The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez's big loss to Dmitry Bivoil, the Inoue vs. Donaire rematch, Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence, pound-for-pound list, bad scoring by judges and more.

Bread - Of all the great fights coming up on the schedule, the one I am most looking forward to, is the Monster Inoue-Nonito Donaire rematch on June 7.  What do you expect to see and what adjustments will both fighters make?  And, by the way, Donaire is the ultimate GUN.  Not only is he going back in to face arguably the #1 P4P fighter AND puncher in the sport, but he is doing it in Inoue's home country....for a second time!  

Reid (Atlanta)

Bread’s Response: I’m glad you wrote in about this fight. I was waiting for someone to do it. I think Inoue will box more vs Nonito. Inoue actually had more success boxing than he did trying to ko Donaire. I expect Donaire to just be more tuned in with his timing. I also expect Donaire to attempt to use his jab a little more to break Inoue’s rhythm. 

Nonito Donaire may be the most ambitious fighter of the last 30+ years in terms of who he’s willing to fight. I don’t know if I’ve seen anything like him in my lifetime for the extended period of time he’s done it at. I’m thinking out loud.... Ray Leonard was ambitious but he had a shorter career because of his eye injury. Oscar was also. But they were both consistent A sides. Duran had huge N#$S. Duran had no business fighting Moore, Hearns and Hagler back to back to back as a former lightweight. There are a few more guys who fit this bill like Holyfield and Hearns. But Nonito may have them all beat. He started out at 112lbs. He took on Vic Darchynian an undefeated P4P guy as an underdog. And after that for the last 15 years he simply fought whoever the best available guy was from 112 to 126. 

I know he didn’t turn out to be Manny Pacquioa like the earlier comparisons suggested. But he’s Kobe Bryant if Pacquioa is Michael Jordan. He almost did it. Losses didn’t bother Nonito. Styles didn’t bother him. Cuts didn’t bother him. Moving up and down in weight didn’t bother him. Race didn’t bother him. I mean Nonito is probably the easiest fighter of the last 30 years to match. He fought Rigo when the whole generation ducked him. He fought Walters at 126lbs when Walters had the frame of a lightweight. He took his late career slump vs Magdelano and Frampton like nothing happened. Moved back down to 118 and has had arguably the greatest lighter weight career resurgence in history. I can’t think of another on this level, where a fighter moved back down and regained his status like Nonito did.

I would not be surprised if Nonito knocked Inoue out cold. I really wouldn’t. I feel like Nonito is blessed by god with the gift of timing. I don’t know if he could ever teach anyone what he does, but he knows how to apply it. He can simply punch at an opening in spots maybe no one else in history can punch in. The shot he hit Montiel with has a case for being the best punch ever thrown. Montiel literally was landing a right hand as Nonito was whipping a hook flush on his temple that almost killed him. 

Inoue should win the fight. He’s younger by over a decade and he’s just as talented and skilled. I honestly want to give Inoue props for taking this rematch. Most wouldn’t in his position. The last thing you want to do is give Nonito extra looks. It’s like giving another Bay Area swatter Barry Bonds extra at bats in 2003. It’s just not worth it. I expect another shootout because this is their temperament. Both are killers. Both are humble but violent human beings. 

Hi Breadman, We are after a long expected fight: Bivol vs Canelo. What is your take on offical scores? I feel there is not enough disgust expressed even though, or maybe because, the better man was awarded a win, hardly though.  All 3 judges ensured to give Alvarez an undeserved head start and had him just beaten by the end. We are talking here about 3 top judges in the sport, not about amateurish lot. I think that commissions and regulators need to have a closer look at scoring in professional boxing. They would be much better off (i.e. fairer scoring + cheaper) if they let me judge it for 1/10th of what they pay to any of them. If they do not wanna employ me, fine. I am sure that many other casual fans would score this fight better. Such situation is somewhat ridiculous. Anyone who gave Saúl more then 3 rounds must have been strongly biased. Situations when a reigning champion has to soundly outbox challenger to get minimal decision (or does not get it) must stop if this is a sport. Otherwise promoters should bill it by name; theatre.

