clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

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

New, 19 comments

The first round continues with the rest of the weight classes!

It’s time to get Bad Left Hook’s March Mania fantasy boxing tournament underway! Today we’ll be voting on the first round matchups at cruiserweight, super middleweight, junior middleweight, junior welterweight, junior lightweight, junior featherweight, junior bantamweight, and junior flyweight. Cruisers and supers and juniors.

You can still vote in the first stage of the opening round here, featuring the matchups for all the other divisions!

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 Sunday, Mar. 22 at Noon ET.

Let’s go!

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

Poll

Cruiserweight: Briedis vs Okolie

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    (1) Mairis Briedis
    (251 votes)
  • 16%
    (8) Lawrence Okolie
    (48 votes)
299 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Briedis (26-1, 19 KO) could potentially be one of the more vulnerable top seeds; it’s not as if his last few performances have been all that great, and at 35 he’s getting a bit long in the tooth, maybe. Okolie (14-0, 11 KO) is someone on whom the jury is still out to a degree, to be fair, but his height and ability to spoil could make for an interesting matchup.

Poll

Cruiserweight: Makabu vs Lerena

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (4) Ilunga Makabu
    (196 votes)
  • 26%
    (5) Kevin Lerena
    (71 votes)
267 votes total Vote Now

Notes: An all-Africa matchup between Congo’s Makabu (27-2, 24 KO) and South Africa’s Lerena (25-1, 12 KO). Makabu is always in exciting fights, which also means he’s generally there to be hit. Lerena has quietly emerged as one of the more consistent performers in the division over the last few years.

Poll

Cruiserweight: Glowacki vs Mikaelian

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    (3) Krzysztof Glowacki
    (224 votes)
  • 17%
    (6) Noel Mikaelian
    (49 votes)
273 votes total Vote Now

Notes: An interesting matchup of guys who feel as though they got the shaft in their fights with top seed Briedis. Glowacki (31-2, 19 KO) lost via TKO-3 in an absurd shitshow of a fight last June, while Mikaelian (24-2, 10 KO) received a more traditional set of questionable scorecards in Nov. 2018. In fact, both of Mikaelian’s losses have been highly questionble, and he’s proven he’s a contender even without getting an actual W over anyone particularly good. Boxing is fun that way!

Poll

Cruiserweight: Dorticos vs Goulamirian

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (2) Yuniel Dorticos
    (267 votes)
  • 5%
    (7) Arsen Goulamirian
    (15 votes)
282 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Dorticos (24-1, 22 KO) is probably the most dangerous pure puncher of the field, but certainly has his flaws like anyone else here. Goulamirian is a fascinating titleholder, a guy who never actually won a world title fight but became WBA champ anyway, bumped from interim to “super world” while doing nothing other than beating Mark Flanagan in a non-tile bout. Boxing is fun that way!

Poll

Super Middleweight: Smith vs Dirrell

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    (1) Callum Smith
    (276 votes)
  • 10%
    (8) Anthony Dirrell
    (31 votes)
307 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Another potentially vulnerable one-seed. Smith (27-0, 19 KO) was the apple of some eyes for a bit there, all big and tall like he is, but his questionable win over John Ryder last November was a bit of an exposure, perhaps. Dirrell (33-2-1, 24 KO) is no superstar, but he’s a former titleholder and a tough dude who can fight, and at 6’2” he matches up better physically to the 6’3” Smith than many might.

Poll

Super Middleweight: Plant vs Saunders

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    (4) Caleb Plant
    (142 votes)
  • 54%
    (5) Billy Joe Saunders
    (169 votes)
311 votes total Vote Now

Notes: You know what? I think this would have a chance at being a better fight than you may expect at first blush. Both Plant (20-0, 12 KO) and Saunders (29-0, 14 KO) are technicians first, but Billy Joe showed last time out that if things aren’t going so great on the night, he can turn up the intensity a bit and get after it. And Plant might make him have to go there. What does Plant do if that happens? Is anyone able to sincerely outbox the other through 12 here? Or this might be two guys who don’t necessarily want to lead the action against a fellow live body.

