By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Vasyl Lomachenko, thoughts on the PED rumors on Juan Manuel Marquez, legacy of Roman Gonzalez, Canelo Alvarez's beef with the WBC, Adrien Broner's need to revamp a few things for his career, and more.
How good is Lomachenko? Is he the #1 p4p fighter? Who is in your top 10? What makes him so special as compared to everyone else?
Bread’s Response: He’s special. If Joe Calzaghe and Pernell Whitaker had a baby it would be Lomachenko. Lots of things make him special but the concept in which he fights stands out the most to me.
Every fighter seems to have a preference. Some like leading. Others like countering. So fight better from a stand still. Some fight better going forward. Others fight better off the back foot. Some have a preference on range.
Lomachenko is unique because he’s just as good going forward as he is going backwards. He leads just as well as he counters. He’s ranges are all the same. He’s money at all 3 ranges, long, mid and close.
Most supreme boxers would rather you come to them. But Loma can track guys just as good as he counters them. He puts serious pressure on you because he’s never out of position. He slides up on you throwing touch shots, not over committing. Then when he gets you to become stationary he throws his fastballs. They say he’s not a puncher but he has 7 kos in his 9 wins…..I think he punches hard to the body and I think his fastball has some heat. While he’s doing this his opponents are either forced to over move and burn out or open up. If they open up he counters them and brutalizes them.
Ali had trouble fighting boxers. See Ken Norton and Jimmy Young fights. Whitaker didn’t like it, see Diabolis Hurtado. Roy Jones didn’t like that Tarver waited on him. But this Loma kid will just slide up on his opponents who box, force them to move or punch just as comfortable as he does moving away. He’s a tremendous fighter. I think at this point he has to fight an elite level fighter in his next fight. No more showcase fights. His talent needs to be fed. He’s human if he doesn’t fight elite soon he will become stale. That’s how good he is.
He’s not my #1 P4P fighter but I think he and Rigondeauz are the two most gifted elite level fighters in boxing. My P4P criterion is who would win the most fights if everyone were the same weight, with height and reach proportioned to their current weights. Who has accomplished the most and who faces elite level competition? Factor it all in and here it goes.
1. Andre Ward
2. Terence Crawford
3. Vasyl Lomachenko
4. Guillermo Rigondeaux
5. Gennady Golovkin
6. Canelo Alvarez
7. Monster Inoue
8. Roman Gonzalez
9. Adonis Stevenson
10. Sergey Kovalev
I have a close eye on Gonzalez and Kovalev. If they show slippage in their next fights. Keith Thurman, Mikey Garcia and Juan Estrada all can be in their spots.
Where does Roman Gonzalez rank historically? It’s really hard for me to rate a flyweight. He seems to have slipped once he got on HBO.
Bread’s Response: Roman Gonzalez is a GAWD. Yes I said it. I keep hearing this same argument against his greatness. Let me tell you guys something. You don’t have good boxing eyes. You don’t realize what you’re looking at. Most pressure fighters get underrated anyway.
Gonzalez was rightfully named in the top 25 fighters of the last 25 years. He’s no worse than the 2nd best strawweight ever behind Ricardo Lopez. He has a legit argument for the best ever at junior flyweight. And he’s top 10-20 fighter’s ever who campaigned exclusively at bantamweight and below.
I keep hearing how much he gets hit. Sure he does but he never abandons his boxing. He’s always pivoting, feinting, slipping, catching and punching. He never just slugs and abandons his boxing ability. For example watch Adrien Broner go in attack mode. He holds his hands up high, he doesn’t step with his feet and his volume is sporadic. Have we ever seen Gonzalez do that? You can tell his skill level when you watch him next to another great fighter. Everytime you see him and GGG on the same card, you can see Gonzalez is more skilled.
They say Roman gets hit but no one talks about his stamina. It’s unreal. No one talks about his chin. It’s unreal. No one talks about his heart. It’s unreal. No one talks about his combination and body punching, it’s unreal. No one talks about the fact that he seeks great challenge after great challenge. His last opponent was a killer. We just didn’t know him. Juan Estrada is a killer. Cuadras and Viloria are serious dudes.
