The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Roman "Choocolatito" Gonzalez, Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs. Billy Joe Saunders, Tyson Fury vs. Anthony Joshua, Andy Ruiz vs. Chris Arreola, and more.

Hi Bread,

I noticed you missed Chocolatito off your list of current fighters with a locked in spot in in the HOF. Was this an oversight? In my opinion he's an ATG little guy. Possibly even the best ever for his size. I think he's achieved more than Finito and Carbajal- both similar sized, high-level HOFs themselves. Come to think of it, has there ever been a fighter under 5 foot 4 better than Choc?

All the best,

Liam

Bread’s Response: When I do my mailbag, I freestyle 100% of the time. It’s just my way of staying sharp in reference to my knowledge and not looking stuff up. I thought I mentioned Choc. If I didn’t I apologize to the GAWD. Roman “Chocolatito” Gonzalez is a fighter I tried to inform the uninformed about many years ago. I first saw him on YouTube and I was like wow. This guy is a pressure technician. He’s subtly brilliant. I thought to myself he’s as good as Carbajal and Lopez. But he’s going to burn out by 30. Then I just watched him beat Juan Estrada. I don’t care what those scorecards say. Gonzalez was 1 win away from being a strong candidate for fighter of the decade 2010-2019. No fighter that small is ever in real consideration. When I saw his matchmaking I couldn’t believe it. He just fought the best available guy until he burned out. Then he rebooted and did it again. The common grade is ATG fighters are Top 100 ever. Obviously as time goes on, things become fluid. So context is important. Without researching too much, I would say he’s on the CUSP of being an ATG. I would personally say yes because I’m IN this era. But if he isn’t he’s close. But he’s definitely an ATG smaller fighter. He has a real case for top 10 ever under 118. I can’t think of 10 fighters who campaigned exclusively from 105-118 that had better careers than him. He’s that good and if I left him out, I APOLOGIZE.

My first time writing in. How's it going? Big fan I appreciate your boxing insight. This has been my favorite mailbag for the lesson on the "snitch" term and the Art of War references. I'm big on strengths and weaknesses especially strength through weakness and using ones "flaws" to their advantage. Mayweather Jr was great at that.

My writing in about AJ fury and I've noticed fury susceptible to the right hand in previous fight. Although I agree fury should rightfully be favored, in my opinion the right hand is a key to victory for AJ. The trick is getting fury to duck. Either he ducks into an an uppercut or an shoots as fury comes back up. He switched trainers which was a tactical move because his style changed to aggressor rather than a stick and move type with Davison so I'm seeing a new set of habits which was glaring in the first wilder fight. I'm sure you see it too, if I can. 

Bread’s Response: Yes Floyd Mayweather would let each opponent know he was the A side. It would aggravate them. He would tell them he’s going to ko them. Then in the fight they would fight mad and try to ko him. He would fight focused not mad and just outbox them. Brilliant mind set. 

You know what. Everyone I know is picking Tyson Fury to beat Anthony Joshua. But it’s purely based on the Wilder fights. If they never happened then who would everyone pick. Obviously every fight matters but here is my point. Maybe Fury is Juan Manuel Marquez to Wilder’s Manny Pacquiao. Let me explain. Marquez is an ATG fighter. But it’s mostly based on the fact that over a 8 year span, no matter how high Manny Pacquiao soared, Marquez was always even up with him and then he was able to ko him brutally. If you look at Marquez’s record closely, he struggled in most of his other big fights and sometimes even lost. He lost to Freddy Norwood and Chris John. Both fights were controversial. But they were razor close. He lost to Tim Bradley and Floyd Mayweather rather cleanly. He struggled with Juan Diaz, Michael Katsiditis and Joel Casamayor. I thought the referee blew the call vs Marco Antonio Barrera missing a knockdown that cost Barrera the fight. So for as great as Marquez was, the Pacquiao fights put him on the level that he’s on. It’s the best win in the history of the country. He deserves it. I’m not nitpicking but I believe Marquez is a great fighter, who had a greater fighter’s number. Sort of like how Ken Norton had Ali’s number but Ali was greater. Or like how Fighting Harada had Eder Jofre’s number but Jofre was greater.

I’m not saying Wilder is on Marquez's level. I know you guys would like to argue about that. I’m not putting him on the level of Jofre, Pacquiao or Ali. But Wilder was the FAVORITE over Fury for a reason. The result is what is making everyone crap on Wilder. But he’s formidable despite being limited in certain areas. Fury talks of Wilder with great respect although he beat him. Now if you look at Fury close, I think he’s tremendous. He has rare boxing skills and acumen. He’s what the old timers call a real FIGHTING MAN. But Fury has never looked so good in any fight than he did vs Wilder. He’s had his share of struggles. He never set the world on fire in any fight vs his better opponents except for the Wilder fights. So what I don’t get is why everyone thinks, he just blows through Joshua. 

