Daily Bread Mailbag: Ugas Beats Pacquiao, Canelo vs. Plant, Donaire, More

Boxing Scene

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Yordenis Ugas’ upset win over Manny Pacquiao, the upcoming super middleweight unification between Saul ‘Canelo’ Alvarez and Caleb Plant, Nonito Donaire, and more. (photo by Ryan Hafey)

What up Bread? I was somewhat shocked by Pacquiao vs Ugas outcome. I don’t rate Ugas as an elite WW but he is a tough and game fighter. I knew he had a right hand that would be a problem for Pacquiao, but I may have got a little caught up in the hype in regards to Pacquiao’s legendary status. Pac is a legend, a warrior, and could have (maybe should have) retired after the last Bradley fight. I like to keep things in an objective perspective as best as possible. I feel the media struggles with objectively reporting on certain stars and starts providing hyperbole reporting to please casual fans. For one, Pacquiao struggled against Jeff Horn. However, this seems to be highly overlooked.

Secondly, Pacquiao’s matchmaking was conservative since the last Bradley fight considering how the media pushed that “he’s still got it” narrative. Someone of Pacquiao’s skillset and accomplishments should have been facing the top fighters at PBC once he joined them in 2018. Furthermore, I feel the close win over Thurman was overhyped. I know Thurman WAS a top welterweight, BUT we are ignoring the layoffs that Thurman took. From what I’ve noticed, layoffs over a year tend to have a significant affect on a fighter.

In addition, Thurman’s tune up fight verse Josesito Lopez made me feel he should have had at least 1 more tune up fight before facing someone with the experience of Pacquiao. However, he did ok. Which further leaves me to believe Pacquiao DOESN’T “still have it”. That version of Thurman would have been unanimously defeated by the 2015 version of Pacquiao. Possibly stopped. I say this because we’ve seen Thurman hurt to the body or head by Collazo, Porter and Josesito Lopez (all lesser punchers than Pacquiao). And the knockdown from Pacquiao himself . He wasn’t fighting the ACTIVE Thurman that Porter and Danny Garcia faced. Pacquiao suffered from inactivity and age vs Ugas. The post Horn matchmaking has mislead the media IMO. (Matthysse, Broner and Thurman).

Bread’s Response: Don’t ever be shocked when a 42 year old fighter loses in a world title fight. I picked Pac to win but I thought it would be a very tough fight. Ugas performed. What happens when you get older is not so much that you don’t have it anymore. It’s just the bad nights happen more often. So instead of sustained excellence, the performances go up and down. Pac showed some stuff he’s just not the 08 version of himself. 99% of the time older fighters don’t get that. They need to lose in order to retire. Because after a good performance they think still got what they had in their prime. They still have some of the things but not all of the things that make them great. 

Don’t down grade Pac’s win over Keith Thurman. Thurman has been inactive throughout his prime. He was off a year going into the Shawn Porter fight and he was off a year going into the Danny Garcia. So for the Pac fight he was off 6 months. That’s usual for this era and especially for him. Pac’s win over Thurman is one of the best wins in history for a fighter over 40. To beat an undefeated top 3 fighter in the division in his prime who was also considered a top 20 fighter in the world. No way you can detract from that. Thurman is almost 10 years younger than Pac and much bigger naturally. 

Again older fighters who are still capable simply have more OFF nights. Pac reminds me of Holyfield at heavyweight. Holyfield after the Bowe trilogy was getting a little old. One night he would struggle vs Bobby Czyz. Next night he would beat Mike Tyson. Then after he beat Tyson again, he was struggling with Michael Moorer until he caught him. He looked shaky vs Vaugh Bean. Bad in draw vs Lennox Lewis. Excellent in loss to Lewis. Beats John Ruiz, loses to John Ruiz, then looks good in draw to Ruiz. Beats Hasim Rahman then loses 3 fights in a row. You get my point.

Pac will suffer the same fate if he keeps fighting. The struggles with Horne and Ugas were sandwiched by some nice performances. But those bad nights will surface more and more and more. His fans will go crazy over the great nights and support him but I’ve seen this movie before and I know how it ends. Manny Pacquiao is a rare fighter. But he’s not rare in the sense of how he leaves boxing. 

Andre Ward, Joe Calzaghe, Ricardo Lope, Lennox Lewis, Gene Tunney, Marvin Hagler and Floyd Mayweather are more rare in their mentalities of not allowing themselves to be seen too far off of their best day. As much as I love Manny, I respect the fighter more that can leave a 1 fight early, rather than the fighter who leaves 1 fight too late. And this is coming from someone who reveres Sugar Ray Leonard, Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali. But what they did was allow critics to nitpick their greatness. They took too much punishment. They all had late great career wins and still kept pressing on. 

