By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling numerous topics, such as IBF welterweight champion Errol Spence, the recently retired Miguel Cotto, a middleweight clash between Gennady Golovkin and Jermall Charlo, and more.
You seem to overrate Errol Spence. You always give him extra props but he has only beaten one good fighter in Kell Brook. Brook was moving down in weight, was damaged and Spence struggled. I just don’t see all of the hoopla that you and other experts put on this guy. What is it?
Bread’s Response: I do like Errol Spence. He’s a nice young man. He’s also a tremendous fighter. But I don’t think I overrate him. I’ve never said he was the best fighter in the world or that he has a great resume. Not once have I said that. Spence does not have a lot of big names on his resume, I agree.
But I have a newsflash for you. Often times a fighter will brag about who he fought like it’s a badge of honor. But that fighter doesn’t realize he gets fights because he’s vulnerable. So the matchmakers and managers “use” him. Spence doesn’t have a great resume because no one wants to fight him. Spence has tons of big names and ex world champions in his division he could have built on. Don’t you find it ironic that he hasn’t had the opportunity to fight them except for Chris Algieri who is not protected? Remember he was Kell Brok’s mandatory. Spence is offering title shots for crying out loud and no one wanted to fight except Lamont Peterson.
I think what makes him good is his physical strength, stamina and efficient style. Let me explain. His coach does a good job on his application and pad work. They don’t do rehearsed mitt routines. There is nothing wrong with rehearsed routines, just look at the hand eye coordination of Floyd Mayweather. But for Spence’s style, he punches into what he sees his coach hold up. It’s simple and it’s fight reactive. Spence is brutally efficient. He’s not a great fighter defensively but he overcomes that with his efficiency. He doesn’t use too much energy evading punches. He blocks them, steps out of the way and then he fires. He keeps his hands up and feet under him in punching position all the time. He also punches into the target meaning he doesn’t look for the perfect shot. He just wants to land. He always uses a pole like jab and he stays to the body. The gift is he fights at the exact pace he trains at. Until someone can change up his heart rate he’s going to have the better endurance. It’s a methodical but intense brutal pace. He doesn’t flurry or punch in 5 punch combinations. It’s a simple cadence. Boom, boom, boom-boom. You have to know what you’re looking at to appreciate it. On top of that he is one of the best body punchers I’ve seen in a very long time. He reminds me of Mike McCallum with his body work. McCallum didn’t have a specialty shot like Mickey Ward, Julio Cesar Chavez or Gerald McClellan. But he consistently touched you. Just like Spence.
You can say whatever you want but I know fighters. I’m not saying Spence is unbeatable because no one is unbeatable. But I’m telling you he’s a nightmare for any welterweight in the world. The only one who even mentions his name is Terence Crawford and Crawford is the best fighter in the world. No one else wants to talk about Spence. I think Spence vs Thurman is 50/50 but Thurman is not in a hurry to make the fight. I favor Spence over every other welterweight except Terence Crawford. But Crawford has had like 10 championship fights, Spence has had 1. Let’s see how Spence progresses. When I say favor I’m talking betting odds. All of these guys have to get in the ring to decide who wins. I think Spence is the real deal.
Now that Cotto’s career is over I have a question regarding his most controversial fight. I am not sure if you have gotten into this before or not but I wanted your take on Margarito and his gloves on the night he fought Cotto. See I always wondered about his power throughout his career. I used to argue with my brother when he would tell me he was garbage and I told him that his punches never looked that powerful but they always did plenty of damage. Then he fought Cotto and proved once again that the man hit extremely hard. Then when he gets busted for the gloves in his next fight I felt that his entire career was now in doubt but most definitely the Cotto win. However, to me when Cotto and Margarito fought again that fight started looking eerily similar to the first one with Cotto boxing effectively at first but Margarito coming on strong in the second half and looking like he might stop him. Of course we were robbed of seeing what would happen because his eye could not hold up. So my question to you is do you think if it wasn’t for his eye Margarito would have stopped him? Do you think he cheated his entire career and if not at least for the Cotto fight?
