The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin, looking back at Marvin Hagler, his personal top 10 list, and much more.
I've seen your interest in comparisons between other sports and boxing before so thought i would run this past you.
In the UK (my home) the #1 sport by a long way is football (soccer) and in the last 15 years the consensus #1 team/country has been Barcelona/Spain. This is largely attributed to the way their academy's are run at youth level with an emphasis on having a ball at your feet rather than more physcial training until a later age.
The youth setup in the UK was quite widely criticised for a time for not having this approach which led to a lower techinal ability/ skill level at later years compared to players on the continent at a higher level.
My question, is there a comparison here between the way boxing is taught at youth/ amateur level between different countries and if so which are doing it well/ poorly?
What would be your focus for young boxers prior to turning pro?
Loving the lockdown mailbag, thanks for taking the time.
Tom Richards (Bristol, UK)
Bread’s Response: I think there are different levels of development for boxers. Boxing is a skill sport first and athletic sport second. Often times the athleticism is prioritized first and skill second. I would focus on the reverse order and focus on skill first and athleticism second. I also would start the trainings at 10 years old. Fighters on an average turn pro around 20 years old. Some younger, some older but solid fighters with solid amateur backgrounds and world class aspirations turn pro at approximately 20.
So if the intense training started at 10 then you could go through phases of development for 8 years. The more advanced and better natural athletes could turn pro at 18 after 8 years of training. The ones who developed a little slower could sort of have those post grad years and still turn pro at 20.
Throughout the initial phases fundamentals and technical ability would be focused on. General boxing condition a fighter gets in the gym and running in the morning say 3x a week is all they would need at that introduction point. As the fighters progress and get in their later teens, then a more advanced conditioning can be implemented because the blunt trauma and force of being hit by pro fighters with smaller gloves have to be factored in as you get closer to turning pro.
I would also like to add that fighters should be given small courses on health, nutrition and money management. This eliminates lots of issues later on in their careers.
However, in boxing this would be really hard to implement overall because trainers are sort of like individual contractors. Everyone does their own thing and then their finished product gets introduced to the world to judge. Boxing is unique. But in a perfect world I assume the training could be more uniform for youths but it’s difficult especially here in America.
The one thing people have to remember about SKILL sports is that it’s hard to be good at them when you first start. Obviously there are always freaks who can just do things early after introduction. But as a whole the baseline of skill sports is to not be good at them when you first start. You look awkward doing skillful things in skill sports when you’re a novice. You have to practice a SKILL with positive repetition over and over again. Until you no longer need to think about it. If you start doing this the right way at 10 years old by the time you turn 20 then it’s ingrained. You have to create positive MUSCLE MEMORY when it comes to skill.
Hello Breadman - your mailbag is keeping me sane during this ludicrous time. So much so I have let a backlog stack up so I can enjoy them on a binge-read. Pathetic, i know, but the lockdown has given me some weird new routines! With no boxing on, i have to make my own fun.
I wanted to ask you a question about 'the eye test'. I wondered... if a fighter enters your gym, what do you look for? what do you ask them to do? What can they do to turn you off -- what's a big red flag for you as a coach?
What fighters have you seen in the past from a distance, on TV, that looked like the goods. Shown you everything you wanted to see but just didn't turn out the way you thought they would? And where do you think they went wrong?
And the opposite... what fighters never passed your eye-test but went on to be something more than you thought? And how did they get there? what did they have that you didn't see... or did they develop something extra along the way?
I find it interesting as so much of your business, craft must be seeing what others don't. I'm curious what internal decisions you make and how that all happens. Would appreciate any insights you have.
Some intriguing match-ups -- who you picking?
Jarron Ennis v Danny Garcia in 2020
Haney v Teofimo Lopez in 2020
Usyk v Chris Byrd at HW
Duran v Pac at WW
Toney v Whyte at HW
Canelo v GGG 3 -- what % of a chance do you give GGG to get the nod this time? what must he do to sway the judges, if he can? What would YOU tell him to do?
