RYAN RHODES IS ‘LIVE’
If Alvarez is not the real deal, as you suspect, Ryan will definitely expose him. He’s the bigger man, a better athlete, got faster hands, probably hits harder, and he’s got an unorthodox but effective switch-hitting style.
Rhodes is a tall order for any junior middleweight. Hey, there’s a reason THE RING ranks the British veteran No. 4 at 154 pounds and Alvarez at No. 9.
However, my hunch is that the young man is special. I’m not saying he’s the “real deal” yet, but I think he’s got enough talent and big enough balls to get by Rhodes. I don’t think the fight will be easy. I envision a hard-fought 12-round bout in which both men get rocked onto their heels and battle through it. I’m giving Alvarez the edge for two reasons:
1. I witnessed him suck it up and dish it out against a badass middleweight (Gennady Golovkin) in the high altitude of Big Bear, Calif., last month, so I know Canelo has put in the work and is not underestimating Rhodes. 2. He’s a Mexican star, defending a Mexican belt (the WBC title) in his home region of Guadalajara, Mexico.
I like Alvarez by close decision.
What up big Doug!
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that I absolutely loved your article on Golovkin. Keep writing the good fight my friend.
(P.S. It’s been too long my friend!) — Kirk
It has indeed been too long, Kirk. I haven’t smoked a cigar since Juan Manuel Marquez did his thing against Michael Katsidis last November. Good for my health, bad for my soul, my friend.
I’m glad you liked the piece on Golovkin, who got the job done against a too-damn-tough-for-his-own-good Kassim Ouma last night in Panama.
He’s a good-natured, hard-working badass with a lot of natural ability and a stellar amateur foundation. There’s no reason why he can’t claw his way to the top of the middleweight division (or even the junior middleweight division, Abel Sanchez believes the 29 year old can make 154 pounds) by the end of next year.
I watched the Ouma fight live on the internet and was riveted to my laptop. Hopefully, Golovkin will get the opportunity to fight on a live U.S. television broadcast in the first quarter of next year. I could be wrong, but I think American fans are going to like what they see of “Superman.”
NO LOVE FOR TSZYU?
It seems like Kostya Tszyu's induction into the HOF has been completely ignored. I understand that this year's class is the more famous than any other year with Sly, Chavez, and Tyson, but you'd think Tszyu would at least deserve a side-note. He is HOF-worthy (although I think his induction could have waited a few years) and I think his induction at least deserves its own article in the Bible of Boxing.
BTW, I am really looking forward to Mayweather-Ortiz! We haven't seen Floyd fight a guy with his style in a while. — Drew
I’m sorry Tszyu was dissed by this website. That was my fault. I was supposed to write a column on why he deserves his hall-of-fame induction, but the story was lost in the busy shuffle of last week.
I think longtime readers of the mailbag know that I am a big Tszyu fan. I closely followed the first half of his career as a hardcore boxing junkie, reading about his early exploits (out-pointing Juan LaPorte in his fourth bout; winning his first title in his 14th bout) in THE RING, watching his first tough fight (his 10th vs. Hector Lopez) on USA’s Tuesday Night Fights and his upset loss to my good buddy Vince Phillips on HBO, before covering his title unification efforts (vs. Miguel A. Gonzalez, Sharmba Mitchell and Zab Judah) from press row.
I was one of the few American boxing writers who confidently picked him to beat Judah in 2001 (yes, I’m proud of that) and I had no problem putting a check mark by his name when I saw it on the International Boxing Hall Fame’s most recent candidate ballot.
Sure, one can make an argument that Tszyu didn’t do enough to merit first-ballot induction, but I think it can be justified when his amateur accomplishments (the pinnacle of which was the 1991 world championships gold he took by defeating Vernon Forrest) are factored in with his professional achievements.
MONDAY MAILBAG COMMENTS
1. Yes, Calzaghe was underrated, as you know I've got manlove (not in a gay way but respect) for BHOP and he made BHOP want to quit, not literally, but he was laying down, crying, complaining, etc etc he didn't really want to fight, or couldn't keep up, he was overwelmed, and to do that to a fighter like BHOP is saying something. Especially when you look at his body of work after that. However, I think BHOP underestimated him, and wasn't right mentally for that fight. Remember, he didn't have Naz in his corner, but trained with Freddy Roach. Long story short, he was militant minded for Pascal and more like Mr. Rogers for Calzaghe.
