The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Gervonta Davis vs. Ryan Garcia, Tim Tszyu and his recent knockout of Tony Harrison, Naoya Inoue and his legacy potential, David Benavidez vs. Caleb Plant, and more.
I pray you and your family are doing well. As a casual boxing fan I finally have a fight I’m really looking forward to seeing in Davis vs Garcia. I have no idea who is going to win because I haven’t seen enough of either in with elite competition so I don’t know enough but I will say based on Tank being more active and fighting slightly better competition I make him the favorite. The fight depends on Garcia’s ego. If he comes in with no ego and fights intelligently by utilizing his jab and staying on the outside and making Tank come to him I feel that would give him his best chance of winning. If Garcia goes in for the kill and makes it a war I feel he will eventually get stopped. I feel both guys could possibly be dropped in a firefight but I like Tanks’ chin more.
At least I finally have a fight to look forward to for the first time in a long time I pray both of these guys give us a great fight because boxing really needs it at this time. One other thing what do you think of Michael Jai White saying he could beat Bruce Lee because of his size. He caught a lot of backlash for that because Bruce Lee is an Iconic figure. I think he should have kept his thoughts to himself because he doesn’t come across as well on film like Bruce and Bruce is dead and gone so it can’t be proven. Good luck with Plant vs. Benavidez. I think the Benavidez hype is actually greater than what he has actually accomplish so far so it is not impossible. I pray you pull off the victory.
God bless and take care,
Blood and Guts from Philly
Bread’s Response: It seems that you’re slightly favoring Tank as most are. Although both lack a plethora of elite opponents. I think it’s fair to say that Tank is the more proven fighter. The chin thing is interesting. Although both are undefeated. My gut tells me, Tank has a better set of whiskers. If Ryan Garcia loses this fight, I think someone will look back at his matchmaking and say that Ryan could’ve been better groomed for the Super Fight. I’m not blaming anyone in particular because only Ryan and his team knows why he wasn’t matched better. But I feel that Tank has some separation in terms of opposition which is telling because Tank will be 29 this year and critics, criticize his matchmaking. Go figure…
I’m a huge Bruce Lee fan. I listen. I observe. It’s crazy to me that he’s been dead for 50 years and you hear “others” taking shots at him. “He never fought in real competition.” False!“ He was just an actor.” False!“ He wasn’t really that fast.” False!
I have researched on my own and all of those things are false. By a mile. I can’t tell Michael Jai White what to say and what not to say. But it surely doesn’t look or feel right to say that you could beat a man in a street fight who would be 83 if he was living today. Was about 80lbs smaller than you. And a much bigger icon.
I googled this comment when you wrote in to make sure you had it right. And my first thought was why say anything. But to each is own. In my mind Bruce Lee is the greatest Martial Artist/Actor in history and it’s not up for debate.
What’s up Bread?
In light of the recent debate about rehydration clauses (with the upcoming Tank-Garcia fight), can you elaborate on what happens when a fighter rehydrates too much in 24 hours?I know fighters look to gain a size advantage but I’m assuming that could backfire at some point. Curious to hear your thoughts.William in West Palm Beach
Bread’s Response: Not sure what you mean by rehydrates too much. But in Ryan’s case he can’t be over 146lbs the next day after the weigh in. Now what time that next day weigh in will be, I don’t know.
146lbs is not a big deal if Ryan has to weigh in, in the morning. 146lbs is a huge deal if it’s at 7pm at night right before he steps in the ring. So until we hear that, I don’t have much to say.
In most cases a fighter can rehydrate as much as he wants. With the IBF the max is 10lbs by the next morning then they can rehydrate as much as they want after the morning weigh in.
