The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards tackling topics such as Danny Garcia, Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence, Devin Haney, Luis Ortiz vs. Andy Ruiz, and more.
Hey Mr Edwards,
First but not for the first time, thank you for the great boxing insights. Saturday afternoons (that's when I get the mailbag in Johannesburg) are great to look forward to. Is there any truth to what Danny Garcia is alleged to have said about Terence Crawford? I hear he called Bud a hype job. If it's true, it serves Bud right for being too modest. He's my favorite fighter, of course, but I can remember him speaking highly of Danny Garcia when DSG was about to fight a Spence returning from the motor accident. Bud felt it was a risky fight for Spence. That's respect for DSG. For DSG to turn around and call Bud a hype job and question his place atop the welterweight pile is rich. Bud should have done the right thing and called DSG what he truly is. I am not a fighter so I have to respect all fighters but Bud would have been within his rights to call DSG a bum.
My view is, for as good as DSG was at 140 pounds, he's done nothing but lose every major fight at 147. Whereas Bud, who started out lower than DSG, has annihilated everyone at the weight, including a throwback elite fighter like Shawn Porter who beat both DSG and Spence (no one will convince me Spence beat Porter despite the result). DSG has no right to disparage a fighter like Bud who is probably in the conversation for one of the 50 greatest fighters of all-time. DSG is not even top 20 greatest 140 pounders of all time. It is not only Aaron Pryor and Antonio Cervantes at that weight, you know. Enough about Danny "done nothing at 147 and will do zero at 154" Garcia. I am glad he got a decision against Jose Benavidez jr and I hope they next sacrifice him against Jermell Charlo. I'm reaching for the smelling salts. For the record, DSG, Bud STOPPED, not decisioned Benavidez. And I have said this before: Bud stops DSG after a one-sided beatdown. So, DSG just has no place talking trash about Bud. Lastly, I think I must really talk on something that you have said repeatedly on the mailbag and no one seems to give you credit for, including myself.
You have said you are not prepared to give a fighter credit for something he has not yet done. I add that a fighter should not be given credit for something he never would have done.I just finished watching a tribute to Tony Ayala jr on YouTube. I don't know what the hype was all about. To be honest, I don't think he beats Davey Moore at the time. We know Moore won a title too early in an era when that was rare. Moore's matchmakers blundered big time. The right fight for him then was Ayala and not Roberto Duran. Moore was a raw amateur against Duran but would have been right at home with Ayala despite having much lesser fights than Ayala. Moore was a punishing combination puncher with a very good amateur pedigree and Ayala came too much in a straight line for my liking. He would be a sitting duck for Moore's combinations. I saw that first hand when Moore came to Johannesburg and defended against our Charlie Weir. Weir was a much more devastating puncher than Ayala but he was a walk in the park for Moore. I also think Ayub Kalule toys with Ayala. So, I agree with you about Ayala and you are right that he quit when the going got tough against Yori Boy Campas. I saw that. I also agree with you about Edwin Viloria. Taking on and easily annihilating fighters that Manny Pacquiao beat less impressively does not mean he beats Manny Pacquiao.
Styles make fights and Pacman's style was hard on everyone from flyweight to welterweight, save for Juan Manuel Marquez. I am discounting his fight against Floyd Mayweather because that was a stinker and one of the worst welterweight title fights in history at the elite level. So, let's not give Viloria props for something he not only never did but probably would never have done. One last question Mr Edwards. How would you feel if a long-time sparring partner were to challenge your fighter? I recently so a fight on YouTube between Muhammad Ali and Al Lewis. Lewis was no great shakes but I think he gave Ali one of his hardest fights as a professional. This was two years before Ali upset George Foreman in Zaire, so it is significant. I don't think it's a great idea to let your boy fight a longtime sparring partner because he knows too much about your boy.
Mystical matchup: Ike Williams v Roberto Duran. Ike would have height and reach over Duran but I'm not sure he could handle Duran's inside game and relentless pressure over 15 rounds. Maybe 12 rounds. What do you think? Who do you favour?
Keep punching Mr Edwards.
Katlholo, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Bread’s Response: I never heard Danny Garcia said anything bad about Terence Crawford. I’m not saying he didn’t say it, I’m saying I never heard it. Garcia is pretty respectful of his fellow fighters. I have been around him several times and he’s not really the type of guy who puts other fighters down.
