By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling questions regarding Terence Crawford, the legacy of Roy Jones Jr., up and coming fighters from the UK side of the fence, Ricky Hatton's HOF worth, and more.
Hey what up bread. Question for you. What are the requirements for boxing judges? I see some of them are attorneys but what are their actual requirements/qualifications that allow them to be able to judge fights? I understand that they are supposed to be un-bias but we’ve seen so many controversial scorecards throughout the years that I just wonder how these judges are chosen. And who chooses them?? The promoters? Is it random?
Also why haven’t they thought about using former fighters/trainers/ or journalists to be judges of these huge fights? Just a thought. Sorry for the long winded dm. Feel free to answer me on your mailbag if you can. Would love to hear back from you! Hope all is well! Thanks!
Bay Area, CA
Bread’s Response: I don’t know the exact requirements to be a judge. But it’s actually the most important job in boxing. Judging can cost a fighter his fortune and his career.
I personally think judges should have a sound understanding of how to score fights. I’m not saying ex fighters can’t be judges but if you talk to 10 fighters, 8 of them will show they don’t have an understanding of the rules. I’ve seen HOF fighters say they won a fight because they were the champion and the opponent didn’t come forward. Or they should’ve won because they won the last round. Or the best one, they were never hurt. So we would have huge trouble if all ex fighters scored fights. From my experience only a few have the knowledge and application of how to score fights.
I think you need a sound understanding of boxing. Then I believe you have to have a certain type of background. For example a person who has been convicted of bribery or finance crimes can’t be a judge.
Once you become a judge you need to go under a REVIEW each year. Where a panel scores the fights you scored. If your scorecard is too far off I think you need to serve some time out of judging or at least take a demotion.
Too many judges hand in poor scorecards and keep getting big fights. That’s the real travesty and that’s why some people think there is corruption in boxing.
Promoters don’t pick the judges but they do have a say on who will and who will not judge a fight. They also pay a per diem to judges that is set aside in a escrow with the fight expenses. I think this should change. Judges are intelligent and they know before a fight who is the A side and who is the B side. Often times they lean towards the star. It’s sort of an unspoken allegiance to the HOUSE promoter.
Ultimately the commissions police the judges. I have actually seen fights where a judge fell asleep while judging in the middle of a fight. True Story! Commissions have to have teeth when a judge does something wrong. They can’t be rewarded with more jobs. I’ve also seen cases where judges scored the fight based on the house corner and not the name of the fighter. They assumed A side and B side corner and the corners were switched because of personal issues between members of the team. And the judges never owned up to their mistakes. I think that decision should have been reversed.
I think a member of the commission needs to review the scores after each fight in order to make sure the judge scored the fight for the correct fighter.
Judging is very important and overall boxing needs better judging. Judges have a difficult job. And they are human. They make mistakes. But there is a difference in making a mistake and being incompetent. Sometimes the level of incompetence leads one to believe that corruption took place. Hopefully it gets better.
Tyson/Douglas was a long count fight just like Dempsey/Tunney... they gave Douglas 15 seconds to recoup after Tyson caught him with that uppercut. Tyson didn't train for that fight, surrounded by yes men and a promoter robbing him blind. That was the beginning of the end for Iron Mike.
Crawford can lose tonight against Benavidez, he's no hum or stepping stone to Errol Spence! Benavidez body language is similar to that of Khabib who just waxed McGregor.
I like Bud but he hasn't proved anything to me and like Chronicals of Judah said on YouTube, if Crawford really wanted to fight Thurman, DSG, Porter and Spence he wouldn't have re-upped with TR.
Mythical matchup Sonny Liston vs. Rocky Marciano.
Bread’s Response: I do believe that Tyson’s team ruined his moral. But his lifestyle also contributed.
There was a long count in the Douglas fight but Douglas was totally aware and he could have rose on time if the count was proper.
Benavidez did better than most expected. I got heat for saying he would do well. I thought he won between 4 or 5 rounds.
I don’t blame Crawford for resigning with Top Rank. He made over 3 million dollars for an ESPN fight in which he was a huge favorite. That’s insane. You have to secure your future. PBC has more fighters so his star won’t shine as bright over there. Now if Crawford does not get the big fights then he has to blame his promoter for not making the fights. But that’s a lot of money to turn down especially when you can fight 3x a year and be the big favorite vs everyone in your stable. Let’s see if he gets the Super Bowl fight before we judge. If he doesn’t then it’s his fault. If he does then he made a great move.
Liston was breathing down Marciano’s neck when Marciano retired. This would have been the best heavyweight match up in history at that time had it taken place in the mid 50s. Looking back I would Take Liston but I wouldn’t bet. You can’t measure Marciano’s intangibles. But I envision a Foreman v s Frazier type of style deficit for Marciano.
