Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Charlo & Andrade, Canelo vs. Kovalev)

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CHARLO’S IMPROVEMENT, RANKING CHARLO & ANDRADE

What’s up doing hope you’re well,

What did you make of Charlo’s and Andrade’s performances the weekend?

I didn’t see the Demetrius Andrade fight, however I read it was a bit of a dud. I watched the best part of the Jermall Charlo fight. I actually think he boxed well. I think he learned to be patient after the Matt Korobov fight and he was against a cagey veteran like Brandon Adams. I think both 12 rounders against Korobov and Adams will help him going forward however I’d like to see better combos with him loosening up a little and more head movement, I do believe he hurt his left hand too as his best pinch-hit jab was non existent after round 2 or 3.

Where do both middleweights rank now in your opinion? And how do they do vs Canelo, GGG, Jacobs? All the best. – David, Dublin

Right now, Andrade and Charo are Ring Magazine’s Nos. 4- and 5-rated middleweights, which I think are fair rankings. I think Andrade is worthy of switching places with our No. 3 contender, Rob Brant, and I seconded that recommendation (put forth by Martin Mulcahey during yesterday’s Ratings Panel discussion). I would favor the top three (champion Canelo Alvarez and Nos. 1 and 2 contenders Golovkin and Jacobs) to beat both Andrade and Charlo, as they are more complete fighters and more experienced at the elite level, but I would also consider Boo Boo and ‘Mall to be live in each matchup. Andrade is a stylistic nightmare for any 160 pounder and Charlo is a dangerous boxer-puncher.

What did you make of Charlo’s and Andrade’s performances the weekend? Honestly, and I mean no disrespect to Charlo, Andrade or their opponents (who are solid fighters), I was underwhelmed. I wasn’t totally bored watching them go 12 rounds with Sulecki and Adams, but I expected more from Andrade and Charlo, I kept expecting them to switch gears/step it up over the second halves of their bouts.

I didn’t see the Demetrius Andrade fight, however I read it was a bit of a dud. It was a Demetrius Andrade fight.

I watched the best part of the Jermall Charlo fight. What part was that?

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Jermall Charlo nails Brandon Adams en route to his unanimous WBC middleweight title defense Saturday night. Photo by Esther Lin/Showtime

I actually think he boxed well. He boxed OK. He kept doing the same thing over and over again, and he wasn’t able to breakdown or corner Adams, but he was the aggressor and he outworked the fringe contender (who probably belongs at 154 pounds).

I think he learned to be patient after the Matt Korobov fight and he was against a cagey veteran like Brandon Adams. OK, I agree that it was good for Charlo to go 12 rounds against Korobov and Adams. Distance fights against solid opposition are learning experiences, and I think Charlo is learning patience (but it’s still definitely a process for him). However, let’s not make Adams out to be Archie Moore. Yes, he was slicker than advertised, but “cagey veteran” is laying it on a bit thick. Charlo has more fights than Adams. He’s been a pro longer. They’re the same freakin’ age (29). Adams had gone the 10-round distance twice prior to Saturday’s “title shot” – splitting fights with Willie Monroe Jr. and Shane Mosley Jr. Please, let’s not make this matchup out to be more than it is (a stay busy bout for Charlo that he was supposed to win).

 

IS ANDRADE WORTH IT?

Hey Doug, hope all is going well.

I’ve returned home from the Andrade/Sulecki bout down in Providence and Andrade was typical Andrade. Exciting and aggressive early then switching to cruise control once he feels he’s got the fight in the bag.

He’s definitely not an easy fight for any top middleweight. But I wonder if being undisputed middleweight champion of the world is enough to entice Canelo to fight him. I’m not sure if that’s a goal for Canelo. For GGG, does he really want to deal with someone like Andrade at this stage in his career? Not that GGG couldn’t win, but Andrade does have enough skill to win via decision.

Andrade doesn’t make for exciting bouts but he does possess a belt and is a worthy opponent. There was a good size crowd there to see him and I’d definitely think it would sell well if held in NYC.

