The Daily Bread Mailbag is back with Stephen "Breadman Edwards tackling topics such as the career of heavyweight contender David Tua, former champion Arturo Gatti, Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury, Evander Holyfield, Roger Mayweather and more.
I wanna get your opinion on David Tua, is he the best heavyweight not to win a title? I mean come on even Ruiz whom he blasted in 19 seconds was able to win a belt. Also in a mythical fight do you think prime Foreman can KO iron chinned David Tua ? And do you agree the 90’s heavyweights era was as good as the 70’s? The 90’s was loaded thru most of the decade with the last man standing in Lewis and Holyfield unifying all the belts what a great decade for heavyweights the 90’s was. Last but not least who wins these fights if the boxer on the losing end was still in his prime
De La Hoya vs. Chavez
Holyfield vs Foreman
Inoue vs Donaire
Pacquiao vs De La Hoya
Louis vs Marciano
Tyson vs Holmes
Calzague vs Jones
Thanks for your time champ
Bread’s Response: I think David Tua is among the best heavyweights to never win a title. He has to be. But there are certainly others. Sam Langford, Harry Wills, Jerry Quarry, Ron Lyle, Jerry Cooney, Oscar Bonavena and a guy who beat Tua in his prime Ike Ibeabuchi. I would say Tua is top 10 but not the best.
Tua not only beat Ruiz but he also beat Hasim Rahman and Michael Moorer. So he had two big wins over future/former heavyweight champions. Sometimes a fighter just has misfortune. The tough thing for Tua was he only got one title shot. To think back on that it’s crazy he was only awarded one shot vs an all time great in Lennox Lewis.
But here is the thing. Sometimes you can be too good for your own good. No one was giving Tua a “voluntary” title shot. So he had a brutal non title and eliminator schedule. He lost a few eliminators and it caused him to only get one title shot. Just think about who he fought in non title fights. Ruiz, Moorer and Rahman as mentioned. Then add Ike Ibeabuchi, Chris Byrd, David Izon, Darroll Wilson, Gary Bell, Danell Nicholson and Fres Oquendo.
I would have to fact check but Tua most likely has the hardest heavyweight non title resume in the last 30 years. He may not have won a title but he can be proud of his career. He was a killer who fought killers in non title fights.
I think the 90s and 70s era of heavyweights are the best two in history. I give the 70s a slight edge. The reason being is because two players from the 70s came back in the 90s and either won titles or became major players again. Larry Holmes and George Foreman. Holmes and Foreman were in their primes in the 70s. For them to come back and be so good in the 90s is significant as to how the good the 70s were. But it’s very close. Closer than people think.
I’ve always thought De La Hoya would have been tricky for Chavez. The De La Hoya that beat Chavez in 1996 was the best version there was. He was never as good before or after that. Chavez was greater but I’m not sold on who wins head to head on their best nights. I slightly lean Chavez but it’s a really a coin flip.
Holyfield vs Foreman is a death match. Another coin flip.
Inoue vs Donaire another tight one in their primes. But going by what I saw I think Nonito would have clipped him. The Nonito that unified vs Fernando Montiel , sheesh. It’s hard to say because Inoue is truly a monster and when a past their prime legend gives you a tussle, it’s normal to think he beats you in his prime. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes the mind is better as an older fighter than it was as a younger fighter. Another tough one..
I like Pac over De La Hoya. I just think Oscar struggles too much with southpaws.
Louis over Marciano but he would have to earn it.
I always thought Tyson was a bad match up for Holmes. Holmes extended his arms for defense and he could be hit with right hands. Snipes, Shavers and Wittherspoon all cracked him big with looping right hands. Tyson kod him with a looping right hand. I don’t think Holmes was as shot as everyone says in 1988 when they fought because he beat Ray Mercer in 1991. I like Tyson in this one.
I like Jones over Calzaghe on his best night. As good as Calzaghe was I think he over punches and that would cause the ultra sharp Jones to counter him with something. Prime Jones wouldn’t discourage like the older Jones did from Calzaghe’s volume and prime Jones would have dug that nasty left hook to Calzaghe’s body.
Was smoking hot man.. the Gatti answer!!
I didn't know the half of it
Cheers mate ????????
Bread’s Response: I’ve always stood up for the “picked on”. It’s common for boxing fans to say some things that they never research. Gatti doesn’t belong in the HOF is one of them. I don’t like getting into who doesn’t belong in the HOF. Because whoever that fighter is, it becomes a killjoy for him and his family to hear that. But there are way less qualified fighters than Gatti who are in and no one utters a word.
Gatti was a 2 division champion for over the course of 10 years and in between that he gave us heart attack after attack and he ascended to a top 10, P4P guy. No one remembers that. They act like his career was Micky Ward, then Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather. If that was the case I would understand people saying he doesn’t belong in. But Floyd was the end of his run, Oscar and Ward were the middle. He did so much more before and in between those fights.
