Where is your mailbag? – Matthias, Germany
Holy crap! I totally forgot to compile and post my Friday mailbag last night. I guess my hands are fuller than I realize out here in Las Vegas for the Canelo Alvarez-Erislandy Lara fight because all I was thinking about yesterday was covering the final press conference, writing up my feature with the Mexican/Cuban boxing traditions angle, and then editing and posting all the articles that were waiting for me in my inbox and RingTV.com pubtool from my buddy Lem Satterfield, your buddy Francisco Salazar, and the great Corey Erdman; not to mention exclusive video from “the-and-only” Bill Emes.
I’m not blaming my brain lapse on RingTV contributors, I’m just admitting that I’m human (and getting old, and a tad punchy, LOL).
Anyway, thanks for the wake-up call and sorry about the very late mailbag.
RESPECT FOR CANELO AND LARA
What’s up my man, it’s been a while since I’ve e-mailed, I’ve been a longtime reader and have been following you since the House of Boxing days, keep up the great work.
I remember a few years ago thinking Canelo Alvarez was just a hype job, but now I look forward to his fights and even pay for his pay per views with my hard earned cash. I guess he’s earned my respect by taking tough fights. Maybe I have bought into the hype but I don’t see Erislandy Lara beating him. I respect Lara and know that he is a good boxer but I can’t seem to get the fight with Alfredo Angulo out of my head. I know he looked great against Austin Trout but I keep thinking back to him hitting the deck twice, and how he looked to be in trouble before landing that straight left. When Canelo fought Angulo he looked like he didn’t even belong in the same ring. I guess what it comes down to in my mind is if Angulo can catch and hurt Lara I’m thinking Canelo who is much faster and much sharper puncher (maybe not as heavy handed) shouldn’t have a problem tagging Lara.
I know Lara is tough and won’t quit so I’m going with Canelo, let’s say in the 9th. I know styles make fights but I think Canelo has too much firepower for Lara. I actually called Froch in 8 and Cotto in 10 but I guess it doesn’t mean s__t if you don’t have it in writing so here it is. If Lara does pull it off I wouldn’t be too upset, he seems like a nice guy, and who could use a few extra pay days with 5 kids. Taker easy Doug! – Catfish
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Canelo-Lara and for following me since the Dark Ages of internet boxing, LOL.
I will have nothing but respect for the winner and the loser of tomorrow night’s showdown, especially if the fight goes the way I think it might. Canelo is a star with superstar potential, and the sport can always use another bona-fide attraction; Lara is a consummate professional and craftsman willing to face anyone who is willing to face him. The Cuban southpaw will gain more fan and crossover respect if he wins on Saturday and boxing should welcome another worthy high-profile player.
Kudos for calling the round in the Froch-Groves rematch and Cotto-Martinez. I see a distance fight tomorrow night, but Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times also envisions Canelo stopping Lara in Round 9, and he’s usually right with his predictions, so we’ll see what happens. If you get this one right be sure to email me after the fight so I can publicly call you a “boxing expert” (and forward your contact information to Elie Seckbach, so the intrepid “embedded correspondent” can track you down and put you on the spot for the next big fight).
Personally, I’m not putting too much into Alvarez’s and Lara’s fights with Trout and Angulo. I don’t think Lara was mentally 100 percent for Angulo (who he overlooked like most of us did) and I don’t think Trout was 100 percent for Lara (after having his bubble burst by Canelo).
Both Alvarez and Lara have strengths they can use to score points and to put hurt on the other, and both have flaws that can be exploited. I think both junior middleweights are 100-percent focused and supremely confident going into tomorrow night’s pay-per-view main event and it will be very hard to discourage or overwhelm either man. I can see both men getting rocked or buzzed more than once during the fight but I envision a distance bout with ebbs and flows. I think Alvarez’s snappy and heavy handed combination punching, plus his ability to stake command of the center ring thanks to his greater fight-night weight and physical strength, will enable him to earn more rounds on the official judges’ scorecards and win a decision by scores of 115-112 and 116-111 (I think he’ll drop Lara once).
BUD CRAWFORD, CANELO-LARA
I’m a first time writer and have been reading for the past few years, and I’ve learned a lot from you. I respect your opinion a lot and always find that you have the right perspective on how you see how the fight will turn out (don’t always agree, but still, you’re on point).
