The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as welterweight Jaron Ennis, unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, Naoya Inoue, Rashidi Ellis, Charlo brothers, and more.
You seem to have the most objective opinion I’ve seen on all things that matter. You give opponents props as well as your fighters their criticism. I loved what you said about Caleb having to stand up to Benavidez and not allow himself to be broken. That’s the truth. All of the skills and gameplans don’t matter if Caleb gets broken. I can tell your age by some of your comments and I wanted to ask a different type of question as I sincerely believe you have a future in media. Who are you current favorite fighters outside of the ones you train and favorite all time fighters?
Who are your current favorite basketball players and favorite all time players?I know this one is random but I’m curious to know your answer. Who was more at fault in the Biggie and Tupac beef?
Bread’s Response: Wow! Interesting question.
Yes I have no issue with saying something positive about one of my fighter’s opponents. It’s called telling the truth. Or having integrity.
My favorite current fighters outside of the fighters I train….Let’s see….Chocolatito, Monster Inoue, Errol Spence, Bud Crawford, Boots Ennis, Artur Beteribev, Vasyl Lomachenko, Tank Davis and Oleksandr Usyk.
All Time Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Ray Robinson, Roberto Duran, Manny Pacquiao, Salvador Sanchez, Roy Jones and Felix Tinidad. I’m sure I forgot a few.
All Time in Basketball. Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson.
Currently in Basketball. Tyreese Maxey, Lebron James and Damian Lillard. I love Lillard because he’s a guy I point out to my son to look at and copy because he’s not so much of an athletic freak. He does it with skill which can be taught more and drilled with hard work.
And Lebron because of the pressure he endured and still delivered. People discredit what he went through. And to turn out to live up to the hype and be the #2 all time basketball player ever, just slightly behind MJ in my opinion, is one of the most amazing feats ever. Pressure is something else and he handled it as well as any athlete in history.
I watched both Biggie and Tupac’s entire careers. You were right. Both are slightly older than me but that is my era. I loved Tupac. Girls used to tell me I looked like him after I got my head shaved bald. But in all fairness I thought Biggie was the more talented rapper. I think Biggie is the best rapper ever. While Tupac may have been the more talented person if that makes sense.
I believe Tupac would be equal to Will Smith at this point in terms of acting if he were alive right now. He had a charismatic glow to him and it would have been fascinating to see him evolve. As for their BEEF. The truth is Biggie wasn’t really beefing with Tupac. He was more or less defending himself from the onslaught of insults. Tupac knew who allegedly shot him. He was trying to bully Biggie. If you look at the situation closely, it made no sense.
Tupac made a song about the person who allegedly shot him in fact. So just because Biggie was from New York and the person was from New York allegedly, somehow Tupac was more upset with Biggie than the person who shot him or was responsible for him being shot. It’s not like Biggie was supposed to tell him who shot him and refused. He already knew who did it!
So after the insults and accusations came out Biggie and his crew just defended themselves and it went to an ugly place unfortunately. But Biggie wasn’t beefing with Tupac. He was his friend and he even went to see him in the hospital when he was shot. But it was easier to target Biggie than it was to target the guys who were allegedly responsible. So he targeted the easier mark in his mind. And this is coming from a Tupac fan. That whole beef could have been avoided but it was one way. Again, It was Tupac going after Biggie because he was shot in NY. I still don’t know what he wanted from Biggie and if you listen to his interviews he doesn’t even explain it because the notion that he didn’t know who did it was not true.
I have to respond to your response to a previous person that wrote into you. If you watch the entire segment of the interview with Michael Jai White you will see that he was being asked if he could beat Bruce Lee in a fight and that's why he commented. White is a very intelligent man and martial artist and he does say that he is so much larger than Bruce Lee. We know that size does count in combat sports and that's why weight classes exist. As a martial artist myself you do hear in our community "Bruce Lee never fought." It is false that he never fought but what is true is that he never fight in the context of modern martial arts. This is partly what White is referring to. While boxing seems to have regressed or stagnated in terms of the skill and frequency of fighters actually fighting MMA has evolved and is light years ahead of what it was in its infancy. What advantages do you see Usyk has over Fury? It seems to me that Fury has every physical advantage possible. Do you think Usyk has a quickness and timing advantage? I think it's possible he can outbox Fury but he would have to make it a pretty slow paced fight in doing so.
