By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez, Manny Pacquiao vs. Jeff Horn, Errol Spence vs. Danny Garcia, Freddie Roach not being paid and more.
I tell anybody who will listen to follow your column. Keep up the good work. I've been meaning to ask you this question for awhile. Russell Westbrook was basically on beastmode the whole NBA season. Watching him play I feel like he has the tools to be a problem in the ring as well. Length, Athleticism, and he has that dog in him. Are there any other Athletes past or present that you feel if properly trained could've had success in the sweet science? Also, I feel like by the time Canelo vs GGG happens Alvarez will be a slight betting favorite. Even though Canelo's not the plodder some make him out to be, I don't see the athleticism to give Gennady problems like Ouma, Brook, or Jacobs. Plus Canelo's starting to come across a little cocky to me. I understand fighters need to be that way but this feels a little Curtis Stevens ish. Sorry for the long questions. Thanks for your insight,
Protect your self at all times,
Jay from Charlotte
Bread’s Response: Good question I think Allen Iverson and Jim Brown would have both made excellent fighters if they started training in their early teens. And I agree with you about Russell Westbrook, he would be a tremendous lightheavyweight if he started boxing around 12 instead of taking up basketball.
I still don’t have a take on Canelo vs GGG. Some days I lean Canelo others I lean GGG. I will say this. If GGG decides to go back to his amateur days and box more on the end of a jab I think he wins. His jab is one of the 3 or 4 best in all of boxing.
Hi Bread. Love the Mailbag as always. I've been thinking a lot lately about what the perfect sanctioning body would be (in terms of rules) if there was only one and figure you're the perfect person to ask. You mentioned 5 judges recently, and mandating VADA for all top 15 ranked fighters. What else would you like to see changed and what changes would you make to the current ones to improve them? I think they should be able to rank champions from other bodies and mandate defences against them. I think the goal of a sanctioning body should be to find put who the best fighter at each weight division is and mandating fights against other champions would help that. All the best- Sam
Bread’s Response: Let’s see…I agree with you about ranking champions from other sanctioning bodies. The WBC did that with GGG when he was trying to force a Canelo fight.
I think champions should be forced to defend their titles 3 within the 12 month span they win the title. So for example if you win the title on July 10, 2017 you should make 3 title defenses by July 10, 2018. Too many champions are “sitting” on their titles and extending their reigns. I believe this would make a 4 or 5 year title reign very significant and a champion under these rules would go down historically as a real champion.
As an Australian and a more than casual but not quite die hard fan of boxing, I want to give an opinion in relation to the aftermath of the Manny Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn fight and the controversy of the decision.
The continued calls of this being a hometown decision detract mostly from the enormous effort that both fighters put in. You would know first hand the training and sacrifices that go into getting to the elite level of boxing and for people to continue this hometown discussion continues to take away from Jeff Horn’s achievement.
If you feel that he did not win then that is of course your opinion.
Provide him with some credit at the very least. I thought how Teddy Atlas acted was not in the spirit of sportsmanship. He could have handled that a lot differently.
If everyone could keep in mind a couple of things:
1. The referee was from the USA
2. The judges were from the USA and Argentina
So it is not exactly as though Australia stacked the deck against Manny. Which is how everyone makes it sound.
As I see all too often, so called lovers of the sport are all too happy to run it down every chance they get.
And you could say that because it is in Australia, the crowd will roar that little bit harder for Jeff and sway the judges. Keep in mind that Manny Pacquiao is idolised and there are a very large number of expat Filipinos living in Australia that went to the fight. So there would have definitely been a large amount of support for Pacquiao on the day (to put it into perspective, the police cancelled several public appearances because over 5,000 people were going to be in attendance and they simply could not cope with that sort of crowd in an open street).
I hope there is a rematch and I hope Jeff Horn knocks Manny Pacquiao out. It has left an extremely sour taste in my mouth (and the mouth of a lot of Australians) with the behaviour of a lot of people post fight (from US commentators to Pacquiao’s team).
