Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Crawford-Khan, ultimate mythical matchups in every weight class)

terence crawford amir khan 041619 ftr gixqasm2l9b313m0aukgtw2qo 150x150 - Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Crawford-Khan, ultimate mythical matchups in every weight class)

THE MECCA

What’s up Dougie,

So excited this fight week is upon us. I will be attending the Terence Crawford vs Amir Khan event. Of course, I had to go & support my boys Teofimo Lopez & Shakur Stevenson who grew up a few miles away from me. I am really excited because the Omaha & British fans always travel, you have 2 local fighters in Lopez & Stevenson, you have two Puerto Rican fighters in Chris Diaz & Felix Vedejo who put butts on seats.

So, I am expecting a good electric crowd. Now the match-ups I’m not crazy about but what can you do? Big names but I still believe we’ll see too many one-sided fights.

Starting with Verdejo, if he regained his form this should be an easy fight even tho I know Bryan Vasquez is no walk-over as I saw with Beltran, if Verdejo is not focused this could turn into an exciting fight. On to Teomifo, of course, I think this is an easy KO win, but has to be seen. So, if he wins, I would hope we get him vs Luke Campbell or Richard Commey, or if Felix looks impressive I want to see that match-up.

The Stevenson vs Diaz fight I honestly believe is an easy one-sided beat-down too with a late TKO win. My Rican friend who’s going to the fight of course is pulling for the upset, so we been going back in forth on this one. I am happy Diaz is with Roach, maybe he did something but I just think Stevenson like Lopez are just on another level. Their opponents are not bad but as they say there’s LEVELS TO THIS SHIT.

On to the main event, it should be an easy win for Crawford. Yes we’ll see some early competitive rounds from Khan but at some point like always Khan will get caught and go down. I already hear the glass jaw breaking. LOL, just a joke, I always felt bad for Khan. great skills, heart, but weak jaw.

I am also excited for under the radar undercard fighters, like my fellow Dominican (who I won’t get hyped on until I see more of him) Carlos Adames. He’s my only hope of having a Dominican Boxing Star. LOL, I like that he’s with Robert Garcia, so he should be getting great sparring. I think Frank Galarza is a good test for him so I am going to see what he can do. I am also waiting to see Edgar Berlanga which my friend has been big on and I’ll be keeping an eye open for Vikas Krishan. It’s funny to see him on an Khan undercard. If I am not mistaken didn’t they not like each other or got into an argument. I could be wrong.

But I wanted your take on the overall Top Rank/ESPN PPV card and lastly what’s up with the PPV pricing? Why not just do $40-$50 PPVs or even less and attract more people and still make the same amount? I think this hurts the stars, not build them. If they’re lucky they get 300k @ $70 = $21mil. You price it at $40 you might attract more people, let’s say 500k, and still make $20mil but you got more eyes on the fights and fans that will continue to watch them. I don’t see any of the young fighters getting great exposure from this, maybe LIVE. But I wanted your take on that as well. Sorry for the long rant. Hope to see you and hope family is doing well. – Omar, Paterson, NJ

I won’t be there, Omar, but I’m sure you’re going to be treated to an entertaining evening. Win, lose or getting KTFO, Khan usually makes for memorable bouts, and nothing compares to the energy that Madison Square Garden creates when it’s packed with hardcore boxing fans.

I don’t know what to say about ESPN’s Pay-Per-View pricing, other than I agree that there should be PPV options that are under $70, $60 and even $50. But I’m just a journalist and fan. I’m not a promoter, network executive, businessman or sports marketing expert. I don’t profess to know what fans will or will not buy, or that I know more about this business than Top Rank and ESPN, and I have to figure that all the parties involved put some serious thought into how to price Saturday’s event. We’ll see how it does. I don’t think they’re all that concerned about how many live “eye” the undercard players receive because they can put out instant highlights of all those fights on social media and also replay the bouts as much as they like on ESPN’s various platforms. To me the big risk, apart from the financial side, is if it flops and does under 200K buys it hurts Crawford’s future big-fight negotiation leverage with potential rival Errol Spence.

