The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Sergey Kovalev, Errol Spence vs. Shawn Porter, the top 10 pound-for-pound fighters in the world, and more.
In your opinion, can Canelo take Kovalev’s best punch; the 1-2? His defense will minimize Kovalev's power punches, to an extent, but at some point he will land.
Also, do you think Canelo can possibly land a blinding overhand right that staggers or drops Kovalev? Everyone is talking about the body shots, but I can see Canelo setting up Kovalev similar to the Khan fight. This is assuming Canelo survives late into the fight, fatigue sets in and body shots start adding up for, Kovalev.
How would Hagler had fared against the competition at 154 or 168 had he decided to go down or up in weight during his career? I read where his walk around weight was in the 160s. Not criticizing his decision to stay at 160, just wondering how he would’ve performed against the top fighters in those divisions had he made the choice to.
Salvador Sanchez vs Vasiliy Lomachenko at 126
Henry Armstrong vs Roberto Duran at 135
Roberto Duran vs Oscar De La Hoya 135
Pernell Whitaker vs Aaron Pryor at 140
Ricky Hatton vs Miguel Cotto at 140
Roy Jones Jr vs Sugar Ray Robinson at 160
Hagler vs James Toney at 160
As always, appreciate your amazing work!
All the best,
Bread’s Response: Yes I believe he can take Kovalev’s best shot. But the way you’re phrasing is not how a fight works. You can get hit with a great shot at one point and take it and the next point get kod. So much depends on that. But yes I think Canelo can take Kovalev’s punch good enough to not get stopped and win.
Of course Canelo can land an over hand shot and hurt Kovalev. A fighter only has two hands so they both can hurt each other with either a left or right. I’m not being sarcastic and I appreciate your comment but these are broad perspectives. They both can hurt each other to the head and body. It’s a fight. It just depends on who can execute and get through with a money shot. I think they will both land good shots.
Hagler would have been fine during his era at 154 and 168 although 168 came around as he was retiring. Hagler was a strong, durable fighter. And he fought some big 6ft middleweights during his time and he kod Hearns who went on to win titles at lightheavyweight and cruiserweight. Weight jumping gets slightly overrated and it really depends on who you fight when you move up. It’s actually harder to take on the best available guy in your division for years and years. Hagler kept an entire era of middleweights for almost a decade from winning the title. Lots of fighters can jump weight and cherry pick marginal titlist. I want to see if one can be the undisputed or RING magazine champion for 5 or more years.
These are very good mythical match ups.
Sal vs Loma. Hmmm that’s tough. I can’t call it right now.
Armstrong vs Duran is another tough one. I can’t call it. Because Duran would be meeting his match as far as brawling and grappling and being indefatigable.
Oscar vs Duran is tough but Duran was just more consistent. So I say Duran by decision.
Whitaker vs Pryor. I go back and forth with this fight. But today I say Pryor.
I would take Cotto over Hatton.
Jones vs Robinson is a very tough fight. Robinson is greater but Jones is just as good head to head. Jones is also a lot bigger. Today I say Robinson’s chin and viciousness takes a hotly contested decision.
I know a lot of people who would take Toney over Hagler at 160. But I’m not one of them. I think Toney was special but he struggled more than history remembers. Reggie Johnson, Dave Tiberi both McCallum fights. On his best night in the late 70s or early 80s, I say Hagler works a little too much, and his jab is too consistent. I say Hagler by a tight decision.
Big week here for Spence vs Porter. Give me a breakdown and pick.
Bread’s Response: I think the odds are too big. I think Spence should be about a -350 favorite. -900 in a unification fight is too much. I wanted to preface my comment with the odds first.
I favor Spence but I think he’s in for a fight. I think Porter is highly motivated and energized for this fight and I think he can win. But I’m not sure if he will.
Porter is a blue collar fighter who has high amateur pedigree. Many people sleep on Porter because he’s not offensively or defensively dynamic. He also is not an accurate puncher so he doesn’t have to crowd oohing attack. His punches often land high and not clean. I think this cost him in his 2 career losses.
But Porter is well conditioned, he’s been in tough and for the most part he’s found a way to win or be highly competitive.
On paper Spence is simply better. He beat a Brook who beat Porter. He looks more dominant than Shawn. He’s bigger, longer, he seems to punch harder and he has even better amateur pedigree. But fights aren’t won on paper.
I think Errol Spence is an excellent fighter but he’s not an overwhelming physical athlete that the media makes him out to be. I keep hearing the Ray Leonard comparisons but Leonard was much more athletic and twitchy. Spence is a good athlete but I don’t consider him to be the athlete say Inoue, Pac or Loma is. Spence is bull strong, he has a great stance and balance. He keeps his hands in place. His feet are under him. And he has a high work rate. You don’t have to be a great athlete in order to be a great fighter. GGG and Hagler weren’t great athletes either. Spence is on his way to being a great fighter.
