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March 06, 2013

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

Breaking down Cloud-Hopkins

Whatís your take on the Tavoris Cloud vs. Bernard Hopkins fight this weekend? Is Bernard washed up yet and how good do you really think cloud is? I donít know why but Iím thinking the old guy pulls off a split decision Ė just a hunch though no substance. I also read that Gabriel Rosado could get a fight against alfredo Angulo! I think thatís a great and very winnable fight for him. How do you think Rosado would get on with Kirkland? That would be an amazing fight. All the best from the UK-- James

Breadís Response: This will be an interesting fight between Tavoris Cloud and Bernard Hopkins. I think Cloud has hit a plateau  over the last two years. Heís a pressure fighter and he is over 30. History shows thatís not a good mix. I didnít like what I saw in his fights against Yusaf Mack or Gabriel Campillo.

Maybe he put it all together in this training camp but who knows, I heard good reportsÖ.. Hopkins on the other hand looked his age against Chad Dawson. But Dawson is a long southpaw who seems immune to Hopkinsís mind games. I think a prime Hopkins would have plenty of problem with Dawson so that fight could be misleading. Hopkins was able to handle Pascal twice although he got a draw in the first fight.

Technically I think both guys play into each otherís hands. Hopkins can usually tame shorter guys who come to him. He usually tears them up and because of his height he can grope them and tie them up. But Iím not sure if he has handled the volume of Cloud. Cloud is rare because he is a volume power puncher. We donít see that in boxing too often. Cloud also has an underrated jab which he uses a lot.

I see Hopkins fighting a retreating type of fight. Trying to minimize the violence. I see Cloud pressing like an animal. I see Hopkins landing clean pot shots one at a time. And I see Cloud throwing more and possibly landing more but not landing as clean. So the rounds will be tough to score.

Hopkins knows how to make fights controversial. He understands how to make every fight close even if heís a little outgunned. Remember one of the judges had his 2nd fight with Dawson a draw. His fight with Calzaghe was a split decision. And his two fights with Jermaine Taylor were extremely close. Nobody seems to know how to beat Hopkins convincingly on the judgesí scorecards.

Hopkins has all of his old tricks but I have noticed his balance is not what it used to be. He falls over more than ever after he shoots his great lead right hand. Cloud who is NOT known as a technical fighter, has a brilliant move where he does the James Toney rock back after a right hand is thrown at him and he comes back with a right hand. Look for him to catch Hopkins with this move and shot.

All in all I expect a rough, close controversial fight and I would recommend some action on a draw. Thatís my official pick. Majority DRAW. Cloud retains the title.

For the record I give Hopkins lots of credit for his after 40 resume. Collectively it has been better than any other part of his career. Think about who has fought after 40. Jermaine Taylor twice, Antonio Tarver, Kelly Pavlik, Winky Wright, Joe Calzaghe, Jean Pascal twice and Chad Dawson twice. Man thatís serious fighting at an old age. That combined with the reports of Cloud having a great training camp I think we will be in for a another tough fight.

Why is everyone so ready for Adrien Broner to move up to 140? 135 aint 140 but if he can make weight then he should CLEAN the division out. Yes he took out the top dog in Antonio DeMarco but he still has unfinished business. Its Golden Boy's job to manufacture an opponent. I believe they were hoping Sharif Bogere would win to set up unification but I have a solution. Yuriorkis Gamboa says he wants Broner. Make a unification tournament. Gamboa-Richar Abril & Broner vs,. the Burns/Vazquez winner. The winners fight each other (hopefully Broner-Gamboa) which could possibly be PPV worthy. HBO definitely needs this considering the loss they just took. And if Broner wins then he should move up and fight Rios in what would be an entertaining slugfest that could also be a PPV bout. (Could u imagine the buildup?) On another note, this is the first time I have disagreed with u in a long time. Im talking about Mayweather-Guerrero. I got Floyd in a clear UD 8-4. The first four rounds will be competitive but ots a whitewash and bloodbath after he gets in his zone. But you know your shit, tell me what u see brother. And on a future note, I believe once Alexander beats Brook he will unify with Malignaggi, take his belt, and fight Floyd to keep the money with GBP and offer Floyd his first chance at undisputed champ. Thats a fight that intrigues me as Floyd doesnt like fast, young southpaws. What you think? And whats next for J-rock Williams? He is in a tough weightclass.
JJ from Pensacola, Fl. home of RJJ the GOAT
Breadís Response: I donít know why Adrien Broner would jump over 140 and go to 147 right now. I am not accusing Broner of this but talented lower weight fighters in recent years have been jumping divisions as a way to duck threats in their own divisions. The train of thought seems to be, if I can beat that guy at a higher weight then I would have beat you too. I donít buy that.

