DAILY BREAD TUESDAY EDITION
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
Froch, Ward, Bradley and more....
So Bread, you seem to often pick against Carl Froch [who just stopped Lucian Bute]. I am not saying this to have a shot at you, it is just fact. And even without your boxing eye, anyone could see why you pick against Froch. Even in this fight where he just smashed Bute up for 5 rounds, he at times looked clumsy. I didn't come out with an official prediction because I am very biased towards Froch. The story of him wanting to give up 200k for the Glen Johnson fight so it could be held in his home town of Nottingham says it all. But I thought he could lose to Bute easily too. Yet when we doubt him, he shows he can just walk through fights and out macho guys. In fact the only guy to beat him (the fight against Mikkel Kessler was close but Froch deserved the decision that went to Kessler) is Andre Ward, who is so mentally strong with his faith.
Froch has that inner quality, self belief. You have said this many times and pointed out how important it is. So my point of discussion is are these inner qualities that are impossible to see (determination, belief, spirit, heart, pride, intelligence) more important than actual physical skills and abilities (speed, defence, power, footwork, stamina) in boxing?
Timing beats speed, power is one of the most over-rated things in boxing - things you have said that perhaps point to that the mental aspect is more important then the physical aspect. In fights at a street or any basic level it often comes down to who quits first.
Also, I have heard you say (from this mailbag) that power can be improved, can a chin? Amir Khan? Does Bute have hope of a come back at this elite level?
Whether you post this or not I would just like your answer because I respect your opinion. PREACH TO ME BREAD--@JazzTheJourno
Breadís Response: I do pick against Carl Froch. I have been right and wrong. I was horribly wrong in this one. The reason why I pick against him is because you see so many holes when you watch him, but fighting character is hard to measure. You expect guys to be able to sharpshoot him but itís obviously not as easy it seems to be.
What is on the inside is much more important than what is on the outside. I would take the inner qualities any day. They are just hard to see. Donít get me wrong, you have to have some talent. If you have all heart and no talent then you will be slurring your words by the time youíre 30. But inside is 75% of the fighter to me. In fact I believe you push yourself in training to not only condition yourself physically but to condition yourself physically. To insure your mind of what your body CAN do.
Carl Froch does not look very good to me. But that man has so much self belief, he has willed himself to a possible HOF career. Thatís how much inner qualities mean. And I donít mean that as an insult. I mean that as the ultimate compliment. Froch is an animal. He is willing to fight, anybody, anywhere at anytime and he believes he can win. He almost brainwashes himself in a good way. I can think of a few fighters that if they had Frochís inside they would be unbeatable and boxing would be a better sport.
As a trainer I believe I can teach and improve everything. Call me crazy but thatís how I feel. Scientifically I donít know if you can improve a chin because I do believe that a lot of taking a punch is genetic makeup. But I believe there are things you can do to prevent yourself from getting knocked out.
See there are different types of knockouts. There are guys who sort of capitulate and ALLOW themselves to be knocked out, like letís say a Mike Tyson. There are guys who run out of gas and canít function under fatigue like say a Jermaine Taylor. Then there are guys who get clipped. Anybody can get clipped.
But there are neck and jaw strengthening exercises you can do to prevent your head from snapping really hard. You can improve a fighterís defense so he wonít get hit so CLEAN. You can condition the hell out of him so stamina is not so much an issue. And you can teach him to fight smarter and recognize and SOLVE when heís being set up. Did you see how Mikel Kessler was setting Allan Green up for a shot over the top, by touching his body? Did you see how Carl Froch was pausing then rushing in on Bute with NO deterrent? Those are things a fighter can be taught to recognize and SOLVE before he gets knocked out.
So yes I believe I can improve anything on a fighter, if heís willing to listen and I have enough time.
