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Daily Bread Mailbag: Lomachenko, Golovkin, Leonard-Hagler, Usyk

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards discussing Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs, the dominance of Vasyl Lomachenko, Marvin Hagler vs. Sugar Ray Leonard, and more.

Peace brother my name is Q from east New York Brooklyn. I thought ggg out boxed the bigger and faster Jacobs. It showed another side of ggg. I believe ggg is a small middle weight probably the same " natural " weight as fighters who fight a division or two or more below middleweight. What role if any do you think the 40 hour or so time period that Jacobs had to rehydrate?

Bread’s Response: GGG can box. He just boxes going forward and he’s a puncher so people don’t realize he’s boxing. Julio Cesar Chavez and Marvin Hagler were similar.

I don’t believe GGG is a small middleweight at all. I think he’s a good size middleweight. He’s proportioned correctly for his style. I think if he didn’t do anything he would be a 180lb man. But he’s professional, he trains really hard and he does not let the public see him get on scales heavy. Calculate the height, length and dimensions of the best middleweights in history and GGG’s size is comparable.

I think Team Jacobs outsmarted Team GGG with the weigh in. Getting the weigh in to be done earlier in the day was a brilliant move. Then on top of that they didn’t do the IBF weigh in the next day. Jacobs walks around heavier so he felt normal getting into the ring and his performance was excellent because of it. Little things lead to big things.

Bread,

I saw the Hagler/Leonard fight live on closed circuit TV from the Chicago Stadium, one of the brothers from the NOI and myself went to that fight.

Leonard was magnificent that night, he definitely beat Hagler, but the Brockton strongman was coming on, Hagler should've requested a 15 round fight.

Kell Brook is a very tight fighter, but he's slow returning his arms to the guard position after punching, the quicker Spence will take advantage of this. Kell has a short resume of fighting southpaws too. The only thing that makes this a 50/50 fight is the hometown advantage Brook has.

Back then I was hoping that Hagler would've moved up to 175lbs to compete with Matthew Franklin, Marvin Johnson, James Scott and Eddie Gregory.

Bob Foster was one solid 175lber, actually one of the great ones. He said one time he would never let a 5'10 fighter beat him. When he stepped up to heavyweight the 5'10 Joe Frazier handled him, the heavyweight division was Foster's Achilles heel.

Bread’s Response: Again Hagler would have never been able to get a 15 round fight at the negotiating tables. Because he fought Mugabi and Hearns in 12 rounders years before. No one seems to realize that because he stopped them both. By 1987 very few 15 round fights were being fought and Hagler was no different. When people say Leonard tricked Hagler at the negotiating tables I always ask did Hearns and Mugabi trick him too. All he did was fight his usual round limit at the time.

I think Spence has more body speed. Meaning his body generates more motion. I would bet he could beat Brook running. But Brook throws some really good straight punches. And he’s quick handed. I am curious to see who gets off better. I don’t think Brook has great foot speed either but I don’t view Spence as a speedster. Interesting….

I think Brook has been lights out vs southpaws. If I’m not mistaken he has kod all of his southpaw opponents. I think it’s because he varies his right hand punches.

I think Hagler didn’t move up because 15lbs is a lot to give up when you’re a natural at the weight. Hagler was not an extremely tall or fast fighter for 160. Fighters who rely on technical ability and physical strength don’t weight jump as much as tall or freaky athletic types. 175 would have been rough for him especially in that Golden Era.

Foster is one of the best light heavyweights ever. But if you look at his title run resume it’s similar to GGGs. He just beat the best available guy. But no real great fighters except Dick Tiger in his title win who was outsized.

Joe Frazier was only 5’10 or 5’11 but his gas tank and physical strength was exceptional. In the mid 1990’s I was working out at his gym. He showed me some core strength exercises. I couldn’t believe how strong he was even in his 50s. He was able to do an incredible amount of medicine ball core reps. Frazier blew through Foster with incredible ease.

Hey Stephen,

I wanted to ask you a personal question. You seem like one of the only objective black boxing analysts.

Does it bother you that there are guys like for example, Dontaes Boxing Nation, who have a prominent voice in the sport but don't seem interested in boxing so much as they are about advancing a pro-black agenda?

It's like if a fight goes the distance you can tell 100 out of 100 times who certain people will think deserved the decision and they will express the most illogical arguments but only specifically in favour of their agenda.

It's an indictment upon society, in my view. Your thoughts?

Aaron

Bread’s Response: I believe that open biasness makes you lose credibility no matter your race. But I also believe that standing up for injustices against your race is extremely important in sports. But I walk my to own tune and I don’t let anyone influence my thought patterns.

I was on Dontae’s Boxing Nation Show and he treated me with respect and his show was good. I never got the impression of him that you have although I don’t watch each segment of his show to form an opinion either way.

However I do agree with you that most times you can tell who a scribe will say won a close fight before you actually read his opinion. But I disagree with you that it’s a black thing. I see it all over. I think it’s a race thing, affiliation thing and regional thing.

For example if certain scribes are always allowed to interview a certain stable of fighters. When those fighters are in close fights they will say they won. I think certain scribes don’t like black fighters who move and box. Just like other scribes don’t like non black fighters who hunt and stalk. The same thing for certain trainers. Most people in boxing have their picks.

Me personally I appreciate all styles. I don’t care if a fighter is with PBC or Top Rank. I care who can fight. I don’t care if a fighter is black or non black. If you can bump you can bump. But I don’t let other people’s shortcomings and closed mindedness bother me unless it directly affects me. I just love boxing and I don’t let anyone sour my love for it. I will also speak out against racial injustices if warranted. I don’t like it when fighters get “labeled” negatively with their styles because certain people can’t understand their styles. You know where I’m going with that….

