The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the failed negotiations for Saul 'Canelo' Alvarez vs. Caleb Plant, the unification between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano, the style of heavyweight great Mike Tyson, and much more.
Blessings to you Breadman.
I started re-watching Mike Tysons fights on YouTube so I could show my son what I grew up with. Something he pointed out to me as Tyson went south pw a lot once he got on the inside. It's how he would throw his right hook to the body, followed by the uppercut. How underrated do you think this was? Also I think for his size and length, his jab was superb. Can you break down how he did it.
Bread’s Response: Freddie Roach once said it’s no right or wrong way to do things in boxing. He was correct to an extent. I got exactly what he was trying to say. Mike Tyson fought squared up. People say a fighter shouldn’t be squared up but that’s not true for every fighter. Tyson was able to slip back and forth like a pendulum and hook from either side. Inside he wanted his right hand closer at time so he would be just bring his right foot forward. He was squared up often for that reason. Tell your son to watch the Marvis Frazier fight vs Tyson. Tyson put him up against the ropes, turned southpaw and hit him with some brutal uppercuts. Tyson is not known as a switch hitter but he switched often and was very effective at it.
He had a great jab. He’s just not known as a great jabber. There have been plenty of short great jabbers in boxing history. Miguel Cotto, Dwight Qawi, Emille Griffin and of course Mike Tyson. Actually a shorter fighter, who understands the angle of how to let the taller opponents jab, go over their head can usually outjab the taller opponents. It’s two ways it happens.
One is the shorter fighter gets low, the taller opponent jabz, the shorter fighter drops his head to the right and downward, simultaneously stepping in with his jab that is on an upward angle. The shorter fighter's jabs lands as the taller fighter's jab slides by his head.
The second way is just quickness. Shorter people usually have quicker feet than taller people. So when the taller fighter jabs, the shorter quicker fighter, follows the jab back with a jab of his own. Evander Holyfield is not short but was shorter than some of his opponents in Riddick Bowe and Lennox Lewis. He Would wait on the bounce. The bigger guy would jab. And Holyfield would bounce back in quick with a double jab of his own. He mastered that move.
Tyson had very quick hands and feet and he understood that he was short, so he made himself shorter and quicker. He would do the first move and often out jab bigger and taller opponents. Great observations.
When will these bad decisions stop. Shinard Bunch easily won his fight on Showbox over Janelson Bocachica. Again another A side decision. I also noticed your comment on twitter of how Bocachica’s promoter was allowed to sit next to a judge and cheer his fighter on. Is there a rule against that? Do you know Bunch personally, I saw he’s from Jersey which is next to Philly?
Bread’s Response: Yes I know Bunch but not so much personally. But I wouldn’t care if I knew him or not. That decision was the worst this year.
There is literally no way a competent judge could give Bocachica more than 3 rounds. 3 rounds is being generous. Bunch outboxed him and out punched and Bocachica and his trainer knew it. They celebrated the draw. I won’t say the promoter’s name because he’s a colleague of mine. I like him a lot and I get that he wants his fighter to win. He may not have done it in a malicious way. But it’s up to the commission to level the playing field. In boxing we will all try to get advantages and it’s up to the authority to regulate. The commission failed Bunch. There is NO WAY a promoter literally sitting next to a judge, screaming for a fighter, is a level playing field. Bunch’s team could file a protest with the commission and have a case. I have empathy for these kids who sacrifice so much to get robbed of an earned outcome. Bunch won that fight so clearly that Bocachica looked shocked that he got a draw. That decision really made me sick.
Just wanted to check what does a boxer typically do come fight night. I am not a boxer but do workout for an hour every day. It involves jogging for 20 mins, PT exercises for 20 mins and 20 mins of weight lifting. I find it easiest to workout with an empty stomach. For example, if I have had lunch, it becomes difficult to workout in the evening as I start getting reflux. So, I normally have heavy breakfast, workout in the evening and then have light dinner before I go to bed. Having sufficient gap between my meal and workout is something that I tend to find better. My question to you is - If a boxer is supposed to fight Saturday evening, what should his diet be like on that day?
