By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards (photo by Ryan Hafey)
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Manny Pacquiao, the legacy of Pacquiao, the Filipino superstar's big victory over Keith Thurman, and more
Thanks for always providing my Saturday reading!
Does Pacquiao's win over Thurman enhance Mayweather's legacy at all by proxy?
Could you recommend some of Sweet Pea's key fights to watch for someone who was too young to experience his legacy while it was unfolding?
Finn from Oakland
Bread’s Response: Yes it does. Mayweather has a few wins that have gotten better with TIME. When Mayweather and Pacquiao fans used to make up stupid reasons to take credit from one or the other I never understood it. Mayweather beat Miguel Cotto in 2012. Cotto went on to be the lineal middleweight champion in 2014. He also fought well vs Canelo a much bigger guy in 2015. But Mayweather’s fans shot themselves in the finger because they all claimed Pacquiao beat a washed up Cotto in 2009. It can’t work that way.
Mayweather also has wins over Pacquiao in 2015 and Canelo in 2013 that look better with time. Pacquiao has been operating at an elite level since his loss to Floyd. So has Canelo.
I wish the super fans would just shut up. You should see the Know It Alls on Twitter.
Personally I’ve always felt that the window of which Pac could have been most competitive with Floyd was from 08-10. Pac was at his Zenith during that time and I feel it would’ve been a 50/50 fight. After that Pac was still great and he can beat excellent fighters but Mayweather’s skill, style and All Time status would be a smidge too much for him. I’ve always said that and I stand by it.
Pernell Whitaker was so lights out at lightweight. Youtube him bs Greg Haugen, Jose Luis Ramirez2, Poli Diaz, Freddie Pendleton and Louie Lomelli. What a fighter. And don’t listen to the narrative. He was a great offensive fighter also.
I'd like you to educate me on something. I got into an argument after Manny Pacquiao's father-time defying win over Keith Thurman with someone claiming that Manny is now "Top 3 of all time". I replied that I'm a huge Pacman fan (being Filipino myself), but saying Manny is top 3 GOAT is a bit getting ahead of ourselves. Although this is a very big win that raises his GOAT profile a bit more, I just feel it's a tad bit disrespectful to a number of legends to lift Manny up that far. In my view, I still have at least Robinson, Ali and Leonard ahead of him just from the top of my head, but I would now rank Pacquiao ahead of Duran with this win at 40 yrs old over a current welterweight champ who is undefeated.
With probably hundreds of thousands of boxers throughout history, I say being in the top 50 is being among the absolute legendary warriors, and I feel Pacquiao would easily be top 25 now. Then I thought, maybe I should have this view of mine tested and what better way to set me straight than to ask you. This isn't me asking you to give me your top 10 GOAT list. My question is, who would you rank above Manny historically after this win? If you can name as many fighters as you can, that would be cool.
Thanks and God bless you always!
Bread’s Response: Sometimes WE can get emotional and create a present time bias. But I don’t think people realize what Pac just did. I really wish there was full VADA testing for this fight. I’m a huge Pac guy but the lack of testing is something that is an issue. But to be fair to Pac, Thurman didn’t care for extra testing either and he’s the one who never did VADA and is always taking off…
With being the oldest fighter to ever win a title welterweight against an undefeated fighter who was the most accomplished fighter in the division you really have to take a step back and put Pacquiao’s career in perspective.
He is a 4 time winner of the welterweight title. He beat Miguel Cotto who is a HOF for his first title at 147. Tim Bradley who is another HOF for his 2nd title at 147 who was undefeated. Jesse Vargas for his 3rd title at 147 who was undefeated. And Keith Thurman for his 4th title at 147 who was undefeated.
It’s strange to look at Pac as a great welterweight but I think he is. I would rank him in the top 15 ever at welterweight maybe even higher. Although I think he may be a little too small to beat some of the guys he ranks over head to head. He’s accomplished more…
Manny has to be top 3 southpaws ever. He also went on the hottest big fight run on PPV I’ve ever seen from David Diaz to Antonio Margarito. That PEAK was Roy Jones Jr level.
No great flyweight has ever sniffed success at 147lbs. I mean seriously it’s unreal to think about it. Great talents like Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson and Nonito Donaire topped out at 118 and 126. Pacquiao is fighting legitimate elite welterweights and beating them. I don’t think people realize how special that is.
Henry Armstrong is the only other great featherweight that became a great welterweight. Manny is in elite company.
I’ve always rated Manny around top 20-30 ever. After that Thurman win I said it publicly he has to move up to top 10-15 fighters ever. I don’t rate him in the top 3 but some people may. Max Kellerman who I respect a great deal has him top 5-10.
