By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford, Spence's big win over Lamont Peterson, the junior middleweight unification between Erislandy Lara and Jarrett Hurd, numerous mythical matchups and more.
How has everything been? I wanted to get your thoughts on the fight? I've been following Lamont Peterson for a while and I just don't get him!?!? I think that he is a complete fighter, however he bangs when he should box and vice versa! How does that happen consistently and not get corrected? I thought that he would use his legs more like against Danny Garcia and then try to work his way to the inside. Lamont stood right in front of Spence like Spence couldn't punch.
Errol Spence's punch selection/combinations are very hard to defend. Spence throws hard shots from every direction. The only type fighter I see beating him is a Harry Simon type of fighter. Big, Athletic, Smart & a good puncher! I was 50/50 on Spence vs. Crawford know I'm leaning a lot more toward Spence. Errol pressures the sh*t out of you while throwing hard crazy ass combinations. Crawford likes to think and move like an aggressive version of Floyd Mayweather. (Basketball terminology) Errol Spence Jr. has an engine on him...he just keeps coming and coming like Jason Voorhees! I can't see Crawford keeping Spence at bay for 12 rounds unless he hurts Spence often and bad!
Lamont timed Errol with some good right hands and hard lefts to the body, do you think that will make other fighters eager to step in the ring with him?
Bread’s Response: Lamont Peterson is a very good all around fighter. But he’s not a master boxer, he’s a very good one. Outboxing Danny Garcia for a few rounds is different from outboxing Errol Spence for a few rounds. Spence is much more effective going forward than DSG. He jabs more, he invades your space more and he’s more active. So don’t be so frustrated with Lamont. He did the best he could. That was a tough assignment for him and the odds said so.
Errol Spence looked tremendous in my opinion. This was his best career performance. He did what potential great fighters do. They put on showcase performances in their showcase fights. Spence has never been a speedster but his movement was faster. He’s never had special defensive reflexes but his defense was better and he got hit less. That’s a serious thing for an offensive fighter who comes forward. Spence displayed a great jab, solid defense and he added some footwork wrinkles. This was much better than his Kell Brook performance. I really liked what I saw. He showed improvement on an already elite skillset. There is nothing Peterson could have done, Spence was just better.
I think Terence Crawford is the best fighter in the world. But he hasn’t proven yet that he is the best welterweight in the world. He and Errol Spence is a historical super fight if they keep winning at the same impression.
The type of guy who can beat Errol Spence is the guy who can stick with his game plan and not go into pity or survival mode after 6 rounds. After Spence starts cooking he runs everyone out of the ring. He hasn’t shown vulnerability to any particular styles as of yet. But his mentality is of a different era. He’s stronger mentally than 95% of the fighters in this era. He has an 80’s mentality. That fight could have easily turned competitive when Peterson started landing right hands. But Spence kept a jab on Lamont, stayed to the body, didn’t change his demeanor and he kept Peterson from gaining sustained momentum. That’s the sign of a potential great fighter. A good fighter lets Peterson get back in the fight and limps to a decision.
No one is in a hurry to fight Errol Spence. But It’s actually good time to be a Spence opponent. You can get overpaid because they don’t have many options. Spence didn’t show enough vulnerability to have folks wanting to fight him….
You’re the best at breaking down fights. I really thought Peterson would go the distance and possibly win. When you said Spence would stop him and those MX Everlast gloves were killers you weren’t lying. What is it about Spence that makes him so good? He’s not a super athlete. He’s not super fast. He can punch but he doesn’t seem to be a GGG level puncher. Maybe I’m a hater but I just don’t get it. I know you’re high on him and I’m not questioning your eyes but I can’t see all of the hoopla.
Bread’s Response: I wouldn’t call you a hater. Everyone has fighters they are partial to. I’m not going to try to convince you of Spence’s ability but I will tell you what I see.
