By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
A new mailbag from Stephen "Breadman" Edwards in the aftermath of the most lucrative fight in boxing history, as Floyd Mayweather Jr. won a twelve round unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao to unify the WBO/WBC/WBA welterweight titles on Saturday night at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
This is my second time writing to you, I am just another fan from Puerto Rico that appreciates your work as well as your amazing knowledge of boxing. Keep it on Bread and do not stop being that humble guy that began the mailbag...but I was very impressed with your last mailbag, where you revealed your prediction of May/Pac...
I'm not going to talk about each fighter's boxing skills, but I did do what you always talk about: I did my research and waited for the Weight-In to hone in on my prediction. It is all about confidence and who will break the other's confidence first, just like it happened in the Holyfield/Tyson fight...
The Weigh-in showed a lot of confidence from Pacquiao, a lot!
Your prediction showed me that you always were more inclined with Floyd, but like you said the great thing about Manny is that it is a mistake to bet against Manny when he is the underdog!!
Sorry Bread, The Pacman is going to beat the last undefeated American fighter, and he cannot be protected any longer. Oh, I almost forgot, Manny will win by unanimous decision!
Thanks and keep it on
Bread’s Response: Bro I was not always more inclined to think Mayweather would win. I just take emotions out of it. I told my friends and colleagues before the fight that Pac was in trouble. You guys put too much into weigh ins and things like that. Every little thing gets overanalyzed and the vision gets skewed.
Manny is always confident and jovial. But in the fight what he needed was a time machine to go back 5 years and modern technology has not advanced that much.
What's up playboy? Pac by demolition and ends it late. May too worried look on his face at weigh in. May says he's all focused but all this sudden maturity where did this come from? I say he's sensing the inevitable, he knows he's in for a war and for the first time he isn't sure of the outcome. Would love to hear afterthoughts by Malignaggi, Floyd Sr. and one of my fave Dwyer from YouTube who have derided Pac for years.. can't wait....
Bread’s Response: The people who have derided Pacquiao will keep deriding him. He lost clearly. That’s life and Pacquiao fans will have to live with it. I tried to warn you guys he was too far past it to beat Mayweather at this point. You have to stop picking with your heart and pick with your brains.
I want to apologize to you Bread. I honestly thought you were picking Floyd Mayweather because he is a Haymon fighter and he was black. I just didn’t want to listen. I became too emotional. But I still say average fighters like Paulie Malignaggi discredit Manny too much. Paulie said on twitter that Manny’s performance was pitiful but he got blew out by a not so special Shawn Porter in a couple of rounds in his last fight. I do want to ask you a technical question though. How come Manny didn’t attack from angles like the announcers were almost imploring him too?
Bread’s Response: I’m glad you humbled yourself. I got some nasty emails telling me I was riding for Floyd because he was black and that I was in Haymon’s pocket just because I thought Floyd would win the fight. But I understand it because if I would have picked Manny then I would have got emails telling me I was a sellout. What some of these assholes never take into consideration is that maybe I’m just being objective and I’m picking who I think will win.
Floyd being a Haymon fighter had nothing to do with my pick. Manny is better than all of Haymon’s fighters and has done more than all of them except Floyd Mayweather. And I would pick him to beat lots of Haymon fighters round 140 and 147. He just can’t beat the Floyd.
As for your technical question I’m so glad you asked. But first let me tell you why I felt so strongly about Pacquiao not being able to pull this fight off. No elite level attacking fighter in history, has ever defeated a great boxer at Pacquiao’s current stage of his career. It takes too much for an attacking fighter to get into shape. It takes too much energy for him to perform at his peak. Let’s go back in history.
Jim Jeffries could not do much with Jack Johnson. Jeffries was well past if physically by the time they fought although he was undefeated. This was the 1st super fight and it happened to be between a great attacking fighter and a great boxer. Jack Dempsey could not do much with Gene Tunney. Dempsey was past it. Dempsey was the attacking fighter, Tunney was the great boxer.
