DAILY BREAD TUESDAY EDITION (3-26-13)
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
I read your article about Tim Bradley's dark place against Ruslan Provodnikov. I was one of those who was hating on Bradley as well because of the outcome of his fight with Manny Pacquiao. Not because of the judge,s but because his comments in interviews and his attitude. He came off like he ready kicked a$$ and he also made comments to Radio Raheem about how Manny was damaged goods after fighting him. So because of that he deserved ALL of the critisism that came his way. When Azumah Nelson received a very controvercial decision against Jeff Fenech he, being the victor, requested a rematch. He stated at his post fight interview that he wanted to prove that he was the better fighter. Bradley showed no humility after the fight. With that said, I give Bradley mad props for the way he responded in the mists of adversity. He behaved like an elite fighter was supposed to. At the same time I can't help but what would happened if that was someone like Marcos Maidana or Victor Ortiz, Fighters who are on a different level than Providnikov. What happens to Bradley if someone brings a good body attack? Bradley does not have the punching power to keep fighters honest. Either way, he rose to the occasion and got the victory.-- Columbus, Tampa
Breadís Response: You make a good point. I personally didnít like Timís comments after the Pacquiao fight either. I havenít heard a fighter do this yet but the day a fighter says ďI didnít deserve that decisionĒ immediately after the fight will be a cold day in hell. But thatís water under the bridge. I think Tim deserved some of the criticism but he didnít deserve death threats or anything of that nature. No one deserves that. So all in all, Tim criticized where a portion of it was warranted and now he should be praised where itís warranted.
I donít know what Bradleyís future holds but it will be interesting. Knowing Top Rank, he will be matched extremely tough in his very next fight. I can see him fighting Juan Manuel Marquez or the winner of Brandon Rios-Mike Alvarado II. I donít want to pick a winner yet because there is too much room between the cup and lip. I will say that I will be very observant of Bradley from here on out. I have a theory about certain types of fightersÖ
I read your piece on Bradley and it made me want to chime in. Visiting the place you described is a thing many men who ply this trade are not willing to do. I didn't see it just as you did though. In all the years I've been around boxing, I've seen people really bite down. The difference I saw between this and some greats is that they bit down when they came up against equal or even greater talent and had to get it somehow. When they met someone who pushed them to the end of their abilities so they dug down and relied on character and just fought. What I saw in Tim was a guy who fought one of the dumbest fights as an established world champion that I've ever seen, and he did it against what I could not call more than a C-level fighter. Respect to Provodnikov. He works what he's got. He's soooo tough and he can punch but he has nothing in the way of skill. He's just on some Zombieland kinda trip. He just keeps on truckin. He beats nobody at the top level. And really he should be a perfect opponent for a boxer to shine against. Tim elected to simply brawl in many spots and I thought he was a solid punch or two from getting put sleep a few of times. He was so affected by the backlash about the "win" against Manny Pacquiao that he went out there gunslinging when he's not really set up for that. He's not a puncher and will be even less effective at welter if he keeps that up. I can't think of too many 5'6" non-puncher welters not named Pernell Whitaker that had a lot of success. I was a little surprised Tim was soooo wreckless. Provodnikov didn't fool Tim into fighting his style of fight, Tim was all too willing to go. So Tim may have fought bravely, no arguing that but balls and brains are different. Had he simply used his brain he would not have had the type of fight that accelerates his expiration date. You go to well when you NEED to do it. What Tim did was totally unecessary and very much to his detriment. A trainer of mine told me once, no need to do what you know you can. Tim knows he has balls. He didn't need to prove that to anyone. I hate to see a guy with so many tools dumb down to prove some moot point. That is what resonated the loudest to me about his performance. Take care man. Good luck with your fighters. Haven't seen your jr. middle fight yet but I'd like to. Later-- Tokunbo Olajide
Breadís Response: What up bro itís been such a long time. You are giving the fighter's perspective and you are correct. To an extent that is. I do think Tim fought a foolish fight. And when he got clipped super early, he fell into a mode he couldnít pull himself out of.
