The latest Daily Bread Mailbag is here and, this week, the one and only Stephen "Breadman" Edwards reviews Deontay Wilder's chances of one day making it into the Hall of Fame, casts his eye over 'Tank vs. Frank', and - for the last time, folks - discusses the allegations surrounding Ryan Garcia.

Hi Breadman,

I pray God is blessing and continues to bless you and your family and the fans of your mailbag and their families. I love the fact that the Saudis are taking over boxing. I hope they wipe PBC, Arum, De La Hoya and the rest out of the game. They are putting together great matches. The other great part is that, by 9pm, all the fights are over and done with. Staying up to 1am to watch fights is horrible. I hope all the big fights in the future happen over there. 

What happened to Deontay Wilder was expected after the way he looked against Joseph Parker. Those fights with Fury seem to have taken something out of both, especially the third fight which was a war. Wilder reminds me of Ben Simmons. Simmons had success for a while but he never worked on his flaws - like being unable to shoot - and it caught up with him. Wilder was able to get away with being a puncher and not focusing more on his boxing acumen and it caught up with him. 

Daniel Dubois showed a lot of courage and character in winning his fight with Filip Hrgovic.

In your last mailbag an individual alluded to racism involving people being happy for Adrien Broner and Devin Haney getting beat. Well, I’m black and I’m overjoyed when Broner, Haney and Rolly Romero lose because they talk too much and don’t back it up. They talk a better fight than they actually fight. Broner is a complete embarrassment to himself the way he conducts and carries himself . He acts like someone who should be on the Jerry Springer show and Haney’s father is like LaVar Ball, quite annoying. Rolly comes across like a punk so I’m glad when he gets KO’d. Has nothing to do with color with me. We need better fighting and less talking in boxing.                                                                                                                       God bless and take care,                                                                                                      

Blood and Guts from Philly

Bread’s Response: I was live in the audience for the 1st and 3rd Fury vs Wilder fights. And yes you’re correct, Wilder took a beating in the 3rd fight, which may have a residual effect. I don’t think the Ben Simmons comparison is accurate. I feel like Wilder is trying new stuff. He is working on new stuff… Which may be his problem. The new stuff doesn’t come off natural to him. Especially defensively…

I don’t know Daniel Dubois but if I ever met him I would tell him how much I admire his resiliency. Dubois was a guy who was counted out by most and he now has some very good wins under his belt. I think when Usyk retires Dubois has a nice shot to be a world champion. Excellent comeback and shout out to Dubois and his team.

Polarizing figures sell tickets and get the blood boiling. Broner and Rollies are polarizing figures. I don’t see Haney that way. I think he’s pretty laid back. But you’re entitled to your opinion. 

Assalaam alaykum Mr Edwards,

I wanted to write in to pay tribute to and evaluate Deontay Wilder's career. I think it's likely that Deontay has stepped into the ring for the last time, but even if he proves me wrong, I doubt he'll ever fight at or near the top level again. First and foremost, I wanted to congratulate the Bronze Bomber on his financial success and the tremendous impact that he had on boxing. Considering how late in life he started, and especially considering that he only wanted to help his little girl with her medical condition and earn a good living for his family, Deontay had an impressive career. Wilder's nine successful defenses of the WBC title and perhaps underserved draw against Fury are even more remarkable than his bronze Olympic medal and demonstrate his longevity at the top echelon of the sport. 

However, the knockdown by Dustin Nichols in Wilder's eleventh fight (that was not scored a knockdown but very clearly came from a hard jab), and the scored knockdown by Harold Scioners marked a balance and leg strength problem that Wilder covered well for the rest of his reign but never truly corrected. The early blemishes against poor opposition lend to later criticisms. No video exists of the Scioners fight, but the Nichols fight is on YouTube. The bulk of the reasonable criticisms of Wilder's record and career hinge on his level of opposition. He didn't fight an eight-round fight until his 19th professional fight (against Daniel Cota) and didn't fight a recognizable name until he fought Owen Beck in his 23rd professional fight. Beck had lost to Nicholai Valuev in his one shot at a world title in 2006 and had lost seven straight before fighting Wilder in June 2012. 

