Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence-Garcia, Lara-Castano, Loma, More

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By Stephen “Breadman” Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Vasiliy Lomachenko, James DeGale vs. Chris Eubank Jr., Errol Spence vs. Mikey Garcia, Oleksandr Usyk, Mike Tyson, and more.

I have a different type of question. Who do you pick between Stephen A. Smith vs Max Kellerman as far as sports knowledge?

Bread’s Response: Aw man interesting question. First off let me say despite what the fans say I like both Stephen A and Max. I watch them every morning I get the chance.

Stephen A. Smith is a the TRUTH. I think he could be an executive in basketball if he wanted to. I think basketball is his specialty. Stephen A is as knowledgeable as far as basketball as anyone on the planet. I don’t know if he could be a coach. That’s a different lane. But he definitely could be an executive. I also can tell at one time he could play. I know these things because I could play.

I don’t know Stephen A but I have seen him in person. He has that hoppy way about how he walks and his shoulders slump with long arms. He’s built like he could drop 20 on you in a summer league game in his prime.

Max Kellerman I can’t tell about his natural athleticism to be honest. But his historical knowledge is unmatched. Max’s specialty seems to be boxing. But here is where I think Max separates himself from Stephen A. While Max in my opinion is one of the top 10 most knowledgeable people in the world as far as boxing. I have listened to him closely. He’s also great at assessing basketball, football and baseball.

I know boxing, football, basketball and baseball. I played them all and I have studied the history of them all. Max is almost as well versed in each of those sports as he is boxing. Stephen A on the other hand has a drop off when he talks about other sports besides basketball especially boxing. So Max can go head up with Stephen A in Stephen A’s best sport but Max blows Stephen A out in his best sport. See the difference…

So to answer you if you factor in overall knowledge I think Max has the edge but Stephen A is also the truth and is probably a better athlete, which does count if you talk factor in ego lol.

Hi Bread,

Just wanted to get your take on his Holyness, Evander Holyfield’s PED scandal. No one can take away from his greatness for sure and he is a ATG even if we take his career till Bowe trilogy into consideration. Having said that, when do you think he started taking PEDs, even if accidentally. I am inclined to think that he was under the influence of PEDs in the Tyson fights. He looked bigger with lot of muscle mass and he looked rejuvenated. As great as he was, I do not think that Holyfield was stronger than Tyson but in their fight he proved significantly stronger than Tyson in the clinch. What are your thoughts? Please feel free to correct me, if I went wrong somewhere.

An old question – can a boxer be good at setting traps without feinting? Your top 5 feinters of all time.

Regards,
Saurabh

Bread’s Response: Man this is tough for me. Evander Holyfield was my favorite fighter after Ray Leonard retired. But I have to man up and answer it.

The Evan Fields thing does not look good. The “circumstantial” evidence is very strong. It’s not 100% definitive but it is strong.

Here is where I disagree with you. I think Holyfield was always physically stronger than Tyson. Tyson just punched harder it’s a big difference that most don’t understand. The thing that did look weird to me is how bad Holyfield looked vs Bobby Czyz  before he fought Tyson. Holyfield looked to be on a major downslide and he literally turned his career around in his mid 30s and won FOY in 1997 after looking like he slipped in 94 and 95.

Maybe he didn’t take Czyz serious, who knows…

Now to be fair to Holyfield if I’m not mistaken the Evan Fields situation came about in 2007 or 2008. Holyfield turned pro in 1984. So That’s 20+ years later. He fought Tyson in 96 and 97. I just don’t know how to look at that to be honest. I can’t discredit the man’s whole career. And at the same time once you’re linked to something like this your career comes into questioning.

This is tough but there was no serious testing in the 90s. We will never know the whole truth. For the record I think Holyfield was a great fighter and HOF as early as 1992.

Top 5 feinters it’s just too hard to name 5. At one time everyone feinted. Recently Canelo has been the best feinter. Floyd can feint really good. So can Andre Ward. Juan Manuel Marquez would a ridiculous feinter. Roberto Duran is probably the best I’ve seen but there could be better feinters.

Hey bread.

