The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman: Edwards tackling topics such as the recent shocker of Liam Smith knocking out Chris Eubank Jr, Oleksandr Usyk vs. Tyson Fury, unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, and more.
Hi Mr. Edwards, Last time you mentioned that rounds should have no carry over effect but in reality they do. Trainers and boxers are surely aware of this. I understand that one can be dropped by flush punch or hurt without being dropped so there is a plethora of possibilities. My question is, do/can you train for this? Usyk vs Joshua 2, rounds 9 &10 come to mind when Usyk turned over unfavorable impression from the previous round. What role a boxer's awareness & other traits play in facing such adversity and how important the role of a corner is? I reckon that an astute trainer may help a lot in such situations.
Many thanks, Marek
Bread’s Response: You’re speaking of momentum. Obviously you feel the momentum of the fight as a trainer or cornerman. So your instructions are predicated in what you feel. It’s something to consider but you also have to consider your gameplan and opponent. To answer you directly, I believe you can train for any and everything. Create the scenario in the gym and allow your fighter to overcome it.
Hi Mr. Edwards,
Thank you for answering our questions every week and keeping the sport interesting.There are some fighters who fight their entire lives in one weight division(we'll exclude heavyweight division), like GGG, Beterbiev, I believe willie pep fought 200+ fights in the featherweight division only. I think single division legends will always be looked below multi division champions. What would be your criteria to put a single division legend over a multi division champion. Can you give us examples.These days the term Soviet School of Boxing is being thrown around quite a lot especially with the successes of guys like bivol, usyk, beterbiev. Can you give us the history and origins of this style, like who popularized it, how effective it is and your personal experience and opinion of it.My last question is a bit unrelated to actual boxing itself and more with broadcasting. Currently cameramen record the bout from outside the ring and we majorly see an elevated sideline view with occasional zoom in view. If there is enough advancement in tech, I would like to see a bout from the Boxer's POV where we only see one boxer's opponent's punches/feints/bobbing etc. (like go pro helmet cams)with an option for viewers to switch from one boxer to another. How freaking cool would be that. Not only we would be able to see it from a unique angle, which will give it more realism, but it would also help trainers when preparing for a particular fighter.
What do you think?
Thanks always and much love.
Bread’s Response: Where would the camera be placed on the boxer? Pro boxers don’t where head gear. I think there could be a ref cam but I don’t believe a fighter cam is feasible. If you put it on the fighters trunks, punches will disrupt it. If you put them in the gloves the angles with be disrupted. So you would have to explain to me the POV you speak of and how it can be done. Right now, it’s just a cool idea but I need more.
I don’t know who started the Soviet school of boxing. But over the last 15 years some excellent fighters have been produced from that system. GGG, Usyk, Loma, Bivol and Beterbiev all have HOF status. And all have been top 10 P4P fighters. In the 90s if you remember Yuri Arbachakov and Gussie Nazarov were also top 10ish P4P fighters. Krusher Kovalev is a HOF level fighter. And let’s not forget Kostya Tszyu a Russian who was based in Australia who is now a current HOF. I would assume the style came from their prestigious amateur system when they were the USSR. And as it branched off to different countries, the style evolved but the principles remained the same.
Immediate reactions from the majority seem to be that Eubank was weight drained and that is what caused the knockout. I went and looked at the weigh in and Eubank looked dry but not overly drawn, I've seen a lot worse.It seems to me that it is the residual effects of the unsafe cut he did for the cancelled Benn fight that has hurt him. His body hasn't recovered yet. It's like when you break a fast, you have to do it slowly in the right way.We are extremely fortunate that the Benn fight was not allowed to go ahead or we may well have seen EITHER one of them die, even without any potential PED's being involved. Fighters want to fight so with the exception of the two men it's a shame on all others involved who were still trying to go ahead with that fight.People don't like to admit it but boxing is a business first and a sport second, however SAFETY has to be PARAMOUNT. We avoided a death.The referee should also have stopped the fight after the first knockdown. Eubank was clearly completely gone. We narrowly avoided a death there too, I just watched Griffith and Paret this week and there were shades of it tonight. That was an awful, dangerous decision but I am not that surprised with the state of officiating over here.We have a saying: 'jobs for the boys' - meaning favouritism towards your friends in the in-group. And it certainly seems to be that way even as far as who gets the commentary and punditry gigs too.
