By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns, with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Terence Crawford vs. Felix Diaz, greatest performances by fighters like Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Ray Leonard, Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor, and more.
Good day to you Breadman,
I love your boxing mind BROTHER, it's genius. This is my first time writing to any boxing writer. I chose you because I love the way you analyze fighters, provide strategies, and most importantly remain impartial.
I have never seen this question asked and I thought it would be a fun question. Here goes: Please choose 5-10 fighters and answer this.. What were their single GREATEST performance and then what was their LAST GREAT performance i.e. I think FMJ GREATEST performance was against Arturo Gatti and his LAST GREAT performance was against CANELO.
Thank you for your time
Bread’s Response: Thank you. This is a tough question. But I will oblige. I will list 5 for you.
Let’s start with Floyd since you started with him. I think Floyd’s greatest performance was against Diego Corrales. His last great performance I agree was against Canelo.
Muhammad Ali. His greatest performance was against Cleveland Williams. His last greatest performance was against Joe Frazier in the Thrilla of Manilla.
Ray Leonard. His greatest performance was against Tommy Hearns in their 1st fight. His last great performance was against Marvin Hagler.
Manny Pacquiao. His greatest performance was against Oscar De La hoya. His last greatest performance was against Antonio Margarito.
Julio Cesar Chavez. His great performance was against Edwin Rosario. His last greatest performance was against Hector Camacho.
It seems these days more and more prospects are getting exposed. Golden Boy’s Jason Quigley looks the part. The way they promote him you would think he’s ready for a title shot by the end of the year. He’s 25 so he’s older than most prospects. They serve him up a shot smaller fighter who has lost all of his previous fights by ko and what he does he do struggle to a 10 round decision.
Bread’s Response: Here is the thing. Quigley is a middleweight. Historically middleweights have to move slower as prospects because more men are that size. So therefore you have more natural competition. If you look at an amateur national tournament a fighter fighting in those weights will have to win more fights. So it’s no big deal that he’s 25.
I also think it’s good for a prospect to struggle a little bit. When a prospect dominates and knocks everyone out they may not work on their flaws. Quigley and his team at least have something to work on. What’s the big deal?
I’m not saying Quigley will be Steve Collins. But I won’t say he can’t be either. It’s way too early to tell. You can’t judge prospects and even seasoned fighters on small microcosms. It’s the best way to overrate and underrate them. Let’s see how Quigley looks in a year with steadily more progressive matchmaking then assess where he is.
I understand that Tapia was brought in to be kod. But it didn’t happen. So what are the fans going to do rip up Quigley’s boxing license? It’s overkill. If you look at 90% of prospects come through fights. You will see a Quigley vs Tapia type of performance. They all have them, even the greats. Let’s see how Quigley develops before we throw the kid in the gutter.
Does McGregor have a legitimate shot to beat Mayweather? Do you know what the particulars will be? Glove size, weight, rounds etc? I’m an avid MMA fan and I’m telling you now McGregor is a lights out puncher. Mayweather is undefeated but he always wobbles when he’s hit clean. He’s rarely hit clean but when he does he wobbles. If they fight in MMA gloves Conor is going to knock the wanker out.
Bread’s Response: I don’t know what size the gloves will be, how many rounds or the weight. But because Floyd is the A side I suspect they will box in boxing gloves, 8 or 10oz. I suspect it will be for 12 rounds because Mayweather is a 12 round fighter. And the weight will be somewhere around 150lbs. No lower than 147 and no higher than 155. But these are just my guesses because Floyd is the A side and I think he will dictate the terms.
If you think McGregor will ko Mayweather then you should bet on him and make some money. Any fighter can lose on any given night but Floyd’s preparation is always meticulous. So he doesn’t have those off nights. I know McGregor is a tough dude, you have to be to excel in MMA. But Floyd is an out of this world boxing talent. I admit I am not super well versed in MMA but I can’t fathom McGregor beating Mayweather. All time great boxers can’t beat Mayweather. If McGregor was as good at boxing as you suggest then he would be a boxer not an MMA fighter.
