The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling such topics as the Jermell Charlo vs. Tony Harrison rematch, Robert Duran, Karlos Balderas suffering his first defeat, the behavior of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and more.
Just got finished watching the card on Saturday night and let me tell you, top to bottom that may have been the best card of the year in terms of action and drama. We got a huge upset with a former Olympian medalist, we got a top HW prospect hitting the deck and then got a great main event where both fighters brought it up from the opening bell! Good stuff, and the prelims had some great action as well. Whoever the matchmaker responsible for putting that card together deserves a raise.
Anyways, now to the Charlo/Harrison fight. Harrison clearly was the more talented fighter and has the better amateur pedigree, but Charlo has a iron chin and great determination. Even when things were not going his way or the rounds were super competitive where he couldn't assert his dominance, he never lost confidence. He just kept plugging along and knew eventually he could hurt and stop Harrison. Derrick James commented before his last fight that Jermell stays in dog shape year around and that even if he is not in camp, he is still working out and getting his roadwork done to the point that he is in shape when he enters camp. Not having to worry about weight and just fine tuning your skills in camp is a big advantage. Not to say that Harrison wasn't in shape, but clearly he has mental lapses late in fights where he just loses it. Even the first fight he was rocked badly in the 11th and 12th rounds and almost dropped.
Also, looking at the 154 pound division, I got to thinking of why Jermell is always on edge. And I think one of the reasons and you can tell me if you agree or not, but coming up he never got the hype that other 154 pounders got. Jermell was NOT a standout amateur or highly touted prospect. Tony Harrison, Julian Williams and Erickson Lubin ALL got way more hype than him coming up and were seen as the futures of the division at one point or another. So while people comment after the fight of how beatable Jermell is and how he can be out-boxed, you will have to go through hell to beat him due to how great of shape he is and just his all around determination. Those types of fighters are never easy to beat, regardless of their technical flaws. What do you think?
Bread’s Response: Yes sir. The Harrison vs Charlo II card was excellent from top to bottom. Good matchmaking.
Just because you are more talented, skilled or better than someone it doesn’t mean you can beat them. Jermell Charlo has exactly what you said. A very good chin, excellent conditioning and plenty of will and determination. It’s not to say he isn’t skilled, he just isn’t as skilled as Tony Harrison. But it didn’t matter.
I was impressed with both fighters. I was impressed with how Harrison started pressing the fight. He caught criticism in the first fight because he threw 30 punches/round and relied heavily on his jab. In this fight he fought Jermell on the inside, he cut his right hand loose and he really opened up to the body. That was the best fight Tony ever fought as a pro. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough.
It wasn’t enough because it was a 12 round fight not an 11 round fight. Because of Jermell’s dogged determination it made Tony lose focus. Athletes do weird things under stress. Remember when Oscar De La Hoya started cruising vs Tito Trinidad? He started acting that way in my opinion because Tito had no give in him. Mentally you start to do counter productive things under that type of fire. Jermell EARNED that victory. It doesn’t matter that most thought he was losing. He never stopped trying.
Often times the excuse will be if I would have just kept my focus. Etc etc. But the reason a fighter loses focuses is because of his opponent. Jermell forced Tony to fight the most perfect fight he had ever fought and that takes a level of concentration he had never showed before. His mind needed a relief from locking in for so long. It’s not easy being better than you ever were. Boxing more mental than you guys realize.
I think Erickson Lubin got more hype than Charlo and he got a title shot at a much younger age and less fights. But Tony Harrison and Julian Williams didn’t have the carpet laid out for them either. They had to wait in line to get title shots. They had to fight tough prospect fights coming up. They are all the same age and all received roughly the same treatment. Food for thought. Tony Harrison was the B side to Jermell Charlo and he won the first fight.
Jermell Charlo was with Golden Boy coming up and you can see with his matchmaking someone didn’t believe in him. He had to fight some tough fights vs other prospects, he was ranked high for years and didn’t get a title shot until the title became vacant. He definitely had to EARN his stripes. He actually had it rougher than his brother. But tough times build tough people and he got through it. Props to him.
Breadman, please give me your take on these fantasy match-ups. All the best to you and your this Holiday Season.
