By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag retains with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the pound for pound spot for Oleksandr Usyk, the 1966 version of Muhammad Ali, PEDs in boxing, Floyd Mayweather's best weight, Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia, and more.
Hey once again keep up the great work just a few dream matchup’s weight class by weight class of the two fighters that I think were the best ever at that weight love to hear your opinion Muhammad Ali when he fought Cleveland Williams versus Larry Holmes when he thought Gerry cooney I like Ali but close Cruiserweight carlos Deleone verse in Evander Holyfield ? I like holy Light heavyweight ezzard Charles vs Michael Spinks super middleweight Joe Calzaghe versus Roy Jones when they were both in their prime I know they thought but Roy was way past it by then I like Roy middleweight Roy Jones versus Ray Robinson I like Robinson Junior middleweight Tommy Hearns Terry Norris I like tommy welterweight Leonard versus Robinson I like Leonard Junior welterweight Mayweather versus Aaron Pryor I like Floyd lightweight Whitaker versus Bobby Duran I like pernell Junior lightweight macho Camacho versus Floyd Mayweather - I like Floyd and featherweight Salvador Sanchez versus Loma I like Loma thank you and can’t wait to hear your responses Howie from New Jersey
Bread’s Response: The 1966 version of Ali beats everyone literally. He’s the best heavyweight ever and literally could beat every man that ever lived.
I don’t see an opponent for Holyfield.
Charles slightly over Spinks.
Jones but I’m guessing. Calzaghe is hard to determine because we didn’t see him vs the guns in their primes.
Robinson but I’m guessing again. Jones was a lot bigger.
Hearns big over Norris.
Robinson over Leonard. I love Leonard but no one beats Robinson at 147. There is footage. He’s the best fighter ever figuratively in a P4P sense.
Pryor too busy, too mean, to indefatigable at 140.
Duran by a hair but they would have to fight 3 times to decide.
Flip a coin on Sanchez vs Loma
Hi Bread! You might’ve probably had this before many times but I wanted to ask after Saturday night - MM Usyk vs prime Holyfield in CW who you got? Man that was a KO of the year!!
Bread’s Response: It’s hard for me to pick against Holyfield circa 200lbs in a head to head sense. Maybe 3 or 4 men in history could beat him. And that’s a big maybe. Maybe Joe Louis, Maybe Ezzard Charles, Maybe Joe Frazier, Maybe Sam Langford, Maybe Jack Johnson. Holyfield is a super monster especially for a man close to his size.
I could see Usyk outpointing him but Usyk loses his share of rounds. He lost about 5 or 6 to Briedis. He lost about 4 to Hunter. And Bellew was up at the time of the stoppage. Besides Holyfield’s first title fight vs Qawi it was hard to get more than 2 rounds from him at Cruiser. So if you twist my arm I say Holyfield in a shootout. Youtube Holyfield vs Ricky Parky and Qawi 2 and Carlos DeLeon. He was a force of nature at Cruiserweight.
When you have special fighters like Holyfield and Usyk, they keep raising the bars so sometimes you have to see them in with the other greats. Usyk may have another level he can go to. But from everything I have seen I give Holyfield the slight edge. Holyfield may have too many ranges for Usyk. Holy is nasty at all 3 ranges. Inside, Midrange and long range. I also think he was busy enough to score with Usyk so he wouldn’t have to depend on a ko to win.
Good call on that Usyk vs Bellew. I thought Usyk would wash him but I actually had Bellew up before the stoppage. How did you have it scored and where do you have Usyk on the P4P list?
Bread’s Response: Bellew has really flourished since moving up from light heavyweight. I was very impressed with Bellew. I was also impressed with his performance vs Usyk. He has nothing to be ashamed of. Usyk is no worse than the 2nd best cruiserweight ever. And he’s no worse than the 5th best fighter in the world. He’s legitimately great and Bellew rumbled him tooth and nail. I thought Bellew was winning slightly. But you could see Usyk was honing in on Bellew. That’s what great fighters do. They separate themselves late. You may can stay tight for 4 or 8 rounds but at some point the greats find a spot to take over. Usyk found a spot.
