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Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence, Mike Tyson, Pacquiao, Garcia

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling numerous topics such as Mikey Garcia vs. Robert Easter, Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield,  DeGale vacating his IBF super middleweight title, Errol Spence, Manny Pacquiao and more.

I just rewatched Tyson vs Holyfield 1. Man, it had everything going for it to be a special fight but those headbutts were just abysmal. Even though Tyson was past it, and he may well have lost by a decision, perhaps, he was still banging away. You could really see the damage was timed with the momentum shift when Tyson was finding Holyfield and getting into the fight. There weren't much in the way of headbutts until the fifth, but maybe I missed something.

Again, not saying Tyson was going to walkover Holyfield, or anything like that, but I do wish the fight played out different. This is mostly because I just love seeing big fights with top guys putting forward earnest, competitive performances.

Another question, how much did you buy into the "Tyson was a quitter," belief? I know that he wasn't in top shape for a lot of his fights in the 90's and early 2000's, but that just leads me to believe that fatigue robs anybody from the will to continue. I was wondering why people had this opinion that he quit all the time? He got punched out (and headbutted) in the first Holyfield fight. Same with Douglas and Lewis. Only that Bite Fight really might be worth considering.

Thirdly, you got any tips for when it's best to land the right (upper, straight, hook) to the body in orthodox vs orthodox stance?

Lastly, how does Razor Ruddock from 1991 fare against the top heavies of today: Wilder, Joshua, Ortiz, Parker, Whyte, Big Baby?

Jay,
North of the border

Bread’s Response: Man I really love Mike Tyson. I have been a Tyson apologist throughout the years. He’s one of the 15 best heavyweights ever. Most likely top 10, I don’t have an exact list right now. His peak was as high as you will ever see and he was as gifted as any fighter of the modern era as far as raw boxing talent.

But he was heavily flawed as far as character. Holyfield was 4 years older than Tyson when they fought and Holyfield was just kod bad the year before by Riddick Bowe. He had also struggled bad vs Bobby Czyz if you remember. I know the Evan Fields rumors but we can’t substantiate them so….. Tyson was past it but so was Holyfield. It can be argued Holyfield had more wear and tear on him. I will say that Tyson’s style was not suited for longevity. Hyper energy, pressure guys just don’t last long in any era.

The first Holyfield vs Tyson fight was a darn good fight. And Tyson was making a nice run mid way through. But for some reason Tyson “ACCEPTED” too many clinches with Holyfield and it cost him big. Holyfield bullied the bully in that fight. That’s just the truth. Holyfield is a vicious head butter but Tyson was also dirty. He elbowed guys and hit them low consistently. He should have played dirty with Holyfield if he felt the head butts were intentional. Not to get himself DQ but to get even and set the tone. If you head butt me, I’m hitting you in your scrotum. An eye for an eye.

I think Tyson thought Holyfield was done because Holyfield was struggling before their fight in his performances. I think Tyson was dismissive of Holyfield’s chances. There were also rumors that Holyfield was getting his butt kicked in training camp. Tyson was a huge favorite. So you have to factor in the mindset. Once Tyson got in the ring with the animal Holyfield was that night, it was too late to readjust mentally. Without getting into the technical side of the fight, I think that played a big part in the outcome. One guy was fighting for his life and legacy. And one guy was fighting to beat up a guy he thought had no chance.

I don’t like saying anything negative about Mike Tyson. I think he has caught a raw deal in and out of boxing. But if you ask me I will be honest. I’m not sure if you give him a “Quitters” label, but he was a bully who did have some front runner in him. In each of Tyson’s career losses if you look closely, each time it became easier and easier to stop him. Against Buster Douglas he put up a great struggle and actually almost pulled it out late. Against Holyfield he fought valiantly but not as much as he did vs Douglas. Against Lewis he accepted his beating and sort of walked into the ko punch. It was almost as if he capitulated. Against Danny Williams he came out blazing then he sort of said ok this guy is here to fight. Against an outmatched Kevin McBride his resistance was even less.

The Frans Botha fight is the only fight in Tyson’s career where he was losing and he came back to win. That’s very telling. All fighters have flaws. I think Tyson’s showed as he aged. They became more and more glaring as his talents lessened. He didn’t fight well while fatigued and if you could weather his early storm you had a shot against him. When he was younger guys like Jose Ribalta, Pinklon Thomas, Tyrell Biggs and Razor Ruddock did not lay down for Tyson and Tyson responded like a champion. But you could see small signs. Once he stopped getting into a peak condition and the age started creeping up the small signs became big signs.

