Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Pacquiao-Broner, Jack-Browne, Canelo-Jacobs, Crawford-Khan)

BRONER’S GOT A SHOT, JACK DESERVES PROPS

Hi Doug, just wanted to write you in anticipation of the Manny Pacquiao vs. Adrien Broner card.

First of all, I think Badou Jack doesn’t get enough credit; in his last six fights he’s taken on Anthony Dirrell, George Groves, Lucian Bute, James Degale, Nathan Cleverly, and Adonis Stevenson. Now he’s taking on a young lion in Marcus Browne – that’s 7 top tier fighters in a row, no tune ups, no soft touches. I can’t think of many other active fighters who’ve had such a no-nonsense schedule over the past few years, respect to Badou.

Another reason I’ve always appreciated him is the fact that as far as top tier fighters go, he’s not a very remarkable athlete, but he finds a way to do a lot with a little – kind of like my fellow native British Colombian Steve Nash did in the NBA. Despite his lack of speed and pop, Badou has found a way to succeed with that subtle high guard blocking, a beautiful body attack, a nice body jab, and that straight-shooting right hand. I’ll be rooting for him Saturday, but I think Browne has decent chance. Browne looked a little unpolished to me in the one fight of his that I’ve seen, but he’s in his prime, has big power, and probably feels like now’s his time.

As for the main event, I’m always excited to see by boyhood hero Pacman in action, and to my eye he’s looked quite sharp in training with Freddie.  That being said, it’s hard to gauge where he’s at at this advanced age–he looked great in his last fight but Matthysse also looked really off in that fight. Meanwhile, I think Broner is as dialed in as he’s capable of being for this fight; he’s been quieter in the build up, looks to be in great shape, and I’m sure he knows that he’s never getting another chance like this in his career. Furthermore, in his last fight I thought he consciously upped his much maligned punch output and put on a really good scrap with Vargas.

I think Broner in the past few years has shifted from being quite an overrated welterweight contender to a slightly underrated spoiler. By the sound of it, a lot of fans think of him at his point as a glorified gatekeeper, which I think is to sell him short. He turned out to not be a world beater as initially advertised, but he’s still got very quick hands with good pop, real durability and toughness, and in rare moments, great counter punching ability. I think it’s possible that if Pacquiao shows up underestimating Broner and overestimating himself after knocking out Lucas, and Broner comes in ready to seize the moment, this could be a much closer fight then people are anticipating. I would like nothing more than to see Pacquiao become the first guy to stop Broner, but I think Broner is a relatively live dog in this fight. Also, will you be at the fight?

Lastly, do you think Amir Khan and Mikey Garcia are live dogs in their respective fights coming up, Dougie? For me it’s quite hard to envision either guy winning, although I can envision Khan winning some rounds. They’re both so talented though it’s hard to write them off completely. – Jack

I think both underdogs will have their moments, and even win rounds, especially during the first half of their welterweight title challenges, but I don’t envision upsets on March 16 and April 20.

Regarding my presence at Pacquiao-Broner, no, I won’t be there. It’s way too early in the year for a “major event” in Las Vegas. (I’m still recovering from last September in Sin City, never mind the month of December…) But I’ll be watching the Showtime PPV somewhere in Southern California. Like you, I think Broner is a legit threat to the 40-year-old future hall of famer, and I’m anticipating a decent scrap. I’m also looking forward to Jack-Browne (hey, this light heavyweight showdown kind sounds like Jackson Browne, the folk rock singer-songwriter… hopefully, it turns out to be a little more hardcore than homie’s music).

Badou Jack doesn’t get enough credit; in his last six fights he’s taken on Anthony Dirrell, George Groves, Lucian Bute, James Degale, Nathan Cleverly, and Adonis Stevenson. Now he’s taking on a young lion in Marcus Browne – that’s 7 top tier fighters in a row, no tune ups, no soft touches. Not too shabby. For the record, The Ring had Jack rated No. 1 or No. 2 at super middleweight before he moved up to the 175-pound division, where we currently rate him No. 4.

