The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Floyd Mayweather vs. Naseem Hamed, the rise of super middleweight Edgar Berlanga, Jaron Ennis vs. Sergey Lipinets, the career of Reggie Johnson, James Toney, and more.
Breadman, I read the mailbag consistently, is always a good read, but the last mailbag was a great read.
Two things really caught my attention: Fear or not fighters have to fight other fighters. The one name that came to mind was Jose Torres. They put Torres in San Juan back in this day with a Cuban middleweight named Florentino Fernandez that had a rep as a huge puncher; he also had a wiggly spine, you know what I mean. You could see coming into the ring that Torres looked terrified. He got starched in two. Later on he would become champion at ‘75, when he beat Willie Pastrano. Years later I watched on tv an interview they had with Torres. One of the questions was about his emotions and feelings before a fight. His answer was “a fear that it was very hard to overcome at times”. I guess he let that fear compromise him against Fernandez. By the way, that is the same Fernandez that ko’d Kid Paret before 5 or 6 months before his tragic fight with Griffin.
Years later I read an account from Paret’s wife stating he never recovered from the Fernandez fight.The second point was intuition. Early on I was told a boxer can be taught and learn every skill. How to jab, slip punches, hold, spin, et all. The hard part would always be how to mentally prepare to deal with what’s to come inside the ring. I was told fighters must be different than regular people. That a trainer gets to know things about his fighter that not many know. The more the trainer knows about the fighter, the deeper he will be able to help the fighter prepare mentally to overcome. I also think a lot about Golota when I think of all this. Skillful, but mentally unable to overcome.
Bread’s Response: When you hear tough guys say that they have no fear, I know what they are trying to say but it’s inaccurate. Everyone has fear. Everyone just doesn’t channel it the same. In my personal life I have been in some tough spots where my life was on the line. In those moments when I handled them the best is when I was CALM and thought clearly. The thing about these high pressure moments is they are UNCOMMON. Even if you grow up in a bad neighborhood and you literally count the days of your life in that neighborhood. Let’s remember there are 365 days in a year. So even if you see 10 people get killed in a year, there are 355 days where you didn’t see it. I know this is morbid but here is the point….
It’s very hard to train your mind to overcome something that rarely happens. In boxing you can train to fight by fighting/sparring. From my perspective the easiest way to overcome something is to go through it enough times where your coping skills overcome the anxiety. I am very empathetic to fighters. I try not to over criticize or refer to them in any disrespectful terms. If I misquote myself I apologize.
Fighting another human being, is the most anxiety driven thing one can do, because it’s uncommon. I have seen professional fighters, cry and get nervous before getting into street fights because a street fight is a little different than a controlled ring fight. Although similar the elements change. Knowing the difference in emotions and behaviors is important. I know fighters who have heart but not confidence. I know fighters who have over confidence. I know fighters who are fine until their opponent does not cooperate. There are so many things a trainer deals with and levels of those things. Your instincts have to be so on point you have to know what brings out negative or positive behavior.
I once trained a fighter that if he didn’t have a busy day and he came in the gym and no one talked to him or distracted him, 99% of the time he would be on fire. But if he talked to his friends and had to run around doing errands before the gym, he would be all over the place. He was exactly like that in real fights. I understood exactly what made him tick and what made him falter. Sometimes people tell me I’m too hard on my fighters and sometimes people tell me I love them too much. I don’t care what people say because I know there are times to be hard and times to coddle them. The only time I am not empathetic towards a fighter is if he’s disrespectful or confrontational towards me. I can take anything else because these kids are taking punches to the head. It’s a hard job they have and it’s a hard job a trainer has.
As far as Andrew Golota specifically it’s obvious he had mental health issues. He had consistent panic attacks in the ring. He was a tough guy to enter the ring, but he didn’t always behave like a fighter. Lot’s of terms used for fighters are enigmas. Yes you have to have heart to enter the ring but you also have to have more heart to do what you’re supposed to do inside of the ring. I used to feel bad for Golota. Because you can see he had issues. Emanuel Steward’s game plan of jumping right on Golota, with Lennox Lewis was perfect. A fighter who has high anxiety will eventually get himself together with success over time. But Lewis didn’t allow him to get a toe hold in the fight. With a guy like Golota, you would literally have to write down daily a journal of good and bad days to see what brought certain things out of him. And once you figure it out go from there.
