Doug Fischer

Dougie’s Friday mailbag

NEXT FOR GGG, MAYWEATHER’S BEHAVIOR

Doug,

Two quick thoughts for you. 

First one, I enjoyed reading the comment from the fan that posted about Floyd Mayweather’s problems with women. Very insightful, and it’s unfortunate, but that’s where we are in society. When you are talented and considered the best upon the best then people and society caters to you. Do you think Floyd gets away with more because he is a star or because he mostly hits on black women? 

Secondly, I think Gennady Golovkin will win what should be somewhat of a test for him, but then what? It’s no doubt, that the guy is extremely talented; but 29 average opponents and 1 somewhat legit one can only keep attention for so long.  When is he going to go balls to the wall and make the best fight (against an opponent with some name recognition) no matter what? At 32, and not having the star power of a Manny Paquiao, Oscar De La Hoya, or Floyd Mayweather; this guy is using up his prime years and needs to figure out how he can become a cash cow rather quickly. What you think? – KJ

Golvkin may never become a “cash cow” in America. His introduction to the U.S. scene may have come too late into his pro career, and unlike Andre Ward, he doesn’t have a Super Six World Boxing Classic middleweight tournament to prove his mettle against the other top 160-pound fighters in the world right now.

Still, I think Golovkin is a well-preserved 32. He might have a good three-to-four years of his prime in which to make some significant noise.

Of course, he can’t do that without significant dance partners. Tomorrow’s fight with Daniel Geale at Madison Square Garden is a step in the right direction, though.

Geale is the first former world middleweight titleholder Golovkin has faced and the Australian veteran is a consensus top-five middleweight (ranked No. 2 by THE RING, No. 4 by Dan Rafael/ESPN.com, and No. 5 by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and Boxrec.com). Geale, a tough and resourceful contender, should provide us with a reliable gauge of Golovkin’s abilities on the “elite” scale. If Golovkin completely dominates Geale or blows the Aussie out of the water that would indicate that he’s the pound-for-pound level talent that some consider him to be.

Fighting in “the Mecca of Boxing” will also give us a good indication about Golovkin’s ability and potential to develop into a ticket seller/attraction. If he can draw a decent-sized crowd, he may have found a “home” in the media capital of the U.S., which could help him build into that “cash cow” you spoke of, as well as land big a name in the future.

Beyond Saturday, the plan for Golovkin is to unify major 160-pound titles. I think a partial unification showdown with unbeaten WBO beltholder Peter Quillin would be a marketable fight in NYC or in Brooklyn. However, network affiliations could complicate that potential matchup.

Golovkin says he’s willing to consider moving up to 168 pounds or dropping down to 154 (or close to it) for “pay-per-view” level fights. This is probably his best bet for making the transition from hardcore sensation to crossover star. But he needs a “Golden Boy.” Shane Mosley, Mayweather and Pacquiao (and even Bernard Hopkins to an extent) needed to beat De La Hoya in order to make the “golden transition” to boxing stars. Who’s gonna be GGG’s Golden Boy? There’s Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., but he already backed out of negotiations once. There’s Miguel Cotto, but the Puerto Rican star has a comparatively easier and much more lucrative option in Canelo Alvarez. There’s Andre Ward, but the undefeated super middleweight champ has promotional issues that are keeping him out of the ring for the time being. And finally, there’s Carl Froch, who is probably more willing to test his mettle vs. GGG than anyone else I’ve mentioned, but the UK star is aiming or Chavez Jr.

So where does that leave GGG? On the outside looking in for the time being, but that could all change by the second half of 2015.

All he has to do is keep winning and keep looking like a monster. The middleweight and super middleweight divisions will work themselves out. The Cold War might thaw out enough to allow Golden Boy-promoted Kid Chocolate to fight on HBO (thus freeing up a fight with GGG). The winners of Froch-Chavez and Canelo-Cotto might be willing to face him (if immediate rematches don’t make more sense). And Ward will eventually work things out with Dan Goossen.

Do I think Floyd gets away with more (battery and abuse) because he is a star or because he mostly hits on black women? Good (and very loaded) question (I seem to get a lot of these). I think the answer is both, which only means that our society is every bit as racist as it is misogynist (as if we didn’t already know this).

 

GGG MUST FACE ANDRE WARD

Hello Mr. Fischer,
Can someone explain to me why Gennady wasn’t held to his word? Golovkin said that he was willing to face anyone from 154lb to 168lb. When Andre Ward called him out, GGG didn’t accept.

