By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs, breaking down some of boxing's best trainers of all time, thoughts on Sugar Ray Leonard, Mayweather vs. Crawford, and more.
How does the best trainers get determined? Everybody ask for the list of the top 10 fighters ever but no one ask for top 10 trainers. I’ve been reading up on trainers and the opinion of Angelo Dundee seems to be that he was more of a cornerman and manager and not so much of a trainer but he makes most list. Thoughts on Dundee as a trainer? He also breaks the mold because he wasn’t a fighter.
Bread’s Response: I don’t have a list of top 10 trainers ever. I really don’t. In my opinion it would be disrespectful to not include the work of the trainers at the turn of the century. Boxing was in it’s infantile stages and those guys really had to learn on the job. Who taught Pep that footwork? Who taught Armstrong that bob and weave style? Who taught Louis that punch technique? It’s also too hard to determine trainers that I haven’t had a chance to watch their work and know what was going on when their tough challenges were being made.
Here is what I will say. The myth that you have to be a fighter to be a trainer is false. What mold did he break? It’s not my opinion it’s a real fact. There are too many successful trainers who weren’t fighters for it to even be a conversation at this point. I think that myth came from an ex fighter who couldn’t get a training job so therefore he discredited a trainer who he had more fighting experience than.
Trainers will come from all sorts of experiences. Here is what I have noticed. Lot’s of trainers have had law enforcement and military backgrounds as well as being ex fighters. Angelo Dundee served in WWII.. When individuals are being profiled the type of jobs and studies you have had often link you to certain things. Many trainers for whatever reasons are linked to law enforcement and military. I think it’s because in those fields you are taught to run towards danger and not run away from it. So there is a correlation to boxing. Nothing is more final than “fighting” for your life. If you look really close, there is just about an equal number of ex military, ex law enforcement and ex fighters who train.
I have also observed that many trainers are philanthropist and entrepreneurs. Most have their own businesses that they have created from the ground up. It’s really interesting but true. Just look at the top trainers. I’m not saying they’re business moguls but they often work for themselves in some fashion or the other.
The last thing is they love boxing. If you love and understand boxing and you have the ability to articulate then you can train. It’s really that simple.
I have heard the same thing about Angelo Dundee. But boy does he have some credentials. Dundee has some of the biggest and best wins in history over some of histories best fighters and fellow trainers. Dundee won his first title with Carmen Basilio and Dundee was a young man at the time. Basilio had some great fights under Dundee and he has a win over the great Sugar Ray Robinson.
Dundee also had another tremendous welterweight in Luis Rodriguez. Many know Dundee for his work with Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali. But Rodriguez and Basilion were HOF before Leonard and Ali. Rodriguez was not as famous as Basilio but Rodriguez has wins over Bennie Brisco, Ruben Carter, Emille Griffith and he stopped Georgie Benton. Luis Rodriguez was a GREAT fighter.
Dundee was also in George Foreman’s corner when he beat Michael Moorer. Geez!
Then when you put Dundee up against great trainers. He won with Ali over Eddie Futch vs Frazier and Norton. He won with Ali over great ex fighters Archie Moore and Sandy Saddler who were in Foreman’s corner. None of them figured out the “rope a dope”. He also won with Ray Leonard over Duran who had Freddie Brown and Ray Arcel. And he won with Leonard over Hearns who had Emanuel Steward.
I know the rap on Dundee was he was lucky with special talent. He was more of a motivator. He was a cornerman not a trainer. I don’t have enough information to debate that. But what I do know is he was a part of some big wins and many fighters wanted his work in their corner. And for the record there is no way that much success is LUCK.
The one thing that I believe that makes Dundee a great trainer is his ability to be flexible. In Ali’s case many don’t know that Archie Moore was training Ali first when he turned pro. Ali and Moore didn’t have the correct chemistry. Obviously Moore was a great fighter and is a top 25 ever talent. But Ali just didn’t buy into the teachings. Ali eventually left Moore and trained with Dundee. Often times great fighters try to mold you into themselves and they start teaching you where they left off and not where they started. I don’t know if this was the case with Ali and Moore but I do know they didn’t hit it off. Ali connected more with Dundee who was not a great fighter. Ali and Moore’s style while both great were polar opposites. Ali was a stick and mover. Moore was a cross armed counter punching technician.
Dundee did not have en ego when it comes to his teachings of Ali. He said he oversaw everything, gave him a jab and he let him be. Ali was not the type of guy you could demand things out of. He understood how to communicate with him in order to get the best out of him. Dundee claimed when he wanted Ali to throw a left hook, he would say “nice hook”. Then the next thing you know, Ali would whistle a left hook in.
Now you fast forward 14 years and Ali has to face George Foreman as an underdog and not only is Archie Moore in Foreman’s corner but all time great featherweight Sandy Saddler is also. There is a myth that Ali waited for Foreman to get tired and then he flurried and stopped him. But if you watch the fight Ali was winning all the way through. He kept bouncing lead right hands off of Foreman’s face, using the ropes to propel himself.
So…The next time someone says you have to be a great fighter to be a great trainer. This case of Angelo Dundee disproves that directly with his training of Ali, then going against Archie Moore in a fight where Moore had the younger, bigger, stronger favorite going into the fight and Dundee’s fighter won.