All the best, Bread. Cannot wait for hearing from you, Marek  

Bread’s Response: I don’t like to call judges corrupt because it’s the hardest job in boxing. And judges don’t view the fight on tv with the assistance of punch stats and moving angles. I think the judges in this fight were very good judges. But I think they made the mistake that most judges make in these instances. They give too much credit to the fighter that is supposed to win based on what they think should be happening and what will eventually happen, instead of what is ACTUALLY happening.

A scorecard is turned in after every round, so it’s not like they can go back and say oh I realize what Bivol is doing now. In a 12 round fight every round is crucial. The fighter who wins 7 rounds wins the fight. I think some very good judges simply over valued what Canelo was doing early. And by the time they realized it, it was almost too late. Bivol should not have HAD to win the 12th round to not get a DRAW. Bivol won between 8-10 rounds in this fight. And no he didn’t get swept in the 1st four rounds which is the point of controversy. 

Canelo did some good things early. He has a fair case for 2 of the first four rounds. Maybe 3 out of 4 if you go out of your way. But a clean sweep in the first 3rd of the fight was too much. Much too much. Bivol was in a position where he officially had to win 7 out of the last 8 rounds to win a fight that it appeared he won after 10 rounds. 

I am respectful to everyone in boxing. I won’t say some of the things that have been said because I honestly believe judging is such a hard job. But they have to get it right. I think the judges miscalculated how effective Canelo was being. It can happen with his mystique and the crowd etc etc. Canelo is an ATG fighter and he does the same thing in each fight. He calculates, he lands big single shots, he breaks his opponents down and he either stops them or he cruises to a UD. And he’s so calm with his defense that it’s hard to see punches that effect him. So it’s common to give him more credit than he deserves. In this case he got more credit than he deserved. He didn’t sweep rounds 1-4.

In the spirit of fair play. Overall I think something needs to be done in boxing about two things. I know I wasn’t asked about drug testing but we may as well clean up everything all at once. So I will state both. In scoring a fight it’s time we get 5 judges. 4 judges at ring side and 1 judge watching on a monitor that has the same feed as the viewing audience. The majority wins just like with 3 judges. If a judge turns in a scorecard that is deemed off, this judge needs to be interviewed and more importantly mandated to come to the post fight press conference and discuss what he saw and why he scored the way he did. Judges get to go covert in their identity and this is an issue. We may know a name or two but no one really knows their faces. It’s time they come out of the shadows. Scoring a fight is subjective and no one will agree 100% on every judges perception of fights. But when the perception is far off from what the majority perceived, the judge should at least be mandated to explain what he saw. And if his perception is consistently off, then he shouldn’t be allowed to keep judging. 

In boxing a judge can give a poor scorecard and be rewarded with more big fights. A referee can be consistently bad and keep getting big fights. That’s more of an issue for me. Let’s remember CJ Ross scored the Pacquiao vs Bradley fight poorly then she scored the Mayweather vs Canelo fight poorly. She shouldn’t have been the judge in the Mayweather vs Canelo fight. I don’t mean to single her out and I apologize if it seems I’m attacking her. I’m not. But she’s the most prevalent example I can think of with a judge being allowed to keep judging after a poor scorecard. Had she been interviewed and reprimanded maybe the 2nd scorecard wouldn’t have been turned in. 

I know as time has went on some feel Richard Steele made the right call in Chavez vs Taylor1 in stopping the fight with 2 seconds left despite knowing the fight was almost over. Despite seeing the red buzzer that represents 10 seconds left. Despite that being the 1st time Taylor was in trouble or knocked down. But let’s look deeper, Chavez was the A side and a Don King fighter. A year later another A side Don King fighter Mike Tyson was fighting a tough challenge in Razor Ruddock. Richard Steele was the referee again and again he made what seemed to be a hasty stoppage in favor of the  A side Don King fighter. When people made excuses for the Chavez stoppage like Taylor was down, he was beat up etc. Well Ruddock was on his feet wobbling but still very capable. It wasn’t the 12th round. He had been taking a beating but he was landing shots. This stoppage was so bad that they made them fight 3 months later. And when you have the same common denominator it doesn’t feel or look right. I don't like it that the A side fighter, is usually the beneficiary to 80% of these questionable calls.

In most sports if you do a poor job, you lose your job. In boxing you get rewarded for it. Again I don’t want to say the judges in Canelo vs Bivol were corrupt. I don’t believe that. I don’t want to say they’re bad judges because they aren’t. But I think they made a mistake in which anyone can make. I also think they should be held accountable and they should be mandated to discuss their perception of the fight.  That’s fair and I believe it will insure more objective judging. It will also give us a better understanding of what they saw. Maybe they can sway us with their perception and articulating of what they saw. 