There is some awful cliche nonsense espoused by the people paid to talk, it's really bad and painful to hear at times. Just because for example a person fought doesn't automatically mean that they have enough knowledge, and the communication skills, to speak in a productive way.One of the pundits tonight was saying something about 'how a judge sees it' in terms of scoring a fight. No there are 4 clear criteria that judges are supposed to stick to (but don't).I am really sick and tired of this 'common sense', cliche, stereotype, assumption, 'plucky', mentality. It's the reason why our soccer team never wins anything either (but that's another rabbit hole). It's more by luck than good management that nobody has died in this whole sorry situation. Something needs to change.
Bread’s Response: My immediate reaction to Chris Eubank losing was that Roy Jones would get criticized. And that Chris Eubank has damaged his own career by taking money fights instead of fights that would have made him a better fighter. So if the unsafe weight cut that he was allegedly trying to do for Benn affected him, that’s on him. Benn is a welterweight who is just a prospect/contender. Eubank had a plethora of big fights he could’ve made over the years and didn’t. I keep hearing that Eubank wanted to face GGG. But if you remember he could’ve faced GGG many years ago and didn’t and Kell Brook stepped in. Now that GGG is 40 and much past his prime, he wants to fight him. I know this is the era we are in but when you wait around for money fights without improving this is what happens.
Back to the fight, I picked Liam Smith because I just believed he was the more confident fighter and more sure fighter. Eubank looks the part but he really doesn’t have a style. He’s athletic but he’s not super skillful. He’s not hard to set up or outbox. Even in the fight vs Matt Korobov, he was soundly outboxed in that 1st round. He was fortunate Korobov was injured.
I thought Smith put together a vicious 2 fisted attack as Eubank was in the corner. And turned over a nasty hook with a sprinkle of ELBOW, then a nice uppercut in between and he really hurt Eubank. I think the ref was within his rights to see if Eubank could fight out of trouble. Eubank has never been stopped. He’s earned the right to fight out of trouble. But Smith’s finishing instincts were just too good.
I also felt that Smith was a fighter who actually cares about being the best and taking real challenges. Eubank has fought some tough fights early but nothing really recently and that shows up when you get pressed. A fighter has to remain a fighter. Even dealing with the business side. Eubank has been all business for the last few years and he hasn’t been sharpening his blade. Where as Smith has and it showed. It’s not that Smith is so much better than Eubank. But Smith conducts himself as a fighter, and the timing of the fight favored Smith.
I didn’t like the criticism Roy Jones got. Jones is an excellent trainer and he has an excellent IQ. I judge a trainer on what they have done with level of guys they had. Not just wins and losses but performance. Bryant Perella got a draw with Tony Harrison. Perella is not as good as Harrison. And he boxed with Tony on at least even terms. Then in his next fight Perella got robbed with another draw. You could see Jones’s work in those fights, he just didn’t get the decisions but his training was on display.
He also did good with Isaac Chilemba vs Krusher Kovalev a few years back. I don’t want to hear about Jones’s style. That’s what he teaches. It’s obvious Eubank wanted to be like Jones so that's who he went to. It’s obvious he has a similar body type to Jones. Eubank’s father is a great fighter. A fighter who openly admitted he could NOT have beaten Roy Jones in their time. Eubank Jr went to Jones to train him and he could’ve stayed with his dad, that says a lot about Junior felt about Roy Jones. He wanted Jones’s style.
