The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackles topics such as undisputed welterweight champion Terence Crawford, promoter and six division champion Oscar De La Hoya, Chris Eubank Jr, super featherweight champion Emanuel Navarrete, and more.
What’s up Bread?
I can’t wait to have your thoughts on Crawford’s performance, to see if you’re as enthusiastic as I am! Crawford didn’t put on a great night Saturday, he put on the PERFECT NIGHT. It began with his ring entrance, it was so symbolistic, he couldn’t found a better song ! We knew that fight would answer questions about Crawford and he answered the best way possible. I like to divide a fighter’s ability in 3 major departments:
Mental : ring IQ, awareness, toughness, meanness, calm and composure
Physical : strength, explosiveness, conditioning, athleticism
The 2 combined : timing, efficiency, accuracy, adjustments I don’t have a fight in mind in which I saw a fighter sharper on all of those points, and I can’t see any fighter that would have beaten him on that night. Kudos to Spence for taking this fight, and most of all, for fighting it till the very end, he is a real warrior. Do you think a rematch at 154 could be different? I think it could be more competitive, because Spence would have anger to avenge his loss, and Derrick James would make adjustments to neutralize some of Crawford’s strengths. But I think the end would be the same, but Crawford is just a level above. I am happy that both guys were able to do their best, because I felt really bad for Fulton who couldn’t. Do you think the stress paralyzed him ? I’ve been in a ring and I know what the stress can do to you in a fight, and I think that’s what I saw. Not necessarily because he was afraid of Inoue, I don’t think he was, but maybe it was just the event and what was at stake that caught him. Sadly, it’s part of the game, and Inoue was able to overcome that. Thank you for your time! Max from France
Bread’s Response: It was indeed a perfect performance by Crawford. I love your breakdown in ability. I see it similar. Anything can happen in a fight. Sure a rematch at 154 could be different. It could also be the same. Let’s see what happens if they fight again. Spence looks like he wants the smoke again. Props to him.
I’m not sure what happened with Fulton. But traveling abroad and rehydrating and replenishing your body is a real thing because it’s supposed to be done with FAMILIAR food and sometimes that's not feasible on the road. But as of right now, let’s give Inoue is his props. He’s traveled over here to the US and also did his thing. Inoue is special.
Good evening Breadman!
CEJ will fight Liam Smith soon & has decided to work with BOMAC. Now, TBH, CEJ was probably best when he had CES in his corner &, regardless of who he has in his corner, he is a British level, maybe European level fighter & when he steps up he is always found wanting. I remember you were very hostile to a guy who criticized RJJ as a trainer because he'd failed with CEJ v Smith 1. You said that CEJ asked RJJ to train him & he could hardly say no. I totally agree with you that CEJ v Smith 1 wasn't down to RJJ, but I was much less sure that you said if someone asks you to train him you should say yes. Now, I can only see CEJ v Smith 2 going one way. Like I said, CEJ isn't all that & for a guy to get knocked spark out & come back to win the rematch is exceptional. Oddly, Lennox did it twice v McCall & Rahman but, apart from Lennox, I'm scratching my head & I come up with Norris v Brown & Patterson v Johansen, & that's going back before 50 years man! It just doesn't happen. Guys get outpointed, even stopped & come back to win the rematch, but sparked & win the rematch is as rare as hen's teeth. So, almost certainly, Liam is going to beat CEJ again & at that point there are going to be loads of dumb, ignorant guys posting that it just shows BOMAC DKSAB & just got lucky. So, why take the job? Its not like he needs the dollar surely? And that made me think Bread, obviously not naming names but have you been approached by a fighter & refused to train them &, if so, why?
Bread’s Response: I’ve been approached by several fighters to train them. Sometimes I say yes. Other times I say no. It depends on various things. The number 1 being TIME. There is only but so much time in the day. And everyone needs their own special time. So it becomes exhausting if you take on too much.
I can’t speak for Bomac. But generically I will guess he decided to train Eubank because he wanted to take on the challenge. If Bomac can win the immediate rematch over Smith that would be another feather in his cap. I think it’s a winnable fight. Eubank may not be a world beater but he does have some talent. I don’t know what happened in the 1st Smith fight, but I don’t feel he’s that outgunned. Bomac also has TIME now. Crawford and Steven Nelson just fought. So he has free time to work on his craft with other fighters. Believe it or not trainers need to work on their craft and do things with fighters to see if they work. I don’t want to use the word experiment but trial and error is something that happens all the time. I believe in Bomac and his team. Let’s see what they can do with Eubank.
