The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen “Breadman” Edwards tackling topics such as Terence Crawford vs. Errol Spence, undisputed junior middleweight champion Jermell Charlo, the postponed fight between Chris Eubank Jr. and Conor Benn, Andre Ward, and more.
As for now it looks like Spence Crawford is off for Nov 19th. Maybe it can be rescheduled later date. Just by listening to reporters, it sounds like there is no guarantee money. And Crawford wants expense transparency. When one side goes to this much trouble to not make the fight, it seems they just do not want the fight period.
Spence has fought twenty-eight times and never has this issue come up. If Spence side wanted the fight it would happen. This fight is popular among fight fans, but it does not carry the buzz of Leonard Hearns, that even non fight fans were interested. I can see the legacy and importance of the fight, but why the lack of money, if that is really the concern. If this fight does not come off, what is next for Crawford. He has not fought this year and only once a year for the last two years. He will be thirty-five this year. Does he stay at WW and fight Ugas or lower tier guys, or move to one fifty-four and try to get a fight with Charlo. I would love to see Bud fight Charlo. And I think Bud could beat Charlo. I don’t think Charlo would want that fight though. I feel for Crawford. For Spence he should fight Crawford, or be made to face Boots Ennis or vacate the title belts. Too much posturing.
Bread’s Response: I think Spence vs Crawford will happen. I think it may happen in 2023 but I believe there is too much money to be made and both are closer to the end of their careers than they are to the beginning, so a loss now is not like a loss at 25 yrs old. I also believe that Spence and Crawford both care about their legacies and they can’t NOT fight each other and NOT fight Boots Ennis. Missing the younger Ennis is one thing, but missing each other and they’re in the same age and genre sort of speak is another.
Crawford has not looked rusty, but going for 12+ months in between fights can prove to be counterproductive at some point. All I can say is everything in this era takes TOOO LONGGGG. But it sure does build anticipation. I still think Spence vs Crawford is the biggest fight to be made in boxing. I think they do over 500k buys which is a lot for this era. And at say $80/buy that’s $40 million, not considering the other streams of income, sponsors, gate, hotel site fees, etc etc. It’s a huge fight and I think both can and will make their career high paydays. Let’s be patient. Spence vs Crawford gets made in January of 2023, it wouldn’t be past it’s expiration date. But if not in 2023, it will damage BOTH fighter’s legacies.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again. The key to making this fight, is the ascending Boot Ennis. All Time Great Status is at stake for Crawford and Spence. A fighter can’t MISS the best 2 fighters in their weight class, in or close to their primes and claim that status, when you have a career of less than 40 fights and you fight once a year. I know fighters and most would rather fight opponents in their age group……Let’s see….Let’s think positive.
A few random thoughts. Feel free to chop up the email and reply to anything/nothing as you see fit. Why don’t fighters use the leather skipping rope anymore? I see too many using these thin lightweight speed ropes that look flashy, but they let you cheat and not have to use effort and work hard, just look like you are doing something. The heavier rope is better to train with, as I feel is true in general for most boxing equipment. I really believe that heavier speedbags are better as they force you to hit through the bag with speed power and rhythm for example, as opposed to just turning your hands not really accomplishing anything other than a racket. The boxing equivalent of ‘talking loud and saying nothing’ lol. If you notice, the guys with power usually hit the speedbag with power and authority too. Sometimes the old school really is the best school.
Who is the most underrated fighter in boxing today? For me, it might just be Jose Zepeda. He’s very well-schooled, big heart, no major weaknesses (other than making 140), and could easily still be undefeated but for bad fortune. He’s very live vs the unorthodox Prograis.
On the evidence of the last two fights Canelo’s gas tank is shot. He never fought 3 minutes of every round to begin with… The smart way to match him from here on would be against all of the non-punchers. I’ve always thought that you need power to beat Canelo, otherwise he is gonna walk through you like a tank and damage you, even if it’s only one shot at a time. The most intriguing matchup at heavyweight is Joyce vs Wilder. People who are loose and dynamic with power like Wilder usually execute guys who are stiff like Breazele, Dillian, and Joyce. But Joyce has enough boxing iq and maybe a granite enough chin to get through to Wilder and break him down. Other than undisputed this is surely the best fight that can be made at Heavyweight. Clash of the titans! I can’t shake the feeling they’re gonna make Rolly vs Broner in a car crash of trash talk.
