By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Gennady Golovkin vs. Andre Ward at super middleweight, the run of Gervonta Davis, a battle between Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez, Anthony Joshua and VADA testing, and more.
I read and watch but have never written. Thank you for taking the time to communicate with your audience.
I have a few statements that I would love your opinion about.
I think Tim Bradley has really grown before our eyes and ears to become an excellent boxing analyst. You can really see the growth over the last year. I get the sense that he knows so much about boxing that he’s actually restraining himself at times so as not to get to deep or go over the heads of the viewers. I was impressed when he not only said he heard Kovalev tell him that he was dehydrated and overstrained so he went back and watched the tape to see signs of overtraining and dehydration in order to form his opinion about who would win that fight. He also quickly noted that Pernell Whitaker had done the behind the back punch that Lopez pulled off.
What’s your take on his commentating?
Andre Ward also impressed me with his breakdown. We all know he’s a genius when it comes to boxing, otherwise he wouldn’t be the hall of famer that he his. I’ve really grown to enjoy his delivery. Actually, it was the combination of Tim Bradley and Andre Ward that along with Tessitore that was a joy to listen to.
What’s your thoughts on Ward as an analyst?
Who are your favorite boxing analysts of the current analysts today and of all time?
I was saddened when HBO decided to leave boxing, but I really think Bradley, Paulie, Bernstein, Ward and Kellerman are excellent at analyzing the action and leave us in good hands. As long as we can avoid some of the other commentators who seem to only pay attention to boxing when they have a fight date they’re working, I think the boxing voices of today will continue to provide us with great insight.
Bread’s Response: Tim Bradley has improved drastically as commentator. It’s not as easy as people on the outside assume. You have someone in your ear and you have to change the direction of your conversation. Bradley is doing his thing and you can tell the difference as to when he 1st started.
Andre Ward is more of a natural at commentating than Bradley was. All Ward needed was a few on air takes and he was rolling. You can sort of tell who will be good at commentating at an elite level. Charismatic, quit witted, well spoken fighters are usually the best commentators. Ward, Malignaggi and Jones are the best fighters turned commentators in my opinion.
Roy Jones, Max Kellerman, Larry Merchant and Emanuel Steward are my favorites and who I feel are the best but Paulie Malignaggi and Andre Ward are in the argument.
Teofimo Lopez vs . Devin Haney - who you got ??? It’s a real good one and should be made !!! Howie
Bread’s Response: Why should Haney vs Lopez be made now? No promoter in their right mind will leave that type of money on the table and match them this early.
In 2 years it will be a huge fight. I don’t know who wins. Many will pick the more explosive puncher and offensively dynamic fighter in Lopez but often times the more well rounded boxer wins these huge match ups. Let me see how they progress before I make a pick. The fight is too far away at this point.
Couple of things:
1. Joshua NOT in voluntarily VADA testing, Whyte revealed in an interview this week, Whyte said that was big reason he wouldn't sign for the April fight in January, are you surprised or disappointed?
2. Wilder's legs, a personal trainer friend of mine pointed out there's not a lot he can with this. He pointed out his calf muscles are abnormally high up leg, hence what you see above his ankles is bone, no amount of exercise can make bone bigger, your thoughts...
3. This question you won't see coming, so it may stun ya:)
Relationships, any of your wisdom to be shared here?
Bread’s Response: I had no idea Joshua was not signed up for voluntary VADA but that doesn’t mean he can’t be tested for a fight. Joshua does not hold a WBC ranking, but he can pay for the VADA. I don’t think that should be a deal breaker. For example GGG was doing VADA long before he got the WBC belt. Just pay for it or contact VADA. It’s not that deep.
I’m not surprised or disappointed because I don’t know all of the facts. Anyone can say anything. Now if there was proof that Joshua avoided testing and refused to do VADA then that would disappoint me. But not because he’s not in the program. I will keep an eye on whether or not he test from here on out.
Wilder looks like he has weak legs but they aren’t weak. Wilder has the ability to hold his ground weighing in the low 200s. He also springs towards his opponents very quickly. You need push off to do that. Many don’t realize that forearm and calf size are genetic. You can get them stronger but it’s very difficult to get them bigger.
Size/appearance and strength are two different things. Wilder is fine as far as his physique. Wilder just has to improve his technique in certain areas. He’s already a tremendous champion.
Relationships aw man. Well I was single until I was 34. I played the field purposely so I can go on all day about relationships. I wish you were more specific. But let’s see…. Make her feel comfortable. Allow her to tell you the truth about everything without thinking you’re judging her. That will save you lots of time and money down the road if she’s done or is capable of doing things you can’t stomach.
Hey Breadman, hope you and your family are good?
I'm a longtime reader, first time poster from London. I remember reading you in your Boxing Talk days and you picked out George Groves as a prospect to watch out for.
I was surprised at the time that you'd know about boxers on our side of the pond and he obviously proved you right by (eventually!) going on to become a world champion.
Anyway, my question is how do you evaluate George Groves' career now that he's retired?
And a bonus question, what's your pick for 2 of his former opponents in the De Gale v Eubank Jr fight? I think this has the potential to be a very entertaining fight!
Bread’s Response: The UK has produced an insane amount of elite super middleweights. Calzaghe, Benn, Eubank, Collins, Reid, Froch, Groves, Degale and Eubank Jr. I think Groves ranks in somewhere below the BIG 5 of Calzaghe, Froch, Benn, Eubank and Collins.
