DAILY BREAD THURSDAY EDITION
Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
Thomas Hearns was Roberto Duranís kryptonite. Unfortunately Hearns KO over Duran is officially recorded as a TKO which it wasnít. A rematch with Hearns was something Duran never wanted... Rhythm is one of the most important components of fighting. I like the way Shawn Porter fought with you in his corner, donít know whether it was you who changed his rhythm but he fought at a very different rhythm then usual and it was good for him against Alfonso Gomez... Everybody gets OLD between 35-40 and you donít even notice it until you hit 41 or 42 and arenít able to do the things you could at 38 or 39.... I understand there are 3 reasons why testosterone could be low, 1) the see-saw effect of a fighter losing weight for fight and gaining the weight back between fights, 2) steroid usage Ė depletes the bodyís natural ability to create testosterone, 3) the aging process...Andre Ward is being dismissed by Chad Dawson as being a inferior fighter, but with him barely able to land anything BIG on Bernard Hopkins whose style Wardís is eerily similar to, Dawson may want to reconsider his pre-fight assessment of Wardís ability.
Breadís Response: Rob my main man, where ya been? I donít want to take any credit for Shawn fighting a smoother fight. I haventí spent a lot of time in the gym with him although I do preach a rhythm approach and Shawn is a great listener. However, his dad deserves all of the credit. What I have been doing is trying to embed different rhythms for Shawn to use. I think he has a unique rhythm thatís hard to ďcatchĒ and with a little sealing of the package he is a BIG problem for ANYBODY.
Yet for some reason Hearns had an easy time with Duran. Whatís so interesting is Duran did better than Hearns against Hagler and Iran Barkley. Duran had a better chin and stamina than Heanrs but when you put them two together Tommy blows him out. Thatís the perfect example of why common opponent outcomes are not always an exact science in boxing. In fact nothing is an exact science in boxing, thatís what makes boxing so great.
When you say everybody gets old between 35-40 are you talking about boxers.? Because if you are I think you are being generous. I think 85% of fighters get old earlier than that. I say around 32. Of course you have some special ones who donít butÖ.
I sense the same thing about Dawsonís view on Ward. But fighters in general are very dismissive view of each other. I also noticed that Dawson didnít land anything BIG on Hopkins. But I didnít hold that against him because itís hard to land something BIG on Hopkins. But I watched more of Dawsonís fights when I was breaking down the fight, and I noticed that Chad rarely lands anything eye catching. Itís interesting because heís fast and he has excellent coordination. After ALL of the film I studied the best punch Chad landed and threw was the uppercut that stunned PascalÖ..
Is it me or is boxing selling us a bunch of dreams and illusions? If you look at the boxing landscape right now outside of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather, it could be argued that there are no great fighters. Yet we are to believe that Sergio Martinez v. Julio Cesar Chavez, Jr. is a super fight worthy of beining on PPV ...Really??? I'm no fool you can't feed me the son of a legend with average skills at best and tell me he's a great fighter and a ligitimate Champion when he hasn't beaten a current or former Champion and has been carefully matched to increase his popularity and his earning potential. Lest you think I'm just a Chavez hater Martinez's resume is considerably better but to build him as a great fighter is less of a stretch than Chavez but still a stretch none the less. Martinez's signature win's have been against 2 average to slightly above average fighters Paul Williams and Kelly Pavilik. The Williams 1 punch KO is highlight reel worthy but Paul Williams already had been exposed by another average fighter Carlos Quintana. Kelly Pavlik beat Jermaine Taylor but Jermaine had began to show signs of regression and never fulfilled his potential probably because by his own admission he doesn't love boxing. The most damaging case against Martinez is the fact that he drew with a very average fighter Kermit Cintron who a great fighter should KO and beat soundly.
If this were an isolated incident it wouldn't be such a big deal but it's happening far to often. Amir Khan was billed as the next big thing even after he had been KO cold by Breidis Prescott, Andre Berto was the next big thing and he went tooth and nail with Luis Collazo and was finally exposed by another fallen star Victor Ortiz. For a while Alfred Angulo was the next terror and he was beat by average Joe Kermit Cintron, James Kirkland is beat by Nobuhiro Ishida comes back and beats the overrated Angulo and now he is suppose to be top dog. My favorite fighter outside of Manny and Mayweather is Bronner but I'm worried he's a fraud as well cause he's fighting bums and when he did fight someone with a pulse he almost lost.
