The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Luis Ortiz vs. Andy Ruiz, Deontay Wilder, Usyk-Joshua rematch scorecards, Jaron Ennis vs. Vergil Ortiz, Canelo Alvarez, Demetrius Andrade, and more.
Yo Bread, heard you were nice back in the day on the basketball tip. Heard this from a reliable source you were low D1 prospect, that’s nothing to sneeze at. No wonder you always use basketball analogies in boxing.
Well onto my question. You use the word clutch gene often. And Money fighter. I know what you mean. But can you give me your top 10 most clutch fighters in boxing today and explain to fans what you mean?
Bread’s Response: Good question I don’t think I have a top 10 but I will try. What I mean by money fighter and clutch gene is fighters who either come through when you least expect them to and or consistently when you want them too and their careers need it. Fighters who you can bet on to fight good fights and always give a good account of themselves. It’s not always about the WINS and LOSSES. But guys you can literally bet on to perform a certain way and they come through. I don’t have an order but I will explain my picks.
Danny Garcia- Danny may not be an ATG. But he came through as a youngster vs Khan and Matthysse as the underdog. Then although he lost his 3 biggest fights at 147, he was never embarrassed. He never looks bad. You can count on him to not get stopped, you can literally bet the distance in his big fights. And he never loses to fighters he’s supposed to beat. He never lays an egg in one of his showcase appearances. He never loses two fights in a row and lowers his value. Danny Garcia is CLUTCH.
Scooter Fulton- Scooter has had tough matchmaking. And he seems to always do enough to win, regardless of the style. He takes what he has to take. He makes the adjustments he has to make. He boxes, he brawls, he gets it anyway he has too. But he comes through.
Oleksandr Usyk- I don’t need to explain how CLUTCH this guy is. He may be the most clutch fighter in the world at the current moment.
Errol Spence- the PBC sent Spence to the UK to corner the market in boxing’s most lucrative division. Spence came back with the IBF BELT. Spence has had some issues out of the ring. But each and every time in the ring he gets it done. CLUTCH fighter.
Gervonta Davis- Davis can be losing. He can be outboxed because of some of his slow starts. But at some point on his big nights, he hits you on the chin and kos you. Tank Davis is super clutch. Money fighter.
Jermell Charlo- always lands his money punch. He also has a case for the most clutch fighter in boxing. Charlo is a better puncher as a champion than he was as a prospect and prospect fights are easier. Charlo locks in and CLIPS guys consistently.
Terence Crawford- Crawford is another guy who may lose a few rounds. But at some point he hits you, hurts you and he stops you. Crawford has outfought the system of boxing for 39 straight fights. Crawford is so clutch, he doesn’t even let you make a case for beating him. Crawford does not have 1 controversial win where other people thought the “other” guy won.
Tyson Fury- I have seen Fury critically hurt 5x. 4 knockdowns by Deontay Wilder. 1 by Steve Cunningham. Yet no one can stop him. He just keeps figuring it out as he wins fight after fight.
Josh Taylor- Taylo may have just struggled in his last fight. But Taylor comes through for some razor close tough fights. Ramirez and Prograis both took him to the brink but he edged both clean. Taylor is clutch.
Deontay Wilder-say what you want, he’s going to land that right hand 95% of the time. And he’s either going to knock you out or knock you down. Wilder is the Reggie Miller of boxing. Long range bomber!
Just because a fighter is good and hasn’t lost, it doesn’t mean he gets the Clutch moniker just yet. I need to see a guy consistently come through and be at his best when everyone is looking and you can count him to deliver when he’s supposed to and when no one expects him to.
I know you said that Spence vs Crawford would get done and for us fans not to worry about it. But time is ticking and no announcement as of yet. If they don’t fight, where do both go. I feel like if they can’t get it done now with the fight being at an all time high. Then it can’t get done unless one of them loses, which will take away one’s demands. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: You may have a point. After losing a fight, you’re bargaining power goes down. So it’s easier to negotiate with a fighter coming off of a loss, than it is one who has never lost. Where do both go…..Good question that I hope doesn’t have to get answered. I think Crawford would fight Keith Thurman, because Spence has made it clear he doesn’t like Thurman and doesn’t want to give him a payday. Not sure what Spence will do. I would guess maybe Vergil Ortiz in Texas or move up to 154lbs. But look here good brother. Let’s keep the faith and let’s let the professionals do what they do in terms of negotiating. It’s still August as I answer this. We have time.
