The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennadiy Golovkin trilogy, David Benavidez and the recent win over David Lemieux, Jesse Rodriguez, Roman 'Chocolatito' Gonzalez, Jermell Charlo and more.
Since you have actually been in the opposite corner of a Benavidez fight, can you tell us some things he does that most don't talk about or some things that are underrated about his skillset? Obviously the average fan sees the pressure and volume and the variety of punches, but I am crazy to say his ability to cut off the ring puts more mental pressure than physical pressure? It just seems like every opponent of his has to work so much more harder or at least they believe they have to or they feel like they will get overwhelmed. There are instances his opponents fire off from the wrong range and end up getting countered with two or three shot combinations. I can be off here but I feel like Benavidez a lot of times is creating an illusion for his opponents and his main goal is to just put them in vulnerable positions and then he can get his shots off. I'm very curious to see him in against a skilled boxer with size. Is Morrell that guy or is he just too unproven and untested at this point? He certainly has the amateur pedigree. Also, despite Canelo having all four belts at 168 and now fighting GGG, I think he has to see Benavidez at some point to truly determine who is the best at that weight. Benavidez never lost his belts in the ring and that matters in terms of lineal or determining the best in the weight class IMO. How do you see that fight going?
Another thing, Bam Rodriguez does not get mentioned nearly enough as one of the potential P4P kings but he is about to go Cuadras/SSR in back to back fights at a weight class he had never fought at. He's only 22 years old! I love that his team trusts his abilities and are going for it now. Where does it state in boxing that a fighter has to wait until the age of 25 or 26 to fight the top guys? Hearns was 22 years old being a top 2 P4P fighter when he went up against SRL. Floyd was 23 years old when he beat Corrales in arguably the best performance of his career. This is why I laugh when people say Boots is not ready for Spence/Crawford. He is more than ready and both those guys know it!
Bread’s Response: Bam Rodriguez is the TRUTH!
It’s a ridiculous concept that fighters have to wait until their mid 20s in order to be champion. Boots is ready to challenge for a title right now, just like Errol Spence was ready in 2015 but didn’t get Kell Brook until 2017.
David Benavidez has an off beat jab. It’s very hard to deal with. I call it a PUT jab. He sort of puts it on your forehead in an off beat rhythm. He’s not known for having a great jab but it’s hard to deal with. The other thing about Benavidez is, he has no fear of getting hit. Right now that’s good thing and things may stay that way. Who knows. ….But usually at some point in a fighter’s career they feel something and they aren’t as Cavalier as far as incoming punches. Benavidez closes the space so easy because he’s so comfortable getting hit. It doesn’t bother him one bit. He has fast hands but he’s fluid. It isn’t a rigid speed that causes fighters to burn out. It’s a smooth speed that he can keep it throughout. Benavidez is a talented kid.
The fighter that can beat him the fighter who can land clean shots in the midst of his rapid fire combinations and believe it or not, tie him up afterwards. It would also help if you can hurt him enough to make him respect what’s coming back. At this point he doesn’t respect anything that’s coming back. Most guys can’t go shot for shot and punch for punch with him. But if you can break up his punches and then frustrate him when he tries to get it back you can beat him. Easier said than done by the way.
I think Benavidez vs Canelo would be a barn burner. A great action fight. Fight of the Year type of can’t miss fight. Call me crazy but the big question for me is can Canelo hurt Benavidez because Canelo is not going to use his legs and move him around the ring. So he has to be able to hurt him. I think Canelo is a terrific puncher to the head and body and he will need it vs Benavidez. If he can’t hurt David I don’t think he can keep up with Benavidez enough to win. As crazy as that sounds I think the kid is too busy for Canelo and again if Canelo can’t hurt him he’s not going to outbox a guy that tall fighting down hill because Canelo doesn’t leg box sort of speak. He boxes with his hands more so than his feet. The question comes down to that one thing for me….If Canelo tried to keep up with Benavidez’s work rate he would drown. This is an extremely taxing fight as far as fatigue for Canelo.
With strong rumors circulating that Tank Davis is leaving Mayweather Promotions, do you think that he now lose a decision to Romero? Why does a fighter of Davis’s status leave a company who seems to have done right by him? I don’t have inside information but it seems like he was their favorite fighter. How do you see the fight this weekend playing out outside of politics?
Bread’s Response: I have no idea why Davis is leaving Mayweather Promotions or if he’s really leaving. I don’t like to speculate on someone’s personal situation….Without speculation I will speak on the things I have observed.
