By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Jarrett Hurd vs. Erislandy Lara, Jarrett Hurd vs. Jermell Charlo, Tim Bradley vs. Adrien Broner, Anthony Joshua vs. Joseph Parker, and more.
It’s been a while since I’ve written in, but that latest write in from Carl was kinda crazy to me so I had to chime in. I’ve followed every fight of Tim Bradley’s since his 15th professional fight. There ABSOLUTELY was a discussion of Bradley vs. Valero. I remember it specifically because I remember researching and watching the Tazmanian Devil like approach I witnessed while watching his highlights on YouTube. I heard he had insane power and was thinking through what would be Tim’s approach, etc. It was a real potential fight that I felt was going to be a big time fight, the type that should marinate before either fighter took the risk. To make it worth the reward.
On the topic of Bradley and considering the landscape of boxing during his heyday + the PED rumors that had at one time or another been attached to the likes of Mayweather, Pac & Marquez.. It’s pretty impressive that Bradley has the legacy he does. An absolute dog that was willing to fight anyone, anywhere and demanded VADA testing of he and his opponents. There’s no doubt in my mind as a 5-time World Champion, he’s headed for the HOF. However, I still don’t feel like he gets he Credit he deserves. I may be crazy but styles make fights and I feel like on his best night, and a Mayweather vs Maidana 1 type of night for Floyd, Bradley would’ve given Mayweather fits. His pressure and relentless attack, smothering Mayweather’s punches while going to the body, with an occasional well timed over the top right hand.. I think it would’ve been an exciting battle of stamina and heart (Bradley) vs. stamina and surgical skill like precision (Mayweather). The reason Pac was a tough opponent for Bradley is because his incredible foot speed, feints, crisp punching, slick well timed release of that left hand, etc. the out-of-prime version of Mayeather was more stationary. I’m not saying Bradley was the favorite at all just a fight I wish would’ve taken place.
That being said... how would you see Bradley vs Mayweather playing out? Not prime Mayweather vs Corrales but the latter stages when Bradley was top 3 or 4.
How would you see a Bradley vs. Danny Garcia at their peaks?
Lastly, how would you see a Bradley vs Broner fight shaping up if they’d ever met?
Prayers for you and Julian for your upcoming fight in April. Wish you all the best!
Bread’s Response: I know for a fact a fight with Tim Bradley vs Edwin Valero was being discussed. But some guys like to argue lol.
Tim Bradley is a HOF no doubt. His willingness to fight anyone, his character, his accomplishments and his success while testing VADA make him a clear choice in my opinion. Bradley only lost to one man. Manny Pacquiao is an all time great and Pacquiao had everything Bradley had, plus more speed, he was left handed and he hit harder. But Pac had to work for it each time he bumped with Bradley.
Well rounded fighters who aren’t great punchers don’t get the credit of the eye ball test that freak athletes or big punchers get. So Bradley will never get an overwhelming all time great rating or be the popular pick in hypothetical match ups. That’s just how it is. That’s why fighters like Bradley have to accomplish certain things, in which he did.
Bradley would not have been the favorite to beat Floyd Mayweather but I do believe he could have given him a serious fight. Bradley’s fights with Junior Witter, Devon Alexander and Kendall Holt tell me so. So I wouldn’t pick Bradley to beat Floyd. My pick would be Floyd by decision. But I think it’s a fight you have to fight in the ring and not on paper. Bradley had a way about him in his prime. Tim Bradley was a great fighter.
Danny Garcia vs Tim Bradley. I love DSG but Bradley is a little too quick and well rounded for Garcia. I say Timmy B by decision. Tough but clear.
Broner vs Bradley. This fight wouldn’t be as hard for Bradley. For some reason Broner’s activity and application goes down vs elite fighters. He’s as talented as Bradley but Bradley applies his skill differently. I say Bradley by a wide decision.
Hey Bread - hope all is well, have a few questions for you.
1) in a past mailbag, you said Saunders would be a nightmare for GGG. I’m wondering if you could maybe revisit this. I have been watching BJS now since for a few years and, while I think he’d definitely be far from a walk in the park for GGG, I don’t think I’d consider him a nightmare matchup. Saunders has always been opportunistic when it comes to match ups and a great self promoter who up-sells his victories. He managed to split decision Eubank Jr, who a) at the time was quite raw, having just turned 25 and b) isn’t all that impressive himself, even now. Saunders captured his belt from a significantly declining Andy Lee. I remember watching Quillan/Lee and thinking to myself that a quality opponent would easily beat, if not KO, both guys (enter BJS). Fast forward to David Lemieux (I’ll skip over the Akakov and Monroe fights) - another great opportunity for Billy Joe.
