The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the trilogy fight between Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin, a lightweight clash between Devin Haney and Gervonta Davis, Artur Beterbiev vs. Anthony Yarde, and more.

Sup Bread,

Looking back on the last few months I can’t remember a time recently where we’ve had such great fights every weekend. Is this an aberration or are we finally seeing the best fight each other? Beterbiev v Smith, Bryan v Dubois, Donaire v Inoue, Kambosos v Haney, Davis v Romero, Benavidez v. Lemieux, Charlo v Castano, Ennis v Custio, Bivol v Canelo, Stevenson v. Valdez, Fury v. Whyte, Ugas v Spence, Fundora v Lubin, GGG v Murat.

As a trainer what are some of the most important things you do right before the fight that are part of your routine that we would not see. Whether it is shadowboxing or I saw George Kambosos get a full body massage in the Haney fight or maybe you have a ritual to pump your fire up etc. 1. Can you rank these fighters for their left hooks  1)Roy Jones 2)Joe Frazier 3)Sugar Ray  Robinson  4) Oscar De La Hoya 5) Nonito Donaire 6) Mike Tyson 7) Tommy Morrison 8) Jack Dempsey 9) Tito Trinidad  10) Alexis Arguello.

Now that both are nearing the end of their promotional run who was the better promoter Bob Arum or Don King in your opinion? For me Don King early and Arum continues to promote big fights. Don King would put some of the best PPV cards ever stacked from the opening bout to the main fight.

Take Care, Aaron from Cleveland 

Bread’s Response: We are in a good time but it’s how a sport supposed to be. Can you imagine the Rams not playing the Bengals in the Super Bowl because negotiations fell out?

I like your list but it can be better. We need MJ vs Fulton. Spence vs Crawford. Beterbiev vs Bivol. Janibek vs Andrade vs Charlo. Let’s keep it going…

The night before a fight I like my guys to shake out and get their blood flowing with some quick runs. I also like them to shake out again the day of.  Nothing strenuous but you don’t want to sit and do nothing for 2 straight days. You may be resting, but you want an active rest. If you sit around too long, you will get anxiety and it will take too long to warm up in the fight. In the dressing room I don't like to get there too early. Once we get there I want to make all of the time count. From wrapping the hands. Warming up. Going over the game plan. Everything.

Tough list. Ok I’m going to judge on ability to land the hook, power, 1 punch kos scored, hardest to defend and the ability to lead and counter with it. 1) Sugar Ray Robinson 2) Roy Jones 3) Oscar de La Hoya 4) Nonito Donaire 5) Felix Trinidad 6) Joe Frazier 7) Alexis Arguello8) Mike Tyson9) Jack Dempsey10) Tommy Morrison.

I don’t know who’s the better promoter between King and Arum. I will say King had more earlier success while Arum has enjoyed more late success.

Hey Mr Edwards,

I liked the way you dealt with the question on undisputed a few mailbags ago. I could have warned the writer because I was like-minded before you opened my eyes. I think we just need to accept the fighters in their era and stop too many comparisons with fighters from other eras. For example, head to head in history, my favorite guy Thomas Hearns obliterates Jermell Charlo based on accomplishments and quality of opposition faced, as well as a little nostalgia. But based on cold reality, Jermell is so good with his money shot, I can't rule out the fact that he may, at some point, clip the Hitman. If Iran Barkely, not much of a punching threat when he faced Hearns in the first fight could clip him like he did, a fighter as clutch as Jermell could also do it. There's nothing to say Hearns doesn't starch him the way he did James Shuler either. So, these comparisons are odious. I partly agree with you on Devin Haney v Tank Davis.

Partly. I totally disagree with Tim Bradley saying Haney will run the table at 135 pounds.  For me, Tank is far better at making adjustments than Devin and that is the key to victory. But it's true, Tank can't wait around too long because Devin's jab is too busy and too accurate and the points deficit might be too much even for a fighter as talented as Tank. So Tank needs to bite the bullet and walk Devin down and pick up a lot of dents and bruises. But at some point, he will catch Devin. People read too much into Tank's failure to ko Isaac Cruz. Tank has shown he can ko anybody from 130 to 140 if he connects with his best shot. Devin is no exception.

