The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards going deep into the fallout from Fury-Usyk, his experience with rehydration as a trainer, more fantasy fights, even rounds and his view on some of the best coaches working today.

Hi Breadman

First time writing in but an avid reader every week. Good knowledge and insight every time.

There’s been a lot of talk about the timing of referee Mark Nelson calling the knockdown in the Fury vs Usyk fight. I think he handled it just right. His back was sliding along the ropes when he was hurt. His legs were unsteady but I don’t believe the ropes kept him up. He fought a lot of times during that fight with back against the ropes. He called the knockdown when he slumped on the second from top rope. I think it was perfectly legit. The ref led him away to his corner when he was eyeballing Usyk at the end of the round.

Respect JJB

Bread’s Response: Respectfully I DISAGREE. If you think the ropes weren’t holding Fury up until the call was made, then I guess you can justify calling the knockdown when Fury was SLUMPED. But I don’t see it that way.

From the very FIRST shot that started the trouble, I saw Fury being held up by the ropes because of hard punches. I SAW it happen at least 5x, BEFORE the knockdown was called. For the record I’m NOT saying the knockdown was NOT a legitimate call. My point is that same CALL could have been made 5x earlier but it was OVERLOOKED. Then when Fury was at his MOST helpless moment, the call was MADE and it saved him from being KOd in my opinion.

There are only three undefeated consensus top 10 heavyweights outside of Oleksandr Usyk right now: Agit Kabayel, Filip Hrgovic and Jared Anderson. Who poses the biggest threat to Usyk and why? Thank you!

Bread’s Response: Good question. Kabayel is a very astute body puncher. And if Usyk has a weakness, it’s body punch defense. I don’t think it’s as big a weakness as some may say. But if you look close that’s the one thing he doesn’t do as well as everything else. Usyk is an elite amateur, who keeps his hands UP and he really tries to defend against scoring head blows. So his body is the one area of some vulnerability. 

But, I also feel like Jared Anderson has the motor, agility and dexterity to match Usyk’s body rhythm that the bigger heavyweights can’t match. If Anderson has a good game plan and camp, he can really trouble Usyk because of this.

Mayweather and Pacquiao fooled a WHOLE generation who thought they were too small for 147. But once you reach the MASTER level, you can overcome SIZE if you have the gas tank, skill, durability and IQ. The ERA just couldn’t keep up with them. We are seeing the same thing with Usyk. But I think Anderson could use some more maturity and seasoning but naturally he’s a free flowing heavyweight who could keep up with Usyk and make things interesting, similar to the way some smaller guys gave Mayweather and Pacquiao more trouble than the bigger guys.


How’s things?

Quick one… in your experience, how often do judges score an even round. I see a lot of promoters, pundits etc score even rounds as they “can’t split them“ and perhaps this leads into their own agenda of who wins. I don’t score fights myself and just go with my feeling of who wins a fight so don’t check if judges score even rounds or not. Is it a thing? Cheers.


Bread’s Response: I have seen even rounds but it doesn’t happen that often. From my knowledge scoring even rounds is NOT prohibited but it’s discouraged.

What’s up Bread.

Hope you and your family are doing well and the boxers in your gym. I absolutely have issue with how as soon as a black fighter loses it’s automatically he was trash, overrated, cherry picks a bunch of bullshit. Meanwhile, these other fighters lose and it’s literally nothing! For my best example, when Maidana smoked Broner the world couldn’t wait to roast him. I understand they didn’t like his personality maybe but you can’t deny the HEART he showed to come right back and come on strong later in the fight. Same with Dev but a lil worse because Ryan popped and the whole world shitted on Haney never giving him credit for being a warrior. Why do you think everyone tries to tear down black fighters instead of offering them words of encouragement?  

Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Europeans, Asians can all lose, be brutally knocked out or whatever and it’s like they get a pass. I could go on forever about the double standards in the sport but what does that come down to in your mind?

Mythical match ups: Saddler vs Pacquiao @126: Henry Armstrong vs Canelo @160: Maidana vs Mayorga @47

Bread’s Response: I train a white fighter in Caleb Plant who was torn down for losing to Canelo and Benavidez. Two guys who can beat just about everybody. Obviously black fighters do get torn down also but it’s not exclusive to them. And in my opinion what has happened to Devin Haney is awful. 

You have people ignoring Ryan Garcia’s positive PED test. And Ignoring that Garcia came in over 3lbs heavy. Claiming Haney should be better defensively. It’s very shallow to say the least. 

