By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler, worth of Josh Taylor, Teddy Atlas on Mike Tyson, Mayweather vs. Saddler, James Toney, Usyk vs. Bellew, and more.
Saw the Leonard Hagler debate arise again, if they fought two more times who wins?
I know you rate Canelo very highly, watched the Mayweather fight again, he did do alright first half, even while very green. Do you think he could take Carl Froch or Sergio Martinez? How would those fights go...
Think I showed a lack of respect with two qs you previously didn't answer, as your mantra is all about respect and objectivity, as a fan I was very dissapointed in myself. Sorry bud, I'm Irish, sometimes you gotta check me.
Loved your Tyson piece recently, real eye opener, I'd fallen into the trap of not rating him highly, I still rate the Real Deal over him which shocked friends of mine
Bread’s Response: That’s a good question. It depends on when they fought. Hagler is probably top 10 ever as a rematch fighter. So I suspect he would win at least the 2nd fight. But I think he reached his physical limit that 1st fight. He may have not had another 8 week camp in him. It’s hard to tell. If they would have fought in the early 80s, man that’s another tough call. Maybe Leonard had his number. Leonard was the smaller guy, off over 3 years and he beat him, so that’s a huge factor. I can’t call it because they were also 2 divisions apart in their primes.
Canelo did do ok in the 1st half of that fight. It’s weird now that people think he got shut out 12- zip because of the bad scorecard.
Froch is a super middleweight so it’s hard to determine. But Canelo is murder on anyone that he’s faster than that comes to him. It’s why GGG can’t even engage him full blast. Martinez would give him stylistic issues but I think Canelo is the better fighter. I would take Canelo by a tight decision over Martinez. Canelo is writing his history now and he did himself well with his last performance under strict testing.
I don’t remember who you disrespected but if you apologized then that shows integrity.
I rate Holyfield over Tyson too but that doesn’t mean Tyson wasn’t special. He was he just wasn’t as good as Holyfield.
Holy sh*t, you have one of my favorite entertainers writing in. Tukunbo Olajide was one of my favorite fighters in the early 2000’s. I remember him getting dropped and blowing his knee out or something. That dude reminded me of Roy Jones Jr. a bit. What ever happened to him after that loss? I don’t remember seeing him again.
Bread’s Response: TO fought after that weird injury. But things just weren’t the same. He was definitely someone to watch out for in the early 2000s. He could really punch and he was smooth. But he gave his explanation in the last mailbag on why he stepped away from the game. I really liked him. I thought he could challenge Kasim Ouma and Winky Wright around that time. He had some nasty whip on his left hook. But sometimes what’s meant to happen does happen. I’m sure he’s enjoying life.
I'm Jose Corpas from NY
Just read your mailbag - like always.
I wanted to share a theory on clinching because I remember when all of a sudden guys, trainers too, were dumbfounded and had to re-learn the clinch -
It's when thumbless gloves came out - all of a sudden they couldnt control the wrists like they used to - they started to bearhug more than anything.
Anyways, keep up the good work
Bread’s Response: Very interesting theory. I like it. I never heard it before but it does have some credence. But let me ask what do you think of master clinchers like Bernard Hopkins and Ricky Hatton. Who clinched in this era with these gloves. How did they do it?
You have been high on Josh Taylor for quite some time. I saw some interaction on Twitter with you and one of Ryan Martin’s people. He seemed upset you picked Taylor, the nerve of some people. You were dead on. Dude needs to apologize. Anyhow, what do you think of Taylor’s upside. Can he be a P4P guy?
Bread’s Response: I stay away from the social media beef. It’s just not my thing. My pick is my pick and that’s that.
Taylor can be a P4P guy. But he has some rough work in this tournament. If he comes out of this tournament undefeated then he’s a star. He has 2 tough fights ahead of him. The Prograis fight is one of the best match ups in boxing. Junior welterweight is stacked. Taylor has some huge fights there. My goodness this kid has a bright future. Eventually I think he will move up to 147 but he has at least 5 big fights at 140 before he can think about that.
Taylor is a vicious body puncher, he has excellent stamina, excellent size, great instincts, smooth punch release and real power. He’s not a super athlete but he’s athletic. He may take some bumps and bruises because he seems to not care who he fights. But he’s going to be tough to beat in the form he was in for Ryan Martin. Right now Josh Taylor is one of my favorite fighters.