Starting with Verdejo, if he regained his form this should be an easy fight even tho I know Bryan Vasquez is no walk-over as I saw with Beltran, if Verdejo is not focused this could turn into an exciting fight. I think Vasquez gives even a 100% healthy and focused Verdejo a tough fight. I’ve never been as enamored with Verdejo as many of my peers and fellow fans. I like the kid a lot and I hope he realizes his potential (or the potential that others believe he has) because it’s good for the sport, but I just don’t see a future world-beater when I watch him fight.

Teofimo Lopez victory mikey williams TR 300x207 - Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Crawford-Khan, ultimate mythical matchups in every weight class)

Lightweight Teofimo Lopez. Photo credit: Mikey Williams/Top Rank

On to Teomifo, of course, I think this is an easy KO win, but has to be seen. Lopez is must see-TV, although I should warn you that Edis Tatli, the European champ, isn’t the most aggressive cat in the lightweight division. Tatli likes to play keep-away, so there could be some frustrating round for both Lopez and the fans, but the young stud should take care of biz. Tatli is rated No. 4 by the WBO (Lopez is No. 5), so I can see why they took this fight. They want to get closer to mandatory challenger status for champ Vasiliy Lomachenko.

So, if he wins, I would hope we get him vs Luke Campbell or Richard Commey, or if Felix looks impressive I want to see that match-up. I think Top Rank’s plan is to have him challenge Commey for the IBF title later this year if he comes out of the Tatli fight unscathed, and then have him face Lomachenko in a title-unification bout in early 2020. But I’d be into a Lopez-Verdejo showdown. I talked about this potential matchup in a previous mailbag.

The Stevenson vs Diaz fight I honestly believe is an easy one-sided beat-down too with a late TKO win. Really? I think it will be tougher (physically) for the Olympic silver medalist than you think, but I favor the hot prospect over the former title challenger. Kudos to the kid for taking this risk after 10 pro bouts.

On to the main event, it should be an easy win for Crawford. Boxing fans love to toss around the word “easy,” don’t they? Everything LOOKS “easy” in boxing, but nothing really is, especially trying to chop down a skilled and talented boxer with experience and guts like Amir Khan.

Yes, we’ll see some early competitive rounds from Khan but at some point like always Khan will get caught and go down. Here’s the thing, Omar. Since getting iced by Bredis Prescott way back in 2008, Khan has proven the ability to survive being seriously hurt (vs. Marcos Maidana) and he’s gotten up from most of his knockdowns (vs. Julio Diaz and most recently vs. Sammy Vargas). Yes, he was stopped by Danny Garcia, but Swift isn’t a chump, and Khan got up from the knockdown and the fight was stopped with him on his feet. Yes, Canelo Alvarez shut his brain down with one big punch. He didn’t get up from that fight. But Alvarez is an accurate-punching middleweight who is currently in the pound-for-pound top five. There shouldn’t be any shame in that loss. And between Garcia and Alvarez, Khan outclassed some very skilled and experienced boxers in Luis Collazo and Devon Alexander. Given his success with southpaws, I don’t think Crawford’s switch-hitting ability will mess with him as much as it has others. But we’ll see.

I am also excited for under the radar undercard fighters, like my fellow Dominican (who I won’t get hyped on until I see more of him) Carlos Adames. He’s a bit raw but he’s coming along. I enjoy watching him fight. I’d like to see him challenge WBO 154-pound beltholder Jaime Munguia. That’s good fight.

 

CRAWFORD-KHAN CARD

Hello Doug,

Well, finally going to my first show in MSG. I guess anybody who’s in the Boxing Religion should go to the Mecca at least once in their lifetime. I’m doing my pilgrimage this weekend and couldn’t be more excited. Yes, the fight isn’t exactly the second coming of a Ray Robinson vs Jake LaMotta or Ali-Frazier, but at least I’ll be in the same building.   Seriously, I do think it should be a fun, although somewhat predictable fight while it lasts; Amir Khan is a very flawed fighter that always gives it all but who’s very predictable. He’s like a pitcher that has a 100 mph fastball but a mediocre changeup, it will be tough for a couple of innings, but will eventually get homered out of the mound.

