The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Naoya Inoue and his recent big win over Stephen Fulton, the undisputed fight between Errol Spence and Terence Crawford, lightweight contender Frank Martin, and more.

Hey what's up Bread? Hope all is well. I was just watching some highlights of Azumah Nelson,  Salvador Sanchez and other great lower weight fighters,  including their great fight, and Manny Pacquiao is my all time favorite fighter, and was wondering who you think would win between Manny and Nelson and Sanchez, and to take it a step further who are the all time greats at the different weight classes that Manny won titles in, and how would he fare against them? Thanks for taking the time to answer all of our questions and for teaching us and educating us. Looking forward to reading your next bag.

Mike, from Salt Lake City

Bread’s Response: Thanks for keeping this short but this will take a big answer. I’m going to go off the top of my head because I don’t have time to do forensic research of the ATG in the divisions Manny won titles in because he won 8 division titles. That’s a lot of research. That’s at least 80 fighters because ATG in a particular division usually means at least top 10 ever in the division. 

To answer in order. The Manny that beat Marco Antonion Barrera in 2003 is the best featherweight performance since. Meaning I haven’t seen a featherweight performance that good, since he did it. That Manny Pacquiao was just a wrecking ball. But I’m tempted to pick Azumah and Sal over him but I just can’t because around that time his physicality kicked in and within 5 years he was a welterweight. 

We know Azumah didn’t have the physicality past 130lbs and I suspect Sal would have been the same. Manny has the physicality of a junior welterweight at featherweight! There has only been one other featherweight in history could win a title at welterweight (Armstrong) but Manny started at flyweight. It’s so rare it doesn’t seem real. Today I’m going to say that Manny splits fights with both. I can see Azumah clipping Manny in a fight. And I can see Sal frustrating him. But neither would beat him 2 fights in a row. They would all take turns beating each other.

Hope all is well Bread and congratulations on all the success you’ve had with your fighters and expanding your profile as a trainer and boxing mind. 1st up Julz got did foul with that early stoppage, especially with a fighter that is know to fade late. Could have been a big comeback ala Corrales Vs Castillo 1, just didn’t sit well with me. Frank Martin fight was a close fought contest with Frank winning 3-4 clear rounds and the rest being swing rounds that knock down clinched it. Honestly I had Haratuyan (maybe misspelled) winning but I wasn’t mad as I just happed to give him those swing round but mainly based of Martin not performing up to expectations (so that comprised my opinion) so a tight win but a win is a win and it wasn’t a robbery. Fulton Vs Inoue…. Man I see Steph boxing his ears for the first 6-7 rounds even getting an early flash knock down. Now this is where it gets rough I can see Cool Boy getting in close to close the show and that will be a major mistake possibly going down 2x in the later rounds 10 and 11. If Cool Boy isn’t rock solid he’ll fall, If he is which I think he is. he walks away with a close MD. I got Steph for the W.

Now on to Spence Vs Crawford…. Man I’ve been watching these YouTubers and read other media guys. I gotta say it seems most people are going with who they affiliate with PBC Vs TR guys. Crawford has been getting flack for the Negotiations and how they went people thinking Crawford is delusional. Man this is what I see. Crawford made Spence bend in negotiations he made sure not to let team Spence get in there heads they could bend or break him. I say he won the first round . Got the money he wanted , made them agree to flip a coin for walk outs, and irritated them every step of the way by making sure he got his way. Spence team has stated that they will break Crawford he can’t take the punishment. I see Crawford using his precision to stop Spence’s Down hill gear. I see Crawford sniping Spence up and getting him out of there in under 11 . He Catches Spence with a Temple shot with that Step jab Hook and that put Spence on Queer Street (like Lennox says)  and finishing him off. Leaving the entire World Stunned . I really think it’s a bad styles match up for Spence.

Geno from the Bay

Bread’s Response: Julz fight didn’t sit well with me either! But as you get older, your wisdom grows. You learn how to manage and reconcile events that didn’t go your way. 

