By Stephen “Breadman” Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia, Tank Davis vs. Vasyl Lomachenko, Eddie Hearn’s invasion of the United States, and more.
Love that the mailbag has a weekly format of late. Don’t think I’ve ever been fanatical about a publication before, I take my hat off to you.
I’m going to build on an excellent question someone asked last week, it was related to ranking the different eras of Bernard Hopkins. All the greatest athletes evolve throughout their career, can you speak more about this topic? What do the guys who manage to do it have in common, recalibration of punch selection, adversity faced, attitude or philosophical changes, change in training methods, etc
Breadās Response: Thank you for the support.
I think the 1st thing that athletes especially boxers who have longevity have in common is IQ. People donāt realize how much longer the mind last than the body. And when I say IQ Iām talking all aspects. They understand how to take care of themselves. They not only know what to do, but they do what they know.
Specifically speaking on Hopkins his IQ is off the charts. Iāve seen him come in the gym with Coconut water, and like 3 or 4 pieces of fruit for recovery. This may seem small but enough small things leads to big things. Most fighters donāt bring water to the gym yet alone fruit or other recovery foods. Hopkins understands all aspects of boxing and his health so he applies his knowledge and heās not too lazy to put it to work.
So a fighter with longevity will have to be dedicated to diet, body and recovery. Believe it or not this is all part of a fighterās IQ. Do you know what to eat? Do you eat it? Do you know what to do to allow yourself to recover each day after training? Do you do it? Hopkins used to have a massage therapist waiting for him to finish training with a table set up in the gym. This was way back in the 90s before it became popular. Again I have seen fighters train for weeks and months at a time and will not get a massage to remove the lactic acid and loosen the muscles.
Hopkins also will observe or feel a small glitch in his opponentās presence and he will exploit. It didnāt always translate into a win but it always translated into a competitive fight. If you notice Hopkins would rinse and repeat the same tactics over and over. If his opponents were smart enough or good enough to overcome them then so be it. If they werenāt then he would beat them.
Watch him close. Hopkins would lower his head and spring in with a right hand. Land or miss, he would crash into the opponent, initiate a clinch and then bang the opponent in the clinch. In the clinch he would check to see where the referee was located and he would hit the opponent on the side of the cup and behind the ear. The hip cup shot blow is not directly in the groin, but it moves the cup and it drains a man to have his testicles moved around. Because the shot is on the hip it also limits the movement late in fights. Hopkins did this to every opponent over and over. If you notice by the 2nd half of the fight 90% of them looked drain and broken. While Hopkins hit the cup, he grinds his chin into the area between the shoulder and the neck. There is a nerve located right their and it hurts like hell.
Hopkins also learned that fighters donāt track well against opponents going to their RIGHTS. Hopkins walked to his right more than any right handed stance fighter you will ever see. This is what you call subtle brilliance. At some point he recognized that most fighters donāt move or coordinate well going that way. If you donāt believe me, white collar boxing guys. Line up in a right handed stance and do everything in the gym that day exclusively to your right. You will become fatigued and you will cross your feet constantly. Hopkinsās IQ allowed him to recognize this and the longer his career went the more he did it. Again watch him close.
So to answer you specifically. I believe fighters with longevity need to have high IQ. They also have to be dedicated. Dedication means doing the right things when those things need to be done. The key word is āwhenā. Last but not least they have to find a reason to be motivated. Motivation to train is crucial. Motivation usually dissipates with success and money. Hopkins found a way to stay motivated at a world class level at 50. He was a special athlete and fighter because of it.
I recently saw an interview with Errol Spence who stated when he has a fight coming up he stays off of social media. I know youāre high on Spence and his character. I also hear you talk about the set backs of social media on boxers. But I wanted to ask you do you think Spence breaks the mode of fighters having to come from a poor socio economic background. He seems to come from a well to do family and yet heās still prospering.
Breadās Response: Errol Spence must be turning into a superstar. You guys write in to me about him at least 10x a week even when he doesnāt have a fight coming up.
Iām glad Errol Spence doesnāt get on social media before fights. Social media is poison to a fighterās brain and spirit. Social media will make you think you are better than you are or worst than you are. Social media will embarrass and humiliate a fighter to the point of no return. Most of all social media will distract fighters to a point of hinder. I can see why Spence is better than 99% of the other fighters in the world. He has enough common sense and self discipline to stay away the POISON. Social Media is so addictive that I believe there will be social media rehabilitation centers with in the next 10 years. I also believe people will plead social media addiction in traffic accidents. Itās really that bad.
If you watch a press conference of fighterās meeting, you will observe more than half of the fighters with their headās down checking their phones. Then new millennials get upset when historians talk about how much better fighters were 10 or more years ago.