All the best for the future,
Bread’s Response: Good question. Obviously you look for body structure and physical disposition. Potential Elite athletes can often times have a look to them that you just know. I look at how they warm up and where they are in their skillset. If they haven’t boxed then most likely they won’t have their FEET in proper position. But that’s ok. When building a building you start at the bottom not the top. The feet and stance are the starting points.
Many things can turn off a trainer with values. I actually don’t want to get close to a kid until I see certain character traits. I’ve had kids tell me they want to spar the first day. That’s an automatic turn off. Talking back. Talking while, I’m talking. Being on their cell phones. Being an accessible kid that listens to everyone’s opinion about what he should be doing. I can go on and on about turn offs.
But if I go in exact order. I look to see how long it takes a kid to get dressed and ready to work. It disgust me to see a fighter come to the gym and take more than 10 minutes to get dressed and on the floor ready to work. The first thing I ask them is to see is their foot work and stance. I ask them to move while staying in the proper stance. Everything starts with that. I even do that with fighters with experience because often times a fighter can get good at doing the wrong thing. Then we go from there.
Let me preface my next comment with anything a fighter accomplishes at the world class level is an achievement. Often times the critics over do it with their criticisms.
I was very high on Anselmo Moreno, Jorge Linares and Francisco Bojado. Moreno had a really good career. He was rolling along at bantamweight. I thought he deserved to be on the bottom half of some of the P4P list. I was super impressed with his victory over Vic Darchynian. If I’m not mistaken Moreno had 10 or 11 real title defenses. I thought he would beat Abner Mares. Mares really showed me something that fight with the rough volume tactic to overcome the pure boxer. But nevertheless Moreno really dropped off after that fight. He was only 27 but he has really struggled since then. I thought he had the potential to be a Latin Pernell Whitaker. I really liked his rhythm and boxing ability. I have NO idea what happened to him.
I watched Jorge Linares vs Oscar Larios at a strip club by myself. It was on the Bernard Hopkins vs Winky Wight undercard. I couldn’t believe how fluid, smooth and skillful Linares was. With his size and ability at that age, I think he was about 21 or 22 at the time, I said to myself this kid looks like a HOF and 4 division champion. I was geeking over him all night. He still has a chance to be a HOF and 4 division champion. But some of his losses have just been perplexing. He has only lost to one fighter who I thought was better than him and that was Lomachenko. Linares has been kod as the favorite in a fight 4x. It’s just strange to see that happen to such a talented fighter.
Francisco Bojado looked like Oscar De La Hoya to me. He had a unique ability to change the speed of his punches as the punch was in mid drift. His talent was unmatched in the early 2000s. In fact some considered him a better prospect that Miguel Cotto who also turned pro in 2000. I still can’t believe he didn’t become a world champion.
But I’ve learned from each fighter. I’ve learned that aesthetics can become intoxicating. I’ve learned that a fighter can be BETTER than another fighter and NOT be able to beat him. I’ve watched all of these fighters lose to fighters they were better than. In Linares’s case he gets stopped consistently by fighters he’s better than. I’ve learned that breaking a fighter down in categories as far as skills is not a full proof method of assessment because grit, toughness, punch resistance, IQ and consistent training are things that don’t show up as glaring but they can have a bigger impact on a head to head fight.
The fighters that didn’t pass my eye test that turned out good…hmmm..It’s not so much the eye test with the fighters I will name. But the following fighters didn’t blow me away but I knew they would be the goods earlier than most.
Josh Taylor passed my instinct test. I liked his character. I liked his ambition. I liked how he improvised in tough spots. I liked how he wasn’t a front runner. He’s not the most talented kid I’ve seen but I told everyone who would listen that Taylor would be a world champion.
Julian Williams was a kid who wasn’t highly regarded. He never won a National Tournament or even went to the semi finals of one. But I just saw untapped potential in him because he had minimum resources and lack of structure as an amateur trying to turn pro. He had a good amateur record of 77-10 but I felt like he could be a better pro with structure and more resources. Out of the more talented kids who turned pro from 2010-12 near his weight he was the least regarded but my instincts told me he would break through at some point.
