The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Deontay Wilder, Mike Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield, reflecting back on Eder Jofre, Mikaela Mayer vs. Alycia Baumgardner, Jermell Charlo vs. Tim Tszyu, and more.
It looks like regardless if Spence-Crawford takes place or not, by early 2023 Boots will be Spence’s mandatory for the IBF. If you could put your manager hat on, what would be the perfect next 1-2 fights to prepare Ennis for that type of challenge? Obviously right now he looks like a world beater, but what does he still have to learn and in what areas can he still grow? Also I’m wondering if you could comment on the recent trend of early stoppages going on in boxing. I think none of us want to see fighters truly damaged, but it seems like fighters no longer have the right to be hurt and are no longer getting the opportunity to recover before these fights are waived off.
Bread’s Response: When a fighter is an Uber talent they will find a way to rise to the top. The matchmaking won’t always be perfect. In a perfect world a hard nosed southpaw Gate Keeper would be available for Ennis to fight to get him ready for Spence. But I don’t see anyone that fits that bill. I feel like Ennis should just stay active. A 25 yr old kid shouldn’t be fighting every 8-9 months when he hasn’t fought for a world title yet. I don’t understand or agree with that. On top of that he’s scoring early kos. When Mike Tyson and Tommy Hearns were scoring early kos as rising prospects they were fighting every other month.
Because of Ennis’s level of opponent keeps getting criticized I would pick fighters in the RING top 10. Radzhab Butaev just fought on a PBC card. He’s a in the RING top 10. That’s a solid match up for Boots. Then after that believe it or not I would take an over the weight fight at 154lbs to show the world, that he’s the premier talent around those divisions. I would go after Brian Castano. Castano just lost to Jermell Charlo. It’s easier to control a fighter coming off of a loss than it is one coming off of a win. Boots can move right back down to welterweight if he wins. I would favor him by ko over both.
Bread what’s going on,
You wrote last mailbag most men hit their peak in between 20 – 25. I was curious as to why. I think men hit the apex of their prime at 27. My example would be Tank, I don’t think Tank will have a more impressive ko than Rolly because I think he is at his apex. Who would you favor between Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson. That is the fight I am excited about and I think if the fight earlier there could be a chance for a trilogy. You think a lightweight super six is possible? Also are there any possible fights that you would like to see?
Bread’s Response: I said they hit their PHYSICAL peaks around 20-25. But in terms of boxing where their skill and mind catch up it can be a little later. But just think about world records, 40 yd dash times, sex drive, natural testosterone levels etc etc. All of that stuff comes earlier than anyone wants to admit. Obviously nothing is exact and 30 years old is a great age in boxing. But just look at the great fighters in any other era except this one. And you will get what I mean. Because of a slower fight schedule, matchmaking and modern recovery it looks like primes are lasting longer. But what’s really happening is they’re being prolonged because of what I stated. 27 is a great age. I’m not suggesting that isn’t an APEX stage. I believe it is. But in terms of strictly physical peak, the peak comes earlier than anyone admits and what happens is the DISCIPLINED athletes who exhaust their resources, can perform at a PEAK level all the way up to their mid to late 30s. We’ve seen it, so I won’t debate it.
I have 2 questions:1 – Do you talk to fighters about how to react when they score a knockdown? I imagine it to be a difficult time for a fighter because they are almost certainly hoping that their opponent stays down and that they win the fight, so it must be a little disappointing if/when the other fighter gets up. Do you train them in how to deal with this, or is it too instinctual to train for? Maybe you talk to them when it is happening instead?2 – Is there a body type that is simply NOT conducive to success in boxing, or can all bodies be adapted into one form of fighter or another? If there is a body type that just does not work, what is it?
Many thanks for your continued sharing of knowledge.
Bread’s Response: 1. Yes I do. I tell them don’t blow their load. Don’t go crazy. Try to land the same punches that got the opponent in trouble in the first place. Touch the body so the opponent doesn’t recover. And remember a wounded dog is dangerous. Often times finishing skills are instinctive but everything is teachable.
2. There is no body type that CAN’T compete in boxing. There are always exceptions. But I have noticed that fighters from certain regions of the world sort of fizzle out. I won’t say what region because I just don’t feel it’s something I should say. But I have noticed it.
I would say 2 body types that rarely produce good fighters. One is proportionately short arms, with big chest and big head. Reach is not a big deal to me, if you have elite timing. But I’ve seen fighters who have proportionately big heads for the weight. So they have to fight at a higher weight. But their height and arm reach are short. It’s very tough to advance in boxing if you have to overcome that.
