By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards
The Daily Bread Mailbag returns, with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Anthony Joshua's shocking TKO defeat at the hands of Andy Ruiz, the future of Josh Taylor, Devin Haney, and more.
What was it like to meet your hero (Sugar Ray Leonard)? I remember you saying something about heroes being let downs when you meet them because they aren't what you make them out to be in your head.
I was never an AJ fan I thought he was a bit too arrogant but tried to hide it. But I actually gained respect for him because of how he handled defeat. I really was disappointed by how many people were so quick to try and kick him while he was down. And poor andy Ruiz! He is the walking Cinderella Man story he's the American Dream, literally, and people are just being awful. In ways it was like the Baer-Braddock bout, in ways it wasn't. I think if AJ can be pragmatic and really look at himself honestly, the way Wlad had to, he might be able to come back, then again he could just become a Juan Manuel Lopez or David Price who never really came back from their first big loss. I don't think the Wilder fight is off the table at all. Thoughts? What does AJ do in the rematch?
Bread’s Response: 1. Hero is not the right word. But Ray Leonard was the fighter I viewed the most highly as a kid. That view has stood the test of time. I think he’s the greatest living fighter along with Roberto Duran. 1a & 1b type of thing.
Meeting them and getting to know them are different. I would be scared to get to know any athlete I’ve looked up too. But I did get to meet him. He was super cool. We talked for about 10 minutes on and off. It was great. Sugar Man was the man and he treated me great.
Anthony Joshua is a good man. He’s charismatic, he’s upstanding with his religion and he’s a good fighter no matter what happened. I got about 70 emails about Joshua so I will answer them all in one.
I don’t know if he can comeback. He has to comeback first. Wlad Klitschko, Joe Louis and Lennox Lewis are rare. Let’s see.
I don’t know if he was clipped in sparring. But things happen in the gym. If he was clipped then that’s a decision him and his team made to keep fighting. I’ve seen that happen before. The casual fans don’t realize how often these known fighters get beat up in sparring. But once you step in the ring the decision you made is on you. I can’t start blaming anyone for making him fight. That was a huge show to cancel in all honesty. Joshua is a smart man. He chose to fight. So… There is no right or wrong answer as far as cancelling a fight if a fighter gets clipped in sparring. It also depends on when he got clipped if he really did.
Did he have a panic attack? Who knows but that’s NO reason to cancel a fight. Fighters get nervous then they perform. It’s all part of the game. If Joshua had a panic attack in the dressing room and he pulled out of the fight, that would be worse than losing. In this social media era no one would ever forgive him for that.
Is it Robert McCracken’s fault? Listen McCracken is an excellent trainer. Joshua was 22-0 and unified champion. He had no controversial wins and he beat Klitshcko, Whyte, Povetkin, Breazeale and Parker. That’s the best resume in the division whether you guys like it or not. Breazeale, Parker and Whyte were all undefeated when Joshua beat them.
McCracken led him to all of those victories. Emanuel Steward and Eddie Futch the 2 best coaches ever by consensus opinion, lost their biggest fights. Joe Frazier went 1-4 vs Ali and Foreman with Eddie Futch. Tommy Hearns went 0-2-1 vs Leonard and Hagler. They were still the best coaches according to history.
Now I know Ruiz is no Hagler but let’s settle down, it doesn’t mean McCracken should be fired. Maybe he just needs to reevaluate his game plan. Maybe he miscalculated. I don’t know. McCracken and Joshua have to gameplan and brain storm and see what went wrong.
We have to give Andy Ruiz credit. Maybe he’s a helluva fighter, who was determined and in great shape. Let’s remember Ruiz was caught with a big shot and dropped. So it’s not like Joshua didn’t put anything on him. Ruiz got up and turned into a dragon. So maybe it was too much Andy Ruiz that night.
Can he win a rematch? Yes but that doesn’t mean he will. He has to formulate the right gameplan. That’s up to him and his team.
Does he have a glass jaw? I don’t know yet. But here is the thing. Honestly he didn’t take punches too well vs Ruiz. So it’s a concern. But Wlad hid his chin for 10 years. I’ve seen lots of fighters who don’t take punches well have great careers. He was stopped once let’s see how his career plays out.
