The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with another Extra Edition, as Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Sugar Ray Leonard vs. Marvin Hagler, Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook, Ricky Hatton on being with Floyd Mayweather Sr., and more.
I saw on you tweet last week was the anniversary of Leonard vs Hagler. I was a big Hagler guy and I kind of bought into the myth that Leonard got a gift. I hate to say it but if you watch that fight and score it fair then Leonard won. Hagler’s best case is a draw. I’ve never scored it and thought he won. Why do you think there is so much debate over that particular fight? I’ve seen much worse scorecards than Leonard vs Hagler.
Bread’s Response: The general boxing public will repeat anything to meet their motives. People relate to Hagler more than Leonard as a whole. Hagler is a great fighter but he’s not a freak athlete. Hagler is meat and potatoes. There are more meat and potato guys out there than there are pretty boy Gold Medalist who can bang the Prom Queen without trying. You have to understand what Ray Leonard was in 1987. He was a PLAYER. He was from the DC area where urban street legends ruled the time. So there are more guys like Hagler than there are like Leonard. It’s in the subconscious. I don’t consider myself a pretty boy but I always banged the Prom Queen and her best friend. So I was a Ray Leonard guy. I also liked Hagler because in general I love greatness….
As for the fight itself a MYTH has been perpetuated. Forget about all of the negotiation crap that people spew. The whole reason to negotiate is to get your advantages. Hagler made out great in those negotiations. He made more money than any other fighter in history on that night. No one ever brings that up.
Back to the fight. There is a MYTH that Ray Leonard ONLY fought the LAST 30 seconds of every round. That’s not true. Just watch the fight. What he did was move as much as he could early. Stop and throw a multi punch combo and then keep moving. It was a rinse and repeat thing. He did it throughout the round. Not just the last 30 seconds. He moved as much as could until the fight settled down and he had to fight. When he did sit and fight he didn’t get overwhelmed like many assumed. What people forgot is that Leonard was just really an attacking athletic speedster who could box his ass off. He had no issue sitting and banging.
A fight is judged on 4 criterion. Clean Punching, Affective Aggressiveness, Ring Generalship and Defense. Or if you want to keep it simple who would you rather be in a round. So I admit that Leonard punched in spurts but it’s more to boxing than punching. While Leonard wasn’t punching he was controlling the fight. That’s Ring Generalship. He was making Hagler miss by a mile which is Defense. And yes Hagler was coming forward but if he was missing and Leonard was controlling him then was it affective enough aggression?
Leonard got off to a great start. He mesmerized the crowd and the judges. Everyone was watching him perform. By the time Hagler got into his groove Leonard was already in the ZONE and there was no way he was going to let himself get overwhelmed.
Leonard was better than Hagler thought he was going to be. And he was better than people perceived he was going to be. Perception and expectations are a big part of boxing. Hagler was dismissive towards Leonard and that’s his fault. His fans have to blame him for that not Leonard. Leonard and Hagler were fighting for the Fighter of the Decade. The winner of that fight is the fighter of the 80s. I love Hagler but that should have been enough motivation to not be dismissive.
I agree with you. I have watched this fight about 10x and I scored it about 5. I’ve never had Hagler winning. Ever. Boxing is a prideful sport and people wanted to see the Pretty Boy get stopped. He didn’t and they now move the goal post. Ray All Day.
How're you and your family holding up?
Many fighters in the game make the wrong decision of who to fight when they come to the fork in the road.
Khan never wanted to fight Brook because Khan wanted to be recognized as the UKs top fighter. Losing to Brook would've ended that idea. In hindsight Khan should've fought Brook when the iron was hot.
Floyd did make the right decisions consistently on who to fight. Even the great Roy Jones made bad decisions on who to fight as did so many others. Fans don't seem to like fighters who make the right decisions-those fighters are accused of playing it safe, being non risk takers, and cherry pickers.
That being said many fighters go into a fight hurt or injured and this affects them. Many take beatings during sparring that they shouldn't take. A female fighter I train got caught with an uppercut to the chin during sparring 2 weeks before her fight which caused a 4 inch long cut that needed several stitches and we couldn't postpone the fight.
So many fighters fight juiced up on something particularly in states with weaker athletic commissions or in fights of lesser significance.
So many fighters refuse to listen to their coaches who've watched the film, put together a gameplan, and a training program for them to win and when they lose they blame the coach.