The second body type of one that is overly muscled along with BULK. I’m talking like offensive linemen level muscle. I don’t care how STRONG they are, they can’t box. They don’t have the endurance muscles to fight 36 minutes. They may can knock out guys in street fights. They may be able to move big objects. But their muscles are so heavy they can’t even hold their hands up for 3 minutes. And their sudden fatigue causes them to not be able to take punches well because they’re simply too tired to defend themselves. You may see football players try boxing but you don’t ex offensive lineman 325lb , 6’4” guys try it. They would get lit up because of their body style.
Bread you’re the best watch on Twitter as far as boxing. I saw the thread about the Fighter of the Decade of the 1980s. You were throwing blows, lol. I thought Ray Leonard was named by Ring as the Fighter of the 80s. How did it change? What’s the argument with Michael Spinks, was he better than Leonard or did I miss something?
Bread’s Response: I don’t think I was throwing blows, I was spitting facts. I was actually talking about something else and someone intervened. Ray Leonard was named by Ring among other publications as the Fighter of the Decade several times. But just recently another publication gave it to Spinks, and I think but not 100% sure the author intervened on twitter when I was talking about Leonard somehow being indirectly blamed for Benn vs Eubank’s catchweight fight that no one wanted.
I was making a point of how Leonard’s 1 career catchweight fight, had nothing to do with what Benn and Eubank were doing and somehow scribes like to take shots at most likely the best fighter of our lifetime depending on how old you are. I pointed out that recently he was unofficially stripped of his fighter of the decade throne and it was awarded to Michael Spinks 30 + years later, and what you saw was the author of the article intervene.
I hate even talking about stuff like that because fighters deserve their attribution. Spinks was a terrific fighter. I think top 3 ever at 175lbs and among the best fighters of the 1980s. But the Fighter of the Decade…..I mean no one said it 1990. No one said it 2000. No one said it 2010. Now in 2022 without anything changing, a fighter who didn’t win 1 Fighter of the Year awards in the 1980s.
A fighter who was NEVER recognized once as the best in the world, is now the Fighter of the entire decade of possibly the best decade ever in boxing history. Not that those are prerequisites, but the Fighter of other Decades all fit the criterion. Armstrong for the 30s. Robinson for the 40s and 50s. Ali for the 60s. Duran for the 70s. Leonard for the 80s. Roy Jones for the 90s. Pacquiao for the 00s. Mayweather for the 10s. It’s possible to swap out Pernell Whitaker for Roy Jones in the 90s and Mayweather for Pacquiao in the 00s.
But for the most part, you get what I’m saying. But that’s just that. The Fighter of every Decade is the needle mover. It’s the fighter who has the combination of the best and biggest wins who’s also the best fighter for the most part. Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler were the best 2 fighters of the decade. They fought on April 6th, 1987 and Leonard won. Some still can’t get over that the brash, bold Leonard, beat the more conservative relatable Hagler. Remember 90% of the polled press had Hagler by STOPPAGE. I remember. So when it didn’t go the way, “THEY” said it would go, the excuses came.
Sometimes articles and list are made to be provocative. Or think outside the box. I get it. I just didn’t agree with it. I especially didn’t agree with it because Spinks was all of a sudden recognized as the Fighter of the 80s when no one in the 80s thought so. Nothing changed, he didn’t get more big wins since. I was going to ask where some of the media who was polled that Voted for Spinks was from. I would be willing to bet, the New England area, which loved Hagler and the Petronelli Brothers. But I just digressed and stopped interacting on the thread.
I know who the Fighter of the 1980s was. Even if you did analytics which I don’t like for boxing, Leonard had 3 HOF scalps. Spinks had 2. Leonard won 5 titles. Spinks 2 but I admit that wouldn’t be fair because Spinks started out at a higher weight with less room to win move up. Spinks was more active, but analytically Julio Cesar Chavez was more active than both and also won 3 titles during the same decade…. Mike Tyson won 37 fights in the 80s, including one over Spinks. So the analytics wouldn’t work with either. The Fighter of the 80s was just Ray Leonard. I know it’s subjective but if you know, you know. It was the Sugar Man and if Hagler had won that fight, trust me on this no one would’ve wrote 30 years after the decade’s end that Michael Spinks was the Fighter of the 80s over Marvin Hagler.
First, best wishes to you and Caleb Plant on his upcoming fight. I’ve long respected his life story as well as your weekly column with the expertise and the moral ‘high road’. Also, thanks for the space you recently gave to a discussion of Harry Greb. I’m from a Pittsburgh family and my paternal grandad was friends with Harry. He passed when I was 9, well before I followed boxing.
I read your article on the anticipated Spence -Crawford fight. For months I’ve been wondering how on earth that hook turned into a jab .I think you called it a weird street punch. What are the ‘mechanics’ and footwork that gave it such power? Is Crawford the only fighter you’ve seen throw it?