I like how Frank Martin grinded his way back in the fight. I thought he was getting outboxed. I thought he was just OFF. Maybe it was due to AH performing well. But Martin was OFF. He didn’t get discouraged or packed it in. He upped his pressure and he made AH capitulate. Maybe AH had a case for winning. I can see him winning 7 rounds although I didn’t score it with a pen and pad. But giving up the last 3 rounds and taking knee in the 12th killed his argument. I didn’t like the knee. 

There are times to take a knee to avoid getting stopped when you’re being overwhelmed. But in the 12 th round of a fight where you’re the B side and you’re losing your big lead. I didn’t like it. I also thought he was content afterwards. Where as Martin had more of a WINNERS mentality. Winning and losing comes with the sport. But mentalities are important in wins and losses. 

I’m very impressed with Frank Martin. Not so much his physical performance. But I’m impressed with him not having his best night and still gutting out a win. 

I want to give Errol and Bud props for both making the fight. I don’t care about concessions. They got it done. And depending on who you hear it from, both sides will take credit for getting it done. As for the fight, I don’t have a prediction but I have a breakdown.

I believe Errol is the boxer in the fight. Meaning I believe his best chance is to score points for his win. I also think he boxes better than giving credit for because he’s not flashy. His workrate and jab allow him to carry fights and rarely lose 2 rounds in a row or appear he’s being outboxed. 

In my opinion Crawford is a genius level puncher. He’s a great boxer but not untouchable like say a Mayweather or Whitaker. Crawford is an offensive killer who has excellent boxing skills. Not so much a Defensive Wiz if you get what I mean…I feel like Crawford throws deceptive counters to the body. While whipping in hard shots to the head without overcommitting and allowing himself to be countered. Crawford also punches WITH opponents as good as anyone in boxing. For as good as Spence is, the 2 times I have seen opponents consistently punch WITH him, I thought he was troubled deeply and that was against Porter and Brook. He pulled both fights out but I believe he was thrown off when they challenged his superiority by punching with him. Errol showed GRIT by grinding Brook out. He showed a CLUTCH gene by knocking Porter down. But they still had their success. Crawford on the other hand has shown a tendency to be outboxed, especially early in fights. So while both are great, both have tendencies that the other could take advantage of. 

My question is will Crawford start slow and allow Spence to get his rhythm with his great jab. My other question is will Spence get thrown off if he’s dealing with someone as sharp or sharper, punching WITH him. Fighters usually shell up when Errol starts rolling down hill, I don’t believe Crawford will. 

Last but not least I have an observation. Both are great late round fighters. Both are excellent body punchers and I believe that’s the reason both are great late round fighters. But I’ve never seen either get hit in their body often so I’m curious how either will deal with an elite fighter attacking their body consistently. Who ever answers these questions the best, will win…

Hey Mr Edwards,

I don't know if anyone will tell you this but the second last mailbag is a must keep. I won't say I agree with every reply you gave but those were great write-ins and you were right there with all of them. I liked particularly how you dealt with the criticism that Canelo Alvarez avoids black fighters. That's ridiculous and you called it right. We can't disrespect a guy simply because he doesn't speak good enough English to defend himself. Can Frank Martin shut up already and just carry Errol Spence's water bucket? He was calling out Tank Davis and Shakur Stevenson before a journeyman showed what his level is in his last fight. Tank sends that kid to hospital on a respirator (That's why I'm against that fight happening) and Shakur gives him a terrible one-sided beating. One would think Martin would find a hole to hide himself in after he was exposed by a guy who boxes just to pay the bills.

Instead, he finds a rooftop and screams "Errol Spence is not the seven Welterweights Bud Crawford knocked out!!!" And suddenly he knocks out Devin Haney in eight rounds so he says. Devin boxes that kid"s ears off every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Reporters must spare us trash sometimes. We want to hear nothing from someone that's accomplished nothing. If fighters have to be polled for the outcome of Crawford -Spence, let it be guys like SRL, RJJ, Hitman Hearns, Tito Trinidad and, of those currently active, Tank, Loma, Canelo, Bivol etc. Guys that move the needle. I promised to break Crawford-Spence down for you closer to the fight but I'm going to have to be quick because Frank Martin already abused my space1.

