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Published On: Sat, Jun 17th, 2017

Daily Bread Mailbag: Spence, Barrera-Smith, Pavlik-GGG, More

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By Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen ‘Breadman’ Edward discussing topics such as Errol Spence, the Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev rematch, the light heavyweight bout with Sullivan Barrera vs. Joe Smith, Floyd Mayweather Jr. vs. Conor McGregor and more.

Hello to all,

I pray all is well with you and your families. Andre Ward is symbolic of the mindset of a  lot of fighters of today and why boxing is no longer held in the high regard it use to be. The fighters of the past like Tommy Hearns , Mike Mccallum and James Toney had superior skills then a guy like Ward but they had a fighters mentality. They came to knock your butt out and not outbox you. These guys today like Keith Thurman and Ward think when they stink it out and try to out box  people we should be praising them for going this distance and throwing a minimum amount of punches and doing more clinching then punching.  Vladdy, Fraud, Hopkins and others  made boxing a  lot less exciting because of these defensive exhibitions. James Toney,Julio Chavez Sr, and Dwight Qawi had great defenses but were still  predators out to get you and were very entertaining to watch. Current fighters like Chocolito, Gary Russell Jr.,Mikey Garcia and Lomenchenko have great skills but still put on great fights. I ‘ve never heard a fan say they come out to see a great boxing match. Most people I know want to see a fight. Errol Spence and Kell Brook just showed you that you can have great boxing skills and still put on an entertaining fight. Ward and his self-preservation style just isn’t cutting it and it will be great when Kovalev knocks his butt out. Ward is delusional and did not win the first fight  with Kovalev and  like a lot of people in this age of arrogance thinks we ought to accept his mediocre performances like they are works of  art. Tyson Fury is another guy who isn’t anywhere near as good as he thinks he is.Fights like Joshua vs Vladdy had the world standing up and applauding.Fights like Fury and Vladdy had the world not caring about the sport. I hope him and that plug Tyson Fury retire  very soon.

God bless and take care,

Blood and Guts from Philly,

Bread’s Response: My personal preference of style is the violent boxer puncher. I realized that subconsciously I like those type of guys because when I want to be entertained I click on youtube and I watch Ray Leonard ko Andy Price. Or Ray Robinson destroy Jean Stock. Or Ali’s peak performance vs Cleveland Williams. So I get what you’re saying.

But I think you misinterpreted what Ward was saying. I think he was saying that all styles should be appreciated. And I agree. I read and hear things that let me know that certain people don’t understand boxing. I think people who have platforms in boxing have to open their minds. Who you pay to see as far as entertainment does not have to be the same fighter that is “appreciated”.

And if you’re open minded you have to realize two things. Fighters have a right to fight the style that gives them the best chance at winning. When a fighter loses in this era he’s shitted on from every angle and on top of that he takes a pay cut that you wouldn’t believe. So if a safer style allows them to win then you can’t knock that.

The other reason you have to consider is physical punishment. More violent fighters take more punishment. That’s a fact. Every man knows what he can take and what he can’t take.  I feel you bro and we all have our favorites but I only knock a safety first fighter if that style keeps costing them decisions. Thank you and keep writing in.

Hi Breadman – I always appreciated Peter Quillin but it seems that the loss to Jacobs has fragmented him a little bit upstairs. Do you have any info on his future plans? It seems that with one good win a guy like Quillin could land in the ring with a Canelo or Chavez.

thanks!

Gabe

Bread’s Response: I also appreciate Quilin. I was very high on him when he beat Hasan Ndam and Fernando Guerrero. Then he fought Gabe Rosado he struggled a little bit and he became very inactive. It’s strange but he sort of lost his mojo vs Rosado.

When you wrote in I had to check boxrec and I realized Quillin has not fought since 2015. He was caught cold early vs Jacobs. I always say 1st round kos can be slightly misleading.

I don’t know when Quillin is coming back but I will be on the lookout. He’s a big puncher and he has a colorful personality. I think he can make some noise at 168. I’ve always thought he struggled too much to make 160. He has a big full frame.

Pretty good column you have on Boxing Scene. I have to disagree with you on a few things, though. (1) Austin Trout keeps getting title shots because he’s played the loyal foot soldier in keeping his mouth shut when he got jobbed with bad decisions vs. Canelo and Charlo. I know Canelo is not a Hayman fighter, but Al made a side deal with Oscar and sold Trout up the river — which is why the fight took place in TX and not Vegas or Cali. Trout keeps getting shots without working for them because that’s Al’s reward to him for being loyal while taking it on the chin for the PBC brand. Al has major pull with most of the sanctioning bodies except for the WBO. Notice Bob now does lots of biz with the WBO, but not much with the other bodies? (2) Jacobs is the second best middleweight in the world, but he will not do better in a GGG rematch than he did the first fight. I told people months before the fight that Jacobs would give Golovkin some hard work, and he did. Jacobs is no chump and brings good skills, power and ring IQ to the ring. He will always give GGG his toughest fight at 160, but he will never beat him. The main difference between the two are the chins and the body punching, both of which are heavy advantages for GGG. (3) Pavlik and GGG match up rather evenly, but I don’t think Kelly would necessarily win the battle of the jabs, and I also believe that Golovkin would eat him alive when he goes to the body.

