The Daily Bread Mailbag Returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Ryan Garcia's recent big win over Luke Campbell, Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford, Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Teofimo Lopez, the career of James Kirkland, Josh Taylor vs. Regis Prograis, and much more.
I know you hear this probably a lot but I love your mailbag and so does my family. My 68-year old mother will sometimes beat me to the punch on sending your weekly mailbag to me and try to get me to email you questions. Thank you for all you do for the fans.I have some thoughts and some questions. First, I was a bit of a doubter on Ryan Garcia. I know the intangibles and skills he has but once I saw him get rocked by Carlos Morales, I questioned him.
But while he has flaws (flat feet, lack of head movement sometimes), Eddy Reynoso clearly has found something in him. The speed, power and the ability to pick someone off in the middle of shots is insanely impressive. I rate Luke Campbell as a solid opponent and to get him out of a clinch like that, to me, is great. How would you rate KingRy's performance? Two, I really do love how Garcia has been consistently calling out Tank. I am a huge believer in Gervonta, I think he has all the goods. He has vanquished very credible guys in LSC and Pedraza. But Garcia has made him a focal point in every call out ,how do you see that fight going? Lastly, I do want to hear your thoughts on how these fights go. I know the decisions might be obvious sometimes but in terms of action, what do you think?
GGG-Mugabi, Vitali Klitschko - 1st run - Foreman-Frazier, Usyk-Dwight Muhammad Qawi-Breidis, Josh Taylor-Aaron Pryor, Moorer - Usyk
Hope you are doing well,
Bread’s Response: Tell MOM, I said hello.
I picked Garcia to win so I am not surprised. But I am impressed. I give Garcia a B+. His punch selection was very good. But it always is. He was fast and sharp but he always is. I’m not going to go crazy with praise. Fighting back and overcoming resistance is common among elite fighters. But I will give Garcia his props for it. Garcia showed more than heart. He showed COMPOSURE. Lots of fighters have guts and heart. But the best of the best have composure to go with it. Every fighter has been hurt. But not every fighter can overcome it.
Campbell was landing some nice left hands underneath. A nice counter jab. And a nice looping left hand. Garcia didn’t really take any of it away. So he’s not an elite boxer yet. But Garcia is elite offensively. When Campbell resisted, Garcia got meaner and nastier. He fought to his strengths. He opened up on Campbell. He tried different shots until he got something through. He kept throwing heat. It worked for him. I like his moxy. I like his attitude. I like his killer instincts. But again I’m not going to go crazy. It’s one fight.In my opinion there is a talent gap between Campbell and Garcia. Reflexes, handspeed, trigger pull, power….Campbell doesn’t have anything to overcome the talent the gap. Fighters can feel these things. Next we have to see if Garcia is this same type of DOG, when the talent is even. I’m not nitpicking but there is a difference. Overall I think this was excellent experience for Garcia. He fought a quality southpaw, who has solid foundation and ability. That was a significant developmental fight. Now his team can decide if that was enough to challenge for a title or if he needs more development.
Right at this exact moment my GUT FEELING is Tank should be favored 55/45. I think they both can ko one another. But the same things that make Garcia a talented fighter, can be the same thing that hurts him. Garcia has these Cat Eyes where he can see during exchanges. But in order to see he needs his eyes up. It’s how he processes. That’s his strike zone. He keeps his feet planted because he’s a puncher. But he gives up something defensively. No one can take a punch well with their head up in the air. Because the chin is taking the punch by itself and the rest of the body is not helping blunt the force. If you keep your tucked into your shoulders, then your neck, traps and back help you take the punch. With this flaw I think in exchanges, Tank can match Garcia’s hand speed and loop something over the top or underneath that Garcia doesn’t pick up on. But make no mistake this is a real fight for Tank. He may clip Garcia but he is also in danger. Tank is not a defensive wiz either. And he would be giving up about 6 inches in height and reach. Also Garcia is a natural counter puncher and he could force Tank to come to him because of the height and reach factor. So while Garcia’s has flaws that play into Tank’s favor, Tank has flaws that play into Garcia’s favor. Both would be the best fighter that either has faced.
Good Day Mr. Edwards!
