By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Mikey Garcia vs. Errol Spence, Mia St. John admitting to drugs, Antonio Margarito and the wraps scandal, fantasy fights like Thomas Hearns vs. Andre Ward, and more.
I don’t know if you can answer this but I will ask anyway. I love junior middleweight and I’m sure you do too. Can you tell me how you think it will shape up next year and who will rise to the top? I think an unofficial tournament is brewing.
I also want to touch on a major player at junior middleweight in Julian Williams. I’ve been following him since very early and I think technically he has it all. I watched him score some big wins with a variety of moves. He hit the usually durable Dashon Johnson with a catch counter hook and stopped him. He outjabbed the much taller and longer Hugo Centeno and I still think Centeno quit. He caught Freddy Hernandez with a shifting hook and kod him something Andrade and Lara couldn’t do. He then put on a great performance vs Michael Medina with a shoulder bump 10 count stoppage. Later he used Lomachenko’s glove pull trick to stop Luciano Cuello. He seems to have it all from a skill perspective but mentally he goes up and down in fights. I could be missing something but what is the problem with Williams and do you think he can put it all together against Jarrett Hurd who he’s the mandatory to challenge. Williams is actually more skillful but he would be a big underdog in that fight.
Bread’s Response: I don’t want to get too much into Jrock on here for obvious reasons. I think he can put it together. But he has to do it in the big spot for himself and his status. He has the tools, talent and ability for sure. For the record he has been doing what you call the Lomachenko glove pull before Loma turned pro. Just saying…
I think some of the better guys at 154 will mix and match but I don’t think a tournament will take place. I think attrition will set in. Moving up in weight will take place. Everybody won’t fight each other but I do think another unification will take place 2019. I think Hurd will move up in 2019. I think Kell Brook will skip the line and get a huge fight because everyone will want to fight a fighter with a big name coming from welterweight after seeing him stopped twice with damage to his face. I think Munguia will be in more exciting fights but they have to careful with his matchmaking. I think Julian Williams and Brian Castano are the dark horses.
There is a theory that the only way a trainer prove himself is if he’s the fighter’s first ever trainer and took him from the beginning to the end. I’m torn on this theory and I wanted your opinion on the matter.
Bread’s Response: An idiot came up with that theory. It probably started with a jealous coach who was left by a fighter and he couldn’t take seeing the fighter’s success without him. So what the coach did was took credit for everything the fighter did right and when the fighter did something wrong he blamed the new coach.
Coaches should get credit period. If you do your job, you do your job. First of all it’s almost impossible to get a fighter the very first day he walks into a gym unless it’s your son. 99% of fighters are not with one coach from their 1st to last day boxing. And before I get into anything else, there is also a theory that Father and Son teams don’t work. Which is another myth.
But back to what I was saying. 99.9% of the trainers get fighters after they have been with another trainer so by this theory no coach deserves credit. I will give you the most recent example of Trainer of the Year. Look at Derrick James the current Trainer of the Year. He wasn’t Errol Spence’s very first trainer from what I’ve read. But he’s responsible for a great deal of Spence’s success. He helped mold him into the tremendous and dominant champion he is today. Are you telling me James does not deserve to be the Trainer of the Year because he didn’t train Spence from the very first day he walked into a boxing gym? Being the very first trainer to ever touch a kid is more luck than anything. You have to happen to be in the gym that day, when a 10 year kid comes wandering in. The kid has no idea who’s a good trainer and who isn’t. Often times the kid is assigned a trainer to work with he doesn’t get to PICK. IF the trainer is good the kid will usually stick with him for a little while and if the kid sees other trainers in the gym have better kids, the kid will leave the trainer. It’s all Hogg Wash that a trainer is no good unless he had the kid on the first day. It’s cool to be a kid’s 1st trainer but it’s even better to be his BEST trainer.
There is a trainer in my area named Chino Rivas. He trains Jason Sosa and Tevin Farmer. Both Sosa and Farmer were looked at as “opponent” level prospects. They both started out under different trainers than Rivas. With Rivas he took them both to world championships. Both Sosa and Farmer not only lost as prospects but they were stopped as prospects. Are you telling me Rivas doesn’t deserve credit for bringing them along? Get out of here with that mess if you think Rivas doesn’t deserve credit because “he didn’t start them out.”
Let’s also talk about Emanuel Steward. He worked the corner of Oliver McCall when he stopped Lennox Lewis. Lewis changes trainers and starts working with Steward and 3 years later he stops McCall with Steward in his corner. Are you telling me Steward is not the factor there? Are you telling me Steward only gets credit for guys like Tommy Hearns who he started out? And we can’t give him credit for Lennox Lewis because Lewis was a gold Medalist and could already fight? That theory is a joke and I can go and on and on about it. I’ve been around boxing for a while and I’m telling you again this theory comes from the JEALOUS trainer who was left by a good fighter and he had to find a way to interject himself in the fighter’s success. Now the theory has taken a life of it’s own.
The bottom line is some trainers are better than others. Some trainers have more access and more availability. But winning top level fights is never easy. Winning open level national tournaments are never easy. Winning international open competitions is never easy. Dealing with a fighter’s problems is never easy. And from personal experience this will upset some people but it’s my truth. I think it’s easier to train a wunderkind athletic kid, who is physically tough that has never boxed at say 12 years old. And who was raised by solid parents. Then it is to train a kid who has been in several amateurs fights, is very talented but has had a few coaching changes, if the kid is already set in his ways and was not raised correctly. It’s easier to paint a masterpiece on a BLANK CANVAS.
