Daily Bread Mailbag: The Canelo-Chavez Debate, Weigh-Ins, Fake Beef, Tyson vs. Paul

By Stephen “Breadman” Edwards

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards giving his thoughts on various topics such who has the better legacy out of Canelo and Chavez, the Jake Paul-Mike Tyson announcement, press conference arguments and much more.

Bread,

I recently got into a debate with someone over Canelo’s career and if I’m being honest he’s had one of the better careers in Mexican history. He beat HOF’s Cotto, Mosley, GGG (legitimately at least once). He challenged Mayweather while he was still green and faced a much bigger & very good fighter in Bivol in his two losses. He’s faced tough opposition in Lara, Trout, and Jacobs that most fighters didn’t want to see in the ring due to their risk vs reward, when he really didn’t have to. He unified the belts at 168 from a career that started near 140 lbs. While it’s 100% fair to say he’s had every opportunity to face Benavidez as of late, he’s not.

Yes, we can say he’s ducking him since there’s not many available fighters and he’s also his mandatory. If we’re going to be harsh with him, then we can with Crawford not facing Boots. We can be harsh in Tank not facing Haney or Shakur. We can be harsh on Estrada not facing Bam Rodriguez. There will always be young, hungry & undefeated challengers in the wings. At 168, we have undefeated guys Benavidez, Morrell, Charlo, Berlanga & Munguia that would all sell tickets Canelo just cannot fight all of them before his career is over, at least one or two will remain undefeated before Canelo’s career is over and will say he was ducked.If we’re being fair, I truly think Canelo has won bigger event fights than Chavez Sr did in his career.

Yes, Chavez Sr beat Camacho, Rosario and Roger Mayweather. In his biggest/most significant fights he was losing to Taylor before that bad stoppage, he lost to Sweet Pea (gifted a draw), was stopped by De La Hoya & Kosta Tszyu thrice. I supposed the question to you is how do you rate Canelo’s 3 biggest & most significant event fights against Chavez Sr 3 biggest & most significant event fights i.e. Canelo vs Mayweather, Chavez Sr vs Whitaker, etc.Also, Canelo’s 3 biggest wins vs Chavez Sr’s 3 biggest wins i.e. Canelo vs Cotto, Chavez Sr vs Camacho, etc.

Apologies for longer than necessary commentary on my end. I think if you could really answer the last two questions regarding Canelo vs Chavez Sr careers people could focus on the fights being made, not the ones not being made. Fighters are braver than most people, they put their life on the line each time they step in the ring.Glad your mailbag is back. Always wishing you the absolute best my guy! May the blessings keep pouring your way.

Richard K.Oregon

Bread’s Response: I rate Canelo really high as a fighter. I think he’s an ATG and one of the five or six best Super Middleweights Ever. I also think he’s one of the best Mexican fighters ever. But I don’t think he rates higher than Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. I can’t just assess them on their BIGGEST fights. Because Canelo is usually the A side in his biggest fights and they fought their big fights at a different stage of their careers.

Chavez was far past it when he fought De La Hoya in 96. He was shot when he fought him at welterweight in 98. De La Hoya is an ATG fighter and he’s more than 10 years younger. Fighting De La Hoya in 96 would be the equivalent of Canelo fighting Benavidez NOW. Something he hasn’t done yet. I’m not giving Canelo a hard time for NOT fighting Benavidez. I’m just addressing your question and how you phrased it. Basically you’re counting things from your subjective preference to elevate Canelo over Chavez. Canelo is fighting in a time where his events are all Super Bowl level events. So yeah he may have won his bigger event fights more than Chavez did. But Chavez’s bigger PPV fights came at a later age, when he had more wear and tear on him.

I would say Chavez’s biggest wins were Taylor, Rosario and Mayweather II. I would say Canelo’s biggest wins are GGG, Cotto and Lara. Taylor was 23 and GGG was 36. Rosario was 24 and Cotto was 35. R. Mayweather was 26 and Lara was 31. All of the Chavez’s opponents were at their PEAKS. In my opinion, only Lara was for Canelo.

