The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the career of Alexander Povetkin, Gennady Golovkin, Guillermo Rigondeaux, the Carl Frampton vs. Jamel Herring showdown, and more.
Hi Bread, Was just wondering if you could do a quick review of Alexander Povetkin's career and where you rank him in terms of heavyweights of the last 25 years? Do you think he's borderline HOF with his resume or not? He's been one of my favourite fighters to watch over the years but doesn't get the credit he deserves I feel. I know the couple of failed tests will go against him, but putting those aside if you can for a second, what do you think of his overall career and how he stacks up against the best heavyweights let's say from 2000 to now. I feel like he got his tougher fights later than he should.
Bread’s Response: First of all. I really appreciate your comments. I love when someone new writes in from another country. It’s awesome to touch people from afar. But I am not going to casually dismiss multiple failed drug test. Come on man, you can kill someone in a boxing ring. That’s the problem in boxing!
Povetkin has had an up and down weird type of career with some really bizarre performances out of no where. The people who know better, know that it’s a red flag but you can’t say much publicly. But when a fighter who does this also has tested positive for PEDS before then it’s like ok, we knew what was up. I always suspected a few of his performances but I never spoke out because he’s not a fighter you guys ask about often. I’m glad you did.
No he’s not a HOF. He’s not even borderline. But if he was, the failed test should kill his chances in my opinion being that he was JUST borderline. He’s a very good fighter. But he’s not a great fighter or had a great career. He took a while to develop despite being a Gold Medalist and his career was good but far from great. I can tell you’re a fan of his but come on. He got caught using! He didn’t have to fight tougher than anyone else. He fought the crop of heavyweights from his era and he wasn’t in a great era. That’s what elite fighters should do. I don’t see his resume as being Murderer’s Row.
If you ask me to rank the best heavyweights since 2000. Lennox Lewis was still active in 2000 and he had his best career year that year so I rate him #1. After Lewis I would say Wlad Klitshcko, Vitali Klitshcko, Tyson Fury, Anthony Joshua, Deontay Wilder, Chris Byrd and David Tua all rate over Povetkin. He’s somewhere in the tier after them with Dillian Whyte and Luis Ortiz. Although I think Ortiz is the better fighter. He’s a solid guy for the era he was in but not a HOF fighter.
Who are some boxers that would have most benefitted from a unified boxing league or UFC-type model in the sport? The first that come to mind are Rigo and GGG. How great would Rigo's career have been if he had been able to get guys to fight him? His dominance against Donaire remains one of my favorite fights to watch and looks even better considering what Donaire has accomplished since.
Bread’s Response: You named the guys who would have benefitted most. Rigo and GGG were both ducked so badly they were both denied legacy defining fights closer to their physical primes. The other fighter is Terence Crawford. Crawford will most likely suffer the same fate as GGG and Rigo if he doesn’t get his legacy defining this year.
Not sure if I'm allowed to do this, but I saw a gofundme link for the G-Man I thought would be great if you could post on your mailbag, not a rich man myself but this is one I had to contribute something to.
https://www.gofundme.com/f/28y3tim32o/donate?member=7953018. Donate to Gerald “G-Man” McClellan25 years ago Geralds life was changed in England in his final bout of his career against Nigel… Lisa Mcclellan needs your support for Gerald “G-Man” McClellan.
Question on the fight this Saturday between Frampton and Herring, the bookies have Frampton as marginal favourite, I remember you previously saying you favoured Herring big in this, has anything happened since to change your mind? Frampton seems desperate to make history and become the first 3 weight Irish champion. A lot of people are saying Herring is on the slide and he has arrived too late to Dubai. Do you see this playing a factor or will Herring still have too much? Any tips you can give would be great, I'm looking to donate half of any winnings to the G-man.
Bread’s Response: I’m not sure who the judges will be. I think it will be a factor. I believe the fight will go the distance. I believe it will be very close. I wouldn’t be shocked if Frampton won. But my pick is Herring. He’s a lot taller. Not a little bit but a lot. Frampton is short with short arms. Frampton is about 5’4 ish maybe shorter. Herring looks about 5’9 with similar dimensions to a welterweight. Herring is also a southpaw. I don’t know if Frampton can apply the pressure he will need to at his age. That takes energy. I also believe that Herring has a great team and they give their fighter’s the best chance to win. So my pick is Herring by very close decision.
Man you know I never talk about publicly which fallen fighters I donate to. I just do it. It’s not in me to ask for credit for something like that. I do it for my blessings and to bless them. I’m glad you brought some awareness to the G-Man. I love these types of comments. Thank you.
