DAILY BREAD TUESDAY EDITION
By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
I did not expect Andre Ward to beat Chad Dawson the way that he did. He deserves to move up behind Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather [as the sport's best pound-for-pound boxer]. I would go as far as to say that he could realistically jump them being he is the only one of the three that has actually fought the best in his weight class and continues to do so. With all the praise has to come some negative right? So here goes. Ward is a dirty fighter period. He has this steaky hook that I beleive he delibertly places right behind the head. I have seen fighters do this when other fighters turn there head but Ward purposely did this beginning in the second round. I also saw him try to slip in a low blow on two occassions and slips his elbow right into the throat of his opponents when they are in close.
Secondly Chad has to get rid of Scully with the quickness. I didn't hear him give any instuctions period. Once Ward made adjustments in round 2 or 3 I never heard Scully tell Chad anything besides " Come on Chad dig deep" or " This is your time Champ" that shit don't produce results. How about fient step back and throw a throw a hook to his hip. Anytime Chad engaged Ward, Ward would bend to Chads hip and tie him up. The last thing was how many times did Chad have to get hit with that short hook before he put his damn hands up or before his trainer asked him too. What did you think about the instructions from Scully and do you think the weight hurt Dawson?
Will somebody please tell the "Ghost" that that fake ass belt that he supposidly has don't mean shit. He continues to talk like he is the champ. Didn't Guerro jump from 135 to 147? 'If so why is he acting like he can't meet the 135 pd guy at 140? Broner talks like he would jump to 147 for the fight but he would be a damn fool if he did that. the fair thing would be to do a catch weight at 140. In reality Robert does not have a chance at fighting Pac or Floyd and judging buy his career path up to this point I'm sure we can expect him to fight the weakest person in the division. If these two did get down how do you see it playing out.
If it was determined before the Berto/Ortiz fight that Berto did not have enough of whatever the illigal substance in his system to help and that it was consistant with something being tampered why was the fight cancelled?
Breadís Response: Cornelius stop hatin bro. Itís ok to embrace Andre Wardís greatness. Youíre really nitpicking right now. I donít think Ward is a dirty fighter I think heís a rough fighter, there is a difference. Most inside fighters will embark on some cagey tricks. Stop it bro. As for the hitting behind the head I donít consider him a chronic rabbit puncher like Carl Froch or Shane Mosely. Actually he placed a beautiful left hook right behind Dawsonís ear which is a legal shot as long as part of the glove is ON the ear and that shot caused the last knock down. Andre needs to keep doing what heís doing. Iím a little disappointed in you Cornelius, you used to hate on Manny the same way.
In fairness to Scully the cameras only go to each corner for about 20 seconds a pop. As we all know a rest period is 60 secondsÖ..I honestly couldnít tell what Scully was telling Dawson. I wouldnít suggest Dawson got rid of him at this point considering heís a confused young man who has changed trainers about 6 times already.
Now I see your being harsh towards Guerrero but in this case I agree with you but I will be more respectful. It does bother me that ďtheyĒ promote Guerrero as a 4 division champion. Four division champions like Floyd Mayweather and Ray Leonard are really special fighters. Guerrero has never beaten the best fighter in any division he has held one of these belts in. In fact I donít think he has beaten one of the top 3 fighters in a division he has held a belt in, interim or not. This kind of PR is what is bad for boxing. ďTheyĒ would have you think Guerrero is this super special elite talent who has won belts in all of these divisions but thatís not the case.
Look Iím not into discrediting fighters but I am in to telling the truth. I donít like false pretenses. You have guns like James Kirkland who canít get a title shot and please nobody say anything about the Canelo shot, Kirkland was looong overdue. But Guerrero got to fight a 16-4 guy in Erik Aiken for his first title try. Although Aiken was no world beater that was a legitimate title. It wasnít vacant or an interim bs fight. Then he beat Malcolm Klassen for his next title at 130. That was another legitimate title although neither guy was no where near the best fighter in the division.
Then Guererro got to fight Michael Katsiditis for two interim belts at 135. Come on man! This was AFTER Katsiditis was knocked out by Marquez for those same belts. Then Guerrero was supposed to fight Marcos Maidana at 140, he was injured the fight was cancelled then somehow he was in line for another interim title at 147 against Selchuk Aydin. This is not disrespect to Guerrero heís a good fighter, with plenty of heart. But heís being allowed to jump divisions and being put into the front of the line without even dominating the division he was previously at.
