Thursday, 16 September 2021

Daily Bread Mailbag: Wilder’s Allegations, Davis’ Big Win, More

The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Deontay Wilder’s wild allegations against Tyson Fury and Mark Breland, the background of Vasiliy Lomachenko, Gervonta Davis’ big victory and more.

Great MB Bread,

Used N’Dou only because of height similar to Campbell and 135lbs. Campbell is an Olympic medalist and a better technical fighter then N’Dou.

For quickness use reflex balls, drop them, bounce them off the wall and juggle them. Reflex bag works too, i found that my fighters punch quickly and accurately when using this bag while also responding better defensively. Canelo uses the bag, his quickness is evident. Jump rope tricks also contribute to quickness.

Roy used to chase and catch chickens for quickness. And quickness is what Roy lost – not speed, as he got older. Floyd kept his quickness, a perfect example of this is his fight against Andre Berto which turned out to be a quick fighter (Floyd) against a fast fighter (Berto). Berto lacks quickness. “Quickness is in the mind, Speed is in the body!”

Another thing I’ve noticed is many very muscular fighters have no punching power. I attribute this to pushing rather than punching. Lifting heavy weights trains one to push. One exercise to do that involves weights that will increase punching power is the Olympic weightlifting “snatch”, I have my fighters do this one weightlifting exercise exclusively.

Bread’s Response: Thanks.

I feel you on the Ndou and Campbell comparison but I just think they are too far apart as far in styles and ability.

I love reflex balls. I also love the reflex bag. I even make guys hit the reflex bag with light weights in their hands. Canelo is nasty on that bag and he can hit you with more than one power shot, which is a direct result of the bag. Yes and most freaky jump rope guys have quickness, another good one.

Man you know what you’re talking about. Quickness is what RJ lost. People say he lost his speed but he really didn’t. In the 3rd Tarver fight he hit Tarver with a left hook to the body, then a left uppercut to the head and he hurt him. It was as fast as lightning. He was lightning fast vs Jeff Lacy, Anthony Hanshaw and Felix Trinidad all fights after he was kod. But the problem was, Roy’s processing was off after he lost to Tarver by ko. His ko% went way down after that also if you notice. He couldn’t hit anyone, with a death shot they didn’t see anymore. He also didn’t process when you were going to hit him with a big shot. Roy always went to the ropes. He always hooked off on attacks. But after he lost to Tarver, he couldn’t gauge anymore. I honestly think he just got caught against Tarver in the 2nd fight. It was just one of those things. Tarver was stepping in on a double step and Roy was punching. But AFTER that, Roy was caught in spots he would never have been caught in. Danny Green, Glen Johnson and Lebedev never catch him like they did had Roy not lost his quickness. He instincts sort of left him also. I don’t think I have ever watched a fighter fight more entire fights than I have Roy. I have probably watched over 30 of his entire fights. And you are the only person besides myself that realizes that Roy didn’t really lose much speed. Obviously he may have slowed slightly in his mid 30s but it wasn’t dramatic. It was quickness, instincts and processing that left him.

Yes Floyd vs Berto was quickness vs speed and Floyd dominated him despite Berto being much younger because Floyd’s mind is so much quicker. I have only seen two fighters match Floyd’s speed and quickness but neither could do it for 12 rounds. Oscar De La Hoya and Zab Judah. Floyd beat both of them with his CALMNESS and COMPOSURE. Oscar’s jab really gave Floyd more problems than people realize but Floyd didn’t let anyone know. He just kept calm and kept working and won the rounds he needed to win. Zab was really giving him fits but he got just physical with him and didn’t let Zab know he was giving him fits. Floyd separated himself because of his mental stamina. He was able to concentrate longer than Judah and Oscar.

Berto and Amir Khan are very similar in my opinion as far as very fast fighters who don’t process well.

I think repetition is one of the best ways to build quickness. Doing the same move 1000 times a day. Practicing the same scenario over and over.

Believe it or not I think the quickest fighter we have seen over the last decade besides Floyd is Andre Ward. His mental processing is off the charts.

I love talking about punching power. I think weights can increase punching power but it depends on the exercises and how they are done. I think often times fighters think they are building power but they are really building strength which is different. The “SNATCH” is awesome for an explosive movement. But simple box jumps make the legs springy and explosive. Medicine ball throws also are good for punching power. Dumbbell bench press done correctly and resisted push ups also increase power. I think fighters do too much upper body lifting but actually increasing leg strength and explosiveness help more.

Sprinting, dead lifts, hip thrust and squats are big for punching power.