So Roy Jones did his best to teach him how to fight how he wanted to fight. That’s not on Jones. Eubank is 33 yrs old and does not have a ring identity. Roy Jones would have to be a miracle worker to turn Eubank into him but it’s his job to try the best he can. Jones didn’t start Eubank out as a 12 year old kid. He’s not the matchmaker and promoter. He’s a professional trainer who get’s a project and he tries to build on it. This is his profession and Eubank is a high profile fighter. So Jones takes the account and does his best. Jones is an excellent trainer, despite this loss. What is Jones supposed to do? Lose the job and tell Eubank it’s no way he can teach him to be him? Or be optimistic and try his best? Remember he has to make a living as a trainer.
Hope all is well with you and your family. Comments/Questions1. Were you ever contacted from Anthony Joshua's camp during their selection process for a new trainer?2. One thing that bothers me with Clay Liston 2 I feel cheated because I wanted to see Clay fight more rounds. I feel he was going to be at his best fastest angriest and with some of that Liston fear mixed in. I feel the public missed out badly. I also feel Liston was cheated out of a count. The person counting for the knockdowns is only suppose to start the count and then the ref finishes it. Walcott should have counted out Liston but Clay never went to the neutral corner at all and Walcott could not make him so in my opinion it would be like Dempsey Tunney or one of wilder's knockdowns of fury. If you don't go to the neutral corner the ref may stop the count. Your opinion on the count in the clay liston 2 fight (was it a legit count) and what instructions do you give to your fighter to prepare him if he knocks down a fighter.3. Inoue vs Fulton who you got? If you got fulton the odds will probably be best now. Late money will be coming in on the bigger man. You are correct Inoue has never been in the ring with a black fighter whose skills will be a new challenge to him. But what people forget is how many fighters fulton has fought that have step into the Naoya Inoue universe of speed power skills. Maybe the same number 0.4. Your thoughts on the power difference Francis Ngannou will experience if he goes from MMA 4 ounce gloves to and fights legitimate Heavyweights with 12 ounce gloves. I pity the person who gets hit by Deontay Wilder if he only had on 4 ounce gloves.
5. donaire vs chocolatito 115 - donaire vs estrada 115 - 6. Liston vs Wilder? - 7. How good could Pyror been at 147??? - 8. Ward vs Charles Ward vs Moore 175? - 9. Have you ever had an inkling of jumping into the ring to protest something that had happened to your fighter?
Thanks as always
Bread’s Response: 1. No
2. I feel you’re right about Ali. He would’ve really shined that night if it weren’t for the early ko. I think Walcott messed up but there was a lot of chaos that night. I instruct my fighters to go to the neutral corner and look at me if they drop their opponent.
3. I don’t have a pick right now but I’m pulling for Fulton. Fulton is very physically strong and he’s the much bigger fighter. Don’t he surprised if he mauls Inoue and dirty boxes him. Inoue has not faced an elite Black fighter from America but I don’t want to criticize him because they aren’t many in the weight classes he competed in. Fulton has also not faced anyone as good as Inoue. Inoue has a strong case for being the world’s best fighter and best puncher.
4. You know something this is deep. Many people think for example that a bare fist is harder than a fist in a 10oz glove with a gauze and tape wrap. But that’s not true. The person with a bare fist, usually will break their hand and the bones aren’t as stable if they aren’t compacted in a glove and wrap.
As a kid I had punching bag that literally said don’t hit with gloves on. I used to hit it without gloves and my hands would hurt. Then I would put gloves on and it allowed me to punch harder and the bag would fall off of the brackets. That’s deep right......I say that to say, that I don’t know if 4 oz gloves are too small. I haven’t caught pads on them. But they don’t seem to have the protection that an 8 or 10oz glove have which allows fighters to punch harder. For the record heavyweights box in 10oz gloves. Interesting question.
5. Donaire is too big and dynamic for Estrada. I think it's a bad style match up for Estrada. He’s also most likely too big and dynamic for Choc too but I think on best days, Choc has a chance to outbox him going forward but he would be up against it.