Thoughts? -Chris from Chicago
Bread’s Response: I saw a quick tidbit of an interview. Not sure if it’s the same one you’re talking about. I’m also a fan of Michael Jai White….Sometimes I think we ALL have to be careful of interviews. Because sometimes our words or feelings can be used against us. It’s happened to me before. I think it happened to White in this case.
Yes size does matter. As far as Bruce Lee not fighting in the modern martial arts, he’s the pioneer of it! He was one of the first who believed in WATER. But he died in 1973. That’s 50 years ago. So obviously things have evolved a great deal since then. But you can’t hold that against Lee. If he were around today he would have evolved with the times. That’s what greats do.
It’s just unfortunate the interview turned into click bait and sometimes I think the younger athlete and in this case White, gets goaded into a prideful answer. Then that answer is turned into click bait for public consumption.
Usyk is a WATER fighter. I’m not sure if you asked me that next to the Bruce Lee question on purpose or not. But he shows up beyond the eyeball test. He’s not the fastest heavyweight. He’s not the hardest puncher. He’s obviously not the biggest. But he gets the job done. I don’t break fights down with just who has the physical advantage. Because that’s not how fights work. Usyk is one of those boxing savants who can give up physical advantages and still win because of his MIND. Because of his innate ability to find something and adjust. Fury is a great fighter and he deserves to be the favorite. But he has to beat Usyk in the ring, not on paper.
Good Morning Bread,
I hope it is sweet where you are. I always admire your thoughts, but I gotta disagree with your comment that Inoue may already be the 2nd best Asian fighter of all time. To me, Inoue's achievements at present don't come close to matching Fighting Harada. Harada fought when there were only 8 champions. He beat Pone Kingpetch who is certainly an HOF, could conceivably be ATG, to win the world title at 112 ib. After losing the rematch when weight-weakened he steps up &, as there was no 115 title, fought nailed-on ATG Eder Jofre at 118. He beat Jofre twice & defended his title against incredibly stiff opposition like Jose Medel, Alan Rudkin & Bernardo Caraballo. At least one of those men must be an HoF.He loses to Rose then steps up again &, because there is no 122 class, fights Famechon at 126 & suffers the decision. Almost every impartial viewer said he was robbed fighting an Australian in Australia. He knocked Famechon down 3 times but was shafted. He coulda, shoulda joined Fitzsimmons & Armstrong in winning 3 of the old 8 divisions. Don't get me wrong, I like Inoue, but he can't compare to Harada at present, no way no how.
Bread’s Response: When I said Inoue has a case #2 All Time as far as Asian fighters. I didn’t say he had the #2 spot with a lock. Fighting Harada is actually the fighter who I believe is challenging him for the spot. I love Harada and you have a great point. I should’ve mentioned Harada by name and given him some of the recognition he deserves as an ATG.
Greetings Bread, long time follower here. I’ll keep it short and sweet (my apologies if this has already been covered in a previous mailbag). All of this talk about Duran vs. Leonard has me wondering a simple question: who wins a match between the Roberto Duran of the 1st Duran/Leonard fight versus the Sugar Ray of the 2nd Duran/Leonard fight and why?
Appreciate your time.
Bread’s Response: Both fighters fought a perfect fight. Duran in terms of attacking in the 1st fight and Leonard in terms of punching on the move in the rematch. But it doesn’t work like you stated it because of the effects of each fight has a residual effect on the next.
But since you said hypothetically, I would say Leonard by a point or two. Leonard could punch on the move as well as any fighter I have ever seen and the special thing about him is he could keep it up all night. Leonard’s stamina was equal to or as good as Duran’s. If you remember Leonard came on late in their 1st fight, which made the fight more controversial than anyone remembers in terms of the score.
