The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Erickson Lubin vs. Jesus Ramos, Zhilei Zhang's big win over Joe Joyce, Shakur Stevenson's beef with Frank Martin, Canelo Alvarez's big fight with Jermell Charlo, and more.


There is no greater pleasure Saturday mornings than waiting for this incredibly insightful mailbag to go live. Thank you. I'm looking at the Ramos v Lubin odds and they look way off to me. What am I missing? Appreciate that Ramos is the new promising looking guy on the block, and Lubin has some mileage on the clock I suppose. But (am looking at odds the European/decimal way) Ramos is 1.20x (ie you put 100, you get 120 back) while Lubin is 4.5x!! I would have expected something like 1.80x on Ramos and 2.20 on Erikson.

All the best


Bread’s Response: The oddsmakers in boxing are correct about 80% of the time in boxing from my estimation. Team sports are about covering a points spread so that’s a little different. But the odds on a fight is done to show the probability of who would win. I can see why Ramos is the favorite. His wins over Brian Mendoza and Vladimir Hernandez have aged well. Mendoza just beat Fundora. In turn, Hernandez just beat Lorenzo Simpson. On top of that, Julian Williams just put up a good effort vs Carlos Adames and that’s who Hernandez beat to get the Ramos fight. 

So Ramos looks like the goods. He’s composed. He’s smooth. He’s not a speedster but he has good timing. He’s heavy handed. Lubin is an uber talent. But he has 2 ko losses and he’s been hurt several times. I think this is just about a 50/50 fight but in terms of betting odds because of Lubin’s losses and his tendency to get hurt, I UNDERSTAND why the odds are what they are. Lubin can win this fight. But he has to display more than his physical talent. He has to display his IQ, EQ and listen to his coach Kevin Cunningham. Let’s see what happens. I’m looking forward to this fight as much as I am the main event because it will either establish us a star in Ramos or insert Lubin back as what he was thought to be pre Charlo.

Stylistically the fight favors Lubin if he doesn't get caught. But mentally the fight favors the calm demeanor of Ramos who will look to capitalize on Lubin's mistakes. Lubin has to minimize the mistakes. Let's see who prevails.

Hello,  what's up Breadman

One question, between the chest and back muscles, which are more important for the boxer? And the forearm is also important in punch strength?? Thank you, have a great week.

Álvaro, Brasil

Bread’s Response: If I had to choose to between chest and back I would choose back all day. Rarely do you see fighters with huge chest muscles anyway. But the back is directly connected to the core. If you have a strong back, you are more than likely to have a strong core. The back also provides you with stability and posture. A strong back makes you harder to clinch. It allows you to bring your punches back in place. The upper back is connected to your neck which buffers hard punches. Back > Chest any day of the week. Strong forearms are great for punchers. It makes the fist tighter and more compact upon impact. Americans miss out on developing their forearms. Guys like Beterbiev and GGG concentrate on developing their forearms and it shows. 

Zhilei Zhang’s destruction of Joe Joyce was incredibly impressive. I think if Tyson Fury had that same performance against Joyce, it would be considered among the best performances of his career. That being said, Joyce looked completely shot to me. It makes sense if you look back on his career. He’s had a lot of wars, even if he ends up winning most of them in devastating fashion. So I ask, is Joyce completely shot? Or are Zhang and Filip Hrgovic (Zhang’s lone conqueror) just world championship type fighters?

Bread’s response: I can’t say if Joyce is shot until I see him in with other fighters. Only Zhang has beaten him thus far. I need more evidence before I call him shot. But I will say that his future opponents will be 10% better against him because they saw what Zhang did to him. Once opponents see that, Joyce will have to win fights on his merit not his reputation. Things will be tough from here on out. It doesn’t matter if he’s shot or not.

I observe your language when you like and respect someone. I really appreciate it. You liked Zhang this weekend but you respect Salas so much as a trainer you left the door open for a turn around performance from Joyce. It’s refreshing because in our game most are jealous and talk down on one another. Without naming names look at all of the ex fighters and trainers taking shots at Derrick James without doing close to what James has done. I have two questions. What do you attribute to your demeanor? If I’m not mistake you were raised by your grandfather, so maybe he’s the reason. And what did you think of Joyce’s gameplan?

Bread’s Response: I do respect Salas. I think he’s a great trainer. I thought his game plan vs Dubois was tremendous. But Zhang just presents too many problems for Joyce. He’s fast, composed and quite frankly he’s too comfortable fighting Joyce. For some reason he can see Joyce’s punches so the heavy handed threat is not as big of a threat to Zhang as it is to most of Joyce’s opponents. 

