By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards tackling topics such as the ongoing saga with Canelo Alvarez and his positive drug tests, the still scheduled rematch with Gennady Golovkin, Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker, and more.
I enjoy reading your mailbag each week. Keep up the good work!
I have a few points to make and questions to ask...
1. Maybe it's my imagination, but you and several other journalists/pundits seem to always go out of your way to give Canelo the benefit of the doubt. I don't know if he's guilty as charged by VADA, but many boxing insiders strongly believe that he is. Why is this man given that benefit of the doubt Luis Ortiz was not?
2. You seemed to infer that Edwin Valero was an elite fighter who never reached his full potential. Valero was a very good fighter who relied on superior power to overwhelm most opponents. His actual boxing skills were nothing special. Like Ike Ibeabuchi, he was undefeated and has a powerful airs of near invincibility. Also, Bradley was a Jr. Welter. Valero was 130-135 lb. guy. I don't recall a fight between the two ever being discussed.
3. I'm curious as to why boxing media and fans never seem to mention Donnie Nietes when the P4P topic comes up. This man is a three division champion with only one loss on his record, and that loss came in 2004. So in reality, outside of Floyd, no fighter has a longer unbeaten streak. One other thing -- each time Nietes moves up in weight to Estrada's and Chocolatito's division, they seem to move up in weight to escape him. It's happened twice already.
4. In your opinion, who would have won in a cruiserweight fight between Evander Holyfield and Michael Spinks? Though he never campaigned at cruiserweight, I strongly believe that Spinks could have developed into the greatest fighter in the division's history. He had the perfect size and style for the division. In a fight with Evander, I see a very competitive fight in fifteen rounds, with Michael's length, punch variety and superior skills making the difference in a unanimous decision win, 9-6 in rounds or 144-141 in points.
Bread’s Response: 1. It is your imagination if you think I’m going out of my way to give Canelo the benefit of doubt. Show me where I went out of my way? Nothing is good enough for you guys. Either you want me to kill him and say he’s 100% guilty or give him a pass. For the record I detest cheaters in boxing and for years I have said spoken out about it. Maybe you feel like arguing…...
What I said is I think Canelo deserves his due process. Just because someone looks guilty it doesn’t mean they’re 100% guilty and we can’t strip them of their right of an explanation and investigation. Only a someone who doesn’t mind being sued would come out and say they know for sure that Canelo was using Clenbuterol with no actual proof. So maybe you want me to say that but I’m not.
I support the job that the Nevada State Athletic commission is doing. Here is why. Whenever a decision gets rushed then it ruins the integrity of the evidence. I like that the NSAC is taking their time with this. The outcome of this decision can literally change the history of boxing. They need to get this right.
The fans are on opposite sides of the spectrum and boxing fans are the worst in all of sports. Some of you guys are like F*&$ it let GGG fight him. Oscar beat Fernando Vargas while he was roided. Only an idiot would be that carefree with another man’s health. Then there are guys who say cancel the fight immediately. Ok I get that. But as a responsible person knows things like this deserve due process and a full investigation. Then there are fans who say Canelo is a cheater and always has been. Ok I get that. And it may be true. But those guys can say that sitting behind their keyboards using fake names. A responsible media person or boxing figure can’t without the possibly of being sued…..
So you need to sit down and learn something and stop imagining things. For the record I have always suspected Canelo of using PEDS but that’s not the same as knowing he uses PEDs. I never spoke on it because he never failed a test. Now that he has I will admit it. I’m not scared to say anything within reason my friend. How was that for you? But again I’m NOT going to say I know for a fact he uses PEDS and he didn’t eat tainted meat. It’s a big difference…
Luis Ortiz…….. Let this play out, let’s see what happens to Canelo and then bring up someone else and compare punishments.
2. You don’t know what you’re talking about again. Just because you didn’t hear about a Bradley vs Valero match up doesn’t mean it wasn’t talked about. Who are you the Capo of boxing? Do you have to know about every fight that is being considered?
Valero was already 28 years old and a two division champion by the time of his death. Many experts had him in the top 10-15ish p4p guys in the world. The word around the gyms in LA was he was death on wheels and he was handling some elite pros easy. Don’t take my word for it. Ask Doug Fischer who lives in LA.
It doesn’t matter if he had special boxing skills or not. His total package was elite and he was on the door steps of a huge fight. He was considering moving up because that’s where the money was. Valero was no joke and I believe he would have beaten most of the better guys between 130-140 circa 2010-12.
