Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, trainer to former junior middleweight titleholder Julian Williams, was a guest on the Showtime Boxing Podcast with Eric Raskin and Kieran Mulvaney, and had some comments about what’s going to happen with fighters during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not only are fights shut down, but gyms all over the world, and fighters are going to have to figure out ways to stay not just in shape, but actually ready for a return.
The trainer expects there to be some upsets when boxing gets back in action, owing to fighters who just did not stay sharp during the downtime.
“If you are going to be special in this game, it’s more than training when your trainer tells you to train,” Edwards said. “The public is going to see it, when some guys come back, they won’t be right and there will be upsets.
“Fighters don’t need to learn fancy pad routines. Ray Robinson didn’t hit pads! He worked on shadow boxing all those combinations he threw.”
One expects that Edwards will be proven right in time. We see fighters all over social media trying to stay in shape, but first of all it’s still early days with all of this, so keeping it up will be key, and second of all there’s just no way to truly replicate what the vast majority have been used to doing their entire careers.
Obviously, everyone is going through this, so it will come down to the fighters who stayed as sharp as they can, and those who didn’t. In the first fights back, we’re more likely to see some poor performances; fighters who get a chance to get time before they come back, or who have the luxury to take time before they come back, should be better off.