1a. Terence Crawford
1b. Vasyl Lomachenko
2. Ollie Usyk
3. Monster Inoue
4. Canelo Alvarez
6. Mikey Garcia
7. Errol Spence
8. Anthony Joshua
9. Jermall Charlo
10. Jarrett Hurd
I have a few PED and media observations. Why did Erislandy Lara leave the Clean Testing Program? Even if he’s not fighting for the WBC title the program is free. What is the point of leaving a free program that levels the playing field? Next is Shane Mosley Jr. Not sure if you watched the Contender but Mosley Jr. made the finals. There is no way he should have made the finals. I’m from the LA area. He’s a decent gym fighter and that’s it. He also tested positive for PEDs in the past. I’m asking you how come the media and press gives certain guys passes. Even you don’t bring it up. According to you a cheater is a cheater. What gives!
Bread’s Response: Ok……..
I don’t know why Lara left the Clean Testing Program. I have no intimate knowledge of what happened and why. I did hear he is fighting Brian Castano for the WBA belt but other than that I don’t know what happened.
You’re also right about Mosley Jr. He had a positive test also.
All I can say is I was never asked about this stuff before. I can’t bring up what I wasn’t asked about. Mosley Jr wasn’t a blue chip prospect that everyone was talking about. I’ve never even seen him fight before the Contender. So it’s not like he was a big name.
Lara does not get a pass from the media. I think the media is brutal on Lara. I have heard some prominent media members say some nasty stuff about Lara. I want to be fair with Lara. Leaving the program is not the same as testing positive. Before we jump to conclusions lets wait and see. I wouldn’t classify Lara as a cheater.
In my last mail, I meant to write the right way to measure 'arm length and reach' and accidentally ended up writing 'height and reach'. So, armpit to fist for arm length and fist to fist for measuring reach. Cool.
Few questions for you -
1. I have noticed that Floyd usually does not dance circles. He fights at arm's distance and will pivot out if you try to corner him. Having said that, there have been fights wherein he moved around a lot. Early rounds of Maidana rematch comes to mind. I know that it is hard to throw anything other than jabs while constantly moving because you will have to plant your foot a little longer to throw any type of power punch but I genuinely feel Floyd's punch output goes down when he moves too much. This could cost him against certain type of fighters. I mean, could you see Floyd doing to Chavez what Whittaker did to him because I cannot. From what I saw it felt Whittaker outboxed Chavez not because Chavez could not cut off the ring but because of Whittaker's unparalleled ability to throw punches while moving and his inside game. Floyd does have great inside game but I honestly consider Mayweather vs chavez a 50/50 fight from 130-140 (Floyd wins at 147 due to sheer strength). My question to you is how would you rate Floyd's ability to throw punches while moving and how do you see him doing against Chavez?
2. They say Floyd's best weight class was 130. Can you throw some light on how his style was different back then?
3. Has there ever been a great long range body puncher and I mean hooks, not people who just threw body jabs. Roy Jones used to throw hooks in long range but not often to the body. Can you think of someone who would regularly throw hooks to the body in long range.
4. Similarly, has there ever been a boxer who used to regularly throws uppercuts in long range. I have seen Roy Jones throwing it a few times but can you think of someone who did it regularly. Is it even possible?
5. Unusual Mythical Matchup - Mike Mccallum vs Iran Barkley at 160
Bread’s Response: 1. Guys who punch literally while they are moving are stick and movers. Floyd can stick and move but I wouldn’t classify him as a stick and mover. Ali is the greatest stick and mover of them all. Larry Holmes had a great stick and move game, Willie Pep is as good or better than Ali at it. More recently Sambu Kalambay could stick and move his butt off. And believe it or not the best current stick and mover is BJ Saunders. He’s nasty with it.
Floyd can definitely punch on the move. He punched on the move brilliantly vs Corrales. He really tamed Corrales with 2 shots. A lead hook and a body jab. Corrales could not tell which shot was coming and Floyd switched them up all night.
Maidana’s pressure was different than Corrales’s. Maidana had crazy, frenetic pressure. On top of that he was dirty. So Floyd couldn’t stand his ground and be comfortable. Corrales was a great fighter but his pressure was easier for Floyd to predict and compute.