Wilder fought unbeaten Kelvin Price (who is a former NCAA basketball player who started boxing even later than Wilder) in his 26th fight and then I've read that Golden Boy declined an offer to have Wilder fight Bryant Jennings. Audley Harrison was another "name" on Wilder's resume in his 28th fight, but he still hadn't fought past four rounds at that stage in his career. Unfortunately, that's really indicative of the matchmaking by Golden Boy that failed to develop Wilder much at all but built his confidence in his phenomenal right hand. Wilder fought Siarhei Liakhovich in his 29th fight and Malik Scott in his 31st. Scott represents his first 12-round fight. The allegations of the Scott fight being fixed exist, and given the devastating right hands Wilder landed over the years and the appearances of that knockout, there's every reason for them to continue (even if I don't believe that a fight at this level could be rigged). Scott was loudly booed for not getting up after replays of what appeared to be a grazing right hand. 

In his 33rd professional fight, Deontay won the WBC title from Bermaine Stiverne. Stiverne was the first Ring-rated fighter that Wilder defeated (and he had been Ring-ranked for over a year before Wilder beat him). Stiverne was Ring's third best heavyweight at the time of the fight. Wilder was number seven. Wilder's only other victories against a Ring-rated fighter are the 2018 and 2019 wins against Luis Ortiz. The Ring ranked Ortiz as the fifth best heavyweight at the time of both of those fights. Dominic Breazeale was ranked as high as eighth in the Ring's rankings but I can't find evidence that he was ranked when he fought Wilder. I would really love to get your opinion on Wilder's career and his chances at the Hall of Fame.  I believe he'll eventually be elected to the Hall, but he might have to wait. He was one of the better, and certainly more entertaining heavyweights of his generation and had a longevity that was really impressive considering his late start. I know you were a big fan of his power earlier in his career and I wanted to give you the opportunity to reflect on the impact he had. I hope this finds you and yours well and I appreciate your considerate responses.

Very respectfully, John 

Bread’s Response: Great insightful breakdown. Deontay Wilder’s Hall of Fame chances are a hot topic these days. Everything you stated correct except Wilder had 10 successful title defenses not 9. A draw is considered a title defense.

Ok so if you go by RAW numbers Wilder has a very good shot to be elected to the HOF. Every single heavyweight champion in history who has had 10 title defenses is in the HOF. If you have research that says otherwise, I would like for you to send it to me. But I’m pretty sure I’m correct. But the issue for Wilder is that the fighters who have had 10 title defenses are considered special. Ali, Holmes, Tyson, Louis, Kilitshcko… That’s Wilder’s company. So that can be a gift and a curse. The gift is the raw numbers. But the curse is when you put him next to the company that the numbers put him in, it looks as though the numbers are manufactured. 

I feel like Wilder was brought along very slowly. But that’s excellent matchmaking. His handlers did one of the best jobs I have ever seen at maximizing his value. I didn’t see him fight until he fought Kelvin Price when he was 25-0. I was working a corner that night and I said to myself, “Wow, he’s an Olympic medalist and he’s 25-0 and he’s still a few years from a title shot.” I understood he was a raw talent that day…

In other eras great American heavyweights were ready to challenge for titles by the time the next Olympic class was coming around. So, for example, Floyd Patterson was from the 1952 Olympics. He was champion by 1956. Muhammad Ali was from the 1960 Olympics, he won the title by 1964. Joe Frazier was from the 1964 Olympics and he was champion by 1968. George Foreman was from the 1968 Olympics and he was champion by January of 1973. 

So with Wilder he wasn’t ready for a title shot until 2015 although he was from the 2008 Olympics. I think this is a sign of the times where development just takes longer. But I think it’s mostly because of Wilder’s late start to boxing and the Klitschhko brothers were still relevant when he was ascending. But I personally have no issue with slow development. Everyone develops at different speeds. Kelly Pavlik, the tremendous middleweight champion from the 2000s, took some time to develop. He had almost 30 fights by the time he fought Jermaine Taylor. So I get it.

