CANELO VS. CHAVEZ
What’s up Dougie,
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. got schooled like most of us thought he would, but he put up a hell of a fight and, in my opinion, raised his stock and credibility (if only a little). He showed tremendous heart in that last round and looks like he’s here to stay if he realizes he needs discipline.
Saul “Canelo” Alvarez beat down a smaller Josesito Lopez like we all expected him to as well. Now he wants Floyd Mayweather, really? I think that in defeat Chavez Jr. made a better case that he is the better young Mexican star because he stepped up in competition and had a world class fighter on the brink at the end. I say they have a tune up bout and then fight each other on 5 de Mayo, because neither one of them wants anything to do with Andre “Oakland Raider” Ward.
What do you think, Dougie? – Miguel, LBC
I think you’re being a little hard on Alvarez. You’re acting like he and his handlers went right after Lopez for the opponent for his first U.S. headliner. The original opponent (for what was intended to be a pay-per-view event) was Paul Williams. And I think we can all agree that Williams was not a “small” junior middleweight. After P-Will’s tragic motorcycle accident, James Kirkland was targeted to be Canelo’s B-side. And while Kirkland certainly has his flaws, I think we can all agree that the Texas tornado is an offensive force and a legitimate threat to any 154-pound fighter. When Kirkland declined, Victor Ortiz was tabbed – and more than a few fans and boxing writers thought the former welterweight beltholder could test Canelo with his speed and power – but we know what happened to that proposed matchup.
So, I hope you can forgive me for forgiving Alvarez for fighting Lopez. The Mexican star was willing to fight three big, strong experienced southpaws who can punch. I’m not going to blame him for those bouts falling out. And I can’t fault Lopez for rolling the dice and accepting the fight. I thought he could be competitive with the red head. I was wrong because Alvarez is stronger than I gave him credit for and he continues to improve his technique and ring generalship.
It doesn’t bother me at all that Alvarez called out Mayweather. He’s unbeaten, 22 years old, he holds a major 154-pound title, and has an adoring fan base. Why wouldn’t he feel invincible? (Hell, I thought I was invincible when I was 22 and I hadn’t accomplished jack s__t, couldn’t fight at all and nobody knew me or thought I could do anything.)
Look at it from Canelo’s perspective. He’s only going to get better from here on out. Mayweather is only going to get older. And remember: Floyd fights once a year. If they don’t fight next year, they’ll tangle in 2014 – when Mayweather is 37 (or near that age). Floyd has already slowed down. Father Time and inactivity are taking their toll on the self-proclaimed G.O.A.T.
If they fought in December or next May, I would pick Mayweather in a heartbeat and I’d expect the American vet to take Canelo to school. But if they fight at any point after 2013, I gotta like the young man’s chances.
You can forget about a Chavez-Canelo showdown. They are backed by rival promoters (Top Rank and GBP), rival Mexican TV networks (TV Azteca and Televisa), even rival Mexican beer companies (Tecate and Corona). The people behind Chavez think he’s the biggest Mexican draw in the States. The folks behind Canelo think the same thing of the redhead. There are too many heated egos at the negotiating table and if Mayweather-Pacquiao has taught us anything it’s that too many egos spoil the fight.
On Chavez performance on Saturday, I thought Junor gave Martinez too much respect over the first half of the fight. He didn’t press the champ for three minutes of every round, never really let his hands go, and he failed to cut the ring off. I give him credit for taking all those sharp punches from Martinez, but he backed off a little too much for a guy with his size and strength advantages.
Had Junior pressed Martinez harder in the early rounds he could have worn the 37-year-old vet down enough to score that dramatic knockdown BEFORE the final round.
Chavez definitely has considerable potential if he can dedicate himself to the sport the way a world-class fighter is supposed to, but he’s 26 years old with almost 50 pro bouts under his belt. If he hasn’t discovered discipline yet what makes you think he ever will?
EPIC NIGHT (I’LL TRY TO BE BRIEF)
Second, holy s__t, Josesito. I actually disliked him coming into the fight. I thought the broken jaw was a lucky break (that injury almost always is, usually comes from the victim getting caught with his mouth open), and I thought he gave himself too much credit for it after the Ortiz fight. Then, Saturday night happened. It’s fitting Paul Malignaggi was announcing, because just like Paulie (another fighter I initially hated), Josesito’s got my respect for life. I wouldn’t say I’m a “fan” in the traditional sense, but I’ll tune in to watch him, and I’ll always defend his integrity as a fighter. Anyone who’s taken or given serious body shots knows what it took for him to get up from those (TWICE). That’s a tough kid.