I hope you and your loved ones had some great days.First of all I'd like to say that I'm not a native English spokesman and i hope it's understandable for you. This is my first time ever reporting in to your mail bag and i really appreciate your great boxing insights; always a pleasure to read! Now to my question(s) / insights I'd like to get from you:In some of your past mailbags you already elaborated on George Foreman's general (brute) strength and boxing style.
I'm wondering why nowadays no other boxer ain't using that kind of style. Is it just because that kind of old school style was / is tailormade (almost exclusively) for him because of his raw and brute strength? He always used some subtile movements (so it seems for me) such as positioning his opponents by touching and pushing them to his desired place just to punch THROUGH them with deadly body shots etc.Is it because he had a granite chin as he was always walking his opponents down while using the cross-guard to block and catch the punches? So back to my initial question: is his boxing style just "outdated" or not efficient enough for modern boxing? Are there any active boxers regardless of weight classes who - for you - resemble him? It just boggles my mind, hah!Thanks in advance and have a great rest of your day!
Greetings from Germany,
Bread’s Response: Thank you. Foreman was more than a brute. He had excellent hand control. He parried with both hands and he used his hands to not only redirect punches but he used to control his opponents by pushing them and moving their gloves around. If you look at the great Sandy Saddler and Joe Louis, you will see that Foreman had their games incorporated in his. I think there are a few reasons why more fighters don’t use this style. For one the gloves are made different. In Foreman’s era, the thumbs weren’t attached and the gloves were more manageable. A fighter could make not only a better fist but he could actually grab objects with his gloves on. I also believe that fighters parried more with the front hand in those eras. Fighters catch more shots these days with the back of the gloves and they counter. The jab is really the only punch that is parried. But Foreman parried with both hands. Last but not least there is only one George Foreman. He’s one of a kind. He was a brute, with enormous physical strength but he had old school fundamentals which allowed him to literally destroy HOF fighters because they couldn’t get shots through his defense.
I am loving these kids at 135 lbs. Love all 4 of them - Haney, Garcia, Tank and Lopez. I noticed that Haney and Garcia are good friends. Even Tank and Garcia seem to like each other. They all have an attitude towards the sport that Crawford and Spence lack. They have a genuine desire to fight each other and I bet they are gonna make their promoters come to the table at the very least. Tank and Garcia might take some time because both are hugely starlicious and both DAZN and Showtime / Fox will want that fight. I just hope that this attitude continues.
At the end, I know that exclusive contracts with networks makes it harder to make some fights but I see at least a genuine effort on the part of these kids that I do not see in Spence and Crawford. Of course, athletes should make as much money as possible but their has to be some love for the sport as well and that is what I do not see in Spence and Crawford. Somewhere along the way, they became more businessmen than boxers. We are starting to see that a little with Lopez. Things will get even more interesting when Stevenson joins the mix.If it was up to you, would you make them fight now or wait for them to peak in another 18 to24 months?
Bread’s Response: I still have hope that Crawford vs Spence will happen. I believe both are GUNS and they will find a way.
Once a fighter becomes world champion, I believe he should be available to all contenders and adaptable to all styles. In this era 95% have become businessmen but it’s not all on the fighters. The Pay CUT and CRITICISM some take for losing a tough fight makes it not worth it to them. The criticism they should be able to handle. But the PAY CUTS are absurd. So the fighter’s self preservation kicks in and they go the businessman route.
I don’t want to get into what I would do. That’s not fair to the people who it is up to. If those kids want to fight, let them fight. All of them have been pro for at least 4 years. I have always been of the opinion that elite fighters can fight anyone after 4 or 5 years as a pro. From 147-160 you make have to move slightly slower because of the Bell Curve Theory but overall elite fighters can fight. If you go by Olympic years the elite guys are ready by time the next team turns pro. Just look at history. Ali turned pro in 1960. By 1964 he was ready and Joe Frazier was winning the gold Medal. By 1968 Joe Frazier was ready and George Foreman was turning pro after winning a Gold Medal.
In 1980 Ray Leonard was already the face of boxing after being in the 1976 Olympics. Leon Spinks had already won and lost a title. Michael Spinks moved slightly slower but only because of a knee injury he didn’t fight for a title until 1981 but his division was stacked.
