By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Mikey Garcoa, Errol Spence, Canelo vs. Gennady Golovkin trilogy, Erislandy Lara vs. Brian Castano, and more.
What’s up Bread!
As always your insights are much appreciated and enjoyed! Could you elaborate on what you see as the similarities between the Spence vs Garcia match up and the Duran vs Hagler match up. How does Garcia match up with that version of Duran that went up against Hagler? To me that version of Duran had more of advantage going up against Hagler than Garcia going up against Spence. Please share your insights! Thanks
Bread’s Response: Duran is Latino and was the more accomplished fighter. So is Mikey Garcia. Duran was 32, Mikey will be 32. Hagler was 29, Spence is 29. Hagler was the bigger, stronger, feared black fighter. Spence is the bigger, stronger, feared black fighter. Hagler was a southpaw, and so is Spence. Duran stepped up to fight the ducked killer. Mikey is stepping up to fight the ducked killer.
Hagler was on a big ko run and so is Spence. In fact the expectations were that Hagler would destroy Duran. Duran fought excellent and he outperformed expectations but that fight was not as close as the judges scorecards or as close as history likes to make it out to be. Watch that fight round by round. Hagler won 9 or 10 rounds of that fight CLEAN.
Honestly I shouldn’t being saying this stuff because the promoters should be marketing this as Hagler vs Duran if in case this turns out to be competitive. And I’m not getting a check off of this fight. But if Mikey can go the distance or take Spence late, this is exactly what everyone will say Sunday morning. I’m just saying it now.
First time writer and very recent reader of your mailbags. I killed my laptop Thur and after initial withdrawals were over i got around to finally going through your mailbag as intended to quite a while back. It's been extremely interesting and appreciated. question time!
1) Recently Kelly Pavlik was on Joe Rogan's podcast and he gave the opinion that he doesn't expect to see a Canelo/GGG 3 fight. His reasoning was that even though no one went down, and no one appeared to be buzzed in an extremely serious manner throughout the 24 rds, these were still extremely punishing fights, ones that he believes both will be affected by physically, i.e. both left a lot of themselves in the ring in their 2 fights. It didn't seem to me that his opinion was menat in anyway to say one woould be ducking the other from here on out, just that even though a 3rd fight will bank big, it's going to prevent other future big bank fights on the premise that they just won't happen. as in, Canelo could likely have an 80 fight career if there's no 3rd fight, but if there is, it's highly probable he'd only get to 70 fights before fizzling out (that's just a clarifying example of my own, pardon if it just muddied it up more). I am very curious to hear if you believe there's any validity to this opinion, of course regarding these 2 fighters, that's future casting, and any and all things are possible. Dof you see this as a sound theory, niot just with these 2 but in overall boxing?
Thank you much regardless of answers or not, and much appreciatoin for thwe columns
mario in Davenport, Ia. Hometown of Michael Nunn, Antwon Echols, and Steven Edwards
Bread’s Response: Thank you.
I do think Pavlik has a point and I respect his perspective. But my gut tells me that Canelo would take the 3rd match before GGG would. While I think both took punishment in my opinion Canelo took less. He was hit with a ram rod jab but he didn’t eat Golovkin’s power shots to the head or body the way Golovkin did his. We are not talking about points here. If we go by that I think GGG won the 1st fight and I wouldn’t be upset with a draw in the 2nd. Although I think Canelo has a good case for winning the 2nd fight.
But if we go strictly by punishment dished out Canelo won big in my opinion. Canelo went to GGG’s body, he cracked G with power shots consistently. GGG landed a hard jab and few good shots late but nothing compared to what my eyes told me Canelo was landing on him. So while I think Pavlik is correct I think the beating was more one way as far what he’s talking about. I think Canelo the younger, fresher guy, knows what he was doing to GGG and he would go for a stoppage in the 3rd fight. GGG has to be careful messing around with Canelo again. I don’t want to see the great champion get stopped. But he’s laboring just like Chocolatito was. There is a look that you can’t hide and I see that same look that RG had leading up to the SSR rematch stoppage. It kills me to say this but objectivity is paramount.
Shout out to Michael Nunn for his release from prison. Nunn was an excellent fighter and deserves serious HOF consideration.