Hope all is well Breadman
Just wanted to point out I was 1:1 lol got the Cool boy fight wrong but the Crawford Vs Spence fight right. Which brings me to a point. I told a few people it was a bad styles match up and Crawford priced him up. I watched the fight again on the Replay and I feel like the majority bashing Spence, just like the Majority of people saying something was off all suffered by the Shock factor in the moment. When I rewatched it I didn’t see Spence was off I actually saw him come out normal like he usually does. Jab jab left up or down. 2nd round he was dropped 3rd he came out blazing and 4th was a noticeable drop but not heavy. What we saw was Crawford catch the rhythm, time and take away his jab. The fact he was disarmed and then taken part after being disarmed shocked even those with a specially trained eye. Hats off to Spence just because he lost doesn’t mean he’s an over hyped fighter or sucks. It’ll always be a bad match up. Like you always said once the chink is exposed the fights will get harder from here on out. James is a great trainer and he brought Charlo to undisputed and Spence to 3 belts no one can take that. Looking forward to see what they add to the mix to improve their system for Spence. I still say he loses to Bud and bad but I understand why he needs to run it back. Also I will say this Gervonta Davis needs to stay away from Bud , Bud is that dude. Man he’s a bad mutha.
Have a great one and take care
Geno from the Bay
Bread’s Response: Spence will most likely go to the HOF unless he slides really bad. Errol came out aggressive and assertive. He didn’t have a bad 1st round. He also had a decent 3rd round. But he got hurt and his face started to show damage and the punishment had a snowball effect. You’re right he never really got going. Everyone gets hit. But Spence was getting hit with ALL of Crawford’s force. That honestly is the most concerning thing. We often talk about fighter’s chins. But no one can take full force on blows continuously from a world class fighter.
For example Marvin Hagler is known to have the chin of chins. But if you look at him close, his hands were always up. He was always aware. He always saw the punches so he was able to take a little steam off of the kill shots. Hagler was rarely hit in a way where his head was snapped around. So it wasn’t that Spence was hit. It was that he was HIT clean repetitively. That in my opinion is the ADJUSTMENT for the next fight. You would be surprised at how little things, effect big outcomes.
Two topics, but I’ll be happy if you just entertained one: 1. In your opinion, has Bud reached All Time Great status with his win over Spence? What lineup of current fighters would push him to GOAT before he retires, if he even has that much time left? I want to mention Boots specifically because so many fans/pundits are calling for this fight, but I feel Bud gets a legitimate pass because Boots is in a different [age] era, and through no fault of his own, Boots hasn’t fought anyone to jump straight up to the #1 guy. I get one of the ABC’s have him as a mandatory, but, he literally has no significant fights on his resume to validate jumping straight up to ‘the man who beat the man.’ Crawford seems adamant about not letting the kid get his shot and I’m afraid there’s not enough time in Bud’s career left to give him time to grow into the potential for this fight to happen. I think Boots needs to lay the Crawford idea to rest and just start building his own legacy – but, I think he needs a promotional changeup to make it happen or he’s going to be one of the greatest waste of talent. Do you agree, disagree, and why? 2. I think an unofficial Super Six Andre Ward style of competition is already underway between Lomachenko (eliminated), Ryan Garcia (eliminated), Teofimo, Tank, Stevenson, and Haney. Do you see the rest of these guys continuing the trend of fighting each other, and who do you see ending up on top?
NewYoRican in the PACNORWEST
Bread’s Response: I disagree strongly with your comment about Bud vs Boots. I do think if Bud decided not to fight Boots, it would be understandable. Once you win a fight of that magnitude you earn your right to pick your spots. Bud is 35 and he was across the street for years. He finally got his shot and won the Fight of the Century. He’s earned the right to do what he wants. That being said…Listen close.
Boots does NOT have to see things from Bud’s perspective. He’s 30-0. He’s the mandatory. He wants a title shot. What is the problem with boxing fans NOT wanting to see great match ups? When Bud was coming up tell me what great fighter he beat in order to fight Ricky Burns? Tell me what great fighter Errol Spence beat in order to fight Kell Brook?
Both Bud and Errol’s resume looked similar to Boots’s now before they got their first title shots. To suggest Boots shouldn’t get his shot, is ridiculous and SCARED talk. If Boots wants it, let him want it. If Bud chooses to give it to him, good for him. If he doesn’t, oh well that's still good for him. But make no mistake Boots is the best and toughest fight for Bud vs the current welterweights. Spence says he’s moving up.....
