By Doug Fischer
First of all, can I just congratulate Luke Campbell and Jorge Linares (who is one of my favourite fighters) on a great, respectful build up (that’s what real men do) and a fascinating, technical match up.
My question is: do you think Coolhand did enough to win? Victor Loughlin had him winning by two and so did I! The knockdown was a bad one but other than that I thought it was a fantastic performance.
Did you see the Fury/Parker match up and what is your match report? Respect. – Mark
I did not see the Joseph Parker-Tyson Fury fight, Mark. From I’ve been told and from the highlights I’ve seen on YouTube, it looks like Parker was given way too much credit for his forward-moving (but largely ineffective) aggression by two of the official judges (who had it 118-110 for the defending WBO heavyweight beltholder; the third judge had it even at 114-114, as you probably know).
I knew Fury was going to be a handful for Parker. Like his cousin, he moves very well for a such a big man. He’s got a lot of ring savvy for a 23 year old, and an educated jab, good timing and reflexes, accurate counter-punching ability and having no problem using his size by holding on the inside is all part of that difficult package.
THE RING magazine editor Michael Rosenthal watched the fight live and thought Fury won seven rounds to five. Rosenthal was impressed with Fury’s athleticism.
My guess is what held Fury back in the eyes of the official judges is that he wasn’t able to rock or hurt Parker, who appeared rather sloppy in the highlights I saw (although, in the New Zealander’s defense, I believe it’s going to be very hard for any heavyweight to look good against Hughie).
However, I think Fury and the other title challengers who came up short via decision this past weekend – Campbell, Jesse Hart and Genesis Servania – all have bright futures in their respective divisions. I think they all showed the boxing world what makes them special and they all gained valuable championship experience that will advance their development.
Regarding Campbell, I thought he gave Linares fits and boxed very well in spots, but I don’t think he did enough to earn THE RING and WBA lightweight titles on Saturday. More than a few members of the ringside press scored every round from the fourth to the 10th (or 11th) for the Olympic gold medalist from England, but I thought there were close/competitive rounds that he did just enough to lose to Linares – including Rounds 5, 7 and 8. Had he won those rounds on my card and two of the final three rounds, he could have just nicked it. But even giving Cambpell the benefit of the doubt in the close rounds, I still think Linares deserved to retain his belts (if only via a draw verdict) because he decisively took the 12th and he knocked an extra point off the challenger’s tally with the second-round knockdown.
But Campbell was brilliant in spots and his height, size (he looked like a welterweight from ringside) and very solid fundamentals made an elite-level veteran boxer look ordinary. I just think he needed to heed his corner and let his hands go more. But even without taking risks, I think Campbell will be a “cool-handful” (see what I did there?) for any of the top lightweights, including the other major titleholders.
What’s up doug? Hope your well,
What a weekend of boxing!! Friday night fights are what boxing is all about; unbeaten fighters going to war to try make a name for themselves!! Oscar Valdez is fun to watch; he has power, skill, heart and is vulnerable. Where does he go from here? How would he do against Carl Frampton? Gilberto Ramirez vs Jesse Hart was a war with both giving and taking. I felt the knockdown and Zurdo’s body punching edged it. I would’ve liked to see hart go to the body more but great fight nonetheless…where do both go?
I think Linares won by a couple rounds on Saturday and I think Luke Campbell needed that experience and it will help him going forward. I’ve been following him since he beat my countryman John Joe Nevin in the Olympics and he’s nearly the full package – he’s tall, rangy, fast, has power in both hands (especially to the body), but there’s two things I think Jorge Rubio needs to iron out and he’ll be very hard to beat
1) his jab: although it was better Saturday he flicks it too much and can be timed… he needs to sit down on it more.
2) his upper body is very stiff… he needs to loosen up and relax a bit more, which he done after the knockdown.
Both are amateur traits he developed over years, have you seen a top amateur that just couldn’t shake old habits, Dougie? Where do both go from here? Not sure I’d back Linares against Garcia.
