Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Lomachenko-Lopez, Navarrete-Villa)

lomachenko lopez 150x150 - Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Lomachenko-Lopez, Navarrete-Villa)

LOMACHENKO VS. LOPEZ IS FINALLY HERE

Hey Dougie –

I trust you and yours are well.

How do you see this fight panning out?

Initially seeing how Teofimo Lopez struggled with Nakatani I thought Loma would outclass him over 12 rounds. However, after the Commey blow out, who knows? It’s risky for Loma to be fighting against naturally bigger guys at lightweight but that’s where the big fights are.

There is talk of him moving down to super featherweight, but I’d be surprised if he does that seeing as the likes of Haney, Garcia and (soon to be) Davis are all at lightweight. The big fights just aren’t there at super featherweight and it’s a case of been there, done that.

If I had to say, I’d pick Loma by decision, but I dread the thought of him getting KTFO by the naturally bigger man and bigger puncher in Lopez.

All the best. – Dave, Ruthin, Wales

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Linares nails Lomachenko with a right. Photo / Hoganphotos

The fact that Lopez is a natural (and very big) lightweight and the threat of his explosive power is the reason Saturday’s championship showdown is such an anticipated matchup. In terms of experience and accomplishments, Lopez isn’t in Lomachenko’s class. However, we’ve seen (vs. Jorge Linares, Jose Pedraza and Luke Campbell) that the three-division titleholder has hit his physical limit at 135 pounds. World class lightweights can put hands on Loma. They can win rounds. Lopez proved to be a world-class lightweight vs. Commey, and he’s got natural talent on par with Linares, plus much heavier hands.

So, as awesome as Lomachenko is, I think we’ve got a real fight on Saturday and I don’t think I’m alone in that opinion.

Teofimo Lopez Masayoshi Nakatani2 Mikey Williams Top Rank 300x219 - Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Lomachenko-Lopez, Navarrete-Villa)

Masayoshi Nakatani landed a healthy amount of rights on Teofimo Lopez. Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank

Initially seeing how Teofimo Lopez struggled with Nakatani I thought Loma would outclass him over 12 rounds. Yeah, most of us expected to Lopez to make the right adjustments to deal with the Japanese fringe contender’s height and reach, however, despite the unofficial scorecards of the ESPN commentators, I think he deserved the wide decision. And there’s always going to be a that hardheaded badass that just refuses to be deterred or knocked out no matter how hard he gets hit. It was good for Lopez to go 12 rounds. He needed to know that he could go the championship distance, and the less-than-scintilating performance prompted Lopez to make some needed changes in his training/preparation routine.

However, after the Commey blow out, who knows? We know Lopez is dangerous “af,” as the kids say. However, Richard Commey, a come-forward right-hand bomber, was tailor-made for Lopez. Lomachenko is literally the opposite of an orthodox, flat-footed slugger.

It’s risky for Loma to be fighting against naturally bigger guys at lightweight but that’s where the big fights are. The money and the glory is almost always at the heavier weights.

There is talk of him moving down to super featherweight, but I’d be surprised if he does that seeing as the likes of Haney, Garcia and (soon to be) Davis are all at lightweight. If Lomachenko succeeds vs. Lopez and even one of those potential matchups can be made, it’s worth it for him to remain at lightweight.

The big fights just aren’t there at super featherweight and it’s a case of been there, done that. I don’t know if agree 100% with that notion. Like I said, if a deal can be made for Lomachenko to face Devin Haney or Tank Davis (yes, I’m overlooking Leo Santa Cruz), it makes all the sense in the world for the Ukrainian Wizard to remain King of the Lightweights. However, if he gets past Lopez and the 135-pound fights that are lined up for him include Felix Verdejo, the Kambros-Selby winner, or, God forbid, Rolando Romero (ugh), I’d prefer that Lomachenko drop back down to 130 pounds where he could take on the Berchelt-Valdez and Herring-Frampton winners.

 

HOW SPECIAL WOULD A LOMA WIN BE?

Hi Doug,

Hope you are looking forward to this weekend’s big fight, Loma vs Lopez! Very excited, and if Loma beats him, hope he gets the credit he deserves for beating a young, hungry, naturally bigger man coming to win.

Which current active fighters do you see as the most special? All-time greats in the making kind of special?