Long time reader - since your BoxingTalk days. Your bag is the best read of the week. Emailing from London.
Just wanted to run a few prospects by you - see if you'd managed to get a look at any of the following and where you see them going. I know you're high on Josh Taylor, but the fighters I will list are more novice, around the 8-10 fight mark. Ranked them 1-3.
1) Top prospect - Joshua Buatsi. Light heavyweight. Obviously a stacked division. Both at world level, and in the UK domestically (Callum Johnson, Frank Buglioni, Hosea Burton, Anthony Yarde etc).. He won a Bronze medal at the Olympics. He looks to me to be the real deal. Compact, punch variety, defensively savvy. I would be amazed if he didn't go all the way.
2) Josh Kelly - Welterweight. Another bronze medallist in the Olympics. Silky offense. Excellent combinations - puts his punches together well. Eye catching and fan friendly style (he's called Pretty Boy).
3) Daniel Dubois - Heavyweight. Only 21 years of age. Beat Kingpin Johnson on pts last time out. Huge puncher. Rumoured to have floored AJ in sparring.
I think the British boxing scene is electric - I often enjoy watching our domestic level fights ahead of some of the more promoted 'bigger' world title fights. The atmosphere is incredible across the country - arenas sold out. Why do you think Britain (with its relative small population and size) produces so many good boxers, if not admittedly great ones?
On another note, Ricky Hatton has been nominated as a potential inductee for this year's HOF. Is he worthy? One of your colleagues at Boxing Scene suggests no as he lost his two biggest fights by KO and he was quite dismissive of the Tszyu win, implying he was shot when Hatton won. He went on to say there wasn't another good win on Hatton's resume. I disagree - I feel it is a solid resume (Ray Olivera, Castillo, Colazzo - though I thought he lost that one -, Lazcano, Urango, Vince Phillips, Paulie etc.). But I agree, the Pacman and Floyd fights hurt his legacy somewhat. The article was an interesting one. The writer basically said it was a really weak year for nominations - the likes of Julian Jackson and Fernando Vargas were also dismissed in terms of their body of work. Your thoughts?
Keep up the great work, Joe
Bread’s Response: The UK scene is on fire. I’ve seen Kelly and Dubois and both seem like they have bright futures. But Josh Taylor is my guy. I think he has top 10 P4P potential.
Hatton is HOF worthy. He may not be a 1st ballot lock but he is worthy. He was RING champion for 4 years and he unified. He has some very good wins and one great win over the champion Kostya Tszyu. I don’t like to make this argument but fighters have gotten in for less. When you beat a lineal champion who is a HOF for your 1st title that automatically gives your win credibility. It’s not like he won a vacant title from a turkey.
Hatton also stopped Jose Luis Castillo who is another HOF level fighter. Castillo had avenged his loss to Corrales and was primed for 140. So Hatton has stoppages over Tszyu and Castillo and he has about 5 or 6 solid wins and some very good performances.
Hatton was marketable and a crowd pleaser and huge draw. That’s very important. He put butts in the seats. Hatton also had a very high peak. I think he peaked before he won his title and that’s part of his problem. In the middle of his reign he had already started to slip. But from around 2004-07 Hatton was a freaking animal that you couldn’t keep off of you.
Hatton is very similar to Barry McGuigan and Ray Mancini. He had a better career than both in my opinion. McGuigan is probably a better fighter but not by much. Hatton was better wins, win for win. And newsflash no one close to his size could have beaten Manny Pacquiao in 2009. Manny was on the best PPV roll in history during that time. Hatton handled himself well vs Floyd. That was no easy fight for Floyd. Hatton is definitely HOF worthy.
This year is not the strongest 1st ballot lock type of year. But it is what it it is. Julian Jackson has a case for being the greatest puncher ever. Jackson was not the best fighter as far as skill but his punching power, resilience after losses and being a 4x champion makes Jackson HOF worthy. Let’s not forget he kod Terry Norris which makes Jackson top 6 or 7 ever at 154. He’s also worthy.
Fernando Vargas had an interesting career. He was one of my favorite fighters of the era. He also had some excellent wins at 154. Winky Wright, Ike Quartey, Yuri Boy Campas and Raul Marquez is some serious bumping. Vargas also took an ATG Trinidad to the brink and Vargas dared to be great. The thing that hurts Vargas is his short prime, losses to Mosley, Oscar and Mayorga. And the positive PED result vs Oscar. I think his accomplishments are close to being worthy but not with the baggage. I feel bad for saying that but I’m objective.
