By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the ending to Ward vs. Kovalev 2, the worth of Juan Manuel Marquez, the career of Marcos Maidana, the career of Pacquiao and more.
Hey - again keep up the great work - love reading your articles on Saturday morning !
Two questions - Ive been watching a lot of boxing tape lately and ran across a young prospect named Chris “ lil Bhop “ Colbert I am overly impressed with him as he looks to be special - have you seen him? And what do you think? Second question I am a Huge Hector macho Camacho Fan thought he was one of the great showman ever obviously but also in his prime a great great fighter who knew how win - with that being said I still rate him as an A minus fighter and not an A fighter due to losses late in his career against bigger and top level guys - How do you rate him ? do you feel I’m right or do you make him an A fighter? Thanks again keep up the great work Howie from New Jersey
Bread’s Response: I’ve seen Colbert he’s really talented. I would like to see more of him. If he gets active he can make a push for a title in 18 months.
Good question on Hector Camacho. I view him as a HOF. I view him as a great fighter. I think he matches up well in head to head match ups but I don’t view him as ATG. So A- is about right but he could be A on a HOT day. He was really something but very inconsistent and he came up short in too many big fights he could’ve won. He has longevity but there is plenty of controversy surrounding his best win vs Edwin Rosario. Other than that Camacho doesn’t have what you call a great win.
Hey bread man hope all is well with you and your family. My question will be short and in parts. Firstly what do you think of my guy Juan Manuel Márquez as a fighter strengths / weaknesses and what you would do to improve him if you were in the corner.
Secondly what is your overall assessment of nacho as a coach his fighters that reached the top levels had a very peculiar style what would you call that particular boxing style it’s from Mexico but it’s not typically Mexicano l think canelos trainers added a little bit of nachos style with a touch of the Black Michigan style
Thirdly who does jrock go after for the title shot ? He is probably one of the higher skilled guys in the division and l think he stops Harrison and Munguía.
Bread’s Response: I would never negatively critique Nacho Beristain, he’s on the Mt. Rushmore of modern trainers. Nacho’s guys had great balance, great posture, great punch delivery and a great sense of timing. Marquez Brothers, Finito and Jonnhy Gonzales. You could see Nacho’s work in all of them.
A trainer has a paint brush. The fighter is his canvas. You can only do so much with the canvas you’re painting on depending on the texture. Nacho got everything out of his career as a trainer and breaks so many myths that Mexicans have to come forward or you have to be a pro fighter to be a trainer. Nacho is as good as it gets.
I’ve seen Juan Manuel Marquez throughout his entire career. I remember him when Prince Naseem Hamed was ducking him. I saw him lose to Freddy Norwood in his 1st try. This was way before he became famous for fighting Pacman.
Marquez is one of the top 10 Mexican fighters ever. He’s also one of the best sub featherweight fighters of the last 50 years. I love his counter punching obviously. I love his even handed attack. I love his concentration in tight spots. I loved when he made Robbie Peden throw up with a body shot. Or when he exploded vs Juan Diaz and Joel Casmayor for stoppages. He even walked down the ultra talented Derrick Gainer.
Marquez had a great chin but even greater recuperative powers. I can’t think of another fighter who was hurt or dropped so often that was NEVER stopped. He’s an anomaly. Marquez has Evander Holyfield level character in a boxing ring.
I consider Marquez a violent boxer puncher, counter puncher. His parry and counter style could be the best I’ve seen. His only real weakness was he did go down and in close fights and we know how that came back to haunt him. And he didn’t like it when he was made to lead. Freddy Norwood, Tim Braldey, Marco Antonio Barrera, Chris John, Floyd Mayweather and even Manny Pacquiao. All gave him fits when they made him lead.
But every fighter if put in enough tough fights will have a style that throws him off. Marquez is a fighter’s fighter. In my opinion he’s top 100 fighters ever.
Thanks for answering my previous email about Featherweight match-ups. This time around:
1) I think Josh Warrington beat a good version of Carl Frampton, not past-prime, and he certainly made me a fan. Maybe after this fight people could consider Frampton's career at the very top done, but going in to this I had him at #2 behind Santa Cruz, and that's where I now have Warrington, ahead of the barely active yet very talented Gary Russell Jr. I still have Frampton at 4 ahead of Valdez, as do TBRB.
After Josh Warrington's impressive outings against Lee Selby and Carl Frampton, do you now see unifications with Santa Cruz, Russell Jr and Oscar Valdez going in his favour? I think we'll almost certainly see Warrington fight Kid Galahad this year in a mandatory defence.
Considering his size and that he has only just entered his prime year, I think Warrington could go on to win titles at 130 and 135 also. What do you think?