First off he attacks opponents the same way he hits the pads and a heavybag. 99% of fighters can’t do that. They know a human being hits back. So they don’t dig in the same way on a human being. Spence doesn’t care. He’s not afraid to get hit at all. Spence may not be a super athlete like Roy Jones but he’s very fundamentally sound. He has tremendous balance. He’s even handed. He keeps one of the best jabs in boxing on his opponent. He throws so many punches it never takes him long to get his rhythm. He has the physical strength of a middleweight. He never abandons the body and despite what you think he’s a hard puncher. He’s just not a shocking puncher like say a Prince Naseem so his kos may not all be highlight reel but Spence is a brutal puncher. He’s also stronger mentally than most of the guys of this era.
Spence seems to be in sync with his coach. He seems to have great parents which builds character. Yes you don’t have to grow up poor to be a great fighter. Spence’s team looks the part and no one ever does or says stupid stuff to deter them from the task at hand. If you watch them they have matching jackets, they are confident but humble. They are a true team. You also never Spence involved in any nonsense outside of the ring that can screw up his career. He has an even and responsible demeanor in and out of the ring. Spence seems to be the 1 PBC fighter not named Floyd Mayweather who can actually challenge for the #1 P4P spot. Let’s see how his career plays out. Over the next 4 years I can see him building a HOF career.
Hey Bread what's good with you dude?
Man I thought Peterson held his own vs. Spence and showed a lot of heart, it's just the fresher, bigger man was too much. Hard to let your hands go when your swimming with a Great White. Interesting to see Barry Hunter's process in a good stoppage.
Wilder, Ortiz, Parker & Joshua. Two big fights. Who can afford a loss the least? Who prospers the most from a win and do the winners get any closer to fighting one another?
Which fighters do you have no love for and why? For example I think Kahn is entertaining and gifted but too much verbal diarrhea on social media. STFU already. Sunday morning motormouth. Adrien Broker, again, entertaining and talented. But a criminal and a thug in life. The law should lock his a$$ up for eighteen months. Like DMX, over a dozen dangerous driving arrests and still behind the wheel, SMH. I am a big fan of fellow Canadian David Lemieux, but nothing I don't like more than making excuses after a loss and not giving credit to your opponent after a fair loss. Guys like Andre Ward and Freddie Roach are masters at mind games, it's a mad-crazy strategy that I can't help but admire but it makes me want to see those kinds of talkers get hit in the face, even if they do back it up. I mean the fighters, I don't want to see Freddie get beat. Lol.
No disrespect to any of these guys, they risk their lives but what makes sports so fun and personal for the fans is everyone having their favorite athletes to root for or boo against. We know who you like and why and what you don't like so without being mean or cynical who do want to see get dummied or just shut-up and why?
Thanks for your mail bag, always a good read. Take care.
Stephen in Canada.
Bread’s Response: Lamont Peterson is a dog. He showed tremendous heart. That’s never been a problem for him. I thought Barry Hunter’s stoppage was perfect. It wasn’t too early and it definitely wasn’t too late. Great job. That’s why it’s important to have a coach who cares about the fighter in the corner.
Wilder or Joshua can’t afford a loss right now. Both have perfect records and are favorites in their next fight. If they win I expect the super fight to happen at the end of this year or beginning of next year.
Whenever someone with a platform gets into his personal feelings he loses credibility. I pride myself on being fair and objective at all times. So I would never get on here and say who I like and don’t like. But I will tell you the type of fighters I don’t like.
Fakers, cheaters and quitters. I don’t like fighters who publicly act like they want fights then secretly are managers and consistently turn down fights, that’s a faker. A cheater is self explanatory. And let me explain quitting. If a fighter gets the snot beat out of him or is seriously injured and he resigns that’s honorable in my opinion. But the fighter who quits simply because the fight isn’t going how he expected I can’t stomach that. I also can’t stomach the faker who quits. The guy starts blinking and complaining and acting like he can’t continue just to get the fight stopped.
Other than that I have great admiration for boxers. I love this sport and I take the good with the bad.
