The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling such topics as Canelo's weight, Terence Crawford's resume at welterweight, the trilogy fight between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, and more.
You're a good dude and love boxing like I do, but you're way too over-sensitive. Everytime I write in, you claim that I take "shots" or "sneak diss". My man, I am 57 years old and have been following boxing since at least 1973-74 when my father would bring home copies of Boxing Digest, Ring Magazine and International Boxing.
You can't be any older than your late 30s (37-38). Even if you're in your early 40s, that means you were born in the late 70s. I was in high school by then and buying my own boxing magazines at that point.
Resto-Collins was on the undercard of Duran-Moore, if memory serves me correctly. How do I know? Because I was at MSG that night sitting in my usual spot at the top. Unlike most of the guys who write in to your mailbag, I don't need YouTube or BoxRec.com to recall Boxing History -- I went to many live fights at MSG (Hopkins-Trinidad, Bonecrusher Smith-Witherspoon, Chavez-LaPorte, Leonard, Norris) as well as CCTV fights around NYC (Hearns-Leonard II, Hagler-Hearns, Tyson-Ruddock I).
I get the distinct impression that you feel threatened by someone like me who has a lot of Boxing History in his head and can recall facts with the aid of YouTube or BoxRec. That's unfortunate because it doesn't have to degenerate into a pissing contest, but I sense that it does with you. I write in because I value and respect your input and perspectives, not to "sneak diss" or "insult. I'm a grown man -- I say what I have to say in plain English. Sneak dissing is for youngsters who don't know any better.
One last thing...you chastised me for calling your mailbag a "newsletter", then at the very end, you called it a newsletter. Take a deep breath and let go of the ego and paranoia, brotha. Not everyone is out to get ya.
Carl Hewitt in New York
Bread’s Response: I was born in 1976, I’m 44 years old.
I have no idea how often you have written in, in the past. But if you got this type of feedback from me then it was warranted.
I’m the least sensitive dude you could ever meet. I’ve been called every derogatory name one can be called for doing a mailbag. You would think I was running for office. I’ve never wavered.
I welcome all intelligent conversation about boxing. So you’re wrong about that. Growing up and to this day my closest friends are not boxing fans, they are sports fans. They watch boxing because of me. Do you know how frustrating it is to talk boxing with someone who doesn’t know how much a featherweight weighs? I had to talk with men who were born in the 1930s in order to have a positive conversation on boxing.
Currently one of the reasons I do this mailbag besides the check is to talk boxing with people who know boxing. I only have about 5 or 6 people in the world I can have a boxing conversation with over the phone. It’s a select community.
So your knowledge doesn’t bother me at all. Let’s have it. I don’t check boxrec or google either. That’s why I said Resto vs Collins happened very close to Pryor vs Arguello. I didn’t give exact dates because if I say 7 months and it was really 11 months then the fans would try to cremate me. So I gave a round about estimate. But yes you’re correct, it was the Duran vs Moore undercard. June 16th. I’m a weirdo for remembering dates. Fighters usually fight good around their birth dates and June 16th is my guy Duran’s birthday.
As for your comment there are a lot of truths in jokes. And age and maturity don’t have to be the same thing. My guts are like 99% from the field. I know when someone is taking a shot. Sometimes I turn the other cheek, sometimes I fire back. Last week I fired back and I stand on it. It’s no fun when the rabbit got a gun.
As for Pryor vs Ortiz you strayed off of the topic. Tell me what you know about Carlos Ortiz? Ask one of your old heads from NY who watched boxing in the 1960s. He was a bad dude. A well rounded killer, who was always in shape and tough as nails. Pryor was also a bad boy and Pryor could probably beat more fighters, but I think the match up favors Ortiz in a 15 round fight. Pryor for as great as he was made a lot of mistakes. I don’t think it’s cool to justify or minimize Panama Lewis. Lewis is not a good person. He has no limits on what he would do to win a fight. I know there was no physical proof of what was in the bottle. But there is proof that multiple excuses were made up. Lewis said he mixed Spring Water with Tap water and crushed ice. One of Pryor’s team said peppermint schnapps was put in the bottle for diarrhea. Etc. Etc. What I know is the truth comes one way. And somebody is sadly mistaken or lying.
