DAILY BREAD THURSDAY EDITION
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
I cannot wait for you to break down the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight taking place this weekend. I have tried to watch Bradley's past fights and see what he can do to take away what Manny wants to do. Bradley has spoken of crowding Manny but he must jab his way in and be willing to take some shots to get there. That is a tall order for any fighter. Also because Manny is continually on his toes and moves it is easier said than done to come in and crowd him because he may move out of harms way and shoot the left hand. Anyway I wanted you to take a look at this clip of Thomas Hearns speaking to Tim Bradley how how to get the most pop on your punches.
In watching this clip, I remembered just how huge Hearns was as a welterweight. Who in the world fighting today at welterweight would stand a chance beating him? If Michael Jordan hurt the legacies of cats like Barkley, Malone, Ewing, and Stockton it looks like Sugar Ray Leonard existing probably took away at least some of Hearns' shine because he was just that gifted to be able to beat a super gifted Hearns. How would Manny or Floyd fair against Hearns? You've probably answered before but just curious.
Bread’s Response: Yes I remember when Tommy Hearns was helping Tim Bradley out with his punch technique. It was in Detroit when Bradley was getting ready for the Devon Alexander fight. Of course, it is helpful if Hearns tells you how to throw a right hand. He only has the possibly the best right hand ever.
Hearns actually threw two types of right hands. He threw the straight right hand that snaps at the elbow. He knocked James Shuler out with that one. Then he threw the overhand right that snaps at the shoulder in which he knocked Roberto Duran out with. Hearns would probably need more than a few minutes to correct Bradley’s punch technique because I personally think that’s Bradley’s weakest quality.
He pulls his head off of punches, which causes you to not be accurate. He doesn’t lock his wrist, which is the last part of the snap. And he flails his punches, causing them to land with the inside of the hand and not the knuckle. Hearns’s had NONE of these problems, that’s why he was a much better puncher than Bradley.
Hearns’s would be the best welterweight in the world today if he were fighting and Manny and Floyd probably would have never moved up to the division if he were there. He would be just too much for both guys, especially Manny. Because Manny is offensive and would try to get in on Hearns, I think it would be short night. Think about this, Hearns was effective all the way up to cruiserweight. He would seriously hurt Manny. Floyd could conceivably survive against Hearns, if he ran and played it safe. But if he fought and tried to win he would get knocked out also. Floyd is not as mean or violent as Leonard is to attempt to walk Hearns down late. To be honest those fights are easy for me to pick.
I have to admit a feeling of guilt the past few days because the last couple of bags were heavy on the Bute vs Froch fight and a few things I wanted to write about but felt no as I thought it would be too long. In fact a lot has been said or more appropriately written because of the intensity of the beating that no one kind of saw coming.
If you refresh your memory, you will remember that I questionned you a lot on that fight, in fact as early as when it was signed. Your prediction before the fight was that Bute would win a decision in a barnburner. When I first questionned you, many weeks before you picked Bute with apprehension, and said that you could see Froch stopping him late. (That was my thinking also). Yes the blowout surprised and impressed me! Before the fight I asked you whether you thought Froch was an HOF, you said not yet, but this fight would answer a lot of questions depending on how he won. Yet, after an impressive win, you only upgrade him to "probable?" But "Ain't no thang!" as you're entitled to your opinion. Obviously, in Mike Lafleur's observations, he expresses opinions of the majority in Quebec. Honestly, I think your answer was correct, but I would like to add to your answers to him because he took some liberties with Carl Froch and the glove issue, "fair is fair" I want to point out a few things to him.
First of all, "The glove issue to me is sour grapes". He says that Froch usually takes his gloves off before interviews. Well yeah! that is the custom for all fighters (hello!). He goes on to mention that vs Dirrell, Kessler, Ward, Taylor he removed them. So what? Of all those fights only the one vs Dirrell was home, prior to that he had fought Taylor in Connecticut, and before that had never ventured outside the UK as a pro. The others fights were fought on foreign soil for him. He's finally back home after close to a 2 year hiatus and after a great victory in a homecoming, with reporters he's comfortable with, don't you think that he was probably just in the moment?