I’m not even saying I’m picking Joshua but I think this is a tough fight for both. I think Fury’s biggest advantage is he’s so confident and crazy. It works for him. He has FUN when he’s fighting. Where as Joshua is stiffer and he seems to overthink. If Joshua wasn’t a fighter who I think overthinks too much I would pick him to win. That’s huge. But he’s only lost once and it can be overcame. If Joshua has fun and fights a smooth relaxed fight. He’s a nightmare for Fury if Fury fights in an attacking style like he did vs Wilder. Wilder is a great puncher from 1 range. Long distance, extension. It’s money but he didn’t have the feet or physical strength to get the distance on his power range vs Fury. Sugar Hill, Fury’s trainer was around a fighter similar to Wilder in Tommy Hearns. Iran Barklely fought Hearns the same way Fury fought Wilder. But Joshua has an excellent uppercut and hook. He has a better midrange game than Wilder. I also think he’s physically stronger. Wilder is the more explosive puncher but physical strength is different. I think this fight is 60/40 in Fury’s favor but not a blow out by any means. Joshua is going to be UP for this. 

Bread,

What is up? Fortuna my not be saying it but he's thinking it. I'm quite sure win or lose he could've used that payday. Garcia goaded Tank Davis into a fight which he eventually accepted, only for Garcia to tell Tank to stand back, because he had a more lucrative fight (Pacquiao?) in the works and when that fight never materialized he once again began to goad and accuse Tank Davis of cowardice! Tank rightfully ignored him the 2nd time around.

The Fortuna fight is then announced and looks to be made, and Garcia pulls out for personal reasons which is his prerogative, but not good for his brand. Not judging Garcia as it's not my place to do so, I do see a pattern with Garcia, not judging, just observing. Scott training Wilder looks to me to be a good move, there seems to be a lot of brotherhood and respect between the 2 men. The training footage that I've see shows Wilder very coordinated and following Scott's instructions during pad work. Scott was a journeyman heavyweight fighter and I think he'll be a very good trainer for Wilder. Even after they fought there was no ill-will between them.

Canelo did briefly say that Oscar was only interested in drinking an other things... he also said that Schaefer ran Goldenboy and Oscar did not. I was never a great fighter or a great trainer like Steward, Futch, etc., but one thing I know about fighters gassing out is a number of factors matter, including diet, mindset, sleep, and specifically training. The best trained fighters know how to reduce and eliminate tension in their bodies. These guys can fight as if they aren't in a fight, because tension and stress in the body is minimal, breathing is easy. As opposed to bodybuilders where stress and tension in their inflamed muscles is necessary for the look.

Fear and apprehension also play a part to intensify adrenaline in the body for fight or flight which is short term and in waves, causing a decline in stamina. Getting fresh air and sunlight is also good for a fighter. Last but not least great abdominal and torso development is crucial because body blows causes the diaphragm to spasm making it harder to breathe gassing a fighter out. I agree that training at higher altitude should be followed by sleeping at lower altitude to let the red blood cell proliferate, which builds stamina.

Ruiz beats Arreola who I think is past it. Ruiz is a much more natural boxer, whereas Arreola is a natural fighter - in this fight skill pays the bills, Ruiz by 3rd or 4th round KO.

Bread’s Response: Rob you go deep. Many don’t know the difference in being a natural fighter and a natural boxer. You can be both but you don’t have to be. Nevertheless Ruiz did well but I was impressed with Arreola. He over performed expectations. I thought he would be stopped also. He fought his butt off. I was really surprised Ruiz didn’t ko him. Good fight. You’re 100% correct on everything you said about a fighter’s stamina. All of those little things lead to big things. Let me piggyback. The physical stuff you stated as far as the core is super important. Body blows sap the gas tank and if you take them better you won’t be as sapped. Everything is interconnected. Sunlight is vitamin D. It’s vital to the body. Sunlight lightens the mood. It’s awesome. Vitamin D helps testosterone. Fresh air for the lungs. Breathing through the nose. Early in the morning when the air is fresh. Fighters wake up and run in the smog of big cities. Bad choice. Altitude training, sea level sleeping. 

But the biggest thing you said is mental. Fear and apprehension. I’ve seen fighters who can hold a vicious pace when things are going THEIR way. But if you resist them for a few rounds they gas out. It’s not because the pace increased. It’s because the resistance in their mind increases fatigue. Mentally strong , confident fighters don’t gas out as much. It’s a FACT. I’ve seen this over and over in fights. I’m going to add a word you didn’t use. COMPOSURE. Can you stay composed under resistance in tight spots. Fighters are human they have fear. But can you process the fear and stay composed. Or will you be a FRONT RUNNER who can only do it when things are going your way. The special fighters can do it as the dog on top or the dog on the bottom. 