Did he quit? NO I didn’t see a quit job. He was concussed! I saw a fighter rise from 4 knockdowns! He could have laid on his back or stumbled if he wanted to quit. We have all seen fighters do that.
What I saw was a fighter who was disorientated. The last knockdown I saw a man trying to buy time. We saw Diego Corrales do that? Corrales wasn’t trying to quit, he was stalling for time. When you’re concussed your brain needs oxygen. That’s why the mouthpiece is removed from fallen fighters. So it’s instinctive to release the mouthpiece and get some air. Then I saw Joshua walk towards the ropes to steady himself. To me that was survival. He knew he needed the ropes to stand up. I didn’t view that as turning his “back”. His legs were shot. Then he said he was “OK”. I saw a hurt man. I didn’t see a quit job.
Was he too happy he lost? Good question. I don’t know. But I don’t like to over analyze. Remember everyone said that Ruiz was too friendly at the weigh in. Ruiz kept saying “IF” he wins. Well people made a big deal out of that. Jarrett Hurd said that Julian Williams was nervous at the face off…..We can’t over analyze. What matters is what happens when you get in the ring. We are human beings. Our emotions are fluid and 80% of the time our evaluations are WRONG. Maybe Joshua is the type of guy who doesn’t dwell on things he can’t change. I don’t know him well enough to say.
I won’t break down technically what I saw went wrong. I just want to respect Robert McCracken. He’s an excellent coach and all of this 2nd guessing is just not right.
But I will comment on the conditioning part. As a big Joshua fan I have noticed it takes too long for him to get his 2nd wind under duress and I don’t believe that is McCracken’s fault. If Wlad was a killer then Joshua would have been stopped. Once Joshua’s heart rate gets screwed up his conditioning just goes awry. It’s bizarre. In turn Deontay Wilder gets his 2nd wind extremely fast and it’s why he scores so many late kos and knockdowns. Joshua’s body frame is an issue in my opinion. He looks like a defensive linemen in the NFL. The difference is they don’t have to fight 36 minutes. Linemen get to come in and out of the game….
People are talking about Joshua’s chin but his stamina under pressure is the biggest concern in my opinion. Lack of oxygen causes you to take a punch funny. That needs to be addressed asap.
Dear Mr. Edwards,
If Fury, Joshua and Wilder all retired today, how would you rank them? I think Joshua edges Fury for the #1 spot and believe it really puts the post-Ruiz Joshua hate into perspective (i.e. the loudest critics only think in the moment).
Just for fun, who are a few active fighters that are a win or two from a HOF career?
Bread’s Response: I would say 1. Wilder, 2. Fury, 3. Joshua.
You can’t put Joshua over them he just lost by ko. You said at this exact moment. Joshua has a better resume but it’s not so much better that we can overlook this loss and say he ranks over them.
Fury may have outboxed Wilder but Fury doesn’t have a lot of top level fights. He has 2 championship fights. That’s it and he was a pro longer than both Wilder and Joshua. Wilder is approaching double digit title defenses that’s always a big deal at heavyweight.
Active Fighters who are a win or two from the HOF. Danny Garcia, Deontay Wilder, Juan Estrada, Ollie Usyk, Leo Santa Cruz, Donnie Nietes and Monster Inoue are all a win or two away.
I didn’t name Loma, Crawford, GGG or Canelo because they are all in already.
Why is boxing world so prejudiced against fat guys?
Tyson Fury is the lineal champ and he beat Deontay Wilder as per most reasonable people but all people talked about was Joshua vs Wilder. Ruiz lost one fight by close Split Decision to Joesph Parker and most people do not even have him in their top 10. I understand, he deserved to be the underdog against Joshua but not even in top 10. People take one look at his chubby body and say crazy stuff like he is slow and unathletic. He looked crazy sharp and fast against Joshua. Mark my words, Ruiz will beat Joshua in the rematch as well and he is gonna beat Wilder by smothering his offense (kinda like J-Rock did to Hurd). He will only lose to another fat and chubby guy like him, i.e., Tyson Fury. In fact, I have even heard people criticize boxers for simply not having abs even if they have a completely flat stomach.
