By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling different topics such as the future options of Manny Pacquiao, Murat Gassiev vs. Oleksandr Usyk, Liam Smith vs. Jaime Munguia, Floyd Mayweather Jr. and more.
I forgot to ask this question last time out, but where do you rank Eder Jofre? I honestly feel like he is the most underrated fighter of the last 50-60 years. His resume' is unreal and the way he was able to come back after the Harada loss and the long lay off was Duran-esque after he got KOd to Hearns.
And if you had to make a list of the top 10 greatest living fighters of all time, he would surely have to be in the top 6-7?
Thanks as always!
Bread’s Response: Eder Jofre was right with Muhammad Ali as the best fighter of the 60’s. He’s most likely the best bantamweight ever. He’s so underrated it’s a travesty. He only lost two fights and both were super controversial to the same HOF in Fighting Harada.
I say he’s in the top 10 of the great LIVING fighters. I don’t know who is still alive from the terrific decade of the 40s so it’s hard for me to give an exact list. But I know Sugar Ray Leonard and Roberto Duran are the best two living fighters. After that Jofre has a case for being as good as anyone. He’s absolutely terrific. He had a smooth pressure, crouching style, iron chin, indefatigable and was a big puncher. One of the best lower weight punchers ever. Young guys watch his fight with Jose Medal on youtube.
What's up Breadman! First time writing in, love your column and the knowledge you bring to the table.
Josh Taylor is entering the World Boxing Super Series at 140 & I know you are really high on him. His fight with Viktor Postol was great, he displayed all the qualities of a true champion, heart, toughness, as well as showing his adaptability to overcome the challenges a world class, experienced boxer like Postol brought to the table, drop him & win. He also showed he has a 12 round engine and got stronger as the rounds went on, really coming on strong from rounds 8-12. Al Berstein was in Scotland commentating on the fight & he was very impressed by Taylor. To be only 13-0 & have a victory like that over Postol is very impressive. Not to mention also knocking out a tricky, awkward boxer like Miguel Vazquez & winning a high pressure grudge match in emphatic, dominant style by destroying Ohara Davis, all in just 13 fights. The sky is the limit for Taylor.
Regis Prograis is also entering the WBSS at 140 & I expect it will be between him & Taylor who comes out as the winner & the unified World Champion, with the WBA, IBF & possibly WBO titles all on the line in the tournament. Right now I expect Taylor to take home all the belts.
Also, I noticed how you said you were interested to see if Anthony Joshua & Alexander Povetkin sign up to VADA. The good news is that late last week, VADA announced AJ & Povetkin have signed up to their VADA program. Good news for boxing. AJ showing he is clean & Povetkin having to undertake very strict drugs testing.
Look forward to hearing your responses,
Bread’s Response: Josh Taylor actually struggled a lot with Victor Postol. I’m impressed that he was able to step on it and overcome Postol but I am slightly concerned at this point but I’m still riding with my guy. I believe Taylor is the goods, I’m just curious as to why he started so slow with Postol. Taylor vs Prograis is going to be a dog fight and FOY in 2019. Mark it down.
Anthony Joshua has one the best on camera personality in boxing. I really like the kid. I’m glad he was proactive in requesting VADA. That tells me something. So many in the media overlook the A side fighters that don’t PAY for VADA. Again signing up for the CTP is not the same as paying for it. Joshua is not the WBC champion. Any fighter who doesn’t ask for testing against a known cheater like Povetkin is suspect in my opinion.
In your last mailbag you said GGG needs to do to Canelo what Hagler did to Hearns. Is that even possible? Hagler needed to get up close and inside those long arms. In GGG's case, doing so would work to Canelo's shorter reach. What is most ideal then? Pressure, jab, and chuck punches to the body? The right to the body when Canelo exits out, stepping around to land hooks and uppers (the times he did that it worked)? Just heap the combos high and low to wear down Canelo, knowing that he has the better gas tank than the suspected cheat? For the record I have heard a couple coaches and other figures in the business say that they aren't surprised Canelo was busted. Do trainers usually say that about any rival fighters? Is it because they know? Jealousy (Canelo is a name, after all).
