The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs. Jermall Charlo, Terence Crawford vs. Floyd Mayweather, the art of cutting weight, Shakur Stevenson vs. Frank Martin and Edwin De Los Santos, more.
Hi there Bread,
Hope you and your family are going great this Labor Day weekend. Thanks for the weekly insights - it’s been part of my weekend routine for 2-3 years now and wouldn’t miss it! I have 2 questions for you today if you would. (1) what are the key factors to consider in 2 fighters weight difference - especially the ability to take a punch? My point of reference is as a teenager I was sparring in an amateur camp at 130lbs and a guy 6lbs heavier than me decked me twice in the first round and I could see and feel the weight difference (never happened before, I was pulled out but I learned somethings too, he was simply better than me) - so I’ve always figured a small % counts. but as I’ve watched more boxing and become more knowledgeable I’m confused re the weights factor.
A few recent examples: Crawford anticipated Spence fans would say he’s weight drained - he signed the right right so no issue? Same for tank v Garcia. Canelo was talking about a cruiser weight fight and now he’s down fighting Charlo - putting aide the money, everyone seems ok with this being competitive yet it didn’t work well for Khan. Wilder was nearly 39lbs lighter than a Fury in the 3rd fight - yet Wilder was still competitive with approx 17% difference. Maybe it’s different at the HW level? That % difference is more than Inoue at 122lbs fighting Tank at 135lbs - is this actually a feasible fight? And so on… would appreciate a balanced view on weight (2) I notice from other posts that you daughter is accomplished athlete also, I have a 7yo. What is your advice for engaging and motivating kids for sport - I tell mine a. Do your best and b. have fun - which seems to resonate. ..she loves gymnastics but other sports so so. Judo is on her wish list too - she knows I love boxing. I want her to do well but don’t want the coaches or parents to take the fun out of it when she’s older - that’s when I see teenage girls dropping out of a sport. How about protein intake? Any tips or advice overall? I’d be very grateful Have a good one. Adam.
Bread’s Response: Telling your kid to do their best and have fun is great advice. But in order to do their best they have to practice. So you have to make practice fun and not so much a task. Once you get that down, then they will flourish. Just feed her a clean well rounded diet. You don’t have to get too fancy she’s a kid and you don’t want her to hate you. She has to have some fun foods just set your limits.
6lbs in sparring is not really a big deal in the gym. As a fighter you shouldn’t be thinking about every single little thing it will cause overthinking. You will never spar someone your EXACT weight in the gym. Sometimes you will be bigger, sometimes they will be bigger. But again 6lbs is no big deal. It literally happens every single day in the gym.
I think weight matters but it’s the fighter that applies that matters most. Amir Khan has poor punch resistance. He can’t move up in weight and fight a middleweight puncher. He had issues with punchers at 140lbs. He also doesn’t have the defensive acumen to pull that off. But fighters like Oscar, Leonard, Pacman, Floyd etc can pull that off. Because they’re simply better and they won’t get hit with a kill shot.
Charlo has a better chin than Khan. And he’s a better fighter than Khan. Again, weight matters but in context Charlo will handle the weight better than Khan. Every single situation is different. And while weight is an issue, ability also has to be factored in.
I don’t believe weight was that big of an issue in Tank vs Ryan. Ryan didn’t fight a smart fight. IQ was the issue in THAT fight. I’m not saying Ryan doesn’t have IQ, I’m saying he didn’t use it in that fight.
Wilder may be the biggest puncher in heavyweight history despite not being heavy. So, he can make up for a weight disadvantage more so than others. Wilder also has speed and quickness that allows him to deliver the blows. So, him being smaller works for him to a point.
In the gym from my experience smaller, quicker fighters have the advantage because they have on headgear and wear big gloves. Translation they aren’t getting hurt. In real fights if the smaller fighter, has superior stamina and can take the punches, he will have some advantages. It’s proven over time, I don’t have to name the thousands of fights. I assess this on a fight by fight basis.
