By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards discussing various topics such as the ongoing debate regarding Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and his failed drug tests, the recent decision by Keith Thurman to vacate the WBC welterweight title, Josh Taylor vs. Viktor Postol, and much more.
Keith Thurman just vacated his WBC title right in his prime. It always bothered me that Thurman keeps taking off after big victories. Do you think he’s ducking opponents waiting for guys to slip ala Floyd Mayweather? Or do you think he’s genuinely injured? It’s just something not right in my opinion. What do you think of the Garcia vs Porter match up who will be the favorite and who will win?
Bread’s Response: I don’t want to question Thurman’s integrity. If he say he’s injured I assume he is. I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. What I do know is to injure your hand that severely on a bag in the gym is uncommon. Fighters hurt their hands in sparring because the hit the top of the head or an elbow. But you don’t see that often on a bag. That tells me he has a serious injury. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t fight again.
Porter has been asking for Garcia for a very long time. I’m not sure if the fight gets made next because I know PBC likes to build events. And they may have a fall line up to announce. If and when they do fight I think it’s a hotly contested fight. It really depends on who is on that day. I think Danny Garcia is the better puncher, more accurate and better defensively. But I think Porter has more physicality at 147 and he has a style that not everyone can cope with. It won’t be easy for either guy. I expect a close drawish type of fight where both guys think they won. Similar to Broner vs Vargas.
Billy Joe Saunders just said that even if Canelo beats GGG then he won’t give Canelo credit. He said once you willfully put something in your system to harm another man you’re always a cheater. Do you agree with Saunders? Does Canelo using PEDs effect his legacy in your opinion? I know you thought he was a great fighter but do you still feel that way?
Bread’s Response: I actually think Saunders makes a good point. I’m also glad he’s speaking out openly about it. Here is my quick take on it.
PEDs usually make you recover faster. They allow you to push yourself to your max more often and reach new personal best. Whether is running distance, running sprints, training capacity or resistance training. So for example if there was a man who could bench press his max of 400lbs without any help of PEDS. That same man could max out at 500lbs with the help of PEDs. Now while the PEDs are out of his system , lets say the man can bench press 450. Well then he was helped by PEDs. Not having PEDs in your system is not the same as being CLEAN….
Hi Breadman, huge fan. I'll be at Josh Taylor's next fight v Postol. What do you make of this match up as I know you like our boy a lot. Couple of my friends think it's maybe a fight too early but I think it's a great fight for Josh at this stage and i can see him stopping him with body shots late on and making a real statement. Keep up the good work. Scott UK
Bread’s Response: Victor Postol can fight but he seems inactive and not in sync. Some fighters can deal with inactivity. But they have to be enthusiastic about boxing and they have to have a certain type of work ethic. I don’t know Postol but I do know he looked off in his last fight. I say the timing is right for Josh Taylor and I say he wins. I love Taylor’s matchmaking they are putting him in vs common opponents of the top guys at 140. If he beats Postol expect him to face an Amir Imam type next.
1. Is Jacobs slipping? He got hit way too much. He seems to fight at the level of his opponent all the time. I know Sulecki was getting written off by many (myself included), but I can't help but wonder if he gets hit that cleanly and often by a real MW puncher, he'll find himself in rough shape.
2. I know you are having a tough time picking between Stevenson and Jack, but I don't see how Jack loses this. If he comes out cautious, watches for the left, the momentum will slowly fall in his favour. Maybe I'm writing off Stevenson, but I just don't see how this becomes a competitive fight. I wonder why they switched to Toronto too, it's like they can see the vultures circling over Stevenson's head and they are investing in a new venue for the Canadian market once Stevenson is defeated.
3. Your thoughts on the hair follicle test from Canelo? I think it helps, but I can't seem to be completely sold on it. Did they pluck the hair from his head or did he just provide one himself? I think we'll have to see how his next fight goes. I guess that'll be revealing. Who knows. Maybe not.
4. IBF just announced that GGG has to make the fight or actually fight within 90 days from May 5th (assuming he wins). If GGG had to pick between tending to his mandatories or cashing out against Canelo, what's more realistic for the 36 year old? What's better for his legacy? Will Charlo and Jacobs wait on him as mandatories or will they fight each other?
5. Poor Nonito just couldn't pull the trigger on any of his shots. He isn't that old, but he seems done for. Is there just no more desire? Some guys fighting for much longer and they can still get their shots off. What makes a guy fade like that? Lack of desire?
