The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the recent big win by WBC heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and his claimed retirement, welterweight champion Errol Spence, Canelo Alvarez vs. Dmitry Bivol, and more.

What’s Hap’nin’ Breadman,

About a month ago, you referenced a basketball game from your past where you played as good as ever. It seemed like you were in ‘the zone’.  I believe you said you never played that well before or after that particular game. There is a book called ‘the inner game of tennis’ about the part of the brain that works beneath our thoughts and ego which controls breathing, digestion, circulation, growth and recovery.  The author argued if we can tap into that part of the brain, people can perform optimally more often .It seems like a type of meditation where people can shut off the inner conversation we experience while awake. Can a trainer or coach teach how to get into “the zone” more often or at will as a tool used during matches, games or performances? Certain boxers have many skills in their tool box, but may overthink during a match, causing poor choices or no selection of the proper punch during the heat of battle. Chocolatito, Terrence Crawford and Lomachenko seem to be able to get into ‘the zone’ often.  Duran may have been there during his first match with Ray Leonard. Often after a great performance, athletes say ‘tonight was my night’.

Can learning how to get into ‘the zone’ facilitate an excellent athlete becoming an elite athlete along with talent, practice, rest and proper nutrition?‘

til next time, BW

Bread’s Response: I love this question! When I hear about a fighter meditating and doing yoga and tapping in to his inners self I know where that fighter is mentally. When I see a fighter always staring at his phone close to a fight. Arguing and discussing things that have nothing to do with his fight, I also know where he is. Being the in the zone constitutes a focus and an ability to perform and not letting outside distraction effect you. ....I’m going to try to purchase the book you mentioned. 

I 100% believe a coach can tap into a fighter being in the zone. If you know the method. But if you don’t know the specific method, you have to take inventory of what the fighter did and did not do. I don’t have a specific method but I take inventory of what my fighters do. I take inventory of how they act. I take inventory of what they eat and what they did in training. I take inventory of their mood. I take inventory of the distractions around them. No one can predict every single outcome. Only an egomaniac would claim that. But I know when a fighter will fight a good fight. It’s something that he exudes. I tell fighters to have a journal. If you have a journal you will see what you brought you to a bad moment and what brought you to a great moment. 

When Julian Williams fought Jarrett Hurd, I was as anxious as I have ever been for fight because he peaked out 3 weeks earlier and he literally got the better of every single sparring session for 3 months. He literally killed every single track and strength workout. He wasn’t distracted. His weight was perfect for the entire camp. I wanted the fight to hurry up and come because I was afraid that someone would knock him off of his zone. When we got to DC, I went to his room and it was peaceful. He wasn’t on his phone. People weren’t bothering and distracting him. I saw a Quran and a copy of the book “The Art of War”. He seemed to be at peace. I knew he would ROLL. I was smirking as we walked to the ring because I just knew it. 

I would love to get a sound proof method of getting there more often. I would love to learn breathing and mental techniques to get there more often. But I want to say something in layman’s terms. I feel like great athletes get to the ZONE more often because they understand how to focus better. I also feel like great athletes can perform at higher levels even when they aren’t in the zone because their baseline level of performance is so high. Thanks again for this question!

Hey Bread,

Between the Whyte fight, the trilogy with Wilder, and ending the title reign of Klitschko, I think it's safe to say Fury has stamped himself as not just a Hall of Famer but also the dominant heavyweight of his era. That said, I feel that if he retires he will be dogged by whispers for failing to take on the winner of Usyk-Joshua for undisputed.  After this (and assuming he wins), I think it also makes sense to fight Joe Joyce before he retires.  In Joyce we have another undefeated behemoth sporting an Olympic silver medal.  Coupled with the fact that he's a fellow Brit, they could probably do another fight at Wembley.  Taking these two fights would only enhance Fury's legacy.  He could retire as undisputed, and beyond being the dominant heavyweight of his era, he also would have cleaned out the biggest players from his division.  Also, I've yet to see Joe Joyce be hurt.  This separates him from Wilder and Joshua who are also incredibly big heavyweights, but have proven to be vulnerable. But how could any boxing fan not be curious what would happen if Fury and the Juggernaut collide?Thoughts?