In the Canelo vs Charlo match up, weight is being brought up. I think Canelo is used to fighting at the weight. He’s also used to being hit by bigger men, so there are factors. But I don’t think it’s as big of a deal as in other weight jumping fights. For example, Meldrick Taylor vs Terry Norris. Taylor is not a huge puncher. He’s shorter than Norris. Has less reach. He wasn’t very durable as a junior middleweight. And Norris was just as quick. That’s an uphill battle. Whereas with Jermell vs Canelo. Jermell is taller and longer. He’s shown a great chin throughout his career. He’s never been stopped and only dropped once. So while the weight may be a factor, I don’t think it will be as BIG as a factor as it was with Taylor vs Norris.
So when you see these match ups, you have to factor in physical dimensions, durability, skill level, what weight they started out at and style. Jermell may have scored plenty of kos recently, but he started out as a stick and mover and I suspect we will see that in this fight because it’s natural to him. I expect this fight to go the distance or very late. While I loved Taylor, I knew he would need a miracle to make it 12 rounds with Norris.
I have a question for you that needs some clarification. You are constantly calling Canelo an ATG and I couldn't disagree more. That means Canelo would have been great in any era. Would he be good, competitive sure. But an ATG, How? Great fighters in the weights he has fought (excluding Canelo-weight 155): 154 - Terry Norris Simon Brown Mike MaCallum 160 - Carlos Monzon Marvin Hagler Bernard Hopkins (Not even putting the Goat, SRR, on the list just because it wouldn't be fair.) 175 - Bob Foster Michael Spinks Virgil Hill....... Canelo isn't beating any of those killers.
Bread’s Response: I don’t like to argue over an opinion. But I’m relatively sure that more qualified people would agree with me that Canelo is an ATG. He’s been a champion on and off for 13 years. Through 4 weight divisions. He unified 2 belts at 154. He unified 3 belts at 160. He became undisputed at 168. And won a real belt at 175. Only 2 other fighters in history have won belts at 154 and 175. Tommy Hearns and Ray Leonard. Out of the 4 division champions in history only 3 men have won those specific belts in those weights.
Canelo would hold his own at 154lbs in any era. I don’t believe he beats Tommy Hearns or Mike McCallum the 2 best ever at 154. But he could win a belt and be competitive in any era. If you give me a list of the top 10 ever at 154, I can pick 4 or 5 names he could beat.
Simon Brown is an underrated terrific fighter. But you’re just wrong in your statement. Brown had a great win at 154 but he wasn’t great at 154. Canelo would beat Brown at 154lbs. Ask any top matchmaker or historian. You should’ve left Brown out of your comment.
I agree at 160. I don’t think if he beats Monzon, Hagler or Hopkins. But that’s 3 fighters. ATG usually can compete with the top 10 ever in a division not top 3. So you’re moving goal post to make a point. Most 160lbers couldn’t beat Monzon, Hagler or Hopkins.
I agree with you at 175, I don’t think he would beat Foster, Hill or Spinks but I would like to see him vs Foster because Foster wasn’t as durable as the others. But again, so what. I never said Canelo was an ATG light heavyweight. I said he was an ATG fighter overall. Hearns and Leonard aren’t ATG Light heavyweights. But they’re ATG overall.
You conveniently left out 168lbs. Roy Jones, Joe Calzaghe, James Toney and Canelo Alvarez are the Mt. Rushmore of 168lbs if boxing stopped today. Canelo Alvarez is an ATG fighter.
Sup Bread, hope all is well. I recently read an article where Shane Mosley said that he would favor Bud over 'Money' May but not 'Pretty Boy'. What are your thoughts on that? Personally, I think Bud - Pretty Boy is a 50/50 shootout but I can't see Bud beating the Floyd that absolutely dominated Canelo. Which is pretty remarkable for Floyd considering he was a decade older.
Bread’s Response: You know Terence Crawford has reached a special place when people are torn on who would win between him and Floyd Mayweather. I think it’s a great hypothetical match up. I think they both would give each other issues. Both have elite minds that elevate to opponents. For example Floyd was better than he ever was when he fought Diego Corrales. Why, because he needed to be. So you will see fighters that Corrales is better than, give Floyd a tougher fight. The reason is because special fighters elevate and often times they are as good as they need to be.
