By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling various topics such as the ongoing PED saga with Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, the options for Gennady Golovkin, the future of Jarrett Hurd and Erislandy Lara, Adrien Broner vs. Jessie Vargas, and more.
Just to answer your question, Mayweather said on Showtime Saturday night that he wants Loma vs Davis this year after their respective fights. Also who are your top 10 latino fighters of all time? Thanks and congratulations on J Rock win
Bread’s Response: Thanks man. I couldn’t hear any interviews because I was at the fights.
Davis vs Lomachenko would be a great promotion. If it happens.
Top 10 Latino Fighters of All time. In no order….
Roberto Duran, Julio Cesar Chavez, Carlos Monzon, Eder Jofre, Salvador Sanchez, Ruben Olivares, Felix Trinidad, Wilfredo Gomez, Carlos Ortiz, Marco Antonio Barrera, Wilfred Benitez. Aw shux was that 11….
Congrats on your last win! That was one mature performance by J-Rock. I hope he stays busy before getting that title shot. Still - what a time to be a fighter at 154! So here are three things I would like to ask:
1) Jacobs vs Sulecki. Is Danny in for a surprise here? It's easy to overlook Sulecki as he looked average at best with Culcay, but I think he was simply drained at 154. Still - he won on all three scorecards with one of the top guys. At 160 he should be a different animal though. First he sent Proksa into retirement, then he KO'd much heavier Centeno. Sulecki sparred Zach Parker, Immanuwel Aleem and Pawel Stepien for this fight - big guys with quick hands. He also came back to renowed Polish coach Andrzej Gmitruk (he guided him to his first big win with Proksa). So the question here is - can he upset Jacobs? How do you see this fight going and what do you think of Sulecki?
2) Eleider Alvarez - you gotta feel for this guy! He is in mandatory position for more than 2 years (!!!) yet Adonis Stevenson still won't fight him. What's up with that?! How can you respect WBC when they even recently made Gvozdyk interim champion? Some people are saying that Alvarez is holding the promotion on Stevenson vs Jack as they need to pay him yet another step-aside money. What would you do if you were in his shoes?
3) OK, I'm officially getting lost in that GGG mess. Apparently he still wants to fight in May, but there are no big names available - I get that. But now he is supposed to fight on regular HBO, not on PPV. So why go after Vanes (who never fought at 160 and lost his last fight) and not fight Derevyanchenko instead? He is ready, he is the mandatory challenger for his IBF belt plus he is a legit contender. Let me put it this way - IF GGG fights Vanes and vacates the IBF belt (apparently that's one of the scenarios) can we then say he is ducking Derevyanchenko? Cause to me it looks more and more like a duck. I feel for the Derevyanchenko and GGG should as well - wasn't he treated like that years ago?! If Derevyanchenko ends up fighting Boo Boo Andrade for vacant IBF belt - who takes it?
Bread’s Response: I think Sulecki is really good but he’s a little hot and cold. Sometimes he looks really good, others meh….Maybe making 154 is was too much for him. But let’s remember Jack Culcay can fight, he also gave Demetrius Andrade a tough fight. I look for Jacobs to be just a little bit too fast. I say Jacobs wins a clear decision or gets a late stoppage. But Sulecki will have some moments.
I really don’t know what’s up with Elieder Alvarez because it seems like he secretly takes “step aside” money. So it’s hard to tell what’s going on when money is being passed around. I think he’s solid but I don’t view him as the boogey man. I think Stevenson beats him pretty cleanly. Not sure why the fight hasn’t happened. Badou Jack is a tougher fight….
It seems as if everyone is upset with GGG because he hasn’t fought since September and he still wants to fight. Did everyone forget that Canelo is the one who messed this event up? I understand why GGG didn’t select Derevyanchenko as an opponent. SD is a fight where he has to readjust his mindset for. You guys don’t realize how a camp goes. A fighter locks in on a certain style and opponent. Then boom he has to just click a switch and adjust to another fighter.
