Former welterweight champ and former co-trainer of Deontay Wilder, Mark Breland sure had a lot to say during his silence-breaking talk with The Fight Is Right. As fans may have read, Breland, along with utterrly ridiculing any and all talk that says he “spiked” Wilder’s water during that Feb. 2020 return fight with Tyson Fury, revealed plenty about the way Wilder trains. Or doesn’t train.
Breland revealed, among other things, how Wilder “don’t jump rope,” and “doesn’t hit the speed bag or the heavy bag.” This got a whole lot of boxing fans wondering and asking – how the hell does Wilder train? Every fighter jumps rope, just as each and every fighter sharpens up on the speed bag. But apparently not Wilder. Breland’s revelations make us wonder just how ill prepared Wilder really might have been when going into some of his biggest fights. Did Wilder get by on just raw power alone?
Breland certainly doesn’t agree with people who say Wilder has a fine left jab (or had a fine left jab; will Wilder ever fight again?). Breland stated in his interview, “No,” when asked if Wilder had a good jab. “He used the jab one time in that (first) fight with Bermane Stiverne,” Breland said. “That was it.”
Speaking of the jab, for many THE key weapon for any boxer, Breland also says Anthony Joshua is lacking in this department. In fact, going further – too far – Breland said that he himself could beat Joshua, pretty much with his jab alone.
“To be honest, I could beat Anthony Joshua,” Breland stated. “I could beat Anthony Joshua. Here’s a guy who doesn’t have a jab at all. When he fought [Andy] Ruiz in the second fight, people talked about his jab. That wasn’t a jab, he was just doing this (Breland mocks how AJ merely tapped with his left jab). To fight a guy like him, I would out-jab him. I don’t think he’d be able to touch me. I’d put him to sleep, the jab can bang that chin and put you down.”
Was Breland speaking in terms of how he would train a guy to beat Joshua and not really saying he himself could do it? That makes a lot more sense, especially when we remember levelheaded Breland is. I’ve no doubt Breland, an experienced trainer with a fine boxing brain, sees enough flaws in Joshua to make him strongly believe he could train a good fighter and have him defeat AJ. But we have to take Breland’s, “I could beat Anthony Joshua” comments with a massive pinch of salt.
As for who wins the Fury-Joshua fight, Brelands certain Fury “would beat him up.” “He has good mind games,” Breland said of Fury. “He plays with these guys, he’s playing with their heads and guys get mad and frustrated, so frustrated it can throw them off their game.”
Maybe, if Fury was not being trained by the more than capable Sugar Hill, Breland would have been a perfect coach for “The Gypsy King.” Shortly after Wilder fired Breland, Fury did say he’d offer Breland a job.