3. Donnie Nietes is very good. I think he’s top 25ish top fighters in the world. But I also think he has privileged matchmaking and he has waited in the wakes for a reason. Lots of times when a fighter never seems to get big fights and he’s always a second late. It’s because he wants it to be that way. No one avoided him. He didn’t put himself in position to get those fights. Gonzalez and Estrada have challenged themselves more and fought harder competition than Nietes because they wanted to. There is no conspiracy to avoid him. Chocalitito has fought the hardest schedule in boxing. Again you fans always come up with some bizarre logic. Some days I ignore it but today I won’t. You’re wrong again.
4. I often wonder about a fight between Holyfield and Spinks. I think it would have been tough for both men. I assume they could have fought at 190 around 86-88 because Spinks retired in 88. Holyfield started peaking out around that time. Holyfield was a pup when he fought Qawi in 86. In their rematch in 88 he was a monster. Watch both fights and you will see a difference…
Spinks is criminally underrated. He is the best lightweight of the last 65 years in my opinion. That includes Roy Jones, Sergey Kovalev, Bob Foster, Harold Johnson and Darius Michalchewki. I think Spinks would have beaten them all on his best night at 175. He had brutal sneaky power. See the Marvin Johsnon decapitation. He knew how to stick to a solid 15 round game plan. See the Dwight Qawi win. He could do it inside and outside. See the Eddie Mustafa Muhammad title win.
I will give you some credit, this is a great question. From what my eyes tell and brains tell me. Spinks didn’t have the physicality Holyfield had above 175. Spinks’s 5 fights at heavyweight were Holmes twice, Stefan Tangsted, Gerry Cooney and Mike Tyson. Spinks got some good work done but he looked slower and not as physical. Holyfield was a monster at 190. And when he moved up to heavyweight he was still a monster.
I think Spinks could have troubled him with his jab and sneak punching. Spinks is the best puncher I have ever scene out of a clinch. Think of Andre Ward with 1 punch ko power out of clinches. But overall I think Holyfield may have outworked him. I say Holyfield 143-142. Tomorrow I may say Spinks. It’s a really tough fight to pick.
Ha. Been seeing that nickname on the forums. Makes me laugh.
Does anyone know if Feb 17 was the very first test date? If he has clean tests before maybe the meat thing isn't bs. Or he was micro dosing and just getting started. This whole situation sucks but I think boxing needs it. I also think they should suspend canelo for a year. Then ggg should sue him. Regardless if it was inadvertently consumed. Athletes are responsible for what they put in their bodies.
I've played with clen, and it was terrible for me. Anything over 20mcg would make you super shakie. I've seen others drop serious weight. Certain things work for some and not others.
Been watching videos of Anthony yarde. Wish they dated the videos and not just when the video was uploaded. It appears he yo-yos in weight. Looks huge during training but other videos when he's not training, looks smaller. Black guys are always hard to tell due to their better genetics. I also don't know enough about the UKs testing program. Do they do carbon testing and is it year round?
Hopefully no one has to die before year round vada testing is mandatory. Fingers crossed you are wrong.
Bread’s Response: Another great question. I don’t know if February 17th was the 1st testing date. But if it was it plays a huge part in this investigation. If he was tested before Feb 17th and was clean then he has a great excuse. “Why would I take Clen after my 1st test was clean?” If February 17th was the 1st testing date then it looks like he misjudged his cycling period. Great observation.
I also would like to know how much meat he would have to consume in order to test the levels he did. I need someone to put it in layman’s term for me. I’m not that smart.
I don’t just want to start randomly accusing guys. Anthony Yarde seems like a really talented prospect. I don’t know enough about to him to just start suspecting him of cheating. That wouldn’t be fair.
I think VADA catching Canelo is the best thing that could happen to boxing. I really do. It may suck for GGG but boxing needed this. Everyone knows “off the record” who the cheaters are. No superstar in their prime has ever been caught like this. Again Boxing needed this.
I was thinking about you the other day. How’ve you been? Good I hope.
How’s Jules? When are you guys gonna get the train rolling again?
Mexican beef my a$$! Canelo’s muscle definition is what gives him away! He was always kind of stocky but without the muscle definition he showed in the 1st GGG fight!
The Charlo Brothers are starting to trip me out! Getting money stolen in a club is a weakness–lack of awareness. At that level you’re a target!
I like those guys talent and ability but they’re both overconfident and kind of crazy. Maybe that’s their stichke!
I like how you spoke on rhythm, the bounce and the step, Toney fought off of the step later in his career and off of the bounce earlier in his career at the lighter weights.