I knew GGG would not select Andrade or SD. I’m telling you guys right now, don’t be surprised when Vanes holds his own. I’m not saying he will win but I am saying he will land big shots. Vanes has a fast right hand. He also fights at 154 so taking a fight on short notice at 160 benefits him. You may not know this but fighters don’t need 8 weeks to peak out. I know Vanes only has 3 weeks so I don’t expect him to be in 12 round shape. But he can be sharp for 6-8 rounds. I expect a competitive fight. I also expect everyone to criticize GGG after the fight because you guys don’t realize how tough it is to have to do what he’s doing. At his age he has to really get up for fights and Canelo was that guy for him. He’s in a no win situation.
SD vs Andrade is a pick em fight. I can’t call it right now.
Hello good sir, love reading your column
I have noticed some big fights get held up lately because a promoter or self managed fighter offers a flat fee. This is the latest I’ve heard regarding Wilder - Joshua at least. First question would be: I was curious if you thought this was a way to price fighters out because of fear? My second question: what are some big unification type fights in which a fighter accepted a flat fee, out of curiosity?
Bread’s Response: I don’t know if Joshua’s side is trying to price themselves out. They could be just doing business. Now Wilder has to make a counter offer. That’s how business works. I don’t know their mindsets.
I can’t think of any fights where fighters took flat fees off hand. I try not to get into negotiations anymore. As I got older I realized more and more boxing is a business and what goes on in the negotiations is not always reflective of the fighter. Tito vs RJ was not a unification but if I’m not mistaken Tito took a big flat fee of like 15 million…
I was reading a bit about Jack Johnson today and I wanted to get your take on something. I am not very familiar with his era of boxing, so I was hoping you could shed some light on it. Of course what Johnson did as far as being the first African American world heavyweight champ is one of the greatest sports achievements in history. However, just looking at his title reign, I found it surprising that none of the opponents he fought seemed to be anything close to top tier boxers in their prime. In my mind, I assumed that Johnson was one of the greatest champions in history, but my research (which was, admittedly, mostly Wikipedia articles) brought that into question. Here's what I found:
He won the title from Tommy Burns, where Johnson had a height
advantage of about 6 inches and a weight advantage of 25 pounds.
His most high profile fight was the "Fight of the Century" against
James Jeffries, who came out of retirement after not fighting for six
years and had to lose 100lbs before the fight.
He lost the title to Jess Willard, who was physically imposing at 6'6"
and 235 lbs, but he didn't start boxing until he was 27. Apparently
there was some controversy that Johnson had thrown the fight, but it
is generally agreed on that Willard won fairly. From what I
understand, Willard held the title for four years after this, but only
successfully defended it once before getting brutally defeated by Jack
Looking at the other 8ish fights that were in his title reign, all his
other opponents seemed pretty weak as well. I also found it
interesting that he refused to fight black boxers after he won the
title since he wouldn't be able to make as much money against them.
So my question is, was Jack Johnson a great historical figure AND a
great titleholder, or just a great historical figure? Am I
misunderstanding how boxing worked in this era, or missing some
Bread’s Response: Jack Johnson was both. He was a great fighter and a great historical figure. He didn’t have the most prestigious title reign but no heavyweight champion did until Joe Louis’s reign started in 1937. The best 3 heavyweights ever up until 1950 were Louis, Johnson and Dempsey. Dempsey’s reign was less than Johnson’s. It’s easy to nitpick a heavyweight title reign in those times….
What you didn’t take into consideration was Johnson didn’t win the title until he was 30. That’s ancient for 1908 in those little gloves. He fought Murderer’s row just to get a title shot. Littered with great black fighters multiple times. So while he didn’t defend against Black fighters he was the Colored Heavyweight Champion of the World and he fought the best black fighters in the world for 7 years before he got his long overdue title shot. He was boxed out in his prime.
If boxing stopped in 1950 Johnson would have been the #2 at heavyweight and top 10 p4p ever. Don’t just look at his title reign. All of the killers that history has him avoiding, he beat them all before he won the title.
