Eder Jofre, the bantamweight Sugar Ray

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 3:43 pm

Some of you may remember that I actually posted this article some time ago, but Adam has been looking for articles for the v2journal and I asked him if this would be of any use, so here it is again :

Eder Jofre - the bantamweight Sugar Ray.

In May of 1965 Eder Jofre lost his bantamweight crown to Fighting Harada in Japan. As a fresh faced youngster who had been following boxing for a mere year or two I didn't take a great deal of notice. We were only a week or so from the Ali v Liston rematch, and although an Uncle was passing on his Ring magazines at the time the only thing I knew about Jofre was that he had been a permanent fixture atop the bantamweight division. I hadn't even seen him fight, and had I done so would have been too young, anyway, to form an intelligent opinion of his skills. In any case, Ali and Liston were at the centre of my Universe.

The next issue of Ring magazine was full of the controversy surrounding the ' phantom punch ' which felled Liston, with still frame analysis and opinions from past greats such as Dempsey and Marciano. At least, it appeared to be full of it. Further reading led me to the Jofre v Harada fight, and it suddenly occured to me that the fact that Jofre had been beaten had impacted fight insiders every bit as much as the controversy surrounding the heavyweight title fight. The after shock to Jofre's loss could have been measured on the Richter scale, since it was commonly believed that he had been unbeatable.

As an insatiable reader I continued poring over Ring magazine and everything else boxing - related which I could lay my hands upon and I learned more and more about the great fighters in boxing history. Being young and impressionable, I was deeply influenced by the writings of Nat Fleischer, and somewhere along the line I decided that Terry McGovern was the greatest bantamweight in history. In point of fact, I believe that Fleischer, in 1958, had picked George Dixon, but I'd read an awful lot about McGovern and I was captivated by the man. For some reason, Jofre slipped under my radar, though the little which I did know about him was sufficient for me to regard him as the second best bantam.

So it remained until the day, a few short years ago, when I found myself discussing the greatest bantamweights with our esteemed v2 member, captaincarrantuohil, at the old BBC 606. During our discussion, captaincarrantuohil argued very persuasively that Jofre was the best bantam of the lot and, finding myself in the middle of a flashback to the day he lost his title, I was sufficiently impressed by the captain's reasoning to revisit Jofre.

I'm glad I did.

This time round, there was film of the man in action, and plenty of terrific information on the web, and within a very short time I was hooked. Jofre was one of those rare fighters like Robinson who really did have the lot. He was a sublime boxer; he had genuine knockout power in either hand; he possessed an excellent chin, and he could scrap it out when necessary, and for as long as necessary. There wasn't an opponent or a style to which Jofre could not adapt. I often make little notes when I'm watching contests and, in watching Jofre, I noted that he had every punch in the book, from a snappy and accurate jab to leading hooks, withering uppercuts to the body and everything else besides. I also noted how beautifully balanced he always was, how he rarely wasted a punch, and how marvellously elusive he was with ducking and slipping skills which are a delight to watch. On the inside he applied unrelenting pressure and threw vicious short hooks and uppercuts in the manner of a miniature Jack Dempsey. He also had that special quality that great practitioners of any discipline seem to have - the appearance of having had more time to get his work done than his opponents did. Zidane and Pele had it in football, Campese in Rugby, and Benny Leonard had it in boxing. So, too, did Jofre. Sugar Ray Robinson, the yardstick by which all fighters are measured, set the bar almost impossibly high, but if any boxer / fighter came within spitting distance of him, then it was surely Eder Jofre. Not for nothing had Fleischer dubbed him ' The bantamweight Sugar Ray. '

I am indebted to captaincarrantuohil for having re - awakened my interest in Jofre, whom I also, without a shadow of doubt, now regard as the greatest bantam of them all, and the third best p4p fighter in history, behind only Robinson and Armstrong. While I am sure the majority will not have overlooked him as I did, I'd just like to pass on the torch to any who might not be overly familiar with this great little fighter by referring you to an excellent and in depth biography written by historian Dan Cuoco and featured at the IBRO website :

www.ibroresearch.com/?p=200

Enjoy.



http://v2journal.com/eder-jofre.html

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Post by superflyweight on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 3:57 pm

Enoyed reading it the first time, Windy and good to see it again. Have him fifth in my P4P list behind Robinson, Greb Armstrong and Charles.