Keep writing in. I welcome all emails, good and bad. I don’t shy away from anything. And I will answer accordingly.
Hope you're well.
1 - Weight
Fighters kill themselves to make weight and to fight in the lowest category.
I understand the advantages. But I see as much, if not more, downside.
Wouldn't it be better if we could came up with a better system, like following them all year long and not allow them to fight say under a certain way in regard to their natural "walk around" one? I believe it has been mentioned a few times already.
I watched the Canelo Jacobs fight and followed the behind the scene at the time.
It was Jacobs' last fight at MW. Recently, I had the occasion to catch the behind the scene from Dazn. I was shocked, deeply, by how Jacobs was dehydrated. In the pre weigh in meeting, he talks like a zombie. I can't recall a fighter looking so bad in recent memory. His voice was way different, he struggled. His eyes were dead. I had forgotten that. You should check again. I'm glad he move up.
So my question; some guys really suffer to make weight.
Who are the 10 guys you think would benefit directly, without necessarily taking a tune up, by moving up in weight? Who could do it and be as good if not better in the category above and would improve chin, stamina, etc...?
2 - Canelo's style
Interestingly, Canelo slowly transformed into a calculated pressure fighter with counter instincts. He's excellent inside and at midrange.
I followed Canelo since 2010. I recently got the chance to watch him in 2008 and 2009.
Funny thing, he fights from distance. He over extended a lot on his right hand and had a very explosive one two. He would then move backward, stop, feint, throw a one two or one two one. He really transformed his style and it's impressive. The difference is more telling than most fighters, who get way better and more polished but stay closer to their "essence". Although now he puts a slow and steady pressure, like in GGG 2, I believe he remains a counter puncher at heart.
He's so good he never had to get his face f--ked up, it would be interesting to see Canelo in a war at some point, and see if he can take one to give one, and I'm talking Inoue/Donaire - Castillo Corrales type of fight.
I believe he would, as he is the man.
Bread’s Response: I don’t think it’s practical to follow a fighter around all year around. I mean at some a point self motivation and self discipline has to kick in. I wouldn’t want to have to follow a fighter around all year around. His success will be temporary.
I think when a top fighter proves that he walks around at say 170 and he fights at 160 and he proves to be the best in the game then others will follow suit. But don’t hold your breath. It’s the sign of the times and weight is ruining careers and causing PED use.
Seeing a fighter cut those last pounds the week of the fight is traumatizing. There voices drag because of dehydration and mineral deprivation. There eyes get sunken in. There teeth look huge because of how skinny their jaws become. There mouths are dry and their breath is really bad because they usually don’t eat much. It’s not good being around a fighter that week. And you really have to know what you’re doing to get a fighter back in time for the fight.
The reason they look so bad is simple. They walk around too heavy. So being close to their division weight is so unnatural that it stresses their bodies out. It’s common to me but to the average fan they don’t see fighters looking like that.
I think 90% of the top rated fighters in boxing from lightweight and up would benefit if they moved up just one weight class. The only fighters that I can see visually without knowing intimate details of their personal lives that don’t need to move up are Manny Pacquiao because he started out flyweight and he’s over 40, he doesn’t need to move to 154. His body is not stressed at 147. Vasyl Lomachenko because he started at 126 and he moved up to 135 for big fights not necessarily because he couldn’t make the weight. Terence Crawford because his body looks perfect at 147. He actually looks like he could make maybe 144 or 143 which is exactly how you want to do weight so have extra calories to burn. And Caleb Plant because he openly shows he walks around at about 181lbs. That’s perfect for a 6ft super middleweight.