Bread’s Response: A nice a big breakfast. Plenty of carbs. Oatmeal, pancakes, omelet =, breakfast meat and plenty of fluids. That’s the last big meal of the day. A light healthy lunch. Maybe a salad, protein (chicken, turkey or fish). A carb possibly in the salad, quinoa. Make sure it’s a healthy salad, kale, beets etc. Not just plain lettuce. After that nothing heavy. Just fruit, protein bars with carbs, maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and again plenty of fluid. About 3 hour before the fight, nothing much except water. You don’t want to go in the ring bloated or stuffed. It’s actually better to be a little bit hungry from my experience. Good question.
If you had to pick a team for a fighter as far as Trainer, Promoter, Manager, Strength Coach etc who would you pick? Like sort of a Dream Team if there was a such thing in boxing.
Bread’s Response: Interesting question. I will break it down differently because it’s not as simple as you say it but it is a great question. I will give different categories for each.
Strategy Trainer: If I had to pick a trainer to come up with a strategy I would pick Virgil Hunter. In my opinion Hunter’s two most impressive fights were both losses. Alfredo Angulo vs Erislandy Lara. Lara is way more talented than Angulo. Angulo is way too slow for Lara. Yet that fight was pretty much even going into the round where Angulo was injured. Hunter saw that Lara didn’t defend a hook well and twice in that fight, Angulo hooked as Lara came out of a shell and clipped him. That’s repetition and training. Hunter didn’t have the best fighter in that fight. Often times the media and fans get caught up in who the “best” trainer is. But they judge it out of context. I want to see if a trainer can win a fight or be competitive in a fight he’s not SUPPOSED to win. Be competitive in a fight where he doesn’t have the most talented fighter. Or the smaller fighter. Or the chinny fighter. Etc.
Hunter just put on a great performance in Barrios vs Davis. Again Barrios lost, but he boxed beautifully. He had Team Davis worried. If Tank doesn’t score that big knock down in the 8th, the momentum doesn’t change. Barrios was outpointing Davis. I know you guys will say he was bigger etc. But he was picked for a REASON. He wasn’t supposed to win that fight and he almost did.
Condition Trainer: Before Strength and Conditioning coaches became popular trainers got their fighters in shape. An assistant may have been assigned to get the trainer up for runs and oversee stuff like that but he wasn’t called a strength coach. Trainers put their fighters through the paces in the gym and on the road. There are three trainers I’ve seen really get their fighters in shape in the GYM. Humbly speaking. Stephen “Breadman” Edwards, Bozy Ennis and Kevin Cunningham. All of us work really hard in the gym on each station. All of us get up early in the am to put that work in on the road.
I once had a great trainer tell me he would never wake up with a fighter to see if he ran. He would find out in the fight. He’s not wrong, but that’s not MY way. I have to know what he’s done long before we get in that ring.
Pressure Trainer: I like Derrick James style of mitts for a pressure, walk down fighter. Hard single shots. See the opening, let it go. Catch the incoming shots, move your feet but keep your hands up. Boom, boom, boom.
Catch and Counter/Combination: Eddy Reynoso is the man. He comes up with great combination variations. His guys really run off nice combinations.
Strength Trainers are overrated in boxing. Very few actually serve a purpose. But the best I have been around is Tony Brady. He really understands the difference between fast twitch and slow twitch muscles. He works both. Some people think only long slow runs get a fighter in shape. That’s archaic and it burns some fighters out. Tony believes in sprints for fast twitch. And good mile runs and swimming for slow twitch. He’s also good with weight training. I have seen strength coaches that never get on the track. The #1 conditioning method in history is some type of run. Brady would be my guy on a dream team.
Promoter is tough but I will keep it simple. If you’re a young up and comer from what I’ve seen Top Rank is excellent. The jobs they did with Oscar De La Hoya, Floyd Mayweather, Miguel Cotto, Juan Manuel Marquez and Kelly Pavlik were some of the best in history. Each guy was undefeated well into his career. And was matched progressively productive. 95% of the time if a prospect can’t win a title or ascend with Top Rank he just wasn’t the goods. Matchmaking is never perfect but they are really good.
If I had a top 10 fighter or champion. I would go to PBC/Mayweather Promotions. They are the best at getting their fighters paid. It’s simple. This is a business and PBC fighters make the best money according to market value than any others in the sport. PBC has made more millionaires than anyone else in the sport. Other companies make millionaires out of their GREAT fighters. You don’t have to be a great fighter to be a millionaire with the PBC.