Carl Froch he fought Jean Pascal, Jermain Taylor, Andre Dirrell, Mikkel Kessler, Arthur Abraham, Glen Johnson, Andre Ward and Lucian Bute in back-to-back bouts. Then takes on a Yusef Mack, Kessler rematch and Groves 2x. I know we talk about this era and losses but when the competition is that heavy nobody says exposed. After he fought taylor he ran that gauntlet (super 6 was a choice) . Any one else come to mind at the moment besides Usyk And Ward that could run the table high level and walk away without an L.
Also lots of people say that the public is not into boxing bit lately with more coverage I get people chiming in on conversations. As a long time fan and Aficionado I always check my ego and try to be welcoming sometimes I have to rewind and make sure I dont discourage newer fans whether young or old. For newer fans mostly they're under 25 I recomend Castillo vs Corrales 1, Mayweather Vs Corrales, Calzaghe Vs Lacy, Hamed Vs Augie Sanchez, Donair Vs Montiel, Martinez Vs William's 2, Pirog vs Jacob's and Crawford vs Gamboa. I try not to go to far back because younger fans have to be eased in. What fights would you recommend for newer fans that are younger?
Last ? Pirog, do you feel he could of gone far. I rewatched some of his fights and didnt notice how long he was for Middle weight. He was tall and long and was smooth with his defence. That shot he lined Jacob's up with was pin point switching South paw then orthodox to get him to drop his hand. Hindsight is crazy .
Bread’s Response: Carl Froch was a killer. I wasn’t a fan of his style but I was an admirer of his will power and competition level. He deserves to be in the HOF.
If you want recent recommendations I would recommend Gonzalez vs Estrada. My Gawd was that a great bump. If you want smooth seamless transition from offense to defense, watch that fight.
Cotto vs Martinez if you want to see how to attack a southpaw with a hook instead of a lead right hand. This is one of the best technical performances regarding that of recent years. And Don’t buy into the bad knee hog wash. Martinez may have had knee troubles but Cotto hurt his knee and aggravated it because he hurt him with a head shot and Martinez fell off balance. That’s when the knee came into play. I always point that out to people who try to discredit Cotto’s best career win like Martinez walked into the ring limping.
I’m not going to go back too many years but you can’t go wrong with Corrales vs Castillo 1. Lee Wyle made a video about the last round. It’s mesmerizing.
Dmitri Pirog was really, really good. The world will never know but I suspect he could have went very far. He would have had to turn back a prime GGG who no one seemed to want to fight but I think he would’ve beaten all of the other middleweights during the time he retired.
Who thought that the boxer who would give Whitaker his toughest fight would be a guy called Diosbelys Hurtado. Similarly, who would be the toughest stylistic matchup (past or present) for the following - 1. Loma (130 and below) 2. Crawford (140 and below) 3. Usyk (small heavyweights and cruiserweight) 4. Ward (175 and below) 5. Spence (154 and below).
Do experts place too much weightage on ring IQ? I once saw Lee Wylie comment that some fights are just too disproportionate for ring IQ to play a part and ring IQ can only do so much in those scenarios. He also said that boxing is a physical sport 'first and foremost'. He was talking about Garcia vs Spence. I am guessing it was about size in their this case. I actually agree with him on this. In fact, I will go one step further and say that quite often it is simply about style. Some people are stylistically a nightmare for others even if they are of similar size. Alexis Arguello's ring IQ and trap setting abilities could only do so much against Aaron Pryor. What are your thoughts on the topic?
Bread’s Response: So basically you’re asking me a bad stylistic match up for recent great fighters….Hurtado did give Whitaker fits didn’t he…
1. Loma um….I would say Chavez Sr. Loma is a boxer but he’s more of a pesky boxer who likes to stay in your face and pressure you. Chavez Sr. would back him up and lay wood into his body. Loma would compete but stylistically I think it would be tough on Loma.
2. Crawford, I really don’t know with Crawford because he seems to have figured out all of the styles he’s faced. But if you twist my arm I would say Oscar De La Hoya. Benavidez gave Crawford lots of trouble with his range and boxing ability and Oscar at 140 is better than Benavidez at 147. He was faster, he hit harder and his jab was all time level.
3. Usyk is another guy who has figured out all of his styles he's faced. But I have seen him have tough nights. Holyfield’s volume and physical strength would be rough on Usyk.