Do you think it is worse in this day and age? I did not see people being this hard on Larry Holmes.
Bread’s Response: Larry Holmes was fat shamed. He didn’t have a great body. We just didn’t have social media. But without a doubt the comments being made about Ruiz were disgusting.
The most common comment was he wasn’t athletic which isn’t true. Often times carrying fat is a genetic thing. I’m not saying he can’t shed some of the fat because I’m sure with a more strict diet he could. But he will never look like Ken Norton. It’s not in his genetics.
Some of the comments that were made about Ruiz by famous sports analysis were terrible. It shows how uniformed people really are. A heavyweight doesn’t have to worry about cutting weight as much. So some don’t care if they are ripped. And believe it or not. Fat is a better energy source than muscle. So……
People in general are nicer to people they find attractive and fat is not found attractive for the most part. It’s just the way our society it. I’m glad Andy shut those guys up. He’s the champion of the world and no one can ever take that away from him. Andy The Dandy!
Dear Stephen Breadman Edwards,
I would like to start by saying Daily Bread is without a doubt the best consistent boxing article for analytical, truthful and unbiased observation I’ve ever read. Thank you for taking time to drop your knowledge. You’ve made me challenge quite a few opinions I had on the sport and it’s boxers over the years.
My topic of discussion is on Josh Taylor. Off the back of Taylor's recent win over the Beast, I couldn't help feel as if he is yet to reach his full capability. I love his quick and well timed movement on the outside coupled with the sharp footwork he uses in the phone booth to create openings. His cute sharp punches are accurate and he’s willing to take risks to throw them. The man is tough, exciting and seems to be confident getting up close and into a dog fight. My concern is that it looks as if he’s willing to sacrifice advantages like his height, reach and speed to create openings to throw snappy sharp power shots that seem to lead to phone booth style exchanges throughout portions of each round. I don't think he’s utilising his jab or a simple 1-2 enough, when he did throw it against Ivan it felt as if it could land at will. My gut is telling me that Taylor has another gear to reach still and hopefully it's just a matter of experience before he maximises his potential. In your opinion do you currently see any major holes in Taylor's game that doesn’t sit right with you? Also off the back of that, what kind of style do you think will give him the most trouble based on what you've seen so far?
Lastly as a kind of measuring stick how do think a hypothetical fight would go between todays Josh Taylor vs the 140lb Amir Khan who had just beat Paulie Malignaggi?
Hope you and JRock get the rematch with Hurd and it makes you both good money. A unification between Julian and Tony Harrison should he get through Charlo again would be excellent for the sport.
Many Thanks again.
Bread’s Response: Josh Taylor can bump. But one of the things I look for in “special” fighters is the ability to win with ease. It doesn’t mean that their opponents are easy work. But it means they can win without giving all of themselves everytime out. Taylor has not been able to do that yet. He’s talented but he really presses to win. Maybe he will get it one day. I don’t know.
I think his fight with Prograis will be a titanic fight. It’s truly 50/50.
Khan is tough for anyone in his prime. But I think Taylor is tough enough and technical enough to clip him after the early blistering.
What's up Bread?
What surprised you the most about Andy Ruiz's huge upset of Anthony Joshua? For me it was:
1. AJ wasn't able to utilize his reach advantage successfully
2. Ruiz was able to walk Joshua down. I didn't think Andy would be the stronger guy as far as imposing his will.
3. Aside from the knockdown, Ruiz's defense was solid. I thought he would be a sitting duck for
1-2's but he proved me and everybody else wrong
Two quick questions: 1. What can AJ do differently to win a rematch? and 2. Do you think Andy Ruiz Jr. fought way over his head or do you expect him to fight at the same high level going forward?
William in West Palm
Bread’s Response: I didn’t pick Andy Ruiz to win. But I think the fight would go OVER 6 rounds. Ruiz has a threatening patient way that makes his opponent’s hesitant. A fighter can feel another fighter’s energy when they line up.