Crawford vs Spence is the best 2 welterweights facing off, but might also be the best 2 coaches in the game right now going up against each other too. Bomac and James TEACH, always bring their guys in shape with a good gameplan, but crucially can both give great instructions during the fight. This is really an all-time fight, it’s a lot to live up to after the build-up…Your comments recently about P4P are similar to what I’ve noticed and thought for a while now. In reality who is anointed the P4P #1 is usually the actual #1 from 18 months-2 years earlier, because of the weight people give to resume and who is ‘hot’. I remember Bhop being made #1 by The Ring when he was past his actual prime, based more on his body of work than where he actually was at that moment in time.
A few years back I thought Inoue was the clear #1 in reality, based on the level of his performances and eye test, well before he was actually stamped #1. Likewise right now Boots is probably no worse than the 3rd best fighter in the world on performance level and eye test, I’d probably only consider picking Inoue or Crawford over him in a head-to-head P4P sense, maybe Usyk as well.I get the feeling Dirrell is going to try to and be dirty or find an excuse to quit against your new guy Plant. He’s done a lot of talking.
Bread’s Response: I like leather skip ropes but you’re right, they aren’t being used as much. We disagree on the new ones. They move faster, so it may be easier on your arms but it forces your feet to move faster and in sync. There are also weighted ropes that can be used to build the arms and endurance. Fighters don’t use speed bags as much as they used to. I like when fighters use the speed the bag. But I think it’s misused. It does build hand speed and hand eye coordination. But it’s best for shoulder strength and endurance because it forces you to keep your hands up.
Joyce doesn’t past the eyeball test with flying colors. Because some of his gifts are unseen. That’s why he needs to get the fights in order to get the results. By looking at Rocky Marciano….. Ezzard Charles, Jersey Joe Walcott and Archie Moore, appear more skilled and better. But when Marciano faced them he beat them. The only one who was far past his prime was Charles. Moore and Walcott were BOTH reigning champions.
Back to Joyce. He appears heavily flawed. But every generation a fighter comes through, that outperforms his eyeball test. Last generation it was Carl Froch. Before him it was Antonio Margarito. This generation it could be Joyce but let’s see him at the top level. I won’t count him out until he gets counted out. I’ve seen this movie before, and it’s a horror movie for his opponents.
Jose Zepeda can BUMP. I thought he was done when he struggled vs Hank Lundy. I was WRONG. He’s one of the best contenders of this era.
Rolly vs Broner would be great promotion but let’s remember Broner just pulled out of a fight citing mental health issues. Who knows when he will be back. I think Rolly will most likely take a tune up.
Bomac and Derrick James are excellent coaches. Hopefully they match up with their best fighters.
When Bhop got the P4P #1 title, I think it was 2004 after Roy Jones was kod by Tarver and then Glen Johnson. I think Bhop deserved it because in 2004 Floyd Mayweather was in between divisions, Pacquiao had just had a draw with Marquez. Who else would have deserved the spot after RJ loss? I do get your point about Ennis. He’s probably the most talented fighter in boxing, but we have only seen him for about 4 minutes over the last year and he can’t get big fights. But if you know what you’re looking at, you know what he is. I have plenty of fighters in their 20s in my P4P because of the exact reasons you stated.
We forget Jermell’s resume too often. Dude lined up 10 excellent fighters and beat them convincingly or stopped them. Actually the most consistent resume in boxing volume/level of opposition wise. Almost no miss at 154. P4PIf the P4P criteria is not based on size or resume then without a doubt Ennis would be number one. Imagine if he was 240 pounds what he would do to the heavyweights. At 168 he’d toy with Canelo and Bivol/Beterbiev at 175 – if he was performing with his current 147 form.
Bread’s Response: Jermell Charlo has an excellent resume and I’m glad he’s doing it in one division to prove that you can attain a greater legacy by fighting in one division, than jumping around and missing smoke. Charlo has basically fought a whole era of 154s. The only notable 154s that he hasn’t fought are Lara, Andrade, Hurd and Jrock. And none of those fights not being made, were his fault.