But here is where we disagree. Provodnikov is not C-class. I know you fought in a different era and he may have been C-class back then, but now he is not. Just because heís limited and one dimensional doesnít mean heís C-class. I donít think Margarito was C-class and he was also one dimensional. Provodnikov is a B-class, championship level fighter for this era. No heís not great. Yes movement and feints would kill him. Devon Alexander would shut him out. But everyone is not a disciplined, top class boxer. Anybody that this kid can hit on he can hurt. There are enough Brandon Rios, Marcos Maidana, Lucas Matthysse types going around for this kid to fight.
Julian Williams fought on Jan. 26th on Showtime Extreme. He scored a seventh-round TKO. He has a little of you in his game. I didnít think of it until I read your email. I will tell him to watch some tapes of some of your old stuff. Thanks.
Thereís something else that I wanted to talk to you about. Floyd Mayweather vs. The Ghost, Robert Guerrero. Now, I know that Berto is not Mayweather, but I did like the way in which Robert approached the shoulder roll technique. Seems he always ended up behind Andre Berto in a spot where Berto could not see him making the shoulder roll useless. My question to you is, do you think this will be a problem for Floyd or do you expect for Floyd to abandon the roll and step to Robert with the high guard? -- Dant'e, Okc
Breadís Response: I assume Guerrero understands there is a blind spot on the shoulder roll defense. He was there all night on Berto. Roy Jones stayed in that spot on James Toney. Zab Judah had his success there on Floyd Mayweather in their fight also.
I donít expect Floyd to completely abandon the shoulder roll but I do expect him to fight Guerrero in the box and often times use a high guard to walk him down. I expect a very entertaining type of fight. I expect Floyd to fight aggressively sort of like Adrien Broner does. He will definitely step to Guerrero. I think this fight will be better than Mayweather vs Cotto, and that was a really good fight.
Man, great article yesterday Bread. I was wanting to write to ya right after the fight but I simply could not find the words to express what I was feeling. And, to a large extent, I still cannot find the words. Thereís nothing I can really add that you did not include in your piece so Iíll be brief. A few years back I enjoyed a book called Hagakure: Book of the Samurai. One of the passages read something like this:"Even if one's head were to be suddenly cut off, he will still be able to do one more act with certainty. With martial valor, if one becomes like a revengeful ghost and shows great determination, though his head is cut off, he should not die." - Yamamoto Tsunetomo Does that passage not bring to mind what we saw from Timmy on Saturday night? I mean, he was a dead man in there at times fighting not for victory but for something far greater than that. There are warriors and then there are people who walk the earth that have a resolve that common man will never understand. For a while Bread, Iíve always wanted to know or see an example of what you meant when youíd refer to guys as ďDead GameĒ. Well, I think Timmy gave me the example I was looking for. -- Dant'e, Okc
Breadís Response: Tim Bradley is easily a Dead Game fighter. No doubt about it. Could you imagine a closed door sparring session with Bradley and James Kirkland. Kirkland would probably be too big, but Timmy would fight until intervention. Sheesh.
That was a great piece on Timothy Bradley (the dark place) Ė i hope that casual boxing fans that seen the fight understand what he went through to hear the final bell and still found a way to win Ė I think when people outside the game hear the word Ďboxerí they assume that every Ďboxerí is made of goods Tim has (probably because of Rocky films). But in reality there are a lot of boxers that either physically or mentally could not have got through what happened Saturday night Ė Iím not going to mention names because every fighter deserves credit for getting in the ring and Iím also sure you couldnít blame a fighter for getting stopped in that predicament or indeed quitting. But I also think in this day and age in boxing the ref plays a huge part in these great fights Ė some refs may have waved that fight off because Tim was too brave for his own good Ė but look what happened, he went on to win Ė another ref might have stopped that and taken away what was his right to win as he had the goods to get through it. I feel the same thing happened in Taylor v pavlik 1 Ė some refs would have stepped in there and stopped the fight but he actually went on to win. Could also say the same about Benn v Gerald McClellan (although Benn would never have survived had McClellan been okay)(another note Ė this was the first boxing match I ever seen). Some refs today are way too cautious and some refs would never have let for example a gatti v ward thriller go 10/12 rounds and we would never have seen that trilogy.