Haven’t written in for a few weeks so this is abit longer than normal.

Did you watch eubank  jr vs degale? Do you see improvements in eubank jr or was degale simply shot? Has eubank got any chance of mixing with some of the better middleweights/super middlewrights?

What do you make of Joe Joyce? He’s early in to his pro career so it might be unfair to judge him yet but he’s 33, so hasn’t got too long to get to the top level.

A common criticism of him online is that he’s too slow to ever get to championship level. I was wondering is it possible to train guys to be quicker? I’m talking about handspeed and reflexes/defensive movements.  I remember reading a mailbag where you discussed all the things you can do to improve punching power and was curious if it applies to speed as well.

On a recent podcast I was listening to, one of the people on it said they don’t think canelo will get to the end of his dazn contract. This was based on the fact that he’s had over 50 fights, some wars, wears a knee brace(implying a past injury or damage of some sort) and the fact that based on the size of contract dazn will want him to fight tough fights every time, and that sooner or later it’ll Catch up with him. What do you think?

Speaking of podcasts, do you listen to any, and if so are there any you could recommend? Have you ever thought about doing one? Perhaps answering questions similar to the ones in the mailbag, or even tactically breaking down upcoming fights ?

Rob, Devon England.

Bread’s Response: I saw Eubank vs Degale. I think Degale is a fighter who always talented but had flaws and now that he’s past his physical peak they show more. Eubank is also heavily flawed but he’s at his peak. Eubank does not have elite boxing ability but he has a real fighter’s instincts. He can chuck em. He has fast hands and he has heart. Against certain styles he will match up. Against elite boxers he will get outboxed. Put him in vs killers like Jermall Charlo or David Benavidez and you will see good fights. Put him in vs Caleb Plant and he gets outboxed and loses 10 out of 12 rounds.

Joe Joyce looks lumbering but he has a way about him, he hits everybody. I think Joyce has a chance to challenge for the title. I don’t know if he will win. But Joyce believes in Abel Sanchez who I think is one of the last disciplinarians left in boxing. Abel is a no nonsense guy who works the S$%# out of his fighters. The one thing I know about Sanchez is he won’t train guys who does not have high character. Joyce must have high character.

Ask me about Joyce next year. Let me see a little more. He’s just 7-0.

I think Canelo will finish his contract with DAZN as long as he doesn’t lose badly. Canelo is only 28 and he will be finished the contract by the time he’s 32 or 33. No fighter who makes the kind of money Canelo does walks away before then. Canelo will be fine. It’s not like he has to go undefeated.

lomachenko-pedraza-fight (6)

Dear Bread,
 
 Thanks for the great mailbag every week. It’s my Saturday lunchtime ritual! I feel like you are gradually giving me a boxing education. I finally feel like I am starting to glimpse what’s really happening in the ring although obviously you can be the judge of that ????
 
 Just wanted to share my thoughts on these two greats having just watched YouTube clips of both.
 
 Can’t help but be amazed by Tyson’s ability to throw every single shot with bad intentions. His stamina was hugely underrated in my opinion. Even more underrated, however, is his defence in particular his head movement, which setup his offence beautifully. All while fighting in the danger zone. When he smelled blood, he damn near always got his prey! I know I’m in the minority here but when I watch peak Tyson, I find it difficult to envisage few heavyweights in history standing up to his barrage, particularly early on yet many have him way down on the list of 90s heavyweights let alone the ATG list.
 
 I am also amazed at Loma’s sense of distance. The way he swarms reminds me of a shoal of fish surrounding a human in water and seemingly responding in perfect unison to said humans movements ahead of time. It really is a sight to behold. I think we should appreciate Loma whilst we have him. Regardless of what happens in his career here on out, I think he belongs amongst the all time greats based on the eyeball test and current accomplishments not to mention that he seemingly always seeks out the most difficult fight available at the time, a rarity in this era. I just hope that his peers will step up to the plate these next couple of years so that he can demonstrate his greatness to the world. This trend of waiting people out saddens me! 
 