4. Ward…Let’s see a fighter who can jab on even terms with Ward, and has feet good enough to offset him if he changes his attack to inside. And who punch hard enough to keep Andre honest once they go inside. I think Michael Spinks and Ezzard Charles fit that bill and would be murderous fights for the great Andre Ward.
5. Spence... fighters who are violent and strong enough to back him up and fight him off. Ray Leonard and Felix Trinidad!
I love Lee Wylie but I disagree if he said that. Ring IQ is very important. The thing is we often times credit only certain fighters with Ring IQ. Who is to say Aaron Pryor does NOT have Ring IQ? Why because he’s crazy and he fights like a wild man? There is actually lots of science to what Pryor does.
Also please read carefully. Ring IQ and instincts are different but they can have the same results. Where as Arguello was a thinker, Pryor was a reactor. But his instincts were so on point it allowed him to beat a fighter with a higher perceived ring IQ.
I will say that if the physical skills are too far apart then Ring IQ doesn’t matter. But in close bouts RING IQ is very relevant.
Would you mind sharing your views on two particular jabs:
1) Double jab - it seems to be a very effective way of keeping your opponent off balance and to prevent him from getting set, but in my opinion we don't see it used as often these days. Can you explain when to use it and against which type of opponent? Who were the best double jabbers?
2) Jab to the body - I remember Ward landing a lot in the second fight with Kovalev. Is this not one of the riskiest punches to throw? With the lead hand going down to the opponent's mid section the chin is totally exposed to the right hand (or southpaw left hook) counters. Surely only a fighter with impeccable timing and speed like Ward would have the confidence to throw it. Which other fighters jabbed a lot to the body?
Thanks very much,
Bread’s Response: I think a double jab is best used when you are trying to push your opponent off of his spot or when you're working your way inside. It’s not used as much because it creates lots of lactic acid in the lead arm and it wears fighters out.
Before the 90s lots of the great fighters used a double jab. I was just watching Saad Muhammad and Spinks Jinx fights and they both double jabbed consistently. It was common. Recently if we go from the 90s I would say Evander Holyfield. Holyfield often fought bigger stronger fighters and he needed double jabs to break up their momentum. He also needed it to close ground. Watch the rematches vs Bowe and Lewis and Holyfield actually outjabbed both of them with the double jab.
The body jab is more of a new school thing. I’m not saying old school fighters didn’t jab to the body but it wasn’t as big as a deal as it is now. Andre Ward throws one of the best body jabs in history. So does Sergey Kovalev. Both have special jabs. But Floyd Mayweather in my opinion made that gut jab popular in this era and the era before. Mayweather’s body jab is the best I have ever seen. He really controlled 2 eras of fighters with that shot. It led to his lead hook, his jab upstairs and it took the energy out of fighters late where he usually took over.
What's up Bread,
Loved your top ten. I totally agree about Robinson being #1 above Ali. Ali is the greatest heavyweight of all time but pound for pound it's Robinson.
I am going to have to check out Harry Greb, because I would have went with Duran at #3. What is the weight clause with Alvarez and Jacobs, where
Jacobs has a max weight he can gain after the weigh in? What does he have to do training wise to prevent from not making the weight? Is that something
he has to start before training? I assume he also can only eat or hydrate so much after the weigh in, which will hamper him in the second half of the fight.
What can Jacobs do to combat that?
Mayweather vs Paul Williams - Bad physical match up for Floyd, Williams arms too long.
Oscar vs Winky Wright (154) - I think Winky out points him by controlling the fight with his jab. Ike Quartey pretty much did the same thing and almost beat him.
Marlon Starling vs Manny Pacquiao - Starling very good fighter, tough to beat vs an all timer.
Oscar vs Donald Curry (147) - I don't know about this one.
Tito vs McCallum (154) - I think McCallum stops Tito late with good early body work.
Hopkins vs Toney (160/168/175) - I think the outcomes are different at all 3 weights. Toney at 160, Hopkins at 175, and 168 is pick em fight.
Saad Muhamad vs Hopkins (175) - Philly vs Philly
Holyfield vs Toney (190) - Cruiserweight was probably the highest weight Toney could go and still look to be in good shape. Something tells me this is a tough fight
for Holyfield no matter what weight they fight at.
Love your mailbags and analysis...keep up the excellent work.
