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Monday, August 8, 2022
Home Sports BOXING OSCAR VS. SHAKUR, DUCKING CANELO, SLEEPING ON UGAS || FIGHTHYPE.COM

OSCAR VS. SHAKUR, DUCKING CANELO, SLEEPING ON UGAS || FIGHTHYPE.COM


Hello fight fans and welcome to another Thursday gathered around my bulging sack, waiting on your weekly load of gooey, salty truth. This week, we have questions / comments regarding a ducking Canelo, sleeping on Yordenis Ugas, and Oscar Valdez vs. Shakur Stevenson.

Duck, Duck, Golden Goose?

Magno.

You pride yourself on telling it like it is. Then, tell it like it is when it comes to Canelo Alvarez. The man is clearly ducking David Benavidez just like he ducked Demetrius Andrade at middleweight. He’s got skills and talent, I’m not denying that, but his blatant cherry picking is bad for the sport and it’s made nothing but chaos at 168, where there should be some major action going on, but everybody is stuck doing nothing while they wait on what he may do. If Canelo stays at 168, he needs to fight Benavidez or he needs to vacate his belts.

– Guilermo Prieto S.

Hey Guillermo.

I’m a big fan of Benavidez and his talents, but he only has himself to blame for not having a ticket in the Canelo sweepstakes. If he had not been stripped (twice) of his WBC super middleweight belt, he would’ve had a spot at the front of the line for a Canelo fight. Then, if Canelo passed him over rather than try for the WBC title and 4-belt champ status, you could make a case that Alvarez was ducking. As it is now, this is just standard risk vs. reward boxing business, the kind that goes on with all fighters. It’s the same matchmaking strategy that pushed Benavidez’s people to immediately squash rumors of a bout with Andrade. If a “B-side” wants a shot at an “A-side,” especially in this era where any fighter who can draw a dime has almost a supreme level of self-determination, he better bring something to the table as leverage. All Benavidez brings to Canelo’s table right now is risk. Alvarez isn’t “afraid” of Benavidez. He’s just got no reason to pay attention to him. I’m not arguing that this is good for the sport. It’s just reality. Benavidez’s people need to find a way to get something Alvarez wants or resign themselves to a Canelo-less boxing existence. And, yeah, as long as Benavidez, Charlo, and Andrade hold on to this pipe dream of a Canelo payday, they probably will not even consider fighting one another– or anyone else who fails their own risk vs. reward assessment.

Sleeping on Ugas

Hey Paulie!

I think people are sleeping– big time– on Yordenis Ugas and his chances against Errol Spence. In my opinion, Ugas has everything it takes to beet The Truth and become a 3-belt champ, especially since I do not see Spence at 100% of what he used to be pre-car accident and after eye surgery. What do you say about Ugas’ chances?

– Damon

Hey Damon.

I agree that people are sleeping on Ugas and his chances. The guy’s been on a monster run since he came back from his 2-year sabbatical back in 2016, with (mostly dominant) wins over guys like Jamal James, Thomas Dulorme, Omar Figueroa, Abel Ramos, and, of course, Manny Pacquiao. And I think he should’ve gotten the nod over Shawn Porter as well. Putting aside the question of whether Spence will be 100% after the accident and his surgery, there’s also the reality that, by fight night in April, he’ll be coming off about 17 months of inactivity, with limited sparring early on because of his eye surgery. He did well against Danny Garcia in his last fight, directly following that car wreck and after 15 months of inactivity, but how many times can he keep defying the odds? Ugas is not an unusually aggressive fighter and not exactly a “killer,” but he’s good enough and smart enough (pragmatic enough) to work his way to a workman-like decision, like he did against Pacquiao. A Spence win in April is by no means a lock.

Oscar vs. Shakur

Hi Paul.

I have not seen you talk about the upcoming Oscar Valdez-Shakur Stevenson title unification. It’s going to be a good one and one of those rare prime vs. prime fights pitting the best vs. the best. Who do you see coming out on top and why? Thanks for all your years of good writing and honest journalism.

– Mark DeJean

Hey Mark.

Thanks for the kind words.

I’m really, really looking forward to Stevenson-Valdez. It is, indeed, a rarity these days to see top dogs– undefeated and in their primes– fight one another. Cynical ol ‘me still believes, though, that Terence Crawford’s racial discrimination lawsuit lit the fire under Bob Arum’s ass that pushed this big fight into being. Whatever the case, this is the kind of showcase Stevenson has needed for awhile and I fully expect him to rise to the occasion. On fight night, I suspect we’ll see that Shakur is on a different level than Valdez. He’ll be too quick, too versatile, too skilled, too talented for the Mexican. If Stevenson’s recent bout with Jamel Herring was any indication of where he is, developmentally, then we’re seeing him lock into his absolute best self – and that’s bad news for anyone he’s going to be facing. Valdez is the real deal and a tough-as-nails battler, but skill, talent, and versatility matter. He’ll be a half-step behind Stevenson all night.

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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