The money is better but it’s even harder to deal with a 30 yr old ex champion who has about 2 or 3 losses but he’s made big money and he has dozens of bad habits. Most trainers take that job because of the money. But it’s hard to dealing with the wives, girlfriends, training habits, physical damage and all of the stuff that other trainers let them do, that the new trainer won’t allow. Are you kidding me?
Here is the ideal situation for most trainers. Get a kid around 10yr-12yr. His parents don’t spoil him but they have enough money to send him to National Tournaments and buy his equipment. The kid comes from athletic stock but his parents don’t want to be his trainer. They discipline him and he respects authority. Somehow and some way, someone made this scenario so difficult that is the only way to get credit as a coach. But If you think about it, it’s easier than dealing with BS from an established fighter with terrible habits. All you need with the kid I just stated is TIME. He’s going to be a fighter if you know what you’re doing.
People make this same claim about Freddie Roach. But what do you think Freddie Roach would have done with Manny Pacquiao if he started training him at 13 instead of 22? Seriously, Manny may be top 5 ever instead of top 30 ever. He may have 2 losses instead of 7.
Training jobs come in different shapes and different forms. The timing of when a trainer gets to train a fighter is NOT something a trainer has control of. Fighters seek out trainers and not the other way around. The job is the job and all of it deserves credit.
What's up Bread,
What's your thoughts on fights that were missed but not necessarily ducks. What is your pick?
Juan Manuel Marquez vs. Erik Morales (I don't recall them fighting and they may have just missed each other on bad timing)
Felix Trinidad vs. Shane Mosley (I am surprised this fight was never made)
Larry Holmes vs George Foreman
Hearns vs BHop (160)
Hearns vs Ward (168)
Hearns vs RJJ (160 & 168) I know Roy is one of your favorites I think Hearns boxing is mad underrated and gives anyone problems and gets him.
Hearns vs Tito (154)
Bowe vs Tyson (The Bowe from the first Holyfield fight and the Tyson that fought Spinks)
I think Hearns wins all those it would probably take 3 fights with Roy to decide, and he starches Tito. Could Hearns be the best Jr. Middleweight of all time?
What ever happened to Juan McPherson? He was a super talented amateur from Cleveland that lost to Berto in the Olympic trials? Something happened
and his career just never took off. If you remember him how talented was he?
Bread’s Response: Marquez vs Morales never happened. I think it would have been a wonderful fight. I go back and forth about this and I know most people pick Marquez because of his late career success at higher weights but I think if they would have fought in the mid 90s I think Morales would have beaten him. Although they fought at similar weights and are similar in age, their peaks were much, much different. Morales peaked much earlier. So let’s say if it happened in the 90s Morales and if it happened in the 2000s Marquez.
Tito vs Mosley would have been epic. Fight of the Year written all over it. They sort of missed each other because when Mosley moved to welterweight Tito was leaving. If it would have happened though I think Tito would have won. Just going by the eye ball test I think Tito was a little better on his best day. I also think Tito was the more efficient boxer and he was better defensively. Tito got dropped often but I think that was an early fight vulnerability instead of a defensive flaw. Mosley was faster but that doesn’t mean better boxer or better defensively. If you watch their fights close you will see Mosley was easier to hit. Tito kept his hands up and he stepped around awesome. Mosley made up for defensive mistakes with speed, power and grit. I say Tito by late stoppage or close decision in a shootout. It’s a shame this fight wasn’t made because it would be a guaranteed great styles match up.
Holmes vs Foreman is another fight where the guys were close in age but their peaks were years apart. Foreman peaked in the early 70s when Holmes was just a prospect. By the time Holmes peaked Foreman was not the same because of the Ali lost. Then in the 90s they were both capable but not their 70s versions. So I say Foreman was slightly better and he would have won on his best night but during the times when a fight would have been viable, I think Holmes would have won because Foreman was struggling after 1974. And I think it was a little too slow to deal with Holmes when he came back in the 80s. However the best version of Foreman the 73-74 version would beat just about anybody not named Ali.
Tommy Hearns vs Bernard Hopkins is a wonderful fight. Prime vs Prime it’s fascinating. Although Hopkins has a better legacy at 160. Hearns was just as good at 160 on his best night in my opinion. It’s just that Hearns became a weight jumper after his days at 147 and 154. I say the best version of Hearns earns a tough decision over Hopkins. Hopkins was terrific but he always seems troubled by athletic boxers with speed. Dawson, Taylor, Calzaghe and Jones all gave him fits at different phases of his career. Hearns fits that mold and he has a better jab than any of them on the list.
Hearns vs Ward would be tough. I slightly favor Ward. Hearns has many of the same attributes as Kovalev who gave Ward is toughest career fight as far as rounds won. But Kovalev is a natural 175 pounder. Hearns fought 33 fights at 147. Although he was a great weight jumper, I think Ward’s physicality would be the difference. I say Ward by late stoppage in a grinding fight but I think they would be even in rounds won. Hearn’s jab and speed advantage would really trouble Ward early until he got in his groove. But Ward is a mixture of Hopkins and Jones. And if his out game is not working he can really grind on the inside like he did Allen Green. I can see him doing that to Hearns late.
Hearns vs RJ. This may come to a shock to most but I think Hearns would beat RJ at least once especially at 160. I just think it’s a bad style for Roy Jones. Hearns is very difficult to outbox and taller fighters with high threat levels gave Roy a little trouble see Antonio Tarver. Even watch the 1st Hopkins fight. I can see Hearns’s jab and threat of his right hand keep RJ honest enough. RJ has a great chance to clip Hearns but he would also put himself in harm’s way. They would probably take turns knocking each other out over a series of fights.