Mythical match-ups prime for prime:

Sugar Ray Robinson vs Sugar Ray Leonard

How you think a round robin between Larry Holmes, Lennox Lewis and George Foreman would have panned out, always been intrigued by them match-ups. Thanks. – Sina

I think prime Holmes comes out with the most wins, and Robinson outpoints Leonard (who would admit as much) in a great fight.

Hope you are looking forward to this weekend’s big fight, Loma vs Lopez! Who isn’t?

Very excited, and if Loma beats him, hope he gets the credit he deserves for beating a young, hungry, naturally bigger man coming to win. I’m sure there will be some agenda-driven nitwits out there s__ting on him, making up excuses, or coming up with rubbish

conspiracy theories, but that’s just boxing in the social media age. Some people were born to be ignored. But rational fans will give him the credit he’s due. Likewise for Lopez if he’s victorious.

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The man, the myth, THE MONSTER! Ring bantamweight champ Naoya Inoue.

Which current active fighters do you see as the most special? All-time greats in the making kind of special? Well, Lomachenko will be well on his way if he can further unify the lightweight titles by beating Lopez. If he can turn back the challenges of the other young guns (Haney, Garcia, Davis) it will be hard to deny his greatness. I think Naoya Inoue also has chance to be something really special. He’s already in the conversation for greatest Japanese boxer. If he can turn back Jason Moloney’s challenge, further unify titles vs. John Riel Casimero and the oubaali-Donaire winner, then win a major belt (or two) at 122 pounds, and then maybe go for one last strap at featherweight (let’s go ahead and dream about the Super-All-Asian clash with the “other Monster,” Xu Can), he’ll far surpass being a “mere” hall of famer given his body of work. A lot of IFs, I know. And, of course, there’s that Mexican the #Salty One love to hate. A major title at 168 (preferably Ring champ Callum Smith), another big showdown at 160 (preferably Jermall Charlo), one more belt at 175 pounds; yeah, that should do it.

 

NAVARRETE-VILLA

Dougie,

I trust that all is as good as it could be. I know it can’t get much better in Cable Boxing terms than this and next weekend. I grew up on basic cable shows and they used to be much more competitive than what we’ve been getting lately, but with Navarrete vs Villa and Lopez vs Loma next weekend all is forgiven. HOW IS LOPEZ VS LOMA NOT PPV?!!!! Short of Spence vs Crawford I can’t think of a fight I want to see more. Can you?

This weekend’s matchup definitely posed the big question boxer vs puncher. Despite Navarrete moving up he still seemed the much bigger man. He looks like he can reach you from anywhere in the ring and you just don’t know where the punches are coming from. Ruben Villa was made to look small and weak for a featherweight and I have to wonder if he is. He can clearly box, but do you think he should try to shave the 4 pounds and move down? How does Dogboe vs Villa sound?

The main question is how far can Emanuel Navarrete go as a Featherweight? He looked strong against Villa, but was it him being strong or Villa being weak? I don’t like saying weak for a guy who actually impressed me just by surviving a viscous knockdown in the 4th. Was Navarrete too patient or did Villa expose him by moving so well? Lastly, without going too deep, how’d you score it? I didn’t score it, but it seemed to me that 1 shot from Navarrette was worth 3 jabs from Villa, yet without the knockdowns, it would have been a majority draw. At least the right guy won.

Have a great week and hopefully, you’ll get some sleep Friday night, because your inbox is getting blown up after Loma vs Lopez! Stay well. – Scott

Hey, that’s OK, Scott, as long as we get a great fight or a great performance on Saturday.

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Ruben Villa could not offset Emanuel Navarrete’s power (Photo by Mikey Williams/Top Rank)

I scored Navarrete-Villa nine rounds-to-three for the now-two-division titleholder from Mexico, which is 117-109 due to the two knockdowns he scored. However, although I think 114-112 is giving Villa too much credit, I don’t think 115-111 is a terrible scorecard, and I could live with 116-110. I thought Villa boxed well enough in Rounds 2 and 3 to edge those rounds, and I thought he was on his way winning Round 4 before he got dropped again. He was visibly shaken in Round 5, but I thought Round 6 was close. I also thought he found his rhythm late and really got his jab going down the stretch. I noted that Rounds 9 and 10 were competitive in my notepad, even though I scored those rounds for Navarrete due to the harder shots he landed. I scored Round 11 for Villa and I thought he won it soundly, which is saying something considering it was the first time he ever boxed past 10 rounds.

