By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter, unbeaten prospect Ryan Garcia, Amir Khan, Anthony Joshua vs. Deontay Wilder, the career of Adrien Broner, and more.
Love your work. Many thanks for great analysis.
There are two things that many people don't seem to know about PED use and they are important for the fight game.
1 The benefits of steroids are long lasting. They stay with you ever after you stop using. This has been studied and is now well understood. So if, for example, Canelo was using steroids to build muscle as he moved up, the assumption that if he is now clean he no longer benefits from past use is just wrong.
2. People don't realize how incredibly hard it is to put in lean muscle. Big weight gains typically include water. But putting on lean muscle is a slow business and without steroids it is very slow. Ask any body builder how long it takes. The interesting thing about fighters is that they deliberately she'd weight before a fight which means you can get a much better handle on real lean muscle gains than you can for cyclists or sprinters. Bear in mind that boxers, unlike body builder, don't train 100% for gain so they aren't going to get the same results. All in all, if you see major gains in lean muscle in a few months it is extremely likely to have been with PEDs.
Do you think many people in the game know this kind of detail because the way a lot of people talk it doesn't seem to me that they do.
Bread’s Response: I believe you 100%. I’ve always said that. Once a cheater always a cheater. An athlete may drop off after he stops using but his brain remembers that peak that he wouldn’t have hit without “help”. So he doesn’t drop as far as he would have without the extra help to begin with. The notion that “everyone is doing it” is insane. Everyone is NOT doing it. Just MOST of the top guys are. But the small percentage of guys who aren’t deserve credit for competing on the level.
From my knowledge no one really talked about PEDs in boxing on a consistent basis until around 2009 when Mayweather and Pacquiao were at the forefront of the boxing world. There were fighters who got caught before 2009, but the constant talk of who and who was not on them wasn’t until 2009. So after 2009 our thought process evolved.
As a culture we observe, we research and we enlighten ourselves. We look towards and back on athletes and we form competent opinions. Reasonable opinions. Anyone in boxing who doesn’t know, should know.
Duran damn near got decapitated by Hearns.
That right hand was landing, it was a brutal KO of such a great fighter.
Duran was also very intimidated by the Motor City Cobra.
There was no need for a rematch.
If DSG fights a disciplined fight he wins, Porter needs chaos.
What do you think of Spence/Garcia?
Bread’s Response: I agree about Duran and Hearns. That’s why I don’t call Duran fighting Hearns over McCallum a duck. It was more of a payday thing. In 1984 Hearns was a 2 year reigning champion at 154 and one of the 3 or 4 best fighters in the world. McCallum was just a strong #1 contender who had not yet hit the big scene. Hearns and McCallum were both killers but Duran couldn’t fight them both at the same time. So he took on the more well known killer.
Dam you’re already talking about DSG vs Spence. Danny better not be overlooking Porter like you are. Ask me about DSG vs Spence next week. I think he has close tough fight vs Porter on his hands.
Well I just read some of the statements you made about Canelo about testing positive for PED’s well the hair testing came up negative so I do believe it was an issue with him consuming contaminated meat and NOT trying to cheat and why are you suspicious with his muscular body for Cotto and GGG? As far as I’m concerned he tested negative. You was also suspicious about Marquez physique when he KO Pacquiao but Márquez never tested positive of any kind. You should mention GGG and Abel Sanchez are a bunch of cry babies, they want Canelo to fight toe to toe and want Canelo to stick his face but when they fought Lemieux they didn’t go toe to toe, they didn’t fight Mexican style like they always say.
Bread’s Response: Good thing you aren’t anyone with a position of authority on boxing. Canelo didn’t test negative. He tested positive twice. That’s not an opinion that’s a fact. And just because he said he tested positive because of meat consumption that doesn’t mean we have to believe him. I didn’t expect him to say anything else. Has any fighter who tested positive ever said. “I’m a cheater and I wanted to get any extra edge I could.” I still haven’t heard that.
I give Juan Manuel Marquez all the credit in the world. He’s an all time great fighter. He has as much will power as I have ever seen from a fighter. For a fighter who goes down and is hurt as often as he is to have never been kod is amazing. His WIN over Pacquiao is probably the best win of the decade and top 3 in Mexico history. But if you don’t think his body transformation at almost 40 years old and about 20lbs over his prime weight was NOT suspicious then you don’t have the ability to be objective. It was also suspicious that the testing in his very next fight for VADA was delayed vs Tim Bradley and he lost that fight I might add.