Hearns vs Tito. What a great fight. Along with Mike McCallum I think these were the best ever at 154lbs. The Tito that fought Thiam and Vargas was just so dam good. But Hearns was every bit as good. I think Hearns has to cook early and get Tito early because if he doesn’t then we have BIG trouble. Hearns is one of the better fighters ever in head to head match ups. It’s hard to blow him out at any weight considering he has started at 147 in the 70s and 80s and he has one of the best wins of the 90s at 175lbs over an undefeated Olympian in Virgil Hill who is HOF level, when Hearns was past his best days. Today I say they have to fight 3 times to decide but I envision both Hearns and Tito stopping each other.
Bowe vs Tyson is a tough call. Bowe got hit a little too clean for my taste and I think that’s why his prime was so short along with the weight issues. If you take a close look at Bowe, his prime was over at 28 years old. I know Tyson had a short prime too but I think he was more consistent than Bowe. On their best nights though today I say Bowe. I think Bowe’s inside uppercut and his physical toughness would allow him to weather the early storm. I think Bowe also had a serious catch/counter game that would trouble Tyson. Tyson could get to him early but the 92 version of Bowe would take what he had to. And coming to him would be tough on Tyson. My hunch is Bowe by 10th round tko.
Love your prognostications.
I kind of agree with one of the writers about Margarito regarding the loaded hand wraps.
I believe he had those same nasty implants against Lujan, Paul Williams and Cotto. Why would he start for just the Mosley fight? Williams punch resistance was never the same after the Margarito fight.
Just like I totally agree with Mia St-John that 70%+ of fighters are PED users. Boxing and MMA! MMAers are consistently getting busted, NFLers too.
How do the Eagles look this year?
It's ALLEGED in a lot of basketball circles that the King is on something due to the fact that his name came up on a list of a known PED's manufacturer/distributor.
I know you're partial to Philly fighters as you should be. DSG won't have any problems beating Shawn Porter. Porter is a mauler who a lot of times smothers his own punching power. DSG is poised and just needs to weather the storm and land that sneaky left hook over and over again.
I heard that Wilder doesn't like to run and does no roadwork. How does he build his stamina? He's stronger than his slim build and 215lbs would dictate, due to his weight lifting, but no roadwork?
The 8, 10 miles a day that Floyd ran served him well during his career and was evident in his fight against Connor McGregor who also doesn't like to run - MMAers opt for more dynamic/plyometric stamina building routines.
Back to Canelo/GGG; GGG is accurate against a static/standing targets which many of GGG's opponents have been. Canelo made himself a moving target and GGG couldn't get the timing right. Hopefully Sanchez trained his charge this time to accommodate for Canelo's movement.
Will Jules ever get his edge back?
Bread’s Response: That’s the problem I have with cheaters. Usually the 1st time they get caught is not the 1st time they did it. Cheaters get intoxicated and addicted to the edge they’re getting. They also love getting away with cheating and getting praised for their enhanced performances. Then on Cue they blow up and play the victim when caught. I don’t want to discredit Margarito’s whole career but when you get caught with loaded wraps the speculation comes with that. I also factored this in…..Margarito was the favorite to beat Mosley. Margarito was younger and he had just beat Cotto. Cotto beat Mosley by decision about a year earlier. I always thought to myself why would Capetillo use a loaded knuckle pad vs Mosley who Margarito was favored to beat but not use one vs other fresher more in their prime fighters like Cotto or Williams? Maybe I’m applying too much common sense but …….
Yup. Here is the thing on Mia St. John though…Let’s not make her into a hero though. She’s a cheater. She took PEDs in approximately 20 fights in a combat sport where the goal is to do physical damage. I guess her reasoning is justifiable in some people’s minds. “If my opponent is doing it, then I will to even the score.” But how do we know each of the 20 opponents she used against were cheating?” It becomes a slippery slope once you start reasoning. I don’t have an answer for that…..
I don’t count preseason. No one wants to get hurt. The Eagles have a strong team. I wish we had one more big play receiver though. I think they will go 11-5 or 12-4 and win the NFC EAST. Not sure if they will make another Super Bowl in back to back seasons. It’s hard to do with injuries and free agency. Plus the RAMS, SAINTS and PACKERS are really good this year.
Lebron James is my favorite NBA player. I never heard that before. Do you have some proof?
I like Danny Garcia and I respect lots of the talent coming out of Philly and the surrounding area. But I don’t pick every Philly fighter to win every fight they are in. I’m no fool. If I feel one will lose I will say it. I actually think Danny will have a tough time vs Shawn Porter. I think Porter’s jab will throw Danny off a little bit. Mauricio Herrera’s jab did and Shawn can better that effort. I think it will be a close fight. Danny is the slight A side, Shawn bleeds often and Danny’s punches are cleaner, so if you twist my arm I say drawish fight where Danny edges it. Judges are human. They do score blood sometimes. Cleaner punching in close fights has cost Shawn in his 2 losses vs Brook and Thurman. Both were cleaner punchers and that trumped Shawn’s aggression and volume. And Danny is the A side. So I factor that in. But this by no means will be easy. I actually expect controversy where both teams feel they won.
I didn’t know Wilder doesn’t like to run. But there are plenty of things a fighter can do to build his stamina. Wilder was in camp with Klitschko. Maybe he swims like Wlad which is a great low impact cardio builder. Wilder is a tall slim guy. If he ran too much it could affect his knees. Whatever he’s doing he looks fresh and his conditioning program is working. He could also have a natural set of lungs and he knows he doesn’t need to over do it to get in fight shape. The thing about heavyweights is they have fight weights also. They may not be strict with them as far as making an exact weight but they know the range they should be in. Wilder is best under 220 so for his tough fights he stays in range. When I see a fighter go too far out of his range I know he lacks dedication and discipline. Wilder has excellent stamina and it gets better with each fight. Whatever he’s doing it’s working.