Spence is not breaking the mode in my opinion. I for one never confused a fighter being poor with a fighter lacking morals and values. Obviously low economic status produces more fighters. Thatās not up for debate. Low economic status is fuel for motivation. It spawns hunger. But the one thing people donāt consider is just because a fighter comes from a poor background it doesnāt mean he wasnāt taught values and morals. Poor parents, poor mentors or poor caretakers also have morals and values.
There is another thing to consider. From my personal experience I have seen fighters with more resources including parents that have been able to send them to more national tournaments. Parents that are more knowledgeable about working out and providing resources actually elevate their children above more talented kids that simply canāt afford to go to every tournament and do not have the resources to make them better. So the people who suggest that good fighters only come from desolate backgrounds are wrong. Personally the first thing I look for in a kid is positive character that was instilled in him. It doesnāt matter how much money his family has or doesnāt have. If you come from a poor background and you werenāt taught positive values you will have more negativity to overcome.
Values and morals, respect and discipline can be instilled in a poor environment. I donāt know what background Spence comes from. But I can see that Spence has morals, values and dedication instilled in him. Iām a parent and I was also very observant as a child. There are things I can see in Spence. I can tell heās not a troublemaker. I can tell he wasnāt a bully as a kid. I can tell he has respect in general. He also has awareness. Some of these things can be instinctive but most times they are taught by a parent figure or mentor.
After Spence won his last fight they first thing he did was congratulate Jim Gray on being inducted in the HOF. Thatās Awareness for ya! Spence is obliging and respectful to the media and it will benefit him as his career progresses.
Iām actually glad to see what the insiders in boxing consider a āgood kidā being put on this platform. If you notice many fighters act as the heel to get attention. They do and say outlandish things. There wear outlandish clothes and haircuts and outfits. Spence doesnāt do any of that stuff and heās approaching being the biggest American star in boxing. Right now heās top 3 or 4 and heās only fought 3 championship fights. His peers seem to look up to him and they flock around him. Heās as respected among his peers as Andre Ward was and itās no coincidence. They both project values, discipline and morals and they donāt act like assholes or malcontents.
What is your take on the Joshua vs Wilder debacle? Do you think Joshua is scared to fight? Who do you think both will fight next?
Breadās Response: I think the people not involved care too much. I saw a few fighters on social media tagging Wilder or Joshua calling them names. I couldnāt believe what I was looking at. From my experience a trend has started. The promoters will dangle a fight in front of the public, act as if they are making the fight next, but they are just āheat checkingā for public interest. They tease the public, let both guys fight someone else then they make the fight later and the fight becomes bigger. You guys fall for it every time.
I donāt have a take because I donāt know what is a ploy and what is real. And I donāt care enough to attempt to find out. Time will tell if they really want to fight. Time reveals all truth no matter how long it takes. You ever hear the saying about āthe naked truth being better than a well dressed lie.ā The well dressed lie circulates faster than the naked truth. Everyone needs to stop jumping to conclusions.
It looks like Joshua will fight Povetkin next. If that happens Iām curious to see if they will use VADA. As much as I like Joshua if they donāt use VADA it will tell me something. The reason being is Wilder does not fight without VADA. Povetkin is a notorious PED user. If any fighter who is the A side were to fight Povetkin without using extra testing it would he a red flag in my opinion. Letās see what happens.
As for Wilder I suspect he will fight Dominic Breazele or Jarrell Miller.
I know youāre a historian and you rate old school fighters over current fighters. Iām curious at to what youāre reasons are. What makes the old school better than the new school? Iām actually torn on this topic and I would like for you to shed light on this in detail.
Breadās Response: For the record I assess fighters individually. I donāt pick every old school guy over every new school guy. Thatās ridiculous.
I have this conversation once a week, literally. Last week a trainer a truly respect by the name of Asim Beyah asked me about Felix Trinidad vs Errol Spence. We discussed the fight in length. We talked about old school training and the new stuff. We talked about diets, boxrec, recovery you name it.
Here is my take. Most people will have a generational bias. Most people respect the fighters they came up watching more. I try to be as objective as I can and I do notice a difference in the eras.
I do believe that current athletes are more advanced because of modern science. But for some reason that doesnāt always translate to boxing and baseball. I think itās because in boxing and baseball the athletes rely on skill as much as athleticism. In baseball the athletes have not evolved to a point where they are throwing 112mph on the regular. A good 98mph fastball is still about the standard. And without PEDs 45 homeruns will still get you a homerun title. Also we still donāt have baseball players hitting .400 on the regular. So it hasnāt evolved from a skills stand point.
I always preface my the topic with baseball to show skills are skills. In boxing I still believe Joe Louis is the best puncher to ever live. All things considered, punching power, punch delivery, technique, two fisted leverage and accuracy. I still believe George Foreman is the most powerful man to ever step in a boxing ring and his peak weight was 217 not 250 like todayās heavyweights. I still believe Muhammad Ali is the best heavyweight ever and I still believe Sugar Ray Robinson is the best fighter ever. I donāt know if Iām old school or if Iām a realist.