Lara was his stable mate. Andrade didn’t defend against Jermell when he was the mandatory. Hurd and Jrock both lost before they could fight Jermell in unifications. If Jermell fights Hurd and/or Jrock at 160, he would have basically fought the WHOLE era. His resume is deep as far as fighting the best available guy and that’s all you can ask for. It doesn’t have to have HOF etc etc. Just the best available guy in your division.
Jermell is probably a HOF at this point. I just wish he fought more than once a year. If he fought just 2x a year, it would really clear out the smoke in the division. Jermell could have won Fighter of the Year in 2022 with his big win over Castanao but he’s not going to fight again in 2022. A Fighter of the Year award is big on your resume, when it comes time for the HOF. But other than that, he’s had an excellent career.
Jaron Ennis is a monster. He’s a mix of Too Sharp Johnson and Roy Jones. He has everything you would want in a young talent. Size and length for the weight. A stacked division. Age (25). Skill. Talent. Talent and skills are different. Athleticism. Speed is important, most times fighters can’t overcome it. Timing. IQ. His only perceived weaknesses is he’s a Gun Slinger. It’s not a weakness though until he gets caught. He reminds me of Hearns and Norris, in his vicious approach. He wants to hurt opponents. The issue is does that calm down after he gets hurt or dropped. I’ve watched fighters condense their styles after they get KOD. Some keep being vicious. That’s my only question on Boots.
I don’t believe he has defensive issues. His reflexes are Golden. He could choose to fight a defensive fight but he’s a KILLER! Most young, gifted offensive fighters, think they are invincible. No human is invincible but not everyone can prove it to them. I’m waiting to see if someone can prove to Boots he’s not invincible.
Monster Inoue is the only other fighter who can match Boots in terms of talent, skill, athleticism and viciousness. When Nonito Donaire showed the Monster that he could be hurt. That his face could break. That he could be hit with big shots. The Monster became an even bigger Monster. If Boots turns out to have what the Monster has on the inside, we are looking at a fighter who could possibly one day be in the argument for the ……….I don’t even want to say it out loud because this era moves too slow and he may not get a chance to show my claim.
I think that Fury and even Wilder harbor resentment for Joshua and especially his promoter Hearn for what I feel was condescending/arrogant treatment of them when they Joshua was kind of on top of the heap as far as being the A part of any fight involving Joshua vs Wilder/Fury even though none of the three of them had lost at that time. Even if Joshua perhaps at that time was the bigger draw at that time. I do feel Hearn is a very good promoter though.
So when Fury comes up with imaginary cutoff times for signing a contract I think what Fury is doing is paying them(Hearn/Joshua back any chance he gets for how they treated him until Joshua lost to Ruiz and wilder and fury had their great fight. I think Fury likes rubbing in their faces. I think Wilder feels the same as fury. Things changed after that Ruiz fight. Any thoughts on that or am I off base.
Also Hearns vs Duran at 147 at the same date and condition Duran was in when he fought Léonard the first time. Your prediction on that matchup. You mentioned the other day on a possible matchup between two fighters that you wish the fight was for 15 rounds. Are you in favor of giving fighters the option of fighting either 12 rounds or 15 rounds in a championship fight if that would be possible? Not sure it would be possible in the future but just in case.
Your take on fighter having beards and if they help even if they meet the so-called regulations.
Take care and appreciate your work.
Bread’s Response: You think Fury and Wilder have contentment for Joshua. Who knows. You know I don’t get into that. I just want to see the fights be made. I don’t care who likes who, you can legally beat someone up in boxing.
Hearns vs Duran at 147. The obvious choice is Hearns because of what happened at 154. But the night Duran beat Leonard his mind was clicking. If he could’ve taken Hearns into deep waters, who knows. Right now I say Hearns but Duran wouldn’t be out of it for sure. I don’t care what happened in 1984. 4 years is an eternity when you’re talking about a fighter who is undisciplined like Duran.
I think the set number of rounds should not be flexible. I like 15 round fights but it’s not feasible in this era. The fighters cut too much weight and only about 5% could perform at the level if they had to switch right now. If it changed during the middle of their careers, it would change the landscape of boxing.