Although Iím not really excited to see mayweather fight the ghost, but I love watching the fight build up shows 24/7. Is 24/7 a HBO only type of thing? Because as mayweather is now with showtime we may not see 24/7. I just donít think a similar sort of show would be the same as I love the narrating, the music and the insight and the hope they give mayweathers opponent.
If/when you do start getting more fighters hiring you please keep doing the mailbag!-- All the best from the UK, James
Breadís Response: Interestingly enough the same referee that worked the Rios/Alvarado fight worked the Bradley/Provodnikov fight. Now there was not an outrage over the Rios/Alvarado stoppage but many people on the inside believe it was slightly early. Now that same referee allowed Tim Bradley to fight on and Bradley won the fight. Go figure.
I may be in the public minority but mark my words. This week leading up to Rios/Alvarado, there will be slight mention of the early stoppage. In fact there was reference made to it in the HBO piece. That fight was FOY type, but it could have been Fight of the Ages. Most fights that are Fight of the Ages type, involve an element of one of the participants coming back from something that looks like a human shouldnít be able to come back from. Alvarado was in no more trouble than Gatti was in the first Ward fight, or Bradley was against Alvarado. He probably would have got stopped, but he deserved a chance to find out if he could go to ďDark PlacesĒ. Iím not complaining or criticizing. I believe in health first. But I also believe in consistency. If you let Bradley go on, you let Alvarado go on. Think about that for a second. Bradley was actually hurt more often and in worse shape.
In my opinion a ref has to know the fighters. He has to know their mannerisms, their tendencies. There is a difference between ďhurtĒ and ďhelplessĒ. Itís a fine line, but great things are expected from people with great responsibility. Being a professional boxing referee is a great responsibility.
Showtime has their own 24/7 type of show. I believe itís called ALL ACCESS. They also had one called Fight Camp 360. It was ok but the big problem to me was the broadcasting of the shows. You know when 24/7 will be broadcast. With Showtime you donít know when itís coming on and if I remember correctly some of the stuff was shown AFTER the fights, so that was bad for me. Hopefully the shows will come on in chronological order and take us through the camps of the respective fighters.
I had a chance several weeks back to see Mickey Bey fight. Why is he not getting the exposure of a Gary Russell? I donít have the boxing eyes that would qualify me as an expert but what I saw was a dangerous dude that knows how to fight. I would love to see him on ShowBox or HBO After Dark. The man can fight or I at least would want to see him again against a top 10 level contender. Looking forward to the Saul "Canelo" Alvarez v. Austin Trout fight. This is the first time Canelo is stepping in with a legitimate Jr. Middleweight. I hear the barking from Canelo supporters regarding May weather. However, it is my opinion that Canelo has not yet done anything that entitles him to fight Floyd Mayweather . I donít think he has fought a top 5 Jr. Middleweight yet. I could be wrong but the biggest win is a worn down Shane Mosley to my knowledge. The fight is in Texas and a great deal of money on the table for Canelo, I pick him in a controversial decision. What are your thoughts? Are you going to provide a breakdown of the fight? Another possible fight is Chad Dawson v. Adonis Stevenson. Interested in how Dawson bounces back after that lesson he took from Andre Ward. Who you picking?
Breadís Response: Mickey Bey can really fight. I am big fan of his. He was one of our best amateurs coming out of the 2004 class. Heís still undefeated but his career seems to always stall. Recently I heard he had some questionable results to a drug test, so that may cause him to be stalled again [Editor's note: Bey was suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission for three months after tests results showed one of the highest testosterone levels ever recorded] . I donít know full details, so I wonít comment any further. Hopefully everything is ok with Mickey and he can resume his promising career.
I think Canelo Alvarez will beat Austin Trout. I believe Alvarez has a distinct hand speed advantage. I know you guys will call me crazy but Iím looking at the fighters not their race. Black fighters usually are thought of as faster, but not in this case. Trout is smooth and coordinated but Canelo seems to be the more explosive athlete. I think his violent outburst will be more influential than Troutís steady attack. This fight could remind lots of people of Leonard/Hagler although the participants arenít as old. Canelo being Leonard in this fight. Btw I thought Leonard beat Hagler.