I’m not saying Marquez had to be on PEDs, Or challenging any of his career accomplishments. I’m just saying that it’s extremely difficult to move up in weight in your late 30s and carry that type of lean muscle mass when you didn’t have it before. Then score a 1 punch ko over a guy he couldn’t knockdown in 36 previous rounds. Tell me where I’m being unreasonable or unfair. For the record I think Pacquiao is also suspicious. Because he never asked Marquez to test and he saw up close that Marquez’s body composition had changed in the 3rd fight. Pacquiao didn’t start VADA until after the brutal ko loss in the 4th fight. He was the 2nd biggest star in boxing. He could’ve made Marquez test but chose not to. So because of these circumstances I give Marquez full credit for that win but I do think it was a suspicious performance. Just try to be objective and use your common sense and stop being so emotional.
I think Ryan Garcia is a hype job. He was falling and grabbing and he just looks confused under pressure. No way he can win a title. What do you do with Garcia at this point?
Bread’s Response: We are in the Social Media, Sunday Morning Coach Era. Everyone is an expert. But usually the expertise comes with trying to hurt or tear someone down.
I don’t know what Garcia will turn out to be. But it’s way too early to say he won’t win a title. I think Garcia can in fact improve and become a champion. His team will just have to be on their game. It will take a collective effort. No need to panic. Panic is never good. Just be smart.
From what I can see there is entitlement and confusion with Garcia and his team. He makes these ridiculous mitt hitting videos on social media and that’s how he tries to fight. That’s not boxing. Garcia needs to learn to box with his feet and not just throw flashy punches. He needs to learn to use a jab and be consistent with it. He’s really gifted and he has a hair trigger reflex pull. So he’s always looking to clip his opponents. That’s why his head is up in the air because he has good eyes and he’s on the target. But that causes him problems when he’s crowded and in close.
I don’t know who Garcia’s coaches are. But I suspect a coaching change. I would never suggest firing a coach. And I’m not now. I don’t know who’s fault it is because maybe there are more influences that the public can see. Like Garcia not listening or a father/coach who overrules everything. I don’t know. What I do know is when a high profile fighter struggles as a prospect the coach usually gets fired.
I also know that Garcia is an investment and hot commodity. So while his popularity is superior to his ability at this point. Because of his popularity I think he will get the benefit of the doubt with his matchmaking. Now it’s up to Golden Boy matchmakers to really match him correctly. It can be done. Each move just has to be thought out perfectly.
On a normal scale American prospects with real title aspirations usually take about 4 years and 15-20 fights to be ready if they fight below 135lbs and over 175lbs. The divisions in between because there are just more people that size in the world have a larger talent pool to pick from. So it usually takes 20-25 fights and 4 to 6 years if you fight between 135-175.
Garcia has been a pro for 2 years and he has 16 fights. For all of the critics he’s not far behind normal schedule. He just won’t be Oscar or Fernando Vargas. But that’s ok. Both were better amateurs than Garcia. I think Garcia can improve over the next 2 or 3 years. He has two great boxers at Golden Boy he can study to correct his flaws. He can watch Bernard Hopkins box with his feet vs Felix Trinidad and Oscar de La Hoya box with his feet vs Julio Cesar Chavez in the 1st fight. He can also watch how both of them score points with the jab.
The only tough thing for Garcia will be his humility. Because he has already been on tv he may have to take a step back to develop and that’s tough for any social media kid. But in order for him to not end up like Felix Verdejo or Francisco Bojado he may have to.
However it’s not over by no means for Garcia. You just have to know the history of fighters who were in similar situations. Oscar De La Hoya was dropped twice as a young fighter. His handlers didn’t even slow him down. He just regrouped and went on to be special. Canelo Alvarez was hurt BAD by a blown up lightweight and not only did he turn out to be a great junior middleweight but now he’s a sturdy middleweight. Kelly Pavlik took extremely long to develop. But his handlers and matchmakers stayed the course. And you guys may not have paid attention but a current top 5 P4P fighter also took very long to challenge for a title. Mikey Garcia. Garcia was 30-0 and a pro almost 7 years before he fought for his 1st title. That’s almost unheard of for an American blue chip fighter at the lower weights. But that’s what happened with Mikey Garcia.
