The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as career comparisons between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, Manny Pacquiao vs. Gennady Golovkin, fantasy fights involving Pernell Whitaker, Vasiliy Lomachenko vs. Shakur Stevenson, and more.
What do you think of the ongoing debate of who’s career would you rather have, Floyd Mayweather or Manny Pacquiao? I’m hearing lots of fighters and media say Manny. What do you say?
Bread’s Response: Aw man..More Mayweather and Pacman comparisons. Ok I will try to make this short and simple. There are cases like Muhammad Ali vs Rocky Marciano where I would say Ali despite him having 5 losses and Marciano being undefeated. I just think Ali is the greater and better fighter. I also factor in if Ali fought Marciano’s exact opponents he goes 49-0. And I don’t think Marciano goes 56-5 if he fights Ali’s opponents. But they didn’t fight in the same era.
Floyd and Manny fought in the same era. So it’s arguable that Manny accomplished more because he won titles in 8 different weight classes, while Floyd won 5. Both are remarkable accomplishments by the way. And Manny won the Fighter of he Decade in the 2000s which is huge in my opinion. But I don’t think it’s enough.
Floyd beat him head to head. He made more money. Manny has 7 losses. Floyd has zero. I know some people think Floyd lost to Castillo and Maidana but that would still only be 2 avenged defeats. I know Manny may have fought tougher guys in their primes but Floyd fought Shane, Oscar and Hatton before Manny.
I don’t like bringing up the undefeated thing. But if things are close then being undefeated is a reasonable tie breaker, especially if they fought each other and they are from the same era. Manny has also been stopped 3x. His first two stoppages, no one saw them. He was very young. But the Marquez stoppage was monumental. It’s no shame in getting stopped. Lot’s of great fighters have been stopped. But Floyd never has. No one wants to get knocked out. It’s just something you accept if it happens to you.
So if it were me, I would rather have Floyd’s career than Manny’s. I think Manny has had a better career than everyone else over the last 20 years. Even guys with better records and less losses. But not Floyd. Floyd is just as good as a fighter if not better, he made more money, he beat him head to head and his record is unblemished.
Lomachenko vs Shakur Stevenson?
I know you’ve said if Loma fights Haney that’s a real toss em fight that could go either way. I’ve taken your word for it as you seem to always be bang on the money, but personally I think he has a tougher night against Stevenson. Admittedly Loma is better at 130 so would be more suited to a match up there against Stevenson but there’s a few things that Stevenson has that I would love to see Loma matched up against.
Stevenson has an elite defence, maybe the best in the game at the moment. He’s got incredible control of distance and is a long longer than Loma, so he’s one of the few guys who might be able to keep Loma at range for extended periods and win the longer range battle. I feel he’s also got the faster hands and a mind just as quick as loma’s which is always something Loma has an advantage of against anyone else. Obviously Loma has a higher IQ but not by as much as he would have against other fighters. I personally think, from a technical POV (not the fight I want the most), this is a best match up in boxing.
What do you think of this matchup? With the Lima’s mentality about fighting the toughest guy out there, he’s bound to take at least another L, could Shakur be that guy?
All the best, Tom
Bread’s Response: Loma is in a unique position. He’s 32 and all of his best contemporaries are on the average a decade younger than him. He has to be careful because they will be ascending while he’s descending. If he beats just 2 of them I think he moves into ATG status. He doesn’t have to beat all 5. No one in history has 5 elite talents ascending that were this much younger and fought all 5. The 5 are Tank Davis, Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, Teofimo Lopez and Shakur Stevenson.
Stevenson is the smallest of the bunch so he has the most time to face Loma who is currently at 135. But Stevenson like Lopez is with Top Rank so he may have the inside track. I think all of them are tough fights for Loma. I think the combination of all 5 fights would be tough on him and I don’t think he can run that table without an L. Not sure if any ex featherweight in history could do that at 135, maybe with Manny Pacquiao and Henry Armstrong as exceptions. I don’t think people realize how historic this run is for Loma if he fights all of these young sharks.
