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Daily Bread Mailbag: Tarver, Kovalev, Matthysse, Martinez, More

By Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards answering questions on Sergey Kovalev, fighters from Argentina, thoughts on Muhammad Ali, the legal case Steve Cunningham has against Antonio Tarver, and more.

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Hello Breadman,

I applaud your stance on the Kovalev race issue. You introduced a topic that many boxing fans were either ignorant about or not discussing. Clearly, some readers missed the point. With that said, let me rehash the point. All fighter should be held accountable for their actions in and outside of the ring, especially when your a premier fighter on HBO's stable. A large institution such as HBO, including the show  "The Fight Game with Jim Lampley" serves the boxing public and creates a platform which illuminates dialogue in around the issues in the sport of boxing. The show is misleading the boxing audience by addressing some fighter while clearly ignoring others. Large institutions have a way of legitimizing claims or issues. When you see clear preferences for in house fighters and narratives that are biased towards another network of fighters, you can't help but think the show lacks serious objective credibility. 

A few post back you replied to that a potential fight between Robert Easter Jr. and Felix Verdejo. You favor Easter Jr., can you elaborate? I usually see your logic and agree with your picks and assessments of fighters. Easter is a very talented fighter, but he has the habit of holding his feet, rolling and countering  on the back leg. I don't see how he fights this way and wins versus Verdejo. I don't see him out boxing Verdejo either. I see it as a style match up; Easter can do more and has better defense but Verdejo explosive style is all wrong for Easter. Also, what are your thoughts on Jessie Hart as an up and coming contender?   

It's always pleasure hearing responses. Thanks

Bread’s Response: I’m a huge fan of HBO boxing. They have become the standard bearer. Before we say they aren’t objective let’s see if they do indeed hold Kovalev accountable.

There is a great chance that Verdejo could clip Easter. Verdejo has a quicker first step and Easter engages in a way where you can hit him. But I just think Easter is a little more advanced overall and Verdejo draws his punches back too much in my opinion. At some point in his career, late in a tight fight, this flaw will come to light. He tries to punch too hard.

Jesse Hart is a really talented fighter and he has great size for 168lbs. He has an excellent amateur background, he almost made the Olympic Team. I think he’s a solid prospect. Probably the best American Supermiddleweight prospect we have.

I would like to have seen Hart face some tough trial horses before he fights his title fight ,which will happen sooner than later. The Rogelio Medina, Alexander Brand, Derick Edwards type. Those types of guys prepare a prospect for the big time. Fighting 12 rounds under stress vs an experienced opponent is no joke. I believe Hart is better than Top Rank’s other Super Middleweight prospect Gilberto Ramirez. But Ramirez has had better building fights and he was put under the bright lights on HBO…..My only question about Hart is can he be as effective late in a fight as he is early. We shall see how it turns out but I think Hart has a great shot at winning the WBO title within a year.

Greetings Breadman

I like the words you said about Danny Garcia a couple weeks ago and last week about training weight, made me think of Chris Eubank snr who was similar to Danny great chin, good power and fundamentals. He had a lot of close competitive fights but I feel making weight was the man beating Eubank.

Danny I feel went through the same problem after the Matthysse fight were he needed to move up in weight. Friends I talk boxing with know I love when guys move up in weight after struggling at a lower weight.

When is the right time to move up?

What are the signs you look for?

At fight week?

Weigh in?

During the fight?

Watching guys like

David Haye 200

Adonis Stevenson 168-175

Jean Pascal 168-175

Tito Trinidad 147-154

De La Hoya 147-154

Hopkins 160-175

Cotto 140-147

Watching these guys level drop then go Sky high once they move up. Can you think of any guys were they have moved up and improved drastically?

Whittaker vs Mayweather 135? 140? 147?

I think the different weights play a role in how all the fights will play out what is your opinion on all 3?

Bread’s Response: I think the right time to move up in weight is when you lose effectiveness on fight night. Danny Garcia started fading down the stretch in fights. It happens when your body has nothing left to burn. You also lack focus because of the dehydration factor.

Julio Cesar Chavez’s move from 130-135. When Chavez moved to 135 he displayed his career best performance. Chavez was never better than he was on the night in 1987 when he knocked out Edwin Rosario. He was unreal at lightweight.

Eusebio Pedraza fought at bantamweight and was actually kod a few times. He moved up to featherweight and became one of the great champions of all time in that division.

Another fighter who I think should move up is Peter Quillin. Making 160lbs does something to Quillin. At 168 he would be fresher and sharper.

Hi bread, I'm from Argentina, and I'd like to ask you some questions about our fighters that were more successful in the last couple of years:

1) If you were training a fighter that has to face next either Maidana or Matthysse in their primes, who would you choose and why?

2) After what we've witnessed from Matthysse fighting Postol, do you think he's done, or can he still compete with elite fighters of his weight?

3) Do you think a prime Maravilla Martinez could have beaten GGG?

Thank you and congrats on your column.