Poll

Super Middleweight: Canelo vs Ryder

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    (3) Canelo Alvarez
    (295 votes)
  • 6%
    (6) John Ryder
    (20 votes)
315 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Feels weird to have Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KO) as a three-seed, but here we are. He’s one of the top fighters in the sport, but he’s got just the one fight truly at 168, though I don’t think there’s any serious doubt he can fight at this weight. Ryder (28-5, 16 KO) is kind of at a career high for respect given many feel he deserved the duke over Smith in November, but this is a tough draw for him.

Poll

Super Middleweight: Benavidez vs Jacobs

This poll is closed

  • 55%
    (2) David Benavidez
    (172 votes)
  • 44%
    (7) Daniel Jacobs
    (136 votes)
308 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Another interesting matchup at this weight. Benavidez (22-0, 19 KO) is a favorite of many, and for good reasons. He’s 23, he has some skills, he has power, and he’s got a bit of a mean streak. Jacobs (36-3, 30 KO) is unproven at 168, but he’s a very capable veteran fighter with a level of skill I don’t think Benavidez has faced before.

Poll

Junior Middleweight: Charlo vs Teixeira

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    (1) Jermell Charlo
    (276 votes)
  • 7%
    (8) Patrick Teixeira
    (22 votes)
298 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Charlo (33-1, 17 KO) has just the one loss, and most people didn’t think he lost that fight. But he’s certainly had some struggles in other outings, too. Teixeira (31-1, 22 KO) won a vacant belt in a matchup of two guys who arguably weren’t top 10 at the time over Carlos Adames, but the Brazilian gets the automatic in for being a titleholder. He’s actually unbeaten in his career at 154, it should be said, and he definitely has heart.

Poll

Junior Middleweight: Hurd vs Lara

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    (4) Jarrett Hurd
    (182 votes)
  • 40%
    (5) Erislandy Lara
    (124 votes)
306 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A rematch of the widely agreed-upon 2018 Fight of the Year, a war that Hurd (24-1, 16 KO) won via split decision thanks to a 12th round knockdown. When we last saw Hurd, he was trying to rebound from a loss by becoming more of a boxer first. Lara (26-3-3, 15 KO) is without question a better technician than the Hurd we saw in January, who was specifically trying to be a technician. I think most of the rematches/whatever we have here will probably go decisively to the guy who won in real life, as should probably be the case, but this one is way more of an open question, at least to me. You may fully disagree.

Poll

Junior Middleweight: Williams vs Castano

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    (3) Julian Williams
    (165 votes)
  • 41%
    (6) Brian Castano
    (116 votes)
281 votes total Vote Now

Notes: When I said to imagine the fighters in their best possible shape going into a fight right now, whatever that means to you, Williams (27-2-1, 16 KO) is someone I had in mind. So he’s in shape, no injuries, no weight struggle, etc. But can he bounce back from a stunning upset loss in his most recent fight, where he was flat out beat down? He’s done it before, mind you. Castano (16-0-1, 12 KO) would never have been easy for Williams, and wouldn’t be easy for anyone. This is also a rare weight class where at the very least 1-6 or even 1-7 aren’t separated by much at all. These results could get interesting.

Poll

Junior Middleweight: Rosario vs Harrison

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    (2) Jeison Rosario
    (146 votes)
  • 48%
    (7) Tony Harrison
    (137 votes)
283 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KO) pulled a big upset to put himself in the race last time we saw him, while Harrison (28-3, 21 KO) dropped his rematch with Charlo. Harrison is a very capable boxer, but has often had trouble avoiding the firepower late in fights, leading to his three stoppage losses. Does the young Rosario keep the momentum going, or can the veteran (who isn’t old or anything) find the holes in his opponent’s game?

Poll

Junior Welterweight: Taylor vs Troyanovsky

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    (1) Josh Taylor
    (287 votes)
  • 2%
    (8) Eduard Troyanovsky
    (7 votes)
294 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Taylor (16-0, 12 KO) is one of this division’s two titleholders, and plenty proven now against serious opposition. Troyanovsky (28-2, 24 KO) is a solid veteran fighter, but at 39 is 10 years Taylor’s senior, and realistically this eight seed could’ve just as easily have gone to Jose Zepeda or Mario Barrios, but it didn’t.