The man who picks the underdog in boxing is usually a fool. That man is usually going with his heart and not his head. It’s a sport where the favorites win almost every time. I admit that I have a fondness for Luis Ortiz. I think he’s been avoided too long and I want him to get more big chances. So, I might be going with my heart here, but I don’t see Andy Ruiz beating Ortiz. Outside of Ruiz’s Buster Douglas miracle shot, he underperforms in every big moment. He won’t be in shape because he never is. He’s looking ahead to Deontay Wilder, talks about him nonstop and is distracted by it. I don’t see him coming up big in this moment but I would love to hear your take. Thank you as always!
Bread’s Response: This is a tough fight to pick. Ruiz seems made to order for Ortiz but Ortiz’s legs looked shot in his last fight vs Charles Martin. If it weren’t for the Charles Martin performance I would pick Ortiz. But that fight happened. Ortiz’s style ages better because he doesn’t need the high energy to be successful. But Ruiz looks good in terms of his conditioning although he’s been getting hurt lately also. I don’t know who wins this but I can see why Ruiz is the favorite.
In your time as a trainer and a fan, I’m sure you’ve met all kinds of characters. I’m curious if you know of any boxers you think had the pedigree and the background to be a great champion, but they lacked the temperament or the right mindset. The most professionally deserving but personally unworthy? Am I making sense?
Bread’s Response: You are making sense but I won’t name them. I’m just not into naming fighters to shame them. But I know more fighters who lack character than I do fighters who lack talent. It starts with their home life. Some of the same reasons why they became fighters, are the reasons they have poor character. I’m just going to say it. They weren’t raised right. They don’t understand attribution. They don’t have empathy. They have entitlement issues, and strong narcissistic characteristics.
I have seen fighters say they don’t want to work, because it interferes with their training. Then they get someone to give them an allowance until they can make it to a point in their career where they don’t need it anymore. Usually that point is a 6 figure purse. Then when they get to the 6 figure purse, they don’t want the person who literally financed them, to make their money back. This is just one example of how awful some fighter’s character is. This is the most common scenario that I have seen. Then I see fighters play the victim publicly and make it seem as though they were taken advantage of. There are more fighters who have USED managers, promoters and trainers than vice versa. I know this to be a fact. It’s just that the managers, promoters and trainers don’t bother to tell the disingenuous stories. They don’t play the victim. They either play the high road and watch KARMA stop the fighter. Or they find another way to get revenge.
Hopefully all is well with you and yours. You’ve covered this topic before and this is the first time I’m seeing a judge confronted about his scorecard. Glen Feldman who seems to be the main judge in almost every major fight had no response when questioned. He kept telling the journalist to talk to his supervisor. It’s his own score card and he can’t speak to it? How absurd is that? (Here’s the video) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km88hz7qQMY
A few days ago, Wilder admitted that he isn’t a fan of jogging & roadwork and Mark Breland divulged that Wilder refused to hit the heavy bag during their training sessions. Isn’t the heavy bag perhaps the most important part of boxing training? Especially when you consider the work rate of volume punchers like Calzaghe or the lower weight class fighters? That’s like a marathon runner saying he doesn’t do long distance roadwork.
Take care, Khalid Low
Bread’s Response: I think Commissions forbid judges to talk to the media after fights. I’m not 100% sure on this, but I’m reasonably sure. I hope this practice changes asap.
Are you sure Wilder said he didn’t like road work and heavy bag work? I didn’t hear that. I know Mark Breland said some things but I didn’t hear road work. I’m not sure if it was heavy bag work or speed bag work. But road work? I just don’t know about that. I’ve seen Wilder do road work. I think Wilder has excellent conditioning. The heavy bag thing. I can’t comment on that. Because I’m not sure if it’s true. If you ask me do I believe in heavybag work. Yes I do. I think it’s the most important thing in terms of conditioning a fighter besides sparring in the gym. If you know what you’re doing, you can get a lot out of the heavybag. It builds endurance, bone density, punching power and punch selection.
Hello Breadman ,
I see the boxing world is still touting Harry Greb . How can you guys rank a fighter so high , when you cannot prove he even fought one fight . Do you think it even possible that Gene Tunney would fight him five times , with no film . Explain to me please , how do you fight three hundred fights with No Film . This fake bio has more holes than swiss cheese . You may be a boxing purist , but facts are facts . Three hundred fights in thirteen years . That is an average of twenty three fights a year , for thirteen years , is that even possible . What about the year 1919.
