By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards discussing topics such as Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack, Dmitry Bivol vs. Sullivan Barrera, the career of Marvin Hagler, Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker, Errol Spence, and more.
You seem to have sparked a huge debate over your assessment of a Sugar Ray Leonard vs Floyd Mayweather match up. You gave Floyd props but that wasn’t good enough for his fans. They shouldn’t be upset with you, Floyd is the one who started it. He’s the one who said on social media that Leonard and Hearns would be easy work for him, when no one was bothering him. I’m from Detroit and I’m much older than you Bread. I saw Tommy when he was in his prime coming through the ranks. I know what happened when Emanuel almost started training Leonard and Leonard came down to the Kronk. I know the story! You were kind to Floyd. Hearns got the better of Leonard in sparring but Leonard sparred the whole gym. He stamina was something we had never seen before. And it’s HOT in the Kronk. In order for a man 147lbs to beat Hearns he has to have an outer body experience. Leonard was capable of such things. These young cats need to sit down and shut up. Because if they saw Ray Leonard in the late 70s and early 80s they would know, Floyd Mayweather would get hurt and hurt bad fighting him. Thank you for being the realest voice in the game. They need you on ESPN.
Bread’s Response: Thank you… I don’t know why people get so outraged at a well thought out opinion. I think Floyd is a tremendous fighter. Among the best ever. I just strongly feel that at their best Ray Leonard would beat him head to head.
It seems as though light heavyweight is heating up. Adonis Stevenson vs Badou Jack is a great fight. Dmitri Bivol vs Sullivan Barrera is also very intriguing. Who you like and why in both fights?
Bread’s Response: Well I have a disclaimer. It’s very hard for me to not have a soft spot for Badou Jack. I love everything about the guy. He is the most humble fighter I have ever come across. He got stopped in the 1st round of a fight in the social media era which usually kills a fighters confidence. Jack didn’t even blink. He went on one of the best runs of the last 3 years, fighting fight after fight as the underdog and winning each one despite some poor scoring. Badou Jack is a character fighter. We don’t have too many of them in this era.
Although Jack is my guy I have to be objective. Adonis Stevenson has one of the best rear hands I have ever seen. His southpaw straight left hand is as good a punch in boxing in the last 10-15 years. It’s on par with Tarver and Pacquiao’s left hand. It’s on par with Wilder and Klitschko’s right hands. Stevenson has a radar on that shot. He shoots it in rhythm instinctively when his opponent is vulnerable. He operates off of a back and forth rock. As much as I respect Jack’s current run his biggest flaw is his slow starts. His only career loss was a 1st rd tko loss. And he gets dropped or staggered often early for some reason. This will be a serious obstacle fighting Stevenson. Although Jack is taller he has to find a way to make this an inside fight or midrange fight and not let Stevenson operate out of that “rock” from long range. The task is getting in range. You have to walk through bombs to get there. I don’t have a pick right now but I have an assessment. Stevenson before 4, Jack after.
Either Dmitri Bivol is a freak puncher or his last few opponents packed it in before they took beatings. He is knocking out guys with standard clean punches. Very impressive if the former is true. I like Barrera he’s a well rounded fighter who has been matched tough and can do it all. But he has the same problem as Jack, he gets dropped early. The difference in him and Jack is Jack seems to be more cerebral. Barrera doesn’t seem to have the subtle IQ that Jack has. The pick here is Bivol jumps on Barrera early and stops him within 3. It’s not that he’s so much better but I just think the slow starts will finally catch up to Barrera.
What's up Bread? Been reading your column now for a while and I really enjoy it. So Marvelous Marvin Hagler is my favorite boxer ever. My question to you is thus: how would Hagler's legacy have changed if he had gotten the win vs. Sugar Ray Leonard? Also, do you think he still would've retired after that fight? Leonard surely would have wanted that immediate rematch, and the money would have been even more ridiculous.
P.S. Every time I watch that fight I change my mind about who won!
Bread’s Response: Hagler is the hardcore fan’s favorite fighter. He’s the union worker’s favorite guy. He’s the drug dealer who wears timbs and a dickie suit favorite guy. No historian ever picks Hagler to get stopped in hypothetical match ups.