Size and Physicality - The train has already left the station for Spence. There was a time when these attributes were a serious problem for Crawford because he was the smaller guy moving up. But Crawford is a full welterweight now and while Spence is bigger, he's no longer more physical than Bud. One fight proves this. Spence was life and death with Shawn Porter and if Porter's glove does not touch the canvass in round 11, I don't think Spence wins that fight. Bud, on the other hand, fought well within himself against the same Porter and switched off the lights when he wanted to. Porter's physicality had no effect on him at all and suddenly it's Bud's problem Porter allegedly didn't prepare right? That's nonsense right there. If this fight gets physical, Bud is not taking a backward step for Spence and he's strong enough now and big enough at Welterweight to stand up to Spence whose much-vaunted physicality and size couldn't overwhelm as small a fighter as Mikey Garcia.

2. Reaction to adversity - Yordenis Ugas hurts Spence and then tries to find Al Haymon at ringside to apologise while Spence reacts like a raw amateur by searching for his teeth. Mean Machine hurts Bud and Bud roars right back at him and gets him out of there. He did the same with Yuriakis Gamboa.What happens in this fight is if Spence hurts Bud, Bud's going to come right back at him. If Bud hurts Spence, there's no way back for Spence. Plain and simple.

3. Power - Both have power. Spence's power is a thudding power that slowly bludgeons an opponent into submission. Crawford's power is a cross between explosive and concussive. So, whereas an opponent on the receiving end of Spence's power is more likely to be standing and aware but all busted up at the time of stoppage, those hit by Crawford tend to ask the corner what happened or they are confused about what's happened. So while one punches like Marvin Hagler but is not really Hagler, the other punches like Thomas Hearns and is nearly Hearns. Give me the latter everytime and that's Crawford.

4. Defense - Spence is the better defensive fighter because he's technically more drilled. He rarely gets hit with the same punch twice but that tends to happen to Crawford. However, here's the difference. Spence will be defensively responsible while maintaining a steady attack tempo. Crawford, after being hit by the same punch a ridiculous two or three times finds a lights out counter to the same punch soon enough. So he turns a defensive weakness into a potent offense.

5. Offense - Spence is the busier fighter and most will give him the edge on offense. However, Crawford, when he switches it on is offensively more dynamic. So it will be the consistent and heavy beat down offence of Spence against the isolated but sudden rapier -like and instantly disorienting offense of Crawford.  Most prefer Spence's offense because they can see the end coming. A lot of people don't like Crawford's offense because you've got to ask the guy sitting next to you what happened as if you are not at the fight. Give me Crawford's offense every time.

6. Killer instinct - I don't think even a lot of seasoned boxing people understand what killer instinct is in boxing terms. Just because a guy has a lot of knockouts doesn't mean he has a killer instinct. Both Spence and Crawford have a high KO percentage. But Spence is wrongly believed to have a killer instinct. Killer instinct refers to HOW a guy goes about getting his opponent out of there once they have them going. Spence just keeps throwing like he did to get the opponent into that position. Crawford throws like he couldn't care if the guy lived or not. The difference therefore is the zone each finds himself in at the finish. Crawford is vicious and frighteningly violent. Spence is just effective. There's a big difference. Lastly;

7. Resume - There's a myth that, because PBC held a choreographed inhouse tournament for Spence, he has a better resume than Crawford. DSG accomplished nothing at welterweight. Mikey Garcia jumped two divisions. Ugas' face can't survive five decent punches without showing wear and tear. Kell Brooke is just like all British nine-day wonders (Honeyghan V Curry; Stracey v Napoles etc). And the Porter victory was a gift. So who does that leave out? A contender like Lamont Peterson? Or a "fearsome ATG" like Ocampo ( not sure I have that name right but that mysterious no. 1 contender who fell in one round) Like Crawford put it, Porter has a better resume than both. Spence and Crawford's resumes are similar. The only difference is that Crawford has knocked out every welterweight he's faced. Spence will be no different.I could add other categories but this is sufficient to tell me Crawford will win. There's also a lot of crazy stuff coming out of the Spence camp that makes me question their mindset. For example, Spence is quoted as saying after he survived the car crash, there's nothing Crawford could do to him or something to that effect.