6. Liston is severely underrated by historians. The late 1950s version of Liston was a monster. I believe Liston has a slight advantage over Wilder. Liston is much shorter but his reach is about equal. He has a much better jab and he’s a much better boxer. Wilder makes up for that because his sum total, outweighs his parts but this is a tough fight for him.
7. Pryor was not stripped down to his last calorie at 140lbs. Remember he was a lightweight up until he got his title shot. I think he was a great fighter but I don’t know how great he would have been if he moved up to 147lbs. He never did until he was old and done and that’s where the money was. Welterweight was stacked in the early to mid 80s. Benitez, Duran, Hearns, Leonard, Curry. Even Marlon Starling would have been a rough fight for Pryor at 147. The myth that Leonard ducked him started because recent apologist for fighters went back in history and tried to nitpick. Leonard would have most likely brutally kod Pryor. I think Pryor's body was perfect for 140lbs and his one trainer Dave Jacobs is heard on youtube after the Lenox Blackmore fight, to stay at 140lbs and wait on the smaller guys instead of moving up to fight Ray Leonard at 147.
8. Andre Ward could hang with any fighters ever from 168-175. But I wouldn’t pick him to beat a prime Ezzard Charles. Archie Moore and Ward would be interesting. I see a pick em fight but I lean a little towards Moore. I just saw some footage of Moore before he won the title and he wasn’t the slow cross armed defensive fighter he was in the 1950s. He had fast hands and he was a brutal clever puncher. Ward likes it at the same ranges that Moore does and Moore is just a brutal heavy handed puncher to fight in close or the mid range. I can see him sneaking in some nasty shots and possibly dropping Ward in a very close fight where the knockdown would be the difference.
9. Yes 3 times. I advise Omar Douglas. He fought Edner Cherry. Until this day I believe the judges thought Douglas was in the other corner and mistakenly gave Cherry the fight. The locker rooms were changed and Douglas walked out first and was announced first. I think the judges confused Douglas as the B side, which shouldn’t be a factor. But the locker rooms were switched because of an incident with other people not being able to be near each other. Omar won that fight, 8 rounds to 2. It wasn’t close enough to debate. I thought it was a mistake and no one ever corrected it.
When Kyrone Davis fought Junior Castillo I felt he won. Very close decision but I felt in my heart he won. I didn’t like that people from Castillo’s team were cheering in the corral near the judges which influences the integrity of the fight in my opinion. No one should be in that area.
And when Julian Williams fought Hugo Centeno I almost snapped. Williams was winning the fight 3-0. 30-27 on all of the scorecards. They accidently clashed heads in the 4th round and both fighters were cut. The referee took Centeno who was LOSING to see the doctor. It gave the losing fighter a way out to not get a loss on his record. Centeno started blinking and the fight was stopped. The cuts were real but they weren’t awful. Williams’s cut was just as bad and they never took him to the doctor. They never let the fighters get back to their corners to see if the cuts could be stopped. They just stopped the fights on a common cut that fighters have went multiple rounds with and won with in the past. With the rule being that fighters need to go 4 compete rounds, and to stop this fight during the 4th round and not after it was completed was disingenuous. I still feel that way. All of these fights are on youtube.
I personally feel Canelo has become the greatest Mexican boxer of all time and is approaching greatest Latino of all time (alongside Duran/Monzon.) Am I tripping and just young, or is he legitimately a better boxer than JCC was. Tank Davis reminds me of Duran (as a lightweight) because of their violent style, knockouts, and surprising beautiful defensive technique. Do you see similarities or no? I have read many books about Carlos Monzon. One thing that fascinates me is he was said to only “stop drinking, smoking, and womanizing” for 30 days before his fights, fully lock in, and then he went on to never lose a world title fight using this method. Was he just THAT special and talented of an athlete that it worked for him, or is that something that worked in the old days ,but he would not be able to get away with today and be successful?
Thank you much respect, Adrian Soto-Pérez from NC
Bread’s Response: Canelo is a great fighter. An ATG fighter. I personally rate Chavez and Sanchez over him from Mexico. I wouldn’t argue with those who say he surpassed Morales, Marquez and Barrera. I think it’s close. As for best Latino fighter ever. That’s a stretch. He needs to do more. He’s not better than Duran or Monzon.
