By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns, with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as comparing Miguel Cotto and Felix Trinidad, Terry Norris vs. Gennady Golovkin, a look at Chris Eubank Jr, and more.
Bread long time since I wrote in but I just got done watching a classic fight which was Ali Frazier 1. The reason Im writing in was when they announced the judges cards, the referee Arthur Mercante Sr(who was a great ref) judged the fight. So my question to you is why did boxing take the scoring out of the referee hands? I believe we would have less controversy with an actual judge literally inches away. Do you agree? Mason Voorhees
Bread’s Response: I don’t know why referees stopped scoring fights but I’m glad they did. I believe refereeing a fight is hard enough. If you add in scoring the fight too I believe it’s too tough. When you have a fighter’s career on the line I think one responsibility is enough.
What up Breadman, I’m Martin from Las Vegas and I’ve wrote to you a few times but I’ve never been lucky to have me on the daily mailbag. Anyways hope everything is good and I’m a big fan of JRoc.
I have a couple mythical match ups that I’d like for you to give me your opinion on as every time I read your break downs I can actually visualize the fight cus you are the best at analyzing boxing!!
1. Sergio Martinez vs Canelo Alvarez @ 160
2. Ricardo Finito Lopez vs Chocolatito Gonzalez
3. GGG vs Terry Norris
4. José Luis Castillo Vs Danny Garcia
1. Sergio Martinez vs Canelo Alvarez @ 160
2. Ricardo Finito Lopez vs Chocolatito Gonzalez
3. GGG vs Terry Norris
4. José Luis Castillo Vs Danny Garcia
I hope you can answer this email brother and keep up the good work much love from Las Vegas
Bread’s Response: I would take Canelo to beat Sergio Martinez. We don’t appreciate Canelo in this era because he squeaks by or has controversy vs his best opponents. But he can really fight. I’ve always thought Martinez had leaky defense and he caught Pavlik at the right time. He was an excellent fighter but I think Canelo would have beat him, possibly late ko.
Lopez vs Gonzalez is very tough to call. I think they would have to fight 3 times to decide it. Lopez could be the best technical fighter I have ever seen. But Gonzalez is naturally bigger and on his best day he could match Lopez’s technical brilliance with his pressure technician style. This fight would have controversy all over it.
Terry Norris just doesn’t have the chin to deal with GGG’s power. It’s not that GGG is so much better than Norris but it’s just the wrong style to deal with. If you notice Don King had some big middleweight fights on the table with Norris and he never moved up to face any of them. There is a reason for that. Norris was always waiting for the smaller guys to move up. I’m a huge Norris fan but GGG is all wrong for Norris.
Castillo is criminally underrated. His lightweight run is one of the best of the last 20 years. But he was sort of a weight bully. He seemed to struggle to make 135 but he didn’t do anything at 140. I say Danny Garcia beats the 140lb version of Castillo.
What's good Bread?
I saw on twitter the video that was posted where Max Kellerman made the case that Roy Jones peak for peak was a better fighter than Floyd Mayweather. I noticed there was some agreement and disagreement with that. You leaned on the side of agreeing with Max. Can you break down why you feel that way?
Bread’s Response: Exactly what I leaned to was Max saying that no one thought Mayweather was better than Jones when Jones was in his prime. I think most critics become revisionist because being correct is an ego driven goal.
Roy Jones’s prime was the highest I have seen. From 94-04 I think he’s the best fighter since a prime Ray Leonard. I put Floyd Mayweather on par with Jones. Floyd lasted longer after his peak and he was better at certain things like technical defense and infighting. But I don’t break Jones down like that. If you do you don’t appreciate him.
RJ is similar to Ali. His sum total outweighs his parts broken down. They said Ali didn’t body punch and he leaned back too much on defense. They said Roy didn’t jab and his defense was his reflexes and not an actual defensive move.
But no one could come close to beating Roy in his prime. No one could for 15 years. It’s funny to me that people say once he lost his reflexes he was not the same. 99% fighters slip at 35. Maybe Roy didn’t have the best chin. I won’t argue that. It’s up for the debate. But ask yourself what fighter since 1990 would you bet your hard earned money on their best night. To me it’s Roy Jones.
He was a lights out brutal puncher to the head and body. He could be the fastest fighter ever. He also has extreme physicality. His physicality didn’t even out until he went to 175lbs. Middleweight to Light heavyweight is the hardest jump in boxing. That’s why most great middleweights don’t try to the jump. We haven’t had a middleweight champion win a light heavyweight championship since the likes of Jones and Bernard Hopkins. Before Jones and Hopkins jumped from 160 to 175 Dick Tiger did it in the 60s. Let that sink in.
