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NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: QUICK (S)HITS

By Paul Magno | June 27, 2022
NOTES FROM THE BOXING UNDERGROUND: QUICK (S)HITS

Herer’s a quick look at some of the boxing stuff that caught my eye this week. 

– I have to admit that I wasn’t all that enthused about the proposed part 3 of the Saul “Canelo” Alvarez-Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin feud. The rivalry was just so full of fan whining (face it, both of these guys’ true-believer fans are among the most annoying in the sport) that no result was ever going to be satisfying. And it definitely didn’t help that, once in the ring, both fighters were short on the offensive alpha-beasting they showed against other foes and heavy on respect for the other’s power. 

The two Canelo-GGG fights were good, but neither guy really pushed that hard to separate himself from the other and the end result, both times, was a close affair that allowed their fans’ whining to become THE story of the fight. 

But, if the pre-fight publicity is to be believed, this upcoming bout could be different, at least from Alvarez’s side.

In the first press conference to hype the September 17 pay-per-view clash, Alvarez already called Golovkin a two-faced “asshole” and vowed to retire him. And I do believe that the bad blood from Canelo is very real. 

GGG talked a lot of shit after Alvarez tested positive for clenbuterol prior to their 2018 rematch, casting aspersions on the Mexican’s cleanliness in their first 2017 fight. Through a translator, he would even make an observation that Canelo’s “muscles were all (enlarged) ... and with the traces of injections, which were visible" and how he was supposedly caught taking some dubious pills on a video.

Golovkin went in hard and it pissed Alvarez off tremendously. So much so that he vowed to never revisit the rivalry again, so as to not put another penny in Golovkin’s pocket. 

But, business is business and Alvarez now finds himself putting many millions of pennies into Golovkin’s pocket again. However, it looks as though he may be looking to take a pound of flesh in exchange for delivering GGG one last major payday. 

That’ll be good for fight fans if it plays out like that. “If,” though, is a big word in boxing. 

– Jake Paul has become a polarizing figure with boxing fans. Well, no, that wouldn’t be true. Actually, the YouTuber is pretty much universally hated among hardcore boxing fans. 

When it was announced this past week that Paul would be facing Tommy Fury in an August 6 Showtime PPV event, there was some elation in the air that the 25-year-old “Problem Child” would be getting a hefty dose of comeuppance for daring to invade the world of pro boxing. You, see, Fury will be the first “real” boxer Paul has ever faced.

I hate to break it to the YouTuber’s dedicated haters and ill-wishing boxing snobs, but Tommy Fury may have 8 professional fights and be the only opponent Paul has ever faced with an actual pro boxing contest on his ledger, but he’s no more “real” than any past Jake Paul opponent. 

Honestly, Fury is pretty bad. 

With his career opposition sporting a pretty pathetic combined record of 24-176-5 (and he’s generally looked pretty bad against them), the 23-year-old’s only redeeming characteristic has been his famous last name, which he shares with half-brother and world heavyweight champ Tyson Fury. 

Stacked up against one another, I’d say Paul is actually the more skilled of the two, the harder hitting of the two, and, most likely, the more dedicated and devoted to boxing of the two. 

Jake Paul, because of who he is and how irritating he can be, is all-around underrated by fight fans. Compared to other novice pros with a similar level of pro experience, the guy is actually better than most and it’s clear that he’s worked seriously at his game to get to the level he’s at right now. Of course, he’s not an elite-level boxer and he may never become one, but he’s good for where he’s at and good enough to deliver an embarrassing starching to Tommy Fury. 

By the way, he’s also been undeniably good for boxing and, right now, from his work with Amanda Serrano to his ability to build himself as a PPV-viable entity, he just may be boxing’s pound-for-pound best promoter, too. Chew on that.

-- When Fight Hype breaks a Floyd Mayweather story, you best believe there’s some real substance to it. 

Last week, it was reported on these very pages that the 5-division champ and Hall of Famer was in serious talks with UFC star Conor McGregor for a rematch of their 2017 blockbuster. And, while I can hear boxing “purists” everywhere collectively tinkling in their panties out of frustration and pent-up outrage, I’ll go on record as being all for it. 

It’s not like we’re going to get anything beyond exhibitions from a retired Mayweather and it’s not like we’re going to lose out on meaningful McGregor fights if he faces Mayweather once again. So, Mayweather-McGregor II would be pure bonus material and, just like the first time, it’ll  offer up some fluff and fun for those who choose to invest their time and money into it. No harm, no foul. Some boxing fans need to stop being such joyless prudes. 

-- This is last on my list of quick (s)hits because I had some family stuff to attend to and just got around to watching Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez defend his WBC super flyweight title against  Srisaket Sor Rungvisai. 

What can I say? Great showing by the 22-year-old in scoring the spectacular eighth-round stoppage. 

This really was more than just a case of a young star beating an aged, post-prime former champ on a steep decline, though. Fighters in this weight range are just not accustomed to facing someone like Rodriguez, who uses footwork and angles in a modified “American” style. Sor Rungvisai looked uncomfortable, off-balance, and out of sorts from the very beginning. It seemed like almost every incoming punch was a surprise to the Thai, as it came at an unexpected angle and/or velocity. 

If “Bam” keeps fighting like he did on Saturday, nobody from 112-118 beats him. 

Got something for Magno? Send it here: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com

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