By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling numerous topics, including the rise of undisputed junior welterweight champion Terence Crawford, a possibly fight between Crawford and IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, thoughts on numerous fantasy matches, and more.
Hey bread. I've got some fantasy matchups that I don't see mentioned and have no idea who would win and wanted your thoughts.
Naseem Hamed Vs Guillermo Rigondeaux
Sugar Ray Robinson Vs Roy Jones Jr at middleweight
Joe Frazier Vs Mike Tyson
George foreman Vs Sonny Liston
Bread’s Response: I would take Hamed to clip Rigo. Despite the narrative Hamed was a great fighter and an even better puncher. He’s one of the 5 or 6 best punchers ever at featherweight and below. In the mid 90s he was lights out. I think Rigondeaux is more skilled but I think this is a tough match up for him. Rigondeaux is a fighter who goes down and wobbles when hit clean. He’s a master Defenseman but no one is unhittable. If the Prince hit him it would be over. The Prince is unconventional, just as athletic and very accurate. He hit everybody.
Robinson vs Jones is a tough fight. Jones’s peak weight was 168. Robinson’s is 147. Jones is a much bigger man physically. This is a pick em fight at 160. I say that because Jones had a few issues with technicians without being in full control. Montell Griffin1, Bernard Hopkins1, and believe it or not he was being criticized during the telecast of his fight vs Mike McCallum, watch it. McCallum and Robinson apply the same concept except Robinson is much more dynamic physically. If you twist my arm I say Robinson by a razor thin decision.
Frazier vs Tyson is the tale of two fights. Tyson has to get Frazier within 4 rounds. If he doesn’t he gets seriously hurt. If you watch Frazier from say 67-71 he was better than Tyson. I think he’s physically stronger, more relaxed and confident and his endurance is much better. But Tyson is a SOB early. My guts say Frazier late. See the Buster Mathis Jr fight with Tyson. Mathis was able to get under Tyson and really frustrate him until he got clipped.
I love Big George but I think Liston is the better boxer. We don’t appreciate Liston’s prime. It was actually in the 50s. This is a tough fight for me to call. I say they have to fight 3 times to settle it.
Bruh, I just had a flashback. This win by Crawford reminded me of Curry vs McCrory way back in 1985 when I was 12 years old. The guy who I thought was special (Curry) destroyed an undefeated title holder (McCrory) in a unification match. Like Curry, Bud showed patience, poise, explosiveness, and had that "greatness glow" all over him. Time will tell but moving to 147 should be the plan (Curry should have moved up after McCrory) and there are a lot of fights there that'll show us if he's truly special. He just cleaned out a division and that's HUGE for me. P4P list?
9. M. Garcia
Also, I saw your recent all-time & 80s P4P lists and both were on point. I love how you recognized the greatness of Ezzard Charles. People really need to study him. Like Ray Robinson, he killed a man in the ring and as great as he was afterwards, he wasn't the same. Besides the original Sugar Ray, I think Ray Leonard was the most complete fighter I've seen but his window of greatness was VERY short and although he came back and did big things, I think the Leonard who was truly "that guy" died with the detached retina and drug addiction. Sad because most don't know that the fight after his fight with Roger Stafford (canceled days before May '82 fight) would have been against Aaron Pryor (per Aaron's testimony I saw in an interview). So with that and the offer Pryor declined in early '81, people need to stop the "he ducked Pryor" lie. Leonard had so many matchups lined up but fate said otherwise. Because of that, I'm not sure I could put him above Pep, Louis, or even possibly Jones and Mayweather. Lastly, I got a brain twister for you bruh. You are a fight promoter for a "dream" weekend with EVERY great fighter in history available to fight at his APEX. You got 10 matchups that people would not only enjoy but would settle some all-time debates. I even wanna know which fight is the MAIN EVENT. GO!!!!
Bread’s Response: I can see you’re a historian. A real historian and not someone who googled info. Man Donald Curry is an enigma. He had everything. But I will tell you something that we have to put on him. He didn’t handle adversity well. When he lost he went into and up and down career rut that he never snapped out of. As good as Curry was that’s a major knock on him. And you don’t know that about a fighter until something doesn’t go right for him. Curry is the reason why I don’t overrate even established stars. You just never know.
