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January 15, 2013

By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

Your last batch of mailbags had me in a real reflective mood. The thing I love about you is that you always stay true to your convictions and that is admirable. In light of that last mailbag and what transpired recently with the HOF induction in Baseball... Man!!
1- First of all, I understand that guys like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa have strong suspicions hovering around [Editor's Note: it is more than just suspicion, as there is hrd evidence linking all three to steroids] them and that the Hall Of Fame has integrity rules in baseball but damn!... Not electing sure fire guys like that??? In light of what happened with Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire in the recent past, in all fairness not electing them on the first try makes sense. But then again, I am of the belief that juicing was so prevalent during this time that ballplayers should somehow get a pass. Why? Geez, how about saving Baseball after the 1994 strike for starters or putting more $ into the owners pockets much earlier. I mean I believe the game is part of the fabric of US society and eventually would have regained it's lofty position in the hearts of americans but it would have taken much longer. Next, the owners and MLB were complicit! But yes the players bear responsibility for failing tests while warned in advance of future testing trigerring a clause for more stringent testing.
I really want to know what is your take on all this? Because if I go by your logic if a guy hasn't failed tests then you give him the benefit of the doubt even if strong suspicions arise.
Well Bonds and Clemens went through the grinder, went to court and faced prosecution and came out winners. Bonds was cleared of all charges but was convicted of obstruction of justice. Clemens was cleared of all charges. As it relates to PED's they are in the clear, [Editor's Note: they were cleared of criminal perjury charges but Bonds admitted ingesting steroids, but claimed he did not know what he was taking. Clemens' DNA was found on needles used to inject him but he argued it was faked] yet they are still paying the price because of strong suspicions but they took their chances and faced the music isn't that a double standard? Or worse, Holier than thou approach?
2- You touched on a lot of topics recently, that always turn around the same subjects namely PED's and the Juan Ma - Manny fallout! These are the times we are living in but in light of what I wrote, you have an obviously great fighter in Juan Ma who all of a sudden has a spike in performance, I won't call it unexplained since he brought in help that wasn't there previously. You have documented his prowesses in the gym prior to the fight and how he looked different and was very obviously more powerful... Well, there you have it! Of course, it is suspicious, sorry man! I believe like you that Manny had won the three previous fights and was on his way to stopping him but got iced. JuanMa's performance is unfortunately tainted to me. Manny's catchweight issues? I only have one, that you never talk about, the third fight with Morales were he was fighting a diminished fighter and still used his leverage to force him to come down at a weight were he wasn't comfy. That tells me that the 1st fight was a legit win and not a glove issue like Manny whined about, and in the 2nd fight Erik was actually winning up until the 10th round were he seemed to age right there in front of us.
3- If we are going to be sanctimonious, what about the great Sugar Ray Leonard??? Let me make something very clear right of the bat, in no way do I think he juiced in his performance VS Hagler or at any other time in his career. That said, he is/was an admitted cokehead and alcoholic. Serious illnesses, he is one of my faves ever! In other sports it would be a big problem, in boxing let's just say it's no big deal, what's your take on that? Let's not forget that in the build up to his rematch with T. Hearns, E. Steward and Hearns went to great lenghts to paint him as a steroid user on the ground that it had helped him get up there in weight to challenge them. He was rightly greatly offended, but people tend to forget these things and the accusations came to pass without a shred of evidence.
You applaud Aaron Davis for his stance in the Lara-Williams fight, but what about the Ward-Froch fight were they nearly gave the fight to Froch???
Lastly, your call on the Usmanee VS Barthelemy fight?
Breadís Response: Great question. Iím slightly perplexed in all honesty. Baseball and boxing are slightly different and when you are dealing with ďcheatingĒ unfortunately it does seem to be a gray area. Certain guys like Bonds and Clemens should be in. I personally believe that they were already HOF BEFORE the alleged steroid use took place.