I also think the fight with Mayweather is the biggest and easiest fight to make in boxing but we wonít get it. Canelo doesnít have a star studded resume at 154. I admit he has been protected and nurtured. But I think he has tremendous talent and with his following he deserves any big fight in his division.
People who are business orientated like to say a fight doesnít make business sense when they donít want to make a fight. So letís look at Mayweather vs Canelo and see if it makes sense. IT would be a unification fight between two undefeated fighters. The proposed date I assume would be a Mexican Holiday. It would be a fight between boxing longest reigning star and boxing newest and brightest star. It would be a fight between an African American and a Mexican. I think it would do close between 1.75 and 2 million buys. It has all of the ingredients.
No disrespect to Guerrero or Ricky Hatton or Juan Manuel Marquez but going by the logic you stated, what did Marquez do at welterweight at the time to deserve a fight with Mayweather? How about Ricky Hatton? Do you count the struggle with Luis Collazo? Now letís look at Guerrero. He beat Andre Berto and Aydin Selchuk. Selchuk just lost to Jesus Soto Karass. And Berto is not a top 5 welter in my opinion. Marquez, Pacquiao, Bradley, Mayweather, Alexander and Ortiz are all better.
I donít want to get into a big debate on how deserving Canelo Alvarez is because they have been protecting the kid. No doubt about it. But if he beats Austin Trout, letís just say the excuse wonít be valid.
What a great fight between Bradley and Provodnikov! This should get Provodnikov more fights (actually wouldnt be surprised if FMJr fought him) on tv. and from what it seems Bradley might have garnered some respect back after the Manny Pacquiao fight. Is Bradley top 10 P4P right now? His undefeated resume has Provodnikov, Lamont Peterson, Devon Alexander, Nate Campbell, Kendall Holt, Vazquez, Junior Witter, Joel Casamayor, Abregu and Pacman on it and thats a great lineup for an undefeated fighter (lets stick a * next to Pac because of the controversial decision Bradely received). Anyway, rumor is he had to cut 40 lbs to make weight. Thats insane because he is only like 5'6". He needs to stay in shape as much as possible because that plus this fight could have taken some years off his career. I hope he didn't do that and its just a rumor. Anyway, I would love to see a fight between him and JMM. That would be an awesome fight and very realistic because they are both under Top Rank. I don't think Bradley and Marquez would get the money, especially in comparison to the Pacquiao fight but can be lucrative. What do you think? Lastly this thing between Andre Ward and FMJr is probably the dumbest thing I've seen, especially involving FMJr. Thank God Andre Ward is to big to get into a war of words with Jr. -Rob J, RVA
Breadís Response: Yes Bradley is somewhere in the bottom half of the top 10 fighters in the world. He has an excellent resume.
I would like to see Provodnikov again also but donít be surprised if he gets used up. I think disciplined boxers would tear him to pieces.
Bradley vs JMM would be great right now. And with the way JMM is punching these days and with the damage Tim has taken in his last two fights I expect Marquez to jump all of over the opportunity.
The whole Ward/Mayweather debacle was sad to me and I donít want to address it further. Some people may enjoy the reality tv, instigating type of energy, but Iím not into that. Especially for two guys who could never fight. It makes no sense. Iím glad both guys have kept their egos intact and walked away from the back and forth.
Bradley keeps his title via blown calls? In the 1st round a kd was missed, the 2nd round could have easily been 10-8 with Bradley out on his feet, several other occasions Bradley is badly hurt and kept up by the ropes which would have been more points. Coming up, Ruslan looks great, off the layoff Bradley looks good and tried to be a crowd pleaser. Awesome fight. Bring on Rios and Alvarado. B from Houston
Breadís Response: You know I havenít really scored the fight yet. I just watched for entertainment. While not scoring it, it looked to like to me that Bradley won. But remember I wasnít scoring the fight. I donít like to go back and score fights, because it ruins the integrity of the scorecard. It ruins the element of scoring. You already know whatís going to happen, so therefore you re score for a reason. Subconsciously itís hard to be fair. So I usually donít re score.