6. I read your recent QnA about Pacquaio. There's another thing I think is worth mentioning about Pacquiao. He's got ridiculously large and dense bones in his body. His wrists have the same circumference as Wlad Klitschko's. I think his punch went up with him because he's whipping those caveman clubs at guys in the ring. Plus, his lack of KO's aligns with him topping out at the higher weights and losing a bit of that speed by his early thirties. I know it's possible that Pacquiao could have taken PED's but there's a lot going for his innocence (and I try to maintain the "innocent until proven guilty" perspective). Anyway, I know Paulie was jawing away about him being on PED's and that he didn't say anything, and that was an interesting point. I wonder if he only went after Mayweather because it would affect their fight that was bound to happen. Paulie? That fight was never gonna happen so maybe Pacquaio just didn't care. Wouldn't be the first time people have been slinging mud at one another.
Bread’s Response: 1. I don’t think Danny Jacobs is slipping. I think he’s in his prime. I think he’s a physically talented fighter, who packs a really good punch. I think Jacobs is operating around the same level of Jermaine Taylor in 2005-07. Max Kellerman even touched on Jacobs’s adjustments compared to a say Terence Crawford’s. I think Jacobs will have to fight upper echelon fighters in order for us to properly place him. When he’s the big favorite in fights he doesn’t showcase his opponents, he fights better as the underdog.
You guys have to also realize it’s not easy to fight top fighters in their physical primes. That’s exactly what Sulecki is. He’s not a P4P guy or a HOF. 10 years from now new boxing media won’t remember him. But I’m telling you can fight. Any fighter who fights Sulecki level of guys consistently will have a tough night here and there. Sulceki can really bump and Jacobs had to adjust down the stretch to pull it out. Props to both guys for competing at such a high level. The only fighters in the world who dominate Sulecki level fighters as far as boxing and scoring points and winning 85% of the rounds against them are Terence Crawford and Vasyl Lomachenko. A big puncher may clip somebody to make up for their mistakes but I’m talking winning rounds and dominating mathematically.
So in fairness to Jacobs I don’t think it’s fair to expect him to beat Sulecki 10 rounds to 2 or 11 rounds to 1. At no point in his career has he been that dominant vs the Sulecki level opponent.
2. You don’t see how Jack can lose…. Dam that’s a deep statement considering he’s the underdog. I love Badou Jack but this is not an easy fight for him. Adonis Stevenson is no joke. This fight will be very competitive regardless of who wins.
3. I have no idea, when they plucked the hair or what part of the body they plucked it from. The results I have read state that because the hair didn’t have a trace of Clenbuterol then those levels are consistent with eating tainted meat and not using as a PED. But someone asked me what if Canelo was using PEDs with this built in excuse in mind and he was being dosed in a way where it looks like he was eating meat and not using to enhance his performance. I thought it was a great question.
I will give Canelo credit for giving the hair sample. But I don’t know if that completely clears him. I have heard so many different views from so many different experts it really becomes confusing.
Here is what I do know. At some point if you stop using anything it will leave your system.
4. I think GGG will fight Canelo. It’s better for his pockets for sure, not sure about his legacy. But here is the thing. Everyone seems to be waiting to fight GGG or Canelo. But while they wait they should fight each other to become the real next guy. There are about 6 or 7 guys at middleweight that should start fighting each other. GGG is 36 and Canelo is still the cash cow. Neither of those guys will be able to fight everyone that is calling them out.
5. You already know how I feel about Nonito. But I think his slippage is right on track for a clean fighter that is 35 and fighting at a smaller weight. I also think Nonito had extraordinary physical gifts. I think he relied on them more so than even Roy Jones. Nonito’s answer to everything was land his hook. He could box but he was an athletic display and not a skill display like say a Pernell Whitaker. I love the guy but the reality is, skill last longer than athleticism.
6. What a great piece on Manny. Naazim Richardson actually told me the same thing. He told me that Pacquiao’s hands felt like bricks. He couldn’t believe how compact and hard they were when he examined them before the Mosley fight. He told me he actually warned Shane Mosely about them. That study actually reveals some interesting things. Bone density is very important for many reasons. I never looked at it in the stamina perspective but I always did in the punching power, physicality and ability to take a punch perspective. It actually makes perfect sense. That’s what I call some good research.