Here are some things that I have noticed. I wonāt go back too far but I will go back to the 70ās, 80ās , 90ās up until now. More top fighters from those times can compete and be champions in this CURRENT era than fighters of this era could back then. I donāt know how anyone could argue that. Letās pick some divisions.
Boxingās glamour division is 147. Most of the biggest stars in boxing make their bones at welterweight. Letās look at the welterweight landscape. Right now we have two special fighters at welterweight in Errol Spence and Terence Crawford. Before clearing out the division both of these guys are viewed as the best in the division. Most experts recognize them as the cream of the crop.
Ok so lets go back about 20 years. There was a time when Oscar De La Hoya, Felix Trinidad, Ike Quartey, Pernell Whitaker, Oba Carr, Jose Lopez, James Page, Vernon Forest, Shane Mosley and a young Antonio Margarito were all at welterweight at the same time. I will excuse Terence Crawford because he just moved up a few weeks ago. But do you guys really think Errol Spence would be asking for smoke and not getting any at 147 if he was around in 1999? Iām not saying he wouldnāt hold his own because I believe he would, but I am saying he would get fights. Real fights where the winner would not be predetermined. Most of you guys have probably never heard of Jose Luis Lopez or James Page. But I would actually pick both of them to beat everyone at 147 today except for Spence and Crawford.
The biggest difference in the eras in my opinion is the perception and how fighters respond to losses. I actually had a fighter tell me that Vasyl Lomachenko can not be P4P #1 because he has a loss. I didnāt even comment because I knew he was too ignorant to grasp what he said. But I thought to myself that here lies the problem. A loss in 2014 in his 2nd pro fight somehow disqualifies Lomachenko from being the best fighter in 2018 after 10 more title fights. Yeah ok.
Letās look back. Who were the two best fighters of the 70ās. Universally most experts would say #1 Duran and #2 Monzon. Duran had 1 loss as a young champion in a non title fight and Monzon had 3 losses. Yet they were the best fighters of the 70s. Letās look at the best fighters of the 80s. The three best fighters of the 80s voted by Ring Magazine were #1 Ray Leonard, #2 Marvin Hagler and #3 Salvador Sanchez. Leonard lost in his 2st title defense vs Duran, Hagler had 2 losses and 2 draws before he ever won a belt and Sanchez had a loss and draw before he won his belt. To add to this list, Manny Pacquiao had 2 losses and 2 draws during his run as the P4P king, Bernard Hopkins had 2 losses and draw during his time as the P4P king. The mentality of this era is crippling.
The promoters, networks, media, fans and fighters are all the culprits. Fighters will not continue to test themselves because of the overall mentality of āif that guy had wonāt fight killers, neither will Iā. Here is the example. Tommy Hearns went on his best career run after he was stopped by Ray Leonard in 1981. He didnāt shy away from competition he fought harder and kept challenging himself. Because of his mentality he got to fight in other big fights vs Benitez, Duran and Hagler. He won some and lost some but he didnāt stop taking tough fights. Hearns is in the HOF and he made a boat load of money.
Terry Norris gets kod bad in his 1st title try by Julian Jackson. Norris regrouped and went after another puncher in John Mugabi and won. He went on to have a better career than Jackson and make the HOF.
Speaking of Julian Jackson he was kod by Mike McCallum in his 1st title try. He regrouped and went on to have one of the most feared runs ever at 154lbs.
Gerald McClellan, Marco Antonio Barrera, Lennox Lewis and Marquez Brothers all took tough losses early in their careers or as young champions, each one came back a better fighter.
Say what you want about Oscar De La Hoya but he was a real fighter. Forget about him winning titles from 130-140. In his 1st fight at 147 he takes on Pernell Whitaker who was a stylistic nightmare for him. Less than 2 years later he fights Ike Quartey, Oba Carr and Felix Trinidad all in the same year. And in the very next year he fights a prime Shane Mosley. After that he moves up to 154 and fights Fernando Vargas and Mosley again. After that he moves to 160 and fights Bernard Hopkins. After that he fights a prime Mayweather and a prime Pacquiao. Are you kidding me! I know most of you guys say bad stuff about Oscar but that resume is insane. No fighter from this particular era has challenged himself like that. Donāt say Manny Pacquiao because heās not from this era, he turned pro in 1995.
The promoters treat you different after a loss. The networks act funny and the fighters feel itās not worth the risk. And itās a shame because the mentality of this era is just counter productive to past greatness. It really sucks. Besides Abner Mares, Amir Khan, Badou Jack, George Groves ,Jorge Linares and Kell Brook I canāt think of any other big name or A side fighters of this era that have challenged themselves after a ko defeat. If I forgot anyone I apologize. But you know what I mean by challenge themselves.