That being said I agree with you about the blown knock down call. I also believe in 2 pt rounds where a fighter is badly hurt or dominated and Provodnikov may have deserved a 2pt round. He definitely deserved a knockdown that wasnít called. Going by the fact that two of the judges had the fight 114-113 for Bradley, had the knockdown in the 1st round been called, we would have had a majority drawÖOh well still a great fight.
What do you think of this Andre Ward vs Floyd Mayweather beef? I think floyd over reacted to his opinion and predictions.Now ward is saying he will come down to 160 to fight floyd.Huge fight that can be made late this year.Obviously if the fight gets made and ward wins,he becomes a huge ppv star. If floyd wins does this erase the manny debacle? Also with a floyd win does this put him in the top 10 of all time category? Also do you think this fight gets made? Lastly with Adrien Broner moving up to welterweight and being favored to beat paulie, how would a Broner vs Shawn Porter fight do in cincinnati or cleveland at the end of the year? Broner might be a little more advanced then porter but that fight would do huge business in ohio and i think porter would be competitive.
Breadís Response: No way Ward and Mayweather fight. Donít even think about it, it will never happen, too much size difference.
I think a Broner/Porter fight would be a good fight. I hear Porter will be fighting undefeated Canadian Phil Lo Greco. If Shawn shines which I believe he will a fight would Broner would be big in the state of Ohio. But you have to remember they are both advised by Al Haymon and Broner may not stay at welterweightÖÖ.
What it do, Dough Man? Had my nose to the grind just coming up for a minute to chop it up with my favorite pastry. What do Larry Holmes, Mike Tyson, Bernard Hopkins, and Floyd Mayweather have in common? At first glance what pops out is that they all are Black world champions and thatís correct, However, I wouldnít waste your time with the obvious Iím trying to unearth jewels and the diamond Iím flossing right now is that all these fighters came up in an era of watered down fighters and thus itís hard to measure their true greatness.
Think about it. As great as Larry Holmes is who did he beat of note. He was on the verge of breaking Rocky Marcianoís record but without having ever beat a single great fighter who was in there prime at the time he fought them.
Mike Tyson became the youngest Heavyweight Champion in history but who did he fight to win it ??? Trevor Berbick, who had already lost to the likes of Renaldo Snipes and S. T. Gordon, not exactly pound for pound greats, so itís safe to say Berbick was slightly above average. Winning a world title at any age is impressive but we have to admit he didnít have to fight Ali in his prime or Sonny Liston to make history. We could take that point a little farther and say Tyson never beat anyone of note. His claim to fame was he had some of the most brutal KOís in boxing history and as a result he made more money than any other fighter in boxing history and is still to this day my favorite fighter.
Bernard Hopkins broke the record of 20 title defenses and not one guy on the list of 20 would be confused for a great fighter in fact most of these guys were bums. We have to give credit to Hopkins for beating guys like Tarver, Pavlik, Pascal and Cloud. But when you examine a little closer the common theme with all these guys are they are mentally weak and not technically sound fighters coming off losses(Tarver maybe does not quite fit the technically sound criteria but mentally heís soft). Tarver almost had his career completely derailed by drug addiction and was notorious for loosing focus during the course of fights as well as not training as hard as he should. Not to mention he had already lost to Glenn Johnson after his career defining win against a RJJ who was on the downside of his career. Likewise, Pavlik struggled with Alcohol and it affected his preparation for more than a few fights and he too had lost to Sergio Martinez, Pascal knew in his heart he was rescued from a KO by a sympathetic referee in his home town. Then he got a gift draw against Hopkins in his next fight then getís destroyed in the rematch. Cloud was coming off a gift win against Campillo so he was mentally fragile all Hopkins had to do was take control early and Cloud would be lost, game set match. Thatís exactly what Hopkins did . In the ring Hopkins is one of the most Technically sound and craftiest fighters ever yet Iíd argue based on the opponent and time he fought his legacy building fights Iíd say heís been an even greater mastermind out of the ring.
