Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Canelo/Golden Boy DAZN deal, Eddie Hearn, Bud Crawford, Pound for Pound)

THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE

Hi Dougie,

Hope you, the team and the family are doing well. Short one this week. The landscape seems to be changing every day. I’m referring to Canelo’s new DAZN deal.

I thought GBP was aligned with ESPN?

Now HBO are out, is Eddie finally taking over? In your opinion for better or worse?

What chance does Rocky have? I know in the US a lot of scorn has been poured over this fight, but on this side of the pond Rocky was very well liked and there’s a sense of, yes it’s a long shot, but good on him for taking it!

He did look massive when standing next to Canelo.

(P.S taking about landscape changing, pigs flying, etc., Chisora signing with Haymaker??? It’s so mad it might work!) Keep up the good work. – Tabraze, London, UK Thanks, Trab.

I don’t think it’s weird that Derek Chisora would sign with David Haye’s promotional company. As an active champ (and even as a semi-retired veteran), Haye is one boxing’s best self-promoters of the last 25 years. The former cruiserweight champ and heavyweight beltholder is very popular and successful in business on your side of the Pond, so he figures to make for a good promoter now that he’s hung up the gloves. Chisora realizes this. So what if Haye knocked him TFO? What happens in the ring, stays in the ring. This is just business. Oscar De La Hoya understood that as he made the transition from boxing superstar to promoter. He promoted his ring nemeses (Shane Mosley, Bernard Hopkins and Floyd Mayweather Jr.). 

The landscape seems to be changing every day. I’m referring to Canelo’s new DAZN deal. This is an interesting era we’re rapidly entering, but it seems like a good time to be a top prospect or world-class boxer, especially a bona-fide attraction like Canelo. There are several major networks/platforms (Showtime, FOX, FS1, ESPN, ESPN+ and DAZN) that are committed to showcasing high-level boxing for the next few years and they are willing to pay well for it. We’ll see if the money they’re paying for boxing content prompts them to insist on the best matchups and if the competition between the networks/platforms forces each one to constantly raise the quality bar. Anyway, it looks like Canelo and Golden Boy Promotions did well for themselves by aligning with DAZN. The partnership makes sense. GBP needed a dedicated home for Canelo that could pay the Mexican superstar what he’s worth, but also provide dates for the HBO/ESPN-level fighters in its vast stable to headline (Jorge Linares, David Lemieux, Joseph Diaz Jr., Ryan Garcia, Vergil Ortiz Jr.). DAZN needed a North American superstar to go along with their European superstar (Anthony Joshua), a card-carrying attraction that moves the needle, and they got it with Canelo. They also needed more quality boxing cards to load their 2019 schedule with along with their Eddie Hearn and World Boxing Super Series dates.

 

I thought GBP was aligned with ESPN? They are (in fact, they had a show on from Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, California, last night), but I’m not sure if that deal goes beyond 2018.

Now HBO are out, is Eddie finally taking over? No, our man Eddie Hearn (the cover subject to the November 2018 issue of The Ring) is doing very well, and he continues to make bold moves with his deep stable, but he’s just one of several major players in the sport. Al Haymon is still a power broker with the largest stable of world-class boxers and multi-year contracts with Showtime and FOX. Top Rank’s Bob Arum is the most experienced promoter in the game and the octogenarian, who remains as sharp and shrewd as ever, has a seven-year deal with ESPN. And De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions has joined Hearn on DAZN, which is clearly serious about becoming a major combat sports force in the U.S.  

In your opinion for better or worse? I’ll miss HBO’s involvement in boxing but I think the sport is better off the committed networks/platforms that it has now and going into 2019.

What chance does Rocky have? Don King would say “Slim and none, and Slim left town,” and he wouldn’t be wrong, but I won’t totally dismiss the gutsy Liverpudlian. I’ll put it this way, I don’t expect Canelo to blow him out.

I know in the US a lot of scorn has been poured over this fight, but on this side of the pond Rocky was very well liked and there’s a sense of, yes it’s a long shot, but good on him for taking it! I think your side of the Pond has the better attitude. Canelo is literally fighting just three months after going 12 grueling rounds with Gennady Golovkin (and suffering a very nasty cut over his left eye during that fight). Do fans really expect him to fight Godzilla?

He did look massive when standing next to Canelo. Fielding is a natural super middleweight, and he’s The Ring’s No. 9-rated 168 pounder. Canelo is not a big middleweight. (I might be a little bit taller than him.)

 

DOES DAZN NEED HEARN?