Roberto Duran of June 1980 vs Pernel Whitaker of October 1993 @ 147
JC Chavez of November 1987 vs Floyd Mayweather JR of December 2002 @ 135
Vinny Pazienza 1987 vs Ray Mancini 83-84 @ 135
Bernard Hopkins 2001 vs Carlos Monzon of 1976-1977 @ 160
Joe Louis of June 1939 vs Joe Frazier of March 1971
Ezzard Charles of Sept 1950 vs Michael Spinks of Sept 1985 @ heavy
Oscar De La Hoya of June 1996 vs Aaron Pryor of Nov 1982 @ 140
Simon Brown of 88-91 vs Shawn Porter of 2019
Bread’s Response: The Duran June of 1980 is almost as good as Ray Robinson. Only about 3 or 4 men could beat him close to that weight. Robinson, Hearns, Leonard and the list gets very thin. Duran.
Chavez of 87 that fought Rosario is as good as it gets. Floyd was in a little slump when he moved to 135. He had two tough fights with Castillo and also the year before a tough one with Augustus. Chavez.
Mancini over Pazienza. Mancini was just a slightly better fighter.
I can’t call Hopkins vs Monzon. They would have to fight a few times to decide. But I pick Monzon more days than I pick Hopkins.
I can’t call Oscar of 96 vs Pryor of 82. Oscar was at his best in 1996 and he would give Pryor hell.
Draw in Brown vs Porter.
You know the demographic for black fighters is different than for Manny Pacquiao!
Pacquiao is Asian and is seen through a different lens (the Bruce Lee effect).
Look at fighters like Julian Williams, he's still not a household name.
They gave Spence a chance but his next fight(s) will not be on PPV.
I'm not saying it's impossible for a black fighter but being hated sure helps.
Sugar Ray Robinson and Cassius Clay were both hated. Hate generates more attraction then love!
More is expected from a black fighter, not just talent and skills.
The next BIG black fighter will be Tank Davis because he's got style and a lot of brutality about him. He's also associated with Floyd. Tank has the youth and subtle skills to defeat Lomachenko by KO. Tank KOs Gamboa.
Charlo defeats Harrison by KO in the rematch!
Bread’s Response: Good call on Charlo over Harrison.
You actually have a point. The black fighters who are loathed become bigger stars faster. It shouldn’t be that way but that’s how it is. But it’s not how it always was. Ray Leonard, George Foreman and Marvin Hagler weren’t hated. They were both superstars who crossed over. Recently Floyd Mayweather and Adrien Broner were the two biggest black stars and they were loathed. There is no way Broner should have been bigger than Andre Ward, so you do have a valid point.
I also observe the treatment some non black fighters receive. I’m not a guy who tries to draw a racial line every time something doesn’t go right. There have been lots of black fighters who have received enabled treatment such as Adrien Broner. But no one has been treated as good as Julio Chavez Jr. This will offend some but there is a no way a black fighter could get away with what he’s been able to get away with. Some will keep bringing up Broner but Broner is a better fighter than Chavez Jr. by a noticeable margin. In the history of boxing there has never been a marginal talent like Chavez Jr. who has ever been treated like him. It’s Disgusting!
Tank Davis does have a chance to be the next big star. But he’s going to have to show the ability to win the big fights. Lightweight is stacked and everyone wants a piece of him. Rarely does one goes through 5 or more legitimately great fighters in their primes without taking a loss. The sharks are out for Davis at 135. I want to see how he responds to a loss if he ever loses and I want to see if he can hold the weight for an extended period of time. He has the height of a featherweight and he’s fighting at lightweight and he doesn’t look like he makes that easy.
I think the next black Super Stars are Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua. They are both bigger than Davis at this moment and both are on the rise. Joshua commanded an 80 million dollar payday. That’s a star for you. Wilder is coming and despite what people may think he’s an 8 figure fighter.
