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Bad Left Hook March Mania: First round voting, stage one

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The first round is underway!

It’s time to get Bad Left Hook’s March Mania fantasy boxing tournament underway! Today we’ll be voting on the matchups at heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight, flyweight, and minimumweight.

Read more about the tournament here.

The idea behind how to vote:

Obviously I can’t make you vote any which way, but the idea is to assume everyone is in their best condition they can be right now, nobody struggled to make weight, nobody’s out of shape, nobody’s got any injuries. Imagine everyone being the best fighters they can be as of right now, whatever that means to you. And to be extra clear, we are talking current form, not the absolute prime for anyone.

If you don’t feel you know enough about a certain matchup or division or fighter to vote on that one, you don’t have to! And please, feel free to add some comments or reasoning for any of your picks!

The voting for these matchups will remain open until Saturday, Mar. 21 at Noon ET.

Let’s go!

AND NOW HERE IS THE GIANT BARRAGE OF POLLS (AND MATCHUP NOTES)!

Poll

Heavyweight: Fury vs Pulev

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    (1) Tyson Fury
    (438 votes)
  • 2%
    (8) Kubrat Pulev
    (11 votes)
449 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Fury (30-0-1, 21 KO) is the WBC and LINEAL!!! champion of the world, while Pulev (28-1, 14 KO) is Bulgarian, you know. Pulev beat Tyson’s cousin Hughie back in 2018 so we’ve got the good relative coming for some revenge, like when Wyatt chased down the Cowboys after Morgan got got in Tombstone.

Poll

Heavyweight: Ruiz vs Whyte

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    (4) Andy Ruiz Jr
    (182 votes)
  • 59%
    (5) Dillian Whyte
    (267 votes)
449 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Easily, I think, the most intriguing of the first round heavyweight matchups. The former titleholder Ruiz (33-2, 22 KO) and the eternal contender Whyte (27-1, 18 KO). And this is the sort of matchup I mean when I say to think of everyone at their best. Try not to think of this as the Dec. 7 versions of Ruiz or Whyte, all out of shape in Saudi Arabia. Or do, honestly, if that’s more fun for you. I don’t really care.

Poll

Heavyweight: Wilder vs Ortiz

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    (3) Deontay Wilder
    (410 votes)
  • 10%
    (6) Luis Ortiz
    (50 votes)
460 votes total Vote Now

Notes: We’ve seen this fight twice, and Wilder (42-1-1, 41 KO) stopped Ortiz (31-2, 26 KO) both times. But maybe you think Ortiz would get him this time, I dunno.

Poll

Heavyweight: Joshua vs Povetkin

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (2) Anthony Joshua
    (413 votes)
  • 5%
    (7) Alexander Povetkin
    (26 votes)
439 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Another fight we’ve seen before, as Joshua (23-1, 21 KO) stopped Povetkin (35-2-1, 24 KO) back in 2018. But Povetkin did give him a half-decent fight and we’ve seen some Joshua flaws exposed a bit since then, too.

Poll

Light Heavyweight: Beterbiev vs Jack

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    (1) Artur Beterbiev
    (421 votes)
  • 2%
    (8) Badou Jack
    (9 votes)
430 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Beterbiev (15-0, 15 KO) is a pure wrecker, and on the other side we’ve got the tough veteran Jack (22-3-3, 13 KO). Frankly I think there’s a clear favorite here but we gotta vote the votes.

Poll

Light Heavyweight: Kovalev vs Alvarez

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    (4) Sergey Kovalev
    (193 votes)
  • 54%
    (5) Eleider Alvarez
    (235 votes)
428 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A fantasy third meeting. Alvarez (25-1, 13 KO) upset Kovalev (34-4-1, 29 KO) back in 2018, and then lost the immediate rematch in early 2019 when Kovalev outboxed him over 12 rounds. But to say that Kovalev is not exactly a consistent fighter anymore would be an understatement. Seems like kind of a toss-up to me.

Poll

Light Heavyweight: Gvozdyk vs Pascal

This poll is closed

  • 88%
    (3) Oleksandr Gvozdyk
    (370 votes)
  • 11%
    (6) Jean Pascal
    (49 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now

Notes: I think this one’s more interesting than it might seem at first. Gvozdyk (17-1, 14 KO) probably can handily outbox Pascal (35-6-1, 20 KO), but that aging weirdo is reckless, fearless, and tough as hell.

Poll

Light Heavyweight: Bivol vs Browne

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    (2) Dmitry Bivol
    (401 votes)
  • 4%
    (7) Marcus Browne
    (18 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Bivol (17-0, 11 KO) is the classiest boxer of the 175-pound field, without question. Browne (23-1, 16 KO) is a little inconsistent in his performances but has a lot of raw talent.