Bud wanted to fight Manny Pacquioa. The fight never happened but Bud wanted it. Manny was a legend. Bud was the young gun. This is the same scenario. Bud is roughly 9 years younger than Manny, Boots is roughly 10 years younger than Bud...There is always a young gun wanting to fight an established great. It's part of the game.
I do think Bud is an ATG. He’s 18-0 in title fights. 3 division champion. 2 Undisputed titles. 3 Ring titles. #1 P4P fighter. And in his Super fight he put on a Perfect Performance. Some will disagree but I think he’s an ATG and he matches up favorably with the best we have seen from 135-147. But you don’t want him to fight the next best fighter in his division. I don’t get that because beating a real #1 contender 10 years younger than him, is something that will put him on a Mt. Rushmore level status. You are basically attacking Boots’s resume. The same people before the fight were attacking Bud’s resume. Boots’s resume is solid for a prospect/contender who’s as dangerous as him. Villa and Lipinets are solid fights for him. Spence had Algieri as a contender. Bud had Prescott. If you look close and objectively, the roads have been similar.
There is no unofficial Super 6 going on right now. Loma fought Teo and Haney. Garcia fought Tank. In 3 years we got 3 fights. That’s not an unofficial Super 6. Honestly I don’t believe all of them will ever fight. It’s been taking too long. Fighters move up. They lose. They eliminate themselves through attrition. And most of all new opponents arise. I think we should just move on from the thought of the new 4 Kings fighting each other.
What's good Bread. Have you seen the new Oscar documentary? It was really good. DLH was really candid and open. He doesn't get enough credit for taking on all comers, but then again, he lost all or most his biggest fights. I believe him when he said he could've been an even better fighter. Is he Top 5 Mexican in any category or weight? Maybe 135? He definitely paved the way for Canelo and Ryan. Is he a better fighter then Canelo at their peak? How do you feel about Fernando Vargas, was he moved too fast? If so does he do better in this era with this type of matchmaking? I'm still thinking about the Crawford-Spence aftermath.
I'm really happy, but annoyed it took Bud this long to crossover to mainstream. Dude has 10-11 KOs at 147! I've never seen him in a boring fight. I hope he gives us 3-4 more fights thru 2025. I feel awful for Spence because if you're a casual fan and this is your first time seeing it's rough, not knowing dude is a terrific fighter. I hope this isn't the narrative/defining moment of his career. Lastly can this era sit alongside the 4 Kings? You've got some great talent and their careers all crossed paths at one point. Crawford, Spence, Porter, Thurman, Garcia & Brook defined the post Floyd 2015-present. Only travesty is peak Thurman never mixing it up with Crawford/Spence. Lastly who would you rate 3rd of this era? I got: 1. Crawford 2. Spence 3. Torn between Brook and Thurman. Shon Green
Bread’s Response: In this era I would rank Manny Pacquiao 3rd behind Bud and Spence. Manny’s win over an undefeated Keith Thurman is one of the biggest wins a 40 year old welterweight has ever had. Maybe the biggest in history. I give Manny the ranking because Bud and Errol never got to fight Thurman. If not Manny then I would say Brook. Brook fought some tough fights. Fighting Errol, Bud, Porter and GGG a while they were undefeated is top level stuff.
Oscar de La Hoya didn’t lose ALL of his big fights. He lost a lot of his big fights in the 2nd half of his career. His fight with undefeated Genaro Hernandez on PPV was a big fight. His fight with excellent James Laija was a BIG fight. His unification with Rafael Ruelas was a BIG fight. His fight with Julio Cesar Chavez was a big fight. His fight with undefeated Miguel Angel Gonzales was a BIG fight. His fight Pernell Whitaker was a BIG fight. His fight with Hector Camacho was a BIG fight. His fight with Ike Quartey was a BIG fight. His fight with Fernando Vargas was a BIG fight. He won all of those fights.
Oscar lost to ALL TIME GREAT fighters. Mosley 2x when Mosley was the guy. I thought Oscar won the rematch. Felix Trinidad is my favorite fighter. Oscar won that fight but got an official loss. Bernard Hopkins is an ATG middleweight and was the #1 P4P guy. Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao turned out to be the best of their eras. That’s Oscar’s losses.
