By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the return of Gennady Golovkin, the recent injury suffered by Zab Judah, detailing some of the rising prospects in the sport, and more.
I am an admitted Zab Judah die hard. So I may come off as biased. But his opponent Cletus Seldin has tested positive multiple times for high testosterone levels and other PEDs. VADA has actually caught him in the Clean Testing Program. HBO promoted him like he was Jack Dempsey and now he fights a legend and Zab gets stopped and he’s seriously injured. Zab will not be able to get a boxing license again which is a good thing at this point. But if Zab is denied a license, certainly a cheater like Seldin shouldn’t have one either. Do you know if there was any testing for this fight?
Bread’s Response: I never really gave Zab’s fight much thought until you wrote in. I didn’t even know who his opponent was. Now in light of Zab getting seriously hurt I did look up his opponent and in an ESPN article it states that he has had two separate issues with high testosterone levels of over 20 to 1 ratios which is deadly high. The article also states that STANOZOLOL was also in his system.
I don’t know if there was any strict testing for Judah’s fight. But if there wasn’t then that will raise a red flag in my opinion. Zab is a New York legend, multiple time world champion and a possible HOF. I’m really glad that he’s not in a coma and his health looks to be improving.
I hope someone much more important than I am realizes that Zab Judah fought someone with such a questionable past. Maybe something will be done in boxing overall. Maybe obtaining a boxing license after testing positive multiple times won’t be so easy.
I’m not suggesting that Seldin was on PEDS for this fight. I have no idea. But anybody that thinks this is not a serious question is BAD for boxing. Let’s hope this topic gets looked into. It’s very SUPER serious.
Hey Breadman, what did you think of Golovkin’s performance against Rolls? I know that he had a relatively short training camp with Banks, something like three weeks.
I know that it’s a transition period for GGG, but instead of increasing his punch output( like Banks said he wanted), it seemed like it actually decreased. Maybe it was due to Rolls having a tight guard, or maybe just ring rust. Either way, do you it is possible for Golovkin to tweak his game with a longer training camp based on what we saw Saturday?
Nate Rodríguez Ortiz
Bread’s Response: GGG looked pretty good to me considering. He has a new trainer and he’s been off for while. Rolls is not a killer but he’s not a pushover either.
From what I can see Banks is doing a good job with GGG. The mission is to get GGG to get off quicker with a better rhythm. Here is the issue. Canelo is NOT intimidated by GGG’s power. Canelo does not fight GGG to keep him off of him. He fights him to do damage to him by attacking him. Canelo will always get off quicker than GGG. Banks and GGG have to find a way to break Canelo’s rhythm. They also have to attack Canelo like an animal the same way Canelo attacks them. I’m excited to see if they can pull it off. GGG threw some nice body shots on Rolls and he also showed some great improvising. He threw a cross over left hand from the southpaw stance to score a one punch ko. That’s a good sign. It shows his mind was clicking.
GGG can tweak his gameplan. GGG can fix a few things. But Canelo is just comfortable fighting him. Canelo just knows he can beat G. Canelo is not afraid of him. It won’t be easy but it can be done.
Congratulations for the victory of J-Rock, it was an impressive performance. Two issues:
I saw on ESPN that they asked you, along with other coaches, about the change of Golovkin's coach. I'm glad that I include you in the survey, I always appreciate your vision. That's what I recorded in an Oscar de la Hoya, which is the boxer that reminds me that the coach has changed (Alcazar, Rivero, Clancy, Steward, Mayweather, Sr., and others) and the truth is that you could appreciate the changes in their style with each of them, although so much change is a bad idea, so my question is this: when a veteran boxer changes trainer, what do you think is more important for that change to be successful, the adaptability of the boxer and the ability of the coach to know what changes are they possible and what are not? For example, not all fighters will be able to make a the Mayweather's defense, or not all can do with success a change of fighter a boxer (for example Barrera) or become more aggressive at the end of his career to gratify to the public (Márquez). There are coaches who insist on imposing their style on the boxer, which can sometimes be counterproductive, while others only polish details. Can you tell me what are the elements that a coach must take into account when he has to train a boxer formed by other trainer? What are the best coaches to make changes in a boxer?
As for the Golovkin-Rolls fight; Golovkin knocks out Rolls with a left hook that pulls from the left position, if I'm not wrong, that's the technique of changing the guard to throw a more powerful shot with the forward arm called shifting, is that correct? Many times is the result of get badly positioned when you throw teh right hand. It comes to mind Fernando Montiel, who got some KOs in his career using that technique (Castillo, Concepción) and I know that he training it in the gym. But in general there are not many boxers to use it. Can you think of other fighters who use it frequently? Or in your case the best you know.
