By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Danny Garcia vs. Shawn Porter, Mikey Garcia vs. Errol Spence, Floyd Mayweather, Jarrett Hurd, Antonio Margarito, Joseph Parker vs. Dillian Whyte and more.
You and I have had the PED's debate over the years regarding Pacquiao.
I heard an interesting synopsis from a latino sports prognosticator who said the Liga Mexico futbol players eat the same meat and don't look like Canelo looked against GGG in their 1st fight nor do they test positive for steroids.
For me I look for the body acne on the torso and back.
Canelo looks less muscular in the torso and thighs and isn't punching the punch shield with as much force.
Canelo will have a harder time weathering the storm in the rematch, but GGG's punch accuracy wasn't good and won't be the 2nd time around. This fight goes the same way as the first.
Kovalev was a killer before Ward, and exposed afterwards. He shit all over JDJ who he was very successful with and karma jumped up and got him. Kovalev is finished. It's like once you get KO'd you can always be KO'd, Roy Jones is a perfect example of this.
Mikey Garcia versus Erroll Spence is an intriguing matchup, Garcia is convincing enough and skilled enough to make believable that he can conquer the 147lbder. I see Robert Garcia throwing in the towel on this one even though Mikey will have his moments early.
Thurman is the wildcard in the division because he's keeping things close to the vest and everyone believes he's afraid. I thought that Thurman clearly beat Porter and Swift Garcia, 2 great wins for him. Those are not insignificant wins.
A lot of fights that aren't made, are because of strategic conditions, ego's or money.
What alpha Male wants to be the B-side, the second fiddle, taking less money than an opponent he feels he's better than, e.g. Wilder/Joshua.
The guy who loses in the negotiations for the fight comes into that fight at a psychological disadvantage and it's up to him to turn it into an advantage.
Andre Ward will be back most likely to fight Bellew.
Bread’s Response: Yes we have. As I have researched and gained more knowledge. I look at things from a slightly different perspective. But I still don’t definitively think Manny was a PED user but I will admit that my % of thinking he used at some point have went up. And it has nothing to do with the failed negotiations vs Mayweather. I think that was a “propaganda spin,” where both teams tried to make it look as if it’s the other ones fault. What stands out more to me is that he didn’t ask Marquez to do extra testing in that 4th fight. The speculation around Marquez was as high as I’ve ever seen for a fighter who didn’t fail a test. In “off the record” conversations with boxing people, I can’t think of one person who didn’t think Marquez was…….. Manny was the A side in those fights and he didn’t request VADA. That bothers me considering everything.
In fairness to Manny though, he had a solid run post Marquez 4 on VADA including two big wins vs Tim Bradley and I really think highly of Bradley. I still rate Manny really high historically because of his solid wins on VADA at an advanced age and after a brutal ko loss.
I agree with the Latino Sports Prognosticator about other athletes eating the meat in Mexico and not testing positive or getting too jacked up. But I also agree that Canelo will be in this fight. Canelo is very skilled despite the positive PED test. Canelo needs to win some big fights under stringent VADA for his legacies sake. GGG did have poor accuracy in that fight. And when a fighter is not accurate it can be 3 things. One is they don’t want to commit to land certain punches because of the counter shots. Two is because they just aren’t accurate and we know that’s not the case with GGG, he’s very accurate. Three it’s a sign of slippage. I think in this case it’s #1 it’s because of Canelo’s counters and his slippery movement. In GGG’s fight after Canelo he was his same accurate self.
I do think Kovalev is done but not because he was kod. Lots of fighters come back from kos. We just spoke about Manny Pacquiao. What about Lennox Lewis, Terry Norris and Marco Antonio Barrera? They all came back better after kos. I think it’s Kovalev’s mindset that won’t allow him to operate at that level. Kovalev is an uneasy, disgruntled individual. It’s tough to come back from a ko with that disposition.
I see the same thing in Mikey Garcia that you see. I believe he will have success. But not get the win vs Spence. History says his team won’t allow him to get hurt.
Thurman has the best two wins in the division besides Pacquiao who is way past his best days. But it doesn’t sit well with me from a skills perspective that a top 15 P4P talent takes off as much as Thurman does. The longer he stays away the tougher it will be to regain his form.
You’re correct lots of fights aren’t made because of ego, strategic conditions and money. But fighters know if they are the A side or B side in a fight. I don’t believe it’s a psychological disadvantage. I really don’t. I think it’s just a matter of being a real fighter and winning that fight so you can become an A sider. In 99.9% of fights a fighter knows what side he’s on. He can tell by a few things. Who makes the most money? Who walks to the ring 1st or 2nd? Where the fight is being held? What promoter is taking the lead? Who’s name is 1st on the billboard? Every once in a while it’s a 50/50 thing but for the most part they know. I disagree when you say that it’s a disadvantage. I think it gives a real fighter serious motivation.
For example Trinidad vs Hopkins. Hopkins knew he was the B side. Tyson vs Holyfield. Holyfield knew what was up. Chavez vs Whitaker. Whitaker knew what was up. It’s all part of the game.
You think Ward will fight Bellew. Interesting. I like that fight. With the Creed Movie back drop it could be big at the box office. I like Ward by UD if it happens.
Thanks for your balanced analysis of the sweet science. I appreciate the perspective you provide that goes deeper than promotion hype.
I just can't get over the media coverage of Whyte-Parker. Most outlets seem to say that Whyte overcame the most adversity, yet I find myself respecting Parker more after that fight.
Parker was knocked down with an illegal (and intentional to my eyes) head butt, yet he got up, conserved energy and almost got the stoppage. Even after the 2nd knock down and many illegal headlocks and rear mounts from Whyte he fought through and made it a battle.
It is frustrating to see Whyte getting the positive press after his illegal tactics especially when you consider the outcome had the first knockdown not counted - a 10-8 round for Whyte becomes 10-9 for Parker. That three point shift would have made it a draw. If you deduct an additional point from Whyte for his brawling then Parker gets the win (though I'm not saying he deserved to win, but I wouldn't call it a fair fight).
How did you score the fight? Do you think Whyte's tactics were part of an aggressive game plan that is fair in professional boxing or should have he been penalized? Should Parker seek fights outside the UK with more obejective referees?
Anyways, I'm disappointed in Parker's conditioning and his corner's lack or preparation or better plan to combat the bullying from Whyte, yet I think he was given a raw deal in the ring and in the press - I think a rematch or an official re- scoring of the fight is in order.