Let’s say Whitaker and Floyd Mayweather are equal as fighters. I think Whitaker won and obviously Mayweather beat Canelo. But Whitaker and Chavez were roughly the same age and Chavez was moving up to a weight he never won a world title in. While Canelo was 23 and Mayweather was 36. I get the Canelo was GREEN theory and he definitely improved after the fight. But I would rather be 23 than 36 any day of the week and twice on Sundays. Again if you don’t think the ages are an issue in making fights, then you believe all of the reasons on why established veterans don’t fight, fighters who are about a decade younger.

In context Chavez was 36 when he fought Oscar and 38 when he fought Tszyu. It would be the same as Canelo fighting Benavidez and Morrell. He hasn’t done it yet because he’s in a better situation than Chavez in terms of who he HAS to fight. So CONTEXT again is important in assessing fighters. I put Canelo clearly in the top 10 of Mexican ATG. I think he’s ascending and he’s probably past lots of greats that he we hold in high regard. He maybe passed the likes of Zarate and Morales already. But I don’t have him pass Chavez just yet who is #1 or 1b with Salvador Sanchez.

Hello,

First time writing in. I just happened to catch the Calzaghe l vs Lacy fight on YouTube, and it got me to thinking. Post fight analysis seems to lean on the idea that Calzaghe’s accomplishment, thoroughly dominating Lacy and capturing a second world title was not that big of a deal. Whereas, before the fight, the consensus was that Calzaghe was in for a major beat-down, which obviously did not come to fruition.

My questions are as follows. 1. Why does Calzaghe get scant recognition for that singular achievement as well as his body of work over his career..And 2ndly, in comparison to Rocky Marciano, fans seem to laud the heavyweight’s career, in part due to his being undefeated, thus always getting the job done, but not so Calzaghe. What gives? And lastly but not least, what’s your opinion towards undefeated fighters over an entire career, and the merit that such careers deserve, excluding fighters such as Mayweather who owe their undefeated records, in part, to skilled match-making?

Thanks!

Ken Beider

Bread’s Response: The first thing someone asks a fighter who just had a fight is, “did you win.” If someone finds out you’re a fighter, they say “what was your record”. So you’re never going to hear me devalue an undefeated record. No one wants to LOSE. If a fighter can stay undefeated throughout their career I think it’s an excellent milestone.

Most of mainstream fighters who went undefeated in my lifetime Mayweather, Ward, Calzaghe and Lopez are all ATG and highly regarded.

I think you’re right about Calzaghe. He was the underdog vs Lacy. He was supposed to lose. Calzaghe had a little Aaron Pryor to him, where you knew he was formidable but he looked a little sloppy at times and you waited on him to get clipped but he never did. I also think the reason Calzaghe doesn’t get his props is because Lacy never recovered from the loss, so it was easier to discredit the win. But I feel like you have to assess the win on how the fighter is viewed going INTO the fight. Not just afterwards. But if the critics want to throw Lacy away, they can’t throw away Mikel Kessler who was REAL.

Another thing that I think hurts Joe Calzaghe is the perception that he WAITED too long to come over to America. I think that’s valid. That’s the only criticism I will give Calzaghe who I think is a top 5

Super Middleweight Ever. But he didn’t come to the US until his last two fights vs Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones. Jones was SHOT but Hopkins was far from it. Hopkins had several great WINS AFTER the Calzaghe fight. So if the Lacy win didn’t get better over time, the Hopkins win should have.

Calzaghe’s UK counterparts of his era were Lennox Lewis, Ricky Hatton and Prince Naseem Hamed. They all came to the US and made BIG fights in their primes vs great fighters. Calzaghe didn’t and that’s what I think hurts his legacy somewhat. But I know what I saw. I know what Calzaghe was. And Calzaghe was a special fighter and one of the best Super Middleweights Ever.

Hi Breadman,

For me remembering the 1980’s almost the entire heavyweight is a tragic story with unfulfilled potential. The drug pandemic hit the inner cities hard. and seemed to infect the heavyweight division of boxing. That along with lack of discipline and Don King’s monopoly and contractual games, seemed to suck the life out of the division. The question is who in your opinion are the top three biggest under-achieving heavyweights from that era and there was alot of them. John Tate, Pinklon Thomas, Carl Williams, James Broad, Tyrell Biggs, Greg Page, Tim Witherspoon, Tony Tubbs, Mike Weaver, Michael Dokes, Bert Cooper, Tony Tucker, James Tillis, Trevor Berbick, Buster Douglas, etc. Might have missed a few names.