Henry Armstrong who was the best attacker of them all actually fought Sugar Ray Robinson when he was about 32 years old. You would think that a fight between the two best fighters p4p ever would get talked about more. But it doesn’t because it was uneventful. Armstrong was too far past it to deal with Robinson’s length and height. Speaking of Robinson he was able to stop Lamotta the attacker in their last fight. Although they were the same age, Robinson went on to be the fighters of 50s. Lamotta never seriously challenged for another title…
As the attacker gets older he doesn’t have the energy, or zest for combat to sustain his attacks. Let’s keep going. Rocky Marciano retired at 32 years old. He had a huge fight with Olympic Gold Medalist Floyd Patterson on the horizon. But Marciano knew he was slipping slightly and he didn’t chance it. Attackers have to be at their peaks to beat the great boxers.
Joe Frazier was able to beat Ali in their 1st fight. Despite Ali being 2 years older and having more fights, he was the fresher of the two in their 2nd and 3rd fights. Why because it takes less energy for Ali to be effective than it does for Frazier to be effective.
All of Mike Tyson’s vintage performances came in the 80s. Tyson is actually younger than Holyfield and Lewis. But his style does not perpetuate sustained excellence late in the career. Tyson could not beat an elite level “boxer” in the 90s. Roberto Duran was able to defeat Ray Leonard when he was 29 and that was his last great performance vs a boxer. Duran lost to Leonard in the rematch, Benitez and Hearns. He was able to win two significant fights after Leonard 1. Davey Moore and Iran Barkley. Both guys stood in front of Duran.
Speaking of Holyfield, Dwight Qawi gave him hell in their 1st fight. In their 2nd fight a few years later he got brutalized….
Marvin Hagler left boxing at 32 years old! There was money on the table with rematches against Hearns and Leonard but he chose wisely.
The great Julio Cesar Chavez couldn’t pull off a significant victory over a great boxer after he was 32 years old. The great Jeff Fenech was done by the early 90s. Aaron Pryor was done as a top fight by 1987. He was just 32. More recently Ricky Hatton was burned out by the time he was 30. Kostya Tszyu never attempted to comeback after losing to Hatton. Nigel Benn could not win another significant fight after he defeated Gerald McClellan. ..See the trend..
Now we got to Pacquiao the best recent attacking style fighter. There has been a significant drop off in Pacquiao’s spryness since the Margarito fight. I truly believe he lost his peak in that fight. Because he was still able to win big fights, some bought the Fool’s Gold. The great attacker’s window to beat the great boxer is always smaller than the great boxer’s window to beat the attacker. Manny has already outperformed his expiration date.
Technically the reason why Manny couldn’t come in on an angle was because of Floyd. Manny tried but it’s simple to take away the angle if you are the longer fighter. Floyd did 3 things. First he took a quick step back. That’s the equivalent of the batter taking a step off of the plate to see the fastball easier. It also allows Floyd to take away Manny’s initial destination. Manny is stepping in when Floyd is at a certain spot and when Floyd takes that quick step back Manny’s initial target is taken away. The second thing that he did was simply turn his shoulder towards Manny. The angle that they wanted Manny to create is simply not coming in in a straight line. So Manny is either towards Floyd or left or right. If Floyd takes a step back and slightly points his shoulder towards Manny then the angle that he wanted is no longer there and he’s directly in front of Floyd again.
Last but not least Floyd always gives you the impression he is in threatening position. He may not be a big puncher but he’s a sharp puncher and you don’t want those sharp clean punches hitting you all night. So his stance, body language alertness, gives Manny the impression you can come in recklessly. After Floyd did these three things he was able to throw a hard scoring jab, a great counter right hand and a check off turn out hook. Always a threat.
Many people underestimated Floyd’s length. Floyd’s arms are longer than most middleweights. Manny does not have the energy or legs to keep changing angles to overcome that.
What was your score of the fight? Did you think either fighter was hurt? Were you surprised at how the fight played out?
Bread’s Response: I think the scores of 116-112 were perfect. Floyd won clean about 8 rounds to 4. If you bent over backwards for Manny maybe 7 to 5 still in Floyd’s favor. If you bent over for Floyd maybe 9 to 3 still in Floyd’s favor.
Yes I thought Manny buzzed Floyd a couple of times. But Floyd has good recovery and he keeps a great poker face.
