The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Mike McCallum, Vasiliy Lomachnko, the power of Deontay Wilder, the legendary standing of Julio Cesar Chavez, and more.
Hey Breadman! Hope all is well!
A few mailbags back, you busted the myth that the Four Kings ducked Mike McCallum. While doing so, you mentioned that Hagler is one of the few champs without a clear duck his ENTIRE reign. One, I didn’t think I could respect him any more than I already did before I learned that. Two, who do you think are some other champs who never had a clear duck when they reigned?
Second, you have talked about the Boxing Hall if Fame being, in many ways, a popularity contest. Since then, I have noticed debates raging about fighters who should/shouldn’t be in there. Chief among them is Arturo Gatti. Do you think the Blood and Guts Warrior belongs in there? I think so, but I always kinda blanked when asked to prove it (all I could think of, in those cases, was how overmatched he looked against Oscar and Floyd) Also, who are some fighters not in there that should be in your opinion?
Lastly, you have criticized Loma for leaving food on the table at 130. A fair criticism, I think... but why? Why didn’t he try to unify before moving up? Bob Arum has said it was because nobody at 130 wanted to fight him. One: I could KINDA see that. After watching this guy make FOUR opponents in a row surrender, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t intimidated by the challenge of facing him. BUT... it’s Bob Arum saying that. He’s Lomachenko’s promoter... saying stuff like that is his JOB. What do you think on that subject?
Apologies for being all over the place. I’ve been meaning to ask these for a while, just now remembered them all.
Bread’s Response: Yes man. Sometimes the hard luck less celebrated but still great fighter gets a myth around him that everyone ducked him. I’ve noticed this with Mike McCallum, Aaron Pryor and Charlie Burley. And in each case someone picks the most popular fighter of the time and claim that they ducked them. In Burley’s case he missed title shots vs Zale, Cerdan and Lamotta. But Ray Robinson gets the case for the duck.
In Pryor’s case he never moved up to 147 but people say Ray Leonard ducked him. It’s laughable. Leonard fought the toughest 2 year schedule in welterweight history in Benitez, Duran twice and Hearns and he gets a case for ducking a junior welterweight who he offered the fight to. It’s one of the biggest lies in boxing history.
As for McCallum, Leonard and Hagler didn’t duck him at all. There is a small case for Duran because he was Duran’s mandatory. But I don’t know if you can consider it duck because after Duran beat Davey Moore because he fought Hagler and Hearns back to back. In 1983 and 1984 Hagler and Hearns were most likely the best two fighters on the planet. Michael Spinks and Donald Curry had arguments… McCallum was a new titlist in 1984 after Duran vacated. It’s easy to look back on the era and assess the fighters. But during that time no one thought McCallum who had not won a title yet, was a tougher out than Hearns or Hagler.
I do think there is a case for Hearns. There was time and opportunity to make that fight. So that’s really 1 out of the 4, 4 Kings. I don’t believe it was Hearns’s fault but nevertheless that was a fight that could’ve and should’ve been made.
Marvin Hagler had the toughest pre title run of any middleweight of the last 40 years. Sugar Ray Seales 3x, Willie Monroe 3 x, Bennie Brisco, Cyclone Hart, Bobby Watts twice. That’s unreal. Literally unreal. 10 fights tougher than most fighter’s title reigns. Then when he became champion from 1980-87 we can’t think of one middleweight during the time that deserved a shot that he didn’t fight. Michael Nunn was emerging as a young fighter. But Hagler took big money fights in 1986 in Mugabi and in 1987 Leonard. So through 7 years the only slight case is an emerging Nunn. McCallum didn’t move up until after Hagler vs Leonard and that was Hagler’s last fight.
Off the top of my head there have been a few a fighters that don’t have misses when they stayed in the same division. If a fighter hopped divisions there will always be food left on the table. But Muhammad Ali literally has NONE. For 2 decades he fought every single viable fight. Joe Louis also has none. Even as an old fighter who took on HOF killers in Marciano, Charles, Walcott and Bivins.
I can imagine that Loma was avoided at 130. But he did leave food on the table. Berchelt was there. So was a few others. Great fighter though. I really think highly of him.
I don’t know if you saw the video a while back of Caleb Plant on his phone while James Toney was trying to give him some pointers, but Plant took a lot of heat for that. Got me wondering though.... as a trainer, what is your attitude toward phones when a fighter is in training. Do you ban them? Should they be banned? Does that mess with a fighter’s focus and concentration?
Bread’s Response: I don’t watch boxing interviews on youtube unless I’m studying a fighter. So I didn’t see it. But I want to say that Caleb Plant is one of my favorite young fighters and I think he’s one of the more focused young men in the game. Maybe that was just a moment in time that he was caught off guard. I honestly can’t speak on it because I didn’t see it.
As for cell phones in general I think they are the worst thing that has happened to the modern athlete. It’s great for self promotion but these guys are ruining their lives because of these phones. So many young careers never get started because of outlandish social media comments.
Not only that, I believe cell phones cause anxiety. I believe that staring at the light all day dulls the senses. I believe that social media likes are so addictive that the dopamine fix is so bad that the fighters feel the same way a drug addict feels when they get comments or likes. In a few years I believe cell phone rehabs will be prevalent. Cell Phones and social media are the WORST enemy of the modern boxer. More so than other athletes because boxers take punches. And after staring at your cell phone for an hour it literally puts you in a trance. Then after being in a trance you have to take punches to the head. Very dangerous.