Increasing grip strength is good for punching power because it makes the fist tighter upon impact. It also makes the forearm stronger for the last snap of the punch. There is a direct correlation of hard hand shakes with hard punchers.

But let’s not forget good old fashion heavy bag punching. A big, durable heavybag will have you punching harder than anything. It’s the exact replication of what you will be doing in a fight.

What’s up, Bread! I’m a big fan of the Mailbag and whenever you pop up as a guest on Eric and Kieran’s Showtime Podcast, it makes my work days a hell of a lot more tolerable!

I just have a quick question, so I’ll try to keep it short. I live in the same town as my parents, so that means fight night is generally spent yelling at the tv and bonding over boxing with my Dad (except when he’s Team Canelo and I’m Team GGG. Then it gets tense!). One conversation that inevitably happens is commentary about how reach is measured during the Tale of the Tape portion of a fight. He’s fairly adamant that the measurement should be from the armpit to the end of the fist and NOT the fighter’s wingspan (which he thinks is focusing on an unimportant number).

While I don’t have a dog in the fight and usually just engage to have a fun back and forth, I come down pretty squarely on the side of “Well. There’s gotta be a reason.” and figure it has to do with how the power hand is measured to follow the jab. Who’s right? Who’s wrong?

Love what you do! Stay safe out there and good luck in the Corner!

Bread’s Response: Your dad is CORRECT. When you measure a fighter from finger tip to finger tip it can be relevant but misleading. What if he has long fingers? My brother has fingers that are a half of an inch longer than mines. He has E.T fingers. Also what if you have a wide back from shoulder to shoulder. Then your reach will “LOOK” longer and not really be longer. Floyd Mayweather has the same length arms as Wladimir Klitshcko but because Wladimir has a wider back so his reach will read longer.

The CORRECT measurement should be from armpit to closed fist. Some of boxing’s statistics are outdated and reach is one of them.

Hey Breadman,

Hope you and yours are fine.

I wanted your thoughts on how a fighter can recover, not from a loss but from a win in wich they hardly damage their opponents (coma, paralysis, death…).

I saw Yesterday Subriel Mathias won his comeback fight, but a lot a fighters were never the same after hurting a man so badly (I’m not saying what happened to Dadashev is all his fault or judging him). Look at Mike Perez after his fight with Mugamedov, or Nigel Benn after the McClellan fight, they changed.

I don’t know how a fighter can train, punch with the same intensity and be 100% mentally ready for war after a tragedy like that.

Do you have examples of fighters who went trough this and were not affected ?

Thanks for your time !
Max from France

Bread’s Response: Fighters getting hurt is the unfortunate part of this game. It’s why I am so hard on fighters to train properly and do everything the correct way because you can get seriously hurt in a boxing ring.

Everyone compartmentalizes things differently. Some fighters live with guilt. Some fighters move past it. I believe Sugar Ray Robinson handled it better than anyone. He killed Jimmy Doyle in a boxing match but he still had continued success at a very high level and he was also a violent puncher after the fight.

Hi Bread,

I somehow feel that heavyweights are discriminated against in the P4P list. What is worse is that sometimes even experts say ridiculous things when it comes to P4P rankings. I have heard people say that a Canelo is far more skilled than heavyweights and if was himself a heavyweight, he would own the division. This is a wrong way to do P4P comparison. Let us take Canelo and Fury for example. If Canelo was a natural 220 lbs guy instead 175 lbs, he would not be as fast and nimble. Similarly, if a guy like Fury is as fast and nimble as he is after weighing 270 lbs, he would be even better if he was a natural 220 lbs guy. That is the right way to do a P4P comparison. Canelo might still be better than Fury in P4P sense but I am just trying to point out the right way to do a P4P comparison between two boxers in different weight classes. Do you think Fury belongs in the current P4P list? 

Also, I was just having an argument with someone the other day about Holyfield. I am of the view that if the version of Holyfield that we saw against Bowe had faced Lewis, he would have beaten him and my friend disagreed. Do you think that a prime Holyfield would have beaten Lewis?

Bread’s Response: First off someone made up their own rules in the P4P discussion. Somehow heavyweights get excluded which is ridiculous. If a heavyweight is the best fighter in the world then that’s what he is. 100% Tyson Fury should be a top 10 P4P fighter.

When we do P4P discussions we have to use a word that most don’t. RELATIVE. For example your speed and power has to be assessed relative to the weight you’re fighting at. Obviously a heavyweight won’t be as fast as a featherweight. But his speed at heavyweight can be faster than the featherweight’s speed relative to their respective weights. Same goes for height, reach and all things relevant. A 6’1 welterweight is not a 6’1 heavyweight. He’s 6’7…I hope you guys get that.