Joyce is a GRINDER. He wears fighters out with his heavy hands and high volume. But Zhang is not unnerved by Joyce. He doesn’t care about Joyce’s physicality. He doesn’t care about his heavy hands. So Joyce’s biggest attribute works against him vs Zhang. Very tough match up for Joyce that not even a great trainer can overcome.

My grandfather didn’t raise me directly. My mom and my step dad raised me. But my grand parents were a big part of my life and I spent most weekends at their home. As a kid you can be affected by something but not even know it. Maybe someone instilled it in me to not be jealous of people and I didn't realize it. 

But right now. I’m going to say that I’m just not influenced by the spirit of ENVY. I just don’t have it in me to not like someone because they’re doing well. As a kid all of my closest friends and family were older than me. All of them are close to me today.  

Quick story. Marcus aka Mdot, looks like Derrick Jeter. Girls loved him. He was 3 years older than me and taught me a lot about women and sports. I loved him for it. We competed but not in a bad way. I was never angry with him because all of the girls liked him. I just hooked up with their cute friends until I hit my stride. I wasn’t angry at him because he could beat 1 on 1 in basketball. I just kept practicing and when I got to the 8th grade, I was able to beat him. I viewed him a blessing. He was the best man in my wedding.

Cory AKA D, was the only child. His dad was a cop. He got more stuff for Christmas than me. I had siblings, he didn’t. He had a car when were 16. But guess what he was my guy. I loved him and I still do. We have never had an argument. He was my child hood best friend and if I called him tonight and told him we were going to war, he would simply ask me what time does the war start.

Al aka LIP my bro, is a DJ. He was making money before all of us. He lives in a million dollar house currently and when we were in our 20s, his parties looked like a video shoot. He’s probably the closest person to me and we never had any issues. I always loved how well he did. I bragged about him because I thought it was so dope he had a pool in his house in his early 20s. I had two best men in my wedding

Kev Slaughter was my best high school friend. He was a super talented basketball player. A little better than me. But he was also a pretty boy, who girls also loved. That never made me hate him. It was awesome to go out with him in the 90s and watch women fawn over him. It was awesome to play ball with such a talented player. I once hit 13, 3 pointers in a scrimmage and it was mostly because he was a fantastic passer. He was from South Philly and I used to go to his neighborhood and play with him and his friends to get better. I wasn’t mad at him! I didn’t down talk him. I didn’t find reasons why he was good at basketball and why women liked him. I just embraced it and we became great friends. 

All of these guys were in my wedding. All of them would do whatever I asked them to do. Whatever I asked! We never had any major issues, especially no ENVIOUS energy. I don’t know if being exposed to these guys early in life formed me. Or if I was just born with a gene not to be jealous. I don’t know. But I have opinions just like anyone else. But I never take it past the moment of stating my opinion. I never find joy gossiping or down talking or nit picking people. It’s just not in me. 

Shout out to Ismael Salas. You know you have a hard night’s work cut out for you, if you see him in the other corner. 

Who’s telling the truth between Shakur Stevenson and Frank Martin? Have you seen their interviews? From my understanding the purse bid was 75-25 with Shakur taking 3M and Martin 1M. Is this fair or is there more to it?

Bread’s Response: I haven’t seen the interviews. It doesn’t really matter who’s telling the truth. They aren’t fighting and I personally didn’t think they were fighting when I heard the rumors. However, let me correct you. It wasn’t a purse bid. It was an offer/deal that Stevenson’s promoter Top Rank made. If the split was 75/25 so be it. Everyone feels their worth is different and I can’t tell someone what they’re worth. But if Stevenson’s promoter made the deal and he’s the more accomplished fighter, he should get the bigger split. How big, well that’s up to them. 

I’m not sure how much extra Frank asked for but again, he has a right to feel how he feels. This is me talking, no one else. I feel like Shakur Stevenson is one of the 10 best fighters in the world. And he may be the most difficult style to beat. Martin is not a 20 yr old kid but he’s still developing. He just struggled in a fight and it probably wouldn’t be productive in terms of winning the fight if he fought Shakur next. That’s why I didn’t think they would fight next.

Martin has to show improvement over his next few fights or turning down a title shot for an alleged 7 figure purse, will be looked at as a mistake. Some fighters don’t get the opportunity again. So hopefully Frank understands that and he really gets on his grind because this situation will come up again. It depends on Frank in what light it comes up. He will either look like a genius or a fool. Let’s see what happens, I think both are terrific fighters, Shakur is just a little further along in terms of development so again I get why the fight didn’t happen. Let’s see if Frank progresses and closes the gap over the next year or so.