I am going to the point and simple not taking too much time, who wins the Chavez from March 17 1990 or the De La Hoya of June 7 1996?
Bread’s Response: You know I think Chavez is a better fighter overall than Oscar. But stylistically Oscar would have always been tough on him even on his best day. I don’t think March 17,1990 was Chavez’s best day, it was his greatest day. Big difference.
The Oscar that showed up June 7th, 1996 has a case to beat any man ever at 140lbs. Oscar peaked that day in my opinion and that was best I ever seen him. His body was sleek, his jab was a piston, and he couldn’t miss. That was an awesome performance. People don’t realize how good Oscar was that night because Chavez gets dismissed as being old and shot.
If you twist my arm I say Oscar beats him and every other 140 pounder since, on that night. Whatever Oscar did in that camp he should have kept doing it throughout his career. He never looked like that again.
What's up Bread? Glad you seemed to enjoy some of my mythical matchmaking.. I try to think of different ones than the usual ones you'd get.. As always, I enjoyed reading your picks. In your opinion where does Rigondeaux go after that embarrassing defeat to Lomachenko? I would love to see him and Gary Russell mix it up, I think that's a great fight. And here's another batch!
Guillermo Rigondeaux vs Rafael Marquez
Errol Spence vs Paul Williams
Terrence Crawford vs Kostya Tszyu
Tim Bradley vs Shawn Porter
Andre Ward vs Adonis Stevenson
Felix Trinidad vs Gennady Golovkin
Israel Vasquez vs Carl Frampton
David Lemieux vs Allan Green
Julio Cesar Chavez vs Floyd Mayweather Jr
Manny Pacquiao vs Pernell Whitaker
Danny Jacobs vs Sergio Martinez
Gary Russell Jr vs Juan Manuel Lopez
B from NY
Bread’s Response: I think Rigondeaux may be done. I fear it’s over for the great Cuban talent. Russell would be a tough fight for him. I would favor Russell.
Rigondeaux over Marquez but I wouldn’t bet a red cent. Marquez’s 2 best victories were over Tim Austin and Mark Johnson. Two great southpaws. Marquez is an all time level puncher at 122 and below.
Spence vs Williams hmmmm, right now I say Spence by decision. He just seems to be a sharper cleaner puncher. The gas tanks, heart and will power is equal.
Crawford vs Tszyu. Sh*t it’s hard to do fights where we are still learning about the fighter. But right now I say Tszyu clips Crawford. Tszyu has one of the top 5 right hands I have ever seen and he was just as good as amateur as our Gold Medalist Oscar De La Hoya.
Bradley vs Porter. I would take Bradley in a tough fight. He was just a better boxer and had more layers to his game but it wouldn’t be easy. It’s a tough call but I think Bradley’s peak from say 2010-12 was just higher. Porter was never one of the top 5 or 6 best fighters in boxing.
Ward vs Stevenson. This is a really tough fight for me because Stevenson keeps it simple. He doesn’t try to do too much like other Ward opponents. For example Kovalev tried to flurry with Ward on the inside and fatigued himself. All Stevenson wants to do is land his all time great straight left hand. The key is not trying to out think Ward because his mind usually processes at a quicker rate. That being said my hunch is Ward’s mental adjustments would smother Stevenson’s left hand and take Stevenson on the inside and win a decision. I would have loved to see this fight. It’s a shame Stevenson doesn’t challenge himself more. Because I believe Ward would’ve taken that challenge.
Tito vs GGG. Today I say GGG but the Tito that beat Joppy. Oh my GAWD. What a shootout! GGG may be a little too naturally big but it’s a tough call.
Vasquez vs Frampton. I say Vasquez on one of his hot days stops Frampton late. Vasquez was a great fighter when he was on. He was just hot and cold.
Lemiuex vs Green. At 160 I say Lemiuex. Green never made 160 safely in my opinion. He was too big for the weight.
