The Daily Breadman Mailbag returns with another Extra Edition, as Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackles topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol, Floyd Mayweather's desire to become a trainer, and much more.
What's up Bread,
Hope you and the family good amongst all this craziness.
1. So where do you rate Mike Tyson amongst HWs? I think he's top 10, but not top 5. He dominated a weaker era of 80 HWs, never avenged any of his losses, lost his biggest fights and missed so many great 90 HWs, now I'm not aTyson Hater by any means I just think history/fans etc. tend to overrate him because of the nostalgia and how he was apart of so many people's childhood.
2. What are you 5 greatest fights of All-time? Mine are Ali-Frazier 3, Ali-Foreman Chavez-Taylor SRL-Duran and SRL-Hearns.
3. What are the 5 best fights you can think can be made in boxing right now? Mine are Haney vs Loma/Lopez winner, Spence-Crawford, Fury- AJ, Plant- Canelo and Taylor- Ramirez, bonus Bivol vs Beibertrev
4. What are your 5 greatest fights of the 2010s? Mine are Pacquiao-Marquez IV, Mayweather-Cotto, AJ-Wlad, GGG-CANELO 2? (on the fence) Maidana-Broner, Bradley-Provodnikov Bonus: Fury-Wilder. Anyways stay safe out here OG.
Bread’s Response: Thanks man. I hope you and you’re family are staying safe.
For some reason you guys are writing in loads of Mike Tyson questions. I think Tyson is a top 10 heavyweight ever. That’s high because it’s boxing’s most famous division. Tyson was a load in his day.
I think Tyson is one of the 5 best punchers in the division’s history. He’s one of the more offensively dynamic fighters ever. He’s a great fighter for sure. A top 10 heavyweight has to be.
I don’t think he has as many MISSES as the Myth says. He fought the two best heavyweights of the 80s and the two best heavyweights of the 90s. All together he fought Lennox Lewis, Evander Holyfield, Razor Ruddock, Andre Golota, Larry Holmes, Tyrell Biggs, Tony Tucker, Michael Spinks and Pinklon Thomas. I would consider those to be his best opponents and you can only go by the era a fighter fought in.
Holmes, Lewis, Holyfield and Spinks are all ATG in the HOF. Golota ruined Riddick Bowe. Biggs was an undefeated Olympian. Tucker was over 30-0 and a real champion. Razor Ruddock was the hottest non champion of the time and on a roll. Pinklon Thomas could bump.
Tyson fought every single noteworthy heavyweight of the 80s except Tim Witherspoon who lost to Bone Crusher Smith, so he didn’t get the lottery ticket in the unification. Smith got the ticket and Tyson beat him.
In the 90s Tyson unified the title vs Frank Bruno and Bruce Seldon. I know they aren’t great fighters but they were the champions. You have to respect that. Tyson then fought the two best heavyweights of the 90s and lost. It’s no shame in that. For as great as we make Riddick Bowe out to be and I believe Bowe is a great fighter, Tyson fought tougher comp for a longer time. For as great as we make Larry Holmes out to be, Tyson unified and fought tougher comp. Tyson cleaned out the rest of Holmes’s era of heavyweights. Despite Holmes being revered now as a top 5 heavyweight, his era was weaker than Tyson’s and their eras were parallel. Holmes’s best title defenses were Gerry Cooney, Tim Witherspoon, Michael Spinks, Trevor Berbick, Marvis Frazier and Carl Williams. Well Tyson stopped Spinks, Berbick, Frazier and Williams all in the 1st or 2nd rounds.
Tyson’s resume is not as bad as some make it out to be. Just look at name for name and who was available during the era. Tyson’s misses come more in the 90s than they do in the 80s. But remember he lost 4 years in the 90s to jail. And when he got out of jail he unified the title and fought Holyfield twice then got suspended again. I’m not excusing his discretions but there are some factors to his MISSES.
For a fighter to unify the division completely once and then get two belts almost 10 years later, that’s an accomplishment. It’s hard to cherry pick unifications.
Now here is the one thing I agree with you about. He never avenged one of his losses. Most of the great heavyweight champions have avenged their losses or at least tried to.
Chronologically throughout history that seems to be the right thing to do. Louis avenged his loss to Schmeling. Walcott avenged his loss to Charles. Charles tried to avenge his loss to Walcott and Marciano as did Walcott to Marciano. Patterson avenged his loss to Johansson, he tried to avenge his loss to Liston. Liston tried to avenge his loss to Ali. Ali avenged his loss to Frazier and Frazier tried avenge his loss to Ali. Ali avenged his loss to Spinks. Holmes attempted to avenge his loss to Spinks.