In 1980 the best fighter turning pro was Donald Curry. By 1983 he was a champion. In 1984 we had plenty of studs turning pro. All of them Meldrick Taylor, Pernell Whitaker, Evander Holyfield, Virgil Hill, Steve McCrory, Tyrell Biggs, Frank Tate fought for titles by the time the next Olympic class graduated. The next Class was 1988. And again Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis, Michael Carbajal and Roy Jones were all ready by the next class what featured De La Hoya. Jones didn’t fight for a title until 1993 but again he was a middleweight which historically moves maybe a year slower.
In 1992 Oscar De La Hoya was the cream of the class and he was fighting for titles within 2 years as a pro. He was in the smaller weight classes but he was still ready. 1996 Floyd Mayweather and Fernando Vargas were the guys. They were both fighting for titles by 1998. Wladimir Klitschko and Antonio Tarver were moved slightly slower. Tarver was ready he just couldn’t get the fights. Wlad had development issues and he was kod early in his career.
In 2000 the best fighters from America were Jermaine Taylor and Jeff Lacy. Both won titles within 4 and 5 years and Taylor had to fight an ATG to win his. In 2004 Andre Ward was the GUY. He had an injury that slowed him down a little. But by 2009 he was in the Super 6 tournament and he was the underdog but he ran the table and fought a HOF level fighter in Mikkel Kessler for his title. Ward was at the middleweights so he took 5 years. In 2008 Gary Russell, Demetrius Andrade and Deontay Wilder were the American stars. Russell didn’t embarrass himself vs Loma when he stepped up. Andrade won his title in 2013 which is 5 years. Wilder took longer to develop. Even the stand out amateurs Shawn Porter, Danny Garcia and Terence Crawford. All were champions by their 4th and 5th years as pros.
In 2012 Errol Spence was the best American fighter. He was a champion by 2017 and Spence was ducked. He could have been champion in 2015 or 16 he just didn’t get the fights. Now for the kids who were the standouts from that 2016 era. Jaron Ennis, Teofimo Lopez, Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney …They are ready to fight. Ennis is being moved slightly slower because his weight division is harder overall. But he’s ready also. No one knows for sure if a fighter will win a fight. The fighter has to deliver.
I say this to say that the fights can be made now. Fighters only fight 2x a year at this level. So waiting 18 to 24 months guarantees that ATTRITION will cost us the fights. Someone will lose. Someone will get kod. Someone will move up in weight. If Garcia can pull off a quick turnaround then fine. But 18 to 24 months is too long. We didn’t get Vasyl Lomachenko vs Mikey Garcia. We didn’t get Yuri Gamboa vs Juan Lopez. And for the record this is not all on Ryan Garcia. He’s not a champion. Teofimo Lopez already stepped up and it looks like he’s going to take a defense in Australia. It’s nothing wrong with that. But Davis and Haney can keep it going. If they let Garcia be the needle mover, then he’s going to LEVERAGE that power. I say if they want to fight, let them fight.
Blessings on the New Year and all the best! A question and a request for a few loyal readers! We ALL agreed with your breakdown of Loma-Lopez watching the fight live! We all walked away thinking Lopez won clearly and tho the scorecards were wide, Whatever, the right guy won! But "rewatching the fight" 6 for 6 of us have a different view of the fight and see a much better performance from Loma than our eyes and brains registered fight night! so Would you consider rewatching the fight no audio and breaking down the fight again and settle the debate and controversy between your readers on the outcome of this fight? Did it change your view of the fight?
Bread’s Response: I don’t like to do this but I will this last time. So here is what I got. I never thought Loma fought bad. I just think he misgauged when to step on it and I believe Lopez’s speed and power made him a little too hesitant. Rd 1 Lopez. His sharp body shots won the round. Rd 2 Loma, he had 2 nice sequences of counter left hands. One right at the end of the round that sealed it. Rd 3 Lopez landed some nice counter body shots that won the round. Rd4 Lopez controlled the round. Nothing big landed but Lopez was making the fight. Rd5 Lopez landed some good looping right hands. Still in control which is RING GENERALSHIP. Rd 6 Lopez, Loma started to find a rhythm with a nice counter jab, but Lopez was still getting his work in and then finished the round with 2 nice right hands. This could have been a SWING round if you wanted Loma to win but objectively I gave it to Lopez. Rd 7 Lopez I made a mistake thinking Loma won this round. But he didn’t. Lopez controlled the round and Loma’s momentum from Rd 6 didn’t carry over. He didn’t do enough in the 7th. Rd 8 Loma found it in this round. There was also a headbutt that shoot Lopez up. Lopez closed strong but this was Loma’s round. Rd 9 Loma landed his best shots of the fight. He won this round big. Rd 10 Loma hurt Lopez with a 1-2. Loma started to roll. Rd 11, Loma won the 11th also. But Lopez closed well and I think Loma shot his load a little bit.