For all the talk about his lack of competition, Roy had to do something that every matchmaker will admit off the record is difficult. But I will state it on the record. Roy had to fight other urban fighters. Meaning he had to fight other black fighters who were also athletic in his big fights and title fights. That’s very difficult.
People say he lacked technical skills but his IQ made up for it. Bernard Hopkins, James Toney, Virgil Hill, Reggie Johnson and Mike McCallum couldn’t win 3 rounds against this supposed deficient technical fighter. I give Roy some flack for some other things but he was remarkable.
What I thought Max was saying was no one thought Floyd was better than Roy until Roy was 35 and getting stopped. Before that it wasn’t up for debate. I just agreed with that.
I heard Ortiz is on ‘blood pressure’ medicine which has hydrochlorothiazide in it which is a diuretic.
He told officials everything he was taking except his blood pressure medicine.
If he’s on bp meds maybe he’s too heavy and maybe he shouldn’t be fighting at all.
I like Danny Jacobs but I’m less sold on him then I was before, Arias has a good chance of upsetting him especially if the fight goes the distance.
Danny Garcia, Keith Thurman, Terence Crawford and Errol Spence have to dance with each other – these are ALL high level fights. You can even throw Shawn Porter into this mix if he wins his next fight, but he’s a little bit on the outside right now.
But an innovative Promoter is going to have to put these fights together so all of these guys get paid and these fights are PPV worthy.
The fight I’m looking forwards to is Spence vs Crawford.
To me Billy Joe Saunders is a safe fighter, if he comes over to the states he’ll get a chance to showcase his very impressive skills. A rematch with Chris Eubank Jr here would be a great fight, but the UK probably will want that fight on their shores.
Bread’s Response: From everything I’m hearing is that Ortiz’s intent was not to cheat. It was simply an oversight. But I still want to know why he mentioned everything else he was taking and not the blood pressure medicine. I just don’t get why it wasn’t mentioned. I would like to hear a reasonable explanation before I decide where I’m at with the situation.
I think Danny Jacobs is a good fighter but I would like to see him vs more top level fighters also. I also agree Arias is live. Often times fighters have let downs after career best performances. Jacobs will have to really up for this fight in order to reach the height he did for GGG. Sometimes he’s ON and sometimes he’s just good enough to win. Can’t wait to see the fight.
I agree about Spence, Garcia, Thurman, Porter and Crawford. The problem is it will take 5 years for them to fight each other if ever. That’s how boxing is in this era.
I don’t care if Saunders won the 1st fight with Eubank. Eubank has surpassed him in my opinion. And it’s really not close.
I have to go in on a few fighters you seem to like. Danny Garcia is your hometown guy and you always say he’s almost a Hall of Famer. But Garcia beat Khan and Matthysse. Both have turned out to be overrated fighters. You keep saying that Garcia is a 2 division champion. But you never mention he beat an ancient Erik Morales at 140, who’s best weight was 122. And an average Robert Guerrero for a vacant title who’s best weight was 126. No one calls Danny on this. A fighter who is a natural strong fighter with his youth should beat those old fighters. He’s only had 3 real fights in his career and he lost one to Keith Thurman. I’m not buying Bread. Danny is living off of the past and it’s sickening to a real boxing fan.
Next up is Andre Ward. You call a Ward an all time great. I think he’s better than Garcia and he is a Hall of Famer. But how many fighters have been given so much credit for ending their career on two controversial wins. He lost the first fight to Kovalev and everyone knows it. Even black people say it was close, it could be anyone’s fight. That means they know he lost. And yes he did better in the second fight but the stoppage was horrible. Kovalev was never down. He was hurt but the finishing blows were low. Let me ask you this Bread. Have you ever seen a fight that important get stopped on a body shot without one of the fighters not being knocked down and only hurt for the first time in the fight.
Even if the low blows were legal that was a bad stoppage. But considering they were illegal it was a horrible stoppage. I was at ring side and the stoppage was so bad everyone was shocked it was over. All of Ward’s fans kept saying he would’ve stopped him anyway. WTF!!
Last is Errol Spence. I know the kid is the goods but can you guys wait until he beats a few more people to put him in as one of the top pound for pound fighters. He beat Kell Brook who was coming off of a stoppage loss at 160. Everyone knows dropping back down in weight is career suicide. Is that victory good enough to be a top 10 pound for pound fighter? Or are you guys going by potential?
