The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as developing a chin, Canelo Alvarez vs. Floyd Mayweather, the PED controversy with Jarrell Miller, and more.
Can a chin be developed? Or is it something natural?
I’m going to explain the thought process behind this. I was thinking about the pac man vs ggg fight and if I gave pac a chance (I wouldn’t). I then remembered when people were saying Mayweather should fight ggg (about 5 years ago when ggg was the baddest boy in the game) and I was thinking about that matchup. I come to the same conclusion that I have with ggg vs pac, Golovkin is too big, punches too hard, has a chin too strong to be cracked by either and if it come it to it he would just dog it out and walk through anything coming back to come out win the win.
Now this got me thinking about Canelo vs Floyd. I always felt Canelo played the wrong game and need just to go in there like a dog and use the same advantages that he would have over Floyd, that ggg has. Canelo is so much bigger, punches like a mule and we’ve seen in the ggg fights he was a crazy set of whiskers. Why didn’t he try to go savage on Mayweather and walk through 3-4 to land a big 1 or 2? Was he worried about what was coming back? Has his chin then improved since then? Or do you think there’s a more simple answer and it’s that he was worried about gassing out? Anyway, that’s what led to the question above.
Mayweather vs Duran at 147
Bread’s Response: Great Question. I believe a chin can be developed. Some people believe you have to be born with a CHIN just like you have to be born with a big punch. I believe that genetics does help but some things can be enhanced through hard work.
For example neck exercises. Many don’t know that creating a stronger neck lessens the chances of whiplash impact. For every 5lbs your neck increases in strength it lessens your concussion rate down 5%. Strengthening the jaws also braces for the brain for the blow. Getting knocked out is simply your brain bouncing off your skull too hard and your body not having time to brace for it. That’s why the punches a fighter doesn’t see are the punches that affect them the most.
I also believe that increasing a fighter’s blood flow, adding more bone density and a better diet helps the punch resistance. Restricted blood and oxygen flow to the brain is why you get knocked out after your brain hits the skull. Well if you have more blood flow and better oxygen in your body that will again lessen the chances of getting KO'd.
Why do you think a guy like Mike Tyson can take a bomb from Frank Bruno early in a fight? But as the fight goes on and he’s fatigued then his punch resistance goes down like vs Holyfield and Douglas.
Bone density is simple. Your bones protect your nerves and organs. If your bone density is increased you will take a better punch.
Diet. Your brain is made up of water and fat. If you eat the correct fats and stay hydrated completely then your brain will be cushioned more when you get hit instead of crashing up against hard skull, fat and water will protect it.
In my opinion the number 1 thing is to increase a fighter’s awareness to incoming punches. Some fighters stay calm and focused and they see the punches coming in. So they brace for them better. Other fighters keep suffering these head jarring shots because they literally DON’T see the shots. I think Floyd Mayweather’s excellent chin is directly contributed to him seeing punches well. He doesn’t get hit with a KILL SHOT that he doesn’t see. That shot doesn’t have to be hard, just clean.
Amir Khan is a high strung type of personality. He’s very anxious and he seems to lack attention to detail. I’m not saying he has a great chin. But I do think the reason he gets kod so badly is because he doesn’t even see the punches coming. The shot Canelo hit him with would have kod any fighter ever, close to that weight. The issue is, most elite fighters would never get hit with that shot because they would see it and take some of the steam off of it. Khan didn’t even see it. That’s a huge issue.
Defensive Awareness will keep you from receiving that brutal ko.
All of this being said you won’t turn Terry Norris into George Chuvalo but you can increase a fighter’s ability to take punches. I never let anyone tell me if you aren’t born a hard puncher or born with a great chin that it can’t be made better.