I personally feel Tyson lost his desire to train and outside of the RING issues killed his peak and prime. Tyson was 23 when he fought Douglas. No disciplined athlete should lose their prime and peak at 23! As the saying goes, “It isn’t the mountain ahead to climb that wears you out, it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

Razor Ruddock was nothing to play with and his hybrid hook uppercut was as hard a single shot as I have ever seen thrown. Ruddock was an enigma to me though. I think fighting Tyson back to back within 3 months of each fight ruined him. He was knocked down several times and he took about 19 rounds of punishment from one of the best punchers ever. If you look at Ruddock’s career he never scored a significant victory after Tyson. But I think he was formidable at his peak. Tyson deserves big time credit for being the 1st major heavyweight with a name to tame Ruddock.

I think Ruddock would ko Whyte, Parker and Miller from what I have seen so far. Wilder would be a problem for Ruddock because Ruddock had a leaky defense and Wilder is hard to time because of his speed. So I guess Wilder could clip him but it’s not a sure shot, his hook was just as hard as Wilder’s right hand. Ortiz and Joshua I can’t call. They look like fights of whoever catches who first wins. It's tough to assess because their careers are current so we find out more things as the career plays out.

mike-tyson-1

Hey Bread,

Can you think of any fighters whose losses in major bouts altered the outcome of subsequent fights for the victor. A guy who I think of is Tommy Hearns.

Lost to Sugar Ray in the first fight, granted Sugar Ray has a detached retina but he becomes a part time fighter while still in his prime taking off 1983, 1985, 1986

Draw to Sugar Ray in the second fight, Sugar Ray goes on to have a stinker with Duran in the trilogy and eventually gets served up to Norris

Lost to Hagler and then Hagler seems to have lost a step in subsequent fights to Mugabi and Sugar Ray

Kinonomics from NYC

Bread’s Response: Tommy Hearns is actually severely underrated. He could be the best weight jumper in history. In the 5 divisions he won titles he beat 3 HOF to win them. Pipino Cuevas, Wilfred Benitez and Virgil Hill. He won the lightheavyweight title twice and no one remembers, he didn’t win his titles in order from lowest weigh to highest weight. He actually skipped winning world titles at 160 and 168 and won the lightheavyweight title then he moved back down and later won those belts.

Head to head Hearns can compete from 147-168 and I don’t know 15 guys I would pick to beat him in all of those weight classes combined.

I assume what you’re saying is he took a lot out of Leonard and Hagler although they beat him. I won’t argue but I also think you have to realize that 30-33 yrs old was old back in those days. I don’t think he took a lot out of Leonard in their 1st fight. I think Leonard was just injured and a detached retina was career ending in 1981. But if you remember your history Hearns was not Leonard’s last fight before his retirement. Bruce Finch was and Leonard looked sensational. He was truly peaking at 25 and that was his apex.

Hagler on the other hand started to age a little bit. It’s hard to tell if that was all Hearns though.

I think both Leonard and Hagler knew that fighting Hearns was a serious task. And they put a lot into the camps. They both needed career best performances to beat him and it’s hard to keep going to that place. So in that sense you could be right.

To answer you directly, I think Jose Luis Castillo took Diego Corrales prime. I don’t like to say that everytime a fighter is in a hard fight he loses his something. Because it’s inaccurate. But Corrales was clearly never the same after beating Castillo. In fact he never won another fight.

I think Ali took Frazier’s prime. If you look at Frazier when he fought Ali and Bob Foster. He was as good as any pressure fighter ever. Seriously his head movement and ring cutting was a thing to marvel at. Then youtube him vs Tarry Daniels and Ron Stander. He was much heavier and he lost a huge step. Those were his next two opponents after Ali1.

Nigel Benn was never same after he beat Gerald McClellan. He put so much into that comeback he never had the same pep in his step.

I can think of a few more but this one will surprise. Alexis Arguello took Aaron Pryor’s prime. Right after the 2nd Arguello fight, Pryor fought Nick Furlano and Gary Hinton. He looked pedestrian vs both. In fact they are the only men to go the distance with Pryor in a championship fights. It’s no coincidence that it happened after the Arguello wars.

Breadman,
 
In your last mail bag you mentioned that Crawford and Loma have to be careful to not fall off like Donald Curry or they might not make it to the hall of fame. My question is has there ever been someone that was pound for pound top fighter for a period of time that did not make it to the hall of fame? I figured it’s kind of like MVP in basketball where if you have one its pretty much a lock you get in. Derrick Rose will break that trend but I was just wondering if that’s happened in boxing.
 
Thanks

Bread’s Response: The Pound for Pound term came out with the description of Sugar Ray Robinson being the best fighter in the world, without literally being able to beat everyone  because he was a welterweight. This happened in the 1940s. Now actual Pound for Pound rankings didn’t come out until the early 1980s.

I personally can’t remember a fighter being as highly regarded as Donald Curry and not make it to the Hall of Fame. Curry was so good that in 1985 many felt he was the world’s best fighter. In 1985 Marvin Hagler, Thomas Hearns, Michael Spinks and Azumah Nelson were all close to or in their primes. Curry was so good at his peak that if you put together a list of the best welterweights post Leonard and Hearns which is about 35 years worth. Curry would be the favorite to beat 95% of them. Many would say Curry beats them all. I think he should be in the HOF.

