By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling such topics as Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs, Golovkin vs. Marvin Hagler, Kell Brook vs. Errol Spence, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor, and more.
I trust all is well with you and yours, Haven't checked in since that tough loss back in December. I can't imagine the flood of e-mails you must've have received. You guys are like adopted family, so if was tough that night. I have yet to replay the fight. That being said, it was great to see J-Rock's interview on boxingtalk several weeks back. It's a warrior's game and warriors sometimes lose, but they remain warriors. I know you and the team and JR will get back to it.
As always, The Mailbag has been spot on and your analyses, historical acumen and overall perspectives are top shelf. There have been some really good fights over the last few months with some good match-ups on the horizon. You mentioned how live Danny Jacobs was vs. triple GGG...great call. I saw Danny getting caught and stopped within in 10 rounds, but was I wrong. His footwork I think was key, never backing up on a straight line and moving the target kept GGG from being able to get set and sharp shoot his punches. Not to mention, Danny's hand speed and ability to crack kept GGG more than honest. I think that if he fought the last round a little better he gets the decision. To GGG's credit he fights in everybody's backyard and is always undaunted and represents himself well and shows respect for his opponents.
You may have touched on this in the past, if so, please reiterate how you see a fight between GGG and Marvelous Marvin Hagler playing out? My money would be on Marvin (I'm old school).
I just hit the big 60 March 21st. So, to a fellow Aries, Happy Birthday (not sure which day).
Tony T. from Harlem.
Bread’s Response: Thank you, my birthday is April 2nd. Aries Stand up.
Yes Jacobs was live with GGG. He’s 6ft, motivated, in his prime and was fighting at home. Sometimes the media does not realize that great fighters are human. GGG was due for a tough fight. The odds were against him to not have a tough fight. He had 23 straight kos and was the most dominant champion in boxing. He probably lost no more than 4 rounds in his entire title reign. I think it shows the lack of knowledge and integrity in boxing that people are actually criticizing him for having a close fight. It’s really common for champions to have tough night vs prime comp. For example we talk about Salvador Sanchez and how great he was. He was surely special and in my opinion the 3rd best fighter of the 80s. But he had two razor close decision wins vs Patrick Ford and Pat Codwell. Check it out on boxrec. It didn’t take away from his greatness but his opponents were there to bump.
Danny Jacobs should be commended. Hopefully he performs at that level again and stays active. Jacobs did his thing. GGG should also be commended for being an A side fighter who volunteers for tough drug testing. That must be noted. It’s one of the reasons I felt he would have a tough fight. If you are not on PEDS you won’t be lights out every fight, especially at the top level. Let’s hope they do a rematch within a year.
Marvin Hagler’s peak started somewhere around 1978 when got revenge vs Willie Monroe. I think it ended around 1983. Prime and peak are different. If you look at Hagler in the beginning of his reign he was methodical but ruthless. He was a little ploddy when he had to track an opponent but he made up for it because he’s athletic. His walkdown attrition game was the best in boxing in the late 70s and early 80s. Hagler had a quick jab, reasonably fast hands and tight defense. He also good variety on his punches.
He often slipped punches and it was hard to tell if he was throwing a punch back or just slipping. I think he’s more creative offensively than GGG. Both are heavy handed but I think GGG may be slightly more explosive as far as punching power. Not by much though. Both have rock solid chins and both don’t shy away from contact.
Looking at both carefully I think Hagler would have the edge in foot speed and stamina. In a war of attrition where neither will be running I think this would be huge. GGG is in my opinion a great fighter who is HOF worthy. Yes HOF worthy. I know he hasn’t fought great fighters. But when a fighter hasn’t fought great fighters he has to be dominant and consistent over time in his era. That’s exactly what GGG is doing. His reign is no different than the reign of Bob Foster’s. Look at Foster’s light heavyweight title defenses…
Now back to the fight. I think Hagler would win a hard fought decision. Hagler is more athletic than GGG. His mind is more creative as far as processing a fight. And GGG tires in the mid rounds. For some reason he does it in every fight he’s extended. I think that flaw would not be hidden vs a killer like Hagler. Hagler was a legitimate 15 round fighter with a natural gas tank. He had a better change up than GGG and he could torture you with change up shots without expending energy and still be effective. It would be a great fight but my eyes tell me the peak version of Hagler from 78-83 beats GGG.
What's up Bread,
I always learn something new reading your mailbags,
The excerpt of your 25 greatest finishes is unquestionable.
Ray Robinson KOing Gene Fullmer with that perfect left hook extended Sugar Ray's legend a few more years because up to that point Ray was basically done. The 2 fights he had prior against Carmen Basillio sapped whatever Ray had left and Ray saw no need for a rubber match that fight fans were craving for.
