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November 08, 2012

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

You havenít made a pick on this weekend's Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno fight. This is a huge fight for junior featherweight. Whatís up with that?

Breadís Response: I love this fight. I think Abner Mares is one of the most ambitious guys in boxing. This kid truly does not care who he fights. Heís a real gun. Moreno could be the best pure boxer in the game. Iím talking right there with Mayweather and Ward. This kid is ridiculous.

Iím going to be honest. Iím leaning towards Moreno. I think heís slightly better. But Mares opened as the favorite, heís the more marketable fighter and he will be the aggressor. I just donít know if Moreno will get credit for his good, subtle work. I think the fight will be competitive enough to give either guy credit. Iím not saying the fix is in or Moreno will get robbed. I would never suggest that unless I had irrefutable proof.

What I am saying is Mares is the A side. The public and judges are not as familiar with Moreno. So he could outbox Mares but WE as a whole may not understand whatís going on because of lack of familiarity. Trust me it happens. I know Moreno quite well but others may not. Therefore I wouldnít bet on this fight. Hit me Sunday morning and let me know if I was rightÖ..

Kudos for an excellent mailbag on 10-30-12 (even by your already lofty standards). I say that because you normally bring the heat anyway but I really appreciate your stance and logic regarding the Erik Morales situation with PEDs. You are 100% correct that having a third test come back clean should not erase the results of the first two tests. The "everything is OK as long as I enter the ring clean" loophole is a dangerous one that needs to be closed ASAP. I'm sure you would agree that science and nutrition have advanced to the point where I could 1) take a PED during training camp; 2) have it out of my system by fight week or fight night; and 3) claim it was contamination, tainted meat, etc. if I test positive and be fine as long as I pass a test before I enter the ring. The million dollar question (literally) is are promoters willing to potentially lose out if fighters get caught? My question to you is what legal ramifications (if any) do you think a fighter would face if a show is cancelled due to his testing positive for PEDs? What if for example, Lamont Peterson had a certain amount deducted from his next purse since his positive drug test cancelled the Khan rematch? Do you think that would be a deterrent? I hope this makes the mailbag because I'm really curious. --William in West Palm

Breadís Response:Thanks.... I think the punishments have to be stiffer. Someone has to investigate these contaminated food allegations. I do believe there is a small % of fighters who intake illegal things by a mistake but the problem is the excuse is becoming too convenient.  I think the Promoter HAS to be willing to lose money or else the test will have no integrity. If the Promoter is not willing to lose money then the test mean nothing. There are already nasty rumors going that prominent fighters have failed drug test but had their records sealed. I hope this is NOT true, because if it is this current drug testing is the biggest farce in the history of boxing.

I am working full time and I have started going to grad school full time and at 37 years old I am tired. Well since I don't know who else to email, I thought I would check in with the resident sports expert. I am in complete awe of Barack Obama's political career; we have just witnessed one of the best politicians ever. He definitely achieved all time greatness. I am not speaking about his achievements as president, as that is yet to be determined, I am speaking about him purely as a politician. His first national contest he ran against another all time great and complete machine. He took on Bill and Hillary and beat them with math before they even realized they needed to take him seriously. He played the delegate game the way no primary candidate has ever done. He spent his time campaigning in the small states that typically did not get a lot of attention. According to the math if he could score big wins in those states he would get the lionís share of delegates. All he had to do was break 30 percent in the larger states and he could get almost half of the delegates. That victory alone was historic. Then he beats McCain but given the conditions with the complete melt down of the economy, that was expected.

Fast forward four years. All the rules regarding money were changed. Super Pac's can now raise unlimited amounts of anonymous money. The fundamentals of the economy are all pointing up, but the actual economy is still sluggish. The entire Republic machine unloads on Obama. They have been slandering him for four years. They desperately attempt to paint him as a foreign socialist even though he governed as a moderate.

Obama ignores the noise and again focuses on the process. The presidential race is essentially 51 independent contests. The irony is Obama actually beat the republicans at their own game. Previously the republicans used cultural issues as a wedge to divide the public. They have exploited gay marriage, abortion and immigration; Obama exploited the same exact issues only from the opposite side. He played his hand magnificently and won all swing states but one. The Electoral College was a landslide!
Stand up Obama!
Keep up the hard work!