Rd 12 Lopez started out rolling in the 12th. He crushed it and closed the show. Loma just couldn’t keep up. My final scorecard was 115-113 Lopez. 7 rounds for Lopez. Rounds 1,3,4,5,6,7 and 12. 5 rounds for Loma 2,8,9,10 and 11. As a big Loma supporter when I watched this fight I didn’t think Loma won. I thought his best case was a draw. I still feel this way. But my 115-113 is fair for Lopez. I respect my opinion of a fight more than anyone else’s for obvious reasons. I didn’t go out of my way to favor either guy. I just scored 12 rounds individually applying Defense, Ring Generalship, Effective Aggression and Clean Punching. And the obvious Common Sense factor. Who would I rather be in each individual round with no carry over effect?I would have rather been Lopez in 7 rounds and Loma in 5.
It was great to get some exciting fights recently and I have observed a trend that you picked up on. Luke Campbell, like Kell brook, did not look at all comfortable taking shots. They have a awful poker face but you can almost see distress signals when their opponents lined up shots. I don't imagine it to be fear but it must give an opponent more confidence when they see this. This trait is also held by Anthony Joshua who also looks distressed taking shots. I imagine all three are due to either being knocked out or hurt in recent fights but what can a coach do to improve this?Hindsight is a frustrating thing in boxing but seeing fighters look unwilling to look for the k.o after a knockdown baffling. This obviously cost Anthony Joshua when he got knocked out after trying to finish Ruiz but for average fans its difficult to comprehend. I was shouting at my screen for Campbell to jump on him but his body language was so negative. I felt similar when Callum Johnson put down Beterbiev briefly. As a fighter I imagine this must eat away at them post fight.I feel like for Campbell and brook this may now be part of their characteristics moving forward.
Kind regards and thanks for you time as always.
Bread’s Response: This is a good question. The hardest thing to do as a fighter is training for being “hurt”. The reason why is because when you train on what to do when you’re hurt, you’re not ACTUALLY HURT. You can talk about it. You can actually practice it. But you aren’t actually hurt when you practice it. It’s not like the trainer punches the fighter in the face, then goes over what to do when hurt. You can remind a fighter on what to do. You can talk about it. But the fighter has to retain the information when he’s actually hurt. Some can hide it better than others. Some have more composure in these moments. You can improve on this but just like anything else, you have to remain AWARE of it in times of crisis. Often times fighters forget and they display their natural emotions in these circumstances. It’s why everyone can’t be great. If everyone responded the same way to being hurt then what. Ali, Marquez, Holyfield are unique.
Luke Campbell didn’t go for the ko because he didn’t see it. Finishing a fighter is an instinctual thing. Some fighters have better finishing instincts than others. Did you see how Garcia attacked him after he buzzed him with a hook? Garcia has more killer instinct. Also you have to realize that Garcia can really punch. And Campbell was not willing to go for it and get clipped himself. A lot goes through a fighter’s mind when he has an opponent hurt. Some wonder “how” hurt the opponent is. Some “worry” about shooting their load. I think Garcia was hurt but not helpless. Campbell knew that and didn’t take the chance. Let’s Give him a break. I honestly think he did the best he could. He’s a good solid fighter. But he’s not special. There was a reason why he was a 4 to 1 underdog. If he was a killer with elite finishing ability, he would have been a world champion by now considering he was a Gold Medalist and he’s 33.
I think Golden Boy knew exactly what he was because of the Linares fight. Another Golden Boy fighter. I love Campbell’s coach Shane McGuigan. I think he did a great job with Carl Frampton. Looking back and doing it again I can see McGuigan telling Campbell to feint Garcia a little to see where his reflexes were after dropping him. But hindsight is always 20/20. For the most part the GREATS get it right on the night they have to get it right. They are at their best when their best is needed. Campbell gave it all he had. I watched that fight closely. He fought a good fight. He was in good shape. And his defense was on Garcia’s attack. Garcia was just better and he’s more talented. It’s a lot to overcome.