Poll

Middleweight: Golovkin vs Korobov

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    (1) Gennadiy Golovkin
    (418 votes)
  • 3%
    (8) Matt Korobov
    (13 votes)
431 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Golovkin (40-1-1, 35 KO) gets the top seed at 160 with Canelo Alvarez in the 168-pound field. He’d be an obvious favorite over Korobov (28-3-1, 14 KO), the veteran Russian southpaw.

Poll

Middleweight: Charlo vs Murata

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    (4) Jermall Charlo
    (295 votes)
  • 29%
    (5) Ryota Murata
    (122 votes)
417 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Now this one I find pretty fascinating. At his best, Murata (16-2, 13 KO) is a skilled, heavy-handed aggressor, but we’ve seen him struggle, too. Charlo (30-0, 22 KO) has some of those same qualities, though he hasn’t really looked like quite the puncher at 160 that he was at 154.

Poll

Middleweight: Derevyanchenko vs Brant

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    (3) Sergiy Derevyanchenko
    (393 votes)
  • 3%
    (6) Rob Brant
    (16 votes)
409 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Another potentially intriguing matchup. Brant (25-2, 17 KO) looked overmatched in his rematch loss to Murata last summer, but you can’t forget he won a deserved decision the first time they met, either. He’s a good fighter. Derevyanchenko (13-2, 10 KO) is 0-2 in his biggest fights, but has proven he’s highly competitive with the best in the division against GGG and Daniel Jacobs.

Poll

Middleweight: Andrade vs Eubank

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    (2) Demetrius Andrade
    (338 votes)
  • 19%
    (7) Chris Eubank Jr
    (81 votes)
419 votes total Vote Now

Notes: One of my favorite first round matchups, probably my favorite of the 2-7s. Andrade (29-0, 18 KO) is a DAZN house favorite, as they’ve tried everything to turn him into a star, and he’s a highly skilled technician. But he’s also out-technicianed a lot of overmatched foes. Eubank (29-2, 22 KO) is often the exact opposite of a technician, but he has power and a natural athleticism most just don’t.

Poll

Welterweight: Spence vs Lipinets

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    (1) Errol Spence Jr
    (416 votes)
  • 1%
    (8) Sergey Lipinets
    (6 votes)
422 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Pretend it’s the Spence (26-0, 21 KO) from the last time you saw him fight. Or don’t, again, I can’t really tell you what to do. Lipinets (16-1, 12 KO) is solid but would seem to be out of his depth here. I thought about putting Mikey Garcia in the eight spot but figured nobody even wanted to vote on a Spence-Garcia rematch.

Poll

Welterweight: Porter vs Thurman

This poll is closed

  • 68%
    (4) Shawn Porter
    (290 votes)
  • 31%
    (5) Keith Thurman
    (133 votes)
423 votes total Vote Now

Notes: These two, of course, met back in 2016, with Thurman (29-1, 22 KO) edging Porter (30-3-1, 17 KO) by decision. That was a long time ago, though, and Thurman has not exactly trended up since then, but Porter isn’t exactly flawless or anything. It was a good style matchup the first time and probably would be again.

Poll

Welterweight: Pacquiao vs Garcia

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    (3) Manny Pacquiao
    (357 votes)
  • 15%
    (6) Danny Garcia
    (64 votes)
421 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A fight we might actually see this year. Pacquiao (62-7-2, 39 KO) remains a force at 147, and Garcia (36-2, 21 KO) has held his own with everyone he’s ever faced. Danny’s obviously the younger man, but Pacquiao is a legend. I didn’t decide whether these fights would have VADA testing or not.

Poll

Welterweight: Crawford vs Ugas

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (2) Terence Crawford
    (396 votes)
  • 5%
    (7) Yordenis Ugas
    (21 votes)
417 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Actually, here’s another good 2-7 matchup, and there’s another good one in the next weight class, too. Crawford (36-0, 27 KO) is an unbeaten three-division champ, but Ugas (25-4, 12 KO) is a crafty, sound fighter who has come into his own after a bad couple of fights back in 2014. It wouldn’t surprise me if someone sees real potential for an upset here.

Poll

Lightweight: Lomachenko vs Fortuna

This poll is closed

  • 99%
    (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko
    (409 votes)
  • 0%
    (8) Javier Fortuna
    (3 votes)
412 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Lomachenko (14-1, 10 KO) is a class boxer, obviously. Fortuna (35-2-1, 24 KO) is no pushover, but as a natural featherweight himself he doesn’t even have the size advantages some might against Loma at 135. Tough to see the upset here.