With Spence and Crawford owning all four belts between them , I really feel for Jaron Ennis . They wont fight each other and they only fight once a year anyway. How can you be a fighter of substance , a Champion , and only fight once a year. And they are usually fighting lower tier fighters . They are allowed to skip mandatories . Where does this stop . Boots Ennis is just stuck in the mud . These two guys are controlling his destiny . If they wont fight each other , they should fight a top ten , then face the number one contender . That is if the number one contender will take the fight . If not then go down the list.
Poor Boots, he cant get a meaningful fight. I think the fight for Boots is Ugas , if Ugas will fight him. The rumor is Spence will move up , but when . I know I am impatient, but I want to see Boots fight great fights against the best while in his prime . He has already wasted several years. Just imagine if this happened to SRL . Jermall Charlo going on two years since he fought . Fans want to see Jermell fight Tszyu and Fundora . Some of the best fights don't involve titles. Too much posturing.
Whats going on here .
Bread’s Response: I feel for Boots Ennis. Because fighters don’t box for the business side, they usually box for their passion and ambition to be great. At this point I just hope Team Ennis, makes the right adjustments on the business side of the game. Boots is always on the outside looking in of big or name fights. He has the boxing side covered. He’s a supreme talent. But his team has to figure out the business side and figure why he hasn’t got the big fight yet. There is always a reason for everything.
Greetings Breadman -Thanks for the weekly mailbag...as an avid boxing fan I really enjoy the insight and the measured way you answer questions. Onto my question: I recently met and had an enjoyable exchange with Rashidi Ellis...very likeable young man and a heck of a fighter...really enjoy watching him perform. I did a quick scan of where he ranks amongst the 4 sanctioning bodies and was a little surprised at how widely he's ranked...he's as high as 3rd by the WBO, 10th & 14th with the IBF & WBC respectively and then...not at all with the WBA? I found that odd as I did think he was better than many on that list.
With my curiosity piqued I decided to scan the other weight classes and quickly realized that most fighters don't have rankings in all sanctioning bodies. Are some fighters not eligible for certain belts? Is it financially driven? I'd appreciate some insight into how the rankings are developed and if/why certain fighters are not ranked with certain sanctioning bodies. Mythical Matchup type question: I love watching Sebastian Fundora fight...calm kid and feels like he's totally in control at all times even in the chaos of the pocket.
His thought process on the 'knockdown' he suffered from Lubin was very sophisticated, choosing to take the knee and gather himself rather than take more punishment...that's a difficult thing to do for a fighter I imagine. Looking at a list of historical greats at 154 I obviously wouldn't favor him over any of them (at least until he wins a belt and defends a few times) such as Pacquiao, Benitez, Sugar Ray, Hearns, Mayweather, Norris. My question for you, of that group who do you think he presents the biggest stylist challenge to in their prime? He's such a unique fighter and his size seems like it could be a problem for anyone in history to deal with. Best of luck with the big fight this weekend.
Thom, Boston, MA--
Bread’s Response: The most prevalent ranking in all of boxing is the RING Magazine’s rankings. The sanctioning bodies get it right every once in the while but not often enough. A fighter can’t get a title shot unless he’s ranked within the top 15. Often times rankings are chess moves by a promoter to position fighters within his table for title shots. The Promoters, fighters and managers who attend the conventions to state their cases also get preferential treatment as far as rankings. So again unless a fighter is the Mandatory and it’s being enforced a ranking is as big of a deal as people make it out to be. Fighters get dropped for all types of reasons. But the main reason is usually because they decide to fight for another sanctioning body’s belt or they turn down an eliminator fight.
When it's time for Ellis to get a title shot, he will get one with or without the mandatory spot as long as he's connected to the right people.
