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February 07, 2012

DAILY BREAD FAT TUESDAY EDITION
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

Let's say that you where going into a gas station and a guy comes up to you and says ďMan, I have a 52Ē Vizeo HDTV 1080p 120hz for sale brand new in the box only $300.Ē  Now before you can answer he says ďI am just trying to get some money to get my car fixed. I need to sale this TV badĒ. How do you respond? Let me just tell you how most dudes from the hood would respond: ďI will give you $200 for itĒ Why? Because he has shown his desperation. My TV may have just gone out and I know this is a good deal but just because I know this dude is desperate I feel like he should sell it for $200 and if he is not willing to come down, then I have to make a decision. Do I walk or do I purchase this TV that I know I need?

My point is I think Floyd Mayweather miscalculated Manny Pacquiao's desperation. Pac went on TV saying that he would take less and Floyd knows that Pac is having financial problems and smelled blood in the water and just like most ďNinja as yíall call itĒ he tried to ďbuss his headĒ as we folks in the south say.

Floyd realizes that this fight will have big sales and he thought by offering Pac 40 mil guaranteed with no rights to anything else Pac would jump all over it. I mean that is about double what Pac has ever made. [Editor's note: not true]. At this point, Floyd will likely do one of two things. Stand strong and wait for Pac to get desperate enough to take that 40 million dollar deal or say you know what I am going to lose a lot too so let me go ahead and take the 50/50 deal because remember my TV just went out and I know I need a new one.

Let me ask you another question now that we know May will be fighting Miguel Cotto and I have read your post and how you have tried to justify Manny making Cotto come down to 145. Why do you think he made him come down? Better yet when was the last time Cotto came in that low? Oh even better how many times has Cotto fought at that weight or even 147 since? Go ahead I'll wait.... Let me answer them for you I believe that Bob Arum informed them that Cotto was already have trouble making weight and he knew that it would be a huge advantage to his cash cow to drain Cotto. The last time Cotto fought below 147 was 3 years before. The answer to the last is 0. So please stop trying to justify Pac draining people. Do I blame him? No but I don't give him full credit for the win.
Breadís Response: Whatís up Cornelious? Miss you bro. Floyd no doubt miscalculated Mannyís desperation. Manny wants the fight but heís not thirsty about it. Heís not some up and coming guy who has been striving for recognition. He is just as celebrated as Floyd. I like your analogy on that topic.
But I disagree about the Cotto catchweight subject. I like your style Cornelious but Iím going to keep it real with you. You are a Manny Hater. Thatís as real as I can be.


You ask why did Manny make Cotto come down to 145lbs? The same reason why Cotto made Margarito come down to 153lbs and was trying to make him come down to 151lbs. Iím interested to hear your response to that. Nobody talks about the fact that Cotto/Margarito was a catchweight fight. More importantly how asinine it was. I have never heard of a catchweight fight where the participants have to come in 1lb under the weight limitÖÖ

I donít think Team Pacquiao was still 100% sold on Manny being a beast at 147 at the time they fought Cotto. I think they were being super careful and they were going to use any leverage they could, when they had it. Letís remember in the fight before Cotto, Manny weighed 138lbs. I still think if Manny pushed himself to the max he could make 135.

Now onto Cotto. I had never heard of Cotto having weight troubles at welterweight. Cotto was supposed to be much stronger and more sturdy at welterweight than he was at junior welter. Remember how he was being marketed at the time. I also never viewed Cotto as a busting out the seams fighter at welterweight. I view Tito Trinidad, Gerald McClellan and Brandon Rios as that. If you ask those guys to come in 2lbs lighter it would kill them. But Cornelious I have news for you. Just because a fighter fights at a certain weight, that doesnít mean he canít make a lower weight, he just may not be able to make the division below.

For example Marvin Hagler can make 158 but he canít make junior middleweight. Terry Norris could make 149, just not welterweight. This actually applies for most fighters. I donít believe making 145 in a day before weight affected Cotto in his performance in the fight.

Not only did Cotto come in at 146 the fight before that, but he showed the same weaknesses he has always shown in tough fights. He doesnít have a bad chin, but itís vulnerable. He also fades and when he gets hurt he starts to retreat. Cotto did this against Lovemore N dou at 140, look at the fight. He did it against Shane at 147, look at the fight. He did it against Clottey the fight he had before Pacquiao and he just did it a little against Margarito2. For the record I predict he will do it against Floyd at 154.