So Ryan Garcia still has a shot to do something in boxing. He just has to be humble. His team has to recognize the problems then collectively fix them. And he has to be matched correctly. Let’s see what happens. You have to be an optimist in order to be successful in boxing. His popularity will serve him well because he’s worth the investment. Other Golden Boy prospects like Keandre Gibson and Eddie Gomez don’t have Garcia’s fan base or young age and they had to “fight” their way out of the fox holes. I don’t believe Garcia will have to do that just yet.
We have a big weekend coming up. Danny Garcia vs Shawn Porter is a big fight. Do you think the winner goes to the Hall of Fame? Super Fly is also this weekend and the return of Amir Khan. What do you think of Khan’s career so far and why isn’t he more highly regarded?
Bread’s Response: Yes I’m looking forward to Garcia vs Porter. I don’t know if the winner is a HOF but Danny will be very close if he wins in dramatic fashion. Danny has some really good wins but he doesn’t have any great wins. But enough very good wins will get you in. Ask me after the fight so I can put things in proper perspective.
I love the super fly series and if you’re a young boxer puncher, watch Juan Estrada fight. Man this kid is good. He’s smooth, has a great chin, excellent balance, throws every punch in the book and he seems indefatigable. What a fighter that Estrada is!
I almost forgot Khan was fighting this weekend. He should really do a number on Samuel Vargas.
Let me tell you something about Amir Khan. Khan is a big victory or two away from being a HOF. Khan has a ridiculously underrated resume. He took tough fights vs prime fighters in Garcia, Canelo and Peterson. He was in every fight and performed well. The Peterson fight is filled with controversy so that lost was excusable.
He has some high quality wins over Andreyis Kotelnik, Dmitri Salita, Paulie Mailignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Zab Judah, Luis Collazo, Devon Alexander and Chris Algieri.
I think it’s a travesty that Amir Khan has never received a shot at the welterweight title after moving up from 140! Has a fighter ever been so accomplished and marketable and did NOT get a shot after moving up one weight division. I can’t think of one!
Khan’s impatience kills him in and out of the ring. He jumped two weight divisions on a suicide mission against Canelo just to get a big fight. But think about this. Khan never got a huge PPV level fight in his own division where Tim Bradley, Juan Manuel Marquez, Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather all resided during the same era. Andre Berto, Jeff Horn, Mike Alvarado and Victor Ortiz got bigger opportunities that Khan did….It’s really bizarre if you think about it.
I’m not saying that some of this is not Khan’s fault I have just never seen a fighter of his status denied so often. No one can say he’s a nobody, or not marketable or hasn’t done anything. He’s just been flat out denied by the best and bigger stars of his era. I think Khan would have been a nightmare match up for Marquez, Bradley, Pac and Mayweather. And I honestly believe he would have upset at least 2 of the future Hall of Famers. And while being objective I think Khan has avoided Kell Brook which is odd because he fought Canelo. But I live by a saying. Your mind can play tricks on you, your heart will lie to you, but your GUTS does not have a heart or brain, just feelings. And my GUTS tell me if Khan wanted to fight Brook they would have fought already. For whatever reason he just doesn’t want that fight. But I actually give him a slight pass for not fighting Brook because he’s took so many other tough fights and he begged for the biggest fights of them all and never got them.
The media needs to put more respect on Amir Khan’s name. He’s not an all time great. But his contemporary work should be respected and he’s making solid case for the HOF.
Hey Breadman, writing from the UK. Has AJ become underrated as a side effect of Wilder's momentum? How do you rate AJ's uppercuts, how key will they be vs Povetkin?
I saw Prince Naseem on TV recently saying he could still come back, what do you think? He could probably do well at 168, his balance was poor in the past but with his bigger centre of gravity it would be much better and he'd still have his power. We saw short Montell Griffin beat Toney and RJJ at 175 and they were better than the current guys at 168. Zurdo avoids the best for a reason. DeGale does not have his legs anymore so couldn't stay out of danger all night. If Groves can't take a single right hand from Froch how does he take one from Naz? He'd be unified champ and Floyd would have to come back and face him then.
I see Golovkin having trained for war but not bringing massive heat until the start of round 2. As you've said the ring is a truth machine and in that first round he will know how much the lack of PEDs has changed Canelo and will increase intensity quickly based on that. Golovkin is always aggressive but not Hagler-Hearns aggressive, in most fights he takes the opening minutes to judge certain things and will do the same here because he'll see it as a different/new opponent to their first fight. Canelo's corner will pull him out before the end of the 5th.