And yes, fighters take a big pay cut when they lose, they're taken advantage of by the media outlets that showcase their bouts, and by their managers and their promoters in some cases. So anyone who says they fight for the love of the sport should just stay in USA Boxing and even some of those amateur contests end with questionable outcomes. I've taken amateurs to smokers where judges are related to fighters fighting in the program.
Is boxing a perfect sport? In theory yes but any practice has its imperfections.
Bread’s Response: Great to hear from you Rob. I figured I would during these times. I miss ya Mayne!
When a fight doesn’t get made I check my guts. I look at the circumstances and I can usually tell who the largest % of blames lies on. I agree with you 100% about Khan and Brook. The only thing I disagree about is if he should have fought him. As a purist you always want to see big fights be made. But if we are talking on the premise of what’s good for Khan then I think Brook is too durable, too strong, and he’s too accurate for Khan. Look at Brook vs Shawn Porter. Porter can usually move guys around. Brook was able to hold his ground and land some nice stiff accurate punches. In a 12 round fight I think that would be tough for Khan to overcome.
PRIDE is something else. I don’t think Khan could stand losing to Brook because Brook was a UK fighter. Khan fought some incredibly tough fights so no one will ever call him a ducker. So historically he will get more of a pass than some other fighters who have misses.
Fans don’t like when fighters consistently take the “right” fights. Historians like it when a fighter takes on the best available competition. I try to be fair and find the balance. Roy Jones has his misses but he also fought better competition than people realize up to the Ruiz fight. Jones’s bad move was moving back down to 175 when Tyson, Holyfield, Jirov and Toney were all big money fights he could have taken hovering around 195lbs.
What people don’t realize is that Jones won the 1st Tarver fight. That’s what makes the decision to fight the 2nd fight even more bizarre. The myth sort of implies he moved back down and couldn’t take a punch anymore. But that’s not what happened. He moved back down, won a tough decision that he earned and then fought a rematch and got stopped. It’s one of the more critical decisions in boxing history and I hate talking about it because I admire and respect Roy Jones so much.
Fighters being compromised going into fights is something I know all to well. But it’s boxing. IF you decide to go through with it, no one cares about excuses. I just try to protect them as much as I can in camp.
The PED use in boxing is so obvious. That’s all I can really say. It’s very obvious.
Fighters are really taken to the woodshed when they lose. That’s a fact. The networks and social media platforms use the video from their losses to promote the fighter who beat them over and over. It’s embarrassing and hurtful to be the losing fighter. You have to be really at peace with yourself and not take yourself too serious to get over that. You have to be an optimist and have the ability to compartmentalize. Then most of all you have to use it as fuel to NEVER let yourself be a HIGHLIGHT for someone else again.
The paycuts are also brutal. But it’s part of the game we love. At the end of the day I always say “It’s Gonna Be, what it’s Gonna Be.” I even have it tattooed on my arm. I get that saying from my grandmother who was dying of COPD in 2009. I started to cry when I went to visit her because I knew she didn’t have long. She looked at me and said, “It’s Gonna Be, What it’s Gonna Be.” Fighters have to go to THAT place mentally where the accept all the obstacles, hardships and possible outcomes and fight like SAVAGES. When the odds are stacked against my fighters I relish it. I love it. I let them know what it is. It usually motivates them…
Hey breadman, longtime reader and 2nd time poster from the UK.
Firstly, hope you and your fam are good in these crazy times.
I saw a Ricky Hatton talk on YouTube with Johnny Nelson where he talked about his big fights. When he spoke about the Mayweather fight, he said his one criticism of Floyd Mayweather Sr training him was that he was trained too hard. Whereas Billy Graham would alternate between easy and hard days, Floyd Mayweather Sr would have home doing hard sparring 4 or 4 days in a row.
So, it got me thinking about the phrases "he left it in the gym" or "he overtrained". Do you think this is a legitimate excuse and if so, does it happen more than we boxing fans realise and which big fights do you think it happened? Also, what do you do to ensure it doesn't happen to your fighters?
Bread’s Response: Interesting. Overtraining is a REAL thing. But I also know that UNDER RECOVERY is too and fighters don’t bring that part up. During training camp unless a fighter has mandatory media obligations they should be doing only a select few things.
