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April 29, 2013

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

Bread you have picked 4 fights in a row correctly. Saul "Canelo" Alvarez over Austin Trout, Danny Garcia over Zab Judah, Peter Quillen over Fernando Guerrero and Amir Khan over Julio Diaz. Iím only writing in because I didnít like how the haters on your youtube page came at you about your prediction in Guillermo Rigondeaux vs. Nonito Donaire. You put a lot of money in my pocket and I for one appreciate you. Next week give me your thoughts on Abner Mares vs Daniel Ponce De leon and JJ'Leon Love vs Gabriel Rosado? I know you have Floyd Mayweather over Robert Guerrero, but you havenít said how.

Breadís Response: Thanks bro I appreciate you also. Let the haterz hate, I honestly donít mind. The negative energy that fuels them is a toxic that pollutes their being.

As for my picks: Mares over Ponce De Leon. The volume guy actually has a hard time vs. the puncher the majority of the time (see Bob Foster vs Dick Tiger). Remember the game rock paper scissors?  But in this case I will pick volume because the volume guy has a good chin and is quicker. I like Mares to just swarm Ponce De Leon and outwork him. Mares really impressed me against Anselmo Moreno.

Rosado vs Love is a tough fight for me to pick. I watched Loveís fight with Derrick Finley and I think the judges were way off. I believe Love won but not by that big of a margin. Love is the A side to this fight and Rosado may have a tough time getting a fair shake. Hear me out. Rosado has a bunch of losses already and the ďsystemĒ has a way of putting things in perspective. I think Rosado can afford another loss, especially at 160. He can be recycled at 154. If the up-and-coming Love loses itís just different.

I see a competitive fight where there will be plenty of swing rounds. Rosado will get out boxed in some spots but Love will get out fought in others. Because of the close competitiveness of the action, one wonít be able to argue the winner of rounds. That scares me. So my only play on this fight will be a decision but I wonít pick a winner. I am not a conspiracy theorist but I do use a practical and logical approach to my picks. How many times have we seen the young upstart get pushed in an even fight, but then get the benefit of the doubt against a guy who could afford more losses? Examples:  Adrien Broner vs Ponce De Leon and Fernando Guerrero vs Ishe Smith. No pick in this one for me.

In the Mayweather vs Guerrero fight we have another volume guy vs a boxer. Rock, paper, scissors suggests taking the volume guy, Guerrero, to win. (See Sandy Saddler vs. Willie Pep). I am going against conventional wisdom again and taking the boxer. I believe Floyd is actually the better inside fighter and has equal or better stamina. He wonít ďgiveĒ like Andre Berto did. Guerrero is a solid guy but he attacks with his legs too straight up making himself a huge target. Guerrero is very good once he gets inside but he gives up too much on his way in. Floydís nasty uppercut will be a big factor while Guerrero throws some gangly looping punches. I think Guerreroís workrate and the Mexican crowd will make it exciting but I think Floyd will land the more effective punches. The fight will be similar to James Toney vs Vasilli Jirov but not quite as closeÖ..

I guess I just have to admit it. I saw so much potential in him, but after the Grady Brewer fight I knew that Fernando Guerrero would have problems with the elite... What do you think of Amir Khan? Either styles make fights or Amir just had way more work than he should have had against Julio Diaz. After seeing Diaz stopped by Kendall Holt (excellent puncher) and Juan Diaz, I thought Khan would make easy work against him. I think Golden Boy will be making a mistake if they put him in with Lucas Matthysse or Danny Garcia unless they're cashing out on him. Zab Judah really did his thing last night, even though he lost to Danny Garcia... I felt that he proved a lot to himself!
Breadís Response: Guerrero is a solid B- level type but he hasnít shown the chin or resolve at the top level. Heís an example of a guy who had a tremendous amateur background but he may have topped out too early. Middleweight is extremely top heavy and I think he will have a tough time breaking through and getting a title.

Let me give Peter Quillen some props for making Guerrero look like he did. Quillen seems to be a serious puncher. He hurts and knocks everybody down. He has leverage on every punch in the book. He also has good eyes although heís not a defensive specialist. What I mean by that is Quillen seems to SEE every punch that is coming at him regardless if it lands or not. When you can see the punches they wonít hurt you as bad and you can counter them easier. Quillen is also very similar to Danny Garcia where he can hit you while you are punching at him. It makes it very difficult to attack a man like that although itís not difficult to get to him, if you feel what Iím saying . In my opinion Quillen would give Golovkin a real fight because of this quality. Iím not saying he could beat him but it would be a good fight.