No I’m not surprised at how the fight played out. But I did think Floyd would ko Manny. But I think Manny hit Floyd with something to let him know he didn’t want to stay in the mid range too often. I noticed Floyd Mayweather Sr. was not very happy with his son’s performance and he was letting him know he needed to do more between rounds. But Floyd said after the fight that he thought he was getting hit too much in the box, so he had to be smart and change it up a bit. That lets me know he got hit with something he didn’t like the feeling of. Smart boxing by Floyd Mayweather.
I thought this fight was dreadful. Where does boxing go from here? Floyd was boring and Manny couldn’t do much. What do you think is next for both guys?
Bread’s Response: I enjoyed the fight. I thought both guys fought well. Floyd was his usual self and Manny tried. He just couldn’t catch a sustained rhythm. I think people are being overly critical. Manny did better than Canelo Alvarez and Robert Guerrero did recently and neither of those guys received any of the criticism and both are much younger. Floyd did what he was supposed to do and that is win.
I would like to see Floyd fight Amir Khan. I would like to see Manny retire. Team Pacquiao has to be very careful. Manny got in the best shape he could have for this fight. Again I’m still surprised he didn’t get stopped. All you hear about is injuries, bad sparring in the gym etc.
At this stage in order for Manny to get into the kind of shape he needs to get into he need a sports scientist in his camp to make sure he doesn’t over train. The nagging injuries are telling sign of overtraining.
You guys may not have seen it but Manny was ready for this fight. Floyd just took his success away. I don’t believe he could ever get in shape again like he did for this Mayweather fight. Lots of times the rugged camps are what sap you.
TR should never have matched Manny with Marquez 4 times. They should never have let Margarito rehydrate up to 165lbs. Now they have to be careful.
Manny claims he has turned his life over to God. Well in most religions you learn acceptance. He needs to accept his defeat and continue to help the people of his country. What he doesn’t need is media members, trolling fans and ex fighters taking shots at him trying to poke holes in his legacy. Those that don’t like him will swear he was overrated and that would be a shame. Because he is without a doubt the 2nd best fighter of this era and he deserves better than the trolling that is going to come with more losses. If Manny fights on his career will be hot and cold from here on out.
Bread, wanted your take on a few thoughts.
1) Although the fight failed to live up to the hype, as a Pac fan, I give mad props to Mayweather. He fought a smart fight leaving no reason for a rematch. Before the fight, I thought pac would ko mayweather had they fought prior to the margartio fight. Now, I'm not so sure pac would have penetrated the mayweather defense. Last night, do you think pac was more effected by his previous battles and mileage or mayweather's skills? Regardless of last night, I think an 09 or 10 fight would not have gone 12. I'd say pac gets too aggressive and ko'd by a marquez 4-type counter, or pac's former relentless and high output get through mayweather's defense. What do you think?
2) I can't help but notice both mayweather and klitschko seem unbeatable currently, but both have a highly-defensive style that is not pleasing to the casual boxing fan's eye. Grabamir and Floyd are highly effective, but at times I feel like there is way too much holding. Looked like mayweather even put pac in a headlock last night. I know it's a sport and strategy, but I don't like the look of a champion seemingly running away.
3) who would you like to see May finish his career fighting?
Steve- McKinney, TX
Bread’s Response: I think Pacquiao from 08-10 is live with anybody in history comparable to his size. Meaning the bigger lightweights and smaller welters. He couldn’t beat the huge welters like Sugar Ray Robinson and Tommy Hearns but he’s in every other fight including Mayweather. I probably would have picked Pac to beat Floyd back then although it would be super close analytically because Floyd has a way of always raising his game.
I think Pac came prepared and he was doing some good stuff. But Floyd fought a great fight and he never let Pac get momentum. Every time Pac won a round, Floyd came out the very next round and “put” a good stick on Pac to control him. I haven’t seen the official judges' scorecards but I would assume Pac didn’t win 2 rounds in a row on any of the cards. So sure it was age, Pac couldn’t stay on the balls of his feet for a prolonged period. But it was also Floyd Mayweather fighting a great fight.
I don’t think Floyd ran. I thought he boxed. Floyd is not a killer. He’s not a high contact assassin. He’s a physically strong, pure boxing, counter puncher. He does what he needs to do to win. I think Wladimir is much more dreadful to watch. I consider Wladimir a scary fighter. I consider Floyd a smart fighter. It’s up to his opponents to make him fight more. He would be stupid to fight to his opponent’s strength.