Hello Breadman ,
I have three questions. Why are Champions like the Charlo Brothers not being stripped for not defending their belts . Jermall is going on two years and Jermell says he won't be back until late summer, that's sixteen months. Even with injuries new Champions should be crowned. Jermell has all the belts at one fifty four , he is holding up the whole division. Champions have to fight more than once a year.
Number two, when fighters sign a contract to make a certain weight , is there a bond or a penalty written into the contract. Zurdo Ramirez missed weight. He and his team should have to pay substantially, and face a year or more suspension . If the bond were put up before the fight by both parties would this put a stop to this. Number three , I have to ask this question . Beterbiev vs Marciano . Marciano fought around one eighty four so Beterbiev could easily make this weight . My friends don't give Marciano much of a chance , but I do.
I feel that Marciano fought better opposition. Walcott twice , Charles twice , LaStarza twice , Louis , Moore. I am not sure that Beterbiev bests that line up . Interested to hear your thoughts.
Bread’s Response: I can’t say why fighters aren’t being stripped. That’s a decision that’s up to the sanctioning body. However I do think a rule should be set forth in boxing to guarantee more activity. A Champion should be forced to defend his title every 6 months. Obviously you will have a small grace period of a few days but nothing significant. This will cause champions to fight more often and clear out the field of contenders easier.
There is a contract that the fighter signed agreeing upon the weight he was supposed to make. Sometimes there is a penalty within but for a fight like Ramirez vs Rosado, with Ramirez being the A side, it’s really no protection for Rosado. He has to just take it on the chin and if the promoter is generous they will pay him a % of his set purse.
I believe two things will fix this. One is boxing needs an insurance company to insure boxing events. This way fighters can still be paid and it won’t have to come out of the promoter’s pocket. I also believe Ramirez’s next purse should be held in escrow and Gabe Rosado should be paid a %.
What he did to Gabe was basically stand him up at the alter. Training camp is a serious expense and whoever misses weight needs to be held accountable.
I can’t call Beterbiev vs Marciano. But someone would leave the ring on a stretcher.
Dear Mr. Edwards,
All respect to you for your knowledge and your frankness. This past weekend I watched a number of fights and noticed, as I often do, the listings of cornermen. I've been watching boxing since my grandfather and I watched the Gillette Friday Night Fights in the mid-1950s (I remember Sugar Ray Robinson knocking out Gene Fullmer!) and I am still puzzled about what some of these corner persons (not all men!) do. Trainers and cutmen are easy enough to figure out, but why do some corners have "assistants" (sometimes more than one) or "seconds?" Can you explain what these people do?
Bread’s Response: Corners have head trainers, cutmen, assistant trainers and often times more assistants. Most corners have 3 people but some have 4. There is also the CORRALL area where close team associates and maybe a dad will sit. It’s hard to figure out who everyone is if you don’t know the team. Don’t even try though lol. It’s not the worth the mental gymnastics.
Hello Breadman, I was reading your last mailbag, about the lost arts in modern days. You talked about the lost art of punching on the move. For your perspective, is this a result of an evolution/involution of the fight style, or is it a direct result of a way of training? For example, I see lots of coaches that do pads in front of the fighter, without having the fighter moving the feet. (Virgil Hunter to me has a great way of doing mitts, during his pads routine he has the fighters throwing punches and moving feet at the same time, and with good balance).
Bread’s Response: I think as with any skill based sport, athletes evolve with the times. They copy the best fighter of the era. So if you look at the 70s, fighters bounced while they punched. Even a puncher like Hagler bounced. Because Ali was the fighter of the times so the fighters emulated him and punched on the move and it carried into the 80s.
In the 90s fighters could weigh in the day before so fighters became a little bigger for their weight divisions and they didn’t bounce as much. It also was the era where mitt work became a bigger deal. So most times on the mitts as you stated, the trainer is standing still, so therefore the fighter is standing still. Great pick up. So if mitt work is the main floor drill, then fighters will perform how they train. Punching on the move is definitely a lost art and very difficult to defend but you won’t get that with fighters standing still throwing 8 punch combinations.
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