I am excited to see Crawford, he reminds me of a stronger more aggressive version of Pernell Whitaker for some reason. I’m also excited to see Shakur against that tough Puerto Rican, that should be the best fight of the night. Verdejo and Teofimo make the evening even better, even though they’re matched to win, I’m happy to see them live.

Sad you’re not going to be there to hangout, I’ll try to make it for Canelo-Jacobs, hopefully we’ll grab a drink there for old times sake.

Thanks Doug! – Juan Valverde, San Diego

Be sure to spend at least one evening at Jimmy’s Corner, where you know my buddy Steve Kim will be holding court. Maybe you’ll get lucky and meet the classiest and most stylish boxing aficionado in existence, “Mr. PunchZone” himself, Aris Pina. Give everyone my regards if you go to the Times Square bar and be sure to down at least one Guinness or rum & coke for me.

Danny Roman TJ Doheny 300x200 - Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Crawford-Khan, ultimate mythical matchups in every weight class)

Danny Roman (left) and TJ Doheny will put their 122-pound titles on the line on April 26.

I’ll definitely be at Canelo-Jacobs, and Cinco De Mayo week/weekend for a big fight in Vegas can’t be beat, but you should try to make it to my hometown for next Friday’s show at The Forum topped by the Srisaket Sor Rungvisai-Juan Francisco Estrada rematch. I heard that Scott Quigg had to pull out of the show due to a training injury, but it’s still a very deep undercard, and the Danny Roman-TJ Doheny 122-pound unification co-feature is going to be a war.

I am excited to see Crawford, he reminds me of a stronger more aggressive version of Pernell Whitaker for some reason. That’s extremely high praise, Juan, but I see where you’re coming from. Bud’s not as slick, fluid or intuitive as Sweet Pea was (nobody was or is), but his fights often follow the same pattern that most of Whitaker’s took – early rounds “feel out,” mid-rounds adjustments, late-rounds dominance; only Crawford often gets the late stoppage and that’s probably what’s going to happen with Khan.

I’m also excited to see Shakur against that tough Puerto Rican, that should be the best fight of the night. I agree. I think I’m looking forward to Stevenson-Diaz more than I am the main event (although I’m into the Crawford-Khan matchup).

Verdejo and Teofimo make the evening even better, even though they’re matched to win, I’m happy to see them live. Lopez is going places. I’m not sure about Verdejo.

 

BIG ASK FOR AMIR

Hi Dougie,

Hope you, the family and team are well.

It’s a big ask! I’m a Khan fan but it’s a massive ask.

Firstly, credit where credit is due. Khan has taken the hardest fight out there, and according to reports, for less money. Considering all the BS in the Heavyweight division between AJ, Wilder, Fury and Whyte it’s refreshing.

You also need to give Crawford credit. There are easier fights out there than Khan. Despite the odds, he’s a handful for any of the elite welterweights.

If anyone can Amir Khan!!! Can he do it?

I think I read Jeff Horn’s breakdown and agree. IMHO the logic should be to box and move, and not to attack. Let Crawford come to him and aim to counter, outbox and out point him. I don’t think Amir’s ever been out-boxed.

Does Khan have the ability to do it? I think yes, but the real question is does he have the temperament?

Khan has quicker hand speed, quicker feet, however, Crawford IMO places his feet better and more intelligently than Khan. Khan has a brilliant engine. Also is vastly experienced at the top level. But can he hold back the urge not to stand and trade which has been his undoing in the past?

Two points come to mind on this.

1)      The Corner. Hunter is very good at keeping Khan focused. I think he’ll pay a big part in the fight.

2)      The build up to the fight has been well mannered. I don’t think he’ll be coming in with the animosity he had with Garcia or LeGreco.

Can he do it? Yes.

However if we are to remain fair and balanced, then we need to revert to Eddie Murphy Raw from 1987. “What have you done for me lately?”