He won a title when winning one wasn’t easy. He defended it against real and quality contenders. He unified against an undefeated champion. Then he moved up and won a title. I think Curry’s personal life style choices keep him out personally. For as bad as his drop off was, his peak work that he got done should get him in the Hall. He’s not an all time great but he’s definitely a HOF.

The only other fighter that I can think of that was being close to as highly regarded as Curry that’s not in the Hall of Fame is Michael Nunn who actually beat Curry. Nunn was a high ranking P4P fighter. He unified. He won his title vs an Olympian in Frank Tate. He actually responded to adversity better than Curry but the media and fans did not like his style so while he was respected he wasn’t the fan and media favorite Curry was.

You were correct about this era. What do you make of James Degale vacating his belt to not fight Jose Uzcategui? I know Degale has some big options but this is as plain as a duck as anyone could imagine. Who do you thinks Degale fights since he won’t fight Uzcategui? Also the IBF ordered Uzcategui to fight Caleb Plant. Does Plant have a shot?

Bread’s Response: Before we stomp on Degale’s name it’s important to be fair with him. Let’s see who he fights next. If it’s a big money fight vs an equally tough opponent then it is what it is. Smart business. Roberto Duran did the same thing when he fought Tommy Hearns instead of Mike McCallum. Duran took an equally tough fight for more money.  If Degale vacates his title to fight a 20-1 underdog in a non title fight then what he did is shameful. It all depends on his next opponent. I suspect he wants to fight the winner of the WBSS at 168 which would be one of his countrymen George Groves or Callum Smith. If that’s the case then avoiding the UZI is a smart move. I suspect he would make 5x the money to fight Smith or Groves than the UZI. We shall see……

First off let’s give the IBF some props. They don’t play around. They order mandatories and they enforce their rankings promptly. Most people seem to think the WBC holds more value than all of the other belts. I personally think all 4 belts are equal in value but the IBF for whatever reasons seems to sanction more mandatories with tougher match ups.

I didn’t even know the IBF ordered for Plant to face the Uzi. I’m glad you guys are on top of your game. That’s a solid match up. The Uzi has more experience and he’s really riding high after the Dirrell fights. He has settled into a really good style for himself. He pressures you very calmly. He moves down the line as his opponents try to escape him and he probes them with his hands. He uses his hands to track and gauge distance. Then he throws hard but fluid punches that really crack. Uzi is enjoying himself in the ring. Most fighters in this era don’t know how to cut the ring off. What Uzi did to Dirrell was beyond impressive. It was a clinic on ring cutting and punching on the move. He’s one of the most improved fighters in the sport.

Plant gets a lot of flack on social media because he’s a boxer and not a killer. I think he spoiled people early with a plethora of knockouts but that’s not his game at the top level. His game at the top level is pure boxing. I’ve always felt that fighters with great jabs, IQs and body punching always have a chance. Plant has a great jab. We will find out about his IQ. Plant also thinks like a pure boxer. He doesn’t over punch. He’s not in love with being violent. He’s in love with being smart and winning.

I think Uzi is the more advanced and developed fighter. But it doesn’t mean Plant can’t win. It just means that his opportunity came along a little early. But let me tell you something a fighter with elite boxing skills rarely gets embarrassed unless they get caught early. Plant may have elite level  boxing skills he just hasn’t had the platform to show them yet. This is a closer fight than people expect.

I have two questions about Plant. Does he have the lower body strength to hold his ground and fight Uzi off of him? Uzi can make you over move because his pressure is constant and his arms are disproportionately long where you feel like he’s always touching you. There will be times when Plant will be safer taking the fight to Uzi. I also wonder why Plant fights in the style he fights. If he doesn’t like getting hit then that’s a good thing. If he can’t take getting hit it’s a bad thing. I know fighters who are constant boxers who are very physically tough , say Salvador Sanchez and Chris Byrd. Then there are guys who fight like that because they can’t take punishment. If Plant has physical toughness and he can take the grind of a real puncher all night, then he’s in the fight. Because his skills will win him rounds.

My historical comparison of this fight is Chris Algieri bs Ruslan Provodnikov. Aligieri was the boxer and mover and many thought he would get steam rolled. Provodnikov was the puncher. After a tepid start from Aligieri who had never fought at that level before, he crept back into the fight round by round with smart boxing. I thought Provodnikov edged the fight despite Algieri getting the decision but Algieri did a great job and boxing one round at a time.

I won’t pick a winner yet until the fight is solidified. But I will give you a percentage break down and what the odds should be. I say Uzi should be a -275 favorite to win. Plant +250 underdog. I say 60/40 in Uzi’s favorite on a percentage scale. But I may pick Plant by upset I just have to study a little more footage and do some research….

