didn't get more love than it did in your last mailbag. For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm really, really excited about Golovkin. I can't wait to watch this guy fight this weekend.
The most fascinating thing about your article was the fact that he can't find any middleweights to spar with! He has to seek out light heavies and cruisers, and still seems to give those guys hell! Amazing. Having said that, I have a few questions for you:
As always, thanks Doug. – Jon K.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and questions, Jon.
Golovkin’s style does indeed resemble that of the great Mexican champ. He expertly breaks down his opponents and sparring partners as he’s walking them down. And that left hook to the body is a killer!
However, I must note that Golovkin’s style has changed from the time I first heard about him and from the time I first witnessed him spar. It reminded me of King Kostya’s when I watched him spar with Canelo Alvarez last May. My guess is that it will continue to evolve over the next few years.
Regarding last week’s mailbag response to the Gym Notes column, I didn’t give readers a chance to give their two cents by writing the darn thing on Thursday and posting it up late Thursday night. (My visit to Golovkin’s camp was on Wednesday. In my younger years I could drive to Big Bear and back and drill out a Southern Cali. Notebook that same evening – but those days are gone.)
I’ll answer your three questions in order:
1. Proksa has been described as a “poor man’s Sergio Martinez,” and that’s exactly what I thought when I watched video of his third-round TKO of Sebastian Sylvester. He’s a southpaw boxer-puncher who holds his hands low, moves his head and upper body a lot, and fights out of a slight crouch. He’s strong and durable with good hand speed and power. He isn’t the marvelous athlete that Martinez is, obviously, but the UK-based Pole is no joke.
2. I don’t think Golovkin was giving Imoesiri and Coyne that much hell, I KNOW he was. He was hurting those big men with his punches and forcing them to box in a manner that quickly wore them out. And I have to note that these two weren’t just “big lugs.” They are both smart, competent boxers with skill and technique. And yet, I agree with MaxBoxing.com’s Steve Kim (who also witnessed the seven-round sparring session), I don’t think either guy could have gone one more round with Golovkin that day.
3. I’ve seen video of a few rounds of one of his sparring sessions with Quillin (which took place more than a year ago) and it looked like they were just giving each other good work. Golovkin was stalking; Quillin was sticking and moving. Occasionally they exchanged hard combos in close. Neither boxer had the upper hand from what I saw. I haven’t seen any footage of Golovkin’s infamous sessions with Angulo, but everyone I know who saw the sparring live tells me “Perro” got spanked.
DOUGIE’S BROMANCE WITH GGG
In all seriousness, in the three or so years I've been reading your mailbag I've never heard you talking about a prospect the way you've been raving about Golovkin, so I'm really intrigued and excited to watch him fight – job well done Dougie.
Thanks for writing in and giving me some much-deserved s__t.
Mack is a hard-punching boxer who doesn’t respond well to pressure. If he had a puncher’s mentality, he would be very dangerous. However, he’s a boxer at heart and he doesn’t like it when guys get in his grill, which is why was stopped by both Librado Andrade (his last fight at 168 pounds) and by Glen Johnson. I should note that he put Andrade down hard in the opening round of their bout and rocked the Mexican slugger in the second with hooks. But Andrade’s smothering attack eventually took Mack’s will and legs.
I won’t call this a tune-up fight because Mack is not a journeyman. However, in terms of style and mentality, he’s tailor made for Froch, who can take a shot and knows how to walk a man down.
Regarding my “Bromance” with Golovkin, no, wifey doesn’t know about it. I’m keeping it all on the Down Low – for now. But if Golovkin does what I think he will do tomorrow night and he keeps winning, I might have to come clean. My wife will know something’s up when I start lounging around the house in velour sweat suits branded with “Triple G-Unit.”
In all seriousness, Golovkin is in rare company as far as prospects that I’ve been high on since I started covering boxing. He’s in my top three, behind Shane Mosley and Edwin Valero. And he has much in common with those two from my perspective. Golovkin is athletic, hardnosed and heavy handed, but my initial excitement about him stemmed from what he did in the gym; not in the ring (although I’ve been impressed with his recent ring performances).