Where’s the countability? Gennady is clearly afraid to risk his ‘0’ against Ward, yet no one says anything.

I’m rooting for Daniel Geale on Saturday. Thank you. – James Ranck

Click here for all of the Australian League Football theme songs. You can sing your favorite one while Geale gives it his best shot tomorrow night.

Regarding Golovkin’s “accountability,” yes, he did say he was willing to face anyone from junior middleweight to super middleweight. And if you talk to HBO executives (as I have), they will tell you, on the record, that Golovkin has not turned down a single fighter approved by the network to face him. They will also tell you, off the record, that GGG is the ONLY HBO fighter who is willing to face whoever they propose to him.

Regarding a potential Ward showdown, kudos to S.O.G for bringing up Golovkin as a potential opponent from the moment he beat Edwin Rodriguez (a super middleweight/light heavyweight that turned down a fight with GGG) last November. It sounded great at the time. The No. 1 super middleweight wanting to face the guy most industry folks (myself included) regard as the No. 1 middleweight.

However, Ward’s tenuous relationship with his promoter Dan Goossen, which was strained going into the Rodriguez fight, lasted less than a month after the HBO-televised bout. In early December, Ward sued Goossen to break free of his promotional contract, which extends through September 2015 (at least until then). It was the second time in 2013 that Ward tried to legally break from Goossen, and his career has stalled ever since.

Bottom line is this: Ward, who had hoped to be back in the ring in March or April, is unable to get a fight scheduled.

I’m not taking any sides in Ward’s conundrum, but I have no problem telling you that it’s pointless for him to “call out” anyone until he can work out some kind of arrangement with Goossen that will allow him to get back into the ring, and it’s silly for fans to be mad at Golovkin over Ward’s predicament.

 

SUCKER PUNCH

Hey Doug, thanks for the mailbags, I look forward to them every Monday/Friday!Man, I think Guillermo Rigondeaux just lost a big chunk of his already diminutive fan base. All it took was one sucker punch. Personally, I’ve never been a diehard Rigo fan, though I’ve always had great respect for his work in the ring. Of all the Cuban ninjas to come out of that legendary system and cross the Atlantic, he stands alone. I’ve never seen someone look so placid in the ring. The way he controls distance, his impeccable balance, his hard clean counter punching; the guy has a boxing algorithm for a brain, he’s pugilistic rain man. Given his extensive amateur back ground, pure efficiency is the only way he knows how to approach boxing. I respect that. You get in the ring, take apart your opponent, get the W and get out. I know a big motivator for his shifting to the professional game was so he could better provide for his family. It must be frustrating to be so skilled, to sacrifice so much, only to find your talent unappreciated. Rigondeaux is one of the most talented boxers ever step into the squared circle. Crowds boo him, Arum screws him, and he’s relegated to obscure cards, not making nearly as much money as other boxers with half his skill. I think the sucker punch we saw in Macau is a combination of two things: Rigondeaux’s clinical approach to the sport, as well as pent up frustration and public pressure to be more exciting. It doesn’t excuse the unsporting deception, but I think it partially explains it and part of me sympathizes. – Jack 

As Bobby Brown once said, that’s your prerogative, Jack. If part of you sympathizes with Rigo, more power to that compassionate side of yourself.

However, like I told the guy who brought up the Cuban Praying Mantis in this week’s Monday mailbag, I am not a Rigo sympathizer.

I just don’t feel sorry for him. I think he’s lucky that Top Rank was willing to roll the dice and try promoting him in the first place. I think he’s lucky that a popular, pound-for-pound rated champion, Nonito Donaire, was willing to fight him. I think he’s lucky to have pocketed the significant money he earned from the HBO-televised Donaire and Joseph Agbeko fights (given that he can’t draw flies to s__t in the U.S.). And I think he’s lucky to have a legion of sympathizers among Twitter Nation.

And I don’t feel bad about not giving a rat’s ass about Rigo. Ya know why? Because I think his luck will continue. Some major promoter is going to sign him and he’s going get back on premium cable and ply his craft that you and the Cult of Rigo so love to witness. If Golden Boy signs him, we’ll see him on Showtime and eventually watch him undress and beat up Leo Santa Cruz on a Showtime Pay Per View event. If one of the major UK promoters does business with him, we’ll see him take Scott Quigg, Carl Frampton and the other British bantamweight and junior featherweight standouts to school.