Your material is pretty good. How often do you publish? Do you think Ortiz will get a title shot this year? Do you think Wilder is serious when he says he’d like to fight Joshua next?

I believe Chocolatito left 112 because he knew Nietes and Casimero would have been very tough fights for modest pay. He gets paid a lot more at 115 vs. the popular Mexicans.

I’ve been following boxing since the mid-70s. My favorites back then were Jimmy Young,

Miguel Canto and Tyrone Everett.

Regards,

Carl

Bread’s Response: I see you have been around. Many don’t remember the name Tyrone Everett. He was an uber talent from Philadelphia who should have been an undefeated world champion at the time of his death.

Chocolatito has to get paid. He was making modest money for most of his 40+ fight career. But I never see him take easy fights. He’s always going after tough opponent after tough opponent. I love Gonzales he’s one of my favorites of the last 10 years but I wish someone would tell him to take off that sauna suit. That really saps a fighter and I can see him treading water in each of his last few fights.

I put my mailbag out as often as I can or whenever I get a handful of really good questions.

Not so sure GGG beats Jacobs if they fight again. The thing is Jacobs has to stay in this form. He can’t lose whatever he did in that last fight. GGG is always on that level.

Pavlik would give GGG hell bro. Kelly Pavlik loved when a fighter came to knock his head off. That would have been an Siberian Death Match.

Whats good Breadman… I want to get your opinion on a few fights.

Am I wrong for thinking Sullivan Barerra will blow out Joe Smith Jr? Barerra has only one loss, going the distance with Ward, while Smith’s only known because he landed one punch against Fonfara, and beat a 51 year old Hopkins. I see he was knocked out early in his career and I expect Barerra to stop him in the mid rounds.

I think Trout has a great chance to beat Hurd. I know you agree because you talked about it in the last edition. But do you think the year long layoff could big trouble for Austin? I bet on a lot of fights and will be betting on Trout because I expect him to be about a 2 to 1 underdog.

GGG is going to beat Canelo. I have never seen Canelo forced to fight off of the back foot and the only was I see Canelo winning this fight is if we get funny scorecards like we did in the Mayweather and Lara fights. (Even the Khan fight when he was getting outboxed up until the knockout but somehow lead 5-0 on 1 card)

And who do you like in the J Rock fight later this month? Just kidding Good luck to you and Julian on the 30th.

spence-brook-fight (29)

Bread’s Response: I’m picking Barerra also to beat Joe Smith. I feel bad for Smith because he’s won two big fights in a row and instead of getting a huge payday in title shot he get Barerra and I think he loses. Let’s see how this plays out.

People don’t agree with me but I think Trout will edge Hurd also. I just think his southpaw stance and his know how will be too much for Hurd. However I wouldn’t bet crazy on Trout and here is why. Trout never really dominates his top level opponents. He’s a really scrappy, experienced technical fighter but he’s not dominant in any area. So therefore lots of his elite level fights are nip and tuck. Besides Lara no one has ever dominated him but he doesn’t dominate either. He’s not a huge puncher, he’s not super quick and his defense is competent but he’s not untouchable. So you factor that in with a year layoff and Hurd being the young undefeated champion I think it will be another close decision. But this time Trout gets it.

Unfortunately “funny” scorecards are a part of boxing. I’ve been going back and forth in my head on who wins GGG vs Canelo. I think Canelo has closed the perception gap. Both fighters have advantages and I can envision some controversy. At this moment I’m leaning back on GGG. I don’t like how often Canelo goes to the ropes.

What up bro? So much controversy in boxing right now to talk about. I’m from the Dallas area. And I love it that you gave props to Errol Spence and Derrick James as Trainer of the Year. Spence is catching a lot of heat about PEDs and James is a good young trainer. What’s up with the Ward vs Kovalev mix. Is Kovalev a racist? Did his trainer really try to leave? Who do you think wins? Also how do they determine who takes PED test and who doesn’t? Everything seems to be random. Last but not least how does Austin Trout and Miguel Cotto just walk into title shots without no fights in between their losses. There are too many fighters at 154 for that to happen.

Bread’s Response: Errol Spence is a tremendous fighter. I gave Spence props because he took USADA and VADA and still won a big fight vs a real champion. It’s that simple. There are plenty of fighters who won’t even take the test. You can’t pass or fail a test that you NEVER take.

