The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards giving his thoughts on various topics such as who wins between Devin Haney and Ryan Garcia, the news that Crawford might fight Madrimov, Boots-Tszyu and boxing’s hot young prospects

I need a clear pick and breakdown on Haney vs Garcia? Garcia’s tactics are working because I’m all over the place with my pick. On top of that Devin looks weight drained. 

Bread’s Response: Devin and Ryan have fought 6 times as amateurs, each winning 3 times apiece. So although it was long ago, they are familiar with each other. I expect Ryan to be dangerous early because of that familiarity. When fighters are comfortable with their opponents, they don’t need the normal feeling out process….

I also expect him to go for it early because fighters know their weaknesses even if they don’t admit them. Ryan went for it TOO EARLY vs Tank and I think it’s because focusing hard for 12 rounds is just not something he’s comfortable with. So he tried to get the Tank fight over with as quickly as possible. That was a counter productive strategy vs Tank because he’s a lights out counter puncher. But Devin is NOT the counter puncher that Tank is. So I can see Ryan going for it again early. 

So while Devin isn’t the counter puncher that Tank is, he does have a great set of legs and a consistent great jab to keep himself out of trouble. Ryan’s chances lie within the first 4 rounds. As the fight moves along I expect Devin’s ability to focus to be the separator. I think Devin’s right hand OVER the top will be hard for Ryan to deal with. I look for Devin to slowly take over after the halfway point. 

My biggest question is can Devin stop Ryan? I think he can but Devin hasn’t stopped anyone in a long time and he hasn’t really come close. So if I were betting I would bet Devin to win a decision. Because that’s safe. But I would hedge with something smaller on a ko because knockouts come in all forms. Sometimes a fighter loses focus and sort of gets himself kod….. I also wouldn’t be surprised if PRIDE took over at some point and Ryan got DISQUALIFIED.

Sup Bread! 

I didn’t realize how long it’s been since I’ve written in but I’ve never missed a mailbag. In one of your mailbags, you mentioned how boxing is a game of inches. I have a few questions that I want to ask you and I hope life has been treating you well!

1. Do you feel like Floyd Mayweather played the game of inches the best out of everyone you have observed in boxing history during his “Money” Mayweather run? 

I can’t think of anyone that had a team that made sure to maximize his chances of success at the level that he did outside of the ring before he stepped into the ring with an opponent.

2. Do you feel like boxing is sorely missing the “Big fight” feel from the HBO/Showtime era? Watching the 24/7, lead up to the fights really brought an almost SuperBowl type feel when Watching fights on PPV…

3. With the Mike Tyson/Jake Paul fight getting closer, my biggest concern for Mike is punch resistance. I hated watching Evander Holyfield fighting under the Mike Tyson-Roy Jones undercard years ago as he couldn’t take punches that he would have been ok with when he was much younger. How do you feel that will play out with Mike being almost 60?

4. Thinking about the type of audience that Jake Paul brings to his fights.. .do you think that the best path for boxing to rise to a higher level of popularity is to include more influencers on main event boxing cards or do you feel like where boxing is right now is where it will be for the foreseeable future?

Bread’s Response:

1. Yes, Boxing is a game of inches. And Floyd did play the game in and out of the ring as good as anyone I’ve seen. 

2. Well, we did get Crawford vs Spence last year. But in years past we got that level of fight, every year and sometimes multiple times. This year we are getting Usyk vs Fury…So I think we are getting the big fights. But as a fan, we can always get more.

3. I don’t know, but I can say that punch resistance goes down as you get older and it’s a concern of mine for Tyson. I haven’t ruled out Jake Paul winning by ko because of Tyson’s age.

4. Boxing has been targeting more influencers. Look at the rise of Ryan Garcia. He’s a talented fighter but his social media status is why he’s in these positions to get big PPV fights vs Tank and Devin.