I have a different type of question. Who are the best Non Champions in boxing? The guys who are serious challengers to any of the champions in their divisions and say top 50-75 fighters in the world?
Bread’s Response: Good question!
Ok I will go by divisions. Heavyweight King Kong Ortiz. Crusierweight Murat Gassiev. Light heavyweight The Nail and Marcus Browne. Middleweight GGG. Junior Middleweight Erislandy Lara and Julian Williams. Welterweight Jaron Ennis and Rashidi Ellis. Junior Welterweight Josh Taylor. Lightweight Richard Commey, Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney. Junior Bantamweight Juan Estrada.
And there is a Japanese kid who fights at like 108 or 112 that is a flat out stud but I apologize I can’t recall his name and correct spelling.
Hope all is well Bread!
I know that you recently touched on the topic of Tyson's legacy where you brought up interesting facts regarding his opponents. I recogninze that casual fans have a perception of Tyson being top 3 HW ever while hardcore fans sees him perhaps more in the top 10 region. But the perception of a lot of hardcore fans have of him losing as soon he fought elite opposition is false and I truly appreciate that you refuted that.
I recently saw Teddy Atlas on the Joe Rogan podcast and he said and a quote "If we truly live in an absolute world - which we don't - I would say his record is 0-5". He explains this by saying everytime he got resistance, which was 5 times according to him, he lost. What do you make of this comment? Does he have a point? He stressess that his point of view is not based on sour grapes, simply what he believes.
Bread’s Response: From what I have read. Atlas and Tyson had a terrible personal incident so it’s understandable if Atlas can not be objective about Tyson. I totally understand that. But it does seem personal in my opinion.
Historically Tyson is underrated by the hardcore and overrated by the casuals as you have stated. To say Tyson lost everytime someone fought him back is an overstatement. It’s ridiculous because if you think about it, in order to beat any great fighter you have to fight them back. To an extent.
Tyson has overcame resistance in his career. I’ve seen him cracked with tough shots and he still won. That’s not accurate. Tyrell Biggs fought him back. Tony Tucker fought him back. Razor Ruddock fought him back. James Tillis fought him back. And so did Frans Botha.
Tyson’s problem is he never delivered in a BIG fight after his Apex. That’s what kills his legacy. The Douglas fight was a showcase defense that he got upset in. Ok I get it. But after he came back in 1995 he wasn’t at his peak anymore but he was close enough to his prime at 29. He couldn’t overcome Holyfield who was 4 years older. He couldn’t overcome Lewis. This may seem overly critical but I feel like an all time great fighter should be able to beat the Kevin McBride’s and Danny Williams’s of the world even if they aren’t on their best day. He also never avenged the Douglas defeat.
If Tyson does not lose to Williams and McBride then his only losses are all time greats Holyfield and Lewis and Buster Douglas who fought as far over his head as anyone ever has.
Objectively I would liked to have seen Tyson win some fights that he was losing. But it’s not completely true that he never won a fight he was losing. He was losing BIG to Frans Botha when he clipped him, but I knew he was shot after that fight. No way would he have lost 4 rounds in a row to Botha near his prime. But other than that one fight Tyson has never won a fight he was losing after 3 rounds or a fight where he was knocked down.
Tyson’s resilience under fire is in question. But he was undoubtedly a great fighter. And his record is NOT 0-5. His record is 50-6. Actually it should be 52-6 because his 2 No decisions should be kos. I respect Atlas but I think he was overly critical. You can’t microcosm the fights Tyson lost and disregard the fights he won. No one would co sign such a harsh point of view who doesn’t have a personal bias vs Tyson.
Quite often I see that people talk about Floyd's freakish arm length while talking mythical matchups involving him. They say that he has longer arms than people who have more reach than him. While he does have disproportionately long reach for his height and disproportionately long arms for his reach, I do not think his arm length is 26 inches. Just look at his pictures standing face to face with Mosley and De La Hoya at the weigh-ins. He does not have longer arms than them but his arm length is always shown 26 inches and for Mosley and De la Hoya it is always in between 24 to 25 inches. Do boxers lie about their height, reach and arm length? What is the correct way to measure a boxer's height and reach? Is it measured till the end of a boxers middle finger or till the end of his fist?