Groves had an excellent career. Every fighter is not going to be a HOF. He showed staying power by winning the title on his 4th try. He showed guts for days taking very tough fights vs Froch, Eubank Jr, Degale and Smith. I think Groves will make some sort of domestic HOF and he remembered as a solid talented champion. He gave it his all.
I pay attention to all fighters. The first time I saw George Groves he was here in the states taking on a tough latino fighter on a Golden Boy card. I saw Groves doing these crazy athletic box jumps close to the fight. I knew he was an explosive puncher. He scored a brutal ko in his fight I kept my eye on him from that time on. Good blessings to him in his retirement.
I have no idea who will win Eubank Jr vs Degale. Degale seems to be really laboring physically. I don’t know if it’s age or injuries. And Eubank really struggles if he has to come forward. He can only punch still targets or targets that come to him. It’s an intriguing fight.
What do you think of Kovalev’s resurgence? As you stated it’s uncommon for fighters with his psyche to overcome a ko loss that late in their careers. Is Kovalev a HOF? Where does he go from here? What did you make of Alvarez’s performance?
Bread’s Response: I will go in reverse. I think Alvarez got ko happy. He looked for the big over hand right that he stopped Kovalev with in their 1st fight and it never came. I was disappointed in Alvarez’s performance for him. Here is why. Alvarez had to get his title shot the hard way. He was avoided for years by Adonis Stevenson. He finally gets a title shot vs Kovalev and he wins big. Then in his 1st title defense he fights a poor tactical fight and loses. If you give yourself the best chance to win and you lose it’s more acceptable. But to lose because you fight a poor fight, stings much worse.
Alvarez is a well rounded boxer puncher with a good jab. He only has 12 kos in 24 wins. But yet he went out looking for a ko. Punching power is the most overrated but misinterpreted thing in boxing. Every fighter is not a 1 punch ko artist. But all punches hurt. Even from fighters with low ko %. If you consistently put hands on your opponent you can do damage. Kovalev who is a ko puncher took something off of his shots and boxed better than the lighter puncher.
Back to Krusher Kovalev. What a performance. Kovalev has always been viewed as an elite puncher because of his ko % and nickname. But many don’t understand he’s also an elite “boxer”. I realized it when he beat Bernard Hopkins. Hopkins constantly tried to set traps for him and Kovalev never over committed. It was substantiated to me in his fights vs Andre Ward. Ward is a platinum level “boxer”. And Ward started chucking them and roughing Kovalev up because of how difficult Kovalev is to box from the outside.
Kovalev boxed his ass off on Saturday night. His 1-2-1 combo was awesome. Kovalev’s finishing jab is like a sledge hammer that no one prepares for. Once he gets into that loose zone, where he’s slinging straight hard punches you’re in trouble.
I will admit I was wrong. I thought Kovalev would lose. What a performance and props to him and his trainer.
Kovalev is a HOF. Beating Alvarez locks him in. He’s not an all time great yet but he’s a HOF. Let me explain.
Let’s look at the best lightheavyweights of the last few decades and put their careers next to Kovalev’s. Andre Ward did great at 175 but his legacy was built at 168 so I won’t count Ward.
Bernard Hopkins had a tremendous run at 175. Some may say better than his run at 160. But Kovalev beat Hopkins head to head cleanly and he was more consistent. I know Hopkins was older but that’s not Kovalev’s fault. Hopkins didn’t move up to 175 until he was 41 so we have to assess the legacy on that.
Along with Hopkins, Antonio Tarver, Chad Dawson and Tavoris Cloud were the better fighters at 175 of the last 15 years or so. Tarver was excellent but he was hot n cold and never had the consistent dominance of Kovalev. Dawson had a really good career but his finish will be tough to overcome and I wouldn’t put his career over Kovalev’s. Cloud was solid but Stevenson and Hopkins undressed him too bad.
Speaking of Stevenson. I am very high on his ability but Kovalev unified and fought better competition. It’s just that simple. Stevenson never fought Hopkins or Ward. He never went on the road. And he avoided a dangerous #1 contender in Alvarez. There is no way his career can be rated over Kovalev’s. One more thing who do you think deserves more blame for them not fighting, Kovalev or Stevenson?
You would have to go back almost 20 years to Roy Jones and Darius Michalchewski to find lightheavy’s on par with Kovalev. Kovalev fits right in with those guys and if you go back to the Virgil Hill era, Kovalev still holds up. Roy Jones and Michael Spinks who left lightheavyweight in 1985 are the only 2 clear cut picks to beat Kovalev head to head in my opinion during that time span.
I’m not saying he beats all of the light heavyweights since the 80s, I’m saying that Jones and Spinks are the only clear favorites to beat him. I would also favor Qawi and Saad Muhammad to defeat him but they would be wars.
Kovalev didn’t always have the A side push. He went to the UK to defeat an undefeated Nathan Cleverly. He beat a very talented Ishmayl Sallyk. He went on the road to beat a talented Jean Pascal. He unified vs Bernard Hopkins in AC. And he gave Andre Ward his toughest career fight and Ward is an ATG. All in all Kovalev won the lightheavyweight title 3 times and he unified. He has 9 successful title defenses.