Terence Crawford is on top of the world. He is doing what a fighter needs to do that does not have great opponents. He’s staying active. He’s unifying. And he’s defeating the best available fighter. He’s adaptable to all styles and available to all contenders. I love what he’s doing. I love how he’s delivering. I love how he’s improving. He seems to be enjoying himself. Let’s see how he handles adversity. History tells us that 147 is the Mason Dixon line for rising great lightweights. 147 is usually where the water gets choppy. In fact it got choppy for everyone in history. Even Floyd had a controversial fight at 147. Speaking of Floyd he’s the only great lightweight who didn’t lose at welterweight.
Ike Williams lost plenty of non title fights at 147. Benny Leonard lost at 147. Henry Armstrong did. Oscar De la hoya did. Shane Mosely did. Julio Cesar Chavez did. Pernell Whitake did. Roberto Duran did. Manny Pacquiao did. Welterweight is a tough stopping ground for smaller great fighters. Let’s see how it plays out for Crawford.
Yes you are correct Charles and Robinson both killed men in the ring. And it affected them both. I think Robinson compartmentalized it more though. I read his comment about the death of Jimmy Doyle. I don’t want to repeat it but it was real and enlightening. Nevertheless Charles was the 2nd best fighter in the best decade of boxing ever. 1940s..
Ray Leonard is so Cot Dam good. People don’t realize how settled he would have been moving forward. You want to see a peak all time great fighter showcasing his talent. Watch Ray Leonard vs Bruce Finch. It’s his last performance of his physical prime. Roger Stafford is from Philly. I remember that fight almost happened. And I’m glad you debunk the myth of the Pryor duck. Leonard offered him that work in 1981. Dave Jacobs, Leonard’s ex coach advised him on national tv to leave Leonard alone after his Pryor’s victory over Lenox Blackmore, it’s on youtube! Leonard got tired of his mouth and was putting together another fight with Pryor when the detached retina forced him to retire. People remember what they want to remember.
Where Leonard ranks historically is up for debate. I have him in my top 10 and I think he’s the best fighter since 1980. Most have him in the top 25. I get that his number of fights is low relative to the other greats. But I already take points away from him for that. I actually think if he isn’t inactive for 5 years he’s next to Robinson. He would have had the Marlon Starling, Donald Curry, Milton McCrory, Mike McCallum, John Mugabi, Tony Ayala, Davey Moore, Mark Breland and Aaron Pryor to contend with. He would have won most of those of fights and been favorite in all. But going after an undefeated Kalule,Benitez and Hearns. And #1 P4P Duran and Hagler give him Mt. Rushmore status to me. As you know Leonard is my guy and my boyhood hero as far as boxing.
10 Fight Super Card. Oh Geez Let’s See.
Main Event Muhammad Ali vs Joe Louis settles debate for best heavyweight ever.
Ray Robinson vs Floyd Mayweather. It will settle the TBE debate between The Twitter Boxing World and News Paper Print World.
Roberto Duran vs Julio Cesar Chavez. It will settle the debate of who is the best Latino fighter ever.
Sam Langford vs Harry Greb. It will settle the debate of who is the best fighter ever not caught on extensive film
Manny Pacquiao vs Henry Armstrong. It will settle the debate of who is the most dynamic weight jumper in history.
Aaron Pryor vs Pernell Whitaker. Volume vs Defense. Fire vs Water
Marvin Hagler vs Bernard Hopkins. It will settle the debate over who is the best lunch pale guy ever. Boston vs Philly
Rocky Marciano vs Mike Tyson. It will settle lots of questions about both fighter’s legacies. Train Wreck!
Thomas Hearns vs Roy Jones. Neither fighter was ever outboxed. Neither guy lost a fight on points in their primes. Right hand vs Left Hook. Text Book Ko Artist vs Unconventional Ko Artist. Emanuel Steward always said Hearns would have beat Jones.