But again it’s not just black thing. Everytime I bring up how special Lomachenko is. Some genius tells me on X that he has 3 losses. I’m a very fair man. I’m also black. But I have to tell you this era is built on undefeated records and anytime a fighter who was highly regarded loses, it’s looked at as an indictment on his career, which is ridiculous but true. I can’t even have a decent conversation anymore. We are in a contrarian era. If I like a fighter with a loss or losses, the loss or losses get brought up. If I like a fighter who is undefeated, someone says he hasn’t fought anyone yet. It’s a terrible time to be in, to be honest.

Saddler vs Pacquiao you would need a medical emergency team ringside to take both to the hospital afterwards.

Armstrong is a greater fighter than Canelo but he can’t fight Canelo at 160. My goodness that’s not a fair match up. Armstrong is a come forward imposer. He weighed in the low 140s when he was welterweight champion in the same day weigh in era. How could he possibly walk down a man as good as Canelo at 160lbs? I won’t even state a winner because this is not a practical match up.

Maidana vs Mayorga is a tough call. But my guts tell me Maidana.

What’s up Bread! 

One congrats on the career and the kids sir. Been reading your bags and seeing you at fights since before boxingscene. 

The last time I saw you in Vegas at a fight week, some of the belt holders now were barely prospects. I wanted to talk about this madness I keep hearing about rehydration and the deep misunderstanding I think casual fans have about weight. I keep hearing people say “if you need a rehydration clause you are in the wrong weight class”. It drives me crazy because it’s like people forget that fights used to be same day weigh in. This changed so fighters could come in healthier, not so fighters could fight guys two weight divisions below their natural weight. It’s my opinion that some of these fighters are coming in the ring two and three weight classes above their opponents and that is just as unsafe as what same day weighing in can do to your inner organs. Taking punches from someone 10-15 lbs bigger, depending on the weight class, is incredibly dangerous to your career. The 2-3 pounds over on the official scale could translate to a much bigger disparity on fight night. 

In fairness, in some cases it may not but the struggle to make weight vs eating and drinking what you want certainly will.

The second part of the concern is people saying 3 pounds 5 pounds don’t have any effect on a fight. Which again is just insanity. This isn’t a Ryan Garcia problem. People don’t get how many boxing matches happen every day in America. Forget about the guys making 100k and above. There are people all over the country every week somewhere thinking it is ok to not make weight. It’s a problem. When you come in 2-5 lbs over and you are in pretty athletic shape it may seem like no big deal but it also means you are probably not in that weight class. I think the water gets muddy when you have folks that just can’t make the weight and others that just don’t even try. 

I’m not talking catchweights or people jumping up weight classes or folks coming down. Not justifying those cases but there are a lot more moving parts and space to legitimately go wrong in those cases. 

I’m talking about a 147 fight where both fighters agree to the welterweight limit and someone says well two or three pounds don’t make a difference. 

I’d love to hear your point of view as a trainer.


Bread’s Response: I definitely think coming in any amount overweight is a competitive advantage. In the weight cutting process, every pound counts. I’ve done it over 70 times as a head trainer. And each extra pound you’re allowed to come in OVER weight, allows you to feel better. Not cutting weight allows more water in your body, which means more oxygen. More calories, fats, muscle and carbs. In a game of inches 3lbs is A LOT.

On the other hand I don’t care how much a fighter rehydrates IF he makes the weight legally. There will always be loopholes in every rule that someone will exploit. But when you gain massive amounts of weight after a weigh in that means you CUT massive amounts of weight in camp. If you do this consistently you will lower your testosterone, damage your organs and lower your stamina and punch resistance. Let’s take a look at some fighters who made an unnatural weight too long. Josh Taylor and Miguel Berchelt are two guys that come to mind that give a look that they have depleted themselves by making a weight too long. Neither gains an advantage at this point. 

The one thing that I feel should be changed is weigh in times. Weighing in over 36 hours before a fight is too much. I think a fair rule should be no more than 30 hours before the opening bell. So if the opening bell is 6pm on a Saturday. The weigh in can not be earlier than 12pm that Friday. Nowadays we have weigh ins at 9am on a Friday. A fighter will enter the ring at 11pm the next day. That’s just too much in my opinion. 

But other than that it’s not much else we can do about fighters gaining weight. I also think that the majority of fighters are going 2 or 3 weight classes after the weigh in. Unless a fighter is a generational talent, no one is giving up those weight advantages.

Wow, Breadman! 

We’ve had a crazy run of performances from Ukrainian warriors here lately! Lomachenko and Usyk, of course, but Denys Berinchyk too, with his upset over Navarrete. All three were impressive and all three are from Ukraine, but I feel like there’s something else that makes the wins impressive that a lot of fans are overlooking: All three guys are in their late 30s!! Usyk is 37, and Lomachenko and Berinchyk are both 36! And they scored impressive wins against guys younger than them. I feel like that’s something we should spend just a little bit more time talking about. I didn’t watch Berinchyk’s fight with Navarrete, but I watched both Loma and Usyk, so I can speak more on those about what I saw. With Loma, I saw him stop a guy no one before him had stopped (and become a champion again). 