His numbers match up well with most of the champions at lightheavyweight. Where his numbers may come up short, he matches up well with the eye ball test. Kovalev has a case for top 15 ever at 175. He may not be a 1st ballot HOF but he definitely gets in if the voters put personal bias to the side. I don’t agree with some of the things he has said and done but I’m objective. This dude can fight. And winning a fight vs a capable champion who just kod him is the hardest thing to do in boxing. It takes a special mindset to overcome that. He did it with a shut out.
Lennox Lewis, Terry Norris and Chiquita Gonzales are all HOFs. Kovalev is a HOF.
Is Teofimo Lopez the best prospect in boxing? Do you think he’s ready for Lomachenko? I think he’s special but he’s a super jerk. That grave digging dance over his down opponent was the tip of the ice berg. The kid is a jerk and so is his old man. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: I don’t like calling people names. It shows a lack of articulation. Lopez is 21 and 21 year olds do foolish things at times. But honestly I didn’t like the grave digging gesture over a fallen, outmatched, hurt opponent. The flip and dance was one thing but to stand over a guy and do that was not a good look. Top Rank has quality people running their ship and if you notice Lopez was walked away by Carl Moretti a Top Rank executive and a high character guy. I think someone will privately talk to Lopez about the extra mocking.
As for his performance Teofimo Lopez is SERIOUS. He wasn’t a gold medalist but his progression has been amazing. If Loma who looks like an ATG talent was NOT the champion, Top Rank would have already positioned Lopez for a title shot. Loma is the only reason he hasn’t fought for a title.
Lopez has super reflexes, excellent punch selection, a mean streak, elite level hand speed and what seems to be real power. The only things we need to see is if he can take a punch and if he can make an adjustment in a fight vs an elite opponent who has won some rounds against him. Time will tell.
I wouldn’t pick him to beat Loma but I wouldn’t count him out either. 135lbs looks to be Loma’s ceiling. And 135 is Lopez’s start out weight. There is a huge difference in physicality. Lopez will be a welterweight within the next 5 years. Physicality is something that pundits don’t factor. It’s not always about who’s better but the physicality of the fight matters.
I am curious to see where Lopez goes after this performance. Top Rank has great matchmaking but it seems as though Richard Commey will get the 1st crack at Lomachenko. Lopez will probably step up another level. Look for him to fight someone that Loma, Crawford or Mikey Garcia have already beaten to show a side by side comparison.
Lopez is among the best prospects in boxing. I don’t know if he’s the best because the world is a big place. There is always an Eastern Euro fighter who only needs 10 fights in order to fight for a belt and I haven’t seen all of the world’s best prospects. But here is what I will say. Out of the prospects I have seen with my own eyes, he has a great argument for being the best at this moment along with Jaron “Boots” Ennis. Ennis is every bit as good but he just doesn’t have the platform.
Hey Bread, hope all is well!
First off, I just want to say that I think Mikey Garcia is helluva fighter that righfully so deserves credit for taking on Errol Spence. I'm not trying to discredit him in any ways with him taking this fight, but seeing many interviews from inside his gym with Robert there as well, I cannot help to get the feeling that a big part of him going after Spence is because of Lomachenko.
Obviously fighting Spence puts Mikeys health at more risk than fighting Lomachenko and it is an easier fight to make with their connections to Al Haymon. However, I get the impression that even though Mikey probably feels that his chances are bigger against Lomachenko at 135 or 140 than Spence at 147, losing against Spence will not affect his legacy. Besides the risk of his health, all other risks are lower. People expect him to lose this fight but it wouldn't look that good if he got outplayed by the smaller Lomachenko. It's more of a strong gut feeling I have that one of the reasons for him challenging Spence. Once again, not trying to accuse him of ducking Lomachenko, he is still moving up to trade punches with Errol Spence, whatever reason it still takes massive balls.
My question therefore is, have you had the same thought and what do you think about it.
Bread’s Response: I have heard a few others say that fighting Errol Spence is a physical risk for Mikey Garcia but it’s not a legacy damaging risk. And that Loma would embarrass him therefore he took the Spence fight.
Now while this could be true I will say I don’t know Mikey Garcia so I’m not going to play mind reader. I’m just going to give Mikey props for facing a KILLER. For facing a fighter that none of his other PBC stablemates wanted to fight.
You also have to take into consideration Mikey left Top Rank for a reason. Whatever that reason is it’s valid to him. He may not want to do business with a company that he had to sit out over 2 years to leave. He may get more back end money for fighting Spence. There could be more to it than the public knows. Money is a huge factor and all of the money that is reported is not always the bottomline money. Maybe the Spence fight is worth more money overall.
Let’s just take Mikey’s word for what it is. He wants to be great and he sees something in Errol Spence that he can exploit.
One more thing. I love Lomachenko. I think he’s the best fighter in the world at this moment. But let me tell you something. Him and Mikey is 50/50 at lightweight. 135 seems to be Loma’s ceiling. Mikey is better than Linares and Pedraza. It would be a heck of a fight but Mikey has no reason to run from Loma. It’s a great fight that either guy could win depending on who’s ON that night.
Hey Bread -
Hope all has been well. Have a quick question for you.
A friend and I have been wondering how a hypothetical fight between Ward and Golovkin would go at 168 (let’s also take for granted Ward can still make this weight, I know publicly he has stated he can’t). No tune ups for Ward to get rid of ring rust nor to Golovkin to acclimate to the 168 weight class. Simply, how would the fight go if it was the very next fight for each boxer at this point in time (arbitrarily let’s say it is for early summer ‘19).
Follow up- how would you have this fight ending if it happened 3 years ago when both were in their prime? Is that different than the outcome of the first scenario?