Manny beat an undefeated Keith Thurman in 2019. It would have been the perfect ending. But…In 1958 Sugar Ray Robinson was 141-6 when he won the middleweight title for the 5th time and had his last great win over fellow HOF Carmen Basilio. He was 37 years old. Instead of retiring he fought 55 more times and lost 13 of them. So now some young 21 yr old analytics sports major will look at his record and claim he has 19 losses but leave out the fact that 18 came after he was 30 and 12 came after he was 39. 

Sugar Ray Leonard was an active fighter from the time he turned pro up until he fought Bruce Finch and retired with a detached retina. He was 32-1 when he first retired. He had never been knocked down. I bring that up because I was just asked by a tremendous young talent who had not got the chance to to study Leonard why, he was dropped so much. Leonard was never knocked down in his first 33 fights. Then he comes back and gets dropped vs Kevin Howard, Donny Lalonde, Tommy Hearns, Terry Norris and Hector Camacho. The Hagler comeback was perfect. Lalonde was ok. Fighting Hearns was the tipping point. And besting Duran 2 out of 3 in their trilogy right after Duran’s last greatest win over Iran Barkley should have been it. Leonard was 36-1-1. But he took off more time and fought a cold killer in Terry Norris 2 years later. If that wasn’t good enough he comes back again after 6 years in 1997 and gets stopped for the one and only time in his career vs Hector Camacho. 

Speaking of Duran he beats Iran Barkley in 1989. Duran was 37 when he fought Barkley. He was the first fighter in history to win a lightweight and middleweight title. Barkley had also kod Tommy Hearns, who gave Duran’s his worst career loss. Duran fights for 12 more years and takes 9 more losses! I can go on about this all day. I hope someone Manny respects sits him down for good. I hear trainers say I didn’t tell a fighter when to start so I can’t tell them when to stop. That’s bullsh!t in my opinion. They don’t have to listen you can tell them to when to stop. I hope I don’t have to defend Manny’s legacy 10 years from now because he has 15 losses instead of 8. 

I saw your breakdown with Kevin Iole. Bread you got everything right except the outcome. I was going to bet on Manny but you scared me off. I’m assuming you didn’t think Ugas could get a decision in Vegas vs the icon. I’m glad and was relieved he did although I’m a Pacquiao fan. Ugas deserved the victory. Are their anymore upsets you’re feeling but not sure about picking?

Bread’s Response: These aren’t my official picks but Deontay Wilder and Caleb Plant are both live in their fights vs Tyson Fury and Canelo Alvarez. Wilder and Plant are not my official picks yet but so many are assuming they get dragged. I just don’t see that. I see two competitive fights. I can’t call Joshua vs Usyk either but I’m leaning towards the favorite in Joshua in that one. Breaking down a fight is much easier than making an official pick. I was in the casinos saying to myself there is value in Ugas but he probably won’t get the credit on the cards. I’m upset with myself but it’s the game.

Your tweet about Dame Lillard was dead on. As soon as he tweeted that the announcers were not calling the fight fairly, they started to call the fight fairly. And how about Shawn Porter calling the other commentators out on air. Shawn straight up said, he’s talking about you guys, he’s not talking about me. Again the punch stats were off. What’s the deal with this? Do you think the networks are instructed to manipulate the public with fake punch stats and bias announcing? It happened with Charlo vs Korobov, Charlo vs Harrison, Dirrell vs Davis and most recently Pacquiao vs Ugas. This can’t al be a coincidence because each time the A side got the bias treatment.

Bread’s Response: I’m glad Damian Lillard said what he said. I’m a Manny Pacquiao fan and I knew he was losing. Manny’s wife knew he was losing. I don’t think the announcers are instructed to do anything bias. I think what happens is that they assume the favorites or perceived superior fighter is doing what is expected. And it’s hard to give the other fighter credit and often times when they do, it’s too late because the earlier rounds are scored also. 

However, I am glad that the announcement team changed it’s tone and started giving Ugas more credit. I really respect sports broadcasters and it’s not an easy job. During the fight Shawn Porter said, let me stop scoring the fight and start just saying what’s happening. That was very telling. Porter did a great job, so much so he even told his fellow announcers that Lillard was calling them out. Porter thought that Ugas was winning….Sometimes when everyone around you is saying something and you see things differently, it makes you think your mind is playing tricks on you. It happened to me during the fight when the unofficial scores were read and they said Ugas was coming back. It was after the 7th round. I said to myself wait a minute, I thought he was winning this fight. 