Chavez vs Mayweather. On their best night this is tough for me. Let’s say anything under 147 Chavez, anything above Floyd. The Chavez that beat Rosario was the best pressure fighter I have seen in a peak performance ever in my life. At 135 I don’t think Floyd could beat him. In contrast Chavez looked slower and less dynamic over 140..
Pea vs Pac. Geez man this is tough for me. Whitaker had two perfect fights at 135. Haugen and Ramirez2. Pacquiao had 1 vs David Diaz and and then went on a run where he still could’ve made 135 where he fought like 4 perfect fights in a row. Both had ridiculously high peaks. For arguments sake I say Whitaker by the skin of his teeth but this fight is closer than people realize. Pac had a bigger following and I could see him getting a hotly contested decision.
Jacobs vs Martinez is a drawish type of fight. I can’t call that one.
Russell vs Lopez. I can’t call this one either. I would like to see a little more of Russell. He’s an enigma to me. He’s talented but he rarely fights. I want to see him vs more styles before I make the pick.
What do you think of Keith Thurman’s comments about not wanting to fight Errol Spence until 2019? I think it’s a clear duck and Thurman should be ashamed of himself. Is spence that unbeatable?
Bread’s Response: I think Keith Thurman should have consulted with a PR person before he made that comment. I can remember when Keith Thurman was coming up he was calling everyone out. Now he’s a patient business minded fighter. But here is the thing and listen close. Thurman’s attitude gets rewarded in this era. I can remember people applauding fighters for putting big fights off and then making big money when they finally took the fights. I had a highly visible boxing figure tell me I care too much about legacy and not enough about keeping fighters undefeated. He went onto say just stay undefeated and make money.
All I can say is everyone should stand on their principles, standards and dreams. You want what you want.
For the record I don’t think Thurman is ducking Spence yet. I think he’s avoiding him. Let’s see how it plays out. But before we hang Thurman. Let me ask this. Why is it that no one ever ask any of the other PBC welterweights why they haven’t fought Errol Spence? Not one of the established name welters have stepped up. They don’t even want a title shot for crying out loud. They all call out Danny Garcia but they never mention Spence. Even after Garcia lost his belt they still call him out before going after champion Spence. So it’s not just Thurman. It’s the whole PBC roster at 147. They need to give Lamont Peterson a severance pay for being a fighter. A real fighter. I see fighters at 147 trying to be Spence’s buddy so they don’t have to fight him.
I don’t have as big a problem with Thurman just yet. I will in a year. The bigger problem I see with Thurman is his inactivity. He never capitalizes on a big win because he takes off a year each time. He’s in his prime but that will make him less sharp. If he’s slightly off when the Spence fight happens, one will have to look back and see how long he took off after beating Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter.
Spence is a hell of a fighter but no one is unbeatable. We just saw Kell Brook win 4 or 5 rounds against before getting stopped in the 11th. Here is the thing and don’t forget this. If fighters challenge great fighters in their primes, the totality of the challenges will show holes in their games. Look close. Evander Holyfield and Buster Douglas stepped up to Mike Tyson with confidence. Ray Leonard was special but Duran was not afraid to fight him. George Foreman was a monster but Ali challenged him. Tito Trinidad was a beast but Oscar wasn’t afraid to fight him, then Bhop capitalized on that game plan. Floyd was almost untouchable but Jose Luis Castillo didn’t think so. Neither did Marcos Maidana.
If Danny Garcia, Devon Alexander, Keith Thurman, Shawn Porter, Amir Khan and Terence Crawford all went after Spence and fought him with confidence. The totality of the challenges would be sufficient. Spence would kick butt, but you wouldn’t ask me if he was unbeatable. You would know it. He would have a tough night or two. That's how being works. For the record this is the worst era in the history of boxing as far as mentality. It’s disgusting in my opinion that this young man Errol Spence has to ask fighters to challenge him for his title. In no other era was the business man mentality so prevalent. I hope Spence gets the challenges he deserves before he loses his prime like the establishment did GGG. GGG finally got his big break at 35 and he doesn’t look the same as the GGG from 2013. It would be a shame if this happened to Spence.