Thanks in advance, Bread. Really interested to see your thoughts on this one.
All the best,
Bread’s Response: I can’t say how the fight would go right now because you’re putting a variable in it that goes against logic. Andre Ward said he can’t make 168 anymore. He hasn’t in many years. So I take his word at face value and I assume he would be compromised physically if he tried to make the weight.
If they fought 3 years at 168 that would be 2016. GGG’s trouble started in 2016 with the Kell Brook fight. On paper and with the eye ball test I would assume Andre Ward is too big and too skilled. But fights are won in the ring not on paper. I would pick Ward but I would have loved to see it at both guys absolute apexes. What a battle of jabs it would be.
What do you think of Gervanta Davis’s new opponent this weekend? And who wins the Lubin vs Smith and why is it not on TV?
Bread’s Response: I think Davis has a solid opponent but I expect him to win. Davis will be tough to beat at 130lbs. He’s just too fast and too powerful and has too much physicality. I don’t know how long Davis can make the weight because he’s very dense and muscular but if he can make it safely I think he’s 50/50 or better than everyone in the division. I think Leo Santa Cruz and Tevin Farmer can hang with him but he handles everyone else. But again fights are won in the ring, I would love to see Davis try to unify this year. I still say he’s among the top 10 punchers in the game.
I didn’t know Lubin vs Smith would not be televised. Are you sure about that? I think it’s an excellent fight. First off Ishe Smith is a guy who takes some social media flack. I’ve heard him called many things. I’ve heard him called a cry baby, mentally weak, stepping stone etc. Social Media and the critics are undefeated.
But let me tell you something, Smith is a hard man. He may be vocal about some things but in a boxing ring he’s a hard man. Smith had it rough. Real rough. Smith has taken fights that 90% of fighters would not have taken. He reached his prime late, he didn’t win the title until his mid 30s. He has one of those styles that age well. I don’t always agree with him but I respect the guy. He’s a real fighter. And people should also respect him.
I think Erickson Lubin is an uber talent. He has more natural talent than Smith. No matter the age. But fights aren’t always won on talent. Fights are often won on execution and will power. Lubin will want to make it a talent fight. Smith a will power fight.
I still think Lubin can make noise at 154. I think he just caught vs Charlo. Early round 1 punch kos can be misleading. That was just one of those things in my opinion that can happen to anyone.
My pick is Lubin by decision because Smith fights in spurts. Smith seems to be the PBC litmus test for fighters coming off of losses in their comeback process. Julian Williams and Tony Harrison went the Smith route and Lubin is now. It’s smart. Smith has seen everything, he’s never been stopped and he always tries his best.
I do wonder how much Smith has left. I thought he was buzzed to the head and body vs Williams in a grueling fight and he was visibly hurt vs Harrison in another tough fight. Now he’s facing another talented kid who can punch. Smith was drained after those fights with Williams and Harrison. So that’s a factor in Lubin’s favor.
Another thing to take into consideration is styles. Smith is crafty and he catches, rolls and counters in the mid range and inside. Smith is not as good at long range. He doesn’t have particularly long arms and he doesn’t have a great jab. It’s why Harrison and Williams put rounds in the bank when they used their jabs vs Smith. Lubin has long arms and good hand speed but he’s not what you call a long range jabber. He has a good jab but he likes it in the mid range. He has a nasty right hook and he throws rapid fire combinations. Although there is a hand speed advantage for Lubin stylistically this fight is better for Smith. I pick Lubin but if it goes inside and mid range with constant exchanges it should be fun.
Shakur Stevenson just signed to fight Christopher Diaz. What do you think of the matchup? Is Stevenson the best prospect in boxing? It seems as though Teofimo Lopez is getting more attention at this point.
Bread’s Response: That’s a major step up for Stevenson but I like it. Stevenson is ambitious. He probably sees the other prospects getting major attention and he knows he’s the only one that has a Silver Medal so he’s making his move also.
Christopher Diaz is solid and talented but I think Top Rank knows what they are doing. I think Stevenson lights him up and out boxes him. I saw Diaz in his title shot and he doesn’t adjust well. He also loads up on his punches and becomes frustrated. Stevenson is a kid who stays locked in for the duration of the bout. I also noticed that Diaz changes trainers often. I know there are successful fighters like Kovalev recently and De La Hoya in the past who have also changed trainers often and successfuly. But it’s something I look at as counter productive for the most part. When a fighter changes trainers constantly it let’s me know he passes responsibility of the performances on the trainer and not himself. Often times the change has to come from within.
So I expect Diaz to try hard and come up with a good gameplan with Freddie Roach. But I just think Stevenson is the goods and Top Rank would not co sign this fight if Stevenson didn’t have over a 65% chance to win. The one thing I know about Top Rank is you can tell what they think of a fighter by the matchmaking. If a prospect moves fast like Oscar or Floyd then they are the goods. If you see a prospect who is matched really light and it takes them long to develop then you know their progress is not what Top Rank thought it would be. Stevenson is most likely the goods.
The reason Lopez seems to be in front of Stevenson as far as promotion is because Lopez is a big puncher. Offensive dynamic fighters are historically promoted harder than well rounded boxers. It doesn’t mean they will end up better but that’s just how it is. We won’t appreciate Stevenson fully until he fights elite level fighters. Stevenson will be just fine. He’s a handful for everyone in the top 10 at featherweight right now.