Porter was in a similar situation that Andre Ward was in, when Chris Algieri was fighting Ruslan Provodnikov. The announcers thought Provodnikov was winning. Ward stood firm on what he was watching. Ward was right. I don’t think anything disingenuous was going on with either announcing team. I just think preconceived notions on what you expect to happen, clouds the assessment on what is actually happening.

Hey Mr Edwards,

Hope you are in top shape and those dear to you are in good health. I’m sure you are inundated with Pacquiao-Ugas. First, I must congratulate you on your prediction for the fight that never was. I said Manny would give Errol Spence Jr a Margarito beating. You felt Spence would be bigger, rangier and his body punching would be too much for a Manny who has previously shown vulnerability to the body. Ugas was every bit of those things and he’s nowhere near the powerhouse Spence is. As insensitive as it may sound, I’m glad Spence had an eye problem. I now shudder to think what he would have done to Manny.

It was the end of an era. The boxing gods smiled on Manny. He was so close to Louis against Marciano, Ali against Holmes, Saad Muhammad against Qawi and many other painful passings of the torch, if this indeed was. What went wrong, in your view? Was it the two year layoff? Was it the distraction of politics in his home country? Was it the disappointment of the Spence cancellation? Was he in shape? Did his legs cramp or did Ugas take them away. Ugas certainly hit Manny harder than I’ve ever seen anyone hit him in the body since he was stopped with a body shot at the lighter weights all of those years ago. Was Ugas all wrong for Manny? Or quite simply, did Manny age in the ring? Ugas is certainly not superior to Keith Thurman.

Yes, like all Cuban top-level fighters, he is well-schooled and highly skilled. But this is Manny. The same Manny who gave Thurman such a bad beating in one of the rounds I thought he wasn’t answering the bell for the next round. Is two years such a long time in boxing? I think he should retire. With the politics, I don’t think he’s able to get into proper fighting shape. If he entered the ring in the same shape as the Thurman or Broner fights he gives Ugas a helluva run for his money. What do you think? Does this defeat affect his place in boxing history? Should it?

Finally, I think we should all join hands in celebrating the Manny we remember. A boxing journalist wrote that Marciano’s trainer was gloating at ringside that his fighter had just beaten the great Joe Louis. He walked across and told him Marciano had beaten a shell of the great Joe Louis. Outside the arena, the journo, lump in his throat, saw Louis looking at his name in the lights with an air that it was the last time. He walked up to Louis, asked for an autograph and said he was a fan. “Don’t feel sad. I knocked out a lot of guys too” Louis told him and walked into the night in his trench coat. I’m not sad, Manny. You knocked out a lot of guys too. Thanks for the thrills.

Katlholo Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bread’s Response: Great comment about the great Joe Louis. Seeing Marciano ko him was the saddest event in boxing history. No I don’t think Manny’s legacy took a hit. He’s already a top 25 fighter ever. He could do nothing but add to that, not take away from it. I think being off 2 years at 42 years old hurts the sharpness. Your body changes. From the eye ball test it also looked like Manny may have over shot in training. I kept seeing him running hills everytime they showed a video of him training. Hill running is beneficial but it has to be timed right going into a fight. I’m not saying Manny was overtrained. I’m saying he looked overtrained. 

He was not accurate. His flurries had no snap. His legs weren’t a bouncy. He appeared to have overtrained. But we have to give Ugas credit. Ugas is can bump. He’s not super fast but he’s smooth. He’s clever. He’s tough. He has a 2 fisted attack. His defense is competent. He’s a well rounded fighter and he’s much taller and longer than Pacquiao. That counts. Manny is short with short arms and his legs weren’t there. So how was he supposed to get to Ugas and close distance if his legs weren’t right? Manny is fortunate he’s a dog with an excellent chin because he could’ve got stopped. 

