The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. DeMetrius Andrade, the aspects of Floyd Mayweather Jr, Nonito Donaire vs. Naoya Inoue, Canelo vs. Sergey Kovalev, and more.
What’s good Breadman
It’s been awhile since I last wrote to the mailbag but I follow your mailbag religiously. Hands down the best—respect!
My question relates to fighter flaws and weaknesses and to a specific fighter—the great Floyd Mayweather.
You often mention every fighter has flaws and weaknesses. Now that Floyd is retired, in your opinion, what were Floyd’s flaws and weaknesses? At what stage in Floyd’s career did you identify his flaws and weaknesses? Did you identity a pattern and if so, did Floyd ever correct or improve the flaws and weaknesses? What fighter was the most successful at exploiting the flaws and weaknesses you identified? Keep dropping the knowledge!
Bread’s Response: Great Question. Let me clarify.
The proper term that I try to use is no fighter is perfect and every fighter can be beat on a given night. Floyd Mayweather does not really have a glaring FLAW he’s as complete a fighter that there ever was but he can be beat. He does have tendencies. There have been common instances on multiple occasions that have caused him trouble.
Before I answer I don’t want to make it seem like I’m picking him apart. I’m only answering your question.
In the Emanuel Augustus fight I noticed persistent volume can win rounds and moments against him. But it has to be the type of volume that is not trying to be neat and hit him with the perfect shot. It has to be a free flowing volume.
A year after he fought Augustus, a better fighter than Augustus, Jose Luis Castillo really turned up the volume and turned in one of the better performances of this century. He took a prime Floyd Mayweather to the brink. And in the rematch he was able to win 5 rounds. Marcos Maidana upped it many years later and was really able to pressure Floyd with violent volume.
So persistent volume. You have to start your attack before Floyd, then after he responds, you have to finish the exchanges. Maidana, Castillo and Augustus did both and had some success.
After the Castillo fight, Floyd sort of took his foot off the gas. He didn’t light the world on fire for a few fights. But he got back on track vs Phillip N dou. That tells me that Castillo fight was really rough on him.
In 2006 when Floyd fought Zab Judah I noticed another tendency. In a great performance where Floyd showed great poise and chops under fire. I observed vs a really sharp offensively dynamic fighter, Floyd really takes his time and is careful early. Before Judah most of his opponents couldn’t pull the trigger with him. He was extremely patient and it worked vs Judah. Floyd said after the fight that he knew Judah would be a Front Runner. But Judah is as sharp as a fighter could be as far as his offensive attack. Super sharp offensive fighters like Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns and Donald Curry would have been really tough on Floyd from that stand point. I thought Judah won 3 out 4 rounds in the beginning but faded as Floyd predicted.
Last but not least Floyd can be hit with a simple jab. Oscar De La Hoya another sharp, offensively dynamic fighter was really able to land a solid jab on Floyd. He was also able to win about 5 rounds vs Floyd. Floyd needs time with the high powered offensive guys. I know the Oscar fight was no fluke because Miguel Cotto was able to land a consistent jab on Floyd throughout their very tough fight also.
So the 3 tendencies I see in Floyd are:
1. Persistent volume that does not discourage. Aaron Pryor, Julio Cesar Chavez, Jeff Fenech type of volume.
2. Offensively dynamic fighters can win rounds early vs him. As I mentioned Tommy Hearns, Ray Leonard, Donald Curry or Terry Norris type would really tough on him early.
3. A great accurate simple jab. Hearns, Oscar, Forest, Leonard, Cotto, Quartey level great jabs.
But I have to say this before I finish. Floyd Mayweather is not a front runner. Often times the fighter who can sort of do what he wants and is labeled as the A side star is looked as a fighter who is scary or will give under pressure. Floyd is just the opposite. He’s a DOG when the going gets rough. And when you push him he overcomes. Truly special fighter.
I don’t know if Floyd had to correct too much. He adjust throughout fights and in his two rematches he did better in the first fight. But Floyd for the volume and pressure, Floyd really did become a physically strong guy. He’s not a big puncher but he’s very strong. As far as the offensively dynamic fighters Floyd really has a good come forward game. He knows how to walk a fighter down and put them in their place. Look at the Mosley and Judah fights, they both had success early and both got beat up bad as the fight went on. The jab is tough on Floyd. But he has a great right hand counter and a great jab himself so he deals with the jab. Great fighter.
