By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Adrien Broner's behavior, Felix Trinidad at welterweight, matching up Canelo Alvarez, the career of Adrien Broner, the career of Manny Pacquiao, and more.
I don't see any consternation over Broner calling Berstein a 'n!##er". Excused because Broner's black, crazy or both. Two way street my man - two way street.
Bread’s Response: I never got one email about what Broner said to Al Bernstein. I can’t make up an email to sooth your feelings. But you did the right thing. You wrote in about it.
I was mortified when I heard the exchange between Broner and Bernstein. It made me cringe. I felt bad for Bernstein. I don’t like seeing like that.
In boxing we have some media members who don’t have the empathy, knowledge or morals to interview fighters. Anyone with a smart phone can do it and some even more qualified media members are rude to people in boxing. But I don’t view Al Bernstein as one of those people he’s excellent and highly qualified but I can’t speak on any personal knowledge of a personal relationship between Broner and Bernstein, I just don’t know why Broner doesn’t like Bernstein. So I can’t say if he has a valid reason or not.
Do you feel better? I feel like you attacked my morality because I didn’t speak on something I was never ASKED about.
Why isn't felix trinidad considered one of the best welter weights.... His numbers were perfect... Knockout ratio was astronomical.. Sold out arenas... Was a gentleman in and out the ring.. My guessing is that maybe he refused to talk English... Some say he was a nationalist... He fought all contenders..
Bread’s Response: I consider Felix Trinidad a top 10 welterweight ever. Eye Ball Test, Competition Faced, Competition Missed and Accomplishments. He rates high. Most historians have Tito in their top 10 at 147 and welterweight is the most talented division ever.
I also believe he’s top 10 ever at 154 and top 10 fighters of the 90s which was a great decade for boxing. I think Tito gets his props. Occasionally someone will bring up the hand wrap incident before the Hopkins fight crediting his power to illegal wraps, which is absolute HOGWASH. Comparing Tito to Margarito is irresponsible. But other than that Tito Trinidad was the real deal. He’s on the lower half of the ATG top 100 in my opinion.
I just binge watched all SRL fights available of youtube. I had previously only seen his fights with Mayweather, kalule, Hearns, Hagler, Benitez, Duran and Lalonde. The man could box as well as brawl with the most insane pressure fighters and switch his style at will against outfighters. I mean, on one hand I saw him beat some 'stick and move' guys by taking the fight too them and on the other hand I saw his dance circles around others. Either way, he always won. Outfighters, swarmers, sluggers, slick southpaws, crab style, insane stick and move guys. He fought them all. Also wanted to talk about his fight against Norris. Unlike the article by Pat Putnam on boxrec, I felt that his legs were very much there. It was his hands that were gone. He was dancing circles in the first 3 rounds and Norris was boxing moving forward. In the remaining 9 rounds, mostly Leonard boxed moving forward. I noticed three things - 1. Norris was beating him to the punch 2. Leonard’s punches were not hurting Norris at all 3. Leonard’s punch resistance was lower than usual. All of this can be explained by his age, inactivity and far less than spartan lifestyle. What I do not understand is how come Leonard was hesitant to pull the trigger? He lost so many opportunities when he cornered Norris. He kept cornering Norris and forced him to exchange but he was hesitant to throw punches himself. Quite often even when he cornered Norris, he hesitated to pull the trigger for so long that Norris ended up throwing a combination before Leonard. This is the same guy who loved exchanging with opponents in danger zone. It’s like he was afraid of taking hits. What explains his hesitation to throw punches in that fight? Age, inactivity and less than spartan lifestyle can affect a fighter physically but they do not change how a fighter is wired mentally. It's not like he took a brutal loss like Roy before fighting Norris. What do you think happened to Leonard that night?
Also, what happened to Hearns in the Hagler fight. He did not exactly get rocked by a punch. It looked like he punched himself out in first round itself. The pace in the first round was indeed intense but how come his cardio was so bad that night. His legs were so wobbly in the second round. Incidentally, that was his first fight at middleweight. He even fought at light middleweight once again after that fight, hence we cannot say that it was weight cut. He did outgrow the middleweight division midway through his tenure at middleweight but definitely not when he faced Hagler. It was some Klitschko vs Brewster type of sh*t. He gassed out unusually fast. What do you think happened that night?
Mythical Matchup - Mccallum vs Mayweather at 154.
Bread’s Response: If you want to see some special Leonard. Watch him before he even won the title. Watch him vs Andy Price, Pete Ranzany and Daniel Gonzales. Watch him win the Gold Medal in the Olympics vs the great Cuban fighter. Roy Jones is commonly viewed as the most naturally gifted fighter ever. But give Leonard the eye ball test early in his career and get back to me.
Being a Ray Leonard fan I’ve probably seen 30 of his 40 career fights. I saw him peak out and then I saw him decline. The truth is he peaked out vs Bruce Finch in 1982. If his eye was not injured he would have went to another stratosphere. Instead of being top 10 ATG, he would’ve been next to Sugar Ray Robinson. Leonard was 25 years old and 32-1 after he calmly disposed of Bruce Finch.
But you have to take into consideration when he fought. He fought in the 80s. There was no such thing as a fighter being better in his 30s than he was in his 20s. There was no such thing as taking off for years at a time then becoming better or maintaining your peak. Recovery methods, PEDs and matchmaking are different in this era.
So after watching Leonard carefully I observed that he lost his punch resistance slowly but surely. Leonard was never knocked down in 33 career fights from 76-82. Then he takes off 2 years and what happens, he gets dropped by Kevin Howard? He takes off again for 3 years and fights Marvin Hagler. He zoned out vs Hagler and that was the last time he was special. He then fights Don Lalonde and gets dropped. He fights Tommy Hearns and gets dropped twice. He fights Duran again and gets buzzed. He fights Terry Norris and gets dropped multiple times. Then he fights Hector Camacho and gets dropped multiple times.
Back to the Norris fight. I think Ray Leonard by 1991 was 50% of his prime. But that fight solidified to me that he’s top 10 ever because I can’t imagine another fighter being so depleted against an all time great junior middleweight, getting dropped 3 times, hit in the back of the head on the canvas multiple times and still going the distance. Leonard’s toughness and RING IQ are of the highest level.