I read a boxing book from the 40's and the author claimed that Hank Armstrong carried the great welterweight Barney Ross in their fight because of the reverence he had for Ross' welterweight reign and his dignity as a fighter.
One of the great finishes I thought was the 45 year old Archie Moore against Yvonne Durrelle in 1958. Moore had to get up off the mat 4 times to finally stop Durelle. If that fight would've been fought in the 90's or later the Old Mongoose would've lost.
So many great fights for Moore winning and, losing never deterred the great old veteran who's greatest fights occurred in his late 30's, 40's and 50's.
When it comes to Floyd vs McGregor, combat sports need a big event. Everybody's complaining but everybody's going to watch. Everybody watched Couture vs Toney a few years back, with Toney crossing over to MMA to fight in the cage, so it's about time an MMAer crossed over to boxing. To critique your points I think this is a tough fight for Mayweather, but, Floyd rises to the occasion for BIG fights that he wants (don't think he really wanted to fight Maidana) - and this one will be no different. Stamina and strength requirements, pace and rhythm are different for boxing as opposed to MMA and McGregor will find that out.
Crawford vs Diaz - this is Crawford's fight to lose. I think Diaz shocks the world here, winning by decision. Crawford is too comfortable as a fighter.
Regarding GGG, many pundits are suggesting that GGG may have hit the wall, getting old in front of our eyes against Jacobs. Some of this talk may ring true, a lot of GGG's athleticism wasn't there against Jacobs, and it wasn't there against Kell Brook. All of a sudden everybody is calling GGG out after they saw some chinks in GGG's armor. Saunders never wanted to mess with GGG before, now he's demanding a fight. GoldenBoy has lowered their offer for a Canelo vs GGG matchup (most likely because of the low PPV buys), could be because of GGG's performance.
Bread’s Response: I was asked what are some of the greatest victories in boxing history. Not finishes. I think Moore vs Durelle was a great comeback but I wouldn’t consider it one of the greatest victories in boxing history as far as importance and significance. It was a great display by the Ol Mongoose but Durelle was just a quality contender. I was touching on transcendent victories. Standard Bearing types.
Yes people don’t realize that Robinson was basically past his prime from 1950 on. In that 100 fight, 6 oz horse hair era, you were on the downside in your late 20s and early 30s. For him to have a record of 40-5 in the 1950s and be the best fighter of the 50s is remarkable. All of his rivals were younger and fresher and he peaked in the mid 1940s. Fullmer was no joke and that ko was breathtaking. He processed what Fullmer did every time he hit him with a right hand to the body. So he “showed” the shot and then boom left hook. Fullmer was an ironed chin HOF fighter in his prime. Breathtaking I say!
I see that McGregor is taller than Floyd and he has a laser left hand. I think Conor’s problem is his natural boxing instincts over time. Time shows class. He may land a few in the first few rounds. But by round 3 or 4 is where his problems will come in. I also think MMA fighters don’t understand how to box in close and defend body punches. They grapple and fight in close but not box. I say Floyd destroys his body and kos him late. Mark it down. There is no way McGregor can survive Floyd’s body work for 12 rounds. MMA fighters rarely body punch. Most times when you don’t do something offensively you don’t work on defending it defensively.
I respect Diaz. He has tricky timing and his lack of height works for him. He loops punches that his opponents don’t see. But Diaz does fatigue. If Alex Ariza can fix that which I think he can Diaz has a shot. But I favor Crawford 65/35. Crawford has a great corner. If Diaz gets going they will stink the fight out and just win on speed and length. But I’m leaning Crawford by ko late.
Calling GGG out now is today’s boxing for you. Instead of the big shots calling GGG out when he’s killing folks they wait until they see him slipping. Seriously that’s this era in a nutshell. Leonard called Hearns out when Hearns had not showed an ounce of slippage. Ali called Foreman out at the killer’s peak. Holyfield started chasing Tyson in 1988 after he blitzed Michael Spinks. Now everyone wants to face GGG after Jacobs and Brook gave him tough scraps. I hate the cherry picking but it is what it is. No one called his name this time last year except for Andre Ward.
I don’t know if he has officially slipped from his peak but another performance in a row like his last two may suggest it. But I don’t want to judge in that microcosm because he did win the fights. And maybe Brook and Jacobs are just excellent fighters. I wil,l say this however, GGG is going to have to earn everything he gets from here on out. No one will be scared of him anymore. His wins just got 10% tougher. Let’s see how the rest of his career plays out. At one point it didn’t seem as if he needed matchmaking. It was a just line em up and GGG will knock em down feel. Now I think they need to match him correctly. These young guys around him want him and they want him bad! If he didn’t slip he just made his competition better because they all will think he’s there for the taking now.