Boxing is a very niche sport here in Australia. This catapulted it into prime time. It was the talk of every radio station, every newspaper ran front page headlines, every television station ran special reports on this. So let us remember what sort of exposure this gave to the sport and how that may translate into other boxers getting remunerated better than they previously may have. Especially given that they get punched in the head for a living.
Thank you for reading my thoughts/rant and I would appreciate your comments.
Mythical Match Ups
I have noticed that you do these from time to time if requested.
As a huge fan of Kostya Tszyu, how do you think he would fare against the current beltholders at 140 and 147. And have you seen and/or heard of his son Tim Tszyu who is starting out here in Australia. They look like twins and I will be interested to see if he ends up having even some of the talent of his father.
Lastly, and to give you an insight into the Australian culture, Jeff Horn epitomises everything we love about being Australian. Humble, tough, hard working, determined and never say die attitude. Whilst we can appreciate supremely skilled athletes, it is guys like Jeff that are the ultimate. Perhaps I am speaking out of turn but that is how I feel being an Australian.
Scott from the Shire, Sydney, Australia
Bread’s Response: Pacquiao and Horn put on a good show and that was a very good fight. Horn was intense he and he seized the moment. Pacquiao who is supremely offensively talented tried to knock his head off. It was a good fight. The controversy drowns that out.
I think Pacquiao may have edged the fight but I didn’t score it. While watching it I knew it would come down to subjective preference. Pacquiao’s superior punch technique and clean punching or Horn’s ring generalship. Horn won. I didn’t see a robbery.
I was also surprised at some members of the media who ran with the commentary instead of watching the fight and being objective. I don’t trust the boxing media as a whole. 80% of the narrative is scripted and I think most of the opinions are heavily influenced by multiple things. From their unofficial scorecards to the false narrative of the pre and post fight thoughts. Pacquiao vs Horn was a close fight that could have gone either way. Most feel Pacquiao won and that seems to be the consensus but you can make a case for Horn winning. Not 117-111 but a case nevertheless. By listening to the commentary you would think Horn was getting dominated and he wasn’t, so…
Kostya Tszyu would be at least the 2nd best fighter at 140. He and Terence Crawford would have to swap it out. At 147 as of right now I think he would be the top guy. Maybe Erol Spence would challenge him but I don’t know enough about Spence yet to say he could beat Tszyu. Tszyu was a great fighter.
How do you think a fight with Spence vs DSG would go? Who would be the favorite? I saw on Al Bernstein’s twitter that he retweeted something about Spence challenging Garcia. I know you like Garcia but I think Spence would blast him. Garcia does not seem interested in being a great fighter. He just seems interested in getting rich. Spence seems ambitious and he wants to use Garcia as a tune up.
Bread’s Response: I am very impressed with Spence. That kid really wants to be great. He’s not looking to make any “showcase” title defenses because Danny Garcia is a real fight. In this era you just don’t see that. Unfortunately in this era I don’t think he would be allowed to fight Danny Garcia in his very 1st title defense. Things just don’t seem to work that way but we shall see.
I believe the oddsmakers would have Spence as a -250 favorite. As for how the fight would go I think it’s a FOY type of fight. Here is why. Erol Spence is a spirit taker. He takes your fighting spirit at some point in every fight. He didn’t out skill Kell Brook he out willed him. Danny Garcia has plenty of critics but no one has ever taken his will. Danny fights until the end.
Stylistically Spence fights downhill. He’s like a power running back. He may only get 2 or 3 yards in the 1st quarter but as the fight goes on he starts to get 5 and 6 yards per carries. Garcia is a hold his ground timing fighter, with a great chin, big punch and uncanny timing. If you look at Spence closely he doesn’t really slip punches. He catches them, absorbs the impact then he steps in and gets off.
It’s a very efficient style that Spence employs. But Garcia can really crack. You have to be careful of trying to catch something with Danny and it gets through your guard. Danny knows how to punch around and through the guard. I think this is a tremendous fight. I think this is a distance fight and it’s very taxing physically for both fighters.