Third, (and I’m sure this is unpopular) I don’t think Chavez deserves any credit for what he did Saturday. In a lot of ways, he was a cruiserweight in there with a junior middleweight. He got his ass beaten – bad – for twelve rounds by a 37-year-old monster, then celebrated his performance because he was able to put a guy he had 30 lbs on, on the mat. Chavez has got to be the poster child for unwarranted self esteem. I’d love to see Golovkin (another smallish middleweight) stretch his re-hydrated cruiserweight body inside of six rounds. Hopefully the 12th round has convinced Martinez and his fans that he’s got no business in the ring with Andre Ward at 168.
Fourth, I’ve never been a fan, but isn’t it amazing how much Daniel Ponce De Leon has improved as a boxer? He started with all the finesse and technique of a Sam Peter, and now he’s something of a mobile boxer-puncher . . . kind of like a slower, poor man’s Pacquiao. Good for him.
Fifth, Marcos Maidana needs to lose his jab. Yes, in theory a jab is a good thing. But, when you have almost no defense at mid-range, and you’re a natural puncher, you need to play your strong suit consistently. The level of heat that came back at Maidana when he was trying to box was much higher than what was coming back when he was banging. The fear opponents have of his power is the best defense Maidana will ever have. He’ll do no better as a “boxer” than Vargas, Gatti, or Brewster did with the transition.
Sorry for the numbered list, sometimes it’s the quickest though. Take care. – Todd
No need to apologize, Todd. I like numbered points in the longer emails to the mailbag, it makes it easier for me to answer every question.
First, I agree that it was a good idea for Golden Boy Promotions to put up the $100,000 bonus (won by Canelo) and I hope it’s a concept that they continue with other cards that feature three or four co-main events. (I also think it was classy of GBP to cut $25,000 checks for the other participants on the card to reward their efforts.)
I also agree that the referees were on point at the MGM Grand. Kenny Bayless stepped in to save Jesus Soto Karass at just the right time and Joe Cortez, an official I’ve been very critical of in the past, made his final refereeing gig a good one by allowing Lopez to show the world how determined he was without allowing the young man’s pride and guts to get him seriously hurt.
Gonzalez fought the way I expected him to. Like you noted, he was always a sharp shooting boxer-puncher. Now that he’s with Nacho Beristain, I expected him to be even more cautious and reserved with his power punching. He was, and it cost him (although, I must point out that I disagreed with the lopsided scorecards in favor of De Leon; I thought the bout was up for grabs going into the eighth).
Second, Lopez is as tough as a prize fighter gets. It was smart of Alvarez to tap Josesito’s body because the pride of Riverside can take monster shots to the jaw. I don’t know how Lopez got up from those first two knockdowns. Those were well-placed, powerful hooks to the liver area of his body. Those are the kind of punches that temporarily paralyze and severely weaken most fighters. Lopez somehow fought back while dealing with that agonizing pain (and I know from my days of sparring how devastating body shots can be). Lopez had my respect going into the fight and even more so now. I’m looking forward to watching him fight at welterweight next year.
Third, Chavez basically showed us the same toughness and balls against Martinez that Lopez did against Canelo. The only difference is that he was the bigger man in the ring, while Josesito was the smaller man in his fight. I give more credit to Lopez. I agree that Martinez has no business fighting Ward, who would have the same size and strength advantages that Chavez did but with equal speed and intelligence and better technique. And we all know that Ward would enter the ring 100% focused and in tip-top shape.
Fourth, De Leon has definitely improved as a boxer. Still, calling him a poor man’s Pacquiao is almost insulting to the Filipino icon. The Mexican lefty is a homeless man’s PacMan but he can still make for entertaining fights at 126 pounds. Who wouldn’t want to watch Orlando Salido vs. De Leon?
Fifth, I thought Maidana did OK with the jab (and even praised him for it on the international broadcast). I guess I should go back and take a look at the fight. I agree that for the most part a natural born slugger should not try to box (too much) and Gatti and Brewster are prime examples of that rule. Both men were at their best when they were on seek-and-destroy missions in the ring. I thought Vargas was at his best when he was an aggressive technician. I didn’t like when he tried to be a pure bomber. He was at his best when he was working his jab and carefully cutting off the ring. When Feroz wasn’t jabbing, he wasn’t winning.