Bhat’s good Bro Bread? Just a couple of things to get off the chest regarding the Wilder vs Joshua fiasco. I know you have probably received a ton of emails about it so I will try not to regurgitate the same thing but I find it quite funny how people repeat bullsh*t over and over without any facts behind it like this idea that Joshua has just fought murderous row and Wilder has been fighting nothing but bums. These Brits act like Joshua fought a prime Klitschko or a champion. This was the same Klit that looked like trash versus Fury almost 2 year prior. Yes, I said 40 yr old Klit was out of action nearly 2 years when they fought so why is so much stock placed on that irrelevant win? Joshua didn’t even take the belts from the champ. Let’s take a look at each last 5 opponents side by side shall we.

Joshua/ Wilders                                                            More Dangerous
Parker- Undefeated Ortiz- Undefeated                             Ortiz
Takam Stivern                                                                    Stiverne
Klits Washington- Undefeated                                         Push
Molina Arreola                                                                    Push.
Breazeale- undefeated Szpilka                                      Breazeale
Martin- undefeated Duhaupas                         Push- Martin did not come to fight

I don’t want to make it as though I am saying that Wilder has fought better competition but what I’m saying is that the competition level has been pretty even.
 Please correct me if I am wrong Bread but fighter fight to make a living, right? When in the history of boxing has a fighter said give me X.XX amount to fight and I’ll sign tomorrow and then receive the asking price plus more and turns it down because “he would rather fight at home” for potentially 30% less. I don’t care what happened after that because that was the “DUCK”. I will say that with all this talk of if I need a promoter or not all one has to do is look at Joshua. Hearn’s had made terrific moves with him before the Wilder negotiations. If Wilder had a promoter maybe they would have made sure he took advantage of an old, out of the ring, scared Klitch the way Hearn’s did (especially considering he was a champion already) and then POOF your profile goes through the roof.
Also, they keep talking about the huge gates that Joshua has and that’s why they want the fight in England. I hear a lot of the fans talk like its more money but they don’t understand that a 70,000 gate there produces about what a 15,000 gate in the US does as far as financially. I actually think 15k gate here does better financially.

I see a lot of people jumping ship at Mayweather Promotions because of inactivity. Would you consider this a bad look for an upstart company like Mayweather Promotions or is it just typical business?

Bread’s Response: Maybe Mayweather Promotions are cleaning house. Who knows? It’s uncommon for so many fighters to be released in a short period of time. Fighters who are fighting off tv are investments and you know how that goes….

I think you’re getting too wrapped up in the Joshua vs Wilder negotiations. Both of those guys are making a living just fine. If the fight doesn’t happen in 2019 then it’s a duck. But these were the first negotiations. Decision makers in boxing, in this era are notoriously patient.

You are being a little biased for Wilder. I think Wilder has improved and he’s the more confident fighter at this point. Wilder has moved closer as far as the perception of him winning. But he doesn’t have the better resume. You did your chart in a slanted view so it could look like Wilder has the better resume.

You left out Dillian Whyte for Joshua as a prospect victory which is huge. You matched Klitschko with Gerald Washington which is just wrong. Klitschko is just better than Washington. Despite his lay off his level of excellence was just higher and he really came to fight vs Joshua. You bring up Klitschko’s age but you don’t bring up Ortiz’s age. In my opinion that’s the push.

Stiverne is an enigma. He has ability but he’s proven to be a lazy fighter. That’s just what it is. He did take Wilder the distance but he fights as if he will get a rebate on energy at the end of 12 rounds. Carlos Takam is a dog and he always tries hard. Stiverne may have the more recognizable name but Takam gives you more effort and he has more layers to his game.

Let’s just see this thing plays out before we relive the Revolutionary WAR. I think they will fight in 2019 for more money than they would have made in this year. Let’s see what happens. If they don’t fight next year then yes it’s a duck.

Bread- Thanks for another great mailbag. It’s my favorite weekly read.
Dan Grabowski

Bread’s Response: Thanks bro. I’m glad you guys are catching it on Saturdays. It seems to be the regular day it’s released on.

Long time reader, first time commenter.

Just finished reading the recent mailbag and another person commented on Spence's lack of defense. Let me touch on this real quick and you let me know if you agree or not. Spence may not be a natural at moving his head, but he is very good at rolling with the punches and is able to block a lot of the punches with his gloves. There are times when he has an opponent hurt he will go for the kill and that will put him in bit of danger. As we saw against Brook/Peterson, the cleanest shots he took all fight were when he dropped his opponent. Spence is a technical pressure fighter that is always going forward so he will take some shots, but his positioning in the ring is as good as it gets and he knows when and when not to take risks. For example, in the first half of the Brook fight he fought a disciplined technical fight and didn't take many clean shots. Brook is a sharpshooter but he landed more clean shots vs GGG in two rounds compared to 11 rounds vs Spence. Why was that? Because Spence while applying pressure in spots, knew Brook was still very strong so he didn't open up much aside from his jab and straight left. But as the rounds went on, he started getting to the body more and more, and by the end of the 6th round, he started turning it up. The viewers completely missed his efficient body work. His IQ gets overlooked but you can't be a top American amateur and Olympian when starting boxing so late at that weight class without having a very good boxing brain. Pressure fighters will always have the stigma of having suspect defense or little head movement, but the likes of Golovkin and Spence have the ability to fight a disciplined fight when facing a legitimate threat.

