The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Nonito Donaire's big world title win last weekend, Manny Pacquiao challenging WBC, IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, Jean Pascal failing a drug test for several banned substances, and much more.
Bread you don’t get all of your predictions right but when you do, they’re spot on! You had Nonito by KO and I just couldn’t see it. But your breakdown convinced me. To paraphrase. Nonito has to land a hook that the southpaw doesn’t see. There is a blind spot that southpaws don’t see the hook. Then you did your historical reference that really pulled me in. About how older punchers are not trying to win on points. They’re trying to land their money shot. You used Arguello vs Costello and Carbajal vs Arce. Wow! Nonito landed that dam hook again. Thanks.
I swear if I ever meet you, dinner on me. Next to Haney. To paraphrase. If Devin just boxes and doesn’t try to score a KO or to be a puncher, he should win at least 9 rounds. Devin was almost perfect up until the 10th round. Until he started to try to do too much. I heard his conversation with Linares in the dressing room. He was asking about his power. Devin has to realize he’s a boxer. He hasn’t even knocked down Linares or Gamboa. Both of them get dropped or stopped often. Another perfect call. I checked the site www.boxingpick.com but I didn’t get a membership. So then I checked your mailbag lol.
My actual questions are where does Haney go from here? Can he beat Lopez? And is Donaire an ATG? I’m pretty sure he’s a HOF.
Bread’s Response: Thanks man. Get a membership. Sometimes I get flossy and post my betting slips. Yesterday I just didn’t feel like it. But I told everyone who was everyone that my man Nonito was going to rock. He’s like 12-1 at 118lbs and it took the Monster to fight through a broken face to beat him. We know fighting through a broken face is not easy. Nonito has gotten to the point in his career where he can’t be rushed into doing anything he doesn’t want to do. He’s Calm but Alert. Relaxed but Ready. Smooth but Sharp. Humble but Confident. He’s a master in the ring at this point. His eyes as far as seeing an opening and punching WITH an opponent is just different. It’s so special. I can’t stop GUSHING over Nonito. I love the dude as a fighter. He’s a GUN. A throw back. He can compute a fighter’s movements as good as anyone I have ever seen. I’ve always been high on him. People told me I was overrating him. Now people apologize to me. What a performance!
Yes he’s an All Time Great. At one point I just thought he was a contemporary great. But no he’s an ATG. He was the only fighter in boxing doing 365/24/7 VADA and he won Fighter of the Year doing it on his prime run. He’s the one great fighter, I’m most confident in of being CLEAN in this era. For that alone he deserves ATG status. How many fighters have won the bantamweight title at 38 for the 3rd time? I don’t know off the top of my head but the list is short. If you take everything else he did into consideration at 112,115, 122 and 126. He’s an ATG. He most favorably compares to fighters like Choc, Harada and Morales in terms of historical standing. He’s somewhere hovering around the top 100 ever. And definitely top 20 fighters from 122lbs and under. I can’t think of 20 fighters better than him. And the lower I go in weight, the harder time I have imaging anyone beating him. Nonito has freakish athletic ability, an iron chin, an iron punch and a heart as big as his attributes. He’s a very special fighter. I hope he retires on this high note. But I know he won’t. He’s such a gun he’s going to go after the Monster again and maybe one of the top guys at 122lbs. Maybe a Rigo rematch. That’s just how he is. GUNSLINGER!
Haney fought excellent for the first 9 rounds. I was very impressed with him. His jab may be the best in boxing. I don’t get why that’s offensive to people. Look at Haney’s jab. It’s fast. It’s long. It’s snappy. It’s controlling. I think it’s at least a top 5 jabs in the game right now. But Linares was determined. Linares showed some toughness and resilience he’s never shown. This is one of his best performances in a loss. I was very proud of Linares.
But back to Haney. I think he wants to score KOs. It’s his young ego. He hasn’t been able to stop or drop Gamboa or Linares. Many fighters have stopped or dropped both of them and he really wanted to. But Devin has to just compartmentalize that. He beat them both with NO controversy. Losing to them would be much worse. He just has to accept the results. Devin’s jab is elite. His speed is elite. His talent is elite. He has P4P #1 potential. He has a lot to be happy about. He can’t worry about his lack of KOs. Worry about being a winner. A great fighter. The KOs will come if they are meant to come. Floyd Mayweather and Pernell Whitaker the two best pure boxers of the last 40 years. Barely scored KOs after they got to the championship level. Look at their records and their number of KOs after their 1st title wins. They barely have 10 KOs combined in almost 50 championship fights. Devin can’t rush being a KO artist or a killer. I saw him go in that mode and you’re right that’s when the trouble started. He kept hooking with Linares and it scared me. I thought a hook was going to drop him.
