Daily Bread Mailbag: Canelo, Lomachenko-Davis, Ryan Garcia

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By Stephen “Breadman” Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as mythical matches with Terry Norris, Jermall Charlo vs. Matt Korobov, Saul “Canelo” Alvarez, Ryan Garcia, Gervonta Davis vs. Lomachenko, and more.

Hi Bread,

Keeping it short and simple this time – (1) Norris vs Whittaker (2) Norris vs Benitez (3) Norris vs Hearns (4) Norris vs Mccallum (5) Norris vs Mayweather (6) Norris vs Duran. All of them at 154 lbs.

Eddie Futch vs Emmanuel Steward – Who is the better coach according to you along with the reasoning.

Regards,
Saurabh Kumar

Bread’s Response: 1) Norris vs Whitaker. Norris would have been too big and too fast for Whitaker in my opinion. Whitaker was better in a P4P sense but not in a head to head sense.

2)Norris vs Benitez this is a tough one for me. Twist my arm I say Benitez stops him late. I think Benitez is the better fighter, and his underrated punching ability would surface late.

3) Norris vs Hearns, Norris’s best bet would be to blitz Hearns but I don’t think he had the chin for that. Hearns by early ko.

4) Norris vs McCallum is a horrible style match up Norris. McCallum by late and brutal stoppage. McCallum had too much chin, character, stamina, skill and punch for Norris.

5) Norris vs Mayweather is a tough fight for Floyd at 154. I think Floyd’s max is 154 and he struggled a little there in his 3 fights. Oscar was close. Cotto was close. He rolled vs Canelo in the 2nd half but early Canelo was with him. Norris loved jumping on smaller boxers without a big punch. Again I think Floyd is better P4P but in a head to head match up I would take Norris. If you couldn’t hurt Norris and was smaller than him he was awfully hard to outbox. In fact I’ve never seen Norris outboxed and his hand speed and legs are comparable to Floyd’s. Good fight!

6) Norris vs Duran is tough because Duran is smaller like Whitaker and Floyd but he fought at higher weights than them and he was a better puncher. Duran on a HOT day could stop Norris. The Duran that beat Davey Moore, would stop Norris. Duran could fight that in the box, violent counter punching style that Simon Brown did in the middle of Norris’s prime. I would take Duran by mid rounds tko.

Steward and Futch are regarded by most as #1 and #2. I don’t like to say what coach is better if I don’t know and here is why. If you aren’t in the gym with them everyday and see what they have to overcome with the fighters they have, it’s too hard to tell.

If we go by whoever produced the best fighter then that is the best trainer then that is a flawed determination. Simply because whoever trained the top 10 best fighters ever would be the top 10 best trainers ever and we know it doesn’t work that way.

I think who the best trainer is should be based on a few things. Who produced the better fighters overall? Not a one shot scenario where you can just be blessed by god to have a unique talent. Also who has done the most with the talent they inherited? Who has overcame the most vs quality opposition. It’s one thing to win fights while your fighter is a 20 to 1 favorite. But it’s different to win them as a 20 to 1 underdog. Who has improved fighters the most? For example look at Steward’s work with Wladimir and Lennox. It was phenomenal.

If we go by all of those things it’s really hard to tell. Both were special trainers and special minds. Both developed some guys, both took over and improved already made guys. Both won some big fights as underdogs. Both were consistent at the top level.

I was able to talk to Manny Steward and it was so enlightening. He was regarded as the best trainer of my generation and I was able to pick his brain. He was humble and but very transparent with me. I was never able to talk to Mr. Futch because he comes from a prior generation. I just can’t say who was better. I couldn’t disrespect either by making a pick because honestly I don’t know enough. It’s not all about wins and losses, often times it’s about did you get the most out of your fighter on that particular night. Sometimes a guy is just not good enough to win. But getting the most out of your guy consistently counts for something.

What are your picks for this weekend? Does Matt Korobov have a chance or will he get smoked like you said Willie Monroe would? I think Tony Harrison is a live underdog?

Bread’s Response: Korobov was a stud amateur but something is not right with his development. I can’t put my finger on it but he just has not developed on course as a pro. Korobov was thought of as highly as GGG was but he hasn’t turned out to be nearly as good as a pro.

I have observed two things about him I don’t like. One is he can punch, he hasn’t been matched tough and he’s always going the distance with guys that other top guys stop. Two is his stamina is extremely poor.

