By Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards giving his thoughts on the legacies of Holmes and Holyfield, Tim Tszyu’s cut, Crawford’s next steps, and creating a perfect fighter.

Hi Breadman,

I pray God is blessing and continues to bless you and your family and the fans of your mailbag and their families.

The current new trend is to say that Larry Holmes is boxing’s most underrated fighter. I beg to differ. I must go with Evander Holyfield. Larry Holmes has too many misses for me.

He missed fights with Foreman, Frazier, Young, Lyle, Quarry, Page, Dokes, Coetzee, Tate,   Pinklon Thomas, Tillis. 

I’m not saying he would have lost but we will never know because the fights didn’t happen. I really would have loved to see him vs Thomas, Dokes, Page and those fights should have happened because all of them were under the Don King promotions. 

Those fights could have been made unlike some of the others. Totally unimpressed with his victory over Cooney because to me Cooney was a very overhyped prospect who beat some over the hill fighters in Norton, Young and Lyle.

All were well past it when Cooney beat them. Cooney lost to Spinks and Foreman in his biggest fights and was vastly overrated in my eyes.

Holmes lost to Spinks twice although he was robbed in the second fight. He went life and death with Norton, Witherspoon and Willams. I thought he won barely vs Norton but felt he lost vs Witherspoon and Willams. Of course, he lost to Tyson but fought valiantly against Holyfield. The most impressive performance to me was his fight against Mercer. I thought Mercer was going to kill him and he beat the brakes off Mercer and his performance against McCall was impressive and a debatable win for McCall.

Holyfield is great and superior to Tyson but was overshadowed by Tyson’s persona. Holyfield is very similar to Hitman Hearns; they are great in the ring but don’t articulate well which does matter.

People love trash talkers. All you have to do to see that is look at Rolly Romero who is very limited but gets good paydays based on his talking and not his lousy performances. Holyfield fought better fighters in Lewis, Bowe, Tyson, and others and doesn’t get the respect he deserves. 

What really hurt me is the way they robbed him against Nikolai Valuev. He deserved that victory but the powers that be wanted him out and always go with the younger prospect in those situations. Holyfield, like Roy Jones, is being punished for the end of his career losing fights to Donald and Byrd. He is the best cruiserweight I’ve ever seen and one of the most courageous and best fighters I’ve seen. I love the guy. A true warrior who to me is truly undervalued and could have fought and done well in any era. Holmes is a great fighter also, but I think he has been called underrated so much that he has become a bit overrated to me.

Bread’s Response: Interesting comment. Very good. Just try to shorten it up a little bit…

Ok….You know growing up I watched Holmes. He was a great fighter. An ATG fighter if you’re being honest. It’s very hard to keep him out of the top 6 or 7 heavyweights ever. I think he not only matches up well with his numbers. 20 title defenses. He also looks the part head to head. But you know something…You have a point. 

There is a thing in this world called AGENDA DRIVERS. They pay to influence the narrative they want. At some point over the last few years, an agenda to make Holmes better than Ali started to arise. People started repeating this ridiculous term. "He was more skilled!!!!" 

I could care less who’s more skilled when I’m comparing results and production. Besides that, the more skilled fighter isn’t always the better fighter. Some fighters have other intangibles that allow them to WIN more and outperform more so called “skilled” fighters. And just because a fighter relies on his fundamentals more, it doesn’t mean he’s more skilled. It means his approach is different. 

Holmes actually tried to emulate Ali. He’s just not as graceful. Not as handsome. Not as athletic. Not as talented. So if he is more skilled so be it. While I have always respected Holmes, I never liked his comments about Ali, Tyson and Joe Louis. I’ve personally heard him call Ali overrated. I’ve heard him say he took it EASY on Ali. Watch their fight and tell me if you think he took it easy. No way he took it easy! And he's not supposed to, just don't lie about it. I’ve heard him downplay Tyson, who brutally KOd him. I’ve heard him say he would outbox Joe Louis. He has a right to his opinion. And he certainly walked the walk to a point where he can voice it. But I have a right to mine also, and I feel like everything you feel, you don’t have to say. 

Holmes comes across as a bitter person in my opinion because he down talks others to elevate himself. I guess if you say stuff for long enough, people will believe it....

Holmes and Foreman are the same age but Foreman developed much faster being an Olympian. I don’t believe it was Holmes’s fault he didn’t fight Foreman in the 70s. Foreman left boxing in 1977 and didn’t return until 1987. But Foreman could have fought him in the 90s. I’m not sure why it didn’t happen, but boxing is funny. And I would bet some of Holmes’s past comments kept him from getting certain chances. Foreman is more beloved.