As for their All Time Standings, obviously Bud rates higher. But Danny has carved out a nice career for himself. He’s stayed relevant for over a decade. He’s never been stopped or beaten badly. He doesn’t appear to be a freak talent. He doesn’t appear to be a guy who’s a generational type of fighter. But he has a way about him that allows him never get embarrassed. Danny has poise and composure and he stays within himself in fights, win, lose or draw. I wouldn’t pick Danny to beat Bud. But I do think he would be competitive. If anybody can go the distance with Bud it’s Danny Garcia.
You have to be careful attacking Danny because he’s a gifted counter puncher. I would even bet that Danny would make the distance. It’s just the type of fighter he is.
You feel that inferior fighters can’t criticize superior fighters. I tend to agree with you. But I also feel that if the inferior fighter is willing to fight the perceived superior fighter, then he can criticize him. I feel like legends and fighters that are not in your era off limits. You have to respect them and not micro critique. I feel like non fighters can’t give disparaging nicknames and say disrespectful things. But there is a difference between a fair criticism and an insult. No one is above a fair criticism.
Edwin Valero was a tremendous talent. But I just had not seen enough of him to say he was on Pacquiao’s level.
Tony Ayala would have laid the ground work for popular Mexican fighters like De La Hoya and Vargas who came the decade after him. Most Mexican fighters were at the smaller weights. But Ayala was a junior middleweight so the lights would have been bright on him. I think he was very good and very heavy handed. But he came along in a stacked era. At 154 Mike McCallum and Tommy Hearns were the best fighters during the time that Ayala would have attempted to reign. At Middleweight Marvin Hagler was the champion, period. Out of those 3 who do you think Ayala would have beaten?
Now there were champions like Davey Moore who were around. That’s a 50/50 fight if you really think about it. In retrospect it’s easy to favor Ayala because we saw Moore’s career play out. Where as Ayala went to jail in his prime and was undefeated. So fighters in his position always get overrated even if they were great.
I don’t think Moore’s team made a huge mistake fighting Duran. I think they made a huge mistake by not stopping the fight sooner. They let Moore take an awful beating. But going into that fight. Duran had lost to Benitez and Kirkland Lainge. Duran was 32 years old and had about 80 fights. In 1983 that was considered old. Duran was also fighting at 154, which was a very high weight for a lightweight to fight at in those times. I can see why Moore’s team thought he would win. Moore was a young champion in his prime, who was bigger, longer and much younger. Besides Ray Arcel no one thought Duran would do what he did.
Duran’s performance in that fight is what makes him special because he was such an underdog and came through so big in the clutch. But Moore’s team let that beating go much too long. Moore most likely left a piece of himself in the ring that day. I also believe that Moore was too in love with his punching power. If Moore would have boxed and moved he could have done better. Moore was trying to knock Duran out. Where as all he needed to do was beat him. Fighters like Duran and James Toney are better when you try to ko them.
My grandfather was born in 1931. When I was a kid used to talk to him and his friends about the great fighters they saw live. They loved Ike Williams. His friends were boxing aficionados. About half of them believed that Williams would have beaten Duran. From the footage I have seen it would have been a very close fight. Duran’s record was neater. Williams fought in an era where only 3 fighters had neat records. Pep, Robinson and Louis. Williams also had mob connections so you have to hold that in context. My grandfather told me that.
But best day for best day I think it’s a toss up. My guts say Duran edges it but if I’m honest I’ve seen every Duran title fight from 135 and 147. I also watched 3 of his non title prime fights. So I know more about Duran. But Williams passes the eyeball test big time. He was bigger. He could punch. Williams was a slightly less dynamic version of Sugar Ray Robinson at 135. He was a great, great fighter. They may have had to fight 3x to settle it.
Sir I read every week and appreciate it. So how hard would it be to have judges sit down with each other after fights and explain themselves? Would that be impossible due to promotions possibly tossing money to a judge or two? Judging in boxing is not respected due to a at least one random dummy scorecard on so many fights that it is expected. A small example is this Garcia fight. It was to me a clear fight for DG. How was there a score for a draw? This is a small example due to right fighter winning and there are so many fights with obviously wrong scoring I’m sure some sit on the front of your mind. If judges were expected to explain their opinion for rounds, hopefully with the other judges in a fight, I feel it would add legitimacy to their work. if their card is debated by the fans/fighters, it could at least paint a picture and decent argument that we could understand why they gave a round a certain score, and even better if it’s a sit down where that fight’s judges debate to validate round by round. It’s just a bad look where it is commonly viewed as corruption, corruption that is “normal and expected.” If I was a judge that scored with knowledge, integrity, belief in their overall experience in judging, why would they not want to do this?