You say Thurman is surely better than Ugas. I don’t know about that. Over the last 5 years what has Thurman done that Ugas could not do. Who has Thurman beaten that you would assume that Ugas can’t beat. Thurman has a better record but that often times is attributed to “other” things. Thurman and Ugas fight differently. But I think they are about even as far as fighters. There are some things that Ugas does better. Some things that Thurman does better. The main difference is Ugas uses a jab more…

Hi Bread,

Long time reader but this is the first time I’m writing in. My question is, if I was training 3x a day for 5-6 weeks leading up to a fight, say HIIT/Jog 6am, Boxing technique/ sparring early evening and then strength work 8/9pm..How would you approach fight week? Continue with the same pattern and drop intensity (other than sparring, remove that completely) or change the routine? Keep doing what you’re my man!

Danny, London

Bread’s Response: In training camp you start out at one level. You gradually increase to a peak, then you gradually decrease as you get closer to the fight, to conserve and restore energy. So no I would not continue the same pattern as I approach fight week. I would decrease the length of the workouts. I can’t say exactly what you should cut out because I don’t know you and I don’t know what makes you sharp. But overall I wouldn’t be doing the same thing 1 week before a fight that I was doing 4 weeks before a fight. The load should be DECREASED but enough to keep you sharp. An athlete should be able to maintain peak conditioning for 10-14days if they are touching their conditioning that got them to their peak.

5 to 7 judges?  just what we need, an entire panel or incompetent or crooked judges. STOP! what we need is bad judges being terminated and ONLY using the best judges. If there are only 3 to 5 qualified judges in each state, then those guys should work every fight card in the state and it should be a full-time job (and get paid decent) so they can take the time to travel from city to city. Too often judges’ slots are based on political favors or simply downright favors.

Bread’s Response: Yes 5 to 7 judges. Any legitimate surveys have showed that there is more accuracy in larger sample sizes. So just going by that, more judges would be better. It shouldn’t cost more because there are always several judges who score fights at an event. But for the championship fights just allow more judges. Often times in these big fights a person’s who’s opinion is NOT of the majority, is too influential on a fight. If we get the 5 best judges to do championship fights, even if 2 are having a bad night. We still have 3 which would be the majority, to get boxing the correct results. 

I agree with you about bad judges being terminated. But you’re being a task master by suggesting that the best 3 judges in each state work every fight. Don’t you think that would be an overload of work and cause burn out? Some states do more shows than others and states are big. So the same 3 judges are supposed to travel to each show throughout the state, weekend after weekend….Their job is already stressful enough. Now you would make it a burden. I don’t agree. 

The best judges should score ALL fights because the 4 round kid who is 1-0 has to start somewhere. He doesn’t want to be robbed either. So we need more competent judges. Better training and yearly grades…. Quick termination and a fine for a corrupt card. And 5 to 7 judges for championship and unification fights. And we would get this under control quickly. We shouldn’t get to the point where we are holding our breaths on easy to score fights.

Sup Bread,   I’ve been reading with interest on your opinions on the Canelo and Plant fight. I like the comparison to Leonard and Duran 2 and could see it going that way. I may be biased considering I’m basically a hometown of Plant. My breakdown is very similar to yours as far as Canelo is a beast but Plant can very well win with proper footwork. A lot of people don’t give Plant any credit for his power but I feel that its underrated. He may not have knockout power but he consistently snaps punches out. I compare it to being hit with a gravel as opposed to a basketball. The basketball is thudding (Canelo) but the gravel (Plant) friggin hurts. What’s your take on this and thanks for the Daily bread articles. They are fantastic in my opinion.

Joe from Tennessee 

Bread’s Response: very astute comment. The gravel and the basketball. I like that. What these FANS don’t get is ALL punches hurt from world class fighters. Plant is not a ko artist but he can hurt you. It’s ridiculous to think Plant can’t hurt Canelo. He may not be able to stop him, but sure he can hurt him. Any fighter can be hurt. Austin Trout and Floyd Mayweather are not considered big punchers. But Canelo couldn’t walk through either. Why was that? Because applying your skill is more important than power. I know those fights were long ago but I keep saying this. He hasn’t fought fighters like the trio of Trout, Mayweather and Lara since 2013-14. BJ Saunders was the closest…..

Plant has to apply his skills and be sharp. Power should be the last thing on his mind. If he can do that, he can win. Muhammad Ali is not considered a great puncher at all. But if you look at a list of the 100 greatest punchers ever, Ali scored stoppages of some of the greatest punchers ever. It’s a simple reason. Because of his skill he was able to consistently hit them. Ali has stoppages over Bob Foster, great puncher. Archie Moore, great puncher. Floyd Patterson, great puncher. Joe Frazier, great puncher. George Foreman, great puncher. Sonny Liston, great puncher. 