There are 2 types of referees that I consider fair (let me know what is your take on it) -
1. Who does not tolerate too much deliberate clinching 2. Who is a bit more tolerant of deliberate clinching (not a lot) but allows boxers to fight in the clinch for a while before breaking it up or asking them to break out of it. I did not like the way Kenny Bayless did in Mayweather Maidana rematch. If you let the defensive clincher get away with deliberate clinches, then you might as well let him fight in the clinch for a while. That was not fair.
Mythical matchups - Sandy Saddler vs Floyd at 130 under fair judges and 2 different scenarios -
1. if it happened in Saddler's ear when refs tolerated a lot more dirty boxing 2. If it happened in modern era but with fair judges and refs (meaning no home fighter bullsh*t)
Bread’s Response: Floyd’s arms are freakishly long. I have no reason to believe they aren’t 26 inches. Reach as whole is not 100% accurate. Arm length is much more accurate and it’s surprising boxrec and the networks don’t use it more.
The reason reach isn’t totally accurate is because a fighter could have a wide back but shorter arms. Therefore it look like his reach is longer but in reality his arms could be shorter. If you look at Wlad Klitschko he has a wide back but his arms aren’t that long. Where is brother has a shorter back from shoulder to shoulder but his arms are actually longer.
They also measure reach from fingertip to fingertip. Well what if someone has long fingers? I think the correct and most accurate way to determine arm length is from arm pit to end the fist. Very simple.
Height should be determined by a fighter standing up right and the measurement is from the floor to the crown of his head. Again very simple.
I definitely think clinching is something that should be defined before a fight. For example Ricky Hatton was allowed to do certain things to Kostya Tszyu he couldn’t do in fights here in America. It’s part of his style to offensively clinch.
Saddler vs Mayweather is a great head to head match up. Wow! I would say they would be 1-1. Mayweather could turn and outbox Saddler once. But Saddler was something. He was big, long, dirty and he new how to parry while pressuring. If you look at a young George Foreman he had a lot of parrying in his walk down game and he learned that from Saddler. Saddler was a true volume pressure guy. He had dynamite in his fist and he was indefatigable. His one flaw was he was a little inconsistent in non title fights. But if you ask me on his best night how he would do, I say he could sneak one in.
I was watching some fights of Toney and they were talking about his legendary chin, and it got me to thinking, of those fighters that had great chins largely due to how relaxed they were in the ring. Mayweather/Hopkins are two others that come to mind. They enter the ring and are so relaxed that they are able to shrug shots off that would drop others with similar chins if that makes sense. I think Mayweather had a very good chin, but it wasn't anything special, yet he was down only once in his career, and that was against Judah where his glove barely touched. And that wasn't that hard of a shot, just that he got caught leaning in and got countered and was off balance a bit. Hopkins on the other hand went over a decade without being dropped. His chin looked stronger than Mayweather's, but it was enhanced due to how relaxed he was.
So my question is, can a fighter be taught this or in a way they are just born with it? That intangible also allows these three to recover faster than others when they get hurt. There is no panic in them and they are able to get their sense back.
Who are other fighters in history that this applies to?
Bread’s Response: Ask any Law Enforcement expert and they will tell you in bad auto accidents the person who usually lives is the drunk driver. The reason being is their body is relaxed. Now in boxing you have to be 2 things. Relaxed and Alert. You can’t be overly relaxed and unaware because if you are you will get hit with a shot you don’t see.
But James Toney had a tungsten chin because of this. Add on his genetics of taking a great shot and you have an all time great chin. I wouldn’t describe Floyd’s chin as granite. But Floyd was never stopped and rarely dropped because of his relaxation, reflexes and alertness. Floyd saw everything you were doing to him in a ring.
Yes this can be taught but it has to be something within a fighter if he’s going to learn this correctly. If it was easy everyone would be relaxed under pressure and rarely get stopped.
Other fighters who I have seen that had these qualities are Ali, Dwight Qawi, Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker, Julio Cesar Chavez, Roberto Duran, Salvador Sanchez and currently you know who has it…Canelo and Jarrett Hurd.