Canelo is used to GGG's power, yes, but haven't GGG's eyes adjusted to Canelo's movement and speed? I feel like GGG won't need a feeling out process in the rematch.
Also, if outsiders are able to point out GGG's "tells" and mistakes, shouldn't it be easy for a guy like GGG (silver medalist, humble) to accept what he must do differently? Would the body jab be a worthwhile wrinkle in GGG's game for the rematch? How much will coming in with a KO and fresh blood on his hands spur him on to spill blood this time around?
Does Canelo testing regularly mean we should expect a slimmer version of him than we are used to seeing at MW, and also that his stamina will be worse too? If so,what are the implications of this for the outcome of the match?
Thanks for your time.
Bread’s Response: Yes it’s possible. Just because GGG is taller than Canelo doesn’t mean he can’t attack him ferociously. It’s a mindset. GGG respected Canelo’s counter punching too much in the 1st fight. He needs to attack him like a savage. Period.
I can’t say why trainers or anyone else say anything. I assume Canelo has people that are jealous of him just like any other successful person. But there have been rumors of PED use with Canelo for years and in light of his recent positive test…..well you know the rest. It is what it is. I don’t know why it’s such a touchy subject for some people. The TRUTH only comes one way.
I actually think that Canelo is still a formidable fighter. He has a serious skillset, great reflexes and the best punch selection in boxing. He will still have those things. We just don’t know how explosive he will be, how he will make weight and how his stamina will be. Canelo is used to GGG’s power and that worries me for GGG. Once an elite boxer get used to the power of a power puncher, he can often times tame him. See Holyfield vs Tyson.
I don’t know if GGG’s eyes have adjusted to Canelo. He was only able to out hustle him and hit him with a jab. He never beat him up and hit him with his usual heavy artillery.
It’s easy for people outside of the ring to nitpick. GGG is the one in the ring. He’s not viewing it the way we are. Hopefully he does but it’s not a guarantee. His punch selection was OFF vs Canelo. There is a reason for that. We will find out why when they rematch.
GGG needed a good ko for his mojo. It will help him but it doesn’t mean he’s guaranteed to win. I don’t want to speculate on Canelo’s body. Let’s see how he looks at the weigh in and after rehydration.
Long live the mailbag.
You need to write a book or make a boxing documentary.
Bread’s Response: Just like a fighter with a good IQ, I know my strengths and weaknesses. I would need help organizing and writing a book or doing a documentary. I’m down for it but I would need help.
The mailbag is easy for me because 99% of the questions I answer I don’t have to research. As a kid my grand father and his friends used to gather at his house periodically. No matter the occasion, cookout, birthday, holiday, the conversation always turned to women, boxing or baseball. My grandfather was born in 1931 and he passed in 2000. He got to see a slew of the greats. Sugar Ray Robinson and Joe Louis live several times. So let’s just say I heard and saw a lot as a small child. Let’s just say I’m well versed in boxing, baseball and women.
I was watching an interview of Floyd's recently from years back and he touched on why he trains so late during the day. He gets to the gym at 3 PM to do his initial training and takes a few hours to rest and comes back for sparring towards 7 or 8 PM. Then he does he run at 11 PM or close to midnight. And he said something to the extent of why would I train in the morning when I don't fight before 8 or 9 PM? Why would I get my body used to of fighting and training at a time that I won't be fighting at?
Hearing that made a lot of sense. He is programming his body to be ready for actual fight night. Do you operate in a similar way with your fighters? Or it is not possible to always have this type of schedule? I'm assuming if you are training multiple fighters, it is nearly impossible to not have one of them train in the morning? Interested in hearing your thoughts on this and it just fascinates me the mental edge Floyd and BHop always try to get before fight.
