By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards discussing numerous topics, such as Mikey Garcia vs. Vasiliy Lomachenko, the pound-for-pound standing of Terence Crawford, Jaime Munguia vs. Sadam Ali, and more.
Been a fan of your boxing writing going back to the days you’d write in on G’s mailbag at BT.
You got a great boxing mind.
Great fight last night and great performance by Loma, but, I think he needs to stop moving up in weight before he runs into Mikey.
Anyway, I felt compelled to ask your take on something I noticed from the scoring.
This is one of the first times in a long time that a big fight appeared to be scored properly/accurately by all 3 judges, and it happened to be on a co-promotion between two of the biggest promoters in the game.
Do we need more co-promotions to ensure fairness in this sport?
Am I being irrational, or does this fight prove that judges are bought on single promotor big events?
Thanks for the time and all the best.
Chris from Hali
Bread’s Response: Judges are paid for with a per diem set aside by the promoter. So I do think you’re being slightly irrational when you say judges are bought. Paying them and buying them is not always the same. Now subconsciously I think often times judges give the fighter that is the bigger star or more influential star more credit in scoring. I think judges should be state employees on salary. Co Promotions are good but I don’t think it matters as far as the point you make.
I will tell you what will fix the judging. Commission discipline. Far too often a judge who turns in a bad or off scorecard will get work right after the bad scorecard was rendered. Remember the judge that had a bad card for Mayweather vs Canelo also had a bad card for Pacquiao vs Bradley. Someone should have declined and protested the judge until further review. When the judges who scored Williams vs Lara were suspended, they couldn’t screw up anyone else after that because they were suspended. Scoring is subjective but a fair scorecard shouldn’t be that far off of the majority perception.
In Linares vs Loma those judges did a great job and they need more big fights. The same way we blast bad scorecards. We need to give them credit for being fair. Robin Taylor, Julie Lederman and Steve Weisfeld all did an excellent job and they saw the same fight I saw.
Mikey Garcia is at 135 and so is Loma. I think the fight’s perception changed slightly because we knew Loma was special, now we know he’s human. But let me tell you something bro, he’s not over his head vs Garcia. It’s a great fight. Obviously Mikey has the best 1-2 in boxing and he will hit Loma. But Loma will hit him too and Loma is a better puncher than anyone realizes. He knows how to and where to hit you. It’s a 50/50 super fight in my opinion.
Hey Bread - Pac vs Problem seems to make sense for both guys in my opinion. What are your thoughts on this ?
Bread’s Response: Great fight for both guys. I would make Pac a slight favorite.
Thanks for your mailbag, it's the best insight into the reality behind the ring for fans--your work and approach is greatly appreciated.
I have a few questions I'd love some insight on.
Two questions I have are for you as a trainer.
If you saw a kid with middling natural athletic ability but great character and high intelligence, would you still take him on as a serious commitment? Would he still have a shot at becoming a champion in a stacked division? We see often how a lack of character and intelligence can negate great athletic gifts at the higher levels, I'm wondering if the opposite applies as well.
Lastly, I'm curious as to the type of conditioning regime you like your guys to be on outside of sparring--what resistance, cardio, and coordination/pad work do you feel is the goods or is it different for every fighter?
Thanks again for your mailbag and thoughtful approach to dealing with knuckle heads,
Bread’s Response: Hell yeah I would take a kid with middling athletic ability and great character and high intelligence. Do you think Mikey Garcia is a special athlete? I surely don’t. But he has everything else you stated plus loads of skill. Skill last longer than athleticism. Have you heard of Bernard Hopkins and Alexis Arguello. Two of the better fighters ever who were really just average level athletes but had everything else. Character, intelligence and skill are actually more important than athleticism. Athleticism is important but it’s not the end all.