Recently, a reader asked you about a mythical match up between Marciano and ‘RJJ’.You wrote ,as I recall,that few fighters between 180 and 190 could have coped with Marciano. Who are your top ‘small heavyweights’ of all time, way before the Cruiserweight division became necessary?
Thanks so much,
Terry – Warren, Pa.
Bread’s Response: I’ve been hit with that punch before. One of my cousins hit me right in the eye with that punch. I’ve seen it but only from fighters who are converted with their lead dominant hand out front. Hagler threw it with his right hand, as did Oscar with his left. I also saw Virgil Hill and Michael Moorer throw it. Andre Ward hit Chad Dawson with one.
When you say small heavyweight do you mean under 200lbs or slightly over. I will assume you mean under 200lbs.Rocky Marciano, Ezzard Charles, Gene Tunney, Jack Dempsey and Floyd Patterson.
I love watching fighters from the 80s to mid 90s. That slashing, whipping, volume style of boxing is so aesthetically pleasing. Kinda like the dunkers in the NBA from that era. Only guys who come close to that style today is Crawford & Ennis. This is why I believe today’s best fighters would struggle with guys from back then, they set a torrid pace. Can you name a few classic fights like Brook-Spence, Crawford-Porter, Hearns-Leonard etc. where it was a close fight and one guy dramatically picked up the pace to secure a win?
Also can you name some fights where guys were a supposedly feather fisted somehow beat a heavy puncher? (Algeri vs Provodnikov) Caleb is a hell of a fighter I wonder if he will have a chance to really prove his great 168 is one if those tweener divisions where it’s just not that many guys. I’d love to see him fight Andrade (shame how his career has went). I’m super excited for Mayer vs Baumgartner. I’d love to see a four Queens era where they fight Serrano & Taylor. I hope Alycia pulls it out, but Mayer will test her endurance. Lastly how do you see Tyson vs Hollyfield if it was made in 1991?
Bread’s Response: In 1991 I think Tyson would have performed better than he did in 1996 & 97 but Holyfield would have too. Holyfield is 4 years older than Tyson.
So when they first met in 1996, Tyson was 30 and Holyfield was 34. In my opinion Tyson’s style had eroded but Holyfield had more wear and tear. He was just kod by Riddick Bowe the year before. I don’t automatically say Holyfield wins because of what happened when they did fight. Boxing is a game of inches and everything matters. But Holyfield just seems to understand how to fight Tyson. He catches and counters Tyson. He fights him in the box. He counters him in the mid range. He backs Tyson up. Tyson has been beat before and after Holyfield beat him, but Holyfield fights him differently than Douglas and Lewis did.
I would guess Holyfield would have beaten in 1991 in a brutal fight. Tyson showed some staying power vs Razor Ruddock in 1991. He showed character. But I still say Holyfield edges him.
Women’s boxing is on fire right now. I’m happy for them. I saw that Alicia Baumgardner is a 2 to 1 underdog vs Michaela Mayer. I admit I haven’t seen either fight in extended fights but from what I’ve seen Baumgardner is more talented and a better athlete. That doesn’t mean she’s a better fighter. From my understanding Mayer is the better amateur and she performed better on the big stage as an amateur. That does count for something. But my eyes tells me that Baumgardner should not be the betting underdog. The odds should be at least EVEN.
Lots of supposed feather fisted fighters beat big punchers. All punches hurt. They may not all ko you, but they all hurt. Willie Pep over Sandy Saddler. Jimmy Young over George Foreman. Pernell Whitaker really beat Julio Cesar Chavez. I can go on forever about that. The people on the outside will say a fighter can’t punch. But all punches hurt.I just saw a 3 fight punch stat of Pernell Whitaker. He was averaging 79 punches/round. This was from a fighter who has been called defensive and boring. That’s 80s and 90s boxing. Smooth flowing punching. The tutorial fight of the time is James Toney vs Mike McCallum. Whoa! Yes Boots Ennis and Terence Crawford have the style. So does Choc and Estrada. Benavidez has some of it also in terms of his punches just flowing. I think fighters in this era don’t trust their stamina enough. And they TRY to punch hard, instead of just punching hard with a smooth, quick delivery. I keep telling people boxing has not evolved in terms of skill. It’s evolved in terms of recovery and bigger men, making smaller weights. Not skill.
Greetings…Eder Jofre has just passed away, for a long time he was considered the best boxer regardless of weight, he was a P4P#1. I read 2 SI articles where he is mentioned as the best in the world. The first in May 1962 and the other in January 1965.This implies that he still had the #1 tag after Ali’s first victory over the fearsome Liston. In May ’65 he would lose to Harada. I was surprised not to see a question about him on his last mailbag. Can you break down Jofre? At what point did he reach his peak?
Do you agree with the comments from the time that Jofre was the best fighter in the world? Between which fights was he P4P#1? Another question. In other post office exchanges you already gave a linear P4P since1980 until today. Could you do the same from 1960 (or 1950) to 1979?