I hope you are well. This is my first time writing, but I've been a long time fan and I tune in religiously for my weekly dose of pugilistic education, wisdom, and history! Thank you for sharing with us fans!I was gutted for Tony Harrison last weekend. I knew that Tszyu's youth and physicality would play a big part, but I was hoping for a closer fight where Harrison's experience and overall technical skill would ultimately be the deciding factor. I've always been a fan of cerebral technicians such as Hopkins, Ward, Mayweather (my father introduced me to boxing with old tapes of Sugar Ray Robinson, Ali, he was also a fan of Marvin Hagler and Alexis Arguello).Anyway, one thing that struck me early in that fight was how Harrison was reacting to getting hit. He seemed to 'freeze' and momentarily lose his composure. What are your thoughts on that? I know you mentioned the risks of him potentially overtraining and cutting too much weight.
Also, he seemed reluctant to throw the right cross and left hook, which he usually throws with great timing. Do you think he was surprised by Tszyu's counters and discouraged from committing to power shots? The jab alone was not going to be enough to discourage Tszyu from crashing in.
Also, Harrison didn't seem to initiate clinches whenever he was hurt. I know that's something we see more often with inexperienced fighters. On that note, do you train your fighters on how to react if hurt or knocked down during a fight? Oftentimes, I feel fighters resort to their instincts to get out of trouble and fight their way through it instead of clinching, or taking extra seconds to get back up from a knockdown. I guess it also depends on how badly they are hurt / disoriented. Mayweather, who was rarely hit clean let alone hurt in a fight, instinctively clinched and closed the distance when Mosley hurt him. That was impressive!Lastly, what would you say are areas of the game or skills that are lost or not as emphasized as before? Infighting, body jabs, shovel hooks, check hooks, specific footwork patterns? I've always appreciated the beauty and skill in effective infighting. Duran, Toney come to mind. So does the JRock clinic against Hurd! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and good luck for the upcoming Caleb Plant fight!
Bread’s Response: Infighting is definitely a lost art these days. But everyone mentions that. I will give you a better one. Punching on the move. Watch Ray Leonard vs Roberto Duran II. Leonard punched on the move and it drove Duran crazy. Fighters today, move, stop to punch, then move again. They don’t punch on the move. Up until the 80s, you had fighters who could stick and move/punch on the move.
I have so many thoughts on the Tszyu vs Harrison fight. First off Tszyu improved a great deal since the Gausha fight. Tszyu was just as fast as Harrison in terms of handspeed and his mind quickness was superior and it’s why he was able to pressure and counter punch. Tszyu fought a great mature fight. He was composed. He kept prefect distance. He cut the ring off. He kept Harrison up against the ropes. And really put on a show. I was very, very impressed.
As for Harrison. Tall, lanky Kronk trained fighters don’t usually throw good left hooks to the HEAD. They throw good left hooks to the body in a sweeping fashion, usually after a right hand. Just think about it.
Hearns continuously got beat to the hook by Leonard. McCrory got brutalized by Curry trading hooks. Harrison got clipped by Jermell Charlo trading hooks.
Gerald McClellan had a great BODY hook, he rarely kos anyone with his hook to the head. So I don’t blame Tony for not overthrowing a left hook to Tszyu's head. Tszyu is a heavy handed kid and I felt from the 4th round on, he was hitting Tony just too much. The fight was just too violent for Tony to win. When someone asked me about the fight and said it would be Fight of the Year. I said I was picking Tony but not in a Fight of the Year type of fight. He needed it to be less violent and at a slower pace.
One of the major rules of boxing is to not let your head come over your front knee. Tony is an excellent boxer but he has poor posture. He loses his height and reach advantage because his head is always coming OVER his front knee when he jabs and throws a right hand. Tszyu landed a big counter in the 3rd round after a right hand. And I think it made Tony think. But that’s what separates good and great fighters. A great fighter adjust to that and keeps throwing his right hand. A good fighter stops throwing it.
Watch Bernard Hopkins vs Segundo Mercado. Mercado did the same ride back counter on Bernard and actually dropped and hurt him. However Bernard kept throwing his right hand. He kept landing it. He got a draw in the 1st fight and in the rematch he stopped Mercado with guess what, a right hand!