I don’t think Canelo threw Oscar under the bus. I think he stated his opinion. I think he could’ve said a lot worse and I’m a huge Oscar guy by the way. This is a competitive sport and we fight to win. Even in our comments you make your points, to make your points. Canelo was making his point. We have to respect it.

Malik Scott looked good to me also. People are just haters. The only thing I’m curious about is because him and Deontay are friends can he make Deontay do things he isn’t comfortable with. A trainer is usually older and thought to be wiser. Scott and Wilder are close to the same age. So the dynamic is different. I wish them the best.

If I’m being fair and objective, I see a pattern in Ryan Garcia also. I didn’t say anything because no one brought it up. But Garcia has talked himself into a few big fights then for whatever reasons the fights didn’t take place. He did goad Tank Davis. No fight. He said he was fighting Pacquiao. No fight. I will go even further. He won an eliminator to fight for Devin Haney’s WBC title vs Luke Campbell. He looked excellent vs Campbell. He didn’t even bother to go after Haney. He said that belts don’t matter but why pay sanctioning fees if belts don’t matter to you. Money surely matters. I didn’t like it because Haney shouldn’t have to chase a fight when he is the champion. Garcia EARNED his shot at Haney and didn’t take it. I thought he got a PASS for that but I never really said much because I can only speak on what I’m asked. I saw the pattern. 

I think highly of Garcia. He’s one of my favorite fighters to watch. I love tall explosive punchers like Ray Robinson and Tommy Hearns. Garcia is a tall explosive puncher. But being objective comes with an obligation. Hopefully he’s ok as far as whatever health problems he has at this point. And when or if he comes back, hopefully he makes the fights he seems to be edging on through the media. I wish him the best. Respectfully.

What do you think about boxing fans on social media and boxing forums in this era? The lack of respect and difficulty in finding a decent discussion without trolling or abusing the fighters is astonishing to me. Boxers getting called bums, trash and cowards all the time. I find it ridiculous. Do you think it is because most of these guys have never boxed, or have no concept on how hard it is to get to a decent level in the sport?

Growing up, the boxers were like heroes to me. To see them putting it all on the line and in front of massive audiences, I always looked up to these gladiators. Of course, I had my favourites and guys I did not like, but nothing like these keyboard warriors nowadays.

Bread’s Response: I think you can tell a lot about someone by what they say on social media. Or what they say in the comments section. I check myself for saying certain things. I once referenced a level of fighter as a bum in an interview many years ago. I immediately felt bad about it and corrected myself. But on these platforms there is no accountability. The worst thing that can happen is your account gets shut down. All you have to do is make another one. I don’t think these trolls are people. They are insignificant in real life. So social media intoxicates them to become CHARACTERS. They get to have a platform. They get to interact with people of a status they only wish they had. So they abuse it. I’ve actually caught people making fake social media accounts that I knew in real life. And guess what they were LOSERS in real life. Everything about them spelled loser. I think anyone who goes above a common criticism of an athlete or celebrity is a LOSER. Very simple.

Who is the hardest punching boxer you ever held pads with?  I’ve been told a good way for a trainer to figure out how much power a boxer has, is from working with them on the pads. Speaking of pads, how vital are they to training?  It seems to me that outside of sparring, it should be one of the most important things that a boxer drills in preparation for a match.

What would you say is the best way to box a counter puncher?  Being as tricky and in general, having a high IQ, I would think it’s not giving the counter puncher time to think.  But overall, I say a counter puncher is one of the hardest styles to go up against.

Bread’s Response: The best and hardest puncher is not always the same. When I say the best, I’m talking leverage on every punch. Jab, Hook, Uppercut. Left hand and right hand. Punch release. Technique. Sharpness. Reaction time. The BEST Puncher was Julian Williams. 

The hardest puncher overall was Blair Cobbs. Cobbs has freakishly hard hands. He has springy legs and he’s really fast. He can really punch hard.

The hardest puncher in a P4P sense is a kid I still currently train named Romuel “Cuco” Cruz. He fights at 122lbs but he punches like he’s a 135lber. Once he evolves to a point where he can land his money shot on the money, he’s going to YOUTUBE an opponent. Holding the pads is a good way to gauge power. 100%. But you have to know what you’re looking for. There are punches that a fighter can land on the pads that he can’t land during fights.