I don’t rate him over Duran. I don’t rate him over Ray Robinson, Muhammad Ali, Harry Greb, Sam Langford, Ray Leonard and Henry Armstrong. After that Manny has a legit argument to be rated higher than everyone. I’m not saying he’s top 6 or 7, but I’m saying he has a case to be over greats like Ezzard Charles, Joe Louis, Willie Pep, Pernell Whitaker, Julio Cesar Chavez, Carlos Monzon, Barney Ross, Sandy Saddler, Floyd Mayweather, Roy Jones and Mickey Walker.
Pacman is really high. But I think taking everything into consideration top 10-15 is fair. List are subjective so it will be hard for everyone to agree, even credible experts.
Hi Breadman, just wanted to get your thoughts on the Pacman
I think Manny has made a case for top 10 all time with this win. This was a spectacular performance especially considering he is 40.
Is there slippage? Heck yea! Manny of 2009 would have slept Thurman after folding him in half the way he did in round 10. I scored it 8-4 Pac and could see 7-5 but no worse. Glenn Feldman had an off night but the right guy won.
Keith is no chump and he still beats almost every other welterweight except TC and ESJ. He could come back against that degenerate AB and I think he can be right back in the mix after that.
While Spence and Crawford are rated higher, their credentials at the top level are unproven IMO. Their best wins are Brook and Khan coming off brutal KO losses to big punchers at higher weights. Thurman had the best resume at WW coming into this fight.
We should all be thankful that we witnessed the great Manny Pacquiao and I dont think we see another one in our life time.
I think MP should retire off this high but I know he wont. I dont think he should fight Errol who is probably too big but MP is the OG of all OGs and he will take it for the right $. id like to see Errol dare to be great and fight Canelo instead.
I actually dont mind Manny fighting Floyd to close out both their HOF careers. I also rank Manny higher than Floyd historically/legacy wise but Floyd is probably a better boxer if that makes sense.
Just think this dude was slept by JMM ( he was close to getting a stoppage himself) in 2012. He is back 7 years later stealing Os from undefeated fighters in their primes (Bradley, Algieri, Vargas, Thurman and prob Horn too).
Manny Pacquiao! We love you and Thank You for all the great memories! Please leave on a good and happy note!
Also great job w J-Rock and I look forward to ya’lls journey together at the very top
Bread’s Response: Lots of experts are starting to rate Manny over Floyd. I’m torn on it. But I get what they are saying. Duran is rated over Hearns, Hagler and Benitez and they all beat him. Most even have Duran slightly over Leonard. They factor is P4P natural size.
Spinks is rated over Tyson. Pep is rated over Saddler. Charles is rated over Marciano. Trust me I get it. Often times the great smaller fighter can lose to the great bigger fighter but have a better body of work and when size is factored in the smaller man can a better legacy. I get it. I understand it.
I can’t believe Manny took that terrible ko to Marquez in his mid 30s and then turned around and won the title 3 more times over the next 7 years. It’s the 1st time in history a fighter has had this kind of success after suffering such a bad ko at that late of an age. Manny was around 34 when Marquez clipped him.
I don’t want to get into the Floyd vs Manny debate again. It’s just too much. But I will say two things. I wouldn’t mind seeing the rematch. I think it’s more of an even fight than Manny fighting Spence or Crawford. Those guys would be too much.
I will also say that as good as Floyd has been at an advanced age. Floyd only has Canelo as an elite level killer in his mid 30s. Keith Thurman and Tim Bradley are some serious scalps at an advanced age. If Manny were to fight Crawford or Spence and somehow pull out a win. I think he rates over Floyd. But until then I’m not going to touch the argument. He would have to do something that Floyd wouldn’t do. Because the head to head match up and similar record vs common opponents does slightly favor Floyd.
I would love to see Manny retire but we know that’s not going to happen. The game is to be sold not to be told. I know 3 great fights, style wise that would be winnable for Manny and 2 would be good for his legacy. I hope they take those fights.
Whats up Bread,
That was an epic fight bewteen Manny & Thurman. To me Manny shot way up on the P4P list after that top 15-20 all- time. I think Keith fought good but staying in that high guard & following Manny around the ring hurt him in the first half as it allowed Manny to get off. I think too they caught Thurman at the right time he had been inactive and Manny was sharp. When he fought more mid-range hands tucked in his chest where he could see & make Manny over commit he was much more successful. So a long time ago Max Kellerman made an argument on why Manny was higher on the ATG list then Floyd and he looks like a genius now. See here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=k5h_W0jmqtE. I love Floyd but simply put Manny took more risks and achived greater heights in the ring. I think if Floyd had of fought a few those hard fights like Winky Wright, Margarito, Paul Williams or Sergio Martinez at MW he would've been top 10 easy or hell fought a prime Manny at latest 2012 for sure. I also thought Canelo at 152 was unnecessary.I think his business/safety approach cost him on the ATG argument. Anyways I think the perfect fight for Manny to go out on would be Danny Garcia. I could see even though he won, that Keith took a lot of him. He had to dig deep. I wouldnt put him anywhere near Spence.Lastly Dillian Whyte has steadily improved and deserves a title shot asap. Beautiful use of the double & triple jab vs Rivas. He has the perfect mix of when to box and when to bang. He has gotten so much better since the AJ fight. He is the #4 HW and will give the top 3 issues easily. Wilder never mentions his name & Fury tries to downplay him. Lastly I'm super close to Philly for the next 3 weeks, so what is the best place for a cheesesteak?Anyways god bless to you and the family.