Onto Floyd vs Canelo. First off I get your point but you have to realize that just because Floyd is not known as a big puncher and Canelo is known to have a great chin, it doesn’t mean Floyd’s punches didn’t have an effect on Canelo. I think Floyd hurt Canelo with a right hand in that fight. It didn’t wobble him but it let him know he couldn’t just run up on Floyd. Being able to hurt someone gives you the respect you need as a boxer to box and move and not get overwhelmed.
You also have to realize that Canelo is a calculated assassin. He’s not like Aaron Pryor. Your personality is your personality. Currently if they were to fight he may just try to DOG Mayweather because he’s better at advancing forward. But in 2013 I don’t believe he was that comfortable with that part of his game. But he’s developed. The following year he needed that against Erislandy Lara and he pulled it out in a razor close fight.
You also have to realize that Canelo didn’t have great stamina at junior middleweight. It was sufficient but it wasn’t elite. In order to just go balls to the wall you have to be either crazy and trust your 2nd wind. Or have great stamina and not worry about it. I don’t think Canelo had either in 2013.
Who would you say are the greatest/best rematch fighters of all time? For me three jump to mind: Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, and Marvin Hagler. Who are some other fighters whose rematch game is outstanding?
Bread’s Response: I think you named the best 3 rematch fighters ever. All three are undefeated in rematches with all kos if I’m not mistaken. That’s very impressive.
Who else would I add…..Sugar Ray Robinson was money in rematches. All of his early blemishes were avenged in rematches. Also his tough fights were ran back and he did better in each one. Up until the Fulmer rematches I think Robinson was like 20-1 in rematches which is insane. Robinson didn’t start losing rematches until the 1960s in which he was 40+.
Ali was also really good in rematches. People will bring up Norton but Ali won both rematches vs Norton. I think he won the 2nd fight clean. But besides the Norton trilogy in which he struggled, Ali is actually undefeated in almost 10 career rematches.
There a few other fighters who were money in rematches but Louis, Marciano, Hagler, Robinson and Ali stand out as the best rematch fighters in my opinion. In this current era it should come to no surprise that the best 2 fighters of the last 20 years , Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao are the best rematch fighters. Floyd ran back Castillo and Maidana fights and won clean both times. Manny has only lost one rematch in his career and he was up 2-0-1 in that series vs Marquez. But he dominated Barrera, Morales and Bradley in multiple fights between him and the three.
Good morning Bread, I hope you're well.
In the UK when people talk about Jazz they usually focus on Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Thelonius, Coltrane, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday & maybe Mingus. They even like to leave album covers for 'Castles in Spain' or 'Kind of Blue' around to show how, erm, soulful they are.
Probe deeper & they might mention Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock...NEVER Art Tatum. Yet if you talk to actual musicians they always bring up Tatum, they revere him.
Does boxing have any equivalents? Guys that are almost unknown to most boxing fans but loved & admired by the guys that really know? I would guess that some would be the black fighters who would've earned massive recognition but for discrimination, eg Charles Burley, but let me know, Bread, who are your picks?
Bread’s Response: This is a really good and deep question. Yes I have a few. Some from my era, some from back in the day.
Charley Burley for sure is the guy that people who know, really know but the main stream historians sort of overlook him.
Carlos Ortiz is a guy who is an ATG but if you bring up the best ever from PR he is always overlooked and he has a case for the top spot.
Bernard Mayes was a guy that people really thought highly of in the 80s but he kind of gets lost in the sauce.
Oba Carr is a highly skilled guy but had hard luck. There were many matchmakers who thought he was the goods. It’s just for whatever reasons he didn’t break through.
Orlando Canizales does not get the credit he deserves for being a great lower weight fighter. But he’s as good as any bantamweight of the last 30 years.
Mike McCallum gets credit but he was a beautiful fighter. His fights with James Toney are a study guide to boxing and punching, feinting and probing. Stepping and shuffling with no clinching.
Julian Williams in this era is a guy who matchmakers and young fighters really enjoy his skillset and punch display. He’s a taken a couple of tough losses but his skill display is one that purist enjoy.
