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Daily Bread Mailbag: Tszyu-Thurman, Lopez-Ortiz, Tank-Haney, Jaron Ennis, More

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The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards tackling topics such as Teofimo Lopez vs. Jamaine Ortiz, Devin Haney, Gervonta Davis, Jaron Ennis, Tim Tszyu vs. Keith Thurman, and more.

I was wondering what you think about Teofimo Lopez vs. Jamaine Ortiz.I think it could be an incredibly compelling bout. It also seems like it’s being overlooked because of the Fury-Usyk fight being right around the corner.

Thank you for your take!

Bread’s Response: I think Lopez vs Ortiz is a very good fight. Lopez is sort of getting reputation as a hot and cold fighter. When he’s hot he’s one of the five or six best fighters in the world. But when he’s cold he loses to George Kambosos or struggles with Masayoshi Nakatani and Sandor Martin. I feel like Ortiz would beat Kambosos or Nakatani… 

I feel like Lopez is the more talented fighter and he should win. But it’s not written in stone. Ortiz is very good. He’s trying to reach the next tier. Lopez is a special talent but he needs to show consistency and be the guy who beat Loma and Taylor. I like the fight.

Bread,

You have been given the power to create a boxer that would match up well with your coaching style and what you value. If you had to use the fighters skill sets below to create an exceptional boxer, what fighters would you use? Ring IQ, Defense, Offense, Power, Discipline, Chin, Promotability, Recovery, Stamina, Grit, Versatility

Bread’s Response: I love this question. I’m going to pick one person for each category and actually give a reason why. 

Ring IQ: Sugar Ray Leonard. Leonard’s 4 ATG scalps of Benitez, Duran, Hearns and Hagler are deeper than just 4 great fighters on a resume. It’s 4 completely different styles. Benitez is a slippery defensive counter puncher. Duran an athletic, volume attacker with great defense. Hearns a physical freak in aspects of height and reach with an all time jab and right hand. Hagler is a strong punching, pressure technician who switch hits. Leonard figured out a way to beat them all. Stopping Benitez, Duran and Hearns….

Defense: Pernell Whitaker. Whitaker could slip, roll, parry and catch. He had inside defense and outside defense. He could defend himself at all ranges. He also had great reflexes and great feet. 

Offense: Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson shows up on grainy black and white film as good as some guys show up on HD full color. He had incredible hand speed. One punch power in both hands. A brutal body attack. A consistent jab. The only thing I never saw him really do was POT SHOT but that wasn’t done much in his time. 

Power: George Foreman. I think Foreman is the most powerful man to ever box. 

Discipline: Rocky Marciano. There have been many disciplined stand outs. But Marciano has done the most with less out of those stand outs. In order for a 5’10 overweight baseball catcher, to reach the heights he did, he has the discipline I would want. The deciding factor for me, is he retired at 32. It takes special discipline to resist the urge to keep fighting…Very few have it.

Chin: George Chuvalo has the best chin I’ve ever seen. There are other great fighters with great chins but those fighters have great talent so they know how to take steam off of incoming punches. Chuvalo ate punches full on and didn’t go down. I’ve never seen anything like his chin. His skull and nervous system should be examined to explain his chin.

Promotability: Muhammad Ali: Ali is a gold Medalist. He’s a heavyweight. Women love him. He speaks as well as anyone ever. He’s a generational talent. Easy Pick. If he fought today he would make 100M PER FIGHT!!!!

Recovery: Juan Manuel Marquez: Marquez didn’t have an indestructible chin like a Hagler or Chavez.. He went down and went down often. I have seen Marquez get dropped at least 8 times off the top of my head. But I’ve never felt like he would get stopped. He always gives the impression he can compose himself to fight through anything. Unbelievable recovery skills.

Stamina: I would say Salvador Sanchez. His ability to fight on the bounce. Stay alert. Concentrate in the deep water part of the fight, And excel in the 15 round era, is the stamina I would want.