I would rate Floyd’s ability to throw punches on the move very high. But it’s just not his go to tactic as far as boxing. Floyd vs Chavez from 130-140 is very tough to call. I agree with you Chavez was not really a weltwerweight. He only weighed 142 vs Whitaker. So it’s not fair to compare him at welterweight.
Chavez is one of the best 140 pounders ever. Only Aaron Pryor and Carlos Ortiz can really challenge him at 140 as far as being the greatest.
At 130lbs Chavez, Floyd and Alexis Arguello all have arguments for being the best ever. I can’t call it but from a competition stand point I may give it to Arguello. He was brutal at 130 and his level of competition was insane. Although in head to head match ups Chavez and Floyd may be able to beat him. Who knows…
At 135 both Floyd and Chavez had prime performances but neither stayed there long enough to create a great legacy although the weight was primed for them. Chavez put on the best pressure performance I have seen in my lifetime vs Edwin Rosario. Floyd was lights out vs Phillip Ndou.
I can envision both fighters beating each other and having to fight more than twice to settle it. Floyd struggled mightily twice vs Jose Luis Castillo’s pressure. Castillo didn’t punch from too far out, he used his feet to get up on Floyd, he had a good jab and he was sand paper tough. Does that sound familiar. Castillo is a slightly watered down version of Chavez. In my opinion Castillo has a case for winning 12 out of 24 rounds vs a prime Floyd.
On the other hand Meldrick Taylor took Chavez to the brink and he Chavez needed a little assistance from the referee to win that great fight. Floyd is better than Meldrick overall but for one night Taylor was magical. His ability to stay in the box and outpoint Chavez was real. I don’t know if Floyd could duplicate that style although overall he’s better.
As I compute this I say Chavez wins the 1st fight. Floyd wins the 2nd. And flip a coin on the 3rd but I slightly lean Chavez because of that Rosario performance. Chavez was so good on that night he may have been able to beat Roberto Duran, Ike Williams, Carlos Ortiz, Pernell Whitaker and Benny Leonard. Please watch that fight on youtube.
2. Usually the 1st weight class a fighter wins a title in is considered his best. Floyd won his 1st title at 130. He threw more punches at 130, he scored more kos at 130 and from what eyes tell me, he had about four fights at 130 where is was A+. Diego Corrlaes, Genaro Hernandez, Angel Manfredy and Carlos Gerena. Floyd had more physicality at 130. But truth be told Floyd is an anomaly. Because he’s had A+ performances at all of his weights. So it’s hard to say what his best weight was. He spent the most time at welterweight as strange as it may seem.
I have watched all of Floyd’s fights since he fought Tony Pep. He was beastly at 130 but I think he was his most polished at 140. Meaning his mind and body were equals. He just didn’t stay there long. Floyd would have been a terrific junior welterweight and it would have been natural. I think he went to 147 for the money but he didn’t outgrow 140 when he left.
I’m not sure if there has been another long range body hooker besides Roy Jones. I know straight long range body punchers but long range body hookers are different. Let’s say Tommy Hearns had a great range long range body hook and Ray Robinson had the best whipping right hand to the kidneys in the history of boxing. But they are few, far and in between.
The only long range upper cutters I have seen were Ricardo Lopez, Naseem Hamed and Kid Gavilan. Long range uppercuts are dangerous ask Buster Douglas.
5. McCallum over Barkley. McCallum is just too well rounded and too tough. Bad style match up for Barkley.
My take on the middleweights:
I see the potential for Jacobs vs Canelo to happen, but honestly, I think Jacobs (if he fights to the level of his competition, as he usually does), makes it more close than people might expect. Canelo gets tripped up by feints, and if Jacobs can work those and his jab he gives Canelo problems that GGG couldn't. Jacobs is bigger and, from what I've seen, physically more inclined to use his strength (GGG doesn't impose himself that way).
Still, I guess Jacobs will probably lose now that I think of it. When you fight to the level of your competition, you don't usually overcome them, you just trouble them. That and Canelo getting the benefit of the doubt just because he throws a punch means Jacobs loses 116-112 or something like that. Canelo also won't stay at 168. At some point people will pick on the need to be physical with Canelo to exhaust him. Clinch him with overhooks and make him carry you, or feint the clinch and throw a right like a jab like Bhop does. I can't think of a guy that clinches for the purposes of attrition that Canelo has fought. His muscles don't like extended prolonged use. Take the shark out of his element, throw him on land and make him suck air.