Bread’s Response: I hate that saying the right fighter won anyway. Bad scoring is bad scoring. It doesn’t matter if the right fighter won or not. Intent is something the law holds you accountable for. Danny Garcia vs Jose Benavidez was not a draw. It was not a 114-114 type of fight. There is no way Benavidez won 6 rounds. When you have a bad scorecard 3 things are possible.
1. The scorecard may be in the minority but it’s not as bad as it seems. If you look close you can see why the fighter that less people thought won, really won. I saw that with Chris Algieri vs Ruslan Provodnikov. Algieri was scrapping and being pesky while Ruslan was landing big shots. I think I thought Ruslan was winning I can’t remember my score or if I scored it. But I do remember thinking this fight is closer than the announcers think. Only Andre Ward thought Algieri was winning. He was right. Most people were scoring a carry over effect in that fight because Algieri was dropped and his eye was badly swollen. But each round is different and new.
2. You have incompetent judges who just don’t know how to score a fight. They don’t use the criterion of Clean Punching, Effective Aggressiveness, Ring Generalship and Defense. They don’t use common sense and say Who would I rather be in that round?
3. They are corrupt. They know a specific fighter is affiliated with. They know who the promoters want to win. They like the amenities they were provided with at the hotel. So they score for THAT fighter they think the promoter or person of power wants to win. That’s CORRUPTION.
I’m at the point where I don’t care if it’s corruption or incompetence. The results are the same. Bad scoring. The only difference is the punishment of the judges. If it’s corruption the judges should be banned for life. If it’s incompetence they should be retrained.
But here is the issue. How can anyone differentiate between the two? The real reason why bad judging is not fixed is because a powerful enough person does not want it to be fixed. If an influential person in boxing made it their business to stop the bad judging and went after bad judging then it would stop.
After CJ Ross scored the Mayweather vs Alvarez fight 114-114, she didn’t judge again. It can be stopped. But the people in power have to stop it. Fans and the media just don’t have the power. We have been complaining forever and the bad scorecards haven’t stopped. The only other thing the media can do is INTERVIEW the judges!
Brother Bread, hope all is good with you and yours. I really appreciate all that you do in helping us laymen understand the sweet science just a little bit better. I just wanted to ask you as a trainer exactly how you find talent that you want to work with? Boxing's not like the NBA, NFL, or MLB where there's a draft after watching a kid have a long high-school or college career. Boxing seems more like a crap shoot. Are you like scouting the amateur ranks? The Olympics? Do you have guys who kind of act like scouts & tell you about talented youngins around Philly? Or do you just wait for guys to come to you and request your services?
Bread’s Response: I don’t scout talent. I observe talent. There are kids I would like to train. And there are kids I wouldn’t want to train. It’s more than talent for me. It’s character and family background at this point. The ideal kid for me would be a talented kid who played other sports. A kid who has active responsible parents but not intrusive parents. Just parents who are resourceful and can help him with little things before he makes the big money to pay for it himself. A fighter who is either faithfully married or a fighter who does not even have a girlfriend at all. And if he is married a wife who understands the life of a boxer and she is resourceful and understanding and does not distract the fighter. That’s a perfect world and obviously we don’t live in a perfect world.
As a trainer I have never asked a fighter to train them. In my opinion it makes the trainer vulnerable in terms of their relationship. A manager or promoter is different. They can solicit fighters. I would love to scout talent for a big promotional/management company. I think I would be great at it.
Julian Williams was 77-10 as amateur and he never made it past the 3rd round of a national tournament. I told several promotional companies he would be world champion. In 2010 no one believed me. They all said, he didn’t do anything at nationals.
I told people at PBC that Stephen Fulton was the real deal. The signed him and he turned out to be a champion. I have no business connections to Fulton. He just trained in our gym and I liked what I saw in him as a fighter.
I told several people in 2014-15 how good Jaron Ennis. I told them he was holding up and giving as good as he was getting in sparring with Julian Williams and he was a teenager. Williams was rolling at the time. I told them Ennis had P4P ability.
When I first saw Josh Taylor I said he was the real deal and he would be champion. The Scottish fans will attest to it.
My biggest and best early assessment was Terence Crawford. I told a boxing sage by the name of George Hanson from Philadelphia, that Crawford would have a better career than Adrien Broner. This was no knock on Broner. But I just thought Crawford would be special. I saw his support group of trainers and I saw his work ethic. Hanson will attest to this. He didn’t even know Crawford at the time and Broner was an HBO darling.