P4P is simply how we assess fighters if everyone was the same weight. The reason it’s hypothetical because in a literal sense a bantamweight can’t beat a middleweight but he can be a better fighter RELATIVE to his weight. In the 1940s Sugar Ray Robinson was the world’s best fighter. But he couldn’t beat Joe Louis or Ezzard Charles in real fights because they were too big.

I don’t know why everyone makes this so difficult. Of course Tyson Fury is among the 10 best fighters in the world. As was Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, Lennox Lewis and Muhammad Ali before him. It’s ridiculous to think a heavyweight can’t be on the P4P list. If he deserves it put him on there.

Lewis is a very tough match up for Holyfield because he keeps distance and he doesn’t lay on the inside with Holyfield. But in their rematch Holyfield fought him pretty much even up. I don’t know who would’ve won had they fought in 1992. Very tough fight to call.

What did you think of Davis vs Santa Cruz? If is the Fight of the Year? Ko of the Year? Who are your top 10 Punchers in boxing? Where do they both go from here?

Bread’s Response: I thought it was an excellent fight. I don’t think it was FOY but it was a top 5 fight of the year. I think Santa Cruz performed excellent. I think Davis performed a little better. Both raised their games but the difference in physicality was evident. Leo fought the best fight he could. People say he could have moved and boxed more but Tank was bringing it. Leo is a volume guy and he fought the fight he was most comfortable fighting. Tank has now taken his stardom to the next level. That was a huge PPV win in his first PPV main event.

I think Davis goes on to fight BIG fights. I think he competes at 130 and 135. I think we are seeing the emergence of a mixture of Mike Tyson and Zab Judah but with Leonard Ellerbee’s and Floyd Mayweather’s guidance. I expect Tank Davis to make minimum 50 million in his career. I don’t know who he fights next but going by the Mayweather module I expect it to be the biggest Latino star available next May. They have always maximized the Cinco De Mayo holiday.

As for Santa Cruz that was a very bad ko. I’m not suggesting retirement but I do expect him to take at least 9 months off.

I think it will be KO of the Year but Povetkin may have something to say about that.

Top 10 punchers in boxing.
1. Monster Inoue
2. Deontay Wilder
3. Tank Davis
4. Artur Beterbiev
5 Murat Gassiev
6. Teofimo Lopez
7. Anthony Joshua
8. GGG
9. Jermall Charlo
10. Errol Spence

I’m starting hear people claim that amateur pedigree and accomplishments mean nothing in an attempt to discredit Lomachenko. What are your thoughts on that?

Bread’s Response: I think it’s ridiculous. Every level that an athlete, especially a fighter competes at, is relevant. Often times the best amateurs are the best pros. That’s about 75% of the time. So when someone says that the amateurs don’t mean anything it’s just wrong. What I will say is that the amateurs don’t mean EVERYTHING. You will see fighters who weren’t great amateurs emerge as world champions and even HOF. But it won’t be as often as you see it with stand out amateurs. And when you’re talking about the very best pros. That’s usually the best amateurs. Let’s give examples when amateur boxing started to become bigger in the US.

Starting with Ray Robinson who was either 85-0 or 85-2 as an amateur, he turned out to be the best fighter of the 1940s and 50s as a pro.

Floyd Patterson won the Olympic Gold in 1952. So he turns out to be a heavyweight champion and HOF as a pro.

In 1960 Muhammad Ali wins a Gold Medal and turns out to be the best heavyweight ever and an ATG as a pro.

In 1964 Joe Frazier wins a Gold Medal and turns out be an ATG and a heavyweight champion as a pro.

In 1968 George Foreman wins a Gold Medal and turns out to be an ATG and heavyweight champion as a pro.

In 1976 Ray Leonard, Michael and Leon Spinks all win the Gold Medal. All become world champions as pros. Ray Leonard and Michael Spinks both are ATG.

In 1980 Donald Curry was our best amateur but the US boycotts the Olympics. Curry becomes a two division champion as a pro.

In 1984 Pernell Whitaker, Meldrick Taylor, Frank Tate and Mark Breland win Gold Medals. All become world champions as pros. Whitaker is an ATG. Virgil Hill wins a silver and becomes a world champion as a pro. Evander Holyfield wins a Bronze and becomes an ATG as a pro.

