The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin, Josh Warrington vs. Shakur Stevenson or Gary Russell, Golovkin vs. Derevyanchenko, Wilder vs. Ortiz, and more.
I really enjoy reading your responses to questions thrown at you (and always agree with you 99% of the time) and can even appreciate what I disagree with.
You’ve covered your thoughts on Tito a few times and I must admit, typically I just shoot down any view that puts Tito on a pedestal but you had me thinking hence my question now.
Tito was a come forward bulldozer with brutal power, however against pure boxers he just couldn’t adjust.
Oscar outboxed him thoroughly and had he fought him the same way the last 4 rounds he would have stopped Tito or just outclassed him. I can’t believe Floyd Sr advised him to run. It was beyond shocking considering what we were witnessing.
Against Hopkins (a very cagey and very resourceful fighter) Tito had zero response to that style and once again just could not adjust at all.
Winky Wright is the one that sealed it for me. I wasn’t surprised by maybe his only only arsenal - the jab. I can only describe it as beautiful chaos. What surprised me (maybe not so much) and disappointed me was that Tito fought exactly the same way every single round. His typical bulldozing style of throwing power punches which were all blocked by Winky’s simple yet incredible peekaboo style while piling up points over 12 rounds.
I couldn’t believe Tito’s trainer/father’s advice - no changes, no plan B, no warning, literally nothing but repeating the same shït over and over, “don’t worry, you got him. You’re beating him”.
A week later I got lucky and got to meet Winky at 40/40 club in NYC and got to talk to him for almost half an hour. He said the same thing I’m saying which is Tito is a one trick pony and would never adjust even when he was getting beat. Winky wasn’t surprised at all with the results.
Lastly, Roy Jones (a shadow of his former self) toyed with Tito throughout the fight. Roy would have destroyed Tito had they fought in 2001.
My question is, am I being too harsh on Tito or are you being too kind on him?
Bread’s Response: Everything you said was true but the energy you say it with is one of Tito was overrated. I think you’re being harsh from that stand point because any resume can be attacked. Any resume. I will talk about Tito then I will show you what I mean.
Oscar- I thought Oscar beat Tito. I have argued with several people why. Oscar won 7 or 8 rounds clean and I stand by that until this day. But Oscar didn’t box the last few rounds like he did earlier because he couldn’t. He was trying to box. Tito made his mind and body tired. Bernard Hopkins once told me fighting Tito made you think he was crazy because he never stops coming. Oscar was trying to box in the later rounds but Tito had a relentless soul. Hopkins is mentally stronger than Oscar so those small moments where Tito was able to push Oscar too fast, Hopkins was able to subtly overcome them without visible distress. Tito deserves credit for making Oscar look like he was running.
Hopkins- was a fighter who started out at light heavyweight. I’m not undermining his win. It’s the best performance I have ever seen. But Tito didn’t have the physicality to beat Hopkins. Hopkins is very physically strong.
I think Tito was past it vs Winky Wright and Roy Jones. Jones was too big although Jones had also slipped a great deal by 2008 he really looked good vs Tito. The Wright fight was bizarre to me. I expected Tito to honestly do better. Tito could have taken something off of his punches and increased his volume and did better vs Wright just like Fernando Vargas and Harry Simon did. Tito had a terrible night and didn’t make adjustments. I have no excuses for that performance although I have always viewed Tito as the better fighter.
Ok I will pick out a random great fighter and pick apart his resume. Manny Pacquiao. Ok for the record I think Pacquiao is just awesome. He’s top 25 ever. And his run PPV run from 08-11 is the best in history.
But I could say Pacquiao doesn’t like body shots, he got stopped by a body shot and Margarito hurt him with one. I could say his 8 division titles aren’t real because he fought Margarito at a catchweight of 150lbs. I could say Oscar was weight drained when Manny beat him. Cotto was depressed. I could say he lost to Marquez all 4 times. I could say he lost to a marginal fighter in Jeff Horne. I could say that he’s a one handed fighter and if he can’t hit you with a big left hand he’s one dimensional.