Dougie,

I’m confused – if DAZN is signing fighters like Canelo, dealing directly with his team then who needs Hearn? Just to arrange and promote shows, not to negotiate deals? How do you think it all fits together? Thanks. – Ed

DAZN was never exclusive to Eddie Hearn (that should have been obvious with their WBSS deal) so it shouldn’t be a shock that they were open to (and very serious about) forming a partnership with Golden Boy. DAZN wants the U.S. combat sports fan to subscribe to their streaming service. They’ll get

Left to right: Anthony Joshua, Rashat Mati, Nkosi Solomon, Daniel Roman, Eddie Hearn, Katie Taylor, Jessie Vargas, Demetrius Andrade, Nikita Ababiy and Alexander Povetkin at the DAZN U.S. launch on July 15 in New York. (Photo by Johnny Nunez – Getty Images for DAZN)

sign ups with Canelo. But Hearn’s Matchroom promotions still makes up the bulk of DAZN’s boxing programming with his eight-year deal that calls for 32 shows a year (16 in the U.S. and 16 in the U.K.). Hearn brings the big dog to the streaming sports service, Anthony Joshua, who could potentially be one-half of the biggest fight to be made in boxing (the showdown between the British star and the Wilder-Fury winner), as well as undefeated middleweight contender Demetrius Andrade (who goes for the vacant WBO title tomorrow in Boston), and numerous world-rated talents that he co-promotes (led by undisputed cruiserweight champ Aleksandr Usyk).

 

CANELO’S OPTIONS, CO-PROMOTIONS

Hey Doug,

Assuming he wins against Fielding (which he will) who do you think Canelo will fight next?

Also, do you think promoters will start to work together more in the coming years, or less? I’m hoping it’s the latter so we can see the fights that we all want to see. Thanks Doug. – Flatfish, San Diego

I think we’ll see a lot of in-house fights on the various network/platforms in 2019, but also a fair amount of co-promotions to create mutually beneficial situations. We’ll see an example of this tomorrow night with Ryota Murata, who is co-promoted by Teiken and Top Rank. Teiken needs Top Rank for U.S. shows and the ESPN exposure in America. Top Rank can benefit if the middleweight standout beat Rob Brant tomorrow night and a big fight between Gennady Golovkin and the Japanese star can be made next year and televised on ESPN. Earlier this year, we saw it with Jaime Munguia, whose promoter Zanfer did a deal with Golden Boy to get their up-and-comer on HBO (and a shot at the WBO 154-pound title). GBP benefitted by co-promoting Munguia’s next fight and having the Mexican standout fight in the Canelo-GGG2 cofeature, which added value to that PPV telecast (and also set up the TJ native as a potential future foe for Canelo).

As I noted in the previous response, Hearn now co-promotes Usyk with K2-Ukraine. K2 (and manager Egis Klimas) did the deal to get Usyk a big-money fight with Tony Bellew as well as the future opportunity to fight Anthony Joshua. Hearn benefits by getting one of the best fighters, pound for pound, to fight on DAZN (in the U.S.) as well as an interesting future opponent for his heavyweights (AJ, Dillian Whyte). Hearn also co-promotes light heavyweight titleholder Artur Beterbiev (with Yvon Michel), 140-pound beltholder Mo Harris (with Roc Nation), 122-pound standout Danny Roman (with Thompson Boxing), and heavyweight contender Jarrell Miller (with Salita Promotions).

Assuming he wins against Fielding (which he will) who do you think Canelo will fight next? Well, I’ve already read a couple articles that claim Daniel Jacobs is in the running if the talented New Yorker beats Sergey Derevyanchenko for the vacant IBF belt on Oct. 27.

A Canelo vs. Jacobs middleweight unification bout on DAZN on May 4 sounds good to me. How about you? Beyond Jacobs, there’s the winner of tomorrow’s Andrade-Kautondokwa WBO title bout, David Lemieux, and Canelo’s WBC and WBA mandatory challengers (Jermall Charlo and Ryota Murata, respectively).

 

STREAMING THE RETURN BOUTS

Hi Dougie,

Longtime fan of the mailbag and a longtime subscriber to The Ring Magazine. I must admit I was a skeptic when I first heard about the streaming services (ESPN+ and DAZN). But they got me to join like many other hardcores I am sure.

This week when I read Canelo had signed a deal with DAZN I was initially thrilled. Hey, this would not cost me a dime more to watch his fights, more value for the money, right? But when I tried to explain Canelo’s deal with DAZN to my wife (also a fight fan) she asked a simple question that made me think.

Her question: If Triple G ends up signing a similar deal with Showtime or ESPN would a rematch with Canelo be possible? I honestly don’t know and could not answer. So, I come to you. Please provide your insight into this question.

Thanks again for all you do to advance the sport and congrats on all of your recent success / new endeavors. Regards. – Darin in NC

Thanks for the kind words and for being a longtime mailbagger and Ring subscriber, Darin.