Amir Khan is a really good fighter and I nice kid. He just has low punch resistance. Itís just that simple. Iím also very impressed with Julio Diazís late career turn around. He has now fought Shawn Porter and Amir Khan to almost dead even fights back to back. Porterís performance does not look so bad now. Diaz is impressive considering that he looked to be done at lightweight and a few years back Kendall Holt brutally knocked him out in 2011. Very impressive.

We have been spoiled in the last few weeks with some good solid fights.  This weekend was another good one,  Sergio Martinez finally looked his age.  Knowing that he always comes in shape is a good sign that he has slowed down considerably.  Maybe the effort against Juli Cesar Chavez, Jr. was the last bit of his prime.  He is definitely on the down side I the slope.  Still a pretty good win against a guy, Martin Murray, who somehow didn't feel the urgency to press the action when fighting in Argentina... Maybe the corner is to blame?? Mainly, I want to talk about Zab Judah and Amir Khan.  Judah proved us wrong.  I say us because I agreed with you on the prediction that Judah wouldn't allow Garcia to KO him by getting disqualified instead.  I reckon he thought about it seriously after the knockdown but somehow, he didn't fold.  It is the first time as far as I know that Judah is able to not only survive but turn the table around.  I was pleased and impressed by the toughness of Judah.  Best performance I have seen from him in a long long time.  Now, I know you are a fan of trainer Virgil Hunter and personally I think he is a great coach.  But I wrote this to you in the past and I write it to you again.  Coaches are as good as their fighters.  What I mean is as a coach you can make a few changes, you can draw a plan, you can change the set of beliefs or psychology of your fighter but when you fighters has a monumental weakness which is a must have in boxing, there is not much a coach can do about it.  If you can't crack an egg with your punches, if genetically you have very poor cardio, if you are between two weight divisions, can't make weight in lower but too small for next division (Miguel Cotto) or like Khan, if you have no capacity to absorb punishment, there is not much you can do.  Sooner or later, the fighter get found out.  The way Hunter talked after the fight is like he wished he had Khan at 10yo.  So much worktodo as he says...He isn't gonna change that much from now on.  His chin doesn't allow him to make any mistakes and he still makes many.  Hunter is as good as Ward makes him look.  Roach looked really good with Pacman but not so good with the talented Linares and Khan. Roach lost the job with Khan because apparently Roach didn't teach him enough defense and he wasn't completely devoted to Khan.  I didn't see that much of an improvement with Hunter.  Maybe more calculated but that's about it.  My point is coaches shouldn't be too praised when their fighters win and not blamed when they lose.  They are right in the middle.  I have a prediction here.  I think Khan may have less than 5 fights left in his career.  Great weekend of boxing and congrats for the good win last weekend.
--Mike Lafleur

Breadís Response: Whatís up Mike? Martinez may have spilled his prime out against Chavez. He looked super sluggish against Murray. I donít know if heís old overnight or just an off-night. The injuries, the high maintenance style and the ageÖÖ.. I think Martinezís people have to be very careful from here on out but I donít want to jump the gun on one performance.

I was very impressed with Judahís resolve. My reasoning behind Judah doing something crazy and getting himself DQ was his pride. I thought that pride would keep him from getting kod in front of his Brooklyn folks, his kids, his parents and his wife. The same pride made him stand up like a champion and push on and really test Garcia. I have never been so proud of Zab after a fight. I wish he would have acted like that his entire career.

You have an interesting point. Let me be clear in my response. First off I agree with you. Khanís chin is just a monumental weakness. Hunter who is an excellent defensive coach can hide it somewhat and put in defensive techniques to prevent Khan from getting hit so clean but itís a huge Achilles heel. Every fighter gets hit some point in a fight.

However with me being a coach I will say a coach is not just as good as his fighter. In some instances a coach can guide a fighter to new places if the promoters allow the coach to have time to improve the fighter. That being said I donít think it applies in this case. Khan is a big money fighter and they are not going to keep giving him showcase fights. Especially at 140 where Golden Boy pretty much made him the top seed in their unofficial tournament.

Here is something else I find interesting. Terry Norris also had low punch resistance. But during his prime he didnít quell his offense. Norris sort of got to you before you got to him. Now, Freddie Roach had Amir Khan getting his hands off so much Khan inflicted lots of punishment on his opponents and that kept him from getting hit so much because he was doing the hitting, that is until the Maidana and Garcia fights. Virgil Hunter has him more calculated and less reckless but we have the same results. Iím interested to see how Hunter will guide him from here on out. It wonít be an easy job but Iím sure Hunter is up to it.