Bread,

Watching the Ruiz vs Arreola fight, I had a few thoughts pop in my head.1. The Klitschko brothers get killed for their level of competition in the 2000s and 2010s but you have fighters that they beat that are still giving top 10 HWs in 2021 issues. Arreola gave Ruiz and Kowancki good fights, Povetkin just beat Whyte last year and drew with Hunter before that and even Bryant Jennings is able to give good fights when given the opportunity. Can we now say that the brothers were just that damn good and the competition was never as bad as made out to be, or is this era of the HW division a bit overrated?2. Arreola at the age of 40 years old may not be the fighter that he once was, but is better than he was 5-7 years ago. The power of getting the right trainer can do wonders for you. Joe Goosen has done some of the best training job in recent years with his work with Arreola. This was the lightest Arreola has come in years! I thought he had a great game plan to let Ruiz come to him and counter him, the fight flipped when Ruiz started jabbing more, going to the body more and just got more patient.3. Ruiz may be one of those fighters that doesn't necessarily need to come in light to be at his best. Even though 256 pounds isn't light, it is still 12 pounds lighter than he was when he beat Joshua in the first fight. Ruiz's punch resistance was a bit off and more than his weight, he needs to work on his footwork. His problem is he just plods around and when a fighter moves, he can be thrown off. I have no doubt if he sticks with Reynoso, that part of his game will improve as it has for Canelo as well!

Take care.

Bread’s Response: 1. I think the Klitshcko Bros were great fighters. Not All Time Greats but great. I think Wlad has the better legacy and was more talented. But Vitali is the better fighter. I think they both took a long time to develop. They turned pro in 1996 in the middle of a Golden Era. But they didn’t ascend until the great fighters of that era were old or retired. That counts. I don’t think their competition was GREAT. I think it was average. Vitali was very consistent from the beginning. He only lost 2 fights. One by a cut. One by an injury although Chris Byrd was surging. 

Wlad didn’t hit his stride until he was 29 years old. He was kod 3x in his 20s by fighters he was much more talented than. He did reign for 10 years. He gets full credit for that. But neither Wlad or his brother ever beat a great fighter. Neither beat any HOF in my opinion. But they did beat a host of RING top 10 rated fighters which is very important as far as era dominance. I think the reason why some of the fighters that they beat are still relevant is because this era is top heavy. Wilder, Joshua and Fury are the ELITE. Ortiz, Ruiz and Whyte are strong contenders. And in the next tier there is a huge drop off. It doesn’t mean that a fighter from one tier can’t beat one from a higher tier. But we aren’t in a deep era. It hasn’t been deep for some time. Therefore fighters like Arreola and Povetkin can stay around and still be relevant. The Klishcko Bros were models of consistency. Very HOF worthy.

2. Arreola has looked good lately even though he didn’t get the wins. I’m surprised that he’s still around because his high energy style burns out. Chris should be very proud. If he was in this shape earlier in his career I think he could have done more. Joe Goosen is the real deal. It goes to show you, you can’t always judge a fighter on wins and losses. Performances count also. Arreola has performed well. I also like his former trainer Henry Ramirez. He did a good job with Arreola early on. Arreola had discipline issues and I just don’t know how much of that can be blamed on a trainer.

3. Ruiz is a solid fighter. He does some things well. He’s flawed in some areas. I think he will do well under Reynoso. But let’s be honest. Fury, Joshua and Wilder are a level above him. I think we have to give Arreola some credit. He fought a very good fight. He didn’t let Andy do what he wanted to do. Arreola raised his game but Ruiz still won. Both should be encouraged by their performances. 

The greatest boxer's in their respective weight division. Here's my list.

HEAVYWEIGHT (200lbs+) - Muhammad Ali

CRUISERWEIGHT (175-200lbs) Evander Holyfield

LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (168-175Lbs)???

SUPER MIDDLE WEIGHT (160-168Lbs) Andre Ward

MIDDLEWEIGHT (154-160lbs) Bernard Hopkins

SUPER WELTERWEIGHT (147-154) Winky Wright

WELTERWEIGHT (140-147) Mayweather jr/Sugar Ray Leonard

Jr WELTER (135-140) Julio Ceasar Chavez

Lightweight (130-135) Roberto Duran/ Parnell Whitaker

SUPER featherweight (126-130)=???

Featherweight (122-126)=Manny Pacquiao

Super bantamweight (118-122)=???

Bantamweight (112-118)=????W

hich weight do you think was Pacquiaos' best weight? He was hot at 47 but I feel some of the catchweight fights take a little some off his big wins. Like De la hoya at 144lbs. I like context.

As for my list..how does it compare to your view of the respective divisions greatest fighter? Feel free to add or suggest Just my personal list. Also, it's a little biased because I favored fighters I grew up admiring, but I recognize the influence of previous greats.

The mailbags are great. You have great insight/boxing brain. 