What's up Bread? Saw the inoue/Donaire fight a few days ago and DAMN. I'm not gonna lie I thought the monster was gonna wash nonito but my GOODNESS was he a dog in that fight. Which actually brings up some questions
1. How effective is causing a cut by a punch in the judges eyes?
2. How did you have the fight scored? And was the knockdown in the 11th the true deciding factor?
3. WHY was nonito quiet it seemed for a few years?! Man, this fight reminded me of how great of a fighter he truly is. Shame he went on that quiet spell.
I've been following you since I was 16, I'm 26 now. You're one of the sports greatest minds, the world just doesn't know it yet. Keep up the great work bread man!!
Bread’s Response: 1. Judges are human. And causing a cut from a big punch or having a big round usually carries over. I would be willing to suggest although not backed up by research that after a fighter has a big round or draws blood, that fighter wins the very next round also.
2.I didn’t have the fight scored but I believe Inoue won. Most likely 7-5 or worst 6-6 with a knockdown. The knockdown in 11th was huge. Donaire was really making a case. He sort of started timing Inoue. Inoue needed to do something to change the momentum and he did.
3. Nonito was struggling at 126lbs for a few years. But sometimes a great fighter who is aging but still capable can fight the right style and have a great camp and do just fine. Inoue fights like a young Nonito, so for all of his gifts, Nonito has been looking at Inoue in himself for his entire life.
What are the specifics when it comes to boxing gloves in a fight. Does the fighter pick which gloves they want use?
Watching older fights both fighters used the same gloves, when did this practice of picking different gloves begin?
What are your favorite gloves that you want your fighters to use for sparring, bag/mitt work and the actual fight and why?
Why does a “gym fighter” perform so well in the gym and cannot do the same in a actual fight? Can you give an example of such a fighter.
Always a pleasure reading your columns.
Bread’s Response: On small show a fighter usually gets assigned gloves. On the bigger shows fighter do have some options. Everlast, Grants, Reyes and Rival are the most common options. In Japan Winning is prevalent.
I would say in the 2000s fighters started to use different type of gloves as their opponents.
In the gym I think Winning are the best gloves as far as sparring. They keep the hands the safest and as long you dry them out after usage they last forever.
I think the type of glove a fighter, fights in should be the one he does his pad and bag work in. This may not always be applicable but it’s what I would recommend. You would be surprised at how different styles and brands of gloves feel.
As for the fight it depends on the fighter’s punch delivery, and hand size. It also depends on the type of wrap a fighter likes. I don’t have a favorite. I’m not throwing the punches. But I do know that it depends on what type of puncher and hands a fighter has.
Fighters can perform in the gym and not in the fight for 3 reasons that I’m rather sure about.
1. There is no scoring. A fighter does not have to stress over the rounds being scored. So they can “work” freely without being scored. Usually this fighter is relaxed in the gym and stressed in a fight.
2. Fighters who have difficulty making weight, they can spar heavy and feel comfortable. But when they have to cut weight and perform in a fight they can’t do it as well.
3. Head gear and big gloves. Give a sense of security.
What’s good Bro Bread. It’s been a couple of weeks, but I did want to give a response to your definition of “Clutch”. I typically agree with about 90% of what you say but I must respectfully disagree with you on this one. I’m not disagreeing that Bud is clutch, but him being great doesn’t make him clutch. Him adjusting as the fight goes on does not make him clutch. In my humble opinion “clutch” is something that happens when things may not be going how you scripted, and you must find a way out. Clutch is throwing someone who can’t swim into the pool and instead of them flailing around and drowning they quickly access the situation and stand up. What I’m saying is that in big moments instead of being overwhelmed you find a way to deliver the game winning shot. When I think of clutch, I think of the person I want on the foul line down one. That is some pressure for you’re a$$. I would like to see Bud taken deep. We know he is an all-star but what happens when Koby is task with guarding Lebron?
I know you have read more than you care to read about the Canelo vs Kovalev so I want take much time but my eyes told me early on that Kovalev didn’t come to win. I even mentioned it about the 3rd round to the guys I was watching the fight with. I told them that Kovalev was almost accidentally controlling the action. He never through a power punch through the first 4 rounds. When have you seen the bigger guy not through a power shot through 4 rounds? Then when he would catch Canelo he never followed up. He would back up. The whole broadcast stunk to high heavens. DAZN can’t afford for Canelo to lose after the Joshua loss. I can’t remember a time Kovalev has been so nice during a fight.