Finally, what are your thoughts on Joe Joyce? I find myself really rooting for him. He seems really likeable and obviously Abel Sanchez sees something in him he likes. He mentioned his adaptability when interviewed for a podcast recently. However, I am concerned that he’s a little robotic. He appeared much looser when weighing less in the WBS. David Haye, who I loved to watch, also lost his explosiveness and spontaneity when he packed on weight for his heavyweight return.  Despite this, it seems that Joyce’s relentlessness makes him a difficult night for any heavyweight especially those that don’t have the power to deter him.

Thank you again for the great weekly read.

All the best

Oscar 

Bread’s Response: Mike Tyson had freakish ability and he shows great on video at certain stages of his career. Tyson was an elite offensive fighter and he had excellent defensive talent. The issue with Tyson is his twitchy style does NOT age well. Tyson has weird mix of flaws and attributes. Tyson takes a good punch. Watch his fight with Razor Ruddock who is a brutal puncher. But Tyson does not take a sustained beating well. He always capitulates when he takes a beating and just gets stopped. Tyson also didn’t function well while he was fatigued. He didn’t perform well while being tired. Ali and Holyfield did and that’s what separated them from Tyson.

I love Tyson and I think he gets overrated and underrated. He’s a great fighter he just didn’t turn out to be the best heavyweight ever like his fans thought he would be. There are guys who could have stood up to him because their character would have allowed them too. Character is more important than physical tools.

Loma is special. It’s so bizarre to me that people attack his resume and they keep repeating the same dumb comment. He doesn’t have enough fights. Loma has 12 championship fights, that’s more than Mikey Garcia and Keith Thurman. It’s absurd. Loma has taken on the best available guy through 3 divisions and he unified. So what he lost. Who else in boxing would face Salido in their 2nd fight and give up 3 lbs over the weight and still fight? Then take on Gary Russell in his very next fight? Seriously no one in boxing would have the courage to do that. Not one active fighter. If Loma goes 1-2 his career is OVER.

Loma is a HOF already. I wouldn’t call him an ATG. If he beats these young guns at 135 then I would call him an ATG. But that’s a tall order.

Everyone is asking about Joe Joyce. I think he needs some time. He may be one of those guys who’s sum total outweighs his parts. I don’t know. He doesn’t blow up the eyeball test but some guys don’t and still do well.

Hey Bread,

I was wondering about a few things:

1. What can a slow fighter do to beat a faster one? If both are of comparable ability and size, what can the slower of the two do in order to get their punches landing. I was rewatching Froch vs Ward and noticed what I thought was a speed difference. I was wondering what you would advise a fighter to do if he was up against a noticeably quicker one? Also ae there any historical examples that are worth watching? If so, what did the slower one do?

2. Same question and considerations as above but instead what can a fighter do against a more experienced fighter in order to win? Seems like experience usually is a huge factor when matchmaking doesn’t have two fighters of similar experience in the ring against one another.

Thanks for your time. I learn so much from these weekly question and answer mailbags! 🙂

Jay

Bread’s Response: A slower fighter can work on a few things. First off you can improve speed. You can do all out wind sprints which make the whole organism faster. You can stay in your set. Meaning stay in a punching position and be ready to fire.

A slower fighter can also become QUICKER which happens in the mind not the body. They can learn their opponents moves and process them quickly. They can time them with anticipation.

Bernard Hopkins vs Oscar De La Hoya, Juan Manuel Marquez vs Derrick Gainer and Vernon Forest vs Shane Mosley. Timing beat Speed in all of these fights.

Experience can be tricky. Sometimes it can be a factor sometimes it’s overrated. It’s overrated in when a phenom like Teofimo Lopez fights a guy with 30 fights and he blows him out. It’s a factor when a fighter has the talent but he hasn’t been on a big stage and he makes small mistakes because he doesn’t understand the moment.

It really just depends. Some fighters have to go through things to understand them. Some fighters can get through them the very first time they go through them because they process moments well.

One more thing about experience. I often hear about experience with certain fighters and I laugh. Yes they have experience and they fought tough fights. But the announcers and promoters don’t talk about why. The reason certain fighters get experience is because they are limited fighters and they don’t pose the threat for the upset so they get to fight everyone. In my opinion a fighter who doesn’t have to fight certain fights and still do then I give him more credit. For example Canelo….Canelo’s experience is real experience because he fights people he doesn’t have to fight, he chooses to fight them.