Iāve seen fighters take off 2 and 3 years after getting stopped. Are you kidding me again? Iāve seen guys take a loss in this era and literally take 6 or 7 years worth of tune ups. Iāve seen a champion win a controversial fight and not take another fight where he wasnāt the favorite in for 5 years. I donāt like to name fighters in negative comments because I respect boxing too much. But this era the weakest era in the history of boxing from that particular stand point. āTheyā will say If you lose you sucked anyway. If you get stopped youāre chinny and youāre done. If you take a beating for more than 6 or 7 rounds youāre damaged goods. Itās so sickening I donāt like discussing boxing with anyone who is from this era. Azumah Nelson lost to Salvador Sanchez by tko in the 14th round. He took a beating and was stopped late he was 13-0. Nelson never lost at featherweight again and will go down as a top 10 great in the division history and top 75 fighters ever. That tko loss sure didnāt ruin him. Itās absurd the line of thinking that goes along with this era. We wouldnāt have any of the legends of boxing if they adopted this eraās mentality.
All it will take is one top fighter to break the trend and win some big fights. I see Austin Trout trying but heās not getting the wins. But I do respect him for challenging himself after a loss. But Trout is not the A side in his fights. A side fighters set trends because they donāt have to take certain fights in order to get paid. Guys like Oscar De La Hoya was a trend setter. If you notice Shane Mosley of the same era took his 1st loss vs Vernon Forest. He ran it right back. He lost again but so what he wanted to get it back. Forest in turn took his 1st loss to Ricardo Mayorga. What did he do he ran it right back? This happened because it was the āmentalityāĀ and trend of the time. Iāve actually seen fighters who lose once and instead of continuing their careers, they would rather personal train young kids and charge them $20/workout!
Iām not suggesting rush things or piss your career away and damage yourself. Iām not suggesting go 13-5 to start your career. Itās nothing wrong with being an undefeated prospect or wanting to retire undefeated. But the majority of these fighters in this era donāt want to challenge themselves at all. And if they do they only want to do it if they stay undefeated. After they lose, they lose their mentality and spirit of competition. Very rarely do we a see a fighter do what Lomachenko did and itās the reason why I respect him so much. He took a risk after a loss and it paid off.
The problem in this era is simple. You canāt hit the lottery if you donāt play. The lottery actually hits you if you play enough. You canāt hit a homerun if you donāt swing at the ball. You canāt make the game winning shot if you donāt take it. The fighters of this era have to realize you wonāt beat a great fighter unless you get in the ring with them.
I was born in the 70s but Iām no fool. I know there are special and capable fighters in this era who can hang with the top dogs of any era and either win a title or be a top 3 type of force. I will give them their props and name them by the divisions.
Roman Gonzalez could hang with anybody in history in any era at 105 and 108. He would do just fine with Ricardo Lopez and Michael Carbajal era. Gonzalez also challenged himself and he will go down in history as one of the top 10 or 15 fighters ever who campaigned under bantamweight because of it.
SSR and Juan Estrada would hang with the top dogs at 112-115 in any era. I donāt know if they would win titles but they would hang.
Monster Inoue would be a monster at 115-118 in any era.
Nonito Donaire would hold his won from 112-118 with anyone in history. Heās that good. Heās one of the better fighters ever 118 on down. Donaire also consistently challenged himself.
Guillermo Rigondeaux would be a champion or top 3 fighter in any era 122lbs. Heās that good.
Featherweight is tough historically and I donāt know if the top featherweights of today would translate well 20+ years ago. I canāt see anyone today breaking through on Morales, Marquez, Barrera, Hamed or Pacquiao.Ā Or Nelson, Sanchez and Pedroza eras.
Vasyl Lomachenko could break through at 130lbs in any era, heās special. Iām not sure about 135 I have to see more.
Mikey Garcia would be a force at 135 in any era.
Amir Khan would be a force at 140 in any era. He may get clipped a few times but his pedigree and hand speed would be tough for any of the better champions at 140. The great welterweights of the past would be too much. He would have to stay at 140.
Danny Garcia would be a solid top 10 guy at 140 in any era. He could possibly when a title but he would definitely be a player. Not sure about 147.
Terence Crawford would find a way to win a title at 135 and 140 in any era. I donāt know enough about him at 147 yet.
Errol Spence has the size and mentality to be a force at welterweight in any era. But his book is still being written.
Hurd, Charlo and Lara would be top 10 guys at 154 in any era but I donāt know if they would be champions it would depend on the era. I would have loved to see them in the McCallum-Hearns era or Tito-Wright-Vargas era.
GGG would be a major force in any era at 160 in his prime. I would have loved to see him in the Toney, Eubank, McClellan, Jones, Bhop, Benn and Nunn era. He would have had his hands full but he would have held his own. I donāt believe he would have 20 defenses in the early 90ās but I do think he would win a belt with 4 available.
There is no one at 168 currently who stands out because the champions are too young to tell. Benavidez and the Uzi look very good as of now. I donāt think Ramirez would be champion 20 years ago. Groves would be a solid contender.