I also don’t fault Holmes for not fighting Frazier. Frazier was not viable by the time Holmes emerged. Frazier is more of a mid 60s to early 70s heavyweight. While Holmes is a late 70s to mid 80s heavyweight. I’m not talking so much when they turned pro or retired. I’m talking relevant periods.

But the 80s heavyweights of Page, Dokes, Thomas and Coetzee he could have fought at some point. While Holmes was consistent with 20 defenses in 7 years. And he did defeat many RING rated top 10 fighters, which is the standard for rating fighters in my opinion. Even over ex champions and HOF because the champions and HOF can be shot by the time you fight them. For example Cooney can say he beat a HOF in Norton but Norton was shot. Holmes beating Cooney in 1982 is more impressive than Cooney beating Norton in 1981…

I disagree about Cooney. I think Cooney was a real contender and a solid fighter. He wasn’t a great fighter. But he was a formidable challenger, in his prime and presented a real fight. You can’t dismiss a fight that big with an undefeated challenger trying to win. 

However, Holmes is not underrated. Most historians have him right after Ali and Louis. I’ve seen him ranked as high #3 all time and never lower than #6. Unless the thought is he’s better than Ali and Louis how can he be underrated…..

Holmes didn’t show class when he lost legitimately to Spinks in their 1st fight. And unfortunately for him he never won another close significant decision again. Holmes didn’t like it too much when Spinks got the decisions over him. I can see him being upset about the rematch. But Spinks beat him clean in the 1st fight. But Holmes conveniently forgot up until the Spinks fight, he got the close calls vs Norton, Witherspoon and Williams. I also thought Witherspoon and Williams beat him. The Norton fight was razor close…

The scores in his fight with Carl Williams were absurd. One of the judges had Holmes up by 7 points. That fight was no more than a 1 or 2 point difference either way. Holyfield did fight and beat better fighters than Holmes did. There is no doubt about that. Holyfield doesn’t have the title defense numbers that Holmes had. And he was inconsistent at heavyweight. But his resume is better. And he did fight better fighters. He even fought some of Holmes’s misses in Dokes, Tillis, Foreman and Thomas. If you put Holyfield’s best 5 wins vs Holmes’s best 5 wins. I think Holyfield  gets the nod by a wide margin. Qawi, Tyson, Bowe, Moorer and Foreman. Are superior to Norton, Mercer, Cooney, Witherspoon and Berbick. 

I think Tim Witherspoon is Holmes’s best win but it was controversial to say the least. The recognition that Holmes gets for being underrated, has actually underrated Holyfield who is usually ranked behind Holmes on ATG Heavyweight list. Holyfield doesn’t have Holmes’s title defense numbers but he beat better fighters and he won the title more times. Holyfield has a legit case for being rated over Holmes but yet he rarely is…Great point.

Gilberto “Zurdo” Ramírez had barely any trouble moving up to the cruiserweight division and winning a title. Do you think Ramirez would have a chance in the heavyweight division? If you do believe he has a chance, how big of an event would it be if he got a shot at a heavyweight title?

Bread’s Response: First off Congrats to Malik Scott. He’s from Philly and I love that he got a world champion as the head trainer in the corner. I think Ramirez does have a chance to be a heavyweight champion but it depends on who is holding the belt. Right now, I wouldn’t favor him to beat Fury or Usyk. But if different belt holders surface…If Ramirez fought for the heavyweight title it would be a huge event because Mexicans support their fighters and a Mexican heavyweight champion would be a big deal to their fan base.

Hi Bread, I don't mean to sound like a tin foil hat weirdo, but I thought it was kind of weird that referee Thomas Taylor called the ring doctor in to look at Romero, when he had no cuts, gashes or anything that seemed to warrant a look. Not only that, but I did not see any loose tape on Cruz's glove until Taylor handled it. Am I being paranoid or does it seem like the A-side was getting some extra help last night?

Thank you for continuing the mailbag, and I hope you have a great holiday weekend.


Bread’s Response: Romero’s equilibrium seemed off from the 1st round, until the fight was stopped. So I don’t have an issue with the referee calling the doctor to check on Romero. I didn’t see the tape incident you speak of, so I can’t comment on it. 

I fully understand A side and B side treatment in boxing. But I honestly didn’t see it in the Cruz vs Romero fight from the referee and I was there live. However, I will say that a judge having Romero winning at the time of the stoppage is criminal. There is literally no justifiable way to give Romero more than 1 or 2 rounds. I had it a shutout. But to have him winning is outright scary and that judge should be at least made to explain round by round what he observed. I think your focus should be on the judge that had Romero up, not so much the referee who I thought did a solid job.