Floyd puts in some serious road work. I noticed it on the 24/7 for Oscar. Oscar was jogging and Floyd was running. Floyd was pushing his lungs. I definitely think Floyd has put in 8 to 10 miles but I didn’t hear him say he does that every day. That’s a lot my man. Floyd is smart he knows when and when not to do stuff like that. However his hard work ethic usually gave him the edge, 99% of the time he was the fresher and sharper man going down the stretch in his big fights which usually went 12 rounds.
GGG’s accuracy and his temperament are the keys to the fight. If GGG can put together sustained hurt on Canelo with power shots and not just a jab he will win. If he can’t then we will see another nail biter.
Breadman, what’s going on sir?!?!
I enjoyed how you broke down the whole margarito fiasco. As your close friend “The Gman” from boxingtalk would call him...”MargaCHEATO”
Antonio could have seriously killed someone of lesser tolerance that night he fought Cotto I. Miguel took horrendous damage and his faced had the look as if he went through a horrible car wreckage.
I was surprised Miguel gave him the rematch but then again I can’t be. Cotto is a true warrior and a real man and any real man would want payback for that chicken*hit move Antonio pulled.
I have a few questions to ask you and I know you will provide your honest opinion on them.
Question #1 How great could Salvador Sanchez have been if he didn’t die so young.
I heard Roy Jones Jr say that Sanchez was the Goat and had the lungs of a shark.
Jones said he would see Sanchez still breathing out of his nose and it was the 12th round!!
Question #2 Even though Oscar had a pretty awesome career. Do u think the constant switching of trainers stunted his growth as a fighter? I heard Bob Arum wanted Mayweather Sr to train Oscar the day he turned pro. Yet Oscars father felt Floyd Sr was too Strict (as we know Oscars dad had mad pull on Oscars career at that stage).
Question #3 what’s your thoughts on Vergil Ortiz out of The Golden Boy stable?
The young man has the look to carry the superstar banner for that strong fan base of American/Mexican who are DieHard for boxing.
Thank you for your time sir
Bread’s Response: It’s important to mention that it’s never been proven that Margarito used loaded wraps vs Cotto. In fact until the Mosley fight, it just appeared that Margarito was the monster that everyone said he was. He was the favorite vs Mosley. So it’s almost impossible to go back 6 months and prove any wrong doing. At the same time it’s never been proved that Margarito did not use loaded wraps against Cotto. And we have to factor in that the loaded knuckle pads had been used before because there was blood on them. For the life of me I can’t understand why they weren’t tested for blood and by the way, where are those knuckle pads at this moment. I really wish another investigation gets opened. I’m still curious. Maybe those guys off of ID Discovery or Mike Rodriguez the cutman and homicide detective can delve into it….
I’ve seen every Sal Sanchez title fight up until his death and he was really something. His balance was perfect, he had a granite chin, a sneaky power punch, good punch variety, great timing and possibly the best stamina ever. He kept his elbows in, his feet under him in a nice bounce rhythm and he could go all night. But he wasn’t untouched. He had a couple of close decisions during his peak. Watch the fights with Pat Cowdell SD and Patrick Ford MD. But All in ALL we got to see was Sanchez at his absolute peak. We get spoiled with his evaluation because he had accomplished so much by the time he was 23. He had 46 fights and 10 title fights before he died. In contrast a 30 yr old top P4P talent today will not have Sanchez’s resume. But we didn’t get to see him as his skills slightly slipped. For example Ali. What if we only got to see the 60’s version and not the 70’s version. Or what if we only got to see Roy Jones in the 90’s? I’m not claiming Sanchez is overrated because he’s not, he was special. I’m just saying that assessing him is difficult because there are slippage factors with every great fighter that doesn’t get factored in with Sanchez.
If Sanchez would have continued at his accomplished pace he had a chance to be the best fighter ever. That’s how good he was in the early 80’s. But if I just go by the law of averages I would have to assume he would have slowed down. Have we ever seen a fighter peak so early and start moving up in weight and not fizzle just a little bit?
In fairness to Sanchez I will call it down the middle. As he sits I believe he’s the top 3 ever from Mexico, top 5 ever at featherweight and top 3 fighter of the 80s. Had he lived I believe he would have had to face a prime Azumah Nelson again. Eusabio Pedraza in a unification. And young hard charging Barry McGuigan and Jeff Fenech. My goodness that’s some serious work. Had he moved up he would have had a to face his countrymen in Julio Cesar Chavez at 130 and possibly Alexis Arguello at 135. I think 130-135 would have been his physical ceiling. I don’t believe he would have ran THAT table. But I do think he would’ve won some of those fights and enhanced his legacy. So now he’s top 50 ever, I think he would have moved up to top 25 ever and be equal to great fighters historically like Roy Jones, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Sanchez was really something.
Oscar De La Hoya was definitely an all time great fighter. But I agree with you. I think he trainer hopped too much. He was doing good under Robert Alcazar and he got rid of him. He had in my opinion his best career performance in the 1st Chavez fight in June of 1996. Oscar had never looked better before or after that fight. If I’m not mistaken he had Jesus Rivera in his corner for that one. If you watch the 2nd Chavez fight you can see that Oscar wasn’t as sharp or reactive. Watch those 2 fights in contrast. I was a big Oscar fan and I saw at least 25 of his fights so I saw his evolution. Trust me the 1st Chavez fight in 96 was his apex. He gives anyone in history circa 140lbs hell on that night.
He had some success with Emanuel Steward and Floyd Mayweather Sr. And he didn’t look as good with Nacho Beristain and Freddie Roach. I don’t know what was up with all of the trainer switching but I think it keeps Oscar from being on Mt. Rushmore. If Oscar could have just won 2 more BIG fights imagine where he would be ranked?