2) How do you see Terence Crawford v. Amir Khan going?
I can see Crawford getting a stoppage before the 8th. But on the other hand I can see Khan displaying a lot of heart to make it to the end, losing a competitive fight. Crawford has a large reach for somebody who started around Lightweight, I see that playing a big part in his victory. Khan's quick jab is his best weapon, if he can't establish it and in general earn Crawford's respect then he gets stopped quite early. If Khan can make it to the final bell I think he'll earn a lot of respect from many of his detractors. I'd like to see him fight Kell Brook and then retire, I wouldn't mind seeing him rematch Danny Garcia. I wouldn't really care who would win in those fights because I know I'd be thoroughly entertained. I just hope the Kell Brook fight gets made.
3) Assuming he gets past Amir Khan, Terence Crawford needs to fight at least two from Errol Spence Jr, Keith Thurman and Shawn Porter for us to know truly how great he is. If he were to do so and become come through those guns to become Lineal Champion in a third division and in this stacked Welterweight division especially, surely he would transcend HOF status and be elevated to an ATG, right? His dominance at 135 and 140 came at relatively weak periods in the recent history of those divisions but he deserves massive credit for doing what he did and in that manner also. Dominating this 147 division would be something else entirely! Your thoughts?
4) How would you think Terence Crawford would do:
- against prime-Ricky Hatton at 140lbs?
- During the post-Pacman era at 140lbs? Notable fighters of the time include Timothy Bradley Jr, Amir Khan, Devon Alexander, Lamont Peterson, Marcos Maidana and Lucas Matthysse. Including the next lineal champion, Danny Garcia.
Thanks and all the best for the year ahead, Bread.
Bread’s Response: 1. Man I was super impressed with Warrington. He looked like Jeff Fenech. Vs Frampton. But I don’t want to go crazy over 1 performance. He may have just got HOT. Warrington is 28-0 with only 6kos so therefore a high energy style will take him in distance fights constantly. He could burn out. So let’s just see how he looks going forward. I will say that in the form he showed vs Frampton he’s a hand full or beats everyone you named but he may not get in that form again. We have to see.
2. Khan and Crawford are both guys who appear to be taller than they are. Both are about 5’8 but they have rangy longer arms than their heights would suggest.
Khan is murder early. I can see why he was a better amateur than Crawford. In a 3 round fight with head gear on Khan is a nightmare. But Crawford has proven to be better as a pro and in 12 round fights.
Crawford has that Andre Ward, Floyd Mayweather like adjustment ability after the 4th round. He figures everyone out. Crawford has a great jab, he makes you pay for every mistake progressively as the fight goes, he’s excellent to the body, he punches harder than it looks and he’s one of the best finishers in boxing. Khan really has his work cut out for him and if he’s not focused he’s going to get hurt really bad.
I think Khan has about a 30% shot to win if he can fight the perfect fight. I don’t know what style Khan will use but he does do well vs boxers and southpaws. Crawford needs a few rounds to warm up. And if you look at Crawford’s resume, at no fault of his own, Khan is the most accomplished fighter he has faced. Postol or Benavidez may be better but who really knows. It’s a tough call. Crawford could be facing his best opponent in Khan.
I can’t pick Khan to beat what I think is the world’s best fighter. But if he makes the fight boring and just tries to win and not impress the fans he does have a shot. But Khan’s IQ always comes back to haunt him and Crawford has special IQ. So……
3. I hope Crawford does not get boxed out at 147 because I think he needs it for his legacy. He’s already a HOF but like you stated he needs some big names close to their primes to put him at ATG status and he’s in his 30s so it’s time.
4. Prime Ricky Hatton the guy beat Kostya Tszyu is a nightmare for most 140 pounders. I think he takes Crawford the distance but I pick Crawford to win a clear decision.
I like Crawford over everyone you named but I would have liked to see him vs Garcia, Maidana and Bradley we are going to get to see him vs Khan.
I know he got over on Bradley in sparring but Bradley was a gamer, he was undefeated at 140. He has better wins at 140 than Crawford vs Alexander, Holt and Witter. And had that winning way about him. That’s a tough fight for Crawford in a real fight not just sparring.
Danny Garcia was so ambitious at 140. He took on Khan, Matthysse, Judah and Holt also. Garcia was also undefeated at 140 and he could knock your head off. I don’t pick him to beat Crawford but that wouldn’t have been easy. Danny was better at 140 than we see of his current version at 147.