Bread’s Response: Thank you for writing in about the Golden Bantam. Jofre was a terrific fighter. One of the Ten best ever bantamweight and under. To get a visual, he’s a mix of Chocolatito and Chavez. Jofre was awesome. Check out his fights vs Jose Medal. I would say he peaked in around 1960-65. Those Harada fights were razor close and Harada is also an ATG. Jofre has a real case for winning both especially the rematch. I definitely believe Jofre was the world’s best fighter before the meat of Ali’s reign. Jofre in my opinion was the 2nd best fighter of the 1960s.
It’s hard for me to do P4P lineage from 1950 or 1960 because I wasn’t alive and during those times many of the leading fighters would take occasional losses, and usually when a fighter takes a loss the lineage is broken. It would take more time to research than I would have to do a weekly mailbag. But I will give you examples of what I mean.
In 1950 it was clear Sugar Ray Robinson was #1. He was the reigning welterweight champion and he was the leading contender at middleweight. He had 1 loss in over 120 fights. But he lost to Randy Turpin in 1951. He got the win right back in a rematch. But he lost to Joey Maxim in 1952 so if the lineage wasn’t broken with the Turpin loss, it was definitely lost in the Maxim loss because he retired. So now at this point who’s #1?
Rocky Marciano starts his reign. Archie Moore is established but was denied a title shot for a long time. Kid Gavilan was reigning but lost a few non title fights. As did the great Sandy Saddler who was very inconsistent in non title fights. So my guess it’s either Archie Moore for a small window then Rocky Marciano once he established himself in his reign. After Marciano retired, Robinson was reigning on and off winning the title another 3 times before the decade was out. Robinson was the fighter of the 1950s but I don’t know if he was #1 P4P after he came back from his retirement after his loss to Joey Maxim.
There has to be a best fighter but in 1956 I’m not sure who it was. I think it was back and forth between Robinson and Floyd Patterson. It’s also clear by the late 1950s it’s not Robinson anymore but Patterson was in a trilogy with Ingemar Johannson. Sonny Liston has a case but he was being blackballed. I think Jofre emerging in 1962 was the CLEANEST case, since Marciano in 1953-55. After Jofre loses to Harada twice, it’s clear it’s Muhammad Ali in 1965. When Ali is exiled in 1967, the lineage gets broken again. Not sure who it is next.
Nino Benvenuti has a slight case but he lost in 1968. Emille Griffith maybe….same with Carlos Ortiz….I have a great choice in Jose Napoles, his record was clean for the most part in the late 60s and early 70s. His only loss was a cut tko that he avenged. Maybe Bob Foster….But Most likely Joe Frazier. So after Ali’s exile in 1967, I’m going to say the safe bet is Frazier with Jose Napoles having a strong argument. Any argument that Foster had, Frazier cleared in their fight in 1970.
As 1970 comes around Carlos Monzon wins a title. Some of this P4P assessment is revisionist history without looking at an actual list of the time. We can say Monzon is the #1 fighter in the world in 1970 but that wouldn’t be realistic because Frazier was in the middle of his reign and Monzon was a NEW unknown titlist. And we know P4P is not handed over just like that.
What I can say is at some point Monzon took over, it may have been before Frazier lost to Foreman, but I can’t say exactly. So at some point Monzon took over but guess what, Duran won a title in 1972. At some point we know he became the best fighter in the world also. When exactly, who knows. Was it after 1977 when Monzon retired. I don’t know. It’s a very, very tough call. But after Monzon, it was Duran at some point. Duran takes us into 1980 and after 1980 as you said, I have done the lineage in previous mailbags. It gets easier when you watched it as it happened.
I did that freestyle off the top of my head by the way, so if I misstated something I apologize but I’m pretty sure I got the chronological time line right.
What are your thoughts about this weekend’s fights? This seems to be an unusually busy weekend. Not sure if I have seen a weekend with so many high profile fights. Any upset specials.
Bread’s Response: Yes October 15th, is a huge fight weekend. Wilder vs Helenius is a big fight because Deontay Wilder is the leading American heavyweight. Helenius looks to be made to order for Deontay. I think Deontay should win by early ko. But I’m intrigued because in his last fight he took a bad beating and he’s in his mid 30s. So you can’t take the rebound performance for granted.
I think Devin Haney is a terrific fighter. I think he beats Kambosos again by decision. But Kambosos did land a good right hand in their fight. I don’t know if it hurt Devin but it seemed to be one of those shots that silently buzzes a fighter and it goes unnoticed. Outside of a CLIPPING, I think Haney is just too good, too talented, too dedicated, too skillful for Kambosos.