I also want to point out that Cotto came out looking great against Pacquiao. Manny didnít wait until Cotto faded from possibly being weight drained, he turned it on early and got to Cotto before the excuse could kick in. He hit him with a punch he didnít see I believe in the 3rd round and he dominated him for about 9 rounds in the row. Stop me CorneliousÖ.. Donít be blind with hate.

Manny dominated Cotto from the early going and took the fight away from him. Before the fight Cotto said that all he had to do was train an extra 10 minutes a day, to cut the calories and make 145 easy. There were NO reports of Cotto struggling to make weight. After the fight Cotto said that the weight had nothing to do with the outcome. He claimed Manny was the best fighter he ever fought and he just couldnít calculate where the pinches were coming from. Now 3 years later all of the excuses come out. I have to ask why are you making excuses for a fighter who didnít make excuses for himself ,after he got his butt beat. Manny Pacquiao has proven to be a better fighter than Miguel Cotto, period.

Cotto is doing well at 154, Top Rank is great at reinenting fighters. I think Cotto went to 154, because at the time the division was not as stacked. It worked perfect, Cotto gained another 3 years on his career and about another 15 million in his bank account. If you remember back Oscar did the same thing when he lost to Shane. Top Rank has the formula. Cotto took on a non puncher in a BIG New York fight, at Yankee Stadium. Yuri Foreman was the perfect foil. Then he fought an ancient Mayorga. We donít have to talk about the Margarito fight. By the way I give him full credit for the Margarito win. 153 didnít matter, he won the fight. I donít hateÖÖ I hope my answer was good enough for you.

I have one more prediction. Our world of boxing has come to a point of disgrace. The so-called best fighter ever, blasts a guy on Twitter, claims the guy is ducking him and then makes him an offer the he CAN refuse. Ironic? I think not... typical? I think yes. Tim Bradley is nowhere near Amir Khanís equal at the box office. But Khan made him the best offer an A side fighter can offer an elite opponent. I know what fighterís do when they want to make fights. I say that to say, this whole Mayweather/Cotto promotion will be about Manny Pacquiao and his catchweight fight with Cotto. ďTheyĒ will put the ďspinĒ on it and make it like Cotto struggled so bad to make 145 and he was so depleted come fight night. They will also turn him into the best junior middleweight since Mike McCallum and make it like 154 is his prime weight, just to make it look like when Floyd beats him that his accomplishment was so much greater than Mannyís 3 years prior. As we hear quotes from the promotion and the 24/7 series, I want you to write in and acknowledge my predictionÖ..

I donít believe in political smear campaigns when fighters can just get in the ring and fight.


 

Hey Bread this is JT from San Diego again. I wanted to get your take on the Klitschko bros. Many say they benifit from size. I believe they do. People will argue that the division is weak. I believe its thin but not weak (Eddie Chambers is the truth). Though their size does matter, I believe certain fighters of the past would have torn them apart... so give me your winners of these mythical match ups. Evander Holyfied vs. Wladimir and Vitali, Larry Holmes vs both, Riddick Bowe vs Both, Sonny Liston vs Both.. thanks Bread. Your mailbag is always on point
Breadís Response: I have both Klitschko bros in my top 10 pound-for-pound lists and I received a lot of criticism for it. I believe they are not only bigger than their current contemporaries but I also think they are better. They out skill and out size their opponents. There have been plenty of big, sloppy, unskilled and under trained big guys during this time who have not dominated like the K bros.
However, I think some people overrate the K bros. Vitali who is the better brother in my opinion, lost to his 2 best opponents. People try to spin it, and say he was winning both fights and he was. But nevertheless he lost. The Lewis tko was legit. A punch causing that kind of cut causes a stoppage. Chris Byrd was being scrappy and pesky and hitting Vitali with plenty of pop shots. Byrd was competitively losing. Vitali should have sucked it up and beat Byrd with one arm the last couple of rounds. Iím not challenging his heart, I think heís a mean SOB and I think he wishes he could have that night back. Vitali never got Byrd back for thatÖ..


Speaking of getting Byrd back, Wladimir got knocked out conclusively by Ross Purity and Corrie Sanders. He never attempted to avenge either loss. He got his big bro on Sanders. I believe Wlad didnít have the confidence in his chin to face Sanders again because of Sandersís super fast hands and deadly one punch power. Wlad was also drilled by a limited Lamon Brewster, whom he later got revenge on.