That fight surprised me. It seemed like Bute didn't know how slip a right hand. Everytime Froch threw the right hand from round 2 on Bute just closed his eyes and I guess prayed that he missed and got clocked repeatedly. In the beginning it looked like Bute was trying to walk Froch into a body shot, but when he got the opportunity he wasn't letting his hands go on a consistent basis. Great win by Froch though he imposed his will on Bute and got the stoppage. It seems like in the 168 division if you go on the road most likely you're going to lose the bad part of this fight is Ward never has to fight Bute because of the way he dominated Froch. People will apply the triangle theory when it comes to Bute and Ward which sucks I really wanted to see those two square off. I'm not sure if Bute is going to take that rematch being as though he took such an ass-kicking the first time around. Where do you think Froch and Bute goes from here?
Breadís Response: You know what? We got cheated out of a super fight. Although we all assume now that Ward would have destroyed Bute, had they fought after the Super 6 and both were riding high an undefeated it would have been more of a pick 'em fight. Yes you are absolutely correct, people will apply the triangle theory and no one would think Bute has a chance against Ward. Carl Froch just indirectly took a huge pay day from Andre Ward.
Froch actually has lots of places to go. He can seek rematches with Kessler and Ward, the only two men to have beaten him, he can fight the two young up and coming English kids at 168. James DeGale and George Groves. He could fight Bernard Hopkins and he could fight Nathan Cleverly. Carl Froch just added at least two more years and about 5 million dollars to his bank account. Good for him, he really needed that victory. Back to back losses to the two perceived best super middleweights in the world at 34 years old, would not have been a good look. Stand up Carl Froch.
Bute is in trouble in my opinion. Everybody will attempt to BIG DOG him from here on out. If A fighter can take his punch, he will probably lose to all of the top level guys he fights from here on out.
This my first time writing in to you, but I've been following boxingtalk.com since 2005. First of all, I want to say that I appreciate the insight, knowledge-base, and honesty that you bring to the mailbag. I don't think it is a stretch to say that you have the premier mailbag in all of sports at this time.
Of all the times that I could have written to you, I decide to write in after Froch vs Bute. The level of anticipation for this fight for me was only second to Mayweather vs Cotto, thus far in 2012. Although brief and one-sided, I think the fight ended up being interesting and exciting in its own way. Allow me to say now that I picked Froch to win this fight, but I thought it would be a razor thin decision after a "life and death" type of match-up. Froch and Bute surprised me. I believe that Froch is moderately skilled in an awkward and unconventional sort of way, but this fight re-affirms my belief that his true gifts are his confidence, toughness, and will. I can't believe some of the shots he was hitting Bute with in the first few rounds. He was walking in, fairly squared up and winging some wide shots from his hips... that were landing!. Props to Froch. Once he found something that worked, he dared Bute to reverse the course/trend and he could not. I will say that once Froch starting trapping Bute on the ropes his punches seemed a bit shorter, crisper, and faster. As for Bute, I am surprised that he could not stop or take advantage of the way Froch was walking in. He landed a few nice straight lefts, but... Obviously, those ferocious combos that Froch hit Bute with eventually got him out of there, but at some point in maybe the second or third round it seemed like began to be intimidated by Froch's determination. Don't want to be a "prisoner of the moment" and label Bute as over-rated. Maybe just a bad night to a superior fighter who doesn't quite get his due? I don't know. What are your thoughts?
Corey in Chicago
Breadís Response: First I want to say I was WRONG in my prediction. I was way off. And yes I personally overrated Bute. I am really shocked that a 30-0 fighter, who was in the top 10 to 15 p4p fighters in the world, was that unable to deal with what he saw from Carl Froch. See anybody can lose a fight. But a top fighter should never lose like that. He wasnít outboxed by a superior style, he didnít get caught cold early, he was completely undressed.
Bute could not even adjust to a man walking in a straight line with his hands down looping a right hand at him. Iím not saying itís easy but it shouldnít be that hard for a world class fight. There were simple things that Bute could have done to curtail Frochís rushes. All Bute did was back straight up against the ropes. I donít want to be too hard on Bute because he seems to be a really classy individual but that was a horrible way to lose. Think about this, Allan Green, Arthur Abraham and Jermaine Taylor all received harsh criticism for their losses in the Super 6. None of them were beaten as bad and as easily knocked out as Bute was against Froch.