I wasn’t that surprised that Joshua didn’t maximize his reach. Joshua throws lots of hooks and uppercuts. He had a good jab and a good right hand. But if you look at him closely he likes it in the mid range. He also catches and ducks a lot of shots. He does that more so than most bigger guys. Riddick Bowe is the best I have ever seen over 6’4” fight that style.
What surprised me was that Andy was more of a gun slinger. Andy was dropped hard by a hook. He then got up and started rocking! That was BIG TIME. That took big [email protected]%&.
I was also impressed with Andy’s jab. He kept jabbing Joshua to the chest and arm. He was killing him with that shot. It really disrupts the rhythm and stride of the fighter. And it was landing on full impact. Joshua has to really game plan for that shot in the rematch.
I also surprised that Joshua gave up so much ground. I don’t know if it was a strength thing. Andy didn’t push Joshua back. He more or less threatened him with his presence. The ground that Joshua gave up cost him the fight. He was forced to fight on the outskirts of the ring. Instead of being able to post up and dictate the fight with a jab. Joshua needs to watch Lennox Lewis vs David Tua 1,000 times before the rematch. Every big fight has a historical comparison.
AJ can win a rematch. I don’t know if he will. Believe it or not Joshua can fight a few types of fights to win the rematch. It just depends on how and why Joshua thinks he lost. If he thinks it was a style miscalculation then he will change his style. If he was damaged before the fight then he may heal up and rest up and go about his business as usual. That’s something Anthony will have to decide. Personally I think he should keep it simple. Overdose on a good jab and be patient. Andy does not come like Frazier or Tyson. He’s a patient stalker with fast hands. Joshua can use that patience against him and use a great JAB.
I don’t think Ruiz fought over his head. I think Joshua gave him opportunities and Ruiz took advantage of them. He wasn’t lucky, he’s talented and he was prepared. The thing is Andy may have to be more than an opportunist in the next fight. He may have to be more proactive with his attack in the rematch.
Do you think Kell Brook can make some noise at 154lbs? He seems to have a well proportioned body and he’s only lost to two of the best. Thoughts?
Bread’s Response: I don’t know if Kell Brook can make noise or not at 154. He moved up but I would assume it doesn’t take this long to make a decision and fight for a title. Some fighters have to be the mandatory to fight for a title. Kell Brook can get a title shot whenever he wants at 154. He hasn’t tried yet. It’s been 2 years since he lost to Spence. Brook is a big name and he’s in his 30s. That tells me he’s in no rush to step up and fight anymore.
Hi Bread, congratulations first and foremost on Julian Williams becoming the champ! As a long time admirer of yours, I am very happy for you guys. Both J as a fighter, and yourself as a trainer, really strike me as having throwback qualities and mindsets going back to the old school of the boxing game.
That aside, I came across an old Ring magazine article after Sugar Ray Leonard beat Floyd Mayweather Sr. in 1978. At the time, Mayweather was considered to be a stiff test and Ray passed it impressively with a TKO victory. The article went on to say that Ray had obstacles in the welterweight division with both WBC Champion Jose Pipino Cuevas who was considered a very strong puncher for Ray, and Carlos Palomino which the Ring would have considered an even fight.
After checking boxrec, I believe Ray did not get a chance to fight either man. I am wondering if you know about these two fighters or why these fights were never made, and how you think fights with SRL would have played out.
Lastly, Floyd Sr. has gone on record a few times crediting the Mayweather shoulder roll to his trainer from Detroit, Dale Williams. I am wondering if you are familiar with him since he somehow has not been remembered as much as other more successful or high profile trainers.
Thanks and best of luck going forward!
Bread’s Response: Palomino and Cuevas were both very good and made the HOF. But Leonard was only 13-0 when he fought Mayweather Sr. He didn’t get a title shot until he was 24-0 a year and some change later. He beat better fighters for his titles at welterweight. He beat Wilfred Benitez who outpointed Palimono. He beat Robert Duran who also outpointed Palimino and kod Cuevas. And he beat Tommy Hearns who destroyed Cuevas in 2 rounds. Leonard would have beaten them both. Palimino most likely by wide decision and Cuevas by mid round stoppage. Leonard is as good a welterweight as there ever was, he would’ve won the title in any era.