As for those saying Crawford is too versatile than Spence and has more tools than him? Well, he is more versatile but he will have to fight a completely different type of fight vs Spence. He's not going to have as big of an advantage being able to switch vs a skilled southpaw and he will be facing a guy with a top level jab. What broke Brook's eye socket was Spence's powerful and persistent jab, and Crawford will need to be able to counter over the top of it and be able to keep Spence honest. Crawford is a bit bigger than Mayweather, but he's at that stage where he will have to be less aggressive against the top guys at WW and be more efficient. Right now I see a very competitive fight until Spence breaks him down and stops him late in the fight. Crawford is able to mentally break his opponents down, but I'm afraid he faces his match in this fight.

Thanks,

Jay from LA

Bread’s Response: I agree with a lot of what you said but not ALL. Spence does not really roll punches. A roller is say James Toney or Emmanuel Augustus. Spence blocks and sort of sits on shots. When a fighter opens up Spence keeps his hands up, tucks his chin, keeps his elbows in and bends his knees. The bending of the knees takes a little steam off of the incoming punches. Spence also hides behind his punches. He rarely over shoots the targets. Because he doesn’t punch until he gets up on his opponent. Spence keeps it really simple and it’s why he’s so efficient. Although he keeps it simple everyone can’t fight in his style. You have to be strong as an ox, patience, have great stamina, not afraid to get hit and it’s a big plus if you can really punch. A mediocre puncher will not wear the opponents down like Spence does.

I also agree that Spence has a great jab. It’s hard, he shoots it from where it’s at. From his guard. He doesn’t hitch it.

We can agree that come forward, pressure or violent fighters get flagged for having poor defense. It’s the usual with the critics. They don’t understand that fighters who fight in that style will get hit. I always rate defense on the style a fighter fights. Now I will say I don’t think Spence has great defense. He doesn’t have what you call great defensive eyes. But he has sufficient defense. A great defense for that style would be Chavez Sr. or Duran.

The more versatile fighter doesn’t always win. Crawford is more versatile but it doesn’t mean he will win. I don’t have a pick yet. Crawford’s versatility is not his biggest advantage. It’s his experience and speed. Let’s see what happens.

Hi Mr. Breadman , my name is mateo and im a boxing coach from New York. Compliments to your column every week, it's really great for all boxing fans out there. I know Errol Spence has been the topic of conversation in the boxing world because of his unique boxing IQ,talent,  and discipline. With that being said, from a coach perspective, I'll give you my take of how i would prepare my fighter for spence , knowing that you won't give me yours because a fighter of yours might fight spence in the near future. Most of the fighters are using the wrong style to beat spence , and im not saying my way would beat spence but as a coach i try to think of ways to beat great fighters. And my way of beating spence would be fighting on the inside to the outside, not the opposite as most fighters have done against Spence. I would like to know what is your take on this? Thank you.

Bread’s Response: Another Errol Spence question. This kid is on fire.

Please don’t take this the wrong way. But the problem with your theory is it all depends on the fighter you have. You have to game plan around a fighter’s style and strengths.

If you have a fighter who can fight on the inside and win rounds vs Spence and he’s versatile enough to then fight him on the outside then sure it can work. But Let me tell you bro. There aren’t many fighters in the world if any that can start inside with Spence, then move the fight outside. It would take a strong, well rounded guy of a Mike McCallum level status that can do that.

First things first I must say I am overly impressed with your knowledge of boxing in every aspect you truly are amazing!!! Very impressive. I have been around the game my whole life and former kids club champion in New York City and have trained and managed fighters at different times of my life I’d like to get your thoughts on training a fighter and what your every day schedule looks like? Also from division to division Who are your greatest champions? Once again keep up the good work Howie from New Jersey

Bread’s Response: Thank you my man.

The everyday training usually consist of 2 to 3 training sessions. Runs or swimming should be early in the morning or around 9pm at night. I recommend this for a few reasons. One is the air is fresh early in the morning. Getting up and running in the fresh air is great for the lungs. Two is it gives you time to recover for the gym later. 3. If you train early or late it puts you on a regular sleep schedule because you’re tired at night and it forces fighters to sleep better which is essential for recovery.

Swimming is great for total body endurance and it’s low impact on the legs. The runs can be 3 types of runs. Distance for cardio. Tempo runs which is also good for cardio. And sprints for explosive speed. Try to mix them up. I prefer tempo and sprints.