Everything CAN be taught, but that doesn’t mean everything WAS taught. Ray Leonard may have been born a killer. Who knows…Every fighter won’t have that switch. Devin doesn’t have it yet and it almost got him in trouble. I see people are being hard on Devin. It’s boxing. He has to go back to the drawing board and work on some things. But it’s no need to push the panic button. He just has to get better like every other fighter. I don’t know if he can beat Lopez. Lopez’s punches are shorter and more compact and I don’t know if Devin’s temperament will allow him to just box, box, box. That’s an interesting match up. But here is the thing. Devin may be sharper vs Teofimo. He may not take the chances he did vs Linares. Every fight is different. The casuals have to realize that. I think Lopez would open as a favorite but it’s a tough fight for both. I don’t have a pick yet. Let’s see if they actually sign first.
The main thing I think Devin has to do is settle on a trainer. All trainers are different. All trainers have different solutions to the same problems. Devin has to get a chemistry with whoever he settles on. I love Ben Davison but Devin may need more time with him. At the top level it doesn’t get easier. It gets harder. The issue may be Davison has a building stable and he’s from the UK. Logistics are always an issue when it comes to sought after trainers.
What’s up Bread,
I had to write you minutes after after watching the Donaire fight . Donaire said something very interesting and that was that he knew his opponent’s pattern so he knew to counter the uppercut. After watching the replays closely I actually saw him throw the left hook on the first 2 knockdowns a slight tick behind Oubaali and beat him to the punch both times. Do you train your fighters to learn the patterns of their opponents or is that an in fight adjustment?
What is your feeling on the lead uppercut considering how vulnerable you are to a hook? This fight made me go back and watch his fight with the monster Inoue because I wondered who could possibly beat this guy at 118 even at 38.Monster is a monster though but a rematch would be fantastic listening to how much confidence Donaire will seemingly take it into the fight and I wanted to get your thoughts.
Also, I don’t know if there is a replay online that is clear enough but the final knock down you could literally see Oubaalis’ nose flaring rapidly as a reaction to the punch. I’ve never seen that type of reaction .MM would a prime Buddy Mcgirt hold a belt today?
Aaron from Cleveland
Bread’s Response: Hell yes. I train my fighters to learn patterns and tendencies in each of my fights. Once we were going up against Joachim Alcine. I noticed he put his guard up and forearms together to block uppercuts. So I told the fighter to throw the uppercut away and come around the body with a left hook, worked like a charm. I have at least 2 dozen stories like that. But Nonito is so special. He sees things at a different speed than most humans. He can process in the matrix.I would like to see Nonito vs Rigo again. Nonito took some serious punishment vs the Monster. But I’m not going to get squeamish. If he wants the work give it to him. Nonito stands a great chance with the Monster because he has an iron chin. He was only stopped by Walters who was a 126lber. Nonito takes the Monster’s punches better than the other little guys. He’s also bigger when you see them next to each other. He has more physicality. So I give him the best chance.
Yes Buddy McGirt would hold a belt today. With 4 titles available at 140 and 147 he would win a title. He would most likely win a few titles. McGirt was a helluva fighter. I’m not saying he would beat every top guy but he would be in the mix. He’s better than a lot of the guys who held titles at 140lbs over the last 5 years. And he’s on par with the best fighters who held titles at 147lbs.
Bread-Wow!! You called Donaire by KO. I had a gut feeling he could pull of the upset and he did. If he beats the Monster, where do you put him amongst the best sub 118 lbs? There’s Tapia, Finito Lopez, Mark Johnson and it sucks they all get lumped in the same category by the boxing casuals. He has to be approaching ATG status don’t you think? Haney won...I didn’t find his win impressive. His chin and stamina seemed off. Do you think it’s time for him to move up? I know he works at SNAC and they’re great at what they do. Being that you’ve worked with them would they ever press the issue of the fighter would benefit from finally moving up? I am not at all excited about the “show” next weekend. It’s hard to call it a boxing event. To each their own.
Bread’s Response: Yeah I did and I have to say I’m proud I picked my guy. He made me look smart but I’m not really smart. I just know a special fighter when I see one. Donaire would move past all of them if he beat Inoue. None would have a victory that significant. As far as who’s the best. Most likely Lopez. But as far who’s the greatest, it’s probably Nonito right now. He’s accomplished more than all of them. Nonito has won like 9 championships. It’s insane to look at his resume. He’s won titles from 112-126. I think he skipped 115 and only won an interim title there but everywhere else, he was legit. Special fighter.
I thought Haney was impressive. He just didn’t finish strong. His first 9 rounds were really good in my opinion. I would be lying if I said his finish was good. It wasn’t. He struggled. He was fatigued and he was hurt. But I’m sure he knows what he needs to work on. He was hurt but he didn’t fold. He has survival instincts. And he still won. It wasn’t an A+ performance but I think the critics are extra hard on certain fighters. It wasn’t a bad night, it just wasn’t a great night. It was solid.
SNAC and Victor Conte are awesome at weight cuts. I learned a lot from him. But I can’t say what Haney’s weight cut is because I never worked with him specifically. What I can say is he looks huge for the weight. I can also say that he seems to have low body fat and fighters with low body fat have to be careful starting camp 30lbs over their weigh in weight. They cut into muscle. Fighters suffer like you guys wouldn’t believe when they cut too much weight. But again I don’t know what Devin’s cuts. I’m not a part of his team. What I do know is Victor Conte has taken a personal liking to Haney. So he’s going to make sure Devin has all of the resources he needs to be safe and effective.
