The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs. Jermell Charlo, Errol Spence vs. Terence Crawford, Jared Anderson vs. Charles Martin, Devin Haney vs. Shakur Stevenson, and more.
What are some of the things you consider when deciding if you want to train a fighter or not? Is it purely on attitude and how teachable they are or do you have any non-negotiables? Does any fighter you train have to set up camp in your gym or would you move camp if the fighter or purse are big enough? Also have there been any occasion where a fighter has come to you and asked to train and you have refused for one reason or another? Keep up the good work.
Bread’s Response: I consider so many things….but often times it’s my instincts and guts. I want to train fighters I like. If you train a fighter you don’t like, it can be toxic because you can subconsciously want them to lose. You also may not go the extra mile for them because you don’t feel that way about them. This is a business but it’s a personal business......So I want to like them.
I don’t fixate on certain backgrounds because good fighters can come from all backgrounds. But their character is most important. How they interact with people is most important. Teachable and coachable fighters. A fighter who can take information and process the solutions. A fighter who is a respectable person. You know what I mean by that by respectable person?
Some won’t admit this but I also look for talent. I don’t care how good of a trainer you are if a fighter doesn’t have talent you’re success will be limited. After talent I look for athleticism and toughness. If you know what you’re looking at, you can see all of these things within the first two gym sessions.
When is the "clever" matchmaking with Canelo going to be enough? He's already allowing the fans/pundits to minimize a potential win against Jermell Charlo. Going up two weight classes won't be easy regardless of what Jermell's everyday walking weight is. The message I get from this upcoming fight is..... Canelo was extremely embarrassed to face Bivol once again. Bivol wanted to sweeten up the stakes by dropping down to 168 for undisputed. This scenario would've gotten Canelo the real props he needed for his legacy. The corruption that comes with being a shot caller (A side) of the sport is simply too immense. 2023 has been a statement year for promoters and fighters to truly fight the BEST available. Will this year have any potential impact on the usual Canelo/Mayweather/SRL blueprints toward the future?
Bread’s Response: I don’t hate Canelo vs Jermell Charlo match up. I think it’s a good fight. I was caught by surprise, so the shock value of the announcement was just AWESOME promotion. Everybody kept asking which twin is it again, because everyone was fooled. That’s good promotion and it creates intrigue. I don’t believe the size difference is immense. Jermell is taller, longer, has better stamina and legs. He has also proven that he has an excellent chin. They both spent their younger years at 154lbs. I expect Jermell to feel really energized at 168lbs. He won’t have to suppress any calories and that allows your mind to be fresh and reactive. They’re promoting this fight Undisputed vs Undisputed. It’s rare we get that. Canelo is the favorite but this is no gimme fight. Jermell has a real shot to win even if he’s not the favorite.
Obviously everyone wanted to see Canelo vs Benavidez but this is a pleasant surprise in my opinion. Let’s see how it plays out. I believe the promotion will be awesome. And I think because Jermell is such a determined fighter and he craves his respect. I think he’s going to force Canelo to compete every moment of the fight and we know Canelo doesn’t like that.
Hey dude!!I enjoy reading your mailbag every Saturday afternoon. Its on my things to do list every Saturday.Anyway, my question. How do you rate Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn in your top ten list of SMW's.However, in both cases, you have to rate them before the fights that finished them.What i mean by this, although Eubank beat Watson and Benn beat Maclellen. The outcome of each fight finished the winners and losers as a fighting force.For me they were both killers. Seriously hard men, who left everything in the ring.I would be interested to know what you think.I think Calzaghe and Jones Jr beat them. Ward beats Benn but loses 2-1 to Eubank.I don't count Toney cos he was a drug cheat. Who knows when he started doing that.As an aside. When i was growing up in the 90's. 15-20 million people used to tune in to watch Eubank, Benn, Hamed on free tv (just in the UK).Now promoters get wet cos Tank vs Garcia gets 1mill buys. Its crazy lol. Its killing boxing!!
Anyway. If you get time. Let me know what you think.
Regardless, have a great summer dude and be cool!!!
Bread’s Response: I think both Chris Eubank and Nigel Benn should be in the Hall of Fame. Both won titles in 2 different divisions. Both have huge wins. Both had very high peaks. Both had enough longevity. For the life of me I don’t understand how they aren’t HOFs.
I’m going to go right off the top of my head with the 10 best Super Middleweights in history....
Are the top 5 in my opinion. After them you have the next tier in which I think Benn and Eubank sit nicely.