Well, the question is: was the car throwing punches at him?For some reason, the Spence camp is also convinced that Crawford is not durable. All Spence has to do is to just keep chopping. Well, Crawford is not exactly a tree, is he? Spence is gonna pay a price like he's never had to pay for any chopping he plans to do. In that 9th round, he chopped and chopped at little Mikey Garcia trying to take him out and, sure enough, Garcia was out and bouncing for the 10th round. So much for his chopping. Finally, I think comparisons to Leonard v Hearns should stop. There was never a fight like that before and, going by today's standards where fighters simply avoid each other, there will never be a fight like that again. Both were much younger than Spence and Crawford and at their peaks. Hearns held the welterweight division in a grip of fear at the time and Leonard had lost only to an ATG. I don't know how many people realise Roberto Duran was already an ATG when he beat Leonard and that this was Leonard's only loss at his peak.  And this will shock a lot of people particularly as I'm a fan of Bud but both he and Spence are past their peaks. However, But retains a little bit more of what he was like at his peak than Spence.

Keep punching Mr Edwards

KatlholoJohannesburg, South Africa 

Bread’s Response:1. I don’t judge physicality or strength by size. I have to see them line up with each other. Just because Errol is bigger I don’t assume he’s stronger. Let’s see.

2. Both have responded well to adversity but in my opinion Errol has had more adversity in a boxing ring. I have nothing else to say about it because adversity is different in each circumstance. Neither has folded under the gun. I believe both have the character to overcome but let’s see what they do Saturday night.

3. I love your description of their power. I feel it’s accurate. But I don’t want to talk in absolute terms because we have to see HOW they take each other’s punches.

4. You say Spence is the better defensive fighter. I think their defense is just different. Crawford's D lies in his counter punching these days. Errol's keeps his hands up and a high volume. However, When Crawford is using his legs and moving like he did vs Postol his defense is excellent. But when he’s in puncher mode he gets his more. Where as Spence is usually in the same mode each fight. 

5. Coin Flip but Crawford’s sudden power makes it seem he’s better offensively in my opinion. But Spence may be harder to win rounds against because of his activity.

6. I won’t argue.

7. Their resumes are even in my opinion but Crawford’s is deeper. He’s been in twice the amount of championship fights. Some the fans discredit real fights because they aren’t BIG fights with known fighters.

I’ve also heard Spence’s camp talking about breaking Crawford. I love that talk. Let’s see how it plays out. I believe both guys are stubborn and will be hard to break.

Breadman, Hope you're doing well. I'll try to keep it brief. 1. It would be futile for Boots to attempt to wait out Spence and Crawford as they very well may engage in a trilogy which may take over a year. Plus both have talked about going up to 154 to capture titles up there. So wouldn't it make sense for Boots to pack on some pounds and go up to jr. middleweight now? He's obviously gonna end up there at some point anyways. Why not now? The division may end up being open now with Charlo going up north to challenge Canelo. Tsyzu is without a dance partner (not that Boots would be able to get that shot right away. But if he could go up to jr. middle and build himself into a contender or maybe even a champ, he cuts Spence-Bud off. It makes better sense to do that than chase these guys around the dance when they're ignoring him. What do you think?

2. I remember you talking about some fighters being fluid and 'like water' without much of a game plan but always ready to adapt to the moment. SRL/Teo/ Floyd/ etc. Then there are others who have a more rigid gameplan (Hearns/ Lennox Lewis/ etc.). It feels like Bud is the former and Spence is the latter. Would you agree?

3. I've always been a fan of AJ. Watched him win the gold medal back in 2012. Rooted for him throughout his career and have always believed in him and defended him. But his recent comments about his former trainer Garcia and McCracken were in such poor taste to me. It completely turned me off to see him blame others for his own career rather than take accountability. To me, it gives credence to those arguments that he's mentally weak. What do you think?4. Your reasoning in picking Fulton makes sense but I also wonder if that's due to your  American bias. I'm not hatin' or criticizing. We all do it whether we're conscious of it or not. But I guess we'll find it out.