Bread’s Response: I love Tyson Fury the fighter. I received lots of criticism before his 3rd fight with Wilder and I quoted one of Fury’s comments. Fury basically said I don’t hate Wilder. I don’t want to kill him. I just want to beat him. Wilder wants to kill me. But when you hold onto anger it’s like throwing hot coals at someone. You burn yourself. That wasn’t verbatim but that’s basically what he said. I thought it was revealing. I loved where his mind was before the fight. Although he may have done some foolish things after he beat Klitschko, he’s also a wise man. You can be both by the way. 

So Fury’s mind, along with his resiliency, self belief and elite boxing skills makes him a great fighter in my opinion. It also makes him a HOF. But I don’t know just yet if he’s an ATG. See I think Fury is the best heavyweight of this era thus far, but the era isn’t complete yet. It’s not over. I feel like his body of work should be larger, considering the opponents he has in this era. He has Usyk which is an obvious case if he wins the rematch vs Joshua. But what if Joshua wins? Joshua’s resume is better than Fury’s by a lot. So he doesn’t need to beat Joshua and Usyk if Usyk wins. But a victory over one or both would be credible. 

Mix and matching the top guys is what every other era did to establish who was the best. I also agree that a big fight with Joe Joyce. Fury would be a huge favorite over Joyce. But they have to fight in the ring. Joyce is formidable. I also would want to see Fury fight Tony Yoka the 2016 Gold Medalist. The Gold Medal heavyweight champion throughout history has been a fighter that ascends to elite heights. Yoka is taking longer to develop than most of the great Gold Medalist but I still think we should see how ascends over the next 12 months. So if you add Usyk and/or Joshua, Joyce and Yoka to Fury’s resume we have an excellent resume and I think he’s an ATG. For an historical perspective. The best heavyweight of every era is always an ATG. Usually the top two….But in order to be an ATG I think your resume needs either more depth in terms of big numbers or a handful of great wins. Fury has some excellent wins over Wilder and Klitshko but other than that because of his lack of big numbers I don’t know just yet if he’s an ATG. 

I’ve never thought Wlad Klitshcko was an ATG despite having a big body of work because he lost his biggest fights usually by ko. He also took long to ascend, he turned pro in 1996 in the middle of a Golden Era but he didn’t fight any of the greats of the era that preceded his reign because he wasn’t ready. So it’s not just the numbers, it’s both. 

I think if we are honest and his career stopped at this moment. The fighters who Fury resembles the most as far as legacy are Riddick Bowe and Sonny Liston. Bowe beat Holyfield 2 out of 3 and he has nice wins over Herbie Hide, Larry Donald and Julio Gonzales but Bowe isn’t viewed as an ATG. He more or less viewed as a great fighter, who matches up really well head to head on his best night with anybody but not quite an ATG because he left too early and his body of work isn’t big enough. Liston on the back of dominating as a contender for a few years before he got his shot. And beating Floyd Patterson twice is a HOF. In the 1960s we didn’t have as large of field to consider as we do now. So back then Liston was considered a top ever heavyweight along with Johnson, Dempsey, Louis and Marciano. But as time went on several fighters surpassed him in terms of ATG status. Again I’m a big Fury fan. I love him as a fighter. But there is more food on the table. 3 or 4 more big fights and I think he’s an ATG. But at this point what I believe will happen is critics will compare his accomplishments to others and after extensive research he will fall into where Bowe and Liston are instead of where Lewis, Holmes, Ali and Louis are. 

Hi, Bread        

I'm probably one of several dozen sending this question. After Fury's KO of Whyte, the ESPN broadcast team was wondering who, among past champs, could cope with Fury's combination of size, ability, skill ,courage and mind-set. Obviously, it'd appear terribly unfair to match prime Fury with a prime(for example) Marciano, considering  a 10.5 inch height advantage, 80 lb. edge in weight and 17 inches in reach, excellent as the Rock was. At the same time. I THINK I recall you writing that 6'3" or 6'4" and 220 is usually sufficient for a top heavyweight.

As you see it, which past champs would be the most dangerous for the Gypsy King?

Thanks for making each Saturday so interesting.