Thank you for responding in the previous mailbag, I genuinely appreciate your time.
I wanted to get your take on a couple of things, firstly the influence of music in boxing. Being in my mid 30's I enjoy lots of music, mainly hip hop and Motown. Do you find younger fighters listen to music in the gym more than they should and does it influence their mood and behaviours. I say this as I can imagine certain songs will hype a fighter up and the same could be said for ring entrance music. Do you find it disrespectful if a fighter listens to music in the gym? Do you allow a fighter to play loud music in the dressing room prior to fights?
I have a friend who is a tattoo artist and his biggest annoyance is people listening to music and avoiding conversations during tattoo sessions.
I am similar to yourself in regards to social media. I have never had a Facebook or Instagram account. I do use twitter but purely to keep up to date with boxing. I can imagine the difficultly in changing a person's habits when they walk into a boxing gym. Do you ask a fighter to delete social media?
My final point is not in anyway a dig at yourself or other popular figures within the media. I have many friends who have been crippled my gambling and I am always keen on people who promote gambling to share losing betting slips as well as winning ones. This of course is counterproductive to someone in your position who has a vested interest via a gambling platform but I do encourage everyone to consider the people who are not always in the best frame of mind to make decisions such as gambling.
Beterbiev vs Hopkins
Golobkin vs Steve collins
Josh taylor vs Maidana
Taylor vs Broner
Wilder vs Valuev
Brook vs khan
Top 5 fighters to go into a street fight with?
Again, regardless of whether this makes the mailbag or not, I thank you for your time.
Bread’s Response: Gambling is definitely addictive. I will be the first to say that I have wins and losses. As the saying goes, “Don’t Cry the Blues When You Lose, Just Grin When You Win.” But gambling is a real part of today’s society and I encourage responsible gambling. I myself have strong will power and I take my losses just like I take my wins. I would never prey on an Gambling addict. Gambling to me is a leisure activity that makes a sporting event even more exciting because you added personal stakes. Nothing more, and nothing less.
I just talked about losing on betting on Avery Sparrow last week. So I don’t have an issue with talking about my losses. I agree with you..
I love when fighters play music in the gym. As long as it’s not vulgar. Boxing is about rhythm. Music enhances that. What I don’t like is boxers who are on their phones checking their social media in the gym. I also don’t like ear phones in the gym. It’s a difference. A boxer can play music as long as he can hear his coach’s instructions. If he can’t hear his coach then what is the coach there for. I’ve seen boxers play on their head phones constantly changing their music and it’s a distraction. That I don’t like. But YES a boxer should play music in the gym as long as he’s considerate.
I don’t ask fighters to delete their social media but I do ask them to limit their social media while in camp. As the fight gets closer I ask them to limit it more. The week of the fight I don’t want them on it at all. And the day of the fight I tell them to turn their phones off completely. Social Media is addictive and distracting. And their family and friends constantly call them not caring or understanding that FOCUS is needed at 100% in a fight. Very few fighters have the DISCIPLINE to stay away from their phones while in training and it shows.
Top 5 Fighters to get into Street Fights with would all be heavyweights: Mike Tyson, George Foreman, Deontay Wilder, Joe Frazier and Ike Ibeabuchi. You see what I did right there….
Would you rather a fighter you train go undefeated or take one or several losses that made him better in the long run?
Do you ever see a fighter's resume get overly criticized because of an off-night where they lost? Undefeated records are the most simplistic way to promote oneself, but what about losses that were GOOD for a fighter? I believe there is such a thing.
Can you think of any fighters where you say, "that loss really helped that guy more than it hurt him"?
Tunney loss to Greb
SRR loss to LaMotta
Canelo to Floyd
Roy Jones losses somewhere between Tarver 3 and Calzaghe onward.
Can you see any other cases where the loss ironically helped or was not really "counted" as a blow to their career and to their overall career and ranking?