Everyone claims he has improved since then, I believe he has improved but to a degree. His bearings are better and he has more control. But he also has not been pushed since Samuel Peter had him flopping around the ring. I believe under enough heat he will fold again. I also feel that if a fighter competes in a weak era, which this is the worst era of heavyweight boxing in the history of the sport in my opinion. You have to beat all of your contemporaries and certainly you have to beat the best fighter you ever fought. Neither brother has done that in this subpar era.

For what itís worth, Cliff Rold who is in my eyes the best contemporary historian on boxing in the world, has neither brother in his top 10 all time.

I also believe that head to head they could beat certain heavyweights that are rated higher than them. But I also believe they would be big targets for other heavyweights, because some smaller guys are dynamic enough to beat the bigger heavyweights and the big size works against them. So head to head is different from all time status and historical rankings. Beating bigger fighters is not for everybody. Juan Manuel Marquez has proven to be Manny PAcquiaoís equal when they fight each other. But I believe Manny PAcquiao would do better in head to head match ups with junior welterweights and welterweights throughout history and currently. Feel me? Holyfield would knock Wlad out late. He just doesnít have enough on the inside to beat the Holyfield who beat Foreman. Vitali and Evander would be a toss up. But if Evander can fight that bouncy, disruptive fight he fought in Bowe 2 he would beat Vitali. Vitali is slow and gangly.

Holmes had super long arms and his jab would keep him in both fights. Holmes was great but also very vulnerable. He went down but never stayed down. But he was only dropped by murderous punchers. I consider Wlad a huge puncher, Vitali is more of an accumulation guy. I go back and forth about this but give me Larry on two close decisions.

I would take the Bowe of 92 to knock both guys out. Bowe couldnít miss with that looping right hand and he was murder on the inside. Bowe had poor head movement and he took punches too clean. So maybe Wlad could clip him, but Bowe was big, mean, nasty and in my opinion better skilled than both brothers. He just doesnít have the discipline or training habits to produce the longevity.

Liston knocks both of them out. Liston is one of the most historically underrated fighters in history. Listonís real prime was in the late 50ís, by the time he won the title he was a part time fighter and gangster. I have always believed he was older than his stated birthday. When he beat Cleveland Williams, he was an absolute machine. His jab and overall arsenal was  heavy and hard. Head to head Liston may be top 3 or 4 in an all time tournament. I have studied Liston a great deal, for some reason I was fascinated with his style and his life. Sometimes I have to think about certain fights and sometimes I get that ďfeelingĒ. I get that ďfeelingĒ with this fight. Liston, brutally bludgeoned both of them.


 
I have been lost in recent weeks watching endless footage of Ray Robinson, Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Carlos Monzon, Archie Moore, Marvin Hagler to name a few. What do you think of Andre Dirrell's decision to become his own promoter?  I respect the hell out of him for his decision and becoming his own man and hopefully more fighters can follow suit and lead their own careers instead of greedy promoters getting their hands on too much green!  Since Showtime put Froch-Bute on ice I would like to see Dirrell in a rematch with Carl Froch. (I think he wins by UD) then a fight with Bute with the winner facing Andre Ward for all the marbles.
 
I'm disgusted as much as anyone by all the b.s. surrounding Manny Pacquiao vs. Floyd Mayweather. I don't care what weight Miguel Cotto weighs in-he's getting  a serious beating by Floyd en route to being ko'd or the referee stops the punishment. Even with Tim Bradley's headbutts I think this is a good fight for Pac and after being frustrated for a few rounds I think he will KO Bradley in a punch he never saw coming in 6-9 rounds. Despite Juan Manuel Marquez's age, I see him beating Lamont Peterson clean by UD (hopefully it's wide enough he dosen't get screwed) His varied attack and crisp counter punching will be too much for peterson to handle.
 
When is Julian Williams back in the ring again?-- Brendan from Ireland

Breadís Response:  I donít know what to say about Andre Direll going out on his own. I will say that I wish him the best. If heís successful especially from the mid-major level, he may be a pioneer in boxing. Itís easy to be your own promoter when you are Oscar De La Hoya, Manny Pacquiao or Floyd Mayweather. But when you are Andre Direll, who is super talented but nowhere near as known or accomplished the room for error is that much less. We shall see.
Hopefully Julian will be back in the ring March 16th , in Palm Springs , California. Right now thatís what it looks like.