Jason from San Francisco

Bread’s Response: 1) I don’t believe Boots should chase anybody or anything. He’s 26 years old. He should win a title at the lowest weight he can make and move up. Who’s to say he will get a shot at 154 right away and beat Crawford and Spence to 154. It took Crawford and Spence about 4 years to make their fight….Team Ennis just has to correspond with the sanctioning bodies. No one has been MANDATED to fight Boots. That’s the issue. He’s been interim champion but that’s not the same as World Champion. There are other fighters in his age range that he can fight…He just has to build his resume and win fights and the BIG fight will find him.

2)It’s not so much that the fluid fighters don’t have gameplans. It’s just that their mindsets are adjustable and lots of things they do are instinctive. It doesn’t even mean they don’t have excellent trainers. Their trainers just know they can’t confine them. I believe people like this are more RIGHT BRAIN dominant. Then you have some fighters who do things through the simple ABCs. They are more LEFT BRAIN dominant.

I agree Bud seems more right brain dominant and Spence seems more left brain dominant. Both sides have proven to work. In terms of famous fighters look at Joe Louis and Mike Tyson. Louis was methodical. Tyson dynamic but both were left brain dominant, they had systems. Next look at Ali and Roy Jones. Well trained but creative right brain dominant fighters. 

The left side of your brain is the practical side. The right side is the creative side.

3. I didn’t like AJs comments about McCracken. McCracken had him on his best career run and won 2 world championships with him. But let’s see how he does with the rest of his career. If he outperforms himself then he can stand on what he said. If he doesn’t then …..What’s peculiar is fighters talk bad about their ex trainers all the time. But as soon as a trainer tells the truth about why a fighter lost. Or what his habits are that cost him fights etc then the trainer is looked at as bitter or vindictive. If the public only knew some of the stuff that trainers have to go through.

If Terence Crawford beats Errol Spence, what else would he have to do to make his resume comparable to Floyd Mayweather’s resume?

If Crawford’s career ends with him fending off mandatories and stringing together successful title defense for a few years before retirement, would that be enough to make Mayweather vs. Crawford a legitimate debate? What if Crawford jumps up at wins a title at 154? Is that enough? Would winning one at 160 do it? Does he need to completely unify another division?Or does he need a string of victories in absolute super fights against other greats in this era?

Thank you so much for the response!

Bread’s Response: Crawford is already a HOF. Very few fighters in history have won titles from 135-140-147. If Crawford beats Spence convincingly and defends the undisputed title vs Boots and wins I would place him at the table with Mayweather. But listen let’s just see how he does vs Spence. A fighter can only fight one fight at a time and this is a very tough fight.

Sup Bread,

So the main key to victory for Bud Crawford seems to be applying his sniping ability to catch Spence with something that he doesn't see coming. While that's certainly a possibility, I don't see a lot of people saying that Spence can stop Bud via punches. Is Spence's power being overlooked? We're talking about a guy that's broken an orbital bone on Kell Brook and more recently, Ugas. Not to mention breaking one of Ugas' ribs as well.

Bread’s Response: Anyone can be stopped! Anyone! If you can go to sleep at night you can be knocked out. Don’t ever forget that.


Appreciate you even though you might be hurting. Told you some years ago in my opinion since I have seen boxers on youtube there were 5 now 6 even though people say he has to do more.  You can see inoue and also feel him.  The truth comes out.

You are the smartest guy in boxing in my opinion and I wish you the best. But what I really want to say is that I wish your daughter the best next week in Des Moines along with you family Victory and break 57 seconds.


Rich Mathews

Bread’s Response: Thank you. Thank you very much. Both of my kids are ready to rock at this year’s AAU Junior Olympics. 

So I’m assuming you mean fighters with special twitch. You put Monster Inoue #4 All time….Interesting. Well that’s your opinion and I won’t argue but you may be getting a little ahead of yourself. I will say this and try to keep things in perspective. One of the reasons we don’t give smaller fighters their props is because we don’t know their opponents and we feel that their pool of competition is smaller and less accomplished than the bigger guys. I understand that. But Inoue just beat a highly qualified fighter from the division above. A fighter who is in his prime, well known, bigger, undefeated a unified champion. So what Inoue did was shut everyone up who didn’t know his other opponents. He displayed elite timing, power, punch selection, power, speed and finishing ability. He also displayed poise and a clutch gene. He was at his best when his best was needed. I know I saw a special fighter. But....I’m not ready to put him as the 4th best fighter ever but I like your enthusiasm. 

