By Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards giving his thoughts on the new boxing movie Creed, Wladimir Klitschko vs. Tyson Fury, James DeGale vs. Lucian Bute, Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev and more.
What's up Bread,
Seeing these Creed trailors got me thinking about something Apollo said to Rocky at the end of Rocky III. He said "You fight great, but I'm a great fighter". Got me thinking about a top 10 boxers list and a top 10 fighter list and how many would appear on both list? You being a historian would have better knowledge but off the top in no particular order I'm thinking:
Boxers - Mayweather, Whitaker, Pep, Robinson, Ray Leonard, Ali, Greb, Moore, Benny Leonard, Charles
Fighters - Duran, Louis, Armstrong, Jack Johnson, Robinson, Dempsey, Hagler, Hearns, Saddler, Langford
What do you think of that list? Who did I miss?
Bread’s Response: I have a friend who loves boxing. He loves list and breaking things down into unique categories. I don’t have a problem with it but a list like yours becomes tricky. Because lots of the guys you named can box and fight. Ray Robinson is a killer, he just happens to be a stylist who can box. Archie Moore, Ray Leonard and Ezzard Charles all fit into that category also.
Joe Louis, Roberto Duran, Sam Langford, Thomas Hearns and Marvin Hagler are fighters who can box with supreme skill.
It limits their greatness when you categorize certain guys..
But If I’m critiquing your list I say move Greb to the fighter list. He’s one of the best swarmers ever he doesn’t belong on the boxer list.
I would also move Jack Johnson to the boxer list.
I’m not saying whom you should take off. But Joe Frazier and Julio Cesar Chavez need to be on the fighter list.
Amazing mailbag on Friday. Amazing job you did answering my question on the close fights. Didn't expect you to breakdown each one, thanks for taking the time, will have to rewatch the ones we disagreed on, sum for the 4th time and big up to the other great questions.
How do you see the Tyson Fury vs Wlad playing out?
I like what you said about Ward but I feel he has been fighting one handed for years now, last time I seen him throw a right hand with anger was vs Kessler and it's crazy how he has beaten so many elite fighters with just his left hand, do you really think he can get away with that vs Kovalev who has all that length and punches with both hands?
I know you haven't done your homework on DeGale yet but with his fight vs Bute coming up was hoping you could take a few minutes, he is not rated high here in England cause of his style and personality but I think he is the best talent to come out of the UK since Naz, his inside game is top notch, what he did to Virgil Hunter unbeaten fighter Brandon Gonzales inside was plain nasty, they thought they could get to him inside and got stopped. DeGale will fight anyone, he agreed to fight Andre Ward late last year but Ward team pulled out, was messed about by Froch for 10months.
How do you think he fairs vs Golovkin. Ward and Froch?
I have him making a mockery of Froch. Beating Golovkin 7-5 and Ward being a coin flip.
Bread’s Response: I give Fury a shot because Wlad is so fragile mentally. But I can’t get it out of my mind that Steve Cunningham dropped and hurt Fury. Cunningham is not a big puncher at all. I’m hesitant but I say Wlad clips him.
Ward is heavily reliant on his left hand. But he won a gold medal and is 28-0 as a pro doing it that way. It’s just how he goes about things. Sure he can beat Kovalev like that. Whether he will or not remains to be seen.
I’m really high on James Degale. His victory over Andre Direll was something else. He fought a great fight. The performance was underrated. He came to America to beat Direll and was the underdog. Degale is ballzy. He fought George Groves in a make or break fight as a pup. He lost but he has turned out to be the better fighter.
He’s very sneaky with his purpose and power. I’m a big fan of Degale and I think he knocks Bute out in the 1st half of the fight.
I think Degale holds his won with Ward, Froch and GGG. Before I say if he can beat them let me see a little more. Right now I think he would decision Froch but Froch doesn’t look good to the naked eye. So he doesn’t fair well in hypothetical match ups…Froch has an unseen effectiveness to his game.