One more thing. I saw lots of people laugh at Amir Khan for his name being brought up to fight Spence. I believe Spence would beat Khan. But guess what Khan is no chump. He would fight Errol. Khan is a gutsy dude. Amir Khan an ex lightweight fought Canelo Alvarez at 155. You have to be a GUN to do that. So while everyone was laughing they forgot to say Khan has the heart of a champion and I believe he would go down swinging vs Spence. It’s not always who CAN fight, it’s who WILL fight. Don’t forget that.
I was watching the Showtime face-off with all their talent in upcoming bouts scheduled for 2018 (a smart advertisement move on their part, I think, maybe it should be on commercials so that casual fans could see it and get interested). Anyway, I saw a couple of of the face offs and I wanted to bounce some thoughts off you. Let me know your thoughts, if you could humour a neophyte like myself.
In the Wilder vs Ortiz, Charlo vs Centeno, and Lara vs Hurd fights I don't see how Ortiz, Centeno, or Lara will win. Here's why:
Ortiz is not going to be able to get inside and punch. He's slow, off the PED's and Wilder will try to keep him at range. I don't think Wilder has the best chin, but I think that Ortiz's inactivity, lack of PED's, and shelling up to take the punches will be a problem for him. He really needs to get inside, and, while Wilder's feet seem out of rhythm with his hands, he is the more active guy and clearly has power in that right hand. I think he catches Ortiz early and makes the older Cuban a bit tentative.
Centeno doesn't have a punch and his feet aren't good enough for him to win the positional battles (he gets hit by low quality punches). I don't think much of Charlo to be honest, and I think his attitude stinks, but he has a better jab, power, and a 1-2 that will get the job done. Centeno will be right in front of him all night. If Sulecki (a guy that doesn't hit that hard) is able to hit Centeno cleanly and then eventually finish him, I think Charlo takes care of him inside of 5 or 6 rounds. Weird match for an interim title. Why isn't Danny Jacobs vs Charlo happening? Danny is getting screwed these days. He, in my opinion, is the clear pick for the WBC interim fight.....
Lastly, Lara is going to get mauled by the larger, younger Hurd who, if he doesn't stop him, gets a decision. Lara's output is too low. Lara is a tough fight for anyone, but I think he's been fighting B and C level guys (no disrespect to them) compared to him and this will be a rude awakening in terms. Hurd will have an activity and conviction that Lara is not used to, plus a height and reach advantage that is pretty obvious. He'll have to light up Hurd often with that straight left and bust up his nose or eye (inflict some damage that will affect his performance), but Lara's output is so low. Like Wlad level low, but without the power. I don't think this will be a good night for Lara, and if it is, don't expect him to get any names after this. Which is probably part of the reason why the timing for this fight is now.
I know that no fight is a foregone conclusion, but I think the safe money is on Wilder, Charlo, and Hurd.
By the way, speaking of "face offs", what did you think of the movie "Face/Off" that starred Nicholas Cage and John Travolta?
Keep up the good work.
Bread’s Response: Face Off was a great movie.
I like Wilder big vs Ortiz. Ortiz’s whole career is on the line in this one fight. If Ortiz doesn’t win this fight he will be looked at as a guy who couldn’t compete under PED testing. Right or wrong it’s really that simple. I think that Ortiz could run Wilder into a left hand because Wilder does wing his shots and often times he doesn’t bring his hands back in place. But other than that Ortiz looks to be in trouble to me. His body seems slow and rigid. His build seems off. I haven’t liked what I’ve seen from Ortiz since the Bryant Jennings fight. Let’s see what happens.