Has Khan shown any of the attributes of old in recent fights? You can make excuses that the last two fights were rebuilding fights and hard to get out of bed for. However, you can’t ignore that if Samuel Vargas (no disrespect) could find Khan’s chin and rock him, a P4P great definitely will and make the most of it. Is the speed still there? Is the engine the same? Are the feet really still as quick? I’d hope that the right adjustments have been made in camp to best use his abilities. Easier said than done.

Crawford is one of my favourite fighters. There are no chinks in his amour. He’s physically a little smaller than Khan and shorter, however I don’t think this will make a big difference in the fight. Khan has been in with southpaws and slick s**t fighters and beaten them. Looking at Crawford’s resume I don’t think he’s been in with anyone as quick or slick as Khan. For Crawford the logic I’d say would be to weather the storm, then wait for or force a mistake and try and catch him in the later part of the fight. I think Crawford is certainly clever enough and hits hard enough to do that.

Do you think Crawford will try and out speed and out box Khan? If he did it would be quite a statement.

I am genuinely suspired the odds are so stacked against Khan? Khan had great success against Canelo, another very good, slick boxer, until he got caught. Let’s be fair, that punch would have taken out any middleweight or super middleweight. Crawford and Khan will be much more evenly matched for size and power so are we saying Crawford will find it that easy?

Don’t get me wrong, Crawford is a master ring general and a very intelligent fighter. But I don’t think he’ll have an easy night by any means.

So who’s the pressure on? I’d have to say both. Khan’s not in the last chance saloon, but a bad performance or early knockout rules him out of top flight fights unless he’s willing to re-build, again.

For Crawford, after the dominant performance Spence put in against Garcia, Crawford sort of has to remind people why he is #1 and a dominant win over Khan will definitely help.

Either way this is a brilliant matchup against two quick, highly skilled boxers. All the ingredients for a great fight! I’ll be rooting for my man from Bolton, but I know Bud is a special talent and it’s a big, big ask for Khan.

How you calling it?

MM:

Khan Vs Book at 147lb in 2014

Khan Vs Book Today

Khan Vs Danny Garcia Today

Khan Vs Manny today

Khan Vs Spence Today

Keep up the good work and enjoy the weekend. – Tabraze, London U.K.

Thanks, Tabraze, I will. And I’ll go with Brook over Khan in 2014, Khan over Brook today, Garcia by late TKO, Khan over Pac by close decision and Spence by brutal mid-rounds stoppage.

I favor Crawford by late stoppage, maybe the championship rounds of a good fight. At least I hope it’s a compelling matchup. I’ll be disappointed if Bud sparks your boy out early.

Firstly, credit where credit is due. Khan has taken the hardest fight out there, and according to reports, for less money. Considering all the BS in the Heavyweight division between AJ, Wilder, Fury and Whyte it’s refreshing. Good point. And look at the number of top heavyweights that are balking about money and preparation time to step in and challenge Joshua for three major titles now that Jarrell Miller is out of the June 1 main event due to his positive drug test. But Khan has never shied from a challenge. As a champ he was willing to defend this title in the U.S., including the hometowns of top-10 contenders Paulie Malignaggi and Lamont Peterson (who received preferential treatment by the referee and judges, and post-title reign he’s taken risky bouts against the likes of Collazo, Alexander, Canelo and now Crawford. I’ve got a lot of respect for Amir. I always enjoyed interviewing him prior to his title bouts back when he trained with Freddie Roach at Wild Card Boxing Club, but I got a chance to get to know him a little better, meet some of his family, and spend some time talking to his father at their gym in Bolton, England during the press tour for the Canelo fight, and I can tell you (what you probably already know) that they are lovely people.

You also need to give Crawford credit. There are easier fights out there than Khan. Despite the odds, he’s a handful for any of the elite welterweights. I agree.

If anyone can Amir Khan!!! Can he do it? On paper, yes. In the ring, no.

I think I read Jeff Horn’s breakdown and agree. IMHO the logic should be to box and move, and not to attack. Of course! It’s elementary. (And didn’t The Hornet teach at an elementary school?)

