The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as Tyson Fury vs. Francis Ngannou, welterweight contender Giovani Santillan, Tim Tszyu vs. Jermell Charlo, Devin Haney vs. Regis Prograis, Keyshawn Davis, and more.

I have to give you your props brother. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen someone in your position so objective. On the same day you said that you can get in boxing late, if you have superior athleticism and earn a living, Francis Ngannou gets robbed in his pro debut against Tyson Fury, the heavyweight champion of the world. In the comments of the last mailbag several people disagreed with you, for this to happen a few hours later. Unbelievable. You also always stick by your point that you don’t need to be a giant to be a great heavyweight. Ngannou is listed at 6’4 and you always say 6’3 and 220lbs is the perfect size for a heavyweight. After watching the fight I can’t agree more. In fact Ngannou got fatigued I believe because of his heavy muscle and if he was 40lbs less then I don’t believe the fatigue would have been so noticeable. Thoughts on Fury’s legacy and how this changes the boxing landscape.

Bread’s Response: When I said what I said about boxing, it wasn’t to slight boxing at all. Building a world champion is one of my life’s greatest achievements and I don’t want to discredit myself. Boxing is a difficult sport to excel in. But when looking at these things you have to take everything into consideration. Not just your subjective preference to prove your point. Marketable athletes can get opportunities that they did not earn in boxing. See Conor McGregor and Francis Ngannou. If you have athleticism, physicality and instincts. You can start in your late teens or early 20s and have success. See Sergio Martinez and Deontay Wilder. If you are connected and go to the sanctioning body’s conventions you will be ranked. And if you have a promoter that protects you, you can stick around and get big opportunities without being forced to take fights as the underdog that you will most likely lose. 

Boxing also has no extensive draft, where measurables are measured. Like how fast can you run a mile. How many push ups can you do? How many sit ups can you do? Etc etc. Last but not least, all you have to do is pass a physical to turn pro. So while boxing is an extremely difficult sport to be GREAT in. Because of the logistics it allows athletes to come into the sport late and EARN a living. It’s happened too many times to be outlier circumstances. 

Currently I train a kid named Erron Peterson. He’s 27 yrs old. He turned pro at 26. He was a high school football star. He was 6-0 as an amateur. He’s 4-0 as a pro. He’s dog strong, awkward, naturally athletic in terms of running, jumping, pushing and pulling. And I’m telling you he competes with world class fighters on a consistent basis. I don’t know what he can become. But I’m telling you he’s doing well and he’s competing at this moment. 

My assessment isn’t based on what I want to happen. It’s based on what I’ve seen happen. That’s how I stay objective. I don’t dismiss or enhance what I see. I take it for what it is and I accept it.

I watched Fury vs Ngannou and I thought to myself if Ngannou had a little more gas he could’ve won convincingly. But I’m not going to criticize him. Going 10 rounds with the best heavyweight of his era in his pro debut is remarkable and I don’t take this achievement lightly. But you’re correct. Ngannou is only 6’4. You don’t need to be a giant to be a good heavyweight. Sometimes if you’re too big you can become a big target when you’re fatigued. And with most humans the bigger they are, the more uncoordinated they become. So 6’3, 220lbs allows you to be big enough to damage a large man but also on average, coordinated enough to apply elite skill. 

Look at Ali, Tyson, Holyfield, Holmes and Louis’s skill set. Look at them vs fighters over 6’5 and 240lbs. Look at Usyk in this era. Wilder is 6’7 but his best fighting weight is 220lbs or under. I will die on this hill. The best size for an elite heavyweight is 6’3 , 220lbs of functional weight and coordination. 

As for the fight itself I wasn’t scoring with a pen and pad. I wasn’t even planning on watching it. I was taking a nap and I literally woke up, looked at twitter and read someone post that the main event was about to start. So I checked it out. After 2 rounds I saw that Ngannou was coordinated in his own way. He was a little stiff but he was comfortable. He wasn’t in awe of the moment. He had a real command for his emotions. He was also very reactive to Fury’s tricks. Fury loves to feint and bounce in for big 1-2s. Ngannou was well prepared by his coaches. 