Stevenson is the one fighter who can match Loma’s feet. He has an innate ability to pull the carpet from his opponent. They think he’s in punching range and as they pull the trigger, he steps back and they shoot their punch at space. His defense lies in his anticipation of when the punch is coming, and simply stepping back as it’s released.
Stevenson’s defense is unique and he keeps it simple. He avoids the punches in the most efficient way he can. This would be difficult on Loma because Loma attacks in a way where he makes you commit to a move then he steps around you. Stevenson has the same gifts to wait and anticipate until the last second, but Stevenson is younger and bigger.
Mark this down. Loma would have to rely on his underrated heart, physical strength and toughness to beat Stevenson because as far as talent and skill, it’s just about even. The more time that goes by the more this fight swings in Stevenson’s favor. Right now I say 55/45 Loma with Stevenson closing the gap rapidly. In fact if I’m Loma I go after him now before he gets in that 24-25 year old range.
Greetings and blessings as always Sir. Short and to the point I occasionally see you reference when fighters attack off the “bounce” and off of the “step”. Pac-Man being an example of the bounce and Deontay Wilder being off of the step. What are some of the advantages/disadvantages of setting up an offense in either manner. I recall Holyfield going off the bounce and tearing a lot of guys up until Bowe and Lewis caught his rhythm a little bit in their fights, and Tyson Fury disrupting Wilder by taking away his first step in their rematch. I figured it would make for an interesting question.
Stay Safe and God Bless
Jack from Detroit.
Bread’s Response: You guys from Detroit really know the game. That goes over most people’s head when I talk about the “step” and the “bounce”.
It is an interesting topic. It’s actually fascinating. Holyfield and Pacquiao are two of the best bounce fighters in history. Mikey Garcia and GGG are great “step” fighters. Lots of guys can do both. Floyd Mayweather actually consciously changes his rhythm when he fights and no one realizes it accept him. I won’t say which is better but I would rather a bounce fighter because they seem to be quicker.
Pernell Whitaker was unique. He was master boxer but he didn’t fight off of the bounce. He fought off the “step” when he was trying to land his jab and a “glide” when he was moving.
I study fighters to see how they catch their rhythms. My favorites I can tell when they get it.
Ok I will start with the bounce. The advantages are the fighters who employ the bounce can get their rhythm earlier because most fights start out with nervous energy on the bounce even if they aren’t a bounce fighter.
The second advantage is you can get the angle better because your feet are less sunk in the canvas. See Pac, Loma and Holy.
The disadvantage is it fatigues you quicker. Once you come down off the bounce you become very vulnerable and you need a great set of whiskers. Look at Ali in the 2nd half of his career. Holyfield while fatigued late vs Bowe.
The other disadvantages is it’s hard to infight on the bounce. Very difficult. It’s also difficult to defend the body without over moving. Again it can tire you out bouncing and defending your body because you can’t just sit on punches while bouncing.
Advantages of the step is it’s energy efficient. I have 3 fights where the step fighter looked as if he was losing on points but his attack was efficient and he scored brutal late kos in history defining fights. Joe Louis vs Billy Conn. Step vs Bounce. Louis scored a brutal late ko just stepping and firing. James Toney vs Michael Nunn. Everyone says how Nunn was dominating. I didn’t see it that way. I thought he was winning mathematically but Toney was landing some brutal short shots throughout especially after the 7th round. In fact he caught Nunn off the bounce and kod him. Nunn bounced his way out and Toney stepped his way in. Chavez vs Taylor. Preface: I think Taylor got jobbed. But nevertheless Chavez was stepping and Chavez was bouncing and really using energy. If Taylor would have been able to be more energy efficient he wouldn’t have been hurt in the end leading to the controversial stoppage.
Another advantage of Step Fighters is usually they are better punchers. Joe Louis. George Foreman. Marvin Hagler. Archie Moore. All step fighters. All hard punchers.
Disadvantage is they usually take time to warm up and cook. It takes them longer to catch their rhythm.