Yunier Dorticos could be the dark horse of this tournament. He has real, scary power. Keep up the good work. – David, Dublin
Dorticos is for real. I figured he would take Kudryashov into deep water and drown the Russian slugger, but he forced a shootout in the second round and was able to remain safe behind his fast, rangy jab and straight right. From the onset of the cruiserweight match, the Cuban was quicker, sharper and more mobile. I thought Kudryashov looked painfully slow and plodding by comparison. And The Russian Hammer played right into The KO Doctor’s laser-straight right hand by languishing right in front of the Cuban. Once that bomb detonated against his temple, you just knew Kudry would be able to unscramble his brains in time to beat the count.
I’m really looking forward to watching the World Boxing Super Series cruiserweight tournament play out.
Oscar Valdez is fun to watch; he has power, skill, heart and is vulnerable. Indeed, the WBO featherweight beltholder is must-see TV. It will be interesting to see if Top Rank can build him into an attraction in Tucson or Southern California.
Where does he go from here? Bob Arum told ringside reporters that he wants to try to match Valdez with Carl Frampton sometime next year. I’m not sure he’s ready for The Jackal but I have to figure he’s done a lot of growing with his last two fights.
How would he do against Carl Frampton? If they fight within their next two bouts, I would favor the Belfast native by decision in a good scrap.
Gilberto Ramirez vs Jesse Hart was a war with both giving and taking. It might have been the fight of the weekend.
I felt the knockdown and Zurdo’s body punching edged it. I thought Ramirez clearly won. I didn’t think it was up for grabs at all, although Hart put forth a courageous and admirable performance in surviving the early rounds, clawing his way back into the bout during the middle rounds and not wilting under the defending WBO 168-pound titleholder’s body attack.
I would’ve liked to see hart go to the body more but great fight nonetheless…where do both go? Ramirez could be in the running for a showdown with Gennady Golovkin if Team GGG can’t reach a deal with Team Canelo and Golden Boy to stage an immediate rematch with the redheaded Mexican star. Ramirez-Golovkin would be quite the ticket seller in Texas or Southern California.
If not, he’s probably got a voluntary defense against another Top Rank stablemate (maybe Trevor McCumby, who ranked in the WBO’s top five). A defense against former middleweight contender and Russian amateur star Matvey Korobov (remember him? He’s also in the WBO’s top five) would be an interesting and dangerous matchup.
I think Linares won by a couple rounds on Saturday and I think Luke Campbell needed that experience and it will help him going forward. I agree 100%.
I’ve been following him since he beat my countryman John Joe Nevin in the Olympics and he’s nearly the full package – he’s tall, rangy, fast, has power in both hands (especially to the body)… Campbell is also very big and sturdy and he’s got rock-solid fundamentals (which isn’t surprising given his amateur background).
… but there’s two things I think Jorge Rubio needs to iron out and he’ll be very hard to beat:
1) his jab: although it was better Saturday he flicks it too much and can be timed… he needs to sit down on it more. Agree 100%.
2) his upper body is very stiff… he needs to loosen up and relax a bit more, which he done after the knockdown. Agree 100%
Both are amateur traits he developed over years, have you seen a top amateur that just couldn’t shake old habits, Dougie? Of course! Show me an amateur standout that wasn’t able to cut it on the world-class professional scene and I’ll show you a boxer that couldn’t evolve from his amateur style/form/habits. Audley Harrison, the 2000 Olympic super heavyweight gold medalist, comes to mind. To me, “A-Force” always looked like an amateur boxer in the pro ranks.
Where do both go from here? I think Campbell heads back to the U.K. for a big domestic battle with the winner of the Oct. 7 Anthony Crolla-Ricky Burns fight and then looks to move up the IBF rankings (where he’s the No. 4 contender for Robert Easter Jr.’s belt). Eddie Hearn will keep him busy and make the right moves to get him back into a title fight before the end of 2018. Linares says he wants to unify titles, which could mean another trip back to Merry Ole England for a showdown with WBO beltholder Terry Flanagan and, of course, he will continue to beat the drums for a hardcore fan dream match vs. Mikey Garcia.
Not sure I’d back Linares against Garcia. I wouldn’t expect Linares to have the same kind of trouble he experienced against Campbell against the much shorter, orthodox-boxing Garcia – in fact, I think the Venezuelan would look very good against the pound-for-pound rated Southern Californian – but I think Mikey would eventually clip his fellow three-division beltholder before the 12th round.