Bread’s Response: I want to give Keith Thurman some props also. He fought a good fight. He showed skill and heart. He showed determination after being down early. I think Thurman’s biggest problem is his inactivity. Thurman has a pattern of taking off after big wins. That’s when you become sharp and peak out. In this era the tops guys only fight twice a year anyway. Thurman took it down to once a year. I really believe if he fought more and challenged himself more in the small moments of adjustments he would do better. I hope he gets right back in the ring vs a top opponent and fights again. Sometime you have to leave the business man stuff to the business people and be a fighter. And not only work on your craft but enjoy working on your craft. Overall Thurman did a good job, he was just a slight step behind in processing and adjusting. Manny has so much fun in the ring and he’s so experienced he’s a ring master at this point.
Dillian Whyte just tested positive for PEDS the second time in his career. If it turns out that this isn’t a false positive and he doesn’t have the best excuse in history, I don’t think he will get a title shot. Over half of the top heavyweights have had PED issues in the last 2 years. It’s getting ridiculous at this point. What’s even more strange is Deontay Wilder is the only one who publicly supports strict PED testing. It’s not always what you say, it’s what you DON’T say.
Pacquiao has a smart team. I think they will pick the right guy. Manny just beat the most accomplished guy in the division. He can pick whoever he wants at this point and no one will complain.
Not that it surprises most, but we are watching a living LEGEND. Pacquiao is unbelievable that he is able to bump this way at this age against a much younger good WW in Thurman. One of the top 5 wins of all time for fighters above the age of 40?
Now, I want to touch on something deeper and something that has bugged me for a while. There are a lot of people who seem to think Pacquiao is on something or this fighter is on something etc. But when it comes to fighters in the 80s and 90s, they for some reason get excused. I've done A LOT of research and I saw the 30 for 30 of the Carl Lewis documentary on ESPN. The doctor at the end of the video said from the frozen samples he tested, over 80% would have been positive. PED use has rampant for DECADES and one would be a fool to think if it took place in track and field and other Olympic events, that it wouldn't have taken place in boxing. Drug testing back in the day was very minimal to say the least and you had Emmanuel Steward making strong claims against Ray Leonard even back then. Sorry, but I am not naive to believe boxing was the one sport that avoided PED usage from the 80s and 90s while it was used heavily in other sports.
Bread’s Response: As time moves on our access to more knowledge evolves and gets better. The 80s, 90s and early 2000s are definitely a time where PEDS could have been used more and not detected. In my humble opinion I really focus on the mid 90s and early 2000s. That seems to be the time where fighters started to walk around 20+ pounds over their natural fight weights. That’s time where if you were naturally say 157lbs and you usually wouldn’t want to fight at 147lbs because you would be giving up too much natural size. Those are the times where muscles started to look different.
During that time period it seemed to just be a cheating energy in sports. I’m not saying it didn’t occur in the 80s. I believe it did. But you just have to remember a few things about the 80s. They did same day weigh ins. They thought lifting weights made you slower. They believed in running 5 miles a day. The advanced thoughts on athletics and the human body wasn’t prevalent in the 80s yet. The old trainers still believed in certain things and by believing in those things the thought may have been PEDs wouldn’t help boxers.
But in the 90s something happened. The birth of the S&C coach. Once these coaches infiltrated boxing then the world of track and field and there ways also infiltrated. One of the best workouts a fighter can do is an extended track field workout that sprinters do. I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
As for Manny being on something I will be as fair and objective as I can be. Manny turned pro as an impoverished teenager. It’s no big deal to me that he was 112lbs. Every one gains weight from 16yrs old to full fledge adult especially when you eat better and make more money. I truly believe Manny is a freakish athlete. And we are in an era where the welterweights are smallish.
This isn’t the Leonard, Hearns, Benitez, Curry size welterweights. This isn’t the Tito, Oscar, Quartey, Forest size welterweights. Most of these welterweights are 5’6-5’8. Most have 70 inch reaches. Most were 140 pounders. The only of this era who would have fit in back then is Errol Spence and it’s why he gets avoided. Terence Crawford would have to but he moved up from 135 then 140. So Manny is not fighting huge welterweights although he’s giving up size.