Mayweather Promotions did a great job with him. He’s a real star. I’ve always said that he’s a cross between Zab Judah and Mike Tyson. They have really tapped into the urban east coast areas doing big fights in Brooklyn, Atlanta and Baltimore. Then they tapped into the Mexican market doing big fights on the West Coast vs Santa Cruz, Cruz and Barrios.Davis has had some solid opponents but he hasn’t had to take any 50/50 fights or “up against it” type of fights. Trust me I know when a guy is up against it and he’s never been up against it. He’s only had one fight as the underdog and in his entire career that was against Jose Pedraza and those odds were almost 50/50. Other than that he’s always been a big favorite and that means something.
On Tanks’ behalf he’s always delivered and that counts. If he didn’t win the fights that he’s won he wouldn’t be in this position. He’s delivered each and every time, usually by spectacular ko. Contracts expire for a reason. No one is entitled to be with an entity forever and vice versa.
I just hope if its true he’s making the right decision and hopefully he doesn’t have anyone in his ear that has ulterior motives. Often times in boxing you have people that create issues for the fighters then when those issues arise, the people that created them can’t fix them. He’s still a young guy with a long way to go in his career and in boxing the right business moves can be just as important as the right moves inside the ring.
I like Davis to win this fight because usually in fights with two big punchers the better technical fighter wins. GGG vs Lemuiex. McClellan vs Jackson. Hagler vs Mugabi. I also don’t know if Romero can take a punch. I’ve never seen him hit by a big shot. But I think Romero is live and here is why.
Tank Davis seems mad. Davis has the style to fight mad because he’s an offensive killer but when you’re mad you make mistakes if you don’t score the early ko. You also need your 2nd wind sooner because being upset makes your blood flow out of whack.
I’ve also seen unorthodox heavy handed fighters like Rollie give better technical fighters hell. Sakio Bika gave Andre Ward and Joe Calzaghe hell. Marcos Maidana gave Floyd Mayweather hell. Ricardo Mayorga is the reason why Vernon Forest is not in the HOF. In all of those fights the awkward fighter wasn’t hurt. If Tank can’t hurt Rollie he’s going to have trouble. He has to be able to hurt him.
I also see Rollie and his coach working on a LEFT HOOK to the head and body. If Tank fights overly aggressive the left hook is the shot they don’t see. See Nonito Donaire vs Vic Darchynian. Southpaws also lead with their liver, so the body hook is on point.
As I type I keep thinking that I haven’t seen Rollie hit with a big shot. He seems easy to hit but his reflexes must be good because he doesn’t get beat on. He doesn’t take a lot of punishment.
I can’t pick against Davis at this point. I think he’s one the 10-12 best fighters in the world. But I think Romero will give a really good account of himself if he doesn’t get clipped early.
Canelo vs GGG 3 was announced and I feel like it's "no bueno" for GGG. He labored hard in that Murata fight and if Murata didn't let him off the hook (partly because of the damage inflicted by GGG), then GGG could have been finished. At the same time, I think you said a while back, all of Canelo's fights will be tougher. He won't be fighting downhill. It's going to feel more even or uphill now. This might be beat case scenario for Golovkin. He may have an invigorated spirit going into this fight. The judges CAN (sort of) get it right.
While I think that Canelo stopping him is like 60% likely, I also find myself wondering what GGG can do differently to find a way. My question for you: What was "usable" for GGG after watching the Bivol fight? What can GGG practically include in his preparation and execution for this rubber match? I think he needs to lean on that jab more than ever and poke poke poke and know when to step back. I think he needs to watch that lull between his 1st and second wind. That's where the KO happens. He won't get one timed. He'll get eroded slowly and I bet it starts around round 4. It's kind of like this poem: "Crumbling is not an instant's Act" by Emily Dickenson, Crumbling is not an instant’s Act, A fundamental pause, Dilapidation’s processes, Are organized Decays. ‘Tis first a Cobweb on the Soul, A Cuticle of Dust, A Borer in the Axis, An Elemental Rust —Ruin is formal — Devil’s work, Consecutive and slow —Fail in an instant, no man did. Slipping — is Crash’s law. I think this captures GGG's decline since Kell Brook till now, but also, his slow toppling which may take place in the rubber match. People might say this is good timing for GGG, but I actually think this fight is perfect timing for Canelo.
I'm curious about your thoughts now that it is official (perhaps you've ruminated more deeply now that a date is set).
Bread’s Response: Awesome poem! I posted this comment because of it.