Eddie Futch is a coach who I can identify his work. The jab he employed with Norton to disrupt Ali who had the best jab ever in my opinion was awesome. Futch also recognized Ali threw his uppercut from too far out so he had Frazier hook towards it. His gameplan with Michael Spinks vs Dwight Qawi was masterful. Futch led Riddick Bowe to his career best win vs Evander Holyfield in one of the best performances ever at heavyweight.
But I think Futch’s best work was a controversial win vs Roy Jones. In 1997 Roy Jones was as good a fighter as you can imagine. He was 28 and in his absolute PRIME. People remember the DQ but no one remembers that Montel Griffin was putting in work before the fight was stopped. Griffin was doing some of the same things to Jones that Norton was doing to Ali. To show how effective the work that Futch put in was, in the immediate rematch Griffin didn’t use Futch and was kod in 1 round. Someone will say that Futch didn’t START those guys out. I say who gives a hoot. His work is his work.
Emanuel Steward is known for starting out the most successful pros in Detroit’s Kronk gym. To produce 3 world champions in Hilmer Kinty, Thomas Hearns and Milton McCrory from the same gym is remarkable. If you throw in Michael Moorer and Gerald McClellan who weren’t from Detroit but worked with Steward early in their careers man o man.
Steward lost 2 big fights early with Hearns vs Leonard and Hagler but he still gets credit for most likely being the best trainer ever. I don’t disagree. Hearns performed great in those losses by the way and often times the performance is as much as a reflection on the trainer as the result is. His work with Lennox Lewis and Wald Klitshcko is also outstanding. Both came to him after bad kos and he took both to long historical reigns.
Two of Steward wins really stand out to me. Oliver McCall over Lennox Lewis. McCall had no business beating a fighter as good as Lewis. But you can hear Steward tell McCall that his awkward looking left hook-right hand combo was disorganizing Lewis and for him to keep doing it. He does it again in the 2nd round and he kos Lewis. If you don’t believe Steward was the difference than look at the rematch with Steward in Lewis’s corner. But wait I know Steward didn’t “start” McCall. Yeah ok.
Another Steward win that stands out to me is Holyfield over Bowe II. Steward said that Holyfield didn’t like to spar and it was very physically grueling to do pad work with him so often. He also said he didn’t really have a gameplan because he felt Bowe was too big and too good and could do just about everything better. Then accidently he goes out to a club and sees how well Holyfield can dance. He then decides to employ and in and out rhythm with a double jab to beat Bowe. That’s exactly what Holyfield does and he wins the darn fight.
I never met Mr. Futch but I got a chance to meet Angelo Dundee in Florida and Emanuel Steward in Atlantic City. It was a pleasure to meet both and pick their brains.
Current/Recent trainers who’s work I appreciate. Virgil Hunter with Andre Ward. Nacho Beristain with the Marquez Brothers. Freddie Roach with Manny Pacquiao and Miguel Cotto. Eddy Reynoso with Canelo Alvarez. And Bill Miller with James Toney.
Good morning Bread,
Before I get into I just want to thank you for the best piece of boxing literature anywhere that encompasses so much more than just the sweet science. Best read ever!
Firstly I notice how often you reference the Marrrickville Mauler (Jeff Fenech) and would I be correct in my assumption that he could be a favourite of yours?
Boy was he a relentless pressure fighting machine in his prime! world champion in his 7th fight. he was an extremely aggressive come forward offensive minded fighter who was cursed with such brittle hands that he broke or hurt nearly every fight.
his apex and ultimately his prime ended with an unjust decision against the great Azumah Nelson in 1991 in Las Vegas, he was never the same fighter afterwards, The fight stank of the honourable Don King.. My question is can you please tell me why you were so high on him and where do you rate him historically in the lower weights? I also believe there wouldn't be a handful of super featherweights in the last 40 years who could compete or beat that version of Nelson in his prime. Jeff was out of this world in the open air that night.
Lastly onto another all time great: Mike McCallum.
I have studied him voraciously for many years and believe him to be one the most criminally underrated technicians boxing has produced. He was a marvel at parrying and leaning into his opponents and had that rare ability to use their strengths against them. A prime example was the masterful and clinical dissection of a young strong bull in Michael Watson. I strongly believe he would be life and death circa anyone up to 168lbs that night, he was that good!
My question relates to his vast array old school moves that he possessed, obviously he was born with innate talents but many were learnt with the help of the honourable Eddie Futch that we just don't seem to see the likes of these days.
Was it an end of era when Eddie past? are there coaches capable of teaching these old school techniques? there's maybe a handful of fighters since who deploy these form of pugilism at its purest. I think Mike has to take a lot of the credit also. I refer to the late great Emmanuel Steward who said how Mike kept nailing Tommy in sparring with the overhand right that even had Tommy bewildered, I know its only sparring but Steward spoke of how cerebral Mike was and Manny would be a good judge as any.
lastly in response to Tito beating Mike, just my opinion I think if Mike can compete and handle the likes of a Donald Curry, Julian Jackson, a prime James Toney he has the tools to defeat the great Tito. once again subjective but boy what a firefight that would be!
Love your stuff Bread.
Regards Sam from Oz.