As always, well wishes, peace & blessings to you Brother! Thank you for the Lopez/Loma breakdown a few weeks ago! I hope Loma secures that rematch that I think Lopez and his father are hesitant to accept because I think the rematch plays much different! But on to this week, the question I have is about STYLES!
I believe Emanuel Augustus is the most entertaining style of all time, but my favorite is the Motor City Cobra, Mr. Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns! A true technician as a (aggressive boxer/puncher) so my question is, what's your favorite fighting style and what fighter do you think best applied that style successfully in their career? You're a Saturday morning tradition, keep up the great work! Always a pleasure to read your mailbag!
Bread’s Response: I’m not so sure Loma wins the rematch. It’s not as simple as everyone says to “just start faster”. Lopez is dangerous and Loma doesn’t want to walk into something. On top of that when something keeps happening over and over it’s a trend not a coincidence. Loma keeps getting injured. He hasn’t been healthy in a while. He would be a 2 to 1 underdog in the rematch.
My favorite style..... great question. Here is what I will say. When I’m watching a fight what style pleases me to see the most. What style do I feel as though while watching it is being most effective and impressive…. What style is a fighter getting the most out of…..I liked Tommy Hearns when he was in stalker mode. And although he could box, when he was forced to go backwards, I think it was more out of necessity than choice. So I will give you my favorite styles in certain categories.
If two guys are squaring up, no clinching. Just skills and punches, what James Toney showed vs Mike McCallum is my favorite to see in that form. Toney was as natural of a boxer/fighter as you will see.
In an athletic attacking mode, I like Ray Leonard. By the time Ray Leonard got to 1981 he was able to drift towards a fighter, parry with both hands and forced fighters to punch with him and his eyes were always better in the danger zone. Look at his 1981-82 fights. He did it to Larry Bonds it’s on youtube. He did it to Ayub Kalule it’s on youtube. He did to Hearns in their fight. People say the boxer turned into the puncher. And Ray did but in actuality he really understood how to attack. In this era of athletic attackers, Leonard was the King of the that style. He knew how to walk you down, parry with both hands and slide to either side and rip brutal punches. And in the last fight of his PEAK, he was brilliant with Bruce Finch. Leonard was so calm and relaxed in that style had he not got injured no one would have beaten him from 82-84.
Ok the style I want while a fighter is being attacked if I'm a "boxer" is Pernell Whitaker or Salvador Sanchez. They’re both even to me in terms of how good they are while being attacked. You just couldn’t run them HOT. You couldn’t make them fight harder than they wanted to fight. Watch Whitaker vs Ramirez and Sanchez vs Gomez. Both perfect fights.
Now the fighter I enjoy watching the most while he’s being a pressure technician. Which is different from Leonard being an athletic attacker is Julio Cesar Chavez. I know I say it often. But there is no performance I have ever seen being a pressure fighter better than Chavez vs Rosario. He literally landed every punch he was supposed to land, was responsible defensively and had perfect balance.
Bread, I recall coming across a tweet of yours a while back, where you mentioned you could tell a lot about someone by who their favorite fighter(s) is/are… A very interesting observation. An accurate one too, I think.My favorite fighter of this generation is Vasyl Lomachenko, though my favorite overall is Salvador Sanchez. Was curious what you think those choices reveal?
Bread’s Response: I don’t have this profiling down to a SCIENCE but it is revealing on who your favorite fighters are. Very revealing. A conservatively dressed, blue collar guy won’t be in LOVE with Mayweather, Oscar, Leonard or Ali. He would gear more towards Hagler, Qawi, Hopkins. Again it’s not 100% , but it is revealing. If Loma and Sal are your guys, you like efficient talents. You like guys who don’t talk a lot. That tells me you aren’t a big mouth. You have efficient qualities in your everyday life.
I personally have many facets to my personal life so I like all types of fighters for many different reasons. But absolute favorites……I’m going to go by my lifetime of fighters who I have watched. Not just looked back on and admired which is a little different. Ray Leonard is my #1 favorite fighter of all time. I can remember women saying stuff like they didn’t like him because he thought he was too cute. Well those women were envious because he would never look at them. Prefences are revealing. Ray was the smooth dude who could date the prom queen and her big sister. While being modest I’m that type of guy too. I don’t care if a fighter is a pretty boy or has that Golden Boy moniker. I don’t consider myself pretty at all but I’m not a hater. I can root for a dude who is viewed as good looking. Only haters have an issue with that.
