The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Floyd Mayweather, the drama between former champion Deontay Wilder and trainer Mark Breland, the career of Hall of Famer Robert Duran, and more.

Bread do you think it’s fair to compare Canelo from 2013 to the Canelo of today. When asked about the possible Canelo vs Plant fight, you keep bringing up the trouble that Canelo had with Floyd Mayweather. But Canelo is so much improved since then I don’t think it’s valid. I think Canelo destroys Floyd at this point and he KO's Plant within 3 rounds.

Bread’s Response: I would also favor Canelo to beat Floyd at this present moment. Floyd is 43 years old! And they would most likely fight at a higher weight. Canelo is 30! So yeah, he would most likely beat Floyd at this moment. You guys are literally psychotic to bring that up right now. You do know that people age.

As for the Canelo vs Plant fight. Why is it so offensive that I said that Plant’s style would trouble Canelo? This is so baffling to me. You guys act like I’m saying that Plant would shut Canelo out. I’m saying his style would give him trouble. What’s the big deal!? Do me a favor and ask Canelo’s trainer what he thinks of Plant. I bet he knows that Plant is a fine boxer….And here is why I bring up the Mayweather and Lara fights.

Canelo had trouble with Floyd in 2013 and Lara in 2014. I agree that he’s better now. I also agree that making 152lbs vs Floyd could have been a factor. I’m no fool, making weight was an issue for Canelo for years. That’s why I think some of the faster junior middleweights could have gave him a scrap, just like Lara did a few months later even at 155lbs. Now here is something you guys who are biased don’t realize.

A fighter can improve and still have trouble with a certain skillset or style. Let’s look at Manny Pacquiao. He fights Juan Manuel Marquez in 2004. He drops him 3x but Marquez rises and gives him hell. Manny starts to move up and is improving and then fights Marquez in 2008. He drops him again and again Marquez rises and gives him hell. Then Manny goes on his career best run from David Diaz to Joshua Clottey. Manny goes from a HOF to an ATG transcendent fighter from 2008-11. But guess what fighter and what style is sandwiched between those runs? Juan Manuel Marquez. A step back counter puncher, who punches while Manny is pressing in. So in 2011, 7 years after they first met and 4 divisions higher, Manny is thought to be improved, which he was. He’s thought to carry the higher weights better which he did. But he still has “trouble” with Marquez in 2011 and he gets kod by Marquez in 2012. And this is coming from someone who thought Manny won the 1st three fights and was on his way to winning the 4th. But he couldn’t get much separation from Marquez. Marquez was older and smaller than Manny. I think Manny is the slightly better overall fighter. But Marquez had the heart to fight through adversity with Manny. He had the foot work to step back from Manny’s fast rushes. He had the sharpness and concentration to punch with Manny. And he had the IQ to apply the proper punch selection.

So since 2014 when Canelo fought Lara. Tell me what fighter has he faced that would be considered slick with elite speed in their prime? Tell me what fighter that he has faced that can apply a stick and move style? Tell me how many fighters he has faced with elite footwork?Here is my point. The best two fighters that Canelo has faced since Lara and Floyd gave him fits were GGG and Cotto. GGG and Cotto are not fighters I consider to be fast or slick. But I do think they both have great jabs and they are elite as far as timing and pedigree. But both were well into their 30s when Canelo faced them. Despite how you may try to revise history, Cotto did well in that fight. He didn’t win but he boxed well and he didn’t get stopped. GGG did even better and most thought he won the 1st fight and was razor close in the 2nd. Both had elite jabs. So again tell me why a 6ft, slick, fast fighter in their 20s like Caleb Plant can’t give Canelo trouble right now, when we haven’t even seen Canelo overcome a fighter like him since 2014? I hope you guys will now relax with trying to dismiss fights that happened while a fighter had over 40 fights in his career and in his 20s. 

Ssup Bread,

Got a few mythical matchups for you - 1. Ike vs Foreman, 2. Ike vs Frazier, 3. Ike vs Bowe, 4. Ike vs Tyson, 5. Ike vs Holyfield, 6. Ike vs Lewis, 7. Ike vs Louis and 8. Ike vs Liston.Call me crazy but in my opinion only a prime Ali beats him for sure. I also give a good chance to Holyfield and Lewis because when required they can box like hell. Ain't nobody beating him fighting toe to toe. Of course, there is a good chance that he all raided up when he used to fight but if he was never officially caught, we have to give him a pass.