He fought 45 times that year . Is that even possible . And goes undefeated , is that even possible . When did he train . When did he rest and heal up . He fights Mickey Walker 15 rounds , two weeks latter fights Maxie Rosenbloom 10 rounds . Please tell me , is that even possible . Could J-Rock fight 15 rounds against Charlo , then two weeks latter go 10 rounds with Hurd . And win both fights . NO he could not , and Greb did not either . He fought away in Texas , Colorado and Canada . There was no air travel back then . And all this garbage about going blind and memorizing eye charts . Was it always the same Doctor , same office , same chart . And you do not fight three weeks after a detached retina , and he sure did not fight Gene Tunney with one . He is suppose to be a Great Swarmer . He could bust people up , but not knock them out . You ever see a swarmer that cannot punch . Ever see someone who cannot punch , bust people up . Just a bunch of B.S. . All written after the fact . The big clue , is the newspaper decisions . Where no name fighters ever took a knock out loss . This can all be discounted . After all , all someone has to say to you guys is , Prove It .
Keep it real,
Bread’s Response: I can see you don’t believe Harry Greb was real. I disagree. There is enough evidence to prove he was a real person and fighter. I not only believe he was real but I believe he was a great fighter. But I truly believe we live in bizarre times where people try to change history. They suffer from SPITRS. Smartest Person In The Room Syndrome. I respect Greb’s accomplishments and levels of competition. And I get that your legacy can grow with time and proper research.
For example, Ezzard Charles’s legacy has grown. There was a time when Archie Moore was considered a better fighter and better light heavyweight. But with proper research and context, the majority opine is Charles was better.
But now there seems to be a crusade to make Greb the best fighter ever. I don’t agree with it because no more facts about his career have surfaced. He’s already a consensus top 1-5 middleweight ever. He’s already 1 of the best 10 to 15 best fighters ever. Now they want him to be #1 and I just don’t get the obsession with a man that no one alive saw fight. And like you I do question some things. Tunney, Flowers, Walker and Loughran were all filmed. They all fought in the same era. But the best fighter out of them all supposedly was NEVER filmed once. That’s hard for me to believe.
The myth was there was no footage of Sugar Ray Robinson in his prime. But that’s a myth. The film is not spectacular but I have seen 4 different fights of Robinson in the 1940s vs a fighter named Riccio and a few others I can’t remember. He looked like a machine! And there is footage of Robinson at 29 years old vs Luc Van Dam and Jean Stock and he looked on the LEVEL. There is ZERO on Greb. That’s hard for me to believe. My guts tell me there is more to it but I will digress. Me and you agree on some things and we disagree on some other things. Again, I am certain Harry Greb was a great fighter and he existed. But ….
No question today just appreciation for your efforts with answers to your readers questions. Want to give you props for understanding and letting us know why Ali beat Foreman in last weeks article. It was ali hurting foreman not the fact that George just ran out of gas even though he did. And Foreman did not hurt Ali like Ali hurt him. My second favorite fight next to Duran vs Leonard 1. Also wanted to give you a quote from Inoue about your guy Donaire and Inoue’s honesty when it came to Donaire hurting him. Also Inoue feels the same way as you in regard to never facing a black athletic fighter so I must give you some props for that. Must be great minds think a like concerning facing a black fighter RTV: You have never faced a black American fighter in your pro career. Have you had any sparring with them? NI: I haven’t sparred with any black fighters yet either. That’s also an unknown area for me. The black athletes tend to be physically strong. I’d love to fight them and feel their athleticism. Concerning power of Donaire and being hurt. RTV: How badly were you hurt in that ninth round in the first fight? NI: I was really hurt, like I never experienced in my career before. The left hook in the second round wasn’t that bad, it just broke my right eye, but the right hand in the ninth round really hurt me. That was the only anxious moment I ever experienced in my professional career.”
Anyway, Take Care
Bread’s Response: I’m glad Inoue was honest because it solidifies what I said. I received some racist emails because I said Inoue has never faced a black fighter. People really got upset with that. But they don’t get that this is something that is said off the record often. It’s even said about other black fighters. I wasn’t being racist. I was being observant. People would be surprised that the art of matchmaking involves asking what race a fighter is, where is he from and who is his trainer? Thank you for the comment.
