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November 13, 2012

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

Adrien Broner was in Palm Springs on Friday to support his boy Rau'shee Warren [in Warren's pro debut] and then he was in LA on Saturday night. Question: could all this travel, 3,000 miles away from Atlantic City one week before your lightweight debut, and the  pportunity for a second world title have an impact on a fighter? Would you allow one of your fighters do this?

Leo Santa Cruz seems like a monster to me and one of the best body punchers in the game? What do you think of his fight game? Is he ready for a Mares or Donaire at 122? Who are the top five body punchers in the game today?

Who do you think is the best prospects of the olympians that fought on friday night? I think arren has a high skill level, but given his height and seemingly average power, will he ever be ready for Anselmo Moreno, Joseph Agbeko or Santa Cruz and/or should he try to get down to 115?.

What are your thoughts on Abner Mares' win over Anselmo Moreno this past weekend? I think Moreno is a bit dirty and the way Agbeko and Moreno should counter that is to shoot one or two shots slightly low on him, just so he knows if you're gonna hit me low, i'm gonna hit you low. I think Nonito knocks Moreno out with a check hook or upper cut he doesnt see and that santa cruz would push him to the limit in a fight of the year type of slug fest. How do you see these fights going?-- Billy Bomaye, Washington, D.C.

Breadís Response: I donít know Bronerís body and what kind of shape he is in. Personally speaking TRAVELING is fatiguing and I ask for my fighters to come in at least a day before the weigh in. Good thing for Broner is , his hard work is already done so he may have been taking a few days off anyway. But I canít speak for Broner because I donít know his body.

I love Santa Cruz. A tall, lean, volume pressure fighter. He is definitely a tremendous body puncher. Let me see more. Heís definitely one of the best body punchers in boxing along with Canelo Alvarez, Brandon Rios, Floyd Mayweather and Andre Ward.

I thought the prospects did well. It was a lot of pressure on them to perform on national tv in their debuts. I donít want to put them in the Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame. From what I know about them and what I saw Marcus Browne is the most physically talented. He reminds me of the Direll brothers. But letís see if his mental capacity can match his physical talents. Terrell Gausha is the most polished right now as we speak.

I am very impressed with Gausha. He barely stands 5í10Ē and he competes at supermiddleweight. He beat a kid named Jesse Hart of Philadelphia in the Olympic Trials. Hart is about 6í2Ē with crazy long arms and extremely difficult to get to in a 3 round fight. Gausha did it. My question about Gausha is can he make middleweight?

I also like Errol Spence. Although I think there are more talented kids who didnít make the Olympic team ,hover around his weight. Spence seems to have high character like Andre Ward, and he seems to  have great conditioning. I expect him to be a steady fighter of the Devon Alexander ilk.

You made another perfect prediction for Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno. Let me quote you: "Moreno wonít get credit for his good subtle work." What did you think of the fight and who did you think won?

Breadís Response: I did say something of the sort, lol. I didnít score the fight but my guts donít lie to me. I also watched the fight to enjoy it and I usually donít score with a pen and paper. That being said, I probably would have given the fight to Mares, especially since there was a knockdown and point deduction.

The 120-106 score that was turned in was spine-tingling bad. Something needs to be done about this. New Jersey made a stand ,other commissions need to start. I saw a close fight. I will say this, I overrated Moreno slightly. A MASTER boxer like Pernell Whitaker would have made the adjustments to Maresís bulrushes much earlier. Moreno didnít adjust until the 7th round which was late considering he was fighting the crowd and Mares. Moreno kept going straight back where he should have controlled Maresís bulrushes by manipulating him with his lead hand and turning him. He allowed Mares to build up a head of steam and rush in which makes the bull rushes harder to control. Distance young man.

So Moreno has to take some of the blame for catching on late. Onto Mares. Heís a tremendous fighter and he attacks with some urgency I havenít seen in a long time. I really like the kid he has a lot of Duran in him. That being said he is a little dirty. The low blows happen too often for them to be a mistake. Moreno caught a bad call with the head push point deduction. But I expected Moreno to catch a bad break soÖ..

The night of the Olympians was a joke of a card. I get it that the promoter has put a lot of financial backing into building these guys into stars. I do not see too many of these guys becoming stars, just my opinion. The two guys I can see making some noise down the road are Joseph Diaz Jr. and Jose Ramirez. The two just have a fan friendly style. Who do you see making some noise in the future and why?