Regards, Saurabh

Bread’s Response: Sometimes early prime exits can cause us to overrate. I’m not suggesting that Biggie and Tupac were overrated but we didn’t get a chance to see how creative they could have been after a few masterpieces. I love them both by the way but we just don’t know.

For as great as Salvador Sanchez was and he was an ATG at 23. We still don’t know how he would have done moving forward past 1982. Would he have beaten Eusabio Pedraza in a unification? Would he have beaten a more experienced Azumah Nelson in a rematch? Would he have beaten a young emerging Chavez at 130 or an already ATG in Arguello at 135. These are all of the things that could have happened in just a few years within his death.Let me apologize first for being morbid and I won’t use the term die but here goes.

What if George Foreman never fights again after he beats Joe Frazier and Ken Norton? He’s 40-0 and would be the odds on favorite to beat any heavyweight in history up until that time.

What if Tommy Hearns doesn’t take the Ray Leonard fight? He stops fighting at 32-0 with 30 kos. He’s a 6’1 welterweight with crushing power, elite hand speed and a 78 in wing span. He would be viewed as unbeatable.

 What if Riddick Bowe career ends after he defended his title vs Jess Ferguson. He’s like 35-0. What if Shane Mosley never fights Vernon Forrest and retires after his fight with Antonio Diaz? I think he’s 38-0 with 35kos. And he’s a 2 division champion. He would be considered an equal to Whitaker and Leonard.

Here is why I gave so many examples. I wanted to give a large body of evidence of how not seeing a fighter’s depth in his prime can cause us all to overrate them.I think the world of Ike Ibeabuchi as a fighter. His wins over Chris Byrd and David Tua are as good as any non title wins in the heavyweight division over the last 25 years. But it’s just two fights and he was being pressed hard to win both. With is mental issues who’s to say he would have been able to keep overcoming tough nights like that. Tua was cracking him with murder shots. And Byrd was outboxing him before he caught him.I’m saying this to say that I think Ibeabuchi is competitive with anyone in history. His stamina, chin and volume power punching makes him sort of unicorn. He seemed to be a bigger version of Evander Holyfield. But we may not know enough about him over the long haul to say if he can beat the great fighters you matched him up against head to head in their primes. I wish we could have found out but I just don’t know.

The term Slick gets thrown around often and I noticed it’s usually applied to black fighters. Do you think that’s fair or accurate and who do you think are the top 10 slickest fighters in the world right now?

Bread’s Response: I often notice the same thing and I happen to be black lol. Especially when talking about a southpaw. The first thing they get called is a slick southpaw. I personally view fighters of all races to be slick. Some black fighters are slick but let’s be real, would we call James Kirkland a slick southpaw. I don’t think so. So yes often times compliments are misappropriated.

You guys love list. I don’t know if I have a top 10 slickest fighters list currently. That’s a lot of fighters. Especially when you have my definition of slick. Every great defensive fighters is not slick. Winky Wright had great defense but I don’t think he’s slick. Vitali Klitshcko also had excellent defense but he’s not a fighter I consider to be slick.

Ok here goes. Canelo is currently the SLICKEST fighter in boxing. He can do everything defensively and he doesn’t sacrifice his offense to do it. Canelo is this era’s James Toney. After Canelo, believe it or not Tyson Fury is also slick. Look at his foot feints, slipping, sliding and rolling. Fury is so big and tall that people don’t realize but that dude is very slick. Shakur Stevenson. You just can’t hit the guy cleanly. His hands, feet and eyes are in sync. Very slick fighter. Vasyl Lomachenko. Look at his footwork. Upper body movement. Ability to move in and out and still keep a high punch out put. Jaron Ennis. This kid may top the list soon but I want to see if he can get away with fighting off the ropes, with his hands down vs elite fighters first. But his reflexes and moves are off the charts. Caleb Plant is another slick guy. He has very good feet. He has good eyes. His reflexes are on point. And his head movement is good. Plant has pizzazz in his defense. Terence Crawford is also slick but in a more violent way. Crawford may not have the head movement or fancy moves the other on the list have. But he’s also very slick, he’s just more subtle about. Watch his fight with Victor Postol. Honestly I can’t think of anyone else I consider to be slick. I know some excellent boxers and some very good defensive fighters but that’s not the same as being slick. 