All the best to you and yours,

Terry - Warren, Pa.

Bread’s Response: Because of Fury’s boxing ability, confidence and sheer size, he’s a tough match up for any heavyweight ever. But I don’t view him as unbeatable even on his best nights. I watched the Steve Cunningham fight and that let’s me know Fury enjoys being the slicker and faster fighter. He had a hard time finding Cunningham and because Cunningham was smaller and quicker, he was even able to hurt Fury multiple times. Otto Wallin is a big guy but he’s not huge and he’s not a big puncher. He was able to really take Fury to the wire in a tough fight. Wallin was competitive because of his boxing ability. Because of reflexes. Because of his footwork. I suspect Fury is an ATG. I actually strongly suspect it. But I would like to see him vs more styles. Sometimes a fighter can have a great fighter’s number. It just happens. 

Because of how well Wallin did I would like to see Fury fight Usyk. And believe it or not I believe Anthony Joshua is competitive if he’s not shot mentally. 

As for guys from the past there are plenty I would think would be super competitive. Lennox Lewis would be a tough match up for Fury. Lewis was fast, he had an elite jab. An elite 1st step and he threw a vicious over hand right. 

Riddick Bowe the same, plus e could work with Fury on the inside.

George Foreman on brute force alone and resiliency. 

Larry Holmes on a jab, reach, resiliency and elite  boxing ability. 

Muhammad Ali on the same.

Evander Holyfield because I believe he’s stronger, harder puncher version of Steve Cunningham.

Vitali Klitshcko is 50/50 with him.

Ike Ibeabuchi would be a brutal fight for Fury.

Tim Witherspoon. You guys may laugh at this pick but Witherspoon was a great fighter on his best night. He just didn’t have consistency. But he had a big time chin, a big overhand right and he could box. 

Joe Louis the best puncher in the history of the division, ate every fighter he ever fought for lunch that was over 6’4 and 250 lbs. Who’s to say Fury would be able to see his punches coming. I don’t like to mix and match eras because the fighters of 20+ years ago didn’t have access to the sports science and recovery we have today. But going strictly by the eyeball test and what they’ve done, I think those fights would be competitive.

Hey Bread, I've been seeing a lot of hate over Canelo choosing Bivol over guys like Charlo/Benevidez but honestly, would you favor one of them over Bivol? I honestly think Bivol is a stylistic nightmare for Canelo.


Bread’s Response: These days I don’t know if anyone is a stylistic nightmare with Canelo. He’s got over the issues he’s had with movers. He tracks them down now. But I get your point. It’s just going to take a fighter to have a special night to beat him in his current form. Whatever that fighter does, he’s going to have to be on his A+ game.

Bivol is just as good as Benavidez and Charlo. But he’s a light heavyweight and he has pedigree. In terms of who’s better, he’s definitely not lesser than them in terms of skills and ability. But I suspect he may not be as durable. I don’t want it to seem like I’m calling a fighter who’s undefeated, chinny. But I suspect he doesn’t like being hit. No one does but he doesn’t deal with punishment well. He’s sort of really scaled down his offense without losing but a scale down has happened. I suspect that Team Canelo has also observed it and they know why. A fighter scales down his offense for 2 reasons. 1. Is if he’s running out of gas at that pace. 2. If he got caught with something he didn’t like. 

Because Bivol has not been kod we may not be able to pinpoint exactly what he got hit with. But I really suspect that’s what it is. I don’t have to be right and it doesn’t have to come to fruition in their fight but I think it’s why he’s been going the distance so often. If Bivol were to fight Benavidez and Charlo I would make Benavidez a favorite over him. I think Benavidez could carry 175lbs easy and I think he would force a tough pace on Bivol in a competitive fight. If Bivol fought Charlo I don’t know how that plays out. Charlo fights at 160lbs. To jump straight to 175lbs and fight Bivol is a tough ask and I haven’t seen Jermall at 168lbs. So it’s not that the question is hard. I just can’t answer it because it’s not enough evidence of how Charlo would perform. Middleweight to Light heavyweight is a HUGE jump in terms of boxing mass and bone density. There have been only a handful of fighters in history who have been great in both divisions and even less who won titles at 160 and 175.