Hope everything is well with your family, looking forward to J-Rock's breakout fight. Would like to get your take on a debate I was having. Regarding Wards move to LHW and Kovalev fight, I don't think its necessary for him to face a top 5 guy at LHW to prepare for Kovalev. My feelings are Ward has already been in with top guys, guys that are better than the top guys at 175....So its just up to him to get comfortable at the weight and he'll be ready....No fighter at 175 can prepare him for Kovalev anyway. Would like your thoughts....Thanks Russ
Russell J. Harris, USA
Bread’s Response: I don’t think it’s necessary either. But what is necessary is that he stays injury free and starts to fight. Ward has 28 fights in 11 years as a pro. Considering he was 19-0 in 2009 Ward has been extremely inactive. He doesn’t seem to be rusty but sometimes rust doesn’t show on the surface.
The one thing I know about inactivity is your ability to take a punch gets compromised. Getting hit again takes some getting used too. Getting hit by Kovalev is something you may never get used too. I’ve seen fighters who are great fighters, take off and get dropped or hurt after coming back. I don’t believe it’s a coincidence.
Ali got dropped vs Frazier. Leonard got dropped vs Lalonde. Floyd was severely shaken by Mosley. Ray Robinson was hurt bad by Ralph Tiger Jones. All of these buzzes came after layoffs. Ward’s body should be preserved but he has to be careful with this. In Leonard’s case he wasn’t dropped in 33 career fights before his retirement. After he came back he was dropped 10 times. I know he was older and shot. But I also believe he wasn’t used to being hit. It’s a big issue in my opinion.
What the hell happened to Brandon Rios? I was super surprised he looked so bad but I shouldn’t have been. Robert Garcia is the most overrated trainer in boxing. His guys are always over weight. His fighters lost multiple titles on the scales. He loses badly in big fights. And he rehydrated Rios to 170lbs. That’s nuts.
Bread’s Response: I actually thought Rios would win in an upset. So I was surprised by his performance. But gluttony is what happened to Brandon Rios. GLUTTONY. One of the 7 deadly sins.
I’ve never been a fan of Rios’s immature outbursts and constant F bomb dropping. But I was a fan of his cold hearted inside game and will to win. What happened to Rios is simple. He ate himself out of boxing. He doesn’t have the discipline to fight at an effective weight anymore. He struggled to make 135lbs and lost his title on the scales. He shouldn’t be struggling to make 147lbs….Rios is also a violent pressure fighter and you know the theory on that. 90% of them are done by late 20s or early 30s. The reason being is because they need a certain mindset to be willing to absorb the punishment they take. After a while they become domesticated. 4 years ago Rios takes those same body shots and he keeps fighting. Now he stays on the canvas.
I like Robert Garcia but if he receives accolades as trainer of the year he has to be held accountable when his fighters lay huge eggs, get shut out, fail to make weight, use peds and rehydrate too high.
What do you think of what Tim Bradley did vs Brandon Rios? I think Rios is made to order for him and Teddy Atlas had minimal effect?
Bread’s Response: I think you’re a hater. If Bradley would have got sucked into another fire fight, then you would say, see the same old Bradley. But now that he boxed Rios’s ears off and stopped him late, you say Rios was made to order.
Let me tell you something. I picked Rios to win. I have no problem saying I was wrong. I know he was a long shot. Mexican fighters simply don’t do well with the urban rhythm. But I thought Rios would press all night like he did in round 2. I was wrong! See how easy that is.
Rios became discouraged because Bradley didn’t give him success. Rios also lost the fight in camp and at the weigh in. That’s not Bradley’s fault. Bradley came prepared in all facets and his coach deserves credit. Say what you want about Atlas but he commands respect.
A lazy fighter won’t make it with Atlas. A fighter who lacks character when things don’t go his way won’t make it Atlas. A fighter who is uninspired won’t make it with Atlas. A fighter who talks while his trainer is talking won’t make it with Atlas. A fighter who was not raised properly and does not take discipline well will not make it with Atlas. Tim Bradley is NOT any of those things.
The reason they fit well was because Atlas is a dictator and an inspirer. Bradley is coachable. He doesn’t mind being dictated to. He doesn’t mind being inspired. Applaud what you witnessed. Not many young men these days have the character of Tim Bradley. Trust me I know I’m around them everyday. They wouldn’t allow someone like Atlas to coach them and it’s their fault. Atlas has Bradley feeling like he can beat the world. That effect is immeasurable. Stand up Teddy and Timmy you guys did a great job.
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