by Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling numerous topics, like Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Gervonta Davis, Adonis Stevenson vs. Badou Jack, Lomachenko vs. Mikey Garcia, punchers in boxing, Gary Russell Jr., and more.
Hey Bread, long time reader, first time mailer. Just watched the Jack vs Stevenson fight. Thought Jack won it by 1 or 2 rounds. Man, that guy is a dog. His resume is becoming HoF worthy...or do the draws take away from that possibility? My question is about Paulie's comments post-fight. He said that the rounds Jack loses are by a pindrop and the ones he wins are like an assault. Essentially, Paulie was implying he should get more credit from the judges on this basis. But surely that cannot be the case? A fight is judged round to round, as separate entities, not by a weighting process. Or am I wrong? Should it be factored in? It's not like you can judge 12 rounds and add a 13th for whose rounds were more effective! Keep up the great work, Bread. Joe, London, UK
Bread’s Response: A fight is judged on individual rounds. No carry over effect. If you win a round huge and have your opponent in big trouble then a 10-8 is warranted but subjective. If you just win the round clean and you dominate then it’s a 10-9 just like if you win the round by a hair.
I think what Paulie meant was that it was easier to tell with the rounds Jack won. But that doesn’t always mean the guy who wins his rounds cleaner will win. It’s a good indicator because of the swing round effect but it isn’t full proof. It was a close fight that I didn’t score but giving it the eye ball test it looked drawish.
Thank you for Your mailbag, you have a gift of undeniable talent when it comes to breaking down fights and spotting certain things with fighters. Now my question is this; When it comes to a possible match up with Mikey Garcia and Vasiliy Lomachenko, is it possible that Loma can be the more effective aggressor? Ok, when Mikey fights, he has a tendency to stay straight up and often has his feet planted for that dynamite 1-2. He doesn’t usually seem to be on his toes too much. The way Loma seems to circle his opponent, mostly during or quickly after an exchange, wouldn’t that give him an up on getting to Mikey offensively? Mikey doesn’t seem to circle at all, Loma seems to have mastered the art. Would love Your insight.
From NC, the land of Don Turner
Bread’s Response: I think you may be overthinking the process. You have your thinking cap on but it may be overkill. I think both fighters have advantages over each other. Mikey can fight on his toes and he can circle. Loma can be the aggressor or matador. These guys are special bro. The advantage that Mikey has is Loma likes to fight in the mid range and Mikey will hit him. Mikey has variety to his right hand and you need that vs a left handed fighter. Mikey is a proven puncher. Loma has a speed, agility and athletic advantage over Mikey. It’s distinct and you can see it but it doesn’t mean Loma will win. Let’s see how it plays out. You never really know until two guys line up in front of each other and their instincts take over.
I read somewhere Errol Spence said that Tank Davis “smokes” Loma. I disagree. I wanted to read what your take on the fight is and who and how they would win? Thanks
Bread’s Response: Everyone seems to be talking about this fight. Did I miss something? I think Loma will fight Mikey Garcia before he fights Davis.
Errol Spence is a smart dude and he has good boxing eyes but I disagree. I think Davis has a chance but no one smokes Loma. Smoke is a big word when it comes to a fighter as good as Loma. He can lose but I don’t see him getting smoked in his current form as long as he doesn’t go up in weight too high.
Davis is super capable though and let me tell you why. Forget about all of the physical attributes, great fighters can neutralize that stuff. But Davis is unique in how he counters. He counters underneath below his opponent’s line of sight. Watch Davis close. His hits you with shovel shots to the gut and uppercuts underneath to the chin on a consistent basis. He may have the best uppercut in boxing.
Loma is an aggressive boxer similar to Calzaghe and Pacquiao. When a fighter risks himself that much they can be hit. It’s not out of the question that Davis could clip Loma. But overall I wouldn’t bet against Loma below 135. I think he’s special and he’s operating close to a master level the way Pac was from 08-10, Floyd from 98-07 and Whitaker was from 89-94. If you look at where Loma has risen to over his last 5 or 6 fights, you will see that level of boxer puncher or close to it.
I’m not saying he’s better than Whitaker, Pac or Mayweather. Only time will tell that. But I’m talking about the level of boxer puncher he is and where he’s operating. Click on youtube and pick a Whitaker, Pac or Mayweather fight from those years and then pick a Loma fight out of his last 5 and tell me if the skillsets are comparable.
I think a Loma vs Davis fight would be very similar to Floyd vs Judah. Judah actually dropped Floyd but the ref missed it with a right hook. Judah most likely won 3 out of the first 4 rounds. Physically they were comparable but Floyd’s mind is next level. Floyd just started applying his skill by doing the right things at the right times and he showed why he’s special. I see Loma vs Davis as a similar match up at this point. But Davis is still building lets see where he goes.