Claressa Shields has a way about her that special athletes have. She performs at her best when her best is needed. She talks a lot but she backs every last word up. She shines when everyone is looking. I love Savannah Marshall’s calm demeanor. I love Peter Fury, her trainer. He’s the real deal. But I can’t pick against Shields. She just seems too fast, too busy and too conditioned for the ladies her weight. The odds are close but Marshall is going to have to hurt her to beat her. And Shields is so mean, she may have to be critically hurt in order to be beaten. She has a very strong state of mind.
Mayer vs Baumgardner in my opinion is a closer fight than people realize. Mayer is a 2 to 1 favorite but I don’t see that. I see Mayer as being the more experienced fighter. I see her conditioning and workrate being a factor. I can see her shining brighter on the big stage as an amateur being a factor. But Alicia looks to be more skillful and more talented in my opinion. I’m very curious in this one because the more talented fighter is the underdog. But being more talented than someone, doesn’t mean you can beat them. This fight has me intrigued. I don’t have a clue who the winner will be.
It wasn’t boxing but Draymond Green threw a vicious punch at Jordan Poole. Was Green within his rights to punch Poole? Is that a common thing in team sports? How do they move on from that?
Bread’s Response: First off the NBA is the hardest league in the world to make it in. The skill level that you need to make the NBA is unreal. Yes harder than boxing. I’m not saying basketball is harder than boxing. I’m saying making it to the NBA is harder than making it to the top level in boxing. Average boxers who are connected and have some discipline can make it to the championship level. Everybody in the NBA is a cold stud and was awesome in college or high school.
Green is a Hall of Fame player and one of the great role players we have ever seen in the NBA. He fits perfectly for Golden State. But he went overboard in punching his teammate in the face. One of Green’s greatest attributes is he’s PROTECTIVE of his teammates….think about that and then think about the incident. I don’t care who else has did it. I don’t care how often it has happened. What he did was ASSAULT in the workplace. Basketball is the profession, not boxing.
Green is fortunate Poole is not taking it to another level. Poole would lose his clout in the locker room but he could sue. He could refuse to play with him again. He could’ve filed a police report. I know most men wouldn’t do that. It sounds corny. I wouldn’t do those things to my teammate either. But in this day and time, nothing surprises me. Poole should be commended on how he handled it, he hasn’t said one word then he went out and played well. He could’ve demanded that Draymond be punished worse than he was.
On to the incident. It seemed to me that both Green and Poole were talking back and forth. Green is known as a great trash talker. Green approached Poole and got in his face bumping him and talking about 2 inches away from his face. It’s totally wrong to say Poole shouldn’t have pushed Green. Green violated his personal space. Poole had a right to push him. Green initiated the PHYSICAL contact. Green then went way overboard in punching Poole. He could’ve broken his jaw. Fractured his eye socket. That could’ve been serious.
I hate today’s society. They want to make memes out of things they would be cowards towards if it happened to them. Some are even justifying what Green did. Others are saying well Michael Jordan punched Steve Kerr. Others are fixated on who leaked the video. I don’t care about any of that. Jordan Poole has a family. He has a mother and father. I’m assuming he has siblings and close friends. I’m assuming he has a woman. Imagine how they feel. Even if my son were grown, I wouldn’t be able to take that. I will leave it at that, but I couldn’t take that. I love my son too much to take that visual.
I feel awful for Jordan Poole and I’m glad he had a great game after the incident. I feel bad for Draymond Green because I think he damaged his career. I think he’s going to get traded or released and his effectiveness won’t be the same with another team because he’s a leader and all around team player. He’s not a superior individual talent who can just fit in anywhere. On top of that he’s getting older.
I also believe Draymond is looking back on that incident and he’s ashamed of his lack of control. How do I know? Well I don’t know Draymond. But I was in a similar but not exact situtation. 10 years ago my first cousin came to visit me. We were close, very close. He was the best man at my wedding. I had just underwent a surgery removing a cyst out of my wrist and was bandaged up. One night around 1am, He came in my house and he had been drinking alcohol. He started wrestling me and pushing me. I asked him to stop several times. He threw me to the ground and busted open my stitches from my surgery. At that point I punched him in the face, twice. I blacked his eye and I hurt him bad.
Although he started with me, I felt awful for allowing my emotions to get the better of me. It wasn’t about right or wrong at that point. It was about being a part of something that made me feel terrible, we were better than that. Regardless of who’s fault it was, we were better than that. It’s one of the few things in my life I regret because although my hand was reinjured, pride is what made the incident escalate.
We all make mistakes but I have to live with that for the rest of my life. My conscious was accountable. Draymond will have to live with that for the rest of his life. Draymond is better than that also, I know he is. It’s a tough life lesson, but a lesson nonetheless. Both will learn from it.