Danny really doesn’t call guys out but when he gets in the ring he rumbles. I would love to see it.
I enjoy your emphasis on knowing character as well as skills when picking fights and think it plays a huge asset in fights. Character shows that a fighter is able to stay calm, collected, and not panic during a fight. I think the best fighters ever, especially in the last few decades have an equally exceptional level of great skills, character, and ability to adapt.
Because of your talking about character of a fighter I now look at my own P4P List differently and ranking of all time greats differently as well. I had Lomachenko as my top P4P fighter easily and Crawford as 2 and Ward as 3 until recently and now would change Lomachenko from 1 to 3. I think Loma is possibly the best skilled fighter I've ever seen but I do not think his character is the same as those other 2 and that I can now see is substantial when looking back at all time greats and trying to rank them. The Salido fight was at a completely different time than now and Loma now blasts him out, but I think it still shows some character/adaptation issues from it.
I think Crawford is the leading person on someone who shows the best combination of all three attributes right now and why I think he is a future HOF for sure and potential all time great because of this. He never tries to take easy fights, never backs down from challenges, goes through the tough times in order to intelligently fight back, and constantly adapts to take away other's strengths during fights. I think someone like Pacquaio has fantastic character but does not adapt which hurts my ranking of him all time. Which current boxers would you consider the top 5-10 elite "character" fighters?
Bread’s Response: Character is my favorite word besides focus in boxing. People always equate character with how much heart a fighter has but it’s so much more than that. I know plenty of fighters with heart, who will die in the ring but they lack humility, dedication other equally important character traits.
Before I go into my rankings I want to point out that adapting in the ring is not necessarily a character flaw. It can be but often times it’s more of a technical or tactical flaw.
Top 5-10 elite character fighters currently. I won’t put them in order but I will just list the guys who I think stand out.
Andre Ward, Shawn Porter, Anthony Joshua, Roman Gonzales, Orlando Salido, Abner Mares, Carl Frampton, Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko.
I disagree with you about Lomachenko’s character. It’s A+. Salido fouled him repeatedly in their fight. He fought on and almost stopped the more experienced fouling fighter late. In his very next fight he challenged a more talented fighter than Salido in Gary Russell. If Lomachenko loses that fight he’s 1-2. That display of character is the best of recent times. I’ve never seen anything like that before.
Bread, big fan of your mailbag and an even bigger fan of J-Rock. Something that perplexes me is the extreme negative press that Andre Ward receives from certain writers that cover the sport. I reached out to one of the writers that spews an excessive amount of vitriol towards Dre and explained that, from my perspective, Dre' has always carried himself in a dignified and classy manner. I went on to ask if Dre conducts himself in a boorish manner off camera or outside of interviews which would in turn cause this writer to have such an axe to grind when composing his articles or comments with respect to Dre'. The writer's response was, "you should know the difference between negativity and honesty" Huh? Blank stare. His response was validation that he basically has no merit in his negative slant towards Dre'. Do you notice the negativity that a segment of the boxing media displays towards Dre?
Bread’s Response: Yes I do notice it. But I don’t get into the why or why nots. People will always have their opinion and maybe they have valid reasons maybe they don’t. I just know from my perspective Ward is a high character guy inside and outside of the ring. I have never seen the negative side of him that some say they have.