In 1991 Leonard had not fought below 160lbs in 10 years. So making weight, fighting a killer who was 11 years younger, who had lighting hand and foot speed, would be too much for just about anyone in history under those circumstances. I also think that Leonard didn’t realize how good Norris was. He didn’t realize that Norris was also special and go on to be a HOF.
As you get older you become more docile. That’s why ko% go down as you age. Being a savage is a temperament. Leonard was not a killer anymore in 1991. I know men that have murdered people in their 20s, who are gentle people in their 40s and would only hurt you if you put them in peril. Life changes you.
Taking punches consistently also allows you to take punches better. To not take a punch for years at a time does not help in the aspect of taking punches. It’s why I don’t play around and spar anymore. I haven’t sparred in over 10 years and it would take time to acquire the taste for that again.
Lot’s of things contributed to Leonard looking like that in 1991. But overall he was just a shot fighter, with a big name, who still could win fights and Norris was the wrong kid to pick on. Most older great fights don’t mess around with a great fighter of the oncoming era. Leonard did and he paid for it dearly.
Hagler fought arguably the greatest fight in history vs Hearns. A gamble like that in a super fight is unprecedented. Hagler could have also burned out but he knew what he was going to do so his mind was prepared to exert that much energy. Hearns was shocked and he never recovered. Hagler was viewed as the methodical heavy handed fighter who wore his opponents down. Hearns was the dynamic early round blitzer.
I will equate what he did in endurance terms. If someone is training you and they put you on the treadmill. Imagine they start you out at 10 MPH without giving you warning and they keep it there. It’s going to gas you and gas you badly. But if the trainer starts you out at 4MPH, then gradually takes you up to 10MPH you can handle 10 MPH much better because your heart rate is used to it. Hearns never got acquired to the pace of that fight.
Hearns’s temperament also lost that fight for him. Had he held, walked Hagler and not tried to fight fire with fire, Hagler could have shot his load. No middleweight could have kept that pace for 12 rounds. But Hearns ran full speed with him and never recovered.
Mike McCallum is too big for Floyd Mayweather at 154. McCallum is better than Oscar, Canelo of 2013 and Cotto at 154. McCallum has a case for the best fighter ever at the weight. He’s tall and very long and he had an iron chin. He also had a supreme skillset. That’s a tough fight for any ex 130 pounder.
Your mailbag has become my favorite boxing fix and I hope you just continue doing this for the foreseeable future. In this time of sellouts and uncomfortable journalistic compromises for lucrative gigs I think I speak for most of your readers when I say we value your unbiased and unburdened insights.
The way you told how Pacquiao's career has so far unfolded will most likely be how boxing history will see him years from now. How do you think history judges Manny's nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez? He had titles in four weight classes and evolved into a more fan-friendly fighter as he moved up in weight, does all this make him as one of Mexico's top three boxers of all time? Will his reluctance to fight Pacquiao for a fifth time after scoring that brutal one-punch knockout cost him much in the way of boxing history's consensus all-time rankings?
How do you see Canelo-Jacobs unfolding? Canelo was able to take GGG's power in exchanges and had the more visually convincing punches, do you think Jacob can win the judges over against the house fighter? Can he do something that GGG was not able to do in two tries and knock Canelo out?
What do you think of Victor Conte's comments on Errol Spence? Is this just part of pre-fight psych wars or is there more truth to this than that?
Finally, should Pacquiao come up with a performance that would summon images of his peak on Saturday--a knockout of Broner--what fights do you see him taking? Will he go for the top dogs at welterweight or just simply continue biting at the fringes but never truly challenging the current kings?
Thank you and more power!
Bread's Response: I think Marquez is a top 100 ATG fighter. He's the best combination puncher of his era. He's also the most resilient. However, He's great but he sort of had Pac Man's number in way. Here is what I mean. Marquez lost to Tim Bradley but Bradley couldn't do much with Pac. Marquez fought Barrera pretty much even with a terrible call from the referee but Barrera couldn't do much with Pac. Marquez had life and death with Juan Diaz and Michael Katsiditis. Two guys that Pac would most likely dominate. Marquez would not be favored to beat Miguel Cotto but yet he was able to fight Pac better. I love Marquez as a fighter and as great as he was, his greatness is embellished with how good he handled Pac compared to his contemporaries. He fought Pac so good Oscar went out and got Marquez's trainer thinking it would help and Pac smoked Oscar.
the 2 best Mexican fighters in my opinion are Salvador Sanchez and Julio Cesar Chavez. The 3rd spot is up for grabs. Marquez has an argument but so does Ricard Lopez and a few others. We also have to realize the legacy that Canelo is making for himself. No Mexican fighter has ever excelled as high up in weight as Canelo.
Marquez not fighting Pac for the 5th time doesn't hurts legacy. But I would have liked to seen them both fight each other under VADA. none of their fights were done under VADA.
Any fighter can be knocked out including Canelo. I think Canelo vs Jacobs is a great fight.
I don't know what Victor Conte said about Errol Spence.
I think Pacman if his eye heals up will take another tough fight. He's crazy. He doesn't care. I expect to see him fight Errol Spence, Mikey Garcia, Danny Garcia or Shawn Porter next.
What's up Bread?
How do you think Canelo Alvarez would do against the following fighters? (assuming he is at his peak right now)
1. Sergio Martinez circa 2009-2011
2. Kelly Pavlik circa 2007-2008
3. Jermain Taylor circa 2005-2007
4. Bernard Hopkins circa 1998-2003
Also, what are your initial thoughts on Canelo's May 4th showdown with Daniel Jacobs?
William in West Palm
Bread’s Response: Canelo is getting greater. He’s on the verge of a special career. At one point all of these guys would have been favorite over him. Not anymore.
I think Canelo vs Martinez would be a controversial fight. Martinez had very fast feet and he threw a high volume of shots. But if you look at Martinez closely he made a lot of mistakes and despite being shifty he could be hit. See Matthew Macklin fight. Going against the grain I think Canelo would have beaten Martinez on their best days.
Pavlik vs Canelo is tough. Pavlik was dog tough, he had a real power and real a jab. But I think Pavlik lacked athleticism and he would have been a big target for the sharpshooting Canelo. I say he beats Pavlik in a WAR. Just judge friendlier punches save the day for the red head.
Jermaine Taylor had the physical attributes to beat Canelo. But his IQ and weird stamina would hurt him. Taylor didn’t like boxers and was outboxed for too long by Cory Spinks for me to pick him over Canelo.