Haney’s posse getting bigger and bigger taking the walk to the dressing room.
Bread’s Response: I haven’t heard the word posse in a very long time, lol. But it’s boxing. Some guys can function under big entourages. Some guys can’t. Let’s see how his career plays out.
Just read your mailbag, great stuff as usual. Looking forwards to Pacquiao/Spence, won't venture a winner will just enjoy the event. I have somethings to say but will keep them to myself for now. I think Wilder working with Malik Scott is a plus.
Wilder looks like he's developing a rhythm that he never had in the past, if that rhythm sticks and isn't too predictable it could be very good for him. Mentally Wilder is in a good place and he's a determined young man. Determined to prove his naysayers wrong and to improve his boxing skills. Wilder will have to spar a lot of rounds for his new technique to stick. I will say the psychological advantage is Wilder's having succeeded in meditation, if he can keep that edge and prepare adequately we could be looking at an upset.
It's not a foregone conclusion that Fury will beat Wilder. The short prep time may hurt him and the fact that he was going to fight Joshua next and that got snatched away could both be detriments. I like Haney tonight - younger, better skills and mentally focused. Linares gets lost in the fight sometimes and that's when bad things happen. I tell my fighters when they get lost in the fight to jab and step out to reset and refocus. What can I say about Crawford, very good fighter with no one to fight, on the outskirts of the hall of fame. He needs a defining fight, a Spence or Jermell Charlo at least better competition at 147lbs.I think Tank beats Mario Barrios, who's height won't deter Davis. I believe Tank is at the top of the food chain amongst all the up and coming fighters - Haney, Stevenson, Lopez, Garcia and even Lomachenko (less than 20 fights) until one of these guys beat him. When you're being criticized and ostracized you're on the right track, when you're loved by everyone beware!
Bread’s Response: My man Rob Jackson. You have to write in by Thursday morning Rob. I get swamped and I’m done taking emails by Thursday. After that I’m sending in the questions to the editor.
I have a feeling what you will say about Pac vs Spence. But I don’t want to put words in your mouth. I will wait on you.,,,
You’re right about Wilder and Scott. Scott is trying to give Wilder rhythm. That may be more important than the actual punches he’s throwing. Malik had better technical skills than Deontay. So he’s trying to give him some game. Malik learned how to fight in Philly. Deontay in Alabama. There is a difference. I agree on both accounts. When a fighter is focused on a specific opponent. He has to sort of re gear towards another. We saw it happen to Anthony Joshua when he fought Andy Ruiz. He was in shape. But he wasn’t prepared for Ruiz specifically. We also saw it when Evander Holyfield took on Bert Cooper. Very astute point. Wilder is solely focused on Fury. But Fury was not solely focused on Wilder. I think this is a hard fight for Fury. I love meditation. I think all athletes should do it. I make my 9 and 10 yr old children meditate. Both are excellent athletes. If Wilder isn’t GUN SHY, Fury better be on point from rounds 1-12. Wilder is very determined and losing rounds or getting outboxed does not discourage him.
I agree Linares does get lost in fights. But last night Haney got lost a little bit. Good point though. I think Josh Taylor got lost a little bit last week. Some fighters lose their way. Lose their focus. Lose their rhythm. Everyone can’t concentrate for 36 straight minutes. It’s what makes the special fighters, special. Floyd Mayweather never gets lost on a fight. It’s his gift. Great term!I think Terence Crawford is a HOF. Every fighter in history who has been #1 P4P and won titles in 3 divisions has been a HOF. Crawford fits the criteria. His RING titles and unifications wins put him over. What he’s not is an ATG yet. He needs better competition for that. His team has their work cut out for them. They have to create a rival or beat the best available guy to build his numbers up. Waiting for the big one is not working for them.
You’re very high on Tank. I think Tank is on par with Haney, Loma, Lopez and Garcia. But I won’t put him over them yet. They have to start fighting each other. Loma and Lopez have accomplished more vs better fighters. But Tank is a super talent. I won’t say he can’t beat them all. But I’m not going to give him credit for something he hasn’t done. Tank has the star power to make any fight he wants. Let’s see what happens. You like Tank over Barrios. Most people do. So do the odds makers. I think Barrios is super solid. He doesn’t have the natural talent of the young stars you named. He’s not as God Gifted as they are. But he may have an intangible we haven’t seen yet. I want to see Tank vs an in his prime fighter like Mario. I don’t have a pick yet. But I will say the physicality of Santa Cruz and Barrios is different. Barrios can punch! What scares me for Barrios though is sometimes when a fighter is not as talented as his opponent it panics them into mistakes.