Of course they are better fighters who aren’t in. But that will always be the case. Of course fighters like Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn should be in. They are both better than Gatti and accomplished more. But that doesn’t mean Gatti shouldn’t be in. That’s an indictment on the voters who overlook Eubank and Benn. That doesn’t discredit Gatti. People don’t get that.
For some reason Gatti keeps getting singled out. But I watched his first title fight all the way up to his last. And he was amazing. No action fighter has that type of longevity. Usually they have short runs then they get used up. Gatti broke the mold. His qualities were so unique he deserves to be a HOF. And I’m glad he’s in.
Got this month’s issue of Ring magazine. Inside is an interesting article on Mythical Match-Ups by Ron Lipton. The matchup: Rocky Graziano vs Hurricane Carter. He does a great job setting the scene and painting a vivid mental image. He had Graziano winning by 2nd Round KO. Given your in-depth knowledge of boxing history, I wanted to see what you thought of this matchup. On a side note, if this becomes an ongoing series, I believe it’s only a matter of time before they come to you with a matchup in mind.
On the subject, I had a mythical matchup in the back of my mind for you. Like the one in the article, it’s a clash between two middleweights: Harry Greb vs Jake LaMotta. Given this is a fight between two ATGs not known for one-punch power so much as aggressive, grinding styles, I see this one as a barn burner to say the least. At the moment I lean toward Greb, but LaMotta had a resilience that made it impossible for you to count him out. What do you think on this fight?
Bread’s Response: I haven’t got my copy of RING yet this month. I can’t wait. I think Graziano vs Carter is a great match up. It would almost certainly end in a ko.
I never thought about this match up before so as I type I will ponder. The one thing people don’t realize about Carter is he only fought for 5 years. His record was up and down but the movie sort of makes it seem like the arrest cut his prime short. He was already sliding by the time he was framed.
However, Carter had some big wins and he beat fighters who I think were better than Graziano and would have beaten Graziano. Emile Griffith, Jimmy Ellis and George Benton. He also gave Joey Giardello a very tough fight and Giardello was better than Graziano. I know the triangle theory doesn’t always work in boxing but in a hypothetical match up it has to be applied.
I think Graziano was a terrific action fighter and he has some solid wins culminating with his big win over Tony Zale. But if he had fought Carter’s schedule his record would be similar to Carter’s. Graziano had better matchmaking by a mile.
Graziano was a vicious puncher but so was Carter and Carter looked a little bigger. Carter was only stopped once due to a cut, where as Marciano was stopped 3x by big punchers in Tony Zale 2x and Sugar Ray Robinson. All of those kos came before the 6th round. Off the top of my head if I would pick someone to get stopped it would more likely be Graziano who was stopped more often than Carter who showed a better chin vs top opposition.
All in all I think it would have been a violent shootout. They missed each other by more than a decade. I wish they were born around the same time…
I know how great Harry Greb was but I don’t know how good he is. Here is the thing and I don’t care what anyone says. You can rank a fighter all time by his accomplishments if there is NO footage especially if we have seen some of his opponents fight. In Greb’s case we saw Gene Tunney was an ATG fighter and Greb beat him while being undersized. So I have no issue with anyone who rates Greb as the greatest fighter ever. Or top 10 which he usually hovers in that area. His resume is remarkable.
The issue I do have is when he’s rated in head to head fights. It’s impossible to observe the nuances of a fighter we have never seen. Sometimes you look at a fighter and you can tell who would give him trouble and who wouldn’t. For example Ken Norton troubles Ali but Ali is by far the greater fighter. I can’t tell what troubles Greb because I can’t see him fight.
It’s impossible to do a head to head match up with a fighter we can’t see. So while Greb is the greater fighter over Lamotta I have no idea who would win.
Has either Wilder or Fury done enough for hall of fame consideration? After overcoming his personal demons, Fury is becoming a legend and like it or not Wilder had a streak so impressive that many started to consider him the hardest puncher in boxing history. Also is it possible that Wilder’s power is not as powerful as advertised? Wilder could probably fight at cruiserweight and Fury is probably the biggest guy he’s fought. After the first fight, I suspected that Fury’s sheer size is what allowed him to survive that brutal 12th round knockdown. Sure, Wilder can probably knockout and knockdown 99% of guys but I wonder if Wilder’s power is limited by size in the same manner guys at lower weights struggle to carry their power up to higher weight classes. I think once Fury figured out that he could survive Wilder’s best shot he had no fear attacking Wilder heads on. It reminded me a little of Canelo’s rematch with GGG although that fight was competitive. I also think Fury determined that trying to be elusive for 12 rounds wouldn’t work because Wilder will find a way to land his money shot.