I’m not saying I haven’t been wrong. But I’ve seen some kids very early and predicted correctly what they would be. Again it’s more than talent. It’s talent + character + plus family background.
Hello, Breadman. You’ve mentioned the careful considerations that promoters and trainers have before they will match their fighter against a young, black, urban boxer, in addition to their discussions of whether or not they want to take that risk. That said, what are your thoughts when it’s an African-American fighter that goes into a foreign country, like what Devin Haney did at the beginning of his career when he went to Tijuana, Mexico. 10 of Haney’s first 15 fights were in Tijuana, with the first few being fought at a pool hall. I don’t think Haney and his father get enough credit for taking that risk and direction, and the results seem to have paid off exponentially. Tijuana is a tough, tough place. Have you ever been there or have you ever had to take one of your fighters there? I also don’t think Haney’s father gets enough credit for guiding his sons’s career to where it is now. Bill made some serious mistakes when he was younger, and he’s openly admitted to those mistakes. However, he has redeemed himself through the accomplishments of his son. Haney’s father protected, guided, and nurtured a world champion, who in the estimation of many, currently has the most sublime skills in the sport of boxing. What are your thoughts on this?
Bread’s Response: If I’m not mistaken Haney turned pro at a young age, so Mexico was the best place for him to go and fight professionally. Lots’ of US fighters go to Mexico to get fights. It’s more common than people realize. But the thing that impresses me the most about Team Haney is that they got to the Pot of Gold doing it their way. You have to respect that.
They went after Loma when people thought it was too early. They didn’t get the fight but they got the belt. Belts matter! When a fighter is a recognized world champion he can command higher pay days in their contract. So they got a great contract from DAZN and Matchroom. They honored the contract and defended the belt. Then they left and went to Top Rank to get undisputed belt vs George Kambosos. Took a short in pay and went to Australia and won it all.
Now Devin is the recognized undisputed champion at 135lbs. The division with most talent in boxing. Devin is in a great spot. He has already made generational money without ever fighting a 50/50 fight or a fight as the underdog. He has a rematch with Kambosos in the shoot. Which is another win for Haney in my opinion for much more money than the first fight.
Devin has switched trainers a few times in his young career, which in my opinion is not ideal and the only thing they haven't done perfectly. Chemistry between the trainer and fighter in tough spots where the solution to problems is paramount will come one day. But what Bill Haney has showed me is, he’s a leader. He’s a boss. He has put people in place to serve their purpose for the advancement of his son’s career and it has worked. You have to give him 100% credit for that. You have to respect that. Bill’s role from what I can see is the role of the leader. Not so much the trainer or manager but the leader. He does what’s needed to be done. That’s very important.
I know father and son relationships are tough in boxing. But guess what. Trainer and fighters have tough relationships also. It’s a myth that father and son relationships don’t work. They work good enough. We have over 20 world champions over the last 5 years who’s fathers are either their trainers or serve as important members of their teams. I really respect what Devin and Bill have accomplished. When Devin career is long over, he may not agree with everything his father did. But he’s going to love and respect his dad for doing those things that changed the course of his life.
A wise man once told me. That if your father loves you and his advice and guidance comes from his heart and he means you well. He can never be wrong. Even if it doesn’t turn out right, he can’t be wrong. Because of what his intentions are. I understood it as soon as the wise man told me that. He spoke of my relationship with one of my fighters. He told me that the fighter didn’t understand and didn’t respond to my redirection because he wanted to be right. He didn’t respect that I treated him like a son, so there was no way I could be wrong because I was selfless when it came to the fighter, even though the fighter was selfish when it came to me. It was DEEP. I learned a lot.
Back to Devin and Bill. I want to see them do well. That man loves his son. There is a look in a parent’s eye when they truly love their kids. Real parenting takes work. Trust me I know. As I’m doing this week’s mailbag. I’m in Greensboro, NC spending about 4k because my daughter has dreams of becoming an Olympian. She’s only 11. But I have already invested years of sacrifice. I can’t afford to be lazy. I have to work on her achieving her dreams everyday of my life. I don’t get to rest. I know what Bill has had to go through as a father and in boxing. The man came into the most ruthless, thankless sport in the world and he’s already won. Anything else is icing on the cake.
Hello Breadman ,
The much anticipated Spence/Crawford fight has not been made yet . The rumor mill had it for Nov of this year . I know it is still early , but not too early for a fight of this magnitude . These two dodged each other for five years . Is Spence the A-side , I think he should be . Crawford will be thirty five when they fight . Spence is three years younger . That could be an edge . Spence will box , and I think he will win a decision . Who is the A-side . What advantages do you see for each fighter . I get the feeling they want to face each other , to avoid Boots Ennis . But what if the fight does not get made . Do they both move up without fighting Ennis . How do you see this playing out .