What’s your opinion of Top Rank stacking their cards with novice prospects? I don’t care how good they are, I’m not interested in seeing fighters in their first fights like we’ve been seeing with Top Rank. We’re not talking about Lebron James’ high school games on ESPN in 02-04 unless we’re talking comparing the competitiveness. One of the opponents was seriously injured on Saturday, knocked down twice in 45 seconds. This is obviously cheap filler. Are we going to watch these guys fight overmatched “step-ups” for 3-4 years?
Bread’s Response: I have no issue with it. Top Rank is building their young stable. They won’t be fighting those fights 3-4 years from now because Top Rank can scout talent. If they see a fighter who is not developing they won’t invest in him anymore. They do a fantastic job at scouting talent and they consistently produce multiple P4P fighters at the same time. They’re doing something right.
My guy ..look at what u just said. “But the reason why he isn’t ascending faster and have fought for a title already is because of Ennis. If Ortiz were to leapfrog Ennis and fight for a title significantly before him, then there would be a clamor for Ortiz to fight Ennis. So therefore I strongly believe Ortiz has been slowed down somewhat so, that doesn’t happen. Again, there is a science to matchmaking. You totally disregarded the actual facts on this matter and went with your opinion. Regarding Ortiz’s alleged slow ascent to a title shot. It has nothing to do with Ennis. It’s due to the fact that pbc has all the titles at 147. Crawford has the lone title however he himself is waiting out a fight with the PBC fighter who holds the rest of the belts. This is the reason why Ortiz is being held up.
Bread’s Response: I said what I said, and I meant it. You just remember what you said about Ortiz stopping Ennis. It doesn’t matter who holds the titles. Ortiz can become a mandatory to whoever his people feel he can beat. They can write letters to that sanctioning bodies and he can become a mandatory. Mandatories are mandatories for a reason.
I believe Ortiz wants all of the smoke. He’s a terrific fighter. But his brain trust have slowed him down because there are 3 sharks at 147lbs. Crawford, Spence and Ennis. Ortiz is younger than them all so the waiting game is being played. If he leap frogs Ennis and somehow gets a title shot and wins a belt before him then the world would want to see them fight. IF he goes after Spence or Crawford, he may win but it also may be too soon. I’m not saying Team Ortiz is ducking smoke. I don’t believe that. I think they’re taking their time with him and it’s nothing wrong with that. But make no mistake there is a reason for this.
Rashidi Ellis is another talented young welterweight. They tried to make the fight with Ortiz and Ellis because Ellis is not viewed to be as dangerous as Ennis. If the welterweight champion of the world right now, were say… Jeff Horne . No disrespect to the Solid champion of a few years back but he’s not viewed to be on the level of Spence and Crawford. If that were the case do you think Ortiz would still be waiting for a title shot? The landscape dictates the speed in which a prospect/contender is moved.
Assalaam alaykum Mr Edwards,
With the announcement that Boo Boo Andrade will vacate the WBO middleweight championship rather than face Janibek Alimkhanuly, I wanted to express some disappointment in the WBO, the WBC, and the middleweight landscape since Gennady Golovkin cleaned it out. After Billy Joe Saunders defeated Andy Lee by majority decision to get the belt, he faced the following fighters defending his title: Artur Akavov, Willie Monroe Jr (after Monroe lost to Gennady Golovkin but beat Gabe Rosado), and David Lemieux (who also lost to GGG but defeated Curtis Stevens). Saunders then moved up to 168 to camp out and wait for Canelo (and he did get paid for his patience).Andrade beat Walter Kautondokwa (who had never fought outside of Africa) for the vacant title, then defended against Akavov (again, which is inexplicable), Maciej Sulecki (after he’d beat Rosado and lost to Danny Jacobs), Luke Keeler (who had never fought outside of Britain and Ireland), Liam Williams (whose best win to that point had been the same Alantez Fox that Andrade already defeated), and Jason Quigley (who only happens to have the younger Shane Mosley on his resume). .Jermall Charlo won the vacant WBC interim middleweight championship (against Hugo Centeno Jr, who had lost to Sulecki) the same year (2018) as Andrade won the WBO belt. ‘Mall scheduled Willie Monroe Jr but pulled Matt Korobov up from the un-televised undercard after Monroe failed a drug test.
