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November 28, 2012

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

I wanted to comment on Robert Guerrero's win over Andre Berto. I honestly was picking Guerrero to win. I felt like Guerrero was a better boxer than Berto and he had more in his arsenal than Berto. I also felt like Guerrero is a real killer in the ring. You can see it on him, he looks posessed when he's in there. You were right, Berto fights in spurts, and he did it Saturday, and it would have taken someone real special to put it on him and not give him time to rest, and you were spot on with saying Antonio Margarito in his prime would have done it, but I felt like Guerrero would find a way, in his own way, to get it done. 

The way it ended, in my heart I thought that maybe Guerrero took the easy out. But on the other hand, I felt that maybe he was going through a lot, especially with his wife battling cancer, so he may not have been all the way there, and maybe he really couldn't go on because of the cut, but that was my only hesitation. I'm not saying Guerrero is an Andre Ward or a Manny Pacquiao, but he's so determined, and he wants it so bad, that's a quality that's hard to measure. I also think that Berto kind of took him lightly. When they came in the middle of the ring for the instructions, it kind of showed on his face. This is the second guy coming up a weight class to fight Berto and beating him. I think Berto possibly thought that he would come back and just overwhelm this little dude. But Guerrero is a real animal. He's better than Ortiz. He's not as fast as Berto or explosive and he's not as strong as Ortiz, but he's a determined fighter with really solid skills and a nasty disposition. I think Guerrero really earned his shot at Floyd or Manny, and I think he could probably hang with them for a while, moreso Floyd than Manny. I'm happy for him and his family. He's a real good dude.-- Michael

Breadís Response: Thanks for the love Michael. You know how I am, unless you write into me telling me that you thought Guerrero was going to win then I canít give you credit for the pick, lol. Guerrero is definitely a determined fighter. He fights maniacal. He was much nastier than Berto. Those qualities sometimes outdo whatís on the outside.

Guerrero has earned a big money fight, no doubt. It will be interesting to see who picks him. Tim Bradley turned him down, I think thatís because heís waiting on MayweatherÖÖ Letís see what happens.

I see your boy J-rock (Julian Williams) won again and I wish both of you well. I sincerly hope he becomes your first world champion. After watching those other vids you sent me he looks like a pretty bad mofo. Still needs a little polishing but compared to some other fighters out there he's gonna dish out a lot more punishment then he takes.
Just to recap everything that's been going on in boxing since the last time we talked and make it real quick
* Nonito Donaire is a super talent but a major dissappointment. Funny how after he beats nishioka ( a fighter who had zero power and was NO threat to him) he says he don't wanna fight rigondeaux because he can't get excited and train hard for such and easy fight but then he signs to fight a washed up , has been Jorge Arce. I respect his talent as a fighter but I think he's kinda picky on who he wants to fight. I think his prime was about 2 years ago honestly. He's still fighting at a p4p level but he's closer to the end than the beginning , let's put it that way. It's a shame too. After he knocked out Vic Darchinyan he could of siezed the moment and became a super popular , superstar. Instead he fights hand picked opponents and outside of hardcore boxing fans and some filipinos nobody even knows who he is.
* Yusaf Mack- I won't be hard on him or say anything bad other than I was expecting a little bit more from him. I'm not saying he didn't come to win i'm just saying he didn't come to lay it down and risk his life in the ring. Like you said , not everyone can be great. The good news for Yusaf is i'm sure he will move up in the IBF and be fighting in an eliminator in no time.
* Robert Guerrero- I'm not sure who you were picking to win but I thought Guerrero looked pretty solid. He negated Bertos speed and quickness from the outset and out hustled and out willed him . He can't beat Floyd Mayweather but he will fight his heart out and compete with every fiber of his being. I think he can win a few rounds as well.
One thing about the Berto-Guerrero fight that I noticed was how similar that fight would look to a Mayweather - Pacman showdown. Manny has said he will throw punches and crowd him and just non stop attack and Floyd would have to fight in close and off the ropes like Berto did. Manny would touch Floyd and sneak punches in and Floyd would have to take more punches than he has ever taken before. I'm just not sure Floyd wants to go through that kind of punishment .. Floyd has a much better defense and would use his legs more vs Manny but i'm telling you bread Manny would land his left hand over and over.. Manny can take whatever punishment Floyd can dish out, not sure Floyd can take Manny's.
After the way Manny came on FIRST TAKE and humiliated Floyd I think it's obvious who's avoiding the fight now. I think Floyd has lost his 'zest for combat" as I believe you said once about Zab Judah. For Floyd it's all about discrediting MANNY and CANELO and any other fighter who's a serious threat and protecting his 0. Anyway I know you hate talking about manny/floyd so I will stop it right there.
At this point they are both about 2-3 years past their primes and the result is berely relavant .
I'll end it here but I have a few training questions I would like your opinion on , I will send them tonight or tomorrow in another email.
Also on one other quick note, I wanna thankyou for challenging me to a sparring match with Yusaf Mack. It really did help me put some things in perspective and question my heart and soul and how far I am willing to go in this boxing game. Anyone can sit back and run their mouths and degrade and discredit fighters but once your faced with the prospect of fighting them yourself , it really does change things. I have respect for Yusaf Mack for pursuing his dream and making himself a world class fighter. feel bad for him that his dream of becoming a world champion is most likely never going to happen. What he has accomplished even though it may not be legendary deserves respect.