I think stylistically he’s a better match up than Willie Monroe but I think he will suffer the same fate. Look for Charlo to stop him within 3 or 4 rounds. His best bet is to try to clip Charlo early because he fades too bad to do anything late. Charlo is going to light Korobov up and look great doing it. This could end earlier than I predicted if the stage is too big for Korobov.

Tony Harrison does have a shot. I think this fight is 60/40 in Charlo’s favor. Harrison is from Detroit. Fighters who are brought up in urban fight cities have sauce to their games. I believe Harrison can box better than Charlo.

But I also believe Charlo has better fundamentals than Harrison. I think this is where the fight will be decided. Charlo keeps his hands UP, elbows tucked in, feet up under him and his punches are more compact than Harrison’s. Errol Spence and Charlo have the same coach and if you watch closely Spence is a master of staying in punching position. Charlo is not quite as good as Spence in that department but he’s better than Harrison is. If they get into violent exchanges, you have to go with the fighter who has better balance and punch technique.

While Harrison may be the superior boxer and I expect him to win his share of rounds. It’s hard for me to pick him. Harrison has never showed the leg strength to keep someone like Charlo in the center of the ring. He hasn’t shown the leg stamina to move all night on the outskirts of the ring. Harrison seems to relax up against the ropes and he showed a nice shoulder roll vs Ishe Smith. But Charlo is a better puncher than Smith and I expect Charlo’s coach to tell him to throw looping shots at Harrison’s temples if Harrison goes to the ropes.

I think the Charlo vs Harrison fight will be fight of the night. I look for Harrison to visibly hurt or drop Charlo. But I think somewhere midway through, Harrison will lose his form. His body will look flowy and his legs will spread far apart. At that point Charlo the more fundamentally sound fighter will start catching him and forcing him to the corner or ropes.

I do wonder what style Harrison will fight. Charlo is viewed as the puncher in this fight. But if you look at their records, Harrison has way more knockouts in less fights. Charlo only has 15 stops in 31 wins. But in my opinion the puncher in every fight is the fighter who takes his opponent’s punches better. Charlo has shown a better chin thus far than Harrison. That being said just because the public views Charlo as the puncher in this fight, doesn’t mean Harrison has to view him that way. I am curious to see if Harrison will box him like John Jackson did or will he step to him like Vanes Martyrosan did. Charlo had trouble in both of those fights. I pick Charlo but I think this will be an excellent highly competitive fight for as long as it last.

I remember you saying that only Hearns and Leonard have won titles at 154, 160 and 168. In light of Canelo’s title win or Saturday do you put him their category? Now that Canelo has his showcase fight out of the way who do you think he will fight next.

Bread’s Response: Yes the trifecta of 154-160-168 is not an easy one. Two special fighters are the only ones in history to do it.

Before I get into more I want to say that the critics need to chill out with the Canelo needs to fight someone better crap. I have been as hard on Canelo as anyone, and I still feel he cheated. But objectively his level of competition should never be questioned. He’s fought a Manny Pacquiao, Oscar de La Hoya level of comp. Like him or loathe him but the dude rumbles.

I feel as though he’s going to fight Danny Jacobs. Jacobs is with Eddie Hearn so the fight is easier to make. Jacobs has fought on the BIG stage vs GGG. And as good as Jacobs is, and he’s really good. But Jacobs has not been dominant vs his best opponents. 

It’s a risky fight but my gut tells me Canelo goes after Jacobs. It’s a true 50/50 battle with Canelo having the slight edge because he still seems to be improving which is amazing. I think Canelo has improved more than most top guys of this era once they reached a certain level because he test himself more. Canelo has consistently taken fights he didn’t have to take vs various styles and now at 28 in his prime years he has 2 draws , a loss and some controversial wins, by my goodness he’s SEASONED like southern fried chicken. Great match up if he fights Jacobs.

I don’t have a problem with a fighter winning a title from an outmatched opponent. Rocky Fielding was just not on the level. The problem I have is he’s the REGULAR Champion. I still don’t fully understand what that is. I don’t have a problem with a fighter winning a vacant belt. If the champion vacates, the spot deserves to be filled. But these regular titles I don’t understand. If Fielding was the WBA champion, then the win is legit for the trifecta. But I just don’t understand what a Regular Champion means when we know Callum Smith is the Champion of the WBA. I don’t want to discredit Canelo’s accomplishment but it’s just a bizarre scenario. It’s much different from a vacant title.

davis-lomachenko_1

The internet seems to be clamoring for Gervonta Davis vs Vasyl Lomachenko. What do you think of the match up?