Bread’s Response: Pressure fighting was once boxing’s most dominant style. Great pressure fighters in their primes were the hardest to beat. If you couldn’t hurt them, you couldn’t out work them and you would usually lose. Fenech is one of the last of the truly great pressure fighters. In the 90s they stop being produced so often. That seemed to be the cut off date.
I knew Fenech was the real deal when he beat Steve McCrory. McCrory is a forgotten Kronk standout and I thought he was more talented than his better known brother Milton McCrory. McCrory was also a gold medalist on the 1984 Olympic team. When Fenech beat him I was like whoa, this dude can bump.
Fenech is an ATG great lower weight fighter. He’s one of the best 25 fighters featherweight and under. His 3 division titles are real and his performance vs Nelson was BIG TIME. He should’ve won that first fight. To put that performance in perspective. I think Fenech was just as good vs Nelson as Pernell Whitaker was the year before and Whitaker was a lightweight. Game recognize game and I just know Jeff Fenech was special. His was indefatigable. He was huge for bantamweight and junior featherweight. He punched harder than it looked because it was constant. He had that Aaron Pryor type of debilitating volume. Where he didn’t seem like he was punching hard but he was usually scoring stoppages.
I love Eddie Futch and I love Mike McCallum. But I don’t know how long McCallum worked with Futch. McCallum had various trainers during his illustrious career. I know he worked with Emanuel Steward, George Benton and Eddie Futch. So I don’t want to discredit anyone and say who taught him what because I don’t know what part of his career each trainer had.
I will say that McCallum is a guy that fighters should watch because skill can be taught. McCallum constantly jabbed. His constantly touched the body. He didn’t have a signature body shot but he was always touching you in the gut. He had what I call in house old school defense. He caught, he parried and he rolled and countered. McCallum was a truly special fighter.
I wouldn’t surprised at all if he beat Tito. But the one area that Tito had over McCallum was electricity. McCallum was great but he didn’t have electrifying charisma in the boxing ring. He sort of just went about his business in a workmanlike fashion. Tito had an electricity that I think would have won the judges over. I could see them having to fight 3 times to decide it.
Despite their break up, Emanuel Steward was very complimentary of McCallum. I think Steward kept Hearns away from McCallum. I don’t think Hearns was afraid of any man. But I believe Steward knew it would be a tough fight because of the familiarity of the sparring and he didn’t want to give McCallum a pay day after leaving him.
There is some sparring footage of McCallum and Hearns on youtube. It was very competitive. Both seemed to be in their primes. Neither dominated.
What factor do you think it'll be decisive on Canelo-Jacobs?
Canelo it's weighing about 168 for now, and Jacobs it's on 175. Some people say that Jacobs it's gonna exploit Canelo's lack of energy in the late rounds or overwhelm him the firsts rounds with hard punches. On the other side, some say that Canelo is gonna knock him out with body shots and the weight drain will take a toll on Jacobs. I'm worried about the reach, speed and power advantage against Canelo. But Jacobs body looks vulnerable and Canelo has been perfecting his body shots lately. I don't know what's gonna happen. Any ideas?
Also, Martinez vs Edwards. Who do you see winning?
Bread’s Response: Danny Jacobs is hitting his prime as far the competition he’s faced. I think it will benefit him in this fight. I have no idea who will win but I do think there will be some factors.
For Jacobs he needs to become less emotional. I see him get excited often in fights, literally flexing, yelling and screaming. Canelo is a cold hearted sharp shooter. He will take advantage of that. It’s energy sapping to be that emotional.
Jacobs is well rounded and it’s hard to pin point his style. He’s not really a pure boxer. He can punch but at the highest level his fights usually go the distance. Especially lately. Jacobs doesn’t have one particular area where you look at him and say that’s his specialty.
So whatever style he fights vs Canelo he has to believe in it. He has to really believe in it. Whether he’s boxing or attacking. I think Jacobs has to do something where he gets the judges attention early. He has to set the mood of the fight. Canelo has a way about him where the judges and crowd are basically waiting to see what he’s going to do.
Jacobs has to find a way to defend a jab better. GGG and Sulecki landed lots of jabs on Jacobs and it cost him the GGG fight. Canelo is not known for a great jab but trust me his jab is nasty. Danny has to really hone in on defending that punch. If he does I think it’s anyone’s fight.
Canelo just has to be himself. Although they’re both established fighters you know what Canelo is. He’s a dynamic boxer puncher. He usually has the judges and crowd on his side. He usually runs his combinations and he captures the energy of the fight. Canelo’s major flaw is he fights in BIG spurts and he’s not the best at punching at moving targets. No one actually likes to punch at moving targets but you can see that’s not Canelo’s thing.
But here is the issue for Jacobs. How much can he move and still be effective in getting the win. It’s a slippery slope. The corners will both have their work cut out for them. I expect a tremendous fight and whoever is on point that night will win.