Greetings Bread,

As a fan, I’d rather see Crawford get the Fundora fight that he earned. What a great chess move from Spence by the way, if he positions himself to get the fight first. If no Fundora for two belts, Realistically with (PBC) Political Bull Crap considered, who does Crawford target next? 

Would the WBO strip Fundora and its Crawford vs Josh Kelly? How about Vergil Ortiz for the vacant 154 WBA strap ? Due to IBF stripping Crawford’s 147 belt, I’m assuming he doesn’t utilize that route. 

Does he go to 160 for Janibek’s two belts ? If it’s a non title fight, I feel like the Eubank rumor is bs, he’d go with a more intriguing option like Berlanga at 168, and insert himself into the Canelo sweepstakes by knocking off another vulnerable candidate. 

Hell, Crawford vs GGG right now, would probably outsell all of those. 

What say you Bread?


Las Vegas 

Bread’s Response: Terence Crawford is a shrewd businessman. The fight that he got with BLK prime was shrewd. The deal he got to fight Errol Spence was also shrewd. So while Crawford has had a proficiency to be shrewd, he’s also been on the outside looking in at several points in his career. 

I hate to see a great fighter, score their best career win, then go lose momentum. Floyd Mayweather beat Oscar De La Hoya, then parlayed that into a huge fight with Ricky Hatton a few months later. Manny Pacquiao scored a huge win over Oscar De La Hoya and he did the same exact thing and fought Ricky Hatton a few months later. Ray Leonard got revenge on Roberto Duran and he fought 3 months later and channelled his energy to make a Thomas Hearns fight. Oscar De La Hoya beat Chavez and he took off. Crawford beat Spence in the super fight of this era and hasn’t fought since. 

I’m not criticising him because I don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. I don’t know what’s in the works. But I do know he fought Spence in July and he has no fights on the books and that’s a shame because I like watching him. He’s smooth. He’s calculated. And he’s a killer. I hope we can see him again in his prime form because he will be 37 in September. 

From my understanding he’s a free agent. And in boxing you need some type of affiliation to get the fights you want. Promoters/power brokers are not going to use their influence for a fighter who is not obligated to them contractually. I was hoping these issues would be over for Crawford but they don’t seem to be. To answer you directly. I have no idea what will happen next. The biggest fights for Crawford would have been Jermell Charlo for the RING title at 154, a rematch with Spence but neither has a belt at 154, Tim Tszyu who just lost and Canelo who doesn’t seem to want to be in a no-win situation vs a smaller fighter. I hope his team can come up with something but from what I can see, his biggest options are not available.

If you were working Tim Tszyu’s corner, would you have stopped the bout after seeing how bad the cut was? 

Have you ever had to make a tough call working a corner where you had to stop a bout due to a cut being too severe?

That was a nasty cut and was in the most awkward, worst spot for a boxing match, right on top of the head where all the blood flow is at its highest point. It was like watching a horror movie. You can say this and that about the cut man using Q-Tips to try and stop the bleeding or being unprepared, but a cut that severe, I don’t think anything would’ve really stopped it.

Tim Tszyu is a true warrior and has balls of steel for not quitting after that nasty cut.  

He easily could’ve said he couldn’t see, knowing that it would be declared a no decision.

Seeing that it was a competitive bout even with the cut and Tim being unable to see, one can decipher that without the cut, Tim would’ve won the bout, but obviously that didn’t happen. Tszyu made no excuses either. I hope the scar tissue doesn’t cause too many issues for him in the future.

Bread’s Response: First off I think I have the best cutman in the business in Mike Rodriguez. We have had over a dozen cuts working together but none have caused a fight stoppage. However I was on the other end of that….

Julian Williams fought Hugo Centeno in 2013 (YouTube). Julian was dominating the fight up 3-0 on the scorecards. And an accidental headbutt occurred at the beginning of the 4th round. Both fighters were cut but the fighter that was losing was taken to the doctor and he said he couldn’t see. Neither of their cuts were severe and I felt like the corner could have been given a chance to at least stop the cut. But the bout was waved off immediately. So I found that strange. 

Now on the totally opposite end of the spectrum, Tszyu fought through a horrible cut for 10 rounds. I really RESPECT Tszyu!I can’t say if I would have stopped it or not. I know everyone is saying what they would have done. And in the situation I would like to think I would have done the right thing. But I’m telling you, it’s different when you’re under the gun. It’s different when you view your fighter as invincible. It’s different when you’re winning rather than losing. It’s different when it’s your first elite fighter. Tim Tszyu’s team probably thought he would KO Fundora pretty soon after having those two big early rounds. 