What’s up Bread?

I just read that Felix Verdejo is scheduled to face Bryan Vasquez for the WBA “gold” lightweight title (I don’t recognize obscure titles either but stay with me).

https://www.boxingscene.com/verdejo-vasquez-wba-gold-title-on-crawford-khan-card–136631
 
My question is about a potential fight between Verdejo and Teofimo Lopez assuming Verdejo wins and since both are promoted by Top Rank.  Who would you favor right now and why?

The article goes on to state the the winner of Verdejo-Vasquez would go on to face the winner of Robert Easter Jr. and Rances Barthelemy and I’m surprised that Arum and Top Rank aren’t getting Lopez in on this potential round robin action.  How do you think Teofimo matches up with Easter Jr. and Barthelemy? What about Richard Commey? (another Top Rank fighter).  Can’t wait to hear your thoughts

Peace,

William in West Palm

Bread’s Response: I would favor Lopez over Verdejo. It’s something not right about Verdejo. I was never blown away about him but his struggles are real. Top Rank’s matchmaking is the best in history. If a Top Rank prospect struggles as bad as Verdejo something is not right. I think Verdejo does not like getting hit and he doesn’t train with the vigor of a great fighter. I say that because of how badly he fades in fights and how he loads up on every punch jumping in and out instead of just working and letting the ko come. When a fighter forces kos it’s a sign of panic and uncertainty. Confident fighters don’t care if they go rounds for the ko. Verdejo is fortunate that he hasn’t been thrown to the wolves. I wish him the best he seems like a nice young man but fighting Lopez would be a bad for him. I hope he gets it together because he has the talent, I think it’s a mental thing with Verdejo.

I think Lopez beats Berthelemy. I would want to see him vs Easter and Commey. I don’t have a winner in those fights. Lopez would have his work cut for him vs those two guys.

Give me your Porter vs Ugas pick. I know you’re high on Ugas can he pull it off? By the way great call on Lara vs Castano. I was going to bet Castano but after you picked Lara close I laid off. It was a draw but I thought Castano would outwork him and smash him late. Thanks you saved me a few hundred bucks.

Bread’s Response: I felt as though Lara would be right with Castano and he was. Castano is good but on video he didn’t blow me away.

Ugas can win but I don’t know if he will. Shawn Porter is a winner. He has 2 losses but he carries himself like a winner. Porter gets underrated because he’s not visually pleasing. People don’t like how Shawn looks when he fights. He’s not a brutal ko puncher like Gervonta Davis. He doesn’t have Loma’s other worldly skills. He’s not a scientist like Terence Crawford. So the media and fans seem to underrate Porter.

I don’t get into that when I’m analyzing a fighter. Who you like to watch and who you think will win a fight is different and you have to be smart enough to separate the two. I think Shawn Porter is an excellent fighter and one of the 5 best welterweights in the world.

This is a really tough pick for me because Ugas is so hot right now. I think Ugas is stronger than Porter and will push him back. My prediction is Porter will be the boxer in this fight not the swarmer he usually is. But Porter is versatile enough to do that. He can box again he just doesn’t look like Terence Crawford while boxing.

Ugas has about a 45% chance to win this fight. He’s hot but I still think he has a lapse in every fight where he just doesn’t look right to me. It’s a bizarre fade and he doesn’t take the best punch.

So here goes. I’m going to take Porter in an early FOY candidate. I think Ugas will back Porter up and crack him big time. But I think Porter who is the A side will display some boxing skills that he doesn’t get credit for. He will get on his bounce and bounce in and out and score with a double jab.

I think this will be controversial and don’t be surprised at another draw. Ugas will probably think he won. But Cuban fighters rarely get these type of decisions and I don’t expect Ugas to get it here. I like Porter by razor close decision.

Who did you have winning the Lara vs Castano fight? It seems like Lara is a shot fighter who just can’t do enough to win a big fight clearly. What’s your take?