Derrick James is doing his thing. He doesn’t have a big stable and I think that’s why he’s successful. He’s going to be a top trainer for a very long time.

I think Team Ward is engaging in skullduggery. I don’t know if Kovalev is racist. But he’s probably insensitive to public race relations. Who knows about Kovalev’s trainer leaving. This is boxing nothing would surprise me. I think Ward wins 115-113.

Determining who takes PED test in boxing is the problem with boxing. The determining factor is if the fighter who has the most influence wants testing or not. Because of this practice testing can be cherry picked. We witness it all the time.

I know you’re an boxing purist but I’m telling you Connor is going to KO Mayweather. He’s much stronger, he’s bigger and he hits like a ton of bricks. You mark this down, this will be the biggest black eye in the history of boxing. In fact I think Floyd has to knock McGregor out. You can’t claim to be the best fighter ever and just win a routine decision against a fighter who is making their boxing debut.

Bread’s Response: You guys have to stop picking fights with your heart and use your brain. Floyd will most likely ko McGregor inside of 8 rounds. I think McGregor is a terrific athlete but he just doesn’t have the experience to do much with Floyd.

If McGregor’s “hands” were as good as you think he would be a boxer not an MMA fighter. In a street fight the guy who usually starts grabbing is the one who doesn’t have the best hands. The problem for McGregor is he can’t grab.

The other problem is they don’t infight in the MMA. When the fighters get close the kick, grab and do other things. Floyd Mayweather is a master infighter. I’m telling you he’s going to hurt McGregor on the inside and with body punches. Please don’t bet on McGregor my friend, just enjoy the fight.

Someone recently told me there is at least 30 gyms in the city of Philadelphia. No wonder you guys produce so many good fighters. Who are the young prospects we should be looking out for?

Bread’s Response: It’s probably more than 30 gyms in Philly. If you can’t all of the dual use gyms that have MMA cages also I say there is about 60 or 70.

Three young fighters stand out to me are Christian Carto. Carto is like 9-0 with 9kos. He’s a bantamweight but he’s really strong and he has loads of amateur experience. If he keeps going through his progressions he has a legitimate shot to challenge for a title by 2019.

Stephen “Scooter” Fulton is 11-0 with 5kos. This kid has fought 4 undefeated fighters already. He’s a well rounded slickster with a real fighter’s mentality. He’s also battle tested. I think he can challenge for a title at 122 in 2 years. He just has to get stronger.

Jaron “Boots” Ennis is 11-0 with 9kos. He fights at 147lbs. He has Terence Crawford like skill level for where he is in his career. He’s a slashing puncher and he has next level speed and reflexes. He’s the most advanced of young guys in Philly but he’s also in one of boxing’s best divisions so he may have to challenge for a title a little later than the other young guns. I think he will be ready in 3 years to go for a title at 147.

I know this is boxing but you’re a basketball guy. Lebron or MJ, who really started the Super Teams. What boxer is the Lebron James of boxing?

Bread’s Response: Aw man…. Let’s see. Lebron is the most valuable player I have ever seen to his team. Whatever team he goes to they automatically becomes championship caliber and whatever team he leaves is in shambles. When he’s on the court he carries the success, when he’s off of it the success succumbs. I’ve never seen anything like that in team sports besides Peyton Manning’s team success. Lebron has a legit case as the 2nd best non center ever.

Michael Jordan is the greatest and best basketball player I have ever seen. I’m old enough to have seen both at their best. No one is as good Jordan was from 1984-98. No one. You can break down categories all you want but the player with the most effect on getting that W is MJ. Jordan may be the greatest athlete ever period not just basketball.

Lebron didn’t start the Super Teams. It’s laughable that some suggest that he did. The kid gets more criticism than any other athlete I have ever seen. It just so happens he’s in the brightest spotlight so he gets the stick regardless. Does anyone remember the slew of free agents the Portland Trailblazers had in 2000? How about the Barkely, Pippen and Olajuwon Rockets? I have another one what about the Peyton, Malone, Shaq and Kobe 2004 Lakers? Or the Artest, Kobe, Gasol and Odom Lakers? Celtics had the Pierce, Garnett and Allen chip they collectively grabbed.

I can really go on and on. If it’s considered a Super Team for 3 All Star players to purposely go to the same team then there is no way Lebron started it when all of these teams were put together before he left for Miami in 2010.

It’s too difficult for me to say who is the Lebron James of boxing because basketball is a team sport and everyone loses. In boxing fighters have been undefeated…..As far as who has been excelled with supreme athleticism for 14 years and been consistently the best I would say Roy Jones from 1988-2004 is what Lebron James is today.

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