Bread’s Response: I don’t know if they will go by the IBF 2nd day 10lb rule. If so I think it benefits Canelo more. Remember Jacobs didn’t do it vs GGG because he feels more comfortable being able to hydrate as much as he wants after the weigh in and not having to worry about just being 170lbs the next morning.
My guess is that because Canelo is the A side they will do it. That’s the birth right of the A side fighter.
Jacobs is what he is. He’s a big middleweight who appears to be a 185l-190lbs man if he’s not boxing. So he needs to hydrate in order to feel comfortable. He has a good nutritionist in Chris Algieri and a great sports scientist in Victor Conte. He’s going to make weight and rehydrate to around 177lbs by the time he enters the ring. Don’t over think it and let Jacobs do his thing. It hurts to make weight but it’s his advantage once he puts it back on. If it becomes too much then he’s a smart guy he will move up to super middleweight.
Mayweather vs Williams. I think Floyd being the brilliant matchmaker he is used Williams to eliminate Margarito. Remember Paul Williams fought Antonio Margarito in 2007 when there was considerable buzz for Floyd to face Margarito. Floyd always thinks a step ahead. I also think he would be a step ahead if they fought. It would have been a tough fight because Williams was a DOG, a high volume puncher and he was freakishly tall. But I just think Williams was hit too easy for a sharp shooter like Floyd. Lara and Quitana lit Williams up and both stand close to Floyd’s height.
I think Floyd would have edged him in a fight where Floyd would have scored easy but the Williams’s volume would have made it interesting. I wish it would have happened. Whenever you have two undefeated champions in the same division in their primes, and they don’t fight we will always wonder what would have happened.
Oscar vs Winky is tough. You may be right. Winky had the same jab Quartey did but he was a southpaw. Wright was also a big strong guy who was hard to move around. Oscar didn’t fight southpaws so great either…..
Tito vs McCallum is another tough one. But I will go the other way. I say Tito by an inch. I think Tito is a little quicker on the draw and I don’t think McCallum wears him down like you said. I think they sit in the box and they bang it out. McCallum has an all time chin so I don’t think Tito stops him but I think his electricity outpoints. Tito was a MF at 154.
Saad vs Hopkins at 175. This is another great fight. They would most likely have to fight 3 times. Hopkins is so savvy I could see him outpointing Saad. But Jermaine Taylor’s hard jab and just chuck em style gave Hopkins fits right before he moved up to 175. Hopkins is better than Taylor but for whatever reason he couldn’t seperate himself from Taylor. Saad has the same way about him that Taylor had as far as not being afraid of anything. He had a similar jab. But he was bigger, meaner and he hit harder. This is a push in my opinion.
Toney vs Holyfield , Tony got to Holyfield when Toney was resurrected and Holyfield was still capable but far past it. He tore Evander up. The Holyfield of 1988 is a different beast and he’s right there with Ezzard Charles, Sam Langford and Gene Tunney as the best head to head fighters ever just below 200lbs. But Toney had a craft advantage over Holyfield in their fight that was noticeable. Holyfield was off that night and some of it could have been age and some Toney. The safe bet is Evander on his best night ever at 190lbs but I think Toney would be right with him. Toney is a hard guy to figure because he can literally compete across the board and not get blown out from 160 to heavyweight. He may be the only fighter in history who doesn’t get stopped by anybody in head to head match ups across those weights.
What chances do you give Mikey Garcia to beat Errol Spence? And why is Spence so highly regarded with actually one elite win on his resume?
Bread’s Response: I give Garcia a 35% chance to win. Spence 65%.
I think Spence lacks an elite resume because no one can get the line up of PBC welterweights to fight him. Only Lamont Peterson was willing to step up. That’s not an insult on to anyone but it’s a simple fact. One PBC welterweight was willing to fight Spence and he has 24 fights and been a champ for almost 2 years. He couldn’t GIVE out a title shot.
So here is the thing. I give Spence credit just like I gave GGG credit. When you’re being ducked, the eye ball test that you put on display is too risky for your opponents. Maybe Mikey can change that like Kell Brook did with GGG. But as of right now I’m not going to pick apart Spence’s resume when I know for a fact he’s being avoided. You’re resume can only be criticized when you have the power to make a fight and you don’t.
I think Errol Spence is a killer. I think he keeps it simple which is the best way to do things. Spence keeps his hands up, he stays in position and he always uses a jab. Spence never forgets the body. I have never seen a fighter who had a great jab and great body attack that wasn’t a great fighter. If you think about that you will agree. Errol has both he just doesn’t get a chance in big fights. Now he has one.