I don’t know the experience level on Tszyu’s team but if he’s their first elite guy, there is likely a great deal of optimism on their part in regards to Tszyu overcoming everything. I’m certainly not saying they made the right decision. It cost him his title. But I do understand why they didn’t stop it. Tszyu was dominating early. Fundora had a broken nose. It was the FIRST PBC card on Prime and no one wanted a 3 round No Contest. So I’m sure they felt a professional obligation to COMPLETE the fight. So to show Tszyu’s corner some GRACE. I’m not going to get into if I would have stopped the fight or not. It’s a tougher call than most think, and you have to live with whatever decision you make. 

Who do you think is the best fit for Errol Spence as a trainer? Spence’s style and the padwork he did with Derrick James seems like it was the perfect fit. Do you think he will try a totally different approach or get someone similar to James?

Bread’s Response: I don’t know. Pairing an elite fighter who is looking for a coach is just as much about chemistry and personality fit as it is actual training style. Errol is a super cool laid back guy. But he’s also very smart. He’s going to pick someone he gets along with as well as someone who’s style fits his. Derrick has unique pad work, so I’m not sure who Errol will get that will replicate that, but we shall see…..I’m interested to see myself who he picks. It’s a very big decision.

When all is said and done at 140lbs who do you think will be the last man standing? I say Subriel Matias.

Bread’s Response: I think Matias is a very good fighter but I don’t view him as high as everyone else. I think Teofimo Lopez and Devin Haney both beat him. I think Gary Antuanne Russell is better. I don’t know who the last man standing will be because it doesn’t usually come down to that. Fighters get eliminated by moving up in weight or simply losing fights. I can see it happening before all of these guys get to fight each other. Remember the top guys didn’t clear out 135  before several of the division’s stars moved up without fighting each other in Haney, Lopez and Garcia. I can see the same thing happening at 140… 

Hi Breadman – I’m a long-time reader of your posts. I was wondering how you would put together your perfect boxer based on categories: Boxing IQ, jab, left hook, right cross, body attack, chin, hand/foot speed, endurance, defense, showmanship and DOG. 

Here’s mine (I tried to mix eras): Boxing IQ: Wilfred Benitez. Jab: Ike Quartey. Left hook: Felix Trinidad. Right cross: Thomas Hearns. Body shots: Micky Ward. Chin: George Foreman (bald version) hand/foot speed: Meldrick Taylor. Endurance: Salvador Sanchez. Defense: Pernell Whitaker. Showmanship: Prince Naseem Hamed. DOG: Evander Holyfield. 

I’d love to hear your list .. 

Lastly, as far as Terence Crawford, where does he go now? 

It seems he may only want 2-3 fights before he retires. With Canelo unlikely, Tszyu losing, Fundora likely fighting Spence and Charlo seemingly missing in action I just don’t see much. A belt at 154 seems the most appealing although it may not be a big fight. As a fight fan I’d hate to see him not get at least another big fight under his belt. Thanks, and continued well wishes. Jamaal, Louisiana 

Bread’s Response: Ok I will give you my picks and with the picks I don’t agree with I will tell you why I disagree with them.

Boxing IQ: I strongly disagree with your pick. Wilfred Benitez was a boxing savant with freak reflexes. He slipped punches as well as anyone in history. But that’s not IQ, that’s defensive talent. So I think you misappropriated that title. I would say Sugar Ray Leonard for IQ.

Jab: Quartey is a great choice. I have no argument for that but my JAB would be Muhammad Ali’s jab. Ali used to spin his jab and he jabbed off of an off beat bounce. Quartey’s jab was lethal but it was the SAME jab. Ali had more variation and he had to go up against greater jabbers in Foreman, Liston and Foster.

Left Hook: Sugar Ray Robinson. just watch the film.

Right Cross: Joe Louis

Body Shots: Mike McCallum

Chin: George Chuvalo. Chuvalo took Foreman’s punches dead on. No rolling or parrying. Just eating shots from the biggest puncher in history. Even Foreman would not have taken his punches so well. Watch the fight on YouTube.

Hand/Foot Speed: They aren’t the same. You can have fast hands but slow feet and vice versa. I love Meldrick and his flurries could be the fastest I’ve seen. But I like Roy Jones’s speed better. It’s smoother and it’s more deadly from longer ranges.

Foot Speed I would say Manny Pacquiao

Endurance: Salvador Sanchez, I agree.

Defense: Pernell Whitaker I also agree but I want to add a styles context. A KO artist who comes forward will have a different defense than a fighter who is backing away. So out of the KO artist and attacking fighters I will say Roberto Duran.

Showmanship: You know what I was going to say Ali but Prince Naseem was THAT guy so no argument.

DOG: Evander Holyfield. Many fighters can get the nod in this category but you can’t go wrong picking Holyfield.

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