‘Mall then defended against Brandon Adams (who was not even in the WBC top 10 at the time), Denis Hogan (who had just lost to Jaime Munguia), Sergiy Derevyanchenko (right after he lost an absolute war with GGG), and Juan Macias Montiel (who had lost to Munguia and drawn with Centeno Jr). Charlo and Andrade have each faced, by my count, only one Ring rated middleweight since winning their respective belts (Sulecki and Derevyanchenko). Alimkhanuly has been ranked in the Ring middleweight top 10 for almost 2 years (87 weeks). Chris Eubank Jr has been on the list for almost 3 years (141 weeks). Ryota Murata has been on the list for more than 3 years (168 weeks). People criticize Golovkin’s matchmaking post-Canelo, but he took on a fresh and dangerous Derevyanchenko and Murata since the second Canelo fight.
My question is, other than making money and hoping to cash out against an aging GGG or Canelo, what are these two doing? Is middleweight, which is historically the deepest or second-deepest (after welterweight) division, suddenly shallow? Or did GGG clean it out much more than anyone realized? It’s hard to believe that it’s only promotional squabbles keeping these two from fighting one another. I think that both have Hall of Fame potential, but neither will come anywhere near that status on their current courses. What’s your take? Thank you again for everything you do, Bread. You’re a blessing to the sport and to the people paying attention.
Bread’s Response: I don’t get into the behind the scenes stuff but this has been a disappointing time at middleweight for the last decade. I think GGG will be appreciated for at least trying to unify after his career is over. I’ve always believed he was a great fighter in the wrong era.
Starting back to about decade ago. Felix Sturm, Hassan Ndam, Peter Quillin and Sergio Martinez all excellent fighters never faced GGG. That’s to many top guys to be a coincidence. Miguel Cotto wins the lineal belt and I’m not mad at him for not fighting GGG but it prolonged the clarity. Canelo beats Cotto and waits 2 more years and finally faces him. So realistically from about 2011ish up until the 2017, the fighter who wanted the smoke had to take what he was given instead of what he wanted. I will give Danny Jacobs his props he fought both GGG and Canelo.
Ok so new young guys ascend and the trend continues. Eubank fought Saunders but Eubank seemed to be more comfortable at 168 than he was at 160. Neither of them fought GGG. Charlo I think would match up well with GGG in a war of great jabs and great chins, but has been inactive since he moved up. But Charlo and his team did make an offer to fight Canelo at 168, he deserves props for that.
I don’t understand what happened with Andrade. I don’t blame him for Saunders testing positive in their proposed fight. I also think he was boxed out on DAZN. But he now has a chance to shut everybody up. To prove that he’s everything he says he is. And he vacates his title.
I think Andrade vs Janibek is a 50/50 fight and Andrade giving up a belt that was important to him just doesn’t bode well for his legacy. I think Janibek is an excellent fighter but let’s not forget he was taken to the brink and escaped with a MD vs Vaughn Alexander. I don’t think he’s as good as the GGG that wrecked Polska on HBO many years ago. Janibek is a slick boxer, with fast hands and good pedigree. But I don’t view him as the puncher GGG is. And I don’t think his speed and athleticism are off the charts like say Loma’s. I know he can fight but he’s not head and shoulders above everyone at 160lbs.
I was hoping Andrade fought him, it would have been good for Andrade’s livelihood.. I think Demetrius with the right camp and game plan can beat Janibek. Demetrius would have raised his game and fought well vs such a dangerous opponent. A fighter goes through camp a little more focused knowing that if he’s not at his best he can lose. This would have helped Andrade raise his game. I would have even slightly favored Andrade because I know how hard he would’ve trained for Janibek, all these things matter. I also think Demetrius is hard to outbox because of his unique style and I believe Janibek is more boxer than puncher.
The physicality at 168lbs won’t be easy to deal with for Andrade and it’s different than 160lbs. From 160 to 168 is the biggest jump in boxing. I think a fighter like Andrade needs his belts for his status. To give them up without a huge fight already in the making may be counterproductive. Let’s see what happens. I really wish him the best, Demetrius is a nice kid.
I agree Charlo and Andrade have HOF potential but time is undefeated and it just seems neither can get in a groove in terms of getting consistent fights to enhance their legacies. Hopefully this changes soon, they still have time.
