By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag Returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling numerous topics such as Erislandy Lara vs. Jarrett Hurd, the Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin rematch, the career of Amir Khan, several mythical matchups, thoughts on Vasyl Lomachenko and more.
What do you think of Jermell Charlo being left out of the unification match at 154? I’m not a Charlo fan but I think he beats both Hurd and Lara. Who wins Hurd vs Lara and why?
Bread’s Response: I don’t think Charlo got left out. I think the practical and logical thing happened. Charlo wanted to fight Hurd. . Hurd wanted to fight Lara. Lara didn’t care who he fought. So in that scenario Lara fights Hurd. It sounds complicated but it really isn’t. Three fighters can’t fight at the same time.
Yes I agree I would favor Charlo to beat both Hurd and Lara. Jermell Charlo is very hot and peaking right now. Fighters who are hot, in their prime and peaking are hard to beat.
Lara vs Hurd is an intriguing match up. I always think of an old school match up to get a hold on a fight. This fight reminds me of Jose Luis Castillo vs Joel Casamayor.
If you asked me last year who win between Lara and Hurd I would say Lara easily outboxes him. Lara is one of the 25 best boxers on the planet. He is one of the top 10 most skilled boxers on the planet. He also has serious amateur pedigree and he has tremendous pro experience. Hurd is easy to hit and he was an average amateur at best on the local scene. He also got a late start to boxing. This fight should really be a no brainer.
But the sharp bookies and mood of this fight suggest Lara is in tough. A boxing sharp just told me that Lara has been taking it easy for so long that not only does Hurd beat him but he stops him. I was shocked to hear it. He told me Lara will open as a favorite but it won’t be huge.
After studying both I can’t call a winner right at this moment but I will break some things down. Lara is short to be a 154lb. But he has tremendous reach that most people overlook. His southpaw jab really controls his opponents. But he won’t have the reach advantage in this fight….I’ve also noticed that Hurd can’t cut the ring off in his most natural stance. He can only do it with his hands up moving forward. When he’s in that mode he’s very easy to hit. Hurd has really dull defensive reflexes for a young fighter. His prime won’t last very long but it could be a very high prime because he started boxing late.
I’ve watched Lara and I’m sure he’s a great boxer. What troubles me about him is how well he can fight. Guys like Ray Leonard and Pernell Whitaker could box their asses off but if you made them fight they could do that just as well. I don’t believe Lara can fight “that well”. Or at least he hasn’t shown it as of yet.
Hurd has a way of making his opponents work hard while he’s completely relaxed. Tony Harrison and Austin Trout both looked like someone sucked the oxygen out of them after 6 rounds. It was bizarre because they both hit Hurd whenever they wanted. Hurd is a true deep water fighter.
Lara will have to win rounds early without working too hard. He’s going to need to be up 3 to 1 or 4 to 0 going into the 2nd third of the fight. If he’s not he’s going to get stopped late. Hurd throws heavy whipping shots that don’t concuss you but they debilitate you. All of his knockouts are of that variety.
Because of his late career start and limited amateur background Hurd may not have peaked yet. I don’t know but I can see another year before he actually hits his apex. He has room to grow. If this is true Lara is in trouble. He doesn’t need a 6ft kid with this much physicality peaking against him while Lara is 34 or 35 years old.
I will give you my pick as the fight gets closer.
What's up Bread? Been a while since I've written in, but I never miss reading one of your mailbags. Your take on hypothetical matchups has always been something I've enjoyed and appreciated, so here are a dozen off the top of my head. Let me know who you think wins, and why/how (at their best obviously):
Zab Judah vs Jose Luis Castillo
Arturo Gatti vs Paulie Malignaggi
Chris Byrd vs Anthony Joshua
Lamon Brewster vs Deontay Wilder
James Toney vs David Haye
Vasyl Lomachenko vs Erik Morales
Nate Campbell vs Adrien Broner
Mikey Garcia vs Diego Corrales
Buddy McGirt vs Miguel Cotto
Kassim Ouma vs Jermell Charlo
Oscar De La Hoya vs Canelo Alvarez
Antonio Tarver vs Sergey Kovalev
B from NY
Bread’s Response: Great fights and all tough picks.