Hagler’s legacy is simply Marvelous. He has the best pre title run of the last 40+ years. Hagler fought 3 undefeated fighters in his first 15 fights. He fought Sugar Ray Seales and 1972 Gold Medalist 3x in non title fights. He fought Willie Monroe 3x before he ever got a title shot. He fought Bobby Watts 2x before he ever got a title shot. He also fought Cyclone Hart and Bennie Brisco. This was all in his early 20s. It was simply insane how hard this man was matched. The crazy thing is he didn’t get ruined. He came out of it a harder man.
All of the real historians understand that Hagler’s matchmaking ended the old school era and started the new one. No fighter since has been matched so tough before a title shot. Hagler is also one of the best 5 or 6 rematch fighters ever. He stopped everyone he fought multiple times. He will go down as one of the best 2 or 3 southpaws and switch hitters also. Did I mention he’s in the argument for the best chin ever and he’s no worse than a top 5 middleweight. I personally have him at #3. So his legacy is fine.
All that being said I do think the Leonard loss hurt him slightly. Here is why. He was a 3 to 1 favorite to beat the inactive and smaller Leonard. Leonard stopped a great title reign. Hagler was the #1 fighter in the world at the time of the lost. The winner of Hagler vs Leonard is the best fighter of the 80s. The 80s was boxing’s best decade since the 40s. Hagler was supposed to win that fight and he didn’t. So yes it hurt him but not too much.
I don’t know if Hagler would have retired. He had 67 fights in 14 years as a pro. That’s a lot of bumping. He wouldn’t have stayed around too much longer if he decided to fight on.
Hey Bread what good brother hope all is well with you and your family. I have two really quick questions
The first being what is your opinion on these fighters Donald Curry Marlon Starling Nate Campbell and Macho Camacho?
My second question is do you think some of the “mainstream media” aka the dan rafaels of the world as well as media members who seem to be are actually are affiliated with certain promotional entities? Do you think there is bias ? I asked this question in response to the statement you made about the urban fighters always on social media. I actually think they need to self promote because American media is focusing on anyone but black urban fighters but I think a team member should run it for the boxers so they can only focus on boxing alone. I’d love to hear your opinion on this. Thanks in advance. Happy holidays
Bread’s Response: Donald Curry had an extremely high peak. Fighters with high peaks such as Curry don’t rate as high in the context of greatness because they didn’t have longevity. But they rate high in head to head matchups because of the eyeball test. Anyone who saw Curry from 1983-86 and saw the first 4 rounds of his fight with Mike McCallum knows he was “serious”. In fact if you line up the best welterweights of the last 30 years and match them up with Donald Curry, Curry has case to beat them all. I personally think he stops Vernon Forest, Oscar De La Hoya, Miguel Cotto and he beats Shane Mosley super clean. That’s how good he was. Unfortunately for him the McCallum fight ruined him along with many out of the ring problems so his greatness was halted. However I do think he should be considered in the HOF. I think he’s a HOF. He unified the welterweight title, he was dominant in his run. He also beat a fine champion at 154lbs and he was rated as high #2 p4p above guys like Tommy Hearns, Michael Spinks, Aaron Pryor and Azumah Nelson.
Marlon Starling does not rate as high as Curry. He lost twice to the great Curry in two hotly contested fights. But Starling actually has an argument for an equal or better career. He stopped the 1st man to beat Curry in Lloyd Honeyghan. He also beat a Gold Medalist in Mark Breland and future champion Simon Brown. Starling then went up and gave a prime Michael Nunn hell losing a majority decision, when Curry was stopped by that same Nunn. Starling would beat most of, if not all of all today’s top welterweights.
Nate Campbell was a very good fighter. He had a late start but he made the most of it. He won a real world title and he wasn’t given anything. I think Campbell had a solid career.
Hector Camacho is a great fighter. He’s in the HOF for a reason. He’s one of the best6 or 7 guys to ever from the PR. Hes another guy who rates really high head to head. You would be hard pressed to find 10 guys who could beat Camacho head to head at 130lbs. However Camacho is considered an underachiever because in his prime he sort of “turned” as a competitor. He was 24 years old when he fought Edwin Rosario and that fight made him a stick and move stinker. He had some solid wins after Rosario but everything changed for the Macho Man after that. The difference between Camacho and Curry is Camacho would not allow himself to get stopped and he had more longevity. Nevertheless he was still a great fighter, he just didn’t turn out to be an all time great like he looked to be early on.