But baseball has a powerful secret society as I like to call them. They stand on a higher moral grandiose ground. I think they are forcing those guys to admit what they did.
Letís say Bonds admitted that he started using PEDs in say 2001. Well Bonds was already a HOF player by then. So somehow they would justify throwing him in. I really believe that. But boxing in baseball are apples and oranges.
Baseball is very contradictory. No doubt the Steroid Era helped save baseball. Now that itís exposed they want to clean it up.

Our government uses tricks like the steroid era in baseball to boost plenty of things. For example the so called war on drugs. I used to work in a drug rehab. Every year around election time we would get an overload of patients. Why? Because there would be no drugs on the street. If the war on drugs was such a priority, then the government could make this happen all the time. Not just when election time came around.

But illegal drugs, spawn so many legal enterprises, that if there was really a war on drugs it would cripple our economy. Another example. In the early 2000s real estate was booming. Any and everybody could get a mortgage,  but they werenít able to get fixed interest rates. Then all of a sudden about 5 years ago, those same loans started jumping around and it forced people to short sell their properties and/or get foreclosed on. So in actuality the banks were getting the properties back for a lower price than they sold them for. No one can tell me that wasnít a PLAN.

I feel the same way about baseball. I also feel that boxing has a similar plan but it hasnít turned out the way ďtheyĒ expected it to. Nothing ever does in boxing. I know I went deep todayÖ.

Next part of your question. I see we both respect Manny Pacquiao. But I disagree with you about his Morales trilogy. They fought at 130lbs. No catchweight. Here is the history of that rivalry. Before his fight with Barerra, Manny weighed 120lbs. In his very next fight he moved up to featherweight as the opponent and fought Barrera. Then in his very next fight he fought JuanManuel Marquez. He took one interim fight and moved up again to 130lbs and fought Morales. This why I respect him so much. I donít know one fighter in the last 10 years who has taken on 3 all time greats in a 4 fight span.

So he fights and loses to Morales at 130. Morales then test the waters at 135 and loses to Zahir Raheem. He claims 130 is a better weight for him and he moves back down to 130 and fights a rematch with Manny. We can all agree that Morales has been no where near as dominant over 130. So he comes back down after testing the waters and Manny stops him. The fight was competitive going into the ko round but Morales was NOT winning. Manny was up on all 3 judges cards. Then they fought the trilogy fight at 130lbs again. Morales can say what he wants but he never showed better ability at the higher weights. Letís remember he tried to move up to 135 again, after the trilogy and loss to David Diaz. Manny fought Morales at a fair weight for both of them, especially considering how much jumping Manny had been doing at the time. And you have to take into consideration that Morales used the weight as an excuse in his loss to Zahir Raheem. We can have it both ways bro.

Morales aged because Manny beat the fight out of him and made him capitulate.

Ray Leonard is an admitted drug user, alcohol abuser and adulterer. But I donít see where you are going with that. I would suggest that 50% of our celebrated athletes have similar problems. Cheating in a sport and being a sinner in life are two different things. Lots of fighters abuse drugs and alcohol. Many more cheat on their wives. Some are even murderers and rapist . Iím not saying itís a good thing, but it doesnít have anything to do with how we rate them as athletes. I try not to get caught up in a oneís personal life because most people are flawed.

Yes I did hear that Emanuel Steward made some PED comments about Ray leading up to the Hearns rematch. But nothing came aboutÖ. I donít knowÖ..

Yes the Ward/Froch scorecards were bad, but the Williams/Lara scores were atrocious. Different. I like Aaron Davis and I think he has principles. Letís see how he performs his duties as a whole. I donít want to criticize him for not taking heads with the Ward/Froch scorecards. He has a tough job and itís not fair to micro criticize everything he does.


Bread you are biased to your Philly fighters. You never call Danny Garcia for flat out ducking Lucas Matthysse. He even made Matthysse fight his number 1 contender just to eliminate him. Then you praise Bernard Hopkins as your 5th best middleweight ever. But Hopkins did a quit job against Dawson in their first fight. He did it against Robert Allen. He also tried to do it against a shot Roy Jones, Joe Calzaghe and Antwoine Echols. Hopkins also ducked a whole era of killers at middleweight. Heís a smart ducker. Worse than even Floyd Mayweather.  There is no way heís top 5 at middleweight. Bread you are usually a stand up guy. I respect your opinion on 99% of topics. But you give Philly fighters a pass! And by the way Tavoris Cloud is going to beat him into retirement for good!
Breadís Response: Dam bro, are you done? Let me let you in on a secret. Just because a fighter shares the same city as me that doesnít mean we are personal friends. Philly has over a million people and over 50 boxing gyms. Reeeellllaxxxx.