I also want to point out something. In these last couple of years Canada has had three fighters that have come to the forefront. Lucian Bute, David Lemiuex and Jean Pascal. All three have been exposed BIG TIME at the top level. Those guys donít have any solutions when you back them up and become aggressive. The coaches up there are under the gun in my opinion and I donít believe this is a coincidence. We have some great trainers in the US and there are some excellent ones in the UK, you can tell by the little things. The reason why Jean Pascal has not been knocked out like Bute and Lemiuex have is because he has more character and he is physically tougher. When he gets beat on, he turns into a dog and fights like a crazy manÖ.
You picked Bute over Froch. I can't recall if that pick was before, or after, it was made public the fight would be in Froch's hometown of Nottingham England. Ring Magazine published an article entitled "Can Experts Pick a Winner." It's an ongoing series where experts pick the winner for big boxing fights. Astonishingly, perhaps, the tally was extremely tight. In fact, it was the cloest vote since the inception of the series. 12 experts picked Bute, 10 picked Froch, Out of those picks, 7 were split decision picks; not one expert predicted a knockout. http://ringtv.craveonline.com/blog/173005-bute-or-froch-the-experts-choose-the-winner Do you see it as a close right? Are you still picking Bute? How do you see it playing out? What's your take on why HBO/Showtime passed on the fight?
It was recently discussed in your mailbag that African-American fighters have it harder in the fight game, which given the historical record sounds 100% right. I just thought I would mention that another group I've noticed with the a similar plight currently, without doing any research, so correct me if I'm wrong, are non-Mexican, non-Puerto Rican Latinos, and to a lesser extent, Europeans; they seem to have it tough making it big on US Networks. Consider Anselmo Moreno (Panama), Erislandy Lara (Cuban), Sergio Martinez (Argentinian) (to an extent, he's still a big name, but imagine if he were American and spoke english or Mexican/Puerto Rican, he'd be a rock star), Yuriokis Gamboa (Cuban), Rigandouex (Cuban) Gabriel Campillo (Spanish), and Richard Abril (Cuban). They all performed great recently on the big stage and have found themselves without big-name opponents, at least not befitting their performances, while their American/Mexican/Puerto Rican counterparts don't seem to have that problem. Golden Boy chose Paul Williams for Canelo, when let's be honest, Lara beat him hands down and is higher ranked in the WBC organization. Jean Pascal choose Tavoris Cloud, not Campillo etc. Mares comes off an excellent win and mentions a ton of people he would like to face, but no mention of Rigo.
Of course, styles make fights etc., and there are many issues at play. At some point though it has to boil down to bottom line, viewership and ticket sales. There just aren't enough Cuban, Argentinian, Spanish boxing fans to create star effect. The networks would rather have a star American, Mexican, or Puerto Rican. Even Dimitry Pirog, pretty, clean cut Caucasian guy, knocks out a rising American star on HBO, and they don't even interview him afterward! It's not like HBO/Showtime are clamoring to get him back on their networks either. Maybe he can sell in Brighton Beach, but he doesn't have Kelly Pavlik potential.
Why do you think the Klitschko's haven't been accepted by American boxing fans? The heavyweight champions of the world for many years with high knockout percentages are Caucasion, yet they don't satisfy the "great white hope" concept. Heck, if they dominate for another couple years, they can literally lay claim to being on top of the glamour division in boxing for a whole decade. Caucasion or not, Americans don't relate. Who knows? Perhaps, they don't sound Texas or East LA; they eat perogis, not burgers. Anyway, it's an interesting and complex issue. What's your take on it all? Sorry for the rambling.
Breadís Response: You have a great point Grant. In fact Kevin Perry from Ringtalk was just expressing the same thing to me. Fighters definitely get mistreated because of ethnicity but I truly believe this is because of lack of promotion not lack of fan support.
For example I have a brother who lives in South Florida. The Cubans down there really stick together. They have Civic Groups, their own communities, social clubs you name it. Look and see where the Arguello/Pryor fight was held. In the Orange Bowl in Miami. The Cubans embraced Arguello. I think they would embrace some of Cuban standout fighters also, if they were consistently showcased down there.