I also heard Mayweather Sr. give credit to Dale Williams for the shoulder roll. I don’t know of him but he must’ve been a helluva trainer. He revolutionized a fighting style for one of the best fighters ever in Mayweather Jr.
First off congrats on J-Rock huge win, well deserved. Sure you’re going to be flooded with write-ins on AJ vs Ruiz but I wanted to make a few points. First great execution by Ruiz. He took full advantage of the opportunity and walked out with the belts. Disappointed in the sports pundits calling him Butterbean and questioning his abilities. They forget James Toney had a similar build once he left middleweight and so did Foreman when he beat Moorer.
Second, seems like everyone wants to make excuses for AJ’s loss, but I’m curious to how much the drug testing differences between what AJ normally receives in the UK vs what he got for this fight played into his conditioning? Billie Joe Saunders claimed that the reason for his own failed VADA tests was because UKADA allows for a number of therapeutic use exceptions and lets fighters take some normally banned supplements up until a few weeks before the fight. GGG is on record supporting the testing change as a issue for AJ too. I don’t agree with Dillian Whyte’s assertions that AJ is a PED user. If there is any truth to any of this we’ll likely see limited interest from AJ to fight in the US again.
Ultimately, AJ can bounce back, but his earning and negotiating power are going to take a huge hit. Hopefully this puts pressure on the boxing promoters to get the big fights done earlier.
Who do you favor in the following match ups:
-Gary Russell Jr vs Leo Santa Cruz
-Gary Russell Jr vs Lomanchenko (rematch)
-Gary Russell Jr vs Gervonta Davis
-Canelo Alvarez vs Andrade
-Canelo Alvarez vs Jermall Charlo
Bread’s Resppnse: All of these fights are hard to pick. So I will state what I think the odds to be. Russell vs Santa Cruz even money. Loma would be a -350 favorite over Russell. Davis would be -200 over Russell. Canelo would be slight -120 over Andrade. Canelo vs Charlo would be even money but it may depend on where at. In Vegas Canelo the favorite. In NY even money.
I did hear the comments about Joshua and PEDS. I don’t know what to say. I’m a big Joshua fan but I can’t say what a man is or isn’t using. There seems to be a strong suspicion of him. There is also talk of his TUEs. It’s definitely something that the boxing community will look at from here on out. I suspect Ruiz will ask for strict testing very far out if there is a rematch.
The one thing I don’t like is that some supplements are legal in certain countries but not in others. Or some substances are banned if they are taken too close to the fight. The rules should be universal. Boxing is a world wide sport. A fighter is called champion of the world for a reason. That’s just crazy to me and counter productive.
Joshua will have a lot to prove in the next few fights of his career. If he looks bad or refuses to fight in the US then the birds will chirp. I personally will still give him the respect of a clean fighter until something definitive comes out.
What's up Breadman. Randy from NC! Keep doing your thing with the mailbag and with JRock!
Which prospect/contender at lightweight do you think gives Lomachenko the most trouble and why?
Do you think Devin Haney and Jaron "Boots" Ennis are ready for world title shots now? If not, how much longer before they're ready?
From what I've seen, I like them both not because of the skills but because they both seem to have solid punch selection and seem to be defensively responsible.
Bread’s Response: I think both Teofimo Lopez and Devin Hanye will both trouble Loma. Both are super talented. But I want to see more of Lopez. Haney is not the puncher Lopez is, so I’ve seen him go rounds. Big punchers like Lopez have to learn to make adjustments vs fighters that aren’t intimidated by their power. I’m not saying he can’t make them. I just want to see more. Loma won’t be intimidated.
Devin Haney is ready for a title shot right now. I’m not saying he beats Loma but he’s ready for a shot at a title. Jaron Ennis in my opinion is the most talented prospect in boxing. He punches like Lopez and boxes like Haney. The problem is he’s been inactive with business related issues. So let’s wait for him to come back first.
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