Poll

Lightweight: Campbell vs Commey

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    (4) Luke Campbell
    (265 votes)
  • 33%
    (5) Richard Commey
    (133 votes)
398 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Campbell (20-3, 16 KO) has been runner-up in his two world title fights, but came close against Jorge Linares back in 2017. Commey (29-3, 26 KO) is a likable, hard-hitting Ghanaian, and as a result of being Ghanaian, he is teak-tough, especially when paired with a UK fighter, with, in my fantasy world, Jim Watt on the call.

Poll

Lightweight: Haney vs Davis

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    (3) Devin Haney
    (238 votes)
  • 41%
    (6) Gervonta Davis
    (167 votes)
405 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Now here’s the king of the 3-6 matchups, I think. This one could rule. Two young, talented fighters, both unbeaten. Haney (24-0, 15 KO) and Davis (23-0, 22 KO) both still have question marks at 135, but their talent is obvious. I’m really interested to see the vote here because it’s going to say more about what people think about these guys’ potential than anything, I think.

Poll

Lightweight: Lopez vs Linares

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (2) Teofimo Lopez
    (350 votes)
  • 14%
    (7) Jorge Linares
    (58 votes)
408 votes total Vote Now

Notes: This one’s intriguing, too, I believe. Lopez (15-0, 12 KO) answered critics in a big way with his KO of Commey in December, but when Linares (47-5, 29 KO) is on, few are his peer in boxing skill. It’s a terrifically talented veteran against an explosive young rising star. I’d love to see this fight in real actual life.

Poll

Featherweight: Warrington vs Magsayo

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (1) Josh Warrington
    (357 votes)
  • 5%
    (8) Mark Magsayo
    (20 votes)
377 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Here we have a proven titleholder in Warrington (30-0, 7 KO) against a largely unproven prospect in Magsayo (20-0, 14 KO). This fight would be an enormous step up in competition for the Filipino.

Poll

Featherweight: Galahad vs Xu

This poll is closed

  • 66%
    (4) Kid Galahad
    (232 votes)
  • 33%
    (5) Xu Can
    (119 votes)
351 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Galahad (27-1, 16 KO) gave Warrington a close fight in defeat last year, and while it wasn’t pretty, and Galahad rarely is pretty to watch, he’s effective. Xu (18-2, 3 KO) has really put it together, though; his two losses came back in 2014 within his first five fights, and he’s won 15 straight and the WBA title since. Good fight.

Poll

Featherweight: Stevenson vs Nyambayar

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    (3) Shakur Stevenson
    (334 votes)
  • 8%
    (6) Tugstsogt Nyambayar
    (32 votes)
366 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A pair of former Olympic silver medalists. Stevenson (13-0, 7 KO) won silver as a bantamweight in 2016, and Nyambayar (11-1, 9 KO) silver as a flyweight in 2012. Both are young and talented. Stevenson has the WBO belt and the harder promotional push, but King Tug proved no pushover against Gary Russell last time, though he did lose fair and square.

Poll

Featherweight: Russell vs Magdaleno

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (2) Gary Russell Jr
    (353 votes)
  • 5%
    (7) Jessie Magdaleno
    (19 votes)
372 votes total Vote Now

Notes: The fairly enigmatic Russell (31-1, 18 KO) is as talented as anyone in this field. Magdaleno (27-1, 18 KO) is a former titleholder at 122 who has looked solid in two fights since moving up, albeit against second-rate foes.

Poll

Bantamweight: Inoue vs Tete

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    (1) Naoya Inoue
    (374 votes)
  • 1%
    (8) Zolani Tete
    (6 votes)
380 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Inoue (19-0, 16 KO) is “The Monster,” of course, and the clear pick for top seed here, without question. But there were some tears in the armor when he fought Nonito Donaire last time out. Tete (28-4, 21 KO) is coming off a loss to John Riel Casimero where he was bombed out in three. He’s a good vet but this matchup, at least to me, seems bad.

Poll

Bantamweight: Casimero vs Rigondeaux

This poll is closed

  • 22%
    (4) John Riel Casimero
    (85 votes)
  • 77%
    (5) Guillermo Rigondeaux
    (287 votes)
372 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Now here’s a good one. Casimero (29-4, 20 KO) has kind of quietly won world titles at 108, 112, and now 118. His power has come up the weights with him. But then you have Rigondeaux (20-1, 13 KO), a master boxer and spoiler whose left hand pop freezes most foes. This is another one I can see people having strong, split feelings on.