Bernard Hopkins would have beaten Canelo in my opinion. Hopkins peak is next level high and he would move Canelo around, jab with him and counter him with right hands. The Hopkins that beat Tito has a chance vs Robinson and Monzon. He was that good. Canelo is great but he’s not there yet.
I think Canelo vs Jacobs is a great fight but right now the edge goes to Canelo. The reason being is Canelo’s still improving and Canelo has a machine behind him. You have to be able to WIN 8 rounds CLEAN vs Canelo in order to beat him. He’s a great fighter and 8 CLEAN rounds are not easy to win against him. Only Floyd Mayweather was able to do that and one judge thought Floyd only won 6 clean rounds.
Jacobs is a serious talent and excellent fighter but be honest can he win 8 rounds without any dispute from 2 out of 3 judges? That’s the real question. Now 7 rounds should be enough but considering Canelo’s A side appeal, great display of skill and loud judge friendly punches it’s very difficult. I’m not suggesting Canelo gets gifts because I don’t believe that. He’s special. What I am suggesting is that he gets the benefit of every close round he’s had up until this point in his entire career. Even vs Mayweather and GGG he always got the benefit of doubt. Even vs Trout and Lara he always got the benefit of doubt. …..
Jacobs would have a tough time with Canelo on exactly even terms but on the perceived terms that Canelo holds it will be tougher. Jacobs can win and I expect him to be LIVE but winning those 8 CLEAN undisputable rounds vs Canelo is the hardest task in boxing right now.
Please enough already with Adrian Broner !!! He’s a fraud a clown and a punk ( so disrespectful to some great commentators who are just doing they’re job - Al Bernstein and Jim Gray ) Yes I give him some credit for being a four division champion although he was matched properly but four divisions are still four divisions but he is 3-3-1 in his last seven flights and it sickens me that he is being compared to some underachievers like Zab Judah and macho Camacho who Adrian Brohner is not in either one of their leagues !!! True thoughts please ? Howie
Bread’s Response: I won’t degrade Broner or over embellish him I will tell it exactly how it is. But let’s be kind to Broner although he’s been rude to people. I think Broner can go to a bad place and he deserves empathy.
First off we have to understand what Manny Pacquiao is. Broner can’t beat Manny on Broner’s best day. Manny is a top 25 all time talent. He’s a MASTER in the ring. He’s evolved now to a point where he can outbox talented fighters 11 years younger.
Manny is short with fairly short arms but his long range game is better than 95% of the fighters today. He also knows how to cut the distance and follow your fist back to proper position so lack of height does not affect him as much. He has the best counter I have ever seen when an orthodox fighter jabs him. He slides his head to the right and shoots out his left hand. If you try to hook him he rolls under simultaneously touching your belly with his left hand. If you try to hit him with a right hand he parries it and leans off then he follows it back with a 1-2 of his own that’s how hit Broner with the big 1-2. Manny has an answer for most of the things that try to get done vs him. Broner has speed but Manny’s mind is much quicker at solving problems in a boxing ring.
The best way to beat Manny is to CONTROL him. CONTROL his attacks and control his patented counters. Have him guessing while your scoring. Marquez can hang with Manny because he’s a freak counter puncher and he’s dead game tough. But he never controlled Manny’s violence towards him. They just took turns beating the crap out of each other. Only Floyd Mayweather controlled him. Floyd made the fight less violent while still scoring points.
Speaking of Floyd Mayweather that is Adrien Broner’s biggest curse. The comparison. They both started at 130lbs. They both are from Midwest fighting cities. They both have flashy urban personalities. The Problem for Broner is he was compared to a boxing SAVANT. Floyd is next level special and Broner is just a talented kid. Floyd cut his teeth with fighters like Genaro Hernandez, Angel Manfredy and Diego Corrales at 130. I can’t remember an elite fighter Broner fought at 130. Floyd cut his teeth vs Jose Luis Castillo at 135, Broner had a solid win vs Antonio Demarco at 135 but he’s no where near Castillo. Broner jumped to 147 to fight Paulie Malignaggi and struggled and it didn’t alarm anyone. Floyd took his time and fought Demarcus Corley at 140. I don’t know if Broner can beat a prime Corley.
Floyd then fought Gatti at 140 in a nice little PPV and continued to groom himself for the BIG TIME. He took on Zab Judah at 147 but he was 29 years old and he was ready for the huge money at a tough weight. Broner went from Malignaggi to Marcos Maidana at 24 years old. It was his down fall. By the time they moved him back down to 140 the down hill spiral started.
Now in reality Broner most likely would have never been as good as Floyd. But he was moving so much faster than Floyd was at similar stages his chances lessened. He was never as good as Floyd at any point in his career and more importantly he wasn’t groomed by his matchmaking to be as good. Matchmaking and managing are NOT the same. Broner has the best management ever. He’s made the most money someone of his accomplishments has ever made. He stays on the huge platform. But his matchmaking didn’t give him the best chance to be Floyd Mayweather. He was literally moving 5 years faster than Mayweather was and they turned pro around the same age.
I don’t know who’s to blame but that’s the reality. However, It’s not about blame it’s about responsibility. Broner is responsible for his own career. He’s responsible for training properly. He’s responsible for keeping his weight in order and developing his craft. Broner is 29 and on a down slope. Where as Floyd was 29 and he was going upwards. One of the reasons Broner jumped two weight divisions was he lost his lightweight title on the scales. Floyd never had trouble making any weight he fought at. So maybe the matchmaking was due to Broner’s lifestyle and they knew they couldn’t take their time….
Another problem Broner had was the perception of him. Because he’s black and he has fast hands and had sharp athleticism he was viewed as a tremendous boxer. He’s not. He’s an athletic brawler with some boxing skills. If you look at his best performances all are at 130 or 135 and he’s man handling fighters, walking them down and beating them up to the head and body. Broner beat people with athleticism and physicality. He was also a lights out finisher before moving up.
Only 4 other men besides Broner have won titles at 130 or below and then won the welterweight title. Henry Armstrong, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Welterweight was each of their ceiling weights although Oscar was a handful at 154. All for the exception of Armstrong became more boxer than puncher at 147. Armstrong has the best gas tank in history and he’s quite possibly the strongest fighter ever in a P4P sense….