It's been a minute champ but I saw and heard you shining in the corner last week! I'm glad to see you are still up on your game and found your new joint. So here's my comment on various topics:
In your last bag, I saw you are uncertain about Broner vs Garcia as I somewhat am. For me, I think the weigh-in will tell us the story. I think it'll drain him. I'm always hearing him and others talking bout "im undefeated at 140 and below". Playa, when was the last time he made 140? Broner does have good skills and heart but he has no "chill " aka focus, poor discipline, and it shows when he fights B+ level and above fighters. He either escapes with narrow decisions or gets paws put on him. I agree he's more athletic and bigger but I don't trust a cat with lacking mental fortitude in a fight of this magnitude. 5-1 odds is a stretch but I think what I said plays into it. I think Mikey is gonna exploit one of those lapses and put some hurt on him. Another topic? Lomo. The best amateur ever? Possibly. Pass eyeball test? Absolutely! But bruh, how can people put him #1 P4P at like 8-1? For me, a cat has to either clean out a division or beat other elite cats before I drop that kind of confetti and the only cat with that pedigree is Andre Ward. I hope he gets the fights to prove it (Rig), I have no issues with him, but I think HBO and certain boxing insiders have an agenda on this one! No way should he be ranked above Ward or even Crawford. Lastly, GGG vs Canelo. I had a cat tell me GGG has been exposed in his last 2 bouts. I disagree because I've always saw him for what he is...a big and strong guy with a jab who can punch and take a punch (George Foreman???). While those type can run into issues with certain fighters because of their holes, they are not only extremely hard to beat but dangerous till the end. I think Canelo is a fine fighter but just like when he fought Floyd, I don't see him with the tools to beat GGG meaning I see nothing he does GREAT. If he can't hurt him bad or dance all night like Ali, I don't see it bruh.
MJ the retired Chief
Bread’s Response: My man! How have you been. You are my p4p champion as far as write ins…Maybe one other guy can challenge you lol.
I think how Broner made the weight will be the telling sign. Not the weigh in but how he got there. Did he damage himself to make 140? And what he does post weigh in will be even more important. Most guys look drained at the weigh in but what you do after is much more important. Over training is a serious concern if I am a Broner bettor.
I think Andre Ward is the best fighter in the world also. But I have no problem with Loma’s lofty rankings and here is why. Don’t look at total number of fights and look at total number of elite level or championship fights. He actually has just as many as Ward and Crawford.
GGG’s comparison to Foreman is spot on. They aren’t tricky or hard to figure out. But defeating them is something different. I think the Canelo vs GGG fight will have as even a split as any super fight I have seen in a long time. This is truly 50/50 on who everyone thinks will win.
What’s up Bread? I have been reading and listening to you for years. This is my first time writing in because I wanted to pick my spot wisely. I am an attorney and I’ve been thinking about dipping my hand in boxing. But I’m not sure what side to get in on. The Light or the Dark.
There is a good side to boxing and there is a sinister side. I think you along with Paulie Malignaggi are the best two boxing minds we have going right now. I really mean that. I say that without reservation because I have studied everyone worth studying. I bring up Paulie because I wanted to touch on the dark side. No disrespect to you but I think Paulie understands the dark and more lucrative side more than you do.
I believe Paulie Malignaggi was a clean fighter. I have been around guilt my entire adult life and I am at least 90% sure that Malignaggi did not use Performance Enhancing Drugs. Not just because of his performances, which were solid but not spectacular but because of his demeanor towards peds.
Paulie continuously calls out Pacquiao for ped use. He almost dares Pacquiao to sue him. Pacquiao never has challenged Paulie’s strong accusations. That’s telling to me. However I think Paulie is biased which makes me ponder the dark side….
Malignaggi is beyond intelligent. If he thinks Pacquiao is dirty then why doesn’t he challenge Mayweather who in my opinion is even more suspect. Pacquiao sued Mayweather and challenged him in court. Any expert in litigation will tell you that Pacquiao filing suits shows a degree of legitimacy.
With the discovery opening old samples of their blood and urine, both Pacquiao and Mayweather could have been discredited. I think Pacquiao at some point used peds but I am not as sure as I once was. The reason being is he sued Mayweather subjecting himself to further investigations. Mayweather settling out of court after years and years of accusations tells me all I need to know. On top of that he hires Alex Ariza who was with Pacquiao during his amazing run. Ariza also was with Marcos Maidana in Mayweather’s first fight with him. Maidana’s punch out put went down about 35% from fight I to fight II. That also tells me something.