Tyson did try to avenge to the Holyfield loss. He tried so he gets credit for that. But he wasn’t ever able to successfully avenge any of his 6 losses. Once he was old and shot I give him a PASS. But heavyweight do gain glory historically by defeating the fighter that beat them. Tyson wasn’t able to do that. Just think if he avenged his Douglas, Lewis and Holyfield losses he’s top 5 ever easy. So yes you’re correct.
5 Greatest Fights of All Time are usually a historian’s 5 favorite fights of All Time. But I will try to be fair and objective.
Ali vs Frazier 1 and 3. In the first fight we saw one of the greatest pressure performances ever. Might be the best. Joe Frazier was special that night. He was so special he was never the same afterwards. Ali wasn’t bad himself. They fought their hearts out. The fight had everything. Undefeated fighters with a claim to the TITLE. Gold Medalist. Boxer vs Swarmer. Flash vs Hardwork. Jabber vs Hooker. Biggest fight ever and it delivered.
Ali vs Frazier 3 was even more violent but it wasn’t on the same skill level as the first. They tied going into the Rubber Match and both needed the fight to see who would be the superior historical fighter. Death Match.
Corrales vs Castillo- unification fight between the best two fighters in the division. Both violent punchers who come forward with skill. Both in their primes. Punch for punch may be the best fight ever, even if it wasn’t a classic Super Fight Promotion at the time.
Pryor vs Arguello- Arguello is going for his 4th division title in 1982. In 1982 4 division titles is a huge deal. If Arguello wins that fight he goes from a top 50 all time fighter to a top 20ish. He would have been the first to do it in history. He would have did it before Leonard, Hearns and Duran who all did it after him in the 80s. But Arguello was 1st. He was taking on a legitimate great fighter in his prime, who was bigger and just a little bit badder. The fight delivered with violence, drama, momentum swings and a brutal ending.
Leonard vs Hearns1. This fight wasn’t as action packed as the others punch for punch. But if you know what you were looking at then it was literally OXYGEN. It’s the most skillful great fight in history.
The two best fighters in the world, in the same division at the same time. One is 30-1 the other is 32-0. The betting odds are basically even. Leonard has to find a way to beat a fighter thought to be invincible in 1981. He boxes then tries to suddenly explode. It takes time but he finally gets through. The problem is he’s losing rounds because of Hearns’s jab. Leonard hurts Hearns in the 6th but he doesn’t finish him. Hearns regroups and fights him off. Leonard is down on the cards with a swollen eye and he turns into a SAVAGE in clutch time and gets the stoppage. It’s a MOVIE.
Top 5 fights in boxing that can be made. I’m going to keep this simple. In no order but just the best most legacy defining and important fights to be made currently are:
Taylor vs Ramirez
Spence vs Crawford
Loma vs Lopez
Andrade vs Charlo
Fury vs Joshua
5 Best fights of the 2010s. Um man Im getting old I’m trying to do this without googling. Ok..
Inoue vs Donaire
Matthysse vs Molina
Bradley vs Provodnikov
Canelo vs GGGII
Marquez vs Pac4
I’ve been a big boxing fan for about a decade, being mainly into U.K. boxing to start with and over the last 3/4 years watching a lot more boxing on your side on the pond.
Purely going off the eyeball test, Lomachenko is the best fighter I have seen. a mount. Rushmore type of fighter. Floyd and a Pac in at his apex were the only two I’ve watched live to get close. In this time off I’ve been able to watch some older fighter like sweet pea and jones jr who are both incredible.
With Lomachenko entering the pro ranks relatively late, and being in the era of two fights a year, how hard is it for him to make it into a consensus top 25 ever? Is there anything he could possible do to make it into your top 25 ever? If so what?
Bread’s Response: You have to study some more fighters and their records….However, I agree Loma is special. He has grown on me. When I first watched him I thought he tried to do too much. He reminded me of Jason Williams the talented PG of the Sacremento Kings. Williams would do unnecessary moves at times to get the same results as say a John Stockton who did it easier and more basic for longer.
But as Loma evolved and he went on that run at 130 where he was making fighter after fighter surrender. I knew then that he was operating at a special level.
