The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Pernell Whitaker vs. Julio Cesar Chavez Sr., Gennady Golovkin vs. Canelo Alvarez, Erislandy Lara vs. Errol Spence, Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev, and more.
Love reading your analysis from Australia. I grew up watching Kostya Tszyu and loved him because he was one of those fighters who was prepared to eat a shot so he could land a shot which guaranteed exceptional action fights. How did you rate his career? I think he fought a lot of dangerous opponents. How do you think he would have gone against this decades best 140LBS?
GGG Canelo 1, I thought GGG won a clear 9 rounds but was disappointed he didnt take more risk and throw more punches and really go after Canelo. I think he could have stopped Canelo in that fight as Canelo was gassed by the 5th.
In the second fight I had GGG 7-5 but think a draw or 7-5 to either of them is an acceptable score. Canelo made the better adjustments from the first fight but scoring it round by round it was really close and I think GGG just started fighting hard too late. He looks a better fighter then Canelo when he turns it into a firefight.
Bread’s Response: I thought Tszyu had a great career. If you mean from 2010-19 he would have been top 2 at 140 along with Terence Crawford. I think Tszyu is an ALL TIME great at 140 but not an all time great fighter. You can be an all timer in a specific division and not be an overall all time great. I don’t put Tszyu on the level of Monzon or Hagler who are all time great middleweights and fighters. I think he is a notch below that. But his work at 140 is exceptional. I wish he would have gotten more big fights so we could assess him better. He was in the era of De La Hoya, Mosley and Mayweather and he didn’t get a chance to fight any of them.
I think GGG won the 1st fight by slight margin. I thought the 2nd fight was Canelo by 1 round or a draw. I was at a fight party. Everyone was asking me who won before the decision. I said Canelo was going to get the decision. I always go by my initial reaction and I don’t like to go back and keep reviewing things because it changes the perception.
The push that GGG made in that rematch was almost legendary. I was on my feet. He was down about 3 rounds going into the last 3rd of the fight and he started fighting like an ANIMAL to keep his 0. I was inspired.
But I disagree it may seem that GGG is better suited for a firefight that Canelo. But I don’t fall into the common way of thinking without research. GGG can outjab Canelo and he is such a DOG, he can push when Canelo is tired or waiting to get his wind back for another push.
But punch for punch, move for move in exchanges Canelo is better. It’s the reason GGG backed away from him in the rematch. GGG has determination which allows him to stay even with Canelo. But Canelo has faster hands, bigger punch variety, better combination punching and more defensive prowess. It may sound weird but Canelo does better when the action is more violent. GGG does better when it slows down or becomes a battle of jabs.
I'll keep it short.
1. How much is the Sergey D fight a litmus test for GGG's capability at the elite level? Is there anything to look for as they fight?
2. How would Erislandy Lara vs Errol Spence Jr. play out?
3. Where would LaMotta be in the 160 pounder picture if he was fighting today?
Bread’s Response: 1. I think GGG handles a certain level of fighter better than anyone in boxing. His punching power, relaxed approach and pedigree just shows vs certain opponents. Danny Jacobs and Canelo Alvarez are not just elite but they can attack in combination with speed. It seems to be Golovkin’s Achilles heel. He sort of blocks and parries punches and it’s hard to do with 3 or more punches being fired in rapid succession.
I like SD. He’s really , really good. But I don’t think he has the handspeed that Canelo and Jacobs have. It’s a matter of styles and small little things in specific situations can affect the outcome.
I think SD will make a great push. My man Andre Rozier is one of the best trainers around and he has SD ready to go. Rozier also knows Golovkin well. Expect a tough fight. But I think GGG has the edge. For as good as SD is, he struggles with his 2nd wind in fights. I thought it cost him vs Jacobs and he really struggled vs Jack Culcay. With GGG bearing down on you, you can’t struggle to catch your 2nd wind. Canelo can because his defense is elite and Canelo can rest and not get hurt too bad. I don’t think SD has that type of defense once fatigue sets in.