Breadís Response: Great comment Roy. I was just thinking last night that I hope McCain and Obama can come up with something to regulate boxing. I hope they can work together being as though they are both big sports fans. Stand up Barack.

Congrats on your boy Shawn Porter getting on the Khan-Molina bill.  Diaz is a good fighter, a guy that has seen it all and should give Porter another look and some solid work.  I think Porter is too young, too strong, and too fast for Diaz, but it should be a nice fight.  Whats the future like for Porter?  Time table set to get ahim a title shot and what does he have to work on to become that world class fighter on that big-big stage?  Whats your take on a Dirrell vs. Ward match up in 2013?  50 wanted to throw around that 20million remark with a Gamboa vs. Money fight, but I don't think he expected J Prince to come back with that same bet regarding Dirrell vs. Ward.  J Prince is the real deal and 50 better tread carefully.  Ward has 168-175 locked down, hopefully someone can come along and challenge him because he is making it look easy at times.-- Toddyrock

Breadís Response: I donít want to comment on Shawn too much because I work with him. But I saw him last month and he was in phenomenal shape. As for the future Shawn should be fighting for a title within his next 3 or 4 fights.

J Prince is definitely the real deal in boxing circles. He walks quietly but carries a big stick. You donít see too many people running off at the trap with him. I donít have a take on Ward/Direll just yet because it wonít happen for a couple of more fightsÖ..

Breadman so I've been going to YouTube University as of Late and watching Andre Ward Fights , and I just have a Simple Question how do you beat this man , he crowds you and then turns you and lands his left hook , he jabs you to close the distance and pushes you back . And he fights like hell on the inside . You can't jab him because he pushes you back you can't really fight on the Inside with him because he turns you hooks you and then pushes you back . I've never seen anything like it . How would you prepare against it . The attack sounds simple but its not . His feet and shoulders are always in line and he never appears off balance . And his conditioning is never tested because he sets the pace and makes you fight his fight ! Look at the Kessler Fight , Bika , Green , Abraham , Froch , and Dawson Fights , none of those fights were the attack the same . The Punches Maybe but the way he set up I couldn't get a read on tendencies or anything .

Breadís Response: Out of the great respect I have for Wardís trainer Virgil Hunter I donít want to comment on how to beat Ward. To be honest I really havenít given it much thought because I just enjoy him when I watch him fight and I usually bet on him.

I will say this however. There is no set way to beat anybody. It all depends on the strengths of the opponent. For example Kessler does not fight like Bika so therefore they will implore different tactics. With that being said it will take a helluva fighter to beat Andre Ward in the next couple of years or he will have to have a really off night. 