FIGHT NIGHT IN TUCSON
This is my report from Tucson :).
In the middle of the Valdéz fight, the guy sitting next to me said: “they are not serving cupcakes tonight”. That’s a fitting way to describe the main event, and the Zurdo-Hart contest.
Valdéz-Servania was a pretty entertaining show. I didn’t know Servania. Now, and I want to know him more. He is a small beast who was wrongly viewed as a sacrificial lamb for the Nogales-native/Tucson-adopted son.
I had the fight 117-110 for The Mexican. He was more effective and busier. However, he did drop his hands a bit and got clipped too many times. He needs to correct that flaw or he’ll endure a long night against LSC or Frampton.
His left hook was absolutely his money punch. My guess is that he was sure he’d get a KO in front of his adoring fans. He was a little surprised that the Filipino had a different idea and tried a little bit too hard to put his rival out. But you know what? As Aerosmith says, that’s F.I.N.E. fine. Actually, that’s great. And that’s why he’s headlining cards and putting butts in the seats.
Speaking about his rival, only a monster could recover from the knockdown he suffered and storm back right into the fight’s soul. Respect to Servania. Genesis almost became Oscar’s Apocalypse. I’d like to see this guy again.
Zurdo Ramirez and Jessie Hart also performed very well. Sometimes I get a little desperate, for I think the Mexican is a little bit too patient. He had the better chin, and wasted that opportunity. He could have used that advantage by trading a little bit more. He was more dangerous and more durable. I have no doubt that he was the better fighter, I just think he could have inflicted more damage to Hart. Hart, however, was no cupcake, either. He gave a spirited effort against the crowd favorite and could have done a little bit more had he not been knocked down. I also had the fight 117-110, but the official scores were a lot closer than mine. The Philly native should walk with his head high.
What do you think about the future of Conlan and Conceicao? I liked the Brazilian’s skill set. I hope he develops well. – Carlos, from Hermosillo, México
I think Robson gets a little wild and wide with his offense but he’s a good athlete and obviously he knows his way around the ring, the junior lightweight is a three-time Brazilian Olympian (and 2016 gold medal winner). I don’t know how far he can go, he’s already 28 years old and only five bouts into his pro career. He doesn’t appear to have Lomachenko- or Rigo-level ability, so I don’t see him winning a world title in his next few bouts. But, he’s already a star in Brazil and I’m sure Top Rank can at least develop him into an entertaining TV fighter in the U.S.
Conlan’s also an amateur standout and star in his country (Ireland), but he’s three years younger than Conceicao, which gives him a little more time to develop into a well-rounded pro. Conlan is in a very competitive division (junior featherweight) but he’s got a good young trainer (Manny Robles), a strong training environment (Southern California) and Top Rank is the most accomplished and experienced American promoter in developing talent while building the boxer’s fan base, so “Mick” is in good hands. We’ll see what happens in the next year or two.
Ramirez (left) and Hart go at it during their dramatic super middleweight title bout. Photo / @TRboxing
You thought Ramirez “could have inflicted more damage to Hart”? Jesus, man, and I thought I was a blood-thirsty ghoul. Ramirez inflicted plenty of damage Hart. He initiated most of the action in my view and soundly outworked the tough and talented Philly fighter. I generally do not enjoy watching Zurdo ply his technical craft but he Hart made him an entertaining fighter this past Friday. I was impressed with both super middleweights.
In the middle of the Valdéz fight, the guy sitting next to me said: “they are not serving cupcakes tonight”. That’s a fitting way to describe the main event, and the Zurdo-Hart contest. Yup, they were not playing patty cake in that Tucson ring on Friday, and they weren’t trying to be defensive wizards, either, that was some hardcore prize FIGHTING we saw with those two WBO title bouts and I think they combined to make the most entertaining TV card of the weekend.
Valdéz-Servania was a pretty entertaining show. It certainly had its moments of drama.
