By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Manny Pacquiao vs. Keith Thurman, the career of Josh Kelly, Jermall Charlo, Demetrius Andrade, Canelo Alvarez, and more.
Please consider, understand my respect, admiration and the like for Thurman & Pacquiao's careers within my pondering questions related to their upcoming bout on 7/20.
The fact that each fighter under-performed considerably in their last bouts (Broner, Lopez) Please tell me how this fight is PPV quality (please don't be afraid to say it's really not PPV quality) while IMO, true boxing annalists realize, regardless of the outcome of this underachieving fight, neither fighter (winner or loser) will seriously consider a fight with Champion T Crawford? Let me rephrase please....Pac would probably consider, Thurman no way a future Crawford bout although, boxing commission and promoters (B Arum specifically) wouldn't allow a Pac fight to happen due to the life changing damage Pac would endure from Crawford.
Also, in your opinion, how close is this fight, based on the current talent, competitiveness level of Thurman & Pac to be considered a, Pay For Exhibition fight, similar to what we've witnessed in recent exhibition, theatrical type fights, Floyd vs McGregor, Paulie bare knuckle or Floyd vs Japanese kid bout? Basically, what I'm asking you, why are so many over hyped, non competitive, un -deserving, underachieving money grabbing fights being sold today?
Thanks Breadman.. very much appreciate your insights!
Bread’s Response: I’m not afraid of anything. You just don’t understand the boxing business. Manny Pacquiao is an ICON. Along with Canelo he’s the biggest star in boxing. Right now if he asked Canelo to fight him at a catchweight of say 155lbs. It would sell 3 million views and each fighter would make 50 million. He’s the only person in boxing that can do that.
Keith Thurman is an undefeated, talented, long time champion. He wants to be paid a certain amount to fight Pacquiao. When you have a situation like this and network tv, ticket sales and sponsors can’t cover the cost and purses that the fighters want. Then the fight has to be on PPV. At that point the fighters have to hope they sell a certain amount of PPV buys in order for them to make what they want. It’s why the biggest stars at a certain point go on PPV.
I don’t think it’s a super fight. I wish it was on FOX. But I do think it’s PPV quality. I think Keith Thurman looked rusty in is last fight. But Pacquiao looked good in my opinion. It’s never easy for a 40 yr old fighter to win fights vs opponents bigger and 10 years younger than him. He dominated Broner in my opinion.
I don’t believe Thurman would fight Crawford. But I do believe Manny would. Manny is happy go lucky and he doesn’t seem to care who he fights. His team may object to it but he doesn’t care.
You’re over doing it now. This fight isn’t Mayweather vs McGregor is any thing of the like. This fight has historic implications. If Pacquiao wins he’s the real WBA champion. That would be his 3th time winning the welterweight title and it would be one of the biggest wins ever for a 40 or over fighter. If Thurman wins he’s a true superstar and he could fight Crawford or Spence in PPV fights for welterweight supremacy. This is a significant fight.
This is very late to ask but I wanted to see your thoughts on Josh Kelly, his draw to the new Ray Robinson was a disappointing result for such a huge prospect. Even though I believe that Ray Robinson is a solid fighter a draw for Kelly certainly raises some questions especially since his head movement (one of what seemed to be his best attributes) lead him to the draw. My question really is; now that we saw Kelly vs Robinson result in a draw where do you see Kelly’s career going?
Bread’s Response: I think Josh Kelly is a good prospect. But he’s not where Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez or Jaron Ennis is. He’s from the UK so his doesn’t have the direct competition for prospect supremacy.
They seemed to be fast tracking Kelly. But they will slow him down now. It’s nothing wrong with that. It’s hard to fast track a fighter from 147-160. You don’t see guys at those weights challenging for world titles if they don’t have close to or more than 20 fights. In the smaller divisions or much heavier you see guys fight for titles with 12 and 13 fights. It’s a reason for that. There are simply more men in the middle divisions.
Ray Robinson. Is not super fast. He’s not a huge puncher. He’s not a defensive specialist. And we have seen him lose and be stopped. So I think he gets underestimated. He’s a real fighter. He has know how. He’s fearless. And he spars a kid in Jaron Ennis who is a lot better than Kelly. I think it was just a miscalculation on whoever was matching Kelly. It’s no big deal things happen. Kelly can come back, work on his game and improve. He just has to be a real fighter.