Both Canelo and Hurd have tremendous punch resistance because they are completely relaxed under fire. Hurd does not have no where the defense Canelo has but he never gets rattled when cracked. Obviously if you have a glass jaw you’re going to get stopped no matter how relaxed you are. But Hurd has a solid set of whiskers and relaxation helps him have one of the better chins in boxing.
It’s weird because I look at some fighters and barring being caught with a lights out punch I can usually tell why they get stopped. Some fighters have poor stamina late in fights and they get stopped like say Tony Harrison. Some guys just don’t have awareness and they get clipped with shots they never see, like say Amir Khan. Some fighters don’t take prolonged beatings well like say Mike Tyson. Some fighters have nervous like jitters and they get buzzed especially early in fights like say Andre Berto.
Everytime a guy gets hurt or dropped it’s not just he has a glass jaw. Often times it’s a flaw that he can’t control that enhances the effectiveness of what would be standard shots.
What's up Bread?
I have a few quick questions:
1. Usyk vs Bellew, who you got?
2. Is Jarrell Miller underrated, overrated or properly rated?
3. Should Kell Brook accept the 10 lb. hydration clause to secure a long-awaited matchup at 147 with Amir Khan? Why or why not?
4. Erislandy Lara was ordered to face Julian Williams in a WBC eliminator but he decided to face Brian Castano instead. Any thoughts?
William in West Palm
Bread’s Response: 1. I like Usyk by UD but my something tells me Bellew will be a tough out. His punching power has been enormous since the move up in weight. So let’s say he drops or wobbles Usyk before Usyk commences to stick shotting him to a UD. Usyk throws those Calzaghe type stick shots that he doesn’t fully commit to that are hard to counter. It’s like death by a 1,000 paper cuts.
2. Jarrell Miller I haven’t seen too much of Miller but I was really impressed at what he did to Gerald Washington. I need to see more to answer your question.
3. Kell Brook and Amir Khan are over cooking their eggs. They need to fight. I don’t think Brook can make 147lbs without hurting himself. But he knows his body. If it compromises his performance then no. If he can make it then yes.
4. Erislandy Lara is a GUN he didn’t duck Julian Williams. Castano is a tough fight also. Sometimes fighters just make strategic moves that aren’t always a duck. I don’t think Lara cares who he fights. He fought Paul Williams at like 15-0 for crying out loud. But Lara vs Williams would have been a great fight. They are probably the two sharpest boxers at 154.
Usyk vs Bellew prediction please?
Light-heavy champ Dmitry Bivol has a unique style. What do you see Bread?
Bread’s Response: Bivol has laser reflexes and a tremendous 1st step. He has a probing in and out style that is tough to deal with. But I’m calling it now he lacks a mid range and inside game. He has elite level out skills but if you break his rhythm and take him inside he has problems. Andre Ward if still active would be a nightmare for him. Badou Jack is a nightmare for him now if he doesn’t clip Jack early.
What's up Bread?
I just wanted to give you a hypothetical scenario involving Adrien Broner. It seems that his dominant victory over Antonio Demarco was his peak and I wonder how his career would have been different if he had stayed at 135-140 instead of jumping to 147. How do you think he would have done in the following fights in 2013:
1. Miguel Vasquez (he was #2 behind Broner in Ring magazine's annual ratings at 135)
2. Zab Judah at 140
3. Lucas Matthyse at 140
4. Juan Manuel Marquez at 140
Thanks and keep up the good work.
William in West Palm
Bread’s Response: Broner is what he is. Some fighters peak earlier than others. The one thing I like about Broner is he fought in his early 20s. Some of these guys strategically wait until they are close to 30 yrs old to step up. Broner took tough work in his prime. He didn’t turn out to be Floyd Mayweather like everyone thought but he did fight the fights.
1. Would have beaten Vasquez by UD.
2. Judah was done by 2013. Broner would have beaten him in 2013 but NOT in Judah’s prime.
3. I favor Matthysse slightly over Broner.
4. I favor Marquez BIG over Broner. Marquez is an all time great my man. Mike Garcia and Marquez are pretty much the same guy and Mikey won about 10 or 11 rounds vs Broner.
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