I didn’t know Servania. Now, and I want to know him more. He is a small beast who was wrongly viewed as a sacrificial lamb for the Nogales-native/Tucson-adopted son. I don’t know why some fans and media (and ESPN) were looking at Servania as some kind of “gimme” for Valdez. The hometown fighter deserved to be a solid favorite, but I told anyone who would listen (as did some of my peers, such as Steve Kim, Mike Baca and Ryan Songalia) that Servania was going to bring the ruckus and that this matchup would be an “action fight” and could feature “knockdowns” and its share of “crazy back-and-forth slugfest stuff.” I think we’ll see Servania again. He still young (26), he’s still ranked (and will likely remain in the WBO’s top 10), he’s got a good record (29-1) and people in the U.S. now know he makes for good fights/TV.
I had the fight 117-110 for The Mexican. He was more effective and busier. I agree, but I can’t give you an opinion on your scorecard. I didn’t bother scoring it. Sometimes I just want to watch a good fight and enjoy it.
However, he did drop his hands a bit and got clipped too many times. Indeed. And, as usual, I think he loaded up a bit too much on each shot and sometimes forgot to punch in combination.
He needs to correct that flaw or he’ll endure a long night against LSC or Frampton. I agree. And I’d favor those veterans to outpoint him, but I think his heart and conditioning would enable him to compete with both.
PISSED AT ESPN
I am currently trying to watch Zurdo Ramirez vs Jesse Hart on ESPN and this channel doesn’t start airing the fight until the fifth round and about an hour after advertised. Then in the middle of the late start they switch back to some damn football game!!!!
I’m a huge fan of boxing and this is quite frustrating to say the least. I’m assuming that your keyboard reaches far more people than mine ever could. So, is it possible that you could raise all kinds of a stink over this issue? If it helps, I’m on the west coast and the fights are advertised as beginning at 7:30 PM PST.
Respectfully. – Pissed in California
There’s not much I can do about the boxing hopscotch on the various ESPN channels. Unless Manny Pacquiao is fighting, the network is not going to cut from the preceding programming if it runs long in order to start the boxing on scheduled time. That’s just the way it is for now. And I’m sure the good folks at Top Rank have raised a stink over the issue.
For now, whenever you can’t find a boxing program scheduled to be on ESPN, switch to ESPN2 or ESPNews or even ESPN Deportes before you give up on watching the show. If a program runs long on ESPN they’ll try moving it to their other channels, and if there’s no room for boxing on the other ESPN TV platforms, you should try watching ESPN3 (the network’s online streaming service) or utilizing the ESPN App.
I’m sorry I sound like a damn ESPN commercial, but the boxing that’s been showcased on the “Worldwide Leader of Sports” this year has, for the most part, been pretty good and I’d hate for a real fan (even a pissed one) to miss out.
WHY IS U.S. TV PASSING ON THE WBSS?
First time, long time.
Not a fan of “streaming” fights.
I’m a bit disappointed that not a single US TV outlet picked up the opening rounds of the World Boxing Super Series.
Should I be surprised that not even a BeiN Sports would take a shot on broadcasting this round, not even the cruiserweights-only?
Too many Eastern Euros?
Are the broadcasting economics that bad, or are there other factors?
Any chance the later rounds would get picked up by Showtime or another cable outlet? Thanks! – Brock
I think there’s a solid chance that one of the major U.S. cable networks (probably Showtime) picks up the semifinals or finals of the cruiserweight and super middleweight tournaments.
As to why the quarterfinal bouts haven’t been showcased on American TV, I think it’s a combination of factors. The cruiserweights, for whatever reason, have never resonated with U.S. network executives. I have no idea why. Maybe there just haven’t been enough American standouts in the division. I think the Eastern European flavor probably keeps it off the Spanish-language networks, but I doubt it’s a huge factor in Showtime, HBO and ESPN passing on the opening rounds bouts of the WBSS. I just think that the big three have limited dates and strong relationships (or set contracts) with certain promoters. Showtime has its hands full with Al Haymon’s vast stable of talent (and some Eddie Hearn fighters, mainly Anthony Joshua). HBO main providers appear to be Golden Boy Promotions, K2 Promotions and Main Events now that Top Rank has left for ESPN. HBO also wants to be in the Eddie Hearn business, starting with Daniel Jacobs (and they no doubt want to snag A.J. from Showtime). ESPN has multi-fight/multi-year deals with GBP and Top Rank.
So, there isn’t much room for the ambitious WBSS venture organized by Comosa AG, Ringstar Sports and Sauerland Entertainment.