I have watched the Joshua/ Usyk bout twice now and I actually think that Anthony Joshua is going to return as champion. He certainly looked better than he has in previous fights but I believe Usyk just has his number. Similar to Fury having Wilder‘s number ..some guys can beat you every time. I also don’t think he has faced a southpaw in 6 years ( Charles Martin) which doesn’t help especially with someone as defensively sound and slick as Usyk. Speaking of southpaws, can you rank these southpaws at their peak in a round robin tournament where they fought each other 3x 1) Manny Pacquiao 2) Marc “Too Sharp” Johnson 3) Hector Camacho 4) Pernell Whitaker 5) Paulie Ayala 6) Guillermo Rigondeaux 7) Tank Davis next weight class 1) Paul Williams 2) Marvin Hagler 3) Winky Wright 4) Joe Calzaghe 5) Sergio Martinez 6) Demetrius Andrade 7) Erislandy Lara. Also, my guy Zurdo Ramirez is fighting against Dimitry Bivol. Do you give him a chance to win ?
Take Care, Aaron from Cleveland
Bread’s Response: So you think AJ can return to being a champion. I do too but he did have a little episode after the fight. If he can get that area under control he can be champion again. I hope he does. I find myself always wishing he doesn’t get hurt in fights.
In first tournament I would say 1)Whitaker 2)Pacman 3)Rigo 4)Too Sharp 5)Tank 6)Camacho 7) Ayala
In the second tournament I would say 1)Hagler 2)Calzaghe 3)Wright 4)Lara 5)Andrade 6)Martinez 7) Williams
Do you have Usyk at #1 P4P yet? If not where is he ranked? Also where do you have Canelo? Did you drop him or keep him at the top because he lost was at 175?
Bread’s Response: Before Canelo lost I thought 4 fighters were separate from all of the others. Canelo, Usyk, Inoue and Crawford. Whatever order you put them in I wouldn’t argue hard against it. All have shown their level. Obviously since then, Canelo has lost and Errol Spence who I had just behind them turned in his best performance in years vs Ugas, and has ascended. So right now I still have Crawford, Usyk, Inoue as the top dogs. But Spence and Canelo are in their realm.
I didn’t drop Canelo hard but I understand losses can be tricky. Canelo was performing at such a high level before the Bivol fight, he would have been the favorite over every fighter in the world from 175 on down and possibly even Cruiserweight. So maybe he slipped. Maybe he had an off night. Maybe Bivol was too big. Maybe Bivol was too good. I think it’s fair to wait until we see how Canelo looks in his next few fights.
After those Fab 5, in no order I have Beterbiev, Bivol, Tank, Shakur, Benavidez, Bam, Choc, Taylor, Devin, Jermell, Estrada, Fulton, Boots and if Fury comes back he’s within the top 10, not sure where but he’s there for sure.
I think in the P4P rankings we wait too long to drop and or include fighters. For example Choc and Estrada have both accomplished more than Bam Rodriguez. But if Bam were to fight either next, I think he would be the favorite. I also think if all of the best fighters at 115lbs were lined up, he would do the best against the field. So sometimes common sense has to be used.
Hi Bread, Prograis What’s up with Regis Prograis? He got forgotten but his performances never dropped. The man had a drawish fight against peak Taylor, and damaged him. Lost his world titles and people forgot about him. But he never lost a step. Dude is supremely confident and complete. Can he dominate 140 again? He should individually be favored against any 140. Who do you see as his main competitor? Callum Smith… Canelo had the performance of his night versus Smith and his way more complete and the better boxer. But Smith had a 4 week camp and a rehydration clause (I believe) – and wanted to move up if it wasn’t for the opportunity. He got totally dominated for 12 rounds but wasn’t hurt. He seemed weak. Besides the Canelo effect, I do believe his body gave up on him. He has looked drastically stronger – albeit against lower competition – at 175. I think he’ll win a world title. Controversial: I think he can beat Canelo at 175. -Smith vs Bivol? Jaaron Ennis. I agree he might be the best of this era. I also notice he benefits from the fear factor – ala Tyson. Although I do think he is all that, his last 5 opponents came to lose – except for Lipinets, who was too limited and small. To have a chance you need not to be scared and be a dog. I believe Ortiz is. As are Spence, Stanionis and Crawford. That would be interesting to see him go 100% against those guys and see how he deals with adversity. His defense is flashy but flawed but he got away with it because he didn’t respect his opponents power. But I’m sure you see it – he ate several flush right hands in his last fights. Careful against Ortiz… -Ennis pre-title run (based on form) vs Ray Leonard (pre-title run as well, say one year before his first belt at 147) GGGI know he’s your guy but you also had some fluctuations. He won’t rank too high because of his poor MW era and the controversial Canelo results. Based on pure eyeball test, and because you know his chin and heart, on top of the rest, how high would you put him in an all time MW ranking? Again, he doesn’t rank super high – fair. He lacks names and results, and couldn’t separate himself enough with Canelo at his advanced age. But surely, based on previous mailbags, 2012/2016 GGG has his chance, head to head, vs any MW in history, wouldn’t you agree? Canelo being an ATG, most having aging GGG winning his two fights (or say a draw for the second), should this help him in his historic ranking?