Bread’s Response: You know I just don’t know about Margarito. I’m on the fence in many aspects. I believe in Karma and he never won a significant fight again after he was caught with whatever the knuckle guards contained. Maybe it was age and his style. Maybe it was karma.
But Margarito didn’t have anything in his chin and gas tank. He was a real life monster and from 03-08 I thought he was even money with any welterweight in the world.
The court findings were interesting. In the actual court proceeding they didn’t test the knuckle guards for plaster. From my knowledge they were tested at a much later time and date. Nazim Richardson who caught what they were doing actually told me the story personally. He told me that he disapproved of the fact that Margarito’s trainer had one hand wrapped before he entered the dressing room and had already started on the 2nd hand. He didn’t like the fact that he was using tape on the skin, then gauze then tape again which is called “stacking”. The commissioner agreed with him and Margarito’s trainer was told to unwrap the hand. Richardson told me that Javier Capetillo, Margarito’s trainer was acting very strange. He said the commissioner made Capetillo unwrap the hand and a used knuckle pad fell out. He told me he never felt a knuckle pad like that before and it was moist. When that happened he asked could the other hand be examined and there was another used knuckle pad just like the 1st one that fell out when the other hand was unwrapped.
Here is where the controversy comes in at…. There is really no denying that the knuckle pads were used before. But in the spirit of the rules if the knuckle pads were just made out of gauze then I don’t find it a big deal. Trainers do tricky things to get advantages. Some skin the gloves. Some will put some vick’s near the fighters nose so he can breathe better. Some guys will pull tape if their fighter is hurt. All of these things may be a violation in the letter of the rules but in the spirit of competition I don’t find it a horrible crime.
What I do find horrible is PED use, foreign objects in the gloves, and illegal stimulants in the corners. If these knuckle pads were plaster or some type of hardening substance then I find it a serious offense. I have heard several different stories as to what the knuckle guards were made of. I’m still not sure. I know some trainers that will use old knuckle guards because it contours to the hand exactly. It’s just gauze but it’s a better fit because it has been used. Technically this shouldn’t be done but I don’t find it so egregious.
I don’t know what was in Margarito’s knuckle guards but from everyone I have talked to, to a man they say it was more than gauze. Now that doesn’t mean it was plaster of paris. But it was more than gauze. There is nothing that is supposed to be on those knuckle guards except gauze. No tape, no minerals, no sulfates, nothing. Just gauze. I also don’t believe that this was the 1st time that Capetillo used these guards and I also don’t think it was a mistake. The only mistake was they got caught.
But that doesn’t mean it was actually plaster which is a cast basically. You also have to consider Margarito was coming on in the 2nd fight and hurting Cotto and busting his face up with clean wraps. He was also walking through Cotto’s punches the same exact way. It’s really a tough call if you’re a fair person and have no horse in the race….
Who would you take between Jermell Charlo vs GGG? I think it’s a great fight and it’s a super fight.
Bread’s Response: Not sure if it’s a super fight at this moment but it can be a big PPV event. I think you mean Jermall Charlo the twin who fights at 160 and not the 154lb champion Jermell.
Whenever I analyze a fight I always think of a historical analogy. This fight reminds me of Julio Cesar Chavez vs Frankie Randall. Chavez was a brutal pressure fighter with subtle defense and a great left hook to the body. But if you could push him back you had some success. Like GGG.
Randall was a very underrated fighter. He was super good he just didn’t get his shot until late in his career. But he had a real strong job, a nasty 1-2 and he was fundamentally sound. For some reason Chavez could not push him back. Charlo would be Randall in this fight. Charlo doesn’t really fight like Randall but they have similar traits.
You guys know how highly I think of GGG. But I didn’t like what I saw vs Canelo. He left too many shots on the table and I wonder if age, his style and the hardwork has finally caught up to him. If he fights Charlo he will be closer to 40 than he is to 30. Charlo is in his prime.