There is no fighter in history that would’ve won ALL of those fights. He fought them ALL in their primes or close to their best. Oscar was a HOF before he even fought Tito and the losing started. He’s a great fighter with arguably the best resume of modern times. Oscar is Mexican American. I’m not going to argue over nationality but Oscar fought for the US in the Olympics. To my knowledge he was born in the US. So I don’t know if he would be ranked with the great Mexicans because he wasn’t born there.
It’s hard to say about Vargas. I thought he was a terrific fighter. I never thought he was rushed into the Tito fight. I thought Main Events did a great job with him. Vargas had Yuri boy Campas, Raul Maquez, Winky Wright and Ike Quartey on his resume BEFORE he fought Tito Trinidad. For the people who say he was rushed, imagine if he fought in this era. They would say he was P4P #1 with that resume by 22 years old. You can’t beat a critic because there is always something to critique. The truth is Vargas had the proper matchmaking to prepare him for Tito. Tito was just an ATG on a prime career run and Vargas was in his way. That’s how fighters were matched in the 80s and 90s. Elite level amateurs and elite level fighters can handle that. Oscar and Tito were also matched tough, they just weren’t stopped as youngsters. If Vargas were fighting today he would probably be 32 before he stepped up. But remembering his attitude and ambition I think he would be matched more like Teofimo Lopez….
Hello Breadman ,
We often hear in Mythical Matchup fights that older generation fighters would have modern recovery methods if they fought today . But what about the fighters of today fighting back then in an earlier time with the training they had back then . Running , hitting heavy bag , exercises , sparring are the same . So the training must be similar . What are the differences in the recovery . What is modern recovery . The fighters from the forties to the seventies fought in fifteen round fights . The top fighters from those eras had good stamina . They were tough men . The question is would they be better in todays era . For the life of me , I just cant see Anthony Joshua going fifteen rounds with Joe Frazier . I don't see any heavyweight today beating Joe Louis , I don't care how big they are . We all saw what George Foreman did in his forties . Could you imagine a prime twenty-five year old Joe Louis today . Especially with modern recovery .
Bread’s Response: Today we have blood spinning. Stem cell treatments. Hyperbaric chambers for oxygen repair. Water and hydro recovery. Ice Cryotherapy recovery machines. Supplements that repair everything. So recovery is much better today. But in the past, the food was more organic. There were no cell phones and computers. And fighters walked around closer to the weight they fought at. If fighters in the past had modern recovery they would obviously fight better. If fighters today fought in the past, I think they would be more explosive but they would have to move up in weight. That’s the real difference. The welterweights today would be middleweights 40 years ago.
Did Emmanuel Navarette prove he’s the best fighter at super featherweight by beating Oscar Valdez? If he did, how big is the gap between Navarette and the lightweights we see ranked on all the pound-for-pound lists? Is there even a gap at this point?
Thank you so much!
Bread’s Response: I don’t know if Navarette is the best. But he’s carving out an excellent resume. I thought Valdez would beat him. Navarette is a SUM TOTAL fighter. His sum total is greater than his parts broken down. Navarette is a natural fighter, with heavy hands and real instincts. I don’t know if he’s the best at 130. But he’s the most accomplished. He’s 12-0 in title fights through 3 divisions. I am very impressed by him as a fighter and I won’t pick against him again.
Dear Mr. Breadman -As a longtime reader, I appreciate your breakdown of the situation different kinds of punchers. The next time you do your list, I would appreciate your thoughts on some more of the bigger punchers currently fighting -- Beterbiev, Inoue, for example.
Bread’s Response: Current..
Swordsmen: Deontay Wilder
Speed Thudder: Tank Davis
Bludgeon Crew: Murat Gassiev
Electric Slasher: Boots Ennis, Terence Crawford
Heavy Handed Debilitator: Arthur Beterbiev
Hey Mr Edwards,
I know your editor probably had quite a hard time choosing which emails to publish in the aftermath of Crawford-Spence However, if you dig into the mailbag archives, you will see that I have consistently said Crawford- Spence will be a one-sided beat down in favor of Crawford and that Spence would never make it to the final bell. In fact, I said to you no one in the entire PBC stable (DSG, Thurman, Porter, Mikey...(all of them) go the distance with Bud. I have never wavered. Even when a boxing expert and trainer like you for whom I have great respect said Crawford-Spence is 50-50, I have consistently disagreed and maintained that Spence is too one-dimensional to stand any kind of chance with a multi-faceted fighter like Crawford. And you must admit that my breakdown one week before the fight where I said Spence is going to pay a price like he's never had to pay before for trying to chop Crawford down and would be stopped was on point. So, it was with a little disappointment that I noted your editor didn't select my write-in a week after the fight where, among other things, I said Spence's face looked like that of Michael Spinks when he walked out to face Mike Tyson during his (Spence's) ring walk. Well, I'm not going to gloat but let's roll on. In the unpublished write-in, I disagreed with your previous assessment that Canelo Alvarez-Jermell Charlo is a good match-up.
