DAILY BREAD FRIDAY EDITION
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
Bread, you called it: Timothy Bradley's upset overManny Pacquiao and the wide looping shot for Amir Khan. Anyway to a throwback there was a Fab 4 in the 80's called Sugar Ray Leonard, Marvin Hagler, Roberto Duran and Thomas Hearns who were all beasts and all time-greats. In this modern day, who do you think would be the "Fab 4" 4 guys that would fight each other and produce fireworks because of their competitiveness and sheer Greatness? no matter if it was a round robin, or mixed weightclasses, resulting in different outcomes because of their p4p uniquiness.
I thought about "The heavier guys" from the 90's to the 2000's. I would have to say Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins, Antonio Tarver and Glen Johnson. But its open to debate, there was also a guy named "Joe Calzaghe". Then there was Oscar De La Hoya, Shane Moseley, Trinidad and Fernando Vargas. Since those days is gone, who would you pick as the top 4 dogs who could give each other hell and be a superfight at the same time...Break it down, your analysis is spot-on ,man!
Migwech, Mike Healey.
I'm sure its gotta be Juan Manuel Marquez, Miguel Cotto, Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, but those guys have an expiry date. Who's the new Fab 4? (Take 'em to the old school real quik...)
Breadís Response: Thanks Mike. As for a Fab 4, Iím sorry to say we havenít had one since the 80ís. Look at this, the Fab 4 were all, all time greats. They all fought each other at least once. The reason why they are considered so special is because they fought each other. Today you donít have enough all time greats in the same vicinity, who are willing to fight each other and most importantly are so popular that they run boxing.
Sure Mayweather, Pacquiao, Cotto and Marquez could be. But Marquez has not fought Cotto and Pacquiao has not fought Mayweather. Iím sorry to be a damper on your question but today fighters do everything for business reasons. I thought we could have had a real chance at one when De La Hoya, Quartey, Trinidad and Whitaker were all welterweights. But that didnít pan out. Then we missed one when Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins, Joe Calzaghe and James Toney were all near 168lbs. again it didnít work out. Sorry to be a kill joy, but I havenít seen a real fab 4 since the 80ís and it doesnít look likely now.
A couple of mythical matchups for you: 1) Prime Felix Trinidad vs prime Antonio Margarito. A friend of mine whose opinion I respect thinks that Tito would go through Margarito like a hot knife through butter, but I disagree. I donít know if Margs would win, but I think his chin, work rate, non-stop pressure and will would make it interesting. (On that note, has anyone ever made Tito go backward?)
2) Aaron Pryor vs Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.. I canít call this one, but if I were pressed Iíd probably go with Pryor. He just seemed nearly unbeatable when he was on.
As always, keep up the great work. I have a lot of respect for your knowledge and objectivity.
Breadís Response: Between 2005 and 2008, Margarito would have been a handful for any welterweight. His size, ability to take a punch, stamina and his distance closing ability would make him formidable. I know heís cheater and he got some of the worst karma you can get, which I think he deserved.
But I still think he was a formidable fighter. I don't confuse the two. See AFTER the Cotto fight his legacy gets ruined but I know better. Margarito was not all plaster success. After the Cotto fight, Margarito lost his legs. Look at him against Mosley. He was low in weight 145 I believe and he was laboring forward and over trained. He was always slow but when a non athletic guy loses his legs heís in trouble. Margarito was really good at closing distance. When he did get his legs back he got them back against the fastest feet in boxing. Manny Pacquaio. I donít think you guys realize the punishment Margarito dished out to Pacquiao. I will talk about it later in this mailbag.
All of that being said I say Tito beats Margarito in a brutal fight. They both would come to die and he would probably end Margaritoís career. Margarito would get his in. But Tito knew how to step around pressure. Example Yori Boy Campas. Tito, Tito, Tito. The difference between Tito and Cotto, is that Tito enjoys punishment. Cotto accepts punishment because itís part of the game. Tito is willing to take more.
Pryor would get beat up really bad internally by Chavez. Chavez was a supreme INSIDE boxer. So I would pick Pryor on points but Chavez by punishment. Chavez doesnít punch hard enough to stop Pryor and nobody can outwork Pryor. But Pryor makes a lot of mistakes and Chavez would chop him up. The judges just probably wouldnít appreciate it. Brutal fight.