Love the boxing insight that you provide every week. I look forward to it every Saturday morning.
As a trainer, considering this may be pro fighter who knows the basics, would you teach a fighter your style of boxing or let them further develop their own style? For example, Cus D'Mato's fighters mainly used the peek a boo defensive stance. Floyd Mayweather Sr. teaches a lot of the shoulder roll defense. Almost every fighter who employs Buddy Mcgirt boxes more. Then you have trainers like Emmanuel Steward, Dan Birmingham and Robert Garcia, whose fighters in their staples have diverse styles even if they started with them.
There are always those fighters we see that are obviously good like Floyd, Trinidad, De La Hoya and Cotto. Then there are those dark horse fighters that come out of nowhere and defy all expectations like Winky Wright, Sergio Martinez, Bernard Hopkins and to some extent, Pacquiao. Today, we already see potential HOFers like Crawford, Spence, and Loma. Who do you see as the dark horses or may become dark horses today?
Who do you think are the top 5 underrated and/or underappreciated boxers in history and why?
Gervontae Davis vs Gary Russell Jr. What do you see happening in this fight?
What do you see these fantasy matches going?
Pacquiao vs Hamed
Mayweather vs Trinidad
Hopkins vs Toney
Mayweather vs Bradley
Cotto vs Hatton
Instant replay for boxing, yay or nay?
Bread’s Response: I think a fighter has to be himself and then the trainer can add his knowledge, experience and application. A fighter has to fight to his god given ability and temperament as long as it’s productive.
For example I used to hate when critics used to say Paul Williams should fight like Tommy Hearns. Williams didn’t have Hearns’s quick twitch muscles, hand speed, jab or power. Williams also didn’t have great reflexes. But he was dog tough, he had great stamina and he loved to work in high volume. That’s a perfect example of a fighter fighting to his god given talents. Paul Williams probably could’ve been tweaked slightly but if you try to change him into Hearns he doesn’t have the career he had.
Pernell Whitaker was short fighter for 147lbs. But he often boxed on the outside and controlled things with his jab. Why, because that was his god given ability.
Overall I think certain fighters you have to try to change certain things because the mistakes are just too much. But the wise thing is to just add to a fighter’s ability and temperament.
I think Terence Crawford is a darkhorse. He wasn’t always as highly touted as he is now. He wasn’t the BIG shot coming out of the amateurs.
Other darkhorses Caleb Plant just won a big fight as an underdog. He could turn out to be the best super middleweight in the world. I have been high on Josh Taylor. He’s highly regarded but he’s not viewed as a potential P4P guy. Taylor may be one of those guys who’s sum total outweighs his parts. If he can get active I think he could be the class of 140lbs. Julian Williams lost 1 fight and he’s been written off. I think he has a chance still have an excellent career. Jaron Ennis didn’t make the Olympic team. He’s not with a big promoter. But he has 3 division title and P4P potential.
Top 5 underappreciated fighters in history. Ezzard Charles. Charles is ridiculously underrated. His record from 1943-51 is inasane. He beat the best fighters from middleweight to heavyweight. Charles’s run was as good as Sugar Ray Robinson’s was during that time and better than Willie Pep’s. Charles is the same age as Robinson and he came along in the best era ever and he’s criminally overlooked. He should be in everybody’s top 10-15 fighters ever.
Alexis Arguello. Arguello won 3 titles in 3 different divisions in an era where is was real. He went for a 4th when he slightly past his best days vs the best junior welterweight ever. Arguello was not an athletic freak, but his fundamentals, punch delivery and power were extreme. We talk about lots of greats but I don’t think he gets mentioned enough.
Tommy Hearns. Hearns lost his 2 Super bowls. So when rankings come out as the best of the last 40 or 50 years he’s never at the top. Often times guys like Mayweather, Pacquiao, Hopkins, Whitaker and Jones are rated over Hearns. I love all of those guys but I think Hearns beats them all head to head at respective weights. I also think they all lose to Leonard and Hagler on their best days. Hearns won 5 real titles in 5 weight classes. And he’s the only guy to jump from 154 to 175. That’s an insane jump. He also won the lightheavyweight title twice. Hearns is also one of the better fighters ever under 25. He’s extremely accomplished and he passes the eye ball test. Very underrated.
Joe Calzaghe waited too long to come over to the USA. He just did and it’s a shame because I really feel he missed out on being a top 25 ever talent. Calazaghe had IT. He doesn’t have the resume because Hopkins and Jones were not close enough to their primes. But they would have ad a tough time with him in their primes. Calzaghe had everything you would want. Plus he had intangibles that can’t be measured.
Ricardo Lopez was just too small to be appreciated correctly. But if you look at each one of his championship fights from the time he won the title until he retired. I will tell you he never had a bad day. His application was perfect. Hands up, constant jab, balance perfect, stamina on point, never taking an opponent for granted. Then when he was pushed by Rosendo Alvarez he reacted and came through in the clutch. Alvarez could be the most technically efficient fighters in the history of boxing. If he’s 30lbs bigger he could be next to Roberto Duran and Ray Robinson. Lopez was that good.
Gervonta Davis vs Gary Russell would be one of the biggest fights in DMV history especially for lower weight fighters. I actually think Gary Russell is a terrific fighter but he doesn’t fight often. I think you miss a piece of your peak development by fighting as seldom as he does. I love Sugar Ray Leonard he’s my favorite all time fighter. But he didn’t improve when he retired on and off. He was just so great that he was still able to do great things. Russell fights once a year in his prime….