Bread’s Response: I don’t think Spence and Crawford dodged each other for 5 years. I think they waited until all other resources were exhausted. Yes in my opinion Spence is the A side. He has 3 belts, Crawford has 1. Spence has done better PPV numbers and better live gate numbers. I think it was part of Team Spence’s plan to outdo Crawford in terms of box office appeal, so when the fight finally arises, Spence has negotiation leverage.
I've said this several times…..I believe Spence vs Crawford will take place. I think Jaron Ennis is a major reason why. Ennis is 25 years old and he’s bigger, longer and probably more naturally talented than both. Notice I didn’t say better. Because that has NOT been proven yet. But in my opinion they would rather fight each other than fight him at this point in their careers. I think both Spence and Crawford are prideful. They know they can’t miss each other and also miss Ennis and not have their legacies hurt.
I don’t think either is worried about what happens after they fight. They both want to win and they want to win bad. So you think Spence can outbox Crawford and win a decision. That’s an interesting pick. Because I think he can too. For as good as Crawford is, he does get outboxed in spots. It’s happened too many times to be a coincidence. Watch the early rounds of Crawford’s fights with Lundy, Porter and Benavidez. He got outboxed in spots. But what he does is he computes the opponent’s rhythm, and he starts to time them with brutal shots that no one can seem to take. But what if there is a fighter who can take those shots and keep scoring and winning rounds? I haven’t made a pick yet because I feel this fight is super close. But my gut instincts come down to one question. Can Spence take Crawford’s punches? Crawford has a Ray Leonard way about him where he may seem like the boxer. But often times he turns into the puncher in fights because of his meanness and underrated power. I suspect Crawford may be the puncher in this fight although Spence is naturally bigger.
If Spence can take Crawford's punches without giving up his offensive output, He has a GREAT chance to win a decision.
Hey Bread. Hoping all is well with you and yours.
First off, I'd like to pay homage to a couple of great Cuban fighters coming towards the end of their careers - Erislandy Lara and Rigondeaux. I'd like your take on who's had the better career to date? Personally, I think Lara had the better career (although still very much active at a high level), if it wasn't for a few suspect decisions go against him, Williams and canelo we'd possibly be talking ATG. Although, Rigo delivered one of the finest performances I've ever seen in a boxing ring against the great Nonito Donaire who at the time was on a 12 year winning streak, I mean I've never seen Donaire look completely out of his depth against anyone, apart from that night. Could any Super Batam have got near Rigo that night in your opinion?
Secondly, Spence vs Crawford. I know you ain't committing to a pick just yet but I think the 2 deciding factors in this fight are footwork and weight. I think Bud's footwork is superior to Spence!? And also, I'm not sure Spence at 147 can put in his best performance against his toughest opponent to date. 154 could be a different story. I think Spence biggest attribute is his ability to fight at the same tempo/level for 12 rounds, similar to Marvin Hagler. I'm going with Bud by late stoppage rounds 9 to 11, due to his footwork, IQ, and being underrated as one of the best finishers in the game, he smells blood, he gets you outta there!
Bread’s Response: I think Rigo was the better fighter out of him and Lara. The Rigo of the early 2010s can live with any 122lber in history. A whole era of 122lbs ducked him. They all came to 122lbs then jumped up to 126lb fast because they knew there would be a clamoring for them to fight him. The only elite fighter who went near him in his prime was Nonito Donaire. Trainers, handlers, managers and promoters knew. They called him boring to dilute the truth. The truth was he was too talented, he skills were too high and he punched too dam hard.
But Lara had the better career. Luis Decubas has done one of the best jobs in history with Lara. I would assume that Lara has been the highest paid Cuban fighter in history. He’s stayed relevant for over a decade. He’s never lost bad. He takes tough fights, then he sprinkles in showcase fights to prolong his career and he’s still relevant after all of this time in a very tough divisions. Lara has 3 losses and 3 draws that could be wins. If he wins those fights he’s at least a HOF and possibly an ATG. But talent for talent. Skill for Skill. I would take Rigo. Rigo’s boxing related god given talent is on par with guys like Roy Jones and Pernell Whitaker. Watch a highlight of him in the Olympics. He doesn’t look human. He looks like some sort of video game figure.