Breadís Response: Dan The Man, whatís up brother. Thank you. Julian was going through a few promotional issues and he has only fought twice this year. He was off since April. Iím very proud that he has kept improving despite his inactivity. We work on new things constantly in the gym and it really pays off. A lot of prospects get their kos early in fights within the first 3 rounds. While it wasnít his best performance, I was super happy that he was able to step on the gas and get a 7th round stoppage.

I have instilled in him that the most important gift you can have in boxing is stamina/gas tank, endurance whatever you want to call it. Next year I expect him to fight at least 8 times and really make a push.

Nonito Donaire.  After Donaireís last performance I think he still could be in his prime, but who knows. I am a huge fan of Nonitoís but I think his reasoning for NOT fighting Rigondeaux is inconsistent with his actions. He has fought lesser known fighters, who didnít bring market value on HBO. In fairness to Nonito he has been unifying the division and fighting top guys. But if he doesnít fight Rigondeaux next year, itís officially a ďduckĒ. Abner Mares and Guillermo Rigondeaux are SERIOUS historical challenges to Nonito. He has to find a way to get at least one of those fights done. And Rigondeaux is the easiest one to make because they share the same promotional companyÖ.We shall see.

Yusaf Mack is a good boxing friend of mine. Iím glad he got the chance to make some money but he looked overmatched against Carl Froch. Thatís pretty much all I have to say about that. Iím glad my email helped you put things in perspective. I want to let you in on something.

I know people may think Yusaf went and laid down. But the thing is heís just a B fighter and Froch is a possible HOF. I personally saw Yusaf push his body to the brink for this fight. He was sparring 12 and 13 round sessions against Dhafir Smith, Steve Cunningham, Garret Wilson and Jesse Hart. Thatís some extremely rough work. He really wanted this, he just didnít have enough. Hopefully he makes good with the money heís earned because heís probably a little past his peak and I would hate to see him be an ďopponentĒ for up and comers.

Good observation about Floyd , Pacman and Guerrero. I was personally picking Berto because I thought his skills would be too much. Boy was I wrong! But you make a great point. Sometimes fighters can fight that mushy, hard fight that will negate a separation in skills. Guerrero did exactly that.

I actually thought Shane Mosley was going to fight that same fight against Floyd Mayweather. Abner Mares just fought that fight against Anselmo Moreno. Now Manny is also super talented so he doesnít have to fight ugly fights. But he can fight overwhelming fights when he has toÖ..

I think a problem people have is they assess on what looks ďbetterĒ. Just because you a better than someone doesnít mean you can beat them.  Berto is more talented than Guerrero, but he couldnít beat him because Guerrero can fight a certain kind of fight that will negate Bertoís talent. Great observation. I wish you the best of luck on your career.