Hope all is well with you and yours. One question, do you agree that had Roy Jones retired at 49-1 (38 ko's), he would be considered the greatest fighter in history under 200 lbs? It's tough for me to see him losing to anyone, while in his prime, especially the 26 year old version of him who beat Vinnie Paz.
Bread’s Response: I think RJ would have been somewhere in the top 5 with a case for #1. But I hate looking back on it because FATE is FATE. If Roy was meant to be the best ever he would be. Things are what they are and we can’t dismiss post Ruiz.
Hey man you do a great job and keep up the good work. I love how you answer questions but also how you explain them. I don’t always agree but I respect that. I am Muhammad Ali all time fan. However, I think Sugar Ray Robinson is the best all time fighter. What fight or fights would you have like have seen between boxers at their all-time peak that did not happen ? Also, which fighters do you believe were the best in fight adjusters ?
Bread’s Response: Are you talking about hypothetical match ups or fighters from the same era?
If same era I would like to have seen Floyd vs Manny in 09-10. Floyd vs Shane in 99ish. Bowe vs Lewis. Sanchez vs Pedraza. Roy vs Calzaghe. Ward vs Calzaghe. Leonard vs Pryor. Duran vs Pryor. McCallum vs Hearns. Toney vs Hopkins and McClellan.
The best in fight adjusters. I will limit this to fighters of my lifetime. Floyd Mayweather is amongst the top. Andre Ward, Joe Calzaghe, Ray Leonard and Sal Sanchez.
In light of Terence Crawford’s performance. Break down what happened? Also tell me who is the best fighter P4P in boxing?
Bread’s Response: Skill show over time. In the amateurs the best guys aren’t always the best pros. Lot’s of that has to do with speed, twitch fibers, height etc.
In a championship pro fight of 36 minutes, class will show as the fight goes on. Crawford can simply concentrate and stay on point longer than his opponents. So they may be able to do some things for a few rounds but over 12 rounds their minds can’t keep up. Once the mind fails the body is not far behind.
I saw a fight where Benavidez was holding his own mathematically. I thought he won 4 or 5 rounds. But he won his rounds on the front end of the fight. Crawford started cooking in the 2nd half and eventually got the stoppage. Crawford is a tremendous fighter. Once he figures you out it’s over. He’s approaching a special status with his performances. I’m very impressed.
The best fighter P4P right now is looked at as a 2 man race between Crawford and Lomachenko. But for the 1st time maybe in history about 6 or 7 guys have a legit claim to be the best fighter in the world.
Monster Inoue has been doing everything Crawford and Loma have been doing. He’s jumping weight classes, he’s scoring kos and he’s passing the eyeball test. He’s just a small guy and he doesn’t fight in the US often. If Inoue fought at 147 and was American he would be considered the best fighter in the world.
Oleksandr Usyk is also on par. He’s a Gold Medalist. He unified all of the titles in real fights. And he came out on top of a real tournament where you have to fight the best. He also won a big fight over a young killer in his prime in Gassiev.
Canelo Alvarez has the Oscar De La Hoya effect. In 1997 Oscar was named the #1 P4P fighter. His eye ball test was not as high as Roy Jones but his competition level was insane. HOF after HOF. That’s where Canelo is. Canelo may not be as dominant as the others but his level of competition is better than everyone else’s. Because of that some will say he’s the best.
Mikey Garcia is also doing everything Loma and Crawford are doing. Garcia has won titles in 4 divisions. And he just unified and beat an undefeated capable champion that had huge physical advantages over him.
SSR also has an argument. He simply has the 3 best wins out of everyone on the list. No one has a Chocalitito and Estrada back to back to back on the their ledger. SSR is the grounded, tough champion like say a Bernard Hopkins who is in his own zone who the hard core guys will always give respect to.
We also have 3 undefeated heavyweights who are literally fighting for the baddest man on the planet moniker. Whoever comes out of the Fury, Wilder and Joshua triangle will have an argument. Heavyweight don’t usually ascend to the best fighter in the world P4P but they deserve mention.
Errol Spence is the sexy choice. I love Spence but he just doesn’t fight enough or get the opportunities vs the top guys to be the best just yet. I know he wants the smoke but I think Spence will have to move to 154 to get the opportunities. No one will fight him at 147 and Crawford is on the other side of the street and I don’t see that happening anytime soon.
Right now I still say Loma and Crawford are 1a and 1b. But Inoue, Usyk and Garcia are hovering like wolves. Those 5 fighters in my opinion have the best combination of resume, accomplishments and eye ball test. If Inoue wins the bantamweight tournament I will make him my 1c. He’s something but I don’t want to overdue it on him just yet. SPECIAL punchers get slightly overrated in their primes because of the blow out victories. Even the ones who turn out to be ATGs.
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