The biggest disadvantage is you can cut an angle on them. You can get to a safe spot on them easier. See how Roy Jones bounce fighter kept getting behind James Toney’s lead shoulder. Toney was a step fighter.
Thank you for the excellent, short, detailed question. You know the game and should throw your hand in some training. I know pro fighters and trainers that don’t understand the difference and can’t articulate the difference between STEP and BOUNCE.
Saw that Oleksandr Gvozdyk announced his retirement last night. A lot of people are wondering if he was avoiding a rematch with Beterbiev, but I’m a bit skeptical. Why not retire sooner if that was the case?
Got me wondering what your thoughts on retirement are... I mean, there was a debate a few years back that there should be an age where retirement was mandatory... agree or disagree? I mean should Ali and RJ have retired rather than hanging on too long?
Bread’s Response: If a man wants to retire than good for him. I don’t think people should question it. At least not publicly. Training camps and getting prepared for a fight is hard. Most fighters don’t enjoy camps. They get harder after you make money. They are harder than the fights by far. Gvozdyk is 33. He doesn’t have a lot of pro fights but he’s been around a long time considering his amateur career. He may just not be motivated anymore.
Lack of desire to the grind is the #1 reason I’ve seen fighters step away. Teddy Atlas from what I heard put him through a great but very strict camp. It gave him the best chance to win. Now when you go through that sort of camp and still don’t win it can demoralize you.
I’m just speculating and I don’t know. I’m just giving scenarios. Boxing is rough and fighters shouldn’t be bothered or questioned when they retire. I’m glad he became world champion and had a chance to fight in a huge unification fight.
Of course Ali and Jones hung too long. But I don’t want to get into them because they are both my favorites.
Fighters today have less fights and more recovery so they can fight longer. Everyone is different so it’s hard to say a specific age. But here is the thing for arguments sake. I would suggest 45 years old. I mean 45 is the age where it starts to sound dangerous that a fighter is fighting. 45 is the age where mentally you can be sharp but no one gets better physically at 45. So if I had to make an educated guess I would say 45.
why do you think there are so few fighters and trainers who protest when the opponents are wearing their protective cups way too high? Some fighters wear their cups up over their lower ribs it seems. That can create an unfair advantage. But rarely any protests. Why? How would you react, as a coach?
Bread’s Response: I would protest. I tell the ref in every fight to watch the cup because my guy will go to the body. I don’t get why more coaches don’t protest or bring awareness.
And allowing a fighter to hit at a lower area is not enough. The cup should be made to be pulled down because the cup is being used as a protector of the body. I also don’t like the navel being the cut off point. Below your navel is not the groin. There is at least 3 to 4 more inches of abdomen area below the navel.
I know this is quite a bit, so if you just wanna answer one or two, I completely understand.
1. Why were fighters more active during bygone eras?
2. What percentage of fighters nowadays are actively trying to chase greatness? By that I mean fighters attempting to genuinely challenge themselves, fighters trying to build their legacy, etc. Who are some of those fighters, in your opinion?
3. Who would you say is the best (in a pound-for-pound/head-to-head sense) Puerto Rican fighter? What about the greatest (in terms of his accomplishments, etc.)? Do you think the best Puerto Rican fighter would also be the best fighter in a raw street fight?
4. Many people mention Terence Crawford as a prime example of a so-called "mean" fighter. What are some specific examples of him displaying his meanness in the ring?
Love the mailbag! Hope you and your family are well. Thank you!
Brandon from ATL
Bread’s Response: 1. They were more active for a few reasons. One is because they made less money so they made up for it with volume. Two, is fighters careers were shorter so they crammed more fights in a shorter period of time. They had to train harder because the fights were longer. The long miles and hard camps burned you out sooner. There was a time when 30 was old in boxing. Three, I think they had more heart. Today fighters become inactive to manipulate the system and duck work. Attrition will allow your best opponents to eliminate themselves with losses or moving up in weight, if you wait them out. In bygone eras they wanted to be great, then make money. Today they want to make money, then be great. It’s different mindset. No right or wrong, just different.