Throw in his exploits at featherweight after something close to a three year lay-off and it's clear that he was a phenomenal fighter who belongs at the very top table when considering the greats.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 4:02 pm

Thank you, superfly.

That comeback of his to take the featherweight crown beggars belief, doesn't it? He was, especially in those days, an old man as far as the lower weight divisions go, and to go on that run, beat Legra ( who, when he wanted to be, was a super fighter, ) for the title and then remain unbeaten at feather until he retired was simply the stuff of fairytales.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 4:13 pm

In turn you've put me on to him if you remember correctly - I remarked that he appeared to be reading a book rather than fighting. I've not got him in my top 10 P4P simply because he was only recently brought to my attention but he really is a fantastic fighter. Is along with Ricardo Lopez the current subject of study. Makes you think how many true greats are forgotten even in modern times.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 4:16 pm

I remember how apt I felt your description was at the time, Shah.

All the time in the world, and every move and punch seeming to be exactly where it belonged.

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Post by superflyweight on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 4:19 pm

Is along with Ricardo Lopez the current subject of study.

Seeing Lopez's name again last week has me reviewing his career again in some detail too, Shah. Certainly a close to forgotten modern great.

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Post by Valero's Conscience on Fri 03 Feb 2012, 4:25 pm

I very much enjoy these in-depth informative articles about fighters from years past as i'm not too aware of the finer details of such former greats!

Cheers Windmill! thumbsup

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Post by 88Chris05 on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 12:15 am

A pleasure to revisit your excellent article, Windy. I was lucky enough to learn about Jofre at a relatively early stage of my love affair with boxing - fabulous fighter, perhaps the most perfect definition of a true all-rounder and complete, finished article. Like only a very few others - Ray Robinson being one of the notable members of this select group - Jofre gave the impression that he could beat his opponent any way he chose or felt like.

On the cusp on my all-time top ten, perhaps a little outside it at time of writing (like most, I tinker with it fairly regularly), but I certainly offer no argument to you making him your bronze medalist. Fabulous fighter and certainly the finest of the lot at 118 lb.
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Post by HumanWindmill on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 10:47 am

Valero, Chris.

Thank you both very much.

Valero, both Jofre v Medal fights are now at youtube, and the Los Angeles one is an absolute showcase of Jofre's extraordinary abilities and versatility. Well worth checking out.

Chris, you are indeed lucky to have discovered Jofre early on. As I mentioned in the article, I knew him by reputation only when I was a young fan, and it was a watershed moment for me when I finally saw him in action.

I could watch the fight to which I referred Valero ad infinitum without ever tiring from it.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 10:58 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuLIfVJDCDw
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=juHMjmtCl-o&feature=related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F34GkN4haLg&feature=related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bmDTyBdFvCQ&feature=related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSvg2y-Qhh0&feature=related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iv91jglcMSU&feature=related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eW8iasWOQRk&feature=related
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vri_0GetaEY&feature=related

Bits and pieces of Jofre to go with the medel fights

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Post by HumanWindmill on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 11:00 am

Good man, Shah. Thank you for those.

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Post by ShahenshahG on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 11:02 am

Welcome - Reckon I missed a few. What I wouldn't give for a comprehensive boxing archive

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Post by manos de piedra on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 8:22 pm

Strangely enough, I think hes quite overrated when I see him around the fringes of top 10 lists.

Id say he was probably the best bantamweight, but beyond that in pound for pound terms I dont rate him as highly as others. His opposition wasnt really strong enough for that. I dont think he ever recorded a win at bantamweight over a fighter considered HoF worthy and I may be wrong but I think his win over Saldivar might be the only HoF opponent he ever beat.

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Post by ChelskiFanski on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 8:35 pm

I remember the article fondly from the first time round Windy. I think in the same thread someone mentioned he was one of the few top boxers who was a veggie.

Out of interest where would you rank him p4p if it wasn't for his comeback and success at a higher weight?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 8:55 pm

With the possible exception of a young Ismael Laguna he beat the best the division had to offer in pretty emphatic style, his opposition is far better than he's given credit for and finds himself the victim of being a great small man like so many are.

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Post by manos de piedra on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 9:00 pm

He didnt beat Harada either. I dont think his oppsoition is underrated. Its just not on a par with most other top ten candidates.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 9:03 pm

Well I had him winning both Harada fights so that ones a matter of opinion, it's not going to be on a par because the bantamweight division is less glamourous. Saldivar, Legra and Medel were all brilliant fights that fail to get the recognition they deserve.