Hey Breadman,

Thanks for your mailbags, I enjoy them immensely. I feel sorry for Tim Tszyu after his loss to Fundora, I feel like he was on the way to a dominant win and would keep breaking Fundora down, and then the cut happened.  

This isn’t meant to disrespect Fundora, who I’ve noticed has quietly become one of boxing’s great action stars. I think his identity as an all-action warrior can fly under the radar a bit when he has an extremely lanky build, doesn’t have one punch KO power, and looks like an accountant. He is in absolute WARS almost every time out it seems, and I appreciate him for that. 

My question: Boots vs Tszyu, would making this fight be realistic and who would you pick?  I think it would be an amazing fight and the timing just might be right. It’s going to be incredibly tough for Tszyu to draw the top names at 154 into the ring after losing his title belts because Tszyu is an absolute animal and nobody wants that smoke unless there is huge money involved. Obviously, it’s well documented that Boots has had similar challenges. 

These guys both want to be great, are both extremely confident, both want the smoke, and they just might need one another now.  

I’d pick Tszyu just based on him being better seasoned in competitive fights that go the distance.Take care,Brennan, Canada

Bread’s Response: I always give my INITIAL impression of something the most credence. As I was watching the fight live, I said to myself that Tszyu is getting to Fundora too early and I thought Fundora was in trouble. Then the CUT happened. So we are in agreement with Tszyu most likely breaking Fundora down if it weren’t for the cut.

Boots vs Tszyu would be a dynamic fight. I would pick Boots by late ko. I think Boots has too much range for Tszyu. In a tactical war where both guys would be setting traps to throw bombs. In between the explosions is where the fight would be won. And in between the crowd moving explosions, Boots Ennis would pick away at Tszyu with his constant, heavy, sharp and long JAB. That would be the difference in the fight. Boots picking away Tszyu with his jab from long range. I believe it would eventually set up the big shot, to score a late stoppage.

What up, Bread.

What’s your thoughts on Abdullah Mason as a prospect? Where do you grade his potential compared to others of his generation (Curmel Moton, Emiliano Vargas, Jahmal Harvey, etc.)? Not sure how accurate their measurables are, but according to BoxRec he has a very identical build to Boots — Jaron: 5’10 w/ 74 in reach, Abdullah: 5’9 w/ 74 in reach. If the aforementioned is accurate you think he could one day compete at 47?

Secondly, how do you grade Jared Anderson and how do you think he’d fare against some of the other young guns at heavyweight (Daniel Dubois, Frank Sanchez, Bakhodir Jalolov, etc.)

Lastly, would you be open to filling the void as Errol’s new coach? I think that’d make for a good tandem.

Appreciate your time and consideration,

Lonnie

Bread’s Response: I think Mason is the best prospect in the US at this current moment. He’s not only talented but he seems very mentally grounded. I expect Mason to breakout next year and transition from prospect to contender. Mason is tall and rangy so I can see him being a welterweight one day.

Curmel Moton is also talented. He’s not as far along as Mason just yet but he’s younger. Moton is strong, composed and sharp. He also has good conditioning. I was impressed with him just recently going 8 rounds. I think the biggest issue for Moten is settling in at a weight. Moton is short and he seems to be getting bigger. If he can start out and win a belt at 126 and move up from there his career accolades would be bigger than if he challenges for his first belt at 135/140. So I’m curious to see where he settles in at weight.

Emiliano Vargas is smooth. I like him a lot. I love smoothness in an athlete because it shows the ability to control speed. But Vargas’s issue may just be developing at the same time as Mason. We will see who will rise above.

I haven’t seen Harvey yet but I hear good things. 

Jared Anderson is super talented. I think he has heavyweight champion potential. I think a Dubois level opponent in his next fight is about right. It seems to be time for Anderson to make his move to ascend to the title. My only slight critique of Anderson is he seems to sort of just work through rounds without a sense of purpose. Jared is talented enough to have broken down his last opponent and stopped him. But he didn’t seem to understand how to get it done, so he just worked to a decision. 