Good tidings from the motherland Bread, 2 things I’d like to get your take on;1. I think, with all conviction, that Terence is gonna win by KO/TKO (no disrespect and I could be absolutely wrong) and this is from my historical observation of their fights. Spence is a frontrunner and doesn’t give a quarter in any fight. Same thing with Bud but no way in hell he’s gonna win the battle of attrition against EJ and be out boxing Spence. I just can’t picture that scenario. But his toughness (power), speedy brain and otherworldly adjustment will help him carry the day sometime from the 5th round onward (if something crazy don’t happen that is). He’ll likely employ a check hook and process EJ’s blind spots quick enough without losing a decision. I really loved EJ’s performance against Ugas but he was blocking punches which translated to him suffering heavy impact to his body and face. This is never gonna happen with Bud so from this I see the fight looking absolutely different from what we’re used to with both men but especially with how Errol would look on fight night.
2. For someone who loved grappling and rough contact boxing (awkward for a highly skilled boxer), Andre Ward seems to be a rare case of not having cuts or scars on his face. This speaks of his brilliance and good eye for seeing punches as they come. So my question is about his method of ‘running’ towards punches to stop their momentum while countering them and/or grappling with his opponents. Watch his fight with Kessler, Green, Miranda, Barrera etc and see him do the same thing to them. I believe he trains for the kind of punches his opponents throw consistently and memorizes it so much that even without using much brain power he does the needful against their best weapon. No wonder he was so dominant and neutralized a lot of his opponents. Does my observation hold water with you?
Bread’s Response: Sometimes the term Front runner in boxing means a critique and sometimes it can be a compliment. I assume you mean it as a compliment. I still say Spence vs Crawford comes down to if Spence can take Crawford’s punches. Obviously they both can hurt each other, it’s boxing but my instincts tell me that because of how Crawford’s fights have been going over the last 5 years. Spence has to be able to overcome Crawford’s sudden fight ending ability. Let them sign to fight before we keep discussing it….
I was just watching Ward’s Super 6 run starting with Kessler. My goodness he was ridiculous vs Kessler. I didn’t give Kessler 1 round and Kessler is a HOF level Supermiddleweight. People claim Ward isn’t that athletic. He is. He’s fast. He’s smooth. His reaction time is off the charts. He’s literally a WATER fighter. His style is whatever it has to be. Ward could live with any Super Middleweight in history. Roy Jones, Joe Calzaghe, James Toney and Canelo Alvarez have had the highest peaks I’ve seen at the weight in terms of who could beat who. I’m telling you Andre Ward has a shot to beat all of them, including the greatest in my opinion Roy Jones.
Ward doesn’t give you anything. He literally makes you earn every single piece of success. He’s always sticking a jab in your belly. He’s always feinting. He’s always alert. The media didn’t appreciate him enough. Your observation does hold water. I think Ward is the product of great teaching and great instincts. Virgil Hunter cultivated a great talent. And in turn we got to witness an ATG fighter. His defensive instincts are off the charts. Ward’s defense was simultaneously instinctive and taught. Hunter teaches the prevent defense. Extended lead hand to PAUSE the opponent. But Ward’s quick mind and ability to make the right decision is just special. He knows when to go towards power. When to go away. How to grapple and squeeze it. It’s just remarkable.
I watched every single fight he fought from Kessler to Kovalev. And this may sound crazy but I think Kessler was his APEX. He was so fast and nimble and alert. By the time he got to Kovalev, he wasn’t as fast in my opinion. His mind and ability was still there obviously, but his athleticism was slightly less. I implore every young fighter to watch that Kessler fight. Young contender, stepping up to fight a fighter with double the career fights. And putting in work like a professional.
Ward took the fight from Kessler, confused him, depleted him, boxed him, grappled him, used the entire ring and really put on a show. I didn’t appreciate the fight as much as I watched live. But now. My goodness. It was brilliant! Ward went through 2 evolutions if you watched him close. As a prospect he fought like RJ. But at some point he put his own twist on it. He didn’t have RJ’s 1 punch ko power, so he modified the style. Then as the Super 6 was ending and after his layoff, he became even more settled and was more energy efficient in terms of his movement. Great, great fighter. If not for his layoffs and low number (career fights) his All Time Ranking would be much higher.