Ok letís start with Danny Garcia. Danny has not been champion that long. Give him a chance to fight Matthysse. If Matthysse is still the #1 available guy by yearís end and Danny still hasnít fought him then itís a duck. But Danny won his title and in his very next fight, he fought Amir Khan in a unification fight as an underdog. Now heís making some money against aging name fighters. Every fighter does that. No biggie to me. If he beats Judah letís see who he fights before we start screaming and hollering. Sheesh.

As for Hopkins, just because you donít like him that doesnít mean he isnít great. Take your personal feelings out of it. I donít know if Hopkins quit or didnít quit in the fights you named. But I never defended him for those incidents either. Not once and if I did send me the link and I will post it.
I will also admit that Hopkins missed some good middleweight fights, against James Toney, Gerald McClellan, Julian Jackson among others. But still that doesnít mean he is NOT a great fighter.

Hopkins has been the pillar of consistency. He didnít win a title until he was 30 and he held it until he was 40. To just face and beat championship caliber competition for 10 years in your 30s is not easy. How old are you might I ask?

Then Hopkins moved up to 175 and challenged all of the top guys, starting with the number 1 guy in Tarver. Heís faced Calzaghe, Dawson, Pascal and now Cloud. Thatís a serious line up. No fighter is above scrutiny. Every fighter for the exception of Muhammad Ali has missed a fighter or two. But to imply Hopkins is not a great fighter is just ridiculous and misguided. Hopkins fits every bill of an all time great. Eye ball test, peak performance, accomplishments, competition faced and missed.

Give him the eye ball test in his prime and you see a great fighter. Glen Johnson to say Tito Trinidad. Peak Performance, Tito Trinidad fight. Accomplishments, 20 title defenses and lineal lightheavyweight champion twice. Competition faced, Roy Jones, Glen Johnson, Antoine Echols, William Joppy, Felix Trinidad, Robert Allen, Joe Calzaghe, Antonio Tarver, Chad Dawson and Jean Pascal. Competition missed James Toney, Reggie Johnson, Gerald McCllelan, Julian Jackson and Nigel Benn. He is easily a great fighter. Itís really not an argument; I was as fair as possible.

I rep my city but I wonít lie to make somebody from my city look better than they are. Bernard Hopkins is a great fighter by ALL criterions and Danny Garcia needs a chance to prove his worth before you say heís ducking Lucas Matthysse. Sorry bro, I appreciate the write in but you are WRONG. As the saying goes ď Whatís right is right, and whatís wrong will NEVER be right.Ē

And for the record Iím not sure Cloud will beat Hopkins. I know Hopkins had his troubles with Dawson but Dawson is a terrible style match up for him even if he was younger. Cloud is almost short to be a lightheavyweight. Heís probably just 5í9. Cloud also has hit a wall in his performances. Iím not just talking about his last fight either. Cloud fought Yusaf Mack a couple of years ago.

Mack is a decent fighter but Cloud should not have been extended like that with Mack. Hopkins can do everything Mack can do 3x better. Iím not saying I pick Hopkins to win. His age is a huge factor. But I am saying this is a 50/50 fight. And if the odds in Vegas are big against him, I will bet  Hopkins by decision. Trust me on this Hopkins handles fighters like Cloud much better than he does fighters like Dawson. See his fights with Antoine Echols and Syd Vanderpool.




Now correct me if I am wrong, did Floyd Mayweather Jr. say that it takes at least 5 mth's to
have a successful promotion of a fight? I can not remember who he was referring to, i think
it was pacman. Anyways, if this is the truth, then why the hell hasnt he selected an opponent?