Andre Ward. I watched Andre Ward as a prospect and I thought he was good but he tried to fight like Roy Jones. He did a good job but he didn’t have Jones’s one punch striking ko power and he didn’t have Jones’s right hand. Ward was left hand dominant. Then I saw him a little later reaching contender status and because he wasn’t offensively dominant he didn’t knock my socks off. Because of his Gold Medal Status mentally I wanted to see a Ray Leonard, Roy Jones type of fighter. I had to check myself.
As Ward reached he championship level. I compartmentalized my process of thinking regarding him. I realized that he was a well rounded genius with a hybrid style that could do anything he had to do in a boxing ring. He just kept winning even though he wasn’t scoring spectacular kos. By 2012 when beat Chad Dawson I knew would be a HOF.
Terence Crawford was a kid who I told a few of my colleagues that he would be better than Adrien Broner. I told them that boxing is a marathon not a sprint and that Broner had accomplished more early because he was accelerated early. Not because he was so much better. But when everything evened out I thought Crawford would be better. George Hanson a local writer tells the story of how I told him Crawford would be the goods as far back as 2011-12. I looked at Crawford’s team structure of young, hungry coaches who focused on him. It’s like a smart kid being in class by himself with no other students to get the teacher’s attention. I just felt he would prosper.
Often times instincts, knowing what you’re looking at and having a good memory leads you to be right or wrong when dealing with a fighter’s projections. It’s no exact science but as you evolve you know what to look for and you know to look deeper than just talent. Support Group, parents, personality, social media pages, respect level they have for elders, how many children they have and by how many women, their response to instruction etc etc. There are so many things I can’t even list them. But trust me there is more than just who is talented and who can fight.
I'll come right out and say that I’m a Hagler fan. I love watching replays of his old fights on YouTube. Great stuff. That said, after all the talk and insight in the past few mailbags, I finally broke down and watched Hagler-Leonard after putting it off. And… yeah, I scored it 7-5 for Leonard. Though I thought the 118-110 card was bogus (that didn’t happen for EITHER fighter). Like a lot of people, I do believe the ring size favored Leonard. But I can’t understand for the life of me why Hagler fought the way he did in the early rounds… orthodox and trying to BOX? BOX with SRL?! Was it a pride thing? Did he want to show he could do it just as well? What if he’d come out like the seek-and-destroy slugger who battered Hearns and Mugabi? How does that alter the dynamic of the fight?
Also… playing the what-if game… What if Hagler wins that fight? Does he become the Fighter of the Eighties? Does he retire on top? I always understood he’d been seriously considering retirement even before the Leonard fight… that true? If he wins, does he ride off into the sunset or try to match/surpass Monzon’s record for title defenses?
Bread’s Response: If Hagler would have won the decision I think he would have fought a rematch with Leonard. That would have given him 13 successful title defenses. Monzon had 14.
I think Hagler was sort of a cooker. The Hearns fight was an aberration. He could fight in that attack style but against Hearns he was a Kamikaze. Hagler never fought like that before or after. What he was, was a heavy handed, hard nosed technician. Hagler wasn’t an exclusive come forward or back foot fighter. People remember the Hearns fight but look close. His more natural style was say Tony Sibson or Fulgencio Obelmejias.
I don’t get the controversy of Hagler vs Leonard. Everytime I read fans on social media discussing the fight, I start unfollowing some. Hagler gave up too many rounds early then didn’t dominate enough late.
It’s simple math. He lost the first 4 rounds. If he’s going to win he has to win the next 7 out of 8 to win 115-113. He didn’t. His best case is a draw. The conventional scoring is Leonard 7 or 8 rounds. Hagler 4 or 5. The goal post get moved on this fight because of PRIDE and dislike for the Pretty Boy Ray Leonard. “The Gloves were too BIG.” False 10oz gloves. “The ROUNDS were too short.” False no one complained about the rounds when Hagler kos Hearns and Mugabi in 12 round fights, BEFORE he fought Leonard.