Bread’s Response: I think Wilder and Fury both are one or two big wins away from the HOF. Wilder has a larger body of work but Fury has bigger wins and looks as of now to be the better fighter. But a lot can change. It’s the reason why fighters shouldn’t be rated until they are DONE.
Consider this, if Wilder beats Fury in the trilogy then beats Anthony Joshua, he’s in. He would be a two time champion. A lineal champion and he would have 3 wins over the best 3 heavyweights of his era in Ortiz, Joshua and Fury. You see how things can change in a swoop.
If Fury beats Wilder again and goes on to beat Joshua. He would be a dominant undefeated heavyweight who beat the two best heavyweights of his era and the best one of the last era in Wlad Klitshchko.
But as they say there is a lot of room between the cup and lip. Let’s see who can do it.
I knew someone was going to ask me about Wilder’s power. Now a lot of experts will have to take some of things back that they said. As a fighter ages and other fighters take their punches their ko% goes down. Knocking a man out is not always about how hard you punch. Often times the opponents are scared because of the reputation. Often times other things contribute to those kos.
I have always maintained that Wilder’s first step and shock value was a big reason for his kos. I also said openly that George Foreman and Joe Louis are better punchers. Wilder needs a launch area for his right hand. They don’t. Wilder needs to build up force and momentum to get max power. They don’t. I think Wilder’s 1st step and speed are the biggest reasons he scores his kos.
I suspect that other fighters will now find a way to take Wilder’s punches. It doesn’t mean he can’t still hit hard. It just means that time reveals everything. Wilder can still knock the lights out with one shot. The important thing is he needs to retain his speed. I think he’s faster between 210-20 than he is in the 230s.
For the record while punching power is important, the way it’s phrased is overrated. When I hear someone say that Fighter A has the advantage because of his power I always say to myself who has the better chin. When two men fight it’s not the same as hitting a machine that gauges pressure. The puncher in the fight is the one who takes the other one’s punches better. It’s common sense.
1. Which is your favourite episode of HBOs legendary nights?
2. If you were given the responsibility of shooting new episodes for a modern version of legendary nights, which fights would you choose?
Bread’s Response: Great Question. I loved them all but I would say Leonard vs Hearns or Pryor vs Arguello.
If I had to shoot a new episode….I thought there were a few fights that were left off. Hopkins vs Trinidad in light of 911, Hopkin’s pursuit of the middleweight title defense record and Trinidad looking to be an all time great.
Jones vs Ruiz in light of Jones going after the heavyweight title.
Trinidad vs Vargas. Two undefeated in their prime killers. One of Puerto Rican decent. The other of Mexican decent and it produces a great fight.
Barrera vs Hamed.
Cotto vs Margarito.
Barrera vs Morales.
Pacquiao vs Oscar.
Pacquiao vs Marquez.
Those nights stand out to me as Super Events that produced either a great fight or a star with a serious back drop surrounding it.
For the most part we agree regarding various fighters. Then there are those cases where we disagree.
I stand by my comments regarding Choclatito, Marciano and Errol.
Tyson wasn't the same after incarceration, Leonard wasn't the same after detached retina, and I do agree that its premature and non-medical to suppose that Errol won't recapture his form I just don't think he'll be the same.
HBO should've retained Floyd Mayweather's services. He helped Showtime leapfrog HBO with his 6 fight deal.
Bread’s Response: It’s very important in my opinion to be specific and detailed in a disagreement. You made the comment that Roman Gonzlaez was an HBO creation and he didn’t do much before he got on HBO. I replied that he was already a HOF by 2015. He was already a 3 division champion. He was already over 40-0. He did more before HBO than he did while on there. You come back with nothing detailed or specific. I have plenty of time because of this Corona Virus. I’m ready to go brother. Tell me what I said that wasn’t true. Be specific and detailed about what Chocolatito didn’t do before HBO and how they created him?
You’re trying to make the correlation between Floyd Mayweather leaving HBO and Roman Gonzalez getting on HBO. You make it seem like there was a draft or trade and they chose Choc over Floyd. Floyd Mayweather left HBO after he beat Miguel Cotto and he fought Robert Guerrero on Showtime in 2013. Chco didn’t get an HBO fight until 2015. In boxing often times people repeat BRAOD statements to prove a point but it’s misguiding because it’s inaccurate.
I believe that Floyd Mayweather leaving HBO caused their downfall too but they didn’t choose Choc over him. What they did tried to do was create other stars as any franchise would so they started giving more air time to fighters like GGG, Crawford, Kovalev, Loma, Ward and Choc. You single out Choc for some reason. All Choc did was a get an HBO platform slightly past his prime and had to take killer fights to get his shine. I wouldn’t call that a CREATION of a fighter. I say they realized what a special talent he was and they gave him a shot.