In 1988 Riddick Bowe wins a Silver Medal. He wins a title and becomes a world champion and HOF as a pro. Roy Jones and Michael Carbajal also win silver and Jones becomes an ATG. Carbajal a HOF.

In 1992 Oscar De La Hoya wins a Gold. He becomes a HOF and world champion as a pro.

In 1996 David Reid wins a Gold. He becomes world champion as a pro. Floyd Mayweather wins a bronze and becomes an ATG as a pro.

In 2004 Andre Ward wins the only Gold. He becomes a world champion and future HOF as a pro.

In 2008 Deontay Wilder wins a bronze. He becomes a world champion as a pro.

In 2012 Errol Spence is regarded as the best amateur prospect in the country. He turns out to be the best pro of the bunch as a world champion.

In 2016 Shakur Stevenson wins a silver medal and he’s the only one from the team to be a world champion thus far as a pro.

I am a guy who does research. I don’t go with the crowd. I didn’t even bring up foreign stand out fighters who were elite amateurs. I didn’t even bring up great American fighters here who weren’t Olympians but they were great amateurs who won National Titles.

Vasyl Lomachenko was a great amateur. He won 2 Gold Medals. And he’s a great pro. He’s 13-2 in title fights and he’s won 3 division titles. He was able to adjust to the pro ranks quickly because he was a great amateur.

I don’t believe a fighter can rest on his amateur laurels. He can’t claim to be the best pro just because he was the best amateur. But one’s amateur pedigree does count in assessing projection on what they will achieve. And if you were a special amateur it does count. The Hall of Fame is called the International Boxing Hall of Fame. It’s not called the professional Boxing Hall of Fame.

So again, while the amateurs don’t mean everything. Some fighters get robbed. Some fighters don’t develop fast enough. Some fighters aren’t connected enough. Some fighters are in countries where amateur boxing is not as important. Many factors count. But the amateurs do mean SOMETHING. Promoters pay Olympians and National titlist better than they pay solid local amateur kids. That’s just a fact.

If you made a list of the best fighters of the last 40 years. Most of those guys would be considered great amateurs if they come from countries where amateur boxing was prevalent. Just think about it. Leonard, Jones, Whitaker, Mayweather, Holyfield, De La Hoya, Spinks, Tyson, Holmes….all stand out amateurs. Pacquiao, Duran and Chavez come from countries were amateur boxing was not big during their youth so it’s hard to assess. Bernard Hopkins is one of the rare US fighters to be an ATG and not be a stand out amateur. You really can’t argue facts. Even guys like Marvin Hagler, Aaron Pryor and Gerald McClellan were stand out amateurs. They just weren’t Olympians.

What do you think of Glove Gate? Deontay Wilder has really made some strong claims. And just recently he has said that Tyson Fury crushed his skull with egg weight loaded gloves and that his now fired trainer Mark Breland spiked his water with muscle relaxer. Is this common among fighters to make excuses after losing badly. I usually see fighters switch trainers after they lose, especially being stopped? Do you think this is all because Breland stopped the fight and Wilder disagreed?

Bread’s Response: Good question. Let’s see….Where do I start?

I don’t know enough about Glove Gate to comment on it. I really don’t. The little bit that I have seen is not enough for me to comment on. All I know is Tyson Fury wore MX Everlast gloves and those gloves have a softer leather and the inside padding is softer than most gloves. So it indents more.

I didn’t read that Fury crushed his skull with egg weights. I don’t understand that. I know Wilder suffered damage but I didn’t know it was a crushed skull. I hope you read that right. That’s serious.

I also didn’t read that Mark Breland is accused of putting muscle relaxer in his water. These are serious accusations. Very serious. I don’t know Mark Breland personally so I can’t vouch for his character. I don’t know Deontay Wilder personally so I can’t vouch for his character. I’ve never heard anything like this before accept when George Foreman lost to Muhammad Ali.

I always felt that Breland was being ostracized for stopping the fight. I actually see both sides of the coin. Breland saw Wilder taking a beating. Bleeding from his ear. And what looked to be a damaged equilibrium. So he stopped the fight.

The other members of the team felt Deontay always has a punchers chance. Which he does. They felt he was undefeated and the stakes were too high to stop a fight when he wasn’t on the canvas. They also felt Jay Deas is the head trainer and not Breland.

I understand both perspectives. I’m not getting into who’s right or wrong. It’s a matter of perspective. As a head trainer I would be livid if an assistant stopped a fight. That’s the head trainer’s call. But I don’t know the dynamics of their team and it seems Breland played a big role on the team.