Andre Ward was an all time great fighter at 168. I think he would be a great fighter at 168 in any era and still make the HOF. I think he holds his own at 175 in any and could be a champion depending on what era. I would have loved to see how he would have fared in the Spinks-Qawi-Muhammad era or the Jones-Tarver eras.
Sergey Kovalev would be a tough out for any light heavyweight you can think of on his best night. Kovalev can go he just came along at the same time as Ward so he may get overlooked historically but heās a great fighter.
The cruiserweights of this era are very good and because the division does not have a lot of history this could be one of the better cruiserweight eras ever.
At heavyweight itās really hard to tell because I see a drop off in skill. The top skill guys from the 70s, 80s, and 90ās are visibly more polished than the 2 best heavyweights of today in Joshua and Wilder. I mean no disrespect to those great champions but from a skill stand point, they are just not as developed at Ali, Frazier, Foreman, Holmes, Tyson, Holyfield, Bowe or Lewis. Maybe itās because of the amateur pedigree. I donāt know why, but there is a considerable difference in skillset. But Joshua and Wilder are both big punchers with plenty of heart. So when you have that you can match up well vs anyone. So giving the eye ball test I say they could be top contenders. They could even clip a top guy if they caught them right. But as of now I wouldnāt pick them to beat the better guys in history but I do think they would beat the 2nd tier guys who littered every era, like the Greg Pageās, Trevor Berbickās, Bone Crusher Smith, Tommy Morrison, Ron Lyle type of fighters.
One more thing I want to point out. Deontay Wilder weighed 214 for his toughest fight vs Luis Ortiz. While Ortiz was about 240. The new era guy modern science guys claim that the smaller heavyweight could not compete against the giants. I have never believed that to be true. Some will say Wilder is tall but boxing does not have height divisions, it has weight divisions. Wilder has a quickness advantage over all of his opponents. Their minds simply canāt process his 1-2 fast enough. Itās just that simple. They become big targets for him. They also canāt get their 2nd wind quick enough in the deep waters of the fight. The more mass and muscle you have the more oxygen it takes to fuel it. Ortiz had Wilder he was just too tired to recover. Wilder recovers quicker than nay other heavyweight for his 2nd wind.
Now in the new school era, we have 214lb man that is the most feared fighter on the planet and no one can explain why. But I can. The best heavyweight ever was 6ā3 and 215lbs and that was Muhammad Ali. Once you reach a certain weight then the extra size slows you down. If size and weight was the end all then surely we would see a 6ā7Ā 300lbs defensive tackle just come in boxing and be the heavyweight champion. But I will tell you he wouldnāt have the stamina or reaction time to compete. What proves my point even more is the one heavyweight that we do have around 300lbs who can actually fight. Tyson Fury relies on skill and not brawn. Do you think itās a coincidence that he does not have bulky muscle and he actually boxes and wins with skills. Fury is not a BIG puncher. Heās a skill guy. The 214lbs Wilder is actually a bigger and better puncher. Punching power is not always about weight.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT
The young fighters of this era can do it. All they need is encouragement, self esteem and confidence. They canāt let characters with no identity on social media define what they are. If they can get over the fear of failure they can be just as good as any era. They have the resources they just have to break the trend of always taking the road of least resistance and just be FIGHTERS.
I hope I shed light on this never ending debate.
I just gotta say that I appreciate the even-handed, humble honesty that you bring to your mailbag. I know that it must be such a pain in the ass to have to have a responsibility to put the mailbag out weekly but just know that there’s many fans out here that DESERVE the product that you present weekly! LOL — no kidding. As hardcore fans we have to really sift through a lot of BS to follow our beloved sport. That is, until we receive your weekly mailbag. You just lay out the truth.
We fans respect you, Bread, for always keeping it real. Here’s the deal- you keep writing and we’ll keep reading and gaining a deeper understanding of Boxing as you hold this masterclass. Your response this week to the guy who wants to rank trainers re: Kevin Cunningham, was so thoughtful and well-said. Your “being in the fighter’s corner” and sense of humanity for our warriors is evident.
May God Bless you,
Breadās Response: Thanks my man. Itās very important not to be overly critical especially if you canāt do better or havenāt done better. No man is above criticism but the criticism has to be fair and warranted. If itās not itās not criticism. Itās an insult.
I have seen trainers in a gym sit back and critique everything other trainers were doing. But yet the criticizing trainers never produce any fighters of note. Nitpicking is the easiest thing to do in sports. If a trainer and fighter is doing the best the can. Giving 100% effort and producing solid results then they deserve fair treatment. If they arenāt they deserve criticism.
The fan wrote in and said Kevin Cunningham never produced the #1 P4P fighter. I didnāt think that was fair because he never had anyone good enough to be the #1 P4P fighter. Itās very simple. Boxing is a tough sport and we have too many Sunday Morning Coaches. We are trying our best and you never know whatās going on behind the scenes with fighters. Itās more difficult than you think.