What was also bizarre is all 3 had the same exact scorecards. It’s good if each judge saw the same fight, it’s very relevant. But for each judge to have the same scorecard that the viewing audience didn’t agree with is very odd. Most people had Bivol winning 9 rounds and not 7. And I don’t know anyone who thought Bivol lost the 1st four. So out of the respect for the judges, let’s hear what they have to say and have them tell us what they saw. 

I also want to bring up drug testing since we are talking about cleaning up boxing. When a date has been put to the side for a fighter and the whole world knows that fighter will be fighting on a specific time window. Testing should begin. It’s the most counter productive practice in the history of drug testing to allow the A side fighter to wait and wait and wait to announce his fights. In essence he gets to wait to drug test because the testing won’t start until after the fight is announced and signed. So now the A side fighter is basically determining WHEN the testing will start and when it will end. With advanced doping it’s almost impossible to catch the cheaters under these current A side conditions. You have to start testing earlier than their scheduled 8 week camps or else the testing is just surface level.  

Hi Bread,

Many thanks for your fantastic analysis over the years. I had two takeaways from this fight. Firstly, the scoring was another embarrassment.  The thought that these guys were one round from making it a draw makes my blood boil. Secondly Bivol has a super high boxing IQ and he flat out bewildered Canelo.  Basically he kept him completely off balance in two ways.  Firstly, the jab and the movement meant Canelo found it hard to sit on his punches and even if he got one off he was unbalanced for the next.  He was barely able to throw any combinations. Secondly, Bivol constantly switched his game.  One second he's fighting off the back foot, disrupting with his jab but looking like a regular Canelo opponent who wants to stay away from Canelo's power shots.  This we've seen before and so has Canelo.  Sooner or later he walks them down. But not this time because the next second Bivol completely changes his game and attacks Canelo with fast nasty combinations.  But just when Canelo thinks he's seduced Bivol into a firefight and things are looking up the next second Bivol is moving and picking him apart at distance. I think this combination of disrupting Canelo's physical and mental balance won the fight.  Canelo just couldn't process it and figure out how to change the game so Bivol has to fight his fight.

Thoughts? And thanks again!!

Pete, Los Angeles

Bread’s Response: Canelo has evolved into a great pressure technician. He walks fighters down at his pace, he can because his defense is so good, he puts them on the ropes and he attacks. Canelo rarely throws more than 1 punch at a moving target or a target that’s in the center of the ring. Canelo’s stamina issues have been masked because he’s fighting at his pace. Bivol changed the tone of the fight from him attacking to him boxing. And in each case he was pestering Canelo. Bivol fatigued Canelo badly in the 2nd half of the fight. He wouldn’t leave him alone.

Canelo like 99% of talented athletes fell in love with his gifts and success. He’s been used to hitting guys  lately and their demeanors changing. Bivol’s didn’t change. He kept his COMPOSURE and he went from running Canelo from hot to cold and from cold to hot. People say his size didn’t matter because it was skill thing. But everything counted. Just because he’s a boxer, it doesn’t mean his size didn’t matter. 

Ali boxed Bob Foster also. But when you’re bigger and have more physicality, it allows you to take chances as the boxer, you normally wouldn’t if the fighter was your size. Bivol gained confidence throughout the fight. At a certain point he realized something. It wasn’t so much Canelo’s size, it was his range. Bivol could hit Canelo from a distance Canelo couldn’t hit him from. Canelo’s pressure is clever but it’s not Joe Frazier, Jeff Fenech or Julio Cesar Chavez’s pressure. It’s calculated and its explosive. But Canelo doesn’t punch on the move. He walked and he throws one big shot. And again he puts you on the ropes. So if you escape the one big shot and you aren’t on the ropes, you’re in a safe place. I don’t know if Bivol realized it or instinctively he just took advantage of it. But being able to hit Canelo, where Canelo couldn’t hit him from was the biggest deal. The RANGE. 