Danny Garcia is looking big and strong, but I'm worried he's put all the weight on his upper body and none on his legs. He looks a little slow to me in the training footage that is out there, in both hand and foot. To my eye his mid-section seems like an 'anchor' it's holding position while the rest of his body is trying to move ahead of it, if that makes sense.
Don't get me wrong I think Danny is consistently one of the most underrated boxers out of anyone, but he never had the fastest feet to begin with. He is fighting a 6 foot opponent who has some natural skills and looks pretty sharp and to be holding 154 a little better, could be a long night... Danny does have great timing and may well need it in this fight to land the kill shot. I didn't see Benavidez previous fight (after 3 years out and losing a lot of weight according to him) that was supposed to be so bad, but I will say this he shouldn't be a 5-1 underdog that seems crazy maybe Vegas knows something the public don't? There is something that never gets mentioned with Floyd-Maidana 2 and that is Alex Ariza.
Ariza was with Manny during his prime red-hot run, and with Maidana for Floyd 1. Floyd hired him away from Maidana for the rematch which is very interesting and gets overlooked. Maybe this is why Maidana's stamina didn't look as good in the rematch as you said in your latest mailbag, more than them trying to reserve their gas tank?
There is also a video up on Youtube with Ariza saying that Floyd was bigger than Maidana (despite most people's perception of it) and in his opinion Floyd looked rehydrated to 168lbs in the first fight. I guess Ariza is an expert and I find that very interesting also given that Floyd would never allow himself to be weighed on the unofficial scale on fight night.
It's also interesting that when Floyd began accusing Manny of PED use Ariza was the guy handling Manny's nutrition and S&C. I feel that, conventionally, if Floyd really believed that Manny was a drug cheat he would not then later on hire the guy overseeing his supplements under any circumstances.
On a related note I noticed something with certain fighters that seem to train hard long sessions as opposed to shorter more intense work. My main example is Shawn Porter. He would do grueling hours long workouts with his dad, wearing the hyperbaric masks up in the mountains. But if you watch his fights, as soon as round 9 comes he seems to fall off a cliff a little bit and start to lose his form/shape. The same exact thing happened in his fights with Crawford and Spence, as soon as round 9 hit he wasn't quite the same fighter. (Maybe that also tells us something about the differences between 'Bud' and 'The Truth'?)Do too long workouts cause fighters to fade to a lower output late in fights (but they could last longer eg. 15 rounds)? And what is the best way to put on weight, is it a best case of just having to cut less or is there a specific way to put on muscle on the right areas of the body eg. on the legs? I do remember Ariza talking about changing the composition of Amir Khan's physique to be less top heavy, and funny enough he trained Amir for his career best performance against none other than Marcos Maidana, where he ate many shots you wouldn't normally see him take.
I fully agree on Tank I think if you know what you're looking at you know what you're looking at. Even more than that he's actually been tested enough to be sure about him, he's held some big shots he's adapted in fights... there aren't many unanswered questions with him other than basically how high his ceiling is.
Much respect as always
Bread’s Response: Danny schooled Benavidez. He won 9 rounds. The things you brought up about Danny may be true but Benavidez can’t take advantage of them. Here is the thing about Danny. Danny is a consistent fighter and he knows himself in the ring. He doesn’t get out of sorts. He fights a conservative consistent fight and you have to take him out of that to beat him.
Benavidez has simply lost his WAY. At one time he was a hot fighter and his performance against Crawford was admirable. But it’s almost as if he’s forgot how to fight. He’s always posturing. He’s always acting like punches don’t hurt him. He’s making faces. He’s trying to intimidate opponents. But he’s not doing much. He did the same thing in his last fight that he should have lost. Someone on Danny’s team has a good eye and they took this fight for a reason. Benavidez was the perfect guy to get his feet wet at 154lbs against. Danny looked solid just like he always does.
There will be guys at 154 that will trouble Danny, but not Benavidez. It’s bizarre what happened to Benavidez. I know he was shot in the leg. But he used to be super good. I saw him as a prospect. I watched his sparring with Manny Pacquioa. That kid could GO! It’s literally like he forgot how to fight. Like he can’t apply his skillset anymore. I’m not sure what he did in his time off. But it really has affected him.
Alex Ariza was with Maidana in his 1st fight with Floyd. And yes there was a drop off in stamina. It could have been not having Ariza. I can see that. I wouldn’t dismiss it. Ariza knows what he’s doing. Maybe Floyd hired him so no one else could use him. Who knows. Floyd is a sharp guy and has a sharp team. Emanuel Steward used to hire certain sparring partners(Maurice Harris) just to keep them away from the opponents. Even if his fighter didn’t need them. He would hire him anyway. Boxing is the sport of skullduggery.