Well what were your general impressions of Charlo & especially Andrade-who have mysteriously become what amounts to Michael Myers/Jason Voorhees legends among hardcore boxing Twitter heads.In my opinion, the public outcry of the PERCEPTION spun for these fights- particularly Andrade vs. Canelo/GGG just doesn’t come close to matching the REALITY of what their deserving & bring to the table financially. They both have talent, but have neither proven to be box office draws or their legitimate worth as opponents for boxing’s biggest star & his chief rival...
I think Muniga is over matched -ok MAYBE that’s too strong-against the ELITE (J-Rock, Charlo, Lubin , Lara & Harrison) in his own weight class, much less a bigger & better Canelo
DAZN CANT be happy about the current Andrade/Muniga/Kovalev plan Golden Boy is spewing. Is this posturing or are they actually going to pursue this course of action? GGG loses ground against Canelo the more this fight is delayed, he’s 38yrs old. Canelo is fighting for legacy, well Olof he leaves his business with GGG unfinished & without a clear victory over him. He clearly lost the first fight, ALOT of fans believe he lost the rematch as well. The Trout & Lara even more so we’re highly controversial. The GGG fights have been discussed as-nausea. I thought he should have separated himself from the older, slower & much smaller Cotto. Canelo has in some ways began to remind me of the 1980’s Nature Boy Ric Flair , The HEEL champ who would come into town & leave with the belt by the skin of his teeth. Of course the boys at Golden Boy would be The 4Horseman, ???? bhdhnn
Fourth Of July Mythical MatchUps
*On their best nights
***. 15 Rd Fights
S. Liston/J.Frazier (HWT)
-Liston TKO 8th
-Moorer KO 6th
-----Hot Take---- Margarito was coming on against Cotto in their ReMatch. That felt to me as if BOXING punished Margz for his despicable actions in the past...
-Curry TKO 13th
Tito would pound away ....& & hit lots of elbows & gloves
Take McGirt’s disastrous outing against Meldrick Taylor & rinse and repeat with a far more explosive PacMan-GULP!!!!!!
-Pacquiao KO 8th
-Martinez TKO 10th
------Take, Pt 2-----
Not only was Kermit Cintron having early success against Williams before their bizarre finish, he was winning the damn fight
-Hearns KO 4th
Some good to very good fighters are uniquely gifted to unseat even all-time greats contemporaries: Norton (Ali), Tarver (Jones, Jr), Junior Jones (Barrera).
-Margarito TKO 13th
Bread’s Response: I would take Liston over Frazier but man the Frazier who fought Ali in the 1st fight was something!
Moorer over Stevenson.
I can’t call Nunn vs Hopkins. Draw or 3 fights.
Arguello over Mosley by a smidge.
Ali over Louis but he shouldn’t fight him in a rematch.
Cotto by close decision over Simon Brown.
I would take Tito by decision over Starling.
Pacman over McGirt.
Norris over Martinez
Hearns over Paul Williams.
We agree in a historical upset Margarito over Benitez. Benitez would try to slip too many punches and that wears you out vs a certain type of pressure. Margarito has the type of pressure you have to destroy not out slick.
Charlo and Andrade were solid in their performances. I think high risk fighters have to do more in order to get fights. It’s just that simple.
Jaime Munguia is a nice kid and good fighter. But he has a good record, he’s Mexican and he’s vulnerable. He’s the perfect opponent every elite fighter wants. Canelo knows exactly what he’s doing. Charlo and Andrade will need to do more in order to get that fight. In a case like this it pays to be the lesser fighter. No offense to Munguia but that’s the matchmaking of boxing. I tried to explain it on twitter but it’s not enough characters to do so. It’s not about deserving a shot at Canelo. That has nothing to do with it. It’s about timing and what he wants to do. For Munguia to even be considered giving that Andrade and Charlo are in Canelo’s division should let the fan/critics know to not use the word DESERVE. They also suggest that Charlo and Andrade fight each other which I would love to see. It’s a great fight and it’s old school bad ass stuff. But they never suggest that Munguia fight any of the top guys in his own division. Selective Matchmaking!