I love your mailbag. I know those may be not the hottest topics, anyway:
1) I lost track of Kirkland in the last few years, I saw in boxrec he fought only 3 times since Canelo, although he fought those 3 times in 2019, and the last bout few week ago. I assume is obviously waaay past his prime, at 36, with that kind of inactivity. Said that, I was impressed by his last opponent, Montiel. Maybe he caught Kirkland cold early, in the first round, anyway I saw a competent boxer, responsible and calm going backwards under Kirkland attacks, before the first KD. Great at gauging the distance going backwards and forward; on the attack, after the first knockdown I he boxed his way in, in a very calculated manner, switching between containing Kirkland attacks, and pressing forward and cutting the ring off. I liked also his punch selection when he went to finish the job. In defense his arms seems a little bit wide and low, but when a punch arrived, they were placed in the correct spot, to catch it. What are your thoughts on Montiel, if you watched the bout? I know it was only 2 minutes... but it was a good display of skills, in my opinion.
2) I just rewatched Taylor vs Prograis, I went back to read your thoughts after the bout; this is what I saw (I like Prograis a lot): Prograis was very confident in himself, and prideful, you can see it by his body posture in the rounds and also walking back to his corner. I think he had too much of it, it can made you a little bit complacent, which is risky in a bout so close.To me Taylor won the contest in short range fight: he usually made contact with Prograis body with his shoulder or his arms, then pushed Prograis away with a shoulder bump or with the arms and hitting him right after this. This tactics went on and on and on at least for half or 3/4 of the fight. Regis didn't expect the shots after the push, so most of the time he was hit by the shot. In my opinion he didn't have the correct body position AND feet position to be able to stand his ground with Taylor. In close range/clinch range his feet looked out of position most of the time, and after the push sometimes he was out of balance.To be fair, I think even with correct body and feet position he doesn't have the strength to oppose to the naturally bigger Taylor, but for sure it helps to be more composed. Regis was able to have more success in later rounds, when he boxed from the outside and in midrange, he was smooth and efficient. What your thoughts about this?
3) If I remember well, in the past you told you have a DVD collection about Duran fights in his prime: what are your suggestion for purchase, to have a good collection, for all time greats fighters in their prime (or even not in their prime, if it worths) for a fan, or to study fights from the past, without recurring to youtube (youtube quality for fights from many years ago are not always good)? Let's say for fights before the '80...I hear also times to times there are footage of a prime Ray Robinson: are they available to purchase? (I don't know if you are allowed to suggest a website or something, but I see there is a big 13 DVD collection available for Ray Robinson...
Keep up the great work! V.
Bread’s Response: Montiel looked good. He was loose, composed and powerful. But Kirkland is shot and he comes to fight in a way, where sharp and composed fighters will look like that against him. It’s so odd. I know Kirkland did damage to his own career. But he never got one title shot. How strange is that? The Canelo fight was a catchweight fight. And for the record I’m not blaming anyone. I just find that strange a marquee name like Kirkland never got a title shot.
I thought Taylor vs Prograis was an excellent fight. I think both showed they are elite level fighters. Like top 25 P4P in the world. I think your assessment is spot on. Prograis was putting in work but at times he looked a little complacent. Where as Taylor looked like he was being effective. I’m not suggesting he wasn’t, but his energy and posture gave a more positive impression. I also believe that Taylor is more of a fundamental fighter where as Prograis is more of a improvisational fighter. Prograis is a freestyle rapper. Taylor writes his stuff down but it’s sharp. Sometimes the natural wins. Sometimes the worker wins. In this case Taylor the worker won. There is some footage of Robinson at welterweight. I don’t know if it’s for sale but I have actually seen it. I believe his opponent’s name is Riccio and/or Flores. Robinson looked like a killer. There is also some footage of him at 29 vs a fighter named Jean Stock that he literally looked like he almost killed with a left hook.