When a fighter receives this kind of undeserved treatment, it cheapens the titles and in my opinion it disrespects the fighterís ability. Guerrero is a warrior, Iím sure he wants to beat the best to get his recognition. He doesnít need all of this favorite play.
Ward was masterful, beautiful, sensational -- all the Jim Lampleyisms. You know HBO wants Ward v Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. @168 this spring on PPV. Two years ago that fight was a joke, but if jr beats Sergio Martinez, what do you think about that match up now? My take: JCCJr is too much of a punching bag for me. Career longevity a concern. and daddy's second hand smoke ain't helping... Ward by brutal late stoppage.
Breadís Response: HBO would love the fight but I donít think Team Chavez wouldÖ.. Junior seems like a gun, he doesnít seem to care but his team wonít let that happen anytime soon.
First off what a performance by Andre Ward. Let me start off by stating my pound-for-pound rankings are: 1. Floyd Mayweather; 2. Andre Ward; 3. Sergio Martinez; 4. Manny Pacquiao; 5. Nonito Donaire; 6. Juan Manuel Marquez. Anways, Ward (One of my favorite fighters along with Miguel Cotto) fights Dawson with Dawson moving down to 168 pounds. Pacquiao also made Oscar De La Hoya come down. Pacquiao was also moving up two weight divisions from 135. Last time Dawson fought at 168 was 6 1/2 years ago vs Jason Naugler. Last time before Pacquiao fight, De La Hoya fought at 47 was 7 1/2 years prior vs Arturo Gatti. I think you know where I am going. If they criticize one they have to do it to both (for weight draining there opponent) Dawson and and DE La Hoya agreed to it. Both said they were fine and weight would not be a problem leading up to fight. I am just saying this, cause I hear a lot of excuses for Chad and the weight. I don'tthink we can have it both ways.I think we should give them (Pacquiao and Ward) the credit they deserve. for their wins. This is directed to nobody in particular Just thoughts I had towards certain comments being made, not only on this thread but around facebook. About Dawson and the weight. Would like to hear your thoughts on this double standard?
Breadís Response: BOTH Pacquiao and Ward deserve credit for their BIG WINS. Dawson called Ward out. Ward accepted the challenge and beat his butt. Dawson rehydrated up to 185lbs and he looked fine to me. He also looked strong early in the fight before he was hit that nasty left hook to the point of the chin. Andre Ward would beat Dawson at 175 or any other weight. Heís just too focused. He has too much mental stamina and heís too quick on the draw. Did you notice that Dawson has that confused look on his face against Pascal. The difference is Ward is a better fighter than Pascal. Also let me point out to the people who claim Dawson couldnít take a punch because of the weight, that Dawson was knocked down by a jab from Eric Harding a few years ago. Harding has like a 15% ko ratioÖÖ
Dawson has never faced a fighter that can consistently put his hands on him like Ward. Heís fought good fighters but they didnít have the positive energy Andre Ward has. Thatís the difference. Antonio Tarver is sort of a lazy fighter, who waits for one shot. Glen Johnson is a dog but heís predictable. Bernard Hopkins wants to minimize the fight these days. Andre Ward is young enough to press. He lost to the better man, period.
As for Pacquiao, Oscar called him out from 3 divisions up. The people who criticize Manny are Mayweather fans and they are not fair minded. Oscar was a freaking junior middleweight. He had an agreement to fight Floyd Mayweather at 147 since Floyd fought him at 154 in their first fight. Floyd retired and nixed the rematch. If you look close at www.boxrec.com you will see that Oscar was on his way to 147 anyway and he had just fought Steve Forbes at 150! So he called out a lightweight and they met at 147. I donít see what was unfair about that. Actually Manny conceded more, no fighter in recent times has given up 3 weight divisions to an elite fighter. Those who criticize Manny for fighting Oscar at 147 are senseless.
Andre Ward is a better fighter than Chad Dawson and he beat him at the weight they agreed upon. Manny Pacquiao was a better fighter than Oscar (at that time), and Oscar shouldnít have been calling out lightweights. He got what he deserved. See I donít rewrite history I just recite it.
Oscar claimed he didnít want to fight any Mexicans so he decided to fight a fighter who beat plenty of Mexicans. Well Antonio Margarito was staring him in the face at the time and he was the MONSTER who wanted to face Oscar. He didnít care that they both shared Mexican heritage. Oscar who was a little older, instead decided to fight a fast lefty with superior footwork. He always had problems with lefties and that leftyís trainer used to train him.