Personally, I think the U.S. networks are dropping the ball because I think all the quarterfinal bouts will be entertaining. But the networks are trying to save money and I’m sure that in the view of the executives the only cruiserweight worth his salt will be the unified titleholder and the only super middleweight fights that merit their airtime are the ones that match up the better-known titleholders/contenders (such as George Groves, Chris Eubank Jr. and Callum Smith), so they feel they can wait.
Thanks for finally writing in to the mailbag. Don’t be a stranger from now on.
IBHOF INDUCTEES 2022
With Andre Ward’s recent retirement news I noticed that there’s been a lot of retirements from top fighters announced this year.
Chocolatito (if he doesn’t continue)
Do you think all of them can get in IF they actually retire? Is there a limit for inductees per year?
Thanks & great reads as always. – Jamaal, Louisiana
There is a limit to the number of “Modern Boxer” inductees to the International Boxing Hall of Fame, Jamaal. Only three can be elected each year from the list of 30 modern fighters.
Juan Manuel Marquez and Tim Bradley announced their retirements this year but their final bouts occurred in previous years (2014 for JMM; 2016 for Timmy), so they will be on the ballot and eligible for induction before the other boxers you mentioned.
Of the remaining group, I think the shoo-ins are Mayweather and Pacquiao. That third spot is up for grabs between Cotto, Klitschko and Ward; and a strong case can be made for either one, it all depends on what the voters value more – accomplishments, consistency, records, popularity, impact on the sport, etc.
Roman Gonzalez has not announced his retirement. Shane Mosley, who you did not list, announced his retirement in August, and it should go without saying that he’s also considered a first-ballot hall of famer.
CRAWFORD DESERVES TO BE NO. 1 P4P
Been a mailbag reader for about a year now and thank you because you’re one of the people who got me attached to the sport and I appreciate your work.
Gotta rant about Bud Crawford. Could you explain why he isn’t the #1 P4P fighter in your publication? I know it’s probably because of the weak competition in his divisions but on my eye test, he’s a special talent and the closest thing we’ve seen to Sugar Ray Robinson. He has the very rare ability to throw power punches in spectacular combinations, who doesn’t get tired when he sees a moment of weakness from an opponent and pounces like a panther (Loma and Kovalev are the only two who can do that in my opinion but not like he does). It’s not his fault that there’s no good competition for him around his weight class and I can’t penalize him for that. He’s at the point where he’s embarrassing everyone he faces and you don’t see that level very often. My only fear with him as far as a loss is that it takes about 4 rounds for him to find his rhythm and take over, but I think it’s him just reading out the opponent and finding their faults so he can pounce on it afterwards. He needs to face Mikey Garcia or Errol Spence to find a real challenge. Thoughts?
And what a fight between Golovkin and Canelo! Managed to talk a few non-boxing fans into buying the PPV and watching with me and they loved it.
Emile Griffith vs. Gennady Golovkin
Pernell Whitaker vs. Floyd Mayweather Jr.
Lennox Lewis vs. Anthony Joshua
Thanks! – Cole, Ohio
I’ll go with GGG by split decision, Whitaker by majority or split decision (at welterweight; unanimous at 135 and 140 pounds), and Lewis by mid-round KO.
Regarding Crawford’s case for being the sport’s No. 1 pound-for-pound boxer, I think many fans and members of the media agree with you. He was No. 3 in THE RING’s pound-for-pound rankings (behind Ward and Golovkin) prior to Ward’s retirement, so I have to figure he’s in the running along with GGG to take over the top spot.
I think if you go by the ole “eye test,” Bud or Vasyl Lomachenko (whose currently No. 4) are the pound-for-pound best. If you appreciate a fighter’s dominance/consistency over time and his overall body of work, you may lean toward Golovkin.
You mentioned the relatively “weak competition” Crawford faced during his rise through the lightweight and junior welterweight divisions, and I think that’s the only factor keeping him from No. 1. It’s hard to say for certain that he’s the king of the elite boxers when the four best opponents on his resume are Viktor Postol, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Julius Indongo and either Ricky Burns or Ray Beltran.
Hopefully, a move to welterweight will provide Crawford with elite-level competition.
Email Fischer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer
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Source:: The Ring – Boxing