Let’s keep it all the way real.
Bread’s Response: I’m not going to argue on facts. Because a fact can’t be argued. Danny Garcia did beat Erik Morales and Robert Guerrero for his titles. Both were well past it and both were smaller men. I can’t argue you on that.
Amir Khan and Lucas Matthysse have also proven to be slightly overrated. What I will argue is that no one said that before Danny beat them. He was picked to lose both fights. You have to consider that.
I also think Danny performed really well against Keith Thurman. He made a case for winning 6 rounds. Thurman is the real deal. If Danny can defeat 2 more top level guys he would have put together an excellent resume for this era and it would be HOF considerable.
Ward did leave boxing on 2 controversial wins. And no I haven’t seen a fight stopped like the Kovalev rematch was stopped. But Andre Ward was a HOF before he ever fought Kovalev. If you can’t see Ward was special you just don’t like him. Ward has a way about him where he just wins. You have to give him his props. He was a great fighter.
I have never said Errol Spence was a top 10 p4p fighter yet. I just think he’s a beast with loads of potential. So maybe you have mistaken me. I do think Spence has been denied some big fights to prove his worth but he needs to do more in my opinion to be a top 10 p4p fighter. I do think he will be a top 10 guy very soon.
Everyone is jumping on the Chris Eubank Jr bandwagon after his sensational ko but you said last month that he was your pick to win the tournament. What do you see in Eubank that makes you so high on him? What or who can trouble him?
Bread’s Response: The scary thing about Eubank is he’s still hasn’t reached his peak. He’s just now entering his prime. I still him trying things but he’s still trying to find himself. In the next year and a half he should be at his peak.
I see a scary work ethic in Eubank. In order to run off the rapid fire combinations he throws you have to practice those things. No one is boxing is throwing 10-15 punches in succession like Eubank. Especially not super middleweights. The stamina and confidence you have to have to do that is insane. I have seen fighters Eubank’s size try that and completely burn themselves out and take 3 rounds to recover. Eubank routinely does it in fights.
Eubank has the best uppercut in boxing but I think his weakness is he’s always looking for it. He actually favors leaning towards his right so he can whip his uppercut underneath. A smart coach and fighter can take advantage of that. I also wonder if Eubank can deal with a mover. A fighter who rolls and shoots his counters under would rather you come to him. Ala James Toney. It’s hard to land a uppercut on a moving target away from you. I’m not saying Eubank can’t fight a mover I just know fighters who look for uppercuts naturally want their opponents to come to them. I would like to see Eubank face an elite mover to see if he’s equally effective. Any fighter that bores into him will be shredded to pieces.
Rigo/Loma is going be intense! How do you see their styles meshing and do you see any “X factors” in determining the outcome?
Would have loved to see this with Rigo closer to his prime and possibly at 126 but even at 37 years of age and fighting up two weights classes it’s still an extremely intriguing matchup.
The tale of the tape jumps off the page;
Born: Cuba Ukraine
Age: 37 29
Weight class: 122 130
Height: 5’4 5’6
Reach: 68 65.5
Stance: Southpaw Southpaw
Amateur record: 463-12 396-1
Olympic record: 2000 Gold at 119 2008 Gold at 125
2004 Gold at 119 2012 Gold at 132
Pro debut: May 2009 Oct 2013
Pro record: 17-0 (11 ko) 9-1 (7 ko)
Pro rounds 108 87
Recent activity: 5th fight in 3 years 8th fight in 3 years
Best pro wins: Donaire Walters
Cordoba Russell Jr
Thanks as always. You are the TRUTH in boxing!
Bread’s Response: I think Loma vs Rigo’s style will mesh well. Both are athletic freaks but Rigo lays back on his back foot and looks to land big shots with his rear hand. Rigo has more length and he’s a back foot fighter. Loma is a boxer but he boxes off the front foot like Joe Calzaghe. Loma is taller but he doesn’t have the length that Rigo has. So he likes to get up on his opponents and land uppercuts and hooks and step around them once they quell up from his attack.
I don’t think this is a fight where they have to decide what roles each will play. Like two boxers and they have to decide who will lead. This won’t be that fight. They both know what they will want to do.
Both of these guys are two of the most talented, athletic and technically proficient fighters ever. Loma is the more consistent fighter, fight by fight, round by round. Rigo has struggled with lesser guys and he gets hurt and dropped much more often. I think Loma is built to take punishment more and he’s the more durable man physically. There is a reason he’s the more active puncher and has a better ko% despite Rigo being a better puncher.