Bread’s Response: I thought the fight was 7-5 Lara or a draw. It was tough to score in my opinion. There were like 3 or 4 swing rounds which is a lot and Castano closed strong to make it close. He possibly won 3 rounds in a row at the end to close the fight. I knew the scores would be tight looking at the fight because Castano was giving the impression he was hustling. And often times impression is more influential than reality.

I don’t think Lara is a SHOT at all. I think Lara has aged well. Smooth boxers with good jabs age well. Lara only has about 30 fights. He can still pull the trigger. When a fighter constantly leaves shots on the table that’s a sign of SHOTTAGE. Lara still processes and lands that left hand on everyone.

I think there is and was a misinterpretation of Lara. People tried to equate Lara with Guillermo Rigondeaux and Pernell Whitaker. I think he’s a superb boxer but he’s not quite as good as Whitaker and Rigondeaux and it’s nothing wrong with that. People say Lara has lost his legs I think that’s another myth. I think as you get older you become more efficient and Lara found out some things about himself.

Lara knows his left hand is hard and it can hurt people. Lara knows he over moved vs Canelo and that can give the impression he was running. Lara also knows he’s a tough SOB and he doesn’t have to RUN. So he stays in the box more, he’s evolved.

In the rock, paper , scissors of boxing. Pure boxers don’t handle swarmers well. Willie Pep had struggled with Sandy Saddler. Ezzard Charles had struggles with Rocky Marciano. Ray Robinson struggled with Gene Fulmer. Muhammad Ali struggled Joe Frazier. I can go on forever about this.

Lara beat Paul Williams I don’t care what the scorecards said but he was bent over exhausted in that fight because of the swarming. Lara struggled with Carlos Molina. I fight many thought he lost. Lara struggled badly with Alfredo Angulo a fight that was dead even at the time of the stoppage and Angulo was past it. These fights were in Lars’s assumed prime.

So Jarrett Hurd looked at some footage and figured out he could swarm Lara. He said to himself I’m better than Angulo. He called Lara out and he swarmed him. No one really was knocking the door down to fight Lara. Now because elite coaches and fighters see now that the Angulo and Molina fights weren’t flukes, they were hard styles for Lara, look for fighters who can swarm to want to fight Lara. At one time Lara couldn’t get a fight. Now in 2 fights in a row, undefeated fighters who didn’t have to fight him called him out and went looking for him. It’s just how boxing works.

Having a style deficit is no big deal. Every fighter has a fighter who has their number for various reasons. With Lara it’s swarmers. It doesn’t mean he’s shot. It just means he has to figure out a way to get over it. It’s what separates excellent fighters from all time greats. Ali found a way to overcome Frazier 2 out of 3 despite the swarming that gave him fits.

I still believe Lara is a tremendous fighter, but elite swarmers give him fits. It’s just the way it is.

Who do you think have the 10 best chins in boxing at this current moment?

Bread’s Response: In no order let’s see…
GGG has a titanium chin.

Canelo does too.

SSR is a hard man with a hard head.
 
Juan Estrada has a real beard.

Jermall Charlo 160 can take a serious lick and not take a back step.

Shawn Porter has some solid whiskers.

Danny Garcia’s chin is extremely underrated.

Deontay Wilder has shown a good chin. He should get more credit for attacking fighters 30+ heavier and yet he’s the one dropping them. He gets more credit for his punch but he can take it.
Murat Gassiev has some tough whiskers.

And…..let’s see Big Baby Miller really knows how to take a punch. He stays within himself and he takes a big shot very well.

I know I missed some guys but I did this off the top of my dome.

Wait one minute I have to give an honorable mention to Jean Pascal. I know he was stopped by Krusher Kovalev but lots of fighters with great chins have been stopped. Pascal’s chin deserves lifetime achievement award. What a chin the undersized Pascal has always shown. Boy can he take it!

Dear Bread,

Hope you’re doing great.

Man, I’m fascinated by the Spence – Garcia match-up. Maybe I’m just caught by the hype, Conte, “Mikey sees something”, but I can’t wait.
Style-wise, Spence is my fave with Hurd and GGG (all pressure fighters, though really different) but my heart is going with Mikey.