The 2nd workout is boxing at the gym. Sparring, Hitting the bag, hitting the pads, shadowboxing, working on technique etc. It should be at least 90 minutes total.

Here is where it gets tricky. The 3rd workout. Most well rounded coaches do strength work after the boxing workout or after the run. Which is more feasible in my opinion. Sometimes a separate time is created for the Strength workout. It really depends on the fighter and the availability of the team. I think the hard strength work should be done before camp starts in a mini camp. It’s more beneficial to the fighter because he’s already sore from boxing and running. And if the strength work is too intense it will tough to recover from. I would suggest mental stimulation drills also during the down time.

I think a fighter can workout everyday just not full blast everyday. Take days off as needed. A fighter will let you know when he’s worn out and needs a rest. His performance will show it.Obviously you taper off when it gets closer to a fight.

Greatest Champions Each Division:
105-Ricardo Lopez
108-Roman Gonzalez
112- Miguel Canto, Pascual Perez or Jimmy Wilde
115- Khaosai Galaxy or Johhny Tapia
118- Eder Jofre
122-Wilfredo Gomez
126-Willie Pep
130-Alexis Arguello or Floyd Mayweather
135-Roberto Duran
140- Julio Cesar Chavez or Aaron Pryor
147-Sugar Ray Robinson
154-Thomas Hearns or Mike McCallum
160-Harry Greb or Sugar Ray Robinson
168-Roy Jones Jr
175-Michael Spinks “you said champion”
Cruiserweight- Evander Holyfield
Heavyweight- Muhammad Ali

Hey Bread,

Reading your mailbag it seems like this fight is being overlooked so I had to write and get your thoughts on it. How do you see this fight panning out and more importantly how do you think it will affect Pacmans legacy depending if he wins/loses and how good/bad he looks?

Personally, I think it's an interesting fight given the fact that even though Pac has slowed down he should still be able to deal with what Matthysse brings and they've both had a long lay off. I just hope it doesn't end with Pac knocked out - the man doesn't deserve to go out like that.

Take care!
Sash

Bread’s Response: Manny Pacquiao is already one of the top 25-50 fighters ever. Some have him in the top 10 and I wouldn’t argue hard but I think he’s just outside of it. His legacy is in tact but social media is undefeated. Unfortunately no one has respect these days. He will get clowned if he gets clipped.

I don’t want to see Pacquiao get stopped. I can’t watch any legend get stopped. I refuse to watch Holmes vs Ali, Marciano vs Louis or Camacho vs Leonard. But he can get clipped by Matthysse. Matthysse is a real puncher.

I favor Manny in this fight but I do wonder if he can take Matthysse’s right hand. Matthysse lost to both Devon Alexander and Zab Judah two southpaws but he was able to hurt and drop both. Matthysse never fought with the sense of urgency that his countryman Marcos Maidana did. And he really doesn’t cut off the ring well. But he’s a real puncher.

If Manny is “ON” he should outbox Matthysse. Matthysse gets off a little too slow for Manny and a boxer can manipulate him around the ring. Manny is one of those shot fighters that can still bump. It’s an enigma but it’s what he is. He was so much better than everyone at his peak that his come down only levels the playing field. Pacquiao’s IQ and his ability to have fun and relax in the ring is the reason he’s still competitive at an advanced age. He’s literally seen every style you can imagine. So nothing really rattles him. But older fighters lose punch resistance easier. That’s my concern.

My hesitant pick is Pacquiao by decision but he gets dropped and hurt by a right hand.

Hey Bread,

I agree with you regarding Tank Davis vs Abner Mares, Tank would crush him. A better challenge for Tank would be Leo Santa Cruz.

Mares used to box more, but he's taken on a lot of matches where he had to fight instead of box, which separated him from his boxing skills. He's just a journeyman at this point in his career.

Tank seems more concerned and focused on his boxing career, with 245 amateur fights under his belt his pedigree shows.

Browner, is another story.

Bread’s Response: I think Davis will be a top 10 p4p guy this time next year. He just has to get the right fights.

I disagree I don’t think Mares is a journeyman. Mares is an excellent fighter. He’s still top 5 in his division. I just think he’s on the other side of his prime. He’s still a real contender.

Leo Santa Cruz is that kid on the basketball court that never puts the ball in between his legs. He never dunks. He never throws no look passes. But he gets 20 pts, 8 assist, 6 rebounds and his team always wins. Santa Cruz is at the peak of a HOF career. I don’t consider him an all time great. But I do think he’s in consideration for the HOF.

Santa Cruz is the one featherweight who stands a chance vs Davis. I think Davis beats Mares, Quigg, Valdez, Frampton and possibly Russell. Let me think about Russell a little more…..