Still, lots happening at 160. Charlo's strong too, and can jab, but a bit robotic and doesn't move. I think he's an easy puzzle to solve, but hits like a ball pean hammer. I still think Charlo's skills get rated more highly than it should, but his physicality and power, create an overcompensating view of him. I bet he beats GGG now. Why would GGG still jave the desire to roll out of bed and run up in Big Bear at this point in his career? Golovkin gets KO'd by the next big hitter he fights. Working your way up from the bottom with no belts...how many former champs recover and find a new lease on their career? Not too many when they stay in that weight class.
Speaking of guys moving up, are you as unsure of Usyk at HW as I am? I don't know if he hits hard enough and I feel he starts pretty slow. A big guy could get him out early, and, if not, could simply take his punches better than a CW and impose themself on him, trad8nf punches b3cause they take them better. As much as the Bellew win was probably good defense and a pay check, it doesn't do much. Bellew has been too busy acting in a Rocky movie and beating up old man Haye. If anything, I don't like him moving up, but I get it, what's left at CW? When a tournament is done, the one downside is there are few questions left in that division.
Lastly, Sugar Ray Robinson vs Sugar Ray Leonard. Who wins?
Thanks for your time.
Bread’s Response: Ray Robinson vs Ray Leonard is the best hypothetical match up in history. In a 15 round fight I see Robinson winning 8 or 9 rounds and Leonard winning 6 or 7. It’s nip and tuck. Both are brutal mean finishers. Both punch in extended speed demon combinations. I just think Robinson hits a little harder and he’s a little busier with his jab.
GGG imposes himself because of his punching power not so much his physical strength. He doesn’t maul you. He punches your lights out. Jacobs is a well rounded athletic boxer but I think Canelo is better defensively and more dynamic offensively. Jacobs is bigger and taller. It’s a close fight but Canelo does get the benefit of doubt. I want to point something out though. Canelo creates a lot of the benefit that he gets. The reason being is his punches are electric. They are judge friendly and crowd friendly. Canelo is like one of those streetball kids who play basketball. They get everyone looking at them while the game is going on. He has an IT factor that is hard to overcome.
Charlo is big and strong but he doesn’t have a freaky skillset. His skillset is solid but it’s predicated on his physicality and it’s nothing wrong with that. A fighter should use his best qualities. I’m interest to see if Charlo160 can win a fight vs a fighter he can not hurt. Because it is easy to score points on him.
At this moment I would also favor Charlo160 to beat GGG. GGG is a great fighter but as I watch him fight Canelo and Jacobs I see a fighter laboring. Some people made it seem like he let Jacobs and Canelo go the distance. No such thing happened. They went the distance because he couldn’t stop them. GGG is digging really deep just to pretty much break even. I will admit I have never seen him lose a fight in my opinion. I thought he beat Jacobs because of the knockdown. I thought he won the 1st Canelo fight. And I thought the 2nd was a draw. But all of those fights were draining in appearance to him. While Canelo and Jacobs seem better because of them, GGG seems to be laboring.
I can be wrong but I think Charlo160 would beat him at this present time. It would look like Frankie Randall vs Chavez. Where the style and timing is all wrong for GGG. There are still guys that GGG can beat because he’s a great fighter but I wouldn’t pick him vs Charlo160 at this point.
There are fighters who don’t move up and find new leases on their careers. Terry Norris, Tommy Hearns, Marco Antonio Barrera. The problem for GGG is he will most likely be 37 when he steps in the ring again. And more prominent he seems to be laboring. His body seems stressed. He’s breathing hard, his face is busting up and a fighter who was perceived as running from him and ducking him, stepped to him in a boxing ring and beat him officially. That’s tough to come back from but I’m pulling for him. I want GGG to clip one of these kids who wouldn’t have fought him before the Kell Brook fight.
Usyk is a tremendous fighter and he may have more layers to his game. But eye ball test tells me he’s not quite as good as Holyfield was when he moved up. Holyfield was much younger also. Holyfield was 25 when he left Cruiserweight. Usyk is 31. Usyk is the goods and I think he’s the 2nd best Cruiserweight ever. But I think Holyfield was just slightly better. Usyk is a little bit bigger. I think the heavyweight division was better when Holyfield moved up but the heavyweights are bigger now. So it’s wash.
