By Paul Magno | August 17, 2023

Thursday's, in this corner of the Universo Pugilistico, are all about my sack-- my bulging, bulbous, aching sack-- and the gooey, salty truth contained within. So...sit back, close your eyes, pull back your hair, and get ready for this week's money shot of wisdom. This week we have comments/questions regarding Canelo-Charlo, Navarrete-Valdez, Joshua-Wilder, Devin Haney, and Magno vs. Media.

Navarrete-Valdez/Devin Haney/Anthony Joshua

Hello Paul.

Hope you and your family are fine with the warm weather all over Mx. I used to live in Chihuahua, you know, dry weather plus heat, so I figure its not as bad where you are.

First, I would like to cover the Vaquero-Valdez fight. At first I thought this fight was going to be similar to Valdez-Berchelt, but from round 1 you could tell Valdez was so small compared to Navarrete, then again, I always identified Valdez as someone who relies a lot on his left hook and those are I believe the two reasons why he lost the fight. He got to the point of becoming predictable and limited.

I don't rate Vaquero high as many people were doing (calling him the next Margarito) because when he fought someone his own size (Wilson) he showed he can be physically challenged.

I am not super excited about this division (super featherweight) anyways, so hopefully he can make some meaningful defenses of his belt before being fed up to Shakur.

BTW, have you heard anything from Devin Haney? It seems he is becoming a prima donna nowadays as he does not define his rival, nor signs contracts and believes he is worth 10M. Last I heard he had agreed to fight Prograis, but it seems that fight is lost now, as far as him requesting to keep his champion in recess status at lightweight makes me believe he does not fancy his chances at super lightweight.

Last but not least, for Joshua's sake, he should retire now, otherwise he is not just going to get physically hurt by Wilder, but mentally destroyed as well.

Best Regards.

– Miguel

Hey Miguel.

For the life of me I couldn’t see why so many people were picking Valdez to beat Navarrete. To me, Valdez was always a good-- but not great-- fighter who, at this point in time, is past-prime. Against Navarrete, I saw him as undersized and not creative or stylistically flexible enough to come out ahead. Navarrete-Valdez was entertaining, but it wasn’t close. El Vaquero was never in danger of losing this fight or of having the tide turned at any point. I’m entertained by Navarrete, but I agree that when he’s forced to face fighters his own size, the buck will stop there. In that way, he IS somewhat like Margarito, who usually sported a big size advantage over his opposition (as well as loaded wraps!) and floundered when he couldn’t enter the ring with those advantages. 

I predicted awhile back that Haney would become increasingly tough to deal with after beating Kambosos a second time. On one hand, I agree that flexing his negotiating muscle is appropriate, after the business sacrifices he made to get a shot at becoming undisputed. On the other hand, though, he has to have some footing in reality because he doesn’t have the drawing power to be that much of a negotiations prima donna. Maybe that reality is sinking in and he realizes the need to have those lightweight titles in his possession, since they are, really, the only bargaining leverage he has. A Devin Haney without belts, moving up to 140 as a challenger, has nowhere near the leverage Team Haney likes to think he does. Unless Team Haney gets grounded in reality real soon, they will miss out on big fight after big fight.

When asked, I always used to pick Joshua over Wilder. I don’t think that anymore. Unless AJ can clip Deontay early, I think Deontay crushes Joshua’s spirit and stops him inside of five rounds. Joshua would be wise to get as much retirement money as he can if/when he signs on to face Wilder because that may be the end of the line for him.

Canelo vs. Charlo

Hi Paul.

I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

What’s your early thoughts on Canelo vs. Charlo? Color me hopeful, but I think this could be a bad night for the red-head. Keep up the great work.

– Simon

Hey Simon.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I think this may be a bad styles matchup for Jermell. I don’t think weight will be an issue. Charlo, like most fighters, competes well below his “walking around” weight and Canelo, meanwhile, at this stage of his career, probably fights around his “walking around” weight. For me, the issue will be a stylistic one where Charlo, who is by nature a clinical, sometimes cautious counter-puncher, might have a tough time finding openings against a Canelo who does not make a whole lot of exploitable mistakes on offense. Charlo will need to be more proactive than usual, but if/when he opens up to be more aggressive, Alvarez will be there with heavy thunder. The end result may see Charlo trying to box his way to a win, something which will be hard to do against an Alvarez who will be aggressive and infinitely sharper than in his Ryder fight. We’re still more than a month away from the fight, so I reserve the right to re-think my pick, but, right now, I say Canelo beats Charlo via decision or late stoppage.  

Magno vs. Media

Hey Magno.

I don’t disagree with your anti-boxing media stance and lord knows I get some real laughs from you tearing into some of these idiots (Your Steve Kim takedowns have been hilariously brutal), but don’t you think that maybe you dwell too much on these people who are, honestly, not at all credible? I’ve been reading you long enough to know that your boxing knowledge is next level, so wouldn’t you be better served focusing more on the actual boxing? Hope you don’t take that wrong (because I definitely don’t want to get on your bad side, lol). Just offering some constructive criticism. 

Take Care.

– John Davis

Hey John. 

I get what you’re saying, but I do media stuff mostly because NOBODY does media stuff. I think the media plays a huge role in how things play out in the sport. A compliant, lazy, often corrupt or agenda-wielding media creates a safe haven for all the nonsense that goes on in boxing. A strong media holds feet to the fire and forces accountability. We’d get a lot more of what we want if we had a strong media doing its job. I get no real thrill from covering these things (and I actually do a lot less of that now than before), but, like I said, nobody else does it and I think it’s important to at least have some dialogue on media culpability in the sport’s failings. Believe me, being the guy who brings this stuff up has NOT benefited my career and I am persona non grata in just about every corner of the boxing media world because of my insistence on holding media to some degree of accountability (as it would turn out, they most definitely do not like that). I’ve lost money and opportunities because of it. 

I’m just gonna be honest and shamelessly not-humble, but I’m a better writer than most of those with higher-paying/higher-profile gigs than me and I also know the subject matter better than most. What’s held me back is my willingness to cover media matters and my unwillingness to be co-opted into the fraternal order of media. But I don’t see any point in living a purpose-free professional existence and I see much more usefulness in what I do now than in being just another writer exclusively doing fight previews, fight recaps, and ruminating on the upcoming boxing schedule. I do plenty of straight boxing-only stuff, but I’m always going to be the rabble-rouser who wants to talk about the engine inside the machine.

Got a question (or hate mail) for Magno’s Bulging Mail Sack? The best of the best gets included in the weekly mailbag segment right here at FightHype. Send your stuff here:

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