What do you think about all these exhibitions with older boxers and non-boxers? Overall good or bad for the sport and athletes? Also, in the ring what is the difference between sparring, exhibitions, and fights. I.e. do the majority of fighters have the ability and principals to synchronously turn up or down the level of violence?
Bread’s Response: Honestly I don’t want to knock anyone’s hustle but I’m beyond a hardcore boxing person. I don’t like seeing an active fighter too far past their primes. I definitely don’t have much interest in seeing a fighter 20 years past his best day fighting. Maybe in some casual sparring but not in an EVENT. But everyone has a right to make money. And consumers have a right to watch. I choose to not really indulge. It just doesn’t do much for me.
I think the fighters in this era should really do a self check. They are so selective about their elite opposition they have opened the door to the stars of yesteryear. Can you imagine if consumers currently had a choice between top 10 P4P level fights on PPV monthly, and a fight between two 50 yr old legends? But because the consumers don’t have to choose the legends are racking up money that these current fighters should be getting. If you look at it from this perspective it’s really a shame. But it’s the game, right now.
Just curious, Breadman.
I asked you a while back about some of the biggest wins in boxing history. One you listed was Hagler’s win over Hearns. I love watching that fight… I’ve yet to meet a fan who isn’t mesmerized by The War. But do you think that THE WIN is one fans really appreciate? What exactly did that win do for Marvin Hagler? Was he an ATG by then… or did he become an ATG because of his winning The War?
Also… since Hagler was usually a much slower starter… how risky was his strategy to jump on top of Hearns from the get-go? I mean, yeah we all know about Hagler’s granite chin… but Hearns was still THE HITMAN!! Surely the question of Hearns's cross or Hagler’s chin was like a case of unstoppable force vs immovable object right?
Bread’s Response: The Hearn’s win for Hagler sealed him being an ATG fighter. It’s the best middleweight win of the last 40 years. It was huge. Hagler and Hearns were the 2 best fighters in the world when they fought. Both in or close to their prime. Both on big win streaks. Both HOF. Huge fight. Huge win.
The performance itself could have been one of the best gameplans in history. We usually give this credit to the “boxer” in a fight. But for Hagler who was a methodical technician, to literally assault the huge punching, elite boxing Hearns knowing that he could’ve shot his load, was unbelievably risky. I look deeper into fights. I often wonder if Hagler, started so fast because Hagler vs Hearns was scheduled for 12 rounds and not 15. Hagler knew how sharp he was and he didn’t want to get down on points early like Ray Leonard did 4 years before and need a miracle comeback. Either way Hagler was the ultimate that night. He yearned for a certain amount of credit. He changed his named to Marvelous Marvin Hagler. He craved what he already knew. Hearns had outperformed him vs the smaller Duran by a lot. And Hagler needed to deliver and he did. In my opinion it’s a top 10-20 win in boxing history. Top 5 win in middleweight history. And top 10 performance EVER in a big fight.
Keeping it short this time. An occasional talent falling through the cracks and not getting their due is quite common. Who according to you are the ones that most deserve to be in Hall of Fame but have still not made it? For example, I think it is criminal that Nunn has still not made it to the list. Also, who are some of the worst Hall of Fame entries as per you. For example, I always felt that Pipino Cuevas should not be in Hall of Fame.Lastly, two interesting mythical matchups - 1. Mccallum vs Nunn a 160 and 2. Mccallum vs Whitaker at 154.
Bread’s Response: Here is the thing. I don’t like to attack fighters who have made the HOF. It’s just not fair to them. But I feel that the voters have made some very glaring and big mistakes. I even feel that certain fighters should NOT even be on the ballot but I would never name them. It’s not their fault.
Pipino Cuevas is NOT a great fighter. It’s obvious. But that doesn’t mean he can’t be a HOF. You have to realize he became champion 45 years ago. If you go back to that era, not many welterweight champions had double digit title defenses. You also have to consider he won a real belt in an era when there was only 2. He didn’t do much before or after his reign but he got hot, won his title and defended it 10 or 11 times. Welterweight is an original 8. In my opinion it’s the most talented division in the history of boxing. More ATG fighters have won the welterweight title than any other title. The best welterweight in the world is usually a top 5 P4P fighter.