Robert Guerrero campaigned as a 126-pound feathwerweight as late as 2008. In April 2011, Guerrero weighed 134 against Michael Katsidis. After that he messed up his shoulder and needed major surgery. He returned almost 16 months later as a 145 pound welterweight. We all saw how he looked like a big strong welterweight against Andre Berto. Knowing that Guerrerroís shoulder was not healthy during the 16 months off during 2011-2012, and that he could not hit the weight room to work on his upper body during much of that time, do you find it suspicious that Guerrero was able to add so much muscle and strength? Is he a PED suspect to you? -- Fernando Rubinstein, Armonk, NY

Breadís Response: Wow! Um letís see. At this point in the game unless itís a fighter that I work with, everyone is a suspect. Now for Guerrero in particular the reason I picked against him was because he didnít seem to particularly strong to me. His strength seemed average. Against Berto he was a monster. He was pushing Berto back in every clinch, holding him in place and beating on him. Very impressive. When you put it in the perspective you put it in, it does seem suspect.

But in all fairness to Guerrero, he ASKED for blood testing. He even asked for VADA which he was denied and instead they used USADA. Now remember VADA is the agency that caught Berto when he tested positive for a PED while training for the Ortiz fight. So Guerrero deserves props for that.

I personally will NOT say Guerrero is on anything except hard work. This is his biggest career victory and we shouldnít discredit it with PED speculation.

Please federal government, get involved in boxing. Please help our sport. I hear so many rumors in private that I canít repeat, it really upsets me. Now with this public feud going on between USADA/Golden Boy and VADA/Victor Conte/Thomas Hauser, I really donít know what to think and who to believe. 

I thought the Guerrero/Berto fight was great. I have a question and a comment. My question is...where does Berto go from here? To me it seems like every time he steps up he gets beat. I think he has been the best matched fighter of the past 10 years and that is including Alvarez. That is because we think he can be something special without having beaten anybody special. I think his next fight is a cross-roads type of fight.
Now my comment...I do NOT want to see Mayweather fighter Guerrero. I think Mayweather has to fight top notch competition if he is only going to fight once a year. The only fights I would pay to see Mayweather in is against Alvarez, Martinez or Pacquiao. I think for him to fight anyone else would be officially ducking. -- Marlon

Breadís Response: Not sure where Berto goes from here. But his road will be a lot tougher I will tell you that. Maybe a Victor Ortiz rematch. Maybe a Guerrero rematch. Maybe a fight against an up and comer like Keith Thurman. Maybe even a Mike Jones fight. Who knows. I will say this, Berto has been handsomely paid against mid level fighters. He will have to really earn those paychecks now. To put it in perspective Berto made more against Guerrero than Andre Ward did against Chad DawsonÖÖ..

Very nice break down of their styles I to thought Andre Berto would wear Robert Guerrero down. But it was a great win for Fernando-that's what you call dirty boxing and he is a lot stronger then I thought! What's your take on camacho I was a big fan! I will never forget his break up with billy Giles his first trainer, Giles said he was hook on drugs then. Camacho started deteriorating right after the solis fight then crashed after the Rosario fight, more so from the lifestyle then the actual fight has people assume that he  got gun shy. Camacho stopped training as a world class athlete and got by on just talent. What a shame cause his ability to move and punch was just goat like!! The only one that I can think of who was like that was mayweather! Are getting a pick on cotto trout?
Breadís Response: I thought Hector Camacho was a great fighter who sort of underachieved.  Camacho was one of those guys that were extremely difficult to beat and he rates higher in head to head match ups than he does in legacy. Itís crazy that he fell off the way he did after the Edwin Rosario fight. On his best night, Camacho rates favorably against any 130 pounder who ever lived. Heís a borderline HOF. Great fighter from a great era. Stand up Macho Man and RIP.