Hi Mr Edwards,

Thank you for a great mailbag and I also appreciate your consistency in criticizing me for my attitude towards Errol Spence Jr. I take your point but I will cut him some slack only when he actually makes the ring walk against Terrence Crawford. Tyson Fury is turning out to be the best heavyweight of HIS generation. Let us not get carried away, though. I read crazy stuff all the time about how he would bounce Joe Frazier off the canvas five times, how Muhammad Ali would be rendered ineffective against him and how he described himself as one of the greatest heavyweight champions of all time in the aftermath of his last fight. Let's have some perspective. Fury hardly beat anyone of note on the way to upsetting Wladimir Klitschko. He then came up with various excuses and finally wriggled out of a rematch with Wlad. I am not going to dwell on his PED issues and health problems.

However, he came back from all that and fought nobodies until his trilogy with Deontay Wilder. Some believe he was the beneficiary of a long count in the first fight but he comprehensively defeated a thunderous punching but technically poor fighter in Wilder. Wilder matched Ali's record of title defenses but I don't think he even has a peep into the HOF. And then Fury knocks out a clueless Dillian Whyte and, suddenly, he's in the conversation for the greatest heavyweight ever and he beats Ali, Joe Louis, Jack Johnson, Rock Marciano etc. And the only basis for this mythical run through the men on Mount Rushmore is that there has never been anyone so huge, so skilled and so easy-moving as Fury.

And of course, he's a first rate fighting man.I have nothing against Fury. In fact, I like the man and what he means to the heavyweight division, in particular, and boxing, in general. However, I still believe that people are trying to rewrite history. And I think even respected boxing men like you, Mr Edwards, are unwittingly supporting what is a thinly disguised hark back to the era of the "Great White Hope". The only difference is that, at that time, the white boxing establishment was looking for a white heavyweight who could topple a reigning black heavyweight. Today, Fury is the white heavyweight who is being made to travel back in time to defeat black fighters like Johnson, Louis and Ali, surely, the three greatest heavyweights of all time, not necessarily in that order. This is manifestly wrong and should not be encouraged. Johnson, Louis and Ali are dead but their standing in the fight game should not be tarnished by "Back to the Future" type "defeats" at the hands of Fury. Fury did not exactly wipe Wlad out. He struggled with a capable but not great Otto Wallin. He was dropped four times by a dangerous but limited Wilder.

Even a "cruiserweight", Steve Cunningham, knocked him down. And his recent victim, Whyte, was knocked unconscious by a man sitting in an old age home in Alexander Povetkin. And you all want us to believe that Ali, Louis and Johnson would be at a huge disadvantage against him? This is the greatest insult to the memory of great fighters who can no longer speak for themselves. Judge Fury by the standards of his generation and stop insulting some of the greatest boxers in history. There is no way Fury defeats the Ali who took the title from Sonny Liston and defended it up to the Zora Folley fight. And, while the Ali who returned from exile was slower and more flat-footed, he had a heart as big as Fury has but he had far greater guile than Fury has. Importantly, he was never knocked down in his run from Jerry Quarry to Trevor Berbick. Fury, on the other hand, is the one who's been bounced five times off the canvass. Johnson was bull strong and defensively great. Louis is the greatest combination power puncher the heavyweight division has ever known. And just so that I am not accused of racism, Marciano was indefatigable. None of the guys Fury has beaten are anywhere near the level of these guys. Of the more modern vintage, there's no way Fury bounces Frazier off the canvass five times.

People who talk crazy like that have no clue what Frazier faced in Kingston, Jamaica in 1972. Or what Ali faced in 1974 in Kinshasa, Zaire. George Foreman was the most powerful man in heavyweight history. The Frazier who tore through the heavyweight division while Ali was exiled was a wrecking ball. People cannot throw Fury's size around like it would have been an insurmountable obstacle for these great, great fighters. None of the guys Fury has defeated are even near the level of the aged Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott and Archie Moore that Marciano annihilated.

So, can you all stop dishonoring the memory of these great fighters please. Let us simply appreciate Fury for what he is. And that is the best among a very poor lot. He's never had to face Sonny Liston, Frazier, Foreman and Ken Norton. Ali did. On to the weekend. I seem to recall that Oscar Valdez busts up. Shakur Stevenson appears to be a very accurate and punishing puncher. This may end the same way as Stevenson-Jermal Herring.