Spence looks like the goods. The Brook performance tells a lot. Now, let me explore a crazy idea with you. I’m not saying it’s true, it’s a hypothesis.
I’m not nitpicking his resume because as you know, besides 1 or 2 fighters, I believe we can do it for everybody.
But let’s face it, Brook is pretty much the foundation on everything we really know about Spence.

LoGreco, Vargas, and Barrera are journeymen at best.
Algieri went life and death against Prov at 140 and gave Khan a tough fight but had no power, felt bad and traded with Spence.
Peterson was past his prime and used the wrong strategy and went in there as a huge underdog.
Ocampo was way over his head and it was way too early for him.

So my point is, the real thing is Brook.

Now, if we really think about Brook:

A competitive fight against Porter than he won on cleaner punches.
Ultra soft defenses against local brit journeymen.
A history of major struggles with the weight. Then the man goes two weight classes up for Golovkin. He already naturally struggles for 147 but bulk up to 160. In terms of muscles, he was a beast. Not a huge MW but very athletic for the weight and walking around heavy.
He goes all in and gives GGG, the slower pressure destructor (aging tho) troubles for 40 seconds in a round before getting destroyed and stopped.
In the meantime, GGG manages to break one of his eye sockets. Spence destroyed the other one. But… Who tells us he didn’t weaken his other eye sockets? It’s not like one punch did it?

Now the Spence Brook performance. We have a WW considered one of the best (eye test) with only 1 good win (Porter) that most judged super close and 3 or 4 years prior.
The guy, already struggling, goes up, packs muscles, get destroyed and goes down.
It must be even harder than before.
He fights Spence.
He’s up on the Scorecards.
What happens? He gets slowly walked over and annihilated by Spence’s pressure and body punching.
Spence stops him by breaking him down and also because of the eye sockets (and there were a few head bumps in the fight).

It ended in the 11th.

Now, would have a healthy brook (no weight trouble, no fragile eye-sockets) been able to last one more round?
It’s actually highly possible, right?
Therefore he could have won since the fight was very close. Right?

By following this little “what if” story (I’m not saying I’m right) what is really left for Spence is no more level of competition but eyeball test. And I must agree, he passes the test.

Add to that him getting hurt clean in his 9th pro-fight.
Add Mikey’ skills, Conte’s work, weird confidence, him picking Spence (he could have made as much if not more money against Pacquiao, Thurman, Garcia or even huge UK showdowns vs Crolla and Campbell and even a solid fight against Linares pre-Cano loss).
Add him not moving his head and accepting getting hit to hit, against a precise sharpshooter with solid power like Mikey. Add all the underdogs’ stories.
Add finally, despite what everybody says, that deep down, although he can’t lose, he probably don’t fear it in his bones. He intellectually knows he has to prep for Garcia and can’t afford a loss or even a decision win, but in terms of primal instincts, he’s not the one up against a real challenge, which affects you on a subconscious level and allowed huge upsets in history.

All this, for me, makes it interesting and special.

Finally, I disagree with the Canelo Khan comparison and GGG Brook.
In those fights, the heavier fighters were both bigger punchers at their weight AND a better technical fighter.
Canelo is much more complete than Khan. Just slower, but better in every other department. And his mind is quicker.
GGG is a much better boxer than Brook, better amateur, better jab, and better ring IQ.
It was a lost cause.
Although Spence is very complete, if he has an A in everything, Mikey has an A+.
So in this instance, Mikey actually has things for him: Better timing, better footwork (although I imagine Spence has some, I’m saying who has the best), Better fundamentals, Better and more experience.

What do you think? I assume you agree because of your 65/35% view. It must surprise a lot of people.

Match Making

Mikey Garcia vs Danny Garcia
Mikey vs Brook 2017
Mikey vs Peterson 2018
Mikey vs Bundu

Spence vs Broner
Spence vs Hurd
Spence vs Soro
Spence vs J-Rock
Spence vs Jermell
Thanks for your time and looking forward to hearing back from you on Saturday!