I think if you workout too long, you will subconsciously slow yourself down. So working out too long can have an adverse effect. But what’s too long? It’s different for everyone. I personally don’t believe in staying in the gym 3 hours working out for a 36 minute fight. But every trainer is different.
I can’t speak on what Porter did because I don’t have knowledge of what his training camp looked like. But what I can say is that most fighters need a 2nd wind at some point. Look at them close. Some need it later than others. Look at Sergio Martinez. He used to need one after the 4th round in almost every fight. Oscar needed one around the 6th or 7th. Sometimes 2nd winds are needed not because a fighter is not in shape. But because mentally he burns a little too much and it takes his body some time to settle in after the initial adrenaline dissipated. It’s why calm fighters are usually the best late round sharks. Shawn Porter has the type of style that it’s hard for him to get a 2nd wind without anyone noticing it because he’s a high energy guy. It’s why fighters with his style don’t’ usually age as well. Crawford is intense but he’s smooth as butter. He doesn’t over work and he uses your aggression against you.
Gervonta Tank Davis can fight. People can criticize him all they want. He’s a tremendous fighter and it’s going to take a heck of a fighter to beat him. Besides his physical stature of short arms and short height he doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses except one. And that is he loses rounds while he figures you out. He doesn’t really take chances because he has 1 punch ko power. So he waits for the kill shot. But that hasn’t come back to haunt him yet.
Hi Mr Edwards!
Just read your latest mailbag! Excellent and informative work as always. Now on to my question - Who do you think would win head-to-head between Jermell Charlo (May 2022 Brian Castano version) and Canelo Alvarez (Sept 2016 Liam Smith version). I have chosen these specific versions because I think it is fair. By 2022 Jermell had won 4 belts at Junior Middleweight. By Sept 2016 Canelo had won 3 belts at Junior Middleweight and 1 at Middleweight. Any other version of Canelo would either be too inexperienced or too experienced for Jermell. You can assume that the fight takes place at Canelo-weight somewhere between 154 and 160. I think it is easier for Jermell to gain 2 pounds than for Canelo to lose 2 pounds.
What do you think will happen? I think Canelo would win by split decision because even back in 2016, he had better defence. I also don't think Jermell's clutch power can knock Canelo out. Jermell is also relatively stationary and does not have a GGG-esque jab. So Canelo should have an easier time counter-punching. But on the flip side, Jermell did show improved boxing skills in the Castano rematch. And like Jermell, Canelo has a tendency to let his opponents steal some rounds.
While 2022 Jermell needs time to compute his kill shot, 2016 Canelo occasionally got outworked (i.e., Amir Khan and Miguel Cotto) because he was so focused on counter-punching and conserving his stamina. It is an enticing matchup!
Bread’s Response: In the early 2010s I thought there were lots of 154s that would give Canelo hell. Charlo twins, Andrade, Jrock…All you have to do is watch Canelo’s fights with Lara and Trout. But something happened with Canelo around 2015. He kept getting better and better. He almost killed James Kirkland in 2015 and he kept going up and up. I agree with you about the early 2010s. But I think Canelo hit that stride around 2015 and he would have probably edged Jermell.
Canelo doesn’t have fast feet so people think he can’t box. He can box. He actually is better defensively than Jermell. Canelo has every layer of defense plus natural reflexes. Jermell gets hit much cleaner than Canelo does. Canelo is a better combination puncher. And his hands are faster. Both have excellent chins but Jermell gets hit more. I think the fight would be competitive but I would pick Canelo after 2015. Canelo is a GREAT fighter.
Here is the interesting thing. Jermell Charlo was with Golden Boy and highly ranked by the WBC for many years. I always thought he had a chance in the early 2010s but he never got the fight. That would have been the best time to fight Canelo because Canelo struggled to make 154. But after he moved up and took those tough fights he seemed to progress from a very good fighter to a great fighter. I think Golden Boy knew Jermell would be a tough fight for him back then and that's why the fight never happened.
I have a question about three boxers who are betting underdogs in upcoming fights. Despite their status in Las Vegas, all three can win. Wins would also significantly change the direction of said underdogs’ careers. The first underdog boxer is Anthony Joshua. If Joshua beats Oleksander Usyk, he will be a three-time unified heavyweight champion.