He’s a rare fighter who has elite skill, elite talent, elite athleticism and elite IQ. In boxing we sometimes clump everything into one. Loma has it ALL except elite size and length for a lightweight. I also think while he’s in his prime I don’t believe he’s at his peak anymore. I think his face is busting up and I think he’s lost a slight step at lightweight. Sort of like the step Roy Jones lost at 175 in the late 90s but no one noticed too much.
I can’t stand it that fighters fight 2 fights per year at the championship level. I’m waiting for the P4P fighter to challenge the powers that be to put in WRITING in a contract to fight them 3x in a calendar. I don’t know who came up with his but it’s crazy in my opinion that 95% of the championship level fighters get to a point where they need go down to 2 fights/year.
I think Loma has to go on 2 year burn. Where he fights 3 fights per year and he literally takes the biggest fights possible. He has to make a HIT LIST. He’s already slated to fight Teofimo Lopez which is a terribly hard fight. He has a real case to lose that fight. But should he win, Devin Haney is the WBC champion. That’s two young Uber Talents. That would be historical given the age difference. If he gets pass them, then Tank Davis. That’s a huge PPV event. It would also give him every alphabet belt at lightweight, the RING and Lineal. Then either drop to 130 or just simply make a fight with Shakur Stevenson. My goodness. The historians would start to salivate. If he were to get by Stevenson which would be an insanely hard fight, then find some sort of reasonable catch weight with Monster Inoue who would be a 122 or 126 by that time. After that retire. How is that line up?
A couple questions for you about defense:
What can a fighter do defensively when they are more squared up to keep themselves protected. A bladed stance seems to have built in defensive advantages. What are the advantages and disadvantages to fighting aggressively from a bladed stance vs a squared up one?
Another question: how did a fighter's defense look different up to and during the 6oz horsehair gloves? Hands were lower....Larger padded gloves really changed the way people defended themselves and fought, did it not?
Thanks for your time, and thanks for the bonus mailbag addition this past week! I really enjoyed your discussion on jabs and right hands in the first one.
Frequent reader of your work,
Bread’s Response: You’re welcome my brother.
Ok bladed stance vs squared up stance this is a good question and I’m going to get deep on it because it’s a topic in the gym all the time.
A bladed or pointed stance which I like to call it, is excellent if you want to land the jab or counter with a right hand. The lead hand is naturally closer to the opponent. Think of Floyd Mayweather and James Toney. But there is a draw back to everything one can do. When you are too far over on the point it’s easier for your opponent to get BEHIND your lead shoulder. You take lots of shots to the side and back of the ear. Joe Louis stayed in bladed stance and that was his blind spot. See the Max Schmeling fight. Also watch James Toney vs Roy Jones and Floyd Mayweather vs Zab Judah of examples when a fighter got behind the bladed stance. Floyd actually switched stances in the fight. He went to a high guard, he got a little more squared up and went forward.
Also in a bladed stance you have to be careful not to be too far over. Some fighters literally have their kidney exposed and pointed to their opponent. It also takes away your lead hand hook.
The Squared up stance obviously makes a bigger target. Your organs are exposed and you become a sucker for an uppercut. But offensively your rear hand is closer to the opponent, and your hook hand is over in position. Again there is a pro and con to everything in boxing.
I think if you fight a little squared up you have to be adaptable. If you want to land your jab and you want to box little bit then you have to blade some. If you’re in pressure mode and you’re trying to track a fighter down like Chavez or Tyson you will become a little more squared.
Anticipation is the 1st key to defense. If you see the punch coming, you can defend it. It also creates less of a shock value to you because you see it. When you don’t see it, it’s when it clips you. So if you’re squared up or bladed seeing the punches always help. If you’re squared up you also want to keep your elbows IN and forearms closer together so nothing gets through. You can squeeze the uppercut and other stuff up the middle. See how Joe Calzaghe defended Mikell Kessler’s uppercut in their fight. You’re head movement also has to be on point because you’re a bigger target because you’re squared up.
I prefer a versatile stance with the lead shoulder pointed towards the opponent but also the back foot pointed towards the opponent without squaring up. From a southpaw stance I think Pernell Whitaker has the perfect stance for a fighter. He was on the POINT but not so much where opponents got behind his shoulder. He also didn’t blade so much where his left hand was too far away from the opponent. It was perfect.
From a right handed stance I love Ricardo Lopez’s stance. It was higher than Whitaker’s but his elbows didn’t flair out. He was on the balls of his feet. His chin was in his shoulder lining. He wasn’t squared up but all of his punches where in line to come off without traveling too far.