MM: - Jeff Chandler v Naya Inuoe. I don't know if I or anyone else has asked you this one before. I think it's a bantamweight war for the ages. I don't know who wins. Keep punching Mr Edwards.

Katlholo - Johannesburg, South Africa.

Bread’s Response: Besides your criticism of Errol Spence your comments are excellent. 

Chandler vs Inoue would be a barn burner. I hate to say this but I give Inoue a small edge. Not  big one but a small one. I can see them having to fight 3x to settle it. But Inoue boxing Nonito down the stretch, after Nonito hurt him really impressed me. I don’t know if Chandler was creative enough in his attack to outpoint Inoue. But it’s a close fight.

I pick Stevenson to win but I think it goes the distance. If he stops Valdez that would be huge. I think Valdez is going to attack him savagely. I think he will imply the same come forward, parrying defense Canelo does. He doesn’t counter punch like Canelo but he’s in the gym with him so he will pick up on some of his tactics. I look forward to a clear but competitive decision victory for Stevenson 116-112. I have been very impressed watching Valdez train. I think he’s in DOG shape! Sometimes when a fighter is more skilled than you are, the conditioning and mindset count. But Shakur Stevenson seems like a gamer. He also has the best defensive move in boxing. A pull the carpet, step back move. It’s simple but he instinctively takes away the target at the last split second. Here is my guess. Valdez understands that Stevenson can’t step back if he’s up against the ropes. He’s going to have to go balls to the wall to get him there to the ropes. 

I think Jack Johnson may be too small and I don’t know if his style would translate because of how long ago he fought. That’s why it’s tough because someone with Johnson’s reflexes and talent if they fought in the modern style, they would be murder against the field but he didn’t fight in the modern style, so….I do agree about everything else you said but I’m more open minded and diplomatic. Just because Fury is bigger than Ali and Louis it doesn’t mean he would beat them. 

I am in the gym consistently with fighters of all sizes. And I try to explain to people but no one listens. That if the smaller man can take the bigger man’s punches, the smaller man gets the better of the work 50% of the time or more. Louis was ridiculous vs bigger fighters because they had no time to brace for his shots. Louis is the best puncher in boxing history.

Ali has the footwork to beat anybody and size doesn’t play against Ali, it plays for him. For as nimble as Fury is he’s not as nimble as Ali. But in fairness to Fury I don’t automatically think they beat him either. I think they’re tough fights for both sides. But the difference is we know about their body of work. It’s a large enough sample size. 

Where we disagree is when you stated that’s I’m supporting the hope of a Great White Hope. It’s my job to be objective and I actually agree with you. I think Fury needs more work in terms of accomplishments. But I do know what I see and I believe he’s a great fighter. He can’t help when he was born and he’s doing his thing in his era. He just needs to do a little more before he walks away in order to be where the ATG are.

Sup Bread,

I heard once that Jess Willard started boxing at 26. He went on to become the heavyweight champion by knocking out Jack Johnson. Of course, boxing fully evolved by late 1920s. That is not to say that there weren't brilliant guys like Benny Leonard who would pretty much beat every boxer out there today but boxing fully evolved by late 1920s or at max early 1930s. Floyd and Fury grew up in the boxing ring and it shows. Wilder started boxing at 20 and it shows. My question to you is - Can a boxer be brilliant if he starts boxing after his teen years? There are people who say that they can't. Do you agree that there is a certain age barrier like that or it just bullsh!t like when people say that a father can never successfully be a trainer to his son?

Regards, Saurabh

Bread’s Response: I believe you can start in your late teens if you have natural ability and a great coach you can make it to the championship level. Sergio Martinez did it. I’ve always believed that there is more than one way to skin a cat. If you do anything too long it will get boring to you. So if you start at say 18 and have a solid 4 year amateur career and go until you’re 22 fighting say 15/yr that’s 60 amateur fights. That’s more than enough to be ready. You would also have to factor in that the hypothetical fighter I speak of wouldn’t have the 12 years of punishment on him from say 8 years old to 20. So it goes both ways. It all depends on his natural ability, resources and who his coach is. If you have a coach who spends everyday with you in the gym or on the track, your learning gets accelerated. I know it because I’ve done it. That would be the key. In your formative years that’s what you need. An on top of you coach.