Or I could say no fighter has ever sniffed greatness at flyweight then welterweight. I can say he beat Marquez 3 out of 4. I could say that his right hand has developed to point where his hook and jab are lethal. I can say he took the Margarito body shot. I can say he skipped 115 and 118 and if you don’t want to count his title at junior middleweight, he would have won titles at 115 and 118 had he not skipped them. I can say Cotto was just fine in 2009, he went on to win a middleweight title in 2014. You see how that goes?
Here is what I choose to say about Tito Trinidad. He is a top 10 ever at welterweight and junior middleweight and his 15 title defenses are awesome for the era he fought in. In his prime before his retirement he was 41-1 and he was only pushed by all time greats. I can his power rose 3 weight divisions, he scored concussive kos from 147-160. I can say him defending his title vs Oba Carr and Yuri Boy Campas was as real as #1 title defenses as you will ever see from a young fighter. I can say that he took a Roy Jones fight that no other welterweight in history would have taken for the exception of maybe Tommy Hearns at a 170lb catchweight. I can say that Tito’s best dimension was coming forward but he actually knew how to step around and fire as good as anyone. I can say his chin was vulnerable but resilient. I can say his stamina was among the best in history. I can Tito’s run after he moved up from 147, from David Reid to William Joppy was as high a peak as we have seen after a fighter moved up in the 2000s. I can also say although Winky Wright beat him head to head that Tito was a better more accomplished fighter.
It’s all about perspective my friend. Tito was an All Time Great.
Good morning Bread, hope all is good,
The first post I ever sent you was about Dennis Andries, a man whose boxing accomplishments dwarfed his lack of any apparent skills.
Now I'm back on he same subject. As a fight fan I obviously love the men who have unbelievable talents, the likes of SRL, Duran, Pernell, Evander, Floyd, At the same time, it seems to me you can get a long way in boxing without great natural talent, if you will work insanely hard & just don't know how to give up.
So, Josh Warrington is calling out Shakur & Gary Russell jr. To me, Josh doesn't have blistering hand speed, lightning reflexes or concussive power. He does have a sound chin, exceptional fitness & a heart as big as a whale. Can that get him through? I'm saddened to say, I don't think so. He just doesn't have the natural skills to compete with either Shakur or Gary. I'd love to be proved wrong.
Anyway, unlike some posters I'm not dumb enough to think I know as much about boxing as the guys who make their living doing it.
Do you think Josh can beat either Shakur or Gary? If so, how?
Bread’s Response: I wouldn’t favor Warrington to beat Russell or Stevenson but I wouldn’t count him out either. Warrington reminds me a little bit of Steve Collins. Collins wasn’t a big puncher but he had an iron will, iron chin and a ton of heart. 2 of his 3 career losses were MD and SD. And he lost to Mike McCallum a legitimate great fighter at 16-0. McCallum was 36-1.
Collins didn’t win his fights by a landslide but he didn’t lose by one either. Warrington has a lot of Steve Collins in his game. If Russell or Stevenson were to fight him in the UK and Warrington is in maniacal mode, he has a shot.
I have seen fighters with similar styles and rabid fans spurring them on pull off bigger upsets. Collins vs Benn and Eubank. Barry McGuigan vs Eusabio Pedraza. Ricky Hatton vs Kostya Tszyu. It can happen.
What's up Bread?
Henry Armstrong vs. Willie Pep at 126, who you got?
Also, prayers up for Errol Spence and I wish him a full and speedy recovery
William in West Palm
Bread’s Response: Yes sir. I am very happy Errol Spence seems to be ok. He is truly blessed.