Marcos Maidana is a tough fighter to gauge. The Maidana that trained with Robert Garcia and Alex Ariza was a MONSTER. His 2013-14 run was crazy. He was just a better fighter from before. Maidana won’t go to the HOF or be considered a great fighter but he was a super tough out. He was only dominated once and that was by Devon Alexander. I give Alexander full credit for that and I don’t know what happened in that fight. Maybe it was a style thing, maybe an off night. But Maidana fought Mayweather better than he fought Alexander, go figure.
Back to Maidana he fought boxers well. Speed didn’t bother him. He was able to get things done with fighters who had similar attributes of Crawford. Mayweather, Broner, Khan and Victor Cayo all are built similar to Crawford and have similarities. Maidana had a Rocky Marciano I will just hit any part of your body attack that worked well for him. Maidana was a modern day savage.
Just think about this a judge gave Maidana 6 rounds vs Floyd Mayweather in their 1st fight. And in the 2nd fight a judge gave him 5 rounds. Nobody gets that many official rounds from Floyd. I still don’t know who won that 1st fight and I don’t rescore fights but leaving the sports bar that night many of the black dudes thought Maidana won and boxing is tribal. My pick would be Crawford but that balls to the wall hammer fist Rocky Marciano style does well with boxer punchers.
But fights aren’t won on paper. Crawford’s time at 140 missed these guys so he can only fights the fighters available to him.
1. I am going back to my question in the previous mailbag about counter punchers. I have seen 2 different line of thoughts among experts about counterpunching. Some consider it a separate style in itself like swarmer, slugger, boxer and boxer puncher. Some others consider it a sub-style. I also consider it a sub-style. Swarmers, sluggers, boxers, boxer punchers - all 4 can either adopt a volume punching style or a counter punching style. I do agree that it is much easier for outfighters and boxer punchers to adopt a counter punching style as opposed to sluggers and swarmers. Even sluggers can adopt that style successfully considering they are mostly about insane knockout power but I was honestly finding very difficult to think of swarmer who adopted that style successfully. Duran turned into a counterpunching pressure fighter post Leonard rematch but all his great performances after that was against other pressure fighters not 'stick and move' guys. Even Camacho fought largely toe to toe in their first fight and hence Duran was competitive. Not seen a lot of Marco Antonio Barrera fights. Now that you have told me, I will binge watch them on youtube soon. I guess, pressure fighting is too dependent on volumes and hence we do not find too many successful counterpunching pressure fighters.
2. I wanted to get your views on Jose Cuevas. Is he truly worthy of being in hall of fame? Don't get me wrong. One does not have to be a Lineal / Ring champion (Ken Norton was not) or any type of champion (Jimmy Bivins was not) for that matter to be in hall of fame but his career seemed unimpressive to me. I was not born back then, so I am going to defer to your opinion on this. What is your opinion of Jose Cuevas? Is he worthy of being in hall of fame or he was just in the right batch?
3. Talking of Jose Cuevas, why do boxers who peak very early burn out so fast? Benitez, Tyson, Cuevas. The list goes on and on.
Bread’s Response: 1. Duran was absolutely a counter puncher after 1980. Check out Barrera before the Junior Jones fights then after..
2. I never say a fighter should NOT be in the HOF. But Cuevas is no where near the fighter Ken Norton was. Norton was a great fighter who just wasn’t the best of his era.
Cuevas was like 15-6 when he won the title. He got hot but he never beat anyone high quality in my opinion. Cuevas in my opinion was a great puncher who came along at the perfect time. After Jose Napoles and before Benitez, Hearns, Leonard and Duran. Cuevas did have 11 title defenses in an era with only two champions so you have to respect that. But I think the WBC champion of the time Carlos Palomino was the much better fighter. Cuevas also defended the title twice vs the same fighter Angel Espada that he won it from. So during his title hot streak he beat the same guy 3x. Cuevas also lost to Andy Price in his fight before a title shot and Price never got a title shot.
I hate to nitpick a fighter’s career and I always respected Cuevas for his ruthless power. But I never understood why he was in the HOF and Donald Curry wasn’t. They came from similar eras but Curry had better wins, he unified, his peak was higher, he had more longevity and he moved up and won a title. I never understood what criterion was used for Cuevas that wasn’t used for Curry.
I assume that Cuevas’s 11 title defenses which is really good for welterweight gets him in and I would never argue that. I think that’s 3rd or 4th all time behind Henry Armstrong and Felix Trinidad. So let’s just say Cuevas is a great puncher who was HOF worthy but he’s not a great fighter.
3. Some fighters can operate at a high level from their teens or early 20s and show longevity. Duran, Mayweather, Hearns and Ali. But other guys like Cuevas and Benitez have a harder time.