Manager: This is tough because the title is evolving with time. But I would say Al Haymon and/or Luis Decubas. I just know, what I know.
Hope everything is well with you and your family. First am gonna say this, I am a huge fan of the Charlo's, I think they are really good fighters and quite dedicated, I wanted Jermell to win this fight so bad, cause it was for Undisputed, I couldn't even let myself enjoy the fight cause I was nervous for him. With that said, its was really an exciting fight. My question to you is this, Do you think charlo was fighting to win (I guess every fighter comes into the ring to win lol), but as a boxing trainer and a person who knows and understands what goes on in the ring very well, I'd like to know your take on that.
I actually think he performed very well. I understand he is a less active fighter and all that. But this fight is for UNDISPUTED, there hasn't been an undisputed fighter in that weight class for decades, I believe there are moments he could have turned it up, I didnt see any urgency from him. Now am not saying he should change his style for one fight, but I feel like there are some small adjustment he could have made, one of which is staying off the ropes. His game plan was to counter castano off the ropes when castano is throwing combinations in bunches, and he actually did catch castano early in the fight. Now castano immediately adjusted to that and threw his combination in spurts. Charlo still continued the same game plan hoping to catch castano again. When He Hurt castano again, he still let him off the hook. Now I dunno if castano hit him with something that made him hesitant or he was really stuck on his game plan, even in the late rounds, Derrick kept asking for combinations, right hands, uppercuts, Dude even said charlo needed a K.O. I think he was just fighting not to lose. As big of a charlo fan that I am, i hate to say this but I felt like castano won, I think he stole some of the rounds by coming on late, but I am not mad at a draw at all cause my guy didnt lose lol, but still disappointed, it was a close fight with 2 great champions. How did you score the fight and do you think charlo was listening to his coach?
Remember prograis vs josh taylor, a great close fight, do you think taylor would have gotten the decision if it the fight was in prograis's hometown? If not, then do you think charlo would have gotten the decision if the fight was on a neutral ground? I must also commend castano though, he fought a very smart fight, he made adjustments, never knocked down even when he was wobbly, he was more technical than I thought, the castano that beat Teixeira would have been stopped mid rounds.
Finally I heard Rolly calling out Tank at 140, How do you see this potential match up. I feel like Rolly wants to use his weight to bully tank that's why he wants it at 140 cause he a very big dude and he would have even more weight advantages at 140, your thoughts....
Thank you. Have a Great Day.
Bread’s Response: As I watching the fight I was scoring with a “boxing” guy. I had it 4-2 with 1 swing round that I didn’t score after 7. I honestly got into the fight and stopped scoring. I thought Castano won the 11th. A round that everyone gives Jermell. At the end my answer to “how do you have it.” Was honest and organic. “Draw or Castano.” That’s exactly what I thought. That’s exactly how I felt. When I heard 117-11 I knew that scorecard would be for Jermell because he was the A side. I’m not upset at the draw. I thought draw or Castano edge because there were 2 hard swing rounds to score. 117-111 for Charlo is very disturbing. It really bothers me because boxing can’t stop doing that to itself.
I think Jermell was trying to listen to Derrick James. But it’s hard when another man is punching you in the face. Jermell is a sort of a CLIPPER. He tries to clip his opponents with big shots. If he punched more they may get used to speed and timing. If you notice when he fought Lubin, he barely punched in that 1st round. All of a sudden BOOM, he scored a money ko shot. So I get people saying that he needs to pick it up but it may take away from his shock value ko ability. Everything is interconnected. I don’t want to talk hometown stuff because that shouldn’t be a factor although it is…..
I think that Rolly Romero can fight better than people realize. I see people laugh at him. They say he can’t fight. They call him names. I see a fighter who is awkward but strong, powerful, confident and accurate. Tank would be the favorite, probably a big favorite but Rolly is not as easy as “they” say. I’m going to leave it at that.
