The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such unified light heavyweight champion Artur Beterbiev, Jake Paul, Canelo Alvarez vs. Beterbiev, Gervonta ‘Tank’ Davis, and more.

I really respect how you deal with haters. The comments sections of your mailbag is filled with racist pride and insults but you do have some faithful fans who put them in their place. You seem to have an old soul, where do you get that from and who are your biggest influences in boxing and who did you learn the most from? Quick Mythical Match up Ezzard Charles vs Roy Jones

Bread’s Response: Flip a coin! Geez that’s a hard fight to gauge. I really don’t know who wins that fight but I suppose they would have to fight a few times to settle it.

Thank you but I don’t want to take credit for something I don’t do. I don’t deal with haters as far as my mailbag. I don’t read my own mailbag because I know what I wrote. I read Doug Fischer’s and Paul Magno’s mailbags and a few others more than I read my own. I often check to see if it’s posted but that’s about it. 

I do deal with a few haters in on social media but I block them so that’s easy work. And in real life, I’ve never had to. Most trolls are cowards and losers in real life that’s why they become trolls under alter egos on the internet. So 99% won’t approach in an aggressive manner and if that 1% does, well you would read about it. I will leave it at that. 

My biggest influences in boxing. Um….let’s see. As a kid growing into a young man, I’ve always hung around older guys. My best childhood friends were all older than me. Every single one. My basketball homies were mostly in a higher grade than me. I took to my better youth coaches, who still follow me on social media. My high school basketball coach actually came to my wedding. My grandfather and stepdad molded me into a man. I’ve always yearned to learn from older smarter people to gain wisdom. 

So in boxing ironically the 1st person I learned from was Greg Leon, he’s not older than me but he was in boxing before me and I was open minded to learning from him. He owned Some people think he’s crazy and he may be but he’s a really smart dude. He showed me where the monies in boxing are derived from before I ever worked with a fighter. There are more places than people realize on the outside. He showed me how to read contracts and how to customize them. He was also a stand up guy when it came to US doing business. 

What I learned on my own after learning how to do the contracts, is if you don’t have a talented enough fighter, you won’t be ABLE to change a thing on those contracts. LOL. 

After I met Greg, I met Luis Decubas, Al Haymon, Virgil Hunter, Naazim Richardson, Leonard Ellerbee, Russell Peltz,  Lou Dibella, Victor Conte and later the crew over at Top Rank. 

Decubas is a smart dude and he’s a few years younger than me also. I learned from Lou about being a stand up guy. Lou often talks about being a good person and doing the right thing and taking care of your folks. That counts for a lot and Lou still has his people around him. 

Al Haymon once told me this is Prize Fighting, not Pride Fighting. He taught me a lot more but that always stuck out to me. The most important thing he taught me was to move in silence. 

Leonard Ellerbee taught me how a person of his status can be so personable. He’s a millionaire but he’s one of the more down to earth personable guys I’ve met in this game. Leonard is the CEO of Mayweather Promotions but you can walk up to him and have conversation for 30 minutes.

Virgil Hunter taught me that sometimes you have to be a father figure to a fighter even if you didn’t sign up to be his father. He has a paternal way about him that keeps him getting elite fighters.  He’s also a planner. If you fail to plan, your plans will fail.

I learned from Naazim Richardson how to work a corner. Not train a fighter. I learned that on my own. But how to actually work a corner and take a fighter through the rounds. What type of mood I have to be in and how my voice has to carry in order to influence. Naazim was a genius in the gym in sparring getting his guys through rounds. 

I learned from Russel Peltz, how to be organized. Organizational skills are underrated. Peltz also doesn’t mind standing alone and doing his own thing. I’m like that. 

I learned from Victor Conte how to redeem yourself in life. I learned about atonement. I also learned about sports nutrition and how important recovery is. Victor also takes care of his folks. 

People think there is a beef between PBC and Top Rank. That’s insane. I’m not beefing with anyone, this is a business. I watch Brad Goodman be like a savant when it comes to boxing. I watch Carl Moretti and Bruce Trampler the elder statesman. I observe them from afar, I’ve never worked with them but I observe them. They have a science to their matchmaking. No one is 100% but they basically taught me what fights to make and what fights not to make. Often times I don’t have the luxury to not take certain fights but when I do, I follow some of their work. Those guys are good. Super Good!