X factors. Loma’s volume. If Loma continues his volume and catches his rhythm he’s going to ko Rigo late. If Rigo makes Loma think about running up on him then Rigo can win a decision. The other X factor is judging. For some reason Rigo does not get a certain degree of credit for his low volume deliberate boxing. In his biggest moment as a pro his fight with Nonito Donaire. The scorecards were much closer than the fight. Rigo also has a SD vs Cordoba and a few of his fights were judged really close. It’s hard for me to imagine Rigo getting close rounds, with the crowd being on Loma’s side. And visually Loma out throwing Rigo 2 to 1. The bottomline is Rigo will be required to do more to win because of his style and marketability.
I really feel like if Rigo can win this fight cleanly it’s one of the top 10 victories in boxing history. Moving up 2 divisions beating a top 3 p4p fighter in his prime is almost unprecedented. For that reason my pick is Lomachenko.
Why is everyone so fixated on Lubin's age and not his talent. No one is saying the reason he will lose is because of talent but because of age. Correct me if im wrong but all these fighters won titles at or around 22 Muhammad Ali, Ray Leonard, Tommy Hearns, Terry Norris, Floyd Mayweather jr. 21-23 seems to be the age when fighters are ready for that shot, so why not Lubin because I don't see a lack of skills. Cant wait for you and Jrock to get back in the ring.
Bread’s Response: Every fighter is different. I don’t like to put age on the prerequisite because some fighters turn pro earlier. Lubin turned pro in 2013. So 4 years as a pro is generally long enough if you aren’t being denied a title shot. The actual age is not as important as to how long they were pros, what division they are in and how many fights they have.
The law of averages is generally 20 fights and 4 to 5 years as a pro. There are always exceptions. Lubin is right in that realm.
My reason for picking Charlo is not Lubin’s age. You go to any gym and a 22 year old kid is most likely more energetic than a 27 yr old man. My concern for Lubin has been his level of competition. He’s fought the same guy his entire career. Look at his boxrec and look at the names.
Lubin is an uber talent and he deserves all the praise and opportunity he’s getting. And he can win this fight. It will just take a great performance while missing a step of matchmaking.
Lubin has not fought any undefeated or fellow highly touted prospects, like say a Justin Deloach. He hasn’t fought any rough veterans who were ex champions or top level contenders, like say Austin Trout or Ishe Smith. He went straight from non athletic, slow, predictable fighters, to a flat out stud Charlo in his prime. Anthony Joshua and Errol Spence just won in the same position that Lubin is in. They won their first big fights while missing a valuable level of matchmaking. Lubin will have to do what they did in order to win this fight.
Thanks for the QnA that you do.
Just asking for clarification on something.
You said that Andre Ward's limited punch selection allowed him to win fights because he can get his punch off faster compared to the other guy that is delayed through more options. At the same time you said Anthony Joshua won his fight against Wlad Klitschko because of his punch selection. While I see that being the case in both of the above examples, I'm having a hard time reconciling those two thoughts. Wlad had a limited punch selection, so you'd think that would translate to the same success as it did for Ward - especially since both are risk averse.
Is it about fighter A bring able to drag fighter B into A's fight? Is it about Ward having a deep inside game but a limited outside game? Or is it that Wlad is a controller and not a killer (like you said about Lara in another mailbag)?
Thanks. And sorry if that was confusing. I know boxing isn't about linear application of theory, but I like to look for patterns.
Bread’s Response: Each fighter is different. Each thought process is different. Andre Ward has an all time level mind quickness. One of the reasons for it in my opinion was his limited use of his right hand. So when he has to process a solution to a problem 9 times out of 10 he goes to his educated left hand. Just watch his fights. He doesn't go in his bag of tools with 6 tools in the bag. He knows exactly what he wants when he goes in that bag.
Try not to compare Joshua and Wlad with anything I said about Ward except with character. The reason Joshua won the fight was simple. He was more of an animal than Wlad. Believe it or not Ward is more of an animal than Kovalev although Kovalev has the monster moniker. Back to Wlad and AJ. Wlad is sharper and a better boxer than AJ. When AJ had success he just bumrushed Wlad and fought him like a dog. It worked. Wlad could always box but he was never the best fighter. Wlad doesn’t defend himself well when he’s rushed. He unravels. Joshua’s instincts kicked in and he started throwing an uppercut that Wlad didn’t see. So he got the stoppage.