Thanks for your response last week regards Ibeabuchi and Valero. I see Valero has prompted debate!
Anyhow just wanted your thoughts on the following great British super middleweights over the last 20 years, your ranking of them amongst themselves and how they would have fared against some of the other great fighters across the pond in hypothetical matchups. My own order is as follows:
1 - Joe Calzaghe
2 - Carl Froch
3 - Michael Watson
4 - Chris Eubank
5 - Nigel Benn
6 - Steve Collins
I don’t think their can be any argument with Calzaghe at the top of the list. He had next level boxing IQ (see his victory over Kessler). I was fortunate to see Froch fight in the flesh and he had indomitable willpower and never ducked anyone despite fighting some more naturally gifted fighters than himself.
Watson was extremely talented and fought some great fighters before his career was cut short - I think people forget he was the first person to beat Nigel Benn and his first fight with Eubank many felt he won.
Eubank could have fought Benn 10 times and would have beat him 9. I think he just had his number as Collins had his.
Benn was my personal favorite in terms of pure excitement and I feel had the best victory of all of them with his fight with McClellan.
Collins had good skills and determination. I feel he was fortunate to fight Eubank midway through a ridiculous contract with Sky (if memory recalls 8 fights in 12 months) and also a Eubank post Watson and Benn post McClellan.
Calzaghe v Jones Jr (at super middle)
Froch v McClellan
Benn v Toney
Eubank v Nunn
Watson v Frankie Liles
Collins v Barkley
One other thing. I don’t understand why fighters like McClellan and Watson who suffered such appalling injuries in the ring and others like them the media almost rarely mentions their fights anymore, only the injuries they suffered. We should appreciate their fights and the skills and heart they showed. Surely that’s how they would like to be remembered?
Thanks again for your insight Breadman.
St Helena Island
Bread’s Response: Michael Watson and Gerald McClellan were great fighters. It’s a shame they are remembered for the wrong fights.
Calzaghe is the best UK Super Middleweight ever but what’s bizarre is the #2 spot can be interchangeable. For his best night I may take Benn. But each guy on the list has an argument.
Calzaghe vs Jones. If there is anyone that could’ve beaten Jones it would be Calzaghe. Calzaghe was that good. But I would have had to “see” it to believe it. Jones’s peak at 168lbs could be the highest in the history of boxing. From 93-96, he really has a case for being the most unbeatable fighter ever. I can’t pick against Roy Jones.
Froch vs McClellan. We just don’t know enough about McClellan at 168 because of the injury.
Benn vs Toney would be brutal. But Toney on his best night stops him late.
Eubank vs Nunn is a weird fight. I say draw.
Watson over Frankie Liles.
Collins over Barkley. Steve Collins finished his career on one of the best hot streaks of the last 30 years. He improved drastically late in his career.
Your thoughts please.
Joshua vs Wilder has to happen next. We don't need a two year build up. Vegas or UK will do just fine. No roadblocks required.
Loma vs Linares?
Who gives Errol Spence Jr his toughest fight?
Respect to all fighters!
Bread’s Response: Not sure if Joshua vs Wilder happens next.
I like Loma over the field from 135 on down. We are witnessing a special talent in Vasyl Lomachenko.
Errol Spence is a monster at 147. But I say Terence Crawford is an equal monster. They will have to fight to decide who is the biggest monster. I don’t want to speculate too much on a fight that is 2 years away. But that is Spence’s toughest fight.
I think Erislandy Lara has clearly slipped. He stayed on the ropes or fought on the inside the entire fight. He’s going to lose to every aggressive fighter he fights for the rest of his career. Hurd is good but Lara fought his fight. Where do both go next? I say Lara becomes cannon fodder for Charlo and Jrock and Hurd goes to war. Jrock can infight and he’s bigger than Lara.
Bread’s Response: Not sure where Hurd and Lara go next. As you know super fights need time to uild. Everyone wants Hurd vs Charlo but not sure it happens next.
