The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the Floyd Mayweather vs. Logan Paul exhibition, Tyson Fury vs. Deontay Wilder 3, the return of Shakur Stevenson, Errol Spence vs. Manny Pacquiao and more.
Bread did you read Jermell Charlo’s comments about Wilder’s loss to Fury being due to lack of skills and not a race thing? Charlo basically said that race doesn’t matter. Also did you hear Errol Spence’s response and if so what are your thoughts?
Bread’s Response: You know what, I don’t read interviews with boxers, trainer etc very often. The only thing I read regarding boxing is Doug Fischer’s mailbag. The only videos I watch are like highlight videos that Lee Wylie, Resnick or Hanzagod makes. Every once in a blue I may read something informative. But 95% of the time that’s what I watch. I don’t even read my own mailbag or my own interviews. Because I know what I said, lol. I will, watch videos of interviews or read stories of up coming opponents of my fighters but that’s for study purposes. The reason being is because most of the interviews that are put out are gossip grandstanding. The interviewers never ask real questions. It’s usually someone involved in boxing criticizing someone else. Or it’s something to instigate a confrontation.
I can remember a big thing was started because Andre Ward said he thought Fury won the 1st fight vs Wilder. I minded my own business but I would have loved to tell Andre and Deontay don’t fall for that. All Ward did was give his opinion on he thought won a fight. I’m saying the same thing to Jermell and Errol. I don’t know what was said and what wasn’t said. But I know they have the same trainer. They seem to be friends. I hope they are smart enough to not let a difference of opinion on whatever it was, affect their relationship.
In boxing we are all prideful. We want to be right. We want to win. But I have seen people try to bully others into thinking exactly like they do. I’ve also seen media say to fighters what someone else said that doesn’t align with their beliefs and it causes a beef. We have to be more mature as a whole. So I don’t have a comment on what Jermell or Errol said. I didn’t read or hear it and I don’t want to. I just hope they don’t let people turn them against each other.
As for my opinion on race in boxing and life. I know people who every time something does not go their way, they bring up race. I know people who think race has NOTHING to do with anything. I think BOTH types of people are very wrong. Some things involve race. Some things are just things. Boxing is tribal. People gravitate to their own race or region. And that’s ok.
What I don’t like is the preferential treatment and myths that occur. And pressure that is put on certain fighters to fight a style that doesn’t work best for them. You hear people say that black fighters can’t sell. That’s an outright lie. Since the beginning of boxing in this country a black fighter has been one of the biggest attractions if not the biggest in boxing despite many opportunities denied. Jack Johnson was a star in the 1910s. Blacks were held back with bad match making and opportunity denial in the 1920s. Harry Wills was not allowed to fight for a title. Neither was Sam Langford who has a case for being the best fighter ever. So once things opened up for blacks ……In the 1930s the two best fighters were Joe Louis and Henry Armstrong. Louis was the biggest star. In 1940s the biggest stars Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Louis. In the 1950s the biggest stars were Sugar Ray Robinson and Rocky Marciano. In the 1960s Muhammad Ali was the biggest star. In the 1970s again Muhammad Ali was the biggest star. In the 1980s the biggest stars were Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler and Mike Tyson. In the 1990s the biggest stars were Mike Tyson, Oscar De La Hoya, George Foreman and Evander Holyfield. In the 2000s the biggest stars were Floyd Mayweather, Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao. In the 2010s the biggest stars were Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao. Currently the biggest stars are Canelo Alvarez and Anthony Joshua. I went through over a 100 years of boxing. And at no time in boxing history except for the 1920s in which no black fighter was allowed to fight for the heavyweight title, was a black fighter not the biggest star are among the top 2 or 3.
So when I hear people say that black fighters don’t sell it’s just not true. It’s a myth. I will admit that the Mexican fan base is huge and probably the most influential as far as support and ticket sales. I’m no fool. But to say black fighters can’t sell is an insult and it’s not true. Also black fighters are under the most pressure to change their styles in order to draw a certain fan base. I am the first person to say I like knockouts. I also respect scientific boxers. I don’t want to see a fighter who runs around the ring and plays tag. But I don’t mind seeing a boxer, be a boxer especially if it’s best for him to fight that way. Boxing and running are not the same.