Salaams Mr. Edwards,
I wanted to ask you a couple of questions for this Saturday's mailbag:
1. Who do you think are the five or ten best switch hitters in modern boxing history?
I think Terence Crawford easily makes the top five and probably makes the top three, but I wanted to ask someone with more knowledge. Is Marvelous Marvin Hagler number one with a bullet? I think Mike Tyson, Naseem Hamed, and Manny Pacquiao all switch better than they get credit for, but don't/didn't fight out of both stances as consistently.
2. Speaking of Bud, I think his record gets discredited much more than it should. Bud fought Gamboa when NOBODY wanted that smoke, and before he (Gamboa) was linked to PEDs. I don't think Gamboa was clean for that fight. Crawford also fought Postol right after Postol crushed Matthysse (who had only convincingly lost to Danny Garcia before that). Most importantly, Bud was undisputed at 140 after he held the Ring title at lightweight and cleaned out the top of both divisions.
I think title unification and ESPECIALLY undisputed status in a division is often underrated by modern fans. Often, fighters beat the guy at the top of their division and it's seen as less impressive than fights against bigger draws/names. For example, Floyd Mayweather Jr.'s most impressive victories are probably against Jose Luis Castillo (for the Ring belt), against Diego Corrales (who should have held the IBF and IBA belts at that time), and against Canelo Alvarez (where he took a Ring belt). For anyone who accuses Mayweather of cherry-picking opponents, that argument goes out the window for fights like those (not to say that Floyd didn't use his A-side negotiation power for other advantages against Alvarez). All Floyd's wins in his biggest money fights are less impressive (in my mind) than those three (although Alvarez was a big money fight too, and the victories are still very impressive, especially all stacked together).
What do you think? It's Bud's record underrated?
Bread’s Response: 1. You named them lol. Marvin Hagler is a brutal switch hitter. Terence Crawford is money from both sides. Prince Naseem Hamed was also nasty from both sides. And yes you’re correct Mike Tyson was a switch hitter but he only did it from inside and attack. He didn’t line up outside like Hagler, Crawford and Hamed. But inside Tyson was on either side. He was nasty with it.
Switch hitting is mostly a new thing. Hagler is the only old school fighter I know who did it so often. Usually if you were on one side you stuck to that side. Andre Direll is very underrated with it. He’s almost as good from the right side as he is from his southpaw stance. And I will throw one more the new school. Jaron Ennis. I literally can’t tell which side he’s better from. He doesn’t miss a beat from either side.
Fighters who can do this have active brains because most humans favor a side as far as anything. But elite switch hitters can operate from both sides of the plate.
Manny Pacquiao can do it because he’s a super athlete just like Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward but none of them switch enough to make the list. Roy Jones also used to switch but again not for long enough periods of time to make the list.
Terence Crawford is my #1 P4P fighter so of course I value his record. He doesn’t have a great resume but it’s good enough. He was the man at 135lbs. And he won all 4 belts at 140lbs. That’s all you can ask a fighter to do. He doesn’t have big names on his resume but let me tell you something. I have seen great fighters struggle with guys that Crawford smokes. He handles world class fighters as good as anyone in boxing. Crawford does not have one controversial fight that critics think he should have or could have lost. That counts for something.
Crawford’s resume at 147 is limited. But he has time to enhance it. Let’s see what happens. At this point I think Top Rank has to create some opponents for him because he’s not going to get a shot at a PBC fight until they all fight each other. That’s how the business of boxing works and that’s the dilemma for Crawford.
I don’t hold it against a fighter when I can see their brilliance and they are fighting the best available fighter. Being denied an opportunity is a part of this game. The only slight issue I can have with Crawford’s legacy is he may want to be more flexible as to what network he fights on. He’s too good for a promoter to allow an A side fighter to fight him without some type of options on him. Other than that Crawford is doing his thing.
What's up Bread hope you and yours are staying safe.
I'm curious about how confidence boosting fights are supposed to work regarding rematches. I hear people say Wilder needs is confidence back before taking on Fury again. How does a fighter get confidence by fighting a lesser opponent prior to a rematch with a top guy?