Evander Holyfield is #2 favorite fighter. I loved his humble confidence. He had a cocky, classy way about him. He had an inner strength that I enjoyed. He had an, “I’m going to show you” way about him. As a young athlete I think I had that but obviously not to Holyfield’s level. But I competed hard especially in basketball and if I wasn’t the best, I wasn’t afraid to compete against the best. That’s Holyfield. So I related to that.
If you watch people close you can tell who they will side with in fighter negotiations. You can tell who they will predict will win certain fights. We can sort of tell who we attract as humans. In this era I don’t have favorites because I’m involved in the business of boxing. And honestly looking at great fighters from afar is better and easier for me. I don’t want to get to know any great fighters that I have admired. Because I will find out something about them that won’t make me admire them anymore. I have been around both Holyfield and Leonard. I have talked to them. But I’ve never tried to be overly friendly. It scares me because I idolized them so much as a kid. I don’t want to ruin that perception of them.
Currently I have favorites to WATCH but I don’t have favorite fighters. My favorite guys to watch when they are ON is Chocolatito and Jrock. I can watch Choc vs Brian Viloria everyday. I can watch Jrock vs Jarret Hurd and Michael Medina everyday. Both were violent but scientific in their violence on those hot nights. I also like to watch Canelo, Ryan Garcia and The Monster. I sort of like electric dynamic punching. It doesn’t have to be the biggest punchers but a certain type of sharpness catches my eye.
Hey Bread,Hope you and your family are well. I’ve noted how you have mentioned previously that from observing a fighter’s ring walk and the song they have playing, that you knew a fighter was locked in and going to win. With that in mind what are your favourite/ most memorable ring walks?Thanks for your time.
Bread’s Response: There have been so many…Oscar coming down to “We Will Rock You” vs Vargas. Pacman coming down to the Karate Kid song vs Margarito. Larry Holmes coming down to “Aint No Stopping Us Now” vs Gerry Cooney. Jermaine Taylor coming down to “Duffle Bag Boys” vs Kelly Pavlik. Man I have so many but those stand out right now.
Hello Breadman ,
I want to say , I really enjoy your input on topics . Your knowledge and respectful opinions and sense of humor make me look forward to your mailbag each week . There are some life lessons in there as well . One thing that intrigues me is fight negotiations . Why would a Champion say Loma make a defense of his title with no rematch in the contract . Why would Bob Arum say he is losing money on Terrence Crawford . Seems everyone wants Crawford /Spence but no one wants to give it . It also seems so strange the public would want a Mayweather/Conor McGregor type show and buy into it . Abel Sanchez summed up McGregor in two words , sparring partner . He was right . Now it seems PacMan may fight McGregor . This all seems so absurd when a real great fight cant get made . Please , if you can share some wisdom here , would love to hear it . Prime to prime : Jack Johnson vs Tyson Fury .
Thank You, J.B.
Bread’s Response: The problem with negotiations is the public gets too involved. Sometimes people say things publicly that they don’t say privately. Sometimes the people involved use their platform to get the public on their side. And the public usually eats it up. But the public just doesn’t know any better. Loma may have not had a rematch clause in his contract because he didn’t think he would lose. Maybe the other team said it was a deal breaker. Who knows…..And honestly the public shouldn’t care as long as they got the fight they wanted.
Why would Bob Arum say he’s losing money to promote Terence Crawford? Maybe he wants everyone to know he’s trying to accommodate Crawford the best he can. Maybe he really is losing money. Maybe he’s letting the other people who may want to promote Crawford that paying Crawford will be too expensive for their pockets. Again, who knows…..The reason why Pac vs McGregor would have been a big deal is because most people aren’t purist or hardcore fans. They are casuals. And they like to see a fight. A fight is the most intriguing occurrence in the world. You can go to soccer, football, basketball or baseball game. It can be a huge game. But if a fight breaks out in the stadium people will stop looking at the game and look at the fight.
A regular reader of your mailbag here. Maybe you are busy so I will certainly understand if this gets lost in the shuffle.Gun to your head, who do you have in Fulton vs Leo and way of outcome? I know you are high on Cool Boy.