Now the drugging accusation is next level. This is not a matter of Breland seeing things differently. This is a treacherous accusation. I just don’t know what to say. I would like to see Mark Breland defend himself if this isn’t true. I’m curious of his response. I don’t have an opinion because I don’t know what he has to say in his defense.

As for fighters blaming their trainers for their losses. I can speak on that. It happens 80% of the time at the top level. Especially after a stoppage loss. It’s just how boxing is. A great HOF trainer told me long ago, to never get attached to a fighter. It’s very hard not to. But I definitely understand where he’s coming from. That’s why in boxing it’s important to WIN. A loss brings out the ugly side of this sport.

God bless bread,

Hope you and the family are all well.

My question this week is in reference to the comments Deontay wilder made this week regarding his fight with Tyson Fury.

I have a lot of respect for Deontay as i do for all fighters. He is one of my favorite boxers in the game, but what he is saying is just totally bizarre!

Could he still be concussed from the beating Fury dished out to him?

To claim Fury had a egg shape metal object in his gloves and that Mark Breland spiked his water is just senseless.

I’ve never been in a boxing room before a fight , but I do know there are officials there to check the hand wraps the gloves and see that there is nothing out of the ordinary going on.

Also there is a representative from the other boxers corner also there to over see what’s going on in the other boxers quarters.

Seems like Deontay doesn’t want to face the fact he got beat by the better man.

Your thoughts?

Bread’s Response: It’s really crazy. I’m getting more emails about Wilder than I am Tank Davis.

I don’t know if Wilder is still concussed. I’m not a doctor. But I don’t believe you can be concussed for 9 months. I just read about the egg weights and Breland drugging him. I’m the type of person that waits until the facts come out. So let’s wait.

One thing I will say is that the officials that work these fights MISS things often. One missed what Antonio Margarito was doing. They walk back and forth in and out of the rooms. They let fighters stack wraps all the time. I personally caught a fighter stacking his wraps in 2014. I also gave gloves back because I had a fighter who was fighting at 160lbs be given 8 oz gloves which is for fighters that are 147lbs and below. So that stuff we hear about commission members being present doesn’t hold weight with me. You better have a member from your team present that knows what to look for.

I have a story about the TRUTH.

TRUTH went down to a stream one day and undressed for a cool refreshing swim. While TRUTH was swimming a LIE came along and took off his clothes and stole the clothes that belonged to the TRUTH. The LIE paraded around dressed up like the TRUTH. People were impressed with the LIE. He looked and sounded splendid. He was DRESSED as the TRUTH.

When TRUTH stepped out of the water and found that his clothes had been stolen, TRUTH had to make a choice. He saw the clothes the LIE had left behind. TRUTH said to himself, “ I would rather walk around naked than to walk around as a LIE. I’ll just have to be what I am, the naked TRUTH.”

Hope you guys got that.

What’s good, Bread?

My experience in the ring is limited but my experience in actual combat extends three decades.  We can never really predict what another man is thinking but my experience indicates to me that Wilder’s excuses and now his “make funeral arrangements” indicate a person who is extremely insecure, doubts his ability to beat Fury and is not demonstrating effective mental resilience.

As a warrior, preparation and confidence are important – the same as in life.  But what qualities are important in a fighter to prepare for the inevitable adversity – almost all fighters lose…and ALL fighters find a moment in some fights where they have to battle back.

As a trainer, what are some of the ways you prepare an undefeated fighter for adversity without denting their confidence?  And how does a top fighter progress when surrounded by yes men, hype men and people who only tell them how great they are? 

Lastly – what new skills does Wilder need to develop at his age to be competitive for the title again?  And how likely do you think it is that a fighter his age & temperament can do it?

Lamont B.
Tucson, AZ

Bread’s Response: I try to make my fighters feel UNBEATABLE but not INVINCIBLE. I let them know that being unbeatable comes with provisions. And those provisions are focus and hard training. And anything less they can lose.

This is a really good question because you don’t want to talk about losing too often but you definitely better let them know they can lose if they don’t do certain things.

The two most important factors in dealing with a loss is ACCOUNTABILITY and HUMILITY. The definitions are clear.

All fighters have yes men around them. All fighters have groupies around. Some just compartmentalize it better than others.

I actually think Wilder is live in the trilogy fight. I think if he comes in light again. Concentrates on a better jab. And learns to take small counter steps to stifle Fury’s attack he can win. The one thing we do know is that he can hurt Fury. Fury has proven to be better so far. But that doesn’t mean Wilder can’t clip him.

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