What would you grade Ryan Garcia, Devin Haney, Shakur Stevenson, Teofimo Lopez and Tank Davis’s careers from A+ to F, factoring in purses earned, accomplishments and developments?

Bread’s Response: Great question. Ryan Garcia I would give him a B. He’s earned big money and he has the marketing side down. But he hasn’t won a world title or even fought for one. And he fought immature vs Tank. The loss isn’t that big of a deal to me. But he looked a little out of depth. But a B is not bad for a young fighter. He has a room to grow and he has the money to invest in himself to enhance his growth.

Devin Haney I would give an A to. Devin and Bill Haney have done a terrific job with his career. Devin gets paid excellent money. Maybe not as much as Tank and Ryan but he gets excellent pay. He was undisputed at lightweight. He fought and beat Loma. Now he’s going for a big fight vs Regis Prograis at 140lbs. And everything about this fight favors Devin. Devin is coming off of a long camp with a southpaw. So now he fights another one. It’s in his hometown. And Regis looked flat in his fight. We don’t know if it was an off night or slippage but the circumstances favor Devin. Devin also never gets cozy with promoters. He’s loyal to himself and his dad which is a good way to be. Being this way lets promoter’s know they can’t play with him. I’m very impressed with how Devin does it on the business side as well as the boxing side. So far they have ran Devin’s career as good as any young fighter’s in recent times. Team Haney seems a step ahead of most of the competition on the business side except Tank.

Shakur Stevenson….if this were just about development I would give him an A+. He’s a fantastic fighter. But if you’re talking about the business side also, then I give Shakur an A-. That’s an excellent grade but Shakur hasn’t secured the BIG fights or huge paydays that Ryan, Tank and Devin have. He also hasn’t had a chance to be undisputed. Hopefully he gets it at lightweight because his talents are off the charts. 

I also give Teofimo Lopez an A-. He’s closer to being a HOF than any of them. He has the best wins out of all of them. But he also has the worst loss. The Kambosos loss happened. Teo also lost his momentum after the Loma win. Hopefully he doesn’t lose his momentum again after the Taylor win. I feel like Teofimo Lopez should be a PPV star and he’s not bigger than Tank although he has a better resume. So right now he’s at an A- which is also excellent he just has to excel better on the business side. Teofimo's accomplishments and talent are PPV main event material.

Tank Davis, I give him an A. He’s been a ko machine. He makes the most money out of each of them. I think Tank is a special fighter. But accomplishment wise he hasn’t done more than Teofimo or Devin. He’s only won 1 world title at 130lbs. I don’t like counting “regular” and interim belts. If Tank unified or won the real belts at 135 and 140, he would be an A+ and a HOF already. That’s how good he is. And when you match his charisma in terms of the box office, with his style, with elite accomplishments you have a HOF, easy. 

Oscar De La Hoya and Floyd Mayweather were exactly what Tank was. Big box office draws and great talents. They even started at the same weight as Tank, 130lbs. The only difference is Oscar and Floyd had won titles from 130-147 by the time they were Tank’s age. They had also won Fighter of the Year awards by that time. I know this is a different era but I’m just trying to answer the question as best as I can, considering everything. 

Hello Breadman,

I pray God is blessing and continues to bless you and your family and the fans of your mailbag and their families. I feel about as confident in this fight as I did about Spence vs Crawford. Which means I have no idea what to expect even though I picked Spence. I just went with logic for that pick and boy was I wrong. I’m picking Charlo based on the hope that he can still fight at 168 the way he did at 154.  If he can I like him to win but that is a big if and I wish I had seen him fight at the weight first before stepping up for this fight.  

Maybe he will be like Crawford and feel more comfortable at this weight and maybe not. We shall see. The one thing I find amusing is how Canelo hasn’t been called out for ducking Bivol. Bivol was willing to come down to his weight for all his belts and Canelo wouldn’t make the fight, but he has no problem making a guy come up two weight classes. Make it make sense.  I’m tired of weight excuses. Canelo’s fans say he lost to Bivol because of weight but he proved he could fight at the weight by beating Kovalev. The reason a lot of people including myself thought Spence would win against Crawford was because he had been at 147 a lot longer and was more accomplished at that weight then he loses, and the fans (not me) say he was weight drained. Also using the car accident as an excuse is weak because he beat Garcia and Ugas after the accident and looked great against Ugas which is why I picked him. Whoever wins won because they were the better performer on the night, they performed an lets just give the winner their props and leave all the excuses out of it.                                                                                    

God bless and take care,                                                                                    

Blood and Guts from Philly

Bread’s Response: I actually like your Charlo pick. I think there is value in betting Charlo as the underdog. I feel like Canelo has slipped and Jermell will be up so they may meet at a favorably point for Charlo. I feel like if Charlo works the weight the right way it will benefit him for this fight. 