Do you think we will see either fight, and if so, which would be the likelier of the two? Thanks for what you do. – D.W. from Boston, Ma

You are most welcome, D.W.

I think we will see one of those matchups at some point during the next 18 months, and my guess is that Golovkin will be the middleweight star to give Andrade a shot.

Exciting and aggressive early then switching to cruise control once he feels he’s got the fight in the bag. Andrade has basically taken the elite amateur strategy that was used with AIBA’s (corrupt ass) point-scoring system and applied it to 12-round bouts. Not a fan of that.

He’s definitely not an easy fight for any top middleweight. Agreed. He’s a major pain in the ass.

But I wonder if being undisputed middleweight champion of the world is enough to entice Canelo to fight him. I’m not sure if that’s a goal for Canelo. It supposedly is, but I’m sure Golden Boy would prefer that he unify with somebody other than Andrade. The last time Canelo faced a rangy, mobile, southpaw world amateur champ (Erislandy Lara), they had to sweat out a split decision.

For GGG, does he really want to deal with someone like Andrade at this stage in his career? NOBODY at ANY stage of their career WANTS to deal with someone like Andrade.

Not that GGG couldn’t win, but Andrade does have enough skill to win via decision. Maybe. Or maybe he has just enough talent and ring generalship to go the distance in an uneventful fight and claim that he deserved to win a close decision that goes Golovkin’s way.

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Demetrius Andrade

Andrade doesn’t make for exciting bouts but he does possess a belt and is a worthy opponent. Yeah, he’s worthy in terms of the matchup with either Canelo or GGG. He can compete with them. I’m not sure having a WBO belt automatically earns him a shot at either, however. Who has he beat? And does anybody outside of boxing diehards know who he is? Yeah, he’s got a belt. GGG doesn’t, and he doesn’t need one. Canelo’s the Ring Magazine and lineal champ, plus he’s got three belts (OK, maybe two belts and whatever the WBC “Franchise” title is). The cold, hard truth is that the two stars of the 160-pound division (two of the biggest attractions in the sport) don’t need Andrade.

There was a good size crowd there to see him and I’d definitely think it would sell well if held in NYC. OK, Eddie Hearn Jr. Yes, of course Andrade vs. either Canelo or GGG would sell in NYC. They have dedicated fan bases. Canelo pulled 20,000 to Madison Square Garden vs. Rocky Fielding. GGG attracted 12,000 to MSG vs. Steve Rolls.

 

DAZN’S BORING BILL

Hi Dougie,

How are things going?

If there’s one thing last weekend’s DAZN bill showed us, it’s why 2 long-reining champions have been under the radar for most of their career.

Andrade is a strange fighter. Nobody’s doubting his ability, but he’s got a style that’s hard to love; he’s very slick, great defensive skills but when he has to press the action and come forward he goes all Deontay Wilder with those flailing, windmill arms. He looks like a guy that just does enough to win and yet you can see why he’s been avoided by the likes of GGG and Canelo. He’s got the style and skills to make any of the top guys look bad and possible even beat them if they’re not at their best. Despite the fact he holds a belt the top guys probably see him as too much risk not enough reward because basically there are bigger fights out there for GGG and Canelo.

As for Kal Yafai I’ve often wondered how “Britain’s longest-reining world champion” has been almost unknown even in his own country but last night showed me why. I don’t like the way he fights or his attitude. I found his goading and lip flapping after every round completely unnecessary and obnoxious especially when his own performance wasn’t that good. He’s a guy who’s good at everything but not brilliant at any one thing. He neither has the one punch power or the skills to really put in dominating performances against the better fighters. The other issue is after 26 fights and 5 defences of his title he’s still to have a signature fight against one of the very best in the division.