Also, I don’t hold it against him for “pulling a Mayweather” against that hapless Thai vet. Like Victor Ortiz with Floyd, that guy did not belong in the ring with Rigo. Sod “Look-Out!” was going to go out on his back one way or another in the early rounds of that WBO/WBA-sanctioned mismatch. I blame the WBO and WBA for the “sucker punch.”

 

CANELO RULES

You and Dan Rafael put it best, no matter what Canelo Alvarez does he will not get the credit. He could to travel back in time and beat Mike f_____g Tyson. None of that matters because the kid has heart, humility, and the will to fight anyone. Did Miguel Cotto not turn down $10 mil to fight him? Erislandy Lara ran, literally. Should Canelo tackle him? Oh yeah, he sells out arenas. He is taking back our Mexican weekends from BORING ass Mayweather. Those are OUR dates. Do you agree, Cotto and Kirkland are made to order? I’ll be there. Plus, I met Steve Kim, great guy and I asked him about you. Keep up the good work. – Robert

I hope the K-Hammer had at least one nice thing to say about his old HouseOfBoxing/MaxBoxing homie.

I wouldn’t say that Cotto or Kirkland are “made to order” for Alvarez, but I think their forward-marching aggression plays into the young star’s heavy hands a lot more than a pure boxer like Mayweather or a constant mover like Lara. I favor Canelo over both Kirkland and Cotto but I wouldn’t be shocked if he lost to either veteran. Kirkland and Cotto possess the kind of dynamic offense that the redhead has yet to experience. Those are good, competitive fights in my opinion.

Of course, if Alvarez does fight and beat Cotto and/or Kirkland, the same folks who believe Austin Trout and Lara easily outpointed him, and the same morons that claim that Angulo took a dive, will say that they were “made to order” or “shot” and thus he’s undeserving of any credit whatsoever. 

PPV CORRECTION

I don’t want to sound like a smart ass and this may have been already pointed out to you but the Felix Trinidad-Pernell Whitaker fight was actually on HBO. The replay of De La Hoya-Ike Quartey fight preceded it. I hope Canelo-Kirkland lands on SHO or HBO. It’s only right. You are a terrific writer. Keep up the great work!!! – Albert from NYC

Thanks for the kind words, Albert. I appreciate the correction, but respected fight scribe Cliff Rold beat you to it. I must be getting old. I had no recollection that Trinidad-Whitaker was on HBO. It was certainly treated like a PPV fight by the promoters and the media (I wrote a few articles for the big fight program DKP put out for the event). Boxing fans had it good 15 years ago.

I agree that Canelo-Kirkland should not be a PPV event. But if Canelo vs. Angulo and Lara were PPV main events, I can’t see how a Kirkland showdown won’t be. That’s a fight fans are actually willing to pay for.I know Canelo is making good money but I’ll say it again, he can become a household name in the U.S. if mixes in Showtime or HBO fights with his PPV events (and especially if he pushes for a network appearance).

 

CLASSIC LINE

Been reading your stuff for over 10 years, close to 15 really, and you’re always good for a great line or two in the bag. This one had me almost spitting out my drink at lunch today:

“Wolfe would kill that guy and eat his heart.”

Classic!  Peace. – Lance

Thanks. I really believe that, by the way.

 

OLD SCHOOL ACTIVITY

Hi Dougie how’s it going?Just a quick question this week, I know you have extensive knowledge of all the older boxers. I was just wondering why boxers stopped fighting so many times in their careers? When you see old school boxers having 100+ fights in their careers compared to boxers these days that only just break 50 fights, is it to do with health and safety of the boxers (pre fight conditioning and medical checks) or because they earn more money these days so don’t have to fight so often? Julio Cesar Chavez will probably be the only boxer with that kind of record from recent years.Keep up the good work. – Greg, Nottingham

There are numerous reasons, Greg, but it’s mainly the money. Fighters of previous decades had to fight as often as they did to make a living. If the champions and popular fighters of yesteryear were making the kind of TV money today’s top fighters make, my guess is that they wouldn’t have fought as much as they did during the average year.

There are also fewer promoters in fewer regions of the U.S. (and other countries) as there were in decades past. That’s also a factor in the inactivity of today’s fighters (along with the fierce business politics that prevents boxers from fighting on the cards of other promoters). Some of today’s top-level fighters are willing to fight more than two or three times a year, and wouldn’t mind taking a cut in pay just to be more active, but they can’t because there aren’t enough shows for them to be a part of (or because their promoters won’t let them fight on another promoter’s card).   

 

EIGHT HALL OF FAMERS!