Usyk is a slow starter. Most don’t notice that but you’re correct. He takes a little time to get cooking. I don’t worry about his punching power because elite fighters find a way to hit you often enough to stop you. Usyk takes something off of his punches on purpose to score and put you in certain positions. Then he can throw a fastball to score a ko. My concerns would be his slow starts, punches he takes and can he maneuver the size.
Holyfield didn’t win all of his heavyweight fights but he was able to maneuver the size. Holyfield also proved to have a historically great chin and his physical strength was enormous. I love Usyk and I think he will beat some of the bigger guys but not all. I can see him having more of a Chris Byrd level career at heavyweight.
What attributes and flaws do you look for in fighters? Physical and mental? Some things seem obvious but I know it has to be deeper than that.
Bread’s Response: I get asked this about every 6 months. There are so many things to name.
Obviously you need a certain level of god given talent to work with. Physically I look for toughness 1st. You have to have physical toughness. A fighter won’t engage in certain situations because he lacks physical toughness. Often times you will see a fighter in the gym who can kick ass on the bags and pads. He is also good when he’s sparring vs a guy with much lesser talent. But when he’s getting as good as he gets, he sputters.
After toughness I look for speed. Elite level speed is hard to deal with. I have seen fighters who’s biggest attributes were speed and toughness and they ascended to great heights. Meldrick Taylor won a gold medal and two world titles mainly because of speed and toughness.
Stamina is my 3rd trait. Being able to sustain in a fight is super important. Stamina could be 1st it’s that important. I put it 3rd though because early on in a fighter’s development you observe if they’re tough before you observe their stamina because stamina can be build over time. They start out fighting 3 round fights. Toughness can be tough also but it has to surface earlier because they won ‘t carry out instructions out of fear of being hit.
Physical strength is my 4th trait. A strong fighter who can move others around the ring and withstand maneuvering can trump punching power. In match ups of physical strength vs punching power the strength usually wins. Strength also leads to better stamina.
5th I look for a punch resistance. The ability to take punch is a little different from toughness. I have seen tough chinny fighters like Terry Norris. Then I have seen fighters who can take a BIG shot like Tyson but they don’t take long beating well. However the ability to take a punch is very important physically but it can be hidden with the proper training.
6th I look for punching power. Its overrated but it is important. Punching power can erase lots of mistakes. It ends things abruptly.
Before I go on I want to state that Physical, Skill and Mental are separate categories.
Skill is different from speed and athleticism. For example Marco Antonio Barrera is skillful but Pacquiao is athletic and skillful.
When I look at skill I look for footwork. Boxing begins with the feet.
2nd I look for punch accuracy. Clean punchers are more efficient they save energy and they get more doing less
3rd I look for defensive prowess. Defensive fighters have better stamina because they can fight a more relaxed fight.
4th I look for punch technique. Can a fighter throw his punches correctly without tipping them off. Or can he make his wild unorthodox shots work for him
5th. Fundamentals are very important. But I think other things are more important that’s why I have fundamentals at 5 on the skill list. You can go very far with sound fundamentals but I have seen some unorthodox fighters trouble sound fundamentals. Roy Jones gave James Toney and Bernard Hopkins fits. Deontay Wilder was able to beat the more technically fundamentally sound Luis Ortiz. Tim Bradley was able to beat Juan Manuel Marquez who has better fundamentals. Ali beat a whole era of fighters who had better fundamentals. Aaron Pryor was able to beat Alexis Arguello who had better fundamentals.
I would never downplay fundamentals. They are the 1st things you learn as a novice. This is just a list of importance. And sometimes fundamentals cause a fighter to conform. Other times sound fundamentals drive superior athletes crazy. It’s touch and go.
Next up is the Mental aspect which is the most important of all.
1. Discipline. Discipline is a 100% type of thing. Often times fighters are disciplined in certain areas. They go to the gym everyday but they don’t run. Or they don’t diet properly. You can’t cheat the grind. Discipline has to be in every aspect not just your favorites.
