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MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: CANELO, PBC, TYSON FURY'S LEGACY, HANEY-GARCIA, MUCH MORE

By Paul Magno | February 15, 2024
MAGNO'S BULGING MAIL SACK: CANELO, PBC, TYSON FURY'S LEGACY, HANEY-GARCIA, MUCH MORE

This boxing world of ours, filled with politics and assorted fake news, needs a bull-load of gooey, salty truth shot into its ear hole-- and I’m just the toro to do it. So, step back and watch me wash away the boxing ignorance with a money shot of common sense. This week, in an overstuffed Sack, we have comments/questions regarding Canelo’s announcement, PBC obsession, Devin Haney vs. Ryan Garcia, Tyson Fury’s legacy, Subriel Matias to Matchroom, Antonio Margarito revisited, Andy Cruz, and more.

Canelo’s Big Announcement

Hey Magno.

I just had to run and get this email off to you before you submitted this week’s mail sack. It’s something right up your alley as the only hardcore proponent of honesty and integrity in the boxing media.

As you know, rumors abounded for the last couple weeks that Canelo Alvarez would be leaving PBC because PBC was broke, going out of business, etc. and couldn’t guarantee his purse for a May 4 fight. Then when it was announced that Canelo would be making a major announcement about his career on Tuesday, the PBC haters really went to town, anticipating with glee that Canelo would ditch Haymon and company right there on live TV.

Well, as things turned out, Canelo’s big announcement was just that he had signed a contract extension with Azteca TV in Mexico and would be fighting on May 4, against an opponent to be named. That’s it.

So, obviously, the haters were wrong. Egg is on their face. 

I’ll leave this layup for you to slam. Please. Please. Please tell this boxing world of ours how you feel about all of this Canelo leaving PBC fake news and the fake-ass people who spread this kind of misinformation.

-- T. L.

Hey T.L.

I may have more to say about this in Monday’s Notes from the Boxing Underground (if I decide it’s worth the effort), but I’ll give you my abbreviated Cliffs Notes take on this-- not just the fake Canelo news, but all of the general misinformation and attacks leveled against just one particular boxing company by a dedicated group of agenda-driven haters, stalkers, and con men.

First of all, this hyper-focused attack on one man and his company is NOT normal. It’s not regular business conduct, not even in the bizarro world of boxing. The obsession. The rush to wish for the worst. All based on absolutely nothing factual (and mostly wishful thinking). Some of the people cyber-stalking Haymon/PBC seriously need to address their mental issues. 

But the ones actually stirring up the rancor and intentionally injecting falsehoods into the public discourse? They know what they’re doing.

A lot of the media (and social media) hate comes from people currently employed by a direct business rival of Premier Boxing Champions with a big-time vested interest in toppling the company. That’s a simple and direct path to a “why” when it comes to explaining the non-stop attacks. 

From the very beginning of his boxing endeavors, Al Haymon ruffled the feathers of the boxing business establishment. As an outsider bringing an outside business model to the sport-- one similar to that of the entertainment industry-- he immediately became an enemy of the old guard. Haymon’s model takes power and influence away from the promoter and puts more into the hands of the fighters, themselves. 

That clearly did not sit well with the big-time promoters who enjoyed the privilege of everything and every bit of revenue flowing through them, to be doled out at their discretion. And when Haymon formed an entire boxing company, that disdain turned into aggression. The media lapdogs followed the lead of their sponsor promoters (or just simply went along on attacks because they generally have a distaste for change, reform, and outsiders coming into “their” sport). Some fans were won over to the crusade. And then, when you toss in race (Haymon is black and PBC is a black-owned business), extra passion is fueled in many.

So, this focused aggression has many reasons. But, at the root of it all, is business. The ones intentionally stirring up shit-- putting the company constantly on the brink of bankruptcy for nine years straight (because that could affect sponsors, signing new fighters, and other deals) and attributing totally not-attributable malfeasance to their execs-- are looking to put them out of business...because PBC’s business model takes money and power from the promoters. It’s really that simple.

My issue is entirely with those industry/media people poisoning public discourse. Fans will be fans and will act how they act. They’re entitled to be wrong or biased or whatever. That’s why the “but PBC fans are biased, too” comeback doesn’t work to justify the anti-PBC crew. PBC fans are entitled to defend “their” favorites just as other fans are entitled to attack them. A media person or self-described industry insider should be held to higher standards when it comes to fairness. And you never see any PBC exec going after rival companies, doggedly trying to put them out of business. The “wrongness” is only flowing in one direction in this case. 

The false rumor spread about Canelo leaving PBC and announcing the split on live TV was just another in the campaign to discredit and disassemble the company. 

Well, I guess that wasn’t such an abbreviated response after all, lol. But double standards and misinformation just get me riled up.

Haney-Garcia, Matias, Canelo-Crawford, Margarito

Hi Paul

Hope you are having a great St-V week. 

I wanted to start with a follow-up question to your previous mailbag. Can you elaborate on what you saw from Margarito prior to being caught with the suspect knuckle pads? This is a delicate topic for me because when I was young Margarito was someone amazing for me (high work rate, granite chin, hard hitter), but the more I read about what happened during 2007-2009 the more I believe he was cheating.

-Devin Haney vs Ryan Garcia- It is funny, this is a fight about both fighters willing to switch trainers to get better. Haney seems to be learning more and more about each of them and he looked very solid on his win vs Prograis (although I believe this was a mix between Prograis being shot and him looking good), whereas Ryan is regressing more and more, I still can't get over his "shoulder" roll. I am willing to bet that Ryan will quit or get stopped as he is not humble enough to re-learn the basics.