So now we have Adrien Broner relying on power and physicality at his ceiling weight instead of boxing skills. He’s never evolved into a good enough boxer to do that. Besides Armstrong no one in history ever has. It’s simply too big of a weight jump to assume you can just keep bullying and walking fighters down without applying more boxing skills. This is Broner’s biggest problem. He’s strong and he can punch. But those attributes have no where near the same effect at 130 that they have at 147. His low volume wasn’t a huge factor at those weights because his punches did more damage and the opponents couldn’t hurt him as much. With Broner’s low volume he has to be either one of two things. A brutal puncher or a master boxer who rarely gets hit and gives points back. He’s neither.
Broner is not as good as Judah or Camacho. He’s a tier below them. Camacho was a great fighter and HOF. Judah was extremely good and won a unified title at 147 and a few championships vs solid fighters at 140. Judah did more than Broner did and he competed at a higher level in a tougher era.
Pretty interesting week of boxing, I’ll get right to my main points. Manny Pacquiao at 40yrs old is a far cry from the terror of his 2008-2112 apex, but in my humble estimation, he remains a very difficult fighter to defeat. Can you recall a fighter of his relative age, that still possessed his seemingly boundless energy reserves? It’s the most impressive aspect of this current iteration of the PAC-Man. I thought he badly hurt Broner (who has VERY underrated toughness) at least twice, clearly controlled the action with his vastly superior boxing skills at all times and was the smarter, busier and yes, better fighter at age 40. In fact he is better still at age 40 than Broner has ever been or will be. #HARDFACTS
Ok, let’s talk about WHO exactly Manny did beat. 29yr old Broner lost 9-10 rounds, was badly outworked, at times just as badly hurt and by the last two rounds of the fight by my layman’s eyes appeared to be in pure survival mode. All against a 40yr old -admittedly ATG-Pacquiao. This after spending the entire week behaving like, well Broner, making it difficult to root for him, insulting poor Al Bernstein and declaring he’d prove against Pacquiao he was one of the best ever. So how did Broner’s exaggerated ego handle such a cold dish of reality? Pretty well, if you like delusional behavior, blaming everyone other than himself for his short comings and talking tough with Jim Gray, whom he declared he’d be undefeated against.
Manny beat a guy -impressively yes-who every time he steps up to elite competition disappoints. I hate to say it, but if this was Floyd critics would be killing him for cherry picking. How is this so different than say Mayweather/Berto? Actually that’s an interesting question I’d pose to you, who is the better fighter, that version of Berto or last nights version of Broner? I think Broner stops him late...
-For everybody killing Crawford for fighting Khan, what would you have him do? He’s 32yrs old and has no big names on his resume. Khan, if anything, brings that and let’s be very honest for a moment. For a fighter who is more unfairly defined by his defeats than anyone since perhaps Thomas Hearns-who at least has ATG status to fall back on-Khan has several nice wins over top contenders/titlists Judah, , Algeri, Alexander & Maidana. I think he’s arguably Bud’s best opponent and inarguably his biggest name. Plus he has historically performed well against boxer punchers-that being said I still like Crawford by late K.O
-Khan haters should ask themselves this also, why were Mayweather & Pacquiao fights never made? He would have been a good B-Side to either and they both would have been huge favorites. I’m guessing someone, be it the fighters themselves or in their teams thought he was all wrong. Or am I just crazy?
A quick word on Canelo
I AM NOT a fan. I think he’s a CHEATER, who due to his ties to Golden Boy gets every break imaginable. But you can’t dispute his resume GGG twice, Floyd, Lara, Trout, Cotto and now Jacobs. Fascinating fight, neither guy has put together a dominant win over an ELITE opponent. It’s a tough tough fight for Jacobs Bread because It’s going to be hard winning a Decision over Canelo ask Lara or GGG -he even somehow got a draw against Floyd!!!!!!-also, despite how much fight fans such as myself detest him, he’s a GREAT talent & only getting better. If I have to pick one of these two to step up and claim the moment, I’m selecting Canelo. I think his temperament suggests so , which coupled with the fact that I don’t think we’ve seen his ceiling yet and Jacobs is at least in view, I like Canelo by a close, 12RD W. I think Jacobs is very good. But looking back at his fight with GGG, I think you can strongly argue, the 160lb Boogeyman started slipping as far back than. Jacobs could have grabbed the brass ring that night, but instead I thought he fought just well enough to lose a close fight. Unfair?
Bread’s Response: I have never seen an UBER energy fighter excel like Pacquiao at his age. He’s the 1st in boxing history. By the time Aaron Pryor was 32 he was done. Ricky Hatton was done at 30. Roberto Duran was still around but he was a laid back crafty counter puncher and in fighter. Henry Armstrong was done. Julio Cesar Chavez was on a down slide. Jeff Fenech was done. Chiquita Gonzales was done. Roman Gonzalez has already slipped.
I just named HOF or great high energy shorter fighters. What Manny is doing is remarkable. I’m even more impressed he’s been doing it mostly under VADA.
Let me tell you something. Broner was IN SHAPE and he was sharp. I know it when I see it. Broner’s trainers had him ready to rock. He just couldn’t mentally compute what was happening to him. Manny is just the better fighter.
I don’t think Manny was cherry picking. Broner was a reasonable fight. I would take last night’s Broner over Berto that Floyd beat. It’s not by much but I think Broner is a little more talented, he reached a slightly higher peak and he’s physically tougher and takes a better punch. Berto is a better puncher at 147 but I don’t know if he could take the huge shots Broner takes. Broner has a serious chin and physical toughness.
I’m not criticizing Crawford for picking Khan. Lots of top guys turned Crawford down so he kept offering the fight and finally Khan took it. Crawford is the champion fighters should be going after him but instead he’s offering fights to them. It’s completely not his fault.
I think you may have a point. Khan has a real strong case for being the best fighter Crawford has ever faced. He’s certainly the most accomplished that’s not up for debate.
The difference in Crawford and Khan is their IQ. Khan can box with Crawford for sure. But Khan has to mature in this fight if he wants to WIN and not just compete for a few rounds. Khan is always using the excuse he had too much heart or he didn’t think an opponent could hurt him for why he lost certain fights or didn’t look good. But I don’t view it as having too much heart. I view it as having a lack of IQ masked as having too much heart.