Hello Bread,1. If Fury retires it will be disappointing as there is still meat on the bone for him. Can you think of some top fighters who either retired early or never put it all together due to out of the ring circumstances. Names that come to mind are Andre Ward ( lotta of great LHW fighters when he retired) Riddick Bowe (Resume is hollow outside of Holyfield) Paul Williams, Paul Spafodora, Edwin Valero can you elaborate on him?

I kinda wanna say Floyd because he has several misses from 130-140, but he has some great wins as well. Tyson because alot of fights from 91-95 we missed out on. 2. Also can you name boxing's greatest one hit wonders? (Besides Buster Douglas) I mean nights were guys were really special for 1 night and either won or almost beat a great fighter.3. Also can you think of great amateur fighters who never went next level in the pros? Kinda like Mark Breeland. 4. Lastly I hate fantasy matchups because most of time its from 2 different eras and its just unrealistic, but how would Hagler fare vs the following at MW- RJJ- Tony- Bhop-Julian Jackson- McCallum.

Signing off, thanks Bread 

Bread’s Response: When a fighter retires at the peak of his powers, his resume will either be attacked because critics want to see him lose. Or it will be enhanced because we didn’t see how he handled slippage. I feel like Riddick Bowe falls into that category. But Bowe did line up some young undefeated heavyweights. Hide, Gonzales, Donald and Golota. Bowe also had a lot of fights in basically an 8 year career. 

 I disagree with Andre Ward. He entered the Super 6 as an underdog and fought the best Super Middleweights available to him. Calzaghe had retired. The only relevant Super Middleweights he didn’t fight were Dirrell and Bute. I wish he would’ve fought Bute but I don’t think that’s his fault. And besides that, Bute had some PED issues and Carl Froch completely took his soul. Now beating an undefeated Bute would have been different but Bute is suspicious to say the least. So I don’t feel like Ward left much meat on the bones. He then finished his career with beating a top 5 P4P fighter and the best light heavyweight of the 2010s. If Kovalev isn’t the best light heavyweight of the 2010s then who is. Chad Dawson. Well Ward beat him too albeit at 168. The only other choice would be Adonis Stevenson. But I would firmly pick Kovalev. He unified and took more chances. He also won the title 3 different times. So Ward beat him. I know Beterbiev, Bivol and the Nail were ascending but in 2017 no one was screaming for Ward to fight them. It was early. If you think about it in literal terms, someone is always around to fight unless everyone retires on the same day. So that makes no sense. I think Ward did what he did. He doesn’t have big misses.

The fighters I would have liked to see how they would have fared are Ike Ibeabuchi, Bernard Mays and Gerald McClellan. Ibeabuchi went to jail. Mays died because of alcoholism and McClellan got severely injured. If you know, you know about those guys. 

2.No one is actually a one hit wonder because he had to get to the point where he got the fight where he looked so special. But I’m going to make an interesting pick. 

John Mugabi. The night Mugabi fought Hagler he was special. He lost but look at that fight. Mugabi went on to win a title but he never looked that special again. If he kept progressing he would have been a great fighter and been in some great fights.

3. Too many amateurs to name. But Mark Breland was a 2x world champion. People act like he never won a belt. He won two! I would say Francisco Bojado. Boy was he good. I thought we were witnessing another Oscar De La Hoya.

4. Hagler retired in 1987. He wasn’t ducking anyone. Jones and Toney were not even pros yet. But he just missed a killer era. Arguably the best in history. When the belts split up after he retired some HOF level fighters became champion. Sambu Kalambay won the WBA, Michael Nunn the IBF and Julian Jackson won the WBC a little later.

If you’re talking prime vs prime I would say the Hagler of 1978-82 was his APEX. I think he stops Julia Jackson. I would say he would edge Toney on a decision. For as great as Toney was, he had dry spots in fights at middleweight and Hagler could really work.