No I don’t see similarities in Tank and Duran's style. What I see is guys who’s skillsets get overlooked. Both are better defensively and are better boxers than most give them credit for, but they fight nothing alike. Tank is a mix of Mike Tyson, Zab Judah and believe it or not Prince Naseem Hamed. He fights nothing like a young Duran. Duran is a mix of Canelo Alvarez and Chocolatito.
Monzon was Monzon. Some people can break rules and be the exception but I wouldn’t recommend drinking and smoking and boxing just because he got away with it. Maybe he would’ve been an even greater fighter if he had not done those things.
Possible hypotheticals that could unfold: Bivol beats Canelo for undisputed at 168 and then Beterbiev for undisputed at 175crawford beats Spence for undisputed at 147 and beats Charlo for undisputed at 154inoue beats fulton & mj to unify 122usyk beats fury for heavyweight undisputed anyone of these scenarios are possible and would give the fighters undisputed status in a second or third weight division. which scenario is most likely to happen? Which one is least likely to happen? All of the above are extraordinary feats, how would you rank each one in historical significance among the others listed? -
Mike, Las Vegas
Bread’s Response: I think the most likely is Usyk over Fury. Not because I favor him but because it’s just one fight. When you fight those type of top level fights, it’s like gambling with a parlay vs a straight bet. I would take the scenario where there is just one fight.
Artur Beterbiev is a 38-year-old light heavyweight champion and looks great. Unfortunately for him, Bernard Hopkins and Antonio Tarver recently won 175-pound titles at the ages of 48 and 39 respectively. If that hadn’t happened, Beterbiev’s accomplishments would already be discussed in a historical context. So I ask you: considering this recent run of older light heavyweight champions, at what age is Beterbiev accomplishing a hall of fame worthy feat by continuing to hold onto a championship?
Bread’s Response: I think Beterbiev deserves HOF consideration at this moment. He’s been a dominant champion. He’s 7-0 in title fights with 7 kos. He’s been a champion for 6 years. He has 3 belts. He’s at least in consideration for the HOF at this point and ascending towards it.
Hope all is good with you and the fam.I just watched my man "Rich The Fight Historian" on YouTube's video on one of Philly's finest James Shuler. Guy's a little bit before my time, so I don't remember a lot about him, but I know you're a Philly guy, so I was wondering did you get to watch him coming up? What did you guys in Philly think of him and where he was going? What was his ceiling if he doesn't die so young?Also, I can't help but see that Philly has so many talented fighters that seem to come from the city, more than any other American city per capita.What exactly is the reason for you guys' dominance in boxing? Like, how does a place become the boxing hotbed for generations that Philly has?I'm from the Chicago area and wonder what would we need to do to be able to create the constant stream of talent Philly has? Do we just need better gyms or coaches or do you just get lucky with the talent you got?
Bread’s Response: I actually trained at and train my fighters out of the James Shuler Gym. I didn’t know James but I do know his brother Marvin who was an undefeated pro who retired early. However, I did see him fight several times. He was a huge middleweight with solid power, good fundamentals and a mean streak. He just happened to run into an ATG fighter in Tommy Hearns. Had he not passed away I think he was more than capable of winning a world title. You have to remember he fought Hearns in 1986. The following year, the belts were split up because Marvin Hagler was upset by Ray Leonard. So 3 belts became available.
It wouldn’t have been easy because a Golden Era of middleweights surfaced in the late 80s and early 90s. Michael Nunn, James Toney, Roy Jones, Bernard Hopkins, Sambu Kalambay, Reggie Johnson, Lamar Parks, Nigel Benn, Chris Eubank, Gerald McClellan among Iran Barkley. But the title changed hands a few times. Especially the WBA belt. And I feel like Shuler who was slightly older than most of them could have emerged around 1987-89 and won a belt.