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Post by manos de piedra on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 9:09 pm

Imperial Ghosty wrote:Well I had him winning both Harada fights so that ones a matter of opinion, it's not going to be on a par because the bantamweight division is less glamourous. Saldivar, Legra and Medel were all brilliant fights that fail to get the recognition they deserve.

Saldivar, Jofre and Legra were pretty faded when they had those fights. In the context of being a top ten all time fighter I dont think the opposition is strong enough to stake a claim. He didnt beat Harada so I dont think that can be counted.

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 9:13 pm

Saldivar had seen better days but Legra and Medel are great wins which ever way you try to spin it. Obviously using boxrec we wouldn't count the Harada fights but watching the fights it becomes apparent that it was career suicide going to Japan to face the darling of japanese boxing. Try watching the fights.

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Post by manos de piedra on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 9:22 pm

Boxrec has nothing to do with it so dont try to suggest that Im somehow judging Jofre solely on boxrec. He lost the Harada fights. They were close. They were not robberies in any way. Your saying he beat the best the division had to offer but he didnt.

He has good wins. The "spin" Im puting on it is that relative to a top ten placing those wins are not on the level that other candidates can boast and hence when he see him in top ten lists I think hes overrated.

Your a sad and bitter poster that cant take anyone disagreeing with you without resorting to barbed comments. A miserable sod that makes this place unpleasant.

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Post by 88Chris05 on Sat 04 Feb 2012, 10:16 pm

Oddly enough, though I'm a great Jofre fan, I do think Manos has every right to question me and some others having him in the top ten (though as I said, Jofre probably resides just outside of mine, but you get the jist). From the outset, he is lacking in big name wins when compared to a Benny Leonard, a Barney Ross or a Pernell Whitaker, never mind a Ray Robinson or Henry Armstrong.

Let's be fair, Manos isn't saying that Jofre's opposition was poor. Personally, I look at the sheer quality of the man first and foremost. He had the lot. I can evisage him beating any Bantamweight in history with his punching power, elusiveness, ring generalship and work rate. I think that if you shrunk Archie Moore down to Jofre's size, or blew Jofre up to Moore's, Jofre would win. Much of that, I suspect, goes in to people rating Jofre so highly, but even I'll accept that there is scope for uncertainty and guesswork there, so I have no problem with Manos' view contrasting with mine.

Walks in to the top twenty for me, and up towards to top ten as well, but I'd accept that some could view that as being too generous. Don't think we should underestimate how fabulous and improbable that comeback was, mind you. I'd say he edged the first Harada fight - but not by enough to make it a robbery. I'd say it was comparable to the Whitaker-De la Hoya fight, for instance. And no complaints from me about the second bout; I thought Harada was well worth the win, though let's not forget that Harada himself was one hell of a fighter.
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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 12:28 am

manos de piedra wrote:Boxrec has nothing to do with it so dont try to suggest that Im somehow judging Jofre solely on boxrec. He lost the Harada fights. They were close. They were not robberies in any way. Your saying he beat the best the division had to offer but he didnt.

He has good wins. The "spin" Im puting on it is that relative to a top ten placing those wins are not on the level that other candidates can boast and hence when he see him in top ten lists I think hes overrated.

Your a sad and bitter poster that cant take anyone disagreeing with you without resorting to barbed comments. A miserable sod that makes this place unpleasant.

Unfortunately I know you base much of what you say on Boxrec, as soon as that source doesn't give you the answers you magically don't have a clue as the likes of Wilde and Lee are testament to.

Having watched the Harada fights which I scored about 10 rounds to 5 to Jofre im happy to say he beat the best the division had to offer, going to Japan to face the japanese darling of boxing would ever end in one of two ways. Jofre had to knock him out to win, the whole era if not that fight itself was littered with hometown decisions, in hindsight not the smartest move by Jofre but he was never a money spinner so had to travel and paid the price. He fights Harada in anywhere else and he gets both decisions by a comfortable margin.

The way we judge a fighter changes from weight class to weight, between featherweight and light heavyweight there has also been talented to fighters to prove yourself against, it's a bit harder outside of those parameters. We take Ali for instance, his wins for a heavyweight are unmatched but we look at lesser rated fighters like Ross or Moore and they have records that are relatively speaking more impressive but the context is all important.