So back to the numbers. The numbers say Wilder is a HOF. But the opposition will be criticized. Ring-rated fighters are the cornerstone to building a legacy and Wilder doesn’t have a lot of that. In other long reigns, the champion may not have star names or HOF names. But they will have Ring Rated names. That’s Wilder’s issue as far as his numbers. 

Now we go by the eyeball test. The eyeball test says Wilder is a great puncher and a good exciting fighter. Similar to Julian Jackson but Jackson is a better, more accomplished fighter. But overall Jackson is considered a better puncher than he is a fighter, like Wilder. The TWO best heavyweights of every era are in the HOF. Often, the THREE best get in. In this era it’s obvious that Oleksandr Usyk is in the HOF. But the question is, who’s behind him? Fury has an edge on Wilder. But neither Wilder or Fury have fought Anthony Joshua. So it’s safe to say that Wilder isn’t the 2nd best heavyweight of this era because of the Fury fights. But we still don’t know who the 3rd and 4th best are. If everyone stopped fighting right now, I would say 1. Usyk, 2a. Fury, 2b. Joshua 4. Wilder. I also feel like Wilder had an advantage over Joshua a few years ago but that advantage has disappeared and Joshua would be a huge favorite to defeat him if they fought right now. So there is a good chance that Wilder is the 4th best heavyweight of this era.

So now we have to look at entertainment value and contribution to the sport. Wilder was the biggest puncher of his era and he went for the KO every fight. So he gave us excitement. He also was a part of the best heavyweight rivalry of the era and a legitimate great fight in the 3rd Fury fight. The 1st Ortiz fight can also be considered a great heavyweight fight.

I feel like Wilder’s best WINS vs Ortiz get slightly underrated. Ortiz was a very good fighter, that no other top guys wanted a part of, until Wilder KO’d him. So it’s easy to pick apart Ortiz but 6 years ago he was being DUCKED.

Ok so I will throw in a wild card. Wilder is one of the most outspoken supporters of CLEAN boxing. He’s a fighter who paid extra money out of his own pocket to get his opponents tested and he actually caught multiple opponents cheating. So Wilder’s decline has been expected and natural from my perspective.

When I factor in everything. I say Deontay Wilder was a good fighter but not a great fighter, who had an exciting style and a big personality. I would say that Wilder is not a HOF lock but he deserves HOF consideration and should be on the ballot. I also believe that Wilder’s chances also are related to what Fury and Joshua do for the rest of their careers. For example if Fury gets destroyed by Joshua that will devalue Wilder. If Fury beats Joshua in Joshua’s  new excellent form, then that would raise Wilder’s stock. 

If Usyk, Joshua and Fury all get in then Wilder’s chances will be tough because it may be oversaturation of an era that wasn’t considered great. In the 2000s Wlad and Vitali Klitshcko are the only heavyweights who made the HOF. The 1990s produced Holyfield, Tyson, Lewis, Bowe and Moorer; that’s a Golden Era. The 1980s produced Holmes and Spinks, although Tyson fought in the 80s also. The 1970s produced Ali, Frazier, Norton, Foreman and had a carry over in Patterson. Another Golden Era. 

This is an interesting debate especially with many BWAA voters being lukewarm on Wilder. In a fair objective world he at least gets on the ballot. And once emotions settle down I think Deontay Wilder is on the borderline and many variables, including how the strong the candidates are that year, will be a factor if he gets in.

I need your thoughts on Tank vs Frank? How does it play out. And how do you think Derrick James and Errol Spence’s relationship will affect Martin who will be in the middle of their feud. While we are at it, who do you think Spence will pick as his new trainer and what are his chances vs Fundora?

Bread’s Response: I really like the sound of Tank vs Frank. I also really like the fight. I don’t believe this will be a blow out. Obviously Tank Davis should be the favorite. I think Tank is a special talent. But Frank Martin is in his prime, he’s undefeated and I suspect he has a high IQ. He may be able to box good enough to neutralize Tank from stopping him and win some rounds while he’s at it. So for right now I will NOT pick against Tank. I really think he’s one of the 10 best fighters on the planet. And I believe his ability to pull the trigger may be slightly too quick for Martin. But ALL ROUND fighters have caused offensive dynamic fighters trouble before. I can’t wait and I don’t get why the public is crapping on this match up. This is a good fight. A very good fight.