Conversely, sometimes a loss changes everything.
If Jim Jeffries stayed retired he would have gone down as the first undefeated HW champ. I think Jack Johnson had the BETTER career but Jeffries was 4 years removed from competition and that loss makes people look at him like he was a chump. People might have looked at him differently.
I guess the TYPE of loss matters. You know the saying, "records are for DJ's." I think losses matter, but the real understanding is in looking at each fight, context, and overall the fighter's career.
Am I excusing losses? I'm not trying to. Maybe they just matter more the less you fight and the less fierce the competition you face.
Quick sidebar, how come NO ONE talks about Greb being blind in one eye for the last four years of his career when he fought some of his toughest competition? That's hardcore. Imagine if he wasn't half blind?
Bread’s Response: In the spirit of competition the objective is to WIN. So I don’t want any of my fighters to ever LOSE. But realistically you understand that losses are part of the game and you have to learn ACCEPTANCE and move on past them. What you don’t ever want is a fighter who does things to beat himself. If a fighter does everything right and the other guy is just better that night, at least you can live with knowing you gave it all you had.
Saying all of that, at times a loss can be a good thing. It just takes humility to identify the real reason the loss happened in the first place.
I think losses get overrated all the time. But in this era with social media accessibility most fighters get too ridiculed and it affects them mentally.
I thought Bernard Hopkin’s loss to Roy Jones was no big deal. Pernell Whitaker’s loss to Jose Luis Ramirez was no big deal. Marlon Starling losing to Donald Curry was nothing. I can go on and on. A loss being the end of the world is NEW in this era.
I don’t think the Montel Griffin loss was a big deal to Roy Jones. The Tarver and Johnson losses really messed him up. It changed him and it changed the perception of him. He went from a top 5 ever fighter to a top 25ish ever fighter because of those losses. They also changed how he fought. He started going to the ropes allowing fighters to tee off on him.
Donald Curry also didn’t handle the Mike McCallum loss well. I think he was ok after he lost to Lloyd Honeyghan. That was dismissed to weight. But the McCallum lost really burst his bubble. He was fighting so well that night and to lose by one punch ko really did him in.
I think Mike Tyson changed after the Holyfield fights. He was still a killer after he lost to Buster Douglas. But after Holyfield he wasn’t the same.
I think it’s all about how a fighter compartmentalizes things. Some fighters blame their teams. Some fighters internalize it. Some fighters dwell on the past. Some fighters never change their ways so the past keeps biting them. There are so many factors. But I just feel like you need to be strong minded, identify the problems and have the right support group.
Lots of people talk about Harry Greb being blind. Actually Greb has been elevated recently historically. At one time he was thought of as a top 20ish P4P guy. Now many see him as a top 5ish and some the best.
Okay Breadman. I would say it’s a safe bet you’re getting a lot of write-ins about Big Baby and yet ANOTHER failed PED test. I have questions about that too, but what I have in mind might be a bit different from what you’re getting right now (at least I think so).
For starters, is it a safe bet that Miller’s career as a boxer is over? In any other sport, it would be a certainty. But this boxing... nothing is certain. But with his charisma, boisterous personality, and self-destructive behavior, Big Baby might want to consider a jump to WWE.
But I digress, back to my original questions. With this sort of behavior, it seems like Big Baby has no problem with playing the role of the bad guy. Got me wondering, who are some other boxers who have no problem being cast as the villain? Which ones have actually embraced it? I think of Roberto Duran leading up to his first fight with Leonard. Which ones hate it? I think of Joe Frazier in his rivalry with Ali. And who are some who want to be seen as the hero but will play the villain when they have to? I think of Aaron Pryor for some reason.
Sorry, this was longer than I intended. But I wanted to put a different slant on this whole Jarrell Miller debacle. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: In the spirit of being FAIR let’s see what the B sample and investigation says about Jarrell Miller. I don’t want to go overboard in attacking him because if the sample comes back negative I could look foolish.