One of my biggest pet peeves in boxing is when fans say fighter X shouldn't fight fighter Y until he EARNS the match up. Huh? What does that even mean? The latest example is how somehow Andrade and Charlo have to earn a match up with either GGG or Canelo. Really? What made some of their past opponents who I don't even need to list more worthy? If Charlo and Andrade are truly easy fights for those two guys, then they should have no problem taking them right? I keep hearing how Charlo hasn't looked great in his last two fights, but he has looked just fine to me. Korobov is a fine boxer and it took him some rounds to adjust but he turned the fight around eventually and then he won nearly every round against Adams. I mean before the JRock fight, how great did he look against Trout? He is a guy that is susceptible to losing rounds but that doesn't make him an easy fight for ANYONE. As for Andrade? He may not be the most entertaining fighter, but you can count on one hand the amount of rounds he's lost in his last three rounds.
Another thing, you mentioned something on twitter about how Joshua's problem isn't just head movement. Can you elaborate on that? Are you referring to him not using his physical advantages behind his jab or was it something else?
Bread’s Response: I already touched on Charlo and Andrade. Both have done enough to get shots at Canelo. The only problem I have with their matchmaking is they seem to be waiting on the Canelo shot. Forget about him. Go make your own legacy. There are other elite fighters to fight.
The game is to be sold not to be told. So I won’t go into too much detail. But Anthony Joshua is rolling and sliding under ropes in preparation for an opponent who is at least 5 inches shorter and has a much shorter arms. His CONCEPT on HOW to fight Ruiz is counter productive in my opinion. I don’t care what anyone says. With the right CONCEPT and a passionate training camp, Joshua can win this rematch. He’s making it a much more difficult fight than it has to be.
I'm not sure if you've gotten questions/comments about the last mailbag, but you put Ennis at the top level. Your opinion is highly regarded, so why is it that the public doesnt know or haven't seen more of Ennis? Why hasn't any of the big promotional companies snatched him up, especially PBC that has such a deep roster at 147. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens.
Next, Pac vs Thurman, are we being fooled thinking the 40 year old legend has a legit shot? Is his chances real or are we living in the past? I'd like to hear your thoughts before I place a few bets, lol. Thanks
Bread’s Response: I think Ennis just wasn’t marketed correctly then he went through business issues which hurt lots of fighters. I don’t know what companies have gone after him. What I do know Shakur Stevenson, Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez are considered the best American prospects. And I’m telling you guys Ennis is every bit as good if not better and he’s in a tougher more lucrative division. I know what my eyes see. The kid is that good. It’s really a shame he’s having these promotional issues.
Pac is now the favorite when he opened as an underdog. I don’t understand it. But I have a feeling that Thurman has let out footage where he really looks bad. He just seems off with his timing and speed. Pac has looked sharp. So I think that has affected the outlook. Also Leonard Ellerbee has been doing a great job promoting this fight. But make no mistake Pac shouldn’t be the betting favorite over a fighter like Keith Thurman. Pac is 70% of his prime. He’s smaller. He’s 40. And he has way more wear and tear.
What’s funny is I say that but I think he can win. Right now I may bet a draw. There is something weird going on with this fight and I can’t put my finger on it.
Wus good Breadman? Hope all is well and you staying blessed!
What do you make of Paulie losing in 'boxing' to a gatekeeper level MMA fighter? I mean to me, it's not a thing, Paulie is older, inactive, broke his hand etc etc and plus bare knuckle boxing is very different from boxing, so with all the intangibles it is not too surprising and no big stain on boxers' ability. However, considering the difference in championship calibre in their respective sports, many in MMA are using this as validation to say many MMA fighters could do well against top level boxers. Thoughts?
Next question - Is it better for a promoter to be loved by fans or fighters? Of course both is perfect but I ask this thinking about Eddie Hearn. He regularly gives interviews where he speaks of his success in setting up boxers financially. He recently said this about flyweight Kal Yafai, who is often criticised for not fighting some of the top names in and around his weight, but who now in Hearn's words is 'set for life' financially.
I am sure you as a trainer would want your fighter to be with a promoter like that but is that good for fans, if fighters can get good purses not fighting the biggest fights and then become more picky? Or should it work both ways, in that all the fighters that want to be paid well will work with such a promoter and therefore the biggest fights will be easier to make?
Finally, how do you see the top boys of the SMW division doing vs each other? I am talking about Caleb Plant, Billy Joe Saunders, Calum Smith and David Benavidez.
Bread’s Response: I didn’t see Paulie Malignaggi’s fight. So I really don’t know what happened. As far as the MMA, bare knuckle comparisons with boxing. Who knows and who cares. It’s a meaningless comparison to me.