I felt that Joe Louis was more of a stepper with his shuffle step than a bouncer. Joe was always a sucker for a right hand, Chappie Blackburn couldn’t train Joe to defend against that right hand.
But you know there are also ways to break a guy’s rhythm and only well trained, experienced and hi-IQ guys can do that. Oscar couldn’t do it against because he spent so much time making weight.
I’ve been working standup with an MMA fighter who fights at the end of April. Working on his rhythm, movement, and energy conservation. MMAers donot associate fighting with rhythm as much as boxers do. They associate fighting with strength and force moreso.
Trying to get him to a point where he can be calmly coordinated in his standup game.
Bread’s Response: Toney was something. But I always thought he was most effective off the step. His step in right hand was so nasty. Ask Prince Charles Williams.
Louis was the best stepper in the history of boxing. He didn’t defend the right hand well but he made up for it with the best right hand in the history of boxing.
Oscar had bizarre IQ. In some fights he looked like he had high IQ. In others he fought the wrong fight. Oscar is an all time great but I was a fan of his and rooting for him frustrated me.
Stand up in the MMA. Good luck brother. I worked with an elite guy and had some success. I like it but it’s nothing like boxing.
Golovkin didn't arrive in the USA until late 2012, 6yrs ago. So, he's been "ducked" since he got off the boat?? I for one am tired of the myths around this guy.
Who did the ducking, Maravilla Martinez; Cotto ain't no MW; Canelo; welter Mayweather?? I noticed GGG was having none of Ward at 168/1 div up, before SOG went on to bitch slap Krusher at his career weight, 175. When GGG finally met a 160 challenge in DJacobs he was in a fight and has been running from Danny ever since!!
Bread’s Response: The ducking of GGG was a collective thing. First off Felix Sturm shamelessly avoided him before Martinez. You have to know you’re history before you argue. It’s well documented what went on in that situation. GGG fought for the WBA interim and then they later awarded him the real belt. He was Sturm’s mandatory and Sturm just wouldn’t fight him.
Sergio Martinez became a little inactive and he had a documented injury. I won’t degrade his career because he never fought GGG. But he did avoid him. While he was avoiding GGG, he was calling out Pacquiao, Mayweather and Cotto, 3 smaller guys. He got the Cotto fight and got stopped. Martinez was the champion from 2010-14. GGG became a known threat in 2011. He didn’t come over here until 2012 but the people in boxing knew about him. Some well known fighters turned down fights with him….
And so what he didn’t come over here until 2012. What did Matthew Macklin, Darren Barker and Martin Murray do that GGG didn’t? How well known were they? You do know they were Sergio Martinez’s title defenses…
What myths? These are facts…The man didn’t get a shot at the lineal crown until 2017. He was champion since 2011. What did Cotto and Canelo do at middleweight to get title shots before him?
I know Cotto was small but if you fight for a title then the fighters in that division have a right to want to fight you. Cotto had no problem fighting Martinez? Are you serious with that excuse? It’s ok for Cotto to win a middleweight title but he’s really too small so he can avoid his biggest challenge. He fought Canelo and Martinez for crying out loud.
Going by your logic Sadam Ali can not fight any of the killers at 154 for years because he’s small. Vacate the title if you don’t want the work.
Canelo didn’t duck GGG. He put the fight off. He did fight him I will give him credit. But in light of recent events, let me ask do you think it’s a coincidence Canelo tested positive while getting ready to face his toughest opponent. Also let me ask you because I don’t know but this is a valid question. Do you believe this was the 1st time Canelo had Clenbuterol in his system? I don’t know the answers but one thing I do know is that it there is a possibility these things occurred because of the threat that GGG is.
I never said Floyd Mayweather ducked GGG. He didn’t. They were never the same weight. Talking about a fight and making a viable fight are different.
I never said Andre Ward ducked GGG. He didn’t. They were never the same weight. Could GGG have moved up? Sure, he could have. But that’s not a duck. It’s a miss. Ward and GGG didn’t duck each other, they just didn’t fight.
The duck came from the middleweights for a half of decade. No one wanted the work. Any of the 160 pounders who had options didn’t face him. Then all of sudden when little Kell Brook dared to be great, then the fights lined up and big junior middleweights started moving up. Do you really think GGG’s performances vs Brook and Jacobs didn’t entice fighters to fight him? Do you really think that those performances didn’t prompt Canelo to face him. Canelo vacated a WBC title so he could face GGG on his own terms. The WBC has been great to Canelo and they still publicly back him. Why would he vacate his WBC title? Do you think Golovkin being his mandatory had something to do with that? Amir Khan got a shot at the lineal title before GGG did. Come on bro I’m killing you with this….