I just wanna say something on Floyd Mayweather vs Miguel Cotto. I pick Floyd on this one. I am PUERTO RICAN and my peoples are MAD as HELL at me for this one. I totally understand our cultural PRIDE,, but you gotta look outside the box sometimes. Last time i checked this was boxing, Nationalities don't win fights, Fighters do! Mayweather is the better fighter. I think the 1st Margarito fight took alot of miles off of Cotto. This Fight back then I might have given Cotto a chance, not now. Even though I also think Floyd has lost a step as well. Cotto will be game for the first 6-7 rounds and then will fade. He will definitely box with Floyd in the early rounds but will tire in the late rounds and might even get KOed. I like Cotto, but this is not a good fight for him, stylewise.,,,,,Stay up Bread! Jay BKLYN
Breadís Response: Youíre a smart man Jay. Pick who you think is going to win not who you want to win. People get that confused. Sometimes I purposely bet on sporting events because my allegiance is to my money. So whoever I bet on is who I root for. I never bet with my heart only my brain. I think Floyd will win also, but I do expect a great plan from Cottoís trainer who I like a great deal.

 

 

Hey what's up Breadman!

I enjoy your mail bags and the knowledge you spread here on boxingtalk. The TV networks should hire you to be an expert commentator instead of guys that know more about kissing ass than boxing like Doug Fisher and Dan Rafael. Your IQ is off the charts! The video game makers should also hire you to be a consultant on their boxing games. You could bring a realism to them that they don't already have.

Breadman, I want to know what you think of guys like Bobby Gunn calling out Roy Jones Jr? I think guys like that are predators and have no place in boxing. I hope Roy doesn't take the bait. Gunn should stick to his backyard ghetto bum fights.

Peace,

Lou
Breadís Response: Thanks for the kind words, Iím truly flattered. God willing I will be on one of networks one day. My main goal however, is to own my own gym and produce a world champion. That would just do it for me.


I donít know Dan Rafael but Dougie Fisher is the man. I met Doug at Ward/Green fight out in Oakland and Doug was cooler than a fan. Heís very knowledgeable and he speaks his mind. Sometimes as fans we hold guys under the microscope and we attack every opinion a popular media person has. Just because you may be on the opposite side doesnít make your counterpart an ass kisser.


 

Whatís up, Bread. Sakio Bika is a name I do not hear too often. You mentioned how Sakio Bika is such a tough SOB, and I am glad you pointed it out to the public. Man, Sakio Bika is the type of fighter who just does not stop coming after you. This cat (Bika) is buck strong, junk yard dog tough, and he would punk a mf all day and all night in the ring, in a bar fight and on the streets. Yeah Bread, Sakio Bika is one of those tough SOBs who could easily fight in any era, in any ring, in any bar and on any street corner Ė old school mf to the bone. In boxing, you have not ďtested your huevosĒ between 160-168 pounds until you have fought Sakio Bika. Great comment about Sakio Bika. Say Bread, can you think of five other fighters (historically) who are/were simply tough SOBs (during their prime years) who could fight in any era, in any ring, in any bar and on any street corner? I came up with Rocky Marciano, Ike Ibeabuchi, David Tua, Jack Dempsey and Randall ďTexĒ Cobb. Thanks Bread. E-Man.
Breadís Response: Itís correct to put Dempsey and Marciano in your tough guy label, but not 100% accurate for what I was saying. We know those guys are all out dogs. But I brought up Bika because no one will ever say heís a great fighter. Feel me? He is only known by hardcore fans. Ten years from now, no one will remember him. You would have to be a hardcore fan or from this era to know about Bika.


Back in the day there where about 6 to 10 guys in each division like Bika. Now Bika stands out. Off the top of my head, there was a kid named Jose Luis Lopez out of Mexico in the mid to late 90ís. Listen bro that kid punched like something was wrong with him. He almost knocked out a prime Ike Quartey. He was hell on wheels. I heard he was into surfing and drinking. But man he was tough and scary.


Troy Dorsey was another really tough, hard to stop guy. He gave Jorge Paez hell in a great fight on national tv. Iran Barkley, I donít even need to talk about the Blade. His credentials speak for themselves. Carl Thompson out of England was another bad ass. He actually beat David Haye. Jose Luis Ramirez was another bad ass out of Mexico. He wonít go down in history like Chavez or Sanchez but man he was tough. Ask Edwin Rosario and Alexis Arguello how tough. My last guy is fighting right now. There is a kid out of Oklahoma named Carson Jones. We fought on one of his undercards out Oklahoma. Iím telling you guys that kid is a problem. He has like 8 losses but he has turned the corner. He just knocked out Ricardo Williams. Jones is only about 25, but heís a hard old school 25. He will take some losses here and there but trust me the top guys wonít be knocking on his door anytime soon. He has one of the nastiest ďshortĒ games in boxing.