Lemieux has been struggling to even make 160 for the past 2 years. Not to mention he is a PERFECT stylistic match up for a guy like Billy Joe. Lemi isn’t mobile, predictable, can’t cut the ring off well, and needs an opponent to stand in front of him to be competitive. BJS is slick, accurate, creative, and mobile. Prior to that fight I didn’t think BJS would lose more than 2 rounds - I’m not saying this to toot my horn, just highlighting how blatantly lopsided that match making was from the get go (in BJS’ favor). Most boxing heads i talk to who were impressed by Saunders had only really seen him vs. lemieux, which I think is lending to this growing sentiment that BJS would be trouble for GGG. The final point id like to make is consistency. Elite fighters have undeterred consistency with everything in their control. Training, diet, motivation, focus, etc. It’s what sets apart great fighters from good fighters.
BJS looked putrid vs. Akakov. He underwhelmed vs. Willie Monroe. He changed trainers. Stated he was finally taking his diet and the sport seriously. In other words, he’s the epitome of inconsistency. I’m always wary of fighters who are inconsistent in preparation and motivation because when they go up vs. someone who is on the top with proven resolve and historically meticulous preparation they tend to wilt. Boxing is just as much mental as it is physical, and when it comes to GGG, he’s up against someone’s who’s mental resolve hasn’t been broken yet on a professional level. A lot of that has to do with the high level consistency and preparation he has in each and every training camp. That’s tough for the fighter who’s less proven in these situations. Additionally, stylistically, the match up isn’t attractive for BJS, either. Yes, GGG is aging.
But I’m uncertain how much he has actually regressed. Jacobs and Canelo kept him at bay with the threat of speed AND power. BJS doesn’t have the power to command GGGs respect in the ring, like Canelo, and especially Jacobs, did. All in all, maybe I can see Saunders starting off looking good early, if GGG takes a while to get warmed up, but by the middle rounds, I think GGGs strong jab, and increasing tempo will start turning the fight. GGG can cut off the ring with the best of them, and constantly pushing the pace and attacking will mentally fatigue any opponent not used to that level of assault. Finally, if he doesn’t respect Saunders’ power in the ring, he’ll be more willing to attack Saunders’ body, and set up some power shots we haven’t seen him able to do in the last 2 fights. I don’t think this fight goes past the 7th round for those reasons - thoughts?
2) I read a rumor that GGG still wants the May 5 date in Vegas. The rumored opponent was Zurdo Ramirez, which makes sense considering the date and holiday. This is a fight I’ve seen floating around now for a few years, and it seems like it’s one that will likely eventually happen. If that’s the replacement fight, how do you see that going? A GGG win on a short training camp, coming up in weight, would cement his legacy, no?
Bread’s Response: GGG has proven to be a better and more consistent fighter than Saunders. Saunders was one of the guys who looked the other way at GGG. But now he’s ready to face him. I think the timing favors Saunders. Busy stick and movers in their primes have had success vs aging punchers. See Ali vs Liston. I’m not saying I would pick Saunders but I am saying from a mathematical stand point GGG would have trouble winning 7 rounds. He’s starting slower and slower these days.
Gilberto Ramirez is a solid fighter but I think GGG is a class above. Ramirez’s size is what would make this fight difficult. The biggest jump in boxing is from 160-168. If you look close at a super middleweight walking around not on weight they are considerably taller and more dense than middleweights. The physicality looks different. If you notice we haven’t had a great middleweight do HOF things above 160 since Hopkins moved up to 175. Before that Roy Jones, James Toney, Nigel Benn and Chris Eubank were able to do it. But that was 20 years ago. It’s just a really tough jump as far as physicality that not everyone can make. It’s not the same as a bantamweight who fights at 118 moving up to 122. Eventually everyone hits their ceiling but this is a serious jump. I think GGG is the better fighter but I don’t know if his brain trust would be willing to take that chance.
If GGG were able to scorch Ramirez it would be a serious feather in his cap. I think he is already a HOF but if he did it would shine his legacy up a bit.
What did you think of Joshua vs Parker? You were right about Joshua’s jab, he closed the last third of the fight with the jab. But going by this fight I think Wilder will most likely knock Joshua out. Was it an off night or a sign of things to come?