Bread’s Response: I had Fulton by decision. Try to write in by Wednesday night or Thursday morning. I send my stuff in early to be edited and posted on Saturday morning.
God bless you bread,
Hope all is well with you and family. I have been wanting to ask you if you have seen any of Edgar Berlanga yet ? I'm a Puerto Rican fight fan for almost 50 yrs now and I must say how we Long for that next great Puerto Rican champion to emerge.I Love the power of Edgar Berlanga, what we would like to see in his next fights if he can go more rounds and face a top ten super middle contender. The question we would like answered are.Can he take a solid punch or go twelve rounds ? Those are the questions we look for in his next fights.
Meanwhile I must admit I am more impressed with David Morrell jr. He has only 4 professional fights and he went 12 rounds in August when he captured his super middle title. He is already a WBA super middle champ.He reminds me of a bigger version of Erislany Lara. I know he has an extensive amateur career coming from Cuba, but he looks much more advanced in this stage of his career and looks like he will be a handful for any fighter at super middle weight.What is your assessment of these two fighters from what you've seen so far?
Bread’s Response: Yes I have seen Edgar Berlanga. He can PUNCH! People may detract from his kos but he clipped a couple of guys who had never been kod before That’s always impressive.When you have all 1st rounds kos, obviously seeing Berlanga go rounds in an issue. But I would like to see if he can cope with adversity. Can he deal with no knowing if he’s winning or losing after 4 rounds. Not so much taking a punch. That’s obvious. We all want to see him get hit. But I want to if he’s a front runner. Can he be the dog on the bottom, not just the dog on top? If he is then look out PR has it’s next star.
I am also impressed with David Morell. We have seen Morell fight more rounds so we know more. I think Morell is very talented. I just think he needs seasoning. He seems to be able to do everything well.
Hope you’re well. Lipinets-Boots - Ennis is going to damage him. He’s too tough for his own good. I think he get hurt and never goes back to his old self. It’s sad in a way but excellent step up.
Predictions? Ortiz Hooker - Ortiz by mid round stoppage. Who you got?
Benavidez - Discipline is a skill. David isn’t perfect but he might be one of the most gifted fighter I’ve seen. I feel like he’s next level. Power, speed, meanness, IQ... Just hope he manages to handle himself and doesn’t pull a Jose, his brothers. These kids had talent. When I remember Jose’s one leg fight with Crawford one can only get frustrated. Do you see David competitive vs Canelo after one big step up? I feel he’s the only dude who wouldn’t give him respect (in the ring). You saw his sparring against Pavlik?
Peak GGG-Canelo....... for many reasons, will have a way deeper and more accomplished career than GGG. It’s happening. Sad for G who was in a weak MW era and got his big fights late. That being said, if we talk one night peak, what do you think of Canelo (Kov, Jacobs, Smith) vs GGG (2014 to Lemieux)?You said multiple times head to head Golovkin win, which makes sense with his (unofficial) domination past 36 yo. Do you still believe that or do you think best night vs best night there’s a difference?
Also, not comparing, but I feel the G who stopped Lemieux would stop Smith in the late rounds. Masterful performance from Canelo but still not the classic pressure fighter Golovkin was.
Jermell 2020 vs Cotto 154, Spence 2015 vs Boots 2020, Mikey Garcia 135 vs Teofimo 135, TUA vs Ruiz
Bread’s Response: I favor Ennis over Lipinets also. Lipinets is very good but he seems small compared to Boots. Boots is listed as 5’10 but I suspect he’s taller. And it’s not so much his height it’s his length and range. He can really hit you from far away and it’s difficult for you to hit him.
Ortiz vs Hooker is a good action fight. But I think Ortiz is a bigger more talented version of Jose Ramirez. So….
I like David Benavidez as well. He’s very talented but as you say discipline is a skill. I also think technically he sort of stands straight up and gives up shots to the body. Maybe he doesn’t feel them. Maybe they don’t bother him. But I don’t like to see fighters give shots up like that. He’s wide open for a simple hard jab to the body. I think Benavidez would be competitive with anybody from 168-75 but I wouldn’t pick him to beat Canelo at this point.