I think you misunderstood my statement about urban fighters. I have no problem with a fighter self promoting. In this era social media can be a great tool. My issue is fighters who stare at social media for hours at a time just watching the timeline. Fighters who literally interact for 8 and 9 hours a day with frivolous people. Fighters who simply pay more attention to their cell phone than they do much more important things.
A yes there is a disconnect with main stream media and urban fighters. I think there are 2 reasons for this. One is unqualified people have their media platform. Anyone can be media. There fore you have people in the boxing media who cn openly insult and disrespect fighters with no repercussions. It’s really disgusting.
The second reason in my opinion is demographics. A large portion of the boxing media is white males. A large portion of the better fighters from the US are black Americans. If you see two guys fighting in a street fight and you don’t know either, instinctively you will root for who you relate to the most. Lots of the media don’t instinctively relate to lots of the top fighters. Just take a look at the obvious media vs fighter feuds and you can see what demographic both sides are associated to. Objectivity is the word we need more of in boxing.
Now that Joshua vs Parker is done, who do you like, I think the winner becomes the clear cut best heavyweight in the world.
Bread’s Response: For a minute I thought Joshua and Parker was very close. But what happened in the last 12 months is that Joshua has developed past Parker. I don’t know what’s wrong with Parker but he seems stagnant. If they fight next which it looks like they will I favor Anthony Joshua. Joshua may have a Lennox Lewis type of career where he gets clipped a couple of times but I think overall he’s the goods.
One of the vital keys to development after a certain level is a fighter’s mindset and mental makeup. Mentally Joshua is A+. He’s humble but not meek. He knows he can fight but he also knows he needs work. That trait allows him to put the work in. He doesn’t get too high and he doesn’t get too low. When things go good for him he expects it. When things get rough like they did vs Wlad Klitschko he doesn’t fall apart because he knows he’s not invincible. Joshua has been stopped multiple times as an amateur and there are reports it has happened in the gym. But if you watch him fight he doesn’t fight gun shy. He has compartmentalized it. Joshua is a kid I really think highly of.
When I listen to certain fighters talk I always cringe because of their flawed mindset. When I listen to Joshua talk my eyes open because it’s always refreshing. As the saying goes your thoughts become your words and your words become your actions.
Parker has some physical talent but I think Joshua’s sound fundamentals and poise will carry the day. Look for an exciting fight. But at some point after he gets his 2nd wind Joshua will take over.
Speaking of the 2nd wind. It’s clear that Joshua has some stamina issues. But his mental strength allows him to not panic and get past it. It allows him to trust his conditioning and have confidence under the gun.
If Joshua beats Parker, his resume would consist of Klitschko, Whyte, Takam, Brezeale and Parker. That would easily be the best resume among active heavyweights and it would give him a big advantage going into the Wilder superfight.
Hey Bread - with Parker vs. Joshua looking good, I wanted your opinion on the fight, which is already being called a landslide for Joshua. I say that after Wladimir, Parker is a half-step down for AJ as Parker is young, big, athletic and undefeated. He seems a class above the likes of Charles Martin. People tend to berate Parker for going 12 with Andy Ruiz, but I think it's to his credit and I think Ruiz is better than 99.8% of Joshua's opponents. In short; I think this almost 50-50 fight. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: Everybody is talking about this fight. I love it.
Parker can fight. Maybe his recent struggles will help him. Maybe they won’t. I view Parker as Joshua’s 2nd best opponent also. But I think Joshua is a clear favorite. In my opinion its 65-35 in Joshua’s favor.
A good jab and balance can offset hand speed. Parker is a really fast fighter but he hasn’t had the development Joshua has had. You can just tell that Joshua has been exposed to more. This fight can look a little like Winky Wright vs Shane Mosley. Wright being Joshua and Parer being Mosley. The only thing is I expect Joshua to win by ko because Parker will let his hands go more than Takam did.
Is GGG a Hall of Famer? I think not lol.