Thanks for your thoughtful column,
Phil Lindholm, Derwood, MD
Bread’s Response: I didn’t score the fight. It was close but Whyte just dirty boxed him. Listen he’s not the more gifted fighter so he did what he had to do. Parker should know better. I don’t know who takes the blame because it’s too hard to determine unless you’re in the gym with the team. I do know that Parker tries to conserve too much energy throughout a fight. If you trust your preparation that 2nd wind will come. Just push through and be smart. When you feel depleted, skip rope, use your jab and you will get your 2nd wind. Parker doesn’t trust his conditioning and now his career is in a rut because of it.
I don’t make complaints about dirty boxing because whatever Whyte did to Parker, Parker could have done to Whyte. Parker is not performing on the level.
Breadman let me start by paying my typical supplications that writers seem to require. That’s sarcastic but I will still be sincere! I think your the best in the business when it comes to insight of actual fights and the history of Boxing, you really are a very talented writer! Done!
Wassup with the offhanded slight you allow and do yourself to Floyd? Why do you let fans get away with making it look like it’s totally Floyd’s fault why the fights with Oscar, Mosley, Cotto, and Qwackman didn’t happen sooner? I think it’s cause you respect Floyd for his skills but honestly you don’t like him personally, and also because he is the one modern fighter who is being placed highly with the ATGs! How is it someone as knowledgeable as you don’t correct the difference between past prime and shot? For an elite great fighter like Oscar, Mosley, Cotto, and Qwackman, past your prime still means they are very game. However when your shot even non-elite fighters can beat an elite fighter, when they are shot! When Floyd fought these men they were past there prime but none were shot. Qwackman actually fought Oscar, and Mosley when they were shot, but you and many of the fans don’t mention this ever! Floyd fought Oscar when Oscar was ready to fight Floyd. Floyd was trying to fight him way sooner under top rank. But Oscar and Bob didn’t want it. Then when Money becomes a lucrative fight they make the fight. Floyd beats him at the full limit of 154 not a 145 CW! He was calling out Mosley! Mosley said he wanted a vacation and to fix his tooth. Then when Floyd literally is the top dog Mosley wants the fight! Same scenario with Cotto as with Oscar and Mosley, Cotto and Bob didn’t want it when they both were champions at 140 at top rank! And even Freddy said it was there fault the fight didn’t happen the first round of negotiations! When Floyd fought all of them accept for Oscar, and especially when he fought Qwackman Floyd was past his prime also! You, one of the greatest Boxing minds always forget to mention, even while saying Qwack was past his prime, Floyd was also past his prime when he fought Qwackman!
WHY IS THAT BREAD!
Now to my silly mythical match up that no current fighter can get a fair comparison in!
Duran vs Floyd! Duran beat the bigger more athletic, and faster Leonard simply because he got in Leonard’s Head PBP! Duran only beats Floyd in the power category. He Duran cannot match Floyd’s speed, footwork, defense, ring IQ, and I have them somewhat even on timing but still slightly favor Floyd. If Duran can’t make Floyd stand and trade(an we know Floyd wouldn’t) how can Duran out fox Floyd? It would be just the opposite of Leonard vs Duran 1, Floyd would be all in Duran’s dome! Floyd by UD, every time they fight IMO!
Leonard vs Floyd! If Duran could get in Leonard’s Head an he can barely speak English Floyd would have totally pissed Leonard off an took him out his game. I think Floyd sticks and moves, pop shots Leonard from the outside, and when the fight gets close Floyd has the superior defense and inside fighting skills! Floyd by UD or Split decision! Leonard in every subsequent fight after the First fight beats Floyd every time, but that first one I’m going with Floyd!
Floyd vs Hearns! I think the Hitman was to big to long to skilled and too powerful, I’m taking the Hitman by UD or late KO!
Hope to hear from bro AS Salamm Alaikum!
Bread’s Response: Bro you have to be kidding me. If someone doesn’t say Floyd is better than every other fighter who has ever thought about boxing then one of his fans says “you don’t like Floyd”… I think he’s a special fighter and I say it every time I’m asked. Last week someone asked me about Floyd and I said I think he’s top 25 ever, top 3 at junior lightweight, top 10-15 at welterweight and top 5 defensive fighter ever and no one wrote one thing about my compliments to his greatness.
I can only answer what I’m asked. I never said every fight that wasn’t made was totally Floyd’s fault. I don’t think it was his fault that he and Oscar fought in 2007. Oscar was older and he moved up too far apart from Floyd’s weight. Oscar was at 140 about to be a 147 pounder when Floyd was turning pro at 130lbs. All I said is if they fought in their exact primes I think Oscar could have pushed him to the limit. Because I was asked what fighters could have pushed Floyd if he fought them in their primes? You don’t think the 1996 version of Oscar that beat Chavez at 140 could have given Floyd a major tussle? What’s wrong with saying that, Oscar is an all time great also?
I feel the same way about a 98-02 version of Mosley, 2006-08 version of Cotto that beat Mosley and Judah, and the 2008-10 version of Pacquiao. What’s the big deal?
I was never asked who’s fault it was that the fights didn’t happen sooner! At the end of the day the fighter with the smartest PR team will make it look like it was the other fighter’s fault anyway. We don’t really know what goes on behind the scenes. Did you ever notice the stories are always conflicting? You added something I never said just to argue about Floyd. Dam bro!
As for your mythical matchups you’re breaking them down from your PERSONAL SLANT. And that’s fine but that’s exactly what you’re doing. Floyd is so special I’m not one of those nostalgic people who think every fighter who is further back in history can beat every contemporary fighter. Floyd would give as good as he got in any era from 130-147 period. But I don’t think he would run the table.
It’s easy to pick a moment in a fighter’s career and assume it will keep happening when you hypothesize. What if I said Jose Luis Castillo and Marcos Maidana won too many rounds against Floyd Mayweather, to imagine Floyd beating a much better than them, Roberto Duran? Would that upset you? Is that a reasonable assessment because Castillo and Maidana sure did make Floyd fight. That’s what you’re doing in your breakdown. Hypothetical match ups should be fun and every time someone picks against one of you guys favorite fighters you get mad and upset. As we say, “It ain’t that deep.” For the record I think the Duran fight is the most winnable fight for Floyd out of the 3 you named. But I don’t pick him to beat Duran easy. Duran’s peak from 135-147 from 1974-80, was Ray Robinson like high. If he doesn’t quit vs Leonard in the 2nd fight he’s top 4 or 5 easy. It’s a terrific fight neither guy would win easy.