Random Boxer – Finally, is there one boxer – no disrespect to other trainers – that you would love to work with now and feel like you could drastically raise his skills because you see/like something?
Bread’s Response: I am very impressed with Regis Prograis he could be the best in the division. But the kid just doesn’t fight often. He’s athletic. He’s strong. He has what I call hard hands. Not really heavy but hard. He gets all of his knuckle on the surface of his target. He’s elusive with natural fighting instincts. And he’s huge in terms of density for the weight. I think his main competitor at 140lbs besides Josh Taylor is Gary Antuane Russell.
I was a big fan of Callum Smith. I have no idea what happened in the Canelo fight. I didn’t hear about a rehydration cause. But I didn’t like how he submitted to Canelo and barely fought back. He hasn’t made any excuses so I don’t know if something was wrong but that was a bad look, to lose every round to a fighter that much smaller than you in a unification. Smith is a ko machine vs everyone else except Canelo. I think he’s live with anyone at 175.
Ennis has extreme reflexes. If he wanted to play keep away and not get hit he wouldn’t. But he’s a killer and killers get hit. He doesn’t lose rounds and he doesn’t get hit with combinations. But I do feel you. At times he gets hit while he’s punching which can be dangerous. It’s the type of thing that won’t be a big deal until it’s a big deal. Let’s see what happens. I think if he gets more resistance he’s going to raise his game. The one thing I know about him, is he’s a nice young man outside of the ring but he’s very sadistic. I’ve seen him wreck fighters in the gym. He enjoys beating on people. So if someone fights him back hard, there well being and career could be on the line and not everyone wants to go through that, so most find a spot on the canvas to fall.
Ray Leonard is the best fighter of my lifetime. And he was pre title run was better than Ennis’s in terms of competition. Angelo Dundee did a great job of developing Leonard in 1977-79. But in terms of talent Ennis is just as talented and a little bigger.
Middleweight is a historically great division and very tough to get ranked in historically. I say GGG is outside of the top 10 ever, but off the top of my head he has a case for top 20. I think he’s the best middleweight since Bernard Hopkins left the division in 2005. That’s a long time. I rate him over Taylor, Martinez, Pavlik, Abraham, Jacobs, Quillin and the rest of the top middleweight of the 2000s and 2010s. I think historically Canelo will be rated over him but not at 160lbs if that makes sense. With most believing GGG is at least 1-1, his advanced age and with Canelo shining more at 168, GGG has a firm stance.
I am happy with the boxers I train. I never look at the grass as being greener on the other side. I have never asked a fighter to train them. My guys are my guys and I have an affinity for them all. Julian Williams, Kyrone Davis, Romuel Cruz, Zachary Ochoa, Erron Peterson and Caleb Plant.
Stop with Naz Top 10 all-time at 126
Bread’s Response: I love you old timers. I learn from your experience and wisdom. But I didn’t say he was firmly in the top 10. I said he was top 10ish. He had about 14-15 title defenses. He wasn’t undisputed but he held every belt at some point or the other and he was a dominant fighter, who only lost to an ATG in Marco Antonio Barrera. There are better fighters like Barrera who fought at featherweight, but would Barrera be considered a better featherweight than Naz, or would he be considered just a better fighter. I say just a better fighter. Same as Morales. Barrera and Morales’s best weights were 122lbs.
So since Naz retired tell me who would be a better featherweight? I would say Juan Manuel Marquez and not by a lot. Marquez lost to fighters at 126 in Chris John and Freddy Norwood that Naz is rated over. So in the last 20 years he’s at no worst the 2nd best featherweight.
Ok now let’s 20 years before that. Pedraza, Sanchez and Nelson. But honestly who else. Fenech stayed at 126 a hot minute. McGuigan the same. Neither would be rated over Naz all time at 126. So we have 4 guys in Pedraza, Sanchez, Nelson and Marquez in 40 years!