The one thing that does bother me is when you can predict when the judges will get it wrong. That’s worse than the scribes because their opinions become official record. There are too many corrupt or incompetent judges in boxing.

vasyl-lomachenko (2)_2

Is Lomachenko the best fighter in the world. How good is he and what is his ceiling? Is there anyone that can beat him?

Bread’s Response: Vasyl Lomachenko is a once in a decade type of talent. Him and Rigondeaux are the most talented fighters of this particular era. Like Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao were the most talented fighters of their era. Before them Pernell Whitaker and Roy Jones were the supreme gifts. Before them it was Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran.

I just went back 40 years and I was only able to name 8 fighters who combined the level of god given talent and skill that Lomachenko has. There are some supremely skillful fighters and there are some supremely gifted and talented fighters. For example Alexis Arguello is extremely skillful. But you wouldn’t consider him to outer worldly gifted.

Then you have guys like Hector Camacho who are extremely gifted but the gifts don’t match their skills.

Lomachenko is both. If he was an average athlete with his same skillset he would still be the best 130 pounder in the world. But when you combine the both you see something special.

I don’t know if he’s the best fighter in the world. But yes he is the most skillful along with Guillermo Rigondeaux. He’s the guy that if you had a son who boxed, his style would be the one you wanted your son to duplicate if he could.

What he’s doing reminds me of the zone Manny Pacquiao was in from David Diaz to Antonio Margarito. He’s making the corner, the public and the referee fear for the opponent’s health.

It’s very hard to impress me and Lomachenko has impressed me as much as any fighter has recently. He does not get tired. He fights like he’s shadowboxing. His mental stamina is next level. He appears to be physically tough. He shows no discomfort when cracked. He’s even handed. He’s defensively adept. Anything he does from the right side he does from the left side. He has a great jab. He’s not a huge one punch guy but he has developed one of the best body attacks in the game. His feet are impeccable. He’s a defensive fighter but he doesn’t run and he’s a volume puncher. He’s a European Manny Pacquiao. Not the puncher but better defensively and a better inside fighter.

I think his ceiling is 140lbs. I think welterweights may be too big for him but who knows.

Mikey Garcia and Terence Crawford have good shots to beat him. But if they don’t, no one will.

In order to beat him in his current form you will have to have a tangible quality that he can’t overcome. For example your punches will have to be just too much for him to cope with. Or your length will have to be so freakish he can’t overcome it with his feet. Or maybe your brute strength and workrate just swamp his skillset.

Sort of like what Salido did. But Loma has improved so much since then I just don’t know if anyone can repeat that who is near his size. I do think he needs to rematch Salido for legacy purposes though. You have to win the fights in the ring not on assumption.

I wouldn’t call him the best fighter in the world yet. Because being more skillful doesn’t mean you can beat everyone. Jorge Linares lost to 3 people he was better and more skillful than. Tommy Hearns lost to Iran Barkley twice. Hearns was more skillful and better than Barkley.

But I will say that if the top 100 fighters were the same size with proportions factored in. I think Lomachenko would be favored to win more fights than anyone else. He doesn’t appear to have a weakness although I want to see him conquer an elite crowding fighter ala Salido.

Also I want to point out something. Most great fighters have between 10-15 championship or elite fights. The ones with more longevity have between 15-20. So Loma’s number of fights gets held against him but he’s 7-1 in championship fights already in his career. And the 1 loss was in his 2nd pro fight against a guy who was overweight and it was split decision! So that’s 8 championship fights already.

If you think about it. Andre Ward has 8 championship fights. Terence Crawford has 8. Mikey Garcia has 5. Danny Garcia has 8. I just randomly picked some top American stars who have been pro much longer than Loma but have a similar number of championship fights. I wouldn’t call Loma the best fighter in the world just yet but he’s not as far off as some think especially when the reason is he doesn’t have enough fights. And I don’t argue with people who claim he is the best. His eyeball test grade is scary high.

The only thing I would like to see Loma do that he hasn’t done yet is volunteer for VADA. In this PED era I think that would seal his greatness.

Hey Breadman, I've written to you before & respect your opinion. I was at the Lomachenko-Sosa fight. Absolute, total dominance by Lomachenko. I give Sosa credit for taking the fight when others wouldn't, but he's not in the same league as Lomachenko. The other Ukranians were also impressive. I remember you writing a while back to keep an eye on Usyk. In person, Michael Hunter really took a beating. That fight should have been stopped. What's your opinion of Usyk-Gassiev? I'd love to see that match up. Also, what do you think of Victor Padilla & Joseph Adorno? I've seen them in Philly, also impressive... Thanks, Dan

Bread’s Response: Usyk is very good but I think he’s cooled off a bit. Hunter is much less experienced and was a big underdog going in. He was also off a whole year before he took the fight. Usyk won fair and square but Hunter was very competitive early. I thought it was even after 6. Usyk is probably the world’s best cruiserweight but not by as much as I previously thought. Gassiev is right with him.

Victor Padilla and Joseph Adorno can both bump. Both of those kids are blue chip prospects who have championship potential. Padilla is trained by Tevin Farmer and Jason Sosa’s trainer, Chino Rivas. Rivas is an excellent trainer.

Adorno has a laser of a left hook and I look for him to be 15-0 with 12 kos in no time.

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