But before you look at their ages look how long they were relevant. Benitez was a top level elite guy form 76-82. That’s 6 years as a champion in 3 weight classes. That’s really long enough for a peak. Cuevas was a champion from 1976-80 and made 11 title defenses. That’s a lot of defenses. I think their biggest problem was they seemed to drop off in their mid 20s which is early.
I really don’t know why they couldn’t last longer. Maybe they took too many punches while their bodies were still developing. Maybe the stress of top level boxing consumed them. I can’t put a finger on it.
I don’t think you realize how influential you are. As soon as you started hinting that you were picking Caleb Plant everyone started following suit. The odds dropped drastically and I told my boxing friends that Plant would win the fight.
You’re pick was exact. I’ve never seen anyone call a 12 round fight exactly how it will go. To quote you, you said Plant would peck and poke his way to a decision and use his charisma. Then to top it off you said expect drama from 9-12. WOW!
Plant did exactly that. He used his legs, his lead hand and his charisma to play on the crowd. Then as he tired slightly, he was cool under the late round push. What a prediction! And to top it off I was there live and there was slight controversy some people thought Uzcategui pulled it off with his late round push.
I bet on fights frequently. My question is how did you know Plant would pull this upset off? Where does Plant and Uzcategui go from here? Can Plant beat the other champions and top guys?
Bread’s Response: I had people tell me that Plant wouldn’t win this fight because he couldn’t stop junior middleweights and The Uzi beat Andre Dirrell who is better than Plant. But I just knew what I knew and some times boxing doesn’t work like that.
The reason I was leaning Plant were several. Here they are. Plant was fighting for his first title. Most undefeated fighters fighting for their first title are extremely motivated. On top of that Plant is motivated by his daughter’s death. DEATH is an extreme motivation especially in small pockets for 1 or 2 fights.
Plant is not only motivated but he’s mature. Maturity allows you to channel your motivation correctly. Complacency doesn’t set in as much when you’re mature. The maturity allows you to discipline yourself when natural complacency kicks in.
Plant also does not go for kos. Which is important with certain styles.
Then you have Uzi. The Uzi can fight but I started to wonder did Andre Dirrell make him look slightly better than he was. For whatever reason he had Dirrell mentally and Dirrell was always fighting him in survival mode and showing the visual effect of his punches. I knew Plant wouldn’t acknowledge pain in his 1st title shot. Back to motivation.
Sometimes we as the boxing public overrate offensive punchers when they face aging opponents. It’s not Uzi’s fault but I just kept wondering if he was as good as he looked vs Dirrell. I needed to see him do it more. In his last fight he looked lethargic. And then he came into this fight at 165lbs. I said to myself why in the hell would a fighter that big come in at 165lbs for a fight scheduled at 168lbs? Sometimes the weight may fall off you but a fighter is constantly weighing themselves the week of the fight. The sooner you start to rehydrate and replenish the better. If he was 165 he should’ve ate and drank for breakfast to be right at the limit.
On top of everything you can just tell when a fighter has IT. You can tell when they’re primed to succeed. Plant has IT.
The landscape at 168 just got sexy. I think Plant will go and make some good money before he’s challenged in a 50/50 fight. I think him and WBC Champion David Benavidez is the big fight down the road but not at this moment. Right now I think Benavidez has a slight edge but only 55/45. Plant will improve. Benavidez fights squared up and Plant has a GREAT jab. So Plant will score. But Benavidez has elite level handspeed and physicality and late in the fight, when the Uzi couldn’t connect I think Benavidez will. Benavidez also has IT and it would be tough for Plant down the stretch. But we have to see how Benavidez looks after his suspension. That’s a big factor.
WBA Champion Callum Smith is a tough fight for Plant at this moment. He’s tall, strong, fundamentally sound and he looks to punch harder than his punches appear. Smith also can counter punch going forward so that will not allow Plant to open up as much as he did vs Uzi. I don’t like that fight for Plant at this moment.
The fight I love for Plant out of champions is Gilberto Ramirez. Ramirez is too slow and predictable for a disciplined boxer like Plant. I think Plant outboxes him and unifies.
Out of the contenders I think Plant would most likely beat Chris Eubank and James Degale. George Groves would be interesting because Groves is a big puncher and he’s hot and cold. You never know what Groves will show up. The PBC has a few super middleweights that most likely get Plant’s 1st assignment. Anthony Dirrell or Peter Quillin will most likely get the Caleb Plant sweepstakes.
Going by history PBC always matches it’s young champions with one of their solid veterans. Look at how many shots Austin Trout has received. Abner Mares. Lamont Peterson….So if you look at the PBC line up at 168 I would guess that Quillin or Dirrell would get the shot at Plant. Most likely Quillin.