If I’m buying collections, I would buy Salvador Sanchez’s title run. Alexis Arguello’s title run (126-135) up until Aaron Pryor. Ricardo Lopez’s title run. Eder Jofre’s title run. Pernell Whitaker’s lightweight, junior welterweight and his welterweight run up until the McGirt rematch. I mention these guys because they can be replicated because of their fundamentals. If you buy guys like Roy Jones, Ray Leonard and Ali. They do great technical things also but it’s harder to copy because they are freak athletes.
What up Bread,
Getting right to it. You called it with Ryan Garcia having "cat eyes". I watched the Slow Motion video of that left hook to the head that knocked Campbell to the ropes and even tho Campbell was throwing a left he never took his eyes off target and clipped him. Same with that body shot. I think whenever he fights Tank that will work in his favor. When Tank throws that killer left uppercut he drops his right hand. If RG can slip/parry that punch and throw that quick left hook could be dangerous for Tank... Pivoting to the knockdown of RG in Rd2... Do you watch Shawn Porter's podcast? It's really good. On the latest episode he touched on fighters recognizing the punch that caught them specifically "What punch? How you got hit? Why you got hit?" and making adjustments right then so it doesn't land again and how RG was making the same mistake that got him caught. Reminded me of when you spoke about Ward vs Kovalev 1 when Andre got caught and how Sergey never landed that same right hand that dropped him. How is this taught if you don't mind me asking? I joined a boxing gym last year and I never came across that lesson and don't see anything online.
Bread’s Response: Yes Garcia has cat eyes. The same thing that makes him must see, can get him clipped. He stands in the eyes of the storm because he knows he’s gifted. He keeps his eye right on the target and he fires, as you fires. It’s a special gift. I’ve noticed this about him for a while. The critics are focusing on what he doesn’t do well, instead of what he does do well. The kid can fight. I think Tank vs Garcia is going to be a HUGE event. I think BOTH have a great chance of koing the other. I really believe that. I also think the fight doesn’t go past 8 rounds. Tank has some technical and built in advantages also. He’s short but that can work for him if he stays in form. Garcia is open over the top and underneath. As Tank is open when he throws his uppercut and if he’s forced to press forward, Garcia can run him into counter shots if he punches out of range. Their gameplans will be very important because these guys are young and full of vigor. They are both going for kos.
I haven’t listened to Porter’s pod cast but Shawn knows the game. Ryan Garcia didn’t make defensive adjustments. That’s why he’s not a great “boxer” yet. But he’s a dog. What he did was said I’m going shoot my bullets at this guy to keep him from shooting his bullets at me. It worked. That’s the difference between great boxers and great fighters. Garcia is a BOXER/FIGHTER at this point in his career.
Andre Ward never got hit with that right hand again. He tried to throw his right hand with Kovalev and Kovalev’s got their first. So Ward didn’t trade right hands with him again. He stayed mindful of the right hand. Thinking of the shot alone will allow you to contort your body to avoid it. Ward has an ELITE boxing MIND. Not just technical ability but IQ. It’s a difference. Ward has a great HOF in Virgil Hunter. I know for a fact Hunter has taught Ward to identify punches and to track positioning and hands. But Ward is also special. Hunter may tell another fighter that same thing and they don’t interpret like Ward does. So it’s teaching, and it’s instructions. But you have to have the right recipient. The right fighter. Hunter had Amir Khan. You could see for 4 rounds Canelo was setting Khan up for a right hand to the body. He kept showing Khan the shot, just so he could clip him over the top. Khan was faster than Canelo but he wasn’t as quick. Khan lost track of what was happening. He didn’t have the AWARENESS that Andre Ward has displayed. And he got hit with a KILL shot. Andre Ward would not be hit that shot in 1 million tries. But Khan was set up for it rather easily. Same teacher, different student.Ward remained aware of Kovalev’s right hand. He never traded right hands again. And he knew when to throw his own right hand in accordance to Kovalev’s. If you remember he stopped Kovalev with the right hand in the rematch. But they weren’t trading. It was a step in 1-2. IQ can be taught but it helps if you have a very smart fighter.