I think Errol and Derrick are professional. I don’t think they will be a distraction to Frank Martin. They both know how tough this fight will be. 

I have no idea who Errol will pick as his coach. But I do know Errol has a high level of boxing knowledge so I expect him to make the best decision for him. I slightly favor Errol over Fundora right now. But I would like to see what form Errol is in before I make a definitive pick. Fundora has hard fist. Like Chipper knuckles. They bust you up and Errol suffered some facial damage in his last fight, so that may be a factor. But I feel like Errol’s body attack and physical strength will be the deciding factor. But Errol has to be RIGHT. He can’t be anything less than what we saw in the Ugas fight.

How do you see Adrien Broner vs Blair Cobbs? I read that you used to train Cobbs. I saw Cobbs is listed as the favorite which is shocking to me. This fight has me confused. Cobbs acts like a clown and Broner is shot. Am I wrong?

Bread’s Response: I did train Cobbs for I think it was his 2nd or 3rd professional fight. Cobbs is really talented. He has super fast hands and feet and believe it or not he’s a very hard puncher. He has hard fist. He used to hit the heavyweight bag with no handwraps on and very small old school leather gloves. The issue for Cobbs is his ability to focus and not be carried too fast throughout a hard fight. Cobbs gets very emotional during fights and once the adrenaline from the emotional outburst wears off, Cobbs gets fatigued. I think that’s Broner’s window of opportunity in the fight. 

Broner is the more accomplished fighter, best day for best day. But the issue is both are 34 and Broner’s best day is behind him. Cobbs is also a lot bigger than Broner. So Broner will have to be really in form to walk Cobbs down and pressure him because Cobbs is fast and he can punch and I don’t believe Broner can outbox Cobbs. This is an intriguing fight. It will come down to how much smart pressure Broner can put on.

I know you’re tired of the Ryan Garcia PED saga but it’s important boxing news. Where do you stand now that the B sample has also come back positive but Garcia’s team has sent in a contaminated supplement that is most likely the reason he tested positive in the first place?

Bread’s Response: Listen I am getting tired of the Garcia PED story. But you guys keep asking me about it… Here is what I know, NOT what I think. 

Ryan tested positive. 

Then he made insinuations that he didn't do anything WRONG. And he said some things about Devin Haney and his relationship with SNAC and Victor Conte. 

He also claimed he took Ashwaganda and the company that made the Ashwaganda made a public statement that their product was PED free. 

He still hasn’t produced any proof that he was set up. 

But his team did allegedly do a hair test and an alleged test on one of the supplements that he was taking. From what I have read the supplement test came back positive. I DO NOT know if the supplement was sealed and if another container of the same supplement from the same lot# was produced. As of now I’m assuming the lot# among other things are being sorted out. And after that I suspect a ruling of the NYSAC will make a ruling. 

While I’m waiting for the totality of the facts to come out. I do know that Devin Haney and Victor Conte can not be blamed for SETTING UP Ryan Garcia like some in the media have claimed if one of Ryan’s supplements that he took contained a banned PED. So the media and fans who supported those direct and indirect allegations made on Haney, SNAC and Conte were WRONG if they believe that Garcia had contaminated supplements that he took on his own. 

In this CASE that specific theory CANNOT be both ways.

I also keep hearing that certain people should be thrown out of boxing. Well, If boxing started throwing people out because of a high moral compass, there would be barely anyone left…

Last but not least, I have heard media and fans say some bad things about VADA. VADA is the best thing to happen to boxing over the last 15 years. VADA test for more PEDs than any other testing agency, including USADA. VADA has levelled the playing field in a PED era, more than any other entity. VADA has actually caught several PED users before fights. That shows a level of integrity because VADA has stopped money making events and money directly affects integrity. Nothing is perfect but VADA by far is the best PED testing agency in boxing. No one should have an issue with VADA just because one of their favorite fighters was caught using PEDS. All VADA does is test the urine and blood. What’s in the urine and blood is up to the fighter, not VADA. 

This will be my last time answering this question until the NYSAC makes a ruling.

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