I think the Uzi is in trouble. I don’t like what I saw. When overwhelming fighters get beat up then no one else is scared of them. It takes a lot to overcome that unless you’re special. I can see the Uzi getting beat on now at this point. It won’t be easy for him. I can see him fighting Benavidez in one of Benavidez’s comeback fights to get a comparison vs Plant. And I think Benavidez lights him up bad and stops him. Just a bad style for the Uzi.
The Uzi won’t get the preferential matchmaking a more marketable star would get. He’s going to have to take tough fights vs a variety of styles.
Bread we had an entertaining fight and a nice performance by Caleb Plant this past weekend. Plant looked explosive and had the Uzi totally confused for about the first 8 rounds by utilizing an urban boxing rhythm. We often hear about the urban style when it pertains to a black fighter vs a Mexican fighter, but people often forget that many Latino fighters from different countries fight with a high pressure style. The Uzi did apply A TON of pressure but he didn't apply it correctly. He waited until it was to late to start using his jab to set up his attack. On the other hand let's commend Plant for being defensively responsible and having a great game plan. Note to all young fighters and contenders out there Plant stayed behind a fast and great jab. The Uzi kept having to reset himself every time he got that stick in the face. Plant fought a pressure fighter the way you are supposed to with a great jab and great footwork. The knockdown were caused because of Plant's speed and because he had the Uzi thinking about that jab. The quick hooks may have looked like a jab coming up until the hooks actually landed. Plant also made a nice adjustment when he tired down the stretch. He got in the Uzi's chest and smothered him. Plant has a decent inside game as well. In the future he may need to settle down so he doesn't tire himself out because the Uzi did look like the fresher fighter in the championship rounds. I've said it before that I think commentators go a little overboard with their analysis. They kept talking about Uzi being over trained and sluggish. I disagree. I believe he was outboxed and out fought by a superior fighter.
-Chris from Chicago
Bread’s Response: Let’s be honest Plant has the urban rhythm. He boxes like a black kid from the inner city. Feints, jabs, fast hands, confidence and flashy combinations. In the rock , paper, scissors of boxing the urban rhythm is hard to overcome by slower pressure fighters especially early.
The Uzi is a tall pressure fighter. He fights in the Mexican style for sure.
I wouldn’t surprised if the Uzi did overtrain. He came in at 165lbs. But guess wha,t he’s the more experience fighter so that’s on him. There are NO excuses in boxing unless your opponent cheats or you can prove official corruption or incompetence.
I also think the Uzi was too full of himself. I got the impression he thought he could just turn it on and stop Plant when he wanted too. You can never be dismissive to your opponent. We see this all of the time when the expectations are a carnage and the other guy keeps his cool and weathers the storm. Again that’s on Uzi. Boxing is mental and he has to believe that Plant is the 2nd coming of Willie Pep. You can’t over inflate your view of yourself as a fighter.
Plant was very impressive down the stretch. He was buzzed and he was fatigued. But he had his bearings. He was mature and he didn’t panic. He was breathing in the corner taking in instructions. Plant has a high IQ. I loved what I saw down the stretch. I think Plant was hurt by a body shot and a left hook and uppercut to the head and he handled it. Great job.
I also want to give Justin Gamber, Plant’s trainer his props. Around the 8th or 9th round Gamber told Plant to slow the fight down. The announcers kept saying it was a mistake but Gamber knows his fighter. In the gym you know when a fighter needs a 2nd wind, there are things you can tell before other people can.
The term we use on the East Coast is you’re being carried too fast. Georgie Benton told Meldrick Taylor the same exact thing vs Chavez. Taylor was winning but he was spending himself. Plant started using the ring, he started to tie Uzi up and steal little shots on the inside. Plant bought himself some time because he knew with the 2 knockdowns and early rounds he had the fight in the bank.
I think Gamber’s instructions were misunderstood on the internet and boxing twitter. I know exactly what he meant by slowing the fight down. You can still win rounds, and throw punches while slowing the fight down. He wanted Plant to slow the mood of the fight down because it started to become frenetic. Plant tried his best to listen although things got tough late. They did a great job both Plant and Gamber and it should be noted.
Long time reader, first time writer. In your last mail bag you did a breakdown of Manny Pacquiao's resume. Can you do one for Floyd and let us know how you rank them against each other on the all time list? Does Manny's resume outshine the loss he took to Floyd or is a victory in the ring good enough to put Floyd over Manny?
Bread’s Response: Whoo this is tough. I think you have to rate Floyd a smidge over Manny. I know some don’t because Manny is perceived to have taken on tougher fighters in their primes but Floyd beat him head to head and their legacies are close enough in my opinion.