Hey Bread, I enjoy your takes on boxing, past and present, but I see a strong pro-Sugar Ray Leonard bias coloring some of your views. I may have some of the opposite bias. To me, SRL was a fine Olympic champion who happened to come along at a time when boxing’s “powers-that-be” were scrambling to find and develop a fighter to fill the HUGE void that was going to be left by Ali’s exit. SRL therefore had a great advantage going in. He was brought along carefully and groomed to fight Benitez, a truly great champion in his own right, but not a dangerous puncher. Then the next step up was Duran, a lightweight, but the only fighter of the era comparable to Ali for greatness. Duran jumped over junior-welter and went right to welter. He beat Palomino, knocking him down in the process and then took on SRL. He beat him fairly convincingly IMO and got more money for that one fight than he’d ever had before and turned party animal, ballooning to 190 lbs. and had to lose 45 lbs. between the first fight, June 20th and November 25th. Try gaining 45 lbs. and losing it again in 5 months. Even though Duran quit, he wasn’t being beaten by much on the cards. I really don’t believe SRL would have ever beaten a prime Duran at his best. Making that fight so quick with Duran scaling 190 was smart management, not great boxing.
Second issue; Leonard/Hagler. SRL waited for MANY years before tackling Marvelous. He waited until Duran fought him to a fairly close 15 round decision in 1984. He then waited until 1987 to fight him. He then, as challenger, dictated the terms, including stipulating 10 oz. thumb-less gloves and a very large ring, things an over confident Hagler agreed to. And then he won a very close decision. SRL’s flashiness made him appear better than he actually was, and he was very good. I think Hagler underestimated the effect of the heavier gloves in the course of a long fight. I’d never seen him look arm weary prior to that fight.
Bread’s Response: I’m not bias for Sugar Ray Leonard I just appreciate how great of a fighter he is. You just don’t have a clue my friend.
The two welterweight champions during Leonard’s rise were Wilfred Benitez and Pipino Cuevas. Cuevas was a big puncher but he was a limited fighter who was no where near as good as Benitez. Cuevas had like 5 or 6 losses with about 20 wins. He had limited hand and foot speed and despite being a HOF if you give him the eye ball test, you know Benitez is light years better. Benitez was 38-0 and was a two division champion and had wins over Antonio Cervantes and Carlos Palomino and you say Leonard was brought along carefully. There were only 2 titles available and he went after the “better” fighter. Seriously I can’t take you know it all types who don’t know much. You act like he fought for a vacant WRF title. Geez.
Everytime someone who comes off as a know it all writes in I’m going to put you in your place. I have news for you. Ray Leonard fought Andy Price in his eliminator in order to face Benitez for the title. If you knew that you wouldn’t have been so cocky. But there is more. Andy Price beat Pipino Cuevas by unanimous decision. In Cuevas’s next fight he got a title shot that obviously Price deserved more. You guys have to research more if you don’t know. So Leonard beat a better fighter than Cuevas just to earn a title shot at a better fighter. Unreal you try to slant that.
Next you bring up Duran. Duran is a great fighter but he had outgrown lightweight. Duran fought 8 non title fights at welterweight from 1978-80 to grow properly into the division. He didn’t just jump up and fight Leonard in his 1st fight at 147. Or as you said fight Palomino then Leonard. That’s not true at ALL. Again don’t make up stuff in order to prove a point. Stick to the facts.
The first Duran vs Leonard fight was close and competitive. No one is arguing Duran won. But if you want to bring up that Duran is smaller don’t bring up that he struggled to make weight in the rematch. It’s his job to make weight. His gluttony never caught up with him in the past. He was always a guy who got heavy in between fights. Being able to stop at 147 and not go all the way down to 135 should have helped him.
What if a Leonard fan says that Duran was more experience having 3x the fights Leonard had. Or that Leonard was a fool for not taking a tune up in between fights. If Leonard had lost that’s what would/could have been said. But he won. In every fight a fighter has angle on how they will win. It doesn’t mean it will play out.
Leonard didn’t make Duran party and drink. Leonard didn’t make Duran gain weight. Stop coming up with excuses. Duran was the better man in the 1st fight. Leonard was the better man in the 2nd and 3rd. Leonard took an immediate rematch vs a Man who gave him his 1st loss and somehow you want to discredit the win because Duran gained weight in between fights. Are you kidding?
You conveniently leave out the Ayub Kalule win at 154 who was 36-0. And the 1st Hearns fight where Leonard was the underdog and Hearns was 32-0 with 30kos. What smart matchmaking did Leonard employ in those fights? What angle did he see in those fights? You’re a HATER and what you’re trying to do is slant history with your personal bias.
I’m glad you brought up the Hagler fight. Let me ask you, did Leonard fake his detached retina or did it really happen. I’m curious. Did Hearns really swell his eye up? So he retired in 1982. A detached retina was a big deal in 1982. Leonard was told to never fight again at 25 years old. So it took him some time to gather what he wanted to do.
Let’s remember that Leonard was a welterweight not a middleweight. And if someone wanted to make excuses for Leonard like you did for Duran being a partier. Leonard did cocaine, he drank and he fought once between 1982 and 1987. One time!
Hagler was over confident and again that’s not Leonard’s fault. Hagler foolishly wanted to be a better “boxer” than Leonard. He seemed jealous of Leonard’s accolades. Instead of just winning, he wanted to win a certain way. So he boxed right handed for the first 4 rounds and lost them. And his fans complain and blame Leonard.
This weekend is the anniversary of Leonard vs Hagler and I can see some old wounds have opened. Let’s kill the myths for good. Hagler was fighting 12 round fights long before he fought Leonard. In fact Mugabi, Hearns and Roldan were all 12 rounders. Hagler was fighting 12 rounders in 1984, 3 years before his Leonard fight. You have to fact check before you talk. I shut up every critic who claims that Leonard lowered the distance of the fight.