In order for Canelo to overcome this, he would have to get in better shape. Close distance faster. And punch at a moving target better. All the while taking punches. It won’t be easy if he fought Bivol again. When a great fighter loses and he’s been on a historic run, what happens is the next chapter in his career becomes harder. It doesn’t mean it’s impossible to overcome but it will be tougher for Canelo now. Judges may not favor him as much. Fighters won’t respect him as much. They will realize he’s just a MAN. Mark this down, everyone will fight him harder now. If the Floyd fight was dismissed as him being green and young. This one won’t because he’s been in the middle of his best career run. They can say he was too small but he was a 6 to 1 favorite and 99% of people were picking Canelo including me. I thought Bivol would be tough but I didn’t think he would actually win. No one said Bivol was too big before the fight. 

Hello Breadman,                                

I pray you and your family are doing well. Not shocked at all about Canelo losing. Only people who should be shocked are those who didn’t know who he was fighting. I ‘m glad he fought this guy and give him props for fighting him. This fight reminds me of Roy Jones vs Tarver 1. Tarver should have knocked Roy Jones out but seemed in disbelief in how easily he was able to get to Roy. Bivol knows now he is the superior fighter and will probably push the pedal to the metal and stop Canelo in a rematch. Canelo reminds me of Kevin Durant. Good but nowhere near as good as the hype . It is interesting they both were exposed  around the same time. I never ever felt Canelo was the best fighter in the world or Durant the best player at no time in their careers. Errol Spence is inspirational. To come back from a serious  car accident and  a detached retina and fight and beat top fighters like he has is incredible.

I pray Crawford and him make the fight because I have absolutely no idea who will win. I love fights  that are so compelling like that and really hope it happens .Doug Fisher in one of his mailbags wrote that Spence ‘s performances vs Mikey Garcia and Danny Garcia were overrated. I couldn’t disagree more. I think people forgot going in to the fight how highly Mikey was thought of at that time. I and others  actually thought he was going to win. Spence dominated him and toyed with him. Mikey  was in survival mode and looked like a sparring partner against Spence. Same thing with Danny. Spence after that horrific car accident and no tune-up fights  fought Danny and had him fighting in survival mode too. It  Is like he broke both of their wills early and it made for lackluster fights because they seem more intent on surviving than winning against Spence. That was very impressive to me. What do you think Breadman? Were you impress or not with those 2 performances by Spence. Thanks for your time.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  God bless and take care,

Blood and Guts from Philly

Bread’s Response: I’m very impressed with Errol Spence in general. He’s a guy who always seem to get the job done regardless of the circumstances. There are many fighters who’s outside of the ring distractions affect their performances on fight night. Despite Spence’s alleged partying and lifestyle, he’s found a way to get the job done on fight night. That’s important. So I’m impressed with him. I’m also impressed that he fought at 152lbs as an amateur. And he has made 147lbs his entire pro career. That takes a professional. 

As for his performances vs Mikey and Danny Garcia. I was impressed with BOTH WINS. Getting a win at the elite level vs ex world champions, current world champions or Ring Rated Top 10 opponents are accomplishments. Grading the performance is different. I was impressed with the Mikey Garcia performance. I would have liked to see him go for the ko and stop Garcia but I was impressed with his discipline and boxing display. He beat Mikey Garcia with a simple jab and step back out of range. Garcia did not win one round vs Spence. To win 12 straight rounds vs a world class HOF level fighter, is impressive. I think critics believe Garcia was too small and Spence proved that. But But Garcia wanted to be a 5 division champion. He defeated a very good fighter at 140lbs to win a belt in Sergey Lipinets. And he was looking to make history. Spence dominated him and he deserves credit for that. 

I didn’t think Spence had a great night vs Danny Garcia. I respect the win. The result counts more than anything. But I don’t think either fighter fought what you call a great fight. Regardless of the result, there are times when a fighter really performs. See Tommy Hearns in his 1st fight vs Ray Leonard. Hearns performed. In Spence vs Danny Garcia. I saw Spence being the busier fighter, the more ambitious fighter in terms of insuring victory. But neither guy seemed to be at their best. Garcia was down on points and never really pressed the issue. And Spence just seemed OFF for whatever reasons. I suspect that Garcia hurt Spence in that fight and Spence had a great poker face. Garcia is a hard puncher. And suspect Errol’s jab and length were just hard to overcome for Danny and he didn’t want to expend himself getting past it, so he laid back to find a counter that was never there. Usually when a fighter doesn’t have his best night, the other guy had something to do with it.