What’s up Breadman? I hope everything have been well during your first training camp with Plant and that he will look good on Saturday. I think it can match well between you 2, because he is an intelligent fighter, and if he trust in you, I think he will apply exactly what you want him to. Good luck to both of you ! I write in about what I think could be a factor in the mega fight Crawford vs Spence, it’s the fact that it will be the first fight for Crawford as a free agent. I think it could impact his performance, but I don’t know if it will be positive or negative. It could be positive, because Crawford like to have the control and with this he can control what will happen inside the ring but also the modalities of the fight.
Plus it can motivate him even more, because he will want to prove Top Rank that they were wrong for not being able to give him this fight. This can totally boost him, and with his EQ, if it goes how we expect it : « who wants it more », that can do the difference. But it also could be negative, because negotiations, especially for a fight like this, take a lot of time and a lot of energy. It is the first time for him and I think he’s learning some new stuff, but again this demand some Energy. Plus it can be stressful if he can’t have what he wants during the negotiations. Maybe his performance can be affected by that.
The second point that make me think it can have a negative impact, is that he will be ultra implicated in this fight and he will want to prove all doubters wrong. So during the fight, his EQ, and especially his fighter’s ego could be difficult to control, he will not only want to win, but he will want to do it in devasting fashion. As you always say : little things matter! What do you think about that ? Thanks a lot for your time.
Max from France
Bread’s Response: I think you have a point but I don’t know which way it will go. But you have a valid point. I know for a fact that negotiations are used to effect fighters. Making a fighter wait, makes them ANXIOUS during fights. Making a fighter take short money, can make them OVER TRY. Boxing is the sport of Skullduggery. Everything counts. Who knows how Bud will react. But this is the reason why I tell fighters to be fighters. Don’t get so involved in the behind the scenes stuff. Trust your people to EARN their money and protect your best interest. Although this is a business, fighters have to still be fighters at heart. I believe both Errol and BUD are 100% fighters.
I absolutely enjoy your perspective and time you take to give back to the fans. Long time reader, first time submission. I couldn’t help but think as I watched Fundora-Ocampo that I just could not understand Fundora’s insistence in not maintaining distance. I completely understand that fighters have personas and leanings and their true inclinations will eventually come out during the length of the fight. At the same time, I just wonder if he would change if all of his screentime was confined to ONLY watching Lennox Lewis and Tommy Hearns footage to blend an offensive attack with spacing. Fundora is an outright physical dimension nightmare, and even if Manny Steward is not around, I am really intrigued as to what his dad has tried to do, which seemed like something, which was evident in the beginning rounds. So here are my questions on just Fundora and his outlook:
1. If you coach a fighter who has physical gifts that are being used unconventionally or not at all, what is the messaging then as a trainer? Are you continuing to emphasize the value, opportunities, or is that just ignored in lieu of other aspects that can be improved? How are you getting that message across knowing that the fight could be made easier, or the fighter to be more efficient in their outcomes?
2. I know there was a lot of talk about a Charlo or Tszyu match-up. I’ve already seen that your FOY was Fundora-Lubin, and its mine as well. Here’s the thing: I think that fight showed us that Fundora has A level, elite dog in him. In watching Fundora vs Ocampo, I felt (my opinion) that there was a bit of the unwritten contract going on that Fundora was willing to go to the distance. I don’t think he’ll have that option with either ‘Mell or Tim. Everything that Charlo brings will be superior (athleticism, power, defense, coaching, hand speed..like all of it), and linking to #1, I see Fundora walking right into Charlo’s range for Charlo’s shots to get off. With Tszyu, I get the sense that he’s even more rugged and gritty than Fundora and if Tszyu finds a way to beat Charlo, that is a statement on its own. With spacing and fighting disciplined at distance being literally the one advantage that I would give Fundora in either fight, would you throw him in with the winner of Charlo-Tszyu or would you be more strategic and continue to help him develop that size and space with other opponents?
Thanks so much! ~Thomas
Bread’s Response: Yes I would put Fundora in with the winner of Charlo vs Tszyu. Sampson Lewkowicz who handles Fundora knows what he is doing. Fundora has a draw and a debatable decision win already. With his style he can lose at anytime and fighters who fight like him don’t have long peaks. Let him fight!
As for your questions, his trainers are doing a good job. His GIFT is in his stamina, his grit, and his infighting. Not in his HEIGHT. Height is not a gift, it’s a physical trait. Everybody says tall fighters should fight TALL. Well not all tall fighters are gifted enough to fight tall. Look at Fundora closely. When he talks, he’s always squinting. He can barely see. And I don’t mean that as an insult. He wears super thick glasses. He doesn’t have the reflexes or eyes to keep guys on the outside. He pushes is long punches. Instinctively he throws his left uppercut and right hook correctly, so that’s where he fights. If he stayed on the outside he would be a big target. As weird as it looks, the inside is where his gifts lie.