Unless an incredible type of fight is at the higher weight, where you can make life changing money I donít get it. Broner was probably the best guy at 130 although there was an undefeated Asian fighter that would argue that. I get he had to leave 130 because he outgrew the division. I also get that Ricky Burns priced himself out of the big fight at 135. But Richard Abril and now Burns again are viable opponents, so is Yuri Gamboa. I would like to see Broner beat at least 2 of those 3 guys before he leaves 135.

And jumping over 140 is unlegacy like if thatís a word. Junior welterweight is simply stacked. Danny Garcia, Amir Khan, Lamont Peterson and Lucas Matthysse may want to danceÖ.. We shall see.

You are not disagreeing with me. I think Floyd will win the fight. But I said a spin will be put on the fight and they will fight a rematch. See you may forget your history but I remember certain things. Floydís fight with Oscar was made out to be very close. They were going to fight a rematch but Floyd didnít like the money and he retired. Floyd was also angling for a rematch with Ricky Hatton, possibly in England but that fell through. That fight didnít warrant a rematch butÖ..

Then in Floydís fight with Cotto I felt that fight was made out to be closer than it was and there were talks of a rematch. My guts tell me Guerreroís effort will be ďembracedĒ by the powers that be and we will see two fights between him and Floyd. You have to understand if Floyd destroys Guerrero everyone will call for him and Canelo to fight in September and I just donít see that fight happening. At the top level in boxing two fights can occupy you for over a year.
Yes Julian is in a stacked division. There is a ridiculous amount of talented kids at 154lbs. He will probably have to take an undefeated kidís 0 in his next fight and we are preparing in a Kill or Be Killed manner. He knows his future is on the line and he understands what he has to do.

Would you agree, two words could sum up Evgeny Gradovich's victory over Billy Dib last Friday, desire & determination? To me, Dibb looked the better skilled boxer in the early part of this bout although as time went on, Gradovich's skill level became better as did his tenacity.

Also, would you agree, if you were Robert Guerrero's trainer or manager, two keys of focus for the upcoming Floyd bout to ensure a Ghost victory, emphasize better defense and persistent conviction to power punching? I believe, if Guerrero apply's his typical pressure with these 2 key points improved, he wins, possibly by TKO. I envision The Ghost backing Floyd up early and often/ throughout the bout while withstanding Floyd's punches while The Ghost throwing harder, more precise and damaging punches than Cotto did in his bout with Floyd.
Thanks again for your insightful follow up-
Breadís Response: Yes Gradovich did a great job. But letís be fair. Billy Dib was getting ink because of who is associated with. Mayweather and now 50 cents. The guy is just a pretty good fighter at best. Maybe those Australian TV rights produce some serious money because I know a kid in our gym Eric Hunter 17-2 that would knock Billy Dib out if he was in shape. Seriously, Dibís talent didnít match the hype.

As for Guerrero thatís tough because Iím not sure what his dad can and will change as far as his defense. Iím not saying his dad is a bad trainer because I donít know anything about their training methods. I just know Guerrero has been around forever and he has never been a defensive guy. I assume his increased volume of punches and smothering tactics will be his defense. Letís see if Iím wrong.

I was surprised at Guerreroís power vs Berto. He really beat Berto up. His physical strength was also shocking to me in that fight. I remember he was knocked down by a jab by an old Joel Casamayor. So to see him against Berto was peculiar.

I would be curious to see who is actually physically stronger. Because I think Floyd Mayweather is extremely strong. I think his physical strength is underrated. I think where Floyd separates himself is his punch delivery. Floyd punches correctly from the shoulders. Guerrero punches loose and gangly and you can see everything he is about to do. I think Floyd will be able to punch in between Guerreroís volleys. But I am expecting a really good fight. So if Guerrero has to change something I would say his punch delivery. He needs to work on punching, short compact and precise.