 

 

Bread,

Hope all is well. I read as always you comments and enjoy your analysis immensely; particularly in braking down fights and fighters.
Now I know that it is very difficut to get and discern the 'truth' on any of teh stories that corcualte on the net and that you do have your sources. That said, I do have to question one of your points and address another. The first is Brandon Rios. I spoke with his promoter about the impending match up wih Gamboa and the weight issue that troubled all of us. He responded by telling me that Rios...without the supervision of Robert Garcia...lost his path in cutting weight; literally. When Garcia left camp to be with Margarito during the NYAC hearings and exams, Rios floudered. He is too young and too inexperienced to cut the weight correctly...and he didn't. That, if I am to believe my sources, is not going to be a problem going forward. Rios can easily train within range (around 142) and thus make weight at 135. But we shall see. The second topic is Floyd's call to Koncz in the Phillipines. When he called and asked to speak with Manny, he offered a flat 40 million to 'buy them out' meaning Top Rank and Manny. As if! The response was manifold but a definitive fuggetabout. You agree the last time to 50/50 and made testing the issue and now you think you can 'buy us out'. Frankly, he came off as a 'wise guy', putting forth a non-starter in what he decribed as an offer. I for the love of God cannot figure Floyd out but I can say that Arum, duBoef and Manny want that fight. But not on Floyd's ludicrous terms. My last thought. Floyd has been enabled to believe that the world revolves around him and thus over-value himself specifically by Richard Schaefer and Al Haymon. Their constant praising of Floyd the Boss has served to inflate his already prodigious ego and make negotiations all but impossible. My conclusion is that Floyd does not want this fight; certainly not the way he pretends to in public. I don't think it is fear at all. I just think that Floyd does not like nor has he fought many a truly elite fighter in their prime, with the two exceptionals being Corrales and Castillo. I think he waiting to fight Manny when he is definitively past his.

Peace,
Perry
--
Breadís Response: I donít believe your source about Rios. HBO just showed a special on him. Garcia himself admitted Rios should move up to 140. Perry, I am humble and when Iím wrong I live with it and admit it. I know Brandon Rios has a problem making 135lbs. There is a look a fighter has when too much weight is being cut. Rios is hurting himself. Trust me and remember me saying it, because when it catches up it wonít be pretty. If he was my fighter I donít care how much $ was being offered I would never fight at 135lbs again. You can get killed in a boxing ring! Shocking organs, non sufficient fluid around the brain, easy to cut skin. Too much can go wrong losing that kind of weight. Check out the HBO special they just did on him and tell me do you believe your source.


Let me tell you a story real quick. I know a fighter personally whom I wonít name. This fighter is a ďGUNĒ as we call a real bad ass. He is a boogeyman in the gyms. There is a certain fighter that I have seen this fighter ďstopĒ in sparring matches. But the fighter he stopped before is so difficult, fast and energy consuming, the fighter who is a flat out ďGUNĒ and better fighter, has days where he literally doesnít feel like sparring this guy he stopped. He has secretly admitted this to me. Point blank, he has stated,Ē I donít feel like dealing with that fast emmffer today.Ē I think thatís exactly how Floyd feels about Manny. It may not be fear but sometimes you just donít feel like certain things in your life. Feel me?


I stand by my stance from the get go. There will always be something. First the drug testing, now that Team Pacquiao has agreed to the testing, we get vacations and non 50/50 revenue offers. I  said it early I will say now, something will always come up until Manny slips so much or loses then the offers will be logical and accepted. Unfortunately I think Manny will lose before he fights Floyd, so Floyd will escape the blunt of the threat.


 