I would take Armstrong over Pep, in 2 out of 3 fights. Pep has a better featherweight legacy. Armstrong started out choppy at the weight. But on their best nights, I just think Armstrong is too strong. Armstrong would wear him down over time but I can see Pep winning 1 of the 3. In the Rock, Paper, Scissors of boxing. An athletic volume puncher, is all wrong for a pure boxer. Tough fight for Pep.
Obviously some sobering news in the boxing world with Errol being involved in a car wreck. Best wishes to him and his family and hopefully he has a full recovery! Would be a shame if he can't be the same around his two daughters. That's the most important thing here.
On to the fight this past weekend, great scrap between Golovkin and Derevyanchenko. One thing I noticed even in the Jacobs fight, when you throw on the inside against Golovkin, he won't counter until you stop. He's going to let you get your shots off and then try to counter. But that let's get him get outworked in some rounds and allows the opponent to land the better shots of the round. Jacobs didn't go to the body nearly as much as he should have, but he was definitely getting to Golovkin and we saw the same with Canelo as well. But the fact that Golovkin was still able to stay in with a younger, hungry fighter who had a deep amateur pedigree speaks volumes to the type of fighter he is. It would be a shame if we don't ever get Golovkin vs Charlo as that would be an absolute war. Charlo struggles with those that could make him miss and box with him, but Golovkin would be there for him and likewise that Charlo would be there for Golovkin. Would you agree that is one of the top 5 most entertaining fights to make at the top level?
Bread’s Response: GGG vs Jermall Charlo would be the most VIOLENT fight in boxing. Its not Spence vs Crawford or Loma vs Haney in terms of skill. But if you want pure violence along with a high level of skill this is the fight. I have been saying that for about a year now. They match up perfectly in terms of styles in my opinion. I think it’s a can’t miss thriller.
Two of the biggest punchers in boxing, with two of the best chins. Both guys are offensive and neither is particularly hard to hit. Hagler vs Mugabi 2.0.
People got upset with me when I said GGG doesn’t counter punch well. They brought up the Daniel Geale fight. A fight where he actually ate a shot from Geale and then threw his own and dropped Geale. It was an awesome sequence. But that was lightning in a bottle. And that had more to do with GGG’s chin and Geale’s fright than it did with counter punching.
If a fighter can do something well it will surface so often you won’t have to resort to bringing up isolated moment to prove a point. Watch GGG vs Kasim Ouma. Watch GGG vs Kell Brook in the 2nd round. Watch GGG vs Canelo2. Watch GGG vs Daniel Jacobs after the knockdown.
GGG does not have great defensive reflexes. He doesn’t defend his body well. And when you attack him he usually waits for you to stop punching then he steps back to you with a hard jab. As he’s getting older his response becomes more and more predictable. I’m not nitpicking GGG. I think he’s a HOF and I think it’s a shame what the boxing gods did to him. But he has a weakness. He’s a dictator. If you allow him to step to you and ram rod jab to the ropes, he’s going to kill you. Plain and simple. But if you attack him in multiple combinations, with confidence and vigor, you will have success. Now he’s blessed with an iron chin, pedigree and extremely hard hands so it’s not something that just anybody can do. But elite fighters with heart and skill and a willingness will now try it.
The one thing about the top level of boxing, is elite coaches and fighters will pick up on things. And having longevity and success after your weaknesses have been shown, separates the special.
Canelo had slow feet but he’s evolved his game. Floyd Mayweather got mauled by Jose Luis Castillo but Mayweather evolved and got stronger and his inside game got better. Ray Leonard brawled Duran too long and decided to start boxing more at the elite level and used that same stick and move style to beat Hagler 7 years after losing to Duran. Norton was able to jab WITH Ali.
I stated this stuff because GGG fans get sensitive although I have been one of his biggest supporters. All fighters have weaknesses. Fighters better than GGG have had their weaknesses show. He just has to work on his game and the next time one of these guys step to GGG and start letting their hands go, GGG needs to put them in his place and stop them. It’s just that simple.
Hey Bread! Hope all is well!
