The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Canelo Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant, the future of former heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder, Manny Pacquiao's best weight, and more.
I would like to ask your opinion on where Deontay Wilder’s all-time ranking could potentially go from here?
I was thinking that, if Tyson Fury ends up being regarded as one of the great heavyweights, and, say, beats Joshua or Usyk to unify the belts and then retires undefeated, Wilder will have been the only one to put any kind of blemish on his record (the draw). If Fury retires in the relatively near future (something he has hinted at), and Wilder is able to also pick up the title belts and unify after that, how high could he potentially be ranked all time given his many title defenses?
I’m wondering if history may regard Fury the way we regard Mayweather, and Wilder the way we regard Pacquiao — in other words, Fury as the better one head to head and the best heavyweight of his generation, and Wilder as second to him in overall skill, but with perhaps a better career in some regards, due to the number of title defenses (like Pacquiao’s many weight classes conquered).With all that said, I know that Usyk is very skilled himself and a bit of a wild-card in the conversation. Joshua also has an excellent resume, but seems to have weaknesses that keep him from (in my opinion) the level of Fury and Wilder.
Finally, what must Tyson Fury still accomplish before retirement in order to be considered an ATG and rightful member of the heavyweight pantheon, worthy of mention in the same breath as Ali, Foreman, Johnson, Dempsey, Frazier, Lewis, and the like? Or is that something out of his reach?
Mythical Matchups: Tyson Fury v. Lennox Lewis, Salvador Sanchez v. Shakur Stevenson, Gerald McClellan v. James Toney, Oleksandr Gvozdyk v. Joe Calzaghe.
Thanks and have a great day, Jonathan
Bread’s Response: I don’t like judging a fighter until his career is over. A wise HOF boxing man, scolds me about that all the time and he’s right. But I will tell you what I think Fury has to do, to be considered an ATG. The best heavyweight in every era is always a HOF. Most times the 2nd and 3rd best is also. So Fury will at least be a HOF. Beating Klitshko and Wilder insures HOF status. If he beats Usyk, Joshua and maybe one of the ascending heavyweights like Yoka, Dubois or Joyce then he’s an ATG. 4 more big wins and he’s among the immortals.
Head to head he’s already really high but a few more big wins and he has ATG status. Your era is your era. He’s probably the best if his era right now. But he has to clean it out in order to be an ATG. He’s only fought 2 top 5 guys so far. I think he can do it but he has to do it. You can't give him credit for doing something he hasn't done if the fights are available.
Your hypothetical matchups are with current fighters and I don’t like that. Shakur Stevenson is too young for us to compare him to Sal Sanchez who was an ATG by the same age. The eras are different. I will answer Toney vs McClellan. I think it would look like Fury vs Wilder with Toney being Fury. Not in terms of styles but in terms of temperament. Toney is too calm and too mean, to be steam rolled. McClellan would land his share. He may even buzz or drop Toney but over 12 rounds, Gerald was too emotional and Toney would slowly wear him out. Toney would be the puncher because he would ultimately be the better catcher in a great, brutal fight. There is footage of them sparring on youtube. Must see tv. You will see what I mean. They are equal in skill but not equal in terms of temperament.
What's up Bread,
I love how you preach that the puncher in a fight is the fighter that takes their opponents punches better So, after three exciting fights, is Fury the puncher in the trilogy with Wilder?
Do you expect a long, unexpected layoff for Teofimo will hurt him this fight? Do you expect Bob to hold a grudge?
Lastly, Max Kellerman was very honest in his assessment of Berlanga. What did you think? Does he have championship potential or is he reaching his ceiling?
Thanks Bread. -Marcus
Bread’s Response: Fury is the puncher. He takes Wilder’s punches a little better than Wilder takes his.
I don’t know how Lopez will look. Everyone responds different to a layoff. But I know it doesn’t help to be off a year in your prime after a career defining win. I expect Arum to be who he is. He’s like 90. Playing with house money. He says exactly what he wants to say, to whoever. I expect him to be Bob Arum. Team Lopez made a huge mistake looking back.
I didn’t hear what Kellerman said but I respect his opinion. Sure Berlanga can be champion but it would depend on who the champion is at the time he’s ready to fight for the title. Big punchers are usually slightly overrated. Even the great ones. Berlanga has been marketed and matched well by Top Rank. It’s not their fault he struggled. He has excellent trainers in Andre Rozier and Gary Starks. He has the resources and the team. He has the ladies from Perfecting Athletes to help him make weight. It comes down to him.