Also for the record you just lit up one of my Pet Peeves. Fans and media alike need to stop giving fighters derogatory nicknames. You keep calling Manny Pacquiao , Qwackman. Dude you aren’t qualified to give an all time great fighter like Manny, a nickname. You guys have some nerve disrespecting fighters like that. Especially when you don’t have to get in the ring with them. Before you get upset I feel the same way when fans call Floyd derogatory names. The fans in boxing need to check themselves and start uplifting these fighters and stop it with the disrespect and nonsense.
I saw two things on social media that bothered me this past weekend. One is Fernando Vargas’s son knocking out an incapable sparring mate. It was disgusting. The kid was really hurt and took about 20 unanswered punches. The saddest part was that douche bag Vargas filmed it and put on social media. I used to feel bad for him that Trinidad ruined him so young but with that mentality I’m glad he was knocked out brutally in all of his biggest fights. I also read a comment then later a story by Mia St. John. In her twitter comment she basically said that every top fighter does PEDs and GGG should leave Canelo alone. Then she did a story in the LA Times stating she did PEDs for over 20 fights. I suspect for the right money she will rat on her male counter parts. You have been saying for years that 70% of the top guys do it. I believe you now. What are your thoughts?
Bread’s Response: I haven’t seen the Fernando Vargas video. So I can’t speak on it. But I hope you’re mistaken. Putting out a video of a young kid being severely beat up can have serious ramifications.
I did read Mia St. John’s story. And I can say is I told ya so. Your favorite fighters wouldn’t be your favorite fighters anymore if you knew what was up. But I still say you can do it CLEAN. You just have to work your ass off and be smart. Then once you’re around 35 get the hell out of boxing. I respect Lance Pugmire for doing that story. Most reporters are scared to open that can of worms.
St. John will have some good and bad come out of this. I wouldn’t be surprised if she has to answer to an official inquiry. I wouldn’t be surprised if she’s forced to tell on retired great HOF fighters. I also wouldn’t be surprised if she profited from her knowledge of PED use. I wouldn’t be surprised if she received a few envelopes under the table to shut up. This will get interesting and I think it will grow legs.
My prediction next year is VADA will catch two more big American stars. When I say stars I mean top 20ish P4P talents. Mark it down.
When I watch HBO they always have Harold Letterman doing the unofficial Scoring. I find myself in some fights agreeing with him (the very easy fights to score) But, When it comes to Stars Kovalev or Pacquaio he always seems to give them every round they aren't completely outworked in. Pac-Bradley I Harold only gave Tim one round. Kovalev ward 1 and 2. and Kovalev Alvarez he was very stingy with rounds. Harold gives rounds to the "HBO" fighter just for coming forward even if they are eating punches and and not doing anything with coming forward. Is this to protect the HBO draw? Is Harold slipping in the way he scores fights, or is this a situation where there is just more than one way to score a fight and every score he turns in is possible. I feel it's very possible to lose a round by coming forward, but Harold rarely scores that way.
Also while I was young during Roy Jones prime I've really noticed that he comes off as a Savant when he talks about Boxing. 30 seconds before the Alvarez knockdown Jones said "both guys have the power to knock each other out" When HBO was trying to sell the story that Alvarez didn't have the power. Would you agree that Jones when it comes to boxing is an extremely intelligent individual?
Thanks, Bread! Been a long time fan of your mailbag.
Bread’s Response: I agree with you and so does Lederman’s HBO counterparts. I think Lederman’s unofficial scorecards have led to some major controversy in fights. He is partial to the house fighter and the aggressive fighter. I think Lederman is an excellent judge by the way I just find myself disagreeing with lots of his closer rounds. Kovalev was coming on vs Alvarez but he wasn’t giving Alvarez credit for the earlier rounds he had one before Kovalev made his surge. I was disappointed actually. Hell yes you can lose a round coming forward. If you’re missing and getting hit clean you can come forward all you want. I don’t know who made that up or repeat that garbage. One of the 4 point scoring system is called Effective Aggressiveness, not coming forward.
I find myself taking up for Roy Jones more than any other fighter. Jones is a savant. People like to repeat he didn’t have fundamentals, an IQ etc etc. But it’s untrue. He was just unconventional. Most geniuses are. He’s a genius.
See Roy knows that KO% and things like that only impress computer nerds. Roy knows a guy 175lbs with snap, balance and speed on his punches can hurt his opponent. Despite what will be dismissed as a low KO%. People in boxing know that often times KO% is determined by favorable matchmaking or freakish gifts. Roy knows a fighter can be 25-0 with maybe 12 kos but still be able to punch. He doesn’t have to be Earnie Shavers in order to be able to hurt someone. Roy is the man when it comes to analyzing boxing. He’s more than smart, again he’s a genius.
Hi Bread! I saw you once rated Floyd as top 25 p4p all time. Where is Pac in your all-time list? Ando also Loma - today's p4p star?
Bread’s Response: I have Manny maybe top 25ish top 30ish. Yes I have Loma 1a or b with Terence Crawford. But I have a hunch Loma will have a tougher time than expected at 135. He had to really go to a dark place in order to stop Linares. Physicality played a factor into that.
Also, what is your take on the career projection for Jarrett Hurd? Is it too early to tell for you? I know you normally classify those styles as types who will be able to give anyone in and around his weight class a fight while in his prime but might burn out quick when his size doesn't carry as much importance. I see it all the time when I think a bigger sized relentless fighter looks like they are gaining skills but once people are able to withstand the power and pressure they become ineffective. Do you think he is close to hitting his prime right now or do you see him continuing to make those giant strides he has been making while still relatively newer to the boxing game and be in this same zone for the majority of his career?
Bread’s Response: I think very highly of Jarret Hurd. He wasn’t a great amateur yet he’s the most accomplished pro from his area around his age group. He’s not a front runner. He’s been losing plenty of fights and he’s come back to win. He’s taken 3 fights where it was 50/50 or he was the underdog and he delivered BIG. Frank Galarza, Tony Harrison and Erislandy Lara.