Hey Mr Edwards,
I accidently pressed the send button before I could complete my email on the Spence-Pacquiao match-up. I hope your editor picks it up. The reason I like Pacquiao over Spence is clear from a previous email. However, I just want to add that the more I hear Spence open his mouth the more I'm convinced this fight is just about the money for him. In that sense he's really no different to Keith Thurman whom he claims to despise. I think he will retire after Pacquiao beats him because I think Crawford will no longer have an interest in him. I don't think Spence can be the weight bully he is in the 147 pound division when he gets to 154. If he's already made his money after the Pacquiao fight I don't see why he's going to hang around for measly paydays while struggling at 154 because he's in this for the money and not for the greatness. Am I wrong?
KatlholoJohannesburg, South Africa.
Bread’s Response: You don’t seem to be an Errol Spence fan and when you don’t like someone it’s hard to give them a compliment. Just because Spence fights for money it doesn’t mean he doesn’t want to be great. I pick Spence to beat Pacquiao based on youth, length, size and his jab. Let’s see what happens.
I do agree about 154lbs….When Errol fights he seems to have a huge physicality advantage over welterweights. He’s built like a junior middleweight. His biggest weapon at 147 is his long hard jab. He has had a big reach advantage in most of his fights. At 154, a 72 inch reach is common. It doesn’t mean Spence will get exposed. I think he will still be an excellent fighter. I just believe he will have to win his fights on more than physicality. I think he’s up for the task. Errol is a gamer and he’s competitive.
I don’t think Errol is like Keith Thurman. Thurman started fighting once a year about 5 years ago then he took off over 2 years in his physical prime after the Pacquiao fight. Errol had the car accident and came right back vs Danny Garcia. Errol Spence has 3 legacy fights at 147. He has Vergil Ortiz who is also from Texas. He has Jaron Ennis who is a super talent. And he has Terence Crawford who is more in his age range and already a HOF. If he fights all of them and wins he’s an ATG. If He fights 2 out of 3 and wins he’s a HOF and possibly an ATG. If he fights 1 and that 1 is Crawford and he wins impressively he’s the MAN. Let’s see what he does.
Hi Breadman, •Can Joe Joyce give top HW guys a run? •Crawford vs Porter?•Who is the best boxing broadcaster on tv right now?
Long live the mailbag!
Bread’s Response: YES! Joe Joyce can give a top heavyweight run. Joyce has something going. He’s clever, powerful and he stays within himself.
I’m not making prediction on Crawford vs Porter until they sign to fight.
The best boxing broadcaster…..I like so many it’s hard to narrow it down to 1. Andre Ward, Steve Farhood, Al Bernstein, Mauro Ranallo. All Time, I liked Emanuel Steward, Larry Merchant, Jim Lampley, Barry Tompkins, Paulie Malignaggi, Roy Jones, Max Kellerman and Alex Wallau. I know I forget some excellent broadcasters but I freestyle my answers so sometimes I forget people.
Enjoy your work.
You were not typing fast enough Duran vs Leonard 1 was the greatest fight and to move up two classes and beat probably a prime Leonard was something at I believe 31 years of age. I like all of your top 5. For best win in your opinion where would Ali vs Liston 1 fall in? That fight changed a lot in boxing and before the fight Ali was such a big underdog.
Your complete thoughts on Mr and Mrs. Donaire's cancellation of the fight with Casimero?It could work out good for boxing. If Inoue gives Donaire a rematch you now have a semi final final matchup with the winners of both fights meeting for all the titles. Donaire vs Inoue and Casimero vs Rigondeaux.
Also do you think that Donaire fighting Inoue makes sense anyway. A big big fight financially and historically which might have been reduced if Donaire lost to Casimero.Also who do you think wins Casimero vs Rigondeaux? Inoue is underrated still. People can see yet not believe. Even him at number 3 is too low pound for pound. Pound for pound I believe he will go right behind 1.Robinson 2.Duran and 3.Leonard since the Youtube era. (where one can see old fights) Time will tell.
If you were king of boxing and could set up a situation where there was only one champion in each division and you could also set up the rankings for each of the fighter in a weight class how often should the champion have to fight the number 1 contender? One last thing I know this is just a wish but how do you think it would go if the judges did not score the fight by rounds but maybe you have 5 judges who simply pick who they thought won the fight?
Bread’s Response: Duran was just turning 29 when he beat Leonard. Leonard was 24. Yes it was a great win. Possibly the greatest win ever. It’s up for debate. I love Duran but he didn’t jump 2 weight classes in one fight. He vacated his lightweight title in 1978. He took 8 fights to grow into 147 and he was very strong. It was a 2 year process. Sometimes the MYTH just sounds better. It was a great accomplishment nevertheless.