The Trinidad fight was winnable. I thought he won but that could have been a career defining boxing performance and now it’s looked at as a blunder and misjudgment on what not to do in the closing rounds. The Mosley fights were also winnable. I thought he won the 2nd one but again Oscar could have adjusted and won CLEAN. And the Mayweather fight was winnable. Oscar has a strong case for winning between 4 and 6 rounds vs Mayweather. Depending on how generous you are to him. I remember watching the fight saying to myself this is close but Oscar is doing just enough to lose. But again one adjustment and he could have won that fight. He really did well in the middle rounds vs Floyd with his jab.
Oscar and Nonito Donaire are very similar. They’re great fighters and are physically gifted. But they lack that Mt. Rushmore adjustment gift. I believe if Oscar would have stayed with 1 or 2 corners in his career and just built with them instead of constantly switching, those adjustments would have came from either listening or corner continuity. I really respect Oscar as a fighter but 6 or 7 different corners is a counter productive trend that Oscar has to take the blame for. It shows inconsistent character and as we know the boxing ring is a TRUTH MACHINE. That same inconsistent character came back to bite Oscar in big moments in his career.
Let’s imagine Oscar has 2 hard fought wins over Mosely. A UD boxing lesson over Trinidad. And close win over a prime Mayweather. With his already insane resume and equal popularity, he’s top 10 ever. No one would have cared that he lost to Bhop and Pacman.
I’ve been hearing about Vergil Ortiz but I haven’t had the time to study him so I don’t want to overstate or understate. I want to be fair to him. When I get some free time I will study Ortiz and Teofimo Lopez. The media rates them as the best two American prospects on the rise. But I will say I have seen Devin Haney, Stephen Fulton Jr, Shakur Stevenson, Joseph Adorno and Jaron Ennis. And America has some serious talent coming through the ranks.
Young fighters are interesting to observe and assess. Everyone wants to be the 1st to discover and say a kid will be great. I’ve been wrong and right about this. Emanuel Steward looks like a genius now, he told everyone that Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder will be elite. Now they are about to fight a super fight. Steward told me some things about Julian Williams that I tucked under my hat and never really spoke on.
I don’t like to compare young fighters head to head because it causes unnecessary BS and rivalries on social media and I don’t want to be part of that or the cause of that. But I will say that right now Fulton, Ennis and Haney are the most advanced as far being ready to challenge the next level of competition. I’ve been high on Ennis since 2014, he looks like a bigger, longer more athletic Terence Crawford. And Stephen Fulton has been fighting the best competition out of any American prospect period. Fulton has faced 5 undefeated prospects, 1 prospect with 1 loss and he’s about to face another undefeated prospect in the fall. Fulton is only 13-0! He’s severely overlooked.
I also want to say there is a young amateur who is a lightheavyweight named Atif Oberlton. He’s a southpaw and he looks to be about 6’2. If he turned pro tomorrow I think he could challenge for a title within 15-20 fights. Lightheavyweight is stacked at the top so I’m not saying he will definitely win a title. But he has the activity and body rhythm of a lightweight. The big guys just can’t keep up. I don’t know how he would respond to the big punches with NO head gear so that’s the obvious X factor but I do believe none of the current crop of top guys can outbox him. He has a Joe Calzaghe type of activity with more range. The reason I say 15 to 20 fights is because often times a fighter settles down into more of a pro style. But with him I think it will make him easier to fight if settles down too much. Fighters who can translate that uber activity are hard to deal with especially when they have the movement of a fighter 2 divisions below. See how Usyk does the CruiserWeights. Or how Loma does the lightweights. Remember how Pacquiao just undressed the welterweights when he first moved up. If this kid has the chin to hold up, he’s going to be a nightmare for lightheavyweights. Mark him down also.
I’m studying fight film right now and I would like for you to tell me some of the best adjustments you saw Ray Robinson and Floyd Mayweather make? I often hear the word adjustment but I need specific instances if you have any. Thanks.
Bread’s Response: I sure do. Floyd makes a beautiful adjustment in every fight but the two that stand out the most to me is vs Diego Corrales and Miguel Cotto. Against Corrales Floyd kept stabbing him to his belly with a jab. If you notice Corrales is TALL but he had short arms and a long torso from waist to neck. Therefore his elbows didn’t cover his body totally. Floyd landed about 100 jabs to the same spot. Then a little later in the fight Floyd made it look as if the SAME jabs would land in Corrales’s belly again and he turned a hook at the last minute and dropped Corrales for the 1st time. That was the beginning of the end for Corrales and one of the best adjustments I have ever seen.
Cotto’s jab really threw Floyd off for some reason. He wasn’t defending it well. Floyd who was a counter puncher by the time he fought Cotto started to lead. He also started throwing a right hand around the guard of Cotto landing on the left ear. Then as soon as the right hand landed he started zipping a left uppercut underneath. Cotto held his hands high and there was an opening underneath. Floyd won the fight on the same combo over and over.
Ray Robinson’s fight vs Jake LaMotta is his most famous fight but it wasn’t his greatest performance. LaMotta actually outjabbed Robinson. But Robinson knew LaMotta blew up in weight in between fights. So in the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, Robinson allowed the referee to break him and he accentuated how far making LaMotta walk towards him from the other side of the ring. All in all I estimated Lamotta walked 3 miles in the ring not including the fatigue of the fight. By the time they got to the championship rounds LaMotta was spent and Robinson then turned into a savage and finished him with a devastating volley. What an adjustment!