Each fight is different. As well as Joshua did overcoming Wlad with his punch selection. His character also overcame Wlad. Joshua is a meaner, nastier more vicious human being. Just like Ward is a more vicious human being than Kovalev. Ward just doesn’t look like....
Please shed some light, Amir Khan. Why is he still relevant within many boxing articles/discussions and potential bout scenarios? Do the true boxing insiders or promoters take this guy serious?
In regards to your recent breakdown of boxing scoring & judging protocol and the many recent-ongoing atrocious judging results. Has there in your knowledge ever been discussions of having a panel of former boxers from a variety of weight classes become licensed judges? Would this idea possibly contribute additional corruption skepticism?
Why not let technology score bouts, round by round based on a model built of key scoring necessities you've mentioned recently. This model could be built and maintained with the 5 top scoring components including prioritization based on the agreements of all sanctioning bodies. This would eliminate poor/unjust scoring results and the horrific travesties that occur all to often.
Garcia vs Easter. Whats the odds of this bout getting finalized and who wins in your opinion?
Bread’s Response: Amir Khan is still relevant because of how the attrition of boxing works. IT’s valuable to promoters to have a vulnerable big name who is not old still viable. Just think about stars like Amir Khan and how often they were able to get big fights after losses. Victor Ortiz, Andre Berto, Brandon Rios, Arturo Gatti, James Kirkland….I can go on and on and on. It’s actually a good thing as long as young fighters can get in the mix and share the platform.
I disagree wholeheartedly with former fighters forming the panel of judges. Believe it or not only a small % of fighters understand boxing scoring. If you talk to them they perpetuate the myths. I have heard HOF fighters say, “you have to take the title from the champion.” “He never hurt me, how could he have won.” “He was running all night and never took a step forward.” “I finished stronger so I won.”
Very few of them say boxing is scored on individual rounds and they don’t carry over. Finishing stronger doesn’t quantify a win because if you gave up too many early rounds you still lost. Coming forward all night and missing punches does not win a fight. Trust me bro, most boxers don’t get it and they won’t bend on their prideful stance. Boxing would be an absolute disaster. Boxing brains like Paul Malignaggi, Andre Ward and Roy Jones come along very rare. Most fighters don’t understand boxing like them and unless those three could score every fight I wouldn’t want boxers scoring fights.
As for a computer, tell me more about it. I just don’t know if someone could make a computer have an subjective opinion…
Garcia vs Easter is a great fight. I think it can get done. That’s a tremendous fight. If it was made next Garcia would open as a favorite. He has about 20 more fights than Easter. But Easter is taller by about 5 or 6 inches. His arm length appears to be about another 5 or 6 inches longer from arm pit to fist and he’s faster. This is not an easy fight for Mikey Garcia. Easter would have a reasonable chance of winning. But based on their current form I agree with Garcia being the favorite. Garcia is operating on a p4p status. The only think we haven’t seen from Garcia is if he can take constant punishment throughout a fight.
I’ll make this short. Cotto and Trinidad. Who had the better career? Who was the better fighter? Who wins head to head at 147?
Bread’s Response: Tito Trinidad had the better career. At no time was Cotto ever as highly regarded as Tito was in from 2000-01. Their accomplishments are close because Cotto closed the gap with his victory over Sergio Martinez. Winning the middleweight lineal middleweight was an awesome accomplishment. He’s the only junior welterweight champion to do so. But I think the fighters who beat Trinidad would have beaten Cotto. And I don’t know if all the fighters than beat Cotto would have beaten Trinidad.
The better fighter was Tito. If you throw out the Oscar fight as an off night, Tito is probably the best pure pressure fighter since Julio Cesar Chavez. If you’re betting your money on one of them to come through on their best day, I take Tito. He was just a monster. I saw every Trinidad fight from Maurice Blocker to Roy Jones. I saw every Cotto fight from Kelson Pinto to Canelo Alvarez. Cotto is a contemporary great. Tito was an all time great.
Head to head Tito is all wrong for Cotto. Tito’s ability to take punishment and never stop would be Cotto’s undoing. I can see Cotto having some success boxing but over the course of 12 rounds, Tito just punched too hard. He never got tired and he was an absolute monster. He never stopped trying. In his only stoppage loss against Bernard Hopkins. Tito got up from that knockdown and was trying to fight. Both are killers and great fighters. But Tito was a serial killer. I love Cotto but no way he could beat Tito in their primes. Tito was so good I’m not sure if any welterweights or junior middleweights of the last 25 years could have beaten him on his best day.
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