As for the fight. Hagler wasn’t exclusively orthodox in the first 4 rounds. But that was his main stance. I think he tried to outsmart Leonard. Everyone knew Leonard had a bunch of southpaw sparring partners in camp. I think Hagler felt that he would switch it up on Leonard as to what he expected. Sometimes even great fighters can outsmart themselves.
I also think Hagler’s temperament not just his stance cost him the fight. Hagler didn’t start to cook until the 5th round. But maybe his blood wasn’t flowing until then and he didn’t catch his rhythm until the 5th. Sometimes it’s just like that. If he would have came out smoking, maybe Leonard boxes and moves and ties him up and he doesn’t finish as strong. Hearns and Mugabi stood and fought fire with fire. Sometimes you put fire out with water. Watch that fight close. Hagler was not that much fresher than Leonard down the stretch. He was gassed because he knew he had to push down the stretch. Maybe he gasses earlier if he starts faster. Ray Leonard was a deep water shark.
Yes if Hagler wins he’s the FOD. That fight meant a lot. It literally determined FOD. If you think about the 80s. Holmes had gotten a little old by 1985. Sanchez died in 82. Hearns had been stopped by both. Tyson was Tyson but his decade run may have started too late. Chavez had a case but he had not hit the mainstream yet. Chavez is thought of more as a 90s fighter. It was Leonard or Hagler. Leonard won.
Thanks for your detailed ATG top 10 list. It was very educational and a real insight into boxing history. Firstly I just wanted to clarify whether your ATG list is also the all time P4P list. Are they the same thing?
One thing that struck me was that unlike other sports, the list contained all boxers from yesteryear with SRL being the most recent at #10. It goes to show that despite all the advantages of modern living these legends really have set an incredibly high standard and stood the test of time.
So as I am in my 30s, I really only have any significant knowledge of boxers since the 90s to compare. So my question is who would be your ATG top 10, but only counting work from the 90s onwards?
For what it’s worth (not a lot) mine would be the following, but I welcome some more insight and education:-
#1 Pacquiao - nobody else has won titles in as many weight divisions. Fighting everyone, and still beating young guns at 41.
#2 Mayweather - undefeated, biggest box office star ever. But could he have pushed on and won in higher divisions to ascend the ATG list?
#3 Roy Jones - P4P great, titles MW to HW. Post Tarver 1 career weighs him down IMO.
#4 Whitaker - long reigning P4P great, 4 division champ.
#5 Hopkins - 20 defences of MW title. Before taking big LHW scalps in late 40s. Incredible
#6 De La Hoya - world titles in 6 divisions, took on the biggest challenges, didn’t win then all, but some close and controversial decisions.
#7 Trinidad - 17 defences of WW title. 3 weight champ. Beat DLH and Whitaker
#8 Lennox Lewis - best HW since 90’s, avenged his losses. Beat Holyfield, Tyson and Vitali.
#9 Holyfield - ATG and would be higher ranked, but have to discount CW run for this which happened in 80s. Similar with Chavez, who doesn’t make the list as a result.
#10 Ward - 2 weigh Champ. Beat all the top guys at SMW, then took on and beat the bonafide LHW champ. Career gap and early retirement hurts him.
Ward just about holding off Canelo and Loma, but that will probably change.
Bristol - UK
Bread’s Response: My ATG list was also my P4P top 10 ever.
Oh man my top 10 P4P since 1990. So basically the top 10 fighters of the last 30 years. This is tougher than most would think because placing Roy Jones, Floyd Mayweather, Pernell Whitaker and Manny Pacquiao is tougher than anyone can imagine. But let me say this when I researched my ALL TIME TOP 10 ever, Roy Jones came the closest to making it after doing a forensic examination of his resume. It’s simply harder to win a titles at 160 then 175 then it is to win titles from 135 to 147. The body composition changes more from middle to lightheavyweight.
Over the last 30 years boxing has produced several fighters who were great ligthweights and great welterweights or close to great. Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley, Oscar de La Hoya and Terence Crawford all look to be great at both weights.