But I did hear his excuse. And I really want a good investigative reporter to interview him. If he’s indeed taking these things unknowingly then he shouldn’t have an issue telling who gave him the banned supplements. This is not the street. Boxing is a business and if someone gives you a supplement that is banned and you don’t know it, and it ruins your career you should be able to say where and who you got it from. Maybe he’s going to a LAB. Maybe he has a nutritionist. I don’t want to give myself a headache speculating. But these excuses are monotonous. Every fighter says they didn’t know what they were taking. That may or may NOT be true but the questions have to get deeper. Boxing can NOT fail in this Miller case. They have to investigate this properly and get the correct outcome. I’m very intrigued.
The media has to start asking the real questions. I get tired of seeing fighters who have tested positive for PEDS or have serious PED issues not get asked, who, where, why, how, when etc.
Roberto Duran played the Bad Guy great. Floyd Mayweather understands it also. I think Ryan Garcia understands how to agitate the fans and his opponents in this era. But he has to prove he can fight at the top level. Prince Naseem Hamed and Hector Camacho were both good bad guys.
I don’t think Joe Frazier was ever a bad guy. He was a hardworking, hard nosed fighter, who was on the wrong end of the biggest fight ever. Ali was good looking. He was a rebel. He was a revolutionary. Frazier was not an activist, he was a fighter. White America embraced him because he was Ali’s opponent not because he was Anti Black. Frazier gets a bad rap for that.
Morning Bread, Hope all is well.
During the Saucedo-Fredrickson fight, I notice at one point the judge get out of her seat, move closer to the ring to get a better look while the fighters were on the opposite side. Then another time she leaned over to see when the ref was blocking her view. I know during normal operations with an audience and so many others ringside, judges dont always clearly see the action. Would it be possible to allow a clear path ringside for judges to move up and down their side of the ring to follow the action to get a much better view of what's going on? Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: I didn’t notice that but I always felt that there should be 5 judges and not 3. I also feel that one of the judges should be watching the fight from a monitor without commentary. I think that would really scale down these bad decisions that consistently get given out.
I think the judges can see the fight clear enough. They’re close enough to the ring. Moving to the right or left is no big deal.
Hope you're safe and healthy, Bread.
Growing up I was no fan of Erik Morales. Maybe because I saw him as the villain to Marco Antonio Barrera's gentlemanly character. Or maybe because the way he thrashed my favorite fighter Manny Pacquiao in their first encounter.
But lately I've been rewatching his fights and man oh man do I have a newfound respect for him. He was really a professor in there who could fight going backwards or would get up in your grill and take it to you. He had a great sense of distance and timing and his footwork was underrated. Him and Barrera had such a rhythmic ebb and flow to their battles that was truly beautiful to watch.
I recently saw an interview with Danny Garcia where he said that Morales was the best fighter he fought in terms of skill and that he 'went to school' the night of their first fight which Danny admitted made him a better fighter. This made me realize that just a year prior to that he had a similar experience with Marcos Maidana. What the hell was Morales doing picking on these younger, bigger guys? He made Maidana a better fighter that night too (and this all AFTER getting stopped by Manny twice). Come to think of it: Pacquiao and Barrera both owe a debt of gratitude to Morales for improving their games as well.
Just look at some of the skulls on his resume: Barrera, Pacquiao, Kevin Kelley, Wayne Mcullough, Junior Jones, Paulia Ayala, Jesus Chaves (who gave Mayweather a tough fight in San Francisco which I attended), and Pablo Cesar Cano. What a legend. He was no villain. He was an intelligent badass who liked to throw down. He reminds of Duran in not just their mentality but even stylistically.
I ask you Bread: what made Morales so good? What were his strengths? Also: what were some of his best performances besides the obvious ones (the Manny and Barrera wins and the Maidana and Garcia losses)?