It’s not the worst thing in the world but as you rise up in the ranks, you want to cross the T’s and dot the I’s. And that’s an area that Jared could improve in.

Sure I would consider being Errol’s coach. But there is more to teaming up. We would have to work for a few days to see if we have chemistry. And most importantly he would have to want me to train him.

Hey Breadman,

I’m sitting here reading your columns while checking my daughters stats on milesplit. 

I’ve followed you from the boxingtalk days.  

She currently runs in the 13-14 division, Mackenzie Maxwell.

I noticed there was one runner MUCH faster than everyone else and I was wondering was that daughter you always wrote about?

If so, she’s really good! Whenever you come up this way again, I’ll make my way over to say what’s up. One question, do you train her with the same approach you take with your fighters? Nutrition, reviewing film, morning workouts, etc. I know the game is to be sold and not told, so I don’t need specifics lol.

Thanks!

Anthony

Bread’s Response: Yes, that was my daughter Ava Ray Edwards. I took her up to New York City to run at Icahn Stadium against the best runners in New York in her age in the 100M and 200M. It was a great experience, she won both of her races. Next time, say hello.

Yes she trains just like my fighters. Nutrition and recovery are actually easier to do with her because she’s a kid and she lives with me. So she eats whatever I feed her, whereas my fighters are grown men, so I don’t see what they eat all the time. My daughter also takes ice baths, gets massages, and does compression therapy just like a pro fighter. She’s very talented in track but without the “other” stuff talent will only take you but so far. I want her to get the understanding now, so it’s just part of her make up as she gets older.

What is your take on Efe Ajagba? It seems like he was being built up as a terrifying heavyweight prospect with massive power. After his loss to Frank Sanchez and his last win, a split decision over Guido Vianello, I’m not buying that narrative anymore. Am I overreacting to a few subpar performances or was Ajagba overhyped?

Bread’s Response: It’s a promoter’s job to overhype a fighter. If the promoter underhypes a fighter, then they didn’t do their job. Top Rank did their job. I think Efe Ajagba is a solid fighter and he’s going to challenge for a heavyweight title someday. Will he win? Who knows? But he will be the underdog. But that’s ok because fights are won in the ring and not on paper. Ajagba has room to improve. The question is will he improve? He will need to if he wants to win a championship.

Evening Mr Edwards I actually just read your mailbag.

Good stuff once again. Just one thing that bothered me. You talked about Ennis breaking his affiliation with PBC to join Matchroom because he couldn’t get the big names that are with PBC. I just wanted to point out that Ennis never had an affiliation with PBC. So he couldn’t have broken something that didn’t exist. Ennis had an exclusive contract with Showtime, not PBC. That is the real reason he couldn’t nail down those fights. Might I also point out that at 154lbs, which is where the smoke is now (Terence Crawford, Errol Spence, Fundora, Tim Tszyu, Jermell Charlo, Castano), most of those guys are with PBC, in fact, only Crawford isn’t. Seems like Ennis has once again made an illogical decision for someone claiming that he wants all the smoke, just like he did when all the smoke was at 147lbs. I don’t wana hear no “everyone is ducking Ennis” complaints (not necessarily from you, just from fans in general) when this guy keeps running from the smoke. Actions have always spoken louder than words. None of Ennis’s actions have been parallel to his so called claims of wanting all the smoke. Who is he gonna fight at Matchroom at 147lbs or 154lbs? I know you’re a big fan of his, and there isn’t anything wrong with that, but can we please call a spade a spade? At this point, there is almost no difference to this guy’s career and Demetrius Andrade’s career when he was around the same age as Ennis. He is making the same decisions that took Andrade on a path of irrelevancy and underachievement. I’m not disputing his talent, I’d have to be a fool to not see what’s right in front of me. But I’d also have to be a fool not to see the signs that he isn’t what he professes to be (mentality )I don’t think Ennis has anywhere near the ambition he claims to have. His actions don’t tell me that at all. Time reveals all truths, so time, and only time will tell. But as of right now, I think I am justifiably unconvinced.