Very few fighters can overcome that and not be overwhelmed. Marquez was able to not panic vs Manny. Hopkins was able to not panic vs Roy Jones. Carl Froch was able to not panic vs Taylor and Dirrell and Kessler. Mario Barrios has to keep composure when Tank’s talent is on display. When he feels and sees those gifts he can’t be in awe. The most talented fighter does not win every fight. Marvin Hagler and Iran Barkley are not more talented than Tommy Hearns.Barrios has to stick with his game plan. Work his technique. Show determination. Not allow himself to be rushed. Keep his fundamentals in tact. All while being the less talented guy. It’s a big task but it’s not insurmountable. My mentor and good friend Virgil Hunter has his work cut out for him but Virgil is up for the task. I think Barrios is in the fight but he’s going to have to fight a little over his head to win and that’s ok. Some fighters raise their game in these spots. I’m looking forward to it.
Criticism should be a big motivation to all. But most take it the wrong way and hold grudges because of it. It’s how you fuel it. But you’re right. No one criticizes the marginal talent who’s not expected to do much.
Hope you and yours are doing well. Think is kinda my second time, I don't think you saw my last email some weeks ago lol. Hopefully you see this. I've been watching boxing for about 2 years now, I guess am very young in the sport am I am very curious about technicalities involved in boxing. I watched Donaire's fight with oubaali (I actually thought oubaali could pull off a UD win lol), and I was surprised on how sharp he was given his age, what impressed me the most was his timing.
He wasn't throwing a lot of jabs or punches per say, he just threw enough to hurt his opponent, I watched the first 2 knockdowns repeatedly and it looked like he caught oubaali in between punches, and I think that's down to perfect timing because oubaali was halfway about to land a punch and gets caught. How did you find Donaire's timing and how do you think oubaali could have adjusted from getting caught between his own punches. For The final knockdown, am not sure if oubaali was going down already or was ducking down to defend but he fell right into the left uppercut of donaire who has power in both hands. I read your last mailbag and you kind of did predict donaire by KO, what did you see in donaire or did not see in oubaali to predict that??I felt oubaali would give inoue some problems If he won this fight, do you think Oubaali matches up well with inoue? With this win how do you see an Inoue vs donaire rematch? Am thinking another fight of the year. If Inoue can take those punches I see him winning by UD or late stoppage but I wouldn't bet on it though cause donaire is looking better and better.
Lastly, there is a Undisputed matchup in the 154 division, I don't see much people talking about that, or maybe it's still a bit far away. How do you see that match up between Jermell and castano? I heard a few people say he's tailor made for charlo since he comes forward a lot and is aggressive. I dunno what I think about that, but if Jermell doesnt KO him, can he win by points? Cause I've looked at the Harrison fights and the Rosario fight and I ask myself, WHAT IF he didnt stop them, would he have won especially the Harrison 2 fight, I think Harrison did an excellent job in the fight but got lazy. I think officially Jermell was up in 2 scorecards or so but I think that's BS lol. For Rosario granted he may still have won due to the knockdowns but Banana was hurting him to the body and if not for his freaky athletic body, he could have been badly hurt from that. I think charlo beats him(Castano) though, just not as easily as most people may think. As a trainer, which of the 154 pounders will you chose to train to beat charlo and why? ( Harrison, J rock, SwiftHurd, Rosario, Lubin, the 6 foot + kid Fondura or tzsu. Leaving out lara since he's at 160 now) what would be the game plan exactly and which of them do you think has the best chance of dethroning him if/when he becomes Undisputed??
Thank you and Have a good day.
Bread’s Response: So you’ve been watching boxing for 2 years. Aw man. Great to have a new fan write in. Do me a favor and watch some old school guys on youtube. It will even out your perception. I don’t want you writing in next month telling me that a 21 yr old kid is the best fighter ever. I don’t want to be overly critical of Oubaali, he’s a solid guy. But when I watched him fight I just didn’t see an A+ fighter. He’s short even for the weight. And he doesn’t have elite Ring Generalship which is what you need to outbox Donaire. Especially if you’re a smaller guy. Donaire has had his recent losses lately but most of them were at 126lbs. It’s really hard for a natural 118lber to keep Donaire off of him. Inoue may be the best fighter in the world. But Inoue started out 108lbs. If you look at him next to Donaire he’s a lot smaller. Some bigger fighters don’t fight a BIG overwhelming fight. Nonito is a killer with a real chin and real punch. He’s imposing. He also has freak timing. I just felt like Oubaali was not on the level Nonito has seen. I didn’t think Nonito would get him so early but I did think he would get him. The last thing I considered is Nonito loves to fight. Some fighters may love the sport of boxing. They may love the money and fame and status. But they don’t actually love to train and fight. When you’re ageing but you still love to do the grind work. It shows. It’s how some fighters stay past their prime. I know the fighters who aren’t really dedicated to boxing and it’s why they slip earlier. So that and my gut instincts told me Nonito would win.