Carl Froch, Mikel Kessler, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank and Steve Collins. So yes I think both fit into the top 10 All Time at 168lbs.
Bread, why do you think Alvarez refuses to defend against Benavidez? Alvarez is a obviously a world class athlete and though I'm not a fan, he is one of the best, most accomplished fighters in the world. In the past, I've rejected the idea that he's "scared" of him; I don't think that kind of fear exists in supremely confident men and women, whether it's combat arts or actual combat (I'm retired military). But with Alvarez signed to fight Charlo, I'm really starting to wonder. I understand Charlo taking the fight. It's not a duck of Tszyu, it's taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It'd be like winning the lottery but giving away the money. It's a duck if he takes a lesser challenge after committing to defending against Tszyu - but I'm interested in your thoughts on that. I understand Tszyu's frustration. He just seems to want to fight for the title - to be a champion. I'm not even sure if he specifically wants to fight Charlo, it's not a blockbuster, mainstream fight (except in Australia). But he's frustrated and I get it. He wants his shot.
Haven't heard from Benavidez publicly but I bet he's laughing. He doesn't have to say a word. If I was him, I'd try to fight Bivol or Beterbiev in Mexico the weekend before the fight. Maybe steal some Alvarez shine. What I don't understand is Alvarez...or his fans...or the sanctioning bodies. How can Alvarez possibly justify defending against the JUNIOR middleweight champion when he's the SUPER middleweight champion? And I hear that maybe Spence is next? That just seems ridiculous to me when Benavidez is the #1 contender. How competitive do you think this fight will be? And how do you think this marks Alvarez' legacy? Because for me...he just stamped himself. He's no Sanchez, Marquez (Juan OR Rafael), Morales, Barrera, Chavez or De La Hoya. I think I even prefer Bazooka Limon - not as talented but extremely tough and entertaining.
I think Alvarez' team won't let him fight Benavidez, possibly ever, because if he loses, he loses his standing as the dominant Mexican fighter of this era (Yes, I know Benavidez is American). Losing the fight MIGHT mean that Benavidez was superior all along. I also think that losing to Benavidez would affect Alvarez' earnings - the bottom line. But with Alvarez stating "I don't fight Mexicans" after clearly fight numerous Mexicans in his career...I'm starting to wonder if maybe there is a nervousness or even fear of fighting Benavidez. What do you think this does to Alvarez' legacy? I know his fans won't turn on him but at what point should he be stripped by the sanctioning organizations?
Also - I remember what happened to Roy Jones when he went to heavyweight then returned to light-heavy. What might the physical impact be on Charlo for jumping two divisions if he returns to junior middleweight? I'll leave Teofimo "I've Never Defended a Title But Think I've Already Earned A Spot In the Hall of Fame" Lopez alone. Between all that, stupid judging decisions and heavyweights that refuse to fight, what's your assessment of the state of the game right now? I give it a C-minus; it's only that high because at least we're getting Spence - Crawford. But boxing needs to do better.
Vincent Howard, Command Chief Master Sergeant (USAF, retired)
Bread’s Response: I give the game a B+ right now. This has been a historically great year in terms of match ups.... If we can figure out the bad judging epidemic I think we can go up to an A.
I don’t know why Canelo won’t fight David Benavidez but I will guess this. Sometimes fighters see things in other fighters that they just don’t feel like going through it with. It’s a type of fear but not the kind that fans make it out to be. It’s almost like why in the hell would a tangle with that young animal if I don't have to. If this was 5 years ago, I think Canelo would’ve fought him. But now at this point, it’s like “for what.”
I’m not justifying it or condoning it. It just simply comes down to Canelo not wanting to fight him. The Mexican stuff is secondary. I think it helps Canelo legacy if he fights Benavidez regardless of the outcome. But obviously there is a lot of variables to it because one would have to see how Canelo performs vs Benavidez. Right now it’s just a very tough fight for a 33 yr old fighter to take. Benavidez is about 4 inches taller, about 7 inches longer, 7 years younger, better stamina, more active, just as fast and hungry as hell. Now here is the caveat.
Now that Benavidez has hit the main stream, a young, big stud is coming after him in David Morrell. There is always someone lurking in boxing. This game is a war of attrition. If you stick around long enough, you have fighters in front of you that you want to fight, fighters beside you that you jockey for position against but as they get eliminated, fighter from behind you will surface and want your scalp.
