Billy Graham's Preacher's Corner: Rodriguez-Edwards is so 'perfect' that it deserves the attention boxing YouTube sends elsewhere

I first heard about Carlos Monzon when I was a kid. I’d buy all the magazines and read all about him. I knew he was tall and slim and I imagined him being a really smooth mover because he had this incredible record. When I finally saw a video of him fighting he wasn’t anything like I’d imagined him to be. I started studying him and working out why he was so effective.

I saw a video on YouTube recently where somebody was analysing Monzon and looking at his style. That’s when YouTube is good but I’m seeing less and less of it. 

When I think about boxing I think about how I’ve always gone about breaking down fights. I look at the fighters’ feet first and think about who’s got better balance, athleticism, anticipation and peripheral vision. I’m thinking about who’s got those better natural abilities. A huge thing is who’s better at going forwards and who’s better going back. Your job then is to take away the other person’s best attributes. I’ll think about who’s got a better jab. I look at the theme of the fight. What are you tying to accomplish? How are you going to make them more tired than you? 

This is the stuff boxing fans should be interested in watching. Not gossip and bullshit.

I’m not just saying this because they work for ProBox TV because there are other good people but I saw another video recently where Paulie Malignaggi and Chris Algieri were talking about a fight. They were making great points and even if you didn’t agree with them, you could understand it. I love that. Look, I’m good at breaking down fights, I know what I’m looking at and it makes me think.

There seems to be fewer and fewer people who want to talk about things like that, or who just don’t have a clue.

Here’s an example. I’m sick to death of hearing people say that the reason a fighter should move a southpaw round to their left is just because it’ll take away their left hand – or the “back hand” as it gets called these days. It’s way more complicated and in depth than that. Of course it makes it harder for them to land it but it takes everything else away from them. They can’t move as well going that way. They can’t get any of their shots off the same. The leverages are different. Their base is different because their feet aren’t in the right place. Defensively they won’t be as good. It’s exactly the same if you move an orthodox fighter to their right. 

There’s so much to the sport and it’s so complex. It’s fascinating but it’s being over-simplified because a lot of people just don’t know what they’re talking about.

Billy Graham's Preacher's Corner: Rodriguez-Edwards is so 'perfect' that it deserves the attention boxing YouTube sends elsewhere
Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

When I first started watching YouTube I’d watch all the videos because I’m interested in what people think about boxing but I’ve been getting more and more sick of it recently. Instead of proper analysis and breakdowns, you’re just bombarded with shit from people who don’t know about actual fighting. Boxing journalists should know and ask about what goes on in the ring – not just politics and bollocks.

It was all getting too much for me if I’m honest and because it seems so hard to make a fight these days, all I was seeing was shit about what fighters have said at weigh-ins and I can honestly say I’ve never given a flying fuck about what two promoters have said about each other.

It was wearing me out. Thank fuck it sounds like we’re going to actually get some fights to talk about. 

Sunny Edwards against “Bam” Rodriguez is the perfect fight where people should be talking about how each fighter is going to go about it.

I’ve seen a lot of Sunny. He must be an absolute nightmare to fight. He’s extremely gifted and has great anticipation and athleticism. He stays completely calm when punches are whistling past his ears. He’s so sure in his own reflexes. I think he could be a complete fighter if he just sat down on a few shots. He doesn’t have to change his style at all but he’s so talented, he could use his reflexes to make space to sit down on the shots. He’s also so naturally gifted that I think he could definitely be taught how to punch hard if he wanted to. 

I want to watch more of Bam. I’m gonna be watching how much energy he wastes. I want to see how good his defence is as he moves in. A good pressure fighter doesn’t charge out and try and force somebody to the ropes – they want their opponent to move and tire themselves out before they close the distance. 

A matador doesn’t beat a bull by moving all over the place, he does it with little subtle movements and lets the bull tire himself out.

If you’re a real boxing fan, do the same as me. Put YouTube on but watch the fighters, work out who’s got the better attributes and who’ll be able to impose themselves on the other. Work out game plans for each of them. I promise you you’ll enjoy it more than watching all the bitching and arguing.

Thank God the sport carries on producing great fights and great fighters.