By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns as Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards gives his thoughts on the WBC tournaments for the welterweight and junior middleweight titles, a possible fight between Andre Ward and Sullivan Barrera, Keith Thurman vs. Shawn Porter, and much more.
Hey, Bread - These are really just some comments as opposed to questions, but whatever discussion or input you have will be greatly appreciated!
What I find interesting is, over the last couple of years, a lot of people were commenting on Floyd and Manny being older, past their prime, etc yet, no one ever seems to comment on Triple G's age (33 and I'm assuming approaching 34) and/or Sergey Kovalev's age (32 approaching 33). I know someone will say, well, they're still performing on a high level, so why focus on their age? And I'm not really, that's why this is just a comment...lol...its just funny that no one ever brings their age up. Shouldn't they be breaking down or slowing down soon?
I will say though, both, Triple G and Sergey, need to be drug tested, which is something else that no one ever brings up. They're both are very good in the ring, but part of what makes them so good is if they can lay hands on their opponent, which is inevitable, they hurt their opponents so bad that they either retreat, lose focus, or attempt to slug it out, which usually leads to an early night. Triple G especially! He's clever because he can cut the ring off so good, but what's made him great is while doing so, he can hurt is opponent while having them pigeonholed.
Just some thoughts and thank you for your time.
Bread’s Response: GGG and Kovalev came onto the scene much later than Floyd and Manny did. Floyd and Manny were champions in the 90s when Kovalev and GGG were teenage amateurs. Floyd and Manny have over 60 more combined fights than Kovalev and GGG. Chronologically Kovalev and GGG are in their 30s but their “boxing age” suggest they are fresh fighters.
Neither GGG or Kovalev have shown any signs of breaking down. They both appear to be in their primes at their peaks. 35 is sort of the Maxon Dixon line so let’s see….
Both GGG and Kovalev are both supremely skillful. Both do subtle skillful things in order to land their vaunted power. GGG is the best fighter in the world at cutting the ring off. It’s almost impossible to move away from him and be effective. Kovalev has gliding footwork and he doesn’t let you attack him. He’s the best fighter in the world at attacking you with a jab. He jabs every spot on your body and totally breaks you down. But their power is extraordinary. It’s the X factor.
I am not suggesting that either fighter is a PED user. But I would like to see both under stringent testing. I believe both have passed VADA test in the past but I’m not sure how long the testing was for and what particular fights. Hopefully they both sign up for more comprehensive testing.
What do you think of the new WBC orders? It seems like an undeserving fighter is always getting a title shot. John Jackson lost to Willie Nelson and Andy Lee and he’s going to fight Charlo for the title, smh. And your boy Danny Garcia cherry picks for 3 years beats Overrated Paulie Malignaggi and then gets to fight a shop worn Robert Guerrero for the title. I don’t have a problem with Garcia fighting for the title he was the number 1 guy at 140 so he moved up and got a top spot. My problem is him fighting Guerrero. He’s guaranteed to be a 2 division champion. Remember he fought old Erik Morales for his belt at 140. It seems like this guy is always being looked out for. It really sucks for the guys in the semi final fights who have to fight four fights to win the title. Do you think it will go through?
Bread’s Response: Why is it that every time you guys write in about someone from Philly they have to be about my boy. I don’t get that.
To answer you the WBC seems to be the belt that is the most prestigious. The more recognizable champions seem to always go after that belt. So they made their orders….
I don’t think each fight that they ordered will go through, because from what I can see there wasn’t a time limit. For example if Charlo beats Jackson, does he have to fight the winner of Andrade vs Hatley immediately or does he have a chance to make voluntary defenses like champions are allowed. That would tell me a lot…
I think the fighters in the wild card spot and the fighters in the semi final spots are in tough spots. The semi final fighters have to fight 4 fights in order to win the title and if the champion can make voluntary defenses they may have to wait 3 years for a title shot.
I do think Danny Garcia and Robert Guerrero will fight. That fight is done. I also think Jermell Charlo will fight John Jackson. And I also agree John Jackson has no business being the #2 contender. But it’s boxing. I’ve seen worse. But how he’s ranked over the guys he’s ranked over is amazing. He has no notable victories and he lost to Willie Nelson and Andy Lee. I also think Demetrius Andrade and Charles Hatley will fight. Neither of those guys is associated with a big promoter. So it makes sense for them to fight for the #1 spot. I think Ishe Smith will fight Jorge Cota. That fight makes sense for both guys.