I learned from Lou Dibella that you have to fight for your guys. You can’t be a doormat when you represent “Your Guy”. Dibella rides hard for his fighters. 

But believe it or not I learned the most in boxing from the fighters I have trained and MYSELF. Julian Williams and Kyrone Davis the most because I trained them the longest. But also Romuel Cruz, Zachary Ochoa and Cassius Chaney. Sometimes the things you learn from a fighter is good, sometimes it’s not so good but if you remember why and how, it’s always a positive influence.

I know when a fighter is afraid and doesn’t want to take a fight. I know when a fighter is distracted. I know when he’s going to have a bad day. I know when they’re lying about their weight. I know when they have had sex. I know when they underestimate their opponents. I know when they will rock out and have good nights. I know the look in a fighters eye that he’s willing to die in that ring. 

I don’t like the fact that I’ve been blessed with that intuition at times because you can’t unfeel or UNSEE things and it causes stress when you CARE. But at this current moment, I’m learning to COPE better when I feel things are against us. Sometimes you’re on the A side, sometimes you’re on the B side. Some young men are fighters. And some young men are just boxing because they can fight. Sometimes a fighter used to be a savage but that instinct leaves him over time. 

I love winning so much that it causes me stress when I know my fighter is not giving me enough. But what I’ve learned it that it’s not in certain fighters and you can’t want it more than they want it. ACCEPTANCE. And in other fighters, you may need to push them somewhat but it’s IN them and you have to FIND it. Man this is a deep sport and honestly you never stop learning and being influenced. I learn every day in boxing and it’s too many people to attribute it to. I tried to name a few off the top of my head as I typed. But I’m sure I forgot some people.

What’s up Bread ! I’ve watched Beterbiev vs Browne. In the beginning of the fight, even during the ring entrance I thought Beterbiev and Browne were in opposite spirits. Browne was focus, determined and seem to want to win that one whatever it takes. On the other hand I felt Beterbiev had no energy, no real envy to be there, even in his corner he didn’t seem to be focused on what Ramsay was saying.

Browne was doing him dirty him the clinches, but that’s what he was supposed to do, what surprised me was the lack of response from Beterbiev ! He was a bit too passive. And then he got cut ! That’s when the fight totally switched ! He started to press, bring the fight to Browne and became more active. I thought maybe that cut was the « best » thing that could happen to him, it woke up the beast. Browne was keep doing good but Beterbiev was just too much. I watched the post-fight press conference, and when answering a question, Beterbiev said that it is different when you fight a champion, the pressure and the spirit is not the same. That comforted me in the fact that he seems to lack of motivation because he can’t have the big fights he need.

I think that’s one of the reason Canelo is doing so good, he can have the fights he need to challenge himself continually. I’m really curious to see Beterbiev’s next fight, and see if that big scare brought him back the motivation to do better next time ! Thans for your time, have a merry Christmas !

Max from France

Bread’s Response: Artur Beterbiev is Jason Vorhees. You know he’s a killer, but he seems a little slow. You know he’s a killer but you can hit him, blow him up, burn him. He seems sort of human. But you never get away from him. He’s always on you, chopping away. I didn’t think he was having his best night. I thought the odds were too big. I thought they should have been +300. But let me tell you what Beterbiev showed. He showed how ELITE he is. He showed what an ELITE fighter does when they are not having their best night. It’s truly what separates the levels. 

Marcus Browne is strong, athletic, experienced, he has size and pedigree. But Beterbiev has a switch at the top level that Browne has not shown thusfar. He was able to close distance, make Browne uncomfortable, make Browne lose his bearings and eventually score a stoppage. That was a nice win because Browne came in great shape and he wanted the win.

The one thing in boxing we don’t usually consider is that boxers are human. They don’t have their 100% best stuff on every night. It’s why when a fighter goes 128-1-2 like Sugar Ray Robinson did, he’s basically the GOAT because the people who know, know. They know it’s not easy to be that good night in and night out. It’s also why losses are harder in this era because fighters fight so infrequent. Beterbiev only has 17 pro fights…..This is not the 1st time I’ve seen Beterbiev not have his A+ game. But every single time he comes through with a KO. I think we are watching a GREAT fighter. Maybe not an ATG yet. But he operates on a special level. And I can’t think of 10-12 better fighters in boxing. 