I’ve also heard Hurd speak and he’s intelligent. He has a higher IQ than his style would suggest. He’s also very grounded and he’s enjoying himself. That kid will be a tough out for the next 2 or 3 years. I think he’s right in the middle of his prime right now.
I don’t know how much longevity he will have. It’s hard to determine and you’re correct. Often times fighters who make a lower weight and they’re grinding type of fighters usually peak out and then fall off. Brandon Rios did after 135. Jose Luis Castillo did it after 135 also. Chavez Jr did it after 160. And Antonio Margarito did it after 147. I think Hurd has a few more wrinkles to his game off the back foot than those guys but you get my point.
What is concerning about his longevity is he doesn’t win fights easy. Every fight is life and death. Critics usually associate longevity with a style. And that can be true. But it’s also associated with the ease of a fighter’s success. I can’t think of one life and death type of fighter who had sustained success and longevity at the top level. Hurd will only be able to go into that well, cut large amounts of weight and take but so much punishment before he starts losing as much as he’s winning.
My main man!
Hey brother, sorry for the lack of contact over the last 6-9 months. Due to new Immigration laws and the current administration I was picked up and had to serve 7 months in an Immigration jail in AZ. I'm taking a minute to clear my head but will see you before the year is out.
Okay back to my main obsession as you know:
Not sure if you have been asked this before. I'm not trying to knock any boxer when I say this but do you think that in this era especially that boxers take fights knowing that they are going to lose but the financial reward and in turn security is simply too great to turn down?
Let me just use Kell Brook as an example. A fighter in his prime at 36-0, very highly regarded and rightfully so after such an effort to out-man and out-box an absolute bull strong undefeated Porter away from home.
Brook was teke tough, gave a fantastic account of himself, pushing GGG back a few times, snapping his head back also but was finally overcome by Golovkin's natural strength and size. I have no doubt that Dominic Ingle pushed Brook like never before in camp. Literally nobody gave Brook a chance for obvious reasons and despite the usual pre-fight hype I don't believe for one second that anybody in Brook's camp believed he had any hope of beating GGG. So many people have avoided the Kazakh wrecking machine and I have major respect for fighters willing to step into the fire especially in this path of least resistance era. I believe Brook had a 5 mill guarantee v GGG and maybe something closer to 3 v Spence. Another fantastic effort until he finally wilted while under serious fire from one of the current best in ESJ.
How do you personally feel about boxers taking fights they have no hope of winning at the top end like I described above or just in general at any level?
I hope all is well with you and your family!. Finally I will meet you all soon.
Your Irish brother!
Bread’s Response: What’s up Bmac? I have a simple take. Just because the PUBLIC doesn’t think a fighter can win doesn’t mean a fighter has to believe them. No one thought Ali would beat the invincible George Foreman. No one thought Ray Leonard would beat the great Marvin Hagler. No one thought Manny Pacquiao could beat the HOF Oscar De La Hoya. No one …..well you get the picture. Fights are fought in the ring, not on a computer.
As far being a team member in an up against it fight. It’s different when you are on the team. You become an optimist. You start to believe in yourself as a difference maker and the fighter you are with despite what “they” say.
What's good Bread,
I hope all is well. I don't see how Shawn Porter beats Danny Garcia. To me, Danny is more sharp, the harder puncher, better timing, and I think better defense. I think he gives Crawford and Spence all they can handle. Would he beat them?? I wouldn't bet on it, but I think his attributes keeps him competitive. I like Porter overall, but like Garcia and his Pops said, Porter makes all his fights more difficult. When will his stamina and ruggedness fail him. What are you thoughts. Also, potential matchup with Hurd and Mell Charlo. I see similar things. I see Charlo being more crisp and sharp. Hurd is a trooper, but really lacking in Defense and being sharp. What am I missing. Really looking forward to Wilder vs Fury. Peace
Bread’s Response: I view DSG vs Porter as an even money fight. I think Danny is sharper, a better puncher, better defense , better timing and much more accurate. But fights aren’t broken down that way as far as who will win. It really comes down to who is more effective influencing the judges. Shawn is very effective influencing the judges. That’s why even in his losses they have been razor close. Shawn understands how to hustle.
Shawn also has some advantages over Danny. I think while Danny is more skillful, Shawn is a better athlete overall. I think Shawn is physically stronger, his feet are more mobile and he has a better jab. This will be a tough fight for both guys and I expect controversy. If Porter’s stamina and ruggedness dissipate, his career is in jeopardy. Those are his main attributes. But they haven’t dissipated yet…..
Danny has a clutch a gene and he has the ability to fight a “contained” fight even when slightly outgunned. I was very impressed by Danny’s loss to Keith Thurman. Thurman is faster and more athletic. But Danny stayed in his zone, he used his timing and accuracy to really push Thurman. Lot’s of fighters give that up and make big mistakes and lose big. I don’t think Spence or Crawford blow Danny out. Danny’s IQ and his containment will keep them honest enough to not get blow him out.
I think Hurd vs Charlo is another 50/50 fight. Both have advantages but at this point it’s no need to discuss. Hurd is healing from a shoulder surgery and I suspect both guys will fight a few interim fights before they finally bump.
Hi bread, always love the daily bread mailbag. A quick point that never seems to come up with the Margarito hand wrap scandal. Do you recall when Margarito fought Sebastian Lujan on ESPN Friday Night Fights? He beat his ear off to the point it was a TKO when his ear was falling off. Can you think of any other cases where something like this happened from punches or even a head butt? After the Mosley fight, it always made me think maybe there were loaded wraps for Margarito during that Lujan fight to cause that much damage. Have you ever had a chance to talk to Naazim Richardson about what exactly he saw before Mosley fought Margarito? I am just wondering if you have any other insight on that situation or your opinion about the Lujan fight and if you think that it was just a freak accident.
Bread’s Response: I know some very well respected boxing scribes who feel Margarito didn’t have loaded wraps. I respect their opinions but I disagree. I think there were significant findings after the hearings. From my research the knuckle pads were found to have some sort of sulfur substance on them. This was found later but nevertheless it was found.
I don’t think what Margarito’s trainer did was an accident. The reason I don’t believe that was because the old used knuckle pad was neatly placed inside of clean unused gauze. That can not be a mistake. In actuality the whole pad should be made in the locker room. And even if it’s pre made it should be new gauze. Now I have seen trainers use knuckle pad that have been used a couple of times so it can contour to the hand of the fighter. For example the last two or three training sessions the fighter uses this particular knuckle guard so it shape perfectly to his hand. I don’t think that’s a big deal to be honest. But Margarito’s trainer claimed the old used knuckle pad belonged to another fighter. Unless that fighter had the same exact knuckle print and size of Margarito then that makes no sense. The pads also had blood on them. A lot would be solved if the blood was tested.