That’s too many to be a coincidence. I’m going to keep telling you guys who don’t know any better. ALL PUNCHES HURT. For anyone that thinks Plant can’t punch, go sign a non disclosure and spar him. Then after sparring say 4 rounds, let me know if that’s still true.

What’s up Bread,

A few years ago there were videos of Nonito Donaire being able to impersonate a variety of different styles. I feel like a couple of those bad losses he took a few years ago had a lot to do with his style not meshing with what he needed for the his fight and felt like he could have had a lot of success had he fought differently.

As a trainer if you see your fighter who can fight a myriad of styles and a certain style is known to give an opponent issues, how much would you game plan for changing your fighters style to one that’s lesser used by him. Let’s say your fighters A+ game is as a come forward boxer puncher but his opponent has a huge weakness against counter punchers and your fighter’s B level game is as a counter puncher. Would you focus on what you can exploit most from your opponent or focus on what your fighter does best himself even if it means that gives your opponent a better chance. Is it just a middle ground of both or would you lean more towards a style for your camp?

I think there was a fix to hurt Rigo on the cards for his last fight vs Casimero and it’s the only time I’ve ever seen a fix and not been mad about it. Watching that fight, especially at the all action venue in Carson was pathetic. It should have been put on without any fans and not televised. I love the sweet science and I have zero desire to ever see a boxing fight look like that, ever.

Favorite boxing movie? Favorite boxing documentary? Most exciting boxing event or moment you’ve ever experienced in person?

Thanks, Jake

Bread’s Response: As great as Nonito is, I feel he was very similar to Oscar De La Hoya. They had a gift and a curse. Sometimes being able to fight multiple styles is a gift. But often times, too many choices cause decision anxiety. I feel like Nonito should have beaten Carl Frampton and Jessie Magdaleno. But he brawled and came forward in those fights and got outboxed. Just I feel that Oscar, could have been more successful vs Floyd Mayweather had he used his jab more and moved more. But he wanted to brawl in the Mexican Style and Floyd won the 2nd half of their fight. If I’m not mistaken the fight was socred a SD.

 The great Naazim Richardson once told me that it’s easier for a fighter to go in his toolbox and know exactly what to look for. If all he has is a shotgun, then he knows exactly where the shotgun is. But a fighter who has a revolver, shotgun and uzi, may get confused while looking through that box. It’s an interesting concept and here is how I approach it. 

A fighter has to be willing to win in any style that will allow him to win. When Julian Williams fought Jarrett Hurd I felt like if he OVERMOVED, he may not have had legs down the stretch. I saw him stay close to Nathaniel Gallimore and maul him. Gallimore and Hurd had similar reaches and both were snowball fighters. So we worked on grappling, beating Hurd to the punch in exchanges because he had long arms and his arms didn’t get back in place in time. And going to his body. It wasn’t super far off of Julian’s natural style but he’s more comfortable at range with his 1-2. But we got in that mode earlier in the fight because of how Hurd came out in round 2 and it was ON. 

When Kyrone Davis fought Anthony Dirrell midway through camp I noticed Dirrell couldn’t hit a moving target. I noticed Dirrell was sharp with sound fundamentals but he wasn’t really good at cutting the ring off. He let a fighter named Abraham Han who was severely outmatched go the distance. So I changed our gameplan and we fought him on the bounce. An in and out rhythm with movement. Dirrell was confused. So if I see a fighter can execute a style that is not his A+ game but it’s the game he needs to win. Then we are going to practice it over and over and he has to show the discipline to execute it although it’s not his A+ game.

Many people feel like you feel about the Casimero vs Rigo fight. Most people I know feel Rigo won, but no one cares that he lost. It’s just the reality of this fight. 

Favorite Boxing Movie: Rocky’s 1,2,3,4 Creed 1 and 2. With Rocky 3 being my favorite.

Favorite Boxing Documentary: When We Were Kings or the one on Gerald McClellan vs Nigel Benn. 

Most Exciting Boxing Event I’ve experienced. Julian Williams vs Jarrett Hurd May 11, 2019. Electricity! 

Mr. Edwards, From your first hand experience in the boxing scene… how long does the average retina  tear (not total detachment that Spence managed to avoid) take to heal?  Medicine has advanced over the past 40yrs but Ray Leonard lost 3yrs of his prime and resulted in his first retirement.  Would you think we’re not gonna see Errol Spence for at least a year?Does this incident / injury benefit the sport in a big way potentially? I’m thinking of the “4 Kings” at 135 specifically, but the sport at large as well…Errol Spence was a decorated amateurs and former Olympian who rose fast and reached Top 5 P4P in his early prime.  