Bread’s Response: I love the match up. I think Davis has a shot. My question is can he concentrate and adjust in the 2nd half of the fight. We know he has the physical ability but we need to find out if he has the Boxing IQ.

If he does Loma could lose. If I’m Loma I go after Davis right now! I would even offer to move back down to 130lbs to fight him. The more they wait the more it favors Davis. I think we could have a Canelo vs GGG situation if they wait past 2019.

Stylistically I think it would be a war. Loma boxes going forward and in your face. He won’t have to worry about a 5’9 mover with range like he did vs Linares and Pedraza. Davis is short with short arms but he’s hella explosive. Davis likes you in front of him also. They both have nasty mid range and short games. Davis is the better puncher for one shot, but Loma runs of combinations better, he has the better jab and better footwork. I don’t know who is physically stronger but I suspect Loma. I also don’t know who has the better chin I have to see them hit each other. I think it’s a tremendous BIG little man fight.

Hi Bread,

Mailbag is a treat!

 If Canelo stays @ 168 he may run into a big Callum Smith or David Benavidez. If he goes back to 160 he has a GGG trilogy, Charlo or Jacobs waiting. That is some tough competition. I think he takes GGG if DAZN can make it happen. Even if a few 154 fighters move up he has some serious sharks circling. Your thoughts please?

Thank you,

Luke

Bread’s Response: I think Canelo will fight them all if they are viable when the time is right. Canelo can only fight one person at a time. And he will only fight two or three times a year tops. So while he’s fighting the other guys have to make themselves viable. They can’t just sit around and wait. The key to getting a BIG fight, is winning a fight that makes the public believe you deserve the BIG one.

Canelo’s potential opponents should start targeting each other. If they do that they eliminate the competition for the big fight.

What do you make of Willie Monroe’s failed PED test? Do you think he should be allowed to fight? VADA is using the term adverse findings. Do you know what that is? Why did they wait so long to announce it, from my understanding he was tested about 6 weeks ago. And do you view a missed test the same as a failed test?

Bread’s Response: I have always felt if you are tested during camp and something is found in your system that is deemed a PED then you shouldn’t be allowed to fight no matter what the excuse is.

I don’t know when Monroe was tested but if it was 6 weeks ago then I would assume that was enough time to do an investigation and find out what really happened. But again I don’t know when he was tested.

From my knowledge adverse finding means they detected testosterone in his system. You have testosterone obviously but adverse means it was synthetic or artificial meaning it wasn’t naturally produced by his body.

I don’t know what Monroe’s excuse is and I don’t know what he claims he took. But as a whole fighters have to be very careful and keep it simple. You don’t have to try suspect supplements to boost your testosterone. You can boost it by taking vitamin D, getting more sleep and taking more ZINC. That is a proven fact. It also helps if you don’t cut so much weight. The problem is fighters want faster results than what these natural things will give them…….Monroe made a mistake that could cost him his boxing career. He’s not CANELO!

If your testosterone is too low for whatever reasons, you can apply for a TUE with VADA. Rules are in place for a reason. If Monroe didn’t apply for a TUE then he can’t take it upon himself to boost his testosterone with suspect supplements. It doesn’t work that way.

FAILING a test is DIFFERENT from MISSING a test. The Clean Testing Program does not test often. So no one sitting home waiting for them to knock on the door never leaving the house. So it’s reasonable to not be immediately available.

But and this is a big BUT. VADA is flexible. They will call you if they can’t make immediate contact. They will even call a fighter’s designated contact person. I know this for a fact. I know a fighter who was not at his regular gym when VADA came and they simply called his trainer and got in contact with him and tested him about an hour later. It was no big deal.

So I assume fighters move around, go on vacation, train in different spots etc. But there should be some type of contact with the fighter as far as a phone call or email or team member etc. If a fighter misses a test he should be able to make up for it in a reasonable period of time and verify his whereabouts.

Hi Stephen,

First off, I want to thank you for putting in a weekly effort to enrich the lot of us by your terrific insight and knowledge of the sweet science.

