By Paul Magno | March 08, 2018

My sack this week was full of beef talk and love for bomb-throwing big men...So, here’s the best of the best I got (with one of the worst of the worst thrown in just for fun):

Canelo: Guilty or Innocent?

Hi Paul. Love your work, but I never figured on writing an email until now. The Canelo controversy has me on the fence. I’m not a fan of his and I’m not NOT a fan either, but I do take interest in what he does and how his career has developed. This is going to sound like I’m kissing your rump, but you’re probably the only guy in the boxing media that I’d actually trust to give me an honest take on his dirty PEDs test. So, is he a lying, cheating dog or is the contaminated meat thing a real thing? Thanks for everything you do.

-- Cal Jackson

Hi, Cal. For me, the situation is murky enough to create reasonable doubt when it comes to intent. I’m not comfortable pissing all over a fighter’s career and reputation without real and substantial proof of intentional wrongdoing. We know he tested positive for a “trace” amount of clenbuterol and we also know that the lab tech said that the amount found in his system was consistent with meat contamination. I also know, however, that clenbuterol is intentionally misused in Mexico and the contaminated cattle angle is used as a cover for the cheat. 

It’s hard to fathom that a multi-million dollar elite-level athlete, from Mexico and training in Mexico, would be so careless as to risk eating contaminated beef. It’s equally hard to fathom that Canelo and his team, if they were intent upon cheating with a banned substance, would be doing so just as testing began for his Golovkin fight.

My take is that Canelo deserves some degree of benefit of the doubt. There's no doubt whatsoever, though, that he needs to be held accountable for what was actually in his body. He deserves extra scrutiny from this point forward. 

And, on a related note, to repeat something I’ve been saying for years-- voluntary PEDs testing, with terms dictated by fighters and their teams, is absolutely worthless. It's just public relations. Boxing really and truly does NOT want any sort of real testing across the board. 

Dream Fights, Plus Spence-Crawford


Big fan of your writing and your boxing insight in general! Wanted your opinion on who you feel would win the following dream matchups:

1. Aaron Pryor vs Kostya Tszyu

2. Donald Curry vs Wilfred Benitez

3. Diego Corrales vs Ray Mancini

4. Julian Jackson vs Felix Trinidad

5. Prime George Foreman vs Riddick Bowe

Also, I know most consider either Lomachenko or Crawford to be to the P4P #1, but in my humble opinion, Spence is currently the best fighter in the world. I think he’d grind Crawford down and stop him late if that fight happens, but wanted to hear your thoughts on the matchup.

Thanks in advance,


I don’t do many fantasy dream matches. I usually leave those for that nice older lady with the ponytail who does the mailbags at RingTV. But, in your case, I’ll make an exception. Here are my picks:

1. Pryor, easy. I rate a prime Pryor over almost every other 140 pounder in history. He had a short window of greatness, but, in his prime, he was virtually unbeatable.

2. Benitez. Too classy.

3. Corrales. Even though Mancini’s toughness and tenacity would serve him well, Corrales was just too quick and strong, IMO.

4. My head picks Trinidad, because he was the all-around better boxer, but my heart says Jackson because he could lay a slow-starting Tito out at any time. 

5. Hardcore, old school fans will kill me, but I’d go with Riddick Bowe. He was just the all-around better, sharper fighter and big enough/strong enough to not be bullied around the ring by prime Foreman. 

As for Spence-Crawford, I definitely see your point and Spence could very well be just too big, strong, and aggressive for Crawford, but in close fights I almost always lean towards the more skilled, more versatile fighter. I think Crawford is smart enough and skilled enough to negate Spence’s size, although he might have to resort to stinking out the joint with a “boxing” exhibition. I’m just hoping we get to the point where that fight can and will be made. 

I’m a Hater, What are You?

your a hater 

-- Tyrone Ashford

you’RE an idiot.

Deontay: Bomb or Dud?

As I was watching the fight this weekend I was getting upset with Wilder’s boxing performance. I was complaining to my wife about how he backs up in a straight line and how he is not using his jab to set up his arsenal.  He was also very cautious in the beginning rounds, which looked kind of amateurish. But then it dawned on me that Wilder doesn’t claim to be a good fighter or to have great skills. What he does claim is he is a knockout artist.  So I think we need not look at our American heavyweight champion as a technical boxer but as a Great Knock Out artist. He started late boxing and he has been relying on his best attribute to bail him out!  So why are we mad? We love knockouts and that’s what a champ gives us. Southpaws give him the worst problems and he just beat in my opinion the best pure boxer in the heavyweight division! We should be building  him up. He should be on Good Morning America and all the platforms possible to get him the most exposure! Let’s cheer our Knockout King all the way to his undisputed challenge with Anthony Joshua and back him like the United Kingdom backs their champion, and not discredit him cause he has never claimed to be the best technical fighter. He always told us he will knock his opponents out and he has done that for us!! BombZquad!!!!!!!

-- jay cee 

I understand what you’re saying and totally support the fans’ right to support “their" guys. I wish American fight fans weren’t so jaded and/or weighed down by subconscious hang-ups involving race. BUT...Do we support someone blindly as he wades, face first, into a threshing machine on a hopeless suicide mission? Wilder is not a very good fighter and he is an embarrassing knockout waiting to happen. He hasn’t been in many “real” fights against high-end fighters-- and there’s a reason for that. That one big punch, at the top of a mountain of liabilities, is simply NOT enough to keep him consistently successful at the highest levels of the sport. Being just good enough to get by low level opposition and second or third-tier fringe contenders should hardly be a bragging point. 

I think we show support for our guys by insisting that they prepare themselves properly to be successful against the very best over a long period of time. 

Boxing lends itself to lots of magical thinking, especially when it comes to those fighters with one-punch KO power. But it’s somewhat self-defeating to put all your hopes and prayers behind someone with only one chance to emerge victorious and not much of an up side if they do pull off that unlikely win. An NFL quarterback with no skills or real aptitude for the position would be a failure even if he could throw the ball 80 yards down field. 

As an American, I’d like for Deontay Wilder to walk into Wembley Stadium and beat Anthony Joshua to bring home all four belts. But I’d like for him to have more than a wild-eyed chance of doing so. As it is right now, I don’t give him much of a chance at all against a home country money fighter who is bigger than him, sturdier than him, better skilled than him, smarter than him, more versatile than him, and nearly as heavy-handed. 

I wish Wilder had better prepared himself for this big shot and my guess is that many of his fans will feel the same way when he gets blasted by Joshua in front of the whole world. 

Got a question or comment for Magno? The best of the best gets printed right here, every Thursday, in Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack. Send your stuff to:

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