Against Gene Fullmer, Robinson zipped in about 2 or 3 right hands to the kidneys in a row. Robinson had the best whipping right hand to the body in the history of boxing. The shot was just insanely hard and debilitating. So he framed Fullmer’s mind to believe he would try for the shot again. Fullmer was attempting to counter the shot with right hand of his own. So Fullmer anticipated another right hand body shot and Robinson instead throws left hook as Fullmer’s right hand goes away from his face to counter with his own right hand. BOOM fight over, perfect punch.
Rocky Graziano was a murderous puncher and he buzzed Robinson in their fight. But he was a bull rusher. Robinson allowed him to bull rush and instead of making a big circle to get away, he made a small circle and stepped in with a right hand to ko him. That was brilliant enough but if you look at the right hand closely you will see that he quickly ripped down Graziano’s left hand with his own left hand and fired the money shot unimpeded directly to Graziano’s jaw. Again a 1 punch ko vs a HOF.
I stumbled across your mailbag a few weeks ago and I was just blown away by the way you broke down the science and pure logic of this great sport.
This has officially replaced Dougie’s mailbag as my favorite. I’ve grown very disenchanted with the ‘Bible Of Boxing ‘ as a publication, as I have a major problem with a boxing promotional company owning and operating a so-called legitimate journalistic entity. We’re supposed to believe the mantra being narrated that it’s operating completely impartial and without interference from “above”?
Anyways I won’t ask you to comment on this , my main agenda is upcoming fights!!!!! Let’s do it!
-Mikey Garcia/Errol Spence-
I love both these fighters. Mikey is beautiful to watch man, technIcally as sound as it gets. He reminds me of Salvador Sanchez-with which the skill and precision that he breaks his opponents down. I love that he’s daring to be great, but I’m worried that he’s biting off too big of a challenge here though. Spence is a monster welter & supremely talented to boot. Spence is like La Motta, Chavez or Marciano -always beating you up via the arms, body, chin , etc-until he wears you out with his strength, physicality and power.
Result: I think Mikey’s talent & timing keep him in the fight AND highly competitive til the last third of the fight. Garcia will survive til the final bell, but lose by a definitive margin after two late knockdowns blow the fight wide open.
-Danny Garcia/Shawn Porter-
Not gonna lie, on principal alone I root against Danny because I can’t stand his father-and I’m a Philly dude. I think this has the potential to be -like most Porter fights, truly ugly. Porter is physically a bear, indefatigable, uses his head like a deadly weapon and generally makes things uncomfortable for his opponent wether he’s winning or losing. Against his best opponents tho (Thurman & Brook-I don’t consider Broner to be elite” over 135lbs) he’s come up just short of calling himself the classes best. Trouble is I’m not so sure Danny qualifies at 147lbs either, however. He doesn’t do anything excellent at Welterweight and there’s areal possibility Porter bullies him all night en route to a bruising, unanimous decision. He does have excellent timing, grit and enters the more experienced fighter. I also think Porter can be hurt, particularly if he leads with his chin (Broner had him badly hurt and he’s no puncher at Welterweight) as Danny is fully capable of walking him into something.
Result: I’m going with the mild upset here, I just don’t think Danny will be able to handle
Porter’s strength, rough house
tactics and underrated footwork he uses to close distance. If he remembers to jab at the point of attack and go to the body I like Porter by Majority, but deserved decision.
-Tony Bellew/Oleksander Usyk
This one is easy to me at least. Usyk is probably one of the 10-12 best fighters on the planet, Bellew isn’t. He’s on a phenomenal run right now, but let’s keep things in perspective. People are overrating the Brit by massive proportions in my humbled opinion, due to two less than monumental knockouts over Sonny Listo-err, a crippled
David Haye, B.J Flores and a few other well selected names. Good matchmaking has been key during this run.I cthink Bellew should have went for Fury, if that fight was truly on the table, as it would have earned him far more money in a fight more winnable at the moment while he’s still rusty.
Result: I don’t think Bellew does anything as good/better than Usyk does, including their physical size. I think Usyk is the compares favorably among the best 200lb fighters
Rocky Marciano, what a terrifying prospect he’d be in a star-studded 205-210lb weight class.
Ezzard Charles-see directly above and Evander Holyfield, along with smaller fighters who I think could have matured into this class-Bob Foster, Michael Spinks, Sam Langford , Jack Dempsey Like any of these legends , Usyk will stomp Bellew out and remind everyone he’s closer to the guy that got run out the ring against Adonis Stephenson-the last real elite guy he’s faced-a couple years ago & not the dude who acted like he was George Foreman bouncing Joe Frazier off the canvas when he beat a crippled/barely above average at heavyweight anyways David Haye. Usyk via 8th RD TKO
-Danny Jacobs/Sergey Derevyanchenko
I haven’t figured Jacobs out yet. As the original pre- Canelo “Golden Child” Days he was blitzed out of the ring against a Virtually unknown Dmitriy Pirog , overcame cancer and got his career back on track, though he found a way to be floored and legitimately hurt by Sergio Mora!!! before bringing back memories of my all-time favorite fighter Tommy Hearns waxing James Schuler when he iced friend/rival & fellow chinny puncher Peter Quilian in one round. Then with the right combination of physical tools, a massive advantage in weight and a strangely passive GGG in front of him, he did just enough to keep it close enough to bellyache about being robbed on a night the upset victory was there for the taking. Most recently he went largely life and death with Jacob Sulecki before pulling away late. Deryvanchenko has a limited Pro resume, but he possesses a massive amateur background to compensate for the lack of the latter (a growing trend among the likes of Stars Lomachenko, Rigondeux & Usyk to name a few) and the names/contenders he has fought Sam Soliman & Tureano
Johnson-he destroyed them for what it’s worth.
