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Bad Left Hook March Mania: Semifinal voting, stage two

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The tournament continues with semifinal matchups in eight divisions.

Bad Left Hook’s March Mania fantasy boxing tournament continues today, with voting opening for the semifinal matchups at cruiserweight, 168, 154, 140, 130, 122, 115, and 108. We’ve got some much more debatable matchups in the semifinals than in most of the first round, of course, because the best of the best remain.

Voting is still open for the rest of the semifinals in the other nine divisions until tomorrow at Noon ET!

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 Thursday, Mar. 26 at Noon ET.

Let’s go!

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

Poll

Cruiserweight: Briedis vs Makabu

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    (1) Mairis Briedis
    (271 votes)
  • 24%
    (4) Ilunga Makabu
    (88 votes)
359 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A really good matchup in a division where the top guys are all pretty close in level. Makabu (27-2, 24 KO) is a dynamite action fighter, and Brieids (26-1, 19 KO) has been vulnerable in recent real life outings, escaping his last two fights with controversial wins.

Poll

Cruiserweight: Dorticos vs Glowacki

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (2) Yuniel Dorticos
    (260 votes)
  • 26%
    (3) Krzysztof Glowacki
    (93 votes)
353 votes total Vote Now

Notes: This quite easily could have been the real life WBSS final we’re still waiting on, as Glowacki kinda got the shaft in that goofy mess of a fight with Briedis. Dorticos has the big power, but the southpaw from Poland could be a tricky style matchup.

Poll

Super Middleweight: Smith vs Saunders

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    (1) Callum Smith
    (196 votes)
  • 48%
    (5) Billy Joe Saunders
    (188 votes)
384 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Smith (27-0, 19 KO) and Saunders (29-0, 14 KO) both hold titles at 168, both are unbeaten, both have frankly more slight résumés than is often taken into account, both have struggled in recent outings. The southpaw Saunders’ crafty style is only apparent sometimes, while the very tall Smith’s best win came over a physically spent George Groves in 2018. They also have their strengths, of course, which is why they’re here, but neither of these guys have been looking unbeatable. Interesting matchup again.

Poll

Super Middleweight: Benavidez vs Canelo

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    (2) David Benavidez
    (83 votes)
  • 78%
    (3) Canelo Alvarez
    (305 votes)
388 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A big ask for the 23-year-old Benavidez (22-0, 19 KO) against the proven superstar Canelo (53-1-2, 36 KO). Alvarez has more craft and skill than anyone Benavidez has faced — and by a lot — but Alvarez has also very carefully chosen his opposition north of 160 pounds, and we’re north of 160 here. Benavidez certainly figures to carry more danger than Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, Rocky Fielding, or a faded Sergey Kovalev at 175. The question would be about whether it’s too much, too soon for the young titleholder.

Poll

Junior Middleweight: Charlo vs Hurd

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    (1) Jermell Charlo
    (235 votes)
  • 38%
    (4) Jarrett Hurd
    (146 votes)
381 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Charlo (33-1, 17 KO) and Hurd (24-1, 16 KO) once were on a collision course as unbeaten titleholders, but they both lost fights, Charlo a controversial decision to Tony Harrison, Hurd a not-controversial decision to Julian Williams. Hurd’s new attempt to be more of a boxer remains questionable, but it’s not as if Charlo is invincible or anything, and you’re free to imagine Hurd going back to his pressure game against better opposition than Francisco Santana.

Poll

Junior Middleweight: Rosario vs Williams

This poll is closed

  • 59%
    (2) Jeison Rosario
    (219 votes)
  • 40%
    (3) Julian Williams
    (151 votes)
370 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Rosario (20-1-1, 14 KO) barely scraped past Tony Harrison in the opening round, while Williams (27-2-1, 16 KO) fairly comfortably got by Brian Castano. Meanwhile, we just saw this fight in January in the real world, and Rosario beat Williams down. Maybe you feel it was a fluke, maybe you feel Rosario had his best night and Williams his worst. I don’t know. In almost all rematches we’ve seen in the tournament thus far, people have seemed to feel they’re duty-bound to vote for the guy who actually won previously, which I do get because we saw it happen. But things do change. Fighters do improve and decline for various reasons. And Rosario seems to still have a healthy amount of non-believers. So we’ll see here.

Poll

Junior Welterweight: Taylor vs Hooker

This poll is closed

  • 91%
    (1) Josh Taylor
    (332 votes)
  • 8%
    (4) Maurice Hooker
    (31 votes)
363 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Taylor (16-0, 12 KO) would be a big favorite here, but Hooker (27-1-3, 18 KO) is no pushover, either, a former world titleholder whose only loss came in a firefight with Jose Ramirez. Taylor has also recently switched trainers and we’ve yet to see how that will impact him, but he had a good thing going with Shane McGuigan.

Poll

Junior Welterweight: Ramirez vs Prograis

This poll is closed

  • 37%
    (2) Jose Ramirez
    (136 votes)
  • 62%
    (3) Regis Prograis
    (224 votes)
360 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Ramirez (25-0, 17 KO) has two belts, is undefeated, and no question deserves the two-seed, you could even make your argument for him as the No. 1. But Prograis (24-1, 20 KO) is a hard matchup, a southpaw with power and skill whose only loss came in a competitive, outstanding fight last year with Taylor.