My questions for you are out of all these fighters billed as the next big thing who would you put money on to have the best career and Why? What makes a great fighter? is it skill, level of opposition, or how they would stack up against fighters of all areas? I'm of the opinion that there are no great fighters right now and thus you have a bunch of good fighters beating up on other good fighters but that don't mean they are great fighters and as a result this is the area of Good but not Great. What do you say??--Thomas Stewart
Breadís Response: You make some valid points but you are overstating things a bit. Mayweather and Pacquiao are not the only great fighters that are active. Juan Manuel Marquez is by every since of judgment is a great fighter. All time great in fact. So is Erik Morlaes. Chris John may not be an all timer but he is definitely a contemporary great. Meaning great for this era. Miguel Cotto also fits the bill for contemporary great and so does Nonito Donaire and Sergio Martinez.
In my opinion there are levels of assessment. All time greats are guys that pass every criterion. They can compete on even terms with the 10 best fighters of their best weight. They have longevity, no one hit wonders. They pass the eye ball test. And they have quality accomplishments.
Contemporary greats are a tricky assessment. They are great fighters for their eras. But they probably wouldnít match well against history as far as accomplishments or head to head. For example Sergio Martinez is arguably the best middleweight since Bernard Hopkins. Heís definitely a contemporary great. He stopped Kelly Pavlikís reign and he destroyed p4p guy Paul Williams. But I wouldnít classify him as an all time great just yet. Now if he beats Chavez Jr., Gennady Golovkin, and a few more top level guys than he could have an argument.
Guys like Winky Wright, Meldrick Taylor and Donald Curry are perfect examples of contemporary greats but maybe not all time greats.
As for who is the next big thing. Iím going to say Andre Ward. He could possibly be considered an all time great fighter within the next two years. Ward seems to have it all. He also has enough legacy defining fights available for him to get his just due.
Other than Ward I wonít put myself out there and name anybody else. Too much goes on behind the scenes as far as building a fighterís record instead of building a champion. You have guys who claim 4 division champion status that have never beaten the top 3 fighter in their division. Then you have guys commanding 7 figure paydays and they usually fight fighterís from the division below. Itís really too hard to tell, thatís why I am frugal with the compliments. But Andre Ward entered that tournament, without the option of picking and choosing and he cleared house. He didnít privy from good matchmaking. Now heís fighting a tall, fast southpawÖÖ. Iím impressed with Ward.
My first time writing in sir, but I read your analysis & responses every week. I'm a boxing lifer. I try to trust my eyes & senses in making my opinions of fighters and the game.
My question/s are this- do you see the fight game promoters going the way of the modern music industry? That is to say there was so much power in such few hands, that ultimately, the major labels crumbled to give way to a more even playing field for the artists. Surely less money for all, but possibly a greater array of talent to pool from in this "do it yourself" age.
Assuming this is true, follow me here, how does a Dan Goosen help to elevate Andre Ward to superstar status? I attended the super six finals & have followed Andre for a long while. What is it that the media & modern fans are NOT seeing in this kid? Forget that he took out Kessler, Green, Abraham and Froch with ease in a 2 yr period... Take a look at the fact that this kid barely loses a round. A round!
We are literally witnessing the next Sugar Ray Leonard, and because his name is not Mayweather or Pacman, will the world ever know? There's hundreds of incredible bands out there that no one will ever hear about. Can Andre somehow break through?
In my opinion, he embodies the sweet science on every level. Your feedback & insights would be appreciated.
- Sensei Sean
Breadís Response: Let me say this with NO disrespect to Dan Goosen. But if Andre Ward was with Golden Boy or Al Haymon he would be richer and more popular. No doubt in my mind. People claim black fighters canít sell, thatís bullshit. I have been to one of Wardís fights in Oakland and Atlantic City. Two different coast and he rocked both times. Ward has a Holyfield type quality. Where he has charisma in his fighting. Holyfield was a huge draw without being a huge personality. Like Holyfield , Ward fights so many meaningful fights, that they become intriguing on importance alone.
I think Ward can and will break through but he will need that PUSH from the inside. Iím not going to get into what that is, but those who know , know.
Here is what I find interesting. In this country we have 5 big promoters. Golden Boy and Top Rank are the biggest and best. Then you have Goosen, Dibella and Gary Shaw. A guy like Andre Ward sort of levels the playing field slightly for Goosen. With Ward he can sort of compete against the two big boys. Letís see if Goosen decides to go ALL OUT in order to make Andre a starÖ..I hope he does because if you notice all of the BIG dates belong to Top Rank and Golden Boy. I think the dates should belong to fighters not promotional companies. But what do I know.