Poll

Junior Welterweight: Hooker vs Baranchyk

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    (4) Maurice Hooker
    (166 votes)
  • 41%
    (5) Ivan Baranchyk
    (116 votes)
282 votes total Vote Now

Notes: I love this matchup. Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KO) is a good all-around fighter and a former titleholder whose lone loss came in a great fight, as he was outgunned by Jose Ramirez. Baranchyk (20-1, 13 KO) is a limited guy in many ways, kind of just has the one speed, but the one speed he has is the speed that beat Hooker. Ramirez, of course, is a lot less predictable than the Belarusian, and his skill set a lot deeper. Does Baranchyk’s hard charging give him the nod here, or does Hooker out-fox him and take the win?

Poll

Junior Welterweight: Prograis vs Postol

This poll is closed

  • 96%
    (3) Regis Prograis
    (286 votes)
  • 3%
    (6) Viktor Postol
    (11 votes)
297 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Though there were no huge arguments, there were some who felt Prograis (24-1, 20 KO) did enough to edge Taylor last October. Certainly the miniority, but not an insignificant amount of people, and it was a majority decision. Postol (31-2, 12 KO) briefly held a title back in 2015-16, and has hung around as a contender. He’s a basic but effective veteran.

Poll

Junior Welterweight: Ramirez vs Relikh

This poll is closed

  • 98%
    (2) Jose Ramirez
    (273 votes)
  • 1%
    (7) Kiryl Relikh
    (5 votes)
278 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Ramirez (25-0, 17 KO) is the other titleholder at this weight, he and Taylor both holding two belts at the moment. The former Olympian has turned out to be a very fine pro, like many from the 2012 U.S. men’s team that stunk out London. Relikh (23-3, 19 KO) has pop and is always game, but we’ve seen him lose three of his last fights, albeit one in controversial fashion. The other two weren’t, though, and Prograis badly outclassed him last year.

Poll

Junior Lightweight: Berchelt vs Alvarado

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    (1) Miguel Berchelt
    (260 votes)
  • 2%
    (8) Rene Alvarado
    (6 votes)
266 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Berchelt (37-1, 33 KO) has turned into something of a wrecker at 130, thrashing his challengers since beating Francisco Vargas to win the WBC belt three years ago. Alvarado (32-8, 21 KO) is a very game opponent for anyone, always comes to fight. And he’s on a career-best run right now, capped by a dominant rematch win over Andrew Cancio in November.

Poll

Junior Lightweight: Diaz vs Valdez

This poll is closed

  • 43%
    (4) Joseph Diaz Jr
    (115 votes)
  • 56%
    (5) Oscar Valdez
    (148 votes)
263 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A really good matchup here. Diaz (31-1, 15 KO) and Valdez (27-0, 21 KO) had a fantastic fight at the 2011 World Amateur Championships, which Diaz controversially won on a score of 22-21. You can watch that fight here, but I wouldn’t put a lot of stock into it; that was almost nine years ago. Diaz was 18 years old, an actual child. Diaz picked up a belt with a strong win over Tevin Farmer last time out, while Valdez has kept on winning but very purposely hasn’t been the same full speed ahead fighter he was before Scott Quigg broke his jaw, and he had some struggles in his last fight with Adam Lopez.

Poll

Junior Lightweight: Herring vs Farmer

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    (3) Jamel Herring
    (164 votes)
  • 38%
    (6) Tevin Farmer
    (103 votes)
267 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Herring (21-2, 10 KO) has looked like a new fighter since moving down to 130 and hooking up with trainer Brian McIntyre, and his breakout came in 2019 at the age of 33/34, with wins over Masayuki Ito and Lamont Roach Jr. Farmer (30-5-1, 6 KO) is a crafty dude, but he’d be giving up significant height here to the 5’10” Herring, who is a former Olympian and has strong fundamentals, so he’s maybe not someone Farmer could so easily outbox. Or maybe he could? Another intriguing 3-6, I think.

Poll

Junior Lightweight: Santa Cruz vs Frampton

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    (2) Leo Santa Cruz
    (221 votes)
  • 22%
    (7) Carl Frampton
    (65 votes)
286 votes total Vote Now

Notes: These two, of course, met in a pair of very good fights in 2016-17, with Frampton (27-2, 15 KO) winning the first via majority decision, and Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KO) the rematch, also via majority decision. There was talk of a third fight and it never came about, with many blaming Santa Cruz’ management, which is often criticized for being overly careful. Both guys are in their early 30s now, and both are new to this weight class.