Morales vs Donaire (122)
Morales vs Rigo (122)
Morales vs Loma (126 or 130)
Morales vs Salvador Sanchez (126).
Thanks for your time, Bread.
Bread’s Response: Erik Morales is a legitimately great fighter. I believe he’s an ATG lower weight fighter. He has a case for top 5 fighters of the 2000s.
As time goes on I notice that history sort of slants with the popular opinion. For example Barrera and Marquez seems to be rated over him at this point in history. But Morales has a case for having a better career than both. He beat Pac on his first try. He won titles in 4 divisions and he skipped 135. People don’t realize he lost his title bid at 135 to David Diaz. He won his titles at 122, 126, 130 and 140. He also fought younger bigger bad asses than both Marquez and Barrera. They didn’t mess around with the Maidana and Garcia types once they got older.
I think Morales was great for many reasons. One was his attitude. He was a real fighter. When I hear that term I know what it means. Morales was really real. I mean he didn’t care who he fought, period. He’s also a few years younger than both Barrera and Marquez but he ascended around the same time. Actually earlier than Marquez.
Morales was a FLOW fighter. He flowed on the balls of his feet. He had a real right hand. A good jab and a sneaky hook. He could fight going forward and going backwards and he was innovative with his punch selection. Morales could really go.
He was a monster at 122. How about his wins over Junior Jones, Daniel Zaragoza and everyone else he defended against at 122. He was crushing the division until Wayne McCullough finally went the distance with him.
Morales is sort of strange to analyze. He doesn’t fair as well in Mythical Match ups as some great fighters do because he’s not overwhelming athletically but he’s better than he looks by a lot.
Like everyone else, I love reading your column. Because of you I’m no longer as rigid as I once was when it comes to my opinions. I’m grateful to you for that.
That said, a lot of experts when asked to pick their favorite fights will tend to pick Gatti-Ward or Castillo-Corralles type-slugfests. While they’re all good scraps, they are not cerebral-type fights nor fighters. Three of those guys were all beat by Floyd Mayweather and I’d bet Floyd could beat Gatti and Corrales on the same night.
My question for you is three-pronged. Why would you pick a rock ‘em sock ‘em type fight over any of Floyd’s tactical masterpieces which are often greeted with disdain and outright hostility?
Two, a couple of months ago you listed various best attributes for fighters you admire, best chin, best hook, best foot work, best upper-cut etc and Floyd was not on your list which begs this question, what do you think are Floyd’s strengths and/or flaws?
I ask this because skills-wise, I believe there is no boxer that comes close to Floyd. He’s dominated 95% of all his opponents and rendered them ineffective. I recognize that there were some fights that couldn’t be made for whatever reasons but I’m at peace knowing that even if they had been made, Floyd would have won.
And that brings me to my last question(s), had Floyd fought Cotto and Margarito in 2008 and Manny in 2010 and dispatched them in the same ease he typically does, where would he rank on your proverbial ATG list? Why would those opponents raise Floyd’s status in your eyes? You already know he beats them, no?
Lastly, I don’t like to get drawn into the mythical match-ups of yore vs contemporary generation. I do enjoy reading your thoughts on them though.
In that context, what are your thoughts on these Mythical match-ups (in their prime):
Roy Jones vs Andre Ward @ 168/175
Roy Jones vs Calzaghe
Mayweather vs Mosley @ 147
Mayweather vs Cotto & Margarito in 2008
Floyd vs Hamed (Floyd wanted it 128Ibs)
PAC vs Prime Mosley
Kovalev vs Stevenson (a shame that fight didn’t happen)
Hopkins vs Roy rematch in 2002 when they were baiting each other
Zab vs PAC (same Zab that fought Floyd)
Rigondeux vs Hamed
Rigondeux vs Gary Russell
PAC vs Hamed
Bread’s Response: I can see you have a strong opinion and that’s ok. But as time goes on you have to learn to compromise with some things. Especially boxing. Sometimes I look back on certain things that I USED to think and I learned that I have evolved as far as my way of thinking.