Yes, so while Devin must be favoured over the distance, Tank could also starch him. We saw in the Jorge Linares fight that Devin's chin is not exactly a Marvin Hagler chin. Anthony Yarde-Artur Beterbiev is a good match-up. On paper.  For goodness sake, a washed up Sergey Kovalev knocked out Yarde with a jab. Beterbiev is not Kovalev. Yarde's best chance is if Beterbiev ages during the fight. Otherwise, he's going the same way as Joe Smith Jr. Lastly, what do you think of Bam Rodriguez? First, Carlos Cuadras. Very quickly, SSR. Is Jose Francisco Estrada next? If he beats Estrada and doesn't fight Chocalatito because of the friendship, has he completely taken over the baton? Or do you see him actually taking on Chocalatito? If so, how do you see that one? I think Choc and Estrada will be harder for him than Cuadras and SSR. Finally, can he move up and be a threat to the Monster? Or is it a case of too big, too strong and too much power by the Monster? MM: Bob Foster v Artur Beterbiev. Foster never lost as a light-heavyweight. His power was frightening. Does he ice Beterbiev before he gets going? Is Beterbiev's physicality too much for Foster in the late rounds?

Keep punching sir.

Katlholo

Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bread’s Response: In hypothetical match ups it’s always favoritism or nostalgia that takes place. Hearns vs Charlo would be a great fight. Jermell is a big a puncher and he’s super clutch. He has a real puncher’s chance. But in my opinion Hearns would be a 3 to 1 favorite based on Jermell’s 23 rounds vs Tony Harrison. Harrison is a Detroit fighter. With a similar set up to Hearns. But Hearns is just more dynamic. The one caveat is. Emanuel Steward trained taller fighters, always hooked wide and sweeping. Hearns and Harrison both have great hooks to the body but if you hook WITH them you can clip them because they lean over. Charlo did it in the second fight. And Leonard hurt Hearns several times by just hooking with him. Hearns would have to fight a super disciplined fight. But I think he could.

Haney vs Davis just got closer in my opinion. Over time a fighter reveals themselves. Davis can win fights more ways than Haney has displayed. But Haney has proven that it’s harder to win rounds against him. Haney has the range of welterweight and stylistically Davis would have to fight a more assertive fight. I believe as you do, Haney could win a decision and Davis could win by stoppage. This is a very close at this moment in my opinion.

I don’t count any fighter out. But I favor Beterbiev very strongly over Yarde. I just don’t think Yarde has the style or durability to deal with Beterbiev. I could be wrong but that’s just what I see.

Because of his age no one would put Bam in the top 10 P4P at this moment. But he’s definitely one of the top 5 most talented fighters in boxing along with Ennis, Monster, Shakur and Tank. Now talent is different from being the best but talent goes a long way. Bam is a super talent. His reflexes, feet, hand eye coordination are off the hook. 

As much as I love Chocolatito, at this current moment I would favor Bam over him. In fact I feel like if Choc could beat this version of Bam at 35 years old I would say Choc is a top 25 fighter ever. That’s how big of a WIN that would be. 

I also feel Bam would beat Estrada. Bam’s style would be awful for Estrada. Estrada is a technically sound counter puncher but Bam is longer, faster and much younger. I can see Bam winning every round vs Estrada. 

I think Choc has a more competitive style vs Bam. Bam is in a great spot and he will make a strong case for being the Fighter of the Decade in the 2020s. Most of his contemporaries are over 10 years older than him with plenty of wear and tear on them. That counts.

I think Bam would be a threat to the Monster right at this moment but that’s not the same as winning the fight. The Monster is special and he’s been doing it longer.  I also don’t know if Bam can take being hit by the Monster for 12 rounds. Inoue’s power is precise and ferocious and Bam uses a high guard which works for him but the Monster lands a hard liver hook and it would be a tough proposition for Bam at this moment.

You know as far as an all time comparison Foster would rate higher. But head to head I would favor Beterbiev. Foster did not like fighters who crowded his space. And Beterbiev’s physical strength would be a huge issue for Foster. For as great as Foster was he didn’t adjust to being hurt very well. He also lost because of physicality and remember Beterbiev was a heavyweight as an amateur. It would be a pick em fight but I just think Beterbiev is all wrong for Foster.

Greeting good brother Edwards,

Thank you first and foremost for the insightful and practical information you deliver without bias. I look forward to your musings about upcoming fights because they're based on experience and not feelings. But I have a question. After seeing Bam Rodriguez's win or SSR, I rewatched his fight with Cuadras. That young man has beautiful footwork. To be that young and understand how to use your feet in such an educated way was amazing to see. I began to consider fighters who had similar prowess with their feet. Ali is the only heavyweight who used his feet in such a graceful manner. The only other practitioners I can think of is Pacman and Loma as far as fighters who fluidly use their feet, (not legs) both offensively and defensively. Duran and Sweet P were great with upper body movement, ODLH and Ike Quartey and Winky Wright had great jabs, but to be able to use his feet to do two different things at the same time was something to behold. Are there any other fighters you can think of who use their feet as well as Bam does?