I can’t call Castillo vs Judah. I think Castillo was sort of a weight bully and I mean that in a good way. But He never did anything over 135 although he was big enough to be a 140. Castillo had more resolve and was the better fighter. Judah was more dynamic, he was bigger and a better athlete. Drawish type of fight.
Gatti vs Malignaggi would completely sell AC out. This is a tough fight for me also. Paulie went the distance with a prime Cotto and beat Juan Diaz. Gatti got lit up by Wilson Rodriguez a boxer type before coming back to stop him. Gatti does have a crazy win over Leonard Dorin. Flip a coin I say Gatti by split decision.
Joshua too big for Chris Byrd.
Wilder. Brewster takes too many punches.
Haye would be too mobile for bad ass James.
Loma is the sexy pick but I need to know more about him in order to pick him over Erik Morales. Morales was really good with southpaws because he threw variations of the right hand. Up, under, around and straight.
Broner by decision.
Oh God Garcia vs Corrales. Right now I say Diego by late stoppage in the fight of the ages.
I can’t call McGirt vs Cotto. Great match up. They would have to fight 3 times to decide it.
Ouma vs Charlo is another tough one. Prime Ouma is very underrated. Ouma loved it on the inside and Jermell Charlo loves it on the outside. I don’t think Charlo throws enough punches to beat Ouma. Charlo’s punch output is not very high. I pick Ouma by upset in a vicious fight.
Oscar vs Canelo is getting closer and closer as the time passes. Canelo actually has better defensive reflexes than Oscar. His hand speed is on par. Oscar has an all time great left jab that even things out. Believe it or not I say they would have to fight 3 times to decide it. Canelo is getting that good and he’s still improving.
Tarver vs Kovalev is another tough one. Kovalev could outwork Tarver. Or Tarver could walk Kovalev into a left hand. Right now I say Kovalev wins.
Hey bread. I saw you talking about lomanchenkos mental training (such as the block stacking and touching the light up panels). How valuable do you think it is? Do you think more fighters should be doing it, and do you plan on implementing it with any of the fighters you train?
Also, who wins between sugar Ray Robinson and sugar Ray Leonard and how does it play out? Thanks, Sam
Bread’s Response: I think Lomachenko’s mental processing training is extremely valuable. It’s the reason why his mind is so sharp, reactive and alert. The brain signals the muscles. Not the other way around. Everything starts with the mind. Yes I would implement it in training. I’m trying to find out what the name of the light device he uses…
Sugar Ray Robinson vs Sugar Ray Leonard was the match up used in the Ring Magazine issue of all time match ups. When I was a kid this was the match up the old timers talked about. Today it’s Sugar Ray Leonard vs Floyd Mayweather.
I think Robinson and Leonard are about equal with handspeed. Both punched in vicious combination with Robinson being the bigger 1 punch guy. Leonard had a great jab but Robinson worked off the jab more and he jabbed off the move more than Leonard did. Both are murderous to the body. Both were killers and you could hit them when in kill mode. Believe it or not there is not a lot of distance between the 2. You’re talking to top 10 ever talents who are very similar.
My pick here is Robinson. He’s a little taller, a little busier and because of his insane record in a killer era where favorable matchmaking was at a minimum I say Robinson wins a tight decision. Leonard would actually force the fight at times and go after the killer because he was a killer. I say 9 rounds for Robinson and 6 for Leonard in a great tactical fight.
Thanks for answering my questions when you can, and thanks for trying to be consistent with this mailbag. I'm sure life gets busy, but I look forward to reading these when you are able to put them out there. If you could humour a couple of my questions I'd be thankful.
1. Your take on Joe Louis vs Jack Dempsey. Joe's technique is better, but Jack is hard to discourage, and his bob and weaving style might let him get in their mess up Joe. Joe seemed tricky though because you could get him with something once, but if you did it again, he'd be able to read it and make you pay. But even Braddock had him in some tough spots. I dunno, tough fantasy match to call. Both would have to be in their primes, of course. I recall you saying pressure fighters fade faster, so I'd take the version of Jack that beat Willard and the version of Louis that beat Schmeling in the rematch. Who wins and what does it look like?