Bread, my name is Brandon Clancy....long time reader, first time writing in. I've been involved in boxing since I was born. My father is world class referee Bill Clancy. Pound for pound the best referee in the world in my unbiased opinion. I felt compelled to write in for a few reasons.
First, I want to pay homage to a great fighter who passed away this past Saturday after a long battle with cancer. Don Fullmer, brother of the famous Gene Fullmer, from Utah. Don challenged Nino Benvenuti for the WBC & WBA Middleweight title on December 14th, 1968. He had Benvenuti down in the 7th round but could not finish him. He often said that he was 1 big punch away from a much different life, in reference to this fight. He was an awesome person. I had the pleasure of training in the Fullmer Brothers' Boxing Club in Salt Lake City, Utah in October of 2005. Don, Gene, and their brother Jay, a former welterweight fighter, spent lots of time with me in the gym and shared much old school boxing wisdom with me. They are some of the greatest people I have met in this sport.
I think it's necessary for me to say a few things about Gene Fullmer as it relates to Sugar Ray Robinson. I know you are a Robinson fanatic, as am I. I don't think people will ever truly understand the greatness of that man no matter what we write or say. Having said that, I am going to share something Gene Fullmer himself shared with me. Gene Fullmer fought Sugar Ray Robinson 4 times between January of 1957 and March of 1961. Fullmer won a unanimous 15 round decision to take Robinson's World Middleweight title in the first fight. In their rematch 4 months later, Robinson knocked Fullmer out with a left hook in the 5th round to regain his title. Gene simply said to me, "I've never been hit so fucking hard in all my life." Keep in mind that Gene Fullmer is one of the toughest fighters in the history of the sport. This was the first time he was ever stopped. He would only be stopped once more, in the last fight of his career, against Dick Tiger, and that fight was stopped at the request of Fullmer's manager. In Fullmer and Robinson's third meeting in 1960, they fought to a 15 round draw. In their fourth and final meeting in 1961, Fullmer won a unanimous 15 round decision. When I began to praise Fullmer's triumphs over the pound for pound best fighter in the world, all he had to say was, "Yeah, but he was an old man then. He wasn't the same fighter anymore." ................. I don't even know what else to say.
One more thing as it relates to Gene Fullmer. We also got to talking about Benny "The Kid" Paret who lost his life in his fight with Emile Griffith. When we see tragedy in the ring, we all attribute the tragedy to what is happening right then....that particular fight, that particular opponent. We've seen it numerous times. We saw it with Gerald McClellan as you've recently discussed. You also mentioned your belief that the damage to McClellan was pre-exisiting, although you would not say from what. You know something, and if you don't want to share it I'll understand. However, maybe what I'm about to say will lead to a change of heart. Fullmer told me something I did not know. He had fought Benny Paret prior to Paret's fight with Griffith. He told me that he beat that man so badly he literally thought he was going to kill him. He said he dished out so much punishment to Paret that he could not believe the referee let the fight go as long as it did. He ended up stopping Paret in the 10th round I believe. He told me he felt that the beating he gave Paret ultimately contributed to his death in the fight with Emile Griffith.
That could easily lead to a whole other discussion on a referee's decision to stop a fight. Yes, sometimes it can be premature. But, they are in the ring. They see things much more closely and personally than the fans in the seats or the people watching on t.v. Their primary job is to protect the fighters. Sometimes the corner doesn't have the fighter's best interests in mind. I would rather a referee stop a fight too early than too late or not at all. There are referee's out there who have let fighters be beaten to death. It happened years back when Arthur Mercante refereed a fight between George Khalid Jones and Beethaeven Scottland. I don't want to get off on that tangent, but I have very strong feelings on this subject. I may get a lot of shit for this, but did you know that years after the fight Meldrick Taylor thanked Richard Steele for stopping his fight with Julio Cesar Chavez? That fight bothered me for years even after I came into the know with what I just told you. I finally made peace with it.
Finally I want to pay homage to former WBC Light Welterweight Champion Billy Costello, who also lost his battle with cancer on June 29th of this past year. Billy was a close family friend, as he and my father had grown up together in Upstate New York. He came down to North Carolina to visit with us back in 1985 when he was the Champion. I'm lucky enough to have pictures of us together from that visit. I was 3 at the time. I looked at that man like he was God. After holding holding me and posing for a few pictures at the gate upon his arrival he asked me if I saw the water tower out of the terminal window. I said, "Yeah, that big one over there? I see it!" He then said to me, "When I'm training for a fight, I swim laps in that water tower." I ate up every word. It would be years later when I finally realized he didn't actually swim laps in the water tower lol. Fast forward to 1996. Billy moved into the bachelor pad shared by my father, my brother, and I in Raleigh, NC while he was going through his divorce. I was 13 at the time, and our relationship would be strained from that point on. He was pretty bitter at that point in his life, and he was really hard on me. In his attempt to toughen me up, he went too far a few times and I really started to dislike him. His left hook was no joke, and he gave it to me in the body a couple of times. I can't say with any certainty how much he took off of it, I'm sure it was nowhere near 100% force, but I do know it hurt like hell. He also made a habit out of stealing my prized possession, a Schwinn BMX bike I had gotten for Christmas. My dad was away for a large part of the summer in 1996 working the Olympic Boxing in Atlanta and while he was gone Billy was left in charge. Whenever I left it out overnight and didn't put it in the garage, he would put it in the back of his truck on his way out to his construction job in the morning and hide it somewhere. When he'd come home he'd tell me that he saw some kid riding it across town lmao. That son of a bitch was always trying to teach me a lesson. I loved him anyway and he had a good heart. RIP Billy
Later Breadman
Breadís Response: Great write in. I usually donít respond to comments so long, but I felt compelled because yours was from the soul.


