By Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards answering questions on Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Jose Luis Castillo I, big fights in store for 2016, Sergey Kovalev vs. Andre Ward, Gennady Golovkin vs. Andre Ward, the future of Floyd Mayweather's recently vacated belts and more.
Value your opinion so wanted to get your winner and scorecard if you remember it from these fights.
Castillo vs Mayweather 1
Pacquiao vs Marquez 1, 2 and 3
Hopkins vs Calzague
Canelo vs Lara
Froch vs Dirrell
Leonard vs Hagler
Khan vs Peterson
McCallum vs Toney 1 and 2
I had Castillo by 4 rounds
Marquez winning all 3 first close, 2nd by 3 and last by 9
Calzague by 2
Lara by 2
Dirrell by 4
Hagler by 2
Khan by 2
McCallum winning both 4 and by 2
Big fan of both, Tommy Hearns avoided Mike McCallum and stole his fight vs Duran. Who do you have winning at 154lbs and why?
Emanuel Steward I feel avoided putting his man with McCallum for good reason
Bread’s Response: Man I will probably get hate mail for answering this one but oh well.
Castillo vs Mayweather1. I agree with you but not by 4 points. I thought Castillo edged Floyd in their 1st fight. This was the only fight I have ever seen Floyd in where he didn’t dominate the 2nd half of the fight. Castillo took control after a slow start and shockingly to me he won the majority of the rounds after round 5.
Pacquiao vs Marquez 1,2,3. We disagree big on this one. I thought Pacquiao won the first fight clear. Marquez won the drama of the fight by coming back from 3 knockdowns but as far as points scored I don’t think he won. In fact one of the judges admitted afterwards he made a mistake on the scoring of the 1st round and had he scored it correctly, Pacquiao would have won. The 2nd fight was closest in my opinion and I thought they both won 6 rounds apiece but Pacquiao scored a knockdown and that was the difference. When judging these fights people seem to forget that you get extra points for knockodowns. I thought Pacquiao also won the 3rd fight. I thought Marquez got extra credit for cooling Pacquiao off who was on a career hot streak at the time. This fight showed me that Pacquiao just couldn’t dominate Marquez but doing better than expected and winning are different in my opinion. I thought Pacquiao won again close.
Hopkins vs Calzaghe. We agree. There is a video that is going around that suggest that Calzaghe landed lots of meaningless punches which I found interesting. But judges don’t get a chance to watch fights in slow mo. My initial impression of the fight was Calzaghe was just too active and he tired Bhop down a little bit in the 2nd half of the fight.
Canelo vs Lara. We disagree. I was live at that fight sitting next to a few boxers. Everyone had a different opinion but I warned them that Lara was losing. Lara gave the impression that Canelo was hurting him. He was wincing from punches and over moving which at times looked like running. It could have gone either way but I knew they were giving Canelo the benefit of the doubt.
Dirrell vs Froch. We agree. Dirrell beat Froch. He made him miss all night and he hurt him late. That was a home cooked decision in my opinion. I actually watched that fight in the gym with fighters. Some told me Froch won before we watched the replay. After watching the replay they all admitted Dirrell won the fight rather clean. Dirrell’s biggest mistake was he was falling around and looking vulnerable and he gave the judges the impression Froch was doing something extra.
Leonard vs Hagler. We disagree. Leonard won the first 4 rounds. Unless you think Hagler won 7 out of the next 8 I can’t see how you got that score. I rarely score fights multiple times but I have scored this fight about 7 times. I have never once scored it for Hagler. I thought he got outboxed and was made to miss too much when he started coming on.
Khan vs Peterson. We agree. I respect Lamont Peterson as much as any fighter around. But this fight had some of the worst officiating in recent history. There is a video of a man who was associated with Team Peterson pointing out a scoring discrepancy to a judge while the judge was judging the fight. The referee who just handled the Terrell Williams vs Prichard Colon tragedy was the same referee and he conveniently took a point from Khan in the last round which was 2nd point deducted from Khan. The referee also missed an early knockdown scored by Khan, which would have given him an extra point. Most people don’t like Khan so no one really talks about what happened to him in Peterson’s hometown of Washington DC but this was bad. I don’t think I have ever seen so many things go against one fighter in another fighter’s hometown. The fight was split decision for Peterson. The scores were 115-110 for Khan and 113-112 for Peterson twice. The last round point deduction and missed knockdown cost Khan the fight....
We disagree. I thought James Toney beat Mike McCallum in both fights. He was just too clean of a puncher and too quick for the great McCallum. I think you are way off on this one bro.