The opening bout is between Riddick Bowe vs Lennox Lewis. We find out who is the best super heavyweight ever. The best guy ever who averaged 240+ and stood over 6’5.
Man that took lots of work.
Should Crawford go after all the 147 beasts? Or should he hang around at 140 and defend all the belts?
Ward vs Adonis Stevenson? Ward vs a big Cruiserweight?
Bread’s Response: I think Terence Crawford will move up. If he does stick around I think it will be for just one or two more fights but they will have to be big. History tells us that he will settle in at 147. I think fighters in this era will attempt to do what Crawford has done. Crawford has made it cool to go after all of the belts. In fact I will coin a phrase. “Belted” or “Strapped”. Pick one?
I heard Ward say that Crawford motivates him to go after all of the belts. Adonis the lineal and WBC champion…..Who knows how that works out?
One more thing. I know Crawford has not faced a P4P or great HOF type of fighter yet. But because he won the lineal at 135…. And because he won the Ring/Lineal, WBO, WBA, WBC and IBF belts at 140. He got his record up to 32-0. I think his great start and ambition makes him a HOF right now. Belts do matter in Crawford’s case.
If you’re Terence Crawford’s brain trust how do you go about getting the big names at 147? All of the mega fights are with the PBC. Also does who do you go after first and does he run the table? I would save Crawford vs Spence for last I think that is the super fight. Who wins?
Bread’s Response: Here is the thing if he moves up I say go to the sanctioning bodies and ask that he be installed as the #1 contender in each sanctioning body. Top Rank seems to prefer the WBO title these days. Most of their champions are WBO titlist if I’m not mistaken. They don’t usually go after the other belts. Crawford was different. He needs to keep that trend going with ALL of the sanctioning bodies.
As for who he should fight this is difficult because he may not be able to get the big fights right away. But if I were him, I would go after Spence right away. It is a Super Fight and it may need some building. But here is what I know about Erol Spence. He’s a gun! He was the only big name willing to go to the UK to fight Kell Brook. My guts tell me Spence would fight Crawford right away without Crawford having to be his mandatory. Heck why wait they are both closer to 30 than they are to 20. In this era if Crawford does not get a shot until it’s enforced by a mandatory it could take years.
Right at this moment the oddsmakers would make Crawford the favorite over every fighter 147 and below. Now that’s on paper but I agree. I don’t who would win between Crawford vs Spence but I do think Crawford would be a slight favorite. He’s shown more boxing ability and he’s more experienced. For as good as Spence is it’s no fault of his own but he’s only fought one high level fighter and that’s Kell Brook. It’s a shame that Spence has not got better fights. He’s been asking for big fights for 3 years now. But Crawford has been fighting the best available fighter for the last 3 years. That matters. He’s much more experienced vs world class opposition than Spence. It doesn’t mean Spence can’t win it just means that Crawford is more prepared to win if they fought right away.
To the distributor of the bread:
Well, Crawford demolished Indongo. Was Indongo being hyped up to be more than he actually was going into this? I know Crawford was the rightful favourite but I think he needs that one fight out there to define how great he is: you know, like how Ricky Bobby had Jean Girard. Do you think its worth Crawford defending all those belts or would there be more money at WW? I wonder if he gets avoided. The fees for 4 belts must be ridiculous though to stay at 140 and pay for them for each fight...
What kind of fighter do you think it would take to beat Crawford? It seems like the guys that try to box, instead of hunt or punch, tend to get beaten by effective pressure fighters, or at the very least, they create problems that are visually obvious (Frazier for Ali, LaMotta for SRR, Greb for Tunney - did you know Greb fought from 1922 to 1926 while being blind in one eye - he was a champ at MW and LHW while being half blind...). I wonder if that's the style that beats Crawford: a fellow that can make the ring feel small, stay busy, and mix up his attack (Maidana and Floyd) At this point he looks like he'd be very competitive at WW but we'll see how the size factors in. Maybe he loses his punch going up?
Lastly, what made you get into the field of boxing and work with fighters? And how much does knowing your history help you when you're doing thing? What things in boxing that you get to see that we don't see that frustrate you most about boxing?