Who are you leaning towards in the Brook vs Spence fight? I think Spence is biting off more than he can chew. Going to Brook’s hometown will be his undoing. I also look at Spence’s matchmaking and he has fought absolutely nobody to get him ready for Brook. Spence gets hit way too easy. As you say mark it down.
Bread’s Response: I am leaning towards Spence. But I admit this is a 50/50 fight. My guts just tell me Spence is primed for the task.
I actually agree with a lot of what you stated. Spence’s matchmaking could have been better going into this fight but that’s not his fault. The kid fights whoever is willing. But a couple of ex world champions or a prospect vs prospect fight would have served him well. A guy like Luis Collazo or Lamont Peterson would have been real for Spence. Those fights get you ready for the big time. And a prospect fight vs another undefeated kid like say a Sammy Vasquez before he lost would have also been great for him. Young undefeated fighters are always difficult. But it is what it is. Sometimes fighters excel without having the perfect building fights.
Spence does get hit. He’s not Chavez Sr in the slipping and parrying department. But for the most part he’s shown a good chin. Emanuel Lartey is the only fighter to visibly hurt him. It is a concern because it takes his eyes a little time to warm up and you can hit Spence early. But for his style you have to expect that. The kid is a walkdown ko machine. He doesn’t F$%& around at all. I will tell you something else about his defense. He gets hit but he doesn’t get hit out of position. That is a big deal.
You don’t see Spence’s head leaning over his front knee or his feet spread too far apart. Or even his punches being looped incorrectly. His hands are always up, his body set correctly and he’s always in punching position. So he’s braced to take the good shots and he’s ready to fire back. Watch him close.
I also see a fighter in Spence who does not get tired. He’s like a horror movie. He’s a rare volume power puncher. Most power punchers don’t have volume. He has both.
Going to an opponent’s back yard is always a big deal. Especially if it’s a foreign country. Everyone does not travel well. Food, time and rest are just different in foreign countries. There is a reason why lots of the US best don’t leave the US. In my opinion this is a huge factor but Spence has a great team around him, I’m sure they will accommodate him with what he needs.
I expect a brutal fight. Fight of the Year type of fight. I expect Brook to hurt and or drop Spence. But something tells me Spence’s body attack and his non stop power punches will wear down Brook who will definitely have to go to extreme measures to make weight. But I have been wrong before. This won’t be easy for either man.
I know you're a big proponent of VADA, and for good reason, as from everything I've read it seems to be the most sophisticated testing model. With regard to VADA, I did have a few quick questions I wanted to see if you could provide clarity on. I know Nonito Donaire was the first one to use it for 365, 24/7 testing, which is huge, because he was being tested both in and out of competition. Over the years, I know Deontay Wilder and Tim Bradley signed up for the same 365, 24/7 testing as well. Do you by chance know who else has enrolled with this type of testing? Also, you mentioned that one indicator of PED usage are fighters who don't use VADA, only get tested randomly during training camp, and only fight once or twice a year, which gives them time to cycle on and off. I know you weren't accusing any one fighter directly, as many of the big names only fight once or twice a year, but is it possible that the 365, 24/7 VADA testing model could ever be a mandate in boxing? If so, who would have to sign off on that?
Thanks man! Hoping you can educate me on this one.
Bread’s Response: As far as I know and I could be wrong Nonito Donaire and Tim Bradley are the only two fighters to do VADA 24/7/365. However I do want to commend Deontay Wilder and Genady Golovkin because they are the most frequent users of VADA testing out of the bigger current stars. I’m not sure if Wilder and GGG do 24/7/365 testing though.
I think it is possible for all the champions and top 10 contenders to be tested 24/7/365 in and out of competition. But I don’t think all would be willing. VADA would need some help from the networks. If this happened careers would be shorter and performances would level out.
I think boxing needs a central commission. One that can supersede local, state and sanctioning body red ink. It can be done but……..
I think that the fight actually help Haglers legacy because if he had gotten the decision, it wouldn’t have been impressive because Ray Leonard was coming off only having one fight in 3 years and having a detached retina when back when the laser eye surgery was nowhere near as good as it is today. So Hagler basically would have fought an inactive welterweight, who had never fought at middleweight and had vision problems. By them giving Ray Leonard the decision, it made Hagler a sympathetic figure who got ripped off by the establishment. It actually made him appear to be a victim . He really should be getting roasted for not knocking out a smaller fighter who had been inactive for 3 yrs. That is why the decision doesn’t bother me. The fight had no business being close. Hagler didn’t do what he was supposed to do. He was supposed to kick Leonard’s ass and he didn’t. He knew going in ,if the fight is close ,Leonard was going to get the decision.