If a black fighter is fast and agile. And has those advantages in a fight. You have critics that complain and call him boring. It’s not that he’s so boring. Pernell Whitaker was MISLABELED for years. They wanted him to take more punches so he can lose or get knocked out. It’s that simple. No one told Paulie Malignaggi who I happen to like and respect to take more chances and go for kos. No one told Paul Spadafora to do it. Who I happen to like and respect as a fighter. I also thought Spadafora had an excellent trainer that trained towards Spadafora’s strengths in Tom Yankello. Spadafora fought very similar to Whitaker. Neither was a runner. They both stood in the pocket and made guys miss. Neither was a big puncher. While Whitaker was regarded as the better fighter, I don’t remember people calling Spadafora a runner or boring like they called Whitaker. …… It’s ridiculous that black fighters are asked to be more exciting in order for them to lose more. That’s what it’s all about in my opinion. And I’m coming from someone who likes exciting fighters. But again, I also respect pure boxers. Boxer punchers. And technical fighters. We can all have our favorites but it’s a lack of IQ to fight in a way that doesn’t suit your gifts.
And I’m not talking about casual fans who are ridiculous critics. I’m talking about boxing media or supposed experts. I will take Jermell Charlo for example. Charlo has turned into one of the top punchers in boxing. He’s not a stick and mover like he was when he was younger. But he still doesn’t get the respect he thinks he deserves. He’s still not on the P4P list. Go check it out. No one can say he’s not a puncher, they can’t say he’s not scoring kos. He’s still not up there on the P4P list. So why not…And for the record I’m not suggesting to take anyone off the P4P list. I’m just stating that Charlo changing his style didn’t get him the accolades.
No one calls Usyk boring. But they call Andrade boring. I think Usyk is the better fighter. But neither is overly exciting. Their levels of excitement is about even in my opinion. But one gets loads of criticism for being a boring fighter. I do wonder why…
Cory Spinks and Devon Alexander sold out their urban city of St. Louis. Neither was a puncher. Terence Crawford sells out his area of Omaha, Nebraska he is a puncher. Andre Ward sold out his area of Oakland, California, Ward was not a big puncher. Tank Davis has sold out his adopted hometown of Atlanta, Georgia he is a puncher. Errol Spence has been a big draw in his area of Dallas, Texas. I gave many different regions. Many different styles. All black fighters. All big draws in their hometowns. It’s a complete myth that black fighters don’t sell. It’s something that gets repeated that get passed off as the truth. It allows a different level of matchmaking because of this myth. Now on the other hand. Is Lomachenko great? Yes he is. Is Nonito Doanire a great fighter? Yes he is. Is Manny Pacquiao special? Yes he is. Was GGG ducked for years by all races? Hell yes! All of that is true. And whoever can’t see it, is wrong. You have to be able to call a ball a ball and a strike a strike no matter the race or nationality. Race matters in boxing. And racial bias is very prevalent in the sport.
Just read an interview on Wilder and he states his reason for keeping Jay Deas and firing Mark Breland is because he thinks Breland was malicious in stopping the fight and Deas made a mistake in missing the tampering of the gloves. What do you think happened? And is it possible for someone to tamper with Fury’s gloves without anyone catching it from the commission?
Bread’s Response: If Wilder felt Deas’s alleged oversight was just a mistake that’s his right to keep him. Just like if he felt that Breland’s stoppage of the fight was malicious that’s his right also. How you feel, is how you feel. I don’t rewatch current fights often. But I did watch Fury vs Wilder 2 recently and I noticed that Shelly Finkel was also upset with Breland that he stopped the fight. Team Wilder had the belief that Wilder could come back from anything. He was taking a beating but Wilder is usually getting outboxed in fights. His biggest wins vs Ortiz were sort of come from behind kos. So I found it interesting that Breland was the only one on board with stopping the fight. I’m not saying I agree or disagree. It’s a matter of perception. But for Breland to be the only one who thought that is very interesting. It’s like in a police shooting. If multiple officers are on the scene. One of the first things that is looked at is how many officers fired. It establishes that more than one person thought deadly force was needed and adds to the credibility of the action. Again I’m not suggesting Breland was right or wrong. That’s what he saw and most think the stoppage was reasonable. But no one else in the corner thought so…..
Deontay claims he told his team to let him go out on his shield. If that’s the case, that’s another issue. Some fighters say that to say that. By taking this rematch Wilder may have MEANT it. People may not agree with it, because in this era it’s hard to talk in morbid terms. But if Wilder meant it, he has a right to feel like that.