The Spence vs Crawford match up is the Fight of This Century if it happens this year. I love the match up.

Greetings... With Alvarez fallen from P4P#1, the discussion about who is the king is divided. I can see on different websites the arguments. They debate between Usyk and Crawford. WBnews, TBRB and The Ring (as of this writing it was in position 2, behind Canelo) have Usyk; BoxinScene, Espn, BWAA and SI to Crawford. Assuming that these outlets were sanctioning bodies for the pound x pound champion, then Crawford and Usyk split the P4P#1 belts. About half for each side. For me, Bud is better in the visual field, but unfortunately, he does not have an extensive resume. Question 1-Which of the two has the best resume. Can you detail the caliber of their respective resumes?  On the other hand, I can see that Canelo even before his fight with Bivol was the "Undisputed P4P King", in other words, all the respectable pages had him at the top. Despite Alvarez being an undisputed P4P#1, you never had him at the top. Has this happened to you in the past? I'm curious to know your Linear P4P#1 in those 80s, 90s...until today. At the very least, can you tell how many times you've disagreed with The Ring's P4P#1?  It's always good to read. His perspective adds a flavor to boxing.

Bread’s Response: Good Question. As you noted I’ve had Terence Crawford P4P #1 despite many in disagreement. I still have him P4P #1. Before this fight I’ve always thought 4 fighters separated themselves from the field. Crawford, Canelo, Inoue and Usyk with Spence rounding out the top 5 but Spence was inactive for a bit. I still believe that but with Canelo losing I think Crawford’s stance is firm. However anyone who has Usyk #1 I would not argue one bit. Usyk has fought the best available fighter on the road for the most part and he’s always won. He’s had a couple of close fights and not so great performances (Breidis) for example. But for the most part he comes through huge in the clutch when he has too. Usyk is a terrific fighter. Usyk’s resume is excellent but because he won the heavyweight title it seems much better than Crawford’s. It’s not. Anthony Joshua is an excellent win but is Joshua a better fighter than say Victor Postol who was undefeated when Crawford beat him. I don’t know. I’m not talking popularity. I’m talking about the in the ring fighting ability.

I think Usyk’s 5 best wins are slightly better than Crawford’s 5 best wins but not by a mile. Usyk’s 5 best wins are Joshua, Bellew, Gassiev, Briedis and Glowacki. Crawford’s 5 best wins are Porter, Brook, Postol, Gamboa and Diaz. If you look closely at both resumes and the wins that come after it’s in Usyk’s favor but I don’t think it’s overly lopsided. I also think Crawford has better wins after the top 5 with Benavidez Jr, Burns, Mean Machine etc.

I love P4P list but I think often times the masses wait too long to put certain fighters at the top. And they take too long to take certain fighters off after they have slipped. So there is always a log jam. From the 80s let's see.... Ok I will give it a try off the top of my head.

Going into 1980 I thought Roberto Duran was the world’s best fighter. He lost that title when he lost to Ray Leonard in Nov of 1980. At that point Leonard and Hearns were recognized as the best fighters in the world and Hearns was the slight favorite when they fought. Leonard won and he claimed the title. Leonard retired in 1982 so the title was up for grabs. 

Salvador Sanchez had a real claim but he died in 1982 so Marvin Hagler was the world’s best fighter and he was recognized as such. In 1987 Hagler lost to Leonard and many put Mike Tyson as the world’s best. 

I didn’t strongly disagree but that same year in 1987 Julio Cesar Chavez had his career best performance vs Edwin Rosario. Chavez was still young in his reign so no hard disagreement. Tyson was the man until he lost to Buster Douglas 

in 1990. Chavez took over the spot, he beat Meldrick Taylor one month later. But Pernell Whitaker was emerging. Whitaker won his 1st title in 1989 but if you remember he won Fighter of the Year for 1989. So Chavez was the man up until 1993 when Whitaker beat him but got a draw. I thought Whitaker was the best by 1993 however. Chavez had started to slow down slightly and Whitaker by 1993 had won titles in 3 divisions and was closer to his peak. Now here is the one. 

In 1994 Roy Jones had moved up to defeat James Toney and was on his best career arc. Whitaker was still great but by 1996 he had slowed down big time. He had struggled with Wilfredo Rivera and Diosbelys Hurtado. I thought Jones was the best fighter in the world in 1995 and I knew he was by 1996. But Whitaker was a longer reigning champion and had a better resume….