This fight is anything but that. In fact, it's two things. It's a grab for money and it's a Crawford duck. You will recall that even before Crawford and the Charlos' beef broke in the public, I broached the possibility of a Bud-Mell fight and I said all Mell had was only a puncher's chance and an iron chin to offer. I haven't changed my mind. Of course, Mell is entitled to make money, so the Canelo fight makes business sense. But we've seen this thing before where an unbeaten fighter does not want to lose his O to a bitter rival closer to his own weight class. Kell Brook jumped two divisions to fight GGG when he had no business in the same ring with that version of GGG and ended up with a broken orbital bone and perhaps, with the other fractured (later to be broken by Spence whom he avoided so as not to lose his unbeaten record to). Of course, the GGG fight was also lucrative for Brook. I have also noted a lot of excuses regarding the outcome of the Crawford-Spence fight but I'm glad that there's none coming from Spence himself. Where Spence gets it wrong is when he says Crawford was the better man on the night. The reality is that Crawford is the better man on every night and it really doesn't matter at which weight the rematch takes place. The argument should be whether the rematch is necessary at all, which is a point Boots Ennis makes. It's a pity the business side of boxing has changed the way the torch is supposed to be passed. Crawford is right. Boots brings nothing to the table.
Otherwise Crawford would take that fight in a heartbeat. And I say to you there would be no passing of the torch that night. I know you are very high on Boots and so are a lot of boxing people. But I'm going to be brutally honest here.Firstly, Boots ain't no Thomas Hearns stepping up to Pipino Cuevas. Boots does not punch anything like Hearns nor does he have the same killer instinct as Hearns. And Crawford is not Cuevas. Cuevas was just as one-dimensional as Spence. Crawford has too many layers for Boots.And Boots is not Sugar Ray Leonard stepping up to Wilfred Benitez. SRL had run through a number of quality opponents that ranged from perennial contenders like Randy Shields to prodigious talents like Floyd Mayweather Sr by the time he faced Benitez. He gritted out tough decisions when he had to and scored sensational stoppages against proven opponents en route to Benitez. And Benitez was elite like Crawford is. Boots has faced too low a quality of opposition to prepare him for somebody like Crawford. It will take someone at the level of SRL on the night he beat Benitez in order to stand any kind of chance against Crawford. I think if I'm an advisor to Crawford, I would tell him to retire after he again decimates Spence in the rematch. This will be a situation not too dissimilar to the one Aaron Pryor found himself in after the Alexis Arguello rematch. Only, Crawford must not come back and embarrass himself like Pryor did against a journeyman like Bobby Joe Young. When he beats Spence convincingly again, he will cement himself as an ATG. Of course, Bud would have loved to do it against Mell. But there will be nothing left of Mell after Canelo is done with him. I promise to break that one down for you closer to the fight. So, Crawford will achieve nothing by beating up on such a Mell.MMSandy Saddler v Naoya Inuoe at bantamweight.Sandler is long, rangy and hit hard enough to sink a submarine ship. So, he's no Stephen Fulton. The Monster has speed and power but his head is too static and Saddler is too pin-point. Saddler knocks him out after a war. What do you think?
Keep punching Mr Edwards
Bread’s Response: Your comments get chosen quite often. It’s no reason to be disappointed. We only have room for 10-12 comments per week. Yes you got it right. You are big on Bud. You also thought that Spence would NEVER fight him but again, I tip my hat you got it right.
I disagree on Jermell ducking Bud. The fight with Canelo was made earlier than the public knew and there is no way Jermell thought Bud would do that to Spence and then want him at 154. But even if he did why would he pass up on a career high pay day in September, and wait on Bud possibly beating Spence. That makes no sense if you think about it.
Jermell has to secure his future and he can’t plan around what Bud may or may not due. I also disagree that Jermell and Canelo will be a wash. I think Jermell will have his moments. I feel like Canelo has slipped somewhat and Jermell will be up for this fight. So their levels won’t be far off. I’m not saying Jermell will win. But I am saying he will have his moments.
