By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Jose Ramirez vs. Amir Imam, the worth of four division world champion Mikey Garcia, the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch, PEDs in boxing and more.
What did you think of Mikey Garcia’s performance? Do you think he’s the best fighter of this generation? Is he the best fighter at junior welterweight?
Bread’s Response: I thought Garcia did a great job. Sergey Lipinets is not a walk in the park. Lipinets is strong, he can punch, he’s well conditioned and he’s a crazy you know what. That was a physical fight for Mikey.
I think Mikey Garcia has the best 1-2 combo in the game. He steps in perfectly with it. Lipinets kept leaning to his right and Mikey kept shooting it behind the ear over Lipinets left shoulder. Then Mikey started landing a clean up hook that dropped him. People say Mikey is not fast and he’s not a speedster but his mind is quick. You would rather have quickness of the mind than speed of the body if you had to choose one. Garcia also must be really strong. He doesn’t look strong but he’s handling big guys as far as moving them around the ring and he used to fight at 126. That’s most impressive to me along with ability to take a punch at 140. I thought he performed excellent. No one will remember Lipinets if you didn’t watch boxing in this era but I know a real fight when I see one, Mikey had a real fight on his hands.
No I don’t think Garcia is the best fighter of this generation. First off we would have to establish when” this generation” starts as far as what year you turned pro. I will exclude Mayweather and Pacquiao because they turned pro in the mid 90s. But Mikey would have to be better than say Andre Ward, Roman Gonzalez, Sergey Kovalev, Gennady Golovkin, Terence Crawford, Nonito Donaire and Vasyl Lomachenko. Garcia has had a really good career so far but I wouldn’t call him the best fighter of this generation. He needs to do a lot more.
I think Mikey Garcia is the best lightweight in the world. I wouldn’t say he’s the best junior welterweight in the world just yet. Regis Prograis would be a heck of a struggle for him. So would Jose Ramirez. And I’m telling you guys there is a kid in the UK named Josh Taylor who would give out serious smoke to most of the guys in the top 10. Taylor is nasty, he just hasn’t hit mainstream in the US yet. Mikey Garcia would have to beat those guys in the ring and not on paper. Those are serious challenges.
What's up Bread,
I need you to settle a friendly debate about a matchup between Tommy Hearns and Jimmy McLarnin at welterweight. Hearns is 6'1" with a 78" reach while McLarnin is 5'6" with a 67" reach and after watching footage of McLarnin vs Al Singer I don't see how anyone could favor Jimmy to overcome such tremendous physical disadvantages. Am I missing something?
Thanks and keep up the good work,
William in West Palm
Bread’s Response: I would pick Hearns to defeat McLarnin but I wouldn’t bet my kid’s tuition. You can’t underestimate will and grit. McLarnin was a hard man in a hard era. He was also a serious 15 round fighter. You also have to realize that Manny Steward, Hearn’s life coach openly said he would rather match Hearns vs boxers than swarmers. Remember Leonard and Hagler swarmed him to beat him. Let’s also remember Aaron Pryor swarmed him in the amateurs to defeat him and MClarnin is bigger than Pryor. I would take Hearns but I’m not as sure as you are.
What do you think should happen in this whole Canelo vs GGG debacle? It looks as though they are still going to fight. I just don’t get it.
Bread’s Response: I don’t know what should happen because a formal investigation is not complete. We still don’t know if Canelo consumed tainted meat or if was he using Clen. We don’t know if he ate the meat on purpose to use it as a built in excuse to use Clen. I have no idea what happened. That’s why you do formal investigations.
Here is what I will say. When a fighter test positive for a banned substance, it shouldn’t be up to the opposing fighter and his team whether or not a fight should take place. That’s counterproductive to testing in the first place. It should be a commission ruling, period. Fighters want to make money and often times understandably they will put money and opportunity over health. The reason why it’s counterproductive is because the fighter who tested positive still gets rewarded with the payday.
Fighters incur expenses as soon as camp starts. Sparring, housing, flights, food etc are expenses. Fighters start out behind the 8 ball as far as money. If you ask them they will most likely always want to fight. It should not be up to them. When you allow a fighter to decide that there is no point of testing.
I also want to add that testing negative in follow up test does not erase a positive test. All it means is that whatever you tested positive for is clear of your system. Fighters can gain huge benefits of using PEDs before their official camp starts, by getting their energy levels up and starting camp at a manageable weight.
What did you think of the weekends fights? I thought they were all good solid match ups with the super star Mikey Garcia proving himself at 140.
Bread’s Response: I thought Rances Barthlemy looked really off. But I would like to give his opponent Kiryl Relikh credit. This was the 2nd time he beat Barthlemy. The guy is just a tough hard punching volume puncher. Barthlemy can’t do anything with him. He’s just too much. I thought he won 11 rounds to 1.
Mikey Garcia is a top 10ish p4p fighter in the world. He can really fight. I’m curious to see if he will go for legacy or money in his next few fights. I actually think he’s even with a few guys at 147 but not Errol Spence. Spence would be too much for him. Sergey Lipinets is still a force. He’s a very good fighter.