Bread’s Response: I think Manny is one of those rare fighters where he had peak performances in most of the weight classes he participated in. At 147 he doesn’t match up well with the bigger great welters like Robinson, Hearns, Curry and Trinidad. But he was able to overcome taller skillful fighters like Oscar. I know people always say Oscar was weight drained. But my reply is Oscar was the A side. He was a 154lber. He called out a fighter who had just moved up to 135lbs. So they met at 147lbs. Oscar moved down one division and Manny moved up two. The weight was more than fair. Manny was on fire that night. I didn’t research a 144lbs catchweight. I saw a 147lbs weight where they met. Oscar weighed in at 145lbs and Manny 142lbs.

 I think for the first few years that Manny fought at 140 plus he could have made 135lbs. So I say his best fighting weights were between 135-142. So let’s call him a lightweight or junior welterweight in head to head match ups. He beats 99% of the fighters ever who fought between 135-40. He beats 95% of all of the fighters who fought at 147lbs. He beats 95% of the fighters who ever fought at 112lbs. He beats 99% of the fighters who fought from 122-135lbs. People don’t realize how special he was. It’s absurd to think about. He’s so special that if he can somehow beat Errol Spence or Terence Crawford right now, 50% of the living historians will call him the Greatest fighter ever.

200+-Ali we agree

175lbs-200lbs- You picked Holyfield. I would pick Joe Louis.

168lbs-175lbs- Sam Langford

1600lbs-168lbs- You picked Andre Ward. I would pick Roy Jones. Love em both

154lbs-160lbs- Sugar Ray Robinson. In this era Robinson would have been the best 154lber

147lbs-154lbs- Sugar Ray Robinson same as above

140lbs-147lbs- Sugar Ray Robinson. Robinson started out as a lightweight for his first 20 fights then he moved into 147lbs. In a later era he would have been champion at 135lbs and 140lbs.

135lbs-140lbs- Roberto Duran

130lbs-135lbs-Henry Armstrong

126lbs-130lbs-Floyd Mayweather/Alexis Arguello

122lbs-126lbs- Salvador Sanchez/Manny Pacquioa

118lbs-122lbs- Eder Jofre

112lbs-118lbs-Roman Gonzalez/Jimmy Wilde

What’s up Bread,

As a trainer I wanted to hear your perspective on the ring walk. Specifically, if you had a fighter who wanted to do more than just walk to the ring would you allow it? Wilder, after losing to Fury tried to blame part of his performance on the weight of his gear during his ring walk so I wondered what you thought. Also I’ve only been to a few fights in leeson but one fight I went to was in 2000 with Roy Jones v. Telesco at Radio City Music Hall. I don’t know if you remember but not only did he come out with The Rockettes an hour before the fight but that ring walk with Redman and Method Man had the crowd going crazy. Roy was definitely doing the most and probably hooped that morning too.

Finally, a 4 Kings question with a twist MM:  if you substituted Hearns for Spence, Mayweather for Duran, and Manny instead of Hagler and kept Leonard in the mix does he still emerge as the best (everyone  at their prime ) ?

Take care, Aaron from Cleveland

Bread’s Response: I have a hashtag #thelittlethings. I believe little things can lead to big problems. I don’t want anyone to think I’m making excuses for Wilder. I think he would’ve been better off saying nothing. But having bright led lights shining in your eyes. With a heavy piece of endswell on your body CAN’T be a good thing going into a fight. Erickson Lubin wore a similar get up vs Charlo. Both Wilder and Lubin started COLD. 

So I’m not saying the metal costumes caused them to lose. But I am saying that they surely didn’t help them. Would any fitness expert tell an athlete to wear metal before an intense competition? Hell no! So the excuse sounds ridiculous. I never commented on it. But it was definitely counterproductive. 

So at this point in my training career. I would suggest to a fighter to come down to music that represents where he is in his career and in life. And what the message he’s sending for that fight. I can remember once I had a fighter who was very tense and tight. He was facing a puncher and I wanted him to box and have fun. So he came down to “I Gotta Feeling” By the Black Eyed Peas. It worked. Listen to the words.

But here is the thing. It’s hard to suggest things to a fighter who is a millionaire. I was able to suggest that song. But if I would’ve done that later in the fighter’s career, he would NOT have listened. It’s hard to even determine if the trainer’s knew what Wilder was walking out to. 

Great 4 Kings question. YES! Here is the thing about Ray Leonard. On his best night he’s the guy you want. He faced killer competition vs multiple styles and you don’t really have any questions about him as far as chin, stamina, natural talent, work ethic and adaptability. I’m not saying he would run the table. But in that round robin he would win more than anyone else. Just like he did in the original 4 Kings.

What do you think of the controversy as far as ring size in the Canelo vs Saunders match up? Who is your pick and why?

Bread’s Response: I think ring size should be standard and non negotiable. I feel like ring surface is more important than ring size. On the Canelo vs Trout undercard, the ring was soft and spongey and it slowed you down. That being said, whatever was in the contract should be honored. If Saunders put a 24x24 ring in the contract then he deserves it. If it wasn’t specified then 20x20 is fair and reasonable. I don’t know what was in the contracts.