What are your thoughts on the “franchise tag” that the WBC is throwing around now? I think it’s horrible for boxing considering we already have a hard-enough time making the big matches and now they have decided to help the best avoid fighting guys who have worked their way up the in that organization. It’s about money, I know that. They are giving it to guys they perceived to be big draws.
Bread’s Response: We just have different definitions of clutch. I think of clutch is someone who comes through in big moments. I think your definition is different. You are sort of describing an athlete who can overcome adversity. An athlete who has will power and is not a front runner.
I think boxing has too many belts period. I loved Deontay Wilder’s response to the franchise tag. He doesn’t want it. He wants to fight his mandatories. When there are two champions with the same belt it sort of makes the champion who won the belt second, sort of a “regular’ champion or interim champion and that’s not fair because that champion never got a chance to face the franchise champion. For example. Devin Haney has to keep answering questions about a belt he wanted to fight for. He asked for Loma he just didn’t get the fight. It’s not fair to Haney that his title is being discredited. I’m a fan of Loma. But in the next 12-18 months I think it’s fair to suggest Loma owes him a title shot.
A few questions for you, please:
1 - What do you make of the WBC's decision to let clenbuterol be used by people that say they accidentally ate tainted beef? What do you think of this? It was posted by Dan on ESPN. Kazakh GGG should claim the tainted Mexican beef excuse, oh, wait...clenbuterol is the tailored choice of Canelo. Why doesn't the WBC ask other fighters what excuses they want built into their PED uses? Kind of guaranteeing more Canelo wins....
2 - How awesome was Donaire's performance? I am actually worried that critics will feel fulfilled by his loss, and that him losing will incorrectly validate their assertions about him. Clean, 36 year old that earned his spurs off a left hook, goes the distance with the "monster"? Donaire is actually more highly rated by me now, but I am a puritan when it comes to honest fighters.
Thanks for indulging me.
Bread’s Response: 1. I can’t answer this without proper research. But I will say that I think we will have more cases small CLEN contamination now that a small amount will be allowed for fighters. Let’s see how it plays out. I just hope and pray a fighter doesn’t get seriously hurt by a fighter who has proven CLEN in their system. That would be a travesty.
Nonito Donaire almost made me cry. What a stand he made vs a legitimate great talent and one of the best 3 or 4 fighters on the planet. That’s all I can really say is that he’s a great fighter, a future HOF, one of the best fighters you will see that fought exclusively from 126 and under and one of the best 20 fighters of this century which is about 20 years old. I love Nonito Donaire. And I assume he’s CLEAN which makes him even more to love. What a fighter!
Dear Mr. Edwards,
I recently saw a clip of a sports media personality reiterating his view on how to evaluate NFL teams. His point was a consistently successful NFL franchise will have a good owner, general manager, coach and quarterback. This got me wondering if there are the fundamental aspects of a boxer's career in which great fighters usually check the list across the board. I suppose I'm talking about things outside of the eyeball test such as promoter/matchmaker, trainer pedigree, activity, fitness outside of camp, etc. What are some relatively objective things you find good or great fighters have in common? Depending on how you want to answer the question we could be talking about evaluating prospects/contenders or world champions taking the next step to a HOF career. Thank you for your time.
Bread’s Response: This is an awesome question. One of the best I have ever received.
First you have to remember there is no draft process in boxing and it’s an individual sport not a team sport. Boxers don’t become ineligible because of bad grades in highschool and college.
So the comparison is different because you are comparing a team’s success in football which consist of 53 players. And that of one athlete in boxing.
But I will say some of the things I have seen that the truly elite fighters have in common. Resources. No fighter can beat everyone. Fighters need a certain status or powerful person to be able to allow them to take certain fights at the right time. Every great fighter does not need a great trainer. Some fighters are instinctual and have average trainers at best. A great trainer does help but it’s not a necessity in my opinion. But a fighter does need consistent people on his team to lessen his burden. Someone to wake him up, get the sparring partners in, bring him his meals, get his gear together etc. A camp is not easy to run.
I have seen fighters make it big with so many different assets it would amaze you.
I can’t answer specifically but I will tell you a combination that won’t fail. Talent and pedigree in the fighter. A strong minded humble elite trainer that is willing to grow with the fighter. A promoter who prioritizes the fighter. An elite matchmaker who cares if the fighter wins or loses and is not just trying to make “good fights.”