I bring this up to say that both Oscar De La Hoya and Chad Dawson underestimated what they were going up against thatís why they made certain concessions. They should have known betterÖ..
What's up Bread! What a wknd for boxing! Although there have been some good fights, I can't talk about anything else but SOG (Andre Ward)! Wow! I knew he was good a long time ago but he just entered the big league. Great breakdown from you in the clip and interestingly enough, it is one of your last point you mentioned about Andre Ward being very good at talking about boxing and a future commentator on hbo. How clear headed and precise he was in interview after the fight was impressive. You know sometimes after a fight, everything is kind of a blur. You are not too sure what happened. Not for Ward. Everything was conscious and calculated during the fight. I'm sure you understand what I mean and probably could express it better than me! For 1 round, I was looking only at his foot work. The amount of faints coming from the feet is crazy. Very much like Pacquiao but with better control. His balance is always perfect. The power of his left hand comes from his back leg pushing forward and IMO its the story of the fight. Most of us thought Ward would win but he managed to do what nobody thought was possible, to win in a very spectacular way! A one way beating of the best light heavy in the world! I try not to get too carried away but at this stage, I have him #3 p4p. Martinez will need to win big against Chavez to get back there. But Ward is right up there with Mayweather and Pacman. They just have more experience and longer career, but other than that, I don't see much difference. I loved the hug of Virgil Hunter after the fight. He was so proud! Even him was impressed I guess. I could have talked about Dawson's lack of "dog" or little capacity of adaptation but I preferred to give full credit to Ward. Got a couple of questions. Is it me or Ward's opponents look absolutely discouraged after their loss? They look like they've been in the worst nightmare possible. Also, what is next for Ward and what would you do if you were in his management?
Breadís Response: Ward is in a good but delicate spot. He has to make the right moves. I am personally not interested in any rematches with anybody from the Super 6. He will do them worse next time. Dan Goosen and HBO the promoters of Ward will have to create opponents. Edwin Rodriguez a very good American supermiddleweight is an option. Maybe Tommy Oostuzien the good South African fighter. Or maybe Ward will fight one of middleweight champs. Daniel Geale or Gennaday Golovkin. I personally say Geale, Ward deserves a showcase fight. Whatever Andre does, I say he fights 4 times next year. No top notch fighter in recent times have fought 4 high profile fights in the same year. At least I canít remember if they did. If Iím not mistaken Oscar fought 5 times in 1997 and he really took off from there.
Iím not sure if Ward will feel like it, but wouldnít that be awesome if he fought in January in HBOís first telecast of the new year and subsequently fought a big fight in May, which is always a huge boxing month, another in September then closed out the year in is another BIG month which is December. The fact that we KNEW he would fight 4 times next year would have us all salivating and that is a promotion in itself.
I am in AWE of Andre Ward. His run is one of the most impressive I have ever witnessed. I put this right there with Pacís monstrous run. Ward has completely outclassed elite opposition. He has never been in trouble or so much as a bad spot. After 26 fights, he has to be considered an all-time great. I know his style turns a lot of people off and unfortunately for him I donít see this improving simply because I donít see anyone within 2 divisions that can even compete with him. Ward can appear less than impressive because his fights are so one sided. I donít see Pascal, Cloud, Campillo or anyone else even testing him. Since this is opening weekend for my other true love, the NFL, let me make a comparison. He reminds me off the 2000 Baltimore Ravens. Their super bowl run is underrated because so many of their games were low scoring, ground and pound games. I remember just knowing the Raiders were going to beat them in the championship game. We had everything set up to win the super bowl, but four quarters later 16-3 Ravens. It wasnít pretty but it was extremely effective. So where does Ward go from here? Keep up the hard work!
Breadís Response: Great analogy Roy. Ward does remind me of the Ravens of 2000. In fact that is one of my favorite teams. I wish Ed Reed played on that team so he could have his Super Bowl. But yes thatís Ward. I donít even want to add anythingÖÖ
Love your posts, read all of them, and agree with most of them. Almost all of them, actually. However, I believe you are a little too harsh on Lennox Lewis. I am relating to your Thursday edition. I know you are not a big Lewis fan, and you did give him props, but I really have to disagree on how he would have fared against certain heavyweights of the past. There is a common belief, and if I recall correctly you have mentioned it as well, that sports like boxing and baseball have seen little or no progress in the quality of athletes of the past decades. Boxing is hard to measure in a quantifiable way, but just because we cannot measure it that way does not mean no progress has been made. Jesse Owens would not stand a chance against today's sprinters. We can speculate how fast he would run if he could train using modern methods (who have certainly evolved over time) or if he had access to the same performance-enhancing drugs used by today's athletes (just because they don't test positive doesn't mean they aren't juicing), but we have to go by what we know for sure and in that case Owens would not even qualify for the finals. The same applies to heavyweights in the past.