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Post by manos de piedra on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 1:13 am

Imperial Ghosty wrote:
manos de piedra wrote:Boxrec has nothing to do with it so dont try to suggest that Im somehow judging Jofre solely on boxrec. He lost the Harada fights. They were close. They were not robberies in any way. Your saying he beat the best the division had to offer but he didnt.

He has good wins. The "spin" Im puting on it is that relative to a top ten placing those wins are not on the level that other candidates can boast and hence when he see him in top ten lists I think hes overrated.

Your a sad and bitter poster that cant take anyone disagreeing with you without resorting to barbed comments. A miserable sod that makes this place unpleasant.

Unfortunately I know you base much of what you say on Boxrec, as soon as that source doesn't give you the answers you magically don't have a clue as the likes of Wilde and Lee are testament to.

Having watched the Harada fights which I scored about 10 rounds to 5 to Jofre im happy to say he beat the best the division had to offer, going to Japan to face the japanese darling of boxing would ever end in one of two ways. Jofre had to knock him out to win, the whole era if not that fight itself was littered with hometown decisions, in hindsight not the smartest move by Jofre but he was never a money spinner so had to travel and paid the price. He fights Harada in anywhere else and he gets both decisions by a comfortable margin.

The way we judge a fighter changes from weight class to weight, between featherweight and light heavyweight there has also been talented to fighters to prove yourself against, it's a bit harder outside of those parameters. We take Ali for instance, his wins for a heavyweight are unmatched but we look at lesser rated fighters like Ross or Moore and they have records that are relatively speaking more impressive but the context is all important.

I couldnt care less how you scored the fight. It means nothing. What are your credentials as a judge? Ive watched the fight and think it was close. Over the two fights Harada was arguably the more deserving fighter. Either way, he didnt beat him however much you "spin" it.

"We" dont judge fighters according to your set of rules Im amfraid. I judge fighters on my own criteria. And I dont believe that Jofre is worthy of a top ten spot on the basis of who he beat which falls short of what my top ten fighters would have.

And, I never claimed to be some kind of expert on Tancy Lee, or Jimmy Wilde for that matter. I doubt you are either. My point which you obviously missed in you effort to argumentative was that theres nothing to suggest that Tancy Lee was a better fighter or a better win than the kind of wins fighters nowadays that routinely get trashed. Tancy Lee barely ever even fought outside Britain. Nobody provided me a reasonable argument as to why this win, presented as good, should rank above a whole host of wins modern fighters had that were considered lesser.

And again, my point with Jofre which you decided to miss as that his level of opposition and wins are weak only relative to other claimants to a top ten spot. I stand by that and as usual instead of trying to debate the point or offer a counter argument you try and suggest I had just used boxrec in an attempt to belittle a point I was making solely intended invite friendly debate and discussion. But this sums you up. You arent here to engage in friendly debate are you? You try to come on and score points rubbishing other peoples opinion, sarcastically dismissing them and adopting some kind of superior attitude. Your at the centre of most arguments and insulting on here. Your not the only one entitled to an opinion on here and your not entitled to rubbish others. Having compared the operators of the site to some kind of big brother Stalinist regime and leaving after trying to lead some kind of revolt I have to wonder what your purpose on here at all is? Hostility oozes from your every post. Are you here to talk boxing at all or just to pick fights?

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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 1:31 am

How I score a fight means something to me which is the point, my credentials as a judge are based purely on watching hundreds of fights, whether boxrec says fighter A got the win is largely irrelevant after watching it. The first fight for instance was a classic case of a fighter being scored highly for work rate, in every other are Harada was second best. As for the spin on it, Japanese boxing was corrupt in the 1960's no two ways about it so this then leads you to question any close decision which of course involves more than one source which just isn't good enough.

I talk boxing at all times but find it tiresome having to read convoluted garbage that has Boxrec as it's main foundation. As for Jimmy Wilde I would assume to knowing a darn site more about him than you having researched the great man for years and years, flyweight boxing in the early 1910's was dominated by british fighters so the need to fight abroad was minimal. It was only at the end of the decade that Wilde himself started to fight in America by which time he had secured his reputation. In order to be able to make what I consider to be a well balanced account of a fighter I go to the effort of researching both them and their opposition something you seem to be lacking in. There are many posters on here who have a good grasp of the sport and I respect there opinions, whether you like me or not I couldn't care less your opinion means nothing, you have a fundamental lack of comprehension of what constitutes evidence. If boxrec says it, it must be true.