In 1997 Roy lost a controversial DQ and Oscar de La Hoya was regarded as the best fighter in the world. I loved Oscar but at no time did I think he was better than Roy Jones. 

In 2000 after Shane Mosley beat Oscar the same thing happened. Mosley was rated the #1 guy and I disagreed I thought it was Roy Jones still. Mosley had just beaten a great fighter in Oscar and Jones was having trouble finding a great opponent but my eyes told me who the best was so I disagreed again. 

In 2002 Mosley lost to Vernon Forest and Jones had his title again. Many think Jones’s reign as the P4P was uninterrupted but it wasn’t. That’s only revisionist history. Oscar and Mosley both had the mythical title during Jones’s prime. So Jones had the P4P title up until he lost to Antonio Tarver in 2004 and Bernard Hopkins briefly took it over. 

I didn’t argue hard but Floyd Mayweather had a strong case by 2004-5. After Hopkins lost to Jermaine Taylor in 2005, Floyd was the guy. From 2005-07 until his retirement I thought Mayweather was the guy, no argument. 

In 2008 I thought Manny Pacquiao deserved the claim and he got it. He was the top guy until 2012 when he lost to Juan Manuel Marquez. 

In 2012 Floyd Mayweather took his throne back but Andre Ward and Chocolatito were emerging. Floyd retired in 2015 and Andre Ward was inactive. Given the circumstances I thought Chocolatito was P4P #1. Some had GGG. 

So Choc loses in 2017 and Ward beats Kovalev in the rematch. I thought it was Ward but some had it for GGG still. There was a log jam because Ward never fought again and GGG had just got a draw with Canelo. But around this time in 2017 Vasyl Lomachenko had just pitched like 4 shutouts in a row and my eyes told me he was the best in the world. I believed that for about 2 ½ years until he had performance slump after the great performance vs Linares. 

So in around 2019 even before the 2020 loss to Teofimo Lopez I thought Crawford had surpassed Lomachenko as the world’s best fighter and Crawford’s consistence for me has kept him at the top for the last 3 years. Crawford is a rare elite fighter for any era because of his conclusive endings. Crawford does not have one controversial outcome for his fights where anyone can say they thought the other fighter won. Every single one of his victories have been a conclusive decision or conclusive ko. Nothing in between. 

Before I end my response I want to give props to Monster Inoue. While Crawford is #1 as of now. I honestly feel if the Monster was more active and/or at a bigger weight with his resume and brutal kos, he would be P4P #1. He’s also rare like Crawford because he also doesn’t have one controversial win. He’s ran through every division with equal dominance of Crawford and equal if not better ko ability. His opponents are just smaller and not as known.

Hi, Breadman!

A question has been bugging me when I see Boots Ennis. Does he have a more similar style to Roy Jones than Marvin Hagler? In the 70s, Hagler could also box from the outside. Both are switch-hitters that use unorthodox angles. Their jabs are good too. Downright killers/lights-out finishers and high volume too.

Best wishes, Luis Ventura (Philippines)

Bread’s Response: Hagler did fight off the bounce in the 70s. He was nice with it too. But I don’t view him as similar to Boots. Hagler was heavy handed and a lights out finisher but his punches were not as slashing as Ennis’s. If you look at Ennis closely, as I have I believe he’s a cross between Roy Jones and Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson. Watch him and watch a video of young Too Sharp. They both whip their body shots in. They both favor a big right hook from the southpaw stance. And the Roy comparisons are obvious. 

What's good sir?

Seems like the light-heavyweight division should thank Alvarez; it just got a lot more interesting with his comprehensive defeat. Hard cores knew about Beterbiev and Bivol, but Alvarez losing put an even greater spotlight on potential match-ups in that division. I can't front - I wasn't that interested before...I wasn't interested at all actually.  But now I'd like to see who emerges as king from these fighters: Bivol, Bertabiev, Smith, Zurdo Ramirez, Benavidez - These five guys can create marquee match-ups even without Alvarez.  I think Benavidez should move up and leave super-middleweight to Alvarez instead of waiting around, light heavyweight is where the money fights are now - agree? These are the potential legacy fights too...might be the beginning of a light-heavyweight "golden era". This is where Hall of Fame tickets get punched...thoughts?Speaking of Alvarez...if Benavidez can't get him and he moves to light-heavyweight, where do you think Alvarez  goes from here?