Poll

Junior Featherweight: Vargas vs Figueroa

This poll is closed

  • 87%
    (1) Rey Vargas
    (215 votes)
  • 12%
    (8) Brandon Figueroa
    (32 votes)
247 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Vargas (34-0, 22 KO) is one of those guys who just wins and wins, never looking terribly flashy while doing so, but winning, consistently and leaving no real questions about it. Despite his height and solid KO percentage, he’s not much of a puncher against better opposition, as he’s won all six of his world title bouts by decision. The young Figueroa (20-0-1, 15 KO) is a very likable prospect-turning-contender, and it’s hard to get on him too bad for his draw with Julio Ceja, given Ceja didn’t even make featherweight for that fight, let alone junior featherweight. Vargas, without question, would be a huge step up in class for the Texas “Heartbreaker,” though.

Poll

Junior Featherweight: Roman vs Iwasa

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (4) Daniel Roman
    (204 votes)
  • 14%
    (5) Ryosuke Iwasa
    (34 votes)
238 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Roman (27-3-1, 10 KO) has become a real fan favorite, a guy who came from a small promotional outfit to become a unified titleholder, which is pretty tough to do anymore. And he certainly didn’t shame himself in losing to Murodjon Akhmadaliev in his last fight; it was a split decision and Roman was plenty competitive. Iwasa (27-3, 17 KO) is also a former titleholder and has bounced back nicely from his 2018 loss to TJ Doheny, which I still feel was a little more controversial than it got credit for being. Two tough battlers, this would likely be a fantastic fight.

Poll

Junior Featherweight: Akhmadaliev vs Dogboe

This poll is closed

  • 80%
    (3) Murodjon Akhmadaliev
    (200 votes)
  • 19%
    (6) Isaac Dogboe
    (48 votes)
248 votes total Vote Now

Notes: It seems like forever ago that Dogboe (20-2, 14 KO) was possibly right on the cusp of winning the 2018 Fighter of the Year award before he got beaten by Emanuel Navarrete in December of that year. And he certainly doesn’t have a lot of momentum right now, having lost even worse to Navarrete in last year’s rematch. Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KO) set out to get to a world title as quickly as possible, and now he’s got two within eight pro fights, and does have momentum.

Poll

Junior Featherweight: Navarrete vs Fulton

This poll is closed

  • 90%
    (2) Emanuel Navarrete
    (216 votes)
  • 10%
    (7) Stephen Fulton Jr
    (24 votes)
240 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Now here’s a 2-7 I like a lot. Navarrete (31-1, 27 KO) is one of the sport’s top rising stars, but he’s also been handled very carefully since his two wins over Dogboe. He’s fought a lot, but against guys who could charitably be described as fringe contenders if you’re being particularly nice that day. Fulton (18-0, 8 KO) doesn’t have any marquee wins, either, but the Philly fighter is slick and skilled, good defensively, and has a hard, popping jab he uses to try and dictate the fight. I absolutely love this style matchup, actually, forget “like a lot.”

Poll

Junior Bantamweight: Estrada vs Rodriguez

This poll is closed

  • 97%
    (1) Juan Francisco Estrada
    (241 votes)
  • 2%
    (8) Francisco Rodriguez Jr
    (6 votes)
247 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Estrada (40-3, 27 KO) isn’t undisputed by any means — he only holds the WBC title — but he’s seen right now as the clear top dog at 115. Rodriguez (33-4-1, 24 KO) is only 26, which seems wild; the dude fought Chocolatito Gonzalez nearly seven years ago and Donnie Nietes five years ago. Rodriguez has mostly fought at home in Mexico, but he’s plugged away and won 14 straight since 2015. An obvious underdog here, without question, but a good fighter.

Poll

Junior Bantamweight: Ioka vs Ancajas

This poll is closed

  • 54%
    (4) Kazuto Ioka
    (125 votes)
  • 45%
    (5) Jerwin Ancajas
    (105 votes)
230 votes total Vote Now

Notes: You know this is fantasy because we’re getting Ancajas (32-1-2, 22 KO) in what would be a unification against one of the divison’s other standouts. The Filipino looked like a potential rising star not long ago, but his 2018 draw with Alejandro Santiago raised a lot of questions, and he was given two much more favorable, carefully-chosen matchups in 2019. Ioka (25-2, 14 KO) is still a hell of a good fighter, returning from a brief retirement in 2018 to jump right back into the title mix at 115 after winning belts at 105, 108, and 112 in the past. Good matchup here.