Not sure if you caught the opening fight on the Harrison vs Charlo card. If you did what did you think of the referee allowing Balderas to continue after he told him to step forward towards him and he stumbled backwards? I would think the bout should be waved off at that point. Also I thought the commentary was a bit off and biased towards Balderas since he is the young prospect. I saw Giron clearly winning the fight throughout the entire fight, but the commentary made it seem like Balderas was in control. I'm not saying Balderas wasn't in the fight but Giron's punches were clearly were having an effect and he was landing much cleaner. I know I've complained to you about commentary before and it's out of our control, but I think it's just ridiculous. I was thinking to myself if I was even watching the same fight as the crew. Giron was very smartly investing in heavy body shots and landing a nasty left hook upstairs the whole fight. I am happy that he finished the fight because the judges scoring was close. When a guy that isn't known loses a close fight that he is winning against a hot shot prospect that fighter usually doesn't get another big opportunity. Meanwhile Balderas can go back to the drawing board and improve upon his mistakes and be back up there in a few fights. I'm not so sure Giron would get that same treatment had he have lost a decision.
-Chris from Chicago
Bread’s Response: I think Balderas received the A side treatment. I feel bad for the young man and he’s getting a lot of criticism on social media. He didn’t do anything wrong. He did his best. The guy he fought had heavy hands and he had Balderas timed. Balderas can come back but the right man won Saturday night.
The thing is the referee in the Balderas fight sets a precedence. He has to give every other fighter the same chance he gave Balderas or he will receive bad ratings from the teams. That’s how that works. He let a kid who stumbled back after his command to walk forward continue. So he has to be consistent with everyone.
What’s up bread !
Once again much respect to one of the greatest minds in the entire world of Boxing- you do a great job as a writer and a trainer.
My question is this obviously Muhammad Ali who I consider to be the greatest heavyweight champ ever wind up being the best fighter but the night he beat Sonny Liston for the first time versus Mike Tyson the night he won the title verse Trevor Berbick who do you like? My gut says Ali but I do think at that point Tyson was the more seasoned fighter and more physically mature . I think Tyson’s greatness gets highly overlooked he was one hell of a fighting machine before he went to jail . Love to hear your thoughts on this one
Howie from New Jersey
Bread’s Response: It’s conceivable that Tyson developed a little faster than Ali. But knowing what I know it’s hard for me to pick Tyson over Ali. Ali’s character is so high level that it’s just tough to pick against him with Tyson unless he’s totally shot.
Tyson does get historically underrated. I think he can be anywhere from 9th to 15th ALL TIME. He has a case to be over every heavyweight outside of Ali, Louis, Foreman, Holmes, Holyfield, Lewis, Johnson and Marciano.
What does a fighter have to do to achieve ATG status? Is there a one-size-fits-all or does it depend upon a fighter and the circumstances around him? For example, when did Manny Pacquiao achieve ATG status? Did SRL become an ATG when he upset Hagler, or was he already an ATG by then? Today, some people already view Loma and Usyk as ATGs, but I’m not entirely convinced. I like both Loma and Usyk and think they’re already HOF, but when do they become ATG? When/if Loma beats young sharks like Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney? When/if Usyk beats the top heavyweights? Is Oscar De La Hoya an ATG or just a HOF?
Sorry for being a little scatterbrained… but… I agree that certain fighters are ATG (Robinson, Pep, Greb, Dempsey, etc.), I just can’t quite put my finger on what makes a fighter an ATG. I have a hard time pinning down a particular moment when a HOF becomes an ATG.
Bread’s Response: Boxing a totally subjective sport. The scoring of fights. The assessment of fighters. So being an ATG is subjective also.
Before the 1980s everyone who won 3 division titles was an ATG. Now the goal post have moved. We can’t consider that to be the standard anymore.
I considered Ray Leonard an ATG before the Hagler fight. But that win left no question.
I thought Pacquiao became an all time great when he beat Oscar. Regardless of how we felt about Oscar’s condition, no flyweight in history had ever won a significant fight at welterweight.
I don’t believe Loma or Usyk are all time greats just yet. Loma may be an all time great junior lightweight. And Usyk may be ATG cruiserweight. But neither are ATG overall just yet. If Loma runs hard at 135 then he’s in. Usyk the same at heavyweight.
The weird thing about being an ATG is sometimes a fighter can be one without us realizing it. But Here are some helpful tips. Having multiple wins over HOF fighters. Having a high regard for over 5 or more years being one of the best fighters in the world. Having multiple lights out performances in a huge fight. Winning big fights as an underdog. If you don’t have any of that simply beat the best available fighter for a prolonged period of time.
It’s not exact science but if you have a fighter who falls into those categories they will at least have HOF status and start approaching ATG status.
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