But other than that there are too many variables to determine and without exact guidelines it’s hard to predict.
Thank you for continually providing sound insight on the fight game. Your background as a trainer and boxing historian provides a wealth of information that keeps me coming back to boxing scene. No disrespect to your colleagues and other writers, but I feel your perspective is more unique and is fresh addition to the conversation of boxing. I wish more writers were as objective in their narratives as you. With that said
What is your take on Ward vs Barrera (if it happens)? I like Barrera but I think speed will be a huge hurdle for him (Andre on all accounts is much faster both physically and mentally). Barrera has good power though, nothing I think Andre has not seen but it has been so long since he has been hit cleanly (2012 Dawson Fight).
Also how do you see Ward vs Kovalev playing out? Can Kovalev stay on the outside and outbox him or does he have the seek and destroy mindset to increase his chances of winning?
Who do you think wins Rigo vs Lomenchenko? and Why?
Bread’s Response: I think Ward vs Barrera is a real fight that no one can complain about it. This may sound weird but Andre Ward needs this fight to come off. Ward has been a pro almost 12 years and he doesn’t have 30 fights yet. Something always seems to halt his career momentum. He’s going to be 32 soon. I would assume he needs these next 3 or 4 years to go smooth.
Barrera can bump(fight) but he’s nothing that Ward has not seen before. Ward should be able to outspeed and out maneuver him. But here is the what I have noticed about inactive fighters. They get buzzed easier. Barrera can punch. As far as I know Ward doesn’t get hit with 10oz gloves on and no headgear in the gym. You become callous to punches by getting hit. For the remainder of his career I will observe closely at Andre’s ability to take a punch. The old timers used to say, “to rest too much, is to rust too much.” I really believe that. That being said I pick Ward to win a decision.
Kovalev is a rough fight for Andre. Kovalev is the best straight puncher in the game. He’s brutal upstairs and downstairs with his straight shots. He also has a better defense than given credit for. The only two things I question about The Krusher is how much time he spends with his trainer John David Jackson. Whenever I see videos I never see Jackson with him. I know he has other training gigs but I find that bizarre. Kovalev needs the watchful eye of his talented coach. I also believe Kovalev doesn’t take the greatest punch. I know he hasn’t been clipped yet but I know fighters who can take great shots and have been stopped and fighters who can’t and have never been. There are little things that Krusher does that tell me he doesn’t take a great shot. The question is can Ward get to him and hurt him. Ward is not known as a big puncher.
I think Ward can punch hard enough to hurt Kovalev. The question is can he finish him. Ward is a great all around fighter but the one attribute that he hasn’t shown is one of a great finisher. Right now I favor Ward but it’s truly a 50/50 fight. Let’s revisit it after their upcoming performances.
I don’t get all of the fuss over the Thurman vs Porter fight. Really I mean it’s not a super fight. It’s not Mayweather vs Pacquiao. It’s not Leonard vs Hearns. It’s not even Curry vs McCory. If this is the best the PBC has to offer in 2016 then it will be an epic failure.
Bread’s Response: Man you guys are hard to please. You have two in their prime, top five in their division, under 30 guys trying to fight and you’re actually complaining.
Of course it’s not on the level of the fights you mentioned but it doesn’t have to be. It’s not a super fight. But it’s real legacy defining fight. Instead of applauding it what you are doing is downplaying it. Shame on you. You’re not a real boxing fan if you have a problem with Thurman vs Porter. My goodness what an era we live in. Dam if you do, dam if you don’t.
What do you think will happen with Crawford vs Lundy. Something tells me this will be exciting. Lundy is not on the level but he always gives a good account of himself.
Bread’s Response: I think Crawford vs Lundy is a solid fan friendly fight. You have a great fighter in the making vs a very good fearless pro. Lundy will test Crawford.
I think the difference is Lundy fights angry and Crawford fights focused. Unless you’re a ferocious puncher like Mike Tyson or Gerald McClellan fighting angry will get you in trouble. At some point in Lundy’s competitive fights he always loses focus and either gets knocked down or loses momentum.
I think Lundy will do well early. He has a really good jab for a short fighter. His arms are long. He also has decent handspeed and he has a high punch count. But Crawford is the much better puncher and adjuster. At some point in every fight he finds “something” and he straight takes over. Crawford is also very good at tracking his foes and cutting the ring down. When he gets in that mode you have a problem. I think when Crawford gets in this mode on Lundy the fight will be over. I look for a late stoppage or clear decision by Crawford.
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