An assistant who challenges the fighter’s discipline. This is guy may be called a bag carrier or whatever. But he makes sure the fighter is in the gym on time. He drives them to the doctor appointments. He runs to get the meals. He makes sure he’s up at 5am to run. He makes sure the equipment is in place. I have seen individuals like this often in big camps and they are resourceful. Fighters get very tired and in camp all they want to do is train and rest. That’s it. The assistant makes sure the fighter goes to get his massages, supplements, B shots, yoga classes, everything you can think of. These assistants really help and when a fighter invest in one and he is not just a yes man who they can degrade, they flourish.
The one thing you want to look for in a fighter outside of his talent is how much they invest in themselves. Do they own recovery equipment in their home? Do they get massages? Do they own exercise equipment in their home to keep their weight down? How much alcohol consumption do they indulge in? Do they have personal health insurance? Do they hire a cook or have a wife/girlfriend who makes their meals properly? Small things lead to big things in boxing. If you can check off those boxes you will most likely have a successful fighter.
I seen you say last week, Canelo is not ducking Charlo or Andrade. I disagree... & I'm not necessarily here to change your mind or for you to change mine. I just want to present some information to you & see what your response is as to why it's not ducking? Specifically moreso Andrade than Charlo. But starting with Charlo Canelo essentially vacated his belt not to fight. Last time he did that with GGG people, (yourself included) said he seems to be shook of GGG. What is this move considered to be then? If it's not ducking what is it? Business? If so well ducking is a part of the business. Just because it's a business move doesn't mean it's not a duck.
Now more specifically with Andrade. They've been in two different divisions with each other basically for 9 years, have been #1 contender's for each other, have fought on the same network but have never fought! Andrade was the champ at 154 when Canelo had no belt, he was offering him title shots, & Canelo never took him up on his offer! We all know Canelo always represented money even back then. So If Canelo really wanted a belt he could've tried to get one vs Andrade. Canelo fought for the belt Andrade had ONLY WHEN ANDRADE GOT STRIPPED OF IT. Let me add this as well, I don't believe Canelo is "afraid" of Demetrius Andrade. A lot of times people (not saying you) think that just cause you say one guy is ducking someone the other guy has to be AFRAID of the other. He's not afraid of him but I think he & everybody at GBP are aware of the risk (thus far) of Andrade and do not want to be the ones to test the water against him & prove how good Andrade is or isn't. I'm cognizant there's a lot on the line every time Canelo fights. He's shown time and time again that he does not want to risk that vs Andrade. People love to big up Canelo's resume but it will look crazy that he holds wins on paper over people like Lara, GGG, Jacobs and Kovalev. But loses to Demetrius "who has he fought" Andrade.
Lastly earlier this year Canelo was talking about he wanted all the belts and to be the 1st Mexican Undisputed champion in boxing history, 'blah, blah, blah'. In terms of "what does he bring to the table" Canelo had every reason to fight Andrade, there was no more excuses as to why he couldn't face Andrade after Jacobs. So what does Canelo do? Accept the franchise position, renege on being Undisputed, then adamantly & persistently pursue Kovalev over Andrade. Even so much to the point where he gave up fighting on the traditional Mexican weekend; Again for Sergey. fuking. Kovalev!
Let's provide even more context: Canelo holds a controversial win on paper over Lara. That is a fight team Canelo/GBP didn't want him to take. Credit to Canelo, he took it. But that fight is one of the many asterisks on Canelo's career, for the obvious controversial decision and the fact he never tried to face Lara again and clear the air. Fast forward to about a month ago Canelo said Andrade was "boring" and not a "challenge" for him. Well tf was Rocky Fielding? A barn burner and p4p threat? Excuse my French but get the f--- outta here...
But let me explain why I brought up the last portion. Canelo fought 2 fighters that people labeled as "boring": Floyd & Lara... I don't think I need to detail what happened or how he looked against them. But who (if anyone) would you say is the closest to Floyd and Lara in terms of skill & what they do in the ring? You guessed it. Now who has Canelo fought like them, since them?..... which is exactly my point as to why he's ducking Andrade. & you know what I'm going to take it a step further: not only is Andrade the most skillful and talented fighter 154lbs and up imo. He's the most skillful and talented fighter Canelo would've fought since Floyd Mayweather excluding not 1. single. soul.