The thing about best night vs best night is I just saw Canelo’s best career performance at 168. I saw GGG vs Matthew Macklin during that time at 160. As much as I respect GGG I don’t know if he ever beats the Canelo that I just saw. I know what I’m looking at and Canelo was platinum vs Callum Smith. I just don’t know if he can go any higher than that. That’s was a PERFECT fight. I think GGG would also stop Smith but that doesn’t mean he’s better than Canelo. That just means he’s a bigger puncher and I believe he would stop him.
Hi Bread Love your mailbox. I recently read that the UFC fighter Max Holloway no longer spars before his fights, apparently because he believes that he has had enough sparring in his career and would like to avoid unnecessary head trauma. I remember also reading that boxers from the Ingle gym in the UK (the likes of Naseem Hamed and Johnny Nelson) would do 75% body sparring and any sparring involving blows to the head was technical. What’s your take on the importance of sparring in fight preparation? With the long-term health risks in the sport, do you think it is possible to adequately prepare fighters without having them taking blows to the head?
Bread’s Response: I do know there have been fighters who didn’t spar much. I heard Evander Holyfield didn’t like to spar much. I remember an excellent flyweight named Danny Romero didn’t spar much because he suffered an eye injury. So there have been some cases. But overall I would have my reservations about NO SPARRING.
The thing about getting hit is while it can cause damage, it also gets you used to getting hit. Often times when a fighter doesn’t get hit in a very long time, he doesn’t take a punch as well when he first comes back because he’s not used to being hit anymore. So to not get hit for months up until fight night, is something I wouldn’t risk. I don’t believe in over sparring. Or sparring fighters who beat my guy up every single session. I think a fighter should get into shape before he starts his sparring. But to not spar at all is not something I am not comfortable with. I monitor my fighter’s sparring I’ve never had a fighter spar more than 30 rounds in a week. And that’s the max. So sparring should be tracked and monitored. Too much sparring can cause issues later. But good solid sparring to a peak is what I have seen work the best.
Talk to me about Reggie Johnson. I think he had some stellar pedigree and next level chin & toughness (to say the least). It hurts me a bit to see that he is not even close to getting that HOF nod - Eubank & Benn are being discussed in that context for quite some time, but there's no love for Reggie... I wonder - why is that?Johnson fought so many killers in their prime it's crazy! Toney, Jones, Guthrie, Parks, Collins, Tarver... So let's take it step by step - it all started in 1991 when he was a mandatory challenger to newly-crowned Toney. James went down in the second round and was badly cut. What happens if Reggie wins this fight? How come the rematch never happened? How did you score that fight?A year after that loss Johnson came back to win a close decision against Steve Collins to get a world title at 160. Then he takes on highly touted Lamar Parks (22-0) and beats him. He wins two other title fights only to lose a close decision to undefeated John David Jackson (29-0). Jackson gets stripped so Reggie fights Castro in Argentina. He lost two close fights and he calls them "political losses".
Three years later he bounced back at 175, stopping William Guthrie (24-0) in brutal fashion as 7:1 underdog with no experience in that division! And at that time Guthrie was seen as a worthy challenger to RJJ throne... Reggie defended his title in Europe against Ole Klementsen (great amateur) to set up a fight with RJJ for all the belts at 175. At 33 he gets dropped twice & loses convincingly but... he's not done yet! He fights Antonio Tarver (18-1) in eliminator, he drops Tarver to lose yet another close & controversial decision. And in his last fight Reggie (well in his 40s now) beat 7 years younger Julio Cesar Gonzalez, who derailed Dariusz Michalczewski's famous run at 48-0.So all in all Johnson was at the very top level for more than a decade. He has some great wins, but they tend to get underrated. How did you score his fights with Toney, Jackson & Tarver? How many of his close losses you need to reverse to have him up & running for HOF debate? He had titles in two divisions - just like Eubank and Benn. The only difference is that Reggie never went that easier WBO route - he fought for legit belts, but now no one gives him credit for that...And some mythical matchups from that great era:- Johnson vs B-Hop (1992)- Johnson vs McCallum (1992)- Johnson vs McClellan (1994)- Johnson vs Julian Jackson (1993)- Johnson vs Eubank (1995)- Johnson vs Benn (1995)Best wishes!KB
Bread’s Response: Reggie Johnson is one of those forgotten fighters of a great era. People don’t realize that the great Marvin Hagler retired at a good time. Had he fought into his mid to late 30’s he would have had to deal with Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins, Julian Jackson, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Gerald McClellan, Mike McCallum, Sambu Kalambay, Steve Collins, Lamar Parks, James Toney, Michael Nunn and yours truly Reggie Johnson. All of these guys emerged in the era directly after Hagler retired in 1987.