Okay now for some fights, I think that Terrence Crawford is the truth. Yes, I saw a KO for him from the moment the Yuriorkis Gamboa fight was signed. I just didn’t see Gamboa winning it. He was always questionable to me. When everyone was gushing over him, and I did for a short time, I saw his wide punches but he managed to really cover it behind his speed. He also moved up a lot in weight, but I was really surprised that he managed to keep his speed. That did surprise me, and the long time away from the ring and those previous fights he didn’t exactly looked so hot in those fights. And I’ve always been suspect of his chin. Also leaky defense, he relies too much on his athleticism. So I wasn’t so surprise there, but it was a very good fight.
I still see Crawford being a world-class talent. A fight with Miguel Vasquez (Titere) would be boring as hell, but it’ll sure be the deciding fight on who would be the 135-pound division’s real champ. Mikey Garcia, in my opinion should be kept away from him. Crawford can win some big fights at 140 pounds in my opinion.
Now for the fight this weekend, I’m picking Canelo. Lara has been severely overrated. People make him out to be Mayweather, or his fellow countryman Guillermo Rigondeaux. I know I shouldn’t do triangle theories but if a slow-as-molasses as Alfredo Angulo can connect and put Lara in real trouble, I think that a faster fighter like Canelo, who has good boxing technique, will beat Lara. But again Alvarez did have lots of trouble against Trout, where Lara had an easy time with Trout. And also I view as Saul as the “Mexican Broner,” in that Canelo has cinder blocks on his feet. The Mayweather fight proved it to me, I don’t think it was his plan to out box Floyd, but he had to try that. Mayweather made Canelo box because of his distance and ability to keep away and not stay in the same place. Nevertheless, I still think Canelo will win.
Well that’s all I have for now, hopefully you’ll like this enough and post it but either way I just hope you do read it and maybe get your opinion. Have a great Friday and great weekend watching the fight. – Jesus from El Paso, TX
I will, Jesus, and I’m sure I’ll enjoy watching the fights tomorrow night (I’m doing the international broadcast with veteran commentator Dave Bontempo).
I agree (to an extent) that Lara is overrated; and that Alvarez is a bit flat footed and immobile. I don’t doubt Lara’s skill, athletic ability or ring generalship, but I think certain members of Twitter Nation make him out to be a pound-for-pound-level boxer and claim that the Cuban lefty should be undefeated. I disagree with those notions. Lara has yet to really shine against a truly world-class opponent (and I’m sorry, “elite boxers” don’t go life-and-death with Angulo). Yes, he was robbed in his sole loss against Paul Williams, but he was lucky to get a draw against Carlos Molina and the technical draw against Vanes Martirosyan was deserved because neither junior middleweight got anything done in that stinker. (I should also note that Lara was getting P-Will immediately after the towering southpaw had been KTFO by Sergio Martinez, and that Molina had been out of the ring for two years, yet Lara failed to take over both bouts.)
Alvarez moves about the ring OK but he’s certainly not light on his feet or a smooth lateral mover. He’s not a pressure fighter, either, which is one of the reasons I don’t read too much into Lara’s struggle with Angulo, the quintessential come-forward brawler. Alvarez is a semi-mobile boxer-puncher and he’s going to need his power and superior punch selection to beat Lara.
Regarding Crawford, I’ve been sold on him since he beat Ricky Burns. I had to go with Bud over Gamby. I’ve never been crazy about “Super Flea.” I agree that Crawford vs. Vazquez would give the sport a real lightweight champion but I’d rather see “Bud” in good fights. Give me Crawford vs. Ray Beltran and Henry Lundy and Rustam Nugaev, or fellow beltholder Omar Figueroa Jr. (if the Cold War bulls__t can be worked out).
What up Dougie?
I just wanted to write in to say “No. No. No.” to a proposed Manny Pacquiao vs. Chris Algieri fight. I have nothing against Algieri, but he needs to build himself up a little more in order to headline a PPV fight. Let him defend his new title a couple times against good opposition first. Top Rank puts on pretty weak undercards on pay per view as it is, and if this fight happens, it better have (and will definitely need) one hell of a supporting cast of fights in order for it to be worth buying. I can’t see anyone wanting to purchase it. Yes I know you can say die-hard Pac fans would still buy it, but what about the rest of the boxing world? Pacquiao only has a few fights left in him, and though this fight would probably be competitive, it still is a disappointment for the rest of us. Am I alone in thinking this? Frustrated. – Andy, Va. Beach
Nope, you’re not alone. Pacquiao’s rather shallow opponent pool thanks to the division between Top Rank/HBO fighters and Golden Boy Promotions/Al Haymon/Showtime fighters has done more than frustrate hardcore fans – it’s disillusioned them.