Next up the glove sizes were no different. That’s conspiracy theorist 101. 10 oz gloves were standard for the day. The attached thumbs don’t add weight my man. Seriously! If you think attaching thumbs make gloves heavier then you need to rethink talking about boxing. Leonard had a dam detached retina so he didn’t want to get thumbed. That’s only a concession if Hagler planned on thumbing him. Let me tell you something else. Leonard was the smaller inactive fighter and fighters below 147lbs fight in 8 oz gloves more. So if Hagler was arm weary because of the bigger gloves, then what do you think the smaller, weaker Leonard was? Another ridiculous claim!
The one thing that Hagler conceded that I think did affect the outcome was ring size. I’m objective and Leonard used that big ring to his advantage. It wasn’t illegal, it was just bigger than usual. But that’s smart negotiations. Any A-side fighter would do that. Leonard was the mover. He needed room.
But let me tell you something the big ring came with a price. Hagler made considerably more money. None of Hagler’s fans bring that up. Hagler collected the Closed Circuit in every area except DMV and Massachusetts. He made enough money to never think about fighting again. That’s how boxing works, you give in one area and you take in the other. Hagler could have gave up money to get a smaller ring…
Any disadvantages that Hagler had going into the fight, think about Leonard’s. He was smaller. He was inactive. He had been dropped bad in sparring by Quincy Taylor preparing for the fight. Hagler had slowed down a bit but he was still #1 P4P. If you are old enough to have witnessed this fight, tell me who you were picking going in? Leonard was a 3 to 1 underdog. Leonard won you guys have to get over it!
Long time reader first time poster. A few things. Firstly, I really disagree with your assessment of Deontay Wilder in your last mailbag. You mentioned that he wants to get paid. The guy was offered 100 million for 3 fights. How much more paid do you want to get!? For me this is a blatant duck. You have an opportunity to make a 100 million and be undisputed champ. There is literally no excuse to turn that down. It doesn't matter what Anthony Joshua is earning. You have a shot at a legacy while securing your future. I've promised to stop watching his fights. I've become sick of the guy.
Another topic I mention you to cover is Dillian Whyte. I was wondering what your opinion of him is? For me he is the most deluded heavyweight in boxing. In my opinion he is a good heavyweight in an average era (top 3 aside). He turns down 5 million to fight for 3 world titles with 90,000 fans. Ok he will probably make more money but surely legacy is more important (especially if the money is very good). He is now on the outside looking in with no opponent to fight. He won't fight Povektin or Ortiz and the top 3 are occupied. He then gets angry in interviews suggesting he was been screwed over. Seriously?
I know you will defend both guys but to me to they are both a massive letdown for boxing fans. Sadly we live in a world where the boxing fans are the in the least interest of some promoters and boxers.
Bread’s Response: In business whenever you’re offered something at a flat rate, it’s because someone knows they can make more residually. It’s a risk but that’s what business is.
Deontay Wilder bet on himself. We don’t have enough DATA to know if he was wrong or not. We have to see how much money he makes over the next few years compared to what he was offered.
If Deontay can somehow be a PPV star and push 1 million buys then you are wrong. I don’t know if will or will not. 100 million over 3 fights is a very lofty number. But Deontay is in a good spot, let me tell you why.
He decided to stay with PBC and PBC knows what he was offered. So they have to do everything in their power for him to make more over those 3 fights because if they don’t, Deontay will have fuel to leave. They have to promote the hell out of him. If you notice Deontay did an interview on CBS at the Final Four? Do you think that was a coincidence? Hell no it wasn’t. That’s huge exposure. The Final Four is much bigger than boxing and they have a bigger audience. Wilder’s handlers knew they had to make a big move and they used that platform.
I watch and support all boxing. But let me tell you something. An APP does not get promoted the way basic cable tv does. I just doesn’t have the same feel. The money is there but in my opinion the promotion isn’t. I know it’s in the early stages but….Deontay doesn’t want to just get paid. He want’s to be a transcendent star. Being on CBS will push him that way.
Before we say if his decision was right or not, let’s see how it plays out over the next year or so. I honestly don’t know if it was right or wrong. But I’m not impatient. I will give Deontay a fair chance to prove if he was right or wrong.
You have said on previous mailbox that if Ali didn’t beat Foreman only Larry Holmes would have had a chance of stopping him and that he could have dominated till the early 90’s, my question is you never mentioned Tyson which means you don’t think he had a chance of beating Foreman in the 80’s..I agree if Ali doesn’t beat Foreman he would dominate the 70’s and early 80’s but I’m not sure if he would get past Tyson under Cus Dmato and Kevin Rooney. How true are those rumors that Damato adviced Tyson to stay away from Foreman? And last but not least who wins these fights at their best
Fernando Vargas vs Tony Ayala
Chávez vs Pryor
Quartey vs Spence
Pacquiao vs Trinidad
Canelo vs Vargas
Morales vs Marquez
Bread’s Response: A prime Tyson has a chance vs everybody. My bad Mike Tyson. But looking back I think Foreman would have been all wrong for Tyson.