I think Crawford will fight one or two more fights and retire also. I think the Spence rematch and another big fight and he’s gone. He’s a great fighter. Salute to him.
Saddler was a featherweight and a big one at that. Not a bantamweight. I say Saddler wins at this point but if Inoue keeps it up I may change my mind.
I somehow think that that George Foreman should be the consensus number 3 greatest heavyweight of all time but I don't see a lot of rankings reflecting it. He was a champion and the 2nd best in the 70s, the best era of heavyweights. He then came out of retirement in the 2nd best era of heavyweights to become the champion once again at the age of 45. I mean, 90s was the 2nd best era of heavyweights. There was an unbroken lineage from Ali to 90s Foreman. Holmes beat Ali, Spinks beat Holmes, Tyson beats Spinks, Douglas beats Tyson, Holyfield beats Douglas, Bowe beats Holyfield, Holyfield beats Bowe, Moorer beats Holyfield and then Foreman beats Moorer. Please tell me why is he not considered the 3rd greatest heavyweight universally? Who is the 3rd greatest heavyweight as per you?
Bread’s Response: I won’t argue with you. In fact Foreman or Jack Johnson are usually my 3rd ranked heavyweight ever. I think Foreman usually gets in around 5 or 6. Foreman was a monster but he wasn’t the best heavyweight of either era he was in and for as long as he fought he doesn’t have big title defense numbers. So the analytics hurt him.
I think all of the other guys in top 5 or 6 were the best of their eras. But Foreman was an old man in the 90s. And in the 70s there was this fighter named Muhammad Ali who would’ve been the best in everybody’s era. I love Foreman at #3. Larry Holmes has a real case because of his 19 or 20 title defenses depending on who you ask. But Holmes’s biggest issue is a signature win.
I would say either Gerry Cooney or Ken Norton. But Foreman kod Cooney and Norton in 2 round apiece. Foreman also kod Joe Frazier and Michael Moorer while both were undefeated. So Foreman’s best wins are significantly better than Holmes’s.
Hope all is well. 1. What's your reaction to Alycia Baumgardner testing positive for a banned substance before her fight with Lindartou? I don't understand the point of testing a fighter three days before a fight if you're going to get the results a month after the event is over. The damage is done at that point. It's often hard to believe that boxing as a whole cares about PEDs or protecting fighters. 2. How impressed were you with Navarrete last weekend? Do you think he could give Shakur Stevenson some problems if he moves up to 135? How competitive can you see Oscar Valdez being with the other 130lb fighters at this point? He's been in some tough fights. 3. How do you see these mythical matchups and who would you favor -- Naoya Inoue vs Prime Guillermo Rigondeaux at 122lbs. Inoue vs Anselmo Moreno at 118lbs. Inoue vs Shinsuke Yamanaka at 118lbs.
Keep up the great work, JC
Bread’s Response: I think we should allow due process to take place as far as Baumgardner. I don’t know enough about the case to say anything. We need to know why some of the test were positive and some negative. We need to know what exactly was she eating or taking. We need to know what her excuse is. She hasn’t had a chance to defend herself yet. So until all of the facts or stories come out, I don’t have anything to say.
I was very impressed with Navarrete. He’s Antonio Margarito with better boxing skills. Very, very impressive in my opinion. I know I’m a black dude from Philly so some may think I can’t appreciate Navarrete. But I appreciate winners and fighters who can get the job done, regardless of style points. Valdez is a very good fighter but honestly he was struggling before he fought Berchelt. Turned in a good performance vs Berchelt. Then his performances slacked off again. I don’t know where he is at the moment..
Shakur Stevenson would be a tough out for Navarrete. But let’s remember sometimes those crude but clever sluggers give neat boxers fits. Marciano beat Moore, Charles and Walcott. Maidana gave Floyd fits. Sakio Bika was even able to win some rounds vs Andre Ward. So while I would favor Stevenson, we can’t give a fighter credit for doing something they didn’t do. If Navarrete moves up, I would like to see it.
I’m relatively sure Inoue would stop Yamanaka and Moreno. Prime Rigo I can’t call. Rigo is as talented a fighter as I have seen in terms of boxing talent. My fear however in picking Rigo however, is although he was never stopped in his prime, I’ve always felt he was a little bit chinny. He wasn’t hard to hurt. He was hard to hit. Big difference. And Inoue would hit him. That would be one helluva fight because Rigo is also a puncher. He chooses to box but his left hand is like a machete and he gets it off on everyone.
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