I was surely concerned about Tony’s weight. I saw that Tony posted a picture of him being 160lbs a few weeks before the fight. It scared me because if you get down in weight too soon, then it’s harder to put the weight back on. Tony is 6’1 with a large head, no insult intended. I assume if he’s not boxing and just eating his everyday food. He’s between 175lb-185lbs. So to hold 160lbs for that long, while taking punches in the gym depletes a fighter. I still picked him but it was surely a concern and that’s why I stated it.
If you look at Tony’s body, he looked the same way he did at the weigh in. He looked about 160lbs after weighing in under 154lbs. Ideally a fighter puts on 10% of his weigh in weight. Tszyu was really filled out. That’s extra protein, calories, carbs and fat that a fighter gets to burn off. So Tszyu had a big advantage from what my eyes told me. Tony’s energy was dwindling. He had skill but he didn’t seem to have physical strength. I was glad the fight was stopped in the 9th because 3 more rounds in that state can alter your life after boxing. And I really, really like Tony. He’s one of the coolest young brothers you could ever meet.
I believe as a trainer you go over everything with your fighter. Even being hurt or dropped. But in those times, it’s extremely difficult to remember for a hurt fighter, who is dizzy. You bring up Floyd Mayweather, but Floyd is of the top percentile of great fighters ever. His AWARENESS and composure is among the best in the history of boxing. Every single time I have ever seen Floyd buzzed, Corley, Pacman, Mosley, Judah, Maidana and Cotto. He comes back stronger. He usually wins the next round. And there is no residual effect of it.
When mentioning Floyd, you have to mention him with the special fighters of all time. Guys who can operate while hurt. Holyfield, Ali, Leonard, Holmes….Harrison is a solid kid, I love him. But that’s not fair to him to mention him with Floyd. He would be undefeated if he could operate while being hurt like Floyd.
Best of luck to both Tszyu and Tony in the future. Props to both for taking the SMOKE.
Hi Bread, if Inoue wins against Fulton, would you rank him ATG? I think he is already top 5 in all time Asian fighters, and for me Manny is the no. 1 in Asia, do you think he can surpass him anytime soon? and what you think he should do in order to surpass Manny?
Bread’s Response: I think we should leave the comparisons to Manny alone. If he sniffs Manny then cool. But to think about what Manny did, it doesn’t seem real or fair. But Manny is the only flyweight champion in history to be a great fighter at welterweight. I can't imagine Inoue being the best welterweight in the world in a few years...It probably won’t ever happen again.
Inoue does have a claim for #2 Asian fighter ever already. I already think he’s ATG lower weight fighter. He’s in the top 10 fighters ever in my opinion from 118 and under. I can’t think of 10 with a better legacy than from bantamweight and below. If he comprehensively beats Stephen Fulton I will say not only is he an ATG fighter but he would be the leading candidate thus far for Fighter of the Decade (2020s).
Mr. Edwards---wishing you big success on 3/25 and love that all the world is seeing what so many of us so 10+ years ago, your knowledge on life and boxing is next level and beneficial to athletes, fathers, coaches and business leaders across the globe. last weekend i watched a replay of Foreman vs Holyfield which inspired several questions and observations. Which of these heavyweights is viewed as the better heavyweight in terms of all time rankings? I think both are top 20 but interesting to see where you rank them. Similarly who would you choose to win more fights against today's top 3 heavyweights: Fury, Usyk, and Wilder---and i am asking about 42 year old foreman--i think the foreman that beat Joe Frazier knocks out all three of them. Holyfield was on his toes most of the fight and had great legs and feet, has any heavyweight of the last 30 years had feet as nice as Evander's? One more question which a friend asked at dinner that evening, Why in most other weights 4lbs or 8lbs (say 160 to 168) makes a huge difference but once you get over 215 lbs, a 20, 30, or 40 lb weight difference can be overcome?