I think Russell would trouble Davis and we don’t know how Davis react to facing a Russell level elite fighter.
Davis has a size and power advantage. But Davis does not have a speed advantage. When fast fighters face someone who is faster it’s always a wild card. I think Davis is much more accurate of a puncher. Russell flurries, where as Davis places his shots.
It think this is a good action fight. Right now I would give the edge to Davis because of his accuracy and he fights more often. I know he was inactive last year but overall he’s been active.
Pac vs Hamed would be a shootout. The Prince was Game and he was an all time puncher. But Pac crushed southpaws and I think the Prince just makes too many mistakes for Pac. I see Pac stopping him in 8 brutal rounds. This is a case of an A fighter vs an A+ fighter.
Mayweather vs Trinidad is tough. Mayweather is probably better in a P4P sense. But if they met at 147 I assume that’s a tough fight for Mayweather. Tito was an animal. He didn’t fatigue, he is legitimately 5’11, punching down on guys and he was a lights out puncher. I know someone will bring up the Oscar fight but maybe that was one of those days. I would take Tito by decision today tomorrow I may change my mind. Great fight.
Hopkins vs Toney almost happened. Hopkins was Toney’s mandatory at 160 before Toney moved up. Again they almost fought at cruiserweight. This is a tough fight for me to call. I will flip a coin and say Toney was a little sharper and a little more natural with his defense. Hopkins could out point him but those McCallum fights gives me an indication Toney would edge it but Hopkins had a better career. It’s a case of better vs greater.
Mayweather vs Bradley on paper is Mayweather all day. But Bradley is one of the rare fighters where you have to see him lose before you pick too hard against him. The reason being is his sum total outweighs his parts. Bradley just swarmed Devon alexander in his 1st BIG fight and outhustled him. I take Floyd on points however. Bradley is just giving up too much.
Cotto vs Hatton. I would take Cotto. It’s just a bad style match up for Hatton. Cotto is a great great fighter. His jab, left hook power and boxing ability would be too much for Hatton. During Hatton’s peak at 140 it would be interesting but I can’t see any version of Hatton beating the best version of Cotto.
Yes for instant replay in boxing. But it has to be done quickly and efficient. While we are at it let’s do 5 judges instead of 3 so we can start getting these scores right and stop messing up careers. The one fight that comes to mind when I think about instant replay is Marco Antonio Barrera vs Juan Manuel Marquez. Barrera scored a clean knockdown, that was not scored. Then he was deducted a point for hitting Marquez while he was down but according to the referee Marquez was NOT knocked down. That could have been fixed pretty easy, the knockdown was pretty clear.
I thought that was some performance Saturday by Kovalev. He wasn’t exactly staring down-“a prime version of Bob Foster or even Virgil Hill circa 1987-1997”-but once again ll, I think he’s proven he’s the second best 175lber of his era-(obviously behind Andre ‘S.O.G’ Ward)-.despite being a poor loser along the lines of Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad/ Vernon Forrest/Marvin Hagler.
I thought he solidified his HOF credentials by. Stopping the guy who stopped him. Plus I believe he beat Ward in their first fight. But Ward returned like a Phoenix proving who was the superior fighter, despite Kovalev’s cries of foul.
-I didn’t particularly care for Ward being all over the broadcast and hearing so much of the commentary based around how great Ward is. I though it was a disservice to Kovalev.
-Good for Buddy McGirt.! He wan once one of the sports hottest trainers, it was so good to see him resurrect a fledgling career. Instead of loading
Up on huge power he clearly took something off his fastball to great results.
-who are your 5 Greatest 154lbs fighters? On accomplishment, skill and prime/peak operating level I go (Hearns/McCallum/Trinidad/Norris/Jackson)-
-Speaking Of Norris, can you remember anyone having a three fight streak like he had with Luis Sa
-My Favorite All-Time Modern Performances
Im 44yrs old and these are contests I can watch over & over
-Wilfredo Gómez vs Carlos Zarate
-Bernard Hopkins vs Felix Trinidad
-Salvador Sanchez vs. WIlfredo Gómez
-Julio Ceasar Chavez Sr vs Edwin Rosario
-Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns
-Roberto Duran vs Sugar Ray Leonard
-Thomas Hearns vs Roberto Duran
-Marvin Hagler vs Thomas Hearns
-Roy Jones JR vs James Toney
-Floyd Mayweather vs Diego Corrales
-Pernell Whitaker vs Julio Ceasar Chavez SR
-EvAnder Holyfield vs Dwight Muhammad Quawi
Some fun Mythical Match UPS
-M.Hagler (who Met Leonard ) vs M.Nunn (Peak)
-L.Bramble (Pre-Rosario) vs H. Camacho (135lbs)
-D.Curry (McCrory version))vs P. Whitaker (version who fought De La Hoya)
-E.Holyfield (Parkey version) vs J.Louis (Schmelling 2 version)
-B.Hopkins (Trinidad version) vs McCallum (Curry version)
Bread’s Response: I agree about Kovalev. He solidified HOF status. Kovalev defies conventional logic. He’s a poor sport, he acts like a bully, he’s always switching trainers, yet he delivers. He’s the exception not the rule.
I thought Ward was professional throughout the telecast.
Buddy McGirt is a laid back guy. I bet he didn’t think his career was fledgling. Props to Buddy for doing his thing.