I was reading your Stevenson vs Jack predictions in your mailbag then on ESPN. You basically predicted a draw. You said it was too close to call. Then you said body punching will be the key from both guys because you saw Jack get hurt by Bute with a body shot. My God!! I didn’t even remember Jack got hurt by Bute. I’ve never seen predictions like yours before. My question is do you think Adonis got old over night? Did Jack have the wrong gameplan? And who would you favor in a rematch?
Bread’s Response: Thanks bro.
Body punching is a lost art in this era. But both Jack and Stevenson are accomplished body punchers. Sometimes a fighter like Stevenson does not get credit for his body punching because he’s such a big KO artist. But if you look at him close he really goes to the body good. That was a terrific fight. Maybe the 3rd or 4th best I’ve seen this year so far, behind Loma vs Linares, Wilder vs Ortiz and maybe Hurd vs Lara.
I don’t think Adonis Stevenson got old. He is what he is. He’s a big punching, fast awkward boxer who is better in the early rounds than he is in the late rounds. Let’s give Badou Jack credit. Stevenson got a late start in boxing and he doesn’t take punishment often. I think he’s fresh for 40. The problem is he doesn’t test himself and that comes back to bite you. It doesn’t matter the age, but level of competition develops the skillset. If you consistently face B+ to A fighters you will struggle unless you’re Loma or Crawford. Those are the only two guys who dominate Badou Jack level fighters. Adonis Stevenson is good but he’s not at that level. Adonis goes years between tough challenges and that’s his fault for his matchmaking choices. He would’ve struggled with Jack years ago had he fought him years ago. He struggled with Andrew Fonfara in 2014 a year into his title reign. The key to fighting Stevenson is getting him in the 2nd half of the fight and closing the distance so he doesn’t get full extension on his left hand. Jack did just that.
Everyone keep saying all Badou Jack had to do was start earlier. I agree that mathematically winning earlier rounds would have won the fight for Jack. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Stevenson is a tremendous puncher with range. Most times elite level punchers with range, have to be approached carefully. See Ray Leonard vs Tommy Hearn and Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev. Kovalev and Hearns are both frightening “out fighters” with range. Leonard and Ward both were careful early then stepped on it late. Badou Jack is no where near as talented as Leonard or Ward. So I think he did the best he could given the circumstances. I think his gameplan was solid, if he didn’t lose the 10th round he would’ve won the fight.
I would favor Jack slightly in a rematch but he would still have to be careful early.
Why do you think Badou Jack keeps getting these draws. This is his 3rd draw in a big fight. Does this hurt his resume, is he top 10 pound for pound?
Bread’s Response: I love everything Badou Jack stands for. I don’t want to pick him apart. Jack is a promoter’s dream. He simply fights, whoever, wherever. He got stopped in the 1st round a few years ago and it has never bothered him. Jack is one of the 5% real fighters in this era. Because he has challenged himself, stuck to his fundamentals and remained mentally strong, he’s made himself a successful and rich fighter. Two more big victories and he could be considered for the HOF. Stand up Badou Jack.
I think this is 2nd draw because the Bute fight was reversed. I thought Jack beat Degale. I don’t think it hurts his resume because a draw is not a loss. It just doesn’t enhance it as much as a win would. But facing the competition he has faced without a loss is something to behold. He’s getting the most out of his talent!
I think the only thing Jack needs to work on is his punch selection and finishing ability. Jack is a hard compact puncher. He seems to hurt all of his opponents. But he’s not scoring kos because of his punch selection. Watch his fights good. You will see Jack will leave some open shots on the table. I have no idea why but to me that’s his one flaw that he could improve on at this stage of his career.
I don’t know if he’s top 10 p4p but he sure is top 10 most gutsy. Jack will fight anyone. I think he’s definitely one of the best 20 fighters on the planet. His run reminds me of Carl Froch’s a few years ago, where Froch just fought everyone, one after the other. Jack is what you call a GUN. He doesn’t have picks.
What did you think of Gary Russell’s performance? He seems good but I don’t think he cares about being great. He turned back a tough challenge. 126 and 130 are hot. How do you think Russell does with the field? What about a super fight between Tank Davis vs Lomachenko? Davis said Mayweather is trying to force the Lomachenko fight on him. What do you think of that comment?
Bread’s Response: I thought Gary Russell performed well. Jo Jo Diaz is a real fighter. Beating a serious challenger, who is #1 contender and undefeated is never usually easy. I was impressed with both guys. But Russell had more confidence in his stamina and his experience showed because he knew how to just start winning rounds.