Man Reggie Johnson could fight. He gave a young James Toney hell. I thought Toney won the fight but Johnson was with him every step of the way. I just watched it on youtube. I think Toney outhustled him, which was Johnson’s Achilles heel. He could be outworked. But Johnson was one laid back, smooth, boxer puncher.
Making the HOF is an honor but just because Johnson is not a HOF it doesn’t mean he wasn’t an excellent fighter. I like to see all excellent fighters get their attribution but if you’re honest it would be hard for Johnson to get in the HOF and James Toney, Michael Nunn, Sambu Kalambay, Steve Collin, Gerald McClellan and Chris Eubank aren’t in it. All are from the same era and I won’t say they all were better but they all stood out more. With Toney and Nunn being better in my opinion.
I didn’t score the Jackson and Tarver fights. But I was very impressed with his win over William Guthrie. Johnson was only about 5’9 and he wasn’t a huge puncher. He moved up to 175lbs and knocked out the undefeated Guthrie who tried to bully him and towered over. Johnson had guts because he took on Roy Jones in a unification and at that point no one could beat Jones. But Johnson was willing to fight him.Even if Johnson doesn’t get in the HOF, I love when you guys write in about excellent era fighters.
Breadman---you see things so early! About 18 months ago I wrote you about cool boy Stephen Fulton and you said he was the truth and on the verge of winning a championship—on Saturday he was all that and more. He set a torrid pace and never looked winded and I kept telling my dad (thanks to the Mail bag) –he runs 6 miles in 36 minutes. I also saw he had a lot of old school boxing technique, hooking his opponents lead arm with his right hand in a clinch and getting off with plenty of leverage in tight quarters—the way he was twisting off shots I thought of Boots Ennis videos of chopping wood and sledge hammering tires—do you know if Steph uses these old school techniques too.
A few questions, can you tell us more about his lead trainer? The fundamentals of Steph, Jaron Ennis, and a young Julian Williams speaks to the teaching that occurs in Philly gyms—can you tell us more about Fulton’s amateur background. What other recent and historic fighters have you seen fight at that pace, for that many rounds, and not look winded at all. I remember how Juan Diaz threw a lot of punches and kept coming due to his background in swimming and I never really watched Duran in the 70’s, but I haven’t seen a guy blaze life that with such composure. I thought fighting Leo in the pocket was wise, I also think that is where Tank should try to fight Ryan Garcia (if/when they fight) because he too twists off shots with power at close range, he has better lateral movement and quicker feet, and it is a place of relative strength versus the long range or mid range where Ryan’s length, hand speed, and power have more room to flourish, but I need your expert eyes not my layman’s eyes.
Bread’s Response: I used to take my fighters on a run from the furthest east part of the city(Penn’s Landing) to the furthest west part (63rd & Market). I invited Stephen Fulton and his head coach at the time Hamza Muhammad to join us. Fulton crushed everybody. He beat the closest fighter by at least 2 city blocks on his first time running with us and the city is on a slight up hill. He has phenomenal natural lung capacity.
I’ve known him since 2010, we all used to train in the same gym together. He won Nationals once in either 2013 or 14 and he decided to turn pro. I was asked about him then and I told the truth. He’s the truth and same things holds til this day.Being in the gyms in Philly you see all types of tricks of the trades. And what happens is elite fighters often times replicate things they see and add their own spice to it. The fight that he fought I’ve seen him do it in the gym several times. I train a kid Romuel Cruz that he spars often and they go at it on the inside and outside.
His lead trainer right now is Wajeed Raheem who is also knowledgeable and has been a part of Team Fulton for a few years now. Raheem did a wonderful job getting Fulton ready for this fight. They didn’t go away to camp. They posted up right here in Philly and did their own thing. Camp is in the mind, not just the place. You can be 1,000 miles away but if you allow yourself to be distracted by cell phones and social media then it doesn’t matter. Fulton is going to be very tough for anyone at 122lbs. I actually think he can fight better than he fought. He started out a little bit anxious and got caught with a good right hand that buzzed him but no one saw it. I saw it because I know him. He also got a little tired but his 2nd wind is extreme and when he got it he was off to the races.