For example I had a kid who I showed a move. I went over it time and time and again. It literally took this kid 3 years to try this move in a real fight. For whatever reason I had to wait until he was comfortable doing it but he became an expert at it. Itās not like the majority of fighters can be NFL quarterbacks. They are different type of athletes. So when fans, media and other critics sit back and they want things to happen at their personal speed, what it usually means is they get frustrated from their couch while yelling instructions. It doesnāt work like that buddy, lol.
I love boxing and I always will. But boxing has the most disrespectful fans and media of any sport in the world. And that includes fighters who like to over criticize. I love it when they all get the comeuppance.
It seems Eddie Hearn is as serious a player in American boxing as GBP and Top Rank. What are the chances Hearn scores guys like Andrade, Gervonta Davis, Mickey Bey, etc, ie all the discontented fighters that lesser promoters have released or about to lose?
Lastly, I’ve read a couple takes on Shield’s post-fight comportment and I noticed she never smiled or celebrated during the fight or after it. She seemed in deep thought even moments after her big win. She came off as much more intense than ill-mannered to me, but referring to herself as the greatest female of all time is off-putting when not delivered with a wink or a smile.
Time, your peers and boxing observers decide those things, as Bernard Hopkins has said in the past.
Gabe in Prunedale
Breadās Response: Eddie Hearn is definitely a major player in boxing. He could pretty much sign whoever he wants that is a true free agent. My only concern is that boxing will be too difficult to view for the old timers. I have no idea how the DAZN will work and no one has yet to explain the platform. Iām used to turning on the channel or renting on PPV. If they make too difficult to figure outā¦.
I have seen lots of comments about Shields lately. She mustāve really rubbed some people the wrong way. I suspect lots of Americans will root against her if she fights Christina Hammer. That would be a shame because Shields is our only 2x Olympic Gold Medalist. I still havenāt watched her post fight interview but I will check it because you guys seem really upset about it.
As good a trainer as you think Abel Sanchez is I beg to differ, here’s why.
It’s obvious that Canelo Alvarez secretly idolizes Floyd Mayweather, for the simple fact that he now fights like Floyd minus the shoulder roll defense which is hard to master.
During the first fight even though GGG was the aggressor, he continued to press with an aggressive attack of limited effect, never adjusting to what Canelo was doing. The 2nd fight will go down the same way with GGG pressing and Canelo pot-shotting, counter punching trying to catch GGG coming in. They’re going to build up Canelo’s strength and punching power so he can draw GGG into a big shot.
I don’t expect GGG to change anything or do anything different, but he SHOULD. Sanchez won’t change anything because they believe they won the first fight. GGG was missing a lot of shots, was predictable, was plodding and was slow as molasses. He needs to work on his quickness, punch variation, and better footwork. Hitting a punch shield as hard as you can doesn’t work these attributes. Canelo KO’s GGG in this one.
I’m getting the impression that Anthony Joshua and his team aren’t confident they can beat Wilder.
In the past I thought Wilder was a fraud, but now I’m impressed. The Luis Ortiz fight changed me, Ortiz is still feared. I also think overall that Wilder has a better resume (Wladdy was way past it).
Even though it looks like Joshua has better skills he’s a bit scripted and mechanical, where Wilder is a free flowing fighter.
They’re trying to low ball Wilder for psychological advantage, but Wilder isn’t having it. He strongly believes in himself and has a ‘ruling class’ mentality.
In the end Wilder gets to Joshua by brutal KO.
Breadās Response: I can tell you know boxing more than the average fan who writes in. I do think Sanchez is a tremendous trainer but that doesnāt mean heās perfect. No trainer is. I love Sanchezās discipline and conditioning of his fighters. I also love how his fighters deliver their punches in full leverage. But guess what? You have a good point.
GGG missed too many punches vs Canelo. And he missed them badly. He never landed a significant right hand to the body to keep Canelo in front him. Canelo kept going out to his own left and GGG kept missing a big right hand to the head. People confuse fighting a good fight and winning a fight. I think GGG edged the fight also but I donāt think he fought a āgood fightā. He simply won the fight with a great jab and his persistence which comes from his conditioning.
I donāt know how much of that I blame on Sanchez though. Sometimes a fighter needs to make adjustments on the fly. After all GGG was an Olympic silver medalist before Sanchez ever trained him. I also donāt know all of the drills Sanchez and GGG work on because lots of times what we say on videos is just generic and coaches work on the real stuff off camera. But I agree with you again. GGG needs to simply get off quicker. He tipped off his attack to Canelo and Canelo never allowed himself to be overwhelmed because he saw everything coming. I can also see Canelo catching GGG in this fight. It pains me to say it because you know how I feel about the PED issue but the reality is Canelo tamed GGG in that 1st fight and if his stamina were better he would have won.