Now just think about this. A little research and we could solve some problems. If you have a fighter from a less populated ethnicity, then research and find out where there is a large population of those people residing. Then promote and showcase that fighter there.
Look what Naseem Hamed did. People donít realize he had a big HBO fight in Detroit, because of the large Yemen community there. Tomaz Adamek does large up in Newark because of the large Polish community there. I have said many times. Promote fighters in front of their people. Boxing is a racial then regional sport. But too many promoters take the easy way out.
You named some really good fighters who keep getting passed over because of lack of promotional push.
I have to agree with one of your writers. You should be on a higher platform. Whether itís a similar path Max Kellerman took, like being on ESPN Friday night fights, then HBO, you need to be out there giving the masses the goodsÖQuality Goods! What I mean by that is an unbiased agenda with clear and concise information. Iíve been reading your responses to mailbag writers for a minute now and your inside scoop, knowledge and articulation of what you know are all excellent and appears to be spot on. I say appears, because Iím not privy to it being actually true or just ďBreadísĒ opinion. Regardless, itís insightful to me and Iím sure many others. What I would like to know is what do you have lined up for yourself in this career? Master trainer, commentator, all of the above or what?
In regards to the Pacquiao vs. Bradley fight, I really donít know. I saw Kendall Holt pop Bradley with a solid punch that floored him. Bradley got up and went on to win that fight, but I look at it like this. How good is Bradleyís chin and whatís his performance like against southpaws? If Pacquiao hits him from the southside it may be lights out. What worries me is Iím not sure how strong Bradley is. Is he strong Bread? Does his blows have that sneaky power behind it similar to a Antonio Tarver? Tarver doesnít appear to be strong, but when he touches you, you respect him. See what I mean? Does Bradley have that or is it simply his work-rate and tenacity in the ring that gets him over? I know his stamina is top-notch, so I'm not worried about that part. How has his competition been? Holt, Alexander, CasamayorÖB-C, B and passed his prime type fighters. Outside of these guys, I havenít seen anything else Bradley has done. I do like him and I love his attitude going into this fight. That said, I love to see the upset, because after watching HBO's portrait of a man show featuring him, I would like to see it happen for him.
Bread, do what you do and give me the goods on these questions I have.
Breadís Response: Everybody keeps repeating Bradley may have chin problems. But he was only knocked down to my knowledge by one fighter and that is Kendall Holt. I could be wrong but if he has another knockdown it was much earlier in his career. Let me let you in on a boxing secret, not a mainstream secret.
Throw out all of those glossy ko%s, Kendall Holt is one of the top 10 or 15 p4p punchers in boxing. Only the people in the know in the gyms around the country know this. I have worked opposite corners of Kendall in the gym, he can really let them off. The torque he gets on his left hook is insane. You should be applauding Bradleyís chin because he got up from that shot. Kendall is not a better fighter than Manny, but he is just as hard a puncher if not harder.
Yes Bradley is very physically strong. He is probably stronger than Pacquiao. Bradley fought at 152 in the amateurs, he is not a weak man at all. You guys are confusing his punching power with his physical strength, there is a HUGE difference. Bradley does lack punching power and punching technique. That is Mannyís biggest advantage in this fight. But you know how I feel about punching power. Itís only relative to who youíre fighting. Bradley has a legitimate chance to beat Pacquiao. I will give a full Video analysis of the fight next week. I still havenít picked a winner yet.
good day bread,last time ive heard that you were in ringtalk radio,
the writer in that site named pedro fernandez is the biggest manny
pacquiao hater ever,
the guy brags about he has been in the boxing world for so long since
yet ive read the most ridiculious articles in his site....
he used to praise pacman until he moved up in weight..
back in 2007 I was wishing that this guy meets you and have a boxing
with you... i mean he really is the exact opposite of you in terms of
being rational,fair and
condiderate about his opinions..
maybe im saying this because im a huge fan of yours and i just think that
he is nowhere near your knowledge in boxing given the fact that he is
a lot older
keep it up man...