I read Rob Soucy's article [www.boxingtalk.com/pag/article.php?aid=23764] , and I'm not gonna lie, it kind of pissed me off lol here's what I wrote him:
Rob: Alright man I understand everyone is entitled to their opinion, but you didn't really bring up any strong points. Let's go chronologically... Featherweight; Pacquiao destroys the featherweight division at a time when some historians say it might have been at its best. He showd the speed and crushing power he's always had. People who really know boxing understand weight sometimes doesn't matter if you're a special fighter. Anyways after the Morales, Barrera, and Marquez's, he moves up to fight Diaz. Diaz was absolutely crushed by everything Pacquiao threw. He looked like the hunchback of Notre Dame after the fight, where was he was quoted as saying "He's fast man. Fucker was just too fucking fast. I thought Freddie was in there hitting me too." Then came the Golden opportunity. The De La Hoya fight. You bring up the weight gain between the two fight. Well sir on the day of the Diaz fight, althought it was a lightweight bout, he came in at 146. On the day of the De La Hoya fight, he came in at 148. Suspicious weight gain? I don't think so. Now De La Hoya came to fight weighing 147, two pounds more than what he weighed at the weigh in. What this means is he was drained and his organs had shrunk too much. He couldn't rehydrate. So when this happens, you're slow, weak, yellowish, and you bruise easy. I know this from experience. Pacquiao knew this because Freddie said it to the HBO crew just before the fight went down. It wasn't anything physically spectacular that Pacquiao. He just followed the gameplan to the T.. Move left, move left, shoot, pivot right. He was just perfect with his boxing that day. Next up, Ricky Hatton. The knockdown where he hit him with a right hook, was just an example of what Breadman calls "punching with your opponent". Hatton threw a left hook, Pacquiao threw his right hook over it, bam, dropped him. You don't need power to do that. Just good speed, accuracy, and timing. Then the knockout. Hatton was in mid-air moving to his left, and pacquiao threw a cannon of a left hand right to Hatton's chin. Switch it around the same thing would happen. Pacquiao is just the better fighter. Then Cotto. Cotto just can't deal with pressure because he gasses. When you add speed to that, it's a nightmare. What happened in that fight is exactly what experts thought would happen. Then Clottey. Clottey didn't open up one time because he stayed in his defensive shell, so Pacquiao threw over 1200 punches and took every round of the fight. Then Margarito. This fight was even until late in the third round Pacquiao caught Marg with a body shot that made him bend over, and Manny just started taking off, and never looked back. Manny stayed on his toes all night and only let Margarito get set once in the 6th round, where he did hurt him along the ropes. Manny himself said he was very lucky there to survive the fight. Both warriors had to stay in the hospital after this fight. Then Mr Marquez again. Before I go on, let me just say yes weight does help when taking a punch because of how much your body can absorb, but you either got a good chin, or you don't. And Marquez does. And Marquez always fights Manny well, and does better each time out. This fight was like the other two, but at a welterweight pace. Finally the Bradley fight. Sir did you see the Holt/Bradley fight where Holt caught Bradley with one of the hardest left hooks you will ever see? Bradley hit the mat for a second and bounced right back up. Bradley has an IRON chin. Pacquiao was still able to snap Bradley's head back repeatedly, something i've never seen anyone else do to him. Yes I will admit Pacquiao has slipped slightly. BUT, he is no worse than number two in the world. And it's not because of PED's. He is just a special special fighter. He is an all time great and we must appreciate him while we can, not doubt him.
Breadís Response: At least you were respectful Ali. Hopefully Rob answers you.
Bread I know you didnít write the article on Manny Pacquiao but that opinion represents you. Itís as if you co-sign such stupidity. I didnít bother to write into Rob Soucy because I donít expect an intelligent response. So hopefully you post this.
Soucyís examples of power at an older age is all wrong. Knockouts come in many ways. George Foreman didnít knock as many guys out when he was older because he was slower. Maybe Manny is just getting old. Besides the Hatton fight, Pacquiao is an accumulation puncher. Because two guys who have never been stopped go the distance with him, Soucy suggest heís not juicing anymore. How dumb!
Iím not Filipino and Iím not really a Pacquiao fan. But I had to challenge you Bread. This has become your site basically and you are the only one that does a mailbag. Iím waiting on your response.
Breadís Response: Listen bro, Boxingtalk is not MY site. Itís our site. I donít control what gets printed. I donít Co sign anything. You need to relax and be respectful and email Rob. Iím sure he can hold his own. You guys are emailing me like Iím the author of the article.
If you want my opinion just ask in a nice way. No I donít agree with Rob. I respect his opinion but I totally disagree. In this day and time any fighter that has had success can be suspected of PED use. When I say any fighter I mean any fighter. For some reason some of the rules that apply to Manny donít apply to everybody else. Manny went the distance with Marquez and BradleyÖÖÖ I say so what.
I think Manny has lost a step. He has lost his ability to put out Max assertion. He doesnít run off a 4 or 5 punch combo, then gap then another 4 or 5 punch combo. Thatís what made him special. His punching power is excellent. But his energy level was off the planet and that was the key to his success.
Manny is 33 years old, he has had 60 fights. Heís an admitted partier, drinker and sexer. I hate to be graphic but that wears all men out eventually. As for youíre George Foreman example. You are actually right.
People claim that power is the last thing to go. Which could be true, but quickness and speed are the first things to go. Guys like Tommy Morrison who has a terrible chin, Axel Schultz, Lou Savarese and Shannon Briggs could NEVER go the distance with Big George in his prime. But look at the last part of his career. They ALL went 12 rounds with George. Why? because George didnít have the speed and forcefulness to get the knockout. When you are in your prime you can become forceful and make a guy succumb to your physicality. Or you have the quickness to deliver the money shot and turn a fight around. The difference in a good shot and a knockout shot is literally a centimeter. So I donít assume George stopped juicing. He got older, thatís why he had four decisions in a row to end his career.