I feel like Saunders and Caleb Plant two pure boxers who can stick and move are the hardest styles for Canelo and most punchers like Canelo. So stylistically Saunders will give him issues. But Saunders’s level of competition recently has really been average. On top of that since he tested positive for PEDS, he hasn’t looked as good as he did vs Lemiuex or Lee. 

In a fight like this, I go with the more consistent fighter. Although Saunders is due for a good performance. He’s been in a slump. I think Canelo wins this fight by a 116-112 type of margin. I think Saunders is live because he should be as UP as he can be for this fight. This is his Super Bowl. On top of that again the style match up favors him. But Canelo is the better fighter. He’s riding high. He’s strong. His defense and composure are on point. He’s punching really hard these day. I see a similar fight to Marquez vs Gainer and Chavez vs Camacho. I think Saunders will have his moments but at some point he will have to decide if he wants to WIN or just go the distance. If he chooses to WIN, I think he gets stopped. If he chooses to go the distance I think he goes the distance.

Hey Bread,

I don't think anyone wrote in about Carl Frampton retiring. I think for the last few years he has clearly been below his peak and after a valiant run looking for a third title he has officially retired and he comes across as someone that means it. So now he is done with his career, how do you rate him and does he have a shot at being the greatest Irish fighter ever?

Also, very randomly I was thinking about Joan Guzman, who when I watched him in my early 20s I was convinced was p4p levels of great. What do you make of his ability and his career? Any idea why he tailed off the way he did?

Finally, you mentioned you read the bible in this mailbag so I am assuming you mentioned it because you feel it helps with your boxing (why wouldn't it? Indirectly or directly). With this in mind, how important do you think some form of faith is for a fighter, considering they have to come through those "dark places" you often talk about?

Thanks brother, wish you well, God bless.

Jasveer Singh

Bread’s Response: I really like Carl Frampton but he’s not the greatest Irish fighter ever. Jimmy McLarnin, Steve Collins and Barry McGuigan are all over Frampton. I think he makes the top 10. Frampton had an excellent career. But I think he missed his opportunity after defeating Leo Santa Cruz to be a great fighter. He was undefeated at the time and he had won a huge fight. He loses the rematch and never really gets back his momentum. I don't think he’s a great fighter. But I think he’s an excellent contemporary one. 

I think Guzman had tremendous ability. But talent is not the end all. Without knowing him personally there is a look that a fighter has when he burns the candles at both ends. Puffy skin. Loose flesh. Outgrowing weight classes rapidly especially when you aren’t tall. Struggling with inferior opposition. Guzman could go but he just got too heavy and wasn’t dedicated enough. It’s hard to grade him because he never got the big one but he does have a solid resume. He also only lost one fight due to an injury. He’s an enigma. I think he’s a great talent with some solid wins. But his career went the way it was supposed to. His level of dedication got him what he ended up with.

Hey Bread,

Just come across this short clip (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=xgcl9qLqX5I). Nigel Benn comes across in a refreshing way - he acknowledges Jones’ greatness in a way most boxers wouldn’t. Eubank did the same post-career - said he wouldn’t have been Superman. Can you think of any other fighters as respected by their peers?

I think common consensus is that Jones would have beaten Benn, Eubank, Collins, but is there a scenario where you can see him being beaten? How much do you think Jones’ legacy is marred by not fighting the three? It seems evident that Benn would have travelled anywhere to get the fight so why didn’t it happen? Keep well, Joe

Bread’s Response: I think Roy Jones would have beaten all 3 on his best night but boxing doesn’t work that way. You can’t get credit for something that you didn’t do. You also can’t expect to be perfect on each fight night even if you are in your prime. I feel like it does hurt his legacy just slightly. Most consider Jones the fighter ever at 168lbs. But if he beat 2 out of 3 or even 1 out of 3 I think his legacy would be slightly better. There is a small contingent that thinks Joe Calzaghe and Andre Ward were better at 168. 

I think Eubank lays back too much to have beaten Jones. He had an iron chin and he was a great fighter. But it’s really nothing he did well enough to beat Jones. 

Benn was wild card. Benn was vulnerable but when he peaked out around 93-95 he started boxing better but he kept that frenetic style. In the UK and Benn doesn’t get clipped early I can see him giving Jones some serious trouble. I wouldn’t pick Benn but when a man can go as deep as he did vs McClellan it’s hard to count him out. 

Steve Collins was red hot and wanted the fight. I love Roy but he should’ve fought Collins. Collins had just beaten Benn and Eubank twice apiece and he was ready to fight Roy. Collins was hot. Roy should have dealt with him. I think Roy wins again but we will never know. Collins was battle hardened. He had extreme fitness. He was tall. He was a volume fighter who was physically strong. He also is very cerebral. In that sit down with the Super Middleweights. He said something profound. He said with the right plan any man can be beaten. He knew he could have been competitive with Jones. It’s in his eyes. Again, I love RJ and I think he would’ve won. But he should’ve dealt with Steve Collins.