But we have to factor in his stamina and the alleged PED advantage. We can speculate all we want but it is something to consider.
What scares me as a GGG supporter for the HOF is why GGG showed Canelo so much respect. If you look at GGG vs Vanes Martirosyan, he simply had no respect for Vanesās skill level and he just bombarded. Martirosyan actually has some skills but GGG just went right through him. At one point GGG was the best fighter in the world with his opponentās back to the ropes. For whatever reason Canelo went to the ropes time and time again. And GGG never turned into the Terminator. I suspect Canelo hurt GGG but GGG has proās demeanor and we couldnāt visibly tell. Other than an injury we donāt know about thatās the only thing that I can think of that prevented GGG from opening up the way he usually does.
Skill level is something else. It causes less effectiveness without explanation. Say what you want about Canelo but heās one skilled dude. GGG will have to approach this fight like Marvin Hagler did Tommy Hearns and the way Aaron Pryor did Alexis Arguello. Heās going to have to refuse to be hurt and attack Canelo like a savage in those spots and force his stamina advantage on him. Canelo was gassed vs GGG but he was never put on empty because he was controlling GGGās offense by not getting hit with nothing big except a hard jab. Indecision is worst that no decision. GGG was indecisive in the 1st fight. This is still a close fight to consider. As of now I give GGG a slight advantage but I donāt have an official pick, itās too far out.
The one thing I have learned about boxing over the years is the fighter who looks to be the best is not always the best. Joshua does look more refined than Wilder but there are other things that factor into winning a fight. At one time I favored Joshua big. But Wilder is just so confident at this moment on landing his money shot that I don’t know if Joshua can overcome that. Wilder just has formula that has worked for him. I won’t get into the negotiations. But Wilder has swung me on who will win. Right now I say it’s dead even down the middle but if I had to bet I may take Wilder. It’s a really close call at the moment.
Despite Wilder gaining momentum he doesn’t have a better resume than Joshua. Joshua has defeated two undefeated young heavyweights in Dillian Whyte and Joseph Parker. He has unified belts. He beat a great aging fighter in Wlad Klitschko and he beat some nice durable guys in Olympian Dominic Brezeale and Carlos Takam. You make some solid points but man for man Joshua has a better resume than Wilder with half the number of fights.
What’s bizarre is despite Joshua’s nice resume with only 21 fights he doesn’t seem as confident as Wilder. That’s boxing for you. Fights aren’t always won on paper and with logic.
Angelo Dundee was a ‘cornerman’ more so than a trainer. Others did the technical work in the gym while he was the strategist, and psychologist. There’s a difference.
I’ve been thinking about Spence/Crawford a lot lately and even though I think that Spence is a monster, I think Crawford can beat him for the simple reason of being more versatile.
Spence’s defense is weak, his offense is his defense and against most of the lower tier fighters he’s fought with the exception of Kell Brook, he’s been able to attack the body unimpeded.
Against Crawford when Spence attacks the body Crawford will defend effectively then counter with a barrage of head shots, where Spence’s lack of slipping and ducking defense will be exposed.
Then there’s Crawford being able to fight effectively out of both stances which he’ll use a lot against Spence to keep him resetting and off rhythm.
Mikey Garcia though talented and on his way to the HOF has no chance against Spence, but will probably beat the more talented Robert Easter, because Easter isn’t a thinker, he gets ‘caught up’ in the physical aspects of the fight neglecting his strengths and advantages. Against Garcia it will not be good for Easter.
I saw footage of Cunningham-who’s relocated to Florida working with AB and Tank Davis and what I saw was awesome, especially for Davis.
If AB sticks with Cunningham, after one soft touch fight he’ll return to form and start making noise again in the 140-147lb divisions. AB just needs focus, he was reading his own press clippings!
I believe now that Tank Davis can beat anyone even Lomachenko! Even the Charlo brothers…ha ha. Tank has the raw skills, talent, conditioning and tenacity, to really be a big star.
Now that he’s declared his independence from Floyd Mayweather I expect great things to happen. He’s taking control of his career just like Floyd did. He needs some polish but everything is falling in place. He’s not a dumb kid either he’s got a lot of guile and wisdom for such a young man. He’s not fighting bums either, not worldbeaters, but not bums.
Breadās Response: I agree with you about Angelo Dundee thatās why I pointed that out. Iāve seen lots of guys like that. They know boxing well and they can get you through a fight but they arenāt great in the gym in getting you in shape or teaching you moves.
I think this is why Manny Steward is most likely the best Trainer/Coach of all time. Because he can get you in shape, teach you tactics and he can also take you through a fight in the corner.