Poll

Junior Lightweight: Berchelt vs Valdez

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    (1) Miguel Berchelt
    (292 votes)
  • 16%
    (5) Oscar Valdez
    (57 votes)
349 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Berchelt (37-1, 33 KO) and Valdez (27-0, 21 KO) are by all appearances headed for a real life meeting whenever boxing gets back in business. The former featherweight titleholder Valdez is another guy who’s been trying to box more to extend his career, having been a real warrior before (and while) having his jaw broken against Scott Quigg. Berchelt’s been on a tear the last three years and is the naturally bigger man, with a notable reach advantage here.

Poll

Junior Lightweight: Santa Cruz vs Herring

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (2) Leo Santa Cruz
    (260 votes)
  • 26%
    (3) Jamel Herring
    (94 votes)
354 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Santa Cruz (37-1-1, 19 KO) is new to the division but looks capable of fighting at 130, and he’s got enough height and reach and all that to do it. Herring (21-2, 10 KO) is taller by a couple inches, but only has about an inch of reach on Leo. Santa Cruz is at his best throwing a lot of punches, while Herring has strong fundamental skills that trainer Brian McIntyre has really helped him make the most of since they got together and Jamel moved down from 135.

Poll

Junior Featherweight: Vargas vs Roman

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    (1) Rey Vargas
    (218 votes)
  • 32%
    (4) Daniel Roman
    (104 votes)
322 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Vargas (34-0, 22 KO) has done a good job securing his top at or near the top of the division since winning the WBC belt in 2017, but when you look at his title defenses, there’s not a single guy who was even consensus top 10 in there. Roman (27-3-1, 10 KO) hasn’t exactly been in with the kings of the world, either, but he’s fought a pair of unification bouts and been successful going on the road, too. It’s a good matchup; Vargas is a really good boxer-puncher, and Roman is a gritty guy who makes the most of his abilities via a load of determination.

Poll

Junior Featherweight: Navarrete vs Akhmadaliev

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    (2) Emanuel Navarrete
    (170 votes)
  • 47%
    (3) Murodjon Akhmadaliev
    (155 votes)
325 votes total Vote Now

Notes: The kid gloves would be off sending Navarrete (31-1, 27 KO) into this matchup. No more title defenses against guys who aren’t top 40 in the division. Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6 KO) has stormed the pro ranks, beating Roman for a pair of belts. Navarrete has made improvements fight to fight and has shown he can fight effectively deep into bouts, too. Akhmadaliev has more schooling as an amateur and maybe a more well-rounded game, but Daniel Roman was competitive with him, too, he didn’t trounce Roman or anything. Potentially fascinating fight here.

Poll

Junior Bantamweight: Estrada vs Ioka

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    (1) Juan Francisco Estrada
    (292 votes)
  • 10%
    (4) Kazuto Ioka
    (35 votes)
327 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Estrada (40-3, 27 KO) and Ioka (25-2, 14 KO) are both good veterans, multiple-division titleholders, about the same size though Estrada is maybe a little naturally thicker than Ioka. Estrada has one narrow loss since 2012, while Ioka has two close losses in his entire career. Estrada would be the favorite here, but it’s an excellent fight.

Poll

Junior Bantamweight: Srisaket vs Gonzalez

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    (2) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
    (246 votes)
  • 29%
    (3) Roman Gonzalez
    (102 votes)
348 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Srisaket (47-5-1, 41 KO) has beaten Gonzalez (49-2, 41 KO) twice, the only man to ever beat Chocolatito, in fact. Gonzalez has proven he’s not shot (or close to it), and that may only strengthen the idea that Srisaket is simply an awful style matchup for him. Their first fight was a controversial decision, but in the rematch, Srisaket bashed him in four. Gonzalez has a lot of fans, and I know I’m advocating that things can change in matchups we’ve seen before, but this one is definitely tough for Roman.

Poll

Junior Flyweight: Teraji vs Alvarado

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (1) Kenshiro Teraji
    (221 votes)
  • 14%
    (4) Felix Alvarado
    (37 votes)
258 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Teraji (17-0, 10 KO) and Alvarado (35-2, 30 KO) are both titleholders. Alvarez is more experienced, which also means older, and as far as bigger fights he’s really no more experienced. The Nicaraguan does have legit power, but Teraji really is more proven at the higher levels.

Poll

Junior Flyweight: Kyoguchi vs Canizales

This poll is closed

  • 70%
    (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi
    (175 votes)
  • 29%
    (3) Carlos Canizales
    (74 votes)
249 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Kyoguchi (14-0, 9 KO) and Canizales (22-0-1, 17 KO) are kind of a similar matchup to Teraji-Alvarado, but Canizales may be a bit better than Alvarado, and thus a little more seriously dangerous. He’s on a nice run of form in recent fights, but then so is Kyoguchi.