However, I am ready to say he’s either the best or 2nd best Japanese fighter ever. I’m ready to say he’s top 5 Asian fighters ever. I’m ready to say he’s a top 10 ever at 118. I’m ready to say he’s a strong candidate for Fighter of the Decade so far. I’m ready to say he MAY be the best current fighter in the world. And I’m ready to say that if he was 147lbs , with his same accomplishments and numbers then it wouldn’t be much of an argument. How was that?

Good day Breadman, hope this meets you in good taste. I tend to observe and pick on patterns really easily and I thought to share these few probably 'mundane' observations: I think Bud is overtrained. I noticed his arms, just above the elbows upwards, are looking thin and over defined. I hope these don't have any effects in the sense of fluidity or injuries. Also, Bomac teases him with 'i bet you can't do this or that to Errol though'; I feel it's good to drop a few doubts in your fighter so they know what's up. Builds up angst too should your fighter respect his opponent too much or is too nice. Do you agree? I noticed Errol has that eye that sees everything. Like always opened wide, seeing punches coming. Ever noticed this?

Thanks for all you do. 

Bread’s Response: You think Bud is overtrained. It’s so many variables that I don’t talk about that stuff publicly without knowing a fighter intimately. I don’t know what his weight was,,. I don’t know what his food/water intake is etc. And I definitely don’t know what he did in camp. I do know his trainers and whatever they did up to this point has worked…I can say that Bud’s attitude is very reserved. He hasn’t been talking fast or loud. He hasn’t been raising his voice. But maybe he’s just ready to go. Maybe he’s in deep thought. Who knows. Errol seems in a good mood but I’m not going to micro analyze. It’s a fight at the end of the day. They both have to perform on Saturday night.

Bomac and Terence have a brotherly relationship. They play and joke a lot. But that’s just them. It works for them. 

Ssup Bread,

This is exactly the reason why one should make the fights right away instead of letting it marinate. If Spence and Crawford had fought in 2018-19, the winner would have been a the undisputed P4P No.1. Ward had retired, Choc got knocked out and hence GGG was No.1. Once GGG lost rematch to Canelo, Loma became No.1 and them post the Kovalev fight, Canelo became No.1. It wasn't until the 2021 run of Canelo that people started saying that even the winner of Spence vs Crawford cannot overtake him. They had a good 3 year window to fight and become universally acclaimed P4P No.1. A ray of hope emerged for them once Canelo lost and they might very well have lost it again considering the manner of Inoue's victory. Until and unless, the winner of Spence vs Crawford wins a lopsided UD or gets a KO/TKO, I don't think they will be able to displace Inoue as No.1 in most P4P rankings. Speaking of Inoue. What a masterful performance. I think some people are jumping the gun by saying that winner of Spence vs Crawford cannot displace him as No.1. As I said, it all depends on the manner of victory. Another thing that a lot of people are saying is that he has become the Japanese GOAT. Do you agree? I don't think he has. He has not beaten a Jofre or a Famechon (Harada should have won the first bout). What is your opinion on the matter? Has he displaced Harada as the Japanese GOAT

Regards, Saurabh

Bread’s Response: I don’t like marinating fights for over 2 years. Anything more than that, can cause us to not see the SAME 2 fighters that we thought so highly of in the 1st place. Leonard became champion in November of 1979. He made 1 title defense then defended vs Duran in June of 1980. Super Fight. He lost that fight, regained his title and fought Hearns in September of 1981, who had just became champion in August of 1980. They let the fights marinate slightly but not an overkill. Boxing is a game of inches and the more we marinate fights, the more things change within the fighters. But we have seen cases where fights happen many years after they were 1st proposed and they delivered at the box office. Mayweather vs Pacman and Holyfield vs Tyson. So I get the build up and anticipation. But as a purist I think a 2 year build up is all you need. 