But let me make note. GGG also fades in a more discreet way. Some say he stays in altitude too long. I don’t know what it is but he definitely huffs and puffs after the 5th round. He’s just such a determined fighter it doesn’t show up as much. He has an eraser with his punching power that doesn’t show his flaws. I like GGG by late stoppage in a hard brutal fight.
2. Lara vs Spence. Man that’s a good fight. For as good as Lara is and he has HOF level talent, the book is out on how to fight him. Get by his 1-2 and force him into a midrange or inside fight. He’s competent in there but outside is his game.
Spence is a BULL and he has a nasty mid range and inside game. So stylistically the fight favors Spence.
My question is can Spence big dog a fighter in Lara who regularly fights junior middleweights. Lara may look easy but he’s not. And he’s a better puncher than people realize. Spence may give up his physicality moving up. Great fight. At this point I know most would favor Spence but I don’t. I say 50/50. I don’t think Lara is shot at all. He's just older and when an older fighter has a few tough fights people say they are shot. but no one said Lara was shot when he was younger and he had tough fights vs Angulo and Molina. It's just a style thing with him. Lara's style ages well.
3. Jake Lamotta would be at the top of the division if he fought today. He’s an all time great fighter. Not saying he would be #1 but he would be in the running for the top spot. I will tell you what Lamotta wouldn’t be posturing around waiting to fight the killers. One of the reason Lamotta is so revered is because he routinely fought black fighters who were killers in a time where he could have avoided them and no one would’ve said anything.
What's up Bread?
Apparently Canelo and Kovalev are in advanced negotiations to face each other on November 2. Most people feel as though that's too quick of a turnaround for Kovalev after such a grueling fight with Anthony Yarde and I was inclined to agree until I looked at Andy Ruiz' time between fights with Alexander Dimitrenko and Anthony Joshua. Now I know that Ruiz didn't take nearly as much punishment as Kovalev did, however I feel that if Andy Ruiz could be razor sharp against Joshua with six weeks between fights then perhaps 10 weeks will be enough for Kovalev to do the same. You have always mentioned how today's top fighters suffer from inactivity so how do you feel about the August 24th to November 2nd turnaround for Sergey Kovalev? Do you think it will help him in anyway? (sharpness), will it hinder him? (not enough time to rest), or neither?
William in West Palm
Bread’s Response: As a hungry prospect fighters, fight more often and because of the frequent schedule they show improvement and stay sharper. The reason it slows down now is because of business not because it benefits the fighters.
Unless Kovalev is injured I think this turnaround will help him. He doesn’t have to spar right away because he just fought. But he can start his conditioning, heeling, bag and pad work. His body just left a peak. Buddy McGirt knows the game. McGirt had loads of career fights. He knows how to get you sharp. Again unless Kovalev is injured, this turnaround is no big deal.
For the record I like Canelo in the fight. Kovalev will be sharper but I think Canelo stops him late.
"Despite what history will have you believe, Whitaker didn’t get ROBBED vs Oscar de La Hoya. The fight is on youtube. It was razor close and Oscar took the 12th round BIG in a fight that looked about even going into the 12th." ---Breadman
Read this response of yours and it brought a question to my mind that I re-remember every once in awhile when I see a similar situation play out in a fight. In your years around the sport, is teaching or reminding a fighter that projecting confident body language, as much as is possible, in the fight itself something that's ever mentioned or considered to be important? I ask because, like you wrote, I saw this fight being highly competitive and very close. There's rounds with little to choose between. But then, at the end of one of these close rounds, Whitaker makes an obvious "dang it! I made a mistake!" type gesture that, whether it should or shouldn't, could influence a judge to give the round to De La Hoya. I think it may have happened twice. I don't think it's too crazy to think there's been times when something similar may've actually determined a fights outcome. So, I guess my question is, what do you think when a fighter does this? Is there a sort of fight psychology taught? Anyway, thanks in advance for the time reading the question, and best to you and yours!