Bread’s Response: Why did you ask me if you have already have the answers. Yes he’s a Hall of Famer and so is his coach Abel Sanchez. One thing I can’t stand is an idiot fan boy with no respect for boxers. Stop asking me the same question over and over expecting to get a different answer. No unified middleweight champion ever with double digit title defenses is NOT in the HOF. GGG deserves to be there because of that alone. Don’t disrespect him in my mailbag again or I will give the fans your email so they can troll you.
I loved your mailbag on types of punchers. It was the best mailbag in the history of mailbags. I have never seen types of punchers broken down like that before. And I always knew for example that say Nonito Donaire punches different than say David Tua. Can you give me the 10 best punchers in boxing and what type they fall into?
Bread’s Response: Ok I will go off the top of my head and I’m not sure if this is an exact order from 1 being the best and 10 being the least. But here are the guys who come to mind as the 10 best punchers collectively.
Adonis Stevenson: Speed Thudder
Dmitry Kudryashov: Heavy handed Debilitator
Murat Gassiev: Heavy Handed Debilitator
Deontay Wilder: Electric Slasher
Anthony Joshua: Speed Thudder
Monster Inuoe” Speed Thudder
Genady Golovkin: Heavy Handed Debilitator
Mikey Garcia: Heavy Handed Debilitator
Gervonta Davis: Speed Thudder
Krusher Kovalev: Swordsmen
I need some predictions for the big fights and big things in 2018. For example will Errol Spence become a PPV star and will he fight Terence Crawford or another star at 147. What about Loma, Mikey Garcia? Will we see Joshua vs Wilder? What will happen with GGG and Canelo?Give me all of the super fights that you think will happen.
Bread’s Response: Unfortunately for hardcore fans in this era of boxing it is extremely tough for boxing to put back to back years like 2017. The main reason for that is attrition. Attrition is the #1 ingredient in matchmaking these days. Just wait for your peers to slip or lose and then fight them. I know no one wants to hear that but it’s the truth.
Speaking of the Truth I think Errol Spence wants to fight the best. But if he beats Lamont Peterson I don’t think he gets super fight. The only way he gets a super fight in 2018 is if he struggles to a close decision or gets knocked down. Other than that look for Spence to defend his title against the biggest name who is ranked by the IBF. For example I can see him fighting Devon Alexander in the summer. Alexander is a true fighter. And he’s not at the star level he once was so he won’t have the same options as other bigger names have to avoid Spence.
Terence Crawford is another real fighter but he’s with Top Rank. PBC rules all of the belts at 147 and 154 except the WBO. I expect Crawford to fight for the WBO belt then defend it against a Top Rank fighter. Sorry guys I’m not being a pessimist, I’m being a realist.
I think Loma will be ducked at 130. No one wants to get embarrassed then stopped. He may get a unification but it will have to happen soon. Very soon. If he doesn’t get a unification with the IBF or WBA belts next I don’t expect him to get one. I think Linares wants to go to the HOF and he knows Loma is his ticket. I do have hope for a Linares vs Loma fight at 135 or a Linares vs Mikey Garcia fight at 135. One of those 2 fights will happen in 2018.
If Joshua and Wilder win their next fights I do believe this will be the super fight of 2018. Wilder is over 30 and Joshua is close to it. This fight is ripe for the picking. The only dilemma for this one is where it will be. Super Fight on the horizon and this is the one I have the most confidence will happen.
I expect Canelo vs GGG this year. I also know there are plenty of young guns at 160 waiting to fight the winner. What I think will happen is the titles will at 160 will get splintered again or interim titlist will emerge. There are just too many young killers for the winner of GGG and Canelo to fight them all in a timely manner. I also don’t think these young guns are going to fight each other. They want the big dogs. So expect a log jam at 160 unless the young guys are willing to sort of eliminate each other in order to fight the Super Fight.
Look for Eubank vs Groves to be a candidate for FOY. Gassiev vs Dorticos will also produce a killer and FOY candidate. Look for 154lbs to have at least one unification match which will produce a major player in the division. Look for Josh Taylor to become the uncrowned champion at 140lbs. Look for 175lbs to get red hot. I think there will be one unification match at 175 and the Stevenson vs Jack winner will be a big force. Look for 2018 to be a solid year but not as good as 2017.
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