Grit: I would say Ali again. I’ve seen Ali fight in the 70s. He was obviously physically declining. He was fighting killers. He didn’t come in great shape every fight. But his GRIT was always on full display. Watch him vs Ron Lyle and Earnie Shavers. Ali was old, shotty and not in great condition. But he still won with GRIT.

Versatility: This was a tough one. But I’m going to go with a modern current fighter. Terence Crawford. I have seen Crawford press a fight in a high guard from both stances see the Lundy and Dolurme fights. I have seen him box carefully see the Prescott and Postol fights. I have seen him play counter puncher, see the Spence and Brook fights. I have seen Crawford turn a switch on, see the Porter fighter. Obviously he switches from orthodox to southpaw and back and forth. Not only is Crawford’s skills versatile but he’s shown a versatile temperament.

What’s up Bread, As usual I always enjoy reading your take on boxing. I was studying Gervonta Davis and Devin Haney’s fighting styles and after really watching closely and thinking about what strategy I would use, this fight doesn’t seem as close as people think. I favor Tank 65/35. The reason being is Tank has shown more versatility in styles and can do more. Devin Haney does everything behind the jab but what I noticed was he doesn’t have is a lead right hand. He’s missing that sniper pot shot. I actually think that Tank can be small and use his legs and speed and pot shot Devin early whether to the body or head with the purpose of getting ahead on the scorecards early which would force Devin to come forward and be a bit more aggressive to his liking. Don’t get into that pattern Devin likes where a smaller guy is trying to plod his way inside and he pick them apart. Tank needs to make Devin look for him. If Devin gets behind and really wants to win he’ll have to open up and that’s where his problems will begin. What do you think about that as a plan A strategy for Davis? 

Bread’s Response: I think you really know boxing. I can’t say your prediction or plan is accurate because they haven’t fought. But I do like how you thoughtfully broke down what you thought Tank could do to win. I don’t agree that because a fighter can do MORE, than that means he will win. Because some fighters are jacks of all trades and masters of none. But in Tank’s case I agree he’s very versatile. And Because of his lack of height and big punching ability his overall game gets overlooked. 

But Devin has a great jab and we have to see if Tank can handle that type of world class jab. I also agree that Devin doesn’t really pot shot. For those that don’t know what pot shot means, it means lead with a scoring shot, that’s not a jab. But you left out that Devin is still DEVELOPING. Pot shotting is not the end all and it’s something that can be developed. Keep that in mind. Devin is getting better and we may see pot shotting as part of his game soon.

I agree that if Devin gets down on points early, Tank has a big advantage if Devin tries to over press or over punch. I like your idea that Tank should get out to an early lead. But who’s to say Devin will be down early. Tank is often times a slower starter than Devin. You may be confusing who’s the better puncher with who starts to cook earlier. I think Devin starts faster….

One thing you didn’t touch on was Devin’s size. Devin is a much bigger person than Tank. And at 140lbs Devin will rehydrate up to 165+ and that could be a difference. I think Devin recently facing 3 southpaws who were shorter than him will serve him well if he were to fight Tank. But I also think Tank who in my opinion has savant like Timing, will serve well and pick up some things from the Loma and Jo Jo Diaz fights on video. They both hit Devin with several left hands from the southpaw stance…Great match up. But I don’t think it happens anytime soon. Sorry to be a cynic. But I’m being a realist.

Sup Bread,

You have mentioned before that you do not seek out fighters to train. My question then is how do you get your fighters? Do they always come to you or are they recommended by other trainers? What is the process? Have you ever been asked to be a co-trainer for a fighter not in your stable? Also, have you ever caught an opposing corner trying to gain an illegal advantage against one of your fighters . ie how they wrap their fighter etc Have you ever passed on training a fighter who went on to become champion? Finally, Have you ever seen the infamous Al Haymon in person? What do you think of Saudi Arabia now being a player in boxing? Will this produce more great matches? I bought the December 23 Day of Reckoning PPV because it was only $39 and the card was stacked.