2. Man, I really liked Pac a lot coming up, if you recall the first time we met was at his first fight with Morales. But the dude does not walk on water and it is sickening. People literally think he is a god. I haven't seen him do anything impressive since Cotto. This Marquez fight p*sses me off. I'm a late hater, I know you started the PBF hate, then the Pac hate with him fighting senior citizens and Top Rank retreads, I'm on the bus now. Looking at ALL of Pac’s victories including DLH are all suspect. Yes, I give him major respect for the DLH victory, I sure didn't give him a chance, but in retrospect we know the state of Oscar. The Hatton victory was amazing, but, Hatton looked like sh*t after PBF and was damn near KTFO by Lazcano I think in Britain before the ref stopped the action to give him a timeout to tie his shoes. Cotto was damn near killed by Margarito, then went life and death and probably lost to Clottey, definitely looked like sh*t, but gutted it out versus courage-lacking Clottey. So coming in Cotto was not the Cotto pre "stone fist" Margarito. The Pac fights Clottey, I won't even comment on that. Then Margarito, I know I don't need to tell you about that. I actually gave Mosley a shot, more of an emotional pick. Pac did not look good against Clottey, Mosley, got touchup up by Margarito, couldn't put him away like Mosley, couldn't catch up to Cotto when he was moving or when he jabbed the first 3 rounds. I know, I know, I say Floyd beats the brakes off of Pac when they fight.
3. In regards to Pac fighting Tim Bradley, F*ck Tim Bradley!
4. Yes, PBF coming back from 16 months of inactivity and using Ortiz as a tune up is very impressive. That dude comes back from long lay offs razor sharp! You've got to give him credit for that. Once again, when the two of them are fighting, he is fighting the better guy. Last time, Pac had Clottey, PBF had Mosley. This time PBF has Ortiz, Pac has Marquez. Is there any doubt about the outcome of this fight at all? None, zilch, nada, any other language or phrase you can come up with. — JCB
Thanks for writing in JCB, I’ll respond to your comments in the order you gave them:
1) I think Hopkins was just as focused for Calzaghe as he was for Pascal. Calzaghe is just a better overall fighter than the Canadian, and maybe it wasn’t Nard’s night when he faced the Welshman. (I recall hearing something about Hopkins suffering a thyroid condition during the time of the Calzaghe fight; you might want to look into that with a Google search.) But I don’t think it’s in his nature to underestimate an opponent. He knew Calzaghe was for real and he looked sharp and focused in the gym prior to that fight. You’re wrong about Richardson not being a part of that camp. Naazim was there, but he was still recovering from his stroke, so Roach was the head trainer. Perhaps, there were too many coaches in that camp. Hopkins was getting instructions from Roach, Richardson and John David Jackson.
2) I agree with a lot of your Pacquiao thoughts. I really haven’t cared much for Pacquiao since the Cotto fight. I had very little interest in the Cottey bout. I didn’t bother being there live for his fights with Margz and Mosley. I knew that even if both vets brought their best, they would still lose to the little dynamo. At least Marga-cheato tried and was willing to take that ass whipping for 12 rounds. I don’t want to give Mosley any more s__t than he’s already had to eat following his disappointing effort vs. Pac. However, if you’re not going to give Pacquiao credit for De La Hoya because “in retrospect we knew the state he was in,” perhaps Mayweather shouldn’t get credit for dominating Mosley seeing how faded and listless he looked in his next two bouts. I don’t think Mayweather can “beat the brakes” off of Pac. Maybe he can out-box the Pinoy badass, but I think if he really thought he could dominate Pacquiao he would have taken the fight by now. I think he’s a little freaked about how bad Pacquiao is able to hurt these big, strong welterweights like Cotto, Margz, and Shane. Yeah, all three were used up to different degrees before they stepped in with Manny, but Cotto and Mosley had never been hurt so bad they wanted to run for the rest of the fight (or even quit on their stool). And Margarito never had his ass beat up so bad as Pacquiao beat it. That s__t has got to be weighing on Mayweather’s mind when he considers all the money he could make with that fight. I think he’s biding his time, waiting for Pacquiao to show some sign of vulnerability before he agrees to the mega-bout.