I will admit that Gonzalez looks to have slipped. His last prime peak performance was probably Brian Viloria. But I watched him on youtube about 6 years ago. I know what his prime looked like. He’s a high volume pressure technician. His skill level is on par with Jeff Fenech and Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. He employs the hardest style imaginable for a smaller aging fighter with almost 50 fights and moving up in weight. And by the way he’s clean. He voluntarily takes VADA. He’s sticking a needle in his arm bro! Of course he’s going to show slippage. You are about the 10th person I had to correct on his greatness.
What up bro? I’m a Mexican from Houston and I have no problem admitting Marquez was a PED user. It’s the most obvious case of ROIDS in boxing. Come one Bread. You’re giving him a break. I know you don’t write stories and you just do mailbags so I will give you a slight pass. But Marquez didn’t win the title until he was 30. He needed “gear” to give him longevity and keep his explosiveness. His most celebrated victory is a PED induced fight. I look at users like police officers are looked at when they are caught planting evidence. All of their cases go under speculation or get thrown out. That’s how I look at obvious PED users. By the way I have an obvious list of users but I won’t list them yet. I want you to answer Marquez specifically. In your opinion do you think he was on PEDs?
Bread’s Response: Look man I can’t say a fighter who didn’t fail a test is on PEDs. It’s just not ethical. But I will say, you can’t fail a test that you don’t take. I will also admit the body transformation at the late age and delay on testing in the Bradley fight is suspicious. But I won’t go further than that….
I will also say one of the reasons the media gives Marquez a pass on PEDs is because they suspected Pacquiao of being on them.
Hi bread. In a recent mailbag you said we are in an age of short welterweights so I was wondering if you had seen Bradley Skeete and Sam Eggington from the uk (6'1 and 5'11 respectively). Skeete is very technical and relies heavily on his jab. If you haven't seen him I would watch his recent fight against Shayne Singleton where he showed real venom. Sam Eggington fights like a Mexican. The guy seems to keep coming forward and having a war. His fight with Franky Gavin last year was a foty contender and he recently knocked out Paulie malinaggi brutally. If you have seen them what do you think of them? Also, what makes an effective tall or short fighter?
Bread’s Response: I haven’ seen Skeete I will look out for him. I did see Egginton vs Malignaggi, Egginton is solid. Lots of things make taller or shorter fighters effective. It’s too broad of a question. Sometimes taller fighters fight like shorter fighters. See Paul Williams and Diego Corrales. Sometimes shorter fighters fight like taller fighters see Kostya Tszyu and Floyd Mayweather. I really depends on the god given skill set.
I would like to get your thoughts on why Canelo is talking down the WBC so much lately. I am not making any accusations but do you think it might have something to do with the VADA testing? According to Canelo he gave up the belt because he didn't want to be forced to do anything. Around the same time the WBC was in the beginning stages of having all fighters wanting to be ranked by them register for testing. The timing just makes me think that there is more to this. Has Canelo ever been involved in VADA testing?
Bread’s Response: You know at least 10 people have written in saying the same thing. I have no idea why Canelo is anti WBC these days but I do find it bizarre because they took care of him so much in the past. He fought for a regional WBC titles, his 1st world title was sanctioned at a catchweight vs a welterweight. From my point of view all the WBC did was enforce his mandatory vs GGG. That would have been Canelo’s 1st mandatory ever. Before we assume anything however I think it would be fair to hear Canelo’s reasons on why he doesn’t like the WBC anymore.
Hey Bread whats good king ! Hope all is well. My question is about Emanuel Augustus-Burton. How good was he? How good could he have gone if managed correctly? He seemed like he could of been special. He also was on the short end of multiple questionable decisions and far too many short notice fights. What is your assessment of him as a fighter?
Bread’s Response: I think Augustus was very good. He was a tremendous talent. He had great reflexes, he was physically tough and his rhythm was sick. But he didn’t get robbed everytime he lost.
Often times he layed eggs in big spots. Dedication is a talent within itself. The desire to be great is different that dedicating yourself to greatness. Desire is want. Dedication is application. I think Augustus lacked dedication and he didn’t always understand when and when not to showboat. He probably was all time level in the gym. But in real fights I think his talent is better than his actual accomplishments.