Take Care, Aaron from Cleveland

Bread’s Response: I’ve acquired the fighters I’ve trained by either them or someone from their teams asking me to train them. 

Yes I’ve been asked to Co Train fighters not in my stable. 

Yes I’ve caught a corner trying to get an advantage. There was a fight in Boston between Julian Williams and Freddy Hernandez. Hernandez had one of his hands wrapped before I got in the dressing room. I told them to unwrap it. There was tape on the skin, then gauze, then tape again. In some states that’s legal but not in Massachusetts. They told him to unwrap and rewrap. I don’t think they were so much trying to cheat. I think it was a thing of them being allowed to wrap like that in certain states. Nevertheless I was familiar with that commission and I knew they didn’t allow it. The fight is on youtube and if you look close you will see it was a delay and we almost got cut off the broadcast. 

I wouldn’t say I passed on a fighter who went on to become champion. But I did stop working with a fighter a year before he became champion. We worked together for 3 fights…Other than that The answer is a clear no.

Yes.

I’m optimistic that Saudi will be great for boxing. Let’s see how it plays out.

Bread, I’ll try to be succinct. I listened to a boxing podcast recently called Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History: Addendum. In episode 23, titled “Boxing with Ghosts”, Carlin and author Mike Silver discuss how in historical comparisons in other sports it’s more obvious that modern athletes are better than their predecessors because athletes are now bigger, stronger, and faster. The exception, they argue, is in boxing. Boxers of yesteryear were so much more active that their timing is so much better and their skill is more developed. In what field do people develop by doing it less often? They argue that overall skill level has decreased since the olden days. One analogy they made was regarding car racing. To the untrained eye, car racing is devoid of skill or strategy and many assume people watch these races for the car crashes. Those of us who don’t understand the sport of car racing don’t appreciate what we’re seeing. They argue that most boxing viewers these days watch fights for the car crashes as there is no more skill to appreciate in the sport. One aspect of this involves inside fighting.

Silver argues that there are no more modern boxers who are skilled inside fighters. Upon first hearing this I chalked it up as hyperbole and sour grapes from old-timers who are typically hating on the newer, younger generation. But upon further reflection, I couldn’t think of any ACTIVE boxers who I would call skilled inside fighters. Tyson Fury surprisingly comes to mind. Maybe Canelo and Crawford. And not to kiss your ass, but I thought Julian Williams’s victory over Jarret Hurd was an awesome display of inside fighting. (I guess that old school boxing will always be alive somewhere in Philly.)  In recent memory, there are guys like B-Hop, Andre Ward, Cotto, Floyd, Erik Morales, James Toney, Roberto Duran etc. But as for now? I’m not sure. So my questions for you are:- What components make up good inside fighting? – How does one improve this aspect of their game?- Who are the best inside boxers in the game today?- Who are some of the best inside boxers of all time?I highly encourage you and your readers to check out that episode of that podcast, Bread. I think you’ll find it interesting. Here’s a link to that episode on Spotify https://open.spotify.com/episode/7saX1j69HnHSeH09FeoT0j?si=e3882476d15d445b

Thanks for your time. Jason Nava

Bread’s Response: You develop skill by correct repetition. So the more you do something, the more skill you develop. So fighting more often will make you more skillful. But fighters aren’t promoters. They can’t control this era of inactivity. But they can control how often they train. So therefore they have to stay in the gym and overcompensate for the lack of actual fights.

With inside fighting you need toughness. You’re so close up on your opponent….. all good inside fighters are tough and they aren’t squeamish about being hit. They also need tactile reflexes. Because the bodies are close they need to be able to FEEL where the incoming punches are coming from if they can’t see them.. And like anything else. You have to have fun in there. If being so close stresses you out, then being inside won’t be productive.

The best inside fighters today. There are a few. Like you said Fury is nice on the inside. Terence Crawford is real nice inside. As is Canelo. Bam Rodriguez. Chocolatito. Loma. Beterbiev. Antuanne Russell. Boots Ennis. Errol Spence. David Benavidez.