I wouldn’t change him because he’s not Tommy Hearns. He’s not Bob Foster. He’s Sebastian Fundora. Let him be who he is. Pernell Whitaker was 5’5” but he was a masterful outside fighter. It had nothing to do with height. It was his gifts and reflexes. You guys confuse Physical traits with gifts.
Charlo may KO Fundora. Who knows but fights aren’t won on paper. The kid is going after the WBC title. He’s the mandatory. Charlo is the champion. If he wants smoke give it to him. I think Charlo beats him also, but It’s not about what I think. It’s about what Fundora thinks of himself. He’s seems to have a really strong WILL..
Hello Breadman ,
My question surrounds Boots Ennis. Spence and Crawford hold all the belts . So when their fight gets made sometime next year, the Champion at WW will hold all the belts unified . Since this fight has been put off for this year , and with a bilateral rematch clause , that would see Spence Crawford fight twice . That would put Boots out getting a title fight for two maybe three years, if the Champion would even fight him . The Champion could take lesser fights and then move up and miss Boots altogether.
This would put Boots close to thirty before he could get a title shot . His career has slowed from a fast start with many fights to usually twice a year . He has only fought once this year , for a couple rounds . I would assume you don’t get paid unless you fight , unless your paid for sparring . So he must be looking for bigger fights that just are not there . I’m sure he is ready for a title shot . What if Boots moved up to one fifty four now . You said he could beat Fundora . So with a couple fights at one fifty four , he could go after Jermall Charlo . With a real aggressive media call out he maybe could could force the fight. If he wins he is the undisputed unified Champion . With a weaker group of contenders to pick from. This would also stop Spence Crawford from moving up . What do you think of this strategy. The wheels turn slow but they do turn . He will be thirty before you know it . I would waste my time or future waiting on Spence Crawford . I think Boots would beat Charlo.
Bread’s Response: Jaron Ennis’s team has to enforce mandatories. Period. That’s what he has a team for. Welterweight is the one of the original 8 divisions. I would not leave the division just because the titles are tied up. I would enforce my position as the mandatory. It’s the LAW. The champions can vacate. They can do whatever they want. But Ennis has a right to enforce his mandatory. He can take “over the weight” fights, show his skill set and dominance. But I wouldn’t abandon welterweight. He has a future Super Fight at 147 with Vergil Ortiz. Boots also has a real chance to win titles from 147-160.
I read part of Lyle Fitsimmons article on BoxingScene about whether Wilder was a hall of famer or not. He doesn’t seem to think he qualifies. If wilder were to retire right before the Helenius fight do you expect him to go into the hall of fame?
Also Good luck this weekend and thanks again for doing the mailbag
Bread’s Response: I think Wilder has a case. I don’t know if he’s a 1st Ballot guy but he does have a case. If you do research, you will see that the 2nd best heavyweight of EVERY era has been a HOF. Often times the 3rd. Wilder is the 2nd or 3rd best heavyweight of his era. Also every heavyweight in history who has 10 title defenses is in the HOF. Wilder has 10 title defenses. He also has a DRAW the best heavyweight of this era. Wilder has only lost to Fury. No one else. So he doesn’t have the baggage of BAD losses like say Wlad Klitschko in the adjacent era, who is a HOF.
Wilder checks off more boxes than some may realize in terms of historical comparisons. Wilder will go down as possibly the biggest puncher in heavyweight history, that’s a lofty status among the division which boast a high % of the best overall punchers ever. He has the highest ko % in heavyweight history. He has 10 consecutive title defenses. He was champion for 5 years. And he’s only lost to a great HOF in Fury, who he was very competitive with knocking him down 4 times total. That makes Wilder’s case compelling in my opinion.
With some fighters you have to do mental gymnastics to give them something they don’t deserve. I didn’t have to do that with Wilder, just now. His resume could use some fattening up, but right where it sits, his case is very reasonable. And if he gets a W over Usyk or Joshua, he’s a 1st ballot LOCK.
Hey Mr Edwards,
I trust this email finds you in good health. I know you didn’t want to say much about the second generation Benn-Eubank drugs debacle that scuttled a fight that shouldn’t have been arranged in the first place but I think there is something seriously wrong with British boxing.
It would be foolish to simply look at the drug problem as a problem of specific fighters who have been caught red handed. What about those who never get caught? Worse, what if this drug problem is systemic? Like the Russian athletic program that led to the ban on Russian Olympic athletes and their bans from other sporting events? I’m not sure if I’m managing a top prospect right now I agree to match him against any British fighter outside VADA.