Thanks, Joe in Memphis

Bread’s Response: Bam does have great feet. He keeps it simple but his feet are fast, direct and he punches off of the angles he creates. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a southpaw. I think Choc has a great feet. I also believe that Shakur has great feet. Tank Davis also has great feet but because he’s a big puncher he may not get credit for them. Terence Crawford also has good feet. Monster Inoue’s feet stay under him and he’s always in the position to punch. Usyk has a great feet but he’s a heavyweight so for some reason he doesn’t get credit for them.

Hey, hope all is well by you.

I'm a big Andy Lee fan and I'm just wondering what you made of him as a boxer and do you keep an eye on him as a young trainer? I liked how he carried himself inside and outside the ring, no excuses ever even when he lost to the questionable antics of Chavez Jr. Also what do you think of Irish fighters in general? Have you trained one, come up against one?

Thanks,

Sean in Ireland 

Bread’s Response: I liked Andy Lee. He was a solid fighter who was very resilient. I also believe he’s a good trainer. A while back a colleague of mine I believe his name is Tom Moran. I may have spelled his last name wrong. But he brought over a few Irish fighters to Philly and they sparred some of our local pros. They did pretty good. They were solid fighters and some still follow me on social media.

The Irish in general are tough people. Historical deprivation breeds toughness in a culture. And the Irish have been through a lot throughout history. In boxing no one will say it out loud. But often times white fighters may not be looked at as good. I tell fighters every chance I get do not fall into that trap of thinking. There was a time when white fighters were some of the best in the world. I tell my street friends to be careful at bars. I know some Irish dudes who will knock you out!

 Barry McGuigan was as good as a pressure fighter as you could see in the mid 80s. His victory over Eusabio Predraza was real. McGuigan was almost impossible to discourage in his prime. He burned out quickly but at his peak he was every bit as good as the ATG Jeff Fenech. If I’m not mistaken Tyson Fury is of Irish decent. But I’m not sure if any elite fighters have come directly form Ireland over the last few years besides Andy Lee, Wayne McCollough, Steve Collins and Carl Frampton, my apologies if I forgot to name anyone. Michael Conlan was solid but he didn’t seem to develop at the pace he needed to, to be elite but he still has time. Overall I respect Irish fighters.

In 2014 Julian Williams head lined a card in Boston at the House of Blues vs Freddy Hernandez. We wore Green and White. And we walked out to the song “Here I go Again” in tribute to Mickey Ward who was in the crowd. It was a great night! The Promoters the Drop Kick Murphy’s did a great job.

Hey Breadman,

I hear many boxing people say Sugar Ray Robinson was the best pound for pound fighter ever & no doubt he was great but did he fight/beat guys like Sugar Ray Leonard did? I'm sure SRR beat tough guys but I'm not sure he has guys on his resume like Wilfred Benetiz (a great boxer!), a monster like Hearns or Hagler. Duran & even an unbeaten Ayub Kalule at the time Ray went up to 154 to take his WBA belt before fighting Hearns that Sept. I picture the guys SRR beat more like tough guys but I'm not sure he beat anyone like some of the better athletes Leonard did.

You also mentioned if Leonard had not retired fighting guys like Tony Ayala - had a boxing game as a kid & I had them fight. Ray won by 6th round TKO - he was just too good, accurate & fast for Tony which I could have seen happening in real life.

Bread’s Response: Sugar Ray Leonard has arguably the 4 best fighters anyone has on their resume in Benitez, Duran, Hearns and Hagler. But Sugar Ray Robinson has over 40 wins over Ring Rated top 10 fighters. That’s insane. Any analytical analysis will show Robinson was the greatest fighter ever. And then the eye ball test will also prove the analytics to be correct. Cliff Rold just did the research for the RING Magazine a few months back. Robinson like Michael Jordan passes both the eye ball and analytical test with flying colors. 

He also has HOF wins over Fritzie Zivic, Sammy Angott, Henry Armstrong, Kid Gavilan, Jake Lamotta, Carmen Basilio, Gene Fulmer, Bobo Olson, Randy Turpin and Rocky Graziano. He was winning his fight vs light heavyweight great Joey Maxim. And he has a slew of wins over some tough contenders that you only know if you’re from that era like Tommy Bell, George Costner, Tiger Chase and Jean Stock. 