At dinner, I said it is because everyone over 215lbs can do damage with 10oz gloves and at some point there is a tradeoff between weight and power vs speed, stamina, quickness, footwork, fatigue and recovery---but i said, stay tuned as i will ask Breadman! That fight was in Atlantic City as was Gatti vs Mayweather and Paul WIlliams vs Sergio Martinez (the last fight i saw in AC)....I think fight venues such as Barclays, Capital One Arena and MGM Grand Maryland have made Brooklyn and the DMV superior venues to hold Fights and are the nail in the coffin for AC as a boxing venue. WHat do you see are the best emerging cities and arenas to host boxing and are there any dying cities and venues that need to be either revived or written off?
Billy Bomaye, Washington, DC
Bread’s Response: I think Washington DC and Minneapolis, Minnesota are big emerging fight cities.
I rank Holyfield as a top 10 ever heavyweight maybe 7ish I have to do some forensic research to say exactly where. I rank George Foreman as a top 3 or 4. The 42 year old Foreman was a tremendous fighter but I think he’s too slow for Usyk and Fury. I have to think about Wilder a little bit. Someone would get seriously hurt.I think Holyfield on his best day beats all 3. He may have to fight Usyk and Fury 3x to figure it all out but Holyfield in 1991 was something special.
The reason why a 215lbs fighter can beat a 245lbs is because often times the extra weight makes the bigger fighter be slower, have less stamina and agility and be more compromised. You don’t often see distance runners over 200lbs do you? So after a certain amount of weight, the heart has more maintenance. It doesn’t show up as much at the smaller weights. But it’s why guys like Usyk and Wilder are 2 of the top 3 heavyweights in the world. I’ve been in the gym with fighters over 240lbs. And they are much harder to train. They simply don’t have the engines. You do have special cases but overall….those are their issues.
Gennadiy Golovkin vacated his middleweight titles and is currently pondering his next move. If I imagine the perspective of his promotional team, I don’t see anyone fighting between 154 pounds and 168 pounds that makes sense as an opponent for Golovkin.
Every champion or top contender Golovkin could fight (that means not Canelo Alvarez) poses a high risk, low reward situation. If Golovkin beats any of those fighters, it won’t enhance his legacy at all. If he loses to any of them, it will diminish his legacy.I would also argue that none of them offer Golovkin a super fight paycheck, although I could see a case being made for the winner of Benavidez-Plant, either of the Charlo twins or Jaime Munguia.So I think Golovkin will announce a debut at light heavyweight for his next fight. He already moved up to super middleweight and the biggest fights he can make are just seven pounds away from that.Dmitry Bivol and Artur Beterbiev both need relevant opponents and both offer super fight platforms.
Also, unlike every other potential opponent for Golovkin, there wouldn’t be any downside if he loses. Even if Golovkin gets brutally knocked out in just 30 seconds, his legacy stays intact through any loss at light heavyweight.I think it makes way too much sense but I haven’t seen this possibility mentioned anywhere. I wanted to know if you could see Golovkin moving to 175 soon. If not, what do you think his next move might look like?
Thank you so much!
Bread’s Response: I haven’t given it much thought but I think Golovkin has gotten old in front of our eyes. It takes a lot for him to get in shape. So now he’s at the point where he will probably not retire but sit back and PICK the right opponent. I never thought he had the frame to move up. Remember Hagler and Monzon never did either….So I’m not so sure he will go to 175lbs. Unless you can tell me who he will target I just don’t know about that. But I do think he will choose a guy he could possibly beat at 160 or 168. Let’s see.
Peace, My name is Q from East New York Brooklyn. You have mentioned PEDs in your latest mailbag. I believe there should be polygraphs for boxers especially those that test positive and deny it. Do you think polygraphs are feasible, and/or practical to help decrease PEDs in the sport? Thanks god bless .