Instead of Floyd finally getting to prove he’s the best clean fighter of this era, he opts to settle out of court and no one, especially Malignaggi challenges him. Teddy Atlas who used to scrutinize Pacquiao and question his accomplishments then calls a biased fight in favor of Pacquiao vs Jeff Horn. Now maybe Atlas was humbled because Pacquiao beat his fighter Tim Bradley while testing VADA but it’s troubling how much of a cheerleader Atlas has turned into. Malignaggi and Atlas have to two of the more high profile boxing jobs around……
Then there are other fighters like David Haye, Juan Manuel Marquez, Vinnie Pazienza, James Toney, Erik Morales and Andre Berto all have either tested positive or have suspicious issues surrounding their careers. As outspoken as Malignaggi is, he only targets Pacquiao, who did start taking VADA in 2013.
It’s perplexing to me and it makes me think I should lobby to go in on the dark side. My possible suggestion is allowing the banned substances. Give all the fighters access to them. Instead of limiting the resources make everything available. I’m serious when I say this.
It’s obvious no one really cares about PEDs in boxing. Mayweather started this testing craze but he doesn’t even take the most stringent test. We know the results are sealed which is absurd. Paulie knows this too because he has spoken out about USADA so I’m sure he knows the difference but he doesn’t talk about it anymore. Why? I think because of network agenda. It benefits the networks to show enhanced products. So depending on what network a suspicious fighter is on, that broadcasting team will push the agenda. It works.
In this era the two best fighters have been Mayweather and Pacquiao. Both are highly suspicious of PED use. The networks and press sort of cover it up and overlook the obvious whenever it’s convenient. These circumstances would encourage a young fighter to cheat! Why would a young prospect be clean when the richest and most celebrated fighters of the era get this sort of biased treatment?
I know you won’t say much but my only question to you is who would you say is the Cleanest Greatest Fighter of this Era?
Bread’s Response: Paulie is on twitter he interacts with the public. You can definitely hit him up and he will most likely answer you. I agree he’s one of the best in the game but I won’t try to answer anything for him. So you are correct I won’t comment much on what you wrote…….
But I will say I don’t think allowing banned substances in boxing is the answer. I think Quality of Life is important. I wouldn’t want to indulge into causing premature sickness and death of an athlete. We have all seen athletes get sick and die at premature ages who were suspected of PED use. I will say I agree that no one really cares about who is using and who isn’t. It’s an epidemic and it’s the fakest war since the Iran Contra Scandal.
The Cleanest Greatest Fighter of this Era for me is Nonito Donaire. Donaire is the 1st fighter to undergo VADA testing all year around, with or without a fight scheduled. To my knowledge no one else has done that and if I am wrong I stand corrected. I believe most of the cycling is occurring in between fights while these fighters act like they are on down time. Donaire reached an incredibly high peak around 2011-12 while drug testing. He won Fighter of the Year, scored brutal kos and was very active. Now he’s slipping on schedule as a clean 35 year old fighter would. Donaire deserves major props for his accomplishments and I think he should go in the HOF because of what he did.
Two quick questions. I just read that Freddie Roach has not been paid by Manny Pacquiao yet. How does that work? I know fighters get paid on the day of the fight but why doesn’t his team members also get paid the same day. I also read that Mayweather has tax problems from 2015 and he doesn’t have the money to pay the taxes right now. If he doesn’t have the money to pay the taxes right now, he won’t have the money to pay his 2017 taxes next year. How can this be?
Bread’s Response: Everyone pays their team different. Some fighters pay their team members by salary. Some pay them after the fight and mail out the checks once the fighter’s purse clears. Others get the checks broken down on the night of the fight and everyone gets paid at the same time. Logically speaking I think the best way to do it is break the checks down on the night of the fight. Therefore you don’t have issues with mail, team members passing blame and not getting paid etc etc.
I really don’t know Pacquiao’s payment structure so I can’t really say how his team gets paid. I just gave you different scenarios on how the payments work. Boxing is a rough game….
I won’t comment too deep into Mayweather’s tax problems. That’s a personal issue. I’m sure he will make plenty of money in his fight with Connor McGregor. It’s really no biggie.
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