I favor Inoue in the rematch. In my opinion, he won clear in a great fight. But he took brutal damage. And he’s a human being. Inoue may not be willing to go through that again. Not only did Nonito break his face. But he hurt Inoue. He wobbled him. Inoue is used to doing the bone breaking in fights. I’ve seen fighters run through the GAUNTLET and the next time the GAUNTLET arises they aren’t willing to go through THAT again. I’m not saying that the Monster won’t be a Monster again. But we don’t have enough information on him to know for sure. Nonito will be Nonito. We know what he is. He’s DEAD GAME. I like the Monster but whoa, Nonito is running towards the SMOKE. You have to respect that.
I feel like Charlo vs Castano is not getting enough love like Taylor vs Ramirez wasn’t. It’s a great match up. Puncher vs Swarmer. The Puncher usually wins this. Foreman (Puncher) vs Frazier (Swarmer). Hearns (Puncher) vs Duran (Swarmer).But every so often the SWARMER wins this match up. Pryor(SWARMER) vs Arguello (Puncher). Castano is clever with his aggression. I have watched him. He throws, lose accurate punches. He slides up on his opponents and he’s still responsible defensively. He has fast feet and fast hands. He also has serious amateur pedigree. He defeated Errol Spence and Sergey Devrenchenko as an amateur. He also has experience facing Michel Soro who is very similar to Charlo in size and stature. If I had a guy fighting Charlo, Soro would be the chief sparring partner. You make a great point about Jermell Charlo. He has great results in his fights. He has a clutch gene and for the most part he finds a way to pull the fights out. But round for round. He’s not really a dominant fighter. He loses just as many rounds as he wins. But his clutch gene, iron chin, concentration and big punch bail him out. I thought the same thing about the Harrison and Rosario fights. They were both winning more rounds when they weren’t hurt. But the problem is it’s more to boxing than that. Charlo simply can take their punches better than he they could take his. I saw Castano get buzzed by Lara early. The announcers missed it but he was hurt. But Castano responded, gathered himself and really put some hard pressure on Lara late. I also saw Rosario and Harrison press forward vs Charlo. They both got KO'd but they had success. This is a serious test for Charlo. I pick Charlo to win. But I feel like he has to establish his jab more in this fight than he has in previous fights. He can’t keep losing rounds and scoring dramatic KOs. If Castano can take his punches, he could very well win a decision. Castano can box going forward and he’s very clever with his pressure. The US media does not know him well but I have been looking at him. He can fight. He has better amateur pedigree than Charlo. He’s harder to win rounds against. And he’s much more busier. This is a fascinating fight. 55/45 Charlo. I think Charlo’s chin and clutch gene will win it for him again. He may even have to come from behind and KO Castano. Expect another FOY type of contest.
Um…that’s a tough question on who has the best chance to beat Charlo. I really don’t know for sure. Let me see their next fights. These assessments are fluid. I don’t know enough about Fundora. He’s the wild card.
We’ve seen Harrison vs Charlo twice. Harrison matches up well with him but Tony looked rusty in his last fight. Let’s see if he can regain his form.
Lubin and Jrock are sharp, boxer punchers. Mirror opposites. I believe both have the ability to outbox Charlo in spots but doing it for the whole fight is the issue. They have to be focused and durable enough to not get clipped. Both can box their butts off. But having to fight a perfect fight to not get KOD is stressful.
Jarrett Hurd had a chance but I don’t know what Hurd is now. He’s a tremendous fighter but he’s seemed to overthink all of his past success. Hurd is a kid who has some boxing ability but when the going got tough for him on the top level, he turned into a big athletic swarming fighter. He was able to stop Harrison and Trout. He was able beat Lara. Hurd was more impressive vs Harrison and Trout than Charlo was. But for some reason Hurd losing to Jrock caused him to rethink his entire being. It wasn’t a bad loss. He seems to want to be a “boxer” now. Fighters always overthink things.
Maybe that was Jrock’s night. Maybe Jrock is the only person who could handle him on the inside. I can tell you first hand that Hurd is harder to handle fighting down hill than he is ”boxing”. If he would have tried to box Jrock from the outside, we would have beaten him worse than we did on the inside. Boxing from the outside is not all about height and reach. If that were the case Hurd would have been able to outbox Lara and Trout. He’s taller and longer than them also.
Hurd has changed his whole mindset. I was leery of Hurd when he was an animal. Hurd was like a fighter who would put a pillow over your face. It’s the worst feeling in the world to have a pillow put on your face. I know Hurd feels like he was taking too many punches. But he’s not going to become a defensive master at 30 years old. Making your jab better and identifying traps can make you better defensively. I love Hurd as a fighter. He kept me up at night preparing for him. But he won’t beat Charlo overthinking what style will works best. So I don’t know where Hurd is mentally. Overthinking is the worst thing a fighter can do. Hurd is the one fighter at 154 who has a chin equal to Charlo’s. That’s a big deal once you get up to the middle divisions. I’m looking forward to his next fight vs Luis Arias..I don’t favor Arias but I wouldn’t be shocked at an upset or Draw because Hurd seems to be overthinking with his recent actions and comments.