If Golovkin signs an exclusive, multi-fight deal with a network, we will probably not see Canelo-GGG 3. However, I wouldn’t worry too much about that happening. GGG understands his market value and stature within the sport. He’s come a long way since his U.S./HBO debut six years ago. From 2012 through 2016, Golovkin needed the American exposure that fighting regularly on HBO provided. He was building his reputation and his brand, which is now among the biggest in the sport. These days, Golovkin is one of the top five most recognizable names in boxing. In terms of ticket sales/dedicated fan bases, he only takes a backseat to Joshua and Canelo. So, with his name and at his advanced age (36), he really doesn’t need hook up long-term with one network or platform. It makes sense for him to remain a free agent, and just do one-offs with the networks/platforms that offer him the best fights and deals (and his promoter, Tom Loeffler, said as much in a recent interview with Steve Kim).

Loeffler also knows the biggest and most lucrative fight out there for Golovkin is the third match with Canelo, so he might just do a one-fight deal with a network (ESPN is the front runner if Murata wins tomorrow night) in the first quarter of 2019 (March or April) and then aim for Canelo-GGG 3 in September. And, hey, if that happens you won’t have to pay $85 to watch the top two middleweight stars go at it this, you’ll be able to watch it as part of your DAZN subscription.

 

CRAWEATHER

Hey Dougie,

Quick question. I recently had a discussion where someone said Crawford would do to Mikey Garcia, what Mr Money Mayweather did to Canelo. Is Crawford the new Mayweather?

Also, another quick follow up. Your thoughts on the following statement: Mikey is smart enough and tough enough to compete with Crawford, he’s just not big enough.

Thank you for the bag, and all the hard work you’ve put into making it such a great platform for fans, I think it goes without saying that your work is highly enjoyed. Thanks. – Miguel from Naples

Wow. Thank you, Miguel. You and Darin are so complimentary I don’t know what to do with myself. If I was Canelo’s pigmentation, I’d be blushing right now.  

I agree with that statement: “Mikey is smart enough and tough enough to

Photo / @ShotimeBoxing

compete with Crawford, he’s just not big enough.” Garcia got the experience, technique and, most importantly, the smarts to compete with a fellow pound-for-pound player like Crawford, but he lacks the size and power to impose his will on the undefeated welterweight from Nebraska. Garcia’s tougher-than-expected fight with Sergey Lipinets told me that his ceiling as an elite boxer is at 135. I think Mikey is skilled and gutsy enough to beat a lot of top junior welterweights, and maybe even a few welterweight standouts, but not the best fighters of those heavier weight classes – and certainly not a complete and versatile 147 pounder like Bud.

I recently had a discussion where someone said Crawford would do to Mikey Garcia, what Mr Money Mayweather did to Canelo. Is Crawford the new Mayweather? No, thank God. Crawford is far more entertaining in my opinion. Bud actually wants to give the fans what they want (at least when he’s in Omaha). Crawford is like Mayweather in that he always figures out his opposition, regardless of their style. Like Floyd, Bud uses the early part of his fights to analyze his opponent before taking over the bout by the middle rounds. Unlike the welterweight version of Floyd, however, Crawford will try to close the show by the late rounds. Mayweather sought out to neutral his opposition. Crawford seeks to break down his opposition. I don’t think Bud would be content to merely outpoint Garcia as Floyd was with the 2013 version of Canelo.

 

THE POUND-FOR-POUND DEBATE

Dougie Fresh in the house!

It’s been a few years since I’ve written the bag, but I’ve read every single entry for the past three years. Anyway, the aftermath of the sensational battle between Gennady Golovkin and Canelo Alverez leaves an interesting discussion as to who should be considered for boxing’s mythical but important of pound-for-pound champion.

Prior to GGG – Canelo, was the reigning p4p champ. As they engaged in the type of war that leaves audience in a state of awe and competed at the highest level of skill and intensity, and although Canelo was declared the official winner by slightest of margins, most observers believed the bout was close enough to have gone either way (even The Ring had it a draw), so why not still consider GGG to be the pound-for-pound king? As Canelo competed at the same high level as GGG and was in fact the official winner, he too can stake a legitimate claim to hold the title of boxing’s best practitioner.

Next in The Ring rankings and my personal choice for boxing’s pound-for-pound champ is the Ukrainian Wizard Vasyl Lomachenko, whose otherworldly skills and myriad moves seem to defy not only logic, but the laws of physics as well. Welterweight Terence “Bud” Crawford has been one of boxing’s best fighters for the past four years. He is a master of timing and distance with remarkable punching power and the heart of a lion. As talented as Crawford is, I don’t consider him to be the world’s best welterweight. I give that distinction to Errol Spence, Jr. who so far appears to be unbeatable and thrives in today’s era day-before-the-fight weigh-ins and gaining 15 to 20 pounds the day before the fight.