Training, Eating, Sleeping and Recovering. Maybe some leisure activity like a movie or bowling but nothing at all demanding. 99% of the camp should be a regiment. Usually you’re working out twice a day. Usually you’re losing weight. You’re definitely taking punishment to your body. Eating, Sleeping and Recovering should take priority over everything else. If it doesn’t then you won’t be as sharp throughout camp. A fighter should literally view his diet as a part of training, getting OVER 8 hours sleep as part of training, getting massages or positive recovery as part of training, maintaining the proper diet throughout as part of training. It all goes hand in had. You can’t out train bad diet, bad recovery and limited sleep.
I’m not all suggesting that Hatton didn’t recover properly but I am saying that overtraining can be confused with under recovering.
A world class fighter should be able to workout hard in the morning then workout hard in the afternoon in the gym. One of the reasons why fighters run at 5-6am is to insure they have proper time to recover for their afternoon workouts.
So spread the workouts apart. Make sure they are eating, sleeping and recovering. This is hard for a trainer to do unless you literally with a fighter but at a certain level fighters should know better.
Get their blood work done to make sure there aren’t any mineral deficiencies.
And last but not least monitor what they are doing. If a fighter is sharp a certain week, look to see what they did to be sharp. If a fighter is dragging give them a rest day or see what they did to make them drag. Use your intuition and instincts and don’t overreact. Everyday won’t be perfect in an 8 week camp. A fighter will have off days. It doesn’t mean they are overtrained. Once you know the look, you know it.
I hope you're well and safe, and not too bored.
Random short topics to tackle. Feel free to select the ones you like.
1. What if: Porter and SD
One could argue Porter and Sergey Derevyanchenko could have unblemished records.
Porter never gets really dominated and he almost edged it a few times on the scorecards.
Brook, Thurman, Spence.
How would he be ranked, perceived, and seen, in spite of his unpleasing style, if he was unbeaten? (we change one judge each time but keep the exact same fights)
Same question for SD. With his deep amateur record, dominant world-series of boxing run and wins over Soliman, Johnson, Jacobs, and GGG, where would he stand at MW today?
I feel like people think he's good but would fall short against the best. Do you agree?
I rewatched the Golovkin fight and I was truly impressed by his constant pressure, aggression, overwhelming angles, feints, and level changes, determination and heart, and his capacity to take a punch. The G connected many times flush and SD, besides the weird unbalanced/top of the head type of KD, kept coming stronger.
Is he out of his head against Canelo? I feel like Canelo would counter him hard, but I also believe that the pace an "on" SD would bring would make Alvarez uncomfortable.
I actually admire the declining GGG for his rally in the SD fight.
I trust the sharp boxing brains. Everybody has Monzon top 3 ever at MW.
I see good things. But it's not as obvious as some others. Purely based on the eye test, it's hard to see him wiping or even beating Hagler, RJJ, Hopkins, and even GGG. I know, resume wise, he's way above though.
Can you explain what makes him so special, why and how would he beat those guys?
3. Super Welter Weights Madness
Rewatched Charlo vs Harrison 2. Damn, they can crack.
I don't see an overwhelming favorite at JMM.
I thought it was Hurd clearly. Then J-Rock. Now I can't tell. They all are so good and close.
Who are the dark horses we should watch for?
Such a deep division.
4. Canelo vs Bivol. 168 or 175
Bivol wants to go down at 168 to face Canelo.
But, since Canelo has a legit title at 175 (although not the best Kov), Bivol is small but a legit 175 title holder, don't you think it would make more sense for Canelo to fight him for the crown?
If Bivol goes down, no title on the line and the excuse of not being at his best.
5. Teofimo's Balls
He seems to genuinely want to fight the best, from Loma at 135 to calling out Josh Taylor, Ramirez and Prograis at 140. Those are incredibly difficult fights and he hasn't faced anyone near them, especially if he goes up in weight. I love the kid. But what do you think if they fought within 6 months?
Take care man.
Ps: Great piece on the Charlo last week!
Bread’s Response: Getting the OFFICIAL verdict in a fight is a BIG DEAL. It changes the trajectory of the perception of a fighter. I remember when Montell Griffin got 2 decisions over James Toney. Toney went on like a 6 year slump and Griffin went onto big fights vs Roy Jones. Some people felt Toney beat him. I’m not saying that’s true the fights were close. But Griffin got the OFFICIAL verdicts….Another case is Mauricio Herrera in 2014. If he gets the nods over Danny Garcia and Jose Benadvidez he’s the FOY. He’s a world champion and millionaire. Instead he loses 4 more fights over the years and he’s being fed to young lions like Vergil Ortiz recently.