Bread: Of course the passing of Leon Spinks is very sad because he seemed to be a good guy.  It made me look back at his history, and that made me sad for another reason - Leon Spinks got a title shot within 2 years of winning the gold medal, with one draw in those fights.  So hard to imagine this ever happening again.  For example, Povetkin had to wait 8 years from his gold medal and go 26-0. Wilder had to wait 7 years (bronze) and go 33-0.  Joe Joyce is 35 years old and a big ticket seller and just had his first meaningful fight.  There are good reasons for all this stuff, of course.  But if Leon Spinks were a recent gold medalist with a 6-0-1 record, he’d be in boring untelevised fights and would need years of perfect performances to get close to a title shot.That brings me to my bigger question about the industry and the economics of it. 

I see a lot of modern day fighters that don’t fight very much.  And I wonder . . . how does this make sense from an economic/money perspective?  Gary Russell is my best example. I love watching that dude fight but hardly ever get to see it, and basically never see him in a fight that I’m very excited about.   Andrade is another; seems to fight the bare minimum amount and against fairly anonymous opponents.  9 times out of 10, what I hear about these dudes is not buzz about an upcoming fight, but reasons why they aren’t taking a fight or complaints about not getting a fight.   I have concern about Devin Haney doing the same thing.  Not picking on those guys but just using them as examples.On the flip side, everyone in boxing wants Canelo (57 fights at age 30) or Pac (had 57 fights at age 32) or Mayweather (39 fights at age 32) - or, at least, wants to be as rich as them.  Look at how these fighters spent their prime years.  They became famous by fighting a lot and being very good.  If they didn’t fight very much, all the skill in the world wouldn’t have mattered.  Why not do what they did?

I think that if modern guys deleted their Twitter accounts and fought 3 times a year, against anyone, it would create way more buzz and earn more money.  RJJ had 45 wins at age 32.  If Gary Russell had 45 wins with awesome knockouts getting posted on YouTube every 4 months, he’d be a huge star.  Frankly, even if your fights are boring . . . you generate more buzz and money by winning boring fights than tweeting about them.  Not a single person wanted to watch John Ruiz fight, but he just kept doing it and made millions.  Winning is the best promotion.  Can you imagine if Tiger Woods only played in the Masters?  How famous and rich would he be?  A lot less than he is now, for sure. Am I wrong about this?  And if I’m not - why doesn’t this happen?  Is it the fighter’s choice?  Is it promoters being lazy?  Is it regulators making it too hard to put on boxing matches?  Lack of TV spots? 

Help me out. Joe from GR

Bread’s Response: There is saying that goes….”Dead people receive more flowers than living people, because regret is stronger than gratitude.” I have heard Leon Spinks being the butt of many jokes. But the reality is he has a strong case for being our best amateur ever at 178lbs. He was every bit as good as Ali, Holyfield and Ward as an amateur. Spinks was a straight destroyer as an amateur. He was nothing to laugh at. And the reason he was able to fight for a 15 rounder with 8 pro fights, was because he was an ANIMAL. He was fearless. And he was one of the best INFIGHTERS the division has seen. Spinks was a shooting star and they had to let him bump early because guys like him may fizzle out if they wait around for the standard 20 fights. Spinks was ready to fight for a title and the champion was an older struggling fighter in Ali.

 Wilder was no where near as developed so they took their time with him. Povetkin was good but he wasn’t off the charts either as a prospect. I think Joe Joyce wants a title shot. He needed to get the Dubois fight and he took care of business. Look for him to run.

Most people seem to not like the inactivity of this era. I can’t explain it. I think inactivity is actually encouraged. I think it prolongs fighter’s status, reigns and years in the game. Because now it’s not really 6 months, it’s more between 6-9 months. If a fighter fights his 1st time in June, he won’t get his 2nd date in December. It will usually come around February-March. I’m very pleased that Canelo is going to fight more often. I hope these other fighters follow suit. It’s so crazy, fighters are now being brainwashed to think that 6-8 weeks is not long enough to get into shape for a fight. If their fitness level was up and their weight was within striking range, say 20lbs or less from division weight, 6 weeks is just fine for an experienced fighter. I will say that’s not enough time to do VADA but that’s not the reason they don’t want to fight. They don’t want to fight because they think they can’t get into shape. But boxing is their job. A fighter should be fit yearly. He should be in 70-75% fight shape at all times. I would be willing to bet that the shot callers upstairs love that fighters don’t want to fight more often. IT saves them money. There are fighters who are guaranteed 7 figure purses that take their time fighting. I don’t get it. The key to being making big money is to make it consistently. The longer it takes for your next income to come in, the more you will dip into your money.