Hi Bread,
I had to chime in on peopleís opinion that smoking weed is not a big deal and should not be part of banned substances.(PEDís)
I disagree with this assessment, and here is my reasoning.
Marijuanaís effect is one that calms one down, relaxes them, helps one manage stress.
Well arenít those symptoms a big part of the sport?
If it helps one with their stress\tension, isnít this a big advantage going into a fight?
It may help conserve oneís energy vs. an opponent who must manage this the natural way.
It may help one sleep better, resulting in thinking better vs. an opponent who is nervous about the fight and canít sleep, has a knotted up stomach.

Believe me, I donít think it is a PED in the sense it makes one physically stronger and perform at a higher level physically, but if it helps one deal with the stress\anxiety of a fight, isnít this an unfair advantage?
Just look a Chavezí recent comments that he used it because he was under a lot of stress prior to the fight.
If it helps an olympian prior to an event, is this fair?

Anyways just wanted to get your opinion on the matter.

Have a good one,

Breadís Response: I am humbled. I changed my view on marijuana. You are correct. No argument from me. Thank you. Marijuana can be a performance enhancer.


How many guys from the last two US Olympic teams have become champions or at least fought for championships? Do you think being an Olympian is overrated these days?
Breadís  Response: I wouldnít say overrated because you really have to be able to fight in order to win a national tournament here in America. But with the BS politics and terrible scoring you donít always get the best fighters WE have to offer.

I actually posted this questions on my twitter anad facebook and I got some interesting responses. My biggest problem with the scenario is promoters like to say ďwell your fighter is not an OlympianĒ. Well going by the success rate it doesnít mean much anymore. I think itís used as a crutch to play favoritism for certain fighters. Period.
I wonít count 2012ís team, but from 04 and 08 we have only one champion and thatís Andre Ward.  And only Andre Direll and Vincente Escobedo have fought for titles. So the next time a promoter brings this up to you, you have some solid facts that discredit his claims.

The 2008 Olympic team really stands out to me. Guys like Andrien Broner and Danny Garcia have surpassed everyone on that team as far as accomplishments. Already winning multiple titles yet guys like Sadam Ali and Gary Russell are still not ready for title shots. I give Demetrius Andrade a slight break because he fights in a tougher division where you need more seasoning. But Shawn Estrada and Javier Molina are still in prospect status for crying out loud. Deontay Wilder who I think is very good still doesnít headline his own shows and he is 27-0. In contrast Riddick Bowe who we call an underachiever was ready to fight Evander Holyfield by now. Itís just interesting to me how long it has taken the 2008 class to develop and other blue chip prospects have passed them by who havenít been treated as cozy.


Bread what do you think of Gary Russell? I think heís the goods but itís too hard for me to tell because he continuously fights no hopers.
Breadís Response: Itís hard for me to tell also. I assume that Gary Russellís braintrust donít think heís ready for certain types of fights. Everyone moves at their own speed but this is obvious to me. Heís coming into his 5th year as a pro and heís in a division where you can move quicker because the bottom is light. Actions speak louder than words.

Russell is with Golden Boy and Al Haymon, if he wanted the Mares/Ponce De Leon winner he could get him. I hear him calling out Juan Ma Lopez but Lopez is with Top Rank so we know we wonít get that fight. Featherweight is hot right now and there are some good fights out there for Russell if he wanted them.

I think heís supremely talented. I think he will be a future world champion. I just think heís taking his time. I have a theory about bringing a fighter along. If you go too fast you ruin his confidence because even if he wins he will struggle too much (Jaidon Condrington and David Reid). If you go too slow you will give him a false sense of confidence and he will think heís better than he really is and he wonít be able to overcome adversity. I also think your talent will become stale if you donít cultivate it. (Andre Berto)

This year I would like to see Russell fight guys like Billy Dib, Javier Fortuna, Ronny Rios or Jhonny Gonzales. One last thing I donít think Russell realizes how good he really is. After he beats one of those guys I named his confidence will take off.


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