Where does Joshua rank all time in heavyweight history if he accomplishes that? If that happens, I think people could argue Joshua ranks very high because of the number of times he recaptured a titled. I also think people could rank him very low because of who he lost too and the fact that he was never the clear top dog of the division. That’s why I need your take. The second boxer is Luis Ortiz. If Ortiz beats Andy Ruiz, he will have two former heavyweight champions on his resume. His only losses are competitive bouts against Deontay Wilder, a guy who is pretty much considered to be the second or third best heavyweight in the division.
Where does Ortiz rank in the current heavyweight division if he beats Ruiz? I need your take because I could see someone ranking Ortiz as high as third in the division. I could also see someone continuing to question the strength of his resume and barely rank him in the top 10. The last boxer is GGG. If GGG beats Saul Alvarez, he will have a lot on his resume. He will have his signature win, he will be the undisputed championship at 168 pounds and he will also be a two-time unified middleweight champion who tied the number of consecutive title defenses in that weight class. I could see someone arguing that GGG is the best fighter of the post-Mayweather/Pacquiao generation. I could also see someone continuing to question GGG’s resume and point out that he has one win over a pound for pound type boxer. That’s why I need your take. Would a win over Alvarez make GGG the next guy who gets compared to the GOATs, or does he fall well short regardless of what he does against Alvarez?
Thank you as always!!!!
Bread’s Response: Good question.
If Anthony Joshua, he will have RESPECT! He will not only be a 3x heavyweight champion. But he would have defeated both fighters who defeated him in immediate rematches. That says something about his competitive character. I think he would rate in the top 3 along with Fury and Wilder. Most likely behind Wilder currently.
If you’re asking me All Time. I honestly don’t think he would rank very high historically. When I say that I mean I don’t think he would be a top 20 ever heavyweight. He would have to beat Wilder or Fury for that and or prolong his legacy. Winning fights that people feel he shouldn’t have lost anyway gains him revenge and respect but I don’t know how much it would enhance his All Time Status. All Time Heavyweight status is a scared place. And as much as I like and respect Joshua. I think historians would view him as too vulnerable to crack the upper echelon at this point.
He may need to do a little more but a good run under Robert Garcia would change that perception.Luis Ortiz can fight. Anybody can’t beat him. In fact only Wilder has been able to and if this era stopped today, Wilder would be considered the 2nd best heavyweight of the era. And the 2nd best heavyweight of every era in history has went to the HOF. I know some don’t think Wilder is a HOF. And I’m not arguing that either way. I know the era is not a great heavyweight era. But again. The 2nd best heavyweight of every era in heavyweight history has been voted to the HOF. Maybe Wilder won’t get in. Maybe he will. But King Kong has only lost to him. I think if Ortiz beats Ruiz he’s a top 5ish guy. Not top 3 because Fury, Wilder and Usyk are top 3 at this moment. But top 5ish is reasonable.
If GGG beats Canelo at 168lbs at 40 years old, it enhances his middleweight legacy. It allows him to go from a HOF to an ATG. I don’t know if he would be the best fighter of the post May/Pac era because there is some overlapping. And I’m not sure when your dates start from. But this would b e a huge win for GGG. Huge! Unfortunately for him, his legacy is still being judged at 40. And that’s tough for an assumed clean fighter, who’s on the decline and does VADA.
Hello Breadman ,
If the Spence/Crawford fight happens , regardless of who wins . Do you see either fighter staying in the division and fighting Jaron Ennis . If both move up to one fifty four , that cant be fun for Jermell Charlo . I think Jermell Charlo would lose to both of them . If he would fight them . One thing that is not being talked about . The fight between Spence /Crawford could be a draw . That is what I think will happen . Then when they move to one fifty four , all this starts all over again . Charlo is unified , so to reach superiority one of them has to beat him . Jaron Ennis must be some fighter to make these two guys move up and pick Jermell Charlo over him .
Bread’s Response: So you’re predicting a DRAW for Spence vs Crawford? Ok I will write down. I hope it doesn’t end in a draw. But if that’s your pick, that’s your pick.
I don’t think Jermell and Errol will fight. They’re friends and they share the same trainer. However, I do think Jermell and Bud have a possibility of fighting. But listen. Let’s see if Spence vs Crawford gets signed. I’ve been getting loads of emails about them. I think the fans are getting restless. I also think the fans know that if they’re going to fight, the date will have to be in November or later because we are now in August. And if they are going to do any type of media tour and pre camp promotion it will have to start soon. But Before we start talking about what happens after they fight. Let’s make sure they do fight. If this fight doesn’t happen it will be the biggest let down in a long time.
Send Questions to email@example.com