I notice he has a huge entourage and he hangs out with celebrities. You would think he’s already a P4P star and great fighter. Sometimes young fighters think they are better than they are. It’s common and it’s not a knock on Berlanga. He’s young and he doesn’t know any better. I would suggest work on his craft. Work on his stamina. Work on his ring generalship. Work on his defense. And not be so caught up in the celebrity lifestyle because if he loses before he reaches a title it will be hard to overcome because of the criticism.
The boxing ring is a truth machine. It tells the truth every time you step in it, even if you don’t know want to know the truth. Berlanga is a talented kid but he needs work. More work than he probably thought he needed. He also will now realize how his team was taking care of him and he’s not ready for a guys like Canelo, Benavidez or Plant. And it’s nothing wrong with that. He’s just not ready but it doesn’t mean he won’t ever be ready.
I’m not going to kick the kid while he’s probably down on himself. He just has to get better and be more humble about where his place is, currently. He still has a future. But it will depend on his will, determination and ability to learn. I hope he doesn’t leave his trainers. If he does that it will cost him valuable developmental time.
Good morning, I wanted to tell you how informative with true boxing insight your article and writing gives the true knowledgeable fans. I know they are levels of knowledge with civilians and boxing lifers alike. My question is who are some of your favorite trainers through ought history that you have studied and based some of your training philosophy after adding your own modifications and nuances of course. If you can please talk about some of your favorites their techniques taught that separated them made them famous and spawned other trainers under them followed their techniques. Thanks again all of your knowledge is much appreciated always thanks again
Bread’s Response: My favorite trainers all time are Emanuel Steward, Cus D’mato, Virgil Hunter and Angelo Dundee.
I love Steward because of his boxing eyes, pad work, temperament, knowledge and application. Steward was one of the very first trainers to do real pad work. Sometimes just hitting the bag or double end bag does not get a fighter in proper shape because fighters get lazy on there. Steward did real rhythmic pad work. Steward also knew about walk out music and what type of trunks a fighter should wear and what different colors represented. For example with Aaron Pryor if you look at his 2 fights with Arguello, Pryor wore black trunks in the 1st fight. It may not be right, but black often times represents the villain and in Pryor’s case of the water bottle, many thought he was the villain. So if you look at the rematch Pryor had on white. Steward used to cook for his fighters. He knew how watermelon was great for recovery. He made his fighters run together to compete and push their heart rates. Steward also knew what styles were good for his guys. I learned so much having a long conversation with him. He was very detailed and he influenced me a lot. I have actually did all of the things I named that Steward did for his fighters. They all work!
Angelo Dundee is not regarded as a better trainer than Steward or Eddie Futch. But Dundee has some of the best wins in boxing history. Leonard over Duran, Beneitez, Hearns and Hagler. Ali over Liston, Foreman, Frazier and Patterson. Basilio over Robinson. Dundee was very sharp and he knew his limitations. He also knew how to motivate a guy in the corner. He had a way about him.
Cus D’mato may be the brightest trainer in the history of boxing. His knowledge is unparalleled. I hate that his treatment of Mike Tyson is made out to be self serving. D’mato had dozens of boys who lived in his house throughout the years and he’s been slighted because he produced an ATG heavyweight. He should be celebrated and revered as Tyson does him. Tyson knows what Cus did for him. Cus D’mato once said that the only difference between a hero and coward is what the hero does and what the coward doesn’t do. D’mato had character and integrity. He never submitted to the mob. Anytime he talks I listen.
Virgil Hunter produced Andre Ward. Ward was built with knowledge, fundamentals and conditioning. Many try to detract from Hunter because Ward was his best fighter and only world champion. But there is a reason fighters flock to his Bay Area gym. Hunter reached out to me 11 years ago, to befriend me and tell me I was doing a good job. Not one trainer in my home city of Philadelphia, befriended me at that time. It only became cool to be a part of what I was doing, when Julian “Jrock” Williams was ascending through the ranks. Hunter was my guy long before that time.
This is not the time for one trainer to produce a dozen world champions and those stats often get misdirected. The stat will show, how many world champions a trainer has worked with. But the correct stat should be how many world champions did the trainer produce and how many he was in the corner for, when they won their world title.
Andre Ward is special and he has natural born talent. There is no doubt. But Hunter has help build Ward through technical ability to go along with the talent. Not through Ward just improvising and freelancing. Building off of technical ability takes years and years of drilling and Hunter deserves lots of credit for that. Hunter gives great in round instructions. He also can see flaws in other fighters and build game plans. He has constructed an environment in the Bay that is conducive to boxing. Hunter is the real deal.