If Floyd does not force a stoppage in this fight I would be greatly surprised. He’s going to hit McGregor sharper and more consistent than he’s ever been hit in his career. McGregor is tough for MMA standards but getting hit in vital areas by a sharpshooter for 12 rounds is something you have to conform too. At first I wasn’t sure if Floyd could stop him but after thinking about it I can’t see how he can’t. I just hope there is no violence in the crowd between boxing and MMA fans after what Floyd does to him. I’m serious because you guys already know the mood of this country……I don’t want to say anymore about that.
But I will add something about Floyd. He may not be at his peak anymore. But I haven’t seen anything from him in a boxing ring that makes me believe he’s not in his prime anymore. He’s still capable of prime performances. So if his peak is 100%, he’s still able to be above 90%. His reflexes, punch resistance, stamina, application and muscle tone are still intact. I could be wrong but I just can’t see McGregor being able to hang with Floyd in a boxing match. If I am wrong then I will own it.
Did you ever get a chance to re watch GGG vs Jacobs? If so what did you think? I thought it was a close fight that could have gone either way. Jacobs fought the fight of his life. GGG was his usual self, Jacobs just didn’t let him dominate. My only critique of Jacobs was he celebrated after landing big punches. Was that his nerves or what, that was odd.
Bread’s Response: Here is my take on the GGG vs Jacobs fight. The networks are really the promoters. HBO is the machine behind GGG. GGG is a monster and HBO has done a great job at promoting the monster to the masses. The monster looked like a really good fighter vs Jacobs but not a monster and now people can’t understand what happened so their subjective preference surfaces.
Before I read a comment or story from boxing scribes 9 times out of 10 I already know who’s side they will take. I already knew who would be pro Jacobs and I already knew who would be pro GGG…..few are 100% objective.
Yes I watched the fight again and there is a case for both fighters winning 7 rounds. Mathematically GGG did enough to earn a win he didn’t get a gift in my opinion. However Danny Jacobs won the event and he has a solid case for winning the fight. There is no doubt about that. Here is where the scoring gets tricky. Do you score on who is actually winning the rounds or do you score on whom you are most impressed by. I think we have seen cases like this throughout history that have gone both ways. Recently Lamont Peterson won the event vs Danny Garcia. But Garcia got the decision. Marcos Maidana won the event vs Floyd Mayweather but Mayweather got the decision. Ray Leonard won the event vs Marvin Hagler and he won the fight. It goes both ways from my point of view.
I think it was an intense fight. I think both guys fought well but I think both guys can fight better. I agree with Roy Jones when he says they need to do a rematch. Historically when a dominant champion wins or loses a close controversial fight often times there are rematches. At middleweight Golovkin’s division, this trend has been prevalent. Bernard Hopkins and Jermaine Taylor fought twice. Carlos Monzon fought Rodrigo Valdes and Emille Griffith twice. Ray Robinson fought Carmen Basilio twice and Gene Fullmer 4 times. I think Danny Jacobs deserves another shot at GGG and I think GGG should grant him one. It doesn’t have to be right away but within a year.
Who do you favor in Terence Crawford vs Felix Diaz? Do you think it’s time for Crawford to move up? 140 has nothing going on and no significant challenges.
Bread’s Response: I favor Crawford in a highly tactical fight. Probably by late stoppage but Diaz will have his moments, He’s tricky and well rounded. But Crawford seems indefatigable and I think he will come on late.
Crawford does not have to move up until he’s ready. He just got to 140 and fought the best fighter in the division in Postol. Why does he have to move up? If there are no significant challenges his promoter who has been doing a great job with him will have to create some. That’s how boxing works.
Going by his body type 147 may be his effective max. So you guys shouldn’t rush him.
What would you rate as boxing’s greatest victories? Factoring the performance and the significance of the victory historically.
Bread’s Response: Wow. Short but great question. There are about 25 victories that come to mind. Especially if you go back to the turn of the century. I won’t name all 25 but I will give you the ones that stand out to me. In no order..