I think 126 is stacked but Russell is never in the mix for the big fights. I have no idea why. Mares and Santa Cruz are putting together HOF careers while Russell is fighting once a year. I think Russell matches up well with those guys but it doesn’t look like the fights will ever get made.
130 is red hot. Russell is a heck of a fighter but he may be too small for 130. There are some big kids up there and I saw Diaz push him around and hurt him to the body. Let’s see how he handles it, he definitely has the skillset.
Lomachenko and Davis are the best fighters at 130. Berchelt and Farmer are right in the mix. Ryan Garcia is a steaming hot prospect. I love junior lightweight. The super fight at 130 is Loma vs Davis. I think Davis is in the fight. I favor Loma because he’s Loma but Davis is not upside down, just like I said Canelo wasn’t vs GGG. Davis can match Loma in certain areas and Davis is a brutal puncher. People like to talk about age but here is the thing. At 30yr boxers are experienced and often their mental catches up to their physical. But lots of times 30 yr olds don’t feel like jumping around with 23 yr olds. Men reach their physical peaks earlier than we think. It may not be a boxing peak but it’s a physical peak.
If we look back at the careers of Mike Tyson, Wilfred Benitez, Tommy Hearns. Zab Judah, Fernando Vargas and Adrien Broner. We will see that that they all reached their peaks before they were 25. Some of them before 23. Who knows that could be the case with Davis? I think he could fight Loma next and be in the fight. Davis was lights out in his last performance. I favor Loma 65/35 but that’s a serious fight for Loma and he better be on point.
I don’t know why Davis is saying Mayweather is trying to force the fight on him. I think Davis is a terrific fighter and once you become champion or you reach a certain skill level I think you can fight anyone in your weight class. No one at 130 will have an easy time with Tank Davis including Loma.
Did you see Ishe Smith vs Tony Harrison? If so what was your take and where do you think both guys go from here?
Bread’s Response: I did actually. I thought both guys fought well. Ishe has next level heart. He was seriously hurt 2 or 3 times and he finished that fight. That was impressive. Ishe actually started out well. He won the 1st 2 rounds which surprised me. I was very impressed by Harrison. Not that he won but how he won. Harrison won about 6 or 7 rounds but he showed resolve.
Harrison is intelligent. He knows his biggest flaws. His stamina and his chin. So you can tell he practiced on being calm and having awareness. Not rushing things. He actually saved his right hand and didn’t over throw it which made it more effective because it caught Ishe by surprise.
I think Smith can still beat some guys. Not every young contender in the PBC can beat him. They just have to be careful how they match him.
I think Harrison is a force. I know he has his flaws but anyone that can show that kind of character growth in the social media era where the critics are abundant has a chance to break through. This is a tough era of junior middleweights but Harrison called out a guy in Hurd who stopped him. That shows serious confidence in my opinion. He wasn’t disrespectful. He wasn’t loud or rude he just wants to right his wrong. That lets me know he’s still a fighter at heart. I think he’s a top 10 or 15 junior middleweight.
MJ or Bron?
Bread’s Response: Lol you guys are crazy. MJ is the best athlete I have ever seen not just basketball player. So in my humble opinion MJ is #1. But let me tell you something Lebron James is the #2 basketball player ever. I wasn’t sure about it until this year’s playoffs but he has elevated himself.
I judge basketball similar to boxing but not exact. You assess players on peak value. Simply meaning who was the best on their best days. I give it to Jordan. Lebron goes off but Jordan had more of those days. Then you assess on who has the most effect on winning. It’s close but I say MJ. Last but not least because it’s a team sport you have to figure out who gives you the most value over a career. This is where Lebron may have him beat. Jordan was drafted in 84 and he left Chicago in 98. That’s 14 years although he took off 1 for baseball. For argument sakes lets say 14 years. Lebron was drafted in 2003 and he’s still rolling at his peak. He didn’t win as many chips as MJ but considering he’s still at his peak in year 15 he may have a case for career value.
Right now I say MJ and I can’t see Lebron passing him. But I think Lebron is #2. If he pulls off a miracle and beats Golden State this year maybe 1b but no one overtakes MJ.
Why do some fighters disappear after a loss? It is because of social media or is it just in them to not persevere. Two that come to mind are Anthony Dirrell and Anthony Peterson. Both of those guys competed in the amateurs around the time I heavily followed. Both were very good and talented. Peterson has lost only one fight and yet it seems like he the Brandon Rios fight took his career away. Peterson is never in meaningful fights, do you think he’s being blackballed. Anthony Dirrell was able to win a title but he absolutely fights nobody. He’s never in the mix. I just read the WBC ordered a fight with him against David Benavidez. I bet the fight won’t happen. Give me your take on why some guys like Austin Trout will take a loss and fight on. But guys like Dirrell and Peterson just fade away willingly.