Poll

Junior Bantamweight: Gonzalez vs Moloney

This poll is closed

  • 95%
    (3) Roman Gonzalez
    (239 votes)
  • 4%
    (6) Andrew Moloney
    (11 votes)
250 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KO) pretty capably answered all questions about whether or not he was washed with his dominant beatdown of Kal Yafai last month, and the 32-year-old Nicaraguan reminded us all just who he is, and that he’s not out of the game just yet. Moloney (21-0, 14 KO) is a very solid fighter, like twin brother Jason up at bantamweight, but he was really tested last time out against Elton Dharry, too, a fight that was stopped on a cut and was more competitive than the scores at the time of the stoppage might lead you to believe.

Poll

Junior Bantamweight: Srisaket vs Yafai

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (2) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
    (243 votes)
  • 5%
    (7) Kal Yafai
    (13 votes)
256 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Yafai (26-1, 15 KO) may have set his ceiling last time out with how he fared against Gonzalez after years of facing second-rate opposition in world title fights, and the Thai puncher’s power seems a bad idea for him. But maybe you will imagine Srisaket (47-5-1, 41 KO) puzzlingly fighting in an orthodox stance much of the night, as he did last time out in his loss to Estrada. Even still, that fight wound up close on the cards and in reality, it’s not like he was blown out in the fight.

Poll

Junior Flyweight: Teraji vs Hisada

This poll is closed

  • 93%
    (1) Kenshiro Teraji
    (189 votes)
  • 6%
    (8) Tetsuya Hisada
    (13 votes)
202 votes total Vote Now

Notes: The 35-year-old veteran Hisada (34-10-2, 20 KO) is game as they come, a real fighter, and most of his losses came earlier in his career. He gave Hiroto Kyoguchi a legitimate fight in defeat last October, snapping a 13-fight win streak. But Teraji (17-0, 10 KO) is one of the two obvious front-runners in this division, with Kyoguchi. He’s a very good boxer with perhaps a bit more power than the KO percentage would have you think at a glance.

Poll

Junior Flyweight: Alvarado vs Soto

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    (4) Felix Alvarado
    (129 votes)
  • 32%
    (5) Elwin Soto
    (61 votes)
190 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Of all the divisions the World Boxing Super Series might go after for a proposed third season, there’s a reason so many of us would like to see them do the 108-pounders. This is a very talented division, and both of these guys would be fine choices for the field. Alvarado (35-2, 30 KO) and Soto (17-1, 12 KO) both hold titles and are fun to watch. Alvarado has proven a bit more, perhaps, as Soto really just broke out some last year, beating Angel Acosta rather controversially via 12th round stoppage in a fight he was losing on the cards, and then taking a tight decision win over Edward Heno. That said, Acosta and Heno are perhaps both better fighters than Alvarado’s last two opponents in world title fights, Randy Petalcorin and Reiya Konishi (who would have an argument against Heno if not Acosta).

Poll

Junior Flyweight: Canizales vs Kimura

This poll is closed

  • 81%
    (3) Carlos Canizales
    (151 votes)
  • 18%
    (6) Sho Kimura
    (35 votes)
186 votes total Vote Now

Notes: We saw this fight last year, and Canizales (22-0-1, 17 KO) won a wide decision over Kimura (19-3-2, 12 KO), who maybe should be ranked (or not ranked) at flyweight instead right now. Not really much question about the winner here, I don’t think, but I suppose one never knows.

Poll

Junior Flyweight: Kyoguchi vs Heno

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi
    (172 votes)
  • 5%
    (7) Edward Heno
    (10 votes)
182 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Kyoguchi (14-0, 9 KO) is, again, one of the top dogs in the division alongside Teraji. But Heno (14-1-5, 5 KO) is no pushover, although he would be a clear underdog here. This is a man who started his career 0-0-3 and didn’t just say, “Fuck this,” so that’s something to consider.