I’m sure you have heard by now but Benn vs Eubank is off. Benn tested positive for a banned substance. Do you think it’s part of the culture in the UK? I remember the documentary on Benn vs McClellan and there were strong accusations that the elder Benn was on steroids, because of his miraculous recovery. Lately there have been several high profile Brits who have tested positive. Fury, Whyte, Saunders and now Benn. Maybe more but I can’t remember them all.
Bread’s Response: I have never liked the feeling I got watching the Benn vs McClellan fight. I didn’t like the corrupt referee. I didn’t like the way Benn kept hitting McClellan in the back of the head. There are several things that I don’t even want to get into because it makes me nauseous…But I don’t want to play revisionist and accuse Nigel Benn of steroid use. That wouldn’t be fair to him and his great effort. Especially 27 years after the event.
As for Conor Benn. It’s really a shame because he was improving and welterweight is red hot, but who knows how that improvement came about…. Besides that I never understood an undefeated prospect, moving up 2 divisions to fight a bigger fighter who has never been a world champion. I know the family names sell but the divisions were too far apart, especially before Benn was even ready to challenge for a title. Obviously the divisions are too far apart or he wouldn’t have had a banned substance in his system.
What I don’t like and I have observed with the Billy Joe Saunders situation vs Andrade. Is that some of these substances are banned by VADA but allowed by the UK board of testing. That’s ridiculous in my opinion. And it does make you wonder what substances that UK fighters take domestically while they aren’t using VADA. All parties need to get on the same page moving forward. This is a huge financial loss. Someone is going to have to pay for this. This was a big event where big money was already spent.
I don’t know if it’s part of the culture or not. But you’re correct. Some very high profile fighters in the UK have had some PED issues. It doesn’t look good to say the least but in fairness we have had our share of PED issues here in the US also. It’s not a UK thing. It’s a boxing thing. Once again thank God for VADA. VADA may be the best thing that has happened to modern boxing. Most don’t really care but think about this. Eubank was coming down in weight. Something that compromises your punch resistance. Benn was packing on whatever he was packing on. Who knows how that would’ve turned out? It could’ve been ugly and the UK has had some tragic ring moments in their history.
I love your rankings. Real simple. Give me the your 10 best punchers and your 10 best chins currently in boxing?
Bread’s Response: Ok best punchers first. It’s hard for me to do orders because it takes too much to time look at film, look at records etc. But I can give you my 10 best in each category.
How do you see the Haney vs Kambosos rematch going? Does Kambosos have a chance? Who do you think Haney fights next if he wins?
Bread’s Response: All fighters have a chance but outside of Haney getting clipped I think he outboxes Kambosos again. Haney is just better. I have watched Kambosos since he won the title. He changed. His excuse for missing weight on purpose was ridiculous. It was arrogant. It was delusional. When success and money changes a fighter it’s hard to reel them back in.
Kambosos has out kicked his coverage in terms of money earned and his talent level. He was not supposed to beat Teofimo Lopez. He earned that victory. But after a fighter hits the lottery like that, it’s difficult for him to get back to the things that got him there. Kambosos was even arrogant in his loss to Haney where he was clearly outclassed. Unless he lands a Sunday punch or does a complete makeover, I expect him lose again.
The aftermath. Well if Kambosos wins I expect a 3rd fight. If Haney wins I expect Haney to fight Lomachenko if Lomachenko beats Ortiz. If Kambosos loses I expect him to face up and coming lightweights, who will want his name on their resumes. Or maybe even take some time off and retire. Again it’s very hard to train, unless you’re special after making $10,000,000. It changes 99% of the fighters who have made it, especially ones who weren’t expected to make it.
Another topic, do you consider Aaron Judge the true homerun king? There seems to be controversy over this and I know you come from an objective place.
Bread’s Response: Let me choose my words carefully. My grandfather was my biggest influence on sports. He was born in 1931 and in that era, baseball and boxing were the biggest sports in the US. He saw Sugar Ray Robinson fight live when he fought Kid Gavilan among many others. His memory was fully intact when he passed and he passed along gems to me.