2. Active Fighters who are openly chasing greatness. I will try answer this as genuine as I can. I will name the first fighters who come to my mind without thinking too much. But let me preface. Most chase greatness before they lose. After a loss, the mindset changes. They become careful and can’t take the pressure or embarrassment of social media. So to me it’s more impressive when you chase greatness after a loss by it’s still impressive if you chase it.
Ok… Shawn Porter, Vasyl Lomachenko, Errol Spence, Terence Crawford, Teofimo Lopez, Roman Gonzalez, Juan Estrada, Nonito Donaire, Tyson Fury, Canelo Alvarez and Manny Pacquiao.
3. Best Puerto Rican fighter. I’m think out as I type…There are 6 fighters from the PR that stand out in my opinion. Wilfredo Gomez, Wilfred Benitez, Felix Trinidad, Miguel Cotto, Carlos Ortiz and Esteban DeJesus.
The most talented is Wilfred Benitez but I don’t know if he’s the best. His only two losses in his prime were to a prime Ray Leonard and prime Tommy Hearns. My goodness.
DeJesus has the best win out of anyone, ever form the island. Roberto Duran
Gomez had the best title reign.
Cotto has a case for the greatest but eyeball test I don’t think he’s the best.
Ortiz has a case for both but he’s overlooked because he’s the oldest.
Trinidad had the biggest fights but he’s viewed as one dimensional.
Today I will say the best on his best night meaning who can beat the most people and who would probably win head to head if everyone were the same weight. It’s really tough out of Gomez, Trinidad and Benitez. I will say Tito today but it’s picking straws. Out of the 3 they are basically even. I just like Tito the most because I think he responded to adversity a little better than the other two.
The Greatest. Cotto has a case being the only 4 division champion from the island. Gomez used to get the historical edge but he won his latter titles controversially. Benitez beat two HOF for his 3 titles in Cervantes and Palomino. He was 17 when he went 15 rounds with Cervantes who was a killer. But I’m going to say Tito. From 93-01 he was truly great. I may get some flack for being a Tito guy but that’s just the way it is. It’s Tito for me but Cotto, Gomez, Ortiz and Benitez all have serious cases for the greatest. It’s tough.
4. Crawford is a very mean fighter. Just look in his eye. His eyes are on the target. He’s boxing but he’s trying to do damage. Crawford is not what you call a big one punch puncher. But he consistently scores kos because of his meanness.
Crawford rarely tries to cruise to a decision. He has fights won but he still tries to brutalize while boxing. Lots of fighters have been in similar fights than Crawford and they go the distance because they don’t have the meanness or finishing ability to get the ko.
Speaking of finishing ability. That comes down to 3 things. Punch selection. Do you throw the right punches at the right time to finish a hurt opponent? Trust in stamina. Will you push the issue to get the stoppage and trust you will get a 2nd wind? Meanness. Are you nasty and mean enough to step into the danger zone, risking getting clipped yourself.
Crawford checks the boxes on everything. He’s for sure a mean fighter. And I don’t throw that around loosely because some fighters are fake mean. Some are dynamic offensive fighters who FRONT RUN. They are only mean when they are beating you up but they aren’t mean when the rabbit has a gun.
Crawford is mean when he doesn’t have to be. He could’ve cruised more vs Benavidez. He could’ve cruised more vs Mean Machine. Crawford is not the best fighter in the world because of who he’s beaten. There are other fighters who could’ve beaten every opponent he’s beaten. But it’s how he beat them. He doesn’t have one controversial win. All of his wins have been decisive. Either a dominant decision or conclusive ko. He’s truly a mean fighter on the same lines of Ray Leonard and Aaron Pryor as far as black American boxers who choose to finish out matched opponents and not just cruise to wins when they have the fight in the bag.
Canelo is very impressive and constantly evolving. He's in his prime and probably peaking.
Technically he was a legit 154 champ in 2011 -- and a silver champ against Cuello and Baldomir the year before. For Hatton and Rhodes he fought and then defended his legit title.
Now, how would the 2011 version of Canelo fare against the current top guys at 154?