Result: I’m always leery of picking a guy whose most noteworthy performance was a Impressive performance in DEFEAT, in his next big fight-see Razor Ruddock after his losses to Tyson, then expected to defeat Lennox Lewis......um, yeah..I don’t see Jacobs being crushed like Ruddock, but eventually he’ll wilt under the Ukrainian’s balanced attack. (Derevianchenko TKO 10thRD)
Billy Joe Saunders/Demetrius Andrade
Nobody is hotter or colder than Saunders. When he’s focused he’s a nightmare for everyone in the Middleweight class. When he’s not? Well, not so much. Andrade isn’t much better off, I just feel he should have more than a so so victory over Vanes
Martirosyan to show for his career this far. Man who’s gonna step up here?
Result: I think Saunders is entering with more momentum in this contest, also just when I begin to underestimate him, he proves me wrong.
Andrade would appear to have the edge in physical gifts and natural ability, but he seems to be missing something. Maybe I’m wrong? Maybe he comes out and puts it on Billy? This is the least sure of the fights I’ve presented you.
What if’s? All Peaks-Their Best Nights
De La Hoya/Trinidad 2 @ 154lbs
Hopkins/Nunn @ 160lbs
Spinks/Holyfield @195 lb catch weight
Gómez/Morales @ 122 lbs
Jones Jr/Ward @ 168ls
Chavez/Arguello @ 135lbs
Bread’s Response: Thank you.
I love Doug’s mailbag though. He does a great job and he’s been doing it a lot longer than myself. Have to pay homage.
I can tell you have excellent boxing eyes from your comments…
Mikey Garcia does not remind me of Salvador Sanchez. I think they line up differently. Juan Estrada has more Sanchez in his game. I think Mikey is a hybrid Alexis Arguello and Juan Manuel Marquez. He’s heavy handed as hell like Arguello but his punch selection is even more simple than Arguello’s was. Mikey basically throws two punches. A 1-2 and every once in a blue he mixes in a hook. His alertness and counter punching reminds me of Marquez. But again Marquez was faster and had a bigger variety. Mikey keeps it so simple but yet he’s so effective.
I agree with you about Mikey vs Errol. I hope Errol is not taking him lightly. I think Mikey stays right with Errol in the 1st half. But Errol’s physicality and Mikey’s fragile nose breaks down and Errol stops him late. Maybe 10 or 11.
DSG vs Porter will be close. I know many people who are picking both. I’m a little surprised Danny is the favorite with Shawn having more experience at welterweight. I also agree Shawn’s jab will be a big factor.
Usyk vs Bellew. I like Bellew and I respect the run he’s on. No one thought he would be so good at cruiserweight and his punching power has increased. I say he drops Usyk early but Usyk gets up to shut him out the rest of the way by UD.
Jacobs vs SD is intriguing. Jacobs is a hard guy to figure with his boxing identity. His record looks like he’s a puncher but in tough fights he boxes. Against Ishe Smith, GGG, Pirog and Sulecki he was the boxer. SD is a pressure technician and I suppose he’s had some success vs Jacobs in sparring. I assume that because of how high Danny rehydrates. Any fighter that rehydrates that high walks into camp extremely heavy. So therefore he will have uneven energy days in camp. I don’t have a pick yet for this fight….
I can’t call Saunders vs Andrade either. But I feel the same way you do. Saunders looks so hot n cold it’s puzzling. It really makes you wonder why there is such a drastic difference in his performances. He’s at the prime age for a fighter in his weight class. But he seems hot right now so I assume we will see his best version vs Andrade.
Andrade has super talent and he’s been around since the 2008 class turned pro but most of the guys that were stand out amateurs around that time have done much more in the pros than Andrade. Wilder, Russell, Porter, Thurman, Jacobs, Garcia, Crawford all have had more distinguished careers than Andrade who was probably a better amateur than all of them.
And Andrade is not as hot and cold as Saunders but his performances are little off at times. Against Brian Rose he looked awesome but against Jack Culcay he looked troubled and against Alantez Fox he looked bored. I can’t call it. This is a tough fight for both.
Oscar vs Tito2 @154. People may call me crazy because I thought Oscar won the 1st one but Tito was better and went to a higher peak after their fight. At 154 Tito would have adjusted earlier and beat Oscar.
Hopkins vs Nunn is tough. Hopkins outlasted a lot of guys who would have given him trouble if he fought them head to head. Nunn is one of those guys. But on their best ever night, I say Hopkins wins a close decision.
Holyfield vs Spinks is something. The problem for Spinks is Holyfield was priming at 195ish where as Spinks was slowing down. His peak was 175. I say it’s a close fight but Holy outworks him. But he better be careful. Spinks is the best puncher I’ve ever seen coming out of a clinch.
Gomez vs Morales whew. Morales’s peak was just as good as Gomez’s at 122 and his reign was almost as good. Morales was awesome at 122. I say a draw. I know Gomez is universally recognized at the best ever at 122 but I don’t think he’s head and shoulders better than Morales or Barrera head to head. Gomez was powerful but Morales had a better jab, more range and better handspeed.
Frazier vs Liston is a weird fight. Frazier fought Ali better so some would assume he beats Liston. But those are people who didn’t study the 50s version of Liston. Liston was George Foreman before George Foreman. Frazier would have a horrible time with Liston. I say Liston by 9th rd tko.
Jones vs Ward is a fight everyone is starting to ask. The 1st Montell Griffin fight lets me know Ward can not only hang with him but he will win his share of rounds. Eddie Futch and Griffin really had a great game plan vs Jones. That low crouching jab and stealing shots on the inside is something that Ward can do to Jones. But Jones was just superman at 168 for me. And I can’t pick against him from what I’ve seen with my own eyes. In fairness to Ward though, he has that well rounded neutralizing way you can’t truly appreciate until you see him in with a guy. Jones has that visual pleasure of talent that always rates higher in hypothetical matchups.