I favor Charlo to defeat Centeno. I think you are basing your opinion on Charlo on your personal dislike. Take that out of the equation and assess his fighting ability. He can fight. He keeps his feet up under him which helps him generate power. He rarely abandons his jab. He has superior physicality to just about anyone in the division. Meaning he can move, push and pull more. He is easy to hit and he doesn’t have great reflexes but he seems to take a great shot. He also seems to be getting better. If you’re honest you see an excellent fighter. I think he’s vulnerable in certain areas but he won’t be easy for anyone at this point.
In Centeno you have a fighter who has persevered. He caught major flack for what looked like a bail out vs Julian Williams. He came back and while losing on the scorecards he stopped Angel Osuna. He gets stopped by Sulecki and then comes back kos previously undefeated Immanuel Aleem in what could have been the KO of the year. Centeno is a gamer.
The problem with Centeno in this fight is he’s a floater. A sticker and mover. And as you stated his hands or feet aren’t really fast. So his chances of winning come down to running Charlo into a trick punch but Charlo has shown a great chin. I think if Centeno can get the fight into the late rounds he has a small chance but I don’t expect him to win. He just doesn’t seem to have enough to keep Charlo off of him.
Most people I know are picking Hurd to beat Lara. It’s so weird because no one would have picked Hurd before the Tony Harrison fight. I just don’t know about this fight man. There seems to be a distinct size advantage for Hurd. But Paul Williams had a size advantage too…
I’m trying not to overthink this fight but one thing I keep thinking about is the judges. I really wonder if judges get tired of older more boring fighters like Lara. I’ve seen fights go against aging champions who don’t have pretty styles. It’s almost as if the judges know who has the upside in these fights. Hurd will press and he will throw punches and give himself an argument for a win. This fight may come down to preference. I’m very intrigued.
Let’s look at some decisions that have went against the older, surly boxer who people assumed was boring. I personally don’t call these fighters boring but I’m talking media interpretation.
De La Hoya vs Whitaker.
Spinks vs Holmes
Bey vs Vasquez
Freitas vs Casamayor
Canelo vs Lara
Taylor vs Hopkins
Calzaghe vs Hopkins
I can name10 more scenarios…..I really wonder if the judges will just get tired of Lara come April 7th. I think he has to put on great boxer puncher performance to pull this one out and outclass Hurd. I can’t wait for this one. I still don’t have a pick. I really believe the training camps will decide this fight.
I want to give props to Barry Hunter for making the right call at the right time and having clear eyes when it mattered and props to Errol Spence Jr for a brilliant display of skills and being the consummate professional in and out of the ring. I knew he was good but the lateral movement, jab and chin he showed tells me he is truly the truth.
I know that his work rate and rhythm set him apart as you told us all early on but I would add to that the leverage and torque he gets on everything he throws from the left hand. His long left hook and left cross are the smoothest longest swing since a young Darryl strawberry. How do you rate his power at welterweight. And is he a swordsman or a heavy handed debilitator. I put Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford as the two best boxers in the world. Their resume might not reflect it yet but my eyes don't see any others with that combo of skills, will, power and both are coming into their prime. How do you rate them.
Given Shawn Porter Keith Thurman and Danny Garcia seem unwilling to fight him who would you match him with? I say offer his next fight to Lucas Matthyse for a slugfest and Matthyse's shot to regain a title.
Is Anthony Peterson ready for a title shot and/or a viable lightweight challenger after so many years with so few fights?
Bread’s Response: Barry Hunter did a great job in stopping that fight. A great job.
I classify Errol as a heavy handed debilitator. He’s not a swordsmen. Swordsmen are the type of punchers that hit you so sharp that you have like a delayed reactions because of the sharpness. Like Hearns or a young Oscar. Errol is that heavy handed boom, boom, boom type of dude that ruins. On the Hagler and Chavez tip.
I rate his power high. I think he’s the best puncher in the division. But what his real gift is, is his physicality. It’s almost as if he’s a middleweight making 147.
Errol is a tremendous talent but I don’t rate him over Vasyl Lomachenko. If everyone was the same size I don’t know if anyone could beat Lomachenko. He’s like a weird type of good in my opinion. When I assess p4p status one of the things I do is decide who I would bet my money on in a fight if everything were even as far as size. At this moment I wouldn’t bet against Lomachenko and I’m a gambler!
