The PBC Mailbag: Canelo vs. Munguia, All-Time Boxing Rivalries

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Canelo vs. Munguia MAIN EVENT FINAL PRESS CONFERENCE | #CaneloMunguia

Tijuana is a massive city and is less than a six-hour drive from Las Vegas. It is also the hometown of Jaime Munguia. Is there a chance that the fans from Tijuana, people who usually travel to support Guadalajara’s Canelo Alvarez, will make Munguia the “hometown fighter” when he faces Alvarez? If this does happen, do you think it will impact the fight at all?

Bread’s Response: Interesting question. I think the crowd will be frenetic. I think the common fans from Mexico will root for the new blood to be victorious in Munguia. I think the celebrities will root for Canelo. I expect both fighters to have large contingents and it may depend on where they are seated in the arena. Celebrities can afford better seats. 

The crowd does influence the judges and with Munguia being the more active fighter, this can be a factor in the fight. For the record, I like Canelo to win but I expect a Fight of the Year candidate.

Canelo fans should be concerned with Munguia’s legs. He’s not a slickster. He doesn’t have great defense but he has great legs. He can bounce and spring in on his toes with combinations and he seems to have active stamina. Canelo is better defensively but Canelo fights flat-footed. Usually, fighters who are on the balls of their feet get off quicker than those who are flat footed. I’m curious to see how this dynamic plays out. Feet! If Munguia gets off quicker from his natural stance, Canelo is likely to get upset. 

My first-born son is due on May 25th and when he comes of age we’ll be watching fights together. My question for you is, which three fights would you choose to introduce someone who’s never watched boxing before? Jack from Detroit. 

Bread’s Response: Another good question. It’s hard to for me to narrow this down to just three fights but I will try. I would say Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Edwin Rosario to show the technical brilliance of boxing while going forward and remaining defensively responsible.

Salvador Sanchez vs. Wilfredo Gomez to illustrate how you box and move without stinking the place out. Sanchez showed what a true boxer-puncher looks like. Sanchez boxed but he boxed violently. And last but not least, I would show them Ray Leonard vs. Tommy Hearns I to illustrate who the real puncher is in a fight and to also show how the labels of who is who, can change due to mentality. The puncher in a fight is the fighter who can take the other’s punches better. Not the guy who actually hits harder. And due to Ray’s maniacal personality he started to stalk the most feared puncher in welterweight history for the win.

Recently I've been on a kick of kind of binge-watching boxing matches, old and new. And I just rewatched the Tyson Fury-Deontay Wilder trilogy for the first time since they last fought. It felt like in some ways that rivalry was kind of a throwback. It got me wondering where you'd rank it among the greatest rivalries in boxing history? This got me to wondering what you consider the top 10 greatest boxing rivalries (regardless of weight class? Does Fury-Wilder make your top 10 cut? Or would be just under that in top 15? Boxing has had so many great rivalries throughout its long history and I'm curious which are the ten you consider the cream of the crop? 

Bread's Response: Fury vs. Wilder is a big rivalry but I don't consider it top 10 in boxing history. However, it is the best heavyweight rivalry we have had in recent times. Probably since Evander Holyfield vs. Riddick Bowe. In no particular order, here are my top 10 rivalries in boxing history: 

Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier

Ray Robinson vs. Jake LaMotta

Ray Leonard vs. Thomas Hearns

Ray Leonard vs. Roberto Duran

Alexis Arguello vs. Aaron Pryor

Joe Louis vs. Billy Conn

Tony Zale vs. Rocky Graziano

Marco Antonio Barrera vs. Erik Morales

Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez

Willie Pep vs. Sandy Saddler

Canelo fans should be concerned with Munguia’s legs. Trainer - Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

A few years back I'd asked you what you thought were the top five greatest wins in boxing history? Now, I've been thinking of a related question: What are, in your opinion, the top five most underrated wins in boxing history? The kind that people don't realize or appreciate how important or historically significant they are? Greg K.

Bread’s Response: It’s hard to do five because each era dictates the quality of the win. But off the top of my head, I will just state the wins that stand out to me that are historically underrated. \

Fighting Harada over Eder Jofre I. Being the first and only man to beat Hall of Famer Jofre is a serious win and it seems to be overlooked. It may be the biggest win in bantamweight history because Jofre is considered the #1 fighter in the division's history and Harad took his 0. 

James Toney over Michael Nunn. Toney was a 22-year-old contender and took a fight versus a 34-0 champion who was on his way to the Hall of Fame. Stopping Nunn in Nunn’s hometown like he did was just brilliant work and that loss has kept Nunn out of the Hall.

Sambu Kalambay giving the great Mike McCallum his first loss. McCallum was 32-0. He was a rising great junior middleweight champion. And Kalambay beat McCallum after his best career win over Donald Curry.

Sugar Ray Robinson over Artie Levine. Levine was a murderous punching middleweight who had never been stopped before. Robinson was a super talent but he was a welterweight. He spotted Levine nine pounds which is huge. Robinson was almost KO’d with by a brutal left hook. He got up from the knockdown, wore Levine down and stopped him late. This victory is very significant because Robinson was one fight away from his first title shot at welterweight and if Robinson would’ve got stopped the history of boxing would be different.

Lou Ambers over Henry Armstrong. Ambers was the only fighter to defeat Armstrong during history’s greatest run. Over four years, Armstrong was 56-1 with over 50KOs and the only loss was to Ambers in a lightweight title defense. 

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