Floyd also has a great legacy and despite the criticism he’s an ATG. He never took the fight where he was up against it and came through and won but that’s not 100% his fault.
He takes on Genaro Hernandez at 21 yrs old for his 1st title. He dominated Hernandez and made him quit. That’s an underrated win.
A couple months later he stops Angel Manfredy in a real title defense. Floyd was a monster at 130lbs. Floyd then puts together some solid title defenses in 99-2000 then takes a tough non title fight vs Emanuel Augustus. That was a throwback fight and Floyd handled a hard charge by Augustus.
Floyd then took on Diego Corrales who was considered a monster and the betting was about even. Some say Corrales was weight drained but I think he just struggled to make weight. Corrales came back 2 years later after going to jail at 130 also. If he was so weight drained then why didn’t he come back at a higher weight after going to jail? Floyd fought a perfect fight. One of the finest boxer puncher performances ever vs a legitimately great fighter.
After Floyd beat Corrales he sort of had a little bit of a letdown. That happens when you get up for a super fight. He struggled slightly in his next 2 fights vs Carlos Hernandez and Jesus Chavez but he beat them both CLEAN. Floyd has to be top 3 or 4 ever at 130lbs.
It’s now 2002 and Floyd moves up to face a super tough Jose Luis Castillo for his 2nd title. In their 1st fight there was tons of controversy. And the HBO broadcast team had Castillo winning to a MAN. I give Floyd major props because he fought Castillo in an immediate rematch. The 2nd fight was also tough but Mayweather won it cleaner than the 1st.
At 135 Floyd came back down to earth a little bit. He had a little bit of a tough time vs Victor Sosa and I thought that 135-140 would be his top out weight but I was wrong. Very wrong.
Floyd then lit up Phillip Ndou giving him a terrible beating. Floyd ruined Ndou.
Floyd didn’t stay at 135 long. He jumped up to 140 in 2004 and I was hoping for a Kostya Tszyu showdown. Floyd took 2 WBC eliminators at 140 vs Demarcus Corley and Henry Bruseles in order to get a crack at Arturo Gatti. Floyd destroyed Gatti in one of the worst Main Event PPV beating of all time for his 3rd title. He’s a star now in 2005.
He leaves 140 and takes another solid non title fight vs Sharmba Mitchell. He smokes Mitchell.
Floyd then goes for another title vs Zab Judah in 2006 but it was a controversial title win as far s the authenticity of the title because Judah had just lost his title to Carlos Baldimor. In a very competitive fight early Floyd showed his chops and walked Judah down late. He showed something in that fight that gets overlooked. Floyd Mayweather is mentally tough and he’s no front runner. In his 1st fight of his career where he was down early he didn’t panic one bit and he showed he was a deep water fighter.
Beginning right here in 2006 is where the strong criticism starts to come in for Floyd. Although he didn’t unify at 130 and he didn’t fight Tszyu at 140. Those things weren’t focused on by his critics. After Floyd became a star and under the spotlight the criticism became more harsh.
In 2006 Floyd fought Carlos Baldomir instead of Antonio Margarito who was begging for a fight. He won the lineal title and it was a good win in my opinion but Magarito was the better challenge.
Floyd then moved up again and won a huge fight vs Oscar De La Hoya who was the champion. This is Floyd’s 5th title and he’s the face of boxing at this point.
At the end of 2007 he moves back down to 147 and takes on Ricky Hatton in another huge fight. In a decent scrap Floyd clips him 10.
Floyd retires and he gets more criticism. His critics say he retired to let the killers eliminate themselves. His supporters say he retired because his hands were bad and he had nothing else to prove. But something happened when he retired. He left room for Manny Pacquiao to be the #1 P4P fighter.
Pacquiao beats Hatton and De La Hoya more convincingly than Floyd did and the media eats it up. So Floyd comes back in 2009 and like the genius he is, he beats Juan Manuel Marquez easier than Pacquiao did.
Floyd then takes on Shane Mosley in 2010 after Mosley beat Margarito. Floyd is just brilliant with his match making. He always fought and beat the guy, who beat the guy he was supposedly ducking. For example Floyd beat Mosley after Mosley beat Margarito. Floyd beat Hatton after Hatton beat Tszyu. Floyd beat Castillo after Castillo beat Stevie Johnston. Floyd was brilliant at this his entire career.
So now he dominates Mosley and shows the same thing he showed vs Zab Judah. Chops! Mosley hurt him early and what does Floyd do. He walks Mosley down and takes him in deep.
Floyd then uses another great matchmaking tactic for what is the remainder of his career. Take on the hot guy. Victor Ortiz beats Andre Berto and Floyd immediately fights him and beats him. It was NOT Floyd’s fault what happened. Ortiz is weak mentally and Floyd did what he was supposed to do surrounding the head butt etc.