Errol Spence was the best opponent Crawford ever faced. But Crawford had a tougher time with lesser guys. It’s because he elevated. Bud and Floyd would elevate if they ever fought each other. Who would elevate the highest, I don’t know. At this point I say it’s a 50/50 fight.
With all the weight drain talk lately there was a question I meant to ask you. As you mentioned the game is sold, not told so feel free to be as vague as needed when answering. Can you touch on the psyche of a fighter that is trying to make weight? Does it get to the point of a mental battle as well as a physical thing for the fighter? And to follow-up on that. I know you have seriously trained like a fighter before. But curious if you have ever simulated trying to make weight like a fighter so you can relate to exactly what they are going through? Thanks and love seeing the athletic highlights of Bud and Sugar Ray. Thanks for sharing bro.
Bread’s Response: Every fighter is different but I will give you a general statement. Most fighters get grumpy. They get chippy. They get short tempered and easily annoyed when they start restricting calories for their weight cut. It’s why it’s important that friends and family give them their space until they rehydrate and eat and feel better. You would be surprised at the fights that get won and loss because of bad weight cuts, improper rehydration and distractions a few days before a fight.
About 12 years ago I got up to 230lbs. I was eating late every night. Even at 6’3” I didn’t feel right because my normal walk around weight is closer to 200lbs. Julian Williams was having a time grasping weight cuts. So I made a pact with him. I told him I would lose 30lbs in 30 days to prove to him it’s a matter of discipline, will power and being on a schedule. I did it. He was shocked. In 30 days I lost 30lbs just to prove to him that he should walk around no higher than 170lbs.
I ate the same exact thing every single day. Water and fruit for breakfast. Homemade soup for lunch. Baked chicken breast and spinach salad for dinner and my last meal was at 6pm. I did this every day while drinking a gallon of water and of course working him out at the gym and the weight flew off. I never got that heavy again.
I’ve also did the dipping in the tub to cut weight to see how it made me feel before I asked my fighters to do it. It was physically taxing but I figured out the pros and cons of it before I let the fighters do it.
Bread, what do you use sparring to do? Sharpen guys, work on weaknesses or a combination of both? I ask because sparring videos seems to be big a deal but I thought sparring was more practice than a real fight.
Bread’s Response: I use sparring to get a fighter ready for a real fight. It’s literally the best thing you can do to get ready for real combat. I don’t even like talking about sparring beyond my team. It shows immaturity. It’s a misguided view on success. I’ve seen plenty of things in sparring that casuals wouldn’t believe to be true. I’m not saying sparring doesn’t matter because obviously it does. But it doesn’t supersede what happens on fight night. I don’t get the new wave of posting sparring on social media. The people who do that don’t ever show when they’re not getting the “better” of the work. It’s always them winning the sparring session. Newsflash, no one gets the better of every single sparring session. What’s even more bizarre is I’ve seen experienced boxing people talk about and post sparring sessions on social media. I don’t get it.
I think their dopamines get stimulated and they love the attention. It’s too addictive to stop at this point now. It’s getting so bad now, that you have to have someone in the gym checking to see if anyone is secretly taping the sparring. We are living in very dishonorable times. Think about this, imagine if you go to spar someone to develop your game. And that person gets the better of you and then shows the whole world that they got the better of you. No one wants to be humiliated and the person who didn’t get the better of it is the person who is humiliated.
What do you think happened with the Frank Martin vs Shakur Stevenson negotiations? And how does Edwin De Los Santos match up with Shakur? Is it a competitive fight?
Bread’s Response: When twitter went crazy because the WBC ordered Stevenson vs Martin I never commented because a sanctioning body ordering a fight doesn’t mean much if both sides don't agree to fight.. When it was announced that the deal was AGREED to, I was shocked because it said that Martin would be fighting on ESPN. Rarely does a top prospect from another company fight on an opposing company’s platform in this type of fight. The last time we saw that was when Loma fought Gary Russell on a PBC show. It’s rare.