Breadís Response: I actually like Pedro. I had a good time on his show and I wish I could have chopped it up more about specific fighters. One thing I learned early on is that everyone looks at fighters differently. I never get offended. What I will do is try to respectfully challenge an opinion if itís inconsistent.
Here is what I find interesting. Promoters look at fighters from a market value of popularity. In turn matchmakers look at fighters as whom they think can beat who. Trainers look at fighters in a respect of what style the trainer would like to train. Fighters look at other fighters as to who they identify with most. If you have the flashy Olympic type , then other flashy Olympic type will like him. And vice versa. Media guys ride with who they like the best. Simple as that. Itís not an exact science my theory that is, but I do find it to be true 90% of the time.
Just wanted a quick opinion on who you have in the Winky Wright vs. Peter Quillin fight? No plans to bet on this one....just curious on what some of the seasoned vets think.
Breadís Response: I like Quillen. I think Winky is way past it. Heís so inactive and Winky has to be around 40. I think Quillen will be able to punch THROUGH Winkyís high guard. I hear Quillen is limited in the skill department but heís a really strong puncher.
Whats up bread and Butter. Got a mythical matchup question for ya. Been on youtube all night watching some of the old great middleweight fights from the 80s and 90s with fighters like Terry Norris, Julian Jackson, and Gerlald McClellan. How do ou think these 3 in their primes would match up against the Tito Trinidad that fought Fernando Vargas and William Joppy and the Roy Jones that fought James Toney? Keep doing ya thing man, love the mailbags and the site. P from overseas.
Breadís Response: I was actually discussing Gerald McClellan and Roy Jones yesterday. Many people donít realize that McClellan beat Jones in the amateurs. He beat him in the National Golden Gloves and some whisper he should have represented the US in the Olympics. However Jones went on to beat Frankie Liles in the Olympic Trials.
Your match ups are a little off because the Jones that beat Toney was a super middleweight not a middleweight. Comparing him to Terry Norris is a little bit of a stretch because Norris was junior middleweight and never did much over 154lbs. However There were talks of Jones fighting Norris.
I say Jones would be too big and accurate for Norris. I say he would have knocked him out around the 5th round. Jones would be too smart for Julian Jackson. Jackson was a bionic puncher but he never made great adjustments. If he doesnít catch Jones he loses.
McClellan and Jones are relatively the same size. They are both HUGE middleweights. McClellan is the most violent and forceful fighter I have ever laid my eyes on. And I have watched footage of everybody. McClellan was maniacal in his approach. He scored three straight knockouts is his middleweight title defenses. McClellan did his have his flaws however. If you look at his first Julian Jackson fight he went straight back when attacked and he lacked head movement. McCleallan had average defensive reflexes at best. Also the pace he fought early was so crazy, if somebody took him deep waters he could have had trouble.
This fight is very close to me but because I know more about Jones, I say Jones wins. But I wouldnít have been surprised had McClellan beat him. At the time of McClellanís injury, he and Jones were on a collision course and I the oddsmakers would have made it almost a pick em fight with Jones being a slight favorite. Thatís how good McClellan was.
Trinidad would have a much tougher time with the guys you named because he couldnít play safe and fight a defensive fight like Roy. I think Tito would beat Terry Norris but Iím not sure about it. They almost actually fought, both were in Don Kingís stable and they were featured together on plenty of cards. Norris could have outboxed Tito but I think Tito had better control of his emotions. Norris was always going crazy in a fight. Hitting guys when they were down and celebrating like lunatic. I pick Tito.
Anybody who Jackson hits he can knock out. He could hit Tito. This a 50/50 fight for me. I really canít pick a winner. But if you twist my arm I say Tito because I think heís the better fighter, although head to head its super close.
Gerlad McClellan was too strong for Tito. Too much physicality. Tito is dead game but he would make Gerald hurt him bad. This one is easy for me. Think about this for a second. None of the good junior middleweights from the early 90ís moved up to fight McClellan. McClellan was the WBO and WBC middleweight champ from 91-94 and he was with Don King. He didnít fight the top middleweights in James Toney, Roy Jones or Bernard Hopkins. Iím not suggesting they were scared of him. But I am suggesting no one was in a hurry to fight him.
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