People actually try to argue you with me what city produces the best fighters. It’s not close if you go by fighters who were born or raised in a city. If you go backwards from the present Philadelphia has produced Stephen Fulton, Julian Williams, Tevin Farmers, Danny Garcia, Steve Cunnigham, Bernard Hopkins, David Reid, Nate Miller, Meldrick Taylor, Freddie Pendleton, Tim Witherspoon, Robert Hines, Buster Drayton, Gary Hinton, Jeff Chandler and Matthew Saad Muhammad. I stopped at 1980 as far as world champions but that's 16 off the top of my head. I didn’t even name the great contenders and amateurs.
There is no place on earth that produces the home grown fighters that Philadelphia does. I can’t tell you why, but I can guess. I think at some point long ago, the right group of fighters and right group of trainers were all in Philadelphia at the same time and it stuck. The culture, the teachings, the competitiveness, the harsh beginnings maybe 100 years ago all held on.
I go to gyms around the country and there are some very good ones. With a culture. But most of the fighters are from somewhere else and they went to the gym for a specific trainer or the gym itself.
In Philadelphia, you can walk in a gym with non descript fighters and get high level sparring from a kid you never heard of who doesn’t take boxing seriously. New York has 6 times more people, and Philly produces way more world champions over the last 30 years. DMV is an area that is composed of 3 states. They produce great fighters but again it’s 3 states. Philadelphia is 1 city. LA can come close. Oxnard and other areas of LA are the real deal but I still take Philadelphia over them. Places like Cincinatti and Detroit have had hot streaks but Philly is consistent. Philly does not go more than 3 or 4 years without having a world champion. That’s the difference.
Chicago is an anomaly. Chicago has all of the makings of a boxing city. If you notice big cities down south like say Miami or Atlanta produce football players and track stars. Not so much boxers. I think it’s because the warm weather produces outdoor athletes. But Chicago is cold like Philly, NY, Detroit and the DMV. And they rarely produce world champions and contenders. They also have the 3rd largest population in America. I can’t for the life of me understand why Chicago is not a hot bed for boxing. It’s not like they don’t have a large talent pool to pick from. With the youth and gang violence in Chicago, one gym with a few good trainers could turn their culture around within 5 years. Hopefully the success of Kenneth Sims can turn it around if he wins a world title. He’s their top fighter at this current moment. Shout out to Kenneth Sims, he’s a real fighter.
Hey what's up Bread? Hope all is well. First of all, I want to thank you for your insight and vast knowledge that you give us boxing fans on a regular basis. It truly means a lot. That being said, I wish that I could say the same for the sport we love. Pardon me for being overly dramatic, but it feels like the sport of boxing is in a bad place for the fans. I understand that it's a business as much as it's a sport and every fighter that risks life and limb for our entertainment deserves every penny they get. And I understand that us fans that are hoping for the sport to get back to the 'golden era' of yesteryear, (specifically during the 4 kings era, extending to the 90s and 2000s) are essentially hopeless in that regard. But, aside from moving on from the sport as fans, is there anything that we can do to get the fights that we want to see when they should be made, instead of waiting for years for them to 'marinate' and still no guarantees that they will get made at all? I think I know the answer, but wanted your educated opinion. Anyway, sorry for the long-winded novel of an email, and thanks for taking the time to read it. Take care. ---Mike
Bread’s Response: Boxing is no different than the National Interest rate and stock market. It goes up and down. The powerful people in boxing are not going to tell everyone how they generate money. So when these methods dry up, what happens is other business models get created. That’s all that’s happening now. We are in a paradox. Boxing is in a transition stage. Boxing is waiting for someone to come up with the next business model. Once that happens, everyone will copy and things with get spiked up again. Don’t worry, boxing is not going anywhere. You just have to be patient during the highs and lows and recognize the trends. The trend now is to put big fights on in the first half of the year and in the second half slow these things down. Once you recognize the patterns you won’t get disappointed and when the pattern changes you observe it.
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