Because of Beterbiev’s age and Browne’s athleticism, this was a good chance for Browne to score the upset. But by round 6, Beterbiev had him. When the slower, pressure fighter, has things figured out that early even after a poor start and a bad cut, that’s very telling. It tells me Beterbiev can BOX better than it looks like he can box. He has the ability to land punches that go unnoticed. I was impressed because I know Browne was determined to win. Beterbiev discouraged a determined fighter who really NEEDED the win for his future and legacy. This was Browne’s 1st title shot. The other shots were REGULAR titles. Browne didn’t take this fight to lay down. I don’t think Beterbiev lacks motivation. I think when you get a slow twitch athlete who is ageing and gets older, it takes them longer to warm up. But boy oh boy, once he gets rolling….

Hello Breadman ,                            

I know there is fifteen years difference in there ages , but Woodley is a solidly built guy . There was really no offense from either fighter . This looked like a sham to me . Here is the thing , I dont think Jake Paul can hit hard enough to KO Woodley with one punch . I think it was all set up . The round , the movements , and the fall , which does look somewhat convincing until you slow it down . And why is the referee holding Woodley down . Want to see guys fall on their faces watch wrestling , Ric Flair was the king at this . Besides Woodley turned his head slightly going down , he did not fall on his nose . Look at all the great punchers , then count all the one punch knockouts , there is not many. Even the best punchers need multiple shots . And Jake Paul is nowhere near a great puncher . I would like to see Jake Paul fight a real puncher. Say Murat Gassiev at a one hundred ninety nine pounds catchweight limit . And this fight would not be fixed. Of course Jake Paul would never take this fight . His game is pulling the wool , and getting peoples money . Expect to see more washed up UFC guys make a payday with Paul . You would think people would just be smarter .

MM Fight  Jake Paul vs Murat Gassiev at 199lb limit catchweight.

Thank You, J.B.

Bread’s Response: Let me start off by saying I’m a boxing PURIST. I don’t put down anyone making money in boxing. I don’t put down these different EVENTS we have had over the last few years. Exhibitions, celebrity fights, youtubers etc. You never hear me say anything about them. It’s just not really my thing. Because I know how hard it is for fighters who want to turn pro to get ON. I have a kid named Romuel Cruz who is 6-0 and can really fight and he still doesn’t have a promoter. ..

That being said I’m not a hater either. I consider myself an objective honest man. Jake Paul has natural fighter’s instincts. He’s heavy handed. He’s violent. I can tell he can street fight. Because of his antics and background, people don’t realize he is not that bad of a novice level fighter. If he can continue to pick his fights, he will be able to ko a few more professional fighters in boxing and MMA. Don’t be upset about it. It’s just what it is. 

But….No he can’t beat Murat Gassiev. Gassiev would knock him out and ruin him. But he’s not going to fight Gassiev and I don’t blame him. There is no need to suggest those type of fights. But he actually has a shot vs a fighter like Chavez Jr. who has abused his body, has wear and tear on him and wasn’t overly talented in the first place. I see that as competitive believe it or not.

Also, you’re wrong about the ko. That was a REAL ko. Woodley fell hard on his face. His body went limp. I have seen fighters act more hurt than they were to get fights stopped. I have seen that several times. And if I felt that I saw that, I would say it or not say anything at all. I feel very strongly about this. Woodley was legitimately ko’d. He could have broken his neck, falling that hard on his face. That was a real. I know he was a top MMA guy. But let me tell you a secret. Often times, boxers and MMA guys who have years and years of wear and tear on them are easily hurt. I will never say his name, but I know an ex world champion who was in a street fight a few years ago. He got hit and went to sleep standing up. The years of getting punched on eventually has an effect. Being an ex fighter doesn’t always quantify being invulnerable to every opponent who has not attained a certain level of fighting. Jake Paul is young, reactive, fresh and heavy handed. And he’s just better than Woodley at this stage of their lives. Timing in the matchmaking is very important.

I think Canelo is operating at a level slightly higher than any active boxer at the moment and while he’s at this peak the only way he can lose is by pushing his limits, I think that limit is Artur Beterbiev. He might simply be too much human for Canelo, what do you think?

Bread’s Response: You may call me crazy but there are fighters with certain builds and gifts who fight bigger guys better than they fight smaller guys. Mickey Walker, James Toney and Canelo Alvarez fall into this category. I believe Canelo has a real shot to beat Beterbiev. In fact I think the fight is only 51/49 in Beterbiev’s favor. Let me explain. 