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Post by manos de piedra on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 3:40 am

Simply you are are wrong. I have read plenty about Jofre (including Human Windmills excellent post and link), researched him in the past out of my own curiosity. I have watched both Harada fights and think the results were fair and in no way a robbery. No idea how you managed to score the fight 10-5 to Jofre I doubt there was a single respected publication in the world that scored it that wide.

But whether or not you think Im evaluating Jofres entire career based on a cursary look at boxrec doesnt bother me. What bothers me is the caustic attitude that you bring to this board day in day out in which all but a few of your "respected buffs" are treated to, as are those that have the temerity to disagree with you. This is an open forum where not everyone will be an expert to a boxing historians standard and not everyone will agree. They are entitled to their opinions free from your belittling remarks and attitude nonetheless.

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Post by The genius of PBF on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 7:31 am

So much love on here guys it is suffocating…I would place Jofre outside the top 10.

Eder Jofre may not have had the longevity of a Manuel Ortiz…Or a Panama Al Brown in terms of reigns…But Jofre was incredibly dominant.

He beat a long list of top fighters, Top 10 and Top 5…He basically blew them all away.

Eder Jofre was one special fighter to me he talent wise would be top 10…Has a very strong case for being the greatest Bantamweight of all time…Which considering the depth of talent the division has had is exceptional.

One of his best wins is the underrated Medel who stopped Harada!...Nice article Windy.

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Post by HumanWindmill on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 10:48 am

Thanks, PBF.

Chelski, I've never thought about his ranking without the comeback, mate.

As to my rating him so highly, I believe we need to accept that some folks use different criteria when assessing a given fighter, and so it can become a matter of personal perspective. manos feels that Jofre's resumé isn't stacked with household names, whereas I feel that sometimes sheer quality, especially if, at some point, such quality is tested at a high level, is enough.

Some of Sugar Ray Robinson's contenders at welter aren't exactly stellar names, either, and his record at middle is decidedly chequered. Of course, the Robinson comparison is tenuous because he did fight a great many HOF fights, but my point is that I've seen some question his credentials as automatic choice for best welter of all time on the basis of his resumé. ( For the record, I do believe he's the best welter of the lot. ) George Foreman might be a good example, though, given that he successfully defended the heavyweight title only against José King Roman, Ken Norton and Axel Schulz, the latter being, by common consent, a very dubious decision.

Each to his own, of course, and if some wish to assess Jofre against the names on the ledger I wouldn't argue with their conclusions. I'm happy with my own opinion that he was one of the most complete, and one of the greatest, fighters I have ever seen.

Nice to see that this has sparked some healthy debate. It would be a sadder world if we all agreed on everything.


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Post by Imperial Ghosty on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 11:10 am

I do feel that the division itself plays a big part in it all Windy.

If we look at Ali for instance, we all wax lyrical about his wins over Liston, Foreman and Frazier but are these wins really as good as we think, at heavyweight they are all in or around the top 15 in what is historically speaking a weak division. If we then consider someone like Gavilan who at welterweight held what I think are comparable wins over Basilio, Graham, Bratton, Jack and Williams but due to a less glamourous division gets rated far far lower. In a pound for pound sense you could make the argument that Gavilan beat the better opposition.

Heavyweights have and always be rated using different criteria to every other division and I think the same is true of flyweight and bantamweight too.

Imperial Ghosty

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Eder Jofre, the bantamweight Sugar Ray Empty Re: Eder Jofre, the bantamweight Sugar Ray

Post by milkyboy on Sun 05 Feb 2012, 11:27 am

healthy debate windy?

I see a parabolic curve in the rating of some fighters of which jofre is a prime example. Largely under the radar of the casual boxing fan. Articles like windy's bring him to everyone's attention, a wave of momentum takes over and he starts taking on super-human qualities and making the top end of everyone's p4p atg lists, then there's a minor backlash and people question whether we might be starting to over-rate him and he slips down a little.

I'm speaking from personal experience as i know i was guilty of the above to an extent. It's human nature. In many ways such a process usually ends up with the right level. Whichever way you spin it though, a damn fine fighter and a good case can be made for top 10 p4p... but manos does have a point imo.

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