I think a Promoter should be loved by both. There is a balance. If a promoter is loved by fighters then that means he’s paying them over market value for fights. If a promoter is loved by fans then that means he’s providing them with great fights….You will never make everyone happy. Media and fans always complain over fights no matter what.
Super Middleweight has ALL undefeated champions. I think there should be some clamoring from the fans to make an unofficial tournament. I am really high on all of these guys as fighters. I have no idea who would win if they all fought. There is no clear cut boogeyman, although I believe if a tournament was made today that David Benavidez would be the favorite. This is so close I couldn’t even make a tournament seeding. Most would put Plant and Saunders would most likely be the lower seeds but they could out box the other two bigger punchers. Whoa! I really hope we get some clarity soon.
I’m not a odds expert like yourself, but this year the odds makers seem to be running strange lines, often it seems almost daring bettors to go with the ‘dog. How else to explain Manny Pacquiao entering his fight as a slight favorite over Keith Thurman-a younger, in his prime with far leads wear & tear on his body top welterweight? I’m no fan of Thurman-who I feel is being rewarded for ducking Errol Spence with a huge payday against PAC. This is a puzzling fight. I’m a Manny-‘Mark’, but how much of his recent renaissance is due to fantastic match making? What are we really seeing? Still, the very fact that experts like Al Bernstein, Doug Fischer & yourself see PAC as “live” in this fight says a lot of how far Thurman-who has the best wins in the division, save for Pacquiao-has fallen. I can’t think of the last time a fighter of Pacquiao‘s age beat an in their prime fighter of Thurman’s pedigree. Again I’m not a Thurman fan, but when’s the last time Pacquiao’s fought some with REAL speed? When this fight was announced I liked PAC, now I’m not so sure. I think this might set up to look a lot like Leonard-Norris.
I rewatched Chavez-Taylor 1 for kicks today, several things stood out.
1) That should have been Taylor’s night. He was robbed of greatness
2) Taylor didn’t look that way by not getting hit-Richard Steele said Chavez was landing career ending punches & I believe him
3) What a horrible job from a respected professional corner by Duva & Benton leading into the 12th round, smh. What fight were they watching? Taylor won the first 9 rounds!
4)This was the end of Richard Steele as boxing’s best ref, look at his work after this fight.
5) Why did Duva jump on the apron while Taylor was being issued the count?!? It clearly distracted Meldrick.
6) Taylor deserved to win, but history would have been very different if it was a 15rd fight, as it would have in several circumstances (Hearns-Leonard), what’s your thoughts on 15rd fights as opposed to today’s 12rds?
Mythical Match Ups
W.Benitez/P.Whitaker (140 lbs)
S.Brown/ D.Curry (147lbs)
Bread’s Response: Keith Thurman has avoided Errol Spence. There is no doubt about it. And he is being rewarded with a huge PPV fight vs Manny Pacquiao. I think Spence is being cheated out of legacy fights. He wants to be great but that is what this era is about.
I think the odds are off slightly in this recent year. The energy of the upsets have been flowing. But in this fight since Manny is the favorite what is the real upset?
Thurman should be a -150 to -200 favorite over Manny. Unless Thurman is shot he should be able to win this fight. The last time a fighter this age beat a fighter around Thurman’s age at the elite level I think was Bernard Hopkins vs Jean Pascal. I could be wrong but that’s what I remember.
Thurman is an excellent fighter but he’s no Terry Norris. Norris was a killer and a great fighter. Leonard was CRAZY for fighting that animal. Also fighters last longer today. Leonard was SHOT in 1991. He had no business going 12 rounds. He did that on will power and no how. Manny still has something left. I think we will see a drawish type of fight between Pacman vs Thurman.
Taylor vs Chavez
1. Yes that was Meldrick’s night. I believe in my heart and guts and they never lie to me that Meldrick got screwed with that stoppage. I think the referee was looking for his moment to reward Chavez. And Chavez being the great fighter he was gave him that opportunity. He could’ve asked Meldrick to walk towards him. He did ask was he ok. Meldrick shook his head yes but he looked over towards Duva who jumped on the ring apron.
2. Chavez was landing was nasty shots. He wasn’t winning rounds but he was doing damage. I saw it while it was happening. I knew Meldrick was taking some brutal shots. He was winning mathematically but not physically. But that doesn’t matter. He got up in time and he wouldn’t have taken another punch. So therefore no more damage would have been done.