5 Greatest fighters ever at 154. You say Hearns, McCallum, Norris, Trinidad and Jackson. It’s hard to argue that. But Oscar had a really good run at 154. Emille Griffith fans will argue he’s better than everyone on the list. And Winky Wright has a real argument that not only does he deserve a spot but he beat Trinidad head to head.
Terry Norris and Luis Santana was a bizarre trilogy. Never in the history of boxing have I witnessed that. Norris had uncontrollable rage and he couldn’t stop hitting fighters while they were down or defenseless. I love Norris as a fighter but if he were fighting today he would be in huge trouble. Norri was DQ 3 times in his career and it could have been up to 5 or 6 times.
I have watched every fight on your list several times. Add Chavez vs Rosario and Arguello vs Escalera.
I don’t like doing mythical match ups of fighters who aren’t at their peaks….So the fights that you asked where a fighter wasn’t peaking I won’t answer.
Bramble vs Camacho. I think Camacho wins a disputed decision. Bramble’s high guard defense will allow him to pepper Bramble and score more points.
Holyfield vs Louis this is a tough fight to gauge. Holyfield fought off the bounce. Louis fought off the step. I could see Holyfield outboxing Louis. But I could see Louis clipping Holyfield. Right now I say Louis clips my guy in a shootout.
Hopkins vs McCallum would be something. Today I say Hopkins by decision. I think moving away from McCallum is the way to beat him. Kalumbay did it in their 1st fight and I think Hopkins can fight that fight and do a little better. Hopkins fought a perfect fight vs Tito.
What’s good breadman been writing in for a while hope U get this one. Just a couple of questions.
1. You said Tyson fury needs to fight the perfect fight to win a rematch with wilder. I agree with you but I also believe Tyson fury needs to let his hands go some more, it may be disastrous to him but I really think fury can ko wilder. I watched the first fight and I saw wilder’s expression when fury hit him with a hard shot right after he got dropped..He was visibly buzzed and kudos to him for holding on, also wilder’s chin has never REALLY been tested. I feel like fury can ko him.
2. I’ve always been sold on AJ but after all the fuss recently about him ducking wilder/fury I decided to rewatch his fight with vlad. Joshua is a dog, he showed that against vlad, he got dropped hard but came back to show composure and KO a HOF if not ATG heavyweight ( + he has decent skills). I think he is no 1 at heavy weight and beats both wilder and fury.
3. What do you think about badou jack starting so slow in most of his fights and heating up after basically half the fight is gone, I think it has cost him some big fights e.g Stevenson and groves, do you think a different trainer can help him get better at the beginning of fights and also overall as a fighter. This is not a slight on his trainer but sometimes change works for the better.
Ali from Nigeria.
Bread’s Response: 1. Wilder’s chin has been tested. Why do you guys repeat the same false critiques? Luis Ortiz hit Wilder right on the money. He was buzzed but he took it and came back to stop him. You did just say that Fury buzzed Wilder…..
I think Fury fought a great fight. I don’t want to micro manage his performance. Fury has to adjust from fight to fight. Right now he doesn’t have to open up more in my opinion. All he has to do is not get caught and dropped but we have to see how Wilder adjust in the next fight.
I loved Fury’s trainer’s instructions. He kept him boxing and he didn’t slug too much.
I did notice that Fury let’s Wilder sort of load up and get a head of steam to build power on his shots. Fury may want to smother and rough Wilder up more. Other than that he fought one of the better heavyweight fights of recent years.
2. I think Anthony Joshua is #1 also. But Fury and Wilder are at his heels and could beat him on any given night. Joshua is a dog and that was a serious comeback. He was all but knocked out. That right hand that Wlad hit him with was on the MONEY. And Wlad had full steam and a step in on it. The thing that worries me about Joshua is he’s a little tight and he takes a long time to get a 2nd wind. In long hard fights that may come back to bite him.
3. Badou Jack beat George roves so his slow start didn’t bother him in that fight. I think Jack is what he is and his trainer Lou Devalle is doing a great job. Jack is not a twitchy sharp shooter. He doesn’t have that electrifying sharpness where he can find his timing right away. It’s just how he’s wired. If he opens up too early he may get clipped. Remember he has a 1st round ko loss.
At Jack’s age, he just has to warm up really good in the dressing room stay loose and be ready to go. Some fighters are slow starters because biologically it benefits them. Maybe Jack can find some type of neurological warm up also to do get him going but other than that, slow starts are his way.
What up B, it’s yo bro from the CPT!
LMBO cause that intro already should you post this letter to the bag, got some readers who love what we do but hate us, and our culture, already mad! Allah knows B, me and you despite the fact that I call you thee best in the business, have had our differences. I got nothing but respect for you despite times that I really disagreed with you!...Side note...I don’t understand your love for Doug? He like you knows boxing but unlike you he doesn’t attempt to overcome his personal biases at all! You let yours leak in a little but shiiiid we all human! And before it’s done you always set the record straight and keep it real!