Finally, the less said about Joe Parker’s glorified sparring session the better. Oh, well I guess Matchroom USA were due a substandard show eventually. – Cheers, Mark from the UK

Yeah, I think Hearn has put on the two best shows (top-to-bottom) that I’ve been to, so far, in 2019 – Sor Rungvisai-Estrada 2 and Joshua-Ruiz – but, man, I am sooooooooooo glad to have had the luxury of watching the Andrade-Sulecki card from my living room. I intermittently watched the DAZN offering during Showtime’s “Championship Boxing” show (which wasn’t that much better). Parker’s form was pretty good, in my opinion. I think he needed to knock off some ring rust, but his opponent was too tough for his own good and that fight went too many rounds.

Hopefully, we’ll see Parker in a contender next. I still think he can be a heavyweight player.

Andrade is a strange fighter. Strange? Dude, just say he’s a stinker. This is a boxing website. We don’t have to play nice or be hypersensitive or very politically correct.

Nobody’s doubting his ability, but he’s got a style that’s hard to love; he’s very slick, great defensive skills but when he has to press the action and come forward he goes all Deontay Wilder with those flailing, windmill arms. Yeah, he flails away Wilder style without the bone-crunching punching power, which is ridiculous. He was an elite-level amateur. His offensive technique should be tighter than it is.

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Demetrius Andrade drops Walter Kautondokwa during their 12 round bout for the vacant WBO middleweight title at the TD Garden in Boston. Photo by Matt Heasley/Matchroom Boxing USA

He looks like a guy that just does enough to win and yet you can see why he’s been avoided by the likes of GGG and Canelo. I have a hard time saying GGG and Canelo are “avoiding” Andrade, who moved to the middleweight division in October 2017 (vs. Alantez Fox) and then disappeared for a full year. Since escaping limbo, he’s fought Walter Kautondokwa, Artur Akavov and Sulecki (the first legit 160-pound contender he’s faced). Please, let’s not make him out to be Marvin Hagler in the late 1970s.

He’s got the style and skills to make any of the top guys look bad and possible even beat them if they’re not at their best. We all think that’s the case (and I’m with you), but the reality is that he hasn’t fought any of “the top guys” at middleweight. So, we really don’t know if that’s the truth. It would be great if Andrade could fight a badass like Jermall Charlo so we could truly find out how good they both are.

Despite the fact he holds a belt the top guys probably see him as too much risk not enough reward because basically there are bigger fights out there for GGG and Canelo. Or they just view him as a loudmouth who hasn’t accomplished much or proven anything, and they don’t care if Serio Mora and some geeky fans think he’s Michael Nunn 2.0.

As for Kal Yafai I’ve often wondered how “Britain’s longest-reigning world champion” has been almost unknown even in his own country but last night showed me why. There was a time, maybe between 2014 (when he was still a prospect) through to the end of 2016 (when he

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Kal Yafai. Photo / Mikey Williams-TOP RANK

won the vacant WBA belt by outpointing former beltholder Luis Concepcion), when I thought he was a top talent and entertaining boxer. However, I’ve been underwhelmed by his recent outings.

I don’t like the way he fights or his attitude. You’re not alone.

I found his goading and lip flapping after every round completely unnecessary and obnoxious especially when his own performance wasn’t that good. That s__t was unwatchable. I felt sorry for the DAZN commentators.

He’s a guy who’s good at everything but not brilliant at any one thing. He neither has the one punch power or the skills to really put in dominating performances against the better fighters. Agreed. If he gets a shot at Ring champ Juan Francisco Estrada, who just signed with Matchroom Boxing, I think the Mexican master will take him to school.

 

ARE PEOPLE OVERLOOKING KOVALEV?

Hello Doug,

I normally don’t email regarding fights that haven’t been announced or even mythical matches, but this one caught my eye. Canelo going up to 175 to face Kovalev is a very intriguing fight but also very similarly intriguing as Errol Spence vs Mikey Garcia.

I see a lot of people quickly dismissing Kovalev because he was hurt by Andre Ward to the body and saying that Canelo is a better body puncher, which to me is kinda eye opening in how people perceive this.