2. Rocky Marciano vs Jack Dempsey. Who wins?
3. Ezzard Charles vs Larry Holmes. Who wins?
4. Do you think if Golovkin tries to box instead of fight (like he did in the last three rounds of their first fight), does he stand a better chance, or does he have to be willing to take one to give one in the rematch? I think his eyes got used to Canelo's punches after the first couple of rounds and that gave him an edge until he stopped jabbing in the last three rounds. Or am I wrong in that assessment? Thoughts? I'm constantly obsessing over this rematch haha and probably over-analyzing it, so I appreciate your conversations about these two fighters. Interestingly enough, the odds for the rematch put Golovkin as a -165 favourite to Canelo as the +135 underdog (http://www.betboxing.org/odds/canelo-alvarez-vs-gennady-ggg-golovkin-rematch-odds/), and you did say they are often quite accurate in their predictions.
Thanks for your time!
Bread’s Response: Louis vs Dempsey is Dream Fight. IT’s the fight that many boxing pundits of the 30’s and 40s analyzed. I think Dempsey is a raw version of Mike Tyson. Louis is simply the best technical puncher in the history of boxing. 80 years after his prime no one has applied the technique and power Louis has.
I can see Dempsey dropping Louis and really getting to him early. But those short precision death shots over the course of 15 rounds are hard to deal with. The pick here is Louis by stoppage somewhere around the 10th or 11th rounds.
Marciano vs Dempsey is another tough fight. This fight is Joe Frazier vs Mike Tyson. Dempsey is faster and more dynamic. Marciano seems more steady. This is a tough call for me. But I flip a coin and say Marciano. One reason is because boxing technique was more developed by the 1950’s than it was in the teens. The 2nd reason is because Willie Meehan a 5’9 scrapper of Dempsey’s day gave Dempsey hell. They fought about 5 times and Meehan won the majority of the fights.
Charles vs Holmes. Charles is top 10-15 ever in a p4p sense. But Holmes could have been too big for him head to head. Standing 6’3 and about 215 this is just a tough fight for Charles. I can imagine Charles scatting in and out like Spinks did to outpoint Holmes. But on his best night I say Holmes wins a decision.
GGG vs Canelo is a tough fight to pick. The reason being is Canelo is always improving. He has really gotten a lot better over the past 4 or 5 years. He is one of the few fighters in boxing who has improved visually since they hit the mainstream. The inactivity of this era usually prevents that. I don’t know if GGG can get better at 35 but he can make an adjustment. He simply has to find a way to make Canelo pay while being up against the ropes. Canelo rested and had too much fun on the ropes in their 1st fight.
Canelo has crazy head movement and reflexes. GGG has to punch into him and work from the bottom to the top. He also has to move with Canelo while he’s punching. He kept missing his big right hand to Canelo’s head. I also think Canelo’s punches discouraged GGG a little bit. I’m not saying GGG was hurt but Canelo punched hard enough so GGG couldn’t just run up on him and do what he pleased. Canelo has what boxing trainers call a good set of eyes. He has the ability to sit in the pocket without blinking and shelling up while his opponent is punching and make that opponent pay.
GGG has a really tough fight ahead of him despite many feeling like he won the 1st one. If Abel Sanchez can GGG can come up with a great gameplan and stop Canelo it will cement their legacy. I think GGG can approach this fight 2 ways. Turn into a fire breathing animal like say Aaron Pryor and challenge Canelo’s lungs. Just assault him and wear him out. If he does that he can’t care about the incoming. Or he could be more technical and cut of Canelo’s exit and get to Canelo’s body more. Both strategies will be tough because Canelo is faster and more reactive for the technical strategy. The savage strategy could work but something tells me despite a great chin GGG felt those punches. This will be a great legacy defining rematch. I can’t wait. I like both guys and think they’re both good for boxing.