Bread’s Response: Polygraphs won’t work in boxing. Boxers lie now if they fail a test that’s either positive or negative. So if they fail a polygraph what do you think they will do? They’re going to say polygraphs are not admissible in court so therefore the test aren’t valid. It’s just not practical to use at this point.
I was reading Paul magnos mailbag on fighthype and I read a response regarding Connor Benn. I felt like you could maybe add to it or at least offer another viewpoint, or open up a bigger dialogue as to the PED scandal that’s appearing to get swept under the rug. The Piers Morgan - Benn interview? Benn rejecting the WBC’s egg proposal. Maybe this email can serve as a template to continue that conversation in your mailbag. You have a solid audience that recognizes and respects your boxing mind and your ability to "shoot from the hip.“
I’m going to start this off by saying that I do not believe Conor Benn’s claims of innocence and I have zero confidence in the WBC’s “clearing” of the fighter, which was pretty much entirely based on Benn’s claim that he ate an “excessive” amount of eggs tainted with the banned substance Clomiphene. The second generation fighter has reportedly not been cooperating with the UK Anti-Doping Agency (UKAD) or the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBofC), which have significantly more stringent requirements for reinstatement. There’s just a lot that ain’t right with Benn’s story.
Notably, the particular hormone in question is prohibited for use in poultry in the UK and it would be cost-prohibitive to use that substance in any black market/off-the-books poultry setup (if such things even exist). Most (if not all) European nations have a similar ban on the hormone. So, where, exactly, did he get this vast quantity of tainted eggs and why did he pop negative for that same banned substance earlier last year as well (in a positive test that, for some reason, never saw the light of day until Benn’s second failed test)?
In the case of Canelo’s positive test for Clenbuterol in 2018, Alvarez blamed it on ingestion of tainted beef. To back up his case, he provided receipts for where he ate the beef and there was a subsequent investigation tracing that meat back to the slaughter house where it came from. He also submitted himself to a hair follicle test, which showed that the amount of Clenbuterol in his system was consistent with accidental ingestion via tainted beef. Benn did none of that and has conducted himself belligerently towards the agencies that matter in proving his innocence. He, pretty much literally, has no argument other than “I ate a lot of eggs that were probably tainted.”In the athletic world, Clomiphene is a known doping agent which boosts the level of testosterone in an athlete. In the poultry world, at least in the UK and surrounding areas, it’s not in use. Unless some other evidence pops up, I call BS on Benn and his story.
Bread’s Response: Paul Magno has an excellent mailbag. You guys should check it out. As far as his comment about Benn specifically, I agree 100%. I don’t have anything to add.
What’s up coach much respect. I would like to hear your thoughts on the best SINGULAR trait, in your opinion, of some past and present fighters:1. Mike Tyson 2. Floyd Mayweather Jr3. Carlos Monzon 4. Tank Davis 5. Canelo Alvarez6. Roberto Duran 7. Muhammad Ali 8. Manny Pacquiao9. Felix Trinidad 10. Deontay Wilder11. Tyson Fury12. Salvador Sanchez13. David Morrell Jr 14. Dmitry Bivol15. Roy Jones Jr
Lastly - my sons are 6, 5, and 2 years old. Can you share any piece of advice you have on training kids in general? For context I am a professional MMA fighter and amateur champion so I do have combat experience.
Thank you, Adrian Soto-Pérez from NC
Bread’s Response: When training your kids, make it fun. You have to have a good mix of discipline and fun. And be patient. Try not to get frustrated. It’s going to happen but just try to hide it if you can.
I can’t just say a singular trait but I will try to make my answers brief.
