By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
A new mailbag from Stephen "Breadman" Edwards on the eve of the most lucrative fight in boxing history, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao collide for the WBO/WBC/WBA welterweight titles at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
What's good, Breadman? I am sorely missing your Boxingtalk columns ... did you stop writing there? If so, where else can I find your wisdom? Was hoping for a post-fight analysis for the Klitschko-Jennings fight and a pre-fight analysis for May-Pac ... geez, bud, I am looking several times a day to find your column there to no avail. The site is not the same without you ...
Bread’s Response: Thanks for following I’m over here on BoxingScene now.
I thought Jennings fought a great fight, especially for a guy as inexperienced as he is. I thought he did really well and I thought a lot of his body punching was not being scored. I thought his defense and chin was superb. However I think he lacked a little bit offensively. He really didn’t sustain a solid offensive attack and that’s what probably cost him the decision.
I have been critical of Klitschko. But he closed the fight like a champion. He turned back a determined, strong fighter who didn’t know how to lose. I thought Klitschko won about 7 rounds to 5.
My gut feeling has always been this fight would take place too late for Pacquiao. I still feel this way. Great attacking fighters don’t have the longevity that their pure boxing rivals do. Pacquiao already has lasted longer than I thought he would. And winning the welterweight title after being brutally kod is just a testament to his greatness.
But I believe he is up against it in every way in this fight. Floyd is bigger, stronger and fresher. Floyd has not been KO'd recently. Floyd has Manny’s old coach helping him out telling him Pacquioa’s secrets. Floyd also looks stronger than I have ever seen him. I had the same feeling before Marquez 4..I think Manny will get brutally KO'dlate. Unfortunately people will attack his legacy and that’s not fair. He’s one of the best fighters who have ever lived. But I think he’s up against it so much in this fight that if wins I would put him top 10 all time p4p. And it’s extremely difficult for a modern fighter to obtain that lofty status.
Manny admitted he was hurt by Brandon Rios and Tim Bradley. Rios barely hit him and Tim Bradley is a great fighter but he’s a slapper. Manny was hit by too many slide off right hands by the very green Chris Algieri. I think his last two victories are a little bit fools gold….
If Manny and Freddie Roach pull this off it would monumental. But I don’t think they will. I think he fights his heart but Floyd weakens him with body shots and times him late as he jumps in and KO's him.
Please please ,please answer this question that has been bugging me about the fight. From what I heard Michael Buffer will be announcing Pacquiao into the ring and Jimmy Lennon Jr. will announce Floyd into the ring. So I assume that whoever wins will determine who announces the winner. That is not a big deal if it ends in a knockout. My concern is if it goes to the cards who will read the judges scores. If its whoever wins respective announce well that will just take the suspense right out of it if it’s a close fight. This has been bugging me for a bit so I was hoping you would have some insight in that. Keep up the phenomenal work.
Bread’s Response: Great question. I have no idea how that plays out because in essence the “reader” of the decision will sort of tip us off as to who has won. I wonder how they negotiated that aspect. Again great question. I’m sorry I don’t have an answer for you.
What do you think of Floyd Mayweather attacking Ali’s resume? Did you see Mike Tyson’s interview about it? What’s up with this? Floyd is the most disrespectful fighter I have ever seen. He has absolutely no class. He did the same thing to Sugar Ray Leonard a few years back.
Bread’s Response: Muhammad Ali’s resume is probably the best in the history of boxing. Let’s look at it close. Ali is the only fighter in the history of boxing to beat 4 Olympic Gold Medalist as professionals. Floyd Patterson twice, Joe Frazier twice, George Foreman and Leon Spinks. We will get back to Spinks since he seems to be the core of the Ali discredit.
Ali also fought 9 men who went to the HOF. Coming up Ali fought solid contenders like Doug Jones and Henry Cooper to earn his title shot. People talk about the fact that Cooper dropped Ali in their fight. But no one ever brings up that Ali fought Cooper in England. Did I mention that Cooper was from England. And after Ali won the title he gave Cooper a rematch. In England!! In between the Cooper fights he beat the historically underrated Sonny Liston twice being an 8 to 1 underdog in his first title try. After that Ali defended his title against HOF Floyd Patterson and stopped him. He gave him a rematch some years later in his hometown of New York. During his first reign he defended against solid guys like Ernie Terrell, George Chuvalo and Karl Mildenberger. Chuvalo was from Canada and Mildenberger from Germany. Did I mention he fought them both in their home countries?
After his 3 ½ exile he fought historically underrated Jerry Quarry and the Marcos Maidana of the time ,Oscar Bonavena. He stopped them both and gave Quarry a rematch some years later. He then took on an all time great in Joe Frazier and suffered his 1st loss only to avenge it twice. Ali didn’t just fight the big fights either. He fought a host of B level solid guys that hardcore fans appreciated. After the Frazier loss he fought Jimmy Ellis, Buster Mathis, murderous punching Mac Foster and gave Chuvalo and Quarry their rematches. He also took on Patterson again, rematched Frazier, fought Ken Norton twice and KO'd the great Bob Foster. He did this all in non title fights!