The water bottle thing is black and white. There is not GRAY area. Either Breland spiked the water or he didn’t. There is no misinterpretation of poisoning someone. I have NO idea what really happened with that.The tough part about the poisoning accusation is that some things you should be able to put past people if they occur. What I mean by that is if something is missing out of my house, I don’t assume it was stolen by my wife or children. I know it was misplaced because they wouldn’t steal from me. Wilder was feeling weak and not himself in the fight he states. For him to even consider that Breland could do that to him, is telling on how he really felt about Breland. That’s a serious accusation.
The glove issues are not as simple as everyone makes it out to be. Just because the Commission was in the room along with Jay Deas, it doesn’t guarantee that nothing happened with the gloves. Boxing teams cheat and don’t get caught all the time. But they don’t call it cheating, they call it using TRICKS.I personally had a fight where I asked the promoters ahead of time to see the hands be wrapped. I didn’t have an assistant so I wanted to over see the wrapping myself. It was a Fox Sports 1 main event and not a PPV main event so it didn’t get much press as far as what happened. But once I got to the dressing room, the fighter had one hand wrapped already. They were starting the other. I noticed they put tape on the skin, then gauze then more tape. I told the commission rep that was illegal and it’s called STACKING. Obviously the fighter’s team disagreed. I told them we wouldn’t fight. The Promoter walked in and agreed with me. They unwrapped and did it the right way with gauze then tape and no repeat stack. When people say the commission was in the room and why they didn’t catch it. I laugh. Lots of times the commission staff are on their phones, or assigned to more than one fighter. They walk back and forth and they don’t know every single rule. Lot’s times they allow whatever, and they wait for a member of the opposing team to object. The staff is usually an ex law enforcement person who is moonlighting at this commission job.
In another incident I had a middleweight fighting. When the commission gave me our gloves, they were 8 oz gloves. I told him that 160lb fighters don’t were 8oz gloves. They wear 10 oz gloves. He didn’t know any better. I then had to get a supervisor and go over to the opponent’s dressing room and make sure they didn’t give him 8oz gloves. So for all of the people who say the Commission was in the room. They were in the room when Margarito put whatever he put in those handwraps. Naazim Richardson objected, not the commission at first.This doesn’t mean that Tyson Fury or his team did anything illegal. I don’t know I wasn’t there. But for people to say the commission would have prevented it 100% is just not true.
Tyson Fury wears Everlast Mx Gloves. These are the same gloves Floyd Mayweather did NOT allow Marcos Maidana to wear when they fought. Maidana had to wear Everlast Power Locks instead of his usual Ever Last Mx.Now this may not mean much to the average fan. But it does mean something to fighters and trainers. I have tried on every type of glove and caught pads on every type. The Ever Last Mx is the softest as far as leather and stuffing. The stuffing is the easiest to manipulate. If your hands are hard, you can be a brutal puncher in this gloves because you can feel the hard wrap through the stuffing. Actually Wilder used to use the MX but I assume they were too brutal on his hands and he changed them to the Everlast Power Locks. The Power Locks are the ones with the different color thumb. They have more padding for fighters with hand troubles. So I’m saying that to say the MX gloves are easier to manipulate. It doesn’t mean Team Fury was cheating. But the stuffing moves around different in those gloves. The leather and stuffing is very soft and easier to manipulate. These gloves are easier to break in that any other gloves. I state things in CONTEXT. I never run blindly with the crowd. Now maybe that explains some of these still shots that show Fury’s glove being flimsy. I have no idea. I can’t even try to explain the Egg Weight Theory. I won’t. Again that’s black and white. Either Fury had egg weights in his gloves or he didn’t. However I do wonder if there is footage of the gloves being put on and gloves being taken off. That would solve a lot. I actually think the controversy helps sell the event similar to Cotto vs Margarito Let’s see what happens. I actually expect a great competitive fight. I don’t see a blow out like many people do.
You may not get every prediction right but you get every breakdown right. Your breakdowns are the best in boxing. Luis Arias was a 8 to 1 underdog and when you said you wouldn’t be surprised at a draw I bet $100 on a draw and $100 on an Arias. I knew exactly what you meant by draw because Kyron Davis and Bryant Perella won their fights vs A side ex champions in Anthony Dirrell and Tony Harrison and got draws. Great breakdown on Hurd . I think you should attempt to train him, your dead on when you say he’s overthinking and caught between styles. What can he do to get his old form back or is it even possible?