A trainer called me at the end of the 2nd round. He said to me are you watching this? My feed was 2 minutes faster than his and his eyes told him that Ngannou was in it, before he saw the knockdown. I saw the knockdown way before he did. At the end of the 5th, I said to him, who do you think is winning because if Fury doesn’t stop him, this is going to be controversial. He said I can’t tell who’s winning. I thought the same thing. At the end of the fight I thought Ngannou most likely edged it because of the knockdown. 

Because of that knockdown Fury would have had to win 6 rounds to get a score of 95-94. I don’t know if I saw either fighter win 6 clean rounds. There were some swing rounds..... In terms of scoring I’ve seen worse scorecards. But you will have a hard time convincing me Fury won 7 rounds as one of the judges had it. 

In the details of the fight. I think Ngannou is very heavy handed. I’ve seen Fury in with big punchers and he has no issue grappling them and pushing them around and smothering their power. Both Klitshcko and Wilder couldn’t handle his grapple game. But Ngannou has the MMA background and he’s dog strong. It didn’t work on him. So when that didn’t work, I saw Fury hesitant to engage because of how hard Ngannou punched. I saw both men get tired. Not just Ngannou. Fury didn’t look well prepared. But that’s not an excuse if it’s true. It’s part of the job description to be in shape, mentally and physically.

When Fury won the title from Klitschko, I was very happy for him. I loved his story. But since, he hasn’t handled the mantle well. He disappeared from boxing for 2 years at 27 years old after winning the biggest prize in all of sports. He blew up to 400lbs. He Had personal issues and he had PED issues. I bring these things up because it’s relative to where he is now. He comes back and does great vs Wilder 3x. But other than the Wilder fights, he’s missed the most relevant contemporaries of his era. He’s been the lineal champion for 8 years!!!! So now he fights a crossover fight. I get that boxing is a business. But if you’re going to take this type of fight, you can’t struggle and get what many are saying was a gift. You also shouldn’t take this fight with viable options to fight who are established fighters. Fury has about 4 or 5 guys who are legit challenges to him that he hasn’t fought. That’s why you can’t bring up Ali because he fought EVERYONE. 

I don’t watch MMA, I’m not anti MMA, it’s just not a sport that I follow. But I hate the constant comparisons between MMA and boxing. And it’s definitely bad for boxing and Tyson Fury’s legacy that he struggled that bad with an MMA fighter in his pro debut. I also believe that Tyson Fury could have residual damage from doing 30 rounds with Deontay Wilder. Fury took some huge shots from Wilder. He’s naturally a heavy man and you can see that even for a heavyweight, that weight is an issue for him. Fury may be on the “other side”. It’s hard to say but it’s a strong possibility.

Another thing I wonder, is how did the UFC part ways with such a terrific fighter in Francis Ngannou. This was my first time watching him fight. If his stand up is that good. And he was able to win the heavyweight championship of the world. What happened with his relationship with them? He should be the face of the UFC. 

The reason this is bad for Fury and boxing is because it will have a domino effect that will devalue Fury’s accomplishments and past opponents. You will have critics who say if Ngannou was able to do that, then what does that say about Wilder. It’s not right but that’s how critics work. They will also say, what does it say about the heavyweight division, that a 37 yr old MMA fighter can give the champion that type of struggle in his debut. 

You had media and fighters saying Fury was better than Ali and was the best heavyweight ever. Etc Etc. now they’re all eating crow, which in turn will cause them to criticize Fury, who still is an excellent fighter by the way. I’m still trying to reconcile what happened but it’s surely not good for the sport that the true boxing hardcore fans love. But I have to keep things in perspective. It doesn’t mean Fury is garbage and it doesn’t mean that Ngannou is the next Ike Ibeabuchi…'s BOXING.