Ricardo, from Spain.
Bread’s Response: The move that GGG knocked Rolls out with is called shifting. Many fighters have used this move I will give you a few at al levels.
Buster Douglas shifted in his KO of Mike Tyson. If you look closely Douglas hit Tyson with an overhand left. James Toney also shifted when he kod Michael Nunn in their fight. If you watch Julian Williams vs Freddy Hernandez the ko was a shift cross over move.
Marvin Hagler constantly shifted back and forth and he kod Tony Sibson with the move. Roberto Duran consistently shifted throughout his career. He was the master of it.
It’s doesn’t always mean you are out of position. In my opinion it also shows that a fighter is intuitive. It shows that they flow smoothly through transitioning and they process well. Some fighters start over when they get caught up in another stance but if they’re processing well they just keep flowing and punching.
What people don’t understand is that 99% of the coaches are training fighters who had another coach before them. Despite the myths that’s just how it is. I think that being successful with that depends on the chemistry between the fighter and coach. And it also depends on how the fighter views the coach. You can always tell when a fighter really believes in a coach.
Obviously every coach wants to stamp his beliefs, styles and solutions to problems on the fighter. Otherwise all the coach would be is a parrot to the previous coach. But you have to take into consideration of what has worked for the fighter before you got him. It’s very interesting.
You speak of De La Hoya. I was a huge fan of Oscar the fighter. I thought there were two pockets in his career where he could have competed with anyone in history on a few given nights. In 9696 when he went on his run and defeated Genaro Hernandez, Rafael Ruelas and Julio Cesar Chavez. I’m telling you from 135-140 you couldn’t name 5 men in history to beat Oscar head to head.
Also after the 1st Mosely fight, when he defeated Arturo Gatti, Darrell Coley, Fernando Vargas up until the 2nd Mosley fight in which he was robbed. Oscar looked fantastic in that pocket also. But I really feel is that Oscar over did it. He changed trainers so often there were small moments in tight fights where he could have ascended from ATG to Mt. Rushmore. Can you imagine how Oscar would be regarded if he had official wins over Trinidad, Mosley, Hopkins and Mayweather. He was in all of those fights with a chance to win after 8 rounds. He was either leading on points after 8 or within a round or 2 of winning. Think about that. But in tight moments he seemed to adjust wrong.
Emanuel Steward is the best coach of I’ve seen at adjusting after a fighter has taken some losses or needs an overhaul. He made Klitshcko more patient. Klitschko still scored kos but his kos came later with less risk. Steward also instilled a rhythm breaking double jab to Holyfield in the Bowe fight. And if you look at Lennox Lewis he made him tougher. He made Lewis more comfortable “fighting” instead of being so skittish. Watch Lewis’s fights with Hoylfield. Lewis showed a toughness that he wasn’t given credit for and he showed an in the box skillset that was uncommon for him.
Please arrange in descending order of their potential -
Teofimo Lopez, Vergil Ortiz, Devin Haney, Jaron Ennis, Ryan Garcia and Eduardo 'Rocky' Hernandez.
Also, what do you think will be there ceiling weight. As in, do you a Haney or a Ortiz taking the welterweight throne from Crawford in the future
Bread’s Response: Jaron Ennis has the potential to win titles from 147-160. That’s a really difficult trifecta. In fact Only Emille Griffith, Tommy Hearns, Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto and Oscar De La hoya who got a gift vs Felix Sturm have done it. It’s a very difficult trifecta and Ennis is that good. It’s a shame he doesn’t have the promotional PUSH. Ennis’s ceiling weight 160.
I view Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez as even. Lopez seems to be more highly regarded but I see them as even. Haney’s jab, conditioning and boxing ability is even with Lopez’s punching power and explosiveness. Both of their ceiling weights is 147. And no they can’t mess with Crawford just yet. Dam my man that’s two divisions up against the best fighter in the world.
Vergil Ortiz is next for me. He may not be as athletic or have the personality of the others. But I think he’s very good. He has the potential to win titles at 140-147. Ceiling weight 147.
Ryan Garcia would be next for me. He’s really talented but he’s sort of leveled off lately. Ceiling weight 147.
Eduardo Hernandez would be last on this list. He’s a very good fighter but I don’t see the talent in him as the others you have listed. Ceiling weight 135.
I want to point out something. You guys always forget Shakur Stevenson. If I had to rank prospects in boxing. Stevenson would be no lower than 3rd and I think he has the best chance to win a title in his division. At featherweight he’s a nightmare for anyone.