Only Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins have been a great middleweight and great lightweight since 1990. So as you guessed it Roy Jones will be #1 for me.
1. Roy Jones
2. Is even tougher because I can’t put Pacquiao over Floyd because it’s so close but Floyd won head to head. But Pernell Whitaker has case for being better than both, yet both were bigger stars than Whitaker. So today I will say Floyd Mayweather. The tie breaker for me was Floyd won the junior middleweight title 3x. But it’s basically even between Mayweather and Whitaker, and Whitaker and Pacman.
3a. Pernell Whitaker
3b. Manny Pacquiao
5. Evander Holyfield
6.Julio Cesar Chavez- I think you forgot about Chavez. He reigned for about 6 years on and off in the 90s and he was #1 P4P in the decade for a time until 1993. He has to be a top 10 fighter of the last 30 years
7. Bernard Hopkins
8. Lennox Lewis
9. Felix Trinidad
10. Oscar De La Hoya
The 90s and 00s were underrated golden eras. I have a hard time leaving James Toney, Ricardo Lopez, Andre Ward, Erik Morales, Marco Antonio Barrera, Juan Marquez, Roman Gonzalez and Joe Calzaghe off the list. I didn’t consider Terence Crawford, Canelo Alvarez or Vasyl Lomachenko because they are still super active.
But I don’t know who to take off. I really don’t. I feel horrible that Ricaord Lopez is not on the list. He’s the most consistent great fighter I’ve ever studied. I’ve watched all of his championship fights and he never has a bad day. He’s ON in every fight.
Honestly the last few spots can be interchangeable with about 8 or 9 fighters but I’m partial to stand out reigns and great heavyweights who are the best fighters in an actual sense not a P4P.
What's good Bread?
Your last few mailbags have addressed weight cutting. You clearly dislike the practice and I have to agree that it's harmful for the sport and certainly for the boxers themselves. We would be better off without it. However, I must admit I'm fascinated by the ability of these teams to take off that much weight during camp....and then strip 20+lbs of water for a weigh-in. What's even more impressive is how they rehydrate the fighter in the following 24hrs and restore him to an elite level athlete that's ready for a title fight.
It's an essential practice of the modern game and I think my be one of the most important aspects of winning and losing (unfortunately). My question is, how does Stephen Edwards handle the weight cut for his fighters?
I understand there's techniques that are proprietary information for you, but anything you could provide would be intriguing.
When do you start restricting fluids? Does everyone use the hot bathtub technique or some still favor plastic and saunas? How do you handle the following 24hrs - what are the meals and liquids you favor? I assume there must be a precise schedule for everything? Finally any crazy stories of a drastic cut you've been involved with or heard of?
Don in Houston
Bread’s Response: Obviously I can’t get into exact detail because the game is to be sold not to be told. But I will say a few things.
First off everybody is not losing 20+ of just water in one day. That’s what’s so dangerous about weight cuts. Some are losing water, minerals, carbs, plasma and muscle.
In a general sense a fighter should be in camp no more than 10% higher than his weigh in weight. For example if a fighter is a middleweight (160lbs) he wants to walk around no higher than 176lbs. 16lbs is 10% higher than his weigh in weight. Now the key to this is being 10% over the weigh in weight, on a Gallon a water ever single day in the gym. A fighter needs to be fully hydrated all throughout camp. If they aren’t then instead of cutting water they will cut into other things and could possible get damaged beyond repair.
I’m not going to get into when the weight drop should be started etc. Because that is the difference in winning or losing a fight. What I will say is that if it’s done right it can be very effective. The timing of the cut and what the fighter’s diet consist of is everything. If the timing is on and diet is clean, then it can be done. I’ve done it several times.
As far as the rehydration again I won’t say what a fighter should drink. I’ve seen everything at weigh ins. What I will say is they should start drinking as soon as they get off the scale.