McCallum and Hearns were champions at the same time at junior middleweight. Tommy Hearns was a gun and he really didn’t care who he fought. But looking back on it I do believe Emanuel Steward kept the fight from happening. It would have been an extremely tough fight. But Hearns does not get too much flack for it because McCallum didn’t win the title until 1984. In 84 Hearns kod Duran and in 85 he took on Hagler who was the best fighter in the world. He could have fought McCallum after that but no one is going to bother Hearns for choosing a Hagler over McCallum in that time span. Hagler was considered better and he was much more popular than McCallum. I think the reason why Steward kept Hearns away from McCallum was because they sparred so much in the past. But most times history sympathizes with the B side avoided fighter. In this case it was McCallum. I saw their sparring session on youtube. McCallum hardly dominated. I watched McCallum fight David Braxton and Milton McCrory around the time he was screaming for Hearns. Braxton and McCroy were two Kronk fighters. McCallum had rough spots in both fights. I think Hearns was too fast for McCallum, too accurate of a puncher and I would have favored him to beat him.
What are the biggest myths in boxing that actually get repeated as facts? Not ducking myths like Sugar Ray Robinson ducking Charley Burley. But myths that actually happened in fights where we can actually go back and debunk them from footage.
Bread’s Response: Great question. There are plenty let’s see. Ali was losing to Foreman and he tired Foreman out and knocked him out. That’s very far from the truth. Ali was winning that fight all throughout. Foreman just couldn’t time his right hand off the ropes. Ali would lean on the ropes and spring into Foreman with a lead right hand over and over again. Ali executed possibly the greatest game plan in history that night in Africa.
Pernell Whitaker sort of shut out Julio Cesar Chavez. I believe Whitaker won and he deserved better than a draw. But watch that fight closely. Chavez was doing well early. What actually happened was Whitaker caught his rhythm and won about 5 rounds in a row with beautiful fluidity and he won the mood of the fight. But if you actually score round by round the fight was more 7-5 or 8-4 Whitaker instead of the 10-2 or shutout that people repeat.
Ray Leonard was down hopelessly to Tommy Hearns in their 1st fight. The 14th round had not been scored yet. Leonard was down 2,3 and 4 points with 2 rounds to go and he had just scored a knockdown. He could have managed draw or close victory because of the condition he had Hearns in. Going into the 2nd half of the fight, it was just about even. Hearns took the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th. Leornard took the 6th. 7th and 8th big and the 3rd was a swing round. It’s just that Leonard moved so much early in order to start timing Hearns people think he gave away more rounds than he did. It’s my favorite fight to watch I know the fight by heart.
Hagler struggled so much with Duran. Duran fought a great fight for an ex lightweight. It was the only successful title defense Hagler ever had that went the distance. But Hagler out jabbed and out hustled Duran throughout. I love Duran but I think he gets extra credit for doing better than expected. I thought Hagler won a tough but clean. Hagler actually boxed really well vs Duran. Just watched the fight again….
What are the big fights of 2016 that you expect to happen?
Bread’s Response: Keith Thurman vs Shawn Porter. Roman Gonzales vs Donnie Neites. Andre Ward vs Sergey Kovalev. Scott Quigg vs Carl Frampton.
I won’t name anymore because this is the era of the businessman.
Who do you think will hold the WBC belts that Floyd Mayweather vacated at 147 and 154?
Bread’s Response: It depends on who fights for them. If the top rated contenders fight for them I think Jermell Charlo and Danny Garcia will hold them. Garcia and Amir Khan are the top guys at 147lbs. Khan takes a step forward then a step back with his performances. I didn’t like what I saw from Khan during the Algieri fight or what I heard from him after it. I suspect Garcia would clip Khan again. This time later in fight but the same result nevertheless.
Jermell Charlo and John Jackson are the top rated fighters at 154. I have no idea how Jackson is rated #2 when he was knocked out cold by Andy Lee not too long ago and beating Dennis Laurente has been his only significant victory since. But Jackson is the #2 guy….I think he has some solid skills but Charlo is just a notch above overall. I think Charlo wins a decision over Jackson in a tepid fight. Both guys are movers, but Jackson has been knocked out before so Charlo will have to chase him down, which is not his comfort zone.
I heard you like Brandon Rios to upset Tim Bradley. You always say the better boxer wins these type of fights. Why are you going against your theory?
Bread’s Response: When the fight was 1st announced my initial gut feeling was Rios clips him. I can’t shake it although I have been impressed with what I have been seeing from Bradley and Teddy Atlas in camp.
But Rios seemed really rejuvenated to me vs Mike Alvarado. I know Alvarado is done as a fighter but Rios didn’t know that. He trained his butt off and he finally had the spunk he needs to be successful at the higher weights. He was super snappy vs Alvarado.
Rios catches punches with his gloves then he steps into you. Bradley flails his punches wide to overcompensate for lack of power. Rios is definitely made to order for Bradley. But Bradley is made to order for Rios because of his poor punch delivery.