Salvador Sanchez had the perfect chest level guard. He didn’t hold his hands overly high. He kept his feet shoulder length apart. And he didn’t give up much. His lead hand was pointed towards the opponent.
In this era Errol Spence has a great stance. Hands up. Shoulder pointed. Elbows in. Not squared up. Not bladed over too far. Spence’s stance is A+ in this era.
In the horse hair era the thumbs weren’t attached. So fighters fought with open gloves more often. They parried more. But their guards were more chest level and they probed more with the lead hand. Probing and parrying is not done so much in this era. A probe with the lead hand can really channel your defense because the opponent won’t know where to gauge your jab. Fighters back then parried with BOTH hands also. Most fighters in this era don’t block straight shots with their hand. I don’t know what but they don’t. Just a change of the times.
Most fighters have a blind spot regardless of stance. Meaning there is always a punch they see less than the others. One thing you forgot to mention was good feet. Your feet can get you out of the way of danger regardless of the stance.
I have looked at some of the guys you were high on over the years. Not just your picks in fights but guys you were high on and man you don’t miss often. You talk about the Charlo Bros chins and you’re right those dudes have hard heads. It’s a credit to you because one fought your guy but you still give them props. I know you train him but I never thought Julian Williams was championship material and you called it back in 2010. After the Ishe Smith fight I thought no way he could win a title. You were big on Terence Crawford before anyone knew him. I remember you said he was better than Adrien Broner and that prediction is spot on now. Josh Taylor was another call you made. Your pick with Adonis Stevenson vs Chad Dawson was crazy. You picked an early ko and it was spot on. I just watched your youtube picks on Tim Bradley vs Manny Pacquiao1, Brandon Rios vs Mike Alvarado1 and Andre Ward vs Chad Dawson. Literally incredible. In the Bradley vs Pacquiao fight you said Bradley would win by controversial decision!
Are there any fighters today you would buy stock into or future fights you have strong feelings for? Let me know so I can buy some.
Bread’s Response: Thanks man but I get some wrong too. I thought Anselmo Moreno would be a HOF level fighter. He turned out to be a solid champion but not close to the HOF. Can’t get them all right.
I am really high on Jaron Ennis at the prospect level. I think he has 3 division champion potential and top 10 P4P potential. I hate saying that but you asked me. I don’t want to overrate anyone too soon but Ennis checks the boxes. He is equally as good from the right side as he is from the left. He’s super athletic. He’s super talented. He’s twitchy. He’s a brutal body puncher and he has an elite jab. Obviously we have to wait to see if he can take a punch at the top level. But if he can he’s going to be BIG trouble. Ennis’s only weakness that I see is sometimes he plays around with his hands down. That can be dangerous with 8 oz gloves on.
The thing that stands out to me about Ennis is his size and frame. If you notice none of the welters in from this era have moved up to fight at 154 except Sadam Ali and he only did that because Miguel Cotto came calling. Pac, Mosley, Cotto and Floyd are not from this era.
The welters in this era are about 5’6-5’8 and they just don’t seem to have the physicality to move up. The junior middleweights are 5’10-6ft. And they are more dense men. Look at them close. Look at how Ali looked fighting Munguia. Ennis will be fine at 154 and 160. The only other welter I feel that way about is Errol Spence.
Ennis and Spence have different frames and bone density than the welterweights in this era.
I’m also high on Stephen Fulton. He’s relaxed. He has elite fitness. He’s mean. He has a busy jab and great instincts. He’s not the uber talent that Ennis is offensively but he has an all around game that can break through. Fulton is going under the radar much like Julian Williams did but he can win a few world titles before he’s done.
Out of the young champions I think Shakur Stevenson will be the hardest to beat. I don’t know if he’s the best but he will be the hardest to beat. That kid does not let you touch him. He takes less punishment than anyone in boxing. His feet are A+.
I’m also big on Caleb Plant. Plant has the right mix of fundamentals, talent, athleticism and IQ. He may be a cross over star. He literally has everything you want in an emerging fighter except one punch ko ability but very few fighters have that so it’s no biggie. Great support group. Excellent young coach in Justin Gamber. Excellent management team. Great size for the division. He’s well conditioned. He has charisma. I know 168 is stacked but I don’t know who I would pick to beat Plant. Including Canelo. Plant is a pure boxer with an educated lead hand. Tough to beat that.