In the neighboorhood that I live in Puerto Rico I am the only one who reads you mainly because I am the only one who knows English I lived in Harrisburg PA 10 Years, somewhat close to Philly. Anyhow since I am an avid boxing fan who reads every site and watches every fight, people in the hood approach me before big fights so I can give them a prediction so they can bet small money and beer boxes with co workers, and since I started reading you I always tell "well I think this guy is going to win but wait until I read what Edwards has to say before you bet anything." So believe it or not your predictions influence way more people that just those who regularly read you man. Anyways as you know I am a big Sergio Martinez fan, I always thought that he could beat Floyd and anyone really at 154 so I was smiling when I read you thought the same after the Chavez fight, which was really a blowout save for the last roung mishap, which was partially brought in by Martinez's warrior spirit, a lot of people dont realize that Martinez is as much a dog as Morales was in his prime because Martinez moves a lot but he is the kind of guy that gets hit and always wants to return the favor back and that led to the famous 12th knockdown, but Martinez got up dazed and gassed and still engaged chavez toe to toe and got the better of it it was Martinez popping Chavez's head with a Jab and dancing away in the last ten seconds of the fight, no need for a rematch. Yet I dont think Floyd or Cotto will ever fight Martinez at 154, which leaves Canelo as an option but Golden Boy wont allow it and Martinez deserves the chance to further cement his legacy and enrich his bank account. I dont know how much you know about Martinez's career but after seeing him dazzle and stop Alex Bunema on HBO I researched all of his fights that were televised on youtube, and if there is any fighter in the modern day era that has had to deal with as many struggles as Martinez did before finally landing on HBO, I haven't seen the fighter Bread. To this day you can ask Martinez what was his most important championship win and he will recall his first fight in Manchester against hometown favorite Richard Williams for a minor world title not sure if it was WBU or IBO. Martinez didn't care that was a the win that sparked everything, Martinez had to make line to eat lunch with the homeless in Europe because his economic situation was that desperate, he was only making about 1000 euros per fight, for this fight against Williams he only had an 8 day training camp in which he mainly trained himself, entered the ring at a weight disadvantage and with a 5 dollar mouthpiece amongst other incredible set backs and yet he won in Manchester and against the Manchester fighter and walked away a world champ. Thats just one of the stories, I m already making this email a bit too long, but a lot of American fans don't really know Martinez the Human being, I think if Martinez could speak english he would be a big super big star, and I mean the man has cried in plenty of interviews thats what made me a fan. This is a guy who came from the very bottom to the top of the sport and made his first 1.5 million paycheck at age 38 proving that dreaming big, coupled with Hardwork, determination, talent (and a great set of genes I mean the guy moves like he is on his twenties) can make the seemly impossible, possible, which is why I want Martinez to get his shot at Floyd because I know he will win, and unfortunately nothing has ever come easy against Martinez, and he might have to Challlenge the formidable Andre Ward for P4P supremacy and at age 38 that is a fight that I don't see the sturdy Junior Middleweight winning. You have said a hundred times Bread that the biggest jump in boxing is the 160-168 weightclass change, Martinez for all his accomplishments at Middleweight, was forced to fight there because no big name wanted a part of him at 154, and the problem persisted even at 160, so him jumping to fight the best 168 pounder I have seen since a prime Roy Jones Jr is for all intents and purposes suicide. Ward will dominate boxing for the next 7-10 years I mean c'mon Dawson landed only 29 punches on Ward in a fight that went to the later rounds, that was a sick boxing exhibition. Martinez is to me the best latino fighter in the last 20 years or so, and this is coming from a Puerto Rican dude yes I think Martinez would beat Trinidad at 154 and 60, but the size would be too much it would be the same mismatch as Martinez-Mayweather at one 154, but with difference Floyd has fought and looked somewhat good at 54, Martinez already looks a weight class too small for the middleweights and he can make 154 easy, so hoping against hope I hope Floyd takes the bait, if you follow Martinez's trail from Quilmes to present day you will agree that the Argentine who says his biggest satisfaction in life was to buy a house for his mother deserves better that an impossible win against Andre Ward, then again Martinez has made a career out of defying impossibility, whats your take on this Bread? By the way I think Cotto beats Trout, but finally Agree with you Canelo downs him in a war Cotto is past his best but what a good run has he had.-Samuel

Breadís Response: Thanks bro. I appreciate the PR love. We are actually going up against a kid from your island on the Broner/Demarco undercard named Jonel Tapia. I expect a really tough fight.

I have loads of respect for Sergio Martinez. He didnít get a title shot until he had over 40 fights. Dude came up really rough. I canít believe GB and TR passed on a talent like him. Smh. We agree on many things. Martinez would beat Mayweather and Cotto. Donít hold your breath a fight with Mayweather and Martinez will never happen. Cotto would fight him but I think Cotto will fight Canelo next year and we agree again, Canelo stops him and becomes a legitimate superstar.

As for the Ward/Martinez proposition we disagree. As much as I respect Martinez I donít believe he is as small as he makes himself out to be. Just look at facts. One is he fought Paul Williams at a catchweight. Team Williams knew how strong and big Martinez had become. No one ever talks about that.
Two, Martinezís himself said that making 154 would be a great struggle for him because of the added muscle he put on to face Kelly Pavlik. Three Martinez weighed in at 176lbs for a 30 day weigh in done by the WBC. That tells me he walks around in the 180ís. Heís not a small man. One more thing he relentlessly called out Manny Pacquiao. We will all agree PAcquiao is too small for Martinez.

In fact the size difference between Pccquiao and Martinez is greater than the size difference between Martinez and Ward. So I say this. Donít call out Manny Pacquiao for a fight when you know you are the bigger man, but refuse to fight Andre Ward and say heís too big. That doesnít sit well with me. Iím just being fair. However, Iím still a fan of Sergioís and I hope he gets more big fights.

