DAILY BREAD JULY 4TH EDITION
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
I recall an old mail bag where you ragged on my boy Anderson Silva, regarding boxing saying he was MMA's pound-for-pound number one, but got stopped by a mediocre opponent when he stepped into a boxing ring. I meant to take you to task about it back then, but never got around to it. Not sure if you realized that Silva was no where near MMA's pound-for-pound anything way back in 1998 when that boxing loss took place. As a matter of fact, his first MMA match was only a year earlier in 97, and by the time of that boxing match he only had two MMA bouts under his belt. Kind of makes the point you tried to make irrelevant. Silva is likely a much better boxer now than he was back then also.
Breadís Response: You took my statement wrong. I was trying to show the difference in the evolution of the sports. A guy can get into MMA with limited experience and become a champion in a short time period. In boxing 99.9% of the time, if you are not seasoned for years, you will not have professional success immediately. Nothing more. For the record Anderson Silva is my favorite fighter in all of MMA. I truly respect his skills. Although Iím no MMA expert, my eyes tell me heís the best I have ever seen. I have privately argued with people who told me George St. Pierre is better than Silva. My eyes donít tell me that.
I realise this e-mail is a bit random, you don't have to publish it. But i wanted to share this with you as i really respect your knowledge of the game. You my friend really know your onions as we say in my kneck of the woods. This is about my favourite fighter, no my favourite all-around athlete and sports person. Pernell 'Sweet Pea' Whitaker. This is the man who got me into the sweet science because in my humble opinion he was the sweetest practitioner of this noble art. I have been watching this sport a long time and he is the best i have seen in the last 30 years. I know this is biased, i make no bones about that. But no one did it like Sweet Pete! He is the greatest fighter i've layed eyes on. No disrespect to anyone else and i know my history. Only Duran can equal him as a lightweight.
I remember how people treated him in his heyday. The commentators who scoffed at is evading, his mastery and craftsmanship. They called him a show off. They deriided his extraordinary skills, his wit and art as 'boring' and obstentatious. But for me as a kid growing up i was in awe. I always felt like Pernell was ahead of his time. People don't like what they can't comprehend. Soo many couldn't understand this man.
In any other sport he would be lauded with such praise. Held up as the highest example of technical proficiency. But he's forgotten. For me Pernell Whitaker did for boxing what Van Geoff did for sunflowers. What Mozart did for Symphany and that little stick. What Andy Warhol did for visual arts. Watching Pernell Whitaker gave me a visual orgasm. Pure ecstasy!
His footwork. His mix of offense and defense. His ability to roll with punches. His anticipation and such nimbleness of the mind. If youngsters think Floyd Mayweather has great defense, well his defense is like a low budget movie compared to the special effects and CGI of Pete. I was attracted to him like the moth to light.
Contrary to popular believe Pernell wasn't a 'runner' either. Which is some of the nonsense you hear from his ditractors and it gets my goat. He actually mixed it up too often sometimes. He fought in the pocket. After the first Ramirez fight where he got jobbed. He moved less and made you miss and pay at close range. He could also have a bit of venom in him and dig really hard, like he showed against people like Louie Lomelli and Juan Nazario to unify the lightweight diviison. Both were tough guys who'd never been stopped before. His body punching was so underrated.
I saw a washed up Pernell Whitaker who was a drug addict try and walk down a young beast in Felix Trinidad and even hurt him to the body. So how dare ANYONE tell me that man wasn't up for a tear up. Another thing people get wrong with Pete Whitaker is they call him 'athletic' like he had some superior athletic ability and relied on that purely. Constantly talking about his athleticism. Of course he had brilllient twitch fibres. Make no mistake though Pernell Whitaker was not a Roy Jones. He actually wasn't the strongest or fastest guy around, but he put on clinics against beasts and embarrassed hall of fame fighters. It had just as much to do with his SKILL and mastery of angles as it did with reflexes and athleticism. That's the thing i love most about him. Meldrick Taylor was faster for example.
His greatest performance for me was against Greg Haugen. Haugen wasn't the best fight ever, but he was a solid champ. That is the greatest bit of exhibition boxing i've ever seen.
Don't get me wrong. He wasn't without fault. Drugs ruined him and shortened his career. He didn't have the 'personality' and persona to cross over. There are others with better body of work. But he was a genius. A rare gem.
You'll notice i didn't mention the Chavez fight. The most defining one. Well that's for a reason. That fight almost made me quit watching the sport.
It was never the same after that. We got the delayed footage the next day. I couldn't believe it when the result was announced. I can relate to what people are going through with Pacquaio/Bradley now. They must know that this is as old as boxing itself. The sport is like that girl that breaks your heart, but you always keep going back to her because she gives you the best time. For days after that fight i was sullen, angry. I cried! Each morning i wouldn't get up. My mom would knock on my door and say, "Time to get up!" I would open my eyes and look at the clock. Then at the big poster of Sweet Pea by the side of my bed, I would sigh, pull the covers over my head, and squirm. Before groaning and lumbering out of bed. We take this thing seriously, Bread. Lol!
Peace and Blessings.
Breadís Response: I see you love Whitaker as much as Max Kellerman. In all seriousness Pernell Whiaker is such a special fighter. He is probably top 20 fighters in the history of boxing. Heís that good. Let me go random about him for a second.
Someone once said about me that I only know the history of boxing and I donít know about boxing. They meant it as an insult but the hate was actually a complimentÖ. For any shorter fighter coming up and you face an opponent of the opposite stance watch the historically prominent Pernell Whitaker. See history can teach us something. See most fighters donít want to be bothered with a tall quick southpaw. But common sense should tell you whatever a southpaw can do to you, you can do to him. Watch how Whitaker handled tall, right handed fighters and tall southpaws wonít be the boogeymen anymore if you reverse the logic.