Some of Hunter’s best performances have been losses which go overlooked. Watch Angulo vs Lara. Angulo was with Lara every step of the way and Lara is the much more talented man. Mario Barrios just performed on even terms with tank Davis until he was hurt late. In these fights Hunter has the less talented fighter, yet his guy performs. Wins and losses obviously count but performances should also. I think Hunter is going to shut a lot of his critics up. Joshua Bautsi, Tony Yoka or Mario Barrios will win a world title. I really believe that.
We just witnessed another upset this weekend and no surprise, it happened to a skilled fighter in his 30s that was inactive. We have seen Tony Harrison possibly get a fortunate draw vs Perrella, we have seen JRock upset by Hernandez and now just saw Mikey get upset by Martin. All three A-siders were big favorites but did not have their best. This pandemic has really hurt fighters in their 30s. As a trainer/manager, how would you go about this in the future if you have a fighter that has been inactive? Do you change their training regimen or get them back with even a bigger mismatch so they won't be upset? When you are a skilled, technical fighter like all three I mentioned, you need to have your timing right and if it is a tad bit off, you can be upset.
If I have a B-side fighter I was managing, I would be willing to take short money to get a shot at one of these inactive fighters knowing there is a good chance we can pull off the upset. Get the upset win and then you have a few more guaranteed good paydays in the future. So it seems like Joshua has been going gym to gym in America looking for a new trainer or at least looking to get additional voice in his corner while training in America. You may disagree, but I think the biggest fault of Joshua is that you can break him and have him questioning himself. People point to him fighting the wrong fight vs Usyk, but you can't tell me from rounds 4-8, he was not out boxing Usyk and doing a lot of high level stuff in there. The issue was when Usyk turned it up a notch, Joshua lost his confidence and let go of the rope. So what he needs the most is a trainer that will keep his confidence high and will give him the right motivational talks in between rounds. To me, the trainer that would be great for Joshua is Virgil Hunter. Even in a losing effort vs Davis, I thought he did a great job with Barrios and always had him believing even when the going got tough. Joshua with Hunter can beat Usyk even if he fights a similar style to the first fight. Agreed?
Bread’s Response: The inactivity, covid and overall landscape have really screwed things up. Everyone says just stay in the gym. It’s correct but it’s not so easy when you don’t have a fight in sight. The key is making training fun. When a fighter approaches the gym like a job and he doesn’t have youthful enthusiasm anymore that’s when the layoffs effect him the most. If you notice Gary Russell is also inactive but he doesn’t show much ring rust. Well he has younger brothers who train with him. Youthful enthusiasm keeps you sharp and it gets the most out of the workouts. Other than that, a fighter has to be a fighter and overcome these weird times. No one will feel sorry for them. No one cares. “They” only care about the results. My advice, Stay in the gym. Get a program down and have fun. Then when you get the call, rise to the occasion and break the trend.
I also believe that Virgil Hunter would be a great fit for Joshua. But it’s not what we believe it’s what Joshua believes. Joshua is a great talent but I actually agree with you but I phrase it a different way. He’s not stubborn enough in the face of defeat. He submits to the will of defeat. He was able to push through the brink of defeat vs Klitschko and he has not shown that resistance again. Being dog tired, hurt and unsure is all a part of it but Joshua does not EMBRACE that.
Speaking of Hunter. Watch Andre Ward’s performances vs Darnell Boone, Kenny Kost and Sergey Kovalev 1. Ward refuses to lose. He’s one of the most stubborn fighters in recent history. I don’t know if Hunter can give Joshua what Ward has. But they can talk about it and discuss it. Being mean and stubborn=2 more rounds of fight. Joshua’s biggest issues are in his head. He’s the real deal if he figures that out.
Quick one at the buzzer here. How possible is it that Pacquiao's most destructive weight was 140? If so, how crazy is it that he only ever had one fight at the weight. Any other fighters come to mind that had limited campaigns at their optimal weight class?
Adam Whitby, Canada
Bread’s Response: It’s possible. Pac looked great at 135 and 140. He was only at 135 for one fight also vs David Diaz. I just think 2008-11 he was at his APEX. His mind and physical abilities lined up. There are welterweights who would be too big for him during that time historically. But there aren’t 5 men in history who fought at 135-140, who could’ve beaten the 2008-11 Pacman. He was that good.