The 4 things the body craves are Food, Water, Sex and Sleep. All of these things are things a fighter is deprived of at certain points. Obviously food and water. But a fighter can’t chase women for sexual pleasures. And you have to be discipline in sleep recovery. If you stare at your phone all night you won’t sleep. Just check out social media after 11pm and that will tell you what fighters are disciplined and which ones aren’t.
2. After discipline I look for quickness. Some may say quickness is a physical thing but it isn’t. Quickness is in the mind not the body. Bernard Hopkins is quick, Oscar de La Hoya is fast. See the difference. Hopkins has the ability to process what is happening and respond to it quickly which may make him look fast but he’s responding fast. Where as Oscar is fast but he doesn’t have the processing ability that Hopkins has. It’s why Oscar couldn’t outspeed Hopkins when they fought because Hopkins was a step ahead mentally.
3. Intelligence. You want a smart fighter but you don’t want a brain surgeon. That type of guy will overthink everything and boxing is too dangerous to be an overthinker. But you want intelligence.
You want a fighter who is smart enough to know when to talk and not talk. You want a fighter who is smart enough to use his resources and is understanding of his resource. In this era there is no need for a fighter to lack in recovery. Whether it be ice baths, massages, hyperbaric chambers and nutrients. It’s simply no reason to not know what to do. And if you do know what to do and still don’t do it you’re a lazy fighter.
Andre Ward comes to mind when I think of intelligence. Ward is a terrific fighter but his mind is what makes him special. Ward was a carbon copy of Roy Jones early in his career. But after a knee injury he became a jabber and inside fighter. Do you understand the intelligence and mental game you have to have to change your game, midway through your career?
That takes HIGH intellect.
4. Character. Are you respectful? Are you coachable? Do you listen? Do speak when being spoken too? Are you humble when you are being rightfully redirected? Can you take constructive criticism without being confrontational. Character is simple.
5. Boxing IQ, Adjustments and Punch Selection. This is another thing that may seem physical but it’s mental. Do you throw the right punches at the right time? Do you over punch and allow yourself to be countered? Can you slow a fight down to benefit your style? Can you speed a fight up? Will you back a fighter up who can’t handle you backing him up.
I will give examples of IQ, Adjustments and Punch Selection. Ray Leonard could not hit Wilfred Benitez with an overhand right. He kept missing it over and over. So instead he started throwing a hard up jab that Benitez couldn’t see. He actually knocked him down with that shot and won the fight because he kept landing it consistently.
Mikkel Kessler kept hitting Joe Calzaghe with an uppercut. Calzaghe started closing his forearms together to keep the uppercut from getting through. It turned the fight around and Calzaghe went onto win.
Ray Robinson knew Jake Lamotta walked around heavy. So in their last fight Robinson allowed the ref to push him far away from Lamotta. He allowed Lamotta to walk far across the ring to pursue him. Lamotta didn’t know what was happening but he was walking miles during the fight and by the 12th he was burnt out. He was stopped in the 13th.
Roy Jones was fighting James Toney. Toney wanted you to over commit to a right hand so can roll and come back with his own. Jones never threw a hard right hand at Toney. He threw a touch right hand and he would throw a hard hook. Toney would bend to his right and Jones would go behind him. It happened over and over throughout the fight. It was one of the cleanest big fight performances you will ever see.
Roy Jones again fought Eric Harding. Harding was giving him trouble. Jones started firing hard shots to Harding’s biceps. The fight was literally stopped because Jones tore Harding’s bicep to pieces and Harding couldn’t continue after the 10th. That’s next level IQ.
These things translate to physical actions but it’s a mental skill that tells you what to do and what not to do.
First time. What do we make of no VADA for Spence, allegedly because he as an a-side didnt want it? And can we keep up certain p4p lists with these shenanigans? Arent ggg and donaire more remarkable than non vada topboxers? Rob Brant out here lookin like prime pacquiao all of a sudden?
I know you dont like answering and speculating when it comes to this, but im just asking general questions not asking you to judge or execute.
Bread’s Response: I don’t want to get into allegations. It’s November and the fight is in March. I thought they were doing VADA for Spence vs Garcia. If I’m not mistaken Spence did VADA for his title winning fight vs Kell Brook..... It’s hard for me to believe a PPV fight with two top 5 P4P guys will have no VADA testing. So let’s wait and see before rumors start. I will say if there is NO testing and one of the fighters wanted it, this will be a HUGE issue.......