So let me get this straight, Matthew Macklin, Martin Murray, Darren Barker, Miguel Cotto, Daniel Geale, Canelo Alvarez and Amir Khan all deserved title shots before GGG did? Myth my [email protected]%. That was a fact that I just stated. All of those fighters got title shots at middleweight before GGG. If he wasn’t ducked he was avoided until he got older. How can any respectable boxing person dispute this?
I wanted to follow up in a comment you made in you last post. I do disagree with you in that I did not see the GGG-Alvarez rematch as a 50-50 (neither do the odds makers either) as I felt GGG would knock Alvarez out in the rematch. I see GGG very much like MMH in that yes, they could possibly lose but do not ever see them being stopped as the both possess chins made out of adamantium.
Alvarez hit Chavez JR. with everything he had and was nothing more than punching bag and could not stop him, not even close. GGG will be all over him in the rematch! I am digressing as my question is as follows.
Lets' go under auspice that Alvarez was juicing, my questions is as follows. As you correctly stated this could help him greatly as we have absolutely no idea the effect that it could have on his ability and frankly, as a huge fan of GGG he could be taking a very big risk as this could help Canelo win a fight that he never would have won otherwise. Or it could be of a minor benefit there is absolutely no way of knowing. At this point for safety sake regardless of how it go into his system this should be the overriding factor why this fight should be cancelled.
To be candid it would give me great enjoyment to see GGG take Canelo apart piece by piece till we see an Alvarez-Kahn redux. I had little doubt that he would, however with this drug in his system??????
Suspend him for 6 months, let GGG take a tuneup in the interim and then fight in September and tested very often so by then it would be out of his system or we could hope.
Bread’s Response: I didn’t say the odds reflected 50/50 but the odds were less than 2 to 1. If I’m not mistaken GGG was a -155 favorite. That’s very close for a defending titlist with HOF credentials who most feel won the 1st fight. Most of the sharps in the know were leaning Canelo. He’s 27 in his prime and GGG will be 36 when and if they fight. GGG also used to fight often a few years ago. Now he’s a two times/year guy. Canelo also has shown more versatility.
GGG does have a Hagler like chin, thus far. But I never brag about a fighter’s chin. Any man can go. If you can go to sleep at night you can be knocked out. GGG is a human being. He feels punches, he just takes them a little better than most. But let me tell you something, I think he was buzzed vs Canelo he just hid it like the pro he is. Merqui Sosa was voted as having the best chin in boxing. Roy Jones stopped him. The next thing you know Sosa started getting clipped and stopped. I can remember Manny Steward saying during the Diego Corrales vs Derick Gainer fight that Corrales has the best chin he has ever seen. Corrales gets dropped by Floyd Mayweather 5x and from then on it seemed like he got dropped in every fight. And if we are going to speak on chins, Canelo showed a great chin vs GGG also. He took Golovkin’s punches just as good as he Golovkin took his. Trust me on this if you don’t trust me on anything else. Never count a chin as a sure thing until a fighter’s career is over. Again, any man can go if hit right.
If GGG is Marvin Hagler in rematches then Canelo is a dead man. But he has to prove it in the ring. Haglr made massive adjustments in rematches and was money every time.
I don’t know what to say about the suspension. If it’s proven that Canelo used Clenbuterol then 6 months is light. He fights every 6 months anyway. But I want to see what the investigation reveals. There are many things to consider.
When Canelo tested positive, was it the 1st time he was tested this camp?
What were his levels?
Are those levels indicative of tainted meat or banned PED usage?
Did they take hair samples?
What were the levels of the other Mexican fighters who tested positive?
Does Canelo have receipts for his beef purchases?
Was the beef that he claimed he purchased part of the 30% that is tainted in Mexico?
Did they test people who ate with Canelo?
What is Canelo’s excuse for eating beef in Mexico when he’s well aware of the tainted beef problem?
I could go on and on but I will leave it at that. Boxing needs answers and until we get them I can’t say what my opinion is. But I will say a set fine and a set amount of time is not enough if someone is proven to have willfully taken PEDs. Here is why? A top fighter only fights twice a year. 6 month suspensions don’t hurt them. And let’s say 25k is the standard fine. Well 25k to a fighter making 10 million is not the same as 25k to a fighter who makes 100k. Boxing as a whole has to use common sense and be objective in this situation. I really believe the future of boxing depends on it. WE have to get this right.