I don’t talk about it often but he schooled me on baseball too. A sport I played from when I was 9yr-14yrs on an elite little league team called the Cherashore Braves in Philadelphia. We won the city championship in 1988. I watched baseball as a little kid through my adult years as I did boxing. I will say without hesitation that there was something unnatural about the late 90s and early 2000s. Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire went from great players to super natural players. Their numbers spiked along with the rest of baseball including some great pitchers who looked to be done, but then got 2nd primes like Roger Clemens.
But back to Bonds specifically. People make this a race thing because Bonds is black and McGuire, Ruth and Maris were white. I’m a proud black man, but I’m no fool. In my opinion Bonds and McGuire’s accomplishments were both ENHANCED. The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming. Cheating has no color, but the people who criticize the cheaters DO. I don’t want to hear that Bonds was already a HOF before he started using because that’s not the issue. And for the record he only spent 6 seasons in Pittsburgh before he went to San Francisco in 1993. He had an excellent 6 years in Pittsburgh but we don’t know when he started exactly and when he stopped. We don’t know if it prevented injury or not which would have contributed to his longevity of 21 years in the MLB. What we do know is he never hit over 40 homeruns in Pittsburgh and he never hit over 50 in any year overall. But in 2001 he hit 73! Think about that.
That’s the equivalent of Tim Bradley and excellent fighter, turning into Roy Jones in the latter part of his career, then his defenders claiming he was already great. So what!!!
Also take into consideration how many times he was walked out of fear. Take into consideration the domino effect that has on how he’s pitched to. He benefited off of that one season for the rest of his career and, who knows if he only did it that one season just because that was his best season. I personally don’t believe that for one minute. Bonds was so HOT for about 5 or 6 seasons and was beyond reproach in terms of how good he was. The 2001 season stands out and is the easy cop out for his defenders. But I watched him. Pitchers couldn’t even pitch to him for about a half of decade. His on base % was ridiculous. Look it up!
I also personally believe that MLB is as much at fault as anyone. They knew but they kept promoting these out of proportion performance levels for higher RATINGS. And the players fell into the peer pressure because clean players were losing their jobs. But that still doesn’t take away the season high numbers and overall numbers.
Unless Aaron Judge has some serious circumstantial evidence surrounding his name or an official failed test. He’s the REAL HOMERUN king. And Hank Aaron is the REAL HOMERUN career king. 62 and 755 are the real numbers, IN MY OPINION.
Congratulations Aaron Judge for doing it the right way, AS FAR AS I KNOW! Hopefully nothing comes up under his name or I will take these comments back.
I know your stance on PEDS. So I assume you don’t think they should go through with Benn vs Eubank? But what are your thoughts on the rest of the weekend’s fights. Fundora vs Ocampo and Adames vs Montiel?
Bread’s Response: I think it’s a good card. I favor Fundora in a very tough fight. Grinders like Fundora usually don’t blow opponents out. It’s what makes them grinders. Fundora also had a very tough outting vs Lubin last time out, so let’s see how he looks. I don’t assume anything in boxing. But from what I have seen, I favor Fundora by mid rounds stoppage.
Call me crazy but I think Adames vs Montiel will be a FOY candidate. I think Adames will be super aggressive. More so in the past. Very violent. He’s also a fast starter. Montiel is an excellent body puncher and he comes on late. I think it’s the perfect mix. I give the edge to Adames but he better not be a FRONT RUNNER in this fight because Montiel is going to bring it down the stretch with his left hook to the liver and Adames has gassed in other fights. Very good style CLASH.
I don’t even want to get into the Benn vs Eubank debacle. No one asked for a fight between a developing welterweight prospect vs a 160/168 who has never won a title. So the welterweight Benn tested positive for a drug that increases testosterone. Obviously we have to wait for a due process but it’s get sickening to be honest. But All cheaters are LIARS. You can’t be a cheater without being a LIAR. I feel bad for the undercard fighters who were training for their big moment.
Hopefully Benn is suspended for 2 years IF his B sample comes back positive.. And hopefully Eubank fights a big fight at 160 or 168 and not one vs a welterweight prospect. Eubank is not at fault right here but he was calling out Kell Brook not too long ago, who is also smaller. And he pulled out vs GGG a few years back and Brook stepped in to save the show. I’m not a fan of that type of behavior. There are enough 160 and 168lbers for him to fight.
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