The rematch between Deontay Wilder and Luis Ortiz looms on the horizon toward the end of 2019. The first fight was pretty EPIC. The way that Wilder came roaring back after struggling, especially in Round 7, was beyond impressive. How do you see Fight 2 going down? Just as good? Or do you think Wilder wins in more decisive fashion?
Also, if you’re Wilder’s team, what’s your strategy for the rematch? If you’re Ortiz’s team, what’s your strategy this time around? On the surface, I say Ortiz needs to be more aggressive. But being aggressive against Deontay Wilder could be a dangerous miscalculation, so I’m not quite sure on this one...
Bread’s Response: Everyone seems to be counting Ortiz out in this rematch. I don’t favor him to beat Wilder but Ortiz can win this fight.
Wilder has a gift. He has an instinct. It’s not just his right hand power. Wilder understands how to step in with his 1-2 KO shot when his opponent least expects it. He does it off the clinch. He does it off the turn. His opponents simply aren’t ALERT enough or have the reaction to defend against the shot. Their minds are slower in processing than his. Wilder almost gets a running start and he slings his whole body into the shot. The guys he’s fighting allow him to build up too much momentum.
It’s the most effective shot in boxing. But it’s simple. That’s all Wilder is trying to do. Land is 1-2. Wilder’s strategy is what it is. Land the big one. Keep looking for it 36 minutes. That’s how he fights. That’s his natural instinct.
Ortiz has to find a way to neutralize Wilder’s 1-2. Work on his reaction time. Work on his recovery time when fatigued. Wilder recovers faster than all of his opponents. If someone were skilled enough to take Wilder on the inside in this era, they would have a real shot. I don’t think that’s Ortiz’s game but he can adjust. I also think Ortiz’s right hook is important. Wilder doesn’t see it well and he was able to land it and hurt Wilder. Ortiz has to feint and not allow Wilder to sling himself into him. He has to stop that fast momentum Wilder builds up before he lands that shot.
Ortiz has to adjust more but it’s a winnable fight. Right now I favor Wilder. It’s hard to go against him in a 12 round fight. He always finds a way to land his MONEY shot.
As 2019 winds down and the 2010s draw to a close, I believe I saw that the BWAA named Canelo the Fighter of the Decade for the 2010s. Do you agree with that decision? I don’t know if I do. Don’t get me wrong, Canelo’s professional resume is second to none. But his biggest wins are all close and controversial.
I just feel like Lomachenko, Crawford, even Pacquiao have stronger cases than him. Am I off base? Crawford cleaned out 140, Loma’s a triple champ in a dozen fights, and Pacman defied Father Time more than once this past decade (even more impressive considering the KO he took from Marquez).
I like Canelo as a boxer, but I’m… let’s say ambivalent… about this one.
Bread’s Response: Canelo is a top candidate for Fighter of the Decade. I didn’t know he was awarded the award just yet. There are still 2 more months to the decade. I think Andre Ward, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Vasyl Lomachenko, Terence Crawford and Canelo Alvarez all have good cases.
Mayweather has a real case if you look at his best wins of the decade. Many felt he should have won it in the 2000s so this may be a make up decade. Mayweather has wins over Canelo, Pacman, Cotto and Mosley coming off of the Margarito win. Those 4 wins may be the best of the decade.
Ward may be the decades best fighter as far as his prime. He won the Super 6. He beat Froch, Dawson, Abraham and Kovalev. I think his inactivity during his prime may cost him but he also has a case. If he would’ve beaten Kessler 2 months later he would have an even greater chance to win it.
Pacquiao has had an up and down decade. But Clottey, Margarito, Mosley, Marquez, Bradley twice, Broner and Thurman are serious wins. I wouldn’t vote for Pacquiao because he’s been inconsistent but win for win he’s really up there.