Interesting what you went through with Billy Costello. I am glad you are not holding a grudge against him. Sometimes people have a tough way about them. I was subjected to similar treatment and it made me a better man in a roundabout way. Costello was a very good fighter. Unfortuantely most remember him for getting knocked out by Alexis Arguello. Funny thing was Alexis had slipped by that time; it was after his Pryor wars. I was thinking to myself that Costello was going to beat Arguello. He was doing really good, but Arguello was ďmurderĒ down the middle and that right hand ended things.
People donít know realize how close Costello was to being an undefeated fighter. I thought he was winning against Arguello and he had Lonnie  Smith down in his only other lost. Stand up Mr. Costello.


What I know about Gerald McClellan is pure speculation. But I read a story where Tarick Salmaci (Contender) said he sparred with Gerald a couple of years before he fought Nigel Benn. I believe it was after the Julian Jackson fight, where Gerald took some BIG shots. He said that he hit Gerald with a jab and Gerald started blinking really hard and said he was thumbed. The sparring session was stopped. He went onto say that later in the locker room McClellan admitted to him that it wasnít a thumb but he was seriously hurt. Salmaci said that MCClellan was a beast and he had an iron chin, a jab would headgear on would not affect him. He said Gerald did the same blinking in the Nigel Benn fightÖÖÖ. For the record guys, The Gerald MCClellan tragedy really bothers me and I appreciate not talking about his injuries anymore. Thanks in advance.
I didnít know Meldrick thanked Richard Steele. Maybe Meldrick has made peace with God and has learned acceptance. Mel is a Hebrew Israelite now. I donít know the context of the conversation. I do know Meldrick was bitter about what Steel didÖ.


Gene Fullmer was a very humble fighter. Most fighters would have taken full credit for a victory over an older worn out fighter. See Lebedev over Jones. Nevertheless Fullmer would have always given Robinson some trouble. Fullmer was incredibly strong physically. One of the top 10 fighters I have ever seen as far physical strength. He was truly a bull. Fullmer without a doubt is a great fighter. By any standards. He was one of the best 10 fighters of the 50ís and probably top 15 or 20 middleweights ever. Some say middleweight is boxingís best historic division.


 

Bread,
Hope all is well sir. I was at work sat night and as Iím checking the boxing websites I see Steve Cunninham loss andfrom what every report has said loss convincingly. What I mean is not dominated but definitely too an L. Have you had a chance to see it? I admit I donít know anything about the Pablo cat, but I had no doubt Steve would come out on top and to hear he got dropped 2x in 1 round was surprising. You know anything about this kid? The part that I loved was reading Steve got up and got back in the fight. That dude will is crazy, wish he got more pub honestly.
Iím watching (paused) the Nonito fight now. Iíve read from several sources they were unimpressed with him and he isnít that good and not worthy of top 5pfp etc. I admit I didnít think Vasquez would win rounds or mark up Nonito from what Iím seeing thus far (In round 8) but do you think maybe, just maybe after what he did to darchinyan and montiel (whoís better than Vazquez in my opinion) were expecting a blowout and when we donít see it we are like well guess he not that hot as we thought. What you think? Or maybe Vasquez is better than we all thought? I wasnít a fan of Nonito chasing arce when I feel Rigondeaux is who you should target, now maybe I want to see that fight. Do I think Nonito will lose? Not at all, But arce will open up more, which I think Nonito needs/likes to let his nasty counters go and he would get a nasty K.O. vs arce based upon this. Thoughts?
Thanks you as always
Breadís Response: Steve Cunningham trains at our gym. He is one of the nicest guys I have met in this sport. I feel really bad that he didnít regain his title. He is also one of the hardest workers and most fierce competitors I have ever seen. I didnít see the fight but I heard it was a flat out WAR. Steve got knocked down twice and got to fighting like the DOG that he is. Iím sure Steve represented Philly.


Nonito Donaire is definitely a top 5, p4p fighter. Here is the problem. Excuse how graphic I am about to be but I have to illustrate my point.