Been a while, but I had some thoughts I’d thought I’d share. I’ve been watching boxing since 1997 regularly. I have noticed some changes in that time. Such as unified rules, new weight limit for cruiser and things of that nature. What I’ve also noticed is other sports like football, baseball, and basketball continually change rules to make the game more entertaining. I remember the xfl coming in and having no fair catches and things of this sort. Boxing doesn’t do this. I’m especially noticing it in scoring. People watch boxing to be entertained. Watching guys who are very defensive (Floyd, Ishe Smith, Canelo vs GGG), isn’t going to attract the masses. People watched Floyd for numerous reason depending on who you are. What he didn’t do in the ring over the last 10 years, he made up for out of the ring. He invited people to pay big bucks to see him lose, by being controversial. He’s not the only person who has done this, but he is by far the most successful at it. We have Canelo say Mexicans don’t f*** around and then move frantically, at times, away from GGG. He did this after saying Lara was running scared and he did the exact same thing. We also know that being undefeated is a huge deal nowadays. So why don’t the rule makers change some rules to entertain the masses? I’m not saying make this human cock fighting, but if your over moving, holding on for dear life, using clinching as defense because you can’t transition to offense (Vlad), you should be deducted points. I think its clear that rounds that are scored 10-9 but are close to needing a 10-8, should be scored 10-8.5. Something along those lines. We see in other sports people getting reprimanded for stalling (wrestling/pride fighting) or failing to engage. Boxing is entertaining and it only helps to shape the rules to make it so. It will benefit boxing greatly. If more people watched boxing the premier channels could get more money for advertising and maybe these silly ppv fights go away. This also makes the sport more accessible to people. I think maybe mandating champions to defend there title 3 times a year minimum(Stevenson). Obviously with health issue and life changing things there could be some exceptions. Biggest rule change needed, you take PED your banned forever. I guarantee if one fighter tests hot because of a supplement that is tainted. They would win a huge lawsuit and have better due diligence in making sure their products are VADA (f*** usada) compliant. Sorry for talking your ear off, its hard not to get way off track
Bread’s Response: My PED expert DJ has returned….Ok I agree on some of what you said but not all.
Here goes I would like to see more points being deducted for holding. Like a limit to certain amount of forced clinches/round. After you reach that number then I think points should be deducted. To add to that I think fighters should be made to throw punches. You shouldn’t be able to go more 30 seconds without attempting to land a punch.
I agree 100%. Champions should be made to defend their titles 3x within a year from the date they won it. This will stop the sitting on the title crap. You have fighters who have been champion for 5 and 6 years. But only have 8 or 9 title defenses. Because they sit and sit and sit. I think if boxing forced their champions to become more active I think greater legacies will be created, more challengers have a fair chance to win titles and it will stop PED use because of the champions won’t have so much time to cycle on and off. One of my ways I eyeball PED cheaters is inactivity.
I also agree lifetime bans on PED use. It’s discouraging to see fighters who are known users get rewarded with huge fights and money. It’s also troublesome when you see suspected users not asked to test. The only fighter who will get offended by being asked to test is a dirty one.
Write in anytime bro. Your knowledge of PED usage is something the fans need to read.
With Amir Khan coming back what do you think about where he sits in the division. I’ve always felt Mayweather ducked Khan. You don’t do a survey by the fans, they vote Khan then you pick someone he beat in Maidana. Then he fought Berto who is an absolute fraud and was knocked out by a journeyman in Soto Karass. I think Floyd escapes the heat of his Khan duck. I’ve always felt Khan has an underrated resume and is 1 or 2 victories from a HOF career.
Bread’s Response: Khan has a very good resume. He has defeated some really good competition. Marco Antonio Barrera, Paulie Malignaggi, Marcos Maidana, Devon Alexander, Luis Collazo and Zab Judah. If Khan is somehow able to win a title at 147 and beat 1 or 2 more elite fighters he has a very good shot at the HOF. His resume is better than most realize. Khan was also avoided by lots of the elite fighters close to his weight. Morales, Marquez, Bradley, Pacquiao, Hatton and Mayweather never fought Khan. I’m not suggesting they were scared because they all proved to have better careers. But Khan is just a serious nightmare if you can’t hurt him and for whatever reasons at the time, none of them tangled with Khan.
I remember something about that survey Mayweather was doing and I do remember the fans selecting Khan. But if I’m not mistaken Maidana had just defeated Broner so his name was hot. I think Floyd would have been the favorite to defeat Khan but that would not have been an easy fight for Floyd. Khan had some crazy form around that time in his victories over Alexander and Collazo.