Bread’s Response: Larry Holmes ruled over the front end of this era and Mike Tyson the back end. Neither gets enough credit. These were some talented but inconsistent fighters. I don’t know who did drugs and who didn’t…. But maybe that was the reason for SOME of the inconsistencies.

The top 3 as far as potential were Tim Witherspoon, Greg Page and Buster Douglas. Witherspoon is literally one win from the HOF. If he gets the decision vs Larry Holmes he’s a HOF. Watch that fight and tell me who you think won…. It was razor close but it looks as if Witherspoon won to me. I also think Witherspoon matched up well with Mike Tyson but he never got a chance to fight him.

Greg Page could bump. He was brutal in sparring. He was just hot and cold in real fights.

And We all saw what Buster Douglas could do when locked in. I don’t think Douglas had drug issues though…I think he had confidence issues and he didn’t know how to overcome them.

Excellent Question.

Hi Bread,

Hope all is well for you & yours.1. Is it true that Sugar Ray Robinson once knocked out an opponent while moving backwards? If so, who was the opponent?2. Who is your favourite Black Murderers Row fighter & why?

Cheers, Dave Panichi

Bread’s Response: Yes Robinson KOd Gene Fulmer while moving AWAY from him. Fulmer was an iron man, with an iron chin, who had never been KOd up until that point. That hook may be the best hook ever thrown. Check it out.

I like Charley Burley. I think he was a terrific fighter. I’ve studied him. I’ve watched the movie about him starring Denzel Washington. I love everything about Burley. I just don’t like the myth that Robinson ducked him when they weren’t in the same division for any significant time. Burley was older and bigger. Burley surely deserved a shot at a title, but Robinson was NOT the fighter who denied him a title shot.

Good day, Breadman,

Hope this email finds you well. I wanted to talk to you about the fake beefs in boxing and in the build up to fights. Every time a fight is announced, here comes the pushing and shoving, the s*** talking and all that. It’s just so predictable and unnecessary. And as we all know, once the fight is over the guys immediately drop the act and hug it out. Some even admit right afterwards that is was all just to “sell the fight”. Mayweather was famous for that. “It’s all about entertainment” he would always say. But the part that I don’t get is that the fight fans fall for it every time. Every. Single. Time. Haney and Garcia recently got announced. These are guys who have known each other for years and have been cool with each other. As we all know they have fought each other many times as amateurs. This fight getting made relatively quickly tells you that there is no bad blood. And now the fight is made and guess what? They are sworn enemies! Even their dad’s are involved! And all the dimwitted boxing fans just fall right into it. As our prez would say, “c’mon man”. With Plant and Benavidez I understand that there was SOME legitimate personal issues, but it wasn’t as if they couldn’t be in the same room with each other without a fist fight breaking out…up until the fight was announced.

Then Benavidez got a little stupid really. With all the “dead man walking” stuff he was saying. Calling Caleb a pu*** and saying he was scared and all that. It’s like, okay, then why did he choose to fight you? It’s just all so stupid. And what happened right after the final bell? David drops the act and even ADMITS it in the post fight interview that he was just trying to sell the fight. But it doesn’t matter to these knucklehead fans, because they’ll fall for the next fake beef the next time around. And let’s bust this myth about the fighters having to hate each other in order to have a great fight. Some of the best rivalries and most vicious fights have been between guys who were each friends, or at least showed a great deal of respect to each other. Just off the top of my head, you got Gatti vs Ward, Marquez vs Vazquez, Pacquiao vs Marquez, Bowe vs Holyfield, Corrales vs Castillo, and so on and so on. I don’t follow other sports, but I wonder if fans and other sports fall for this stuff too. Those of us who know boxing know that it is a gentleman sport. Straight up. You train hard for your opponent you face him in the ring you shake hands you go to war and then you shake hands afterwards. Otherwise it’s just WWE. If you spend all the pre fight, calling your opponent a pu***, then why are you fighting him?