Mike questions your judgment for claiming that canandian coaches are under the gun. Well, Breadman I agree with you, let me add: Sorry, his name wasn't mentionned but he's kind of from here too so here we go, Pedro Diaz: I've said enough about him so look at (archives) recent mailbags. However, I remember giving him a break on Odlanier Solis, because I felt he might be a "headcase" and their professional hook up hadn't been long enough. Well, the timeline shows that Solis as an amateur in Cuba accomplished greatness as a 91 kg pugilist, and Pedro had a lot to do with his success. But in 2005, Solis won an amateur world title as a super heavy, 91 +. Pedro was there and allowed him to blow up. Next, he defects and campaigns as a pro 70 pounds over his best weight. But the blowing up process started in Cuba with Pedro.
Russ Amber: Honestly, maybe the best cornerman in this country. Sound advices, multiple tasks guy in a corner. But very controlling personality, and he had D. Lemieux from the amateur ranks on... and taught him everything. He always said that the kid wasn't the most talented and he regretted bringing him up to the pro ranks before he was emotionally ready. His words. I don't blame him for the Rubio and Alcine (by that time, no longer with him, it was M. Ramsey coaching) fiasco because I know for a fact that the promoter pressured them into those fights. Actually, Alcine was a matchmaking error, as they thought he was further gone. The thing they forgot is that nobody wants to look bad at home, so of course the guy was going to show up. Alcine was ready + had the style to trouble him, although I'm still perplexed at some of the tactics he used that night.
Marc Ramsey: Look at his career arch. Relative to his age (NO offense Breadman, age isn't the end all, but outlook can be). Very ambitious guy who knows how to get close to the powerbrokers. Before Pascal, who did he really coach??? He's had Pascal and Antonin Decarie from the amateurs. He grew up with them, before that he boxed a little in the amateurs and was basically in the gym helping out. He's still learning. That's the thing, Pascal achieved a lot without great knowledge around him.
Stephane Larouche: Good young coach, but his corner work? Vs L. Andrade 1 he actually advised Bute to go for the kill and finish strong before the start of round 12. You claim Bute didn't fight the way they planned. Wrong! They did exactly what they planned to do and it backfired. If you look closely, you will see that from the time Bute disposes of Andrade the second time, in the following fights he started standing his ground more and actually looking to hurt guys. Bute's ego inflated and he got the puncher's syndrome. Yet his team allowed it. You say: "the plan was to back Froch up and not letting him come forward too much". In essence disrupt his style. Well, he had been planting his feet the past few fights. You wrote of G. Johnson and another guy (Steven Harvey) "who was passing his feet while punching like Froch". Really? Those guys always spar with Bute, man. They are regulars. If Larouche really mentionned Ward smothering Froch on the inside, then my friend that is absolutely laughable as Bute doesn't fight on the inside, skill he forgot to teach him. You claim "They knew what to expect but on the night Bute didn't deliver." Well yeah! that much is obvious, but don't you think Carl had a lot to do with that???
Larouche himself claimed arrogantly that they had chosen Froch in the buildup. Well, they blew it! Dude somehow with less talent is better. You go on to state: "It happens!" True, but not in this case.
Lastly, you claim "Larouche built Eric Lucas with very minimal talent." "Minimal talent, maximum results". Maybe, but that only goes to show you what you can achieve in boxing when you have a powerful and rich promoter who can maneuver you into the right fights at a time when a division is historically weak. And by the way, Lucas was underrated.
You seem to question the legitimacy of Froch's win on a glove issue, yet mention others like Lucas. Well, since you gave me an opening, how come nobody in Quebec ever questionned the legitimacy of Luca's world title since in 1999-12-10 he loses by tko 12 while looking physically weaker then G. Catley and by 2001-11-30, now in his 30's all of a sudden he develops the power to ko 7 him, with pure strentgh and one technical adjustment (right hook). He basically walks him down and physically hammers him. Then in other fights, the power deserts him again??? (Ok, he did stop a shot D. Thobela). See, how far we can take things???
Sorry for the lenght Breadman, but "I love me my bread with a nice fixing of truth .... man" Haha!!!