Breakdown Joshua vs Parker for me? I didn’t get your prediction and I wanted to see if we were on the same page.
Bread’s Response: My prediction is Anthony Joshua by 8-10th round stoppage. Joshua is the better boxer. Joshua has the better defense. Joshua also has the better applicable punch variety. Joshua has the better disruptive jab. Parker has faster hands and he may be more twitchy but overall Joshua is better.
Parker in my opinion will have to land a homerun to win. If he doesn’t Joshua will defeat him. I reference this fight to Vernon Forest vs Shane Mosley. Mosley was faster and more jerky so some assumed that he was the better boxer. Once they lined up in front of each other it was clear that Forest was a better boxer. I think the same thing will happen in this fight. Parker has really fast hands and he’s talented. But being talented is not the same as being skilled. Joshua is more skilled.
I know there are some people who like Parker and they think Joshua has a glass jaw. Anything can happen in a fight and I suppose Joshua could get knocked out. He also could get tired. But I think his class will show. I think he’s going to look awesome in this fight. Let’s see what happens I’ve been wrong before.
I saw that you listed some perfect fights that you have assessed. Everyone seemed to love it on your twitter page. You listed over a dozen though. Can you narrow the list down and give me the most perfect fight you have ever seen and why?
Bread’s Response: I can’t do one fight and here is why. Because of styles, outcome and objective. In each of the fights I named the guy who fought the perfect fight was facing something different and the goal was different. What I will do is pick a few different scenarios and tell you why I thought a perfect fight was fought.
Hagler vs Hearns. Marvin Hagler was a well rounded rough technician. He always displayed a good work rate but he was never a frenetic attacker like Pryor or Tyson. Hagler actually boxed more often then he got credit for.
Tommy Hearns is known as a puncher. But that was his mentality not his skillset. He actually had some of the best boxing skills in history. I have never seen him outboxed. Ever. His jab, right hand and hand speed always allowed him to be the “dictactor” in the ring.
So what does Hagler do. He rushes Hearns. Makes him fight off of the ropes. He also does not allow Hearns to get extension on his shots. Hearns needs extension to throw his long right hand. He also made Hearns fight at a pace that he was not dictating. It was a great fight for sure. But Hagler’s strategy dominated and Hearns was completely spent after just 8 minutes. In my opinion it was the biggest gamble in history. What if Hearns made it out of those early rounds? Hagler had great stamina but no middleweight ever could have kept up that pace. It was beyond insane. So this was my early round perfect fight.
Bernard Hopkins vs Felix Trinidad. Hopkins was facing a guy who was going into another stratosphere historically if he won in Trinidad. Trinidad was known to be indefatigable and his left hook was known to be the best weapon in boxing. But Tito needed to be set to punch.
So Hopkins broke Tito’s rhythm with a simple jab. It was yank that chain type of jab. Hopkins has great fundamentals but he never displayed a jab like that. He jabbed Tito, turned him, kept his right hand glued to his head all night and never let him get anything real going. This was the ultimate deep water drowning. This is my late round perfect fight.
Salvador Sanchez vs Wilfredo Gomez. In 1981 Wilfredo Gomez had a legit case for being the #1 fighter in boxing. He had boxing’s best record and he was boxing’s longest reigning champion. Sanchez was also highly regarded.
Gomez was a smooth big punching boxer. Sanchez was more of a boxer puncher who feinted and picked all night. In this fight Gomez stepped to Sanchez early and Sanchez became the puncher. His shorter, straighter counters won the day. He didn’t run from the fearsome puncher but he just boxed him calmly and never lost focus. Even when Gomez started chipping his way back in the fight Sanchez allowed what he thought was success. Sanchez actually let the puncher open up so he could counter and punish. Often times Sanchez would be on the ropes then he would roll and turn Gomez and Gomez would be on the ropes. Oh my gawd I get chills thinking of how cool Sal was in that storm. This is my perfect mid round fight.
Marco Antonio Barrera vs Prince Naseem Hamed. Experts think you have to shoot lead right hands vs a southpaw. But Barrera basically won this fight with a counter jab. Then when Hamed would get off balance he would step in with sharp scoring blows but he never over punched because of how dangerous Hamed was.
I don’t think Barrera damaged Hamed so much physically. But he really controlled him and drove him crazy because Hamed couldn’t figure out why Marco wasn’t running into his big counter punches. This was one of the greatest patience performances I’ve ever seen from an offensive fighter. Barrera had to tone down his temperament to execute a perfect game plan. This is my perfect fight on how to outjab a southpaw puncher counter puncher.
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