God bless you Bread,                                      

Hope you and your family are well and in Gods grace. Wow !  I must say i am in total awe of Naoya Inoue.I picked Stephen to win by unanimous decision or majority. I thought Stephen would handle him in the same manner he handled Brandon Figueroa. I knew Naoya is a great fighter, but he might be better then we thought. It looks like Marlon Tapales is next to unify the titles in the division, and Naoya will be a big favorite in the fight.  I also believe Naoya can be champion also at 126 featherweight .His main competition there seems to be Robeisy Ramirez. who is with top rank and should be easy to make if he moves up and beats tapales My question to you is do you have Naoya Inoue as best pound per pound fighter currently?And gow far do you feel he can go up in weight ?  jr. Feather? 130Thanks for your great work and we your fans love and appreciate you !

God bless always

Andres Gonzalez

Staten island. NY

Bread’s Response: I’m not sure how far Inoue can move up. I think his frame says 122-126lbs. Anything more than that I think he would be fighting on talent and skill and not so much size if you get what I mean. It doesn’t mean he won’t win fights at 130lbs but it doesn’t look like he has the structure of 130lbers. I see the comparisons to Pacman but Manny has more muscle density, a bigger head, bigger legs and at the same age Manny was at 147 already. So there is a difference. I wouldn’t argue with anyone who says Inoue is the world’s best fighter. Salvador Sanchez was equal to Ray Leonard in 1981. Sanchez beat Wilfredo Gomez. And Leonard beat Hearns. In 1981 they were considered equal victories although Leonard vs Hearns was the BIGGER fight. I think we can have a case like this after Spence vs Crawford.

Assalaam alaykum Mr Edwards,

I hope and pray that you, your family, and your charges are well and in good health. I wanted to ask a few brief questions, informed by my own limited opinion, so that I can hopefully learn something from you: 1) Is Naoya Inoue the best puncher in boxing by a WIDE margin? We ALL know he's a top five puncher, but I can't think of an active boxer whose punching placement and power compares favorably to the Monster. I think, in terms of "best puncher" at this stage in the game it's Inoue versus the field. 2) Can you please provide some historical perspective on the magnitude of Inoue's win? I'm afraid, because Stephen Fulton is not a household name, that people are going to overlook what the Monster just accomplished. I think this fight brings him very close to ATG, if he's not already there. 3) How good does Spence or Crawford have to be in a win to supplant Inoue as the pound for pound number one? Scooter Fulton is a top 15 pound for pound fighter, top 20 at worst. He's one of the best in the world and Inoue, with an obvious size disadvantage, just obliterated him today.

I'll elaborate: Like almost everyone else without a bias, I see Crawford and Spence as very evenly matched. They're very close in size, and very nearly indistinguishable in terms of their resumes. Earl has fought better names and received better promotion, he's the business A-side. Crawford has been the best fighter, including the undisputed champion at 10 stone, and so he's higher on the pound for pound list. But they're, at least by all appearances, very closely matched. If Crawford knocks out Spence (which I think is unlikely), it would probably be enough to move him to number one pound for pound. Otherwise, what Inoue has done (including winning a unanimous decision over a HOF fighter with a broken nose AND orbital bone) is, for me, vastly more impressive in terms of pound for pound talent than Spence or even Crawford's accomplishments at this stage. Inoue has sometimes looked vulnerable, not being able to see or breathe can do that, but he's NEVER looked beatable. He's my number one pound for pound boxer, and unless Spence or Crawford pitches a comparable shutout to what Inoue just did to Fulton, they can't catch him.

Peace to you and yours, Breadman. Thank you again and always for everything you do for boxing.

Salaams, John

Bread’s Response: 1. I believe Inoue is the best puncher in boxing considering EVERYTHING. But Beterbiev, Tank, Deontay and Bud all will argue…Beterbiev will have a hard, hard argument. It’s hard to argue with a 100% ko ratio.