I can’t think of many other active fighters who’ve had such a no-nonsense schedule over the past few years, respect to Badou. Indeed, the Las Vegas-based Swede is taking a path to the top that was clearly mapped out by Carl Froch.

030 Badou Jack esther lin showtime - Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Pacquiao-Broner, Jack-Browne, Canelo-Jacobs, Crawford-Khan)Another reason I’ve always appreciated him is the fact that as far as top tier fighters go, he’s not a very remarkable athlete, but he finds a way to do a lot with a little – kind of like my fellow native British Colombian Steve Nash did in the NBA. Agreed. Jack is a solid but unspectacular athlete. But he makes up for his lack of dynamic speed, power and fluid reflexes with sound fundamentals, tight technique, old-school craft, superb conditioning and – most important – an iron will.

I’ll be rooting for him Saturday, but I think Browne has decent chance. It’s a quality matchup, nobody should count Browne out. The New Yorker is in his athletic prime (28) and there is a LOT less wear and tear on his body than the 35-year-old former champ.

Browne looked a little unpolished to me in the one fight of his that I’ve seen, but he’s in his prime, has big power, and probably feels like now’s his time. Of course! He’s gonna bring it. But I still favor Jack. I always go with the hardnosed veteran over the up-and-comer, unless the rising contender is very special. And I don’t think Browne is extra special. He’s good, but Jack – who I believe leads a clean life and is thus well preserved – is very good.

As for the main event, I’m always excited to see my boyhood hero Pacman in action, and to my eye he’s looked quite sharp in training with Freddie. He looks good – for a 40-year-old vet who’s been a pro since January 1995. But to my eyes – eyes that witnessed his training 10-15 years ago – he’s slowed down considerably.

That being said, it’s hard to gauge where he’s at at this advanced age – he looked great in his last fight but Matthysse also looked really off in that fight. I think the Matthysse fight is a bit of mirage. Yeah, Lucas was the younger fighter at 35, but he was still faded, and way more beat up than Manny. Matthysee didn’t have it anymore. So, if you toss that KO out, Pacquiao’s most recent fight is the loss to Jeff Horn. Now, I thought Pac won that fight, but the fact is that Horn was competitive with him and was able to rough him up a bit. If Horn can extend Pacquiao, an in-shape and focused Broner can give him a real fight IF he’s willing to press the issue.

Meanwhile, I think Broner is as dialed in as he’s capable of being for this fight; he’s been quieter in the build up, looks to be in great shape, and I’m sure he knows that he’s never getting another chance like this in his career. You would think, but we never really know with Broner. However, I think he had more in his tank than usual in his last bout – the draw with Jessie Vargas – which was his first training camp with Kevin Cunningham. He should be in better shape after his second camp with Cunningham, but like I said, we never know…

Furthermore, in his last fight I thought he consciously upped his much maligned punch output and put on a really good scrap with Vargas. I agree. I still think Vargas won that fight, seven rounds to five. 

I think Broner in the past few years has shifted from being quite an overrated welterweight contender to a slightly underrated spoiler. I view him as “premier” gatekeeper, or a famous fringe contender.

I think it’s possible that if Pacquiao shows up underestimating Broner and overestimating himself after knocking out Lucas, and Broner comes in ready to seize the moment, this could be a much closer fight then people are anticipating. I agree, but I don’t think Pacquiao is overlooking Broner.

I would like nothing more than to see Pacquiao become the first guy to stop Broner, but I think Broner is a relatively live dog in this fight. Agreed. I don’t think Pacquiao will stop Broner, who has world-class whiskers and VERY underrated toughness and grit, but I do think he will outpoint the 29-year-old Ohioan.

 

CANELO-JACOBS

Hi Doug,

Hope you the family and the team are well.

Canelo/Jacobs can’t wait!

Brilliant matchup and the haters have to give Canelo credit for taking this one! This is a hard fight for Canelo. Jacobs gave GGG a hard time and he’s gonna come 110% ready for Canelo.