Go to any gym in the world and put an elite welterweight in with an elite middle weight. If this happens 10 times, the middleweight gets the better of if 6 or 7 times. The reason being is the sparring session usually only last 6-8 rounds. They have on head gear so the punch resistance factor lessens. So the fighter, quicker on the draw, doesn’t have to go 12 rounds and he doesn’t have to worry about getting hurt as much. So now in real fights, guys like Walker, Toney and Canelo who have iron chins, they still can take the big shots without head gear and smaller gloves. 

A fighter like Beterbiev’s biggest quality is breaking his opponent’s spirits. He comes down hill and his opponents literally capitulate to his will. Again guys like Canelo and Toney don’t break. They love fighting. They spar heavyweights. A fighter getting the better of them doesn’t bother them. When Roberto Duran got older, he would rather Iran Barkley come at him and hit him with bombs, than he would Hector Camacho running around the ring, pecking him. It sounds weird but it’s true. Beterbiev fights like Canelo likes fighters to fight. Canelo has a press game these days. But Canelo still likes for fighters to press him. So stylistically this fight favors Canelo. The issue is can his gas tank and body hold up. Maybe, maybe not. It’s a great fight. But Canelo is not over his head vs Beterbiev. 

As impressed as I am with Betervbiev, he would have his work cut out for him with Canelo. Catching a faster, slippery fighter, drives bigger fighters crazy. Now Beterbiev would be on FIRE for Canelo. He would be better than we have seen him. He would bring it in a more determined way. He would raise his game and his pedigree would allow him to. I also think he would be more violent towards Canelo than GGG was. GGG turned it up in the rematch late but he never really let his 2 fisted attack go, like he usually does. I think Canelo’s counter punching bothered GGG more than admitted. I believe Beterbiev would carry him faster, not back up and go to his body more. No one ever goes to Canelo’s body. And he hasn’t been carried fast since GGG. Canelo has dictated the physical terms of each of his fights since GGG. So that in itself would be a challenge. This fight reminds me of Duran vs Barkley and Toney vs Jirov. In each case the smaller but quicker man, was able to win simply because he score points, his will didn’t break and his chin held up. I don’t have a pick yet, but don’t bet the kitchen sink on Beterbiev. It’s really a toss up!


Mostly agree with you on your views but disagree on your assessment on Donaire being GREATER (you put that word in capital letters) than Inoue.  I agree with you saying that he is greater than the other people who beat him.  Are you saying you have seen enough of Inoue to say he has reached a certain greatness and he will never surpass Donaire. Because those other fighters who beat Donaire have had full careers in which you can assess how great each fighter is based on your seeing all of their fights.  And I agree with you on Donaire being greater than them.  But Inoue is still in his prime and he started at 108.  Never lost yet never been down.  If he beats Donaire he probably will move up and win at 122.    So if he does that goes unbeaten from 108 to 122 he will not be greater than Donaire.

Perhaps you can say currently Donaire has a better resume than Inoue based on his entire career which is subjective but perhaps correct(based on quality of opponents he has faced) but how can you say he is greater than the monster when Inoue is nowhere near done.  And who really hurt who the worse in that first fight which had many ebbs and flows.  Who was  knocked down and if truth be told the referee protected Donaire from getting hurt and knocked out in the 11th round which does not get mentioned.  Donaire turned  his back on Inoue after he was hurt to the body and really the ref should not have stopped Inoue from pursuing Donaire.  After the ref stopped Inoue then Donaire went down.  Some refs might have actually stopped the fight even though they would have been wrong to do so.  But one could say when Donaire turned his back he was not protecting himself and that is why the ref got in between him and Inoue.  

You remember when Kovalev bent down against ward in their second fight and the ref stopped it because by Kovalev bending down he was not protecting himself and the ref stopped it.  Now one may say kovalev was out anyway, kovalev says the low blows hurt him and that is why he bent over.  But my point is that weeks did not jump in between ward and kovalev to give more time to kovalev.  He simply stopped the fight. Anyway always appreciate the work and detail you put in for us readers. Looking forward to Inoue vs Donaire 2.Don’t bet too much on Donaire.  Yes Donaire could win but do not be surprised if the Monster ko’s Donaire and age will have nothing to do with it.And I really appreciate and agree with you on how great of a fighter Donaire is.  He is a gangster but so is Inoue.  Fought with broken nose broken orbital bone bad cut from very early on and did not hold back at all.