Bread’s Response: People are definitely turning on AJ. I think it’s because of his performance vs Joseph Parker and how hot Wilder is at this point. Wilder keeps winning fights the same way over and over which shows a format. He may lose a few rounds but he hones in somewhere after the 4th round. And he lands his best right hands. And if you push back, he gets his 2nd wind and lands his best right hands late and he stops you. This should be a major concern for Team Joshua and in the last year Wilder has rightfully changed the perception of who will win their match up.
Joshua has a tremendous uppercut. He also has a tremendous jab. But his punch selection is not his problem. He just seemed to look confused and stiff vs Parker. Joshua has to loosen up and stop overthinking. He looked a little too mechanical vs Parker. I think he beats Povetkin by decision but it would be good for his psyche if he can stop him.
Dam you think Prince Naseem Hamed can fight at 168 presently. He’s a natural featherweight who hasn’t fought in almost 20 years. Are you serious, or are you trolling me?
I can’t wait until GGG vs Canelo. Let me tell you something. Canelo has a really good corner. Eddy Reynoso can really train my man. Don’t sleep on him. I respect his training game. They are not going to pull Canelo out in 5 rounds. Canelo is coming to rumble and go out on his shield. I give him credit for that. Canelo is a fighter and his corner knows it.
Thanks for answering last time about Broner as fighter of the decade 2010-2020. But what about being fighter of the decade 2020-2030? After more time with Cunningham he will show his best and that will be his era. He hurt Porter more than anyone has showing his one punch power which will stays with a fighter until retirement. Iron chin, Maidana hurt him but Maidana hurt everyone. Normally the first step is the first thing to go as with GGG. But Broner walks people down gradually, he doesn't rush in so doesn't need to worry about that. He is only going to improve and then not decline for a long time.
The commentators during Trinidad Vargas said "don't hook with a hooker". Vargas tried in the 1st and 12 rounds and got dropped, but dropped Trinidad inbetween that as both went for left hooks. Was he right or wrong to gamble on it multiple times?
Floyd said Judah was a front runner and he won some early rounds against Floyd. Would Freitas have done the same as he burned energy but won rounds early even in losses. Or is Floyd a level above all night?
Bread’s Response: Man you love Broner. From what my eyes tell me, Broner peaked out in 2012. It’s not impossible but it’s hard to have 2 peaks in a career. And for the record the decade goes 2010-2019. 2020 starts the new decade.
Vargas had a good short hook also. Tito was just in the zone and he was a little faster on the draw. You can hook with a hooker if your timing is down. Vargas proved it by dropping Tito. Vargas was a hooker also. You just have to have to be careful. I’ve seen it done before. Montel Griffin was landing a nice hook on Roy Jones in their 1st fight and Ray Jones is Captain Hook.
100% on Floyd. Floyd is a late round savant. He’s murder in the 2nd half of fights. If he senses you’re a front runner he will lay and wait on you. I think he would have done the same thing to Freitas. It’s s a shame they didn’t fight. They were both undefeated champions at 130 in the late 90s. I think Floyd would have taken him into deep and drowned him but Freitas was good. He wasn’t an easy out for anyone.
What are the keys to Garcia vs Porter? Give me something to look for. My friends and I bet specific rounds and I need some tips.
Bread’s Response: Look for who leads. Danny loves to counter punch and Shawn gets reckless at times jumping in. If Danny can force Shawn to lead and OVER punch it will bode well for him.
Look to see how comfortable Shawn is at boxing in his bounce rhythm. Shawn has a unique bounce and he can trouble Danny with his faster feet.
Look to see if Danny can counter Shawn’s jab. Shawn’s jab is faster because he pushes off with his feet. Danny fights off the step. Shawn fights off the bounce. Danny has elite timing and he will have to take Shawn’s jab away.
Look to see if Danny can cut Shawn. Shawn has scar tissue issues and blood gets scored unfortunately by judges.
Last but not least for Danny to try to establish a body attack. Shorter fighters like Shawn usually don’t get hit to the body because of their stature. I think Danny has to go to Shawn’s body to take away his bounce and legs. If Danny is effective to the body he will do well in the 2nd half of the fight.
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