There are more good inside fighters currently than you may have realized. ATG inside fighters. Um…..Joe Frazier, Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Pernell Whitaker, James Toney, Archie Moore, Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano, Henry Armstrong, Roman Gonzales.

Bread, In 2007 Paul Williams defeated Antonio Margarito by unanimous decision. He won the WBO welterweight title, but more importantly became the most feared man in boxing by beating the boogeyman. It very quickly became obvious that he wasn’t going to get fights with Cotto, Mayweather, De la hoya, Mosley, or Pacquiao, even though he had a title to offer and reasonable name recognition. After avenging a decision loss to Carlos Quintana by first round KO, Williams began to campaign in 3 weight classes simultaneously against anyone that HBO would approve.  Fighting 10 times in the next five years exposed some vulnerabilities that would not have been seen had he waited for a megafight that would have never materialized. The loss in his second fight with Sergio Martinez made him appear very beatable. That loss most likely was the singular reason that Canelo ultimately signed to fight him, giving him the biggest opportunity any fighter could ask for. A win against Canelo would have changed his life forever. Had he not taken those risks by being flexible with his weight and fighting more frequently, the big Canelo payday and the opportunity for bigger fights would have never come.

I see a startling parallel with Jaron Ennis. It seems to me that Ennis will never get a big fight until he seems vulnerable. No one with any sense will risk fighting him with the current risk to reward ratio. Ennis must demand that his promoter get him into as many televised fights in as many weight classes as possible, regardless of risk. The reward to fight Ennis is financially still very low, and the risk is very great. The more risky fights that he takes, and the more he fights overall, will increase the odds that the paydays begin before his skills begin to deteriorate.Ennis has the potential to be a generational fighter, far beyond anything Williams was able to accomplish. But if he doesn’t change his business philosophy and begin to take enormous risks, the current culture of today’s boxing may swallow him up and he truly could end up wasting his most talented years waiting for something that won’t come. Mikey Garcia fought seven fights in his last seven years, finally retiring to zero fanfare, partially because of his frustration with the business of boxing. Ennis fighting one over matched welterweight every year for the next seven years, is financial suicide. Fighting multiple WWs, JMWs, and MW’s two or three times a year is far more likely to ultimately lead to the money that he hopes to make.  Boots should bet on himself and not wait. Do I have this all wrong? How would you move Boots? Is there any reason to wait?

JB

Bread’s Response: I think it was more towards Paul Williams’s rise in weight than met the eye. And for as good as Williams was his performances started going up and down. He lost to Carlos Quitana and Sergio Martinez. He had a weird fight with Kermit Cintron and he got one of the worst gifts I’ve ever seen vs Erislandy Lara. 

So I say that to say that Boots Ennis is Boots Ennis. And Paul Williams is Paul Williams. Ennis won’t make 147 for long. So maybe he wants to get everything out of the division before he leaves it. I liken this to a man who has trouble paying his bills and maintaining the woman he’s with. Instead of cutting back on certain things, the correct mentality in my opinion is to make more money. So I know you may say if Boots jumped around in weight, then that would be equivalent to making more money. But I think aligning yourself more productively with the business side is the answer. I don’t think Boots needs to leave 147 just yet. I think he needs more “backing” to give him a bigger platform. Let’s see how it turns out, I think 