Khan has to be humble and realize at this level he has to box and not over punch or exchange. Period. It’s not about having heart. We already know he will fight anybody. He doesn’t have to prove his heart ever again. But what he has to do is prove his RING IQ and execute a game plan for 12 rounds vs the world’s best fighter. It’s a TALL task but not an impossible one. Khan has to fight the urge to be confrontational in this fight. He has to channel his emotions to fighting the best fight for him and not use heart or anything else as an excuse to fight with no IQ.
I favor Crawford against the field at 147 or below except for Errol Spence which I view as a pick em fight. But Khan does have the ability to make this very interesting. We will see if Amir grows up or not.
Khan has an excellent resume. One more big win or a nice title win at 147 and he has a strong HOF case. I always thought he had a chance vs Manny or Floyd in his prime but it’s hard to pick him to win because of the IQ factor. Khan doesn’t seem to know when he’s being set up for a big shot. And if that is the case it would be hard to beat the 2 ATG. But I get your point he would be a nightmare for either guy stylistically.
I agree with exactly everything you said about Canelo. He’s super talented and he’s fought Murderer’s Row for this era. I also think he used PEDs. I also think he’s getting better. I also agree that Canelo has the temperament to do great in big moments. I often am at odds with myself regarding Canelo. It really aggravates me that one of my favorite fighters had 2 positive drug test because I don’t like viewing him from all of these different angles. But if you are objective about him he you have to view him from the angles he gave us to view him from. He’s a great fighter who is approaching ATG status who happened to use PEDs. Wow boxing is something, when you can say that all in the same sentence.
Jacobs can pull this off but he’s going to have to be better than he ever was before. Allowing for multiple swing rounds in a competitive fight is just not enough to beat Canelo. You have to be Pernell Whitaker vs Greg Haugen level good. Or Bernard Hopkins vs Tito Trinidad level good. There can be no room for subjective preference favoring Canelo. Maybe Danny Jacobs will rise to the occasion and fight a perfect fight. I can’t wait for this one.
Hey Bread! How are you?
Hope the timing for this question isn't bad given how badly Manny just beat him, but do you think 4-time champion Adrien Broner gets into the HOF?
Have a good one!
Bread’s Response: I don’t know if Broner gets in the HOF. But I doubt if he does. I hope he’s able to get 1 or 2 really good wins vs a top 5 divisional opponent to secure his spot.
Winning 4 titles in 4 divisions is not enough in this era. It’s who you beat for those titles and what you did in those divisions. That’s why I never criticize GGG for staying at 160lbs. Could you imagine asking who had the better career Broner or Golovkin?
Division jumping is very dependent on matchmaking and resources.
It’s been a long time. Dave Sappor from the UK – we used to vibe a bit during the boxingtalk.com days when the May-Pac 5 year debate was scorching hot. I’ve just recently caught you on boxingscene and as usual you are STILL dropping serious knowledge and facts brother
I was really amped up about your recent HIGH CHARACTER mailbag in which you put together a rough hit-list of high character fighters over the past decade – one of the guys you mentioned on that list was Carl Froch.
When you talk about Carl ‘The Cobra’ Froch then yes he was a fighter of high character inside and outside the ring. Just before he became really famous, pre SUPER-6 days I used to train in the same gym as the Cobra in Lonodn.
In the 2 years that Carl trained there from 2008 to 2010 I learned a lot about what makes the character of CHAMPION. My changing locker was right opposite to The Cobra’s. He was THE MOST down to earth unaffected fighter I have ever met next to Ricky Hatton.
Everyday Carl would ride is motorbike to the REAL FIGHTCLUB in the heart of London and get changed with all the regular joe public guys and he was always jovial but watching him prepare was like watching an SAS solider gear up for war – he never spoke much, just took off his motorcycle gear and strapped on his Boxing kit. Then he would make his way up to the gym and wrap his hands where Rob McCraken would be waiting to oversee his training. I can tell you now there is a reason Carl Froch is called the Cobra – Its not because of his fighting style..its because of his physical V-shape. His lats are very impressive and that is down to all the wide-gripped PULL-UPS that he did every day. I learned a lot from watching this man train – mental fortitude; HE NEVER ONCE COMPLAINED and even if he had an injury he would just press on. Once I plucked up the courage to ask Carl about his training regimen – He is a big believer in natural bodyweight exercises. He said a fighter should be able to lift is own bodyweight – He also told me that 100% of his work was structured on a PYRAMID sequence system – Same with with AB’s and legs and arms. He did all these with different configurations the shock his body. After that if was padwork with McCracken and then SPARRING. I have seen the Cobra OUTBOXED many many times in gym but what I found remarkable was his tenacity.
He NEVER gave up. Even against sparring partners who got the better of him Cobra would keep pressing until he wore them down. Moments that would discourage most fighters did not deter Carl.
McCracken brought in this slick black fighter with an urban style that has always troubled Froch. Check Hooks, Angles all bouncing off Cobras headguard and after the fusilade of punches all you saw was Frochs head straighten back into place like the terminator, walk through the smoke bite down and hunt the guy down.
He saw mistakes as a learning experience and he looked forward to correct those mistakes in next round or next day. And the man was so humble that he would ask me how I thought he did in the session. I was just a regular office worker who hung around the gym during my lunch period! I did get a request to spar him one afternoon for a few rounds. I bitched out. LOL!!
But that was the fighter known as the Cobra. We spoke about the greats. I asked him about Ali...not a big fan. Okay how would you have done against Roy Jones Jr? Carl said that he would not have liked to face Roy in his prime but he didn't give the impression he would turn the fight down. That's what high character is. Taking on the TOUGH JOBS and not cherry picking your way through. After SPARRING he would refuel with protein fuel Supplements and go home to rest. Carl has a High School Diploma in Sports Studies so he told me how kept track of his fitness records and personal best times.
He told me how much time a fighter should lay off having sex before a fight. And we always had a long evening swim after gym sessions. Then the next day he would start all over again. This was what I call ELITE LEVEL training and it struck me that if this was the level of training required to be CHAMPION then you simply have to knock partying on the head. You can't live a party lifestyle and train like Carl Froch. In my view only 5% of the world's population can do it. Maybe Im exaggerating but you know what I mean.
That just shows you how VERY VERY SPECIAL ANDRE WARD is because it takes that calibre of fighter to defeat Carl Froch. And that's the beauty of seeing fighters up close because you gain PERSPECTIVE. Through Carl Froch I kind of know how special WARD is just like i knew how foolish it was for George Groves to rile Froch during a face off and challenge him to a HAND SHAKE GRIP CONTEST.