I thought Andy Vences and Erik De Leon was very evenly matched. I didn’t score the fight but I knew I was watching a drawish kind of fight. Naked eye I thought Vences edged it with his jab and counter right hand but there was some slower rounds that still count that De Leon out hustled him. So I say 6-4 Vences or a draw. The fight was scored a draw.
Valdez vs Quigg went how I expected. Quigg is a very tough fighter who will probably come up just short vs the elite guys in his era. I knew he would push Valdez to the brink. I think Valdez can fight and he’s very entertaining but I see a fighter who will not have a long prime. He seems to have to fight too hard and put too much out to get the results he’s getting. His performances are not smooth. They are jagged. I’m happy for Valdez and I don’t want to seem as if I’m nitpicking him because I’m not. But I see a fighter who looks like he could burn out at a very young age. He throws everything hard and he fights at a frenetic pace. Even guys like Aaron Pryor and Jeff Fenech burned out fast and I don’t think Valdez is on that level. I’m curious as to how he will look vs an elite opponent.
What do you think PEDs can really help a fighter with? I hear some people say that PEDs don’t help a fighter. I’m not an expert and I’m really confused. Then I hear people say PEDs don’t help you take a punch better or they don’t give you punching power. If that is the case then why are fighters taking them?
Bread’s Response: Whoever said PEDs does not help a fighter is either giving a fighter PEDs or if it’s a fighter he’s using them himself. Don’t you believe for one second that PEDs do not help fighters.
They help fighters lose weight without losing muscle. They help fighters lose enormous amounts of weight and still maintain high energy. They help fighters recover quicker, so the fighters can push themselves to their max potential everyday. They give fighters extra strength and stamina.
Being stronger and more explosive can help with punching power. People say punchers are born but anyone who says you can’t increase punching power is not knowledgeable. It’s a proven fact you can. Not an opinion. So in a sense you can turn a good puncher into an excellent one and an excellent one into a great one.
You can also increase your ability to take a punch. Here is how. Often times certain PEDs make you more vascular. They can make your blood flow better. When you get kod it’s because the blood is not flowing correctly to certain parts of the body. It’s why a fighter’s leg will wobble when he’s hit in the head….So if there is something to increase your vascularity it can help you take a punch. There are also PEDs that can make your bones more dense. So if your bones are more dense it will take more force in order to penetrate certain nerves and organs like the brain and liver. They will be protected more by more dense bones….On top of that there are PEDs that will increase your oxygen intake. That helps in taking punishment two ways. One is lack of oxygen to the brain is what causes kos also. Why do you think when a fighter is kod cold they give him oxygen? Then there are kos that are caused from exhaustion. Late round beat down kos. So if your stamina and oxygen intake is higher it will decrease your chances of getting kod late.
Don’t believe or trust anyone who says PEDs can’t help a fighter. We are advanced enough in sports research at this present time to know that’s not true. Anyone saying that is pushing their own negative self serving agenda.
What do you think of the Jose Ramirez vs Amir Imam match up. For some reason this match up usually goes to the undefeated A-side. But if this fight would have happened two years ago I think Imam would have been the favorite. Now Ramirez is. What are your thoughts? Also do you have an early pick for Joshua vs Parker?
Bread’s Response: Ramirez really impressed me vs Mike Reed. I’ve only seen him fight 3 times but I can see he has really matured physically. He looked like a monster vs Reed. Imam can still fight. Losing to Granados doesn’t take that away. The problem I see with Imam is his lack of mobility. The way he’s built and the way he approaches his offense, he has to be stronger and more intimidating than his opponent to be successful. He reminds me of Roger Mayweather, who was a terrific fighter but if you could push him around you had him. Imam needs to be in a stalking form, bearing down on his main 2 shots. A jab and a right hand. If you can break through that invisible barrier he creates, he seems unorganized. I think this is just a bad style match up for Imam. I expect Ramirez to jump on Imam, push him to the ropes and really work him over. Imam has heart and he will fight back but I don’t think he will win. I say Ramirez in 7.
Joseph Parker could have lost to Hughie Fury. I know Joshua and Fury don’t fight the same but that’s the 2nd time Parker has struggled with a fighter I feel Joshua is clearly a level above. I think Parker is one of those physically gifted fighters with coordination and hand speed, but there is something missing. He could clip an elite heavyweight but if you look close he’s not on Joshua’s or Wilder’s level. Maybe Parker is one of those guys who does just enough to win as the levels rise. But from what I can see, he gets hit too clean and he just doesn’t have the winning application to beat Joshua. Parker seems to have a good chin so I don’t see a blow out but I do think Joshua wins. I know Joshua is the puncher in this fight but this is heavyweight boxing. Anyone can go. I see Parker needing to land a homerun to win. I know it sounds weird but I think the Joshua is a better boxer than the faster, smaller Parker.
This fight will look like Vernon Forest vs Shane Mosley. Forest wasn’t as fast or twitchy as Mosley. So some assumed Mosley was a better boxer. But physical attributes and boxing ability are not the same. Forest clearly was a better boxer than Mosley when those two stepped in the ring. Look for Joshua’s jab to carry the day, and look for him to catch Parker on the way out after exchanges. Parker will try hard and he will put together some good rallies, but overall Joshua should handle him.
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