Bread’s Response: Great question. Here is the thing. I have seen fighters have not so great performances going in to big fights then they light up the big fight. See Holyfield vs Tyson. Remember how Holyfield looked vs Bobby Cyzy? So it’s really hard to tell.
Here is what I saw. If I’m Anthony Joshua I would leave out all of the extra training. It still seems the maintenance of all of the muscles trouble him. He got tired in this fight but Parker wasn’t challenging his stamina so it went overlooked. Joshua is strong already. He needs to enhance his boxing skills. But maybe it gives him confidence in his conditioning so….
We have to take into consideration that Joseph Parker fought a non violent fight. David Haye fought the same fight vs Wlad Klitschko. It happens and it makes the stalking fighter not look so great.
I wouldn’t push the panic button if I was an Anthony Joshua supporter. But I did see something that I didn’t like. Everytime Parker tried to throw a hard right hand, Joshua jumped back across the ring. A boxing gloves is only about 6 inches. You don’t have to jump back 10 feet to avoid an object 6 inches. Joshua consistently took himself out of position everytime Parker actd like he wanted to punch hard at him. If Parker would have picked up on him he could have reset Joshua more even if he didn’t mean for the punches to land. I call it fake hustle. Watch the fight closely.
I think Joshua is a terrific young champion but he picked up on a bad glitch with the jumping back. It was too pronounced. Fighters have these little glitches. If you watch Tommy Hearns and Muhammad Ali box, they both constantly tap their foreheads. Watch them close. It’s an involuntary glitch because their still fixing their head gears even when they don’t have one on. The thing is no one took advantage of this. Joshua has seemed to pick up on this habit of jumping wayyyyyyy back when an opponent attacks.
I don’t know if he was hurt in a fight or in the gym or what. But something happened to him where he has developed this and against Wilder he has to be careful. Wilder is a violent man. He could conceivably follow him out and spark him on the end of a shot.
Joshua did win the fight on his jab. I thought his heavy hands slowed Parker down also. There were little body shots that really bothered Parker late. Joshua is a strong huge man. I can tell his hands are heavy. But I think he’s fortunate Parker was not more confident in what he was doing.
I never make snap second judgments when it comes down to boxing. But the gap between Wilder and Joshua has closed. I think Wilder is the more confident fighter in what he’s doing. I think Joshua has more variety to his game but the 1st layer of boxing starts out in Wilder’s favorite. Long range. Although Joshua is tall with a long reach also, I think Wilder is more comfortable at long range. Joshua would be more effective in the mid range and close range. The problem he now has is he’s developed a glitch where he jumps back 10 feet from hard punches. He’s going to have to be a real professional to overcome that and take this fight where it’s beneficial for him.
Joshua seems to be a real cerebral dude. He’s a very smart man. I’m not saying Wilder is not smart but he’s an instinctive human being. The worst thing a fighter can do is overthink. I think Wilder has an advantage in this area also. This is now a 50/50 fight in my opinion. Maybe a slight lean towards Wilder.
Bread you always say Heavyweights around 220 are the best. Now we watch two heavyweights over 235 look scared to touch each other. And earlier this month we see a heavyweight 214 ko a heavyweight over 20lbs heavier. I’m now on the bandwagon.
Bread’s Response: Thank you but I don’t want to disparage the big heavyweights. I consider any heavyweight over 235 and 6’4 or over to be a giant heavyweight. But in my opinion history has only produced 4 men this size that I consider to be truly great. Lennox Lewis, Riddick Bowe, and the Klitschko Brothers. I don’t consider any of them to be all time greats except Lewis. All of them lost to men much smaller…….
If you put a featherweight in the ring with average speed and just watch him shadow box and move around, he will be faster than a middleweight who is considered fast. His coordination is usually better and he’s simply moving around less mass. It’s the same thing with heavyweights. A man 6’3, 215 on a football field is required to cover more ground and do more than a man 6’7, 250. One is a free safety, the other is a pass rusher. In basketball one is a guard the other is a forward. The same principles apply in boxing.
In this era I think what has happened is we haven’t had many special guys under 220 so everyone accepts the fact that bigger is better. A loss of skill application has also contributed to that. I’m not saying it’s easy to beat a man 30lbs heavier than you are. But I am saying that the best heavyweights usually reside around that size.
Could we all imagine a 6’3, 78 inch reach that Ali had, fighting the style that the 6’4, 76 inch reach style that Joseph Parker applied vs Joshua last night. Seriously would anyone doubt that Ali who was a deep water fighter would have driven Joshua crazy and outpointed him. This is no indictment on Joshua, I love everything the kid stands for. But special smaller men have serious advantages.