The fight cards on Saturday were okay. We were treated to two prime fighters in Abner Mares vs. Anselmo Moreno facing off against each other. The fight resulted in exactly what you had stated last week... Abner winning a close and somewhat controversial fight (though the scorecards were not reflective of it). Let's hope they match Mares with Nonito Donaire. That fight will not last more than 8 rounds. I just cannot see Nonito not knocking Mares out of his shoes.

What are your thoughts on Gary Russell vs. Mikey Garcia at 126? I think Mikey Garcia is very underrated. He does not doing any one thing great, he just does everything well. Mikey honestly reminds me of Andre Ward in that manner. Nobody was ever too excited about Andre and he steadily kept winning and winning and now he's one of the best fighters of this era. Russell is ultra talented, has a lot of speed and we saw that he also has power on Friday night. Now I don't see this fight happening any time soon, but how do you see if playing out if they were to face off?

The remainder of the year does not have too many fights to get "excited" about, but at least we'll be treated to a ton of fight cards which is better than no boxing. What are your current responsibilities in the boxing world? I know that you train fighters, do some consulting work with fighters and some journalism with the website. Do you feel like you compromise too much time and are not able to fully dedicate and specialize in one aspect? Again, I think you do a fantastic job at breaking fights down, which means you must be a very good trainer and your fighters records reflect that. Your writing is solid and I also think you could make for a great match-maker if you needed to.--Keymo

Breadís Response: Thanks bro. No I donít think I compromise anything by wearing multiple hats. I  make them relate. For example I write so I can have a platform. That allows me to be seen and get jobs. It also keeps me sharp with my eyes because Iím held to a standard in my mailbag. I have to study fights and be correct in order for people to believe in me. As for the training it takes priority over everything and I love it. When you do something you love itís not WORK.

I think Russell vs Garcia would be a great fight. But in all fairness Russell has the talent but he hasnít stepped up. He has been fed C level fighter after C level fighter. When you fight better fighters that makes you a better fighter. I think Russell needs to step up. I have seen fighters take his road and become stale.

Mikey Garcia is a wonderful subtle fighter. He wasnít even in top form in his last fight but he came through solid. He has what I call bearings. I expect him to be a top 10-15 p4p type in a short time.

All im going to say about trainer Virgil Hunter is... did you see Alfredo Angulo bury his head in hunter's chest and cry with his arms wrapped around his trainer. dude as a father and as a man that spoke worlds to me. He just got with hunter and to see that kind of affection shows what kind of mentor this man is forget trainer. Before you can be anything you have to be a man. And i think you can see he coaches with that additude. Angulo is mexican and spanish speaking and hunter is black american, a very strained relationship in our country. So to see angulo win was great but to see that he has a coach that is more than just a coach to his fighters he is a mentor. Very very Emanual Steward. Manny loved his boys and it showed in and out of the ring. Angulo dapped three people got to Hunter and broke down. What this man has been through is deep. He needs that kind of trainer over his shoulder right now.
Breadís Response: Virgil Hunter is no doubt a special man. He has a way about him that exudes a noble way. Thatís what separates him from a lot of coaches. You can ďfeelĒ his soul. Hunter reached out to me last year through a colleague  after reading my mailbags. We became very close every since. You can talk to him about anything. Great persona and great trainer. Angulo will be betterÖ.. 

What a KO, brutal, but who was that he was fighting exactly? He looked like he had no business being in there.. Who would be Russell's best match?  Think he looks pretty unbeatable don't you?
And wondering if you are hearing 'anything' about Floyd, reading nothing of value on the web!
Hope the fights are great tonight, cheers, Craig..
Breadís Response: Havenít heard anything significant about Floyd. I know he usually does his thing on Cinco De Mayo. I hope he does it against Saul Alvarez or Manny Pacquiao but who knows.



Hi Bread, having watched Roy Jones and now Robert Guerrero's former victims go on to win major titles, do you think that elevates their status in the sport?

RJ got a lot of heat for the guys he beat during his run as LH champ, but in retrospect some of them had great success afterward. I recall Clinton Woods had a good run, as did Derrick Harmon and the late Julio Gonzalez off the top of my head. Roy made it look easy.