Hi Bread,

If you’re judging fighters by 2 things, what they’ve done plus who would win in head-to-head fights, how would you rank the top 10 at Jr. Middleweight (154 pounds) since 1980? (Please feel free to skip the rest of this email if you’re busy or just not in the mood to read my analysis lol.)I don’t know enough about Norris and other champs/contenders of the 80s and 90s, but it seems that Mike McCallum and Tommy Hearns are in a class of their own. After that, I’m not sure who goes where:* Winky Wright seems like obvious top dawg, but he legitimately lost to Vargas and I think he would lost to Duran and Canelo as well;* Canelo also seems great at that weight, but he got schooled by a small Mayweather (it was at a catchweight though) and beat Lara at a 155-pound catch weight* Tito steamroller through the division, even knocking out El Feroz, but he loses to Wright and DLH every time;* DLH legit lost to Mosley (I hate saying this but the fight was close and could’ve gone either way, it was no robbery) and I can’t see him beating Wright, but he schools a lot of others;* Julian Jackson was a beast, but I think boxers like DLH and maybe Wright beat him;* Mayweather and Mosley didn’t do enough at the weight to warrant consideration;* Charlo brothers, I can’t see them beating a DLH  or a Mayorga even.Maybe the competitiveness of this division is what makes it so fun to watch. And maybe that is because, due to it being a “junior” hop-over division, fighters use it as a scene to develop rather than to establish theirblegacies.

Kind regards, Brian

Bread’s Response: The 10 Best Junior Middleweights Since 1980…..hmmm. Ok here goes.

1. Tommy Hearns

2. Mike McCallum

3. Terry Norris

4. Winky Wright

5. Felix Trinidad

6. Canelo Alvarez

7. Julian Jackson

8. Wilfred Benitez

9. Floyd Mayweather

10. Oscar De La Hoya

I disagree about Floyd NOT doing enough at the weight to warrant consideration. He won the title 3x at JMW. That’s a rare feat. But more importantly the 3 title wins at JMW were against 3 HOFS. De La Hoya, Cotto and Canelo. Those are huge wins for a JMW. Especially one who started out at 130lbs. So Floyd deserves to be in the top 10 since 1980.

What do you think of Canelo fighting Jermall Charlo then Terence Crawford? Is he the favorite in both fights? How do both fights go? Will Big Charlo give him a tougher fight than Little Charlo?

Bread’s Response: I didn’t hear Canelo or Eddy Reynoso say that…..However, I do believe that Canelo will fight Jermall Charlo. That seems logical if we are in February and Canelo usually fights on Cinco De Mayo. He just fought Jermell (Little Twin) and the revenge angle, along with Jermall’s undefeated record and the Mexican vs Black aspect will most likely sell well on PPV, I’m assuming. 

But the Crawford fight is another story. In terms of danger I think Jermall may present more danger than his brother did because their natural styles are different. Jermell was more of stick and move boxer early on. Then once he got with Derrick James he started scoring more kos. But his natural style is to use his legs. Where as Jermall is more of a stand his ground fighter, who has a higher volume with his jab. Jermell(Little Twin) tries to catch his opponents with big shots. Jermall more or less pounds his opponents down. I think Jermell is quicker but I think Jermall is stronger and has a more high contact style. 

I don’t think Jermall can beat Canelo right now, but I can see him getting more of a pound of flesh than his brother did. But when you put yourself in position to land more, then your opponent can land more also. So there is a greater chance for Canelo to stop Jermall than it was to stop Jermell who moves more. I favor Canelo the odds should be about -350 to -450. 

Call me crazy. Call me a homer although I’m not from Nebraska. But I feel like Crawford is ALL WRONG for Canelo. They are approximately the same height. With Crawford having a huge advantage in length. I know Canelo is more dense and I assume he hits harder. But Crawford has great feet, he doesn’t get tired and his IQ is off the charts. 

I don’t say a Good Big Man always beats a Good Little Man, because it’s simply not true. It depends on the fighters. Their styles and when they fight. There are weight divisions for a reason, don’t get me wrong but in this case, I’m taking the Great Little Man to beat the Great Big Man in this one. 