GGG and Donaire are two of my favorite fighters of this era for a reason. They both voluntarily tested. And they both looked for the toughest fights in their divisions. Both had high peaks under strict testing. Not too many from this era can say that. The MEDIA in this era has failed themselves and BOXING. Prominent media members never hold fighters accountable who have tested positive or only test selectively.
I saw Rob Brant’s performance and we have to give him props. He looked sensational and He has a right to improve. But I get where you’re coming from. I just don’t want to speculate because I have no idea if there was testing in Brant’s fight. It’s irresponsible to openly speculate until you get all of the facts.
Now here is how I look at P4P list and just picking fights in general. I look to see who is testing and who isn’t. If I see certain fights that VADA is not testing in I sort of know who to pick, without saying anything. I give props on the P4P list but I give more props to fighters who turn in BIG time performances under the needle CONSISTENTLY. Wilder, Usyk, Inoue, Crawford, Loma and Hurd have all looked like monsters recently under testing….
Rod here I have a few quick questions I have for you:
1. From 79-81 SRL had a stupid run, I didn't realize he beat the 154 champion Kalule then dropped back to 147 a few months later to face Hearns, but with that being said when he was out from 84-87 can you think of any fights he missed out on? Just curious
2. I feel Floyd never faced a fighter in his prime or equal outside of Canelo and Corrales. I also feel he didn't take many fights where he was at a disadvantage (reach, height etc.) With that being said 2 possible fights that could've happened Winky Wright and Paul Williams how do you see playing out?
3. I think Usyk is a terrific fighter but I think his best bet to be successful would be to fight at a more intense pace at HW because if he gets hit with those same shots that Bellew hit him with at HW he's outta there.
4. I'm glad PBC Boxing is back, but tbh none of these fights move me. I feel like I know what the outcome is gonna be. Right now its so much talent in boxing division to division, but these guys continuously just circle around each other and don't fight each other, very frustrating as a fan. I'm seeing the same names and gatekeepers recycled over and over.
5. Is it just me or does dudes seem more cut up in the 70s and 80s. Like dudes are ripped now but it just seems like the muscle and veins where more apparent back then.
6. I expect Loma and Hurd coming off shoulder injuries to struggle somewhat. I feel they should've waited until next year to come back.
Anyways thanks for the mailbag every Saturday, much blessing to you and your family I got you on FB, but I try not to be all on your page fan boying.
Bread’s Response: What’s up bro? On Facebook I talk about social issues and maybe basketball. On IG I talk S$#%. On Twitter I talk boxing. So come on twitter and we can rap.
1. Ray Leonard’s run from 79-82 is why he’s the best fighter since a prime Roberto Duran. It’s the reason why I don’t understand why fighters in this era WAIT so long to step up and fight. Leonard was 23 in 1979 when he stepped up and fought the talented undefeated 38-0 Wilfred Benitez. From that point he made a showcase defense vs Davey Green, he took on the challenge of the best fighter of the 70’s in Roberto Duran 71-1. He lost and then beat Duran in an immediate rematch. He then made another defense vs Larry Bonds. He tried to fight Aaron Pryor and they couldn’t come to terms. He fought a 36-0 Ayub Kalule at 154 for Kalule’s title. Then he fought a 32-0 Tommy Hearns in an epic fight. He made one more title defense vs Bruce Finch and then retired for a few years because of his detached retina. He was only 25.
So in reality he was off from 82-87 with one fight in 1984 vs Kevin Howard. During that time Donald Curry emerged as the best welterweight. Aaron Pryor went from an excellent fighter to a star after he beat Alexis Arguello. Mark Breland became a Gold Medalist and was thought to inherit the welterweight division. Marlon Starling established himself as the 2nd best welterweight. At junior middleweight which would have been a terrific division for Leonard. Davey Moore established himself before Roberto Duran stopped him. Mike McCallum became an all time great and Tony Ayala became a folklore.
If Leonard would have fought over half of the names I named, he had a chance to pass Ray Robinson as the best fighter ever. That would have been Murderous Row.