I think it’s 100% true what Dmato said about Foreman. I don’t think he warned Tyson to stay away from him because no one knew Foreman would come back in 1987. Dmato told Tyson about Foreman many years before when Tyson was a child.
However I do believe what he said resonated. Dmato told Tyson that no shorter heavyweight that bores into Foreman can beat him. Marciano, Dempsey just like Frazier had no chance. He pointed out that Foreman was too physically strong, his jab and uppercuts where too good and he knew how to steer a man. He also pointed out that Goerge Foreman is really an animal. A real killer and bully. If you notice no man ever beat Foreman attacking him. You had to move away from him or you could literally be killed.
So now George Foreman emerges in the 80s. The man that Tysons mentor told him that no heavyweight with Tyson’s style could beat. Tyson vs Foreman was a big fight in the 90s. It was viable. It was there and it could have been made. I love Tyson but I think he knew what Foreman was. My guts don’t lie to me about things like this.
There is a story. I’m not sure how true it is. But there was a time when Don King tried to make the fight. When Tyson got word of it, he told Don you fight that f%$# animal.
If you notice closely Tedy Atlas a protégé of Dmato’s attacked Foreman verbally at the press conference of Foreman vs Moorer. Atlas said things like you aren’t fooling me. I know what you are. You’re a con man. Atlas knew that Foreman was really a monster and this nice guy image he portrayed was not the man that Dmato had once told them about long ago.
In my opinion George Foreman is the strongest and most powerful man to ever walk in a boxing ring. His brute strength is unparalleled. In his prime he was 217 but he looked 235 because of his muscle mass. If you add in Foreman’s great technique and Olympic pedigree he actually gets underrated because of the Ali lost. He’s most likely 3rd or 4th ever at heavyweight but because his reign was not that long he’s often around 6-8. A shorter swarming fighter needs to stay clear of Foreman. He could literally get his neck broken.
Good match ups.
I would take Vargas over Ayala because we didn’t get to see enough of prime Ayala. He was a bad ass but his career was cut too soon.
Man I don’t know who wins Chavez vs Pryor. Some days I say Pryor other days I say Chavez. I probably say Pryor a little more but I think Chavez was more complete. It’s a tough choice.
Whew Quartey vs Spence. Get back to me in 2 years. That’s a WAR!
Pac vs Tito. Pac is better in a P4P sense but not head to head. At some point Tito would clip Pac.
At one time I would have picked Vargas over Canelo head to head. But I don’t know anymore. I don’t think Vargas could have stood up to GGG the way Canelo did. But styles make fights. Vargas’s best performance in my opinion was against Tito but he was brilliant that night. Vargas was a shooting star, his prime didn’t last long but he was super nasty with it. Canelo is flashier but I don’t know if he had the work rate to beat Vargas. Vargas worked and he had a nice mid range game. This fight is tough. Canelo moved past him legacy wise but the Vargas that beat Quartey, Wright and pushed Tito to mars, man I just don’t know.
Morales vs Marquez is another tough fight. Marquez had flashier punch technique and Marquez fought Pacquiao just excellent. But Marquez came back to earth a little bit vs his non Pac opponents. He was still great but it was a difference. He struggled badly with Barrera and I thought he was the recipient of a bad call. He lost to Freddy Norwood. I thought he beat Chris John but that was another close call. He even got dropped bad by Michael Katsiditis and had life and death with Juan Diaz.
Morales gets overlooked in the Mexican trio because although he was younger his prime seemed to come before theirs. Today I say Marquez by decision but the Morales of around 97-98 is just as good.
Good day Bread!
I was v intrigued by your comments on the young Errol Spence & how, at one point, Don Curry seemed bound for stardom but it never quite came off.
I remember Curry brutalising Milton McCrory,one of the Detroit Kronk guys, to unify the title & then coming to the UK to utterly outclass Colin Jones. At the time his stellar quality looked locked-on. Afterwards I heard McCrory was so dead at the weight he shouldn't have been fighting, but everyone was high on Curry & it was only a matter of time before he annexed the 154ib division & then fought Hagler.
Instead he ran into Honeyghan. I've heard so many US commentators claim Curry was dead at the weight. BS. He was probably tight at the weight but, so what? Guys like Sot Chitalada, Khaosai Galaxy & Arturo Gatti made entire careers out of being tight to the weight. Look at the fight & Curry takes devastating shots from Honeyghan over & again & stays on his feet. Are you telling me he could do that if he was dead at the weight? BS.
In truth, Lloyd had said long before that Curry, a thoughtful counter puncher who tended to go forward & backward in straight lines, was made for his, more ruffian, style of fighting. Honeyghan Curry seems to me really similar to Vernon Forrest v Mayorga. Forrest & Curry are probably close in ability with Forrest shading on defence & ring IQ & Curry definitely having an edge on power &, probably, hand speed. Honeyghan at his best, however, was definitely better than the best Mayorga. Sometimes a really skilful boxer who can evade the punches of another guy of similar, but lesser, technique, finds he just can't avoid shots thrown from wide angles by a brutal street fighter.
Unfortunately Honeyghan had horrible hand problems. Joe Calzaghe, who had similar issues, was able to re-invent himself as a volume-punching stylist but Lloyd couldn't do that. Stripped of his concussive power he became strictly a domestic level fighter.