What’s up bread wanna thank you for doing the mailbag I really appreciate it. I’ve put my boys on your mailbag and they’re realizing that along with boxing insight you’re also offering life insight which is important for young black men such as our selfs so s/o for being a leader. I remember you saying you think bud’s ceiling is at 154, and I saw that wbo champ Patrick Teixeira said he was interested in a Bud fight, once I saw that I started wonder what a Bud vs Jermell fight would look like ? Also this may be a question you can’t answer but if I list 4 of my favorite hiphop artist you think you could give them a boxing counterpart kinda based on their styles on and off wax and in and out the ring? Nas, 2pac, Rakim,  Dmx.

Bread’s Response: You don’t have to thank me. I actually enjoy doing it when I have time. But appreciate the kind words.

I think Bud is the best fighter in the world. So I think he would still be a great fighter if he moved to 154. He may not be as dominant but he would beat most of the best 154lber. I can’t call Bud vs Jermell right now. Jermell is a big puncher and a strong determined guy. Bud would have to be really careful messing with Jermell. I have to see more of Bud vs some of the bigger stronger welterweights first before I match him with Jermell Charlo.

Ok so let’s see Nas. I would say Andre Ward. Smooth, cerebral, does his own thing. Doesn’t try to be in the in crowd. 2 Pac. Boxing doesn’t really have a 2 Pac. Because Pac was outspoken and crazy in a good way along with being an activist. There are some crazy outspoken fighters but they aren’t activist so I don’t see a 2 Pac. Rakim would most likely be Roy Jones. Rakim may not be the greatest rapper but he’s most likely the best. That’s how I feel about prime Roy Jones. DMX would be James Toney. Very active. Says whatever he wants to whoever he wants. And can fight his ass off.

Hey Bread,

Hope this finds you well. I don't know if you already answered a topic like this but how would Oscar and Tito fair in this current WW and JMW divisions? Would they be as dominant in their era? Who would give them the most out of the current top five in WW and JMW?

Bread’s Response: Yes they would be dominant. Oscar and Tito are both ATG fighters. They would be champions in this era and most likely be the top fighters at 147 & 154. Lots of fighters would be competitive with them but being competitive and beating them are different.

At 147 I believe their toughest fights are Crawford, Spence and Ennis. At 154 I believe it’s Lubin, Charlo, Lara, Harrison, Williams and Fundora. It’s a tough comparison because there are no ATG in either division right now except Manny Pacquiao and he’s 42. I have to see more from the fighters in this era before I can say who would win or lose vs ATG fighters.

What's going on Bread? Just watched a little YouTube clip of Joe Frazier sparring Ken Norton, and it got me to thinking. If Leonard, Hagler, Hearns and Duran were the four kings of the 80s, then Ali, Frazier, Foreman and Norton were the 4 kings of the 70s. I know Norton never won a title, but I put him there on the strength of his 3 performances versus Ali. It hit me suddenly, how in the heck did Norton and Frazier never fight each other? Do you have any insight on this?2nd part is about the all-important jab. I noticed Norton was jabbing the heck out of Frazier thereby making sure Frazier would have to earn his way inside. Such an important punch but so underutilized today. I always find myself stressing jab, jab, jab when coaching. I love YouTube but wonder if all these highlight videos and social media is partly to blame for fighters wanting to mainly land big shots. Please share your insight on this and how you go about teaching the importance of the jab. Best of luck in Kyrone Davis' upcoming fight.

Simba Sana CEO

Bread’s Response: They didn’t fight because they were friends and both had relationships with Eddie Futch. The jab is the most important punch in boxing. I work on it to the head and body. On the heavy bag, pads, wall bag and double end. I work on about 6 variations of the jab. I work on how to defend it. With anything you have to repeat it over and over it.

Yes I saw that sparring session but I think Frazier was sort of “working”. I heard that Frazier used to get the better of the heated work. Norton was actually awarded the title when Leon Spinks vacated it in order to face Ali in a rematch. So Ken Norton was a heavyweight champion. And he beat the talented Jimmy Young in an eliminator to earn it.

I definitely agree the 4 kings of the 70s were Ali, Frazier, Norton and Foreman. They fought a total of 10x from 1971 to 76. And they produced 4 HOF, the two greatest fights in heavyweight history (Ali vs Frazier I &III) and the best two wins in heavyweight history Frazier vs Ali 1 & Ali vs Foreman. They actually fought more often than the 4 Kings and had just as significant fights. Great points.