Take care, Rich Mathews

Bread’s Response: First off let me apologize. I love the Monster. I think Nonito may have a slightly greater legacy because of his longevity but the Monster is very close. Monster Inoue is already a HOF and ascending. He hasn’t lost. And he’s won titles at 108,115 and 118. He’s actually on pace to pass Nonito.

The Monster did in fact get screwed out of TKO vs Nonito in the first fight and this is coming from Nonito’s biggest fan. I love the guy. But that fight could have been stopped when he turned his back. I wouldn’t bet the house on Nonito in the rematch. I know the Monster is a gangster. He fought through a broken face when we have seen fighters pack it in several times under the same injury. They both have proven to be able to hurt each other. But I feel like the Monster has more to lose in a rematch. The older fighter is playing with house money as far as legacy in these types of match ups. When Brady played Mahomes in the Super Bowl. If Brady lost he was OLD. If Brady won, then he’s better and it’s assumed he would be better in his prime. The younger greater athlete has a higher burden of performance. He can’t struggle but so much with the older athlete. God forbid he lose. So fighting a GENIUS level puncher like Nonito twice can be tricky. He has more time to SEE….I favor Inoue but man this will a SHOOTOUT!

Hello Breadman,

Been reading for years, figured I chime in finally. Are there hall of fame fighters that you think are still underrated historically? I know for me a couple come to mind. Ezzard Charles is most remembered as the heavyweight champion. I think he’s arguably the greatest light heavyweight of all time. Three wins over the great Archie Moore seals it for me. Throw in two wins over Charley Burley and I think you’re talking about one of the top ten fighters of all time. I don’t think he gets the recognition he deserves. The other name that always jumps out to me is Sonny Liston. Despite all the documentaries and articles written about this guy, I still feel fans don’t really understand how good this guy was. I think it’s generally accepted by historians that in Ali’s first title reign, he was just about unbeatable. A mixture of speed, footwork, and precision that had never been seen before of since by a heavyweight. If you go back and look at the record of opponents Ali was beating back then, Liston had already beaten several of those guys! I think Liston’s best fighting years were before he was champion. Liston is eternally linked with Ali and people have their opinions on those fights, but you have to look at the big picture with Liston to understand how good he was. Certainly one of the best jabs ever. I know there are many other fighters in this conversation. Who are a few of the guys where fans might know the name, but you think deserve more recognition for their accomplishments and skill?

Thanks, Alex

Bread’s Response: Ezzard Charles used to be historically underrated. I can remember reading articles when I was a kid and Moore was consistently ranked over Charles. As time went on, analytically as far as numbers Charles was the better fighter but he also beat Moore head to head 3 times. Charles is generally regarded as the greater and better fighter at this moment. He’s also regarded as the best light heavyweight ever. He just didn’t get a shot at the title so he moved up to heavyweight. Charles has finally gotten his flowers over the last 15-20 years. In fact Charles is now considered one of the top 10-15 fighters in history. Closer to 10. And his peak run from 1943-1951 is considered top 5 in the boxing history. So the historians and media have finally gotten it right with Charles. 

Sonny Liston on the other hand is criminally underrated. Liston got his title shot too late and he is unfortunate that the greatest heavyweight ever ascended soon after If Liston gets his shot in the late 50’s say 1958ish, he’s a 6 year champion with double digit defenses before Ali is ready to fight him 1964. But because he didn’t get his shot at Floyd Patterson until 1962 he was only able to defend the title once. The myth is that Marciano ducked Liston. I don’t believe that’s true. Liston turned pro in 1953 and Marciano retired in 1955. But by 1958, Liston was ready for a title shot. He was the best heavyweight in the world for at least 4 years before he ever got a title shot. That’s a very long time for a man, who we still don’t know his true age.

Liston is sort of looked at as a bully. He was a bully but he wasn’t a coward type of bully. He was a legitimate bully. He avenged his early loss in his career. He fought through broken jaws. He gave guys rematches and knocked them out. He was a bad ass on the streets of St. Louis and later Philadelphia. Sonny Liston was real muscle.

He had a great jab. It wasn’t the fastest jab I’ve seen but it was the most DIRECT jab I have seen. His hook was heavy and brutal. He had superior length to just about any fighter in history. He was only 6’1 but his reach was 84 inches! 84 inches is 8 ft. So Sonny Liston had the reach of NBA centers. It’s absurd. He was stopped 3x but no one ever questioned his chin. He had an iron chin. 