Here is my top 10 P4P.
Srisaket Sor Rungivisai
Badou Jack honorable mention. Jack’s competition level has been insane over the last 3 years.
Right at this moment I think Errol just needs to stay active and fight the best available guy. Make it more about his performance than the opponent. He can use the GGG playbook from 2012-2015. Just fight the best available guy. If he’s great it will be recognized.
Wanted to know your thoughts on the Robert Easter fight?
It was a tough fight against a good boxer.
Wouldn't the experience make him a better fighter down the road... Lot of negative things being said about him.
Enough props to Peterson showing great heart.
Bread’s Response: I thought it was a tough fight for Easter. Easter has had 3 really tough fights in his last 4 fights. All of the fights could’ve gone either way.
I think the matchmaking could make him better, especially since he won. But it could hurt his confidence to struggle so much. I think Easter’s handlers will have to really sort out his next move. Easter needs a clear cut win in his next fight. He also needs a ko, he’s went the distance in his 4th straight fight after being billed as a puncher. The one thing I will say about the young man is he’s all fighter. He has guts and he doesn’t stop trying to make the action. He just has a few adjustment priorities to iron out.
Is Andre Ward an all time great fighter or just a great fighter and Hall of Famer? If not what else could he have done to cement ATG status?
Bread’s Response: Great question. With just 32 fights some historians will claim that Ward is not an ATG. But I think he is. He’s not a Mayweather or Pacquiao level ATG because he doesn’t have the huge names or number of fights. But I think he’s comparable with the Joe Calzaghe, Felix Trinidad level of ATG.
Ward has a really high peak. He showed every trait of an ATG fighter. He faced the best available opposition in 2 weight classes. He doesn’t have any glaring misses. Adonis Stevenson will not be looked back at as his fault. Stevenson just wasn’t viable. He doesn’t leave Canada and he never pursued Ward. The one fight I think Ward should have made was the Lucian Bute fight. I know Bute has been exposed as of late but when the Super 6 was over, Bute was viewed as a top 10 p4p fighter, he was undefeated and a legitimate threat to Ward. I don’t know why the fight didn’t happen and I won’t say it was a duck. But missing an undefeated long standing titlist in your division has to be considered a miss. Like the sort of miss Trinidad gets for not fighting Ike Quartey.
Other than the Bute miss I think Ward did everything we could ask him to do. He fought real fights as an underdog. Remember the Kessler fight. He entered a tournament and won without the help of any favorable matchmaking. He fought legitimate HOF fighters in Froch and Kovalev. He beat both. I also believe Kessler is a HOF so that’s 3 HOF. Or at least HOF level guys. If you throw in Abraham and Dawson you have a serious resume.
I give Ward full props for the Dawson victory unlike some. Dawson asked for that fight at 168. Dawson also used to fight at 168. I think Dawson’s mind processing was just too slow to deal with Ward. Period. The same thing would have happened at 175.
Ward also responded to adversity well. He fought Froch with a broken hand and won. He got dropped hard by Kovalev in his toughest fight and scraped his way back to a win. After the controversial win he stopped him in the rematch. After being hurt and dropped early in his career, he came back and won both of those fights clean.
After thinking about his 3 best wins, Froch, Kovalev and Kessler. Then you put in solid wins over Dawson, Abraham, Rodriguez, Miranda and Barrera. You throw in the Gold Medal. Unified Champion in 2 divisions. Eye ball test vs top opposition. 32-0 record.
Ward passes all of the test as far as Competition faced, missed, response to adversity, accomplishments and eye ball test. I say Ward is an all time great. I know lots of historians won’t consider him to be and I get why but if he’s not an all timer, he has to be top 10 ever with under 40 fights right in the group of Sugar Ray Leonard, Joe Frazier, Aaron Pryor and Michael Spinks.
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