Proving Margarito knew is too difficult. That can be done with out a fighter knowing. But my question is why keep it away from the fighter if you’re cheating for him…..
Yes I talked with Naazim Richardson personally. This is not verbatum but….He told me that he was upset that Margarito already one hand wrapped before he came into the dressing room. He said he inspected the pad of the unwrapped hand and it didn’t feel right. He said the used pad then fell out on the floor. Once that happened he asked for the other hand to be unwrapped. Once it was unwrapped they found another pad of the same type hidden under some new gauze. I won’t go into anything else he told me but I don’t think it was a mistake or coincidence.
I remember the Sebastian Lujuan fight. I don’t have any secret knowledge of what happened. I could have been a freak accident. To knock off someone’s ear is pretty freaky. Margarito threw lots of uppercuts and chopping punches. Maybe he hit the ear in a peculiar spot and ripped it. I don’t know. The bizarre thing about cheaters is most are usually talented. They are just greedy. They want more. I always believe Margarito was a heavy handed volume puncher with animalistic instincts. His coach just wanted an edge and maybe he did too. We will never know the WHOLE truth.
Hey Dougie and Breadman, warm greetings to you both from a fight fan addict in England. Hope you guys are well.
I noticed upon scrolling through your tweets regarding the infamous Margarito v Cotto fight that you both have contrasting opinions on the matter but reading the entire conversation prompted me to ask certain questions to you and show certain viewpoints that I have held within me for a long time without being able to properly present them.
That curiosity is the belief that I feel Margarito did not cheat vs Cotto. The more I research about this fight, the more convinced I am Margarito did not cheat. I wanted to specifically focus on the two duels with Cotto and the Mosley fight because it’s with certainty that Margarito and Capetillo were found with suspicious handwraps against Mosley but I believe what was discovered that night gave rise to a fantasy of mythological proportions which has now become crystalised as fact – and that is Margarito cheated against Cotto. This has now almost painted Cotto to be a sympathetic figure who had his career drastically altered but that is unequivocally false. As such, I would like to present the following points, questions, facts, opinions and viewpoints for you to please consider –
1) The CSAC only served Margarito a 1 year suspension on the basis that they had ‘made no finding that Margarito had knowledge of the inserts’ (1) and served Capetillo a lifetime ban. Surely if Cotto strongly believed Margarito cheated against him then why did he not file criminal charges against him and Capetillo in a separate lawsuit? Surely there would have been grounds for aggravated assault with a weapon? Surely winning that lawsuit against Margarito, against Capetillo, against the Nevada Commission would have brought him more money than any fight ever has and more importantly, would have given him justice in the form of answers to the questions he wanted answering regarding Margarito and his handwraps? Surely, given the nature of his allegations, a more in-depth criminal investigation would have been warranted thereby uncovering more evidence which would have been extremely important, namely undertaking a forensic analysis on the handwraps used? This passive attitude and lack of action by Cotto irks me considering he alleges Margarito cheated against him but did nothing to aggressively rectify it through legal channels.
2) Cotto believes Margarito cheated yet he’s never pressed the issue further as he should have (as noted above). This is the same Cotto who once swore he would never let Margarito make money off his name yet was content in fighting him (2). Why would you fight a guy who you claim cheated against you, for no reason other than money? Why would you give him that opportunity? In addition, Cotto’s stance is in stark contrast to what the head of the Nevada Commission Keith Kizer said in that there was no wrongdoing of any kind by Margarito and his team. Kizer said “we have experienced inspectors not only watching the hands being wrapped, but also the gloves being put on. They feel the wraps and sign them and then the gloves and sign them.” He also said representatives from the Cotto camp were in Margarito’s dressing room during the entire wrapping of the hands. “They were in there from the beginning. Not only them but people from HBO, people from MGM, there are always a dozen or so people in the dressing room. I’m pleased with the process we have in Nevada. Not only does it stop anybody who tries to do something like that, it stops anybody who is thinking about doing it” (3).
3) I want to bring your attention to the 2 fights that both men had. There are certain idiosyncrasies I noticed in the 1st fight which I believe were crucial to the outcome. Since the beginning of the fight, Cotto kept backing up against the ropes which is a suicidal strategy against an elite welterweight with a size advantage for you are inviting him to walk you down. Every time Cotto moved off the ropes, he would swivel off with his hands in an almost Philly shell posture – one hand next to the side of his face and the other over his midsection, which invited Margarito to throw shots around to the uncovered side of Cotto’s head. He did not clinch at all. From the first bell, Cotto almost never clinched and decided to rely on circling away in his ineffective posture or again, backing up to the ropes. He opted to fire combinations as opposed to dictating the pace of the fight with his superior jab – in fact, he allowed Margarito to consistently land his jab without attempting to negate/counter it. Margarito merely blinked at Cotto’s shots and we know you cannot put plaster, steroids or any other enhancement in a man’s chin. It seems to me as though from the first bell, Cotto’s gameplan was to box Margarito off the back foot but his entire approach was wrong and I feel this was not because of some loaded gloves but because of Cotto’s defensive flaws. No clinching, hands not up, no countering Margarito’s jab and suspect stamina against a guy with elite stamina, iron chin, voluminous attack and relentless pressure. Having watched the fight numerous times, I always walk away believing Cotto was complicit in his loss – he made things very easy for Margarito to exploit (4).
You have said Breadman, that one of the most alarming things from that war is that Margarito did not win a single major fight after that. That is correct as he was knocked out by Mosley and punished by Pacquiao. But I believe Mosley’s performance that night wasn’t directly attributed to the fact Margarito had his wraps confiscated. If you rewatch that magnificent performance, you’ll notice Mosley did everything Cotto DIDN’T do – he used his jab to tremendous effect knowing Margarito would be a sitting duck for the right hand, which Mosley landed fed him without remorse. He was walking down the naturally aggressive Margarito instead of backing up on the ropes like Cotto did. When circling away, he would stab Margarito with spiteful right hands either to the body or to the head. He used the clinch very effectively and consistently to stymie all of Margarito’s attacks by locking up when needed, physically bullying him, pushing Margarito back to the centre of the ring or to the ropes (knowing that this would cause Margarito to reset) and never throwing more than 3 shots in a combination. I saw the same Margarito in there with Mosley except with one obvious difference – he was confronted by a man with a gameplan (5).