If you watch Liston’s fights of the late 50s, I think that was his peak. And besides Ali, I wouldn’t bet the house on any other heavyweight beating him on his best day. I’m not saying I would pick him to beat everyone else. I’m saying he’s right with everyone of the greats. Watch his fights with Albert Westphal and Cleveland Williams on YouTube. Liston was has a case for being the 2nd best heavyweight over a 15-20 year Span. We know Ali is better. But in the 1950s do we know for a fact that Walcott, Charles or Marciano could beat Liston. We know Patterson couldn’t. In the 1960s, we know Ali could beat him but do we know if Frazier could, best day vs best day. That’s a great fight. So for two decades, Liston was arguably the 2nd best heavyweight. I think he’s a great fighter. And because of bad resources. Media friction, out of ring issues and Cus Dmato knowing Patterson couldn’t beat him, Liston’s legacy is severely tarnished.

Good morning sir,

I hope you are doing well.  Just wanted to state that my mom is doing well and was really touched by your shoutout earlier in the year.  She still reads your column every Saturday and usually sees it before me. I just wanted to ask some questions on a few things. Artur Beterbiev is a beast.  His power is immense, his fundamentals are really solid and I think his defense is a little bit better than I thought. Still, I’m not 100% sold on him as Canelo’s toughest fight.  He’s definitely got the pop, and he does a great job mixing punches up and down, but I still feel he’s a little too upright and conservative early.  I’ve seen him dropped against Callum Johnson, look kinda flat against Enrico Koelling and its hard for me to fully shake it. I just think sometimes Beterbiev abandons his jab and gets a bit too eager.  Against some fighters, that’s fine, but I feel like a fighter with Canelo’s fluidity would give him fits.  Still his power is ridiculous and he seems to have great balance which should give Canelo some more issues.  

I really would love to see Beterbiev vs Bivol because I think Bivol’s movement would test Beterbiev’s patience and Beterbiev’s willingness to throw would get some activity out of Bivol.  Non current fights but, I do want a small humblebrag.  I had an athlete qualify for NCAA XC Nationals which was held in Louisville.  I made the journey to the Ali Center and man, I just got emotional for an hour.  Full disclosure, I was born in ’91 and obviously never got to see Ali fight live.  I’ve read all the books, all the articles, seen all the documentaries but there was something about being in there (and seeing his grave later on) that just got me.  What a special person to have graced this Earth.  I’m very passionate about social justice issues and to just sort of take in everything that the Center provided made me emotional.  I know of your admiration of Ali, and I don’t have any questions for you that you haven’t answered before, but just wanted to say that man….it hit me. Last question is a fun one, Jimmy Rollins, Bobby Abreu and Ryan Howard are all eligible for the baseball hall of fame.  If you had to pick one, who do you got?  I know you have mentioned playing baseball in your youth so thought this would be a fun to drop.

Have a great one sir, Joe–Joe Dyas

Bread’s Response: Hey man I remember you. Tell Mom I said hello.

I did play baseball. From 1985-90 I played for the Cherashore Braves baseball team. I played 2nd base and pitcher. Our team was literally stacked. We had some studs who went on the be stand out varsity athletes in several sports. That’s how you can tell if a Little League team was the real deal. If the players went on to have highschool success. Our team had several players who played varsity baseball, football or basketball. We won the championship in 1988. Baseball is a lost sport in the urban areas these days.

Dam man that’s hard. I love Jimmy Rollins and people say I resemble him. We also played infield. But I think Ryan Howard’s peak was higher and he had the biggest impact of the 3 names you gave me.

Hi Bread,

Was glad to see one of my favorite fighters –  Naoya Inoue  in action  this week.And my question is how’d his punching power match P4P with the formidable punchers of the past – Sam Langford, Jimmy Wilde, Stanley Ketchel, Joe Louis, Carlos Zarate, Thomas Hearns, Edwin Valero, Nigel Benn, Gerald McClellan, Khaosai Galaxy…  (I’m not talking about Julian Jackson, he’s exceptional out of them all)?

Regards.- Eric

Bread’s Response: Yes Inoue is one of the best punchers EVER. You can put Jackson in there if you want. He’s a dynamic puncher but Inoue’s technique is better, his balance is better and he’s quicker on the draw. Harder puncher and better puncher are not always exclusive.