Take care man.
Best,
Diego G

Bread’s Response: This is a great comment and I don’t usually like OVER analysis.

I agree that Spence does not have a deep resume for the praise that has been reaped upon him. I saw him on some of the P4P list before he even defeated Brook. Brook is the lone stand out on Spence’s resume but winning top fights in dramatic fashion is never easy. For example we take Spence’s wins over Chris Algieri and Lamont Peterson for granted. Spence dominated both of them. But let’s look at things from a different perspective. Danny Garcia struggled with Lamont Peterson. Amir Khan Struggled with Chris Algieri. Shawn Porter struggled with Julio Diaz and Adrian Granados who are bout the same level as Algieri and Peterson. Keith Thurman just struggled with Josesito Lopez who is also about the same level as Peterson and Algieri.

I am in no way knocking or over critiquing any of those fine fighters. But Errol Spence dominates the level of fighter that many other stand out welterweights struggle with. It may seem like I take up for Spence often but I just call it down the line. He does not have a great resume but he does put on great performances. He dominates guys that others struggle greatly with.

I don’t fault Spence for his resume because before he won the title he was considered not to be worth the risk. After he won the title most of the top guys treated the IBF belt like a prostitute with a bad cold sore, no one wanted to go near it. It’s just the TRUTH.

They couldn’t convince the older welters to fight him when he was coming up. And they couldn’t convince the stand outs to challenge him for his title. The only reason Mikey Garcia became a viable opponent is because no one else wanted the WORK. It’s simple.

I don’t believe Brook was winning against Spence, I believe he was doing well. I don’t want to get into his weight struggles because Brook doesn’t ask for smoke at 154. He could have already got a title shot and he’s still waiting. I think Brook is a tweener. He’s probably better at 150 but there is no such thing at 150lb weight division.

I also don’t want to speculate how damaged he was. Spence’s pressure added to that damage. Brook was TIRED when he got stopped. Spence’s body punching was the biggest factor.

Maybe Brook could have lasted the distance if he wouldn’t have bulked up to 160 and then came back down but maybe not. Spence is the better fighter and until Brook attempts to reestablish himself then that’s just what it is.

Here is where we agree. Mikey does see something. We will find out what March 16th. I think he sees Spence as a BULL but a tamable one. I suspect he thinks Spence is too easy to hit. I’m going to stand by that.

I also suspect that you are correct about Errol’s mindset. I believe Errol trained his butt off and I believe he’s 100% ready. But I don’t think he feels threatened deep down in his bones. I know the type of threat you’re talking about. It’s the threat Tony Harrison felt vs Jermell Charlo. It’s the life and death threat that Holyfield felt vs Tyson in that 1st fight. I get it. Now here is the thing maybe Errol doesn’t need that type of threat. Maybe he will do his thing without it.

But I know from experience a degree of complacency kicks in when a fighter is not threatened to a certain degree. I truly believe Mikey wanted this fight because he knows that this type of threat moves you differently. I believe this type of threat is why Ray Leonard didn’t fight a comeback before Hagler. He knew he would be ON that night because of the perception of the fight.

The Canelo vs Khan comparisons are off. Canelo is a better fighter than Khan regardless of weight. We don’t know who is better yet between Mikey and Errol. I don’t know if the GGG vs Brook comparison is correct yet. Brook was very highly regarded before that fight. Let’s see what happens.

I don’t want to get into who has better this or better that. This is not the NFL combine. It’s boxing. You may be able to do everything better than your opponent but once you get in front of each other you can’t beat him. Hearns vs Barkley….. Often times unseen qualities and timing or reactive quirks decide fights. Mikey may be better, but what if Spence is just too strong and too busy and Mikey can’t take his punches. It will be a mute point.

I think it’s a 65/35 fight because in this era, the experts don’t know much about boxing. They don’t know that welterweights beat up middleweights in the gym often. They don’t realize that the smaller guy often has advantages if he can take the punch. They also don’t realize how heavy these guys walk around when they aren’t fighting. Some can cut more weight but most are 25+ over the weigh in weight regardless of the division. Last but not least a fighter with a good jab, good boxing ability and can control the ring always has a shot. Mikey has all of that. Errol is a beast but he’s a human being. He can have an off night. Anything can happen in boxing. 65/35 is fair.