Despite Navarrete moving up he still seemed the much bigger man. That’s because he is the much bigger man.

He looks like he can reach you from anywhere in the ring and you just don’t know where the punches are coming from. Villa can attest to this ability. He’s going to be a handful for any featherweight.

Ruben Villa was made to look small and weak for a featherweight and I have to wonder if he is. Villa’s not weak at all, he’s just not a big puncher. He got caught by punches he didn’t see or didn’t think would land with the authority and accuracy that they did. He took a big step up in class and was almost overwhelmed before the halfway point of the fight. It took him some rounds to gather himself after the fourth-round knockdown, but once he found his feet and took some chances, he competed. That’s saying something. This experience will make him a much better pro/contender.

He can clearly box, but do you think he should try to shave the 4 pounds and move down? Nah. He can hang at 126. Navarrete just surprised him early and was a little too strong and too seasoned for him. Hey, I’ve got to admit that the Mexican volume-puncher is better than I thought. I knew he’d be a handful, but I thought Villa could outpoint him. I underestimated Navarrete, who is craftier than I thought and who may turn out to be a featherweight standout. I don’t think there should be any shame to losing to Navarrete at this juncture in Villa’s career. I think the Salinas, Calif. native will box and fight with more confidence and conviction going forward.

How does Dogboe vs Villa sound? Sign me up for that!

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Xu Can (R) exchanges punches with Manny Robles in their WBA title fight at Fantasy Springs Casino on November 23, 2019 in Indio, California. (Photo By Tom Hogan/Golden Boy/Getty Images)

The main question is how far can Emanuel Navarrete go as a Featherweight? I think Navarrete’s going to land at No. 4 in The Ring’s 126-pound rankings, and the top three – Josh Warrington, Garry Russell Jr. and Xu Can – are the only featherweights I think can compete with him and possibly beat him.

He looked strong against Villa, but was it him being strong or Villa being weak? Navarrete is definitely strong. Will he be as strong against someone his size, who can match his high-volume punching, like Xu Can and Warrington; or vs. someone who can hit him back with speed AND power, like Russell? I don’t know. I hope we find out.

I don’t like saying weak for a guy who actually impressed me just by surviving a viscous knockdown in the 4th. So don’t call him weak! LOL.

Was Navarrete too patient or did Villa expose him by moving so well? Villa was pesky in there during the middle rounds. He wasn’t going to make it easy for Navarrete to tee off on him. And I think he tried to do more than frustrate Navarrete in the late rounds. Props to him. I think Navarrete was patient, but not too patient. Obviously, he felt in control and ahead on the scorecards after scoring the second knockdown. Why be in a rush and run into a fast counter punch from Villa? He was landing the harder shots as he stalked Villa, and he probably though the young man would run out of gas at some point since he’d never fought past 10 rounds or been in a grueling fight. But credit Villa for keeping his focus down the stretch. I don’t think he “exposed” Navarrete, he just competed with the Mexican mauler as best he could.

 

SHOWDOWN FOR LIGHTWEIGHT SUPREMACY

Hi Dougie,

Even though we don’t know all that much about Lopez yet, would you regard him as being Lomachenko’s toughest fight so far? His best opponent?

As you see it, what are the stakes, legacy wise, for both men?

Regards. – Steven

lomachenko campbell matchroom 300x242 - Dougie’s Monday Mailbag (Lomachenko-Lopez, Navarrete-Villa)

Loma wants all the belts.

For Lomachenko the stakes/legacy are his ultimate goal at 135 pounds, which is to be universally recognized as THE champ (and if he wins, he will be, even though he’s got the WBC’s “Franchise” title and Devin Haney holds the green belt). The unified titles are also important to Lopez, but I think he’s more focused on collecting the scalp of a pound-for-pound rated fighter because, let’s face it, he’s probably heading up to 140 pounds next year. It’s also about respect for Lopez. Regardless of what weight class he campaigns in, he wants to be recognized as an elite boxer.