I also observed that Frank Martin never made a comment. Everyone else was talking but Martin never said anything. So I just kept quiet. I was still. People talk like they know. But none of us know, unless we are part of the negotiations. Who knows what happened?
All I will say is I’m not surprised that Frank Martin is not fighting Shakur Stevenson on a top Rank card. I’m speaking from a business perspective. Martin is undefeated, he’s with Errol Spence and he’s one of the best prospects PBC has. That’s not a move that gets made often in this era.
De Los Santos is a solid fighter. He’s a big puncher and he’s a mean dude. But he has a loss and he’s not as marketable as Martin. So from the outside looking in, it’s more logical for De Los Santos to take the fight, than it would be for Martin. Let’s see what happens.
You kept saying Crawford was the puncher against Spence. It pissed me off because I didn’t want to believe it. But you were dead on. Now you keep saying that Jermell Charlo has a shot. I’m from Texas but I just don’t see it. I think he gets smoked. Jermell struggled with Tony Harrison and Brian Castano. Canelo Alvarez is two classes above Harrison and Castano. Charlo is a good fighter, who feasted on a division with no A+ talent. I see a fight with a very good fighter vs a great fighter. Convince me I’m wrong.
Bread’s Response: I know Jermell struggled with Harrison and Castano but we have to determine if he struggled with their styles or he struggled with their level. If he struggled with their level, then you’re right Canelo will beat him easy. If he struggled with their style then Charlo has a chance. For the record, I never picked Charlo. I just said he’s in the fight. Charlo has a chin. He’s clutch, which is hard to quantify with stats. But my main factor in saying Charlo can hang with Canelo is, Charlo will be so motivated for this fight. He’s shown some maturity in his recent interviews. He’s not mad. He’s focused. Being right mentally is very important in these match ups. Let me explain why I think Jermell will be so motivated.
Jermell is a fighter who has been overlooked. No matter how humble a man is, he wants attribution. So let’s look at this. Jermell turned pro earlier than Jermall. He was matched very tough by Golden Boy. Jermall went to PBC at an earlier stage. So despite Jermell having more fights and being ranked longer, Jermall got a title shot earlier and won his title first. No matter what anyone says that had to sting. Jermell and Jermall were with Ronnie Shields and Jermell leaves for Derrick James, but Derrick James already has a great fighter in Errol Spence. So Jermell has always sort of been the little bro or middle child. With Jermall being inactive and Errol just losing, this is the 1st time in his career where if Jermell wins he will be elevated over BOTH Errol and his brother Jermall.
I have two kids and my youngest is maniacal in wanting to outdo my oldest. He can’t help it, he just wants to be better and he wants me to know it. Evertime he beats his big sister, he lets me know…Jermell may not say it. But he’s a competitor. He’s going to fight his heart out. He knows what’s at stake. Again I’m not saying he will win. But I don’t think it’s a blow out. I feel like Canelo has slipped slightly, and when you’re the top dog. You have to deal with everyone’s best shot and keep getting up for these fights. Maybe Canelo was off vs Ryder, I don’t know. But I do know 3 years ago, that’s a 3 round fight. If you’re asking me for a prediction. Right now I say Canelo by competitive decision in a very hard fight. But I don’t think he stops Jermell or blows him out. But before you go crazy and bet, let’s see who the judges and referee will be. It’s too early to know right now.I am actually tempted to pick Jermell by upset but him losing so many rounds vs his better opposition scares me. He loses about 50% of his rounds vs his better opponents and you can’t do that vs Canelo. Canelo is a master at winning rounds and dictating the terms of a fight. If Jermell somehow improves that, then boy we have a tight, tight fight. Because I think both of their chins hold up and we will have a distance fight regardless of who wins. And for the record, a draw is not out of the question.
Will we ever see Wilder vs Joshua? It seems to be this era’s Lewis vs Bowe. It’s a big money fight. I don’t get why the fight is so hard to make. What do you think of Wilder’s overall career value? Is he a Hall of Famer? Is he more George Foreman or Ernie Shavers?