Mikey vs DSG toss up ask me after March 16th.
Mikey vs Brook 2017 toss up ask me after March 16th
Mikey vs Peterson 2018, Mikey by decision
Mikey vs Bundu  Mikey by late stoppage.

Spence vs Broner,  Spence by tko
Spence vs Hurd I have no idea, I have to see how Errol would do with a real 154.
Spence vs Soro I would take Spence because I think Soro is very good but not quite the very best.
Spence vs Jrock, I have no idea again. But I think it would be a shoot out.
Spence vs Jermell who knows. They spar often. I hear Spence gets the better of it but that’s just sparring. Again I would have to see Errol vs an elite 154. With guys who rely on strength and endurance it’s tricky when they move up. It’s not the same moving from 126 to 130. Than it is moving from 147 to 154. If you notice the only welterweight champions who have moved up to win titles at 154 recently are from the previous era.

Manny did it at a catchweight. Floyd did it a few times but Cotto and Oscar were also smaller fighters who moved up also. And Canelo was a catchweight. Vernon Forest did it about 10 years ago. Shane Mosley did it but most think he got a gift decision vs Oscar. Cory Spinks also did but once he got to 154 he started losing badly. K9 hurt him bad. Tito Trinidad did it in 2000 and he was the most beastly out of all of the welters who moved up to junior middleweight during the time span I covered.

So think about this. None of the top welters of this era besides Kell Brook has even attempted to move up 154. And Floyd, Oscar and Cotto did it kind of recent but they are from another era. I believe Errol is like the welters of the bigger and better eras. But he has to prove it. Again weight jumping after 147 is much harder than it is at the lower weights.

Who do you think is the Fighter of the Decade? I actually think Usyk is leading the list. Thoughts?

Bread’s Response: I love Ollie Usyk. But he’s not the FOD yet. He would have to win a heavyweight title before the year is out. Usyk accomplished a lot by winning 4 belts at cruiserweight but what is Usyk’s best win. Has he beat a truly great fighter. I’m not nitpicking but Usyk just hasn’t done enough.

Loma has done more than Usyk in this decade and he’s not a top 4 o5 candidate.

For my money Floyd Mayweather is in the running. Some won’t like it because after 2015 he basically was done fighting but he has a Cotto win, Pacman win, Canelo win and Mosley coming off of Margarito. That’s 4 HOF wins. Don’t get mad just be objective.

Roman Gonzalez also deserves serious consideration. Gonzalez was a great fighter for a very long time and no one realized it. He won titles from 105-115, I believe he’s the 1st or 2nd fighter ever to do that. Maybe Leo Gamez was 1st. But Choc beat some serious dudes that we only appreciate now. Juan Estrada is ridiculously GOOD. Choc consistently fought the best available guy for a decade. If you go fight by fight he has a real case.

Andre Ward is my tentative pick but I want to see how the decade plays out. Ward has Froch, Dawson, Kovalev and the Super 6 title. If Kessler would have came in 2010 instead of 2009 he would be an easier pick.

Canelo will most likely win being a media favorite and active right now. He hasn’t been dominant but boy he’s had a great decade. GGG, Lara, Trout, Cotto 3 division titles. If he beats Jacobs convincingly he will most likely win it. The positive PED test and close decisions hurt him in my opinion.

Manny Pacquiao will never run a gauntlet. His matchmaking is not careful enough. But since 2010 he beat Clottey, Margarito, Marquez, Rios with 1 loss, Algieri while undefeated, Bradley twice HOF, Matthysee and Broner. Who would have thought Manny would beat Broner at 40 years old. Broner is 11 years younger. If Manny beats Spence, Garcia or Thurman he will get some votes.

But before I say who is the FOD. Let these last few months play out. Mikey Garcia is fighting Errol Spence this year. Loma may take another tough fight. Canelo may lose to Jacobs. Choc may win another title at 115 which would be ridiculous. The decade ain’t ova yet.

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