Did you read or see this portion of the interview between Canelo and Graham Bensinger? Here is the link: https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.boxingscene.com/amp/canelo-golovkin-one-persons-who-i-most-wanted-cut-their-head-off--157251 Canelo: Golovkin Was One Of The Persons Who I Have Most Wanted To Cut Their Head Off.

Canelo Alvarez revealed the level of disdain he had for Gennadiy Golovkin during an uncharacteristically candid interview that debuted Wednesday on YouTube. The Mexican icon informed Graham Bensinger during a wide-ranging discussion that he wanted to “cut” Golovkin’s “head off” after Golovkin repeatedly called him a cheater and a liar once Alvarez failed a performance-enhancing drug test in February 2018. The Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended Alvarez for six months because he tested positive for clenbuterol, which Alvarez has consistently claimed came from eating contaminated meat in his home country of Mexico.

This has to be entitled and delusional arrogance on Canelo's part. How can he try to rewrite history and victimize himself for something he did? Golovkin had every right to call him out for cheating. The health of each fighter is on the line when they get in the ring.

Thoughts?

Jay

Bread’s Response: When I compliment Canelo people get mad. When I criticize him people get mad. He’s polarizing. In this particular case I think Canelo has some nerve. GGG and his team suspected him of PED usage. They tested him early in February for their fight which was scheduled in May. He tested  positive. Canelo can’t be mad at GGG because his suspicions turned out to be true. But then again he can be mad at him if he wants too. It’s his choice but I think he’s wrong in this case.

What’s good Bro Bread. It’s been a minute. I been thinking about the mentality of boxers and wanted to touch on BJS and his fight with Canelo. I can’t help but think about how Saunders hauled ass out of the restaurant during the buildup to Wilder vs Fury. I’m not trying to sound like a badass but I ain’t running from no man regardless of size who does not have a weapon in his hands. To me that revealed a chink in BJS armor. I brought that up to say BJS has been complaining a lot lately about ring size, fans in attendance, etc… All of this a week or two from the fight date. I was thinking before this fight was signed that BJS could and should give Canelo a good scrap but something is nagging at me saying at the first sign of trouble BJS is going to pack it up, take his pay, and go home. I hope I’m wrong and this is a good fight but BJS just seems to be a little shaky.

Sticking to the mental makeup of boxers, I am high on 160 Charlo but I can’t help but think he also has a chink in his mental. I think back to the internet barking he was doing with Jacobs but when DJ rolled up on him, he swallowed his toughness. Then he was talking tough with Benavidez only to back off once things started to heat up. I also think back to the way he acted after JRock. The celebration was one of relief and not joy. I wouldn’t be surprise if Coach has to continue to tell him how great he is to keep him mentally locked in. I also started to think that his mental is the reason we haven’t seen him in with DJ or Andrade. The last thing I’ll say is Lara said that he wanted to winner of Charlo’s next fight. They have trained side by side for some time now, what does he see?

Since we’re on the mentality of fighters as bad as Bowe was, he threw the belt away and walked away from the Lewis fight. Tyson was the baddest man on the planet but he has spoken several times about being terrified. Can you speak on the mental makeup of boxers. Is one type better than others? Do you have to message egos of certain types or motivate certain minds more than others? I know I have touched on Charlo and BJS but can you see mental chinks in any of the current champs or top prospects?

Bread’s Response: BJ Saunders is hard to figure out. I thought he was going to be a P4P guy when he beat Chris Eubank, Andy Lee and David Lemieux. Then he sort of plateaued and had the positive PED test before he fought Andrade. Mentally I always wonder about a fighter who is as hot and cold as Saunders. I think Saunders will fight well but like you I do wonder about his mental makeup.

Man you have a good eye. I don’t think Charlo 160 is mentally weak. But I definitely think he was relieved after he clipped Jrock. A fighter knows what he was in there with. And Jrock was really lighting him up with a 1-2. But Charlo showed composure in landing that counter uppercut and not falling apart or feeling embarrassed that Jrock was quicker and making him pay with the oohs and ahhs of the crowd. I think Charlo 160 is good mentally. I think he may be a just a victim of the current landscape. Where it’s really not worth it to take chances if you’re in his position. He can make 3 million dollars in fights he knows he will win without fighting 50/50 fights.