Now, this is not the welterweight division we are talking about, where many fighters had over 200 professional fights (that applied to other weight divisions as well - Willie Pep comes to mind). Heavyweights rarely fought that much - Dempsey, Louis, Marciano all fought less than a hundred pro fights each, and would not have enjoyed an experience advantage over today's fighters. As great as Tommy Hearns was, nobody would really argue that he would have beaten a prime Archie Moore or a cruiserweight Evander Holyfield. Yet when it comes to the heavyweights, people actually believe that Joe Louis would have stood a chance against Lennox Lewis. Granted, an overconfident (as in against McCall or Rahman) or not in top shape (as in against Vitali Klitschko) Lewis would have been vulnerable, but a highly motivated and in shape Lewis (against Botha, Tyson, or Golota) would probably have beaten any heavyweight in history, and that includes Ali who would have found the counterpunching Lewis a stylistic nightmare (Ali wasn't good when he had to attack, and Lewis wouldn't have fallen for a rope-a-dope). Foreman was a killer, and I never considered the one-of-a-kind combination he hit Norton with. Never noticed it until you mentioned it, but it is indeed amazing. A prime Foreman was not a good enough boxer against Lewis, but he had the toughness and power (however, a great jab could stop Foreman in his tracks, and Lewis had a great one when he decided to utilize it) to pull it off. Matter of fact, I like Foreman's chances better than Ali's, and actually believe that Ali would not have been able to beat Foreman in a rematch. All the other heavyweights weren't big enough, even though a smallish Holyfied did well against Lewis, but I would also favor Holyfield over pretty much any heavyweight pre-1980 save for maybe Ali and Larry Holmes.
I understand a lot of those choices are sentimental - guys who have been around in the Joe Louis era believe he would have beaten Ali, people from the Ali era believe the opposite (my pick: the younger Ali by late-round stoppage, the older Ali on points by a wide margin, or maybe a stoppage - if Billy Conn could give Louis all he could handle, he wouldn't have more than a snowball's chance in hell against Ali). That said I do believe that we need to respect that today's super heavyweights (especially the Klitschko's - Wladimir's suspect chin notwithstanding) are way too big for any of the fighters in the past. Cherry-picking various performances like Wladimir's against Corrie Sanders or Lennox Lewis against McCall won't do ... the legendary fighters from yesteryear had off-nights as well. True, a lot of great athletes today end up in football or basketball instead of heavyweight boxing, but that doesn't mean that a 200 pound fighter from the 30's (fighting other 200 pound fighters, or fatso's like Two Ton Tony Galento, who may have been big and heavy, but anything but the athletic specimen the Klitschko's represent) would beat fighters 50 pounds heavier, all muscle, and skilled to boot. Jesse Owens would have looked like a snail if he was pitted against Usain Bolt, Joe Lewis wouldn't look much better against Lennox Lewis.
Keep up the good work with your column, but please consider giving today's fighters more credit than that.
Breadís Response: I give todayís fighters plenty of credit. I have actually openly said that Pernell Whitaker, Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather and Roy Jones all are top 50 all time greats. Whitaker has fought within the last 10 years and the other three are still active. To say I donít show todayís fighters enough love is ridiculous.
Your Usain Bolt/Jesse Owens comparison is valid but for some reason baseball and boxing donít apply. In baseball you had guns like Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan, who throw just as fast as the kids today. You donít have pitchers throwing 110mph fastballs with evolution. Baseball has not evolved like that. You donít have guys hitting 700 ft. homeruns. Babe Ruth will outslug any of these guys today. Besides the juice era, 50 homeruns will usually give you the homerun title. You donít have guys batting .600. Ted Williams and Pete Rose are still the best contact hitters.
I canít explain it, although I suspect itís because baseball is a skilled sport more than so a raw athletic one. In boxing you have all of these special coaches, yet guys like Lennox Lewis had stamina problems. If you asked a top guy to fight six times in a year, they couldnít do it. Mentally it would be too much for them. Yet the great Joe Louis defended his title 21 times in a four year span. If Louisís reign was not interrupted by WW2, he could have tallied over 40 title defenses. The title was inactive for 5 years!