3. Lou Duva escapes lots of criticism. He distracted Taylor as Steele was giving him instructions. He was too animated. I have no problem saying that.
But as far as the instructions that’s a tough call because Chavez was the A side. Steele’s decision shows you that. So in that case you have to be careful of stepping off the gas. Meldrick really is a guy with fast hands who fights at midrange and on the inside. He doesn’t have the keep away range game. So I understand if keeps doing what he was already doing.
It’s a tough criticism because that was such a big moment. Everyone is right if you get to go back and rewrite history. I won’t be a Sunday Morning Coach to those two legends. But I get what you’re saying.
4. I don’t want to get into Richard Steele. He seems like a nice man. But I believe he ruined Meldrick Taylor’s career. I believe he saw that flasher go off in the corner behind Meldrick and he knew not much time was left. Again my guts never ever lie to me. My guts tell me…..nevermind. It upsets me to talk about it. But Meldrick is my guy and I know what they did to him. If he gets a WIN in that moment his career may have been different. Although he took a beating, his moral was shot because of the loss. It created a sympathetic energy around him. Fighters don’t need that energy.
5. Duva was an animated guy. He shouldn’t have did that. He messed up. It happens. He’s still a great cornerman but he messed up that night.
6. I don’t want to get into what would have happened if it was a 12 round fight. Here is why. Fighters will train differently and get different 2nd winds. I hate that comparison.
Ray Leonard once said I would’ve went for Tommy earlier in a 12 round fight. I wouldn’t have taken my time after I hurt him in the 6th and 7th rounds. And he’s right.
Meldrick and Chavez fought in the 12 round era. So that’s just what it is.
I think Benitez would frustrate Whitaker. Benitez was tall and rangy compared to Whitaker. Most won’t agree but I think Benitez has a bad style for Whitaker. It would look similar to Whitaker vs Hurtado.
Armstrong over Mosley by decision.
Holmes over Wilder by late tko.
Curry over Brown by decision.
Heard on a recent podcast with Wayne McCullough when he said Eddie Futch used to say that Riddick bowe could've been the best heavyweight of all time. Even though there's probably an element of hyperbole about that statement(and george foreman used to be critical of bowe by saying he couldnt throw a straight right) what are your thoughts on Riddick bowe and his career? Did he underachieve despite being the undisputed heavyweight champion? How good could he have been? Also, should he be the template rather than an exception for upcoming heavyweight fighters, ie his ability to fight on the inside. Not many big men can do it, they just hold as soon as their opponent gets close.
A few mythical matchups with the guys that bowe missed in the 90s
Bread’s Response: Eddie Futch may be the GOAT. He knows what he’s looking at. But discipline is a talent. Being smart outside of the ring is a factor in what goes on inside of it. I can’t give a man excuses because he liked to eat and he wasn’t disciplined. Bowe was what he was. A great fighter but he had discipline issues.
He made it to the HOF. So he did a lot. But I think he was as good as he could’ve been. I saw major slippage in him by 1996 and he was only 28. He was done by the Golota fights. With the landscape at that time, Lewis, Holy, Ibeabuchi, Tua and Klitshckos turning pro I think he would have taken his lumps.
Bowe had a nasty inside game. That’s why you can’t say what style a fighter should have because of his physique. Bowe was tall with long arms but he worked inside like an SOB.
Bowe vs Lewis is tough for me. I watch their amateur fight on youtube and boy did Bowe get screwed by the referee. Most people give the Lewis the edge because of his amateur win but go and watch that fight. That was a corrupt stoppage.
On their best day I give Bowe the edge. But tomorrow I may say Lewis. It’s a very close fight. I think Bowe could collapse the pocket and really work Lewis on the inside. Ray Mercer was able to….
Bowe big over Moorer.
Bowe by a tough decision over Mercer.
Bowe crushes Morrison.
Bowe and Tyson is a tough fight. Bowe got hit a little clean if you remember him well. But I think he would beat Tyson at least once. They may have to fight 3 times. Tyson’s fights with Ruddock make me believe he could beat Bowe. But it’s another tough call.
Lewis and Tyson are the harder fights to hypothesize. Bowe beats everyone else easier in my opinion.