I think you’re CONFLATING a great fight with a great performance. Floyd has so many masterful great performances it’s really hard to name them all. But I’m not sure if he’s ever been in a great fight. Gatti vs Ward and Corrales vs Castillo are great fights.
Also don’t know those 4 warriors because they don’t have Floyd’s gifts. They did some cerebral things, they just aren’t as gifted as Floyd so you may not thing they are using their brains but they are using what they HAVE.
Castillo constantly feinted Corrales to the body with a jab. Then in the 10th round he turned a hook over that appeared to be another feint to the body and dropped Corrales. Corrales was hurt and needed a rest and spit his mouthpiece out on purpose to steal a few seconds, then he scored a ko. I call that thinking on the FLY.
Ward kept tapping Gatti up top with his hook, then he drove one to the liver and dropped him in the 9th round. In the rematch Gatti started hitting Ward to the body and arm with a right hand in order keep Ward’s vaunted left arm at home. So try to give those guys some respect.
I don’t treat Floyd’s great performances with disdain. I love them. My favorites are Genaro Hernandez, Corrales, Phillip N dou, Zab Judah and Shane Mosley.
I think I did name Floyd in some of my best categories but you have to be more specific. I get lots of emails. Sometimes a fighter’s sum total outweighs his parts. I don’t think Floyd has any glaring flaws. You would have to really nitpick in order to really pick out a flaw in him. But every fighter has tendencies. No fighter is unbeatable. One thing I observed about Floyd is against really sharp offensively dynamic fighters he takes a little longer to open up with them. For example Oscar, Manny and Zab. It took him a while to hit his stride in those fights. It made me wonder how he would do vs the sharper fighters on yester year. Like Leonard, Hearns, Curry and Norris.
As for his strengths, Floyd has possibly the best mental stamina I’ve seen. He’s always sharp mentally at every point of the fight. He’s also one of the best conditioned fighters I’ve ever seen. Floyd is physically stronger than he looks. He’s very well proportioned. Nothing bulky but nothing weak. He’s one of the top 3 or 4 defensive fighters I’ve ever seen. He might be the best all around defensive fighter I’ve seen because his defense is tight at every range, inside, mid and long. He can slip, block and parry. He can also use his feet and play keep away or can move forward and remain defensively responsible.
Offensively he has a great jab. A great scoring right hand. He’s a great counter puncher. He’s not a big puncher but he punches clean so he makes you respect him.
His IQ is off the charts.
However, I disagree with you that there is NO fighter close to Floyd skill wise. You’re a Floyd fan and that’s cool but don’t put other fighters down in order to elevate him. Sugar Ray Robinson, Willie Pep, Joe Gans, Tony Canzoneri, Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, Ezzard Charles, Charley Burley, Ricardo Lopez, Pernell Whitaker, Roy Jones, Salvador Sanchez, Muhammad Ali and Andre Ward all have skill levels on par with Floyd’s. Floyd is just your cup of tea…..
If Floyd matched himself like James Toney and Ray Leonard then he would have a shot at being the best ever. But he didn’t and that’s that. We can’t go back in time. I also can’t give a fighter credit for winning a fight that he didn’t fight, just because he would have been the favorite. Boxing doesn’t work that way. Roy Jones would have been the favorite vs Tarver. Bernard Hopkins would have been the favorite over Jermaine Taylor. Imagine us assuming they would JUST beat them because they would have been favorites? Sometimes a fighter has your number. Sometimes the totality of taking tough fights wears a fighter out and getting up for everyone causes a slip up or two.
We always hear about if a fighter has that "DOG" in him or not. My question to you is how quickly can you determine if a fighter has that in the gym and if he does lack that, how do you go about training a fighter like that? Do you try implementing a style where that fighter stays more on the outside or do you try to get that fighter to fight more and force him to bite down and get dirty?