McCallum vs Hagler is a great fight but I think Hagler wins a decision. Hagler had one of the greatest jabs in history and he was extremely heavy-handed. It may be the edge he needed.

Bhop vs Hagler is a toss up best night for best night. But I give Hagler the edge again. I think the judges would favor Hagler over Bhop less violent style. I think Hagler could make Bhop move a little more than he probably wanted too. But it would be very close. 

Roy Jones vs Hagler is tough. Jones was great at 160lbs but Bhop made him a little hesitant. If you watch that fight Jones didn’t open up much vs Bhop and it was a boring fight. Hagler would force more violence and he had the chin to hold up to Jones’s big punches. Jones used to go straight back to the ropes even then, so it’s a tough call. I say flip a coin, in a tactical fight.

Did you see the Charlo vs Benavidez incident? Do you think it was real or promotion leading up to a potential fight? The bad blood seems real but it’s hard to tell these days. Who would you pick to win a potential fight?

Bread’s Response: I was in Dallas for the Spence vs Ugas fight but I wasn’t sitting near the incident. I assume it’s real. It seems like they have bad blood. I think it’s a great match up. You have two violent killers. My questions going into the fight is how Charlo would handle 168lbs. It’s one thing to jump from 154lbs to 160lbs. But jumping from 160lbs to 168lbs is the biggest jump in the modern era. I can only think of a handful of fighters who were equally as good at 160 and above. Arthur Abraham, Jermaine Taylor and Kelly Pavlik were no where near as successful above 160…

I’m also curious as to how Jermall would fight Benavidez. I assume Benavidez would attack him. But Jermall is also a big puncher. I actually think he hits harder than Benavidez for one shot. So I’m curious to see if Jermall would box, hold his ground or attack. Jermall is usually the stronger more physical fighter in the ring. You don’t know if you’re stronger than someone until you fight them. So I would be curious as to how he would go about fighting David. It’s actually fascinating because both are killers. So we would see violence either way because isn’t a runner. He may box a little bit but he’s going to come to ko David.

I believe Team Benavidez is confident they can beat Jermall because of his performance vs Montiel. Montiel and Benavidez have the same handler and Sampson Lewkowicz. So that’s how boxing works. I think they believe Benavidez is a bigger better version of Montiel. And if Montiel could trouble Charlo then David will beat him. But It doesn’t mean it’s true but I assume that’s what they believe and why they are pursuing the fight so hard. It’s up to Jermall to prove them wrong. Great fight if it ever happens!

What is up, Breadman? Dwayne from Houston. It was a pleasure to finally meet you at the Spence/Ugas fight. My brother Stan and I have followed your career from way back in the days when you used to right in to Boxing Talk (Bread from Philly, Betting with Bread, etc.) and when you used to do the video mailbags. As I thought then and do now, you are one of the best boxing minds out there. Congratulations on your career, both professionally and personally. Hope to catch you at the Junior Olympics here so we can chop it up and talk boxing. Some good scraps coming up the next few weeks. Great fight night in Dallas though, capped off with the ending that the home crowd came to see.

Awesome performance by Spence, especially when he started to step to Ugas with body shots with both hands, uppercuts, jabs, and hooks. We were at the fight also when he fought Mikey Garcia and he decided to box from the outside until basically the 10th round, when stepped to him like he did Ugas. I must say that frustrated me up until then (had bet that the fight would go under 10 ½ rounds lol is why). Question….can he afford to give away rounds by attempting to box Crawford from the outside, or does he start stepping to him after he feels him out from the outside the first 3-4 rounds or so? I know you have mentioned that great pressure fighters have a shorter shelf life that burns out faster. But he’s more of a controlled, pressure technician when gets rolling, rather than a frenetic pressure fighter like a Jeff Fenech/Aaron Pryor/Joe Frazier, for example? So he could possibly fight until his late 30’s with his controlled style? I must say it was sad to see Gamboa go out like that….basically relegated to gatekeeper status. What do you make of him as a fighter and his career? Fought too much outside of his weight class? Man, he missed out on that payday vs Juanma Lopez. Who do you think would’ve won that fight? Finally, can you recall any examples of fighters like Tyson Fury that have basically changed their fighting style? I know he still sticks and moves, but man, his last 3 fights when he starts stepping to dudes, look out. How do you see a fight with him and Joshua playing out? Thanks again, my man. 