Chavez vs Arguello. You have the best puncher ever at the lower weights vs the best chin ever at the lower weights. You have the two best body punchers I’ve seen punch for punch along with Mike McCallum. Today I say Chavez in an all time great fight because of his performance vs Rosario. But tomorrow I may say Alexis because oh his Escalera performance. I really don’t know, it’s that close.
I read your comments on Floyd and you don't give him enough credit, he's the best of the past 30+ years and has beaten so many HOFers. Comparing his 3 best wins to the 3 best wins of other greats, they may be more impressive, but if you compare the 10-15 best wins who has the better resume? Floyd is also harder to hit clean than any fighter at any weight since Pernell, who Floyd was superior to offensively
I had a feeling Broner would be fighter of the decade, he's had losses but learned from them and with the right trainer now, if he signed with Arum, beat Pac, Loma then Crawford, then beats Spence/Thurman winner does he win the award?
Brit fans need to wake up and realise USA is the home of boxing, Wilder is going to be the biggest PPV star of this year, people are bored of Canelo-GGG soap opera and AJ soft touches
Bread’s Response: Geezus you guys make up stuff to start arguments. I was never asked who was the best fighter of the last 30 years. If you say 30+ it depends on where the + starts. If we go exactly 30 back to 1988 Floyd has a case for being the best. Only Holyfield, Hopkins, Jones, Chavez, Whitaker and Pacquiao could challenge him.
I agree Floyd’s 10-15 best wins are tremendous because of his longevity. But Chavez’s, Holyfield’s, Whitaker’s and Pacquiao’s are just as good. Just look fighter for fighter who they beat and where each guy was ranked at the time.
I think I heard Max Kellerman say this about Floyd and I agree. He’s like Henry Aaron. He hits 40 homeruns every year for 20 years. Some guys like Jones or Leonard may have a higher peak like say a Mantle or Ruth, but they lost their peaks earlier and Floyd’s is just so consistent that it evens out in the end.
But again I don’t understand where you want Floyd ranked. I think he’s top 25 ever. I don’t have an exact place but I can sort of give a fighter a range. Do you understand how high that is when you factor in eras? And it’s harder to be higher in this era because you fight less and there are more belts available, with more weight classes.
Come on man. Are you asking if Broner beat Loma, Crawford, Pac, Spence and Thurman would he be fighter of the decade? Of course he would be fighter of the decade if he did that but there is only 16 months left in this decade so how in the hell would he accomplish that? You must be a Midwest advocate. No one could do that in 16 months. This will upset you but the closest thing we have seen to that is Ray Leonard fighting Benitez in Nov 79, Duran in June and Nov of 1980 and Hearns in September of 1981. Fighters just don’t do that in this era and you guys can’t get mad at me for observing it.
The Fighter of the Decade right at this moment in my opinion is Andre Ward. The fighter with the best two wins combined is Ward. Froch and Kovalev. If Ward had fought Kessler just a few months later he would have it easy with those 3 wins. But nevertheless no one has two better wins than that. Ward also passes the eye ball test. But the decade is not over. GGG can still pass him because there are some excellent fighters at 160. Canelo has a shot too if he can win a couple of fights on strict testing. Usyk, Wilder, Joshua, Crawford and Loma also have chances to pass Ward if they get heavy work done in the next 16 months. Keith Thurman has 2 excellent wins over Danny Garcia and Shawn Porter but he just stopped fighting so I don’t think he will pass Ward but if he came back and beat say Spence we would have to consider him.
Broner is a tremendous talent but he doesn’t have the wins or resumes those guys have. I would say Broner’s best win is Antonio Demarco so it’s just a different level of accomplishment when you talk about Fighter of the Decade. If you look at the past fighters of decades and runner ups the level was different. 2000s it was a 2 man race with Pacman winning it and Floyd having a strong case. In the 90s Roy Jones won it with Pernell Whitaker having a strong case. In the 80s Ray Leonard won it with Marvin Hagler having a strong case.
I’m an American but the UK has better live crowds than us. How else can we explain the difference in pay between Joshua and Wilder. It’s significant my man. I do think the biggest stars usually come through Vegas but man that UK money is huge. I think here in America we have more top fighters. I agree with that. But the actual top 10 best in the world is spread out over many countries. I don’t believe the UK has ever had the very best fighter in the world so that’s something they could use.
I hope Wilder does great on PPV he’s must see TV. But right now as we speak Joshua is a bigger world wide star. I also disagree that Joshua has had soft touches. Joshua, Wilder and Fury have fought about same level of competition. Where do you guys get these things from? You know there is this website called boxrec. Where we can check records.
Joshua has been pro less time, has less fights and he actually has fought even with Fury and Wilder. His resume may be even slightly better because he unified and he’s fought more undefeated fighters. It doesn’t mean he’s better. It doesn’t mean he’s my favorite. Those are just facts. I think Wilder is the most ambitious because now it seems like he will fight anyone. He’s tried to fight everyone. But it took Wilder a long time to develop. He didn’t fight for a title until he had over 30 fights and was a pro for 7 years. Joshua stepped up much sooner and with less fights. But it’s not a sprint it’s a marathon. So Wilder’s progression was his, and Joshua’s was his. But you can’t make up stuff in order to down Joshua. Just state the facts objectively. And for the record Wilder is one of the fighters I respect the most in boxing because of his is stance on CLEAN boxing. But Joshua’s soft touches and Wilder’s soft touches have been the same.
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