Ok so let’s go back to the 60’s and 70s. Danny Lopez is a HOF but Naz is better than Lopez. Alexis Arguello is better than Naz. Ruben Olivares won a belt at 126 but that wasn’t his weight. In the 1960s Vicente Saldivar was a guy. He and Naz are pretty even. I would take Naz. .1940’s-50s. Obviously Saddler and Pep. So I went back another 40 years and only 8 featherweights are clearly better than Naz at that weight in terms of both ability and accomplishment.
If you break it down like you don’t have horse in the race, you realize Naz was real. And for the record top 10ish can mean 12, 13. It’s just his approximate ranking. I think he’s on the outside of the top 10 but not as far as some would think.
What’s up Breadman? Hope you and yours are fine. I would like to do some prevention for the young (or novice) boxers who read your mailbag. I don’t know if you use that expression in US but in France I heard multiple times « When it hurts, it works », and I want to say that you really have to be careful with this, cause it’s not Always true !I have an example. 10 years ago I had a new trainer in my boxing gym, who was respected as a boxer because he went to win a gold medal at Olympics, but he happened to be was the worst trainer I ever had (a perfect example of what you talked about in one of your previous mailbag). During on of our ab session at the end of the workout, he told us a position in which I felt that I hurt my back more than I work my abs, so I adapted the position to what I felt more adapted and he kept telling me « don’t change the position, when it hurts, it works » !I love to challenge myself and to surpass my limits, but I like to do it in a good way, because I think you have to preserve yourself in order to perform. What do you think about that ? I also have a tricky question : choose 3 athletes (non boxers) that you think could be good boxers, and explain why.
Thank you for your time!
Max from France
Bread’s Response: I wasn’t there to see your incident with the trainer so I can’t accurately judge. But I want to tell you something about a trainer’s background. I never knew it was a THING that someone had to be a great boxer in order to be a great trainer. It’s so ignorant and ridiculous it’s really not worth talking about but because of your incident I will address it.
Some ex fighters can train. Some can’t. Having some boxing experience and understanding is something that is needed but what level you attained is not as important as it’s made out to be. If the best fighters made the best trainers then why is that, no ex P4P fighters, currently train world champions?
I won’t name any but I have been around several ex world champions who are trainers. They can give you pointers and tell you about their experiences. But that’s not the same as training an elite fighter and getting them through camp. Or building a young kid into a contender or world champion. Often times top fighters are top fighters because they are naturals and they have instincts. They learned their trade but the ability to learn something and the ability to teach someone what you learned is not one in the same.
When I became I trainer I would hear other trainers attack each other’s backgrounds. I was taken a back because I never knew that it was a thing. I once asked a trainer who attacked a trainer’s background who I really liked. I asked the attacking trainer, why did he care what someone else’s credentials are? Unless he’s looking for a job among your team, what does it matter what he did as a boxer? If he’s so unqualified, then get your fighter to beat up his fighter and elevate your own status. Needless to say, his fighter lost. I never got that. I never will.
You have trainers always pulling rank of what they did as fighters as if their opinions are more valid because of their experience. But those same trainers would also try to pull rank on things they aren’t experienced in. I hear them talk about politics and their business ventures outside of boxing. Imagine if someone told them they couldn’t open as successful business because they didn’t go to business school, or college. 99.9% of fighters don’t have secondary education. They wouldn’t like that very much, yet they try to exclude or include who can be a trainer or not, like somehow they’re the deciding factor.
Specifically, if your coach tells you to do something, you should at least try it because he’s your coach. You hired him or he was appointed for a reason. So I’m not saying you were right or wrong. Again I don’t know. But the credibility factor on a coach because he was an outstanding boxer is less than 50% in the real boxing world. Meaning only about 50% of the good fighters make good coaches. That’s not very high. Most of the top coaches were mediocre pros at best.
The best way to judge a coach is his delivery, ability to articulate, leadership qualities, creativity in the gym, then after that his boxing experience fighting and training. Let’s all remember Angelo Dundee as a head trainer, has wins over Sugar Ray Robinson, Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Ken Norton, Sonny Liston, Bob Foster, Floyd Patterson, Wilfred Benitez, Roberto Duran, Tommy Hearns and Marvin Hagler. And he never fought! There is no way he had 60 years of luck! No one is that lucky.
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