Who wouldn’t want to see Pacquiao challenged by former sparring partner and fellow 147-pound beltholder Shawn Porter, or by 140-pound champ Danny Garcia, or by Lucas Matthysse? (I’m not going to mention You-Know-Who, that goes without saying.) However, due to the Cold War, the only elite boxers who are available for PacMan to fight are Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley – and we’ve seen those fights. We want new fights.
Algieri may not be elite or even established beyond hardcore fans, some of whom think he should have lost to Provodnikov, but at least the college grad is new. He’s definitely something different and might make for a refreshing 24/7 series and HBO/Top Rank promotion, but he’s not going to make for a must-see PPV event.
I’ll be happy for Algieri if he gets the shot at Pacquiao. I think he’s a good ambassador for the sport and also an underrated boxer-fighter. I also think he can give Pacquiao problems. However, like you, I won’t be super excited about that fight/event if it’s made.
BEST MEXICAN, CUBAN & IRISH BOXER OF ALL TIME
Hey Dougie man, what’s up? I suppose I better present you with your deserved applause for producing such a riveting and informative mailbag. They really do brighten up my Mondays and Fridays and provide me with ten minutes of sheer glee. Also your boxing knowledge is very impressive and you seem to predict fights very accurately.
Saturday nights fight between Alvarez and Lara is a captivating clash. I know your predicting an Alvarez victory but could you please elaborate on how he’ll achieve this.
Could you also give you opinion on just how far both Alvarez and Lara can go in the sport, and where do they rank in your personal pound for pound list.
Also due to the weekend’s clash having a very Mexican feel could you please offer your thoughts on the greatest Mexican boxer of all time. Could you also give your number one Cuban pro boxer of all time?
What do you think about the proposed Pacquaio-Algeiri fight? Has Algeiri really done enough to deserve such an opportunity, and can he make it competitive?
The Carl Frampton-Kiko Martinez fight was announced this week. I just want to get you opinion on who will emerge victorious in this rematch and would also love your opinion on Frampton as a fighter.
Being Irish I’d love to know your top Irish fighter of all time.
Some mythical and not so mythical match ups:
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Vasyll Lomachenko
Guillermo Regondeaux vs Floyd Mayweather (jr lightweight version)
Steve Collins vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr
Barry Mcguigan vs Nonito Donaire
Barry Mcguigan vs Carl Frampton
Julio Cesar Chavez vs Manny Pac (lightweight)
Julio Cesar Chavez vs Mayweather Jr
Thomas Hearns vs Mayweather Jr
Alvarez vs Peter Quillin
Keep up the good work. – Donal in Co. Cork
Thanks for sharing your questions and for the kind words, Donal. You – and other fight fans – don’t have to “applaud” me at the start of every email you send me. There are plenty of hardcore fans who think my boxing knowledge is average and that my ability to pick a winner flat-out sucks, and those people are more than welcome to send me an email for the mailbag.
Having said that, I think I have been on a decent prediction run, lately, especially with “50-50” matchups. I picked Lomachenko over Russell Jr. and Crawford over Gamby. I got Alvarez over Lara. Why? I’ll make it real simple: I think Canelo will land more punches and the harder punches over the distance, and I think he will hurt Lara more than Lara is able to hurt him. I also think Lara will move his feet as much as he does his hands, and I don’t think the judges will give him credit for that.
How far can each man go in the sport? I think Alvarez can be a superstar, the biggest PPV attraction in boxing after Floyd Mayweather and Pacquiao hang up their gloves. I think Lara can establish himself as a pound-for-pound player and Showtime headliner. Of course, both have to win on Saturday to be on their way to realizing that potential.
Neither Alvarez nor Lara is in my personal P4P top 10.
The greatest Mexican boxer of all-time honor has to go to Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. He’s not the best-skilled boxer or the most talented from Mexico, but he’s the most accomplished. Ruben Olivares, Carlos Zarate, Salvador Sanchez, Finito Lopez, Miguel Canto, Vicente Saldivar, Marquez, Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales make up the rest of Mexico’s top 10 (not necessarily in that order).
The greatest Cuban boxer of all time in my opinion is Kid Gavilan, followed by his fellow hall-of-fame-enshrined former welterweight champs Jose Napoles and Luis Rodriguez. Hall of fame-enshrined former featherweight champs Kid Chocolate and Sugar Ramos, and former 130-pound beltholder and lightweight champ Joel Casamayor, are also on my list.
