The PBC Mailbag: Tszyu-Fundora, Canelo, Philly's Finest

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Trainer Stephen "Breadman" Edwards fields more questions from fight fans ahead of the stacked Tszyu-Fundora card Saturday night available on Prime Video Pay-Per-View.

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Tszyu vs. Fundora & Rolly vs. Pitbull PREVIEW: March 30, 2024 | PBC PPV on Prime Video

Hello Breadman, I have a few questions. Now that Keith Thurman has backed out, and Sebastian Fundora named as replacement opponent for Tim Tszyu, how do you see these changes affecting Tszyu? Can he adapt at such short notice? I was really looking forward to the Thurman-Tszyu fight. Fundora is not anything Tszyu has faced before. I just wonder if Tszyu will have the same intensity in the fight. This is on very short notice  and Fundora will be up for the challenge. What a great opportunity for him. Is Team Tszyu making the right decision? The only negative I see for Fundora is how bad he was KO’d by Brian Mendoza. His head hit the canvas really hard. Who do you favor in this fight? Thank You, J.B.

Bread’s Response: I could be wrong but I thought Thurman got injured/ I didn’t hear about him backing out. The changes can affect Tszyu. But we don’t know if it will affect him. My guess is no. He’s still up and coming and trying to prove himself and get worldwide respect. Fighters in his position are very eager to fight and usually perform. 

I was also looking forward to Tszyu vs Thurman. People are saying Fundora is a harder fight but I don’t know about that. Fundora is a different fight but it doesn’t mean he’s a harder fight. Keith Thurman reached a level we have never seen Fundora on. However, I am surprised Tszyu took Fundora. Fundora is 6-foot-6 and southpaw. Thurman is 5-foot-7 and orthodox. Fundora is a pressure fighter. And Thurman is a mover. You can’t get a bigger contrast in styles. 

But as you stated, Fundora was knocked out brutally in his last fight and he hit his head. I favor Tszyu to win by KO in a war. But the last time I picked against Fundora he stopped the talented Erickson Lubin. So as the saying goes, that’s why they fight the fights. Either way I expect a great fight. Maybe a Fight of the Year candidate.

Now that Keith Thurman is injured and Sebastian Fundora will step in against Tim Tszyu, what are your thoughts on Tszyu-Fundora? I think this will be a fun one!

Bread’s Response: I expect a violent shootout. Maybe Fight of the Year. Fundora rinses and repeats the same combination over and over. Right hook, left uppercut. His opponent’s heads are right in line with his fist, so while he seems slow, there is a short distance to his target. Tszyu seems to be improving but we haven’t seen him in with anyone remotely close to Fundora. I suspect Tszyu will attack the body first, then throw looping shots over the top once he’s touched the body. Don’t give me too credit for this breakdown. It’s really the only way Tszyu can fight him. 

I think Tszyu can do what Brian Mendoza did without losing so many rounds. Tszyu is more active and dynamic than Mendoza in terms of punch output. Tszyu also carries himself like he knows he’s good. Either he’s a bluffer and has a false sense of confidence or we are looking at one of the better fighters around. We shall see. But my pick is Tszyu by mid-round KO in a shootout.

Hey Mr. Edwards, I want you to play promoter/matchmaker with me for a moment. If you were going to put together a Philadelphia fight card, what local fighters would you put in the main event, and in the co-feature? I think a main event between Jaron 'Boots' Ennis and Danny Garcia would be huge in Philadelphia, and I think it's an interesting matchup because Danny Garcia has never been close to being stopped, but I think Ennis is capable of stopping Garcia at this late stage of Garcia's career. For the co-feature, maybe Stephen Fulton returns. I would match up former world titlist Tevin Farmer against Nahir Albright in a lightweight fight on the card, and of course Julian 'J-Rock' Williams and Gabriel Rosado should make an appearance on the card, maybe against each other. Both J-Rock and Gabriel Rosado's best weights were at 154 pounds, so I don't think they are that far off from each other in size, and it's a good, entertaining fight. What do you think of these matchups and how do you see them playing out, and who would you put on a Philadelphia boxing card? John

Bread’s Response: This is an interesting hypothetical card. I don’t want to sound like a cynic but Philly fighters for the most part at the top level don’t like fighting each other. They spar often in the gym and come up together so fighting each other doesn’t always feel right to them. But my job is to answer you, so I will.