In the case of Rocky Marciano again you’re off base. Joe Louis was shot, we agree 100%. But if you say Ezzard Charles was still capable and only 2 years older than Marciano but you discredit Joe Walcott who had just kod Charles and then beat him in their 4th fight. It makes no sense. Walcott was the CHAMPION of the world when Marciano fought him.
Archie Moore kept bothering and going after Marciano. He wrote letters to the press and he pretty much talked himself into a fight. Moore was one of the 3 or 4 best fighters of the Decade of the 50s. Along with Robinson, Marciano and Ike Williams. Moore was on a considerable win streak going into the Marciano bout, the best of his career. Then he went on another good one after he lost to Marciano. Moore was the light heavyweight champion but he consistently fought non title fights in the high 180s and low 190s. He fought Marciano in 1955 but his most famous bout vs Yvon Durelle where he was knocked down 4x to come back and win by 11th round stoppage was in 1958. In fact he beat Durelle again in a rematch in 1959. Moore kept going back and forth between lightheavy and heavy all the way up until 1963 and he caught a draw with future ligthheavyweight champion Willie Pastrano in 1962.
There is no way Archie Moore was shot in 1955 my man. He may have been older. He may not have been in his exact PEAK. But that’s the same as someone saying Bernard Hopkins was shot in 2005 when Jermaine Taylor beat him. But Hopkins beat Tarver in 2006, Winky Wright in 2007 an Kelly Pavlik in 2008. Did I mention Jean Pascal in 2011. There is no way Hopkins was shot in 2005. Maybe not at his APEX but still a great champion. The same holds true for Archie Moore.
I agree Tyson wasn’t the same after his incarceration. But Tyson was off from 91 to 95. And his high intensity style doesn’t age well for short heavyweights. Leonard’s lay off from 82-87 hurt him more than the detached retina. But I agree again Leonard wasn’t the same when he fought Hagler. That’s why I defend him when people claim Hagler was past it because Leonard was too.
But Errol Spence has not been off that long. I know his accident looked really bad from the video footage but he made it out of it. If you pay attention, the last fighter Spence fought was Shawn Porter. Porter hasn’t fought again either. It’s not like Porter has been on a busy schedule and Spence has not fought. That would be a concern. But neither has fought since they fought each other. I think we need to give Spence time. Even if he comes back and has a tough fight that’s still not enough evidence to say he’s not the same.
I just caught your top 10 heavyweight list and agree with just about everything you said. It's tough to assess because other great fighters, like Riddick Bowe, had a shorter prime but would have been hell for anybody in the top 10. Bowe was my guy as a kid, and the Holyfield trilogy obviously took a lot out of him. On Bowe's best night (first title win over Evander) how do you feel like he would have done head-to-head with prime versions of:
Bread’s Response: Riddick Bowe is one of the more unique cases in history. But I always look at the world differently than most. I think Bowe’s fast prime benefited him in a round about way. Here is why.
Although he won 2 out of 3 vs Holyfield, those fights obviously took more out of Bowe than they did Holyfield. As I watched each fight I noticed something slight. Although Bowe was able to hurt Holyfield, Bowe’s punch resistance went down in each fight progressively. In the first fight he took Holyfield’s outburst pretty good. In the rematch he was wobbled by a few shots. In the trilogy fight he was dropped badly. By the time Bowe fought Golota his punch resistance wasn’t the same and Golota continuously hurt him. Bowe was pretty much past it at 28 although had an excellent record. His performances had dropped off. It’s really hard to figure.
I respect Bowe because after he lost to Holyfield he fought 5 undefeated young heavyweights. Buster Mathis, Jorge Gonzales, Herbie Hide, Larry Donald and Andrew Golota. So he didn’t go soft at all. But Holyfield was the only great fighter we saw him fight.
No Foreman, no Tyson, no Lewis. Those were the greats of the era. No Ruddock, no Mercer, no Moorer, no Morrison. Those were the very goods of the era. I just really wish we had more to judge Bowe on. Projection is one thing but doing it is different.
My point is everyone goes back to one special night he had at 24 years old and that’s where the projection comes from. If Bowe would have stuck around after the Golota fights and fought let’s say a Lewis, Byrd, Ibeabuchi, Tua, Klitshcko etc. I don’t think his standing historically would be so favorable going by what I saw in the Golota fights. And I don’t think history would have forgiven him because he was younger than Holyfield, Lewis and Tyson. He was only 28 when he fought Golota. So actually him sort of retiring in 1996 benefits him because the after prime losses didn’t pile up on him.
Bowe vs Lewis…… I once got into a pretty bad argument with a fighter over Bowe vs Lewis’s amateur fight. I have really grown to respect the great fighter that Lennox Lewis is and I don’t want to discredit his win. He very well may have gone onto win the fight anyway. But I never liked that stoppage. It was just bizarre.