If he was moved correctly he could have had a better record than he had. But his lack of dedication would have still haunted him in crucial spots. The boxing ring is a truth machine. It tells all and sees all. You can’t cheat the grind.
We all really enjoy your analysis and thoughts on all things boxing.
What happens here if these fights are made? Wilder vs Joshua, Thurman vs Spence Jr?
Could Hi-Tec VL fight TC, or is 140 too high?
Finally, what is the fight that we must all see in 2018?
Bread’s Response: Wilder vs Joshua is a super fight. Wilder is a guy who gets outboxed and loses rounds but he doesn’t lose fights. It’s a good thing and bad thing. Against an elite special talent like Joshua I think it could be a problem. I see think this is a 60/40 fight in Joshua’s favorite.
Thurman vs Spence is serious. This is a real 50/50 fight. It seems like Thurman over moves and Spence could carry him to fast and wear him down late. The problem for Spence would be it hasn’t happened yet. I see a fight where the sharper faster Thurman is up early. But Spence starts closing mid way. I have no idea what happens late. Let’s see it.
I think Crawford is too big for Lomachenko. Terence Crawford is nothing to play with.
The must see fight in 2018 is Wilder vs Joshua. That’s a real super fight. A real one!
I like Mike Stafford too, but he's no longer getting through to Broner, so it's time for a change.
He's not the blame for Broner's woes, but sometimes a trainer and his charge know each other too well, they get set into their ways and get stale.
I wasn't clear about this, but this was my meaning.
Broner has digressed and like you said the Maidana fight was the turning point in his career.
Mickey Garcia didn't do anything special to beat Broner except fight consistently whereas Adrien was looking for his shot and could never find it.
Adrien felt he needed a change too that's why he trained in Colorado Springs. He looks up to Floyd Mayweather for guidance but feels Floyd isn't being the big brother he should be with him.
Adrien said that Floyd doesn't tell him sh*t!
Adrien seems to me to be confused, maybe even depressed or suffering from mental illness. He does need counsel right now and probably Mike is too close and caring to give Adrien that counsel.
Adrien should not have lost against Mikey Garcia. Mikey is a very good fighter, but I can't see him beating Crawford, Danny Garcia and/or Lomachenko.
I suggested JDJ because at this point in Broner's career maybe a former fighter in his corner, who's gone through what he's going through right now, can give him some good guidance.
I don't think Adrien is finished but I do think he needs to get back to the basics in the ring and in his life, I'll bet that he leads a very hectic life, he probably has so much going on that he needs to simplify things.
Adrien wants to be liked, that means a lot to him.
Bread’s Response: Ok I got you thanks for clearing it up. You make some great points. I like Broner and I really wish him the best. I hope someone can get through to him because if they can’t his next 20 years in life will be rough. No one wants to see that. God bless the kid.
One more thing - it seems to me like the whole world is against Floyd Mayweather hoping that McGregor can be the one to clearly end his successful run.
This fight more than money will be Floyd's Ali moment, his chance to show the whole world how great he really is. Floyd is comfortable with everyone being against him. And yes after he beats McGregor the critics won't give him credit!
Floyd's also keeping his preparation on the 'down low'. All Access has mainly shown McGregor training and Floyd having a good time as if he's not really preparing.
6M - 8M PPV buys, maybe ~10M. As long as fight fans believe that McGregor can win they'll pay!
Bread’s Response: I don’t think the world is against Floyd in this one. To be blunt black people and boxing people are pulling for him. If McGregor is too competitive with Floyd, MMA fanatics will claim they are the superior art. The boxing world can’t have that. I think Floyd will have his support with this one.
I agree he’s keeping his preparation low and that’s smart. But anybody who knows better, knows Floyd’s preparation is meticulous. He doesn’t short cut training.
Wow you think 10M buys. My goodness that’s just unfathomable. I say it does 5M. But 10M is just out of this world. We shall see..
We also agree that Floyd won’t get credit if he wins. But he still has to win. That’s his dilemma but he’s built for the scrutiny. A bad win is better than a good loss. I’m not so sure if we should go crazy if he smashes McGregor. I have to see how skillful McGregor is in the boxing ring…..
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