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Bad Left Hook March Mania: Final round voting for all divisions

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The final matchups in all 17 weight classes are here. Vote away!

Bad Left Hook’s March Mania fantasy boxing tournament continues today, with the final round voting for all 17 championship matchups in every weight class.

Mostly, the favorites have won, and mostly by large margins. We’ve got a couple three seeds in the mix here, but every top seed made it through to the final, the closest call for any of them being Callum Smith edging Billy Joe Saunders by eight votes in the semifinals.

But now we’re down to what everyone sees as the top guys in each division. So let’s get to it!

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 Monday, Mar. 30 at Noon ET.

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

Poll

Heavyweight: Fury vs Joshua

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (1) Tyson Fury
    (437 votes)
  • 53%
    (2) Anthony Joshua
    (510 votes)
947 votes total Vote Now

Notes: The only question, really, was whether this was going to be Fury-Joshua or an early look at the thoughts on Fury-Wilder 3. Joshua got past Wilder in the semis, so it’s Fury-Joshua. Tyson is probably the clear favorite against anyone right now, but AJ has his fervent supporters, too, and he does have three world title belts, after all. Three! Tyson only has one, and the American flag belt that the magazine hands out sometimes. Also, LINEAL!!! (He’s now lineal “for real” again, I suppose, depending on how seriously you take that; even if you considered lineal vacant in 2016 when Fury kinda-retired, his February win over Wilder gives that distinction back. So he’s now the man who beat Wilder for a vacant distinction, after having been the man who beat the man who beat...Ruslan Chagaev. LINEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Poll

Cruiserweight: Briedis vs Dorticos

This poll is closed

  • 46%
    (1) Mairis Briedis
    (226 votes)
  • 53%
    (2) Yuniel Dorticos
    (258 votes)
484 votes total Vote Now

Notes: This was going to happen last year, and didn’t. It was going to happen March 21, and didn’t. It’s set to happen May 16, and frankly probably won’t. It will happen at some point (neither of these two have any bigger a fight to take, for one thing), but now we’ll get to vote on it here. Briedis is rough and tough and strong. Dorticos is a puncher, probably a little slicker than the Latvian. It could go either way.

Poll

Light Heavyweight: Beterbiev vs Bivol

This poll is closed

  • 75%
    (1) Artur Beterbiev
    (391 votes)
  • 24%
    (2) Dmitry Bivol
    (127 votes)
518 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A huge contrast in styles. Bivol largely prefers to avoid a mix-up if possible; he was once sold as a light heavyweight Gennadiy Golovkin, but that’s really not his style at all. He’s a boxer first and foremost. Beterbiev craves nothing but a mix-up. He all but dares opponents to get into a mix-up. He wants them to try and get the better of him in a purely physical matchup, and has the confidence that nobody really can outlast him over a full 12. This is down to who can most often force the fight to be what they want it to be. Beterbiev isn’t totally unskilled, but he can’t outbox Bivol. And Bivol is no monster aggressor or knockout puncher, but he’s not feather-fisted, either, and timing can be everything. A great matchup I think everyone would love to see.

Poll

Super Middleweight: Smith vs Canelo

This poll is closed

  • 19%
    (1) Callum Smith
    (102 votes)
  • 80%
    (3) Canelo Alvarez
    (426 votes)
528 votes total Vote Now

Notes: It’s still weird that Canelo is a three-seed, but he’d have been a No. 1 if we slotted him at middleweight. Given that he’s campaigning at 168 now by all indications, we put him here, and he has cruised through to the final, while Smith had a very close call against fifth-seeded Billy Joe Saunders in the semifinal. Smith controversially beat John Ryder in November, and John Ryder is not Canelo. My gut feeling is we see another rout here, and there’s reason for that, but maybe some still believe that if Smith is on his game, his height can be a major problem for Canelo.

Poll

Middleweight: Golovkin vs Derevyanchenko

This poll is closed

  • 74%
    (1) Gennadiy Golovkin
    (391 votes)
  • 25%
    (3) Sergiy Derevyanchenko
    (132 votes)
523 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Golovkin and Derevyanchenko met in a terrific fight last October, with GGG just barely getting past Derevyanchenko; it was a close and debatable enough call that GGG’s win was even booed at Madison Square Garden, which has been like his adopted home arena in the States. Derevyanchenko has come extremely close in two top-tier fights, but is 0-2 in those bouts. But GGG is getting older, too. If these two met again right now, can GGG repeat the victory, or is now Sergiy’s time to finally break through?