Out of the older champions the one that stands out is Arhur Beterbiev. He has unique physical strength. It’s really unique how strong he is for the weight. I know he’s older so he doesn’t have much time but Beterbiev is the one guy if I’m Plant I wouldn’t mess with if Plant were to move up. Beterbiev fought at 201 in the amateurs and his punches stick different. He has developed weird grip and forearm strength. He doesn’t have to try to punch you hard. The way he punches it creates a dense, heavy thud. He also does not allow himself to be clinched. I would bet he has a wrestling background.
He had some off nights but I think he’s found his groove and conditioning. He was brilliant vs the Nail. The body shots he was throwing and his ability to cut that ring off was amazing. I was even more impressed because Teddy Atlas did a great job with the Nail and they had a good camp. I can tell the Nail was ready, I was there live, Beterbiev just went to the next level in that fight. Tremendous performance.
Future fight predictions with boxing on hold it’s hard to say….. But if Jamel Herring fights Carl Frampton take Herring with a bullet. I know the odds won’t reflect it but Herring is going to win that fight. Mark it down. I think Herring is hitting his peak. He’s tall for the weight and he’s a southpaw. Frampton was big time at 122lbs but he was short for that division. He’s beyond short for a 130 pounder. He’s older and he’s better when a fighter comes to him than when he has to brig it. This is a stylistic nightmare for Frampton. I think Herring wins 9 or more rounds to a decision.
What do you think of Dmitri Bivol calling Canelo out? Do you think Canelo has evolved enough to beat Bivol with his tricky style?
Bread’s Response: Yes Canelo is operating at an ATG level at the moment. When you’re getting put in hypothetical match ups with Roy Jones and Bernard Hopkins you know you’re great. Canelo improves every fight. He takes on difficult styles just to get better. They say he has slow feet but he fights moving southpaws. They say he likes fighters to come to him so now he’s a calm pressure fighter who counter punches.
I think Bivol can fight but my gut tells me he lacks toughness. He fights a little skittish in spots in my opinion. I think his style would present problems but I would pick Canelo. Anxiety, skittish personalities will always have trouble with Canelo because he’s so calm and skilled. He looks like Jason Voorhees to those opponents. He’s walking slow but they think he’s going fast. Canelo has great underrated physical strength and he punches harder to the body than he does the head. I think he would make it look like Bivol is surviving and not boxing. If Bivol makes a stand he gets kod. If he tries to survive he loses a decision.
Also you have to factor in Canelo struggled to make the lower weights. At 168 and 175 he has extra calories to burn off. Carbs, fats and fluids. That’s really important. He would have extra energy to explode late in these fights, plus he has the quickness of a junior middleweight. When you have an elite chin you can move up in this era and have some cool advantages. Look what Manny and Floyd have done at welterweight.
How do you think Floyd Mayweather will do as a trainer? He just recently announced he’s going to start training fighter. What are some of the challenges he may face?
Bread’s Response: I think Floyd is going to be an awesome trainer. Every fighter can’t train but I think will be able to. He loves boxing, he knows boxing and he’s a historian. Lots of boxers today don’t know boxing history. If you talk to Floyd he can go back to fights in history. Believe it or not that really keeps your brain sharp because an active mind can replicate what they see. You can tell Floyd has observed some of the things great fighters have done then did them better.
Floyd has all of the resources lined up to be successful. He has his own gym. Fighters will want to listen to him. He’s a student of the game. He’s a promoter also so he will be able to have the first and last say on what fights a fighter should take and what fights they shouldn’t take. That’s huge. He functionally becomes the matchmaker but he will have a hand in the training which will give him an advantage.
I think the biggest challenges for him will be him just finding his groove. To see what works and what doesn’t. He won’t do the exact routine that his dad and uncle did because everyone is different. Once he finds his own system he’s going to be fine. I think he will produce his own world champion within 5-10 years.
Another challenge will be realizing everyone is not him. The media and fans are going to have to be mindful of that. Floyd is a once in a generation talent that GOD made. He was cultivated by his dad and uncle but his gifts are rare. So rare that his dad and uncle never made another fighter like him.
Floyd will have to come to grips with that. He’s a savant. He may have done things instinctually that he can’t explain in words. If he finds a way to explain why he did certain things, then look out. He’s going to produce some great fighters. But he’s going to have to have PATIENCE with his fighters and understand most likely they won’t be as GIFTED as he is.
Read Saturday's Mailbag - https://www.boxingscene.com/daily-bread-mailbag-barrera-hamed-kell-brook-canelo-more--148209
Read Sunday's Extra Edition - https://www.boxingscene.com/daily-bread-mailbag-extra-edition-canelo-ggg-3-tyson-ali-more--148227
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