Then he stared the baddest man of them all right in the eyes and KO'd him. Big Geroge Foreman! After Ali beat Foreman you could see huge signs of slippage but he pressed on. Giving both Frazier and Norton rematches and giving huge punching Earnie Shavers and Ron Lyle shots at his title. Now we get to Leon Spinks.
Some uninformed internet trolls have repeated that Ali lost to Leon Spinks when he was 7-0. But they conveniently leave out that Muhammad Ali was a “shot” fighter after he defeated Joe Frazier in 1975. He was fighting on instinct, the biggest set of balls the world has ever seen and an incredible ability to take punishment. Most of all what they don’t know is that Leon Spinks is one of the better amateurs that the US has ever produced. He was 178-7 as an amateur. He was an Olympic gold medalist and multiple time national champion. To put Spinks in perspective, he was more accomplished, experienced and better than Bryant Jennings is currently. Jennings just challenged Wladimir Klitschko for the heavyweight championship of the world.
It’s easy to laugh at Spinks now because things ended so badly for him and beating Ali was the highlight of his career. But Leon Spinks could fight! He was a great infighter, he the heart of a burglar. He was a big puncher for his size. And think about this.... He fought in a 15 round fight at 7-0. Ali trained properly for the rematch and decisively beat Spinks who was 12 years younger to retire as a 3x heavyweight champion.
Ali came back 2 years later and challenged another all time great in Larry Holmes with no tune up fights.
I can’t imagine anyone saying anything negative about Muhammad Ali as far as boxing. His willingness to fight anyone, anywhere, anytime is absolutely scary to me. I actually believe Ali is a little bit crazy for taking some of the fights he did. He never worried about punchers, getting robbed in a fighters hometown or a guy just having his number. Ali is no worse than the 3rd best fighter to ever live. There are no “misses” or ducks in Ali’s resume that lasted 20 years, that's just unheard of for any era. He fought the best heavyweights of 3 eras with out one miss!
I had to give some of the younger readers a look at Ali’s incredible resume. I don’t have a problem with Floyd saying no one can brainwash him and tell him that Ray Robinson or Ali were better than him. But I don’t like the specific put downs of Ali’s legacy. Pointing out that Ali lost to 7-0 Spinks, he never decisively beat Ken Norton and that he just laid on the ropes and let George Foreman beat on him, was not the way I believe a young man should handle an older man’s legacy. I believe that Ali deserves better than that.
If someone from the media did this to Ali it would be one thing but for Floyd to do it himself was not a good look in my opinion. With the biggest fight in history on the horizon this kind of negative headlines shouldn’t be an issue.
As for Tyson’s comments….Mike Tyson reveres Muhammad Ali. He loves and respects Ali. I once saw an interview when Tyson was asked could he beat Ali, and he looked as if he was about to cry. Tyson went onto say that no one can beat Ali. I once heard Tyson say in an interview after he beat Larry Holmes, that he would have been no match for Holmes in his prime. That was a humble thing to say, especially about Holmes who always badmouthed Tyson. Going by that I assume Tyson really respects history and he's not fond of putting down legends before him. Judging by Tyson’s comments I’m assuming that he was offended by Floyd’s comments toward Ali....40 years from now if some youngster started poking holes in Floyd's resume claiming he was better than him, I would feel the same way.
Bread, I think that it's great that May/Pac has captured the attention of the mainstream sports media. However, there is a clear downside. This downside being the overall ignorance of the sport by the "top" journalists in the sports media. To add insult to injury, these individuals perpetrate an educated view/take on the fighters when, in actuality, they could not name 3 fighters not named Mayweather or Pacquiao. Man, to listen to their misinformed rhetoric is maddening to say the least. I listened to Mike Lupica spew some nonsense this morning and I Damn near threw my cup of Starbucks at my television.
Stan from Dickinson,Tx
Bread’s Response: I feel your pain my friend. We are in the same boat. I can’t take listening and reading some of these so called new experts. The worst part of it all is these new people just surfaced in the last month and they are drowning out the real boxing media people who are on the grind 365 24/7.
Look bread, everyone knows Mayweather has never been a huge puncher. That's not even his style. Now all this talk about Floyd's new power from his sparring partners and his father (and also his new muscles) has me thinking. Could his strategy to go for the knockout be a mistake? I mean, if he were to use his legs and box Pacquiao, he could win the fight easily. So why risk it by pushing for the knockout? After all these years as a defensive master and someone content with winning every round, he's going to suddenly look for the KO? All this talk about Mayweather's legs being shot is bullshit. Manny's the one whose legs are gone. I think the only chance Manny has to win is for Mayweather to get too aggressive and get caught with something.
Bread’s Response: Here is the thing about Floyd’s extra muscle. He’s not a fighter who struggles to make weight. He usually does not rehydrate to the more than 10lbs that is usually common with this era. He has comfortably been making 147bs for 10 years now.
I think he had room to get bigger and stronger. As long as he’s stretching, and continuing his cardio to feed the muscles it shouldn’t slow him. We will know soon enough.