Guerrero is nowhere near Roy's stratosphere but watching Orlando Salido (who I realize won a tight decision, but was later busted for roids) and now Gamaliel Diaz win titles, it makes those wins/no contests shine a bit brighter to me.

Love the wisdom of the mailbag, please keep it up!

Breadís Response: I agree with you about Roy Jones I just think your analogy is off. Salido was not a Guerrero victim. Salido beat Guerrero but the fight was a no contest because of your stated PED use. So I wouldnít count that. Letís see how Guerreroís career plays out.

As for Jones man his competition is so underrated. He beat Jorge Castro and Jorge Vaca before he fought for his title. Then look at what Bernard Hopkins , Thomas Tate and James Toney became. That was just middleweight Roy Jones. Itís crazy how people disrespect Royís greatness. Those 5 guys were some tough customers and Roy lost like 10 rounds combined to them. Toney and Hopkins went onto become all time greatsÖÖRoy has some misses but his lack of completion label is greatly overblown.



In response to the Obama victory from Roy, you said it Breadman it was a great comment, just one little thing that irked me a little. Roy was on point but when he says that Obama has to prove his mettle as a great president I beg to differ. I think it is a shortsighted view. But yes He has proven to be a great politician.
Facts:- You said it, he was able to defeat the "Billary" tag team while essentially being the underdog as he was less known and coming from behind in the polls was inspiring.
- He was an original as he redefined a new method of running for office and creating support at the grassroots levels.
-He made history as the first black men in office, and now has been reelected, on a different platform in a different time.
- He inherited a putrid economy, and was able to stimulate the automobile industry.
- Unemployement is down. The economy is slowly picking up.
- As a commander in chief, he enhanced the US's reputation abroad by allowing his army to get involved in Lybia, in the ousting of a dictator (or so they say) on humanitarian grounds. And please, nobody can accuse the US of doing it for oil because the US only did about 5% business for Lybian oil. This was no Koweit or Irak. This was more France's battle, that became Nato's under the guise of protecting civilians. At least the US can't be accused of doing it for oil this time.
- He eliminated one of the free world's greatest ennemy in Ossama Bin Laden. I remind you that it was an electoral promise in 2008. Effectively crippling Al Quaeda.
- He managed the Egyptian revolution wisely, it seems.
- He is well on his way, to getting Universal Health Care for most. Succeeding where many have failed (Clinton's anyone?)
- He showed great leadership in the Sandy disaster.
All that in only 4 years guys!
His one blemish? His handling of Wall Street!
Breadís Response: You know lots of fighters should be interested in Obamaís healthcare package. Most of the fighters I know donít have health insurance because fighting is their full time job. They are only insured for injuries incurred during the bouts. So Universal Healthcare should have been a sticking point for them. I know you are a fighter but youíre also very educated. Thanks for the comment.


The Answer!!
What's up Bread? I've been watching some Bernard Hopkins footage; just seeing what I can pick up. The guy is brilliant (obviously). I'm just trying to see how he handles "boxers" being one himself. It's interesting, but what I've noticed is that he just sticks to doing what he normally does. He stays on the move and makes them become the pressure fighter. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, your advice is golden. But I had a question about Nazzim Richardson.. what does it mean when he says, "Pop the chain"? I heard him say it in Bernard's corner during the Chad Dawson fight, the Kelly Pavlik fight and the De La Hoya fight. Also, speaking of De La Hoya, a friend at my gym and I were discussion De La Hoya and he brought up an interesting point. He said De La Hoya's legacy is no greater than Mike Tyson's.. that they both were good fighters but failed to win their biggest fights (meaning the legacy defining one's). I can see where he's coming from with that, but I honestly feel De La Hoya's legacy is slightly greater. Just want your thoughts on that. And Bread, when you're asking old heads for advice, what is it that you ask.. for example, is it how to address a certain opponent (strategic advice) or is it how to get a fighter to comprehend something more clearly so he can do it more efficiently (advice on teaching techniques better)? None of this has to make the mailbag, just random thoughts. Thanks again for the times that you've made me a part of your mailbag though, Bread! God Bless everyone on the East Coast and blessings go out to the family of Emmanuel Steward!
Sean Hall
Champ Nation Boxing
Oakland/San Francisco
Breadís Response: Naazim has some interesting sayings. When he says pop that chain, He means to pop the jab. I hear him yell it to Steve Cunningham who trains at our gym.