Stamina is one. Has anyone ever seen an elite distance runner 250lbs? What about an elite swimmer. Running and swimming are the two exercises most closely related to stamina. Michael Phelps is considered a big guy but he’s 6’4, 195. The second thing in my opinion is reaction time. Bigger people just don’t seem to have the reflexes to defend. Deontay Wilder may not have elite boxing skills but he has an elite level 1st step. His 1-2 is money and the bigger guys just don’t react well to defending the shot. If someone were skillful enough to keep Wilder from landing that shot, he would be in trouble but no one is. This is a huge advantage he carries in every fight. No one can seem to handle the shot. If you notice whenever Wilder feels threatened he comes in light in his fights. That’s no coincidence. He’s 6’7 he could easily bulk up to 235 if he wanted to. But he already hits hard. He knows how important speed is.
I don’t get what the big deal is if Canelo tested positive, if GGG still wants to fight. I bought a ticket for Vegas that weekend and now my plans are ruined. If the two guys still want to fight, the fight should go on. The punishment should be proportioned to the crime. Two months of clean training should be enough.
Bread’s Response: My man you sound crazy. You just want to see a fight. The fighters should not be allowed to police themselves. It’s already bad enough that VADA is not mandatory. It’s optional. In no other major sports is drug testing optional except boxing. So now you want the fighters to decide if they can fight even if one test positive. I get what you’re saying but that would create a counter productive precedence. As honorable as it would appear to be, greed and finances would be a big part of it. A fighter on his last leg, standing to get a career high payday, will find reason to fight. It’s really that simple. In their minds they would reason. They would say to themselves ”how many guys have I fought that were juiced and didn’t get caught”. The whole point of drug testing in my opinion is to insure level playing fields and punish cheaters. Letting a cheater get paid is not punishment at all.
I think the NSAC is doing a great job. When this first happened everyone wondered if the investigation was real. Now the sentiment is Canelo will not be allowed to fight. Patience is the key in these circumstances.
Punishment. The punishment should be simple. One time you test positive a year’s suspension and a fine of 20% of the purse you were expecting. The second time you’re banned for life. In a case where the fighter is caught AFTER he participates in a boxing match, then automatic criminal charges get filed.
Oh and one more thing. Promoters also should get fined and suspended. Have we ever seen a promoter publicly reprimand a fighter that was strongly suspected of using PEDs that was signed to the promoter. Promoters only seem to care if a fighter gets caught. Lou Dibella is the only promoter that I have personally heard speak out against the use of PEDs. The only one! I’m not suggesting that promoters give their fighters PEDs. But I do think it’s a strong possibility that they turn a blind eye to PED use. If that’s the case in which I believe it is, I think suspending the promoter of the event will divide and conquer. The promoter will then have a vested interest in NOT promoting a cheater or one he strongly suspects. It will make the promoters proactive and it will raise their integrity levels. Think about what I’m saying, and stop being selfish. This is bigger than you spending money on a plane ticket.
What a fight between Hurd vs Lara! You were correct it came down to judge’s interpretation. Who did you have winning? Do you feel Lara is a Hall of Famer. He’s never been beaten cleanly. He has 5 blemishes that all could be wins. Where does Hurd go from here? What a monster! Also that was gritty performance from Julian Williams. Williams doesn’t have the physicality of Charlo or Hurd but technically he does everything they can do and more. When I think he has to fight on the outside, he fights a big puncher on the inside. When I think he’s not strong, he pushes a big kid back. When I think he doesn’t take a punch well he takes the punches of a big puncher. I wouldn’t favor him over Hurd but if he can raise his stamina I think he can win. He looks like his old form is back but Hurd is a stiff test.
Bread’s Response: Yes Hurd vs Lara was a terrific fight. Subjective preference is something in boxing. When I’m watching a fight I try to ask myself who is being more effective. And who would I rather be? That answer is often the same but it can be slightly different at times.
I was at the fight and I never score fights watching out of enjoyment. It was extremely exciting. While watching the fight I would have rather been Jarrett Hurd. From a physical punishment stand point he was rolling down hill. But who was being more effective is a different call. Lara was landing some nasty counters in between Hurd’s onslaught. There is a train of thought that Lara dominated early and Hurd late. But if you watch the fight neither is true. Hurd won some of the rounds early. And Lara had a very good 10th and 11th. Lara landed some monstrous left hands in those rounds. This was an truly great fight.