Jermell is also very smart. He’s the first fighter I have heard talk about having a training journal. Back in 2014 after he fought Gabe Rosado he told me how he did so much on his own. And how he writes down his exact workouts etc etc to prepare for his fights. I was very impressed. I’m a trainer and it’s something I have done but up until that point I’ve never seen a fighter do it. I expect him to be fully prepared for the fight of his life. 

We give Jermell credit for being CLUTCH. And he is. But it isn’t luck. Sometimes when you aren’t dominant in sports but you come through for big wins it’s viewed as luck. But Jermell is not lucky. He’s well prepared. A fighter who documents his workouts, turns his career around in terms of making his style more exciting but not sacrificing wins, is not lucky. He’s very well prepared and his preparation meets the opportunity for great results.

I was very tempted to pick Charlo by upset because I believe the Canelo that swept through 168lbs 2 years ago would have stopped Ryder inside of 5 rounds. But Canelo came back to earth after that incredible run. Then I looked at Jermell’s win over Castano. It was his CAREER BEST performance vs his best opponent. We have seen Jermell win big fights. But we haven’t seen him dominate and mix his boxing and punching the way he did in the Castano rematch. 

Now he has to be BETTER than that version of himself in back to back fights vs an even better opponent in Canelo. I went back in history and I tried to find a case where a fighter posted a career best performance, then did it again back to back vs a better opponent. I’m not a statistical guy but I do believe in assessing performance value and trends. And I couldn’t find one case of a fighter putting together back to back career best performances vs when the second opponent was better.

Often times the fighter who put up the career best performance comes back down to earth even if the second opponent wasn’t better. But to fight an even better opponent in the second fight is usually a tall task. Let me give some examples. 

Chris Algieri beat Ruslan Provodnikov. In his very next fight he had to be even better, move up and beat Manny Pacquiao. He couldn’t. It was just too much to ask in back to back fights. 

Roberto Duran turns his career around and beats Davey Moore. In his very next fight, he moves up in weight and has to be even better vs Marvin Hagler. He did well but came up slightly short. 

Manny Pacquiao beats Marco Antonio Barrera. In his very next fight he moves up to face Juan Marquez. He did great but he got a draw. I researched every case I could and I couldn’t find one case that would favor Charlo being better than he was in the Castano rematch, after a year and half lay off vs Canelo, who is better than Castano. 

The closest case I could find was Ray Leonard beating Roberto Duran in November of 1980. Then beating Tommy Hearns in September of 1981. But Leonard had 2 fights in between vs lesser opponents. It wasn’t a back to back task. On top of that he wasn’t off for a year and a half. If Jermell can do this, he’s truly special because I couldn’t find a historical case where this has happened in back to back fights. Especially not a case where the fighter had to move up in weight. So just going by historical probability I say Canelo will win a competitive decision in a good fight, sort of like how Hagler beat Duran. 

I believe the fight will be tight because both are economical with their punches. Neither is a high volume guy. Both land at a good percentage. Both turn fights around with their power but both have solid chins….In fights were guys are sharpshooting and not drowning each other out with volume, I pick the guy with the better reflexes and defense. So in this fight I think Canelo’s defense is a little more advanced and although Jermell is a very good counter puncher, I think Canelo is a better counterpuncher. So he’s my pick.

Hi Breadman.

In boxing we have a class of fighter who have a very unique, awkward, and dare I say it dull style of boxing. They are often avoided like the plague by the top names in the sport because it is impossible to look good against them and  are often derided by fans as boring. I have been fascinated by these type of fighters ever since I saw Manning Galloway,  defend his WBO title, against the highly touted British prospect Pat Barrett he completely bamboozled him with his awakward herky jerky style. Incidentally a less mobile version of Galloway made a comeback at 43 and defeated the highly hyped Olympian Ricardo Williams jr.The question is who are the standout fighters in your mind from the past,  who fit into the category of  being  stylistically awkward,  and avoided and a nightmare to look good against? Many thanks Ash Hussain.

Bread’s Response: Jimmy Young was very awkward. He has a real win over George Foreman despite a choppy record. Winky Wright was also incredibly hard to look good against. And in this era Demetrius Andrade fits that bill.

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