I’m on the fence. Both have the ability to win IMHO. However, with the some of the “interesting” judging you guys have over in the US I feel the pressure is in Jacobs to win convincingly, even more so then a normal challenger for a belt.

How do you see it?

Where does GGG go from here? BJS in the U.K. would be a massive promotion. I have a feeling it depends on where he signs his next promotional deal.

MM:

Naz Vs Lomo at featherweight

Lewis Vs Fury

Nelson Vs Usyk

Black Panther Vs Cap?

Keep up the good work. – Tabraze, London UK

Thanks, Tabraze. I’ll go with Hamed by close/controversial decision (thanks to a knockdown or two), Lewis by close and uneventful decision, Usyk by decision in a competitive fight, and as long as there’s no VADA testing (because I doubt the super solider serum is WADA approved) I favor Steve Rogers by razor-thin decision (if we’re talking about a 15-round boxing match – I’ll go with King T’Challa over 12 rounds or an MMA match).

Canelo/Jacobs can’t wait! That’s a quality middleweight championship bout. That’s the lineal/Ring/WBC/WBA champ vs. the IBF titleholder, who is The Ring’s No. 2-rated middleweight (behind only Gennady Golovkin). That’s a showdown between two experienced, battle-tested veterans who are in their primes. Both are elite boxers. One is a compact stalker-technician and expert counterpuncher/combo-puncher/body puncher. The other is a big, athletic stick-and-mover with world-class speed and power. It looks very competitive on paper and I think it’s a PPV worthy matchup. This is a big deal for Jacobs and especially for DAZN.  

Brilliant matchup and the haters have to give Canelo credit for taking this one! It’s a brilliant matchup, but you can forget about Canelo’s haters giving him any credit for this fight. They’ll just say that DAZN forced him to take it, or that Jacobs can’t win a decision in Vegas, or that he’s ducking GGG, or whatever jaded a__holes like to spew on social media and in comment sections. Oh well, it’s their loss if they can’t appreciate it.

This is a hard fight for Canelo. Jacobs gave GGG a hard time and he’s gonna come 110% ready for Canelo. Absolutely. He’s reached the pinnacle of the sport. He’s gotta be at his absolute best. And if he is, he’s gotta shot. The version of Jacobs that extended Golovkin will probably give Canelo fits, but the version of the Mexican star that stood his ground with GGG and blasted out Rocky Fielding is likely to be very dangerous for the talented New Yorker.

I’m on the fence. Both have the ability to win IMHO. However, with the some of the “interesting” judging you guys have over in the U.S. I feel the pressure is in Jacobs to win convincingly, even more so then a normal challenger for a belt.

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Jacobs winds up a big left against Derevyanchenko. Photo / Getty Imgaes

How do you see it? I don’t have a prediction/pick yet because I view it as an even matchup, but if have to have an early favorite, it’s Canelo. He’s really come into his own, and while Jacobs looked sharp and on top of his game against Sergiy Derevyanchenko, he didn’t look unbeatable. Jacobs won that fight but just by a few points, and that was against a guy with 12 pro bouts. Granted, Derevyanchenko has a huge amateur background, but that’s not the same as pro experience and I don’t think there’s an active boxer under 30 who can come close to matching Canelo’s ring seasoning.

Where does GGG go from here? That’s the $10 million (per fight) question, isn’t it? If he still wants to be the undisputed middleweight champ and involved with the biggest fights possible, it looks like DAZN is the place to be. However, if he wants to fight on traditional network platforms and in front of a wider U.S. audience (but also on PPV), he will consider ESPN and the PBC.

BJS in the U.K. would be a massive promotion. GGG fighting any top middleweight, anywhere is a massive promotion.