I know GGG has way more experience but experience can be overrated in certain cases. For some reason Chavez had to “box” Randall. He couldn’t press him. Watch the 2nd fight. I think Charlo can jab on even terms with GGG. They both have hard pole jabs. Not rhythm jabs. Charlo is easy to hit but hard to hurt. He has shown a really good chin and he can hold his ground better than Canelo. I think his base is stronger.
I know I will receive some criticism for my pick but objectively I say Charlo would edge GGG if you twisted my arm. It’s a great, high contact war and I wouldn’t be shocked if GGG won it. But something tells me GGG is not the same guy who ravaged Matthew Macklin. I feel bad for GGG because I think he was denied his super fight until he was past his best days. He was denied a lineal shot for 5 years which is criminal. But nevertheless time is time and I believe at this moment Charlo would win a brutal FOY type of war.
How about Caleb Truax? Who saw that coming? I remember you saying you saw major flaws in Degale’s game but no one I knew picked Truax.
Bread’s Response: I didn’t pick Truax that’s for sure. But you know something Degale has been treading water since the Porky Medina fight. He’s just been taking too much punishment and not looking sharp. When you see a fighter put 3 or more subpar performances in a row together, officially slippage has started. Degale has slipped.
But let’s give Truax credit. He took some tough fights, came up short but kept plugging away. He fought his ass off and he won a fight he wasn’t supposed to win. Good for him. I hope he makes a million dollars in his next fight. Seriously I really do. Stand up Truax and to hell with these internet know it alls who claim you have to have a perfect record to be viable.
What's up Bread,
Assuming Loma's success continues for the next five to six years and he achieves all time great status, where do you think he will be ranked? From a P4P perspective I can never see him being ranked ahead of guys like Roy Jones Jr, Sugar Ray Leonard or any guy on the list who had superior power in addition to insane reflexes, timing and gauge of distance. Loma impresses me because he mentally defeats fighters, but I couldn't see him beating a guy with the same skills and more power. Then again I thought Rigo had equal skills and more power, so maybe I just don't know what I'm talking about.
Can you run through what the training regimen for top fighters looks like? I know everyone's is different, but can you just give some insight into workouts, diet, sparring and anything else that would go into a top fighters camp?
Bread’s Response: I’m not going to get into where Loma will be in 5 or 6 years. There too much room between the cup and the lip. Let’s see how he deals with another elite level pressure fighter his size. Or elite level punchers his size.
What I will see is he’s the most “special” fighter in the world right now. His talents standout the most to me at this point. I also will say I have no problem with him being the #1 p4p fighter in the sport. He has the same number of championship fights as Terence Crawford and in my opinion his 3 best wins over Russell, Rigo and Walters are 3 of the best wins on paper as anyone else in the argument. I have Crawford as the #1 guy but I put Loma 1a.
People say he’s only 10-1. But he’s 9-1 in championship fights. To put that in perspective he has more championship fights than Mikey Garcia and Keith Thurman. He just doesn’t have the total number of fights because he skipped the prospect stage. He’s a very accomplished professional fighter at this point. He’s not just living off of his amateur pedigree. Before he leaves 130 I would like to see him unify. That will really enhance his legacy.
I don’t know everything he does in training. But I do see him do mind processing drills. Lots of fighters suffer from processing disorders and these drills will really help. This is the 2nd fight where I thought Loma would have a speed disadvantage. Then because of mind processing, he looks like the quicker fighter in the ring. He’s fast but he’s never in a hurry. His mind processes and takes inventory on everything his opponent does. At this point right now he’s going to be extremely tough to beat. I would favor him over everyone from lightweight on down. I would also favor him over 90% of the fighters at 140. He’s a rare talent.