YouTube it. At the end of the face off both men shake hands but Groves trys to go further and attempts to pull Froch over the table towards him! Hahaha. I just laughed watching that because I already knew that was a big mistake. Carl says REALLY you wannn pull....Froch pulls Grooves over to him Effortlessly with a huge sh*t grin on his face! So that's my two pence I just had to add to your mailbag.
Keep punching Breadman.
Bread’s Response: Thank you brother. I will admit that I was not a big fan of Carl Froch’s style. But I was a huge fan of Carl Froch’s character. He was in every fight he ever had regardless of the separation talent. Froch had absolutely no front runner in him at all. His conditioning was impeccable and that in itself lets you know how high his character is. He wasn’t fast or sharp but he put hands on his opponents because he had the will power to land his shots. His chin was iron and whenever it was dented he got up and conducted himself like a champion. Froch was better in the later rounds than he was in the earlier ones.
Froch was knocked down and losing to Jermaine Taylor and he just kept plucking away. I thought he lost to Andre Dirrell but nevertheless he gave the judges the impression that his will was breaking Dirrell. Kessler was lighting him up in both fights but Froch’s will aloowed him to split fights with the underrated Kessler. Lucian Bute was undefeated and looked at as the 2nd best super middleweight in the world. Right after the tournament Froch destroys Bute and Bute never exercised his rematch clause.
Froch took on a young stud in George Groves, overcame a terrible start and knocked him out. Then he did it again in the rematch.
The only thing Froch didn’t do was beat Andre Ward. Ward had equal character to Froch but more god given ability…..
Many of these fighters in this era could learn a thing or two from Froch. And for the record he fought his entire career at 168. HOF fighter. And a divisional great at 168. He did it all with character and conditioning.
I have a sort of an off brand question. I know you love all sports. Why do you think it’s so hard to get into the baseball HOF and not so much boxing? PED use in baseball is not tolerated that way it is in boxing, in boxing we know who the cheaters are and they are enabled. Brady or Montana? Lebron or MJ? Do you think there will ever be a similar debate in boxing Ray Robinson or…?
Bread’s Response: I just posted this on my social media. The Baseball HOF is the best HOF of all pro sports. Nothing subjective is 100% but in baseball it’s much harder to receive the ultimate individual award for players.
In baseball if your stats are common you have to have uncommon longevity or win at an uncommon rate. In order for your stats to be considered exceptional they have to stand on a 100 year curve. If it’s proven or strong circumstancial evidence that you used PEDS you get penalized. They even keep bettors out. In boxing proven cheaters and slightly above average fighters are consistently rewarded by going to the HOF.
I don’t know why but my guess is the individuals who vote in baseball are more qualified. I guess it really comes down to that.
Brady or Montana is a tough one for me. Whenever I am asked to compare players of opposing eras I always consider how each guy would do in the contrasting era. I factor in rules and style of play. Here is what I came up with in the Brady or Montana debate.
Winning Super Bowls seems to be the luxury argument but I always ask how come Terry Bradshaw is not top 10 ever. How come Troy Aikman is not? Bradshaw won 4 in a 6 year run. Aikman won 3 in 4 years. Football is the ultimate team sport.
Quarterbacks don’t play defense, special teams, kick, or call every play. I get that it’s the most important position but coaching is more important. When I 1st watched Tom Brady I thought he was a great game manager and system player. That’s no insult but that is the impression I got. When I 1st saw Joe Montana I thought he was a great individual player and a great team player. As time went on Brady evolved into a great individual player. They’re both players who’s sum total outweighs their parts. They make every throw they have to. And they perform better in the last part of the game better than they play the front part. Clutch gene.
Montana put up excellent but not mind boggling stats in a non throwing era. Brady put up excellent stats in a throwing era. Brady has more longevity but Montana played in a much harder era physically. They both would translate in contrasting era. Both have Mt. Rushmore clutch genes.
Watching football the way I do I’ve always said that a prime Peyton Manning was the most important player I’ve ever seen to one team. I’ve always thought that Manning is guy you want for 1 season. I’ve always thought that Montana was the guy who you want for one game. But I openly will take him over Manning. Tom Brady is the guy who I would want for a whole career because of his consistent winning and longevity. This will be his 9th super bowl.
So for one game give me Lil Joe. For a career give me Tom. One more disclaimer. When watching the Patriots play I am sure that Bill Bellichek is the greatest coach. I watch him consistently be the best observant of football talent in history and simply stick players in spots were they excel. These plays are not as good before they play for him and after they leave him. I watched what he did with Matt Cassell the season Brady went down.
As much as I respect Brady, I don’t get the impression he’s more important than Bellichek. Their system is impeccable. I get the impression that Jimmy Garrafollo would have had a terrific season also. I get the impression that Bellichek can put a competent player of his assessment in any position and excel. He’s done it for 17 years without many sure ballot HOF except for Brady. That’s what makes this hard for me. But again I will settle it on 1 game Montana, 1 career Brady.
I love Lebron James I truly believe his evolution is one of the greatest things I have ever seen. James was a phenom in the social media era. The pressure he’s had on him is unlike any other athlete ever. His resilience in losing his 1st two championships shows his character. Lebron has evolved into a clutch, all around scoring super man. He’s the Peyton Manning of basketball but better in the playoffs. He’s the most important player I have ever seen to a team.
But Michael Jordan is the best player I’ve ever seen. He’s at least the best non big. Jordan is everything Lebron is plus a little more. It’s not much that separates them but I’ve seen them both in their primes. I openly rooted for them both and never against them. With Jordan your feelings were more secure. I would say MJ but Lebron has a strong case for the 2nd best player ever.
Ray Robinson is the best and greatest fighter in history in my opinion. We don’t need to go into his career. It’s hard to compare fighters of contrasting eras but Robinson translates well to the modern era. He was a 5’11 welterweight in his prime, with a 72 inch reach, an iron chin, 15 round killer stamina, freakish power and hand speed. He also had elite level athleticism. He had longevity for his era fighting until he was 44 years old. In this era he could fight until he was 60.