Have to ask: What if that had been a 15 rounder? – Kevin Key, Minneapolis, MN
Junior probably would have taken Martinez out. Sergio should thank his lucky stars that the championship distance is now 12 rounds. Chavez Jr. was probably not conditioned to fight hard for 15 rounds, but the Argentine southpaw was on wobbly legs and looked like he was coming apart at the seams in the final minute of the 12th. I think Chavez would have finished him if there was a 13th round.
The 15-round championship distance was the bane of talented boxers and the saving grace for tough, strong grinders and plodding-but-determined punchers.
Billy Conn would have won the heavyweight championship of the world had his first title bout with Joe Louis been scheduled for 12 rounds instead of 15.
Ray Robinson would have outpointed light heavyweight champ Joey Maxim had their title bout been scheduled for 12 rounds.
Jersey Joe Walcott would have defended the title against Rocky Marciano had their heavyweight championship bout ended after 12 rounds.
Ray Leonard (who switched to stalking slugger mode during his first confrontation with Thomas Hearns) would have been outpointed by the Hitman (who switched to boxer mode during that 1981 classic) had their first fight been a 12 rounder.
Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. won a controversial 12th-round TKO over Meldrick Taylor, but had that fight been scheduled for 15 rounds, nobody would have complained about the stoppage because they all would have known there was no way the American speed demon could have survived another three rounds.
If Felix Trinidad had three more rounds to work with vs. Oscar De La Hoya the Puerto Rican star either would have won by a non-controversial decision or scored a late stoppage.
Had Jose Luis Castillo’s first lightweight title bout with Mayweather been scheduled for 15 rounds the Mexican likely would have won a close but comfortable unanimous decision.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Librado Andrade would have stopped Lucian Bute if their IBF super middleweight title bout had been scheduled for 15 rounds.
It has been a great weekend with fights enough to last for the rest of the year. And still, there are so many good fights to look forward to the coming month. It has been a great year for boxing! Seems like there are so many negative comments about how boxing is dead. Come on, are you guys watching the fights on Saturdays at all?
Anyway, I have a few questions I need to get off my chest. Hope you have the time to give be some good answers.
1.Do you think Saul Alvarez is ready to take on the winner of the Cotto vs. Trout-fight? He is still young and we haven’t really seen him meet a top-10 contender in his own weight class yet. I really like Erislandy Lara and I am looking forward to the fight with Vanes Martirosyan. Shouldn’t that winner be a better first step before taking on Mayweather or Cotto?
2. If Adrian Broner is to meet Antonio DeMarco, will that count as a RING Championship fight? What about the Juan Carlos Salgado vs. Yuriorkis Gamboa fight?
Keep jabbing! – Stefan, Stockholm
I’ll always make time for you, Stefan. I’ll answer your questions in order:
1. Yes, I think Canelo is ready for the Cotto-Trout winner. If Alvarez was fighting Cotto in December instead of Trout, I’d pick the Puerto Rican veteran to win but I think it would be a fight. Same deal with the American southpaw. However, if Alvarez fights the winner in 2013, I think he’s got a shot beating either fighter. He will have grown more (physically and technically) while Trout may have absorbed considerable punishment during his fight with Cotto and the Puerto Rican star may have enough mileage on his fighter’s odometer for me to give the young Mexican star good shot at winning. Bottom line: Time is on Canelo’s side.
2. If Broner challenges DeMarco in November THE RING’s lightweight title will not be on the line. DeMarco is our No. 1-rated lightweight. Broner is not ranked among THE RING’s lightweights. If Gamboa fights Salgado in November (it’s far from a done deal) THE RING’s junior lightweight bout will not be on the line. Gamboa is the magazine’s No. 1-rated featherweight but if he may be dropped from the ratings due to inactivity (his last fight, a technical decision over Daniel Ponce de Leon was more than a year ago). Salgado is THE RING’s No. 2-rated junior lightweight.
3. Trainers are either paid an agreed upon sum by the fighter (usually, but not always, paid after the fight) or they get a percentage of their boxer’s purse (the traditional amount is 10 percent).
4. I don’t think we’ll ever see Vazquez-DeMarco, but if the two Mexican lightweight titleholders do fight, THE RING’s vacant 135-pound belt would be on the line. DeMarco is rated No. 1; Vazquez is rated No. 2 by THE RING. I don’t think it would be a good fight. Vazquez has a very awkward, technical style. However, I think he’s the best 135 pounder in the world and I would pick him to beat both DeMarco and Broner.