He had the opportunity to make (if not the biggest event) the most significant Welterweight fight in 40 years with Terrance Crawford and they passed it up. No need to argue who’s at fault because my mind is made that it’s at the feet of Spence, Haymon and PBC. They let it “marinate” , they wanted to “clear up their side of the street”, they wanted to punish Crawford, etc etc etc. He missed a legacy defining fight that would be remembered for decades and the biggest payday of his career up to that point…Then he loses a year of his prime in a self-inflicted car crash…But it almost was all worth it when they landed the Pacquiao super fight…Almost..A stroke of bad luck, a torn retina, and the fight is off. Never to be made again now that Pacquiao is defeated. Two biggest opportunities are up in smoke. Whenever he returns post eye injury, car crash , rust, he may never be the same and he may be forced up to 154 or 160. Do the young guns FINALLY start to make the hot fights when they are THERE to be made after witnessing this tragic tale??

Don in Houston

Bread’s Response: I don’t have any personal experience with retina injuries. I’ve seen people turn into medical experts about Errol Spence’s eye. Whatever the Doctor says is what I will go with. I just don’t know. What I do know is that medical technology has advanced a great deal since 1981. And Spence shouldn’t be out as long as Leonard was. But I can’t say when that is exactly. 

I don’t think the injury benefits the sport. I think the mentality of the sport for the fighters who have turned pro or ascended within the last decade is just DIFFERENT from fighters before them and we have to accept their perspective on boxing. What we saw Ray Leonard do from 1979-81 fighting Benitez, Duran 2x, Kalule at 154 and Hearns, may not ever happen again. It almost did when we saw Oscar fight #1 P4P Whitaker, Camacho, undefeated Quartey, Carr tune up, undefeated Trinidad and undefeated Mosley all from 1997-2000. Leonard and De La Hoya were GUNS. 

Canelo is trying to do it in this era. He’s a GUN also and if he runs through PBC’s stable of Plant, Charlo and Benavides. He’s with Leonard and Oscar at GUN status. He would be a rarity in this era because Nonito is not really from this era. Nonito turned pro in 2001. He just fights in this era. 

Fighters have figured out a way to not take certain fights and still get rich. They don’t ask for or insist on taking certain fights because the fans and networks turn on them if they lose. It’s true. The networks do to. The fighters take a huge pay cut for losing and the networks make commercials with them being beat up on there. I’ve seen a network do special on a punch that was landed on a fighter 3 years after the fight! It was the ultimate cheap shot! They didn’t do it after the punch was landed. They waited until the losing fighter ascended to a championship status to do the special. So when I say we aren’t in the era for a fighter to take tough fights. I’m not blaming this all on the fighters. It’s the whole program that makes it not worth it for the most part. It’s a shame but it’s just how it is.

You guys keep calling Lopez, Davis, Haney and Garcia the 4 Kings and not 1 of the 4 have fought each other yet. And only 1, that’s Teofimo Lopez has taken a fight as an underdog. I think they are all special talents but I’m not calling them the 4 Kings until they start fighting each other. They aren’t too young to fight each other!

As far as taking big fights once a fighter reaches a certain point, he has to simply demand them. I respect both Canelo and Plant. They both wanted smoke. They both got it. It can be done but the fighters have to really demand it. 

Hi Breadman,

Just wanted to tell you that I’m a big fan of yours, I read all your mailbag every week for 10 years now. Never miss a week of reading it. Just wanted your thoughts about the following.

1. Did Manny loss to Ugas because of his age and 2 year lay off? Or Ugas will be just difficult style for Manny even during his prime that he is so quick using side to side movements? What factor do you think why he loss? Does Manny that beat Thurman beat ugas?

2. Casual fans don’t give a lot of chances for Ugas, But man if you talk to a lot of expert like you and Max kellerman. Looks like you are worried about Ugas because he is a live underdog and with short notice. Do you notice also about the size of Ugas during the fight? He looks like a middleweight compare to Manny, his reach said 69 compare to Manny 67. But it looks like more than 69 to me.

3. A lot of people also said that if Spence is the one Manny fought it will be worse for him. Your thoughts?

4. Buboy also wanted a  rematch, Do you think it’s a good idea for Manny? Does he have a chance for a rematch with Manny will be more prepare now for ugas?

5. Do Manny need to fight a farewell fight for him to exit the Sports on a winning note? Or this loss who Manny gives all his best and always keep trying despite the circumstances is already enough?