Happy Holidays Bread to you and your family.  I want to start off by saying congratulations on the success you’ve had this year. Let get to it, Beiterberv is possessed… I know you said he’s a plodder but I think he has some underlying attributes that don’t always show up unless they have to. Dude was clutch he knew he needed the KO after the clash of heads and he could of stopped after the 1st knockdown and maybe won on points but he went for the KO. It’s like he took pleasure in punishing Brown. Brown did good but how diminishing was it to see Artur bouncing up and down after that 2nd knock down like he wasn’t even bothered by the cut or pace of the fight that had to be will-breaking. Props to both fighters, I don’t think he’s an easy mark for Canelo and Canelo will need to be willing to walk through a dark place he hasn’t been. I know he’s special but people have their ceiling. I remember Beterbiev running into that big shot from Callum Johnson(big puncher) man I thought he was Done and he comes back to stop him. I’ll officially picking Beiterberv by 11th round stoppage if they fight. Ok on the the Spence Vs Ugas … not they fight we want to see but we understand the building up the big fight  part getting belt leverage . If I’m Bud I line a fight up a week before and run down Virgil Ortiz just to show Spence there’s no side stepping. Now on to Thurman Vs Barrios, ok this seems like an interesting fight with some added behind the scenes beef with Thurman and Barrios trainer Virgil Hunter. I remember A few years back Thurman was talking crazy about Hunter and Hunter simply said not exactly but close “that Lil boy better calm down or I’ll snatch him up by his ponytail” LOL… build up could be interesting I’m going 55/45 In Thurmans favor. What’s your take on everything?

Bread’s Response: Beterbiev vs Canelo will be a hard fight for BOTH fighters. 

I don’t know why everyone is upset with Spence vs Ugas. Crawford is not with PBC as of yet. Ugas has been for several years now and he just stepped in and took the Pacquiao fight on short notice when Spence found out about his eye injury. So just think, if you were with a big company for several years. Ugas has only lost once since being with the PBC and many think he won vs Shawn Porter. He has been on one of the best runs in boxing. So Ugas has been a loyal soldier and now Crawford is now free sort of speak and he gets the Spence fight and not Ugas….I’m not saying Crawford doesn’t deserve it, he does. I’m not saying I don’t want to see it, because I do. But I am saying what if you were Ugas? Or part of team Ugas? That would really suck for them if they didn’t get the Spence in a unification before Crawford. What type of message would that send?

I also think it’s a leverage play. The winner of Spence vs Ugas will have 3 belts. Crawford has 1. This was a big time POWER MOVE. I think Team Crawford now has to make their chess move. They have to come up with the right opponent, at the right time, to counteract Spence vs Ugas. Let’s see what they do! I’m very interested. 

I’m not sure of the Hunter/Thurman beef will carry over. I’m not even sure if it’s a beef. Hunter is in his 60s and he’s a trainer. Thurman is in his 30s and he’s a fighter. There shouldn’t be a beef at all in my opinion and we should all respect our elders unless our elders have disrespected us. And from my knowledge Hunter has never disrespected Thurman….As for the fight I love the fight between Thurman and Barrios. I think 55/45 is about right as far as probability who would win but that’s not my pick. I don’t have a pick yet but I think this is a very good fight for Barrios.

Barrios get discredited because he was the Regular WBA Champion and Tank Davis beat him. The media likes to discredit Davis’s level of opposition so if they admit that Barrios is a solid fighter than that would go against what their motives are. The truth is Mario Barrios can fight. He may not be Oscar De La Hoya who he was compared to early but he’s solid. He has good fundamentals. He has great size. He has a big heart. And he can punch. He’s not as talented as say a young Oscar or Ryan Garcia but he can make up for that in skills and IQ if he learns certain things. His performance vs Tank Davis was REAL. Up until the 1st knockdown I thought Barrios was slightly winning. I think Barrios struggled to make 140lbs and now his body will get a chance to BREATH at 147lbs. Thurman has been off over 2 years. Thurman is talented but he’s not efficient. Efficient fighters age better in the ring. Thurman will have to be able to conjure up the same energy he had before he took off or become more efficient. I’m not sure which will happen or even if it can happen. 

Thurman also has not made weight in over 2 years. So while Barrios will make 147lbs easier, Thurman has not done it since 2019.For Barrios to take this fight it tells me a lot. It tells me he’s ambitious. He’s coming off of his 1st loss which was a ko defeat. And he moves up in weight and takes on a tough challenge as the underdog in his very next fight. That’s a FIGHTER. And sometimes FIGHTERS have to be FIGHTERS not businessmen and the rewards will follow. 