Which bring us to my second favorite fighter Floyd ďMoneyĒ Mayweather. Floydís resume to date is light on fighters who would get HOF consideration and even lighter when you consider good fighters that Floyd fought while they were in there prime. Castillo, and Corrales are serious HOF candidates Hatton and Hernandez are borderline Oscar, Shane and Cotto are sure fire but he fought them well past their prime not all his fault but it is his legacy problem. Floyd and Hopkins are similar in more ways than people seem to realize so why is it Bernard doesnít catch grief for his choice of opponents or more importantly when he fights his opponents the rematch with RJJ comes to mind?
With that being said Floyd unlike the others on the list has an opportunity to fight guys who are up and coming great fighters like Danny Garcia, Brandon Rios, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Amir Khan, Lamont Peterson, Timothy Bradley, Lucas Matthysse and possibly Broner to make a serious run at G.O.A.T. No one on this list with the possible exception of Bronner would scare him. He could make millions fighting smaller guys coming up to his weight class. We wonít forget he missed the Pacquio fight but will this make up?? Which fights on the list you think would be made and what would you predict the outcome to be??--H-Town Stew
Thomas Stewart, email@example.com
Breadís Response: Whatís up Thomas? Man o Man where do I start. Some may call you hater but I will say that you actually have some valid points although you are being slightly harsh. When we talk about who a fighter fought we also have to talk about who was available. I remember how Larry Holmes was viewed back in the day. He was no oneís favorite fighter. He was viewed similar to the way Lennox Lewis was in recent times. Not until recently does Holmes get his props for being a great fighter.
Lots of people didnít appreciate Larry Holmes. I can remember the rhetoric that was repeated. He never unified the title. He beat an old Norton and Ali. Cooney wasnít very good to begin with. He got gifts against Tim Witherspoon and Carl Williams. I remember this.
But to be honest I donít think it was all of Holmesís fault. Holmes is close in age to Foreman, and Ali and Frazier are not light years older, but like Lennox Lewis to Tyson, Holyfield and Bowe, he peaked much later. So all of the guns were no longer themselves when Holmes came into his own. I personally believe Larry Holmes would fight anybody, he had heart for days, the landscape was just screwed up after Ali left. As far as Holmesís performances, he was a great fighter but he was flawed. He wasnít particularly dominant and often times fought to level of competition but without a doubt he was a great fighter.
Mike Tyson actually beat in my opinion better fighters than Larry Holmes did although Holmes is probably a better fighter than Tyson. Weird, right? I get what you are saying about Tyson but Tony Tucker, Razor Ruddock, Pinklon Thomas, Tyrell Biggs and Michael Spinks were some good heavyweights and they compare favorably to anybody on Holmesís resume during his reign. Tysonís problem was he couldnít win a big one after his comeback. Those losses to Holyfield and Lewis kill him although he was past it. Tyson never handled adversity well and he never came through for a win when he up against it.
Hopkinsís legacy is also interesting. This goes to show you that if you look hard enough you can poke holes in anybodyís legacy. But to be fair Hopkins made up for some of his average challengers at 160 when he moved up 175. The Roy Jones rematch notwithstanding that was a terrible, but other than that Hopkins has fought all of the best lightheavyweights over the last decade. The only one he missed was Glen Johnson, and he knocked Johnson out at middleweight so we canít complain about that. So while Hopkins has fought some smaller guys at 160 and he missed some killers in early 90ís I honestly donít think he belongs on this list.
Now to Floyd. You have a good point. Floyd has great longevity and he has some great wins, but Jose Luis Castillo and Diego Corrales are still the best fighters he has ever faced at the time he faced them. Both are HOF caliber but I donít think Castillo will get in. Floyd has a ton of misses that I donít want to delve into.
As for who Floyd will fight down the line I really canít say. If you notice Floyd allows for opponents to create themselves. Look what he did with Ortiz and Guererro. So thatís a tough call. Here is what I will say. I think Floyd will fight welterweights and junior welterweights and not mess around with anymore super welterweights. Guys like Canelo and Austin Trout wonít get fights with him. And he had two closer than he liked type of decisions at 154 and I donít believe he will try his luck a 3rd time at the weight. The only reason I say that is because he wouldnít risk making the biggest fight in boxing by letting Canelo fight Austin Trout in a 50/50 fight.
