The PBC Mailbag: Caleb Plant, Jermall Charlo, Tim Tszyu & More

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Potential matchups and fight breakdowns populate this week's loaded mailbag.

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Charlo vs Benavidez Jr HIGHLIGHTS: November 25, 2023 | PBC on Showtime PPV

Greetings Mr. Edwards. As always, big thank you  for the boxing knowledge. My question is concerning a potential fight between Caleb Plant and Jermall Charlo. According to some YouTube channel it has been officially announced for July 13,is there any truth to this?If it’s true I wish you the best of luck with Caleb.I have always been a fan of both Charlos especially Jermall. Concerning Jermall, a lot of fighters, particularly Pauline Malignaggi, were very high on him at one point even thinking he could beat Canelo. I remember at one point you said Jermall and Dmitry Bivol were equal in challenge to Canelo for different reasons. Why were so many people in the know so high on him? I was wondering your opinion given you’re a top trainer. Also, even after the time off, do you think Jermall still poses a serious threat to Caleb who just had a good very competitive fight with David Benavidez?

Bread’s Response: Caleb Plant is not scheduled to fight Jermall Charlo on July 13th. I’m not sure who said that but if you didn’t hear it from either fighter don’t believe it. It’s a great match up but as of yet, the fight is not done. 

Jermall really earned my respect with his performance versus Julian Williams. Julian was super sharp that night. He was what we call “on.” And Jermall stayed with it and timed him and landed a great shot to win a fight I felt he was getting bested in. But Jermall has been a little hot and cold since then and besides the Sergiy Derevyanchenko performance back in 2020, we haven’t seen that Jermall since. If he would’ve kept progressing from the Williams fight, he would be a pound-for-pound level fighter at this point. But for whatever reason it hasn’t happened.

Jermall’s ability to hold his ground while taking big shots, his chin, consistent jab and physicality was why I thought he was elite. But again, his inactivity and recent performances have dropped his stock. In fairness to Bivol, Jermall is not where Bivol is at the moment. But, let’s see how things go from here. He’s still undefeated and he hasn’t taken any bad beatings.

Hello, Breadman. There were intangibles in the Tim Tszyu-Sebastian Fundora fight and a lot of blood. Could the corner of Tszyu stopped the fight within four rounds and got a no contest? Should his corner have tried to do this? And I just dont see why the champion Tszyu would not have a rematch clause? Makes no sense to me. Especially since there was an opponent change. I also noticed Errol Spence wanting to fight Fundora. I was hoping we would get the Spence-Crawford rematch. They could fight at 154 . Finally, who do you think is the biggest for Jaron “Boots” Ennis right now? Can’t wait to see him in action.  J.B.             

Bread’s Response: Tszyu’s corner could’ve told Tszyu to say he couldn’t see and the fight would have been stopped. But let’s be honest, if they would’ve did that, they would’ve been criticized for not conducting themselves like warriors. They fought through it and gave the fans and the viewing audience on Prime Video a good show. People are criticizing the corner but they forget they got the show they wanted. 

Fundora vs. Tszyu was a really good fight with high drama. As for the rematch clause, I don’t know that they don’t have one. Let’s see what happens.  Fundora broke his nose. So whoever he fights, will have to wait at least 6 months or more.

The biggest fight for “Boots” Ennis right now is the highest ranked fighter at 147 who is willing to fight him. Ennis’s talent will captivate the fans. Especially casuals who care more about what they see, instead of who they see it against. Ennis just needs a consistent platform to showcase his skills.

In this era, I can’t imagine someone fighting [Gary Antuanne Russell] voluntarily in a title defense. Trainer - Stephen "Breadman" Edwards

I’m starting to believe you when you say that Gary Antuanne Russell may be the best fighter at 140lbs. After watching Hitchins vs. Lemos, I can’t see either seeing the final bell against Russell. When do you think Russell gets his shot? And against who?

Bread’s Response: Devin Haney and Teofimo Lopez are the most accomplished fighters at 140. But I still don’t know who the best is. It may be Russell but he hasn’t had a chance to prove it just yet. I don’t know who Russell gets his shot against. I think he may have to be a mandatory to get a shot. He’s dog strong, fast, a southpaw, has Olympic pedigree, with a 100% KO ratio. In this era, I can’t imagine someone fighting him voluntarily in a title defense. 

I would favor Russell over every fighter at 140, except Haney and Lopez and those are 50/50 fights in my opinion.

I love the sweet science. I’m partial to counter punchers and smooth boxers. Right now at this moment who would you say is the best counter puncher in boxing? The one fighter who can allow his opponents to lead and dominate?

Bread’s Response: Great question. At this current moment, I would say Gervonta “Tank” Davis, Jaron Ennis or Terence Crawford. But because Tank has more one-punch KO counters, I will give it him. All three are exceptional counter punching KO artists. But I’ve seen Tank KO at least 10 fighters on single shot counters. Just recently Rolly Romero, Ryan Garcia, Leo Santa Cruz and Mario Barrios all were KO’ed on one shot counters. No one in boxing has done that to that extent. 

Tank Davis is a mix of Naseem Hamed and Zab Judah. He threads a needle with counters, with both hands as good as anyone since them. Davis’ eyes and ability to pull the trigger is remarkable. And it’s why taller fighters don’t outbox him like it looks like they could, because they’re hesitant to pull the trigger because they know they can be knocked out. Tank literally makes you open up and then he threads the needle with either hand to the head or body and it’s discouraging. He’s one of the more gifted punchers I’ve seen.

Do you think Tim Tszyu was exposed against Sebastian Fundora? I know Fundora beat Erickson Lubin but I’ve never thought he was that good. I know we have to factor the cut in but I felt like if Tszyu was what he was advertised to be, he still would’ve won.

Bread’s Response: Boy, you’re a tough critic! I actually think Tim Tszyu is better than advertised. I give him credit for fighting Fundora. I would’ve picked a right-handed fighter, closer to Keith Thurman’s height. So in an era where A-side fighters have privilege, he didn’t exercise any. He deserves props for that.

I also give him props for fighting through that cut. I was there live and you couldn’t see Tszyu’s face 10 seconds into every round because of the blood flow. How he went 12 rounds like that I will never know. So more props.

I thought Tszyu was lighting Fundora up the first two rounds. Then the cut happened. Fundora is a dog and he kept plucking away and Tszyu pretty much fought him on even terms the last 10 rounds. I personally thought Tszyu did better work and I thought he would get the decision. So I actually give Tszyu more props for that performance. 

I love his counter punching ability. He’s tricky. I love his heart. I love his punch variation. The only criticism I would give him is, I don’t think he’s the lights out puncher that he’s advertised to be but that's not on him, that's on the people who compared him to Gennadiy Golovkin and to his father, Kostya Tszyu. 

I think he’s an accumulation puncher. So at times he was looking for one big KO shot. But I even give him a pass on that. He couldn’t see and he was trying to get it over with. Fundora is very difficult and that jab was doing damage. 

I think you’re being too hard on Tszyu. On even terms, he’s a better fighter than Fundora in my opinion and I respect Fundora. I think he’s good also but Tim Tszyu is NICE. Super NICE!

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