Barrios is going to be very determined to beat Thurman. You can’t measure ambition and determination. Don’t be surprised if Barrios wins. And speaking of Tank Davis. I’m telling you guys, I have no stock in him. And I’ve never met him. I know he hasn’t fought Murderer’s Row. I get that. I know he’s had some good matchmaking. I openly admit that. But that kid is super talented. He has boxing IQ. He can fight going forward or backwards. He seems to have a good chin. He focuses as the fight goes along. He has serious power. Jose Pedraza and Mario Barrios are not bums. Pedraza gets extra props now that he’s with Top Rank but Pedraza could always fight. Tank Davis has knocked out his 2 best opponents. That says a lot. 

If Barrios beats Thurman then the Tank hasn’t fought anyone narrative won’t be valid anymore. So the critics will have to tread carefully with this fight because in boxing no one likes to admit when they were wrong. They will push a false narrative out of pride and favoritism. The truth is Tank is one of the more talented fighters in all of boxing. I would openly favor him to beat or be even money with every welterweight in the PBC besides Spence. Ability and resume are different. Tank has serious ability and Mario was very competitive with him!

Greetings Sir, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc., to you and your loved ones. Your mailbag is a weekly gift to boxing fans that I hope continues for a long time. Legacy is something that the greats are motivated by. If Canelo fights Beterbiev, where will you put Canelo in the ATG rankings with a competitive loss to Beterbiev or a win against Beterbiev. Also, having recently seen both in action, do you see it as a 50/50, 60/40, 70/30 fight and in who’s favor? Thank you in advance

Be blessed,

Tray Nicholson 

Bread’s Response: I already believe Canelo is an ATG. Many years ago I distinctly remember him being compared to the level of fighter that Fernando Vargas was. Vargas was an excellent fighter and he’s on the HOF ballot. Vargas is 2-2 in his big fights close to his prime. He beat Quartey and Wright and lost to Oscar and Tito. So looking at Canelo at 154, you thought he was about where Vargas was. But after the Lara fight something happened. Canelo got better! 

He was crazy sharp vs Kirkland. Then against Cotto, his counter punching was insane. That was Cotto’s last great night in terms of performance. But Canelo was sharper. Then Khan. That was a gimme. But you could see his IQ. Then Liam Smith. In the last 7 years I think Canelo has only has 1 OFF night. And that was against Danny Jacobs. I thought he outboxed Jacobs but forensically looking at his performances I only see 1 off night in 14 starts over 7 years. That’s telling. So during this time. I started thinking, ok he’s better than Vargas. He’s now an ATG. ATG is roughly top 100 ever. So now it’s at the point of what level he’s on. For example, I think he’s passed fighters like Shane Mosley now in terms of legacy. I think Mosley is a great fighter, but I don’t think his legacy or performances were better than Canelo’s. 

There are fighters who I think could beat Canelo. Like maybe Mike McCallum and James Toney. But in terms of who has done more, I think Canelo has maybe passed them. I think Joe Calzaghe would be a tough fight for him but I think he may have passed Calzaghe. In terms of Mexican greats. He’s ascending. Barrera was my favorite of the last 20 years. Him and Canelo are close. Ricardo Lopez was my favorite to watch but he’s just so small. Chavez and Sanchez were the best. I don’t think Canelo has passed them but he’s just about even with Barrera, Marquez and Morales. He may have actually passed them but it’s close. I think he’s over Morales. 

Right now he’s probably a top 50-75 fighter ever. If he were to beat a fighter as good as Beterbiev at 175lbs, that changes things. He’s a top 30ish fighter ever. Often times in the midst of greatness we don’t appreciate it until it’s behind us. But over the last 30 years, or say 1990. Canelo is one of the top 10 fighters and the 90s was a Golden Era. He’s still going so I don’t want to wrongly assess his career. He’s in his prime so there are things he can do to alter his legacy good or bad. But his run since Lara has been really impressive. Let’s see about Beterbiev though….fighting that monster is no easy task and because Canelo is not at 175lbs it’s not a duck. I think Canelo would fight Jermall Charlo at 168 before he fights Beterbiev. There is still food on the table at 168 which seems to be his best weight. Canelo can pretty much choose whoever he wants to fight. So his legacy is in his hands.

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