I’m probably preaching to the choir here, so thanks for the read

Bread’s Response: I agree with you 100% and I have stated it publicly. I can ONLY be ME. I don’t talk s#$%. I don’t get into fake beefs. Real beefs are for the streets, not for a professional job. Everyone on the championship level, is involved as part of their professional business. But I don’t think it’s JUST to sell fights. I honestly think fighters love the attention they get to be in the BIG moment. And they psych themselves up to actually fight. And most times for fighters who act like that, I think it’s easier for them to fight and train for someone they don’t like, vs someone they do like. But as a competitor I feel like records are kept for a reason. And you shouldn’t have to hate someone to want to beat them.

But that’s just me. I personally don’t like my fighters to get too involved in that stuff. It takes too much energy to be MAD. I like it when they’re focused and composed rather than mad and intense, especially for too long. It burns you out. As for the FANS. Most are casuals and if they’re buying the beefs, the fighters will keep selling them.

Hello Breadman,

First time writing in and I follow you on the gram (wisegpd797979). My question to you is if you were boxing science (the sweet science) teacher at a elite school, what would you make sure your students knew in order to pass the class. One thing about conditioning, one about fundamentals, one about discipline and fortitude and what type of punch to throw to pass your class?

Thank you for listening, Damon Wise

Bread’s Response: This is a different question. I would say the one thing about conditioning is to be consistent with your program week in and week out. No matter what program you’re on, you can’t do it once every 2 weeks and expect results.

The one thing about fundamentals I would preach is not allowing your head to go OVER your front knee or behind your back knee. There should be an imaginary line that goes from your knees to the ceiling and a fighter’s head should never go over or behind either unless he’s setting a trap.

I would get them to understand what discipline really means. Doing what you’re supposed to do at all times because you’re supposed to do it. Disregarding all feelings. Once they truly understand discipline the jobs get easier.

The punch they would have to master is the jab. All variations of the JAB.

How big a difference do the one day weigh-ins make. Does that mean someone like Hagler who made 160 his career would likely be able to make 154 with the one day to rehydrate?

How much do you put that into perspective when comparing fighters of today and in the past? A rehydration clause is kind of like the fighter opting into the old fashion weigh-ins because they would have to be at the weight closer to the fight. When would you put weigh-ins if you had the option to choose?

Bread’s Response: If I could choose how weigh ins were conducted they would still be the DAY before. I think we know enough about sports science to know that the brain injuries in larger part come from cutting too much weight and not putting it back on correctly, which affects the cushion around the organs. But in boxing everything seems negotiable. Weigh in times shouldn’t be negotiable. I have seen weigh ins done at 10. And then the fighters don’t fight until 11pm the next day. That’s 37 hours to rehydrate.

That’s why you have guys weighing 30lbs more the next day. I think it’s practical to make the weigh ins 24 hours minimum and 30 hours maximum as far as time before the fight.

So for example if the fight takes place at 8pm at night. The weigh in the day before should be no earlier than 2pm and no later than 8pm. That’s fair and practical. Anything more than that, makes the weigh in an artificial process.

Marvin Hagler would probably be a middleweight today. Because he seems to be a rare fighter who can’t get too much smaller but he doesn’t get too big between fights. Floyd Mayweather was like that at welterweight. Even in an era where guys rehydrated really high, he would only put on 3-4lbs. Some people have lean strong bodies and they don’t get too high or too low. I don’t know it, but suspect the same about Hagler.

As far as comparing eras, I don’t like to do it but when I have to, I simply take the fighter who has less resources and I assume he had everything the modern fighter he’s being compared to has. For example if someone asks me who would win Sugar Ray Robinson or Oscar De La Hoya. They look roughly the same size. I then say well Robinson gets to weigh in a day later. He gets all of the modern recovery. He gets to fully rehydrate. Etc etc. It’s very hard to compare eras where the rules are different. So I try to just look at how productive and effective fighters were in THEIR era because no one can help their birth date. Who did more in THEIR time, and who they did it against is the best determining factors in my opinion. But everyone is obsessed with hypothetical match-ups and we are forced to discuss them.

Jake Paul vs Mike Tyson was just announced on Netflix this summer. I think it’s going to be the most watched boxing event ever. Do you know the details of the fight. Will it be a real fight or exhibition? How many rounds? Weight? And most importantly do you have a prediction?

Bread’s Response: This announcement totally caught me by surprise. I give Paul credit, securing a Netflix platform is groundbreaking. I have no idea about the details. But I’m going to assume it will be an exhibition. Mike Tyson is 57. I don’t know if 57 yr old men can be sanctioned to fight 27 yr old men in real fights.