In his next big fight, he’s going to be more calm and patient. He’s going to know more. He’s going to be better. If he doesn’t allow people to infiltrate his CIRCLE and distract his work, I think he can make some P4P list in 2 years. The problem with becoming a notable champion is people will UNDERMINE your success. They will start making suggestions on what you should and should not do, but they forget you got to the point you are at without them.
Scooter is what I call him. And I believe he has a very high ceiling. He’s strong, athletic, talented and very well conditioned. He’s also mean and he has a high IQ. The only thing that he isn’t is a BIG puncher but that is overrated. He’s going to go to big places if he listens to his COACH and not allow himself to be accessible to the OPINIONS of others. That’s the key and that’s the difference between having one great performance and going on to be a great fighter.
What's up Bread,
I'm writing in to ask your take on Davis vs Garcia. I see this fight both ways. With Garcia you have a bigger man naturally with a awkward hook that lands often, but Campbell showed he can be caught and dropped. Then you have Davis who can use the size and height difference to an advantage IMO to get inside and Davis is a stone cold killer in the ring.I think Campbell let Garcia off the hook and if he had of went for broke couldve stopped him. The problem is Garcia is a 1 punch knockout artist in his own right and can be dangerous because of that. As a huge fan of Tank I dont know who wins this. What's your take on the fight if and when it happens?
Joe from Tennessee
Bread’s Response: I am not sure if the fight will happen at this point. Boxing is different in this era. Risky fights between 2 unbeaten phenoms are hard to make. The biggest reasons are money and pride. Fighters are not going to stop making 2 million dollars to take fights, they know they will win. And only make 3 million to take fights, they think they can lose. I hope they do fight but I have my doubts now.
If they do, I think Davis has to fight small to win. Raising up against Garcia is like a turtle sticking his head out of the shell. And for Garcia to win he has to figure out a way to safely get off vs the smaller explosive Davis. It’s fascinating to have to dynamic punchers fighting with such contrasting styles. Tank a short, southpaw. Garcia tall lanky orthodox fighter. I really don’t know who wins this fight. But I think the oddsmakers would list Davis as a slight favorite. Maybe -140.
In interest of full disclosure, I am a Toney fan so I maybe biased but it is really not that hard to come to the conclusion that he and Floyd were the two most deserving candidates this year for HOF. We just need to look at their records. People just punished Toney for his abrasive behavior, period. After those robberies against Griffin and a loss to Thadzi, Toney was in a dark place. He might have taken some PEDs to just get back in shape. I am fairly certain that Fury did not lose those kilos without PEDs.
What I am trying to say is that Toney did not abuse PEDs, he most probably just used it to get back in fighting condition.Anyway, it is what it is. BTW, who wins in a fight between Toney that beat Mccallum and Hopkins that beat Trinidad?
Bread’s Response: Man this is a tough question for me….But I won’t shy away. I am also a big James Toney fan. And as much as it bothers me to admit it, he used PEDS. Neither you or I can say why. Motives don’t matter. The test says positive or negative and he tested positive. The only pass I am willing to give is if a fighter takes an over the counter supplement that is proven to have a banned substance in it. Because most people associate over the counter supplements with being safe. Anything other than that, positive is positive.
I don’t know if Toney ABUSED peds or not. I don’t know when the usage started or stopped. And neither do you. Fans have to stop doing what you’re doing. Anybody can come up with a theory. Some people can say that Toney was already a HOF before he ever tested positive at heavyweight. Then some people can say that he looked past his best in 95 vs Montell Griffin, and for him to resurface 8 years later at Cruiserweight and Heavyweight and be the FOY is highly suspicious. I try to look at these things coldly. With no emotion. And look for very uncommon occurrences. And what Toney did was very uncommon. His Fighter of the Year awards were extremely far apart and that raises red flags.