I think GGG loses the trilogy fight but I think his heart, determination and chin can NOT be underestimated. He’s a SAVAGE dog that does not stop trying to win. Because of his kos and seemingly invincible durability the public underestimates his heart. I don’t. He’s that dude. I saw that they are already in the VADA program. That’s great news and it benefits GGG. That means they will test for 4 months going into this fight……
I think Jonathan Banks is an excellent trainer and he has to figure out 2 things. 1. Is how can GGG land more than a jab vs Canelo. For some reason GGG’s other big shots don’t really come off vs Canelo, especially to the body 2. How can GGG not get so fatigued. I don’t believe he lacks conditioning. I’ve seen him train. It’s something else. If they figure it out GGG can win. But my guy is 40. The great HOF has aged cleanly and gracefully. I don’t expect him to win this fight but I hope I’m wrong!
Hey Mr. Bread, hope you and yours are doing well.
I was watching the fight between chocolatito and El Rey, that was a good beat down IMO not a war. But would you say chocolatito has one of the most underrated defense in boxing, am not saying he's sweet pea, but his defense is weirdly sturdy. Both in some of his previous fights and in the El Rey fight, most of the punches were landing on his gloves, on his shoulder, the ones that touched his face were mostly deflected or the sting was taken off from his glove or shoulder. You look at the punch stat of his opponents and it seems like they actually landed a lot but watching the fight closely, they weren't clean shot. I guess my question is, do you think his defense is underrated? Is there someone in the past you can draw similarities from?
Do you think his defense is overlooked because he throws a lot and sometimes his opponent (esp El rey) throws a flurry that seems like it landed as the crowd screams a little? This dude is an offense machine and has been able to weaponize his offense where he does subtle things in between his shots to maintain some defensive integrity, he has one hand on his opponent and one hand back at home to protect him, he take subtle steps to move out of certain punches, sometimes he is too close inside where you can't do much, little head movements at important times to dodge punches, his ability to time and throw in between his opponents punches and momentarily halting their offense, again nothing really slick. But another part of his defense which might be overlooked which I have seen in majority of his fight is his ability to discourage his opponents from throwing back, I saw El Ray's punch output dwindle, El Gallo ( which I thought he won the rematch btw) slowly declined his punch output and was worn out IMO, Same with Yafai, Srisskaet was probably the only dude that did not break down as much and his punches were hard. All that to say this, I think this should be counted in his defense and this help fire up his offense. I also think his body punching is a huge part of this and his opponent spend more time defending their body than throwing and eventually try to survive punches from everywhere. Who would you like to see him fight next? Do you think she should be kept away from Ssriskaet?
MM (Prime for Prime): If all were in same weight class, Chocolatito vs Ceaser Chavez, Chocolatito vs Donaire, Chocolatito Vs Shakur (am curious how you think he should approach a slick guy like this).
Thank you, Have a good one.
Bread’s Response: I was just asked about great defensive fighters who are also great offensive fighters and I forgot my guy. Choc has some D. He catches, slips and rolls. He’s smooth and calm. His stance is not text book because his head is over his front knee but it works for him. His D is in the same ball park as Duran’s and Chavez’s but I think theirs is slightly better. Choc is one of the top 10 fighters of the last 2 decades. He’s an ATG smaller weight fighter.
Good evening Bread I hope this finds you good.
I was interested in your comments on Jermell beginning to score a lot of stoppage wins in the prime of his career, after not scoring many when he was coming up. I don't know if this will affect Jermell, but finding KO power isn't always a positive thing for a boxer. I can give you 3 examples of guys who were VERY good boxers, found they had KO power & thereafter went 'power-crazed' & neglected the skills that got them where they were. Lloyd Honeyghan was a beautiful boxer. I can understand why he went out 'all guns blazing' against a guy with the skills of Don Curry. He knew however skilled he was Curry was better, so he had to turn it into a war, but he never was able to go back to his boxing technique in his fights after that. Edwin Rosario was the guy that had everything, defense, footwork, jab, as well as a vicious RH. After he beat Livingstone Bramble he seemed to become the guy that brought RH power & just neglected all the other things. Prince Naseem Hamed won the European championship at 18 & his vastly experienced opponent couldn't lay a glove on him. He was super-human that fight. Naz loved sparring & he didn't mind hitting bags but he always hated running. Once he found he had KO power, that was that, he just wouldn't do stamina training, figuring he could always get the other guy out early.
By contrast, I really admire Tommy Hearns. He had inhuman one-punch power, which he demonstrated over again, but he never stopped working on his skills. Hence why, with a broken hand, he could outbox Wilfredo Benitez, one of the best boxers of all time, to retain his title.
Bread’s Response: I agree with you. But Jermell actually looks for his kos. He just has a clutch gene where he still finds them. He’s a unique case but if you watch his previous fights vs John Jackson and Tony Harrison he actually looked for kos and got them. In Jermell’s fight vs Brian Castano was the 1st time where he actually boxed his way to a ko.