Bread Response: You’re welcome lol. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner. I really like Jarrett Hurd. He’s good a kid and was very respectful to me. But I have never asked a fighter to train them and I most likely I never will. The fighter would have to approach me. Besides that, Jarrett has a good trainer in Kay Koroma. Being a boxing trainer is the toughest job in sports. And most thankless job in boxing. The manager makes more than the trainer but the trainer spends 100x more time with the fighter than the manager does hour for hour. I don’t think it’s Koroma’s fault as to why Hurd is not in his championship form. You only change trainers if you’re blaming the trainer for the performance.
Hurd had a trainer in Ernesto Rodriguez he did very well with. Jarrett was not a stand out amateur nor did he have an extensive amateur career. Yet somehow within 5 years as a pro, Hurd won a world title vs the excellent Tony Harrison. Then went onto to beat Austin Trout and Erislandy Lara. Both were excellent amateurs. Lara was a great one. So Rodriguez was doing something right to make up that kind of development ground. I think what happened is what usually happens in boxing. Every super critic starts to tell the fighter what their trainer did wrong and it’s easier to influence the fighter after a loss. Fighters can’t be that accessible to other people’s opinions involving their trainer. Now these same critics will blame Koroma and suggest Jarrett go back to Rodriguez. Jarrett has to block them out and look within himself. I don’t know what he should do but I do know that listening to fans, haters and media is the worst thing he could ever do.
Once Hurd lost to Julian Williams he parted ways with Rodriguez and in all of his comments he seemed to blame his “style” on the Williams lost. But it was the same style that made him a millionaire. It was the same style helped him unify the titles. Hurd is the reason why the titles are unified right now. He had the IBF and real WBA belts. Hurd was the winner in the 2018 Fight of the Year. So just because he lost to Julian Williams he criticized his own style. He has a right to feel how he felt, but I didn’t agree with it. Hurd was getting outboxed in those fights (Harrison, Lara, Trout) and he adjusted by doing what he did best. Down hill, volume pressure. Hurd is more athletic than Margarito but that’s who he fought like. A tall, iron chinned, athletic volume puncher. I don’t understand why Jarrett was so hard on himself. He fought well vs Williams in a great fight.
It’s going to be hard for Jarrett to have success at the elite level being a slick boxer. He doesn’t possess those gifts and he starts slow which doesn’t allow him to be so patient and give rounds away. It doesn’t mean he can’t box. But he won’t outbox elite fighters. Especially how he perceives boxing. The fighter going forward can also be boxing. Jarrett seems to be waiting back in his stance trying to roll incoming punches. And he doesn’t have James Toney’s reflexes for that. His gift was his volume, heart, toughness and size. He made fighters literally drown in his attack, which also doesn’t allow fighters to mount their offense as much. Fighters who cut massive amounts of weight and are volume fighters don’t last long in boxing. That’s a discipline issue. But Jarrett has made some money. He doesn’t have to fight until he’s 40. Or 35 for that matter.
I was nervous getting Williams prepared for Hurd and I was nervous about the rematch. I thought very highly of Jarrett and I was scared he would figure out what we did to him and work on his jab and identifying the traps we set for the rematch. That’s all of the adjustments he needed to make things harder on us. But in my opinion he over thought it and tried to revamp his entire style. It’s going to be very difficult for him now. Charlo can’t have a super fight with him he just lost to Arias. He may have to fight a young killer like Erickson Lubin or Sebastian Fundora. Boxing is a game of attrition and young fighters will try to pick on Hurd now. The Williams fight won’t be dismissed as an off night, so fighters will fight him harder now….I really wish Jarrett Hurd the best. I hope he comes out of his funk.
Jarrett was too hard on himself after the lost to Williams. And now his identity in the ring is counterproductive. A style has to evolve slowly, you can’t rush that process. Jarrett has tried to rush himself into being an elite slick boxer and improving in boxing does not work like that. It happens in small steps usually. Nothing is impossible but it won’t be easy for Jarrett. He has lots of decisions to make and that can cause anxiety. Weight and style are the most important things in boxing. And Hurd will have to figure out what weight he should fight at and what style to employ. I hope it works out for him and I hope he wins one more title before he hangs them up.
I’ve heard the expression “more than the sum of its parts” a few times in my life. I wanted to run that by you where boxing was concerned. I’ll keep it simple: Who are the best boxers you would call “more than the sum of their parts”?