We are now in 2012 and Floyd takes on Miguel Cotto who was the junior middleweight champion. In a very good fight between great fighters Floyd wins. This victory is underrated because Floyd’s fans called Cotto shot in 2009 when Pacquiao beat him. A common theme came about because the fans of both tried to discredit their wins. But in Cotto they put their foot in their mouths because Cotto gave Floyd a tough time and a fighter can’t be shot in 2009 and be primed in 2012. For the record this was a major win because Cotto went on to win a title at middleweight 2 years later.
Floyd then takes on a hot Robert Guerrero who had again just beat Andre Berto. Floyd beats Guerrero easy.
It’s now 2013 and Floyd goes for his 3rd title at junior middleweight. This is quite the accomplishment considering he’s too small for junior middleweight. I know Canelo came in at 152 and he struggles to make weight but the A side is the A side. You can’t feel bad for Canelo because he used catchweights to his benefit also. Again Floyd’s fans called Manny the Catchweight King and that also came back to bite them because this was a great win for Floyd and it’s looking better and better over time but he gets criticism for it. A lot of the criticism comes from the same criticism that his fans gave Manny for Oscar.
Floyd then has one of his two career toughest fights vs Marcos Maidana. Maidana was not the best fighter he ever faced. But boy did he have a tough style for Floyd. Not since 2002 did Floyd get pushed like this. Floyd won a controversial decision but just like he did vs Castillo he gave an immediate rematch and won cleaner the 2nd time.
In 2015 Floyd finally faces Manny Pacquiao. The fight happened too late and it’s really no dispute about that. The fight should have happened in 2009, 2010 the latest. But Floyd won and that’s that.
He deserves some criticism for the fight not happening but in fairness while Manny was aging, Floyd was aging also.
All in all Floyd is a top 25 fighter ever. He won titles in 5 divisions. In his highest division he won the title 3 times. He beat Pacquiao, De La Hoya, Cotto, Mosley, Canelo, Castillo, Marquez, Hernandez, Gatti and Corrales who are all HOF level guys. That’s 10 HOF. Corrales will get in one day. I know only Corrales and Castillo were in their primes but that’s not all of Floyd’s fault. Because he took some of those fights past his own prime.
Floyd will go down in history as having the longest prime in history. No fighter in history has had a longer prime. I saw him in 1998 and I saw him in 2015 vs Pacquiao his last challenging fight. That’s 17 years. And there is not much of a drop off. He threw less punches as he got older but he was more efficient, his IQ advanced and his strength was very underrated.
In this era we criticize fighters because their fans overstate things. So Floyd gets unfairly at times criticized. Sometimes it’s fair it depends on the criticism….Some of the misses are his fault. Some aren’t. Some will confuse longest prime with highest peak. I think Ray Leonard, Ali, Ray Robinson, Roy Jones, Pernell Whitaker and Roberto Duran had higher peaks. Meaning who was the BEST on their very BEST day. But none were as good for as long as Floyd Mayweather.
I don’t like to put Robinson, Duran and Ali in there because they fought more often and number of fights count. You take more punishment in less time. But no one was as sharp 17 years after winning their 1st title as Floyd was winning his last. It’s just a fact. Objectively comparing eras is tough and not fair to either side. Recovery methods, glove composition, rounds, number of belts available, money and matchmaking is different. It’s harder longer ago no doubt. So Floyd benefited from his era. But he can’t help when he was born and if it was easy, everyone would be winning titles from 130-154 and retiring undefeated. I don’t think he’s the TBE but I do think he’s among them. Floyd was a special fighter.
Hello breadman, thank you for the good work.
In light of the controversial (not to me) scoring of the Charlo-Harrison fight, I felt I should ask a few questions.
There are 4 criteria on which a boxing fight should be scored but I think effective aggression and clean punches are the easiest to see and a fighter doing these more successfully will almost always win the fight. Boxers like Floyd Mayweather, Canelo, Loma and Bud almost always score a couple of very clean shots per round that give them a round that might have been dicey. But I think defence comes into play when the first two don't because a round could be won on defence if the winner of that round makes the aggression of his opponent ineffective and, even if he doesn't score much cleaner shots, prevents his guy from scoring clean shots. Ring generalship is the least tangible of the 4 and the one I think judges disregard. But watching a fight like Rigondeaux vs Donaire had me fawning over Rico's ring generalship until a friend said he didn't see any. I felt Rigo allowed Donaire walk him to seemingly tight spots then he almost magically got out and still managed to evade all Donaire's shots. There were rounds I don't think Donaire touched him once despite having him against the ropes. Am I wrong on how I read ring generalship? Or any of my former statements for that matter.