Personally, I believe Alvarez has a lot of titles and is a multi-division champion but has no memorable defenses or great wars on his resume, except Golovkin (I thought he lost the first and won the rematch - it was his best performance).  So...does he defend and dominate super-middle? Offer Charlo & Golovkin the money fights? Wait for fighters like Spence, Ennis and Ortiz to move up? Back to light-heavyweight to get back in the mix? Showdown with Usman?Alvarez will make money fighting anyone - Charlo & Golovkin have never fought super-middleweight before so Im not sure what they do for his legacy.  If Benavidez leaves, which fighters enhance his legacy the most?


Tucson, AZ

Bread’s Response: I don’t think this is a Golden Era at light heavyweight. The top guys haven’t fought each other enough. The era is solid but it’s not Golden. If Beterbiev beats Joe Smith in June and showdown between Beterbiev and Bivol would create a HOF worthy unified champion so that would be a step in the right direction. I don’t like to predict Golden Eras because you have to have the top guys fight each other consistently and then from that era, 2 or 3 of the top guys have to turn out to be HOF. 

For example the Golden Era of light heavyweights of the late 70s and 80s had Michael Spinks, Dwight Qawi, Matthew Saad Muhammad, Eddie Mustafa Muhammad, Marvin Johnson, Richie Kates, Victor Galindez, Yaqui Lopez, Jerry Martin, James Scott and Mike Rossman. Most of those guys found a way to fight each other. There were very few misses. Spinks, Qawi and Saad turned out to be HOF. Johnson and Muhammad deserve consideration. It’s hard to predict it just has to happen. 

Last decade we could have had a Golden era. But Chad Dawson sort of burned out too soon. Kovalev and Stevenson never fought. And we didn’t get enough big marquee match ups. By the time Bivol, Beterbiev and the Nail emerged, the marquee names were done. So the timing has to line up. 

In this era Ramirez is moving too slow since he’s moved up. Benavidez is looking for big fights at 168. Beterbiev and Bivol can have a huge unification fight but let’s see how Joe Smith performs. I won’t say this is a Golden Era just yet although I think there are some quality fights that can happen. I also feel like Joshua Bautsi will be a force. Let’s see who he fights for the title.

I believe Alvarez will fight GGG next at 168lbs. It makes sense and it’s the biggest winnable fight he can take. Alvarez has been a gambler in the past. He took on Lara less than a year after he fought Mayweather, so I can see him taking on a tough style again. But I think it makes business sense to fight GGG next and then see what the landscape is looking like.

Greetings and blessings as always Mr. Edwards,

Quick thoughts on the rematch this weekend. In the first fight I feel like Castano did a great job dictating the pace of the fight, kept up a good work rate and overall did a great job outboxing Charlo while pressing forward and getting underneath some of Charlos punches. Charlo fought like a dog in the late rounds to make up some ground but could very well have lost. Charlo in my opinion fell has gotten into a bit of a pattern going back to the Harrison rematch of trying to walk the opponent into big shots. He has become a master of “stealing on” his opponents with hard thudding punches. I think it worked with Harrison and Rosario because they are taller fighters and bigger targets. Is the best strategy for a win going back to his early days as stick and move boxer or is he a few minor adjustments away from getting a clean stoppage very interested in this 50-50 rematch. Thanks for you time.  

Jack from Detroit 

Bread’s Response: I think Charlo has to be busier with his jab. He can’t get INFATUATED with his unique ko ability because it’s a gift and a curse. The gift is he’s clutch and he lands the big shot right when he needs to. The interesting part of the gift is, he doesn’t punch often so the opponents don’t get a chance to gauge his punches. He averages less than 40 punches/round. The curse that comes with that is he often loses rounds because of his low workrate. Again Charlo has to be busier with his jab and stay off the ropes. 

Castano has to put Charlo on the ropes, go to the body more and find a way to counter Charlo’s counter. Especially Charlo’s counter hook, which is becoming his best punch. My gut tells me that Charlo clips him this time in a great fight between the 8th  and 10th. It’s something about the way he found his timing late against Castano. He should be able to build off of that. Castano was also hurt about 3 times and I feel like you have to be special to overcome being hurt that often. I know Castano is very good but I don’t know if he’s special but he will have a chance to prove it.