Bread’s Response: There are so many fighters who fit this moniker. Carl Froch and Marcos Maidana in recent times. Maidana was able to officially win as many rounds on the judges scorecards as anyone vs Floyd Mayweather. Maidana was crude and seemed to easy to outbox but he wasn’t. Froch seemed stiff and slow but he usually found a way. Historically Rocky Marciano, Alexis Arguello, Glen Johnson and many others I can’t think of off the top of my head, lol.
Bread-Hope you’re doing well. Glad last weekend is out of the way and we start to get some of the sports talent get it on. This weekend we have Shakur Stevenson which is an absolute talent fighting with little mention or promotion of this fight. Huge let down. The following week, too many fights, too many platforms, too many pay per views. Why do we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot?
Once again, you called Jarret Hurd being unsure of which style to fight. His latest defeat is only going to add to his insecurities within himself and team.
All the best,
Bread’s Response: I watch Stevenson every time he fights because I pride myself in watching the best fighter in the world during their development. In my lifetime I saw Duran, Hearns, Leonard, Hagler, Tyson, Chavez, Whitaker, Oscar, RJ, Bhop, Mayweather, Pacman, Dre Ward, Chocolatito, Loma, Crawford and Canelo. If I’m not mistaken all of these men were considered the world’s #1 fighter at some point during my lifetime. That’s about 18 fighters in over 40 years. It’s a very distinguished title. There are some special fighters who have not been #1. I suspect out of this new era Shakur Stevenson and Jaron Ennis have the best chance. I actually think Stevenson has a greater chance than Ennis because Ennis’s division is so stacked. I would favor Stevenson over every fighter at 130lbs in the world. There is a difference between being exciting and impressive. Stevenson is very impressive in my opinion. I enjoy watching him. This is a hot summer for boxing. I like it and I’m not going to complain. Whatever you can’t watch live, DVR it. If you notice big fights in boxing don’t usually happen over the summer months. So this is a pleasant surprise for me.
Jarrett Hurd has a strong, supportive resourceful family. He’s going to be ok no matter what happens in that ring.
Many mailbags ago, I asked you about fighters whose standing in history has gone up upon closer examination (Harry Greb, Ezzard Charles, etc.). Now I’m wondering if that same idea could apply to fights. Sure there have been fights that became instant classics… but do you think there are fights that people didn’t appreciate or enjoy until years later? Or people didn’t realize their historical significance until years later?
Bread’s Response: Good question. One fight that comes to mind is Roy Jones vs Bernard Hopkins 1. At the time we knew Jones was an uber talent but we didn’t know that Hopkins would go on to have pretty much an equal legacy. It wasn’t a great fight but it was historically significant. Mike McCallum vs Julian Jackson. Two undefeated HOF level punchers battling in their prime. No one knew at the time that two of the best ever at 154 were fighting. Bob Foster vs Dick Tiger, it’s incredible that this fight was between two ATG and it got very little fan fare at that time.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I have a few negative takeaways from Floyd's fights against McGregor and Paul. I can only tell what my eyes saw and I saw him struggle a lot with Mcgregor in the first 5 to 7 rounds and some even with Logan Paul. To those who will say that I'm a hater, I had Floyd beating Castillo in the first fight as well. People will say that Floyd is retired but isn't it relative. Even at this age he is faster than both Paul and McGregor and has better cardio.
Floyd always brings out polarized opinions but on this one I agree more with his critics. Even in the media, a lot of Floyd supporters make excuses like Floyd carried McGregor and Paul but I did not see it. I saw Floyd struggling with their size. Some media members also seem to get intoxicated in Floyd's defense and keep saying that that the shot was blocked by Floyd's guard even when some of those shots land partially. Plus, there are moments when Floyd's guard was high and his glove absorbed the shot. Does this not count. I mean, if someone's fist is guarding their face and you punch them really hard on their fist, will it not hurt that person even if your fist does not directly connect. Floyd made some adjustments and was aided by the fact that neither of them had elite cardio but I do not buy that Floyd carried them. If you remember, I always used to say that Floyd vs Leonard is a 50 / 50 fight but now that I think about it, Floyd never had to walk down an opponent who was taller than him besides Tony Pep. Oscar was the only elite outfighter / boxer puncher who was taller than him. He did walk down Mosley, Bruseles and Judah but none of them were taller than him. I may be wrong but I have changed my opinion on Leonard vs Mayweather basis these two fights.
A prime Leonard is just as fast as prime Floyd, has better cardio and just like McGregor and Paul, has a size advantage. Now I no longer consider it a 50/50 fight. I think that Leonard will have a close but clear victory, even if it is a 12 round fight. I want to know your take on it. Do you think, I am making too much out of stupid exhibitions? Do you think that Floyd carried McGregor and Paul. I gave them Mcgregor 4 rounds and Paul 2 rounds.