Poll

Bantamweight: Donaire vs Rodriguez

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    (3) Nonito Donaire
    (316 votes)
  • 13%
    (6) Emmanuel Rodriguez
    (50 votes)
366 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Donaire (40-6, 26 KO) proved himself at 118 all over again with his tremendous effort in defeat against Inoue. Rodriguez (19-1, 12 KO) was trucked in two by Inoue last year, but styles make fights and all that, and Rodriguez can fight.

Poll

Bantamweight: Oubaali vs Moloney

This poll is closed

  • 86%
    (2) Nordine Oubaali
    (281 votes)
  • 13%
    (7) Jason Moloney
    (43 votes)
324 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Oubaali (17-0, 12 KO) is a strong titleholder, some good wins and a former amateur standout, too. Moloney (20-1, 17 KO) lost a split decision to Rodriguez in 2018 in the WBSS, and showed in that one he’s a legitimate contender.

Poll

Flyweight: Tanaka vs Harris

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    (1) Kosei Tanaka
    (273 votes)
  • 9%
    (8) Jay Harris
    (27 votes)
300 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Tanaka (15-0, 9 KO) recently gave up the WBO belt as he’s planning to go to 115 and fight Kazuto Ioka, but he competes here for our fantasy purposes. The Japanese star is a clear favorite against Harris (17-1, 9 KO), who’s had one notable fight and lost it, albeit while showing some real quality and a tremendous heart.

Poll

Flyweight: Dalakian vs Edwards

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (4) Artem Dalakian
    (176 votes)
  • 36%
    (5) Charlie Edwards
    (100 votes)
276 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Dalakian (20-0, 14 KO) has the WBA title and can certainly fight, though he’s stayed at home in Ukraine against mediocre opponents apart from his title-winning effort over Brian Viloria in 2018 in the US. Edwards (15-1, 6 KO) is a former WBC titleholder planning a move up in weight in real life.

Poll

Flyweight: Mthalane vs Acosta

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    (3) Moruti Mthalane
    (195 votes)
  • 25%
    (6) Angel Acosta
    (66 votes)
261 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Mthalane (39-2, 26 KO) has quietly been one of the most consistent fighters in the world since about 2008. He lost to Donaire in ‘08 but hasn’t lost since and has been a consistent top flyweight that entire time. Acosta (21-2, 21 KO) is a former 108-pound titleholder who moved up to 112 last fall and looked just as strong as ever.

Poll

Flyweight: Martinez vs Selby

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    (2) Julio Cesar Martinez
    (258 votes)
  • 8%
    (7) Andrew Selby
    (24 votes)
282 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Martinez (16-1, 12 KO) has been one of boxing’s breakout young stars over the last 12 months, and it all started with an upset win over Selby (13-1, 7 KO) one year ago. Would the Welshman be able to get revenge, or would it be a repeat?

Poll

Minimumweight: Wanheng vs Saludar

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    (1) Wanheng Menayothin
    (252 votes)
  • 3%
    (8) Vic Saludar
    (10 votes)
262 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Wanheng (54-0, 18 KO) is obviously TBE, four fights better than that 50-fight chump Floyd Mayweather. Saludar (20-4, 11 KO) is a former WBO titleholder who lost his belt to Wilfredo Mendez last August.

Poll

Minimumweight: Mendez vs Taduran

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    (4) Wilfredo Mendez
    (187 votes)
  • 19%
    (5) Pedro Taduran
    (45 votes)
232 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A couple of relatively new titleholders, Mendez (16-1, 6 KO) claiming his belt last August as just mentioned, and Taduran (14-2-1, 11 KO) winning his last September. Taduran is one of Wanheng’s many victims.

Poll

Minimumweight: Argumedo vs Konkco

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    (3) Jose Argumedo
    (183 votes)
  • 16%
    (6) Simpiwe Konkco
    (37 votes)
220 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Argumedo (23-4-1, 14 KO) is a former titleholder and veteran contender who last fought a year ago. He lost his belt to Hiroto Kyoguchi, now at 108, in July 2017 and has fought just three times since. In all honesty, maybe he shouldn’t rank so high, I don’t know. This division is tough to track all the time. Konkco (19-6, 7 KO) is some age or other and lost to Wanheng last October and to Hekkie Budler in 2015, but remains a solid contender.

Poll

Minimumweight: Knockout vs Rojas

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    (2) Knockout CP Freshmart
    (225 votes)
  • 8%
    (7) Byron Rojas
    (21 votes)
246 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Knockout (21-0, 7 KO) doesn’t really knock anyone out anymore. He should change his name to Decision CP Freshmart, IMO. The man’s had one stoppage in his last 10 fights. That said he’s also won them all. Rojas (27-4-3, 11 KO) is another veteran. These two have already met twice, with Knockout winning decisions in 2016 and 2018.