Bread’s Response: I would choose for my guy to fight Matthysse. I really respect Matthysse he’s an excellent fighter. But I think Golden Boy did a great job of making him into a monster with their promotion. He was a huge hitter and a real guy at 140 but I think the promotion turned him into a little more than what he was. Matthysse can be outboxed and moved around the ring. He doesn’t really cut the ring of well and he’s a little predictable. Maidana is also flawed but he’s harder to prepare for. I also think Maidana’s peak performances vs Broner and Mayweather 1 are higher than Matthysse’s peak.

I think Matthysse can compete but he has to be matched correctly and they have to watch his damaged eye.

Sergio Martinez does not defend his body well. No fighter who fights with their hands down do. He also moves too much and GGG likes that. Southpaws lead with the liver and GGG has the best left hook to the body in boxing. I think he would have defeated a prime Martinez.

Whats up Bread, been meaning to write this in ever since the Tyson "what if" debate that took place on FB. I was wondering if Ali was never stripped of the title & banned from boxing, how far would he have gone before his first loss? I think he would have had a easier time with Frazier cause he would have still had the legs that he lost from the missed years. I don't think he would have went undefeated obviously but I'm trying to think who would hand him his first L if things played out differently.

Bread’s Response: Too hard to imagine. Let’s try.

Frazier was a 1964 Olympian and Ali was exiled in 1967 when Frazier was emerging. I say that Frazier would have always given Ali hell. He is the best pressure fighting heavyweight of the last 50 years. Look at the late 60’s version of Frazier vs Jimmy Ellis and Buster Mathis. He was a machine. I think Ali would have still gotten the better of him in a series of fights but Frazier would have stole one. You have to remember Frazier was on the downside too in fights 2 and 3.

I say Ken Norton would have given Ali his 1st loss. It was just a bad style for him. And you have to remember Ali was an active fighter. He didn’t fight Norton until the 70’s. If there was no exile he would have had more wear and tear on him by the time Norton emerged.

What do you think of Steve Cunningham’s lawsuit vs Antonio Tarver? Does it have teeth? Do you think he can cause punitive damage towards Tarver? Can you think of another case where a fighter’s career has taken off after using PEDs? Also off topic I know you’re a big sports fan. How do you feel about the whole Cam Newton ordeal? Are you disappointed he didn’t dive for the ball and at his behavior after the loss?

Bread’s Response: I actually think Steve Cunningham has something here. I think with the right lawyers and evidence he can cause punitive damages towards Antonio Tarver. I think Cunningham has a serious case. I also think he will set a precedence. If he wins his lawsuit and receives a big award vs Tarver I think it will change the PED epidemic for the good. Fighters all over will follow suit.

Think about this for example. A guy like Luis Ortiz beat Lateef Kayode into a stupor. Kayode was undefeated at the time and now he has become a non factor. Luis Ortiz has become the heavyweight champion of the world. Kayode could theoretically sue for lost wages, physical and emotional damage etc etc. He could use his fight as Ortiz’s spring board to success.  I’m not at all suggesting Kayode should sue Ortiz. But that case stands out the most to me as of recent times of a fighter taking off, AFTER being caught using a banned substance.

If my memory serves me correctly I also think John Ruiz sued James Toney for testing positive for a banned substance….

Cam Newton….First off I would like to congratulate the young man on a fine season. This era of social media can be brutal on a public figure. I think Cam has received some unwarranted criticism and some has been warranted.

Cam claimed he felt like his leg was contorting on the “loose ball” play. I don’t believe Cam lacks heart. That’ s split second judgment. I have seen that happen often. Cam has taken on 300lbs linemen and not slid for safety. I give him a pass on that play. But and here is the but.

Cam draws a lot of attention on himself. When you draw the attention he draws, everything you do will me micromanaged. No one is perfect under the microscope. No human being is capable of that.

My problem with Cam Newton is the post game press conference. He decided to do a commercial stating “too bad there are no band aids for feelings.” He decides to Dab and dance. Well something comes with that. You can’t Dab and dance when your team is blowing other teams out and then pout and not take the heat when you lose.

It’s not about being a good loser. No winner likes to lose. Of course he shouldn’t be happy after a loss. But wearing a hoodie, walking out of the press conference early and pouting is unacceptable behavior coming from the leader of the team. At that moment an older wiser man should have told him, face the music young fella. Don’t cry the blues when you lose, just grin when you win.

But it’s not the end of the world. We all did lots of things at 27 that we wish we could take back at 40. He has to live and learn and never make that mistake again. I think Cam Newton will be fine. People make mistakes, that’s why they put erasers on the back of pencils.

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User Comments and Feedback
Comment by Rip Chudd on 02-17-2016

[QUOTE=NC Uppercut;16471744]Stephen "Breadman" Edwards always has some real talk to listen too. It's fresh compared to a lot of the damn hypocrite, so called, journalists! Appreciate it Bread![/QUOTE] This^^^^^ [QUOTE=ShoulderRoll;16472041]I like HBO Boxing too but I don't consider them objective…

Comment by ShoulderRoll on 02-16-2016

I like HBO Boxing too but I don't consider them objective anymore. Especially not The Fight Game.

Comment by NC Uppercut on 02-16-2016

Stephen "Breadman" Edwards always has some real talk to listen too. It's fresh compared to a lot of the damn hypocrite, so called, journalists! Appreciate it Bread!

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