2. Inoue stamped himself as an ATG fighter. I thought he was an ATG weight fighter under 126lbs. But now he’s an ATG fighter. That victory was super significant. In context Orlando Canizales a great 118lb fighter moved up to 122lbs and lost to Wilfredo Vasquez. If Canizlaes wins that fight he goes from a great bantamweight to an ATG. I think that’s what Inoue did. Sometimes when something happens in real time we don’t know the significance. But taking Stephen Fulton’s 0 was real. With that win Inoue is holding hard in the race for FOD. That’s Fighter of the Decade.

3. Both guys would have to win in conclusive fashion. It can’t be controversial or sub par. They don’t have to score kos but it has to be a clear and profound performance. Let’s see what happens.

I see why you told Jose Benavidez Sr. to stop it when he tried to bait you into an argument. Bob Santos also tried to instigate a confrontation with the mocking after Adames vs Jrock and it looked immature. It looks crazy when trainers get into that stuff. Bomac and his team have been immature all week and it seems like Derrick James finally had enough. What are your thoughts on the hostile press conference and who do you think won the war of words?

Bread’s Response: I wasn’t judging the press conference lol. I didn’t see it live. Another fellow trainer called me and told me to check it out, so I did. Both Derrick and Bomac are colleagues of mine so I’m not going to pick a side. This isn’t a gang war and my family isn’t involved so picking a side is not something I will do. 

I feel like there is a lot of tension and sometimes that stuff boils over. Believe it or not trainers have an edge also. Everyone who succeeds in this sport has something animalistic in their soul that will surface at times. All I think we saw was two trainers get little edgy after a tough camp. It wasn’t really a big deal to me. But one thing I will say is, it’s important to not coach MAD. You have to coach smart, flexible and aware. But not mad. So I’m curious to see what coach, coaches mad.

As for the entourages. That’s par for the course. I’m not a fan of people running their mouths in a disrespectful way to fighters. I actually hate it. Once I had a fighter do that to me. He was part of the opposing team in terms of support. But he wasn’t fighting. All week he kept running his mouth and being disrespectful. I couldn’t understand it. But the boxing ring is a truth machine. He put pressure on his friend and we kicked his butt in the fight. Then that same fighter who was running his mouth shortly after, went on a bad losing streak and is now pretty much a journeyman. But at least he was a fighter. When people talk crazy and they don’t have to put their livelihood on the line I think it’s just corny. That’s all I can say. Post fight confrontations often happen when people over do it with the trash talk and “their” fighter loses and the pride kicks in.

Hey Bread,

Given the recent hand wrap issue with Inoue & Fulton - do you care to chime in a bit on that? General thoughts? Any interesting stories even?

Cheers, Brent from Canada

Bread’s Response: People go crazy over the word STACKING. All it means is the order of which someone wraps hands. If you use tape-gauze-tape then it’s stacking. Period. Extra caveats have been added in terms of whether or not the tape is ON the knuckles or how much etc. But that specific order is stacking. The question becomes is it inconsequential and what commissions allow it. 

I won’t argue with anyone who believes it doesn’t matter. I believe it does. I believe even if the tape isn’t ON the knuckles it makes the bones in the hands and wrist tighter, therefore the weapon of choice the fist will be more COMPACT upon impact. Everyone has their belief and that’s mine. 

The bigger issue for me is why is the determination a commission by commission thing. The rules should be universal. Because with different rules, fighters who stack will choose their commissions wisely. Personally the order that I wrap is gauze then tape. I do the same wrap in front of every commission so I never have to change and my fighters don’t get used to something that can only be done in specific commissions. 

For the record I know why you’re asking me this. Monster Inoue is a Monster puncher. That’s a gift he has. Yes I have a story. When Julian Williams fought Freddy Hernandez in Boston. I told the promoters that I wanted to see Hernandez wrap. They were good with it. By the time I got to the dressing room Hernandez had one hand wrapped. I asked him to take it off because I saw that the trainer who did an excellent wrap by the way started out with tape on the skin, so I assumed he did with the other hand that I wasn’t present for. The promoter and commission sided with me and they unwrapped. I’m not even sure what the rules were in Massachusetts but they sided with me and there was a slight delay of maybe 20 minutes. All part of the game.

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