 I usually pick the fighter who scores points better in a fight. But my gut tells me that Jermell comes through with a clutch knockdown or ko to get the win. For Charlo it’s not about quantity. It’s about quality. He lands his money punch in literally every fight. Let’s see what happens. Legacy is on the line.

You’re very underrated as a trainer. I want to give you your flowers. There have three times when I thought your fighter would be smoked and each time they fought a style I wasn’t expecting and gave a great account of themselves. Jrock fighting Hurd on the inside was phenomenal. Then Kyrone Davis boxing and bouncing against Anthony Dirrell also shocked me. Davis won that fight but it wasn’t even supposed to be close. I was impressed that he would be even be competitive. Then recently with Zachary Ochoa vs Brandun Lee. I thought Ochoa would be knocked out inside of two rounds. I will admit that I’ve never been high on Ochoa. But not only did he go the distance but he boxed and moved well, exposed Lee and won some rounds. Three different styles, with three different fighters that no one expected to fight those styles, says plenty about you. Giving that you have had fighters execute styles the opponent wasn’t expecting, what style would you implement for Canelo to defeat Bivol in a rematch? I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

Bread’s Response: Thank you, my man. Um……I think Eddy Reynoso is a great HOF trainer and he’s more highly regarded than me. I also don’t think it was his fault Canelo lost. Canelo just lost. It happens. So I’m not going to say what gameplan I would put together for Bivol. It’s easy for me to say from the outside. Canelo may not be able to beat him regardless of gameplan.

What I will say is Canelo needs to stop being infatuated with his power. He acted like Bivol was just going to fall over once he hit him hard. Canelo is a big puncher but there is always someone who can take your punch. What I’m about to say is not a gameplan but it’s an observation. Canelo needs up his workrate. Not just his punch output but closing distance faster. Similar to say Jeff Fenech or Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. Canelo is not going to be able to throw one punch at a time, fighting at the pace he fights at and beat an out boxer like Bivol who has that type of range and pedigree. He’s not carrying him fast enough. Bivol is too comfortable with that level of pressure. It’s good calculated pressure but it’s not going to beat that type of fighter. Canelo punches hard but he doesn’t punch that hard. 

Mike Tyson and Joe Frazier were small heavyweights. When they put pressure on their opponents in their prime it was intense. When that pressure slowed down, so did their success. If Canelo is going to fight guys who can box like Bivol with that type of natural size, he has to come harder, fatigue them and not give them so much time to think. 

What up Breadman?

My take on the 175 pound fight is as follows: Canelo had no zip to his punches and Bivol took the arm shots well and used his size. But let’s be real the canelo was too small theory does not hold water. He blasted kovalev a natural 175 champ but he was on the slide. A young fresh light heavy does work and takes all Canelo’s smoke. Canelo needs more road work to me as a long time boxing fan. He focused on power only and minimized his movement against a bigger man who was working the “stick’ and moving lateral.  The book on beating Canelo is sticking to your game plan and not staying planted for him to work your body. Is the spell broken? It was broken years ago but most foes of canelo have the “Tyson” fear and lose before the opening bell. He should wipe out GGG and then re-build. Bivol  takes him to school again even at 168 and might be even fresher. The jig is up. All great fighters take losses but the true GOATS of the game bounce back with a new game plan and possible new trainer. He was not exposed just light was shown in regards to how to break the code. Break the code  with movement and speed. Speed kills. Ask Mayweather about that.

Michael Blount

Bread’s Response: I don’t think Canelo needs a new trainer. Reynoso took him to the mountain top, you guys are tough. The book on beating everyone is sticking to your gameplan. But I do agree, I think Canelo needs to be in better condition. I don’t know how much road work he does. But I saw a fatigued fighter after 5 rounds, so that’s an issue. His team will make adjustments and they will try figure it out.

I don’t agree that the jig is up. But I do think things will be really hard for Canelo from now until the his career is over. He won’t intimidate fighters the way he did before. Fighters are going to fight him harder. They will be willing to overcome his onslaughts more because they will have hope that he will fatigue. Canelo is going to have to EARN every victory from here on out. I think he can but the question is will he have the will power.

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