Tim Tszyu is very good but obviously I need to see more. Let’s see him face a guys like Terrell Gausha or Michel Soro. I just don’t know enough about him. But from what I have seen he looks good. Jeison Rosario is a strong, clever down hill fighter. But I think he struggles to make weight at 154. And with his style I just don’t believe he’s durable enough to beat Charlo in a rematch. I don’t like the way he took Charlo’s punches. Rosario doesn’t lack headrt, he lacks the durability.
What's up Bread! Damn I love your mailbag!!! Always fair, factual and tasteful.
So I'm not much of a pound 4 pound guy. Especially not based upon resumes, but more based upon skill and eye test but I understand resumes/competition level play a part in validating greatness. These are probably my favorite fighters to watch right now...Crawford, Canelo, Shakur & Ennis. Question, based on skillset alone, who would you rate as the top 10 Eye Test P4P active fighters? I completely agree with the maniacal fan comment regarding Mayweather & Pacquiao. I think it applies to a lot of elite fighters. As someone who once aspired to box and has sparred in a boxing gym, I feel fans miss the fact that this is more than entertainment for these fighters and trainers. It's careers and livelihood. I've found myself at times torn with my love of this sport. Knowing the risk these brave souls take to make a living. How do you feel fans should view boxing to have a healthy appreciation and respect for the fighters? I know the answer probably applies to life in general, but I'd love to hear your wisdom on this topic. I also agree regarding Crawford. But do you think he has hope in the fact that he still owns a title? I'm thinking he could sign with PBC and place Spence on the back burner until his demands are met. Fight the Thurmans, Porters, Garcias ...all of them are still dangerous opponents and would give him the validity plus a quality paycheck. Taylor could be a potential option as well. That alone would give him an equal if not better resume then Spence. Especially if he beats them in dominant fashion which I believe he can. Crawford is aging but disciplined and in great physical health. A positive is that the less then stellar opposition he faced has preserved his boxing lifespan. Crawford wont slack on a chance to take someone out. I could see him saying 50% on nothing and forcing Spence's hand or forcing him out of the division.
Bread’s Response: P4P list have to be considered with accomplishments, eye ball test and resumes. All things have to be considered. You can’t just take one or two. Once you do that things go out of context. For example Oscar De La Hoya for a short time got rated over Roy Jones because of resume. But he wasn’t a better fighter. It was a mistake to put Oscar over Roy and I love Oscar. Oscar’s resume was better because he was in a more loaded division and he could fight anyone he wanted because of his star power.
Same thing for eye ball. Some people rated Mike Tyson as the best heavyweight ever before he fought Buster Douglas. He was great but not the best. We needed to see him do it vs his best contemporaries and be more consistent. So we will disagree.
All things have to be taken into context. If Eye Ball Test was everything Carl Froch would not be a top 10 Super Middleweight ever. He doesn’t “look” great. But he is great. You have to be careful with that perception. But I will answer you. I won’t put them in order but I do have an answer on skillset and eye ball test..... Canelo, Crawford, Monster, Lopez, Loma, Choc, Boots, Estrada, Spence and Ioka.
Fans and critics need to have a higher degree of empathy of respect for fighters and trainers. They over criticize them way too often. The word exposed, chinny and washed up are used too much. The media criticisms seem agenda driven. They seem to give certain fighters passes, while they are hard on others. Criticism is fair. But over criticism and insults are not. I hate it. It’s one of the reason I am isolated in this game. I have no idea what will happen with Crawford. It’s a tough situation for him.
You make PED comments and the idiots in the comments section always think you’re alluding to Clenelo. Even when he’s not brought up. They take him personal because he was caught cheating, like somehow that’s your fault. But now that Jean Pascal has been caught with three different steroids in his system, your stance on PEDS always seems validated. As a boxing community we don’t go more than six months without a significant positive test. We know he works with Memo Heredia. Moving forward what do you think needs to be done to stop the PED abuse. I’m inclined to believe you when you say how big it is in the sport.
Bread’s Response: First off this has nothing to do with Canelo. It’s not fair to bring him up in this case.
As for Pascal I don’t want to say too much until his B samples come back. We have to be careful saying certain things. But I will say that his late career surge was viewed as suspicious by many people in boxing. If his B samples comes back positive it will validate those suspicions to some.
I can’t say anything about Memo Heredia either. We need the B samples. We also to need to find out what Pascal himself says as far as who gave it him. But again, I will say that Pascal should be made to tell who gave him his supplements. He seems to be saying he didn’t know what he was taking. And if that’s the case then he needs to tell what he took and who gave it to him. If this somehow is a mistake, then it’s not snitching to tell where you got the mistake from. Fighters use the same excuse every single time. They didn’t know what they were taking. But I never see them being forced to tell where they got the products from. If the boxing world knew who the suppliers were, then the suppliers could be red flagged. And if the suppliers were identified then they would have a chance to tell their story and we could then find out if the boxer really took the PEDs knowingly.
I feel like there are no thorough investigations in positive PED test. I feel like we never get to the bottom of what really happened and surface level excuses are usually accepted. Because of the pandemic when there was no testing. And because of the last minute announcements of fights and postponements. PED use is most likely rampant.