So often Cuevas gets picked on because of his shotty record and bad ko losses. But his reign was HOF worthy. You don’t have to be a great fighter to get in. I think he deserved it considering 45 years ago he was being judged by everything that was done at that time. As time goes on, so does history. Right after Cuevas’s reign. Leonard, Duran, Hearns, Curry, Whitaker, Oscar, Shane and Tito all emerged at welterweight. They are all better than Cuevas and often times Cuevas gets judged against them because they came directly after him era by era. But we don’t realize the voters didn’t have to consider them because he came before them. So they weren’t his competition as far as getting in. CONTEXT.
Michael Nunn deserves to be on the ballot. He was one of the best fighters of the late 80s and early 90s. Nunn was a great fighter and he had a solid reign. Not a great one but a solid one. He made it up to 34-0 before it took a great fighter in a monster performance to comeback and beat him. He then won a 2nd title and was only stopped once in a tough career. I think he should be in. Not a 1st ballot guy but he should be in. He has an excellent legacy and head to head he’s even harder to beat. There is a good chance that Nunn could have beaten Hagler, Leonard and Hearns if he fought them in the late 80s. They were older. And he was a tall, fast southpaw.
McCallum vs Nunn. This is a hard fight for me to pick. Nunn was slick but you could hit him. Curry and Starling hit him with little cute shots all night. McCallum would have too and he would have dug shots to his body to wear him out. Nunn had more range and was faster. I say this is a pick em. McCallum was too big for Whitaker at 154. You can’t do a P4P thing when you’re talking about a head to head fight. McCallum would have bullied Whitaker.
How do you feel about the Herring vs Frampton match up? Frampton is the favorite does that seem right to you.
Bread’s Response: I feel as though Herring should be the slight favorite. The oddsmakers are usually correct but I think they are off in this fight. I feel the fight will go the distance. Herring is a lot bigger than Frampton. Both guys are a bit older. But Herring has a decided advantage in natural size, length and height. On top of that he’s a southpaw. I think their skillsets are about even. I actually think Frampton had a higher peak but that was at 122lbs. My deciding factor is Herring’s team. I love his coaches and they always give their guys their best chance to win. So my guess is Herring by a SD. I am curious on who the judges will be. I think it will play a factor.
Do you really believe Boots Ennis will be pushed by Lipinets? Lipinets is definitely his best opponent as of yet. But something tells me this will be a showcase. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: I have a healthy respect for Lipinets and his trainer Joe Goossen. I think they will give it a hard go. Lipinets is a killer and his trainer, trains killers. The issue for them is I suspect Ennis may be special. In the gym he certainly has proven to be. He’s the best fighter I’ve ever seen in “SPARRING”. If he can translate that over to real fights at the elite level, he’s going to be very hard to beat.
Forget about Ennis’s height and arm length. He has excellent size for a welterweight. They have him listed at 5’10 with a 74 inch reach. I think he’s closer to 5’11.But the bigger issue is his RANGE. Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones were not super tall for their respective weight classes. But they had the ability 99% of the time to hit their opponents from further away than their opponents could hit them. That’s not just a matter of length it’s a matter of sharpness, skill and trigger pull. There have been taller fighters who didn’t have that range like say Diego Corrales or Paul Williams. Because they didn’t have the trigger pull or sharpness from the outside.
The issue for Lipinets is Boots, is taller, longer, sharper, bigger and more talented. Boots will be able to hit him from a range that Lipinets won’t be able to hit him from. Lipinets will have to be an animal. His only chance is to fight the fight that Hagler fought vs Hearns. He can’t wait for Ennis to get tired because Ennis is supremely conditioned. He won’t fatigue unless the pace is frenetic. Lipinets will have to force Ennis to get tired.
On paper this seems like a big step up. And I’m not suggesting it’s not. But experience is overrated at times. Often times the more experienced fighter is just the older one who has had more opportunities. I’m not saying experience doesn’t matter but there are other things I would rather have in most cases. In this fight I would rather be Ennis. This is a hard fight for Lipinets. So hard in fact I think Joe Goossen should be trainer of the year if he wins it convincingly. That’s how difficult of a physical match up this is for Lipinets. I give him major props for fighting Ennis. I know this era and Ennis will be ducked like the plague unless he gets dropped or struggles to a Split Decision.
As much as I respect the team of Lipinets and Goossen. I think Ennis will win. I don’t expect him to lose more than 1 or 2 rounds if any. And a stoppage is not out of the question. The two things that Ennis has to be careful of however, is being over anxious because of the NC in his last fight. Him and his opponent were both the cause of that head collision. And also low blows. Ennis whips his shots underneath and he’s a brutal body puncher. He bangs his opponents in their lower core. Depending on the referee and the opponent this can be an issue. Other than that I expect Ennis to roll.
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