Benavidez is behind Canelo but Jermell Charlo is beside Canelo. Canelo and Jermell are the same age and fighters are more comfortable fighting guys their age. But as we know, time doesn’t stop. So now Benavidez has a kid behind him who wants the smoke in David Morrell. I’m curious to see how this all plays out.
If Jermell Charlo jumps from 154 to 168 and beats Canelo Alvarez (without taking a tune up fight at 168 first) that would be the most impressive victory in boxing since… when exactly?I’m picking Michael Spinks over Larry Holmes but would love to hear your take.
Bread’s Response: Charlo beating Canelo would be huge historically. Only 3 men in history have held titles at 154 and 168. Canelo, Leonard and Hearns. So this would be rare company for Jermell. The most impressive victory since….Um let’s see.
I don’t know Spinks vs Holmes was a huge win in 1985. But there have been some very impressive victories since then. I’m not sure if you’re talking about jumping weight classes or just great wins. But since 1985 what are some of the best victories.
Holyfield beating Qawi in his 12th fight. Holyfield beating Tyson in 1996 and Bowe in 1993.
Ray Leonard defeating Hagler in 1987.
Bernard Hopkins jumping over 168 and beating Antonio Tarver at 175.
Pernell Whitaker beating Julio Cesar Vasquez at 154.
Tommy Hearns defeating Virgil Hill.
James Toney defeating Vasili Jirov at 190lbs..I mean I don’t have enough room to list all of the great wins since 1985. Let’s just say it would be huge. But I’m going to tell you right now, Jermell won’t be a huge underdog. Canelo is thought to have slipped some. He’s lost recently. He didn’t look great vs John Ryder. Charlo is a better athlete, taller, longer and he has better stamina. He’s not upside down at ALL.
What do you think of Devin Haney’s 25% offer to Shakur Stevenson? Is it a real offer, is it too low? Do you know if this is standard? I think they should pay Shakur what he’s worth as a two division champion.
Bread’s Response: You seem like you have already made up your mind as to who’s side you’re on. I never get into that. I like both Devin and Shakur as fighters. So I don’t have an opinion on the 25% offer. It’s not my business. But the bigger picture is this. 25% of what!?!?!?
People are arguing over this without knowing what the pot is. If you’re on Shakur’s side, it’s because you want to be and you were already on it. Because you don’t even know what the 25% is of....
What if it’s 25% of 12M and Shakur is set to make 3M as the challenger? I have no idea what it is, so that’s why I don’t have an opinion. It’s called negotiations. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate. Let them and their teams figure it out. They will, if they want to fight bad enough.
Hello Coach, Adrian Soto from NC here. My questions this week are: 1. Do you believe this is a winnable fight for Jermell Charlo? Is Canelo by far the strongest puncher Charlo will have ever faced? 2. What does Canelo gain if he dominates and/or KOs Jermell in your opinion? 3. Who do you favor in a fight between Janibek vs. Adames in a potential middleweight unification fight? 4. After watching Jared Andersons fight against the tough Martin, I told myself man he better NOT fight Wilder within the next few years. I think Wilder would be all wrong for Jared at this point. What do you think? 5. If Teofimo Lopez were to win a world title at 147 lbs one day where would he rank amongst greatest Latino fighters? 6. Do you see similarities between the two great Latino legends Carlos Monzon and Roberto Duran? Thank you and best of luck to your team.
Bread’s Response: 1. Yes I believe the fight is very winnable for Jermell. I don’t know if Canelo is the strongest puncher Jermell has faced. He would be high up on the list though. But Jermell has an excellent chin so…..
2. Canelo gains a win over a HOF level fighter. The size difference isn’t as huge as you guys think..
3. Janibek vs Adames is an excellent fight. I say 55-45 in Janibek’s favor but Adames is live.
4. I don’t believe Anderson is ready for Wilder at this point but his performance vs Martin is what he needed. He needed to learn how to navigate rounds with an opponent who wasn’t laying down. It’s not an indictment on his upside. It was just a tougher than expected fight, that’s it, that’s all.
5. I can’t really say there are so many great Latino fighters. Let’s just see how his career plays out.
6. Yes there were many similarities between Duran and Monzon. Both were crazy outside of the ring. Both had natural fighter instincts inside. Duran was a more dynamic athlete but both had natural talent and instincts that were enhanced with their skill. Both were late round sharks who scored most of their stoppages after brutal systematic beat downs.