 

CRAWFORD VS. KHAN

Hello Dougie,

Hope everything’s well with you and your family. I’m kind of upset because of what Top Rank is feeding us with. I know it’s a ppv and I can simply not buy it but come on, Crawford vs Khan is just another fight in which we already know the outcome. My big problem with this is that we only have these fighters fighting twice a year, three times at the most and we’re wasting those valuable dates (and their prime) against has beens that have a name but don’t bring anything to the table that advances the sport. I understand that they want to make a quick buck and Khan’s delusional fans will pay for whatever (they still think Khan would’ve beaten Mayweather lol) but Bob and company must be aware that this is armed robbery disguised as an event. Even the advertising for this fight on social media is ridiculous, “It’s Happening!”. What’s exactly happening? The Spence fight or you wasting our time again, Bob? I’m a real fan and I want to see the best fight the best. Crawford needs a good opponent and there are plenty out there. We know who these guys are. I know they’re with someone else but you have to play ball! Get your guy someone credible!

Alright Doug, sorry for that, it’s just that I heard Bob’s interview with Mario and Kim and he said we were going to be very pleased with the opponent and was looking forward to the announcement.

Hope you have a great week. Btw, I favor Pacquiao big this weekend (this kind of fight is perfect for him at this stage of his career btw). – Juan Valverde, San Diego

We’ll see. I don’t think it will be the walk in the park for Manny that so many envision, but if anyone has earned the right to get the benefit of the doubt in boxing it’s the eight-division titleholder from the Philippines.

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Crawford (left) and Khan. Photo courtesy of Matchroom Boxing

Regarding Crawford-Khan, I get your frustration but the reality is that Errol Spence, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter and Danny Garcia are all PBC players and Al Haymon is obligated to deliver the most meaningful fights involving that welterweight foursome to either Showtime or Fox. It won’t make sense for either Haymon or Arum to seriously consider Spence vs. Crawford until they know that showdown can be a major pay-per-view event. In the meantime, both unbeaten welterweight titleholders are going see what kind of PPV numbers they can generate in March and April. And Arum is going to do his best to keep Crawford busy. Has Khan seen better days? Yes indeed. But he isn’t shot, he should be motivated for this opportunity (likely his last shot against an elite boxer), and he’s always done well against boxers. It’s not a terrible matchup. I think Khan is the best opponent Crawford’s faced since Vikto Postol. And the former 140-pound titleholder will be the most naturally gifted athlete that Bud has fought since Yuriorkis Gamboa. But it’s not PPV worthy. I agree with you on that, but I am curious to see how ESPN pushes and publicizes the fight.

 

CALEB PLANT AND BRITISH BOXING ON TV

Hi Dougie,

Hope you are well. It’s Monday morning here in the UK and I’ve just caught up with last night’s boxing (no way I could stay up until 4am and still get up to take my boys to school). The PBC show was one of the rare occasions boxing was shown on terrestrial TV this side of the pond and the deal between ITV and PBC means we get Pac-Broner for free next weekend but DeGale-Eubank is a PPV. I suppose that is due to the profile of both in the UK.

Getting back to last night, what a performance by Plant! I was fairly unfamiliar with him but his tragic history had me rooting for him and his performance reminded me of when Darrin Van Horn won the IBF 154lb belt in ’89; an unbeaten but unheralded underdog against a more seasoned fighter making his maiden defence. Hopefully Plant has a longer reign and some big money defences. Unfortunately promotional rivalries will make a Canelo belt unlikely but maybe the winner of DeGale-Eubank will make for a high profile defence. I think Eubank would jump at the chance but having vacated the same title last year I think Chunky might decide that’s more trouble than he needs for a challenger’s share of the purse. What say you?

Also nice to see the return of Rigo. Do you think he’s left it too late to achieve much more or does he have more great nights left in him? Fingers crossed he is kept active while waiting for a title chance.

Couple of mythical matchups before I sign off:

Hector Camacho vs Vasyl Lomachenko (either 130lb or 135lb)

Michael Moorer Vs Sergey Kovalev (175lbs)

(PS thanks to following you on Twitter and discovering some of the comic pages you followed I recently learned about the Squadron Supreme miniseries. Can’t believe I missed it in the 80’s. What an epic story! Cheers 1f44d - Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Pacquiao-Broner, Jack-Browne, Canelo-Jacobs, Crawford-Khan)) Take care buddy. – Steve Done

Glad you’re enjoying the Twitter follow and, more importantly, the comics, Steve. The 1980s (the end of the Bronze Age for comic books) was an amazing time for the medium.