Also deserving consideration is Japanese wunderkind Nayoa Inoue, whose combination of speed, skills, defense, and power cause me to feel as if I’m watching a Bruce Lee movie. If he wins the bantamweight WBSS impressively then he must merit serious consideration for boxing’s top honor. And of course we can’t forget the mega talented Mikey Garcia, who must be considered a frontrunner if he defeats either Lomachenko or Spence. It’s a situation where the pound-for-pound championship is up for grabs. Who’s your choice Dougie?

I’ll close with a couple of pound-for-pound MMs: Hagler vs. GGG at middle and Pacquiao vs. JC Chavez at junior welter. – Todd Elliot, Brooklyn

I’ll go with MMH and JCC by close UD in GREAT fights, Todd.

My choice for No. 1 in the pound-for-pound rankings is the guy who currently occupies the top spot in The Ring’s mythical top 10 – Lomachenko. However, I don’t think he’s heads and shoulders above his peers, and I wouldn’t argue with anyone who considered Crawford, Canelo, GGG, Usyk, Inoue or even Garcia to be Numero Uno (and those six make up Nos. 2-7 in The Ring’s P4P top 10, by the way).

Prior to GGG – Canelo, was the reigning p4p champ. Only according to BoxRec.com.

As they engaged in the type of war that leaves audience in a state of awe and competed at the highest level of skill and intensity, and although Canelo was declared the official winner by slightest of margins, most observers believed the bout was close enough to have gone either way (even The Ring had it a draw), so why not still consider GGG to be the pound-for-pound king? I would have been just fine with that. Golovkin is still unbeaten in my view.

As Canelo competed at the same high level as GGG and was in fact the official winner, he too can stake a legitimate claim to hold the title of boxing’s best practitioner. I’m fine with that line of thinking, too. Canelo was awarded the ceremony Ring Pound-For-Pound belt (along with his second Ring middleweight title) last night in Los Angeles.

Next in The Ring rankings and my personal choice for boxing’s pound-for-pound champ is the Ukrainian Wizard Vasyl Lomachenko, whose otherworldly skills and myriad moves seem to defy not only logic, but the laws of physics as well. You make him sound like some kind of superhero, Todd. I like it! I’m imaging a comic book of Loma penned in the Silver Age Spider-Man and Doctor Strange stylings of the late, great Steve Ditko.

Bud’s gonna getcha! Photo / @TRboxing

Welterweight Terence “Bud” Crawford has been one of boxing’s best fighters for the past four years. He is a master of timing and distance with remarkable punching power and the heart of a lion. All true.

As talented as Crawford is, I don’t consider him to be the world’s best welterweight. The Ring ranks him No. 2 at welterweight, behind No. 1-rated Errol Spence. However, I think Bud is a better boxer, pound for pound, than Spence; and I would probably pick him to beat Spence in a 147-pound showdown.

I give that distinction to Errol Spence, Jr. who so far appears to be unbeatable and thrives in today’s era day-before-the-fight weigh-ins and gaining 15 to 20 pounds the day before the fight. Spence is a major badass, but I don’t think he’s unbeatable.

Also deserving consideration is Japanese wunderkind Nayoa Inoue, whose combination of speed, skills, defense, and power cause me to feel as if I’m watching a Bruce Lee movie. I think The Monster displayed some Jeet Kune Do moves against Juan Carlos Payano. That two-piece he put on the Panamanian was the definition of “minimal movement with maximum effect.”

If he wins the bantamweight WBSS impressively then he must merit serious consideration for boxing’s top honor. I agree.

And of course we can’t forget the mega talented Mikey Garcia, who must be considered a frontrunner if he defeats either Lomachenko or Spence. Those are some BIG “ifs” – especially the Spence showdown, which I don’t see happening. I’d much prefer to see Mikey challenge Loma for lightweight supremacy.

It’s a situation where the pound-for-pound championship is up for grabs. Yes, indeed. Not that I give a damn. Chocolatito is The Official Ring Pound-for-Pound Champion Emeritus, and that’s all that matters, bro.

 

FIGHTWORLD

Happy Friday Doug,

Have you checked out Fightworld on Netflix? I’ve watched the first two episodes and, if you haven’t caught it, I highly recommend it to you and my fellow Mailbagers! It’s a documentary type of program on different fighting sports around the world. Very interesting and I found episode #2 to be particularly poignant. Have a good one Doug! – Andy, Chula Vista, CA

Thanks for the heads up, Andy. I finally subscribed to Netflix this year (and I’m currently burning my corneas out watching catching up on Daredevil, Luke Cage, Ozark and reliving my childhood the original Star Trek series – live and cartoon), so I’ll definitely check out Fightworld.

 

Email Fischer at dougie@boxingmailbag.com. Follow him on Twitter at @dougiefischer and on Persicope.

The post Dougie’s Friday mailbag (Canelo/Golden Boy DAZN deal, Eddie Hearn, Bud Crawford, Pound for Pound) appeared first on The Ring.

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