Sincerely

Abongile Zolani Peterson

Bread’s Response: Affiliation means having an association with a particular person or group. That’s what Boots Ennis had with PBC. You clearly don’t know the definition of the word. You’re confusing  contracts with affiliation. I never said Boots was signed to PBC, I said he had an affiliation. He fought on several PBC shows in a row without a contract. So again, that’s an affiliation. 

Now, You may be right about why he isn’t getting big fights. I don’t know. But here is the thing about boxing. Time always tells. 

I think there are several reasons why he hasn’t got the big fights. But the #1 reason in my opinion is his talent. If he were a lesser talent, in his same exact position he would have already got the BIG fight. 

Ennis is not a big talker. So I’ve always believed he needs a promotional push. Let’s see what happens at Matchroom. Eddie Hearn has the ball in his court…

As for who Ennis can fight. Whoever is available. With his talent all he needs is to fight the best available fighter consistently. Once the world gets eyes on him, on a big platform, his talent will do the rest. You’re cynical towards Ennis, so no matter what he does, you will view it from a cynical point of view. That’s your choice. My spirit doesn’t run like that. 

I wouldn’t care if every so-called expert in the world told me I was wrong. I know what I see. Ennis is the most talented fighter in the world. The question is can he be the best. We will have to wait and see because being the most talented and being the best are not always exclusive.

There are rumors swirling that Terence Crawford will fight Israil Madrimov for the WBA title at Junior Middleweight. I like the fight but I have to call Crawford on this. If there is not enough money in fighting Jaron Ennis, how can there be enough money to Madrimov who is less known. What are your thoughts on Crawford vs Madrimov?

Bread’s Response: Is Crawford vs Madrimov signed yet? I don’t believe so. And you shouldn’t call Crawford on a fight that hasn’t been signed yet. But since you asked, if the fight does happen I like the fight…. I understand the business of boxing and I don’t get upset when fights don’t get made. Boots vs Crawford is very unlikely, so let’s move on until something else happens….

Madrimov has some serious physicality and athleticism. He also has hard, heavy hands. You have to remember Crawford started his career at 135lbs. Madrimov is starting his at 154lbs. So physicality will be an issue. Only 6 men in history have won belts at 135 and 154. Roberto Duran, Pernell Whitaker, Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Shane Mosley and Manny Pacquiao. That’s an esteemed list. And I have an interesting side note. Out of everyone on the list, only Duran scored a ko to initially win the 154lb title. The other 5 went the distance. 

Crawford is on a huge ko streak…..Something will give if this fight happens. So while Madrimov is unorthodox and strong, he did have a hard night’s work vs Michel Soro. If Crawford does take this fight, I’m sure his team saw the Soro fight. Madrimov was also defeated by American Troy Isley as an amateur and Isley is now trained by Crawford’s team. So again I’m going to assume if Crawford takes the fight, he has INTEL on Madrimov.

Crawford is like a WATER. He can be whatever he has to be in the ring. His instincts are some of the best I’ve seen. I can see him actually pressing Madrimov and fighting him on the inside. Madrimov likes to jump in with big shots and he needs room to generate energy. Crawford may feel that and his instincts may lead him to stay close. 

I don’t know how Crawford will fight Madrimov but his instincts have always led him to pick the correct style on the big night. I think this fight will be similar. Crawford will become whatever he has to be to win to overcome Madrimov’s unorthodox power. Madrimov certainly has a puncher’s chance. But he hasn’t shown me enough to pick him against Terence Crawford despite the weight advantage. So my pick is for Crawford to win. I can’t say if it will be a ko or not just yet. But I think Crawford’s instincts and water style will make it tough for Madrimov down the stretch.

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