I don’t think Lara has slipped so much. Let’s all remember he had tough fights vs Carlos Molina and Alfredo Angulo in what we would assume is his physical prime. Boxers last longer chronologically in this era. Lara only has 30 career fights. He didn’t move as much but his reflexes were in tact. His handspeed was there. His body looks like it has retained his muscle definition. Lara was landing a great laser left hand throughout the fight. In the rock, paper, scissors of boxing a volume fighter will trouble a pure boxer. See Frazier troubling Ali, Marciano troubling Charles and Duran troubling Leonard. It’s just one of those things.
From what I observed Lara stopped moving because Hurd is long and relentless and he was landing an overlooked jab throughout. Hurd is one of the few guys who has a length advantage over Lara. Lara is short for 154 but his arms are as long as some lightheavyweights. Hurd is long and he knows how to make the ring small. So if you over move against him he will wear you out. As much success as Tony Harrison had against him, he over moved and was done after 7 rounds. So Lara stayed tight, shelled up in his defense and fired up the middle. I don’t think his game plan was bad. I liken it to what Ali did vs Foreman. Ali knew Foreman was too long and his feet were too good to try to move on all night. So he stayed put and fired up the middle.
Lara didn’t get the win but he has a good case for having won. I was live at the fight and the crowd was split as to won. Later from what I read more people watching on tv thought Hurd won. Nevertheless Lara was in the fight. A minor adjustment can get him that win. I don’t think he’s done. I will admit however now that the boxing world has seen volume trouble Lara again like it did vs Angulo, elite fighters who can infight will really pressure him and force him to fight. So while he may not have slipped, his wins will get harder to earn. Remember when Naazim Richardson had Shane Mosley keep turning to his left against Manny Pacquiao. Every one of his opponents after Mosley did the same thing and everyone of them went the distance. It could be a similar fate for Lara. He’s going to have to adjust. We just have to figure out if he’s up for it. That’s the thing about getting older. Can you get up for camp and get your butt out of bed twice a day for 8 weeks and train hard.
Ryan Garcia seems to have it all. Good looks, power, speed, promoter push. Do you think he’s the next Oscar? Is he the best prospect in boxing? He won ESPN prospect of the year and that usually is ajinx. It’s like being on the cover of Madden.
Bread’s Response: I like Ryan Garcia. I think he annoyed some people because of his social media and self promoting but I don’t get into that. I have a filter on social media because I know it brings out the worst in our alter egos. What I found messed up I read so many experts and heard so many coaches talking about all of the mistakes Garcia makes. I just don’t get the Sunday Morning Coaches. No fighter is perfect.
I heard his legs are too straight. He’s too cocky. It’s the matchmaking. Blah, blah blah. No one said the kid was Salvador Sanchez. Geez. Let him grow. Obviously he makes some mistakes. But he’s gifted. His handspeed is Amir Khan level. He’s also very accurate. He has good eyes. He can punch with his opponents in the eye of the storm. That’s a gift. Defensively he has some flaws but I’m not going to get into that. I think he’s still developing. The only thing that scares me and I have to speak on it, is whether or not his speed will be unharnessed at the top level. Fighters with unharnessed speed get kod bad the top level. See Amir Khan, Ed Hopson and Derrick Gainer. I wonder if Garcia’s speed will be his biggest gift and biggest flaw. There is a such thing as being too fast….
I don’t know if he’s the next Oscar. Oscar was fighting world champions at a similar stage and age. Oscar was a better amateur. Oscar won titles from 130-160. So that’s a tough prediction to make. I will say he has some of the same god given gifts. He’s actually a little more two fisted than Oscar. But Oscar had a better jab and better legs at the same stage.
Garcia is among the top prospects in boxing. But if time stopped right this second I wouldn’t say he’s the best. First off you can’t go by number of fights because a fighter like Dmitri Bivol would be the best. You have to go by the stage of career and who they are fighting.
At this current moment I say Ryan Garcia is top 3-5 prospects in boxing. There is a young Japanese kid I saw a video of who doesn’t have 10 fights yet but he’s phenomenal. I can’t remember or pronounce his name. He fights at a very small weight. There is also Josh Taylor and Jaron Ennis.