5. I wasn’t all that impressed with Junior either. I thought he’s fight more effectively and actually win some of the middleweight rounds (without scoring a knockdown). I think Dre Dirrell would slap him silly for 12 rounds but Chavez would still be a threat – especially late in the fight – because of his size, durability and heavy hands.
The people who say boxing is dead either don’t follow the sport or they’re hardcore fans who are clinically depressed shut-ins and can only connect to outside world by tweeting their complaints and various delusions.
I watched the fight at a bar in San Francisco with a 2-1 ratio of Chavez to Martinez fans.
By the eighth round, I was the one talking the loudest. In the twelfth, the floor went ballistic.
I snuck out quietly a few minutes after the decision was announced.
What an epic finish!
Would you rather see an immediate rematch, or see an interim fight first, to see if Chavez can use the opportunity to learn the craft a little better? – Gopal
Smart move sneaking out the door after the decision, especially if you were talking s__t.
I’m not interested in watching a rematch. Chavez had one moment in the second half of the final round. That’s it. He’s no different from Librado Andrade in the first Lucian Bute fight, and my guess is that he would be dominated even more in a return bout, just like Andrade (although I don’t know if Martinez can stop him with a single body shot).
MARAVILLA TIME IS ALMOST OVER
I’ve never seen Martinez hurt like that and he has been in the ring with harder punchers. Without the weight, Chavez has mediocre power. I mean, Sergio took Kelly Pavlik’s shots and looked unfazed through most of his fight with Junior. I watched that 12th round again though and saw that Martinez’s legs were done before he even took a punch. Did he overtrain? Guess the body can’t take all that movement anymore. He looked gassed. Looks like Father Time is almost there. He has been getting hit too cleanly these last few fights. Chavez was getting beat up badly, but still landing haymakers that Sergio should have never been hit with.
I think there will be a rematch and Martinez will fight much smarter. If Chavez really opens up, I could see Junior getting hurt more. Just depends on how Maravilla plays it. He will probably fight much more cautious. He was fighting a “cruiserweight” as Roy Jones put it. Do you think Sergio got way too relaxed and just got caught? He tried to brawl in there too much and he looked very cocky… I mean he had no respect for the kid. I can’t blame him, because he was outclassing him badly, but still…I’m sure Sergio now has respect for the kid.
Oh, I don’t know that I want to see Martinez battle Gennady Golovkin, especially if Golovkin’s chin is as good as I’ve heard. I can still see him outboxing the guy, but it’s dangerous. Anyways, where do you think Sergio should go from here? I’d personally like to see a rematch then see Maravilla retire. – Mauro
I’d like to see Martinez either fight THE RING’s No. 1-contender, Daniel Geale, or drop down to 154 pounds (as Lou DiBella wants) and push for that megafight with Mayweather.
Chavez is the guy I want to see fight Golovkin because I think GGG does a much better impression of Chavez Sr. and I think the undefeated Kazakh is the only middleweight who can break down and knockout Junior.
I think a combination of things caught up to Martinez in that final round, mainly Chavez – who saw the opening for the big right hand that hurt the champ and took it – but also a lack of respect and overtraining. I think Martinez wanted this fight too much. He wanted to punish the kid too much when all he needed to do was box him the same way he boxed Pavlik.
It should be noted that he was down in the Pavlik fight and down in the first round of his first bout with Williams. He always gets up and fires back like the true champ he is. However, as you stated, I’ve never seen him that hurt and wobbly before (and I was ringside for his TKO loss to Antonio Margarito in 2000). I agree that Father Time is taking his toll on Maravilla.
I think Martinez is slowing down with age just as Pacquiao and Mayweather are. All three elite boxers may be retired for good by the start of 2015.
THE GHOST OF RICHARD STEELE
Show me how to Dougie!
Oh, so close for Chavez Jr. Gotta give Martinez credit for still trying to duke it out with Julio. He could have easily ran around or clinched during the final round, but he decided to give the crowd some drama. It could have cost him. Had Richard Steele been the referee, who knows? He might have stopped it & given the squeaker win to Chavez, but luckily no such controversy. Let the fighters finish to the end, especially if there are only a few seconds left. – Tommy 5-Star, San Diego, CA
Amen to that Tommy.