He also is not knocking them out with one punch. He had a small hot streak when he first moved up and then his fights went the distance. That’s the same thing Floyd Mayweather and Pernell whitaker did once they moved up.
Manny also started doing VADA in 2013. I do fault Manny for not doing VADA until after he lost to Marquez who was heavily suspected of PED use. Manny should’ve started it earlier in my opinion. But he started doing VADA in 2013 and actually caught Brandon Rios doing a banned substance in their fight. No one remembers that. Then he beat an undefeated Chris Algieri and Tim Bradley twice while doing VADA.
As we have gained knowledge. It’s pretty much a consensus thought that VADA is better than USADA. We have found out that VADA cost less and they test for more. There are also strong rumors that USADA does not divulge test results. If that is the case then Manny took the most strict test a fighter can take.
I would never say what a fighter, has or has not done with no proof. I also know that there are fighters who are cheaters but they haven’t been caught yet. But as far as Manny I’m torn. I don’t see a major drop off in his performances from no VADA to VADA.
I also believe that he’s been singled out a little bit. Other fighters have tested positive, admitted under oath they used PEDS or had much stronger circumstantial evidence they have used PEDS and they take less slander than Manny.
If you’re fair you also look at the court case between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather. I was shocked that Manny wanted to go to court. That case could have opened up a serious can of worms testing old blood samples etc. Manny sued. This doesn’t make him innocent but……
I get why people question Manny. His style, Freddie Roach saying Alex Ariza used to give him stuff that he didn’t know it what it was, and the delay in the Mayweather negotiations. It’s a fair question.
But I don’t get how Tyson Fury, Dillian Whyte, Jerrell Miller, Andre Berto, Lamont Peterson, Canelo Alvarez, Shane Mosely, Fernando Vargas, Luis Nery, Erik Morales, Juan Manuel Marquez and many others who have either failed test, admitted to using or have much stronger circumstantial evidence than Manny, they don’t get questioned nearly as much as Manny does.
I am NOT targeting any of those fighters. I respect all fighters. But it’s bizarre that Manny gets all of the PED flack in this era. For example Marquez is 5 years older than Manny. Turned his body into something we have never seen before. Finally kod Manny and everyone cheered. Marquez then takes VADA vs Tim Bradley after a delay in the testing and loses to Bradley in the very next fight. No one really raises an eye brow.
I am in no way saying Marquez used anything. I respect him as a great fighter. He’s never tested positive. But he’s a legend and HOF also and he gets less crap than Manny under more questionable circumstances.
Finally I will say Manny is one of the most special fighters I have ever seen. And I hope that he’s not on anything. And I will judge him as if he’s not until further notice. He deserves that for taking VADA at an advanced age and still performing and winning.
Just wanted to get your take on Pacquiao’s punching power. I have seen all his fights since 2008 and contrary to the popular belief I never felt that he had punching power above lightweight and to some extent light welterweight. In fact, his style reminds me of Joe Calzaghe. He throws like a thousand punches that do not have much power behind them. It is the accumulation of punishment that led to a TKO in most cases. All his hooks seem more like slaps even though his fist is closed. It looks like only his straight punches and jabs like land with knuckles. He missed a perfect opportunity to absolutely pummel Mayweather’s body in round 4. Those slapping punches to the body do not reduce the gas tank. He should have thrown piercing punches when he had Mayweather on the ropes. Sorta like Leonard did to Mayweather Sr.. What is your take? Do you also believe that as great as he is, his punching power is a myth?
MMs - Pacquiao vs Pryor and Pacquiao vs Whittaker (may he Rest In Peace)
Bread’s Response: I disagree strongly. I think Manny’s punch delivery, punch release, hand speed and effectiveness is extraordinary.
I think Manny doesn’t score kos anymore because he lacks the finishing gear. Most fighters aren’t 1 punch ko artist. They say power is the last thing that goes. But that’s really the myth. As fighters get older they lack the finishing gear. Aaron Pryor a fighter who punched similar to Manny started going the distance late in his career after the Arguello rematch. George Foreman went the distance in his last few fights. Bernard Hopkins a very good puncher in the 90s, went over 10 years without a ko to end his career. As athletes get older this happens. Roberto Duran was a terrific puncher up until 1980. Then if you look at his record in his last 50 fights he went the distance more than he scored kos.
As a fan of sports in general have you ever seen a basketball player in their mid 30s win a dunk contest? There is a reason for that. But you will see one win a 3 point contest.
Manny scores more knockdowns than anyone in boxing but he just doesn’t score the final kos anymore. It’s not always how hard a guy punches. It’s the form, delivery and placement. Manny is a dynamic puncher. Ask Keith Thurman who was hurt several times and fought as amateur at 152lbs.
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