And that leads me to bring you to the 2nd fight. Immediately from the off, Cotto started doing everything he DIDN’T do in the first fight and everything Mosley DID. He was much tighter defensively. He began to back Margarito up when needed. He was throwing no more than 3 to 4 shots in a combination. He was actually clinching. He was spiteful in landing head and body shots by sitting down more on his shots. He kept Margarito in the centre of the ring as often and as best as he could. He was helped by the fact Margarito’s eye had essentially turned to powder by Pacquiao but nevertheless, he forced Margarito to realise this was not 2009 anymore but 2011. Margarito still came on strong and Cotto was beginning to tire, his suspect stamina once again coming into play but by then, he had already masterfully worked Margarito over in similar fashion as Mosley had done (6).
I believe, going off from my eyes based on watching those 3 fights, there was no foul play by Margarito in ‘ruining’ Cotto’s career. He was instead outgunned by men with better boxing IQ and who had made the necessary adjustments to negate Margarito’s strengths.
4) I also want to touch on the difference in Margarito’s corner between Cotto 1 and Cotto 2. In the first fight, he was with Capetillo, whose teaching style fit Margarito’s fighting style like a glove. If you notice in the 2nd fight, Robert Garcia was manning the corner instead and was trying to (hopelessly) convert Margarito into a cuter boxer by using his jab not as a range finder but as though he was a master boxer and being more selective in his shots. This was also evident in his comeback fight VS Roberto Garcia, which resulted in an insipid performance from Margarito. You touch on dispositions a lot Breadman and in this instance, I don’t know why Garcia tried to deviate from Margarito’s natural disposition. He’s not a master boxer nor does he possess finesse. He was and always will be a relentless pressure fighter in the same vein as Sor Rungvisai, who apparently has only ever thrown jabs for 5% of his career.
(I also want to say Breadman that you brilliantly noted that Margarito never won a single major fight after Cotto … but also please consider Mosley didn’t win a single major fight ever again after Margarito. Mosley went 3-5-1 before retiring. Also, notice how the difference in public opinion between Margarito and Mosley (who admitted under oath in using ‘the cream and the clear’) is still evident. One is crucified, the other’s actions are ignored).
5) I would also like to add that Manny Pacquiao said Margarito hurt him in the 6th round with body shots but was unable to capitalize and land more than 1 or 2 punches at any one time (7). I feel this is an important nugget of information because this was after Cotto 1. Clearly, he was able to retain some power if he was able to force a prime Pacquiao to buckle over in pain, no easy feat.
6) My final point pertains to Miguel Cotto himself and his career post Margarito. Many of his fans always say ‘Margarito ruined Cotto’. In fact, we have numerous variations of this notion over the years such as ‘Cotto had his career shortened’, ‘Cotto was left as damaged goods’, ‘Cotto was never the same fighter again’. Each notion in a nutshell, encapsulates the opinion that Cotto was never the same boxer after Margarito as he was prior to facing him.
But I strongly disagree with this and I hope you see where I’m coming from when I present these facts. If Margarito ruined Cotto to the extent that is often said, then how was Cotto able to go on to have a successful finish to his career? He looked uncomfortable against Clottey but I always felt that was due to a styles clash. He was overwhelmed by Pacquiao but that fight was at a catchweight of 145 pounds, Cotto was trained by Joe Santiago who is eons behind Freddie Roach and Pacquiao is a once in a generation talent. Pacquiao was coming off demolishing De la Hoya and Hatton so there was no shame to that force of terror. But considering this, I didn’t see a ruined Cotto in his excellent fight with Floyd Mayweather. I didn’t see a shot Cotto in his loss to Canelo. I didn’t see a diminished Cotto V Trout. I didn’t see a psychologically broken Cotto against Sadam Ali. In fact, consider his wins within the same time frame. He looked exceptional taking out Foreman and Mayorga. He looked tremendous knocking out Geale in more or less the same time and fashion as Golovkin did. He embarrassed Kamegai onto claiming the vacant 154 WBO title. He looked brilliant destroying Delvin Rodriguez, who went 12 rounds at 154 V Erislandy Lara. He also scored his best career win against Sergio Martinez, annihilating him in 10 rounds at 160. I know there are extenuating circumstances surrounding some of these wins such as catchweights and pre-existing injuries but I’d like you to just assess Cotto’s performance prima facie.
Given the facts above, how is it feasible or logical to suggest Margarito ruined Cotto when Cotto’s greatest successes came after Margarito? Never once if any of those fights bar Pacquiao did he look broken or diminished or fragmented. The quintessential definition of a broken/ruined fighter is Victor Ortiz who following the loss to Maidana, began to continuously wilt and look for an exit from the well time and time again. In fact, it might even be said Cotto looked like a BETTER fighter after Margarito than he had ever looked at any point in his career. He grew exponentially under the tutelage of Pedro Diaz, Emmanuel Steward and later, Freddie Roach. He become more composed, more astute, went back to using his educated jab and patented left hook, showed much more variation on his shots and paced himself better in order to mitigate his earlier stamina issues. This was no better reflected than by Bob Arum, who after having made Cotto V Margarito 2 official said "Margarito knows how to fight only one way, and that is to come straight ahead. Cotto has to be more intelligent this time and have more gas in the tank. I talked to Cotto about that and he said, 'There's one big difference for me in this fight as opposed to the first fight, the smart old guy in my corner.'" (8)
In conclusion, I don’t think there is enough empirical evidence to suggest Antonio Margarito cheated against Miguel Cotto in their 1st fight based on what I have outlined above. Please forgive me for composing such a long email but I had a lot to address to you guys. I hope that I do not take up too much of your time when your read this and I also hope I have articulately addressed my points as best I could to you. I want to hear any feedback you guys have on this for I hold your opinions in the highest of regards – whether that feedback be good, bad or even ugly.
Hope you enjoy reading this (monumental) essay ???? and I hope you guys can reply back with your thoughts
Bread’s Response: Thank you my friend. But please don’t ever write me something so long again, lol. However I will answer you out of respect. I assume it took you quite some time to put together this well thought out question, so I will do my best to answer you the best way I can.