Even though we don’t know all that much about Lopez yet, would you regard him as being Lomachenko’s toughest fight so far? His best opponent? I think Lopez is the most dangerous opponent that Lomachenko has faced so far in the pro ranks, because he appears to the have the ability to take him out – or seriously rock him – with a single punch. Then again, Nicholas Walters was supposed to wield similar power at 126 and 130 pounds. I think for the time being, Lomachenko’s “toughest” fight remains his first title shot vs. Orlando Salido. His “best” opponent to date is either Guillermo Rigondeaux (just based on accomplishments), Jorge Linares or Gary Russell Jr.

 

THE DAWN OF A NEW MEXICAN ERA?

Hi Dougie,

I hope you’re well.

Mr. unconventional Emanuel Navarrete is now a two-weight world champion; I have followed him for a few years now and enjoy his style. After watching his latest victory, which I thoroughly enjoyed, the prospect of a fight with Josh Warrington is mouth watering and quite possibly moved into my top 5 potential fights which aren’t made yet in boxing right now.

Although if promotors and fighters could work together I think Navarrete, Berchelt, LSC & Valdez could deliver a great all Mexican, all action 4 way.

Thoughts on those five fights and a couple of middleweight mythical matchups.

1 Fury – AJ

2 Beterbiev – Bivol

3 Chocolatito – Estrada 2

4 Taylor – Ramirez

5 Warrington – Navarrete or Inoue – Casimero.

My reason for including Crawford-Spence is seeing is believing and I only believe Spence is back when I’ve seen it.

Mythical match ups

Canelo – Georgie Benton

GGG – Gene Fullmer

Thank you for the continued great reporting and content. – Jaime

It’s my pleasure and honor, Jaime. Thanks for the kind words.

I’ll go with Canelo and Golovkin via close, maybe split decisions.

1 Fury – AJIt’s a toss-up really, but I can’t shake this feeling that if Fury can’t stop or totally dominate Joshua, he ain’t getting the decision.

2 Beterbiev – Bivol Bivol by close decision.

3 Chocolatito – Estrada 2I love both champions, but you know I’ll be rooting for Gonzalez; still, I’ve got to favor the younger, better preserved but equally skilled and experienced JFE by close nod. (I reserve the right to change my opinion based on how they look on the Oct. 23 card in Mexico City.)

4 Taylor – RamirezTaylor by close UD.

5 Warrington – Navarrete or Inoue – CasimeroWarrington by SD, Inoue by UD.

Mr. unconventional Emanuel Navarrete is now a two-weight world champion; I have followed him for a few years now and enjoy his style. You know what? I respected his style and attributes, but I never really enjoyed watching him fight until this past Saturday.

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Josh Warrington. Photo courtesy of www.frankwarren.com

After watching his latest victory, which I thoroughly enjoyed, the prospect of a fight with Josh Warrington is mouth watering and quite possibly moved into my top 5 potential fights which aren’t made yet in boxing right now. I don’t know if makes my top five, but it’s definitely in my top 10 potential (and realistic) matchups for 2021. As I’ve said, Navarrete’s style (which is craftier and more awkward that I previously recognized) is hell for any other style. However, I think Warrington is one of the few world-class featherweights who would actually relish fighting someone like Navarrete. The Leeds Man is a little crazy. I wish we had more fighters like him.

Although if promotors and fighters could work together, I think Navarrete, Berchelt, LSC & Valdez could deliver a great all Mexican, all action 4 way. That’s an awesome round robin on paper, however A) we all know promoters (and their network partners) generally DON’T work together (so you can forget about Santa Cruz participating), and B) Navarrete would have to go up another weight class (to 130) to make these fights happen. There’s no way Berchelt could drop down to 126, and the other two wouldn’t do it because they wouldn’t want to give him an edge. Still, those are all excellent matchups (on paper) and they would make for fairly big events in the Los Angeles area (as well as major cities in Texas and Arizona) once fans are allowed to congregate en masse.

 

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter and IG at @dougiefischer, and join him, Tom Loeffler, Coach Schwartz and friends via Tom’s Periscope (and sometimes Dougie’s IG Live) every Sunday.

 

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Can Dougie guess the fighter that Lee Jenkins, Lou Ambers, Kid Gavilan, Peter Mueller, Paul Pender, Johnny Saxton, Chuck Davey, Ike Williams and Gil Turner have in common? (And does he know their nicknames?)

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