Hey Bread,

Santillan a player at 147? Under the radar but pretty solid. Tszyu vs Charlo? 50/50. Tim hungrier, busier, momentum. Charlo clutch. Tim has solid pressure but Charlo can clip him. Tough fight. Sup with Ennis? Who would be the best realistic fight to come back?I think every 147 wants to feast on Barios. Like the guy and well promoted but the weakest name at 147. Prograis Haney Need your deep objective analysis: What happened to Prograis? Was once an uber talent. Fought against the system. Drawish fight vs P4P peak Josh Taylor in the UK. Everybody thinks he’s gonna get outclassed by Devin. Haney is excellent. Distance, timing, jab, support system. But he is vulnerable. Not the best inside fighter. Got hurt a few times. Most observers had him lose vs old and small Loma. The dude has heart and ambition, but prob underdog vs Tank, Shakur and Teo. Yet he’s heavily favored vs former talent in Prograis. Talk about career and momentum. Can Regis stop him? Can he get inside?Regis aint Loma but punches way harder and has good awkward inside game. Thoughts?



Bread’s Response: Santillan is super solid.

Charlo vs Tszyu, not Tszyu vs Charlo. Charlo is the champ at 154 until he loses. But I agree that it’s a 50/50 fight. Tszyu has the momentum, Charlo is coming back to 154lbs which is a weight he hasn't made it what will be 2 years by the time he fights Tszyu. Tszyu’s confidence will be sky high because of what Canelo just did. But he has to be careful of being over confident. Charlo is not only clutch but he will have something to prove. That’s a great, great fight when or if it happens.

At this point Jaron Ennis needs a promotional push. It’s more than just finding him an opponent. He needs a plan where opponents get created especially for him. He’s that type of talent where you can project 2 and 3 fights down the road. Ennis is only 26 but he’s in jeopardy of being another Demetrius Andrade if they don't get his career moving. Talented but the big fight is escaping him and it's no accident …..I don’t want to say too much because the game is to be sold not to be told. 

But Ennis has potential to be an undisputed champion form 147 to 160. That’s how good he is, remember I said it. But he’s going to outgrow 147lbs eventually and it would be a shame if he doesn’t get a title shot there. It’s a SIMPLE fix but it won’t be an easy one. 

I don’t know what happened with Prograis. But I suspect that he never built enough momentum after his wins to be in the kind of groove or high regard that he deserves. If he gets his old form back, Devin Haney has a serious fight on his hands. But getting the form back is the issue. 

You know it’s interesting that you brought up Loma. I know a kid who was in camp with Loma. The same kid got a call to be in camp with Prograis. I literally told him the same thing you stated. Loma may be more skilled but Prograis can damage you more and you don’t need to be taking those punches right now. Word for word that’s what I told him.

Any fighter can be stopped. When I say any fighter can be stopped. Any fighter can be stopped. Just because you haven’t been stopped doesn’t mean you can’t be stopped. So that’s the answer to can Prograis stop Haney. Haney can also stop Prograis if he hits him right. 

Yes Prograis can get inside. The question is will Haney allow it? Haney is a super talented kid, with a great reach and a great jab. Haney also is very well conditioned with a nice set of legs. So Regis will have to earn it if he does get inside. 

The American judge, Alan Kreb's, with his score of 95-94 in favor of Tyson Fury, may have single-handedly just saved the sport of boxing.  Enough said. Thanks. 

Bread’s Response: Deep statement. Not sure if I agree. Not sure if I disagree. But nonetheless very deep.

After watching Tyson Fury look completely shot for 10 rounds against an amateur boxer, I’ve decided this: The most recognizable names in the heavyweight division are mostly old men on the decline. I think the person who’s actually the best heavyweight in the world is probably a 26-year-old who has little to no fanfare. Is that a fair conclusion to jump too, or am I missing an easier explanation as to why the heavyweight champion looked so bad against an amateur?

Bread’s Response: I wouldn’t say you’re wrong. But what I will say is that you made an open ended comment about the best heavyweight being a 26 yr old that has little fanfare. If you named a name I could answer better. 