6. How will you remember Manny Pacquiao career bread? Young fighters today wanted to preserve their undefeated record. While Pacquiao have 8 losses but never shy away from the challenge and fight a lot of hall Famer in every weight class.

7. Your thoughts on Larry merchant tribute to Manny. I remember Merchant said long time ago about Manny, ” No matter what happens in the future,  the fact that Manny fought so many of the great fighter of his time on every weight class.  Will mark him very high in Boxing History.


Bread’s Response: Thanks for the support.

1. Manny lost to Ugas because of everything you said. But don’t forget Ugas fought a great fight.

2. Ugas was super live, I just didn’t think he would get a decision. There is no way Ugas’s reach is just 2 inches longer than Manny’s.

3. Who knows, we have to see Manny and Spence fight. I think Ugas is totally different from Spence. It’s not always who’s better. On top of that how do we know what type of camp Spence was having…I don’t assume that because Ugas beat Manny that Spence would. Manny’s team was getting ready for Spence, they picked him for a reason.

4. Manny has to be careful in the rematch. He has a chance to win but Manny seemed overtrained. Maybe Roach will be a bigger part of his conditioning. Everything counts. The little things….

5. I can’t say what he needs. Personally I don’t want to see him take any more punches but I obviously have no say. I think Manny took a beating and a beating like that can stick with you later in life. 

6. I think Manny is a top 15-25 ATG. I don’t know where exactly without more research. But he’s special. For any fighter who criticizes Manny, I would tell them to find another flyweight who can fight a top welterweights in his 40s. The closest things recently we have had to Manny is Nonito and Choc. Choc hit his ceiling at 115. Nonito at 122. Manny went to 150lbs! Its absurd to think about what he did. 

I would tell all of the critics this and listen close. There is NO FIGHTER in history who could move through 50lbs and 10 weight divisions and for 26 years and fight the fights that Manny did and not have multiple losses. Not even Robinson and Leonard. Every great in history would have losses if they tried what he did. Most wouldn’t even try it or get clipped before they got there. In my opinion Manny only lost 6 fights and not 8. But forget the technicalities. His 1st 3 title shots came as the underdog. Sasakul, Ledwaba and Barrera were all underdog wins. Only Duran can rival that. 

If we go by best day vs best day at natural weights. Manny is on the level of Whitaker, Duran, Chavez, Canzoneri, Jofre and all of the other sub 135lbs fighters. He’s that good. Here is his best stat. Manny is a top 10-15 All time welterweight. He won the title 4 times and was a top fighter in the division since 2008. And he was UNDERSIZED and past his prime for the last 8 years. It’s insane to think about. 7. Merchant was on POINT!

Hi Bread,

I want to get your perspective on Pay Per View and streaming subscriptions and its effect on boxing match-ups. Since the retirement of Mayweather  outside of Wilder-Fury I really cannot think of a pay per view card that was worth $74.95 and last week was no exception. There is no doubt that a Spence-Pacquiao match up alone would have justified the hefty price tag but I was surprised they proceeded with a relatively unknown fighter. Do you think they would have rescheduled the bout if Manny had suffered an injury? I ultimately did buy it because I love boxing but other than Ortiz v Guerrero I had no clue who the other fighters were. Do you know who else they may been considering to replace Spence besides Ugas? There is nothing better than great undercard bouts with name opponents to get you ready for the main event. Is it simply that the stars get paid and the remaining cash cannot get you name opponents?

I understand that DAZN and PBC have to pay these guys but fewer and fewer fights are landing on Showtime and FOX since everyone considers themself a PPV attraction now. I just want to hear your thoughts and I think this is also part of the reason fights don’t get made. Regarding the fight, it looked like Ugas just replicated Floyd’s blueprint to beat Manny. Longer reach, good defense and sharp punching stalled Manny’s offense and a rematch would be no different.

Also, it was interesting that Manny was introduced last despite not being the champion. Would that concern you as a trainer or is it just recognition of Manny being the A side? Trainer questions:

1. Have u ever thrown in towel as a trainer during a round?

2. What is your favorite weight division to watch ?

3. If you could only pick one punch for your fighter to have that is elite would you choose an elite jab,hook, a cross or elite body punching and why?

Thank you for your time

Take Care, Aaron from Cleveland

Bread’s Response: Never threw a towel in. Hopefully I never have to.

I like to watch every division where great fighters fight. I appreciate skill no matter the size. 