I wouldnāt call Spenceās defense weak but I do think he can be hit often. I donāt know what to think about his lack of head movement and here is why. This may catch you by surprise but some fighters are better at blocking punches than they are moving their heads. Sometimes moving their head takes them out of position. See Winky Wright and Ike Quartey. I have also noticed that Spence does not move his head much but I wonder if he does that on purpose because offensively heās never out of position to punish. Look at him close and tell me what you think.
Mikey Garcia is a gutsy dude for even mentioning Errol Spenceās name. I donāt see how he can beat him either but maybe he sees something. You know I really like Robert Easter but I feel the same way. Easter is in too many nip and tuck fights for my liking and there has to be a reason for that. Before I say heās not a thinker however, letās see how he does vs Garcia. He may be one of those guys who raises his level with the competition. I have a gut feeling heās going to box and fight a disciplined fight.
I have more confidence in Tank Davis under Cunningham than I do Adrien Broner. Here is why. I like Broner and I have always rooted for him. But if youāre objective you see that heās a kid who has given UNEVEN performances for the last 5 years since he moved up to 147 to fight Paul Malignaggi in 2013. Broner was 23 years old. I donāt know of another case in the history of boxing where a prime fighter at 23 had a 5 year slump throughout his prime and then turned it around and became great. I just canāt think of one.
I hope Broner can break the mold because his personality and charisma is awesome on the big stage. But his performances are what they are. Broner for whatever reason does not recognize the rhythm of a fight. People criticize fighters like Floyd Mayweather and Ray Leonard and say they fight in spurts. But the truth is they may throw punches in spurts in certain fights but they box 3 minutes of a round. They use defense, ring generalship and other tactics to neutralize their opponents. When Broner is not opening up offensively all he does is stand with both hands up or in a shoulder roll stance and take punches. Itās the reason why he has not been dominant in 5 years. For whatever reason Broner thinks heās a huge puncher and heās not. He would get more knockouts if he āboxedā his way to the ko instead of trying Big punch his way to a ko.
If Cunningham were to turn Broner around and he was to win a real belt at 140 or 147 and return to the top 10 P4P, it would be one of the best coaching jobs in history.
Tank Davis on the other hand is younger and he is not set in bad ways for as long as Broner was. I think Cunningham and Davisās original coach who he kept in the corner Calvin Ford did a great job in his last fight. Davis was what we call āONā.
Davis had trouble making weight in the past but he didnāt hit a major slump like Broner did. Davis is not tall but his physicality is of a 140 pounder. A wise man looks at the mistakes of others instead of making them himself. Davis should look at Broner as his blueprint of what not to do. Davis should stay at 130 and carve out a legacy for himself before he moves up. Broner moved up too fast and by the time he moved to 147 at 23 years old he stressed out his peak. His overall game had not evolved enough to step up the competition and the weight. Most of the dominant lightweights who moved up to 147 moved up later in their careers closer to 30 than 20 and they were more developed than Broner. Only Oscar De La Hoya did it early like Broner but he was much taller than Broner and used a better jab. He was just an overall better fighter and had faced stiffer competition before he rose to 147. Duran, Mosley, Mayweather, Pacquaio and now Crawford were all older and more settled fighters.
If Davis moves up too soon he will lose the same advantages he now has. There is a slew of featherweights who wonāt be able to make 126lbs anymore. When they do Davis can be waiting for them at 130 with an IRON fist. Whoever did the matchmaking in Davisās last fight was perfect. Jesus Cuellar was the perfect fight. You guys will call me crazy but Davis would do the same thing to Abner Mares. Itās not because Mares is not a tremendous fighter. Mares may be a HOF. But heās just too small and does not have the physicality to deal with Tank Davis.
The match up would look like Youth vs Experience. But it wouldnāt go 8 rounds. Here is why. Mares peak weak was probably 118 or 122. He can box but heās not a freak boxer like say Pernell Whitker. 130lbs is the weight that Davis is starting out at. He will get bigger and stronger. So one guy is starting out at his peak weight and one guy who is older is moving past his ceiling weight. Maresās ceiling was 126. This fight will look like Nonito Donaire vs Nicholas Walters. You have to be generational special to overcome what Iām talking about.
I get asked all the time who would win between Ray Leonard vs Roy Jones. I always say I feel Leonard is better but Jones is too big in a head to head match up. Leonard was a 147 pounder. Jones was a 168 pounder. When two guys are even in ability physicality matters a lot. It doesnāt matter what the scales would sayā¦Although Leonard beat Hearns, Hearns would match up better with Jones because of the physicality factor.
If these little featherweights move up to face Davis at 130 pounds you guys will see what I mean. He should stay at 130 for at least another 2 years and if he gets the fights that he can get, he will look like a world beater and rise to the top of the P4P list.
I read what you said about Loma. But Loma is different. He beats any junior lightweight in the world at this moment. Lomaās test will be at his ceiling weight of 135 vs Mikey Garcia. Davis needs a few more years of development to Loma although I think he can hang right now, I donāt think his people will risk it. Loma is a once in a generation type of fighter.
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