Poll

Junior Middleweight: Charlo vs Rosario

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (1) Jermell Charlo
    (369 votes)
  • 26%
    (2) Jeison Rosario
    (131 votes)
500 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Again, it’s pretty wild that about two months ago, Rosario wouldn’t even have been in the field. Now he’s in the final. That said, his first two opponents — Tony Harrison and Julian Williams — have had real support in the votes, and that comes with Rosario being in this position because he actually really beat Williams in January. The belief in is staying power seems fairly low, and I suspect that’s going to lead to a wide Charlo win here, but I am no fortune teller, I am no Criswell.

Poll

Welterweight: Spence vs Crawford

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    (1) Errol Spence Jr
    (156 votes)
  • 70%
    (2) Terence Crawford
    (370 votes)
526 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Everyone’s been demanding this fight for some time now. Spence expects it will happen in 2021, at last comment, and they’ve gone back-and-forth on social media and stuff. Usually when it comes up, it starts pretty contentious, before the two eventually express their respect for one another and agree that in time, the fight’s going to happen. Well, here’s your chance to pick the winner. Who’s the real top dog right now at 147?

Poll

Junior Welterweight: Taylor vs Prograis

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (1) Josh Taylor
    (369 votes)
  • 26%
    (3) Regis Prograis
    (133 votes)
502 votes total Vote Now

Notes: We saw this one last October, it was a great fight, and Taylor won despite leaving with one functioning eye. Prograis got past Jose Ramirez in the semifinal voting to set this up; the feeling is largely that while Ramirez may deserve a No. 2 ranking by virtue of being a unified titleholder and unbeaten, Prograis is still the real No. 2 guy in the division. It’s a rematch you can dream on. Taylor has a new trainer, may have let success go to his head a bit, and Prograis came close that first time on the road, anyway. On the other hand, Taylor won, and there was no real controversy about it, either.

Poll

Lightweight: Lomachenko vs Lopez

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    (1) Vasiliy Lomachenko
    (445 votes)
  • 14%
    (2) Teofimo Lopez
    (77 votes)
522 votes total Vote Now

Notes: We were hoping to see this on May 30, but it might have to wait. And it might not happen at all, as Lopez has been staying at 135 just to get Lomachenko, and he’s got sort of a time frame, it seems, on how long he’ll wait and struggle to make weight. Loma is undoubtedly a class boxer extraordinaire, but he’s also a small lightweight, and Lopez isn’t, and Teofimo has big power, really good speed, and is on the rise. Promoter Lou DiBella (who doesn’t promote either guy) has said he thinks Loma better fight Lopez before the latter gets any better. Is the time right for Teofimo to pull it off, or does Vasiliy outfox the younger guy at this point?

Poll

Junior Lightweight: Berchelt vs Santa Cruz

This poll is closed

  • 73%
    (1) Miguel Berchelt
    (351 votes)
  • 26%
    (2) Leo Santa Cruz
    (128 votes)
479 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Berchelt has been destroying those in his path at 130 for a while now. Santa Cruz is new at the weight but has accomplished so much that he already has a high ranking, and he also already has a belt here, too, even though that was more a ridiculous decision by the WBA than anything. Berchelt has been able to overpower and overwhelm most of his foes the last couple years, but Santa Cruz is a veteran fighter with a lot of grit and skill, too.

Poll

Featherweight: Warrington vs Russell

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    (1) Josh Warrington
    (193 votes)
  • 60%
    (2) Gary Russell Jr
    (298 votes)
491 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Warrington has been my No. 1 in the division since others moved up and left an opening, but I’ve long said Russell might be a nightmare matchup for him. Styles make fights, always have and always will. Russell barely got by Shakur Stevenson in the semis, winning by a single vote, while Warrington got a wide win over rival Kid Galahad. But is Russell’s style as bad as I’ve previously thought for Warrington? Or — and this made me re-think the matchup recently — is Warrington’s pressure enough to push Russell’s gas tank to empty, something we saw become a bit of a problem against Tugstsogt Nyambayar?