Since the subject of PED's came up, I thought I could add a little to what has already been stated. (Whether you choose to include any of this in your mailbag is your decision; I just want to share some information with you.)
Here is a copy of an email that I sent to John McCormick on the topic of PEDs after he posted an article about the Lamont Peterson situation:
"First, I want to say that I enjoy your [John's] writings on Boxingtalk. You provide an unbiased opinion on many issues, which is not true of many writers, including some of Boxingtalk's own. While I understand that you want to give Lamont a fair shake, you should understand that his team is [obviously] going to have a "legitimate" reason for his hormone replacement. There are some points I would like to make with regard to your article and the statements of his doctor.
First, Lamont's testosterone level is within one standard deviation of the average for males his age: http://www.mens-hormonal-health.com/normal-testosterone-levels-in-men.html; http://www.medhelp.org/medical-information/show/1938/Testosterone?page=6. While everyone would love to have 1,000ng/dL testosterone levels, it is not normal; hence, the explanation for the standard deviation of 170ng/dL. His free testosterone (not bound to SHBG) level is on the lower end, but none of this is conclusive that he cannot perform as a normal individual. I am not sure if you are aware of the increasing number of "anti-aging" clinics, which are basically an alternative to getting prescribed an otherwise illegal substance. Allowing athletes to be prescribed hormone replacement is a SLIPPERY SLOPE. Also, the distinction between natural testosterone and synthetic testosterone is merely diversion: both have the same positive effects in the body. Distinguishing between the two is a pathetic attempt to make Lamont's supplementation sound less taboo and/or guilt-worthy. Example: pretend caffeine was banned. One guy takes a Vivarin (caffeine pill) while the other drinks a double espresso. Both guys will get the positive performance enhancement effects of caffeine, but one was using synthetic caffeine and one was using a natural version, i.e., caffeine naturally occurs in coffee. Differing between the two based on the source of their caffeine is irrelevant to the issue of whether they used a banned substance.
Second, while WADA uses the T/E ratio as a way of catching cheats, it is not the end-all be-all to drug testing. See this study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17530941. Individuals were given 3.5mg/kg bodyweight (about 225mg for Peterson's FIGHT weight) testosterone enanthate while performing a resistance training routine. To quote: "[b]ody mass at week 6 was significantly greater than at baseline in the testosterone enanthate group (p < 0.01), but not in the placebo group. Despite the clear ergogenic effects of testosterone enanthate in as little as 3 weeks, 4 of the 9 subjects in the testosterone enanthate group ( approximately 44%) did not test positive to testosterone under current WADA urinary T/E ratio criteria." The individuals were cheating, as far as any WADA supervised event is concerned, but did not exceed the T/E ratio. The T/E ratio is a convenient method of testing, but being within the T/E range is not conclusive of innocence. I actually applaud the VADA testing. As mentioned in the study above, almost half of the individuals would not have failed a T/E ratio test.
Anyway, do you know what Lamont's actual testosterone levels were after administration of the pellets? Did the hormone replacement merely bring him up to natural range (which he was not more than 100ng/dL away from anyway. I understand this information may not have been available but I believe it is important. I do not believe for a second that the therapy did not bring him to a level greater than the average man of his age. The doctor states that it gives him what his body would have naturally produced without providing any lab results showing what level this supplementation did to his testosterone. Also, I notice the doctor mentions that the replacement would not yield any performance enhancement. I have a huge problem with that statement. Why would you waste time suppressing someone's natural testosterone production (that's what exogenous testosterone does), if the replacement was not going to bring a noticeable difference to the individual? Beyond that, testosterone is a proven performance enhancer. Among other things, it builds muscle, shortens recovery time, and increases nitrogen retention (which helps maintain/build muscle while cutting weight for a fight).
I think you are too kind and forgiving of Lamont's failure to mention his replacement therapy to the testing officials. I believe it further evidences his guilt. If it was doctor prescribed (as if that makes a difference), he should have mentioned it. Doctor prescribed merely makes possession of a scheduled substance legal. It does not have the same bearing on whether using such substances is cheating in an athletic event. I do not want you to post this e-mail, but I felt that I would provide you with some information so you can form a more well-informed opinion on the situation, Lamont's guilt, and the doctor's justifications and statements."