Listen Tyson Fury looked bad for many reasons. Some we may not even know yet. But the number 1 reason was Francis Ngannou. Ngannou fought the fight of his life. He rose to the occasion. He put everything into the fight. His whole life. It’s like a great music artist’s first album. It’s their life’s work. 

Francis is also dog strong, with a sturdy chin and super heavy hands. Did I mention a natural athlete? A person with all of these things can compete in boxing without the background. I also believe the stars lined up for him. Fury says he trained for 12 weeks. So I’m not going to say he didn’t. But just because you train for 12 weeks doesn’t mean you were locked in and turned on for 12 weeks. Maybe Fury just didn’t imagine Ngannou being THAT good. It happens more times than not. Some fighters are complacent. Some fighters don’t get up for everybody. It can be a subconscious thing. But with what I have observed with Fury is he’s better as the underdog. He’s fought down to the level of the opponent and that’s no knock on Francis. I’m just trying to reconcile what I saw.

There is a lot that goes into getting ready for a fight. And if you aren’t all the way locked in and the opponent has a bad style for you. And that same opponent fights better than anyone thought, it can be a tough night. It’s not luck. But it’s the stars lining up. Some people seem to think that Ngannou can beat most of the top guys because he gave the top guy a hard night’s work. I’m not saying he can’t beat them. But what I am saying, is that it doesn’t work like that.

He won’t have the element of surprise with everyone else. No one will take him lightly. There is video out on him now. Good coaches will pick up on what he likes and doesn’t like. It’s not a foregone conclusion that he can beat other top guys. I’ve seen so many fighters come out of no where and give a top guy a tough night. Then we expect them to be able to beat everyone else. Sometimes a fighter has your number for 1 night and it’s all there is to it. For right now, I don’t know but I’m not going to assume anything moving forward. I’m also not going to assume Fury will lose to Usyk because Usyk is better than Ngannou. That’s not how this thing works. 

Fury will be SKY high for Usyk. And if he’s not shot, Usyk will have major BUMP on his hands. I’ve seen fighters turn it up on the nights they need to turn it up. I don’t know if Fury is shot. He may be sliding. But often times fighters who are sliding turn it up on special nights. Remember Holyfield vs Boby Czyz. Then remember him vs Tyson. Tyson was the better opponent. But Holyfield was better vs Tyson because Tyson was better than Czyz. Fury has a little bit of that in him. 

What does concern me is his punch resistance. Fighting Deontay Wilder for 30 rounds can damage you. I do wonder if some of his punch resistance has been compromised since those hard Wilder fights. I guess we will have to wait and see.

Keyshawn Davis just had his win turned into a No Contest because he tested positive for marijuana. Do you think marijuana should be banned? I ask because it’s used for pain tolerance which can help an athlete. It’s also used to calm the nerves of people, which can also benefit a boxer. Davis is using it for a reason and I would assume that’s it’s one of the reasons I named.

Bread’s Response: Um…..Good Question. I’m not qualified to say if it should be banned or not. I’m not a sports scientist. But I agree that it does help with pain and it has a calming effect. A bigger issue for me is, some commissions don’t care about marijuana and some do. I think the rules should be across the board. The problem with boxing is you can get away with certain things with certain commissions. If marijuana is banned in one place it should be banned everywhere. If it’s allowed in certain places, it should be allowed everywhere. 

As for Davis. It’s unfortunate and it’s not the same as using a steroid. I don’t want to slander Keyshawn and make it seem like marijuana is the same thing as say a synthetic testosterone. Because it’s not. But ignorance of the rules/law is no excuse to break them. Keyshawn has to know the rules of the commission that he’s fighting in. And if he doesn’t know, he has to ask someone on his team. 

Hopefully boxing fixes this issue. It doesn’t matter to me if marijuana is banned or not. I just want the rules to be the same with each commission. If not, what’s going to happen is A list fighters will cherry pick which commission they will fight in. It shouldn't be that way...

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