Anyway, Bread, I'd love your more expert & technical thoughts on anything I've said.
Bread’s Response: I was just watching Honeyghan vs Curry at the airport. This is what the fans and public don’t realize. Any man can be beaten. Especially if he consistently faces the best available fighter and those fighters are in their primes.
I can remember the SPECIAL SPECIAL Salvador Sanchez facing Patrick Ford and Pat Caldwell. He struggled in both fights. Neither of those guys are viewed to be as good as Azumah Nelson or Wilfredo Gomez. But to consistently face the best available guy and that guy is in his prime you will have tough nights and it takes a special fighter to consistently overcome that.
I think Curry was great but he wasn’t Special. It really comes down to that. He had big legs and he may have been struggling to make weight. But Honeyghan was fast, he was confident and he was super sure of himself. He put hands on Curry form the beginning and when Curry made a prideful push, Honeyghan withstood it and pushed back.
I think Curry was an overall better fighter but just because you are better than someone it doesn’t mean you can beat them everytime. I have seen this before with Junior Jones vs Marco Barrera and Roy Jones vs Antonio Tarver. Sometimes a guy just catches you on his best night and his best throws you off. I think that was the case with Curry and Honeyghan.
Curry never sought a rematch. In upsets that big the favorite fighter usually runs in back. Chocolatito vs SSR. Lewis vs Rahman. Norris vs Brown. But Curry like Mike Tyson who never got revenge on Buster Douglas never ran it back. I think he knew Honeyghan would have always been all wrong for him. Watch that fight closely it wasn’t all luck. Honeyghan was ON but Curry was in shape and sharp. He just couldn’t pull it off that night. It’s boxing.
Good morning I have Peter Quillen losing this weekend
Bud will win by split decision against Amir Khan
Danny Garcia wins by decision against Granados
Charlo Beating Brandon Adams by decision
Charlo retaining his title against Tony Harrison by TKO
Danny Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez will be a split draw
Joshua and Fury will both win their fights
Wilder wins by KO within 6rds
keith Thurmans edges pacman
Errol Spence will beat Shawn Porter
Bread’s Response: Interesting predictions. If you are right I will give you super props.
You like Crawford by a split decision. So you think Khan gives him trouble…
I like DSG by decision over Granados also.
I like Charlo over Adams but I think this is a good fight. Adams is slick on the inside and if he can get underneath Charlo I think he can score points and win rounds.
Tony Harrison is the champion not Jermell Charlo. I don’t know about this fight. Harrison is simply a better boxer and has a better jab. Charlo has to push a pace that Harrison is not comfortable with. The fight depends on what pace Charlo can push. This is a tough one for me.
I can see a draw in Jacobs vs Canelo. This is a tough pick.
I like Joshua and Fury also.
I think Wilder has to get to Breazeale early. Breazeale is a grinder and the longer it goes the better his chances are.
Wait a second are Spence vs Porter and Thurman vs Pacman signed already? You must have an inside connect.
So I was watching a few clips of Spence/Garcia leading up to the fight and after the fight, and I paid attention to what you said about a month ago to pay attention to his circle and how tight they are. He literally has pretty much the same exact people every single camp and they like you said always wear those Team Spence matching jump suits/sweats/hoodies. They also don't really make any big scenes and get on with their business. Kind of describes Errol's mentality as well. That was a good catch by you, I see you're a deep thinker and I like that.
Anyways, let's stick with Spence for a second. A lot of these WWs who are calling him out wanted no part of him a few years ago or even a year ago. And I know you compared it to GGG's situation at MW. But I honestly think these WWs may have slipped a bit and have allowed Spence to start to peak. He's on top of his game and showing more to his game every fight. So essentially, because they were intentionally ignoring him and acting like he wasn't there, hurt them in the long run. Sure the money is going to be worth it now that Spence proved to do good numbers on PPVs, but they lessened their chances of actually winning the fight. They should have tried to push for him when he was a bit green. This is a serious dude who takes his craft serious and works hard. In a way, they deserve this and whatever potential beating they take from the hands of Spence.
Last thing, I like how you break down fights in terms of odds, so without even going into detail, how do you see these fights AS OF NOW:
Inoue vs Nery at 118
Rigo vs Nery at 122
Spence vs Thurman
Spence vs Crawford
Usyk vs Whyte
Bread’s Response: Spence has a good core team around him. That’s very important to a successful boxer. 90% of human beings operate better when there is order and no chaos. I see so many fighters who need mentors, don’t listen and won’t listen. Those guys don’t get better. They don’t pay their taxes. They always end up with money troubles. And in the boxing ring their talent shows at times but over time the TRUTH always comes out. Spence will be a fine champion in and out of the ring. And after his career is over.
I didn’t see anyone calling Spence out except Jaron Ennis, a young killer. When you’re young most often you fight because you want to be great. As you get older often times, not all the time, you put the business first and you fight for money. Errol represents a big pay day now to his fellow PBC welterweights. I hope all of the matches get made.
For as good as Errol is fighters view things from a fighter’s perspective. You know what they’re saying to themselves, “he hit Mikey all of the times and couldn’t drop or stop him.” That’s just how fighters think. It’s nothing wrong with it but it’s not always accurate.