Thanks for your time. I know that was a lot of questions.
Bread’s Response: Top Rank is great at promoting. They created a great opponent for Crawford. That’s what Promoters are supposed to do. But Indongo got hot at the right time and he deserved his chance and platform. He fought the fights and won.
Crawford has not had a great opponent but he has feasted on solid capable guys. He’s beaten the best available guy. That’s all you can ask. He will get his defining fights.
You know the style that you speak of has historically been a problem for elite great boxers. At one time that style was much more prevalent. But because of guys coming down so far in weight, no one can really keep up the pace necessary to implement that high volume. If you notice we don’t have elite level pressure fighters anymore. Roman Gonzalez is a rarity.
It’s very simple. It’s extremely difficult to beat a man that you can’t hurt and outwork. And if you do beat them it takes a lot. Hence the Shawn Porter effect. Speaking of Porter I think he gives any and everyone a tough fight as long as he’s in his physical prime. With his style he has to be at his cardio peak to be successful. I’m not saying he would beat Crawford but he would trouble him. I always thought he would trouble Floyd Mayweather. Other than Porter no one else really has the style you are speaking of near 147f. Spence puts pressure on you, but he’s more controlled and not as frenetic as Porter.
I come from a family who loves boxing. We used to box in my grand parents back yard in the dog house. My grand pop had me watching Sugar Ray Robinson’s Pound for Pound documentary on vhs when I was 7 years old. I saw it about 150 times literally. We would hypothetically discuss match ups. After I hurt my knee in a high school basketball game I started boxing formally. But by that time I was in college and working and I knew I wouldn’t turn pro. But I did it recreationally to learn the trade. I would just go to the gym and spar whoever I could to get better. I actually got very good because there is a lot of work in the gyms where I lived. I did for about 4 years on and off. I guess I knew subconsciously I would be a trainer one day so I wanted to do certain things first.
Having historical knowledge and applicable knowledge of anything you’re doing helps. It’s all a part of mastering your trade. Mastering your skill. A human being can only learn 3 ways. Seeing, hearing and doing.
The things that frustrate me the most… Shucks man I have a huge list. One of the things that frustrate me the most is the lack of drug testing. It’s really sad that there is a fake war on PEDs going on in boxing. Drug Testing is so cherry picked and overlooked it’s sad. It doesn’t even get mentioned on boxing telecast by analyst. No one wants to talk about it publicly, but secretly we have highly suspect fighters that people talk about all the time “off the record”. It’s the biggest running con in the sport.
As far as things I see in boxers that I don’t like. I can’t list them all but my #1 pet peeve is lack of character. Lack of character entails..Fighters who are disrespectful to their trainers, managers and promoters. Fighters who talk while other people are talking. Fighters who insult other fighters. Not criticize but insult, there is a difference. Fighters who act like managers and publicly act like they want fights but secretly duck them. Fighters who always have a conspiracy theory as to why things are against them. Lack of character is prevalent in this era because most of the young fighters weren’t taught respect. They came up on social media which promotes unaccountability. You can do things on Social Media under fake accounts or say your account was hacked. Hence Unaccountability.
On top of that most of these young guys under 30 were not raised by a Paternal influence who had a military background. There was a time when after high school a large % of the males in the country went into the military because they couldn’t afford college. Look at most of the great fighters from 1960 on back. It wasn’t so much patriotism it was survival. But nevertheless the military promotes a degree of discipline. It promotes a degree of team work. It promotes a degree of structure that this era of young man does not usually have. So overall there are too many talented boxers who are disrespectful, Know it Alls who are unorganized. Especially here in our American culture. Those that do follow a strong Paternal influence are high character guys like Shawn Porter with his dad, Tim Bradley with his dad, Mikey Garcia with his dad and brother, Andre Ward with Virgil Hunter, Erol Spence with his dad and trainer……..You can always see the guy who was taught and embraces redirection and respect.
It doesn’t mean you can’t make it if you don’t have these qualities. It’s just that much harder if you don’t have them
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