What's good Bread. Just wanted to get your thoughts on what Billy Joe Saunders said in regards to PEDs. He essentially stated that PEDs should become legal so it could even out the playing field and help clean fighters that are at a disadvantage. Don't get me wrong, within the same sentence he has also came out and said all the right things about the use of PEDs, like banning a fighter for life if they are caught cheating. But this is the first time I've actually heard a fighter say it should be legal, which makes me some cast doubts about him. He seems open to putting another competitors life at risk and it raises questions about his morals and honesty. This is just my opinion, I don't have any kind of evidence whatsoever, but to me he sounds like a user of PEDs just because of those statements. He sounds so open and constantly downplayed the whole idea, and he has made this statement multiple times. Furthermore, I wanted to get your thoughts on drug testing in the UK. They have a commission called the British Boxing Board of Control that oversees many things including drug testing. A buddy of your's, Victor Conte, who also works with Willie Monroe Jr did question the drug testing that BJS went through for his bout last September. I do also feel a little suspicious about the Board as they constantly have Referees and Judges that are clearly biased towards the home fighter when a British and a Foreign based fighter face off. And finally I've noticed that although there were dozens of British world champions within the last few years, not many held a WBC belt which we know has implemented strict drug testing to all of it's fighters. Just to let it be known, I am a conspiracy junkie, that also lives in the UK, so maybe it's just me. I don't know, I just wanted to get your thoughts on it. Stay blessed.
Bread’s Response: I like Saunders’s candidness. Let me tell you a secret, many people on the inside feel exactly how Saunders feels. They figure you may as well let everyone use it because most know the PEDs are running rampant in boxing. For the record I don’t share that sentiment but I understand it. It’s tough deal for a fighter to get in the ring with someone he strongly feels is using PEDs and not take PEDs himself.
In baseball most of the top players who used during the decade long steroid era, used out of survival. Good players were watching their counterparts use PEDs literally taking their jobs, contracts and all star appearances away. So what they did is, used too. They used so they could even the playing field. The same exact things is happening in boxing. No one wants to believe it but it is.
The messed up thing is there is so much advanced recovery and supplements that are legal, if the fighters would just apply themselves and be fully dedicated then they could still get the major benefits. But most want to take the short cuts and use the banned stuff.
Love reading your column, keep it up.
I've read the high praise you have for my fellow Scotsman, Josh Taylor and I agree with your judgement. Today it was announced his next fight is against Viktor Postol on June 23rd here in Scotland. What do you think of that match up at this stage of Taylor's career and how do you see the fight playing out?
All the best
Bread’s Response: Josh Taylor is long and tall. He’s shifty. He’s not a super athlete but he’s a very good one. He has processing ability and mind quickness. He also has a killer instinct and he has solid fundamentals. He needs a fight vs Postol to reach the next level because some things you have to learn in the ring under live fire. I don’t know if Taylor can beat Prograis or Ramirez but that’s who he seems to be going for with his WBC quest. I respect the kid because those are the 2 best fighters in the division.
I like Josh Taylor and a loss won’t make me get off of his bandwagon. He’s challenging himself. There is something I see in him. Let’s see how it plays out. Right now I have him winning UD over Postol.
What do you think of the Joshua vs Wilder negotiations? Who is the A side? Who wins the fight?
Bread’s Response: Negotiations are what they are. You can’t believe everything you hear or read. Both sides will put certain things out to influence the media and fans. Fans and media should not get too caught up on what side or the other says.
Joshua is the A side.
At one time I favored Joshua. It’s getting closer and closer at this point. Wilder is just so confident in what he’s doing. He’s impromptu and he understands his gifts. He may not be superior technically but it hasn’t mattered yet. I’m also big on Joshua but he seemed to overthink vs Parker. Overthinking vs Wilder will get you kod. I expect Joshua to be better but nevertheless, Wilder has closed the gap. At this point it’s anyone’s fight.
Give me your top 10 p4p? Then give me your top 10 punchers? I’ve been having a debate with my boxing forum and I’m curious to see how much we agree or disagree. We tried to add you but you declined, lol. I understand why though.
Bread’s Response: No offense bro but I can’t take all of those notifications. It drives me crazy. I talk enough boxing with you guys in my mailbag…..
Top 10 P4P: Top 10 punchers:
1. Terence Crawford 1. Deontay Wilder
2. Vasyl Lomachenko 2. Murat Gassiev
3. GGG 3. Anthony Joshua
4. Mikey Garcia 4. Adonis Stevenson
5. SSR 5. GGG
6. Errol Spence 6. Sergey Kovalev
7. Monster Inoue 7. Jermall Charlo
8. Leo Santa Cruz 8. Gervonta Davis
9. Sergey Kovalev 9. Monster Inoue
10. Jermall Charlo 10. Errol Spence
This is a long email but I think you would find some of this interesting.