As for your BIG heavyweight theory, I donít buy into it. George Foremanís prime weight is 217lbs. He is stronger, more powerful and a better puncher than Lewis, Bowe and both K Bros. People rave about Manny Pacquiaoís stamina and suggest heís on something. But guys like Sandy Saddler, Ike Williams, Beau Jack and Henry Armstrong fought just like Manny and they had twice the fights.
Modern science I believe in but I donít believe that to be the end all. Lennox Lewis was a great fighter, but the fact remains that average size ordinary skilled heavyweights were able to knock him out and hurt him consistently in his prime. I didnít bring up the Frank Bruno fight in which he was losing, or the Ray Mercer fight in which he had life and death. None of these men are so called giants.
See you make me sound as though I donít like Lennox Lewis and thatís far from the truth. But I know better. Size matters but it can be a benefit and a detriment. There are some men who do better with bigger fighters. Joe Louis was one of them because of his precise step in maneuver when delivering his shots. I will give you more good food for you to chew on. I research chart and file everything when it comes to boxing. I may not elaborate when I make a comment but believe if I state something publicly it was well researched.
Did you know that Lennox Lewis was taken the distance for the first time by Ossie Occasio? Occassio was a 5í11Ē ex cruiserweight who was stopped by Larry Holmes and Evander Holyfield before he fought Lewis. I also want you to look at Lewisís fight against Gary Mason who was just 6í1Ē. Tell me what happened it that fight and then write me back.
See you could say Iím cherry picking rare occurrences if they occurrences were rare. But I gave you about 7 fights were average size fighters gave Lennox Lewis hell. Thatís not rare bro. You are entitled to your opinion but I know what I know. And what I know is that there have been for standout big men in the last 20 years. Riddick Bowe, Lennox Lewis and the K Bros and none are close to being the best heavyweight that I have seen. Lennox was too sometimey and quite frankly he fought scary way too much for my liking. That tells me he didní take the best punch. Riddick Bowe had poor feet and he got hit too much, his reaction was too slow, to beat some of the quicker smaller heavyweights. Wladimir Klitschko does not take a punch well and he is mentally weak when under the gun. His skills have become more polished therefore no one has put him under the gun. But average Ross Purity and Lamon Brewster fought him just like the old dogs of the 70ís would have. Vitali Klitschko is an excellent fighter and heís very difficult but he lost cleanly to Lennox Lewis on Lewisís last legs and Chris Byrd frustrated him with movement. Vitali is the deal but heís gangly and slightly uncoordinated. Movers give him hell. Can you say Johnson, Ali and Holmes. You can take these guys today all you want. The three best heavyweights of all time are Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Jack Johnson. Period.
I will take these one step further. I will say this now because the fighters are retired. But did you know that Ivan Calderon outboxed Oscar De La Hoya one day in the gym. Thatís why Freddie Roach took the fight with Oscar when he had Manny. Did you also know that Edwin Valero gave Oscar the BIZNESS in the gym. Strong rumor has it that Shane Mosley got BUSY with William Joppy in his heyday. I can go on and on about some of the things I have seen where a smaller fighter destroyed a bigger fighter.
Some of you guys put everything into size, and evolution but itís not that simple. Boxing has weight divisions for a reason. But certain smaller fighters can do their thing against bigger fighters because of the strengths they have and flaws the bigger guys have. You just have to be able to see past the obvious.
Breadman! Whatís up, it has been another SLOW summer, but boxing is getting interesting in fall. I just read that Cotto-Trout is a done deal. This seems like a perfect opportunity to make some money. I have nothing but respect for Cotto, but I donít like this fight for him. I think Trout should have long odds and a damn good chance to beat Cotto. Trout is one of those fighters that does not look impressive but always finds a way to win. His style is sneaky and I think he is catching Cotto at the right time. I think this can be a fight to bet big, am I wrong?
Breadís Response: I donít like to make predictions too soon because training camps and other things play into factor leading up to fights. Trout seems to be a sexy pick but right now I say Cotto Cotto Cotto. Now thatís not my official prediction because I need to see whatís going on in camp, and whether Cotto left everything in the Mayweather fight. But I like cottoís trainer and I like the condition he has Miguel in.
If Cotto can show up in top form I say he beas Trout. I have never seen Cotto outboxed I have seen him outfought. Trout in my opinion does not have that gear switching ability to make Cotto uncomfortable. Trout was picked for a reasonÖ.. I donít know the odds yet but win or lose at this moment I say Miguel.
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