I think the world of Canelo’s skills. He’s the TRUTH. But my eyes tell me, he’s better with bigger fighters who want to break him, than he is with faster guys with superior stamina who won’t let him control them on the ropes. I also think Canelo asserts controlled pressure. It’s excellent but it’s more of a mental pressure. He steps to you and if you try to hold your ground and fire, his reflexes allow him to counter and make you pay. But Canelo is not going to fatigue himself chasing someone down. It’s why guys like Jermell Charlo can go the distance. If Canelo was 6ft and he could keep Crawford at a distance and control him I would pick him. See Carlos Monzon vs Jose Napoles. Or if put frenetic in your face pressure. Pressure like a young Roberto Duran, Jeff Fenech or Julio Cesar Chavez…See Joe Frazier vs Bob Foster for the pressure I’m talking about. I would pick him Canelo again. But it’s not that type of pressure. And I don’t believe Crawford will break mentally. Crawford not only has a high IQ, but he’s ultra competitive, a little crazy and he’s going to be UP for this. 

This will be Crawford’s chance to be in the GOAT conversation if he jumps 3 divisions and beats the lineal and RING Super Middleweight Champion. If they fight I think the Vegas odds will be even -110 for both. Those Little Old Men know better. If Canelo is the favorite it won’t be huge. No more than -200 for him. But I feel like Crawford wins a close decision. He may get hurt. He may get dropped. But his feet will carry him out of trouble to edge it. I think this fight can be similar to Leonard vs Hagler. If I’m wrong I will stand on it.

If you only read the comments below your mailbags. You ruffled some feathers with the Leonard vs Hagler question and I never understood why. I went back and researched and I think this may be racial bias. I know both Leonard and Hagler are black but so were Ali and Frazier. And it seems that more conservative white people backed Hagler and Frazier. Where as the flashy urban crowd favored Ali and Ray. Although Leonard was not the activist that Ali was, he was sort of an Ali understudy, the style, the Olympic Gold Medal and even Angelo Dundee. Where as Hagler was the blue collar guy, who was loyal to his Italian managers on a handshake deal. The people who are commenting act like you’re stating your opinion when you say Leonard won. But it’s actually a fact. I know Leonard is your favorite fighter, but your response was fact filled. In contrary it’s their opinion that Hagler won, which is an opinion and far from a fact. I would like your thoughts on if I’m on to something with race being motivation on why this fight was so controversial. I’ve seen fights much harder to score with the decisions accepted much easier.

Where as in this fight I see Ray Leonard get out to a huge lead and Hagler finishing just short at the finish line with outrage that seems fake with ulterior motives.

Bread’s Response: When you want something to be true, you will find things to fit your Subjective Preference. In college we did and experiment. The professor asked us to find brown objects in the room. We found several. Even the objects that were beige and burgundy we claimed them to be brown. But after we found all of the brown objects, he asked us did we see any red objects without giving us a re look. No one saw red objects, BECAUSE we weren’t looking for RED objects. That’s what happens when you WANT someone to win a fight. I make no bones about it. I am a Leonard fan. But that doesn’t mean I can’t come from an objective place, especially if I’m stating facts. If all I stated was my opinion then it’s easy to discredit my point of view. But only a fool argues a fact. I fully admit that Leonard won a big part of the negotiations with the RING SIZE. But the gloves and the rounds were not a big deal. Those issues arose when Hagler’s fans made a big deal afterwards, when their 4 to 1 favorite lost. Very few people picked Leonard before the fight, but afterwards, they made excuses. This again isn’t an opinion it’s a fact. Polls were taken before the fight. 

If Leonard had gained all of these big advantages, then why didn’t the betting lines sway and why didn’t more press pick him? Ask yourself that. They knew Hagler fought Hearns and Mugabi in 12 rounders. They knew that gloves with the thumbs attached prevented fighters being THUMBED. It’s disgraceful to be honest that those things get brought up after the fact.

Hagler’s fans also conveniently don’t bring up Punch stats. They say Leonard threw pity pat punches but they never say Hagler outlanded him because they know he didn’t. The DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL. I’m not a BIG punch stat guy. I don’t refer to them often because I have seen them show a fight that I didn’t see. But in this SPECIFIC case, the punch stats indicated the fight I saw. Leonard threw 629 punches and landed 306 for a 49% connect rate. Hagler threw 792 punches and landed at 291 at a 37% connect rate.