If you could make 12 super fights next year (disregard their promotional outfits), one for each month, who would you have match-up against who? I have provided some young guns from each stable that I can really see being superstars if managed and matched right.

Golden Boy:

Leo Santa Cruz- 118 lbs
Abner Mares - 122 lbs
Anselmo Moreno- 122 lbs
Gary Russell Jr.- 126 lbs
Jorge Linares- 130-135 lbs
Adrien Broner- 135 lbs
Omar Figuero- 135 lbs
Frankie Gomez- 135-140 lbs
Danny Garcia- 140 lbs
Lucas Matthysse- 140 lbs
Robert Guerrero- 140-147 lbs

Top Rank:
Nonito Donaire- 122 lbs
Jorge Arce- 122 lbs
Guillermo Rigonduex- 122 lbs
Mikey Garcia- 126 lbs
Orlando Salido- 126 lbs
Mickey Bey 130 lbs
Brandon Rios- 140 lbs
Mike Alvarado- 140 lbs
Jose Benavidez Jr.- 140-147 lbs
Timothy Bradley- 147 lbs

With the ongoing promotional barriers and feuds it is sad we will probably miss out on a lot of potentially great fights that can and would create new superstars as the current ones are slowly fading out due to age and inactivity (Manny Pacquiao, Floyd Mayweather, Sergio Martinez, Juan Manuel Marquez, etc.)

Can you imagine Mickey Bey going up against Gary Russell and then Adrien Broner. African Americans could get behind him.

Can you imagine Brandon Rios facing off against Danny Garcia and then going up to face Robert Guerrero at welterweight. It would make Manny a year older, Rios a possible chance to be a 3 division champ and many Mexican-American could get behind him. He never says no to a fight... he was willing to face Gamboa.

Can you imagine Jose Benavidez Jr. getting back at Frankie Gomez for the loss in the amateurs and then talking Garcia into a title fight. Both winnable fights for this kid who is truly the goods. He could finish the year off by facing Robert Guerrero and then he would be a two weight champion.

There are countless possibilities and match-ups you could create between these two stable of fighters. Get some catch weight fights and really make true super stars. Instead we're left with sometimes huge mismatches or fights the public is not demanding.

Your insight and boxing knowledge is very stellar. In a sport filled with egos and smack talkers you really know your stuff inside and out and it's always great to read your mailbags. You will not find me challenging you on anything anytime soon as I have to give props where respect is due. --Keymo, Portland, OR

Breadís Response: The 12 fights I would love to see in 2013 would beÖ..
1. Donaire vs Rigondeaux
2. Rios vs Mattysse
3. JM Marquez vs D. Garcia
4. Martinez vs Golovkin
5. Quillen vs Chavez Jr.
6. Ward vs Direll
7. Canelo vs Mayweather
8. Wilder vs Wlad Klichstko
9. Khan vs Pacquiao
10. Gamboa vs Broner
11. Garcia vs Salido
12. Glen Tapia vs Jermall Charlo