Jack Johnson vs Jim Jeffries. This victory is significant because Jeffries was undefeated and brought out of retirement to dethrone the great champion. If Johnson does not win this fight he Jeffries would be on the Mt. Rushmore of heavyweight champions. He would have been the 1st undefeated heavyweight champion and he would have defeated a legitimately great fighter after a long layoff. Johnson had to win this fight. And he did.
Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling. Louis was kod the 1st time they fought and he would not have went on to have the longest reign in heavyweight history. You throw in WW1 and the Nazi regime and Louis had to win this fight. For his legacy and the USA. He did.
Henry Armstrong vs Barney Ross. Armstrong is on his quest to win 3 world titles and he skips over lightweight to take on a top 10 all time fighter “at the time” in Ross and puts on his career best performance.
Ray Robinson vs Gene Fulmer. Robinson is on the downside of his career and he already lost a decision to Fulmer. But he regroups and throws the perfect punch vs an iron chinned fighter who is a HOF.
Joe Frazier vs Muhammad Ali. This is the 1st time 2 undefeated heavyweight champions fight. Both fighters are Olympic Gold Medalist. Both have a legitimate claim to the title. Both represent different factions of the country. Frazier puts on arguably the greatest pressure fighting performance in history and defeats the closest to his prime Ali that his ever been defeated.
Muhammad Ali vs George Foreman. This might be the greatest victory in the history of boxing in my opinion. Somehow in this day and age people criticize Ali’s tactics vs Foreman. I keep hearing it’s not cool to lay on the ropes and take punishment.
I just don’t get how Ali laying on the ropes takes away from his greatness. Ali’s legs were visibly not the same by 1974. George Foreman was a master at cutting the ring. Foreman used his hands and feet to trap his opponents. From what we know now Ali had traces of Parkinson’s as far back as this fight. So Ali employs the “only” tactic he could to win the fight. It was too hot for him to move for 15 rounds against an in his prime killer in Foreman. So he summoned his lead right hand, his out of this world ability to take punishment and biggest heart in all of sports and pulled off the upset.
If Ali does not beat the 25 yr old 40-0 Foreman at that time there is a chance that Foreman reigns until the 80s. Only Larry Holmes who didn’t come into his own until the late 70’s had a legitimate shot at beating him. Foreman would probably be considered the greatest heavyweight of all time if he Ali didn’t beat him on that night. I can’t fathom how anyone can question his tactics on how he beat Foreman. It was the smartest thing he could have done to win the fight. A fighter lives in the moment. His job is to win. Ali didn’t know he would be reduced to a terrible sickness many years later. The man was trying to win a fight against a killer no one thought he could beat. And he did it!
Roberto Duran vs Ray Leonard1. Although Duran is considered the greatest lightweight ever, this fight at welterweight while still in his prime was his super fight. He fought a legitimate top 5 welter ever in his prime in Leonard and beat him. Duran’s legend is built on this great performance. This performance was so special that I truly believe Duran left his prime in the ring against Leonard. He never looked like that again.
Ray Leonard vs Tommy Hearns1. If Leonard does not beat Hearns in 1981. Hearns is next to Ray Robinson as the greatest welter ever he probably will go down as the best fighter of the 80s. Leonard walks Hearns down late behind on points and stops the 32-0 with 30ko killer on his biggest night. My favorite fight.
Ray Leonard vs Marvin Hagler. Hagler is a couple of title defenses away from Carlos Monzon’s record. Both men have defeated Hearns so by the time 1987 comes around the winner of this fight will be the fighter of the 80s. The 80s is boxing’s most celebrated decade. Leonard defeats the great middleweight king in a huge upset. This fight changed history.
I want to say sorry to the Instagram boxing babies who started following boxing in 2010 but my last greatest victory happened 1994. I was a freshmen in college when George Foreman defeated Michael Moorer. I watched this fight as it happened. I left school that weekend because we didn’t have HBO in the dorms. I still can’t believe George Foreman at 45 years old, 21 years after he first won the heavyweight title beat an undefeated excellent fighter like Michael Moorer. And to ko him for a 10 count after being behind about 8 rounds is just chilling. When George looked up at the sky and his brother was jumping on him after his victory I bubbled up man. What a night!
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