What’s up Bread,
I want to first thank you for your insights on the sweet science! I look forward to your column on Saturdays. Golovkin looked very ordinary in his win over Rolls, in fact he looked slow and somewhat lethargic. Was that ring rust, age or a combination of both?
My second question is this, could you elaborate on the high skill level of fighters like Archie Moore, B Hop, Floyd JR, to name a few, who continued to perform at 37 years old and older? Golovkin is an ex Olympian, who to me, looks diminished at 37, hopefully I’m making sense, please elaborate? Thank you!
Bread’s Response: I think GGG looked fine. For fighters of Rolls’s level GGG usually will eat a punch or two. Then sometime in the first third of the fight he concusses them. I think you’re over analyzing.
GGG’s problem is he doesn’t get off fast at the very top level. Against guys like Canelo and Jacobs he doesn’t time them well with series of power punches. But Canelo is a top P4P fighter and he’s smaller and quicker. GGG catches up to 95% of the fighters in the world.
GGG has to figure out how to beat Canelo. Most other fighters he stops. He just punches too hard and if he doesn’t respect what’s coming back he eats you up.
I think you just don’t like GGG so you picked out fighters who excelled over 37. But GGG is doing ok. His biggest rival is 8 years younger than him and most people thought he won both fights. He certainly won the 1st one.
At 37 Moore was taking some losses also it’s just that back then you could lose and it wouldn’t be a big deal. Mayweather has never lost but at 37 he was going life and death with Marcos Maidana who certainly is no Canelo. Hopkins lost to Jermaine Taylor twice at middleweight and I believe Canelo is better than Taylor. I’m not trying to discredit any of the fighters you highlighted. I’m just showing you how anyone can attack a fighter’s resume if they chose too.
GGG is a 37 and I have no problem with him showing slippage. He does VADA consistently. He was ducked in his prime. He didn’t come to America until he was 30. And Canelo is a great fighter. Most clean fighters slip slightly at 37. It’s just how humans are built.
To answer you directly Moore, Mayweather and Hopkins have smooth relaxed defensive boxer puncher styles. That style will always age better than ultra aggressive fighters. As you get older your testosterone goes down. You lose vigor and aggressiveness naturally. Look at how hype a highschool football team gets. Then look at a pro team. The pros can get hype but not like the teenagers. It’s just human nature. So GGG slipping at 37 is what is supposed to happen. 99% of the fighters in history were better at 27 than they were at 37. That’s no indictment on his ability. He’s a power punching aggressive technician. But if you notice at the top level he relies on a jab more because he may not have it to be an animal for 12 rounds anymore. It’s not easy. In fact the most remarkable case I’ve seen among aggressive fighters is Manny Pacquiao. I can’t think of a fighter with over 70 fights at 40 years old with his style that has retained as much of his ability that he has. It’s very uncommon especially considering he does VADA these days.
Overall I think you’re being too harsh of a critic on GGG. If you hold him into his proper perspective with fighters who fought at similar weights and relied on similar traits. Hagler retired at 32. Monzon retired at 34. Arguello was pretty much done at 33 despite a late comeback 10 years later. Tony Zale was done at 35. Julio Cesar Chavez was done at 36.
All of this fighters were heavy handed technicians but not overwhelming athletes. Most of these fighters competed at middleweight. Chavez and Arguello were a little bit smaller but they applied the same heavy handed logic to their approach. Anything a CLEAN fighter does on the other side of 35 is a plus, but it shouldn’t be a foregone conclusion. Golovkin has over 300 amateur fights for crying out loud. He should be slowing down!
You’ve stated several times about fighters who put together the “perfect fight”. What about fighters who never recovered or we’re flat out ruined from a tough loss-using Jeff Lacey vs. Joe Calzaghe as a baseline marker as a fighter who was ruined in defeat or Meldrick Taylor, who was not only robbed of victory against Chavez St, but the brutal beating he received from J.C Superstar the first time they met seemed to sap most of what made him so special. Or further still, fighters who we’re damaged mentally from defeat - Roy Jones (vs Tarver 2) or Hector Camacho, who became more than a little gun-shy after surviving his clash with Edwin Rosario......How good was Tony Ayala? I’ve heard some “experts” claim he would have beaten Tommy Hearns or Sugar Ray Leonard? That seems far fetched....Speaking Of those two, they are part of the ‘Four Kings’.How do you rate the modern 4 Kings (Pacquiao, Morales, Barrera & Marquez)? I think it can be argued that group put together even more compelling fights. Plus they are a lot closer in historical standing, Pacquiao is head and shoulders above the rest due to his accomplishments, but a legit argument could be made in regards to how any of the other three greats are ranked....Were Ken Norton, Antonio Tarver & Marquez all great fighters who benefited heavily from providing a match-up nightmares for The ATG fighters (Ali, Jones & Pacquiao) they are most closely associated with?...Who are the most skilled “dirty fighters” in recent memory (like Hopkins, Cassamayor) & did you consider Holyfield along those lines? Is Mills Lane somewhat to blame for Tyson/Holyfield 2 in the sense that he let Holyfield use his head as a weapon? Or is that a stretch?. Or was Tyson destined to self destruct that night once he was met with resistance? Who do you rank higher historically, Tyson or M. Spinks?
