Here’s something I don’t want to happen:
I don’t want a young fighter to watch what happened to Erickson Lubin Saturday night, and get scared, get put off from driving down a dark road, toward a destination that is possibly paradise, because of fan/media blowback.
You know what I’m talking about…
Lubin got scorn pre-fight from some, but more so after the fight, from armchair GMs who said it was too much, too soon, that he and his crew are cocky dummies for going in too tough without adequate prep.
Shoulda. Woulda. Coulda. The know it all crew cackled and opined, on all social media, that they knew that this was gonna happen.
Well, I didn’t know. And you didn’t know. Vegas didn’t know. We had to see how it would play out, and if Lubin had slipped that right hand, and then gotten warmed up, and gotten his own offense working, then maybe the conversation is different, and today we are still chattering about the young gun who leapt into the star category on Saturday night at Barclays Center, and on Showtime. But he didn’t slip it and instead the know it alls have last say, for now.
Trainer Stephen “Breadman” Edwards came on the TALKBOX podcast and spoke under the influence of truth serum. He told us that he thinks a significant portion of top ten fighters are fighting juiced, and called for a hardcore push for 24-7, 365 testing of fighters in the elite tier, because what are we waiting for…someone to be killed in the ring because the playing field is uneven?
Edwards also took aim and fired at the boobirds who squawk loud after a young gun does what he’s asked to do, namely, accept a stern test, and then loses. The doubters then zoom in and tear up that young gun…they diss him, saying they knew he was never that good anyway…they critique him, his trainer, his path to that place..everything.
I asked Breadman, do fighters refuse to take tough fights because they know how vicious the blowback will be if they lose? “That’s a great question,” he told us. “I actually tell the guys I train to stay off social media before the fight. Not only is it the fans, but it’s guys who are supposed to be credible in the media that do this shit, guys that are supposed to have a knowledgeable platform. I don’t even speak to a lot of the guys in the media, because I’d say 80 percent of them are idiots on the take…I’m just one of the people that got enough balls to say it. The boxing fans are the worst fans out of any sport! You can blindly say anything on social media with no accountability for it! It’s exactly what you say…you take a tough fight and you lose, and you got people that want to talk shit about you.”
Lubin got scorn on social after his stoppage loss. Breadman knows of what he speaks; his guy Julian “J Roc” Williams got a full dose after he got stopped by Jermall Charlo in a young gun vs young gun mashup in December 2016. J-Roc fought once after that disappointment, in June 2017, getting a W over Joshua Conley, and he looks to make more strides and rise to 24-1-1 on Nov. 18 against Ishe Smith. “I literally take my guys’ phone 24 hours before the fight,” Edwards informed us, so they don’t have to deal with negativity and distraction.
“You got a guy that lose, and it forces so you got it that everybody wants the easy way to make a million bucks, nobody really wants to fight to do it. But you got to stay true to yourself. If you want to test yourself, go to the Hall of Fame, make some money, you have to take tough fights, it’s just that simple. And there’s going to be a winner and loser to those fights. And you can’t let what these idiots think that never challenged themselves in anything in their life make you change your outlook on yourself. Erickson Lubin, he’s still a human being, he’s still going to be a father, be whatever he was to the people that loved him before the fight….But you just got idiots. Everybody wants to be a matchmaker, everybody knows everything, it’s just ridiculous. Well what if he had beat Jermell, then what would people have said? They wait till after the event, after the outcome and make all these bold statements, where you can never lose if you do it that way..You can always have your opinion, but when your opinion becomes an insult and a critique, then you have to look at yourself in the mirror. These guys that do it, I see them in press row, and they’re all pieces of shit. And they make a mockery of these young kids trying to make their life better and it’s sickening to me!”
I concur; now, that’s not to say I always get it right, but I try to not go overboard in critiques and second guessing. Because Edwards is real right, our fixation on that unbeaten record and willingness and glee in writing off someone for losing, in the end, hurts the product. If more respect is given to people stepping up for sterner challenges, then, truly, everyone can win. The athletes, who will more so be reaching their full potential, and the programmers, who are getting better quality fights, and the fans, who get to watch more pick ‘em bouts. Listen to the Breadman, he’s spot on, on TALKBOX.