What are the best decisions made by a trainer to step in to look out for his fighter’s health and stop the fight? One recent example I could think of myself was Louie Burke stopping the Trout – Hurd fight at the end of the 10th round in order to prevent Trout from getting hurt further by Hurd.

Conversely, what are most blatant instances when a trainer didn’t step in to save his fighter, despite it being clear the latter would need a hail-mary punch to win the fight? Do you think this grew historically? I recall watching Dempsey clobbering Willard all over the ring. It was clear by the 2nd or 3rd knockdown that Willard wouldn’t recover and the final 30 seconds of that 1st round should have any man with his head screwed on right fearing for Willard’s long-term health. Would any current trainer not throw in the towel under similar circumstances (assuming the ref doesn’t step in)?

Keep up the good work,

All the best,

Christian

Bread’s Response: I hate 2nd guessing trainers because they know their fighter’s better than us.

I do think Trout’s trainer did a good job of stopping the fight vs Jarrett Hurd. He must’ve saw something because Trout could have still won on the scorecards but he pulled the plug after 10. The evidence that he did a good job showed in Trout’s performance after that vs Jermell Charlo. Trout not only went the distance but he did quite well and won his share of rounds.

Eddie Futch said Joe Frazier couldn’t see in his last fight with Ali. Man that took a lot to stop that fight. Frazier and Ali were fighting for all the marbles and Frazier wanted that win badly. Futch stopped it. He didn’t let his pride take over.

A fight that I think went on too long was the Roberto Duran vs Davey Moore fight. That was bothersome to see Moore take that beating. That was way too much.

Conversely I want to give Joe Goosen some credit. He let Diego Corrales keep going despite being dropped twice late. If Goosen would have been too squeamish we would have been deprived of the greatest ending ever vs Jose Luis Castillo.

A trainer’s job is very tough and the right call is only determined by the final outcome which is never fair to the trainer.

Dempsey vs Willard was long ago. Boxing was a much more savage sport back then. But there are many variables to stopping a fight. Some fighters are more resilient than others. Some fighters can function while hurt. Some can’t. A trainer may let one of his guys go longer than the other. It’s a tough call to stop a fight before the referee does because you always want to give your guy his best chance to win.

Bread,

I was just looking at all the young American prospects and even amateurs and right now the young core is so deep and good. You have youngsters like Teofimo Lopez, Devin Haney, Jaron Ennis, Lorenzo Simpson, Khalil Coe, Keyshawn Davis, Shakur Stevenson, etc. US boxing has been always been fine but it seemed like a few years ago the talent pool was dropping some, but it has definitely picked up. What do you think the change was? The young talent in pretty insane right now and it looks like we have legitimate chance to have a few win Gold in the 2020 Olympics…That is if boxing is still a sport in the Olympics. I’m guessing Billy Walsh being the coach of the US team has something to do with it?

I was watching some of Oba Carr this weekend and JRock definitely has some similarities to him. Both are sharp shooters with their right hand and change levels of their jab similarly. Did you make JRock watch some of Oba Carr or what?

Take care,

Jay

Bread’s Response: Of course, Oba Carr was the truth.

The US scene has some young studs arising. A few years ago the young studs were at 154. Now they seemed to be spread all over but 135 will be a Golden Era in 18 months. I love it.

Sup Bread? Lately in the mailbag the subject of how many times a year a fighter fights, combined with the quality of opponent, has been discussed. You’ve made the point that many of the top fighters in stronger eras used to fight 5 plus times a year which kept them sharper and in better shape. This brings me to the fighter of the year candidates. The BWAA has released the names of the following candidates: Usyk, Loma, Crawford, Hooker, and Mikey Garcia. My opinion is that Usyk is most deserving. The other four candidates fought 2 times while Usyk fought 3 times. I know it’s only one more fight but I do feel like this should be a big factor. Usyk also became the 4th undisputed champion of the 4 belt era, first at cruiserweight, while also winning the World Boxing Super Series against top flight opponents. I don’t think anyone else has better credentials in 2018. On a side note I’d like to give props to Sniper Pedraza for being able to fight 4 times this year. Totally agree with you that Loma had a tough time with him because Pedraza has been active which kept his skills very sharp.
-Chris from Chicago

Bread’s Response: The difference in fighting 2x and 3x is HUGE. First off you get an extra paycheck and if you average 7 figures a fight, over a 5 year span that can totally change your retirement nest.