Manny Pacquiao is 11-3-1 against current or future (couple assumptions) HOF’s.  He has beaten all 8.

Barrera, Morales, Marquez, De La Hoya, Hatton, Cotto, Mosley, and Bradley.  Thoughts? – Jordan, NC

I’m aware of who Pacquiao has fought and beat, although Hatton is a “borderline” future hall of famer in my opinion (though his popularity will likely see him in) and Bradley has yet to accomplish enough to merit the consideration (though he seems on his way). Regardless of Hatton and Bradley’s HOF merits, PacMan’s ring accomplishments are amazing.

The Filipino legend is closer to making my all-time top 20 than any other fighter of the past two decades, save for Hopkins. He’s right behind B-Hop because of the number of hall of famers and future hall of famers he’s faced (and defeated) and for the record he holds (for winning most major titles in separate weight classes).

 

I DON’T GET IT

I’m a ‘casual’ and read a recent mailbag suggesting Floyd missed the oppty to beat Martinez, an oppty Cotto took and turned in a great performance? Complete bulls__t and why boxing continues to drift further and further outside the fringe of the US sports landscape.

If Floyd had taken on and beaten a 39 yr old Martinez coming off a 14 mo layoff and two knee surgeries, the ‘Floyd criticisms’ of cherry picking, Martinez being shot would have been the narrative. I remember ‘the criticisms’ he got after the Mosley fight; Shane became a shot fighter after Floyd beat him, although he damn near put Floyd to sleep in rd 2.

I miss gathering with my boys for fights, but we’ve had enough of the bulls__t this sport shovels; the personal bias that overshadows broadcasts, analysis and outcomes. – Tony

Wow. I guess that’s the difference between a “casual” boxing fan and a hardcore follower of the sport. The “casuals” get so upset and turned off when the media and boxing industry don’t nuthug their favorite boxers fulltime that they stop watching the sport.

You and “your boys” really gave up on boxing because of “personal biases”? LOL. Dude, that’s as hilarious as it is pathetic. Don’t you know criticism comes with the territory? If you’re a real Mayweather fan, you should ride The Money Team no matter what anyone else thinks.

Gennady Golovkin is one of my favorite fighters (I’m writing this response while on an airplane that’s about to land in New York City where I’ll watch him do his thing at Madison Square Garden tomorrow). You, or someone else, might think GGG is an overrated brute with all the technique of a battery operated toy robot. You might think, like James Ranck, that Golovkin is avoiding Ward. Whatever! I don’t care! I’m still a Golovkin fan and I still enjoy watching him.

I hope Jack, the dude who felt sorry for Rigondeaux and says he appreciates the Cuban’s style, doesn’t get turned off to boxing just because I don’t feel sorry for Rigo and don’t particularly enjoy his brand of boxing.

Have you ever heard of the old saying “Heavy (or uneasy) lies the head that wears the crown,” Tony? Google it if you haven’t. It basically means that when you’re “the man,” you got stress; you got haters.

What it means as far as Mayweather is concerned is that that he’s on top of the sport. He’s the highest paid, highest profile and most lauded boxer on the planet – as evidenced by his deal with Showtime and honors bestowed upon him by the industry (such as the BWAA’s Fighter of the Year award for 2013) and the general sports media (such as his collection of ESPY awards).

When Oscar De La Hoya was in the position Mayweather is in now (basically from 1996 through 2004), “the Golden Boy” had a legion of critics and detractors, too. And I’m not talking about bloggers and Twitter trolls giving De La Hoya s__t, I’m talking about the boss sports scribes of most of the major U.S. daily newspapers. As far as they were concerned he never won a close fight, and if he didn’t take on the fighters they wanted him to fight in a timely fashion they gave him cute little nicknames like “Chicken De La Hoya.”

I tell you what, the criticism pissed off Bob Arum and De La Hoya’s fans, but Goldie took it all in stride. And I’ll say this for the “Golden Girls” (the nickname for Oscar’s more ardent fans) they didn’t whine and cry like The Money Team wanna-bes do now.

Anyway, my point is that every No. 1 Pound-for-Pound/No. 1 attraction in boxing for the last 40 years has been given his share of s__t from the media and hardcore heads.

Ask Roy Jones Jr., Mike Tyson and Pernell Whitaker if you’re too young to remember their reigns, or if you don’t believe me.

My boyhood boxing heroes, Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard, had to deal with a lot of what I’m sure they perceived as “personal biases.” I certainly didn’t like hearing it or reading about it, but it never turned me away from the sport they taught me to appreciate.

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer

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