I've always wondered but how does a trainer approach a fighter that they are starting to train? Like what are you looking for first and how do you know what to change of that fighter's game without completely changing their style to the point it makes them worse? And how long does it a take fighter to develop a certain style? So for example, a 10 year old kid walks into the gym and starts to learn the basics or what. How long will it take for that 10 year old to develop a certain style they will be using for the rest of their boxing career?
Bread’s Response: A fighter’s initial style is directly relates to his physical attributes and his personality. For example a short kid for the weight with a fire personality will have a Joe Frazier, Mike Tyson similar style.
A tall kid with a solid punch will have a Bob Foster, tommy Hearns type of style.
A tall kid with, average reflexes and good stamina will be likened to Paul Williams.
Over time through success, failure and experience he will evolve. If he finds out he doesn’t take punches well he may box more. If he finds out he can he may attack more. Etc etc.
There is no set time table on how long it takes to develop a style. That depends on the fighter’s capacity to learn and trainer’s capacity to teach.
List five guys you think got better after they were dropped in a fight, speculation on what goes through each guy's minds would be lavley too:).
To quote Tyson Fury in regards getting dropped for the first time in a professional fight: "right, you caught me with a good shot, but now I'm gonna get you"
Bread’s Response: 5 best fighters after being dropped. In no order. Oh maybe I do have an order.
Joe Louis was a terror after being dropped. He got lots of knockouts after being dropped.
Aaron Pryor would get up and go kamikaze after being dropped.
Felix Trinidad would get dropped and just get meaner.
Juan Manuel Marquez could be the hardest guy ever to stop that has been dropped so many times. Marquez has been dropped over 10 times in career and never stopped in over 60 fights. It’s amazing that he’s never been stopped.
Larry Holmes was dropped huge by Reynaldo Snipes and Ernie Shavers and got up to score stoppages in both fights.
I think this may be my best list I ever free styled.
If you could build the perfect boxer what would he look like example
Brain - Loma or ali or floyd
Mouth - Ali
Chin - Hagler
Power - Inoue
Body? Ali could take body shots
Jab - Ali
Straight right - Deontay
Straight left - Pac Man
Right hook - Dempsey threw his with the most hate
Left hook - Smokin’ Joe!
Body punches - Duran or canelo or spence
Defense - Floyd
Naoya Inoue is a bantamweight from Japan (who hasn’t really fought anyone yet) but has to be the hardest P4P puncher in boxing today. He does the Ray Robinson/Jones Jr. thing of leading heavily with his shoulder and slinging his devastating punches into the opposition.
Also, I didn’t put Sugar Ray Robinson in here cause not sure what he was the best at i know he was a beast though
Bread’s Response: I agree that Monster Inoue is the best puncher in boxing. All things considered, force of blow, technique, arc of blow, sharpness, accuracy, two fisted attack, ability to land best shot and results. Inoue is the world’s best puncher.
Brain- This is tough. Brain is a vague attribute. If I want a brain as far as adversity, taking challenges I take Ali. If I need a brain to compute a weakness I take Loma.
Power- George Foreman. If we are talking strictly power, Foreman is the most powerful man in the history of boxing. He could literally kill you. The he hit King Roma makes my stomach hurt.
Body- If you mean taking body shots. Ali easy.
Jab- Ali has the best jab ever in my opinion but his jab is for a stick and mover. So it will only fit a fighter who bounces in and out on his toes. I would rather have Tommy Hearn’s jab which can be done from a stick and move, posting up, going forward and backwards.
Straight right- Joe Louis
Straight left- Manny Pacquiao
Right hook- Julian Jackson
Left Hook- Sugar Ray Robinson
Uppercut- Ricardo Lopez
Body Punches- Gerald McClellan
Defense- This is tough to me. Four fighters defenses stand out to me and I can’t choose between the two. Willie Pep, Floyd Mayweather, Pernell Whitaker and Roberto Duran.
Pep had the best defensive feet I’ve ever seen. Whitaker and Floyd have great defense at every range and all around defense. They can use their feet. They can parry. They can slip. They can counter puncher. They can defend on the inside and out.
Roberto Duran. Duran is known as a killer. But his defense is A+. Especially for a fire come forward fighter. He does a rubber neck move where he turned his head and let a punch slide by his head. It’s amazing he can do that move. Duran can muffle opponents. He can slip, ride and counter. He has all of James Toney’s moves plus some.
I would have put James Toney on the list but often got lazy on defense but he would be my #5.
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