Breadman, If Duran retired after the first Leonard fight, would that be a better legacy than what actually played out for the remainder of his career?Also, what if he actually won the second match against Leonard and then retired? How do we view his legacy then?Finally, how do we view RJJ’s career if he had retired after his heavyweight title win?

Thanks! Love the mailbag!

Brandon from ATL

Bread’s Response: I don’t know if Duran’s legacy would be better but it would be more sparkling. All of his career losses except one came after the 1st Leonard fight. So we would have saw Duran at his APEX and there would be NO Kirkland Lainge, No No Mas, No Hearns ko etc. But you have to remember 3 fights really helped Duran post Leonard 1. His excellent performance in a loss vs Hagler. And his wins over Davey Moore and Iran Barkley. So that’s a tough question.

If Duran wins the Leonard rematch he would have retired 72-1 and most likely considered the best or 2nd best fighter ever.

If Roy Jones retired after the Ruiz fight I would most likely consider him the best fighter ever. Or very close to it.

What do you think of Mark Breland’s response to Deontay Wilder? Do you think it should be kept private when a fighter and trainer have a fall out? Breland went really hard. Do you think Wilder is done like Breland said?

Bread’s Response: Here is my most objective point of view on this…First off I want to know when did boxing become drug dealing or bank robbing? I keep hearing the word SNITCH being thrown around in reference to Breland. This is not the streets. This is not a crime world. Although shady things go in. Boxing is a business. In business when you lose your job, they tell you why. People repeat that boxing is a business until it’s time to treat it like one.

 Deontay Wilder has every right to say publicly why he fired Mark Breland. And Mark Breland has every right to defend himself. Neither has to keep it private. Now if they chose to keep it private that would be ok also. It’s up to the individual. What a person doesn’t have a right to do is LIE or SLANDER  someone. And I have no idea on who’s lying in the Breland and Wilder debacle. I think it’s sad that it came to this. I would be embarrassed if I had to go through something this bad publicly. But again Wilder has his right to explain his performance. And Breland has a right to tell his side. Breland is a professional trainer. He doesn’t have to allow someone to destroy his credibility with accusations that he claims are false. We are in a competitive sport. Everyone in boxing is competitive. When you’re competitive you defend yourself. I expected at some point for Breland to defend himself. It’s common behavior.

I have talked to some very prominent figures in boxing off the record after their big losses. Every single one to a man has told me their perspective on why their fighter lost. Whether it be weight. Distractions. Drugs. Bad matchmaking. Choking. Injuries. I have heard every single reason. Not everyone will go on record. But everyone will talk about their version of why things went down the way they did. This is not uncommon in boxing at all. You also have to realize that every relationship in boxing is not peaches n cream.

Again I know some popular teams where as behind the scenes they may not like each other so much and the public doesn’t know it. I have seen resentment among teams because of money, envy and recognition. We are just seeing it play out with Wilder and Breland. And for the record I have no opinion on who’s telling the truth because the truth is not opinionated. The truth is a fact. It’s not subjective. It’s objective. It’s not debatable. I am attempting to be an expert in minding my business. But guess what I bet Wilder and Breland both think they are right. Pride is the consuming energy in boxing. Hopefully those fellas find peace within themselves and this situation. Peace is priceless and anything or anybody that violates or disturbs my peace I cut all ties. Now that they won’t be working together anymore maybe they will get PEACE.

I once heard you say that fighters usually leave their trainers after they get KOD. Just recently Daniel Dubois has decided to replace his trainer after being stopped. I never really noticed it before but why do you think this occurs so often after stoppage defeats?

Bread’s Response: It’s embarrassing to fighters to lose by KO or stoppage. If a fighter has to lose he would rather it be by close controversial Split Decision. He can always say he was robbed. But a KO defeat is just tough to deal with and in order for a fighter to keep his confidence, subconsciously he needs to blame someone. Managers and promoters are more secure than the trainers, so the trainer will take the blame 80% of the time.

I didn’t even know Dubois left his trainer. Oh well it’s the game. You have to be numb to stuff like that. And as a trainer you have to expect to lose your job if your fighter gets KOD. The greatest trainers in the history of the sport have had fighters who were KOD. And the greatest trainers have lost jobs here and there. Trainers just have to work really hard so their fighters don’t get stopped and compartmentalize all of the extra things that come with boxing.

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