Bread’s Response: I actually agree with Floyd but its’ not always feasible. It depends on so many things that it’s tough to do that all time, especially for young fighters who are just starting out. But as it gets closer to a fight. I try to do at least one workout later at night closer to the time they will fight so the fighter gets used to expending energy the time he will fight.
What would be Pacquiaos all time great ranking of he were to fight and beat loma, Crawford and Spence in succession to end his career? I know it is highly unlikely, but what if...
Bread’s Response: Oh my…If Pacman beat Loma, Crawford and Spence in succession that’s the number 1,2 and 5 P4P fighters in boxing in their primes. No 39 year old fighter has ever come close to that. All things considered that would make Manny Pacquiao the #1 fighter in the history of boxing. It would be close to impossible for him to do at this point but you said what if….
What did you think of the fights this weekend? Prograis looks beastly and Pacquiao looked good. Was it the matchmaking, lack of VADA or is he back?
Bread’s Response: I like Prograis. I want to see more and more. He’s very physically strong. He’s not a shocking puncher but he’s an attrition puncher sort of like Hagler. It’s when a strong man, who has heavy hands is consistent with his attack. After about 8 or 9 rounds the level of opponent he’s been facing just collapse. However I don’t repeat that Prograis is the best 140 in the world. He has to prove that in the ring. He could be but I don’t think he’s done enough for us to jut label him the best just yet. If he smokes through the WBSS tournament then we can call him that.
Prograis has a tough field to overcome. And Josh Taylor may be just as good. Prograis is well rounded but he’s not super athletic. He also can be hit. We have to see him vs the elite level consistently before we go crazy with the accolades. In fairness to Prograis he has zipped through his level of comp like a stud is supposed too. I also think the Jose Ramirez was steered AWAY from him which deprived Prograis because he’s just the interim champion and not the full champion. The WBC should mandate the fight. It was subtle duck that gets overlooked and Prograis deserved that fight.
Listen you know I respect Manny Pacquiao. But if there was no VADA testing then that is something to at least consider. We are in the PED era and there has been some suspicion of Manny in the past despite him scoring some nice knockdowns and getting some nice wins under VADA. If there wasn’t VADA I’m also curious as to why Matthysse and Golden Boy wouldn’t ask for it, he was the champion for crying out loud. I think the matchmaking was also excellent. As I stated before Lucas Matthysse was slightly overrated. Marcos Maidana was always better, he was just a little bit more sloppy so we didn’t see his pedigree as easy. Pacquiao is a uber level great fighter. He was always better than Matthysse at every point of their careers.
Despite slippage Pacquiao is the most experienced fighter of the last 30 years. When I say experienced I’m talking about what he has seen in the ring. He fought top level flyweights who fight at a different rhythm than the bigger fighters. He’s been the big underdog. Traveling abroad does not bother him. He’s fought top level featherweights. He’s fought black Americans. Africans. Mexicans. You name it he’s seen it. When you are operating on that “master” level, only a bad style match up or prime level great will truly embarrass you. Pacquiao has seen Lucas Matthysse without facing him thousands of times.
Pacquiao has a few signature moves that he can do in his sleep. Move one is he moves his head to his right as the opponent throws a jab from the orthodox stance. The jabs slips by Pac’s left ear and Pac simultaneously slips out his left hand. Everybody falls for the same shot. He makes you throw it. Pac also has another counter for the orthodox jab. He will catch the jab with his rear left hand and at the same time he will throw a hybrid jab hook with his right hand. It hits the opponents right on the temple.
If you stare in space too long Pac will just step in with a fast 1-2 which was his only move back in the day but he has evolved. Now he also throws a right hook to get you to duck and then he sifts through with a left uppercut. He does this off the same rhythm of his famous 1-2. Matthysse had no answer for the move.
The dude has almost 70 fights from 112-150 for over 23 years. Even at 80% his mind is so advanced he’s tough on anyone. The mind last longer than the body. Remember he was pummeling Marquez before the clippage. Tim Bradley is a great contemporary fighter. Manny is an all timer and it showed when they fought. Algieri, Vargas, Rios and Horn are solid guys. Manny was better than all of them. Floyd is special and Manny was able to buzz him and win 4 rounds against him. I don’t think you guys realize the level he’s operating on.