I think Khan will beat some people and he will lose to some people. He has elite talent, speed and athleticism. He also has pedigree and experience. But his lack of IQ and attention spans causes him to be inconsistent. They say he has a poor chin. And that could be true. But what I know he has is lack of awareness. In the fights I have seen him dropped or stopped he doesn’t even see the punch that hurts him. That’s so dangerous. That’s a serious lack of focus and it causes horrible kos. It’s like he gets sucker punched because he can’t even brace for the punch.
Khan has to be the consummate boxer in his return. Just box and move. Box and move. Never be greedy. He almost has to turn into a stinker. I know you blood thirsty fans won’t like that but he will tough to beat in that form. His hand speed is among the best in the history of boxing. It’s on the level of Ray Leonard, Roy Jones and Meldrick Taylor’s. I think matchmaking is important for Khan to get into the HOF. He has to take the right fights. And he better stay away from Errol Spence. Spence is just too strong and forceful and he would put his hands on Khan on the inside. Over the course of 12 rounds that’s one fighter Khan needs to avoid if he doesn’t want to get hurt. I say go after Jeff Horne, Shawn Porter and Adrien Broner. He could lose all of those fights or he could win them all. But the styles match his better than messing around with Keith Thurman or Errol Spence. I say Thurman is tough to beat for Khan because he punches from unpredictable angles and Khan won’t know when he’s being set up. If he’s able to get through that, fight Mikey Garcia on PPV then retire.
I’m from DC. I just saw the odds on Spence vs Peterson and they are insane. Spence is good but -2500 is just crazy. He shouldn’t be a 25 to 1 favorite to beat Lamont. I want to put some bread on Lamont. Does he have a reasonable chance?
Bread’s Response: I think Peterson is at +900 which is pretty high. If you feel lucky go ahead and bet. The way I see the fight is Spence should be a big favorite but not -2500. That’s too much. That’s prime Mike Tyson type of odds. But I will say Vegas oddsmakers are like 80% correct. So going by that expect a blow out.
Lamont Peterson is a great dude and an excellent fighter. I think he’s one of the hardest training fighters in boxing. He’s also very well rounded. I don’t think he’s going to win but hell yeah everyone has a chance. Especially when you train as hard as Peterson. The big problem for Peterson is getting out of the early rounds. He has to get past round 4. For some reason Peterson starts really slow and vs big punchers he goes down early. If I’m not mistaken he was dropped by Tim Bradley early who is not a big puncher. But at some point in most of his fights except the Lucas Matthysse fight, he gets warmed up and he starts going to work.
Peterson has a great DC inside game. Most fighters from that area do. The problem is Spence is the best body puncher in boxing. His inside game is NASTY. He’s bigger, a better puncher and he looks to be stronger. I think Peterson has underrated physical strength..
Peterson also has a unique rhythm when he’s boxing. I think he can trouble Spence boxing him but Spence has a great southpaw jab that can break up some good boxing. Peterson has a tough fight ahead of him but he seems up for the challenge. I say the fight is 75-25 in Spence’s favor. I never go overboard with chances to win because anything can happen in boxing especially when a fighter is motivated, well conditioned and has a good gameplan. I don’t know what Peterson’s game plan is but I know he’s well conditioned and motivated. Enjoy the fight.
Peace be unto you good brother,
Long time reader, first time writer. I have several questions I've wanted to ask, but I'll reduce it to two. I appreciate any answer you can give.
1-Where do you rank B-Hop at among all time greats? Overall and middleweight? I don't think he gets the props he deserves because of his personality...but I've been a fan since a youngin. I think he had one of the best minds I've seen in boxing. Kinda like Boxing's Tim Duncan... Nothing flashy, but he got the job done for a long time. I remember watching him KO De La Hoya with that body shot... Thing of beauty.
2- I am a fan of Lamont Peterson and his workout regimen. I use a lot of his conditioning work in my workouts. Can you give some insight into the importance of varied forms of conditioning and its impact on a fight? I think he has some of the more serious workouts I've seen. Mix of old school and new school...Rocky meets Drago LOL how might impact his fight with Spence? They both train hard.
Keep doing What you do bro. My boxing IQ is definitely enhanced by reading your work. Keeps me coming back to the site. Keep grinding with J Rock bro. Stay down til you come up.
