Photo Credit: PBC
As of a couple of weeks ago, Stephen 'Breadman' Edwards, was planning on spending this upcoming Saturday night watching the fights on Showtime and DAZN. Edwards, isn't just a world-class trainer, but an avid fan.
For him, weekends like this are fun.
Now, he'll be ringside working the corner in the main event at the Footprint Arena in Phoenix, Arizona (Showtime 10 pm, ET/ 7 pm, PT) when late replacement, Kyrone Davis, faces former two-time super middleweight belt holder, David Benavidez in a 10 round affair.
A few weeks ago the original opponent, Jose Uzcategui, failed a VADA drug test, and it was a that point that a huge void was created on this card.
He recalls that they were given the heads up, ''around October 22 for (Kyrone) to be a fill-in, in case somebody fell out of he fight." That match-up was originally scheduled for late August and was postponed as Benavidez tested positive for Covid.
Edwards says they got the call on October 27 to come out of the bullpen to face Benavidez.
"I was told that Uzcategui was having some issues, and he probably wouldn't be fighting. So we decided that night that we would fight,'' said Edwards, who admitted,''Kyrone is probably not 100-percent as far as the condition he can be in, but he's in enough condition to get the job done. That's my honest assessment."
Photo Credit: PBC
After defeating Martez McGregor in an eight round decision on September 5, Davis was hired to be in the training camp of WBO welterweight champion, Terence Crawford, as he prepped for his November 20 date against Shawn Porter.
"But I'm going to be honest," said Edwards, "being in the gym, and being in the gym for a fight are two different things."
Edwards is an old-school type in a sense that he realizes that sometimes things aren't going to be optimal going into a bout.
"We got the call and we're going to fight, I take fights that a lot of trainers wouldn't take," said Edwards, who hails from Philadelphia. "It's boxing, it's part of the game. David Benavidez is a tremendous fighter, and I've got a lot of respect for him. But at the end of the day -- it's a fight, and Benavidez is a human being just like anybody else."
Edwards said that given the late notice, he asked that this bout be a 10 rounder. To him, six weeks would be sufficient, but to engage in a 12 round contest on just three weeks notice was something he wasn't going to ask Davis to do.
Regardless, unless Davis was back in the gym, staying in relatively good shape, they would've been in no position to even consider this assignment. That's the underlying message here -- stay ready, you never know what might come down the pike.
"It's a lesson, and it's one of the reasons why I took the fight, because I constantly tell my guys, 'You've got to stay at about 75-percent maximum shape because you never know when you're going to get that call," said Edwards, who is well aware of the pecking order in the sport.
"Unless you are a privileged A-side fighter, you're never going to get eight weeks to train for a fight. I warn them all," he continued.
His message to Davis, who began his 2021 campaign with a close split decision draw to Anthony Dirrell in late February, was blunt and to the point: "You have to take this fight, it's part of the game, man. This is what makes you a real fighter."
Davis didn't need to be pushed too hard to accept the fight. As for the money, Edwards told SNAC.com, "It could've been better, but it is good. It represents a career-high payday." Also negotiated into this deal is for Davis to get a fight down the line at 160 on what Edwards describes as ''reasonable notice.''
"I'm an easy guy to make a deal with," said Edwards. "I don't break deals, I make'em."
And quite frankly, he really wouldn't want to handle a boxer who wouldn't take this opportunity. ("I didn't have to pull teeth," Edwards noted.)
The 27-year old Davis (who has a record of 16-2-1 with 6 KOs) is the type of fighter who will have no other choice but to take the hard road. But given the fact he's not a prized prospect with an undefeated record, it gives his handlers a certain freedom to take calculated risk such as this.
Edwards was going to watch Benavidez this weekend, regardless, now he'll just be watching him from the opposite corner.
He explained, "I've been watching Benavidez for awhile, and you just look at different things on him. But you look at him in admiration and awe of him, you're like, 'Wow, this guy can fight.' But when you get a fight, it's different. You look for flaws, like, 'He's good but he makes this mistake. He's good but we can do this, here.'"
Photo Credit: PBC
"So it's not so much that I haven't seen him, it's more or less that I had to look at him in a different perspective because I really enjoy watching Benavidez. He's a really good fighter. He puts punches together, he's mean, he goes for the knockout."
In many ways, this is a no-lose situation for Davis.
But Edwards makes it clear: "We're not coming in here for a consolation prize, to make excuses. We're going to fight."
David's brother, Jose, is the co-feature on Showtime this Saturday night. He faces Francisco Emanuel Torres in a 10 round junior middleweight contest... On DAZN, certainly looking forward to Jaime Munguia-Gabe Rosado (and yes, I'll be in attendance at the Honda Center in Anaheim), but I'm eager to get another look at lightweight whirlwind, William Zepeda, who faces veteran John Vincent Moralde on the undercard....The story line with Lawrence and his baby mother is the most interesting one of this current season of 'Insecure'.....