Fighters today lose their primes outside of camp. They get too big and spend too much time on social media and their cell phones. Their minds are over worked and bodies under worked. In the off season I think a 4 week strength mini camp helps if you’re off for over 2 months. I also believe cardio of 3 days a week is beneficial. It’s not just for weight maintenance but it’s for fitness maintenance. It’s not wise to over train and go full blast 365/24/7 but to do nothing for 4 months is no bueno. So I say running, biking or swimming 3 days a week mixed in with a little pilates or yoga will keep a fighter at a decent fitness level between camps. Being in the gym all the time is not for every fighter, it can make them stale but you need to do something. The great fighters find that compromise and they keep sharp in between fights.
Your prediction was again spot on. I didn’t agree with those odds. Loma was a clear favorite but as we saw he’s human. I saw you tweet that the winner goes in the Hall of Fame. I think you were right. Being the winner of a great fight like that does it for you. How good is Loma? Is he an all time great? Does Linares go in the Hall or does he need to do more? Do you think Linares could have continued?
Bread’s Response: I thought the fight was terrific. In my opinion it was the Fight of the Year. Wilder vs Ortiz was awesome but I think round for round this was better. Wilder vs Ortiz started slow.
The skill and drama of this fight was amazing. The last time I saw this kind of skill was Rigo vs Nonito.
Of course Loma is a HOF now. He beat a motivated, bigger, uber talent who came in great shape. This was his 3rd title and he’s fought some really elite guys. To get off the floor and get a 1 punch stoppage like that was just the stuff of legends. I don’t think Loma is an all time great yet but I think he is a HOF and he does match up well with anyone in history head to head close to his size.
I love both of these fighters but I will be honest I didn’t want Linares to get stopped. I was hoping he found a way to hold on and continue. I respect anyone who has came back from what he’s been through. He needed this fight to get in the Hall. I wasn’t necessarily rooting for Linares to win but I wanted to see him finish on his feet. He has too many losses without enough elite wins. He’s a 3 division champ but he’s never beaten a great fighter or the best fighter in his division. It kills me to say this but I’m being objective. Linares has Hall talent but he just doesn’t have the resume. With his resume he can’t have 4 losses. I think he needs a few more years of consistent wins to get in.
100% convinced loma is best fighter in the world. Alot of people jumping off the loma bandwagon because he got caught by linares. I started following linares a couple years ago when in one of your mailbags you had him as a top p4p skilled guy, now i see what you saw.... A good big guy always beats a good little guy, we saw the little guy stop the man with alot of physical advantages over him, No on he fights again even mikey would have the length, speed, experience and power all combined as linares. ( mikey lacks speed and i believe his offense can be predictable) Linares looked much bigger, he was patient and his combo punching was on point, but he hit mostly gloves and didnt discourage loma.. I dont think mikey has the speed that linares has and his defense is mainly block with gloves and taking steps back, i think loma keeps his hands at bay and beats him fairly easy. Who you got breaman, mikey or loma?
Bread’s Response: I am not 100% convinced Loma is the best fighter in the world. I’m convinced he’s the most talented fighter in the world. Terence Crawford has a legit case to being the best. I keep getting asked who is the best p4p in fighter in boxing and it comes down to 2 names, Loma and Crawford.
The people who pick Crawford do so because they say he’s been doing it longer and has a deeper resume. Well that’s not exactly true. Both Loma and Crawford became champion in 2014. Crawford is 10-0 in title fights. Loma is 10-1 title fights. I judge my P4P rankings on 4 things. #1 Who would beat who if everyone was the same weight, with height and reach relative and proportioned. #2 Who has accomplished more. #3 Who has fought the best competition. #4 Who is operating at the highest level.
If Loma and Crawford were the same natural size I have no idea who would win. It’s that close in my opinion. Loma is the better athlete but Crawford is equal to him in every other area and the game is called boxing.