I think 3 things separate Spence and Porter. 1. Spence’s jab. Spence has a Hagler/Winky Wright like jack hammer south paw jab that really tears opponents up. His pad work with his coach Derrick James is brilliant for his style. Porter bounces in and out and a good jab can break his rhythm. Watch the Kell Brook fight. Brook broke Porter’s rhythm.
2. Spence has better balance and is more efficient. For as good as Porter is he never pulls away from his better opponents. His wins and losses are very close. The reason for that is he’s not efficient. It takes so much energy for Porter to win. He usually doesn’t score kos, he gets cut and he trades big punches. Where as Spence has a cruise gear where he can use a good jab, or simply overwhelm opponents and get them out of there without getting hit too much. Only Kell Brook was able to hold Spence close. Porter has been held close at least 8 or 9 times.
In a close tough fight, the fighter who is more efficient has an advantage. Porter is known for great stamina. But he gets a little tired at points not because of lack of conditioning, but because of lack of efficiency. He doesn’t have a Pernell Whitaker or James Toney slick defense where he can sit in the pocket and just catch and parry get a breather. He also is not a sharp shooter where he can discourage an opponent from attacking him. He boxed well vs Ugas but Ugas kept pressing him and won some rounds in the 2nd half of the fight because it takes so much energy for Shawn to win rounds.
The 3rd issue is Porter cuts up. It has never cost him a fight but judges do score blood.
I have observed something about Porter. He is exuding charisma. I think he’s going to try to take the crowd. I think he’s going to be a Showman vs Spence. I expect him to showboat. Box and move. I expect Porter to try to embarrass Spence. I think Porter will try to play Leonard and Spence, Hagler. But this time I expect Hagler to win. 116-112 Spence in a good fight.
What is your top 10 P4P today and why?
Bread’s Response: Short and simple just like how the great editors at boxingscene like them.
1a. Terence Crawford- I know he doesn’t have the best resume but his consistency and my eyeball test tells me he’s the best fighter in the world. Or at least tied with 1b and 1c.
1b. Vasyl Lomachenko- If Loma were still at 130 and this was 2016 I would say he’s the best fighter in the world. But he’s at 135 and I think he’s operating at his ceiling weight and he may not be at his apex. But still and all his resume is a little better than Crawford’s and if he can beat any of the young up and coming guns at lightweight he deserves the #1 spot alone.
1c. Monster Inoue- I will admit it’s easier to jump weights when you start at 108lbs. But what Inoue is doing is unprecedented. I don’t know if we have seen a fighter start out at 108 and be this dominant at 118+ except for Manny Pacquiao. Inoue is consistently ICING world class guys who have never been stopped. If he was doing this above 135lbs he would be #1 easy. He’s the most dominant world class fighter in boxing.
4. Canelo Alvarez- Canelo has boxing’s best resume but it’s not by as much as some think. GGG, Mayweather, Lara, Jacobs and Cotto are excellent accomplishments. But big names like Mosley and Chavez are smoke and mirrors. In my opinion Canelo is the most improved fighter in boxing. I have seen over 20 of his fights as they happened. And Canelo has evolved more than anyone. He has a great jab. Great defense. Great punch selection. Great body punching. Great relaxation under fire. His weakness was his slow feet and stamina and that has improved dramatically in my opinion. Canelo is an easy HOF and working towards ATG status. He’s the Oscar of this era.
5. Ollie Usyk- I don’t know how good Usyk will be at heavyweight so I can’t put him any higher. But his run at Cruiserweight was impressive. He doesn’t knock my socks off with the eye ball test but he surely raises his game against the better competition.
6. Juan Estrada- Estrada is the most complete fighter in boxing. He relies on superior technique and conditioning to win. If everyone had the same athleticism and were the same size he would be the best. What a fighter.
7. Deontay Wilder- I know Wilder has technical flaws. But P4P to me is a series of assessments. Accomplishments, Competition Faced, Eye Ball test and who would beat who if everyone were the same size. Wilder has faced some solid competition. He’s defended his title almost 10 times. The eye ball test tells me he’s limited but he can land his best shot against anyone and no one can take it without being dropped. If everyone were the same size I think he can beat anyone on any given night. His right hand is BIONIC.
8. Errol Spence- I love Spence. His sound fundamentals, strength and conditioning make him top 10 on my opinion. His resume is catching up.
9. Gennday Golovkin- GGG is older now but his accomplishments are real. 20 title defenses and dominant victories and basically going 50/50 with Canelo makes him deserve his spot even if he’s past his best.