Bowe hurt Lewis in the 1st round. Bowe won round one big. The referee warned Bowe for head butting in round one, in my opinion to kill his momentum. All Bowe did was slip a right hand and he got warned for headhunting. I can’t make this up.
In round 2 Lewis comes out smoking and lands some good shots. The referee gives Bowe and 8 count. Right after the 8 count, Lewis lands a good right hand and the fight is stopped. The announcers were in absolute shock. It’s important to go back to mood and energy of the time.
As history states it Lewis kod2 Bowe. That’s why it’s important to KNOW what happened as it happened. In the 1988 Olympics there was obvious corruption. Roy Jones’s case gets the most notoriety. And again I don’t want to discredit Lewis’s win, he was just fighting and doing well. But I think the referee robbed Lewis and Bowe of a conclusive ending. If you guys want to take a look at it, it’s on youtube. Check it out and write back. That referee was corrupt or incompetent.
In the pros this is a tougher fight for me to call. I think it’s 50/50. I think Lewis is actually stronger and more explosive. He has a more alertness and he’s more twitchy. But Bowe is probably more skilled and he has decided craft advantage on the inside and with punch selection. I think Lewis has a big chance to clip Bowe early although Bowe has never been stopped. But Bowe’s body work and hacking attack could take Lewis late. This is a very tough call. I can’t choose one although Lewis obviously had the better career.
Tyson vs Bowe is another tough one. Bowe could be hit very clean. That scares me vs Tyson. But Bowe has that nasty uppercut and he’s a very tough dude. He also had a motor when he was right. I can see Bowe stopping Tyson late. I could see that more clearly than Tyson stopping Bowe. But this is another tough fight to call because Bowe was hit so clean and I never saw him vs a Tyson level puncher.
Holmes vs Bowe is another tough call. Holmes has that fast snapping jab. But Holmes was very vulnerable for right hands. I think Holmes would have to get on his bicycle to beat Bowe. Tim Witherspoon, Carl Williams and Ken Norton all gave Holmes fits and all have legit cases for beating him. All had good jabs, nice right hands and crafty inside work especially Witherspoon and Norton. Bowe had many of these qualities. Today I say Holmes would win a tight decision but boy this is though.
Three really tough match ups to assess…
Hope all is well, Breadman!!
I’ll come right to it: Have there been fighters you felt sorry for because of the era they fought in? I mean, I know a guy can’t help his birthday, but do you think some guys would be held up higher or remembered more fondly if they could be transplanted to a different era? I always thought Sonny Liston would’ve been more readily embraced if he’d fought in the early to mid-90s as opposed to the 50s and 60s. Or Larry Holmes if he’d fought in the late 60s/ early 70s. But... who are some guys you think would’ve done better or been more loved/ admired in a different time?
In a sport where fans love to debate the outcomes of matches between two fighters from different times, I think the notion of transplanting fighters is a good debate to have. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: There is a saying that the cream of the crop will always rise to the top. Elite fighters will always find a way to be elite. I rarely for sorry for boxers because there is no room. No one cares. I did say rarely because there are times when I think to myself, “what a shame.”
Ok are some fighters that I think of….
Ruben Castillo. Castillo had 4 title shots. Get a load of this. He fought a prime Alexis Arguello, a prime Julio Cesar Chavez and a prime Salvador Sanchez in his title shots. The 4th was against a prime Juan Laporte who with a little luck could be a HOF. That’s almost criminal he had it so tough. People talk about Oba Carr but Castillo had it worst. In another time maybe Castillo squeaks through and wins a title. Not in the 80s at featherweight and junior lightweight.
Speaking of Oba Carr. He got 3 title shots from 94-99. The thing that makes it so unique was each of his title shots came against undefeated champions. Another unique thing was Carr got a shot at each of the popular titles at the time IBF, WBA and WBC. Unfortunately for him Felix Trinidad (IBF), Ike Quartey (WBA) and Oscar de La Hoya (WBC) were the champions. Don’t quote me on this but I’m not sure if any fighter in history has had a crack at all 3 belts vs undefeated fighters from each sanctioning body.
I pick Castillo and Carr because they could really fight. They weren’t just some stay busy contenders.
I also believe Mike McCallum caught a bad break. I don’t believe the 4 Kings ducked him like legend has it. But I do wish McCallum turned pro after the 1976 Olympics instead of the 1980 Olympics. Turning pro in 1981 sort of put McCallum behind the 4 Kings. McCallum didn’t get his big fights until 86 vs Julian Jackson, 87 vs Donald Curry and 92 vs James Toney. Although he fought in their era turning pro earlier would have put him smack dab in the middle of the action. By the time he surfaced all 4 were super stars and had fought each other. Consider McCallum made 475k to fight Donal Curry. The 4 Kings were making heavy 7 figures to fight each other before he turned pro. Example Leonard vs Duran and Hearns.