The greatest Irish boxer of all time has to be hall-of-fame-enshrined former welterweight champ Jimmy McLarnin, a standout who fought the best of the 1920s and ‘30s. Honorable mention goes to hall of famers Jack Sharkey and Rinty Monaghan, as well as Steve Collins and Wayne McCullough.
What do I think about the proposed Pacquaio-Algeiri fight? I’m not really giving it much thought. There are much better MADE matchups – such as Canelo-Lara, Rios-Chaves and Porter-Brook – that have my attention.
Has Algeiri really done enough to deserve such an opportunity? No. Can he make it competitive? Yes.
I think Frampton will win his rematch with Martinez but it will be a much tougher fight with the IBF 122-pound belt on the line and the momentum the Spaniard brings into the fight. But Frampton is for real. I think he’ll match Kiko’s pressure and land with more technique and power en route to a close decision win.
Your potential/mythical matchups:
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Vasyl Lomachenko – Loma outmaneuvers Rigo to a close decision (that the Cubaphiles among Twitter Nation refuse to accept)
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Floyd Mayweather (jr lightweight version) – What? The junior lightweight version of Mayweather crushes Rigo, who is a junior featherweight. Are you talking about some kind of pound-for-pound matchup where weight isn’t a factor? If that’s the case, they cancel each other out and box to a unanimous draw that has “purists” creaming in their pants and normal fans falling asleep and changing the channel.
Steve Collins vs Julio Cesar Chavez Jr – Colling by close decision
Barry McGuigan vs Nonito Donaire – McGuigan by decision
Barry McGuigan vs Carl Frampton – McGuigan by decision
Julio Cesar Chavez vs Manny Pac (lightweight) – Chavez by decision
Julio Cesar Chavez vs Mayweather Jr – Chavez by decision (at 130, 135 and 140; Mayweather by decision at 147)
Thomas Hearns vs Mayweather Jr – Oh come on, man, do you even have to ask?
Alvarez vs Peter Quillin – Alvarez by decision
WOULD YOU GO TO EUROPE?
So we have a rematch of a previous entertaining match, but I thought Mayweather won easily. The rounds that were close was only close, because Floyd decided to fight in the pocket and not because he had too. Therefore, the rematch will be far worse. So on to the “surprise” next May! Are we heading to Wembley Stadium? If so, against who? Will Amir Khan have to fight the winner out of Brooks and Porter or will his next match be closer to what we are getting from Danny Garcia and what’s his face? Khan and Thurman would be too dangerous, huh? I’m kinda excited about what’s leading up to May. You know Al is playing chess.Now suppose Brooks and Khan win their next matches. How do you see them tested against each other and against Floyd in May? And would you fly to Europe for this one? – Dread Draper
I’m definitely down to make the trip to the UK for a mega-fight. I won’t believe that Mayweather is willing to fight outside of Las Vegas – never mind the U.S. – until he actually announces it. Floyd hasn’t fought outside of Vegas since beating up on poor “Shot-bay” Mitchell in Portland, Oregon back in November 2005 and I don’t expect anything different from him, despite his little hints here and there.I slightly favor Brook over Khan if the two British stars ever meet and I think both Brits could give Mayweather a competitive fight but I don’t think they have what it takes to beat the future hall of famer. Brook lacks experience and Khan’s shaky chin is a liability.I don’t know if it’s in the works but I think it would be great if Khan, who doesn’t currently have a fight scheduled, fought the Porter-Brook winner. I think he needs to soundly beat a current 147-pound beltholder to get the boxing world behind his goal of challenging Mayweather. I wouldn’t be surprised if Khan pushes for a fight with the Porter-Brook winner, and though I agree that Thurman is a dangerous customer, I wouldn’t put it past Khan to fight him, either. Khan’s never shown any fear of taking on the best fighters in his division. Regarding Mayweather-Maidana II, I don’t buy Floyd’s line that he chose to fight Chino in the manner he did in the first bout to appease the fans (please!). I just think it had been awhile since he fought a swarming slugger and it took him some time to acclimate to Maidana’s attack. Obviously, he’ll be more prepared for it the second time around and will do the right things to neutralize Maidana’s offense earlier in the rematch. I think Mayweather will take care of business in clearer fashion in September.
Email Fischer at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer