The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia, Terence Crawford's accomplishments, Daniel Jacobs vs. Gabe Rosado, Daniel Dubois vs. Joe Joyce, and more.
Just read your MB, 1st class as always whether I agree or disagree...
I thought that Kell Brook spent most of his Crawford camp making weight, he was sure proud of his physique and losing the 30 lbs he had to. The punches that took him down though hard an experienced fighter like Brook should've been able to weather, but those punches took his legs away!
I've seen this with weight drained fighters.
A great, great win for Bud though. Hopefully he can straighten his situation out and do a warmup against Shawn Porter, that'll be a good litmus test for him and if he passes on to Errol Spence.
I'm by no means counting DSG out he looked new and improved against Adrian Granados, and outpowered Redkach in a very competitive fight. Danny looks quicker and busier to me than in the past. He's expanded his arsenal and technique too. That being said unless there's underlying damage to Spence we're in for a good fight where I feel Spence will break Danny down by the middle rounds and punish him until the end or take him out.
I didn't think Lomachenko was #1 P4P because his record was weak with less than 15 fights and he lost to Orlando Salido. I thought Bud was #1 because of his run at 135lbs primarily, Bud's 140lb run was kind of weak as is his 147lb run, but the totality of his record makes him #1. Lomachenko was only #1 because of his style in the ring not who he fought!
Just like I said Roy Jones should've stayed at heavyweight after his John Ruiz victory; I'm now saying Bud Crawford should've signed with PBC or became a free agent after his previous contract expired rather than re-sign with Top Rank who doesn't seem to want to promote him and get him the fights he needs at 147lbs.
I can't knock a HOF promoter who's promoted many of the top fights in the history of the sweet science, but his promotion of Bud Crawford is not up to par!
Crawford is more accomplished than Lomachenko and Tyson Fury!
Bread’s Response: Hey Rob. You’re one of my more intelligent readers. But you fell into a trap of bland criticism. You say Loma had less than 15 fights without putting it into CONTEXT. He has 16 fights to be exact and 15 of them are title fights. Most of the great careers in the history of boxing don’t have 13 title wins with only 2 losses throughout 3 divisions. That record is better than Juan Manuel Marquez’s for example and I just plucked Marquez out of the sky. Context, Context, Context. Criticism with NO context lacks depth.
There was NOTHING weak about Loma’s resume. I love Terence Crawford. I also think he’s the #1 P4P fighter. But his resume was NOT better than Loma’s. Loma’s 5 best scalps of Russell, Walters Rigo, Linares and Jose Pedraz are better than Crawford’s 5 best scalps of Postol, Brook, Benavidez, Diaz and Gamboa. As far as accomplishments Crawford has not done anything Loma that Loma hasn’t. What separates them is NOT their resumes in my opinion. What separates them is that I think Crawford is in his prime and Loma is not. Crawford is operating at a slightly higher level at this moment. But OBJECTIVITY is the key. And yes Crawford has beaten Salido level fighters. Regardless if it was Loma’s 2nd fight or not he chose to fight him. So if we are splitting hairs, Salido does count. But Crawford has NEVER fought a kid as good as Teofimo Lopez. Lopez is a straight killer and he’s 10 years younger than Loma. That would be the equivalent of Crawford fighting Jaron Ennis. That’s a serious challenge to take on. CONTEXT AGAIN.
I don’t know how long it took Brook to make weight. But I do know he gets big in between fights. The scale has cost more fighters their careers in this era than anything. Some may say that Brook was hit with a perfect shot and Brook would have been hurt anyway by it. But you will never know because of the weight issues. Losing too much weight definitely affects punch resistance. Also how much weight you put back on affects it. I have seen fighters not rehydrate enough and it makes them chinny. Their legs just leave them on shots they can normally take. I don’t know what Brook’s deal was, but I thought he was doing excellent in the fight. He just doesn’t fight his way out of trouble well. He looks beyond hurt when he’s hurt, he looks helpless.
I liked Danny’s performance vs Granados. I thought he was little off vs Redkach. If Danny is completely ON, he stops Redkach and Redkach level guys. I look at each fight separately. I expect him to be in PEAK form vs Spence.
So you think Spence will stop Danny. Interesting. I think Danny has one of the best chins of the last decade. I’m interested in seeing if Spence will try to stop Danny. Spence is viewed as a monster and a very hard puncher. And if Danny goes the distance with him then that would be 3 distance fights in his hardest fights vs Porter, M. Garcia and DSG. I love Spence’s grit. I think he’s the type of guy who goes for it. I really like this fight.
I don’t like to second guess what a TEAM does. Crawford and his team took this hard game on and they won. Brian Mcintyre had no other BIG name fighters. He kicked the door in as Crawford’s manager and trainer. I love it. Crawford got a deal for 3.5 million per fight and his last fight was a 4 million dollar payday. That’s big money. People get caught up on the Mike Tyson, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather 40 and 50 million dollar paydays. Most fighters even champions never see 1 million in one night. So I think they did right by Crawford. Out of respect for them I won’t nitpick their decision to stay with Top Rank. They gave the company a chance to deliver them BIG fights. And now that they haven’t I think they will move on. Let’s see how it turns out in the PBC. Let’s remember for years Errol Spence wanted big fights and he didn’t get them. He just recently was able to get guys to fight him.
I think Top Rank did a good job of turning Crawford into a star. He’s just not a Super Star yet. But he gets big views on his fights. He makes big money. He sells out his hometown which shows grass roots promotion. And I get at least 10 emails about him weekly. Someone did something right. Crawford just can’t get the PBC welterweights but I don’t think that’s all Top Rank’s fault. PBC just has the cards and they aren’t giving up one of their elites unless Crawford signs with them. When Top Rank had the cards, they matched Manny Pacquaio, Tim Bradley, Brandon Rios, Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez and Mike Alvarado over and over. It’s how the game goes.
Crawford and Loma are both more accomplished than Tyson Fury, but Fury is a heavyweight and his personality is more colorful than both. It’s important we don’t make these comments out of CONTEXT. There isn’t a promoter in history than can make Crawford a bigger star than Fury. Promotion doesn’t work that way.
Hope you has a good Thanksgiving with food and health.
Reason I'm writing today is bc of the Rosado vs Jacobs fight. First off, props to Gabe, he shocked me with how crispness and focus. To be what some call lackluster, to me it was chess in every way.
With that said, it seemed to be a severe lack of cohesion in Danny's corner. It seemed like he would almost zone off rather than the eye contact and listening he did with Andre Rozier. His trainer seemed to not give very urgent or fluid sense of direction.
Do you think he would've fought a different fight if Andre was still with him? That was a true chemistry the two had. Do you think DJ will eat humble pie and perhaps go back in the Havoc direction?
Thank you for all of your thoughts, knowledge, and time you invest in the bag. Always sunny in Saturday's.
Bread’s Response: Hmmm…Let’s see. Sometimes in the gym and older more experienced fighter will ACT like’s playing with a young killer because the work is competitive and the older fighter ACTS like he’s not trying hard. But he really is. That’s the best he can do on that day. That’s the impression I got of Danny Jacobs vs Gabe Rosado. Although Rosado is older I got the impression like Danny acted like he was getting rounds in but that’s the best he could do on that day. He couldn’t blow Gabe out although many expected him too. He couldn’t dominate Gabe although many expected him to. You have to give Gabe credit. Sometimes the PERCEPTION of how a fight will GO, clouds the reality of the fight.
But the reality is Chavez Jr was having some success vs Jacobs. Jacobs is a solid fighter but he has never been a dominant elite level fighter except for his 1st ko of Peter Quillin. I thought there was huge betting value in Gabe Rosado to last the distance.
I don’t want to blame Jacobs’s corner. I don’t know what type of camp they had. I do know Jacobs left Andre Rozier so he has to live with his choice. How do we know that Rozier will even take him back? He may feel like it’s a slap in the face. A fighter leaves you after his biggest career payday after you spend years of your life helping him reach his goals, then he gets to that point and someone else reaps the benefits of your labor. Then the fighter struggles with the new trainer and tries to come back to you. I can’t speak for another man but that’s insulting in my opinion.
Sometimes the boxing community looks at records and they over analyze. I didn’t think Jacobs would dominate Rosado. And he didn’t.
I think Jacobs is a very good fighter. Fast hands, good power. Excellent size and nice athleticism. But since you brought up the corners let me tell you something I observed. Even with Rozier….Jacobs talks in the corner to his trainer. Maybe that’s their thing but unless a fighter is telling me he sees something or that he’s hurt/injured, from my perspective a fighter should be recovering, resting and taking in instructions in between rounds. I don’t know if the new trainer is in favor of conversation in between rounds or not. But Jacobs is used to that. Rozier was used to it but he was with Jacobs longer so…. But there was something about his new trainer that made him leave Rozier so let them work it out. Jacobs is considered a RING top 10 type of guy. All of his losses were to ELITE fighters. He said he would dominate Gabe Rosado and he didn’t. Let’s not start blaming the trainer just yet. Jacobs was a 10 to 1 favorite! He’s a seasoned vet.
For the record I think the world of Andre Rozier as a trainer. He’s excellent especially with his instructions in between rounds. But I can’t say if Jacobs would have done better with him or not. Every single fight and camp is different. There can be many factors as to why Jacobs didn’t perform well.
First time writing though I read you all the time, and really appreciate the inside perspective and the way you break it down. Been busy so I just read your column from 11/21. I wanted to comment on the readers who, when discussing Bud Crawford, mentioned that they think he gets hit a little too easily. I never boxed as an ammeter or a pro, but I regret that and walked into a boxing gym at an older age, began training and sparing, and quickly learned that to give a punch you have to open yourself up to being punched. We all love action fighters, but when they fight other good fighters in an aggressive style they’re going to get hit. You can’t have it both ways. Watching Crawford a couple of points come to mind. One, he rarely looks like he gets hit with a shot he doesn’t see coming. He knows what he’s open for when he throws his shots and is able to absorb or roll with it because he’s not surprised by it. And two, he has a brick of a chin. To know you can take your opponent's shot and keep coming is a powerful thing and up till now, as far as I can tell, he’s not fought a man who scared him. He feels what you got, figures you out, then walks you down and finishes you. If he was getting hurt as he comes forward you could criticize him but he’s not. It reminds me of GGG. When he was dominating but not getting fights against the top, dangerous (to him) guys, it was all “Mexican style” and “Big drama show”. But in every fight he’s had against an opponent he seemed to consider dangerous he reverted, at least to some extent, to his ring upbringing and became more of a boxer. This happened against Lemieux, Jacobs, and Alvarez. From my eyeball test I’m pretty sure if Crawford gets the fight against Spence he’ll manage his risks and do just fine. He’ll use the first round or two to judge what Spence has and fight/brawl/box accordingly. Now, I’m not predicting a winner. Both fighters have an aura of not allowing themselves to loose. Some fighters just have that will, like Andre Ward. I’m just arguing against the criticism that Bud gets hit too easily. It’s the 50-50 fights that show who a fighter really is, and we haven’t seen him in one of those yet.
MM - my all-time mythical matchup would be between two of my favorites, Manny Pacquiao and Aaron Pryor. I’m sure you must have weighed in on this before but who you got?
Thanks for the entertaining and intelligent content. I appreciate you,
Bread’s Response: You have enough credentials to have an opinion. I see you reading me your credentials but I don’t care if you have ever been hit a day in your life. If you are intelligent enough to form your opinion then it’s yours. In boxing people always use that card that you never boxed before so you can’t have an opinion on boxing, which is ridiculous. I see fighters have many opinions on many things that they never did before. As soon as you start prejudging people in anything you make a fool of yourself.
So you’ve sparred and you picked up on offensive fighters. Good pick up. Here is the thing. I assess fighters defensively on their styles. If you’re a pure boxer and not a big puncher and you get hit with the same amount of shots a pressure fighter does then I think your defense is subpar. A defensive pure boxer should get hit less than any other style because his style is predicated on defense.
A boxer puncher like Terence Crawford will get hit. But he shouldn’t get tore up and hit with multi punch combinations. A come forward attacker will also get hit unless he’s really fast and elusive like a young Mike Tyson. And we can judge every other style in between based on level of athleticism.
As for Crawford specifically, he does get hit but I don’t think it’s enormous. Crawford is a killer. He’s a gun slinger. He’s going to take some shots. Crawford’s only weakness that I have seen thus far and this is nitpicking. Is he gets outboxed in spots. Not just hit with a few shots but he does get outboxed in some rounds. I saw it vs Benavidez, Gamboa and Brook. Terence Crawford is a master ADJUSTER. I think he’s agreat boxer but I don’t know if he’s a master boxer just yet. Think about that. Some put him on Whitaker and Mayweather’s level as far as boxing ability and he may as good as them overall, we have to see. But based strictly on boxing skill I don’t know if he’s quite with them yet. I’m on the fence.
People bring up that Crawford is chinny because he was hurt by Gamboa. But his chin has held up. He’s not gun shy about his offense. And his chin has not cost him anything. I don’t think he has the same chin as GGG, who has ATG chin. But Crawford’s overall package is elite. I don’t want to isolate just his chin because it’s more to him than that. He looked hurt vs the Mean Machine also but Crawford is nasty killer. He goes for the kill when he’s hurt. So he may not have an A+ Hagler or GGG chin. But it’s good enough. And it’s not a liability. I think people nitpick his chin but he’s proven that it’s not a kink in his armor.
I’m glad you brought up threat level. That’s important. GGG will bludgeon jab opponents who are threats to him. But Crawford is more athletic than GGG. So he can get more offense going against physical threats. The only opponents I saw Crawford respect like that were Postol and Prescott. He was in “boxer” mode vs them. Against everyone else he’s in boxer puncher killer mode. So CONTEXT again is important. Good pick up.
Here is the thing about boxing. What happens on one night doesn’t mean that you can always say what will happen the next. Joe Louis was hurt by Billy Conn who was a lightheavyweight. But he wasn’t hurt by Max Baer who was a 240lb huge punching giant.
Some people think because Crawford was hurt by a smaller Gamboa then that means a big punching welterweight will hurt him. That’s not always the case. Maybe Crawford didn’t see Gamboa’s quick shot. Maybe making 135lb messed with his punch resistance a little bit. Maybe Gamboa hit him on a sweet spot that no one else has touched. Sergio Mora who is not a big puncher was able to knock Danny Jacobs down. But GGG and Canelo who are big punchers could not….
I also think Crawford vs Spence is 50/50. But I don’t want to speculate too much because I have to see how Spence looks vs Danny Garcia.
Manny Pacquiao vs Aaron Pryor is a fair mythical match up. Sometimes I see fights where the prime weights don’t match up well. But Pryor and Pacquiao are roughly the same size regardless of what weight they competed at. I think this is an even fight. I think their speeds are very similar. Pryor wasn’t known to have fast hands but he did. I think they both have huge hearts and great stamina. I believe Pryor’s jab is better but Pacquiao has better body punching and he makes less mistakes. I think their chins are the same but Pryor goes down more. I can see them having to fight 3x in order to settle it in what would probably be one of the better fights in history. Great match up.
Good day Stephen
With regard to the fight joyce vs dubois which took place last Saturday, i have absolutely no doubt that dubois, as a man made the right decision to decide not to continue the fight.
Eventhough i have never suffered from such injury, i suppose that an orbital bone fracture with damages to the nerve must be very painful.
This said, at the same time i was just wondering if guys like for example, ali or holyfield would have continued to fight in similar cases.
My question as such would be :
-was the injury so bad that even guys like ali or holyfield would also have called it a day
-the injury was bad but some people like ali or holyfield would have continued the fight (even if this was not reasonable)
Dont take me wrong please, i am not one of those who would call dubois a quitter.
I have too much respect for these guys who have the guts to enter the ring to call a guy with such an injury a quitter after 10 difficult rounds of boxing.
Once again i have no doubts that daniel dubois did the sensible thing for his health.
But at the same time i am just wondering if what separates the truly best from the others is this little part of madness which can make them accept (even if this is not sensible) pains or injuries which others wont take.
So despite dubois did the right thing do you think that what happened could put a question mark on how he can cope with things at the highest level in the future when same is not going the right way for him, or that the injury was so bad that dubois just did what any other guy including the best ones would have done in a similar case.
Again i have the utmost respect for dubois and i am sure that he did the right thing for his health but boxing being such a hard sport i am interesed to know your opinion on this.
Chris from France
Bread’s Response: This is a TRICKY situation and people have to watch what they say. I’ve seen fighters blast Dubois but those fighters have short memories. They have quit, ducked fights or made horrible excuses after their losses but they want to PILE on Dubois. So they have to make sure when their “Day of Reckoning” comes they fight through whatever they said Dubois would not.
I have more of a problem with what Dubois said to Joe Joyce’s mom about being blind and not seeing her son get kod, than I do with him surrendering in the ring. That was a REAL CASE of Karma. From what I have read Joyce’s mom is partially blind. You have to be careful saying certain things. I have no doubt Dubois is a very nice young man. And sometimes we all make mistakes. If I knew Daniel personally I would have contacted him immediately and told him to publicly apologize to Joyce’s mom. The LAWS of Karma won’t let you get away with insulting someone’s mother during a prefight. I don’t care how many tickets you are trying to sell.
As for what he did. Listen he made a decision to not continue. Technically it’s Quitting. And something comes with that. Criticism. But quitting is not quitting. People like to GROUP things but that’s inaccurate. He had a serious injury. He wasn’t just losing, he was injured. So he decided to pack it in and fight another day.
I have seen trauma to the eye several times. The natural reaction is to suppress in pain. I saw it when Alfredo Angulo had the injury vs Lara. I never considered it a quit job. I thought it was just a reaction of trauma and pain. I have seen it in the gym in sparring. I’ve been hit in my eye before by mistake. There are nerves in your eye that cause you to turn away or what have you. We know Angulo is a DOG.
I don’t know what Ali or Holyfield what have done because I have never seen them get that exact injury. You can only judge if the factors are the same. That’s not fair to Dubois.
I also want to say that what Dubois does from this point on is very important. He’s going to be under the microscope. And experience with adversity is the best way to overcome it. Maybe the next time he’s in that come to moment he will make a different decision. Surrendering is harder on the legacy if you do it BEFORE you establish yourself as a great fighter. Roberto Duran was already an ATG with 72 when he quit vs Ray Leonard. So while it was bad he quit, his legacy was established. Dubois has to establish himself more. But that’s ok.
You also have to realize that sometimes when a fighter surrenders it’s not a lack of HEART. I have seen guys who lack heart. I have seen guys fake injuries or make themselves look more hurt than they really were. That to me is a lack of heart.
An injury capitulation is more of a lack of risk taking. Dubois just seemed like he wasn’t really willing to risk his eye. Although it may seem like a lack of heart. It’s different to me.
Dubois is a young guy and he will have his Day of Atonement again. And when that day comes let’s be fair with him. I hope he comes through.
Vitali Klitshcko surrendered vs Chris Byrd in a fight he was winning with an arm injury. The next time he was in the moment he was willing to lose an EYE vs Lennox Lewis. Vitali atoned for the Byrd fight.
In this social media era, people like to hurt the person that is on display for the whole world to see. They want to judge Dubois in a small microcosm of his life. If the worst moment of ALL of our lives was on display, then we would all be embarrassed. I say let’s see if Dubois can redeem himself. Let’s see if he can come back from this injury. And let’s give the kid a break. I would like to see him apologize to Joe Joyce’s mom, let his eye heal up. And get back in the ring and do it like a champ. He can comeback from this.
I know the title feels like it's all over the place and it kinda is so I'll try to keep my questions/ comments/ observations clear and concise.
1) I watched a couple of mini-documentaries on "Boots" Ennis and boy oh boy am I even more impressed with him. He has poise and intelligence not to mention skill and talent. It's in his blood. And he's a dog to boot (no pun intended). Based on what you've seen so far, what type of fighter do you think will give him trouble?
2) Do you know if Boots and Danny have ever sparred (or are sparring now)? I'm not asking about WHAT happened in the sparring because I know divulging into those details is a boxing no-no but I'm just wondering IF they HAVE. Because if so, that would seem like it would be good preparation for Spence right?
3) I don't remember where I heard this quote but I believe it was Jake Lamotta but I could be wrong. I tried googling but came up short so I'm paraphrasing it. It's something along the lines of "Get inside and put them on the ropes, then they ain't southpaws no more." What do you think of that?
4) They say the matchmakers are the real boxing experts and the odds makers are a close second. In this age of automation, do you think a computer can ever do the job of an oddsmaker? I say No as you need a human to measure intangibles like heart, grit, and even technique and experience which a computer can't capture but who knows? Just wondering what ya think.
5) For the same reasons as you I didn't wanna watch the Tyson-Jones card but I gave in and streamed it. Glad I did. Was lots of fun and an overall great production and promotion. I hope Mike doesn't do too many of these though. Especially with someone he can't muscle around like RJ.
Thanks for your time and Happy Holidays.
Bread’s Response:1. I don’t know. I have to see how he reacts to the elite level. My guess would be someone who can jab on even terms with him. He has a great jab but most jabbers don’t like great jabbers. Or a DOG strong pressure fighter who can sort of grapple and smother him , like Maidana did to Floyd.
2. I don’t know.
3. I agree with that. If you back a southpaw up and put him on the ropes he’s a squared up fighter. That’s what you want. Evander Holyfield also said it. There are so many myths about southpaws.
They say an orthodox fighter can’t move to his right vs a southpaw. That’s Hog Wash. You can move towards the southpaw’s left hand and slide on the outside of if after he shoots it. Fighters do it often and the announcers still repeat the same myth. You can go both ways vs a southpaw it just depends on his or your skill set.
You can also jab a southpaw. The jab has a different angle. But you can jab him. He’s actually closer to your lead hand.
Southpaws don’t like fighting other southpaws. Why wouldn’t they? That sounds crazy. It’s the same as two orthodox fighters fighting.
When it comes to predictions you are second to none in my opinion. You have made some great ones but the one that still sticks out to me to this day is when you predicted Chris Aligeri over Ruslan Provodnikov. At the time I thought you were crazy. Not sure if you remember it but I am curious to what it was that you saw that made you able to make that prediction. I know you are not perfect but you come as close to it that I know of. With that being said I did have a question on two fights that if they fought in their primes who would win.
1 Pacquiao vs Floyd
2 Tyson vs Lewis
If they fought at their peaks who would win those fights and how do you see the fight going. If anyone could predict how it would go it would be you. I will feel better about what I think would happen once I find out what you would think.
Bread’s Response: Thanks man. I think my best prediction was Adonis Stevenson over Chad Dawson by 1st rd ko. I really hit that pick.
Sometimes you can see a fight clear. Sometimes you can’t. I liked Ruslan but he was due to get outboxed. He was also very predictable in his punches. Powerful but predictable. I felt like Algieri who would be fighting for the title for the first time. Was a busy, big kid for the weight. And most of all he was a boxer and he wouldn’t try to ko Ruslan. Fighters really get up for the first title shots. So I rolled the dice and picked Chris Algieri. Thanks for remembering.
1. Pac vs Floyd. Let’s see I thought Floyd won 8-4 in 2015. They were older but neither was shot. I feel that the pressure violent fighter has a shorter window to beat the boxer because his style doesn’t age as well. For example Duran was able to beat Leonard in the first fight but Leonard was able to do better in both rematches. The Ali vs Frazier fights went the same exact way in the same exact order. Because the long range fighter doesn’t have to expend as much energy to be effective in this close elite level match ups.
I think the Pac from his De La Hoya fight in late 2008 up until the Margarito fight in 2010 was as good as a high energy fighter I’ve ever seen. That doesn’t mean he could have beaten Floyd from 08-10 but I think he would have been right with him. This is a game of small frames. A game of inches. Something tells me they would have had to fight more than once to settle it if they fought back then.
2. Tyson vs Lewis is another one. Lewis is actually older but he turned pro later and hit his prime later than the smaller high energy Tyson. Tyson’s prime was actually in the 80s while Lewis was an amateur.
Lewis’s prime was probably in the early 2000s. I think 2000 may have been his best year as a pro. So again the boxer’s style ages better.
I think this is another hard fight to call. Tyson lost to a fighter in Buster Douglas that Lewis could replicate that exact style but better. And Lewis lost to two guys in McCall and Rahman with big right hands and Tyson had a huge over hand right and was better than them both. This is hard to call. I can see a scenario where they both ko each other.
I have been seeing some chatter lately about the 20th anniversary of Felix Trinidad vs. Fernando Vargas, which has me pretty nostalgic as it was the first great championship fight I got to watch as a boy. Since that fight there has been a consensus that El Feroz was rushed into the fight prematurely and that he just wasn’t ready for fighter of Tito’s caliber, and also that he lost in his prime overnight.
However, I have my doubts about the first narrative and would even qualify the second somewhat. As good as Vargas was (and I was a big fan of both men) I am not convinced that he ever was going to be better than Trinidad who is at least a half-step above as a fighter. What concrete areas did people expect him to get better? I guess he could have tightened his defense up a tad but he was a fighter who was solid but unspectacular in every physical attribute but had through skills and guts already whipped Ike Quartey, and gotten an official nod against Winky Wright before that fight. And while I agree Jay Nady’s late intervention altered his career, he was still nip-and-tuck with Oscar De La Hoya a couple years later.
The reason I ask is because Vargas is kind of the cautionary tale about the young talent that moves too fast, yet by gambling he etched a place in history with those great fights and was able to get multiple money fights against Tito, Oscar, Bazooka, and Shane. To be honest, does that sound like a worse deal than being one of these new school guys who are undefeated at 32 and still haven’t had a megafight?
Thanks (and sorry for the length),
Bread’s Response: I agree with you! I also remember that fight and it may have been the best fight in the history of Junior Middleweight. What a night.
Now here is the thing. Retrospect is always 20/20.
When Vargas fought Trinidad he was technically 22 years old but he was turning 23 in 5 days. He was an outstanding amateur. He also was in the middle of a very good run at junior middleweight. He defeated Yuri boy Campas for the title. A fighter who Trinidad had defeated years earlier. Vargas had also defeated Raul Marquez who was also an Olympian and was 30-1. On top of that Vargas had TWO wins vs Ike Quartey and Winky Wright who were almost equal to any of the wins that Tito had up until that point. In fact Wright would go on to dominate Tito 5 years later.
Vargas had 5 excellent title defenses and he had faced just about every style at the elite level going into the fight. Trinidad was the ex welterweight and a fighter who had been known to be knocked down often. He was just knocked down by David Reid earlier in the year, a fighter who Vargas was considered to be superior to.
5 title defenses is enough to enter a unification. Teofimo Lopez just took a unification in his 1st title defense against a fighter who at similar times is considered equal to Tito, in Vasyl Lomachenko.
I think Vargas was what he was. An excellent young fighter who hit his peak early. You guys would be surprised at how young some of the elite fighters could win titles if they had the chance. In fact Trinidad was one. He won his 1st title at 20 years old and engaged in tough fights vs #1 contenders immediately. He wasn’t ruined. Neither was Oscar who did the same thing. Neither was Salvador Sanchez, Tommy Hearns, Wilfred Benitez and Ray Leonard. All fighters who took on HOF level fighters by the time they were 23.
I don’t think it’s a big deal. And it only gets brought up if the fighter loses. If Tito was Vargas’s 1st title defense I can see maybe saying he was rushed. But he wasn’t. He was his 6th title defense. Which is a lot of title defenses at Junior Middleweight because the division is always so competitive. Tommy Hearns and Mike McCallum both have about 6 title defenses at 154 and they are considered the best two fighters ever a the weight.
I don’t think age was a factor with Vargas. I think Tito was the factor. He ran into an ATG fighter and puncher at his APEX. The beating he took was too long and sustained and it cost him. So how the fight unfolded cost him his prime. Not so much taking the challenge.
Vargas was an excellent technical fighter. But he was a high contact action fighter. He also struggled to make 154lbs and he didn’t seem to have the frame to fight at middleweight vs Bernard Hopkins and some of the bigger middleweights of THAT era.