Julian Jackson and Gerald McClellan are two fighters who were under promoted. There is no way violent middleweights who scored the type of kos they did would not super stars in the social media era. Jackson scored one punch ko after ko. At his peak he was 46-1 with 43 kos. Most of his kos were literally one shot 10 counts. McClellan’s kos weren’t as pretty but he was more violent, a better fighter and he scored just as many. In 31 wins he had 29kos. Most of them in the 1st round.
So with Jackson think of a middleweight Deontay Wilder. One punch and ZIP you’re gone. Literally. And with McClellan think of say a mix of Mike Tyson and Tommy Hearns. He was a vicious early round over whelmer like Tyson, but a taller right hand bomber like Hearns. All 3 of McClellans’s middleweight title defenses were by 1st round ko. I think both should have been millionaires many times over. But Jackson always played behind Tyson and Chavez on DK cards. McClellan sort of the same. Trinidad, Norris and Chavez seemed to be featured more than him. What a shame!
I can go on and on about fighters and their eras. But I will limit it to one more who stands out to me. Rocky Lockridge. Lockridge won a title but he would be a HOF if he fought in any other era besides the one he fought in. Lockridge won 2 titles during his career but he could have been much bigger. He had crazy heavy hands and an iron chins. Lockridge could really fight. Sometimes if you aren’t from the era a fighter like Lockridge gets forgot about. Because he wasn’t the star or stand out and his fortune was just bad. Let’s check out his resume.
He gets his 1st title shot at only 16-0 vs all time great Eusebio Pedraza. He holds him to a SPLIT DECISION. Many thought Lockridge won. The announcers had him up big. And there was some bizarre controversy in the fight concerning Pedraza taking something in between rounds. I can’t remember full details. But again you had to be alive during this time to get what happened and watched the fights. I was a little kid but my memory with boxing is just sick.
Lockridge gets a rematch with Pedraza and loses another razor close one. His 3rd title shot comes against the super talented undefeated Roger Mayweather. He clipped Mayweather in 1 round with 1 punch. Then he has to go on the road a fight an ATG fighter in Wilfredo Gomez in Puerto Rico. Gomez was already a legend going for his 3rd division title. Lockridge was robbed. He won that fight. But Gomez got the majority decision.
Then Lockridge gets a shot at Julio Cesar Chavez. He lost a Majority Decision. Chavez was 52-0. I’m not saying Lockridge was robbed. It was close. But watch the fight if you get a chance.
Lockridge wasn’t done. He won the IBF title a year later with a stoppage over Barry Michael.
Then yet again he has to defend HIS title the challenger’s hometown vs Tony “The Tiger” Lopez. Lockridge dropped him hard but lost another close decision. He got a rematch fought well but lost another decision and his championship days were over.
I’m telling you rocky Lockridge would be catching WRECK today at 126 and 130. I don’t know who I would favor over him at either weight. Maybe Shakur Stevenson but I would have to see if Stevenson could take his punch. Lockridge threw brutal chopping shots.
If Lockridge is around today with say… Al Haymon backing him or Top Rank matching him he wouldn’t have to go through what he went through in the 80s. He still won two titles in the 80s but his schedule was MURDER. The more I write the more I think he has a legit case for the HOF. He lost a SD to Pedraza and 2 MD to Chavez and Gomez. If he’s the A side he has a case for winning all 3 fights. Especially Pedraza 1 and Gomez. He was robbed vs Gomez. Stand up Rocky Lockridge, the Millenial Experts won’t know who you are but us 70s babies know exactly who you are. Cold Killer!
I’m curious for your opinion on two topics, Breadman.
What, in your opinion, are the ten best resumes of the past... say... thirty years?
Also, what do you consider the ten greatest comebacks in boxing history?
Bread’s Response: Resumes since 1990….
When I thought about my list I asked who consistently fought the best available guy and had more tough fights vs prime or close to prime killers. Fights they didn’t have to take where there wasn’t FAVORABLE matchmaking.
Evander Holyfield- Bowe3x, Lewis 2x, Mercer, Moorer, Holmes, Foreman, Tyson 2x, Byrd, Rahman, Toney, Ruiz, Valuev….Holyfield was literally crazy. No one fights that many tough fights. And he still speaks clearly.
Manny Pacquiao- Barrera 2x, Morales3x, Marquez4x, Cotto, Mayweather, Hatton, Margarito, Mosley, Clottey, Bradley 3x, Thurman, De La Hoya. Manny is another crazy fighter who I can’t believe is still around.
Oscar De La Hoya- Mosely2x, Vargas, Trinidad, Quartey, Chavez2x, Whitaker, Hopkins, Pacman, Mayweather, Gonzales, Ruelas, Leija, Carr, Hernandez, Camacho….You guys can say what you want about Oscar. No one in history has ever faced the #1 P4P 5 times except him.
