Originally Posted by TommyV
What d'you make of this kid so far IB? How do you think he stacks up to the likes of Jacobs, Pirog and Golovkin at this stage?
Before I was merely an interested party, but now - after yal's excellent and generous post - officially a fan. I love the look of this kid. That's meant literally as much as anything else. Everything from his sculpted physique to his fluid movement - he just fits the part of what you'd want and expect in an ideal boxer. He's almost like a video game character, it's kind of crazy and makes it easy to get carried away with enthusiasm about his prospects (and equally puzzling and frustrating when he does silly things...). He clearly invests the time in training and it shows. I'd be shocked if his routine were much different or less intensive than PBF's, for instance.
When he's in the ring, his command is the first thing that strikes me. Even if he gets caught with a punch, he generally shrugs it off knowing he'll land on his feet and be dancing circles around his foe and breaking their ankles like a slippery point guard. His supreme confidence definitely borders on cockiness when he gets into an offensive rhythm, and he'll probably need to learn the hard way (by hitting the deck a few times) that he can't get away with certain things against top shelf talent.
There isn't a punch in the book that he can't throw not only correctly (from a technical standpoint) but brilliantly
. Again, he looks like a video game character at times.
I actually don't have a huge problem with him pulling straight back, oddly enough. He's one of those guys that has the balance and agility to nearly bend over backwards, while moving his feet. The combination of kicking off with his toes to glide away from danger, while
bending back at the waist, while
tilting his head back pretty much guarantees his safety unless someone's got a freakish wingpsan down to their knees and
lightning fast handspeed, and
chases after him. Plus, after this move he usually reverts to his almost playful lateral skipping, which no MW I can think of is nimble enough to catch up with and time.
What I don't like is when he drops his hands while still in range. That's when he gets in trouble. He needs to realize that while he's faster than most everybody, he can't assume a mindset that he's untouchable.
His hook is one of the sexiest I've seen. Particularly the leaping version.
Again - video game character.
I don't think there's any doubt he's the preeminent European middleweight prospect. He could easily clear the field.