But Santa Cruz does something the media does not recognize. He boxes going forward. For some reason we assume that a guy is only boxing if he’s going backwards. That’s not true. You can box going forward and when you’re good at it, it’s hard to score rounds against you. Hearns did it. Chavez did it. Toney did it. Marquez did it. Santa Cruz has a really good jab and he has a scoring right hand. He understands how to win 7 out of 12 rounds. I think he would give Davis a helluva fight the more I think about it. I would love to see it. If Santa Cruz won, it would make him a 4 division champion and a HOF lock because Davis is an uber talent. 4 divisions titles are easier in this era but it’s nothing easy about fighting Tank Davis, especially if you started your career out at 118. Great match up.

What’s up Bread? Best mailbag in the game by far! I have a different type of question. I have a degree in Sports Management and I am currently scouting fighters to sign to my company. I don’t want to be a trainer by I do want to manage/advise and market. What should I look for in the fighters that I sign?

Bread’s Response: Thank you and great question!

Ok here goes….There is no exact science to picking boxing talent to work with. Every fighter has a unique set of qualities and flaws. But the first thing I think you should do is NOT tell the fighter or his team you’re scouting. By them not knowing that you are looking at them it gives you a “real perception of how they are.”

Don’t judge anyone on a microcosm, sit back and observe them for as long as possible. Try to find out as much about the fighter as you can. Find out if he’s a registered voter.  Why because it shows awareness and responsibility. Find out if he has a driver’s license. Why because it shows respect and responsibility. Find out how many children he has and by how many women? That’s important for obvious reasons. Find out if he has a bank account. You would be surprised at the fighters who don’t or can’t put money in the bank. You don’t want to inherit too big of a headache. Although I will tell you that most of the more talented guys have most of the problems. It just it what it is and it depends on what you can deal with.

Now boxing issues look to see what time he’s scheduled to be in the gym. Then look to see what time he shows up. If a fighter is scheduled to be in the gym at 1pm then that means he should be dressed in his workout gear and ready to roll at 1pm. Not walking in at 1:15 then talking for 20 minutes, then another 15 minutes to get dressed and another 15 min to warm up. That shows a lack of respect for the game. This may seem small but it goes on more than you think.

Look to see if the fighter brings his proper equipment everyday. What I’m saying will resonate with trainers around the world. The same way a carpenter needs to bring his tools to work. A fighter should have dry gloves, head gear, a cup, a mouth piece, his handwraps, boxing shoes, rope and workout gear. I say dry because you can’t leave gloves in the bag sweaty they become soggy and mildew filled. Trust me these little things add up. Check to see if he’s a slob with his gym bag.

It shows a level of organization and discipline. I’m not saying don’t sign a fighter who has these problems but I am saying if you have a choice between 2 fighters with equal ability and one kid brings his stuff every day and his gym bag is neat and the other is a slob. Sign the 1st kid. It will show up in the ring.

I have a story. I once was in the gym when Andre Ward was training. He walked in the gym, said hello to a few people, changed his clothes and was ready to work within 10 minutes. He was neat all the way around and his gym bag from what I could see looked like he was going on vacation. Now if you look at Ward fight, he can carry out a gameplan, he’s neat, he’s orderly and he’s serious about his business. The boxing ring is a TRUTH machine. It will tell the truth about you eventually.

The next thing you want to look at his how the fighter treats and respects his trainer and other gym patrons. Usually there are older men in the boxing gym. If he’s dropping F bombs all over the place in front of men older enough to be his grand father and father then he’s most likely a disrespectful kid. If he’s talking back to his trainer and being defiant he will be in a real fight. Look to see how hard he works and if he’s easily distracted or not.

Last but not least look for compatibility. We all have our pet peeves. You know what you can deal with and what you can’t deal with. The best teams aren’t always the best fighter, with the best trainer, with the best manager etc. It’s the team that has the best chemistry and gets along the best. I hope I was able to help.

Bread man,

Your mailbox is packed with knowledge every week.  Thanks for all you do for boxing.  Winky Wright just got inducted into the hall of fame.   At 154 he was super tough how would you pick the following fights at 154, Hurd, Mel Charlo, Mall Charlo, Lara, Norris, cotto?

What are Easter’s key to victories against Garcia?   I hear he will try to use his length and boxing skills.  As such does Mikey need to be prepared to be Leonard in Leonard vs Hearns 1?

I would love to watch Pacquiao vs Matthysse but will boycottt it because it is not on ESPN or pPv for that matter.  Who are you picking and why?

Billy Bomaye

Bread’s Response: Thanks man.

I don’t mind answering hypothetical match ups but it has to be when a fighter’s career is over or almost over. It’s not fair to the Charlo Brothers, Jarrett Hurd or Winky Wright to match them up now. What if we matched up Donald Curry after he beat Milton McCrory or Shane Mosley after he beat Oscar for the 1st time…..

I will say what I think of the fights stylistically. Winky Wright evolved into a physically strong, pressure jabber. In the Vargas fight you could see his transformation and turning point. He wasn’t a big puncher but he was strong and his jab was thudding. It was hard to move him off his spot. But volume always bothers a fighter in a shell defense especially if they can’t push them around.