I think after watching Sebastian Fundora this past weekend, it would make sense to keep him away from Jermell Charlo at least for a year or two. Charlo does exactly the same thing to him that he did to Erickson Lubin. An early one punch knockout. Fundora’s defence is as open as a barn door and it doesn’t help that he has a propensity for staying in the kill zone. I also can’t believe Fundora had the audacity to call out Errol Spence Jr. That’s a terrible beat down.
Say, Mr Edwards, was Milton McCrory any good or did he just ride the Kronk bandwagon? What was it with the late Emmanuel Steward and tall rangy fighters? Did he deliberately seek them out or were they just drawn to the Kronk gym? I mean it’s too much of a coincidence to have Thomas Hearns, McCrory, Hilmer Kenty etc. I think Andy Lee might also have trained there. About Kenty, he’s another one who flopped just like McCrory, so I guess the same question applies to him. MMJulio Cesar Chavez Sr v Aaron Pryor at 140.This is a division hopper v a career 140 pounder and for how good Chavez was I still think Pryor overwhelms him at 140.
Keep punching sir.
Katlholo – Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bread’s Response: Some days I pick Chavez who is underrated defensively, picks Pryor apart in the mid range and on the inside. Pryor was short but he was a long range volume slugger. Other days I think Pryor just works too much. They would have to fight 3x to decide it. Pryor looks more vulnerable than he actually is, so it’s a tough call.
I think Emanuel Steward liked tall thin fighters but I don’t think he sought them out. Those kids lived in the neighborhood. They gravitated to the gym. Milton McCrory was a world champion. A real world champion. He didn’t ride any bandwagon. Just because he didn’t turn out to be Tommy Hearns doesn’t mean he rode a bandwagon. Jimmy Paul, Hilmer Kenty and all of the other TOP Kronk fighters, were real. They weren’t just some guys who hung around a gym, and wore red and gold.
When critics run off stats on trainers, they like to state how many world champions a trainer has WORKED with. That’s a misleading stat. Emanuel Steward has worked with so many world champions….He even “worked” with Tyson Fury. A More comprehensive stat, are how many world champions did he win titles with. How many title fights did he win? How many times did he challenge for world titles? How many contenders did he build?
Steward built Thomas Hearns, Hilmer Kinty, Jimmy Paul, The McCrory Brothers, Bernard “Super Bad” Mayes, among others. RESPECT the legend and his disciples. Milton McCrory was a very good fighter, in an era where you had to really be great in order to be great. McCrory went up against a prime Donald Curry at 147 and prime Mike McCallum at 154. Leave him alone and respect what he did. He did the best he could in that era and won a world championship!
Fun fight card last weekend. Each of the top 3 bouts were entertaining, and we don’t get cards like that too often. I was wondering what you thought about Carlos Adames? What does a potential future look like for him? I knew he was athletic, but I was very surprised at how athletic he looked to me Saturday! The way he was throwing and landing reminded me a lot like Boots vs The Samuri. Boots was continuously landing big, thudding, athletic looking shots over and over. That’s what Adames was doing to Montiel, from my pov. I was super impressed with his performance! Excited to see he does against some bigger names. He said “You’re next Charlo!”…I hope we get that one soon! Do you watch or follow many prospects? I’m curious if you know anything about up and coming Ohio boys?
Talk to you soon Bread.
Mark Stoy – Columbus Ohio
Bread’s Response: Ohio is one of the places that I think produces the best grass roots fighters. Ohio, Michigan, PA, CA and the DMV produces the best boxing talent in the entire country…. Those 5 states/areas, fighter for fighter are the best in the US in my opinion
There is a kid out of Ohio named Abdullah Mason who looks like a future star. I want to see more but he looks sensational at this point. His talent seems to be on par with Devin Haney and Shakur Stevenson.
I remember when Carlos Adames was with Top Rank. Top Rank is awesome at scouting talent out, they don’t sign you unless you’re a stud. I don’t know if he was released or he left but he lost to Patrick Texeira for the vacant WBO title at 154 and took off 2 years. He surfaced on PBC cards where he’s looked better and better.
I was also impressed with how he fought Montiel. He was just the faster, more twitchy fighter. Montiel’s shot was to get it in the 2nd half of the fight, but without superior boxing ability, Montiel just couldn’t get there. Adames seems to be more of an attacker these days. He seems more vicious. He’s ambidextrous with his attack. He’s a fast starter and because he used to be a welterweight, he seems to have a big speed advantage over fighters at middleweight. His new coach Bob Santos is doing a great job with him. However, I don’t automatically assume he beats Jermall Charlo because he outperformed Charlo vs Montiel. That’s not how things work in boxing. If Charlo continues to fight at 160, Charlo may raise his game and take Adames more serious than he took Montiel. Every fight is different.
Adames is in line for some big money fights, let’s see what he does. He’s going to be very exciting to see. Hopefully we see him in the 1st quarter of 2023 vs an established name to keep his momentum going.
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