Roy Jones- The middleweights of the early 90s has an argument as the best era ever. At one time the top 10 had 5 HOF. At one time or another Roy Jones beat 5 of the top 10. Hopkins, Toney, McCallum, Thomas Tate and Reggie Johnson. When people attack his resume and claim he never fought anyone I laugh. They have no idea. Then you add his run at lightheavy when he fought Griffin2x, Hill, Sosa, Harding, DeValle,Tarver 3x and Ruiz at heavyweight. I forgot to throw in Calzaghe and Trinidad. Roy Jones fought his ass off and people should stop repeating the BS that he didn’t fight anyone.
James Toney- Is an animal. Speaking of that Middleweight top 10. Toney fought Michael Nunn and Reggie Johnson within 6 weeks of each other. Both southpaw elite level boxers. Toney really didn’t care. McCallum3x, Jones, Prince Charles Williams, Iran Barkely, Griffin 2x, Vasili Jirov, Holyfield, Ruiz, Rahman and Sam Peter2x at heavyweight. That fact that Toney an ex middleweight fought murderous punching Sam Peter twice at heavyweight lets you know what he was.
Miguel Cotto- fought Muhammad Abdulev in a serious fight as a pup. Paulie Malignaggi, Kelson Pinto, Diabolys Hurtado, Ricardo Torres, Chop Chop Corley and Randall Bailey. They say he was chinny but he fought a bunch of punchers. Then he moved up and went after Shane Mosely, Zab Judah, Josh Clottey, Antonio Margarito and Manny Pacquiao. Yuri Foreman was quality at 154. So was Floyd Mayweather and Austin Trout. Then he moved up again and beat Sergio Martinez. And defended vs Canelo Alvarez
Winky Wright- was fighting killers on the road as a very young fighter. Julio Cesar Vasquez and Harry Simon are fights young Americans don’t take. Fernando Vargas was another serious killer fight while Vargas was in his prime. Shane Mosely2x, Felix Trinidad, Bernard Hopkins, Jermaine Taylor, Peter Quillin and Paul Williams. Wright has one of the more underrated resumes I’ve seen.
Montel Griffin- was a 92 Olympian and no one did him any favors. James Toney 2x and Roy Jones 2x within his first 5 years as a pro. Just think about that. He also fought Darius Michalczewski, Eric Harding, Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver. He doesn’t have the BIG names up and down his resume but you talk about tough fights vs serious dudes he’s up there.
Marco Antonio Barrera-Morales3x, Pac2x, Marquez and Hamed are his A listers. Junior Jones2x, Kenedy McKinney, Paulie Ayala, Kevin Kelley, Johnny Tapia and Amir Khan are his other toughies. Man Barrera was rumbling.
Pernell Whitaker- really didn’t care who he fought. Oscar, Tito, Chavez and McGirt2x at 147 is enough for a lifetime. But Azumah Nelson at lightweight and Jose Luis Ramirez. Throw in Julio Cesar Vasquez at junior middleweight a guy who beat Winky Wright. Whitaker fought some super tough fights that he didn’t have to take.
I did this list off the top of my head. So honorable mentions are Bernard Hopkins, Jermaine Taylor, Canelo Alvarez, Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather and Antonio Tarver. Lots of the fighters are interchangeable with Holyfield, Pacquiao and De La Hoya cemented as the top 3.
10 Greatest Comebacks..Another list off the top of my head.
Muhammad Ali- I don’t need to say what he did after his exile.
Ray Leonard- fights the #1 P4P in boxing after a 3 yr layoff, 2 divisions above his prime.
George Foreman- Wins first title in 73 and second title in 94.
Willie Pep- gets stopped by Sandy Saddler after a bad accident and comes back to beat him in one of the biggest wins in history.
Roberto Duran- Quits vs Ray Leonard. Loses to Wilfred Benitez and Kirkland Laing and then gets fed to Davey Moore and undefeated Sensation and he beats him to a pulp. He fights Marvin Hagler and Tommy Hearns back to back. Fights Hagler tough but loses. Then gets kod brutally Tommy Hearns in 1984. Takes about 2 years off. Loses a close fight to Robbie Sims takes some intermediate fights and faces Iran Barkley in 1989. Barkley had just kod Tommy Hearns and Duran beats him in the FOY. Unreal!
Evander Holyfield- gets clipped by Riddick Bowe in their 3rd fight. Looks like crap vs Bobby Czyz. Then beats Mike Tyson as an 8 to 1 dog. Then beats him in a rematch as a 2 to 1 dog and avenges his loss vs Michael Moorer that same year and wins FOY in 1997!
Eder Jofre-loses to Fighting Harada 2x at bantamweight. Takes off 3 years. Wins another title at featherweight and closes his career out on a 25 fight win streak.