Bread’s Response: This question was different from most that I receive. I posted it because of that. Although I really don’t have an answer. I can’t answer it because I don’t know what’s going on in Peterson’s or Dirrell’s personal lives. I don’t believe they are getting blackballed but who knows. I just don’t know. I have noticed that they haven’t been in position to take a meaningful fight in quite some time. Who’s fault that it is, it’s hard to say. I would need more details. I will say this if they aren’t injured then it’s their faults. Other than that I can’t say.
I didn’t know the WBC ordered Benavidez vs Dirrell. Are you sure? You guys get info before me, lol. I hope it happens. It’s hard to turn down a title shot especially if you’re Anthony Dirrell and you need a big fight to get your status back. Let’s see how it plays out.
I have a question about genetics vs nutrition. Why do some fighters have great stamina and others no matter what they do have average to poor stamina? I have my own theory on it but I’m curious to hear your answer first. Do you think it’s genetics or nutrition?
Bread’s Response: Aw man I love questions like this. Ok here it goes I will give it a shot.
I believe some people are genetically inclined to just be more athletic. Some people will just be gifted a little more as far as strength, speed and stamina. Not everyone will have a natural gas tank. Some people will have a higher red blood cell count which will enable them to go longer and harder.
But and this is a big but. Not having the best lung capacity naturally is no excuse in my opinion. Even if you naturally have just an average gas tank there is so much knowledge at your finger tips these days, any professional fighter can maximize his ability.
First of all you can simply google how to increase my stamina or endurance. You will learn to eat certain foods that will increase your red blood cell count. You will learn what exercises help you increase it. I can tell when a fighter is meticulous with his preparation and his food intake. I can tell when a fighter is impromptu with it.
Nutrition and training will allow you to fight at a strong pace for 36 minutes (12 rounds ), if you are 100% dedicated to your training and diet, regardless if you were blessed with great stamina or not. Average stamina can be enhanced. Most fighters don’t drink a gallon of water a day. Water carries oxygen to the cells. Some fighters care so much about losing weight that they cut their water intake much too early in camp. It’s the most common mistake I’ve seen fighters with my own eyes commit.
Most won’t eat 4 or 5 small meals to fuel their systems. Most don’t get the proper sleep. All you have to do is look at social media. You will see a fighter who has a big fight coming up, clicking likes and commenting on social media at midnight. Ask yourself how can this fighter wake up early and do a full cardio workout when he’s up all night. Ask yourself how can a fighter get a proper rest after working out twice or three times a day if he has to get on social media every hour on the hour to watch a darn timeline?
Fighters like Henry Armstrong and Salvador Sanchez were obviously blessed with a remarkable set of lungs. But a fighter who is dedicated to his diet, his rest and his training can take his stamina up to a high level. It’s one of the reasons why fighters who aren’t natural superior athletes like say a Rocky Marciano and or a Glen Johnson work their butts off and have excellent careers.
Another reason why fighters don’t have superior stamina is because of panic. I have seen fighters box 12 rounds when things are going their way and their stamina is fine. But as soon as you put resistance in front of them they become labored and fatigued. Watch close. That’s a mental breakdown of an extent. Relaxed, confident fighters as a whole usually have better stamina than high strung neurotic fighters with fake confidence. Believe it or not character effects the stamina.
I hope I was able to help.
I loved your list of the best punchers in boxing a few weeks ago. Now I would like for you to give a list of the best punchers who don’t have a high ko%. I’m not talking about the guy who has 30kos in 33 wins. I’m talking about the guy who can punch but he has 30 wins but only 17kos. Who is your top 10 punchers who fit that category?
Bread’s Response: Another great question. Often times we get caught up in ko% and glossy records and we don’t appropriate the correct terms on fighters. There are some fighters out here who can punch but don’t have a big ko numbers. David Reid was a one a few years back. Reid could really crack but his matchmaking was so tough early that he never had a chance to get on a roll and get his kos up. Often times matchmaking, inexperience and stamina are the reason why fighters who can punch don’t score an abundant amount of kos.
Ok here goes I don’t know if I have 10 but I will give you a list of the guys who I think your question applies to. In no order.
Jermell Charlo, Danny Garcia, Ray Beltran, Badou Jack, Julian “Jrock” Williams, Guillermo Rigondeaux, Juan Estrada, Erislandy Lara and Manny Pacquiao are fighters who have good punching power without glossy ko%.
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