Compelling Weekend of Fights , The Ricky Hatton Fight was actually Crowd Pleasing But his lack of head movement and Conditioning Doomed Him , question though what is it about pressure fighters that their drop off is so much greater then other fighters ? And on to Berto Physically he's a talented and gifted fighter but his mechanics just seem wrong he's a short guy who can't fight on the inside. with the amount of hand speed and power he possesses how come he lets guys walk right to him ? And The Blueprint is to Dog Berto he just seems to Gas when the pressures on , he was gassing in that Jan Zaveck Bout Also is he too Muscular ?
Breadís Response: Pressure fighters are very hard to deal with mentally but yes their primes are cut short most times. Throughout the history of boxing pressure fighters start to drop off in their late 20ís. Where as boxer punchers who fight more relaxed can go further into their 30ís. It hasnít changed one bit over time.

If you give me a list of the best pressure fighters of the last 20 yrs, each one has fell off in their late 20ís. Jeff Fenech, Tito Trinidad, Ricky Hatton, Antonio Margarito, Humberto Gonzales and now Ricky Hatton.

I personally believe they fall off because their styles take so much energy to be successful at. They canít sit back and pick spots. So therefore they are hell when they are at their physical peaks but as time goes on they become sitting ducks. Ricky Hatton had no business coming back with his style and his lifestyle. No business.

Every once in a while you have pressure guys like Sam Langford, Roberto Duran and Manny Pacquiao who can last longer into their mid 30ís and give great performances. The reason being is one because they are super special and two because they box their way in. Look at them closely and you see them boxing. They donít bore in head first taking punishment. All of those guys have great eyes and they can trade with their opponents on equal terms despite coming forward. I donít want to jinx him but another one of the better pressure guys of this era seems to be going on the other side. And thatís Tavoris Cloud. Look at Cloud closely heís not the guy he was 2 years ago. Pressure fighters as a whole have to be tougher physically, they have to be stronger and they have to have better stamina, because their styles dictate a war of attrition. Most guys canít put it out in camp anymore to implement that style.

Onto Andre Berto. I wonít pile on Andre and kick him while heís down. Iím sure heís devastated by this loss. I hope the kid can really come back and be successful. BUT Andre is so poor technically. Guys write into me and talk about Roy Jones being a poor technical fighter. Well look at Jones vs Berto. Not in talent but just technicals, itís not even close. Thatís why I take up for Roy so much.

First off Berto tried to do the Mayweather stance and shoulder roll. That cost him the dam fight. Berto has stamina issues and he went down twice in the first two rounds. Thatís a tough hill to climb for a guy like him. Guerrero kept going behind his lead shoulder and punching him in the side of the ear. See Judah vs Mayweather. Someone should have told Berto that Floyd Sr. never liked his son fighting southpaws. More importantly Floyd uses a high guard to walk southpaws down. He doesnít do a lot of shoulder rolling with them because of the ďangleĒ.

Then from the Mayweather stance Berto took his JAB away. He was thrwong a back hand pawing jab and he took his left hook away. Berto closed Guerreroís right eye. He kept landing a big uppercut that brought Robertís head up. But he didnít use a hook to finish the combination off. Dam! Andre really fought a poor fightÖ..

The reason Andre gets walked down is because his legs are gone. Yes I said it. I know heís young but his legs are gone. At least they were in that fight. Even if Guerrero was too strong, Berto could have taken a half a step back and fired. Or simply turned and redirected the bull rushes. That wouldíve worn Guerrero out despite being the obvious stronger man.
Berto also has no confidence in his gas tank. So either consciously or subconsciously he takes the easy way out. Which is to allow Guerrero to bull him to the ropes, let the ropes hold him up so he doesnít have to use his legs , then he fires a few combinations to make the crowd go ooh. Meanwhile Guerrero is doing consistent damage.

Last but not least I think Andre needs a mental overhaul. I used to play highschool basketball with a guy named Kevin Slaughter. Heís one of my best friends till this day. Kev had all the talent in the world. He could give you thirty, he was ambidextrous in traffic, he had one of the best handles I ever saw and he played D. Kevís biggest problems was he played for the crowd more than he played to win. If he made the crowd go crazy on a freak move, that pleased him more than just getting a bucket.

Because of his mentality less talented players accomplished more and went onto have to better careers, some even made the NBA. Berto reminds me of my man Kev. He throws these flashy combos, he holds his hands in weird stances, he yells when he punches. All of these things draws oohs and aahs, but against top guys they are ineffective because there is no substance to it.

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