Imagine if a woman gave you the best sex you ever had the 1st time you hooked up with her. Iím talking about the ultimate experience. Then imagine you hooked up with her a couple more times and she got the job done and she was probably still better than everybody else that you have been with, but she just wasnít like that 1st time. Thatís what Nonito is going through after that Montiel knockout.


I will admit some of it is Nonitoís fault. If you were hunting deer in the woods, would you make a lot of noise and let them know you were coming or would you move quiet and deadly so you can catch them off guard? Nonito is in a unique situation. Top Rank and HBO are showcasing him. They are trying to turn him from a boxing star to a superstar. So in turn Nonito is pressing for the knockout.


He is so gifted that even while pressing he will score some knockouts but at times it makes it look like heís forcing it. Now back to my hunter analogy. Nonito is throwing everything so big and forceful, that his opponents are dressing down in all defense.  There goal is to not get knocked out. Itís difficult to stop a man who is not opening up. Nonito has an educated left hand. If he would jab and box and work the body a little more, he could get the knockout that heís looking for. But instead heís scaring the deer off.


Then to make matters worse, his critics get fuel because his opponents open up from time to time and they catch him with a few shots. Sort of like what Clottey did to PAcquaio. A world class guy will hit you every once in a while, especially if they let you pummel them and occasionally open up to catch you off guard.


If Nonito settles down he should be ok. And if he ever fights Rigondeaux he canít show that kind of impatience. He has to accept that it may be a boring fight. He has to just worry about the win in that fight. I am actually more concerned with his hand injuries. Nonito is putting so much force into his shots, his hands will inevitably be hurt. The blood on his left hand was scary. I personally donít like the EVERLAST gloves that he wears. Nonito wears the MX model Everlast. They are too soft and there is not enough wrist support. EVERLAST makes another glove the 1910 model, I believe  Andre Ward and Lucian Bute wear them. These gloves have more wrist support and they are harder on the top. I think Nonito should try them or the Grantís that Chavez Jr wears are also really good. I have tried all these gloves on at various fights and there is a considerable difference.


 

What's happening Bread, hope all is well after a pretty good boxing weekend we just had. One thing I want to touch on is Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. I'm really beginning to become a fan of his. I always find myself defending the man because for some reason there is a unanimous dislike for him. People say he's a silver-spoon fed kid, who's barely beating nobodies, and just flat out can't fight. What I see is a fighter who didn't start taking the sweet science seriously until about 5 fights ago. He was a big kid with natural ability, but huge noticeable flaws. With each fight passing, the flaws are becoming smaller and smaller. They're still there, but now they are much harder to take advantage of than before. I love his ambition but most of all, his ability to continue to progress. I feel like one day he will correct his flaws, and the sky will be the limit for him. Most notably learning to box effectively, rather than just moving left to right and jabbing. Roach will teach him the difference soon. He is still immature, evident by his DUI arrest on jan 22nd. No boxer should be drinking that close to a fight. Do you agree with me in the sense he'll be a top star in this sport in 4 years, possibly accumulating a couple of "good" losses?
Also did you see Donaire's bloody left hand? He busted it early in the fight. That man got balls of steel.
Breadís Response: There is a dislike for Chavez Jr. I think itís because of all of the shenanigans that have gone on surrounding him. He was given a belt by the WBC. I donít even need to go over the Sebastian Zbik ordeal again. Chavez is also being ďallowedĒ to duck Sergio Martinez. Itís blatant. The biggest thing people dislike about Chavez, is heís still being allowed to grow and fight 70/30 fights at the top level, when he has over 40 professional fights.


But thatís not Chavezís fault. Top Rank and HBO have decided to spoil him. I know it makes fans and fellow fighters pissed but again Junior is not at fault. If you judge Chavez on his fighting ability alone, I think the kid can fight. Heís a tremendous body puncher, he is the biggest middleweight I have ever seen and he seems to take a really good punch. Maybe he inherited that quality from his dad. However I do think he has lots of room to improve.


Because of his height they try to instruct him to box. But when heís boxing it doesnít look good to me. It looks more like heís buying time before he starts to press again. And maybe itís the HD but Chavez looks like a cruiserweight in my opinion. I think they have a catch 22 situation with his weight. Either he struggles and depletes himself and makes 160. Or he moves up to 168 where the beasts are. There is a bunch of 6í1Ē Free Safeties walking around at super middleweight.


Iím not sure if Chavez will be one of the top fighters in boxing, such as cracking the p4p top 10. But I do think he will be one of the top attractions.




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