Oscar’s peak was probably at 140. He was only there for 3 fights. Tito 154. Only 3 fights. Roy Jones 168. He was only there for 2 years. Lot’s of fighters have done that. I have a big one for you.
Sugar Ray Robinson turned pro at lightweight. He beat Sammy Angott who was the reigning lightweight champion. Angott is a top 10-20 ever lightweight in history. And Robinson handled him 3x in non title fights. Robinson fought roughly his first 20 fights at lightweight. If he turned pro in this era, he would have been a lightweight champion and his accomplishments would be INSANE.
Breakdown the Herring vs Stevenson matchup? What are the keys to victory?
Bread’s Response: I like both Herring and Stevenson. I love the way Herring has changed his career around. He had two losses as a prospect and was stopped once. He found himself with Top Rank and has really turned himself around. Props to him. Shakur Stevenson has top 5 P4P talent. He’s that good. He’s like a fencer. His feet disrupt your thoughts before you can step in and hit him. He’s one of the top 5-7 most talented fighters in the world. Stylistically he’s a nightmare for Herring.
Both guys have great teams. I know Herring’s coaches and they work great by committee. Bo Mac and Red Spikes and the crew will exhaust all of their resources to get Herring ready. Shakur Stevenson also has a good team. Kay Koroma was a top coach long before he became well known. I remember he had Antione Douglas many years ago, when Douglas was a fast rising good prospect. Stevenson also has Ed Jackson who is one of the best S&C around. I don’t know his grandfather but I assume he’s the real deal also or else Stevenson wouldn’t be here. I always look at the teams in match ups.
There is no doubt that Stevenson is more talented. But that doesn’t mean he will win. Game plan execution counts. Character also counts. Jamel Herring is a nice guy. But he has to realize he’s not running for OFFICE. He’s a fighter. He doesn’t have to be nice anymore. He doesn’t have to take the high road in a fight. He can hit Stevenson low. He can rough house him. He can be MEAN. I’m not saying I don’t like the nice guy persona. I like fighters to be who they are. If he’s nice, then be nice. But in a boxing ring, being a killer is way more influential than being nice. Andre Ward has always been nice to me. He’s the most respectable young man I’ve been around. I’ve never heard him curse. But in a boxing ring, he’s not a nice man. Jamel Herring has to be mean to Shakur Stevenson. He has to hit Shakur anywhere he can hit him. He has to punch INTO him. He can’t worry about being countered or embarrassed. He can’t worry about losing rounds. He has to have his mind made up. Did you see how Marvin Hagler fought Tommy Hearns? He didn’t play with him? Did you see how Abner Mares fought Anselmo Moreno?
Herring will have to be better than we ever saw him. He’s going to have to be a vicious man. He’s going to have to make Stevenson feel things that he’s never felt before. Stevenson does not exchange. He steps back. He makes you miss. And he punishes you. Herring has to force him into brutal exchanges. He has to take him into a dark place. A fight has to break out in this boxing match. Stevenson has to be himself. He has to make Herring miss. He has to be fast and sharp. And if it turns into a dog fight, he has to be the dog he says he is.
I lean Stevenson because of his talent and my eyeballs. But I don’t count Herring out because he’s quiet. He may be sitting on something. He’s been ridiculed. He’s been bullied. He’s been mocked. He may fight with a different type of intensity. He may be a man possessed. I don’t know but I want to see. I’m looking forward to this fight!
I’m gonna come right to it: What did you make of Mikey Garcia’s loss to Sandor Martin? I saw someone compare it to Duran’s loss to Kirkland Lainge… accurate? What do you think of Mikey Garcia overall? In so many ways, I think of him as another boxing “what if”… a guy who didn’t become what he could’ve been. I mean the guy is a four weight champ, and yet I can’t bring myself to think of him as an ATG. I have to argue with myself over whether he’s a HOF. I know that might be harsh, so feel free to set me straight if you think I’m in the wrong. Is he either HOF or ATG?I also find it hard to believe that three years ago, the fight to be made was Garcia vs Lomachenko… and now Mikey isn’t really relevant enough for folks to care. What happened? If that fight happened, who do you think wins?What are your thoughts on Mikey Garcia and his career?
Bread’s Response: I was very high on Mikey Garcia a few years ago. I thought he had the best 1-2 combination in boxing. I loved his punch sequence and delivery. But I think often times fighters embrace the business side a little too much and they don’t consider legacy enough. I also think they go business TOO EARLY. Garcia was on pace to be an ATG fighter. He is a legit 4 division champion. Not interim of fake titles. But real titles. But I can just tell the matchmaking changed.