Ennis is 19-0 and he’s about 20 years old. He’s still prospect because he hasn’t fought a 10 rounder yet. He also hasn’t fought a top 15 or 20 level fighter. So he’s at a similar stage as Garcia. But Ennis has just as much talent as Garcia. He’s equally as fast. He has better fundamentals because he uses his jab much more. He hits just as hard. What Ennis doesn’t have is the promotional push. He hasn’t been on TV so people outside of Philadelphia or hard core fans don’t know how good he is. But I’m telling you guys, he’s actually a little more developed than Garcia.
I would put Ennis as #2 right now. I think the best prospect in boxing at this moment is Josh Taylor. That’s not saying Taylor has a higher upside than Ennis and Garcia but at this moment , he’s the most developed and he’s fought by far the better competition. Taylor is already fighting 50/50 prospect fights and ex world champions. This Taylor has unreal instincts. He’s a great body puncher. He adjust on the fly and his stamina is 12 round ready. Taylor has a tough division to break through against at 140 but man I think Taylor is good. He’s Scottish and he’s another guy the American Media has not seen much of. But when they see him you will get what I’m talking about. So right now I say #1 Taylor, #2 Ennis, #3 Garcia.
Who wins Jesse Vargas vs Adrien Broner and Gervonta Davis vs Jesus Cuellar? What you think of Kevin Cunningham as a coach. Both Davis and Broner switched to him at the same time. Cunningham seems to do well with boxers but Davis and Broner are punchers. Can it work?
Bread’s Response: Sure it can work Kevin Cunningham has tons of experience and he’s a no nonsense guy. His two best fighters have been Devon Alexander and Cory Spins. Both were boxers but they would have been boxers with any coach. Cunningham did a great job with both guys. Let’s remember Spinks almost beat Jermaine Taylor at 160. Most of all Cunningham is a winner.
Broner and Davis just have to listen and be disciplined. Cunningham does not take sh*t from anyone. I think he will do his best. Let’s see what happens.
I pick Davis to ko Cuellar in less than 4 rounds. Cuellar is just too slow and predictable to deal with Davis. Cuellar is the perfect matchmaking pick. Bet the house on Davis by ko if you have a house to bet. I’m talking all of it!
Vargas vs Broner is a tougher pick for me. Here is why. Both Vargas and Broner both have been benefited from some close decisions. Vargas went life and death with Josesito Lopez….Broner went life and death with about 3 guys we all thought he would beat easy. But Vargas seems to be the type of kid who gives more effort on a day in and day out basis. I say this all of the time that the boxing ring is truth machine. So when Vargas stepped up vs Ali, Pacman and Bradley he gave an honest effort and made each guy earn their stripes. He tries to win more under adversity.
Broner on the other hand since he left 135 where he couldn’t just hold his hands up and out physical guys, in his big moments vs Shawn Porter and Mikey Garcia, he didn’t let his hands go. That’s very troubling for me to see from a fighter so gifted in what should still be his physical prime. Broner may have cheated the grind for so long as far as training, that training hard under a disciplinarian may over train him. Who knows. I didn’t like the Garcia performance. That was a huge fight for Broner’s legacy and I thought he buzzed Garcia with a sneaky hook late. He never pressed him. And I just don’t get it. He lacked effort in my opinion.
Mental consistency and in the ring decision making is a skill. Broner may be more talented but I don’t think he’s more skillful than Vargas. Skill and talent are different. Vargas has proven to be more consistent and tried harder in his biggest spots. I expect a controversial decision. Broner seems to be in a rut vs elite opponents. He just can’t win 2 rounds in a row and get a good rhythm going vs his better opponents. Um…..Ask me later in the week but right now I say Vargas in a close fight outworks him.