Since Robinson in my opinion there have been 2 men who had a real argument to be better or equal to if fate had turned a little bit their way. Ray Leonard and Roy Jones. When Ray Leonard had retired in 1982 he was 25 years old. He had already stopped 3 future legends in Duran, Benitez and Hearns, he was unified champion at 147 and he had won the junior middleweight title for fun in a tune up for Hearns. The landscape in the mid 80s at 147-154 had Mike McCallum, Donald Curry, Marlon Starling, Simon Brown, Mark Breland, Tony Ayala, John Mugabi and Davey Moore. At middleweight we had the great Marvin Hagler who Leonard later defeated and at junior welterweight we had the great Aaron Pryor who despite the myth Leonard offered a fight to and was ready to fight him again when diagnosed with the detached retina.
If Leonard wins 80% of that table, he’s extremely close to Robinson. In his prime I think he beats them all but the totality of fights wears you down. It’s a big variable but Leonard’s eye injury halted a serious run.
Roy Jones has an even better case than Leonard. Where as Leonard would have needed a series of fights from 82-87 to be where Robinson is. All Roy Jones needed to do was stay at heavyweight after John Ruiz and beat Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. In 2003 Holyfield had lost really bad to James Toney and he was very up and down from that point on. In 2003 Mike Tyson had just lost to Lennox Lewis the year before and he just wasn’t the same. Jones was not as old as them but he was an older fighter who came from the Olympics class right after them. Jones’s resume is was very underrated. He had some down years in the late 90s but his best wins of Hopkins, Toney, Griffin, Hill and Ruiz because he was a solid heavyweight stood up. If Jones beats Tyson and Holyfield in 2 huge PPV fights in 2003 and 2004 and retires, he 50-1, he had titles from 160 to heavyweight. Just think about that.
Jones had a legit case for #2 and a large portion of the media would have put him #1. The argument would be serious. Very serious. Jones was the closest in history to THAT argument.
The WBO has just ordered Demetrius Andrade vs BJ Saunders. Now we finally get to see Andrade fight a live body. It’s something about him that does not equate. I think Saunders will box circles around the reluctant Andrade.
Bread’s Response: Demetrius Andrade is not a southpaw Tommy Hearns. He doesn’t really go for the kill. The public just has to accept him for what he is. He doesn’t take chances but I don’t think it’s fair to criticize him unless it cost him a win. If it cost him a win then you have more of a leg to stand on. But Andrade is difficult to fight and his style is a nightmare for most. Make no mistake he would trouble GGG and Canelo. They know his style is tough to deal with. Fighters and their teams know what’s up despite what you guys think.
We have to see him consistently vs the elite level before we can have a complete assessment. The guys he’s fighting now he’s good enough to control so he doesn’t have to go for kos. Let’s wait and see and be fair to him. I do think he has to start fighting top 5 fighters at middleweight consistently at his age and status.
I don’t know how to take Saunders. In some fights he looks off and some he looks on. But before you attack Andrades’s resume lets look at Saunders’s. Saunders looked excellent vs Andy Lee and he was platinum vs David Lemiuex. Those are his 2 best performances. Now I agree those 2 fighters are better than anyone on Andrade’s resume but it’s not by much. Not as much as you think.
Saunders has not been fighting Murderer’s Row. He doesn’t have a Canelo like resume.
A closer look and you have to consider PEDs. Demetrius Andrade looks to be CLEAN. He ask for VADA. He openly talks about PEDs. He seems proactive. His performances show athleticism but he’s been consistent throughout his career without any drastic suspicious circumstances. He looks human.
Billy Joe Saunders has been so up and down considering his recent PED problem it makes you objectively wonder. I’m not trying to discredit Saunders I think he’s the best stick and mover in boxing when he’s ON. But I can’t dismiss the positive PED test. I also wonder how healthy Saunders can make weight 160lbs. He just weighed in 178lbs for a tune up fight. That’s 18 lbs over the middleweight limit. I’ve never ever seen that before. An undefeated top 5 fighter in a division take a non title fight 18lbs over his division limit.
A reasonable person would have to wonder if Saunders can make weight and look the way he did vs Lemiuex. I just don’t know but if he came in at 178 let’s ask ourselves what weight does Saunders walk around at? My goodness we are talking about a 190-200lb man who fights at 160lbs. That’s very difficult to do without PEDs. Let’s just be honest.
So you may assume that Saunders can box circles around Andrade. I don’t know about that. I don’t have a winner yet because as difficult of a style that Andrade has for everyone else I think Saunders style is that difficult for him. But I am partial to the fighter that I feel that is clean and did NOT test positive. If it comes down to performing under fair circumstances Andrade will have more confidence in my opinion. Let’s wait and see what happens.
Do you think Lopez can cause problems for Thurman stylistically? Of course he is a gamer but he'll have his own fair share of ring rust saturday.
Would you have pulled the plug as the chief second in the Badou Jack fight? not trying to have you call out a fellow trainer, just interested on how you would calculate? as an aside, interesting feather in Russ "jack of all trades" Anber's cap being the cutman for one of the worst cuts ever.
Finally, any thoughts on the rumblings about Wlad and DAZN?
Bread’s Response: Yes I think Lopez can cause Thurman problems. I don’t know if he can or will win but Josetito Lopez is a nice fighter. He has some skills and he seems confident. Whenever you’re dealing with a long layoff like Thurman is the 1st fight back can be tricky.
I’m not going to say what I would do in the Jack cut situation. His trainer is already going through enough criticism and it’s not fair. Lou Devalle knows his fighter. Maybe they have a secret pact that they agreed on to never stop a fight. I know fighters who secretly tell their trainers to let them die in the ring if that is God’s will. This is a deep sport and too many people judge without knowing all of the facts.
I don’t know how much Wlad has left but he’s going to get paid with DAZN.
Last Friday I asked about Monzon, but that's a huge subject & you probably didn't have enough time - I will come back with that next week if you don't mind. This time I want to ask you about your TOP 10 list of 90s heavyweights. Who comes out on top? I think Lewis, Holyfield & Bowe are pretty much on the same level, but Lennox is probably the most common choice because he unified at the very end of this decade & he avenged his only defeat. Evander fought all of the killers - he was strong at the beginning of the decade and in the end. Bowe probably had the highest peak of the three. On the night he beat Holy for the first time I fancy him to beat any other guy from this era.