Bread’s Response: I was in elementary school when Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler fought. There was always a certain type of person who loved Leonard and a certain type who loathed him. I never had a problem with the Golden Boy type who seemed to get all of the breaks as long as the substance matched the glitz. Leonard’s substance outweighed glitz. He was a straight killer who went after the toughest competition just like others of his ilk in Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Robinson.
You make some interesting points…I have never roasted Hagler because I know how great, special and consistent he was. I also know how difficult it is on the larger fighter to beat the smaller, quicker one with pedigree. But you are correct he does dodge a lot of the heat for not knocking out the smaller inactive fighter. Before the fight most thought Ray was committing career suicide. After the fight they were mad it didn’t go there way and they made the robbery excuse.
It was a hard fought competitive fight. But I have always felt Ray won fair and square. There are so many myths that surround this fight. A friend of mine told me a month ago Hagler threw the fight for the mob. It never stops.
As for the myths I have heard people who were born after 1987 come up with their own, which is laughable. They say Ray made Hagler wear larger gloves. That’s not true. By 1987 fighters weighing over 154lbs wore 10oz gloves. So they wore 10 oz Reyes gloves. Reyes are considered punchers gloves.
They say Leonard made Hagler fight in a bigger ring. They fought in a 20x20 ring. I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to. Standard Rings are anywhere from 16x16 to 24x24 but 20x20 is the most common especially by today’s standards.
Then there is the Leonard made Hagler fight in his first 12 rounder. Hagler had stopped all of his previous title challengers except for Roberto Duran which was a 15 round fight. But no one ever takes the time to research that Hagler was fighting scheduled 12 round fights as early as 1984. It’s just that none of the fights went the distance including his most famous fights vs Mugabi and Hearns. No one accused those killers of making Hagler fight 12 round fights and Hagler was the A side in those by the way.
Leonard got a guarantee of 11 million plus 50% of the closed circuit revenue in the Washington DC area. Hagler got a guarantee of 12 million plus a % of the revenue. Reports have Leonard walking away with about 12 million and Hagler making up to excess of 20 million dollars. Hagler did not get screwed at the negotiating tables. All he did was accept terms that he was already fighting under to make his career best payday vs a fighter who he opened as a 4 to 1 favorite to beat.
As for the fight itself both fighters were past their best days but both were still extremely capable. I honestly believed Hagler was dismissive of Leonard. I also think he outsmarted himself. He fought right handed to throw Leonard off but it was a relief for Leonard who was having trouble with southpaws in sparring. Hagler’s feet were slow that night and Leonard won the first 4 rounds. Think about this all he has to do is win 2 more rounds and the worst he can get is a draw….
Hagler did come on but the problem he was having is that he allowed Leonard to believe he would win. Leonard had caught his rhythm and the crowd was going nuts for him. So basically competed on even terms with Hagler for the remainder of the fight after getting out to a 4-0 start.
Some say Leonard stole the fight by not fighting 3 minutes of every round and that you have to “take” the title from the champion. But there is no such rule where a challenger has to do something extra to win a fight. Leonard did in fact flurry at the end of rounds but that was brilliant it was the last thing the judges saw before the wrote down who won a round.
You judge a fight on Clean Punching , Effective Aggressiveness, Defense and Ring Generalship. So Leonard may have punched in spots but his defense and Ring Generalship were on point. He used the whole ring and he made Hagler miss often. Punch stats were 306-629 for Leonard and 291-792 for Hagler. I know punch stats are often times not accurate but in this case if you watch the fight you will see they have credence. Hagler threw and missed more. Leonard threw less but was more efficient. By the way 629 punches thrown by a middleweight is not shabby, that’s for those who say Leonard was not working enough.
Instead of the masses giving Hagler flack they somehow turn on Leonard who challenged himself in way that was unprecedented. No fighter had ever came off of A 3 YEAR layoff and fought the best fighter in the world 2 divisions higher than his prime weight. Before you guys say Hagler had slipped, sure he had but so did Leonard. Hagler was still boxing’s best fighter.
In 1987 the 1984 Olympic teams best two fighters Evander Holyfield and Pernell Whitaker were not fully blossomed. Whitaker had not yet won a world title and Holyfield was just a 24 year old pup who had just beaten Dwight Qawi 9 months earlier. Mike Tyson had just won his 1st title 5 months prior. Only Julio Cesar Chavez and Michael Spinks had fair claims to being boxing’s best. But Spinks was at heavyweight in 1987 an he was not s dominant as he was at lightheavy and chavez was just hitting his peak after having some harder than expected scraps at 130lbs.
Hagler was still boxing’s best fighter despite the slippage factor. For Leonard to perform the way he did vs Hagler should be recognized as the greatest comeback in the history of the sport. I’m out!
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