Hey Mr Edwards
First, hats off to you for predicting that the Crawford-Spence fight will be made. I was tempted to bet my house against that. I guess I would be sleeping on the pavement.I've seen a lot of predictions and, at this point, I think your responses are carefully calculated. I think closer to the fight, you will give a breakdown and I look forward to it with some interest. I must state one thing for the record. Any predictions by anyone associated with PBC except by Showtime Porter who used to be affiliated to them can be dismissed with contempt. Danny Garcia claims to have fought both Crawford and Spence. He lies. He ran like a thief from Crawford. One would expect someone who was a champion to understand the difference between amateur and pro boxing. Ken Porter's prediction is laughable. Spence drops his son and he feels his son can safely continue with the fight. Crawford drops his son and he is lightning fast in throwing in the towel to save his son. Yet he's got Spence in this fight. Come on!
Deontay Wilder can't box to save his life and I wonder what qualifies him to make a call against as complete a boxer as Terence Crawford is. I like Wilder but he understands nothing about boxing beyond throwing and landing the money shot. So, boxing-wise, his opinion counts for nothing. So far, I'm impressed by how Teddy Atlas sees it. I have a great deal of respect for Teddy Atlas. I may not always agree with him but he has a fantastic boxing brain. He says he doesn't see either boxer dominating the other but when the end comes, it will be sudden and Crawford's hand will be raised. I don't think he's too far off the mark, you know. I'm going to break the fight down for you in a couple of weeks across several categories (which is an approach you don't favour). This week, I'm just concerned about Vergil Ortiz and how healthy he really is. I don't know too much about Elmantas Stationis but he got to where he is at for a reason and Vergil better be healthy. Those Eastern Europeans are hard men and I have a sense Vergil's game is, like Spence's game, more about physicality than finesse. If that physicality is compromised in any degree by his recent health issues, he could be in for a torrid evening. Your view? One last thing, I must congratulate you for having some faith in Teofimo Lopez. To be honest, I thought he was nothing more than a loudmouth who milked his upset victory over Loma to the full and, after George Kambosos exposed him, I thought good riddance. But Josh Taylor ain't no joke so there must be some substance to Teofimo.
MM Wilfredo Gomez v Monster Inuoe at Junior Featherweight. Gomez has a strong argument for greatest Junior Featherweight of all time and Inoue being new and untested at the weight, I think Gomez is too much for him and it's over inside eight rounds. What do you think?
Keep punching Mr Edwards.
Katlholo Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bread’s Response: I believed Errol and Terence would fight because both are winding down their careers. It’s too much money to walk past. But thank you. I don’t have a prediction just yet. I think you are favoring Crawford but I don’t know who’s going to win. I want to wait until I see certain things and if I don’t see them, I won’t pick. However, I do have a breakdown on what to look for.
You seem offended by people who are picking Errol because you want and pick Terence to win. Don’t be. Everyone has a right to a respectable opinion. Don’t insult Wilder or anyone else who picks Errol. We all acquire knowledge and experience to make picks. This is no different. Wilder has earned his stripes. I think it’s a great fight where both fighters have advantages. I will break it down later.
Wilfredo Gomez or Marco Antonio Barrera are the greatest fighters ever at 122lbs. We haven’t seen Inoue fight one fight 122lbs. Let’s just see what he has at the weight. It’s not a fair hypothetical match up at this point.
Brother Bread, what's good? I hope all is good with you & the fam. Tough break on the J-Rock nonsense stoppage, but I'm glad to see you guys standing up for yourselves and not letting the "business of boxing" go unnoticed. It's going to take guys like y'all who are in the business and prominent to make noise before things change. Well, I've been watching my guy "Rich The Fight Historian" again & I came across his video on y'all Philly guy Matthew Saad Muhammad, who was an absolute BEAST. Tore through my Indiana guy Marvin Johnson twice & seemed to be as hellacious of a puncher as I've seen from about '77-'81 or so. Then it dawned on me that his reign ended at the exact same time as Michael Spinks' reign at LHW started with the two just barely missing each other. It seems like their paths should've crossed at some point. Do you have any idea if there was any talk about them fighting at some point & prime for prime, who you got? Spinks was a monster, but the guy who stopped Johnson 2x would be hard to beat.