Bread’s Response: You seem to have deep insight on the Canadian boxing scene. I won’t dilute your comment with a comment of my own; I will just let the fans get a GOOD read. Thanks.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this fight. First, 24/7 has made me really like Timothy Bradley. He seems to be a family oriented & hard working “on the grind” type cat. He’s what us near 40ish cats call a “G”. I have no doubt that he’d walk thru a towering inferno with gasoline draws on to get what he wants. Bottom line, he’s my kind of guy…more substance that flash. The kind of cat who realizes the real worth of a man is what’s in his heart and soul…not in his driveway or closet. I’m happy he’s getting this big payday.
Now as for the fight, I have two reason why I’m picking Manny. One, I think the “moment” may do Bradley in…especially early. Will all the lights , glimmer, and hype be too much of an unfamiliar distraction? I know he’s walked into enemy territory before but those were fights…this is an EVENT. I’d feel more comfortable for Bradley if this were being held in a sweaty gym or the BLUE HORIZON back in the day! I think Tim’s body language & how well he warms up in the dressing room will be KEY. If he comes out cold, it might be a short night. Two, I’ve said it more than once but his lack of power concerns me. While he doesn’t need TYSON power to win, at some point he will have to at least STING Manny. Bradley is an above average technician but I don’t think he can totally box or out finesse Manny so at some point, this will turn into a FIGHT. As you’ve previously mentioned, the chin + power equation usually determines the winner of all out fights. So since it’s obvious Manny has more power, this may boil down to how well Bradley’s chin holds up. I would compare this situation to Tyson vs. Holyfield I one but Manny (Tyson in this situation) is a much more mentally stable & well rounded fighter than Tyson & Bradley doesn’t have Holyfield’s experience. I would employ some of Evander’s tactics though; smothering, holding, bullying and while I don’t condone head butting tactics, I do think it’s beneficial for Bradley to strategically place his head in CLOSE to where Manny can’t get off shots and FEARS getting butted. The later it goes, the better for Bradley. In all honesty, it may be in the Bradley camp’s best interest to almost “concede” the first 3 or 4 rounds in the way Ray Leonard did in the first Hearn’s fight. Fight smart, don’t catch anything big, and extend this fight into the deeper rounds. Bradley’s conditioning is above reproach so the deeper he takes Manny into the water, the more he can possibly dilute his power; making his own perceived lack of power less of an issue. My mind’s eye tells me that within the first 3 rounds, Manny will catch him with a big shot & Bradley never fully recovers. His boat may stay afloat for a little while and even has his moments but he won’t completely weather the storm. Manny in 9. Much love to Bradley & I hope he does well.
Marcus J. Johnson, SMSgt, USAF
Bread’s Response: Big Sarge, man this has been a hectic week for me. I don’t have a pick yet but I’m almost there. But I do feel you on something. Bradley will have to employ some “tactics” to win. He will have to push the rules slightly in my opinion. One more thing I find ironic. This is the first fight I can remember Manny being in, where I don’t get the feeling the longer it goes, the better it is for him. Manny is usually the most conditioned athlete in the ring. For some reason I get the feeling that Bradley can “put out” more at this point.
Whats good bread n butta? What young up and coming fighters do you think have the potentil to be star caliber fighters on the level of a Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, and Oscar De la Hoya? Being out here overseas I dont get to watch Hbo fights as much as I used to just mainly on youtube and Espn doesn't air Friday Night Fights out here. Wish USA still did Tuesday Night Fights. From what I see, I think Adrian Broner has it in him. He's got the look, the style in the ring, and the swag to be one of those guys. They just need to work on his public speaking a little bit. I was shaking my head when the HBO announce crew had him ringside during the Mayweather/Cotto ppv. Andre Ward could POSSIBLY have it but I dont now if hs style in the ring translates to box office dollars and not sure if he has the personality to sell tickets like that. Chad Dawson blew his opportunity to me and he seems more like a recluse to me who doesn't want the glory. Who would you say?