If Bradley forgets about punching hard and just tries scores points and touches Rios’s body every once in a while this should be an easy fight for him. But I think Bradley will be forced to fight by Rios and the mood of the fight will lead Bradley to believe he's not winning. If Bradley gets the sense he is over moving and the judges are going against him, he will settle in and try to get Rios to respect him. Rios will hit Bradley with short, debilitating shots that don’t look like much. Then at some point late I think he wobbles Bradley and stops him. I know it’s a long shot and I’m probably wrong. But I see Bradley having lots of underlying problems in this fight that the naked eyes and subjective point system don’t observe.
You seem bigger on Andre Ward than most? I think he’s a talented fighter but I agree with John David Jackson. There are flaws. He was knocked down by Darnell Boone. He can’t punch and he’s been inactive. Tell me what you see in Ward? Why do you favor him over GGG and Kovalev?
Bread’s Response: Every fighter has flaws. No fighter is perfect. Ward has been inactive so the argument that he’s the best is becoming harder to make. But he’s not retired and in his last fight he won every round just like he usually does....
If I was picking Ward apart as a fighter, I guess I could say he’s not a huge puncher. But you don’t have to be. All you have to do is punch hard enough to make your opponent respect you. Ward doesn’t score many knockdowns or knockouts, I understand that but his lack of does not hurt his performances.
Offensively I think Ward is left hand dominant and he’s really not dynamic offensively. Like say a Roy Jones, Ray Leonard or Terry Norris. Who threw punches in brutal combinations with both hands. But again I would have to nitpick because Ward has never needed to be that guy.
Sometimes the sum outweighs the parts broken down. Ward is as quick minded a fighter as you will ever see. Maybe because he doesn’t try to do too much he’s able to process so quickly. He relies heavily on a variety of jabs, he stays in double threat position at all time. Defense and offense. He’s also extremely physically strong, he never loses his form and he keeps his stamina throughout a fight. This simply kills his opponents. He always takes over down the stretch. I think Ward is a great fighter and I think he’s already a HOF, considering he proved to be the best fighter in a solid era of super middleweights in a tournament format where matchmaking was not prevalent. He also defeated two outstanding fighters in Mikell Kessler and Carl Froch and he single handily kept Chad Dawson out of the HOF.
Ward was knocked down by Darnell Boone. But Boone is no bum he just has a bad record. He knocks a lot of guys down. Maybe you or John David Jackson don’t remember this but he also gave Kovalev hell. In fact Kovalev was made to fight Boone again and in the rematch he dealt with him and kod him. I was there live. Darnell Boone hit Ward with an uppercut that Ward never saw. It was a great shot but anyone can be hurt if you get hit on the right spot. I’m not dismissing it but Ward was a pup. That can happen and I hope that not what Jackson is talking about as the flaws. I stated what I saw as possible flaws but Ward is as solid as an all around fighter around in my opinion. But Jackson is a great coach maybe he does see something, who knows. The fight will tell all.
I favor Ward over GGG because I think GGG plays into Ward’s hands. I think a pressure fighter who likes to come forward, loses lots of his effectiveness being moved back against his will. I think Ward can push GGG back and handcuff him. Let’s remember Arthur Abraham. He may not be looked at in the same light as GGG today but 7 or 8 years ago he was a bad ass on the level and was the favorite to win the Super 6.
You guys take GGG’s side when he says he doesn’t want to fight Cotto or Canelo at a catchweight. But then you take his side again when he wants Ward to fight him at 164lbs. Just be objective. Enough said....
Sergey Kovalev is a very tough fight for Andre Ward. The more I see Kovalev the more I am impressed with him. Kovalev covers ground extremely quick. It’s very hard to smother his power. When Pascal and Hopkins tried to step into him, he literally is able to cover the length of the ring in 2 steps. Kovalev is also a dictactor. He’s not a pressure fighter like GGG. He’s more of a stalker like Bob Foster, Tommy Hearns and Carlos Monzon. He has great ring generalship and people don’t equate that with his violent style. But he’s always controlling what’s going on.
Kovalev could be the best long range fighter in boxing. His jab and right hand seem to be money against everybody. Going 12 rounds with Hopkins and 8 tough ones with Pascal will help him moving forward. Kovalev is superior to Ward offensively. But Ward has a clutch gene. An intangible. His mind. He almost has a 6th sense on “how” to win a fight. Where he takes inventory on his opponents characteristics and then renders them useless. I think he’s going to take Kovalev inside and win a close hard fought decision. He may even get dropped but until I see otherwise, I pick Ward to overcome. And just like Abraham had some GGG in him, Carl Froch and Mikell Kessler had some Kovalev in them and Ward diddy bopped them both.
In all fairness though I’m not giving Ward credit for beating GGG or Kovalev until he does it. I think GGG and Kovalev are both tremendous fighters and favoring a fighter to win a fighter is not the same as the fighter winning the fight.
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