I would like to see Mayweather fight Amir Khan in his last fight. But I don’t think that will happen because Kahn will fasting from June 18-July 19 because of Ramadan. Ramadan is from June 18 to July 18. That is the fasting time for practicing Muslims. Meaning they are not allowed to eat from sun up to sun down which limits his time for proper eating. The fight would not be until September so Khan would have about 8 weeks to eat at his normal times.
Khan has enough resources to change his schedule around and train at night and eat at night until Ramadan is over. For a fight the second weekend of September he wouldn’t start camp until around July anyway and Ramadan is over July 18th....
I think Amir Khan is the most marketable name available and the biggest threat available. We shall see…
Max Kellerman has said that he believes that Manny Pacquiao is top 10 all time. Where do you rank him all time? After last night’s performance where do you rank Floyd is he the TBE? And do you think Pacquiao deserved the fighter of the decade from 2000-2010?
Bread’s Response: Max Kellerman is one of the sharpest guys around. I don’t consider many opinions in boxing and Max is one of the few I respect along with Cliff Rold and Doug Fischer. Those guys are true historians, not just boxrec checkers like most. We actually have twitter rhetoric weekly where I post hypothetical match ups and those guys are the ones I tag.
However in this case I disagree with Max. I think Manny Pacquiao is more like top 20-30 fighters ever and not top 10. He’s in the area of the Barney Ross’s and Emille Griffith’s and not area of Harry Greb and Ezzard Charles. Top 10 is a push in my opinion. But top 20-30 is nothing to be ashamed of.
I also put Floyd Mayweather somewhere in the top 20-30 fighters to ever live and I put him 1st as the best fighter of this era.
I don’t have a problem with Pacquiao winning fighter of the decade. He won that award 5 years ago. During that decade Floyd took off from 07-09 when Pacquiao went on a crazy run and outperformed him against common opponents. So just because Floyd is fresher than Manny in 2015 doesn’t mean Manny didn’t deserve Fighter of the Decade that ended 5 years ago.
Since you brought up Max Kellerman, I would like to share a great point Max made, then add to that point. Max stated that Floyd Mayweather is a special talent and in baseball terms he is sort of the Hank Aaron of boxing. Where his consistent excellence parallels some of his predecessors who’s peaks may have been slightly higher. I agree with Max 100%. I don’t think Floyd was better than Ray Leonard, Pernell Whitaker or Roy Jones at their peaks. But he outlasted all of them as far as longevity.
Max also brought up making business decisions. I agree with this also. If you make consistent business decisions in boxing, while it’s beneficiary to your health and your wallet, your legacy may at times suffer. So while I don’t think Floyd is the TBE, I do think he is the best of this era. I think he is top 20-30 all time. He’s the richest fighter ever and he’s an all time great whose legacy will stand the test of time.
Let me add, in order for a fighter of this era to be the TBE. He has to have James Toney’s “I’m available for all contenders, adaptable to all styles attitude.” Toney challenged a 34-0 Michael Nunn in his hometown when he was just 23 years old for his first tile. Then defended against a super tough Reggie Johnson about 2 months later. Then he fought a unification with an all time great in Mike McCallum about a year later. He has to have the glossy numbers of say Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. or Ricardo Lopez. Chavez made it to about 87-0 and Lopez retired at 51-0, and he would have to be overwhelming in the eye ball test department like say a young Thomas Hearns or Roy Jones .
This era is too watered down with fighters who would B level contenders from the 90’s on back so you have to stand out differently. Guys like Oba Carr and Marlon Starling who had a hard time breaking through in their eras, would beat 95% of the guys today at the weights they fought at.
Because you get to fight twice a year in this era and you have 4 belts available with a limited pool of dangerous, capable threats around it’s simply easier to have longevity and be dominant. How often do we see a Riddick Bowe type of serious #1 contender who is the mandatory to a champion? I’m not an old timer at all. I call it the way I see it. If you don’t believe me think about this. Mayweather and Pacquiao are the best of this era. They both have fought guys like Robert Guerrero and Chris Algieri recently in big fights. No disrespect to Guerrero and Algieri but those guys would lose comprehensively to Carr and Starling. See the difference…
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