I would pick my fighter to have an elite JAB. Simple reason. It’s the closest punch to the opponent and easiest to land. Anyone who says something different is overthinking this question. 

Greetings, Breadman,

I’ll firstly thank you for your mailbag, always an great read full of insight and respectful opinions. Great performance by Ugas. I had him winning eight rounds. I thought the gameplan devised by Salas was perfect. Now here’s my potentially controversial take, the short lead time on the fight aided those tactics. Ugas kept it wonderfully simple with the jab and body attack, timing Pacquiao perfectly without wasting much. Don’t get me wrong, Salas could have overcomplicated things by concentrating on Pacquiao’s many offensive gifts. I praise him for focusing on the strengths of his own man and sending him out there with straightforward, clear and decisive instructions. On the back of this, my question is what standout bouts can you think of where trainers have got it wrong by sending their man out with too much emphasis on their opponent’s abilities? Loma in the Lopez unification is one that springs to mind, though this could have been more Loma’s innate fear of getting clipped early. Anyway, keep up the good work. Wishing you continued success.

John, Manchester

Bread’s Response: Im glad you brought up Ismael Salas. He’s an excellent trainer. He did a great job with Ugas. Ugas put a hard counter jab on Manny. He then threw a variation to it but sort of holding it on Manny. Ugas threw an off beat jab-right hand combo. It wasn’t a fast tempo. It was a slight pause in between the jab and right hand. 

Let’s get back to Salas. He deserves some major credit. I read criticism of him because he lost with Felix Verdejo. Salas is a great trainer, he’s not a miracle worker. Verdejo does not have a world class chin, composure and now we see he’s a head case. Salas can only work with what he has. Salas takes fights as an underdog trainer. That’s not the same as having everything lined up for you as a trainer. Totally different! 

I love Eddy Reynoso as a trainer. He has the best WIN of the year with Oscar Valdez vs Miguel Berchelt aslo as an underdog trainer. But the media was claiming he was TOY and it was only February. The last time I checked the year is 12 months and not 2. I saw prominent media members say that and it wasn’t fair to anyone. Well now it’s August and Salas is in the race. The boxing media is so bias and unfair it’s sickening. Reynoso may win TOY. Especially if Canelo beats Plant. Reynoso probably has the best stable in boxing and he rarely loses. But the media should be fair to all of the trainers who win tough fights. 

Context needs to be taken into consideration. Not the just the trainer who wins the biggest fight or has the most notable fighters. But the trainer who does the best job and takes the toughest challenges. I’m telling you guys it’s a difference and all things should be considered. Right now I think it’s a tight race between Ben Davison, Salas and Reynoso as far as Trainer of the Year. Both Reynoso and Salas have big challenges coming up. Salas has Thomas Dolurme going against Boots Ennis. This is not a super fight but trust me if Dolurme can pull of that win, it would be just as impressive if Canelo beats Plant. Ennis is other worldly talented. Let’s see how it plays out and again I’m glad Salas is getting some credit.

Bread, I read a comment from George Foreman on twitter regarding the ideal size of a HW boxer. I quote: “My ideal size for a Heavyweight boxer. 6-2, 220lbs. that way he is able to use all of boxing’s tools: bob/wave, step to the side and counter punch, with a jab.” He must be reading your weekly column as I am positive you have said the same.

Cheers from OzGK

Bread’s Response: Yes Sir, I agree with Big George. I don’t know if he read me say that or not but we agree. I always thought that Ali and Foreman had perfect height for heavyweights. They are both roughly 6”3. Both fought between 215 and 220. So we are in the ball park. 

Once a man gets too big, his stamina gets compromised. He needs to rest. He needs to take breaks. His knees hurt from doing the #1 conditioning exercise. RUNNING. The faster, better coordinated heavyweights in history have been brutal on the bigger heavyweights historically. Despite the myths. Joe Louis fought several heavyweights over 240lbs. And he was brutal vs all of them. Ali, Frazier, Holyfield, Tyson, Wilder and Marciano have all been brutal on bigger men. I’m not saying size doesn’t matter but you can be too big. The size not only compromises the stamina but it compromises the reaction time to get out of the way of shots. 

Did you see Michael Coffie in his last fight? He weighed roughly 270ish. That’s freaking huge. Once he got tired and disorganized, he got hit with the same right hand over and over and over. He just couldn’t avoid the incoming punches. There is no heavyweight I would rather have in history over the 6’3, 212 lbs Ali who fought Cleveland Williams. George knows…

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