Mythical Matchups (each in their absolute peaks)
-Some Of these will be off the beaten track
T. Witherspoon vs. M.Tyson (HWT)
M.McCallum vs. GGG (160)
E.Dejesus vs. S.Mosely (135)
D.Curry vs. T. Crawford (147)
P.Whitaker vs T.Hearns (147)
K.Tszyu vs. A.Pryor (140)
S.Collins vs J. Calzaghe (168)
S. Kovalev vs. Roy Jones (175)
M. Moorer vs G.Johnson (175)
J.Paul vs. L. Breamble (135)
W.Gomez vs J. Fenech (122)
R. Lockridge vs. N. Hamed (126)
Bread’s Response: It’s really complex on the ruin theory. I’ve seen guys take terrible beatings and lose and they never come back right. But when they take the same beating and win they are fine. 90% of the time it’s mental not physical. In Meldrick’s Taylor’s case I think it was both and part of his out of the ring lifestyle.
There are too many fighters who just could not handle a loss. Ed Hopson was a good little fighter back in the day. He got clipped and his career just went down hill. Donald Curry was as good as a fighter that I’ve seen on his best day. But he never put it together after the Honeyghan fight.
Hector Camacho wasn’t ruined vs Rosario but he certainly didn’t perform on the level anymore. I respect Camacho for his greatness but he gets a little overrated when people give him a credit for having an iron chin. He never really opened up after Rosario and a fighter as skilled as Camacho if they play defense, can keep themselves from getting stopped. The real iron chin accolades should go to fighters like Wayne McCoullough, GGG, Canelo, Hagler, Holyfield, Foreman, Tua, Margarito and others who tried to murk you and still held up for the most part.
Tony Ayala was really, really good. But anytime a prodigy has a career that is cut short, then a myth grows. I think he would have beaten Davey Moore, but not Hagler, Hearns or Leonard. But after them he would’ve been with anyone at 154. Especially after the IBF came into play and 3 belts were available. I think he would’ve beaten the IBF champions of the mid 80s at 154.
The modern 4 Kings. 1. Pac 2. Barrera 3. Marquez 4. Morales. All all time greats. Marquez, Barrera and Morales are interchangeable I just rank Barrera the highest because he beat Morales 2 out of 3 and I thought he got jobbed vs Marquez with the blown knockdown call.
Norton, Marquez and Tarver all benefited from Ali, Pac and RJ. They seem to have their best career performances vs their historically greater foes. But Norton, Marquez and Tarver were all great in their own right. Especially Marquez he would be a HOF without Pacman.
You named them Hopkins, Casamayor and Holyfield. Mike Tyson was also very skilled and dirty. He finished his hooks with elbows. By recent memory does that include my memory. Roberto Duran and Eusabio Pedraza would head any list. Geez.
It wasn’t Mills Lane fault what happened. Holyfield hurt Tyson in the 1st round and he got off to, too good of a start for Tyson to deal with after being kod in the previous fight. It was just too much. The best thing that happened to Tyson was that DQ. He would have gotten hurt really bad if the fight wasn’t stopped early.
Tyson and Spinks are at similar places historically. Spinks may be slightly higher. I think they both rank between top 50-100 range.
Witherspoon would have been a nightmare for Tyson despite losing to fighters Tyson beat. I can’t call that one because Witherspoon was so inconsistent.
McCallum vs GGG I just don’t know. McCallum had an iron chin but he stood in the box. I just don’t know if anyone wants to let GGG touch them all night. Great fight.
Man these are tough match ups flip a coin on Dejesus vs Mosley.
Flip a coin again on Curry vs Crawford.
Hearns over Whitaker at 147. Late ko.
Pryor would stop Tszyu late.
Calzaghe UD over Collins.
Moorer in a shootout over Johnson. Too big.
Jimmy Paul outboxes Livingston Bramble in a good fight.
Gomez and Fenech would have to fight 3 times. I can envision both winning.
Lockridge clips Hamed. He’s a little too physical and punches a little too hard. With some luck Lockridge is a HOF. Hamed would have multiple losses if he fought Lockridge’s schedule.
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