Lomachenko has won 3 division titles this decade. He’s had arguably the highest peak when he was making fighter after fighter surrender at 130. He also unified at 135. Loma is a darkhorse. He doesn’t have that one huge win but he does have some super solid wins.
Crawford has been awesome this decade. He’s also won 3 titles and unified at 140. Usually the fighter who has been #1 P4P the longest during the decade has the best case. Crawford has a decent case. But I don’t know if Victor Postol being his best win will get him the award for an entire edecade.
Canelo Alvarez has as good a case anyone. He’s won multiple titles. He won a lineal title at 160. He beat two first ballot HOF in my opinion in Cotto and GGG. He defended his 154 titles vs some tough competition in Trout and Lara. Canelo is having a strong 2nd half of the decade which is important because it’s the last thing the voters remember. If Canelo beats Kovalev I think he wins it going away and he would deserve it. Canelo has had a great 10 years.
Canelo, Mayweather or Ward all have the strongest cases in my opinion. Don’t be surprised if Mayweather wins it. He beat Canelo head to head. I know it was at a catchweight but Mayweather is 13 years older. That’s a lot in boxing for a super fight. In most super fights the contestants are within 5 years of each other. Rarely have we seen a 13 year age gap. Mayweather’s issue will be his work came at the beginning of the decade. If he did what he did at the end of the decade he would win the award easier.
I expect it to be controversial. If you give it to Ward his inactivity will come up. If you give it to Mayweather him retiring pretty much in 2015 will come up. If you give it to Canelo his loss to Mayweather will come up. Let’s see..
What’s up Bread?
I know we still have a ways to go but, so far, which fights do you think are in the running for Fight of the Year?
Bread’s Response: Williams vs Hurd. Spence vs Porter. Ramirez vs Booker. GGG vs SD. Ruiz vs Joshua.
These 5 fights stood out to me.
Williams vs Hurd. Had a fight where Hurd was the decided favorite. If it wasn’t for Ruiz upsetting Joshua then this fight would be upset of the year. Nevertheless this was a high contact, brutal fight, that showed plenty of skill. Hurd lost clean but he never stopped trying, therefore there was drama up until the final bell. This is not only a strong candidate for fight of the year, this is one of the best junior middleweight championship fights ever. I also believe it was one of the best performances of the year by a fighter. Julian “Jrock” Williams fought a tremendous fight.
Spence vs Porter had everything you want. High stakes. Unification. Drama with the late knockdown. And suspense up until the final decision was announced. I thought this was a great fight but I thought the fight was slightly sloppy. Williams vs Hurd was cleaner as far as skill display in my opinion.
Ramirez vs Booker was some fight. This fight didn’t go the distance but my goodness what a shootout. Then it had a conclusive ending. This fight was every bit as good as Williams vs Hurd in my opinion. Another unification with HIGH stakes. Fighters, fight hard with high stakes on the line.
GGG vs SD was an awesome fight. Everytime GGG tried to turn it on, SD turned it up with him. Another high contact, big stakes fight. I think this fight has a strong case but I feel the other 3 were slightly better.
Ruiz vs Joshua had the drama. This fight will definitely win Upset of the Year. It had multiple knockdowns and a conclusive ending. I think it fits more for Upset of the Year than it does Fight of the Year but it was also a great fight. And heavyweights usually get more credit. It will be interesting to see who takes it.
I'm a big fan of yours and after hearing/reading you talk about other fighters I noticed you mention a few different terms consistently when it comes to fighters you like. You mention that "their shoulder is pointed" or "hands are threatening" or "good balance".
Is there a fighter past or present that you think has the ideal stance? Assuming someone came to your gym and was a good athlete, not a great athlete and wanted to learn how to box how you model their stance?
I hear some coaches preach the back foot should be at 45 degrees and others saying it should be at 90 degrees, what do you think is correct? I also hear coaches saying the back foot heel should always be raised...to me that seems impossible to do for 36 minutes. I see some coaches say the rear hand should be on the side of the face, others in-front of the chin to parry the jab.