I donít know where Floydís legacy will be when heís all set and done. Right now heís an all time great in my mind and heís somewhere between the top 25 and top 50 fighters ever. I donít want to speculate on the names you gave me because I honestly think Floyd will fight Guererro twice and he wonít fight again in 2013. We shall see.
I think your analogy is slightly off because Devon wouldn't come close to classifying as an A class fighter. Based upon what? Devon is a B fighter. He beat Maidana (not a welterweight, or world beater). He beat an old guy that had one shot power? Is Devon faster, that Brook yes possibly barely... It doesn't matter how fast ones hands are, if ones feet are clumsy and significantly slower than the hands. Andre Berto has fast hands. He also looks like a linebacker attempting to navigate the ring. He is flat-footed, and can't successfully get in position unless you stand right in front of him. Another case and point, Victor Ortiz. He has fast hands.. .he has much faster hands, then his feet, ring mobility and ring IQ. In certain cases, ring IQ can let you get away with not having the fastest feet...WHILE STILL getting off quick punches in combination. Hopkins recently was a great example of that facing Cloud. Boxing is a game of geometry, it's all about angles. Devon has never displayed mastery of angles, turning your opponent or great footwork.
Brook is lighter on his feet, has better ring intellience, and a greater sense of real estate (which will nullify all instances of Devon having slightly faster hands). You can have all the speed in the world, but if you can't get in position to get your stuff off, it doesn't matter. Brook beats him easily, easy fight to call. If I'm wrong, I'll be the first to stand up and say it.
I donít think Kell Brook easily outboxes Devon Alexander. Let me let you in on a secret when assessing fights. Well rounded fighters who are not particularly great in one area donít on the norm easily defeat A class fighters. For example Vernon Forest and Bernard Hopkins are well rounded fighters. They donít dominate fighters like say Manny Pacquiao or a Roy Jones. Feel me?
Now this doesnít hold true for every fight, but Kell Brook is not Pernell Whitaker or Willie Pep. Heís not a master boxer with sick reflexes and inhuman stamina. Heís not super fast, actually Devon is faster. Heís a good clean puncher but heís not a dynamic offensive machine like Terry Norris. So he may win but he wonít dominate. Bank on it.
Breadís Response: We will just agree to disagree. Devon Alexander is without a doubt an A class fighter. That doesnít mean heís an all time great or a HOF fighter but heís an A class fighter. As for Brook I am truly a Kell Brook fan. He has excellent balance and a smooth style. But out of the two Brook has just shown he has A class talent, but he hasnít proved heís an A class fighter. The best fighter he faced was Carson Jones and Brook struggled so badly it caused him to change his approach around.
Alexander is a two division champion. He has beaten some really good fighters. He has shown adaptability and lots of mental stamina in tough fights. I know Devon has his faults but what are doing is knocking Devon down in order to bring Kell Brook up.
The good thing is they are going to fight and we will see who is right. I expect a close, tactical chest match, no blow out either way. Devon the slight favor. If Iím wrong I will be the first to admit it. If youíre wrong I want you to copy and paste and send me this email just like you did in this post.