1) Often times whenever there is a controversial two sided event, we have a preordained thought process as to what “really” happened. It’s our subconscious subjective preference. So you believe Margarito didn’t cheat vs Cotto. That’s fine and you have a great argument as to why he didn’t. It’s logical and fair. But I disagree.
Miguel Cotto is a professional fighter. He can legally punch someone in the face and incapacitate them. Because he didn’t want to sue or take further legal action in a case he knew was impossible to prove, does NOT make Margarito an innocent man. Being innocent and not guilty are two different things. By the letter of the law, there is no court in the world that could have proved that Margarito used the same knuckle pads vs Cotto that he TRIED to use vs Mosley 6 months later. That’s impossible to prove and any person versed in criminal justice knows that. But an opinion does not have to go by the letter of the law. Opinions especially reasonable ones can go by the Spirit of the Law. So Cotto fought Margarito again and punched him the face and got revenge!
OJ Simpson may be not guilty by the letter of the law. But common sense tells you that he’s not an innocent man by the spirit of the law. I’m a fair man. And I call a ball a ball and a strike a strike. I believe OJ did it. So in the Margarito case….
There is no dispute that his trainer inserted used knuckle pads inside of new gauze. There is no dispute that the inserted illegal knuckle pads were used before. Now here is the common sense part…Why would Capetillo(Margarito’s trainer) use someone else’s pads for Margarito’s hands? And if they were used before, I think it’s reasonable to assume that Margarito either used them in the gym or in a fight. The fight before the Mosley fight was Margarito’s best career victory vs Miguel Cotto. So a large majority of people believe he used them vs Cotto.
I’m not 100% sure if he did or not, but my guts tell me he at least used them in training and sparring. I don’t for one second believe those knuckle pads belonged to another fighter and Capetillo mistakenly just threw them in a bag, and wrapped them in unused new gauze to get ready for his best fighter’s biggest fight.
People have done things to me my man. And I didn’t sue because I don’t feel like the hassle. Sometimes I shake it off. Sometimes I’ve handled it on my own. But not going to court didn’t mean they were innocent and they didn’t do it.
2) The handwraps were signed off on by the NSAC. Of course they will say the wraps were legal. What else can they say? I’m not saying the NSAC is lying. I believe them when they say the wraps were ok. But that doesn’t mean it’s a fact. Let’s remember. One of Margarito’s handwraps were deemed legal by California also before the unwrapped hand was found to have an illegal pad. Mistakes can be made is all I’m saying. And it was a little unfair to put the Nevada commission under scrutiny and force them to go back in time because of something that was found in California 6 months later.
All I’m saying is that it’s not unreasonable for Capetillo to have already had the new gauze around the old knuckle pad in Vegas. Upon physical and visual inspection it can “look” legal. Do you really believe that when a person is caught doing something illegal, that the 1st time they got caught is the 1st time they did it. That’s ridiculous bro. It really is. Cheaters are sneaky. They are good at cheating. They usually don’t get caught often.
3) I agree with you about you’re 3rd point. Cotto over moved vs Margarito in the 1st fight. Looking back it was a tactical era. Margarito has an iron chin and great stamina. It always showed. That’s why I was a big fan.
And no Margarito didn’t ruin Cotto’s career. That was a big myth. Let me tell you where that came from. It came from the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao Civil War. Mayweather and Pacquiao fans tried to do everything to discredit the other’s resume. So Cotto being ruined by Margarito diminished Pac’s 2009 career best performance over Cotto. But in 2012 when Cotto fought Mayweather extremely well then that argument didn’t keep the same substance. You can’t be shot in 2009 and not be shot in 2012. Cotto had his career best win in 2014 vs Martinez and he fought excellent vs a much bigger Canelo Alvarez in 2015 and was not stopped. So Margarito ruining him was an overstated myth. I agree 100% with that.
But new flash! Just because an athlete is already good or great, it doesn’t mean they won’t cheat. We have seen great cyclist, baseball players, track stars who were already top athletes cheat. Cheating won’t make average special. But it can make very good excellent, and excellent great. Just because Margarito was a monster with or without those knuckle pads, didn’t mean he never used them. Capetillo put them in there for a reason.
4) I think Margarito actually slipped more than Cotto did between their two fights. So that can also lead to downward performances. He’s a high volume pressure guy and they slip fast. And while Cotto took a beating the 1st fight, so did Margarito. So along with the adjustments, we saw a Cotto who had more in the tank although I admit Margarito would have always been hell on him. Just a tough style match up. But again that doesn’t mean he wasn’t aided with the knuckle pads.
The Mosley and Margarito treatment has been different I admit it. For whatever reason I just can’t call it But I suspect it’s because Shane Mosley is just a nice guy, with a nice smile and he’s not viewed as a villain although he used PEDs. Margarito has a villainous look to him so therefore he’s portrayed that way. Also in both cases you have different victims. Cotto is well liked victim who people sympathized with. Mosley used PEDs vs Oscar and the fight was a decision in which most feel Oscar really won anyway. So the victimization is different in the cases. But I do agree. The treatment is much more harsh on Margarito.
5) Listen no one is saying Margarito couldn’t punch. He was obviously heavy handed. So he hurt Pac with a liver shot. That in no way clears him of using a loaded wrap before the Pac fight. Come on man. Judging a wrongdoing does not work like that. You failed to mention that Marg was also 17lbs heavier on the night of the fight. If we fact check we have to check all the facts not just the ones that prove our side that we want to believe.
6) I already touched on this. Cotto had some very good performances post Margarito. He wasn’t ruined by the 1st fight. But just because the sympathy and sentiment led the public to believe he was ruined doesn’t mean that Margarito didn’t use loaded wraps in the 1st fight.
Often times trainers and fighters do little things that are technically illegal to gain an edge. They will skin the gloves. Meaning take the strings up as high and as tight as they can past the wrist to manipulate the foam. They will put a little salt water in the drinking the bottle so the fighter does not dehydrate in tough long fights. They will put a little extra grease in certain areas so the fighter can be slippery. They will use legal knuckle pads a few days before the fight so it can fit the fighter’s hand perfectly. Technically all of these things are illegal but I don’t see them as major infractions.