Ali over Liston 1 is also a top 10 win ever. Ali is something. He changed history with that win also. In 1964 Sonny Liston was considered a top 5 heavyweight ever. He was considered too big for Rocky Marciano. Marciano was actually rumored to have retired because Liston was ascending. I’m not sure how true that is but in the 1950’s and 60’s Liston was very highly regarded. He was 6’1 with an 84 inch reach. A brutal puncher and a great jabber. He was known to have an iron chin. Out of all of the other heavyweights in history up until that point only a prime Joe Louis would have been the favorite to beat him. Not saying he would have beaten every heavyweight before him but that was the perception. Ali was a 7 or 8 to 1 underdog vs Liston and Ali had pedigree and skill. That’s how highly regarded Liston was. If Ali wouldn’t have beaten him he would have reigned into the late 60s because no one else emerged that could have beaten Liston except Joe Frazier. Frazier didn’t turn pro until 1965 and wouldn’t have been ready for Liston until 67 or 68. Foreman was too young and he didn’t turn pro until 1968. So yes Ali stopped 2 potential monumental title reigns in Liston and then Foreman.
I respect Mr. and Mrs. Donaire. Donaire has stood for drug testing before it became popular. He won FOY doing it without anyone asking him to. I respect their decision. They felt as though Casimero was not moving fast enough so they pulled the plug. I’m not accusing Casimero of anything I’m just answering you. Rachel Donaire may be manager of the year if Nonito wins another big fight. They set boundaries with pulling out of that fight.
How do you think judges should score 10-8 rounds outside of a knockdown? I have noticed rounds where a fighter dominates their opponent and gets a 10-9 round while getting a 10-8 score in a round they did okay in but got a knockdown. Did you think the 10-8 score Charlo got from one of the judges in the 10th round was fair? Secondly, could you give some insight into how boxers prepare for the Olympics in terms of weight cutting or weight maintenance? Because the competition is much longer than one night, do fighters fight at their walking around weight?
Bread’s Response: The judge who scored the 10-8 round for Charlo, had Castano winning. It was no big deal. I don’t know if it was a 10-8 round. It was borderline. It wasn’t terrible and again, in context that judge scored for Castano so most people think that was the right score. I think if a fighter has a big dominant round where the opponent is hurt, wobbly and overwhelmed but not dropped he deserves a 10-8 round. Simple.
Amateur fighters in general fight at a higher weight than they do as pros because amateur tournaments are longer. They may fight 3x over a 3 day span, where as a professional fight is just once. So holding the weight is harder. than just making a weight.
I was curious to know if you consider how a fighter responds to the media and other subtleties leading up to the fight. I used these moments to guage a fighters mindset/confidence leading up to the fight. I like to listen to as many interviews as possible to see if they give confident and clear answers without hesitation. I look at body language, abnormal behavior, but I also take into account how the media and opponent is interacting with said fighter. I also look at how they energy is during the walk to the ring. I look to see if that energy is consistent with how they usually are. There's more to it than this but I'll sum it up as a psycho/behavioral analysis. I noticed Wilder and Jermell seemed off during the ring walk in their previous fights. Not glaring to others but I saw a sense of concern. Not fully confident. Do you conduct any type of pre-fight psycho-behavioral analysis to assist in making your fight predictions?
Bread’s Response: I do look at everything because I’m an OBSERVANT. I have seen some things that tipped me off but often times it’s overrated. Let me explain. I once observed a fighter had a sort of dead eye. He didn’t move it or focus the eye. I’m surprised he passed the vision test. So what I did was tell my fighter to cover is OTHER eye. If a fighter is having vision trouble, the bad eye is already compromised. So cover the good eye and make the bad be forced to focus in. We went out covered his good eye and then hit him with a right hand like 10 seconds into the 1st round. Dominant fight.
Once I heard a fighter was getting a haircut in the dressing room before the fight. I thought he may have been a little over confident. But here is the thing. Whatever perception you get of a fighter, the opposing fighter has to take advantage of it. Sometimes we can overthink. Sometimes a fighter can let another fighter believe he’s afraid and turn into a dragon.