The key to this, is being detailed. Leaving any detail out will disrupt the weight cut. Fighters are not detailed in general. And the ones who are or hire detailed people have an extra edge because taking physical punishment and losing weight is not a normal human concept. It’s more beneficial to get bigger and add mass to absorb punishment. But boxers lose weight and try to put it back on in 36 hours in order to do it. It’s unnatural to say the least.
Quick question was wondering if you could rank the Black Murderer Row fighters. How many do you think would have won titles?
Coach Vic from Philly
Bread’s Response: The Members were Cocoa Kid, Charley Burley, Holman Williams, Tiger Wade, Jack Chase, Lloyd Marshall, Bert Lytell and Eddie Booker. So that’s 8 common members but often times more fighters were included.
It’s really hard to rank them definitively because their records are mixed with results because they all weren’t the same exact size or peaked out at the same weight at the same time. But while all are great fighters I can sort of put them in tiers.
1. Charley Burley, Holman Williams, Cocoa Kid
2. Lloyd Marshall, Eddie Booker
3. Tiger Wade, Jack Chase, Bert Lytell
Bread - Love the mailbag and really appreciate the extra long ones during this quarantine. A couple weeks back I read what you wrote about focusing on a fighter’s jogging time in relation to their athleticism and speed stamina. A few questions about roadwork:
1. How hard do you like your fighters to push themselves during their roadwork? You mention wanting to see them do 3 miles in 18 minutes. Is that them doing a 100% flat out, being gassed at the end or is that them going around 80-85%, a hard but comfortable pace?
2. Does the weight of a fighter make a difference to you at all? It’s a lot harder on the body for a 200+lbs guy to run a 6 minute mile than for a 140-150lbs guy, no?
3. Do you feel running on a road vs. treadmill makes a difference? Personally, when I run I find the treadmill much easier because it paces me.
4. Finally, how far do you usually have guys run on a day-to-day basis?
Hope you’re staying safe and healthy
Bread’s Response: 1. In this recent era there is a debate among new sports science gurus and old school methods. Some think long distance running all together should be done away with. Others think long miles are the way to go.
I personally think that you need both to be successful. Short explosive sprints will definitely enhance a fighters overall explosiveness and burn loads of fat in a shorter period of time. And nice distance runs are also part of building a fighter’s endurance, gaining rhythm and building muscle endurance. Fighters need both in my opinion explosive muscles and endurance muscles. Both will get activated depending on what type of fight it is.
A boxing match is intricate. There are times when you need to be able to go at a steady pace. Say how Salvador Sanchez rolls through the late rounds. Then there are times when you may be down in a fight and you need to be able to go in savage mode like say Ray Leonard did Tommy Hearns late in their fight. I believe you have to train both gears.
When I say 3 miles in 18 minutes, I mean holding a 6 minute pace in each mile. No one can run 100% for 3 straight miles but a world class fighter should be able to keep that pace or close to it.
However, not every run needs to be under that pace. Sometimes a nice easy recovery run is good for a fighter just to get the rhythm of the fight. Running backwards, side ways, shadowboxing while running etc. Running is the mother of all conditioning but there are various type of runs and I think boxers being unique athletes need to indulge in all type of runs.
2. Yes sure weight makes a difference. I don’t expect a heavyweight to be able to run like a lightweight but you may be surprised, some bigger guys can move.
3. Again I think you can improvise with any type of running. Sometimes in cold weather cities a treadmill run is the only thing available. So yes treadmills can be good, especially if the coach is present and he can turn up the speeds and uphill to simulate more effort. Treadmills are very effective.
The one thing you don’t want to get into the habit of is running so slow you don’t have any gears to kick in. I have seen guys brag about running 10 miles but it literally takes them 3 hours. I can walk 10 miles in 3 hours…
4. It really depends on the fighter and how many rounds they are fighting. Everyone is different and most trainers have different philosophies.
I think good distance runs of 3,4 and 5 miles are excellent. I would be leery of 10 mile runs consistently because unless the fighter is a freak I think it would slow him down too much and burn him out especially if he has to train in the gym later that day and spar etc. One of my favorite fighters is Felix Trinidad. Trinidad used to run marathons. His stamina was unreal but no one seems to realize he was burned out by 28 years old. I don’t think a fighter needs to run a marathon to fight a 12 round which is only 36 minutes.