Let Crawford come to him and aim to counter, outbox and out point him. I don’t think Amir’s ever been out-boxed. I don’t either. Peterson outpointed him, but I thought Khan deserved that decision. However, despite bias of the referee and two of the official judges, Khan made that fight closer than it needed to be by willingly engaging Peterson in the trenches throughout the fight. It’s in his nature to do that.

Amir Khan Virgil Hunter Cua 300x200 - Dougie’s Friday Mailbag (Crawford-Khan, ultimate mythical matchups in every weight class)

Khan and Hunter.

Does Khan have the ability to do it? I think yes, but the real question is does he have the temperament? Nope, see above. Although, I will say this: he’s a more disciplined boxer when he’s trained by Virgil Hunter, who guided him to his lopsided points wins over Collazo and Alexander.

Two points come to mind on this.

1)      The Corner. Hunter is very good at keeping Khan focused. I think he’ll pay a big part in the fightI agree 100% and it’s one of the main reasons I’m interested in the matchup. I rate Hunter highly as a trainer and teacher.

2)      The build up to the fight has been well mannered. I don’t think he’ll be coming in with the animosity he had with Garcia or LeGrecoKhan seems to have his head screwed on correctly for this challenge and it will need to be if he hopes to be competitive, let alone victorious.

Can he do it? Yes. Mmmmm…. I don’t think so.

Crawford is one of my favourite fighters. You have good taste in boxers.

There are no chinks in his amour. He’s Marvin-Hagler solid.

Khan has been in with southpaws and slick s**t fighters and beaten them. Looking at Crawford’s resume I don’t think he’s been in with anyone as quick or slick as Khan. I think Yuriorkis Gamboa was as quick as Khan, and I don’t consider Khan to be a “slick” boxer.

For Crawford the logic I’d say would be to weather the storm, then wait for or force a mistake and try and catch him in the later part of the fight. I don’t think Bud will have to weather any “storm.” My guess is that Khan is going to punch on the fly and attempt to outpoint Crawford with the same amateur style he used to win his first world title against Andriy Kotelnik.

I think Crawford is certainly clever enough and hits hard enough to do that. It’s what he does every time he steps into the ring, and it’s worked for him for his last 34 pro bouts.

Do you think Crawford will try and out speed and out box Khan? Out-speed? No. Out-box? Yes.

 

ULTIMATE MYTHICAL MATCHUPS

Good Evening Dougie Fresh. I am a sometimes contributor and an always reader of “the bag” and some of my favorite contributions are the many “mythical matchups” or MMs for short. I would like to present my ultimate mythical matchups for each weight category –

complete with nicknames:

Strawweight – Hekkie Budler vs. Ivan “Iron Boy” Calderon

Junior Flyweight – Yuh Myung Woo vs. Michael “Manitos de Piedra” Carbajal

Flyweight – Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson vs. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez

Junior Bantamweight – Khaosai ” The Thai Tyson” Galaxy vs. Srikaset Sor Rungvisai

Bantamweight – Orlando Canizales vs. Naoya “The Monster” Inoue

Junior Featherweight – Wilfredo “Bazooka”  Gomez vs. Jeff fenech

Featherweight – Chris John vs. Manny “Pac Man” Pacquiao

Junior Lightweight – Azumah “The Professor” Nelson vs. Vasyl “Hi-Tech” Lomachenko

Lightweight – Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker vs.  Sugar Shane Mosely

Junior Welterweight – Julio Cesar “The Lion of Culican” Chavez vs. Terence “Bud” Crawford

Welterweight – Felix ” Tito” Trinidad vs. Errol Spence, Jr.