10. Tyson Fury- Fury is a real boxer. He’s a pure boxer. He has moves, feints and everything under the sun. Fury just doesn’t have a big punch for a heavyweight but if everyone were the same size he is as hard to beat as anyone.
I will keep my message short.
I read one of your mailbags where you mentioned Holyfield's trainer feeling Bowe was better than Holyfield at everything, but he saw Holyfield dancing and decided to employ an in & out rhythm in the Bowe fight.
Do you think Porter can do the same. Spence does everything Porter does in a neater fashion and is the bigger man. Or the two scenarios aren't comparable?
Tofunmi from Calgary
Bread’s Response: I definitely think Porter will try his in and out boxing rhythm. He showed us that vs Ugas. Porter actually boxed well vs Ugas and looked smoother than usual. The reason for the controversy is Ugas just fought a heck of a fight.
The one thing about game plans is you have to have success doing them or you will lose confidence in them. I think Porter will try lots of things. He will try to maul Errol, box Errol and embarrass Errol. We just have to see what works and what he’s willing to stick with.
If Porter can neutralize Errol’s jab from the outside he may stick with it. If he can’t then he will go to something else. The one thing about Shawn is he never stops trying to win.
Whats good Bread,
Couple things I wanna touch on. What's up with all the hate on Canelo I get it he's had some issues with judging and the meat incident, but this guy gets hate from all corners primarily Hispanics and GGG fans. For a PPV star he consistently challenges himself he took fights with Lara, Trout, Jacobs and Kovalev he's fought many risky fights despite being the cash cow. People act like Kovalev is a push over despite his supposedly weak body he has never physically hit the canvas from a body punch I think he beat Ward the first fight and he avenged the Alavraez loss and he is the bigger taller fighter. Dude is a throwback to the old era and one of the few fighters to get better every fight. To me he's already HOF all that's left is maybe an Andrade or Charlo fight. I can't see him making it through the whole DAZN contract too much wear and tear he has knee issues. Secondly why does no one call out Leo Santa Cruz I've never seen a champ move around so many quality fighters no rigo no GRJ didnt wanna give Frampton a 3rd fight, I'm just not a fan. Thirdly I've got a feeling that the Bud-spence fight may never happen. Not sure if negotiation tactics or what but the way errol side is talking i wont hold my breath, but they have points Bob is good to get you to a certain point and you kinda hit a ceiling as far as marketability. They have the ESPN platform but boxing is an afterthought there, they don't do fight camp pre-shows or put them on Primetime espn slots just the app. IfHonestly if boxing is smart especially ESPN I'd do more fights on Fridays Primetime 8 pm and avoid football. If they can't get Bud a marquee name like Brook and he fights Mean Machine it just looks bad. He could even fight Kell at 150 just to help out, go to the UK build his name up. Hell if he wanted to help Bud out he can do a one off fight like he did for ramirez with hooker or Kovalev let him fight on PBC or DAZN get a good fight and marketability. I still don't see why more guys don't go the free agent route and work with promoters one fight at a time like Floyd or Mikey Garcia or sign smaller contracts like NBA players max 3 fight deals. Lastly its amazing that GGG never got criticized for going up he's had Chances to make big fights and didn't Saunders Andrade Callum Smith Ramirez when he was at 168 Chavez the guy spent the last 2 years of his career chasing Canelo but is rarely called out for it. Anyways I think you and Max Kellerman are the best boxing minds since Bert Sugar god bless to you and your family.
Bread’s Response: All fighters will have their detractors. So hate is expected. But I don’t hate on Canelo. I think he’s awesome and I was one of the few people who said he shouldn’t avoid GGG, that he had a chance with him.
But Canelo’s fans get upset when anyone questions anything about their champion. Canelo is biggest star to ever test positive for PEDS in their prime. And just because people don’t believe his story about meat contamination, Canelo backers get offended. I don’t understand that. Believing a story is a subjective preference. I can’t remember one athlete ever saying after testing positive “ Yes I knew I was cheating.”
As far Canelo’s competition I love his level of competition. It’s HOF worthy. The fight that impresses me the most is the Lara fight. Canelo was know as a guy who had slow feet. He had just lost to Floyd Mayweather. So what does Canelo do? He goes out and fights the most pure boxer around, who happens to be a mover and a southpaw. I attended that fight and I said to everyone sitting in our section Canelo was special. 80% of the A side stars over the last 50 years wouldn’t have taken that fight.
We have to be able to give Canelo praise and criticism objectively. He deserves both.
The Kovalev fight is a real fight. Canelo deserves credit for taking it. I think Canelo wins by late tko. Let’s see.