Randall Bailey started his career 24-0 with 24 kos. Now Bailey is 43-7 with 37 kos. So in his last 27 fights he has only scored 13 kos. He obviously can still punch. I donít assume itís his lack of PED use. Maybe heís getting older. Maybe opponents are watching out for that vaunted right hand. You see how this goesÖ
I can give so many great examples. Oscar De La Hoya. Oscar started out 22-0 with 20 kos. He finished 39-6 with 30kos. That means he only scored 10kos in his last 23 fights. Maybe it was the competition level. Maybe the age? Maybe a combination of everything?
Bernard Hopkins was not known as a fast fighter, but he was very quick especially with his lead right hand. Hopkins was a hard puncher in the first few years of his career. No one seems to have noticed but Hopkins has not scored a ko in almost a decade. Since 2004, no koís for the Executioner. When guys get closer to the end, stoppages are harder to come by for the most part.
The most appropriate comparisons is Roy Jones and Muhammad Ali to Manny Pacquiao. Jones scored all types of freakish kos in his career. In fact when he fought Hopkins for his first title shot he was 21-0 with 20kos. Jones is now a 64 fight veteran. He has 40kos, which is not shabby but if you go by the conspiracy theories maybe itís very shabby. Roy has only scored 20kos in last 43 fights. I know Roy had the situation where he took an over the counter banned substance against Richard Hall. But I truly believe that Royís game changing quickness dissipated gradually and when it did, the knockouts did. When Ali went into exile he was a very good accumulation puncher. Ali was 29-0 with 23 kos. When Ali came back he fished 56-5 with 37kos. He scored a measly 13 kos in his last 32 fights. His game changing quickness abandoned him as he approached his mid 30ís. Just like Mannyís hasÖÖÖ
In my opinion Manny is like in any offensive machine. Remember the Rams of 1999. Or some of Colts teams of a few years ago. Eventually people catch on and they game plan for you. Mannyís money shot is that step in one-two. So each fight, Marquez gets hit less and less by the shot. Why? Because he lays on it and he rarely leads against Manny. Bradley couldnít lead either because he knew he would get his head knocked off. When have you seen Bradley fight so tepid? If Manny wasnít cracking, both of those guys would have been more assertive in close fights.
Manny lost his prime in the Margarito fight. He couldnít fly back to the Phillipines right away because he was in bed in a ball of pain. In the interview after the fight, he talked slow and dizzy. Margarito hurt him to the head and body. Itís never good to allow a man to be 17 pounds heavier than you and ask for 8 ounce killer gloves. See I look at things beyond the surface. It took everything in Mannyís power to not get stopped. Thatís why he almost killed Margarito. He was forced to.
Now as time has passed Manny canít put out as much anymore and he has become lazy and monotonous. He controlled Bradley with his one-two and he settled for it. Manny also became tired and he didnít step on it. Thatís why Bradley wasnít kod. But preparation can keep you getting stopped. If these theories are correct why is it that Marco Antonio Barerra was stopped in 2003 at 126, but he went the distance in 2007 at 130? Things happen in boxing, and when the spectactualr does not continue to happen itís not always lack of foul play.
Letís go back to Marquez. I canít understand why people accuse Manny of NOT being on PEDs in the Marquez fight but yet no one talks about how Marquez looked at welterweight. Iím not accusing Marquez of anything. Heís one of my favorite fighters but he looked like a monster when he fought Manny the third time. Compare that body to the one Floyd fought. Now Marquez passed the drug test and thatís that. Maybe he prepared differently but his body was much sturdier. On top of that he avoided the BIG shots.
My last point is why would Manny supposedly discontinue the use of PEDs for the Marquez fight. There were no special tests required. Manny was going up against a guy in Marquez with a convicted PED dealer in his camp. Marquez looked like some sort of bionic fighter, yet Manny decided to get clean for that fightÖ. Also think about this. Manny fights twice a year. Why would he have to stop using PEDs in November of 2011 if he was possibly going to fight Floyd 6 months later. If this theory is true why was the respective camps fighting over 14 day cut offs. Why was it so important to have Olympic Style Blood testing? What PEDs was Manny using where they needed 6 months to clear his system? I need more proofÖ
For the record if Manny Pacquiao is found to be a PED user I wouldnít be surprised at all. But when we have no proof, when he has passed numerous drug test and even passed surprise drug test. ( I bet you guys didnít know, that Keith Kizer was so sure Manny and Floyd were going to fight in 2010, he surprised both fighters and drug tested them and they both passed.) To even publicly insinuate that he is a PED user is careless logic in my opinion.
Unfortunately we live in an era where everybody will be a suspect. The rumors go rampant for some of our favorite fighters. Fighters we have put on pedestals and it would sting to have to reevaluate their careers. But if we have NO proof I think we should allow these warriors the glory of fair accomplishments until proven otherwise.
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