And I definitely give Martinez credit for getting up from his knockdown and letting his hands go instead of holding or running. Real champions close the show no matter what happens in the final round.
The final round would not have been as dramatic or exciting were Martinez not willing to duke it out and risk going out on his shield.
MARTINEZ-CHAVEZ & MALIGNAGGI
First I would like to say that Paulie Malignaggi did an EXCELLENT job as a broadcaster, I mean, really, excellent, and I wasn’t ever really a big fan of his. I take it that Antonio Tarver has been dropped since his steroid issues versus Lateef Kayote. They tried out Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson last week, but for Malignaggi’s first appearance he hit it out of the park. His insight was right on and his comments were on point. He was seeing things as if he were in the ring and explaining it from a fighters’ point of view real time.
Also, Roy Jones Jr. woke up this weekend and acted like he actually wanted his job and not like he just woke up from a nap and had to be forced to commentate.
On to the fight. That damn Martinez/Chavez fight was great. Martinez boxed his ears off and looked like he might stop him, but that Chavez has bricks in his f__king gloves! That 12th round, what the f__k? Martinez showed too much f__king balls for his own good in that final round and he was lucky to escape because I did not think he would make it. He tried standing and trading in the 12th when he clearly won every round, and when he got up, he never held. He wanted to FIGHT and get the KO – big balls, great fight, great fight.
I would actually be interested in the rematch. Not picking Chavez, but he basically waited for the punch he landed in the 12 for 12 rounds instead of letting his hands go and making it happen, he just waited for the perfect shot, and he almost pulled it off. But the first fight proved that Martinez can’t really HURT Chavez and Chavez can KTFO Martinez. Going into the rematch that is a huge factor, Chavez would have lots of confidence going in and let his hands go more and not wait and press him from bell to bell, and Martinez would box more from the outside, but I think Chavez would cut down the size of the ring in the rematch. I’d buy again.
Maidana looked good and deserved KO of the night.
F__k the Canelo fight! Not hating on him, but the fight was bulls__t, I like Lopez and I wish him the best. I hope he made a good payday to be a sacrificial lamb, and I don’t say that in any way disrespectful to him, he is all fighter and tried his all, but everyone knew the outcome when it was signed. I think that is why Cortez stopped it with NO TIME on the clock, everybody knew to watch him, because his balls were big and they would have to protect him from himself. – JCB
True warriors like Lopez are the main reason referees are needed. Sometimes they need to be saved from themselves. Josesito was going to go down swinging, but that wasn’t necessary in this matchup because of the size/strength disparity.
He got a good payday and couple million dollars worth of publicity from Showtime and Corona (which literally bought out every other billboard in my community). If fans didn’t know who Lopez was after the Ortiz fight, they certainly do now and they will be watching when he returns to the welterweight division where he belongs. Before the Ortiz and Canelo fights, Lopez was lucky if he could get on ESPN2. Now he’s a Showtime fighter and he could easily get on HBO if the right fight is made at 147 pounds.
I agree Maidana looked good (maybe the best I’ve seen him) and he deserved the KO of the night bonus.
I wasn’t as into the Chavez-Martinez fight as you were, but then again I didn’t watch it live – which is a completely different experience. I knew about the one-sided nature of the first 11 rounds and I knew about the dramatic finish, so the 12th round didn’t move me as much as it did those who watched live. (Still, it was exciting as hell – don’t get me wrong.)
But I think your take on the fight (that Chavez can hurt Martinez while the champ can’t hurt the young gun) is one that Arum will run with during the promotion to the rematch, which will definitely happen next year.
I’m glad that you and many other boxing fans were entertained by the middleweight championship.
I know I’m in the minority with this opinion, but I always appreciate RJJ’s boxing commentary, even when he’s sleepy or wearing his preacher’s robe.
I’ve known for a few years that Malignaggi is an incredible commentator and boxing analyst. (Broadcasters who have interviewed him on TV and radio in the U.S. and the UK all praise his talent in this area.) I worked with him during a live fight (the main event of one of the Fight Night Club shows last year or in 2010) and he was so on-point and engaging that I didn’t even have to say anything (and I’m sure viewers were grateful for that).
Paulie knows boxing, as many active and former fighters do, but he’s able to break it down to the lay person in an informative and entertaining manner. He’s smart, observant, and he’s got an animated personality that doesn’t shrink when the cameras are on. Those are good traits for a broadcaster. He’s got a real future in commentating if he wants it.