Errol reminds me of a mix of Michael Moorer at 175. A young killer Hagler of the late 70s and early 80s and Mike McCallum with the constant body touching. Moorer and Hagler were converted southpaws so they had heavy lead hands. Errol actually has a quicker straight left than both.
Errol has ridiculous stamina and he does not allow you to clinch him. His gift is his pace. His attack is at the same cadence he trains at. Bam-Bam-Bam. It’s not Bip-Bop-Boom. It’s Bam-Bam-Bam. Constant hard shots with no let up. The beating he put on Lamont Peterson was impressive. I can tell Spence likes Peterson but in the ring he had no mercy. Spence is a killer and if you can’t hold him off he will EFF you up.
Spence also has a good IQ in applying his style. If you look at Jermell Charlo who has the same trainer as Spence. You see a huge difference in their craft. Charlo loads up and gets impatient and goes for kos. Charlo may hit harder than Spence for one shot, who knows. But Spence goes for the beat down. He doesn’t go for the risky stock. He goes for the sure CD with good interest rate. He jabs, he goes to the body, he closes distance. And the next point is big…
Spence does not care about being getting hit. I’m not saying Charlo is afraid to get hit because he brings it also. But I am saying that Spence is more willing to get hit therefore he doesn’t lunge in and try to get the fight over in a haste because he’s willing to pay the price to get to his man. He’s more comfortable bringing ass to get ass. Where as Charlo is looking for the big ko and when he’s not getting it because his workrate is lower he’s losing rounds. Spence rarely loses rounds because he’s always working towards his ko through attrition. By rarely losing rounds Spence is showing boxing ability. Spence is no joke my man.
As good as Spence is no fighter is perfect. Spence is not hard to hit especially early. Part of it is his style. He brings it. Part of it he’s just not a special defensive fighter. His defense isn’t poor it’s just not great. He doesn’t have great defensive reflexes like other come forward fighters like Chavez and Duran.
Spence is also not a speedster or overwhelming athlete. He’s athletic but it’s not special level athleticism. He doesn’t need it. Hagler didn’t have that either but against a freaky athlete we could see that exploited. Mikey Garcia is not a freaky athlete. Mikey is a skill guy.
This fight comes down to one thing for me. Can Mikey Garcia take the beating. And if so for how long? I’m not talking about being clipped that can happen to anyone. I’m talking about being tough enough to take Spence’s punishment and still trying to win. For however long Garcia can hold up we will see a great fight.
I looked in both of their eyes and let me tell you something. Mikey is ready and he’s not playing around with Errol. He’s coming to ko Errol. But Errol is equally as intense and ready. Errol knows he’s been denied the big fights and opportunities and he doesn’t want to lose to a smaller man in his 1st super fight. I expect brutality from both sides.
Some people think Lara is in tough vs Brian Castano. I think Castano beats Lara. He’s just too busy. How much do you think Lara has left and who wins?
Bread’s Response: I think Brian Castano is very, very good. He’s a good pressure technician. He’s very ambitious and he thinks he sees something in Lara. But I don’t care how confident a fighter is, you still have to apply your skill for the win. Sometimes being too confident can lead to a false sense of security. I’m more into focus and calmness under pressure.
Castano beat the tough Michel Soro. He also beat Errol Spence pretty convincingly as an amateur and he beat SD in the World Series of Boxing. So he has credentials. He’s the sexy pick.
But guess what, I’m going to go the other way. I’m picking Lara by a close decision. I gave Castano the eye ball test. He’s good but he’s not unbeatable. He’s just unknown.
Lara did have a tough fight vs Hurd. But everytime a fighter is in tough it doesn’t mean he’s done. It could be a learning experience. Obviously we have to wait and see.
I think Lara will be the puncher in this fight. I think for one shot Lara’s left hand is harder than anything Castano throws. I think Lara will come on late. Castano is a fast starter. But Castano is susceptible to body shots and you can get off on him because he earmuffs often. He also slows down late. If Lara can defend himself better up close which is his biggest flaw he should be ok. Don’t forget Lara is the A side. I say 115-113 range for Lara, it may even be a split of majority decision because Lara is not overly dominant vs his top opponents but he should do enough to win this fight.
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