The thing that makes Hopkins so special is he decides what the best way for him to fight is and he does it. Whether it is aggressor or boxer he fights the best fight for him. Later in his career he was mostly boxer. He doesnít care what the crowd says either. Where as other fighters get impatient and will force the action, Hopkins doesnít. Unless you are an extremely athletic fighter (Pacquiao) or extremely destructive (Mike Tyson) itís difficult to FORCE the action and not give up something. This is the reason why Hopkins only loses to more athletic fighters because itís hard to outskill him. Him patience is too good.

I rank De La Hoya and Tyson very even in terms of historical rankings. Not sure who I would put higher but I disagree slightly with you. I think they are both great fighters better than just good. The thing is they didnít turn out to be at Mt. Rushmore type of great.

I donít ask many people for advice to be honest. I have a couple of confidants in boxing that I will ask some things to and one in particular whoís word is golden to me but other than that I learn , I observe and I overcome. As far as what I ask, it depends on the situation. I will ask anything I donít know the answer to or canít find the answer to.



As always Love the mailbag and your insight on the boxing world and hope all is well.
Wilder. It seems heís finally coming into his own, He hasnít fought anyone as you know but hearing Vlad talk about him the way he did , do you think ot does Vlad think heís realy that good being he hasnít fought anyone in say top 20? What do you see? His fight end early so you donít see much but he does look more like a boxer if that makes sense. Him and Malik Scott are really tight. James Bashir said this Brazelle cat whoís fighting on a card soon lost to him and bashir called Scott the best pure boxer in the division. Iíve always liked Scott and heís slim as ever but do you think he can do anything in the division as well?
Roy. People always say Roy was just a great athlete that boxed, but I swear during his HBO commentary he sees so much and his IQ is off the charts and I wish people understood wjile he may have been the best pure athlete to ever box this dude really knows the inís and outís of boxing and to hear him break down matches is just a beautiful thing. Do you listen to him during the broadcasts?
Mikey Garcia. He doesnít move his head as much as Iíd like but I really like this kid. Heís so economical and just calm in the ring and he has some nice pop on that right hand. Iíd like to see him against a Salido finally or Cabelerro. I think thatíd be a very good fight . On another note Robert Garcia I feel is one of the better trainers in the game. You see him totally different with Pavlik,Rios,Garcia,Nonito, Maindana. He doesnít try to change them. He relates to them all different in the fight and I love how he tries to bring out the best out of ach fighter fighting their style not his style. Thoughts?
Thank you
Jerome Hundley
Breadís Response: I like what Golden Boy did with Wilder. They knew if they put him on TV too soon he would get criticized too much. So they let him grow and build his confidence. I donít want to give him a stamp of approval yet until I see him in with a top 15 type of fighter, but I have an inkling that he will be a force in the division.

The question about Malik Scott is why has it taken him so long. Scott is 35-0 and has been a pro since 2000. I know he had a 4 year layoff but I donít really know whatís going on with Scott. Being American with a 35-0 record is like having a lottery ticket. I wonder why Scott hasnít cashed his ticket in yet. I really canít answer your question about Scott because it seems to be an underlying problem with him, or his management or promoters. I donít know which one but Iím assuming so because of his meticulous rise through the ranksÖÖ Heís actually a Philly fighter and I would love to see him on HBO getting ready to challenge the K bros. Hopefully it will happen but heís been under the radar so long that now I think people overlook him.

I listen to Roy Jones often. Heís one of the smartest guys in boxing. But because heís athletic people donít give him credit for his smarts. I hear idiots all the time try to criticize Jones. I just heard one in our gym. They repeat the same dumb quotes. Roy ducked everybody. Or Roy started getting knocked out because when he slowed down he didnít have technical skills. Sometimes I get angry I say to them that most greats slow down at 34. The age that Roy showed his decline.
Then I tell them guys like Ezzard Charles, Archie Moore and  Willie Pep are all great technical fighters and all of them started getting stopped when they got older. How come that criticism is just saved for Roy. When I start name dropping they start shutting up because the theory gets blown out the water. Roy Jones is not only the most athletic fighter I have seen with my own eyes, he is one of the smarted boxing minds I have came across. Itís one of the biggest tragedies in boxing that this man gets so much criticism.


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