I was looking at your comments about Saul "Canelo" Alvarez and his stamina issues and i actually believe there were signs of those issues in his fight against Kermit Cintron. To me he looked very winded when the fight ended in the 5th considering he completely dominated an overmatched opponent. I agree,that Floyd would have a tough time staying in the pocket like he did against Cotto and would most likely have to expend more energy on movement than he likes. That being said do you see Mayweather fighting a defensive fight early in hopes of taking Canelo into deep water and drowning him late? You made a sprinter vs. distance runner analogy between Berto and Guerrero respectively and the distance runner won in that case. Any correlation?
Much respect and continued success--William in west palm

Breadís Response: Good comment and yes , yes , yes. The reason why Floyd and Canelo would be such an intriguing fight is because Floyd would have to use more energy than he has used since 2009 against Marquez.

He sort of boxes from the box now. That sort of plays into Caneloís wheel house because fighters who fight in the box, they usually block punches. Follow meÖ. Canelo punches in rapid combinations so blocking his punches is difficult because heís punching to the head and body with 4 or more shots. Itís more effective in my opinion to make a guy like him completely miss and use your legs often and reset him. Did you notice how low his punch output was against Trout? It was because he wasnít staying set for long periods. Canelo is very similar to Diego Corrales in that aspect.
The problem for Floyd would be can he fight that kind of fight at this point in his careerÖ..

What up Bread,
As is always the case you are doing a wonderful job here on the site and I just hope that you keep it up!
Just got a few questions on the brain this afternoon that I wanted to shoot past you: 1) I know that you have touched on this before but why, in your opinion, do you think that the boxing media in general are such HUGE haters? And by that I mean, it seems like no matter what fighters do outside of beheading your opponent (in the first three rounds) they will find something to wildly negative to say. I saw on now that canelo won, less than 7 full days ago, they are talking about is Floyd old news! Wow. It has amazed me for some years now how flakey the fans can be, but in general those are ďcasual fansĒ but the experts bias is just as venomous as any jilted ex-girlfriend; also, is it me just not knowing any better but on espn, yahoo and a few other rather large platforms they seem to have ďanalystsĒ doing the boxing stories who come off as though they just started watching boxing four months ago, whatís that about?! 2) how do you think the paulie/adrien fight will go? It seems like the trash talk is going up a notch so I figure by fight night what started as a little jaw jacking will be full-fledged bad blood 3) lastly, I was born and raised in Cleveland, oh and currently write for a local paper, with fighters like Shawn Porter, Mickey amongst others Bey making the noise that they are it forced me to look at the state and I started really realizing that Ohio has produced some great fighters, are there any up and coming fighters, trainers and/or gyms that you think deserve honorable mention or a story being done on them? Thanks for the timeÖ
Keeping that brain with all that boxing IQ hitting on all cylinders and keep polishing up these fighters to provide the great fights of tomorrow!
Breadís Response: I donít know why the media is like that. But the members of the media who are like that donít realize that they lose credibility with their flakey off base opinions. I am going to be honest there are only a few guys that I even bother to talk to. Most of them I just humbly stay away from because they are over critical or just out right bias and I canít take it. I got into a few arguments in the past and I just wonít do it again so I distance myself. I suggest you do the same and just donít read them anymore. That way they become less and less relevant.

As for the bigger social media entities they have no idea who to hire. A guy like Cliff Rold should be on ESPN. Heís the number 1 historian in the world in my opinion. He also has the best criterion for list making but you guys have probably never heard of him. Itís sad to hear some of the comments made by these media members. One would assume if they have the BIG job, they are the most credible or knowledgeable but thatís not even close to the case.

I really like Paulie. He used to irritate me somewhat with his attacks on Manny Pacquaio but other than that he has grown on me through the years. Great guy and he knows his identity. But I think he will be up against it vs Broner. Paulie looks good for his age but we seem to forget he has been around forever. Paulie likes the ladies and he has had some tough fights. That plays a factor at his stage.

Iím not sure if Paulie could beat Broner in his prime, but at this point it will be a tough fight. Although Paulie has fought some tough dudes, he hasnít faced any top Black American fighters. Think about that. Edner Cherry and Lovemore Ndou are not Americans. Paulie has rhythm like a black dude so he can outbox lots of guys.

But he has never fought the Lamont Petersonís, Zab Judahs, Floyd Mayweatherís, Shane Mosley types. I am not saying he ducked them. Paulie is a gun, he will fight anybody. But stylistically itís not good to put a light punching boxer, with more powerful athletic fighters who fight like him.

Think about that for a second. Unfortunately for Paulie, Broner is of that ilk. I expect Paulie to fight his ass off and give it his all. But unless Bronerís partying catches up to him on June 22, then it will be a rough night for Paulie. Iím taking Broner in this one.

Ohio does have some good fighters. I know Shawn Porter and Mickey Bey personally. They are both outstanding fighters. You also have Willie Nelson who is red hot and on the verge of a title shot. Chris Pearson who just signed with Mayweather Promotions and kid named Robert Easter who is a 6ft lightweight. He looks like the real deal but itís early.

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