Bread’s Response: I don’t think Whitaker was saying DANG IT! I messed up. I think he was saying YES I GOT HIM!
But just look at the fight closely. Whitaker was arguing with his CORNER and the HBO microphones were listening. His corner was telling him he needed to do more, and he was arguing with them. Ronnie Shields and Lou Duva were trying to calm him down. It can be heard loud and clear. Listen after the 8th round I believe.
It seems as though over time because Whitaker was robbed vs Chavez and Ramirez it seems cool to say he was robbed against Oscar. Oscar was the golden boy and he also was Mexican like Chavez and Ramirez, although Oscar was Mexican American.
But Oscar De La Hoya fought Whitaker on even terms. Just look at the fight. That fight could have been a draw or 7-5 either way. The overwhelming scorecard in Oscar’s favor is what made it LOOK like a robbery.
Judges are human and it’s important for fighters to not show certain things. I don’t know if that was the case in the Whitaker vs De La Hoya fight. But I have seen judges score rounds against fighters who show discomfort or hurt even though they weren’t really losing those rounds.
Good day Mr. Edwards,
Was there already a boxer who defeated world champions originating from each of the 6 habitable continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America)?
How would Finito Lopez fare against the Strawweight and Junior Flyweight champions of the 2010s?
Who do you think would win from these fantasy match-ups (assuming they are in their prime):
Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Naseem Hamed at Featherweight
Danny Garcia vs. Arturo Gatti at Junior Welterweight
Andre Ward vs. Joe Calzaghe at Super Middleweight
Keith Thurman vs. Hector Camacho at Welterweight
Naoya Inoue vs. Ruben Olivares at Bantamweight
Terence Crawford vs. Oscar De La Hoya at Welterweight
Tyson Fury vs. Rocky Marciano at Heavyweight
Uzzy Ahmed vs. Ali Raymi at Flyweight
Bread’s Response: Who are you talking about in your first question?
Finito Lopez is the best technical fighter I have ever seen. I have watched about 20 of his fights, he’s the most consistent dynamic fighter I have ever seen. If he was 147lbs he could have changed the history of boxing.
I think he would beat everyone at 105 and 108 in this decade except Chocolatito and the Monster at 108lbs. Those are great fights and because both are so much bigger I don’t know if he could overcome that. They would have to decide that in the ring.
Loma over Hamed.
Garcia over Gatti in a shootout but it would be tougher than most assume.
I can’t call Ward vs Calzaghe. They would have to fight 3x.
Thurman over Camacho at 147. Camacho was a showman at 147 and Thurman would have too much physicality.
Ooooooohhhh. I can’t call Inoue vs Olivares yet. Tough fight.
Crawford vs Oscar. Shux. Even fight at this point.
Fury over Marciano but I’m sure.
Hope all is well bread,
First thing I would like to say you have been one of my teachers in a history as far as boxing since the BOXINGTALK days, much knowledge is appreciated. Now on to my question. How do you think Badu Jack would’ve faired in the good old days of 15 rounds fights since he always comes strong on the better half of the fight as we can see how many draws he had? Secondly who would you considered the best one handed fighter ala Pauline Malignagi?
All the best, Miguel from Miami FL
Bread’s Response: I think Badou Jack is a 15 round fighter. But here is the thing, he’s a big guy. He might have been a cruiserweight or small heavyweight in the same day weigh in era. So it may be a wash.
For the record I have to give Jack props. Boy did he make something out of his career. That dude really took on killer after killer and made a great living.
The best one handed fighter ever? Most of the great fighters of the old school used their lead hand dominantly. As time went on in around the 1960s fighters started using their back strong hand more.
All time I say Tommy Loughran. Recently I say Virgil Hill or Winky Wright. Both of Wright and Hill were lead hand dominant and rarely used their rear hand.
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