I have noticed that sometimes you mention that volume punching pressure fighting is the hardest style to beat till the boxer is in his prime and other times I have seen you say that an defensive outfighter with great legs and ability to punch on the fly is the most difficult to beat. If you have to pick one of the two, which one will it be (considering we are talking about fighters at their apex), a volume punching pressure fighter who can punch on the fly like Pryor and Armstrong or an outfighter who can punch on the fly like Mayweather and Whitaker?
Bread’s Response: I apologize if my comments are confusing. Let me clarify.
An elite level volume puncher who has an iron chin is very tough to beat in their primes because you can’t discourage them. You can’t outwork them. And they throw too many punches. Some of the best wins in history come from elite level volume punchers. Rarely do you see them in their absolute prime get cleanly outboxed. Usually you have to stop them to beat them.
Aaron Pryor stopped Alexis Arguello from being boxing’s first 4 division champion.
Henry Armstrong defeated Barney Ross in a fight that basically decided who was the world’s best fighter.
Roberto Duran defeated an undefeated favorite on Ray Leonard in what was the best win of the 80s.
Joe Frazier defeated an undefeated Muhammad Ali in what was the best win of the 70s.
Julio Cesar Chavez defeated Edwin Rosario in what may have been the best performance of the 80s.
Armstrong, Pryor, Frazier, Duran and Chavez are all elite level volume punchers who were able to take the punches of their opponents. But the caveat that comes with the style is it’s hard to maintain because of the shape and intensity you need to employ it. They burn out quicker. So it's the hardest style to be great at also because of the level of conditioning you need and how short the peak usually is.
The defensive outfighter who punches on the fly is also very hard to beat. Most fighters can’t punch on the fly. They have to stop and punch then move again. The outfighter's style last longer than the volume puncher. No one wants to deal with an elite stick and mover.
Your question is tough because of the Rock , Paper, Scissors of boxing. You forgot I always add this. The out fighter and mover has trouble with the volume fighter. Ali "outfighter" vs Frazier "pressure fighter" is a great example. Frazier gave Ali way more trouble than he gave Foreman "puncher". Because the pressure has a hard time dealing with the monstrous puncher. He walks into his wheel house. Duran "Pressure fighter" vs Hearns "puncher" is another example as is Frazier vs Foreman.
Willie Pep "out fighter" had fits with Sandy Saddler "pressure fighter" because Saddler is an elite level pressure fighter. As Pep is moving, Saddler is moving with him and punching at the same time. But big punchers like Sonny Liston don’t give Ali as much trouble.
Danny Lopez "Puncher" didn’t give Sal Sanchez "out fighter" any trouble. So the out fighter can usually beat the puncher. Where as the puncher can usually beat the pressure fighter. Where as the pressure fighter can usually beat the boxer. Hence you have Rock, Paper, Scissors of boxing.
I wanted to comment on the David Benavidez v David Lemieux fight this past weekend. First I will state the obvious that Benavidez is a beast. What surprised me was how even when he had an advantage he was always defensively responsible and continue to do the jab and parry because Lemieux was live until the end.
Every reader here understands on a basic level what the job does for fighter but can you explain as a trainer everything the jab does that as fans we might not understand It is always regarded as the most important punch in boxing but what are the nuances of the jab? David Lemieux wins the award for me for biggest heart. He was getting clobbered but never stop trying even when he was hurt badly. Big ups to you and Kyrone Davis for performing considerably better vs Benavidez. In retrospect, his stock goes up especially with the short notice. Who do you think ultimately will face Benavidez amongst the champions in and around his division. No one will be rushing toward him after this bout and he sounds grounded and confident and most importantly hungry.
Aaron from Cleveland
Bread’s Response: A jab is the closest thing to the opponent. So therefore it’s usually the easiest to land. It scores the easiest points. It sets up the other punches. It breaks up the rhythm of your opponents. And because it doesn’t take maximum power to throw. It’s a punch that can be thrown when a fighter is fatigued. Benavidez seems to be improving and his jab is underrated. He has a very good jab. It seems as though David Morrell is chasing a fight with Benavidez. There is always someone who is willing to fight you. Benavidez now has a guy who's chasing him. Let's see if they fight. I don’t quite yet know how good Morrell is, but I can tell he’s extremely talented.
Quick question: Who do you personally consider to be the "Mount Rushmore" of 147 ponds? Thanks. Bread’s Response: Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Leonard, Henry Armstrong and Tommy Hearns. Hearns is up for debate in the 4th spot because he didn't have a long reign and only had 3 title defenses. There are lots of fighters who have a claim to that spot. Emille Griffith, Mickey Walker, Felix Trinidad, Floyd Mayweather, Manny Pacquiao, Jose Napoles, Oscar De La hoya and Kid Gavilan. But I just feel like head to head Hearns is the toughest out on his best night.
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