That was a great and insightful response to the Thomas Dulorme situation as alluded to by another reader in the last mailbag. I was super high on Dulorme & thought he was the goods. I even dare compare him to Felix "Tito" Trinidad but he sure doesnít recover from knockdowns like Tito. I knew that was a huge step up for him and he was rush a little too quick but when the fight was signed I really thought he could handle the Argentinian. When you look at his previous fights itís obvious the talent is there but he obviously still has a long way to go. Now to the real reason Iím writing in. Recently the great Ivan Calderon announced his retirement, yet aside from a Dan Rafael article I havenít seen or read much about it beside the generic copy/paste press release. Is a shame this little guy doesnít get the respect & recognition he deserve but I guess is really no surprise considering he didnít get any while he was dominating the 105-lbs division hardly ever dropping a single round. In hope of getting his props he moved up in weight class where he also became champion fighting guys much bigger than him. He dominated for many years in a division where age becomes a crucial factor a lot quicker than in the heavier divisions & the fact that he did this without having punching power is another sign of how insanely skillful this guy was. I can understand the casual fan that only get excited with KOs to over look this little phenom but so call real boxing fans should had been in awe with this little guy. The name of the sport is called boxing & when it comes to PURE BOXING, nobody can stand next to this guy & that includes Mayweather. Iím a huge fan of the way Mayweather moves inside that ring but if he can make it to the top of the P4P list with his style (which he should) then there was no excuse for the Ironboy not to be in there right next to him when he was dominating & outclassing everyone. Unlike Floyd, Calderon took on ALL comers in his weight-class & beyond. I know the mainstream media donít care much about the little guys but if you are a boxing writer you should know the sport well enough to recognize boxing talent regardless of their weight classes; (this is not directed toward you but to all the so call experts that have release P4P list throughout the years ignoring this little guy). Oscar de la Hoya & Shane Mosley where all consider pretty high on the P4P list at some point yet when they got in the ring with Ivan Calderon for a sparring session he toyed with both of them. The words out of Freddy Roach mouth to the Ring Magazine when Oscar sparred with Calderon while preparing for his fight with Mayweather were "Calderon slapped Oscar around like it was unbelievable". P4P is a mythical way to rate how a guys skills would fare against another guy if size wasnít an issue, well here we have a guy taking it beyond mythical & actually getting in the ring with much bigger guys rank much higher than him in the p4p list & taking them to school.. Yeah I know that was sparring & not an actual fight but the point is this little guy deserved to have been in the top p4p discussion as well during his peak. Aside from the All-Time-Great Ricardo ďFinitoĒ Lopez no one even comes close to dominating the smallest weight-class like Ivan Calderon did in the history of the sport & that should be recognized. What is your take on the Ironboy and do you believe he should have been in the P4P discussion right along with Floyd as far as talent & skills are concern?
On a separate note, since we are talking about unrecognized talent, recently there was a conversation in the mailbag about the best defensive fighters. I canít believe Wilfred Benitez wasnít even honorably mentioned. He wasnít called ďTHE RADARĒ for nothing. This is another guy that is hugely under appreciated. Do you think he should have been included in the best defensive fightersí conversation?-- v/r Edgar

Breadís Response: I am a huge fan of Ivan Calderon. I didnít mention him because no one wrote into me about him. I can only answer whatís written to me. No doubt heís a Hall of Famer and a great fighter. Could be the second best strawweight ever.

I think the reason why he didnít rise higher on the P4P list is because like most great fighters of lower weights, we appreciate their ability with the eyeball test but itís hard to assess their greatness because we donít know enough about their opponents. I mean if Ricardo Lopez was a welterweight he would be considered as good as Ray Leonard and Floyd Mayweather but unfortunately he wasnít so we donít know that aspect of him.

I know quite well of Calderonís exploits in the gym vs Oscar De La Hoya. All I can do is appreciate his greatness. I know that had to be pretty embarrassing for Oscar to be handled by a man that fights at 105lbs.

I want to speak on Calderonís heart. Some critics only associate heart with guys who come forward and take punches. Thatís a skewed view in my opinion. There are many ways to show heart. Being a bruiser wasnít Calderonís fight. But let me tell you he had as much heart as anybody recently. Fighting Segura that second time showed me all I need to know about whatís inside of him.

Guys like Calderon and Chris Byrd get underappreciated in the heart department. It takes a lot to go against bigger men consistently, knowing you are probably not going to stop them. Think about that for a second. Stand up Iron BoyÖ.


I know that you said you wouldn't speak on the Floyd vs 50 beef and I respect that but I wanted to ask a business question. Have Yuriorkis Gamboa, Andre Dirrell, and Billy Dibs really put themselves in a box? What I mean is 50 came out the door talking sideways to Golden Boy and Ellerbee. They are at the top of the food chain in the boxing game. This in my opinion has forced SMS to kiss Arums butt to eat. I'm not saying there are not other Promotional companies out there but lets be real Goldenboy and Top Rank is where its at and he has burned one bridge. Should his fighters start looking for a way out or do you think 50 can turn this thing around. Ellerbe made a lot of since when he said that it didn't make since for 50 to pay Arum as much as he did to get Gambo only to turn around and let Top Rank continue to make money off him.
I haven't seen the fight but by all accounts Bute did not look good in his last showing. Has he reached the pinnacle and is it all down hill from here? Is there anything he can do to beat Froch the second time around? Speaking of Froch do you see him having any problem with Mack?
Last thing Klit picked his sparing partner to be the main corner man for his next fight. I know its a comfortability thing but what does this say about Emanuel second hand man? Do you think its a good idea to let your sparing partner run your corner for a fight? I don't know Banks like that but do you have any in-site to his boxing knowledge? I know he has not been a world beater.