With Usyk, I saw him rebound from what I thought at the time was doom after round 6 (I thought Fury had him in trouble with his body attack), to have the bigger man in trouble in round 9 and then to take the win and become undisputed! 

The first undisputed heavyweight since Lennox Lewis! And to do it against a guy who had six inches and 40 pounds on him. I mean, what a time to be a boxing fan, right? 

What do you make of all this?

Greg K.P.S.: Someone on Twitter (not calling it that other name), shared a pic talking about how the Usyk-Fury fight would be regarded as one of the greatest heavyweight title fights ever, if not for social media and everybody online nitpicking it. The pic even suggested this would be seen as one of the greatest heavyweights ever if it had happened in the window of the 1970s-1990s. Exaggeration or truth?

Bread’s Response: I have no idea who you are talking about. But from everything I’ve read, Usyk vs Fury is being hailed as one of the best heavyweight title fights ever. It’s certainly one of the best I have ever seen. In my lifetime only Holyfield vs Bowe 1, Ibeabuchi vs Tua, Holyfield vs Dokes, Holmes vs Norton and Fury vs Wilder III were better. And three of those were not title fights. Usyk vs Fury was a GREAT fight in ANY era.

Hey Bread, Hope all is well. Great call on the Usyk-Fury fight saying what punches would be deciding factors. During the fight it was very obvious Fury had too many voices in his corner, in my opinion a fighter is doing well if he can hear one voice during that time.How much of a percentage difference do you think this made (if any) to the fight? Small things add up, the fact Tyson’s dad had openly questioned SugarHil’ls approach in previous fights definitely can not have helped with a settled energy in the corner also. Also I just want to say thank God the right result came even though one judge found fury a winner. 

Sean in Ireland 

Bread’s Response: A boxer can only take but so many instructions while under duress. But I don’t want to blame Fury’s corner because they may operate like that. And he was undefeated so it never came back to bite him. But I did hear SugarHill asking him to come forward and he couldn’t do it consistently. But that may have been because of Usyk, not corner confusion. Ideally you want one voice in the corner. But some fighters can excel in chaos. So I don’t know enough about their set up to criticize them.

I know you love basketball. So I was wondering your thoughts on Caitlin Clark. It seems as though the WNBA players are really coming down on her yet they don’t acknowledge it. Clark has brought more eyes on women’s basketball than anyone in history and it seems as though her colleagues are upset about it. I also know she has a boyfriend and most of the WNBA players are gay. Do you think Clark being straight is an issue that no one wants to touch? 

Bread’s Response: Well I’m not going to touch Clark’s sexuality either. That’s a slippery slope. But I actually agree with Charles Barkley and Lebron James. The women in the WNBA have taken direct and indirect jabs at Clark for the last two seasons. There is NO doubt about it. They can deny it all they want but social media and interviews are archived forever. 

Energy is something you can’t lie about. For years people have complained about the salary and treatment of WNBA players. And now a college player comes in on a historical run and the treatment changes but they don’t like her getting credit for it. If you ever met a jealous person, you met a liar. No one ever admits they’re jealous, while the jealously is festering. They always act as if it’s not true. Literally this is the case with every jealous person I have ever known. As time goes by they may admit it, but never while it’s happening. So I don’t expect any of the women to admit they are jealous of Clark. 

But in their defense there is a gray area. No athlete is 100% humble. You want attribution for your accomplishments. And there are many players in the WNBA who are better than Clark at this moment and who have done more in professional basketball. So they most likely feel like they should get more credit and the WNBA should have recognized them earlier and treated them better before Clark’s emergence. I get and understand that totally. No one likes to be slighted. Especially not hard working professional athletes. 

But to not acknowledge the slights against Clark is just wrong. Because it’s happening covertly in real time. I also think Clark has to be mindful of her disposition. She can be a little neurotic with her complaining and disposition on the court. And that may fly when she’s head and shoulders better than everyone in college. But when she’s just one of the good players in the WNBA and not the Big Dog, that disposition won’t fly as well. 

And on the other hand the ladies who have an issue with Clark have to realize that everything is not about skill and accomplishments although I think Clark is the best college player I have ever seen in Women’s basketball along with Cheryl Miller. Sometimes an athlete comes along at the right time, and they have a certain charisma that catches on and that’s just what it is. The energy has to run it’s course.