Bread’s Response: I remember you guys, pleasure to meet you. 

I see you have a good memory. I was at the Junior Olympics this year in Houston. I doesn’t come back for another 3 years. My daughter won the gold in the 10 yr old, 400m girls. And bronze in the 200m. 

I don’t think Spence gave away rounds vs Mikey Garcia. I thought he shut him out completely. So I don’t assume that if Spence boxes early that he would be giving away rounds. We have to see them line up. From my observation, I think Crawford has more natural born talent. But I don’t know if he will outbox Spence. Because from what I can, it’s easier to win rounds vs Crawford than it is Spence because of Spence’s volume. I thought Benavidez and Porter did well in terms of winning rounds vs Crawford. 

Spence is 32, let’s just see how things play out. Those type of longevity predictions really go on a fight by fight basis. I will say that the style he fought against Mikey Garcia would age well. But he may not be able to fight like that vs bigger 147s or 154s. Garcia is short with short arm length and Spence basically said I will just beat him with a jab because he’s too small to break the distance. He fought conservative but he dominated Garcia, so I won’t criticize him. It’s world class boxing and collecting victories is important. Very important.

I always thought Gamboa was a poor man’s version of Meldrick Taylor. Both kind of short for the weight. Both flurry punchers, who favored mid range and inside work. Both fought a little too high in weight. Both had bad fall offs after their peaks. But I think Meldrick was better. Gamboa doesn’t have a Chavez 1 performance or a Buddy McGirt level ko win. 

I think Gamboa sort of underachieved. I think he had HOF talent had he made better moves. He left Top Rank if I’m not mistaken, to go with I think it was SMS. To then only go back and fight a Top Rank fighter for a big fight but in his hometown. That fighter was Terence Crawford. Crawford is just so long and big compared to Gamboa. My goodness he gave up so much range. He didn’t embarrass himself, because he hurt Crawford and won some rounds but that was tough fight. 

It reminded me of Meldrick vs Terry Norris but Gamboa was more competitive. That fight sent his career on another way. Top Rank was brilliant at what they did. They used their ex fighters scalp to catapult their house fighter’s career in a battle of undefeated. Gamboa should have stayed at 126-130 for as long as possible. When he couldn’t make the lower weights, it seemed like lack of discipline because he’s short. But who knows.

I think him and Juan Ma Lopez would have been a 50/50 fight. Both were big punchers. Both faded after their primes. But were inside and mid range hookers. And both went for the kill. I actually think Juan Ma has better fundamentals but Gamboa is more athletic and freaky. But I would not have been surprised if Juan Ma clipped him with a right hook. 

Either man could’ve knocked the other out. I don’t assume Gamboa would have beaten him because Juan Ma lost his 0 first. I think Gamboa is one of the top 10 Cuban fighters ever, who turned pro but I think he’s shy of being a HOF. Very good career but it could’ve been better.

Fury just sort of realized that not only is he a little heavy handed but he comes forward comfortably. Fighters who perfect certain defensive moves to keep them safe while they pursue kos of their own are beautiful to watch. I love Fury’s evolution. At one time I thought Joshua would be competitive with Fury. But if you ask me to answer it today I feel like Fury is too confident for Joshua and Joshua overthinks too much vs a natural fighting man like Fury.

Marvin Hagler changed his style after 1984. In the late 70s, Hagler was bouncy. He hit opponents with a gazelle, swivel southpaw jab off of the bounce. He was heavy-handed but Hagler boxed in good technician form. Everyone calls him a destruct and destroy fighter, which he was but look at him vs Bennie Briscoe and you see a boxer.

I also think Marco Antonio Barrera changed his style. He went from a come forward hooker, to a violent counter punching jabber.

I also believe Andre Ward changed his style. As a prospect he fought exactly like Roy Jones without the 1 punch ko power. Then after I believe his knee injury, he became a rough, jabbing, all range fighter he didn't move in and out as much. Who didn't leap as much with the hooks. He decided to win fights with his skill instead of athleticism. 

Send Questions to