What up Bread? Hope all is well. I put a little money on Rigo because the odds seemed too good to pass up taking a little wager. Man what do you think it was? Loma just that much better, too big, Rigo getting older or what? I knew there was a good chance of Loma winning but I never thought in that fashion. It seemed like something was off with Rigo after about the 3rd round. Maybe just puzzled. Loma completely out classed the great Cuban. I’d love to hear your take on it. Also how do you think Loma fares against Mikey Garcia? Take care, and good luck with J-Rock.
Bread’s Response: The reason I picked Loma is because my eyes told me he was still improving. I have literally seen every one of his professional fights. 5 fights ago he wasn’t this good. At one point he was infatuated with himself. He was doing too much to land a simple punch. Now he’s become more efficient. He’s literally fatiguing fighters without over exerting himself. It’s like they are racing him with a 20lb weight vest on and he doesn’t have one on.
From a technical stand point, Rigo has a wide stance. He sits back on his back foot in a wide stance and he dares you to step to him with the threat of him punishing you with his machete like left hand. Loma challenged that wide stance with quick short steps and he invaded Rigo’s space. He kept ending up on top or behind Rigo. His feet were better and quicker. Loma also didn’t overpunch. If he would have thrown his left hand from too far out then Rigo would have rocked back and countered with a left hand. Loma instead got right up on Rigo and just hit him with a short compact jab. He took the simple shot. Processing.
Loma feints you into a defensive commitment. Then after he puts you there he takes advantage of wherever you go to defend yourself. Rigo kept breaking to the same side to evade Loma. He never adjusted. This fight was essentially over after 4 rounds.
After Loma conquered Rigo’s move he started punishing him with short compact shots. I thought he hurt him in the 5th or 6th round. At that point Rigo’s body language started to change. I believe Pedro Diaz is a great coach and he attempted to save face. He saved his fighter.
From a physical standpoint, Loma was very strong physically. He refused to be held and he started manhandling Rigo. He learned from his fight with Salido. So he had the advantage from a technical stand point and physicality stand point.
I don’t overly criticize fighters who quit. But I also won’t give them excuses unless the injury is confirmed and super serious. I’ve seen guys quit in lots of ways. Some lay on the ground and let themselves get counted out knowing they can get up. Some get up and act like they are more hurt. Some start blinking and claim they can’t see. It happens.
In Rigo’s case I will say I’m somewhat disappointed and here is why. Rigo had a large group of people who empathized for him because of his perceived “blackballing” after his Nonito Donaire victory. Make no mistake Rigo was severely ducked at 122lbs. Every elite fighter who competed at 122 during Rigo’s prime, moved up to 126 and steered clear of Rigo. So now Rigo gets his big chance that he asked for. He wanted this fight!
So he gets the fight and realizes he bit off more than he could chew. Very few elite level fighters have quit because of an injured hand. I don’t know if his hand was injured or not but I saw him hitting the pads on media day and he was cracking. Rigo quit on his fans hearts. He quit on the people who fought for the injustices that were put on him. I’m not saying I will never forgive him but I will admit it hurt me to see a fighter I have strongly defended quit like that. Even still I empathize with Guillermo Rigondeaux. For some reason the odds always seem to be against him. He is loathed by American writers. I can’t think of another Gold Medalist who won a legacy defining fight (Donaire)that was treated so poorly. For this fight before the fight the WBA threatened to strip him if he lost. Why the win or lose stipulation if the belt is not up for grabs? I’ve never seen that before. Nevertheless quitting in a fight of that magnitude without a serious injury follows you forever. Roberto Duran quit but he came back like a gun and tried to make amends. He took Hagler to the brink, kod Davey Moore and beat Iran Barkley. I hope Rigondeaux comes back for his legacy’s sake. The boxing gods won’t be kind to him if he doesn’t.
Fighters are very prideful. A fighter would rather get beaten up than embarrassed. Lomachenko realizes that so he embarrasses them before he starts to beat them up. Once he starts to beat them up it’s double the impact. By the time he kicks it in gear, the crowd, the opponent and the opponent’s corner all feel bad for the opponent. That’s the reason why the opponent’s are surrendering like they are.