I wouldn’t say Manny is back. I just think he can always beat a certain level guy. I think the big, long, athletic guys like Spence and Crawford are a bad idea for him. Just as Mayweather was. But you may laugh at me but I think he has a chance vs any other welterweight in the world. He also has a good shot to beat Mikey Garcia and Vasyl Lomachenko. Loma is a small lightweight. He just had a tough time with Linares’s physicality. Pacquiao is better, more explosive, stronger, more durable and bigger than Linares. If you guys think I’m overhyping his chances check what Loma’s dad and trainer had to say about the fight. They want Manny to come down to 135.
I also think Manny has a shot vs Thurman and Mikey Garcia. I don’t know if he will win those fights but they are no more than 55/45 in Thurman and Garcia’s favor.
Here is the thing that has contributed to Manny’s longevity. Manny is not an over thinker. People who over think create problems when they are none. You can tell he’s not by his success after failures. Manny also is a positive, happy go lucky dude. He’s having fun in a boxing ring. It isn’t stressful for him to be in there under the gun. A fight with Thurman is interesting to me because I think Manny finds a way to become motivated to train. It’s obvious because he’s 39 and still operating. Keith Thurman on the other hand is in his prime and he takes off of boxing for years at a time. If you don’t think “motivation” is a factor with Thurman then you’re mislead. And Any time motivation is a factor, then dedication is a factor. Can Thurman put himself through a camp to get ready for Pacman? We don’t know.
Now is the time for smart matchmaking. If I’m Manny I stay away from Terence Crawford, Errol Spence and believe it or not Amir Khan. I know guys think I’m in love with Khan but I’m not. His IQ is low and he makes a ton of mistakes. But his pedigree is so high and he has so many natural offensive gifts I know he’s stylistic nightmare for Manny. Manny could clip him but it would be life and death. If I’m Manny I do everything I can to get Top Rank to break the bank on the Loma fight. I ask for 30 million! You guys know I’m high on Loma. I think he’s the #1 guy along with Crawford. But I see something in the matchup and Manny can hang with him. He may even clip him if he catches his rhythm early.
we have a few crackers in these coming weeks. how you think these will play out?
gassiev v usyk
munguia v smith
chisora v takam
whyte v parker
garcia v easter
cheers GK from aus.
Bread’s Response: Summer is usually a down time for boxing but 2018 has been an unusually good boxing summer.
Gassiev vs Usyk- I really can’t call this fight. The first thing I factor in is stylistic advantage and it’s huge for Usyk. Then I factor in eye ball test. It’s a push. There are other things like speed, stamina, power etc that fall in later. But the main thing I look for after the eye ball test is who is more effective. If you break things down too much you overthink them. There are fighters who rate high in plenty of areas but there sum total is not as effective. Let’s say a Jermaine Taylor. Then there are guys like Carl Froch who is just more effective throughout a fight.
When I think of who is more effective my gut and eyes tell me over a course of a fight it may be Gassiev. He’s improving fight after fight because of his attitude. Usyk is not struggling but he’s treading water slightly if you look close enough. 90% of the time in a match up like this I would pick Usyk. But I can’t for some reason. It’s something about Gassiev’s loose and fluid murderous power punching late in a fight that has captivated me. His demeanor is one of a man coming to destroy but he’s enjoying himself in the ring. He’s a deep water stud. I’m going to flip a coin in my head and say Gassiev. MURAT!!!!!
Munguia vs Smith- Smith has a long torso and short arms. He holds his defense in and tight leaving his liver and other organs exposed. Munguia will land the same left hook that Canelo landed. Munguia will get hit because Smith will come to fight. But Smith is level below the elite and it will show. Munguia has a unique way he builds up momentum. He gets on the BALLS of his feet and his sort of skips or gallops INTO his opponents. He builds up and head of steam and he crashes punches into them. It’s the secret to his power. Smith doesn’t have the jab or footwork to stop this. I say Munguia from 7-9 by stoppage.