I’ve been thinking a lot about Deontay wilder recently. It is so impressive that somebody with a fairly limited skill set could quite literally beat any man that every lived.
Trust me, my next comment is not a knock on deontay wilder. I’m not his biggest fan but can really see the beauty and specialness in what he does. But he is undeniably vulnerable for such a dangerous fighter. I feel like there must be multiple guys out there who could beat him if it was there night (and I don’t just mean it only takes one shot in the heavyweight division).
It got me thinking how Povetkin could be a tough match up with him. He crafty defence and inside fighting, I think he could really have a style that wouldn’t be good for wilder. I think less so right now, but if they would have thought when they were scheduled to, I’m swaying 60/40 to Pov at that time. Wilder‘s skill was less refined and Povetkin was a much more dangerous fighter back then (probably due to being juiced to the grills).
Who would you have favoured to win back them? Would Povetkin have been favoured? Am I being unfair on Wilder?
Josh Taylor vs Danny Garcia
Bread’s Response: You’re being very unfair to Wilder. Povetkin got caught juicing. I mean that’s a huge factor. I think Wilder smokes him if he’s clean. Knocks him out BRUTALLY. There is a reason he juiced in the first place.
Wilder is unique. Let me tell you a secret. Wilder’s gift is his low volume. It’s hard to get WARMED up to his power. If you notice a guy like Pacman hurts you early. But after a point some of his opponents warm up to his power. Wilder is just the opposite. He rarely throws his money shot unless he can land it. I’ve seen two fighters really make Wilder increase his volume. Stiverne1 and Dupas. Both of those guys were able to last rounds because you gauge the kill shot better when it’s constantly thrown. That’s not a coincidence. I’m not saying you want to take it all night but the shocking effect is the result of him rarely throwing.
He’s better than we all thought.
I can’t call Josh Taylor vs Danny Garcia. Wow that’s a great fight.
Let me hear your opinion about this subject, in your eyes is Julio César Chávez the BEST Mexican fighter of all time or just the most accomplish one? Some people said Salvador Sanchez was the best, some said it was Ricardo Lopez and even some said JMM is, what are your thoughts on this? And what would have been the odds of Sanchez and Chavez meeting each other during the 80’s? And how that fight would have gone maybe fighting for the lightweight titles? Last but not least who wins this fights
Salvador Sánchez vs Manny Pacquiao 126
Marco Antonio Barrera vs Inoue 122
Manny Pacquiao vs Inoue 122
Roy Jones vs Beterviev 175
José Luis Lopez 1996 vs Antonio Margarito 2007
Bread’s Response: This is a very good question. Because being the best and being the most accomplished can be different.
Being the best in my opinion is a 3 man race between Chavez, Sanchez and Lopez. Ricardo Lopez is as good as a fighter I’ve ever seen giving the eye ball test. I believe if he’s 147lbs he changes the history of boxing. But I have to judge him on a size curve. Because there are less men 105-08lbs the quality of the field is not as deep. So maybe Lopez doesn’t go undefeated if he’s a 140 pounder. We have to factor that in. Lopez didn’t go through a Roman Gonzalez type of schedule.
Now as far as Sanchez. I got to see him all through his title defenses. I watch his fights with Azumah Nelson, Little Red Lopez and Bazooka Gomez monthly. But Sanchez was not always lights out. Pat Ford and Patrick Caldwell held him extremely close. We don’t get to judge Sanchez on anything except perfectly prime years. Where as we watched Chavez age through 4 divisions and 25 years.
Chavez’s real peak came late in his reign at 130 onto his challenge of Edwwin Rosario. He struggled at 130 more than some like to remember. He was held close by Juan Laporte and Rocky Lockridge. But he was lights out vs Roger Mayweather and Ruben Castillo. I think his prime lasted up until the Camacho fight in 92. He was slipping by then but on the tail end of his prime.
If we take everyone’s best night I think Chavez vs Rosario matches up with Sanchez vs Bazooka and you can pick about 7 Lopez fights early in his reign at 105. But then he didn’t fight the level of stud except for maybe Sorjaturong.
So because we got to see Chavez take just as stern a test as Sanchez but for a longer period of time. I won’t argue that Chavez is the best and most accomplished. But if you tell me Salvador Sanchez is I wouldn’t argue either. He outperformed Chavez vs Juan Laporte but Chavez outperformed him vs Ruben Castillo. The sexy pick is Sanchez. The safe pick is Chavez.
Sanchez vs Pac would have to fight 3x. It's common to think Pac wasn't in his prime yet at 126 but he was entering it. We have seen Pac vs fighters similar to Sanchez. But we haven't seen Sanchez vs a uber athletic southpaw.
Barrera is one of the best fighters ever at 122. Inoue is at 118. I would take Barrera. I think he's too big. Inoue started at 108.
Pac over Inoue in a shootout. I have to Inoue vs bigger fighters first before I can pick him over guys as good as you named.
RJ vs Beterbiev. I would take Jones on a very cautious decision.
Lopez over Margarito with an ambulance at ring side to take both to the ER.
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