I don’t like to compare their resumes because Leonard has 40 fights and Robinson has 202 fights. So I like to be fair to both. Leonard is the best fighter of my lifetime and best fighter with 40 fights or under in my opinion. But Robinson is the top dog. Leonard has quality. Robinson has quality and quantity. It’s hard to compare fighters who have such large differences in number of fights especially when they didn’t fight in the same era. The chronological age has to stated in context because of the wear and tear etc is just different.

Hello, Breadman.

The commentators spoke highly of Sparks Lee, who was the referee on the undercard of Beterbiev vs Smith. Of my three children, it’s my middle child, who is my eight year old daughter, that enjoys watching boxing with me. Seeing Sparkle Lee referee the fight was inspiring to her, because my daughter also commented that she had never seen a lady referee before. (Sparkle Lee performed all of her responsibilities with competence and expertise.)  1st Question: Have you ever heard any off the record opposition regarding women refereeing professional fights? 2nd Question: What are your thoughts on scantily clad ring girls in the ring? It appears the outfits are becoming more conservative and American broadcasts hardly show them. (Mexican broadcasts do.) I (and all of my buddies) like the ring girls, but that’s the part we don’t say out loud. If you would not comment on these questions, I understand. Thanks. 

Bread’s Response: Sparkle Lee is the truth as a referee. She’s very, very good. I haven’t had her in any of my fights that I recall but I would love to. There is a male referee from Vegas that I’ve had twice and he’s just awful. He has botched some of the biggest fights in history and I don’t understand why he keeps getting work. A referee like Sparkle Lee would be welcomed in some big fights.

1. No I’ve never heard anyone object to a referee because of their sex. Or judge for that matter. But I have heard of judges and referees being objected to because of their incompetence.

2. I don’t have an opinion on ring card girls. I don’t go to many fight cards these days. I’ve worked close to 70 professional fights as a head trainer. So unless my guys are fighting, 9 times out of 10, I won’t be there. 

Let me just say this. The women I have worked with in boxing have been great. Sylvia Owens, Brittany Rogers, Michelle Rosado, Kathy Duva, Jolene Mizzone, Kelly Swanson, Margaret Goodman and Brittany Goosen Brown have all done a great job with me directly. I haven't had much contact with actual women officials for my fights for the exception of a few times but I would welcome it.

Canelo has signed on to fight GGG. Because he’s coming off of a loss, do you think canelo will be mentally affected? How do you like GGG chances? What do you make of the feud between Canelo and Ryan Garcia? Do you think it’s a chance they meet at a catch weight?

Bread’s Response: You must be a casual fan if you’re asking me about Ryan Garcia fighting Canelo Alvarez, or you must not like Ryan Garcia very much. That’s not a fair fight for Garcia too many reasons. Canelo would seriously hurt him, you guys are insane!

 I don’t make anything of their feud in terms of who’s right or wrong. It’s their business. I do however think Ryan Garcia has to keep things in perspective from a boxing point of view. He hasn’t even fought for a title yet and Canelo is a HOF. By the time Canelo was his age he was a champion and because of Garcia’s slow progress now that’s he’s beefing with a great fighter, he’s putting pressure on himself to win BIG. But they will figure it out, I guess. Canelo is very loyal to his coach Eddy Reynoso as he should be.

Canelo didn’t look good in his last fight. I don’t know what happened with his preparation but he didn’t look in the best of shape. Maybe it was letdown fight. Maybe Bivol was all wrong for him. We will see soon enough. I personally think that unless Canelo has slipped drastically, that he’s all wrong for GGG at this moment. Canelo vs GGG reminds me of Holyfield vs Tyson and Randall vs Chavez. With Canelo being Holyfield and Randall. And GGG being Chavez Sr. and Tyson.

Although GGG is a big puncher, Canelo has success stepping to GGG. He gets off faster, he’s just as vicious and he punches better in extended combinations. So attacking the big puncher, works in this case because of things I stated and Canelo has been able to take GGGs punches.

GGG is a great fighter. But it’s odd to me that no one can see how bad he labors with his lungs in fight. No one can see that distressed look on his face when he’s going for the ko. I see it. I see it clearly. I still see it. I feel like Canelo just know he has GGG. He’s just too fast and reactive. It’s why GGG was basically reduced to a jab. That was not a coincidence. GGG only saw the jab. That’s why he didn’t feel comfortable throwing other punches. So right now I give GGG a 30% chance to win. Canelo a 70% chance to win.

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