Excluding injury obviously it keeps you sharper. It also keeps you in the public eye one extra time. That’s important. The promotion, the media, the commercials, etc all get to see you one more time.

The promoters are getting over by allowing fighters to fight only twice a year. Often times allotted monies are put to the side for the entire year by networks. So in order for them to budget, they only let the fighters fight twice a year. Some one came up with this about 20+ years ago and now they act like this is the RULE. Whoever said a top fighter HAS to fight every 6 months?

If a fighter wants to fight 3x a year and he’s winning and looking good he should be allowed too. If 2x a year is good enough for certain fighters than that is fine also but the fighters who want more should be allowed to get more. I think 4x a year is a stretch but 3x a year is reasonable and I wish more fighters followed suit.

Mikey Garcia and Vasyl Lomachenko had terrific years and if they fought 3x then they both would have major cases. Maurice Hooker had a quiet big year that should be noted. The thing that separates Usyk from everybody is the 3rd fight. It’s not that Usyk’s competition was so much better the competition was roughly similar. But the 3rd fight with the same competition pushes him over the edge. Not to mention Usyk went to his opponent’s back yard to get the job done.

Ollie Usyk should be the 2018 Fighter of the Year.

The promoter who will rise to the top in this era, will be the one who allows his mainstream guys to fight more than twice. Mark it down.

What’s up Bread?

I just read an article on Boxingscene in which Ryan Garcia stated his goal of winning a world title at 135.  I took a quick look at the divisional rankings on Boxrec and a few names jumped out as far as potential opponents at lightweight:

1. Ricky Burns (former champion possibly on the decline but still a huge step up)
2. Raymundo Beltran (same as Ricky Burns)
3. Edner Cherry (solid veteran with tons of experience)
4. Mercito Gesta (same as Edner Cherry plus recently challenged for a title against Jorge Linares)
5. Felix Verdejo (a former “next best thing” who hasn’t lived up to lofty expectations)
6. Mickey Bey (crafty veteran who could also provide a stiff test)

How do you think Ryan Garcia matches up with these guys? Would it be too much, too soon to face any of them? Oscar De La Hoya says he believes Garcia can challenge for a belt in 2019 so he should be able to compete at a high level.

Peace,

William in West Palm Beach

Bread’s Response: Lightweight is stacked. This is a Potential Golden Era. Ryan Garcia fits in. I think Eddy Reynoso is the truth as a trainer. He’s money as a trainer as I like to call certain guys. I just have to see how he gels with Garcia. Everyone won’t be Canelo. Canelo is a killer. Canelo got better not just because of Reynoso but he got better because he fought tough fights and fighting tough fights will also raise your game. We have to see what Garcia is willing to do and who he’s willing to face.

If you look at Canelo he has added some Floyd to his game. He rolls his shoulder and slides. Some GGG to his game. He throws a right upper cut and then torques around wicked left hook to the liver. Same move GGG stopped Matthew Macklin with. Ryan Garcia can improve but he will have to have Canelo’s heart and fight killers.

Garcia is hard for me to judge. He looks like he could beat all of them on his best day but he also looks like they all could upset him on certain days. Burns and Gesta would be his best bets.

What’s up Bread?

The quote below is from you after Ward-Kovalev 2:

 I don’t know where Ward goes from here I wouldn’t be surprised if he retired.

How in the world did you predict that???

Keep up the good work,

William in West Palm

Bread’s Response: I don’t know, lol. Often times I just go with my gut instinct and logic. Ward is a grounded guy who is comfortable in his own skin. At that time there were no more super fights at 175 and Ward was 33 years old. He would have had to wait to another monster to surface or move up. My guts told me there was no one on the landscape that pushed his buttons.

Boxing is about motivation. You have to be motivated in order to get through a tough camp. To keep pushing your body to the max. I didn’t see anyone on the horizon that would push Ward’s buttons.

Why is Bud Crawford not recognized as the Lineal Welterweight champion when he clearly is by history and past lineal champions standards?

Bread’s Response:  Do you mean junior welterweight? I’m sort of confused. Crawford was the lineal guy at 140 junior welterweight I suppose. But how could he be the lineal champion at 147lbs?

You didn’t elaborate. I love Crawford but in order to be the RING or Lineal Champion you have to either beat the lineal champion or be #1 or #2 and win that fight for the vacant title. When did Crawford win that fight at 147? There is no lineal champion at 147 as of right now.

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