I like the main event of DSG vs. Boots. That’s older star vs. younger star. Puerto Rican vs Black. J-Rock vs. Gabe Rosado also makes sense but they would have to figure out the weight. J-Rock is a tweener between 154-160 and Gabe has been at 168. 

Philly has plenty of South Jersey fighters who come over here and train alongside of them. So in that case, I would put Stephen Fulton vs Ray Ford. Fulton who is the ex-champion at 122 and Ford is the new champion at 126. That would be a huge local fight.

You can’t leave out Tevin Farmer who is one of our recent champions along with Ennis, Garcia, J-Rock and Fulton. I would find the best Latino fighter in the city who fights between 130 and 135 to match with Farmer. I’m guessing that would be Steven Ortiz who is an excellent undefeated lightweight. But I think they train together and both are trained by Chino Rivas, if I’m not mistaken.

After that, I would find local fighters who are big ticket sellers. And I would match them with equally good fighters. So, let’s say Christian Carto vs. Dylan Price. Price is from South Jersey but that would be a barnburner. 

And Kyrone Davis is from Delaware but trains in Philly and won the Philly Golden Golden Gloves several times against Thomas LaManna who is from Jersey but also trains in Philly. Good card. How do you like it?

But my pick is Tszyu by mid-round KO in a shootout. Trainer- Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

Everybody talks about "What Ifs” and normally point to someone who didn’t achieve everything they could have, maybe because of a lack of discipline or injuries or an untimely death. But I feel like there’s another category of “What Ifs” that I’m personally drawn to: The ones who did achieve but could’ve achieved even more under different circumstances. The HOF’s or even ATG’s who could’ve, in another time, become the GOAT. Maybe Bill Walton in basketball or Mickey Mantle in baseball could’ve been their sports respective GOATs if their bodies hadn’t betrayed them? With this category in mind, who are boxing’s examples of this “What If”, in your opinion? Who could’ve been the GOAT under different circumstances outside their own control? 

Bread’s Response: Great question. I’m going to name the fighters I think who could’ve been GOATs but it’s too hard for me to determine what was in or not in their control. I was asked this many years ago and my answer hasn’t changed much. There are a few fighters who come to mind. Sugar Ray Robinson and Muhammad Ali did everything they could and that’s why they are GOATs. So, I will name fighters who came after them. Here goes:

George Foreman could have been the heavyweight GOAT if he did one thing. Beat Ali in Africa. Just think about this. Foreman was 25 when he fought Ali. He was already 40-0. He already had destroyed 2 HOFs in Joe Frazier and Ken Norton by early brutal KOs. If he beats Ali in 1974, who would have beaten him? The only fighter who was emerging that had a chance would’ve been Larry Holmes. But Holmes wasn’t ready to challenge for the title until 1978. So even if Holmes would have beat Foreman, his run would’ve been unbelievable and it’s no sure shot Holmes would’ve beat him by the time he challenged for the title. If Holmes doesn’t beat Foreman he may have reigned until the late 80s. 

Just think Mike Tyson was a great fighter but Foreman a tough style matchup for him. I assume the wear and tear of camps would have eventually worn Foreman out but he was special enough to take off 10 years and win a title in 1994. That one night in Zaire cost him. 

Next is Roberto Duran. If Duran simply doesn’t quit in the No Mas fight—he could lose just not quit—and retires after he gave Hagler hell for 15 rounds, imagine his lofty status. No Hearns KO loss, no Robbie Sims loss, no Camacho and Pazienza fights. None of the bad stuff that happened to Duran in the 80s and 90s ever happens if he stops in 1983 after his valiant challenge of Hagler.

Sugar Ray Leonard if he doesn’t get a detached retina in 1982. His resume is already crazy. But look at the landscape in 1982. Aaron Pryor could’ve moved up to fight him. Donald Curry, Milton McCrory and Marlon Starling are emerging welterweights. Mike McCallum, Tony Ayala and John Mugabi are emerging junior middleweights. And, of course, Marvin Hagler is waiting at 160. Think about Leonard’s resume if he takes those fights. He doesn’t even have to win them all. Just win more than he loses.