Kovalev was hurt by Ward by a combination of low blows and body punches in the second fight.   In the first fight he was successful to the body but not enough to get the win in my card. Based on that alone I can’t say Kovalev is weak to the body, or that it’s the main flaw that Canelo will use in his favor. It is a factor but only if Canelo brings his power with him. At Middleweight I don’t see Canelo as a puncher. I see him as a fast handed boxer with good enough pop to keep anybody that tries to get in, weary of getting caught with a punch they didn’t see coming. When he was at lighter weight classes, his power was more prominent because of his advantage in size, but in the bigger divisions, I don’t think he can be considered a hard puncher.

For him to be able to gain the respect of a guy like Kovalev, who already has a big size advantage and is an exceptional underrated boxer, he needs to be able to hurt him. If he doesn’t bring any power to the table, then Mikey Garcia’s fate is Canelo’s future. Also, once he feels the power of a true light heavyweight who can punch and box, he will probably not be as excited to get inside and throw that hook to the body.

Kovalev is fast enough to make Canelo think twice. I also think people are too fast thinking Kovalev is shot. What he did in his rematch with Alvarez, is exceptional, he reminded me of Terry Norris beating Simon Brown after being KO’d. He knows who he is at this point in his career and I guess that knowing your own weaknesses makes you a better fighter.

People need to remember that Canelo arguably lost both fights against GGG at Middleweight, and if he won one, he barely did. He never hurt him, he never hurt Jacobs, and he will not hurt Kovalev as a Light Heavyweight. He will also lose some of his speed, which is his main strength.

This is not an easy fight and I really think they won’t take it. I think they’re using Kovalev’s name for negotiation purposes with GGG. In the end, if they do fight I favor Kovalev by KO or easy decision, similar to what we saw with The Truth and Mikey. Thanks Doug. – Juan Valverde, San Diego

aug2019cover308x432 214x300 - Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Charlo & Andrade, Canelo vs. Kovalev)I think Team Canelo and Golden Boy are serious about the Kovalev fight. GBP President Eric Gomez told me that when I interviewed him for the cover story of the current issue of Ring Magazine. I believed him but didn’t put that comment in my story (or Kovalev on the cover with the other obvious candidates) because I didn’t think they wanted Canelo to take such a big step up in weight this year. The problem with putting on that much weight (even if it’s just 10 pounds to meet Kovalev at a 170-pound catchweight) is that he may not be able to return to 160 without hurting his body, and while Canelo can hang at super middleweight, he’s really at this best at middleweight.  

But I wouldn’t mistake the Kovalev talk for posturing. Yeah, there are egos involved in the Canelo-GGG-DAZN triangle and GBP and Team Canelo never want anything to be dictated to them, but Oscar De La Hoya has been floating Kovalev’s name as a possible opponent for their star fighter even before the Daniel Jacobs fight. Team Canelo sees something in Kovalev’s style they think they can take advantage of and they’ve told this to GBP, which believes in the Mexican superstar. And it’s a big fight. They can sell it for the same reasons you listed out (in great detail) in your email. It’s a dangerous fight. Risky matchups capture the imagination of boxing fans (and sometimes general sports fans). I think DAZN would welcome it if a deal can be worked out with Kovalev’s promoters.  

I see a lot of people quickly dismissing Kovalev because he was hurt by Andre Ward to the body and saying that Canelo is a better body puncher, which to me is kinda eye opening in how people perceive this. Something you must understand about all matchups and potential matchhups involving Canelo is that the Mexican ginger makes some hardcore boxing fans crazy. These mutants can’t give him credit for s__t. It doesn’t matter who he fights or what he does. He just fought Daniel Jacobs and half the boobs on Boxing Twitter call him a “cherry picker” and claim he’s the “most protected fighter in boxing.” So, they can’t give him props for going up two weight classes to challenge arguably the top light heavyweight. They have to say it’s an “easy fight” and that Canelo and GBP are looking for a “soft opponent,” and to do that they have to push the belief that Kovalev will crap his trunks the moment Canelo grazes him with a body shot.