So I think Jermall Charlo could match up well with Winky because he can hold his ground physically and he has hard jab of his own. This could look like Wright’s fight with Jermaine Taylor.

Jarrett Hurd is a volume guy and that’s how Fernando Vargas hustled his way back into the fight. So stylistically that’s good for Hurd but I don’t like how easy it is to score points on Hurd.

Jermell Charlo does not hold his ground as well as Jermall and he doesn’t move people around physically like Jermall. Jermell tries to knock your head off these days. He doesn’t have a high work rate. So stylistically I think it’s a tough fight for Jermell because Winky had a great chin, tight defense and a good jab. You just aren’t going to throw 30 punches/round and bomb Winky out.

All in all the young guys are in their primes and we need to see how they evolve vs various styles and opponents.

Winky would beat Cotto. He walk Cotto down and outscore him. He jab was too good, he was too big and too forceful.

I think Terry Norris’s legs, volume and stamina would defeat Winky by decision. That’s a fight for top 5 ever in the division.

What Ray Leonard did to Tommy Hearns on 9-16-81, only maybe 3 or 4 men could do in the history of boxing. That’s a top 10 ever “WIN” all things considered. But I do get your point. I don’t believe Easter  punches as well as Hearns or boxes as well as Hearns. Easter let’s opponents get too close to him without having to work hard enough to get there.

Easter’s keys to victory is determining the “mood” of the fight. Hearns had a way of holding his ground and making the shorter guy go away from him because of the mood and threat of what he was going to do. Watch his fights with Benitez and Leonard. If Easter can create that threat he has a shot because all he has to do is win 7 out of 12 rounds. I think one of the reasons his fights are in close is because he has good punching power but he lacks leg strength to hold his ground and not allow himself to be smothered. Another reason is he’s used to practicing short and mid range punches. So that type of fight is natural to him and he’s actually had lots of success fighting that style. Easter will have to retrain his mindset and not try for a ko. Not try for big shots. But actually think about being a superior boxer, holding his ground and making Mikey Garcia think twice about coming into him. Easter has to get off to a good start. If Easter is not up 3-1 or 4-0 after the first 4 rounds he won’t win. With Mikey’s experience, the crowd and the mood that would create it would be too difficult at that point. The longer man who needs to box can’t be down early in this fight.

I don’t know if he WILL win but Easter CAN win. I think a big problem for Easter is Mikey may be shorter but he could be the superior boxer. People always equate boxing ability with height, speed or race. But that’s not accurate. Chavez used to outbox plenty of black guys. Mikey may have better boxing skills. They have to line up in front of each other and work for us to see.

I think Mikey has to prepare to cut some distance and be himself. Being himself has always been good enough to get a win. Mikey has not only won all of his fights, but he’s won them all going away. No one has come close to beating him as far as points. So he knows what he’s doing. His body punching, distance cutting and jab will be big keys.

I like Pacman by decision. I think Lucas Matthysse has been slightly overrated. He’s a good puncher but his overall game has not been on par with the hype. He doesn’t cut the ring well, his calmness is almost a flaw because he allows himself to be outboxed in too many spots and he’s lost to most of the best fighters he’s faced. Zab Judah, Devon Alexander, Victor Postol and Danny Garcia. He’s also struggled against lower level guys. I think his only shot is clipping Manny. I know Manny is way past it but he has uber talent and natural gifts. Manny is one of the more athletic fighters in history. He has evolved into a very good boxer at this stage. If he’s smart and careful I see him winning 8 rounds but I do think he could get dropped or buzzed.

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User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Comment by ShoulderRoll on 07-14-2018

When you say that you would fight tomorrow for $50 million...then get offered $50 million but back away? Putting up countless roadblocks while doing so? That is a clear duck in my opinion.

Comment by Pago007 on 07-14-2018

Garcia is the goods. I believe he will fight Spence Crawford and Loma within the next 30 months

Comment by cameltoe on 07-14-2018

[QUOTE=Shadoww702;18936928]That was a bad analogy but Ortiz is the 2nd best fighter on both resumes. Woth Klitz being #1. But Ortiz that Klits probably would of been a 50/50 fight...Body of work AJ is hands down better.[/QUOTE] Agreed....

Comment by Shadoww702 on 07-14-2018

[QUOTE=cameltoe;18936920]Who.the.**** are these demented Wilder fans that insist on believing his resume matches/is better than AJ’s? Can’t believe one of the more moronic posters on this forum actually emailed Bread about this. Still, I can’t believe how often I read…

Comment by cameltoe on 07-14-2018

Who.the.**** are these demented Wilder fans that insist on believing his resume matches/is better than AJ’s? Can’t believe one of the more moronic posters on this forum actually emailed Bread about this. Still, I can’t believe how often I read…

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