If Porter wins his close losses then he’s a P4P top 10 fighter. Porter is a tough out for sure. But in boxing there will always be close decisions. Porter has had his share of close fights. But just like some have went against him. Some have went his way like his fights with Yordenas Ugas and Julio Diaz. Over time these close fights usually balance themselves out just like anything else.
SD is a tough out for anyone. I want to see him break through and win one of these elite fights, like Porter did. You have to remember Porter beat Danny Garcia and Devon Alexander to go along with his close losses. I look for that guy who can get over the hump. Some fighters are good but they always find a way to come up short like say Andrew Golota or Razor Ruddock. I believe SD is the real deal but he’s going to have to come through like Shawn Porter has a few times.
Carlos Monzon is basic in a good way. He’s strong. He’s throws basically a 1-2 and he keeps it simple. So he won’t jump out at you in the 70s old grainy film like Duran and Ali did, the other best fighters of the 70s. But Monzon had subtle brilliance. He was ox strong and he had instincts. Look at his results. He just kept winning over and over. His timing and jab were elite. His right hand was bionic. He’s an all time great fighter. He’s just not a super athlete so…
154 is the deepest division in boxing. It may not ever get settled. Everyone seems beatable. I don’t have any darkhorses. I just think the big fights need to get made asap before they 154s start moving up. They won’t be able to make 154 for too much longer especially the ones who are closer to 30. Right now the top dog is Jermell Charlo, let’s see if he can unify the belts. Let’s see how it plays out. It should be awesome.
If Bivol calls Canelo out and goes to his division to fight him I don’t want to hear excuses. I never bought Oscar’s excuse with Manny or Chad Dawson’s excuse with Andre Ward. Bivol is asking for the WORK. He says he can make 168. If he can’t in a healthy way then he needs to say he will only fight Canelo at 175.
Teofimo Lopez does have big balls but let’s see if he can beat Loma before we get into the other stuff. That’s a serious challenge my man. Too much room between the cup and the lip to bring up more challenges. If he loses to Loma obviously he gets slowed down.
Hope all is well with your family and your fighters during these crazy times. I just would like to know what ur thoughts are on the careers of two of my favourite fighters in Adonis Stevenson and Gerald Mclellan. I love the way g-man throws his right hand and I found him to be crazy athletic. How good do u think he would have been if he didn’t have that premature injury. What do you think of him versus the likes of Jones, Mcallum, Toney, Lamar parks, Calzaghe and the other super middleweights of that time. With Adonis do you think he could of unified his division. Lastly, does it take more reflexes fighting on the front foot or back foot
God Bless from Montreal
Bread’s Response: GMAN was my guy. He’s the only middleweight in history to score 3 straight kos in his title defenses. I thought he was a monster but offensive fighters get a little overrated. His defense was really lacking and he fought in a PANIC. You have to be objective even when you like a guy.
I think GMAN would have won some and loss some. He would have clipped some of the guys because not only was a big right hand puncher but his left hook to the liver was sensational. But I also have a hard time picking him over calmer fighters who could take him into the later rounds and exploit holes in his defense.
I think GMAN would have beaten Lamar Parks, Reggie Johnson and Sambu Kalambay. He had a shot vs Roy because Roy went back to the ropes but I would have picked Roy. I think Toney would have stopped him late. Calazghe and GMAN would be a pick em because Calazaghe fought a kamikaze style right up GMAN’s alley and Calazghe could be dropped. I thought the fight with Benn should have been stopped but credit for Benn for continuing to fight. It just looked like the referee was corrupt giving him more chances than usual. Eubank and Collins had great chins. Let’s say he splits fights with them. McCallum is a tough fight. By 1995 I think GMAN may have been a slight favorite over McCallum due to age.
Adonis Stevenson had an excellent career. His straight left hand was the money punch of boxing for a long time and his victories over Chad Dawson and Tony Bellew are REAL. He has HOF numbers even if he isn’t a HOF fighter. He does have some misses and he did give the impression he didn’t want to fight the best available guy. He didn’t make some big Canadian fights vs Bute, Pascal and Beterbiev. He didn’t fight Andre Ward, Bernard Hopkins and Sergey Kovalev. I’m not saying he would have lost to every one of them. I don’t believe that. But honestly he left too much FOOD on the table. That has to be held against him. He has to try to unify in order to do it.
Everyone’s reflexes are different. Some fighters need to be far away to see shots. Some can defend against close or far. Some fighters have tactile reflexes where in close they can feel the energy of their opponents so they know they will punch. It really depends on the fighter.
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