Whatsup Bread, Saunders-Lemieux. Break it down. How does Lemieux deal with the in-and-out bounce rhythm of Billy Joe? Can BJS get the judges' nod in Canada?
Bread’s Response: Stylistically Lemiuex has a really tough fight. An in and out rhythm is tough to deal with for a puncher who needs his feet set vs a southpaw. Watch the Olympic fight between Usyk vs Beiterbiev. There is a high chance that Lemiuex gets outboxed.
But we have to factor that Saunders has not been a dominant fighter at the top level. He doesn’t seem to like to get hit much and he’s not a master boxer. Lemiuex also did well with Hasan Ndam. Ndam fights off of a bounce also. I’m really torn on this fight. I don’t want to make a pick before I know who the judges will be. But right now my gut leans Lemiuex. I really can’t say why because I usually pick the boxer when everything is even. I will just go with the hometown crowd and Lemiuex.
Lomanchenko looked great and he gets props. I also read about his training regimen and he seems to be the first person to grind as hard as mayweather in terms of relentless preparation. However my issue is with the hyperbole that bob arum puts out and I am paraphrasing "most special ever including Ali." I get that he is ultra gifted but I think the real measure is that gameness and that greatness that is revealed over time against great opponents. Ali beating Liston as a kid after getting his eyes sabotaged, Ali in the rumble in the jungle, Ali in Manila, leaonard becoming a slugger after he was outboxed and injured to stop hearns, pacquiao legendary run from 126 to 154 that included beating so many world champions. My point is he is great but I can't give him all time great until he shows it against more world champions. Until that happens will you humor me with a few hypothetical match ups versus lomachenko:
The Floyd that beat Diego Corrales at 130?
The Floyd that beat Arturo gAtti at 135?
Pacquiao at 126 to 135
Mikey Garcia right now.
Roberto Duran at 135
Prime Julio Caesar Chavez.
Bread’s Response: Bob Arum is his promoter. He’s supposed to say stuff like that. I have heard him use that same analogy on a few guys. He once said Mayweather was the best fighter since a prime Ali. He said the same thing about Ray Leonard. He also said the same thing about Manny Pacquiao. His job is to get a rise out of fans.
Now if Loma was voted the best fighter since Ali by a credible publication then I would have a problem with it. But Bob Arum is Lomachenko’s promoter. So what do you expect?
I think Loma is a special talent but he’s not a great fighter yet. He does however have the potential to be a great and all time great fighter. Let’s see how his career plays out. Right now I think he’s top 2 fighters in the world p4p along with Terence Crawford. No one is operating on their levels.
I don’t know enough about Loma to pick him to beat the 130lb Floyd Mayweather. Mayweather fought one of histories few perfect fights vs Diego Corrales. Loma is as talented as Mayweather but there are other unseen variables that play into who wins at the elite level.
Floyd beat Gatti at 140. Loma is a 130lb fighter. I won’t even go into that match up. It’s too early.
Pacquiao is very similar to Loma. Loma reminds me of a mix Pacquiao and Calzaghe. I also don’t know enough about Loma for him t fight Pac. Let me see a little more. Pacquiao fought some perfect fights in his prime and he is one of the best 25 fighters ever. P4P from 126-135 he’s tough to bet. His performance vs David Diaz was breath taking.
I would pick Loma to beat Mikey Garcia right now. I know Garcia is bigger but I think Loma has actually fought better competition. I think Loma would be a little too quick. See Pac vs Cotto.
Come on bro nobody beats Duran on his best night at 135. Maybe Armstrong, Ike Williams or Carlos Ortiz could hang but dam. Loma may be a little too small for Duran.
Chavez. The best pressure performance I’ve seen in my lifetime was Chavez vs Rosario. After seeing Loma vs Salido I have to see Loma handle an elite pressure fighter to pick him over JC.
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