Another black coach Ronnie Shields just publicly slammed Canelo. He claimed he always knew Canelo was cheating. But why didn’t he make this claim when Canelo beat his fighter Erislandy Lara. It seems as though most of the black fighters and coaches have come out and said they knew Canelo was cheating, even you Breadman and you’re usually fair. I just don’t get it. Andre Berto is a fraud and was caught cheating and none of you guys spoke out. After Berto got caught he became an average fighter with a .500 record. Shane Mosley is a cheater and none of you guys spoke out. After Mosley cheated vs Oscar he also became a .500 fighter. Shields trains the Charlo brothers who were average prospects. One couldn’t score a ko to save his life and now he hits an Olympic level talent in Lubin with one punch and he goes to sleep. The other Charlo was slow and plodding. Now he’s fast and it looks like he’s grown another inch in his mid 20's. They both have serious Roid Rage whenever a camera is near and they always want to fight on and off camera. Shields needs to take a look in his own backyard before he judges Canelo. I don’t mean to turn this into a racial thing but it is at this point. Canelo deserves his day in court just like all of the “Brothas”.
Bread’s Response: Ok although you may be a misdirected you make some good points. I won’t resort to name calling or being disrespectful. I’m in a good mood. But I will correct you where you are wrong.
There are a lot of black fighters and black coaches who compete at 154 and 160lbs. So therefore the media ask them their opinion about Canelo. How many elite Mexican fighters are at 154 and 160? So the media is asking potential Canelo opponents. I don’t think it’s a racial thing at all.
While you bring up race, Canelo used his nationality as an excuse to have Clenbuterol in his system. Remember the tainted meat excuse? Or did you forget?
Ronnie Shields has a right to his opinion. Coaches suspect fighters of cheating all of the time. But you can’t go around giving everyone the eye ball test and publicly accusing them of cheating. When Floyd Mayweather accused Manny Pacquiao he got sued, remember that.. So it’s best if you remain humble and keep your suspicions to yourself until they can be confirmed. On top of that what if you accuse a fighter of cheating and he just improved. You look like the biggest idiot in the world. I have no problem with Shields waiting until Canelo tested positive. Now his suspicions are confirmed and Shields was correct. Don’t be upset about that.
You bring up Andre Berto and Shane Mosley….Here is the thing. No one talks about them because they cheated many years ago. I think Mosley’s ordeal happened in 2003 and Berto’s in 20011. So they aren’t relevant at this point. No one ask me about them. I can’t just bring them up for the sake of it. But since you brought them up. I will admit you’re correct. Mosley admitted to taking a banned drug, and Berto tested positive in a drug test. And both of their careers dropped off a great deal after they used. I will never argue a fact. A cheater is a cheater, I don’t care what race they are.
So that being said, what do Berto and Mosley have to do with Canelo being a cheater? Did they all use the same tainted meat excuse? Did they all use the same coach or dietician? I just don’t get why you guys get so upset that Canelo got caught. You bring up every fighter who got caught, like that somehow justifies what Canelo did.
Abel Sanchez is Mexican are you upset with him? Sanchez and Team GGG were smart. You should applaud them and not make this racial. They asked VADA to test Canelo 11 weeks out from the fight instead of the usual 8 weeks out. Do you really think it was a coincidence they caught him so far out from the fight? Most of the cheaters are smart. They have smart people cycling them on and off drugs. So they cycle and get the benefits long before camp. Canelo is one of the few fighters who was tested that far away from the actual event. In my opinion that’s all that happened. They tested him early which was brilliant.
There are many cheaters in boxing that have NOT been caught yet. We all know that. Maybe by catching the face of boxing and making an example out of him will clean up the sport a bit. It’s troublesome that somehow you guys think Canelo was picked on and this was a racial thing. He failed two tests before the biggest fight of his life! His biggest career threat! And now you’re mad! What I have found out in light of Canelo being caught is that most people in boxing don’t care if “their” guy cheats. They just don’t want them to get caught. Very few care about cleaning up boxing and creating a level playing field for all.
I personally applaud GGG, Abel Sanchez and Tom Loeffler for being influential in catching Canelo. You guys should also. And for the record the last time I checked none of them are black.
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