I think their accomplishments are about equal. Loma just entered his 3rd weight class. Crawford is on his way to his. Crawford has unified and to me that’s a big deal. But he hasn’t unified against anyone close to his level of fighter. While Crawford gets the edge for cleaning out divsions, Loma has made bigger fights. So their accomplishments are a push in my opinion.
Who has fought the better competition. Let’s take a look at their 5 best wins. Crawford’s I would say is Gamboa, Diaz, Postol, Indongo and Burns. That’s a solid group but I actually give the edge to Loma in this department. Loma’s are Rigo, Linares, Russell, Walters and Martinez.
Who is operating at the highest level. Loma is more gifted. He does things that most people can’t do. But Crawford is just as good, he’s just not as fancy. Crawford is like Oscar Robertson, while Loma is like Magic Johnson. Crawford makes an adjustment and commences to just destroy his opponents. Loma pecks and pokes and makes guys look like fools and beats them into submission. Both have all of the tools of a great fighter.
The one thing that gives Crawford the edge in most people’s eyes is Loma’s 1 loss. I guess it’s hard for people to have their #1 P4P guy with a loss. But to be fair many P4P #1 or #2 guys have had a loss. Let’s look. Roberto Duran took an L at 21 years old after he was champ. But he was clearly the best fighter in the world for almost a decade. Ray Leonard was the named the best fighter of the 80s and he took a loss in 1980 to Roberto Duran. Marvin Hagler was the P4P #1 guy and he had 2 losses and 2 draws on his record. Pernell Whitake took a controversial loss in his 1st title try but most had him the #1 guy in the 90s. Manny Pacquiao had 3 losses and 2 draws on his record when he was considered the best fighter on the planet. Bernard Hopkins had 2 losses and a draw on his record when he was at the top.
I’m not so sure losing to Orlando Salido in your 2nd pro fight disqualifies Loma as being the best fighter in boxing. Salido came in over 2lbs heavy which is a lot for a title fight. He also hit Loma , low so often a DQ could have been considered. Loma went on with the fight and almost stopped Salido and took a SD loss. I think Loma has improved about 20% since that fight. In my opinion what happened then has no bearing on what’s happening now. Just like Bernard Hopkins losing his pro debut had no bearing on what he did vs Felix Trinidad.
So for now I will say Crawford and Loma will be a 1a, 1b type of thing like Mayweather and Pacquiao. I just hope it doesn’t turn racial. Both of these guys are special talents and should be appreciated. I can feel the debates coming.
Mikey Garcia has a legit case for being the #3 best fighter in boxing. I think Mikey has excellent mind quickness. His 1-2 is unreal. He has perfect balance. And he doesn’t look like it but he’s awfully strong. Mikey is one of the best punchers in boxing. While Linares has flashy, fluid eye catching talent, I think Mikey is an overall better fighter. For whatever reason Mikey is the more effective fighter in a boxing ring. I also think 135 is Loma’s ceiling. I don’t know if he has the physicality to move past 135. Not many featherweights in history can fight past 135 and be effective. Mikey looks to be a real force at 140. So he has a big physicality advantage in my opinion. I think that makes the fight closer to 50/50 than people realize. Let’s see what happens.
I have a few questions about this weekend. Was Sadam Ali set up? Why in the hell was in their with such a monster? Munguia looks like a lightheavyweight? I know we saw a great fight but do you think Linares quit or was the shot that devastating? I saw your twitter timeline.
Bread’s Response: I don’t know if Sadam Ali was set up. I have seen a few set ups in boxing but I’m not sure if that was one. Unless someone can show me where, why and who benefits from Ali losing then I will just say it was a case of a bad match up. You know there is a winner and loser in every fight.
Liam Smith was injured. If Smith’s injury is real then that’s not a set up. Munguia took the fight on short notice, he’s inexperienced and he’s slower than Ali. Those are facts. Ali wanted his pay day on HBO and to keep his date so he had to fight. That’s no set up either. Ali was the champ and I assume his team figured he would be able to neutralize the size with his pedigree and speed.