Also, what is his deal? In all of his interviews he evades questions concerning who he wants to
fight next? (other than him saying pacman that one time and lied). Im asking b/c it doesnt
seem to be a good thing to leave his fans in suspense like that. I love Money, but that shhhht
gets aggrevating. Everyday I check boxingtalk and fighthype hoping to see who the May 4th
fight will be and nothing!

So, if it does take 5mths to promote what is the hold up?

Last but not least, I think that it will not be Guerrero or Canelo, I think Floyd will fight Marquez
b/c everyone is convinced Marquez is a new and improved beast and coming off such a major
pacman defeat that would be a great idea, what dio u think?

Thanks Bread
Breadís Response: If you hold a fighter to everything he says, you will always find inconsistencies. I think Floyd knows who he wants to fight, I just think they are trying to work out the details before they go public. We shall see. Iím personally hoping itís Canelo Alvarez but Iím not holding my breath.



Öif he ďrevealsĒ what they are speculating in that Oprah interview on Jan 17th (including how he was able to avoid detection for long), do you think the revelations will have any effect on boxing?....personally, I think itíll be huge, especially if he spells everything out, like theyíre speculating that he might.
Breadís Response: Lance ArmstrongÖÖ. SMH. If he does what we are assuming he will do, he will sicken me. There is something else that ďtheyĒ are not revealing to us. A selfish reason why he is all of a sudden admitting his guilt.
I think it will have an impact on boxing. Letís see what he saysÖÖÖ


I keep debating with a guy about who would win between Holyfield and Fraizer at first I told this guy Holyfield would beat Fraizer, I said Holyfield would be too quick and he would have outwork Fraizer, but as I was watching Holyfield fights vs Qawi and Cooper they both have that Fraizer style and they both gave Holyfield hell and Fraizer was much better and harder puncher than both. Having said that I think Holyfield would try to box Fraizer in the early going, but his warrior spirit would force him to a brawl. Fraizer would start punishing Holyfield in the middle rounds, and scoring a tko in the 12 or 13 round. Let me know what you think of this fight
Breadís Response: Tough , tough fight to pick. But guys are two of the better guys p4p in head to head match ups of fighters under 210lbs.

If you look at Frazierís prime fights from say Buster Mathis to Ali 1, boy was he something. Durable, strong, fast and a great inside fighter. His biggest gift was he was indefatigable. Frazier did not stop in his prime. Now Ali ruined his prime but Iím assuming we are talking about prime vs prime.

Most would assume that Holyfield beats Frazier because of what he did to Tyson. But Tyson and Frazier are not as similar as one would assume. Tyson is more two fisted and he does better from the outside. Tyson sort of bombs his way in. Holyfield either tied him up or put his left hand on Tysonís shoulder and jammed him up. Look at the first fight.

Frazier is much better on the inside than Tyson and he is much harder to keep off. Tyson is more programmed where as Frazier is more instinctive in pressing a man. Frazierís stamina is also 10x better. I would assume that this fight would go plenty of rounds. Holyfield could be crowded somewhat and he does give up distance. Frazier would turn this into a war, which is right up both fighters alleys. If you twisted my arm I would say that Holyfield would win the first fight and Frazier the second. Neither would be around for the 3rd. Too much punishment. This is razor close.


I have a question about Paulie Malignaggi. He often blames his loss to Ricky Hatton on Buddy McGirt. Paulie really feels he is a better fighter than Hatton but he will never get the chance to prove. Do you think Paulie has a point or is it sour grapes?
Breadís Response: First off I really respect Paulie. Heís a big time over achiever and his longevity amazes me. Paulie has made a really good career for himself.

As for the Hatton situation, I canít say what Paulie and Buddy did in camp. I wasnít there. But I do think Hatton is just a bad style for Paulie. Hatton is extremely physically strong and you have to have more than a jab to keep him off. Even the great Floyd Mayweather was forced to take off a round in order to preserve himself against Hatton and that was at 147lbs. Also remember Floyd is a terrific inside fighter and he really damaged Hatton in there. Inside fighting and body punching is not Paulieís game.