Bread’s Response: I don’t know why Wilder vs Joshua hasn’t been made. Both guys would make huge paydays. I hope we don’t see another Lewis vs Bowe situation but that’s where it looks like it’s going.
Hall of Fame. Here is the thing. I don’t like to pick out names and say this or that guy should NOT be in the HOF. But we have to look at past events and take into consideration other fighters who have been elected to be HOF.
Ok so... huge punchers who won world titles, usually get considered. Because of the spectacle of their kos. For example Julian Jackson. It took a while for Jackson to be inducted but his career is similar to Wilder's in terms of power and successful reigns.
In terms of Heavyweights. Every heavyweight in history who has over 10 title defenses in is in the HOF. The 2nd best heavyweight of every era is in the HOF. Often times the 3rd best is also. So in the last era, both Klitschko brothers made the HOF. Wilder may not be as skilled as they are. But his ko%, and career numbers are comparable and head to head he's not over his head with them. I also believe that Wilder beats everyone that they beat. And Fury beat Wlad. So we know that the guy who beat Wilder, also would beat one of them. So again the if you look forensically there isn't as much separation as some would think.
Now here is the question does Wilder beat everyone who beat the Klitschkos. We know the answer to Tyson Fury. But Chris Byrd, Lennox Lewis, Ross Purity, Corrie Sanders, Anthony Joshua and Lamon Brewster are the fighters who beat the Klitschkos. With Wilder’s power he’s in every fight. But I think he beats Purity, Brewster and Byrd. Sanders is a scary fight, he’s tricky. The Joshua fight needs to be made. And I Lewis is an ATG, I wouldn’t favor Wilder over Lewis. So Wilder matches up with the Klitschko’s in terms of that also.
If you go back further to the 90s. Evander Holyfield, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis and Riddick Bowe all went to the HOF. That’s a special era. If you throw in George Foreman and Larry Holmes, you have 6 HOF fighters at one time. All had greater careers than Wilder but again that was a golden era. But if you look at Riddick Bowe’s numbers, Wilder’s are comparable. I know Bowe has the huge Holyfield wins but Bowe has some misses for a HOF in a deep era. Bowe never fought Tyson, Lewis, Ruddock, Mercer, Morrison, Foreman or Moorer. That’s a lot of misses. So Wilder has a comparable resume to Bowe although the Holyfield wins elevate Bowe.
The 80s produced 3 HOF heavyweights. Tyson, Holmes and Spinks. Holmes is a great fighter, but he doesn’t have the great HOF wins that you may think he has. In my opinion Holmes’s best win is over a faded Ken Norton. Ali was completely shot. Cooney was a solid prospect. And the Mercer win can be argued. But what Holmes does have is consistency.
Spinks beat Holmes twice and only loss to a prime Tyson. I don’t think Spinks was a great heavyweight, but I think he was a great fighter.
Now you have Tyson who Wilder is mostly compared to. I’m not going to get into the skill because HOF is about accomplishments and production. Tyson has an edge in my opinion because he unified each belt one by one and Wilder didn’t. Tyson also cleaned out his era in the mid to late 80s and Wilder didn’t. Tyson was also able to win his title back after he got out of jail and he partially unified. So right now, Wilder hasn’t accomplished what Tyson has. But this is not a question of who is an All Time Great.
Wilder would have a lot more work to do and he would have to beat Joshua and Usyk. But if we are just talking HOF, I say he deserves strong consideration. If he’s not in now, then one more big win or winning back his title would solidify it. My reasoning is if you go back through the last 4 eras to the 80s. Wilder’s career mostly resembles The Klitschko Brothers and Riddick Bowe’s.
I think he can sit at the table with them as far as accomplishments. And if you’re a fan of Wilder you can point out that Wladimir’s losses have been much worse than Wilder’s. Being stopped by Corrie Sanders, Lamon Brewster and Ross Purity is not something that the media would let Wilder live down if you’re objectively fair.
And whatever you consider to be Wlad’s best win. It’s not far better than Luis Ortiz is it? So, if his career stopped today. I think Wilder should be under strong consideration. But it’s not over. Let's see his career play out.
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