In your latest mailbag you had some questions about the T:E ratio. You are right that most men have a T:E ratio of 1:1; however, this varies widely by individual so in order to avoid too many "false positives," a wider range is used. 95% of people have a T:E ratio of under 3.7:1, so some agencies, like WADA, use 4:1 as the standard. I believe the NSAC allows up to a 6:1 ratio which accounts for 99% of people. To clarify, I agree with you on the issue (see paragraph 2 of the article I sent to McCormick; it highlights the deficiencies in this testing). I just wanted to let you know why the ratio is what it is. It makes sense from a statistical standpoint, but the cost of the method is that some cheaters will fly under the radar. Testing athletes for every known banned substance would be ridiculously costly.
Also, coming up with an average testosterone number would be practical or useful for detecting cheating. As mentioned and linked in the first paragraph of my email to McCormick, testosterone levels vary widely by individual. Example: see the Age 25-34 group in the second chart: the average is 617ng/dl with a standard deviation of 170ng/dl. That means that 68.27% of the people tested fall between 447ng/dl and 787ng/dl. (Sorry to get into statistics and standard deviation.) Two standard deviations, which is 277ng/dl and 957ng/dl, accounts for 95.45% of the people tested. As you can see, the numbers vary too widely to try to create an average. For the same reasons, an average T:e ratio for boxers would not be practical.
As you can see from my previous email to McCormick, I am not one that supports hormone replacement therapy for FIGHTERS, especially in Lamont's situation (in the absence of more information on his "low testosterone"). There are simply too many ways an individual can abuse it, and there are too many doctors that are willing to give it to a fighter that does not need it. Since there is such variability from person to person, how can we say that 500ng/dl for one person is too low, without establishing a baseline? Either way, that person may perform fine at that testosterone level.
I learn a LOT about boxing strategy and the fight game from reading your mailbag, so I thought it'd be nice to share some information on the topic of performance enhancers and testosterone levels; two things that are widely misunderstood. I hope I was able to accomplish that.
Keep doin' your thing!
Breadís Response: Thanks Mike. I posted your comment, not to respond, but to inform the uninformed. You lost me a little but I can follow the basic 1 to 1 ratio lingo. Mike I am going to ask you flat out, To break down each case of positives test lately from your obvious expert eye and tell me are their excuses valid or reasonable. Thanks again.
1) You talked about Margarito getting his legs back.. how does a fighter go about doing that if he's already lost them? Like, say, could you take a fighter who is a Boxer by nature, who has also been out of action for a few years, and get his legs back or does he just have to learn to stay in the pocket more?
2) You talked about Andre Ward being able to "adjust technically".. could you explain this a little more and maybe give an example?
3) I read an article by Enzo Calzaghe saying that he built Joe Calzaghe's "engine" from a very young age and that's why his endurance was great. He also went on to say that an "engine" like that can't be built at an older age (say, from the teen years on..) and that you have to start very young. My question to you is three parts.. Can anyone become a volume puncher like Calzaghe or Pacquiao and does it necessarily have to be done early on? And, in being a volume puncher, does it make it harder for that fighter to be a defensive specialist? I've noticed that people who are good defensively are usually those who are a bit more strategic with their punches..
Thank you Bread! Looking forward to seeing you on the big screen again..
Breadís Response: Good questions. If you tell a fighter to run or move around the ring for a substantial period of time when they have been out of the gym, their legs will become fatigued, disorganized and probably shake a little bit. This is normal. After about three workouts they are fine then their conditioning starts to build up.
Well there are also times when a fighterís legs become dead. When they just donít work like they would like them too because of various reasons. Sometimes a fighter can be shot and sometimes they can be off too long. Margarito depended on his legs so much to walk everybody down, the layoff and weight screwed him up. So from what I understand he went to the HILLS and put in heavy work to get his old legs. Despite Margaritoís criticism no one in since Erik Morlaes put the hurt on Pacquiao that Margarito did.
Now some fighters who have lost their ability to move stay more stationary later on. Some say Floyd is doing that nowÖ.. It all depends on the fighter. But Margarito canít use that pocket style because his defense is poor and heís a different kind of fighter. If Margarito loses his legs he is in BIG trouble.
Andre Ward. Some fighters change fights with a PUNCH. Felix Trinidad used to do that in his prime. At some point he would hit you with a left hook then all of a sudden things would change. Well Andre Ward seems to find a flaw in his opponent by round 4, then the fight is basically over. Ward will go to whatever is working until you stop it. He doesnít care how the fight looks. For example he realized Allan Green couldnít infight with him and Allan didnít have the legs to create distance so he just beat on him inside. He didnít out think himself and it worked he scored a shut out.
So whatever you are doing wrong, Ward figures it out and goes to work. In order for someone to beat him they will have to have mental stamina.