Poll

Junior Featherweight: Vargas vs Navarrete

This poll is closed

  • 42%
    (1) Rey Vargas
    (187 votes)
  • 57%
    (2) Emanuel Navarrete
    (252 votes)
439 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Vargas is a solid, well-rounded, consistent fighter. He wins fights. He’s not flashy about it, but he wins fights. Navarrete is the younger guy, still learning on the job a bit even though he’s a world titleholder with multiple defenses just like Vargas, and he’s the more exciting of the two. If there’s action in this matchup, it’s because Navarrete makes it so. Vargas is taller than Navarrete, but height isn’t really Navarrete’s main thing, it’s that he brings action and has a long reach for the weight, actually officially slightly longer than Vargas’. It’s a compelling matchup. Is Navarrete ready for a technically sound veteran like Vargas? Can Vargas hold off a better, more determined and more confident version of some fighters he has beaten before?

Poll

Bantamweight: Inoue vs Donaire

This poll is closed

  • 92%
    (1) Naoya Inoue
    (467 votes)
  • 7%
    (3) Nonito Donaire
    (38 votes)
505 votes total Vote Now

Notes: A rematch of the 2019 Fight of the Year. Donaire got past his likely next real life opponent, Nordine Oubaali, to get the fantasy second crack at Inoue. These two beat the hell out of each other last fall, with Donaire busting Inoue’s orbital, but Inoue winning a clear if highly competitive and exciting decision. Inoue is the obvious favorite here, but I think there’s a case to be made that Donaire could make a couple of adjustments and get the better of it this time. There’s also a case to be made that at 37, that effort against Inoue may well be the best Donaire can do anymore, and it wasn’t quite enough.

Poll

Junior Bantamweight: Estrada vs Srisaket

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    (1) Juan Francisco Estrada
    (270 votes)
  • 43%
    (2) Srisaket Sor Rungvisai
    (208 votes)
478 votes total Vote Now

Notes: These two have split a pair of fights, both of them close. Srisaket won a majority decision when they met in Feb. 2018, and Estrada took the rematch by unanimous and deserved but still competitive decision in Apr. 2019. If Srisaket doesn’t spend half the fight boneheadedly fighting orthodox, does he beat Estrada again? Or have we seen the best of the 33-year-old Thai thumper, and Estrada takes the rubber match?

Poll

Flyweight: Tanaka vs Martinez

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    (1) Kosei Tanaka
    (166 votes)
  • 58%
    (2) Julio Cesar Martinez
    (234 votes)
400 votes total Vote Now

Notes: I’m expecting this one to be a very close vote. Tanaka has the class and skill, but Martinez is just utterly relentless. Tanaka is a different ball of wax than Andrew Selby, Chuck Edwards, Cristofer Rosales, or Jay Harris, to be sure. But Martinez is not Ryoichi Taguchi, Jonathan Gonzalez, or Wulan Tuolehazi, either. Great style matchup that might well bring the best out of both; Martinez could pressure Tanaka into fighting more than he might want initially, and Tanaka could also use his skills to put Martinez under pressure in his own way, and make him even more aggressive than normal.

Poll

Junior Flyweight: Teraji vs Kyoguchi

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    (1) Kenshiro Teraji
    (216 votes)
  • 37%
    (2) Hiroto Kyoguchi
    (128 votes)
344 votes total Vote Now

Notes: An obvious final matchup; I mean, most of them seem obvious, but there are only a few divisions where I really expected going in that the top two guys were going to face basically no resistance getting to the final, and this was one of them. (As it turns out most of the top seeds have faced no real resistance, but that is another story.) Either one of these guys could be considered the top guy in the division right now, and Kyoguchi is actually the Ring champ at the weight, though not truly considered LINEAL!!!!!!!!

Poll

Minimumweight: Wanheng vs Knockout

This poll is closed

  • 61%
    (1) Wanheng Menayothin
    (228 votes)
  • 38%
    (2) Knockout CP Freshmart
    (144 votes)
372 votes total Vote Now

Notes: Both unbeaten titleholders, both from Thailan, and like Teraji-Kyoguchi, considered the clear top two at this little guy weight. Wanheng is 34, five years older than Knockout, and may be ripe for the picking against this level of opponent. But he also just might be the better fighter, period, and it’s not like he’s been showing a lot of decline in recent fights, either. Is it Knockout’s time, or is TBE still the king?