So the division was pretty much cleaned out and he fought the other great champion in the division. Both undefeated. One Mexican. One Puerto Rican. I commend Vargas for wanting the fight. And I commend him for his performance. I don’t think it was too early. I think Tito was just better and I don’t see a point in Vargas’s career where he would have beaten THAT Tito. But you have to realize Tito had not only been knocked down by David Reid at 154, but he had just struggled with Oscar the year before at 147 in a fight many thought he lost. Tito was dropped by Oba Carr, Yuri Boy Campas and Anthony Stevens in his title defenses. Vargas had like a 90% ko ratio when they fought and he was the one who had been at 154lbs longer. The kid was CONFIDENT can you blame him. He wasn’t over his head by any means.
It’s boxing. Who’s to say that if Vargas would have took the SHOWCASE road and not fought Quartey and ducked his mandatory vs Wright. And fought top 15 guys for 5 or 6 years he wouldn’t have lost without stepping up. So many of these fighters wait too long to really fight. When you’re as good as Fernando Vargas you don’t have to wait and duck. He took some tough fights and he took some showcase fights. Then he took his Super Fight. That’s how you do it. I have no issue with his matchmaking. Again, I just have a small issue with how prolonged the beating was. But Vargas was in it and he kept trying. So I am in no way blaming the corner, it’s just those last few rounds after fatigue set in most likely damaged him.
I also want to note. Most fighters who rumble early, lose their primes early. Tito was really done by 28 the next year. After the Hopkins fight he was no longer the Tito we went crazy over. Manny and Floyd have spoiled us with their prolonged primes. But most fighters who fight for titles in their early 20s and hit high peaks, don’t last until their mid to late 30s. It’s nothing wrong with that. Take your big fights in your physical prime. Make your money. And leave this UNFORGIVING game by your early 30s. Andre Ward set an excellent blueprint.
Hey bro can you give us a very technical breakdown of Spence vs Garcia? I’m torn on who to bet on. There seems to be value in Garcia...
Bread’s Response: I think Danny has to find a way to neutralize Errol’s jab and body punching. Errol separates himself with 3 things. His stamina, jab and body punching. Danny has to take away Errol’s jab and body punching. He has to adjust in a way that slows down Errol’s workrate. Because once Errol starts chopping on you with that same rhythm he hits the mitts with, he steam rolls.
Errol has to find a way to establish his great jab. He doesn’t have to go to Danny’s body to win. He can out point him with his jab. But he has to go to his body to wear him down. I don’t know if Errol will go to his body. I’m curious to see. Other than establishing his jab I believe Errol has to neutralize Danny’s counter shots and make Danny use his legs. Danny fights a very controlled fight which allows him to focus in and land big money punches. But the reason he’s in control is because he doesn’t do too much. He’s very contained in his approach. Errol has to make Danny do more than one thing at a time.
My question is how aggressive will Errol be? I think he’s going to bring it but I don’t know it. He decided to box a safer fight vs Mikey Garcia. I think Danny may have better reflexes than Errol. But Errol is more athletic and has better feet. There is a difference. I’ve never seen Errol get gun shy from power but I have seen him box a safe smart fight. There seems to be more concern that if Errol can take Danny’s punches, rather than Danny taking Errol’s punches. Interesting….
If Danny has improved his ability to come forward and take multiple steps and attack then we really have a fight. Because then Errol won’t be able to go in boxer mode and play it safe. He’s going to have to fight Danny off of him. Mikey Garcia was not able to close the distance vs Errol and score points. I am curious to see if Danny can.
I’m not going to get into who can take who’s punches better because I have to see them fight. You never know until two guys square up and fight. I think both of have shown excellent chins in the past. But anyone can be clipped. I’m hoping for an exciting fight and I think we may get one. There are BIG stakes in this fight. Spence gets to cement his status as a top 5 P4P guy and the main man in boxing’s richest division besides heavyweight. And if Danny wins, he’s in the Hall of Fame. I know you guys will disagree but if you look at his resume with a microscope it’s HOF with a Spence win. Money makes the big fights, but PRIDE makes the great fights. There is a lot of pride at stake in this fight.
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