 I’ll go with Loma at 130 and Camacho at 135, and Moorer by KO with your mythical matchups.

As likeable as Uzcategui is as a fighter and individual, you HAD to root for Plant, who boxed and fought the fight of his career. He’s definitely a player in the 168-pound division. I don’t see the DeGale-Eubank winner electing to fight Plant. I think the newly-crowned IBF titleholder will take on the winner of the Kid Chocolate-Caleb Truax fight in April (both are rated by the IBF) in his first defense, and then, if victorious, aim for either a unification bout against the Anthony Dirrell-Anvi Yildirim winner or a showdown with David Benavidez (if the former WBC beltholder beats J’Leon Love in March). Or he’ll wait for Benavidez to get a shot at the Dirrell-Yildirim winner first, and then take on the winner of that bout.

I don’t know what to think about Rigondeaux. I’m pretty sure he’s still a top junior featherweight but I have no idea if he’s still the best 122 pounder due to his inactivity. He hasn’t had a victory since his opening-round blasting of Jazza Dickens in 2016. He only went one round with Moises Flores in 2017. And I can’t hold the loss to Lomachenko against him too much. But the first-round KO of Giovanni Delgado doesn’t tell us anything. Still, the “Rigolution” continues even though his options in the 122-pound division are limited due to his new PBC affiliation and the titleholders and top contenders being aligned with rival promoters/networks/platforms. Maybe Tomoki Kameda is available. But I’m guessing the Cuban southpaw will have to go to featherweight in order to get another title shot.  

I’m glad British fans are getting a break with PBC shows being televised on ITV. Not having to pay extra to watch Pac-Boner/Jack-Browne is a sweet deal. I wonder if Spence-Garcia will also be on ITV?

 

2019 WISH LIST PREDICTIONS

Hey Dougie,

Belated happy new year to you, I’m a little late with my wish list this year but it would be a shame to break with tradition so better late then never, last year we got 3 of my 10 wishes,  Usyk v Gassiev, Groves v Eubank Jr and Canelo v GGG 2, let’s hope for more success this year. Here are my 10 fights, can you give me the chances out of 10 we’ll get to see each fight and your prediction on each one as well.

Joshua vs Fury @ Heavyweight

Usyk vs Whyte @ Heavyweight

Ramirez vs Benavidez @ S Middleweight

Canelo vs Jacobs @ Middleweight

GGG vs BJS @ Middleweight

Spence vs Thurman @ welterweight

Pacquiao vs Danny Garcia @ welterweight

Mikey Garcia vs Lomachenko @ Lightweight

Berchelt vs Gervonta Davis @ S Featherweight

Warrington vs Leo Santa Cruz @ Featherweight

Thanks in advance. – Ronan Knox, Waterford, Ireland

Happy New Year, Ronan. Here ya go:

Joshua vs Fury @ Heavyweight – 3.5 – Joshua by close/controversial decision

Usyk vs Whyte @ Heavyweight – 8 – Usyk by close but unanimous decision

Ramirez vs Benavidez @ S Middleweight – 0 – Benavidez by decision or late stoppage

Canelo vs Jacobs @ Middleweight – 10 (done deal) – Canelo by close, maybe majority decision

GGG vs BJS @ Middleweight – 5 – Golovkin by competitive unanimous decision

Spence vs Thurman @ welterweight – 4.5 – Spence by close, maybe split decision

Pacquiao vs Danny Garcia @ welterweight – 4.5 – Pacquiao by close unanimous decision

Mikey Garcia vs Lomachenko @ Lightweight – 2 – Loma by split decision

Berchelt vs Gervonta Davis @ S Featherweight – 5.5 – Berchelt by hard-fought decision

Warrington vs Leo Santa Cruz @ Featherweight – 5 – Santa Cruz by majority decision

 

The post Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Pacquiao-Broner, Jack-Browne, Canelo-Jacobs, Crawford-Khan) appeared first on The Ring.

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