I've always wondered if Ali loses the Thrilla in the Manilla how does that change how we look at him as well as Frazier? Does it impact their all time standings at all? Is Ali still known as the greatest of all time?
What are some examples of trilogies where you felt the inferior fighter won two or all three fights? I'll go with Vazquez beating Marquez two out of three times (Ignore the unnecessary 4th fight) and Barrera winning the battle against Morales. Though I'm sure some will argue Barrera is the superior fighter.
Bread’s Response: Sometimes the DOG is apparent, sometimes you have to wait for it. If anyone tells you a fighter has to be a DOG his first day sparring, is a dam fool. Being a is often a state of mind. There are times when a fighter puts it ALL out and then there are times when he doesn’t. Vitali Klitshko quit vs Chris Byrd because of an injured arm. He was tired of people’s opinion and he wanted to fight through his eye hanging out of his face vs Lennox Lewis.
You bring out the best in a fighter. It’s ok to be a dog. You can still be a boxer. Ward, Whitaker and Mayweather are all dogs who can box. If they aren’t a dog, you try to bring it out of them without making them into a Cur. Everyone is different. Every fighter has dog in them, circumstances predicate how much dog.
No if Ali would’ve lost to Frazier then he wouldn’t be the greatest. He needed that fight and he got it.
Inferior is not the right word but I get your point. The better fighter loses the series….Ok you have Marquez vs Vasquez I agree. But I don’t agree about Barrera vs Morales. I think they are equals or Barrera has an edge.
I think Pep is slightly better than Saddler. I think Robinson is better than Fulmer. I think Jones is better than Tarver.
Hey yo Breadman,
Hopefully all is good with you & yours (Congrats on your seeds' athletic feats. I follow you on Twitter)
Well, I'll get to the point.
I just heard a theory from this older cat that intrigued me about Mike Tyson's rise in the heavyweight division.
He basically said that Tyson's rise in the heavyweight division coincided with the transition from 15 round fights to 12 round fights and that part of the reason that young Tyson was so successful against guys like Berbick, Holmes, and Carl Williams was that he fought at a different pace than they did because they were used to 15 round fights and he caught all the older guys off guard with his aggression.
Do you think that the fact that boxing switched from 15 rounds to 12 right around the time Tyson turned pro (1985) benefited him in a significant way against those guys?
Rocky Marciano Vs. Roy Jones Jr. @ 185
Roy Jones Jr. Vs. Archie Moore @ 175
Canelo Alvarez vs. Roberto Duran @ 160
Roberto Duran Vs. Vasyl Lomachenko @ 135
Bread’s Response: Thank you man. I get the biggest kick out of watching my kids succeed.
Oh man you make an interesting point. I just don’t know if it benefited Tyson because when he started boxing there were 15 round fights. And his style was the same. Great question I just don’t have an answer. Cus Dmato was molding him since 1978. So there were 15 round fights. When he was going out for the 84 Olympics there were 15 round fights. So your point is solid but maybe he was just a blazing starter.
State that one fighter (past or present) who you believe would be the stylistic nightmare for the prime version of these boxers -
1. Heavyweight - Ali from 64 to 67
2. Cruiserweight - Evander Holyfield
3. Light Heavyweight - Gene Tunney
4. Welterweight - Ray Robinson
5. Lightweight - Duran
I know that most people consider either Charles or Moore as the GOAT at light heavyweight but I am talking about best and I consider Tunney to be the most unbeatable guy at light heavyweight. Speaking of Tunney, how do you think he would fare against Charles and Moore? What is your opinion?
Bread’s Response: Great Question!
1. Lennox Lewis for Ali.
2. Usyk for Holyfield
3. Michael Spinks for Tunney
4. Tommy Hearns for Ray Robinson
5. Ike Williams for Duran
Send Questions to firstname.lastname@example.org