Bread’s Response: I really respect your insight. You send in some of my best and informative comments. But I think you’re over analyzing Mayweather vs Paul. Floyd is 44 years old and he hasn’t fought since 2017. You also have to realize something else. Even though Logan Paul may not be a real boxer. He is an athlete. He does have resources, he’s 20 years younger and he’s a lot bigger than Floyd. He didn’t have the stress of trying to win. All he had to do was not get steamrolled. You may not realize this but boxers have an easier time with real boxers like themselves because the moves are predictable. Than against wild, but athletic novice fighters because they are a little harder to time.
I’m not saying I think Floyd would beat Leonard hypothetically. But Floyd’s fight vs Paul should not be a factor in you determining who would win between them. I think you took this exhibition much too serious. As far as him carrying Paul. I really don’t know. My guess is that he would want to give the people a show then stop him late. But that’s just my guess. I don’t know what Floyd has cooking up as far as a rematch or a fight with his brother Jake.
I read Spence say after his fight vs. Manny in August he's open to fighting Crawford next but if that doesn't work out he'll move up - I'm assuming to 154. It's been said he's a big welter, if he moves up to junior middle, how do you see him doing against Jermell, Hurd, Julian, Lubin or any of the top guys there?
Your analysis of Jermell this past week was very interesting once again!
Glenn in Raleigh
Bread’s Response: Errol Spence was the best fighter in the US between 147-154 turning pro after 2009. He won a few Nationals at 152lbs and he was considered the best fighter on the Olympic team. That doesn’t mean he would beat all of the guys at 154. But it does suggest he would fit in. I don’t think he would dominate the 154lbers but I think he would be in the mix. Spence vs Jermell would be fireworks but they have the same trainer so that will most likely not happen. Spence sort of bull dozed the welterweights when he was emerging. Now he’s more of a technical boxer. I think he will need those skills at 154lb because he may not have the physicality advantages he had at 147lbs. There is too much that can happen between now and when he decides to move up.
However, I think he would be a major player at 154 but I don’t think he would be as dominant as he is at 147lbs. Lot’s of the welterweights don’t have the size and reach that Errol does. I think that’s why most of them ducked him when he was coming up and he had to go over to the UK for his title shot. But at 154lbs all of those guys are 5’10 or taller. They all have reaches of 72 inches or longer. And they all walk around at 180lbs. So things would even out from that stand point. If you notice we haven’t had one welterweight champion from this particular era move up to win a title at 154. Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao did it but they all turned pro 20+ years ago. None of the guys who turned pro in this era have even tried except Kell Brook. I’ve always felt Spence had the best chance to do so because of his body frame. The fireworks fight would be Errol vs Lubin. My goodness I would love to see that fight. I also would go on record to say that the 154lbers would fight him a lot easier than the 147lbers did. It may not seem like it now because he’s been in some big fights, but Errol Spence was getting ducked circa 2014-17.
What’s up, Bread. My Saturday morning routine isn’t complete until I read the mail bag, hope you and yours are doing well. I’m pumped for the Spence vs Pac fight as a big Errol fan, but I have some reservations about Spence winning as comfortably as I thought after watching Donaire last weekend. What an impressive performance by the 38 year old turning back the clock and delivering a great KO win. Across sports it seems like older athletes are continuing success despite their age. Mickelson just won the PGA at 50, Brady just won his 7th ring at 43. It’s making me think why can’t Manny also turn back the clock? I should really say turn back the clock again after his last win 2 years ago over Thurman. I do really believe even a prime Pac would have his hands full with Spence, but I’m starting to wonder if the age is as much of a factor these days and what you think about athletes having prolonged careers. This doesn’t seem like Ali vs Holmes or MJ on the wizards. Could 40 start becoming a new normal for championship level fighters?
Bread’s Response: Athletes have better recovery methods, better supplements and more ways to preserve their youth. In boxing you also have to factor in they fight less. So therefore a larger percentage fighters will have longer careers. I don’t think Pacman can beat Spence at this point. I think he’s too small and too old but I do think he’s going to have his moments. Pacman is a freak and he’s a better natural athlete than Errol. Errol will also need some time to figure out his crazy rhythm. And during that time I think Manny will land some shots. But as the fight wears on I think Errol will overtake him. I’m sorry but that’s just how I see the fight. Competitive but Errol wins.