Tommy Hearns. If he doesn’t lose to Leonard and Hagler. Simple. It’s hard to imagine any welterweight in history beating Hearns besides Leonard and Robinson. Now imagine he beats Leonard. He would have a case for being the best welter and super welter in history. And a victory over Hagler would seal the GOAT status.

Roy Jones. All Jones had to do was retire after the Ruiz win. That’s it. That’s all. 

Julio Cesar Chavez. Beat Pernell Whitaker and retire. He would have been 88-0 with titles from 130-147 and beating a P4P great like Whitaker at his last division would be remarkable.

Pernell Whitaker. If he gets the official nod over Chavez, and he beats De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad and retires...think about it.

Floyd Mayweather. He’s 50-0 and there are people already who say he’s the GOAT. But imagine if he fights Joel Casamayor and Acelino Freitas at 130 when they are all there undefeated. Floyd is considered the best junior lightweight ever. Then fights Shane Mosley earlier at 135 or earlier in his reign at 147. Then he beats Kostya Tszyu at 140. Beating Mosley at 135 and Tszyu at 140 are historically great wins. Then he fights Manny in 2008-09 instead of 2015 and not retire after the Hatton fight and clear out the welters Antonio Margarito, Paul Williams and of course Miguel Cotto. Whoa, it would be hard to argue his GOAT status and he would be the favorite in ALL of those fights. 

You may call me crazy but I also think Floyd would’ve beaten Sergio Martinez for the lineal middleweight crown. I wouldn’t ask him to fight Kelly Pavlik or Gennadiy Golovkin. That’s too much size and mass, but Martinez started out at 147. He’s closer to Floyd’s size and for as good as a fighter that he was, he made a lot of mistakes. Floyd could’ve beaten him. Not easy but he could’ve figured him out. And if Floyd does all of those things at the lower weights, then wins the lineal middleweight crown, his GOAT status would be super hard to deny.

Manny Pacquiao. Just beat Floyd Mayweather and not get clipped by Marquez in their fourth fight. The most decorated fighter in history being the first and only to beat Mayweather. With Manny starting out so small at flyweight it would be hard to argue his GOAT status if he beat Floyd Mayweather at welterweight. 

Salvador Sanchez if he doesn't pass away. Look at the landscape of fighters from 126-135 coming through the 80s. Sanchez would have had foes like Jeff Fenech, Barry McGuigan and Eusobio Pedraza at 126. Julio Cesar Chavez at 130. Alexis Arguello at 135. And don’t forget Pernell Whitaker the Olympic gold medalist and future 135-pound great. That is a hard table for Sanchez to run but like Leonard if he could’ve just won more than he lost, he’s a GOAT.

Great question, you really made me think. I tried to come up with reasonable scenarios that were practical and could’ve actually happened.

Hey Bread, how is it going ?  just wanted to get your thoughts on Canelo Alvarez’s press conference for his May 4 bout versus Jaime Munguia. To see Canelo say the stuff he's saying to justify not fighting David Benavidez is pathetic: What does Benavidez bring to the table? Well, how about his  biggest PPV fight right now? That's what Benavidez brings. More people would buy and tune in for that than any other option he could pick from. He said he wasn’t going to fight another Mexican and now he’s fighting Munguia. The dude is clearly terrified of losing. If he wants to go that route fine then vacate the titles and fight all the John Ryder's you want to. "I don't have anything to prove." Yes, you do. That's your job, your profession is to prove you're the best fighter in your division when you hold titles. It's  clear he is ducking Benavidez. his fellow countrymen Julio Chavez, Juan Manuel Marquez, Erik Morales etc. must be shaking their heads. Thanks for your maibag every Saturday. Ray, San Diego

Bread’s Response: David Benavidez is nothing to play with. It’s why the public should’ve given Caleb Plant more props for fighting him in the middle of his prime. Before he showed signs of slippage or weakness. That’s a really tough fight to take when you don’t have to. I think Canelo will fight him but he’s going to do it when he’s ready and not a second before.

I have hope that the fight happens because over the last few years there has been a trend in boxing where Fighter A puts off the big fight. Fighter B keeps winning and going after the big fight. The fight grows in anticipation and Fighter A finally accepts the fight and the fight is bigger because of the build-up. We have seen it several times so I hold out hope it will happen.

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