DAILY BREAD FRIDAY EDITION
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
I have been keeping up with most of whatís been going on with the build up for the Ward/Dawson fight. Now I know that you may have a different opinion of Wardís technical abilities but I have not been able to grasp the notion that he is as technically sound as a Mayweather, Marquez or a Whitaker. Iíve always seen him as a Hatton or a Ruiz like fighter. Someone who will crowd you and disrupt his opponentís boxing. I thought that Dawsonís assessment of Ward in his ESPN interview was pretty dead on. He in so many words said that he did not see Ward as the technician that everyone sees him as and that fighters find them selves caught up fighting his game. Now with all that said, I have a lot of praise for him as a fighter and his OVERALL fight game. I think his trainer referred to him as simply a winner. He simply gets the job done. Even though I donít like his style all that much I do like how he finds a way to mold the fight the way he wants it to be. One other thing that I have noticed about Ward is that even though I donít think that he is a big puncher, I do think that he is pound for pound one the strongest fighters in the game right now. When he is in the inside no one seems to be able to shake or move him. In regards to his fight with Dawson. I think that Dawsonís strength will expose Wards weakness. I cannot recall seeing any fight where Ward has controlled a fight from the outside. If fact, I donít think that he has ever allowed that aspect of his game to develop enough. If Dawson can display the ability to keep the fight on the outside consistently he will win easily. I donít see Ward having the punching power to change the completion of the fight. The only unknown is how the weight cut will effect Dawson. If he shows any sign of being weakened by the weight cut then I would see Wardís strength being a major factor. What are your thoughtís?
Breadís Response: I disagree with you bro. First off Marquez, Whitaker and Mayweather are three of the top 20 guys ever technically. So if Ward is not as good technically as them, my answer to you is 99.9% of the fighters who ever lived arenít as good as those guys technically.
I watched some footage of Ward when he was younger before he ďshowedĒ his inside game and man I couldnít believe how much he looked like Roy Jones. I am going to break this fight down in a video mailbag next week. But let me say itís not easy to fight like Roy Jones. Andre had the style down. The naked eye canít see the brilliance of Roy Jones so people assume heís not technical. I try to explain that heís unconventional but he has all the technical aspects down.
Andre Ward has it all. The only thing I personally think he lacks is, he has not found a way to score knockouts at the top level. For some reason his dominance has not resulted in kos. Mayweather , Whitaker and Marquez are not one punch guys. But they all have scored BIG kos at the top level. Ward has not scored a knockdown in a championship fight despite his dominationÖ.
Your assessment is off and let me tell you why. The reason Andre fights the way he does is not because of lack of ability, itís because of his mentality. When something works he doesnít feel the need to change up to impress people. He rides it out until you make an adjustment and he goes for the win. It just so happens that most fighters these days have not mastered the art of ďinside maneuveringĒ so therefore he goes to his wild card often. It doesnít mean he canít fight other ways. In fact look at the strong jab he ďput intoĒ Arthur Abraham. He forcefully boxed Abraham. Ward may not be the offensive dynamo that guys like Ray Leonard and Roy Jones were, but the kid has it all. Trust me, I wouldnít say it if it wasnít true.
Now that doesnít mean he will beat Dawson. This will be a very rough fight for Andre and I will state the reasons later. But as far as who is the more well rounded fighter, no doubt Andre Ward is. Please donít make the mistake of looking at him on the surface. Sometimes a fighter is better than he looks. Sometimes fighter looks better than he is. Feel me?
Bread, what's up, I was thinking and I feel like this is a special time for bantamweight division and boxing. I feel like Mares is going to have an awesome career before it's all over. He doesn't duck anybody and he fights exciting fights. Nonito Donaire. is special talent it's easy to see. But Anselmo Moreno and Rigondueax (tough break on legal stuff) are also going to be tough to beat and I think the next few months we will be treated with great, underrated fights. I haven't seen the fighter from Japan Nonito is fighting I hear he is also a good fighter. So my question to you is are we in some special era of the division?
Breadís Response: These guys are actually super bantamweights now but you have a great point. They can go on to become what Pacquiao, Marquez, Morales and Barerra were. Letís see how the series play out and letís see how often they are willing to fight each other.