Let's get it,
Bread’s Response: Bernard Hopkins rates very high among all time great fighters. He is one of the 3 or 4 best Philadelphia fighters ever along with Tommy Loughran and Joe Frazier. He is among the top 6 or 7 middleweight champions ever along with Harry Greb, Sugar Ray Robinson, Marvin Hagler and Carlos Monzon. I also believe he is among the best 75 fighters ever in the history of boxing. Which is really high considering how many fighters have boxed under the modern rules. Did I mention he has a case for being the best fighter ever over 40?
Hopkins rates high with the eye ball test in his peak performances vs Tito Trinidad, Joe Lipsey and Glen Johnson. He responded to adversity well usually coming back from set backs with great performances. He won the middleweight title on his 3rd try. He lost to Jermaine Taylor and went on a great run at light heavyweight. He lost to Joe Calzaghe and came back to beat Kelly Pavlik. He lost to Chad Dawson but came back to beat Tavoris Cloud and unified. He also was a smart matchmaker because he was able to defeat fighters who beat fighters who beat him. He didn’t beat Chad Dawson but he was able to beat Jean Pascal. He didn’t beat a prime Roy Jones but he was able to beat Glen Johnson and Antonio Tarver. He didn’t beat Jermaine Taylor but he was able to beat Kelly Pavlik.
He actually fought a tougher schedule at 175 then he did at 160. He fought Murderer’s Row at 175. Winky Wright, Kelly Pavlik, Antonio Tarver, Jean Pascal, Tavoris Cloud, Joe Calzaghe, Chad Dawson and Krusher Kovalev. That was tougher than his run at 160. Obviously he has tremendous longevity. The only thing a historian could criticize Hopkins for was not fighting more great middleweight during the Golden Era of the early 90s. Hopkins didn’t tangle with Mike McCallum, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Gerald McClellan, Steve Collins, Julian Jackson, Reggie Johnson, Lamar Parks or James Toney. I would have loved to see him mix and match with those killers of the 90s but it didn’t happen. He made up for it at 175 but I think if he fights half of those guys he seriously challenges Monzon and Hagler for the #3 all time spot.
Overall he’s an all time great fighter and a legend.
I love Lamont Peterson’s square boxing fit workouts. It’s very boxing related. It helps with rhythm, cardio and angles. Lots of things get added to boxing that doesn’t help with boxing but this is not one of them. I love his workout program. I’ve actually seen him fight a few rounds in that square fit rhythm.
Whenever a fighter can do something new that’s beneficial I believe they should try it. It keeps them from plateauing. At the same time there is a fine line because keeping it simple also works as long as you know when to peak out.
Lamont Peterson is one of the best conditioned fighters in boxing. He has stamina, physical strength and he’s built up an armor on his body to create physical toughness. That’s not his issue in this fight. The problem he has is Errol Spence looks like the Terminator at 147 and Peterson is smaller, he’s not a huge puncher and he’s a slow starter.
Just a quick question.
Do you think fighters of this era are too focused on maximizing earnings but not reaching for greatness?
With the exception of Golovkin & Spence Jr who want to clear out their divisions, and Crawford who actually cleared out his division, most fighters just move between weight classes looking for the biggest payday & calling themselves multiple division champions.
Not hating on Broner, but if he retires today, I don't see him as an HOFer, 4 weight division champion or not.
Holyfield questioned why Floyd never tried to be undisputed & went only after the WBC belts, and while I'm not questioning Floyd's greatness, it just makes me wonder why most boxers don't try to be undisputed before switching weight classes.
Bread’s Response: Yes I do think the fighters of this era care more about money than legacy. But I don’t think it’s all of their faults. I agree they don’t challenge themselves the same and too much burden is put on an undefeated record. But social media and boxing media kill these kids for losing a fight. It’s ridiculous the criticism they take so a large majority take the easy way out and go for the money and not the glory.
Fighting #1 contenders and unifying is the hardest thing a champion can do because it involves less matchmaking. It’s a variable a champion can’t control. It’s much harder to unify all of the belts or continuously fight #1 guy after #1 guy than it is to jump divisions and fight seek out the weakest champions or fight for vacant belts. No wonder more fighters especially in the lower weights do that. Being a 4 division champion is not as big a deal as doing what Marvin Hagler or Carlos Monzon did.
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