Does it ever bother you to hear fans talk about when a given fighter has an OFF night? I mean, sure, there are fighters who do indeed have OFF nights… but few seem to mention if/when their opponent is really ON on that same night. For example, I hear a lot of folks talk about what Naseem Hamed did WRONG… and very few who mention what Marco Antonio Barrera did RIGHT. I feel like I’m seeing that again with Lomachenko vs Lopez. Not everyone, but a lot of folks are focusing more on what Loma got wrong as opposed to what Lopez did right. Did Loma make some mistakes? Sure, but Lopez came prepared with a great gameplan and (in my opinion) provided a more accurate blueprint for fighting Loma than Salido did.With all this said, I don’t think this is always the case… I don’t hear folks talking about what Cleveland Williams did WRONG, they focus more on what Ali did RIGHT. Same goes for Salvador Sanchez vs Wilfredo Gomez or Bernard Hopkins vs Felix Trinidad…So, what are your thoughts? Does this emphasis on OFF nights bug you? Do you think more emphasis should be put on the opponent having an ON night? Are there other examples I’m missing you can think of?
Bread’s Response: Great Question!There are times when fighter’s have OFF NIGHTS. I have seen them. But here is the kicker. Most off nights are self inflicted. Most times they come from bad weight cuts, lazy camps or distractions. That’s on the fighter who had the OFF NIGHT. You can’t screw yourself up and use the OFF NIGHT excuse. I have a PET PEEVE. When the fighter who was “supposed” to win says that “he was the better man tonight.” Well of course he was if he beat you convincingly. It’s dismissing the loss to an OFF NIGHT but often times the fighter himself caused the OFF NIGHT.
Now, there are times that OFF NIGHT was caused by the opponent being ON. Meaning the fighter that had the OFF NIGHT would have been fine if he fought a lesser opponent. When this happens it’s an even worse excuse to use the OFF NIGHT stuff. You have to give the opponent his props. At times it’s hard to tell if the night was OFF or the opponent was ON. I can usually tell by the first few rounds and the punch selection. When a fighter is really OFF his punch selection is really bad. Punch selection is quickness. It’s if you release your shots on time and do you release the correct shots, the correct way. If you’re OFF you will throw the wrong shots at the wrong time too often. No one will land 100% but it’s something you look for. I try not to give a fighter the OFF NIGHT excuse because as I said most times it’s self inflicted.
If I have intimate knowledge of an illness or weird circumstances I will give it to them. But 99% of the time I don’t. If a fighter is on the level. His baseline performance should be good enough most times. He shouldn’t have to be perfect and in the ZONE to win a fight. Win a 7-5 or 8-4 decision and look good in the next one.
Loma did NOT have an off night vs Lopez. Lopez was just ON. Loma was sharp. He was strong. He was fast. He landed some nice stuff. Look at rounds 2, 8-11. That was not an off night. What happened was Lopez was in the ZONE. He was at his best when his best was needed. He was better than he had ever been before. And Loma who is a patient killer. Waited a little longer to step on it because Lopez simply hits hard, he’s sharp and he’s fast. Both fighters fought well. That was not a case of an OFF NIGHT. There is a winner and a loser in a fight. And every loss is not an OFF NIGHT.
Hopefully the new year ushers bountiful blessings, good health and even more prosperity to you and yours.I’m curious about your take on the boxing Trainer of the Year awards. Guys like Enzo Calzaghe and Anatoly Lomachenko have won it and I’m wondering how Roger Mayweather was snubbed his whole career as the trainer of the #1 P4P boxer and arguably one of the greatest boxers of all time.I know it’s a voting thing but some things are just too obvious. Even Felix Trinidad’s dad won the award with only his son to train. What gives?
Bread’s Response: You know man, you have a point. I’m not saying I can remember a year where Roger Mayweather should have won it because I don’t know off hand every single winner in each assigned year. But he was the head trainer for the #1 P4P fighter for a few years, so therefore it is odd he hasn’t won it at least once.
I have to fact check and see what fights Floyd Sr. was the head trainer. And what fights Roger was the head trainer. If I’m not mistaken Floyd Sr. won a Trainer of the Year and/or Manager of the Year. So he did get his props. I don’t want to give any voters a reason on why they didn’t vote for Roger. But I assume they felt there were more deserving candidates on those particular years.
The one thing I will say is I don’t think it’s who has the best fighter. I think it’s who is doing the best job with the fighter they have. Alton Merckerson Roy Jones’s long time trainer never received the props his contemporaries did either. And better yet. Harry Wiley the trainer of Sugar Ray Robinson is not as revered as many trainers of the same era, with obvious lesser fighters.....
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