1. Mike Tyson-Dynamic mix of speed, technique, power and skill.
2. Floyd Mayweather Jr.- Clutch Fighter who’s mind elevates him to the top of the food chain in any era.
3. Carlos Monzon- Ornery killer in the ring, who’s sum total was better than his parts broken down.
4. Tank Davis- Minimalist, efficient great puncher with, superb athleticism and boxing skills.
5. Canelo Alvarez- Complete fighter on offense and defense, with a mean winning attitude and composure for the big moment.
6. Roberto Duran- A natural fighter who had the best mix of ultra offense and responsible defense in history.
7. Muhammad Ali- The best combination of pride, natural talent, toughness and heart the boxing world has ever seen.
8. Manny Pacquiao- Resilient, adaptable, ultra athletic fighter who had the best PPV run in history of 7 almost perfect fights in a row
9. Felix Trinidad- An assassin who always had fun going into combat.
10. Deontay Wilder- A fighter who’s heart is as big as his punch and his punch is among the biggest in history.
11. Tyson Fury- a mountain of a man, who has a mountain of skill, will and determination.
12. Salvador Sanchez- The unflappable, indefatigable, consummate professional who rose to any level he had to.
13. David Morrell Jr- A deceptively strong, athletic, confident star in the making.
14. Dmitry Bivol- Scientific, calm, winner.
15. Roy Jones Jr.- the most underrated fighter in history and he's top 20-25 ATG. The guy you want to be on his best day. An incomparable mix of IQ, athleticism, skill and power.
Hey Bread. Many thanks for the efforts on the Sunday column - I look forward to it every week and read without fail. I’m sure it takes you a lot of time, even if it’s your passion. A couple of questions I’d value your opinion on: Tszyu v Harrison - he did better than I expected, I thought Harrison would have been more effective with his jab. How did you view them both? Particularly the stoppage - many people in Australia thought the ref was too late to stop the fight? I think it was Charlo that said a good counter puncher will clip Tszyu - he seemed wide open at times - thoughts? Kambosos v Max - coming up. I respect Kambosos going after a guy with a decent resume. How do you think he’ll fare and if he wins, how competitive can he stay in this stacked division? Canelo - I don’t get why he eats as much criticism as he does. He’s picked and planned his fight path carefully and has better resume than just about anyone. Thoughts? Lastly, his fight v Ryder is in Estadio Akron which I believe is 1500m above sea level. How much does altitude affect a visiting fighter that won’t do a full camp there? Vs how much does some altitude in training in a place like Big Bear help?
Thanks again, Adam.
Bread’s Response: Thank you but it comes out on Saturday morning at 10:30am EST.
I thought Tszyu performed excellent. He’s a serious threat at this point. Harrison showed his skills but his body looked depleted. I didn’t like that he appeared to not put much weight on after the weigh in. I hope he’s ok moving forward because taking punches in a depleted state can cause serious damage.
A good counter puncher can clip Tszyu but Tszyu is improving and he was the one counter punching vs Harrison. Tszyu showed a very high IQ. He didn’t over punch. He didn’t miss BIG. So he’s improving on not being counter punched. It looked to me that Tszyu saw his own flaws and decided to work on them. He made the best of his time after the Gausha fight.
I don’t know who Kambosos's opponent is but I feel like Kambosos will have a tough time getting back to the top.
Canelo has one of the best resumes in boxing. So criticizing his pick of opponents may be slight micro managing. Canelo made a mistake in my opinion by bringing up that Benavidez was Mexican as a reason to not fight him. The simple reason is, Benavidez will fight him. So it doesn’t make sense to say that if the fighter you’re saying it about, doesn’t feel that way about you. So that may deserve some criticism.
But John Ryder is a solid fighter and a mandatory. A-list fighters usually mix showcase fights with killer fights. So Canelo mixes his in. I think Canelo deserves criticism for other things. But in context with the level of competition that his contemporaries have faced, he should only get minimum slack for his opponents.
I don’t know how much the altitude will effect Ryder. But I trained in Big Bear a few times and I got winded hitting the pads for a few rounds. It was real.
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