Bread’s Response: Michael Spinks was not from Philly but he had strong roots here. Butch Lewis was his promoter and Lewis was from the area. Spinks trained in Philly and was a popular in the city. Saad is one of the more popular fighters in the history of our city. He’s simply called SAAD. One of the greatest abbreviated nicknames I’ve ever heard. Spinks and Saad just missed each other. Spinks didn’t fight for the title until 1981. He was a 1976 Olympian. His brother Leon and teammate Ray Leonard were moved faster because if you look at Spinks close in his fights, he wore a knee brace. I think the injury slowed him down a little bit. So that’s the main reason he missed Saad.
Saad was lining up killers as Spinks was an emerging contender. I don’t believe it was a duck on either fighter’s part. After Saad lost to Dwight Qawi, he fought him in a rematch and his career was basically over in terms of being an elite fighter. It’s a shame but Saad’s prime ended abruptly. He literally fell off the cliff and lost a plethora of fights after the 2 Qawi losses. So Spinks would not have gotten much credit for beating Saad after 1982 anyway.
Both Spinks and Saad were murderous punchers. Both could box. Both were sneaky on the breaks. Both were big time finishers. I think the timing of the fight would have mattered. Spinks was off for almost a year as a prospect. He only fought once in 1979. So the year Saad won the title, Spinks was inactive rehabbing a knee. So in 1979 Saad would have had the advantage. But by the end of 1980 Spinks was peaking and beating solid contenders.
Boxing came easier to Spinks than it did Saad. Spinks didn’t have to work as hard or take as much to get the same quality results. So if you ask me peak for peak. Best day for best day. Saad would have had a real chance because he’s a great fighter. Spinks was a dominant and great light heavyweight but he wasn’t untouchable. Eddie Davis has a real case for winning his fight vs Spinks in 1984. I think it was just an off night but it really happened and Davis fought terrific. But if you make me pick I take Spinks.
I think his mind was a little quicker. I think his legs were a little too mobile. And Saad got hit super clean. And Spinks was a terrific puncher. He’s actually underrated as a puncher but he has some of the best kos I’ve seen. Watch his ko of Marvin Johnson and Mustafa Wasajja. I think Spinks would have busted Saad up with his hab. Maybe navigate through some heavy heat, but at some point hit Saad with something he didn’t see and that would be that. I hate picking against Saad but it’s only hypothetical.
Question: What has happen to Gary Antuanne Russell ? It's like he has fell of the map. He was announced early on the Roller card but later removed. Do you have a update on him? He should be fighting for one of the 140 lbs belts at this point.
Bread’s Response: I don’t know but I think Antuanne is a beast and is a major player at 140lbs. I’m looking forward to seeing him vs the top dogs. He’s live with everybody at 140lbs. And I mean everybody.
There's two matches this weekend that may slip in under the radar. Both Ortiz and Ennis are in action.It appears that Ortiz has the tougher fight with Stanionis, but he's had health issues so seeing the state he is in will be the main thing. How do you see this fight going? Do you think the winner will get a shot at WW title in their next fight (I'm assuming that either the Crawford Spence rematch doesn't happen or, if it does, a belt will be vacated)?Ennis has a fight with Villa whose record is less well known to me but I saw his victory against Ellis and from how he is talking and his background I'm sure he'll show no quit. Do you give Villa any chance? He seems to have power but in his last two fights (his toughest on paper) they've gone to a decision, can Villa win a decision? I think enough has been said about Ennis, let's just hope he can start to get the fights his talent deserves. With Charlo moving up to fight Canelo, do you think his first title is more likely to be at 154?
All the best, Darns, Marrakech
Bread’s Response: I think Ennis is going to stay at 147lbs and try to get the belts. The issue is Spence and Crawford may fight 2 or 3 times….I like Ennis over Villa. Villa is a dog and he doesn’t stop coming but Boots is also a dog. He’s mean. He’s sadistic. He has excellent stamina. And his punch variety to the head and body is elite. Villa is going to have to have special durability to get through this storm.
I’m torn on Ortiz vs Stanionis. I favored Ortiz before the illness but from everything I read he seems burned out from cutting huge amounts of weight. That’s a serious thing. In an action fight where one fighter is more dynamic, I edge it towards Ortiz in a war, but I’m much more confident in my Ennis pick because of Ortiz's health condition.
I don’t know where the welterweight division goes. There are plenty of super fights to make. But the issue is matching up eras. Boots is a lot younger than Spence and Crawford so his big fights may come from an Ortiz or someone else who emerges. We have to just wait and see but from my perspective, whoever is handling Ennis’s career will play the biggest part in what happens. Ennis’s talent inside the ring is obvious but his resources outside of the ring will have to match his talent or he won’t get the big fights.
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