I pray you and your family are doing well. Breadman I couldnít disagree with you more and Iím a big fan of yours. If it wasnít for Latino fighters I wouldnít be watching boxing.I;m not a hater or an Uncle Tom. I like Hopkins and May weatherís personalities but I canít watch their fights. I love the way Andre Ward carries himself but canít watch him fight either. It is like an ugly girl with a beautiful personality. I want to talk to her but not f k her. These guys win ugly and arenít impressive to watch unless you are a boxing purist which most of us arenít. You have to admit that Hearns, Holyfield, Pryor, Saad Muhammed and other black fighters of the past were way more fun and enjoyable to watch then todays black fighters. All the fighters I enjoy Rios,Matthyse,Madaiena, and others arenít black. They are action fighters who are in there to fk you up. I hate Devon Alexander, Timothy Bradley and others even though they seem like great people. What do you attribute to the way black fighters fight now then the way they use to. Where are the Aaron Pryors, Hearns, Haglers, Saads, of today? Instead of getting angry about the truth why not address the issue. Why didnít any Americans beside a black female get a medal at the Olympics? Why has Boxing become a cult sport but is no longer mainstream. Blacks dominated boxing in the past and the sport was more popular than ever. Why isnít it now.? I personally notice that a lot of young black males in the hood now are soft compared to the past and will shoot you before they will fight you. I have been threatened by many a young boy who said I am not fighting you old head(Iím 51) but I got something for you. What is up with that? :You in the boxing media have to come out of denial and start addressing the bad performances and stop making excuses . Bernard Hopkins performance against Cloud might have won him the fight but from Iíve been reading from other fans he stunk it out. Hearns against Duran was a great performance. Duran vs. Iran Barkley was a great fight. I wish you guys in the media would stop trying to con us and be for real. We understand the art of boxing(some of us actually fought)but the standards that guys like Ali,Pryor,Mcallum and others should be maintained and not diminished or lowered..Broner and Paulie is a lousy fight especially from someone who talks as much shit as Broner. We already see he is following the bluepring of Fraud who ducked Pac man. This is getting pitiful. Love you anyway man. Take care.
Blood and Guts from Philly.
Breadís Response: Dam B&G, Iím shocked and disappointed you wrote me this email. The ironic thing is you wrote before Tim Bradleyís ballsy performance. I assume Bradley qualifies nowÖ. SMH.
I donít disagree that boxing was once much more popular. I donít disagree that the fighters from the 80ís that we grew up on were better. I say it all the time. The boxer punchers back then were much more high contact, much more violent.
But here is where I have a problem with your statement. You sound like a novice fan, who can only appreciate rock em sock em robots. Thatís sad. If a guy hitting and not getting hit is not your cup tea then so be it, but I think you went too far bro. Seriously.
Andre Ward is just fine. You falied to mention James Kirkland. How about Peter Quillen? You may hate Devon Alexander but he whooped Maidanaís ass and he didnít run. He stood in the box and beat him up.
I can go and on. Here is the thing. A lot of the black fighters may be a little safety first. I personally am partial to boxer punchers but guys who donít settle for boring decisions. But Iím not going to knock my race because a lot of the black fighters fight safety first. Whatís wrong with how Adrien Broner fights? Or Terrance Crawford? You conveniently left them out. If only hardcore fans can appreciate savage brawls then they need to educate themselves. A fighter owes it to the crowd to entertain but not get himself killed. He also has to win. Winning is first, then excitement.
There are so many elements to this, I would assume you know better. A guy like Tim Bradley wonít be able to lose 5 and 6 fights and be brought back like say an Arturo Gatti or Rocky Juarez. I donít get like getting into the racial stuff, but you know Iím telling the truth. So if you have the ability to box and not be hit while still winning, then you should do so.
Everything in life in has checks and balances. I am not trying to brainwash anybody and tell them to enjoy what I enjoy. But I do try to inform the uneducated eye that boxing is much more than blood and guts. Itís a science. Now truly special fighters like Ray Leonard and Sal Sanchez can allow us to appreciate the science as they entertain. But for you to call out all of these successful, top class fighters because you donít feel they take enough punches is just counterproductive. There are so many safety first European fighters out there that I wonít even name because that would be too much like hatin. Bro you really need to re assess your way of thinking and become a little more flexible.
One more thing let me let you in on an inside secret. For all of these brawling type of fighters that you like, there are boxer puncher stinker types that you hate that will beat them 8 out of 10 times. If you donít believe me ask some matchmakers. I have heard several matchmakers admit this personally. If you notice on the way up lots of the come forward Mexican fighters donít get matched with slick boxing black kids. Think about that for a second. And for the record I like every style. There is something you can learn from all ethnicities when it comes to boxing.
The Europeans have excellent diets and they are really up on their science. The Mexicans really know how to fight going forward and parry punches as they work. The Puerto Rican are usually good punchers and know how to set up knockouts. And the black kids really understand angles and how to box with a rhythm. Although color does mean something in boxing, we should embrace all facets, being close minded wonít let us overcome.
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