I say this to say that Hatton is always a rough fight for Paulie if heís in prime form. Paulie basically double jabs and circles out to his left. Heís not a big combination puncher. Hatton forces you into exchanges. People underestimate Ricky Hatton but the dude was no joke. ITís just that his prime didnít last long and we saw him destroyed on the BIG stage.

In all fairness to Hatton. Heís the one who had a new trainer in Mayweather Sr. in his corner during the fight. Thatís always tough. And he had just been knocked out the previous year by Mayweather Jr. I say that to say that Hatton is the one who had an excuse if things didnít go his way. I watched that fight and I  remember thinking that Hatton pretty much won every round. He really dominated Paulie. I donít know if any trainer could have turned it around to a point where Paulie could have beaten that Ricky Hatton. If you remember back to that time Mayweather Sr. kept bragging that he had only been with Hatton for a few weeks and he looked great. Some people actually thought he had a chance going into his very next fight against Pacquiao.

I say if they fight on their best possible nights, Ricky Hatton would win the majority of the time. Heís just too fast, strong and busy for Paulie in my opinion.


Hey Bread,
Hope you had a good Christmas and new year. I just heard Ricky Burns has a unification fight with Miguel Vazquez. I know very little about Vazquez and was wondering what your take on him was on how you think the fight will go?
Why do you think no one is calling for Mayweather to fight Trout? He beat Cotto better than Mayweather did yet everyone is hating on Canelo for not taking the fight. What light welter/welter do you think Canelo will fight next though?
On another note Iím hoping the bookies have Paulie as a heavy favourite to beat old Mosley in April because Iíll be backing the old guy to end Paulies good run a welter. Anyways all the best from the UK, James
Breadís Response: Vasquez is very difficult. He has only been beaten by Tim Bradley and Canelo Alvarez at higher weights. I like Burns by a close decision. Iím actually really impressed with Ricky Burns. I believe he will extend Broner but NOT beat him.

I am also curious to the Malignaggi/Mosley odds. But I canít pick Shane at this point. Shane has looked old for the last few years. His reaction time and reflexes are very dull these days. I donít think he will get stopped but he just canít pull the trigger from what I can see.



Welterweight and Super Welterweight are super stacked these days. There is a fight going under the radar and thatís the K9 Bundrage vs Ishe Smith fight. Who are you picking?
Breadís Response: I was just talking to someone about this fight. Smith in my opinion is better but I have a saying. Just because you are better than someone that doesnít mean you can beat them. K9 seems to really fight with a sense of urgency that Smith doesnít fight with.

I remember Smith from a few years back. I watched him soundly outbox David Estrada and Randall Bailey on shobox. I thought this kid was serious. Smith even has an early win over Alphonso Gomez before the Contender. Ishe can really fight. I used to think he had one of the underrated trainers in boxing in Danny Williams. Williams was nasty on the mitts. And when Fernando Vargas stamped Ishe the goods on HBO, I thought it was on and popping.

But I donít know what happened. Smith lost on the Contender. He lost to Sechew Powell then he started taking fights at middleweight against young guns. He possibly won his fight vs Fernando Guerrero butÖ..

My point is Iím perplexed about Ishe. When you look at him you see the skills and talents. But when you look deeper you have to wonder if heís missing somethingÖ.. I think we are going to see a controversial fight. I think K9 will attempt to mug Ishe. I think heís going to ďdirtyĒ box Ishe. Look for the nasty punches to Isheís brain stem and plenty of clinches. Look for Ishe to attempt to control K9 with a pointed elbow and a shoulder roll. I just wonder if Ishe will apply the right fight.

Interestingly enough K9 has lost to all types of fighters. Powell caught him cold. Steve Forbes outslicked him. Grady Brewer out mauled him and Joel Julio walked him down and beat him up and stopped him. Ishe is an all around fighter and he has a large menu to choose from.

I think purist will assume Ishe is winning because he ďlooksĒ better. But I think the judges will give K9 more rounds because of his urgency and aggression not to mention the hometown crowd. I would love to see Smith win a title. Heís one of the most talented guys of this era who has not won a title. In fact heís never even received a title shot. Hopefully he applies his talent in this fight, we shall see.


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