I remember asking you once if you thought Arturo Gatti belonged in the HOF. You said you thought he did, and gave a great argument in defense of it. In your response, you pointed out how detractors will say “There are better guys than Gatti NOT in”, but you countered that that doesn’t mean Arturo Gatti shouldn’t be in.
Since then, I’ve been wondering… who are some of those guys? I wanted to know who are some of those guys with either better talent or better careers that deserve a spot in the Boxing Hall of Fame…Greg K.
Bread’s Response: Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Michael Nunn deserve to be in. Meldrick Taylor on the strength of his prime stoppage over Buddy McGirt and otherworldly performance in a loss to Chavez deserves strong consideration. Especially on the heels of McGirt just being inducted. Taylor did everything McGirt did as far as winning titles in 2 weight divisions, number of title defenses and he stopped McGirt head to head. I think his consideration should be stronger than the voters realize. Taylor and McGirt were equals as fighters and Taylor won their head to head clash big.
Eubank and Nunn had serious undefeated streaks. Fought some tough fights. Had respectable reigns and won titles in 2 divisions. Both are HOF worthy. Benn had the exciting style, some excellent performances and wins. And his win over Gerald McClellan at 168 should have sealed his HOF credentials. It’s the best fight in the history of the division and Benn was the winner. Benn also was a 2 division champion. I can name more but those 4 fighters stand out in my lifetime and recent memory.
Greetings Bread, hope this mail finds you well.
Just recently ESPN updated their P4P Rankings again where Crawford and Canelo switched places as the P4P no. 1 & 2. We know that P4P Rankings are not that conclusive and purely based on each and everyone's opinion. To stop all talks and debates as to who deserves the P4P King Crown. Would you like to see CANELO vs CRAWFORD at 154? What's your take on who may emerge victorious if those two share a ring? Carl Froch already had his view on this. I can't wait to hear your thoughts too.
Anthony R. Baguion / Philippines Boxing Enthusiasts
Bread’s Response: I don’t think the fight is possible to make. Canelo has always struggled to make 154lbs. I always thought it sapped his energy and strength. He’s not tall but he’s dense and muscular. He’s looked better since he moved up. If Canelo were to fight Crawford at 154lb after not fighting there for 5 years, I think he would lose. He just wouldn’t have his reaction time and sharpness. Making the weight would damage him in my opinion, so the fight wouldn’t be fair at this point. They’re too far apart in weight to fight and the A side Canelo is not going to go DOWN 2 weight divisions to fight anyone.
I was watching Tito vs Reid this weekend and that was a really good fight until Tito took over in the second half of the fight. I had a couple of thoughts watching that fight. One, did opposing fighters get false confidence in the early rounds against Tito where they were able to hurt or drop him? You know against someone like Tito at 147 or 154, the last thing you want to do is trade too much with him but I truly believe the early success always gave these guys false confidence and likely changed their entire gameplan.
Two, I think people are using hindsight in saying Reid wasn't ready for that fight and how it ruined him. I mean it goes without saying what happened to his eye and how that essentially derailed his career. But Reid was right with Tito until the 7th round KD and was likely winning the fight. We saw people say the same thing with Lubin when he got KOd against Charlo. But when exactly is the right time? How do you determine that as a promoter/trainer? Like with that mindset, we would have never gotten Lopez getting his chance to dethrone Lomachenko if his team said it was too soon. Floyd wouldn't have gotten Hernandez when he did at the age of 21. I don't think you can just go off the end result, agreed?
Also, speaking of Lubin. He got KO'd early and had to rebuild and is still in that process of rebuilding back to the world stage. If he beats Rosario, he will almost certainly get a title shot soon after. My question is, when a young phenom or hot prospect gets stopped early, how do you build that fighter back up? Do you focus as a trainer more on the mental aspect or do you go over the mistakes made and try to correct them? How do you handle sparring in their first camp back? Go easy on the sparring or throw the fighter in the fire to try to overcome their demons of just being KOd?
Bread’s Response: Fighters definitely got confident hitting and dropping Tito early. But that’s what a real fighter does. If you drop a fighter, it’s not wrong to think you can drop him again. It’s not wrong to want to stop him. You just have to be mindful and not over punch and get clipped yourself. Tito was easy to drop, hard to stop. Very similar to Juan Manuel Marquez.