History Lesson. Whitaker had a way of making you believe he was shorter than he was and he brought your eyes down. Then when you tried to jab him he would spring up over your jab and jab the heck out of you with his right jab. Floyd Mayweather actually stole that move from him. No one ever stopped it. Whitaker was 5í5Ē Ĺ and won titles from 135-154. That says a lot.
An argument can be made for a few fighters who are the best out of the last 30 years. Or say since 1980. Duran and Ali would top the list but their primes came before 1980. The three fighters who usually get the most votes are Ray Leonard, Roy Jones and Pernell Whitaker. I prefer Leonard because of his 2 year run against Benitez, Duran twice, Kalule and Hearns. But I swear I would not argue one bit if someone picked Whitaker. From 1989 when he beat Greg Haugen up until 1994 the second Buddy McGirt fight, Whitaker was on par in height of excellence with anybody who has ever lived. Thatís saying something brother.
Whitaker is so underrated while appreciated. Whenever you see a list of best jabs ever, his name is never on it. But his southpaw jab was the best I have ever seen. Whenever you see a list of best body punchers ever, his name is never on it but he was brutal to the body.
People say he couldnít punch but Whitaker scored lots of knockdowns if not knock outs. He also had some top level one punch kos in title fights. I think his underappreciated skills, still burn him and thatís what turns people off.
Whitaker like Larry Holmes seems very bitter. He is extremely truculent. I consider him the Isiah Thomas of boxing. Thomas was right there with Jordan, Magic and Bird in the 80ís. His teams won as much and he out did Jordan very often in Jordanís first 6 or 7 years in the league. But today people just donít feel Isiah. It seems to be the same with Whitaker. People say Duran is the best lightweight ever, although Whitaker has a legit argument. People say Jones is the best fighter of the 90ís, although Whitaker has a legit argument. Holyfield is the most celebrated member of the 1984 Olympic Team but Whitaker was the best fighter in my opinion. Itís really interestingÖ
I think this is why Whitaker is so scorned and his attitude seems to turn people off. I really wish fighters as a whole were not so dismissive of others ability. Everytime you ask Whitaker about another fighter, he almost gets insulted. I think what made him great, also hurts him now. I am huge Pete Whitaker fan and I am about to buy his collection from 89-94. (I donít like watching fighters after their primes on videoÖ.) I hope Whitaker learns acceptance and understands that there are many people out there like you and I that think the world of him. Great Fighter. Stand up Pete Whitaker.
What's good Bread? I haven't hollered in a minute but I been checking the site out on a daily basis. Let me get right to it. 1 off why doesn't Canelo fight Cotto? Lara-Canelo is alright. I give the nod to Canelo bcuz I think Lara has stamina issues on the low. I notice that when the action heats up he starts to hold and breath heavy and gets in retreat mode. As far as the Khan fight with that young kid, I think that's a fight of the
Year candidate type of fight. As far as Victor Ortiz is concerned, initially I thought he quit again but after all the Doctor reports I don't blame him. Maybe he could have just got on his bike for the last couple rounds since he was winning the fight at the time of the stoppage. I think Ortiz completely redeemed himself from the Maidana fight against Berto. I don't think he's the same fighter today that he was against Maidana. I want to know what u think about the Khan fight against the young kid that I can't think of his name at the moment, but I give the young kid the edge cuz he's more mentally tougher than Khan in my opinion.
Breadís Response: The young kid you speak of is Danny Garcia. I think the fight with Khan is going to be a barn burner. Amir Khan is always in exciting fights. He is a pleasing to the eye because he is a vulnerable, violent , high energy boxer puncher. Much like the great Terry Norris. I am really excited about this fight and I will give me breakdown next week.
I think everything is back firing on GoldenBoy right now as far as protecting Canelo. They had plans to put him against Paul Williams, Kirkland and Ortiz even though Canelo would have been favored all those fights would have tested Canelo..Unfortunately those fights fell through and now GoldenBoy is in a position where their trying to sell a fight in Vegas the same night and City as the Chavez Jr. Vs Martinez fight.. Personally I don't want to see Bundrage, Trout, or Vanes Fight Canelo. I think Canelo beats Trout, Bundrage and Vanes, I would love to see Canelo fight Lara, but Lara is a bit too dangerous right now for Canelo.. This where everything is backfiring because Bundrage, Trout, and Vanes won't sell in Vegas and Lara is too Dangerous..
I'm anxious to see who GoldenBoy puts Canelo in with Molina, Quintana? Also I'm heading to Vegas that weekend.. I'm probably going to buy tickets for that Martinez vs Chavez fight.. Just waiting on what kind of Card GoldenBoy is going to put out..
Breadís Response: Golden Boy is definitely in a pickle with the Canelo fight. I look for them to put his fight on FREE network TV. I donít have inside scoop, Iím just giving my personal guesstimation. The reason being is they obviously donít want to match him against Lara. If they did the fight would be made. They are both with Golden Boy and Lara wants the fight. As you stated they wanted the Williams and Kirkland fights because they were the right guys at the right time, or at least they thought so. Now they will have to match him with an easier opponent and Canelo is not at the point yet where he can sell a PPV against a complete no hoper. So Golden Boy being the smart business they are, they will put him in a showcase fight, but they will give it to us for free. Letís see if Iím right. Iím still hoping the kid from Philly Gabriel Rosado gets the fight. Iím not saying he would beat Canelo but it would very entertaining, Rosado would push him to the limit.
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