I don’t know if Lara is a HOF. I think he has HOF talent but I think he needed to beat a young stud like Hurd to get in. He doesn’t have a lot of fights and as good as he is, he doesn’t have that long numbers reign or that 2 or 3 virtuouso performances that get you in. Lara really need to win that fight in my opinion. The voting media is really tough on Cuban pros. From my point of view only Joel Casamayor will get in.
Hurd is a monster. I wondered for a while was he hot or was he really good. He’s both. Not only is he big but he skilled. Just because he takes punches doesn’t mean he’s not a skilled fighter. He’s just not a defensive specialist. Because he had a limited amateur career it seems like he’s still getting better. I’ve seen improvement from is Frank Galarza fight until now. Hurd’s been on a serious roll.
He has subtle movement that allows him to close distance. He’s heavy handed so he doesn’t try to punch hard. His stamina lies in his ability to relax and just touch you while not throwing every shot hard. He understands and accepts that he will get hit. So he stays in a good position to absorb punches. It’s one of the reasons why his chin is so good. He doesn’t get hit out of position. He doesn’t accept clinches. He doesn’t allow his opponents to hold him to get a rest. Nor does he allow them to run from him. The fighter who can beat Hurd is the fighter who can not just hit him but hit him while he’s out of position. That fighter will also have to able to fight at his own pace. Hurd carries you like a snowball. The snowball gets bigger and picks up more steam as it goes down the hill. No one has been able to get the snowball off course.
Who’s better Hurd or Charlo? What a super fight! Will it happen soon?
Bread’s response: I don’t know when it will happen. It depends on lots of things. It’s ahuge fight that’s for sure.
Who’s better? I really don’t know but it will have to be decided in the ring. They are very different however.
Charlo used to be a stick and mover with great legs. The Charlo who fought Charlie Ota or Gabe Rosado could not beat Hurd. But the Charlo of recent fights, is not a stick and mover. He’s a boxer stalker with one punch ko power and he knows it. It sort of reminds me of Terry Norris. Sometimes Norris boxed, other times he was a killer. Charlo has great legs like Norris also. The way Charlo is punching now and the way Hurd gets hit, he could clip Hurd.
But Hurd is a heavy handed volume technician. His work rate is way higher than Charlo’s. Hurd does not seem to fatigue and I would wonder if Hurd could back Charlo up. I’m curious as to who takes the lead in this match up. It’s fascinating.
I always think of a few things when thinking about a match up. It doesn’t always determine who wins but it gives me a better grasp. Stylistically who the match up favors, as far as rock, paper, scissors. And a historical reference.
My historical reference would be Hagler vs Hearns. Hagler being Hurd and Charlo being Hearns. Or maybe Simon Bown vs Tyrone Trice. Doesn’t mean Hurd wins but that’s the fights I think of. Stylistically the one punch guy can usually beat the volume guy. Foreman vs Frazier, Hearns vs Duran. So that may favor Charlo. The only difference is this case the volume guy looks to be bigger. Hurd is freaking huge. He may be taller and more dense than Charlo. This is truly a 50/50 fight.
What do you think of Floyd Mayweather saying he's trying to make Lomachenko vs Davis next? Do you think it's too soon for Davis to fight Loma? Do you think this has anything to do with Davis's social media outburst? Great fight in my opinion.
Bread's Response: I didn't hear about this. When and where did Mayweather say this? If this is true it's a great fight. Davis is undefeated and a world champion who lost his title on the scales and not in the ring. Davis is one of the 10 or 15 best punchers in all of boxing. The kid can really crack. He punches like a mix of Zab Judah and Mike Tyson from a delivery and leverage stand point.
I don't know if it's too soon. Here is the thing. Once you become a world champion, you have to be available to all challengers and adaptable to all styles. Floyd Mayweather was 21 when he became champion at the same weight Davis is fighting at now. So that's hard to say. But I will say I wouldn't favor Davis to beat Lomachenko. Lomachenko in my opinion along with Terence Crawford are the best two fighters p4p in boxing. I have Crawford #1 right now. But I think Loma is the most talented boxer on the planet. His hand eye, foot eye and reaction time adjustment is like video game good.
I do think Davis is in the fight however. Loma presses the action and Davis punches in violent outburst with elite level hand speed.
I don't follow gossip on social media. I condition myself to not read certain things. So unless someone sends me a screenshot, 80% of the time I overlook certain things. I didn't know Davis was making social media outburst. But maybe the kid thinks he can beat Loma. Lomachenko is a great fighter but he's human. If Davis has the confidence, give him what he wants. He's a fighter!
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