I've been a member of an enormous Mexican soccer forum for over a decade, which has quite a large user base. There is a boxing sub-forum and I've seen personally how racial identification can make people so blind to even admitting there's some oddities regarding Canelo's failed tests.
Researching the various articles written about the subject, I've found most information was copied and pasted across the media so no one really offered anything different. Through personal research these are important points I have found which many people refuse to acknowledge.
1) Canelo was tested unexpectedly 11 weeks from the fight. Most camps are 6-8 weeks and this is typically when the fighters are tested. Abel Sanchez allegedly lobbied for more stringent testing, and this is why Canelo was tested so far back.
2) Canelo waited 5 weeks to have his hair tested. There is a lot of confusion regarding the headlines about this and i wanted to make the following clear, because 98% of articles are blindly repeating the same thing erroneously without researching or having a basic knowledge of chemistry. The hair test was NOT performed to determine the origin of the Clen. An endogenous chemical like clen taken from meat or from a syringe or from a strippers butthole will look exactly the same in the body - like Clen. It's not going to change and analyzing one's hair doesn't give a hint of the origin of the clen. It's like looking at someone's fecal matter and trying to determine if the protein they consumed was from beef purchased at McDonalds or Burger King. That's simple not how it works.
I researched steroid testing (there's entire forums with olympic and professional athletes giving each other advice on how to pass tests), and the only thing I could find which would give the media/Golden Boy this idea of hair testing was one person postulating on an independent website "High levels of Clen in hair could potentially indicate long term use." What it doesn't mention is that Clen is not needed long term, a 4 week cycle is enough, and furthermore long term use of Clen is actually counter productive, as the body builds a tolerance (much like any endogenous chemical) and becomes ineffective over longer periods of time.
What NO main stream media article includes is the fact that many factors come into play with hair testing to determine consistent use: the length of one's hair, the time which has passed since the substance was taken (5 weeks anyone?), the dose of the chemical (I believe clen is taken in micro-gram doses), etc.
3) He literally tested positive twice. If the mainstream media was correct that "clen stays in the hair for 6 weeks' he should have tested positive with his hair test regardless, just in lower levels "not consistent with long term use." Again, this is poor research from the media. No one seems to question why the test returned negative when he tested positive twice before. By their own logic regarding the hair test, they've contradicted themselves and failed to see it.
4) Here is where a bit of research and speculation come into play. Earlier this year the WBC personally released a list of Boxers not enrolled in VADA testing. Boxingscene posted this list. Canelo's name was not on the list, making it seems as though he was indeed enrolled in the testing. It is a requirement for anyone competing for a WBC belt to be enrolled in VADA testing. It was announced during the hearing that VADA personally stated Canelo is not currently enrolled, nor has he been enrolled in VADA's volunatry testing program. He was tested this time because it's in the fight contract, not because he's voluntarily enrolled in the program. I find it very strange that the WBC president has been blindly supportive of Canelo being clean despite Canleo not being enrolled into a program he requires his champions to be enrolled in. It also makes me wonder why he refused to fight for the WBC title last year. I would like to research when the WBC made these mandates with regards to being tested, if it was before or after Canelo fought Cotto. To me this is a clear indication that there is something suspicious at play.
4) It seems as though (i've read this though haven't been able to find official rules), that now that Canelo is suspended, he's out of jurisdiction to be tested. He's also not enrolled in any voluntary testing. So the next potential time he has to be tested is in the window before his september fight, five months to eat as much meat as he wants. This is also highly suspicious from a man that insists he will do anything to prove he's a clean fighter.
I think blind nationalism is terrible. I can't imagine how someone can support Canelo despite all these red flags just because he's Mexican. I am very disappointed in the mainstream media for repeating erroneous storylines like "His hair test proves he didn't take clen." I think if anything these things should be brought to the attention of someone important in the media. I have absolutely no faith, as a Mexican, that Canelo is a clean fighter. Every single indication points otherwise.
Bread’s Response: Everyone who has an objective bone in their body should read this comment. This is one of the most well researched, objective and thoughtful comments I have ever received. I was told this off the record by insiders in boxing, but this was the first fan to write in with such a level of intelligence.
I won’t even comment on it because I don’t want to take away from anything that Damian is trying to say. Just read....
Send Questions to dabreadman[email protected]