By Paul Magno | November 24, 2023

Welcome to a special post-Thanksgiving edition of Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack where boxing’s bad guys are forced to gobble, gobble on the gooey, salty, cranberry-infused truth coming straight from my bloated sack of giblets. This week we have comments/questions regarding Shakur’s flop, Benavidez-Andrade, Canelo, Matias-Ergashev, and my favorite non-boxing boxing moment. 

Shakur/Benavidez-Andrade/Ergashev/Chicken ala Canelo

Hello Paul.

Happy Thanksgiving week to you and your family, lets be thankful for a good-ish year of boxing :)

Lets start with the wrong foot and say the more I watch Shakur, the more I dislike his fighting style. Hey, every boxing fan is allowed to be subjective about the kind of styles they like, but I just cant find anything good about what Shakur does. He just runs (Specially when facing a puncher) and potshots. ESPN and some other media members praise him a lot about his abilities, but I just cant see them. Like I said, maybe my eyes are badly calibrated, but I see no speed, no punch variation, that defense is just using his legs to stay outta range and LOOOOOOOOOTS of clinching. I am being mean because I believe he is getting too much exposure, but he does not deliver what is expected out of him and I don't consider myself a defensive fighter hater as I am a big fan of Pernell Whitaker.

Moving on, the big weekend is finally here, Eastern Time will keep me awake until at least 1:30 AM (I need at least one hour after the fight is finished to cool off and relax), but I am surely ready to watch Benavidez vs Andrade. I expect something similar to what happened between Plant and Benavidez, I have seen Andrade diminish as a fight goes on, the question is how much power does he have at 168 and if he does, then I expect Benavidez to have a tough time with him.

Canelo is my main guy, but even I gotta admit that it would smell like chicken if he does not fight the winner of this fight.

P.S. I feel lots of people are sleeping on Ergashev this weekend, he fights like Janibek. Hopefully it’s a good fight.

Best regards.

-- Miguel

Hey Miguel.

I think maybe you (and, seemingly, the rest of the boxing world) are being a little bit hard on Shakur. Attacking his performance against Edwin de los Santos is fair game (I certainly did), and so is criticizing his no-violence choice of ring strategies in some fights. But the kid IS talented and I see the skills. When he was in the pocket against Jamel Herring and Oscar Valdez and sitting down on his punches more, he looked stellar. He dealt with two very good fighters with the kind of dominance the greats demonstrate when facing career-validating opposition. That focus and urgency didn’t continue, though, and he slipped back into the safety-first pattern he demonstrated earlier in his career. Except, now, the “he’s young and learning” excuse can’t be made. He shit the bed so thoroughly (and on such a large stage) in this last fight that it’ll be hard to come back from a public relations standpoint. And flailing away at critics on social media-- like he’s been doing for the last week now-- is only hurting him. 

He just needs to shut up, get back in the ring, and thrash whoever he fights next. People will forgive and forget and take him back into their good graces. But this recent showing and his reaction after the fact kind of make me question his overall mental makeup now. We’ll see.

I’m really looking forward to Benavidez-Andrade. It’s such a compelling contrast of styles and mindsets. I see a path to victory for both, but I’m leaning towards your take. Plant and Andrade are really not all that similar, but, like you, I see Benavidez handling them both similarly. It’s just that pressure Benavidez brings. It’s tough and it’s not just a straight-line pressure, like a Margarito. David’s got plenty of nuance to his game. But, yeah, Andrade is not to be counted out. He’s shown some pop throughout his career-- at least enough of it to keep opponents respectful-- and if he can bring that up to 168, it’ll be interesting on Saturday. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time a pressure fighter gets shut down by a smart stylist. 

I just don’t see how Canelo CAN’T fight the winner. Who else is out there? Who else is out there that wouldn’t bring mega-wild criticism as an opponent? I would think that Canelo HAS to fight the winner of Benavidez-Andrade. Right?

I’m 50-50 on Ergashev, but his “for realness” will definitely be tested against a Matias who brings non-stop heat. 

Favorite Boxing Non-Boxing Moments

Hey Paul,

I'm huge fan of your 'no nonsense' approach to journalism and I'm curious to hear what's your favorite moment in boxing which didn't transpire in the ring? Something maybe from a press conference, weigh-in, post fight interview, or something else?

What is your fondest classic non-boxing moment?

-- D Bneo

Hey D.

I’ve been racking my brain for specific moments of charm and warm-fuzziness from outside the ring, but I’m drawing a blank. There are plenty of weird and nasty moments that appealed to the jaded/cynical side of me, though. Such is my nature, I guess. I do enjoy watching the fighters get together after a fight and show warmth and respect for one another. That sort of highlights the reality of the fight game after taking out all the showbiz, spin, and business considerations. There is a brotherly respect among fighters-- especially those who’ve gone to war with one another. It takes me back to my own days in the gym and the camaraderie of training for battle alongside these men and women who would become almost like brothers and sisters. There’s a lot to love about boxing-- and most of it revolves around the fighters themselves.

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here:

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