I once heard a fighter keep talking about his jab and reach. I told my fighter to out jab him early and take away his fascination with his reach. We did and dominated.
Most recently we were up against a fighter who liked to talk trash. He wanted a response out of my fighter. I told my fighter don’t give him any emotion. Nothing. Nothing good or bad. By the time we got to the weigh in the opposing fighter told my fighter that his trash talk was all for entertainment and it wasn’t personal….
I look for physical traits and personality traits more than I do interviews etc. I’m a little more detailed. Charlo and Wilder are very intense, vicious guys. So they may be on edge. It’s no big deal most of the time.
Can you train against a fighter you like or a fighter you are or were attached to? Would it be difficult considering in boxing someone can be seriously injured?
Bread’s Response: Excellent question…..Despite what happens at press conferences most fighters and their teams like and respect each other. Often times fighters in the same divisions use the same cutmen, strength coaches and trainers. I like a lot of fighters. I have personal relationships with some. I like Errol Spence, we laugh and joke about the Cowboys and Eagles. I like Tony Harrison. The young brother reminds me of myself at his age. I like Jarret Hurd, who is just a cool kid. I trained against him. I like both Dirrell brothers. I trained against Anthony. I like Caleb Plant, Robert Easter and Raushee Warren. I like Shawn Porter. In Philly I’m very cool with Danny Garcia, Tevin Farmer, Jaron Ennis and Scooter Fulton. But I’m a professional. I will train against any fighter who is not in my stable. I may not ask for a fight with a fighter I’m cool with. But as a professional I would train against them. Being attached to a fighter is different. If I don’t train or I am not professionally involved with them then I will do it. It’s not about “wanting” to. It’s about being professional.
To be even more specific here is what I WON’T do. I would never ask two fighters that I am handling fight each other. I don’t care how much money is involved. I also won’t ask to spar a fighter to see if my fighter can get the better of them, then go and take the fight. That’s slimy. I have friends and colleagues in boxing that I would rather not go against and if we help each other out with our fighters I’m not overly aggressive or eager to take fights against their fighters. Interesting question I haven’t been asked anything like this before.
I see why you don’t get too involved with negotiations but your boy Plant is not taking his career high payday of 10 mil.. It seems that Canelo vs Plant has fell apart. With the proposed date of September 18th, do you think it’s enough time to do proper drug testing if they haven’t started yet, if they are able to salvage the deal? That could be another snag if they resume talks.
Bread’s Response: I leave all of the arguing up to the fans as to who’s fault is who’s. Hopefully they get it done. But the business is the business.
I think all championship fighters should be randomly tested all year around. You have to be really STUPID to get caught cheating when you know the STARTING and ENDING date to the testing. I guess it ensures that you don’t use PEDS during camp, but what about the condition a fighter can get in before camp OFFICIALLY starts? You’re asking the wrong person the last part of your question because I think the drug testing in boxing is a JOKE. Again we are the ONLY sport in the world where the participants pay for the testing, and get to decide when the testing starts, stops or even if there will be testing. It’s like taking a college entrance exam but you get to choose the topics on which you will be examined. You may not have the exact questions but you will have a good enough idea of what they will be. Just to be fair and objective.
10 million would be Plant’s career high payday. But 40 million would be Canelo’s also. You only brought up Plant’s career payday. Both fighters would be getting career high paydays not just Plant. My math is pretty good. That looks like a 80/20 split. I think both paydays are reasonable and fair considering the market value, the fight was proposed to be on PBC and Plant’s belt which is the 4th piece to Canelo’s puzzle. Belts do matter. They mattered with Saunders and Smith. They should also matter with Plant.
I know you guys say that Plant has no market value. But he’s the best white American active fighter in the world. He’s the best since a prime Kelly Pavlik 14 years ago. He’s a good looking kid and he shows up well on tv. He speaks well. Getting the 20 on an 80/20 split is about right for him. It also puts Canelo in position to fight Jermall Charlo and David Benavidez, two other PBC stars. That would fill his plate for the next year. Let’s see what happens.
From Plant’s statements he was cool with the split. It was “other” things that snagged the deal. We haven’t heard Canelo’s side yet so, let’s also be fair to him and see what he has to say. Plant was very specific in his comments and as they say the Devil is in the Detail.
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