Now using a beat up used knuckle pad, that was later found to have a sulfur chemical on it that hardens is the same as using a PED in my opinion. This is not giving a guy some clear Gatorade before a fight for carbs. We know for a fact that Margarito’s trainer attempted to do this before the Mosley fight. We know for a fact that the CSAC missed it in the first hand that was wrapped. We know Margarito’s trainer would have tried to get away with it if he could have. He was made to rewrap the wrapped hand.
Again as I said in the previous answered question…. The only two things we don’t know is if Margarito was IN on it and how much damage could the loaded pad do. They could have been used for hand protection or damage infliction. I suspect they made the hands slightly heavier and harder. Small things lead to big things. Capetillo took the hit so we don’t know what Margarito knew or didn’t know. Unless Capetillo or someone in their camp decides to tell, then we can’t prove that and I won’t attempt to speculate on the that. The facts DO NOT definitively show that Margarito knew. But I still feel he benefited.
In my personal conclusion I will speculate on Capetillo using those knuckle guards by mistake, which was his excuse. Again I don’t believe that. Every fighter’s hands are different. And I don’t believe you sneak a knuckle pad in unused gauze by mistake. I also don’t believe that it was another fighter’s knuckle pad. Common sense tells me it was Margarito’s so it can shape to his specific hand. Now that doesn’t mean it was something they used for fights. A fighter is in the gym much more than he is in actual fights. I’ve seen fighters use maxi pads, duct tape and all kinds of contraptions in the gym to protect their hands. But the sulfur substance on the pads and the sneaking lead me to believe that Capetillo is 100% guilty and that’s why he was banned for life. I also believe he was 100% loyal to Margarito thus there was no turning on one another. And I believe Margarito at least used these pads prior to the Mosley fight. I have no idea if it was in the gym or an actual fight.
I got back into boxing recently (as a spectator) after watching Tyson as a kid and have landed on your daily bread as my favorite source for information; thanks so much for sharing. I have a couple of questions based on some recent answers:
1. I enjoyed hearing you talk about your personal experiences that informed you early on (listening to the old timers talk boxing, baseball, and women). It made me curious — is there an interesting story you’d be willing to share about “Breadman”?
2. In an answer recently, I believe you were naming good finishers, after every name you pointed to a specific fight to go check out. It took me forever to get through your mailbag that week — it was awesome. Mind sharing (off the top of your head) some personal favorite videos? I’d be curious at least about your favorite fights, videos that you think every fan should watch, videos every fan should understand, and boxing documentaries.
Bread’s Response: Ironically on the best team I ever played on. The 1987 Northwest Raiders 100lb Football Championship Team my nickname was the Professor because I knew all of the plays offensive and defensive. But I’m no professor, honestly I just have a unique memory for sports.
1. Man I have so many stories I literally can’t remember all of them at a summons. But if someone I grew up with brought them up I could give you intimate details. First you would have you to know how I grew up. I was born in West Philly and lived there until I was 7. My parents then bought a house uptown in the Broad n Olney section of Philly. Both neighborhoods were similar but I was getting older so I started doing more as we moved.
It was as if the stars lined up. In my new neighborhood our block alone had 58 row houses. The next hundred up and down had a similar amount of houses. The neighborhood itself was about 6 blocks north and south and 4 blocks East and West. Our block alone Camac Street had about 20 families with kids all within 5 years of each other. So going outside on a regular summer day, it looked like a block party. I lived right in the middle of the block at 7 and 8 it felt like the center of the universe.
We lived like a series of movies as we grew into adulthood. It was like a Black Stand By Me movie. No BS. As we grew into adolescence it turned into “The Wood”, then “Boyz in the Hood”, “Lean on Me” and later “Paid in Full”. If you have seen all of these movies you will know exactly what I’m talking about. I hope my kids have as much fun as I did just not the trouble.
I have two stories I can recall as I type. One is when I first had sexual relations with a girl. Having sex as a young dude was the biggest deal in my life at the time. I had this one girl over my best buddies house and when it was over everyone was outside cheering and slapping me high fives. I was about 14. The funny thing is that after getting more experienced I don’t consider what I had sex. I don’t know what you call it but it wasn’t sex lol. But you would’ve thought I hit the game winning shot in a basketball game.
A little while later the first girl I was ever “really” with had another boyfriend and he wanted to fight me. My step dad came home and saw me and my crew on my step getting ready, waiting for the kid to come fight me. The girl told me the guy was coming to my house to fight. My step dad asked what was going on and I told him I was going to fight this kid. He said no don’t wait for him to come to you, take his heart and go to him. Bully the bully. So we walked around the girl’s house and made her call the kid. The kid didn’t want to fight because I took his heart that I went to him. I learned a valuable lesson that day.
2. I love Reznick, Hanzagod and Lee Wylie boxing videos. There is a Muhammad Ali, Joe Louis and Roberto Duran video that I watch often. Check them out. But I love all of their work.
The first documentary I ever watched was Pound for Pound. A documentary on Sugar Ray Robinson. I was made to watch it at 10 years old. I’m glad I was made to watch it.
My favorite fights to watch. I have many but I will condense it and tell you why.
Sugar Ray Leonard vs Thomas Hearns1. You rarely get a fight where two all time greats in their prime, in the greatest division ever, in their early 20s. It may never happen again because of the new mentality. Then the clash of styles and what they represented. Leonard the Golden Boxer. Hearns the killer. They reversed roles and Leonard comes from behind and stops Hearns late. You just don’t get better than that.
Salvador Sanchez vs Wilfredo Gomez. Gomez the killer and huge puncher. Sanchez the well rounded boxer lets Gomez lead and runs him into counters and stops him in a historic win. Sanchez was indefatigable that night. He played coy and destroyed.
Alexis Arguello vs Alfredo Escalera1. My goodness what a systematic breakdown. Arguello is ridiculous in the box. His offense is just insane. Power punches, in combinations with variety. Arguello was not athletic. But he was skillful and he threw every punch correct. He had every punch also. He had a hook that looked like it was going to be a jab until he turned it. His jab was a bazooka. His right uppercut to the body is the best in the history of boxing. And his straight right hand is the best in the history of boxing from 130lbs on down. My goodness he did a number on Escalera.
Felix Trinidad vs Fernando Vargas. To see a prime great fighter take on a serious young stud in a unification match was something. Tito was magical that night. You talk about pressure. Geezus. Hook after hook. Step around after step around. Power jab after power jab. Tito is life and death with anyone in history circa 154ish on that night. I don’t care who you name. He was THAT good.
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