Junior Middleweight –  Mile ” The Body Snatcher McCallum vs. “Terrible” Terry Norris

Middleweight – Thomas “Hitman” Hearns vs. Genaddy “GGG” Golovkin

Super Middleweight – Joe Calzaghe vs. Andre “Son of God” Ward

Light Heavyweight – Michael Spinks vs. Virgil “Quicksilver” HIll

Cruiserweight – Dwight “The Camden Buzzsaw” Muhammad Quai vs. Orlin Norris

Heavyweight – Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes vs. Lennox Lewis

Ladies Boxing – Anne Wolfe vs. Claressa Shields

Comic Heroes – Aquaman  vs. Sub Mariner

What’s your Opinion Doug? – Todd Elliot, Brooklyn

Here’s my opinion, Todd:

Strawweight – Hekkie Budler vs. Ivan “Iron Boy” CalderonCalderon by decision in an entertaining fight (thanks to Hekkie’s butt-ugly little ass)

Junior Flyweight – Yuh Myung Woo vs. Michael “Manitos de Piedra” CarbajalCarbajal by close, maybe controversial decision, thanks to his heavier (little hands of stone).

Flyweight – Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson vs. Roman “Chocolatito” GonzalezToo Sharp by decision in a GREAT fight, Johnson’s prime was at 112 pounds, Chocolatito was probably at his best at 108 pounds.

Junior Bantamweight – Khaosai ” The Thai Tyson” Galaxy vs. Srikaset Sor RungvisaiGalaxy by close decision in another GREAT fight, I think Khaosai’s greater activity is the key; he’d outwork his countryman and fellow hard-charging southpaw.

Bantamweight – Orlando Canizales vs. Naoya “The Monster” InoueCanizales by decision in a tough fight; I gotta go with the underrated Texan until I see more of Inoue at 118 pounds.

Junior Featherweight – Wilfredo “Bazooka” Gomez vs. Jeff FenechGomez by decision in yet another GREAT, likely brutal fight; the Puerto Rican legend is the best 122 pounder of all time (which is saying something); he could box as well as he could punch. But Fenech was an absolute beast, he’d take anyone to hell and back.

Featherweight – Chris John vs. Manny “Pac Man” PacquiaoPac by close decision; I think The Dragon gives him fits but the Filipino Icon scores a knockdown or puts it on the Indonesian stick-and-move specialist enough to win a slight majority of rounds.

Junior Lightweight – Azumah “The Professor” Nelson vs. Vasyl “Hi-Tech” LomachenkoLoma by competitive but clear decision in a very entertaining fight.

Lightweight – Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker vs.  Sugar Shane MoselyWhitaker by decision in a close and competitive (and entertaining, thanks to the Californian) fight. Pea would have to get up from a knockdown and survive some wobbly moments in this one.

Junior Welterweight – Julio Cesar “The Lion of Culican” Chavez vs. Terence “Bud” Crawford Chavez by close decision in a thriller.

Welterweight – Felix ” Tito” Trinidad vs. Errol Spence, Jr. – Trinidad by an up-from-the-canvas knockout before the championship rounds.

Junior Middleweight – Mike “The Body Snatcher McCallum vs. “Terrible” Terry NorrisMcCallum by mid-to-late stoppage in a fight he was down on the scorecards. Technique and chin eventually beats out speed and athleticism.

Middleweight – Thomas “Hitman” Hearns vs. Gennady “GGG” GolovkinGolovkin by mid-to-late stoppage in a classic 160-pound confrontation.

Super Middleweight – Joe Calzaghe vs. Andre “Son of God” WardCalzaghe by close, maybe controversial decision in a high-speed chess match that the Welsh Wizard edges due to greater activity and movement.

Light Heavyweight – Michael Spinks vs. Virgil “Quicksilver” HillJinx by decision in a disappointingly uneventful fight

Cruiserweight – Dwight “The Camden Buzzsaw” Muhammad Quai vs. Orlin NorrisQawi by close but clear decision in a very good scrap.

Heavyweight – Larry “The Easton Assassin” Holmes vs. Lennox Lewis Holmes by decision in a dramatic back-and-forth encounter.

Ladies Boxing – Anne Wolfe vs. Claressa ShieldsWolfe by mid-round KO. (Shields’ mouth would piss off and motive Anne to be at her absolute and brutal best.)

Comic Heroes – Aquaman  vs. Sub MarinerI gotta go with the Avenging Son, Prince Namor, he’s MEANER. Imperius Rex!

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope every Sunday from SMC track.

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