However I do agree with you on the media disliking Toney. The media is extremely bias when it comes to PEDS. Nice media darlings have been able to use PEDS and either go in the HOF and/or not have to answer questions about them. And fighters like Toney seem to suffer past their normal suffering period. Some people in the media are inconsistent with their stance on PEDS. They seem like they are against them, until a fighter they want access to test positive then they become more understanding. I get your stance but we can’t make excuses for James Toney. For as great as he was, he tested positive and whether you like it or not, it happened. I don’t want to speculate too much because his career is over and I happen to admire him as a fighter. So let’s just leave it where it is. No excuses and no bashing of his name.
Whats up Breadman,
I had a question on your take on P4P. I noticed you put Fury in your top ten. Fury has a big advantage in height and size even among the heavyweights. When you asses him in a P4P sense against say Crawford at 147 in your mind do you have a fury and a Crawford at the same size or do you put Fury as a welterweight with a reach and size advantage? Or do you sort of just assess the level of their accomplishment? For example, Fury has the best 2 wins at heavyweights in Klitschko and Wilder. Do you compare that to the magnitude of other peoples best 2 wins?I hope my question made sense. Thanks for your time.
Bread’s Response: When you do a P4P comparison it’s very simple. You imagine if both fighters are the same size and you ask yourself who is better? Who would win if they fought? Who has beaten better people? And who has accomplished more? With a large emphasis on who is better and who would win if they fought.
Tyson Fury is a freakishly tall heavyweight. Terence Crawford is an average height welterweight with freakishly long arms. So it doesn’t matter if we imagine if Crawford is a heavyweight or Fury is welterweight. Just imagine if they are the same size with their physical attributes being relative to what they are now. Ok If Fury is a welterweight, he’s a 6’3 welterweight with very long arms. Because that’s what he is to heavyweights. If Crawford is a heavyweight. He’s about 6’2 but his arms are as long as man who is 6’7. It’s all relative to what they are in the real weight classes. I think people overthink P4P. So in a P4P sense we don’t make Paul Williams a 6’2 heavyweight because he’s already a 6’2 welterweight. He’s very tall for a welterweight but average height for a heavyweight. So everything has to RELATIVE to their actual weights.
I once heard that Mike Tyson would be tall for welterweight so therefore he would beat Ray Leonard. But Mike Tyson wouldn’t be a 5’11 welterweight in a P4P sense. It’s sounds complicated but it’s really not. We make the P4P debate too complicated. It’s simple, it’s who’s the best fighter if everyone were the same size, with their dimensions factored in relative to what they actually are.
One fight that never happened which in hindsight I wish could've materialized is Mayweather vs Hamed. Both were on the rise at the same time and definitely could've fought at featherweight. Both were very exciting and brash young fighters in the mid 90s but that's where I'll end the comparisons. Stylistically they couldnt be any more different. As we all know Floyd was always technically sound but in the Pretty Boy days he was more offensive minded. Naz on the other hand made a career out of breaking every fundamental rule in Boxing and being successful in spite of it because of his dynamite hands.
As far as the tale of the tape, Floyd had roughly a 3 inch height advantage and a 8 inch reach advantage so on paper Mayweather had a clear advantage but I believe the old adage "Styles make fights" would've came into play in this bout and made it go 12 rounds. Did this bout ever have a chance of happening? And how do you think it would go? IMO I think Mayweather would've gotten the decision but I also think Hamed would've gotten some good shots in.
Bread’s Response: In the late 90s I thought the fight would have been competitive but looking back on it I think Floyd would have taken him to school. Floyd’s best punch is really his jab. It’s a laser. It’s a disrupter. It’s long and sharp. He uses it to the head and body. And Floyd has the arms of a man 6ft tall. I think The Prince was a great fighter and on his best day, maybe his small stature would have allowed him to get “under” Floyd but I just don’t see it. Sometimes we don’t know when a fighter has lost a step. And looking at Hamed it may sound weird but by the time he came over to the States to fight Kevin Kelley he had started to lose a half a step.
When I saw him on Showtime a little earlier I thought he was exceptional. Looking back I don’t know what it was. The weight. Life style etc but he wasn’t as quick as he was before he came to US soil. Floyd didn’t emerge until 1998 in beating Genaro Hernandez. So if the fight happens from 1999-……I just think Floyd would have controlled him with his length and fast feet. Hamed also had fast feet but Floyd was way longer. So all things equal I go with the bigger man. In this case. Their talent is about equal. But Floyd has better fundamentals, better defense and he’s about 6 inches longer. I think Floyd outpoints him and wins just about every round.
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