I think not only is it up to the promoters but it's up to the fighters to market themselves. Floyd always wanted to be a box office attraction and that's why I respect his move from "Pretty Boy" to "Money." A lot of people call it arrogance but I know it was good business because look where he is now. The man is doing talk shows, commercials, Dancing With The Stars, etc. Now he's on that same level Oscar was on in his heyday. Other fighters need to do the same, market themselves through media outlets, appear in music videos, show up at public events, etc. Back in the day you could do it through the Olympics but boxing in the Olympics isn't how it once was. Another way would be the Ric Flair approach "To be the man you have to beat the man," but if someone was to beat Floyd, Manny being the only probably candidate, it would do nothing he's already star. Manny got to where he is at by beating Oscar but he also backed it up by his performances in the ring. I seriously doubt IF Bradley beats Manny he'll get anywhere near that level. Fighters like Cotto and Trinidad got their star power because they had the pride of their entire country behind them so it just crossed over to American soil with their countrymen here and the also backed it up in the ring. If boxing is to continue to really thrive its going to need another stream of stars for that era. Before it was Ali, then it was the 4 horsemen, then it was Tyson, then Oscar, now Floyd and Manolo. Who can possibly be next or do we have to wait a decade or so inbetween? I know you train fighters so what would you do or tell their promoters to get them to that superstar level? Once again always look foward to reading your mailbags and everything on BT. You guys keep doing ya thing. P from overseas.
Bread’s Response: I would tell Promoters to learn about the fighters. Not to only promote them but to market them to a certain audience. For example Tim Bradley and Floyd Mayweather are both black. But they are very different. Bradley seems to be more of the home body type not dripping with swag. The Fed Ex Driver type of guy would love Bradley. Ok Floyd is full of swag. Everytime you see him he’s decked out in Gucci, Louis and Prada. He appeals to more of the urban type or hip hop type. Promoters have to learn the difference. I think Lou Dibella understands that when he was affiliated with Damon Dash the former CEO of Roca Fella Records.
The next true super star is really hard to pick. Sometimes it happens out of nowhere, everything is not preordained. But if I had to guess I would say Andre Ward, Canelo Alvarez and Adrien Broner will be the faces of boxing over the next decade. Ward because of his charisma and ability to speak. If his promoters can “create” a couple of solid opponents for him and Ward can knock a couple of guys out then he’s IT.
Canelo is a Cotto knockout from becoming a superstar. But I will say Canelo may have to “duck” a few fighters because his division is stacked.
Adrien Broner will turn Cincinatti to what Cory Spinks turned St. Luois into. But he will score knockouts. He has the right advisor in Al Haymon and he has the right style. I just hope he doesn’t do anything foolish in the streets. If he stays straight he should be a millionaire many times over by the time he is 30.
What do you think of what Ward had to say about the Bute vs Froch fight? Click the following link http://www.fighthype.com/news/article12547.html
Is it me or didn't he say Bute had to fight another world class guy before they can fight? Which I never understood because he beat Glen Johnson who was added to the tournament, he beat Sakio Bika who Ward fought as a out of tournament fight, and he beat Miranda who beat Allan Green who was in the tournament. What's this crock about him never being asked to leave Oakland? I'm not buying that notion athough he tried to be real respectful in this interview he came off as disingenuous. What are your thoughts?
Bread’s Response: I think Ward is being proactive in his approach. I don’t know if he has been asked to leave Oakland, but I do know Froch nor Kessler has refuted Ward’s claim of them not making him an offer.
I do remember Ward saying Bute should beat another top guy. I don’t know what to say about that, because Bute did beat Johnson, Bika and Miranda. I have never spoken to Ward but I assume he felt that Bute was a little manufactured. He may not have come out and directly said it but I think the Froch victory solidifies his assumptions.
And let me go on record with this. I think these proposed rematches with Froch and Kessler are a little bit transparent. Ward won both of those fights SUPER clean and I have no reason to believe the outcome would be any different.
I would have loved to see Ward face Bute right after the tournament but in NO way do I think he ducked him. Let’s see how things play out from here on out……
What’s up man?? When did Roy Jones leave trainer Alton Merkerson and start having Tom Yankello train him? We talked about this on and off for many years, because I thought Roy should have left Coach Merk after the 1stTarver fight.
Bread’s Response: I really don’t know. But I did see Roy and Yankello working Kendall Holt’s corner in California back in March. Roy has a serious boxing IQ Rob, you would be impressed. I didn’t get a chance to talk shop with him but I did hear him talk. I wish him the best.
Send questions and comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org