Kovalev was hurt by Ward by a combination of low blows and body punches in the second fight. True, but Dre can do no wrong. Never forget that.

rsz befunky collage 2 300x186 - Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Charlo & Andrade, Canelo vs. Kovalev)In the first fight he was successful to the body but not enough to get the win in my card. Based on that alone I can’t say Kovalev is weak to the body, or that it’s the main flaw that Canelo will use in his favor. Hey, I think Kovalev is a card-carrying badass, but he’s got several flaws that Canelo can advantage of if they make this fight. It’s silly for anyone to think that Canelo’s only way of doing any damage is to attack the body. Canelo’s a very good body puncher but he’s not Julio Cesar Chavez. It’s not his bread and butter. He’s never been hell-bent with his body attack.

It is a factor but only if Canelo brings his power with him. He looked pretty strong and agile against Rocky Fielding after weighing in at 167½ pounds. I understand that Fielding isn’t in Kovalev’s class, but if Canelo is as sharp as he was vs. the British fighter, maybe he doesn’t have to be a powerhouse to beat Kovalev. Maybe he just goes in there and attempts to outbox the Russian, the way he approaches most of his fights.

At Middleweight I don’t see Canelo as a puncher. He’s a boxer-puncher, and he puts the boxing WAY before the punching.

For him to be able to gain the respect of a guy like Kovalev, who already has a big size advantage and is an exceptional underrated boxer, he needs to be able to hurt him. Does he? What if he counters Kovalev jab and makes him miss with most of his power shots? What if he just frustrates the s__t out of the 36-year-old Russian, who doesn’t have the fastest hands our reflexes among the light heavies? What makes you think Canelo can’t outbox Kovalev? Is it because Ward struggled so much with Kovalev? Bro, styles make fights.

If he doesn’t bring any power to the table, then Mikey Garcia’s fate is Canelo’s future. Nah. Kovalev isn’t as fresh or sharp as the in-prime Spence, and Canelo is a much slicker boxer than Garcia.

Also, once he feels the power of a true light heavyweight who can punch and box, he will probably not be as excited to get inside and throw that hook to the body. We’ll see if and when the fight happens (by the way, you sure have a LOT to say about a matchup that you “really think they won’t take” – LOL!). Hey, the size and power difference will be a big part of selling this fight to the media and the public.

Kovalev is fast enough to make Canelo think twice. Is he? I think maybe he’s crafty enough to make Canelo second guess himself here and there, but he doesn’t look all that quick to me.

I also think people are too fast thinking Kovalev is shot. Agreed. (But Kovalev has some truly pathological haters out there. They’re going to say all kinds of dumb s__t.)

What he did in his rematch with Alvarez, is exceptional, he reminded me of Terry Norris beating Simon Brown after being KO’d. Good analogy. I agree.

He knows who he is at this point in his career and I guess that knowing your own weaknesses makes you a better fighter. True.

People need to remember that Canelo arguably lost both fights against GGG at Middleweight, and if he won one, he barely did. Regardless of the official outcomes of those fights, remember these two points:

CaneloGGG2HBOc 300x169 - Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Charlo & Andrade, Canelo vs. Kovalev)1)those 24 rounds made Canelo a better boxer (and he was already excellent), and

2)GGG is a better, more-complete boxer than Kovalev.

He never hurt him, he never hurt Jacobs, and he will not hurt Kovalev as a Light Heavyweight. He will also lose some of his speed, which is his main strength. As long as he doesn’t lose an intelligence, Juan, he’ll be OK. THAT’S his main strength. He got GGG’s respect. That’s hard to do. He did that with brains as much as with brawn. He never hurt Jacobs? OK, Jacobs barely touched him. That’s how he can beat Kovalev, by not allowing the bigger man to put hands on him.

 

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and watch him on Periscope (with Coach Swartz and Tom Loeffler) every Sunday from SMC track.

The post Dougie’s Monday mailbag (Charlo & Andrade, Canelo vs. Kovalev) appeared first on The Ring.

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