2. Mayweather is one of those rare fighters who probably wins all of his hypothetical fights on paper of his fights in his era. But fights aren’t on on paper and the totality of tough fights beat you sometimes not just one individual fight.
Williams’s volume and meaness would have given Floyd fits but I think Williams got hit too easy. Carlos Quitana outboxing sits in my mind when I think of Williams vs Mayweather. I say Mayweather by close decision but I’m not sure of it.
Winky Wright vs Mayweather is tough stylistically. Winky is DOG strong and he had evolved into sort of a pressure jabber. He was so strong he was able to hold his own with Hopkins at 170. Winky would have fought Floyd down hill and in my opinion been too much. Winky is bigger than you guys realize. He was able to hold his ground and move Mosley, Trinidad and Jermaine Taylor around. This was during the time there were talks of the Mayweather fight. I say Winky by decision.
3. I agree about Usyk. He needs to stay at a quick pace to beat the heavyweights. When great fighters move up, they usually flourish in their first few fights because they haven’t settled down to the pace of the heavier divisions.
4. I’m not crazy about all of the PBC fights either. And you’re correct 80% are showcase fights. But not all. Three fights stand out to me that I feel will be competitive and possible upsets. Jermell Charlo vs Tony Harrison, Jose Uzi vs Caleb Plant and Shawn Porter vs Y. Ugas.
5. I think fighters in this era put on more weight after the weigh in so therefore the structure looks different. I think fighters in the 15 round era, were leaner. Where as fighters in this era, do more cross fit training, explosive training and plyometrics.
I don’t see as much of a difference as you because I feel though texture of the HD tvs also enhance certain things. But I do feel as though the fighters were leaner 30 years ago.
6. Shoulder injuries are serious. Let’s see.
Couple of days ago I saw the Wilder vs Ortiz fight for the 2nd time and I took to notice something quite interesting regarding how much heart Wilder really showed in that 7th round.
We've been comparing Joshua and Wilder. Both got tremendous power. AJ is more skilled. Wilder is more patient. Wilder has better feet. AJ got the better amateur background. Both have heart and shown they can handle adversity with their respective fights against Klitschko and Ortiz. The perception is that both have heart and that is that. But when you really disect their respective moments in adversity against Klitschko and Ortiz, the amount of heart that took for Wilder to survive that round AND not getting knockdown is clearly higher than what AJ had to go through.
Lets start with AJs moment. He gets knocked down with about 1.5 minutes left of the round. AJ looked tired and his legs was not on point, but he was very well conscious and not that wobbly. Klitschko barely threw any powerpunches during the remaining time and he only really landed one good shot, which was a left hook to the head on the inside almost. There was no flurry of punches and AJ could without any real problems make it out of that round.
Wilder on the other side gets battered for 40 straight seconds, which was the time left of that round from the first punch that wobbled him. Ortiz threw multiple flurries, landed multiple powerpunches that threw back Wilders head. Wilder took a lot of damage during those long 40 seconds. In the end, he still stands on his feet (stubborn guy...) and shakes his head at Ortiz, implying "that's not enough".
The resilience Wilder showed is to me a good measurement of heart comparing to Joshuas situation. I'm not stating AJ lack heart or that he doesn't have the same amount of heart in him like Wilder. I'm just stating that based on those two moments, Wilder showed marginally more amount of heart, otherwise he would've been down on his back or knees. This makes it interesting because I fight between them can come down to who showes more heart.
I know that you prefer shorter questions, but I had to break it down in details so my credability is higher for you to then give a proper assessment on this question at hand. So, what do you make of it?
Bread’s Response: You’re a thinker I can see that. But I think you’re over thinking. You’re over analyzing. The reason being is you can’t determine who was hit with the harder shot. Maybe Joshua was more hurt than Wilder was. Never judge on a microcosm.
Now I will say that Wilder is wired different than Joshua. Joshua is a cerebral, laid back human being. So he may not give the appearance of eagerness which is associated with heart.
Wilder is a crazier human being than Joshua. Wilder is more of an instinctual animal. He has more improvisational ability. That may benefit him because Joshua seems to need things neater. His mind may not process as quickly as Wilder’s does because he doesn't have that impromptu mindset.
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