Weight? Tyson is a heavyweight. So I assume he will be a heavyweight for the fight. Prediction. Tyson looked pretty good vs Roy Jones. But Jones has equal wear and tear on him that Tyson does. Their reaction times were similar. So I will say that it’s a competitive fight. That’s all I can say now until I see how the camps are going.

Glad to see you back on the current and now new platform. A few questions/comments. Have you ever heard of fights being canceled the way the Seranno fight was canceled right before the walkout?

I remember fights in the past being canceled day of last minute, but before the era of the internet and social media. DAZN could’ve done a much better job of not putting Serrano in a bad position.

What’s your take on the career of Stevie Johnston? It seems he is seldom mentioned and suffered from being between eras just a weightclass away. The 1 fight I felt was most doable was against his amateur rival and bigger star Shane Mosley.

How do you think he would’ve done, since he had a decent all around game? He also seemed to be just a weight class or a few months away from fights with Casamayor, Corrales, and Mayweather. While he’s live in fights with Casamayor and Corrales, Mayweather is Mayweather but I do think he would’ve given a different look to Floyd being someone who wouldn’t just press him.

Last an observation, Why don’t more boxers effectively fight off the bounce with top competition as much as they used to? It seems Floyd and Manny were like the last of this breed with Crawford is the only one I see do this. It seems like the average boxer in prior generations could stick and move effectively. The boxers that do this today seem to only focus on the defensive portion of it and don’t really stick as hard as they used to. Take care, Deon

Bread’s Response: I’ve never seen a cancellation like the Amanda Serrano cancellation. I’m going to assume she wanted to try to fight. And she waited until the last minute to cancel because she didn’t want to let her fans down. I really don’t know the details of her injury but she seems passionate about her fans and I can see the pain in her interview. I don’t know what DAZN could have done about her unfortunate injury….

Stevie Johnston was one of the best lightweights of his era. He was a killer. No one did him any favors with his matchmaking. Rarely do you see a fighter beat two future world champions in prospect fights. But Johnston did. He was 5-0 when he beat future welterweight champion James Page. He was 11-0 when he stopped the 31-1 Sharmba Mitchell. That’s some real work.

As you stated Johnston was well rounded. He didn’t do one thing great, but many things very well. However, I thought his heart was great. I think Johnston with more influential matchmakers, he could have had a Tim Bradley level career and been a HOF. Johnston and Bradley are similar in ability and make up, they just came along in different eras. Johnston was at 135 as the champion during the same time as Shane Mosley. I don’t know what happened with a unification between them. Mosley would’ve been favorite but I would have loved to see it. I suspect Mosley would have won but Mosley was outslicked by Miguel Cotto who is similar in stature to Johnston. Mosley was a better fighter than he was a boxer and Johnston had real skills. It’s no foregone conclusion that Mosley wins.

Johnston lost his title in 98 and won it back in 99 but by that time Mosley was exiting the division. Then in 2000 he lost to Jose Luis Castillo. Johnston was so highly regarded that this was voted the RING upset of the year in 2000. Imagine that.

No one knew Castillo was as good as he was at the time. It was a Majority decision loss and in the rematch Johnston was announced the winner. Then the scorecards were added up again and the fight was ruled a draw.

To put Johnston in context, his performances vs Castillo in terms of rounds won and observable action were on par with Mayweather’s. They both had hell in 24 rounds vs Castillo. Mayweather edged his decisions. Johnston has a close loss and a draw. If Johnston wins that rematch, his career is viewed differently. He would’ve been champion again. And as the top 130lber moved up, he could’ve got some BIG fights with them. But instead he tried to earn another crack at the WBC title and he was stopped in 2003 and that was basically his career. Johnston was an excellent fighter and one of the best lightweights of his era. Not quite a HOF but a real guy in a real era. I think his peak performance was against Angel Manfredy. Check it out

I don’t know why fighters don’t fight off the bounce more. Bivol is giving guys hell off the bounce. Shawn Porter had an excellent career off the bounce. It’s difficult to stay on the bounce for 12 rounds but it’s something you can do in intervals to change up the rhythm. I think fighters today simply don’t like being fatigued. Fighting on the bounce requires training on the bounce…..

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