Chisora vs Takam- I say a drawish type of fight but of the judges are fair they see Takam is more skillful and will probably deserve the nod.
Whyte vs Parker- I’m not as high on Dillian Whyte as everyone else. He can fight and he has guts. But he’s one of the more sloppy top guys I’ve seen in a while. His balance is poor, he wings his punches. He’s just not a fundamentally sound fighter at all. Joseph Parker should pick him apart if he doesn’t freeze up and get bullied.
Garcia vs Easter- At one time I was taking Mikey Garcia BIG. But not anymore. I think Robert Easter will hold a good account of himself. Throw out the tragic ending and circumstances but look on youtube at the Robert Quiroga vs Kid Akeem fight from many years ago. This is the fight I envision. Quiroga vs Akeem is one of the greatest fights no one talks about. IF it’s a great fight I say Garcia. If it’s a non eventful fight like say Forest vs Mosley 2 then Easter. I think this fight is now closer than it once was. If the judges are on point expect Easter to win at least 4 or 5 rounds. He does have an enormous height and reach advantage on top of being faster.
What's up Breadman,
It's been a strange week in boxing and I wanted to get your take on a few things:
First, what do you think about Demetrius Andrade's signing to DAZN and do you think it benefits his career at all? Not to talk bad about Hearn but he doesnt have the greatest track record in some peoples eyes of getting fights made. I personally think that Andrade will continue the same habits as before (won't fight Falcao and now BJS looks unlikely). I am starting to think HE is the problem and not management/promotors. Whats your take?
Second, Showtime has consistently alluded to a super card this year. With the fights still left to be made for PBC this year. Who could land on that card and what fights would you want to see?
Finally, a few past present fantasy matchups ...
Donald Curry (85ish) vs. Errol Spence (current)
Ike Quartey (Prime) vs. Miguel Cotto (Prime)
Julian Jackson (Prime) vs. Jermall Charlo (Current)
Also, I'm a TX guy so I used to not be a huge fan of you because of the whole Charlo thing (got caught up in pre-fight stuff lol) but I can honestly say since i've found your mailbag, you have one of the best publications in boxing keep up the good work. Real unbiased analysis.
Bread’s Response: I really don’t know much about the DAZN platform. I will say that I love boxing and the thought of looking at my fights on my phone is not a pleasant one. I like easy access to luxury but we shall see. Speaking on Andrade specifically I don’t how it will turn out for him. We don’t have history with DAZN so we don’t know how they operate. I hope it turns out great for Andrade. He’s a tremendous talent. But he has missed some really prime years of his career. I don’t have an opinion because I have no idea how it will turn out. Ask me the same question this time next year and if Andrade has not fought 2 or 3 times and against top 5 middleweights in really important fights then I will tell you what I think. You guys know more than me I didn’t even know the Falcoa fight was OFF, I was looking forward to that fight.
Let’s see Showtime…..PBC…..I have no idea. I will guess Garcia vs Porter, Uzcategui vs Plant, Santa Cruz vs Russell. I know there are some big fights the public is looking forward to like Charlo vs Hurd. But that won’t happen for a while. Everyone wants to see Spence but I think his next fight will be another Showcase and not a Super Fight. I’m thinking as I type maybe David Benavidez vs Anthony Dirrell. Who knows man? Your guess is as good as mine. Of course we will see Wilder but it won’t be in a Super Fight not this year anyway.
I can’t do Spence vs Curry. I don’t know enough about Spence yet. He’s right in the middle of his prime. It’s too hard to judge a guy at this point. Same thing with Charlo vs Jackson. Stylistically Spence vs Curry would be awesome. Charlo vs Jackson would end in a ko before 6. But I have no idea who wins either fight.
Ike Quartey would beat Miguel Cotto. It would look like Cotto vs Clottey but Quartey was more dynamic than Clottey. Say Quartey by close UD.
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