I'm thinking Charlo, J-Rock, Hurd, Castano, Harrison, Rosario and say Madrimov and Soro.
The timing is interesting because today, in 2020, he would be a big favorite against any of them.
Yet, when I watch him fight at back in those days, 2010/2011, it's hard to envision him defeating the 2019 J-Rock(Hurd fight) or the 2020 Charlo. He had lots of qualities already but was far from the fighter is now. From his power to his IQ or general physical strength, I have a hard time seeing him outpointing Hurd or stopping Harrison, at the times.
Imagine him having to fight Jermell for the WBC instead of Matthew Hatton like he did.
Same title on paper, but not the same task at hand...
Granted, he was very young and not fully developed, but as a champ it's fair to treat him as such in these hypothetical match-ups.
It's interesting because it proves that a very careful management and sometimes easy matchmaking allowed him to develop fully and become one of the best P4P fighters. What's your analysis on that and how would you see those 8 fights unfold?
Bread’s Response: Another good question. Ok here is the thing. In 2011 none of those guys were ready to fight Canelo. They were either amateur, just turning pro or not developed enough.
So while they are all close to the same age, the development stages are different. And as they peaked Canelo moved up while everyone else stayed at 154lbs. I have always felt that Canelo was vulnerable at 154lbs. I won’t break each fight down but I think they all would have a chance to beat him. But Canelo is a great fighter. He wouldn’t run the entire table but he would win more than he loses.
Out of the guys you named Charlo and Jrock have the best styles to beat him at their peaks at 154 in my opinion.
Canelo was a money fighter early on. And money fighters are more privileged. People get upset with that notion but it’s just true. So of course he was allowed to navigate and win a title at a catchweight vs a fighter like Matthew Hatton, that’s how boxing is. It’s a business first. It doesn’t mean he’s not great but it does mean he’s privileged. Where as Charlo had to waits like 9 years for a title shot. Jrock had to fight Big Charlo and Hurd in his title shots. Hurd had to fight Harrison in his. Harrison had to fight Hurd and Charlo in his.
These are just facts. It pays to be a money, marketable fighter. You get better opportunities for more money. But and there is a but. There is no complaining in boxing. At least a boxer shouldn’t complain. Those guys aren’t red headed Mexicans with his charisma. So you have to get in where you fit in.
And here is the other but. Fighters like Canelo, Oscar De La Hoya and Ray Leonard are special because they are marketable. They are shot callers. But they also take tough fights they don’t have to take. They lay their asses on the line. No one is forced to fight a unification. Leonard fought Hearns. Canelo fought Mayweather. Oscar fought Tito.
The fight that let me know that Canelo does not rely on his privilege is the Lara fight. No one wanted to be bothered with Lara. They still don’t. And Canelo fought him when he had a whole buffet of opponents to fight. He will always be a GUN for that.
Yo what up Breadman. So I was reading the obituary of Johnny Bos the legendary matchmaker and I came across this interesting quote , Bos says of the opponents he selected. 'They knew how to fight, they just didn’t know how to win. There’s a difference”. I thought this was insightful and a fdw specific fighters popped up into my head who really know how to win specifically Floyd, Canelo, and Ray Leonard. Those 3 guys really knew how to throw flurries and counters that are eye catching to judges while also having a body language that gives away very little when hit by clean punches.
On the other hand fighters that fail to impress or disappoint in showcase fights seem to have a problem maintaining the right tempo they are trying to impose on their opponent like Evander Holyfield against certain fighters like Bert Cooper (RIP) and others. My question for you is what traits physical, mental, or technical allow fighters to win consistently in close fights against elite fighters and cruise against fighters they should beat?
bowe vs lewis
bowe vs tyson
frazier vs holyfield
marciano vs frazier
marciano vs holyfield
Prime vs Prime who ya got?
Bread’s Response: I think Holyfield definitely knows how to win. I just think he got caught vs Cooper. He almost ripped his head off with the same combination over and over. Left hook, right upper cut. He brought that hook around Cooper’s guard and uppercut underneath it over and over.