If you want to hear more of Malignaggi’s commentary watch the Golden Boy Live! series on Fox Sports Net whenever the show is from an East Coast location. Malignaggi is matched with veteran Dave Bontempo and they do a great job.
I thought “Too Sharp” did great job with the Matthysse-Ajose fight on Sept. 8 and I’d like to see him back. I was a big fan of Tarver’s commentary, too, so I hope he’s not gone for good. His hearing with the California commission will be on Oct. 8 and I’m guessing that the findings of that meeting will determine whether or not he returns to Showtime.
Hi Doug! I would like to commend you for this past week’s mailbags, they were really awesome! It pumped me up on the Martinez-Chavez/Lopez-Alvarez fights so I thought I’ll shoot you another email for the mailbag.
The Martinez-Chavez fight went the way many experts predicted the fight would go but that 12th round was really something! What were your thoughts when you saw Maravilla bringing the fight to Chavez when he could simply run away and counter his younger foe? Two contrasting thoughts came in to my mind:
1. Is he going for the knockout to make a huge statement and solidify his status as one of the elite fighters of this generation?
2. Is he taking this risk to show other big time fighters and promoters that he is beatable and vulnerable enough to bait them to fight him?
The Lopez-Alvarez fight was really exciting because Lopez was game all night long but I thought it wasn’t that competitive. Canelo was simply too big for the courageous junior welterweight as his powerful body shots were sucking the life out of Lopez.
My question is, do you think he deserved the “Knockout of the Night” that was given to him by the organizers? I really thought that Marcos Maidana should get the bonus because not only that he went through hell and back to beat Sotto-Karass but he also beat a very big welterweight while Alvarez easily outpointed an opponent that is 2 divisions smaller than him.
Lastly, some mythical match-ups considering they are at their primes:
Tito Trinidad vs. Sergio Martinez (154 lbs)
Thanks Doug and have a good day! Cheers! – Dinno, Philippines
Hey Dinno. My exact thoughts while watching Martinez fire back after being knocked down: “This is Martinez. His instincts are to get up and fight back when he’s dropped.”
When Martinez was knocked down by Williams in their first round of their first fight he got up and returned the favor by the end of the round (and he delivered a much harder knock down). When he was suffered a flash knockdown in the seventh round of challenge to Pavlik he immediately hopped up, tried to tell the ref that their feet got tangled, then shrugged his shoulders and let out a big grin as the ref finished his eight count.
When the fight resumed with a little over a minute left in the round, Martinez didn’t try to run out the clock. He went right back to popping his hard jab and firing straight lefts to Pavlik’s head and stomach. In fact, he was more aggressive in the last minute of that round than he had been in the previous two rounds, even to the point of running into more of Pavlik’s right hands.
So when he was dropped by Chavez and got up swinging, I don’t assume that he was gunning for a knockout. By the time they reached the 12th round, my guess is that he was satisfied with busting up the kid’s eyes and cheek bones over the previous 11 rounds and could live with a decision victory.
And I don’t think he was trying to look vulnerable to prospective opponents. I don’t think he had anything on his mind other than “get up and fight back.” It’s just what he does when he’s in that situation.
Had I voted on the KO of the Night at the end of the Knockout Kings broadcast my vote would have gone to Maidana. I wasn’t surprised at all that Alvarez got the majority of votes. He’s more popular than Maidana. (And it didn’t hurt that he’s a Mexican who was headlining a show held on Mexican Independence Day.) The fans who voted for the redhead weren’t thinking about how big his opponent was. They just have “Canelo fever,” and there’s nothing wrong with that.
I think Martinez at his absolute best at 154 pounds could outbox Trinidad, who I believe was at his best as a junior middleweight. Maravilla by narrow decision. However, if Tito got Maravilla in the kind of trouble Junior did you best believe he would have finished the Argentine.
Martinez easily decisions De La Hoya at 160 pounds. The Golden Boy was not a middleweight.
I’ll go with Calzaghe over Ward by close and controversial decision. The Welsh southpaw’s underrated footwork and incredible punch output would impress the judges, but not necessarily the fans or ringside media. (Don’t forget, Carl Froch was somehow awarded five rounds on two scorecards against Ward just by being game and busy. Calzaghe at his best at 168 pounds was just as tough and game as Froch but a far superior athlete.)
Email dougie at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @dougiefischer