Here is what I think happened until I hear otherwise. Ali only moved up for the Cotto fight. Cotto hand picked Ali for his farewell fight. No one expected Ali to win. So now you have welterweight who is a junior middleweight champion. A welterweight who was stopped by Jesse Vargas who had 10kos. So Ali would be outsized by everyone in the top 15 of the most stacked division in boxing.
We can all play Sunday Morning Coach now but Ali had some advantages of not having to cut weight at 154. He wanted to defend the title he won. I don’t see what’s wrong with that. He has a right to make his money. The champions at 147 are Spence, Thurman and Horne who is about to fight Crawford. Ali is not guaranteed to win a belt at 147. So why not stay at 154 and fight the WBO contenders where he is already champion. Belts do matter in Ali’s case.
I think Munguia was most likely underestimated but that can happen. He has a pretty record but it was built in Mexico. No one except his team knew he could fight so well. Form my estimation it was just a bad pick. But the word set up goes much deeper. I’m not saying it wasn’t but I need more proof.
As for Munguia I don’t know if he’s a monster. He’s 6ft and he rehydrated to 170. That’s common for the junior middleweights of this era. Ali rehydrated up to 169 and he’s considered small. I have to see Munguia in the ring with one of the top junior middleweights before I call him a monster. That’s like getting excited because a guy goes 3 for 5 on opening day, saying he’s hitting .600. When you judge on a small microcosm you can underrate and overrate.
Munguia seems like a solid kid but we shouldn’t get too excited because of what happened with Ali. Ali was actually clipping him if you look close. He just started out under water and never got his life boat.
However I do want to give Munguia some credit. He’s not speedster and he was able to catch the faster fighter early. So his timing must be really good. He also took 2 big fights on short notice in 2 different divisions. For a 21 yr old unproved kid to step up to fight GGG tells me either his people are crazy or they saw something special in him. Then he takes the Ali fight on short notice and ices Ali.
That shows some serious moxy. 99% of the fighters in the world would NOT have taken those 2 chances. Trust me I know. This kid did. For that alone he’s a force to be reckoned with. You can’t hit the lottery if you don’t play. Munguia proved to me that not only does he have courage, he proved that he stays in great shape. I’m looking forward to seeing how his career progresses.
Who do you like this upcoming weekend? Both fights are tough picks for me. I want Badou to win but as you always say Stevenson is better than people realize. Gary Russell should beat Jo Jo Diaz but undefeated #1 contenders usually fight hard. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: This are two really good fights. And you’re correct undefeated #1 contenders usually fight well. I think Jo Jo Diaz is super solid. I give Gary Russell the edge because of experience, athleticism and his right hook. But Russell is inactive in his prime and he doesn’t seem to mind that he doesn’t fight often. That type of mindset is just perplexing to me.
But Russell has shown heart in his tough spots vs Loma. He didn’t quit. And he’s been a dominant fighter. Russell will also be fighting at home with the crowd on his side. I say Russell wins a tough decision.
I still can’t call Stevenson vs Jack. But I will say it has Fight of the Year potential. I really think this will be a barn burner if Jack doesn’t get clipped early. Jack is a deep water fighter. He’s stronger than he looks. He’s a great body puncher and he hits hard. Not as hard as Stevenson but hard enough. Stevenson is an all time great puncher with his left hand. He fights back when pushed and he has more layers to his game than people think. He can body punch better than advertised and he’s fresh for his age. This fight has me stumped I can’t call it. Some people believe Stevenson will fold if Jack takes him late but I don’t believe that. I’ve seen Stevenson pressed before and he responded like a dog.
Believe it or not body punching will win this fight. Jack wears you down with body punching. But a I stated before Stevenson is money with his body shots. Lucian Bute hurt Jack with a body shot from the southpaw stance that most of you guys don’t remember. I’m sure Stevenson knows that. The guy who executes the best to the body will win.
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