Again this is not an exact science. Some fighters need more miles, some recover easier, some need less to get through a 12 round fight. The key in my opinion is recovery. At the end of the day, the fighter is running because he’s training to box. So a fighter has to be fresh when it’s time to practice his skill of BOXING in the gym.
On alternate days I also like hard sprints, hills and 400m runs. It depends on what part of camp etc etc. Swimming for stamina because it’s a total body workout but low impact on the knees is actually something I recommend once a week also. Once you have your regimen down you can tink and teeter with it to perfect it and customize it to your body.
Hope you're well.
I - GGG and fights that never happened
We always talk about GGG's lackluster middleweight run.
I think we both agree his peak version is too much for Sturm, Martinez (2013/2015) and Cotto (2015).
How would those scalps have affected his legacy?
II - Head to Head
I know you are GGG's man. But you also are a vocal Canelo supporter and defender.
You once mentioned GGG's slippage from his peak version when he faced Canelo.
But I think we might disagree regarding the degree of the step he lost.
Golovkin from 2014 is far from Golovkin from 2018. The tools he relied on needed him at his athletic peak.
Some special athletic fighters with particular styles fought well above 35, sure.
But even greats like RJJ dropped considerably. GGG not being a Hopkins or Floyd, being a non overwhelmingly athletic guy and being a pressure fighter, his slippage is even more pronounced. The gap between 33 yo Floyd and 37 yo Floyd is way narrower. Therefore one can't compare him to some successful fighters in their late 30s.With all that said, knowing Canelo was and is in his prime, probably peaking.
Knowing he took substances for their first fight.
Knowing what he did after the fight (168, 175).
Knowing people had GGG winning the first and 80% of the boxing world not more than a draw for the second, how would you:
-Rate them head to head in their absolute peak at 160 (GGG 2014 vs Canelo 2019)
-How does it affect the quality of the performance by Golovkin, regardless of the judges?
(That he closely won/draw against the P4P king, Canelo, at 37/38 against a 28 peak A-sider)
-Do we give G enough credit?
I know you love them both but feel like the last two years have made you a little less sure about GGG.
Don't feel like defending. I love them both. But I'm unconditionally in support of GGG in this specific opposition as I deeply feel he got wronged by, as you say, his birthday.
Bread’s Response: Critics somehow justify that GGG was never that good because he has slipped at 35+. Well GENIUS, that was the point of ducking him, wait until he slips then fight him!
GGG was available for Sturm much earlier than 2013. He was ready by 2009-10ish but never got the shot. I would have picked him to beat Sturm, Martinez and Cotto by ko. And of course his legacy would be better because of it.
You make a great point. A relaxed athletic boxer puncher usually ages better than a pressure fighter. I equate GGG to Chavez and Hagler as far as style and athleticism. Hagler retired at 32-33. Chavez was no longer Chavez by 1996 when he fought Oscar. He was 35.
I won’t go overboard rating GGG vs Canelo prime for prime. Unfortunately this is boxing and every single fight won’t be exact prime on prime. If their careers stopped today, Canelo would be considered to have had the better career.
However I do think we discredit GGG too much as a whole. He’s a HOF. He’s a great contemporary fighter. That decision in the first fight cost him ATG status considering what Canelo did afterwards. GGG needed that decision. I thought he won but honestly I wasn’t overwhelmed with his actual performance. It’s a shame but it’s life.
I respect them both as great fighters. I still do. And it’s ok to think highly of both. Some knuckle head fans don’t get that. I don’t think any less of GGG. However I do wish he would have turned in better performances vs Canelo for his legacy but Canelo had something to do with that. He fought his ass off. GGG couldn’t just overwhelm him like most thought and the perception of GGG has changed with those two fights. Boxing is unforgiving in that way. GGG needs redemption at 38 and most likely he won’t get it.
Send Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org