I wanted talk to you about this term EXPOSED....Frankly B I’m sick of it! I’m soooo sick of the lazy, cliche, and casual way the term is thrown around. And honestly B, it seems to be usually for the most part directed at Black American fighters. That may be because the bar for a Black American athlete is very high, but it still comes off like BS. Thurman by many IMO silly fans was somehow allegedly exposed in the 7th round of his comeback fight. HOW? He clearly controlled the fight boxed well looked a little rusty, but just a little. But other wise he looked like Keith Thurman in there. The 7th round if anything he showed true warriors grit and Champion fortitude. Brah, I even saw a response on an article where a fan said that ESJ was exposed by Kell Brook. I responded and said wow, exposed by a man who’s face you literally broke in his own Backyard! No one has made ESJ rely more on his Boxing the dude comes forward and works that body like a throw back fighter. He literally kills the body making the head easy later! As the old saying goes B...takes some azzz to get some azzz! You want to KO a man, you put yourself in position to be hit, or even KO yourself! Doentay Wilder was allegedly exposed by a man he showed his strengths against and dropped twice! To me exposed is when we learn something we didn’t previously know. We knew Fury would be the better Boxer, and Wilder would be the better puncher. We also knew Wilder has crude technique that lacks. How was he EXPOSED? I gave Wilder rounds 1,2,4,9,12, a draw was okay!
Break it down for us B with that phenomenal insight we all love. What does it mean, and when is a fighter truly EXPOSED! Give us some examples of fights where one man was so outclassed that they were EXPOSED? I think Horn got Exposed by Crawford, but please break it down Brah?
IDC for mythical match ups because current or modern fighters never get the fair comparison, but here’s one for you B! Errol Spence JR vs Margarito with legal hand wraps?
Deuces bro, T, from Compton/Bompton! Oh and Happy new year!
Bread’s Response: Happy New Year.
I like Doug Fischer because he’s a cool dude and he’s always shown me love. Just because you guys may not agree with some of his views it doesn’t mean I have to dislike him. In fact I respect Doug a great deal because he’s not afraid to write/say things that may not be popular but often times they are true. Read him carefully and you will see what I mean. In this day and age of social media when people can’t disagree respectfully.
EXPOSED is a word that fans in boxing use when their vocabulary is lacking. Keith Thurman was NOT exposed. That was pretty much the same Keith Thurman we have always seen at the top level. He’s not a concussive puncher. He’s a good puncher but he’s a mover who runs his opponents into shots. He probably moves too much so at some point during the fight he slows down. He doesn’t infight and he fights a little skittish. But he finds a way to win. We saw that but a little bit of a rusty version. Thurman was NOT exposed.
Errol Spence was not exposed by Kell Brook. Brook just gave him a tough fight. Brook was an elite level fighter and he was more experienced than Spence. Spence also had to travel abroad and perform. That was a tremendous performance. So what Spence struggled a little bit. If you fight enough top level fighters you will lose some rounds and have to adjust. Every fighter in history has lost rounds to Brook level fighters.
Deontay Wilder was NOT exposed either. We have seen Wilder outboxed for rounds by several fighters that weren’t as good as Tydson Fury. We have seen Wilder fall down, swinging wildly. So it happened in this fight. That’s what we expected.
I have a tip for you. NEVER read the commentary section of articles. It will make you puke. Most fans are not knowledgeable.
Fighters who were exposed…..I don’t like to pick on fighters in a negative way. I just think they go through too much especially in this day on social media. So I won’t say a fighter specifically but I will give you scenarios.
1. When a fighter is highly regarded and he simply quits or finds a way to quit in his prime. =Exposed
2. When a fighter is a huge favorite in a fight and he gets some resistance and completely falls apart. =Exposed
3. When a fighter keeps getting the same thing done to him time after time and he never adjust. =Exposed
4. When a fighter has a glaring weakness in something that is simple fundamentals. =Exposed
I don’t think Horn got exposed by Crawford. What did you think was going happen in that fight? Exactly what did happen.
I was very high on Margarito in his prime. I also knew he wouldn’t have a long peak because of his style and weight issues. I do believe he was a cheater and I don’t think the 1st time he attempted to cheat was the Mosley fight.
But I don’t think cheating was the only reason for his success. I know what my eyes told me. Margarito had a gas tank. He had a deadly left uppercut. And he had an iron chin and iron will. He hurt Pacquiao bad with unloaded gloves and he was walking Cotto down in the 2nd fight before the fight was stopped. I do think he get his KARMA and I am a Cotto fan but the truth is he was COMING on in the rematch.
Errol Spence is one of my favorite fighters in this era. But we don’t KNOW a lot about Errol Spence. We just assume a lot. We assume he’s a great fighter and I think he is too. But Errol just hasn’t been fortunate to get the better elite names in the ring. He fought Kell Brook and that was a good litmus test but Brook was coming down and weight and was just injured.
I rate that performance really high but that’s the best thing on Spence’s resume. I believe Spence has the same qualities Mosley has and he would damage Margarito to the body and keep himself from being walked down. But Margarito pre Mosley from around 03-08 was a monster. I would like to see if Errol could defend an uppercut and stabbing body shots all night.
I think he could but I don’t know if he could. He’s been criminally ducked in this era and no one really realizes. Spence is about 29 and he has only fought one big name. I’m actually happy Mikey Garcia has stepped up because I don’t want to see what happened to GGG happen to Spence. Spence never got any of the PBC older welters in his climb as a prospect. And only Lamont Peterson who was a big underdog took the fight after Spence became champion. The PBC runs the welterweight division. They have all fought each other but only one has fought Spence. Think about that.
Spence and Margarito have a lot in common. Both were ducked for large portions of their primes. When I see two wrecking balls fighting each other, in the rock, paper, scissors of boxing I pick the wrecking ball that gets off faster. Spence gets off faster.
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