-I like Subriel Matias signing with Matchroom because I feel he is going to get treated as a champion. PBC did not seem to be in that channel and I am not sure who would they be able to offer Matias besides a Gary Antuanne Rusell. I read he is preparing for a homecoming fight so I would not be surprised if he fights someone on the level of Danielito Zorrilla. I read somewhere else he was in discussions to fight Liam Paro. For me this is the fight to make, what do you think?

-I got a bad feeling Canelo is going to pick Crawford and I also got a feeling that it is not going to end well for him.

Best regards.

– Miguel

Hey Miguel.

Thanks. Here you go, in order:

I was calling BS on Margarito loudest around the Sebastian Lujan fight. He was literally ripping chunks of flesh off Lujan with his punches. Margarito was big and strong, but he was always an arm puncher. It wasn’t logical for him to be doing what he was doing and causing the type of damage he was causing. Kermit Cintron even stepped up and said that he felt like he was being hit by bare knuckles when he fought him. At that time, I was actively working in gyms in Mexican and had seen the trick with the yeso-soaked wraps Margarito was later found to be employing. I knew something was up. And, believe me, I took some major flak for saying that publicly. But he never knocked anyone out again after he was busted in that Mosley fight. 

Ryan Garcia, until he feels the need to grow up, is always, ultimately, going to be his own trainer-- no matter who’s actually training him. So, growth is unlikely.  He’ll come into the Haney fight like he comes into every fight-- counting on his rocket left hook and all-around hand speed to cancel out his technical and tactical deficiencies. It didn’t work against Tank Davis and it probably won’t work against Haney. I have trouble seeing Haney stopping anyone these days, but I suppose it’s possible. A Garcia upset win is also much more likely versus Haney than versus Davis, just for the fact that we’ve seen Haney tagged and hurt by lesser punchers than Garcia. Haney-Garcia is a good fight for what it is, but it’s not a smart fight for Garcia. 

Matias going to Matchroom is a smart move. PBC didn’t really have much for him and Matchroom/DAZN is assembling a nice little roster of 140 lb. fighters that could be matched against him-- if they can get those fights made. Remember, they once had Golovkin, Andrade, and a couple others at middleweight and still couldn’t get the “in house” fights made. I like the Paro fight for Matias, btw.

Crawford will beat Canelo. That’s my gun-to-head prediction right now. This fight is a no-win for Alvarez in my opinion. 

Tyson Fury’s Legacy

Hey Paul! 

I was curious as to what your thoughts were with Tyson Fury legacy. He’s such an odd fighter because he skyrocketed to stardom even after Wilder I with such a thin resume. Withdrawing from the rematch with Klitschko hurts him a lot in my opinion. Even if he does beat Usyk in May, is all forgiven? He’d be the undisputed champion of the world, but there’s still this vibe that he’s been an opportunistic, well-matched fighter. He’s obviously not behaved like a champion. I guess my question is, ‘After a possible Usyk victory and undisputed, what needs to happen for Fury to be truly regarded as a world class heavyweight?’ In my opinion, he needs to go at least 3-1 against Usyk and Joshua and defend his title over someone game a couple times.  

What’s frustrating from a legacy standpoint was his behavior post-Wilder trilogy. He had an opportunity to beat some decent fighters that were sort of made to order for him and he didn’t take them. I feel like Fury has good names, but it’s his B+ fights are the ones that do him no justice. He should have fought at least two of these Joyce, Zhang, Parker, Ruiz, especially Zhang by now. Feel like that’s what’s missing too, just compelling, routine defenses to his title ‘reign’. 

That said, I’m talking too much. What needs to happen to happen to consider this guy a world class, Top 25 fighter? I feel like wins over Usyk, Joshua and 2 defenses against legit guys will put him in good graces when it’s all said and done. 

-- Gregory Manuel

Hey Gregory.

Tyson Fury has been a real disappointment for a number of reasons. Maybe, most of all, because fans really wanted to believe in him. He’s got charisma and he can put on a good show in the ring when he wants to. Everything was there for him to be this generation’s transcendent heavyweight star. But Fury, the boxer, is always being derailed by Fury, the hustler, and Fury, the wildly unfocused human being.

His resume is, as you mentioned, pretty thin. There was the win over Klitschko, which was hardly scintillating and, IMO, more a function of Klitschko’s weakness and general unwillingness to adapt or take risk. He has the three Wilder fights which, I suspect, will carry significant less weight as time passes and Wilder’s legacy is more clearly etched in history. There was Dillian Whyte. Really, that’s about it. No Anthony Joshua, of course. Name anyone who’s emerged as a top heavyweight over the last few years, and Fury hasn’t fought them. Usyk, Zhang, Hrgovic, Ruiz, Parker, Ortiz, Joyce, Dubois, etc. Fury would beat most (if not all) of them, but he’s only been occasionally present for much of the last nine years. 

Having said all that, though...Boxing fans have short memories and are often quick to forgive. If he fights (and beats) Usyk, Joshua, and maybe one more decent contender, it’ll be like he never flaked out. I actually think that just beating Usyk would be enough to win back fickle fans and media.  

But as his legacy stands now, if he retired tomorrow, he’d be regarded as a big personality with a fairly unimpressive body of work—a near bottom-dweller on the list of great world heavyweight champions. 

Andy Cruz

Paul.

Call me crazy, but I think Andy Cruz is the best lightweight in the world right now. Do I need my head examined?

-- John

Hey John.

Crazy? No. Premature? Yeah. And who couldn’t benefit from a good head examination once in awhile? 

It’s just way too early, IMO, to be putting Cruz at the top of a division that still has names like Gervonta Davis, Shakur Stevenson, and Vasiliy Lomachenko at the top. The tools are all there and he’ll get to the top faster than most because of his amateur pedigree, but, for me, he’s not even in the conversation-- yet-- when it comes to being top dog. 

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: paulmagno@theboxingtribune.com.

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