Enzo Calzaghe did a great job with his son. He destroys the theory that you had to fight in order to teach someone how to fight. The ability to DO something does not predicate the ability to TEACH something. For all we know Enzo could have been a great fighter but he just wasnít EXPOSED to boxing at a young age. As for his theory on the ďengineĒ, Iím not disputing or upholding it. I would have to find out when some of the guys I feel have great gas tanks started fighting before I can say whether thatís true or not.
I do believe an engine is one of the most important aspects of boxing. Stamina is a great thing to have. I know personally Iím fat and out of shape at this point in my life. But I can still run a mile in a decent time and I can still do stamina related exercises when Iím in the mood lol. I really believe itís because of my youth when I constantly ran and rode a bike. That sort of sticks with you and makes you different from the regular couch potatoes. So in that sense Enzo has a point.
I been thinking. I know you said before Mayweather was putting up obstacles to buy time to "get stronger" and for Manny to slip. Well it looks like he got what he wanted. now 50 is saying he can make the fight, and Arum says he will make it with 50. Seems easier now that Golden Boy will not be involved. Also is this just following the pattern. Judah after a loss, Mosley old, De Lahoya, not in his prime. Marquez way over weight and still missed weight. If he fights PAC i expect Mayweather to win, and then he will run on about him being the greatest of all time. i wont buy it, I see what he does. Who would be the top fighter(s) he has face in there prime when he fought them? Corrales? Who else? Maybe Cotto, but he was in a lot of wars when they fought?
Luis Omar Vazquez
Breadís Response: I didnít say Mayweather put the PAcquiao fight off to get stronger. I said he retired after the Hatton fight to get stronger. I just think Mayweayher didnít want to fight PAcquiao when Pac was riding high like he was, leaving carnage behind. Now that he has come back down to earth there is a better chance that the fight gets made, but who knows. We have been up this road before.
Cotto gave a great account of himself but he wasnít in his prime when Floyd fought him. How could he be when people said he was ďshotĒ 3 years before when Pacquiao fought him?
Floyd may not have the Ali legacy of Foreman, Frazier, Norton and Liston. Or Leonardís of Benitez, Duran, Hearns and Hagler, All guys at or very close to peak form. But Corrales, Judah, Hatton, De La Hoya, Hernandez and Mosley is an excellent resume.
Floyd canít help when he was born. Sometimes all you can do is beat the best available guy time after time. Lots of great fighters donít have all time greats on their belts. But what they do have is plenty of excellent wins vs top tier guys. Floyd has that.
I personally think heís one of the best fighters I have ever seen. But I donít put him on Mt. Rushmore because of the ďmissesĒ. I donít know whose fault every miss was but could you imagine Floydís resume if he fought Acelino Freitas and Joel Casamayor when they were both undefeated at 130. Then if he beat Stevie Johnston at 135 and somehow fought Shane before he moved up and chased Oscar. That fight was almost made. Then at 140 he dethroned Kostya Tszyu instead of Ricky Hatton doing it. Then while at 147, he fought Antonio Margarito, Miguel Cotto, Paul Williams and Manny Pacquiao. It may sound crazy but all of these fights were feasible as far the two fighters being in the same division at the same time. Iím not suggesting Floyd ďduckedĒ everybody. I donít believe that one bit. But from a historical perspective thatís way too many misses to just overlook them. Despite the misses heís still an all time great, oh well.
What's up Breadman! This is Michael from Texas. Your the only person on these boxing sites that puts out pinpoint accuracy on the fight predictions. Keep holding it down on here! I have a couple of questions for ya! I've been riding with Zab for a long time and I wanna know if you think he has another title around his waist against Lamont Peterson. Lamont is an aggressive fighter and he has that style that can make Zab fold but I think Zab will be rejuvenated with TMT Promotions. Lamont's not a speed guy like Khan so I think he has a good shot of becoming champ again. Maybe Floyd can show him some new tricks on how to deal with pressure fighters now. Zab is their biggest name outside of Floyd under that banner so who knows. What do you think?
Breadís Response: I think itís an excellent fight with many question marks. How will Peterson look without the testosterone treatment? Will he be allowed the treatment? Unfortunately we have to ask that. From a technical point of view Lamont has a cold chin. He seems to be unsteady on his legs early in a fight. I personally think he doesnít make 140 good. My eyes tell me heís a fighter who struggles desperately to make weight.
Zab is a sharpshooter and heís very dangerous early. He could turn Lamontís lights out early. From what I could see I like Zab early and Lamont late. Lamont seems to be stronger mentally and just a harder man physically. But like I said we have many question marks surrounding that fight.
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