For example Caleb Plant is viewed as a guy who’s not a big puncher. He went the distance with a few junior middleweights on his way up as a prospect. Then he gets in the ring with Uzi and guy who everyone thought would walk through him and Caleb drops him twice.
In boxing triangle and A,B,C theories don’t always work. We will soon find out if Spence is a big puncher at the top level. I think he’s a strong volume puncher but not a one punch striker like Davis, Inoue or Wilder. Let’s see if they are willing to fight Errol now.
Inoue vs Nery. Inoue 3 to 1 favorite.
Rigo vs Nery. Even money
Spence vs Thurman. Spence 12 to 5 favorite.
Spence vs Crawford. Even money basically. Crawford most likely will get the -105 slot. Spence +105. Slightly more people will pick Crawford but not by much. Tough fight to call.
Usyk vs Whyte. Usyk 2 to 1 favorite.
I heard Bob Arum saying Terence Crawford would beat Floyd Mayweather and I want your opinion on something; not whether Crawford would beat him but whether this version of Crawford (right now, in his prime) is a harder test than any of Floyd's other opponents.
I mean, we all know Floyd fought past their prime (not past it) versions of De La Hoya, Mosley, arguably Cotto, definitely Pacquaio, etc. So my question is, are Crawford and Spence better than anyone Floyd ever beat? PS - this is not an attempt to discredit the greatness of Floyd, this is simply me trying to measure up how good our top 2 are compared to the last era of WWs.
NEXT QUESTION - Why do people not trust the eyeball test nowadays? I say this in reference to Jarrell Miller. The overwhelming majority of fans seem to be only focusing on his record and acting like he is an easy fight for Anthony Joshua. But surely one look at how he fights tells us this is a monster of a man that is tough, relentless and aggressive. IMO his style (if his chin can hold out) will give AJ nightmares and we are looking at a close fight although I see AJ winning via UD.
Finally, with thought of Miller, I have heard world class trainer Joe Gallagher (Callum Smith and his brothers, Scott Quigg and others) say that those that come into boxing from a kick-boxing/mma background are always ultra tough and hard to KO, as they are used to taking elbows, knees and kicks. Do you agree? Is this a factor in judging how Miller - who has fought at the highest level of kickboxing - will do against AJ and beyond?
Good luck with J-Rock too bro.
Jazz from London
Bread’s Response: Bob Arum always says stuff like that about his current special fighter. He said it about Ali, Ray Leonard, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. So I expect him to say it about Crawford and Loma now. 2 years from now he’s going to be saying it about Teofimo Lopez.
The question you asked me is really, really good and tough to answer. Are the current forms of Crawford and Spence better than anyone Floyd has ever beaten? Wow let me think.
So who are actually the best fighters Floyd beat going by exactly when he fought them. I would say top 5 are Jose Luis Castillo 02, Diego Corrales 01, Oscar De La Hoya 07, Canelo 13 and Pacquiao 15. Maidana is 2014, Judah 06 and Marquez 09 all have cases.
So let’s think about this. On the night they fought Floyd who was better than this current version of Crawford and Spence.
Castillo was extremely good. I actually think he’s a HOF but his drop off and weight issues kill his chances. But his performances vs Floyd, wins over Casamayor, Johnston and Corrales are REAL. But I don’t think Castillo was better than these current versions of Crawford and Spence. Although I admit we need more data on Spence.
Corrales was very highly regarded and if I’m not mistaken he was the only fighter ever who was a betting favorite over Floyd. But I don’t think Corrales was better than Crawford or Spence.
Oscar had a better career thus far than Crawford or Spence. And in his prime he was most likely just as good if not better. But in 2007 at 34 would that have been the case. Oscar fought well that night but I just can’t say if he was better than Crawford and Spence. Was he a top 5 P4P guy in 2007. I would say no.
Canelo is an interesting case in 2013. He wasn’t the #1 P4P guy like Crawford is but Canelo was a bad boy in 2013. I would say he is even with this current version of Spence. But not what Crawford is. But it’s too hard to determine because Canelo has faced much better competition than Crawford and Spence. Competition faced is important. Canelo is younger than both and has fought better people. This is a really hard question.
Pacman was past his best days but he was still great. I don’t think the 36 yr old version of Pac is better than Crawford or Spence but what if Pac beat Spence this year. That would make Floyd’s win look as special as his Canelo win has become.
Maidana was a great test for Floyd. He was an animal. But I think that was more of a style and physical strength thing. I never viewed Maidana in that class.
Zab Judah is perplexing. On his best day he was tremendous. He is actually equally talented to Floyd physically and I believe he’s more physically gifted than both Crawford and Spence. But he lacks a certain mental application that Floyd exploited. Crawford has it and I believe Spence does too but I would like to see more. Judah gave Floyd fits because talent and physical tools are prevalent early. But once you get into to GRIT and mental part of the fight, is when took over.
Again at this point I would say Crawford is better than Judah because Crawford wouldn’t have the mental lapses to lose to a guy like Carlos Baldimor. I believe Spence does too but it’s harder to assess Spence because he’s only had 4 championship fights, so he’s still building.
Great question. I will say that this current version of Crawford may be the better than anyone Floyd beat but it’s not a given. Oscar and Canelo can challenge that. We just don’t know enough about Spence yet. Ask me next year. Let’s see if he can clean out the PBC locker room.
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