Clark’s style of play emerged when Steph Curry is recognized as one of the most influential players ever. Clark is literally a female college version of Curry. So fans find that exciting. She was on a team with solid but non descript players. She played in Iowa and was from Iowa. She put up magical numbers, with a magical style. They went far in the tournament…. And most importantly during this same time, they went up against LSU who has a colorful star in Angel Reese and a colorful coach in Kim Mulkey. So she had the perfect RIVAL and rivalries SELL. 

Reese is a charismatic black woman from the East Coast who plays in the post. Clark is a sharp shooting Midwest white woman who plays on the perimeter. They played back to back years on the tournament. So this was a BIG DEAL. The media ate it up and most of all Clark delivered with huge numbers and big shots. This is NOT the 1st time a league PROMOTED a rivalry. Does anyone remember Magic and Bird. Or Bird and Magic.

Hopefully it ALL works out. With The women getting the salaries that they want. And Clark becomes a great WNBA player. 

Bread these guys are stealing your stuff. I hear you say “Good Shot” loud and clear from ringside. Now you have coaches sounding just like you. Where I’m from we call that biting. I recently heard Stitch Duran speak very highly of you. He said before you trained Caleb Plant he hadn’t heard of you. But after seeing you in the gym, he said you were a scientist. He said he’s been around some of the best coaches in the game and you were on the level. 

That’s big time praise from Stitch who has seen it all. 

On another note my question to you is who are your top P4P trainers in boxing. I know you won’t name yourself although I think you’re up there, especially considering your fighters are always the underdogs in big fights and they perform. But as it stands who are the 10 best coaches in the game?

Bread’s Response: Haha biting is an old school word. Like from the 80s you must be my age or older. I appreciate that from Stitch. He’s a good guy in this sport. It’s hard for me to name the top 10 trainers in boxing because boxing doesn’t work that way. Certain trainers are better at training certain styles and body types. Besides that I don’t know what everyone is doing in the gym day in and day out which counts the most. But I will try to do my best. 

In no particular order….

Brian “Bomac” Mcyntire (Team Crawford)

Virgil Hunter

Derrick James

Kevin Cunningham

Papa Lomachenko

Eddy Reynoso

Bozy Ennis

Ben Davison

Shane McGuigan

Gennady Mashyanov (Dmitri Bivol’s trainer)

Ronnie Shields

I also want to say that there are so many excellent coaches that naming 10 is just not fair. There are so many things to take into consideration. The number one thing is, opportunities. Some coaches are more closely aligned with promoters and managers and they get more opportunities than other coaches who may be better but they don’t get the same chances.

Dear Bread 

How do you see Tyszu v Ortiz jr going? Personally I have to admire TT for taking such a hard fight so soon after Fundora! But do you think his pride is clouding his judgement? I feel TT taking this fight is a huge mistake. The Fundora fight was a brutal blood bath, the type of fight that shortens your shelf fighting life very quickly as both took a lot of punishment! So, quite frankly, it puzzles me why Tyszu and his camp would risk taking such a hard fight like this so soon against a killer like Ortiz jr. Like I said earlier, I admire TT bravery. The guy don’t duck a challenge but I see Ortiz jr dominating, Tim walking him down early and breaking him down quickly stopping him between round 4 and 8!!!!  

Regards Brendo

Bread’s Response: Props to Tim Tszyu. I can’t think of too many A side fighters in this era that would take a Vergil Ortiz fight coming off of a loss. Besides Lomachenko who did it with taking on Gary Russell Jr. after losing to Orlando Salido, I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Tszyu is a straight GUN.

However, this fight perplexes me because I know more about Tszyu as a fighter and because I don’t know everything about Ortiz, I suspect his upside may be higher than Tszyu’s. I don’t know it, but suspect it. Tszyu seems really good and pressing then countering. Although he fights like his HOF dad, Kostya. He mixes in a lot of Canelo’s fighting style. Tszyu is also very relaxed in his approach which may be his biggest advantage. 

Ortiz is super fast and furious. And he’s crisp with his punches. But his body language is frenetic and that high pace neurotic style scares me as it ages. The style doesn’t age well. But Ortiz is still very young. The issue is can he keep it for 12 rounds with a composed fighter like Tszyu. 

Tszyu will also have to defend Ortiz’s high guard jab. It’s fast, sharp and impactful. This is a 50/50 fight! But today, I’m leaning Ortiz because I suspect he has another level that he hasn’t shown. And while I love everything I see in Tim Tszyu, I think we have seen his level which is really high by the way but Ortiz may have a higher upside and I suspect we will see it when they fight. Just a hunch…

Editor’s Note: Turns out it was too soon after Fundora, as Tszyu was medically ruled out of the fight this week.

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