Breadís Response: I donít know if Dib, Gamboa and Direll put themselves in a bind just yet. But if those guys donít fight at least 3x next year and get a major platform to fight on then I consider that a bind. I also donít know if SMS burned its bridge with GB. Letís see if GB is willing to put any of their guys on their cards before we conclude that.

Bute is an interesting fighter. If he doesnít get himself together one will wonder if he was a protected overhyped fighter. Buteís performance against Froch was absolutely terrible. Think about this, most of the fights in the Super 6 went the distance. Froch didnít dominate one fighter in his last 8 fights besides Aurthur Abraham who went the distance. He gets in the ring with Bute and walks through him like he is a welterweight. Not a good look.

I think Bute may be damaged mentally after that fight. For him to go to the UK to fight Froch shows he had enormous confidence. To lose like that could be mind shattering. I donít know Bute well enough to say if heís done, but I will say this respectfully. I will never bet him on against an A level fighter.
I have received a few emails about Froch and Mack. Yusaf Mack trains in our gym and I consider him a boxing friend. I wonít comment either way on the fight. Sorry. I just try to give personal and professional respect in certain areas. I know you want my opinion butÖ..

I donít have a problem with Wlad picking Jonathan Banks as his chief second. Wlad is one of the most intelligent men in boxing. If he picked Banks he picked him for a reason. Banks must know his stuff. Just because heís not a world beater as a fighter doesnít mean he canít be a world beater as a trainer. Wlad said something interesting about Banks. He said that Banks can really call a fight and get a fighter through a fight.

Thatís really important. So many trainers can get you ready in a gym, but canít ďCALLĒ a fight. I know trainers that donít do much in the gym but they ďCALLĒ they hell out of fights and they get big % checks because of it. Everybody canít look at an opponent and make an adjustment that will work. Or have the ability to assess what will happen 3 or 4 rounds down later and ďcallĒ accordingly.

For Wlad to say that about Banks, Banks must have really impressed him. If heís good enough for Wlad heís good enough for me.

What's your take on the Miguel Cotto-Austin Trout fight? I think cotto should be able to beat trout with a educated jab and a vicious body attack similar to his fight with Carlos Quintana. You said in one of your mail bags you think a canelo/ rosado fight is 50/50? Can you elaborate further on that. I think Gabe needs a couple more fights(title fights against budrage and then against Kirkland or avenge his loss against Angola) passing those test would put Gabe in a helluva position mentally. Garcia/ Judah I think is a tougher fight then people think, I think Garcia does better with fighters who come to him and try and engage him which gives Danny chances to step back and counter. Now Judah has slowed down some but he has become more patient in his approach if he shoots the one two down the pipe ( judah is still fast)and steps off its going to force Danny to have to push the fight which I don't think is his game? Hopefully it happens
Breadís Response: Thanks bro. I like Cotto to beat Trout. Cottoís has an underrated jab that he shoots from the perfect angle. However, Cotto has really gotten away from his body attack. In 2007 I thought he was the best body puncher in boxing. I canít understand why he got away from it because Margarito, Pacquiao and Mayweather all tried to walk him down and had he went to their bodies more they may not have had the late round success they had. We shall see. He would do himself some justice if he went back to the body. Remember southpaws lead with their livers.

Canelo/Rosado is about a 50/50 fight. No more than 55/45 in Caneloís favor. Rosado is about 4 inches taller than Canelo and heís riding so high that he will be tough for anybody to beat. Heís also physically strong which will allow him to absorb Caneloís attack. Rosado also has another gear he can put it in and I think that will cause Canelo problems.

I am huge on Canelo and I think he beats Cotto and possibly Mayweather. Call me crazy I know I know. But Rosado is super hungry and I just think he will cause him problems. Caneloís biggest flaws in my opinion is his deliberate footwork and his late round fighting. I still think he hasnít figured out how to go 12 rounds smoothly yet, under the gun. Itís one thing to dominate a fight. Itís something different to have to go 12 rounds trying win every round of the fight under the gun. That takes a different type of stamina and focus.

Iím not saying Canelo doesnít have it but I am saying he hasnít had to do it yet. Rosado is a tremendous late round fighter and heís been under the gunÖÖ

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