My top 10 p4p current non-titlists are
1. Tyson Fury
3. Erislandy Lara
5. Jermall Charlo
6. Pacquiao (regular wba ain't a title)
7. Badou Jack
8. Jermall Charlo
10. Dilian Whyte (Random choice but seemed the closest, couldn't find any other fitting)
What do you think?
A fan from Nigeria, can't remember when last i missed your column on boxingscene.
Bread’s Response: Good list but I think Juan Estrada is the best non champion in boxing.
Defense and Ring Generalship are the two hardest to assess. Some times we don’t view them as important as Effective Aggressiveness and Clean Punching.
For example people say Ray Leonard didn’t deserve to beat Hagler because he punched in spurts. But his Ring Generalship and Defense were on display throughout.
To answer you directly Ring Generalship is simply who is controlling the tempo or mood of the fight. It doesn’t matter if that fighter is coming forward or backwards. It’s who is controlling the action.
Keep it simple and don’t make it complicated.
I have a question regarding the Charlo brothers and how they usually fight on the same card. Do you think that’s a good idea. I ask because I was watching their last fight and how they showed Jermall when Jermell lost. You could tell he was slightly bothered when his brother lost. However, how do you think he would feel if his brother was brutally knocked out. Wouldn’t something like that mess with your mind? I can’t imagine that is a good thing right before you have a fight. Maybe he has the mental make up to get past something like that but I get the feeling that it would be in the back of his mind during his fight. Your thoughts?
Bread’s Response: The PBC and Fox did a great job in promoting the Charlo Brothers. I get more questions about them than I do Pac vs Broner and they fight Saturday night.
You have a great point and I thought about that. But here is the thing. If you promote TWINS because they look alike and are born at the same time, they will have to fight at the same time. It doesn’t mean it has to happen in every single fight. But it is something they will have to do.
But just because you have to do something it doesn’t mean it will be productive all of the time. If one of them takes a brutal loss 1st and the other has to get in the ring it will be tough. Very tough.
I could see that Jermall was bothered his brother lost. He also couldn’t enjoy his victory because of his brother’s loss. But with great reward, comes great responsibility. It’s boxing and that’s part of their appeal. It’s something they will have to deal with because the competition will get tougher and fights will get harder.
Hope all is good Bread!
I heard about the Hurd vs JRock rumours, great fight if it comes to fruition. I would probably hold Hurd as the favorite but not by much. People should not forget that Jermall Charlo was down in the fight against JRock until the stoppage. Albeit different styles but both guys are more than hittable, especially for a sharpshooter like JRock.
Onto the question regarding the controversy with the stoppage in Ward v Kovalev 2, I would like to get some clarification or at least a respected boxing experts opinion on it. First off, Tony Weeks stops the fight after a couple of punches that some of them looked to be low but it was hard to tell by the awful angles on the replays. Kovalev bended over and that was it. Listening to Paulie Malignaggi, a guy which has a very high knowledge of the sport, I was surprised to hear him say (he commentated the fight) that Tony Weeks should not have stopped the fight at that moment and that he could've at least given Kovalev a count. What I don't get and which I have not seen anybody discuss about is the fact that the rules say "No standing 8 count". Despite bending over, neither his knees or hands touched the canvas, thus not a knockdown. At the same time, he was not reacting to the punches. Does Paulie have a point, should Weeks given Kovalev a count? I know you are not a referee, but what do you think Weeks should have done?
Bread’s Response: I think Tony Weeks is an excellent referee who was in a bizarre spot. Some thing you just can’t prepare for.
I always refer back to how I felt at the moment something happened. When I was watching Ward vs Kovalev2 my initial feeling was confusion. I didn’t know what was happening. I couldn’t tell if Kovalev was quitting, complaining about the low blows or damaged because he was just hurt with a right hand.
Technically if the ropes are holding a fighter up from a punch then it’s a knockdown so I assume Weeks could have ruled it a knockdown. In the Leonard vs Hearns fight the referee ruled it a knockdown when Hearns was laying in the ropes in a similar fashion. Watch the 13th and 14th round of that fight.
But here is the thing. What should have happened depends on if you think the blows were low or not. If Weeks thought the blows were legal then he has a valid reason to stop the fight. If he doesn’t think the blows were legal then he made a bad call. The camera angle was really bad. From what I could see some of the blows were above the belt and some appeared to be low. But it was a tough call because Ward was going for the kill and Kovalev was bent over and his waste line was obstructed from view.
At this point we are going to have to live with the call and not take away from Dre’s great performance.
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