Leo Santa Cruz is interesting. There are times I want to put him on my P4P list. He has 3 division titles and some big wins vs Frampton and Mares. But you have a point. He has missed some huge fights and he never seems to go after certain challenges. But in fairness to Santa Cruz I don’t know what goes on behind the scenes. He’s a quiet, humble fighter, I like him. But in fairness, what I do know is certain fighters always seem to line up killers. And certain fighters never seem to fight certain fights. Hopefully Santa Cruz makes some big fights very soon. He gets compared to Barrera, Morales and Marquez but besides being a division titlist it’s not close as far as legacy at this point. I don’t know who’s at fault but I still can’t grasp why Santa Cruz has not fought Gary Russell yet. Same age, same network, same advisor, same division, same stage of their respective careers…..
I don’t think Crawford vs Spence will happen either. At least not before 2021. Businesswise it wouldn’t make sense for PBC to make Spence vs Crawford when Spence has not fought Pacquiao, Thurman or DSG yet at 147 and not challenged himself at 154 yet. There is a lot of work in PBC for Spence. At least 5 PPV fights for Spence in PBC.
In the business world and boxing world history has shown us that this fight doesn’t happen until Spence is ready for it to happen. I don’t have a horse in the race but Spence has the deck of cards in his hands. He’s younger and he has more opportunities. Crawford’s best opponent so far has been Victor Postol who is an excellent fighter but not close to being a big name. Crawford has been a pro for over 10 years and he’s 32 yrs old. His talents should be on big PPV events and they aren’t.
At some point Crawford will put his foot down. It’s not about fault, it’s about responsibility. Fighting Mean Machine after getting a gift draw is criticism he doesn’t deserve but he has to fight. He can’t just sit around and be stale. Even fighting Kell Brook will be a tough sell. Spence kod Brook and Brook has not fought one significant fight since to redeem his credibility.
I really hope Crawford gets the fights his legacy and talent deserve.
GGG offered to go up and fighters turned him down. I can remember Carl Froch publicly said no I’m not fighting that guy. And Froch is a cold killer.
Before the Kell Brook fight everyone ducked GGG. Now they want the work so he’s being selective. I admit he’s chasing Canelo. But Canelo is a top 5 P4P fighter and I feel GGG got a raw deal in the 1st fight. What’s wrong with wanting to run it back?
At some point I think GGG will need to deal with a younger guy. But let’s remember BJ Saunders didn’t want him a few years earlier either. You guys get selective about certain things. If GGG beats SD I think he should face Jermall Charlo. That’s a great match up and a brutal fight. If GGG doesn’t want to deal with a fast southpaw because of the bad style in Andrade or Saunders, no one can complain about Charlo. That’s a reasonable fight. And it would be good for his legacy.
I could care less about who moves up in weight. It’s a joke in this era unless you clean out your division. In another comment someone brought up Leo Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz has won titles from 118-1126. He has had a very good career. But GGG will get into the HOF before him.
Staying in the same division and taking on the best available guy fight after fight is much harder. I’m telling you guys moving up is overrated for the most part and you have to look at cases specifically. If GGG were to fight Andrade, Charlo and Canelo back to back back. It would be more impressive than moving up cherry picking a titlist.
However, I’m going to hold GGG to high standard. He’s a top 10 P4P guy. I know he’s been ducked but there are big tough fights available. I think he needs to go after a GUN in his next fight.
Listening to a lot of the pre-fight breakdowns, many feel that Porter should go back to his mauling style and try to push Spence back. Okay, I don't disagree that he needs to push Spence back in spots, but I don't think it is that easy nor the only thing Porter can do. He has to be able to turn Spence and use his in and fight movement to get shots off even if he ends up smothering himself. However, one thing going against Porter is that Spence is very good and sharp on the inside and has developed a top 5-7 jab in boxing. I see Spence breaking Porter down and completely taking over the fight after the 4th or 5th round.
Speaking of Porter, many feel his will surpasses his talent and they compare him to Holyfield. What are other top fighters over the history where this description applies? .
Bread’s Response: If Spence breaks Porter down that early and takes over then he’s really, really good. I expect him to win but not totally dominate. I do agree however, that Spence is the better inside and outside fighter. Porter is going to have find a niche in this fight that Spence can’t handle.
I never heard the Porter vs Holyfield comparison until today. I thought Holyifield was very talented. Sometimes in boxing people repeat things that they hear and then a myth starts. Holyfield was 6’2 he had a 77 inch reach, he was strong, he had super fast hands, he was accurate, he was a much bigger puncher than anyone realized, he had solid crafty defense. He really good do it all. People make it out as if Holyfield was some slow, fat, non athletic dude who beat Riddick Bowe and Mike Tyson. I don’t get it.
I think the description applies to Rocky Marciano, Orlando Salido, Glen Johnson, John Ruiz, Carlos Baldomir and a few others I can’t think of right now.
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