People point to his layoff for 2 years in his dispute with Top Rank. But he rebounded from that. He came back and iced Dejan Zlaticanin. That was a real win. He then beats Adrien Broner, Sergey Lipinets for his 4th title and Robert Easter in a unification at 135. At that time he would have been 50/50 with Loma in maybe the biggest lightweight fight in history. He instead goes after Errol Spence who was way too long and didn’t win one round in my opinion. I thought he was daring to be great. But many critics thought it was easier to lose to the bigger Spence, than the smaller Loma in a more fair fight. They said it would be easier on his ego…..
I didn’t buy that and I thought they were being unfair to him. But after he loses to Spence in a division that seems too big. He takes off a year and he keeps fighting as a welterweight. He just doesn’t seem to have the frame for the division. I think he could have really made legacy at from 135-140. When you see all of the smoke that has emerged in those divisions, I feel like he could have established ATG status had he fought there. I don’t know if he struggles to make weight but he has loose flesh at 140 and 147. It’s just a curious move in my opinion for such a great fighter. I believe his legacy will be affected by his decisions. Because the longer you stay away from making a certain weight, the harder it becomes. I believe Garcia is now 33. He may not be able to make 135 or 140 in a healthy way.
I love watching him fight, and I would have loved to see him fight Loma, Lopez, Haney, Garcia, Taylor, Prograis and Davis. I don’t know if we will see the fights or not but he could have been the man to beat in those divisions had he not left to fight Spence. Again I’m not criticizing him for daring to be great but it was so much food on the table in the divisions he was already in. He never went back and cleared up the smoke.
I think as fighters get older and become inactive, they have more bad nights. They ALL do. It doesn’t matter who you name. Garcia was just OFF. His biorhythms were just OFF. When that happens it’s really nothing you can do. He was professional. He kept trying. He just couldn’t get his usual work going. He may knock that Martin out if they fight again but on that night he couldn’t put the right shots together. It’s just boxing.
Again, I like watching Garcia fight. I love how he delivers his shots. It would be great to see him fight big fights with opponents close to his size, so he can salvage legacy. He’s probably a HOF. Not 1st ballot but most likely a HOF. But I just feel like he could be greater had he decided to clean out the divisions he was in. Let’s see how his career plays out. I’m looking forward because again, I love technical power punchers. And he’s one of the true technical power punchers of this era. He has some Alexis Arguello and Wilfredo Gomez in his game. We just need to see him vs the best at 135 and 140. I think fighters move up too fast in this era and it seems to have cost Garcia some legacy points.
Hello Breadman ,
Usyk fought a great fight against Joshua and nearly stopped him at the end . Pound for pound is very popular . I dont hear Usyks name mentioned . With the complete shut out of Gassiev in the WBSS for undisputed unified CW. Now he fights a near perfect fight against Joshua for unified HW . Where do you rank him pound for pound.
Canelo vs Plant is getting closer , and I am just seeing Canelo all the way . You are absolutely right about the A-side, Judges , and Venue . I dont see a knockout by Plant and probably not by Canelo . But I cant get past Plant getting robbed on close rounds that he wins . Look for the one judge has a even card and the other two for Canelo. I was watching a program on Michael Spinks , who was my favorite fighter at LHW . And I just cant believe he didnt do better against Tyson. Not saying he beats Tyson , but to get blasted out in ninety seconds , thats just not him. I think he could do much better . He fought and beat Holmes and Cooney . I think he should have just moved and boxed Tyson . Spinks could fight at heavyweight , he just didnt fight or throw any punches.
Your thoughts on this please. Michael Spinks vs Evander Holyfield at LHW
Thank You J.B.
Bread’s Response: You know I’ve always been high on Usyk but I felt like he was on a little slump coming into this fight. What Usyk is, is a money fighter. In his big fights he comes through like money. He may not wow you in his showcase fights but for the money he’s as clutch as it gets. Where do I have him on the P4P list. Well let me just say this. I rate P4P on eye ball test, accomplishments, matchmaking, results, performances and most of all who would beat who if everyone were the same size. Usyk is fighting men 30lbs heavier and 3 to 4 inches taller. Obviously heavyweights are heavyweights. But in those terms he has a real case for being the BEST fighter in the world. If he beats Tyson Fury, he has the be the #1 fighter in the world. I mean, at that point the arguments stop. But here is my top 10.
Usyk is now the D.
10. Choc. I thought Choc beat Estrada
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