The easiest way to catch cheaters is to postpone fight dates or pull up on them unexpected. If a fighter just fought in January. Pull up on him now. Even if he doesn’t have a fight on the books. Just pull up on him and test him. You see fighters attending big fights all the time as fans. VADA won’t waste money just testing a fighter they see at the fight because they will be at the fight anyway. If a fighter refuses to be tested his public image will be ruined. Although fighters get caught. It’s hard to catch a cheater, when the cheater can decide when the testing will start and stop. If they are in the program, they have to be tested outside of the normal patterns.
Postponing. Fighters hate when their fights get postponed. It messes up their peaks. But also the cheater’s cheating cycle gets thrown off. Again I’m not saying Pascal is guilty. He deserves his due process and verification of B samples. But it’s important to note that his date was postponed several times. The DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL.
Have you heard about Tris Dixon's new book 'Damage'? Its about CTE in boxing. What's your thoughts on the subject and do you have any ideas on any ways of making the sport safer without fundamentally changing it? According to the book (well, the thoughts of the highly respected dr. Goodman) the vast majority of injuries in boxing are sustained in the gym, sparring. If that's the case then do u think that trainers should be given training on how to spot concussions or signs of concussion? That way if they suspect a fighter has one they can immediately stop him from sparring until he's been given the all clear from a doctor. On a general note, what type of sparring do your guys do in the gym? Do your fighters spar a lot in a training camp (carl frampton said he sparred 220 rounds in camp for his fight with quigg, which he said was far too much)?
Bread’s Response: Tris Dixon is a smart guy. I think we did Boxing Jeopardy together during the pandemic. But no I have not read his book. As for making the sport safer I think it has to be in the medical exams and weight monitoring. Anything further as far as the actual boxing will change the sport. We can’t get to a point where fighters can’t score KOs etc. It won’t be boxing anymore. If some way, some how we could measure the water and fat around the brain inside the skull that would be awesome. Also may be a more comprehensive brain test. And weight monitoring. Usually the fighters who cut weight are at the biggest risk because they have no water around the brain.
Training the trainers and requiring a certification is not a bad idea….An average camp is on the average 8 weeks. Most fighters stop sparring 1 week before the fight. So let’s say sparring is 7 weeks. Let’s say fighters spar on the average 3x a week. Let’s say the average sparring session is 6-8 rounds. So let’s say that fighters average about 20 rounds of sparring/week. 20 rounds x 7 weeks=140 rounds of sparring on the average. The issue is fighters don’t just spar when they have fights. Some spar just to stay sharp. You also have to factor in what type of fighters you have. Rough fighters who with average defense can’t spar 200 rounds in a camp because they get hit too much. Slick fighters who barely get hit can spar 300 rounds if they are barely getting touched.
There is no perfect formula because each fighter is different. But there are standards and averages. 220 rounds in a normal camp time is a lot. But I don’t know how long Frampton’s camp was. The context of how long the camp was is important. From my personal experience 150 rounds within an 8 week camp is more than enough. You also have to monitor how much weight your fighter is cutting. You don’t want to spar killers while cutting weight. The fighter will take too much punishment while his body is depleted. You also don’t want your fighter sparring while he’s out of shape. A fighter should be in reasonable shape before his body starts to take a pounding. I usually do a week or 2 of floor drills in the gym and road work outside of the gym before my guys start getting punched in the head. I also don’t spar them too close to their weigh in, weight.
For example if I have a fighter who is a lightweight. We won’t spar at 135lbs. We will spar at 145lb-150lbs. Once he starts to get down in weight I cut the sparring out. He doesn’t fight at 135lbs. He weighs in at 135lbs. There is a big difference. That’s how fighters get knocked out in the gym. Sparring too low in weight, in a depleted state. After a few camps you sort of know what it takes to peak a fighter out. How many rounds and how good the sparring partners are you need in camp. Once you get the formula, you may tweak it here and there but there is no need to go too far off script.
One of my pet peeves in boxing is a referee that continuously push fighters, especially when they push one more than another. Saturday's fight between Haney and Linares was a perfect example. During the fight, the referee either consciously or subconsciously pushed Devin Haney back for 85% or so of the beaks he called. It made me wonder if maybe he had a preconceived notion that Haney does not take a full step back when a break is called. There was even a few times where the Haney push seemed almost planned because when he would approach the fighters for the break, the arm he used to touch Linares would be straight/extended, while the arm he used to touch Haney would be initially bent and then extended to push Haney after he touched him.
There were a few pushes in particular that really stood out:1. About 45 seconds into the 5th round (2:15 on the clock) and again at 2:45 into the 5th (15 seconds on the clock), the referee didn't even touch Linares when he initially called break. He only touched Haney, then walked Haney back about 2 ft, THEN said 'back-up' and THEN pushed him another 2 ft, all while Linares walked forward. He then touched Linares after Linares already walked forward a few feet during the break. 2. About 30 seconds into the 6th round (2:28 on the clock), he pushed Haney back with both hands.3. About 10 seconds into the 10th round, he stopped the action to warn Linares about hitting behind the head, then turned and PUSHED Devin Haney back, who was already standing back.4. At the end of the 11th round, after Haney went down to one knee, the referee wiped his gloves, then was about to push him again, even though there was already 4-5 feet between the fighters, but the bell rang.