So wait, you mean to tell me that the guy who threw 163 less punches, landed 15 more punches. So Leonard was the more efficient fighter. Not only did he outland Hagler overall, he outlanded him in the majority of the rounds which counts more than overall connects because overall numbers can be thrown off when a fighter has a few HUGE rounds. So now we get to the….. well Hagler landed the harder shots. Well I didn’t see Leonard wobbling around the ring. I didn’t see him get knocked down. I saw him hit with a few shots that may have buzzed him and got his attention but nothing super big. He wasn’t bleeding. He wasn’t bruised. His eyes weren’t closed…Seriously how are we quantifying these super hard shots. I saw Hagler’s head snap back just as much as Leonard’s. How many great wins in history have we seen where a fighter gets outboxed but not so much hurt? Several. Too many to name!!! Hagler’s fans give him credit for winning rounds 13, 14 and 15 vs Duran to secure the victory. He was down on the official cards after 12, which I don’t agree with by the way but those were the official cards. They acknowledge his comeback. But Duran never hurt Hagler and Hagler never hurt Duran. So the one time Hagler went the distance in all of his title fights, there wasn’t a prerequisite for someone to be hurt. But when he loses by decision to Leonard, the prerequisite arises. That’s called Moving the Goal Post.

Then let’s go to the last 30 second flurry theory. Just because Ray stepped it up to close out rounds, doesn’t mean he didn’t land anything for the other 2:30. Wouldn’t that be something that Leonard outlanded Hagler overall in punch stats, but only punched for 30 seconds of each round. I think it would be impossible but Hagler’s fans will have you believe that. They also want you to believe because Leonard didn’t hurt Hagler then he punches didn’t mean anything. Hagler has arguably the best chin in boxing history. No one has ever really hurt him. So does that mean, he can’t lose because he can’t be hurt. Do you know how dumb that sounds, if you say it out loud? From what I saw Leonard took Hagler’s punches, just as good as Hagler took his and vice versa. 

In scoring the fight, Leonard won the first 4 rounds. So we are at 40-36 right off the bat and Hagler has to win 7 of the next 8 rounds to win. Hagler won the 5th big, hitting Leonard with a nice uppercut. But Leonard clawed back in the 6th. Watch the 6th rd. So at the Halfway points, it’s either 59-55 Leonard or 58-56 Leonard if you went bent over backwards for Hagler. I think Leonard was up 5 rounds to 1 after the half way point. Hagler won the 7th and 8th. So now after 8 you have it EVEN or 77-75 Leonard. I had it 5 rounds to 3 which is 77-75. Leonard won the 9th.  So on most objective cards Leonard has secured at least a draw. The 10th rounds was hard to score. But in fairness I will give it to Hagler to not overcompensate for Leonard. But Leonard came back and had a BIG 11th round culminating in a huge flurry. Leonard secured the fight in the 11th with winning his 7th or 8th round of the fight. Hagler won the 12th. 

I agree that a 118-110 scorecard in favor of Leonard was not indicative of the fight. That may be where the scrutiny comes from and rightfully so. Leonard didn’t win 10 rounds. That scorecard wasn’t fair to him either, because he has to explain something he didn’t do. But overall he won the fight. Hagler coming forward and throwing more, while being outlanded overall indicates he was OUTBOXED. 

I don’t shy away from race questions if they are relevant. I think you have a good point about race. But It doesn’t mean that the people who backed Hagler were racist. That’s not fair to them. But overall I think Hagler and Frazier had the same fan base. As did Ali and Leonard. And again for the record I don’t think it’s all racial. I think certain types of people are attracted to certain types of athletes. Hagler is a blue collar guy. Many can relate to that. Leonard is the Golden Boy/Pretty Boy. Many like that also but it also turns a lot of people off because it’s less common. The blue collar guy is more relatable where as the guy who can bang the prom queen and all of her girlfriends, is not as relatable to the common man. 