Bread’s Response: It depends on the fighter. Sometimes you have to slow it down and sort of practice some things under live fire. Sometimes you don’t need to. Usually with younger fighters a confidence booster is needed. But mental make up is important. Some fighters don’t get up for lesser fighters at a certain point in their career.
I actually think Deontay Wilder does not need the scrutiny of a tune up fight. Wilder is flawed technically and if he takes a tune up fight against the wrong fighter and gets tagged up before he scores his usual ko, the critics will kill him. They will say he hasn’t changed etc etc. No matter how strong you are mentally, that can get to you after a while.
Whatever Wilder is doing, he can do it behind closed doors in private with his team. If he needs some live fire, he can fight a smoker. Or a no head gear 8 round fight vs a tough journeyman. There is more than one way to skin a cat. Wilder is 34. He has 40 fights. He wants Fury. And no matter what anyone says, he deserves a rematch. It’s his legal right. He had a rematch clause and he’s exercising it. I can’t believe how he got criticized for exercising his legal right.
Being around the fight game, I’m sure you’re familiar with phrases like “Don’t box with a boxer” or “Don’t hook with a hooker”. But what were some fights you’ve encountered where you saw a guy beaten at his own game? When did you see the boxer outboxed, the brawler outbrawled, or the jabber outjabbed?
Bread’s Response: Good question. Obviously Ray Leonard vs Tommy Hearns1. Hearns was the fearsome stalker, Leonard the boxer. But after they settled down, Leonard was the attacker and Hearns the boxer. That’s probably the biggest role reversal in big fight history.
Evander Holyfied vs Mike Tyson1, people were worried about Holyfield’s health. Tyson was thought to be too fearsome. Tyson was puncher in the fight but for some reason Holyfield is the attacker when they fight and he turns into the puncher.
In recent times Jarret Hurd was a big swarming walk down fighter. Julian Williams the boxer. But yet when they fought Williams got the better of the trench warfare by a lot.
Shane Mosley is an athletic attacker who can box. Many thought he would have to box vs Antonio Margarito. But he didn’t move away from him. He attacked him and beat him to a pulp.
Canelo vs GGG2. GGG kept talking about the Mexican style. Many thought Canelo couldn’t stand and bang with him. But in the rematch Canelo was the attacker and pressed the fight. I think the visual optics of attacking when everyone thought he couldn’t fight like that, gave Canelo the edge and ultimately the decision.
Fighting is like dancing, in the golden age of the sweet science many of the old-time fighters incorporated tap dancing into their training for rhythm, good footwork, leg strength, muscular endurance in the legs, and leg quickness. Modern fighter Calvin Brock tap danced.
Canelo's fight style mutated after he fought Mayweather. He fights in a similar way, but sometimes gets out of rhythm and has to reset.
It's only circumstantial as to what Panama Lewis meant or was put in the water bottle of the Hawk, nothing proven. I believe that the Hawk would've stepped up against Ray Leonard and gave him all he could handle.
Same with Capetillo and Margarito against Cotto in the 1st fight, circumstantial as far as Cotto is concerned-nothing proven, proven against Mosley.
There's also circumspection regarding Pacquiao's refusal to PED test for a Mayweather fight the first time, nothing proven but many including Malignaggi felt there was smoke. After Pacquiao started testing the KO's dropped off dramatically, still nothing proven.
Mosley vs. Maidana?
Bread’s Response: 100%. Rhythm is the key to fighting. And not just for movers. But for everyone. Moving forward or backward. Rhythm. That’s why I think a fighters ring walk music is important. Skip rope routine is important. Shadowbox routine is important. This is all rhythm.
I’m very impressed with Canelo’s evolution. He does fight like Mayweather but he punches in more violent out burst. He can’t jab from the outside like Floyd but man he does his thing. There was a time when they were squeezing Canelo down in weight because of his lack of height and reach. But his defense, chin and relaxation has allowed them to take the shackles off. That’s a sign of a great fighter. To give up height and length that is not ideal to move up and move up anyway and prosper. Canelo was shorter than Mayweather at their stare downs. I was there.