David Reid was giving Tito hell. I was there live. What I saw was a super talented guy in Reid, not being able to stay locked in vs an ATG for 12 rounds. The longer a fight goes the more the class will show. Because Reid was dropped multiple times and he was sort of holding on at the end, the narrative was Tito dominated him. But he didn’t. Reid was doing his thing until Tito pulled away late. Tito had to be careful all night because Reid was sharp, lighting fast and very powerful.
When someone says a fighter is not ready for a fight I don’t always buy into it. Sometimes it can be true, sometimes it’s using age as an excuse. Maybe the young fighter who lost would have never been ready to beat the fighter they lost to. No one says that a fighter wasn’t ready when he’s 27. But if he loses at 22 they say he wasn’t ready.
In Lubin’s specific case I think first we have to give Charlo credit. Charlo had lots of rounds sparring Erislandy Lara and Errol Spence. Two excellent southpaws. So he punched where Lubin was going to be instead of where he was. That shot can land on a fighter at 28 also.
I do think it was a little early for Lubin. He was only a pro for about 3 years at the time. And usually in the middleweight divisions it takes a little longer. More so I thought his matchmaking was monotonous. He was beating the same type of guys coming up. He never faced an athletic, fast urban fighter like himself. But I don’t think it was a grave mistake to fight Charlo. Lubin wasn’t forced into the fight. He WANTED it. He believed in himself. It didn’t ruin his career. He’s not gun shy. He’s fine and if it’s meant for him to win the title he will.
Getting clipped by a great shot is easier to overcome in my opinion than getting dominated. Especially if it only happened once. You can address what went wrong but you can also make seem like it was lightning striking. Personally what I did was work on strengthening the neck. We identified the shot and how we got caught. Then I sent the fighter to camp with GGG to show I still had confidence in him. He was just fine. Most times kos are mental and after the embarrassment wears off everything is ok. If one turns out to be a physical thing that’s a whole different story. I would suggest scaling back sparring with killers and just try to preserve the fighter as much as possible. Also bring up the awareness.
What I mean by awareness is some fighters get kod because they keep getting hit with shots they don’t see. They don’t have a sense of awareness, it’s like they get sucker punched and knocked out. That’s not so much chin issues, that’s more or less an awareness issue. I think that’s Amir Khan’s biggest issue. He literally does not see the punch that kos him. He loses track of it, so his brain or body doesn’t have time to brace for it because it’s literally a shock to him.
I want to touch on the “not ready” narrative a little more. When a talented fighter 23 or under wins a world title it usually makes him a super star. It’s nothing wrong with going for it. Sometimes you can wait too long and become stale as a fighter. Jaron Ennis is 23 right now. If he was to wait until he’s 28 to win a world title without any setbacks or losses it would be a travesty. He’s ready to fight for a title NOW. If he doesn’t win, he doesn’t win. But he’s ready for his shot. David Reid had defended his title a few times already. He was a Gold Medalist. He was 26! Fernando Vargas and Floyd Mayweather from his Olympic team had all stepped up vs established stars by the time Reid fought Tito. Reid was as ready as he was going to be. A fighter shouldn’t have to wait until he’s almost 30 to fight for a title or take a big fight. Often times that forces him to take his big fights past his physical prime. GGG didn’t get on HBO until he was 30. Can you imagine if GGG would have made his HBO debut at 26 instead of 30? He would be an ATG!
Ali was 22 when he took on Liston. Patterson was 21 when he took on Moore. Arguello was 22 when he took on Olivares. Duran was 21 when he took on Buchanon. Tyson was 21 when he fought Holmes and Spinks. Hearns was 21 when he took on Cuevas. Benitez was 17 and 19 when he took on Cervantes and Palomino. Holyfield was 23 vs Qawi. Taylor 21 vs McGirt. Mayweather 21 vs Hernandez. Devon Alexander was 21 when he fought Juan Urango. I think with proper matchmaking phenoms can be ready to fight for a title within 3 years of turning pro if they are below 140 and above 168. Elite fighters can be ready in 5 years. If you are between 140-168, you may want to wait until 5 years from turning pro because the field is usually deeper in those divisions. I feel like elite level talents in general can fight anybody by the time they are 25. History has proved that. I don’t believe they have to wait until they are almost 30.
Showtime made the 4 Kings documentary for a reason. Those special fighters fought killers before they were 23. Hagler is the only one who won his 1st title over the age of 25. The other 3 were 23 and younger. This new era, wait, wait, wait stuff hurts boxing. Give these young men the proper matchmaking and let them off the leash.
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