As for Floyd, Canelo and Leonard I think their gift is they understand that boxing in front of a judge is like going to court. It’s about your presentation. Rarely do any of them look flustered. They never look out of control. Lara was outboxing Canelo but Canelo was looking cool as a cucumber. He cut Lara and hit him with a body shot and Lara looked uncomfortable. It’s not a matter of heart. It’s a matter of bearings and poise.
Leonard looked to be in control of Marvin Hagler. He mocked him. He played with him. And then he punched on him. No matter how hard Hagler pushed, Leonard didn’t lose his bearings.
Mayweather was in a tight fight with Oscar. Oscar took over the middle rounds with his jab. But Mayweather just kept his eyes on the target and remained calm under the fire.
All 3 let the judges know they have things under control. Even if they don’t, they don’t let anyone see them out of sorts.
When people say Canelo always gets the benefit of the doubt in close fights. I agree. But I always say that Canelo’s demeanor allows him to do that. Oscar was just as big as a star but he lost some close ones because you could see when he was rattled and that has a carry over effect on scoring rounds.
Hope all is well with you and your family.
When a fighter is seasoned and has performed under the bright lights, what transformation, from a trainer’s perspective, do you see in your boxer vs when they did not have the experience? And, what transformation do you as a trainer go through, having been a part of the process?
Also, two fighters that come to mind who were knocked down numerous times, but came back stronger and sharper from a knock down are: Felix Trinidad and Juan Manuel Marquez. Can you name another 3 that exhibited this kind of trait?
Pernell Whitaker vs Alexis Arguello at 135 – 12 & 15 round fights
Pernell Whitaker vs Kostya Tszyu at 140 – 12 rounds
Pernell Whitaker vs Shane Mosley at 147 – 12 rounds
As always, appreciate your work.
Bread’s Response: In fighters you should see a transformation of settlement. They should be able to be effective and press the issue while still taking their time. The immature rushing of the pace should be gone if a fighter is going to be great. They should be able to get the 2nd wind without panicking. They should have a CALM about themselves. If not they will keep doing the same stuff over and over.
The biggest thing however is prefight. It’s should be no big deal to them anymore. They should be able to handle the interviews, the press obligations and blocking out the distractions. The fighter shouldn’t get too high or get too low. He shouldn’t be a kid in a toy store anymore. He shouldn’t be on social media showing everyone what he’s doing.
As a trainer you get better with experiencing winning. You get better with your observation of the flow of fights. You know your fighter’s second wind. You know when he’s trying to find something. But there is no exact science as far as a sporting event. Humans are not robots.
What’s up Bread?
Quick one...I saw on Boxingscene that Freddie Roach said Manny is open to scraping with GGG. WHAT??? He can’t be for real, right? If somehow that fight came to be and Manny got the W, where would it rank in all time greatest wins? Where would that put Manny all time? Top 5ish? What if G ok’d Manny? Would people write the win off on some “Manny is 40+ and a flyweight” or whatever? Honestly, I’d love to see it! One guy going for an ATG win and the other his clear cut defining win of his career. Thought?
Mark Stoy McCahill
Bread’s Response: This fight can only benefit GGG monetarily. He can’t lose to an ex flyweight who is 41. His entire career will be devalued. So if he does take this fight, he BETTER win it.
As for Manny…call me crazy but I think he has a shot. I would favor GGG maybe 70/30. But older, plodding fighters don’t like movement and speed. GGG would have to bank on Many not taking his punches. If Manny can avoid getting hit clean then he has a chance.
I don’t think Manny can take GGG’s punches especially not to the body but it would be a great accomplishment if he were able to win.
Freddie Roach is really good at determining a good style for Manny but GGG hits really hard. Manny’s quality of life, may change after being in the ring with GGG and going through a hard camp with bigger guys. This is a serious test because of the damage that can be inflicted on Manny Pacquiao. But he’s a guts guy. It wouldn’t shock me if he took the fight. He believes in Freddie Roach. If Freddie says it, Manny believes it.
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