Now, sometimes, there is one super aggressive fighter that only comes forward and may need to be reminded by the ref to back up if he/she is not taking a full step back, but it just didn't seem warranted in this fight, especially given Devin Haney's style. He even boxed stepping back the first five rounds or so. I know boxing/life is not fair, but to have a full grown man, and in this case one that seemed to outweigh Haney by at least 30lbs physically push him back 30-40 times over 36 minutes, would seem to benefit his opponent.
My questions for you: 1. Have you ever experienced this personally, and if so what did you do? 2. If a referee that has exhibited this action before was assigned to your guy's fight, do you feel it would do more harm than good to mention this to the referee before the fight? Great job by the way to Haney and Linares. It was a good fight! And awesome job every week my Brother with the mailbag. Keep up the great work!
Guzzy from Philly
Bread’s Response: I honestly didn’t observe Haney being pushed. I have to watch the fight again. I once had a referee who I felt cost my fighter the W. I asked for him to not officiate anymore of my fights. Low and behold the following year he got assigned to us again. I almost vomited. He’s one of the worst referees in boxing. He’s also very confrontational. I won’t mention his name because he’s still active. But he’s horrible. I pretty much like every referee I’ve ever had. Most are super cool except this one guy. But I do work them. If we are going to punch out of the break I tell them. If we are going to the body we I tell them. If the other fighter holds or has any other tendencies I always mention it. I keep them aware of anything we have worked on or anything we have observed. It’s worked every time. I’ve been very fortunate to get good referees except this one guy a few years back.
Hello Mr. Edwards,
Please write a book about boxing. I have been a boxing fan all my life, and remember watching all the great pugilistic events showcased on free network television (ABC, Ali/Fraser, Howard Cosell, etc.).I am compelled to say you possess all the attributes that would birth a brilliant boxing tome. Eloquent yet understandable by everyone. Working in the sport's trenches for a long arduous time. Creating the respected Daily Bread Mailbag. Coming at delicate issues with fairness and understanding - you are able to step outside of your own selfish perspective and appreciate people and events from different points of view, putting yourself in their shoes. You understand the boxer, the trainer, the promoter, the networks, the referee, the rabid fan, the casual fan. And you are a professorial boxing historian. I am imagining all the unique chapters you could write. Mr. Edwards, you would be contributing something special to the sport and for your own legacy. The pump is primed - do it.
God bless you in all your endeavors.
Sincerely, Nick Abramczyk from Grafton, Ontario, Canada.
Bread’s Response: I’ve been approached. I love the idea. But I don’t have the time to do it alone. I would need help from and editor and format writer to the thoughts and ideas to the paper. It’s going to happen. Thank you my friend.
I’ve written to you in the past about Dwight Qawi, a fighter I’ve admired since I first started following the sport in the early 80’s. The thing I think that ties me emotionally to fighters of that era as opposed to later fighters were all of the excellent long form articles in the various magazines before the web or perhaps you just remember the first fighters more vividly.
Anyway two Philly fighters who it just struck me had very strong parallels in their early career are Qawi and Hopkins. They had little or no (in Qawi’s case) amateur career, had very inauspicious starts to their careers, found venerable trainers who helped them develop unique styles and they weren’t matched easy. They also both served prison stretches that could have put many men on the wrong path. Still both became feared world champions. Wesley Mouzon, Quenzell McCall and Bouie Fischer were all great, knowledgeable trainers who probably didn’t get the recognition they deserved for helping these fighters achieve what they did.On another note, another great forgotten Philly trainer is Slim Jim Robinson, he took another of my favorite fighters Tim Witherspoon to within a whisker of beating an ATG in Holmes. Again Witherspoon had only a handful of amateur and pro fights when he challenged Holmes. If only Tim could have stayed with the strict disciplinarian Robinson I think he could have become a hall of fame fighter. That situation reminds me a little of Toney leaving his first trainer who he said pushed him too hard but who he acknowledged gave him the skill set that helped him dominate at world level for many years.
Anyway, I really like reading your knowledgeable columns every week. For someone who’s accomplished so much you never come across as arrogant or talk down to anyone regardless of their questions. Best of luck with all future endeavors.
Bread’s Response: You’re correct Qawi and Hopkins come from similar backgrounds but both have special dedication and toughness that allowed them to excel. I’ve never had the pleasure to meet Mouzon or McCall. But I did have the opportunity to meet Fischer. I was kind of young and I wasn’t watching him from a trainer’s perspective. I was more or less watching Hopkins work. I wish I would have though but hindsight is always 20/20. If I knew in 1998 that in 2010 I would be training fighters I would have studied Mr. Fischer more closely. I was training in the gym when Hopkins was doing his camp for Robert Allen. Very nice man. Very astute trainer.
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