The next seven behind those three include Diego Corrales (who I believed would be a world champ from the first time I saw him fight – and I let his co-manager at the time, Barrett Silver, know this, which elicited this classic response: “You do? Oh thank you for saying that, thank you!”), Vernon Forrest (I miss the long, thoughtful interviews I did with the young ‘Viper’ during the early days of HouseofBoxing.com), Floyd Mayweather and Fernando Vargas (which isn’t really a big deal because everyone thought they had tremendous potential coming out of the ’96 Olympic Games), Miguel Cotto (one of my favorites, and an absolute pleasure watching him evolve into a future hall of famer), Francisco Bojado (yep, I was high on Panchito like so many others in Southern Cali, though not as high on him as Steve Kim was) and Jorge Linares (again, not quite as high as Kim was).
Honorable mention: Abner Mares, Ismayl Sillakh, Tim Bradley and Lamon Brewster
With the announcement of the Abner Mares-Anselmo Moreno fight, I wanted to say how excited I am about the fights happening over the next couple of months – September and October are LOADED with good fights! I'm a big fan of both Pacquiao and Mayweather, but boxing is going to be fine without them.
How do you see the Mares-Moreno fight going? Looking forward to finally seeing Golovkin in action this weekend. Cheers. – bd
I don’t think Golovkin will disappoint.
Mares-Moreno is an even fight in my opinion. Moreno, arguably the best finesse boxer in the game, can outbox Mares, but the WBC 122-pound beltholder can out-work and outfight the long-reigning WBA bantie titleholder.
If Moreno can add enough “fight” to his game he can beat Mares. If Mares can add enough finesse to his fight, he can best the Panamanian. We’ll see how it plays out. I’m just glad the fight is happening in Southern California (the Honda Center in Anaheim) and not on the same night as the Donaire-Nishioka/Rios-Alvarado card.
I agree that the sport will survive without Mayweather and Pacquiao. There would be a void if both were to retire this year or next, but if the best fighters continue to face each other that void will eventually be filled.
GOLOVKIN AND VALERO
LOL. I’ve written that Golovkin resembles Kostya Tszyu. Julian Jackson is sure GGG’s the spitting image of Julio Cesar Chavez. And now you’re saying he looks like the late Edwin Valero.
When the majority of American fans get their first clear look at Golovkin on HBO tomorrow they’re going to think we’re all deranged.
Anyway, yeah, my high for Golovkin has reached Valero levels. The last time I was this excited about a fighter making his U.S. television debut, Valero was about to fight for the WBC lightweight belt in the main event of the “Lightweight Lightening” PPV and later the Showtime-televised defense against Antonio DeMarco.
GOLOVKIN URBAN LEGEND
How are you doing? I have not written for a while but reading your article about Gennady Golovkin made me want to write again. (It really reminded me of your old So-Cal Notebook.)
I can't help but noticing the enthusiasm you have for this guy. It really reminds me of you trying to introduce the late Edwin Valero to the world back in those days. I know you were really high on Valero and I feel you are equally excited about Golovkin.
I've seen his fights on youtube few times in the past but I was not so impressed. Now according to you and his trainer Abel Sanchez, he has improved a lot since, it seems. I can't wait to see how he does on HBO this weekend. I don't know the other guy (Prokaa) much at all but he seems like a very decent guy with good record. It doesn't seem like a walk-in-a-park, showcase fight for Golovkin so I guess it shows how much they have confidence in him.
Golovkin’s people – trainer Abel Sanchez, K2 Promotions and his management team that includes his brother Maximilian – know they’ve got the goods, so they are willing to fight a tough S.O.B. with a difficult style like Proksa.
Good for them and good for Proksa’s people, who were willing to roll the dice and see if the hype on Golovkin is for real.
We’ll find out tomorrow night because you are absolutely right, this matchup is not a “walk-in-the-park” for Golovkin, and nobody should consider it a tune-up bout.
It’s a real fight that is competitive on paper. If Golovkin dominates, we need to give him his due credit. If Proksa gives Golovkin a fight and makes him look human, we need to give Proksa his due credit. If Proksa wins, we need to give him the hype we gave Golovkin.
I am very excited about watching Golovkin fight on live TV and I’m excited about the solid matchup.