In this era being a great fighter is not the priority. I think he will fight hard fights if he had to. But like most of this era, he’s not going to go out of his way to fight all of the killers when he can fight solid fights and still make millions. You could be right. He may need reassurance on his skill set. But that’s ok. When he gets in the ring, he’s a killer. He tries to hurt his opponents and he trains hard. I don’t view him as having a chink in his armor as I do Saunders.  I think Lara sees that Charlo can bump but Lara has an elitist attitude as far as boxing. He doesn’t get in awe of opponents. He’s so comfortable in his style and in his box, he doesn’t fret too much what his opponents will do. I think Lara most likely got the better of Charlo 160 more times than Charlo got the better of him in sparring. Lara was the more advanced fighter when they trained together. He’s faster. And he was the better amateur. He also knows how Ronnie Shields trains. So he’s confident he can beat Charlo160 or Charlo 154. It doesn’t mean he can but that’s what he most likely sees. He’s a real fighter. 

I won’t call any fighters out on what I see in their current mental make ups as flaws. But I will give props to the guys I think have the best mental make ups. Tyson Fury as far as being a real fighter has one of the best mental games you can have. He outboxed Deontay Wilder but was hurt badly twice. He then attacks Wilder despite knowing Wilder can severely hurt him. That takes a different kind of moxy. Fury can fight a disciplined stick and move fight and he can be a killer. Fury is resilient but he doesn’t have an iron chin. He can be hurt. He loves to fight and he doesn’t overthink which is the worst thing a fighter can do. 

Roman Gonzalez is opposite of Fury as far as personality. He isn’t crazy. He isn’t loud. But he’s equal as far as being a killer and real fighter. He was literally burning out 3 years ago. He comes back, moves up and weight and is on another great run. Again he doesn’t overthink he just fights and adjust humbly. Gonzalez is awesome as far as his mentality. He got kod and he just accepted it and moved on. He was robbed twice in my opinion and he never complained. That dude is special. 

Canelo Alvarez can be a business man if he chose to. He was earlier in his career. I do think he waited on GGG a little bit. But man he’s a gun at this moment. GGG wanted him to fight Mexican Style in the rematch and he OBLIGED. Since that fight he’s been going after legacy and not just money. In the ring he has a real fighter’s attitude. He’s not all kissy touchy with his opponents. He doesn't make silent agreements. He wants no pity and he gives none.

The best type of mental makeups in my opinion is confidence but not over confidence where it hurts your preparation and turns into dismissiveness or complacency. A level confidence. A fighter who engages with his trainer and doesn’t try to train the trainer. A fighter who is smart but doesn’t try to be too smart. A fighter who is equally assertive if things are going his way as he is when things aren’t going his way. A fighter who is strong minded enough to not let criticism overcome him. And a fighter who is willing to try to beat anyone in his way. It may seem simple but it’s not. In this era I think Fury, Gonzalez, Donaire, Loma, Porter and Canelo represent that the most. There are others but they stand out.

I just read Sugar Hill Steward’s comment that Billy Joe Saunders should go for the ko. I disagree. I think sticking and moving is his best bet for the victory. I know the Kronk has had some big punchers. But I can’t see a scenario where that would work. Do you know if he’s part of Saunder’s team and does that put added pressure on Saunders because Fury is such a big supporter and Steward is his trainer?

Bread’s Response: I always view pressure as being a good thing because no one puts pressure on an athlete that they don’t expect to do much. So if if the expectations are high on Saunders then that means people expect him to perform. Great athletes embrace that.

As for Steward’s comments that’s his opinion. There is more than one way to win a fight. Sugar Hill proved that with Tyson Fury. Fury boxed Wilder the 1st fight and attacked him in the rematch. Both strategies worked. A strategy is only as good as the result. The only time I’ve ever personally had a fighter question a game plan is when it didn’t work. Even if they agreed with the gameplan before hand. The questions comes with the results. I don’t think Saunders can stop Canelo. But it doesn’t matter what I think. The only thing that matters is what the fighter himself thinks. I get Steward’s point. But I personally go off the fighter’s temperament. Some fighters can be killers and flip that switch. Sort of like Fury did to Wilder and Leonard did to Hearns. Some fighters don’t have the chin or mental toughness to pull that off.

There have been some fights where the supposed boxer pulled off a ko on a big puncher. Fury vs Wilder. Leonard vs Hearns. Ali vs Foreman. In a lesser known fight. Reggie Johnson vs William Guthrie. It can happen. I don’t know if Steward is part of Team Saunders. As far as Saunders’s game plan. I think a game plan has to be fluid. You have to train for multiple scenarios and be willing to adapt as the fight goes on. Obviously Saunders is a boxer but if he finds that Canelo is vulnerable to certain things he does, he has to be willing to capitalize. It’s going to take a monumental effort for Saunders to ko Canelo. Let’s see if he can. Steward is not right or wrong. That’s his opinion and how he would train a fighter to do it. It’s nothing wrong with that.

Send Questions to dabreadman25@hotmail.com