NEW YORK – Stephen Edwards was perhaps the least surprised person inside Barclays Center, other than Caleb Plant himself, when Plant’s picturesque left hook knocked Anthony Dirrell unconscious Saturday night.

Edwards, whom Plant added to his training team prior to the Dirrell bout, realized the first time he did pad work with Plant that the former IBF super middleweight champion can crack harder than fans and media might’ve known before his spectacular knockout of Dirrell. Plant entered the ring Saturday night with 12 knockouts in 22 professional fights, barely a 50-percent ratio, and Dirrell was considered the superior puncher between them.

Philadelphia’s Edwards, who answers to the nickname “Breadman” and produces a popular weekly mailbag for, reflected on the 30-year-old Plant’s vicious, viral knockout during their post-fight press conference.

“First time I caught pads with him,” Edwards said, “I was like, ‘Damn, man, you punch a lot harder than people realize.’ And he was like, ‘Man, you know, I just be working on my defense. You know, I haven’t always been committing to my shots. But I can punch.’ And we was just working on different things with the shield and stuff, and I was just really impressed. And, you know, he like, he knocked out a couple guys in sparring just like that [the way he dropped Dirrell]. You know, like sleep. And I was like, and I came to his room [Friday] night and I said, ‘Man, you know, the world haven’t seen the things that I’ve seen in the gym. You know, sometimes you probably overthinking in the fights. I want you to slow yourself down. I want you to show everybody what I seen, you know, because I’m kinda being humble when they keep saying that you can’t punch.’

“We was talking about it through camp. I’m like, ‘Man, you gonna hurt this dude if he run up on you and think that you can’t punch.’ So, we went for a walk [Friday] night and we talked. We talked about life and I told him I wanted to show everybody publicly what I seen privately in the gym, man. And he did it.”

Dirrell learned about Plant’s power when Plant (22-1, 13 KOs) touched him with a left hook to the body and quickly came back up top with a left hook that dropped Dirrell flat on his back. Referee Harvey Dock immediately halted their scheduled 12-rounder at 2:57 of the ninth round.

The 38-year-old Dirrell (34-3-2, 25 KOs), of Flint, Michigan, suffered the second knockout loss of his 17-year pro career. This devastating defeat differed, however, from when a bloodied Dirrell’s handlers stopped his WBC 168-pound title fight against David Benavidez (26-0, 23 KOs) during the ninth round in September 2019 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Plant joked that he hopes opponents keep underestimating his punching power, but Edwards was pleased that he disproved skeptics that have dismissed the Ashland City, Tennessee native as a light hitter.

“So, you know, that’s just a rumor, that he can’t punch, you know? All punches hurt,” Edwards said. “You know, he’s a fast, explosive kid, and when you got speed like that, you hit people, like you shock ‘em. They don’t see it coming, man, so you know, that’s guys in the media that’s not in the ring. All punches hurt. Don’t believe this man can’t punch. He’s very explosive. He’s very strong. He’s very athletic. He may not be like the biggest puncher in boxing, but you just can’t just walk up on him.”

Keith Idec is a senior writer/columnist for He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.