Ray Robinson- Loses to Joey Maxim in 1952 takes off until 1955. In the 1950s 34 was old especially with over 100 fights. Robinson loses bad to Ralph “Tiger” Jones early in his comeback. But goes on to win the middleweight title 3 more times vs HOF (Olson, Basilio and Fulmer)over the next 3 years.
Larry Holmes- loses twice to Michael Spinks. Loses badly to Mike Tyson. Comes back and actually beats an undefeated Olympian in Ray Mercer in 1991 and gives Holyfield hell in 1992.
Manny Pacquiao was knocked dead by Juan Marquez in 2012. One of the worst kos ever. He takes off a year and comes back and beats undefeated Tim Bradley and Chris Algieri. Loses to Floyd Mayweather then beats undefeated Jesse Vargas and Bradley again. Loses a controversial decision to Jeff Horn suffers a brutal cut and comes back again to beat Lucas Matthyse, Adrien Broner and undefeated Keith Thurman. There is no way Pacquiao should be relevant in 2020 after what happened to him in 2012.
Fairly horrible, isn't it, self isolating & wondering when your loved ones will develop fever & a dry cough!
Anyway, I was sad to hear Roger had passed & thought I'd be interested in your thoughts.
I remember Roger as a scary puncher, especially at 130ib. It is odd that I always recall him being one of those elongated fighters, but apparently he was only 5'7 1/2 which is quite tall but not unusual tall for 130. He maybe made it seem more by 'fighting long'. He had a spearing left & his right was money! He also threw surprisingly good body shots.
Roger had 72 fights, which is a lot by modern standards, & the quality of opposition was exceptional. Apart from 2 ATGs, Chavez & Whittaker, he lost to Tszyu, who must be close to an ATG, & so many top men, including Pazienza, Serrano, Arredondo, Lockridge, Brazier, Pendleton... it is astonishing how few easy fights he had!
Like his nemesis, Chavez, Roger seemed to do better at 130 or 140 than at the 'Blue Riband' weight of 135. Despite having no height or reach advantages he was a force at 140ib where he seemed far more robust than when he was killing himself to cut to 130 & he was still able to dominate on the outside. Testament to the speed & accuracy of his jab & his timing in throwing it.
Anyway, your thoughts Bread?
Bread’s Response: This Corona Pandemic is something no one in our lifetime has ever experienced. I don’t know what to make of it. But I hope our lives can get back to normal.
I have a saying that the boxing ring is a TRUTH machine. Everything you do and are in your life will be told in the boxing ring one way or another. One of my pet peeves in boxing is dismissiveness. I think that applies to the Corona Virus. We have too many resources in this world to not have known how serious the VIRUS was. The United States should have gotten out in front of this several months before we started. But because of dismissiveness and a complacent LAST MINUTE approach are lives are turned upside down.
2020 has been a tough year for sure. Roger Mayweather passing is a major loss to the boxing world. I thought Roger was one of those terrific era fighters. Not exactly a HOF but he could beat HOF or give them hell on his best day. He happened to just fight in a MURDER ERA. The 80s were rough.
Roger was fine at all 3 weights. He just ran into Whitaker in a non title fight at 135. Sometimes it’s just who you fight. He fought Chavez at 130 and 140. Chavez was a monster at 135 and turned in his career best performance at the weight. 130 and 140 were just where Roger could win titles at. Sometimes that’s just how the stars line up.
Roger Mayweather reminds me of the basketball player Patrick Beverly. He may not be the best but he doesn’t care who he fights. He’s really an animal in that way.
As a fighter today Amir Iman reminds me of Mayweather. But Roger was a meaner nastier human being. Butt he way they line up their right hands and their body positioning is similar.
I’m glad you brought up his height. Roger Mayweather looked to be about 5’11 which is tall for a lightweight. But he wasn’t. He’s about the same height as his nephew Floyd Mayweather 5’8 ish. But because of how he was built and how he set up he appeared much taller. He sort of posted up and didn’t move his feet much. His torso was short. He wore his trunks high. He had long arms and long legs with a short torso and it made him look really tall. Great pick up. I always thought he was taller too until I really looked at him. It’s weird how a fighter’s build can make him look taller. Danny Garcia is a fighter that people don’t realize how tall he is. He’s built the opposite of Mayweather. Danny has a long torso, proportioned arms and legs but he stands over 5’8. If you ask someone who’s taller Roger Mayweather or Danny Garcia they would pick Mayweather everytime but he isn’t.
Roger Mayweather deserves to be in the HOF for his contributions to boxing. He may not be a HOF fighter just by itself. But because of his personality and training he deserves a SPOT in the HOF. 100%! I don’t care if it’s as a trainer or any other categories they have. His pad work spawned an era of training for a whole generation. His sayings became legendary. And he was a historian. I hope he’s on the next ballot it would be a great honor to his children and the Mayweather family for him to be inducted.
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