In actuality the least known of the fighters Moreno and Rigondeaux could be the best two. I personally think all of these guys are evenly matched but Marez maybe the least developed. Iím picking Moreno to beat him if the playing field is level. We shall seeÖ.
What's good Bread,
I would like to know your thoughts on the topic of a fighter's legacy vs. smart matchmaking. With that in mind do you think it was brave or dumb for a 32-year old, 5'7" Roberto Duran (whose best weight was 135) to face a prime, over 6 ft tall, 25-year old Thomas Hearns who was an all-time great at 147-154? I am not disrespecting Duran in any way and I admire him as an all-time great figher, that's why I have to ask what you think possessed him to agree to what ended up being a complete mismatch both on paper and in the ring?
That being said, if your fighter had an opportunity to face Andre Ward right now for a career-high purse and wanted to take the fight for his legacy, would you stop him on the basis of smart matchmaking?
William in West Palm
Breadís Response: In hindsight we will say it dumb matchmaking. But at the time who knew. Duran did better head to head against Leonard. Duran had just gave a great effort against a biger stronger Marvin Hagler. And he was riding high after his Davey Moore destruction. Also you have to realize Hearns was in a slight slump at 154lbs. Look at his boxrec, he had went the distance in a few fights around that time. Duran was one of those guys who believed when motivated he could beat anybody. He was wrong about Hearns. But ironically he outperformed Hearns 6 years later against Iran Barkely. Duran beat Barkley for the belt he won from Hearns. It was just one of those things.
I probably would have kept Duran away from Hearns but my judgment is clouded because I know the result of the fight. Itís really hard to say.
Bread I was a big supporter of James Kirkland up until now. He says his team gave him 2 black pills before the Molina fight, he took them, felt high as hell, and they didn't wear off until the tenth. Uhhh does this guy think we're stupid!? His ass wanna show up overweight, fight like shit, and in the end, blame it on his team?? Mother***kin James Kirkland doesn't love boxing!! If he did, he wouldn't be doing this to himself man... And on top of all that he wanna fire Pops billingsly, Ann Wolf, AND file lawsuits against them and Golden Boy?? The same Pops who basically raised him and gave him an opportunity to a better life?? Stupid ungrateful muthaf.... Now he supposedly kicking it with 50... Smh 50 cent need to stay away from that headache. Anyways man onto another topic ... Do you think Whitaker's loss to Trinidad was directly affected by the "loss" to De La Hoya? I feel like Sweet Pea felt he had to make a point, thus being far more aggresive than he would usually be against a much bigger man. Do you think he could've beat Tito with a different less offensive plan? Or was Tito that damn good?
Breadís Response: I canít judge Kirkland until I hear ALL of the stories. Trust me bro, sometimes things get put out in the media that arenít the WHOLE truth. I am on the inside and I see things that you wouldnít believe. I actually donít know whatís up with James and his situation. I do think itís unfortunate but I assume James has his reasons. Letís hear his story first.
I think Whitaker could have beat Trinidad if the fight had happened a few years earlier. Trinidad was in his prime and Whitaker was about 35 at the time. He was in active and there was reported drug use at the time. Whitaker didnít have the legs to beat Tito when they fought. He literally almost got ran out of the ring. Iím actually surprised he made it to the final bell. Whitaker is one ornery dude. Tough as nails but he was almost shot when he fought Tito.
Man, what happened to the supposed comeback of Jermain Taylor? Him being put on the canvas in his last bout scare Dibella?
Next question is why in the hell would Andre Dirrell leave Haymon? How does that make sense?
Breadís Response: I donít know whatís up with Jermaine Taylor. Taylor is one of my favorites. I have a soft spot for Jermaine. But I do think his comeback is in trouble. I donít care if itís 160 or 168, when he fights somebody with a good right hand and stamina heís in BIG trouble. I hope Jermaine gets one helluva paycheck if and when he does get a big fight.
I donít know why Andre Direll left Al Haymon. Iím assuming he has a good reason in his mind. Direll is affiliated with Floyd Mayweather now, so who knows that may work for him. I hope he gets busy because heís a tremendous talent but heís way too inactive.
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