Another term that's thrown around is "sitting down" on your punches, what exactly does that mean? How does one "sit down" on their punch?
I know these aren't the typical question you get in your mailbag, but I'm curious on your thoughts.
Bread’s Response: Thank you. Let me preface by saying for the most part there is no right or wrong in boxing. Notice I said for the most part. Some things will never be correct. But depending on natural ability and body structure certain fighters can get away with unconventional approaches.
Pointed Shoulder- Very simple. The lead shoulder is pointed to the center line of the opponent’s body. A good target area is the opponent’s throat.
Hands Threatening- Means the hands are in a position where they can punch. Therefore they’re threatening. Some fighters move themselves out of position defensively and their opponents can instinctively feel they can’t punch. Juan Manuel Marquez is a fighter who always stayed “threatening”.
Good Balance- Is when the feet are under the fighter. The fighter’s head is not over an imaginary line from his front knee to the ceiling. And it’s not leaning over the back hip.
Ideal stance- I love Ricardo Lopez’s stance. It was a little wide but overall if you have an active smaller fighter who doesn’t brood his way in, you can copy his stance.
Ray Robinson had his head off center. Left shoulder pointed. Hands around chest level pointed towards his opponent. Excellent for a tall boxer puncher who jabbed.
Errol Spence- Keeps his hands up. Elbows in. Feet shoulder length apart. Spence has a great fundamental stance in an era where guys stances are terrible.
I would prefer 45 degree back foot but some fighters can get away with 90 degrees. Deontay Wilder does just fine with 90.
A fighter can rest his back foot when he walks back to the corner.
Sitting Down on Punches- It’s a few things that lead to a fighter sitting down on his shots. Bending your knees, turning your hips into the shot, turning your foot of the same hand the punch is being thrown with, turning the shot over/in and hitting with knuckles and not the palm of the hand. Not raising up upon delivery but snapping the shot through. Watch Gerry Cooney throw a left hook. That’s sitting down on your punches for you.
Hey Breadman! I’ve been trying to understand Leo Santa Cruz and Gary Russell Jr. How is it that two of the best featherweights, who are promoted by the same company, have yet to meet? Is it simply boxing politics? Are they ducking each other? Now with LSC moving to 130, I think this one of those fights that should have happened and never did (Gamboa vs Lopez at 130 and Cotto vs Hatton at 140 come to mind) Also, hypothetical boxing matchups:
LaMotta vs Duran at 147
Loma vs Pacquiao @126
Whitaker vs Sugar Ray Leonard at 147
As always, I appreciate your insight.
Bread’s Response: I don’t understand the Santa Cruz/Russell thing either. It’s just really bizarre in my opinion. I don’t know who’s ducking who. I can’t be politics. They are with the same people. Someone has to NOT want the fight.
Cotto vs Hatton- I would take Cotto in a great fight.
Lamotta was never at welterweight.
Loma vs Pac at 126. Sheez..Um I will go with Pacman The notion that Pac was so green before he moved up to welterweight is false. Pac may have been green at a 20 yr old flyweight. I saw his title winning fight and he was a little green back then. But the Pac that smoked Ledhwaba and Julio at 122lbs was a monster. The Pac that beat Barrera at 126 in 2003 was a GREAT fighter already. That performance in 2003 is one of the great performances of this century so far.
Whitaker vs Leonard at 147. I would take Leonard by late stoppage. Leonard could really improvise vs tricky fighters. Watch how he shifts vs southpaw Ayub Kalule. Watch him walk down southpaw Larry Bond. I think he would clip Whitaker at 147 and wear him out with body punches. There is only 1 man in history I would pick to beat Leonard at 147 on his best night and that’s Ray Robinson. Mickey Walker, Henry Amrstrong, Sam Langford and Kid Gavilan have chances. I had to go back 100 years to find some people. I don’t think realize how good Ray Leonard is.
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