Who is right behind those guys - Tyson or Foreman? How high would you put Moorer? Does Ibeabuchi make the cut? And from Polish point of view I must ask about Andrew Golota. Jim Lampley once said that there were moments in both fights with Bowe where Golota looked like the best heavyweight on the planet... But I guess there are stronger cases for Tua, Morrison or even Grant to make it to the TOP 10. Also - Douglas is rarely considered as a TOP 10 fighter of the 90s. Do you think that beating Tyson in that sensational style is enough to put him on that list?
Bread’s Response: Top 10 Heavyweights of the 90s. Well the 90s was a Golden Era. Quite possibly the best decade ever at heavyweight at least top 2 or 3.
1. Lennox Lewis
2. Evander Holyfield
3. Riddick Bowe
4. Ike Ibeabuchi
5. George Foreman
6. Mike Tyson
7. David Tua
8. Michael Moorer
9. Andrew Golota
10. Razor Ruddock
I'm big on fighters psyche and a fighter's demeanor the week of the fight. You look at a guy like Floyd and a few days before the fight he is super relaxed and done with the trash talk. He barely says much and just gets prepared for the fight. And no coincidence, he is as relaxed as a fighter can be in the ring. Then you look at guys like Jermell who is super intense the week of the fight and it shows in the fight. It makes him a bit anxious and has him pressing at times. Have you noticed this? Then you have a guy like Fury who the week of the fight will do everything in his power to get the last dig in and get in your head and it works to a tee. Fury really got in Wlad's and Wilder's heads a few days before the fight and it resulted in those two being completely thrown off in the fight. Now, Fury is that damn skilled where he can make you look bad, but Wilder is notoriously a patient fighter in the early rounds against top competition yet he started going for the KO as early as the second minute of the fight.
So my question is, can a fighter change their psyche going into a fight. Can Charlo all of sudden become more calm and relaxed? Can Wilder not waste as much energy as he does the week of the fight? Or this is just who they are and it can't be changed?
Bread’s Response: A fighter’s psyche is everything. Floyd’s ability to be calm under anything in a boxing ring is his gift. It’s why his conditioning looks impeccable. It’s why when Maidana dirty boxes him he stays calm. It’s when Oscar scores with a good jab he stays calm. When Castillo is rough housing him he stays calm. When Judah cracks him early he stays calm. When Mosley hurts him bad he stays calm.
You have to beat Floyd he won’t beat himself.
Tyon Fury also has elite level mental game. He’s an agitator so you fight him hard but in the ring he’s a pure boxer. He disengages and frustrates. Fury is something to deal with. On top of that he’s dead game. Literally dead game. Look up the term.
Yes a fighter can change their psyche. I have seen fighters become more calm. Become more responsible. Fight more with their IQs than athleticism. Jermell Charlo can change. He’s going to have to because his fights just got tougher. All of his opponents have now seen him frustrated and fight angry 2 fights in a row.
Deontay Wilder can also change. He’s also very high strung and it often makes him miss opportunities. Wilder kept throwing an over hand right because that is his hardest punch. He threw it angry and Fury ducked under it. If he would have taken something off of it and threw it straight he would have caught Fury more. But let’s be honest Wilder’s wild attacks is also what makes him so dangerous. So he has to be careful to not completely change his style by changing his temperament. I’m interested to see how Wilder composes himself in fight #2.
The mind can be trained just like the body can be trained.
I’ve read your mailbag for a year now and I have to thank you for it. Consideration of what you say and don’t say is a priceless commodity in these turbulent times, especially on the internet.
Truth is, your insights have changed the way I watch the sport I’ve followed for nearly 30 years.
I have three short questions I hope you can answer:
1) How often should a fighter fight per year? The common feeling nowadays is that boxers enter the ring far too seldom. It seems to me that this leads to a dulling of ‘fight night skills’ and ‘championship mentality’. What I mean by the latter is simple: if you don’t fight often enough, each fight becomes pivotal and that’s when hesitancy, pressure, self-doubt and fear of losing can cripple a fighter. As they say – “no-one gets better at something by not doing it”. What’s your optimum number of bouts for a fighter to take per year to be razor sharp but not fatigued or washed out?
2) What is your path for Usyk to attain heavyweight glory? What should his first two fights be? What would you get him to work on to succeed against the giants? How heavy should he be? And can he reign supreme, in your opinion?
3) Finally, Oscar v Terrence at 147, prime v prime. What a fight. How do you see that playing out? I am crippled by recency bias and find it hard to see Crawford losing a fight (until he does).
All the best,
Bread’s Response: Great question.
1. In this era as a 4 and 6 round prospect I say 6/yr. Fight every other month. Once they go to 8 rounders drop it down to every 10 weeks which is the average of 5/yr.
As you approach 10 rounds drop it down to 4/yr which is every 12 weeks.
If you are fortunate enough to get to a championship level for showcase easier fights every 4/yr. For bigger tougher championship fights 3/yr.
Fighting every 6 months which equals to twice a year is Hog Wash. It only benefits the promoters. The promoters don’t take 6months to promote in between fights. The biggest fights in history have press tours that only last 10 days. The promotion is timely but it’s not as long as they will have you believe.
2. Usyk should just eat good and healthy and fight at his natural walk around weight. I assume that is around 215-220.
I would love to see Usyk fight Oscar Rivas who just defeated Bryant Jennings. After he does that I think he should go after a taller heavyweight because the best 3 heavyweights are tall. Let’s say Dominic Brezeale.
I don’t know if he can reign supreme. Let’s see how he does with each step. He’s a great cruiserweight but that doesn’t mean he will be a great heavyweight.
3. You guys may not realize how great of a fighter Oscar was. I have probably watched 30 of Oscar’s fight. And the form he showed in 95-96. Then again 01-03. I’m telling you he’s special.
I love Terence Crawford but I haven’t seen him vs enough elite level fighters to say if he could beat Oscar. Oscar’s resume is so much deeper than Crawford’s at a similar age it’s tough to compare. Everyone that Crawford has faced I think Oscar would be beat and ko. I don’t know yet if Crawford could beat a prime Manny, prime Floyd, prime Tito, prime Shane, prime Bhop, prime Quartey, prime Oba Carr, prime Miguel Angel Gonzales. A still capable Whitaker, Camacho and Vargas.
Oscar’s resume is insane. Sometimes he gets unfairly criticized. People bring up out of the ring stuff but in the ring Oscar fought killers.
Right now I have to say I just don’t know. Ask me this in 2 years. Let me see if Crawford can beat Spence, Garcia, Khan, Thurman and a young charging Boots Ennis.
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