In boxing unless a fighter admits to cheating or fails a test it’s always circumstantial. But there are levels of culpability and there are people in jail for life because of circumstantial evidence. So I go on a case by case basis. Asking for the bottle I mixed when water is the only thing allowed in the corner, then 7 months later the same trainer is found to have removed padding from a fighter’s gloves, that indicates a pretty strong lack of morals.
In Margarito’s case, a USED illegal knuckle pad was found in his wraps before his fight with Shane Mosley not Miguel Cotto. It’s not proven it was used against Cotto. I agree 100% that Margarito had a tough style for Cotto and he made him over move so that could have caused him serious problems. But at the least the PADS were used in sparring which also is problematic. Sparring partners value their health also. They don’t want to get hit with illegal wraps.
Whenever I hear about a fighter cheating. I always ask myself was it the first time they cheated. Or the first time they got caught. By the way I also agree Pryor would have given Ray Leonard a serious go. Pryor was special. It’s unfortunate that he didn’t get more limelight in his career.
Your mailbag is underrated brother. it’s kept my love and interest for the sport alive. I don’t know any real boxing heads to chat with, so my boxing banter is limited to my once a month barber appointment and the occasional tag me in some casual boxing stuff. I appreciate the time you spend on these emails and I make sure never to miss one. I consider this my morning newspaper since... how long ago was boxingtalk? Lol
Due to the ongoing pandemic and it’s unpredictability of what the future may hold, I can envision a scenario where they might try to cash in on the big events/fights sooner rather than later.. pac vs mcgregor? do you see this fight happening and if so, would u see it as a step in the mayweather rematch direction ..?
In your last mailbag, you mentioned Duran putting up a strong stand against Hagler. a lightweight vs the middleweight champ. it would not be out of the realm of possibility if pacquiao tried moving up vs ggg or canelo. payday, historical significance, legacy, underdog status, etc id imagine the older aging ggg would be the more favorable match up. how would you break those fights down ? if pacquiao were to pull off the upsets ?
And finally, lockdown has everyone losing their minds, and Marquez finally accepts the 100 trillion offer for pacquiao 5. I feel like pac was on his way to brutalizing Marquez before the KO. how would you see #5 going? how would their “history” be viewed after a 5th encounter ?
#bonus Marquez v Cotto
@mikesright from Las Vegas
Bread’s Response: In reverse order. I think Cotto would have beaten Marquez. I appreciate Marquez’s resilience as much as any fighter ever. I have never seen a fighter get dropped so easy and often and NEVER lose by stoppage. It’s remarkable the way he recovers. His fighting spirit is as good as any in boxing.
But I think Marquez vs Pacman is one of those cases where a great fighter has an ATG number. Pac has proven to be the better fighter overall vs common opponents and accomplishments but it’s hard for him to separate himself vs Marquez in the ring. Marquez just understands his rhythm better than everyone else.
But Marquez struggled often with fighters Pac handled. I thought Barrera got a raw deal vs Marquez with the missed knockdown. Tim Bradley outboxed Marquez. Marquez had some tough moments vs Juan Diaz and Michael Katsiditis. Pac handles those level guys and he handled the great Tim Bradley and Barrera.
Not to discredit Marquez, he’s an ATG. But I think Cotto was too big, punched too hard and boxed too good. I don’t know if he would stop Marquez. But I can see the fight looking like Marquez vs Bradley with Cotto being a better puncher.
I think Pacman would get hurt if he fought GGG or Canelo. Duran was 32 when he fought Hagler. Duran is a much bigger man than Pacquiao. Pacquiao is 41 my man. That’s serious. If he was able to beat Canelo especially right now then he’s the BEST FIGHTER EVER. I’m telling you it would be the greatest win in boxing history. I don’t believe he could do it. Canelo would be too big, fast, good and go to the body too much. I just don’t see it.