Do you think all these things are coincidences bread? Everything I just said, the fact that you damn near can't find anything on Canelo speaking on Andrade although they've been in 2 divisions together for 9 years! Or the fact that Canelo hasn't fought & #tillthisday hasn't tried to fight Andrade? Although Andrade has been an undefeated champion in 2 different divisions Canelo has been in. If so well there's too many coincidences in the Canelo/Andrade saga as for why they haven't fought. Which have all come from Canelo side. I can draw no other conclusion other than Canelo is ducking. Your thoughts?
Bread’s Response: Thanks for the very well thought out comment. I can’t even make a good argument that Canelo is NOT ducking Andrade. After the facts you presented you’re absolutely correct. There is nothing else I can say but I will say a few things and try to be as objective as I can about Andrade, Canelo and Charlo160.
I picked Canelo to beat Kovalev just how he did. So while others gushed over the fight, I looked at as a calculated risk and I said that Charlo and Andrade would both be tougher fights. I wasn’t buying the entire glass of kool aide. And while I think Canelo has a really good resume, it’s somewhat misleading. The Lara and Mayweather fights were as real as can be. He didn’t need Lara and he fought him in his prime. The Mayweather fight is what it is, you have to take that fight. But I give Canelo props he took it at a catchweight and he’s a big guy. Credit!
The Two GGG fights were also real but he did wait GGG out until Jacobs and Brook mad him look human.
Canelo’s other tough fights in my opinion are solid but not overwhelming as far as this “SPECIAL” resume he supposedly has. I think it’s excellent for this era but not special like say Oscar De La Hoya’s, Manny Pacquiao’s or Evander Holyfield’s. Three of the better resumes of the last 30 years.
In Canelos’ big fights for the exception of Austin Trout, all of his opponents have been well into their 30s while he was in his 20s. Mosley 41, GGG 35, Floyd 37, Cotto 35, Kovalev 36, Jacobs 32. Fighters reach their primes later in this era but I really want to see Canelo fight a fighter from his exact era. Not eras that are crossing over. There is a difference.
As for Charlo I really think the cross promotion is the issue. I don’t think Canelo wants to deal with the PBC and the fight would have to take place on DAZN. Canelo did accept the Franchise Champion Status. There is no denying that. But Charlo does not seem to press for the fight. He sort of just accepts that Canelo and GGG are going around him. He was a mandatory for both. Those are winnable fights for him and I could be wrong but it’s just oh well. Charlo won a title at 154 in 2015 and Canelo was a middleweight by then. Canelo could have fought him at some point, he’s the A side and the A side has the power. But it’s not a clear duck in my opinion.
Andrade on the other hand is with DAZN, he’s been a champion along with Canelo forever and he hasn’t got the opportunity. And yes Canelo did fight for a WBO belt once Andrade was stripped. That’s no coincidence. Canelo has just simply chosen not to be bothered with Andrade.
I really like Demetrius Andrade but I have to give him some small criticism. For whatever reason he made a huge mistake in not fighting Jermell Charlo many years ago. That miss set off a trend of events for him in his career and he literally has not been able to get a BIG stage since. If he would have beaten Jermell Charlo in 2014 his career would be different. He wouldn’t have been stripped of his WBO belt. His name would be bigger. He could’ve enticed Charlo160 to avenge his brother. So many good things could have came out of that. I know he had promotional issues but that missed opportunity screwed him up. Charlo was his mandatory and he didn’t take the fight. …..
I don’t think Andrade was scared of Charlo, just like I don’t think Canelo is scared of Andrade. Sometimes things just happen and you miss fights. I do however think that Andrade’s style is a nightmare of Canelo. I think Canelo is the A side. So he’s basically saying screw Andrade. I get that. It may not be right but that’s the privilege of being an A side. Ali is the only person crazy enough to fight a bad style in Ken Norton 3x. But that’s why he’s the GOAT.
One more thing I will say about this. Charlo and Andrade both understand they are big risk fight for Canelo. I don’t understand why they don’t fight each other and or knock off prospective opponents for him. Eliminate all of the viable options for Canelo. Both haven’t done that and if they want this big fight that’s what they will have to do because Canelo is just not going to give it to them.
So yes I agree. Canelo is avoiding Andrade more so than he is Charlo. But those two guys have to do something big to get the fights because it’s obvious their current status is not enough. They have to force the public to turn on Canelo because of this. And right now the public literally doesn’t care if he fights them or not. Andrade is over 30 and Charlo is turning 30 next year…..
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