3) LOL. Don’t hate too much on Timmy, he’s basically playing Floyd’s game. Now maybe he hasn’t earned the right to do that, but it still might work out for him in the end.
4) I think both Manny and Floyd should win their next fight, however, Pac’s opponent (Marquez) had no shot and Mayweather’s (Ortiz) has some shot. So, Mayweather gets more respect from me on this one. I’ll put it this way, I’ll actually bother to cover his fight.
HOF PAST, AND CHAVEZ JR. HATING
Where would you rank this years Hall Of Fame class in relation to past group inductees? I'm just wondering how long its been since such a monster class was inducted?
He preyed on a fastly fading Chavez early in his reign, but how would a prime Tszyu had fared against say, the version of J.C Superstar who stopped Meldrick Taylor in their first classic encounter? I think Chavez stops him late in a hostile war…
A lot of my boxing friends are calling me crazy for thinking Froch has a shot against Ward. Dare I say that Ward might be the most overrated star in the sport at the moment? Fans keep getting more and more excited with each win and there is certainly a lot to be excited about. I just don't think the gap between himself and Ward & Froch is as wide as others seem to believe and has he really beat a legit contender since dismantling Kessler?
I also don't buy into the hardcore fans flat out hate of Chavez Version 2.0. It's not like his handlers or Chavez Jr himself are trying to pass himself off as the next Jake LaMotta. He is what he is, should they not use the fact that he is the son of one of the sports most endearing legends? I'm guessing Cotto will get his revenge (and another nice payday) against Margarito before Arum feeds him to Chavez Jr? I know a lot of fans think Cotto would roll over Chavez Jr, but I think Chavez's size and Cotto's wear and tear are the keys to that fight. I guess by then Top Rank has to hope Sergio Martinez gets hit by a bus, lol…
It's a shame about the Top Rank-Golden Boy Cold War, hopefully the recent positive overtures we've seen via Twitter are signs of change. Can u imagine Alvarez-Chavez Jr in Mexico two years from now, both of the undefeated an perhaps holding a alphabet trinket?
Who is a bigger long shot in your eyes? Adamek against Vitali or Haye against Wladamir? Also would the challengers have had a better chance against each other’s opponents? — Tom G.
I think Adamek is a slightly longer shot than Haye, because he doesn’t have a puncher’s chance against Big Bro. I do think the former cruiserweight champs would have a better chance against each other’s Klitschko. Haye has the speed and athleticism to give Vitali trouble and Adamek is rugged enough to take Wladdy’s heat long enough to get inside and do some damage to the bigger man’s body.
Forget Chavez-Alvarez going to Mexico. I want the Mexican un-Civil War to land in my neck of the woods, either in Dodger Stadium or The Home Depot Center’s soccer stadium.
I agree with your thoughts on Chavez Jr. Arum & company are not billing the kid is a world beater. Anyone who wants to see him fight Martinez probably gets off on watching baby seals get clubbed to death. That’s not a fight. It’s a God-awful, one-sided beat down. Junior might be protected and privileged but he’s not a bad guy. He doesn’t deserve a career-ending beating at age 25. Hardcore fight fans need to get a grip. There are mature potential middleweight contenders for Martinez to fight, who are better skilled and harder punchers than Junior. Let’s give Golovkin, Peter Quillin and Dmitry Pirog a couple fights each to finish their seasoning and I think they can give good accounts of themselves against the champ next year.
I agree that the winner of Cotto-Margarito II (don’t count the TJ Tornado out) will be ripe for Chavez Jr.’s picking.
I agree with your thoughts on Ward-Froch. That’s going to be a good fight. I don’t think Ward is overrated in terms of his ability and potential, but I do think he’s a little overrated in terms of his current pound-for-pound ranking and how many fans and media rate him against other super middleweights.
This hall of fame has more star power than any other that I can recall, and the entrants are pretty accomplished too. Chavez has the numbers of a Golden Age fighter. Tyson was awe-inspiring during his short prime, and aside from his hiccup against Vince Phillips, Tszyu’s pro career was amazing.
I agree that the prime Chavez would have probably stopped Tszyu in the late rounds of a brutal encounter. Tszyu was murder against boxers who liked to operate from a distance but hardasses who put constant pressure on him and kept hammering away (Phillips and Hatton) are the fighters who eventually broke him down. But it sure wasn’t easy.