I saw that you put Ray Leonard in your all time P4P top 10 in last week's extended mailbag. Quality is certainly important and who else has such great wins since 1980, but I would still have a problem putting Leonard in my top 10. He fought too little for me to put him in top 10 all time. In professional sports, longevity matters both in a single fight and the entire career. Many fighters win fights against more more skilled opponents on attributes like endurance and cardio. Calzaghe beat Hopkins because of his cardio and chin despite being less skilled. You call them deep water fighters in your mailbag. Leonard was an epitome of deep water fighter. Similarly, while Hopkins lost to a more skilled Roy Jones the first time, he beat him in the second bout. I do not think any version of Hopkins beats a prime Jones but he ended up having a better career due to longevity. He had more bouts than Jones and was older but still he was fresher than Jones when their rematch happened. That is precisely my knock on Ray Ray Leonard. He is one my favourite and his win against Hagler after being inactive for over 3 years is the pinnacle that no modern boxer has ever come close to teaching. Also, I know that he was forced to retire due to an injury that was considered extremely serious back then but it would have been easier for me to put him in all time P4P top 10 if he had not retired once again after the Kevin Howard bout and faced McCrory, Curry and Honeyghan.
I rate Leonard as high as you when someone talks about mythical matchups but find it difficult placing him in my personal all time top 10 list. Can an athelete's career just be judged on how high his peak was irrespective of longevity?
Bread’s Response: Most respected historians rate Leonard somewhere in the top 20 and the best fighter since 1980. I find it hard to rate fighters pre WWII and post WWII. So I get your concern. It seems as if you rate him somewhere in the top 20. If so that’s understandable.
It’s really picking straws. I think Leonard did have sufficient longevity. If a fighter wins fights over a decade that’s long enough for me. Leonard won the Gold Medal in 1976 and beat Roberto Duran in 1989 coming off of his Duran’s Iran Barkley win. So that’s long enough for me. His knock is his inactivity but I think his longevity is sufficient.
I do count longevity. I also count peak value, opponents and eye ball test. Leonard rates high every where except Quantity of fights. If he had a 60 fight career then he’s top 5 ever. So I guess I held it against him somewhat. But if everything is even, I rate peak value over longevity. What you were at your best counts more to me. Because often times when you think of a fighter you think of him during his prime.
In a previous mailbag I think you said you would choose to be at Leonard vs Hearns 1 if you could travel back in time and attend any fight in history. Here I’ll ask you to reconsider because at first I also thought oh I’ll choose the Thrilla in Manila because it’s my favourite fight! But then I thought nah why would I do that when I can choose to attend a fight that isn’t available on video?! So I came up with 4 fights I would choose between.
Sugar Ray Robinson vs Kid Gavilan 2 (imagine being able to see a prime Robinson at 147 defend the title against his best opponent)
Harry Greb vs Mickey Walker (can finally see Greb)
Ezzard Charles vs Archie Moore
Jack Johnson vs Sam Langford
Ultimately I would most want to finally see what a prime Robinson looks like but hard not to choose Greb since no video exists of him at all. Which would you pick Bread? (Feel free to add your own instead). And did I convince you or you’ll stick with Leonard and Hearns live over those 4?
Filip in Toronto
Bread’s Response: Great perspective. I never thought about it in this way. Ironically Robinson vs Gavilan was in 1949 and my late grandfather who was 18 at the time attended the fight. He told me how it was tight early but Robinson started digging in and separating himself in the 2nd half. He told me they were both firing, rapid fire combinations at each other in vicious exchanges. I’ve asked him about this fight several times and each time the story stays the same. He loves Robinson.
Ok how is this. I will change my list of fights to attend somewhat. I will still go Leonard vs Hearns 1. But I will throw in Ali vs Frazier1, it hurts me Ali lost but I think it may have been better than Ali vs Frazier3. Then I will go Robinson vs Gavilan and Greb vs Walker. Seeing these fights will settle a lot of debate. Thank you.
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