My step father wore work boots to work every day working for the Sanitation Department. He was a Hagler guy. My grand pop was a hard worker but he owned his own business and routinely wore slacks and suits. He was a Leonard guy. I can’t make this up. Both were black but different type of black guys.

As for the non black people, I think that Leonard’s I’m my own boss persona rubbed some people the wrong way. Hagler’s handshake loyalty to the Petronelli’s endeared him to some people….…

I once sat down with a young fighter who wasn’t born yet in 1987. He said to me that he heard the Leonard vs Hagler fight was very controversial. I said it was a close fight but fans and media made it controversial because the guy they thought would get demolished looked the same after the fight, as he did before it. By the way that’s my opinion, not a fact. For those who don’t know the difference.

So we watched the fight, round by round. The fighter couldn’t believe how much Hagler missed. He also couldn’t believe that he had read that Leonard only punched the last 30 seconds of rounds. Then he asked me why did people say that Leonard never hurt Hagler when Hagler never really hurt Leonard. If you give Hagler the 6th and the 10th which are the closest rounds of the fight the best he can still get is a draw. Think about that for a second. Even Hagler’s fans agree Leonard won the first 4 rounds. So he only needs  two of the next eight rounds to secure a draw…Food for thought in simple math.

There have been fights in my lifetime that I know were robberies. Choc vs Estrada II was a robbery. Jonas vs Mayer that just occurred was a robbery. But Leonard vs Hagler was a great fight, between the two biggest stars of the 80s, who were in essence fighting for Fighter of the Decade and Leonard won. And since, Hagler’s fans have moved goal post and rewritten circumstances surrounding the fight, to give more credence to their case of a robbery. Instead of acknowledging Hagler was a slow starter, he got off to a slow start, and never got all of the rounds back. 

Leonard did research on Hagler’s punch out put and discovered he picks it up as the rounds go on. His plan was to get out to an early lead and make Hagler fight from behind. His plan was also to flurry 3 times every round to get the judges attention. And to close the rounds out strong because that’s the last thing that judges see before handing in their scorecards. I think it was a brilliant plan. But some scrutinize it….

If Leonard would’ve fought fire with fire like Hearns did and got kod, “they” would all be happy. But instead he boxed and moved and his game plan is devalued. He couldn’t beat Hagler at that time fighting fire with fire, so fought the fight that suited him best. Isn’t that what great fighters do, adapt and overcome? I think so….

Do you think Keith Thurman has a chance to beat Tim Tszyu the odds are big in Tszyu’s favor? Do you think Shakur Stevenson is retired for good or was it just frustration?

Bread’s Response: I give Keith Thurman a 35%-40% chance to win. I favor Tszyu but Thurman is the best fighter Tszyu has ever fought. Thurman looked excellent in his last fight. Thurman although inactive, has never showed signs of ring rust. He knows what it’s like to be in a BIG fight. The last time Tszyu fought in America he didn’t set the world on fire vs Terrell Gausha. Traveling is a real thing for fighters. And Keith Thurman makes you pressure him and defend yourself while attempting to chase him down. He’s not easy to corner, because he’s committing to moving and he’s a strong puncher. I factor those things in and I give him a reasonable chance, but I do favor Tszyu. I don’t agree with the odds. I think Tszyu is more of a -400 favorite instead of -800.

I think Shakur Stevenson is frustrated. That’s all. Social Media allows you to talk to just about anyone in the world whenever you want. And it’s tempting to vent your thoughts. I think Shakur is very confident in his ability. He believes he’s the best but he’s not getting the best opportunities. Ryan Garcia who has accomplished less, has made more money and gotten bigger opportunities. Shakur is not getting paid the best. Devin, Tank and Ryan have all made more money than Shakur. I’m not sure about Teofimo. Nevertheless all of Shakur’s contemporaries have been under a bigger spotlight in bigger fights and I think he had a moment. He’s human. I would like to extend the young man grace. This is a tough sport. To answer you directly, no I don’t think he’s retired for good.

Send Questions to dabreadman25@hotmail.com

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